KVD Haul

I have one week till my new program begins and I venture into the murky waters of doctoral studies. It's a very exciting and very nerve-wracking time. So I thought I would engage in a little casual blogging.

This week I went to Sephora and treated myself to some new Kat Von D products that turned out to be better than anything she's put out before. Her eye shadows have always been pigmented, but never as finely milled as in the Metal Crush Shadows. And her lipsticks have always been innovative and fun because of the fact that she engineers colors that are outside your typical nude, pink, red range. One of the best new releases is KVD's "Piaf", named after her adorable hairless cat. Piaf is a rich taupe with a purple duo-chrome finish. "Mercy" is the perfect burgundy for fall (or just in general).

Le Haul.

This Bite Cosmetics 250 Pt. Perk at Sephora is the best perk they've ever offered. Bite's lip products use natural pigments from flowers and fruits to create long-lasting, richly-pigmented color. Also, their lipsticks are incredibly moisturizing. The shade seen here, "Bellini", is the only shade available. But it looks fantastic on everyone. 

(L) Lovecraft sample (M) Mercy (R) Piaf

KVD's "Mercy" and wearing her eyeliner in "Mad Max". 

Some of my roots and grays were showing. Thanks hair!

Ugh. So glad I colored my roots today.

Crushed Metal Shadow in "Synergy". 
While this new shadow line is amazingly pigmented, it's also incredibly blendable- as evidenced by the fact that I don't look like a Greek bronze of Zeus in the above photos. 

Other wins this week: Fyrinnae's "Sexy Nerd" Lip Lustre. 
Fyrinnae is probably one of the best independent beauty companies out there. It's vegan, cruelty-free and also posts detailed lists of its ingredients for buyers. But that doesn't mean their products have less pigmentation or decreased wear-time. Sexy Nerd is a great example. It's a rich fuchsia with gold undertones. It stayed put for about 5 hours- even after I had a root beer (you can tell where my priorities lie). 


These are a few of my favorite things....

Cold season is upon us and what could be better than feeling like your skin is not slowly becoming a raisin? Lately my normally dry skin has been freaking out because it's so cold and snowy (there was an actual blizzard). So, I decided to pick up a few things that both remind me of spring and can tide me over until moisture once again returns to the Midwest. First of all, Organix's Hydrating Argan Oil of Morocco lotion smells like paradise and keeps my skin hydrated for an entire work day. I thought I liked the shampoo and conditioner, but now I like the lotion even more!

I am a huge fan of the L'Oreal Infallible Matte Lipsticks. The color seen at right is INTENSE and should not be worn before exfoliating and hydrating lips. This shade is "Aphrodite's Kiss". I just couldn't resist the classical reference.  Also, if you haven't tried any of the colorful mascaras currently popping up in time for spring, you're missing out. YSL made a HUGE deal out of it last year and Tom Ford's NYFW make up for this year will also supposedly feature mascara in brilliant shades of blue and green. L'Oreal Manga mascara comes in turquoise (as above), purple and royal blue. 

Then there's this tiny tube of bliss by Burt's Bees. It legitimately smells like both blueberry and rich dark chocolate- very much worth paying $3 for!

If you haven't yet tried Rimmel's Provocalips long wear lip colors, you should. Surprisingly, the formula does not dry out your lips as most long lasting lip formulas have done in the past. I grabbed this shade, "Little Minx", at Walgreens. These are really well pigmented and come with a moisturizing gloss (which I am wearing). 

This week I experimented with new ways to wear my hair. I saw a look similar to this worn by Miley Cyrus- let's all quirk our eyebrows- a couple of years ago and thought it was a really sophisticated way to do an "updo" for short hair. My hair isn't quite long enough yet, but it still seemed to work. Oh Miley, this was your glamourpunk phase... please don't wear anything too crazy to New York Fashion Week...


Since last time...

It's been a while, and since my coursework has finally abated in my MA program I am just focusing on my Thesis research for the moment. That's exciting and terrifying all at the same time. But at least I get to work on a project I am really passionate about- the reception of Diego Velazquez's "Portrait of Juan de Pareja" in Rome and Spain during the 1650s. Pareja was manumitted before Velazquez completed this painting. Not only was the portrait a wild success, but the man who was once Velazquez's slave became a fairly successful painter in Seville after his death. My interest in this painting stems from the fact that  Velazquez depicted a man of color, specifically a "morisco", a man of mixed racial heritage whose family were probably conversos, in the genre of portraiture which was generally reserved for wealthy (and white) men. It's difficult not to assume that in a culture where purity of blood (limpieza de sangre) determined social mobility, the choice to depict a former slave with mixed racial heritage as a noble freeborn man would have been shocking. However, the story is a bit more complicated than our 21st century American perspectives might allow. Antonio Palomino's account of the painting's reception in 1650 states that while the other works exhibited were art, Velazquez's piece approached "truth". In other words, the work was valued because the artist did not merely attempt to counterfeit life, rather he created a work with a life of its own. We seem to have stumbled upon Pareja in a moment of repose and as we investigate the work Pareja seems to catch our gaze and unflinchingly return it.

With that said, there are some other things I have been up to as well. I love make up, a little too much I think sometimes, but I don't really feel as comfortable with a paint brush as Velazquez or with a pencil or chalk like Leonardo. So makeup is my medium. 

First things first, I'm learning how to style my eye brows and do contour. Also I just got a lovely new haircut thanks to Ali at Beck Salon! And I just purchased some Anastasia DipBrow in "Auburn" which I am wearing in both of those photos. The brows aren't perfect, but I'm on my way! The next thing I plan on trying are brow stencils which help to guide your hand as you shape your brows. They give you the guidelines to create a more definite arch. I also have been experimenting with bronzer along the bottom half of my cheekbones to make them look a little more defined.

There are some really exciting new drugstore make up products out this summer that are worth your time! I finally got a hold of these CoverGirl Colorlicious glosses in Fruitilicious (top), Pinkalicious (mid), and Succulent Citrus (bot). I've been playing around with these, creating different looks by layering over lipsticks and lip stains and they are really wonderful!

Here I layered Succulent Citrus over Maybelline's "Electric Orange". Although the photo came out a little redder than I would have hoped, the color appeared as a highly glossy deep orange. The glosses are not sticky and while you will have to reapply after eating, these give great color payoff.

The Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains are also really fun, and in my opinion waaay better than the Maybelline Lip Elixirs that came out earlier this year. These are much glosssier and opaque than the YSL lip stains that are currently out at Sephora. They also do not have the staying power of the YSL stains, nor as yet the range of colors. Hopefully Revlon continues these and keeps making new shades. The color I am wearing above is "Rio Rush" and I also highly recommend "Miami Fever" as I love a good tangerine lip. 

Lastly, who doesn't love a mini-accessories haul! Old Navy had an accessories sale on Saturday that I, as an employee, capitalized on with wild abandon. I do love our sales and although I'm not paid to mention Old Navy in my blog we have all of this cute new stuff and people are Instagramming the living daylights out of it! The bracelet at the top has a pair of matching earrings which I did not purchase- and I'm now regretting that decision. Also... I have a Pixie Pant addiction... but sadly, my littlest guinea pig Gus ate a hole in the butt of my favorite red pair (a fact which I discovered while at work, thankfully I was wearing a long shirt- phew!).

Next week I will be posting some new lip looks and some fun experiments with new eye shadow palettes from Too Faced and LORAC!