April Beauty Picks

This past month I have completely changed my beauty routine. Most of this is thanks to an amazing blog that I stumbled upon, Maskcara. Cara Brook is awesome! She taught me all about the wonders of highlighting and contouring, blending eyeliner, and wen. I have already recommended this blog to many friends. Even my sister, the makeup artist was impressed. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite beauty discoveries from the past month.


Pictured above : Maskcara IIId foundation in light (open) and medium, It Cosmetics dual ended brush, Tiger Balm, Lush cosmetics Aqua Marina face and body wash, and coconut oil.

IIId foundation highlights and contours while providing medium coverage. The darker colors are cooler and the lighter colors tend to be yellow based, which worked great under eyes and in any areas with redness. I have dry skin and this stuff was not drying at all. For oily skin I would recommend finishing with a mineral powder. Now, at first I was using this over my regular foundation, but I found that I just didn’t need that much coverage. It works better alone, over primer in my opinion. Now be forewarned there is a bit of a HAC learning curve involved with this product, but Maskcara does a great job of explaining how to use IIId with video tutorials. Practice makes perfect!

The It Cosmetics brush was a suggestion from Cara. It is an awesome foundation brush. My only gripe is that it seems to suck up the foundation and I feel that it wastes much more product than applying with fingers or a sponge (i.e. Beauty Blender). This is an issue because the IIId foundation in medium seems to be perpetually sold out on Maskcara.

I’ve been using Tiger Balm for sore muscles after skating. Perfecting my routine for Nationals right now, and I’ve taken more than a few dives. I actually wasn’t planning on including this, it just happened to be on the table.

Aqua Marina is a face wash that I’m glad I stumbled upon. I was perusing the local Lush store when this caught my eye. I originally bought it as a body wash, but it is betterĀ suited for the face. You mix a little with water and it ends up with a creamy-muddy texture. I still need to use makeup remover wipes, but this stuff is great in the morning. I’ve even tried using it as a mask with decent results. Here is a close up for texture:


It is a mud-like substance wrapped in seaweed. I think that I like this cleanser so much because it is not over-drying, oh, and it reminds me of mermaids.

Finally, the coconut oil. Okay, why didn’t I try this stuff out sooner? So far I have used it as a hair mask and split-end treatment with great results and I’ve made coconut lavender lip balm, which was super easy. There are so many great uses for coconut oil!

Well that was the April beauty breakdown. I have actually tried many other products this month. I’m planning to post more if I can stick with the blogger thing this time. I guess we will see!


Oh No! Not Grunge!

I’m happy that grunge is back on the runways. It never belonged there in the first place, but at least it inspired many of the fashion conscious to go vintage. There’s nothing wrong with recycling. Especially when it comes to the clothing industry, notorious for violating human and animal rights. I also love plaid. And mohair. And I love pissing off the posh type who seem to take visceral offense to grunge.

Grunge, like punk of course, takes its cues from music. I wonder if we will see a resurgence of Breeders or Gits gracing publicized playlists (what used to be radio when grunge had its first run). It would be strange to see fashion conjure the music, instead of the reverse. Nirvana will always be around, no matter what Marc Jacobs is doing.

Although grunge round 2 is cleaned up a bit (see Stella McCartney’s clean lines+mohair+plaid), and those stupid beenies are everywhere (they rarely strayed far from Jacobs/Ellis the first time), it’s still possible to create runway looks from a thrift store. Brands like free people have picked up on this and are selling some well-worn pieces for around $200-$500, prices that would more than astound any musician associated with grunge round 1. But you can still find most of this stuff by searching through your local vintage/thrift store. That’s what free people buyers do.

I have to admit that some of the most coveted pieces from grunge round 2 are really tempting.

See below, bag, sweater, and coat by Stella McCartney and mohair cardigan by YSL. You won’t find the Falabella bag at any thrift store, but the rest can be approximated. Plus, DIY has always been an important part of grunge.





Note: if you are like me, too busy to do your thrift shopping in person, sites like Rusty Zipper and Etsy have some decent finds.

Animal Crossing New Leaf. Dream Address: 5000-2159-4025

I have been an Animal Crossing fan since Wild World. The reason that I was able to stick with this game, is that you don’t really need to do anything. Sure there is an objective, kind of . . . but you don’t have to do the activities. There is never any penalty or “game over” if you just run in circles all day long.

Tangent aside, it really is fun and relaxing, catch fish, bugs, visit your animal neighbors, design your house. . .

New Leaf has taken AC to a whole new level. Not only is there a social play element, but the design and customization options are miles above the other versions.

My favorite new features are Dream Suite, where you can go visit other towns around the world via wifi, and the QR reader that lets you share (and get) clothing designs, just by scanning a code with your 3DS camera.

I’ll be periodically posting screenshots and QR codes as Cerephine on Twitter.