Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'm in Love with My beautyblender



I am jumping on the bandwagon here. I got a beautyblender for Christmas, and after more than half a year of using it, I assure you, it is my favorite makeup applicator of all time. If you like a lightweight feel to your makeup while still achieving excellent coverage, this is your new best friend. It definitely takes a little more time than your average foundation brush, but it blends my makeup in such a way that it's almost impossible to tell I'm wearing any.

To use it, you just get it wet and squeeze out all the excess moisture, then bounce it around your face until your makeup looks perfect. I like to apply my foundation to the center of my face with my fingers first, then use this to even everything out. Quick tip: use the pointy end to really get your undereye coverage exactly how you need it.

beautyblender is available from Sephora for $20.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What I'm Reading, Week 33

Two miniatures from the Sarajevo Haggadah

Just yesterday, I finished reading Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, a fictional account of the history of the very real Sarajevo Haggadah. The novel, unfortunately, failed to captivate me as intensely as the idea of the haggadah itself. Certainly, I have no complaints on the way it was written, or the characterization, or the plot in general, which definitely had enough thrills for the average fiction reader. But for a history junkie like me, I just kept thinking about the haggadah, and who really created it, and the people who used it for their seders over centuries past. This haggadah in particular is also of special note because it is one of the most elaborately illustrated and illuminated texts to survive from the medieval Jewish community in Spain.

If you're looking for an exciting story with a historical setting, you should definitely check this out, but if you have an interest in medieval European history, I think you'll find yourself wanting to go more in depth than is intended in the scope of this book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Skin So Dull? Get 'Bland.



I recently used up the last of my precious pot of Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm, and as much as I would like to say that I already had a backup/money is no object, I didn't/it is. Still, the thought of going without a cleanser in the balm category makes me cringe considering how much more lovely it has make my skin texture. With that on my mind, I decided I would give the much talked about Ultrabland from Lush a try.

I've had it for about two months now, and I feel that it is good. Not great, and certainly not a true replacement for my beloved, but I do like it. It's best as a morning cleanser, I find, as the waxy texture doesn't lend itself to the sort of massaging I use to remove makeup. It's much thicker than many of the balm cleansers I've tried, so you really do need a warm washcloth to remove it. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped, and I feel like it's had a bit of a smoothing effect for my face. The jury is still out on whether or not I'll repurchase, but while I still have it, I'll quite enjoy using it. Good thing, since a little seems to be going a verrrrrrrry long way.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mani Monday: Jelly Sandwich



I used to hate jelly polishes, but I have seen the error of my ways. In fact, I recently mentioned one in a post about Julep polishes. For those of you who have lives that revolve around things other than nail polish who aren't familiar with this polish finish, it describes a translucent polish that looks a bit squishy on the nail, for lack of a better descriptor. Certainly, there are bloggers out there who have scads of swatches you can google to see what I'm talking about. Go ahead, go look, I'll wait.

Okay, moving on.

Generally, I found these sorts of polishes a bit annoying, as one of the primary reasons I started doing my nails all the time was so I didn't spend the entire day cleaning out the stuff that accumulates under my nails, and being able to see through a polish kind of defeated this goal. This, however, was before I became aware of the what is called a "jelly sandwich." Basically, you do a coat or two of the jelly, then a coat of a glitter polish, and then top it with some more jelly polish.

The effect is intoxicating.

There are some nail looks that make me want to grow witch nails just so I can have more space to paint and then look at the pretty effect. This is definitely one of them. Unfortunately, my former aversion to this finish means I don't have a wide selection in my absurd collection. The drugstore brands also seem to largely stick to opaque cremes or shimmers, as well. I can't blame them, they do sell, and I have more than a few. Still, it's awfully annoying that I can't just run over to CVS and pick up a new jelly shade with which to experiment.

Have you ever tried a jelly sandwich?