Saturday, April 28, 2012

Post Free for About a Week

Hey guys, quick post to let you know I won't be able to update for about a week.  I am going to be ridiculously busy with work and home improvement stuff this week.  Instead of throwing up 4 or 5 sub-par posts, I would rather go on hiatus and come back with some good things to share.  I have quite a few new products en route to my house so next week should be really fun!



Have a great week!



<3

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cult of Taupe Won It's First Award!

I was given my first award! Bee Loves Beauty was kind enough to give me the One Lovely Blog Award.  It means so much that Bee saw something she liked in my blog and chose to recognize it.  Thanks Bee!

So, it looks like I am to share a few facts about myself and then select some of my favorite blogs to receive this award.

Fact time!

1. I am a closet recovering Goth.  I used to be really...REALLY goth.  It's been refined over the years to now just wearing a lot of black.

So young...

2. I consider myself very lucky to have achieved my lifetime concert goal of seeing Morrissey, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees all live.

3. I am a sporadic, but obsessive reader.  I don't read books often, but when I do, I read to the exclusion of everything else including eating, sleeping and peeing. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in less then a day.

 4.Like quite a few other bloggers out there, I am also a pretty big gamer, or was, when I had more time.  I am a big fan of MMORPG and I am practically giddy waiting for Diablo III to launch.

EQ + Glitches = good times

5. I have two tattoos, a dragon on my back and black cat on my ankle.  I've had a few piercings, but one was special.  I got my nose pierced the day I met my husband so that has some sentimental value.

6. I have had some weird celebrity crushes over the years including Eric Idle (Monty Python), Martin Short and Peter Tork (The Monkees)


7. I met my husband online and we had a non traditional wedding 8 years later
Yes, I was pregnant

Now, as for those I am passing this award onto.  I think other people are choosing 15, but I am going to do a shorter list if that's ok.  I would like to share this with 5 bloggers who stand out to me.

In no particular order.

Beauty Gnome A wonderful new blog that is catching fire, I love her fun nail art too
Beauty by Krystal Krystal is a fellow Essence nail fiend.  That makes her good people in my eyes.  She makes cute babies too.
Clumps of Mascara Brittany has not only helped me with oodles of advice, but she is unfailingly positive, holla!
Bower of Blisse I really love the looks on this blog and the retro vibe she has, and those lips..drool.
The Daily Glamour Not a blog per se, but Autumn inspires my creativity and beauty confidence like no other

Thank you again, this means alot.

Listen Up! Essence Stay All Day Shadow Isn't Messing Around

Today's review is an Essence product I kept looking for and just couldn't find. Every single display was sold out. Then I found my own personal Essence mecca. A little out of the way place only I seem to know about..an Essence Nirvana if you will. And they had it!


Why the fuss?  This product reminds me of products like L'Oreal Infallible Shadows and Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill.  It is a long wearing, crease proof, creamy mousse like shadow.

This product has slightly whipped feel to it so it comes out of the pot very easily.  You don't have to work it like you do with some of the L'Oreal shadows.  And it is very, very pigmented.  A finger tap will cover both eyes with some to spare.


The shade I chose is Glammy Goes To...  It is a highly metallic sandy tan color.  Did I say metallic?  Sorry, I meant ultra mega metallic.  If you like shimmer and shine then this is right up your alley. Unlike some other "all day" shadows this product delivers the goods.  Here is a close to verbatim transcript of taking off the arm swatch with make up remover.  Rub a few times "Hmm" More remover ,rub, rub, rub, rub.  "Holy shit, they're not kidding" 

I did a day long wear test, this doesn't budge, crease, smear, fade, crack wise 'bout your momma..nothing.  It stays precisely where you put it until you set your mind towards removing it.


Before

After (12+hours)



The only drawback to me is the metallic finish.  It is so strong that I find it hard to use this as a base, which with this staying power, I totally want to do.  However, no matter what I put over, the metallic breaks through and lightens the color of the shadow you lay on top.  Now if shine is your thing, you need to find this!

Final thoughts

Lives up to the claims, provides high impact shine and carries a teeny price tag.  Worth looking into.

Where to buy:  Ulta Fred Meyer, HEB
Price: $2.49

Monday, April 23, 2012

Go Check Out BFTE Color of the Week Lava Momma!

Have you heard me rave about Beauty From the Earth's Color of the Week deals?  If you answered yes, go sort your sock drawer or pet a kitty, if you answered no, here is how it works.  Each Sunday people (via Facebook or Twitter) suggest a color to become Color of the Week.  BFTE posts three options on their Facebook page and the fans vote for their favorite.  Monday morning they name the winner.

Image Credit Beauty From the Earth and Daily Glamour


So what do you get?  For $6.00 you get a full sized jar of the Color of the Week as well as 3 samples of your choice.  This is a crazy deal.  Regular price for a full sized jar is $6.50 and samples are $2.00 each.  So you get $12.50 worth of shadow for $6.00.  Shipping is a reasonable $4.00 flat rate in the US.  1 per person, per week.

You can very quickly and inexpensively amass a good supply of amazing shadows just by scooping up the COTW.

And just so you know, they mix it up.  You won't have 3 weeks of green in a row (that I've seen), it's not some weird shade of puce only your Aunt Esmeralda would wear.

I plan to keep you updated what the new color is each Monday, so go check out Lava Momma. Also, go visit the lovely Autumn over at The Daily Glamour.  She has hundreds of looks posted using BFTE shadows.  What to see how to use the COTW or need some sample ideas, check out her looks.

Beauty From The Earth and The Daily Glamour

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Orange Glory w/ No Better Way to Sky Polish from Essence

Alas, I had to cancel Friday Night nails this week.  I was busy Covering the Night with my sister and whipping up a nasty case of the flu while doing it.  This girl knows how to party!  Figures, I get super excited about my first weekly feature and instantly miss like every single week.  Lamez0rz.  I do have a great look planned for the next edition!

However, I do want to share a swatch post for this great new Essence polish I stumbled upon.  If you have access to a store that sells their Trend Editions, look for Legends of the Sky.  Amazing stuff.


No Better Way to Sky is a very pretty apricot/ orangesicle  color.  It is a opaque creme polish with a formula that leans to the thick side.  It still applies nicely, but I recommend using thicker coats.  I tried to do a thinner wash of color to build up and it started to dry and get streaky.  I did not need to use a fast dry top coat, it locked down on it's own very quickly.

These limited edition polishes are much bigger then the mini .99 cent bottles and so far they do not disappoint.  I only wish I had to foresight to pick up the other shades while I was there.

Where to buy: ULTA carries Essence, but I've never seen a Style Trend Collection there.  If you have a Fred Meyers, HEB

This is their January 2012 Trend Edition but it only just arrived at my local store. You should still find these in some locations.
Price:  $2.49

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beauty Euphoria with Essence No Better Way to Sky Blush

Hey everyone!  I have just a little post today to share this awesome blush I found from the Essence Legends of the Air Trend Edition.  First off, what a fun and unique collection theme.  I love the retro feel to the packaging!  The entire collection reminds me of the movie Memphis Belle, which saw me through an almost obsessive Eric Stoltz crush.


This is the first blush I've tried from Essence.  I have a very bad track record with budget brand blushes.  I find them to be hard, scarcely pigmented and prone to fading. Just inferior products all around.  Not this guy.


No Better Way to Sky is a richly pigmented orange blush with the barest hint of shimmer. 


I purchased this thinking it would go on a light apricot or peach, this baby is orange.  Yet, I found it to be a very wearable shade of orange.  I usually like a rosey balance to my peach and orange blushes so this was a departure for me.  If you are new to orange blushes, here is a little tip.  If you have red tones in your hair, don't wear this blush and orange eyeshadow or you will look like a fiery Q-Tip. Not a great look.  So just be aware of the possibilities for orange overload.

The texture is smooth, it can go on very intense or it can blend out for a more natural look.  This wore all day for me with very little fading.  I also wasn't digging at my cheeks all day so I am curious what the bismuth content on this baby is. 

Final Thoughts

If this is what I can expect from Essence Cosmetics other blushes then I am converted. The quality here surpassed even my MAC blushes and at a fraction of the price.  I really hope Essence expands their line into more stores.  These collections are tough to find, but worth the effort.

Where to buy: ULTA carries Essence, but I've never seen a Style Trend Collection there.  If you have a Fred Meyers, HEB or Shoppers Drugmart (Canada)

This is their January 2012 Trend Edition but it only just arrived at my local store. You should still find these in some locations.

Price:  $2.49

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fiery Orange Glitterbomb Nails w/ Essence

So I went back to my Essence mecca and scored a ton more nail polishes and accoutrement. I was on the hunt for and orange creme polish and Essence had my back. After debating whether to go with a matte orange or a glossy orange/glitter mani, I opted to go shiny!


For this I used Essence Wake Up (vibrant deep orange) and Essence Glorious Aquarius (predominately blue glitter suspended in a thick clear base.  There are multiple sizes of blue and silver hex glitter and a smattering of smaller glitter particles.)  The blue really pops against the orange, it was a natural choice and I really loved it.  Wake Up is quite thick. I had a tough time doing detail work due to the size of the brush and the thickness of the formula, however it covers nearly opaquely in one coat.

I also used this mani to test out Essence Quick Drying Drops.  They remind me of the Zoya drops (in theory, I've never used them personally) I was surprised how oily my hands were after using the drops And they stayed that way.... like forever.  They did harden in about one min as stated on the label.  However, I have this weird white chalky film right where my nail polish meets the nail bed.  I am not sure if that was the drops.  I will test these more and let you know what I find out.

Are you dusting off the brights?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Essence Trend Edition: Legends of the Sky

 

Legends of the Sky

i want to get away, i want to fly away! with the new "legends of the sky" trend edition, essence is taking off to dizzying heights in january 2012! not only will you find unlimited freedom above the clouds, but also the coolest looks for adventurous aviator girls! the new brown and khaki shades for your eyes, lips and nails look ultra-cool with a sweet retro-glam wave in your hair. get in the spirit of adventure and share a love of liberty with the hip 40’s look made by essence!
___________________________________

I just saw my first display for this Trend today and I love it!  I love the retro 40's look and the colors they chose are understated yet punchy.  I only grabbed two items and I wish I had grabbed a few more.  Here is a sneak peek.

 The polish is super pretty and that blush.....I haven't swatched it yet but I know I will become fast friends.

Have you caught any of the LE Essence Trend Collections?  There are a few out and I am dying to find more.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Look : Teal + Orange Using Beauty From the Earth

I was dying to wear some teal today, so here is the look I came up with. You might not think to mix teal and orange, but it is a great combo. 


I used BFTE Charm on the lid/lower lid and then place BFTE 9-5 in the crease. I wanted to have a little fun with the look so I used Charm to also create a little wing on the lid.   I didn't want  a heavy liner to compete with crisp teal color, so I lined the upper lashline with UD Whiskey and lined the lower waterline with UD Covet

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday Night Nails: A Journey Across the Pond with A-England Ascalon

Remember that scene in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle where Kumar blisses out and his "life montage" about his bag o weed (Weedie)?  Ya, that is me and Ascalon from A-England.  There is something about this polish that got my blood going.  I am not a particular fan of greys, but that hint of lavender and the primsatic holo glitter called out to me. 

Earlier this month A-England had a 30% sale and I could resist no longer, Ascalon had to be mine.  And so it is....  I normally reserve Friday Night Nails for my nail art looks, but there was no way I was covering this polish up.  It is far too complex, too stunning.  I tried to photograph this in a variety of lighting, to help you see all the different facets of color this gives off.  Enjoy!



Diffuse semi direct sunlight


Diffuse semi direct sunlight


Close up direct sunlight you can start to see the holo effect here

Shot in a sunbeam, not the best shot but it really shows the holo effect

In the bottle you can see the slight lavender cast

Final Thoughts

This is a top notch polish.  It goes on very nearly opaque in one coat and has a tendency to dry quickly, so I recommend quick thin coats. I topped this with a coat of Seche Vite and the gloss really helps this polish come alive.  In a day or two I will try adding a coat for China Glaze Fairy Dust because, well because Fairy Dust makes everything awesome and I suspect that Ascalon + Fairy Dust will yield a nail color so amazing I may well fall over and die.

You can find A- England at a variety of online retailers like  llarowe  and A-England

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beauty From The Earth : The Green Anthology

When placing my very first Beauty From the Earth order, I gave myself only two rules, two restrictions.  First, no Taupe!  I just don't need any more neutrals.  Second, no green!  Next to Taupe it is the one color I never ever need to buy..ever.  So after months of agonizing, plotting, reworking and charting what did my order look like?.....


I either have no self control or I am totally color blind.  Regardless, this will be a swatch heavy post of all the greens I ordered.  Like my previous reviews, the quality, blend-ability and color payoff of these shadows are phenomenal.  While I did not intend to purchase a single green, I am so glad I did.  Even though many of these are similar, in person and hopefully in my swatches you will see the subtle nuances in the color.  Ok, get comfy, grab a drink, go pee.  This may take a while.

*click images to enlarge 



Guilty



Guilty is a matte army green

Saturday Morning



Saturday Morning is a shimmery lime green *This is my fav of the bunch

Orionis



Orionis is a shimmery golden chartreuse.  It is also one of BFTE's new Pro Colors

Grassy



Grassy is a matte vivid mossy green


Part Two


Lavish



Lavish is a shimmery chartreuse green

Ying Yang



Ying Yang is a shimmery yellow/spring green

Limelight



Limelight is shimmery light golden green


Twisted



Twisted is a matte light yellow/green

Lucky Me



Lucky Me is light frosted silvery green

Final Thoughts

Amazing, said before...keep saying it.  You can't miss.  Any color you can think of, they will have it.  Spring is here,  have some fun and play with some color! 

Where to buy:  Beauty From the Earth
Price:  Samples $2 for  .5 gram  or Full Size $6.50 for 1-3 gram

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kill Bill Mani....w/Sparkles!

Here is a quick mani I did to try out some new Essence Nail polishes.


I didn't have time for the full blown look I wanted to try, which was a pin up nail, so I opted for a fresh clean mani with an accent nail.  The base is Essence Wanna Be Your Sunshine ( bright primary yellow with a hint of shimmer) topped with a coat of Essence Night in Vegas (clear base with flakes that reflect copper and green)
macro is not kind to those cuticles


The accent nail was done with Wet 'n Wild Ebony Hates Chris topped with the Essence flake coat.

Wanna Be Your Sunshine is a great color, but a little tricky to use.  It goes on thick and gets tacky so quickly that you can start to pull the color into ribbons if you aren't careful.  You need two coats for opaque coverage, but you need to work fast.   Night in Vegas is a great topper.  The flakes have a strong fiery reflect, especially on darker bases. 

Do you have a fun mani planned this weekend?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Teals Are Coming ! Beauty From The Earth Delivers Again

Teal, you are the prettiest color I never use.  Teal above all others colors draws me in, entices me with all it's spritely energy and sharp sexiness.  Alas, in my hands, it looks like a little girl playing in her momma's makeup.  However, these teals are too beautiful not to buy and I will learn to wear them...as God as my witness!

*click images to enlarge

I only tried a few teals this time around, but after seeing the gorgeousness in person I will definitely buy more...perhaps even the 16pc Teal Palette.  Three of these shades were just tops of the tops and everything I've come to expect from BFTE.  That last one, Tropical, had great potential, but kept separating. Aside from that it was a great shade to work with.

Illusion



Illusion is a shimmery deep blue teal..makes a gorgeous eyeliner when applied wet


Tickle Me



Tickle Me is a shimmery bright clear cyan teal

Charm



Charm is a shimmery sea blue teal with fine sparkles throughout. This reminded me so much of Leesha's (Xsparkage) District 4 look  By far my favorite teal..the sparkles make this shade.

Tropical



Tropical is a matte green blue teal.  As seen in the swatches, this one separated from the blue.  I know this can happen when you brush a matte mineral shadow, but even when patted this shade was patchy.  It's too bad, it would be a lovely color.

Final Thoughts
Broken record time.  Beauty From the Earth makes a dizzying array of top quality, affordably priced shadows (and more).  If you ever wanted to try out that new craze or pick up that blue eye shadow that harkens back to the days of Chic Jeans and platforms give BFTE a whirl.  They make it a breeze to be daring and stylish.

Check out their color themed collections.  They are $29.00 for 16 samples in a tin and they have a few to choose from, including a build your own option. They offer a Teal Palette that is mouth watering. You save $3 and you get the nifty tin.

Where to buy:  Beauty From the Earth
Price: Samples $2 for  .5 gram  or Full Size $6.50 for 1-3 gram

Note: I am not affiliated in any way with Beauty From the Earth.  I am simply a rabid fan devoted to shining a spotlight on this wonderful company.