July 31, 2011

Review: Laura Mercier Eye Basics

So I went recently to an eyebrow event at Saks Fifth Avenue and got a lot of amazing tips from the traveling artist who did my makeup. One of the things she suggested as a must have for me was their Eye Basics. It's an eye shadow primer but to me, this seems like it has a bit more coverage than Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This is something that has made this product stick out a bit to me because my eyelids do have some discoloration to them. While some people have suggested to use Shadow Insurance on it's own as well it doesn't have the coverage that allows me to feel comfortable enough to wear it without putting an eyeshadow of some sort over it.

Eye Basics does the same thing that most eye primers do as well which is to lengthen the wear of your eyeshadow. I actually found that I had less creasing than with Shadow Insurance and it wore quite a bit longer. I didn't feel like my makeup was melting in the heat and that is amazing considering the heat wave that we're in the middle of here. I felt very comfortable and didn't feel like I was wearing too much makeup. Another plus in my opinion.

The packaging is a tube similar to lipgloss and some concealers with a doe foot applicator. The way I apply it is that I tap the doe foot on my eye lightly and then I spread it across my eyelid with a concealer brush. Pretty easy and great coverage.

Bottom Line: 3/5

July 29, 2011

Image Heavy Update: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition still recruiting volunteers!

Okay everyone, I know... I know this isn't a beauty related post at all but just as much as I am into discussing makeup and sharing my adventures with it, I love volunteering. I am very lucky that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is in my hometown of Columbus next week and they are still looking for volunteers and some materials! You can also donate to the builder and family funds for this build. I am already signed up to volunteer and I've spoken with some of the behind-the-scenes folks and it's amazing at how receptive they are to ideas from the community. They are genuinely dedicated to making this a community project.

I will be volunteering on the build site Thursday, August 4th, Tuesday, August 7th, and Wednesday, August 8th. I've also spoken with a few people and will be taking photos while I'm in upstate New York for my cousin's wedding that weekend.

There are a few urgent needs that if you are in Central Ohio and you can donate some of these items, then head over to http://www.joinextreme.com/ohio and let them know!

They need an outdoor rod iron stairway, framed mirrors (can't be cracked but otherwise any will do), and some skilled volunteers. More information is at the link above.

Also, I wanted to share some of my photos from the pep rally for the build that was held last night. I donated blood to the American Red Cross in honor of the show and the build as well as I had mentioned before, shared my ideas with some of the design folks.

The Ohio State University cheerleaders were on hand to get everybody geared up for the build next week. It was my first time really seeing them cheer as I've never been to an OSU football game before.
I now know part of the reason why Earle Bruce is such a respected coach in Ohio State history. He spoke about banding together as a community and a little bit of his experiences as a football coach. I was honored to be able to hear him speak.
Milan Vasic, Senior Producer and all around great guy, showing us what Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is really about and also sharing some facts that not many people know about the process and how this show even came about in the first place.

Although I can't blog about any details of the contents of the house or room, you can expect some updates for while I'm on the build site and also calls for any submissions. You can also keep checking http://www.joinextreme.com/ohio for more updates as well.

July 27, 2011

Review: New Seasonal Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel

Hey everyone!

I know I kind of shied away from beauty the past couple of weeks so when I went to redeem my coupon for a free Anti-Bac Hand Gel from Bath and Body Works, and these were there, I knew I had to get some and write a review for you!

Serously, how could I pass these up? The two that I wasn't able to get were Friend Me? which has a Pina Colada fragrance and Seriously??? which is a Starfruit fragrance. Just as an FYI, I am a glutton for Bath an Body Works anti-bac hand gel. I've usually been able to find something that is great to carry around at conventions and also has a fragrance I love.  The theme is only one part of the reason why I hurried to add these to my collection though.
Whaam! has a Fruit Punch fragrance to it which makes total sense for this theme. Some people may think fruit punch to be a little too sweet and this is something that lingers on hands for quite a while. I like the balance between fruity and sweet that this achieves.
I <3 Geeks is probably the one fragrance I can suggest to just about anyone and everyone. It's a plain vanilla fragrance. To me, it doesn't smell too much like cake or cookies. It just smells like fresh vanilla. Vanilla tends to be my go to fragrance because it goes with just about anything. I use a lot of other previous vanilla fragrances from Bath and Body Works as well such as Lemon Vanilla which is from 2010's Summer Vanillas collection and also Yuletide Pear Vanilla which I got in 2009. So of course, a plain vanilla fragrance mixes well with these. I also use Brown Sugar Vanilla which is currently available in the Bath and Body Works Signature Collection.
One of my favorites of the sweeter flavors I tried, Pow is yet another fragrance that fits the sound effect used on the label. Even without it being coined "Smash" Berry, the mixed berry has a punch of sour to it. It smells like natural raspberry that has a hint of tartness to it. It also reminds me of the mixed berry they came out with for the Royal Wedding collection in honor of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Not a bad thing, mind you, since that collection was so limited and you have a bit more time to get your hands on this one.

One of my main gripes about the PocketBac line in general is the cost. At full price, one bottle costs $1.50. The thing is, though, that they are always giving out coupons for free PocketBacs (no purchase necessary I might add) as well as having a 5 for $5 sale going on almost constantly. The latter at least knocks the price down to about $1 per bottle. Still expensive but here's another reason why I use these. They have Tahitian Palm Milk which helps condition hands. No matter how constantly I've been using it, I haven't had the same drying issues as regular drugstore brand anti-bacterial gel. So that's always something to think about when using this. Also, with as much as I travel to various conventions, it is always always always something I pack because I'm around so many strangers and doing so much networking.

All in all, I fell in love with the packaging and it had me right on sight. It is my hope to be able to review the last two fragrances in the Comic Book line soon so that you can decide for yourself which you like. As I said before, I love the PocketBacs in general and I don't have drying issues like I do with other brands so I'm not totally against spending the extra money even for such a small bottle. On top of it all, they are always coming out with new fragrances that you should be able to find something you like.

Bottom Line? 5/5

July 25, 2011

Fandom: Man v. Food Nation

So last night, it seems like someone was challenging Adam Richman to a one on one food eating contest on Twitter. I tweeted back to him because having met him, he is a very genuine person and his passion for food really shows through. Last night, I also wrote a rambling 3 page blog entry on notebook paper because my laptop is still inaccessable. Eventually, I laughed at myself because the thing was so rambling, I don't think I was making sense to anyone other than myself (hooray for writing things at 3AM).
I wanted to say something that needs to be said in some sort of public place. Man v. Food is not about out eating anyone. It's about showcasing the cities that each episode is taking place in. Also, if you read Adam's book Edible America you can see the rich culinary anthropology and experiences that Adam has had outside of the show. I thought I knew quite a bit about Cleveland, Ohio and some of it's food but I had no idea about many of the things he mentioned.

I wasn't originally a fan of Man v. Food. There, I said it. However after hearing that Adam was coming to town, I started really watching the show. It took me a while but I finally saw the first episode which was filmed in my hometown of Columbus, OH. I also found out that Adam and I share the same birthday just a few years apart. Couple that with a passion for food in the both of us and I was already in heaven.

I had already decided due to Adam's reaction in that episode to Schmidt's Sausage Haus' 8 oz. cream puffs, that I wanted to surprise him with one. I did and his eyes just lit up like a kid in a candy store. I think this was the start of an even longer fandom. Now I watch Man v. Food Nation every week and I tweet along with Adam's live tweets.

I am so proud to be a member of Man v. Food Nation because it shows our history through food which is something that everyone can relate to. It also shows that no matter how much he, or anyone eats, the competition is nothing but friendly. Everyone cheers him and whoever is attempting the challenge on. I would love to be on the show even if it's just to cheer someone else on. It ranks up there with being a part of an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build (which I've just signed up for BTW). More to come on that.

Blog Name Change?

So I am thinking I need a better name for this blog. I still want to focus on all things geek in lifestyle and beauty but not sure of the title. Any ideas?

July 21, 2011

Beauty Blog Awards

Hey everyone!

I forgot to mention that I've been nominated for Best EotD/LotD Blog in Cinnamon Candies Beauty Blog Awards! Please vote for me! I know I'm still new at this but I feel like I've learned so much as I go along. :)


Reflections: The End of an Era - Harry Potter

So I wasn't quite sure what to post about this week since my time is limited but I wanted to make a post reflecting on one of my longest standing fandoms, Harry Potter. I will warn you right now that if you haven't read all 7 books or seen all of the movies, you may want to steer clear of this post because I'm horrid at censoring myself from spoilers.

I was still in high school when I caught on to Harry Potter. I went to Marburn Academy here in Columbus and the younger kids were raving about these new novels and it was extremely hard to get copies from either the school library or the public library... Any of them. After a while, I got my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and I was instantly hooked. I've always been a fan of fantasy and as you can see by my current blog layout, an avid Slytherin (although maybe not with the evil tendencies of the stereotype).

I think I related to Harry a lot. It's not that my family has been abusive or mean to me or that I have magical powers, but that feeling like you don't belong somewhere? It's something that any of us can relate to. There is so much character growth in the series and even the most unassuming of characters turn into heroes.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the only movie in the series that I decided to go see in 3D. I am very glad that I did. For the most part, the movie lived up to and exceeded my expectations as a fan. I really only have one complaint. Why didn't they show Lupin and Tonks' death scene? It was one of the more moving parts of the Battle of Hogwarts and it's something I would love to see an extended edition of. It was the only point in the 2nd half of that book where I truly felt myself bawling.

Let me give a little bit of background. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, HP-Ohio rented out a bed and breakfast in Wilmington for the midnight release. It is still one of my favorite experiences to this day. We had Wizard Rock and probably the best part for me was reading the book as a part of a group. Having the support of people with the same interest and level of fandom as I do was something that made it a very special moment.

I've made so many friends over this fandom and I can truly say that Harry Potter fans are an amazing group. I currently have 2 full costumes, a student (Gryffindor or of course, Slytherin) and a Death Eater, and I am still working on a few more. I am working on a Victorian-era Hogwart's Student and have some ideas for it and also I would love to dress as Bellatrix Lestrange one year. Unfortunately my plate is pretty full as far as costuming but I think it should be able to debut in 2012.

I think this fandom will always be a part of me. Not to say that the others aren't. I have so many of them that it has been very hard to figure out which one's to devote my time to but I am very glad that Harry Potter is one of those.

July 14, 2011

EotD: Cunning and Wit

So, I originally thought I would have time to do an entire week of Harry Potter inspired eyes and looks but unfortunately real life got in the way (Curses!). I did, however, want to do a Slytherin inspired look at the very least as this is my house. I take pride in this. Also with the quality of the Fang Banger's Quartet from Geek Chic Cosmetics and in this case, Purity Burns. I knew it was the best color for this.

On my eyes:

  • Geek Chic Cosmetics Eye Shadow - Purity Burns
  • Wet n' Wild Color Icon Trio - I Dream of Greenie (Browbone and Crease colors)
  • Maybelline mascara in Black

I first started with the crease color from my Wet n' Wild trio along the lash line. Then I went over it and covered the main part of my lid with Purity Burns from Geek Chic Cosmetics. Then I put the browbone color from the same trio in the crease and blended upward and into the inner corner of my eye to highlight.

Then I finished with the mascara.

A relatively simple look but still something I wanted to share.

Review: Geeky Clean - Portal Soap

Oh. It's you. It's been a long time. How have you been? I've been really busy being dead. You know... after you murdered me. Look. We've both said a lot of things we're going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster.
 So, it's been a long time since I've used bar soap as opposed to shower gel and I have to say, I've been converted back to soap in bar form. As I said in my shout-out post, this is a bar of soap based on the Portal series of video games. It's pretty simple in execution, two glittery colored ovals in a clear bar of soap. One blue, and one orange. This makes it look like the portals are suspended in the middle of the bar of soap. Part of me wishes there was a little more to the portals like maybe some rough edges but otherwise for such a simple bar of soap, it has a wonderful look.

As far as fragrance is involved, I love the lemon cake scent. It goes well with my Lemon Vanilla lotion and body mist from Bath and Body Works. It also can make a great kitchen soap for those who have control over the soap that goes in the entire house. (I live with my parents so it goes in my bathroom only.)

Overall, the fragrance is definitely something that can be found elsewhere but I have yet to find a soap that even looks like this one. Other companies have come out with Companion Cube soap but many have overlooked this simple yet awesome design. Did I mention it's Vegan friendly?

The online store is closed until August in preparation for GenCon Indy but they will re-open soon after and I will try and update everyone when it re-opens.

Final Verdict: Definite Buy Again

Review and Swatches: Geek Chic Cosmetics - Fang Banger's Quartet

First of all, I should note that I approached Deb and Chantel at Geek Chic Cosmetics about doing a review. They sent me 4 sample baggies of colors of my choice so I chose the Fang Banger's Quartet. More about that later.

First of all, I was so excited to get the ball rolling on a potential addiction. I've been eyeing Geek Chic Cosmetic's site for a long time and every time they come out with a new set it makes me drool with envy.

In this review, packaging, although noted and described won't play a huge part in my review. They have just changed their sample packaging so what you receive will be different. Also, the pots you see in the photos are my own. I took the shadow out of the sample baggie so that I could apply it easier. The one thing I will note is that everything comes with a sticker with a full list of ingredients which is great!

The following swatches are on bare skin with no primer:
With Flash: Top L to R - Viking King and Purity Burns
Bottom L to R: Blood Bond and Eyes of the Werewolf

Natural Light: Top L to R - Viking King and Purity Burns
Bottom L to R: Blood Bond and Eyes of the Werewolf (I mention later how Eyes matches my skintone, I promise it's there.)

The following colors do contain metal powders so speaking of ingredients, if you have allergies to any metals, I would take note of the ingredients before ordering.

Viking King:
This was the first color that I tried. It's a shiny, uber-metallic antique gold. While gold eye shadows are easy to come by in the world, I have yet to find one with this type of color pay off without a primer. It made my lids look gilded which was something I loved at the time. Having a week off from my blog to deal with real life let me wear it multiple times. The first time I put it on, I was worried because my eyes itched a little bit. It wasn't anything big but I was concerned because I knew about the metal powders. I decided to give it one more try and I was very relieved to find out that the feeling I had was more than likely due to fatigue and not an allergic reaction. One of my favorite looks is to put Blood Bond (review and swatch further down) on the bottom of the lid and put Viking King on the rest of the main lid. It has a hint of Gryffindor to it as well as a bit of royalty.

This is a great everyday shadow and can be used in a variety of ways.

Final Verdict: 4/5

Purity Burns:
A silver shadow with iridescent sparkle. Another great everyday look with a frosty light gray color base. More than likely officially my go to Slytherin silver color and I will be wearing this tonight to the midnight showing of the final Harry Potter movie. The shadow goes on smooth with very little fall out. The powder is fine and very light weight. Something that I love about all of these. I don't feel like I'm made up when I just put a little bit on. Being someone who never used to bother with make up and also was a stage actor, while I am used to feeling made up from the thick base needed for stage work, I don't like it for everyday. Yet again, silver is pretty easy to find elsewhere however I think the iridescent sparkle is what sets it apart from others.

Final Verdict: 4/5

Eyes of the Werewolf:
The base color of this reminds me of the dog that Sam Merlotte tended to shift to. This color matches my skin tone almost perfectly and is the quintessential eye shadow for me to just add a shimmer to my lids. Although the site bills it as a copper, it's not as orange as traditional coppers and this is what I like about it. There's not much else to say about it that I haven't already spoken about the other colors just that it's even more an everyday color for me due to the neutrality.

Final Verdict: 5/5

Blood Bond:
Probably the only color that isn't an everyday color for me. It's not to say that the deep, shimmery burgundy is bad but more to say that I don't go out often enough to see use for it. To me, it's something I would wear to a club or with specific costumes that call for a dramatic burgundy eye look. The one thing I did do with it was my Gryffindor Eye of the Day and I wore it to Ba-Con's Barfleet party.

Final Verdict: 3/5

I am really pleased with this set as my first experience with Geek Chic Cosmetics. Deb was very helpful in communicating with me about any delays in the shipping of the samples as well as answering any questions. Always a great plus when dealing with independent companies. I potted all of my samples in some old sample pots I had left over from products I had received but I don't use and this makes it a bit easier to use the right amount of product. Although now, samples are shipped in clamshells which will be massively easier.

I will definitely be rebuying Viking King, Purity Burns, and Eyes of the Werewolf on a regular basis. Blood Bond will probably already last me a long while  but eventually I probably will rebuy it. Being a LARPer who plays a vampire, it has it's uses. :)

Final Verdict on Whole Set: 4/5

Shout Out: Geeky Clean - Portal Soap

Okay so, I'll admit I met the proprieters of Geeky Clean at GenCon Indy 2010 and I have loved their Browncoat Field Ration. Well, I found something else that spoke to my gamer geek. Portal soap. This soap smells like lemon cake and has a blue portal on one side and an orange portal on the other. I will have a full review soon but I wanted to give them a shout out because it's an awesome company with an awesome mission. Did I mention they have Vegan frienly bacon soap? ;) More to come soon with photos.

July 11, 2011

Thank You to Everyone

I wanted to post a quick thank you to everyone who wished me well over the past week. I really appreciate the support I've gotten and this is one of the reasons why I like sharing my adventures with all of you. I am relatively new to blogging in this manner but the support I've gotten already has bowled me over so thank you!

Coming This Week:
* EotD: Bellatrix Lestrange
* EotD: Tonks
* EotD: Cunning and Wit
* EotD: Brave and True
* EotD: Lily Evans
* Review and Swatches: Geek Chic Cosmetics Fang Banger's Quartet
* Review: Geeky Clean - Portal Soap

I am also working on a few things for some events coming up so expect some in progress costume updates as well as some makeup ideas. I am hoping to do a very makeup intensive costume which will debut at Dragon*Con this year. I know there are a lot of tutorials out there for her makeup but I am looking at things and seeing which is the most viable for me and will make the most impact.

Hopefully soon I will get right back into regular posting.

Thank you again.

July 3, 2011

Death in the Family

Hey all,

There will be no updates this week due to a death in the family. To those of you who visit from the Blog Hop please leave a comment on the blog hop entry and I will give you a follow back ASAP. To everyone else, thank you so much for your support. Next week will be a week of Harry Potter inspired looks in honor of the newest and final movie.