PHAME 2017


Yeah, I know. And I won’t get into the massive sweep of changes that is my life. But trust and believe it’s taken a moment to get grounded and get back online in a significant way. This weekend was PHAME. I need to know what’s going on because a lot of stuff at this convention you can easily find in your neighborhood ULTA and/or Sephora. Not much more. PLUS, I see that it’s open to the public now. I guess IMATS killed the game with letting in every person on earth with a YouTube channel and PHAME had to get on board. No matter. It was still pretty dead. Maybe the era of the makeup expo is taking a turn. I did manage some curiosity for Moira Cosmetics, which appears to be a Korean brand based in LA. Price point is IMG_2100gorgeous (of note since I’ve been in a serious relationship with DECIEM of late). So we’ll see what’s what. I picked up mostly skin care to check out for AGENDA, and a blush palette for myself and a contour palette for my sister.

This was my PHAME face. There are plenty of pros who will give you guys all kinds of complicated Instagram face. Y’all know I am not the one. On me is Gleam Melanie Mills in Peach Delux and The Ordinary Coverage Foundation in 3.0Y (which is my dead on shade… like it was made for me!). Natasha Denona Duo Glow in Alba is on my cheeks and eyes, and Sugarpill Trinket is on my lips… also lined with Louboutin Lip Liner in Safki. That’s some random dark brown liquid eyeliner that came in a random press kit (seriously, there’s no label on it but it works perfectly for me) and Louboutin mascara.


As you can see, mostly the usual suspects. I said hi and gave some hugs, and as I’m sitting here typing this and looking at that picture of Dose of Colors, I’m wondering HOW THE HECK I FORGOT TO GET CAMPFIRE LIQUID LIPSTICK FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME????? Ugh. I forget it at Naimies, at PHAME… hell, I forgot it at IMATS. Whatever. Maybe it’s not meant for me to have.


I sincerely love Crimes Of Beauty. Ever since I met the owner years ago, I am here for her apparel and makeup bags. Once upon a time, she had a mug that said Wake Up. Slay. And I neglected to get it and regretted it. Now she’s got sweats that say it so you KNOW I had to do it this time!



I picked up a few things… nothing major. Mostly stuff for review and a few goodies for my baby sister…


All in all, not too shabby. I HAD to support Miss Melanie Mills of Gleam, because she’s just the most awesome. Same for Crimes Of Beauty. I love those women… always a smile, a funky pose, a hug and genuine love. We need more of that the world over.

Samples are all Shipped!

Thank you to everyone who participated! The last of the Seven Veils Luxury Serums went out this morning. Thank you guys for being so patient. Let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns!


Natasha Denona Star Palette Review


Not for $169.

Maybe for $65.

Okay, $85.

But really, definitely NOT for $169.

Let’s start with the good. The palette is a decent size. It doesn’t hold a candle to her massive $239 offering, but it’s a good size. The pans are a good size… a little smaller than Tarte. The packaging is what you’d expect from Natasha Denona, with a metallic leather cover and sturdy construction.

The colors are beautiful. They’re not particularly unique but they are all beautiful and feel good when swatched with fingers. The mattes are creamy, but they are not revolutionary as Denona suggests. They are a LOT like the Lorac Pro Palette mattes. They feel like a cream but are actually a powder. They swatch terrible with fingers, but a whole lot better with a brush.


This is the left side, top to bottom. The very first shade on the far left is among my favorite. It also looks a LOT like one of the shades in Denona’s green/brown palette. This one is one of the new Crystal formulations. What that honestly means is that more of it will end up on your face than on your lid. OMG THE FREAKING FALLOUT! And what’s worse, good luck getting it on your lids with a brush! Wet… dry… doesn’t matter. It goes all over the counter or on your face. These are your choices with a brush. Fingers are a MUCH better bet, but even then, you get fallout. I finally got it to work by LEANING OVER A MIRROR AND PRESSING THE SHADOW ON WITH MY HEAD FACE DOWN.



Can you use this palette? Absolutely. Are the colors beautiful? Yes. Can you get multiple looks with this palette? Yep.

But the fallout from the crystal shadows is some BULL. Seriously, just NO. Get a MAC pigment and get your life. And the mattes, while good, are not life changing. The best part are the shimmers. Denona has always done shimmers well, which is why her big palettes are basically all shimmer and why Youtubers were acting like they were the second coming.

Speaking of which, let us take a moment for the Youtube shenanigans. It’s depressingly hilarious to watch them contort themselves into all kinds of shapes, trying to justify this palette’s very noteworthy shortcomings. There is literally glitter ALL OVER THEIR FACES as they declare how this palette is so worth it! What? HOW? WHERE?


Getting something for free now translates into basically selling your integrity out of fear of being taken off the free list. That is so damn sad because you KNOW that if any of them had to pay for it or were reviewing a drugstore or mid-priced brand, they’d be all ‘thumbs-down’ into freakin’ eternity.

I love Natasha Denona for many things, including the two original palettes (although I love the green/brown way more than the blue/purple because I use the former colors so much more) and the Blackest Black eyeshadow. I am not a fan of the foundations, but LOVE the Face & Body Glows. She does some things extremely well.

But this Star Palette is definitely not one of those things.

Y’all stop lying and do better.


See your life.

P.S One more moment of stupid ass silence (cue: twisted up lips) for that heinous blue/brown duochrome in Row 2. STOP MAKING THIS COLOR!!! It was ugly when MAC first did it and it’s ugly now. If you have the blue/brown pigment from MAC or you were super late to the party and ended up with the shadow from Makeup Geek, know that this is identical. Ugly ass color. Stop making it. Seriously. No one even wears it. We just buy it because we think it’s interesting and it proceeds to gather dust after the proverbial ‘first impressions’ post. At this point, recreating it in any form is just lazy.

Suqqu Foundation

I just need Suqqu to come to the United States so I can stop spending so much freakin’ money on shipping.


I got my hands on the new Suqqu Foundation, and was more than a little skeptical out the gate. First, my actual color (#35) is sold out, so I went one shade up and got #30. No, I don’t recommend this because pigment correction is a pain in the rear. Honestly, you’re not going to have all of those correctors in your arsenal unless you’re a pro, and if you’re only using them for your own face, then you’re wasting your money. But I got #30 and sure as ever, it’s a hair too light. But it’s really nothing that a nice dusting of Charlotte Tilbury’s Pressed Powder in Dark can’t handle.

I was all set to share swatches and photos, but don’t you know I can’t download them? Boo! These are directly from my phone so it was easy to just ship them to this platform. I’ll get the swatches up as soon as I can figure out the download.

This stuff is SO FREAKIN’ GOOD. Puts Chanel’s Sublimage offering to shame, at a fraction of the price. You need such a little bit (I’ve overdone it a few times). The lightest swipe blurs imperfections and really sets the skin up nicely. You can use it a little heavier to conceal, but you really don’t need it. I love this stuff. A little pressed powder on top and you are seriously good to go. In terms of staying power, it beats Chantecaille Future Skin (which I adore) because even though the latter is a gel formulation, this one doesn’t separate itself from the skin like Chantecaille can. It wears all day with very minor blotting… and even without blotting you just end up with a lovely glow vs. full on greaseball.

I’ve put #35 on my wish list, but if I never get it, I’m not really sad about it. I can do just fine with this one. It’s such a functional foundation, and really sets the standard for what a cream formulation should be.

Agenda Magazine Beauty Shoot

At some point I’m gonna sit my ass down. I’m not sure when that will be … but for the moment I’m going non-stop. I get a call from the EIC at Agenda to do a ‘beauty video shoot’…

agenda beauty 2Say what?

By the way that’s my favorite role for Chris Pine… damn fool! “It’s the way of the world! Way it’s always gon’ be…” Anyway, you see what a hot mess he looked in that movie… that’s about how I feel on the inside. I GOTTA start saying no and get my life.Oh yeah, and some damn sleep.

Well, not for Agenda or any other beauty thing because I love that mess. LOVE it. But the rest … LISTEN. So I moved some stuff around, subbed out some classes, cancelled some crap I didn’t really wanna do anyway, and made it to the shoot.

The idea was to talk about things that I adore in skin care, hair care, and makeup. I purposely left out anything I do myself because… CONFLICT. I’m still a journalist people. I know better. And even as I woke up this morning and realize I misspoke on two items (I was ad libbing a lot ’cause I couldn’t find my damn notes), I’m still really glad I did it. This was a case of ‘just do it anyway.’

The EIC has been threatening to put me on camera for about a year now. And she never calls when I’m super svelte or my skin is super awesome. Noooooo… that would be too much like right. It just so happens that at the moment I’m wearing an extra 15 pounds because I’m teaching more than practicing and bread has declared itself my friend. And then Monday, after teaching three classes, THREE PIMPLES showed up on my face like… wassup? Thankfully they are on my bad photo side, which you never see. Trife. I know. I’mma get it together. I promise I am.

I got my makeup together for the shoot:

I later switched the lips to a cooler pink (OFRA Pasadena) and blush (Viseart Medium Plum) because it looked better on camera. Back to those Viseart Blush palettes for the overall look too; I used the orange on the cheeks and eyes, and added shimmer from the contour/highlight palette. Lips are Nude #3 from Black Up Cosmetics (those damn things are so much more expensive than I thought. I was all cute in Nigels … WHICH HAS BY TERRY NOW… scooping them up. Got to the counter like WTF. Just raggedy) before the lip/cheek upgrade.

I hope it turns out okay. Either way, I just did it anyway. Here’s to stepping out of my comfort zone.


And NO that does not mean my ass will be on some Youtube Channel sitting in front of a manufactured ‘makeup room/office’ because I’m sooooo busy you guys, or running down my block vlogging…

Yet. 😉

Updates and Aquisitions


Okay, I’m not really up. I’m totally faking it. My body clock will likely be a mess for a few IMG_3384days, but I’m rolling with it. I have to teach a double today. Here’s hoping I don’t fall asleep in the middle of ‘Inhale Tadasana’… yeah.

Fires have been put out and things appear to be back on track. When I tell y’all that I worked ALL DAY yesterday to right the ship… whew! Customer service is a massive deal to me. I try to make sure everyone is taken care of either by me or another member of our little family. Even something as simple as acknowledging an email can go such a long way. I don’t like to feel like I’m being ignored by a company, no matter how trivial my issue, so I understand how big a deal it is to have someone say ‘I See You.’ I think we’ve done our best to see everyone and address the ridiculous sale that byredo-rose_of-no-man-land-comprare-migliore-profumowasn’t. Next time I know better and will put fail-safes in place.

A couple of things have made it into my makeup and skin collection in the past week or so. I was digging around Barneys and came across Byredo Rose of No Man’s Land. Smells like every ‘skin scented rose’ fragrance claims to want to smell. It smells like warm skin rubbed in rose petals on a hot summer day. A little sun, a little sweat, a lot of roses … all totally amazing. I LOVE it. I’ve been burned by Byredo in the past (that dry down is key) so I’ve been hesitant to dive back in. I’m still suffering cinnamon flashbacks from too much Seven Veils (you have to mix it or suffer the consequences), and the boring commonality of Blanche. But Rose of No Man’s Land TROY SURRAT LASH CURLERreminds me why I was attracted to the brand in the first place. It’s a Rose for people who actually don’t like Rose. *raising hand* Color me impressed.

Now y’all know that I have a love/hate relationship with Troy Surrat’s unreliable behind. So I was NOT interested in his eyelash curler… until I tried it. Charlotte Tilbury is somewhere kicking herself because she didn’t think of this first: the thing is so long and wide that it catches every.single.lash. And it doesn’t give you that unnatural doll curl. Instead you end up with something that looks totally natural and kind of ‘sweeping’… and I swear you can just curl your lashes and not even stress about mascara if you’ve got a decent fringe to start with. It’s that good. I’m mad that I like it so much. SMH. But I’ll give props when it’s due. He did good on this one. I’m still not messing with that overpriced impractical makeup though.

I know everyone and their mother is raving about sheet masks, but most of them are a pass for me. Since they got popular, fools are slapping all kinds of gunk on a sheet of cotton, cutting out eye and lip holes, and calling it a miracle sheet mask. Most of them are complete rubbish and just contain crap that sits on your skin and slides off, and really don’t produce any results. But Wei has been doing this for a LONG time, and would like the others to kindly have a seat. The detoxifying masks are so effective that I’m always shocked at how clear and bright my skin looks after 15 minutes under it. They are totally worth every single penny. I love them so much that I bought big boxes of them for my tom ford warm sablelittle sisters,  because I love to share a good skin care secret. Same for the Dr Morita Black Pearl masks. Totally cheap and TOTALLY effective.

Finally, to makeup. Ever since my Cocoa Ravish went bad, I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement. You’d think that I’d know better than to replace one Tom Ford Lipstick with another that might also go bad, but sometimes I can be a little slow on the uptake. Enter Warm Sable. LOVE. I’m wearing it at the top of this post. It’s such a complementary color on my skin. I can wear it bare faced and it still looks good. I’m sure I had no business adding this to my lipstick collection. Here’s hoping that it keeps.

Speaking of Tom Ford, I’m totally into the new Night Bloom powders for fall. But I am NOT ordering them from the Tom Ford website because their customer service is THE ABSOLUTE WORST. I honestly don’t think I’ve come across worse service in a very long time. Those fools wouldn’t answer an email if their life depended on it. And good luck trying to call them. And just when you start to call and threaten them… BAM… a tracking number for something you’ve been waiting on for 6 months. And even then you might only get half your order. If something is backordered, they’ll never let you know. They are just horrid. For such a prestige brand, they really need to do better. So I’ll hold out for Nordstrom, a company that actually values its customers.

That’s it for the aquisitions! I can feel sleep coming on. Later Lovelies! ❤


PHAME: The Haul

Quick shots of what came home with me (sans the shirts. I’m keeping those private ’cause it’s Saturday and I just feel like it).


I did say I was not interested in eyeshadows. HOWEVER, the Nubian 2 Palette got me! Such pigmentation, and the names are just DARLING. I had to.

I already confessed about the Makeup Geek blushes. I no longer wish to talk about it. NOPE! Not the Makeup Geek palette either +4 (which is empty and thankfully magnetic. Thank you Marlena for thinking like a professional, unlike damn Troy Surrat. I’m still not over that idiotic palette).

Organic makeup brush cleaner. I have to try it. I have to. I’ll let you know if it works. I’m keeping that flannel for my face. Too cute to wipe brushes on.

Velvet 59 is quaint, but not tacky in a Benefit kinda way. I like it. I like those colors, the lip velvet doesn’t dry out my lips, the gloss is mad pigmented, and the flesh tones (on my skin) just called to me.

I HAD to support Miss Casanova! Wasn’t even a question.

Swatches at a later date. Ciao for now!