Flawless Framing

My parents, being good, loving parents, keep embarrassing pictures of my brother and me on prominent display in their house.  Whenever I visit them, I am faced with my 17-year-old face framed in soft-focus ruffles from my white pirate shirt.  It is not the pained smile or my big hair that hits me the hardest, it’s my ungroomed, wild brows.

I didn’t pluck my brows all through high school or college.  I found it unbearably painful, and I couldn’t seem to care enough to pluck regularly.  So I just let them go wild instead.

In my 20’s, I began to pluck my unibrow away, and in my 30’s I started to ramp it up even more, but I never did much more than shape the brow lightly and pluck the strays.  This has actually paid off, as I don’t have the sparse, overworked brows so many women my age have.  However, I realized that the end of my left brow was much thinner than the right, and that I have some white hairs now.  I decided to use a brow shaping gel.  I started with Benefit’s Gimme Brow!, but I was never satisfied with the color.  It was a little dark and a little grey.

Then on an epic Sephora trip, I found Chosungah 22’s Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker.  Aside from the fact that I’m already hooked on Korean products, this one turned out to be the perfect shade, with the perfect applicator.  Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker comes in four shades to Gimme Brow!’s two, and one of those shades (Light Blonde) is perfect for lighter eyebrows.


Most brow products have a spoolie brush, like mascara, to brush on the product.  This has a spoolie combined with a triangular sponge tip.  I brush the product through my eyebrows, then use the tip to fill out my sparse ends.  It sticks to the tiniest hairs and stays all day.  Once it dries, it doesn’t come off, and it’s never stiff or clumpy.  If it does clump a little on initial application, the spoolie can brush it right out. The product is still there when I take off my makeup at night, which is pretty amazing.


Chosungah 22 Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker sells for $22 at Sephora.



Swing Drama

The weather these days has me bewildered.  I feel like it’s kind of spring, but I also think that it could turn back to winter at any moment.  Snow last week, totally melted off now.  Today I went out without a coat, and last week I was in my heavy winter jacket.

In these in-between weather days, I find myself reaching more for my swingy capelet to top off my outfits.  I have a red plaid capelet perfect for days that are not too cold.  It’s easy to wear, yet keeps the wind out. It’s a great “in-between” option while I wait for whatever February decides to do next.



Snow has been accumulating…yay!..and I have felt like hibernating as a direct result.  As I have few options for actual hibernation (pesky work!), I have adopted a bit of a hideout within the most chunky, delicious scarf I own.   I received a Christmas gift of a cream scarf with light grey and beige stripes that basically covers my neck and the lower half of my face.  It’s lovely.

Highest recommendations to the chunky scarf or snood in a neutral.  I’ve even portmanteau’d it: snoodtral.  Try not to be overwhelmed by my cleverness.


Snoodtral. It’s now a thing.

Face Saver

Note to self: blog regularly.  It’s taking me a little time to get back into the habit.

There are plenty of things to talk about, after all.  Like Colourpop, since I’ve only talked about the eyeshadows.  I also bought lipstick in my aforementioned lipstick blitz of December/January.

A lot of the Colourpop Lippie Stix shades I bought were mattes, and I’ve had varying results.  In general, I would rate them mid-high.  Not “wow, amaze” like Buxom, but much better than most which tend to be very drying.  I found that a couple of the colors slide around a bit, which is the big drawback.  But the colors are fantastic, and I have one that’s gotten a place in my regular rotation: Colourpop’s Bichette, a deep red wine matte.


I love this color.  It’s a perfect winter tone, and the formula goes on smooth.  I don’t know if there are slight formulation differences in colors, but I haven’t had much problem with this one straying.  I suppose I should just give in and buy the lip liners that Colourpop sells if I want a really great outcome, but I’m disinclined to use liner, especially since it seems like I put my lipstick on in a rush at red lights during my morning commute.


Bichette (like all the Lippie Stix) costs $5 at colourpop.com.

Matte, Not Dry

Sephora is my black hole.  Whenever I go, I circle the store multiple times, trying to take it all in.  I rarely go with an agenda; I just go for whatever catches my eye…which can be a bit of a budget killer.  And then if I add Rebecca (The Lipstick Gal) into the mix–we might as well set up camp and stay the night.

I went on a lipstick bender not too long ago, looking for dark and bright options for winter–nothing lackluster.  I wanted to look at formulations I wouldn’t ordinarily buy, either, like glosses and mattes.  Glosses are too sticky, mattes are too drying.  But I’m always open to have my biases busted.


Enter my big Sephora find: Buxom’s Big & Sexy Bold Gel lipstick.  This lipstick goes on light and smooth, and even though it’s matte, the gel formula doesn’t dry out my lips.  Plus, it lasts forever.  Pixlr_20160201222728245It’s the end of the day–a filter is a necessity.

I bought Toxic Cherry, a bright, true bombshell red.  I’ve worn it probably more than any of the 8 lipsticks I bought in my lipstick frenzy.  The case is matte black, heavy, and the tip of the lipstick is flat, but cut on a slant.  It’s the perfect size and shape.  It smells a bit like vanilla or caramel–definitely a sweet smell, but not overwhelming.  And it’s such a little detail, but I absolutely love the fact that the case is magnetized–the top snaps back into place, so the Buxom logo is always perfectly lined up.

Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel lipstick is available in 30 shades.  It costs $22 at Sephora.

Strange Magic

Luxe + Cheap.

Not a natural pairing. In fact, it’s pretty rare to find that combo–especially in makeup. I’ve avoided drugstore makeup for years because I feel that the price is higher than the quality–in other words, I’d rather pay more for excellent products than pay a moderate price for cheap quality products.

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My friend and soulmate since we were 18, Rebecca from The Lipstick Gal, shares my love for great makeup.  When she texted me that I needed to check out Colourpop Cosmetics while they were having a sale, I didn’t hesitate.  I just took her word that this cheap (super cheap, comparatively, especially during their sale) cosmetic line would meet standards.  She knows her stuff.  (Check out her Colourpop vlog, if you don’t believe me.  Also, she’s so gorgeous, inside and out.  Love her.)


Colourpop exceeded my expectations.  Especially the Super Shock Shadows. Five dollars a pop (at full price), they are bright, pigmented, and long-lasting.  They can be applied with fingers or a brush.  There’s a bigger color payoff if you use your fingers; I’ve been using a brush for everyday wear.  The texture is between a cream and a powder, if that makes sense.  (Pro tip: close the lid TIGHTLY, so it doesn’t lose it’s “magic” texture.)  They blend so easily and beautifully–the shades meld into each other as if a professional was in charge of the brush.  Plus the shades are fun.

I’ve already collected 11 different shades of the Super Shock Shadow.  Currently I’m obsessed with Lace (below left) and Porter (below right).  Lace is described as a “deep rich blue violet with a pearlized finish” and Porter is described as “warm burgundy with multi-dimensional gold glitter in a metallic finish.”  I contrasted the finger application (left) and the brush application (right) for each shade.  Porter is pretty accurate in the picture, but Lace is a little washed out–it’s richer in real life.

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Rebecca always keeps me up on the trends, thank goodness. Anyone else find a product that mixes luxe payoff with a bargain price?

Cozy, Cuddly Cashmere

I have severe snow envy. Everyone’s been posting blizzard pictures with rosy-cheeked children romping in the snow, but I’m fated to have no snow days. Despite that, it’s still cold! Retailers are pushing spring, but the weather isn’t cooperating.

Which is pretty much perfect, because it’s time to buy sweaters! That cashmere sweater you wanted for Christmas (but didn’t get because it was over $100) is now on deep discount. Time to snap up some sale sweaters! I’ve rounded up a selection of cashmere and cashmere-blend sweaters, all under $50 right now. Get to getting. They’ll be on your doorstep in no time…if the mailman can get through your snowbanks.

Cashmere Under $50

More Cashmere Under $50

Can We Try Again?


I’m always amazed when I (infrequently) check my blog and notice that people are STILL reading.  Bless you, kind folk.  It makes me think that perhaps I wasn’t too bad at this blogging thing after all.  Then I remember the fun I used to have coming up with posts, especially when my readers would chime in and give me ideas.  So, it occurs to me that mayhaps I should blog again?

In the early days, I set aside time to blog.  Then I went back to school for my MFA, and it got difficult, so everything tapered off.  I’m a proud MFA holder now, but I seem to have replaced my study time with work, so I don’t feel like I have the free time to blog anymore.  And then there are Korean dramas to watch.  Don’t get me started on the draw of a good Korean drama.

But I think I might still have some things to say.  So, if you’ll bear with me…will you take me back, dear reader friends?  Will you welcome me even if I’m a little stuttery at first, uncertain of what to share?  Will you take me even if I’m not on the cutting edge of fashion, or have a YouTube following, or even know my “brand”?  I miss “us”.  I don’t want to be broken up anymore.  Consider this my love letter and reconciliation plea.

After all, if Miley and Liam can do it, why can’t we?