Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mundane philosophy

Whoever decided capitalism was a good system obviously had a maid.

I mean, what is money for but for spending, right? So you go to school and you learn stuff - some relevant, some completely not, like algebra. Then you go to work. Let's face it, most of us hate our jobs or we've gone through several that completely sapped us of joy before we found something worthy of the shiny and magical word 'career'. So you work and you get money and you spend it on Things. Then you find a place to put these Things, which has to be a good place if you use those Things a lot, and a visible place if those Things are for show. Then after you've had those Things for a while, they'll need cleaning.

A week or so later (obviously depending on what the Thing in question is, it will be a lot sooner) it will need cleaning AGAIN. I dunno about you guys, but I'm fairly convinced that, apart from that brief pang that comes as a result of parting with hard-earned money, cleaning is the absolute worst part of Thing-ownership.

Did the people responsible for capitalism think of that?!?!

[and yes, abuse of the word Things was inspired by Allie Brosh]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Project!

I've finished uni and work's not being too liberal with shifts (for me, anyway) so I'm finding I have a lot of free time on my hands. Struggling with ideas that don't require lots of moolah (see above re: not a lot of work), I've decided I ought to do some more reading and reviewing. I am behind on my comic reviews, so I'll get to that, but I've decided to work my way through the Australian scifi/fantasy section of my uni's library, and my own bookshelf. I'm passionate about Australian authors (since I hope to be one :P) and even though my blog is mostly beauty (and that's a lot of fun!) I've decided to branch out a bit more. I'll also being doing some classics/'must-read' books. I just finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I'm going to re-read it before I review it, if I can manage to keep myself away from all the shiny new books I'll be getting tomorrow!

I will keep posting make-up and nail polish stuff, don't worry (I have a lovely big High Voltage Cosmetics order on the way)! And I still have my handy-dandy tags at the top of the posts, so you can see without having to read the post itself what it's going to contain.

Do you have a favourite book/series/comic? Please comment and let me know; if I can get my hands on it, I'll definitely read and review it! If you don't have any rec's, tell me what kind of info you like to see in book/comics reviews.

On my shelf (Aussie authors bolded):
The View From the Mirror quartet by Ian Irvine
Silverbirch by Rob Kaay
Dragon of the Second Moon by Christian Taamblyn done!

Dragonfly by Frederic S. Durban I'm dumb, and forgot I already did a review of this. Read it here. See how my blogging style has changed (heh). Then go get the book.

Dark Heavens trilogy by Kylie Chan

On my list:
Ansai Boys by Neil Gaiman
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (read)
My Last Duchess by Ian Crichton Smith (read)

Serenity: Shepherd's Tale
Artifacts #1
Kill Shakespeare #3-#6
Chew, vol. #1 & #2
Deadpool: Pulp, #1-#4
Changing Ways, volume 1 done!

Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War   done!

Monday, November 22, 2010

All About Morgana Cryptoria

**IMPORTANT NOTE: Cydonian of Turtle Beauty is having a giveaway. Enter for your chance to win a tube of Morgana's lipstick and TWO full-sized eyeshadows!** 

I managed to get my camera working enough for swatches, which is good since I have 6 Morgana Cryptoria (renamed, revamped Morgana Minerals) lippies to show you - and a good majority of them are new colours! I've already rhapsodised about the moisturising qualities, stunning opacity and longevity of these. So without further ado:


Brilliant aqua blue. I love this so much - because of the name and the colour. I took about a million photos of this because I didn't want to take it off!


Metallic, gorgeous dark green.

Cotton Candy

Frosty light pink. I can't see myself wearing this often. It's nice but it's definitely not me.

Apple Plum

Neutral, deep, muted reddish-pink creme with a faint flush of purpley-pink iridescence. If you don't like bright/deep colours, or you need something conservative for work, GET THIS. It's so gorgeous, understated yet beautiful, neutral - I can't imagine this not looking good on any age or skin tone. I don't like pinks at all, but this is such a lovely soft, unique red-pink. I can see myself wearing this to work very often.

Twinkling Rubies

Bright red packed with red, gold and pink glitter - NOT gritty at all! Doesn't give you disco ball lips, but the glitter is noticeable.

Rubbed down on my hand to show the glitterrrrrr.


Heavenly deep, metallic purple with a hint of blue sparkle.

Morgana is coming out with a pastel collection soon. I want to try and and all of the purples. I also would really like to try Rosy Plum, as Apple Plum is a little darker on me than I was expecting. Can I just say: get Serenity NOW before it's all sold out!

I also discovered on my computer two swatches of Morgana's limited edition shadows which I totally forgot I was going to post about. The limited edition shades don't have names, just numbers. I got #1, "robin's egg blue with blue green sparkle and color shifting violet" and #18, "sage with violet sparkles".



Unfortunately these complex colours are hard to photograph. #18 is a much more mossy green, and the sparkles don't look as gold in person. The shimmers in #1 don't really show up in indoor light; this shade needs sunlight to really blossom.

I did get a tube of Morgana's infamous black lipstick, Licorice, but the heat did something to it and it's gone all funny. I told Melissa right away and she's making a new batch and sending me a replacement. I offered to pay shipping but she wouldn't have any of it. Now THAT is customer service.

Need more incentives?
*You can now get shadow samples in jars for $2.50.
*The order minimum has been lowered to $15 US.
*There are lip pots available for $5 US if you don't want to committ to a tube for $10 US.
*The new Cleopatra Collection features an eyeshadow named Pyramid Scheme.
*She sells vegan eye and lip brushes which are all under $10. The retractable lip brush is what's in the Absinthe swatch photo :)

Go check out the site!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review: Nemesis #1

Sorry for the silence, AGAIN! I actually have a lot to blog about at the moment, I've just been rather unmotivated. Also I broke my camera, so swatching is going to be a bit tricky. Sigh.

Remember my lovely comics haul I posted about yonks ago? Well one of the "ooh that looks nice I'll try that!" issues I picked up was called Nemesis. The cover was ironic and promising, even if the monochrome cover was a bit odd. And the tagline sexist (really not unusual for mainstream comics, sadly). I'm used to colour in my cover art, thx.

Image respectfully stolen borrowed from Diamond Comics.

After the very simple cover, I was surprised to get into chapter one and see really detailed, realistic artwork. It's not really comic-y or cartoon-y at all. The cityscapes look like they've been carefully modeled off photographs and the people are... almost too detailed. You can see the lines and sweat and muscles under people's skin. It's almost a caricature designed to highlight the wear and tear of mortality. Like an extreme-closeup in a movie that presents body parts rather than the person as a whole. The colours are quite muted and dull, as well - lots of grey, washed-out blue, faded red and yellow. 

Chris Eliopoulos is either freakishly neat or he is a computer.

Writing (dialogue, characterisation etc.)
From blurbs, the title and the artwork I knew this was going to be a parody of the traditional superhero/supervillain genre. One must expect a certain level of crudity in parodies - I know this. However, the dialogue was too cliche. The characters too predictable - to the point where many of the main figures became irritating. The storyline was nothing new. To shock/surprise the comic relied on one thing:

The ick factor
Look, I'll be clear: I don't like gore. I don't mind a certain element of violence, and a bit of blood and dismembering is ok by me. But when it becomes gratuitous to the point where its, "Oh crap we accidentally ordered five times as much fake blood as we actually needed.... Oh well, let's just use it all!" That would be the point where I go "Nuh uh, no thanks." Nemesis has some cool explosions (done in muted colours, which I don't really understand) but it also features a lot of blood - unrealistic amounts - and several panels' worth of body parts being strewn every which-a-way.

I was really disappointed in Nemesis. I mean sure, some great classics like Watchmen and Wanted do use gore for shock factor, but that was in conjunction with complex characters and unusual storylines. You can't just use violence to get by. I won't be picking up #2 or recommending this to anyone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Late to the party, but still having fun! Review

I had a comic-buying spree (in part sponsored by my boyfriend - THANKS BABY!) so expect reviews soon! This is my TBR (to be read) pile. It makes me happy.

I've been looking for a good, medium orange polish for a while now. A certain someone said that BYS polishes were pretty good, so on my way home from work I stopped by Gloss (even though I had sworn off them because of their horrible customer service - lo and behold, the staff were very friendly and helpful this visit) and picked up a matte orange polish (N234). On my way to the counter I noticed some boxed sets of polishes - they were crackle kits! Now I'd heard about the Barry M and Isadora crackle polishes and have been meaning to try one for ages, so I thought why not give BYS a go. I know everyone's done a post on crackle polishes, but I thought I'd thow my 2 cents in the mix.

BYS had a surprising range of crackle colours, but the basics like black and red were only available in the kits, which was a bit annoying (I didn't fancy being stuck with an unneeded topcoat and polish). I briefly considered a purple or even a yellow, but ended up grabbing a medium grey. The matte polish was AU$3.75, and the crackle was AU$4.95 - which is great considering the Barry M version is £3.99 (about AU$6.50) (and only comes in black). The Isadora polishes do have a pretty good range of colours but are even more expensive at 8€ (about AU$11).

Honestly, the orange was about what I was expecting - I still had visible nail line after 3 coats (which is super noticeable now that my nails are so long), and the matte finish was more satin than anything else. It looked like China Glaze Magic Matte after about 4 days of wear.

It would probably be ok over a white or nude base, but I know I'm too lazy for that. I do have to admit, it's much better than the Chi Chi polish I tried, which was ridiculously sheer and smelled like toxic waste. I threw that sucker right out - and it was $5, too! I've ordered Old School Orange from the Orly Plastix collection, all the swatches and reviews I've seen say it dries fast and is quite opaque. Fingers crossed.

The first go with the crackle polish was a bit of a disaster - I applied it too thinly and it ended up being streaky, patchy and not fully cracked. I re-did my nails with red (since it only required one coat, haha) and a thicker coat of the crackle.


I need to buy a nice thick topcoat, I slapped some of the Mode topcoat on top and it still feels quite rough. The cracking process took a few minutes, and after that it dried really fast. I can't wait to experiment with layering other colours underneath - and I think I'll have to go back for some more crackle colours.

I don't know if the price disparity between this and the Barry M/Isadora is reflected in the quality, but I don't think I'll be bothered trying either of them when the BYS are so much cheaper and easier for me to get. I really do like the whole crackle effect. Much easier than Konad, which I have yet to get the hang of! I also want more plates, at the moment the only designs I have are hearts, stars, flowers, bows, and more hearts/stars/flowers. Knowing me, I'd only be able to stand that on my nails for a day or so.

I also got Haunting from Evil Shades but I haven't gotten around to swatching it yet. It's a pale lavender-grey with lovely glass flecks.
I'm trying to get motivated to re-start my JulNoWriMo novel for NaNoWriMo... ehhh. I have comics to read, and library books, and I haven't finished all the side quests on Fable 3!...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whale of a Nail Fail

This was supposed to be a nice, simple neutral mani to get me through a few days. What I hadn't reckoned on was Natio Brandy's reaction to the Orly Calcium Shield, which I have been using under everything for several weeks, and which has my nails at this awesome yet ridiculous length (except for my left index finger which I smashed between a heavy book and my bookshelf, sigh).

I got nicks and splotches, so I had the ingenious idea to cover the mess with a coat of Mode's Bubblegum, a sheer pink with blue-violet shimmer. I woke up the next morning with sheet prints, whacked on another coat, turning my nails from nice understated cream to baby pink - and by the end of the day? BUBBLES and DENTS EVERYWHERE.

Fortunately my new mini Konad kit had arrived, so instead of bemoaning an easy mani gone horribly wrong, I was able to use the fail as a canvas for experimentation.

Suffice to say I will be doing some more practising before I attempt a full Konad manicure! I'll take pictures of the kit and explain the process if anybody's interested.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's November!

Just a quick note wishing the best of luck to everyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I will be joining on on te 8th, after I've finished uni for the semester... and I don't even know what I'll be doing yet!