FOTD: Graphic Orange

I think it’s fair to say that orange and gold are just my colors. They just are. Some people look great in reds or blues or purples… but give me a golden orange glow and my face just drinks in the radiance. I can sort of get away with yellows the same way, but orange is really where it’s at.

fotd graphic orangefotd graphic orange 1fotd graphic orange 3fotd graphic orange 2

A really long time ago I did a graphic eye and an orange lip (inspired by Lisa Eldridge) and so much has changed in terms of my skin and what not. So I thought I’d do it again. For the base I used the new Natasha Denona Phenomatic Flawless Texture Foundation (I have no idea why the name needs to do that much) in #5, which is a dead match for me. The coverage is sheer to medium and dries demi matte. It’s very comfortable on the skin, so dry skin types likely won’t have an issue using it. I used Tom Ford Gold Dust around the edges of my face, and the coral center of the new Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer as blush. I dusted MAC Amber Lights (show of hands: who knows how long this eye shadow has been around? I bought it when it first came out, before Estee Lauder got their hands on this company. I think I’ve been doing this a minute y’all. Sheesh) on the lid and under the waterline. The liner is Urban Decay Zero on the waterline and Aurora felt liner on the lash line (I really need to throw that thing out. It’s not good).

Now the lips… the lips! The base is Shiseido Lipstick in Day Lily, with Armani Ecstasy Lacquer in Tangerine on top.

I love a good orange. I need to wear this color more often.

FOTD: Memorial Day

*rubbing eyes*

I’m up.

Holidays mean nothing to the small business owner; What needs to be done needs to be fotd memorial daydone. So emails, promotions, sorting, order details and caffeine boost oversight is the order of the day. Oooh to the caffeine boost. I’m so excited y’all, and I might have to take down that disclaimer about using it at night because I used it Friday night and went RIGHT TO SLEEP like normal. Then again, caffeine really doesn’t have that jolting effect on me like it does other people so there’s that. Maybe I’m a mutant. 😉

I took a minute for makeup ’cause I promised a dawn coffee meet and I wanna look like I tried a little bit. I kept the skin simple with MAC Face & Body (I’ll spare you the spiel today) and Charlotte Tilbury Pressed Powder in Medium. Jury is still out on that powder. I love the finish but I’m not sure if it’s too much for my oily skin. I still prefer Innisfree, but I’m trying to be open. Highlight is Becca Pearl (all that shine is completely manufactured for a change) and mascara is Armani Black Ecstasy. Lips are a combo of Lipstick Queen’s Seven Deadly Sins in Lust and Envy. I set the whole thing with Farmacy Skin Dew because… dewy!

Yes, the brows look a bit crazed on purpose. Or maybe not on purpose. It’s one of those things that got outta control with too much ‘definition’ and I was dangerously close to looking like an Instagram Lemming. So I brushed brushed brushed all the product out and decided that it was just gonna be what it’s gonna be. So there it is.

Let me get back to work. Love, Light, and Laughter… Always.

Peeling and What Not

Hey y’all.

I was watching My Invisible Chrysalis (CONGRATS on the Baby Michelle!) about her pregnancy acne and how she’s decided to stay away from peeling because bad memories… and I don’t blame her.

You guys should see her TCA Peel video. OMG. When she talks about turning purple… Y’ALL! I don’t even turn pink, and the peels that I get self-neutralize. She had to disable comments because people are so ignorant, but there are some things that are not true in the video (which is why you have to consult a professional). Her results are not normal for people of color. Her results are normal for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

But she’s a massive DIYer so it’s no surprise that she dove head first into something that should really only be handled by professionals. When I first started experimenting with peels, the first thing I researched was ph, what kinds of acids do what, and how to properly deal with your skin pre, during, and post peel. I also consulted a professional. Now that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do some truly ignorant mess in the meantime… so let me just clear that up right now.

As I am in the middle of a routine peel right now, it’s kind of at the front of my lobe. I’m on day 3 and nearly done. I have some minor peeling on my forehead, along my jawline, on peelingmy chin and across my nose. I should be good to go (and cleared for that brow situation) by the end of the week.

I’ve been known to do some heinous mess to my face. Battling acne since puberty will cause you to make some choices that people with naturally great skin couldn’t even fathom. But even with dotting a 70% glycolic acid solution on a stubborn spot (NOT RECOMMENDED), I’ve never ended up looking like someone who thought they were Danerys Stormborn. Chile. When Jennifer got hold of my face, she educated me even further about peels and ph levels and upgraded what I already knew and… well… you guys see my face.

Peels work when done by a professional or with a WHOLE LOT of professional guidance. But all you have to do is google ‘chemical peel burns’ to know that it takes a split second for things to go horribly wrong, and sometimes people can’t come back from that scarring. We live in a digital space where everyone thinks they know everything, and will fight years of SCIENCE because Instagram got them thinking they are a superstar. And with unethical websites offering chemicals that shouldn’t be handled by Dick and Jane… EVER… it makes you pause.

I will get routine peels until they no longer serve me. But trust me when I tell you that I completely understand when someone shuts it all the way down.

You saw my girl’s pictures. I would have shut it down too.



On Skin, Selfies, and Salon Kazumi

I had to cover the grand opening of Salon Kazumi in Beverly Hills for the magazine, so I slapped on some CC Cream and By Terry Glace (literally… slapped), a little gold and a little nude and headed out.

Because the event was pretty straightforward and cozy and there wasn’t much to do besides drink and make idle chat with random strangers, I decided to be raggedy and take a selfie in the the salon selfiebathroom. The lighting in that sucker is soooo designed to make you look like a supermodel. 😀 I was in there trying to figure out the configuration because I swear I’m doing that in my own bathroom. Think I’m playing.

I mean, look at that skin! Now, granted it was day 1 of my latest peel so my skin was all about that glow. In the coming days I’m gonna look like a reptile until the skin breaks and reveals the new stuff. But with just a hit of the By Terry Glace and CC cream, I got what is essentially my own skin on beauty crack. Eyes are the gold color from the Lunasol Germinate palette, MUFE felt tip liner, and Tilbury’s Legendary Mascara (what? I paid for it so I’m gonna use it… sometimes). Blush is Chanel’s In Love and lips are Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited in Beige.

We ended up with samples of a shampoo and treatment that I can’t wait to try. I love the new space. If I can gather enough coins, I might just pop in there for a cut and color. Kazumi (who is just as effervescent and pleasant as all get out. Got a smile like Melanie Mills, who is one of my favorite humans) is known as the ‘brunette whisperer’ and this brunette can always use a boost. 😉

On Skin, Self-Care and a Really Bad Day

I’m not going to call this a ‘no makeup makeup’ because you can see that I’m actually fotd barewearing some. But this look came as the result of a series of unfortunate events that I hopefully righted by the end of the day. Mercury is supposed to be OUT of retrograde (as of last Saturday), but damn if the celestial ones didn’t screw my life to the WALL yesterday.

With approximately 3 1/2 hours of sleep in my arsenal, I set out to run a series of very necessary errands and go to a meeting that ran too damn long with too many personalities vying for validation on shit that does.not.matter. We ain’t saving babies. I need everyone to calm down. Anyway, I extracted myself from the business shenanigans with an hour and 15 minutes to spare for a 30 minute ride to the studio to teach yoga. This was with COUNTING the chicanery that is LA traffic. Well an hour and a half later, I was still sitting in traffic C.U.S.S.I.N.G and trying to discreetly shimmy into my yoga clothes. Everyone and their cousin apparently forgot how to drive yesterday and there were more fender benders than I care to count. Here’s the rub: all of the accidents had already been shunted off to the shoulder of the freeway by the time I got on it, but fotd bare 1don’t you know every nosy mofo on the planet just HAD to see what was happening?

So there I sat, practicing my breathing and trying to ignore the fact that my deodorant had failed and knowing I’d probably be labeled ‘the stinky teacher’ until someone else had the misfortune of coming along to take the mantle.

When I finally got to the studio (after many text messages and photo evidence to the assistant manager), wouldn’t you know a couple of the mucky-mucks were there for a meeting? REALLY? REALLY UNIVERSE? Okay. I see you wanna be cute and just mess me all the way up. I snatched off my very expensive caftan (which I’d slapped over my yoga gear in an attempt to look sort of presentable when I walked in) and simultaneously wiped off that makeup. Because I just couldn’t be rancid while teaching the class, I took an extra five minutes to clean up in the bathroom. Man, listen. Priorities.

I taught my classes (back to back) and nailed the out times, which incidentally was noticed by the mucky mucks (we have a chronic problem of teachers ending class late) who complimented me on nailing it! Whoo hoo! Okay, things were looking better. I crawled out of there 4 hours later in search of curry and a date with Game of Thrones (a sista has to DVR because… life). Got home, retrieved my caftan from my go-bag and got it stuck in the zipper.


I wasn’t even mad ’cause the day was screwed pretty much from the time I woke up, so at that point it was kind of like WHATEVER. It’s snagged, but I might be able to fix it. Suffice to say that at this point, I really didn’t care. I watched my show (and re-affirmed my dislike for that little Bran brat. I never liked him, even when he got pushed out the window for being nosy. All Catelyn’s kids are annoying… although Arya done turned into a G so now I love her) and went to bed.

So that was my day.

This makeup happened because the look that I’d PLANNED (winged eye, red lip) went horribly wrong halfway through. I couldn’t get anything right. Not the wing, the lip… everything was cutting up. So I had strip everything off, reapply moisturizer and start from scratch. This is one of those moments when it helps tremendously to have your skin in good shape. That’s By Terry CC Cream in Tan and Innisfree No Sebum Powder, Anastasia Brow Gel in Espresso, Armani Black Ecstasy Mascara, and Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited in Lipstick in Beige.

At least something turned out right.

GAIA Feedback Request


Has everyone received their GAIA? If so, I’d like to start with the feedback process. Typically if anyone buys from the website, after about a week or two an automated email goes out asking for feedback. Consider this sort of the same. I’d also like permission to use some of the comments in previous threads as part of the review process.

Meanwhile, can I say just how much I love Lipstick Queen Seven Deadly Sins glosses? My GOODNESS they are pigmented. I recently wore Vanity. It is EVERYTHING.


I’m gonna mess around and retire my lipsticks for the Summer. Between this and the new Armani glosses, there is just no need for any kind of extra on my lips. Love it.

The rest of the face is Guerlain Lingerie de Peau in Dore 23, Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer (as powder) around the edges, Aurora Liner on the lashes and Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Mascara.

FOTD: Gold Line

The Great Makeup Purge revealed a recent acquisition from Youngblood at The Makeup Show: A liquid gold liner. It made me remember two things: That it’s been a very long time since I’ve done a layered lashline, and that I need to secure passes for PHAME.

Looking at it now… maybe I should have skipped that lip. We’ll get to that in a minute.

The base is Armani Maestro Fusion in #7. I’m getting over the initial grey cast because it does adjust and I start to look like myself within about 5 minutes. So I resist the urge to ‘warm it up’ with a golden base or a bronzer and keep it moving. There is the slightest hint of Kiko Blush in #1 on the cheeks, just to tie it all together.

The eyes are Becca Pearl highlighter all over the lid. I wanted a ‘lifted’ base for the gold liner to play off of, and Pearl makes my lids look kind of ‘lit from within’ instead of looking like I applied actual product there. The base lash liner is from Aurora. This is normally an awful product because the felt tip really doesn’t dispense any viable pigment. BUT for this look it’s perfect because I just wanted to lay a base layer for the gold without the black having too much of a personality. The gold is the Youngblood Precious Metal liner in 18 Karat. Mascara is Charlotte Tilbury Legendary.

Lips are Caked Makeup Jelly Lip Fondant in Creme de la Creme. The finish was SO matte that I got the bright idea to pop a little Armani Ecstasy Lacquer in Amber in the center. Not my best idea. Next time I’ll use OCC Liptar in Hollywood. I think that would have been a better choice.

At least I can wash it off and keep it moving.

Now let me go get the PHAME passes before I forget again…

Armani Maestro Glow #7

I’ve been road testing Maestro Glow in #7 and although it swatches beautifully, it does still apply with a grayish cast out the gate. Here’s the thing: in about 5 minutes it self-adjusts and smooths out your skin and actually becomes the color of your skin. I attribute this to a slight oxidation, because my oily skin will darken just about any formula given time. I also have #8 (aka flat brown), and it goes a distinct pinkish red on me about 5 minutes after I put it on so it’s a no go for me.

You can see it looks warmer when it actually hits my skin (despite the grey cast in the bottle), and by the time I blend it, it completely disappears. So I’ll give Armani props for an epic formulation, BUT WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE GREY? I can’t see someone just trusting out the gate that this will work based on the ashy ass color in the bottle. See, this is why I say they have no damn plan.

I did to FOTD’s…one with a gold under-base (because I really did not trust that grey mess), and one without. The one without translated more like my actual skin tone.

This is with Illamasqua AU under it. I was so glowy that the camera had a hard time focusing. It looked AMAZING in person, but I had to be diligent about blotting because otherwise I looked like a gold bomb. This formulation is sheer, but can be layered to medium coverage. Over the AU, the gold flecks really came through so I had to stay on top of the blotting situation.

The rest of the face is Armani Blush in 200, Armani Lip Maestro Gloss (OMG SO GOOD) in leather, and Black Ecstasy Mascara.

My skin came out a lot more ‘neutral’ when I used it alone. Not so golden. I have to be honest, I kind of prefer the golden look. I will probably wear this with some kind of warm under-base just to always err on the safe side.

Rest of the face is the Blush in 200, Lip Maestro Gloss in Tangerine and Black Ecstasy Mascara.

The new blushes and Lip Glosses are EVERYTHING. I nearly forgive Armani for the rest of the shenanigans because they are that good.

The Part-Time Genius of Armani Beaute

Armani Beaute is one of those brands that you never check for, and then you stumble upon something of theirs and go nuts and buy all the things. Then you forget about it again for a couple of years, then stumble upon something else… and so it goes.

If ever there was a brand with no damn plan, I feel like its Armani. Their marketing seems to target only people who already know and are fans of the brand, but they continue to fail upwards with massive displays in major department stores (the Neiman Marcus display is nothing short of epic). Like, if you happen to be in a Sephora where they carry it… yay! But you’ll never catch Sephora hyping the brand in the million and a half emails they send people every day (but you can bet your ass there will be some wackness from whatever sub-par garbage du jour they’re hocking to get you hyped about… nothing). Maybe marketing wasn’t part of their contract.

armani makeup 3

And then some of the foundation formulations are amazing, but it’s like someone was asleep at the wheel when it came to the shade range. With the exception of Luminous Silk foundation (which I happen to hate), the color selection reads like: white, light grey, medium grey, and flat brown. Literally. There are countless moments when I’m looking at their foundation selection like WTF told them this is what color people are? And just so that you’re clear about how much they DON’T give a damn about your skin tone (forget about undertones), the numbers go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 11.5. Because phuck your need to match your foundation, that’s why! So the person who is clearly a fan of 50 shades of Grey Foundation, also can’t count.

armani makeup 2

This lie of a picture makes it look like these colors actually have undertones. They don’t. The person who edited this photo should be made to wear these foundations at the same time in public.

Their makeup and skin care (is it really skin care when it does nothing more than sit on your face and look back at you?) range is made up of massive hits and epic misses. Armani Eyes to Kill Silk Eyeshadow is still the best ‘cream’ shadow formulation you will ever find on the market. Same for their mascara. Black Ecstasy is my JAM. I swear by it. Other prestige brands continue to try it, but never quite come close. Their Rouge d’ Armani lip formulations really hug the lips and wear insanely well. But then they come out with sheer lipsticks that aren’t, matte lip creams that curdle and look ashy no matter how deep the shade, and concealers that don’t actually conceal anything. And who asked for that Eye Tint? NO ONE, that’s who.

armani makeup 1

And you know they understand that they’re doing the most because they move product in and out faster than a clearance warehouse. But my issue is, they move out all the wrong things. I got attached to Face Fabric foundation and BAM it was gone. But there sits that Luminous Silk garbage like it’s doing something. I love Maestro Fusion, but the shade range man! Boo.

I don’t get this brand. I am completely in love with some of it, and completely in hate with most of the rest. But I continue to dig through the bargain basement sized bins of offerings, and I squeal in delight when I come up with a gem. I honestly can’t figure out how they stay in business, because the word ‘streamline’ just does not seem to be in their vocabulary.

Forgive this rant. I was in Armani yesterday and flooded with feelings of awe and frustration all at once. And I still ended up with the Maestro Glow Foundation in the shade… medium grey.


I should just walk away.

But you bet I’m here for the new Sepia Collection.



Caked Makeup Lip Fondant Swatches

As promised, here are the Caked Lip Fondant Swatches. Not a fan of the packaging, and these do have a distinct chemical smell meant to imitate vanilla. But they perform above and beyond their counterparts. Just as much coverage as Dose of Colors, without the drying. They are head and shoulders above Beauty Bakerie and Kat Von D in terms of feel. Those two make me want to peel my lips off after about an hour because they are so dry. These go on like a lipstick, and dry to a soft finish. There is minimal to no transfer once they are set. They are easily removed with makeup remover or an oil based cleanser.caked lip fondant 2

caked lip fondant 1

caked lip fondant

Cheap packaging aside, these are definitely keepers. I hope they come out with more colors because I’m so here for it. If they get rid of that horrible smell (although it fades after a few minutes), I’ll be even happier.