Sunday, July 31, 2016

Low-Buy Progress Report #7: July

After my little spending spree in the UK last month, I decided to go on a replacement-only makeup/polish no-buy for the month of July. I'm happy to report that I didn't need any makeup or polish replacements and had no trouble avoiding new purchases. I don't know why, but it's much easier for me to stick to a no-buy than to a low-buy. If I restrict myself to two new items per month, I'll inevitably end up with three or four. But if I restrict myself to zero items per month, I'll buy zero. Granted, I don't have a huge breadth of experience hereI've never tried to maintain a no-buy longer than two monthsbut in general, moderation is not my (black-and-white-striped) bag. Anyway, here's the damage for July:

New Makeup/Polish: none, bitches!

My mom picked up an e.l.f. lip stain in Nude Nectar at some point in the last several months. She can't remember when or why she bought it, but she has never used it and conjectures that "I probably bought it for you," so it's mine now. It's one of those old-school marker-style lip stains with a felt-tip applicator and a watery formula:

The color is nowhere near nude on my skintone: it's a deep, ruddy terracotta brown, a slightly redder version of Revlon Matte Balm in Fierce. From left to right, here's one coat of Nude Nectar, two coats of Nude Nectar, and one swipe of Fierce:

These arm swatches look smooth and even, but it's much harder to apply the product evenly to my lips, because the formula is so liquidy and it dries so quickly. The firm, pointy applicator is good for outlining the lips, but much less good for filling them in (I sort of smush the sides of the felt tip against my lips instead). The end result (below) looks a bit patchy, but I plan to play around with Nude Nectar a bit more, because I do think it has potential. It would make a nice long-lasting base for Fierce or another brown lipstick.

Makeup/Polish Replacements: none.

Haircare Replacements:
Lush Honey, I Washed My Hair shampoo bar and Big conditioner: £14.90 ($19.71) total

New Skincare:
Tony Moly I'm Real Moisturizing (Aloe) and Pore Care (Red Wine) sheet masks: $3 each.
It's Skin Firm & Glow (Honey) sheet mask: $3.

The pores around my nose and cheeks have become more prominent recently (or so my crazybrain tells me), so I also bought and returned a tube of The Face Shop's new Jeju Volcanic Clay Nose Mask, which cost $8 at Urban Outfitters. I wish I'd taken a photo of the tube before returning it, but it's an unremarkable gray plastic squeeze tube, so whatever. The mask itself is a pink floral-scented goo with the consistency of very thick marshmallow fluff. I was looking forward to feeling the product suck the grossness out of my pores, but that never happened. When I applied a thinner coat, the clay dried around my pores, leaving little holes all over the mask. When I applied a thicker coat, the mask never dried fully and pulled almost nothing out of my pores. And when I returned the mask, the saleswoman said she'd tried it and disliked it, too. Don't bother, guys.

Total for July: $29 (rounding up because I know I paid tax on those sheet masks)

Wishlist for August:

1. Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème in Rei of Light ($30)

I've found it! My perfect Danish Girl burnt-orange lipstick (named after Rei Kawakubo, no less) from a cruelty-free brand. Having tried So Sofia earlier this year, I knew I liked the Le Marc Lip Crème formula, but I tried on Rei of Light at Sephora this week to make sure the color suited me. I think it does! It also looks good with cobalt, one of my favorite colors for clothes:

And now I can stop mentioning my search for the platonic rusty orange in every post I write, so you win, too.

2. NYX Liquid Suedes in Brooklyn Thorn and Foul Mouth ($7 each)

I've worn Topshop Boardroom a few times this year, but the formula is always so disappointing: thin, patchy, and slippery. Brooklyn Thorn is a very similar greige color in a formula I trust. And since I've been wanting a navy lip color as well, I might as well pick up Foul Mouth, a suitable lipstick name for me if there ever was one. (One day I'll tell you about the time I got chewed out by a fellow grad student for saying "for fuck's sake" under my breath. It was weird. Grad school is weird.)

3. Floss Gloss Donatella and Con Limon ($8 each)

For some reason, I often find myself buying makeup and nail polish in pairs. Donatella would be the perfect companion for Rei of Light (another odd habit of mine: buying lipstick to match polish and vice versa), and I've been eyeing Con Limon for years. But I know perfectly well I shouldn't hoard polish, so we'll see.

And that's it! The less I buy, the less I want to buy. It's enough to make me contemplate going on a no-buy for the foreseeable future, but...nah, I'm good.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Bunches of Swatches

I've been in three different time zones in the past week, and I feel weird. I originally planned to write this post two evenings ago while my skin absorbed the dewy coolness of a Tony Moly aloe sheet mask. Instead I fell asleep with the light on and my face unwashed. The same thing happened last night. Tonight, though, I will triumph over jet lag. And I'll be in one place for the next couple of weeks (I'm in San Francisco for my biannual visit), so I'll be posting a bit more frequently. That said, I'm working on my dissertation and preparing for another go at the job market, and I feel guilty when I use my precious and finite amount of writing energy on anything non-academic. I know it's irrational; I know that the energy I put into my blog isn't interchangeable with the energy I put into my academic writing. But it's so hard to relax these days. I haven't even been visiting my favorite websites very often. I used to read almost every article on xoVain and Into the Gloss, for instance, but in the past month or so I've been hard-pressed to read two or three articles per week (which might be for the best, given the variable quality of both sites). All this is to say that posts will appear when they appear. I'm not planning to quit this blog or take an extended hiatus, but I need to finish my doctorate, guys. I'm so tired of being an grad student.

Right now, though, I've got my aloe mask on and at least an hour of wakefulness left. Let's do this.

Travel doesn't lend itself to beauty experimentation or well-lit product photos, so all I have for you today is a collection of lipstick swatches from my visit to the Del Boca Vista Boca Raton Sephora four days ago. Here are some Urban Decay Vice and Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipsticks:

The reddish orange at bottom left is Urban Decay Temper. Left row, top to bottom: Urban Decay Crank (a dead ringer for NARS Angela), Backtalk, Vanity Kills, Oblivion, ignore those two tiny swatches, After Dark. Right row, top to bottom: Kat Von D Chula, Coven, Lolita (?). I tried on Vanity Kills, but it looked terrible. The name of that lipstick is apt: I need to stop immolating myself on the altar of white-based pastels. 

Here we have three rusty oranges, one rusty non-orange, and one non-rusty orange. Top to bottom: Kat Von D Solo (I can't imagine a complexion this shimmery nacho-cheese shade would flatter, but what do I know?), Kat Von D Archangel (?), Urban Decay Hitch Hike, Smashbox Always On liquid lipstick in Out Loud, Kat Von D Chula. Of these five, Out Loud is closest to my platonic rusty orange, but it's a little too brown. I still think MAC Chili is a better match.

Finally, I tried on a lipstick I'd been eyeing since its release in 2014: Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Poe. 

Granted, I applied Poe hastily with one of Sephora's disposable sponge-tip lip brushes, but I still feel confident saying the formula isn't perfect. It went on a bit patchy, refused to adhere to the inner part of my lower lip, and faded more quickly than I would have expected of such an intense color. The glitter also felt slightly gritty, though the formula itself wasn't drying despite its matteness. It did look pretty great from afar, even in a bleary-eyed car selfie:

Navy is one of my most flattering colors, so it's about time I embraced it in lipstick form. I was surprised to find that I didn't feel as weird or conspicuous in Poe as I do in NYX Stone Fox, but maybe that's because dark blue lipstick has been entering the mainstream recently. I can think of quite a few non-indie blues off the top of my head: MAC Matte Royal, Urban Decay Heroine, Kat Von D Poe and Echo, Bite Squid Ink, the two blues in Maybelline's Loaded Bolds collection, and three of the new NYX Liquid Suedes. I think I'll have to pick up a navy lipstick when my no-buy ends in a few days. I'm leaning toward NYX Liquid Suede in Foul Mouth, because I know I like the formula and I don't want to pay too much for such a weird lip color, but I'd welcome suggestions!

Finally, a swatch of Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Violet Frenzy, which my mom bought last year, didn't like, and passed on to me. I guess I didn't like it much either, because I left it at my mom's house in January and forgot about it until I returned this summer. But since metallic and pearlescent lipsticks are apparently the Big New Trend, I've decided to give Violet Frenzy another chance. We haven't missed a beat in moving from the mid-late '90s to Y2K, have we?

Like many an old-school vampy lipstick, Violet Frenzy lacks in opacity. It's a dark reddish purple with silver pearl, and it looks very dramatic in the tube, but swatches tell another story. Here's one swipe on the left and three on the right:

Violet Frenzy applies less patchily than my Super Lustrous nemesis, the absurdly overhyped Black Cherry, but it feels just as slippery, and the frost emphasizes every dry patch on my lips. I will say that it looks better from a distance than it does in a close-up lip swatch:

Remember when all the purple lipsticks on the market looked like this? Just four years ago, Violet Frenzy was the closest thing to true purple you could find at CVS. You'd go home with a tantalizingly dark and grapey tube, swatch it on your arm...and damn it, just another plum or merlot. You kids with your Milani and Maybelline and NYX purples, your Bite Lavender Jam and MAC Heroine and Snapchat and Pokémon Go, you have no idea how hard we 28-year-olds had it when we were 24!

Speaking of, I discovered recently that Seventeen Statuesque eyeshadow is a perfect complement to Lavender Jam; I also got a nearly undetectable haircut. I'm planning to go significantly shorter for the fall, though: I feel less like myself with shoulder-length hair.

Here's hoping for a bit more coherence in my next post!

Friday, July 15, 2016

FOTD: #SummerGoth

My tastes in makeup have shifted recently. I've noticed myself gravitating toward different colors, textures, and undertones, and caring less about "seasonal" makeup. Spring was so cold and dreary this year that I didn't feel like making my usual switch to coral and pink tones. But even now, with the hot, swampy Mid-Atlantic summer in full swing, I find myself drawn to murky, gloomy makeup: browns, dark purples, grays, that sort of thing. I'm still too much of a traditionalist to wear, say, NARS 413 BLKR in July, but I'm finding the summer-goth aesthetic more and more appealing. You might argue that this too is an expression of seasonal rules: only someone who cared about them would care about breaking them, right? Well, maybe so. And maybe I'm not even breaking them: black plums, thunderstorms, and blackberries all belong to summer. So let's say that I'm complicating the usual summer palette. Yes, that sounds pretentious enough for this blog.

The beauty world isn't abandoning dark colors this summer, either. Some people grumbled at Bite Beauty's collection of six lipsticks for Summer 2016, which included a dark brown, a navy blue, a gray-purple, and a blackened green. But I don't see many complaints about Anastasia's new Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette, an assortment of deep browns and berries, or Kat Von D's jewel-toned Serpentina palette, the ideal gift for the Slytherin in your life. Instagram is still dominated by brown lipstick; fashion is still drawing inspiration from the '70s. Even k-pop has joined the summergoth game—I love Hyelim's vampy makeup in the new Wonder Girls MV (totally worth a watch). Modern nostalgia for '70s nostalgia for the '20s—is there anything better, makeup-wise?

Technically speaking, "goth" might be the wrong word for the aesthetic I'm pursuing right now (plus, I hear that bona fide goths don't take kindly to casual appropriation of the word), but "Jazz Age Hollywood meets k-pop's dream of the '70s meets '90s teen witch" takes so much longer to type. 

Really, this FOTD was born of my desire to wear MAC Antique Velvet before September. I found myself missing it while I was in England (yes, I miss specific lipsticks when I travel), and once I returned, it seemed silly to ignore it for the sake of a seasonal propriety that no one else gave a shit about. I mean, I paid $17 for this lipstick; I have the right to wear it whenever I please. So here's the face I put together two days ago. That dark background makes me look a bit—but only a bitpaler than I really am.

And here are the products I used, clockwise from top: MAC Antique Velvet, ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter (still haven't hit pan despite using it several times a week for the past few months), Illamasqua Zygomatic cream blush, the dark brown sparkly shade from my theBalm custom palette, Seventeen Statuesque eyeshadow.

A better look at Lunch Money (and my new moonstone earrings from an outdoor market in Oxford):

I felt trapped in a makeup rut before I left for the UK, but traveling forced me out of my usual routine, and now I'm creating looks that I'm actually happy with. I suppose this particular look is a disheveled version of Instagram trends (come to think of it, almost everything I do, makeup or not, is a disheveled version of something else). I've got the dark matte lip and the highlighter, but my eyes are less defined, my brows are messier, and I'm not glowing like a cyborg wrapped in Christmas lights, not that there's anything wrong with that. In retrospect, I could have made my eyes a bit smokier: the dark brown eyeshadow is smudged along my upper lashline, but it doesn't show up well in photos. Still, I like the casual feel of this version; I also like how well the dark lip goes with my very '90s-influenced new sundress. I want to unearth my tattoo choker from 2000, though if you're old enough to have worn it the first time around...

But I was 12!

Have you accepted the #summergoth aesthetic into your heart?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Beauty Abroad, Part 20: Barry M Nail Paints in Butterscotch Sundae, Damson, and Vintage Violet

I thought I'd post more after returning from England, but instead I've spent most of my time agonizing over a dissertation chapter that I'm revising (well, basically rewriting). You know that feeling when you read over an unfinished piece of writing one too many times, and suddenly it seems to dissolve before your very eyes, and you're no longer sure whether you've made an argument or even written coherent, grammatical sentences? And then you start questioning the very foundations of your knowledge and reach the conclusion that you don't know how to write about anything and in fact have never known? Yeah. Experience has taught me that the only thing that helps once I reach this point is taking a break, and I'm lucky enough to have the liberty of taking breaks when I need them. Here's hoping that writing about nail polish will clear my head.

Let me introduce you to the three Barry M nail polishes (sorry, "Nail Paints") that I bought in England last month. L-R: Vintage Violet, Damson, Butterscotch Sundae.

Vintage Violet comes in the original ("Classic") Nail Paint formula, while Damson and Butterscotch Sundae belong to the "Gelly Hi-Shine" line, which is shinier and longer-lasting (and slightly more expensive) than the core line. The Classic Nail Paints retail for £2.99 (that's a mere $3.89 in these post-Brexit days), while the Gelly Hi-Shine polishes are £3.99 ($5.18), though I got Damson and Butterscotch Sundae in a 2-for-£5 sale. Barry M bottles are on the small side: 10 ml (0.35 fl oz) each, as opposed to 15 ml for OPI and Zoya, 13.5 for Essie, 13 for Chanel, 12 for Formula X, and 11 for Butter London (might as well be thorough).

It's worth noting that the Classic shades have a normal-looking round brush, but the Gelly Hi-Shine shades have a wide flattened brush. My nails are quite narrow, but I still find the flattened brush convenient for covering the nail in fewer swipes than usual. That's the brush for Vintage Violet on the right, and for Butterscotch Sundae on the left.

While mulling over the direction of this blog post, I realized that all three shades seemed quintessentially English to me. Butterscotch Sundae and Damson reminded me of two colors I'd seen repeatedly during my visit: the warm off-white of clotted cream (I ate a lot of clotted cream) and the brilliant blue of stained glass. I don't associate Vintage Violet with one particular object, but its bruised-plum hue recalls the constant cloud cover and the overall political mood of last month in the UK. (I hear it was a particularly wet June, not that I needed independent verification.) I'm thinking of scenes like this one, from the Winterbourne Botanic Garden at the University of Birmingham:

Vintage Violet is a beautiful color, a somber taupey purple, but it pulls darker and grayer on the nails than it appears in the bottle. I was hoping for a lighter shade than my two other murky purples (murples?), but Vintage Violet is pretty similar to them when worn. I need to buy one of those plastic nail-swatch wheels, because photographing a bunch of bottles together isn't particularly helpful, but this is the best I can do for now. L-R: Vintage Violet, Zoya Normani, Essie Smokin' Hot.

Vintage Violet needs three coats for full opacity. It's a bit closer to true purple than the other two, but only a bit:

The bigger problem is that Vintage Violet is as chip-prone as the other Barry M Classic shade I've tried, Shocking Pink. I've worn it only once, but it chipped after a day and a half, so I wasn't exactly tempted to wear it again. I wouldn't say I regret this purchase, exactly, but it turned out to be less unique than I thought. It's good to keep in mind that the minuscule shade variations that we beauty junkies obsess over are invisible to 99.9% of the population. If I wore Vintage Violet on Monday, Smokin' Hot on Tuesday, and Normani on Wednesday, no one would notice that I was changing my polish every night like a weirdo. And while I don't really care who notices that I'm changing my polish or lipstick or whatever, the fact is that when I'm out and about in the world, I don't notice those shade variations either. A bright pink lipstick puts me in a certain mood, and it doesn't really matter whether that lipstick is MAC Candy Yum-Yum or Maybelline Vivid Rose, even if Candy Yum-Yum is brighter and more matte than Vivid Rose. You know?

On to a purchase I'm happier with: Damson, a bright blue that I bought as a replacement for my dried-up OPI Eurso Euro. In the bottle, Damson is just a bit lighter than the storied International Klein Blue, but like Vintage Violet it turns darker on the nails, and it could pass for IKB in bright sunlight:

A damson, by the way, is a true British delicacy: a small, sour fruit related to the plum (its name comes from the Middle English damascene or "Damascus plum"). It's used mainly in jam and flavored gin, and its color has nothing in common with its Barry M namesake:

Far closer to Barry M Damson is the blue used for stained-glass windows in cathedrals all over the UK. Here's a stunning example from Canterbury Cathedral:

And a watery stained-glass reflection in the Jacobean chapel at Wadham College, Oxford (students there are actually called "Wadhamites," lololol):

And here's an unflattering photo featuring Damson in action at London's Borough Market, just before I sank my whole face into a raspberry-cream donut from Bread Ahead:

Opaque in two coats, Damson lasts about three days without chipping, which is average for me. More importantly, it's a color that makes me happy every time I glance at my nails. As you know, I'm obsessive about seasonal makeup and polish, but medium and dark blues are year-round shades for me. I'm wearing Damson on my toes right now, because even ugly ballet-veteran feet deserve pedicures.

Finally, my favorite of the three: Butterscotch Sundae, an all-but-white beige. This will be a hard one to write about, since I've been vegan for the past week and have three days to go before I can eat an actual butterscotch sundae (don't worry, this one from a fancy pub in Kensington was shared between five people):

Butterscotch Sundae is one of Barry M's four new Hi-Shine shades for Spring 2016 (see the other three swatched here). Three of the four verge on white: along with Butterscotch Sundae, there's Pink Lemonade, a very pale pink, and Cream Soda, a cool-toned off-white with a hint of yellow-green. I've long fantasized about some brand releasing a collection of non-streaky almost-white polishes: there could be a white with a hint of gray, a blue-toned white, a slightly creamy yellow-white...Until that happens, Barry M's new collection is the closest we'll get.

Butterscotch Sundae needs three coats for opacity, but it goes on smoothly and isn't streaky at all. It lasts about as long as Damson, though the formula is a bit thicker, as pastels often are.

I love how this shade looks against my skin—so clean and calming. It's also a great base for glitter, as I discovered a few days ago. I put down two coats of Butterscotch Sundae (not quite opaque, but close enough), followed by two coats of Mod Lacquer Nonpareils, a rainbow glitter in a sheer white base:

I ordered Nonpareils from Mod Lacquer's Etsy shop about three years ago. Mod Lacquer later reformulated Nonpareils to have more glitter per swipe—not that that information is much good to anyone now, since the brand sadly closed up shop last year. They had a nice assortment of bright playful colors with contrasting glitters (yellow with teal glitter is a combo I remember coveting), but I guess there's a lot of competition out there for any indie brand. Nonpareils is a great layering polish for whites and pastels because its base is so sheer, but it does take a looooong time to dry—like, 30 minutes per coat. Luckily, the result is worth the faff:

But let's talk about clotted cream for a second. For those who have the ill fortune to be unacquainted with this delight, it's full-fat cream that has been heated and cooled to produce a stretchy, gooey, almost chewy consistency. Originally from Cornwall and Devon, clotted cream is served with scones and (usually strawberry) jam for the traditional British cream tea. Wikipedia notes that "the regular consumption of clotted cream is usually thought to be bad for health," which is right up there on the understatement scale with "the Scots are a tiny bit irritated at the Brexit result," but there's no denying that clotted cream is very good for mental health. Look at this perfect orb of dairy from London's Savoy Hotel:

As I discovered after posting a photo of a cream tea on Instagram, the order in which cream and jam are placed on a scone is a divisive issue. I favor the Devon method (cream first), but the Cornwall method (jam first) has its merits as well. Jam first means that the cream smears the jam around and the two get mixed together, which is inferior aesthetically but produces a nice blend of flavors. This cream tea à la Devon is from the Edwardian Tearoom at the Birmingham Museum of Art:

Yes, Butterscotch Sundae is a tiny bit pinker than clotted cream, but I think of cream tea whenever I wear it. I don't know, guys, I may not be cut out for veganism.
£ 2.99

Monday, July 4, 2016

Beauty Abroad, Part 19: Seventeen Eyeshadow Mono in Statuesque

Seventeen is a British beauty brand that had never sparked my interest prior to last month's UK trip. It doesn't get much press in the blogosphere, probably because it's exclusive to drugstore giant Boots and so lacks a solid brand identity. Boots has two house beauty brands: the more famous and extensive Boots No. 7, which also offers a range of skincare, and the smaller, trendier Seventeen, which is geared toward younger shoppers. Having turned 17 almost a dozen years ago, I assumed that Seventeen had little to offer me: the name evoked images of brightly colored, poorly executed kiddie makeup. But one day I decided to swatch a few of Seventeen's eyeshadow singles, and though some were indeed patchy and cheap-looking, I came away very impressed with the shimmery neutral shades. Two in particular caught my eye: Rose Quartz, a purplish taupe, and Statuesque, a coppery rose gold.

Top to bottom: eyeshadow monos in Magenta (note that the matte formula is much less pigmented) and Rose Quartz, along with two matte lipsticks whose names I forget: 

Eyeshadow monos in Brown (seriously, guys, are you even trying?) and Statuesque, first in indirect light, then in direct sunlight. For some reason, probably prolonged exposure to air, Statuesque swatched darker from the tester than it did from my new pan:

Rose Quartz was very similar to an eyeshadow in my theBalm custom palette, but I didn't have anything quite like Statuesque, so that was the only one I bought. Why does so much British advertising rely on painful puns like "eye eye"?

This looks like your typical manicure-ravaging drugstore eyeshadow pot, but it opens with a clever mechanism:

Push down on that latch, and the lid pops openno need to wedge your fingernails into an evil little crack. Nice work, Seventeen!

The eyeshadow itself looks pinker in the pan than it does on the lid (this is after three weeks of frequent use):

It occupies a nice middle territory in my eyeshadow collection: darker and more bronzey than my true pinks, but pinker and lighter than my bronzes. Top to bottom: finger swatches of theBalm Stand-offish, theBalm Stubborn, Statuesque, Maybelline Pomegranate Punk, Maybelline Bad to the Bronze:

Blending out Pomegranate Punk produces a color similar to Statuesque (see this post for proof), but the large gold sparkles make Pomegranate Punk less subtle than Statuesque. I also don't think my pot of PP is long for this world: it's getting dry and hard to blend. By comparison, Statuesque's formula is very soft and blendable, but still opaque. (I don't buy many cream eyeshadows these days—I don't want to have to worry about them drying up and becoming unusable.)

Statuesque impressed me on first swatch, but it was my own absent-mindedness that revealed the extent of its versatility. For our nine-day visit to London, I left much of my eyeshadow in Birmingham, bringing only my Urban Decay Naked2 Basics, my theBalm custom palette, and Statuesque. I promptly misplaced my custom palette in our rented flat (it turned up on the last day, hidden in a stack of books on the nightstand), depriving myself of my usual grays and taupes, as well as some quirkier colors. I had to adapt to an entirely brown-based color selection, with Statuesque my only non-matte shade. It soon proved its worth both as a one-and-done shade and as the point of interest in a brown smoky eye. It also proved its durability, clinging to my lids (over primer, of course) throughout the long muggy days. 

Here it is today, applied all over the lid (again, over NYX HD primer) and blended into the crease—no other eye makeup here except mascara:

And the rest of my Independence Day look: Illamasqua Zygomatic blush, which I've been wearing for about a month straight, and Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in 69. (I'm also wearing shorts that match the lipstick exactly. AMERICA! And I bought those moonstone earrings at an outdoor market in Oxford last week.)

Something a little more complex, from last week: Statuesque on the mobile lid, Urban Decay Primal (a cool-toned medium brown from the Naked2 Basics palette) in the crease, and Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Demolition on the lashline. Unfortunately, I have such a light hand with eye makeup that all my "smoky" looks end up boringly work-appropriate (though I promise this looked smokier in person).

And here's the full look. My blush is Zygomatic again, and my lipstick is Bourjois Rouge Edition in Beige Trench, which I'll review next.

Wearing Statuesque for almost a week straight revealed not only its own versatility but also the versatility of the products I wore with it. Until last month, I'd never quite unlocked the potential of Demolition or the Naked2 Basics palette (note that I still haven't reviewed either one). Now, though, I feel a lot more confident with both products. It was useful to have my options limited so dramatically for a week, even if my chronic forgetfulness was to blame.

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! (And happy belated Canada Day to those of you who don't have to worry about Donald Trump becoming your next president.) If you're still seeking the perfect summer cocktail, I highly recommend this bourbon slush punch from Smitten Kitchen: you squeeze some oranges and lemons, mix the juice with bourbon and strong black tea, and blend the mixture with crushed ice. We made it yesterday and have lots of punch mix left over for future revelry.

And by "future" I mean "imminent." Byeeee.