I’ve been published on The Style Con!

Sorry I’ve been AWOL lately! (Has it even been that long? I might be inflating the duration of my own absence in my head because I languish like a delicate ill-watered ornamental plant whenever I can’t be writing about putting colors on my face.) Anyway, the end of the semester has been eating my life. This time of year, I’m always like:

Looking at it now

Last December, we were built to fall apart

Then fall back together

RE: academia. Then, come January, I am no longer regretting my life and my choices! (Are we out of the woods yet?)

Anyway, this too shall pass. And hopefully I’ll be able to eke out some time for Regularly Scheduled Programming after next Tuesday! In the meantime, you should take a look at this piece I wrote for The Style Con, in which I ramble about the celebrity perfumes I wish I existed while also stealth-obsessing over TSwift.

Like this, only, like, way way way less commercially viable.

Like this, only, like, way way way less commercially viable.

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Review, Swatches, Dupes & Giveaway: Makeup by One Direction Liquilights Glow Gloss, Electroglam Mascara & Rock Me Nail Kit

Disclaimer: Press sample provided for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I hope by now you’ve all had a chance to watch One Direction’s latest music video, for “Night Changes“. It’s this totally farcical polyandry fantasy– the boys are all as endearingly incompetent as young Anne Shirley. Based on that evidence, I feel like Niall would be the most fun to date. I’d just want to swap out his fireside board games for, like, Netflix or even turn-based video games. (But I still identify as a Zayn girl 5ever!)

Anyway, the whole thing was so ridiculous, it did nothing but feed my fantasies wrt ludicrous music videos. Basically I really want Harry to consent to appear in a  video for Taylor Swift’s “Style“– one that interprets the lyrics as literally as possible. Like, Amelia Bedelia-esque levels of literalism. He’d show up with his bad driving, long hair slicked back, white t-shirt, James Dean daydream look in his eyes, and so forth. And he’d histrionically lip sync the lines the song attributes to TSwift’s interlocutor. I feel like Harry’s good-natured enough to maybe pull it off…. If you’re in touch with Relevant Music Industry Bigwigs, plz pitch it to them and help me make it happen.

Anyway, in a spirit of celebrating musical absurdities, I’ve got another One Direction makeup review for you. After this, this blog will return to regularly scheduled programming and will no longer be, in the words of my pop music doyen, “1d af”. In the meantime, enjoy this reportage on brightly colored substances– some of which are meant to glow through the (UV-fractured) dark! Here we’ve got Liquilights Glow Gloss, Electroglam Mascara, and the Rock Me Nail Kit, all of which are limited edition and available as of November 15. If you like what you see, enter a giveaway here!

The three sets, though sold separately, are clearly meant to function as a coordinating suite. I think they work well in that capacity, for producing light-hearted, club-ready looks– although individual items can lean either Manic Pixie Dream Girl or high-concept avant-garde, depending on how you style them. In look in feel, these sets are very similar to One Direction’s first wave of makeup releases– the same brick wall motif on all the packaging, including the caps on the lipgloss tubes and nail polish bottles. The aesthetic’s a little more upscale than in the last collection of theirs I reviewed; accordingly, these are being stocked by department stores instead of big box stores. But the prices are still pretty modest– everything is $16.50!

Liquilights Glow Gloss

Liquilights Glow Gloss

Availability: $16.50 from Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Sears Canada

Quantity: 0.68 fl oz

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Vicious Varnish High Shine Lip Stain in Epic & Voguing Madness

I’m not exactly a snob when it comes to celebrity beauty gimmicks. Midway through the great drugstore lip stain buy-up of 2014, I spotted some tempting tubes of color bearing the name of one Fergie. I guess I haven’t thought about her since “Glamorous”, a highly relatable anthem I pondered putting on my Nero playlist.

Not sure what else the Black Eyed Peas frontwoman’s been up to lately– are the Peas even still a thing? But she has evidently been working with everyone’s favorite purveyor of cheap beauty thrills to furnish Walgreen’s-goers with lip stain at soft drink prices.

I actually took these photos 5ever ago– just got distracted by the arrival of my long-anticipated shipment of Wicked Lippies. But without further ado, I give you Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Vicious Varnish High Shine Lip Stain– a lot of alliteration for… not a lot of dollars. #Glamorous

packaging

Availability: $2.61 from Walgreen’s,

Quantity: 0.17 fl oz

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Review, Swatches, FOTD & Giveaway: Makeup by One Direction Limited Edition Beauty Collection

Disclaimer: Press sample provided for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Lately my music-listening habits have me cycling between Taylor Swift’s new album– 1989– and One Direction’s new album– Four. (My Portmanteau Couple Name for the two, of course, is the Orwellian 19 Eighty-Four. #OTP) Truly we live in an axial age of pop.

It’s been kind of a rough week– it’s the time of year when everyone’s sick and everything’s due. My advisor was nice enough to give me horehound lozenges for the former and something called “Emotional Ally Anxiety & Duress Aid” for the latter. But clearly what I really needed was more One Direction makeup!

Our favorite boyband’s put their name on another limited edition beauty release– a value set with six eyeshadows, four lip glosses, two nail varnishes, an eye pencil, and a lip gloss top coat. (Doesn’t that sound like a variant of the chorus to “Twelve Days of Christmas”?) The aesthetic here’s a lot like that of their earlier makeup release. But these tins are quite a bit smaller, and they’re being distributed by less upmarket stores. Accordingly, prices have been made even more accessible– I was frankly kind of surprised when I looked them up. You get several looks’ worth of product for less than the cost of one MAC lipstick.

There are five tins available for sale as of November 15. They all carry the same suite of products, but there’s a different band member on the packaging for each one. So go forth and choose your favorite 20% of One Direction. Or, following Pokemon logic, go and catch ’em all? I’ll give you a head start– enter a giveaway here.

I was lucky enough to get three tins-- Niall, Harry, and Bae. I mean, Zayn.

I was lucky enough to get three tins– Niall, Harry, and Bae. I mean, Zayn.

Availability: $12.98 from Sears; in stores at Kmart, Walmart Canada, and select Targets

Quantity: 0.52 oz of solid product and 0.48 fl oz of liquid

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: Nyx Wicked Lippies in Power, Wrath, Mischievous, Trickery, Sinful, Betrayal & Cold Hearted

reI bet you were all privy to the collective freakout that wracked the beauty blogosphere just before Halloween, when Nyx started floating promo images of their Wicked Lippies. We’ve since undergone a seasonal transition– pumpkin spice to peppermint mocha, according to the traditional calendar of my people, the #BasicBitches. But I’ve finally gotten my hands on these low-cost, jewel-toned babies.

It might be too late to incorporate them into your costume– might I suggest “Unfortunate Courtier Who Accidentally Bumped Into King Midas” for next year’s concept? But anyway, I feel pretty strongly about the fact that you don’t need repurposed religious rituals to, like, eat candy and wear weird lipstick. I haven’t gone trick-or-treating since before puberty; I just live like it’s Halloween every day!

Nyx promises “velvety” smoothness and a “dazzling metallic finish” with the Wicked Lippies. The former’s definitely true– these lipsticks are highly emollient and comfortable to wear, although there’s the trade-off of limited longevity and a tendency to bleed. I recommend a lip primer or colorless liner to keep that color in its place– the pigmentation is worth it, especially at these prices! As for the bit about the metallic finish– that actually varies in practice. The lipsticks seem to range from genuine, magnetic foil to a kind of wet-look glossiness.

Look at that gorgeous metallic rainbow.

Look at that gorgeous metallic rainbow.

Price: $5.99 from Ulta or $6 from Nyx.com

Quantity: 0.15 oz

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: By Terry Tint to Lip Water Color Lipstain in Beach Game

It’s Thursday. That means I don’t want to do anything except watch all of the Shonda Rhimes shows while cross-stitching a Latin motto in Baskerville onto some “antique white” Aida cloth. In a second I’m going to do just that. I mean, I’ve finished my work for tomorrow, cooked myself a food item, and even banged out a really terrible abstract for a conference paper– that last one’s only a triumph because it’s not due till December. If anyone knows how to write an abstract for a paper that doesn’t exist yet, plz help. Auxiliary Beauty? Sylirael? Imagine me swaying you with a compelling, puppyish sad face.

Anyway, I’m interrupting a brief stream of drugstore lip stain reviews to bring you a high-end option. By Terry’s Tint to Lip Water Color Lipstain promises a “tattoo hold” for a “tinted pout that won’t feel weighed down”, at least according to its Beauty.com page. The bit of virtual real estate it occupies on Space NK, on the other hand, emphasizes its sheerness– and inclusion of “anti-oxidant Cherry water and plumping Acerola active ingredients”, whatever that means. I’m not a chemist– I just may be mistaken for one based on racial stereotypes. I chose the shade called Beach Game, even though I feel at best kinda “meh” towards beaches in real life– sand, sun, scantily clad strangers, etc. It’s a luminous orange enlivened by gold shimmer, but its sheerness makes it (almost disappointingly) wearable.

packaging

Availability: $36 from Beauty.com or Space NK

Quantity: 0.23 fl oz

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: Milani Power Lip Lasting & Moisturizing Gloss Stain in Raspberry Tart

Mondays are rough. On this one, I overslept by an hour, missed a pedagogy meeting, and sat through four hours of teaching plus two hours of seminar without the benefit of solid food.

See, I’m taking this short course that only meets in November. A very famous 92-year-old Sinologist is in town for the month. While all my undergrads are citing him in their final papers, he’s trying to teach us some stuff about technical writing. It’s so full of esoteric details it’d probably make my skin erupt in hives if I tried to parse it on my own. Like, really– we read this thing about weights and measures, and I was so proud of myself for using eighth-grade math to figure out some stuff about the relative capacity of this vessel. (Squares inscribed in circles, isosceles right triangles!) And then I realized I misread the Chinese….

But whatever. This guy’s pretty cool– he’s got a bookcase necktie, and he let me illegally sip Soylent in a library seminar room while bumbling my way through some commentaries. And my drugstore lip stain survived the experience!

packaging

Availability: $6.49 from Milani.com, CVS, Drugstore.com, and Walgreen’s 

Quantity: 0.09 oz

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Review: TheHungryAsian Strawberry Nail Polish

So I went through an indie nail polish phase a couple of weeks ago. Mostly this consisted of purely virtual hoarding– my Amazon “Nails” wish list swelled to 214 bottles. I managed to contain myself from that level of indulgence. But I couldn’t resist making a couple of actual buys.

I’m into the whimsy and complexity you see coexisting in a lot of indie lacquers– the candy-pastel colors, confectionary glitter suspended in a jelly base. So many of them look genuinely edible. So I was glad to see an indie polish hawker apparently really embracing that patisserie aesthetic.

Just from the name of her shop, I’d totally want to be friends with TheHungryAsian’s proprietress, Kae. Selling through Etsy, she makes “hand mixed glitter polishes” that tend toward cotton candy colors, with discrete, dispersed dots of glitter that look like cupcake sprinkles. My pick was a bit of an outlier among all those Easter egg shades– appropriately called Strawberry, it’s a “red creme polish with sparse black microglitter”.

nails

Availability: $4.50 from TheHungryAsian on Etsy

Quantity: 5 mL

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain in Plum Pout

As a beauty buff who technically lives on a fixed income, I try not to be a brand snob. But really, brand snobbery’s pretty much the first thing that happened to me, as soon as I became financially independent. If I pay my own bills and file my own taxes, I get to buy myself the occasional Chanel lipstick! Or so I tell myself.

In reality, my Nyx-to-NARS ratio is respectably high. And I do buy a lot of indie! But I can’t deny that one of my favorite pastimes is the Sephora splurge. As a result, I’ve been neglecting the cozy and inviting world of drugstore makeup.

But no more! This weekend I celebrated the end of Daylight Savings by buying all of the lip stains from every pharmacy within a one-mile radius. It was sort of an impulse buy– that cut across three brick-and-mortar establishments. What can I say? Long-wearing lip color is very important to me.

I’m still working my way through that rather immoderate haul– expect a lot of reviews in the weeks to come! But so far, that stuff is pretty great. As far as lip stains go, I’d take every drugstore find I’ve tried over the hallowed Benetint (which I quite like as a cheek product). Here’s one of the standout performers!

marker

Availability: $7.84 from Walmart, $7.89 from Drugstore.com, $8.99 from ULTA, CVS, or Walgreen’s 

Quantity: 2.5 g

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One Lovely Blog Award

Once upon a time, I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by the wonderful Gym Bag Makeup. Predictably, I forgot to do the thing, having gotten sidetracked by such distractions as grad school and ABC’s Once Upon a Time. (#SwanQueen)

Time management– unlike hoarding makeup– has never been one of my talents. Like, I literally signed up for this short course that only meets in the month of November, thinking it would of course never be November– the end of history would definitely come before then. Guess what– it’s now the month of November! And I require quite beauty blogosphere memes to console me in the face of all the extra work I’m about to do.

I’d like to thank Gym Bag Makeup for the nomination slash valuable procrastination fodder! You should check out her blog.

 

one-blog-lovely-award

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