FOTD: Black and Gold Eyeshadow

black and gold big I have a few AFK eyeshadows that I picked up in a destash a while back and hadn’t gotten around to trying out yet. It’s a kind of random assortment of colors, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them, and wound up do a flared out black and gold look. I wound up using Baroque’s I’d Hate Toulouse You on both my cheeks and lips as well. I think it makes a really nice lip color, even if my application leaves something to be desired.

black gold look Darknessssss was a little bit tricky to use. I took a lot of blending and a couple layers to get it to show up as dark as I wanted and even then, it’s not as even as I’d like. But I’m pretty sure it’s been/is being reformulated. But AFK’s closed at the moment, so I can’t go check.

black and gold shadowEyes:

  • AFK Solar Flare
  • AFK Darknessssss
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Stila Smudgestick in Stingray
  • Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara


  • MAC Face and Body in N1
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • Benefit The Porefessional
  • Benefit Watt’s Up
  • Baroque I’d Hate Toulouse You


  • Baroque I’d Hate Toulouse You
  • Lush Honey Trap

I started this look by priming my eyelids. Then I applied Solar Flare, a gold, all over my mobile lids. I applied Darknessssss, a blackish dark color, to the outer corner over the gold. I blended it down and in towards the middle and flared it up at the outer corner as well. I used a fluffy blending brush to blend the two together. Darknessssss wasn’t very opaque, so I had to apply a couple layers to get it darker. I brought a little bit of it under my lower lashes as well. The gold on my lower lashline was actually fallout, but I decided I liked it there, so I tidied it up and left it. I tidied up around the edges of the black as well. I lined my eyes with black pencil liner and applied mascara. I actually wore face primer today, mostly out of curiosity. I basically smeared it all over my face with me fingers before I applied my foundation (with a brush), my concealer (with my fingers) and powder (also with a brush). I used a blush brush to apply I’d Hate Toulouse You, a reddish blush, which I blended into the skin with a clean blush brush. I also applied a little bit of a golden highlight to the tops of my cheeks and blended it with my fingers. I decided to use I’d Hate Toulouse You on my lips as well. I exfoliated my lips (but not quite well enough, since I missed a patch of dry skin), then applied a thick layer of waxy lip balm. I used a brush to pat the blush on top of the balm and my finger to even things out. I didn’t do the best job applying it evenly, but I do think it makes a nice lip color.

This look makes me feel like I should be going to a Tiger’s hockey game. The goldenrod base of Solar Flare matches their colors pretty well. I feel like my application wasn’t quite on point today, but I enjoy what I came up with anyways.


FOTD: Psylocke Inspired Black and Purple Look

Psylocke bigSo I’m still figuring out my camera, but I’m making some progress on getting pictures to come out actually me-colored. (Although I didn’t color correct these cuz I was lazy and therefore they’re a bit too yellow.) Anyways, I’m hoping to be blogging more regularly again now. This was my look for Darling Girl’s monthly contest. This month, the theme was superheroes, so I did a look based on Psylocke, one of my favorite X-Men. I’m really happy with the theme, because I love superheroes and it inspired me to start reading some comics again. in 2013 they started a new X-Men series (which is just called X-Men, no adjective or anything) that focuses on an all-female X-Men team, which is what got me to start reading comics in the first place. Yay female superheroes!

psylocke lookPsylocke’s black and purple thing comes off a bit more supervillain than superhero, though. But she’s a good guy.

psylocke shadowsEyes:

  • Darling Girl Indigo
  • Darling Girl Pornstache
  • Darling Girl Duct Tape Couture
  • NYX Black Bean
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in Intense Black
  • Sephora Collection Black Lace Eyeliner
  • Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl Mascara


  • MAC Face and Body in N1
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • Tarte Exposed
  • Tarte Blushing Bride


  • Kae Q B.S.
  • Kae Q Passionfruit
  • Kae Q Passionflower

I started by applying NYX Black Bean to my mobile lid and blending it in with my finger. It was way slipperier than NYX Milk and wound up kind of everywhere, so I tidied the edges with a q-tip and smudged some under my lower lashes. I patted Indigo, a shimmery purple that shows up over a black base, on top. I used a pencil brush to darken the outer corner and crease with Pornstache, a dark shimmery grey. I applied both Indigo and Pornstache to my lower lashline as well, with Indigo in the inner portion and Pornstache in the outer half. I used Duct Tape Couture, a lighter gray with a pink sheen, to highlight the inner corner. I applied black liquid liner with a strong wing along my upper lashes, and lined my lower lashes with black pencil liner. I curled my lashes and applied mascara. I applied my foundation and powder. I wound up layering two different blushes, a reddish tan and a pinky plum. For my lips, I started by applying Passionfruit, a dark purple balm, all over with a doe foot. Then I used a doefoot to line my lips with B.S., an opaque black. I tried to blend them together, but the black was dominating the purple. So I used my finger to dab Passionflower, a bright light purple, in the middle of my lips and blended to get a gradient.

Not my tidiest look, but I had fun with it, and it feels good to be doing some more creative looks again. During my blog-hiatus I mostly wore pretty low-key make up.

FOTD: Black and White and Pink

bw fusion big This morning I accidentally primed my eyes with shimmer primer instead of regular. The look I’d planned on wouldn’t have worked well with the shimmer primer, so I decided to do something different. I’d heard Hello Waffle’s Catssic Literature collection was extra shimmery, so I grabbed some shadows from it and sort of made it up as I went along.

bw fusion look I decided on black and white shadows and a bold fuschia-pink lip.

bw fusion shadowEyes:

  • Hello Waffle Call Me Ishmeow
  • Hello Waffle Edgar Allen Prrr
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin
  • Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara
  • Life’s Entropy Brow Theory in Blonde


  • MAC Face and Body in N1
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 1
  • Shiro Fatality Finishing Powder
  • Baroque Sonrel Not Sonrel Blush


  • Life’s Entropy Fusion

I started by priming my eyes with shimmery primer. Then I patted Call Me Ishmeow, a super sparkly white, all over the primer. I used a stiff narrow brush to push Edgar Allen Prrr, a black, into my lashline, and extended the shadow out into a wing shape. I pushed some into my lower lashline as well. Then I curled my lashes and applied mascara. I also used a brow brush to apply a tiny bit of Brow Theory in Blonde to my eyebrows. I did my face make up like usual and used Sonrel Not Sonrel, a plummy pink blush. For my lips I applied Fusion, a bright fuschia lip theory, with a lip brush.

I really liked the way the soft shadow wing came out. The brow theory experiment was also a success! I really like the natural shape and color of my brows, so I’ve never felt much of a need to put make up in them. However, the blonde brow theory is pretty much a perfect match and it was super easy to apply with my Real Techniques brow brush, so I might try doing my brows more regularly. I did like the little bit of extra definition it gives. I liked the lip theory as well, although I did get a bit of feathering from it. I think a lip liner would help, as well as make it easier to get the edges nice. I don’t have a proper lip liner, but I do have NYX’s Wonder Pencil, which says that it can be used as a liner outside the lips, so I might try that and see if it helps.


Teal and Black Look for Phyrra (and Musings About Cruelty Free Beauty)

Phyrra guest post 1Today I have a guest post over at! Phyrra is one of the first blogs I found that included indies. I’m pretty sure I stumbled upon her site looking for eyeshadow advice for hooded eyes and have been reading it for a while now. So when she posted in Notoriously Morbid’s facebook group looking for guest posters to do looks using Notoriously Morbid products while she was recovering from eye surgery, I happily volunteered to do a look for her. She has awesome black and teal hair, so I used those colors and am super happy with how it turned out. Jupiter Rain is just a lovely color. Head over to to for the full face pictures!

Phyrra’s thing is that she only blogs about cruelty free make up, which is honestly something I hadn’t thought much about before I came across her site. Most of the mainstream make up I have is from before I’d even considered that some brands test on animals while others don’t, so it’s a mix of cruelty free brands and brands that test on animals. But, because I respect her beliefs and didn’t want to put something she didn’t support on her blog, I went through my collection and used only cruelty free products in my look for her. (The only exception is my Laura Mercier concealer, which Phyrra lists as a “grey area” brand on her site. But I only have two concealers and dark circles, so I used it anyways.) And the look came out awesome, if I do say so myself!

I then thought back on the purchases I’ve made this year and the things that are still on my wishlist and realized that without really intending to, I’ve sort of unconsciously switched over to preferring cruelty free brands. In fact, every single product on my wishlist right now is cruelty free. A lot of this has been the switch from mainstream make up to indies, which don’t test on animals, but some of it has been my mainstream brand preferences shifting as well. I’ve grown to love brands like Tarte, Urban Decay and Kat Von D, and have less fondness for ones like Benefit or Stila. I’ve even found good replacements for some of my old animal-tested go-to products. (I’ve swapped my Stila Liquid Liner for Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and I’m pretty sure Buxom Lash has replaced Benefit’s They’re Real as my favorite mascara.) When deciding which brands to purchase from here on out, whether they’re cruelty free or not will definitely be a factor. But I’m still ok with using what I have or what I’m given for free. I’m not sure I’m ready to switch over 100%, but I figure a shift is a step in the right direction. If you’re interested in learning more about which brands are cruelty free or not, Phyrra has a list of cruelty free brands and I trust her legwork on it.

MAC is sort of the sticking point for me. I could find dupes for the other products I have that have been tested on animals, but I use their Face and Body Foundation pretty much daily, and I genuinely respect their charity work, particularly the MAC AIDS fund. AIDS is an issue that hits much closer to home for me than animal testing does. Yes, I think it is better to not test on animals than to test, but I don’t get as viscerally upset about it as I know a lot of other people do. (This probably also explains why I am a lapsed vegetarian. Ten years without meat and then I started eating it again when I moved to Korea. Vegetarian Korean food gets repetitive.) But I’ve spent four years living in a country with one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world and have seen firsthand the effect that it can have on people’s lives, both in America and in Tanzania. And so, for me, I’m not ready to write off the company yet. Philosophy is another brand that’s not on Phyrra’s list that makes a staple product of mine (I’ve been washing my face with their Purity cleanser since college) and has a commitment to charitable giving (for women’s mental health issues) that I will probably make an exception for. Your choices might be different. I think that’s ok. This is not my fight, but I support those who care about it more passionately than me, and I figure incremental changes are better than none.

What are your thoughts on cruelty free beauty and animal testing? Do you only buy cruelty free products? If so, did you make the switch in one fell swoop or gradually?

FOTD: Red and Black Queen of Hearts Smoky Eye, from Crimson and Clovher’s tutorial

Queen of Hearts 1My lovely new internet friend Crimson and Clovher posted posted this Queen of Hearts-inspired tutorial last week, which I knew I had to try. Because a) I love Alice in Wonderland, b) red eyeshadow is my new favorite thing and c) it looked totally badass on her. So I did! And while I think it looks more extreme on me than on her (thanks, super-pale skin), and I skipped the heart shaped lips (since I wasn’t actually going to a costume party), I really like how it turned out. It was easy to follow along with her instructions and it was fun using some new techniques for a change! queen of heartsI love the red! I loved it so much I put it on my lips too. queen of hearts 2Like many of my more extreme looks, glasses tone it down. Obviously I had to wear my red pair. DSCN4894 Eyes:


  • MAC Face and Body in N1
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 1
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty


Obviously, the full instructions for this are laid out in the tutorial, but I did make a few slight changes. I started by priming my lids and covering them with Bloody Awful Poet, a matte black eyeshadow, drawing a cat-eye shape at the corners. I cleaned up the edges using q-tips and face lotion. Then I patted Pixie Epoxy onto the inner 2/3 or so with my pinky and waited for it to set. I applied Vivaldi, a sparkly red, over the top. Then I blended the edges into the black. However, over the black Vivaldi was taking on some burgundy/purplish tones, and I wanted true red, so I patted Unforgettable, a warm-toned sparkly red, over the inner half of the eye or so and blended it into the already-blended other red. At this point I had totally screwed up the edges of the cat eye, so I retraced them with black and tidied them up with q-tips again. I lined my upper lids with black liquid liner, following the lower edge of my eyeshadow out at the corners, and I lined my lower waterline with black pencil eyeliner. I curled my lashes and applied lots of mascara, because I don’t own false lashes. Then I wiped tons of fallout off of my face. If you do this look, definitely do your eyes before your face. I did my face make up, with extra powder to set, and applied red blush very lightly, because one can never have too much red. I tried my red lipsticks, but they didn’t match the red of my eyes, and then I realized both red shadows were lip safe! So I used a lip brush to apply them to my lips with some clear balm. (Note: Neutrogena’s balm is terrible for this. Usually I use Lush’s Honey Trap for sticking powders to my lips and it works so much better. You want something thick and a little waxy otherwise it will slide all over your face. Which this did pretty much as soon as I finished with the pictures. I wound up taking it off and putting Shiro’s With Eyes Unclouded on.)

All in all, I was really glad how well Crimson and Clovher’s tutorial worked for me! I’d never really tried following a step by step tutorial before, but I loved this look and was so glad she wrote up her instructions! Although, between the lips and the eyes I think I used at least a dozen q-tips. Oh well, I think it was worth it. :)

Do you guys ever follow your internet friends’ tutorials? Any advice on wearing eyeshadow on your lips and getting it to stay?

FOTD: Hufflepuff Yellow and Black

DSCN4767And now for Hufflepuff. The “we don’t really know what defines you, so no metallics for you” house. This youtube video pretty much sums it up. And also is hilarious. Anyways, basic black and yellow for the Hufflepuffs. Nice and simple.

HufflepuffI really like the way the yellow brings out the blue of my eyes. Plus it makes me feel super cheery and smiley (although that might also have been caused by thinking “I can’t digest lactose. I’m a Hufflepuff!” Seriously, go watch the video).



  • MAC Face and Body in N1
  • MAC Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
  • Shiro1-Up blush


I started by priming my eyes and patting Dandelion, a bright yellow, all over my lid. Next I took Cornucopia, a goldenrod yellow, and applied it to the outer part of my crease using an angled brush. To keep it Hufflepuff, try to use something that’s not too metallic/gold. You want to read yellow. Then I drew a winged line on my upper lashes. I used a liner brush to apply Bloody Awful Poet, a matte black to my lower lashline. Then I added mascara, but it didn’t look finished, so I used my angled brush to apply some Cornucopia underneath the wing and the outer corner of the lower lashline. I did my face make up as usual, with peachy pink blush and corally pink tinted balm.

I liked this more than I thought I would. The yellow is bright and cheery and looks great with blue eyes, and I always love a clean winged liner. The simplicity seems very Hufflepuff-appropriate. I really liked the way Bloody Awful Poet worked on the lower lashline. I might have to start using shadow instead of liner on my lower lashes more often.

Hello Waffle Musicians Collection: Looks

Musicians close ups 2

Pachelbel, Mendelssohn, Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin, Mozart / Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Bartok, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Einaudi

Yesterday I posted my swatches of Hello Waffle’s Musicians collection, and today I’m sharing the looks I’ve created using this collection. This collection has a ton of rich, beautiful neutrals which makes it very easy to come up with everyday looks, but the pops of color mean that you can go bold as well. I’ve come up with a couple dramatic looks and a few more easily wearable ones. While I created five looks for this post, I feel like there are a ton of other combinations I could have chosen instead.

DSCN3568Look 1: Bartok, Bach, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff

Musicians 3 I primed my lids and patted Mendelssohn onto the inner half of my lid, then flipped my brush over and applied Bartok to the outer half and blended the two together to make a seamless gradient. Then I worked Bach into the outer corner and crease and below my lower lashes using a stiff, flat brush. I lined eyes with a dark brown eyeliner, and went over it with Rachmaninoff. I worked Rachmaninoff the tiniest bit upwards into the outer corner of my crease. I lightly highlighted my browbone with Mendelssohn and finished with mascara for an easy to wear warm neutral look.

DSCN3527Look 2: Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and Rachmaninoff

Musicians 2I started by patting Vivaldi into the outer corner of my already primed lids. Then I added Tchaikovsky to inner part of my eyelid, stopping when I reached the red. I also put a little bit in the inner corner. Then I put a very tiny amount of Vivaldi on my brush and blended it into the crease, making sure to keep it from being too dark or harsh. I used a clean blending brush to blend the red and gold together. I mixed Rachmaninoff with Superstar serum and applied it as winged liner with an angled brush, making the wings into thicker than usual triangles. I used the remaining Rachmaninoff mixtures to line the out 2/3 of my bottom lashes, connecting it to the wings at the outer corners. I finished the look with mascara and red lipstick.

DSCN3024Look 3: Debussy, Chopin, Mendelssohn and Pachelbel

Musicians 1Maybe don’t try this look unless you’re super comfortable with your blending skills and want to look like a glittered, slightly neon easter egg. I primed my lids, then patted on Debussy. I put Chopin into the crease and outer corner and attempted to blend into Debussy. I patted Pixie Epoxy over the solid purple area and applied more Chopin on top and blended again. Then I applied more Pixie Epoxy on top of the green and did the same with Debussy. I blended out the edges with Mendelssohn, up to my browbone. This was honestly just too shimmery so I toned it down with some matte skin-toned shadow on top. I used Pachelbel to highlight my inner corner and under my brow. I put some Debussy along the rest of my lower lashline. I lined my eyes, drew on my wings and applied mascara on my upper and lower lashes. Then I blended some more.

DSCN3670Look 4: Mozart, Schubert, Einuadi

Musicians 4For this, I put Mozart in the center of the lid, with Schubert on either side of it. I made sure that neither color went up past my crease, and smoothed out the edge with a clean brush. I mixed Einaudi with Superstar Serum and lined my upper and lower lids. Then I used the same brush to place dry Einaudi (not mixed with the serum) on top.

DSCN3942 Look 5: Pachelbel and Einaudi

musicians 5This look pretty much couldn’t be simpler. It’s just Pachelbel all over the entire lid and up to the brow and Einaudi mixed with Superstar serum as winged liner. And then Einaudi along the outer 2/3 of the bottom lashes and Pachelbel for the inner third. I needed a plain black and white look to remind me of piano keys and sheet music. Also, I love white eyeshadow. Too often it gets relegated to serving only as a highlight, but I love it on its own!

Musicians 5 b

As a bonus extra look (mostly because I was curious about how Einaudi would work as a shadow, not just as a liner), I went back and popped a bit onto the outer corner and blended it. It’s pretty much the same, just with some grey.

Musicians looks

These are my five Musicians collection looks. I think the second one might be my favorite. I was really surprised at just how well the red and gold blended together, but both Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky have an exceptional formula that made it super easy to make a seamless transition. This makes me want to find more times to wear red eyeshadow! (Also, dorky side note: This look screams Gryffindor to me. But I’m solidly Ravenclaw.) I really love the first look as well. It’s the type of neutral look that makes me feel super pretty while not drawing too much attention. Which look is your favorite?