I know I mentioned a review of Haus of Gloi in the works in my last post, and I will get to that very shortly. Perfume and the science of scent is fascinating to me, and I've written about it before here and here. But for all my interest in the subject, I find it a damn maddening one to write about coherently, because it's so complex, so subjective, so personal. But I will get to it, I promise!

So until then, here is my most recent  BFTE order!


Sample Jars: Top: Hollywood Secrets, Unicorn, Baked
Bottom: Candy Shop, Glimpse, Melon
Full Sized Jars: Top: Riddle, Celtic Charms, Peachy
Bottom: Canyon, Vamp, Elegant
All the full sized ones were prizes for BFTE contests, except Celtic Charms, which was the COTW. They had a contest for naming one of their mini collections, and I suggested their "Fall in Aspen" collection colors: Gable, Vamp, and Autumn. Autumn is my favorite season without a doubt, and these colors together really encapsulate it for me. So I got three jars for that, and two for the 365 contest. Winning awesome makeup is pretty cool!

Now, onto swatches!



Left to Right: Unicorn, Hollywood Secrets over Pixie Epoxy, Hollywood Secrets over bare skin, Baked, Glimpse, Melon
I did Hollywood Secrets twice to show what a difference a "glitter glue" of some kind makes! A regular primer would be sufficient, but a glue like Pixie Epoxy is going to really help those sparkles adhere. Unicorn is another highlight, it's a metallic smokey silver/purple. I don't recall seeing many/any looks with it, which is a shame because it's gorgeous. Oh, and please ignore the huge scratch across my arm. Our cat Maisy gets a little rambunctious and mischievous when she's being brushed. Case in point:



She's normally quite docile and cuddly, but getting brushed just makes her act, well, a bit odd.

Moving on...


Left to Right: Canyon, Celtic Charms, Vamp, Elegant, Candy Shop, Peachy, Riddle




 I'd say Vamp is my stand-out favorite from this bunch. Though all of them are my favorites, since I tend to order samples to experiment, and then use prize choices or COTWs to get the full sizes of ones I really, really want. Anyway, if Gryffindor House had a singular eye shadow color, Vamp would be it. The gold sparkles really set it off, and the color is not quite as intense on the eye as in the jar, it can be rubbed into the crease for a subtle burnished red/bronze effect very easily. Riddle is interesting too, a shimmery dark taupe with a green sheen. This is also a good crease shade when you want a little color, but nothing over the top.

And finally here's a look I did using some of my new colors.
Lid: Hollywood Secrets
Crease: Triple Berry
Liner: Unicorn
Highlight: Whisper















 


I was tagged by that wonderful olfactory poet, Midnight Poesy , to do the Top Ten Award. I've never been tagged before to do this sort of thing, so yeah, I had a little moment of glee. I'm officially a big nerdy- nerd- nerd. I'm supposed to list my top ten favorite beauty products, and since I'm as heavily into skin/body care as makeup-y things, I will not limit myself to just cosmetics. I've reviewed a lot of these previously here,  here , oh, and here too so I won't go into too much detail.

These are in no particular order, BTW.

1.  Avon Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum : If you have trouble with hyperpigmentation, leftover acne marks, or just dull skin in general, I sing this product's praises loudly and often. It has made a massive world of difference for me, and if they ever stop making it I will have a flailing meltdown.

2. Avon Magix Face Perfector: Favorite primer evah. Smooths and mattifys, plus SPF 20. WIN!

3. Boscia Luminizing Black Mask : Still using and loving this. Only cons are the price and it sort of stings your eyes if you apply too close to the orbital area. The results are worth it though. Just close your eyes and meditate for a while and it'll be all good.

4. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum : I got this in my Sephora In the Glow set, and at first didn't really know what to do with it. Those long and slightly pretentious sounding names don't really explain much. They're usually just a long string of buzz words stuck together. But I started using this as a tinted moisturizer after swimming,just because it was there in my bag. Then over time I started using it over my Avon Magix and under my Meow foundation, and REALLY started liking and depending on it. It adds just a teensy glow and helps even out my skin tone so I probably don't have to use as much foundation in the end. I usually can't wear those one-size-fits-all tinted things because they're typically too dark/orange on my fair skin. But this blends in perfectly for me. Not sure how it would work on darker skin tones though. This might be an unnecessary step for most people, but I loved it enough to buy the full size, so that's saying something.

5. Meow Foundation : Pampered Puss in Sleek Sphynx. Wonderful, buildable coverage. Does not get cakey or gross as day goes on. Has even worked on some bad skin days. Their concealers are awesome too. I've been using their under eye concealer in a mix of Sleek and Frisky Sphynx since the concealers run slightly lighter than their foundation counterpart. If you have trouble finding a foundation to match you, Meow's got you covered.

6. Beauty From the Earth eye shadows. My first foray into indie makeup, and they will always be my first love. I've always been a product junkie, but didn't start exploring bright colors until I discovered them. Great customer service, fun and minimal-drama online community, beautiful and huge selection of colors.

7. OK, this isn't just one item, but here ya go anyway: Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, eye shadows, highlighters, and um, whatever they might make in the future, and what they made in the past and never got to try. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, terrified, in a cold sweat, with that sinking feeling that I've forgotten something crucial. Then I realize, oh, yeah, I never got to try Fyrinnae's Lip Lustres, specifically Romantique. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but only a slight one. My lip does quiver a little when I see review/swatches of them online and I start muttering "no fair, no fair" like Gage from Pet Sematary. I mean, seriously, a lip version of Rapunzel Had Extensions? Curse all of you who have it, CURSE YOU!

8. Buxom Lip polishes. Have only tried two shades, but I am going to be procuring some more soon. Loooooove the minty tingle and the sheer color.

9. Feria hair color: I think my natural hair color is a really dark, zero -highlights, hideous  matte sort of brown. I'm not quite sure because I've been coloring it since the 8th grade...so, the past 15 years. My mom actually started coloring it for me, one of her cooler moves I must say. She picked up Miss Clairol's Reddest Fire Red from Sally Beauty Supply and I haven't looked back since. Oh my, that color was RED. I've been every shade of red and brown imaginable. I try different brands, but I always seem to come back to Feria, it just seems to end up the shimmery-est. Nowadays I stick with warm browns with just a little hint of red.

10. Haus of Gloi : I just got my first order from them yesterday and I can already tell it belongs on this list. Haven't even tried everything yet. Full review is forthcoming, but it may take a few days, because I will be in the bath.

Now , here are 10 lovely bloggers I read often and would like to see their responses to this tag!

1.Makeup Fancy
2.Pretty as a Junebug
3. Tattoos-n-Lipgloss
4. my tongue split the hemisphere
5. Kattatonic Fierceology
6.makeup & things by olgiepolgie
7. My Perfume Diaries
8. No Empty Yesterdays
9. http://kiandmakeup.blogspot.com/
10. SassyCatMakeup

And here are the rules:

**Rules of the Top 10 Award**
1.  Thank the person who tagged you and link to their blog.
2.  Put the Top 10 Award logo on your blog.
3.  List your Top 10 cosmetics/beauty items.
4.  Choose 10 bloggers to tag, link to their blogs, and let them know


P.S. Just FYI, but any of you blogger blogs that have your comments settings set to exclude anonymous or name/URL comments, I for some reason can't comment. I try to sign in using my google account, and it just kicks me out, every time. Not sure if anyone else has that problem or if it's just my general lack of technical know-how. Just wanted to let you know that I'm not being a jerk!
Apparently another Fyrinnae update is in order. A commenter on my blog was kind enough to let me know that a new message has appeared on the site stating:

Fyrinnae is closed as of 8/16. Please do not make purchases.
(we love the interesting rumors going around, and our love for you bloggers just increased, if possib
le).

I admit this made me squee a little.
Mostly because it means they are not closing permanently, and also because they have been observing with bemusement
 and gotten a kick out of the interweb fret-fest (including, possibly, mine).

I've said before that in a way the closures are an effective marketing strategy. Withhold a desirable supply, and demand will go up when it is available. Even though it might turn some people off, how many orders have I made based on pure fear that the site would not be up for long, that I needed to get my order in RIGHT NOW? Several, I must say. The closures may be born of necessity, but they are also quite brilliant.  And as for the recent cryptic closure message, perhaps the phrasing and context was a mistake. But if not, then that was bloody brilliant.

Because they have gotten a LOT of attention because of it, and probably made a lot of people who had been casually considering trying Fyrinnae a lot more anxious to do so now.
 I know I've gotten a lot of hits on my blog with searches like "Fyrinnae drama", "Fyrinnae closed 2011", etc. Any press is good press? Perhaps.
In one final salute to summer I ordered some colors recently from Meow's new collection of ocean inspired shades- Neptune's Grotto. They include varying shades of blue, seafoam, and dark and mysterious greys. Some of the colors seem quite similar, but there are just enough difference among them to make a really lovely, smooth ombre effect. I am a sucker for those sorts of looks. Here's what I got:


Top: Chasm, Malawi, Grotto, Seaspray
Middle: Dead Sea, Black Crystal Abyss, Cocytus, Saltwater
Bottom:  (Free Sample)Lemonade Blush, (Free Sample) Saucy Blush,  Rainforest Collection Amazon
  Here they are swatched over bare skin (These apply so smoothly and are quite pigmented and shimmery!):
 
Dead Sea, Grotto, Saltwater, Seaspray, Chasm, Malawi





Saucy (Blush), Lemonade (Blush), Amazon, Saltwater, Cocytus, Black Crystal Abyss




 These are all awesome, but if I had to pick I'd say Dead Sea is one of the stand out colors. It is a rich blue but has a really beautiful green sheen underneath.

And finally a quick eye I did using Grotto, Seaspray, and Cocytus as a liner:








Sorry, I haven't got a witty line for this post title, I just wanted to post these before beddy-bye time! And it's only a baby haul as well, but it's Fyrinnae, so of course, awesome!

I don't want to catastrophize or be all "oh no the sky is falling" just based on my gut feelings, but the combination of the site being down so much lately, the lack of new shades, along with the disappearance of others, makes me a touch nervous. I'm trying to get my hands on every color I think I could ever possibly want, a little bit at a time...just in case. If that makes me a crazy makeup survivalist with a hidden makeup storage bunker, so be it!

Top: Trickery, Madame and Eve's, Sake and Sashimi
Bottom: Sequined Master, Freya



Madame and Eve's, Freya, Sake and Sashimi, Sequined Master, Trickery

These are all gorgeous. Trickery reminds me of BFTE's Riddle, a sort of taupe with a green shimmer. Sake and Sashimi is a rich brown with blue and green sparkles, and Freya is a smooth black based royal purple. I tried with little success to capture the color changes of the Arcane Magic shades. Madame and Eve's is most brilliant, if you hold the jar up high it looks more purple, then becomes greenish as you bring it down.


Down Low

Up High

Argh...they are devilishly tricky to photograph, but believe me the effect is quite spectacular. Sequined Master is more subtle, but there is still a decided shift from more magenta/purple to lighter purple.

Up High


Down Low

I also got a small jar of Fluff, which I've been using as a setting powder. It was only 4 dollars for a 3 gram jar, which is extremely reasonable. I think it is comparable to MUFE's HD Powder, they look and feel pretty much identical, Fluff being just slightly less white and it seems just a bit less messy. So, definitely a worthwhile purchase for makeup setting purposes!

 First off I'd like to welcome the new followers I've gotten recently. There are a lot of awesome bloggers out there and I'm happy you decided to check me out, so thank you!

On to business...this month's Birchbox has created a lot of commotion, apparently. Some people were not so impressed by their boxes, and were even less impressed given this month's theme, beauty innovations. I've read several reviews and comments by people canceling their subscription over this box. You'd think the "innovation" claim would be backed up by the newest, techno-iest, wow-inspiring products, but many people did not have that reaction, given that the centerpiece of the majority (if not all) of the boxes this month was an elastic hair tie. Oh yes, the infamous black twistie, regularly mistaken as a stowaway extra ribbon in the boxes and mere seconds away from an untimely disposal death in the trash, until it is observed that, oh, this is my treat. The hair tie that looks as good on the wrist as in the hair. Tres chic, Birchbox.

Ok, maybe that's not entirely fair. I am actually wearing my hair tie right now, and yeah, I did wear it on my wrist when I went swimming yesterday. It looks just as unremarkably OK on the wrist as any other old hair elastic, and not quite worthy of any innovation claims. I think that was the downfall of this month's box. How could that theme NOT get people's hopes up?

I, for my part, was not extremely disappointed with my box though, when disregarding the theme and taking the products on face value. The worst part was not getting the box that most people got though. I was actually looking forward to the June Jacob's mask (I'm a sucker for peels and masks) and the Shaveworks gel particularly. I have ultra-sensitive skin and am super prone to painful razor bumps and ingrowns (happy happy, joy joy) and was looking for something more effective than Tend Skin. I was really looking forward to trying this stuff. In fact, when I got a different box, I checked Sephora and saw that they sell this product, so I'm going to be buying some anyway. I can see why some people who don't have that problem would be disappointed to get that in their box, but really, if you don't have that problem, man, thank your lucky stars, because it sucks royally.

Anyway, this is the box I got:


I waited a few days to write my review so I could try these products. The Blinc eyeliner is quite waterproof, and looks good. I did a look today using it, which I'll post soon. This is how it looks swatched, before drying:



And this is how it looked after rubbing it with some effort, and then holding under the faucet for a minute or so:

I believe it is necessary to combine both pressure and water in order to remove it. When I removed it, it didn't really come off in one easy piece as claimed, but did flake off in larger pieces than most eyeliners. I had been wanting a really waterproof eyeliner, so I was pleased to get this.

I found the Wei eyepads to be more relaxing than having any amazing skin benefit, but I suppose my eyes did seem somewhat less puffy. It was nice to get 2 packs of two so I can try them again.


I used the Carol's Daughter Monoi hair mask as a conditioner after coloring my hair today (in place of the little packets that come with most boxed hair colors). I'm not sure if my hair ended up super soft and manageable because of the hair color or the mask, but the mask made my hair smell awesome, and there was enough in the packet to decant into another container, and I'll be able to get a few more uses out of it.

I've only used the Pangea face wash once, but it seems like a nice basic cleanser, with a nicer than average scent. I'm still using my Pangea Sweet Lime and Mandarin spray toner I got in another Birchbox, and adore it. That stuff is so refreshing! I mist my face once or twice in the middle of my work day and it's slightly effervescent-feeling, like a carbonated lime slushee. Yummmmm...

So, while I technically would have preferred the main Birchbox this month, my box wasn't half bad. The innovation element wasn't really there and the twistie was admittedly a little lame, but I still think the box was worth the purchase price and more. Hopefully for the one year Birchbox anniversary next month they will pull out all the stops!


I thought I was perfectly well-stocked with BFTE pretties, after having just received 50 dollars worth for their tagline contest prize, but they had a promotion last week that orders would contain 2 mysterious freebies. And seeing that I did have 3 jars to order from the 365 days of BFTE contest, I figured, why not? So I put in a teensy order, a couple of samples, the COTW, and some more sifter lids for sample jars. So, here's what I got:

Top: Bermuda, Guipure
Bottom left to right: Peacock, Emerald City, Triple Berry, Spruce
free brush and free sample of Marina

My 365 prize choices were samples I had gotten previously,but I loved them so much I decided to get the full sizes, and Bermuda was the COTW. Some of these I swatched already, but here they are again:

Bermuda, Guipure, Marina, Triple Berry, Emerald City, Peacock, Spruce

These are actually all swatched over bare skin, just to show how pigmented they are even without a base. Of course, you'd really want one to keep the sparkles adhered, but you get the general idea. Spruce was the sleeper winner of my haul. I'd had my eye on it for a while now, but had never gotten around to ordering it. I don't see many looks using it, and it is really pretty, a light, metallic silvery forest green. So I thought I'd do a look using it:



Inner lid: Spruce
Outer Lid: Marina
Crease: Bermuda
Liner: Fairy Tale
Highlight: Guipure



I have been so frustrated lately. My camera is an ok, super basic camera, but it is proving to be completly worthless at good macro shots. For a while I thought it was just my camera skills, being a total newbie, but now I'm pretty sure I just need a better camera, one that can show just how gorgeous these colors are. I have to take about 50 pictures of every look I do just to get one or two usable photos, and even they aren't that great. And that is just ridiculous. It sucks putting a lot of effort into a look and only being able to capture a mediocre version of it. I really want to do them justice, so I'm hoping in the next few months to get something not super fancy, but better than what I'm working with now. Argh. Rant over. Enjoy anyway!


The necklace is a new creation, the Wheel of Fate: an old watch works (gears removed) with game spinners attached. They really spin, which is kind of cool!



I think it is quite impossible to look at a rainbow, and despite how horrifically downtrodden your mood might be, not feel just a little bit happier. I really believe a rainbow is intrinsically, instinctively, chemically, a natural source of joy, for no reason other than its mere existence. The notion that something so beautiful, so vibrant, so varied, can be real...it's a little taste of hope. And I like my hope to taste fruity, thank you very much.

This weekend was my annual family reunion, and I decided to make a rainbow Bundt cake for the occasion, and it so happened I needed a little rainbow to brighten the day. My parents were suddenly too sick to make it, my cousin that I was "closest" to just moved to Texas, and the aunt and uncle I was "closest" to were also too sick to come. So that left G and I toting our cake and pasta salad to the park alone, to share a meal with virtual strangers. My other aunt and uncle that were present asked me the usual niceties...how are you doing, how's mom and dad, still working at the library, still in school? I gave the same generic, polite, palatable sound-bite answers...oh, doing fine, they're doing okay now that dad's disability claim went through, yep, still at the library, nope, done with school.

 No, family, I have no exciting news to share. Thanks for reminding me.
I also graduated college in 2006.

I suppose I'm glad we have a family reunion at all, lots of families don't, and ours has been going on for about the past 80 years. So I appreciate that I might never see certain people if it wasn't for this event. But it still smacks of bittersweet fakery. The whole structure is all wrong. I wish we were close enough that name tags were not a necessity. Some people I see every year, and know that in some removed way I am related to them, but I have no idea how. Each branch of the family tends to sit in little cliques, so we don't actually interact with anyone outside our immediate family. With the more familiar members missing this year, the reunion was somewhat depressing.

But, wait, there is a rainbow cake. And things just can't be that bad where there's a rainbow cake involved. Family that I have never spoken to actually felt compelled to ask me about it and compliment me on it.I still have no idea who they are, but maybe they will at least remember me as the Rainbow Cake Girl. And perhaps they'll smile.
I've had a hankering to try a new indie makeup brand lately, and finally settled on Morgana Cryptoria. It's known for super pigmented lipsticks, with a huge array of colors, along with other products like hair dye and eyeshadows, all with a goth-y edge. The owner, Melissa, just came out with a new line of lip balms. Being more of a lip balm/lip gloss kind of gal myself, I found them really appealing and wanted to test out a few. I suppose I have great lips for lipsticks, but I don't like really heavy color too often...there's just too much that can go wrong. Perhaps I'm just lazy. I don't often deviate outside of basic rosy/pinky/coral sheen sort of colors, but, when exploring the Morgana Cryptoria website, the rebel in me made an appearance at the sight of Mint Sensation, and I immediately decided to order it, no consideration whatsoever as to whether or not it would look good on me. Because, hello, it's a shiny mint green lip balm! I simply wanted to hold it in my greedy little hands, practicality be damned.I also ordered Masquerade Ball, which is a blackened blue-green shade, even more outside my comfort zone. It reminded me for some reason of Mia Sara's goth queen scenes in the 80's fantasy classic Legend, and I decided to order it for that reason alone. I also ordered Goldspun, a straight up metallic gold, and Amaranth, a bright, almost fuchsia rose -pink.

I ordered when the lip balms were on sale for 5 dollars each, and paid 5 dollars for shipping. 25 dollars for 4 lip balms (on sale) is a little more pricey than I'm used to for lip balms, but these struck me as something quite special and unique among lip products.


I ordered on July 7th, and I got my package on July 27th. I must say almost 3 weeks is the longest amount of time I've ever waited for any indie makeup order I've ever made, but because of the recent lip balm debut I understood there would be some delay. I assume that time frame is the exception rather than the rule. I was hoping there would be perhaps an eyeshadow sample or some other sort of sample in my order, but alas, no such luck. I suppose I've been spoiled by the other brands I've tried, but it's always a nice touch. But I digress...onto the colors!

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