Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Blackest Black Pencil Eyeliner

For daily wear, I typically stick to liquid eyeliner, yet on days where I'm feeling rushed and precision lining is not an option, pencil liners are the way to go. Pencil eyeliners have come a long way in the recent years, and most brands are now far removed from their rough origins- scratchy applications with no lasting color payoff. As with any makeup product, I look for something that will give me the maximum effect with minimal effort.  
From left to right:
Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes (Mat Black), UD 24/7 (Zero), UD 24/7 (Perversion) 
Courtesy of my April Glam Bag, I came into possession of Urban Decay's recent addition to the 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils, the color "Perversion." With claims to be the blackest of the black eyeliners available, naturally I was skeptical. Upon trial, however, I found that there truly exists a "blacker than black." Although the following photos do no display a stark difference in hue, Perversion applies as a much more saturated and crisp black than the two liners I have compared it with. Additionally, the Perversion liner deposits color more freely, making just a single stroke of the liner sufficient for a complete black line (similar to a liquid eyeliner).

Without Flash- from left to right:
Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes (Mat Black), UD 24/7 (Zero), UD 24/7 (Perversion) 
With Flash- from left to right:
Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes (Mat Black), UD 24/7 (Zero), UD 24/7 (Perversion) 
So, do you need to run out and buy this eyeliner if you already have either of the two liners I have used for comparison here? No. However, I would recommend the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil Liner in Perversion over any similar eyeliner, in or outside of Sephora. When all my current black pencil liners reach their imminent end, I don't anticipate ever straying from Perversion. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The History of My Hair

Lately I've been itching to do something different with my hair. I don't think I've ever been 100% satisfied with any one hair color, or cut. Here is a brief (and sometimes embarrassing) overview of the various colors and lengths I have had. 

At 16-years-old, this is probably the longest my hair has ever been. Seeing this photo has definitely sparked a longing to have long hair again. *sigh*

This photo came shortly after a trim and highlights. Although I love the length and fullness, this is picture represents a season of brassy, "yellowy" hair. 

This picture was taken after an at-home dye job had faded. I learned firsthand what a stubborn color red is, and swore I'd never make that mistake again.

My hair at it's blondest- I spent most the longest amount of time wearing my hair this color.

This is probably the most unnatural I ever let myself to get with my hair- a mix of dark brown at the crown, but still blonde everywhere else.

In an attempt to even out my hair from the previous picture, I dyed my hair an all-over brown. As you can see, however, the color faded very unevenly. 

Here begins a season of seriously damaged hair. I had forgotten how much I hated red, and so I made the mistake of giving myself an at-home dye. The very next day, my friend came over to help strip the red out- we bleached and bleached, then dyed it a dark, ash blonde. I had finally grown my hair to the length that I loved, but it was a mess of split ends.

Instead of cutting it all off at once (I wasn't ready to part with my long hair quite yet!), I took off a few inches at a time and let my roots grow without coloring them. My hair looked decent when I curled it, but honestly I couldn't even run my fingers through it without it snapping and breaking.

Getting a little shorter, but still my hair felt rough and damaged. I tried what felt like a million different treatments from the drugstore, and a few that were more expensive but nothing would repair it. I hated the red hues I saw in my hair, so I dyed it an ashy brown to help me feel better about myself (ha).

Here is where my hair is, more or less, as of today. I finally cut all of the damaged hair off, and have healthy, smooth hair. I try not to color or highlight my hair more than twice a year, which is accomplished by always staying close to my natural color.

If anyone has found their miracle hair products, I would LOVE to hear about it! I tend to skip around, never really buying any one product twice- there's just too much competition among products in the hair aisle! Also, any suggestions for my next hair color would be appreciated! Right now, I'm thinking of going darker but the thought of how hard getting back to blonde would be pains my follicles.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nail Polish Rings

With stores already stocked with spring's newest nail polish collections, it comes as no surprise that glitter has maintained it's popular presence. With styles such as accent and ombre nails becoming "old news," what's next on the horizon? My money's on nail polish jewelry!

Original Source: Etsy
I love how the bubbled glass enhances and magnifies the polish detail, and gives it something a little more special. However, I also admire the image below, which is easily achieved by painting a flat ring face with a few coats of polish. I already have a few rings in my collection that I'm thinking of turning.

Original Source: Jenna_Beth Tumblr
Maybe this weekend solicits a trip to the craft store for marbles and finger ring blanks to assemble my own creations. What are your thoughts on nail polish rings? Do you enjoy making your own jewelry, or prefer to buy the end product?

Monday, March 5, 2012

PINspiration: Spring Accessory Trends

Where I live, we've been experiencing beautiful spring weather (78 degrees today!) very early in the season, which has inspired my search for new spring accessories and trends. Here are a few of the items that have already made their rounds on Pinterest, and possibly into your wardrobes.
1. Neon
Not ready to commit to this trend by investing in a neon colored blazer or skinny jeans? Try accessories! Bright belts in highlighter hues have become my favorite way to incorporate neon into my spring wardrobe, but I also love using nail polish, rings, and scarves to bring a pop of color into my outfit.
Original Source: The Sartorialist
2. Whitened Pastels and Neutrals
Think sidewalk chalk and conversation heart colors. This trend incorporates texture and an almost bleached effect to traditional pastels.
Original Source: Etsy
3. Mirrored Silver
Brushed silver is taking a step back while more high shine metals take the stage. This trend can look a bit showy and overwhelming on it's own, but looks chic when paired with other colors and textures.
Original Source: Etsy
4. Tassels, Fringe, and Fabric
I'm really enjoying fabric jewelry for spring- it's like a scarf/necklace hybrid, it's unexpected, and usually very affordable. I think these types of pieces make easy outfits since they look amazing paired with basic tees.
Original Source: Etsy
5. Mixed Metals
I was so happy to see that mixed metals are transitioning from winter to spring this year (not that it matters- my love for mixed metals trumps my need to stay on trend!). Chunky, mixed chains with bright beads and painted strands are also popping up in stores, giving this mixed metal trend an updated and sometimes "ombre" feel.
Original Source: Etsy

Do any of these trends fit your personal style? Where is your favorite place to buy jewelry?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Visit to MyGlam

Yesterday, I had the privilege to check out the bay area MyGlam offices! In case you are unfamiliar with the company, MyGlam provides it's users with a unique community approach to product discovery. Through participating in the ongoing conversations both on their Facebook and website, users share their knowledge and inspire each other to try new looks and products. The associated monthly glam bag service brings the entire experience full circle, which includes 4-5 full or deluxe sized samples for $10/month. 

Having the chance to get to know the people involved with MyGlam, and educating myself on their vision has provided me with an enormous love for this company- I wish every member of MyGlam could be afforded this opportunity! The entire day I was treated with such kindness by everyone in the offices, which I believe translates into the way they handle all customer interactions. Through my conversations with each office member, it became evident that MyGlam has truly equipped itself with a group of people who are passionate about their roles within the company, and the glammies they service. I believe as MyGlam grows to accommodate more members and product offerings, this company will become the driving force behind cosmetic discovery and beauty community involvement. There are many exciting things in the works, so definitely stay tuned to their Facebook and website (and get excited)!

As a disclaimer, I want to communicate that all expressed opinions are my own. I discovered MyGlam on my own, and chose to subscribe. I personally sought out this opportunity to become greater involved with this company after seeing that MyGlam posted a broad invitation on their Facebook page inviting any Bay Area glammies to apply to join their feedback panel. I have never received monetary compensation or free subscriptions from MyGlam, and I was not asked to create this post :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nails Inc. Magnetic Polish

Nails Inc. London Magnetic Polish inTrafalgar Square
The other day I drove into town to meet up with a friend for dinner. Being the habitually early arriver that I am, I decided to browse the aisles at Sephora. Looking for nothing in particular, I ended up finding a few items to purchase and got in line. Of course, they had set up their new magnetic polishes in the check out stands. I impulsively grabbed one in the color Trafalgar Square and proceeded to my original destination, the restaurant.

At the $16.00 price tag, this is the most expensive nail polish I now own. However, I couldn't be more pleased with my investment. This polish is like an optical illusion on the nails, as the effect it gives is unreal. It is insanely easy to apply, and as I said, provides the most interesting finish. I am already looking to expand my magnetic collection with other colors and brands.

Have you been tempted to try these new magnetic polishes? What brands are you most interested in?

Monday, February 20, 2012

February Glam Bag!

My first ever glam bag finally made it's way into my hands today! Although there have been many similar subscription services making their rounds on youtube, it was MyGlam that finally persuaded me. Judging from the previous bags, and now seeing this month's products for myself, I anticipate a long relationship with this brand.

1. X Out Shine Control
This is a really neat product. I can't exactly comment on it's actual oil or shine controlling properties yet, but upon first application I'm impressed! On the skin, this feels provides a tingly, cooling sensation which instantly absorbed into my skin. My foundation smoothed right over this with no problem. This may prove to be my everyday primer!

2. NYX Roll On Shimmer, Green
Something I would have NEVER bought on my own, let alone in the green shade! However, I've used this product once already and have no real complaints. Applied first to a brush and then to my eyelids, it provides a subtle wash of color (applying this straight from the rollerball will give you a far more intense look if that's what you're into).

3. Premier Dead Sea Cinderella Mask
Okay, clever marketing here with the name- I would probably put "Cinderella" anything on my face. This product claims to tighten and firm the skin through mineral ingredients straight from the Dead Sea. I haven't tried this yet, but it sure sounds pretty fancy.

4. Freeman Facial Mask Sachets, Gogi Berry
Who doesn't enjoy a good peel-off mask? It seems this tried and true product has been on the market for years, collecting a dedicated following along the way. Again, this is a product I would have never picked up on my own but I am so excited to have it. Now to schedule a pampering night of relaxation so I can truly enjoy this fun mask ..

Special Offers
Coupon code for 30% off the NYX website
Coupon code for 50% off the Premier Dead Sea website
Gift certificate for $100 off hair tools or extensions on the NuMe website
2 Ghiradelli Chocolate Squares
Hotpink with black hearts cosmetic (glam) bag

Have you received this month's glam bag? For more of my initial thoughts on these items, check my youtube channel!