Monday, September 30, 2013

MAC Rihanna Riri Woo and Hibiscus Kiss review, swatches and look; complete look

Can you make a complete look!  Yes.  Love!!!

Urban Decay Moondust eyeshadow....swatches, review and a video....

I love these eye shadows!!!

That soft look of light shifting across water...gorgeous.

69 Revolution lipstick as well.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Urban Decay Anarchy Face Case review, swatches and look. Sephora only palette

This "face case" is gorgeous.

Vivid and vibrant blushes, stunning lip color that fades beautifully, a perfect Perversion black lip pencil and 5 flattering (lovely) eyeshadows.

I love it...but use a light hand!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tarte Cosmetics holiday collection 2013: Lipsurgence set of 8 and 3 blushes with brush


Sigma Creme De Couture Palette Review

Pretty but usable matte pastels.  Note the two looks on the two eyes.

Something I didn't have before and I'm glad to get.

Urban Decay Revolution lipstick review: 69, Catfight and Rush. Love

Love them!

Vibrant, creamy, long lasting....oh....and gorgeous!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review of MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Paint Pots and why I love them

And an eyeliner, 2 lipsticks...and an attempt at recreating the stunning eyes shown in the ad.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Who Asked You by Terry McMillan book review

Who Asked You is a family mess story.  The book starts with the main character - BJ (Betty Jean) frying chicken for her Alzheimer's addled husband and contemplating her choices.  BJ's life hasn't gone as she hoped...two of her children didn't turn out well (one a drug addict and the other in jail) and the third has abandoned the ghetto and his past for a string of white wives and professional stability.

BJ is black; her best friend is white but married to a black man.  Race and the author's political agenda do weigh heavy on the novel.  But McMillan is a skilled author and she makes the story work despite...or perhaps because of her agenda.

BJ has worked delivering room service at a high end hotel after choosing marriage and kids over college.  Now her daughter dumps her two boys on BJ and disappears.  Chaos doesn't ensue but BJ's world changes fast.  Then her son gets paroled and moves in.

This book is about family and how we're stuck with them and their drama.  And it's a fun and enjoyable book; more commercial and accessible than deep.  It's also local, discussing LA, my town, and written by an author who lives in Pasadena.

I really enjoyed the book.  What I didn't like was the alternating first person narratives.  First person is tough in the best case; alternating first person perspectives provides the author with a short cut in character development but at the cost of confusing the audience.

I still really enjoyed the book and recommend it for those who like family survival stories and the humanity that comes as we suffer for our choices..

A good read.

And the book comes out September 17, 2013.

Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette: Review and Video

The new Urban Decay Vice 2 eye shadow palette arrived yesterday.  And it lived up to my expectations!  Watch the video and get my first impressions (and of the free sample of 69 lipstick that Urban Decay is throwing into holiday orders!).

Friday, September 13, 2013

MAC Retro Matte lipstick video I review

I am having some learning curve issues with video making (for my education project).  The education videos are hard and need to be carefully scripted but makeup videos, my expensive hobby, are easier!  So I'll be doing a bunch.  Don't expect perfection.

I will also start playing around with video book reviews.

And then, by doing, I will learn.

Subscribe, comment, support me!!!

Retro Matte Lipsticks:   Runway Hit, Dangerous, Relentlessly Red,  Riri Woo, Flat Out Fabulous and All Fired Up.

Lip pencil:  Dynamo

Link...since the video isn't showing up on my post and I need to work on that later (I have done this before!):  MAC Retro Matte Lipstick Video Review

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Least favorite thing of the day: too many free books

I'm awash in books.  I totally love books.  I read them, review them (and get advance review copies), collect them and write them.  So I support books in all forms.

And I'm not anti-free books.  I get them all the time.  And, I gave mine away.  Over 600,000 free (trackable) copies of Captive downloaded....and I get Google alerts all the time telling me of new ways/sites to get the book for free.  Luckily, some people who downloaded the book did become "fans" and say they'll support future efforts.

But I am awash in free books.  I turn down free digital books constantly.  And the new sites that continue to start ....offering free astounding.  And, since this post is a rant against free books I won't list them as not to make the situation worse...but I get daily email offers.

And I review books...but can't review them all!

Content has value.  With my new effort, Get Your Child to the Top, I'm reaching out to independent bookstores.  Doing so makes sense...both bookstores and school promote community.  Let's not get so lost in idea of getting something for free that we lose sight of how media isn't about's about community.  Free is a short term pleasure but not long term community (unless your community is about how not to pay...).

Just a few thoughts.

Urban Decay Vice 2; favorite thing of the day

Okay, I ordered mine today so am only guessing...that I will love it.  I had to steal a photo from Temptalia's website (amazing beauty blogger and so fast with getting reviews up!) since I haven't seen the actual palette yet.

But I already know that I love it.

The colors are jewels and rich browns, soft spots for me.  Urban Decay has consistently and amazingly high quality products.  The original Vice might be my favorite palette ever.  And looking at the swatches on the beauty blogger sites I can see how stunning the shadows are.

Because Urban Decay is based locally if I order post office delivery I get the items super fast.  Alas, I ordered this morning and haven't gotten shipping confirmation yet.  Soon?

And, for those registered on the site, you get a free lipstick sample (they have the most amazing new lipsticks) when you order from their new holiday collection.  Don't miss it!  I did and had to call UD.

Look at those colors!  For $59 totally worth it.  Even if I bought it before the friends and family sale.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Kat Von D Spellbinding lipstick set review 2013

Ten mini lipsticks!

5 new colors.

Backstage Bambi
Thin Lizzy
Underage Red
Mau 5
A Go Gp
Bachelorette Vampira

I had to use a scrubber to get them off my wrist...soap and water wasn't enough (long lasting is the point).

Gorgeous colors, from neutral to wild.  And some of the best reds ever (I love Underage Red...a personal favorite).

Available from Sephora for $39:  link

A plus in my book.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sephora Favorites 2013, Glitz and Glow and Give Me Some More Lip

Every year these holiday sets come out from Sephora and other make-up companies and every year I buy some of them.  I always have the excuse that I can give them away as gifts...too often, I keep them.  The basic hook is that the companies cram these sets with product which they then offer at a relatively low price.  The balancing act is whether or not the product is actually stuff you will use or just too much makeup that you won't.

Sephora out did themselves this year.  Look what's in the Superstar collection (of top sellers).

This set contains:
- 0.085 oz Anastasia Clear Brow Gel 
- 1.7 oz Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray 
- 0.50 oz Deborah Lippmann Treatment-infused Nail Color in Cleopatra in New York 
- 0.50 oz Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil 
- 0.17 oz Nars Blush & Bronzing Powder Duo in Orgasm & Laguna 
- 0.12 oz Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita 
- 0.50 oz Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff 
- 1.0 oz Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Light 
- 0.016 oz Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner 
- 0.30 oz Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Mascara Base & Top Coat 
- 0.02 oz Too Faced Flexistretch™ Nylon Fibers 
- 0.05 Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin & Mushroom 
- 0.33 oz Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball

 I would use basically all of these products!

And the other new sets are too tempting and include some products I've been dying to try (Josie Maran coconut gel blush and TooFaced eye lining tool).

I feel like these sets have more product and more full sized products this year.  The Superstars collection always has mostly full sized; the Glitz & Glam has four full size products.  The Give Me More Lip has 16 colors for $59.  They also have a smaller one which is only $25 and mostly nuetrals.

How to decide?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: The Voice Is All by Joyce Johnson

The Voice Is All by Joyce Johnson is the type of book I just love.  It explores Jack Kerouac's early influences and how he evolved into the writer he became.  I honestly have zero interest in Jack Kerouac.  He's a writer I read early in college, enjoyed and then moved on to others.  This book is marvelous nonetheless.

I agreed to review it because coincidentally I had recently picked up one of Anais Nin's diaries.  She was another of his girlfriends who wrote, like Johnson.  And Nin, like Kerouac, I read in college and then moved on.  Reading her diary I was struck by how narcisistic Nin was....but did get a bit more curious about Kerouac.  I vowed to reread On the Road, his classic...but never did.  Instead The Voice Is All landed on my doorstep, literally.

Lucky me.

Johnson is a different sort of writer than Nin, or Kerouac.  She had a long career in publishing and that passion for writing and also detail is evident in the book.  Indeed, she is so meticulous in crafting her narrative I have a hard time summing so much up in a blog post.  Read the book to learn about life around the time of WW 2 in America for those becoming writers and exploring how our society was changing.

Kerouac became a great writer.  What Johnson has masterfully done is bring him and his (sometimes painful) journey alive.  She delves into the ideas, books, people and events that crafted his voice.

I love books like this.  For those not interested in how someone becomes a great might not resonate as much.  Johnson still tells a great story.  This book is one of my favorite reads this year...and I really am not such a Kerouac fan (to repeat).  Johnson deserves the credit.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MAC Antonio buy or not....?

I've spent way too much at MAC lately!  But now they have this gorgeous collection coming out (and not below is the beautiful coral face palette).  How much makeup do I need?  How much can I write about and when to just let it go and enjoy what I have?  Limited edition makes it more favorite pieces below ...excluding the coral face palette and nude lip one...too many pictures is too many.

What will I buy given that I just committed to their retro matte lipsticks....?


And so it goes...

I love discipline...not that I'm always good at it.

Delayed gratification is the best.  We get what we really want and not what just looks good at the moment.

What I want most?  Not telling....but you'll figure it out if you pay attention.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Marc Jacobs Strange Magic Lip Gel and MAC Wholesome lipstick

I never wore nude colored lipstick until lately.  Now I can't get enough of it and I keep trying new versions!  Two of my recent favorites are Marc Jacobs' Strange Magic lip gel and MAC's Wholesome lipstick.

Marc Jacobs is pricey and twice the price of the MAC tube.  Is it worth it?  Strange Magic (above) is also the only color of his new lip gels that keeps selling out on Sephora's web site.  Repeatedly.  Indeed, it's out of stock now.  I was intrigued.  What did I think?  I love the color...though it's a touch light for me, thus would look better with a darker liner or gloss mixed in/on top.  The soft pink nude is a true neutral and reminds me of something Malibu Barbie would wear.  It is more pink than I expected.  The formula is soft and not at all drying.  The lipstick also wears well.  I can't manage to make anything but the darkest reds last longer than 3 hours (I'm a perfectionist) and it does manage that well.  Love it.

Wholesome by MAC is my new favorite nude...and it's called a neutral mid-toned nude; which means it's more color than some nudes (the latter of which can wash me out.  It's also one of the recent Nudes and Metallics collection still on the MAC site and this color isn't sold out.

Looking at the two swatches the difference in color is pretty extreme but on I find they both look "nude-neutral" albeit in different categories of pink.

The MAC lipstick also wears well on me...which for me is only about three hours.  It's also a soft, creamy and non-drying formula.  Again, I love this lipstick (my new favorite neutral).

Both of these lipsticks are an A in my book and so pretty in a natural way.  Is the Marc Jacobs worth 2 MACs?  I guess the answer depends on your budget.  I think the color is distinctive, interesting and fun.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Patriarch by David Nasaw Review

This book is so long!  Totalling 896 pages, it's absolutely worth the commitment.

Any truly great icon - which Joe Kennedy was - regardless of whether you are a fan or not - isn't the easy subject for a biography.  There is so much to say...and I've been working on one (biography) myself so I've made the attempt.  Then there is all that research and the reality that anyone of impact made both a lot of enemies and a lot of friends.

Kennedy had a huge impact on the US: father of a President and scion of others holding political offices.  He was the founder of a great dynasty who built a large fortune and stood for something, successful at times but others not so.  Strong personalities push.  Anyone that complex deserves the smart insight from a great biographer like Nasaw.

We go from the prejudice against Catholics, to building Wall Street and Hollywood into the politics of WW2 and building the Kennedy Camelot.

The story is jaded, and not all characters - most especially Kennedy - aren't always likable.  But the book is such a worthwhile read.