Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the storm

It doesn't seem right to post about beauty and fashion without pausing to acknowledge the horrible scenes that I've been seeing on the news.  We were extremely lucky in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania where I live.  We've had rain since Sunday, but the wind gusts were much lower than what was forecasted.  Seeing what has happened in New Jersey, Queens, Manhattan, West Virginia and other cities leaves me stunned.  The devastation is incredible.  I can't imagine what the people who have lost their homes are feeling. Even the ones who haven't lost everything have so much damage.  Millions without power, people stranded all over the world... my heart goes out to all of them.  I've been saying prayers, because that's all that I can do at this point.  I pray for strength for everyone, and guidance as to how to continue their lives after all of this.  If any of you have the ability to read this, try to take things one day, one hour, or one minute at a time, and know that there are many of us praying for and thinking of you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to wear dark eye shadow and dark lipstick

I love dark eyeshadow and dark lipstick  because they look mysterious and alluring (at least to me). I've always loved fall because dark colors look so great with both make-up and clothes.  In general I'm not a big fan of the color olive green, but it looks great as eye shadow. I did two looks so that you can choose which you like better - one with just the olive shadow, and another with brown in the crease for some extra depth.

Here are the products that I used:

Urban Decay primer potion for eyes
MAC Sumptuous Olive
MAC eye shadow in Vanilla
Rimmel Soft Kohl eye pencil in Jungle green
Urban Decay waterproof eye pencil in Zero
Maybelline falsies mascara
Laura Mercier Truffle eye shadow
NARS lip stain/gloss in Daredevil (no longer available)

After the primer dried, I brushed on the olive eyeshadow using a Angled Eye Color brush from Laura Mercier.

If you're a woman of a certain age, it can be helpful to brush your shadow on from both the inner lid out, and from the outer corner in.  This helps to avoid a lack of color in the creases if you have loose skin on your eye lids.  I find it especially helpful when I'm putting shadow on my right eye.

After the olive shadow I used a Rimmel London eye pencil to line my eyes with a dark green.

I put my usual off white matte eye shadow under the arch of my brows

I lined the inside of my lower lid with waterproof black eye pencil. Since I wear contact lens I'm careful to only use waterproof pencil so that it doesn't seep into my eyes and onto my contacts.

The finished eye with just olive eye shadow.  And yes, I know my eye brows needed waxed/plucked.

Brushing brown shadow into the crease

Blending the brown with a fluffy brush

 Note that dark lip color can make your lips look smaller, so if you don't like that effect, either choose a light or medium shade of lipstick, or try adding lip gloss in the center of your lips.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

NYC eye primer and shadow review

The first thing that I tried from my Beauty Blogger VoxBox was the primer and light grey shadow.  I was wearing dark lipstick this day, so I only used the light grey shadow.  I put on the primer first - it's very pale in color,and very creamy. It does settle in my crease before it dries, so I spread it out again before I put the shadow on.
The light grey shadow went on easily and looked nice. I usually prefer matte shadows, and this is slightly sparkly, but I do like it.
The photos below were taken at the end of a long day.  As you can see, the shadow stayed on pretty well.  There was a little bit of fading in the creases of my eye lid, but it could be that I need to use less primer.  I'll try that before I form a definitive opinion.  Another review will up coming when I use all of the shadows in the palette.

NYC grey shadow, Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencil in Zero, and Maybelline Falsies mascara

Note:  I did receive the eye shadow for free in order for me to review it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I got a box of beauty products to sample this week

from the web site Influenster.  It's a great site - brands team up with them to offer samples, and people sign on to give product reviews using social media.  You can earn "badges" by typing product reviews, answering questions, and linking your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram accounts.  Periodically they send out a box of samples related to a specific topic, which they call a VoxBox.  The VoxBox that I received this week has samples of mostly beauty products.  Which product do you think I'll try first?  If you guessed it was the NYC eye shadows you're correct!  I've been wanting to do a look with a light gray eye and a dark lip, so this is perfect.  And I can use the Kiss eyelashes when I do it.
I'm also psyched to try the Goody twist pins. My updos are normally just twisted my hair and clipping it up, so it will be fun to do a bun with these.
I'm always looking for the perfect frizz control cream or serum, so I'll be curious to see how this "Not Your Mothers" cream works.  There's also a small candle from Bath and Body Works, and something called E-Boost. I don't really think that's a beauty product, but if it makes me feel energetic and healthy, I probably will look better. So indirectly it qualifies.
Look for posts this week with my reviews of the products.  I love free stuff!

Here's everything that came in the box, including a coupon for a big 3-wick candle
from Bath and Body Works


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trends for fall 2012

If you care what the trends are before you buy fall clothing and accessories, I've noticed a few themes amongst the designer's Fall collections and the September issues of all of the fashion magazines.

Not surprisingly, dark shades are popular, with the most popular being Oxblood (dark red/Burgundy).  The name is a little weird, but the color is fantastic.   There is a definite gothic trend, which I absolutely love (always have), for example, dark clothes and red or dark lips.

Leather is also very popular, and not just the usual leather jackets.  Leather shirts, leather pants, and leather detailing.  There was also a lot of sheer fabric on the ready-to-wear runways, which I thought was curious for fall.  Just looking at it made me feel cold.  Denim is still popular, especially denim pants with prints, and finishes to make them look somewhat like leather.

DKNY dress with leather sleeves
Embellishments like crystals, studs, and grommets are very popular right now, as well as embroidery. The type of embroidery that's popular this year is the kind they make tapestries with. There was a lot of that on the runway, so it will be interesting to see if any of it makes it way to the mainstream stores.

Prints are also very popular, especially the ones from Prada and Miu Miu.  Squares and circles are the print du jour on jackets AND pants. I saw the same pant suit from Prada in every fashion magazine that I read.

Then there are things that haven't changed.  Peplums continue to be popular (Peplum is a little attachment at the top of a skirt, from the waist to the hips, or a "flounce" at the bottom of a top, a lightly gathered piece of fabric around the hip area).  If you're not familiar with it, it might sounds like it makes your hips look larger, but it doesn't if it's done well.  If it's on a skirt it's usually on a narrow skirt.  Skinny pants continue to be popular, either with boots or flat shoes.

Platform shoes continue to be popular, as well as shoe designs that are unusual.  Different shapes for heels, embellishments (mainly studs) on the shoes, and of course booties, ankle boots, and knee high boots.

As far as make-up, dark lipstick is definitely in, as well as red.  That makes me happy since I LOVE dark lipstick.  It does make lips look smaller, though, so if you like the look of full lips this one may not be for you.

If you want to look at some of the trends without looking through the fashion magazines, I've pinned some of them to one of my boards on Pinterest.  Check it out by clicking the link below:

Click to see  Fall fashion trends

What are some of your favorite things to wear in fall weather?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My cat died the night before last

So I may not post here for the next few days or week.  Or I might, it's hard to know right now what I'll feel like in the next few weeks.  I found my cat when she was a kitten living in the woods, and I had her for 18 years.  She and I were extremely close - she would always lay beside me on the bed or the couch.  She was always awake when I came home - waiting for me. She was diagnosed with kidney failure 4 years ago. I fed her the food that they tell you to give them & she did pretty well up until a few months ago.  I took her to the vet because she was throwing up a lot.  They showed me how to give her Subcutaneous fluids, and I started doing that twice a week. That seemed to help her tremendously for awhile.  Last week she started sleeping in  the closet more than she slept with me, and then this past Thursday she was acting disoriented.  The fluids that I had given her the day before didn't seem to be helping.
I was planning to take her to the vet's the next day, but she didn't make it through the night. She began having seizures after midnight, so I had to take her to an animal hospital.  The closest one was almost 40 minutes away.  My mother drove and I held my baby while she continued to have one seizure after another. It was the most horrible thing to see - she looked up at me and she looked terrified.  She was such a sweet cat and I desperately wanted to make the seizures stop but there was nothing that I could do for her.  When I took her in the emergency entrance they rushed over and took her from me, and the girl said "we're going to give her something to stop the seizures".  I truly believed that they would give her whatever medicine she needed and that we'd be going home that night.  Then they told me that they hadn't been able to stop the seizures yet, and then put us in a room by ourselves.  I still hoped for the best.  Then the doctor came in and said that she didn't expect her to live through the night, since she had an aneurysm in her brain.  I've never felt such a horrible feeling, realizing that I'd be going home without her.  The kindest thing to do was to end her life quickly with a shot rather than letting her suffer until she died.  I was able to hold her for a few minutes once they got the seizures to stop.  She was very sedated, but I could see her breathing and blinking her eyes. I felt like she could see me and hear me talking and I hope that that made her feel safer when she died.  For me the grief was so overwhelming that it made me sick to my stomach.
And now I'm home, surrounded by so many things that remind me of her. I'm taking things one day at a time as far as what I feel up to doing each day.  I didn't want to just drop off the blogosphere and not post without an explanation, though.  I feel pretty certain that I'll be back to posting  about fashion and beauty very soon, although I don't think that I'll feel up to doing outfit posts myself for awhile.

Here's a few pictures of my baby girl who is in heaven now.

My sweet kitty sleeping on my head - one of her favorite spots

Buddy - 1994 - 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More fall fashions from the runway

One of my favorite collections for this fall was Bottega Veneta's. There were so many beautiful pieces that I had a hard time picking just a few for this post.  Scroll down to the last photo to see my favorite.

It's hard to see the little rhinestones embellishing this gorgeous dress

One of my very favorites. This dress was worn by Katy Perry for the September issue of Elle

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are you wearing booties this fall?

I'm so glad that boot season is here.  I LOVE boots of all kinds - tall, medium height, ankle boots, "shoe boots"...  I love little booties - ankle height or shorter.  I have one pair of short ones that have the top folded over, and a few more that are ankle-height.  I could buy another dozen, I'm sure, because they're cute and sexy at the same time.  Here are some of mine, and a few others that I've seen online and lusted after.  What's your favorite height of boot to wear?

Eve by Valentino




old - can't remember brand

Monday, October 8, 2012

How to apply red lipstick

One of the beauty trends this fall is red lipstick. For many years I was afraid to wear such a bold color. As a matter of fact, I was afraid to wear anything brighter than medium berry colors.  I started experimenting, though, first with browns and red-browns.  One day I went to my favorite MAC store and asked them how I would best apply red lipstick.  They put red lipstick and red lipgloss on me.  I remember looking in the mirror and saying "I can't wear this!  I work in a law firm, I can't wear this to work, anyhow".  The make-up artist asked me "why not?"  The answer, of course, was that it would draw too much attention to me.  I was also afraid that people would think I looked like a hooker.
So the first step to applying red or any bold color of lipstick is to let go of any stereotypes, and not be afraid to be noticed, in a good way.
The next step is a lip pencil.  It's not absolutely necessary, but I find it helpful with bold color.  First trace the outline of your lips using either a color that matches the lipstick, or one that matches your natural lip color. You can go slightly inside or outside of your natural lip line, but just a little bit if you want to look natural.  A plus of lip pencil is that it's fairly easy to change things like an uneven cupid's bow.
Once you've outlined your lips, color the rest of them with the lip pencil.  This helps you to avoid the "lip outline is a darker color than the inside"  look.  The pencil stays on much longer than just lipstick, too.

The products I used here:
MAC lip liner in Redd
MAC lipstick in MAC Red (or if you want a matte finish use Ruby Woo. It gives you that old time Hollywood glam look)
MAC lip glass in Just Add Color

Go over the pencil with a matching shade of lipstick.

If the color is too much for your comfort, blot it by putting a tissue between your lips and close them, then take it out.  You'll still have color, but not as much.

The last step is optional, depending on whether you want a matte look or a glossy look.  For me it all depends on my mood, where I'm going, and the look I want that day.  You can apply a red gloss like I did here, or use a clear gloss.
To avoid bleeding or messy edges like I have on top here, just dab some gloss in the center of each lip and  rub your lips together to spread it out.

That's it!  Red lipstick looks great with smokey eyeshadow at night.  During the day I usually try to keep the eye shadow light, but ultimately it's a personal preference.  It does help to keep your blush color light to avoid looking too made up.  Here are a few examples:

The same techniques work with any bright lipstick, like the newly popular orange shades

red lips and blue eyeshadow

red lips and peach eyeshadow

I love the dramatic looks, but it looks great with a smile, too

When I wear red lipstick it makes me feel confident and strong, and I don't mind being noticed at all.  For more examples of ways to be noticed in a good way, check out the blog Not Dead Yet Style.  Every Monday the theme is "Visible Monday", featuring bloggers wearing the fashions, make up, and hair styles that make them feel beautifully visible.  Click the link below to check it out.
Visible Monday

Friday, October 5, 2012

A few of my picks from Fashion Month

Fashion Week in Paris has wrapped up a month's worth of shows in different cities, and I'm enjoying looking through the photos from all of them when I have a chance.  It would take a very long time to look at every designer, so I'm just choosing a few favorites and others randomly.  Click here to look at all of my pins on Pinterest, or click the Fashion tab at the top of this page to see a few that I found notable.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 ready to wear collection
All photos from

Monday, October 1, 2012

Purple for Fall

Purple is one of my favorite colors.  Normally in fall I wear darker make-up all-over, but sometimes, especially in early fall, I still like to wear a lighter version of purple.  For this tutorial I combined a medium purple with and orangey-peach and light pink lipstick.  Unfortunately I did this one a few weeks ago, and now I don't remember exactly what products I used.  So here's the look, and I'll list my best guess for what I used.

Products used:
Urban Decay primer potion on eyes
MAC Firespot (limited edition no longer available) shadow -  substitute peach
MAC Fig shadow
MAC Chill shadow
MAC Bordeuxline eye pencil
Maybelline Falsies mascara
MAC Creme de la femme lipstick

Step 1 - Peachy eyeshadow brushed over lid with a Laura Mercier eyelid brush

Step 2 - brush a dark purple in the crease of your eye

Step 3 - Highlight under the "arch" of your brow with white or off-white shadow

Step 4 - Blend shadows

Step 5 - Line upper and lower eye with a deep plum eye pencil

Step 6 - Smudge liner with a smudge brush

Step 7 - Mascara on upper and lower lashes

Tada - finished!