Thursday, October 29, 2009

As Black as Night

Don't you just love a good black eyeliner? When I want a black liner, I need the blackest of the black. Something that defies night, and doesn't leave me with a look that is more morning-after than smoldering hot. I'm constantly on the hunt for the deepest darkest shade of black--and I think I've found a champion. It was in the most unlikliest of places, as true black liners are concerned--the drugstore! And who would believe me if I told them it was by good old Black Radiance? We're talking long-lasting, smudge free, standout performance--even on the waterline! Go figure.

Here's the proof--now you tell me which one takes the cake:


Oh right, did I mention that it's less than five dollars? Get thee to a drugstore!

The beautiful Bubblegarm tagged me recently for a one-word tag game. The questions deserve a one word answer. bottoms up!

Where's your cell phone: Bed
Your hair: Bun
Your mother: Generous
Your father: Traveling
Favorite Food: Tongan
Dream last night: Eww
Favorite drink: Water
What room are you in: Guest
Hobby: Cooking
Fear: Bedbugs
Where were you last night: Here
Something that you aren't: Full
Muffins: Blueberry
Wish list item: Knuckles
Where did you grow up: Home
What are you wearing: Jambos
Your pets: Amariah
Friends: Love
Something you're not wearing: Anklet
Favorite store: Target
Favorite color: Brown
Last time you laughed: Today
Your best friend: Hubby
Bestest Place you go to over and over: Mom's
Person who emails you regularly: PuniP
Favorite place to eat: Bed

I know that if I don't tag some of you, you'll never do it--so it's all on you: Kajal Couture, StellarNZ, Tali, Dila and Su-Pah!

Are you back from the drugstore yet? Creme liner in hand? Or do you have a black that beats these? I'm loyal, but a winner is a winner...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kanani Buxom Lips

I'm not the biggest fan of plumping lip glosses, as they tend to irritate me (ie. my lips feel like they're on fire). Also, my pout is probably full enough on its own...and I can't help but think that there's something strange about stinging your lips into submission. While I'm not the biggest fan of lip-plumping products, I'm also not a fan at all of Bare Escentuals. The powders and I do not play well together (also read: they turn my face a bright shade of orange), and I find the product in general to be a bit clogging.

Buxom Lips (a line from Bare Escentuals) threw me for a loop when I sniffed at the applicator to check whether there was a scent. Yes, yes there was. In fact it was the scent of candied applies--one of the most appealing scents on earth! I began sifting through the shades (of which there are many), and found one called Kanani. It's a shimmery yet sheer pink, and there upon the packaging is the photo of what marketers feel is an island woman. I sort of don't like it when companies do this--but yet, I fall for it every time. I mean, I wanted so badly to be a Bianca, or a Bambi--but who am I kidding? I'm a Kanani. Definitely a Kanani. (Although, couldn't they have thought of a better name? i'd much prefer to start seeing glosses named Meleane or Vapina).

As for the burning effect--this one has proved itself different. Instead of the normal stinging and tingling, it just feels overall cooling. It's as though you have a breath mint in your mouth, or have just brushed your teeth. For this I am pleased. I'm a big advocate of oral hygiene, so it doesn't bother me at all. I can't say that I've noticed a lot of plumping going on, but oh well I bought it for the scent.

What do you think of companies trying to match their products to race and ethnicity? Are you generally pleased with their pairings?

Have you checked out Lady B's blog? She has great posts on products/design/style, and they're a bit off the radar. Not the kind of blog where you feel you've read the same review by 20 other authors. She tagged me about dishing on a few hair products that I regret buying, and I've finally taken her up on the offer! The idea is to name and shame a handful of items that you've purchased in an effort to beautify your hair, yet all they've done is create problems.

I love a dry shampoo, and there are few products by Ojon that I do not like. Although the product is effective, and smells much better than some of its competitors, no matter how many times I re-purchase a bottle of their Rub-Out Dry Cleanser, the cap clogs up and I can no longer finish off the product. That's almost as annoying as a bad product.







One product I should have never laid hands on, is the Maxi Professional Hair Polish. It smells wonderful (which is usually why I fall for these things), but even with a light hand, it eventually causes me hair to hang and look greasy. This would be a good choice for someone with extremely curly hair--but even then, I would spray very lightly.



As someone who colors her own hair at home, I prefer to leave the professional products to the pros. I fill in where I can get in, and otherwise I have to rely on someone with more expertise to use the big guns. Such is the story with my Schwarzkopf hair colors. Mixing the stuff with developer in a bowl, isn't my idea of fast or easy. When you color as much as I do, you really can't be bothered. I need to 'fess up to my stylist that I'm not using these things, as i have way too many lying in the cupboard.





One of the first dry shampoo products I became interested in, was Bumble & Bumble's Hair Powder. They come in shades that are meant to be suited for your hair color. It's messy, they build up, and never really match your hair color, unless your hair is jet black or platinum blonde. All it does it make you want to wash your hair, which is the very thing you were aiming at avoiding.


Which hair products just didn't work for you?

I'd love to hear from you--Tali, Dila, Kajal Couture, Su-Pah, Rocaille, and Tina!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Karma Organics

I know, I know...if I don't start posting more often than once a week, I'll be telling you all about the Style Black collection on New Year's Eve. I'm trying to step it up, but work is no joke these days! I celebrated yet another year of life a few weeks back--and with that came great food, drinks, family friends, and...beauty products. Those poor people--so timid to pass me their gift of makeup, because they weren't sure if I already owned it, or had something horribly critical to say about it. Needless to say, I love it ALL and was shocked at the originality and decision making that went into it! I learned once that my love language is gifts, and I think that most of my friends and family fit into that category as well--giving can sometimes be even more thrilling than receiving!

Here is one gift that totally blew me away--a dear friend had returned from New York with some nail products right up my alley, that she knew would hit my organic soft spot. Meet Karma Organics, a line of nail goodies that are not only gentle on your hands, but offer colors and that one would grab regardless of its do-good qualities. The line was created as a by-product of owner Nausil Zaheer's Organic Spa in New Jersey, as a way to offer clients polishes that were non-toxic and 3-free.

So Berry Sweet, Monarch Masquerade, Metallic Blue

The polishes are fantastic, and apply like a dream. At times I am a bit weary of "natural" nail products, as it seems to be the case that they deliver color in a way that leaves much to be desired. I usually pass by the offerings at Whole Foods, as shades are a little...well, boring. Not these. They are richly pigmented, and opaque on the first coat!

One coat of So Berry Sweet

Now here's the kicker--I really did not expect to enjoy this next one in the way that I have come to enjoy it. Throughout the years, many a nail polish remover has been tested on these hands. I don't mind the Cutex variety where you stick your finger into a sponge-filled bottle; as they seem to be pretty effective. I'm also a fan of Lipmann's Lavender pump-top formula. Typically however, I tend to stick to plain old liquid-in-a-bottle. When you go through excessive amounts of remover (like I do), this seems to be the cost-effective route. All that said, I am now a changed woman. The Soybean and Tea Tree Polish Remover is one that will not leave you feeling suffocated at the scent of alcohol, and is also non-drying to boot. Hand on heart, my nails were moisturized intensely by the use of it (since when does that happen with nail polish remover?), and it didn't leave a trace of polish. If you are an avid nail-polisher, this needs to be added to your collection. No longer will you dread the dry nail beds that removers have a name for leaving behind.

I was tagged by Tali of The Gloss Goss for a sweet award! This is the cutest graphic that I have seen in terms of blog awards, don't you agree? The idea here is to post a song that makes you happy, as well as to tag a few others and state what makes you happy about reading their blog.

Tali has an amazing blog that has grown by leaps in bounds in a very short time. She is no novice when it comes to makeup, and knows her tastes very well. Here, you'll find the honest bad reviews with the good--which is a breath of fresh air in this beauty blogging world!

Tina has a DIY, stud-fascination that shows through in her edgy, yet refined style. She'll stun you with everything from her latest nail polish to a pair of funky boots.

Lady B is still finding time to upkeep her blog, while pushing through grad school. I don't know how she does it! I love her haircare and beauty secrets posts--but don't be fooled, as she has a keen eye for interior design and showcases beautiful setups.

Rowena leaves me laughing with every post. Her sarcasm and wit is incomparable, and I'm not quite sure how she stores her ginormous collection of products. If you are wondering about a hard-to-find item (if it's from Asia, you get bonus points!), you'll probably find it here.

Muhsine gives us an ultra-creative approach to her love of beauty. I have probably seen 60 different variations of the same eyeshadow palette (although she is not limited to it), and several home-made concoctions on her page. Not only that, but she creates jewelry!

Whoa, when I think about it these girls are so ethnically diverse it's incredible! I love it! Now that's what I like to see in this beauty blogging world ;) Check also for their YouTube videos--they're not just good on paper.



A song that makes me smile is Brick and Lace's Love is Wicked. I should also note that it makes me sweaty (yea, gross) as I can't listen to it without mimicking the dancing--and yes, even the guy's parts--from the video. These two sisters are from Jamaica, and as a big reggae, soca, dancehall..you name it fan, I can't help but at least bounce in my chair when I play this.

What are your thoughts on natural nail care? If you feel the urge to post the people and song that makes you smile, be sure to post a link. I'd love to hear!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

LUSH: No Longer Just a Bath Bomb

I've been LUSH-ing away lately--I can't seem to get enough of the place, but I blame it on the cold weather. When in-store, everything melds together a bit overwhelmingly--but any single item taken outside of the premises is just amazing. The philosophy that they have towards natural ingredients is to be admired--but the fact that they all seem to work really well...well, what's not to enjoy?

Coconut Deodorant Powder

As the months turn cooler, the need for a clinical strength deodorant is not as pressing as it is during, say..110 degree weather. Therefore, a powder will suffice for the under areas--or even better, a coconutty powder! Made with dessicated coconut, coconut milk, and coconut oil, there are few things that it doesn't include of which I'd want. Add to that some tapioca starch (the key ingredient which absorbs sweat), and you've got a product made in some sort of island heaven! It's much easier to apply than expected--just a little cupping in the underarm area, and you're on your way.

Lemony Flutter

Salves and thick body butters are always appreciated around my way, as i grew up with a mother who forbade me to sit with my knees to the floor (paranoid about dry skin, I suppose?). Lemony Flutter comes as a cure all for any dry patches--from elbows, to knees to heels. Sure, it's a cuticle butter, but it's made of mango and avocado oil--so I figure why should the rest of my body suffer? This one reminds me a bit of a lemon chiffon cake--but I love the smell of lemon, so I'd compare it to anything.

Clockwise: Big Shampoo, Floating Island
Cupcake, The Comforter Bath Bar

It doesn't stop at the body butters and deodorants, as LUSH is of course known for their bath bombs and bars. I can't help but want to take one of these to the bath with me each time I decide to steep. (But on that note, do you ever notice that once you're actually in the bathtub, you enjoy it for a couple of minutes only to realize that you're suffocating and want to get out?) A few of my faves--the Floating Island Cupcake, The Comforter, and a Sunny Side Bubble Bar. This bar turns your tub to liquid gold, and amazingly doesn't leave you with glitter stuck to your skin. I'm not a glitter girl...but a gold girl, I am.

Sunny Side Bubble Bar

It's hard to miss the big tub of shampoo that also found its way into the image. Big, is a shampoo that I picked up after reading Tali's review of the stuff. Two words: I love. It's not as though my hair needs to be any bigger--as shown by Exhibit A below. This was taken after I returned from work one day (mind you, I couldn't tell you how those stylists fixed the I Dream of Jeannie style):

Yes, Major Nelson?

This is why I like the stuff: My scalp plays a little trick between being dry and oily. One day it's dry, and so I moisturize it like crazy and enjoy the outcome, only to find that the very next day, my whole head of hair is falling flat. It rides a fine line that even I can't comprehend--but this gritty salty shampoo (which smells like a margarita, minus the tequila) has been the only thing thus far that has removed the excess oil, yet left it clean and moisturized. It doesn't look or feel like shampoo, but takes very little time to lather up.

Now LUSH has created a Pumpkin soap, and a Cobweb bath bomb just in time for Halloween. I made a trip yesterday, only to realize they had already sold out and were waiting for re-stock!

Did any of you get your hands on it? What are your favorite LUSH products?
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