Thursday, October 28, 2010


I'm going to a zombie-themed Halloween night this weekend and I did some experimenting for make-up ideas a few nights ago... here's some snippets from my playing around.

Concealer, then some of Evil Shade's Fiendish lipstick (dabbed and smeared), and a bit of Concrete Mineral's shadow Hearts.
Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean, black from Sleek Curious palette, more Hearts from Concrete Minerals.

I didn't get great pictures of my other eye, but I was going for a totally different effect so I'll show it anyway:
Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencils in Milk and Black Bean, Concrete Mineral's Frost, Meow shadows in Royal and Tutankhamun, black from Sleek palette again. The glitter is from Morgana's Twinkling Cherraine, I used it initially and decided it was too bright. Tutankhamun and Royal look very coppery here, but in reality they're both rich, metallics - burnt plum and dark red, respectively. I could also have used Sassy's Ruby Slippers, another lovely metallic red. If I do repeat the look on this eye, I'll be packing grey shadow on instead of the white, I think it made it a little too stark.

I also used Smoke and Mirrors from High Voltage, dusted lightly over my face to grey and mattify. My boyfie's letting me make him up a bit for the night so I'll try to take some more shots of the two of us before we actually go out. I'm super excited!

Anybody else got plans for Halloween?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ladybug eye

Sorry I've been AWOL so long! Between university, job dramas and life stuff, I've had hardly any energy to keep my head above water, let alone blog. I've been reading everyone else's stuff and commenting here and there, but just had nothing to write about.

I have two weeks of university left for this year and then it's HOLIDAYS! So hopefully I will be a bit more refreshed then.

In the meantime, I finally got to work on an idea that's been kicking around in my head for a while. I don't do EOTDs, and Halloween isn't huge in Australia at all, but I wanted to do a fantasy sorta look based on the ladybug necklace I made a while ago:

I used:
Concrete Minerals Electric Eye Pencil
Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy
Turquoise blue from the Sleek Curious palettte
Black from Sleek palette
Nyx Jumo Eye Pencil in Black Bean
Bifrost from Fyrinnae
My Mantra from Sassy Minerals
Frost from Concrete Minerals
Random mascara (only put on a tiny bit)

And here is the result!

I don't normally do themed looks at all, in fact I barely do anything photo-worthy! Hence I only did one eye for this look. If I did it as a full-face thing, I'd probably pair it with black lipstick. And get a brown eyeliner pencil to do the spots instead of the rather-too-bendy eyeliner brush I used. And make the ladybug bigger.

Now how does it measure up to the original item?

Pretty darn well if I do say so myself! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Webcomic review: Cealdian

I was actually checking one of my favourite bi-weekly webcomics for an update, when another reader linked this in the comics, citing it as "An amazing webcomic with not nearly enough readers". So naturally, I clicked.

Be warned, Cealdian only updates once a week fortnight while, but there is a good reason for this: the art is AH-MAY-ZING.

Seriously, it's so intricate, detailed, and beautifully coloured.... but it's annoying because the storyline is so intruiging and you really want to know what's in store but you gotta wait!

It's set in a medieval sort of era, and the costumes and locations are really thoroughly researched and constructed. "Cealdian is based a lot on epic poems like that of Beowulf, the Song of Roland, etc. There's also a lot of Tolkien in there", as its creator says. Already the plot reveals some layers and the characters have quite distinct personalities. I think it's definitely worth the wait to see where artist/writer Anne Szabla is going with this series. 

I could spend a few more paragraphs gushing over this comic, but I won't. Go check it out, you'll see what I mean.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reinventing the wheel? Music review!

A few weeks ago I got a text message from my boyfriend which said simply: "Linkin Park, what have you done?!"

Well, what Linkin Park had done was released their new album, A Thousand Suns. Forget Meteora, forget Minutes To Midnight: you will not recognise this new Linkin Park. Oh don't worry, they still mix heavy guitar with electronics, they still mesh Chester's raw vocals with Mike Shinoda's measured, melodic rapping. But the boys have branched out both musically and lyrically.

The best and most brutal example of the new direction and focus would be embodied by the track The Catalyst. Synthetic, raw and jarring with blunt, with very pointed lyrics. It's a bizzare combination of dance, metal and synth pop.

The only track I actually like so far on the new album is Iridescent, which is reminiscent of the soft, melancholy strains of songs like My December and The Little Things Give You Away from the 'old' LP days.

The track Wisdom, Justice and Love (as you can probably guess by the title) is extremely political, based off a clip from a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. However it is also a ridiculously short track at 1:32. There are a few of these throughout the album, which my boyfriend did not like at all. "They're just filler," were his exact words. By my count there are at least four songs which are under two minutes in length on this new album, and one coming in at two minutes exactly. Now I'm not saying all short songs are crappy, but... well there's not a lot you can say in two minutes, is there!

Fans are divided over this, with some absolutely hating the new sound, others enthuasiastically embracing it.

I for one love the new political/social drive. Lyrics are very important to me. The new LP is brash, unafraid and vehement. I agree with their message that music, being such a powerful tool and a big part of modern life, needs to realise and utilise its capability for change rather than being frivilous, or at worst damaging, all the bloody time. That's a message I can get behind. I'm really tired of mysoginistic rap, materialistic brainless pop and repetitive, empty dance music.

However, I don't like Linkin Park's new sound. Sorry. The kindest way to describe it would be to say that it sounds like an amateur remix of their old stuff.

Rolling Stones article
AOL radio blog post

P.S. Would you guys be interested in some more music posts?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More thoughts on Ebooks

In response to my post Thoughts on: Ebooks, my writing and reading friend The Incredible Rambling Elimy has done her own post. A sort of rebuttal. I do agree with many of her points, but I shan't steal her thunder :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Swatches: High Voltage Cosmetics

[I now have that 'danger, danger! High voltage!' song in my head.... have you seen the music video? It's super creepy!]

I finally tried out High Voltage Cosmetics, after reading about and drooling over them for months. I was quite sad that their Lip Gunks (now renamed Lip Whips, sadface) were out of stock when I ordered, as I'm utterly in love with many of them, but hey - an excuse to make another order!

I ordered during their "buy two get one free" sale, so I got 9 eyeshadow samples in all.

Mr. Right
"Strong intense orange with yellow undertones."

Perfect 10
"Light khaki pink."
Hardly shows up on me because it is my PERFECT highlighter colour. Move over Concrete Minerals' Lolita, I think I'll be getting a fullsize of this baby. It looks quite glittery in this picture, but in person it's a smooth wash of colour.

Heart Throb

"Duochrome deep crimson red with striking aqua green accents."
This is amazing. On a primer, the deep brick red shows up with a light shimmery sheen of aqua. Foiled or over Pixie Epoxy?

"Army green with sparks of teal."
With PE or foiling, the teal takes over this and transforms it into a shiny grass green. If you want to keep the dusty, dark base colour, use it dry and over a primer.

"True chartruse with lime green and yellow undertones."
In-your-face, cheery lime. I love this.

Mirror Mirror
"Mid toned blue, multi dimensional."
This is like a shimmery eyeshadow version of my beloved Morgana Blueberry lipstick. Gorgeous.

Second Base
"Opaque plum purple with hints of blue and green."

Smoke & Mirrors
"Very light grey matte shade."
I really like this. Soft, opaqe matte. I can see myself  using this for work a lot.

Hot Rockin
"Metallic dirty green gold, very unique."
I do like this shade, but I have to contest the 'very unique' label. I have seen metallic olives like this from Fyrinnae (Dressed To Kill) , Meow Cosmetics (Ancient from the Egyptian Treasures collection) and Aromaleigh (Amarante from the Bette Noir collection), just to name the ones I have in my collection. Yes it's pretty and complex, but it is possible to get similar things elsewhere.

I do really like these shadows, and plan on trying out a lot more. Pricing and shipping are really reasonable and my order arrived in good time. New colours are out quite often, both in Whips and eyeshadows. Jasmine really likes mixing, it seems! Check out the new Halloween collection here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thoughts on: eBooks

Recently, ebooks and ebook readers have begun to intrude on my world. Well, maybe 'intrude' isn't quite the right word. It first started in class, when we were discussing the cost of our books for a literary unit, after discovering that a play we had all paid $20 for was available for free download online (yes, legally!) Our tutor wondered aloud why the university didn't provide ebooks for students, to lessen the sometimes ridiculous costs of texts and readings.

Secondly, a book blogger that I love to read has just bought an ebook reader and is documenting her experience with it. Her reviews are wonderful, completely out of my usual genre (which is good), and she's Australian which I like because it means I know the books she reads will be available to me.

Thirdly, after ogling the Kobo in Borders, I discovered that there's a Kobo app available for the Blackberry!

I promptly downloaded it (it's free) and started browsing. Kobo have a 'free classics' section so I was able to download a few of the titles that have been on my "I need to read these one day" list: Moby Dick, Ulysses, The Phantom of the Opera. I also downloaded some T.S. Elliot, and out of curiosity, Little Vampire Women. Then lo and behold, I stumbled across, in the free classic section, the sequel to one of my beloved op shop finds called The Princess and the Goblin! I couldn't believe it. It's one of my favourite old books, just beautiful and fantastical, and there was the sequel, right there, for free. Truly an amazing moment!

Obviously reading on my Blackberry is very different to reading on an ebook reader or even an iPhone, since my display screen is quite small, but the formatting of the ebooks I have read so far (Little Vampire Women, which I might review later, and about half of The Phantom) makes it actually pretty easy. Paging is quick and efficient, and it's simple to bookmark the page you're on if you need to exit the app to use your phone for anything else. Reading Phantom has been a little challenging because of the footnotes - they all get stuck on a seperate page, so you literally find yourself reading a page of footnotes in between the actual story. It's a bit disconcerting. However most contemporary books don't have footnotes, so I don't think that will be a problem I encounter again.

White version of the Kobo, and no that is not a picture of my Blackberry, I was too lazy to take one! I have that silicone skin though, mine is purple.

I really like that you can still see the covers of the books when you're browsing - in fact, if you like to go against the popular adage and judge a book by it's cover, you can choose to just view covers in Kobo, instead of seeing the title and rating.

For a student working casual hours, the price of ebooks versus print books is a huge factor for me. Buying Little Vampire Women in Borders would have cost me $24.95. The ebook version? Just $5.80!

My one gripe with the Kobo app so far is that it doesn't tell you whether or not an ebook is available to Australians until you're about to purchase it. There were several other titles I was interested in as a 'test run', before I ended up purchasing Little Vampire Women. The only other downside so far is the time factor: I am a very fast and proficient reader; I can tell (roughly) the amount of time it will take for me to read a book just by looking at the page numbers. With ebooks, you can look at the 'contents page', but my sense of time is completely thrown. Also since it's much easier to sneak in a chapter here and there, I can't tell you exactly how long it took me to read Little Vampire Women. It might be less time than the paper version, it may be more. The general consensus by those who have bought ebook readers is that they read faster, though.

What is really winning me over is the fact that I no longer have to worry about books being sold out, or out of print, or needing to be shipped which means A) paying shipping and B) waiting for it to be shipped. I just searched Louisa Alcott (the author of Little Women) and discovered that, besides Jo's Boys (which I was incredibly lucky to have found in an op shop), Alcott wrote several other books about the March family!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to run out and buy a Kobo just yet, though I do reccommend them if you're curious like me, since you can use it (again, for free) on your computer if you don't  have a smartphone. You can share the account/library between your Kobo, phone and computer, which means reading anything, anywhere, any time. I still love paper books and will still buy them, I just think the Kobo and all its software is a great option for people who can't afford to buy books all the time, want more portability. I mean, look at my bookshelf:

That is just my fantasy/scifi section. There's another shelf under that one down the bottom, and then I have a second shelf unit, same dimensions, filled with other genres, and with my comics and encyclopaedias on the doubly-tall bottom shelf! So there's no way I'd give up on paper books. I love them too much. That being said, I'm not completely against ebooks any more, now that I realise how useful they can be.

Have any of you tried ebooks? What do you think of them?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Swatches: Evil Shades Deviant Lipsticks

Arright, so I bought the full sample set, and today I have set myself the herculean task of swatching all THIRTEEN lipsticks to show you!

For the sake of convenience and/or sanity, I'll be swatching them in the order they are in the site listing, and then I'll do a quick note to say whether or not I think the site description matches up to what they actually look like. Note that any differences are probably due to skintone, body chemistry and/or my application skills :)


"Coppery metallic red"
Perfect description. A lovely bright red. I'm not a huge fan of metallic lipsticks, but this is really quite beautiful.

"Bright pink with blue/violet undertone"
Wow... I am not a pink girl, but something about this iridescent fuschia pink, I really like!

Primrose Path
"Pinkish coral with subtle green shimmer"
Couldn't really see the green shimmer, it's more silvery. If I could get this shade in a creme, I'd be all over it. It's a bit too frosty for me.

"Cool tone red crème (some call it a moisturizing matte)"
Quite a bit deeper/darker than it looks here. I'm officially a creme girl, I LOVE this. Excuse the less-than-stellar application, I sort of gave up because one of my dogs rolled his ball under the fence and was quite upset about it.

"Dark teal with pink shimmer"
Not very dark on me, and I can't see any pink shimmer. This is a bit of a silly shot. I have this thing with blue lipstick - I love it, but I can never get it to apply smoothly. I have tried Fyrinnae's Ryonume, Morgana's Serenity, and now this. The only blue lipstick I can get to look nice is Morgana's Blueberry, which is quite a dark blue. 

"Deep purple with aqua sparkle"
Ahh, this was SO hard to photograph, which makes me sad because I LOVE this shade. It keeps turning out brownish, but really it's a deep dark purple - think grape juice - with a fine shimmery sheen of aqua. I know I just spent half the post telling you I only like creme lipsticks but I am definitely getting a full tube of this!

"Metallic grey/silver"
Okay, okay, so maybe I'm not entirely a creme girl. Again this is showing a bit lighter than it actually is.

"Black with purple shimmer/shift"
*puts three full-sizes in shopping cart*
*checks bank balance*
*dies a little inside*

"Nude with subtle pink shimmer"
This is a bit lighter than my natural lip colour, but doesn't give me 'concealer lip'. I didn't really like it at first, but now I've swatched it properly and worn it for a bit, it's growing on me.

"Juicy orange crème" 
I don't know if I'd describe this as a creme, it looks fairly shimmery when compared to my tube of Sobe Botanical's Panic, which is a totally opaque creme. I'd say get this if you don't already own an orange lipcolour; I'm really happy with my Sobe one.

"Sheer light blue opal"
It could just be my sample, but this seemed a lot softer/runnier in texture than the other lippies. Also I didn't attempt to build the colour at all since the description says 'sheer'. It creates a nice shimmery wash of colour, but does tend to highlight any roughness. I had to work it in a bit since my lips are slightly chapped. I think it'd be great for layering, but if you're looking for an opaque, bright blue lipsick I'd say go for Fiendish, or if you're after something darker, Morgana's Cryptoria has some lovely dark(er) blues.

"Bright fuchsia/pink with blue undertone"
This a stunning, vibrant magenta-fuschia cream. Totally not something I'd ever reach for, but gorgeous nonetheless. Might buy a tube for my mum, she adores these kinds of bright, rich pinks.

"Taupish metallic lilac with multi color shimmer"
Another 'I'm not sure'. The description is pretty spot-on though, it's definitely a taupe-y metallic lilac, it's a good bit lighter than my natural lip tone, but still quite pretty and neutral.

PHEW, what a swatchfest! The full sample set of Evil Shades lipsticks (13 samples for $10) is still available here, and a single full-size lipstick is $4.75. All prices in US dollars. Evil Shades also have weekend sales where different items/sets will be discounted.

Non-lipstick post tomorrow (that I wrote while waiting for blogger to load my photos, then finished when I gave up, joined photobucket and loaded photos onto there instead!)