Giving Up the Ghost: When Is it Time to Say Goodbye?

Hello gentle readers.

Put the champagne and streamers away. I'm not going anywhere.

We all reach that point in our lives. We meet our perfect one. We encounter that perfect partner that makes us look and feel like a million bucks each and every day of our lives no matter what. When it is new and fresh and beautiful and exciting and perfect and we just can't get enough. And we are in perfect love and we think it will last forever. And we go along in a haze of rose coloured happiness, thinking that everything is going swimmingly.

Then one day, hard, cold reality hits and it's all over. You look in the mirror or look very carefully at a photograph and the glaring truth becomes painfully obvious.

 That foundation you thought was the perfect thing, your Holy Grail of Holiest Grails is now a gross, thick, clotted, creased, nasty, cake-y mess.

When did that happen? How did that happen? Why did that happen?

It probably crept up on you slowly. You recognized the signs... Having to spend a little extra time blending. Having to add more and more to get the right coverage. Getting finished with your makeup only to notice that your foundation has already cracked around your nose, mouth and across your forehead so you oh-so-carefully smooth it back out, set it with powder and turn away from the mirror and pray. But your prayers go unanswered. Several hours later, the cracks are back. And you are back. In front of a mirror, fixing, cussing and making excuses. It's hot. It's humid. You were in a hurry when you applied, this morning. You used a different sponge or brush. You changed your under makeup primer or are test driving a new moisturizer.

Uh-huh. Keep on telling yourself sweet little lies, gentle reader. Keep on justifying and making excuses for a relationship that just isn't working any longer. Hey, I get it... Boy do I ever. I recently broke up with a long term foundation, myself. My skin has undergone changes that have made it and my once favorite foundation highly incompatible. I feel as if it happened almost overnight but in reality, I have been seeing signs of trouble in our romance for quite a while, now. The breaking point came for me when I took careful stock of some recent photographs I took for this blog. I don't photograph all that well under the best of circumstances but I realized that I was looking particularly rough and when I carefully analyzed the problem, I realized that it was my foundation. Cake face. Nasty, unflattering, sitting on the surface of my skin thick, gunked up, gross, cracked... Yuk. Cake face. Because my once perfect foundation was now completely wrong.

 Take a long, honest look in the mirror or fire off a few photographs in your current makeup. Step outside of yourself, set aside your bias, your affection for the brand, your allegiance to a type and really study your reflection or recent photograph. What do you see?  Do you see soft, silky, smooth skin? An even, near (I don't believe in flawless) flawless finish? Most of us need to build a bit more coverage in certain areas, less in others. Does your foundation blend these all out seamlessly? If you have fine lines, wrinkles, does your foundation flow, give and flex with the undulations of your skin or does it break and crack, forcing you to ride herd on it, constantly repairing it, worrying that you are going to look aged and falling apart? Does your makeup stay one consistent shade all day or does it oxidize, turn weird colours that skin should not become when air comes in contact with it? Are you oily, gentle reader? Does your foundation slide right off of your face as soon as you get oil breakthrough? Are you truly satisfied with your foundation? Completely happy and thrilled with what you see in the mirror or that photograph? Be honest. If the answer is no...

Purse those rosebud lips of yours and kiss that foundation goodbye.

My Holy Grail foundation was, up until just recently, Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin in 150 Buff. Lordy, I loved that foundation. Perfect shade match right out of the bottle, I didn't have to mix it, miracle of miracles. Fab coverage, buildable where I needed extra coverage, I could sheer it out where I didn't need so much, it was easy to work with and once it set, it locked down and didn't move all day. I could apply that stuff at six in the morning and come back to remove it at midnight and it would be nearly perfectly intact, even in the middle of a searing Arizona Summer. Just good foundation. And, at about twelve clams a bottle, affordable, too. It nearly broke my little heart to say goodbye but it had to be done.

This photo was taken in February 2012, I was wearing Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Dry Skin in 150 Buff. Great shade match. See how nice and smooth it looks? No cake face, no cracking. Even in the sun it just looked like skin. At that time, this foundation was still working well with my dry but not yet Sahara like skin.

Yes, before you ask, that is my natural hair colour. And yes, those lighter streaks running through it are grey. I don't colour to cover my grey, I colour because I can't stand my natural colour. It is so drab and blah. If I were all silver, I'd wear that shit like nobody's business!

Two years later, February, 2014. Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Dry Skin in 150 Buff. Hello, Cakeface! See how my foundation is lying on the surface of my skin, rather than blending in to my skin? Instead of looking smooth, more silken, it looks a bit rougher in spots. It is obviously thick, heavy and "made up." What you can't see in that photo was the fun I had with cracking around my mouth and nasal/labial folds and having to smooth that business out, a couple of times after application. Yeah. Out in the sun, it was not looking good. Not what I am going for.

The hair, blonde. What I am by nature, if not naturally. Short, for reasons. Maybe I'll talk about it, one day.  

So, the hunt begins for my new Holy Grail foundation. I have been researching drugstore offerings and I already know that I am going to have to go mid tier/high end. *sigh* I have a fall back. I am currently using an IT Cosmetics CC cream (that I need to do a post on) that I like. But I do need a new foundation and finding just the right one is not going to be easy. Stay tuned, I should be whining and pissing and moaning about that process, soon.

Gentle reader, give up the ghost. Let go of that stuff you have been using for years because it is "the right brand" or "the popular stuff." Oh... You have been rocking that fluid of beauty since when and now you can't even think about letting it go because it will mean that you are getting old, right? Right? Well, suck it up, Buttercup. We're all getting older. Some of us older than others. So, get over your beautiful self, get your ass out there and buy some new foundation. You deserve it. And you should have it. Because you should look your very best and feel beautiful every time you look into your mirror, every day. If I can do this, you can too. Let's give up the ghost, together.

OPI Kermit Me to Speak: Swatch and Review

Hello gentle readers.

The OPI Muppets Most Wanted Collection is one I am getting to slowly. Painfully slowly. I swatch one or two then I have a nail catastrophe. No. Really. My nails are just back to minimum swatch length, after a recent major horror movie moment and radical file down.

OPI Kermit Me to Speak is the duochrome offering from this collection. Starting from a beautiful Spring appropriate purple, it swiftly shifts through gold to green.

Tragically for this beautiful polish, if there is one thing I suck more at photographing than holographic polishes it is photographing duochrome polishes. I like to fantasize that if I had one of those great DSLR cameras I would magically become a fantastic photographer of all of the things!!!! Yeah. Riiiiight... I included four shots in this post to try to give you an idea of what this pretty stuff can do but you are going to have to engage your imagination to a certain extent. Oh stop. It's good for you. We all need mental exercise.

This swatch is two coats and topped with good old Seche Vite.

The formula on this polish is just so good. The viscosity is a tiny bit thin, like a good duochrome often is, that odd... I don't know how to define it duochrome thing. It sits down where it is placed and cooperates without arguing, streaking, running away, pooling or flooding my cuticles or bubbling. It is, as you can see in my photographs a tad brushstroke-y. 'Tis the nature of the beast, baby. The shimmer pigments in many duochromes just come out brushstroke-y, especially in macro photographs. To the casual eye, it is smooth, silky and very shiny. Dry time on this polish is quick as a bunny, even faster with a great fast dry top coat.

This polish is so pretty and fun and if you don't have many duochromes, is a great way to dip your toes into the funky finish waters, too! OPI Kermit Me to Speak is a Limited Edition polish but I just checked the Ulta website and it is available there, you could pop in to your local Ulta stores and it should be there, too. Sally Beauty Supply may still have a bottle or two, JC Penny salons carry OPI as do other salons and beauty supplies. They aren't hard to find, yet if you are really craving a bottle.

What do you think of OPI Kermit Me to Speak? Do you like? Love? Meh? Please do speak. I encourage it, you never have to ask, here!

Thank you so very much for swinging by and reading. Have a terrific rest of your day, stay cool and may your polish never bubble.

Oh, hey, have you entered my Giveaway? I am celebrating four years of blogging with a Summer of Giveaways and the first one is underway, right now! The prize is the OPI Gwen Stefani Collection and is open to US residents. Please click the link and enter.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush: Review, Photographs

Hello gentle readers.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes are a unique and beautiful addition to the makeup world. A morphing of beautiful, pigmented blush and the perfecting, luminous properties of the original Ambient Lighting Powders that give the cheeks fresh, glowing colour and a soft, radiant highlight.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush is available from the Hourglass website or from Sephora stores or their website. There is 0.15 oz of product and the price is $35.00.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush packaging is very similar to the Ambient Lighting Powder. Lighter, brighter gold, but that same sleek, rounded square compact that feels smooth and luxe in the hand.

Open the lid and there is a mirror inside the lid. Then contained in the well of the compact is the prize. Luminous Flush Ambient Lighting Blush, a champagne rose pigmented blush marbled with Luminous Light Ambient Lighting Powder.

The powder is exquisitely finely milled and pressed in to a softly domed cake, the surface of which is just as silky as an angel's wing to the touch. It can be a bit powdery, depending on how much blush or powder is marbled in the layer you are working on at the time. So far, with my own blush, I am not finding it to be all that powdery. My blush has lovely pigmentation, gives me the colour payoff I expect and the lasting power I would ask from a high end blush.

My preferred application tool for this blush is a natural hair dual fiber brush. It picks up just the right amount of product, then sets it down and buffs it in just the way I want it to look. I am also playing with a synthetic blush brush and this blush. They are getting along pretty nicely together but I still prefer the natural hair duo fiber brush.

This is a concentrated swipe and a brush blended out swatch of the Luminous Flush Ambient Lighting Blush on the back of my hand photographed indoors in light coming in through my window.

And the same swatches photographed in direct sunshine.

I know that the reviews on these blushes are a little back and forth, people seem to either love or hate them. They also seem to align behind them depending on what shade they are reviewing. I happen to love this shade. It is beautiful, it works for my skin tone, it applies smoothly and evenly, lasts for hours and hours and let's face it, it is just gorgeous to own. There is one more shade, Dim Infusion that I would very much love to treat myself to. One day, soon. I hope.

Do you own any of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes? If so, which shades do you have? What do you think of them? I'd really like to hear your thoughts.

Thank you so much for dropping by and reading and have a beautiful day.

OPI Chillin' Like a Villain and Gaining Mole-Mentum Photographs and Review

Hello gentle readers.

On my perpetual hunt for the perfect peach polish I picked up OPI Chillin' Like a Villain from the Spring Muppets Collection hoping that it would be my Holy Grail peach polish. Alas. While the colour is a smashing, warm peach, the formula is a ripping pain in my ass. I had to apply four coats to get this swatch fully smooth and opaque and ridge free. I suppose, had I been in possession of a good ridge filling base coat I could have gotten away with three. Maybe even... Two? I need to see about getting one. Because this four coat shit is getting old.

I topped this swatch with Seche Vite.

Other than the four coat shit... The formula on this polish is pretty nice. I didn't have any trouble with running, pooling, dragging or flooding my cuticles. It did dry kind of slowly because there were four coats. I really need to find a good ridge filler and try this polish again because I really like this colour.

Topping OPI Chillin' Like a Villain is Gaining Mole-Mentum, a clear base with shreds and shards of sliver, gold and rose gold shiny beautiful fun. I dig this. I have worn this topper over Chillin' Like a Villain (I wore it with just two coats, to cover my ridgy finish) and over another polish. For as chunky and shredded it is, it is surprisingly easy to work with and position on the nail. It dries fairly smooth. A bit of Gelous and Seche Vite makes it super smooth and shiny and glossy and beautiful.

And... A macro shot!

So there it is. OPI Chillin' Like a Villain and Gaining Mole-Mentum. Do you like these polishes? Own either of them? Does that peach polish zing you as hard as it does me? Or do you have nice, smooth nails so you don't have to do four coats?

This review is stupid late, I don't know where this is still available. But I needed to get it up and talked about. So, that is what I am doing.

Thank you so much for coming by and reading. have a great day and may your polish never bubble.