Illamasqua Inspired Halloween

Illamasqua's Creative Director, Alex Box, is an amazingly talented, constant makeup inspiration. The looks she creates with each collection the London-based brand launches leave me in awe (and wishing I had excuses to go all out all of the time). Naturally, I had to recreate one of her looks for a special Halloween Get the Look!

Halloween Get the Look makeup tutorial inspired by Illamasqua - Eyes Open Halloween Get the Look makeup tutorial inspired by Illamasqua - Eyes Closed
Halloween Get the Look makeup tutorial inspired by Illamasqua - eye open Halloween Get the Look makeup tutorial inspired by Illamasqua - eye closed

Illamasqua is one brand I have super limited experience with. In fact, I only own two of their lipsticks but I'm dying to try out more. For this look, I'm wearing Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Big Bang, with gold eyeshadow pigment (Gold Finger) along the outside of my upper lip and outer edges of my bottom lip.

Products Used:
NYX Eyeshadow Base in White
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tenacious Teal
ULTA Eyeshadow in Mosaic and Chianti
Random Blue Eyeshadow??
MAC Eyeshadow in Chrome Yellow and Orange
EMANI Crushed Minerals Color Dust in Gold Finger
Prestige Beauty Bar Eyeshadow Palette in Artsy Tartsy
NYX Lipliner Pencil in Plush Red
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara
Ardell Special Occasion Collection in Sublime

Halloween Get the Look makeup tutorial inspired by Illamasqua - Products Used

Before you even get to the eyes, apply white face paint, or in my case, the lightest foundation available at Walgreens. Set with translucent powder, and highlight nose, cupid's bow, forehead, etc. with iridescent white pigment. Mix yellow and orange eyeshadow to create mustard and apply to cheeks, temples, chin, and hollows of neck. Add a touch of blush to your chin, too!

Halloween Get the Look makeup tutorial inspired by Illamasqua
Step 1: Outline eyebrows with red lip liner (Plush Red), blend and fill.
Step 2: Set eyebrows with red eyeshadow (Chianti).
Step 3: Pat blue base (Tenacious Teal) over entire eye area, omitting eyelid.
Step 4: Apply blue over entire eye area with a fluffy brush, omitting inner eyelid.
Step 5: Apply blue to lower lash line with a pencil brush.
Step 6: Apply gold (Gold Finger) onto eyelid with an eyeshadow brush.
Step 7: Apply dark blue wet to create a false crease using a detailing brush.
Step 8: Bring dark blue down and around tear duct, and line lower lash line.
Step 9: Create squiggly lines extending from lower lash line using dark blue wet.
Step 10: Wipe away every other gap (2nd, 4th, 6th) using a makeup remover + q-tip.
Step 11: Fill in gaps (2nd, 4th, 6th) with yellow (Chrome Yellow).
Step 12: Apply light blue (Mosaic) as highlight to brow bone.
Step 13: Apply gold (Gold Finger) above eyebrow using a detailing brush.
Step 14: Apply gold (Gold Finger) to tear duct.
Step 15: Apply false lashes!

I hope you enjoyed this Illamasquaesque look! It was so much fun to do, even though those Ardell lashes were a total pain to apply (they're so stiff). Let me know what awesome things you're doing today, and what you're dressing as! Happy Halloween!


NOTW: I've Got My Eyes On You

Halloween is the BEST time of year. You'd think I'd do more to celebrate it on here with how much I love it, but it kind of snuck up on me this year. I just barely broke out my Halloween decorations at home, and Andrew and I were total party poopers last weekend when we decided to skip out on a themed party we were invited to.

I've got to make up for it somehow, right? And what better way is there than even more eyeballs on my nails! Inspired by this photo.

Halloween Nail Art Tutorial Halloween Nail Art Tutorial Glow in the Dark Polish

I can't even remember the last time I used glow in the dark nail polish, but it's so fun! It was probably around the same time as my obsession with glow in the dark stars on my bedroom walls and ceiling. I know I'm not the only one, right? Admit it! We all had a Spencer's phase.

Halloween Nail Art Tutorial

From left to right: Fright Night Claw Polish in Ghostly Glow, Sinful Colors in Cross My Heart, Wet n Wild in 2% Milk, Fantasy Makers in Darkest Hour, and Finger Paints in Paper Mâché. I immediately posted a photo when I finally found the tombstone and coffin-shaped polishes because I was so excited! They're so cute.

Halloween Nail Art Tutorial

This manicure is super easy to recreate with a little patience and a steady hand. I free-handed my half moon shapes but you could easily use French manicure stickers or reinforcements to help. Using different sized dotting tools, layer whatever color iris you choose, black for the pupil, and white just off-center. That's it! If you want to make it extra spooky, using a thin brush or toothpick, make small squiggly vein lines. Finish off with your top coat of choice, or use glow in the dark nail polish!


Get the I'm-Going-To-Be-Late-But-Can't-Look-it Look

This is kind of a cheat post, but I really wanted to share what I do whenever I'm in a big rush and just need to do something quick to my eyeballs. Normally this routine would take place in the car while Andrew's driving and I'm trying to finish my liner at every red light we're lucky enough to catch! Of course if I'm just way too late to even bother, I'll forgo makeup because it's not that serious.

Quick Nude Eyeshadow Tutorial - Eyes Open Quick Nude Eyeshadow Tutorial - Eyes Closed
Quick Nude Eyeshadow Tutorial - Eyes Open Quick Nude Eyeshadow Tutorial - Eyes Closed

I've had a few ULTA single eyeshadows since college and they're just OK. I haven't tried enough to know what their entire collection is like, but the three I used daily while in school, and whenever I'm in a rush now work well enough. Mine are dry, like really dry, but that may be because they're pretty old for makeup. They also have that intense grandma's powdery makeup scent but maybe the new ones don't?

I recommend grabbing one shade lighter than your skin tone, one shade darker, and a shimmer if you're into that sort of thing. Application for this look is usually fingers-only, but I'll break it down anyway!

Products Used:
e.l.f. Eyelid Primer
ULTA Eyeshadow in Silk, Bone, Camel
Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black
Covergirl Clump Crusher Extensions Mascara
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude
e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Medium

Quick Nude Eyeshadow Tutorial - Products Used

Quick Nude Eyeshadow Tutorial

Step 1: Pat lighter shade (Bone) onto eyelid with an eyeshadow brush (finger).
Step 2: Apply darker shade (Camel) to crease with a fluffy blending brush (finger).
Step 3: Apply shimmer (Silk) as highlight to brow bone & tear duct with finger.
Step 4: Line waterline with nude waterproof eyeliner.
Step 5: Give yourself wings!

When all else fails, I'll grab mascara, my eyebrow kit, maybe some blush and run out the door. What do you do when you're running late but you want to do something?


What To Do with a Bad Haircut

A lesson I've yet to learn when it comes to my hair is simply: DON'T DO IT! Invaluable advice that applies itself to every last one of my hair (mis)adventures. The high (low) point happening in 2009, when I found out about salonapprentice.com, a craigslist-y kind of website which connects people and soon-to-be-stylists in nine cities. Here's a blurb from their website:
Why do we exist? Because salons in metropolitan areas needed a better way to find models for training salon apprentices. Our free website provides an effective way for apprentices to find models. Many salons will offer a free or discounted service for volunteer models. Tell a friend!
So here I am, telling you—all of my friends—DON'T DO IT! And if you must, proceed with caution because this could happen to you *cue spooky music*:

I have straight up been recovering from that cut for FOUR years. I'm not even being dramatic. Who knew "creative cut" meant an entire half of my head's hair would be an inch from my scalp? Not me! That haircut wasn't my first experience with the website either, the blonde highlights in the before/after photos were the result of an appointment for "all over blonde" gone awry. I even got a couple of trims while the asymmetrical disaster grew out after developing a strong case of what else could go wrong??! Eventually I swore I'd never go to a salon again and I didn't until my last complaint-filled hair post in 2011.

The thing is, when I do my hair myself I'm generally alright with the results. Leaving it in someone else's hands is what causes inevitable heartbreak for me. The already terrifying possibility of a professional ignoring your requests is only further amplified (by a million billion) when a student takes the reins. Yet somehow the magic of time made me forget. Andrew says it's exactly like Little Caesars and that could not be more accurate.

All of this to say I found myself back on that damn website last week! I scheduled an appointment with a girl for red violet ombré and a trim. You can't really get a solid idea of my length from any of my posts because it's usually cropped out or in a bun, but I snapped a photo while in the chair before anything happened.

pre-new hair

And now...

Bad Haircut Close-up of un-dyed hair

I don't even mind the brown patches from the poor dye job, or that it's not actually ombré (that's a lie, I TOTALLY MIND). It's my missing length that really has me down. Again. Five-to-six inches is five-to-six inches! I tweeted through my emotions and now I just wish I would have left well enough alone.

Bad Haircut

Do you have any similar hair stories (nightmares) to share? How'd you make it through the pain?? At least it's hair and it'll grow back, right? Ugh! LESSON LEARNED.


Succulent Propagation: Autumn Update

Another devastating thing has happened in my little window garden! This time it's just devastatingly beautiful. One of my cuttings from Walmart is growing faster and larger than any of the other succulents. The jump from one week to the next has been absolutely amazing to witness.

Succulent leaf cuttings in glass dish

The two larger leaf cuttings were clipped the same day! Can you believe that?

My porcelain dish transplants are doing really well, too. The majority of the original leaves are shriveling up and a couple have actually detached themselves. Even the dish of (mostly) rootless leaf cuttings is showing steady progress.

Succulent leaf cuttings in porcelain dish Succulent leaf cuttings in porcelain dish Succulent leaf cuttings with tiny new growth in porcelain dish Succulent leaf cuttings with tiny new growth in porcelain dish

But the most surprising of the bunch has been from the tiny leaves knocked off last month in what I'm now calling The Great Princess Disaster of 2013. Imagine my total surprise when I walked over to my window sill one morning and noticed they'd begun sprouting pink roots and even smaller leaves of their own! I don't think they're going to last very long but I'm impressed. I'll put them in soil soon, though it's been great to see them grow with not so much as a drop of water.

Tiny succulent leaf cuttings with roots Almost dead succulent leaf cutting

That leaves me with only one casualty to report, which I'm pretty happy about all things considered. After I dug it out of the soil, I noticed it actually had healthy roots so I quickly put it back after taking a photo. We'll see what happens.

Sadly, my wrinkly lithops has gone even more wrinkly, while my Split Rock seems to be in the exact same state as last month. I watered them both once to see if that would help but I'm still waiting to determine if it did anything at all.

Wrinkled Lithops

As always, I post photos of these babies on Instagram if you want to follow along in between my monthly updates (July, August, September). It's finally becoming less stressful! I say that now but winter is right around the corner...


Baby's First Smokey Eye with Sleek MakeUP

Makeup is all about having fun and experimenting, right? I've been pushing myself to try a lot of new things and let go of the notion that I can't pull something off. One such thing being a smokey eye. My translucent skin/dark under eye area had me convinced I wasn't cut out for this kind of look, but whatever! I did it anyway!

Sleek MakeUP Storm Palette Smokey Eye Tutorial Sleek MakeUP Storm Palette Smokey Eye Tutorial
Sleek MakeUP Storm Palette Smokey Eye Tutorial - eye open Sleek MakeUP Storm Palette Smokey Eye Tutorial - eye closed

Using Sleek MakeUP's Storm palette, I gave myself a smokey-blue cat eye, diffused with a mix of browns and a light hand. The royal blue used in my outer v produces quite a bit of fallout but I just tap the excess off and use a kabuki brush to clean my under eyes and cheeks afterward. This really is an awesome earthy toned palette with super wearable shades, great blendability, and nice textures. Even if some colors create a little mess, it's still totally worth its $9.99 price tag!

Products Used:
Sleek MakeUP's i-Divine Palette in Storm
Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture in Eye On Neutral 02 (Read my review here)
Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black
Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeliner Pencil in Bronze
L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Black Lacquer Mascara
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude
e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Medium

Products used in Sleek MakeUP Storm Palette Smokey Eye Tutorial

Shocked as you may be that I'm using that Sonia Kashuk palette, I have to say I really like that one orange shade. Combining it with a bit of Storm's matte chocolate brown created a great transition color to diffuse all of that blue. Shame on me for skipping primer—though this obviously speaks to Sleek MakeUP's great pigmentation!

Sleek MakeUP Storm Palette Smokey Eye Tutorial

Step 1: Pat silvery blue onto eyelid with an eyeshadow brush.
Step 2: Apply mid-tone brown to outer crease and blend with a blending brush.
Step 3: Apply royal blue to outer 1/3 of eyelid + crease, blend with a crease brush.
Step 4: Apply black to crease to deepen the blue and blend.
Step 5: Diffuse blue edge with mid-tone brown/orange.
Step 6: Apply pale champagne as highlight to brow bone with finger.
Step 7: Apply gold shimmer to tear duct with finger.
Step 8: Line lower lash line with bronze eyeliner, set with gold shimmer.
Step 9: Give yourself wings!

I totally wore this out to a movie Friday night where I'd be in the safety of darkness. Ha! I'm not behind it 100%, more like 80%. What do you guys think?


Hearty Meals for Cooler Months

Now that there's a slight chill in the air I can finally start cooking and baking more comfortably. There's nothing like making comfort food while comfortable, right? I'm the type to bake homemade pizza with the oven at 500° when it's 90° out, making even the dogs miserable.

Lentils have never been a staple in my family, in fact we're the black/red/garbanzo type but I know tons of vegetarians eat 'em constantly. Being a rookie in the lentil department, I decided to find a super simple recipe for Red Lentil Curry. I used sweet potatoes in place of russet, and upped the ginger, garlic and curry powder.

Had I planned better I would have added more spice to balance out the sweetness. Instead, we busted out some Sriracha after the fact. I'm sure that's making some of you cringe, but my taste buds aren't sorry!

Now this next dish... Is it a casserole? A hash? What exactly does adding "bake" to end of the name even mean? I don't have answers to any of these questions but I can tell you this concoction was delicious. I can't take all the credit though, I found the Monster Meat Cornbread Bake recipe (lol) on bettycrocker.com of all places!

It's another quick and easy one-pan meal that I totally see myself making often during these cooler months. I'd venture to say my favorite part is not having one billion dirty dishes afterward since I'm notorious for using every dish in the kitchen when I cook. I'm sure Andrew also appreciates this. It's packed with layered onions, bell pepper, mashed sweet potatoes, lots of sharp cheddar cheese and topped with cornbread. Where's the monster meat portion? Well, I subbed veggie sausage for the smoked turkey sausage the recipe calls for.

When it comes to cornbread, I've always been partial to Jiffy and that little blue and white box that probably sparked an interest in package design in baby me ages ago. However, I'm excited to try making it from scratch next time! Do you have any amazing cornbread recipe recommendations? Give me links!


Get the Look with Stila's In the Garden

Finally, I started using another Stila palette from the ridiculously awesome sale last spring. Remember how I ended up getting all four of the In the... palettes for under $12 a pop? I'm elated about it even now!

Get the Look with Stila's In the Garden Get the Look with Stila's In the Garden
Get the Look with Stila's In the Garden - eye open Get the Look with Stila's In the Garden - eye closed

Stila's In the Garden eyeshadow palette is just as nice to work with as In the Moment, which is great because some brands really struggle with consistency. The color payoff is awesome when applied dry but these eyeshadows can also be worn wet. Imagine how much more intense this look would have been wet! It takes minimal effort to blend and though they're on the drier side, and very occasionally powdery (I'm looking at you, matte shades), I still totally recommend Stila's In the Garden.

Products Used:
e.l.f. Eyelid Primer
Stila In the Garden
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara
Maybelline Lash Discovery Mascara
NYX Wonder Pencil in Light
e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Medium

Get the Look with Stila's In the Garden - products used

I still haven't touched the Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner you get in each palette, but I hear those aren't the best. I'm not much of an eyeliner pencil gal myself, so my experience is super limited.

Get the Look with Stila's In the Garden Tutorial

Step 1: Pat sage (Sage) onto inner 2/3 of eyelid with an eyeshadow brush.
Step 2: Pat forest green (Juniper) to outer 1/3 of eyelid.
Step 3: Apply pink violet (Rosette) to outer crease and blend with a blending brush.
Step 4: Apply violet blue (Freesia) to crease and blend with a crease brush.
Step 5: Apply cream (Chinois) as highlight to brow bone and tear duct with finger.
Step 6: Apply golden beige (Breeze) to lower lash line with a pencil brush.
Step 7: Line waterline with nude waterproof eyeliner.
Step 8: Give yourself wings!

Stila is currently on HauteLook until tomorrow (Friday), though none of the In the... palettes are being sold. You should still check it out if you're a fan of the brand though! Don't forget to read my Get the Look post using In the Moment if you haven't!


An INKling of Spontaneity

One thing I hadn't planned on happening for a good, long while was new artwork of any kind. Especially not on my person! But life just happens sometimes and when an artist I've loved for years took up tattooing, I hoped I'd one day get to NY and carve out a little time to have her tattoo me.

Sara Antoinette Martin's work is the perfect mix of creepy and cute. In 2008, while working for Kid Robot, she released a super limited run vinyl toy, El Chupacabra. I immediately bought both versions as quickly as I could! I used to be obsessed with vinyl toys a few years ago and only recently have I calmed down about it. It's really expensive to keep up with, though I still pine over new releases all the time. How adorable are these two bloodsuckers?

When I saw she would be in Chicago I got unbelievably excited! Dipping into savings was a must, and I ended up with a brand new tattoo. I always loved the lady heads she filled her paintings with and the gap between my crochet hook and my avocado seemed like the perfect spot for them.

Tattoo stencil Finished lady heads tattoo

I adore the vermillion and steely blue, it's such a good color combination. Afterward, she gave me her sketch and I totally intend to hang it once I find a small frame.

Lady heads tattoo sketch

Sometimes you just have to be spontaneous, right? I'm so happy with it! Even if I'll be pinching pennies for a li'l while...