Saturday, December 22, 2012

Just a Wee Pre-Christmas Post

Hi, everybody! Are you all ready for Christmas (Christians that is)? I still have to wrap gifts (my least favorite part of the pre-holiday process), so of course I'm putting it off by finishing this holiday bracelet for myself (it'll double for both Christmas and New Year's Eve):

The set is made of four bracelets: One each with  brown, light blue gray, and burgundy-reddish glass pearls inset with a strip of faceted glass iris AB crystal beads and a fourth one a mix of the three different-colored glass pearls interspersed with the Czech crystals.

I'll be wearing red and gray with these bracelets, burgundy-reddish crystal earrings, and probably DEC Silvered on my lids and Peppermint and Evergreen as a wash from crease to brow bone.

How about you? What will you be wearing on Christmas day?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We Interrrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming . . .

. . . . for a DEC Christmas treat (and, BTW, that should be the British "shed-jeweled" pronunciation, LOL :-) I didn't feel right having Christmas come and go without (1) thanking you for following/reading my blog this year, commenting, and participating in fun contests, one of which is coming up soon (our very own Mystery Formulator) and (2) sharing with you that I won the set-naming contest that Dawn had for her 2012 Christmas Collection, which is now monikored "Winter Wonderland" by yours truly.

The prizes in these contests are quite generous. I got to choose 5 full sizes -- Peppermint and Evergreen, Mistletoe Kiss, Pecan Pie, Walnut, and Sugared Plums (guess you all by now which colors I gravitate to the most, right?) --  and I also got to choose 10 samples -- which were Butter (x 2), Silvered, Christmas Tree (x 2), Three Kings, Wreath, Sweet Cream (x 2), and I got Golden Garland as an extra. 

I didn't get to try all of the colors yet because I wanted to get this collection (or at least the colors I have from it) up before the actual holiday it's named after :-) So, here they are, shown over several pictures and (as always) in alpha order from left to right and top to bottom:

Colors I Chose: Web site descriptions (my take in italics) (favorites/potential favorites in bold red type)

Butter, Chestnut, Christmas Tree, and Golden Garland under natural light
• Butter: Delicious light gold lit up with golden sparkle, simple and elegant Not sure about this color, but I will give it a try. I can't usually wear anything that throws a true yellow, but this color is very low-key. 

• Chestnut: Bronzy semi-metallic satin spiced up with color-shifting sparkle that goes blue to purple to pink I'm just gaga over this color; over the moon and back. Love Dawn's rich browns and other neutrals. Won't rebuy because I won a FS jar, but i *am* sharing it with some good friends :-) 

• Christmas Tree: Deep forest green glittering with a rainbow of sparkle, gold, silver, green, pink, purple, and blue Boo-hoo; this green was too deep and too cool-toned for my taste, so I won't buy more :-( 

• Golden Garland: Deep yellow-gold bordering on orange, loaded with golden shimmer and pink to gold color-shifting sparkle I hate to break my guideline by never judging a color by it's shade in the sample baggie, but this one got to me. It scares me like a carnival like clowns scare me, but that's so subjective. Try it; you might like it!

Franken, Mistletoe Kiss, Pecan Pie, Peppermint and Evergreen, and Silvered under natural light
 • Christmas Tree/Wreath Franken (at top): The best of both words; deep AND bright! 

• Mistletoe Kiss: Medium pink pearl with a coral shift and bright sparks of pink and green I looooove pinks, so I'm sure I'll take to this one, too, like a baby to a boobie :-) 

• Pecan Pie:  Lush deep brown satin with plenty of golden, copper, and pink glitter Nom, nom, nom . . . oh, hai; did you want to speak with me? . . nom, nom . . . can't speak right now . . nom, nom  . . my mouth is busy -- nom, nom . . . mmmmm, pink sparkles. No need for a rebuy; I already have a FS of this pie . . . er . . . I mean eyehsadow 

• Peppermint and Evergreen: Bright white satin with a subtle pink tinge and a soft green shift, dancing with red and green sparkle Although I can't usually wear a stark white base, this has just enough pink to warm it up for me. Love my FS jar of this color! 

• Silvered: Stunning metallic silver, opaque and dripping in golden and holographic glitter I'm most excited to try this color because it's not a straight silver shade, which I don't wear very well; the gold appeared to be well-blended in hand swatches, again warming it up for my use.
Sugared Plums, Sweet Cream, Three Kings, and Wreath under natural light
• Sugared Plums: A pretty plummy purple with blue, gold, pink, and violet sparks  Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got love in my tummy -- that's what this rich buttery pigmented color makes me think of :-) Won't repurchase since I won a FS jar :-) 

• Sweet Cream: Beautiful bright metallic, a pale champagne littered with gold and silver sparkle I haven't tried this yet, but if it's like Dawn's other liquid golds and champagnes, I'm sure I will. The hand swatches alone were stunning! 

• Three Kings: Deep mysterious black-based purple, dancing with silver, gold, blue, and violet glitter Black-based colors really do a number on me. I usually look like I've been kicked in the eye by a not-so-talented back-street Balanchine. Not a rebuy :-( 

• Wreath: Bright satiny medium green with flecks of pink and purple sparkle Way too bright a green for me, but if that's what you're looking for, then slap it on, sistah!

FYI, the Mystery Formulator series will resume after Christmas :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mystery Formulator: Part 3

Hi everyone! OK, time for some more mystery-formulator colors :-) I have quite a few more that I won't photo or post here. I'm showing you only my personal favorites. And these five are the favorites of my favorites, LOL.

As with nearly all loose mineral shadows, these shades work best with a sticky primer to bring out the colours and to ensure that they stay on all day. All of these swatches were done over Hi-Fi Cosmetics High Impact Shadow Fix, but they look good overt Art Deco's primer, which is my current favorite because it goes on like UDPP but has slightly sticky properties. The best of both worlds in my humble opinion (review to come at a later time).

Here are the colors in order of left to right, top to bottom, as usual:

Lianne, Petra, Silvia, Stella, Susie
Lianne, Petra, Silvia, Stella, Susie

And here's a short video clip (pardon the heavy breathing; I keep forgetting to narrate):

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mystery Formulator: Part 2

Well, I've had a good couple of days in a row where I could get some (weak winter) sunshine, so I have more swatch photos of colors from our mystery formulator. In general, these are all "well-behaved colors," mainly satin/frost finish, and are suitable for wearing at home, to work, to school, and to church or other place of worship. These shades and finishes probably won't be first pick for clubbing, but then again they won't freak out your grandmother either, LOL. These are "go-to" shades and suitable for all occasions. From left to right, top to bottom, and swatched over Hi-Fi  Cosmetics High Impact Shadow Fix, are the following shade names: Hayley, Heidi, Lily, Maggie, and Mashup #1 (from her Crown Jewels collection [the ruby, gold, and silver colors]).

Don't forget, you get extra entries into the Rafflecopter contest (just a few posts away) to win some of these babies! Just leave a guess in the comment section of this post!

Mystery Formulator colors group 2 under natural winter light

 Here's another photo that shows the color-shifting of Lily much better:

Mystery Formulator colors group 2 under natural winter light

And here's a quick video:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mystery Formulator: Part 1

Helllloooo, everyone! Long time, no blog, huh? Well, things are calming down from my jewelry sale just long enough to segue right into the holiday-frenzy season, and despite that I am determined to put up a blog series about a "mystery formulator."

I'm not going to write much at this point except to say there will be a Rafflecopter-based contest to win some samples from this formulator at the end of the series. I'll be providing more photos of different eyeshadow swatches when I can get some decent winter sun. If you're willing to take a guess (or several guesses), each guess will earn you an extra entry into the contest. Guesses must be in response to this post only. The contest will have its own set of entry requirements, but you can start earning extra entries right . . . now!

I'm giving you only photos, videos, and color names to go by :-) All names match the swatches from top to bottom, left to right. Swatches done over Hi-Fi primer. Sorry to expose you to my deformed wrist in the video. Handicapped is the way I "roll" (literally). I also apologize for the somewhat sloppy swatching. It's been a loooong time.

Alison, Bella, Gayle, Goldie, and Kelly in sunlight
Alison, Bella, Gayle, Goldie, Kelly in slight shade


OK, guess away :-) More clues to come.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just a Quickie: Win a $100 etsy Gift Card :-)

Etsy is giving away ten $100 gift cards right in time for Christmas shopping! You can enter here: After entering, you will be given a link that you can post to your Facebook wall, tweet, or send to your friends and family so they can enter, too. Good luck!

Here are just a few cosmetic-related things that popped out at me:

Vegan Stage and Halloween Costume Makeup Base from Pink Quartz Minerals

Brush Holder made with Alexander Henry fabric (love his patterns!)

Cosmetic-related fondant cupcake toppers (aren't they cute?)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Super Busy!

Just a quick check-in to say that I haven't dropped of the face of the Earth! I managed to wangle a vendor spot in a local Girls' Night Out and have been very busy making bracelets so I actually have some stock to sell. Testing and reviewing eyeshadows is taking a back seat right now on my list of priorities (imagine that!). I'll leave you with some photos of bracelets I've made so far . . .

Recent custom order
Magatama beads!

Leaf and drop beads

Stripey "Tigger" bracelets :-)

Flat glass beads -- my favorites   

The whole kit 'n' kaboodle (so far)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Not Cosmetics: Bracelets Already Sold and Bracelets For Custom Order

Hi everyone! I just thought I'd show you some new beads I'm working with lately. Aren't they pretty? Feel free to place a special order if you like. I have tons of beads in gobs of colors :-) Stretch bracelets like these below (i.e., larger, themed beads) are $6.00 each. Seed-bead bracelets (photos below) are 3 bracelets for $10.00 :-) Scroll all the way down for my contact information.

The stretch bracelets below were made for a non-sighted woman, for whom shape is more important than color for obvious reasons. I hope these bracelets "feel" pretty to her :-)

Custom order for non-sighted friend who likes pretty things :-)

Close-up for custom order for non-sighted friend who like pretty things :-)

Custom order all wrapped up and ready to go!
And here's a double custom order (below) of stretch seed-bead bracelets (x 6) for a customer who lives on the West Coast and who wanted a denim-and-neutral theme.

Here is a link to the stretch bracelets I made for Helen of BBFF* as a gift for such a nice swap package she sent me! This is another example of seed-bead bracelets:
Photo from BBFF* blog.
I also use Czech fire-polished beads in my stretch bracelets, some of which look like this (very sparkly [this is called a "vitrail" finish, which means stained-glass in French]):

I also have started working with magatama beads (mah-gah-tah'-mah), which give a slightly spiky/tribal look to the bracelet: 

And here's a photo of the stretch magatama bracelets (below) blurred so you can experience the sparkle. Cool, huh?

If you're interested in ordering a custom set of bracelets, please contact me here to make arrangements re: color, style, and number of bracelets. All proceeds are going to purchase to buy a new custom wheelchair I need to get around more independently :-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Unique Giveaway at BBFF* Blog!

Finally. It's so refreshing (literally in this case) to see a blog prize that's something useful and other than makeup :-) This Rafflecopter giveaway at BBFF* Blog is for Washi! Cloths Hot Cloth Skin Polishing Kit from Lucris Limited.

Photo from Lucris Ltd.
You can read Helen's review of them here. Personally, I like a nice facial steam at night before I go to bed and before I put on my Avon skin regimen (which I'm really liking; more about that later) :-) Now, go and enter!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The CLA "Story-Building" Contest has been Extended . . .

 . . . until tomorrow (August 29) and now includes Al Roker, a squishy hot dog, Central Park, Gram's necklace, David Bowie, a drooling toddler, Rockefeller Center, Iman, a horse with a carrot, and a Chequered Cab among the story "bits."

Here's the official announcement from the CLA's Facebook Page:

"I'm extending the contest for 1 more day, it will end tomorrow, August 29th, so get your entries in! And for all the new friends we've made, WELCOME! ^_^ you can find the contest by scrolling down. We've done so well that I'm adding single full size containers of the prize colors to the prize pot, 1 of each color. If we can get 5 MORE LIKES [emphasis added by moi] by tomorrow night, I'll add another prize. ^_~"

Wouldn't you like to be one of the five "likes" that puts the prize over the top? Then head here, "like" the CLA, and play along!

See my blog post here for some CLA eyeshadowcolors . . .

Monday, August 27, 2012

Awww . . . C'mon Guys!

Spellbound (glitter) from the CLA
I know from my stats that you are peeking at my posts. Please enter the Chequered Lily Apothecary contest I posted about earlier because the prize gets bigger and better the more people who enter! Here are the instructions for the contest:

Stormbringer from the CLA
The CLA makes some of the most beautiful eyeshadows I have ever worn and is one of my three go-to cosmetic indies, the others being Dawn Eyes and Black Rose. You can check out the shadows and their accompanying stories here:

Charlotte from the CLA
Now get on outa here, like The Chequered Lily Apothecary on Facebook, and enter the contest already, LOL! The more people who play along, the better the prize!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Broken Link for CLA Contest Has Been Fixed :-)

I am soooooo having one of these contests on my blog sometime! Enter here: Come and join us, won't you? The more the merrier (and funnier) :-)

Really Fun "Story-Building" Contest Over at Chequered Lily's Facebook Page!

I am soooooo having one of these contests on my blog sometime! Enter at: Come and join us, won't you? The more the merrier (and funnier) :-)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wowzers: Another Site-Wide Aromaleigh 30%-Off Sale!

Summer’s end… get your 30% off coupon and save store-wide!

As Summer comes to it’s end, it’s time for an amazing discount sale at Aromaleigh!
Sale runs now through 11:59 PST 8/31.
Enter coupon code summer30end at checkout.
A $20 minimum order does apply.
Coupon is applicable to newly placed orders only.
Enter coupon code summer30end in the coupon code box at checkout, press “APPLY” and you will see your discount taken! if you do NOT see your discount taken, try again- don’t place the order without the discount. Orders must be placed with the discount applied.
HAPPY SHOPPING and enjoy the rest of your Summer!

Whatcha gonna get?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And the Winner of the DEC Giveaway Is . . .

Zillah P. (please see the Rafflecopter widget)! Congratulations! Please contact me at within 24 hours of this notice to claim your prize, or you will be disqualified and I will choose another winner.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Just Sayin' . . .

. . . only 5 days left to enter the Rafflecoptered DEC eyeshadow contest on my blog :-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The DEC Contest Is Now Live!

Insomnia gives me lots of time to get things done, like finally posting this contest, LOL. I purchased four full-size eyeshadow from Dawn as follows:

Close to Coral

How Sweet the Sound

Rose Gold

Fresh Earth
Well, there you have it: Four lovely neutrals for fall whose beauty I can personally vouch for because I have all of them all! Now on to the sweet and simple Rafflecopter . . . the contest will run for two weeks. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Black Rose Minerals Sale!

From Black Rose Mineral's Facebook page:

Starting Friday July 20th will start a 24 hour 40% off sale! It will start at midnight PST (Thursday night) and end on Friday night at midnight PST. Use coupon code "madness."

Also the rest of the weekend there will be a 25% off sale. This will run from Saturday July 21st through Wednesday July 25th. Use coupon code "superstar."

If you could help spread the word please, I would greatly appreciate it.

So, please do your part by BUYING GOODIES (I know I will)  and SHARING THE SALE on your beauty blog!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I like to wear the bracelets stacked a la Bollywood.
Hi everyone. I am so sorry for being such a laggard in posting. There's been a lot going on in my life lately, some of it health-related (insomnia plus lots of doctors' appointments) and some of it work-related (tons of it [not that I'm complaining]). I'm just touching base to let you know that I am here but haven't had a lot of time to test, review, and post. Something I have in the works (of my mind that is) is a comparison of UDPP plus Fyrinnae PE versus Art Deco eyeshadow base.

Also, I've worked my way through testing most of my hundreds of Aromaleigh pots and samples and think I'm going to test my Black Rose Minerals samples next. Just considering testing my way through my huge collection of H-Fi samples strikes me with fear and trembling, LOL, so I'm going to test a smaller sub-collection first. I need to remember to take it just one shadow at a time :-)

Bracelets with flash.
I have broken my no-buy a couple of times with purchases from DEC's Memorial Day clearance (discontinued shades [lots of them] are on sale of 50% off), which, in my eyes, was entirely justifiable considering that DEC is my go-to company for eyeshadow :-)

Plus, when I was doing a second level of inventory-ing recently, I found a lot of eyeshadows from different indies that somehow hadn't been put on the list of shades I'm testing (slowly but surely), so if my list looks even longer than it has, well . . . it is! I also gained some more colors from two swaps with sweet Helen of BBFF* blog. I'm removing colors that I'm not keeping and will be putting in my blog-sale-to-come.

Bracelet photo intentionally blurred to show sparkle :-)
Last but not least, I have become obsessed with collecting beads to make stretch beaded friendship bracelets! Very similar to my obsession with eyeshadow: small, sparkly, and colorful (I sense a theme here). I'll leave you with this photos of bracelets I've made sprinkled throughout this post.

It feels good to be back, and thanks for hanging in there with me! And thanks to all the prolific beauty bloggers who kept me informed while I was too busy to write for my own blog, LOL.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Aromaleigh Store-Wide Sale = 33% Off Everything!

Aromaleigh is having a store-wide sale, until June 30, in which everything is 33% off, and there is only a $15 minimum purchase! I think it's the largest sale they have had since reopening as Aromaleigh v.2. 

I'm hoping to split some jars with Helen of BBFF* blog :-) Here are the shades I am thinking of (the ones I'm particularly attracted to are bolded below):

Moulin Rouge
Frou Frou
Can Can
Pantone Spring
Spring Leaf
Lunaire (yes, a blue!)
Bete Noir
Sybilla (I'm really curious about this one for the outer lid corners!)
What are you thinking of getting from the sale?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: Silk Naturals

Company name: Silk Naturals
Web site

The Web Site Itself
: 5 of 5 Stars
Silk Naturals (SN) has one of the best, most user-friendly, meticulously organized indie cosmetic sites I have ever purchased from! The storefront is a bit bland, but it more than makes up for that in specific bells and whistles. First, aside from having the usual indie Web site features, the SN site lets you search for eyeshadow colors by numerous categories: all colors, color family, finish, and vegan. I can’t tell you how incredibly helpful that feature has been for me. I mainly like very shimmery/metallic products, and on this site I can search for them specifically instead of having to search through 273 color descriptions (really!) to find what I want.

The color descriptions you get when you click on a particular shade are very detailed with assessments of such qualities as main description, color family, finish, depth, shimmer scale, opacity, vegan, tone, and gluten free. Almost every color description page has three tabs: description, reviews, and related products (I would like to see this be consistent throughout the site). You can click on the product photo to enlarge it, and the photos often have several swatches of different but similarly colored shadows so you can compare them. I didn’t see anywhere where it’s said what base is used for swatching, and I think that would be a helpful improvement. If you are searching by “see the product comparison page” at the top left of the “all [colors]” page, you get a really helpful list of colors with all of the pertinent information summarized. 

Second, you can create an account and save colors to a wish list, which is something I find sorely lacking on most indie company Web sites. This feature saves me time and annoying Post-It notes with lists of eyeshadow colors I want to try. It makes shopping much easier, particularly if there is a sale.

Third, SN has a reward point program. For every $1 you spend (not including tax or shipping), you receive 1 point. $100 product value = 100 points, with 100 points having a value of $5.00. The points value is clearly stated on each product description page. So, you can earn free products if you shop at SN a lot. This is a good marketing technique to promote customer loyalty. SN has a referral program, too. For each friend you refer to SN, you get 10 points. The referral code to give to your friends is the email address that you used when you registered with SN. When your friends check out, they need to enter that referral code, and your points account will be credited with 10 points. This is also great for customer loyalty. Savvy businesswoman that Karen is :-)

Fourth, SN makes some “clones” of popular MAC, Bare Escentuals, and Urban Decay colors. I bought some of the UD Naked clones though a blog sale and have been very happy with them.

Pricing: 5 of 5 Stars
As I’ve said many times before, I’m mainly an eyeshadow user, so that’s what I’ll assess here. The price of SN’s eyeshadows is only $4.00, which in my experience places them at the lower end of the pricing spectrum for indie eyeshadow prices. The only thing I couldn’t find on the product description page is the amount of product you get for the price. However, from my decanting experience (I put all of my shadows into sample baggies for easier storage), you get the usually amount of shadow, approximately a half teaspoon. I do think it would be an improvement to have the amount of product stated clearly on each product page though.

It should be noted that SN does not sell samples. However, they accept returns and will credit you for a replacement purchase. I had to take advantage of this feature once, and it worked exactly like the owner said it would work. I wasn’t too keen on losing so much on shipping, but I’m assuming that not selling samples and having a return program makes for running a “tight ship,” i.e., keeping prices low. My experiences with SN, through on-site purchases, a blog sale purchase (with Cait of Swatch Storm), and a swap (Wendi of Makeup Zombie)—especially given the excellent search and description features—have been positive enough that I trust I’ll get what I wanted and will not have to return much, if anything, at all.

TAT and Shipping: 5 of 5 Stars
Because all of the colors I’m reviewing here we obtained through a swap and/or a blog sale, I won’t be commenting on the TAT and shipping details. However, regarding the one occasion on which I did order from SN, the TAT was very reasonable, and that exchange I mentioned earlier was handled flawlessly!

Colors Received: All swatches are shown in the order below (from left to right, top to bottom) and were swatched over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. Also, the color descriptions on the SN site are extremely accurate due to the details offered! (My favorites are bolded.)

I won’t comment separately for these colors. Obviously I love them because they are in my final collection of tested shades! SN is my “go-to” store for neutrals (and I have more where these came from)! These colors were obtained through a swap as well as a blog sale.

SN swatches under natural light no. 1
SN swatches under natural light no. 2
Loaded: Warmish tan shimmer with hints of pink (clone of Urban Decay Toasted)

Range: Matte black with gold, silver, and copper shimmer. Example of details mentioned earlier:  Color family: silvers and grays; finish: glimmer; depth: 5 [1 = white, 6 = black]; shimmer scale: 5 [0 = matte 6 = glitter]; opacity: 4 [0 = sheer 5 = opaque]; vegan: yes; tone: silver with warm sparkles; original collection: Holiday 2010 Collection; gluten free: yes

Dig It: Deep brown shimmer with copper and silver sparkles

SN swatches under incandescent light no. 1

SN swatches under incandescent light no. 2
• Sorbet: Deep, cool-toned raspberry red This color might be a little too cool-toned for me, and I might Franken it with something else. Otherwise, it’s lovely!

Watermelon: Bright coral pearl with hints of golden shimmer
• Wildcat: Deep charcoal brown satin finish with lots of champagne colored sparkle Example of details mentioned earlier: Color family: browns; finish: shimmer; depth: 6 (1 = white, 6 = black), shimmer scale: 5 (0 = matte 6 = glitter), opacity: 4 (0 = sheer, 5 = opaque), vegan: yes; tone: charcoal brown; original collection: Valentine's 2009 Collection; gluten free: yes)

Jelly-Or under natural light
Jelly-Or under incandescent light no. 2
Jelly-Or: My franken of SM Jellybean (medium pink shade with a satiny suede finish and red highlights) and SM Meteor (warm golden brown color with a fair amount of shimmer, more pearlescent than chunky), neither of which worked for me. I think my Franken will work better, and I hope you enjoyed seeing it :-) And here's a final video swatch for you taken under incandescent light (the sunshine disappeared pretty quickly after I took these photos). Just look at how gleam-y these colors are!

Would I Buy Again?
Yes, yes, and . . . oh . . . YES (damn, that sounds orgasmic, heh-heh)! “Prowl” is currently on my SN wish list

Overall Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!