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Time for some FUN!  There’s been a lot of subconscious fun craving lurking inside me…through the job change over the past couple months, the preparation, stress, networking, the car repair a couple of weeks ago…”known unknowns,” as our instructor called them in a project management certification prep course a few years ago.  You know things are gonna happen, but you don’t know exactly how they’re all gonna unfold.  What’s the craving?  Busting out the joy, fun and free spirit that is so part of me but tends to get shoved and squashed when life stress comes to the party.

And anyway, I haven’t done any makeup-related posts in here in probably over a year.  Oh, that’s right.  I did a few around May 2010 (“My Favorite Things”).  And I remember exactly why.  I was so fucking pissed that my job start date was delayed over three weeks by stupid, basic, transactional paperwork functions that SOMEbody wasn’t doing.  Waiting and waiting after my unemployment had run out and was turning down other interviews.  So I did those posts with a sea of anger whooshing through me.  Check the May 2010 archives if you are curious. I did them to kill time and keep me from going homicidal.  Kidding…sort of. 

Let’s lighten up now, shall we?  This post is about nothing but FUN.  Well, makeup is always a joy to me, but this post oozes celebration down to its toes.

I’ve been wearing makeup over 30 years and have tried just about everything out there.  And I have zero brand loyalty.  When my favorite Lancome (liquid) foundation was discontinued after 15+ years, well, I had to try a bunch of others before I found a few new favorites. Favorites plural, not singular.  And they’re not Lancome, although the Definicils and Hypnose mascaras are out of this world.  

Speaking of favorites, know this:  no one brand can kick ass in everything.  My opinion, of course.

I treated myself to a few goodies recently –  woohoo!  So let’s take a look, starting from the top row, right to left.  (Sorry in advance – I don’t know how to upload multiple pics in a post here for some reason).

Mascara!  Good grief I usually have about 8 or 10 in rotation at any given time.  Department store, drugstore – doesn’t matter.  There are great ones out there in just about any price range.  And you don’t need to spend $30+ on a mascara.  The more expensive ones aren’t going to last much longer than drugstore ones typically.

So here we go, left to right, top row:
MAC Zoomlash in Plum Reserve – most of MAC’s mascaras are great.  One thing I love is the price point – they run around $14 – $19, so about half the price of other department store lines.  I usually use Zoomlash in black, but this plum shade caught my eye online and I had to give it a try.  It’s nice but doesn’t have enough purple punch to wear on its own. Anyone else wear colored mascara back in the 80s like me?  I loved that trend.  Really and truly.  But it’s a little too retro nowadays, so it’s fun to just do a light coat of colored mascara over your basic black.  This mascara is perfect for that.  Department stores or maccosmetics.com.

MAC False Lashes – this is a refill I just picked up at the MAC counter at Nordstrom yesterday.  I got my hair cut and highlights touched up and had a blast doing a little shopping in person.  The MAC make up artists (MUAs) are great.  Super friendly, zero attitude.  This mascara really delivers – it’s a little ‘wetter’ than others so start lightly and gradually add more.  And it comes off great with a little cleanser and eye makeup remover.  Department stores or maccosmetics.com.

Maybelline The Falsies in Black Drama – one of the grocery stores near my house had all Maybelline marked down 20%, so I got this for something like $7 or $8.  The brush has a curvy, spoon shape which I’ve not ever seen before, and it takes some practice to get the angle just right.  When you do…WOW.  I’m very impressed!  Doesn’t flake off and washes right off too.  Nice work, Maybelline!  At drugstores.

Kat von D Tattoo eyeliner – Kat von D is a tattoo artist and has quite an impressive makeup collection!  I’ve used her mascara (should not be a surprise given my zero loyalty) but had not yet tried any liners.  I’m a sucker for a wonderful liquid or felt tip pen-type liner that doesn’t budge and washes off easily when I’m ready.  And given 99% of my liquid liners are black, I chose the “Biker” shade, which is listed as “dark smoke” on the Sephora website.  Why not mix it up with a little grey?  

Here’s where shopping online for makeup can be risky.  I like the long, thin stiff brush on this liner, but the shade is far too light grey for any oomph.  But at $18 it didn’t break the bank and I’ll probably use it on days I am not wearing much makeup.  I’ll definitely test the other shades at Sephora before purchasing again if ever.

MAC Lipglass in All of My Purple Life – *raises hand*…I SWEAR I got rid of a lot of lipgloss overload I’ve built up over the past couple years.  I still have way too many.  I promisepromisepromise this wonderful, rich purple is unlike any I have.  Know what drew me in – along with the beautiful color?  It’s part of the Bloggers’ Obsessions collection.  I know, I know, MAC has a new collection coming out about every 10 minutes, and I’ve passed on quite a few recently give it’s just re-packaging or shades I already have.  This collection is intriguing. 

MAC selected a few top beauty bloggers to create their own custom shade of lipstick, lipglass or eyeshadow at MAC’s lab in Toronto.  What a dream come true, eh?  Amazing.  All of my Purple Life is a rich, purple/magenta shade.  And it makes these thin lips look super plumpy and full.  I’m in love!  This shade is much easier for me to rock than a red lipstick.  Get this while you can because it’s super limited edition.  Only online at maccosmetics.com.  PS:  Why that name?  Find your old Prince album (cassette tape?) The Hits / The B Sides and play Erotic City.  It’s the first line in the lyrics.  Genius!  Wow, that song reminds me of frat parties in college.  But that’s another post. Everytime I comb my hair / thoughts of you get in my eyes…oh man, Prince! 

Moving on now, we have MAC Dazzleglass in Baby Sparks – MAC made the smart decision to have Dazzleglasses in their permanent line – thank you!  Love the 3-D sparklies and that signature vanilla scent.  This is sparkle that I can easily layer over a lipstick for work.  No disco ball lips here.  This shade is a pale pink with just a teeny amount of light violet twinkling within.  Love it.  Department stores or maccosmetics.com

Did someone say eyeshadow?  I won’t even try to hide my overload.  Perhaps it’s time to pair it down or just enjoy what I have but I’m only human, and, a makeup junkie who’s not ready for 12-step.  LORAC, Stila, MAC…and Urban Decay.  Urban Decay sprang up and gave me a big ol’ virtual smooch a couple of years ago and has given my trusty MAC some stiff competition!  Eeek, there goes my wallet.

So at the far left in the square pan we have Urban Decay Stardust shadow in Moon Spoon.  The Stardust shadows have 40% more glitter than their other shadows (so says their website), but promise not to have fallout or chunky glitter – both so annoying!  This is a nice, basic grey with a lot of sparkle, but it’s not over the top at all.  Be sure to use a primer so your shadow has something to stick to.  I like to pat eyeshadow on at first with a brush (rather than sweep it) to get the first layer on evenly.  This shade doesn’t have the color payoff of other Urban Decay shadows which surprised me a little. But the packaging is really unique – just squeeze the flexible outer frame and POP, the lid opens.  Sephora or urbandecay.com.

Next up is Urban Decay eyeshadow in Asphyxia – some of these names crack me up!  This is the lavender shade in the round, silver case, and traditional Urban Decay with the subway token design on the casing.  Honestly I haven’t used this shade yet, but it’s a sheer lavender with a little light blue duotone.  Why did I purchase?  Hmmm…would be great for a light, summer look or blended into a highlight above the crease.  Time to play! Sephora or urbandecay.com.

And staying with the (purely accidental) purple and grey theme in this last haul (ha), the other grey shadow here is MAC in Hocus Pocus – another piece in the Bloggers’ Obsessions collection.  “Dark sooty grey with silver pearl.”  This is exactly what it is.  My only complaint is it’s in the Satin finish, which is probably the hardest MAC shadow type for me to blend.  Online only at maccosmetics.com

And lastly, the glorious Urban Decay 15-year Anniversary Palette – after snapping up all 3 Books of Shadows AND the Naked Palette, I caved yet again.  This collection promises all-new shades – zero repeats.  Good thing as I hear and read that complaint about the Books of Shadows frequently.

After getting my hair done yesterday, I stopped at Bellevue Square.  Seems I don’t get to the mall as often as I used to given I shop online moreso.  But there’s nothing like drooling over shoes and handbags at Nordstrom.  Chatting with the sales associates too.  Love it.  

Another must-visit is the huge Sephora store on the main floor.  I was greeted by the store manager who showed me the newest Smashbox eye shadows that had just arrived.  Looked pretty, but I explained I have never tried Smashbox shadows before – even though I love the Halo loose powder and makeup primer.  She asked if I’d be interested in having my eyes done and I said sure, why not?  A few seconds later, Josh, one of their MUAs, showed up with a big smile and we sat down and played with shadow.  After hearing me explain more about what I like and don’t like, he whipped out the Urban Decay 15th anniversary palette and did a really fun look on me.  Dang, it’s been years since I had anyone do my makeup so this was a great experience!  I told him I was pretty much up for anything and to just go for it.  After all, it’s makeup – if you don’t like something, you wash it off! 

This palette is gorgeous.  There’s a great combo of neutral shades and some edgier, in-your-face shades that Urban Decay is famous for. The outer case is mirrored with a raised, purple-jeweled “UD” on the cover.  It sits in a square, purple velvet box (which is not in the picture, sorry). 

Josh did a smokey look with two of the deep brown shades and put a tiny touch of the teal green (Deep End) on my inner eye corners.  Wow!  Not what I typically do, but that’s the idea!  It was fun to see how he used it and it did give my eyes a a nice pop.  I might try doing the same technique with a more toned-down color for work.  And he did a great job touching up my concealer and powder under the eyes when I told him the products I like.  Such a fun experience! 

Fun.  FUN.  Ready for much more of that this summer and fall!  Decked out in wonderful makeup, of course!