dimanche 19 décembre 2010


I cannot bring myself to care in the slightest way about this movie - that being said, I am grateful for the impact it seems to have had on the beauty industry - not surprinsing, considering how hip the pin-up/cabaret girl look is currently. Still, some nice burlesque-themed collections were released, and I like them :

I have liked all the smashbox products I have used to far - I thus find this burlesque kit is both affordable, and very interesting. I mentionned it in my gift guide post.

I think this kit could become great friends with :

a selection of minis out of this collection :

Vintage Cuteness

Something very child-like survives throughout most women's life : we can be sensible, close to our emotions, and fascinated by cute things. Why ? What do you mean, why ? Cute things are cute !

I think that for most of the medium-high end make-up companies (Sephora, Mac, Urban Decay, etc), the target customers are the 18-30-year-olds, seeing that they are grown-up, like to be pretty, have money and not so much financial obligations yet. That might explain why so many companies are coming up with cartoon-themed collections. What twenty-two year old can resist a pink lipstick with Hello Kitty on it ?? (by all means, sense the tone!)

That being said, I do think cartoons can be cute, and add a little something to some items, though it tends to make the products look more girlish than womany. In my humble opinion.

The trendiest cartoons of the hour ?

Who could resist that cuty kitty face ? Come on, it's go no mouth and a little bow ! (Crowd : awwwwwh). Little do most people know, that kitty cat is several times a billionnaire. Hello Kitty was sent out in the world for the first time in 1974 by Sanrio, bought several years later by Sega, and since then, several thousands of derived products are sold throughout the world and add up to about a billion dollars of sale per year. And know what the best part is ? I am pretty sure that even if 19 in 20 young girls can name that caracter, maybne one, if any, of them at the most have ever seen Hello Kitty in something else than a derived product ("what do you mean, there's a cartoon ?")

I can't say exactly when the cute feline broke its way into the make-up industry - it was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm pretty sure that there always was, somewhere, a pink chapstick with Hello Kitty on it. That being said, I'm think I can safely say that Mac took it to higher-end make-up world for good when they released their Hello Kitty collection, back in 2008.

Girls throughout the world could not bear the overwhelming cuteness (especially that Mac had put a nice Avril Lavigne twist on the collection), collected their bucks (who needs a savings account ?) and spent hundreds of dollars - the collection sold out within the blink of an eye.

It is since then that I've realized how viral Hello Kitty is - no matter in what generic store you are, you'll stumble upon the white kitten. Yet, those dotted eyes still seem effective to wake the pre-teen girl in any one - derived products sell out as candy. A very safe bet for a girly girl's Christmas gift.

All Mac collections are limited edition - yet, it was a matter of time only before the kitten scratched its way back into the mid-high end make-up industry. Thus, as all Sephora Beauty Insiders know (and readers of temptalia.com), Sephora is lauching a new collection : Hello Kitty for Sephora.

There was an online pre-release for beauty insiders only, and the official lauch will be in-stores soon, before being available online again. It looks as japanese as can be : all white, clear, jeweled and kitty-faced. A few pictures :

Hello Kitty and Teenage Violence : in a soon-to-be-released Hello Kitty brush kit, our teenages will have to behead the kitten to access their brushes by unscrewing the holder's head. Troubling.

I find it looks very pre-teenage-ish - it will definitely be a block buster. Keep your eye open for that !

My call for upcoming cartoons :

Eventually, there will be a limit for how many different items you can shape like Hello Kitty's head. Here are the caracters I feel are the next to make their break in the industry.

Mickey Mouse
Mickey is the grandpa of cartoons, soon to be a hundred years old (and still not a wrinkle on his face ! I call his entry in the beauty domain will be as the promoter of a facial cream). His cuteness is timeless.

That being said, I don't think Mickey has aged as well as other cartoons - he's very child-like, in a not-girly-enough way.

If I had to guess, I would say that Vintage Mickey Mouse could sell out a Mac collection - they should insist on his hand-drawn aspect, and make it look a little sketchy - Sepia and faded black colors, that kind of stuff. In any way, to make it look more elaborate that the Venomous Vilains stickers. Those were a big let down.

Betty Boop
Fashion for teenage to mid-twenties girls, in the beginning of the new millenium, was kind of a disaster : I hope girls all over the world are still ashamed of having been a part of the low-cut-jeans-and-g-string-up-to-the-middle-of-the-back trend. Recently, the fashion industry has been dealing a little (and I insist, a little) better with how sexual it has to be : pin-up is the new slut. I have to say, I do find the pin-up look rather beautiful. At least, they didn't have tramp-stamps at thirteen.

It is not surprising to see how popular Betty Boop has become in the last few years, as the pin-up trend seems to settle. I seem to stumble upon more and more derived products, ranging from purses to pyjamas. My gut feeling is that she is soon to be found in a Sephora near you !

Boo-boo-pi-doo-ooh !

Tinker Bell

Tinker Bell seems to be in-between two generations - that green dress is short enough to make her a slut, but still, I would say she leans a little on the pin-up side. Tinker Bell is more of a tease than a slut. She has been overly popular with the tweenies in the last few years, as I can observe on my two younger sisters, and I would not be surprized that make-up companies would target them as customers by releasing a Tinker Bell line. Right now, Tinker Bell beauty products are only sold in dollar stores and drug stores, but in a few years, I think there could be a strong commercial potential there ! 

Forever21 has already started to market Peanuts-derived clothing, and I think it's only a matter of time before someone realizes it would rock for make-up packaging as well. It's got a vintage feel to it, it's girly but not overly (it would be a nice alternative to all the Hello Kittyness going on), and could appeal to a different audience.

Anyway, aside from calling all the next make-up cartoons, my point was that these cartoons are possible the most popular amongst the grown-up kids at the time, and any pencil/notepad/compact/burse/bag/girly t-shirt with these printed on could make very good and easy to find gifts for most young women in your life.

Make-up Art

I have had debates with my boyfriend as to whether or not make-up is art; I think we've agreed to disagree. Whilest I do concede that there is little to no artistic skills needed to achieve your typical smokey eye, I do feel that editorial beauty can show some real artistic talent. That's just my two cents on the matter.

I, obviously, am not alone to feel that make-up can be just artistic as other media. Some make-up artists even use make-up to create hommages to artistic masterpieces. It is the case of Chanel, for their 2011 Paris-Byzance Métiers d'Art Show Beauty - the creative team inspired themselves from antique byzantine mosaics


I think these two are adorables, I hate them for having such perfect skin, and I find the make-up simple but gorgeous. I am once more fascinated by Chanel, and once more mad that I'm too poor to be able to afford their products.

Holidays Damage Control Series

I've never been "really" fat - but, a few years ago, I did carry about twenty pounds more than I should have. I did loose that twenty pounds since, and that makes me a weight loss expert that you can blindly trust, right ? I'm glad that's settled. I have developped a new theory according to which the weight loss of your wallet during the holidays is directly proportionnal to your own weight gain. Genius, isn't it ?

Alright, sooo, since we all know that within the next two weeks, we'll all gain anywhere between five to ten pounds, let's get mentally ready to control the damages and loose that extra weight after the holidays. I'll upload a few tricks I found always worked for me whenever I tried to loose weight. One thing you should know is that my weight fluctuates very easily - I can gain or loose two-three pounds overnight. It might take you longer to see some results - don't give up !

First and foremost : how's the weight going ? Calculate your BMI (because I support lazy people, click HERE for an online app to calculate it for you). One should not only swear by this : it doesn't consider whether you have a small, regular or large bone structure, your body constitution, your age or sex... Still, it's a useful measure to evaluate how you stand weight wise. If you're a 17.5, click on that little X button in the corner of your screen and go get yourself a soda and a cheeseburger, or something. My point is that some people don't need to loose weight.

Set your objective : what are you trying to achieve ? Loose that holiday-five-pounder, loose those fifteen pounds that slow you down when you run to catch your bus, or loose the fifty pounds that might give you a heart attack before you turn thirty ? One should always set small, quickly achievable goals : normally, the healthy way to loose weight is one pound a week. Set an objective to loose five pounds in a month, for example.

Weight Watchers : I don't understand people who subscribe to Weight Watchers - mainly, because I don't see the point. You can very easily find the Weight Watchers Points formula online to calculate how many points different foods are worth. It's pretty easy : Calories divided by 50, plus Fat divided by 12, minus Fibers divided by 5, and then you round up. The thing to remember from this : the more fibers there is in something, the more you're allow to have it. I think you can find out online how many points you are allow a day, based on the amount of weight you want to loose. I'm no fan of maths - I think that back when I was loosing weight, I was allow about 18-20 points a day. I never really cared to note everything I was eating, but it did help me realize that a 8-points donuts was a big dieting no-no.

So, what I did learn from hearing co-workers (I used to work in an office with middle-aged ladies who were all Weight Watchers members) talk about their little fat watching meetings ? Muffins and donuts are to be avoided by all means ! It surprized me as well to learn that bagels should be avoided. Instead, have an english muffin - they taste good and don't fill your love handles as much. No fat with feculants - for example, avoid butter with potatoes. For some reason, your body absorbs fat more when you have it with potatoes, pasta and such. White meat over red meat. Avoid booze (haha, yeah right. And then, see how fun New year Eve's party really is. Great disappointment).

You might have noticed some Weight Watchers certified aliment, that display the amount of points each item is worth. There are some Weight Watchers bread, bagels, cookies, etc. Though a little more expensive than they sometimes should, these aliments are usually divided in pretty small portions, and contain more fibers than their non-weightwatching equivalents. I got addicted to Weight Watchers cookies-  a good way to satisfy cravings without having to run for a half an hour in the stairs at work !

That's the main thing to always always keep in mind : small portions, and fibers. Buy whole wheat pasta, bread, etc. Tastes the same anyway. Have two toasts in the morning instead of three. Eat egg whites instead of whole eggs (the yollk contains most of the fat, you can have three egg whites for the same amount of fat of a whole egg. That means you can have nine egg whites with your breakfast instead of three eggs !).

I got sick of this post and will finish it later.

mardi 14 décembre 2010

dimanche 12 décembre 2010

Christmas Cheapness

It's cold outside, the radio here is blasting Christmas songs (and has been for a few weeks now, but that's besides the point) and I know that whenever I leave my house to get somewhere, I have to plan an extra five-to-ten minutes to remove the snow from my car and let the engine heat up. The holidays are upon us ! It's the great time of year during which you can kiss good-bye all yours savings, your waistline and perhaps even your sanity good-bye. Time for some good ol' "bitching about the crowds of rude people in the stores - and who shops on the 24th anyway ??" action ! But come on, you've worked hard this year, you're bending over backwards to get something that will please all your beloved ones, you've survived your finals and/or any other grown-up equivalent... you deserve a little treat, right ? (I can promise you this thinking will gain you fifteen pounds over the holidays, but ain't that part of the fun?). This time of year is to show your dear ones your appreciation, sure, but also the best occasion to pull off the "and that's a little gift from me to me !". Is that cheating ? Making silly excuses ? Of course it is - but if you're going to be bad, do it well.

All year, make-up brands have mingled with your mind by releasing tons of products you want, crave, desire, need. It is not good for a human being to have undergo so much mental accounting to know if one can afford a thirty-seventh nude pink lipgloss (but this one has a lilac undertone, it's completely different from the others right ?) and still make rent. Any make-up addict managing to keep up with all the releases are either too reasonable in their cravings to be fun to address this message to, have had their Internet connexion cut for not paying the bill, or are absurdly rich, in which case I don't want to talk to you anymore. I'm getting off track.

I was saying... I'm "living on a rather tight budget", I live expensive stuff and will not feel guilty for not getting my great-aunt-in-law a Christmas gift because I decided my own stocking could use a little more stuffing. Every year, most make-up brands release holiday packages - usually, adorably-packaged travel-sized versions of their best selling products. They make awesome gifts, but are also often great to try out a wider variety of products for the same, or lesser, amount of money. Sometimes, it will turn out that the amount/price ratio for each product is a little more expensive, but frankly, have you ever finished a make-up product before getting sick of it ? I rarely do, and am thus ready to pay more for less product, if I get to try out more stuff. That's just me.

So, things to check out ! Click below because this post is turning out awfully long.

MAC's Tartan Tale Collection

This collection was released a few weeks ago and hats off the the package designers - it looks awesome, and not cheap like MAC packaging sometimes does (I'm looking at you, Venomous Vilains!). The color selection is beautiful and they put together some interesting lil' kits. A few sets are missing for the pictures below - including the nail polish kit and one of the pigment sets.

Eyeshadow compacts, lip kits, brushes kits and look-kit in green.

Look kit in pink, the face compacts, the pigment sets and the lip gloss sets.

Sephora's holiday kits

The website is down. We live in a rather weird world, when even online stores get too crowded around Christmas.

Throughout the year, Sephora puts together some deluxe samplers or look kits - which are usually, cute boxes with sample-to-full sized products for either a specific brand or a few brands. Around Christmas time, you'll find a ton of these in their stores.

From the top of my head, I know that they have a deluxe mascara sampler - which is a kit including about ten mini mascaras. I got the one from last year a few months ago (*cough* on clearance) and as a mascara freak, I have to say I enjoyed it a lot. I think similar lipstick samplers exist, but I find it's a little more tricky - unless the person you intend to give it to always wear the type of lipstick, it's hard to choose a color for someone. The only one I have seen was a kit of pink lipsticks, and I know they look awful on me. Don't care much for those. If it's for yourself, well.. you know your colors, and baby lipsticks look very very cute in purses.

Apparently, they also have a perfume sampler kit. It's a box of about a dozen baby perfumes, and it comes with a coupon you can trade for a full-size version of one of the perfumes. I've seen similar kits in Shopper's Drugmarts and I find it's a great alternative to the classic "giving your mother her perfume". It allows the person to try a few new scents and know if it's a disaster on them without having to find a way to regift it ! Same applies if you buy it for yourself - I don't think the package is considerably more expensive than a bottle of perfume alone, and you get a dozen extras smells for free !

Otherwise, the thing I have seen were looks-in-a-box. Those are almost a fool-proof package. Do read what the box contains (especially anything face related - concealers can be tricky according to skin tones). More often than not, there will be a picture of a look - imagine it five times less dramatic. Make it ten times less dramatic, if you're shopping for a natural looking kinda gal. Does it seem like something the person you're shopping for would like ? Or it is something you can imagine yourself with ? Looks in a box are such a no-brainer I feel kinda silly to write a whole paragraph about them. Bla bla bla.

Other brands

I haven't had the chance to try many high-end make-up brands to be perfectly frank. Let's work our way down a list of generic items instead !

Foundations, though expensive and nice gifts, can turn out to be disasters if they don't match. Unless you sneak in that person's make-up stash to see their exact shade or have a natural talent to match people's skintones just by looking at them... meh. That being said, all-over face powders can be a variation on that theme - MAC, for example, has a few mineralized skin finishes that provide sheer coverage and cover a category of skin tones (fair, medium-fair, medium, etc).

Mascaras are always nice, especially good ones. Don't give the Falsies 'cause they're awful. Putting together a stash of drugstore mascaras (stick to brown or black) can be a nice cheaper alternative - it's your chance to use your UNUSED extras if you buy mascaras in buy-one-get-one-free packages. That being said, don't give mascaras to people if they have been removed from their cardboard packaging (like in the case of the extra free one) unless it's someone close to you, and find a cute way to package it to justify it being unwrapped. Never ever give used mascara, even if it's a very expensive one you turned out to hate after one use, it's gross and farely dangerous. Sinon, je vous excommunie.

Lipsticks are iffy. If the person always has a red (or pink, or burgundy, you see my point) lip, go for it. Otherwise, it's hard to know if a color will match someone. 

Blushes ? I don't see why not. Everybody seems to be head over heels for Nars' Orgasm or Deep Throath (thank you Nars, for making my blog R-rated). MAC has a perhaps the widest selection of natural colors. Color-wise, I'll tell you a secret : no matter how different they might look in the pot, most of them will turn out the same once on the skin : either peach, light pink, hot pink, red, or more on the plum side. Most colors will match anyone - though darker skin tones will need darker colors  ( I feel like I'm stating the obvious a whole lot in this post). A good tip to find the perfect color for someone : if it's for yourself, bend over until you blush because the blood is flowing in your head. That's the color you're going for. If you shopping for someone else, wait until they are in front of their new crush and remind everyone of the time they peed themselves in the line to the bathroom in a rest stop in Vermont. Take a picture (or mental image) and match that color.

A good good eyeliner can be nice. Urban Decay has pretty decent ones. MAC's gel liners are a favorite of mine. Also, if you're a late gifter, I think they are going to repromote Feline eyeliner in January, and the whole world seems to be raving about it. Unless it's for your little sister, don't regift that little black eyeliner that came as a bonus with your Maybeline mascara. That's just cheap. I mean come on, I'm cheap and I wouldn't even do that ! I repeat little sisters don't count.

Make-up brushes are awesome presents. They're expensive, and a girl can never have too many brushes - if anything, it will save her from washing the ones she has right now so often (hurray for encouraging laziness !). I don't own any MAC brushes, but apparently, it's da shit. People who are from a one to a six on the scale of one to ten of make-up savyness will love the Tartan Tales brush bags. From the seven-to-ten, you'll get the oh-you-shouldn't-have, served with a side of fake-smile, because they're supposably not as good as regular MAC brushes. They'll forgive you because the bag it comes in is awefully cute. If you ask me, they're very pretty kits. Single MAC brushes, though less impressive to give, might be a better investment for people picky about brushes. Price wise, I think most of them range from 30$ to 50$ a piece. On the cheaper side, a nice alternative would be Sigma brushes, available HERE, are apparently the next-best-thing and pretty good. I think they sell for about 10$ per brush, and a few kits are available. On a even cheaper note, I like ELF studio brushes a whole lot. HERE. They look good, they are very soft, and dirt cheap. They are definitely cheaper than most, but they get the job done. Stay even from the blush fan brush, absolutely useless, and even though I haven't tried it, I have no faith in the kabuki brush. Their angle brush works just as well as a high-end one, the flat-top powder brush is pure bliss, and I have heard a lot of people raving about the C eye-shadow brush (I'm not head over heels, but it's good, no doubt there). ELF often has some special offers, such as 50% off studio line, be on the look out for that. The regular sale price for each brush is 3$ - do not hesitate to buy double/triples of certain brushes, they will be used. On the opposite range of the price chart, a certain japanese brand of brushes is apparently the best out there. I'll try to find its name again - I think it was about 100$ per brush. HERE! (edit) Great way to piss people off nicely and show off your money ! On the fun side, if you check out ebay, there's a mysterious chinese company that sells color kabukis for a few bucks (I want to say 6$ including shipping). I used to have a purple one (which I lost, sadly). They definitely on the cheap side, the hair is not very dense, but they look very festive and get the job done. This is the one I had (click!!). Searching for "kabuki" on ebay will show up a list of results, including red, square shaped Givenchy brushes - obviously fake, but cute !!

Eye-shadows make great gifts too. Try to stick to the person's usual palette. Neutrals are a great go-to (for the un-savy, neutral colors are generally all brownish, beigish colors, sometimes grays). Palettes with a few colors are a better gamble than a single color. Stay away from any king of satin finish or shimmer if you're gift is for a "mature" person ! Anything that reflects light a lot deepens any crease or wrinkles, and that's depressing, and makes you a bad person for reminding someone that they're aging. Really, why would you do that ??

Sephora take two
Website is back up. I quickly browsed the gift section - nice nice packages there ! Special mention to Bare Essentuals, which I find always have nice, affordable kits. Careful though, many people don't enjoy loose make-up so much because it's a little messier to work with. Smashbox also came out with a Burlesque inspired kit which is pretty nice. Maybe couple it the mini Burlesque nailpolish kit from OPI and make your girl one happy cabaret dancer ? Tokidoki have nice kits for teenagers, but I find their products sometimes look a little cheap. Never tried them, don't take my word for it. Make Up Forever came out with a 300$ train case full of make-up, and it's awesome (and it's worth twice that amount ! Come on, what a bargain!!!) Still in the beauty domain, I will never stop raving about Philosophy's products. In the same train of thought, do check out Lush, they have cute pre-wrapped gift sets. Don't buy bath bombs and bubble baths to someone who doesn't have a bathtub, that's just mean. There is a Sephora by OPI mini nailpolish kit with eighteen colors that is very cute. I don't care for Ed Hardy, don't get that.

Quick overlook :

This could go on forever.

In general :
Bare Essentuals : for the make-up savy only, or at least make sure the person is open to loose powders.

Smashbox : I like it a lot, versatile, rather affordable and fairly professionnal.

Make-up for Ever : fool proof, but not cheap.

Mac : fool proof. Products sometimes disappointing, you pay for the packaging, but most people are in love with MAC despite it all.

Tokidoki, Tina Tarantino : teenage-ish, on the poor quality side.

Befenit, Urban Decay, Too Faced : teenage-ish looking sometimes, but very decent quality

Sephora brand : give it a shot

Philosophy and Fresh : I love

Chanel, Dior and them designers : Expensive with a capital E. Is the quality worth the money? You tell me - but these are great gifts since most people won't go out and pay that much money for a product in normal circumstances.

mercredi 17 novembre 2010

Méthodes quantitatives I

Hey there !

What us unknown bloggers like to do is compulsively look at our blog's stats - for those of you who are not familiar with blogspot, when you create a blog, you can view your number of hits, hits per day, single hits, sources of traffic, messages viewed and fun stuff like that.

Now, I believe that the first thing a blogger has to realize is that, in all likelyness, they'll be talking to themselves - unless they already, for one reason or another, have an online audience. I had come to peace with that fact - I think blogging is entertaining, and there is no other situation in my life for me to chat about make-up and beauty things.

Et là, blogspot intervient et vient mêler les cartes : I sign in today, check out that good ol' stats page, and I have views. Not a lot, but a few of them. What is the most likely is that people googled-pic. something, and my page came up - but still, the harm is done : I now feel like someone might be reading this. So, just so I can get over that phase, comment below if you're not a voice in my head - write, like, the story of your favorite pair of socks, or something. Or how much my French pisses you off :)

Seriously, if anyone is reading this (or even, heaven forbid, enjoying it!), I'd love to get to know you - or know that you exist too.

Otherwise, I don't mind talking to myself. I'm good company.

Cheerio !

PS - I've had a sample-size of Bad Galmascara sitting in my drawer forever, never used it because I find the wand incredibly big, but I used it yesterday and this morning, and it turns out it's a pretty good product. I blame the Falsies for making me like higher brands again, darn it.