Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Thursday Post

I haven't come up with a more creative title.

But it's okay.  Adele's new album came out on Tuesday - love.  This song is so catchy.

I made chocolate chip cookies for S.  The chewy kind.  They were a hit with office mates on both sides.  And with S., of course.

My Sephora order came in yesterday.  There will be reviews on a Bliss eye cream, CoverFX concealer, and Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau.  I'm excited.  There was also a sample of Tarte's new Amazonian clay serum thing.  I'll be trying that out, too.

Also, you must watch this.  This Jack Russell is so.  Cute.  I wish my mother's Jack Russell could do all of those tricks!

It's snowing here.  Yay for warm boots.  And it's too cold to run.  So I signed up for kickboxing classes!  :D

Friday, February 18, 2011

Zoya Trixie

I'll just say it now: I love this color.

It's shimmery, shiny, metallic, lovely.  The formula is thick but not goopy or clumpy; it's fluid and easy to work with, and two coats is more than enough for an opaque, even coverage.  It's smooth going on and dries down smooth - there's no grittiness or streaking - and it's stayed on nicely for the past several days (with a top coat, though).  I love the light, brightness of this silver - it's not gray or stormy.  It's the color of freshly minted dimes.  Or mercury!  I really love it.  I can see myself going back to this one over and over.

$7 at Zoya.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Post!

I need to get more creative with these post titles.  I will work on that.

We watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World the other night, and it was wonderfully geeky and a film that was delightfully amused with itself.  We enjoyed it, and all of the video game/nerd references.  Kieran Culkin's character was hilarious, and definitely my favorite.  Also, Ellen Wong is a cutie.

I want to try one of these, but the price is a bit steep for a tinted balm.  Also, I'm not sure if I should even bother - apparently my lips just don't like staying moisturized.  Le sigh.

I love this dress.  Not sure what I would ever wear it to (and it's also out of my budget), but it's gorgeous.  I love the length, the color, the lace detailing, and that beautiful neckline.

David Lebovitz's blog is wonderful and fun, and his recipes are fantastic.  I'm admittedly a francophile, so I'm envious of his life in Paris.  This post made me smile; I miss taking French classes.  I was just mourning the death of the letter-writing era the other day, though I have to agree that the Internet makes communication much quicker and efficient.

Made in Heights.  Gorgeous vocals, and beautiful, haunting instrumentation - with a very satisfying beat.  Listen to 'em.

And...we bought a car :)  A Mazda3 i's fun.  Yay!

Monday, February 14, 2011

One of My Favorite Poems...

happens to be a love poem.  I'm not really big into Valentine's Day (though it is a nice excuse to open a bottle of wine on a Monday night) or sentimentality, but I thought I'd leave you with this.  It's just a reminder that emotions this complex and profound exist, and that some people are gifted enough to accurately convey this through a medium that can be understood by anyone.

Love Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tokidoki Gelato Lip Balm Stain

This is a new product, going for $9 at Sephora, and it comes in four varieties (peach, pink, purple, and clear/colorless).  I bought Donutella, the peach one.

The balm glides on smoothly and initially really feels like a moisturizing balm - the texture is so smooth and nice.  I did experience some slight drying throughout the day, and needed to reapply, but it was nothing serious.  It's not waxy at all, though, and I actually really liked it.  And it smells like strawberries when you put it on.  (Don't smell the tube itself, though...the product has a kind of plastic-y smell that isn't detectable when you apply; application is flooded with cheery strawberry scents!)  The site says that it is sposed to smell like melon, but I definitely get strawberry.  Maybe my olfactory system is on vacation.  Or broken.  I don't know.

The big surprise?  This thing packs some serious color.  Also, I'm convinced that the color deepens after a few minutes - reacting with my body chemistry, perhaps?  The peach is kind of a shocking coral-red, really, and the problem I have with lip balm-stain type things, is that the color definitely intensifies with reapplication.  So if you need to reapply for the moisturizing effect, your color is going to go through the roof. This kind of bothers me, since I'm really not bold enough to rock an intense lip color.  I may pick up the colorless one on another Sephora purchase, since I do like the texture of it.  And it gives my lips a nice sheen, without needless shimmer or glimmer.
It's a lot darker in person...and a lot darker on lips.  This is taken in natural (sparse) light.

My major gripe with the product is the packaging.  The tube itself is plastic and doesn't have any sort of comforting heft to it.  I also feel like the cover doesn't have a satisfying enough click when it closes.  And the biggest annoyance: the product itself comes in one flat column which raises and lowers like your basic lipstick; the problem is, it doesn't really feel anchored into the tube, so it shifts about when you apply it, smearing onto the side of the tube.  See?

Very annoying.  If you can live with that, though, this is a pretty good buy; the price is okay for the product, it's nicely pigmented, and it's not overly drying.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why isn't it the weekend yet?

This has been a long, long week.  And there's still one more day left before the weekend!

I've been reading this.  It's good.  I borrowed it from the library before Christmas and had to give it back within a week because we were leaving on our trip and it couldn't be renewed, so when I got back I requested it again.  It's long, but it's the kind of book you can really settle down with.

This one's old, but I was desperately trying not to grade exams and spent some time clicking "random" on the xkcd site.  It made me smile.  This one made me laugh.

I recently jumped on the perfume boat, which was, in retrospect, a bad - and expensive - idea.  I received a sample of this with my recent Sephora order, and I like it.  Floral, with a lime/citrus smell, and subtly sweet.  Not overpowering.  I am very, very bad at describing perfume (prolly because I can't really decided what exactly it is that I am detecting in the scent) so you really have to go take a sniff yourself.  It's lovely.  I'm not the biggest fan of Hello Kitty and don't really understand the appeal, but the full-sized bottle with the atomizer is super cute.  I am going to purchase the full size.

These dresses are way out of budget for me, but I can dream, right?  They're gorgeous.  I did find some more affordable ones at The Limited and White House Black Market.  I love the cut on the last dress, but I'm not sure I'm tall enough to pull it off.

And your weekly sweet treat: I just made lemon bars, but I've been stuck on these.  I've been in a lemon phase lately.  Want!

Have a good weekend!  Any fun plans?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ShiKai Borage Dry Skin Therapy

My skin is not usually particularly dry, but during the winter months, my hands freak out.  I guess it's because I'm constantly washing my hands, and I do the dishes.  Also, covering my hands in chalk for climbing prolly doesn't help.  However, my palms are usually okay - it's just the backs of my hands that get really irritated.  They dry out, and then they turn itchy and red and swollen and inflamed, with little rashy bumps.  It's not pretty, and it's itchy and it's sore.

I have a prescription strength cortizone cream for them, but I also need to be constantly applying moisturizer throughout the day.  I was using Eucerin for a while, but it's so heavy and greasy and hard to rub into my skin really well; it definitely wasn't a favorite.  So I recently picked up the ShiKai Borage Dry Skin Therapy hand cream; it's advertised as a "professional strength" (for professionals who need to wash their hands repeatedly throughout the day, or are exposed to harsh and drying chemicals), "rich, non-greasy hand cream."

And it is!  A little goes a long way; a tiny dot the size of my pinky nail is more than enough to rub thoroughly into the back of one hand.  The cream is hydrating, and not greasy at all.  It has the feel of a facial moisturizer (light, hydrating, fluid) rather than the heavy, pasty texture of most hand creams.

It's fragrance-free and it keeps my hands from drying out.  Non-greasy, moisturizing happiness!  As a plus, there is a "no animal ingredients or testing" icon on the box.  I bought my 2.5 fl oz tube for $9.99 at the local drugstore.  A little pricey, but worth it - Lubriderm and some other popular brands contain parabens, so they are out for me.

Photo taken from

Aloe vera gel* (aloe barbadensis), safflower seed oil (carthamus tinctorius), glyceryl stearate (vegetable emmulsifier), glycerin, jojoba seed oil (simmondsia chinensis), borage seed oil (borago officinalis), cetyl alcohol (vegetable wax), vitamin E acetate (tocopherol acetate), dimethicone, shea butter (butyrospermum parkii fruit), sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), L-ergothioneine (amino acid), ethylhexyl glcerin, phenoxyethanol.

*certified organic

I will be purchasing more when I run out...or maybe I will purchase another one just to keep in my bag.  Thumbs up!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Smashbox Layer Lash Primer

Confession: I don't love mascara. 

For one, it's hard to find a paraben-free formula, which is a big issue.  (Why?  See my About Me).  Also, I don't like waterproof formulas, as they tend to be an irritant to contact lens wearers like myself.  And finally...I find that I don't love the effect enough to suffer through sticky or stiff or heavy lashes throughout the day - or the smudging! - and most formulas suffer from these drawbacks.

There are a few that I like, though, and I'll get to those some other day.  However, no matter what mascara I'm wearing, I always wear a primer.  While I don't think lash primers are necessary for everyone, I personally have a smudging problem with most mascaras.  The primer nicely eliminates this problem, and I think it makes for easier mascara application, since your first swipe through is with a nice colorless formula.  Priming my lashes allows me to go through my lashes once and prep them for mascara application, which is always a bit tricky; I've definitely poked myself in the eye before (mascara on contacts!  Tragic) or accidentally applied mascara to my eyelids instead, in an attempt to get closer to the roots.  It seems like mascara sticks better to primed lashes, and I don't get smudges at the end of the day.  Sometimes I also just swipe on the primer after curling my lashes, if I want just a little bit more volume or I want the curl to hold all day.  This is what I use:

Smashbox's primer is paraben-free, so I've made the switch (previously I was using Clinique's lash primer, which was a few dollars cheaper and just as effective; alas, it is not paraben-free) and I'm happy.  It's $16 for 0.16 oz, which lasts quite a while, though I don't wear mascara every day (once a week, at most, or for date nights/etc).  If you have smudging issues, or need a little extra volume, this might be the thing to try.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thank Goodness It's Thursday...

I know, I know, it's TGIF, but I kind of like sitting down to think about all the fun things I've been excited about this week.

Like bread.  Bread making is a bit of work, especially if you, like me, lack a stand mixer.  But with books like this, everyone can make bread!  No, really.  I put off their method of bread making for a long time because I didn't have a big container to store the dough in (lame, I know) but now that I've done's incredible.  It saves time, and the bread is so good.  I can't go back to store-bought.  I really can't.  I tried.  (Unless, of course, it's Japanese sandwich bread...I need to find a recipe for that stuff!)

I really want this collection.  The colors are lovely and not the usual bright, enthusiastic spring colors; I love that they're a bit subdued.  And these are full-sized bottles!  It's a steal.

Also, I have a confession.  I actually really like her.  And her book.  I didn't really read it for the fashion advice; I read it more because I think she's got fire and spunk and class, and I like her narrative.  I read an interview she did in some big magazine a couple weeks ago while I was waiting to get my hair cut; she's sardonic and hilarious, and I think she does well for herself.  She's not just Beckham's wife.

You know the way most people feel about shoes?  I feel that way about earrings.  (Who am I kidding?  I feel that way about shoes, too).  But the point is, I want these.  In all their sparkly, colorful goodness.  That green!  It's killing me.

I heart bracelets, too.  I got one of these for my birthday (in a pretty olive green color), and they're stackable and I want more.  I like shiny things.  S. said Valentine's Day is coming.  I guess that's a hint.  Or did I give the hint?

Matchbook Magazine.  Cute.  And fresh!  I like it.

This cake is beautiful.   I want piping skills like that!

And lastly, these are so cute.  I've never tried something like this, and now I really want to.  What should I make?