Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Pickups and Deliveries

Why does it feel like I've been gone for a million years? It has only been a week since the last post, correct? For those who wanted to see me post more frequently, sorry! I've been feeling an ennui of sorts, and I don't schedule posts. I have to sort of feel them before publishing. What can I say? I'm a selfish writer. Translation: Sorry I'm not sorry! ;-)

Anyway, September has disappeared and Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner. What? WHAT? It was a busy month and I spent the first half of it hunting down the perfect dark red lips and black pencil eyeliner between work and chores. The result ended up being a mix of high and low, the best of combinations to appease a soul caught in conflict between frugality and frivolity. (O HAI, THAT'S ME.)

Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner in Black


I wanted the ultimate basic black eyeliner: pencil for ease of application and portability, long-lasting without smudging or running on my one very hooded eye and one perfectly creased eye. Prestige is one of those forgotten brands found in the lonely corners of Rexall/Pharma Plus cosmetic aisle. The price is super friendly and the packaging is simple and fuss-free. I was surprised when a couple of people on Twitter suggested that I try their pencils because who knew anyone knew that the brand exists?


As for the pencil itself, I like it but it's not the best. I got it during the first week of the month when it still felt summery and the liner didn't hold up in the heat. But now that the weather is cooler (yesterday so cold in the morning that I wanted to wear gloves), it stays put and is black enough and smudgeable enough and generally good enough that I don't regret the CAD$7 I spent on it. The brand is online, by the way, for those who want to check out more of their offerings. I think the quality and the price are definitely at par, considering that other drugstore brands have hiked up their prices to the point that it's difficult to find anything for less than $10 without sales. When I encounter a drugstore item sitting in the $15-20 zone, I figure it's just better to spend another $5 or so and go for a higher brand. I'm not particularly drawn to Prestige aside from their eyeliners but might give them a second look later on when I need something else.


Dior Poison


I was supposed to return this and keep Orchid, but I lost the receipt. Oh, how fortuitous! Because I love love love it. It's not the most unique purple but it is dark and moody and passionate and I feel it so much. The picture below is of after 7-9 days of wear.


Then, as was inevitable, spontaneous deal-grabbing ensued one day. I was in and out of Sephora "researching" for the best black eyeliner when the sales section caught my eye. Each item was only $5! Totally scored. Had to elbow some woman out of my way during the dig for the Nails Inc. polishes but it was clear she didn't know what she was looking at. Swatch, buy or get out of the way!

Sephora Blotting Papers (x 2)
Nails Inc. in Warwick Way & Belgrave Place

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Amsterdam

Denise went to NYC and brought this back for me because the difference in Canadian and American prices for certain brands is completely ridiculous. This beauty for example: USD$25 + 8.875% sales tax vs. CAD$32 + 13% Ontario sales tax. Yeah. Our dollar is either at par or doing better than the Americans and have been in that situation for a while. It's so unfair. The worst offenders are middling brands like Estee Lauder, Tarte and NARS. The price difference for Chanel and Dior aren't as bad or bad at all. Illamasqua has a campaign for fairer cosmetics pricing in Australia and I hope something similar can happen here as well.


Going back to the gorgeous lipstick itself: I AM IN LOVE. This is such a revelation, because I usually abhor matte lips and am scared of intense colours. But I've been very good about keeping my lips balmed and I think they're not as dry as they used to be. I've stopped picking them, too, which helps a lot.


For a matte lipstick, I'm surprised by how smooth it looks and feels on the lips. Left: multiple layers, right: one layer.



I feel like it looks much darker on the lips, and it is just so right for the season and the moment.

Samples

Fruits & Passion Gold Body Butter (new) / Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel / Benefit Bella Bamba (100 points perk @ Sephora)


Bond No. 9 So New York - Denise and I met up for dinner and after that we spent considerable time at the Bond No. 9 counter where an amazing saleswoman gave us samples for whatever scents we fell in love with. I like So New York but the one I really love is Riverside Drive. The lady said she'd mail the sample of that when the next shipment arrives. I can't buy it right now and hold conflicting feelings about the brand, so I'll try to live on the samples for a while and hope to fall out of love by the end of those.


Speaking of Denise, she knows me too well. More red/dark lippies and nude shadows!


Now that's FOUR dark reddish lippies I've ended up with this month. From left to right: MAC Lipglass in Restless, NARS Amsterdam, MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva, MAC Satin Lipstick in Rebel. While I was on the hunt for vampy fall lips, I received multiple suggestions for MAC Rebel. When I looked at swatches online, I became terrified of the shade, but seeing it person after having worn Amsterdam is a totally different feeling. Thank you, Denise -- you rock!


Random shampoo from friend A.N.


Sometimes A.N. jumps aboard a product love train and never looks back. When she does, she tries to take everyone with her as well and is really generous about it. She gave me a bottle from her bulk order and said it made her hair amazingly shiny and soft -- but she always has perfectly naturally smooth and glossy Asian hair to begin with so I can't see a difference. This is supposed to be super gentle and soothing, and I'm hoping it'll be good for my dry scalp which has been fine all summer but acting up now that it's colder. If it happens to make my hair smoother, bonus points!

So that's my pickups and deliveries for the month of September. I think there was a good mix of well-researched purchases as well as frugal impulse buys. Now I leave you with some swatches of my favourite FOTD products of the month. Can you guess what these are? I'll reveal it soon!


What were some good purchases and bargains for you this month?

32 comments:

  1. Lizbob! Seems like it was a good month :) I am so proud of you for rocking Amsterdam! It's gorgeous. I'm really tempted, but I should probably not. Maybe sometime later. I still want Valparaiso, and I think that berry shade probably fills more of a gap in my lipstick collection than another red :X

    (:> :< :X hahahahaha)

    As for black pencil liners, man. I actually haven't found one that I like. UD's smudges on me, Milani's smudges on me...I think I may bite the bullet and buy that silly Armani one, in hopes that it actually stays put. I'm a liquid liner girl, but sometimes I like having a black pencil to smudge or to add intensity. If it didn't smudge, I'd probably find more ways to use it, too.

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    1. *is proud* :D

      I really liked UD's in the winter but found it also smudged during summer. I finally tested the Armani one and it's SUPER SOFT and way too crumbly for my liking. Maybe I pressed to hard, but you know... hulk smash and all that. It also didn't set as quickly as I liked and overall disappointing. :(

      Apparently I chose the wrong Prestige liner - the Total Intensity one is supposed to be better than the Waterproof. I'll try that eventually and report back!

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  2. Awesome haul! I've been wanting to pick up Amsterdam for a while but I think MAC's Diva is pretty similar if you layer it with a berrier lip liner.

    The prices in Canada are atrocious! I hate going to the Sephora website for that reason only.

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    1. I'm so lazy that I never layer, but that's a great idea!

      I never order online but am always looking at Sephora online. Then I race to the store to see if the new stuff are there but we're always so super slow up here. Grr!

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  3. Wowowow those lippies look gorgeous! I've been in the hunt for some nice dark lip colors lately too. I can't be using my Revlon Soft Rose all the time because that gets a little boring and all my other lippies get neglected. Though buying more probably won't solve the neglecting problem...

    Love your pickups, sounds like you had a good month. May October be just as swell! :)

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    1. Thanks, Maggie. Revlon does offer some nice darker shades! Try the Colorburst gloss in Bordeaux or Sienna Sparkle - I love them both. :)

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  4. So much here to love, Liz! Amsterdam is gorge, and I'm so glad you got it :) Ditto Dior Poison! I've yet to get a Dior polish, but with wear like that, I may soon cave... Also, I really like the Prestige eyeliners, too (they're available at Rite Aid here), but I much prefer the Total Intensity line to the Waterproof ones––they wear longer, don't smudge, intense color payoff, etc., so if you have access to those, I would suggest checking out the black one in that formula!

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    1. Mimi at Makeup Withdrawal told me the same thing about Total Intensity. I may have to bite the bullet and get it soon. Will report back and thanks for the tip!

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    2. You should hold back on getting it for the time being––there's a sale going on at Rite Aid this week, and I'm planning to pick up some goodies! Of course, if you want to have it in a timely manner, you may want to buy it yourself, but it will get to you eventually ;)

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    3. Haha, I don't need it until next summer, I guess. ;)

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  5. We used to have Prestige in drugstores here--not sure what happened. I have heard that this was a good liner though--too bad it didn't really work out for you in the warmer weather. Because of that, I KNOW it wouldn't last on my oily lids :/

    Also LOVE those eyeshadow swatches from your favorite FOTD products! EVERY single one is just gorgeous--is it part of a quad?? They go really well together!

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    1. I apparently picked up the wrong one! Total Intensity is the long-lasting one over the Waterproof and I'll be trying that soon, eventually.

      Haha, I was hoping someone would notice the shadows. It is a quad and it's one that everyone ignores and says is terrible! I think it's rather okay. :)

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  6. I'm ridiculously proud of you for rocking Amsterdam, YES LIZ! I would very much like to see it worn *cough* but I'll have to do with the mental images in my head :) The swatches of your faves totally elude me, but I'm loving the palette of shades a LOT. Hooray for fall! I have a handful of products I'm totally all over lately too, and it makes me happy :)

    Also - so envious you have Restless! That and Hidden Treasure were all I wanted from the Styleseeker collection but I resisted. Every time I see Restless though I have a twinge of regret. That's a lesson to me that anything I feel that strongly about, I should just give in - I can't be frugal all the damn time!

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    1. Thank you, thank you! Took a while but I have ARRIVED. Lipstick doom, here I come. :D

      Honestly, I tried taking some lip swatches, but nope. Don't want to scare off any readers. Some day!

      I haven't tried Restless on the lips yet but might today. I had no idea that it was a covetable item. Will report back if results are favourable. And yes, we can't be frugal ALL the time. If I hold out for too long, I tend to do insane things, so little sprees here and there keeps me sane. :)

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  7. ENJOY!!! Next time we meet up, you better be rocking a vampy lip. ;)

    Amsterdam looks gorgeous. Good purchase! I'm really intrigued by NARS' Pure Matte Lipsticks now. I should look into it next time I'm in the States. As if I need more lipstick...

    I made too many purchases in September, LOL. I bought nearly the entire MAC x Marilyn Monroe collection, plus three shades from A-England's Gothic Beauties collection, and tickets to see Ellie Goulding in a couple weeks... AND OH YEAH I WENT TO NYC AND SPENT WAY TOO MUCH MONEY THERE.

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    1. I PROMISE!!!!!!!!!!!

      And no more NARS for a while for me, though I am also into their Pure Mattes. Ugh. You at least owe it to yourself as an MUA to know what's out there. Me, I'll just be that ghost hanging around the Sephora counter all the time, lol.

      MAC x Marilyn looks like something you need to pick up as a collection - hard to pick just one item. Which Gothic Beauties did you get? I have my eye on Ophelia or Jane Eyre. They're so similar it's hard to tell which I'd like better. And the whole point of going to NYC is to spend money, mostly. :)

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    2. Lol, oddly enough, I got the three shades you didn't mention: Dorian Gray, Lady of Shalott, and Tess D'Urbervilles. The reason I didn't get Ophelia or Jane Eyre is that the shimmer just doesn't show up well enough (even in natural lighting!) for me to justify buying them. From all the swatches I saw online, they both look like plain black on the nail.

      On that note, I totally picked up Dior's new Diorific Vernis in Diva today because I AM A TOTAL SUCKER FOR THE PACKAGING.

      And for the MAC x Marilyn collection, the lipsticks will be the most coveted, FOR SURE. But all the product will undoubtedly sell out for the packaging alone. All the stores that had an unveiling party (exclusive invite-only preview) sold out of every single product from the collection, so they won't even have stock to sell on the actual launch day. Ridiculous.

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    3. WHAT, they're selling the little round pots of joy already??? Diva looks awesome, cute package or not. I want it, too.

      I saw the Marilyn stuff yesterday and the beauty powder was already sold out. Not crazy about any of the items though it's a nice collection as a whole. :)

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  8. No kidding. September practically flew by. Lovely items. That NARS lipstick certainly looks beautiful.

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    1. It is - you should try! I can't believe it's October. OCTOBER!

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  9. So many lovely things there Liz but I'm most excited that YOU'VE GOT REBEL!! We need to tweet each other so we can wear it on the same day!

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    1. Oh man, those days will be scarce but I will try to work up the nerve! Vita, you rebel, you. ;)

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  10. I love the way you put it — "a soul caught between the conflict of frivolity and frugality". I hear ya...

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    1. Lots of us there, I'm sure. At least we're not lonely. ;)

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  11. I need to try matte lips, it always looks so awesome on others...I am glad you kept Dior Poison, I love how dark it is:)

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    1. Oooh, I hope you find a good one! I never knew how awesome it could be until I tried Amsterdam on a whim. :)

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  12. Prestige finally getting some love LOL. I like how affordable that line is, I used to hoard those eyeliners in Granite b/c it was just the absolute perfect shade of dark grey. What is that taupe on the left??? REVEAL! REVEAL PLEASE! MM GOING CRAZY HERE! P.S. Good call on keeping Dior Poison, it's a beautiful color.

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    1. Seriously, where has it been all my life??? I can actually wear down this pencil. It's already been sharpened a few times. Knock me over with a feather!

      I shall reveal it on my next post. Maybe tonight. Thanks, Morzelz!!!

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  13. I recently bought rebel and i was like you,terrified from online swatches!but it ended up being my favorite lipstick!I can't wait for the weather to be colder here in greece so i can wear it every day!Nice pickups all of them!

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    1. REALLY! I'm excited now. Here's to cold weather and lots of Rebel-ing. :)

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  14. Liz + vamp-ish lippies = !!!!!!

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