Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My love affair with circle lenses

I started wearing circle lenses (rather than regular American colored lenses) about a year and a half ago. I discovered them on the internet while looking for contacts that gave the illusion of larger eyes. The first thing I noticed about the lenses was that they DID make eyes look bigger, and more intense. The second thing I noticed was that they were kind of tricky to order from overseas. I eventually stumbled upon , and felt very comfortable ordering from them as they have always had stellar customer reviews. I was thrilllllled with the lenses that I chose. I ordered 2 more pairs within a week of receiving my first order. (sadly they no longer sell circle lenses, but they do have lots of awesome imported makeup you cannot get anywhere else)

Now before I go on any further I need to mention that these lenses are not FDA approved. The reason for this is that they can exceed the maximum diameter & circumference standards for the USA. Many optometrists feel that they are dangerous because of this and can possibly scratch corneas.. leading to vision problems.  Do not wear any type of contact lens without first visiting your optometrist for a contact lens fitting. What I can say about all the controversy surrounding circle lenses is that I have never had a problem with these lenses myself, and I've never personally known anyone else whose vision was damaged. Just do your research, and make your own educated decision if you're planning to purchase circle lenses.

I only wear mine about 1-2 times a week and for only 4-6 hours. They are usually very moist and comfortable, so at any time when my eyes feel dried out I know it's time to remove them. Just like any contact lenses you need to keep them really clean to prevent eye infections. They are fairly durable so when cared for properly they will last you about 8 months. Make sure to keep the vials they came in so that you know when they are expired. Always put any lenses in before you've applied your makeup- this is important! Your hands need to be clean before putting something on your eyeball..go figure.

I have found that they can really enhance eye makeup depending on what colors you choose. Silvery grey lenses like Geo's Nudy grey really look amazing with a dark smokey eye. The right colored lenses in combination with the right colored eye makeup can totally transform a makeup look. Other than that, it's simply fun to be able to change not only your eye's color, but also it's shape. I also like that they are intended for darker eyes like mine.

This is some of my collection. A lot of these are expired, and went to contact lens heaven (R.I.P.) Excuse the random candid photos & my terrible eyebrows ;P
Geo Nudy Grey

Geo Wing series in Purple
EOS Dolly eye in blue
EOS Dolly eye in green
Geo Nudy in grey

My personal favs- Geo Nudy in golden blue

These are not circle lenses. These are FX lenses sold on your average run of the mill contact lens website- or even- Halloween store! I put this up as a size comparison to the circle lenses. If it's legal for Americans to sell these FX lenses, then why not circle lenses?

Angelic green FX lenses. If my eyes look red, and irritated it's because they were

Currently I am looking for another reliable supplier. So I won't recommend any websites to you that I have not personally ordered from. If you are a seller, or have experience with a great seller please shoot me an email at and give me a heads up!

What's your favorite style of circle lens?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Something sweet : Cupcake Cosmetics haul

 Recently my friend Celeste requested for me to review Cupcake Cosmetics. Since I wasn't lucky enough to participate in the NYX sale (Lol.. kinda like 50,000 other people??) I had a little money for product set aside, and went ahead and ordered.

After the NYX fiasco i've really been wanting to patronize more independent businesses. There is a few reasons for this. One being that a small business that's trying to get off the ground could really use the sales, and reviews more than large companies who have advertising campaigns. Other than that I feel that small businesses often have wonderful products waiting to be discovered. Cupcake Cosmetics is no exception.

I picked out the 5 shades I was most intrigued by, and I can't say I am disappointed with any of them. The pigmentation, and color payoff is good. They are very shimmery & sparkly! The texture of the makeup is powdery, yet it applies very nicely. The thing that stands out the most for me is that the shades are UNIQUE. These are not just repackaged minerals.  If you've been spending $12-$15 on mineral eyeshadows (brands like Lime Crime & Naked cosmetics) I highly suggest that you give these a try. At a mere $4.50 a piece there's not a lot to lose if you don't fall in love with the colors.

It came neatly (and cutely!) wrapped, nothing floating around

Every bottle was sealed, ,and properly labeled.

From L to R: Dreamsicle dry & wet. Absinthe dry & wet. Mermaid, dry & wet. Natural lighting. 
L to R: Miss Vida Boheme dry & wet,  Frenchy dry & wet. Natural Lighting.

With a flash
With a flash


Miss Vida Boheme

I will be putting up a few looks using this makeup later on tonight, I just wanted to hurry up and get my swatches online. So far I am loving these eyeshadows & will definitely be ordering more :)

UPDATE: here's my eye makeup looks for these eyeshadows :)

Absinthe & Mermaid

Yes, those are my real eyelashes

Miss Vida Boheme & Frenchy & Dreamsicle (with a tiny bit of MAC my dark magic in the crease)

Ignore my gross eyebrows

Just Frenchy & Miss Vida Boheme
Oh, and other than the fact that this makeup is seriously cool- it shipped in only 2 days. I think that's just fantastic. I'm already thinking about which colors I want next.

Much ♥-

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alt wedding fashion & makeup = ♥

Wedding season is in full swing now that the weather is beautiful. While some love traditional ivory wedding gowns, the most daring brides opt for colorful dresses in breath-taking styles. In a general sense I realize that themed wedding dresses can be tacky if not executed well. With the right hair, and makeup they can also be totally unforgettable (in a good way!)  I recently did makeup & hair at the colorful wedding of a good friend. These are some of the tips that I found helpful in creating a beautiful wedding day look.

  • Keep your makeup simple. A brightly colored dress plus brightly colored makeup will be too busy, and make you look overdone. 
  • Focus on glowing natural looking skin. Conturing & highlighting will bring light and definition to your face.
  •  Feel free to use shimmery moderation. A little bit of shimmer on the temples, browbone, and decollage is pretty. Too much on the rest of your face will make you look "shiney" in pictures.
  • Waterproof makeup. Use your favorite waterproof mascara, eyeliner and consider picking up some water resistant Makeup Forever Velvet Matte foundation. Chances are you will either cry or sweat- be prepared!
  • This is a total no-brainer. Do not use any new skin, hair, or body products 5-7 days before your wedding just incase of an allergic reaction (or breakout). Try out your hair and makeup styles at least a week before the wedding.  
  •  Keep your manicure pretty simple. Unless you can exactly match your nails to your dress color you are better off sticking with a traditional french tip. 
  • Pick jewelry and accessories that go with your dress. If you're wearing a celtic themed dress, consider a celtic knot necklace. If you're wearing a gothic dress try a victorian inspired brooch. 

Steampunk dress by KMKostumes on Etsy. This is an example of a perfectly executed themed wedding dress.

A dress like this would be stunning with a bold red lip

This would NOT look good with a bold purple lip ;)

I don't know if I'd be daring enough to wear this Maggie Sottero down the aisle

The pale yellow dress is divine

I hope she didn't wear orange eyeshadow with this

This is beautiful...just be careful what accessories you pick
The dress says wedding while the hair screams PROM

My own friend opted for a Renaissance inspired dress with a gothic flare. She picked the colors emerald, ivory and black- which were absolutely stunning in the botanical garden the wedding took place at. I kept her makeup neutral, but added a pop of spring color with rose colored cheeks and lips. 

I used Benefit Highbeam, Benefit Posy tint & Benetint on cheeks and as a lip stain. I also used Sephora eyeshadow shades Aspen Summit & Colorful duos in the smokey plum shade. I used MAC Mauvette pigment. I used Tokidoki eyeshadow shades Carnivora & Riposino. I used MUFE velvet matte as a concealer. I used Fresh rose sugar lip treatment as a gloss. Lastly I used a jet black Avon eyeliner pencil and Hourglass film noir full spectrum mascara.
I used a volumizing hairspray with a flexible hold to keep curls in place yet still touchable

Hours later at the outdoor reception, hair & makeup held up through hot weather and a dress change :)


Been to any colorful weddings so far this spring?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NYXGATE: The Aftermath

Yesterday I blogged about NYX's pseudo-sale. Since then tons of blogs have been chronicling the saga, several "Boycott NYX" facebook pages have been made, and there is even a twitter dedicated to the scam. I cannot say I am surprised though. I figured that after yesterday when thousands of former customers voiced their distaste with how the situation was handled, NYX would have seen their error and apologized. Haven't they ever heard the expression 'the customer is always right'?

They did release this statement (after wasting most of the day deleting negative facebook comments)
Heh "suporters"

I think their complete and total lack of accountability is just disgusting. It's the fans fault that we mobbed their website and broke their servers with our rabid makeup bloodlust. They were the ones who were not technologically prepared OR properly stocked for this sale. I find it more than suspicious that just hours after they ended the sale their website worked perfectly. If they were not prepared to offer this sale to all of their customers than it should never have been offered in the first place. Most companies would have just bit the bullet and extended their sale.

And what about the 50% off promo code that we were promised yesterday morning? I emailed them as requested to receive this special code. Nothing. Finally I emailed back this evening and got this reply:

"Thank you for the follow up Kaitlyn. We will be granting all those who have submitted their information the discount code. We will notify you as soon as distribution begins. We want to make sure there are absolutely no problems redeeming your discount.
Thank you!
NYX Cosmetics"

Their tone is still dripping with snark. Had they chosen to reply to my first email I would have had no need to "follow up" with them. Since then I've heard that several people have received their codes, but they aren't working correctly (insert WAH WAH WAH sound effect here). I don't know about anyone else but I don't think I want to continue to shop with a company who has shown nothing but contempt for it's enthusiasts. It's simply unwise to bite the hand that feeds you.

So did anyone spend their NYX sale money they saved on anything good? I spent my money HERE (can't wait to receive my order!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

NYX: 12th Anniversary FAIL

I, like many other makeup divas, was really looking forward to NYX's 12th anniversary sale. Every singular product on their website was only $1.20. What a great opportunity for MUA's and thrifty gals to stock up right?? Sound too good to be true? was.
sale advertisement from NyxCosmetics Facebook fan page

For most of us the experience was an exercise in frustration. It took hours to get your products into your cart, and once you went to check out the page would crash. One would think they would have closed the website for maintenance while they fixed the problem, starting the sale when their website functioned correctly for everyone. At the very least they could have extended their sale another 24 hours. Or they could have held this sale several weeks from now when they are better stocked and better prepared. But no. What they did was post a bunch of snarky replies to customers tweeting them and messaging them on facebook. According to many people who actually called customer service they were even hung up on. One would think the company would be ashamed of their huge faux pas ....

Guess not!

So let me get this straight. Out of oh say..56,337 facebook fans... NYX considers "several hundred" sales a success??? Really, because I just wanted 3 brozers for 3.60 instead of 36.00 and you weren't able to make that happen for me in the 12 hours I wasted of my life on your website. 

this is me hour 24 of NYXgate

To rectify this motherfuckery NYX so graciously offers us a 50% off promotion plus free shipping even though their failed sale offered around a 90% discount. All you have to do is email them. That's right. Their servers were too overloaded to deal with the sale they advertised, but hey, everyone should hurry up and email them ASAP. That makes a lot of sense. 

What a PR nightmare. 

Will you be purchasing from NYX using this 50% code (or at all)???

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Drugstore dupes: I won't tell if you don't ;)

Recently I've been obsessed with finding cheaper duplicates to lipsticks that are in the more expensive price range. I have to admit that I haven't had great luck thus far. Maybe it's because I'm biased. I really would rather spend $13 for a tube of MAC lipstick which I know I will use up completely than spending $4 on a drugstore lipstick which i'll use maybe a handful of times.

But let's face it... not everyone (myself included) can always afford to splurge on great high-end lipsticks. So this is where our fabulous drugstore dupes come into play! I found 2 that I am absolutely in love with, and a few you're better off skipping.

#1: Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in #677 Siren
This would be a great dupe for MUFE Rouge Artist Intense in #40. It is very, very close in shade. Swatched next to each other the difference is that MUFE is more matte, and delivers opaque color in one swipe. The Revlon Siren shade needs to be applied more heavily to achieve as bold of a look. In texture it is pretty moist, and wears comfortably. You will need to re-apply this way more than you would with the MUFE unfortunately. All in all the shade is great, it has minimal smell, is moist, applies easily. If you want to try the bold orange lip look this season this Revlon lipstick will only set you back about $7.

MUFE #40 on the left side, Revlon Siren on the right side 

Revlon Siren in natural lighting

Revlon left, MUFE right

I also tried CoverGirl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm in their 2 orange toned shades Coral and Anemone as possible glosses that may work over orange lipsticks. I wasn't a fan. They are more of a balm, and the color is very very sheer. Even on bare lips I can't really see any shade enhancement. They do moisturize lips well however.

#2: Covergirl Lip Perfection in #365 Enchantress 
 Let me just say that first of all, I LOVE the formula. It goes on very satiny, and smooth. I do not like that this is a frost instead of just a plain matte though. It also stains lips just a tad bit. Other than that fact I think this would be a suitable dupe for Lime Crime's Countessa shade. It's not a perfect match, but it's close enough if you want to pull off a similar look. The same thing goes for their Divine shade- it would be a suitable dupe for Airborne Unicorn- but not a perfect match. Lip perfection has decent staying power so you won't need to constantly touch it up. At about $8, I forsee buying more of this lipstick in my not-so-distant future.

Covergirl Enchantress

Lastly I tried out a 99 cent Wet and Wild lipstick in shade #528A expecting to hate it. I was actually pleasantly surprised how well it applied, and how good it looked. I'm not sure that it's a suitable dupe for anything other than your very basic shimmery peach-pink shade, but if you only have $1 to spend you won't be disappointed lol ;)

Wet and Wild #528A

From L to R: Wet and Wild #528A, Covergirl Natureluxe in Coral, Revlon Siren, MUFE #40, and Covergirl Enchantress

What are your favorite drugstore dupes???