Month: December 2015

Beauty Babble-Beauty Routine [2015-2016]

In love with the super floof.

In love with the super floof.

The problem with this photo isn’t that it’s filtered (though it is). It’s that I’m actually not really wearing a face in it-I have mascara and a drug store level liquid lipstick (Rimmel Provocalips in Kiss Fatal) on and that’s it.

My overall routine though is much more complicated than last year’s, but I’m also enjoying it a lot more. So it’s a trade off.

-Water. I pretend that I’m hydrated, but I’m not. I am trying to get back in the swing of drinking plain water.

-I start out with a layer of moisturizer. I use Ponds or a Ponds knock off now, I feel like it stands up to my skin better [same as last year]

-After my moisturizer has dried down a little, I use a layer of a bb or tinted moisturizer. I’ll use a medium coverage foundation-applied however I feel like. I have a beauty blender knock off, a brush, and my own hands. I’m honestly not blown away by the blender. Using it is fun, but it’s not necessarily the game changer the Internet says that it is. *Where I do find the bb helpful is around my mouth. I have a slightly different tone around my mouth, and I get the dread foundation-mustache if I’m not careful. I don’t really get it with the bb.

-Sometimes if I’m feeling really fancy I use the Goss method of powder before foundation. A lot of times lately it’s powder after foundation to help even out tone a little, since none of mine are really, truly a satisfactory fit. I think it’s a me thing though, no one else seems to notice.

-Blush applied a little bit to the back of my cheeks with a powder brush or a kabuki. I own two or three blush brushes, but I like the powder brush better. I have no loyalty to any particular blush-color-family.

-I prime my eyelids-either the Monistat I was using last year or Wet and Wild. If I’m using a powder based shadow, then I use an eyeshadow base. If I’m using a smudge pot/stick I skip the base. I have finally fully embraced my love of extremely minimalistic eyes, so it’s normally a shimmery champagne/bronze/copper/rose gold color. If it’s not, then it’s a deliberately really messy smudged eye in dark brown. I sometimes blend color into the outer third of my eyes. Unless I’m wearing a dark lip. Then I just line over a bare eyelid. That’s pretty much the only time I wear eyeliner-and I’m proud to say at 30 I can almost draw a straight line now [I’m all about that honesty in blogging].

-Mascara-honestly I’m in love with Revlon’s Ultimate mascara in the red tube. The spoolie is really weird and I have to move really carefully or it overloads my sparse lashes, but good days are really, really good.

-I use a random lip stick a day. Liner is whichever I grab out of the jar, so I sometimes get odd and interesting colors out of my liner/lipstick combinations.

-I do use facial wipes. Ahem. I know, not frugal or green but I won’t wash off my make up otherwise. I use Cetaphil when I take a shower, and micellar water after the face wipe at night. Right now I’m using Boots, and I like it well enough. And more Ponds at night.

Honestly though that sounds like a long list, but I rarely do a truly full face at any given time. If my foundation is heavy, then my eyes probably are severely minimalistic-and I need the base to make colors read correctly on my skin. If I’m wearing a bold lipstick, then a lot of times I’m in just a bb (or less) and mascara, maybe some eyeliner. I still go to Starbucks in completely bare face sometimes. I don’t remember the last time I wore liner with eyeshadow. A day where I’m spending 20 minutes on my cosmetics is still a long day for me.

And…my brows are completely not on that list. It’s completely against conventional wisdom but I have no interest in touching my brows. I read somewhere that you should never trust a beauty blogger that doesn’t touch her brows. I suppose it’s a good thing then that I’m a horror blogger with a beauty column, and not a beauty blogger who likes horror movies.

Aran Gingerbread

finished aran gingerbread

I always feel weird posting about charity knitting. Like I’m looking to be validated for something that should be done because you want to, not so that other people will tell you you’re doing a good job.

But my finished project entries are as much a running record for myself as anything else.

My local Starbucks is collecting for Compass House this year, so this is the first scarf I’ve done for charity this year, and it went into the box.

Aran Gingerbread [3 Column, 8 Row Repeat]

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, Aran (cream white)

Skeins: 1

Yardage: 364 (less than)

Rep count/length: 37

Needles: 8

Pattern: Gingerbread

FSOT value: $31.65 American

Beauty Babble-Rotating My Collection

cosmetics basket

I get asked questions sometimes, and it makes me realize as a blogger that the blogging community gets stuck on the big ideas. You know, being the first to review a product [I’m probably never going to be that person. This is a column on a fairly wide ranging blog, and I have no real interest in going further into beauty than I already do] or talking about wide-scope trends.

Not the basic stuff like, ‘how do I make sure I actually wear the stuff that I own’?

Which is a question I was asked last week, and it’s actually a really solid question. I really like testing things-whether it be new oil based perfumes or foundation. I like the process of finding a new product, trying out, seeing how it handles. Then I end up with a good sized (at least for me, my budget, and the amount of space I have to put towards it) collection-and eventually, through new purchases and purging, a collection I’m actually happy using.

And a tendency to want to continually use my favorites, which sometimes means spending more money on a product than necessary because I’m repurchasing a more expensive version of something when I have perfectly usable, functional products that aren’t as pricey/nice/perfect/whatever. This happens with my foundation, mostly, because I’m so generally dissatisfied with drug store foundations but am constantly looking for one that I like well enough to make it my staple DS product.

Long winded lead in for a simple answer: I have a basket that I change out weekly.

In the basket, which lives on my bathroom sink, goes a bb/cc/tinted moisturizer, a powder, a foundation, a palette if it fits, a blush, and a mascara. I also keep a smudge pot or a smudge stick and an eyeliner if it fits.

Every Wednesday (for no good reason, Wednesday just seems to be the day it started happening), I switch out those items from something else in my collection. I rotate out my lipstick daily. Sometimes I don’t feel like wearing what’s in the basket, so over the course of a week new stuff gets thrown in. But on Wednesday it gets cleaned out and restocked with new product in my bins.

It keeps me moving through what I own. It doesn’t keep me from overspending on my collection completely, but it does make me aware enough to give me pause-I have to find a really awesome sale/clearance on blush for me to bring another one home because it’ll probably be two months before I overlap again, if I used a different one every week for the basket, for example.

Garnet Gingerbread

garnet gingerbread

I really liked working with this yarn. It’s like Woolease, with a much better hand, better drape, and is heavier.

So of course they pulled it off the market. Why actually put out a decent Red Heart yarn? That would be silly.

This is the first Gingerbread project (I have another on needles right now, with some modifications to the pattern). I’m loving cabled scarves right now, and luckily they seem to be popular. This one is a gift, though.

I love the color on this one. I have a tendency to gravitate towards this color anyway, and it’s been a long standing favorite. Most of my lipstick collection is this color, and I have very little ‘true’ red in my wardrobe.

Garnet Gingerbread

Yarn: Red Heart With Wool, Garnet (deep wine style red)

Skeins: 2

Yardage: 288 (less than)

Needles: 8

Pattern: Gingerbread

FSOT value: $46.97 American



I got lucky this year. People didn’t flood me with Krampus related links on social media. Because there’s a whole hell of a lot o folklore I like more than Krampus, and for some reason my friends got really stuck on some sort of connection between Krampus and myself last year. It was enough to make a person grumpy.


I’ve mentioned Krampus in passing, several times, but as his popularity has grown in American pop culture has grown over the past few years (want to smell like Krampus? Because you can. No, really…you can buy Krampus themed perfume) maybe it’s time he gets his own standalone entry.

It seems that European cultures are much more willing to play up the ‘bad’ side of Christmas-in America, at least, while there’s this veiled threat against misbehaving children the end result is pretty benign on the whole. The worst that can happen is that you don’t make it onto the ‘nice’ list and therefore don’t get presents. I suppose in a culture that is as commercially driven as my own, not being gifted-especially as a child-is pretty traumatic.

I suppose as a prior warning, if you click any of the links provided in the end of this entry, you might see vintage images of children being physically punished. It’s not horribly graphic, but if you don’t want to see these things you might want to avoid clicking those links.

You might also want to stop reading now, since that’s sort of the point of Krampus-otherwise known currently as the Christmas demon.

Krampus, like most folkloric figures, has a slight range of appearances, ranging from the Baphomet inspired cloven hooves and horns to a surly gentleman in black, to a gentleman in black who may be slightly furrier than normal. He comes holding some form of weapon for physical punishment (either rusty chains or whips) and a basket or other holding device. It should be noted however that there are other interpretations of the items he holds including the chains marking the binding of the devil by the Christian Church (Wikipedia has a full paragraph on the symbolism of his items; article is linked below.)

Krampus has one specific job: to accompany Santa Clause or St. Nicholas and heavily punish misbehaving children. If you’re lucky he’ll just beat you…if you’re not so lucky he’ll beat you and drag  you into hell. This is not a minor folkloric, throw away concept either-December features Krampusnacht, held the night before St. Nicholas’ Day. Krampusnacht features dancing, singing, drinking, mummery, parades, and other carnival like events to ring in Krampus’ return.

Krampus even had his own Christmas cards, often with slightly more adult tones than you would think.

As the Santa Clause image began to filter into American culture, the Krampus image with its potential ties back to Pagan solstice rituals (National Geographic claims that Krampus is the son of Hel) and emphasis on punishment lost favor and was never really picked up in the States outside of regional traditions. While the image also never died out fully in Europe, Krampus is now slowly making a re-emergence both Europe and the States with increasing numbers of Krampus parades, the reintroduction of Krampus cards, and the reintroduction of the image back into popular culture.

However, the States would not be the only culture to reject Krampus. The Austrian government took an unfavorable view on Krampusnacht and banned the practice by law in 1934. In the 1950s they distributed pamphlets warning against the evils of Krampus. This was most likely was a reaction to political thought in that era than the actual image, however. Further, perhaps understandably, the Catholic church wasn’t exactly fond of him either.


(As an aside, while Buffalo hosts a Santacon this weekend-and I would very much like to see it-several cities hold a challenger Krampuscon. I’m assuming that if Santacon is drinking and collecting charity gifts-which it is in Buffalo- then Krampuscon must be drinking and brooding.)


Who is Krampus? Exploring the Christmas Devil

10 Fun Facts About Krampus, the Christmas Demon

The Shining in 2015

Each year brings about changes. It’s a truism, almost. It’s cliched, but it’s also true-and interaction with media slowly starts changing, when experience forces new perspective.

The only thing, after a year fighting with the shadow [the Jungian shadow, for those of you playing along at home and who may have just tuned in], what has become apparent in my yearly reading of The Shining is how much of that book is propelled by grief. This is a set of people who are all grieving (including Danny, and maybe Danny most of all)-mainly the loss of relationships. Some of these relationships never even had the chance to get off the ground.

It’s weird, because I’m noticing the deep, deep sadness that runs through this book for the first time. This is a tragedy, in the Greek sense. At least, that’s where it falls closest. It’s not a tragedy in the way that we normally use the term now-it’s a tragedy in the “I just woke up and realized my wife is my mother” type sense. When reality starts falling apart in a way that makes you realize that all of it was a lie, or the very least, a very very limited paraphrase of actual reality.

The book is actually scarier this year. Maybe because I know what’s coming? There is a sense of dread that follows the characters around, especially when they all start coming to terms with their own death, and their own shadows. I think that’s one of the thing that King did best in this era-The Shining is going on a picnic into the shadow, where we don’t really want to go but know we have to go. At the risk of sounding like woo-woo new age, we all know that there’s a part of our lives where the hedges start moving and the past really wants us to go back-so it can kill us. If that part of our lives hasn’t come yet, we know, as we get older, that there’s always the potential that it will be coming because all that’s happened is that we’ve gotten lucky and we’re on borrowed time.

I will say that it’s an interesting experience re-reading this novel while AHS Hotel is still airing, because it peaks its head up every so often. How can it now? I’m not sure that it would even be possible to do hotel-horror without at least passing glances to The Shining even when it’s not deliberate. There are a lot of similar themes that run through both, especially with the nature of addiction and desire (and the way that both become so ingrained that no one really actually -wants- to give them up, which is why it’s so hard to let both die). The main difference between the two is that the Cortez seems to have no interest in a slow burn run up to getting its machinery moving, while the Outlook likes to play with its dinner a little first.  Admittedly there’s also side eyes to A Tale of Two Sisters/Rose Flower, Red Lotus in Hotel that I wish wasn’t used because it’s a touch overdone….

Beauty Babble: Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation

rimmel clean finish

Rimmel Clean Finish-True Ivory

I’m breaking two rules here: It’s not Monday and I’m blogging at night, but I don’t want to get to Monday and forget what I was wearing in this photo. I’m blogging at night so don’t expect a really solid product list. It’s 1 AM.

*Camera quality, low natural light [overcast day], but unfiltered.

Mid is -quite- annoyed that I have been spending as much of my Christmas money on household staples as I have been (and even the frivolous stuff has been pretty staple-y-when Target had all beauty section on sale this week I bought cleansers and mascara). So I stopped in the beauty section during a rare Walmart run.

I have a list of DS foundation color matches from on my phone, so I decided, hey why not, I’ll pick up a new foundation.

One of the first major strengths of this foundation is that it’s so incredibly cheap. I think my bottle was under $4-which even for my tightest budgets means it’s not a risk. At all.

However, that’s about the most energy I can put into a review. This is the most neutral I’ve been on a beauty product I’ve been in a long time. And that list includes my pencil sharpener.

The fact the bottle comes with a spatula will make the bottle worth it in the end (I’ll keep the cap for other bottles). True ivory is about a quarter shade too dark and it leans yellow on me, but powder helps with both. Ideally I want to find foundation I don’t need to powder. The coverage is good. It pills a little on my nose but all of the stuff I’ve tried other than the Physician’s Formula in my collection does.

Beyond that…reviews complain that it’s thick, but it’s not nearly as thick as the Tarte Amazonian Clay that is my HG. Texture on dry down is good, fine. It doesn’t smell. Reviews talk about oxidation, and I suppose it does the tiniest bit-since it does dry down a little dark. But it doesn’t go orange either. Wear is fine, not the longest I’ve worn but it held up. I will say this, it’s the best foundation under florescent lights I’ve worn yet. So no strong feelings in any given direction. I don’t think I would necessarily repurchase, but only because I’m looking for something I really love-but I’m not upset over the loss of $4 and I’ll finish the bottle.

Products-My Standard Work Day Style Face

Ponds style night cream

Rimmel matte bb in light

Rimmel Clean Finish in true ivory

Tarte powder in light

ELF blush-natural? Light pink

Revlon Ultimate Mascara in Blackened Brown

Wet and Wild shadow primer

ELF eyeshadow stick in French Lace

Wet and Wild lip liner, fuschia/plum

Wet and Wild liquid lipstick, color called Throwing Shade