Sunday, March 29, 2015

Outfit and Makeup of the Night - v. 6th Wedding Anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our 6th Wedding Anniversary last night (technically the date is today, but a Saturday night dinner seemed more special somehow). We went to an amazing restaurant in downtown Bethesda (if you're local) called 4935 Bar and Kitchen. Highly recommend. I presume the guy that helped us out was the general manager - I wish I remembered his name, he was awesome. Anyway, because we were going to a nice place and it was a special event, I dressed up. I usually don't share fashion on this blog, but ever since I've lost weight, it's definitely been more of interest and if you can find this dress in your local Banana Republic, it is amazing - one of the best parts of it is it's one you don't have to pull over your head, so you can do your makeup before without fear of squirting foundation on it. I doubt I would pay full price (BR stuff is generally overpriced to begin with), because that's just not my thing, but it is just sexy enough without being inappropriate - I'd say it's sexy/classy - not something to wear to work though unless you're short. I really should have taken pictures before we left the house because by the time we came home, I had consumed 2 glasses of wine (and that is generally enough to get me there - I'm a bit of a lighweight) and the first thing I did was kick of my high heels and take off my tights (and yes, it's still cold enough in MD to wear tights). Long intro aside, I thought I'd show my makeup, my outfit and the food (though the blue ambient lighting made all the food blue tinted - I swear, it wasn't like that in reality)!

(thank you Facebook for doing the photo montage for me - apologies for the dirty mirror)
Business in the front - party in the back. =)

So by the time I got home, everything was perfect makeup wise aside from my lipstick wearing off. Here's what I wore:

After sifting through a number of shots with lazy - I had something to drink - eyes - here are the two pictures I found that best represented the eye makeup. It was super easy for the record.

I applied Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer all over. Chanel Ombre Unique Showlights in Coquin was applied in the crease, just above and a little on the lid and Jemma Kidd i-Design in Vanity Fair was applied to darken the crease, in the outer-v and on the lower lashline all applied with the ipsy brush which is one of my favorite crease brushes. I curled my lashes with my newish Tweezerman eyelash curler and then applied a coat of the Cover Girl Clump Crusher by Lash Blash Very Black on the upper lashes; following by a coat of Maybelline Lash Discovery in Very Black (Waterproof) to seal the top and also applied this on the bottom. I really should just admit defeat and say this is empty and get a mascara topcoat so I can use my non waterproof mascara. Any recommendations?

For the face, I used my trusty Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream in #13 (a newer tube since finishing one last year). Underneath I used the Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer in fair and to set, the Urban Decay All Nighter. For blush I used Tarte's Amazonion clay 12-hour blush in Fearless and a Red Earth blush brush. This sample has lasted forever since it is so so so pigmented. It gives a lovely pink flush but I wish I could buy a mini since I would never in a million years get through a full size. I think I've used this sample 10 times and I still have more! My lips before consuming dinner were the Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss in #120 red-medium (I love these!), and my perfume of the evening was Bath and Body Works Forever Red.

I'll cut this off here and add photos of food behind the cut.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte in #101 Classic Ivory

(warning! This is a long one)

Based on the preliminary results from my foundation haul post on reviewing what I had picked up recently, I decided to start with the L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte in #101 Classic Ivory. If you've been reading Jeweled Thumb for any length of time, you should know that I have dry skin, so I wasn't sure how this would work for me. Granted, a lot of the reviews that were coming out were getting raves from both dry skin and oily skin girls alike so I thought I'd give it a try.

The other thing you probably know already is I have pale skin, which can sometimes be an issue when finding a color match, especially at the drugstore in high end brands too sometimes). Surprisingly, #101 Classic Ivory is a fairly good match for my skin; it seems to be just neutral enough to not go yellow or pink and it doesn't oxidize on me (though your mileage may vary). Keep in mind that some of the pictures below are in extremely yellow lighting.

The L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte in #101 Classic Ivory retails for around $12.99 (per the L'Oreal website) but as with most drugstore products, the price may vary by store and/or location and sales and coupons may impact the price at some stores. I don't recall how much I paid, but I think it was around the $10 mark.

L'Oreal claims the following:

Achieve a matte finish that won’t fall flat with this air-light, longwearing liquid formula. Lightweight and creamy, foundation goes on smooth with a demi-matte finish that lasts up to 24 hours—hiding imperfections for a smooth, clear complexion.

The website says to "use fingers or your favorite makeup brush" to apply, but the bottle says to "smooth onto skin in rolling motion for flawless coverage" but doesn't specify a tool.

I've tried this foundation twice using various methods and neither produce the look I tend to go for. What I get is a fairly flat matte look if I attempt to build it up to cover blemishes, pigmentation or redness, and even on areas that are clear, I get a dry flaky matte look. My skin doesn't produce a lot of natural oils, but the only time it starts looking decent is around hour 5 (and only with my 2nd attempt; my first attempt was done when I was out and about and seemed to look worse and worse).

First Try 3/8/2015
My initial attempt included first washing my face with my eve lom cleansing balm and really letting it sink in, almost like a hydrating mask, before removing it with a slightly steamy muslin cloth. I patted my face dry and applied a hydrating moisturizer (Eclos Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream - PR sample) and an oil (Palmer's Cocoa Butter Oil for Face). Then I let those sink in (see - I really tried!). I didn't use a primer because usually I don't need one after pampering my face so well. I used a moistened beauty blender to bounce the product onto my face. I was surprised that it was light in texture and I was impressed with the color match. Bounce pounce bounce pounce. I built it up to a reasonable medium coverage before putting my glasses back on and checking myself out in the mirror. No good. So then I sprayed my face with the shu uemura Depsea Water Facial Mist and waited a few seconds to see if it did anything. Not really, but I had to leave the house so I sprayed myself with my Urban Decay setting spray.

After all of that, this is what I was left with (granted, these were the worst looking areas and if you stepped back, my skin looked a little dry, but not horrible).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Review: The Wet Brush Squirt

For someone with thick tangle-prone hair, I am always looking for some magical implement to tame it. I tried the Tangle Teezer, which only worked when my hair was sopping wet, but didn't reach my scalp when dry or semi-dry. I finally discovered hair-ties through Birchbox (referral link) which worked and didn't break after two weeks, but I'm still trying to find that perfect brush, especially since my Tangle Teezer had an unfortunate demise*. So, I bought the Squirt version of The Wet Brush, which promises the following:

Designed specifically for wet hair, the Squirt's Intelliflex™ bristles are super thin, strong and flexible. These bristles will glide through any hair type combing out tangles effortlessly. The bristles' flexibility enables protective and pain-free detangling while the SofTips™ on the very top of the bristles massage the scalp to stimulate circulation at the follicle. They are firm enough to comb through knots, yet flexible enough to be gentle on the scalp. Our IntelliFlex™ bristles bounce back to their original form after each stroke eliminating all the hair breakage and pain that used to be associated with brushing your hair. The Squirt can be used on wet or dry hair and works on extensions and wigs.
  • These bristles will glide through any hair type combing out tangles effortlessly nope
  • [...] while the SofTips™ on the very top of the bristles massage the scalp to stimulate circulation at the follicle nope
  • They are firm enough to comb through knots nope

So basically, on dry hair, similarly to the tangle teezer, but maybe even a little worse, this doesn't actually reach my scalp. I simply have too much hair for it to penetrate the layers and the hair is too thick. Similarly, when it's wet, I have to section it off into maybe 6 or so parts for the bristles to actually reach my scalp and even then, I can barely feel it. They are simply too flexible and not long and stiff enough. I get better results using the pads of my fingers, my hands or a wide toothed comb.

So, for me, The Wet Brush is a bit of a fail, but I'm keeping it around since I bought it the last time I was in NYC at Ricky's NYC and I'm way way way past any return policy if they have one. Thankfully, I only bought the small version and didn't spring for the large one, which appeared to be about the same, albeit smaller. If you have any brush recommendations for thick hair, please let me know! I'm always eager to give one a shot (well, let's be real, reasonable priced only). 

* A warning for tangle teezer users. I'm not sure if they specifically tell you not to bring your tangle teezer in the shower, but it was where I had the most luck and was able to use it, but the seal where the two pieces of plastic snap together (where you hold onto the brush and the part with the bristles) was not quite tight enough on mine and gathered water and thus mold and I had to throw the whole thing away. Just be careful! Mold in the shower, especially near your person is dangerous - throw in an already wet moist environment and that is not healthy. Anyway, that was yet another reason for my purchase.

Monday, March 16, 2015

SpaceNK on Gilt City + Extra Discount! (Hurry!) is a favorite online shop of mine. In addition to not being entirely overwhelming *coughSephoracough*, they often run nice sales and promotions from time to time, their shipping is extraordinary fast, always free over $50 and they have great customer service.
Right now you can get a $100 credit to their website for a mere $50 AND Gilt City (affiliate link) is currently running a 25% off sale with code SPRING25 AND you can get 6% cashback with Extrabux (affiliate link). Amazing deal. Don't forget that spacenk has their own rewards program and you get $5 in rewards back with every $100 purchase so you'll also get an additional $5 (don't forget to join their NDulge rewards program if you haven't already)! I couldn't resist sharing right away!

See some of my top picks from SpacenkNK below (shop sense platform):

fine print:

  • Redeem by: Sunday, April 12, 2015
  • This offer is subject to Terms and Conditions
  • Limit one package total per member; limit one voucher per transaction
  • Credit is not valid toward sale items
  • Available in the US only
  • Valid online only
  • Not valid towards gift cards
  • Minimum purchase of $100 required (before shipping and/or taxes) or remaining balance will be forfeited
  • Entire credit must be used in one transaction; no change or credit returned
  • Credit cannot be applied toward tax or shipping; if applicable, tax and shipping will be charged upon redemption
  • Offer cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or promotions
  • This offer is final sale and non-refundable
  • After purchase you will receive a Gilt City voucher via email with a unique 20 digit character voucher number; your voucher code will not activate until 24 hours post-purchase on Gilt City
  • Voucher may be used to obtain the discount until April 12, 2015; after this date, the voucher is valid for the amount paid for five years from date of purchase, longer if provided by law.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2014 Empties Part IV

I would call this the makeup empties post, but it only consists of foundation-type products, bases, mascaras and lip balm. I didn't use up an eyeshadow or blush in 2014, but I wasn't really expecting to. Onward!
I'm fairly pleased that I finished not one, but two foundations in 2014: the Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup in 110 Ivory (which I loved except for the lid) and the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF42 PA+++ in #13, which I loved so much and tried to get every last drop out that I busted the seal between the squeeze tube and the dispenser. Don't believe me? Look below. I figured at that point that I could open my back up tube as it had gotten super messy and a bit unhygienic.
I also finished the Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in CIA which I love which also thoroughly destroyed the last uses of my favorite ever pencil sharpener by DuWop, which of course, they don't make anymore. The pencil is so short, that I can't actually take the lid off, so you'll have to take my word for it!
In the more general makeup department, I finished a Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray in the infamous dermstore gwp packaging (4oz) and a small size of Philosophy Purity (1oz) which I use to clean my brushes. Speaking of which, I'll be keeping the small little bottle for travel (and I also keep one by my sink when I use my beauty blender).
In the eye department, I used up what I think is the last of my old packaged Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potions (or at least I hope so, as they are probably bad by now anyway) and a small sample of the Pixi Eye Bright Primer which I found worked as well as the UD, though I didn't find the brightening effect as significant as one would to warrant purchasing one over the other.
I also finished two mascara: Revlon 3D Volume in Black (Waterproof) which I don't recall being remarkable in anyway and the Lash Food Conditioning Drama Mascara* which I loved, but haven't purchased mostly due to the price point (was a PR sample).
Last but not least, I finished 2 lipbalms, which is fairly low for me. Blistex Simple & Sensitive which I never reviewed but is very nice (and cheap!) and I would definitely repurchase once I got through some of my stash and The Body Shop Vitamin E lip care stick which I know and have memorized the name of even though the writing has wiped off as it's my husband's favorite from The Body Shop - though sometimes, I grab myself a stick - or steal one of his.

So there you have it, the 2nd to last empties from 2014. In the effort of decluttering and destashing and generally getting rid of things I don't use, I have recently put quite a bit of my too big (for me) clothing on a site called Poshmark. I had been consigning quite a bit, but this gives a better percentage (80% versus 50 or less) and you reach a much larger audience. Anyway, most of my "closet" as they say, is in the size 14-18 range, but I also have a few pieces that just aren't my thing. Take a look if you're interested and I follow everyone that follows me back. It's kind of fun, if not thoroughly addictive like most online social media-esque sites. I'm there under the same name: jeweledthumb.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dollar Tree Haul

Every so often, I pop into Dollar Tree to see if they have any makeup goodies to be had (though mostly all I find are either ELF products that are already a dollar or no-name brands I'm not interested in). This time, however, I hit the jackpot and I've heard others in different states finding similar items so get thee to your local Dollar Tree!

I go through bronzer at a glacial pace since I'm so fair, but I couldn't resist picking up one when I saw this! Physicians Formula Healthy Wear!
More Physicians Formula, if you can believe it! I wonder if other stores got different stock, but there was only one colorway at mine. This is the Shimmer Strips in Smoky Hazel Eyes #1150. You can still find this packaging at places like from $8.71 - $9.59!
I also found some Milani, but there wasn't a whole lot of variety and some of the items had been tampered with. I managed to find two that were still safely secured, a Shadow Eyez in Royal Purple and a lip liner in Rose Pink (I hope this works well with my Revlon lipstick).
In the nail arena, I found two packs of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects in unusually bright cheery spring colors #520 Spring Fever and #560 Tie-Dye For (usually it's neon greens or seasonal collections only- but these will actually be season appropriate soon - before they have dried out - both of the colors are on though on sale from their normal $9, so there's hope they haven't completely dried out!)
And finally, I found 1 lone pack of Essie nail appliques, for $1 of course! This color is still on for $10.25!!
Have you seen any awesome Dollar Tree sightings lately?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

How to: Spread Your Unspreadable Lotions and Butters

You may recall that I was complaining a bit about thick lotions and butters. While I need these things on my dry sky (especially in the winter), applying them isn't always easy. I know many people say to rub your hand together and what-not to warm up the product but let's face it. It's cold, ever since I lost weight, I'm always cold and my hands are freezing. So the hand warming-up method doesn't exactly work.

Well, I figured it out! It came to me when I was trying to heat up some wax to wax my eyebrows since the eye wax warmer I bought didn't exactly work. I took some boiling water, stuck my wax pot in a glass pan and magically, my wax began to melt. Now, boiling water isn't necessary, but I tried this on some Egyptian Magic which is partially wax based, some super thick The Body Shop body butters and ran a bit of a steaming bird bath in my bathroom sink and low and behold, not only does the consistency get more application friendly, but I use less product, it sinks in faster, and it's warm when I apply it!

I don't think I'll ever apply super thick body butters straight from the tub again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

2014 Empties Part III

It's Part III of my 2014 empties (reference Parts I and II here and here). This time it's Bath and Body (and sorta miscellaneous - but they involve the body, so they mostly count).

Cuticles & Super Dry Skin
  • Tarte Maracuja Oil 5ml - While I do love the tarte oil on my face, I found this little baby size perfect for applying to my cuticles.
  • Atopalm - This came in a beauty box or a free sample with an order. I think I may have another one hiding somewhere. I hated it on my face. It was too sticky and thick and hard to spread (repeat for any other skin), but when it came to my cuticles, it was awesome! Seriously, I have to go digging for my other jar. Also, I did like it on kind of dry and crusty (ew sorry) blemishes to kind of gently exfoliate them on the go. I carried this with me and used every last sticky drop.
  • Shea Terra Menthe Cardamon Ultimate Moisturizing Body Cream - Similarly to the Atopalm, I found this simply too thick to spread, even though my body tends to be super dry. But then I tried using this on my cuticles and loved it! I think in my favorites post I mentioned that I'd likely try another scent, but I wouldn't say no to one of these little jars again.

I don't think I've technically reviewed it, but I love the Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream as you can see above. I literally got every last drop out of that tube and now I give it and the lip balm to all of my friends as gifts since they are so awesome. This was the 2.5floz size in the old packaging.

Someone remind me for the zillionth time that I should only buy small minis of products so I actually use them up and don't get bored. Not that I'll listen, but I should!
  • The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Body Butter (50ml) and The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Body Scrub (50ml) - These were delicious. My only qualm was the body scrub lasted for maybe 2 or 3 showers and the butter lasted much longer. But unlike some TBS scrubs in the past, this one was actually scrubby! I'd rebuy both products, but again, I should stay with the small sizes.
  • The Body Shop Satsuma Beautifying Oil - I love these oils. I usually use them as a shaving pre-treat (which is reasonable only if you get them on sale) or after shaving. I don't really use them on my hair or my face though I have occasionally. Something about putting a fragranced product on my face, I don't know, it just seems strange to me. Anyway, I will certainly repurchase, although for the first time in many years, I have let my Love Your Body membership lapse; trying to declutter a bit in the bath & body department.
  • Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Honey & Coriander Body Lotion 27ml - Apparently I was into citrus scents last year. Anyway, this was actually a hotel sample which I thoroughly enjoyed while traveling and used up. I think I may have another lurking somewhere... hmm... Not sure I'd repurchase, but it was quite nice!
  • Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Blueberry - As I mentioned in my review, I wasn't a huge fan of this, but I did use it up. Not only did I use it up, I cut the tube since it was rather thick and I know I didn't get all of it out. There are cheaper shaving creams out there that are superior, especially for ladies with dry skin so I wouldn't purchase.
  • Le Couvent des Minimes Skin Softening Honey & Shea Body Balm 50ml - (I am having a minor freak out as I can't find this on their website - thank goodness for back ups!) So if your legs feel as freaked out as mine do on the daily and especially after shaving, then you would (sigh) love this stuff. It's a balm, but the butters actually melt in your hands unlike some high intensive body care items (hint: the items I wound up using as cuticle butters) and it easily spreads over even the roughest of skin. I like shaving (well actually, I hate shaving), but after shaving, I slather my legs in this and put on a pair of comfy pajama pants and in my morning, I don't feel like I want to claw my legs off. Now where are those back ups... all this cleaning has messed up my messy organization. 
  • The Body Shop Spiced Vanilla Bath & Shower Gel - I used this as a shower gel and it lasted forever. But I got through the full 8.4floz bottle! Go me! This was lovely and a bit thicker than The Body Shop's normal shower gels (which are a bit more runny). But I seriously don't need anymore shower gel and I don't know how some people get through them so quickly!
  • LUSH Happy Hippy Body Gel 3.3floz - I don't know why I expected this to smell like patchouli, but it was a lovely citrus scent (again with the citruses). The only annoying thing was my exfoliating gloves kept on getting caught in the cap.
  • Philosophy Love Sweet Love 1oz - I love these little 1oz sizes and they are great for traveling. It doesn't hurt that I've found the Philosophy shower gels some of my favorites as they tend to be slightly thicker than the others. I'm going to keep this little bottle around since I have a big (I know I know) Love Sweet Love to decant.
And finally, some slightly random bits that don't really fit into any of the other categories:
  • Butter London Powder Room Lacquer Remover - Well they weren't kidding about the name. This stuff smells vile (well unless you love the smell of acetone mixed with baby powder). This came free in a set and as you can see, there's still some left - but I won't subject myself or my husband to anymore of this. Just no.
  • Fancy Dove Deodorant that's supposed to make your hair not grow as fast... meh
  • Spongeables Pedi-Scrub Foot Buffer - Awesome in the summer and lasts for way more than 5 washes. Sorry for the packaging. It got a little damp. Anyway, these are great if your feet are feeling a little funky; either from socks and boots in the winter or sandals in the summer. A little bit of scrubbing (though be gentle the first few times - they are rough), some warm water and your feet will be looking and smelling like new. Love.
Two 2014 empties posts remain! Now to toss these!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Drugstore Foundation Haul & Question

So over the past few weeks, I've treat myself to a few new drugstore foundations. The Cover Girl one that I really want to try has remained elusive as many of the stores I have gone to don't have the #105 shade in stock or seem to plan to for that matter as it's not a part of the display. Regardless, I have all of these new goodies. Is there a particular foundation you would want me to review first? Remember, I have dry pale skin so I'm curious how some of the matte formulas will perform. Anyone?

What I have at the moment:
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish with Comfort Serum Skin Perfecting Foundation in #091 light ivory (also a bit elusive to find)
  • Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless in #110 Porcelain 
  • New York Color (NYC) BB cream 5 in 1 Skin Perfector #01 Light
  • New York Color (NYC) BB cream 5 in 1 Skin Perfector Instant Matte #01 Light
  • L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte in #101 Classic Ivory
  • Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix in #110 Ivory

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