Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Makeup: Sugarpill Trinket Liquid Lipstick Swatches and Review

In my previous post on Sugarpill's Kim Chi liquid lip, I mentioned an upcoming review on Trinket...and ta-da! Here we are! 
In all actuality, the two came in the same package. I've had them now for a few months and have dabbled with them enough to feel confident in giving my humble opinion based on my personal experience with them. I'm not a professional makeup artist, though I do know a couple and occasionally bug them for their sage advice. These are just the opinions of this girl, who buys these things with her own hard earned pocket cash in the hopes of feeling prettier and having a happier, sparklier life. 

Sugarpill describes Trinket as:

"Creamy matte mauve infused with luminous golden sparkles that shine brighter as the formula sets. Ultra-pigmented and super long-lasting. Our creamy, mousse-like formula never feels dry on your lips! Creamsicle scented."

Which translates to this, on me:

With flash, indoors. 

My personal, non-professional description of this lipstick color is "natural but better", because I find the base color so easy and comfortable to wear. It's close enough to my natural lip color to look almost as if I'm not wearing much of anything, but then that sparkle hits! I feel like this could be an easy go-to daily shade for any girl (or guy) who wants more sparkle in their life without wanting to go full-blown disco unicorn. You can definitely up the glitz factor by rubbing your finger gently across your lips to reveal more of the glitter, but that may negatively impact your weartime. 

No flash, indoors. You can see just a peek of the gold glinting through.

In the same lighting, with the lipstick rubbed in a bit so that the sparkles come to life!
I find this such a lovely shade and from the reviews it seems a lot of people consider it a flatter tone, so that's awesome! Personally, I find I don't reach for it as often as I could because it feels almost too tame now that I've gotten into more daring shades. It is an absolutely beautiful color, and for me the wear time was about the same as Kim Chi, which is to say 2-3, maybe 4 hours. Maybe I drink a lot of water, I mean, I do try to stay hydrated... But does that constitute super long lasting? Depends on your standards for that definition. The color will fade, especially if you eat/drink/smoke during that time frame, but that brings out the sparkles and it's such a near-nude shade that it's not going to look awful as it diminishes, so I'm not mad at them. They say it smells like creamcicles, but I can neither confirm nor deny as my sense of smell is pretty abysmal, but if I happen to get a whiff of something yummy next time I apply it I'll let you guys know! The formula is creamy and applies easily with one coat. It doesn't feel especially drying on my lips while wearing it, but I'm also aware that it's on, if that makes sense. It's not heavy or tacky, though, which I appreciate. I have enough issues in my day to day without my lips getting glued together, thank you very much. Sugarpill understands, and the texture of the lipstick is quite nice going on.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Vegas: September visit to the Springs Preserve & OriGen Space Exhibit

As part of my birthday celebration, Antho and I went to visit the Springs Preserve. The Springs Preserve is a 180 acre property a short three miles from Downtown Las Vegas, and was actually the origination point of the city itself! Within it's boundaries are a plethora of things to see and do along with an ever rotating seasonal roster of events, flowers, and activities. Since this initial visit we've returned several times and despite that we've yet to truly begin to uncover everything there is to do inside the bounds of the preserve! There's the gardens, naturally, but also several hiking trails, multiple museums, a zoo, an old west style town, a cafe, and much more! There's even a butterfly habitat during the warmer months where you might get to live out a Disney princess dream with the little lovelies landing on you...singing is entirely optional. What brought us here for this particular visit, however, was the Space Exhibit inside the OriGen museum. 

While some of my friends dabble in astrophotography, which is incredibly beautiful, my curiousity in the cosmos stems largely from readings of Carl Sagan and documentaries/sci-fi. I do ever so love me a good (or sometimes terrible) sci-fi movie... and in space, no one can hear you scream...

We had so much fun during this visit that we actually sprung for annual memberships, which allow us to enter the gardens up to an hour prior to public opening as well as guaranteeing us free entry to the botanical gardens and museums for an entire year! When there's special events, like the Haunted  harvest we'd later go to, the entry fee is discounted for members. For the two of us it was about $50, which is really quite reasonable for everything included, especially when you consider that it's easy to spend $50 on a movie night (tickets, dinner, etc) it felt worth it to us. We could have gone an even cheaper route, but we wanted to support the venue and since the preserve is also rather close to where we're currently staying it makes for an easy budget friendly choice when we want to go out and do something but don't necessarily want to burn through all the gas (and gas money) it would take for us to drive out to Mount Charleston or Red Rock.  In all of our visits here, the staff have always been very pleasant and helpful. Walking among nature is known to be good for your health and we always leave the preserve feeling more relaxed and happy. Maybe it's from sunshine, or the exercise, but whatever the case we love the Springs Preserve!

More photos after the cut!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Makeup: Sugarpill Kim Chi Liquid Lipstick swatches and review

Something you may not know about me is that I've had a long running off and on affair with makeup. There will be long stretches of time where I dabble and experiment constantly, making an effort to do my face on a daily basis so I can figure out which colors and formulas work best for me and which aren't doing me any favors...then there will be months where I couldn't care less and go naked faced into the world, for whatever variety of reasons suit at the moment. 

While I was living in Korea, a mecca of makeup and skincare, I found myself going a bit more simple with my looks.  This was due to a few factors, like being away from my boyfriend (who calls me gorgeous regardless of what's on my face) and feeling less of a need to get dolled up ("who am I trying to impress?") plus feeling a bit frumpy with my hair as it grew out, but also a bit of intimidation when faced with the plethora of items available and my linguistic lacking. My grasp on Korean is abysmal so unless I had my host or my friends along to help play translator I would struggle to communicate what I was looking for in a product... To be honest, though, this was also partially due to the fact I was, simply put, pretty broke in the beginning. Moving overseas is a big change of lifestyle on top of location, and there can be an adjustment period before you settle in and your new paychecks start rolling in that a sense of financial security starts to develop. Once I felt a little more stable in my funds I did eventually begin to dabble a toe in the large and varied most wonderful world of Korean cosmetics...  The style of makeup in Korea tends towards a more natural look, too, from what I saw while there. I really enjoyed seeing the different makeup looks the girls I'd draw at Fun Caricature locations would wear, as they often looked put together and pretty but fresh faced, too...a stark contrast to the heavy contour and smokey eyes looks that are so popular here in the US. I love both approaches to makeup, but while living there I tended to stick with a routine of just: BB cream, smidge of eyeshadow (maybe), dash of eyeliner and mascara. The first time I wore a peripera lip stain, about 3 months into my stay, one of my male coworkers asked if I was wearing makeup to work... for the first time. 😂

(indoor lighting)

So, how does this bring us to American indie makeup brand Sugarpill's lipstick that was developed with the help of Drag Queen (or goddess) Kim Chi? 
(with flash)

(indoor lighting)

Well,  this lippie, and the Queen, is given the name of Korea's most eponymous food stuff. Spicy, intense, in-your-face and bold, the signature food is a fitting moniker. While I've never watched RuPaul's Drag Race I did some research and I can dig it and have absolutely no problem with any of my pennies going towards Kim Chi's pockets if it meant having this lovely shade! Slay on, Queen.

Review continues after the cut!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kyoto Day 4- part 5- Leaving Kyoto

As happens with all good things, my time in Kyoto came to a wrap shortly after lunch. Once again I found myself seated inside a bullet train, gliding through the countryside with the smooth and lethal grace of it's namesake. Given the speed with which we traveled, I shortly found the sunshine of a cool winter's day in Kyoto replaced by grey skies and rain, then gentle snow followed by a dense white haze... then it cleared up once more and we were well on our way back to Tokyo. 

What is a train trek in Japan without the eponymous eki-ben, so named because it's literally a train station bento box. Small stores selling them proliferate both inside of and near any train station you may happen across in Japan, though their fillings will vary immensely depending on the price of the box and the region it's purchased in. Attention to detail is high, and while the quality of the ingredients can fluctuate a tad based on the price, you can trust that the majority of times you'll find a reasonably well-balanced meal to enjoy regardless where it's from. 

Traveling on the shinkansen was, for me, extremely comfortable. I was able to stretch my legs out with ample room in front of me, and the easily accessible outlets to charge my devices allowed me the freedom to entertain myself with any electronic without fear of the battery depleting on me prior to our arrival some hours later. Personally, I found it a bit difficult to actually go so far as to sleep but some of my fellow passengers had little to no difficulty in doing so. Given the ready availability of alcoholic beverages at the station and stores surrounding the train stations, it may play some role in that. In a lot of ways it feels very similar to flying, from the fold-out tables on the chairs in front to the seat designs... that being said, it should be noted that bullet train travel is not cheap. If you're looking to save money, you can always opt to take an overnight bus (as I've done when traveling to L.A. from Vegas several times) or fly. Personally, it was worth the expense because it gave me the opportunity to see the country in a way that was special to me. We certainly don't have any bullet trains in my part of the world yet, though the Hyperloop might hold promise...but I digress. It was a lovely trip and though I was sad to be leaving my new friends behind for the routine of work, work and more work, I was so very glad to have had the adventure and met those lovely people. 


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Kyoto day 4- part 4- lunch and Arashiyama station

As tends to happen rather predictably, hunger eventually found it's way into my awareness and the rumbling of my tummy signaled the time for fueling. I had passed several opportunities for eating along the way, including a small hut that claimed to offer tamagokake gohan, a simple but utterly comforting dish of steaming hot rice topped with a lightly beaten raw egg... while that would have been quite affordable and homey, the hut was seemingly untended when I happened by so I walked until I found this lovely restaurant. For about $20US I had a delicious and well-rounded meal consisting of steamed white rice, thinly sliced raw sea bream in sesame sauce, locally grown Kyoto vegetables, house made pickles, hot tea and even dessert! A truly delicious and wholesome meal to replenish from the morning's sojourn. 

After filling my tank, I resumed walking for a little longer before retreating to the train station. My time in Kyoto was rapidly drawing to a close and I needed to start making my way back to Kyoto station proper to catch my bullet train back to Tokyo. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Kyoto day 4- part 3- Arashiyama sanpo

For my last day in Kyoto, I spent the majority of my time wandering without any real direction through the various paths I encountered in Arashiyama/Arasiyama. The area was serene and beautiful in it's rural tone, with friendly rickshaw drivers (and riders) smiling and waving when they noticed me snapping photos. While I did have a train to catch, eventually, I felt no need to rush or hurry while I wound my way through the rural setting. 

I hope you enjoy my photos and can perhaps catch a sense of that calm, happy stroll.