Random Thursday: A place in my city I love

Random Thursday: A place in my city I love

There are actually quite a few places in my city that I love, but I don’t have pictures of them (boohoo). I guess I could have grabbed the camera and biked around taking pictures today, but I was in a mood to be lazy and lounge around the house eating grilled cheese sandwiches and watching Game of Thrones. I’m allowed to spend the last few hours before the workweek being lazy, right?

Anyway, here are some of my favorite spots, in no particular order:

  • The best darn Thai restaurant ever. Not only because their food is delicious, but also because the interior is crazy-cool (must post pics sometime), they will veganize almost anything for you, the waitstaff is super-friendly, and they’ll prep orders for carryout if you call ahead.
  • The library. Oh, shocker, you say. Yeah, it’s kind of obvious, but what makes this library extra-nice is that when they expanded into a new building they made sure to include plenty of reading nooks and spots by the windows, so if you need somewhere to hang out, it’s a nice place to do so.

Oh, and this place, of which I do have a picture (yay!). This is a local hiking spot with great views of the lake and the mountains. It used to have a huge parking lot at the trailhead where you got two hours of free parking and the rest of the day at a cheapie rate, provided there was even someone at the parking booth to take your money. Half the time the booth was empty and you got to park all day for free. Then someone who probably couldn’t appreciate natural beauty if it kicked him in the teeth decided to buy the parking lot and raze it to build tennis courts for the tourists. You can still park to go use the hiking trails, you just have to do it in his conveniently located (expensive) parking garage. I’m pretty sure he would have bought the hiking trails from the city to build something there too, but they’re too hilly. Because what this world really needs is more building and less nature!

Okay, rant over. One more spot that’s actually a ways out of the city, but is too gorgeous not to include.This lake is freezing cold year round on account of being very deep, but it’s a wonderful place to swim, hike, picnic, and of course–take pictures.

What are your favorite places in your city?

Product review: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Eye Shadow

Product review: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Eye Shadow

Another product from my birthday haul! I have wanted a budgeproof teal shadow for some time now and thought I would check off two objectives by also trying out a new product: a creme shadow from Hard Candy. Read on for a full review and swatches.

The product: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Shadow, $5; shown here in Tidal Wave. Available at Walmart stores.

The claim: From their website: “Vibrant, long wearing crème eye shadow lights up and enhances eyes. Our groundbreaking hybrid formula has a soft cushion texture that allows it to be worn as eye shadow or eyeliner. This crease proof, stay put formula is blended luminous, multi-colored pearls that provides glamorous evening looks. Available in 10 gorgeous, vivid shades!”

Ingredients:  Isodocane, mica, polyethylene, tribehenin, isohexadecane, polysilicone-11, isobutylmethacrylate/bis-hydroxypropyl, dimethicone acrylate, copolymer, dimethicone, silica (in gold and green shades), C13-15 alkane, phenoxyethanol. May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, manganese violet, ferric ferrocyanide, carmine, ferric ammonium ferrocyanide.

Ingredient notes: Hard Candy products are not tested on animals and this appears to be vegan. These products are made in the USA. This is chock full of strange chemical names, but most seem to have a fairly low toxicity.

I tried it: The packaging is a basic small plastic jar with a screw-on lid–nothing fancy. This shadow is incredibly dry, which I did not expect. I had to use a cotton swab to dig it out of the pot and apply it on the lid, and then used my fingers to blend it out. In my opinion a brush just won’t do the job. You’ll also want to use a cotton swab to shape and blend the edges of the color very quickly before it sets, because once it does, it’s budge-proof. I think the drier texture–while a total pain in the butt during application–helps it last longer with out creasing or slipping on my oily lids.

Here is the look I put together using this shadow for my main allover lid color. I used my mini Hard Candy Meteor-Eyes baked shadow in Bad Reputation on the inner corner, around the outer corner of the eye and up across the crease to soften the edges of the teal shadow, and then along the lower lash line. I used a pop of peachy shadow under my arch. I lined the upper lash line with the Milani Ultra Fine Liquid Eye Liner in Black Vinyl and lined the lower lash line with my Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero. I’m wearing Hard Candy Flat to Fab black mascara in these pics, and if it’s starting to look a bit droopy–that’s because I was wearing it all night!

This shadow is pretty vibrant. It works best if you apply a thin coat and then possibly a second to build up the color, or top it with a matching powder shadow (though I don’t own any powder teals). Despite gripping your lids all day, it does remove fairly easily with waterproof eye makeup remover, and does not stain the skin. Because it’s so budgeproof, it works great as a liner.

My final thoughts: This shadow is just kind of “meh” to me. I guess I like the overall end result, and it’s hard to find cheap, vibrant vegan shadows, but I just wish the texture wasn’t so dry and difficult to apply. I think I would possibly consider purchasing more shades in the future, but I’m not rushing out for more at the moment–I’ll be looking at some other brand options first.

Hard Candy minis review! Nine items total

Hard Candy minis review! Nine items total

Get ready for a big post! I decided to do a big review of all the Hard Candy mini items that I picked up this summer. Where possible I’ve made ingredient notes and I’ve included swatches so you can see how the colors look out of the tube. Later I may try to do some full FOTD type posts with these products, but there were so many here that I wanted a way to quickly and tidily go through them! All of these items are available through your local Walmart.

First up, the Sheer Envy face primer ($8/1.6 oz.). As far as I can see this is a vegan item, and it also contains no parabens. I’ve heard good things about this primer and I think for the price it does an amazing job of blurring my pores and keeping the shine down so my foundation doesn’t slip away by lunch. It’s a good balance between mattifying and being too dry, but it would probably not be suitable for terribly oily skin–for that I will stick with my Nyx Shine Killer primer. I would repurchase this.

Next is the Eyeshadow Primer. I’m not totally sure, but I don’t think is sold as a solo full-size item. It also appears to be vegan but contains some parabens, unlike the face primer. It has a much slipperier texture than typical eyeshadow primers and while it smooths out my lids a bit, it doesn’t seem to do a lot to intensify the color of my eyeshadow or make it last any longer than usual.

I have two minis of Glow All The Way, in “Glamzon Bronze” and “Doll Face” ($8/4.8 oz.) These would appear to be vegan, though the packaging says they “may” contain carmine. These are super-shimmery and a little goes a long way, as you can see from the blended swatches. Glamazon Bronze would be an excellent accent for legs and collarbones if you have a tan; Doll Face would be pretty on the cheekbones and browbones. I would probably repurchase these, though I’m scratching my head over the fact that Hard Candy apparently isn’t sure which ingredients made it into the finished product! I’ve seen major vegan bloggers refer to products like this as 100% vegan, so I’m not sure what to think. :/

On to the eye products. The two Take Me Out glitter liners ($5 apiece for the full sizes) are “Wild Child” and “Notorious”. They are waxy and not as glitter-packed as I thought they would be; the color payoff seems excellent and they do seem to stay put well, though. They stain a bit and you’ll definitely need a waterproof eye makeup remover to take them off. They do contain beeswax, which is why I would not consider repurchasing them.

The silvery shadow is a mini of the Meteor-Eyes Baked Shadow in “Bad Reputation” ($6). As far as I can tell this is a vegan product. It’s a soft satiny silver with moderate pigmentation and staying power, though like most drugstore shadows, I think you’ll want to use primer and you’ll need to reapply partway through the day. It’s a nice accent color but I just don’t see myself purchasing a full-size silver shadow. :)

I also have two mini mascaras, Lash Tinsel in the shade “Spellbound” and a tube of Flat to Fab, and I believe both of these retail for $7 for the full-sized tubes. I think all Hard Candy mascaras contain beeswax, so they are not vegan. For some reason I thought their non-waterproof formulas were vegan, but when I double-checked that is not the case.

Lash Tinsel is not the glitter-packed formula I thought; it’s clear with a small amount of glitter, so it actually adds a nice accent to lashes without turning you into Ke$ha. Here I’m wearing it over bare lashes on the left and over black mascara on the right. Obviously the beeswax makes it a no-go for me going forward, as 2013 is my year of transitioning from vegetarian to vegan cosmetics.** However, I will keep a more open mind about glitter mascara from here on out–it’s actually quite pretty! It just takes a bit of work to remove.

The Flat to Fab mascara was weird and I’m not sure how I feel about it, beeswax aside. For starters, the brush is huge and fatter on the ends than in the middle, so it can be hard to evenly coat the lashes as you would with a standard spoolie. I also felt that using a lash comb was necessary to avoid clumps. That said, the pic series below was taken after a ten-hour shift at work, and I had zero flaking or transfer–this stuff did not budge in the least! It did seem to help hold my lashes in a curl and it did a good job of volumizing and lengthening. It’s just one of those products that requires a bit of elbow grease to get the desired beautiful result.

So there are all my Hard Candy mini reviews! Do you like Hard Candy? Have a favorite product? Never tried them? Leave me a comment and let me know!

**If you’re curious about the difference between vegetarian and vegan cosmetics, I have a post here that explains it all! You can also leave me a question in the comments or e-mail me–remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. :)

Ten on Tuesday: music memories

Ten on Tuesday: music memories
 
It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time to link up for the weekly Ten on Tuesday hop! Ten on Tuesday is now being hosted by Two-Thirds Scarlett, so please go check out her blog. :)
1. Well for starters–thank goodness it’s the weekend.

 

2. To really appreciate this dancing cat GIF from Hoppip’s Tumblr, you have to turn on a techno song and watch the cats do the wave to the beat. Try something from Tiesto. (Go check out that Tumblr by the way–it’s full of cute kitty GIFs and drawings.)

15 Delightful Illustrated GIFs That Will Make You Smile
Hoppip / Via hoppip.tumblr.com
3. So apparently the big news this week is that there will be an ‘NSYNC reunion at the VMAs next Sunday. And the internet is all like…

And I’m over here like…

image

WHY? Is it not enough that we have One Direction running loose in the world?

4. As if that news wasn’t enough to remind me of my age, Spotify also felt the need to jump in with some musical memories. And also with a reminder that in each stage of my life thus far–childhood, teenagerdom, and now as an adult–I have been unable to escape the musical scourge that is Justin Timberlake. (No offense, “Suit and Tie” fans.)
5. I mean, really, Spotify–you couldn’t recommend some vintage Foo Fighters or something?


6. By the way, boys–the Dave Grohl look is only attractive if you are in fact Dave Grohl. If you are marginally employed and living in your parent’s basement until you “make it big”, you just look like a silly wannabe who needs to wash his hair.

7. You have to go see this Vine of a truck driving off a highway overpass. No, really, this happened. (The driver is okay, by the way.)

8. I am trying so hard to get into season two of Game of Thrones but it is just nowhere nearly as good as the books. Things ought to get a lot better once this smooth criminal shows up, considering he was my favorite character in all of book two. But I don’t really know that I’ll bother going on to season three. The TV show has just really been a letdown. :(

 http://writergirlm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/thrones2_jaqen-300x168.jpg

9. I guess you know you’ve given a cat a really good rubdown when he stops purring to give you a double head boop.

10. This note and response was written on a box in our stockroom. I don’t what’s funnier, the fact that someone wrote a note requesting garbage pickup or the fact that someone else replied to shame them and still did not take the box to the trash. This box has been sitting there for months. Months, people. It’s like something from a Dilbert cartoon.

Sunday Confessions: I am apparently a terrible person

Sunday Confessions: I am apparently a terrible person

Once again I’m linking up with Alyx for Sunday Confessions! This week I really only have one confession to make, and it’s that I am apparently a terrible, terrible person.

I have no idea what this was pulled from, because it’s floating all over the Internet and I can’t find a source. (If you know, let me know too so I can properly credit it.) Anyway, I am apparently a terrible person and headed to hell because I believe in tenets of Eastern religions like karma; practice yoga; am eco-friendly (we’ll call it “Earth Worship”–sounds catchier); like cyberpunk culture; meditate; am a vegetarian; enjoy postmodernist art; like The Lord of the Rings; watch vampire movies; play video games; read books from the D&D franchise; list to rock music and heavy metal; have seen the Twilight films; and like goth culture.
 

To be entirely clear I do not believe in dabbling around with things like Ouija boards, but that’s an entirely different spiel for a different day. I just think this list is hilarious in the scope of things it considers “doorways to demonic possession”. Now excuse me while I go eat a sinfully delicious salad and watch the LOTR box set extras for the umpteenth time.

What do you have to confess this Sunday?