Friday, April 10, 2009

Urban Decay Discount

Everybody loves a great deal; hit Urban Decay's website while their Family & Friends Event is going on to create your own sale!

Brand Spotlight: Archetype Cosmetics

I'll admit, I’m new to the mineral makeup game. I avoided mineral foundation for years- since it was initially introduced via late-night infomercial, I wrote it off as a passing trend. I have used powder foundations before and found them to have an itchy, tight, line-enhancing effect on my dry skin. Due to my complete lack of interest in foundations of the mineral persuasion I was unaware of a makeup trend growing right under my brows- mineral pigment eye shadows. Recently while I checking in on fellow blogger Padmita, I noticed a gorgeous shade of green on her eyes with a brand name I wasn't familiar with: Archetype Cosmetics.

According to her website, Archetype owner Holly Regan's love of color was cultivated with a background in fine arts; mixing oil paints led to mixing makeup. Archetype specializes in multipurpose loose pigments in unique, often sparkly or iridescent shades. They also have a wide range of loose mineral foundations, as well as a line of lip products.

To avoid confusion, the site does not picture foundation shades. However, it does odetailed descriptions along with advice on choosing the right formula and shade. The company offers two different formulas, classified in depth levels (1-5), each with six different undertones available.

Though Archetype classifies their pigments as eye shadows, many of the shades are multipurpose. Most pigments can be applied to lips, blended with lip gloss, used on the cheeks as blush or highlighter, and even mixed into nail polish. Color swatches of the eye shadow pigments are shown on the site, but since most of the line’s colors are shimmery or iridescent, photography often doesn’t do them justice. Thankfully, the site includes spot-on, incredibly vivid descriptions of each shade, and often suggests color combinations as well as comparisons to other shades in the brand that may be similar.

By my best estimate, Archetype makes around 150 mineral pigment eye shadows and 60 foundations. With such a wide selection of products, even a non-junkie could get herself in trouble here- luckily, Archetype’s prices are incredibly reasonable: foundations are currently $9.00; lip and eye products come in 2 sizes- the small retails for $3.75, the large is $7.00.

Of course, I’ve saved the best for last: All of Archetype’s products are available to order in sample form! For just a quarter each you can try any (or all) of Archetype’s eye shadow pigments. Lip glosses and foundations are available too, for $1.00 and $2.00 respectively. Each sample contains enough product for several applications- more than enough to experiment! For all of you recessionistas- this is your guilt-free indulgence!

My one caveat with Archetype: don’t expect a speedy delivery. Take the company warning at face value: generally orders take about 4-5 weeks to ship. I ordered 2 small shadows and almost 40 samples and it was indeed about a month before they hit my doorstep. This is in no way a condemnation- Archetype is a small, privately owned business and there is no mass marketing here. Creating, mixing, and dispensing over 200 products by hand takes time. Don’t let this discourage you from ordering, just order accordingly.

Stay tuned for full reviews on both the eye pigments and the foundation. For a sneak peek, see my spring colors look, which features Archetype Cosmetic's mineral pigment eye shadows in China White, Conjunction, and Weeping Willow.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ignore the Snow- It's Spring in Ohio!

For this look I combined lots of vibrant colors, but blended them well to keep the look soft. I'm loving the combination of pink and green this spring, it's very ethereal. I foiled Weeping Willow onto the lid, extending it just a bit above my crease. Applying the pigment wet not only brightens the green, but also brings out it's incredible violet iridescence.

Just above the green, I chiseled out my contour with Flamingo. Then I softened the line by blending upward with a lighter pink. Since green eye shadow doesn't do much to bring out my eye color, I added a bit of violet underneath to bring out the green in my eyes.

After blending under my arch with a matte white highlight shade, I decided to add a pop of Chrome Yellow to the inner brow bone to keep my eyes from looking too much like an Easter egg! Then, just for fun I glued some fabric flower petals to the outer corners and dusted them with a bit of the green and violet pigments to integrate them a bit!

Product List:

Base: Urban Decay Primer Potion
Lid: Weeping Willow (Archetype Cosmetics)
Contour: Flamingo (Kryolan), Candy Cube (Estee Lauder- discontinued*)
Brow bone: Gesso, Chrome Yellow (both MAC)
Tear Duct: China White (Archetype Cosmetics)
Lower Lash line: Conjunction (Archetype Cosmetics)
Mascara: Chanel Inimitable in Black
Brows: Automatic Brow Pencil Duo in Soft Brown (Estee Lauder)
For the Petals: I hand cut 4 petals for each eye from small silk flowers (I bought mine at Michael's). Then I glued them on in 2 layers with spirit gum.


Flamingo (Kryolan eyeshadow)

Liner: Hottie Pink (Victoria's Secret)
Lipstick: Love (Estee Lauder- discontinued*), Vinyl Voltage (Estee Lauder- discontinued*)
Lip gloss: Beauty Rush Smoothie Moves (Victoria's Secret- discontinued*)

*Please feel free to leave comments or send me a message if you'd like suggestions on substitutes for discontinued colors.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Check Your Bags: De-Puffing Your Eyes (Part II)

While I had meant my last "de-puffing" post to be a quick tip, it occurred to me that many people out there may need some help choosing the perfect product to deflate their tired eyes. Thus, I present part II .

When shopping for an eye cream, it's important to realize that most are geared toward one specific symptom. The 3 most common categories are: puffiness ("bags"), under eye darkness, and anti-aging. Though much of the time symptoms are related, it may be tough to find one eye cream to address all of your issues. They are out there- it just may take more than one stop to find the right one! Knowing the key ingredients to look for will help you determine if the product you're looking at may be a multi-tasker. Today, my focus is puffiness, but I promise I'll cover other issues soon!

When looking for an eye cream to decrease puffiness, either on the lid or under the eye, choose an eye cream that contains caffeine, which may help to constrict the blood vessels and further reduce fluid build up under the eye. To a lesser extent, products with soothing ingredients like shea butter, dimethicone, and feverfew extract may also help, but typically only for those that have occasional stress or hormone related puffiness.

If puffiness is a consistent problem for you, a bit of self-evaluation may be in order. Puffiness can often be a sign of dehydration, so if you're a big fan of salt or alcohol, you're more likely to see bags (this is also why your carry-ons may become full blown suitcases the morning after a big night out!) Try sleeping face up with your head raised so that fluid can't pool. You can also try eating a banana for breakfast- the potassium helps to counteract some of the excess salt. Allergies can also be a cause, in which case an antihistamine may ease your symptoms.

As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes heredity is a factor- in which case the best eye cream in the world won't help. Though I often see makeup artists recommend a concealer in a shade lighter than your skin, this actually highlights the area, which will make puffiness more obvious. If you have no darkness under the eye, you can try a concealer slightly darker than your skin tone, which will make bags appear to recede; otherwise stick with a concealer that's as close to your skin tone as possible.

Did you know that just the action of smiling helps to lift your mood? So, if all else fails, SMILE! Not only will it help to draw attention away from your eyes, but the action of smiling can actually help flush fluid out of the area naturally.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Manicure While you do Dishes!

Before settling in for your next dish-washing session, apply a few drops of olive oil to your cuticles, then rub the remainder into your hands. Put on a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves, and proceed. Aside from protecting your hands, the gloves trap the heat from the water. Heat helps to dilate the pores in the skin, allowing the emollients in the oil to penetrate better.

Olive oil is rich in anti-oxidants that help to fight signs of aging like dark spots, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. Many women spend tons of time and money fighting those signs on their faces, only to be betrayed by crepey, thin skinned, spotted hands. Olive oil also has high levels of the emollient squalene, which is a key component of our skin's own oil; because of this it absorbs easily and is great for sensitive skin.

For best results, use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is less processed than other versions and therefore retains more of the olive's beneficial properties. Though it may be a pricier option, in comparison to other treatments out there, it's a steal. Try this at least once a day and I promise, you'll be perusing new polishes in no time!
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