Makeup

The Accent Nail Files: Find Common Ground to Create Unexpected Pairings Like Purple and Burgundy

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Nails, Smith & Cult

Smith & Cult Check the Rhyme paired with Lo-Fi

Smith & Cult Check the Rhyme nail polish teamed up with Lo-Fi lacquer

ME: “Oh, Magic 8 ball, will my attempt at nail art today turn out to be epically flawless and fabulous and absolutely everything I’ve ever dreamed nail art could be?”

MAGIC 8 BALL: “All signs point to hell naaaaw!

That particular accent nail combo up top was the result of an epic nail art fail last Sunday.

I’d started out trying to do something involving negative space and jerry-rigged Band-Aid cutouts and… Anyway, it didn’t work out, but it led me to the purple and burgundy combo here, ’cause you know I’m all about that accent nail life. :)

After the Band-Aid cutout disaster (long, sad story), I started thinking about creamy purple nails and got this picture in my head of a hand with bright violet nails wrapped around a glass of red wine.

So I dug through my stash and pulled out this vibrant violet shade by Smith & Cult called Check the Rhyme, which I paired with a burgundy called Lo-Fi, also from Smith & Cult.

By the founders of Hard Candy, Smith & Cult is a new line with some really cool colors, packaging and names. They only came out a few months ago. Wear time is OK, like 4-5 days with a base and top coat, so not as sturdy as OPI, but good enough if you like to swap out your polish every few days. The bottles are kind of expensive though at $18 each, but I like a lot of their colors.

Smith & Cult Check the Rhyme paired with Lo-Fi

The purple: Check the Rhyme. The burgundy: Lo-Fi.


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A Look With Vivacious Violet Eyes and Righteous Red, Glossy Lips Using the New MAC Toledo Collection

Published in: MAC Makeup

Wearing the MAC Toledo Violetwink Palette on my eyes, Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach on my cheeks and the Lipstick and Lipglass in Opera on my lips

Wearing the MAC Toledo collection Violetwink Palette on my eyes, Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach on my cheeks and the Lipstick and Lipglass in Opera on my lips

Vivacious violet eyes and righteous red, glossy lips today because, ya know, it’s Monday. Why not? :)

This is the flashiest look I’ve flaunted in a while! I’ve been kind of stuck in a neutral eye/nude lip rut, so this is my makeup version of Stella getting her groove back, except instead of me working it out on a tropical island with a hot, young thang, I’m working purple eyeshadow, red gloss and red lipstick…

Wearing the MAC Toledo Violetwink Palette on my eyes, Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach on my cheeks and Lipstick and Lipglass in Opera on my Lips

I’m wearing stuff from the new MAC Toledo collection.

Toledo as in the fashion designers, Isabel and Ruben — not “holy Toledo!” or Toledo, Ohio, in case you were wondering.

MAC is so educational!

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of them before…but I’m also not hip at all, so there’s that.

The eye-catching 31-piece collection comes out next month with limited edition white, black and red packaging.

Wearing the MAC Toledo Violetwink Palette on my eyes, Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach on my cheeks and Lipstick and Lipglass in Opera on my Lips

That’s Pearlglide Intense in Designer Purple along my lower lash lines, also from the collection

I’m most interested in the three six-pan palettes, like the purple one I’m wearing here (there’s also one with green and olive shades, complete with baby-poo green eyeshadow, and I’m so not kidding about that; and another palette that’s blue).

Oh! — and there’s also a lot of red for lips. When I was looking at the packaging this morning, I thought, “Yeah, let’s do red. And purple. Why the heck not?”

The thing is, with bold eye and lip looks like these, I’m trying to strike a delicate balance between dramatic and cra-za-zy. To that end, I follow some basic guidelines…

The first is to chillax on the brows, son, because with a bright purple eye and glossy red lips, there’s already a lot going on, and full, bushy or blocky brows would just be one more thing competing for attention.

Wearing the MAC Toledo Violetwink Palette on my eyes, Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach on my cheeks and Lipstick and Lipglass in Opera on my lips
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The Drugstore Dupe Files: $7.50 Almay Brow Defining Pencil Versus $21 Anastasia Brow Wiz

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds

Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette

$7.50 Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette

It would probably be a fool’s errand at this point in my life to try to become an Olympic sprinter…

I’m barely 5’2″ tall, I’m in questionable physical condition, and one of my legs is shorter than the other.

The Olympic sprinting thing? Not the most realistic goal for me, but I do have other aspirations, like finding drugstore dupes of my favorite department store/high-end makeup.

Now THAT’s something I can do. :)

It’s not gonna be easy, for sure. Sometimes (but not always) with makeup, I do think that you get what you pay for.

So I’m on a mission. I’m a woman on a mission to find respectable, affordable alternatives to her favorite department store items.

Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette on the left and Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown on the right

$7.50 Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette on the left and $21 Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown on the right

This one here is Almay’s $7.50 Brow Defining Pencil, which I’d hoped would be a drugstore dupe for my current eye pencil love, the $21 Brow Wiz by Anastasia Beverly Hills.

I completely forgot to mention this pencil in the Ulta post the other day (it was buried at the bottom of that huge bag!), which is weird because, seriously, it took me a really long time to find in the store. I combed the aisles for a possible Brow Wiz dupe.

And then I saw it — Almay’s $7.50 Brow Defining Pencil — tucked away on the bottom shelf.

“Aha!” I exclaimed…to myself. :)

Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette on the left and Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown on the right

Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette on the left and Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown on the right

The size of the tip is what first caught my eye. It’s very thin, just like Anastasia Brow Wiz, and the pencil also has a brow comb on the back end, again, like Brow Wiz.

Unfortunately, I only spotted two shades on the shelf…

I figured, OK, well, maybe that’s because Ulta doesn’t carry all of the colors, so I checked online from my phone.

Apparently it only comes in two colors, Brunette (which is what I’m wearing here) and Dark Blonde, whereas Anastasia Brow Wiz comes in nine.

Obvs, the other major difference is price. Anastasia’s is $21, and Almay’s is $7.50.

WOWZA!

Now for some may-jah bare-faced action in three, two, one…

Before Almay Brow Defining Pencil…

Before applying Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette in my brows

Untamed, naked brows (and face, because I’m makeup-less)

After Almay Brow Defining Pencil…

Wearing Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette in my brows

Wearing Almay Brow Defining Pencil in Brunette in my brows


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Ulta Adventures! One Girl’s Ongoing Quest to Find Bad$ss Beauty Bargains

Published in: Eylure, Just For Fun, Loreal, Makeup, Maybelline, Ulta

Ulta Adventures!

Ulta Adventures!

Because, obviously, the most logical thing to do with that new Real Techniques Contour Brush you just picked up on sale on Ulta is use it to pretend you’re contouring your cat’s cheekbones.

Tabs contouring with his new Real Techniques Contour Brush

Tabs contouring with his new Real Techniques Contour Brush…

Obviously!

Yeah, um, my brush stash is looking a little more robust these days — robust like my tabby! — because I went to Ulta last weekend and the Real Techniques brushes and brush kits were on sale.

They still are, too (buy one get the second one 50% off), and you know me and the word, “sale.”

I’m definitely my mother’s daughter. :)

Tabs contouring with his new Real Techniques Contour Brush

Tabby makeup artist…


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10 Things I Love About January

Published in: Just For Fun, MAC Makeup, Makeup

10 Things I Love About January

1. Early springs

On my walk today I saw — get this — early cherry blossom blooms!
We get that out here in Northern California some years, and I guess it’s happening now.

It’s been sunny for a week or so since the heavy rains, and everything is growing like crazy now. This tree here is right down the hill behind my house where Else the Tortie hangs out. I looked for her today, but she was nowhere to be found (sad face).

On the bright side, I did see…

2. This neighborhood kitty

He’s very skittish and never lets me get too close, but he’s just unaware of how this little game of ours is going to play out.

Soon… Soon we will be BFFs.

The Long Haired Tabby Neighbor

What up, playa?!

3. Scarves

If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to have Tabs draped across your neck, just wrap yourself up in your coziest scarf. :)

I wear scarves pretty much 24/7 throughout January because dude! — they feel so wonderful. I like it when the back of my neck and the bottoms of my ears are all cozy and warm.

Wearing Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Ether

Scarf action all day, every day!

4. Moisturizing face masks

I’ve been putting one on every night after I wash my face.

So not kidding! My skin gets dreadfully dry this time of year, so I give my favorite moisturizing face masks a mega workout. Current faves in rotation include Glamglow Thirsty Mud, Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask and Fresh Creme Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask.

Side note: I’m looking for a HELLA moisturizing drugstore mask, so if you have any recs, let me know in the comments. :)

5. These Walkers Scottie Dog Shortbread Cookies

Totally a January thing for me because I always seem to get them for Christmas.

I have a very specific method to eating them, too. First, I line all of them up on a plate. Then I bite their heads off.

I let the guilt course through my veins…

And then I wash everything down with a big gulp of tea or coffee.

NOM


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