Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas! + my first M.A.C.

 Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays surrounded by their family, friends, and pets. I'm spending time at my parents' which I hadn't been to since last Christmas. It's really nice to be home! I realized I haven't written a blog entry in twenty days. December was a crazy month for me--- I had to move (homes), finish a final paper on stem cells, and work. Oh, and no more internet, since December 5. I canceled the service prior to the move, and haven't gotten new internet at my new place yet. Blogging is tough without interweb...

Speaking of internet, and the lack of, I had to turn in my cable boxes and things to a relatively shady cable co. office location---  imagine bulletproof  glass in between you and the agent. But that's how it is near where I live, and people come to pay their bills since they don't have credit cards. Even  nearby fried chicken joints have bulletproof glass. It's such a different kind of life than living in suburbia, or uptown. I'm glad I get to see these things, even though it is a bit scary at times. Really reminds me to count my blessings, especially around the holiday season.

I've included a couple pictures of these wooden German-made ornaments my mom collects. I hung them all up on our tree the other day. Aren't they so cute? I love seeing Christmas trees--- everyone's is so personal and different!

Now on to something I'm really excited about: my very first M.A.C. Cosmetics products! I never really jumped on the MAC bandwagon, but I've always been curious because they have a huge following AND they're PETA caring consumer approved cruelty free. This year my brother really went out on a limb with gifts and surprised me with a tartan-wrapped bag full of MAC goodies (wooden elves not included).

First up is a customizable palette filled with four different eyeshadow colors. 

I don't know what any of the colors names are, except the dark grey, which I believe is smut. I'll have to enlist help from the MAC counter or MAC aficionados to figure out what the others are! There is a lime green with shimmer which i'm really excited about. It reminds me of NARS mangrove which I really liked on Temptalia, but couldn't justify the $23 for. there's also a matte coral-like color that is more intense than shows in the picture. Finally there's a purple with golden shimmer.

I also received MAC 228 and MAC 263 brushes. They have the smallest heads out of any brushes I own, so good for precise work. Excited! By the way, I have no idea how people remember all the different MAC brush numbers. I'm used to Bobbi Brown brushes, which are labeled with things like "foundation" or "eyeshadow".

So there you have it. My first MACs. Much thanks and love to my bro who probably won't read this, but still. Apparently he let them test colors on him to make sure they would go with my skin tone. A real trooper. Well, that's all I have for now. I have a nail swatch and some ten-pan updates (finished round 1, although with a snag) that I hope to write about soon. I've missed blogging and it's good to be back!

Merry Christmas!

Love in the dove,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I don't use bronzer, but....


I woke up this morning to a nice winter-y mix. It's so nice to sleep in on a snow day! I took Baby Bird on her morning walk and then took a nice hot shower. Everything's great, except for the paper I seriously have to start writing. Bah humbug. So, before I go down my humbugg-y path, I thought I'd share a quick post / review on my EcoTools Bronzer Brush that I recently picked up from ULTA.

Ever since I became more aware about the potential animal cruelty involved in fur brushes (most brushes are fur), I've begun exploring synthetic options whenever I get the hankering for a new brush. Even though I do enjoy using my high end brushes (usu. Bobbi Brown), I find myself reaching more and more frequently for my EcoTools! A lot of EcoTools are awesome, but this is probably the brush that gets the most love from bloggers. And deservedly so!

It's big, it's fat, it's full of bristles, soft, dense, and just plain awesome! And I don't even use bronzer. It works really well with mineral foundation and also well with blush. Maybe even better than the EcoTools blush brush. I'm really OCD about cleaning my brushes after every use, so I find that synthetic brushes like this are awesome. I can scrub the heck out of it, and I don't worry about precious furry bristles shedding. It doesn't shed, but there's so many bristles, I wouldn't mind if it did. And it's so cost effective (see below). Totally recommend, if you're looking for a good fat kabuki / mineral brush. Or blush brush. Or just a really soft brush to pat. I can't stop touching it!!

I think EcoTools are available from ULTA, Walgreens, as well as some other places. It's about $11-12 at ULTA, but I've heard that ULTA tends to be more expensive. However, EcoTools are frequently "on sale" there, such as B1G1 50% off. Or you can just use one of their $3.50 off coupons that seem to be perpetually available. Or both. And then get a high quality brush for under $10!

Finally, some wintery pawprints (another dog's, not Baby Bird) to celebrate the onset of winter. I changed up my blog theme last night because all this cold weather puts me in the mood for bright colors! has some really awesome themes. Of course I chose: Southern Girl. What can I say, I'm just drawn to southern things. Can't help it. I tried making a banner from that site too, but it's a bit short for my taste. I'll have to figure out how to elongate it, or just find another one that I really like.

Any snow out where you are?

It's essay time. And tea time.

Love in the dove,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

DIY: Urban Decay Primer Potion repotting (my attempt)

I recently read a blog entry about scraping the leftovers of your Urban Decay Primer potion out of its genie bottle. It's no secret that the bottle shape is notoriously bad for using up all the product. I just didn't realize how bad it really was!

I have a mini-size bottle of UDPP, that had recently been "running out" of potion, so I decided to try my hand at this salvaging business. You can see the results here:

There was definitely a usable amount of potion left, and I repotted it in a little tub that used to hold a creme eyeshadow once upon a time. The process was satisfying, but definitely a messy and somewhat dangerous business! The plastic is pretty thick, so I couldn't really "cut" it open with the scissors... I had to spear it through a couple times, which wasn't easy, or safe really! Perhaps a hacksaw or other hardcore tools would be more appropriate... haha.

I'm going to happily use my salvaged potion--- but after this, I'm glad I have the new Professional sized- squeeze tube ready for use!

Love in the dove,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fancy French Soap ... from Trader Joe's

Today my inner hippie AND beauty junkie AND wallet had a field day at Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's is awesome. It's like a haven for people like me who don't want to sacrifice ideals for wallet. It's mainly a grocery store, but there's a small, but expanding section of toiletries! So you can see I have a mini-haul of sorts. I got minty shaving foam for my guy, lavender hand / body lotion, and a couple bars of French milled soap.

 The soaps smell heavenly. Really heavenly. And they're made in France! What's not to love. In fact, all the Lemon Verbena's were sold out. Except one. And now, there's none... hehe.

I decided to open the Lavender soap first.

Doesn't it look lovely? It has real lavender flowers mixed in.

Oh, and once you start using it, your whole bathroom smells like it. All the time. It's wonderful.

I recently read an article about how sales of shower gel had finally surpassed that of bar soap. This made me nostalgic for bar soap. And who wants to be a trend follower anyway? =P

Any other bar soap converts out there?

Love in the dove,

P.S. I got those Bobbi Brown palettes I was hemming and hawing over. Will post pics soon!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rumple's Wiggin and a really old cactus


Hope you're having a good Saturday. Here's a swatch of OPI's Rumple's Wiggin from the Shrek Collection. I actually haven't seen Shrek III (?) yet. Maybe it'll come out on DVD soon and I can Netflix it. I got this polish in a giveaway from Katie at My Lips But Better =).

The old succulent (not a cactus) in the background is a called a zebra plant (Haworthia). The plant is native to South Africa. I propagated this particular plant from another zebra plant that is still at my parents house. I got the original plant at least ten years ago from Home Depot. At one point, I broke it off from it's entire root, and it still survived. Tough plant. I like it! In one of my pictures, you can see this long squiggly line emanating from the plant. That's a dried version of its flower stem. Cool, right?

Happy Saturday!

Love in the dove,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Urban Decay NAKED palette = love

Hello! Hope you're all enjoying your weekends!

This entry is devoted to Urban Decay's NAKED palette, which I've been lemming and obsessing over since I first found out about it. Yet, for some reason I was slow to actually go out and buy it. I'm really a delayed gratification type person. I hem and haw about things forever. Even if I know I really want it, and can reasonably normal. Is that normal? In this case, it was definitely not healthy. By the time I'd decided I wanted it for SURE, all the Sephoras in town were sold out. Sephora was sold out online. It was horrible! Darn big cities. Especially since the Saturday before, I'd personally seen them restocking in stores! Anyhow, thank goodness for Ulta. For some reason, Ulta had a large number; perhaps people don't really go there looking for higher end cosmetics?

Regardless, here it is! It's awesome, lovely, and totally worth the $44. The reason people are gaga over NAKED is that there are 12 full size eye shadows (which would retail probably around $200 if you bought them separately) All of them are extremely wearable neutral colors. hence "NAKED". The set also includes a mini primer potion and a brown and black "24/7" eyeliner. (See my gushing reviews below).  Urban Decay is a great company because they are very animal conscious (they are very very opposed to animal testing) and a large proportion of their products are vegan! (Their brush line is completely vegan-- no animal fur). Their eyeshadows are known for their great pigmentation and quality. What's not to love? Fortunately, this is not a limited edition, so no need to despair if you can't find it now (actually despair is ok if you're missing out, because the palette is completely awesome) and no need to buy backups!

OK, time for pictures.

The back of the packaging. You can see all the colors and their names

The palette is made to look like a chocolate bar. Very decadent with velvet covering and gold foil.

It opens up to reveal the inner awesomeness. Neutrals with a punch! Oh, note that I used a lot of the shadows and liners -- so it's not the "fresh" palette --- oops. Couldn't help myself.

The first half of the palette. There are two "mattes", but the rest of the shadows are shimmers.

Second half of the palette. There' s a double ended 24/7 eyeliner in colors "Zero" and "whiskey" (i.e. black and brown). I know I really sound like a commercial for UD, but I have to say that the 24/7 eyeliners have awesome staying power.  Rivaled only by Make Up For Ever. I don't know why I wasted so much time and money on cruddy liners that ran down and made me look like I had racoon eyes.

Oh, and did we mention the mini Urban Decay Primer Potion? This is the first time I've tried primer potion, and all I have to say is I'm not going back to Clinique's touch base. Primer potion is like glue for eyeshadow. It lasts the whole day at work! Yippee.

OK, sorry about the incessant gushing. I just really love every single thing in this set--- the eyeshadows, the liners, the primer. I've used it pretty much every day for a week now, especially since I just had to throw away a bunch of my makeup that went bad (story for another day =/). I might even call this my best makeup purchase ever!! Love.

Sleep time.
Love in the Dove,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baby Bird - Living on the Edge

Hi furriends, Mom finally had time to help me write another entry. I hope you like it!

My name is Baby Bird, and I like to live on the edge. Here you can see me walking on the edge of the sidewalk, nearest to the grass.

Although sometimes I like to walk down the middle of the pavement too.

Cities are always full of tuff folks who won't say hi. Kind of like these guys here.

Some guy who thinks he's tuff wrote something on the park bench. Unfortunately I can't read his handwriting.
Maybe he should have spent more time in school to work on his ABCs.

Cities are full of signs. Sometimes they are in confusing places.

Well that's all for today. As you can see, I am always living on the edge. I hope you have an exciting day today too!

Peace and Paws,
Baby Bird

P.S. Don't forget to check out to find your own ruff and tuff shelter pup like me!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Baby Bird: Downward Dog

My favorite yoga doga pose.

Peace and Paws,
Baby Bird

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cute and Mundane Goals

As of late, nail polish has really been my go-to for stress relief. Part of it is the actual painting process itself, and the other part is that my brain really finds it soothing to think about color. Painting my nails is pretty much the best substitute I have for actual picture painting, which I really have no time for as of late.

In any event, the purpose of this blog is to be my (experimental) creative outlet, and we'll see how it goes!