Month: August 2013

Random Thursday: I wish they were never canceled…

I’m not a big TV watcher, so my entry here is pretty lame. But I do have one show I really would have liked to stick around!

Who else remembers Jericho? I had to look it up on IMDB–it was way back in 2006! The plot centered around the residents of a small Kansas town who suddenly find themselves in the dark–literally and figuratively–after seeing a mushroom cloud bloom on the horizon. In the ensuing chaos they have to figure out how to survive while also searching for answers about the cloud and defending themselves from marauding armies now prowling the countryside. The writing was great and there were so many secrets and backstories slowly unspooling, it was hard not to get hooked.

I remember sitting through one intense season only to find out it had been canceled; apparently a second season happened without my knowledge because, you know, short attention span. I’ll probably end up buying this on DVD sooner or later since the full series is only around $35 on Amazon–and there are apparently graphic novels that continue the story where the TV show left off. I just can’t figure out how something that was smart and suspenseful could get canceled but shows like The Bachelor are still bulldozing on!

What TV series do you miss the most?

Product review: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner

I’ve kind of been slacking off on the makeup reviews, eh? And with so many new products to try from my birthday haul! Today I’ve got swatches and review of two liquid liners that I picked up. Liquid liner is kind of my bane (shaky hands) but you can’t deny that it looks pretty cool, so I was hoping these would be easy for a liquid liner newbie to use!

The product: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner; $7.49 at drugstores or through the Milani website

The claim: Long-lasting, waterproof formula. Can be applied in a thick or thin line. Dries to a sparkling finish.

The ingredients/ingredient notes: Milani does not test on animals and I do not see any ingredients in these two liners that should pose a problem for vegetarians/vegans. For shade 01 “Black Vinyl”: Water (Aqua), Iron Oxides (CI 77491,  CI 77492, CI 77499), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer,  Butylene Glycol,  Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone,  Sorbitol,  Benzyl Alcohol,  Laureth-2 Benzoate, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,  Sodium Methylparaben,  Ammonium Hydroxide, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids,  Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,  Sodium Polyacrylate, Potassium Sorbate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium Edta,  Coconut Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride. For shade 06 “Emerald Glisten”: Water (Aqua), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate,  Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Laureth-2 Benzoate, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate,  PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,  Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids,  Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Polyacrylate,  Tin Oxide, Ammonium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium Edta, Coconut Acid,  Hexylene Glycol,  Sodium Chloride,  Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate,  Methylparaben, Propylparaben. +/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Mica, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Yellow  5 Lake (CI 19140).

I tried it: I purchased a glossy black (“Black Vinyl”) and a sparkly green (“Emerald Glisten”. These liners have a very long handle/brush which makes handling a little clumsy; I would have preferred a shorter handle/brush for better control. As you can see in the swatch above, it can be difficult to just flick on the liner; because the brush is meant to create both thick and thin lines, and the handle is so darn gawky, it takes some practice to be able to draw the line precisely how you want it. My first practice lines on my arm were pretty spotty, going from thick to thin and dark to light.     
Once you figure out how to angle the wand and how much pressure to apply, it does draw wonderful lines. It’s very fluid, so there’s no patchiness or drag. You can create thick or thin lines, so you can create a subtle line or a thick sixties wing.  Here’s what Black Vinyl looks like on the eye:

For this shot, I added a thin line of Emerald Glisten above Black Vinyl for a layered liner look:

It takes a few seconds to dry, so don’t blink! However, once it’s dry, it stays put like no other. You will definitely need a dedicated waterproof eye makeup remover to get this liner off at the end of the day! Emerald Glisten did leave a faint stain behind, but Black Vinyl did not.  

My final thoughts: This is an amazing formula for the money, and I would even probably pay more for it. I just wish the handle wasn’t so unwieldy, but I think with a little practice it will be fine.

Do you have a favorite liquid liner, or any liquid liner tips to share with me? Tell me in the comments!

Ten on Tuesday: September issues and spoof videos


1. I just LOVE getting the September issues of my favorite fashion magazines! They’re always the best issues of the whole year, I think because fall is my favorite season.

2. Speaking of fall fashion: I saw the most perfect-ever pair of burgundy stacked-heel over-the-knee suede boots in the September issue of Lucky and now I’m obsessed with finding a similar pair. I’d also be thrilled with camel if I can’t find burgundy. The only trick is going to be finding a vegan-friendly pair…so if you see something, shout at me!

3. I think I’ve eaten enough homemade cinnamon raisin bread for a small part of people this week. Do you guys want to see a recipe?

4. We’re finally going to see Man of Steel tonight. I hope it will be good. Considering it’s a collaboration between two of my favorite Hollywood directors, Zak Snyder and Christopher Nolan, I don’t see how it couldn’t be!

5. I think the body snatchers got ahold of my husband. This week he actually asked for a vegetarian meal for dinner because, quote, “I’ve had too much meat this week.” I know, I can’t believe it either! So if I suddenly stop posting, you’ll know they got me too :D

6. I’m so bummed that the new Butter London makeup collection is not vegan. I kind of forgot about it until my friend Katrin e-mailed me to tell me. No Pink Pistols eyeliner for me, then. :(

7. I love this song, and I think it’s pretty funny that Johnson and Andy Samberg made a video spoofing Samberg’s Saturday Night Live spoof of “The Mellow Man”.

8. I have a problem with forgetting to eat until I’m starving, and then I can barely wait for the food to cook and cool before digging in. Needless to say, I burn my mouth a lot.
9. I might be an adult but I still loathe visits to the dentist like a six-year-old.
10. I think I need to go to the library and get the Miss Marple mysteries to re-read. There’s just nothing to rival them!

Prize mail: Dollish Polish!

Hey everybody! I took this pic last week and completely zonked on posting it. I won a bottle of Dollish Polish in a giveaway from The Polish Hideout and it’s so lovely, I had to share a swatch! The shade is Expecto Patronum (yup, Harry Potter reference there) and it’s a lovely white jelly full of teal hex glitter.

This polish applies really smoothly, dries quickly, and was opaque in three coats. There’s tons of glitter in the polish, so it isn’t hard at all to get an even coating on the nails. It’s just such an interesting color! I really don’t think the photo does it justice.

Yun has much better swatches here if you want to see them :P and while you’re there I recommend following her blog–I think she has some of the best polish swatches in the blogosphere! Thanks again Yun for the prize, I love it!

Sunday Confessions: tabloid babies and troublesome kitties

Once again I’m linking up with Alyx for Sunday Confessions! I don’t even have much to confess this week. But here are a few confessions for you…

1. I have just been listening to Portugal. The Man’s Evil Friends nonstop for a couple of weeks now. It’s a weird blend of alt pop and rock and it’s just so so good. Every time I find a new song or album I like I listen to it until I hate it!

2. I’m secretly not sorry about Simon Cowell’s big baby mama scandal because it means the tabloids finally have a baby to talk about besides Prince George or North West.

3. I love my cats but Jiao is making me think that I will probably never adopt a kitten again. Yeah, kittens are cute and playful, but she refuses to let me sleep–she’s so rambunctious! Older cats are definitely the way to go from here on out. Plus, everyone wants to adopt the kittens instead of the adults, so there’s always a surplus of mature cats needing a good quiet, calm, loving home–it’s a win-win situation. Max is older and he just crawls into bed with me and goes to sleep; he does occasionally bunny-kick me in the face in the middle of the night, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

4. I still have not gone to the lake, river or beach this summer. And it’s almost fall. Eeps!

5. I need to paint this. Just looking at it makes me so happy.

Nail Polish of the Month: August 2013

Wow, this summer has flown by! I’ve really been neglecting my monthly polish picks and I completely forgot to post a swatch of this color when I received it in my June Julep Maven box. Payton is a beautiful bright Kelly green creme with a super-shiny finish; it almost makes me think of a jelly polish because of the finish, but it’s opaque in two coats. Adding a third coat will make the color a little darker.

Julep Payton retails for $14 ($11.20 for Mavens) through It is vegan and free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP.

Product review: Essence LE Floral Grunge blush “Be Flowerful”

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been so AWOL from the blogosphere for the past week. I just haven’t had a lot of drive to sit down and write lately. But I wanted to finally post this review of the Essence blush that I picked up as part of my birthday makeup haul.

The product: Essence LE Floral Grunge blush “Be Flowerful”; $3 at drugstores

The claim: Silky soft blush for a fresh and stylish look.

Ingredients/ingredient notes: Talc, mica, magnesium stearate, polyester-3, caprylic/capric triglyceride, ethylhexyl palmitate, bisdiglyceryl polyacyladipate-1, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, yellow 5, yellow 7, orange 5, red 21, red 28, titanium dioxide. There are mild toxin concerns for talc, mica, phenoxyenthanol and titanium dioxide as well as the colorants used in this product, according to the Skin Deep database. Essence does not test their products on animals and this product contains no animal-sourced ingredients, so it is vegan-friendly.

I tried it: The packaging is a very simple, slim, clear case with a hinged lid. Nothing fancy, but I like that it’s sleek enough to fit in a small pocket on a cosmetics bag and yet has a large enough pan to allow you to easily sweep up the product.

Surprisingly, this is fairly pigmented blush. It’s buildable and you can create a very bright look if you want, but if you use a light hand you can also get a sheer, pretty wash of coral color for daytime wear. This is a bit more of a coral pink on skin than it appears in the package, and it is bright–but it does have a satiny finish, so you won’t look like a disco flamingo, I promise. 

I feel like the wear time on this blush is fairly decent, provided you’re layering it properly over a primer and foundation. On my bare skin it fades more quickly as I have combo/oily skin. For extra wear time you could use it over a matching creme blush like this Flower Win Some Rouge Some blush that I reviewed earlier this year.

My final thoughts: For $3 you really can’t go wrong, but this is one product that would be a bargain at twice the price! I personally prefer peachy/coral blushers to standard pinks as I find they’re much more flattering for my skin tone, so I’m thrilled to finally find a powder formula that combines a good formula with a wallet-friendly price.

Random Thursday: Beat the heat tips…



The heat is finally fading here, thank goodness. But we still have the occasional hot day or night. So here are a few of my tips for those times when blasting the fans and AC just doesn’t cut it…
  • Ice cream. Or sorbet. Sorbet is actually a little better since it doesn’t leave you feeling so “full”.
  • Lots of iced tea! I make it by the gallon ahead of time.
  • Spend one day making lots of pasta salads, fruit dishes, cold sandwiches and other no-heat foods and wrap them all up in the fridge. Then you can eat the rest of the week without standing over a hot stove.
  • Buy some of those dark thermal-backed curtains that make the room super-dark and keep the temperature level. I have them in my bedroom and they work wonders at keeping the room cooler in the summer; when winter comes they help keep all the warm air from fleeing right out the window, too. Hey, there’s a little eco-energy-saving tip for ya ;) 
  • Go to the movie theater at the warmest part of the day. AC + cold soda + a movie = the perfect escape!
  • Go out at night. I’m a night owl anyway, but if you just can’t get out during the day because of the heat–seriously, plan a nighttime excursion! Pack a picnic and go sit somewhere with a view of the stars, and just chitchat. It’s cool and relaxing and you get to focus on talking to your favorite people without the distractions of phones, computers, TV, or other background noise.

What are your favorite ways to beat the heat?