Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ah, ultimatums

Do you remember this post?

Well, turns out I can't get theatre out of my blood that easily. I am still firm in my resolve to further my professional writing - I have a list of local and international magazines and publications I plan to submit to this year, if only to get critique. However, my constant whining about missing acting resulted in my boyfriend and a couple of good friends saying to me, "Look, you obviously still love theatre. Don't cut yourself off cold turkey!" Armed with this wisdom, I will be auditioning for a role in a production of another university, which a friend of mine is directing. They have several prior cast/crew from other unis, so it's not as blasphemous as it sounds! It's a pantomime, so hilarity is expected, and it's a lot more laid-back than traditional theatre because it retains a huge element of spontaneity. I may only get a minor role (actually, that would probably be better for me considering travel time + studies = bleh), but it'll still be fun.

I'm pretty excited about going back to uni. I got my textbooks a few days ago and they look very interesting. I also bought a new uni bag which I must take photos of because it is SO beautiful, and as it's made of industrial seatbelt webbing, will hopefully last longer than the backpacks I've been buying! After three semesters I've broken, well, three of the suckers.

This week will be pretty busy getting used to my new schedule, and I do have some catching-up and birthday parties happening too. I did manage to snag a BYS palette to compare to my Sleek stash - I will try and do that post sometime in the next few weeks. The results should be interesting. I should also be able to get back all of the comics I've lent out, and finish up the review of Chew (which just won an Eisner for 'best new series', congrats!) and Changing Ways. Blog updates will definitely not be as frequent as they have been, at least for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, visit Starkid Productions, the American college kids who have taken the internet and global theatre communities by storm. They have produced two totally awesome musical parodies of Harry Potter, and one original musical coming-of-age comedy. They are a really talented, inspiring bunch and I have their songs stuck in my head all the time!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: Morgana Minerals (picspam!)

If you don't know about Morgana Minerals, I have two things to say to you:
1) Where have you BEEN?
2) You are missing out.

I first heard about Morgana due to their fantastic vegan lipsticks. Mostly out-there shades, with a few more conservative ones mixed in, the formula does NOT disappoint. I first purchased the lippes when the samples were available, and because they were cheap and I was excited, I got 15 samples. They are ridiculously opaque, creamy and wear quite well. I have swatched every single one of my samples for you. Yep, all 15! Colour descriptions are mine, not Morgana's, same goes for the scent descriptions.

Serenity (neon blue. No scent.)

Cinnamon Stick (molten bronze. Faint cinnamon scent.)

Pumpkin Eater (rich, metallic sienna. No scent.)

Coffin (creamy, dark chocolate. Faint sweetish scent.)

Silverwitch (antiqued silver)

Grape (deep vampy purple. Faint grape scent.)

Watermelon (bright candy pink with silvery-green shimmer. Faint watermelon scent.)

Shrieking Violet (the colour of a ripe plum's skin)

Sugar Plum Rum (shimmery, blackened purple. Faint sweetish scent.)

Slime (metallic lime green)

Coraline's Kiss (neon, slightly metallic coral)

Sub Zero (Superman's tights. No, seriously, metallic mid-tone blue, JUST LIKE Superman's blue spandex.)

Lillian (silvery-lilac. This colour HATES me, it would not sit properly on my lips).

Blueberry (my fave. Literally the colour of blueberries - dark, but still vibrantly blue. I had barely enough left to swatch! Faint blueberry scent.)

Rustic (chocolate brown with subtle green shimmer).

These swatches are a testament to the moisturising properties of Morgana's formula: I did all these swatches in one sitting, and afterwards my lips were not sore, chapped or dehydrated. I think I had trouble with the metallics because they were a bit cold and hard, and I was using a rather crappy lip brush. Anyway, the lipsticks come in hand-poured tubes going for $10, or lipstick pots going for $5. The pots allow you to mix formulas, or add balm if you're after something a bit more sheer. All of these except Rustic are from the now-distontinued lipstick samples. I have plans to buy a heap more lip pots. I want Blueberry, and I want to try Licorice, the black shade.

What I haven't heard raved about much - and I don't know why - are the brushes in the shop. I have the dual-ended mini brush and it is fantastic. Seriously, the bristles are softer than soft, the ferrule is sturdy, the brush is long enough to handle easily and short enough to tuck into your cosmetic pouch for touch-ups on the go, of either lid colour or liner. I ordered the mini brush with a pile of lip and eye samples, paid shipping, and was promptly contacted by Melissa offering me a refund for shipping. She said she was happy to ship the order - internationally - for free since the brush was small. My most recent order, she refunded some shipping as well. Now THAT's customer service. Since my first order, Melissa has had to up sample shipping to $1. This was purely for security purposes, since some samples orders were getting lost in the mail. Compared to some other companies, who charge regular order prices for shipping - a huge amount for international sales - I am totally fine with that!

People have been raving about the Medieval collection for a while, so I won't go into detail about it. Suffice to say, anything you've read has not been an exaggeration. Here are my swatches to add to the swathe. Joan de Arc, Beowulf, Gauntlet, Concubine, Chivalry, Winifred:

Obligatory OMGDUOCHROME shots of Chivalry and Winifred:

My non-Medieval collection swatches, Twinkling Cherraine (searing red with silver sparkles), Sinister (amazingly gorgeous teal shimmer on a black base), and Cat's Eye (shimmery yellow-green):

The samples are about the standard size for $1 mineral baggies - enough to try several times to make up your mind. Full-sizes are quite generous and sturdy. Morgana is actually the first company I bought full-sizes from without trying the sample sizes first - for Joan d'Arc and Gauntlet. I do not regret it in the slightest!

Melissa has lots of exciting new things planned for Morgana Minerals, including lip glosses (which I'm sure will be amazing!),  new lipstick colours (nudes and neutrals on the way, yay!) new eyeshadow collections (including a rumoured pastels collection, and a confirmed matte collection) and a new website.  A complaint I have read - and made myself - often is that the website is a little clunky and slow. Melissa has listened to her customers and is in the process of re-designing the website to make it more customer-friendly. 

I'm eager to get more brushes from her, as well as some full-sizes of the sample shadows, and lipsticks. There is a $20 minimum for ordering, but her shipping is so reasonable and she is always quick to refund the difference. Morgana Minerals is closed in the wake of a huge customer appreciation sale, it re-opens on the first of August, and then the exciting new things start rolling out.

Hope you enjoyed the review!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Operation PAN!

I go back to uni next week, and I'll be down to 12 regular hours of work. Gah! So in keeping with my new, strict budget, I've decided not to purchase any more make-up samples for a while. I have a massive amount of samples from Sassy Minerals, Meow Cosmetics, Fyrinnae, Morgana Minerals, Sobe Botanicals, Concrete Minerals, and my own little mix-ups, so I have plenty to choose from! I'm also waiting on my other Sleek palette (naughty me) and have to decide whether to just use the 16 Aromaleigh samples I traded for, risk loving them and being sad I can't get full sizes, or whether to trade them again for something I can actually buy as an international customer. There are still a few cosmetics companies I want to try, but I do need to get through some of my stash first!

I'm making staples like mascara and face powder an exception, I plan on ordering a full-size Sassy foundation and blush soon since I found my match. I am also really liking the Sobe Botanicals Oil Control powder I bought a sample of. Still haven't gotten around to trying the Illusionist powder though. Once I finish off some samples, I can start making a list of products to buy full sizes of. I can already think of a few Sassy and Concrete Minerals colours...

I do have some reviews and comparisons planned, I'm just not really in a make-up frame of mind at the moment, as I have a nasty cold, I'm working and trying to prepare for uni! I'm horribly behind on JulNo. Don't know at this stage if I'll make 50k, all things considered it's a bit unrealistic.

After I get better, I have lots of Life Plans involving submitting stories and articles to magazines, trying out new recipes, taking more photos and buying more comic books. I have to get Changing Ways and Chew back from my darling friend M. so that I can review them!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The indie/mainstream dichotomy

I'm on the train and there's a group of five teenage girls. Three of them are dressed almost identically – ankle boots, black semi-opaque tights, short graphic print dresses and hooded faux-leather jackets. It's scary and I'm suddenly very glad of my flats, footless tights, skirt and collared velvet jacket, even if it's only because I'm going to work.

I wonder how much the girls paid for their outfits – they look the type who'd be sporting plastic bags stuffed full of loot from Supre, Dotti or Cotton On. These days even those tweenie shops charge at least $30 for pieces. Those jackets were probably a lot more. So we're looking at minimum $100 each – to look exactly the same. The only things in my outfit that are new are my shoes – paid for with work discount – footless tights, and basic black shirt. The skirt and jacket were both from an op shop and under $10. I'm wearing a necklace, an explosion of pink quartz chips on fishing line, which I borrowed from my mother since the skirt is the only thing I own with pink in it. Smart casual, and not slavishly trendy, for almost literally half the price those girls paid. Oh, wow... another girl just got on the train and sat next to that group. She is wearing the exact same sunglasses as two of the other girls. If I didn't know any better, I would have assumed she was a part of their circle!

I'm not sure that I'll ever really understand the appeal of big-name labels or brands. Give me a beautiful, unique op shop find every time – you can even find brand name things in there, a little worn maybe but for a much more reasonable price. Or point me towards an indie shop where the prices reflect creativity, hard work and passion; not corporate greed, fluorescent lights and subversive ads in magazines, telling you you're not going to be pretty enough unless you drop dollars on the latest fads.

The funniest thing about all this is where I work now, why I'm all dressed up and made-up. I work in a brand name leathergoods shop, where people spend more than my weekly paycheck on a handbag! It's no surprise to me that my favourites in the shop aren't leather at all, they're made of recycled industrial seatbelt webbing. It's one of the few Australian-designed products that we carry. The pieces are hand-made, unique, practical and beautiful. They're not the cheapest items in the shop, but to me the price is far more justified. There are bags marked down to $150 on the company's web site – more than I've ever paid for clothing in my life, but it's a product I know I can live with, both in terms of using and in terms of ethos.

I want to write – that will be my career. However, it takes either explosive success or years of hard work before one can make a substantial living – financially – off writing. So I have to think about jobs I'd like to do in the meantime. I've done hospitality, I've done retail, I've dabbled in admin – but the job I'd love to do, into and even beyond my writing career, is one I might never be able to. I respect indie creations so much, but I don't have the time or talent to start my own business. It's just not something I'd be able to make a proper job out of. But what I would love to be able to do is to help an Aussie creator. I could do the pesky paperwork and customer service things, while they created and produced. I'm good with tasks – inventory, orders, answering emails, packaging and mailing. It's a very time-consuming part of the indie selling business, we all know that. To help out in that way would be very gratifying for me.

Maybe one day. For now I'll just have to content myself with saving up for more delightful Etsy finds, and hunting for Aussie shops like Inner Earth Soaps and Eccentric Cosmetic.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dear impatient sods

As of a few days ago, Aromaleigh is no longer shipping internationally, thanks to a huge number of people who have been filing Paypal disputes for no reason, causing a massive backlog of paperwork and losing AL tons of money.

To those who are responsible: I hope you're happy with yourselves. I just finished a huge trade, so I could get some samples to try before making my final order. Some of us can't afford to order a crapload of full sizes straight out.

Thanks for finding yet another way to ruin the sparkle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to: make sure nobody wants to read your blog

Nine steps to success!

1. Never ever capitalise the letter 'I'. Especially when you use it several times in a sentance. ("i went down to the shops and i found this awesome nail polish, i just had to have it!")

2. Never use spellcheck. Spell "definitely" as "defiantly".

3. Use lots of exclamation marks!!! That way people know you're enthusiasting about blogging!!! CAPITALS ARE GOOD TOO!!!

4. Whenever you comment on anybody else's blog, make sure you ask them to check out yours. I mean, how else are you going to get readers? By waiting for them to click on your name, which automatically becomes a hyperlink to your blog when you comment on other people's? Pshaw.

5. Leave rude/spam comments attached to your posts. It's sooo silly to delete them. If you leave them up, it makes it look like you totally aren't bothered. I mean, it's not like it gives off the impression that you never read your comments...

6. Use lots of chatspeak. Lol, it's the internet, everybody shortens things all the time, it's the in thing atm. Btw, using numbers is a little over the top, but it's up 2 u, cos u might be writign inahury! xD

7. All good blogs are written in America, so you don't need to clarify shop names, or state names at all. People in the U.K, Australia and other countries where they speak American all have the internet, but none of them blog, lol!!!!

8. Different coloured fonts make your blog stand out. Especially neon ones - and don't be fooled, a black background isn't necessary for using bright colours!

9. Don't categorise posts. Labels are so limiting. Think outside the box and leave ALL your posts uncategorised!

Readers and fellow bloggers, did I miss anything? Share your blogging pet peeves in the comments!!!!! :P

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Letters from a lonely shop assistant

On Friday I had to work 9-7, and be by myself for 9-5. This is how I kept from going completely insane during the ridiculously slow day.

Dear bank,
Why can't you open at 9am like every other profit-driven capitalist establishment, hmm?
Dear god I hope I filled out the deposit slip correctly.

Dear vacuum cleaner,
I appreciate the fact that your neck is adjustable. Your willingness to pull your cord back in when asked (politely, but firmly) makes me smile.
There's always that one bit of lint, isn't there?

Dear scarf,
Stop being obnoxious.
Too lazy to take off the scarf just to vacuum when I know I'll have to put it on again later because my neck gets cold.

Dear coffee,
I am very sorry I don't have access to a microwave. I'm sure you are too.
Very conscious that the coffee place is breakfast-only and as such, closes at 2.30pm.

Dear dust,
You really need to give it up. Glass doesn't feel the same way about you as you do for Glass. I am getting very tired of constantly having to shoo you away with a paper towel.
Industrial glass cleaner makes pretty patterns when you spray it.

Dear counter,
I've never seen anybody wipe you down! Ever! How can you be so clean?!
Cleaning as if I actually like it.

Dear chocolate.
Thanks for being you.
Omnomnom dessert before lunch.

To the woman who walked in just as I took a bite of my sandwich,
This is the lunch rush?!

Dear 'customers',
When you go shopping, you BUY THINGS. Isn't that the reason you go 'shopping' - to 'shop'? Or have I been getting it completely wrong all this time?
Envious and confused.

Dear head office,
Somebody please e-mail me! It's only 3 o'clock over there, you should still be working!
Desperately bored, and a little isolated too.

Dear Melbourne store,
I know I said I was bored, but if you want us to send you something, please just email it through so I can take my time finding it!
There are too many bags in this shop.

Dear sandwich,
It's not you, it's me. Oh ok fine, it's totally you. Now if you would transform yourself into a plate of piping-hot duck rice, I'd be ecstatic.
Chicken sandwiches are only appropriate for a lazy, so-late-it's-practically-lunchtime Saturday breakfast.

Dear rain,
Go away.
I didn't bring an umbrella today.

Dear irony.
Yeah, I just sold an umbrella. So what?
Stubborn but somewhat glad.

To the couple standing IN the doorway,
Guys. Seriously. You have the entire street to stand in. Doorways are for WALKING THROUGH.
Inconsiderate people piss me off.

To the man obsessed with luggage,
Can I go home now?

Dear peanut butter and nutella sandwich,
You are so amazing.
Seriously, try it! Especially if you like peanut M&Ms or Reese's anything.

Dear calculator,
What you have told me makes me feel slightly better. As much as I hate to perpetuate the capitalist mindset, selling things is good.
Reluctantly relieved.

Dear shop music,
You are making my eye twitch.
Only four hours and thirty-six minutes to go...

To the couple who just left,
What the hell was that?!

Dear vague old lady on the phone,
I'll laugh about you later.
It's good you know what brand you want, but do you know how many STYLES they do?!

Dear me,
Well done for timing taking out the rubbish with the exact moment it started raining again!
That was sarcasm, by the way.

To the last clean cup in the shop,
My precioussssssssss.
A shameless Nescafe Mocha addict.

Dear insatiable materialistic lust,
I do NOT need to spend $270 on a belt because I like the buckle!
My common sense and in-built thriftiness.

Dear head office,
Why don't we close at 5.30pm on Fridays?
I wanna go home.

Dear zzzzzzzzz...

Readers and fellow bloggers, tell me your favourite and least favourite thing about where you work - or used to, if you have a funny anecdote to share.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I made stuff part 2

The other day when I sat down at my dressing table, it suddenly occured to be that I now own several packets of TKB pigments, a bunch of empty jars, and a load of samples that I don't really like that I hadn't been able to give away.

Madness ensued.

I have only very basic knowledge of colour theory, so I Googled up a colour wheel to refer to, and found this fantastic art resource. It's meant to be used to mix paint and raw art pigments, but for basic "this is what happens when you mix these colours together", it was perfect. I was totally unhygenic, but since they're only for me I don't think it's a big deal. I literally used this tiny teaspoon to scoop shadows (wiping it off between jars), and mixed things by closing the jar tightly and shaking/rolling it until the pigments were blended. I made quite a mess but it was SO much fun.

I had a few ideas for shadows I wanted to try and make, and a rough idea of how it might be done. I ended up doing a few things that seemed a bit strange since the last time I did art it involved finger-painting. However, I did manage to make some really gorgeous shadows. All of these swatches done over PE.

This is a soft, dusty green with violet interference.

A brighter, shimmery green, I didn't realise until I was swatching is actually pretty darn similar to Sassy Minerals' False Pretenses. My mix is a bit more of a lighter, yellower green, and it looks very different in the jar.

A bright sky blue with pink-y shimmer. I'm pretty sure I used AL Rocks! Planetearth in this which accounts for the pink glittery bits.

A peachy orange-coral-pink with green highlight. This was a beautiful colour, but a great example of "don't believe everything you read on the internet" - I found something that told me to add yellow to purple to darken it, and filled with over-confidence, I did so. To my dismay, the almost-perfect dupe of Dulcinea I'd been working on was now a nearly-white mess. I tried re-purpling and darkening it, but it just didn't want to cooperate. This was the end result! It was really hard to photograph on my skin as it is a very sublte, pretty colour. Not something I would have bought for myself if I'd seen in on a site somewhere, but I do like it.

This is, to my untrained eye, an exact dupe of Aromaleigh's Serenade, from the En Pointe collection. I was amazed at how well this turned out. I had a rapidly dwindling sample of this shade, and I was really sad because I was (almost literally) broke when they announced that they were closing. This was the one shade I have been wanting desperately for a while, and I now have the equivalent of 3/4 of an Aromaleigh full size of it. That's my dupe on the left, and the actual sample of the shade on the right. After swatching it, I poured the sample into the dupe jar. They blended seamlessly, I didn't even have to shake the jar or anything. Also, can I stress how much more amazing this shadow is in real life? The pictures dulled the teal and don't show the rich violet iridescence. I have a feeling I'll be wearing this a lot, so I wrote down my 'recipe' in case I ever needed to make more.

A divine soft dirty mauve-plum with blue sparkle and sheen. I really, really wish I'd written this one down, it's absolutely gorgeous. Amazing complexity. I could see Sassy coming out with a shade like this, who knows, they might have it already!

Bright orange with a hint of pink sheen, which would not show up on-camera! I can't for the life of me remember what I was actually trying to make. I can't see myself wearing this too often. It's very... different!

My first ever two mixes were a navy blue and a metallic, gold-y taupe with silver glitter (these I swatched dry because my camera was running low on battery):

I mixed these ages ago, and as you can tell by how much is in the jar, a LOT of various bits and pieces went into making them (especially in the taupe-y metallic one, I think there's about 7 different products in there!)

This is a great use of those eyeshadow samples you opened, tried and then went "eh". I get a lot of these. Most of them I pass onto friends who I know would like them, and the rest get experimented with. It's loads of fun :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review: Sleek Pout Polish

Another eBay buy. I was intrigued by these after reading the review at Lipstick and Lightsabers, and was in dire need of something moisturising and colouring. The only lipsticks I've ever had any luck with are Stargazer and Morgana Minerals. I got three pots: Pink Cadillac, Electro Peach, and Perfect Plum.

I love the packaging, it's a great size, it's sturdy, and it's easy to use. You do get product all over your finger when applying, but I always carry tissues with me so it's a non-issue.

As you can see, these pout polishes pack a punch. You can blot it down for the moisturising benefits without too much colour, or just apply less. I applied quite a bit for these swatches because I love the colours. They're really non-sticky, which is fantastic. They actually feel quite similar to pawpaw ointment on my lips.

Swatches! From left to right Perfect Plum, Electro Peach, Pink Cadillac.

Lip swatches (these are a lot harder to do than they look)!
Perfect Plum:

Pink Cadillac:

Electro Peach:

Moisturisation and wear:
I have horribly dry lips and I'm really bad at remembering to drink water! I very rarely wear lip products, and when I do, it usually has pawpaw ointment over the top. I also slather pawpaw on at night to prevent my lips from being sore and cracked when I get up in the morning. I wore Electro Peach to work on Tuesday, and Pink Cadillac out and about on Wednesday. They don't last through eating, which I wasn't expecting them to anyway because of the texture. However, both colours faded down to a gentle tint on my lips - and left them moisturised! It was pretty easy to reapply, I whipped out my pocket mirror and put some more on with my finger, using a clean finger to trace around my lips, removing any excess. At the end of a day without using pawpaw ointment, I would usually find my lips dry, a bit sore and flaky in spots. The pout polishes left them soft, smooth and happy.

Here's where is gets odd. Sleek's website and Ana's review both mention pout polishes as having a sweet vanilla scent and flavour, which Ana didn't like. Lillian's review says it's not vanilla at all, but some weird synthetic and slightly soapy flavour. When I cracked open the first polish, I smelled... coconut. I put it on and tasted... coconut. I took it over to my mother. "Tell me what this smells like to you," I said. She sniffed and said, "Vanilla, isn't it?"
"Put a bit on," I said. She tentatively did so. "It's definitely vanilla," she said. "Are you sure? All I can smell and taste is coconut!" My dad sniffed the pot and also reported a distinctly vanilla scent. Even after all that, every time I use any of the three polishes, it's coconut I smell and can sort of taste. Which would be fine, except I don't like coconut!

Overall, I'm quite happy with Sleek Pout Polishes. However, I'd suggest picking up one pot initially, just in case the scent/flavour puts you off. I'm still thinking about the new limited edition polishes - I'm not interested in the Lemon Merangue one in the slighest, but the Raspberry one looks quite nice. Chocolate Kiss I don't need because I just got a pot of Rustic from Morgana Mineral:

Milk-chocolate brown with subtle green iridescence.
That's a sneak preview for you, I'll be doing a proper Morgana review shortly, AND Sleek eyeshadow review. I got my first palette in the mail a few days ago :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

G20 in Toronto - glad I wasn't there

This video was brought to my attention a little while ago. It shocked me, but as a media student, I was highly conscious of the fact that it had been obviously edited, and the small missing segments were vital pieces of information. I found this news report, which although even more edited (as news reports always are) provided me with the context of this situation.

It didn't make it any better.

I'm reading and hearing reports of police brutality, sexual assault, curtailing free journalism, illegal practises condoned by the Police Chief. Local AND global news media coverage has been limited to quick, general reports which bypass this tremendous and appalling human rights issue entirely. The fact that there had been vandalism - by a completely seperate group - the day before caused the police to come out en masse and treat peaceful protesters and bystanders with violence and disgusting disregard.

Nine hundred arrests, over 24 hours after any protester violence, performed upon a completely seperate group of people, some of whom hadn't even involved themselves with the protest at all. This is the personal account of someone who was with a Canadan friend of mine, who was sitting in a park when she was arrested and then detained, without food, for over 24 hours.

This is 2010. The U.S yearly defense budget alone would, if used properly, end world hunger. I'd like to think that all of us who are privelaged enough to live in first-world countries understand the issues of injustice, inequality, and unequal education that plague our world. As my boyfriend said to me this afternoon: "Those who care don't have the power to do anything. Those who are in power don't care. Thus it becomes, and still is, a vicious cycle."

More frivolous and entertaining post coming tomorrow, I just HAD to say something about this.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I made stuff

I enjoy a spot of beading, and my local shop carries some gorgeous colourful, cute and eye-catching stuff. Most of it is glass, so it's cheap and lightweight.

I mostly make things for myself, inspired by clothing, make-up, jewellry I have seen on people, or by the beads themselves. I occasionally make things as presents for friends and family.

I wouldn't ever want to make this hobby of mine a business, I know that there are many more talented people out there than me, and honestly... I'd get bored!

Still, altering, fixing and creating is something I love - and it's a lot easier (and cheaper) than searching for that perfect piece.

(I wore this vintage necklace that I altered to my 'interview')

P.S. I just joined bloglovin! So you can now follow my blog with bloglovin :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sassy Minerals: review

This company doesn't get enough attention, I'll say that right out! Firstly, samples. In jars. For $0.75 US. Seventy-five cents US, which some days is actually less than $1AU. And you actually get a bit more (to my eye, I haven't weighed them or anything) than other companies who do $1 samples in bags.
For bagged samples, there are loads of wholesale companies and even ebay sellers you can get jars from if, like me, you're not keen on bags. Jars take up more space, it's true, but I find them so much easier to work with.

Sassy's eyeshadows are divided up into 4 categories. The main ones are Shimmer (so everything sparkly goes here), Liner (deeper/darker shades) and Silk Luster, which are Sassy's very unique mattes. I'm not a matte girl, I'll say that right out. I did order a couple of these Lusters just to try, and they're so smooth and not chalky at all and I actually really like them. The last category, Deja Vu, are colours that are dupes of different brands. If you're looking for specific dupes or replacements, go here. The Deja Vu shadows are viewable in the other categories.

To date I have placed three Sassy orders, and I've gotten 2-3 free, full-sized samples with each order. I don't have all of the shadows that I bought because I gave some to a friend, but I have swatched all of the ones I still have, plus 3 blushes. All shadows are swatched over Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, and I dabbed a bit of PE on top of that for the shimmers. Everything's listed in order from left to right.

Silk Lusters: 
Refresh (faded-denim blue)
Mojito (pale minty green) - this colour did strike me as being similar to Concrete Mineral's Detox, but as you can see, Detox [swatched underneath] is a bit lighter, brighter and of course it has a light dusting of silver sparkles.
Mystify (lilac) - can look a bit pinkish in some lights. Very pretty, delicate shade.
Pucker Up (yellow) - almost the pastel version of Aromaleigh's HiFi Matte in Atomic [swatched underneath].

Starstruck (dark blue-grey with silvery glitter)
Cocktail Party (metallic greyish lavender)
Neverending (deep, shimmery blue-purple-grey)
Ruby Slippers (metallic red with a hint of gold shimmer) [there's a bit of False Pretences that wandered up and tried to say hi to Ruby, sorry!]

Always a Bridesmaid (lilac with gold shimmer)
Jinx (heather grey with a strong aqua shimmer )
Fake It (rosy peach with gold sparkle)

Fake It (again)
False Pretenses (vivid, shimmery spearmint green)
Radiate (pastel-yellow shimmer)

Atomic (orange shimmer, looks  really gold here but it's actually orange)
Schmooze (light pink with an unexpected blue gleam )
Crown Jewels (smoky grey with flashes of green and gold)
Apparition (soft grey with mauve shimmer highlight)

My Mantra (shimmery chocolate brown)
Shatter (dark grey with glitter)
Shocking (shimmery electric blue-violet)
Thunderstruck (soft matte grey)
Secretive (deep matte navy, almost black)

Foundation and blush samples:
Cool, Neutral, Warm and Olive Tan. I still haven't found my match, I think I might need to order a few of their Medium shades.

Silk Luster blushes:
Curiosity, Sweet Memories and Charming. Now, I did swatch these blushes, but I could not get them to turn out accurately no matter what lighting, angles and settings I used! Basically, all I achieved from swatching them was to note that I should give Charming a go soon, and that Sweet Memories would probably blend right into my skin colour because it's such a peachy pink. The colour descriptions are pretty accurate on the Sassy website, both Curiosity and Charming are a close match to my natural cheek flush colour.

Their shipping is cheap, and boy is it FAST! My second order took nine days from payment to arrival. That's international. It usually takes at least a fortnight for me to get anything from the U.S.

Silk Lusters
As aforementioned, I'm not super into mattes. Sassy's version of them are smooth, vibrant and silky. If you're a matte-lover, or were previously on the fence like me, I'd give theirs a go. Thunderstruck makes an amazing liner on days where you don't feel like full-on black. Pucker Up was quite pale, and didn't show up well on me. I think the only Silk Luster I'd want a full-size of would be Thunderstruck, but again, that's just because I wouldn't wear mattes.

Sassy's shimmers are unique, complex, layered and sparkly without being 'glitterbombs'! Yes, there is a bit of  fallout upon application, but really, what loose and glittery eyeshadow have you come accross that doens't get a bit messy? (No really, is there one, 'cause that'd be cool). They're pretty long-lasting, and can be built up from a gentle wash (light swipe with a dry brush) to brighter/deeper intensity (Pixie Epoxy is the best way to showcase these shadows). Some of them are really complex, almost duochrome, having a grey or muted base colour with coloured shimmer: Jinx, Apparition, and False Pretenses are a good example. Some have coloured glitter - Crown Jewels (one of my faves), Starstruck and Ruby Slippers.

Sassy's liner shades can of course be used as shadows. This category contains particularly dark and intense shades. Secretive, My Mantra and Shocking are very deep and pigmented shades.

I have no idea what 'undertones' I have, so I tried to cover all my bases with my sampling. It was really thoughtful of the gals at Sassy to include the one Tan sample shade I was missing! I'm still trying to figure out my match, so I can't say too much about the foundation at this point. It feels quite smooth and soft, has pretty good coverage, and is not too cakey or chalky though. Again, these samples are $0.75 so it really won't hurt too much to see for yourself!

Apart from a free Lushblush sample from Meow, I'd never ventured into blush before. My cheeks are naturally quite pink and I don't like to highlight that too much. However, since venturing into heavier-coverage face products, a little bit of colour helps keep you fresh-looking. I picked the three very 'natural' pinks which seemed like they'd be closest to my natural colour, and in Silk Luster finish (I liked the colour of the Meow blush I got but found the shimmer really off-putting). I just blend a miniscule amount in, because these blushes are just as pigmented as the eyeshadows. Sassy offer bronzers too, but I haven't tried any.

I'll make no bones about it - I think Sassy is awesome. They have fast delivery, cheap shipping, cheap SAMPLES IN JARS, and amazing colours in a variety of finishes, varying complexity, and so many colours. Ruby Slippers is a really beautiful, metallic, wearable red. I love Jinx, Apparition and False Pretenses - they can go on as a wash of sheer, shining colour or can be PE'd for a glimmery, intense look. The descriptions and pictures on their website are pretty darn accurate as well.

I've seen many swatches of the infamous Archetype eyeshadows, the complexity and the glitter, and read the mournful tales of three, four, five, six months and beyond that people waited for them. To those poor souls, I say this: go to Sassy, spend an extra 50c US per product and consider that a small token for their seamless customer service and a far more user-friendly website. I give Sassy:


You can find the Sassy Minerals website here. They also have a blog and Facebook fan page.