This close to Thanksgiving (and December) I would be remiss not to call out some spooky accessories, glam makeup, and fabulous purses to rule the holidays with. Per the covenant of Monday, your weekly reading list of the strange and unusual is at the end.
Burberry Kisses Gloss ($29.00USD) in Oxblood will give you the kind of vampy winter lip you can carry year round.
Surratt Beauty has a marshmallow pink blush ($32.00USD) to perk up your collection without going too far past a soft glow.
Wander Beauty has a highlighter ($25.00USD) to banish any signs of fatigue from under your eyes, as well as brighten your look.
Smith & Cult’s shining lip lacquer ($22.00USD) will give you a plummy pink pop with “The Queen is Dead.”
Mullein & Sparrow has a lip & cheek tint ($10.00USD) to complete any dewy look.
Arcane Lacquer’s Harvest the Wound ($11.50USD) is a reddish purple brimming with copper flakes, copper shimmer and pink shimmer. Under the right top coat it has a cabochon-like appearance.
ShanaLogic is a haven of indie creators, and that extends to their makeup selections. Hex nail polishes are sold exclusively through the site ($9.99-14.99USD) and a number of their shadows are sold on the site as well. There’s also a copious selection of nail decals ($8.00-10.00USD) from different makers as well.
Kits and Sets
Since a good night’s rest does you and your appearance all kinds of favors, having an arsenal of toys to help with sleep is always important. The Playing for Sleeps kit ($49.99USD) has ear plugs, a sleeping mask, lip balm, body cream, and pillow mask.
Margaret Dabbs Fabulous Hands set ($55.00USD) with its hand scrub, lotion and file are essentials for softer, happier hands. Your hands and feet can tell you a lot about your health, so be kind to both.
Nails inc Festive Cracker nail polish trio ($19.00USD) is a laid back but still glam selection of shades in blush, burgundy, and gold glitter.
Kevin Aucoin’s Bloodroses Gift Set ($125.00USD) has a lip color, lip gloss, and lip pencil in the “Bloodroses” colour, a burgundy shadow single, black mascara, and a Nuelle/Bloodroses cream blush duo.
Juliette Has a Gun’s Discovery kit ($15.00USD) gives the perfume curious 8 scents from the company to enjoy.
It’s never a bad day to pick up some new pieces for your jewelry box (or someone else’s)!
Catbird has Troika marcasite studs ($90.00USD), Diamonds and Coal pyrite crescent moon earrings ($26.00USD) are also a glittering addition to your jewelry collection. For any mermaids in your life, these shell earrings ($20.00USD) should go over splendidly.
With more than enough time to snag them before The X-Files event in January, Pinupgirl Clothing has some adorable UFO earrings ($24.00USD).
If you’re in the market for a bracelet that makes a statement, this unkindness of ravens ($80.00USD) is an impressive one from Alchemy, and this trio of twig bracelets ($105.00USD) will make any Rose Reds in your life swoon. For something less pricey but no less fun, accessorreads has an ink blot cuff bracelet ($38.00USD).
If you’ve been holding out on changing your purse this season, there are some beautiful ones that could break your no-buy. Lux de Ville’s Atomic Bowler in black and silver ($85.00USD), this red Molly purse ($2.00USD) with a divine rail closure, this velvet coffin purse ($60.00USD), a nautical purse with crimson lining ($53.00USD) and some beautiful clutches; a dinosaur bones print ($44.00USD), a zipper closure fairy tale clutch from psBesitos ($65.35USD, price may vary due to international make), a gothic lace clutch ($35.00+ due to customization options) I can personally vouch for being wonderful (I own one!), and a gothic Wonderland pattern clutch.
Sales & Events
Sixteen92, one of my favorite indie perfumers, has some amazing limited edition sales this weekend.
Haut Macabre has an exclusive line of BPAL scents, so get thee to their webstore.
Mimi Matthews gives a visual tour of the gowns of the 1820s
NYMag has instructions in gif form to aid you in perfecting your cat eye
Atlas Obscura delves into Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present, which will surely make you shudder with sometimes gore-speckled accounts of how clothing and cosmetics have killed people, from the 1700s to the 1930s.
An oldie but a goodie, as my mother would say: some information about my favorite story, Little Red Riding Hood
Verity Holloway talks about her book, Beauty Secrets of The Martyrs, which is so delightfully strange you’re just going to have to click to find out more.
The tale of a company losing it’s magic: NYT on the slow spiral of LivingSocial
NYT Magazine introduces readers to the Doomsday Scam, the “unobtainium of the post-Soviet world”
David Simon’s The frauds of memory brings together baseball and Jewish holidays, leading to a beautiful and effecting read (orig. published in Sports Illustrated, Oct 2015)
From 2012, a voluminous and fascinating contextualizing piece of everyone’s favorite Halloween song: Monster Mash
If you’re ever in Kansas, The Lineup has some details for you about the Gateway to Hell near Lawrence
Dig the Monday Buys and Reads? Toss a few bucks my way.
The impending end of the year is a bear, so enjoy a late (and lengthy) beauty and reading list.
If you’re looking for something small but heady as a gift for any friends into roses, the Austin Press soap ($13.00USD) “Circus Girls” has the scent of “roses, musky velvet, clove cigarettes,” which sounds so amazing that I don’t have the capability to bookmark it enough times.
Paul & Joe always has something interesting going on in their line; what caught my eye this month was the Limited Edition Lip Treatment Balm ($18.00USD) in ginger and honey, as well as earl grey. The three piece bath and body collection ($50.00) sounds delicious in the Columbine scent, which pulls together citrus, floral, and amber, which sounds like a choice to stand out from the crowd this winter.
Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs (known to most fans as BPAL) has a Crimson Peak inspired line of scents, and Black Phoenix Trading Post has a number of other items inspired by the movie right now, including room sprays, nail polish, and a bit more. Personally, I’m eyeballing the Edith Awakes linen spray ($35.00USD), and the nail polishes in Bruised Violet, Fascination, Skull White, and Socialite (all $14.00USD). As much as Lucille’s polish tempts me, I already have a few dozen dark blue metallics in my collection.
BPAL is also doing a new scent ($25.00USD) “Palmyra,” which benefits the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency).
Deborah Lippmann’s Good Girl Gone Bad nail polish ($18.00USD) is a glittering, sort of wine purple shade that gives you a nice little glam thrill on the day to day.
Now, as far as Sephora finds go, there’s some good gift options right now (to yourself or others.) There’s a Bésame Cosmetics lipstick kit in stock ($23.00USD), which contains a full size of trheir Red velvet lipstick and a matchbook of tiny Red Velvet lipsticks. If you’re a fan of Agent Peggy Carter (Captain America, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter) this is the brand and shade of lipstick they use for the character.
Bite Beauty’s lip discovery set ($55.00USD) has an appealing selection of Bite products, making it a one stop try out box for anyone unfamiliar with the brand. Lancôme’s Noel palette ($65.00USD) has a selection of matte, shimmer, pearl and metallic eye shadows, as well as lip base and two matte lip shades, as well as a double ended brush, making it one of the most self-encapsulated palettes you can slip in your purse for the holidays (or really any day).
Dior’s Nude Palette For Eyes & Lips ($62.00USD) and their Couture Creations palette ($89.00USD) are similarly self-contained, though Couture Creations only covers eyeshadow and blush, not lips and eyes. Sephora’s Give Me More Lip ($59.00USD) may be the best lip product box they’ve put together of brands available at Sephora.
Catbird has an adorable black, apple shaped ring holder ($35.USD) which looks like the perfect, spooky addition to your desk (or the desk of any gothic heroines in your life).
Going back to Bésame (as if I could resist) their gift kits are up on their website, and they’re a pretty stunning assortment this year.
Cirque Colors Holiday 2015 line is out, and worth giving a look. Polishes run from a series of lovely metallics to a gold flake.
If you’re in Seattle (or due to be) the Atomic Frontier exhibit at NW African American Museum will give you a glimpse of the black workers who were a part of the Manhattan Project activities going on in Washington state. It’s running till March 6th 2016. $7 for adults, $5 students and seniors, free to kids younger than 5.
Photojojo snagged some time to ask Thomas Windisch about his photos of urban (and less urban) decay, which is a great read if you’re a fan of his work or the genre of photos.
Summer Sewell did a smashing piece on Caitlin Doughty and Amber Carvaly’s funeral home in L.A. California Sunday Magazine
Leah Schnelback’s smashing essay on the noir frame of the movie adaption of Hellblazer, Constantine, at Tor.com
The Zoe Report delivered 5 pieces of skincare wisdom from Charlotte Cho
Mashable spotted some more than worthy indie beauty brands for you to check out
The Eloise hospital (and its history) are now on the real estate market
Ian Frazier’s profile on marine biologist Sylvia Earle for Outside is your must-click of the week for science writing
Undelivered letters in the Netherlands from the 17th century were stored for centuries, and are now being explored by academics
S. Elizabeth’s brilliant interview with Sarah Troop, the executive director of The Order of the Good Death, for Dirge Magazine
Julie Beck over at Atlantic, exploring why humans care for the remains of one another
This is a fascinating read on the benefits offered by intestinal worms.
Genuinely horrifying, the murder trial that put the Marsh Test into the public eye–and helped convict a arsenic killer.
Cullen Gallagher interviewed Sarah Weisman on the crime fiction written by women. (And it’s fantastic)
Bustle has an awesome list of body positive bloggers
As for further style reads, 5 trends that are cultural appropriation
To wrap up the reading list; why it’s hard to design Arabic typefaces, how to say no to work related requests, the decline of Aramaic, the Final Girl in horror, the most haunted highway in America, new news about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and where the money of some of your favorite websites comes from.
Dig the Monday Buys and Reads? Toss a few bucks my way.
The closer we get to Halloween, the more we have an excuse for indulging in autumn’s spooky offerings. Per usual, your strange and unusual reading list is enclosed at the end.
Sixteen92 is always brimming with beautiful scents, but there’s some particular things you should be trying right now. Supernatural Hair Serum ($10.00USD) comes unscented, or with the scent of one of their perfumes. Brimming with a variety of oils, this is a best defense against the harsh, drying air that’s going to go after your hair for the next who knows how many months. Hecate ($13.00USD) from the Halloween collection sounds like a great pick for a fall perfume update; the notes seem to be a sweet, woodsy scent as befits the name.
The Jack O’Lantern lotion ($9.50USD) will only be sold through October 31st, and sounds maddeningly delicious (“Raw pumpkin flesh, creamy vanilla bean, a dash of Chai spices and blood orange zest.”) Finally, if you’re looking for seasonal collections, you should give the sampler of the fall collection ($18.00USD) a look, because their sample pricing is a steal.
If you’re unwilling to let go of beach curls right now, Olivine Atelier Love & Salt Beach Hair & Body Mist ($12.00USD) may be your new friend. Should beach waves be your go-to hair style, you should be ready for a new bottle around springtime.
Lipscape has an amazing assortment of shades across their lip products, but their liquid lipstick Vesuvius ($15.00USD) caught my eye. Described as a deep crimson, all I can think about is how this could be the perfect shade to have on hand for any holiday party this winter.
Savage Jenny is a new-to-me brand, and one look at their shop has me wistful and crushing on their shades. Particular highlights for me: Madame X lipgloss ($18.00USD), Tempest eye trio ($36.00), and the Paris Pink blush ($25.00USD).
With the abundance of cremes among nail polish right now, you should check out a dreamy eggplant purple polish from Cirque Colors, “Velvet Underground.” ($13.00USD)
Alice + Olivia did a set of mini polishes for Nails inc that’s worth trying if you’re new to the brand or looking for some small bottles of new shades to shake up your polish habits. Four bottles ($25.00USD), leaning heavy on a romantic colour scectrum (shimmery reds, gold glitter).
NailedKit has some adorable nail decals ($8.00USD) that make me smile, particularly their galaxy theme.
Sales & Events
Bésame Cosmetics is having a Ladies Night Out at their Burbank store. Go treat yourself for Halloween.
Timeless Trends is having a corset clearance event that runs through October 31st. Buy 2 corsets, get 20% off the entire purchase. (Sale price shows in the cart).
Zoya is having a fall nail polish deal (buy one fall shade, get one free). Runs through 11/01/15. Go check it out!
Dear Kate (the smashing team behind leak proof period panties) is having a Period Party in NYC 11/12. Wine, cupcakes, DJ provided music, panty customization and more! Tickets are $10.00 (until 11/4. Tickets will then go to $15.00. $20 at the door!)
Speaking of nails: Ginger&Liz (who make lovely polishes) has a wonderful shirt ($29.00USD) that advertises your nail nerd status to everyone, since it says MANICURED right across the front.
ArtisanKat has a gorgeous rose-etched copper barrette ($22.00USD) for anyone looking for a new stylish spin on clipped back hair.
Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has a charming short video on what the best and worst periods for makeup lovers could be.
Reductress delivers on its premise of a highly comic rendition of women’s magazines every day, but How To Be A Lady In The Streets And A Haunted Clock Tower In The Sheets is going to live in my heart forever. Which is why I’m dragging the link out even if it is from June. Because Gothic is forever.
Though the third book in the Delia Martin trilogy has come out, and we fans have bid a teary goodbye for now to Delia’s San Francisco, I cannot recommend this series strongly enough. Each book has mysteries, bodies, and people who are falling in love while also trying very hard not to become part of the aforementioned body count. Set after the Great Fire in San Francisco, Moyer deftly folds realistic portrayals of people who have survived terrible events into a story where the dead do not go kindly into the night. If you want a taste of Delia’s Shadow (Book 1), just click here.
The Manhattan Burial Crisis of 1822 is a vivid, horrifying look at a little pondered facet of urban history: how anyone was going to store the dead. Look around when you’re done with the piece, Atlas Obscura is one of the best places to give hours of your reading time to on the web.
Visit the Menger Hotel, the most haunted hotel in America.
The strange, lovely, and decaying Sauer Castle.
When the Tower of London’s staff repelled the forces of the Devil with magic.
Adrian Roe’s book First Scream to the Last, a guide to 80’s horror, is $0.00 on Kindle Unlimited through Halloween. If you want to buy a Kindle copy of your own, it’s $6.50.
In Charlotte, a woman donates a human skull to the Country Doctor’s Museum — one with a rather educational past.
Molly Fitzpatrick’s road trip in search of the Jersey Devil.
A bit of folklore for the classic book set: the Gyrtrash and Charlotte Brontë.
Like the Monday installments of strange and beautiful things? Toss a few bucks in the jar.
Congratulations, you survived yet another weekend. As reward; unusual beauty buys, some intriguing wardrobe additions to look into, and a pile of strange and sometimes gruesome longreads (and audio!) to fill your workday breaks with.
Sara M. Lyons nail decals, which are the perfect intersection of creepy and cute. $4.00-12.00 USD.
Victoria Lanolin Eggwhite Face Soap, if you’re looking for a new gentle face wash experience. $4.00USD.
If you’re hitting the point where your makeup brushes need additional corralling, this skull shaped brush holder from hodihomedecor could be the eerie addition to your vanity that you need. $26.00USD. Price may be subject to change due to exchange rates.
Curious about the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars, but wished they came with a doe foot applicator instead? Your wish has been granted. If you’re looking for a good shade that sits well inside the gothic glam for this season, OCC’s Vintage should fit the bill. $15.00USD.
Carouselink has some spectacularly spooky leggings with the misty outlines of Victorian row houses on them. Sizes S-XL. $35.00USD.
Curiology Jewellery has some Deaths Head moth hair clips. Single for $12.69USD, pair for $19.82. Price may be subject to change due to exchange rates.
mrd74 has an impeccable 3D guillotine pendant. $74.00USD. Price may be subject to change due to exchange rates.
psBesitos has beautiful clutch purses inspired by literature. If you need a a new clutch as creepy as the season, I’d suggest The Crucible clutch. $69.97USD. Price may be subject to change due to exchange rates.
With the flip to cold weather, the lapels of your winter coats can be your chance to trot out your unusual brooches and pins. CatCoven has a adorable bat pin for $10.00USD, and ThisYearsGirl has a rather enchanting brooch-with-locket themed around Snow White, $25.00USD.
Since wearing a suit and tie is far less uncomfortable in winter, Cyberoptix has some rather lush, unique ties. The Ex Libris design is $45.00USD.
This Jawbreaker Cameo cardigan is a steal (currently $42.36USD) and will bring a little Crimson Peak gothic flair into your layering options.
It’s from last month, but this Matt Youngquist article on job hunting and job boards is a solid, quick read.
Because a reading list isn’t from me if something terrifying isn’t on it, enjoy this Alex Pasternack piece on box jellyfish research, and their spectacularly horrifying venom.
The ebook edition of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dubar-Ortiz is $2.99USD for the month of October.
Did you miss Elizabeth Shockman on the real life chemistry of the toxins utilized in Agatha Christie’s books? Because it’s fascinating and you should treat yourself by reading it.
Britain’s police “super-recogninisers”
For writer’s who need some extra strange but true historical writing fuel, pull up this Jen Carlson piece,”Inside Grand Central’s Secret Sub-Basement, Which Nazis Nearly Destroyed.” The photos alone look like something out of a del Toro film.
Anthony King explores Macbeth-as-PTSD-victim, through the lens of the Macbeth film that Michael Fassbender starred in.
Edmund Richardson provides us all with an atmospheric longread,”Seaside Gothic,” which genteelly unspools some rather spooky geography.
Limetown is a fictional podcast that follows an investigative journalist for public radio, as she pursues the truth about what happened to the inhabitants of Limetown, a small town in Tennessee that emptied overnight and without a trace. Till now.
Today: spooky makeup and some light reading to occupy you while you’re waiting on your nails to dry.
Incoco has some delightful glow in the dark skull and flower nail wraps. $8.99 USD.
Blackmoon Cosmetics recently launched some lipsticks. I haven’t tried them yet, but the photos do look tempting. $18.00 USD.
Asia Ray and Rituel de Fille are doing a smashing pair of lipstick shades for October. $23.00 per lipstick, or both for $43.00 USD.
If you’re looking for a deep purple eyeshadow for a smokier, vampier fall, Concrete Minerals “Seance” should fit the bill. And it’s vegan! $8.00 USD.
Should a nice deep, juicy blue be on your want list, check out Essie’s Bell Bottom Blues. Just remember to image search for swatches online, the shade has a lot more depth out of the bottle than you might expect. $8.50 USD.
If you missed it last month, Racked had a interesting feature on Essie’s continued penetration of the salon market. If you’re curious about the brand or a dork about distro, this in an article for your Instapaper.
Backing up to July, a lot of people I know missed on this Pitchfork article on playlists and the changing shape of music consumer/listening habits.
Business of Fashion has an exceptionally detailed piece on Balenciaga that I recently stumbled on. Even if you’re unfamiliar with his fashion achievements, it’s a fascinating read about a design career that spanned decades and changing technologies.
This Photojojo mini guide to taking good portraits has some tips that apply whether you’re taking photos of you or your friends.
Seasonal changes making your skin unhappy? Diving into a skincare regimen for the first time and not sure where to start? Paula’s Choice has a succinct, clear guide to skincare regimen basics.
L’s Favorite Products, October Edition
Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm, Tony Moly, $18.00 USD
Ultrabland Cleanser, Lush, $17.95 USD
1370-1800 Historic Herbal Astringent, LBCC, $16.00 USD
Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask, LUSH, $7.95 USD available only in store
1857 Civil War Cucumber Cold Cream, LBCC, $10.00 USD
Timeless Smoothing Primer, tarte, $39.00 USD.
Black Cherry Lip Glacé, Laura Mercier, $25.00 USD
Set It Free moisture lock spray, DevaCurl, $8.95 USD
Rockateur Box o’ Powder Blush, Benefit Cosmetics, $28.00 USD
French White Face Powder 1922, LBCC, $18.00 USD
For Your Soul
The photography of Magdalena Lutek, Bleaq
You feel like shit: an interactive tool for people who need some help with self-care, Jace Harr
Jeff Wysaski is spreading hilarious fake literature across L.A, Atlas Obscura
The new additions to your makeup kit awaiting you online this weekend are worth mentioning, so I’m doing my duty to you fellow beauty product lovers with a small taste of this weekend’s sales.
Bésame Cosmetics is doing $10 off some combo purchases!
Purchase a lipstick and a lipbrush and get $10.00 off, code LIPSAVE10.
Purchase a cake mascara and brush set and get $10.00, code BRUSHSAVE10.
Only one coupon per order, enter code at checkout. Offer ends ends Sunday.
Marc Jacobs Beauty is celebrating their second year anniversary in style. You can snag three complimentary deluxe-sized samples and free shipping on all $50.00 orders. Use the code BIRTHDAY at checkout. Limited time only (offer expires Monday) and while supplies last.
BeautyHabit is doing a 20% off hair care purchases through Sunday. Code is HAIRSUMMER.
Since you’re going to want something fun to read while looking smashing all weekend, here are some things for you to peruse.
From earlier this month, The harrowing story of the Nagasaki bombing mission is an account of the mission from Frederick L. Ashworth’s recollections, an account that differs from other previously published accounts.
‘Six Feet Under’: The Oral History of HBO’s Beloved Masterpiece is a must read for fans of the show, and an in intriguing look at its structure and history for process nerds (as well as interview nerds!).
Ask Bear: How Do I Learn About Happiness? may require some Kleenex while reading. If you or someone in your life struggles with embracing happiness and resisting some of the old patterns of despair, this may be a welcome read.
The Late, Great Stephen Colbert is a positively meditative interview with Colbert about his character, life, process, and his approach to his newest evening show.
A Social History of Jell-O Salad: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon is one of the more compelling pieces I’ve run into in regards to food history. That ubiquitous substance in many kitchens, recipe books and childhood memories gets a thorough examination.
How To Make People Uncomfortable And Still Make A Living is a video (with transcript!) of comic writer Kelly Sue DeConnick’s 99U talk, where she shares some of her steps to provide discomfort while making art.
Should you be a a fellow fan of one of the US A England nail polish stockists, Llarowe, then you’ve likely heard about the incoming site changes. In the next 30 days, Leah Ann LaRowe will revamp the site, liquidating all stock of lines save for CbL (Colors by llarowe), and will then continue exclusively as a site selling only CbL (which are pretty damn amazing shades). Llarowe stocks several amazing brands, and if you’ve never bought from them before, please consider doing so soon!
In restock news, melt cosmetics eye shadow stack Dark Matter comes back into stock at 12:00 P.M. PST 8/4/15, and they’ve got a slew of new products coming soon that you should go give a look. Retro-glam Bésame Cosmetics has new lipstick matches to try, an ingenious bit of sample size lipstick packaging allowing you to try out shades like Cherry Red, American Beauty and Red Hot Red. Chances are, if you’re a fan of Agent Peggy Carter, heroine of screens both big and small, you’ve even seen one of their lipsticks already. Peggy’s lipstick is none other than Red Velvet.
LBCC Historical sells cosmetics and apothecary items which use or recreate historic recipes. Since I’m using their products every day, I wanted to show a little love for my favorite staples.
A Fine Honey Lip Salve, 1747
My taste in lip balms of any kind include guidelines like ‘doesn’t taste like petroleum’ or ‘is not reminiscent of cough syrup.’ It has a really delicate top note of mint over the honey, it’s not sticky, easy to apply, and the tin doesn’t make me want to find a crowbar. The perfect balm for my dry lips. Available here. $5.00 USD
1370-1800 Herbal Astringent (not currently in stock)
This smells. I won’t lie, it smells exactly like what it is: a vinegar astringent full of herbs. Your loved ones will avoid your face for the first few minutes after you use it, should you not be following it immediately with your moisturizer of choice. My acne tends to run light to moderate, and while it hasn’t perfectly nuked my acne from orbit, I’m finding it a lot easier to manage my acne than I did before using this. $16.00 USD
1896 Cleopatra’s Enamel for Whitening Hands and Arms
I have terrible under eye circles. My allergies are using on the EXTREME setting, so blood flow around my sinuses isn’t great, and I sneeze and eye water enough to make me feel like I need new skin. All of that combined leaves me with dark circles, lots of tiny burst blood vessels across my face, and an endless stream of people saying “You look tired” or “Are you feeling well?”
To supplement my trying to cover up my status as Allergen Queen, I’ve been experimenting with using this on my under eye circles. It’s only been a few weeks, but I feel like the sheer gothic wells of darkness under my eyes are more into the ashy grey neighborhood now. Regardless, while the texture is gritty, it does have a lovely skin softening affect. Available here. $10.00 USD
1745 French Powdered Rouge
This looked bright enough on the screen to make me nervous, but I’ve been happy with it since the first time I tried it. The rouge is easy to blend out, you can use very little on a brush, and it gives a nice crisp glow, like time outside in winter without that whole risk of freezing. Available here. $5.00 USD
1857 Civil War Cucumber Cold Cream
This is one of the few beauty products I keep in my fridge. Outside the fridge this is very feather light consistency, separates easily, and it’s harder to catch any scent. If you keep it in the fridge it has a cold cream weight, but it’s almost buttery as you spread it over your face. It’s also easier to smell both the cucumber and the neroli in the cream. I only use it as a moisturizer, so I can’t really speak to its effectiveness as a makeup remover. I do have very dry skin in patches across my face, which this has improved tremendously. I have almost no dry patches showing under my makeup now. Available here. $10.00 USD
1772 Scented Jasmine Hair Oil – Toilet de Flora
When even my stylist is stoked about the state of my ends and my hair in general, I am doing my job when it comes to taking care of my hair. I put a few drops of this on my hands at night, and rub this into my ends, maybe the bottom two inches of my hair. My hair’s healthier and much easier to style since I started using this, and a drop or so spread across your fingertips is great for smoothing down flyaways around your scalp before running out the door. Available here. $12.00 USD
I’ve bought twice as much stuff from them, but these are the favorites I use every day, or nearly. I could easily drop another $100 on their shop at any time on something I haven’t tried (have you seen their face powders?). There’s always something new and interesting every time I look.
All products were gleefully purchased with my own money from the LBCC Etsy store, which you can check out here.
Even if I don’t feel up for dealing with foundation when I roll out of bed, I’ll still put the effort in for eyeshadow. I’m not much of a matte kind of gal, so today is all about six of my favorite glitter filled, shimmery brands.
The Chrysalis palette has to be one of the best palettes I’ve owned. Moody, a little romantic, and a few shades that lean towards neutral in a pinch. If you’re a little anxious about going bold and dark, the texture base shades in the palette will help you dial down the intensity of some of the darker shades. I have a few of her single pan shadows, which serve as an excellent reminder that there’s always something new and different cycling through the line. It’s an all around great line for people who want to take adventurous steps with their makeup with a good quality brand. Available at Sephora.
I bet you knew this one was coming! UD was one of those lines that drew me in as a preteen, goggling over the glitter and colour of a friend’s older sister’s makeup. My makeup shelf has three UD palettes on it, one of which is a build-your-own (an empty four slot pan, and four of my favorite UD shadows). UD products make good gifts for the glamorous goths, punks, and retro vintage beauty queens in your life. Available at Sephora and Urban Decay.
Vegan, cruelty free, gluten free, and full of some amazing pigments. I use their mineral eyeshadows, which are loose, shimmery shadows packaged in a sifter. I can’t speak to their matte shadows, but their mineral shadows have a much loved home in my makeup case. I tend to shy away from deep intensity shades, but Concrete Minerals has more than enough highlighters and soft-toned shadows to satisfy my sometimes pigment-shy preferences. Available at Concrete Minerals and Femme Fatale Cosmetics.
One of my friends took a trip into their shop on the hunt for a “mermaid” eyeshadow for me, and surfaced triumphant with a shimmery blue called Atlantica. Atomic Cosmetics is local to Seattle, and is run by a biochemist who made it her mission to put out makeup free of as many scary chemicals as possible. Good for anyone who likes shimmer, and a less chemical-filled beauty experience. You can find the AC line at their shop, at 617 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122.
Glamour Doll Eyes
At this point, if I count all the samples, I have a lot of Glamour Doll Eyes shadows in my makeup case. Their formulas are forgiving for people new to use mineral eyeshadow (I looked pretty funny learning to apply it). They’re also in a beautiful range, from basic neutrals to glam douchromes. Likely a good buy if you have oily eyelids like me—they’re one of the few brands that doesn’t just melt off my lids over the course of a day. Available at Glamour Doll Eyes.
Femme Fatale Cosmetics
If you fear committing to a large shadow based on the swatch you saw on screen, FFC has mini sifter sizes, as well as a larger size for when you know that a shadow needs to be yours forever. These are beautiful loose mineral shadows, and the ship time from Australia was absolutely worth it. I have yet to find a match anywhere stateside to the FFC shades, and will continue to happily order/wait for my shipments when it means I’m getting beautiful shades like nothing anyone else has. Available at Femme Fatale Cosmetics.
It is really easy to hate your job. When I found myself singing “Everything is terrible forever” to myself recently (to the tune of “Do you want to build a snowman?” from Frozen), it hit me that if I’m frustrated with some projects to the point of making up grim showtunes, there were some books I needed to reread.
Over the years since I got those books, I’ve had moments that made me want to get the fuck out of publishing. These were my books to rally with. If I needed assurance that I would one day not be stuck in an untenable place work wise, I read Save the Assistants. It’s comforting and catty, and has some simple advice on hanging on to your sanity while you ripcord from a bad job to a better one. It’s like watching the cool part in a chick flick where the heroine says she will give no more fucks about things that don’t matter, and pursues her career goal with more zeal than most people have in their pinkie.
Starve Better is a manual for, well, starving better. I wouldn’t be a writer if I was in it for the sweet room full of gold coins, but it pays the bills. Nick’s book, if you follow the advice, will make you more aware of the ways you can make money off your writing now instead of dying of malnutrition while writing the Great American Novel. Get paid for stuff that isn’t the Great American Novel, because you can’t write it if you’re dead.
Booklife isn’t wholly applicable to everything I do as a writer, but it’s invaluable for making me assess where I am with my work at the time I crack it open. If I feel like I’m stagnating or lost, and I don’t have the time to talk about it for hours with a friend, this is what I reach for. It’s a book that makes me plan, and think about what writing I want in my future future. Make notes, write in the margins, get my thoughts out about what I’m doing now v. what I want to be doing. Uncomfortable as a process goes, it’s still necessary for me.
Had I ever been given the chance to give all three to someone else, I’d probably call them Books For Hating Life Less. That’s what I use them for, at least.