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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



A Funny Thing Happened…

…while celebrating a Birthday.

Hubby completed another year over the weekend, and wanted to celebrate by seeing his favorite comic over-thinker and taking a trip to Frank & Sons (ya’ll don’t know nothin’ ’bout that) for a mini shopping spree.

So we headed out to the Comedy Club to see this guy:

I decided to incorporate one of Hubby’s favorite clothing items into my look for the night:

This one is actually mine (I can’t fit any of his). I got it for a song (read: $20) at M. Fredric. It worked.

Makeup needed to be dressy enough to rock that hat (and Fendi cage heels that I’ve actually had long enough to qualify as vintage), but practical enough to survive the 102 degree heat (yes, really).


Hourglass Mineral Primer

Givenchy Teint Couture Foundation (Amber)

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (Ginger)

Michael Kors Bronzer (Glow)

Becca Blush (Wild Honey)


Chanel Sable Emouvant:

Gold on inner lid

Brown on outer lid and under waterline

MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder (lashline & waterline)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara


Armani Rouge Ecstacy Lipstick in Ambiguous

Tom Ford Lip Gloss in Pink Guilt

We respected the comedy club’s two item minimum and ate absolute garbage for dinner (it was a celebration… so what the heck), including an Apple Pie Pizza that was more pizza than pie. Afterwards we headed home, but dipped by the hood to get some random crap from Walgreens. A Maybach in the parking lot had the store all a dither… apparently Puffy (P. Diddy? Puff Daddy? Who knows what he’s calling himself these days) decided to swing by the hood too.

Maybe he needed a toothbrush.

Lip Service: Armani Rouge Ecstasy

The new Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks claims to be a ‘CC Cream’ for the lips. If CC stands for Color & Correct in foundation/skincare, then it means Color & Care in lipspeak. There are a billion (read: 37) shades to choose from, so there is literally something for everyone. I took a look at the range and found that some of the shades are very similar to each other, with slight variations that go from light to dark depending on your individual skin tone and needs.

There are six color families: Beige, Brown, Red, Coral, Pink, and Plum. I chose one from the Brown, Coral, and Pink familes for my first go.

Diva (Pink 503)

Tangerine (Coral 307)

Ambiguous (Beige 105)

These are essentially highly pigmented lip balms. Diva (I LOVE that they have names instead of exclusively numbers now. So much easier to identiffy) is definitely the most ‘lipstick’ like of these three. They go on smooth and set semi-matte.. and they fade fully matte (which I love. There is no waxy goop in the middle of your mouth when it wears off. It fades evenly).

There are a bunch more that I want to try, but for now these will tide me over. You can find out more about Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick HERE.

FOTD: Purple’d Pink

Back to the Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows. This time I used Rose Popilla.


Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Supercharged Foundation (Cocoa Light)

By Terry Touche Veloutee in Cream

Chantecaille Loose Powder (Shadow)

Dior Blush in Pink Flush


Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in Rose Popilla (lids)

MAC Eyeshadow in Soba (crease)

MAC Eye Pencil in Designer Purple (lashline / waterline)

Chantecaille Mascara


Le Metier de Beaute Lipstick in Uma Paro

Autumn 2013: Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows

The final two Eyes to Kill Silk Eyeshadows (Autumn 2013) finally made their way to me (Thank you Emma!), from Las Vegas. We didn’t have them locally, so I had to hunt them down out of state.

Autumn 2013: Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows

Gold Hercule (32) and Blue Beetle (34)

Gold Hercule is a greenish gold shimmer, and Blue Beetle is a much more ‘blue’ and pigmented version of June Beetle (which leans a bit teal)




Like all Eyes To Kill formulas… these have absolutely amazing staying power. I also noticed that the formula seemed ‘upgraded’ a bit. Previously, it was pretty challenging to pick this color up out of the pot with a brush, but I’ve found that it’s no longer a problem. You can pick up the color and blend it beautifully as you would any powder eyeshadow. That’s impressive.

Armani continues to blow the competition away with this formula. It is simply unmatched in terms of ease of use, layering, and staying powder.