Circus Fantasy Perfume

I fell in love with Fantasy perfume by Britney Spears, to my utter amazement, a few years ago when I got it for christmas. While most other perfumes just smell like flowers in alcohol to me, I loved that this had some very warm sweet notes to it. It was very unique as far as commercial scents go. I mean it has cupcake smell in it, come on. So when I read about the collection in Wikepedia (shut up) I decided I couldn’t wait to try the rest of the collection.

Yesterday I came across Circus Fantasy in the drug store. I really wanted to try Midnight Fantasy the most, but this is what they had, what can you do. I got it in the big bottle. The box is awesome, very classic vintage circus, and the bottle itself is beautiful too. It reminds me of one of those orbs that monarchs hold. I think having the whole collection of these would make for a great display on the vanity.

The scent however confuses me, and that fact alone bothers me almost as much as if it was a bad smell, which it isn’t at all. The top notes of this perfume are supposed to be raspberry and apricot blossom, but all I smell is lemon. The middle notes are supposed to be floral, including violet and orchid, which come out as the perfume dries. And yet still, I smell lemon. I think they’re in there but they seem to be trying to hide. It’s bugging the hell out of me. Mike said he smells no lemon, which is bugging me even more because I feel like my nose is tricking me and I really want to smell what I’m apparently supposed to be smelling. I especially want to smell the bottom notes of vanilla and musk, because those warm sweet smells are always my favorite. I’m told in other reviews that this comes out as the perfume dries. But this brings out a flaw of this perfume in that it really doesn’t last long. I’ve been spraying it again and again (I’m alone indoors, not smothering people with my fumes) waiting in vain for the vanilla to come out. I get barely a hint and then the perfume seems to be gone altogether. Where is it? Can you tell me? This stuff is messing with my head.

Confusion aside, I had been considering getting a sharp clean citrus scent for a while, since I love the grapefruit scent of my Fresh Start products from Tresemme. So this does satisfy that need as well as provide a perfect young fresh summer scent. It’s not my most favorite perfume ever, and it can smell a bit generic and even like a cleaner in the first moments you spray it. But I do like it, probably more than I’m letting on here. So I’m keeping it and I would recommend it. I still can’t wait to try out Midnight Fantasy, being the darker more mysterious member of the group. And of course I could never forget the wonderfully awesome and unique non-alcohol scents of Goth Rosary.

Wait, is that a violet I smell?

Soap And Glory Scrub Your Nose In It

I started using Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose In It facial scrub almost a year ago. I finally had a little money and the opportunity to try out some of the cute pink vintage bath and body products that had been springing up all over my drug store. Definitely the packaging is what made me want it in the first place. It’s so cute, I couldn’t resist. But this stuff actually lived past being a mere novelty for me. I love it.
This facial scrub is great. It’s bluish green, and is the perfect consistency. It’s grainy enough to feel it (I know a lot of us like to feel the scratchiness so we really feel it working) but fine enough not to be awkward or painful. It’s actually really creamy. It also smells amazing. It’s a mix of cucumber and mint, so it smells super clean, and lives you skin feeling really clean and fresh. This is absolutely my favorite part.
Scrub Your Nose In It actually doubles as a really effective clay mask when you lay it on a little thicker and leave it for a few minutes. The main purpose of it is to tighten and unclog pores, and really works. I’ve read quite a few reviews from women saying that their pores seemed to completely disappear with this stuff. Now I still have visible pores. It’s not a miracle. But I have noticed a big difference, especially after using it as a mask on my trouble areas. I actually have to get really close to see my pores, and my blackheads are really faded. It’s also been a huge help in finally letting me get rid of that stubborn rash I had. Between this and not holding my hand against my face in my sleep anymore, it’s completely and totally gone. I still have some blotchiness from the resultant scarring, because my skin is very sensitive, but it’s now completely smooth, and I would no longer be the least bit embarrassed to be seen without makeup. My skin hasn’t looked this good in a really long time. Like 14 years long time. So of course I would definitely deem this stuff worth spending my money on, and I would love to try more products from the line.

Another review can be found here:

The Perfect Eyeliner

Eyeliner isn’t easy. It takes a lot of practice to apply properly, and the brands can be hit and miss. So I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while.

I mentioned Stila eyeliner when I posted about my last trip to Sephora, but I feel the need for a quick update here…
This stuff sucks.
On my hand in the store it was great, but I learned something important. The pressure you use on your hand in-store is notably more than what you would use on your eye, which is more delicate. So while it seemed great at the time, I found that the lighter level of pressure you use on your eye is not enough to get the pigment out. I have to press harder, and this makes it almost impossible to get a steady line. It makes my lines wobbly, thick, and smudgey looking, and the fine points on the wings are impossible. The Kat von D Autograph liner, while it takes a long time to dry, only requires the most minimal – if any – pressure of the fine brush, so you can create the delicate lines you need to easily. So I threw out the Stila went back to the Kat von D autograph liner. It felt good. I know some of you will still prefer a felt tip over a brush tip, but if you haven’t decided yet this is something to consider.

Now, the technique. A lot of people just stretch their eyes out and keep the line going out past the corners. Ehhhhh not the best. If you’re just doing a basic job it’s ok, but I wouldn’t do it that way for the pinup look. Clearly when you let go of your eye it changes shape. And a nice 50s wing has a distinct upward curve that continues the shape of the lower lash line. This seems challenging, but it’s not as bad as it seems. First of all, you want to do the wing before anything else. You should start by drawing a line from the corner of your eye, continuing the upward curve of the lower lash line going towards the end of your eyebrow. If your eyes are hooded you may need to take it up a little higher so it doesn’t get lost. If you have trouble getting it even, I find it helps to actually start at the tip, or mark off how high you’re going with a very tiny dot, and make sure the dots line up on each eye before continuing. Then you can start from the dot and curve down to match the lower lash line, or do as before and follow that line up to that point. This is all very wordy and sounds a bit tricky, but it’s it’s really not bad.

Once you have that done, you can line your upper lash line, just regular. Then go back to the tip of your wing, and make a line that swoops in a downward curve and connects seamlessly with your upper lash line. The less you swoop it, i.e. the straighter your line connecting down is, the more 60s the final product will look. Fill it in, and you’re done! Then if you want to add a little more drama, you can use an angled brush to smudge some eyeshadow into your lower lashline. Black is standard, but you can actually use any color you like and have a little fun with it. I like bright teal. This is my cop-out way of mixing it up.

This video mixes up the order a bit but it’s basically the same. I just like to do the wing first so I can open my eyes to check if it’s even without smudging anything since my eyes are hooded. It takes a while to get going (I hate that) so start at 2:40 if you want to cut to the chase.

Update: I recently found this. Even better than the video!

Organizing Your Makeup – For the Average Person

I’m not a pro, and while I love to experiment once in a while, I really wouldn’t consider myself a makeup geek or fanatic in any way. I’m terrible at application and I’ve had the same basic routine for about 2 years with just a few tweeks here and there depending on my changing moods. So I really don’t have a lot of makeup, but being femme I still have enough to get REALLY messy really fast. I’m thinking most of you fit into this same category.
So when I got a little too frustrated by the little hurricane covering my dresser, I started looking up videos on how to organize it all. I should have expected that virtually all of these videos were geared towards makeup artists and fanatics, people with multiple huge eyeshadow palettes (DVD stackers are perfect for that!) and tackle boxes full of lipsticks.


Clearly, I have no need for this stuff. I won’t be running off to Walmart to buy a 3 foot high plastic set of drawers.
But it did give me some ideas, which I would like to pass on to you. Since my makeup collection is a whole lot smaller, I just made the storage smaller. I got some glasses out of the kitchen (hey, no spending!) of the size I felt was appropriate. They should be clear so you can see what’s inside them. In one of them I put all the tall skinny things, like mascara, lip gloss, and eyeliner. I may actually need to get a bit of a bigger glass for those. In another I put the flat things like eye shadows and small blushes. In a third I put bobby pins and little hair clips. You can also use a glass or pencil holder for your brushes if you don’t already use one. The bigger things, like foundation and powder stayed separate and on its own. There’s not much of it at all so it doesn’t matter.
Of all the things I organized in this way, they were all things that I use not necessarily every day, but on at least a weekly or so basis. All the rest was put in a little velvet bag and stuffed into the back of a drawer. You can use a makeup case like you probably already do because, duh. Don’t forget to go through this every once in a while for things that may be overdue for the trash, or ready to be included in your routine. Sometimes the best thing to do before makeup shopping in a store is shop in your own collection. It’s easy to forget all the stuff you have. The only things I haven’t included by now are the items I carry around with me which stay in my bag, which is stick foundation, eyeliner, and a lipstick.

It was kind of amazing how quick and easy it was. I’m almost feeling stupid now, but hey, what are you gonna do? I’m also thinking that it would be really cool if you could get your hands on some pretty little apothecary jars for this, and you could even put interesting if irrelevant labels on them, just because. And if they have lids, all the better if you need to travel.
So that should pretty much do you. If you have more things, use bigger containers, up to and including the aforementioned 3 foot high drawers. If you have less, your dresser is probably a lot cleaner than the rest of ours. I admire that.

Teacher’s pet 😛

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer, Surreal Skin Foundation and Stila Eyeshadow

Wow that’s a long title!

Remember when I reviewed Benefit Playstix and Kat von D Autograph Eyeliner and said I would continue to pay for the good stuff where warranted? A few weeks ago I returned to Sephora, that magical and expensive candy land for girls and fabulous men. This time I had two things in mind. Foundation again, because I was out, and eyeshadow primer. As happy as I was with the quality and application of the Benefit Play Stix, that color issue wasn’t so great. Four shades do very little to accommodate most skin tones, and as Mike pointed out in the car one day, it didn’t accommodate me – at least in daylight. While it looked perfectly fine in the terrible yellow, shadowy lighting of my room, outside my face was half orange. Mmmm…nope.

So the first thing I did, after nearly losing myself at the Kat von D display, was ask the sales girl what was the most similar product in a color that suited me. When I told her the Benefit was orange on me she seemed very confused. She looked at the stick, then back at me in a sort of disbelief. Finally I put it on and she saw how the color looked much different. I also showed her the example of a drug store brand I was carrying which looked very dark in the pot but almost like white-face on my skin. I think she learned something. You really have to try makeup on.

Luckily Sephora lets you do this, and I finally landed on something that looked good, Urban Decay Surreal Skin Foundation. Still not 100% perfect, because you don’t get a whole lot in the pot and the brush isn’t the best, but an improvement nonetheless. I’ll stick with it if it lasts long enough.

As for the primer, I walked around for about 45 minutes with the Kat von D stuff until I noticed Urban Decay Primer Potion in the discount bin, because it was still in the old packaging. I didn’t really know what I was doing anyway, so I grabbed it because it was 2$ cheaper. Good move! I found out later that day that I got the gold one (I thought the gold bottle was just standard, silly me) so it can also be used as a shadow and highlighter. Then I REALLY put the stuff through its paces. I put it on in the morning, went to work, came home, went to bed, got up, went to work AGAIN, and by the end of that second day it still looked way better than just one hour in shadow without any primer, with only minimal fading. Holy shit! And yes, yes I do know that sleeping in your makeup is wrong. I often do it anyway. A tip: Because yellow is the opposite of purple, the gold shade works as a great color corrector for under-eye circles under concealer.

Yesterday at work my mom and I suddenly got on the topic of primer. I don’t think she’d ever even heard of it. She said she never wore eyeshadow anymore because of how badly it creased, smudged, and faded. When I told her about the primer she had to have it, along with a face primer to combat summer melting. So I’m going to pick that up for her on the weekend, and she also wants to take a trip down there with me one of these days to see what other awesome goodies she can find that she never knew existed.

Finally, the Stila eyeshadow in the “It Girl” palette. I got this in the discount bin too, and since I had about 20$ left and that’s what it cost, I bought it. I figured it was a great neutral palette that could be worn natural or smokey, and loved the gold glitter in the deep brown shade and pinky pearlecsense (sp?) of the champagne shade. The palette is gorgeous, highly pigmented, and blends beautifully. It even feels good, it’s so soft! I adore it. Mom wants this too but in a more age-appropriate matte version. Do they have this? I’ll take a look.

So now my eyes look totally pro, for a long time, and my face is no longer orange. I’m going to replace my autograph eyeliner with tattoo liner because I’m forever opening my eyes too soon before it dries and getting horrible black smudges, but beyond this I think I’m about done stocking up on everything I need and can move on to things that are more purely for fun. I wonder what that will be?

Kat Von D Autograph Eyeliner and Benefit Play Sticks

You get what you pay for. And for the past little while I’ve been having a real bitch of a time covering up an irritated trouble spot on my face, a result of resting my hand there in my sleep. So this is why I decided it was time to step up my game and take a trip down to Sephora for some of the good stuff.
Sephora is like a little piece of heaven for makeup addicts. A very, very expensive little piece of heaven. The average item I looked at cost about 40$ as opposed to the usual drug store price of 13$.

The first thing I looked at of course was concealer. The sales girl first recommended Boi-ing by Benefit. My only real issue was that it came in a pot, and I prefer the cleanest possible application, something that requires minimal use of your fingers. So I started poking around a bit and eventually landed on Play Sticks, a cream to powder stick foundation. I’ve used this style of foundation before in a drug store brand, and I loved it. I also figured that since this was a high end brand, even a foundation would hide things better than my still-pretty-good drug store concealer. It would do the job of 3 things – foundation, concealer, and powder – so it would be a better deal and leave me with less junk on my face.
I was right. This makeup feels non-existent, and covers almost flawlessly with no effort at all. My skin hasn’t looked this good since I was 12. And contrary to what some others have found, on me this lasted ALL day. The only real drawback here is that there are a surprisingly limited number of shades, and I was worried that like many other foundations this one would end up looking weird and orange-y on me. When I first swiped it on it almost did. But while it’s still not a perfect match, it does blend quite well. As long as I remember to put it all over so I don’t have any weird white-ish patches, it looks quite seamless. If you’re considering buying this and the shades are holding you back, I urge you to test it out before making a decision.

After thoroughly boring Mike to within an inch of his life, I also walked out with Kat Von D’s Autograph eyeliner. This was more of an impulse buy, even though the Revlon liner I was using really had been bugging me. It smeared, smudged, faded, and wouldn’t go on evenly. It looked like crap from the get go. Its only real good point was that it had a felt tip, making application virtually idiot-proof. I had seen video reviews for the Kat Von D liner before, but let me tell you, they did not do justice to just how dramatic and precise this looks in person. The color payoff is amazing – this is the blackest black that was ever black. And while it doesn’t stay perfect all day, it comes pretty damn close when you leave it alone. Fading in particular is nil. Speaking of which, the negative? It’s incredibly UNwaterproof. It takes some time to dry – about a minute – and even then smudging is a bit of a risk if you rub your eyes or they start to water. And definitely don’t forget your umbrella if it rains.
So consider me sold. When I can afford it, I’m buying the good stuff, one or two products at a time.