The Vengeful Polyglot

Archive for the ‘Girly Stuff’ Category

It’s taken me forever to actually photograph and swatch this palette, which was a gift from my mom (thanks, mom!) for my 22nd birthday this year. Those of you who are keeping track will realize that’s more than 8 months ago. Whoops? Nevertheless, it was a great gift and a fabulous surprise given we were currently on the high seas somewhere in between California and Hawaii at the time. Tarte is a company I tend to just love. I love that most of their products are all-natural and not tested on animals (I haven’t checked every single product so I’m hedging that statement, but every one I’ve used has had great ingredients and been cruelty-free).

The Tarte The Starlet Limited-Edition Vanity — there’s a mouthful! — is my second limited-edition Tarte palette (my review of the Tarte True Blood Limited-Edition Palette can be found here). There’s always something so appealing and fun about limited editions, and this is no exception. The claim to fame here is that it serves a dual purpose: once the makeup is gone, the vanity can be used as an adorable jewelry box.

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Having reviewed both Urban Decay’s original Naked palette, as well as its much anticipated followup, Naked 2, I’d now like to take the chance to compare the two palettes for those who might be curious about which to get, or whether both are worth having. Personally, I’ve enjoyed owning both despite their relative redundancy (though they tend toward different color temperatures, both are comprised solely of neutrals), but those on a budget could obviously choose one or the other without missing too much. Both have been wildly successful, and I consider them to be staples for every day use.

Since I’ve already covered each palette individually in the reviews linked above, let’s jump right into the similarities and differences between the two.

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I’ve never been good at using concealer. Generally, I’d slap on some foundation and call it a day. When I did bother, I always just used whatever was on hand, and generally the performance wasn’t that great. It always looked really obvious to me. I do struggle with acne though, even now in my 20s, so when I made the switch to liquid foundation a few months ago I decided to try concealer again. My mom remembered liking one by Yves Saint Laurent, and had no better ideas, so I decided to check out YSL’s Anti-Cernes concealer in the lightest shade they offer, 1.

I could not be more pleased, honestly. I’m not sure how much of my success is due to the product and how much to Lisa Eldridge’s excellent video on how to correctly apply concealer, but the coverage is just great. It matches my foundation flawlessly, the texture is smooth and easy to work with, and I’ve found it just so easy to use with either a brush or my fingers. With this, my concealer use has gone from “almost never” to something I generally use each time I put on makeup, and I’m absolutely thrilled with its performance. It’s a bit pricy, but for the amount I use it and how useful I’ve found it, I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a new concealer!

Yves Saint Laurent Anti-Cernes Concealer — $35.

I’m going to consider it kismet that the day I finally got around to publishing my review of Urban Decay’s Naked palette, Naked 2 was teased for the first time. Perhaps I am some sort of makeup prophetess! Or maybe it was a coincidence. Either way, I ordered Naked 2 “hot off the press,” as it were, the day it launched. So far, I’m very pleased with it! While it might not have been strictly necessary to have both palettes (does one really need 23 neutral eyeshadows?), I find myself using both of them constantly, usually in combination.

As hard as it is to avoid, this review will attempt to isolate the qualities of Naked 2, independent of its cult-favorite predecessor. I’ll be doing a post later on comparing the two. This palette includes 12 full-sized shadows, an exclusive-to-this-palette, double-ended Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush, and a travel-size Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Naked for $50. I’m also going to toss in my review of the travel-size Eldorado 24/7 Liner I got as a sample when ordering because I think it fits the “theme” so well. Overall, this is yet another palette with tremendously good value and versatile application from Urban Decay.

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Having recently detailed a tale of foundation matching horror, let me now share a tale of makeup love and perfection. After returning Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere, I wandered around Nordstrom’s trying to decide where on earth to start looking for a new prospect. On my way to the Armani counter, my eye was caught by the beautiful packaging over by Burberry. So, what the hell? I gave it a shot.

This was the best decision I’ve made recently. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think of Burberry earlier — it’s based in England, they clearly must support people who are ludicrously fair (har har). The artist quickly matched up with Burberry’s Luminous Sheer Liquid Foundation in Trench No.01, which despite the name is a rather medium-coverage foundation which comes in a variety of really-light to slightly-less-light shades (very encouraging for pale girls like me!)

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This not the review I anticipated writing when I bought this product. I wound up returning it, but let’s start at the beginning. After hearing many glowing reviews for Chanel’s discontinued Pro Lumiere foundation, I decided to try the new Perfection Lumiere which had been billed as a sort of “spiritual successor” to Pro Lumiere. Since I’m very, very fair, I typically try the lightest shade available for foundations. Being pale can be a hassle, but since I live my life mostly in a state of computer-lit hermithood, the chance of me tanning is somewhere between 0 and -1. Bonus: I don’t have to buy a different foundation for the summers! At the counter, I tried the two lightest shades they had: Beige 10 and Beige Rose 12.

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Almost two months ago, my boyfriend bought Urban Decay’s Naked Palette for me after seeing me drool over it every time I dragged him to Sephora. Two months is an unusually long time for me to wait before reviewing a product, but I’ve been really reluctant to write this post because I wasn’t sure I could adequately describe just how much I love this palette while also not parroting all of the reviews which led me to get it in the first place.

Everyone loves this palette — and for good reason. I’ve heard people speak of Holy Grail items before, and never really gotten it. However, in the time that I’ve had this palette it’s easier to count the days I didn’t wear one or more of these shadows than the days I did. I get it now. This palette includes 12 full-sized, incredibly versatile shadows, the Good Karma Shadow Brush, and a travel-size Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion for $48. I don’t think any other palette has done neutral better, or for a better price.

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It’s no secret that I’ve been trying to learn the art of applying make up recently. While I tend to not be a fan of sitting around watching videos, YouTube is a wonderful resource for learning new techniques. One of the film makers who has been particularly useful to me is make up artist Lisa Eldridge. Particularly, her series on basics (though, really, all of her videos are fabulous). This is how I learned about the proper use of liquid foundation, which is super basic but also something that wasn’t intuitive to me. Really great!

Having been the beneficiary of a fairly sizable Bloomingdale’s gift card recently, I naturally took this opportunity to buy even more lip glosses. Clearly necessary! This time I focused on NARS, both to try a new product and another that had been endlessly recommended: two of the new Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils, that seem to straddle the line between lip gloss and lipstick, and also two of their best-selling and oft-referenced Lip Glosses, Orgasm and Striptease.

As a side note, I get wanting to be edgy, but is there really a market in naming your products so I need to feel embarrassed if my grandmother asks me what lipstick I’m wearing? It just seems unnecessary. Modern woman, hear me roar, whatever — I still don’t need to be talking about “Turkish Delight” with any of my family members. This is kind of a brand turn-off (pun intended?) for me.

That aside, these are lovely and I’m enjoying wearing them. On to the makeup!

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I recently set out on a lipstick expedition to Nordstroms looking to fill out my rather-lacking collection. I came prepared with a list of products I had earmarked based on online reviews and asked the sales person to help me try on one after another. I knew, vaguely, what I wanted: a nude, a pink, and a plum. Within those categories, though, I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. I didn’t really understand what “temperature” my skin was (apparently, pink means “cool” — who knew?) or what colors would look good on me, aside from thinking they looked nice on other people. I had written down a lot of MAC, a lot of Bobbi Brown, some NARS.

Somehow, I wound up with two by Giorgio Armani.

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Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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