February Birchbox – my love affair with Ruby Wing!

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Dood, the road to my heart is paved with nail polish – it just is.  Sometimes it’s the name as much as the color (see OPI Vampire State Building and China Glaze For Audrey), and sometimes it’s just pure, unadulterated color love.  What can I say?  I’ve worn nothing but black since the early nineties (reaching into my closets is a drag if you don’t know what you’re looking for) but I LIVE for color – in my jewelry, in my makeup, sometimes in my hair, and always on my nails.

So, goody number one in this month’s Birchbox was a retina-searing, super bright hot pink Ruby Wing polish called Kitten Heels.  As if this cracktacular Barbie shade wasn’t cool enough already, it CHANGES COLORS.  That’s right – hyper-color-esque polish that turns red in sunlight.  Add to that the fact that this stuff wore like IRON and I. DIE.  I’ve had it on my nails for a week and just swapped it to my toes.

Next up was Beauty Protector Protect and Oil – another product type that would easily make my top ten favorite things to sample is beauty oil.  This one is lightweight enough for fine and fuzzy hair like mine and smells great.  I like just a little dab worked in from about halfway down the hair to the ends for a little shine and defrizz action.

I also received a Coola BB cream – or rather, a slightly tinted SPF 30.  I have BB’s kinda coming outta my ears at the moment, so I haven’t actually slathered this on my face.  I have gotten quite a lot of these Coola products though in my sample bags, and I love the concept of natural sun protection.  Keep ’em coming, especially as we head into spring and summer.

Last were a couple of goodies from Smashbox, one of my tried and true favorite brands.  A trial size of the Full Exposure mascara to feed my ADD is super volumizing and I’m into it.  Love it!  And then there was a sample of ten of the shadows from one of their new palettes, half matte and half shimmer.  This was kind of a neat little touch.  I actually use a couple of their palettes in my work kit, and I love ’em, particularly for bridal.  This is one I’ve been eyeballing, so I’m all about it.

So this month was a win for all the subscription boxes.  Yay!  What’d you get?!

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February Ipsy Bag!

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Yay for Valentine’s Day!  Yay for my terrifically awful photography!

I hope everyone got to enjoy a marvelous Valentine’s Day with loved ones, whether the romantical kind of love, or besties, family, furry friends, etc.  I know there’s been a lot of anti-commercialized Hallmark holiday sentiment on the stream of my social media, but is it really so awful to get all gooey and grateful for the peeps in your life, and gorge yourself on chocolate?  Come on!

My subscription boxes did not disappoint this month!  Ipsy brought it in a matte pink zipper pouch with a baby pink Zoya polish in Dot.  I do LOVE me some Zoya, always have.  They’re a chemical free polish company, and all the shades are named after ladies.  My only complaint is that they do seem to wear best with the Zoya base, top, and quick dry coats (like iron with them, in fact), and without the durability is a hair ho-hum.  But the colors rule, and you can feel good about compulsively painting your nails without inhaling heavy duty toxic fumes.

Next up was a cream shadow – with base – from Tini Beauty, in Ambrosia.  I had seen on the website that there was a bright lavender shade, and once I got over my initial disappointment that I didn’t receive that one (I’ll be buying it with the 50% off Ipsy code), I warmed to this mauvey, fab shade.  I love a cream shadow, and apply them over lid primer (generally from Urban Decay, NARS, or Too Faced) even when there is (allegedly) one built in.  For my fuss-free daily routine, I think it’s just swell to apply with just a light finger smear, and the Ambrosia color does green up my eyes.

Then there was the Be Matte blush in Fresh Melon, a very sheer, very bright corally color.  Bright is my bag, yo, so I was excited to have gotten something colorful.

Pop Beauty Plump Pout mini gloss in Peony Petal was next – great color, reasonably good staying power, non-offensive flavor/scent.  Nothing particularly remarkable, but great food for my lip product addiction.  And I love the shape of the packaging.

I am drowning in BB/CC/schmack schmack Creams at the moment – I’ve got the Say Yes to Grapefruits, two different Origins ones, Smashbox, Dr. Jart, a Coola one in my Birchbox (more on that in the blog) and now this Moist and Firm number from IPKN NY, which is a new-to-me brand.  I’m gonna give it a whirl today, and I’ll update if it’s something special. 🙂  I do like the promise of appearing like natural skin…

Okay, Birchbox is gonna be next – what’d you get in your boxes?

I’m also cuckoo for nail art this month, and waiting on a whole mess of cheapie supplies I’ve ordered from China on Ebay. 🙂

 

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January Birchbox – MUPPET NAILS!!! And a couple quick pics of a faux bobbed client.

Happy New Year!

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How’s 2014 treating y’all?

Okay, let’s get right to it – I’ve got the contents of this month’s Birchbox and some pics of a recent client in a fabulous faux bob (can I just say I completely rule at those?).

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Birchbox first!  Okay, you see the Nail Rock stuff?  It is the fixings of a berry colored, Muppety velvet manicure.  And it really does ROCK.  I am completely obsessed, and cannot stop.  The burgundy polish is a fabulous color and consistency, and there is just something about that fuzzy velvet texture I can’t get enough of.  And it’s the easiest nail art application I can think of – you just paint each nail, then dip it in the little pot of fuzz and prepare for payoff.  I actually just ordered a bunch more colors of “flock powder” off Ebay yesterday.

The other big BIG winner for me was the dry conditioner.  As a hardcore dry shampoo junkie, who never washes her hair and always needs a little extra moisture in my super damaged ends, I am in love with Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Conditioner.  You just spray it on the ends of your hair (presumably after hitting your roots with your fave dry shampoo) and you’re good to go.  It’s AWESOME.

Also in this month’s box was a Harvey Prince fragrance in Journey.  Now, while I do love the thought behind some of these scents (Flirt is supposed to have the right combo of man magnets lavender and pumpkin, and Skinny Chic allegedly has appetite suppressing qualities), I just can’t wear ’em.  To be fair, my freakishly hyper-sensitive schnaz may be the culprit, but they don’t smell good on me at all, even though they are totally light and not offensive when sprayed on a card.  Sigh.

Next up was a 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented mascara.  Y’all know I’m always down to indulge my mascara ADD, but this was… eh.  It’s black, has a bit of an odor (there’s that nutty sense of smell again), and doesn’t do much but darken my already black enough lashes.  Pass.

Finally as an added bonus I received a little sample of a Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion.  It’s a solid little moisturizer!  Although, in my experience, you just can’t really go wrong with Burt’s Bees.

Which now brings us to my fabulous client Rachael on Saturday. 🙂  I had a couple of Grammy-related events, but Rachael was going to a Gatsby-themed 30th birthday party and treated herself to hair and makeup.  She thought she’d need something simple for her long, straight blonde hair, but, of course, that’s not how I roll. 🙂

I did mention that I rock at the faux bob, right?  I think she looks fantastic!

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Ooooh… gorgeous bride Megan!

 

 

 

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I have the best (and most beautiful, duh!) clients.  Thanks to Megan for sending these awesome pics!  Hair and makeup for Megan and her fab bridal party by Makeup by Catherine. 🙂
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Wedding photos from fabulous bride Candice!

Guuuurrrrlll…. This was a fun bridal party!  Big shout out to the marvelous Ms. Scarlett for doing a fantastic job with makeup for the bridal party.  🙂  All hair and bride’s makeup by Makeup by Catherine.111 wedding 012 wedding 596 wedding 1443 wedding 1539

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Happy New Year!

IMG_20140108_095911_197Whew – the holidays are behind us, and 2014 is rolled out right ahead!  Are you ready?!?!

Somewhere in the midst of holiday shopping, I did end up with a few little makeup treats in my own lil’ stocking – naturally.

So, once upon a time, Urban Decay used to make these little all-in-one palettes with lipsticks, glosses, shadows, and blushes called Face Cases, and when I went to Europe in 2001, I rationalized buying all three or four of the varieties they offered so I wouldn’t need to pack much else, beauty-wise at least (oh, if only you could’ve seen the amount of luggage three Crump women schlep for over two weeks overseas.  Oy!).

Eventually, with the numerous incarnations UD has gone through over time, the Face Cases were phased out… until now!  They are only two currently available, but I daresay they’ve been worth the wait – the revamp is even better than the original!IMG_20140108_095706_826

There’s the Sephora exclusive Anarchy case and the more readily available Shattered case (both are currently on sale for $29 – so worth it!).

Each palette has two tiers of mirrors and makeup, including one of the UD Super Saturated lip color pencils (which I adore!), two blushes, one highlighter, a black eye pencil, and five exclusive shadows.  These cases are a bit bulkier than the previous incarnation (which was just a hair larger than a credit card – I need to see if I can dig one up from my hoarder stash!), but I think it’s worth it to have the lip and eye pencils included.  These would be AWESOME to travel with, or to keep in your bag to perk up your look from day to night.  And the Scandal lip shade in the Anarchy case is an unbelievably gorgeous sparkly raspberry color!  Hooray!

Two other Urban Decay palettes have also found their way onto my vanity, so they’ll be more beauty porn to follow. 🙂

I finished out 2013 with eight-four brides – can you believe it?!  And I’m gearing up for the busiest wedding season yet!  If you’re newly engaged, this is a great time to schedule bridal previews – don’t wait!

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November Ipsy – all that glittahs!

IMG_20131114_223731_271Oooh… itsa good one this month!

I’ve been applying makeup straight outta this bag all week since I’ve received it, so I can tell ya alllll about it.

First up is a Starlooks Gem eye pencil in Amethyst, which is a pale silvery lavender and I am obsessed with it.  This pencil wears beautifully and has great pigment and I completely adore the microglittery finish.  There’s also a 40% off code for Starlooks, and I just might pick up a couple more colors!

Followed by a Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Shameless, which is a metallic burgundy color.  I love a good chubby pencil, and this is pretty for lips and cheeks – it feels suitably slippy on the lips and doesn’t have a particularly strong smell or taste (a major plus!).  Love it!  Come to think of it, I’ve kinda loved every product from Be a Bombshell that I’ve received in my assorted boxes – I may use their 40% off as well!

Em Cosmetics is the new brand of Ipsy founder Michelle Pham, and included this month was a Lash Gallery Dramatic Volume mascara – which I was surprised to find that I am crazy about.  I have full-on mascara ADD, as I think I’ve mentioned, and it takes A LOT to turn my head… but this did!  It does a great job thickening without clumping.

But wait, there’s more!  I received the Nailtini shimmery nail polish in Champagne – here’s another brand I’ve been exposed to through Ipsy that I’m pretty excited about.  I’ve gotten a few other polishes and they have great, fun, boozy names and pretty colors and they wear well – what more can you ask for?

Next up is a Bronzing Powder from Pixi Beauty.  Now this seems like a bronzer with not a ton of pigment and color payoff, but, that being said, this might be the perfect bronzer for a pale face like yours truly, particularly in winter.  It claims to bring just a little warmth to the skin, and I think it might work in that way for me.

And finally there was the Galaxy Chic Baked shadow from BH Cosmetics.  I received the Sun color, which is rosy and bronzy and pretty, but not much of a mind-blower.  It’s got decent enough pigment, and I like the packaging, but it’s the sort of thing I already have, and have seen all over.

Overall, this was a generous and fantastic Ipsy bag!  I think the faux croc gold wristlet was pretty darn cute as well!  Go Ipsy!

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Weekend wrap-up

Did all you little boos and ghouls have a fun n’ festive party-weekend-before-Halloween?

 

I was busy with a a coupla costumey clients, a wedding, and a bridal trial – it was a blast, as always. 🙂  I’ll post a pic of spider-queen Stephanie, a lovely client I flapper-ized for a costume party last year.  I used my beloved Makeup For Ever Flash Palette and a slew of sparkly rhinestones to create dewy spiderwebs around her eyes, and a teeny lil’ Milano wand to spiral her hair.  I’ve also got a pic of a pin-up girl whose (allegedly) hard-to-curl hair I did on Saturday afternoon and who emailed me a pic of her ‘do the morning after – still perfect!

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Never underestimate the power of a good thermal styling spray (Kenra 15) followed by a finishing spray that could stop a fly in mid-air (Kenra 26).  I love getting morning-after photos. 🙂

This weekend I also got to break in some new makeup products.

For years I’ve heard of the cult favorite Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars – they’re long lasting, vividly pigmented, and designed to mix (which is my total signature move) – and notoriously learning-curve heavy.  I picked them up to play with at the Makeup Show a few years ago… and put ’em right back down.  Too goopy, too runny, no thanks – and yet, the folks who love ’em really really LOVE ’em.  I received an email that Sephora had a mini set of twelve Lip Tars for about $50, and I bit.  But that’s online only, so I scurried right out to my local Sephora to pick up this little foursy set.

I think I’m on my way to believer-dom.

The colors are fab, and I feel like these tiny little bottles will last forever – FOREVER.  But this horrible product over-user needs to learn to take it down a notch – literally the eensiest dab will do ya, and lips that have a tendency to feather or bleed are definitely gonna need a liner.  I’m all but married to the aqua liners from MUFE for clients, and they seem to keep these tars in line.

My other new toys were a bit of a safer bet – blush and highlighter palettes from NARS.

There are two new cheeky palettes, Killing Me Softly and Adult Content, and I had wondered over to my beloved www.narscosmetics.com because I’ve run out of Orgasm (har har) and my Kevyn Aucoin Candlelit highlight powder, and was just gonna grab an Orgasm/Albatross duo – but the Killing Me Softly set included those as well as blushes Gilda and Outlaw, and the Adult Content had the less-pearly highlighting powder Miss Liberty.  It was a no brainer, and I feel like these new palettes earned their keep on the four makeups I did for yesterdays wedding alone. 🙂

There is nothing quite like new product!

What’s your favorite new beauty goody?

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Birchbox October ’13

IMG_20131015_160131_461There’s been a lot going down – but look who is remembering to unbox her Birchbox for y’all?

I’m so good to you.

My most adorable little pig dogs ordered a Birchbox Man subscription for my fella upon our household combining – figuring that they’d destroy all his nice stuff, so he’s gonna need some new stuff.  I’m debating about posting unboxing of the men’s stuff as well… whatcha think?

One thing I did notice when looking up stuff on his subscription was the sneak peek video, and I watched the one for the women’s box this month, so I had an idea of what was coming.

The main thing I was excited to play with was the Liz Earle cleanser and muslin cloth, which came in a beautiful little Tiffany blue box.  I am always leery of trying new skincare products due to the nutso sensitivity of my face, but I couldn’t wait to give this a whirl – I love the ritual of it all.  You start off by massaging the cleanser onto a dry face, then get the muslin cloth wet with hot water and wipe the cleanser off and finish with a splash of cold water (beats the heck outta my cursory shower-face-wash routine).  My face definitely felt and looked clean, and I will continue to work this bad boy into my skincare rotation.

POP beauty Aqua Lacquer in Flowering Fuschia was my next surprise – I’d been poking around on the website looking at what might be coming, and was hoping I’d get this gorgeous, sheer hot pink gloss.  Yay!  It smells good, tastes good, looks good.  Lip gloss is always good. 🙂

Now, I haven’t yet used my little sample of the Alison Raffaele Reality Base, a very hyped foundation sample.  I’ve been too busy enjoying the Yes to Grapefruits CC Cream I bought (after sampling in a box!) to try anything more hardcore.  I’m sort of in the market for something as an alternative to my ultra-sheer BB/CC life for winter, so I’m hoping this might fit the bill.

There was a little extra something in the box this month, and it was vanilla-flavored, super emollient chapstick.  As a lip balm junkie, there’s just never a time this wouldn’t be a welcome treat.  LOVE it and wanna buy another one.

And here’s a little something from one of my weddings from the last weekend – gorgeous bride Megan with her mom, sisters, and maids, hair and makeup by yours truly.  These girls were so fun and so beautiful!  I can’t wait to see the pro photos!IMG_20131019_150655_905

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October Ipsy – it’s a good one!

IMG_20131015_162202I have been a terrible slacker with regards to my boxy blogging over the last couple months.

Well, as I’m finally starting to settle into my new place and life with a Beyonce (fiance was too hard to get used to – Beyonce just rolls off the tongue somehow…), it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

And, thankfully, this Ipsy bag is pretty awesome!

Let’s start with what we know – I got a gorgeous magenta-y nail polish from Zoya, a brand I’ve known and loved for many moons.  Mason is a shimmery color with a little bit of sparkle, and I can’t wait to try it out.  I am a full-out polish junkie, and in the recent move purged hundreds (no joke) of colors, so this is the first new nail polish to come into this house.  I’m excited. 🙂

Next up, a plumping (allegedly) gloss from a brand called Ofra in Sultry.  It’s a pretty, slightly shimmery plummy color, with the expected minty tingle you get with (again, alleged) plumpers.  It’s nothing spectacular, but a pretty color and a nice smooth gloss that I’ll definitely make good use of.

Nourish Organic Coconut and Argan body lotion is lightly moisturizing and yummy smelling.  Not something I’m gushing over, but again, something I’ll be happy to keep in my purse for lotion emergencies.

I adore getting to try these little bottles of hair product from the Sexy Hair line.  I received Spray Clay, which I can’t wait to play with.  When I used to wear my hair shorter, I was obsessed with “clay” type products for texture, but I’ve never seen a spray verson (although I’ve got some spray waxes I also love.  While I was on my semi-hiatus from blogging, I also got the Sexy Hair beach spray over the summer, which is a fun little product for volume, and I’ve been using the Healthy Hair shampoo and conditioner for the last little while as well, which smells like heaven.  So, I’m saying, I’m a fan.

Last I received an oil-free facial moisturizer from Face Oasis.  To be honest, moisturizers tend to end up in my kit, due to the fact that my sensitive skin does not handle change well at all.  But it smells clean and feels light and awesome.

So… there you have it!

 

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