New Year’s Eve: To the Nines

New Year’s Eve parties are a pretty big deal. We put on something fun and sparkly and get all gussied up to drink champagne and kiss someone sexy at midnight. It’s tradition.

I managed to put together a New Year’s Eve look for this hypothetical party I’m going to!

fotd nye

Truth be told, I’ve been wearing this makeup look to work a lot lately. Red lips and glitter is a classic holiday season go-to, don’t you think?

ootd nye

ootd nye shoes

ootd nye accessories

I actually wore this exact outfit last week, when my family and I went to a fine dining restaurant for my mom’s birthday. I bought the heels last minute at Ross, on clearance. $15.99, score! They are crazy uncomfortable, though. But I rarely wear heels and I didn’t want to spend more than $20 on a pair I’d probably wear once a year. So I’m quite happy with this find.

One day, I’ll figure out a way to take decent pictures of me actually wearing these outfits. I don’t get very good natural light in my apartment, and I’m too shy to go outside and take selfies. :S

Outfit

Dress – ecoté
Shoes – Steve Madden Shiri
Necklace – Express
Earrings – Claire’s?? I can’t remember, I got these ages ago, and I wear them every winter.
Watch – Fossil
Clutch/makeup bag – Jouer

Makeup

e.l.f. cream eyeliner in black
The Body Shop glitter eyeliner
The Body Shop Colour Crush lipstick in 115 Enraptured Red
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush
butter LONDON The 444

And here’s the part where I reveal that this whole post is a farce.

I don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve. At least, no fancy plans. I work from 10am to 2pm, then I’ll probably come home and immediately change into my sleep/lounge clothes. Maybe my family and I will watch the fireworks at Aloha Tower. I might even go to a beer tasting with my sister. But I definitely will not be this dressed up. Le sigh.

Even my dog knows that I have no social life:

ootd nye pocky

“Umm, what the hell are you doing? This is pathetic, you know that?”

ootd nye pocky 2

“You and I both know that you’re not going anywhere that requires a dress this pretty, so if you’re not going to use it as a mat, then I will. Thanks.”

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Whatever they are, have fun and stay safe! See you in 2015. :)

Swatches: Metallic nail polishes

A few weeks ago, when Sephora sent out their annual $XX off a $50 purchase coupon, depending on which Beauty Insider tier you were on, I wandered into my local Sephora to look for a birthday gift for my friend, Krystal.

This Marc Jacobs nail polish in Gatsby immediately caught my eye, and upon swatching it, I FELL IN LOVE. I knew Krystal would love it too; plus the name is so appropriate!

marc jacobs gatsby swatch

It’s an elegant rosy gold with a touch of cool tones to keep it neutral. Doesn’t it just ooze glamour??

Then, when I got home, I decided to compare it to other metallic nail polishes I already own: Essie’s Mirror Metallics collection.

essie good as gold, essie blue rhapsody, essie nothing else metals, essie penny talk
L to R: Essie’s Good As Gold, Blue Rhapsody, Nothing Else Metals, and Penny Talk. I didn’t swatch the silver, No Place Like Chrome, because I don’t have six fingers.

Marc Jacobs Gatsby looks like a mix between Penny Talk and Nothing Else Metals:

marc jacobs gatsby, essie penny talk, essie nothing else metals
Marc Jacobs Gatsby, Essie Penny Talk and Nothing Else Metals

And here’s an awkward claw picture of my hand so you can see all the colors:

marc jacobs gatsby, essie penny talk, essie nothing else metals, essie blue rhapsody, essie good as gold
Marc Jacobs Gatsby, Essie Penny Talk, Nothing Else Metals, Blue Rhapsody, Good As Gold

I personally love metallic nail polishes. They’re so flattering on my hands. However, when I first bought Essie’s Mirror Metallics collection, I had a hard time getting them to apply evenly. The color would pull and drag and the high shine finish showed every ridge and smudge on my nails. I applied each coat very thinly, and very slowly.

Krystal suggested I tried a thicker coat, and working faster. This definitely helped even things out. Then, I read somewhere to apply a matte base coat in between color coats, and it’s LIKE MAGIC. Flawless metallic claws.

Do you like metallic nail polish? What’s your favorite finish of nail polish? I personally prefer shimmery colors, as they’re the most forgiving if your coats are uneven.

Brushegg: A Compact Makeup Brush Cleaning Tool

Quick show of hands: How many of you like washing your makeup brushes?

Yeah, me neither.

I mean, I love makeup (obviously), and makeup brushes, and clean makeup brushes best of all. But washing them regularly is such a chore.

I used to wash my brushes with my hands, working the soap into the bristles with my fingers, then rinsing them with my fingers again. This left me with very pruney fingertips and even drier cuticles than usual. I’m also very picky about making sure I rinse ALLLL the cleaner out, lest the bristles dry with a slightly sticky residue.

Then, I heard about Sigma’s Brush Glove. It’s a silicone glove with different textures to help deep clean all your brushes, face and eye brushes alike.

sigma-spa-glove-2

sigma-spa-glove-1
Images via sigmabeautytalk.com

To me, it’s a glorified oven mitt. While I’m sure it does a fantastic job at what it’s designed to do, $30 is really steep.

My friend Krystal told me about a DIY version she found on YouTube (link to tutorial) that uses a clear plastic clipboard and a hot glue gun. I tried making one, and truth be told, it’s not half bad.

diy clipboard brush cleaner

It is GHETTO, though. And a bunch of my little dots and swirls either came off, or were about to fall off. Plus, the size makes it unwieldy, and I have to get creative with positioning it in the sink.

Enter The Brushegg!

brushegg

I think I initially found these on eBay. I did my research and read a few reviews on it before buying. The biggest deciding factor was the compact size. It can fit in the palm of my hand, which makes it very convenient for traveling and storing.

brushegg scale
Brushegg next to a travel sized Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer for scale

It works the same way the Sigma Brush Glove does, but stripped down to the bare essentials. Think of it as a laundry washboard for your makeup brushes. The textured surface helps agitate the product buildup out of your brush bristles.

brushegg side view

There’s a hole at the bottom of the egg where you could stick one or two fingers inside to hold it. Alternatively, you could just hold it in the palm of your hand. The main difference between this and the Sigma Brush Glove is that you’ll still get your hands wet. However, it is significantly better than using my fingers!

brushegg use

I use the bigger ridges for my face brushes, and the little dots for my eye brushes. With really dense brushes, it does take awhile to get a good lather going. I also like to double rinse again with my fingertips, just so I can be sure the bristles aren’t soapy anymore!

All in all, the Brushegg is a great little tool, and it’s cheap too! You can either buy one off the website here or on their official store on Amazon or eBay. As far as I know, it’s available in four colors: Awesome Aqua, Pretty Pink, Luscious Lavender, and Fabulous Fuchsia (I don’t see this color available on the website, but it’s available on eBay.

I personally bought mine via distintimpressions on eBay, to whom I have linked above. The seller seems to flip flop between offering a lower price but charging for shipping, or selling the item at a higher price with free shipping. Either way, it’s works out to $10 each. I did once catch them at $5.99 with free shipping, so I’m not sure what dictates this. :S

Anyway, I’ve already ordered a bunch of these for my coworkers for Christmas presents! It’s a thoughtful little wallet-friendly gift for the beauty lover on your list.

How do you wash your makeup brushes?

NOTD: Almond Kiss Sparkles

notd almond kiss sparkles

About a month or so (probably more, my perception of time isn’t the greatest), The Body Shop launched its Colour Crush nail range. I picked up a few, and only now have I gotten around to featuring them on the blog.

I paired the nude colored Almond Kiss with NYX’s unimaginatively named Sparkles. I bought this cheap silver glitter years ago, thinking it’d be versatile, but this is probably only the second or third time I’ve used it.

the body shop colour crush nails almond kiss nyx girls sparkles

Almond Kiss almost gives me mannequin hands, but there’s just enough warmth and a touch of indiscernible shimmer that keeps it from making my hands look dead. It’s quite a chic nude.

And I love glitter nail polish, so I figured why the hell not. Sparkles for everyone!

What are you wearing on your nails on this #ManiMonday?

FOTD: Great Gatsby inspired

My friend Codi from high school messaged me on Twitter (almost a month ago, O_O!!), asking if I do makeup tutorials:

And I’m such a jackass that I only finally got around to doing this FOTD yesterday (and her party is tomorrow!). I hesitate to call it a tutorial, though, because there’s not a whole lot of tutoring going on. Just pictures of my face.

I also don’t feel qualified, AT ALL, to do makeup tutorials.

At any rate, I kept it pretty simple, because I wanted it to be easy enough for her to do, if she decided to use this as a guide. I also used all drugstore products, because I honestly believe that you don’t need to splash out big bucks to look nice.

Gallery is clickable; click to see larger!

Products used: Sonia Kashuk eyeshadow duo in Bite the Dust, e.l.f. cream eyeliner in Black, Wet n Wild Megalast lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy, Wet n Wild Color Icon blush in Heather Silk.

Eye brushes: e.l.f. small smudge brush, e.l.f. angled eyeliner brush, Real Techniques shading brush

Face brushes: ecoTools detailed lip/liner brush, e.l.f. concealer brush (alternative lip brush), Sigma F40 large angled contour brush

fotd great gatsby eyes

1. First I lined my upper lash line using e.l.f.’s angled eyeliner brush with their black cream liner. I like the e.l.f. especially for smoky gradients like this, because it doesn’t dry right away and it smudges well.

2. Before the eyeliner completely set, I used the dark purple shadow in the Sonia Kashuk duo with the e.l.f. small smudge brush to smoke out the line. I brought it up the lid, but not past the crease. In hindsight, perhaps I should have brought the darker shadow up higher, because of my disappearing eyelids. :P

3. I blended the taupe shade of the duo on top, using the Real Techniques shading brush, to soften the whole eye.

I also used a bit of the cream liner on my lower lash line and smudged it with the purple too, to balance the look.

fotd great gatsby1

Curled my lashes, added mascara, and cleaned up any fall out with some makeup remover on a Q-Tip before putting on my undereye concealer!

For the lips, I chose Wet n Wild’s Megalast lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy. Because reasons: it’s berry colored and super flattering on pretty much anyone, and it’s dirt cheap. I adore this lipstick so much.

To apply, since the bullet is so weirdly shaped, I just swiped it on quickly and left the edges imperfect. Then I went in with a lip brush to fill out until the edges. This way, I don’t have to spend forever with a tiny lip brush carefully smudging color all over my lips. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!

I paired the lipstick with Wet n Wild’s Color Icon blush in Heather Silk. Be warned: this blush is insanely pigmented, and in some of the photos I took, I look a little clown-cheeked. Use a light hand with this blush and blend like your life depends on it!

Well, Codi, I hope you found this somewhat helpful, even if it’s a bit last minute! I’m not sure if this “qualifies” as Great Gatsby-esque, actually. In fact, for a night party, I’d definitely add more dark purple to smoke it up and out. Maybe even add a pair of falsies.

fotd great gatsby

I tried.

Any suggestions for Codi? A quick Google search shows me tons of makeup tutorials by people much better at this than I am.

Good luck! And have fun! Take pictures of your makeup for me! :D

UPDATE: Eee! She took pictures for me, and her dress is gorgeous! Check it out here!

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