Friday, January 30, 2015

REVIEW: Imaginary Authors Fragrances

Whew, 10 fragrances! This is a long video, kids, so fetch yourselves some popcorn!

Imaginary Authors can be purchased at Please see the text below the video, or in the YouTube info box, for a table of contents and song and image credits.

Overview (packaging, price, availability) -- 00:20
Falling Into the Sea -- 04:10
The Cobra and the Canary -- 06:35
L'Orchidee Terrible -- 10:00
Yesterday Haze -- 14:20
Violet Disguise -- 17:40
City on Fire -- 19:25
Cape Heartache -- 22:40
Memoirs of a Trespasser -- 25:45
Bull's Blood -- 29:55
The Soft Lawn -- 32:30
Final Thoughts -- 35:50

Intro images 2, 3, and 4 were shamelessly stolen from:

SONG LIST (in order of appearance):
Alias - "Goinswimmin"
My Brightest Diamond - "Everything Is In Line"
The Head and the Heart - "Honey Come Home"
Julie London - "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning"
Eisley - "Marvelous Things"
Aqua - "Roses are Red"
Beck - "Farewell Ride"
Clint Eastwood - "I Still See Elisa" (from Paint Your Wagon)
Beats Antique - "The Lantern"
Yodelice - "Time"
Matthew Broderick - "I Believe in You" (from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

REVIEW: ColourPop Lip Products

I have a distinct weakness for cheap lip products. More specifically, my knees tremble when a brand provides a wide range of colors that appear to be super-pigmented and will cost me a fiver. ColourPop fits that bill to a T: they've got dozens of colors in a variety of finishes, all for $5 each. As an added point of interest, for every lipstick, there's a liner of the same name; sometimes the lipliner matches the lipstick, and other times it's darker/lighter, but still a good pairing. The lipliners are also $5 each. Call me weird, but...I love lipliner. *swoons*

When you do the math for the pricing, however, you realize that ColourPop lipsticks are actually on par with most mid-end products. Here are some comparisons:

ColourPop Lippie Stix -- $5 for 1 gram
MAC Satin lipsticks -- $16 for 3 grams
Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks  -- $22 for 2.8 grams
Lipstick Queen Jean Queen -- $20 for 3.7 grams
Kat von D Studded Kiss lipsticks -- $21 for 2.8 grams
Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipsticks -- $18 for 3.4 grams
Clinique Long Last Soft Matte lipsticks -- $16 for 3.9 grams

You get a lower unit price with ColourPop, but also less product. In terms of price per grams, it works out to roughly the same price as a MAC, Bare Minerals, or Lipstick Queen lipstick. This is not inherently a bad thing, because the price for unit makes it a great option for collectors like me, people who want to try a bunch of different shades on the cheap, or people who don't wear makeup that often and therefore don't want to spend a ton of dough on it. But it's just something I want people to be aware of.

Before I go any further, please note that ColourPop calls their lipsticks "Lippie Stix." At the risk of sounding like a snob, I prefer to just call them "the lipsticks."

It took a little less than 2 weeks for my order to be processed and shipped. Some people have complained about the 2-3 week turnaround time, but I think it's pretty impressive for an indie company that exploded overnight.

YouTube videos and other blog posts have shown ColourPop products arriving in a box. Mine, however, arrived in a bubble mailer. The cardboard boxes that contain each product and an ingredients list don't seem to close that tight; several of mine had opened in transit. That being said, nothing was damaged.

The packaging for the lipsticks and pencils is basic but functional: they're plastic tubes that close tightly with a satisfying "click" and do not shake open in a bag. The lipsticks twist up, but the pencils need sharpened. While I haven't had to sharpen one yet, I'm a little loath to try it: plastic packaging almost always sharpens strangely and chews up sharpener blades.

#1 - Frenchie lipstick over Frenchie lipliner; #2 - Frida lipstick over Frida lipliner; #3 - Cake lipstick with Fancy lipliner around the edges; #4 - Fancy lipstick over Fancy lipliner; $5 - Pony lipstick over Pony lipliner.

I purchased 5 lipsticks--Frenchie, Frida, Cake, Fancy, and Pony--with the complimentary lipliner for each shade except for Cake. Why did I skip the Cake lipliner, you ask? Well, Cake is quite a milky shade, and I figured it would need a bit more dimension. Fancy is a very similar shade, so I assumed the Fancy lipliner would work well with Cake.

The lipliners for Frenchie and Fancy are identical to the lipsticks. Pony is a light, cool pink lipstick, and the lipliner is purple. The Frida lipstick and lipliner are very similar, but have different balances of pink and peach. (See the end of this review for comparison swatches.)

All of these shades are in the "satin" formula except for Frenchie, which is classified as a "matte."

Now, if you just go by these lip swatches, then Frida, Cake, and Fancy are going to look very, very similar. While they are in the same color family, I don't think they're anywhere near identical. This is more obvious when I show them in "full face" pictures:

 From left to right: Cake with Fancy lipliner at the edge, Frida lipstick and lipliner, Fancy lipstick and lipliner.

As the above image shows, these shades all have a coral edge to them, but they're not identical. Cake is a very milky, 1960s sort of Coral. It's not the kind of shade I can wear often, but I always enjoy this sort of color, and it's fun to have it in my collection. Because there's so much white in the base, I think this shade is best left to fair and light skintones.

Frida is softer, more beige, and more "work appropriate," with a good balance between pink and peach. I think it's a little too dark/brown for me when I use the lipliner. However, I could see it working on a wide variety of skintones.

Fancy is a light, bright coral that is more flattering in real life than it is in this photo. It doesn't have the pastel undertones found in Cake, so I could see it working for a lot of people, especially those with dark skin.

From left to right: Frenchie lipstick and lipliner, Pony lipstick and lipliner.

Frenchie and Pony are close to my usual wheelhouse of "bright reds and pinks." Frenchie is the shade I was most excited for, and it's a really gorgeous color. I'd say it's a relatively neutral red that leans towards the warm/orange undertones, but only slightly. I don't think it's all that flattering on me, however, and I'm extremely picky about my reds these days.

Pony is interesting because the lipliner and lipstick are such different colors. combined, they create a cool purple-pink color that's very similar to MAC Petals and Peacocks. (Again, please see the comparison swatches below.) I would even use the lipliner WITH MAC Petals and Peacocks because they're so similar. On its own, the lipstick is a pretty pink. I'm more likely to wear these two products separate.

The ColourPop lipstick and lipliner formulas feel identical to me. It's a formula that's relatively creamy, opaque, and easy to apply. The lip swatch photos make it seem like these products settle in to fine lines, and they kind of do. If you have a lot of lines in your lips, or a few that are very deep (I'm in the latter group), they're going to be accentuated. The same goes for any dryness. Be sure to exfoliate your lips before applying!

This is not a "weightless" or "moisturizing" formula. It is dense, and you will feel it on your lips, though it's not as heavy as most pigmented, matte lipstick formulas.

Layered, the wear is pretty impressive for these: they'll last for 6-7 hours and a meal with very minimal fading. I think layering over the pencil, however, contributes to the long weartime: if you layer any lipstick over a lipliner, you're going to get more longevity. Sans lipliner, you still get good wear from the lipsticks at about 5 hours before there's fading.

My biggest qualm with the creaminess of the formula is it's almost impossible to get the super-sharp lip line I like. You can see this in the lip swatch photos: the edges always look a smidgen rough and "feathery." It's not a deal breaker for many of the shades, but I don't think I'll run out and purchase a bunch of brights/darks. ColourPop's products don't really really smear or bleed, but the edges will soften even more throughout the day; I use a q-tip at the edges of my mouth at about the 4 hour mark.

These products have a faint sweet scent that I cannot detect when they're on my lips.

If I gave "half stars," I would rate ColourPop a 3.5. As it stands, I'm rounding up to a 4. The formulation of these lip products is nice, though nothing stellar. The color range and cost per unit, however, make it a great indie brand to try, especially if you're looking to try a bunch of new shades or build up your collection without breaking the bank. I will probably try more, though the softness of the formula makes me hesitant to go for the bolds.

RATING: 4 out of 5.

From left to right: ColourPop Fancy lipstick and lipliner (sorry for the typo!), ColourPop Cake lipstick, MAC Sushi Kiss lipstick, MAC Betty Bright lipstick, ColourPop Pony lipliner and lipstick, MAC Petals & Peacocks lipstick, Urban Decay Native lipstick.

From left to right: ColourPop Frida lipliner and lipstick, Hourglass Canvas liquid lipstick, Lipstick Queen Pink Sinner lipstick, ColourPop Frenchie lipliner and lipstick, MAC Scarlet Ibis lipstick.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pinterest Inspiration #5: Thick Liner

Holy crap, it's been FOREVER since I've done a Pinterest Inspiration post! I think I just got bored with some of the images I selected, and the few that were truly different from my usual look...well, I didn't want to put forth the effort. But I recently purchased some Colourpop lip products for review, and a kind person sent me a few items that weren't working for them. So why not combine them?

Side note: I'm wearing Tauer PHI Une Rose de Kandahar today, and while I'm not sure it suits my personality, I'm thinking it suits this look. (If you're looking for sound logic, you won't find it on this blog.)

Apparently, this is quite a popular Pinterest/Instagram poster. I live in a hole, so I don't recognize her. BUT! What a beautiful look! It manages to bring the drama without using tons of color or shimmer.

Of course, those nude lips look horrendous on my skintone, so I swapped it out for a light coral. My mom hates it, but I...kinda like it. It's more dramatic than I expected, so in the future, I'll probably wear it with much lighter eye makeup.

Here's how it looks when my eyes are open. I DO wear flicked eyeliner from time to time, but it's much thinner, and I don't put any product o the lower lash line. I want to stick with that, I think, because this really heavy eyeliner is not really flattering on my hooded eyes.

But the lipstick! God, I know a lot of people are gonna hate it...but I'm a gaudy ho, so I love it.

And of course, a slew of brushes and products. I am CRAP at doing these heavy eyemakeup looks. :/

I applied two layers of MAC Face & Body for this look, then moved on to the eyes. The Kevyn Aucoin duo's formula is very similar to the powder blush formula: easy to blend and quite pigmented, but sweet crispy crackers, it is DUSTY. I didn't get a ton of fallout, mind you, but just tapping a brush in the pans kicked up tons of powder. I should've used more of the purple shade; as it stands, I think the crease came out rather muddy.

I was going to wear false lashes with this, but I realized I still haven't repurchased lash glue. So instead, I used the last of my DiorShow Maximizer sample and topped it with two mascaras: Marc Jacobs O!Mega and L'oreal Miss Manga.  Then I spent half an hour on the liner, because I do not have mad skills, and added some concealer when that was done. I'll note that the Maybelline Dream Lumi concealer in Radiant, the Kevyn Aucoin duo, and the Shu Uemura cream liner were all kind gifts.

The lips are Colourpop Lippiestix in Cake, with a bit of Colourpop Fancy lipliner around the edge. There's a Cake lipliner that matches the lipstick, but I went for Fancy instead because it's similar, just darker, and I think these kind of milky shades benefit from a darker lipliner. (Thoughts?)

Friday, January 23, 2015

FOUL TEMPTRESS! Duping (most of) the Stila Convertible Color palette

Truth time: Stila is not a brand I am particularly drawn to. I think most of their products would sell better if they were priced lower and sold in the drugstore as "almost mid-end" stuff, like Hard Candy or Flower Beauty. However, there is one product Stila makes that I am madly in love with: the Convertible Colors, their cream lip-and-cheek product that is eh for lips, great for dry cheeks like mine. Through some mystical magic, I've resisted the urge to buy a ton of those things.

Now they've come out with a limited edition palette of Convertible Colors for their spring collection. My magic is fading. Those suckers are tempting. Imagine: having every color I could want for trips to visit my boyfriend, beach vacations, and rushed work days! With 12 shades for $49, I'm having a hard time not buying the thing.

So I decided to be proactive and steal a page from the bloggers who attempt to dupe eyeshadow palettes: I'm trying to find alternatives to this palette in my current stash. I use cream blushes exclusively these days, and I'm only interested in duping 8 out of the 12 colors (the top left corner has lots of brown tones, which I could give or take on my pale skin). Here are my results!

I lined up my stash and, based on how the product looks in the pot/tube and how it wears on my skin, I made my choices. With two notable exceptions, I think my line-ups are close enough to count. And the two exceptions? Well, I think I kind of prefer them to the shades in the Stila palette.

Let's take a closer look at what I came up with, starting with the peaches and corals on the left.

I swapped Stilla Gladiola for MAC Neon Orange lipstick. Yes, this is a lipstick, but the formula is quite creamy, so I can use it as a blush. Neon Orange is a faux dupe because it has distinct red tones, whereas Gladiola is a true orange. Still, it functions fine on my cheeks. My only quibble: Neon Orange is so dense that I have to mix it with some moisturizer or foundation if I want to wear it as a blush and not look like a clown.

I swapped Stila Peachblossom for Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Moist Glow in Tansoleil and Stila Gerbera for Becca Beach Tint in Grapefruit. The swatches make it look like I should've alternated Tansoleil and Grapefruit; on my cheeks, however, Tansoleil pulls slightly darker and more orange, and Grapefruit has the softer, peachier tones. Beach Tints and CMGs are two of my all-time favorite formulas, so I'm glad to see they work as dupes!

The most accurate swap for this portion of the palette is probably Stila Petunia for Kiss Me Touch Me Lip&Cheek in Mango. An afforable Korean cream, Mango is incredibly smooth and super-pigmented. It's a pink coral that borders on neon.

On to the reds and pinks! I swapped Stila Tulip for the Lipstick Queen Rose & Shine pot. The Lipstick Queen product looks more red than the Stila in these photos, but it looks like a true berry shade on my cheeks. Beauteous.

The most obvious faux dupe in this whole set-up is Chanel Fantastic, meant to replace Stila Rose. The Chanel appears lighter and pinker in these photos than it looks on my cheeks; when I actually put it on my face, it has more of a plummy shade to it. Still, it's a far cry from the deep, purpled burgundy of Stila Rose. As much as I wish I could truly dupe that shade, I really do think this Chanel blush would be the more flattering option on my skintone. Furthermore, swatches of Stila Rose are varied: sometimes it looks burgundy, sometimes it looks dark pink. Hmmmm.

Two more very accurate dupes are Stila Hibiscus for Canmake CL01 and Stila Fuchsia for Kevyn Aucoin Isadore. I've owned Fuchsia in the past, and I replaced it with Isadore because I prefer the Kevyn Aucoin formula. I haven't owned Hibiscus, but I've had a similar red shade from Stila: Poppy. I prefer the Canmake because of its jelly texture. As the swatch suggests, this product is hard to overdo because it maintains that gooey, delightful jelly sheen on the skin.

Those are my dupes and faux dupes! Have you found anything to replace the Stila palette? Or have you tried the actual Convertible Color palette? Comment with your thoughts!

Monday, January 19, 2015

First Blogsale of 2015 -- NEW ITEMS ADDED 1/21

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. $5 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.

NOTE: Take all of the following products for $25 shipped:

Josie Maran Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise; Josie Maran Argan Oil Light; MAC brow pencil in Lingering; Clean & Clear Salicylic Acid; both Ben Nye products; both NYC Blushable Creme Sticks; all 3 MAC lipsticks; all perfume samples; Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown; Canmake Cream Blush #13

My previous bottles of MAC Face & Body, White and N1 -- $9 each, or take both for $15.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise, mini size,  used 2-3x -- $3

Josie Maran Argan Oil Light, 0.5 oz size, never opened or used -- $7

Wet n' Wild LE palette in Nude Awakening, all colors swatched lightly -- $2

MAC brow pencil in Lingering, at least 50% remains -- $5

Clean & Clear 2% Salicylic Acid gel, used 2-3x -- $1

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb EDP sample vial, never used -- $1

Kat von D Adora roll-on perfume, used 2-3x -- $2

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe (box available at request) and Soft Brown, usage shown -- $10 each

Wet n' Wild LE palette in Going in the Wild, all colors swatched lightly -- $2

Ben Nye Neutralizer Creme Crayon in NP-0 Ultra Light, swatched once, and Ben Nye Creme Foundation in P-022 Geisha, chunk removed with palette knife -- $2 each

NYC Blushable Creme Stick LE shades in Wild Berry and Pink Flash, both lightly used -- $1.50 each OR take both for $2

LITTLE SAMPLE LOT: Clinique Custom Repair Serum, Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, and Philosophy Time in a Bottle for Eyes -- $1 OR free with $10+ purchase

MAC lipsticks: Impassioned, Sounds Like Noise, and Relentlessly Red -- $8 each

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Armageddon (box available at request) -- $10

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon, lightly used; discontinued -- $15

Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown, used 5-6x -- $1

Canmake Cream Blush in #13 Love Peach, used 1x -- $2.50

Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer, 0.5oz size, used 2x -- $2.50

 * = spray sample, ^ = dab sample
 Haus of Gloi vials, $1 each:
 ^Snow Wolf -- sniffed, but never applied
^Who Needs Love -- applied 1x
^Madcap Garden -- applied 1x

Lucky Scent (niche) vials, $1 each:
^Boadicea the Victorious: Invigorating -- applied 2x
^Boadicea the Victorious: Exotic -- applied 2x
*Escentric Molecules: Molecule 01 -- sprayed 3-4x
^Juliette Has a Gun: Romantina -- applied 1x

Designer vials, $0.50 each:
 *Elizabeth & James: Black -- sprayed 1-2x
^Clean: Skin -- applied 1x
*Gucci Gucci -- sprayed 1-2x
^Calvin Klein Downtown -- sprayed 1-2x


 NOT PICTURED -- Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter in Mango Sticky Rice, 2oz jar; at least 75% remains -- $2

Sunday, January 18, 2015

REVIEW: PK (Paul Kiler) Perfumes

If I'm going to do fragrance reviews--a very shaky, scary territory for somebody like me--then I'm going to start off with a bang. These reviews cover most of the discovery set from PK Perfumes, fragrances designed by nose Paul Kiler. When the folks at Makeup Alley began posting slews of Cyber Monday coupon codes for fragrance websites, I dove straight for Kiler's work because of his sterling reputation, his involvement in the community (you'll see him posting on YouTube and Basenotes from time to time), and the lack of reviews for his fragrances.

Yes, yes, I admit that I bought something, in part, because not a lot of people have written about it. But, um...I didn't actually buy it. More on that in the overview section. This is going to be quite a long review with lots of pictures, so I'm going to put my overview, my impressions of the individual fragrances, and my final say under a cut.

Seriously. Grab a cup of coffee and a snack. You've been warned.

NOTE: The header images for the like, dislike, and crown jewels sections come directly from Kiler's website; all credit goes where it's due. Other images are mine OR are credited to other artists. Some of these reviews are available, slightly altered, on Fragrantica

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winter SOS Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Winter SOS giveaway package is Lorena--congrats! You have one week to respond to this post with your e-mail. (Be safe! Use "at" instead of @ to avoid spam.)

Thanks to everyone for participating, and I'll see you at the next giveaway!