Saturday, August 31, 2013

BA Star mineral eyeshadow review

powered by brandbacker

Recently I got the opportunity to review some mineral eyeshadow from the brand BA Star. You may be familiar with this brand if you do competitive cheerleading, dance, or other performing arts.

I received both the loose mineral shadow and the glue base that is required to set the makeup.

Right out of the box I was already into the color I received - deep plum star dust. It wasn't a bland or boring color so I was already a fan of that. It is a plum shade with shimmer. 

The glue base perplexed me a little. I always apply my eyeshadow, especially lose pigments, over primer. But I had never used a glue base. I expected it to be like primer but it's not. It is much more of a liquid. It doesn't exactly 'rub in' to your skin like primers do. The instructions said "let dry" after it said to apply the shadow so that's exactly what I did.

I swiped some on my hand and eyelid, and then used my finger to pack on the color. I'm not sure if it would have been better to use a brush or sponge applicator to get a more precise look, but I wasn't sure how any of my tools would react with the glue base so I stuck with my trusty hands.

One thing I was pleased with was the lack of fall out. I am used to a lot of fallout with loose pigments but the glue really prevented that!

Out of curiosity I swatched the shadow both with and without the glue base on my hand to see the difference it made.

ba star eyeshadow swatch
with glue base on left/top, without base or primer on right/bottom

Right away it was obvious that the glue base made a world of difference, as you can see. It makes it more pigmented, and has better hold on the product to get more product to stay put. I mean, duh! It's glue. ;)

I wore the eyeshadow on my eye for about 6 hours. Then, N*SYNC showed up on the VMAs. Needless to say, I cried. And then I wiped my tears and rubbed my eye.

I expected some color to stay through that, honestly. When I heard that BA*star was a company used for sports, I thought that it would be sweat resistant. But when I ran my hand under water the swatch washed away without any effort. 

Of course, the product doesn't claim to be waterproof. And for it's part it definitely stays put for 6 or more hours. 

My overall thought is that while this may not be a brand you immediately think of to use for makeup unless you are performing. However, it's not a bad choice at all.

The stardust loose mineral shadows retail for $8.75 and you can find it here 
By looking at the website I can't tell for sure if the glue base is included. If it's not, that also retails for $8.75

But here's the cool part! As a reader of mine you can use the code BBDUST for 50% off their website until Sept 30th! 

Everyone knows I can't say no to such a great discount so I'll probably pick up another star dust, especially since I already have the base!

Let me know if you end up buying this product and loving it! I can pretty much guarantee you won't hate it. It may not be a standout product but I have absolutely no complaints about it. The glue base may seem like a weird added step to some of you but it does help it stay on. 

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

*This sample was provided by brandbacker in exchange for an honest review. All opinionss expressed here are my own!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My thoughts on the VMAs- and they're probably not what you're thinking

Since Sunday the internet and general american world has been in a tizzy over the MTV VMAs.

I want to address this as delicately as possible without alienating people who might have different views from me. First and foremost I am not conservative in any sense of the world. I believe in live and let live. I have posted on personal social media my thoughts on Miley Cyrus as a whole, and the performance in general.

But this is more than that.

I am a feminist, thus making this a feminist beauty blog. So I really, really felt that this was something I needed to address. On top of that, I am a fat-positive blogger- more on that later.

I don't care what you think about Miley Cyrus.
I care about why you think it.

If there's one recurring theme that I have seen ALL over the interwebs, it's this: sexism rooting in slut shaming.

Statements such as:

"She had potential to be classy, now she's trashy"
"She's trying so hard to be a mature woman but that's not how women behave!"

Here's where I have a problem with all of that :

It's not a woman's job to be classy.
That's right, repeat after me. It is not a woman's duty to be 'classy'.
It does not make you less of a woman if you are not 'classy'.
It does not make you less of a woman to perform in your underwear.
It does not make you less of a woman if you make provocative gestures.

I understand that lewd gestures and sexual images might make some people uncomfortable. My question to those people is: Why are you watching MTV?? 
MTV has quite the reputation for being filled with sexualized images and mature content.
Why did you expect anything else?

But the biggest part that I have a problem with is the deafening silence I hear about Robin Thicke.
Robin Thicke faced some flack when he released his hit song "blurred lines", a song that, at best, is a little creepy, and at worst, advocates rape culture. 

Literally the only thing I have heard about Robin Thicke is that he looked like Beetlejuice.

& as true as it is, how is that the only thing people have to say?

When Miley shook her ass against him (a dance move that you can find in any high school prom- I promise you), everyone has expressed vehement disgust against her. Yet not a peep about him. 

Funny how that works, isn't it?

This saddens me most because all of this backlash came on Women's Equality Day.
You cannot make this up, people. 
I saw some of the most disgusting sexist comments on a day dedicated to women being equal to men
What the actual fuck is up with that?

Women will not be equal to men until the male singers in that performance were held to the same responsibility she was. Women will not be equal to men until they can wear what they want without it throwing the whole world into a tizzy. Women will not be equal to men until the fact that they danced in a provocative way doesn't land the FRONT PAGE of CNN. 

I saw no equality in the criticism of Miley Cyrus- just blatant sexism.

The second issue I have with the whole thing :several advocate groups are up in arms about the commercials used in the program: specifically, a condom commercial.

I feel like my friends and I were the only ones who were absolutely disgusted by the Kia Soul commercial.

In case you missed it: the commercial shows the KIA cute cuddly hamsters obsessively working out in all different ways, then arriving at a red carpet event - the MTV VMAs perhaps? in suits and guess what! Now they are skinny!

Yes they took the adorable chubby HAMSTER spokesmen of Kia and turned them into "suave" "sexy" (??they are hamsters.) skinny 'famous' people (hamsters?) all in the name of the slogan: total transformation.

It was immediately apparent that this was just another way that the media had turned to fat-shaming. They took hamsters, an animal that by default is 'chubby', and turned it into a sickly thing that wouldn't be possible in nature (not that a hamster driving a car would occur in nature but I digress).

The thing that puzzles me the most is, where is the outcry here? Parents want to cry out about condom commercials...yet a commercial that glorifies obsessive workouts is A-okay?

Here's the thing: obsessive working out is a form of bulimia. True story. And kids these days have self esteem that's in the shitter, as evidenced by the studies suggesting a good portion of kids have dieted in elementary school.

That's not cool. 

If you think that those kids won't pick up on the undertones of that commercial- you're wrong. 
They are taking it to heart. 
They are developing eating disorders due to commercials like these.
 And I am outraged that not more people are outraged. 

I have a lot of opinions about the whole situation but I chose to only try sticking to the ones that were relevant to this blog. I encourage RESPECTFUL discussion in the comment section and will engage in all types of conversations. Please leave a comment with your thoughts. Hopefully you took more from this article and your comment won't be about Miley, or her outfit. It will be about feminism and fat-shaming, and your opinion on the two. 

Follow your bliss, 
Ember Darling

Friday, August 23, 2013

August Ipsy glambag: Glamour Academy

This month's theme for Ipsy was back to school, glamour school that is!

The bag itself is really cute in my opinion. It's a great wine shade and has gold "coat of arms" decorations with beauty products. Pretty fitting for glamour academy! 

August Ipsy Glambag
August Glambag
Keep reading after the jump for all of this month's content, and LOTS of pictures!

Inner Beauty Friday: Karma

 Despite this being a beauty-oriented blog, I believe very much in "inner beauty" and believe it is necessary to work on this type of beauty above all else. Every Friday I share my journey through becoming more beautiful from the inside out!

Again I'm linking up to Jasmine at Green Eyed Monster who gave me the inspiration to start this weekly post!
Karma is a belief that is used in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh and Taoism. (According to Wikipedia)

The western interpretation of it is often "what goes around comes around"

This belief is rooted in many religions such as in christianity, you reap what you sow.

All in all you don't need religion to believe in karma. Karma is essentially the belief that if you do good unto others, good will be done unto you. The golden rule of treat others the way you want to be treated also falls under this general idea.

I think the fact that so many religions and countries believe the same idea is beautiful and rare. I can't say for sure that karma is real. Unless you sit and tally everything good/bad that you do and everything good/bad that happens to you, there is no real way to keep score.

But I believe deeply that you get what you give. If you are a loving, kind person, you are going to encounter other kind people. If you are a rude and hateful person, you may get ahead in the short term, but in the long run life will flip you upside down. You can't possibly be a negative person for so long without any downfall.

Sometimes I think karma is a thing we have to believe, to keep us from being evil. If we wanted to, we could simply be selfish and do for ourselves only. We could be mean and nasty. I know sometimes it's easy to look at some beautiful or successful people and think "wow they are not nice people, yet they are so successful?" But the truth is, it will most likely come back to bite them. Even if they advanced far in their career, karma might appear in their love life. 

Karma works in mysterious ways. I like to believe it, simply because I think that life has a way of balancing itself out. Like I said, you can't be negative all the time and receive only positive outcomes. It doesn't work that way and it will catch up to you!

Do any of you believe in karma?  Have you witnessed it yourself?

Next week I am going to talk about my favorite books and how they create inner beauty. I'd really like this to be a group discussion so start thinking about YOUR favorite books and how they shaped the person you are today!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Schick Hydro Silk review

All images are courtesy of the Schick Hydro Silk facebook page
The product in this review was received for free through a giveaway held on their facebook. I am not being compensated for my review.

I am a little giddy to write this review and I'll tell you why: I never planned to review it.
You know that when you didn't plan to review something, and then had to, you got a pretty strong reaction from it!

A couple of months ago I saw that Schick Hydro Silk were offering full sized giveaways to the first whatever-something people who filled out the form. I am not a picky razor kind of person. I don't use them that often so I mostly get Venus brand simply because that's the kind I have gotten for as long as I can remember. 

Ladies and gents, we all know the truth: razors are expensive. As someone on a budget, I tend to put off buying these suckers because you pay a lot for decent quality. So of course when I saw the giveaway, I rushed to it for the opportunity to save some money. 

I had never tried the brand but I had of course seen the commercials- I'm sure you have too. 
cue the music from the commercial in my head

So I received the box and did not use it right away. Finally I picked it up and opened it. 

This razor is the kind that has moisturizing serum around the blades that are water activated and infused with shea butter. 

Immediately, I was thrilled to find that you don't need shaving cream with this razor. The serum around the razor is buttery soft, and leaves your skin feeling moisturized and silky smooth. 

The razor was very forgiving with going with the contours of my body, and I didn't find myself afraid of getting cut- not even once. 

Overall, I felt compelled to review this product because I was blown away by it. I can definitely say that I will be buying refills to continue using this brand.

I am not a fan of shaving cream since it's kind of a hassle. So this product makes it really easy to skip that step without a worry!

Honestly, I reccommend this razor to everyone. It's a little pricey since it's not disposable and you can buy refills. The refills aren't that cheap either but honestly I find it worth it. Especially because with my sample they included some coupons for refills! On top of that, razors do tend to go on sale and I have seen other razor coupons floating around, too. So I think it's possible to have this razor on a budget. Plus, there's the money that you save on shaving cream!

I have definitely found my holy grail razor. Do you have a brand or type that you keep returning to? Or do you just buy the first kind you see? Or maybe you don't shave at all!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ariel Storylook palette look: FOTD

Of course the first night after I tracked down the Sephora Ariel Storylook palette, I had to create a look using only those shadows.

This is what I came up with.
I don't have a lot of pictures for this because I was at a friend's house (I literally couldn't wait to get home) and didn't have the best lighting. But I think you can still see 

eyeshadow look using Ariel palette
an eyeshadow look using only products from the Ariel Palette

I created this look using the following shadows of the palette:

eyeshadows used in the look
shadows used in this look

First color I used was Sea Witch, the purple at the bottom right. This went on my lid over Urban Decay Primer Potion, and over Nyx's eyeshadow pencil in Milk. 
Next, I took dabs from both Flotsam and Jetsam, mixing the two together to create a smokey look that wasn't black. I think these colors worked really well with Sea Witch, even though they have blue and green undertones, I thought they looked good together.
To highlight below my brow bone and to brighten the inner corner of my eyes I gabbed a dash of Sick of Swimmin' (not circled, but in the middle of the 2nd row from the bottom, and Sea Shells

eyeshadow look with eyes partially closed
with eyes partially closed

The look ended up looking only subtly smoked, but I still liked the tinge of darkness on the edges
I didn't use eyeliner, which is pretty rare for me. I just smudged some darker shadow in the outer v.

So this is the first (and so far, only) look I created using my Storylook palette. I look forward to mixing some of the brighter colors with some neutral colors to create some stunning color combinations. I think what I love most about the palette is that the colors work together well. You don't need anything else than this palette if that is what you are using.

Is this something you would wear out? Or is the purple a little too bright for your taste? Let me know in the comments, and again let me know if there are any colors you'd like to see a look for!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ariel Storylook eyeshadow palette by Sephora Review

As you may or may not know, Sephora has come out with several sets of collections modeled after Disney Princesses. First, there was Cinderella, then there was Jasmine. Then, news hit that the third and final collection would be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. 
As you may or may not also know part two: I have a Disney obsession. I was bummed that I missed the first two Sephora princess collections, but money just didn't permit for me to grab them. 

But Ariel is arguably my favorite princess. I have a mutual obsession with mermaids, so it only makes sense!

I knew from the start that I would need to get my hands on at least something from the Ariel collection. I immediately zeroed in on the large Storylook palette. 

See the story of the release and the rest of my review after the jump! 

As you may have noticed, it's Friday!

So, fun stuff happened this week! My house got hit by lightening so I don't have cable or internet until MAYBE tomorrow.
:( huge sad face

So I have been working hard all day to take pictures and plan to try and upload as much as I can today into a queue since I don't know when I will have the time and internet to get up more posts.

Tomorrow, I am going to Jacksonville (my favorite city) for a concert and Sunday I am going to a Rays baseball game! Since my weekend will be so jampacked I am apologizing in advance for not living up to the promise I made just yesterday (let's not talk about it). 

However there are posts coming :) 
I also got chosen for a challenge for Brandbacker, and I am so excited to do it! 

Anyway this is just an apology for not getting back into the swing of Inner Beauty Friday. But mark my words there will be one next week! Pinky promise.

You should still check out Jasmine's contribution to Inner beauty Friday, a lovely book review! 

Thanks for all your continued support!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Friendly reminder that I'm still alive

I know it seems I dropped off the face of the earth lately, and I want to apologize deeply!

The truth is I have a lot of amazing opportunities and posts coming up, as well as a slight makeover coming to my page!

Thanks for sticking around and I will be back tomorrow for another Inner Beauty Friday! I know I have missed the last 2 weeks but I am back with a vengeance :)

Even if I am absent from my blog I am never absent from blogger! I am always reading and keeping up with the blogs I follow! :)

So once again thanks for being loyal followers and I promise you'll have lots to look at in the upcoming weeks!! 
For entertainment purposes, here's a healthy dose of Throwback Thursday (#tbt)- me as a badass baby!

Hope everyone is having a lovely end of their summer!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Monday, August 5, 2013

13 questions tag

Here's a 13 personal questions tag I got tagged from Kristin at Your Beauty Fix Reviews

1) What drink do you order at Starbucks?
I pretty much only go in the fall and winter so that I can get pumpkin spice lattes. 

2) What's one thing in your closet you couldn't live without?
lots of tank tops. Plus size clothes for some reason love to be sheer, so you gotta layer layer layer!

3) What's one thing people don't know about you?
I have seen my favorite band over 20 times

4) What's one thing you want to do before you die?
Have a family. Get married AND have kids

5) What's the one food you can't live without?
It may not be a food but...milk. It's the only food/drink I feel strongly about.

6) What's one quote you live by?
I don't really live by quotes....So here's a fun one "bibamus moriendum est"  which means "death is certain, so let us drink"

7) What's one thing you like and dislike about the blogging community?
I like that people usually support each other and I like that people think of me and tag me sometimes! I dislike the same thing Kristin said- when people leave comments like "if you follow me, I'll follow you!" I love and am flattered when people follow me and 9 times out of 10 I will follow back, but I don't believe in trading follows like they are pokemon cards. I follow who I like, and you should do the same! not just to boost your numbers!

8) What's your number one song on iTunes?
Before I switched computers and lost all that info it was "for you and your denial" by Yellowcard

9) What kind of style would you describe yourself as having?
The kind of style I actually have and the kind of style I desire are two different things. I think I lean more "alternative" aka rocker chic  kinda look. But some days my wardrobe is so plain and doesn't have a specific style. I also can dress really 'feminine'.

10) What's your favorite number?

11) Two hobbies?
going to concerts
and doing my makeup and nails, of course!
honestly other than that I don't have much 'hobbies' besides hanging out with friends and maybe going out for sushi or to the bar every now and then

12) Two pet peeves?
when people are inconsiderate and you are relying on them and they don't tell you plans have changed
bad drivers

13) Your guilty pleasure?
I don't like the term guilty pleasure!honestly I don't feel guilty about anything I like!

anyone who'd like to do this! I'm sorry I'm just so bad at tagging people!! I love all my followers so I encourage every one of you to do this:)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag: July

The theme of July's Glam Bag was Beach Beauty.

I know, I know. Nothing like getting the July post up on the 1st of August! I could tell you that I've had a lot going on but the truth is that I'm ridiculously lazy. I don't have an ideal setup for taking pictures (still trying to get my boyfriend to build me a lightbox ;) so when I was unhappy with these pictures I kept wanting to take new ones, but the chance never arose.

Finally I decided to say screw it and post it anyway. So, yeah, I can see that these pictures aren't the greatest. But hey, it's a learning curve. I'm still new at this :) 

The July Ipsy bag arrived in a much more timely manner than last time, even if my post doesn't reflect it. Another thing I did this time was refrain from looking at other posts about it, or looking at my glam room before I got it. This time, everything in the bag was a total surprise!

While I definitely enjoyed having it be a surprise, I'm not so sure if I will do this in the future. It was so hard!

july beach beauty glam bag
July beach beauty glam bag
The bag this month was a neon pink transparent-type plastic bag. It definitely reminded me of a beach bag, particularly the material which seems to be water resistant. The color is a little bright for me but again, it seems quite beachy. I especially like that the Ipsy logo is printed on this bag.

Read about the contents of the bag-listed from least favorite to favorite- after the jump-->