Thursday, February 27, 2014


Congrats to KM Loove for winning my See Jane Run giveaway! 

For the rest of you, fret not! Get 10% off your entry fee with the code SJRAMB239. 

See you June 22nd!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Giveaway: One free entry to the See Jane Run SF Bay half marathon/5k

I am back as a See Jane Run Ambassador for 2014, and to celebrate, I am giving away one free entry to the SJR Half Marathon/5k in Alameda on June 22nd!

You have until Friday night 3/7 to enter! Please share this blog post and support See Jane Run!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sugarpill Smitten for Valentine's Day

Sugarpill recently released a new, limited edition pink eyeshadow for Valentine's Day called Smitten, and of course, I jumped at it.

I'm not into Valentine's Day, but it's a good excuse to wear pink eyeshadow.

- Sugarpill Smitten all over the lid
- Too Faced Gilded Ganache in the crease (all the Too Faced shadows listed are from the Chocolate Bar palette)
- Too Faced Milk Chocolate to blend out the crease
- Too Faced White Chocolate as a highlight
- Too Faced Cherry Cordial dabbed lightly in the outer corner
- Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in black along the upper lash line
- CoverGirl Bombshell mascara

Also wearing:
- ELF HD Blush in Superstar
- UD Revolution lipstick in Naked

Thursday, February 13, 2014

ELF haul!

I just received an ELF (eyeslipsface) order I placed recently, and I wanted to post some swatches of some of the items for people to see if they need :)

Prism Eyeshadow palette

Rose gold is de rigeur right now, is it not? It was hard to choose just one palette, but I was really drawn to this one. I swatched it on bare skin (no primer), and as you can see, it's very pigmented. The texture is really soft (almost too soft, maybe? You may get fallout) and I didn't have pick up much for the swatches above.

Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow

Left: Toast; Right: Festivity
Out of all the items, these might be my favorite things. They are cream shadows, but they are SQUISHY. Like, spongey in texture. It's like playing with Play Doh. I love these just because I'm fascinated by them. Very pigmented, but I don't think they last super long, because about ten minutes later, I was able to wipe them away easily with a tissue, and there was just a bunch of sparkle left behind. Maybe primer will help.

Cream Eyeliner

Left: Metallic Olive; Right: Punk Purple
I've heard lots of great things about ELF's Studio Cream Liners, and I've been seeing them at Target for ages now, but never got around to picking them up. (And usually there's just black or brown left.) I really like the olive shade - it went on just about opaque, as you see there. The purple was sheerer; it had kind of a gray/black base to it. I would've liked it to be a more solid purple, but it's still a pretty color. These definitely stay on.

HD Blush

Shade: Superstar
I've never tried the MUFE blush that these blushes are supposed to be similar to, but regardless, this is GREAT. I mistakenly dispensed a full pump on the back of my hand and just stuck my finger in it to swipe it on my cheeks, and it was quite the funny sight. A little goes a LONG way, and apparently I had enough just on my fingertip to cover half my face. Even with the swatch photo above, I had to wipe off ALL the excess (like, literally pick it up with a tissue) and it still left a pretty solid streak on my hand. So for its cost and for the number of uses you'll get out of one bottle, this is a pretty solid purchase and I am pleased. Just take my advice and don't ever dispense a full pump, unless you plan on turning your entire face and neck pink.

This wasn't all I ordered, but these were the swatchable items. Also, here was the gift with purchase that I got:

Holy cow, right? That's practically a purchase all on its own.

ELF, I heart you.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MAC Viva Glam Rihanna

Lipstick: MAC Viva Glam Rihanna
Lip pencil: Urban Decay 69

I want to see more real women in ads.

And I’m not talking about body shape and size, I’m talking LITERALLY real women. It’s not uncommon for advertisers to piece together parts or features of several different women to create an uber-perfect woman for the final copy, and that has got to stop. It was hard enough living up to the beauty ideals that existed before Photoshop became so pervasive, but now that companies can digitally Frankenstein together their ideal spokesmodel or they can alter a real woman so much that she barely looks human, it has become impossible. And yet, the message still stands - “This is what you should want to look like to be considered attractive and desirable in our society.” 

Well, screw that. I am not okay with that.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thoughts on Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I admit, I tried to read this book years and years ago, when the whole Twilight craze was going on and other vampire books were being featured on the Featured table (oh god, remember REAL LIFE book stores?), but I couldn't get into it back then. Maybe I just wasn't patient enough to stick it out through all the new terminology, because you don't get a straightforward explanation of moroi, strigoi, and dhampir until a while into the book.

I finally decided to give it another try after the movie came out this weekend and my friends who HAD read the book and seen the movie raved about it, and then I saw this list on Buzzfeed. (Go read it, I'll wait.)

It's like they were singing my song - female empowerment? Bechdel test? Unfailingly loyal friendship? Positive female sexuality? Anti-slut-shaming? Realistic and sympathetic depictions of mental illness? I have to see this movie NOW. Or rather, I needed to read this book, NOW.

So I essentially finished it all in one day, and I felt compelled to make my own list - it's similar to the Buzzfeed one, but it's about the book instead.

A few things I loved about Vampire Academy:
(please note, I haven't read the other five books in the series yet, so I am unaware of further character arcs and plot development - this is JUST based on the first book)

*mild spoilers*

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette

OH HAI cute packaging!
Among some awesome items I picked up this weekend with my Ulta 20% coupon was Too Faced's Chocolate Bar palette, which has been highly spoken of around the blogsphere thanks in part to 1) the fact that it's made with cocoa powder and it even SMELLS like chocolate, and 2) its overall similarity to UD's Naked 3 palette (in terms of it having pink-based neutrals).

So yes, when you open the box (which reminded me of my old-school metallic pencil cases from middle school), there is a pleasing scent of cocoa (like cocoa butter?) that wafts from the display of colors before you.

It is vaguely reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the movie), and I half expected to find a Golden Ticket inside the box. (I didn't, but found instead a small lookbook featuring three different eye looks using the palette. Nice.)

Here's a closer look at the eye shadows, which are all candy-inspired, by the way, with swatches below. The swatches were done on bare skin (no primer), using a brush.

L to R: Gilded Ganache, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut, Marzipan, Creme Brulee, Semi-Sweet, Haute Chocolate, White Chocolate (which you can barely see on the end there)

L to R: Milk Chocolate, Strawberry Bon Bon, Cherry Cordial, Black Forest Truffle, Candied Violet, Triple Fudge, Amaretto, Champagne Truffle
What I like about this palette, aside from the scent and the names: 
There's an interesting array of shades and finishes: 4 sparkly, 6 shimmery, 5 matte. They're not QUITE all neutral, but they're not too far off: even the ones that looked the least neutral in the pan, like Candied Violet and Cherry Cordial, looked more gray or brown when swatched. I especially find Salted Caramel intriguing because it's orangey, and I don't usually see orangey shades like this. On further examination, it's not mostly pink-based neutrals at all, although there are some here. White Chocolate and Champagne Truffle are the lightest shades (barely visible on me) and are the largest pans, presumably so that you can use them as highlighters on other parts of your face (awesome!).

What I don't like so much:
The sparkly shades are a little less pigmented and of course, have sparkly fallout, but that's hard to avoid. The thing I actually REALLY dislike about this palette has nothing to do with the shadows - the names are printed on a piece of clear plastic, but it's not really attached to anything (it's just an insert), so unless you don't care about the names, you have to be careful about not dropping or misplacing it. And unlike KVD's Spellbinding Palette, the color names aren't printed on the back of the palette either, in case you decide you've had enough of the stupid insert. I really wish they'd just print the names below each shade.

So, minor complaints aside, I really like this palette overall, and have I mentioned yet that I love the scent and the packaging? The overall pigmentation wasn't the BEST I've ever used, but it was pretty good, with some shades being quite nice and others being decent enough.

I will have to play with it a lot more using my normal primer, but so far, I'm liking it. Here's a look from the little insert thingy that I modified slightly:

- Salted Caramel all over the lid
- Candied Violet on the outer half
- Cherry Cordial in the crease
- White Chocolate to highlight
- UD eye pencil in Rock Star
- L'Oreal Butterfly Voluminous mascara
- Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Gloss in Dashing Orchid
- UD Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder in Medium Dark (mentioned because I also bought it as part of my Ulta haul!)