Made Up in Boston

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction." -Oscar Wilde

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Moving On

Hello, lovely readers. It's been awhile.

I apologize for falling off the proverbial face of the earth. I should have popped in a long time ago to share with you the changes I've gone through over the past few months.

I'll just put it out there for you: I've moved on. I have totally lost my passion for beauty blogging. Now, don't get me wrong: I still enjoy makeup and discovering new beauty products. The fun and joy that came from writing about makeup has disappeared, though. At some point it started to become an annoying habit instead of a fun hobby, and once that happened, I knew it would be wise to step back, scale back my blogging efforts, and see whether or not I started to miss it. I didn't, so I have decided to stop blogging here.

I want to thank you all for following me and for voicing your wonderful questions, comments, and opinions. I have enjoyed reading them and talking about products and sharing tips with you all.

I have started a new blog for a life-long passion: budget-friendly fashion. As a teacher, fashion is a much more realistic blogging opportunity for me than makeup. Unlike my makeup (which more often than not these days is very simple), I have to dress well five days of the week. And so I have decided to blog about my shopping experiences: how to look great while adhering to a budget. I firmly believe that fashion can be fun, classic, and wallet-friendly, and that cheap does not always equal tacky!

I hope you will follow me on my new blog, Teaching Chic and Cheap. If you decide to "move on" as well, thanks again for your years of readership. I wish you well on your future Internet journeys!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Know Your Friendly Neighborhood Blogger: 25 Random Things About Tiffany

Like any good blog reader, I always appreciate pretty photos and honest reviews. I could easily lose track of the time I spend ingesting a blogger's opinions or techniques. But every now and then I find myself wondering about the people behind the user name and the pretty pictures. What's their story? What are they like as people? What are their interests (beyond makeup and fashion, that is)? I love those rare, occasional little snippets that allow me to learn about each blogger's personality, beyond our shared appreciation for all things beauty.

I do this thing with my students that I call Two Minutes with Tiffany. Basically, every now and then I'll give them the last few minutes of a class to ask me questions about myself. This lets them see me in another light and get to know me as an actual person, rather than just their teacher. I obviously reserve the right to ignore any question I consider inappropriate, but for the most part it's always in good fun. In the end, my students leave my classroom knowing as much about me as I like knowing about them.

So I thought I'd bring my Two Minutes with Tiffany here, so that you, my readers, can get to know the person behind the blog.

So here they are, 25 random facts about Tiffany. I hope you enjoy :)

1. My birthday is March 17, my mum's birthday is March 18, and my cousin's birthday is March 19th. Three birthdays so close to each other always guarantee one heck of a party!

2. I bought my first lipstick when I was 14, and it was a shade called Mica (L'Oreal). It was an iridescent dark purple-brown color and it probably made my teeth look really yellow, but I felt so cool wearing it.

3. I grew up in a family that spoke German, and I took it in school/college for almost 10 years. I know my way around a verb conjugation or two. I went to Germany in Jan. '11 and tried to put my skills to use, but everywhere I went, everyone wanted to practice their English. First world problems, man.

4. I can sing. Like, I can *really* sing. I took voice lessons for years. I was even the Rizzo understudy in a high school production of "Grease" (that's right, people, I'm a total bad ass AND a professional amateur).

5. My sister and I could be twins, even though we're ten years apart in age (and for what it's worth, I'm the baby). The only real difference between us is that her eyes are hazel, and mine are green. Our two front teeth even cross in the same way!

6. I studied history and archaeology in college, because I hoped that someday I could live a life like Indiana Jones's (but without the Nazis, snakes, and creepy ghosts in boxes). I may have missed the ball on the globe trotting relic hunter lifestyle, but I do get to bore a bunch of students with lectures on the crusades and why X never, ever marks the spot on a daily basis.

7. I hate shoes. That doesn't stop me from buying them.

8. My favorite writer is Oscar Wilde. It's a goal of mine in life to visit all of the important sites of his life. Yes, even the jail.

9. Wine makes me a better cook (and by "better" I mean, "I have no clue what I'm doing!").

10. I met my husband when I was 16 years old. Yup, high school sweethearts over here. He still gets my heart to flutter, 13 years later.
11. Halloween is my favorite holiday. Interestingly enough, I am a direct descendent of Mary Perkins Bradbury, which might explain my love of all things spooky.


12. I am scared of water. Panic-attack level of scared. Which is weird, because I totally love the beach, and I've lived my entire life right on a coast.

13. I am very political. If you follow my tweets, you might be aware of this already. Apologies for my soap box; I drag it out a lot.

14. I hate folding laundry and emptying the dishwasher.

15. I have really weird food allergies. Raw tomato and coconut makes my tummy very sad :(

16. Unlike a lot of white people who try to claim it, I actually am part Native American (1/8 Passamaquoddy, yo) and have the family and documentation to prove it.

17. I love volleyball, even though I'm pretty crap at playing it. This fact doesn't stop me.

18. Reddit might be my favorite website ever.

19. I never eat steak, and I'll only eat a burger if it's been charred like a hockey puck, smothered in cheese and pickles, and I'm at a special event like a cookout.

20. I am obsessed with handbags. I must own at least 12.

21. I have a huge family. My dad had 13 brothers and sisters.
Riding one of said bajillion uncles' bikes. I was a gnarly three year old with a Kermit doll. Check ya'self.

22. I am 5'2" on a good day. With the right hair and shoes, I come in at a whopping 5'5".

23. I love science fiction and fantasy movies.

24. I am a dog person, but I've only had cats or rabbits for pets.

25. I lived in La Jolla, CA for three years, and can't wait for the day when I can move back!

TL;DR: I'm pretty cool :p

So that's me, in a very consolidated nut shell! Thanks for taking the time to read a post without (many) pictures, and please leave a comment that tells me a random fact about you. I want to know my readers as much as you want to know me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

NARS Cairo and Lhasa Eyeshadows

Over the past few months, I've found that I really love everything about the NARS makeup line: the quality of the makeup, GORGEOUS, fun colors, and the overall aesthetic it projects is more often than not my style. That said, I often avoid buying anything from NARS simply because it's a bit pricier than I find I can indulge in. The two eyeshadow duos I currently own (Kalahari and Kuala Lumpur) were bought after months of deliberation; it's not a "just buy it and damn the consequences" kind of brand for a teacher.

However, I recently celebrated my 29th birthday AND graduated from my master's program, so I felt these two events warranted a little bit of guilt-free makeup shopping. So last weekend I bit the bullet and bought two NARS eyeshadows I've been lusting after for months: Cairo and Lhasa.
Cairo has long been a part of the permanent eyeshadow lineup. It's described as a "shimmering champagne rose", and I can definitely see the rose undertones in this shadow. It looks so much like the sandstone buildings that make up the city's landscape. It's a wonderful neutral that actually really matches my own skin color. It's totally "MEBB" (my eyelids but better); it blends in beautifully and just gives my eyelids are really finished look.

NARS Cairo
The texture of Cairo is total jackpot. Heavily pigmented and super powdery, you really don't need a lot when applying it. I wore it without primer and got about 6 hours of wear before it started to crease. With primer, I managed about 10 hours of creaseless wear.

Lhasa, named for the Tibetan city (side note: I love that NARS names their eyeshadows after world sites!), is described as a "lavender grey". Inspired by the colors of the mountains surrounding the region, you can really see how close the color of the shadow is to the landscape. There is the obvious lavender color of the shadow, but there are also very faint blue and brown undertones. It's simply stunning.
Image Source

NARS Lhasa
Lhasa's texture is a lot different than Cairo's. It's way more sheer. You can wear it swiped once on the eyelid for a sheer hint of color, or you can build it up to really show off the color as it appears in the pan.

Both shadows swatched:
Cairo (L) and Lhasa (R)
Typically, I have a penchant for buying eyeshadows that pretty much match a color I already have in my collection. However, I had a bit of a hard time finding dupes for these two eyeshadows.

(L to R)
Urban Decay Virgin 
(no brown undertones, too cool, too shimmery)
Stila Bliss 
(a close match, but matte and a hint too light)
MAC Banshee 
(more pink than brown, with silver glitter)
NARS Cairo 
(champagne rose with shimmer)

(L to R)
Maybelline "Lid" color from Charcoal Smokes quad
(Too cool, more grey, similar satin finish)
NARS Lhasa
(Lavender Grey with a satin finish)
MAC Scene
(Too blue, no purple undertones)
MAC Shale
(More purple than grey, too warm, similar finish)
Elizabeth Arden Velvet Plumtones quad
(Closer to Scene than Lhasa, too blue)

All together now! (In low natural light, no flash)

In case you couldn't tell from the rather blatant tone of this review, I definitely recommend these two individual eyeshadows.

Do you have any NARS products that you love? Are you a fan of their eyeshadows? Let me know what shades you like!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm Back, and I've Got An Opinion On a Blush!

Hurrah! I have returned! I have risen from the dead to spread a message of makeup; I am a makeup messiah.

Well, no, I mean, not really. I just had the morning off.

But nonetheless, I've got a product to review.

Maybelline's Dream Bouncy Blushes were introduced a few months back to rave reviews. For a while it was a bit tricky to hunt these babies down because everyone was trying to get their hands on them. Never having been a fan of Maybelline blushes before (seriously, the Fit Me blushes are just awful), I read the hype with reservation. However, while running errands one day I found a Bouncy Blush sale in Wal-Mart and decided to pick one up.

I brought #15 in Rose Petal home and gave it a try.

The packaging: it's a small, round compact with a flimsy flip lid. It weighs nearly nothing, which might actually be a factor of the product itself (more on that later). The logo is a bit juvenile, with Comic Sans style bubble letters. It reminds me of the PINK line from Victoria's Secret: aimed at younger women.

Texture: This is where shit gets weird. Dream Bouncy blushes are literally bouncy. If you press into the product, it gives it a little bit and puffs out on the sides, sort of like a new pillow when you first put your head on it. It reminds me a lot of my Chanel Illusion D'Ombre  eyeshadow. It's weird. It also doesn't seem to weigh anything; it's like swiping your finger across cotton candy. It's the most light-weight cream blush I've ever encountered.

Application: You have to apply it with your fingertips, like most cream blushes. I don't personally appreciate applying blush with my fingertips, but it is what it is. The product on the fingertip comes out both chalky and creamy. I don't know how this works.
Color Payoff: Um, not so good. Maybe I just picked a bum color, but I have had a really hard time getting a lot of color to show up on my skin. Maybe this is a factor of how light is feels. I've found it does make a good base for other powder blushes.
(Swatched in natural light vs. an unblended dab on my cheek with flash)

Because I don't get a lot of color payoff with this blush alone, I've been pairing it with my E.L.F. Studio Blush and Bronzer Duo. Together the two look beautiful. It gives my cheeks a lovely peachy-pink glow.
Eyes: NARS Cairo, Urban Decay Virgin and Smog
Lips: Revlon Pink in the Afternoon

Dream Bouncy Blush Rating: C-

Final thoughts: I wanted to like this product, just because I appreciate the concept of a feather light cream blush. Unfortunately, I had such a hard time working with this one its own that I can't really recommend it as a stand alone blush. If you want a nice cream base on which to layer a powered blush, you can be sure this will certainly provide that. But on its own, it's a total bust.

Have you tried any of the Bouncy Blushes? If so, what are your thoughts? Do you think I just picked a bad color? Let me know what you think of them!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm Not Dead!

I promise that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I'm around, still kicking, still concealing, still blending. I just haven't had much time lately to devote to blogging. I'm still working on finding a balance between work and play; a little more play is very much in order.

I have a lot of really great new bits to review and gush over. I'll do my best to get something up this week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Out Of My Comfort Zone

You might have noticed by now that I really like neutrals for everyday wear, so much so that I typically don't incorporate a lot of "color" in my makeup looks. You might also notice that this look is so not a neutral, everyday look. It borders on Nightclub, and teeters dangerously on Hooker. It also took approximately 6,783 different products to create. 

I have no idea what prompted this look, but I do know that I feel like Vogue/Gia Carangi circa 1980 right now!

If you want a fun look for going out, or even if you just want something different and eye-catching, then give the following look a shot!

Step 1: Start with the eyes.
*Tip: Before you do the rest of  your makeup, get the eyes out of the way. When you're working with darker eyeshadow colors, you're probably going to see some fallout under the eye. Give a quick dusting of a loose powder so that any fallout lands on the powder and is easily wiped away after application to the lid.*

Using a flat stiff bristle brush, pat your base color onto the lid (I used the deepest shade from L'Oreal's Lavender Smokes quad). Don't worry about precise lines because you're going to be blending the ever loving heck out of this look!

Step 2: Blend!
Using a pencil brush, blend the edges of the shadow into the eye's crease and up and out towards the ends of your brows.

Step 3: Blend a transition color into the crease (I used MAC Shale).
Do not bring the transition color up to the brow; keep it in the crease. Once you've blended your transition color fully, go over it with a lighter color (I used MAC Naked Lunch) and highlight the outer end of your brows with a shimmery nude shadow (I used MAC Shroom).

Step 4: Line the upper and lower lashes.
I used Urban Decay Gunmetal on the upper lash line and applied it with a flat brush.
Using a pencil brush, I used a heavy hand with Urban Decay's Half-Baked shadow on the lower lash line and inner corner of the eye. The contrast is interesting and gives the eye a wide-awake look!

Step 5: Fill in your brows.
My brows are sparse, thanks to years of plucking and trimming. I fill them in with Urban Decay's Buck shadow, which is a warm ashy brown and nearly the same shade as my brows.

Step 6: Apply your under eye concealer and set with powder.

Be sure to wipe away any of the previously mentioned fallout from your shadow application. Apply your concealer to get rid of any dark circles and to give your eyes balance (you don't want your eye area to be too dark!). Set it with a powder. The powder will help against "wear and tear" fallout.

Don't forget to apply mascara.

Step 7: Apply blush to the cheekbones. 
In the winter, I like to use deeper colored blushes, just to give my face some warmth when it's pale. I used Wet N'Wild iconic blush in Heather Silk, a rich mulberry-hued blush.

Step 8: Lipstick up!
I matched my lipgloss to my blush, which I normally don't recommend. However, with such a bold eye, I thought it was better to keep my look well within the same color family as far as everything else was concerned. 

I have no clue what this lipgloss is called, or what the brand is. It was a stocking stuffer and a complete no name brand from China (I can feel the cancer growing as I type this....).

Step 9: Vamp it up!
(Yes, I'm aware my hair is a ridiculous mess. I'm lazy and today is my "break from the brush" day.)

Do you play it safe, or do you go out of your comfort zone with makeup? How far are you willing to push your own envelope?