Life: Getting in the way again

I always have some excuse or another for not posting regularly, and every single time I tell myself to cut it out and just deal with it. This is, obviously, easier said than done.

My current excuse is that we’re undergoing kitchen renovations. Renovations are stressful no matter what, but delay after delay means that we’ve been without a sink for nearly 4 weeks now and I’m just about ready to punch someone in the face.

I’m also finally starting to apply for graduate school in London, and the whole process is turning me into (more of) a complete mess. Rationally, I know I have just as good of a chance as anyone else to get accepted, but there’s that insecure part of me that whispers maliciously in my ear, “But what if you’re not good enough?”


I’ve also quit my job at the bar and now I’m worried about money on top of everything else. Oh, and I’m currently sick.

You win this round, Life. Can I at least get back on my feet before you start whaling on me again?

(I know, I’m whiny. I’m sorry. I’m still trying to figure out how to do the adult thing and it’s starting to hit me that I’m 27 years old and it really makes me feel like shit.)

January 2014 empties

I forgot to mention that I’m currently in London. So if it seems like my posts are going up at weird times, it’s because I haven’t figured out if I’m scheduling them based on Hawaii’s time zone, or London’s.

In any case, I need to post my “start of the year clean out” of my makeup stash!

jan2014 empties eyeshadow singles

Urban Decay singles from various Book of Shadows palettes: Perversion, Ecstasy, Misdemeanor, Midnight Cowboy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Snatch.

I bought these because I couldn’t resist the loads of exclusive colors that came in these palettes. Never mind that I didn’t even know how to wear some of the colors on my skin tone. “But it’s such a good deal!,” I’d justify to myself. But is it really a good deal when you won’t use half the colors and you’ll end up throwing them away in a few years’ time? The answer, in my humble, former-makeup-hoarder opinion, is an emphatic NO.

Urban Decay singles from the Ammo palette: Last Call, Polyester Bride, Chopper.

I have another Last Call in one of the BoS palettes. I might have pulled it in my second go-round of getting rid of eyeshadows to downsize my Z palettes. It’s a pretty color, but it’s hard to work with on my skin tone. It has a tendency to make me look like I’ve been crying.

I hate Polyester Bride and I’ve used it maybe twice. The texture is extremely dry and gritty and the glitter fallout is crazy.

Chopper pulls really orange on me, and there’s a lot of fallout with this shade, as well.

Kat V D singles from various True Romance (??) palettes: Skiba, Solitude, Sinner, Cholita, Rad Purple.

From the above pictures, it would seem that I don’t like purples. This isn’t true. I like purples on me quite a lot. These particular ones, though rather unflattering on me, so I never used them.

Urban Decay matte singles: Chronic, Electric, Narcotic.

I bought these off Hautelook ages ago. I look at them now and have no clue why.

Wet n Wild Color Icon single in Kitten, Color Icon 8 pan palette in Comfort Zone, left side Definer shade.

I think I liked Kitten better in theory. It doesn’t really show up on me at all. As for the other one, when I depotted the Comfort Zone palette, a lot of them cracked and threatened to fall apart because the pans weren’t metal. This one succumbed to gravity and most of the powder fell out. It’s not a huge loss, as I have plenty of similar colors.

jan2014 empties eyeshadow palettes

Kat Von D Metal Orchestra palette: I saved two colors from this palette, because I like them. Razor Gray I gave to my mom because I have a duplicate, and Glock I put into a Z palette.

Sephora Mauve Yet! palette: I got this as a gift one year for either my birthday or Christmas. I didn’t use it a whole lot.

Kat Von D Rock n Roll palette: This was a Sephora 500 point perk. It seemed exciting when I first got it, but the eyeshadow quality was rather lacking.

jan2014 empties full size

LA Splash Splashproof eyeshadow sealer/base: This is really old and I rarely used it. It did a decent job of minimizing glitter fallout because it’s sticky.

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin: This creased on me quite a lot. It was also really frosty.

The Body Shop Big & Curvy waterproof mascara: I hated this. The formula was wet, and when it dried, my lashes felt crunchy.

Maybelline Fit Me powder foundation in 235: I’ve mentioned several times that I don’t care for this powder one way or another. It’s a bit too dark for me now, too. It’s also too pink. I recently bought a BECCA powder from Hautelook, and once that came in, this one had to go.

OPI Ridge Filler: I found this at Target on clearance and I decided to try it. It didn’t really do anything for me, and it was starting to get goopy.

jan2014 empties minis

Origins Vita-Zing SPF 15 tinted moisturizer: This was just okay. I stopped using this once I got The Body Shop’s Vitamin E BB cream.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners in 4L and 23L: They’re both dried out. 23L and UD’s Midnight Cowboy are nearly identical, so that wasn’t a huge loss. I’m sure I have a dupe for 4L too, and if not, I don’t wear this color too often anyway.

jan2014 non makeup empties

Things I actually used up!

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter: I like the texture and scent a lot. However, since starting work there, I’ve been wanting to try other scents, so I probably won’t go back to this one for awhile.

Bath and Body Works 3 Wick Candle in Villa Bergamot: Loved this scent and the label design. Will upcycle.

January count:
Full size: 39
Mini size: 3
Sample size: none

Not bad! As I mentioned, I did a second round of purging through my powder eyeshadows, so they’ll show up in February’s empties. I also need to go through my cream shadows and liners. I also lost a blush to depotting. Looks like Project 61 pan is off to a good start!

Nail polish overload

You can never have too many bottles of nail polish… Or can you?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I certainly can.

Awhile back, I bought one of those table top acrylic nail polish racks that holds about 50 bottles of polish. I promised myself that my collection should always fit in that one rack, and if it ever overflowed, it was time to edit.

I think it’s about that time.

For a few months, I would buy a new bottle of nail polish, find space for it on the rack, then forget about it. It got to the point where I had quite a number of colors that I had never used.

So, I decided to use them all at once and kill… nine birds with one stone. Damn, I’m efficient.

unused nail polish bottles

Look at these poor, unloved little guys.

L to R: Wet n Wild Sparked, China Glaze Razzle Dazzle Me, Sephora by OPI Indi-go With the Flow
Julie G Fairytale, Essie Tour de Finance, Essie Luxeffects Pure Pearlflection
LA Colors (These have no names, so I made them up): Watermelon, Gold, Teal*

*I know, I’m super creative. I’m expecting a job offer as a nail polish namer any day now.

unused nail polish base colors

Solid colors first! Then glitter on top. Because glitter makes everything better.

Lots of pictures in this post, so click for more!  Continue reading

Mani Sunday: Glitter is always an option

I got a few mini nail polishes for Christmas this past year, and when I tried one on, the color was just okay… It didn’t really feel like me, if you know what I mean. It was nice, it looked fine on me, but it wasn’t a color I’d reach for. Overall, it was uninspiring.

But when I put a layer of glitter polish… well, I like to think that glitter is always an option.

glitter option bottles

That’s Ciaté’s Candy Cane on the left and an unnamed L.A. Colors on the right.

glitter option

I think I just like glitter on my nails because it’s something shiny to distract me with. Yes, sometimes I have the mind of a five year old.

December 2013 empties

I’m not sure what the hell has gotten into me lately. It’s as if all the progress I’ve made toward being a productive, functional adult has gone down the drain and I’ve backslid into being a lazy, unmotivated teenager who stays up late doing nothing. Not a good way to start off the year.

What’s weird is that I continue to take pictures for the blog. But my organization and workflow system has gotten all messed up, especially after replacing my hard drive, so now I have a huge mental block when it comes to tackling that clusterfuck, and I just let the pictures pile up, unedited, on the memory card. They haven’t even made it to my computer yet.

But I can’t just sit here and complain about it and avoid it for the rest of my blogging life (I mean, I could, but then I should just give up right now). So, without further blither blather about my inability to do just do what I say I’m going to do, December’s empties before January is done!

dec2013 empties

False lashes (strip) – I bought these for Halloween a few years ago, and never used it because I was unsure of my ability to even apply false lashes. I finally used them for New Year’s Eve, and it actually came out rather well, and I got lots of compliments on them! I know I can reuse them, but honestly, if it took me years to finally wear them once, I probably won’t be wearing them again any time soon.

Picture evidence of me wearing these fabulous falsies:


I took this with the front facing camera on my iPhone after a long shift on NYE, so it’s pretty crappy quality. I found the rose at the bar (presumably a customer left it behind). Rhinestones are Urban Decay’s Rocks, which I bought off Hautelook years ago. This is probably the second time I’ve used them.

Note to self: stop buying things you will probably never use.

Falsies (individuals): I wore a few of the green ones for some reason or another. I don’t know, the whole thing is tacky. Whatever.

e.l.f. shine eraser blotting papers – These were pretty good for the price ($1). It did take more than one sheet to get my whole face, though. I’d repurchase them, but my local Target has been sold out the last few times I went to look for them.

The Body Shop olive body scrub – I like the fresh, green smell of this. The exfoliants are actual grains, so I had to rinse them off the floor of the tub (unlike sugar scrubs which eventually melt away). I’m currently using a Shea scrub again, and once that’s done I want to try the Honeymania one! The texture of the Honeymania one is more what I’m looking for: finer salt granules in a creamy base.

Yes To Cucumbers facial towelettes – Well, you guys already know that I love these wipes, so it’s no surprise that I’ve finished another pack. I’m not going to count them anymore as empties.

The Body Shop Super Volume mascara – It’s an okay mascara. I wouldn’t pay $18 for it, but then again, I hate spending more than $10 on something I’m going to replace in 3-6 months.

Smashbox O Gloss (mini) – I was using this as my overnight lip balm for months in an effort to use it up. There was still a tiny bit left when I threw it in the empties pile, but I’m done with it. Don’t care anymore.

Tocca Cleopatra eau de Parfum (mini) – I used this as a mini reed diffuser. I didn’t really care for the scent on me.

December’s count:
Full: 6
Mini: 2
Sample: 0

2013 count:
Full: 82
Mini: 36 (3 minis = 1 full, so 12)
Sample: 20 (5 samples = 1 full, so 4)

Grand total: 98

From my makeup pickups post – part 2, I stated that I had to get rid of 99 products to cancel out my purchases and be in the green. This would mean that I fell short by just one product, which would be pretty awesome!… except since then, I broke my ban and bought a few more things.

Since that post in September, I’ve picked up 4 new nail polishes (Essie’s Parka Perfect and Pure Pearlflection, Julie G’s Fairytale, and China Glaze’s Razzle Dazzle Me), a blush (theBalm’s InStain in Toile), and Jouer’s Blushing Beauty palette (which I’m going to count as 7 because there are 7 different pieces.

Total pickups in 2013:
33 + 12 = 45

45 x 3 = 135 to get rid of

135 – 98 = 37 carry over for 2014

Pickups for 2014: 2 nail polishes (Sephora by OPI’s Indi-go With the Flow and Essie’s Tour de Finance), and the OCC lip tars all star mini x 4 set, which I’m going to count as 4 even though they’re minis, because they’re insanely pigmented and they’ll probably last me as long as a full sized lipstick. I also bought a Pacifica sampler set I’m going to count as 2 because one is full size (another lip balm!) and the others are mini sizes.

8 x 3 = 24

37 + 24 = 61

So, I’m starting 2014 on a Project 61 Pan. Haha.

However, I did decide to throw away a lot of old makeup in January, so we’ll see if I finally did get out of the red in a few days’ time when I do my count. I need to go through my stash more thoroughly next month, but I can’t do that today because it’s Chinese New Year and you’re not supposed to clean or throw things out because it’s bad luck. :P

Stay tuned, peeps. And Gung Hee Fat Choy. And bear with me while I get my shit together.

These chicks don’t even know the name of my band

I was going through old notes on Facebook, and I came across this meme:


To Do This:
1) Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random”
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2) Go to Quotations Page. Select “random quotations”
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3) Go to Flickr. Click on “explore the last seven days”
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4) Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5) Post it to FB with this text in the “caption” or “comment” and TAG the friends you want to join in.

I think it’s both fun and funny! Here’s my band and album cover that was released in February 2009:


I guess it’s kinda indie folk? I hate the font choice of my band name, though. Ugh. It was an amateur effort, obviously.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the original source of the Flickr picture I used, so if anyone knows, or if this is your photo, please let me know so I can credit you properly!

And now my sophomore album, with a different band name:


I don’t even know what genre this would be. Alternative rock?

Here’s the link to the original file uploaded by the photographer on Flickr.

Try it out! Leave me a link so I can see your awesome band’s album cover.

October and November 2013 empties

Before the year is over, here are October and November empties of 2013!

oct2013 empties

Yes to Cucumbers facial towelettes – I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is an old standby. It’ll show up again in my December empties, but after that I’ll stop counting it.

Random blotting papers – My mom gave this to me to use up, ha. I like the decorative Japanese paper (I’m almost positive there’s a name for it, but I don’t know it. Oops.)

Perricone MD Photo Plasma (sample size) – I don’t remember anything about this. I think it was an SPF thing?

Sephora Brand nano eyeliner in Silver Green (mini) – This was part of a Sephora birthday gift one year. It’s actually a really pretty color. However, it doesn’t fit in any sharpener I own. I even bought a specific Sephora brand one, hoping that it would fit, but it didn’t. I thought it was a standard size, but it’s a really tight fit and I can’t even turn it to sharpen it. I also have to use considerable amount of force to get it out. As a result, I stopped using it once the tip got blunt. Shame.

Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Zero (mini) – Yay, another one of these done. Maybe one day I’ll be down to only one black eyeliner. /sarcasm

Sonia Kashuk eyebrow gel – Wow, this tube looks nasty. I liked it, but in all honesty, I’m probably not the best person to ask for an opinion on eyebrow gels because my eyebrows are generally pretty tame so I don’t notice a huge difference when I use gel or not. I bought a cheap e.l.f. one to replace this, but it’s double ended which means I went through it twice as quickly. Not sure if I’ll repurchase this SK one, or just use the clear eyelash gel on my eyebrows. :P

Burt’s Bees lip balm in Pomegranate – I like Burt’s Bees lip balms in general. This one had a very slight tint to it. My coworker bought one after seeing mine, but she said the smell of it bothered her (and that it wasn’t tinted red like mine was). Not sure if the formula changed or not. I won’t be repurchasing simply because, despite my best efforts, I seem to be up to my eyeballs in lip balms. Again.

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear mascara – I hated this. The formula was really wet and it flaked like crazy. Permanent raccoon eyes whenever I wore this.

Tarte ReCreate primer – This was part of a Sephora 500 point gift. I like that it’s silicone free, but it didn’t feel like it did anything, except add extra moisture. I probably wouldn’t purchase a full sized one.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – I got this as a sample when I dropped off a bunch of empties for recycling to the Origins counter in Macy’s. I really, really liked this mask. Whenever I started to break out, I’d use this and the pimple would come to a head overnight and dry out within a few days. Unfortunately, Origins is no longer cruelty-free, so I won’t be purchasing it. :(

ecoTools pointed concealer brush – This was part of their Day-to-Night set that I never got around to reviewing. (Link is to a review by cruelty-free beauty blog I follow, I really liked this brush for my under eye concealer, but the glue came loose and the bristles fell apart. I need to start paying attention when I wash my brushes: I know you’re not supposed to get the ferrule part wet, but some of the brush bristles are so short and the water flow is … wide? so how the hell are you supposed to avoid the ferrule getting wet?? Halp. There was another brush that suffered the same fate… in November’s empties.

nov2013 empties

Bath and Body Works 3-Wick Candle in London Calling – I bought this because I had to. I mean, come on. London calling, hello? (Ha, I made a funny.) Plus, it smelled like tea and lemon. I loved everything about this candle. The design on the top is so pretty. I want to turn it into a coaster, so I’ve kept it for an upcycling project!

ecoTools domed bronzer brush – Heart! Break! I named this as one of my six favorite beauty tools, and now my fallen soldier has been laid to rest. Again, I think I’m washing my brushes wrong. I’ve repurchased this, but the older version with the lighter bristles, and I’m going to be very careful where that damn water gets. I’ll do a separate post on my cooling love affair with ecoTools, because I’ve had more problems with these brushes than any of my other ones, which makes me sad.

Not pictured: Rainforest Shine or Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner packets – I got them as samples when I started working there in May, and I saved it until Albert and I were at our rental house. I don’t like the Rainforest shampoo and conditioners very much. However, I recently tried the banana shampoo and conditioner, and I LOVE IT.

October’s count:
Full: 6
Mini: 4
Sample: 1

November’s count:
Full: 2
Mini: none
Sample: 2

Full: 76
Mini: 34
Sample: 20

Huh. Not bad for a whole year (minus December). Of course, I kinda threw my buying ban out the window during this holiday season (I didn’t go crazy, but I wasn’t very disciplined either). But more on that in January, with December’s empties. I’ll have to do a recalculation for my downsizing goal in 2014. Oh, and remember all those things I said I was going to give to friends on Facebook? Yeah, that hasn’t happened yet. wtf, Jen. Get on it.

One more day of 2013 to go! Make it a good one, peeps. See you in 2014! :)

Real talk

Okay, guys. I haven’t posted at all this month, and I apologize. I’ve been working constantly, and crashing almost immediately as soon as I get home. I finally have an entire weekend off, and that hasn’t happened in months. I don’t even know what to do with myself.

Also, my computer’s hard drive was all messed up and I had to pay for a replacement hard drive, so it’s like I’m starting back at square one.

However, these are all excuses. My posts have been spotty at best, and I’ve come to realize it’s because I view it as optional. On my days off, I tend to think, What’s another day without working on a post? I’ve worked hard enough already and I deserve to lounge around and do nothing. And while that’s true, it’s certainly not helping my blog (or, in the grand scheme of things, to change the fact that I work a lot at two jobs and get paid very little).

I read an interview on Beautylish recently, on Blake Karamazov. She’s started her own cosmetics line, while having a day job. A lot of us have to do similar juggling acts. She states, “I have to remember that even though it’s fun, it is a job and I need to take it seriously.”

So. This is my goal for my blog: start taking it seriously. Start taking you, my readers, seriously. How disappointing it must be to start following a blog and see an update only once every three weeks! I don’t want to be that blog anymore.

Everyone is busy and has lives and other obligations. But when I’m tired and have to go to work, I don’t say, Screw it, I’m not going in today! I’ll just sleep for another 3 hours! No, I force myself out of bed to get dressed and ready. And really, once I’m there, it’s not so bad. I need to apply this discipline and change my attitude and approach to maintaining this blog.

On a related note, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a revamp/restart. Not anything drastic. But I do want to edit and fine tune the content of this blog, as well as put up higher quality posts.

I think my problem is, that I admire and aspire to be one of those highly organized, neat, productive and effective people. I dream of having an efficient work flow and an editorial calendar that I actually stick to. But the reality is, I’m a hot fucking mess 95% of the time and I’m almost always this close to falling apart completely. This leads me to believe that either a) I’m a huge failure of a human being or b) these “perfect” people simply better at keeping it together, and we’re all just faking this adulthood shit, so I need to step up my game at pretending to function. ;)

Anyway. I hope you’ve had a great Christmas/winter holidays. Here’s to 2014!

butter LONDON on Hautelook!

butter LONDON is on sale today on Hautelook, starting at 8 am PST!

I love this brand. To be honest, their formula is probably my favorite, and the brushes are great too. They are rather expensive, though, so picking them up on sale is not a bad idea!

To check out the sale, click here (personal invite link).

To check out my swatches of the few butter LONDON polishes I own:

A/W 2012 Collection
Big Smoke

Will you be picking anything up? I probably won’t (starting to feel the pinch of holiday spending!), but I’ll definitely be looking!

Mani Sunday: Cranberry Joy

cranberry joy


I did this mani back in the middle of November, just as The Body Shop’s holiday body butters were released. Mine matched the Cranberry Joy one. :)

cranberry joy 2


This is one of my favorite manis to date. It’s so pretty and festive! Even my mom said she liked it, and she is consummately indifferent to most of my manicures.

Ring finger red: Sephora by OPI’s Sample Sale
Middle finger red: China Glaze’s Ruby Pumps
Index finger: Essie’s Beyond Cozy (also sponged on the tip of the ring finger)