f thoughts of a half cat

August 11, 2013

Under Construction This Week :)

I'm giving this blog/my make up shindig a makeover this week.
See you soon, my lovelies.


January 3, 2013

The Importance of a Good Canvas

The Basics

One of the most important things to remember, in my opinion, is to treat your skin well and take care of its needs even before applying other things like bronzer, blush, highlight, eyeshadow, liner, mascara, etc. It's extremely important to have a good canvas as a base for the rest of the products you put on your face, in addition to promote the general health of your skin. Pictured above and below are the things I consider the basics for myself, perhaps minus the Lush cleanser which is more a pampering thing than absolutely necessary.
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil: I've searched far and wide for the best make up remover (specifically for eyes too) for my dry, sensitive skin. After trying various removers from just pure Vaseline to Clinique, Urban Decay (honorable mention though, their Meltdown Make Up Remover is pretty great), Bobbi Brown, and others (wipes, oils, regular removers, whatever) -- I came back to this dual cleanser/make up remover from MAC. Although it's an oil, it's not "oily" in the sense that it doesn't leave any residue on my skin at all nor does it feel greasy. It's one of the only products I've found to completely remove my make up (I hate waking up with "panda eyes" no matter how cute it sounds!), including eye make up all in one go. It's also a cleanser, which makes it that much better because my skin feels SO clean after I use it. It's not terribly expensive either, and honestly I would pay more for it if it was. 
  • Tweezers: Pretty self explanatory! I put these in the photo because I do use them for maintenance purposes but I mainly get my eyebrows threaded or waxed.
  • Vaseline: The only thing that cures chapped lips, for me anyway. After being on Accutane, it's been the only lip product to ever keep my lips from getting dry (I've talked to other people who have been on it that agree), not to mention Vaseline is just useful in general for all sorts of things!
  • Laura Mercier Brow Pencil: I cannot emphasize enough how important well shaped brows are for a good canvas! My brows are already pretty dark, so I mainly just use this to emphasize the general shape/arch.

  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil (described above)
  • Lush "Angels on Bare Skin" Lavender Scrub: I just picked this up recently actually to use a few times a week as an exfoliant and because it smells super heavenly. It's one of their best sellers, suitable for all skin types. The product description says: "The Kaolin clay base deep cleanses while ground almonds gently exfoliate the dead skina way. Rose and lavender are added to soothe and help balance out combination skin." I'm a sucker for rose, lavender, and chamomile as it is - so I pretty much adore this stuff.
  • Lush "Oatfix" Fresh Face Mask: A life saver for sensitive, dry skin that gets worse during the cold months. It has "calming oats, softening mashed banana (nanners!!!), and ground almonds to slough away flaky skin," and is very moisturizing. Smells like banana oatmeal cookies too :). I'd say I use it about once a week to help calm my skin and restore some of the moisture that's lost from cleansing and in general from daily wear.

The Canvas
  • Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Moisturizing Balm: On the left, one of my "couldn't live without" products. I have not found a better moisturizer, and I've tried many! It's a bit steep in price for sure, but I buy it twice a year and it's WELL worth it. It's probably the most luxurious thing I've ever put on my face and it's also incredibly moisturizing. I'd be hard pressed to find a better one. 
  • Make Up Forever HD Foundation: Great buildable coverage (but still lets my freckles show through!), long wearing, smooth application -- I really can't say enough good things about this foundation. It's right up there with my Chanel Vitalumiere and I'd say a more moisturizing version of NARS Sheer Glow but not as pigmented. I think my color is #117 or #118, for reference and I apply it with my Sigma F80 Kabuki brush. 
  • Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15: In Tender Rose. I used this as my main foundation for YEARS and just recently purchased it again after realizing how much I loved it while rediscovering it in Sephora. I apply just a little over my MUFE HD Foundation with a Real Techniques buffing brush and it works like a charm -- flawless, even complexion that covers up what I want it to without removing my freckles :). As someone with dry skin, I tend to steer away from powders in general but I highly suggest it for all skin types. It's absolutely fantastic.
  • Bobbi Brown Corrector: In Porcelain Peach. As I've mentioned before, I've been blessed with a tendency for rather dark under eye circles - courtesy of genetics and terrible allergies. I'm constantly on the look out for good products to neutralize them that aren't too drying but don't settle into creases. I apply it lightly (pat) with my fingertips underneath my eyes, and it's designed to have a concealer over that but most of the time I just leave it at that or apply my YSL Touche Eclat pen to brighten up a bit. Definitely one of my all time favorites. 
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer: In NC20. Just picked this up recently actually. I've been searching for a good concealer after MAC (sadly) discontinued their Studio Sculpt concealer to touch up any blemishes or imperfections when I do get them, which is luckily not often unless I'm stressed out. I quite like it, it's pigmented enough to cover up, blends well, and is not drying. I usually just apply it with a fingertip but the Real Techniques crease brush is also fantastic for applying concealer in general (especially under eyes). 

And those products are what I use for my "good canvas" :). I'd love to hear what other people consider to be their essentials for a good foundation before applying all the other fun stuff, so please feel free to comment below and let me know! In other news, I'm going to make it a point to keep this blog more updated -- I've been neglecting it for far too long. Cheers!


July 16, 2012

Massive LUSH Haul & Review

Gorilla Solid Perfume in Imogen Rose 
I didn't realize why I liked this solid perfume so much until I read the description, which mentions that in addition to real rose oil, they use a little baby powder to soften it up (one of my absolutely favorite smells, don't ask me why). It literally smells delicate, and it lasts forever! I adore any perfume I can carry around in my purse and rub on my wrists/neck to freshen up, and this does the trick. Might seem a little pricey at $15 (I bought it for 10 Euro), but you need hardly any each time you apply and I would definitely buy it again.

Catastrophe Cosmetic: Blueberry Infused Maintenance Mask

I bought this after reading about Estée using it, and since we have pretty similar skin (dry & sensitive), I had good expectations. I thoroughly enjoy pampering my skin and this mask is good for that, although I do think it's more for just skin cleansing than anything else. It's super creamy, has chamomile, rose absolute, and blueberries, and is very calming on the skin. I use it maybe once per week. I can't say that it's helped keep my skin clear because I rarely break out after taking Accutane, but it has definitely helped keep my skin clean and soft. I like it a lot, but I think I'm probably going to experiment with other face masks after this one is finished. :) Don't get me wrong, you'll definitely get more than your money's worth at $6.95, I just think there are others I'd like more.

"King of Skin" Solid Body Lotion Bar

Probably one of my favorite things from Lush that I've ever bought. Ingredients include "fresh bananas and avocados are whipped into a luxurious, skin soothing base of oat milk and lavender." I am a supreme sucker for all of these things, and combined they make my skin SUPER soft and smell absolutely lovely. A little goes a long way with this one. It's a solid body lotion that you apply right after your shower and towel off (or dry, and then rinse off, however you fancy), which I think is way easier than slathering on lotion all the time. I don't use it every day, but when I do (*cue Most Interesting Man in the World music*) it makes me feel fantastic, soft, skin nourished, and smelling like I just got back from bathing in an ocean of softness. Definitely buying again after mine is finished.

"Hair Doctor" Hair Treatment

This is by far the best thing I have ever purchased from Lush. If you've watched my videos enough, you know that in the past year I have dyed my hair quite a bit and when I went blonde, I had to bleach the absolute shit out of it. So lately my hair has been pretty upset with me, which doesn't go well with the fact that it's naturally dry. When my hair was in need of some serious rehab, I stumbled across a review for this hair treatment (which, for some reason, is not on the US Lush site) and rushed to the Lush downtown to grab it. I think it was around 20 Euro, but a small price to pay for what it's done to my hair. I literally have not had this healthy of hair in years. The description says "To make this we first simmer irish moss seaweed to form a clear gel, then we add Irish moss powder, extra virgin coconut oil, almond oil, vegetable glycerine, soya lecithin and brewer's yeast – all to condition, strengthen and moisturize the hair," but honestly, I'm pretty sure an angel puked this stuff up or something because it is RIDICULOUS. It doesn't look or smell particularly wonderful, but I can't say enough good things about it. After just one use, my hair has gone from dry, frizzy, and breaking to healthy, soft, and regaining its natural wavy body back. I just applied it all over my dry hair with my hands, chilled in the bath with a Big Blue bath bomb (which I'll review next) for about twenty five minutes, and then rinsed it out. At first, I didn't really notice a difference, but the next day and since then, my hair has gotten 500% healthier. :) Heaven in a container right here. 

"Big Blue" Bath Bomb

No lie, I am extremely inclined to go for any products that make me feel like a mermaid. I bought this sucker and threw the whole thing in the bath while waiting for the Hair Doctor treatment to work its magic and I'm not entirely sure I wasn't on my own little island. As you can tell from my photo, it makes the water a teal color which is AWESOME on its own, but also there's bits of seaweed that appear after the bomb itself has melted which in the warm water, makes for a really cool bath. I'm actually not even a big bath fan, but this bath bomb (and I'm sure others will) converted me into loving bath time. It was super relaxing to soak in and I love feeling like I'm in/around/near/a mermaid in the ocean. Definitely would repurchase.

"Ocean Salt" Bath Salt Face/Body Scrub
Keeping up with my love affair with the ocean, I also got the Ocean Salt scrub. I wouldn't recommend using this if you don't have some serious moisturizing products to back it up (at least if you have very dry sensitive skin like mine), but I really like it! It has fresh avocado and coconut to hydrate, but also balances itself out with lime and a little vodka to unblock pores/disinfect the skin. It's got a bit of a zing to it once you put it on which is refreshing, but what I like most is how my skin feels afterward: super clean, refreshed, and new. I think this is definitely one of my most favorite face/body scrubs that I've used, especially since you need barely a fingertip full for your whole face, but I do admit that it's a bit pricey at around $30.

"Sweet Lips" Lip Scrub
Another scrub but for your smackers :). I had purchased this before but due to a very unfortunate run in with a shelf above a toilet (#dormproblems), I didn't get to use the first one very long. I get very chapped lips easily if I don't constantly apply Vaseline to them and I like to exfoliate them once or sometimes twice a week to keep them as soft as possible. This stuff lasts quite a long time, makes my lips very soft, and tastes super delicious -- I love it. I think you definitely get your money's worth at just under $10. 

"It Started with a Kiss" Lip Tint
I heard about this first from Hannah, and after looking around the interwebs I decided I had to have it. Lip tints are probably the best things since sliced bread (along with earl grey tea, freckles, and handwritten letters), and I think this is my favorite one. Granted, I do have to put on Vaseline before I put this on because it's only a tint and not a balm, but that's fine. The color (which cannot possibly be given justice through a photo) is absolutely fantastic. It's the most perfect pinky red, like you just finished kissing someone dashingly good looking. It's about $9 and I plan on having a constant supply of this stuff because I think it's perfect.


These are all things that I've purchased while studying abroad in Germany (where I am for another two weeks before I go back to 'Merca). Dangerous thing, having a Lush store just a short bus ride away. I'll probably restock on my favorites from this list when I'm back in Austin, the rest I will use until empty. I hope these little reviews were helpful for anyone looking to try these things out! Let me know what you think of them. :) I'd love to know your opinion.


June 3, 2012

Hello Again: My Most Used Products

Hello everyone! I know it's been a while, but I've got a new video for you all :). Here are my most used products, most for a long time and a few newbies! 
Products mentioned:

- Vaseline
- Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation: Porcelain
- Tarte Marajuca Blush & Glow: Sunlight
- Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
- MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer: NC20
- Clinique Gel Liner: 02 True Black
- Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen: Blackest Black
- Urban Decay Baked Bronzer: Gilded
- Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact: Nectar
- Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Moisturizer
- Make Up Forever Smoky Lash

What are your most used products? Anything you can't live without or are constantly restocking on?

February 8, 2012

My skincare routine & accutaine review!

As requested! This video explains my current skin care shenanigans and my experience with the prescription drug Accutane for acne. Check it out. :) Any questions, please feel free to ask.


January 31, 2012

My current foundation routine.

I just now realized that I hadn't posted this video on here! Here is my current foundation routine and all that jazz I do before I get into eyeshadow, liner, blush, etc. Please note I let my moisturizer soak in before filming. :) 

Products used:
(pre-video) Bobbi Brown Hydrating Intense Night Cream
Nars Sheerglow Foundation in Siberia
MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer in NC20
MAC Brow set in Beguile
Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Gilded
MAC Powder Blush in Harmony (used as contour)
Tarte Illuminating Clay Shimmer Powder

Break down:
  1. I apply my regular moisturizer, Bobbi Brown Hydrating Intense Night Cream, all over my face and let it soak up before doing anything else.
  2. I then pour my liquid foundation on my fingertips and apply it to the central parts of my face.
  3. Buff foundation in with a foundation brush, I used my Sigma F80.
  4. Apply concealer - I used MAC Studio Sculpt in NC20 with my fingers, applying it underneath my eyes and anywhere else I feel it's needed.
  5. Apply MAC brow set in Beguile to brows to give them a little more definition and keep them in place.
  6. Apply powder bronzer with a Real Techniques blush brush to the "3 and E" of the face, or from the side of your temples to the hollows of your cheeks down to your bottom jaw line, and then down the neck for good measure. I used Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Gilded. 
  7. Apply powder contour (MAC powder blush in Harmony) with a contour brush (Real Techniques contour brush) to the hollows of the cheeks.
  8. Blend the bronzer and contour with either a face blender brush or your fingers making sure there are no harsh lines.
  9. Apply powder highlighter (Tarte Illuminating Clay Shimmer Powder) to the high points of the face (brow bone, top of cheek bone) using any brush (I used Real Techniques again)
  10. Then onto eye make up and whatnot! :)


January 4, 2012

Get ready with me!

Products used:
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Intense Night Cream
Matrix Biolage Daily Leave-In Tonic
Garnier Fructis Style Wonder Waves Spray
got2b Fat-tastic Thickening Plumping Mousse
got2b Fat-tastic Thickening non-aerosol Hairspray
Chanel Vitalumiere in 05
MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer in NC20
MAC Brow Set in Beguile
Urban Decay Eye Primer (sample size)
Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Gilded
MAC Powder Blush in Harmony (used as contour)
Urban Decay Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tint in Crush
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar
Tarte Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum (sample size, used as highlighter)
Urban Decay Naked Palette: Virgin, Naked, Sidecar shadows
MAC Fascinating Ruby Smoky Eye Palette: Gorgeous (highlight inner eye corners)
Clinique Cream Liner in 02 True Black
Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion
MAC Haute & Naughty Lash in Black

This video shows a pretty standard day for me, at least lately. I shower pretty much everyday, washing my hair mostly every other day. I recorded the make up section of this video on a different day than the rest -- that's why it looks a bit different and my outfit changes :). This is usually a tag in the YouTube world, but I actually got it as a request through my tumblr. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments! :D