Saturday, January 24, 2015

Favorite Beauty Products of 2014

Favorite Beauty Products 2014

Here they are, my Favorite Beauty Products of 2014!

Now, in comparison with previous years, I have purchased far less makeup and my wallet is much happier for it! Sure, I picked up some duds, like everyone else, but almost all of my purchases are worthy of being favorites! So I've whittled it down to the best of the best, the products I pick up time and time again!

Earlier this year, I combed through my collection of old MAC products and took advantage of the Back To MAC program to recycle old products and collect some free lipsticks! I picked up MAC Red (again), MAC Please Me, and MAC Relentlessly Red.

Back To MAC recycling program free lipsticks

For my birthday I was given a gift certificate to Sephora by my dear friend Michelle, so I finally snatched up the Urban Decay Naked3 palette, which is a lovely collection of rosy pinks in a variety of finishes!

As far as lipsticks and lipglosses go, aside from MAC, my favorites are Too Faced Melted Lipstick and Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick. I also love my EOS lip balms!

I made a meager effort to find a decent dupe for Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 117, trying out Benefit Hello Flawless and a Sephora brand, but in the end, just came back to it as my favorite foundation! If anyone has a suggestion for a MUFE 117 dupe, I'd love to hear it! As far as foundation primers go, I'm currently loving my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.

Finding my perfect foundation match

NYX Wonder Pencil was on my lust list for so long and I finally picked it up for the first time last year. It's a must-have for brightening my waterline on days when I'm feeling particularly lackluster. This past summer I picked up Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets and was so pleased with them in the heat of the sun! I received a sample size mascara with one of my Sephora purchases (I think) and have been loving a Lancome mascara in Noir.

In October I was gifted some Chanel nail polishes from Dave Lackie, and I just loved them so much I ended up wearing Chanel Exception 639 for three manicures in a row! Zoya is one of my favorite nail polish brands, so this year I have to say my favorite are both gold - Zoya Ziv and Zoya Maria Luisa!

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Eyeshadows are a decent substitute for MAC Paint Pots. Since they tend to go bad before I finish even half the container, the drugstore version is a much better choice for me personally. I've been loving (55) Inked in Pink, (70) Barely Branded, and (110) Sunwashed Sky.

So, those are my beauty loves for 2014! Leave me a comment with suggestions for 2015!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Starting over in 2015: A Return To Blogging

Returning To Blogging

Dear precious readers, makeup addicts and beauty bloggers,

I've been absent from blogging for quite a long time now. My ancient computer finally went down for good...  But, in November, I bought myself a brand new MacBook Air and a new external hard drive! My old camera had the resolution of a potato... so I bought myself a Canon Rebel T5 camera the first week of January! Both of these purchases are essential to maintaining my online business, asoftblackstar, and should put me back on track to regular blogging! (Cue cheering crowds...)

I have ahead of me the task of re-photographing my entire store catalog. (Some of the photos have not been updated since 2008! Eek! Have I really been in business that long?) I'm coming up on my seven year anniversary this April and I'm planning sales... and giveaways... and newsletters... Oh, and I've grossly neglected my Instagram! The chores seem endless... But I have to-do lists, schemes, designs, sketches, doodles, endless ideas... And a shipment of brand-new fabrics!

Returning To Blogging

If you read my moleskine post from last year you might remember that I like to start my books out with quotes! Here are the two quotes I've chosen for 2015:

"A multitude of small delights constitute happiness." - Charles Baudelaire
"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect." - Anais Nin

Next post: favorite beauty products of 2014!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Upcoming MAC Cosmetics Collections for Spring 2015

MAC Collections 2015

Upcoming MAC Cosmetics Collections for Spring 2015
Please note that this information is subject to change until the official release date of each collection. Yes, some of this list may be inaccurate. I will periodically update this list as more details become available.
MAC Studio Lacquer Collection - January 8th, 2015
MAC Love Purple Collection - January 13th, 2015 
MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus - January 22nd, 2015
MAC x Toledo Collection - January 29th, 2015

Monday, September 1, 2014

Upcoming MAC Cosmetics Collections for Fall 2014

MAC Cosmetics Upcoming Collections Fall 2014

Upcoming MAC Cosmetics Collections for Fall 2014
Please note that this information is subject to change until the official release date of each collection. Yes, some of this list may be inaccurate. I will periodically update this list as more details become available.
MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow Collection - August 15th, 2014
MAC A Novel Romance Collection - August 21st, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Project: Neon Pink Aquarium Gravel Succulent Planter

DIY neon pink gravel succulent planter
Neon Pink Aquarium Gravel Succulent Planter

Neon Pink Aquarium Gravel Succulent Planter

I'm not going to lie -- I saw this on Pinterest and have been thinking about making these for weeks! I just love the pop of the neon pink pebbles against the green of these succulents. Plus, succulents are the only plants I seem to be able to keep alive! The thing to know about succulents is that they require a soil that drains really well. You can buy a bag of succulent soil, which is also good for cacti. I had a bag of it around from a previous project and I only needed a few handfuls for each of the pots I made.

I bought my craft supplies at Michael's and the past few times I've been there the receipt comes with a coupon for 40% off any one regular priced item, which is extremely useful if you're crafty!
Total Cost per Planter: around $10
Aloe Vera plant  = $2.98
aquarium gravel = $1.50
6" terracotta pot = $2.98
4" terracotta saucer = $ .89
acrylic paint = $1.99
foam brush = $ .49
You could easily make this project for next to nothing! Now, I already had succulent soil, so I didn't tally that up. Ask a friend for some free succulent clippings! Maybe you already have some terracotta pots lying around, and I bet if you're a crafty gal you already have acrylic paints and a brush or two. Really, the stand-out feature here is the GloFish brand neon pink aquarium gravel, which I purchased at a pet supply store for $5.99 a bag. You could easily stretch out the amount of gravel into four to six pots, depending on size. If you're not too keen on pink, don't worry, it comes in a variety of other colors!

How to Make Your Own: Gather your supplies and prepare to get messy! Painting will take multiple coats to be opaque, so be patient and let each layer dry for around an hour before continuing onto the next. Once your pots are completely dry,