Thursday, September 19, 2013

A pretty good dupe for Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Venom?

I don't have it myself, so I can't directly compare, but Wet 'n' Wild's Fergie Centerstage lipstick in Ferguson Crest Cabernet is a pretty close match to UD's lipliner pencil in Venom, at least. And the combination of the two totally left a stain on my lips that lasted overnight, even after I scrubbed it off, so... pretty good staying power :)

Here are a couple shots in different lighting:

And here are the lip pencil and lipstick swatched:

Venom on the left, Ferguson Crest Cabernet on the right
Again, I don't have the Venom lipstick for comparison, considering how close the WnW lipstick looks already, and the fact that I only paid 3 or 4 dollars for it, I don't feel the need to drop $22 on Venom :)

Post-B2SN Fatigue

I have no energy today. Therefore, I present to you... GIFs from Tumblr.

What I look like when I'm teaching:

"Ms. Ngo, do we HAVE to include quotes?"

When a student hands me what is SUPPOSED to be a formal assignment, written in pencil

When a kid interrupts me mid-sentence to ask to go to the bathroom

"Ms. Ngo, I hate reading."

When yet another kid forgets to put his/her name on an assignment

When I have to repeat myself for the fifth time because kids were too busy talking to hear me say it the first four times

Friday, September 13, 2013

Urban Decay Shattered Face Case - new for Holiday 2013


I love Urban Decay Face Cases. Back in high school, they were among my first high-end makeup purchases, and from then on, I've been an Urban Decay megafan ever since.

See this post? I have owned ALL of these.

And now I have the newest one, Shattered (which I half-expected to come with the actual eyeshadow color Shattered *shrug*). There is another one, Anarchy, that will be Sephora-exclusive.

I'll spare you the products shots (because there've already been a LOT posted this week by the big bloggers), and I'll just post the look I'm wearing today with all five shadows.

- Remix all over the lid
- Nameless in the crease and blended onto the outer corner
- Shakedown to blend out the crease
- Minor Sin on the inner corner of the lid
- Bleached on the browbone
- eye pencil in Zero along the upper lash line
- eye pencil in Vice along the lower lash line (not included with the face case)
- Maybelline The Rocket mascara

I'm also wearing the Lovechild gloss pencil, Overexposed blush and the highlighter, but I can't photograph those well on my face.

Every color is pretty much a winner. The two lightest ones needed a little extra, but it could just be because I'm dark-ish-skinned. (Same thing with the highlighter.) The blush, I was told, was super-pigmented, so I went into it with a light hand.

I already like and have Zero and Lovechild, and that was my only "problem" - I already have them. I wish they could've given us at least an exclusive gloss pencil shade like with the Anarchy face case. I have accumulated a TON of Zero pencils over the years from all the different UD palettes, and have even had to give some away, especially now that I never use Zero anymore now that there is Perversion in existence. I also kind of wish that, instead of two blushes, we got a bronzer, but maybe that's just me.

I had a really hard time opening the bottom compartment, and I don't know if it's just the one I happened to get or not - I really had to dig my fingernails in to open it. And when you try to set the face case down with the bottom compartment open, it ends up top heavy and actually tips over backward. It's okay, because it fell over gently enough that the gloss pencil just rolled into the compartment formed by the top compartment tray, but I imagine it would be a PITA if it were to fall over harder (say, off the counter or something). Speaking of which, I totally dropped my face case on the bathroom floor and everything was fine.

I am in love with this! It's good, UD quality as you would expect, and the colors are totally my colors - purple, which I love, and taupey browns. Aside from my tiny complaints above, it is pretty much AWESOME.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Urban Decay Black Market eye pencil set comparison swatches

Happy holidays!

Wait, what? Oh, it's only September. Well, it FEELS like Christmas, because Urban Decay's Holiday 2013 collection is dropping this Tuesday (9/10).

Except that apparently Ulta already has a couple of fancy schmancy new items available for purchase today, including the Black Market eye pencil set, which features 6 travel-sized pencils, 5 of which are new/exclusive colors, and the one that isn't new/exclusive is new-ish, in the sense that it was one of the new colors UD released when they re-released their line of eye pencils (so, it's not a color that has been around for years).

I was already at Ulta anyway, returning a couple things. I saw the set... It was inevitable.

So, the Black Market set comes with:

- West, a medium brown with tiny gold sparkles
- Black Market, a satiny light black (if that makes any sense)
- Desperation, a matte gray (This is the one that is part of the permanent line)
- Riot, a dark bluish purple with sparkles
- Apathy, a metallic olive green
- Ink, a navy blue with a sheen

West, Black Market, Desperation
Riot, Apathy, Ink
And of course, I had to do some comparison swatching, so you can see how they look next to UD's other pencils.

*At this point, I do not have Abyss, Cuff, Smoke, and Loaded. I would've liked to have seen Abyss and Loaded swatched next to Ink and Black Market.

Here we go. I first did a mega swatch of all the shades remotely similar to the one in the set, and then I pulled out the ones I thought were MOST similar for a closer look.

The horizontal swipe up there is the Wasteland shadow pencil. The rest, from L to R:
Demolition, Corrupt, Whiskey, Muse, Bourbon, Hustle, Roach, and West

So, to my eyes, West looks like a darker Muse, but not as dark as Corrupt, and I believe Corrupt has silvery sparkles in it whereas West has gold. (Muse is kind of gold-y.) Verrrrrrry tiny difference.

From L to R: Perversion, Zero, Oil Slick, Uzi, Black Market

Black Market is a touch grayer than zero, but not gray enough to be actually considered gray, if that makes sense. It's also got much more of a sheen than Zero does (and obviously, no sparkles). I find this color super interesting and can't wait to wear it. I hope they make this permanent someday. PS - The version of Uzi I'm using in these swatches is pre-reboot of the eye pencil line.

 From L to R: Stray Dog, Ether, Mercury (shadow pencil), Gunmetal, Uzi, Desperation

I actually already have Desperation (I just never did swatch photos of it), and I swear, it is the color I have been waiting for all my life. It's a dark matte gray, and UD has never made a color like it. It has become my Holy Grail gray. And actually, all four pencils swatched in the photo just above are my favorites for my lower lashline. (I forgot to add Mushroom to the super-swatch photo, so I added it in for the second swatch.)

From L to R: Empire, Vice, Delinquent (shadow), Delinquent (liner), Riot 

Riot is very similar to the Delinquent liner pencil, but rather than being blackish with purple sparkles, it's a blackened purple with purple sparkles. It's also bluer than any of the other purples. You know, I didn't swatch Ransom, because I knew it would be much lighter than Riot, but I'm willing to bet that in blueness, they would be comparable.

From L to R: Invasion, Junkie, Clinic (shadow pencil), Mildew, Apathy 

Mildew was the only one that came remotely close, but it's brighter than Apathy.

From L to R: Binge, Sabbath, Mainline, LSD, Ink 

Ink doesn't have any near-perfect matches either. It's dark like LSD, but its finish is more like Binge's - kinda metallic/shiny, and no sparkles. Sabbath was far darker, and Mainline was too teal.

All in all, I think that West is the only one that I could probably do without because I already have so many just like it, and I rarely wear brown eyeliner. (Is that weird?) Riot has some close matches too, but I love any and all purples, so I don't mind. And the other four I'm totally stoked about, even the one I already have.

It's $36 for 6 pencils. If you are only interested in a few, I recommend splitting the set with a friend.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Totally purple with Dose of Colors lipgloss in Toxic

I just got a new toy to play with :)

Dose of Colors
After seeing this photo of swatches from Amy of Sugarpill, I knew I had to try one. And the one I wanted the most was Toxic, the deep plummy purple shade.

As you can see, the packaging and stuff is really cute. The tip of the lipgloss has some pretty swirly-funnel thingy in it that looks really pretty, and the color is visible through the tube.

The gloss is REALLY pigmented. That was one swipe on my hand. The texture is light and slick, and not sticky. To me it is more like a liquid lipstick than a gloss, but, you know, not quite a liquid lipstick. It's like OCC's Lip Tar but with a little less staying power (wipes off cleanly and easily and leaves the faintest of stains). There's a faint sweet scent if you sniff the wand (which I did, and is that weird?), but I didn't notice much scent or taste when I wore it.

Since I'm already wearing purple eye makeup today, I decided to just put it on :)

Yeah, I'm kind of already in love with this. I have a worry that it won't stay on very long, but it's all good. Lip products never last long on me anyway unless they're SUPER staining.

I'm going to have to order more of these, aren't I...? I think these are going to be my new favorite lipgloss.

Here's a pic I took earlier in the day of my eye makeup.

- Sugarpill Chromalust loose shadow in Weekender all over the lid
- Sugarpill Elektrocutes loose shadow in Hellatronic on the outer 2/3
- Sugarpill pressed shadow in Diamond Eyes on the inner corner
- UD eye pencil in Perversion along the upper lash line
- UD eye pencil in Ransom along the lower lash line (they're discontinuing this!!)
- Maybelline The Rocket mascara
- (And in this particular photo above) NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita

More on Sugarpill's Cold Chemistry palette

So now that I've had a little time to play with it, I can finally express some thoughts on Sugarpill's Cold Chemistry palette.

Each shade is pretty spectacular, except for Diamond Eyes, which I found to be dry and tough to work with. I had to scrape and scrape to pick up product for that one. (But maybe it was just mine? Because other bloggers seemed to have good experiences with it.)

But the other three shades are SUPER soft and pigmented - in fact, I tried to use just a touch of Soot & Stars in my crease, and even just the light touch gave me almost too much product :) Elemental Chaos is my favorite of the four (surprise, surprise, it's purple), and Subterranean is gorgeous, but I haven't used it much because it's darker than I'm used to.

On the whole, Cold Chemistry is dark not just for Sugarpill but even for me. I'm finding that I'd rather use these colors separately with other eye shadows (Sugarpill or other brands) than all together in one look, because that's just too much dark for me.

So, aside from Diamond Eyes (the color of which I LOVE, but the texture of which is problematic for me), I totally love this palette. But not as a palette, so much as the individual colors that happen to come in this palette. I don't know - it's still a better deal to buy the palette than to buy the shadows separately anyhow.

On the lid, Subterranean (outer), Diamond Eyes (center), Elemental Chaos (inner)
In the crease, Soot & Stars

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A few thoughts on the movie for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

I'm not going to do an in-depth review, but I did want to jot down some thoughts, since I went to go see it yesterday.

I haven't talked about the book series before on my blog, but I will just issue a spoiler warning right now in case you haven't read them. Because I will spoil EVERYTHING.




So, first, a (relatively) quick overview of the books: City of Bones is book 1 in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. There are currently five books total, with a sixth one on the way, and essentially these are structured as two trilogies. The movie is based on the first one.

Clary Fray witnesses a group of teens murdering another teen in a club one night, and is disturbed to find out that no one could see it but her. Then her mom goes missing, essentially abducted in what looks like an awful attack and robbery. Clary then learns (I'm super-condensing here) that the teens she saw in the club committing murder actually belong to a race of Shadowhunters, and the kid they were killing was actually a demon - Shadowhunters kill demons. And also, by the way, there are also such things as vampires, werewolves, fairies, and warlocks. Oh, and her mother, apparently was a Shadowhunter, married to a very charismatic and evil Shadowhunter named Valentine (before she moved to New York and had Clary), but now Valentine is back, and he abducted her mother because she had hidden something called The Mortal Cup, and he really needs it to achieve his evil goals.

Clary starts hanging out with the Shadowhunters to figure out what's going on (who she is, how she can save her mother), ends up involving her best friend-who-wants-to-be-more-than-that Simon, and she finds out that her mother's best friend/her father figure, Luke, is actually a werewolf, and there is lots of craziness of the "My whole world has been turned upside-down variety." A strong attraction develops between her and Jace, who has his own tortured backstory, and they become even more tortured later on when, during the climactic confrontation with Valentine, they both find out that they are actually brother and sister. And then Valentine makes off with the cup and Jace, and that's the end of book 1. Sort of.

I only started reading the books because I found out that Jonathan Rhys Meyers was going to be in the movie, and then it took on a life of its own in my fangirl world. I've been excited for this movie, mostly because I was curious to see how they planned to make incest okay for the movie-going masses. In all honesty, as I was reading the first three books of the series, I was getting super squicked-out, and found their relationship super problematic for obvious reasons. They don't find out that they are actually NOT related until towards the end of book 3, and while they do their best to avoid making out in the meantime, I will just say that they are not entirely successful, and... yeah, that's just gross. Even if it ended up not being true later, AT THE TIME they believed they were brother and sister, and there was still, um, rolling around in the grass and face-smooshing anyway. GROSS, YOU GUYS.

But, of course, they get somewhat of a happy ending (well, until you read books 4 and 5), and they're not really related, and now they can face-smoosh all they want.

SO, the movie:

I MOSTLY enjoyed it. It was fun to see the parts from the book that I liked and to hear certain lines. I thought that Jace and Simon were PARTICULARLY well-cast and that they totally nailed it. The Silent Brothers really were creepy-looking and were pretty much how I imagined them. I liked Lena Headey as Jocelyn, and I loved that she got a chance to kick ass, because I always hear about her playing women who kick ass. The demon makeup and special effects were gross and awesome. I liked Lily Collins as Clary - I thought she did a good job matching the strength and depth of the character. And I love Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but I don't think Valentine was written very well (more on that later).

There were parts that were kind of cheeseball. Like, the Silent Brothers' mental voices were kind of laughable. The music that they chose to use (that wasn't movie score) felt out of place to me - during the vampire fight scene, it just felt forced like, "Hey, this is our big showing-off-the-Shadowhunters scene" or during the big romantic scene, the pop song they inserted was too "Hey, this is the big romantic scene." Like, THANKS, I GET IT, OKAY? If it were well-written, you wouldn't need to use the music to manipulate people's emotions. Also, the pacing was wayyyyy off. I don't know how it felt to the uninitiated, but it went through the book's events SO fast, and it almost just felt like the screenwriter was trying to check stuff off from a list or something.

But despite that, I was enjoying it. It was fun. And Jace is hot. And so was Luke, actually. (I'm 30, bro. It's not weird for me to like the father figures anymore because I'm older now!)

Until we got to the last half hour. And then I spent the rest of the movie in a state of WTF.

I didn't like the way they wrote Valentine. He came off as obviously psychopathic and straightforwardly evil and WHAT was up with the braids/dreads? YOU GUYS, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a BEAUTIFUL MAN and you VERY NEARLY ALMOST made me find him unattractive! And Valentine is SUPPOSED to be attractive. There is supposed to be a seductive quality to Valentine, because how ELSE did he get so many people to follow him and be on his side? In the movie he was characterized as unequivocally crazy and evil, and I don't think that's right.

Anyway, so it started with Hodge TELLING VALENTINE, "You could lie and tell Jace and Clary that they're brother and sister, and it will torrrrrture them!" And then I was pissed, because I seriously spent almost two entire books being squicked out until it was revealed not to be true, but moviegoers got that spoiled for them right away. I was like, WHAT???

(And note: I'm guessing they HAD to do this, because of marketing and publicity and ratings and such, but still... I AM DISAPPOINT.)

And then there was a huge battle scene where Valentine sets up a pentagram in the Institute and Hodge helps him let in demons, and the werewolves come in to help, and it's like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU CRAZY MOVIE PEOPLE? I suppose they were adding in elements from Books 2 and 3, probably in case they didn't get to make a sequel, but like, COME ON. If you DO end up making a sequel, what are you going to include THEN? None of the last half hour actually happens in the book. City of Bones has a far different ending, and yes, it's less climactic, and yes, it's a cliffhanger setting you up for Book 2, but COME ON.

Just... WHAT. WHAT!

That said (*deep sigh*), I still had fun watching it. I would watch it again. I would pay a little money for the dvd, but mostly because I adore all the cast members and would watch the special features. But I am still disappointed that they couldn't just TELL THE STORY, and for that reason, I would still rather read the book, anyday.

I don't always expect film adaptations to be identical to the books, but you'd think they'd at least get the basics right. When they added in that whole fight scene in Breaking Dawn Part 2, at least it made sense in-world.  I can't believe I'm about to say this, but dude, I wish they'd have gotten the Twilight Saga screenwriter to adapt City of Bones.

Just remembering - I heard NO TRACE of an accent from Magnus Bane. Did they overdub Godfrey Gao, or did he have a particularly awesome language coach?

Um, he looked AWESOME as Magnus, by the way. I guess some people didn't enjoy his acting, but I just chalked it up to Magnus being Magnus.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sugarpill Cold Chemistry palette and Elektrocutes loose shadow

Awwwww yeah. Payday means that I can finally get the much long-awaited Cold Chemistry palette from Sugarpill (I feel like bloggers started talking about this over a YEAR ago), and while I was at it, I was curious about the new Elektrocutes neon colors, so I ordered Hellatronic, because it's the one I'd most likely wear (being purpley).

Look, here are some photos.

I like new packaging of the palettes by the way - not just this one, but the previous square-shaped palettes - instead of coming in a box, they come in a paper sleeve. That's what I took pictures of above.

As always, I am the MOST excited about the purple shade, Elemental Chaos. But they all look stunning, and are darker than Sugarpill's usual fare, bright, dayglo colors.

Speaking of, here are photos of Hellatronic from the Elektrocutes collection:

It's a bright bluey-purple with lots of sparkle. Holding the two jars next to each other, I can definitely see that it's a lot more purple than Royal Sugar (which I thought would be really similar).

As much as I had been waiting for Cold Chemistry, I really wanted to try out Hellatronic first, because I've been reading lots of reviews about the Elektrocutes, and it sounds like they are a little tricky to work with. (See reviews by Temptalia and xSparkage.) It sounds like they are more prone to fallout than usual, and you need an stickier base than you would for normal eye shadow. And as much as I love bright colors, these are REALLY bright (neon!), and I would not wear them often enough to justify the extra effort.

However, Hellatronic sounded gorgeous, and I love purple, so I decided to give it a spin.

Here's a quick look I threw together. Yeah, my eyebrows. Also, I'm not wearing any other makeup on my face. Seriously, it's a quick look I threw together.

Hellatronic actually was a lot darker than I thought it would be. It's still bright by normal standards, but I feel like Royal Sugar is brighter (as is UD's Chaos, which looks just like Royal Sugar).

I used UDPP and also NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk as a base. It was SPARKLES GALORE, but the pigment was a big uneven/patchy. I had to pack a lot of it on my lid in comparison to Sugarpill's other loose shadows, and of course, there was fallout.

But, I really like the color. It's beautiful. I'm not sure if I would like the other Elektrocutes as much, but this is really, really gorgeous. I don't regret getting this one.

That's all I've got for now. I'm looking forward to spending the week with Cold Chemistry. Hopefully I will have some stuff to post for it.