Sunday, January 21, 2018

My Current Going-to-Work Makeup

I've gone to work sans makeup (with the notable exception of concealer on some days) for the past few years of my life. I once managed to smear fuchsia lipstick across my face with the sleeve of a new white blouse mid-lecture, and I never quite recovered from it. I'm also very anti-mornings; waking up at 6:30 is hard enough for me without adding on makeup application. Luckily, I work in academia and a medical office, where women aren't expected to wear makeup to look "professional." (There are absolutely jobs like this, though, and wearing or not wearing makeup definitely has an impact on how women are viewed in different fields--we have to remember that.)

Because I'm teaching a little later this semester, I have plenty of time to eat breakfast, check my email, and apply my makeup before catching the bus. And while I don't think I'll ever go back to wearing a full face of makeup to work, throwing on a couple of products I'm trying to use up anyway is a snap.

My staple hi-ho-hi-ho product has always been concealer. I'm aware that we emphasize a woman's appearance too much, and that our HD world has led to some really unrealistic expectations. I don't live in a vacuum, so to some extent, my need to cover very obvious spots is definite caving to pressure. But I also lived through several years of chronic hives and unsolicited "there's something on your face" comments from complete strangers. These days, I dab the tiniest amount of concealer on to my most obvious spots (there were two on my cheeks on this day), over any very obvious redness, and under my eyes. If I'm covering a spot larger than an eraser spot, I usually add a dash of moisturizer so it's thinner and more seamless.

Putting on brow pencil is a no brainer for me if I want to look decent, since I don't have much in the way of eyebrows naturally. Brow pens are usually my favorite for this because they're so quick, but I'm trying to use up the Milk Makeup brow pencil, so I've been swiping on a few strokes of that instead. Whatever decent mascara sample I have handy is next; right now, I'm using Lancome Monsieur Big. (Quick take: great volume, holds a curl, flakes a bit.) Since I have dry skin, I sometimes add a bit of glow to my cheeks with MAC Strobe Cream: it's technically an illuminating moisturizer, so it looks totally natural.

Currently, I finish off with two products I'm trying to use up, the Glossier Wowder in Light/Medium and the Tom Ford Indian Rose lipstick. They're both...fine. Just fine. I don't mind using them, and they definitely give me a soft, polished look, but I won't miss them when they're gone. I'm also working through my Glossier Jam lipstick.

The end result is an easy-to-tweak, no-worries-about-smearing-it-everywhere look that's just fine for me. Maybe I'll amp it up and try bright lipstick at work again some long as I'm not wearing sleeves. Me + sleeves + lipstick = serious problem.

PS: No, I don't wear my robe to work.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

VIDEO: Night Time Skincare Routine

(NOTE: To watch in full screen, start the video, then click the "YouTube" link in the corner of the video.)

I'm not exactly a skincare expert, and many of the reasons why my skin stays relatively clear are internal: my genetics, my diet, stress levels, medication, and so forth. But now I have a camera that does that insanely cool face tracking thing, and I thought this might be helpful. Fair warning: I'm not wearing my glasses in this video.

Products Mentioned:
Makeup Remover -- baby oil and Shiseido cottons
Serum -- patch testing Jordan Samuel Hydrate
Foot Cream -- Deciem Heel Chemistry

Current Night Time Spot Treatments:

Music: Dirty Elegance, "Farewell Bob"

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Now Accepting Donations for Charity

When you visit the blog now, you will see a little green "Donate" button with a coffee cup. This is Ko-Fi button, which allows you to "buy me a coffee" (aka tip me $3) via PayPal. I've donated to other creators' Ko-Fi accounts before, and I've come to realize how beneficial this could be for Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick.

You see, sometimes people ask me if there's a way they can thank me for writing this blog. It's a labor of love, a hobby, a passion project; I don't make money from it and I pay for most of what I write about. But I don't want money for myself. That's not why I blog. Even when I was offered money or products from readers in the past, I would always thank them and say, "Please consider donating to a charity instead." Some readers actually donated in my name, or spoke to me about their favorite charities, and I'm still oh so grateful.

I thought this would be a great way to make those charitable donations more substantial. When you buy me a coffee with the Ko-Fi button, I won't pocket a penny; instead, I'll add your $3 to my next donation. I'll keep track of the donations in a Word document to avoid mixing them up with my own funds. I will always make note of what organization I'm donating to underneath the Ko-Fi button, and I will also post about each donation I make on Twitter.

Let me be clear: I appreciate your non-monetary support so much. Your wonderful comments, kind emails, and helpful shout-outs on forums and message boards have been overwhelming, and I am beyond thankful for them. You are no in way, shape, or form expected to hit that Ko-Fi button. But charitable giving is incredibly important to me. And for those of you who would like to send some kind of gift? This is the best gift you could give.

I understand if this button makes some people uncomfortable. Please feel free to ask me any questions you'd like in the comments section of this post, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Thank you for the many years of support!

A few quick Q&As:

Will you publish my name if I donate to your Ko-Fi?
I'll be keeping track of donations on a Word document. Whatever you write as your name in Ko-Fi is what I will list. If you want to be anonymous, no problem; post anonymously, use a handle, whatever works for you.

How often will you donate?
I'd like to donate at least $20 at a time. Depending on how many tips end up in the tip jar, I'll either donate once a month, or I'll wait until I hit $20. 

Will my full $3 be donated?
Unfortunately, PayPal does take out a small fee. :( In my experience, they take around $0.23 for every $3 donated. I'll keep track of this in the Word document. ETA on 1/14: I stand corrected! PayPal takes their standard fee: 2.9% plus $.030 per transaction. This means they take $0.39 if you donate one coffee ($3), $0.47 if you donate two coffees ($6), etc. Again, I'll keep track in the Word document.

How do I know you're going to donate this money?
I'll keep track of the donations in a Word document, and I'll try to screenshot that and the donation screen when I make the donation. Beyond that, it's a matter of trust. If you don't trust me to donate your money, I completely understand! Please consider donating directly instead.

How often will your charity of choice change?
I think I'd like to make at least two or three donations to each charity before switching, unless a catastrophe pops up (like the recent slew of natural disasters). The current charity will always be listed under the Ko-Fi button.

How will you pick charities?
I will only donate to charities with high reputations and A grades that I have donated to in the past. The exception would be a disaster relief fund, since those are often set up on an as-needed basis by the area in trouble.

Besame Merlot Lipstick Giveaway WINNER!

The winner of the Besame Merlot lipstick is Clara. Congrats, Clara! You have 48 hours to contact me via the email address listed on the side bar.

Another massive thank you to everyone who entered! I appreciate you all so, so much. Let's make 2018 the best blogging year yet!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Best of 2017

It's finally here, you guys: 2018! I think most of us are hoping this year will be less of a raging dumpster fire than 2017. I'm cautiously optimistic. I know I've got big plans for 2018, including some new ideas and small changes to the blog. Hilariously, I'd planned on updating how I do my favorites (there will be 3 or 4 posts this year with both beauty products and lifestyle-ish stuff), but I hadn't planned on writing this post. Unfortunately, traveling gave me a UTI so vicious that standing still in a favorites video just wasn't feasible. Note to self: stop trying to hold it in on the plane, even if you don't wanna force the sweet, feeble old man with a cane to move.

Before we get in to the actual products, I want to mention two beauty-adjacent things I loved in 2017. The first is the treatment I received for chronic hives: vitamin D and a daily allergy pill. While I still get the occasional welt or two (I actually had one this morning), they're far less common and not as itchy, and I've only had a couple of serious breakouts this past year. Yes, I'm still carrying my Benadryl cream in my bag, but I no longer fear going to the movies or on a city outing--it's manageable. A huge thank you to my doctor for listening to me, ordering blood tests, and helping me find the best treatment.

And Ebates! I've actually had an Ebates account for years, but I never really used it because I kept forgetting about it. Then somebody mentioned that Ebates actually has a little toolbar button you can install; it'll flash when you can get cash back, and all you have to do is click the button. I still forget to click the button sometimes because I'm a dip, but "sometimes" is better than "never." I'm all about getting money back on stuff I was going to purchase, anyway.

Though $1.50 back on a $600 plane ticket was probably not even worth the click. #salty

Enough of this nonsense. Product time!

Glossier Cloud Paints, $18 at Glossier -- Cloud Paints have quickly become Glossier's most-raved-about makeup product, and it's no surprise. They're easy to blend, look gorgeous on the skin, and come in some truly lovely colors. (Also, the paint tube packaging is extremely cute.) I find that they look great on bare skin and over foundation. You can also mix colors to get your perfect shade; I only use Dusk to turn Puff and Beam in to a more muted pink or peach, respectively. The biggest problem? The shade range isn't very inclusive. Only Haze, the bright berry color, will work on deeper skintones. I've whined about wanting a bold red or deep orange in this formula (imagine a liquid NARS Exhibit A!), but Glossier hasn't produced it yet.

Makeup Eraser, $20 at Sephora -- If you'd told me I'd love a microfiber makeup remover that you just soak with a bit of water, I would have...well, I wouldn't have laughed in your face because that's just rude. But I definitely wouldn't have believed you. Then I received a mini Makeup Eraser in an on-clearance Sephora Favorites kit, and I ended up being so enamored, I bought a second kit. I wish they sold these mini sizes separately, because they're perfect for gently but effectively removing my work makeup (brows, mascara, concealer, powder, lipstick). Perhaps the best thing about the Makeup Eraser is that it can be washed up to a thousand times, making it a great alternative to makeup wipes if you're trying to cut down on waste. I also take these with me when I travel.

Shu Uemura Lash Curlers, $21 at -- I actually used the Shu Uemura lash curlers all throughout college. Back then, I lived decently close to a Shu Uemura counter, and I could sweet talk a new lash curler pad out of the sales associates every few months. Then Shu Uemura left the US, and new lash curler pads became a thing of the past: Shu insists you need to repurchase the curler every year and therefore won't sell the pads separately. So I switched to a few other curlers, namely the Shiseido offering, and they were great...but man, this really does give me the best curl. It's more curved than most other curlers I've tried, which fits my eye shape, and it never gives me those awful right-angle lashes, no matter how hard I squeeze.

Besame Classic Color Lipsticks, $22 at -- This might seem like a cheat to some of you, since I started using these lipsticks at the end of 2016. However, I have a "cut off" point: anything that I start using around the end of October is too new for me to put in the yearly favorites post. I'm glad I waited, since I tested, bought, and actually received over half of Besame's lipstick range in 2017. (Still not over it, never gonna be over it.) With a rich satin finish, opaque coverage in one stroke, solid staying power, and a slew of reds in the range, it's my ideal formula. Also, there's an Agent Carter collection coming out this year!

Butter London Glazen Eye Glosses, $24 at Ulta -- I wouldn't have tried these if it weren't for this post from Lynn and my weird desire to try stuff that isn't getting YouTube hype. I'm damn glad I grabbed Oil Slick and Unicorn during an Ulta half-off sale, though, because they are my new favorite cream eyeshadows. I normally tell my family to skip on beauty gifts with the obvious exception of gift cards because I'm so picky, but when I was offered the Majesty's Metals set (that is currently on sale for $19.20!), I was like, "AWE YEAH, GIMME DAT GLITTERY GOODNESS." You just smear them on with your finger and get high impact color like that. Dare I say it...they may even replace the Josie Maran liquid eyeshadows I've mourned so frequently. My one bitch is that this is an extremely pigmented cream product that will likely dry out quickly, so $24 for a huge pot is silly. Butter London should definitely switch to the mini sizes sold in kits and drop the price.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, $15 at Sephora -- I've heard wonderful things about these pads for years, but the low acid percentage (< 2% each of glycolic and lactic acid) and the inclusion of a citrus ingredient made me avoid them. That, and I was relatively happy with my Paula's Choice 10% AHA. Then a friend of mine gave me a jar of these pads, and yep, they're my new favorite AHA product. While the Paula's Choice exfoliant gave me amazing results, it was so potent and reeked so horribly of burning tires that I could only use it once a week, and I had to rinse it off after 15 minutes. By contrast, I can use these gentle pads 2 or 3 times a week without issue. The liquid is weightless on the skin and dries down within 5 minutes. Definitely cut these in half if you buy them!

Catrice Long Lasting Brow Definer, $2.50 at Ulta -- I bought this brow pen because Catrice was BOGO at Ulta and I'd wanted to try the range for a while. I never expected to fall madly in love with this brow pen. It's deceptive: the liquid is translucent, so you can't draw on super-defined hairs, and the color doesn't look very dark. Within 30 seconds, though, I can build up the color to get fuller but still relatively natural-looking brows. The one bummer? They only have three shades: a medium brown, a dark brown, and a gray.

Rohto Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk SPF 50 PA++++, ~$10 on eBay -- It's been a real struggle finding a face sunscreen that won't break me out, cause irritation, or suck the life out of my skin. When I hit maximum desperation, I turned to Ratzilla's list of alcohol-free Japanese sunscreens and grabbed the four best-looking options. This offering from Rohto was the clear winner. It has a thin, slippery texture and goes on completely clear. It's totally weightless and, amazingly, it doesn't make my eyes water. I've noticed that this sunscreen gets rave reviews on numerous skincare boards, and I'm not surprised; it's a total winner for normal to dry skin.