Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Gifts For Men: A DOC Guide

I now interrupt Mr. Dudesday's regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you a little bit of girl wisdom for holiday gifts for the guy in your life. Whether he be your boyfriend, husband, father of your children or simply a cutie you have a crush on there are some general rules to follow. Trust me, I've learned throughout the years the do's and don'ts of holiday gifting.

First of all under no circumstances do you gift the man in your life clothes. The only exception is if he is truly into that kind of thing, the fly guy that had his eye on something he'd never actually buy for himself. Let me clarify, it's fine to buy him a nice leather jacket or a pair of sneakers he's lusting after but only if those are things he would like. If he's more into video games than basketball or only wears sweatshirts instead of a coat you're going to fail if you even bother with the above acceptable gifts. Under no circumstances can you buy socks, undershirts or underwear for your man. Not as a gift. If he needs new ones pop them in his stocking but don't wrap them up, that's a huge let down. It's like if he bought you dishwashing gloves or a dirt devil.

Next, know your audience. If he likes being athletic buying him a Playstation doesn't really seem like the right idea and same goes for the reverse. Guys do not want to be changed so don't buy them a present you think they should like if you know they won't like it.

Guys may not admit it but they like gifts from the heart. If he mentioned months ago that he wanted to see Alice in Chains (the new band, of course) in concert then surprise him with tickets on a weekend you know he's free or could be free. Don't expect him to cancel his Superbowl weekend because you bought tickets to the ballet or opera.

You can always go for a sweet gesture if neither of you can really afford to do anything special. Clean his place better than he could ever clean it himself keeping in mind that he might actually want the roll of toilet paper beside the bed and keeping his remote control next to his favorite chair. And do not dispose of anything that you want to unless you have his express written permission. PS- Guys always love homemade goodies so cook your live in man a nice dinner wearing just an apron or your undies.

It all comes down to how well you know each other. If it's relatively new then you owe it to yourself and him to keep things low-key. Buy him a 6 pack of his favorite beer and a new video game that you know he was dying to splurge on. If you've been together for 10 years and you know he secretly wants a dirt devil then by all means buy it for him like I did Mr. Dudesday last year. It was meant to be funny because we've talked about it many times and it was actually a big hit. You can buy him something that reminds you of an inside joke or something for his house or car that he liked when in your house or car. You don't have to blow big money on something that you don't know he'll enjoy and you wouldn't want him to do the same. Sometimes the easiest thing is to make a list and ask him to do the same, it might not be romantic but at least you'll both get what you wanted. Okay I'm off to start my Amazon Christmas List. See you soon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

American Music Awards 2011: The Ugly

Sorry it's a day late but I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday if you live in the US or a nice Thursday if you don't. You didn't think I forgot about The Ugly did you?

There isn't much that I can say that is nice about this dress. I'm not a hater but what is redeeming about this Ugly frock? I'm not a fan of the handkerchief hemline and never have been and I don't enjoy the rosettes on the front of the bodice. I don't like the look of the shoes, they seem comfy but not necessarily sexy. I hope Cheryl redeems herself next time.

Julie Bowen's dress doesn't horribly offend me, if I saw it on a soccer mom at a holiday party I wouldn't think twice. I just don't think this look works for the red carpet, now matter how casual the event. Yes, I know it's sequined but the stripes make it more sporty and the high pony only adds to that effect. The Loubies are sexy but I personally would have gone for navy or metallic to bring out those shades in the dress.

If you're anything like me you're wondering who the f*@! this person is. Well, it's Kimberly Perry from the country group Band Perry. Yeah, that doesn't clear things up for me either. I never listen to the radio and certainly not country, Sorry! Either way I have to say I'm not a fan of this dress. If I didn't like it on my darling Emma Stone I'm not going to enjoy it on anyone. The hair doesn't work, neither does the bag but I love, love, love the gold and black shoes. I'd wear those with a cuter dress. Next!

I know, I know, Nicki's going for a look I just don't like it. The top of the dress is fine, not great but okay, it's the bottom that I don't like. I don't like the pickups as they are called or the shade of green that was chosen, especially not with pastel pink hair. Plus, if she's wearing a wig (which she always does) why the hell is it not perfection? Again, I love the heels in this one and I adore the eye makeup but perhaps it would be better paired with either a nude lip or a natural haircolor, not bright pink both.

Are we in agreement? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

American Music Awards 2011: The Bad

Now onto the bad looks. You all know it gets better as we go down the list. Good is fun, bad is better and ugly surely is the best! What's the difference between bad and ugly you might be asking yourself? It's simple. If the looks was well thought out, cute and otherwise nice it could become bad if one little thing is too off to ignore such as a bad color, fit or if it's unflattering to the person wearing it. Ugly is beyond that, the outfit has no redeeming qualities and would be better on the atelier floor.

Audrina Patridge, come on down. You're the first contestant on DOC's AMA 2011 Bad List. This is a classic example of a bad. The dress is cute, the shoes work, hair is pretty but if you're seeing what I'm seeing all I can focus on is the reverse racoon eye makeup. Hello! Concealer around the eyes, you can see it even in the full length picture. Not good. At least it's not powdered to hell on top of that. Many makeup artists say to use a concealer 1-2 shades lighter than your skintone under the eyes to "cancel out" the shadows. DON'T. Or you'll look like this. Use one that is your shade or slightly lighter but not this much of a contrast. In fact, I usually sweep my bronzer close enough to the eye that I don't get this look period. I hope she learned her lesson.

Many of you may call Jennifer Lopez's dress ugly but I'd like to stop you right there. While it's certainly not my taste you have to admit that the girl has the body to pull it off. I just love her figure and since i know she works hard to keep it that way I think she should show it off. It's not nearly as daring as her 2000 Grammy Awards Versace dress which will forever live in infamy. She redeemed herself by keeping her makeup, hair, shoes and accessories simple, classic and clean. I can't wait to see what she'll wear next.

Katy Perry always looks quirky and I just have to get used to that though I may never be able to do it. I adore her figure as well and this dress makes the most of it but it's just too cutesy and ironic for my taste. I'm not sure I can get on board with the pink-purple hair either and I really wish you didn't see light brown roots in this picture. I do have to say that I'm kinda in love with the hair accessory she's wearing but of course I wouldn't wear it myself. The cats eye makeup and tomato red lip are glamourous and I think it would look better with her natural haircolor, possibly some colorful streaks but not the full on look. I also adore the pop of blue of her shoes.

Lastly, Mary J. Blige. I love the pattern and material of this dress but I don't think it's particularly flattering to have the bigger spots on the hip area, it makes it look like the fabric had to stretch to fit over her hips. Obviously that makes them look bigger than they are. In general I'm also not a fan of one shoulder/long sleeve hybrid dresses. I believe a one shoulder dress should be sleeveless on the arm. I don't like Mary J. with blonde hair, I don't find it flattering with her skintone and I'm hugely unimpressed with her annoying arm band tattoo.

What about you? Are we in agreement or would you like to save someone from the bad list?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dudesday Tuesday: American Music Awards

I've been asked to do my own take on the good, bad and ugly of the AMA's. Unfortunately I don't have TV so I won't see the awards unless I download them but judging from what I've read, I won't bother. So I looked at all the pictures Mrs. D.O.C. scrounged up and sadly I was not very impressed. I get it, the AMA's are not the Grammy's but what's with all the horrible outfits?

So we'll start with the ugly, the outfits so bad they couldn't be saved by a simple color swap or better hairdo. I would say Nicki Minaj but that'd just be too easy, she always looks awful. I will say that she has a pretty smile though. So I'm going to give the ugly rating to Jennifer Morrison. Now she actually looks pretty here, love her hair and makeup but that dress is just no. No, what was she thinking? The sleeves are god awful. The bead work looks like it belongs on a fancy napkin. And the shape of it looks almost like she's wearing a table cloth. I can't see any way to salvage this outfit which is a shame because she looks very pretty other than that.

The bad goes to Selena Gomez. Her dress isn't awful, I think I get where they were going with it, but it just doesn't work for me. The dress looks too big for her. I get that she's young but that slit on the leg should be a lot higher, not so we can see more skin but because it throws the whole outfit off. It seems like it was designed for a full figured woman to wear but was given to Selena instead. A few minor variations could have easily put her into the best dressed category at least in my eyes. I'm not a big fan of the hair but her makeup is gorgeous and she carried herself very well without looking the least bit slutty.

And the best dressed of the evening has to go to Vanessa Minillo. The dress is just hot, what can I say. I personally prefer her hair a little lighter but despite the color, it's beautiful, her makeup is excellent, good body, not a fan of the shoes but oh well, they work with the dress. I love the one strap thingy that goes around her neck, very elegant. She won by a landslide but there were a few I have to give honorable mentions to, Audrina Patridge and I never thought I'd say it but Taylor Swift.

I rarely find her attractive but her straight hair looks really good and although I don't particularly like the dress, it looks great on her. And those were the only three I saw that I thought actually deserved to be in the good category. The rest of the ladies really needed to step their game up but this is just the beginning to the awards season.

Monday, November 21, 2011

American Music Awards 2011: The Good

Hey guys! I promise I'm not dead. I've got a few minutes and since I couldn't keep myself away from American Music Awards photos I thought I'd share the fashion and beauty with you today. Tomorrow look forward to Mr. Dudesday's post on the topic and then check back Wednesday and Thursday for The Bad and The Ugly. I'll be focusing a lot on the makeup and hair in these photos.

The obvious winner of the night to me in the fashion department is Vanessa Minnillo, Mrs. Nick Lachey. She looks amazing in this white dress and I'm totally digging her darker hair. I think this is the best I've ever seen her look. Her legs look insane and the cool neckline accentuates her beautiful face.

Another great look is Hilary Scott from Lady Antebellum. The dress is flattering on her curvy figure and her hair looks great down on her shoulders. It's whimsical and cute without being ironic ala Katy Perry. Her makeup is pretty and sweet to complement her dress.

This next one is a little of both good and bad. I just adore Heidi's dress, white with a metallic silver "lacy" overlay. I think it is gorgeous without being over the top or too dressy for the event. However, I'm not a huge fan of her hair in these shots. Don't get me wrong, I love the texture but I think I'd like it more if it was tucked behind the ears, at least on one side.

I feel the same way about Jennifer Hudson that I do about Heidi. While I freakin' love her metallic dress I have to say that I'm not a fan of her hair and makeup and I miss her curves. It's great that Jennifer got in better shape, I would never criticize her for that but I think she went a little too far. Her face looks gaunt. I don't particularly like her bright pink lipstick or her oddly highlighted and straightened hair.

Another Jennifer worth mention is Jennifer Morrison. She's the reverse of JHud, I really love her hair and fresh makeup but I'm not sure how I feel about the dress. It's pretty, I love the retro 70s style peasant dress. I think that it looks very comfortable and I like the color and adornment but I don't think I'm completely sold on the hemline. What do you ladies think?

I'm just going to come right out and say it, I much prefer Taylor Swift's hair straight. Her wave pattern is odd to say the least and her hair always looks poufy and fake like a wig. I think she needs to use a more natural texture and avoid the curling iron. This look makes her look a lot more sophisticated and more age appropriate. I can't get over how much she looks like Nicole Kidman here. I absolutely love her earrings and her simple makeup.

Yet another Jenny, Jenny McCarthy looks FABULOUS in this gorgeous purple retro inspired dress and beauty. I love the color, period, and I think it looks amazing on her creamy skin. Her retro wave hairstyle is gorgeous and the makeup only complements the look. I can safely say she's never looked this amazing. I love the dark lip, I wish I had the balls to do that myself.

Selena Gomez has been continuing to look great on the red carpet. I think she has figured out what works for her and keeps reaching for it over and over. She's been seen many times in pale colors, showing a little bit of leg via a slit and a slinky material. I love the fringe detail on the hemline of the dress and her soft apricot lipgloss. Her hair is gorgeous and glossy and the waves are a perfect look to go with the dress.

What do you think? Anything you disagree with? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dudesday Tuesday: "I'm just worried I'm going to lose you"

Today we're going to talk a little about jealous boyfriends. It's come to my attention that I don't think I can name a young woman who doesn't have one. Whether they're in their teens or closing in on 30. It seems like men have no confidence in their relationship so they tell their girlfriend that she's not allowed to talk to other men, in some cases not even look at them. Some of the guys get angry and violent about it while some get moody and distant. It seems like every time a girl sits her man down and asks why he does this, they all give a slight variation on the same answer, 'I'm just worried I'm going to lose you'. Is this an honest answer? I strongly believe it is, in fact I would bet anything it is. But that brings up the real question; why is he so worried about that?

Men and women alike, when we do something wrong, we know it's wrong, therefor have a guilty conscience. Yes it does work both ways because women cheat too, some studies claim they cheat more than men, but for some reason these couples choose to stay together. Men, whether in a relationship or not, will generally go as far as their female pursuer will. Whether it stops at flirting, touching, kissing, fooling around or even going all the way even though they know it will hurt their girl if she finds out. If that girl is a keeper, he's going to do everything he can to keep her, well, except for the right thing. He'll lie about what he did and do everything in his power to cover his tracks, usually quite sloppily, but instead of changing his ways, he'll assume that his girl is doing the same thing. The birth of a jealous boyfriend. If he's doing something wrong, whether it be a little innocent flirting or having sex on a regular basis, he's going to assume you are too.

There's another big reason for him being afraid he's going to lose you, at the risk of sounding a bit harsh, he's a waste of space and he knows it. I'm sorry but a lot of guys are, hell, women too, the difference is that women are more open and will more likely discuss their insecurities whereas a man is quick to laugh it off and claim he could bag any chick in the world because he's so awesome. In his head, he doesn't have any clue how he managed to get you. A few signs he feels this way; he's mean to everyone, mean to you, doesn't want to talk about anything but the superficial, makes fun of everything and everybody, gets wrapped up in a 'manly' fantasy world whether it be graphic novels or video games, always seems angry or displeased, is quick to react in a hostile way, and of course, telling you he's worried about losing you.

So is he actually worried about it? You bet he is. Does he have reason to be? You tell me. Because if he's an unfaithful, bitter, waste of space that no one seems to like except you, maybe you've set your sights too low. Maybe if he gets worried enough about losing you, he might just change his ways. If not, please please please be careful, I've known these guys my entire life and nine times out of ten it does not end well. Don't settle for less than what you know you deserve.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Face-off Friday Music Edition: Why Don't You and I by Santana

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I just started a new job and am busy with that plus completely dead tired when I get home. I'm working on getting more up for you and here's today's (11/11/11) Face-Off Friday! It's a music post so head on over to DOC Music to check it out and let me know what you think of this week's choices.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dudesday Tuesday: Does He Only Want Sex?

Men will do whatever it takes to get sex, especially if it's a girl they really want. Some of them lie, back stab friends, even change who they are just get the girl they want, even if it's for only one night. So, do men just want sex?

No. Sex is the easy way to cover up what they really want, the one. Most men are searching for love, not just love but for the woman they can love for the rest of their lives. A lot of guys do want sex, but when they're willing to go all out for it, it usually means what they want is actually a lot more than sex. When a man finds the girl he wants to be with forever, yes, he will lie, back stab friends, even change who he is just to get her. There's a fine line between sex and love, probably why we call the act of sex, making love. So with their being no difference between a man trying to be with you for a night versus being with you for life, is their a way to distinguish between the two?

Not easily. Guys think girls aew confusing and girls think guys are confusing, this is partially why. Sometimes a man goes into it thinking he wants sex but ends up wanting more and I've seen guys go into it thinking they wanted to be with a girl forever only to decide they just want sex. Men are good actors, our weakness being we're not great. If he really loves you, even if he's acting like all he wants is sex, he won't be able to hide one thing, the fact that he cares for you. He'll listen to you and understand, no matter what you're saying, he'll be there for you when you need him and even when you don't, he'll enjoy your company at all times, he won't say cruel things because he won't think them, simply put he'll love you.

Men don't want just sex, not all the time. Even when you think that's all he wants, he may actually want more. Guys aren't so good with the sensitive stuff and sometimes they try to hide behind something else. Of course sometimes they are just trying to get in your pants but you'll know because he won't really care about you and it'll show, you just have to know to look for it. If he cares and he shows it, he wants so much more than sex you may not even know the extent of it. No matter what he wants, make sure he's worth it before you give it to him.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

DOC Music: ThemeSong Thursday: Shinedown- Sound of Madness

Head over to DOC Music to check out a retro review on Shinedown's The Sound of Madness Album from 2008. This one is a little more mainstream and even you pop radio should know the songs "The Crow & The Butterfly" "If You Only Knew" and "Second Chance." Head over there now to see why I think this is an essential album to own and part of my Top 10 Albums to Own!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

CKOne Shock

It's no secret by now how much I adore CK One. I seriously remember the first time I smelled it. One of the girls in my class (and there were only 6 girls out of my class of 15 in our small town) got a bottle of it and brought it with her everywhere. I liked it a lot but at the time I didn't wear it. Skip to the part where the glass bottle broke in the girl's locker room and the tragic ending for that bottle of CKOne.

Now there's a new version to get excited about CKOne Shock. I sniffed a magazine sample and loved the fruity notes in the for her version. It adds just a little something extra to the whole thing without taking it in a totally different direction. I like that a lot or why would you bother calling it CKOne anything? I detect watermelon and maybe a smidge of another kind of fruit that I can't put my finger on. It sounds like a weird edition to CKOne but trust me it's not, I fell in love. Calvin Klein describes it as a "juicy, flavorful floriental that warms into a sexy skin musk." Sounds like it hits just about every category out there so it's sure to be a pretty big pleaser for those of you looking for holiday gifts.

Mr. Dudesday and I also sniff tested CKOne Shock for him and were less impressed. It reminded me of a more expensive version of Old Spice, which I happen to detest. The added spice is honestly nothing short of stomach churning. Calvin Klein calls this one "a sparkling, energetic oriental with smooth spice and masculine tobacco musk." All sounds well and good except that spice which was seriously stomach churning. I love tobacco notes for men and orientals are definitely my favorite category for both the ladies and the gents but I was overwhelmed with the spice both on the test strip and on Mr. Dudesday's wrist. I had the magazine strip on my coffee table and when the for him flap accidentally got popped open I could tell immediately. This one is not for me and I think Mr. Dudesday would rather stick with the Original CKOne or Givenchy Play for him. You can also visit my post about CKOne right here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest Review: Bumble and Bumble Winner Aubrey

Hey DOC readers. Today is Mr. Dudesday's birthday and even though he's not that old I bet he'd appreciate it if I kept his age to myself. So today I've given both of us the day off and I have a quick guest review for you from Aubrey, the winner of my Bumble and Bumble haircare giveaway. If anyone else is interested in writing a guest review for Drug of Choice please email me @ drugofchoicebeauty@yahoo.com and let me know what you want to write about, I'd love to have you. Here's Ms. Aubrey's review word for word.

"I have been a fan of Bumble and Bumble for many years but had not tried the seaweed collection. I was very impressed how it gave my hair a shine and how smooth the conditioner left my hair. The scent is absolutely the best, very spa like! The sea silk extract gives it feel of a real spa treatment too. I have been using it for a week now and notice an improvement in the appearance of my hair. I would definitely recommend this product to my friends!! I have also used other products of theirs and they have the best scents for their products."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Nails: Maybelline Colorama in Black Magic with Swatches

It's that time of year again, Halloween. I've never been much into the holiday and I happened to have married a man who's birthday is November 1st, so he's not into it either. It's no fun to have your birthday overshadowed by a holiday and you can trust me on that one and mine's only memorial day. I've never been big into dressing up and this year I decided to add a little festive-ness to my attire by sporting fun nail colors. Yesterday I showed you Color Club Limelight and today I wanted to share with you Maybelline Colorama in Black Magic. This line has been discontinued but that's a shame because Black Magic is super sexy. If I'm going to go black (which I do very rarely) I want it to be black black and this one is. There is no shimmer and it doesn't look dull or gray, as a matter of fact one coat will do you, I promise. I also love the small bottle size since there is no chance in hell I will ever finish one as large as the regular OPI size.

I'm not a huge fan of dark polishes on me, I just don't like them at this point in my life. I always gravitate towards bright colors, especially for my toes. This year since I was in a Halloween-y mood I went for it on my tootsies. Take a look.

PS-The third picture was a finger swatch I did a while ago, you'll be seeing more of those in the coming weeks as I post my nail posts from the summer that never made it to the blog.

I have no complaints about the wear of this one but I will let you know if anything changes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Nails: Color Club Limelight with Swatches

Hey guys! Sorry I've been away so long. I'd like to say it's because I'm so busy but in fact it's been the opposite. I'm been enjoying some relaxing before starting (hopefully!) two jobs early in November. I promise not to be away for so long again and I'm actually working on posts for the coming weeks today.

Today I wanted to share with you a polish I got a while ago but have never worn and you'll probably understand looking at the pictures. It's very much a neon green and on my long nails it'd probably look stupid under normal circumstances. Since it's Halloween weekend and all I decided to go for it and I'm glad I did. This polish is so fun that I can't stop staring at my nails and wanting to show them off to the world. Even though we got a couple inches of snow last night I still managed to have the most fun night with a few girls I haven't seen in a long time and a few I've never met and more than once the topic turned to nails. Take a look at these pictures of Color Club Limelight and read more about the finish and wear after.

Truth be told I had to do my nails two times this week with Limelight. The first time I didn't use a basecoat since I normally don't and ending up with major chippage on day two. Since I was actually leaving my house for once I decided to do them again Saturday morning and this time I used Sally Hansen Double Duty as both the base and topcoats and it seems to have worked like a charm. One of my actual nails is a little scraped and scratched up and I polished right over it and that is the only one that has a chip even after a night of partying and a day spent cleaning and doing dishes. I suspect that is just my nail itself and not the polish. Moral of the story with this one is to use a basecoat and a topcoat.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dudesday Tuesday: Are Men Hiding Their True Selves?

So today marks the day that Darren Hayes (the former front man of Savage Garden) drops his new album. It's promoted worldwide, Australia, Europe, Japan, but here in America most people are like 'who?'. The sad thing about us as a country is that we don't tend to care for deep music, if it's not some meaningless words we can shake our asses to at a club, we don't want it. Darren Hayes is too soft for us, he's not flaunting his money, he's not hitting women, he's not bragging about being how bad he is. So we don't like him. Men especially, we hate him. Why? Because he's everything we aren't; sensitive, deep, caring, comfortable in his own skin, cool yet a dork at the same time and not afraid to admit it, spiritual, a guy most women would kill for. So let me get to the point here, are we actually more like him than we'd like to admit? Are men secretly all of those things but just don't show it? I would like to say yes, but sadly, I'd be lying.

Let me stop classifying myself as part of this 'we' because I am not part of that group and never have been. Being a man, I see men when they are actually themselves and to be honest, for the most part it is very disappointing. I've always looked for that something special in a person, sometimes it's just not there. A few things I've learned;

If he's quiet, shy, a mysterious loner, it doesn't automatically make him a nice guy. In fact, most of them are dicks, they're just shy so you don't see it. Yes, some of them are worth getting to know and you might be surprised, but please don't get your hopes up.

If he has a girlfriend, he must be a good catch. No. Men know when they have a girl they need to hold on to and some of them know what to say to keep her. Be careful of these ones, because you'll believe what they want you to believe.

If he's a musician, he's deep. Sometimes, but sometimes he's doing it because you'll think he's deep. I've known guys who pick up a guitar and write sweet things just to get girls. Then he laughs to his buddies about how that corny stuff he wrote actually worked.

If he sincerely says he wants to change, it means he's going to do it. That, or he just knows enough to say what you want to hear. At the moment, yes, he may want to change, but there's a big difference between wanting to do something and actually having the willpower to do it.

Does this mean all men are a waste of your time? No, it just means you have to know what you're looking for and not be blinded by the image of what you want, it may just be a mirage. Don't be fooled into thinking there is more beneath the surface because honestly, a lot of the time, there really isn't. Yes it's sad and rather depressing, so when you find one of those gems, hold on to him. They are out there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Urban Decay Mariposa Palette

It's that time of year again. The days are getting shorter and here in the Northeast it's starting to get cold. It seems like every day is dark and dreary and it's starting to get to me already. The dank and drenched weather not only makes it impossible to enjoy being outside but it brings in darkness at 6:00. You know the only way to spin this into a positive right? Yeah, because it's night time earlier you can bring out your night makeup before dinner.

Urban Decay always catches my eye with their palettes but the Mariposa Palette is beyond words. These colors are anything but dreary. Many of them are dark but they're not a collection of blackened colors, they are also bright. I think browns and grays are my favorite colors to wear on my eyes at night and this palette has lots of them, not to mention beautiful shades of pink-purple, smoky blue and plum. I could see this palette taking you all the way through the winter. Imagine the possibilities.

It's $39 for 10 shades of shadow and a travel brush all packed into an adorable tin case adorned with a butterfly. I could see myself keeping the tin on display in my living room but I'm a dork like that. Pick it up only at Sephora for a limited time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stila Custom Color Blush in Coral

In the last few days I've been going through some of my makeup and I've come to the conclusion that A) a blog sale/makeup alley swapapalooza is in order and B) that I own some makeup that I love that just doesn't work for me. You know how it is. It could be too bright, too dark, too anything.

My conclusion came to me when working with a few blushes/beauty powders from MAC. They are so gorgeous that I just want to keep them but hello! they absolutely don't work for my skintone. I guess being cool toned is a little more rare (although most of my favorite bloggers are in this camp) and therefore MAC makes a lot of products that are too orange for my skin. What is a girl to do? Besides sell or swap the aforementioned items that is.

Well, my solution is easy. Pick a product that adjusts to your skintone. It's that simple. I know it sounds like a lot of baloney but really, they work! I'd like to introduce you to Stila's Custom Color Blush in Coral. It's orange in tone but with enough pink mixed in to work on both cool and warm skin. Genius! The key to making it work for you is adding color in layers. Apply just a pinch because the color is pretty pigmented and then add more if needed. As you probably know I'm extremely pale and it worked for me. Look how bright it is in the compact.

If you're more into pink you can pick up that shade too. Even though it's very bright in the pan you can wear it if you apply it properly. I swear! I love the way bright pink makes the face look alive and radiant, especially with a highlighter dabbed on the tops of the cheekbone. Way to make it through the winter looking alive.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Face-Off Friday: Pregnancy Style

I'm always trying to switch things up for Face-Off Friday. Sometimes the stars are facing themselves and sometimes, like this week, they are facing other celebs that they have something in common with. Right now I'm staring at a picture of Hilary Duff in Life&Style (my favorite tabloid btw) and I can't help but think how cute she looks pregnant. She just turned 24 and I couldn't imagine having a baby at that age, it means I'd have a two year old right now. Ummm, no thanks!

Hilary has always been a cutie pie, all the way back to her Lizzie McGuire days. Yeah I'll admit I used to watch that and Shia LeBeouf on Even Stevens with my bestie and my brother. We kinda loved them. She's been a brunette but I much prefer her as a blonde, it just works with her coloring better. She's been a rocker girlfriend and a WAG which stands for Wives and Girlfriends of professional athletes. It's great to see her so happy and glowing but I have to wonder if she intended to become such a young mother or embraced it when it happened????? Either way I think she's going to be fabulous.

On the other end of the spectrum we have long time married woman Jennifer Garner. Jen is so adorable but I feel like she's lacking some fashion sense gene. Don't get me wrong she looks more put together than I do most days but she's not stylish, at least not on her own. She owns that look and always looks comfortable in her skin and her mom jeans and damn, if I woke up next to Ben Affleck every morning and he thought I looked hot that's all that would matter to me. Now pregnant with her third child I can't help but hope that she has a boy to be the younger brother to her two oldest children, Violet and Seraphina (great names by the way). I'd love to see what that gene pool would come up with for a boy, if he'd be fair haired like his sisters or if he'd come right out of the oven with dark locks like both of his parents.

So now it's time for the two stars to face off. Who's pregnancy style do you like most? Who's would you most likely wear yourself? Chances are, at least for me, those will be totally different answers. I love Hilary's style but my bun in the oven look would look more like Jennifer's I'm sure.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yves Rocher Rinsing Vinegar

We've all heard of rinsing our hair with vinegar to bring out the shine and reduce buildup on the strands but has anyone ever tried it? A long time ago I gave it a go and didn't really enjoy the experience of vinegar running down my face at the end of a shower. The hot steam only seemed to exacerbate the horrible smell. While I'll admit it worked I can't say that I would ever do it again. Just not worth the hassle.

Until now. I find many of my next great products in magazines. I like to see what is new and different out there and what everyone uses to look their best. This month SELF Magazine featured Yves Rocher Rinsing Vinegar. Hmmm, color me intrigued. This one's not going to leave you smelling like a salad in fact every single review I've read has said that the smell is amazing. Sign me up. At only $8.95 what have I got to lose? That salad dressing smell for one thing!

Used after shampoo and conditioner but before your final rinse this product is said to add shine and clear away residue that can dull your color. It's great at boosting your hair's radiance just that little bit to make the color stand out without adding any extra products to your final do. No matter how you want to wear your hair after this one's still going to do the trick and you don't have to worry about OD'ing on shine serum. Sounds like a winner in my book.

DKNY Pure Vanilla and Verbana

I have a confession to make: I like to wear fragrance to bed. I like all of my senses to be as calm as they can be and lingering cooking smells, my neighbors chain-smoking habit and a certain someone's stinky shoes can seriously disturb my slumber. When I sleep I want something cozy and warm and I often reach for an amber or vanilla based scent when I want to drift off into La-La Land. They envelop me in a cloud of happiness and when I wake up I still smell good and my bed doesn't seem any worse for wear.

I'm always on the hunt for someone new to sleep with and this time I think I found it in DKNY's Pure. Best bedmate ever. This is a pretty powdery fragrance, normally not my favorite but perfect for slumber. It's very relaxing and the addition of vanilla just pushes it over the edge. I wouldn't mind smelling like this all the time, just sweet enough without hitting candy counter territory. Wouldn't you know it, one of the base notes is Amber, my all time favorite scent to sleep to. Here's what DKNY has to say about PURE: "Look good. Feel good. Do good. This pure new scent adds a drop of vanilla to a world that needs a moment of calm. More than a fragrance, it embraces a way of being that takes time out for the simple things, the things closest to the heart: love, joy, comfort, relationships, and community. The fragrance's top notes soar of the pure scent of vanilla. Accords of dewdrop petal, lotus flower, and Bulgarian rose harmonize with a floral heart of jasmine, freesia and lush orchid. It finishes in a cradle of warmth: white amber, creamy sandalwood."

If you're looking for something a little cleaner and greener I definitely recommend DKNY Pure A Drop of Verbana. Another confession, I have no idea what verbana is but I always love the smell of it. It's so clean and fresh and I think this would be the perfect sleepytime scent in the summer for me. It reminds me of fresh fallen rain, something I don't often smell at home but notice frequently when I'm out in nature.

Both incarnations source their main ingredient from Africa and make sure the workers are paid fairly for the product. They've also teamed up with CARE, a humanitarian organization that lends a helping hand to women in need.

DKNY Pure is perfect for lazy days at home, wrapped in a blanket on the couch watching movies or, my favorite, TV shows on Netflix. Retail price for a 1oz bottle is $45. It makes a great gift so add it to your holiday list.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sephora Collection Color Flip Palette for Breast Cancer Research Foundation

I love to see the products for Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October. There are always some goodies but a lot stand out to me as being too expensive overall and/or not enough money going to the cause. If a company is making a donation based on sales then my measly purchase makes a difference, if it's the same amount no matter the sales, not so much. That's why I love Sephora's Color Flip Palette for BCRF. I've been wanting one of these charitable palettes for a while now. They are so cute it's pretty hard to resist them. They are small enough to permanently tuck in your favorite makeup bag without overwhelming the small space. This is also one that you cold leave on your bathroom counter and show it off.

I love it when palettes have pretty, universally flattering eyeshadows in an array of colors. I don't want to have to buy a palette targeted at my cool skin or one that is all neutrals, that's just not who I am. I like shimmer, color and flash and this palette has it all. There's also some great shimmery neutrals, shades for a perfect smoky eye and the requisite pink colors for BCA.

While I'm not a huge fan of palette lippies I do think they are a great way to try out colors you may not have considered before. It's not a big loss if they don't work out for you and you may even find a new favorite. I'm seeing a hot pink in there that I'm dying to take for a spin.

On the last tier of this palette there is a bright pink blush and a gorgeous gold highlighter. Both are perfect for all skintones. Brighter, yellow gold can be hard to pull off on my fair and pale skin but this one is closer in tone to champagne than lemonade. Bright pink is the quickest way to wake up your complexion and looks equally great on the very fair and the deep and dark.

This palette retails for $15 and $1 from every sale goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

OPI Pink of Hearts Shatter for Susan G. Komen For the Cure

I love the Rockstar Manicure. You know, to look like you've been strumming a guitar or smashing a drumset but you have better things to do like, you know, work, eat, get in your exercise, stare at Rockstars on the internet. You catch my drift. I'm not exactly a perfectionist when it comes to my nails but I just can't go all the way and sport chipped nails for the cause. No sirrey! Luckily you don't have to either. OPI brought back the shatter trend (does anyone remember CoverGirl Crackle?) and now you can get crackles in every imaginable color of the rainbow from many major brands. They look like a deconstructed nail but have the polish (haha, see what I did there?) of real manicures. You can wear this one to work and people won't think you neglected your manicure for weeks like I just did.

Now I know there are lots of girlie-girls out there and Pink of Hearts is the first pink shade of shatter. It's a really pretty mid-tone pink, not too bubble gum but not so dark that it's unbearable either. This is one of my favorite shades of pink and it looks good on everyone. You can get it anywhere you normally buy your OPI and if you're like me you'll probably be able to still find it on shelves, more metropolitan areas may require a little searching this late in the game.

OPI will donate $25,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for the fifth year running so let's support them in that and pick up this fun shade. I can just see the options now, over black, silver, blue, purple........

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dudesday Tuesday: The Coffee Date

Okay, so I see it on TV and movies all the time, read about it in books, but do people really go on coffee dates? And if a guy asks you to get coffee with him, does it mean he's interested? You bet it does. But...

He doesn't know how interested he is yet. And, I don't think I've ever heard of it actually happening outside of fiction. Basically, if a guy asks you to go anywhere with him it means he's interested in you. Some of us are too simple minded to think about where to ask you to go with us so the stereotypical date is in order, dinner and movie. If it's just a movie it means he's more interested in sex. If it's something that involves talking, such as a meal or coffee, it means he actually wants to get to know you. It's more of a feeling out, the same for women I'm sure. If that initial getting to know a person process doesn't feel right, there won't be a second date so nothing was wasted. Coffee isn't exactly expensive, even if you go to Starbucks. It's what happens afterward that counts because if it went well, coffee will probably be the pre-date with the real one to follow probably immediately, or at least definitive plans for one.

Come to think of it I've never even seen anyone on a coffee date either, but maybe that's because I live in Maine and a good portion of the population here aren't sophisticated enough. Either way, that first meeting where it's just the two of you is his way of figuring out what he wants out of you; friend, sex or forever. I'm sure you're thinking pretty much the same thing. It's a good time to see how he treats you, how he treats others, and how he treats you in front of others. When a guy's alone with you, he may be surprisingly different than when other people are around. This is also the perfect time for you to truly be yourself, let your guard down just a little and don't feed him any false information, it'll avoid wasting either of your time later. Something intimate like a one on one conversation generally means he legitimately wants to get to know the real you.

Please let me know if you've ever been on a coffee date and how it turned out but I really would like to know.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Essentials Monday: Johnson's Melt Away Stress Body Oil & Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil

Since so many of my favorite bloggers are doing the Johnson's Challenge it keeps one of my favorite Johnson's products right on the tip of my tongue all the time. I can't tell you the number of times I've left a comment on a blog for someone to try it out. I can't let another minute go without telling you all about it. Ready for it? Here goes....

Johnson's Melt Away Stress line is fabulous, the scent is so relaxing and I truly do feel like it melts away stress. They claim that it's a lavender and chamomile scent but I don't pick up too much of the lavender, a huge plus for me who is allergic. I love the body wash, the body lotion, the thicker nighttime lotion and most importantly the massaging body oil. I've never been a big fan before mostly because body oils tend to leave me greasy. I've got a few of Sephora's seemingly discontinued dry oil sprays that I love but before Johnson's Melt Away Stress and I had a love affair I never would have touched them. The few that I tried before just did not work for me. They left me feeling like I had just wrestled another chick in hot oil and lost badly. Thankfully this one sinks into my skin pretty quickly so I can get back to my life in no time flat.

That's not the only use for it either. It's great for massages whether you're doing your own or letting a special someone have the honors. Or, if you're anything like me, you might want to try adding it to the bath. It's not specifically made to be a bath oil but it works amazingly well. Add a few squirts to the tub full of hot water. It will keep your skin from drying out as quickly so you can luxuriate in there for hours like I do. Just be careful when you get out, it can get slippery, and make sure to rinse down the tub right after use or you'll be left with that telltale bath oil ring. Then be sure to slather yourself in the night cream for even more moisturization.

If you're more in the mood for romance than sleepy sleep definitely check into Jo Malone's Red Roses Bath Oil. The seven types of roses are mixed with other ingredients to give them a perfect smell that is not overpowering on the senses. The complementary candle (perfect for the girl who likes to keep it coordinated) delivers a portion of the proceeds to Breast Cancer Awareness. Both are a little pricey at $65 but if you're a roses fan you're gonna wanna check it out.

Mascara Monday Extra: Josie Maran GoGo Instant Natural Volume Argan Oil Mascara

The very second I finished Mascara Monday I opened my makeup bag thinking about my next project for you guys. Guess what I found? Yeah, another mascara I hadn't told you about. I don't know how it slipped by me. Well, yeah, I do. It's because I love it so much that it's always on me, I never left it in my "to review" section long enough to type my little blurb about it.

As you know I'm a huge fan of mascaras that don't feel heavy on the lashes and part of that is making sure my lashes are soft not thick, spidery and dry. You know what I mean? I think this mascara is actually the most hydrating I've ever used and that's because it's formulated with Argan Oil, the miracle oil. I haven't done an extensive review on the oil itself either but I promise that is coming, it's my winter staple. Even better, this mascara actually works tremendously to give my lashes volume, length and great color.

For every Josie Maran GOGO mascara purchase the company will donate a mascara to City of Hope, a charity that helps women undergoing cancer treatment. Never underestimate the power of a little makeup to make you feel better. Plus, until August 2012 a $1.00 from every sale goes to City of Hope to raise money for cancer research, treatment and education. That's huge. Oh and your lashes will love you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Philosophy Shower for the Cure and Ahava Hope Blossoms Bath Salts

We've all gotta bathe, it's an inevitable part of life so why not do it with a little charity on the side. Personally, I love a good old fashioned bubble bath, light some candles, don a face mask, do a quick body scrub but even if you're not the bath type of girl you can still do your part to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take a look at my top picks for bath and shower.

I happen to be a huge Philosophy fan and the 3 n 1 shampoo, bubble bath and shower gels happen to be a Holy Grail product for me. I don't think I could live without them so never make me okay? It could get ugly. I've never had the opportunity to sniff Shower for the Cure but online reviews say it's a clean, fresh scent that doesn't interfere with perfume. Sounds great to me. Philosophy never disappoints me so I'd be happy to give this one a go. Since it's described as so light and fresh how could you not love it? I guarantee it will make your skin soft, not irritate even sensitive skin and foam up nicely even in hard water like mine. The only thing I can't promise is that you'll ever want to get out of the bath or shower. Don't look for this at Sephora, it's exclusive to Ulta and retails for $20.

If you're a bath girl, how do you feel about bath salts? I have to admit I have ZERO experience with them. How sad is that? I think Philosophy and Victoria's Secret Bubble Baths have my bathtub on lock but that doesn't mean I don't have a little room in my life for something a little more exotic and adventurous and I can't think of a better place to start than Ahava Hope Blossoms Bath Salts for the simple fact that it's for charity. Let's get a damn cure for breast cancer so it's one less thing for us to worry about as we get older. With my family history of female heart disease I think I'm screwed as it is, let's take breast cancer out of the mix. Since this one is a white floral scent I know I'll be all over it. It takes pass me the salt to a whole new level. Pick up a 32oz jar for only $22.

Take a soak, relax your mind and body and make a charitable donation all at the same time. Can't beat that!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stila BCA Positive and Pretty Palette

Yesterday we talked about Stila's Empowered in Pink Palette and I didn't realize until hours after it had been posted that there is also the BCA Positive and Pretty Palette at Sephora. It is online only, still $14 (a $62 value) and proceeds go to breast cancer research. These colors may be more your style. Take a look....

The shades in this palette are decidedly more pink than yesterday's choice which was more of purple in tone. Since everyone and their mother (except me apparently) loves a light pink eye I think this one has broad appeal. Sephora says it comes with four shadows (got that), one blush (ditto) and a highlighter (huh?). I'm seeing more like another blush color than a highlighter but that might be because I'm Casper the Albino Ghost year round.

Again this palette is adorable and I think I like the girl's outfit better on this one. That would be a deciding factor for me if I had to choose between two palettes. Wouldn't it be for you? No? Don't lie to Jaime!

For $14 you're getting a great deal and this is a purse-tucker, a palette you'd never be without because you'd always have it stashed in your favorite bag.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stila Empowered in Pink Palette Ulta Exclusive

You know those little beauty things you see all the time and think "I really need one of those" but you never end up buying any? That's how I am with Stila's cute travel palettes. First of all I'm not a palette girl for the most part. I like eyeshadow palettes but I never seem to use the cheek or lipcolors in other products. There's something about a palette lippie that just doesn't work for me, maybe it's having to apply it with a brush. The blushes are always great but I never leave the house without a little sparkle on my cheek and these usually are fairly matte. Such is life for a beauty girl like me.

What pushed these products back into my mind was when I saw the Empowered in Pink Palette in the newest Ulta flyer. It's exclusive to the store, retails for $14 (a $62 value) and benefits Breast Cancer Awareness. This cute little palette is so portable, not to mention the conversation starter factor of the sweet cartoon on the front. If I were truly into palettes I'd collect this one and all of its cousins, they're so cute.

This one contains four eye shadows, a light pink, mid-tone pink, plum and what appears to be a darkened plum-brown for liner as well as two convertible colors for lips and cheeks. The Convertible colors are easy to wear and very pigmented so a little goes a long way. They're along the same line as my beloved Tarte Cheekstains but in a more creamy compact formula and much smaller container.

If you're in a charitable mood and hit up Ulta, scoop this up while supplies last and do your part to help raise funds to find a cure for breast cancer.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Drug of Choice Music: ThemeSong Thursday with Evanescence

Hey guys! The suspense is over. Check out this week's ThemeSong Thursday over on Drug of Choice Music to see my review of Evanescence's self-titled third album. As always let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads

Back in August I shared a little bit of info with you on Dr. Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Peel Pads in my post on the lines Glow Self Tanning Towelettes, now I want to share with you the full story.

I should mention first that these are a definite extravagance, especially used daily as directed. I, never in a million years, could fathom spending nearly $80/month on skincare. I guess I just don't care. I can slap some foundation on and look fine, my skin is mostly behaving and I have no real issues to speak of. Sure there are a few pimples here and there and I'm not going to take heat for my freckles (they aren't age spots when you're 26) but there is nothing inherently disdainful about my complexion. That said, Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads make my face about 1000 times smoother, softer and generally more pretty. Every single time I'm in Ulta or Sephora I zero in on these babies and treat my face to a mini facial before trying on oodles of foundations, blushes and bronzers. Why not right?

If I were made of money (which I so am not) I would use these all over my body. You take the first pad and swipe it over your clean skin (although I admit to cheating and using this to remove my makeup and/or general facial grime) and feel the invigorating clean feeling you'll notice right away. After a few seconds of swiping you use a second pad to neutralize the first and finish up the application. Easy as that. Just toss them in the trash and you're done. If you're extra cheap savvy you can even cut them in half so you get double the use out of your product. Since you can use both sides of the pad you'll definitely be just fine with half. That's what I would do if I bought these.

I'm happy to announce that Sephora has been able to give us the exclusive on a just slightly better deal on this product. Now your 30pack comes with 3 extra strength peels for only an additional $2, bringing your total to $80. Sounds great to me. The extra strength peels will be a little bit stronger and therefore gives you results just that little bit faster. If you're interested in trying them out Sephora.com has a 5 pack for only $15 but it's currently out of stock.

I can't recommend these any more, they truly are little tiny round miracles. I swear my makeup and skincare go on like a dream after I use these and my skin looks alive and well rested even if it's not. Do you love these as much as I do? I can't be the only one!

Not Your Mother's Girl Powder Volumizing Hair Powder

Even though I have thick hair it can sometimes fall flat. Right now I'm desperately in need of a good trim and some layers, it restores bounce like nobody's business. My hair is waist long and my style can easily get dragged down with too many styling products, the wrong shampoo or even a bout of bad weather. What's a girl to do? Get yourself some Not Your Mother's Girl Powder Volumizing Hair Powder. I have heard great things about this wonder product.

What it is is a hair powder that you apply SPARINGLY at the roots, tousle into your strands and watch in amazement as it puffs up even the finest, flattest hair. Some say you'll have to get used to the texture it leaves on your hair but that's not something that would bother little ol' me. Plus, if you have hair of the silky variety you know how hard it can be to keep it in an updo. This product eradicates the need for 1000 bobby pins. It gives the hair unbeatable texture that keeps even the silkiest strands in place. Genius.

During the month of October, Not Your Mothers (such a cah-ute name!) is donating 10% from all sales of this genius product at http://customnails.com/nymgrlpwdr.html to the Young Survivor's Coalition. That should put a smile on your face and if it doesn't maybe the fact that it's only gonna set you back $6 will! Go out there and be voluminous!