Friday, September 8, 2017

Lipstick Project Pan, Fall 2017

After three and a half years (!) of beauty blogging, I've learned which panning projects work for me and which are guaranteed to fail. I can usually push myself to finish a piece of makeup if three conditions apply:
  • It's a cream product (usually a lipstick)
  • I like it enough that I've already used up at least 2/3 of it
  • It's getting old and/or is in poor condition
I believe that makeup should be a pleasure, so if I actively dislike a product, I'll destash it instead of forcing myself to finish it. If it's newer or in good condition, I'd rather just keep it around and wear it when I feel like it. And if it's almost full, I don't see much point in panning it: that's just setting myself up for frustration. So, as you can imagine, I don't undertake panning projects very often. But I managed to finish two lipsticks (Urban Decay Streak and MAC Up the Amp) earlier this year, and right now I have four more that I think I can pan by the end of 2017. All of them are fairly close to empty, two are at least three years old, and the other two are in pretty bad shape:

NARS Sheer Lipstick in Flamenco (purchased God knows when, maybe 2013?) is a cool-neutral, softly shiny red that's very kind to my lips when they're dry. I find it difficult to pair Flamenco with other makeup: it feels too vivid for a bold eye but too subtle for a neutral one. Still, it's a nice fall color, and I suspect I'll use it even more often come winter. Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry (purchased 2014) is one of my all-time favorite lipsticks, but I have an almost identical shade waiting in the wings: a deluxe sample of Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which was Sephora's birthday gift last year. I've been telling myself for almost a year that I have to finish Sultry before starting KKBB, so I should probably go ahead and do that. Glossier Generation Gs in Jam and Cake (gifts from Renee last year) are easy to wear both color- and formula-wise, but both bullets have long since detached from their tubes, and I'm tired of worrying that they'll tumble to the floor when I use them. Plus, the cheap packaging is just depressing. I have some Glossier store credit, and I've considered ordering Leo, the brown Generation G, but I don't want yet another flimsy lipstick that will break within weeks. 

Here's the amount left in each tube. Cake, Jam, and Flamenco require frequent touch-ups, and I always wear multiple layers of both Gen Gs, so I don't think finishing them will be much trouble. As for Sultry, I love it so much that I'd be happy to wear it every day for a week. 

L-R: Cake, Jam, Sultry, Flamenco.


L-R: Cake (3 layers), Jam (3 layers), Sultry, Flamenco.

Just for fun, here's a comparison of Sultry and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Sultry is the tiniest bit darker and warmer, but they're essentially indistinguishable, at least on my hand:

Finally, and entirely against the spirit of panning projects, can we talk about a ridiculous lipstick that vaulted to the top of my wishlist this morning?

This is Rebirth, one of the three marbled "Lava Lips" released with Illamasqua's new Aftermath collection. (I keep wanting to write "Rebirth" as "Afterbirth," yikes.) I know it's gimmicky. I know it's overpriced ($27, plus $7.50 for international shipping). I know I have enough red lipsticks. I know I haven't been terribly impressed with the Illamasqua lipsticks I've swatched in Selfridges. But look at that smoky swirly witchy perfection, you guys. This threatens to be another Black Lace Rabbit situation, but I can't help it: I'm smitten. Save me from myself.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Topshop Otherworldly Part 2: EXTREME MELTDOWN

I am not a serial depotter of beauty products. I admire people with a more utilitarian approach to makeup, people for whom packaging means little to nothing. But I'm not one of those people, and I probably never will be. I don't insist on the fanciest, most elaborate compacts and tubes: MAC lipsticks are some of my favorites, design-wise. But I'd rather leave an eyeshadow in its original case, even at the expense of precious shelf space, than depot it into a magnetic palette. There's just too much risk involved in prying makeup out of its exoskeleton, and the end result is often depressingly ugly.

That said, there are times when I find depotting necessary. If a product's packaging is damaged to the point that it endangers either the makeup or me, I'd rather depot it than leave it in an unusable shell. When the mirror on my theBalm Nude 'Tude palette developed a huge crack, I reflected that it was probably a bad idea to have broken glass near a product I put on my eyes, so I moved the pans into a Z-Palette (which also made it easier, physically and psychologically, to destash the Nude 'Tude shades I never wore). And after reviewing Topshop's Glow Stick in Otherworldly, I decided that I couldn't deal any longer with its cheap, cracked packaging. I'd read about people melting down cream products in a double boiler and transferring them to new containers, so I resolved to do the same. Directions for depotting makeup are widely available in the beauty community, and I'm sure there are more effective strategies than my own sloppily improvised one, but I thought it would be fun to give you a little photoessay anyway!

The first task was finding a suitable jar. After fruitless searches of my own attic, a fancy kitchen-supply store, and a health-food store, I struck gold at Michael's with a set of clear screw-top plastic jars meant for storing beads. Since I didn't think to bring my highlighter with me, I had a hard time deciding which size to buy. To be safe, I bought two different sizes at $2.99 per set (I figured I could use the extras for travel):

Next I removed the highlighter from its tube. I thought I might have to scoop some product from the bottom of the tube, but the whole thing popped right out, highlighting (if you will) both the shoddiness and the misleading size of the packaging:

This highlighter is practically new (I've worn it maybe ten times), but look how tiny it is! The markup must be insane. Needless to say, I ended up using one of the smaller jars.

I put the denuded highlighter in a small ceramic ramekin that I had never used for food, and placed the ramekin in a shallow pan of simmering water. The product started to melt immediately...

...eventually coming to resemble a pool of shimmery vanilla custard:

Now came the tricky part: could I pour the highlighter into the jar before it hardened again? Luckily, the ramekin stayed warm enough that I was able to scrape out almost all of the product while it was still liquid. (It occurs to me now that I could have put the highlighter inside the jar and the jar inside the ramekin while it was in the double boiler, to save myself the trouble of pouring. Damn it!)

The result was less aesthetically pleasing than I'd hoped:

Glossier stickers to the rescue!

Ah, much better.

The aftermath:

The whole procedure took maybe ten minutes, and now I'm more excited about Otherworldly than ever. I see how depotting can become addictive: as makeup consumers, we're used to receiving products already designed, pressed, and packaged for us, and it's empowering to be on the other end of the manufacturing process, if only in the most amateur way. I doubt I'll ever make a habit of depotting my makeup, but it's nice to know I can! What are your thoughts on depotting?

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Highlighter for Special Snowflakes: Topshop Glow Stick in Otherworldly

One of the less charming aspects of being an American millennial in 2017 is getting called a "special snowflake" by old bigots on the internet. From my occasional perusal of right-wing Twitter accounts (I discovered last year that my mild-mannered undergrad Shakespeare professor is an alt-right paleoconservative asshat, and I'm still not over it), I gather that special-snowflakery consists of wanting a living wage, universal healthcare, Nazi-free public discourse, and a modest decrease in mass shootings. In that spirit, I nominate Topshop Glow Stick in Otherworldly as the official highlighter of millennial special snowflakes, not only because of its color (white as the driven, pre-dog-pee snow) but also because it's as jankily constructed as our government these days. And because Topshop is a British brand and Brexit was the first event that made me wonder if Trump really could become president (though I do think that's a false equivalence in many ways). And because millennials love space-themed stuff, perhaps because we dream of a better world than this one. Wow, this metaphor is spinning out of orbit. Let's move on.

There are precious few reviews of Topshop makeup in the beauty blogosphere. (The only Otherworldly review I've found is from Bella Noir Beauty, whose post proves that white highlighter looks lovely on dark skin as well as light.) So when I asked my boyfriend to bring Otherworldly back from England this past spring, I wasn't quite sure what I was getting. But I knew I wanted a cool-toned neutral highlight, and Otherworldly seemed like a decent candidate.

Otherworldly is a white cream highlighter in chubby stick form. The packaging looks cute and should be portable, but I had the same disappointing experience as Bella Noir Beauty: the first time I pulled off the cap, the product popped right out of the tube. I was able to jam it back in, and I've been very careful with it ever since, but I don't feel comfortable traveling with it. And on short trips, I wear cream products almost exclusively (I like to save myself the hassle of brushes), so there goes one huge opportunity for me to get some use from this highlighter.

Also, the cap developed a huge crack shortly after I started using Otherworldly. I don't know when exactly this happened, but I do know that I hadn't handled it roughly at all. Last month I saw some beautiful vintage makeup at a thrift store on Haight Street, and it really brought home the flimsiness of modern beauty products. Did you know that Revlon powder used to come in metal compacts?

It's a shame that I had to begin my review with complaints about the packaging, because the highlighter itself works well for me. It does contain a lot of oil (note the oily residue on the tube in my second photo), but it blends out beautifully and hasn't made me break out. I'm also impressed by the formula's longevity on my skin (keep in mind, though, that my cheekbone/temple area is very dry in general). And the white sheen suits many different makeup looks, though I use Otherworldly most often with cool-toned ones.

Here it is swatched on my arm (left) and blended out (right), first in shade, then in direct sunlight:

All my highlighters, L-R: Otherworldly, NYX Twilight Tint, ColourPop Lunch Money, ColourPop Monster, Wet n Wild Precious Petals.

As you can see, the formula delivers an even shine without any specks of glitter, and it diffuses into a subtle glow, though you can also build it up for a more metallic look. Because I have a small face and I need to be careful with the busted packaging, I don't swipe the highlighter directly onto my cheekbones; instead, I put some on my finger and dab it across my skin to blend. Keep in mind that I don't wear foundation, so I can't speak to how well Otherworldly performs over it. I've heard that some cream highlights do break down or smudge foundation.

I just returned to my apartment after six weeks away, and I'm so dorkily excited to be reunited with my full makeup collection! So, for yesterday's look, I brought out a few of my oldest products. I used Urban Decay Whiskey on my upper lashlines and smudged it out with Primal shadow from the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics palette. My blush is NARS Mata Hari (I've had it for five years and still haven't hit pan), and my lipstick is NARS Flamenco (now discontinued), which I'd like to use up this fall. Here's an awkward angle to show off the highlight:

Unlike the powder highlights I've tried, Otherworldly doesn't seem to emphasize my pores or fine lines. If anything, it has a slightly blurring effect.

Ugh, I'm of two minds whether to recommend this product. I can't in good conscience endorse anything with such badly constructed packaging, but Otherworldly's formula has been a hit for me. I do find myself wishing I'd taken Clementine's recommendation and asked my boyfriend to pick up one of the Topshop Glow Highlighters, which come in beautiful glass jars and are more *beauty-guru voice* BUH-LINDING than the Glow Sticks. Oh, well: I wouldn't be a special snowflake if I didn't experience fairly constant disappointment. I wonder if I could depot Otherworldly into a small jar or something?

(Update: I did!)

Friday, August 25, 2017

NYX Faux Blacks Eyeliners in Blackberry and Burnt Sienna

When Urban Decay released the Naked Heat collection earlier this summer, the product that really tempted my resolve was not the Naked Heat palette itself but one of the two limited-edition 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils: Torch, a rusty orange. (Okay, the palette was also tempting, but slightly less so.) I swatched both eyeliners, as well as the three Naked Heat lipsticks, at Ulta:

Eyeliners: Alkaline (L) and Torch. Lipsticks, top to bottom: Heat, Scorched, Fuel. Photographed in direct sunlight.

However, I balked at the idea of paying $20 for an orange eyeliner that I might not wear often. I didn't search actively for dupes, but a week or two later, I came across this post by Killer Colours, featuring two of the eyeliners from the NYX Faux Blacks collection. I'd never paid much attention to the Faux Blacks and Faux Whites, but Linda's beautiful looks sparked my interest. I knew I liked the formula of NYX's Slide-On eye pencils, which are obvious (though slightly inferior) knockoffs of Urban Decay's Glide-On pencils. The Faux Blacks and Whites don't belong to the Slide-On lineup, but the formula looked similarly soft and smudgy, and Burnt Sienna seemed like an unintimidating way to ease into the ruddy-eyeliner trend. Once at Ulta, I also found myself drawn to Blackberry, a deep plum. At $7.99 each, they were financially unintimidating, too (though my mom bought them for me, lol).

I've already sharpened each one a few times.

While photographing the eyeliners yesterday. I made an embarrassing discovery. As I've mentioned a couple of times before, I have ADHD, which means that I'm bad at filling out forms, following elaborate recipes, maintaining a skincare routine with more than three steps, and scrutinizing labels on beauty products before buying. Case in point:

The labels on the Faux Blacks (and, I assume, the Faux Whites) identify them as "Inner Eye Liner": that is, pencils for the waterline, where I never wear liner. Whoops. In my defense, I've never come across another eyeliner meant solely for the waterline, and the NYX website describes the Faux Blacks only as "striking eyeliners" that are "creamy and go on smooth, which makes drawing a precise line or smudging it out totally simple": no mention of where that line is to be drawn. Still, I have to take these liners on their own terms, so you should read this review with one huge caveat in mind: I'm not actually using the Faux Blacks as they're meant to be used. I wish I could try them out on my waterline and report back, but I wear contacts and feel squeamish about putting makeup near my eyeballs, and I don't care for the look of a lined waterline. For what it's worth, I do think the Faux Blacks would be nice on the waterline, as they set immediately and last all day. However, I think they work decently as lashline products too.

Blackberry is a dark, slightly grayish purple that looks very neutral, almost charcoal, on the eye. Burnt Sienna reminds me of Mexican chocolate: a rich reddish brown with a hint of plum. Here's Blackberry on the left and Burnt Sienna on the right; Blackberry is somewhat patchy, while Burnt Sienna is almost opaque in one swipe.

Brown eyeliners, L-R: Urban Decay Torch (yes, I bought it eventually), Burnt Sienna, UD Whiskey, UD Demolition. I worried that Torch and Burnt Sienna would be dupes, but they're not even close. I probably should have sharpened my liners before making these swatches, but oh well.

The Faux Blacks formula is soft (I have trouble sharpening the pencils on a hot day) but, despite the website description, not at all smudgy. This is a drawback for me, as my deeply creased eyelids are a terrible canvas for sharp, precise eyeliner looks, and I find a slightly smoked-out style to be easier and more forgiving. With Whiskey and Demolition (and NYX's own Slide-On formula, for that matter), I can draw a more or less messy line across my upper lashline, smudge it out a bit with my finger, and go about my day. But if I do the same with Blackberry or Burnt Sienna, the formula just crumbles off my lid. To give you a better idea of what happens, I swatched Burnt Sienna between Whiskey (left) and Demolition (right), then rubbed them with my finger. See the darker spots where Burnt Sienna has balled up on itself and started to crumble? Not cute, and not "totally simple."

The liners tend to look a little crumbly on my lashline even when I don't smudge them, which makes me wonder if they'd behave similarly on the waterline. Here's Blackberry on its own, with Topshop Chameleon Glow in Holograph on the inner corner and ABH Warm Taupe in the crease:

And here's Burnt Sienna. I drew a thicker line than normal, so it would be more apparent in photos, but going over the line caused the formula to crumble a bit.

Instead of wearing the Faux Blacks on their own, I prefer to incorporate them into a full eye look and draw a very thin line, almost a tightline, on my upper lashline. Burnt Sienna in particular is a perfect complement to warm-toned eyeshadow. Today I wore Burnt Sienna with ABH Warm Taupe in the crease and Antique Bronze on the lid, as well as Illamasqua Zygomatic blush, Wet n Wild Precious Petals highlighter (review to come!), and Urban Decay Amulet lipstick.

I got a haircut! Not a day too soon.

If you prefer to wear your pencil liner on your lashlines, I'd point you toward NYX's original Slide-On eye pencils instead of the Faux Blacks, though Burnt Sienna is a beautiful and unique brown that I'm happy to have in my collection. If you're more of a waterline person, these could well suit your needs. Either way, learn from my mistake and read the fucking label.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Urban Decay Metallized Vice Lipstick in Amulet

Though I was skeptical of Urban Decay's decision to pull its entire Revolution lipstick line last year and replace it with the even more extensive Vice line, I've come to appreciate the wisdom of that move. The lipsticks are now $5 cheaper ($17 vs. $22) and 0.6 grams larger (3.4 vs. 2.8); the bullets no longer have the wide, flat tip that made application so challenging; and I haven't noticed an overall dip in formula quality (though I can't say I've swatched all 120 shades). The packaging is lighter, but in my opinion, the functionality has improved: the thinner Revolution lipsticks often wobbled in their tubes, while the Vice lipsticks feel secure. Fine, Urban Decay: I'm a cynical bitch, but you win this one.

I now own three Vice lipsticks, one in the Comfort Matte formula (Backtalk, which is apparently the most popular shade) and two in the Metallized formula. My first Metallized lipstick was Roach, a deep bronze from the LE 20th-anniversary collection last year. Oddly, many of my favorite beauty products have been impulse purchases, and so was Roach. I quickly fell in love with the formula: moisturizing, almost opaque in one coat, creamy but not slippery. So when NYX Liquid Suede Metallic Matte in Modern Maven proved disappointing, I wondered if I could find a similar metallic brownish plum in Urban Decay's lineup. The Vice collection is so enormous that I don't have a mental catalog of names and colors, as I do with other brands' lipstick offerings. But there's something satisfying about approaching a huge display of lipsticks with an open mind and gazing stupidly at the rows of shades until one catches my eye. Perhaps it's the thrill of serendipity, or the comforting reminder that no matter how much of my precious hours I've devoted to memorizing lipstick names, I could have wasted even more time.

(Correction, 9/1/17: Roach is actually a Cream lipstick, not Metallized, but its formula is almost identical to Amulet's. By the way, Urban Decay just added Roach to its permanent lineup!)

The two shades that immediately stood out as candidates were Conspiracy, a "plum-bronze shimmer," and Amulet, a "metallic brick-rose." Here's Amulet on the left and Conspiracy on the right, in direct sunlight:

"Plum-bronze shimmer" was exactly what I wanted, but that description actually seemed better suited to Amulet, which I ended up buying toward the end of my San Francisco stay. (The name may have influenced my decision, too: amulets feature in some of my favorite Adventure Time episodes.)

Do you like my new photo background? I bought this beautiful paper at the Maido stationery store in SF's Japan Center.

I couldn't resist putting on my new lipstick before I got home from my shopping trip, so here's a shot of the unspoiled tube near City Hall, right after I devoured some excellent Vietnamese vermicelli with tofu from the Little Green Cyclo truck.

Amulet is a very shifty color, appearing more plum outside and more copper-brown under warm artificial light. Why am I so attracted to lipstick colors that defy description? Here's a lip swatch of Amulet in indirect natural light:

And in direct sunlight:

Needless to say, I didn't bring my full lipstick collection on my travels, but here's Amulet swatched next to a few colors I have on hand. When I get back home, I'll post a new swatch photo with a wider range of shades (if I remember, which I can't guarantee). Amulet looks very similar to Wet n Wild Rebel Rose here, but it pulls noticeably warmer on my lips.

L-R: Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose, UD Amulet, UD Roach, MAC Pale Rose.

I've read mixed reviews of Urban Decay's Metallized Vice formula, but I find Amulet just as impressive as Roach, if not even better. It's creamy, comfortable, and not at all drying, and it lasts several hours without the need for touch-ups. It seems to cling to my lips, almost as if it's bonding with them. Amulet isn't blindingly metallic, but it has an unmistakable sheen.

Here it is on my face on a very cloudy day. I have no idea what my other makeup is, but I'm clearly not wearing anything exciting.

Here's Amulet inside, with ABH Antique Bronze eyeshadow and NYX Burnt Sienna lipstick on my eyes. I think my blush is Urban Decay Rapture, not that it matters when you can't really see it on my face.

In a coffee-shop bathroom (classy, I know), under (I think) fluorescent light:

Overall, I'm absolutely delighted with my third Urban Decay Vice lipstick. Here's hoping it's the lucky amulet I need for this fall!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

FOTDs: The Lowcountry

Hello from Alabama! I just returned from a weekend that combined several discrete types of awkwardness. There was the mundane "socializing with your significant other's extended family" awkwardness, compounded by the "associating with people far above your own family's socioeconomic bracket, with a totally different lifestyle and set of values" awkwardness, plus some jetlag and Yankee-in-the-South culture shock for good measure. In my boyfriend's words, it was perhaps the most "off-brand" way I could have spent those three days (my brand being, roughly, "soft-goth dirtbag academic"). Let's put it this way: what makeup would you wear to hang out with immensely rich people who live seven miles inside a gated community that contains two entire golf courses? I'm not sure I came up with a decent answer to this question, but I came up with an answer (or three), and I might as well record them here for posterity. Let me apologize in advance for the quality of some of the FOTD pictures: I didn't have many chances to take high-quality makeup selfies in flattering lighting. And for much of the weekend, I looked like this:

I admit, driving a golf cart is a lot of fun. Oh, another bit of awkwardness: I had to borrow my boyfriend's mom's shorts for tennis because I forgot my own. No makeup, no filter, no dignity.

Though the Southern-woman stereotype tends to involve big hair and false eyelashes, the women in my boyfriend's family are dressed-down, preppy types who wear little to no makeup. When I visit, I tone down my own look accordingly. My own aesthetic is far from preppy (I figured out a decade ago that polo shirts aren't made for busty women), but I usually save my weird statement lipsticks for San Francisco. For this particular weekend, I brought a smaller-than-usual selection of makeup and didn't even touch most of it.

First, my road-trip look. Since we left very early on both days of driving, I started the morning with a bare face and added to it throughout the day. Below, I'm wearing Glossier Boy Brow in Brown, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara (a new purchase that I'm liking so far, except that the brush dispenses way too much product), NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, Illamasqua cream blush in Zygomatic, and NARS sheer lipstick in Dolce Vita. I didn't need a brush for any of these products, which I generally prefer when I'm doing my makeup at 70 mph on the interstate.

Here's a closeup of the mascara. The fan-shaped brush gave my lashes a nice overall shape, but the excess product clumped a few lashes together and I didn't have a clean spoolie on hand to separate them.

On the second night of our trip, we had dinner at a country club with a dress code that was described to me as "well, the men usually wear khakis and golf shirts." Uh, cool. I wore a simple dress in my second-favorite color, chartreuse. It's hard to choose makeup that harmonizes well with chartreuse, but I went for an overall peachy look. I'd brought my ABH Modern Renaissance palette, so I applied Warm Sienna in the crease and Antique Bronze all over the lid, with NYX Faux Black eyeliner in Burnt Sienna on the upper lashline. (I recently bought two of the NYX Faux Blacks; review to come!) I also wore Illamasqua Zygomatic blush, ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter, and Glossier Generation G in Cake.

I swear my eyelids develop new folds and creases every week. I'm curious how long it will be before I can no longer wear powder eyeshadow at all.

On the last full day, we toured Savannah, Georgia, on an afternoon when the temperature rose above 100°F. It had been far too long (five days!) since I'd worn a non-neutral lipstick, so I went for ColourPop Blotted Lip in Bee's Knees, a sheer reddish fuchsia that can be built to near-opacity. Since I wrote my initial Blotted Lip review, both lipstick bullets have broken off at the base, which is very annoying. I'm also of two minds whether to keep Drip, which dries out my lips badly almost every time I wear it. Oddly, I find Bee's Knees much less drying, and it's such a pretty color: it acquires a kind of luminosity after three or so coats. On my eyes, along with mascara, I wore ABH Warm Taupe in the crease and Urban Decay Demolition liner smudged along the upper lashline. My blush was Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff (I think I want to order Haze for the fall!), and my highlighter, as usual, was Lunch Money.

Founded in 1733, Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia. Its historic district is a Southern Gothic spectacle: Corinthian columns, balconies of iron scrollwork, Spanish moss dangling from trees like giant clumps of spiderweb, cemeteries dating back to the American Revolution, and a humidity index perpetually over 80%. What's that, you want to see a bunch of tourist shots I took? COOL.

Spanish moss in the cemetery:

A Masonic temple:

Like many pre-Revolutionary cities, Savannah was built around a series of leafy public squares. Here's the statue of General James Oglethorpe, founder of the English colony of Georgia, in Chippewa Square:

Many of the Savannah College of Art and Design buildings are restored historic structures. Repurposed abandoned buildings are very much My Shit, but I didn't get a chance to explore this one because no one else wanted to dawdle in the oppressive heat. Philistines!

SCAD has a shop full of student- and professor-designed jewelry, which I couldn't afford...

I loved these earrings by Sam Norgard.

...and enamel pins, which I could:

Finally, another photo of that day's makeup, taken in a golf cart because that was the only way to traverse the vast distances of the aforementioned gated community. God, it was weird. I felt like Trump.

My nail polish for the trip was Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Damson, which is opaque in two coats, has impressive staying power, and looks especially luminous in summer sun. It takes a lot of courage to say this, guys, but Damson might be my very favorite nail polish.

I'm going to be writing my dissertation introduction for the rest of August, so I'm not sure how many posts I'll be able to make this month, but I'm hoping it will be at least two. See you soon!