Friday, September 12, 2014

What I've Been Wearing on my Face Recently

Remember back in the day when I used to post a "face of the day (FOTD)" every Friday? Well, I've been doing some looks recently that I've shot and I thought, "HEY. I should put this stuff up on the blog". Rather than do it when I had actually done these looks, because let's face, that makes way too much sense, I decided to do it in one massive post. Get ready for a lot of the right side of my face.

September 4th, 2014

  • Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in B10
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Light (I'm almost done with this, can't wait to finish something)
  • NARS Loose Light Reflecting Powder
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Incandescent and Dim (for light light light contour)
  • NARS Blush in Final Cut
  • Stila Stay All Day Brown Pen in Medium
  • ELF Clear Brow Gel
  • NARS Smudgeproof Primer
  • Milani Bella Eyes shadows in Bella Copper, Bella Rouge, and Bella Chiffon
  • Illamasqua Heroine
  • L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Effect Mascara
  • Noir Longwear Eyeliner
  • Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Aubergine - which is darker IRL, I don't know it looks so vibrant in the photos
September 5th, 2014

  • Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in B10
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Light 
  • NARS Loose Light Reflecting Powder
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Incandescent, Radiant, and Dim (for light light light contour)
  • Milani Luminoso Baked Blush
  • Stila Stay All Day Brown Pen in Medium
  • ELF Clear Brow Gel
  • Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
  • Lorac Pro Palette 2 - Buff, Nectar, Lt. Brown, Cool Gray, Rosé, and Snow
  • L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Effect Mascara
  • Physician's Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner Pen
  • Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Centifolia (this was LE, sorry!)

September 11th, 2014

  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in B10 - trying to use this as much as possible, because it's gonna be a smidge too dark come winter
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circe Eraser in Light
  • NARS Pressed Light Reflecting Powder
  • Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
  • Illamasqua Blush in Lover
  • NARS Smudgeproof Shadow Base
  • Wet N Wild Shadow in Brulée
  • MAC eye shadow in Tempting
  • Physicians Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner Pen
  • Lit Glitter in Rich & Famous
  • Stila Stay All Day Brown Pen in Medium
  • L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Effect Mascara
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugen
  • L'Oréal Collection Privée in Julianne's Nude

September 12th, 2014

  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in B10 
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circe Eraser in Light
  • NARS Pressed Light Reflecting Powder
  • Pumpkin & Poppy Oak Bark Contouring Powder
  • Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01
  • Illamasqua Blush in Lover
  • NARS Smudgeproof Shadow Base
  • Lorac Pro Palette 2 - Buff (I use this as a base shade to make blending easier), Nectar, Lt. Brown, Plum, Chrome, and Snow
  • ELF Clear Brow Gel
  • Stila Stay All Day Brown Pen in Medium
  • L'Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Effect Mascara
  • Lorac Alter Ego Lipstick in Goddess

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let me know down below!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Pretty Zombie : Swatches and Review

You guys, as soon as I wrote that the sun wasn't out, it came out and stayed out for an entire day! Of course, it's gone back into hiding today, but I got some swatch pictures done, finally. On the blog today I am going to be talking to you about My Pretty Zombie! My Pretty Zombie was started by the owner, Andrea, in 2008 as an Etsy shop where she sold her handpainted zombie Barbies. In 2010, she started selling cosmetics and in 2013, started her own website (which is linked above). I heard about her earlier this year when I started to explore indie cosmetics, but I didn't place an order until June.

I wish I had remembered to write down how fast the TAT was, but I didn't do that, but it definitely arrived within the stated TAT if not before. I only ordered samples, so I didn't get the typical wrapping that Andrea sends the orders in... which includes a plastic severed finger. I don't know about you guys, but I love horror and gore, so this is right up my alley. I actually received my order in a card and Andrea refunded me for the difference in shipping, which is insanely cool and nice of her.

Now that you have a little info on the company and shipping, let's dive into the swatches!

I ordered two sets of eyeshadow 3 sample packs. All swatches are done over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. The colors that I got were:

This applies very well and is opaque very quickly. It's described on the My Pretty Zombie site as "peachy pink with a golden green shift" and I would agree with that, but sadly the green shift didn't show up in my photos! In real life, there is definitely a green shift to this, but it is subtle and very pretty.

Oh dear god, the beauty that is Dissolution... I'm always drawn to blue shadows even though I think that they look absolutely horrible on me. Dissolution is described on the site as purple over a blue base (it's part of the Blue Period Collection, which you can find by going to "Sets and Samples") and that description is spot on. The base of the blue is super pigmented and actually stained under my fingernail when I did the swatch, but it doesn't stain my skin.

Maybe when I review indie shadows, the reviews are a bit boring because I generally only have awesome things to say about the colors and application, but Violet Bites falls into the awesome category. A dream to apply and not patchy at all; described on the site as a red based purple with a golden sheen... spot on.

TaraYvonne is another shadow that is insanely hard to photograph. It's a navy base with red glitter in it and it's just really hard to get the red glitter to show up. This applied very easily, but I will say that the glitter in it does make it a little bit... gritty feeling. It's really on;y noticeable if you stick your finger in the shadow and feel it that way and the feeling doesn't really translate to the eyes.

Rash.. oh Rash. My favorite colors to wear on my eyes are red based purples, reds, and burgundies and Rash falls right into that category. Andrea describes it as a "light pinkish burgundy with lots of shimmer" and again, her description is spot on. It is extremely shimmery and is so beautiful as an all over the lid color. This shade probably applied the best out of all the shadows and was insanely opaque and pigmented.

Again, the intense love affair with a color that I won't wear too often. Infirmity is easily the prettiest shade out of all the ones that I received; a teal blue base with an insane golden green shift/glitter to it. However, this is a shadow that has to be worked with and is not a "I only have 15 minutes to do my makeup" kind of shade. Blues can be notoriously finicky to work with and this is definitely a shadow that you have to press on slowly and carefully. However, look at it, it's worth it. Hell, this is probably one of the most gorgeous shades of eye shadow that I own. Absolutely stunning and worth the work to make it look its best.

And a GIF!

I also ordered her Drugs Like Me blush sample collection which includes 5 blushes (and I think that I got an extra one in my order, squeeeee), but I subbed out THC for Morphine. These were swatched heavily over bare skin.

And I can honestly write the same review for every single one of these blushes and I'm going to, rather than make you read the same review six times in a row. All of the blushes have amazing pigment to them, some more than others (which I'll notate below), but all great pigmentation. They all applied like a fucking dream on the skin and blend very nicely. Amazing quality on every single one of these.

The natural light photo makes this look about ten times more pink that it actually does, but that's the glory of lighting, right? PCP is peachy orange blush with golden glitter. I actually prefer orange-y blushes, so this is perfect for me.

MDMA is your quintessential peachy pink blush with golden glitter in it. Like an indie version of NARS Orgasm, but more pink and less peach.

Alright, so... I am fairly well versed in drug names because I really like watching drug documentaries. I have heard the term "benzo" about a million times, but never really gave any thought as to what they actually are, so I had to look it up. I'm now educated. Anyhow, Benzodiazephine looks really red in the package, but since my skin is fairly yellow, it shows up more orangey red on me. It has only the slightest shimmer to it and unless you were in the sun, it would likely look matte.

Morphine is actually the entire reason that I placed this order. I saw someone post about this color and I knew that I had to have it. Morphine is not a blush color for the faint of heart (haha, I wrote this and then looked up the description on her site and Andrea wrote the same thing; it's fate!); it's a grey base with what looks like lavender glitter in it. So gorgeous and so amazing. I actually kept this one a little bit more sheer, but with a heavier hand, you can make this really dark.

6 mam is a plummy base with some subtle lavender shimmer to it, but basically, a perfect color for autumn! 6 mam actually applied a bit more sheer than the other colors, but it still equally gorgeous.

And the other crown jewel from this blush sampler (and yes, I love this almost as much as Morphine). LSD is definitely the sheerest of all the blushes, but if you wanted, could still be built up to be fairly opaque. The base is a lovely grayish plum and it has an amazing reddish gold shift to it. I'm not sure if this can be used on the eyes, but it would also make a stunning eye shadow color.

And lets GIF up the blushes as well!

And there you have it! I am seriously impressed with the beauty of the colors and the ease of application with all of the products from My Pretty Zombie. Now, if you are interested in Andrea's products, please click the link the I have just above (it's not an affiliate link) or type the full name into your Google search. There is another company, that is not at all related to My Pretty Zombie called Pretty Zombie and they make lipsticks. These two companies are not at all affiliated, so please keep that in mind if you're looking Andrea's My Pretty Zombie cosmetics!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dolly's Polish : Swatches

Long time, no talk, right? Well, my plan to finish up my indies "month", cough... three months, cough, isn't going so well since the sun will. not. shine. Every time I'm at work, the sun is out and plentiful and by the time I get home, it's hiding behind a massive layer of clouds. Fingers crossed the sun will come out in the next few days so that I can tell you about a few more brands and get the swatches up! Regardless, I did get some more indies...

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't, click on the instagram button to your right), then you have seen the picture above. After responding to a Reddit post, I received a lovely little package from Ajevie containing several polishes for me to try out from Dolly's Polish. It looks like the site is up, but doesn't have these polishes available quite yet! They are all mini sized, which explains why they're so adorable, but is also perfect for someone like me who will never make it through an entire bottle of polish. I received four shades; Sugar Skull, Autumn 2014, Lake Monster Scales, and Gilded Plums. 

This isn't truly a review since I'm not too adept at writing nail polish reviews; I use my hands every day at work and my fingers get smashed by heavy objects on a weekly basis... therefore nothing can stay on my fingernails for too long. I will say this though, all of the polishes dried insanely quickly which is something that I appreciate immensely. All of the swatches were done without a base or top coat, so all you're seeing is polish. 

And of course, this wouldn't be a post about indies without a mention of the cute packaging in which Ajevie sent my things. She included a cute note on the back of the halloween card and a business card (not pictured)! Also, before we dive into "swatches", please excuse my horrible cuticles and subpar painting job. I am not a master at nail polish, simply someone who likes it and paints their nails from time to time.

2 coats - daylight

3 coats - daylight

I found this shade to be much more sheer than the rest, perhaps it is more of a jelly?

3 coats - Studio lighting

This was opaque after two coats, but I wanted more glitter chunks, so I added a third :D

3 coats - Studio Lighting

A true glitter topper!

All in all, I'm pretty surprised and happy with the quality of these polishes! I've never had an indie polish before, so I wasn't completely sure how they would be. Hopefully she'll have her new colors added to the site soon so that you can order if interested!

Questions, comments? Let me know down below!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Notoriously Morbid : Swatches and Review

I had a sunny day this week when I didn't have anything else going on, so it was finally time to swatch some more indies! Today I'm going to be talking about Notoriously Morbid which is based out of West Virginia. I had seen the company name pop up quite a bit on Reddit, so I decided to check them out and noticed that they had a blogger pack option. It wasn't available, so I asked on Notoriously Morbid's Facebook if they were planning to make it available again and they did it that same day (excellent CS!). They were also running a free shipping with orders $10+ and a GWP, so I decided to place my order and got what is pictured above.

In my blogger pack, I got to choose one full sized shadow and 5 samples, so I chose: Ladder to Hell (full size), Quiet in the Dark, Sometimes my Arms Bend Back, It's Not Raining in Here, Evil Eye, and Cry Wolf Cry. I also ordered four additional samples of Boe, Give Me $20!, Young Merlin, and Neno.

And I got 7 Years Shattered and Bad Juju as free samples. I also got Tea Tosh as my GWP, but I seem to have misplaced it which is why there is no photo of it.... 

The TAT for Notoriously Morbid is 10-14 business days and I ordered during a bit of a sale, but they still managed to get my order out in 11 business days. Shipping was pretty fast and it got to me in Kansas in 3 days, which made me very happy. The only thing that I have a small complaint with isn't even actually a real complaint, I just couldn't think of any other word for it. For my GWP, there were two options, Tea Tosh and Pale Rider, and I put in my order notes that I would like Pale Rider. However, when the invoice printed on their end, it cut off the portion of the notes with my Pale Rider request. I've run into this issue before with printers cutting off extra info in the notes, but since it was a GWP, I really don't care and it certainly isn't something that I'm going to bother them with. Just be aware that if you are placing an order and need to write a lot in the notes, you might also want to email to make sure that it is seen.

Now, onto the shadows! (all swatches done over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy)

7 Years Shattered was one of my freebies and isn't something that I would have ordered on my own. It's a fairly opaque, glittery, white shadow that applies really, really nicely. I can definitely see me using this in the inner corner or on the brow bone for some awesome highlighting!

Bad Juju was the other one of my freebies and again, probably not something that I would have picked up on my own. On my skin, it shows up as a very orange based red with a purple shift to it and isn't the most flattering shadow for me. It makes my eye color look fantastic, but something about the orangey red doesn't look great on me. This shadow was a bit harder to apply and took a bit of work to make it look nice. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the red base, but the other red shadow that I got also proved to be a bit difficult.

Boe is a orangey brown copper shade with golden sparkles in it. This applied very easily and was opaque with no difficulty at all.

Cry Wolf Cry is a cool purple toned taupe with silver sparkles in it (heyo, love Taupe!) and was incredibly easy to apply. Taupe shadows are my most favorite thing in the world and this one is gorgeous.

Evil Eye is a pink with a golden shift and shimmer to it. I absolutely love anything that can fall on the rose gold spectrum and this does just that! It was also very easy to apply and easy to make opaque. I need to test this one out over a white base to see if it makes it pop even more!

Give me $20! is a minty green shadow that shifts between a gold and a pink shimmer. I often shy away from colors like this because I don't think that they look that good on my green eyes, but after seeing The Maquillage Magpie use it numerous times, I decided to pick it up. It applies like a dream and it really is a totally unique shadow; so glad I got it!

It's Not Raining in Here is a periwinkle blue shade with a beautiful light golden shift. Notoriously Morbid describs this as lilac, but on my skin is shows up blue which is just one of those skin tone things and it's gorgeous either way, so who cares? Don't let the swatch above fool you, this applied very well, I just screwed up the swatch a bit by trying to rush the pixie epoxy... :(

Ladder to Hell is another taupey shade that is a bit warmer and more brown with a purpley pink shift and sparkles! I got this as my full sized shadow because, well, look at it. Conservative enough to be worn most places, but still unique as hell. This applied SO easily and was opaque in one go round.

Neno is a darker gray brown shade with a lot of sheen and what appears to be some rainbow sparkles in there. I... can definitely see myself buying a full size of this as well, because if Ladder to Hell applied amazingly, then this applied whatever the next step above amazing is. I am in love with this shade.

Quiet in the Dark is a slightly cool toned red shade with golden sparkles. As gorgeous as this is (and it looks like blood, so I find it amazing), it has a slightly different texture than all of the other shadows... almost a bit gritty, and it was a bit difficult to apply. I tried swiping and patting and while patting produced better results, it still was patchier than everything else. This is lip safe however, so I may resort to using it as a lip color.

Sometimes my Arms Bend Back is a warm toned brownish copper with a cool shift to it. On the Notoriously Morbid site, it says that it has a blue shift, but it might be my skin tone making it pull non-descript cool shade. Regardless, it applied well and was opaque very quickly and a very pretty shade.

Tea Tosh is a slightly sheer beige tone with a reddish shift to it. When it isn't in direct sunlight, it blends in with my arm skin fairly well, so I had a bit of difficulty shooting the natural light swatch! This is one of those fun shades since it looks like a neutral and shifts to red. This is a bit more on the sheer side, so I would definitely layer this over a base to help it show up a bit more or just use it all over the lid as a wash of color.

Young Merlin is a cooler dark brown with a whole crap load of rainbow sparkles in it! This is another one of my favorites out of the group and this was literally opaque in one swipe; applies like a dream and is just magical all around (hardy har, Merlin = wizard = magic). I honestly don't know how to describer as anything other than gorgeous, so there you go; it's fucking gorgeous.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased and happy with the quality of the eye shadows that I got from Notoriously Morbid. Even better than their awesome shadows is that they have great customer service too and shipped everything out within their stated TAT. I'm loving these and once I get my eyebrows waxed this weeked, I will throw some looks up so that you can see these shadows in action!

Any questions or comments? Leave them for me below!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Julep Debacle

I apologize for the lack of posts recently, but either the weather hasn't been good for photographing indies (i.e. no sunshine) or if it has been good, I've been off doing something else. Between an incredibly weird busy time at work and a busy period in my personal life, I just haven't had a ton of time to devote to the blog. I'm headed out of town this weekend, but when I return, everything should be back to normal and I can finish up with the remaining brands that I want to discuss for indies! (I actually shot for a new blog post earlier this afternoon, so there should be a new one before the end of this week.) In the mean time, I thought it would be really easy to do this post since it's all text. I want to preface this post and say that I am not writing this with malicious intent, but rather to inform you all about a company that I feel does not deserve my business and really, anyone's business. I'm also writing this because I have advertised their services in the past and I want to let you know my change in heart toward them.

What company am I talking about? Julep. If I haven't mentioned it enough, I am a pretty avid Redditor and I belong to about one million and one beauty subs there. One of them is called /r/BeautyBoxes and it's completely devoted to subscription services. I discovered that sub shortly after I had started my subscription to Julep and to my dismay, the sub was littered with horrible reviews of Julep; not because of their products (there's mixed reviews on their polishes anyway - I happen to like them aside from the horrible stench) but because of their customer service. If you're curious, all you have to do is go to /r/BeautyBoxes and type "Julep" in the search option; you'll see the chaos. I, however, already had my subscription to Julep and since, at the time, you could only cancel your subscription over the phone, I just hung on to it. I did eventually attempt to cancel my subscription over the phone, but I could never get a customer service representative on the phone. I eventually gave up and just continued to skip every month of the subscription. Then the month of June happened...

You have to skip your box during a certain window of time on their site; it's "open" for something like a week. All you have to do is log in, go to the Maven section and go through a few more screens and you will eventually be presented you with the skipping option. I did this at the end of June, meaning that I would be skipping my July box, and carried on my merry way. Well, merry until I looked at credit card statement and noticed a charge from Julep. I attempted to call them since I had skipped the box, but I was unable to get a hold of anyone (shocking), so I emailed them. It took them a week to get back in touch with me; an entire week. At this point, my box had already shipped and there was nothing that they could do for me. Along with that, the customer service rep obviously didn't read the email I had sent and simply copied and pasted a response back to me.

Here's the thing with me; I worked in customer service for over seven years and I have no patience for people who don't do it well. I understand that Julep is probably completely understaffed or I at least hope that they are since they never seem to be able to answer the phone, but that's no excuse for not reading an email that is time sensitive and then sending back a canned response. I responded back to the CS agent in a very frank and matter of fact way and she got back to me immediately and cancelled my subscription (I requested that this happen) and said she would send me a prepaid label to return the box once I received it. The label, however, would take about two to three business days to show up, so I had to wait for it. Well, those business days passed and then a few more passed and I received nothing. At this point, I took to their Facebook wall which got fairly prompt attention and after a few more business days, I received my return shipping label.

I returned the box of nail polish that I didn't want and it was received by Julep on the 21st of July. In one of my previous emails, the CS agent stated that it would take 5-10 business days for a refund to show up on my card. I patiently waited those 5-10 business days and on the tenth day, when there was still no refund on my card, I called the customer service line. Amazingly, I got a hold of an agent on the phone (this was literally the first time ever out of dozens of calls) who proceeded to tell me that no refund had even been processed yet and that we would go ahead and it get it processed while I was on the phone. He did so and then told me that it would be another 2-10 business days before I got my refund on my card. Here I am on August 19th and I have finally received my refund. This is the ninth business day since that phone call. My bank is not the hold up here since every other refund I've ever received has shown in 24-48 hours but rather Julep's refund procedure.

It took almost an entire month from the date that they received my package to give me a refund and if I hadn't called them to check, who knows how long it would have taken. I have emails and Facebook posts to show how many times I had to contact them regarding this ONE charge. The amount isn't even that much, it's the fact that they are so irresponsible when it comes to everything. Take one look at their Facebook page and you can see complaints from a slew of people. Look at the Reddit sub that I linked earlier and you will find tons of people who have had slight issues like me and others have had huge issues with $70-$100 orders.

I am not writing this out of spite to bash the company but rather to warn all of you readers about the potential of getting screwed over. Since I recommended this company in the past, I feel that I needed to do this follow up. Honestly, aside from this, I never had any issues with Julep and I kind of though that people were blowing it out of proportion; guess I was wrong, huh? If you do want to subscribe to Julep, please, tread with caution.