Monday, July 8, 2013

Just In: Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquers

You guys!! The Eagle has landed: this afternoon I found a selection of Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquers at my local Walgreens!

These liquid lipsticks, known as Apocalips in the UK, have been a much-hyped products by bloggers and vloggers since their European launch earlier this year.  Some of us, myself included, bought them from ASOS at UK prices (albeit converted into American Dollars).

North American beauty mavens have long awaited their release stateside and rejoiced when they were spotted state-side by G of Nouveau Cheap a month ago, we waited with baited breath for them to drop into our local Walgreens . . . but they didn’t.  According to the Walgreens website, the Show Off Lip Lacquers aren’t (at least for now) meant to be sold in stores, but they can be purchased online (when they are in stock!) for $4.99.  The lip lacquers can also be purchased from, again when they are in stock, for $5.49.  Needless to stay, the hunt for these fabled lip products became the beauty equivalent of an Indiana Jones movie.  Y’all, it was a hot mess.

Then it happened.

I stopped by Walgreens with my mom for toilet paper ($4 for a 12 pack with the in-ad coupon, check it, guys!) and was stalking the cosmetics section, as one does, where I saw THEM.  THEM them!  THEM!!!! The fabled Rimmel Show off Lip Lacquers were sat helter skelter in a white cylindrical tub with a $4.99 price sticker on him.  Had I not known what I was looking for, I wouldn’t have had a clue what they were.

For reference, here are the two lip lacquers I own from the line: celestial (this is the British version, purchased from ASOS), a pinky-mauve shade that’s perfect from day-to-day wear; and big bang, a bright blue-red that is the very definition of a statement color.

[caption id="attachment_678" align="aligncenter" width="300"]They're heeeeeeerrrreeee! They're heeeeeeerrrreeee![/caption]

Here are the two colors swatched:

[caption id="attachment_677" align="aligncenter" width="300"](T-B) celestial, big bang (T-B) celestial, big bang[/caption]

and here they are on my lips:

[caption id="attachment_675" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Celestial Celestial[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_676" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Big Bang Big Bang[/caption]

These long-lasting, easy to apply and wear lacquers (which smell like watermelon candies!) are definitely worth picking up . . . if you can find them!

Happy hunting!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lazy Sunday #1: Makin' a Sammich

[caption id="attachment_670" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Lazy Sunday Sammich Makin' Lazy Sunday Sammich Makin'[/caption]

I’ve never been a summer person: I’m naturally pale, freckly, allergic to life, and hyper-sensitive to heat.  When the California sunshine is at its brightest, and its warmest, I retreat the the darkened environs of my apartment and hold up until the sun’s down.  One of my favorite things to do on a hot afternoon spent in my air conditioned sanctuary is tuck into a good sandwich.

[caption id="attachment_669" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Onions and Farm Fresh-Style Kosher Pickles Onions and Farm Fresh-Style Kosher Pickles[/caption]

Here is one of my favorites: genoa salami on a bolillo (a Mexican roll that resembles and tastes like a small baguette), with mayo (lots of mayo, I’m half Dutch), white onion, kosher pickles cut into sandwich slices, and sliced pepperoncini.  The sandwich is rich and spicy and has a lot of tang, yet at the same time it manages to be refreshing at the same time.

[caption id="attachment_671" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Extra Mayo: ALWAYS Extra Mayo: ALWAYS[/caption]

Topped off with a soda pop and a short stack of Pringles and you have the perfect lunch for a Lazy Sunday.

[caption id="attachment_672" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ta-dah. Ta-dah.[/caption]

What is at the top of your weekend noms list?



Saturday, July 6, 2013

What I've Been Watching Lately: The Lone Ranger and My Continued Unease With Media Depictions of Native Americans

Since breaking my ankle a couple of months ago, I haven’t been getting out much.  For weeks, my days have been filled with physical therapy appointments, doctor visits, and watching Me-TV while icing my swollen joint.  Needless to say, when an opportunity to leave the house that isn’t medically necessary arises, I jump (albeit metaphorically) at the chance.  This, dear readers, is how I ended up watching The Lone Ranger.


Admittedly, The Lone Ranger isn’t the type of film I typically watch. Primarily, my tastes skew more towards Ingmar Bergman (serious, Scandinavian) than Gore Verbinski (action-packed, mass-appeal), but for free and for Armie Hammer I can happily leave the art house behind for the afternoon.


Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, based on the radio and television show of the same name, tells the familiar tale of the masked vigilante: After surviving an ambush that killed his brother and four other Texas Marshals, Deputy Texas Marshal John Reid (Hammer) is left for a certain death until Tonto (Johnny Depp), a Native American from the Comanche Nation, nurses him back to health.  At Tonto’s insistence, Reid dons a black leather mask fashioned from his dead brother’s vest to conceal his identity and begins to hunt the man, Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), responsible for the ambush.  A wrench is soon thrown into the pair’s seemingly straightforward search for justice when Cavendish is also implicated in a series of raids on a white homesteads, for which the Comanche have been blamed, and involvement in a corrupt railroad expansion project.  As you’d expect, the duo triumph over evil once they are able to resolve their personal and existential conflicts.


At first blush, The Lone Ranger is a typical Verbinski action film, filled with slapstick humor  (the Ranger’s horse Silver’s peculiar antics steal the show) and fight sequences that boggle the mind; however, much to my surprise, The Lone Ranger has some depth, particularly as it relates to the treatment of Native Americans.  The film opens at a county fair in 1933 San Francisco, where a young Lone Ranger fan encounters an elderly Tonto in an Old West show, displayed for audiences in an exhibit titled “The Noble Savage.”  Tonto then recounts the Ranger’s origin story to the enthralled, and slightly unsettled, youngster.  From this first scene it is readily apparent that this film will be unlike most Westerns as it is told from a Native American character’s point of view.  Further, the depiction of an elderly Tonto working in an Old West show, as a curiosity in an exhibit that labels him as a savage, highlights the exploitation and decimation of aboriginal nations across our continent.


Throughout the film, Verbinski encourages his audience to empathize and identify with the embattled Comanche Nation against both the United States Cavalry and the Transcontinental Railroad.  The Comanche are fighting a losing battle against Manifest Destiny, as Chief Big Bear (Saginaw Grant) frankly tells the Lone Ranger.  Yet, however quixotic this fight may be, the audience recognizes moral justness of the Native American cause and feels their defeat acutely.


However, even this seemingly sympathetic portrayal of the Comanche Nation rings a bit hollow within the film’s greater framework.  The Lone Ranger’s central Native American character, Tonto, is played by an actor who, by his own admission, is only ⅛ “Cherokee or Creek.”  Native American actors, as is Hollywood Custom, are relegated to the cinematic periphery. As refreshing as it is to see a mainstream depiction of westward expansion that acknowledges the horrors perpetrated against Native Americans, this dark chapter of American history still serves as a means to give credence to our hero, our great white hope’s campaign against evil. Similarly, the audience’s established kinship with Tonto doesn’t erase the film’s dependance on stereotypes that cause even the most imperceptive of audience members to at times cringe. The Lone Ranger is a Disney film, after all.


Nonetheless while it may be too much to expect The Lone Ranger to be both historically accurate and politically nuanced (remember Pocahontas?), the Haus of Mouse can and should do better than this.



Friday, July 5, 2013

Keeping it Cheap and Cheerful: Mini Drugstore Haul

[caption id="attachment_658" align="aligncenter" width="239"](Clockwise from the top) Revlon Photoready Blush in Flushed ($12.99); Maybelline FIT ME concealer in 15 ($6.99); Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded ($6.99) (Clockwise from the top) Revlon Photoready Blush in Flushed ($12.99); Maybelline FIT ME concealer in 15 ($6.99); Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded ($6.99)[/caption]

I loves me a bargain, especially when it concerns cosmetics or beauty items, which are perennially overpriced.  Recently, a series of well-planned sales and the quarterly issuance of CVS Extra Bucks lead me to some of my favorite drugstore brands’ in-store displays.

My first purchase was a Revlon Photoready cream blush in Pinched, a natural peachy-pink with a hint of brown, that is reminiscent of Stila's Convertible Color in Gerbera, though Pinched provides a slightly more natural, subtle wash of color on the cheeks.

[caption id="attachment_659" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Revelon Photo Ready Cream Blush in Pinched Revelon Photo Ready Cream Blush in Pinched[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_660" align="aligncenter" width="204"]Pinched swatched Pinched swatched[/caption]

A few days later, taking advantage of another sale, I bought two bits from Maybelline I had been eyeing up for some time.  The first is another Color Tattoo; this one, Barely Branded, is a shimmery yellow-toned champagne color-- a perfect drugstore eye shadow base.

[caption id="attachment_661" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Barely Branded Barely Branded[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_662" align="aligncenter" width="213"]Barely Branded swatched Barely Branded swatched[/caption]


Lastly, I nabbed a creamy FIT ME concealer (I’m shade 15).  I had heard several great things about this product and I needed a slightly darker cream concealer to wear in the event of my ever getting a tan.


[caption id="attachment_663" align="aligncenter" width="116"]Fit Me in 15 Fit Me in 15[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_664" align="aligncenter" width="227"]. . . and a thick swatch of said concealer. . . . and a thick swatch of said concealer.[/caption]


These products, all welcome additions to my makeup collection, netted me $7 in Extra Bucks Rewards!  You’ve got to love sales.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Face of the Day #1: Melt-Resistant Make-Up

For more than a week, the Western United States has been baking with heat.  Day upon day of one hundred plus heat is not only terrible for your electric bill, it’s a nightmare for your face.  If you’re anything like me, as soon as a high pressure system starts to dominate the weather, I scramble to find some of my most heat-resistant products.

[caption id="attachment_654" align="aligncenter" width="300"](L-R from the top) Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation ($38.50); Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($4.99); Benefit Stay Don't Stray ($22 for full-size); Benefit Porefessional Primer ($30 for full-size); Maybelline Waterproof formula The Falsies ($6.99); Cover Girl and Olay Concealer Balm ($9.99); bareMinerals blush in Vintage Peach ($19); L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe ($6.99); Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Riviera Strip/ Sand Bronzer ($12.99); and Maybelline Color Sensational Color Whisper Lip Color in Some Like it Taupe ($7.49) (L-R from the top) Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation ($38.50); Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($4.99); Benefit Stay Don't Stray ($22 for full-size); Benefit Porefessional Primer ($30 for full-size); Maybelline Waterproof formula The Falsies ($6.99); Cover Girl and Olay Concealer Balm ($9.99); bareMinerals blush in Vintage Peach ($19); L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe ($6.99); Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Riviera Strip/ Sand Bronzer ($12.99); and Maybelline Color Sensational Color Whisper Lip Color in Some Like it Taupe ($7.49)[/caption]

In summer, when I know I am going to be out in the heat for hours on end, I favor using some industrial strength primers.  Benefit’s Porefessional is one of the longest lasting face primers on the market and has the added advantage of smoothing out enlarged pores-- a gift during the pre-congested summer months. A word of warning: if you don’t like the feeling of silicone-heavy products, this isn’t the right primer for you.  I also like to use Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray eyelid primer both on my lids and under my eyes to prevent my undereye concealer from settling into any fine lines.


On hot days where I need a long-lasting foundation with a good coverage, I reach for Shiseido’s Perfect Refining Foundation with SPF 15.  This foundation dries down relatively matte, so its best to apply the product with your hands and only one section of your face at a time-- otherwise, you’ll end up with the none-too-attractive cake face!  Also keep in mind that this foundation, as with all Shiseido face products, doesn’t have a terrific shade range, particularly for darker and cool-toned complexions.


During the summer, I like to use harder concealer formulas, like the Cover Girl and Olay Concealer Balm, to hide any remaining imperfections.  Using a sturdier concealer also helps to delay any product breakdown that may be exacerbated by the weather.  Luckily, this product is still creamy enough to use under my eyes.


Since I have oily-combination skin, I have to set my makeup with a powder regardless of the weather.  One of the best, and least expensive, mattifying powders on the market is Rimmel’s much-loved translucent Stay-Matte Pressed Powder.  There are similarly brilliant powders out there-- finely milled, providing light coverage and great longevity-- but you’d have to pay five times the price.  You can’t beat a cheap and cheerful winner like Stay-Matte.


For my cheeks, I used bareMineral’s blush in Vintage Peach, a shimmery pinky-peach color that adds a hint of natural color and dimension to an otherwise matte look while still preserving the makeup’s longevity.  To add dimension and warmth to my pale complexion, I swirled my brush in Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Rivera Strip/Sand Bronzer and dusted it in the hollows of my cheeks, down my neck, and along my hairline.


I kept my eye look simple and long-lasting,yet polished by blending the highly pigmented L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe all over my lid and slicking two coats of the waterproof formula of Maybelline’s The Falsies on my lashes.  In these steamy days, the importance of a waterproof mascara cannot be emphasized enough.


Lastly, I slicked Maybelline’s Color Sensational Color Whisper Lipcolor in Some Like it Taupe, a moisturizing gel-based lipstick-like product that’s comfortable, natural, and low maintenance for these sweltering summer days.

Here is the finished look:

[caption id="attachment_653" align="aligncenter" width="210"]Getting my melt-resistant face on! Getting my melt-resistant face on![/caption]

What are you wearing during this heat wave?