It's just so easy and convenient to slap a nature -oriented description on my LOTDs whether or not they really apply. One of these days I'll have to do a "dark and stormy night" look. Ha. Vix is feeling a little better today. I really think it is this constant rain, as a lot of people I work with seem to be exhibiting the same symptoms. At least it doesn't seem to be bronchitis-related. As it is, I spent most of yesterday breathing through my mouth and feeling like I was underwater, my ears were so stuffed. Couldn't taste or smell anything, which is most unfortunate, since I'm quite the fan of noms in general.
Since Vix is sick and not feeling particularly creative, I shall post a review I wrote way back last fall upon getting my first ever order from BFTE. I realized oddly enough that I never posted it here, and I will remedy that right now (Only things that have changed are I've gotten a little better at picture taking and now use Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer):

Champagne taste...on a beer can budget. That's what my dad says I have. I wouldn't exactly put much stock in that opinion, since he still brings out his prized pair of 15 year old neon orange high tops  for special occasions, and has a t-shirt that quips "cereal killer"... for him pretty much anything beyond that is unnecessary glitz. So while his observation is fundamentally untrue, anybody who knows me knows I am a bit of beauty product junkie. Even when my well-reasoned side tells me that the majority of what I buy is nothing more than glossy packaging, yummy smells, and fluffy empty brings me joy, and hey, we've all got our vices. So, while I do indeed like nice stuff, I just don't want to pay dearly for it. I am, at times, a bit cheap.

 One area of my product hunting expeditions that I've never really gotten into is the area of eye makeup, particularly eye shadow. Whatever I'd buy would always fade way too quickly, crease before the end of the day, and seemed more hassle than it was worth.  Not too mention I'd battled horrific skin for most of my young adult life and was more focused on concealing than drawing attention with bright colors. So I kept it neutral and went on with my life. But, prompted by boredom and my recent fascination with baking the ultimate rainbow cake, I stumbled upon XSparkage on Youtube, who does an amazingly vivid rainbow eye using BFTE (Beauty from the Earth) mineral makeup. Oh my. After watching that tutorial the rainbow lover in me was turned from culinary pursuits to checking out this magical multicolored goodness.

If you're into such things, just check it out: . They have hundreds of colors, and you can purchase sample jars for $2.00, while full size jars are $6.50. There is also a Color of the Week, which is a full sized product at the sample price.  The samples seem tiny, but this stuff is highly pigmented and concentrated. Used properly, it will last quite a while. The colors are just brilliant, and I've fallen in love with the duo chrome colors. These pigments literally change color when applied to a black base. One, Whisper, changes from a pretty beige to an iridescent blue, and Mermaid changes from yellow-gold to green. I've been using them over L'Oreal's new primer, and haven't had any creasing, even after a full day of work. The colors are still bright at the end of the day. So I just wanted to give this brand my stamp of approval...the pictures attached don't really do the colors justice. Just check them out. Excellent quality, the best I've tried, and very affordable. Doesn't get much better than that.

Top Row: Isis, Dusty Rose, High Maintenance
Middle Row: I Can't Remember (My Bad!), Illusion,  Black
Bottom Row: Mermaid, Whisper, Nebula, Rock Star

This is a sort of pathetic, desperate Snark Bite. I just don't have it in me to be especially snarky today.

But I'll manage.

Liber Vix is on the verge of sick. At the point where it could just be allergies (considering it has been raining nonstop for days in my neck of the woods) or it could be a cold. Too much exertion and/or stress, and it could turn into a nasty bout of bronchitis, which I'm prone to and which knocks me out for weeks and is utterly brutal. Brutal.
A quick LOTD using my (obviously) 2 fave brands, Fyrinnae and BFTE:
This look uses several colors and they sort of blend together, but they're in there!

From the top lashline up to the browbone:
La Noche (Fyrinnae)
Faerie Glamour (Fyrinnae)
Velvet Vampire (Fyrinnae)
Karma (BFTE)
Deja Vu (BFTE)
Bottom lashline lined with Fyrinnae's Immortality

Today I'm going to share some swatches from my last Fyrinnae haul, which was full of really lovely colors. I am THRILLED I got Futuristic Glamrock, because I still haven't seen it back on the site, and it seems like some others colors have been pulled (temporarily, I'm sure.) These are all swatched over Pixie Epoxy.

I'm loving all of these, though yesterday I wore Lucky Charmed and was quite enamored with it. It applies as an antique metallic gold/green, and there are also little blue/green sparkles in it. Here's the look I did with it:
It's hard to tell in these pictures, but I used Koala and a tiny bit of Sumatran Tiger in the crease, used Shinkirou (a fantastic highlight color, very sheer and glimmery) on the brow bone, and lined with Boy Toy.
Also should mention that this was taken after a FULL day of work, and I think it still looks halfway decent. That Too Faced Shadow Insurance is magic, I'm telling you!

And here are some more swatches:

Add caption
 La Noche was my freebie sample, and it makes a beautiful midnight blue liner. Equality is described by the site as having a sort of holographic effect, and I can see that. It is very
 multi-dimensional and sparkly, and also works well as a highlighter.
And finally, a few close ups of some of the colors:

I thought I would start a series of entries on skincare/makeup/hair/whatever items I am currently using and loving at a given time. Some may be "Holy Grail" items, to quote Phyrra , others may just be items I have a passing love affair with. You are unlikely to see any super expensive/prestige items here, because truthfully, I am on a tight budget and cannot be dropping 20 bucks for a lipstick or whatever. I've never used anything from MAC (gasp! horror! I know, I know) and buy a lot of my favorite products on Ebay just to avoid paying full price.

This month I got my first Birchbox, which is similar to a magazine subscription in that you receive it every month in the mail, but Birchbox subscriptions include 4-5 deluxe sized beauty samples of more high-end brands, all tucked into a cute little box. I am a sample junkie, and when I stumbled across this fairly new company, I checked out a few reviews and then signed up.  I reckoned that 10 dollars a month is not too much for me to spend on some samply goodness, especially from brands that I've never heard of, or could honestly never afford full price.
So I have returned, after an eventful and thought-provoking trip. Mostly it was just fun and beautiful, being out in nature, but I did make some observations I thought I'd share. We were in a fairly small town area, outside of the resort, and common creature comforts were hard to come across. For instance, at a small market G and I were looked at like we had lobsters coming out of our ears for asking for cash back from our debit card purchase. Apparently this concept was foreign to the checkout folks.
A few things have gone right for Liber Vix this week. One, I am going away for the weekend and will be away from work, so that doesn't suck. Two, I just stumbled across a piece of pertinent information regarding said trip. When doing some light research on where to go, what to do (per my oath to myself to be less OCD) I realized that one place we planned on going was in the same area where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed. This happens to be one of my favorite films, along with The Green Mile and The Mist,  all written by Stephen King and directed by Frank Darabont. How this escaped my keen investigative skills, I don't know, but I am thrilled that I realized in time I will be able to see the Old Oak Tree by the wall that looks like something out of a Robert Frost poem. I guess if you really wanted you could research this yourself to figure out where I am going!
Officially in less than 2 weeks. I'm OK with it. I think. It's just a number, and like I said before, I don't feel 30. I feel more like a big impostor, pretending to know what I'm doing, floating through life, dealing with those grown up choices through painstaking research when they come up...buying a car, moving into my first (and only so far) apartment, going on my first major trip to NYC. But mostly I avoid those big choices whenever possible, because I tend to obsess over them, research every little possible problem or complication. My social anxiety really acts up when faced with unfamiliar settings or situations, and my way of self-soothing is planning, researching, and anticipating.

Granted, this came in handy on my trip to NYC when I had detailed maps and itineraries of places we wanted to go (my more free-wheeling boyfriend G would have preferred to simply wander the streets aimlessly in search of things to do.) But not me. I knew that through having researched and planned the tiniest details, we would have more fun, waste less time getting lost and thus arguing, and experience less stress in the end. I am a bit of a control freak I suppose. I don't want to be caught unaware, failing in horrible and embarrassing ways. I'm afraid of the unknown, when others might be around to witness my reaction.This isn't always bad. Being careful and thorough can be a virtue, though it can also be paralyzing when taken to an extreme.

Next weekend we've planned to go to a State Park I've always wanted to visit, a very relaxing, nature-oriented trip. I sort of wanted to be away for my birthday, anyway. To help take my mind off things, not to dwell on the losses so much, missing things and people I shouldn't be letting myself miss so much. I don't really want to be around to remember that many people will not remember me even in a token, flippant sort of way. I don't want to feel that disappointment and sensation of invisibility any more. I've felt that way most of my life, and figured that by the time I'd reached 30 it would have dissipated. No. It's still there. I am pretty much the same person I've always been. It still hurts to be forgotten. So I am taking control and getting away with my boyfriend G, who has always remembered me even when I've taken massive and unfair liberties with his remembrance. I don't deserve it, but I will accept it, since it's been gifted to me a second time around.

 I've planned the weekend roughly this time, made the lodge reservations, looked at the lodge restaurant's menu, printed out the too and from directions from Map Quest, decided in basic terms where we would go each day. I'm trying to not micromanage this trip though, trying to go with the flow more. It will be a test for me. I know I can pass it.

I always like changing things up with my appearance around my birthday, too. Going to get my haircut this weekend. Nothing drastic, but it always makes me feel better. I hope someday when I walk into the spa I can feel like I belong among all the beautiful people. I can feel just fine on my own, but as soon as I enter that foreign territory I morph into my seventh grade self, wondering if everyone is wondering why this colossal joke has dared enter their sacred, perfect abode of flawless skin and shiny hair. Who knows, maybe I think it will rub off on me, and sometimes I think it does. I think I look much better now than I did at 15 or even 20, that's for sure. Though my mind sometimes plays tricks on me and makes me forget that it's 2011 and all those bullies and haters are long gone. And I'm not what they said I was.

I didn't expect to ramble on about that in this blog, but things come out the way they come out. I feel a little better, while my Uncle H has congestive heart failure and will likely be moved to a nursing home for a while to recover and be treated, he is not quite  at death's door, as I expected. I just need to get away for a while, figure things out. I need to shake the cobwebs from my eyes. Gotta wake up.
This is a rambling blog, a blog to myself really, to the ether. I'm inching closer to 30, and it seems like things are happening to remind me of how quickly time passes, how fleeting it is. How strange it is that the school years seem to drag on interminably until one day you wake up and you're an adult, and you can't remember the names of people that were once so important and part of your daily consciousness. How your universe expands, and all the little stars stretch out so far from one another and you just can't reach that level of closeness again. Something is suddenly gone, and it can't be recaptured.

I don't feel 30. I wouldn't say I look 30 either. I've always been a strange combination of late bloomer and old soul. My formative years were spent sitting in corners, looking on at my peers with disdain and amusement as they made fools of themselves, making every mistake possible and then some. I watched on, afraid to make my own mistakes, paralyzed by my fear of failure yet imbued with a cocky sense that I would never be in their place, I was much too smart for that. Now I see them grown up, some still tripping over their idiocy, others doing the things society has deemed normal and necessary- getting married, having kids, all the traditional things. I have shunned those things, have no desire to be a mother. I know my limitations, and can't help but feel that some have children simply because it's what's expected, and because they don't know their own limitations. I don't forsee a future in which I would change my mind, but then again, I have always inched along at a snail's pace, resisting change and mourning the little losses. I've made a few mistakes, taken a few wrong roads, but I did so almost intentionally, when faced with the fear that I was approaching a deadline of sorts in which I could really muck things up and have those experiences that my peers stumbled into naturally. Now,who knows who I will become? I remember my 20th birthday like it was yesterday. Have I done enough growing to deserve the past 10 years? I'm not sure. Perhaps I haven't evolved or changed enough.

But the world around me still spins, and things change whether I like it or not, no matter how I kick and scream and pout and stick around in stagnant situations for far too long.  Just found out that my Uncle H was admitted to the hosptial yesterday. Not sure what all is wrong, but it doesn't look good. This just doesn't seem right. It's difficult to imagine him as over 70, having symptoms of dementia, with kidneys shutting down (my grandma died after a difficult experience with Alzheimers 10 years ago, so this is a crushing blow for me). I still see him with a quiet, kind-hearted, slightly bumbling persona, someone who would walk ahead of me and put quarters in the change recepticles of pay phones for me to find when I would unfailingly check them ( I was quite the money hungry child). I still see him and my dad, holed up in the garage at our annual 4th of July cookout, concocting new and more elaborate fireworks like mad scientists in their laboratory.

My parents and I and my aunt and uncle would often go on vacations together, and it seemed like we always went out for New Years Eve and got together for the holidays. But as I've gotten older these get-togethers became less and less frequent, until they've essentially ceased entirely. I'm not sure if it's because the children of the family grew up and there seemed less reason to stay in touch, or times have changed and people just don't stay connected that way anymore. It has always saddened me, and have often wondered why. I have often told my dad, he's your brother, you need to keep in touch more, go to a movie, go out to eat, something. But it seems both my parents and them have gotten more insular, more reclusive, and this scares me. I don't want to be my parent's last link to the outside world, watching their health deteriorate. I have no siblings with which to share that burden, and 30 seems like such a young age to begin such worries. But their health has gone downhill so drastically the past decade, it would be foolish to not consider it. No more vacations together, no New Year's Eve
 dinner- and- a- movie. Those times are gone.

 And sadly enough, I think the last time I saw my Uncle H was at my Uncle B's funeral this past summer, or perhaps at the annual family reunion, when we exchange updates and niceties and promise to get together more often. But it never seems to happen. The fact that my relatives are dying with more regularity, who I've perceived in the past as sort of ageless, has thrown into stark relief my own age, how I need to figure things out, start doing what I'm capable of doing instead of languishing in safe and stifling limbo. 

What is saddest is that I see them so rarely now that I've already been in a process of slow detachment for years. It should hurt more, but what hurts most is that it is a dull ache, a distant and regret filled twinge in the back of my mind. A reminding, chastising voice telling me to hold on to my friends and family, the ones who still want to be held. Because right now, there's too much passing me by.
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