Sunday, April 8, 2012

de Leon Cosmetics: Lippie Swatches Pt. 2

So now that you've seen lip swatches of the de Leon gloss shades that I-didn't-think-I'd-like-but-now-must-have, wanna see the ones I just knew I'd like and now am in love with? #1 at the top of this list is...

(drum rolls)

Ambassador gloss
Jump to see the rest of the pretties ;)

de Leon Cosmetics: Lippie Swatches Pt. 1

Hello my dear and patient readers!

I was recently inspired to try de Leon Cosmetics, an indie brand based in Australia, and boy am I glad I did; Gladys, the owner/formulator, was quite kind and patient with my sample order of doom (you'll see what I mean).  She even threw in a few (no less than 4) freebies because she was changing the packaging on her samples, meaning the ones she had on hand were a little less full than usual.  Mahalo, sweet woman!

And just look as these beautiful lip colors!  First pic shows matched pairs of de Leon lipstick balms & glosses (balms on the left, gloss to the right).

 L-R: Wee Little Puppet Man lipstick balm & gloss, I Could Never Be Your Girl balm & gloss, Stay 'n' Gloat balm & gloss, and 5x5 balm & gloss.  Isn't it amazing the difference formula makes in these shades?

More lippies after the jump!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Glitter Challenge!

To clarify, I'm entering, not issuing, said challenge ;)  Luna of issues a weekly challenge on her blog, each with a different theme.  The thing I appreciate about her challenges is they're more a showcase than a competition.  For me, that removes a considerable amount of anxiety about "going up against" someone with much more experience--and ability--than myself!

This week's challenge (ending today) is GLITTER!  My neck was junk this weekend, so I decided to focus on my nails instead:

For this look I used 1 coat of Cult Nails (CN) In a Trance, topped with a coat of CN Toxic Seaweed--an awesome sea-green jelly with emerald green microglitter (seems to have a bit of gold flash to it in the sun) and a rather fine, fire-gold iridescent flake.  I also used CN's base & top coats--they're not kidding when they call the top coat "Wicked Fast"--it dried in less time than it took for me to put all the caps back on my polish bottles!  

In A Trance is a gold-olive shade and made the overall look more of a warm-toned green than the cool green of Toxic Seaweed.  Pretty awesome, I can't quit looking at it at different angles XD.

I will say this for Cult Nails--their polishes come in a variety of very pretty shades and finishes for such a new company, and although their creme/shimmer polishes are taking some skill-building for me (a newbie, so please excuse the messy cuticles >_<) to apply evenly, the jellies are practically foolproof.  I want them all ;)

What's your favorite way to use glitter?

Me ke aloha,

3/9/2012 ETA--I wasn't kidding when I told folks this was my "mani of the week;" I'm generally too laid back about my nails (and busy with RL stuffs) to switch polish every day...or even every couple of days!  I have to say I'm impressed with how this one wore, my skills being pretty novice level and all; I still kept ogling my nails all week XD.  Here's how the nails looked after a solid 5 days of work, hula, and domestic miscellany:
Left hand

Right hand
Most of the difference between "just done" pic and "after the work week" pics I attribute to 3 factors--I cleaned up the messiness around the cuticles after the polish had time to cure overnight, my nails grew out, and there is some very very minor wear on the tips.  If I wasn't eager to try something new over the weekend, I'd probably wear it 'til next Monday ;)  Well done, Cult Nails!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weekend Link Love

Lizzy shares a few items that stole her heart in February at The Nature of Beauty Luna wants to know what your favorite eye shadow primer is at TOXiD-LOTUS.NET Jen put together a colorful collection of Meow Cosmetics swatches at The Everyday Opinionista Karoliina wants to show off a lilac look done with Darling Girl Cosmetics at Bones and Lilies Orange things piss off Erin at Oh Honestly, Erin Sharon swatched sparkly goodness from her Fyrinnae stash at Hello There, Blondie! Stephanie kicks off the second round of Nerd Wars with tiny knitted hexagons of doom. Claire uses some Brazen colors at Claire's Beauty.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Favorites

I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus since my birthday in November, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things around here ;)

To that end I've taken inspiration from blogger and Twitter pal, Larie, and decided to dive into the wonderful world of "favorites" posts.  Hooray!  So here are my favorites from February:
Look at all the PRETTIES ;)
Clockwise from the top, they are:

MISSHA Signature Wrinkle Filler BB Cream (Shade #23)--My foray into the wonderful, mysterious, and yes sometimes terrible world of BB Creams began last year at the suggestion of a few online friends and fellow bloggers.  I must say that I'm no where near expert level at choosing a good BB Cream, but one thing I have learned for myself is that like fragrance, BB Creams are very individual--or rather, how my skin responds to them is very specific.  Mine seems to turn it's nose up at some raved-about brands (Skin 79, Tonymoly), says "meh" to particular items recommended by others (Holika Holika Petit BB Creams), and loves some that others hate (Skinfood Red Bean, MISSHA Signature Real Complete BB Cream).  

This one, though, my skin OMGLUVSFOREVER!  It goes on smoothly, blends easily and well, is a decent match for my actual skin tone (read: does not make pasty, pink, or orange), and makes my skin feel silky soft all day.  And hey, it actually does for me what I've been aching for other BB Creams to accomplish: blurs and softens the appearance of the imperfections I bought BB Creams to hide.  FINALLY!  I found this on ebay from Bello-Girl.

Asymmetrical Necklace & Earring Set: "Winter's Gold/Ramoth's Pride"-- I've developed quite a fondness for the beautiful sparkly things offered in Whimsy Beading's Etsy shop, and no wonder: aside from creating gorgeous beaded jewelry, owner/artist Kelly Graves is an absolute doll and exhibits (to me at least, haha!) saintly patience for my endless "customizing" requests.  In this case, I was geeking out over her "Ramoth's Pride" necklace but wanted a bit more sparkle to it, so I asked if she would make it similar to her "asymmetrical necklace" design, in the "Winter's Gold" colorway, and oh by the way would she mind using gold tone rather than silver chain/findings?  Plus a pair of "Charming" earrings to match?  Pretty please?

Happily, she agreed, and here is the result:
Necklace & earrings by Whimsy Beading <3

Mad as Birds by Darling Clandestine + I Smell Like A Witch by OHWTO-- First off I will say that I was completely charmed by each of these artisan perfume oils on their own.  Mad as Birds is a unique scent among those in my collection, with notes of "pear, mint, amber, and marigolds (from the official description)."  I Smell Like A Witch was a surprise love for me, as the stated notes (red & white roses, cotton candy, bubblegum, smoke, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla bean) gave me a bit of pause.  Cotton candy?  Bubblegum?  But on my skin, this stuff is beautiful.  I enjoyed them both enough to order full sizes of each.

Wear them together, though, and you just might hear angels singing.

DGC Luscious Lip Balm in Jasmine Blossom Tea & Kiss You Off Color Rich Lip Balm in Honey Love-- Darling Girl Cosmetics, or DGC, is home to one of my HG lip glosses, the beautiful Fenix.  Honestly, I didn't think I could love another lippie as much as this, until I met her LE for Valentine's Day tinted lip balm, Honey Love.  It's described on the site as a "gorgeous honeyed pink," and BOY IS IT EVER.  Many "nude" lip colors are too much so for me--too pale/frosty or too warm-toned, which means they make my lips all but disappear from anything further away than point-blank range.  Honey Love is a perfect balance of rich golden honey and soft coral-pink, though, and looks beautiful on.  Want proof?  I'm wearing it in the pic above with my Whimsy set.

Not enough proof, you say?  Well how about this:
Taken with flash to highlight the coral/gold mashup that is Honey Love ;) 
I could wear Honey Love every day.  I could also wear any of DGC's Luscious Lip Balms, they feel so smooth and silky on my lips and do an awesome job of protecting them from the chapping that is a parasitic companion to cold winter winds and bone-dry interior environments.

Clark's Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream-- This sample size jar came in my January Birchbox shipment, but I didn't crack it open until February.  When I did, though...oh, holy heaven!  It is smooth, yes indeed, and cool and soothing to my skin--which has been pissed off by four months of running the heater at home & office.  Also, even without BB Cream or foundation over it this cream made my skin look better (as well as feel better)--nearly immediately!  I'd say it's miracle stuff, an HG...but at $115 for a full-size (1.7 oz, which is sample size in some circles), it's a heartbreaker for anyone on a budget.  A little of it goes a long way, which is the good news, but even so I will be hoarding this.

How about you, my lovely readers?  What favorites did you discover--or rediscover--in February?

Me ke aloha,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

I can't quite believe it's already been a year since I began blogging about my journeys in makeup, beauty, & fragrance--and what a "wonderland" of experiences (lovely and frightful both) it has been!  Throughout the past year I have found some wonderful fellow bloggers and several favorite companies both for makeup, bath & body products, and fragrance.

To honor my birthday (which was yesterday, so I TOTALLY took the day off from the interwebs :D ) and blogiversary I have decided to do a little re-vamping around my little corner of the beautynet and added the following new features:

  • A page for my favorite companies, categorized by type of product and arranged alphabetically
  • A list of my Holy Grail items across all beauty categories
  • Forum Link Love: a sidebar list of awesome forums filled with a mixed bag of folks who all love (insert forum topic here), and...

That's right, folks, throughout my wanderings I have discovered many amazing products--shimmery, smoky, and silky shadows; glowing blushes; fabulous foundations and BB creams; luscious lippies; and fantastic fragrances.  Which means my beauty collection is (for me at least) out of control!

So now I would like to share with you, my dear followers!  Check out the great deals on the Sale page and find some new friends--and perhaps favorites--of your own ;)  Products will be organized by category, company, and condition (new/used) and every purchase will include makeup, bath/body, and/or fragrance samples, so please don't be shy about requesting which you would prefer.

Cheers to wrapping up 2011 with a pretty bow and welcoming 2012 with joy!

Me ke aloha,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Impressions: Sonoma Scent Studio

Oh, I've found myself a new addiction and it is...PERFUME.

Never thought this would be me, what with my long-standing disdain of the department store fragrance counter, but no escaping it now: first my PBFF (that's "Perfume BFF" to the novices out there) Ki introduced me to the Wiggle (Nani, the proprietress, makes incredible scents including limited edition Rosalba, that was the first scent that ever triggered a "back-up bottle" purchase)--which touched off an exploration of small-scale, artisan perfumers such as The Morbid the Merrier (I fell for Athelia, a dark and edgy fig) and Solstice Scents (Lace Draped Spectre is a beautiful spicy-incensey carnation).  Our online convos also took in the conventional fragrance scene, leading me to the perfume shelves at my local Sephora--and a bottle of Lavanila's Vanilla Passion Fruit plus a rollerball of their Vanilla Grapefruit, as well as the discovery that some "men's" fragrances (Burberry for Men, Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver) smell really, really good on me.