Monday, July 31, 2017

Spooky Basket: A Return To Tradition-- The Black Lip

The staple of every traditional goth: black lips.

Even in my  teenage years far removed from the heyday of the traditional goth scene, I remember a time when black lipstick was impossible to find outside of Hallowe'en. Plus the formulas were still gross, and patchy or way too glossy and cheap. And the lip liner to go with it? Forget about it. Black eye pencil it was. For everything.

The makeup world, and consequently the drugstore makeup world, has changed. It's become so much more accessible for the average Jane & Joe.
If makeup is your thing and where you choose to spend your hobby money, the options are limitless.
If you're like me and you spend your hobby money elsewhere, but you'd still rather do it right if you're going to do it at all... well, drugstores have up'd their game enough to give us a (limited in comparison) range, but much much more than it once was. Sometimes offering "dupes" for the high end goodies.

Black is still tough to find within this budgetary spectrum, but not impossible anymore. In the past 5 months I have been trying 3 types from 3 brands, with the most expensive being $5.99

The products:
  1. NYX Liquid Suede $5.99
  2. L.A. Girl Matte Flat Velvet Lipstick $2.99
  3. E.L.F. Moisturizing Lipstick (satin finish) $3.00

NYX Liquid Suede (color: alien):

Things I like:

Up until recently Nyx was being carried almost exclusively by Ulta (where I bought these colors) which is a makeup store, but not so high end like Sephora and above. Now it's popping up in Walgreens, and I did see my colors available.
Liquid matte lipsticks are kind of my thing right now, so with this I am fairly biased in saying this is my favorite of the three. 
They pack the greatest opacity and wear longevity. It doesn't bleed or spider at all, and you get the cleanest edges on your lips with minimal effort.
I own two more colors in this line (Brooklyn Thorn and Amethyst) and the color payoff is phenomenal.
Nyx also offers their matching lip liners, which is a huge bonus.
The applicator is a flat doe foot wand, and probably my favorite type of liquid lip applicator foot. I find it easier to control where I am applying the color, as opposed to other types.

Things I don't like:

This goes for all liquid lips as a downside: if you don't take care of your lips regularly (i.e. use balm everyday, scrubs every other day) these are going to exacerbate all the issues you have with your lips.
Nyx isn't cruelty free, that would be my biggest criticism. 
Secondly, compared to their Lip Lingerie collection (I own the color cashmere silk), their Liquid Suede stays very slightly tacky throughout the day, and I think it's for this reason that unlike other liquid lip colors from other brands, these aren't as long wearing. They all come off when I drink or eat; Nyx liquid lippies are the least lasting of my liquid lippy collection. But this still out lasts the other two in this bunch.
The matching lip liners, although convenient to have the option for them, they cost the same as their counterparts-- seems like a lot for a lip pencil. It is because of this that I own only the Brooklyn Thorn pencil, as it is the most unique and hard to dupe color in a cheap waxy eye pencil.
The color isn't a true black, it has the most subtle color duality... like the exoskeleton of an Xenomorph! It's really cool, and I do love it but it's not the blackest black...

E.L.F. Moisturizing Lipstick (color: Black Out)

Things I like:

I love e.l.f.-- it along with Hard Candy and Wet & Wild are my favorite cruelty free affordable brands.
This smells of candy corn! Cliche but I love it so. Apparently they only recently released it in their permanent line-- like last year recently. The formula is rich and creamy, it's quite smooth throughout the day. This is the truest black of all three, with a luxurious looking satin finish. It's almost as pigmented at the liquid lippy, it takes little effort to get the color payoff you want. The shape is typical of lipsticks with a tapered end, there's not much to say about that except that it seems rare among very inexpensive lipsticks... not sure why as it's the most intuitive shape for applying color to lips straight from the tube. This comes very close to being my favorite behind the Nyx.

Things I don't like:

It being a regular lipstick, it has its inevitable problems-- your hair gets stuck on your lips and when the wind drags it along your face it creates streaks of color on your cheeks and even forehead. Sometimes the color gets transferred onto your teeth. This formula bleeds very badly, and e.l.f. does not offer a matching lip pencil**. It needs a little bit of a base coloring with a pencil because the tiniest amount of color cracking occurs.
This color was a little hard to track down, it is not carried in any of the Walmart's I visited, and have only seen it at Super Target's.

 L.A. Girl Matte Flat Velvet Lipstick (color: Raven)

Things I like:

L.A. Girl is a recent discovery for me, it's not easy to locate-- I found it in this little shop called Twinkle World on a strip mall near my house. It's a pretty true matte lipstick. It's cruelty free, and I remember seeing the matching lip liner but decided to forgo it (I don't know why, because it was only $1 or $2-- I will be going back to get it). It's the cheapest of my three. It doesn't bleed badly, and doesn't transfer to my teeth unlike other lipsticks. This brand offers an amazing selection of lip colors, and this color is a fairly true black. This brand also offers a liquid lipstick and matte lipstick remover that I also want to try, I wish they offered Raven in their liquid line, but they have a very dark vampy purple I am itching to get my hands on. 

Things I don't like:

With it being a true matte lipstick, it comes with the obvious problems of a true matte lipstick. It's on the waxy side so it tugs a little, although the finish looks lovely it takes some effort in getting a clean finish. The pigmentation isn't the greatest, but I find this is a common problem with any matte lipstick. When you stretch out your lips, in a large grin or a grimace, if you haven't created a base with lip liner, there will be big gaps and cracks where the lip color didn't reach.

It has a flat round shape of the lipstick itself; if you're applying right from the tube, this makes application very counter intuitive. This was my least favorite of the three; it reminded me a little too much of the cheapo stuff from the past. I won't be buying their black again, but their nudes look very promising as well as their liquids.


** e.l.f. does make a lip lock pencil, which is a clear lip liner for all unusual colors.
I use it along with L.A. Colors Auto eye pencil for all my black lippy needs. None of the pictures or swatches used either product, just so I could ensure an unbiased view of each of their performances.

Old habits are hard to kill especially when it comes to black lips, and this L.A. Colors pencil is bad as an eyeliner because of its very waxy consistency, but it's precisely that which makes it a great lip pencil. A double plus is L.A. Colors is cruelty free and bought at Dollar Tree.

There you have it, my fiends. I hope this post ensures more black lips in your lives, as hell knows we need it.

Spook you later!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fashioning My Cyber Microcosm: This Is Unexpected... and Things of That Nature.

It's that time again!
Where I, your creepy crafty hostess, have some time to update you guys on what's happening with life and other sundries...

My media outlets have been as quiet as this blog, for I have been up to my gills in things to do, things to plan, and things to ponder... and most importantly, attempt to carve out some time to breathe and maybe relax in between. But not really.

Let's move the big parts out of the way, shall we? Here we go: 
I'm 90 to 95 percent sure I'm moving to Washington state... Yup. It's quite a damn move. 
From Texas to Washington, we're looking at some serious changes here.
We have verbally accepted the offer (hence the 90 to 95%), but have not signed any official documents as of today (hence the 90 to 95%...). Though they tell us the papers are coming, we are fully aware of the fact that things can still go wrong... *flashbacks of Arizona what-might-have-beens*

There is a lot to be excited about for this move, the most overt aspect will be that it will land me very close to the Canadian border which means road trips home will be a definite and frequent thing! Woo hoo!

That said, there is also a lot to be concerned with... the cost of living increase is enough to spook this gal into an early grave. Not sure how we'll do as this job isn't a pay increase, just a lateral, and rent over there is nearly double of what it is here for what we have, which isn't to say it's enough to hold all our cherished belongings.

I have been finding it a little tough to get employed after the briefest stint at Hancock's Fabrics before it went under (RIP, one year now); on paper I am aggressively mediocre and I'm a terrible interviewee due to my awful social skills.
My work experience is a hodge podge of spurt and sparsity with large gaping time voids I try to fill with my unsubstantial volunteering fluff; whatever appeal I may have is completely diminished by my lack of education. GED holder and self-taught jack of all trades is not quite as competitive/marketable as it may sound... or look, no matter how technical and creative my language is: cue image of Bobby Boucher describing his position as the team's water distribution engineer.

So one thing I have turned to (again) is perhaps lay a little focus (again) on selling what I make (again...). I know what you're thinking: 'wow, many treats, much excite, such wait'
But those ugly little thoughts keep creeping all over my brain like annoying gooey tendrils that suffocate the flame of my excitement. Fret not, though, it's happening... it's just despairingly slow as I try to work through my anxieties and self depreciation...
I have been having major second thoughts about the name I have chosen for my shop; The Serpent and The Thimble, although cool and adorbs, does not covey the full scope of my handcraftables. I am so much more than my sewing and stitchery! I paint/draw, I sculpt, I knit and hell I even make bath and self care products! So the 'thimble' part of the name kind of shoves me into a corner, although admittedly the majority of my wares and excitement stem from sewing, I just don't want to be known strictly for my sewing-- I am a jack o' lantern of all trades, after all. It's what I pride myself... for the most part, hehe.
It is with all this in mind I have been back to brewing some suitable replacements.

On the blog front, Photobucket has pulled a sudden but inevitable betrayal. I was first aware of it from a posting by MindLess Indulgence, but I'm sure by now many people are fully conscious of the plight of years of photos becoming unavailable on their blogs. I haven't as of yet gone back to replace those photos, and I'm thinking for the most part I will just cull my posts as opposed to bother with trying to replace every dang photo. It's a lot of work, and I really don't like the thought of tackling that gargantuan rehab.
I could wipe the slate clean... that is an option, I guess. Bah, curse you Photobucket.

Creatively, I have been sewing but what I am most excited about is going back to exploring watercolors and gouache. I have been revisiting an idea I started a few years back (unfortunately, Photobucket swallowed that post whole so no throwback links for now) of a series of artworks I now dub the "Spooky Sewing Room" inspired by my love of Halloween and sewing. I have only teased one of the pieces on IG which I will now display here in all its watermarked glory (sorry about that, but it's necessary):

Will go back and tweak this to add my signature batty emery attachment.

I've been looking into getting some quality prints done to make them available to my shop, but my google-fu is as weak as my job landing skills. It's not looking so economical, and I'm not particularly known enough to garner the interest in the series needed to balance the cost.
We'll see how this endeavor pans out. For now, it's a source of personal happiness... much like everything else I do, heheh.

And so for now, I leave you all with spooky salutations-- till next time, my fiends.

Spook ya later!

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