Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscars Fashion 2012 Best

Hello, dear readers,

Last year I made a post of my favorite Oscars fashion, and that seemed to be a hit, so I thought I'd make one for this year. Honestly, I wasn't that excited by many of the dresses, but there were still a few standouts that looked great on the actresses who wore them.

Here are my favorites:

First-time nominee and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Octavia Spencer dazzled in this Tadashi Shoji gown. Apparently Spencer always collaborates with Shoji, and so far the results have been amazing. The silver detail and pleats are strategically placed, enhancing her curves and drawing attention to her waist. A perfect first Oscar frock for a very deserving actress! I loved The Help, by the way.

Is it just me, or is Penelope Cruz always the most beautiful woman on the red carpet? The only dresses I remember her wearing to events have all been spectacular. This grayish blue Giorgio Armani frock is a cross between Old Hollywood glam and Disney princess chic. In fact, it would have been a perfect addition to Anne Hathaway's wardrobe as Princess Mia in The Princess Diaries. It's very floaty and regal, and the accessories make the whole look very elegant. Another fashion hit for Ms. Cruz.

Milla Jovovich looked lovely in Ellie Saab Couture. At first I found the bigger shoulder and the embellishments sort of off-putting, but the more I look at it, the more I understand why it's topping so many best-dressed lists. It's a stylish shape, and the details give the dress a touch of whimsy. Jovovich's look oozed with the elegance of an old silver screen siren, pairing the dress with red lips, retro waves, and tasteful accessories.
While at first I was not thrilled by Natalie Portman's choice of polka dots [at the Oscars? Really?], I've actually come to really like the look. The dress is 1954 Christian Dior Haute Couture, and it flatters her figure very well. Last year's Best Actress Oscar winner accessorized richly with Harry Winston jewelry and a sleek, black clutch. She looked quite graceful indeed. I guess I can get over the polka dots!

After looking at over 80 Oscars fashion pictures, and watching the Oscars and pre-Oscar show as well, these ended up being my only real favorites. There were definitely other nice designer gowns, but none that were really breathtaking. I remember looking forward to the fashion of the Oscars every year since I was little, and I feel that in the past couple of years it's dulled a bit. I doubt it has to do with the recession; we all know they're wearing millions of dollars worth of clothes and accessories. 

There were certainly a lot of misses, though. These included Melissa McCarthy's pink Grecian-style dress, that had so much fabric that it made her look bigger than she is. Plus size fashion does not have to look like that. It just made me feel uncomfortable to see her in such an unflattering state. Jessica Chastain was totally overwhelmed by Alexander Wang's crazy gold butterfly design. Besides the fact that I didn't like the design, she's way too young, small, and bubbly to be wearing something that looks so old and overly ornate. And just once, I would like to see Meryl Streep wear a dress that looks as good on her as all of the roles she plays, not drowning in some drapery that looks just like that: old drapery. Gwyneth Paltrow's cape kind of made her look like she was going to a costume party.

So, there you have it: my five cents on the Oscars fashion front. Maybe I should have posted on the worst! Or not. That would have taken too long!

Did you watch the Oscars? What dresses were your favorites?


Monday, February 20, 2012

Mini Review: Fusion of Color Lipsticks

Hello, dear readers,

You're probably used to me disappearing for stretches of time by now, but I do feel quite badly that I haven't yet reviewed Fusion of Color Cosmetics. Long story short, I found the company on, and filled out a form asking whether it had an actual store. The answer was no, but the woman behind Fusion of Color, Kathy Duncan, asked if I'd like to try some samples for review.

This was almost a month ago! I tried them out weeks ago, and had all the pictures and notes ready to go, but I have yet to actually review them. This review will just be of the lipsticks, and the next will be of a couple of powder products that I have not had time to sample.

A little background on the company: Fusion of Color sells mineral makeup that's suitable for sensitive skin types. The makeup is free of parabens, oils and talc. For more information, check out the website here. The company is based in Chicago, but it ships across the U.S. and internationally. 

My photography skills were particularly poor this time, so I have tried my best to edit the photos so they appear true to color, if still quite blurry. You will see that I tried various different shots, depending on the day.

Here are the samples:

The samples came in this cute little sachet.
Clockwise from left: Bikini Butter, Valentine Matte, Cashmere Crème
Bikini Butter
Bikini Butter applied
This is horribly blurry, but that's pretty true to the color. Unfortunately, it's the best picture I could get.
The first lipstick I tried was Bikini Butter. As per the name, it went on like a lip butter and felt very creamy. It has a nice sheen to it and is sheer but buildable. It looks browner in the container, but went on a surprisingly wearable orangey coral. When I first looked at it, I was sure I wouldn't be able to pull it off, but I was wrong. It lasted quite well through lunch, though it bled a bit onto my glass. I would say this lasts for a good few hours, which I believe is a great wear time for a lip butter. This is probably my favorite formulation as far as how it feels on the lips.

Valentine Matte applied
Different lighting to show brightness
The next day, I tested out Valentine Matte lipstick. This was by far my favorite color of the bunch. It's a slightly orange-tinted, bright red color; once again, a color I didn't think I could pull off. The formulation was not drying, but it certainly wasn't hydrating; it was somewhere in between. I definitely needed a lip balm with it, as is to be expected with matte lip colors. The staying power was great; it only faded after I ate dinner, after about four hours of wear. Without eating, I think it could last another hour.

Cashmere Crème applied
Slightly different lighting
The final color and formulation was the Cashmere Crème lipstick. It is a plummy, cool-toned red, just as it is described on the website, and proved to be a nice shade on my lips. All of the lip colors I tried were just as described on the website. This product felt creamy, but I still needed a balm underneath it to hydrate my lips. It stayed on for around four hours, even after I ate.

Overall, I enjoyed all three of the lipsticks. If I had to choose one, I would be most likely to purchase the Valentine Matte lipstick because of the color.  I would not purchase the Bikini shade, because it was the least flattering of the three, simply because my pale skin doesn't look its best next to such an orangey shade. 

The full size versions of the lipsticks retail for $4.50 before shipping, so they're fairly inexpensive. Shipping is more expensive outside the continental U.S. and Canada. If you're looking for nice, natural and inexpensive lipsticks, I would honestly recommend any of these. The major downside is that there isn't a huge range of colors. There are ten shades total, not ten of each formulation, so that does limit the choice if you're looking for, say, a light pink matte. If you find a shade you like, I would say go for it.

What lipsticks are you loving lately?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

All You Need is Love

Happy Valentine's Day!


Whether you're single or in a relationship; celebrate Valentine's Day or not, I hope you all have a wonderful day. You should always love everyone who's important to you, and yourself; today's just an extra reminder!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lately I've Been Loving...


  • Fusion of Color lipsticks. I had a few samples sent to me for review, which will be coming up soon. I'm thinking of purchasing one or two of them, as they're great quality and reasonably priced. 
  • Mixing cosmetics. I've been experimenting with mixing my Cover Girl and Clinique tinted moisturizers. Cover Girl gives more moisture and feels like a lotion while depositing the sheerest amount of color, and Clinique is more liquidy and gives wonderful coverage and color for a tinted moisturizer. Mixing them is the best of both worlds.
  • Taking seven lipsticks out of my collection to wear every week. I especially like coming up with ways to layer them in order to get a muted or natural pink for school and college visits. On other days, I like to wear my lipsticks on their own in order to get the full color payoff. 
  • Taking walks. This mostly stemmed from my adamant anti-public transportation stance. I just happen to strongly dislike the public bus system where I am, so I decided to walk the half hour to school, and then to the library afterwards. It's reminding me of how nice it is to organically get my exercise in, outdoors.
  • Pilates. I just revisited it last week after having taken a break from it, and I'm wondering why I stopped. It feels so good. Sometimes I'll just put on some music and come up with approximately half an hour of a Pilates routine. I love it.
  • Sally Hansen Inta-Dri Fast Dry nail polish in Blue-Away. Long story short: My mom really liked it, but she doesn't wear nail polish, so she and my dad searched all summer to find it, to no avail. When I came home in November, my mom and I spotted it at Ulta, and she gave it to me when I started school again. I love the beautiful sky-blue color, the wide brush, and the formula.
  • Reading for pleasure. I hadn't had the time to read during school, nor did I have any energy to by the end of 2011, but so far I've read three books in January [The Beach House, Jemima J, both by Jane Green; The Best Day of Someone Else's Life, by Kerry Reichs]. I'm currently working on Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe, The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory, and Balancing Acts by Zoe Fishman. [And then there are at least seven unfinished books, some of which I started as long as three or four years ago. But let's not talk about those.]
  • Magazines. I don't feel the need to explain.
  • Meditation. I've only just started trying it, but, no matter how much I can concentrate during meditation, it always helps me feel relaxed afterwards. I need to start doing it more often.
So that's it for the moment. I know I haven't been posting often, and it's due to going on college visits, filling out applications and paperwork, writing for CHAOS, and doing my current schoolwork. That's besides personal issues that I'm dealing with. For me, it's all a bit overwhelming.

I hope your February is off to a fantastic start. You'll be hearing from me soon with a review.