Section: Just for Fun

How Important Is Makeup Packaging to You?

Published in: Guest Post, Just For Fun

Expensive vs Cheap Makeup Packaging

Despite these Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks By Kate Moss being pretty good quality, I feel like when I use them, I don’t get the same makeup experience as when I use, say, a YSL lipstick.

Well, to me, makeup packaging is very important.

Because makeup isn’t just about the way I look after I’ve made up my face. For me, more importantly, it’s about the overall experience and how much I enjoy putting it on.

I mean, it’s like when I go to a restaurant where the food is presented in a creatively appealing way. To begin with, the food they serve has to be good, but the way it’s presented definitely adds to the culinary experience.

(Speaking of which, if you ever come to Bologna, make sure you go to Casa Monica and La Taverna del Farneto, my favorite restaurants in the area. Amazing food, outstanding service and a relaxed atmosphere — a perfect combination, if you ask me!)

Same goes for makeup. The products have to be good, but if they also come in beautiful packaging, it makes the experience more enjoyable.

Beautiful Makeup Packaging

I have a soft spot for pretty packaging… Can you tell?

That being said, some pretty packaging costs a lot, so I think it’s great that there are also good quality products that come in plain, inexpensive packaging and retail for less than the cost of a kale smoothie. It’s good to have options, right?

Now that I think about it, when I said that makeup packaging is very important to me, I should’ve actually said that it’s very important for certain product categories.

Like, if they’re in my budget, I’ll usually buy beautifully packaged lipsticks, eyeshadows, bronzers, blushes and palettes, while, most of the time, I’m happy with drugstore mascaras and eyeliners (provided the quality is good, obviously).

With the latter, even when they’re high end, I don’t really get that luxe feeling that I get from those other products (especially lipsticks). Do you know what I mean?

Carolina Braina

Hey, ladies (and gents), it’s Carolina here, reporting live from Bologna, Italy, to bring you the latest and greatest in beauty from the good ol’ continent! For an extra dose of that timeless Italian glam with a touch of humor and self-irony (because, you know, laughter is the best makeup), come say hi at and Instagram.

Makeup and Beauty Blog Monday Poll, Vol. 431

Published in: Just For Fun


You might be wondering, “So what in tarnation is this Monday Poll thing anyway!?”

Well, it isn’t exactly a poll. It’s more of a constantly evolving (devolving?), somewhat random list of questions I’ve been putting out to readers every Monday morning for the past eight (!) years. (It’s like a kickstart for your brain.) I’ve always enjoyed reading your answers in the comments, and I hope you enjoy reading mine.

  1. Do you have any birthmarks?
    I have two. One is located on the back of my left thigh; it’s kind of small-ish. Last time I checked, it was shaped like the State of Florida.

    And I used to have — and I say “used to have” because I just checked, and I can’t seem to find it — I used to have a mole on the bottom of my right heel, but it’s gone!

    I don’t know. Is that even physically possible? Maybe I need to wash my feet…

  2. Are your toes currently painted? If so, what are they wearing?
    YAAAAASSS! Of course they’re painted, because when they’re not painted, they look like monkey paws.

    I’m wearing two coats of Essie Gel Polish in Beauty VIP, a creamy jade green.

  3. What’s your signature dance move?
    The Snake, girlfriend! You can’t out-Snake me.
  4. When was the last time you gave someone flowers?
    The last time I gave someone flowers was Mother’s Day. I got my mom a potted orchid, and she got me the same thing, so we each gave each other potted orchids.
  5. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being pro-caliber, how do you rate your winged liner skills?
    I’d give myself a solid 7. I think I’m pretty good at it. I do have my days when I can do, like, with a liquid pen liner, one fell swoop from inner to outer corner, but those days are few and far between… I can do it though.

    Yeah, a solid 7.


Your turn. 🙂 Just copy and paste the following questions into a comment with your answers. I look forward to reading ’em!

1. Do you have any birthmarks?
2. Are your toes currently painted? If so, what are they wearing?
3. What’s your signature dance move?
4. When was the last time you gave someone flowers?
5. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being pro-caliber, how do you rate your winged liner skills?

Hi, sweet pea. 🙂 Happy Monday to ya. I hope you’re feeling fab this morning and that your day got off to a good start.

I’m in a good mood because Connor woke up in a good mood. When I reached down to pick her up from her crib, the first thing she did was smile, and it was one of those “smile with your eyes” kind of smiles.

If you need it, here’s a big virtual hug [*HUG!*]. Have a nice rest of your day, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Sundays With Tabs the Cat, Makeup and Beauty Blog Mascot, Vol. 406

Published in: Just For Fun, Tabs


If you’re a cat, there’s a lot to see and do on our little oak tree-covered hill. It’s home to a thriving community of turkeys, deer, other cats (some nice, some malcontents), dogs, coyotes, quail, finches, owls, hawks, crows, woodpeckers, raccoons, squirrels, foxes and a rabbit (or two), to name a few.

Tabs sort of administers everything to make sure the community performs at an optimal level, which he likes to do from one of his many perches, like his window shelf in the living room or his outdoor tabby command center.

But sometimes you have to get out there and get your paws dirty to see what’s really going on, which we did today on our walk.


The grass on the hill is all dead and dry right now, but the oak trees are green and action-packed.


Problem is, some of the critters in the area aren’t following proper procedures, like this ne’er–do–well who refused to show Tabs his authorized tree pass.


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The Day in Beauty Vol. 21: Pancakes and Painting Paws With Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish

Published in: Essie, Just For Fun, Nails

essie gel couture

16 of 42 shades in the Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish Collection ($11.50 each)

Hey, dear friend. Sweet and lovely greetings to you on this summer Saturday.

With sad, unsettling things in the news this week, makeup seems extra frivolous…but we all need a break from real life sometimes. And to be honest, that’s one of the reasons I like makeup and beauty. Right now I’m soothing my spirit sitting by the windows and playing with these bottles of Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish ($11.50 each).

Did you just do a double-take? I did the first time I saw these twisty bottles (inspired by twirling runway dresses). For a second there I thought that Essie went and lost her mind with a bottle redesign, because I love those classic square Essie bottles, but no, these are a completely new, additional collection available now in Essie’s permanent line.

essie gel couture nail polish

There are 42 shades, and they work a lot like gel polishes. You don’t have to use them with a base coat. You just apply however many coats you want, then add a layer of the special topcoat that comes with the collection (it’s supposed to be the one that comes with the collection, so not any old topcoat).

There’s a wide range of colors from semi-sheer pastels, like the pinks and beiges Essie is famous for, along with quite a few fiercer colors like dark blues and fun greens.

essie gel couture nail polish

I like gel nail polishes like these because of how incredibly fast they dry, and these are no joke! When I do two layers and the top coat, they’re completely bone dry — like, I can type, fiddle with my hair, whatever — in 10 minutes. That is SO fast.

essie gel couture nail polish

(read more…)

Some Thoughts on Makeup and Life

Published in: Just For Fun

rainbow of eye products

You guys. So, it occurred to me the other day when I did the same look for the umpteen millionth time with lashes, liner and a nude lip that I might be in a makeup rut.

Like a serious makeup rut!

And I think I need help.

So, where do you go when you need help? You ask your girlfriends, of course.

Here’s the deal. I just… Right before I had the baby, I was sooo tired all the time. I wasn’t wearing a lot of makeup at all. Then, after I had the baby, it got even worse, because then I didn’t have any energy or time to put on makeup.

But Connor is four months old now, and I’m ready to get back into my groove and my regular life again, but I’ve gotten used to only putting in the tiniest amount of effort, and things like doing a full-on smokey eye are very daunting.

I haven’t worn a lot of makeup in five or six months, which is a long time for me. I just really haven’t been taking care of myself in that way for a while.

I’m guessing that this is something a lot of women go through? I don’t know… I’ve talked to friends about it, about getting into certain habits with your look of like, I dunno, wearing your hair or doing your makeup the same way for weeks or months, and I’m definitely in that monkey house.

I’m trying though. The other day I laid out a whole bunch of eye products and took pictures of them, because not only am I kind of out of practice when it comes to putting on my makeup (I think I’ve lost a little bit of the muscle memory?), I also haven’t spent a lot of time in front of my camera.

So I was looking at all of these beautiful colors and finishes and the different formulas — the creams, powders and whatnot — on the table in front of me and started thinking, “What if I layer this shade with that one?” and “What if I blend these two things together?”

I thought it was a eureka moment!

I felt like I finally figured something out, but the next day when I sat down to do my makeup, I went right back to — you guessed it! — lashes, liner and a nude lip.

The thing is, I really do miss doing more with my makeup. I want to. I’m just stuck or something.

And maybe this is also a metaphor for my life in some ways. Not to sound too corny, but there are things I want to do and so many paths I want to explore, but at this point in my life, I’ve gotten accustomed to the patterns of my day and living those same patterns day in, day out. It’s gotten harder and harder to push myself in new directions.

I mean, yeah, things have definitely changed a lot since the baby came along, but still, it’s different from when I was in my teens, twenties and early thirties, when, seriously, it felt like something was always happening to get me out of my comfort zone. Now it’s been so long since I’ve pushed myself that way that I don’t know how it feels anymore.

Anywho…thank you for listening to this long, rambling, whining thing, friend. If you have any advice about makeup, life or whatever, I’d love to hear from you.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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