Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where have I been?

So you might have wondered where I've been for the past few weeks. Or let's be real you probably didn't notice. But the point is, I was preparing for my first ever trip out of the country! & consequently, my first ever cruise!

Back in November my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a deal with Disney Cruise Line for Florida residents. It was a last minute deal- applying to cruises in January and February only. Our 3 year anniversary fell on January 23rd so our interest was piqued. I've never been on a cruise, like I just said, and my boyfriend had never been on a Disney cruise.
We have talked about going on a cruise before but it's never been in the finances. Disney cruises are notoriously more expensive, of course. But we are a little bit obsessed with Disney. If you didn't know, we have annual passes to Walt Disney World. We met and bonded over the Lion King super nintendo game. Our first official date was to see Tangled in theaters. And for our 2 year anniversary we stayed in a Lion King suite at the Art of Animation resort in Disney World. Do you see a theme here?

Yes, Disney is a running theme throughout our lives and relationship. We really bond over it.

So when we saw a deal that made a Disney cruise just about the same price as, say, another cheaper line of cruises, we couldn't say no! So we chose the one that departed the day after our anniversary, a Friday-Monday 3 day Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Magic!

I have been so busy doing as much research as possible, packing our bags, and generally trying to figure out what to do.

I even had dreams about leaving without my makeup. Yeah. I was clearly anxious about this! Beauty blogger alert.

So this post is an introduction to the next few posts, which will be a day-by-day account of my cruise. I really want to write it all out and have it forever and post pictures so, yeah! I'm really excited because I have not done much traveling in my life. So it was a really special experience for me.

I also hope to give a better idea about Disney Cruises out there to people who- like me- think they can't afford it.
For instance, did you know you can bring your own alcohol on board? Yep. No restrictions. As long as it fits in your carry on, you can carry it on! Disney is one of the only cruises that lets you do this. So we really figured the cost we would save on alcohol would make up for the slight price difference between Disney and Carnival. And, like, it's Disney. We were kinda foolish though because we still ended up buying some drinks on board. It's just so too tempting to pass up their perfectly crafted fancy drinks in favor of a plain ole' rum & coke.

So after the few posts about the cruise, it will be back to beauty blogging as usual! I hope you enjoy my posts though because traveling is something I love and would love to be able to do more in my life.

And of course I did my makeup every day so there will be some beauty aspect to it! Plus you can see my plethora of over-packed outfits!

Alright so thanks for sticking around through this pause of posts and hope you enjoy the ones coming!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MAC Punk Couture lipsticks (swatches & review)

So if you've been hanging around for a while then you might remember when I bought my first MAC products. It feels like just yesterday I was wrapping my fingers around those sleek black packages for the first time.

MAC always seemed like a faraway fantasy for me. It always seemed out of my reach. It wasn't until semi-recently that I took a closer look at the prices.
While they aren't something I can afford frequently, I can certainly splurge every once in a while on it.

When I heard the name 'punk couture collection' in passing, my ears immediately perked up and I dove headfirst into the internet to find this magical myth. I didn't know what to expect. I knew that anytime a mainstream brand claims to be "punk" it's probably the furthest thing from being 'punk'. But considering my style is dark and alternative at best, I was still totally intrigued.

Which led me to the website Spektra. It's a message board all about makeup, mostly MAC and only other high end brands. I lurked and lurked and joined and commented and fell in love with the collection months before the release date. I came up with a plan on how to get my hands on the collection weeks ahead of time.

The babies I had my eyes on in particular with the lipsticks. Most everything else in the collection was re-promotes, but the lipsticks were brand new, matte, and oh so gorgeous.

So the day after Christmas I got out of bed bright and early to arrive at the local mall just in time for opening. There is a MAC counter inside Dillard's, and I made a beeline for it. I was the first person there and the sales woman knew exactly what I was looking for! She even said that some people had already called and reserved some of the collection, which was extremely limited. I was so grateful to be able to get my hands on all 4 lippies!

I could basically drool over this picture all day! Le'ts break it down from left to right!
Studded Kiss- a medium darkened matte red. I almost didn't get this one! But who doesn't love a darkened red lip? The only red I have is bright so I eventually decided that I needed this.
Punk Couture- To me this is the definition of  mate purple! It is more blue-toned than red, which is hard to come by. It was love at first sight with this lipstick and me!
Haute Core- black matte. I can tell you that I have searched for black lipstick for a while. All the ones I have found are either not pigmented enough or so patchy it's not worth it. When I heard there would be a matte black I was excited to get my hands on it!
Instigator- burgundy purple. This is a hard color to explain because from what I've seen it is different on everyone! All I needed to know was that it was matte and dark and I was on board!

Swatches from left to right- Instigator, Punk Couture, Haute Core, Studded Kiss
As you can see in the swatches, these are very pigmented and fairly matte. As you can also see, from the edges of the swatches, is that at first swipe the colors can be patchy. I found this the same on the lips. One swipe won't do the trick but a little layering and there's no problems. I didn't find them to be too difficult to apply, but I know some people have had trouble.
Since they are matte, it is best to prime your lips a little before applying- exfoliate, and perhaps put on a lip balm to add moisture.
In my lip swatches however I did no prep. I just applied it straight from the tube!

Instigator. In certain lighting it is this beautiful blackened purple. But mostly for me, it ends up looking so dark it's almost black. I will be experimenting different ways to apply this to get the most out of the color, and perhaps I will share them on the blog when I find the best way that works for me!
As you can see it's not that matte. This is the kind of lipstick that needs a little bit of time to set. However I found that overall it doesn't get too mattified.

Studded Kiss is a dark red as promised. It's not anything ground-breaking but I really like it! I think I like it even more than the red I usually wear.

Haute Core is a solid black that I love! I think it looks great.

On new years eve I put on Haute Core and dabbed half baked from the Naked palette in the center , I really loved how it turned out.

Perfect for New Years Eve!
I can't talk about the wear of any of the lipsticks because I haven't worn them for extended periods of time. But when I wore haute core on NYE it lasted all night through drinking, eating, and smoking. I know this is due in part to half baked acting like a setting powder on top but it's still pretty impressive that it lasted through the wee hours of the morning.

Last but not least, my favorite of the bunch: Punk Couture! This is a true purple lippie and I am so happy to have it in my arsenal. I find myself wanting to wear it ALL the time!

So these lipsticks sold out RIDIC quick. If you weren't able to snatch it up I'm afraid the only place you might find them is ebay or other re-sellers.

As for me, I am so glad I splurged on this collection of lipsticks. They are a must-have for me!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Makeup FOTD

So let's start this new year off by pretending it's still relevant to post Christmas makeup!
K? K.

You may have noticed a few changes here 'round the blog. It's a work in progress! I was messing with a few things and I have just been experimenting, really. But believe me I know for right now, it clashes. But I can't wait for it to all come together!

In addition to that I have changed the font in my watermark and have experimented with changing the watermark up in general. I know that's a subtle change that probably no one will notice but me. But, what do you think? Do you like the old one better? Should I leave the "" at the end? Leave your thoughts in the comments, por favor!

This is a look I threw together Christmas morning and it's equal parts tacky and stereotypical.
On one hand, it's stereotypical because it has all the things you associate with holiday makeup- red lips, red or green eyeshadow, and gold. It's tacky because most people don't wear all of them at once.
But I do! Because I really don't waste time listening to conventional rules and I do what I want anyway. SO. I think it turned out not half bad!

I think what I'm most proud of in this look is the eyeliner. Somehow it turned out just right!

I took a mixture of Swag & Underground from the Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box and put it all over the lid. Then I took the red shade from the BH cosmetics 120 palette and blended it into the crease. I could have blended it more, for sure.

Then I lined my bottom line with the green shadow from the BH cosmetics 120 palette

As is my new thing, the colors I used are marked with a daisy!

Other products used in this look:
Jesse's girl waterproof liquid eyeliner
Urban Decay primer potion
Covergirl Lashblast Volume mascara
Covergirl 3 in 1 outlast foundation
Physicians Formula translucent powder
Elf eyebrow kit
NYX soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

So I hope you all had a great holiday! Tell me all about it below!