OCC’s Primary Pack All-Star Mini Lip Tar Set – A Color Addict’s Dream

 

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I have a confession. Even though I’m a major make up addict who mercilessly empties her bank account for every new “it” product of the month… okay, it product of the week…. I haven’t ever tried the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars (or an OCC product for that matter). This has plagued me for months, years even. The Tars look so lovely but so intimidating. A tar? On my lips? Can I even apply it, let alone wear it out and about?

Well, the other day I saw Sephora run their ads for the new OCC All Star Mini Primary Pack and I thought, well, this is my chance. I’ll get the true red color I’m looking for, a chance to try out the “tar” formula and mix n’ match my colors like a true make up artist, all for only $29 (which includes a full-size lip brush).

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After swatching the colors on my arms and lips, which I regretfully forgot to take photos of because I was having fun with the formula and the opacity of the tars, I started to experiment. Above is the red color (NSFW) mixed with a bit of the yellow (Traffic) and the white (Feathered).

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After marveling at the shellac-like sheen upon my lips, I realized that this set is perfect for “ombre-ing” almost any color under the sun. Above is the same formula but with a little more of the white (Feathered) in the center.

 

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Next up, I mixed red (NSFW), a little blue (RX), and a smidgen of black (Tarred) focusing the darker pigment on the edges of my lips while dotting then blending a small dab of white (Feathered) in the center. If the lip brush doesn’t help blend the ombre effect as well as you’d like try rubbing your lips together softly till it meshes a bit better.

 

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Now, my fiance walked in when I was playing with the blue tones. As someone who truly doesn’t understand the fun, self-expression that I get from make up, he was completely flabbergasted by why I’d even create this ice blue look. “For fun!” I said when he asked. Why wouldn’t I want to look like I was going to a space age rave?

As you’ll probably guess, I mixed blue (RX) and white (Feathered), adding a bit more white to the center.

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Last, but not least, is my favorite and most unexpected combo. Using a bit of the leftover blue mixture, I added in yellow to created a nice blue-toned green which I applied to the entire lip. Then instead of white, I applied the yellow to the middle of the pout creating a warm to cool green ombre lip. Upon seeing my lips, my fiance proudly exclaimed that this would be great for a Poison Ivy Halloween or Cosplay look. Which I highly agree with.

Any cons??

As a first time OCC lip tar user, I felt the formula wasn’t near as tricky to worth with as I had heard. However, that said, I wish I would have had lip liner on with the looks. I’m sure many of you don’t need lip liner with this product but something about the formula just ran into every nook and cranny around my top and bottom lip. The wear time was really good, a few hours until the colors faded into more of a stained look but did almost wipe away completely when I ate.

All in all, I’m completely smitten and will be buying a few more of the more iconic OCC lip tar colors (Anime, Stalker, Grandma, Black Dahlia, etc.) and definitely buying the corresponding liner to the more “out there” colors. Have any of you tried OCC’s other lip tars or other make up products? I’d love to hear more reviews or thoughts about the brand!

 

Battle Royale: Mac Fix+ vs. Contact Solution to wet your eye shadow

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Top: Mac Fix+ Middle: Contact Solution Bottom: Dry brush

 

I used to think setting sprays or make up mixing mediums were a hoax along with most primers. It’s just a ploy to get you to buy more, I’d tell myself. But, like with so many other things I WAS WRONG! I’d die if I didn’t use Urban Decay’s All Nighter before a sweaty concert or wedding in the blazing hot sun. Seriously, I would probably get some melted eyeliner in my eye and die in a fiery crash while driving home. Setting spray not only saves your face but SAVES LIVES!

 

Now, that I’m done with the dramatics, I’ll move on to what this post is really about. MAC Fix+ vs. contact solution. I’d hear contact solution was a decent dupe for Fix+ and wanted to test it out. Now, you are probably wondering why I didn’t test water to intensify my eyeshadow. Well, simply put, I didn’t want to. Every time I’ve ever dampened my brush with water and then placed said brush on a pressed shadow, I’ve found that the shadow soaks up the water and hardens to a shiny patch of dried pigment. I’m not sure if my tap water is extra hard or has some kind of chemical in it that reacts badly with my eyeshadows (sort of a worrying thought, I suppose). Plus, I don’t do my make up in my bathroom and having a cup of fresh water by my make up ever morning would be ASKING for disaster. My cats are assholes and love to tip any cup over that they see. You are more than welcome to use water to create a wet, intense look with your eye shadows but I prefer to use a mixing medium.

 

Now onto the results. In the pictures, the top line is MAC Fix+ with Mac eyeshadow in Cranberry (one of my favorite shades), the second line is contact solution, and the third is plain old dry eyeshadow. With the first swipe the both the Fix+ and contact solution is a million times more pigmented and intense than the dry shadow which I had to continually build up with multiple layers to even show upon my alabaster arm skin. So far, so good. Both Fix+ and contact solution are awesomely awesome when mixed with shimmery eyeshadows. The contact solution definitely wins out as far as price and convenience goes. I always have a bottle of it around since I am nearly blind with my contacts.

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Same order, just smeared by my hand

 

Even after I gleefully tried to smear the eye shadow all over my arm the Fix+ and contact solution were holding pretty strong. However, out of sheer laziness, I learned that there was an advantage that Fix+ had over the contact solution. It has AMAZING staying power. Nearly 7 hours after applying and smearing the eye shadow the swatch mixed with Fix+ was still going strong. The contact solution-mix was visible but only just. The dry shadow was LONG GONE. So, I’d say if you have some MAC Fix+ use it and savor it for special occasions while rotating in some contact solution for convenience and to save your wallet. And, even cheaper if you dare risk the impurities that may be lurking in your tap water go ahead and use that too. However, I think you’ll be surprised at the difference even just switching to contact solution will make.

 

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Here is a picture of me trying to smile after visiting the dentist. I’m looking a little freaky with this lopsided grin.

Sunday Link Love: March 16, 2014

I think the sunshine and spring weather has finally pulled me out of my winter cave. I’m feeling ambitious and “writerly” again with a renewed spirit towards my dreams no matter how far fetched they may seem. My problem has always been that I’ve got a one-track mind with a whole breadth of interests. I swap and dive in, never fully finishing what I started because what about that other dream? That other ambition?! Anyway, while I continue to write and read, save money for travel and make up, here’s what I’ve been watching on the web this week:

1.  Tanya Burr’s Lily Collins Make up Tutorial

2. Pixiwoo’s Orange Lip Tutorial

3. Sky Ferreira “You’re Not the One”

Baking soda facial scrub and a few other bad habits you should avoid

I’m sitting here mumbling Iggy Azalea rap lyrics to myself (see the song here, but only if you are down with very sexual content, explicit language, etc. etc. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU) and thinking about beauty habits. Mainly, I was wondering why I had a box of baking soda in my bathroom because I damn sure wasn’t using it to clean. Although, I probably should. Thinking about the baking soda made me think of other beauty habits or “tips” I used to think were great for my skin. Baking soda was definitely something some random pic on Pinterest told me to use on my face. WHICH WAS WRONG, HORRIBLY, HORRIBLY WRONG!

If you use baking soda on your face you'll end up like Kris Jenner... Just kidding, this .gif just makes me laugh.

If you use baking soda on your face you’ll end up like Kris Jenner… Just kidding, this .gif just makes me laugh.

Baking soda is not only too rough for facial skin but throws your skin’s PH balance way off. Having too alkaline of a substance like baking soda on your face breaks down the natural sebum your skin, causing it to be less protected against bacteria and infection. Too acidic of a product (lemon juice or something similar) will burn your skin. It’s important to research skin tips before you try them. The first time I tried using baking soda as a facial scrub I was absolutely in love. My skin felt SO SMOOTH. And, I wonder why? Because I had rubbed off so much skin. A little bit later I found myself with irritation and new pimples. Of course, if you use baking soda and really love it, go on keep using it if you’d like. However, there are much better products, homemade or from a brand, that will do the job and not throw your skin off-balance.

So, what else do I personally dislike as a “beauty tip”? For starters, I hate any tip that assumes whatever the tip is “fixing” needs to be fixed. If you have dark circles or crow’s feet, don’t feel like just because you saw something on how to reverse or hide them that it means you need to follow it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with our faces or bodies. I enjoy make up and skincare because I like the self-soothing aspect of the process, the creativity in my everyday life it provides, and maintain the general health of my biggest organ…the skin if you haven’t ever read a “Did You Know?” article or had a 5th grader who just studied biology talk to you.

Use things like this instead of baking soda on your skin

Use things like this instead of baking soda on your skin

 

The third beauty tip that I rarely follow is to get a trim every few weeks. No, if your hair is healthy and you don’t have split ends you don’t need to get your hair cut. Save your money and buy better hair care products to prevent those split ends. They’re the only reason you NEED to have your hair cut. And, YOU CAN’T REPAIR SPLIT ENDS. Nothing is going to bind them back together, sure something might temporarily bind it for an hour or something, but NOTHING WILL EVER REPAIR YOUR DAMAGED ENDS! I’m sorry, I hate to break it to you, but you have to cut them and start over on your hair-growing battle.

It sucks, I know, just lay of the flat-ironing and bleaching for a bit if you can. Throw a little argan or coconut oil in them at night and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T RUB YOUR TOWEL ON THEM TO DRY LIKE YOU’RE SCRUBBING A WET DOG! Be gentle! Softly squeeze the water out. No back and forth crazy motions so you end up like you’ve got a rat’s nest on top of your head. My mom (she’s a hairstylist) used to get so mad at me when she’d see me do this in middle school.  I think back and cringe at the damage it was doing!

 

Not Your Mother’s – Hair care at an Affordable Rate

Ironically, I found Not Your Mother’s hair care at my mother’s house. You should also know that my mother is a hairstylist (where do you think I got this penchant for beauty products? It started young…) so if I see a drugstore product in my mom’s bathroom, that means it is usually pretty good or maybe just reserved for my younger brothers to use. They don’t need to douse their hair in Pureology or Aveda products. Let’s keep the expensive stuff for us longer-locked ladies!

At first, I thought the Not Your Mother’s line was from a professional beauty store and assumed the products were of a similar price, which at cost is still a pretty-penny. But, NO! I was ecstatic to find out this range is available at Ulta, Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, etc. for mere dollars a can! Stuff I can actually afford and, more importanly, LOVE!

Currently, I’m rotating three of the Not Your Mother’s products in my everyday hair routine:

1. Beat the Heat Thermal Shield Spray

Hair Care - www.haphazardnotions.com

As I get older,  my once lusciously thick and impenetrable locks have become much more susceptible to heat damage, especially from high-heat flat irons. Even if I’m only going to be drying my bangs to prevent my cowlick from twirling around my forehead like a really horrible 1970s Farrah Fawcett wing, I spray this stuff in. Sometimes, I spray it in my wet hair just because I like the lightly fruity scent.

2. Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream

Hair Care - www.haphazardnotions.com

Admitedly, I do not have Merida’s bouncy curls naturally or even if I spend hours with a curling iron, but when layers are strategically cut into my hair, I can pull off a nice beach-y wave with some major help from this cream. Unlike a lot of other products meant to aide curls, this cream is lightweight and does not give you the dreaded freeze-dried, crunch curls that  I see on some women.  I want my waves or curls to be soft and bouncy, not hard like you stepped out into -90 degree weather with wet hair.

3. Miss Freeze Freezing Hair Spray

Hair Care - www.haphazardnotions.com

This long-hold hairspray has tamed my previously mentioned cowlicked bangs while I grow them back out from thick, above the eyebrow fringe to side-swept layers that will hopefully be able to be tied back in a pony-tail (grow faster dammit!!). And, unlike the name implies, this hairspray won’t make your hair look frozen or scrunchy with sticky hairspray but WILL actually hold onto the style you are trying to spray into place. At under $5, this aerosol hairspray is a god-send!

Sunday’s Link Love: March 9th, 2014

1. How to Stop Being a Cynical Asshole which reminds me of the lovely speech Conan made on his last night as the Tonight Show Host. Read the transcript or watch it here.

2. The gorgeous and smart, Viola Holmgren, at Killer Colours reviews Lime Crime’s Glamour 101.

3. Sydney at Crepes of Wrath (still the best blog name ever) made some drool-worthy rum, banana, and brown sugar muffins.

4. True Detective season one friggin ends today! Who is the Yellow King? How is this all going to end?? I’m going to have a heart attack I swear. If you aren’t watching this show GO AND WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!

4a.  Slate had some very intriguing articles all exploring the influences on True Detective, show theories, and episode recaps. 

5. Rosie The Londoner has the most gorgeous, most enviable hair I’ve ever seen!

Now I’m off to grab my loaf of multi-grain bread out of the oven! I love this stuff

YUM!