Monday, July 28, 2014

New Stuff!

If you've been here for a while, then you've probably noticed some changes. The most obvious is the brand new header: I realized that this is primarily a beauty blog, but my obsession with lipstick hasn't been highlighted. I definitely wanted to fix that! (The lipstick in the header is MAC Lady Danger, for those who are curious.)

A lovely reader was also kind enough to explain how to fix your post labels, so there's a new arrangement on the right-hand side of the blog. I also added a "most popular posts" gadget, although I'm pretty sure the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer posts will always top that list. Please let me know if this is easier or more difficult to navigate!

Let me know if there are any other changes I might make to BOGL to improve your viewing experience. This is my hobby, and I'm not a competitive person who is going to try and run down other blogs. That being said, I really want my posts to be enjoyable and accessible.

And a final thank you for all of your support, kind messages/comments, and follows. Just today I realized I have 30 followers and at least 10,000 hits a month. That's small potatoes to some people, but it's more than I ever expected, and I'm beyond grateful.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Blogsale 2014 -- new items added 7/27/14

Please read all of the rules and information before you consider purchasing.

I have attempted to show usage/condition via photos. Please Google swatches or ask for more information if you are curious about any of these products, the exact color, etc. Please be forewarned that I keep my makeup in bags and drawers, so the outer packaging may be banged up. If you want more pictures or information, please contact me and request it.

 Send requests to IdiotBird at Gmail dot com. I will invoice you (no gift payments, please) and will hold items for up to 24 hours after that invoice has been sent. If you have not paid for your items within 24 hours (or if you never respond to my e-mails), I will open them back up for sale. Items are only  officially "yours" after you've paid.

Payment must be done through PayPal. $15 minimum purchase. I charge the actual cost of shipping + $1.50 to cover materials and PayPal fees; this generally amounts to $3 -$5 per package unless you've bought a ton and/or you've gotten heavy items. US ONLY SALE: I do not ship outside of the US because of issues with customs. I apologize for the inconvenience. Payment must clear before shipping.

I use PayPal ship, which comes with a built-in tracking system. :) I package as carefully as I possibly can, but I am not responsible for packages once they leave my hands. With that being said, if you receive your items and feel that you have been mislead about their condition/usage, please contact me and I'll see what I can do to rectify the situation. I'm a very honest person, and the last thing I want to do is appear dishonest!

Also, I clean my entire collection about once a month with an alcohol spritz. However, I will not sanitize these items before shipping them out unless you ask me to, because I know some people are very particular about how they sanitize their products. Be forewarned that some of the cream products may have very tiny brush hairs in them, as creams are wont to get, but again, I have kept them quite clean; I'm very, very fussy. If you ask me to sanitize items, I will sharpen pencils and spritz blushes, lipsticks, and foundations with alcohol. I always wipe down the outer packaging with alcohol before sending.

Added on 7/27

Chanel Rouge Coco in Boy (nick in top from makeup brush accident) - $8
MAC Sounds Like Noise LE - $20
Lipstick Queen Saint Berry - $5

**SOLD** LIPSTICKS: $5 each OR take all for $20

Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick #36 (satin fuchsia)
Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Ecstasy in #302 (Tokyo)
Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in #400 (The Red)
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked
MAC Lady Gaga I Lipstick

Dior Cleansing Water: $10; Nail Polishes: $1 each OR take all for $5

China Glaze Ick-a-Body (LE Halloween)
10 Moonlight
Revlon Carbonite
ORLY Precious Jade
ORLY French Manicure: Angel Face

China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy
Sleek Geisha's Seal
Zoya Colbie
ORLY First Kiss
Deborah Lippmann Naked

Cheek Products

Lancome Blush Subtil in Tangerine Tint, lightly used, no dips - $8
Milani Minerals Blush in Luminous, still sealed - $3
Canmake Cream Blush in #05, lightly used, no dips - $3
TopShop Glow in Polished, used 2x, no dips, practically brand new - $5
3 Concept Eyes Cream Blusher in New Pink, used 2x, practically brand new - $8

**SOLD** Eyeshadows and Pigments: $7 each OR take all for $20

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Fantasme
MAC eyeshadow in Patina
Becca Eye Tint in Vicuna
MAC pigment in Vanilla

Miscellaneous Items

Dolce  & Gabbana Light Blue spritz bottle, about 2/3 full - $5
Caudalie Premier Cru La Creme Riche, 0.5 size, BNIB - $8
Makeup Forever Aqua Lip in #18C (coral pink) - $5
Balenciaga Rosabotanica tube, tested once -- $2

Friday, July 25, 2014

25 Tops: Hourglass Riviera

True story: orange used to be my favorite color. When I was a little girl, I noticed that all of the other kids liked blue, green, red, sometimes purple...pretty much every color in the 10-shade Crayola box got some love. Except for orange. Nobody liked orange! The fact of the matter is that I felt bad for orange. So I declared it my favorite color,

Now, don't misunderstand me; I really do like orange, and the warmer shades on the color wheel in general. But by the time I'd finished college, I'd admitted to myself that I wore mostly black and was drawn to red things. Alright, okay, red and black are my true blue favorite colors. I'm a walking, talking stereotype, and I've come to terms with that.

My coloring suggests that I should give orange makeup more of my time. Too many cool-toned pinks can make fair-skinned me look like a doll, and because orange is opposite to blue on the color wheel, the contrast can make my eyes pop. However, I'm just not drawn to it the way I'm drawn to red and fuchsia. I always feel quite chic and bold when I wear it, but slapping on some orange lipstick is not my first impulse.

Enter this photo from a Rae Morris makeup book. My God, that is fierce! I have to wear orange today!

...but still, I don't wear orange often. I don't know if I ever will--it's definitely not going to fly at work, and my mother absolutely hates it. I have 3 orange lipsticks, and I rarely wear them. It shouldn't be hard tofocus on those puppies and narrow this list down.

This is the second time I've worn Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Riviera, and my sweet baby Jee, do I love this formulation! Pigmented, long-lasting, totally matte...what's not to love? It's also strangely...flattering? Riviera seems to have a great balance of red and yellow tones, so I don't look overly sallow, and my teeth look surprisingly white against my lips. This is a definite KEEP. Somebody remind me to wear this lipstick more often, and get me more of these HG liquid lipsticks, STAT!

Because I'm keeping Riviera, I've decided to PURGE my two MAC oranges: the limited edition Sounds Like Noise, a yellow-based orange with a satin finish, and Neon Orange, an amplified cream that's quite close to Riviera, but slightly more red. Sounds Like Noise is actually more difficult for me to purge than Neon Orange: while it's not as flattering, it's incredibly unique. But it's not going to get worn, so it deserves a better home.

Also examined this go-round: L'oreal Voluminous mascara in Carbon Black and the Dior DiorShow Maximizer. I used to love Voluminous, but it doesn't seem to do much for me now. It's difficult to remove, it clumps like crazy, and it flakes throughout the day. The Dior lash primer makes it bearable, however, by amping up the volume and seemingly preventing some of the flakes. I won't repurchase the L'oreal mascara, but that Maximizer? Cripes, it's hard to resist.

1. Hourglass ORLL in Muse
2. Hourglass ORLL in Riviera
3. Hourglass ORLL in Icon (mini size)
4. Chanel RAL in Dragon (DC)

1. MAC ACL in Neon Orange
2. MAC SL in Sounds Like Noise (LE)

1. MAC ACL in Impassioned


Also, just something funny: I hate the feeling of wet hair on my neck, so I tend to pull it up with a spin pin or a clip after I wash it. The other night, I felt pieces of hair falling out of my spin pin bun, but I was distracted by a video game, so I ignored it for about 2 hours. By the time I was ready to crawl in to bed, my head looked like this:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Favorites

You've probably noticed a dearth of summer-related posts on this blog, as compared to my winter skin tip posts and my endless ramblings about the glories of autumn. The truth of the matter is...I don't really like summer. I get it, it's sunny and you can wear cuter clothes and young people aren't in school and there's no snow and ya da ya da. It just doesn't do it for me. I burn too easily, and I absolutely haaaate sweating (summer always does a number on my skin).

But although I'd love to hide in the A/C all summer long, I do have to get out and do things from time to time. And if it's a special occasion, I like to wear a bit of makeup. When I'm fighting the humidity and trying oh so hard not to clog my pores, these personal favorite products really shine.

5 Minute Makeup: Dolce & Gabbana powder foundation and Wet n' Wild liquid eyeliner

When it's 90 degrees and 90% humidity, I won't be caught dead in full-on foundation. I don't want it to melt off my face in public, and I definitely don't like the way it feels on my face after I've been sweating for a good six hours. Instead, I tend to stick to ye olde basics: sunscreen, brow pencil, and mascara.

But sometimes the humidity gives me a break, or I know I'll be in an air-conditioned building for at least a few hours. Then, I'm willing to use two more products. I'll dust on my D&G powder for a slightly more matte finish and a tad more coverage, and I might line my upper lash line with liquid liner so it looks like I really tried. These two products are water-resistant, comfortable on my skin, and quite portable. (While I mention these precious babies in a lot of FOTD posts, I don't actually write about them often...oops.)

Comfortable Color

As mentioned, I will generally avoid color cosmetics in the heat of summer. I'll even pass on lipstick, which is quite obviously one of my all-time favorite things in existence. But if I'm going to a post-beach outing, or prepping for the rare summer job interview, I gotta get some of the life back in to my face.

Becca Beach Tints are absolutely indispensable. While they're not the longest-wearing products (they last for less than 4 hours on my lips), they're small enough to tuck in to a pocket and thin enough to be layered and layered and layered without feeling heavy or looking garish. My personal favorite is Watermelon--very much a "my cheeks but better" color on fair skin--but Grapefruit and Dragonfruit have also become staples in my collection. I highly recommend topping them with lip balm if you want to use them as a stain, however, because they can be a bit drying.

World's Best Brush Cleanser

Some people like to spend oodles of money on brush cleansers. They'll get a $30 bottle of oily, smelly liquid to douse their fluffy pretties in, and hey, if that's their thing, more power to 'em! I'm kind of...funny about brush cleanliness, though: any brush that comes in to contact with creams or liquids is deep-cleaned immediately after use, and any brush that's used on powders is cleaned once a week.That would require an awful lot of $30 brush cleanser.

The oil and bacteria  from human skin can damage both your brushes and your products. This is especially true in the summer, when you're sweating and producing more oil. I'm sorry, I know it's obsessive, but I need my brushes to be clean!

Enter Dr. Bronner's Castile Bar Soap. Super-cheap and readily available at Target, this one bar of soap has been my go-to brush cleanser for over a year. Now, somebody with more brushes would probably work through a bar much faster...but still! That's beyond impressive. It's also super easy to use: I dampen the brush bristles, swirl them on the bar of soap, then rinse the bristles out and lay the brush flat to dry. I rinse the bar after every 3-4 brushes. I can clean 20+ brushes in less than 3 minutes using this method--far faster than I could with any liquid cleansers. And despite regular cleanings, this product has never damaged my brushes. They're as soft and clean as the day I bought them.

Top Tools

Like I said, I don't have that many brushes. I'm a creams-and-liquids kind of gal, and most of those products are best applied with fingers. So for the past few years, I've been using a hand-me-down brow and lash comb and an ELF eyelash curler. I knew that the brush didn't get my brows back in shape, and I knew that the ELF curler wasn't the best fit for my eye, but eh, they got the job done. I was happy.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and try some more appropriate tools, and sweet fancy Moses, am I glad I did. This $1 ELF brow spoolie feels like Heaven. Yes, I know, that sounds weird; I don't care! Brushing my brows has become a morning ritual. I even use this spoolie to comb through my eyelashes before applying mascara or Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, and as odd as that sounds, I can't recommend it enough. It feels great...kinda like your lash line is being massaged and scratched simultaneously.

The Shiseido lash curler, meanwhile, is a better fit for my deepset eyes because it's flatter. It rarely pinches me, and I find I get a better curl with this guy than with the much rounder ELF curler. As an added bonus, it actually feels nicer in my hands: more lightweight and more comfortable to hold.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

25 Tops: MAC Impassioned

Having recently reduced my stash yet again, and having found the strength to purge lipsticks (LIPSTICKS!), I've decided it's time for a new project. Here's the deal: I currently own about 40 lipsticks. While that's nothing compared to my stash circa 2011 (I owned at least 200; photographs of the collection looked like something from an extravagant makeup counter), it still seems like a bit much for one face. My goal is to reduce my lipstick collection to 25 tubes, tops, by figuring out which shades and formulas best suit my tastes.

My main focus is going to be my lipstick collection, but I'm also going to retry other products in my stash and see if I want to purge those as well. After photographing these products and testing them out for a full day, I'm going to decide what I want to do with them: definitely keep, maybe keep, or definitely purge.

This morning's victim was MAC Impassioned. An opaque, pigmented coral-pink lipstick with a cream finish, it's one of the most recommended and popular products in the MAC range. While I've always liked the shade, I've rarely worn it. I can sort of see why: it doesn't seem to flatter my skintone as much as some of my brighter reds and cooler fuchsias. It appears more blue-toned and fuchsia in real life, but photographs as a beautiful tropical punch sort of color. I don't own anything else quite like it, so for now, Impassioned is going in the MAYBE pile.

Cargo Key Largo also goes in the MAYBE pile. It's a beautiful coral color, and Cargo's blushes are the only powder formula I think I've truly loved. Nothing blends or photographs just like them. But I rarely wear Key Largo because it doesn't match much in  my collection, and I'm inherently drawn to creams, not powders. Definitely going to have to think about this one.

The other two "featured products," Maybelline Great Lash BIG and Benefit High Beam, are getting PURGED. I really like Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes, so my mother tried to buy me a tube as a gift...and accidentally got the wrong product. It's the stuff of my nightmares: wet, sloppy, and beyond flaky. I've been trying to use this tube for almost 3's time to admit defeat and just toss it. Benefit High Beam remains one of my favorite highlighters, but my tube is at least 4 years old (they no longer produce this "travel size" tube with a doe foot applicator). It's begun to turn and has started to dry up, as evidenced by the patchy application on my cheek. Perhaps I'll repurchase a tube of this stuff one day, because when it's fresh, it's fabulous!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Applying the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer with a Beauty Blender

 The "Three Ways I Use KA SSE" series is, without a doubt, the most popular set of posts on this blog. If I'm seeing a spike in blog traffic, it's usually because somebody pinned the first tutorial to Pinterest (hey, thanks!) or mentioned it on a forum (thanks again!). 

Of course, things change as time goes on, and the Kevyn Aucoin product line is no different. The KA primer mentioned in the full coverage post is no longer in production; it's been replaced by two different "developers," one for oily skin and one for dry skin. I've neither tried nor owned these products, and to be honest, I don't know if I ever will. So in order to keep this blog up-to-date and useful, I've decided to post another application method: getting sheer-to-medium coverage with a Beauty Blender.

The Beauty Blender is not my favorite tool, but it's a popular one, and it works well for this "tutorial."

You can use just the Beauty Blender and KA SSE to great effect, but because I have a dryer skin type, I like the finished product to glow a bit, and I prefer that it spread well during application. Hence, I use a small dab of MAC Strobe Cream--a lightweight, luminous moisturizer--alongside my base product. You may certainly skip this step, or replace Strobe Cream with the primer/moisturizer of your choice.

I start by saturating my Beauty Blender with water, squeezing all of the excess out with a towel. The sponge should be soft and very slightly damp, not soggy. Then I put a dab of KA SSE on the back of my hand--no more than half a pea in size--followed by a pea-sized dab of Strobe Cream. You may notice that I kind of "smear" the KA SSE across my hand. That makes it easier to evenly distribute product on the sponge. (You may also notice an eyelash in the KA SSE...sorry.)

I dab the bottom (the round part) of my BB in to the Strobe Cream, then dab it in to the KA SSE. I go straight to my face, using a dabbing motion to apply and blend out the product. These images demonstrate the process pretty well: on the left, I've just dabbed some of the mixture on to my cheek (see the glowy "halo" at the top of the BB?), and on the right, I've blended the product across my cheek. I like to work in sections because it gives me plenty of time to spread out the product, and it lets me see if I'm getting the effect and coverage I want.

When I'm done applying a layer of this product, I look over my face and see where I need more coverage. Then I dip the pointed tip of the Beauty Blender in to a bit more KA SSE (no Strobe Cream this time) and dab it over those spots.

Here's the before and after, complete with me making stupid faces. As you can (hopefully) see, the MAC Strobe Cream/KA SSE mixture gives me glowy, light coverage on the majority of my face. Where I needed a bit more coverage (my nose, my chin, a few spots, and my undereyes), I just dabbed on more KA SSE. The effect is quite natural. I like to add a dusting of powder (visible in the first image in this post), but outside of summer, it's not entirely necessary on my dry skin.

Oh, and in case it's not clear: I use the lightest shade, Sx01, when I apply product to my entire face. It's a perfect match for my neck, which is roughly N5 in MAC terms.

I hope this post helped! The Sensual Skin Enhancer is one of my all-time favorite products, so I always encourage readers to experiment with their application methods. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Inspiration: Pakeezah

Pakeezah is a rare treat of a Bollywood film. While it's full of melodramatic moments and beautiful dance sequences like all "Hooker with a Heart of Gold" films, it also breaks free of the old tradition by highlighting the vicious cycle of prostitution: it is not their own actions that tumble these women in to infamy, but rather the expectations and prejudices of others. Nargis and her daughter Sahib, both courtesans who meet grim fates, are nevertheless driven to improve their lives and find true love. Beneath the majesty of their costumes and the perfection of their makeup, these are strong women who resist defeat. I will always appreciate Pakeezah for that.

But today, the film is best remembered for the fantastic music and the troubles that surrounded production. It took almost 15 years to complete the film. During the break, the incomparable Meena Kumari (the star) and the talented Kamal Amrohi (the director) divorced, the composer and the cinematographer died, and sections of the movie filmed in black-and-white became obsolete, requiring do-overs when filming resumed. By that time, Kumari's body was ravaged by alcoholism; she found it difficult to even move, and a body double had to be brought in for long shots on the final** dance sequence. Kumari died at the age of 39 less than 2 months after Pakeezah was released.

Yet Kumari's pain is never visible, or if it is, it is so artfully transformed in to her character's anguish that it's unrecognizable as anything but great acting. I was able to distinguish some of the portions shot just before Kumari's death by looking closely at her face (they pancaked her quite heavily to mask jaundice and age), but it felt wrong, and I quickly decided against pointing these moments out. It wouldn't be fair to degrade a powerful performance that was over a decade in the making.

It is my hope that this post will encourage classic film buffs and Bollywood fans to give Pakeezah a chance. Here it is on YouTube with English subtitles.

You're going to see a lot of that coral-pink lip in this movie. Also, notice the tips of fingers and toes dyed red with henna: this has apparently become a popular fad amongst western musicians and actresses.

I didn't take too many shots of the clothes, seeing as this is a makeup inspiration post...but feel free to admire some of the beautiful textiles you see here.

One of the little Pakeezah makeup quirks that has always intrigued me is the flicks. The eyeliner isn't sharply angled the way modern cat-eyeliner is; rather it's drawn almost straight out. It's also confined to the top lashline. Interestingly, the brows are given a similar flick, giving the illusion that the Kumari's eyes are more lifted/pointed at the outer corners. Shimmery products were clearly used on her eyes in many scenes, as well as across her skin, probably to give her a more luminous appearance in this pre-HD film.

The top 2 images are sans liner, but they still give Kumari a somewhat feline eye shape by thickening her lashes more at the outer corners. It also looks like they used matte gray and brown eyeshadows to alter how deepset her eyes appear.

Notice the range in lip colors here. Pakeezah has everything from that bright peachy coral to soft pinks to bold reds. Also, the thick, dark lines, particularly when it comes to brows: strong, painted-on brows are a Bollywood trademark to this day.

** There is some disagreement on this point. Some people say that a body double was used on just one dance sequence, while others say a body double was used for the long shots in every dance sequence. I lean towards the latter, seeing as there are often complicated kathak sequences in which the heroine's face is covered with a veil, or where she is filmed from the back and doesn't turn around in the same shot. Still, the switch is seamless, the sequences are gorgeous, and Kumari still does a good amount of the dancing. Case in point: "Inhi Logon Ne."