Friday, October 31, 2014

A More Serious Commentary, Inspired by TV

[Tomorrow we'll be back to beauty, with a review of Sweet Anthem's Winter 2014 Lineup.]

Last night's Big Bang Theory "The Misinterpretation Agitation" (don't worry, no major spoilers, but I will talk about some of the events in the episode) broached the subject of female scientists and whether they should be "allowed" to consider themselves physically feminine and beautiful (Bernadette was approached about featuring in a "sexy scientists" magazine feature). It wasn't an issue that was resolved, and ended up being a throwaway subplot (disappointing), but it at least brought the subject up for discussion. I hope people are discussing it. I'm going to.

Amy argued that female scientists shouldn't be objectified or lauded for their physical appearance, but only for their achievements in their field and their intellectual pursuits. Bernadette acknowledged that point, but also suggested that publicity and a spotlight on women in science is also important. And, she asks, "Why can't we be smart and pretty?" ("Pretty" and its suggestion about standards of aesthetic beauty are irrelevant to me here; I take it to mean having an interest in one's physical appearance, as, say, any woman who puts on lipstick, or combs her hair. Basically, that's a lot of people.)

I wanted the rest of the episode to find an answer, or at least continue to address it, but it doesn't. S and I talked about it, anyway. On the one hand, I agree with Amy. She makes the point that a magazine wouldn't feature "men in science" in swimsuits or cocktail wear.

But on the other hand, why should women who choose to work in science (or any field, and in academia especially) be forced to adopt either a sterile or a stereotypically "masculine" mode of attire/attitude/personality? We shouldn't have to pretend to be men, even to be accepted in what was - and still largely is - a male-dominated field (how long is that excuse going to hold, anyway? Women were underrepresented in many fields, because they weren't allowed to go to universities or cut open cadavers or pursue interests outside of domestic concerns. That's no longer the case, and this is ridiculous).

And it's not only men who think so, by the way, and this isn't a phenomenon reserved for nerdy scientists. I just read this article on The Guardian about a female professor of ancient religion, who relates the same experiences. She's told (by colleagues and authorities of both genders) to wear unassuming genderless suits and no dresses, to get rid of her long hair and higher heels - basically anything that is considered overtly feminine. She should not create anything noticeable about herself to "distract" from her work. Men, of course, don't have the same rules cast at them. They can show up (and frequently do) to conferences and lectures and professional dinners wearing clothing with holes, or shirts that are falling off or shirts that are too tight; they don't have to groom their hair/facial hair if they don't want to, they don't have to pick conservative colors of clothing, they don't have to wear a certain type of shoe.

To be clear, I do not believe that conforming to a certain standard of professionalism is the same as bowing to gender-based pressure. If an office requires business-professional dress (within reason - there are confusing issues here, too, but that's not my focus at the moment, and I have less experience with traditional office-type workplaces), then that's what is required. When I worked in retail as a college student, we were required to dress in certain colors, with a minimal amount of skin exposed (for both men and women), and that was fine with me.

Of course, a fair amount of men don't hold this double standard, and I'm not railing out against men in particular, or of a certain age group. But I'm disappointed that a show with a platform as large as The Big Bang Theory didn't make an effort to contribute to a positive change in this area. Of course, there are perhaps more than a few things that the show gets wrong or glazes over (like the gross objectification of women, in general, or the rest of last night's episode where the guys fanboy over Billy Bob Thornton as essentially Penny's stalker), and I'm not saying I'm boycotting or going to enjoy it any less, on average. We need our comedies and our escapisms, like my blog. But, well, I'm always going to be a feminist - I can't just turn it off, nor do I want to - so I'm going to talk about issues that arise, especially if they occur in pop culture where a larger group of the population becomes part of the experience.

Now: I want to hear what you think. What have your experiences been? Where do you fall between Bernadette & Amy on this issue?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn 2014 Lip Love: Lipstick and Glosses

Everybody loves a good roundup, right? This is my autumn lipstick (and lip gloss!) game. (For fun, you can see my winter, spring, and summer ones!)

I'm normally about reds, but this year I'm exploring berries in a berry big way.

(Oh c'mon, like you wouldn't have done it.)

Also, mattes. I'm matte about 'em.

(Forgive me. I can't stop.)

Here we go: the autumn fab five in lipsticks.
Yes, I have the swatching skills of a lazy toddler.
L-R: MAC
Amorous, MAC Fashion Revival, Maybelline Divine Wine, Armani 609, MAC Living Legend.





MAC Amorous - super awesome dusty plum in a satin finish.

MAC Fashion Revival matte version of Rebel; deep berry.

Maybelline Divine Wine - drugstore gem. Dark red (more cabernet than merlot) with an interesting blue sheen.

Rouge d'Armani 609 - I pull this out when I'm feeling dangerous. It's so sexy. Deepest, glossy brown-red in a gel-esque formula.

MAC Living Legend - More purple and more matte than Rouge d'Armani 609. It is dramatic. I will try to review it soon, but I've had a cold and then my eyeball wasn't cooperating (couldn't wear contacts and vampy lipstick + glasses is interesting).

And now, in lip gloss.
L-R: Shu Uemura CR 30 G, Dior Enchanted Rose (LE holiday 2013), Maybelline Nude Illusion, Dior Etoilée.

For these, I usually stick to the opposite end of the color spectrum - I like lighter, nude lip glosses (although I own some vampies), and I don't object to sparkles, although having some sparkle-free options is also good. Are you amazed to see zero orange ones? Me, too. Just haven't been feeling them lately!

Shu Uemura CR 30 G - I only have a deluxe sample of this that was a GWP, but I would buy a full size (I'm almost done with the little tube). It's stickier than the Dior formula, but I like how comfortable it is; it adheres to lips and creates that cushiony feeling. Plus, this one is so pretty. It's a sheer coral with glitter.

Dior Enchanted Rose - my favorite of the four that I currently have. It's a great nude with gold sparkle. It was LE but I think there are a few in the permanent line that are similar, and the Dior lipgloss formula is my all-time favorite.

Maybelline Nude Illusion - perfect glossy nude with no sparkle or shimmer.

Dior Etoilée - gift from my brother, who checks out my wishlist and knows I like Dior lipgloss, ha. It's clear with cool multi-colored sparkle, so it works well when I don't want any additional color and want to tone down warmth in a look.
I fiddled with the color a bit, but LOOK at that sparkle. Ah, so pretty.

Speaking of Dior glosses, I have to pick up that gold one from this holiday's collection - hopefully the counters have some left when I get to Seattle. I also need to check out the NARS Audacious suckers and maybe also Givenchy.

What autumn-esque lipsticks and glosses have you been reaching for ? 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rebel's Smoother Sister: MAC Fashion Revival (Matte Lip Collection)

[Product was purchased by me.]

Ah, another MAC The Matte Lip Collection lipstick; (I also bought Pander Me and Living Legend). I originally wanted Fashion Revival too, but when blog posts surfaced, I decided that it wasn't matte enough and passed. Then I went to a counter, and finally decided to buy it after all. Yeah, yeah, no one cares, Larie, PHOTOS.

It's a deep berry. I know everyone loves Rebel, and I planned to get it, but swatched side by side...I preferred Fashion Revival. The difference in finish is everything. Rebel looks like an Amplified to me (and kind of feels like one), even though it's a Satin finish. DOWN WITH THE AMPLIFIEDS.
MAC Fashion Revival on lips, Shiseido Beach Grass on eyes. I, uh, don't remember what blush that is. 

I don't really own many in this color family, so here, my pathetic comparison shot. Seriously. That's all I had that was similar. And they're not, really. Point, Larie.
L-R: Marcelle Cleopatra, YSL Forbidden Burgundy, MAC Fashion Revival, Maybelline Divine Wine.

Marcelle Cleopatra isn't even close, but I threw it in there for pinkness. YSL Forbidden Burgundy is glossy and creamier and brighter (and lately YSL lip products make my lips tingle oddly, so I think I'm ditching it soon), and Maybelline Divine Wine is redder.
It is a bit dry, but it is a matte. So, kind of goes with the territory. This is after a few hours of wear.

It's also the lipstick I wore in the FASHUN post. I really like it. BERRY MUCH.

Okay, I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Bad puns are inexcusable. BUT if you don't have Rebel yet and like the idea of a matte version, this one is still available! I have one more matte to show (Living Legend), but I want to know if anyone is rocking Styled in Sepia - it's so cool, but I could never pull it off. Did you pick anything up from the matte collection? 

(Have you entered my Mont Bleu giveaway? You should.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Giveaway: Mont Bleu Glass Files

I don't talk about nails much on the blog, because I find it tiresome to take and edit photos of my not-beautiful nails. I do keep them painted regularly, though, and trimmed for climbing. To help keep them in shape, these glass files from Mont Bleu are my favorite; they're so sparkly and also very effective (you can find my original review here).
Mont Bleu is sponsoring a giveaway of one set of three glass nail files (pictured above); you'll need a Facebook account to enter, as you are required to like their Facebook page, but it is open internationally! You'll need to also leave your email so they can contact the winner. Use the widget below to enter. Good luck! (Giveaway ends on October 31 at midnight, PST).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Mont Bleu is sponsoring the prize for this giveaway.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Perfect Fit: Eshakti Custom Clothing

[Features a PR sample.]
It's still warm here, but I could also see pairing this dress with tights and booties for colder weather, and adding a cute cropped cardigan over it. I'm going to have fun - I love dresses. I'm taking this to Seattle with me at the end of the month for our mini vacation, and will pair it with colder weather fare then.
Don't laugh, okay? I'm not a fashion blogger, so I don't know what to do with my hands and my feet and my face and my posture is terrible. But I am really delighted with this eShakti dress that I was able to pick out and customize to fit my measurements - it fits perfectly. Not too tight, not too short or long or awkward. It's made out of comfy jersey, and has pockets. The detailing at the bottom of the skirt is also super cute.
This dress would also go perfectly with brightly colored pumps, like fuchsia or red. Unfortunately, I don't own any, ha.

Being, er, vertically challenged, it is sometimes hard to find adult clothing that fits properly and doesn't drag or fall in unflattering folds/bulges. With eShakti, for a small fee ($7.50), you can submit all of your measurements for a customized outfit, or just select from a sizing chart (0 - 36W). It's nice to see the wide range of sizes available. I think the prices are comparable with buying an off-the-rack item and having it tailored, so if you have an occasion - or just want a few flattering staple pieces for your wardrobe, I would definitely check them out. Especially if, like me, you hate trying clothes on at the store.
Dress: eshakti
shoes: Vince Camuto
clutch: gifted
earrings: Kendra Scott
bangle: Kate Spade (gifted)
lipstick: MAC Fashion revival
nails: Dior Electric Blue
If you are interested in shopping for yourself, I have a coupon code: "eyeheartit" - get 10% OFF until 11/07/2014. You can find a ton of cute items on the website (they're based in WA!) here: eshakti.com and find them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

(Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box.   It is not case-sensitive.  
Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. 
It can be clubbed with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
Not applicable on previous purchases.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Inspired By: Keira Knightley (MAC Amorous)

[Products marked * were gifts from friends.]

I really loved this recent look on Keira Knightley:
[image source: beautygeeks]
But I'm a red girl and I didn't have a lot of berry/pink lipsticks. She's wearing Chanel L'Adorée, a Rouge Allure Velvet, but I don't have a Chanel counter near me any more and I've never quite gotten along with Chanel lipsticks. So, while on my MAC spree, I asked the SA if he could think of anything that matched this (whipped out my phone and everything, he was excited) and he came up with this:

It's MAC Amorous, which is part of the permanent line and a satin finish lipstick. It ends up being quite a bit darker and more plum on me than Chanel L'Adorée, which is lighter and brighter on Keira above, but you know, I quite like it. And I have nothing like it. It's dusty.

I did a look loosely based on Keira's; I only used soft colors below the lashline, instead of black on the lower line because: 1. lazy, 2. I don't own a black pencil liner any more (or gel), 3. putting crap directly on the lower lashline makes my eyeballs angry and I try not to piss off my eyeballs.

Also, I'm not going to movie premieres - just walking the dog, ha - so I toned everything down. And I don't own a fuchsia blush, so I made do with lipstick.

Other makeup:
MAC Lingering + MAC Brow Finisher
MAC Mineralize Concealer (NC20)
Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector Eye Roll-On (Light)*
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous*
Marcelle Cleopatra (as blush)
Laura Mercier Rose Gold Caviar Stick
Bare Minerals Power Neutrals
Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner
Attack eyebrows! 
I've been having fun exploring MAC's permanent line, lately. There are some real gems there! What's your favorite lipstick from the permanent line? 

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Ultimate Mask: Tatcha Deep Hydration Lifting Mask

[Product was a PR sample.]

(We're taking a break from our lipstick run today.)
Ugh, I love Tatcha's packaging. So beautiful.

Let's address the elephant in the room, first. Yes, these masks sell as a 4-pack bundle for $95. That puts a single mask at $23.75. But! Put your eyeballs back in their sockets and hear me out.

This is the best mask I have ever put on my face.

You peel open the mask, follow the instructions (it comes double-backed and you peel off each side - sounds complicated, but it's really not; the directions are clear) and then treat yourself to a fabulous indulgence. It's cooling but feels very comfortable. After 15 minutes, I peeled it off, massaged the residue into my skin, and inspected my face. I was doubtful, yes, but that radiance cannot be denied. The next morning, it was like ZING! So smooth and plump and pretty, you guys. (Dumpling face! I always think "dumpling" when I think plump. Do not ask me why.)

The mask is made of "coconut-derived biocellulose." Biocellulose is a microbial cellulose (produced by bacteria) that is often used to dress wounds, as it can absorb a lot of water and creates a nice barrier on skin (source, source). The mask is infused with red algae, silk, ginseng, and green tea, which are much-touted in Asian skincare. I gather that the algae is for helping skin retain water (helping with firmness), as well as supplying the cooling sensation; green tea is a source of antioxidants, silk supplies proteins and amino acids, and ginseng is believed to improve skin's elasticity and barrier functions. Whether all of that happens, I cannot say. But I do like the effects of this mask.

I know it's an investment, and I was trying to think of ways to justify it. I would say, before an event (make sure you test it once first, though!) would be an excellent time to use one. Or, right after you return home from traveling (airplanes wreak havoc on all the faces). Or just if you have a really bad day; pop open that bottle of red wine and lay back with your mask (don't take your contacts out first, though, or else you can't do anything else for 15 minutes. Which isn't terrible, sometimes. Except when it is).

The Deep Hydration Lifting Mask can be found on Tatcha's website, here (full list of ingredients is also available there, hurray, Tatcha!). While you're there, scope out one of my other favorites - the Rice Enzyme Powder, which also comes in adorable mini sizes and different formulations to suit different skin types (I use the Gentle version, for dry skin). Personally, I've got my eye on the gorgeous little travel kit, which is a great way to try out new things.

Have you tried Tatcha before? What are your favorite masks, and when do you use them?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

MAC The Matte Lip Collection: Pander Me

[Product was purchased by me.]

I'm pretty sure we're missing a "to," but hey, it's cool, lipstick don't need no grammar.
What color is this?
This is one of eight matte lipsticks in MAC's new The Matte Lip Collection, which was released in stores today (although I ordered this when it launched online on Oct. 2nd; it just arrived today). So, this isn't a proper review - since MAC collections move fast, I just wanted to feature it because: I LIKE IT.
L-R: Shu Uemura M BG930, Laura Mercier Mink, MAC Pander Me, Tarte Exposed, Dior Garçonne. 

Don't ask me what color it is, though. I told the MAC SA I bought the orange one when I was in the store today (buying MORE lipsticks, shit) and he looked at me like I was crazy. Temptalia groups it in the orange category, and it does kind of look pumpkin-colored on her. I included arm swatches above, but even though some of them look similar there, on lips they all look nothing alike. On me, Pander Me is a rosy-brown-something-something. I am so helpful, I know, it's what I strive for.
Yeah, it's not orange. Wearing Shiseido Floracouture on eyes.
The point being, it is an interesting chameleon of a shade, and I think it works as a great neutral, with just enough color to keep it from being boring. I'm not going to comment on the wear time since I just received it today, although I own some other MAC mattes and the formula is comparable (it's creamier than Lady Danger and not nearly as dry as Candy Yum-Yum). It dries down to a satin-matte finish and I am so excited about it.

I also ordered Living Legend and even though I initially decided against Fashion Revival, when I went to the counter today, I bought that, too. I CAN'T HELP IT, GOOD MATTES ARE SO HARD TO FIND. I know Tom Ford is coming out with new ones, too, but 3 MAC mattes are cheaper than one TF ($16 x 3 = $48; TF = $50 each) and I would still like dinner, so...there's that for me.

Did you pick anything up from The Matte Lip collection? C'mon, make me feel better.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Back to MAC: Dubonnet, an Everyday Red

[Product was received via the MAC recycling program, Back to MAC. Products * were gifts.]

You see what I did there? Eh? Eh?

Told you I was doing lipsticks this month.

I came up with six empty/used things and happily went over to MAC to exchange them for a new lipstick. I had lofty ideas of getting something new or different, like MAC Media or Velvet Teddy or the ever-popular Rebel. I made some progress, ending up with a hand of swatches, but nothing really called out to me. The friendly SA wandered over and got excited when I said I was going to Back to MAC something, and looked at some of my swatches; he asked if I was looking for a particular shade, and I just flailed a bit. So then he pulled out Dubonnet and I tried it on, and there went all thought of trying something berry or nude or new. IT'S RED. GIMME.
Wearing MAC Dubonnet. Blush is MAC Stratus, eyes are Laura Mercier Amethyst + MAC Moleskin*. Also, do you see Dennison?

It's a darker, warm brick red, sort of like NARS Mascate but not matte. It's an Amplified finish, which I typically don't like, but this one works for me - it doesn't have that retro, heavy cream texture and sits more comfortably on lips. Kind of Glaze-y. I think it is perfect for autumn, but it does nicely in the summer, as well. It's red without looking like I got dressed up for date night - an everyday red, if you will. (Don't look at me like that, it's a thing).

I mean, I'm comfortable wearing reds daily, but Lady Danger is a whole different game.
L-R: Shiseido BR616*, Laura Mercier Mink, NARS Mascate, MAC Runaway Red, MAC Dubonnet, Armani 609.

Ack, what do you mean, "But Larie, you already have so many similar shades?" Who are you, my mother? I thought we were friends.

Solidarity, folks. We're lipstick fiends (or Bandits), here. I think this one is good for autumn; I know brown is an unpopular shade, but it does help to tone down red and make it a bit less GLAM BAM and a bit more "Oh, this old thang? I've had it for years."

What's your everyday red? 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Toeing the Purple-Pink Line: Joe Fresh Baie Sauvage

[Product was a gift from the fantabulous Liz-bob. Other products,*, were gifts or prizes].

This is just a quickie post, because I don't know much about Joe Fresh besides what Wikipedia can tell me. This is a liquid lipstick that's pretty easy to apply - the doe foot applicator is tapered and easily fits lip contours. It is not quite as matte as the MUFE Aqua Rouge, but it is close.

The color, Baie Sauvage, is definitely bright. It made an appearance on Liz's "purple lips" post, and it is sort of purple. But also sort of fuchsia. Bright bright bright, either way. I found it to apply evenly and last quite a while (maybe not the 6 hr claim, but I rarely hold a brand to these ridiculous length claims, anyway), but my lips were definitely in need of a good scrub and balm by the end of the day. I think that's true of most matte lipsticks (it's like wearing high heels - the look comes with a price), but I do find other formulas more comfortable.
Now it's pink...
The color depends on the lighting. I love shades like this, actually, and usually get compliments on them - probably because they're so vibrant that people have no choice but to notice it. Ha. I wore it with a warm, peachy blush for balance.
And now it's a little more purple...a bit zombie-esque in this photo, I'm afraid.
Other makeup worn:
MAC Lingering + MAC Brow Finisher
MAC Mineralize Concealer (NC20)
MAC Pro-Longwear Concealer (NW25)
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous*
Guerlain Sunny Pink Sun Shimmer
Laura Mercier Rose Gold Caviar Stick
Shiseido BE213 trio
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara
Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner

I'm trying to wear more pinks and purples this fall, and even though this seems more like a spring/summer color...why not? Punchy lip colors look great against the muted fall/winter palette (autumn has been gray to me for the past six years or so - it rains in the PNW, people. From November to April) and I love matte lipsticks. The new MAC Matte collection has my name written all over it. I'm already thinking of picking up Pander Me, Living Legend, and Fashion Revival.

Do you like liquid lipsticks? Do you wear bright lipsticks in the colder months, or stick to neutrals and vamps?