LOTD: Look of the Day (8/31)

I think you can safely say that the worst has happened. I'm starting to think that people out there in internet land care how I dress.

Those snowflakes should start falling in hell anytime now.

Still, to continue with this newest mode of self-delusion, here's the outfit I wore last Saturday to brunch (which was actually around lunch time, but we had breakfast so it totally counts) in DC.

The dress is from Forever21 (from their faith21 plus size section which seems to do a better job of fitting real live people), the earrings are from LouLou in Dupont and the sandals I bought in Athens a few years go. I know objectively when looking at this outfit that it would look better with heels, but it was so freaking hot and I didn't know how much walking around I was going to be doing. So unfortunately the world had to deal with looking at my slightly chipped pedicure. I'm sure there are worst things. Drowning puppies, broken limbs, etc. - you get the idea I'm sure.

The Importance of Mascara

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We're going to make a deal ok? I'm going to post way too big a picture of my eyes so you can see my mascara and no one's going to comment about how my eyebrows are looking a little bushy. I'm getting them threaded tomorrow, but right now it still means they're not exactly looking their best. It does happen! Sometimes I let things slide, especially plucking my eyebrows because it freaking hurts- I don't care what anyone says about 'getting used to it'.
Moving on....

Contrary to popular opinion, my eyelashes are not the most amazing thing ever. They could be longer, they could be thicker, they could do a lot of things really but I try not to ask for more than what's realistically possible. It's highly unlikely that I'll ever be someone who reaches for Latisse; not only is it too expensive I find that with the right mascara and the right technique, my lashes can look pretty damn good. Here's the proof:

I'm not wearing anything fancy here (in face I was feeling really lazy) so all we have on my eyes is the Maybelline Gel Liner in eggplant and a bit of brown eyeshadow smudged under the bottom lash line. As you can see, my right eye has noticeably longer and thicker eyelashes, while on the left they get drowned out by the liner.
And the best part about? I'm using mascara you can get for >$6 a piece at Target. I'm using my usual combo of Rimmel mascaras that you've seen listed in my last bunch of posts. Not Diorshow, not YSL - drugstore mascaras. In fact I bought them B1G1 free at CVS and used a $1 off coupon at the same time so at that point I got the two mascaras for about $3 a piece. Beautiful.

I'm not saying that expensive mascaras don't have their place. I'm trying to decide right now if I care enough to try the YSL just because I've seen some amazing results over on DSK's personal blog. What I'm trying to point out is that people have lots of choices out there, but if you're going to bother to do your makeup I wouldn't really call mascara one of them. In my opinion it finishes off every look, and even on your 'au naturale' days, a bit of mascara and lipgloss can take you very very far.

Here's the completed face, with mascara on both eyes:

I've started to finalize my Dragon*Con looks and I can't to start posting pictures/video of them when the time comes! Glitter and liner and lashes, OH MY!

Beauty 360

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Well I don't have swatches up of anything I bought there yet, lol, but I wanted to highlight my adventure last weekend at Beauty 360. It's a division of CVS, in fact they're attached and you can enter one through the other, though they couldn't look anymore different. Beauty 360 has the high end makeup store look of Sephora, with a lot of bright lights, mirrors, and applicators for testing. But what turned out to be the biggest selling point of the store to me is that Beauty 360 has a lot of brands that you can't get at Sephora: Pixi, Cargo, Laura Geller, Mario Bedescu, etc. There turned out to be quite a few products available for swatching that I only saw online, or in YouTube videos, and I appreciated CVS making them available.

Thought available might be considered a bit of a stretch as full blown Beauty 360's are only at a few CVS's in the entire world. I'm just lucky enough to be living in DC, which has one located in Dupont. As far as the staff goes the ladies were very nice, one was able to help me look around for a good purple eyeshadow, though they don't seem quite as knowledgeable as the reps at Sephora. I had one sales associate giving me a recommendation for a Cargo foundation after saying 'Well you're lighter than me and I use..' when if anyone had looked at us next to each other I would definitely have won the pigmentation contest. Whenever you're iffy at Sephora the people I've interacted with are more than ready to help me out with an in store test, which I consider very helpful. I didn't end up asking for a sample of the foundation I was considering, so unfortunately I can't tell you Beauty 360's stance on that.

Overall I enjoyed my experience a lot and in comparison to other high pressure sales situations I appreciated the freedom to go around and touch and test with no interruptions. I even ended up doing my friends entire eye look for the evening from the Cargo testers available and no one gave me any grief. I'd definitely go back and with Beauty 360 having the same return policy on cosmetics as CVS (can return within 30days as long as you have your receipt), I think it's a great place to visit if you're unsure about your purchase.

FOTD (8/27)

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So after much food and movie greatness I accosted my friend Jessica and made her let me slap some makeup (somewhat haphazardly) over half her face. I was trying to kind of follow through with a look I'd tried on me that I'd seen a guru do on YouTube. There's all this additional work that should have been done with fake eyelashes on the top and bottom, rhinestones down her cheek, and a pouty red lip but that was a lot of work for 10pm.

I'm not going to do a full product list, mostly because I'm not ecstatic with how it turned out, but the base was MAC's cream color base in bronze which I sealed with some MAC gold and orange eyeshadow. The black and brown on the lid was NYX and Tarte respectively, and I finished off her lashes with a bit of Rimmel mascara.

Luckily even though I don't LOVE the result I do have some thoughts on how I could tweak it to make it better, which I think is a sign that I'm embracing the more avant garde looks (at least when I do them on my friends). I'm not saying I'd do them on a regular basis, they're slightly too ridiculous for that, but they're fun to mess around with. Thanks for letting me play with your face Jessica!

Quick Weekend Haul

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Ahh my weekend. I would have to say it was one of the most random and fun I've had in a long while. I spent too much money on food, fashion and the aforementioned fun, but I think in the end even if I have to spend the next two weeks living on PB&J and ramen it'll still be worth it. I'm thinking about doing a post/video on the clothes I bought, because I do think I picked up some really cute pieces, but right now I'm just going to focus on the makeup.

I bought some things at CVS's Beauty 360 store in Dupont (I'm going to do a whole post about this place later) and Rite Aid. I'm still working through using all the products so I can't for sure but I think it's going to be positive all around. The Cargo palette I swathed in store, we'll see if the new one lives up to the tester and the Laura Geller primer I bought for the hell of it, because I'm willing to put down $11.50 to see if I really like something (the foundation sampler was also from Beauty 360). The gel liner and lip shimmer are from Rite Aid - I don't know about the liner though it's a pretty color, and I can tell you right now the shimmer is a LOT more pigmented than I expected. I tried it on while I was riding the metro back to DC and I was like 'DAMN.' I had to pat in it and smooth some of it off just so it wouldn't end up looking garish, which is not something I expected to have to do with a Wet n Wild product. I'm a little iffy about whether the particular shade will ultimately turn out to work for me, but I'm happy to give it a try to find out!

Cargo Color Palette in Barcelona
Laura Geller Spackle: Under Makeup Primer
Maybelline Eyestudio gel liner in Eggplant
Wet n Wild Natural Blend Lip Shimmer in 106 Spice
Masquerade Foundation Act V (sample)

(Your eyes are not deceiving you, the mirror in my Cargo palette is JACKED. I haven't decided if I care enough to return it and get a new one.)

(starting from the left and going around clockwise: 1) Laura Geller Primer 2) Maybelline gel liner 3) Masquerade foundation sample)

I don't have any swatches, those were not coming out at all in my apartment last night, but as soon as I get some time in the daylight I'll put them up in another post!

Gray Smoke - Dragon*Con Trial 1

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I'm still not ready for Dragon*Con. I only have one outfit picked out and NONE of the makeup. And since D*C is next week you can imagine how I feel about that! I've been scouring YouTube for inspiration, for looks that I think might work and I stumbled upon this one done by pixiwoo (my new favorite gurus - these ladies are amazing!). It's a very dark smoky look that requires layers of gunmetal gray, black - plus a lot of blending. Since I was doing all this at 9pm sitting on my bed, I wasn't willing to commit to false lashes, but this look would definitely have them if I wore it at D*C.

I know in these pictures I'm kind of giving the camera bitch face, but this look just doesn't work if I'm smiling happily into the camera! Trust me on this - I tried.

Products Used:
--e.l.f. Mineral Face Primer (used as eye primer, but since I didn't wear this look long I can't comment about any longevity results)
--Ulta eyeshadow in Gunmetal
--Kat Von D True Love palette, lucifer eyeshadow (black)
--FaceFront Cosmetics loose eyeshadow in Xenon Zephyr
--MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
--MAC Freshwater eyeshadow (blue)
--MAC Swimming eyeshadow (green)
--Sephora kohl and liner in 01 keep black
--Rimmel Lycra Lash Extender Mascara in 001 Black
--Rimmel Max Volume Flash Mascara in 003 Extreme Black
--Lips: 1) NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in Soft Fuschia 2) MAC Cremesheen Glass in Deelight

Action Babes Volume 2, Part B: Top 5 Men

'reIt's time readers. Time to reveal the Top 5 Action Babes - action men that is. These men were chosen with a combination of factors in mind - number of movies, popularity, sustainability of hotness, action level, etc. Yes it might have come down to a bit of gut instinct in the end, but these men definitely deserve to reign supreme at the height action-y hotness. Enjoy!!

5. Keanu Reeves

People love to hate, but come on - Keanu Reeves is hot. From
Johnny Mnemonic to Speed to Constantine to ALL the Matrix movies, he is amazing when cast in the role of action hero. I've heard both men and women cast aspirations on his ability to play any other type of character, but who cares when he plays this one so well?!

4. Viggo Mortensen

No one actor should be put on this list because of one particular franchise, but the
Lord of the Rings trilogy definitely but Mortensen on my radar. It was epic in scope and following this king-in-making was one of my favorite parts of the story. After LotR he did some other great action films that make him deserving of the #4 spot - Hidalgo, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises - the action genre has not seen the last of him, which is great for those of us who like to look at him while he's kicking ass!

3. Harrison Ford

No action list could be complete without Harrison Ford. He's been a hero for decades with the
Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises being some of the most popular ever. But Ford is not a one trick pony and he thrived in the action/suspense roles, with movies like Presumed Innocent and Air Force One. I'm not going to lie, he didn't win a lot of fans with the latest Indie incarnation, but who's going to hold that against a legend? You win some you lose some but this man has done nothing but gotten better with age and proven once again why it's easier to be a leading man in Hollywood than a leading lady.

2. Will Smith

I have to be up front about this one - I cannot in any way be objective about Will Smith. I love him; I think he's beautiful, has a great sense of humor, and would be his baby momma in less than a second if he decided to throw Jada to the curb (which I wouldn't want him to do really, but you know what I mean).
Bad Boys, Independence Day, Men in Black, Hancock, I am Legend....I could keep listing but it would pointless wouldn't it? I'm sure there are some people who couldn't imagine putting him ahead of Harrison Ford, but there's something about those muscles and that smile and the way he looks when he's saving the day - you just can't beat it.

1. Sean Connory

Sean Connory. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Where would the world of action films be without this suave and debonair Scotsman? He's another of those icons who has transcended genre, who with age has proved once and again what a real actor can do. Of course the world knows him as James Bond, but in The Rock, Highlander, Indiana Jones, Entrapment, the list goes on and on because there is really nothing he can't do. Immortalized on film and parodied on Saturday Night Live, he's a part of American culture at this point. I don't think it matters what country his origins might stem from, he's been such a huge part of American cinematic past, present, and future that you'd be hard pressed to find a person on the street who didn't recognize his brogue.


Well there you have it everyone (everyone being maybe the 4 of you that will read this), the Top 15 Action Babes! I think it's been a good journey, but if you feel that we missed someone or this last 5 was ordered in the worst possible way imaginable, don't hesitate to let me know! Lively discussion is always (usually) a good thing!

If you're feeling left out and want to catch up and see the Honorable Mentions + Action Babes 15 - 6, please click here.

Beauty Q&A

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Brainstormed by my friend Tanya, I'm going to add a Q&A element to my blog here. If anyone out there has a specific question that's makeup/skin care/curly hair related and wants to ask me, then I'll try my best to answer.

Answers might come in the form of specific recommendations, thoughts, or links to other posts/gurus who know more than I do, but each one should be at least a little helpful. I haven't tried everything - there's no way I could manage that - but I do READ and WATCH quite a bit, which means I usually know something about an item (or know where to find out). Plus I think doing Q&A like this helps everyone, because sometimes you don't even realize you have a question until it's already been answered.

For the inaugural post in the series I'm bringing in a recent Facebook conversation I had regarding concealers....

Q: I'm a bit dissatisfied w/ my current under eye concealer (MAC). It starts to look dry after a few hours. Anyone have any recommendations on a brand that works well w/ a mid to fair skin tone? I only need the under eye cover up not a foundation. Thanks!!

A: I've heard great things about Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer - it's $30, but available from Sephora so if you wanted to ask for a sample to try that's a good one. It comes in a tube and you apply it with your fingers.

I switch between MAC Studio Finish Concealer (in a small pot) and e.l.f.'s Studio Concealer. The e.l.f. one is $3 but only available online. Still I really like the texture, it's easy to blend, and I don't have any problems with it drying it out. The MAC I apply with a brush and blend out with my fingers, and the e.l.f. comes in a tube and I swipe it on, but again blend with my fingers. I recommend them both because they're nice and long lasting.

Both Sephora and MAC will do trials/samples so don't let them pressure you into buying what you don't like! Go out into the sun, wear it for the day - see what you think! Also both will allow returns within 30 days (I think), meaning don't feel stuck if you buy something and then change your mind.

I also want to make sure that you're moisturizing your under eye area well. That skin is really delicate and if I'm not careful it can dry out and no matter what concealer I use I'll get flakies. I use a moisturizer specifically formulated to be extra soothing and fight wrinkles, and whenever I get the feeling my under eyes are not looking so hot I use it before I go to bed and before I put on makeup the next day.


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Copyright Hyperbole and a Half

I hate Sundays. I feel like when Sundays roll around it's just laughing at me, saying 'Why aren't you cleaning your room Dana? Why aren't you doing laundry? Why aren't you at least pretending to be productive and try doing a makeup look or something?'

I swear that Sundays mock me. They MOCK ME I tell you!

I hate laundry. I'm not sure if there's another person in the world that hates laundry as much as I do. I wait, wait, and WAIT trying desperately to figure out what else I can wear that week for work that will not require me to visit my local laundry mat (which is right next door so I don't know why I complain so much).

In addition to my irrational hatred of laundry, I have to admit that as much I enjoy living in an organized space it is almost impossible to bring myself around to cleaning my room. I go about saying how I function best in 'organized chaos' when really it's just that I don't have the gumption to go about cleaning things myself.

What does this mean for Dana? This means that at some point in my life I have GOT to make enough money to hire a maid. Because dammit, there has got to be a way out of doing all of these things I hate for the rest of my life!

FOTD - Friend of the Day

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I will have to edit this more later, but I wanted everyone to say hi to my friend Tanya. She was ever so kind as to let me paint her face with a look I wore to a sorority party last year. I did this mostly using Urban Decay's Alice in Wonderland palette, with the blending and highlight colors coming from MAC.

**Update! I finally found the time to add in the names for most of the products I used for this look, so check below the picture for more information!**

Products Used:
--Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP)
--Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette, Alice eyeshadow (teal)
--Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette, Underland eyeshadow (purple)
--Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette, Jabberwocky eyeshadow (black)
--Jane Rockstar eyeshadow (light brown for blending out the crease)
--MAC eyeshadow as a brow highlight (I don't have the name, it's a shimmery beige color)
--Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (black)
--Rimmel Lycra Lash Extender Mascara in 001 Black
--Facefront Cosmetics loose powder blush, I'm not sure what color
--Stila lipgloss? Maybe? That I completely don't remember - it was just a pink color that was mostly translucent anyway!

e.l.f. brushes 50% off!

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Use coupon code EGBRUHALF at checkout!

My New Girl Crush - Yaya Han

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Here's a secret: if I was more talented in the sewing department I would probably cosplay.

You don't have to tell me - I know I should be too ashamed to even write that on a blog post!

But it's true!if I could sew and had the time, energy, imagination to put to
gether a costume, I would do it (of course the other thing that holds me back is the fact that there are practically no brown skinned characters in anime and I'm too much of a purist to go as any other type of character). Alas, instead I am forced to admire the men and women who do take the time and energy to go that extra mile and make their vision a reality.

Take for example Yaya Han - she's apparently well known on the 'cosplay circuit' a
nd is listed as a Guest this year ay Dragon*Con. Not knowing anything about her I Googled and found a veritable treasure trove of costume delights. This woman is incredibly talented and I wish I had an ounce of her ability (and a lot more than an ounce of her body shape, but oh well). She's officially my new girl crush because if I looked like her and had the wherewithal to make it happen, you know I'd be strutting my stuff too.

BeautyTicket.com Coupon - Extra 25% Off!

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BeautyTicket.com is already a site where people can find brand name cosmetics for lower prices, but here's a coupon you can use to save even more money!

I am not a neat artist

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I'm not sure how other people do their makeup, but I am not a neat artist. I sit where ever it is I want to be and just spread everything around me. I'm not at the point where I have palettes devoted to a particular color scheme so instead of just having one palette that has the colors I need, I have to have 3 or 4 or more - which doesn't look very ordered.

I'm pretty sure this is what my dining room table looked like after I did the Natural Greens look, but it's indicative of what happens (at least for right now) every time I specifically set out to do something different than my usual. My brushes, liners, containers, powders....it's all just there. I'm pretty sure it's an extension of my personal adherence to the 'organized chaos' theory of life, but luckily it hasn't harmed my ability to do makeup yet!