Sunday, April 26, 2015

FOTD: This is the New Stuff

Just what it says in the title: this is me wearing some of the acquisitions listed in my most recent haul. Let's get in to the first impressions!

First up, that Eyeko mascara I was sure I was going to hate. It's actually...kinda nice. It gives more length than volume, and it does that by clinging to your lashes, so I think my eyes looked a bit spidery. But sometimes, I like that look. The only problem is that I found it reeeeally difficult to remove; when I soaked it with baby oil, it came off slowly in chunks. I'll probably use up the tube.

We all knew I was gonna love my newest Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow, so I'm not even gonna go in to it, except to say UUUUUUNF. I get so many compliments on those things, I may just have to buy the full set.

The NARS Rikugien pencil I got in the 2015 Sephora birthday gift is really fantastic. I don't think the rosey-mauve color is actually all that flattering on me--it kinda makes my teeth look yellow in some pictures--but eeeeeh, it's comfortable and wearable and I still like it.

As a final note: I recently received an email asking me how I use the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer on particularly nasty zits., like the doozy on my chin I covered up here. I'll be sure to cover that in my Ask Me Almost Anything video, which I'll record...sometime soon. *busybusybusy*

BASE: MAC Face & Body in N1 + White, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in Sx01, Dolce & Gabbana powder foundation in 50 Ivory, Skindinavia Setting Spray

EYES: Maybelline Dream Lumi concealer pen in Radiant, Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow in Playa Del Pink, Eyeko Black Magic mascara

CHEEKS: Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Moist Glow in Pravella, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl

LIPS: NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien

Friday, April 24, 2015

HAUL: Happy Birthday to Me!

I know many of us joke about getting a bunch of stuff for a holiday or milestone that doesn't really exist, but it actually was my birthday last week! And several incredibly kind people bought me Sephora gift cards, just in time for the 15% off VIB sale. Enabling! Yay!

First up, let's take a look at the stuff I got from Sephora!

...okay, I know, it's not quite the incredible hoard that some people get during sales. But this is a lot for me!

The red tube is the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 001. I actually tested this product a while back and liked the formula, but decided not to purchase it because it went so dark and pink on me. I'm hoping that, now that my skin is drier and more textured, I won't experience the level of oxidization. And maybe I'll be so desperate that I won't notice it's pink instead of the cool yellow I desire.

I also got another Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow, this time in Playa Del Pink, the lightest shade. I own a bottle of Rose Gold that I received in a set that I love. Seriously, the texture and finish of these things? Phenomenal.

The other two items are 100 point perks: Living Proof Instant Texture Mist, which I decided to try on a whim, and the Dior lash primer I love, but hate paying full price for. I'd saved up enough for a 500 point perk, but quite frankly, they haven't interested me as of late.

Also, some freebies! The NARS Sephora Beauty Insider gift was obviously given to me's my birthday month! I've owned the Cruella pencil before, and I know I love the color, so I'm excited to try the satin pencil.

NEST is a new-to-me brand, but I've been enjoying their products so far (when I can find them at TJ Maxxx, that is, cause I'm cheap). Moroccan Amber is a really beautiful, warm scent, a smoother version of Bath & Body Works' Sensual Amber. I'm on the hunt for other cheap NEST stuff so I can maybe do a collective review.

Last, but not least, this Eyeko Black Magic mascara was gifted to me during a fragrance swap. I haven't had the best luck with Eyeko products, but I know this mascara is well loved, so maybe it'll change my mind!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

All Neon Like

Wearing Me Now Generation II #38.

Your eyes are not deceiving you: that is straight up neon lipstick on my mouth. Actually, it's even MORE neon in person, but just try capturing that in a photograph and see how it works for you.

Now, before we get too engrossed, let me explain how I got these products. It might surprise you to know that, sometimes, companies offer me free stuff. I say "it might surprise you" because I've never featured a free product on this blog (excluding gifts from friends). That's because every time a company offers me stuff to try, I tell them that I'll only try it if I can be honest about how well the product worked for me. Obviously, that sends a lot of companies screaming; they're out to make money, and a bad blog review can impact profit margins. But it's also obvious that I am nobody's shilling thrall.

Born Pretty Store was willing to let me try these products, deal with whatever comments I gave them, and give me a coupon for my readers to use. So I said, "Sure, I'll try your stuff." And here we are!

For future reference, any and all posts that feature products sent for my reviewing consideration will be marked in the blogpost, and posts will be labeled "free goods."


The folks at Born Pretty sent me two brands of liquid lipsticks: Me Now Generation II (in the test tube looking vials) and Pretty Love Liphops (with the ribbons on the lids). I'd heard about the former from Julia's Allure months ago, and the latter just...came in pretty neon colors. I'M NOT HARD TO PLEASE, OKAY?!

Let's start with the bad things about both products: you need the patience of a saint to get them to work for you. These products go streaky easily and take forever to dry. You basically have to apply a thin layer, then sit around with your mouth hanging open like some demented snake for a good 5 minutes. Then you apply another layer and wait for 5 more minutes, until you get the intensity you want. I'm serious; I have a picture of me doing it:

Letting the 3rd layer dry.

Embarrassing. I look like that monster from The Taking of Deborah Logan. (Click at your own risk, oh ye easily scared people.)

Also, the Liphops are thinner and less sticky than the Me Now Generation II's, which makes them more comfortable to wear and a bit quicker to apply, but they're also more prone to streaking. Basically, you can have more pigment that takes more time, or less pigment quicker.

That being said, once you get these things on, they are not coming off. These are some of the most apocalypse-proof lip colors I've ever used. Given their 5 minutes to dry between layers, they will stay through most eating, drinking, kissing, and walking-in-hot-weather situations. If you like to use makeup removers like Bioderma because they're gentle as the breeze or whatnot, you're going to be out of luck with these: they need a good soaking with oil to come off.

Both products feel almost powdery to the touch, but I didn't find them any more or less drying than most liquid lipsticks. That being said, you will want to exfoliate and hydrate your lips shortly before applying these for the smoothest look possible.

 Wearing Me Now Generation II #37, which will not freaking show up as bright neon orange as it actually is in ANY picture.

These are so incredibly bright and neon that they can actually make a camera "whack out." They will get people to notice you on the streets. The longevity and incredibly bright colors make me think that these aren't the best choice for day-to-day office wear, but they're definitely an option for the upcoming summer festival season.

Here are the full swatches:

 Flash on top, dim daylight on bottom.

 Me Now Generation II #38 and #37 are on the left, and Liphop #10 and #08 are on the right. I think you can see the variations of color much better in these swatches: MNGII #38 is more yellow than LH #10, and LH #08 is a creamy coral color versus MNGII #37's straight up orange-ness.

Also, these swatches really show you just how freaking BRIGHT these are. *drools*

 I'm also wearing the 2-in-1 Eyebrow Pencil in Shade #2, which is much darker than I expected it to be--I'd compare it to Anastasia Beverly Hills's Chocolate shade. The formula is stupid pigmented: I had to use the most feather-light strokes and the tiniest bit of product known to man to get this brow look. Too much pressure and you'll end up looking like Groucho Marx. The formula is waxy and stays for quite a while, but it can get chunky, which requires that you brush through your brows. The plastic comb is useless and will just pull out huge streaks of the brow pencil, so I used a $1 ELF brow spoolie to smooth everything out.

Overall, that brow pencil isn't going to replace my Shu Uemura Hard Formula. But the dark, rich color will be useful for specific FOTDs, and because it's so affordable, I'm more likely to throw it in my travel bag for nights on the town. The cap is effing atrocious, though, and will not stay on tight--I have to tape it shut.

OH, and I'm wearing these false lashes in style #1. False lashes are false lashes to me, but really, can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that I put on false eyelashes?! I am so freaking lazy these days, that was really a feat.

Here's the 10% off coupon code the folks at Born Pretty Store provided for my fantastic readers. I hope you can find something you like!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ask Me (Almost) Anything

Blogging has been slow for the past week, and will continue to be slow this week, due to a lot of real-life stress I'm facing, including a sick cat and mountains of end-of-semester work. I'm taking a brief break from this blog to get all of my ducks in order. Rest assured that Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick is not dead--I have lots of great posts planned for this summer!

In the meantime, I thought I would steal an idea from and invite you guys to ask me almost any question you want. There are a few personal boundaries I won't cross, but beyond that, I'm an open book! Just leave a comment on this post or shoot me an e-mail, and I'll edit this post when I've collected the questions. :)

If that's not up your alley, consider checking out my Instagram for makeup porn, drag show photos, and cute pet pictures.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ye Olde DIY Tinted Balm

The year 2010 was a glorious time for YouTube beauty videos, and I was still on the scene. Everything--and I mean EVERYTHING--that could be DIYed was. There were videos on how to make your own dry shampoo, how to tea-dye clothes, how to create your own eyeshadows with pigments and bases, and any other "You can do it!" type of video you can imagine. Candles and straightening irons were used to heat up, fix, and depot so many products, it could make you dizzy. I get nostalgic for that time.

I'm not saying those videos no longer exist, or that DIY stuff is no longer being recorded, because that's untrue. But I definitely think the YouTube DIY craze has slowed down. And that's especially true for "do it yourself tinted balm," which was once the tutorial video du jour: every beauty guru worth their salt had a homemade tinted balm video.

So to recapture my youth, I decided to make some DIY tinted balm, inspired by my love of period pieces and my apparent inability to cough up $22 for Lipstick Queen Medieval.

I used to do this so much that gathering the tools of the trade was easy for me. I needed a candle and a lighter for my heat element, some balms (I chose Aquaphor and Nuxe Reve de Miel) for my base, something to add color (you can use just about any lip-safe pigment you want, but I went with Lipstick Queen's Saint Rouge lipstick), baby wipes and paper towels for clean up, and sterilized tools (LOL kitchen utensils). I always put everything on a towel in case something spills, and because I am the owner of a cat who is the world record holder for "most shedding done in a day."

Oh, and a nice container! This is my last empty Chanel Illusion d'Ombre jar, which kinda makes me sad. I always love using cleaned-out cream shadow jars for my DIY projects.

None of this was ever hard, to be honest, but here's what you do. You figure out how tinted you want your balm to be and how solid you want your formula to set. I wanted a very sheer red tint with a "whipped," jelly formula, so I used mostly Aquaphor. If I had to do percentages, I'd say my formula was 80% Aquaphor, 10% Reve de Miel, and 10% LQ Saint Rouge. If you want something with more pigment, use less balm and more lipstick, if you want a more solid finish, use a waxier stick balm instead of Aquaphor, so on and so forth.

Drop everything in to that large spoon and hold it over the candle. Obviously, this will make it melt. Once its all melted and incorporated, you can pour it in to your jar. I like to mix everything up with my butter knife then, just to make sure it's all well-incorporated, but that's a personal choice.

Be REALLY careful, because the spoon is gonna get super hot. I cleaned it off without burning myself by encasing a baby wipe in the towel; if I had just tried to clean it with a plain ol' baby wipe, things wouldn't have ended well.

That's it: ye olde DIY tinted balm formula! And I'm not ashamed to admit that this blogpost has me wanting to make even more.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sample Rundown #5

Can you believe I'm still doing these freaking posts?! I guess the beauty world is good for that: slews and slews of samples, usually of stuff you'd never normally try, but it's there, so ehhhhhhh okay. I didn't have a ton of luck this round, unfortunately, but maybe some of these will appeal to you!

Kate Somerville RetASphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream -- I know retinol is supposed to be an incredible anti-aging ingredient, but if it is, this cream doesn't serve it well. While it's labeled as a night cream, it's not particularly moisturizing, and I woke up feeling dry and tight the next day. It also has an unpleasant sticky texture that stays around for a few hours. Because I didn't are for this as an all-over face cream, I tested it as an eye cream. To that end, it provided some moisture and softened my skin up a bit...but that's it. Either I need a bigger sample to get more realistic results, or this cream isn't worth the price tag.

Le Couvent de Minimes Baume d'Amour -- I used this body cream on my hands for about a week and was reasonably impressed. It's lightweight and feels very smooth (almost powdery) to the touch, but it provides decent moisture.  It's also fast-absorbing, so you're never left with sticky hands. The best thing about it? It smells like new shoes! You know, that weird rubbery smell? That's probably a turn-off for most people, but I kinda liked it. I have other hand creams I like better, so I won't purchase a full bottle of this, but it's a nice enough product.

Jack Black Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather -- A small amount of this stuff goes a long way! Although the name suggests that this stuff will lather up, it actually goes on almost clear and feels like an oil. It helped me get a perfect shave on my legs, and the cream was so silky that I almost skipped lotion afterwards. Weirdly enough, it didn't work as well on my underarms (where the hair is coarser), which makes me wonder how it would work on a face. Maybe I'll get another sample and ask my heavy-bearded boyfriend to try it out.

Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butters in Satyr and Plotter's Breakfast -- I've already reviewed the actual formula of the HoG PBs here; to summarize, this is my all-time favorite body butter. Fragrances tend to change when they're added to skincare, however, and I've noticed that that's especially true with Pumpkin Butters. In this formulation, Satyr is almost predominantly blood orange: tart, citrusy, and a bit sticky sweet. The Plotter's Breakfast Pumpkin Butter has stronger spice notes than the regular perfume oil; my mother actually said it smelt like "baking spices for a pie."

MAC False Lashes mascara -- I'm always delighted to get mascara samples because...well, mascara and brow pencil are the only eye makeup I wear on a regular basis. But I was especially excited for this one because, ahhhh, false lashes in a tube!...but not really. This is a decent mascara: it provides plenty of length, a bit of volume, and lots of separation. If you already have decent lashes, this will give you the look of extensions. Unfortunately, it doesn't give much "oomph," and it flakes and smears like CRAZY. Once, I put this stuff on at 6:30am and had raccoon eyes by 10:30. Perturbing.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Art Interlude

Rebecca Lessner, "Hunter Gatherer"

Now that the weather is slowly but surely warming, I can spend more time checking out the sweet art exhibits in downtown Pittsburgh. I went with my cousin Meg this time, and we hit several shows on the block.

The 707 and 709 Penn Avenue galleries (which, unfortunately, don't seem to have a reliable web link) are one-room galleries that host a variety of shows. Hunter Gatherer was a particularly lovely collection of mixed media: sound, photography, and sculpture. Being Creepy Creepy Two By Fours, Meg and I were enamored with these modified animal skulls. But both galleries housed beautiful work, which should be there until the middle of the month.

Lauri Astala, "On Disappearance"

The Wood Street Galleries don't get a lot of press, but they contain some of my absolute favorite exhibitions. We managed to make it to the last few days of the Absence of Self collection of works. While my lovely readers will have missed this exhibit by the time I post, Wood Street always has some incredible work.

The above video piece--which was damn hard to photograph--actually makes you a part of the artwork. (You can see us standing in the mirrors.) It was incredible to listen to this person on screen monologue about the rooms of our life, and all the while, I felt that I was simultaneously part of the room he stood in and something separate. That's the purpose of art.

Ivana Franke, "Seeing With Eyes Closed"

Another one of my favorite pieces from the day was this interactive exhibit by Ivana Franke. You enter the room one at a time, sit on the pillow facing the lights, close your eyes, and press the button. The strobe lights flash and create patterns behind your eyes. The experience made Meg feel slightly sick, but I felt meditative, relaxed, and utterly impressed.

My one disappointment: the sign outside the exhibit clearly said that only one person should come in at a time. When it was my turn, I was quickly interrupted by a very young couple who refused to listen to the gallery attendant's instructions and acted like I wasn't waiting to try out the art. Dear readers, I hope none of you will ever be this rude at an art gallery.

Mel Chin, "Cross of the Unforgiven"

The Space Gallery currently has a curated collection of gun-related pieces called "Unloaded," which will be viewable until the end of April. Many of the pieces were beautiful, but I was particularly interested in the sculptures and installations. Meg referred to Chin's work as a "gun mandala"...very apt! The Space show is a great one to see if you like a wide variety of art forms.

We made sure we ate some lunch before we went gallery hopping. We gave Grit & Grace a try, and we were both reasonably impressed. We shared three servings of their take on "dim sum"--a quinoa with green curry, some carrot and cabbage kim chi, and pork belly bites--and I had a marinated carrot salad while Meg ate a pork belly BLT.

I would give the food a solid B grade: it was good, but not quite as remarkable as some of the dishes at other Pittsburgh restaurants. The cost of the alcohol was also pretty extreme, even by city standards. But the ambiance was beautiful and the service was fantastic. I might give them another lunch time visit in the future!