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Beauty: Luxurious Hair Edition

19 Jul

I’m trying to grow out my hair… again. Every couple of years I try this and then once it hits a certain length, I chop it all off.

For example- 2007 the year of the longest since middle school:

So Luxurious

Wig Hair











So last summer I decided I should start back down the luxury path so I’ve been doing the big grow out. It’s sooo hard.

July, 2011

Last summer










I actually haven’t gotten that far in the growing process but  am hoping to have luxurious hair by the fall and maybe a no bang move? So many people either have really defined bangs or none at all and I have had this side guy since college so maybe it’s time for a no bang, but I think I’m getting a little ahead of myself, for now I need to focus on keeping growing and not cutting.

Hair keeps cycling. Luxury commence.


Dungeon Nails: French Edition

22 Jun

Coming soon to dungeon nails:

Come to the dungeon and let me try this out on you.




Beauty: Concealer Edition

22 Jun

Awhile ago I wrote about an article in Glamour and they briefly mentioned Almay Clear Complexion Concealer. Last week my skin was getting that breakout coming on feeling and I picked some up.
Things I like about it:
* 1.0% salicylic acid which is more then other brands
* Color matches skin tone nicely
* Powdery texture finish

It conceals and really helped clear up the breakout spots in two days, seriously, two days. Thanks Glamour.

Beauty: Products Edition 2

9 Jun

I’m trying some new products. It’s Ulta coupon time and I took advantage of the $3.50 off combined with several sale offers to pick up a few things.

This months products also fall into my search for budget friendly beauty supplies.The following items are all under $11.

The quick rundown:
1. Dove Ultimate Go Sleeveless in Pearl Finish: This deodorant claims softer, smoother underarm skin in just five days and then you can go SLEEVELESS! While I don’t understand the appeal of showing off my armpits I liked the smell and $3.64 price.

2. NYX Lipgloss w/mega shine in Natural: As close to natural “natural” lip color as I’ve ever tried. It should be noted, Ulta is running a buy one get one 1/2 off sale on NYX products this month and this brand and particular gloss are at the top of most internet lists budget friendly quality products.

3. Ulta Professional Lash Primer: I stumbled upon this in the clearance section and for $3.99 I figured I could afford to give it a go. I’ve used it once but so far I’m not to impressed, it’s clumpy.

4. Texas Collection by O.P.I in Don’t mess with O.P. I.: Come get dungeon nailed and judge the color for yourself. p.s. I love the color.

5. NYX 10 Color Eye Shadow Palette in Champagne & Caviar: Raving internet ravers gave this high marks and 10 colors for $10.99 is worth a try. My poor abilities in applying eyeshadow makes me hesitant to give any opinion but the few colors I managed to smudge on seemed fairly color rich.

Now go get your products on or something.

Beauty: Mascara Edition

2 Jun

I’m trying a new mascara. I have been religiously using Bourjois Coup de Theatre mascara for years.

Once upon a time I used any drug store brand that was on sale, then one day Ulta had a sale on Coup de Theatre mascara, I tried it out and was hooked. Recently Bourjois has for whatever reason decided to pull the brand out of the US and while you can still get it a few places online when I need mascara, I need mascara.

So, I’m trying out Buxom Lash by Bare Minerals. I decided to try Buxom because it was a top rated mascaras on Sephora’s website that came in at a mere $18, while other top rated brands ran $22 and up.

So far, I have mixed feelings about it. The Bourjois mascara included a lengthening mascara as well as the mascara, two products for the price of one but Buxom doesn’t include the lengthener and I’m to cheap to buy an additional product. The result has been shorter less full lashes which keeps the eye from popping like it does with a false lash look the lengthening mascara creates. If I bought a lengthening mascara I think the results I’m getting would be dramatically different but I really want one product to do everything I want it to do! Reading reviews on I’m in the minority of people who don’t agree this mascara volumizes.

The one thing Buxom has going for it is it’s brush is really full and keeps clumps at bay. Additionally the formula is light so it doesn’t feel like your lashes are being weighed down or drying out. Overall Buxom is doing it’s job but I think I’m going to have to keep looking for my new go to mascara.

You can get Buxom Lash exclusively at Sephora if you wanted to decide for yourself about it.

Magazine Suggestions: Glamour’s “go from this…to this (in 4 minutes)” Edition

20 May

I’m trying out Glamour’s 4 minute makeover from the June edition. The article claims to give you a flawless look in 4 minutes and 38 seconds and advertises use of minimal products.

I liked the idea of a flawless look in four minutes but one look at the actual step by step kind of gave away the fact it would take, me, longer then 4 minutes to achieve anything close to the magazines final look:

So many instructions, took me atleast 20 mins to read them all!

I don’t expect you’ll be able to read all the tiny text so I’ll give you the quick overview of the steps and you can decide whether or not the look is worth all the products and if it’s actually 4 min. achievable (which would make me just incredibly slow.) I won’t go into all the techniques for application either, you can buy the magazine for that but I will give some thoughts on each step.

Magazine Says:Step 1: Hide Dark Circles: The first step of all: Apply a moisturizer with SPF to help concealer glide on smoothly.
I Say: I’m on board with the moisturizer as it is always my first step anyway. Apply your concealer with a brush, and if you use one, apply you’re eyelid primer at this time.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Moisturizer with SPF 55 and Loreal Skin Genesis Eye Serum

Smashbox High Definition Concealer and NYX High Definition Eye Shadow Base

Magazine Says: Step 2: A Touch Of Base: To get perfectly even skin the speedy way use a foundation stick.
I Say: I don’t generally use foundation only tinted moisturizer once in a while but for the purpose of trying all the steps I applied my tinted moisturizer to any red spots around the nose and used a light dusting of translucent powder.

Almay Smart Shade Smart Balance and Loreal Bare Naturale Powder

Magazine says: Step 3: Reassess and Perfect!: If a pesky zit or mark is still poking through, go back and hide it with an extra layer of concealer.
I Say: If I had any blemishes at the time of trying this out I would have done this.
Magazine says: Step 4: Now blush!: Forget shading and sculpting cheekbones with a brush and powder, and try a cream kind instead for that glow-from-within effect.
I say: This is probably the only step I was most pleased with the result. I have used cream blush in the past and had some in my makeup bag but it seemed every time I applied it I looked like a clown, I also use Almay’s smart shade which is supposed to figure out the color based on my skin temperature (?) However I figured out if I put a few dabs of color on the apples of my checks and pulled up lightly it really did give a glow- from- within effect.

Almay Smart Shade Blush

Magazine Says: 5. Apply Shimmery Eye Base: For pro-looking eye makeup in no time, apply a wash of sheer, shimmery cream shadow from lash lines to brow bones using your pointer finger.
I Say: The article suggested Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Copper Canyon as it has all the right colors for the look. So I picked it up and have to say was not surprised to discover the color lacking.
I was given some makeup advice several years ago by a friend who worked for laura mercier that was essentially: you should spend more on eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick because they are made with a higher content of pigment which makes the colors more vibrant, for everything else, drugstore brands will do.
So, having taken that advice years ago I’ve bought maybe two drug store brand eyes hadows since but thought after years makeup might’ve progressed but as far as this particular product is concerned it hasn’t. They suggest setting the color with a powder eyeshadow in the same color and which for me, made the colors better but leaves me wondering why you wouldn’t just use the powder in the first place and skip the creme?
Magazine Says: Step 6: Make’ Em pop.: Next, use bronze and gold creme shadows (both are in that same Revlon palette) to give eyes depth.
I say: The bronze and gold creme shadows weren’t much better then the shimmer but the powder eyeshadow I used is what helped make the color pop. They also suggested putting a little gold under the eyes which I thought was a nice effect.

So many products!

Magazine Says: Step 7: Add Some Definition:For more intensity, rim your upper lash lines with a brown liner pencil and smudge upward with a shadow brush.
I Say: My eyes lids aren’t as big as some peoples, so I find anytime I use eyeliner and “smudge it up” it tends to cover the whole lower half of my lid, so I just applied a thin line at the top of my lashes and didn’t smudge a thing.
You’re also supposed to add your mascara at this point which is fine but if you plan to curl your lashes, curl them before applying any creme shadow, as the curler will smudge the colors. Apply your mascara whenever you want.

Magazine Says: Step 8: Get Lush Looking Lips:If yours are dry or at all chapped, gently buff with a damp washcloth and apply lip balm.
I Say: Applying lipstick, is applying lipstick. Start by applying to the center of your mouth, yada, yada, yada… Berry colors always look great but it looks especially nice with the eyeshadow colors used in this article.

laura mercier and paul frank for lipsmackers

So after way more products then seems necessary and more then 4 minutes here is how it turned out for me:

I hadn't applied lipstick yet and I hate picture so much I forget you should smile.

The look wasn’t quite like pictured but I realize I’m not a model and don’t live in photoshop. However I do like the gold under the eyes effect and the blush.

My take away: If I want a similar look in four minutes I’d only moisturize, conceal, blush, powder shadow (but probably one or two, shades, not three), mascara, and lip gloss. Which is basically what girls do anyway right?

Beauty: Products Edition

18 May

I have several new hair/ makeup/ skin care products I have been trying. I get into product kicks once in a while, where I hear about all these new products and I want to try them all right away and see which are worth the hype. Products I have in the works are as follows:

Works best if applied before drying hair.

Haven't noticed much difference between this brand and something like John Frieda

Amazing Pigment

Review to come later.

Fits right inside my purses makeup bag!


Eye Lid Primer for eyeshadow, best product of the bunch.

Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Copper Canyon- So-So, so far.

Mixed feelings so far

If any of these turn out really good, I’ll do some follow up, but right now I’m just trying them out.

Dungeon Nails: Beginings and Tips Edition

6 May

I’m trying to perfect my home manicure. I am a life time nail bitter but last year after one perfect salon manicure I became a little obsessed with keeping my nails neat and polished. I have a friend on par with the professionals when it comes to a manicure and she’s always willing to do them for me but since she lives an hour away and I’m to cheap to pay the $12 to have them done weekly, I began the journey to perfect my home manicure. I’ve never had the steadiest hands but since I started doing my nails I’m happy to say I’ve gone from a bloodied finger effect after a coat of red to basically getting polish only on my nails.

So, a couple months ago I started doing nails for a couple friends in my kitchen which happens to be in the basement and so is referred to as the dungeon, hence Dungeon Nails was born. It’s a fun late night hang out thing that is mostly funny, and almost always cocktail prompted, but it’s given me a chance to further my quest for the perfect home manicure.

I recently read this article in Allure Magazine and it’s actually helped me step up my polishing game. The online article isn’t as comprehensive as the print version but still has some basic tips for getting you’re DIY manicure to last a few days longer then normal. One tip, not listed online, I recommend is painting the top edge of the nail. It seals the nail by not leaving a gap between nail and polish. If there’s that gap liquids can get in and polish chips more easily.

I’m pretty brand loyal brand to Essie for color and products but OPI is just as good. Strange Beautiful is pretty decent, although their colors have a tendency to become tacky in texture sooner rather than later which renders the polish pretty useless.

Products I’ve been working with and mostly like include:

You don’t actually need all of these things for a nice manicure, you can file, base coat, two coats of polish, top coat and still have a great looking set of digits. If you’re interested the above products are all sold at Ulta or can be found in my dungeon. Come get you’re nails did!