Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Fond Farewell

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is more than just a show to me.

I will never forget when I FIRST heard about LBD - suddenly, there it was on my Facebook feed. One of my friends from middle school had posted a link and said, "You had me at Bing Lee."

What? What IS this?

All I could glean was that it was a modernization of my favorite book EVER, Pride and Prejudice, and that it was vlog-style. I knew what the word "vlog" meant, but I had know idea that it was such a THING. Vlogs, to me, were videos posted by rather narcissistic people who were too lazy to actually write blogs or who just didn't have good writing skills. (Yeah, look at me go, Judgey McJudgerson.) I didn't know that it was practically an industry and a genre all on its own, and that web video in general was its own subcategory of entertainment with its own "celebrities" and such. LBD opened my eyes to this whole new world, just when I was needing it most, because regular network tv (with the exception of a few shows) no longer offered anything worthwhile to me.

And the transmedia element - I had a twitter account (as well as a Pinterest), but I barely used it. I couldn't understand the appeal, when all my friends were on Facebook and I could write much LONGER updates there. (Can you tell writing is my preferred method of communication?) I read the LBD character tweets, but it was a while before I finally "followed" them all on Twitter, and BOOM - this whole other aspect of the story opened up to me. Once I had caught up on all the videos (my first live episode was #63, back in November) and started following the characters (and even the cast) on Twitter, the LBD universe became REAL. When I was catching up, the tweets were just screenshots on a website - but now, live, they were happening in real time. Characters were having conversations with each other before my very eyes. Watching the train-wreck-that-I-thought-would-be on New Year's Eve when Lydia was in Vegas? Stress-inducing, because even though I KNEW she would hook up with Wickham, I still held out hoping she would exercise some common sense. (Ha!) San Francisco day? The most exciting day ever as we watched Lizzie's day with the Darcy siblings unfold (and Darcy has hipster glasses!! Oh my god!!) It was a day filled with hope as we saw something developing between them (that would carry over to the remaining videos at Pemberley, which of course is where Elizabeth starts to see Darcy in a different light). The Day All the Bad Stuff Happened - I watched the horror unfold on my screen as fans discovered THE SCANDAL and saw Charlotte trying to warn Lizzie, but Lizzie was unable to receive messages because of her broken phone. And then we had to wait until the following day to see Lizzie find out the horrible news - in the middle of Darcy trying to ask her out on a date.

God. You just had to be there.

LBD isn't just a show - it's a universe, one that I feel really lucky to have been a part of. LBD introduced me to new friends (fans AND cast members) and reconnected me to old friends. We all SQUEED together when Lizzie and Darcy finally got together last week. And we are all going to mourn after the last episode airs today.

I'm sad that it's over, but this is where the book stops. It's even where the BBC miniseries stops, right? So we shouldn't really be sad. There's a reason why this story, 200 years old, has prevailed, and now LBD can throw themselves in the mix as yet another version of this amazing novel.

To the cast, crew, writers, and fellow fans, thanks for making these past few months exciting and memorable. For giving me something to look forward to (for making Mondays AWESOME). For reawakening my passion for my favorite book in the whole world. I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon, in another universe.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Urban Decay Foxy Four-Way - swatches & stuff

Disclaimer: This product was self-purchased.

(Whaaaaatever, FCC. NO company is giving ME anything for free.)

What? UD has new eye pencil shades in a new eye pencil set? I am ALL over this. (I am sadly NOT all over this.)

Urban Decay's Foxy Four-Way set comes with four double-ended pencils for a total of eight shades - four of which are permanent (Zero, Perversion, Demolition, and Stash), three of which are braaaaand new (Deep End, Delinquent, and Muse), and one limited-availability shade (Sabbath, which I'm super happy to have a backup of, now, because I LOVE IT).

You've seen all the other ones on my blog before, so let's get to the three new colors:

Delinquent is a blackened purple with a lighter purple sparkle. As you'll see in my comparison photo below, it is quite different from the UD shadow pencil of the same name, which is a lighter purple. Both share the same purple sparkle though (which my poor photo-taking skills could not convey) - the base colors are just different.

Deep End is a rich, beautiful teal.

Muse is a slightly coppery brown. (I feel like UD has SO many browns!)

Comparison swatches:

Purples, left to right, top: Lust, Delinquent shadow pencil, Rockstar
Purples, left to right, bottom: Crash, Delinquent liner pencil, Psychedelic Sister

Blues, left to right, top: Flipside, Electric
Blues, left to right, bottom: Deep End, Crash shadow pencil

Browns, left to right, top: Whiskey, Muse, Demolition
Browns, left to right, bottom: Bourbon, Hustle

These are obviously not all the purples, blues, and browns that Urban Decay makes - I just grabbed the ones in my drawer which I thought (from memory) would be most similar.

Delinquent isn't exactly like any of the others - it's got the same sparkle as the Delinquent shadow pencil, as I said above, but the base is different. It's more similar to Rockstar and Crash, but they are more brown-based rather than being black-based. Lust and Psy Sister look nothing like it.

Deep End is actually quite similar to Flipside, and it took me a second to figure out the difference - Flipside is a big greener, while Deep End has more blue. Deep End is a deeper color and has more green than Crash or Electric. I'd say, if you have Flipside and don't need a ton of teal in your life, then you are probably good sticking with that.

Muse isn't exactly like the other browns, but you know... it's brown :) Whiskey is more matte, and both Whiskey and Bourbon are more red-based. Muse is darker, less golden than Hustle, but not as Dark as Demolition.

So, there you go :) Three new colors to add to my arsenal. Of course, I have no doubt of the quality and wear of UD's eye pencils, and you know how I feel about them (HOLY GRAIL).

If you're thinking about buying this set, I would DO IT NOW since UD is offering free shipping on orders $25 and over until 3/31.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Race recap: Badger Cove Half Marathon

HM #5 on the year: Badger Cove in Livermore, CA.

Accompanying me on this race was my fellow runner friend and NDSJ alum, Sonia, as we slowly made our way through this picturesque and hilly scene.

Wisely, I decided we'd take the early hiker start, since I had no idea exactly how hilly it would be, and I thought I might not want to have to push myself when I've just lately been getting back into the groove of things, health-wise. I've had a nagging pain in my leg this past week, and I just didn't want to risk injuring myself on a hilly race and prevent myself from doing well on future races that I actually can run.

The beginning of the course looked like the Shire from Lord of the Rings - beautiful green hills, trees, packed dirt paths (albeit narrow). Eventually the rolling hills turned into something like this:

Photo by Sonia
ALL the hills were hard, but there were a few that were especially cliff-like, like the one above. And we had to do it TWICE, since it was a loop course.

Yeah, "speed" definitely wasn't a goal today.

Along the way, I ran into a woman whom I had met doing the Summit Run - she was also a back-of-the-packer and she remembered me. It was great to chat with her about running and what we've been up to (running-wise) since we first met in December. She, like me, is a heavier runner and newer to the sport, but with a fierce passion for racing.

During the last mile, Sonia ran ahead to the finish, and I eventually ambled in at 4:11:45.

I think... I'm done with these hilly trail races. I was going to pursue the Ultra Half Challenge, but I think I am not meant to achieve that level of badassery right now. I'm barely taking on these hills standing up, and due to the rules, I would HAVE to run the Rocky Ridge HM right in the middle of my marathon training, which I think will be more pain than anything, for me.

I decided to re-do my HM race calendar, so if you're interested, check out my 13 13's in '13 page in the tab above :)

Next up: Santa Cruz HM.

And now pictures:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blogging stuff

There are new FTC guidelines for bloggers who review products that are provided to them by companies. (Click here for an overview.) Basically anytime bloggers review products that they have received for free, they need to state it upfront and early on.

I don't know if you can call what I do reviewing (I guess it is? I mostly do comparisons and swatches), but you should know that I almost never receive stuff for free. (The only time I receive products to review are when I'm writing for Painted Ladies - and I always disclose that in my post, and I only share those reviews on my own blog as a link.) Um, yeah, the (sad) truth is that I buy all my stuff myself, or I receive them as gifts (PERSONAL gifts, like for Christmas) or I review free samples that get tossed into my Sephora bag.

No one pays me to do anything, makeup-wise. I'm small potatoes, my friends :) I try to be as objective as I can, although if you know anything about me, you know that I am inclined to love anything Urban Decay just because it IS Urban Decay, and they are my favorite.

So yeah. That's all. Just so you know. Even though I'm so small I would totally fly under the radar, if a company decides they want to send me things to review, you will know it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bumps and dips

I've been officially back on Paleo a week, but I think the more noteworthy point is that I wasn't perfect. And it DIDN'T derail me.

I was really good last week from Tuesday through Friday, and then on Saturday and Sunday I had the one-two punch of lunch at a favorite restaurant with one of my favorite friends, followed by a trip to Satura Cakes:

The awesomest mom-friendly restaurant ever

At least I ordered gluten-free desserts for myself (the mango pudding and the honey praline chocolate cake).

And then on Sunday we went to Marin for the day, and when I got home, I was like, MEH and ate Texas Cheese fries and Jolie's leftover cake.

And gained back, like, five pounds. Yeah.

So far, this isn't unusual. I fall off the wagon often. What IS different is that I got right back on the wagon on Monday.

Usually, it'd take me another... oh... couple of months before I get my s*** together again, but I am ON A MISSION right now, and that mission is to get myself in the best shape I can, for a prolonged period of time. Well, hopefully forever. And to make sure my slip-ups are JUST slip-ups and not habits.

It's not bad to treat yourself or indulge every once in a while. But my problem was that I was letting it become the norm rather than the exception. In fact, my whole life has been cake and cheese fries on a regular basis (well, not literally, but food like that), when they should just be eaten every once in a while. I'm trying not to let things derail me. One mistake, even one WEEKEND of mistakes, doesn't mean that I have to give up entirely. Try and try again, as they say.

So yeah. Back on Paleo, and happy :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Every time I look at/read about/see this eye shadow, I immediately get the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' song of the same name stuck in my head. Which is totally cool by me.

- Sugarpill Chromalust Loose e/s in Hysteric all over the lid
- Urban Decay e/s in Naked to blend out the edges
- UD eye pencil in Psychedelic Sister along the lower lash line, with Hysteric patted on top; a touch of NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese on the inner corner
- Maybelline The Rocket mascara

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More on Urban Decay's BB cream

So, having recently gone to Florida, I decided that would be a great time to really try out UD's BB cream. I had brought my Missha BB with me as well, but it's actually really thick, and in the Florida heat and humidity, I wanted something thinner, with less coverage. I had a couple deluxe sample tubes of UD's so I used those instead.

And you know what? I ended up LOVING it. It definitely didn't provide as much coverage, but sometimes the Missha cream goes on like a foundation and I just don't want that much. The UD cream smooths over my complexion just enough.

So, my normal beauty routine with this BB cream has been to moisturize, apply the cream, and then apply some light concealer. (I recently purchased UD's now-discontinued Surreal Skin creamy concealer, and while I still love BeneFit's Boi-ing for heavier coverage, most days, I just want to look a little more... normal. It's too bad that Surreal Skin has been discontinued because it turns out that I really love it.) And also whatever eye makeup.

And it looks great! I think I've found my winning everyday combination. It reduces my redness but doesn't make me look overly made-up. My skin isn't too greasy by the end of the day, even though I haven't set it with powder or used setting spray. It's just right. It doesn't take me forever to blend it out exactly right either, which is the number one reason why I don't wear a full face of foundation every day.

So here is a comparison for you. Feel free to click and ENLARGE MY FACE.

From left to right:
- Clean-faced me. Just moisturizer.
- Above + BB cream + concealer
- All of the above + UD's Naked Skin foundation. No powder

There's a subtle difference between 1 and 2, but it's there. I'm less red and a little less rough. And you can definitely see how much more coverage the foundation gives. Sure, I'd like to look like #3 all the time, but let's be honest - I just don't have that much time every morning, and while I would stop just at the BB cream + concealer, if I'm wearing full foundation, I need to finish it out with powder and blush and stuff, so... yeah, don't have time.

However, I DID have time this morning, so here's the finished look:

- Maybelline Color Tattoo cream e/s in Too Cool as a base (it's the white one)
- UD Omen all over the lid (available as a single)
- UD Half Truth in the crease (from the 15th Anniversary palette)
- UD Naked to blend out the crease
- UD Venus on the browbone (from the Naked Basics palette)
- UD eye pencil in Rock Star along the upper lash line
- UD eye pencil in Mushroom along the lower lash line
- Maybelline The Rocket mascara

- NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita

- UD Naked Skin BB cream
- UD Surreal Skin creamy concealer (in Hallucination)
- UD Naked Skin foundation
- UD Razor Sharp HD powder
- Tarte Amazonian clay blush in Blushing Bride
- UD De-Slick Oil Setting Spray

Geez. No wonder I never have enough time to do a full face. Look how many damn products I had to use! :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Race recap: Brazen Hellyer Half Marathon

I have done back-to-back long races only one other time, and that was back in July when I was in much better shape from marathon training. Also, there was a full week in between (Saturday to Sunday).

Today? Second half marathon in LESS than a week. (Ran on Sunday, and today is Saturday.) Oi.

Ouch. Owie. ALL THE HURTS.

All things considered though, I still finished with my second fastest HM time ever (2:59:04 - hey, I wanted to go under three!). What a difference the climate makes, right? It was still kind of warm for my liking, and I spent a good portion of the race course in direct sunlight, but Florida was just frickin' brutal. I bet if I hadn't run this past Sunday, I'd have done even better today. (I <3 Bay Area running.)

The first two miles were probably the worst. It's like every possible thing that could hurt was hurting - my ankle, my knee, my shins, my calves, my quads. "NOOOO STOP WHAT ARE YOU DOING??" screamed my legs. I had to stop briefly to tighten my shoe laces (which made a lot of things better), and while it never got EASY, I managed to push through at a solid pace.

The last three miles felt like six. I seriously swear, after I passed the mile 12 sign, it took me a billion years to finish the last mile. My calves were crampy for the last two miles, so I started splitting my intervals (I normally do a 3/1, but I started walking the second minute, so it ended up being a 1/1 instead) and thankfully I crossed the finish line without limping or dying, unlike the Princess Half, where I could barely walk.

After picking up my medal bag, I made a beeline for the refreshments (the best part!), and then all was well with the world:

So yeah. That's all. I've got one more back-to-back in May (Brazen's Western Pacific and Mermaid Run East Bay, both of which are in the exact same place). My next race is in two weeks - Badger Cove. It's one of those scary trail ones. I plan to do the early hikers' start because I expect to take about a year and a half to finish it. It's part of the Brazen Ultra Half series.

A couple more pics:

The walk from the parking lot. Isn't that lovely? It's not SO crazy for me to want to be here doing this, right?
Me and Michael, who did the 10k. This is probably the only picture where I don't look like I'm dying.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Smoky teal

- All over the lid: Deep End (now available as a single!)
- Outer corner: Crave (from Naked Basics)
- Crease: Faint (also now available as a single, but also from Naked Basics)
- Browbone: Walk of Shame (from Naked Basics)
- Eye pencil in Uzi along lower lash line
- Maybelline The Rocket mascara

Pause and reflect

I haven't written a blog post in almost a year. I've had a lot of stuff happen, some good and some bad, and I could've written a...