Monthly Archives: April 2016

32 Smells Like Coconut Oil

Guys, I’m getting old.  I’m going to be 32 this week, and I’m not happy about it.  I was perfectly fine with it until about 20 minutes ago.  I was standing in front of my ensuite WC mirror, which has dressing room light bulbs (replaced today) that will expose every single flaw on your face.  It’s great for plucking your eyebrows and doing other uh, facial maintenance, shall we say.  I’ve admitted before that my vanity is not in proportion to my looks.  Here’s the thing, though: when the universe didn’t give you a head start, you do your damnedest to make sure that you don’t fall back into last place.  So I pluck and poke and prod my face in the vain hope that it won’t sag down my neck someday.

That hope is coming in vain.  Except the problem isn’t sagging yet, thank Christ.  Not on my face, anyway.  Guys… I’m getting wrinkles.  And it’s not just like, one. There are a bunch just waiting… waiting… I’ve been losing a lot of weight lately because, as I’ve said, I’d like to get laid again before I die.  The thing about losing weight is that, for a lot of people anyway, it tends to age your face somewhat.  You’ll sink, which makes sense, right?  Well, it hasn’t really been an issue for me anywhere but around the eyes.  And that sucks because I look tired most of the time, anyway.  Might have something to do with not sleeping for three solid years.

I am honestly not lying when I say that I got a look at what was happening under my eyes and burst into tears.  Yeah, you read that right.  Hard ass right here started crying over crow’s (Crowe’s?) feet.  Is that lame or what?

My mind immediately went to what I could do about it.  I’ve been trying coconut oil pulling off and on for my teeth, so I literally grabbed the jar and started smearing it under my eyes.  And that didn’t seem like enough, so now my entire face is covered in coconut oil.  The good news is, I smell like a tropical vacation.  The bad news is that I still look old.

I’ve been shopping plastic surgeons over in Springfield because I have this mole – my grandma used to call it a beauty mark, but ain’t nothing beauty about it, in my mind – and I just want it gone.  I’m sick of looking at it.  I don’t think anyone else notices it, but it bothers me, and it’s my present to myself for not jumping off a cliff at any point over the last year.

You might ask why I’d need a plastic surgeon for a stupid mole, and the answer to that would be because it’s on my face, and it’ll require stitches or something.  The dermatologist didn’t want to do it because of the potential scarring.  I guess plastic surgeons are better for that.  God knows.

But you know what else plastic surgeons do?  Shit, everything.  Look at the Kardashians.  And it’s amazing how quickly an otherwise rational woman’s mind will leap towards filler and injecting botulism toxin into her face to buy her six more months in her current face.  And then I sit there and think about what I could get tucked in and made perkier and less… old.

I honestly don’t know why I’m this way.  I guess you could throw out some trite answer like, “Well, humans are afraid of aging because they’re afraid of dying, blah blah blah.”  And there might be truth there, but I don’t think it’s the answer, in my case.

I think the more appropriate answer is that I’m not really satisfied with my life.  I should be because I don’t have a bad life.  I’ve got a job that I don’t hate, a roof over my head, gas in the car, food in the fridge, clothes in the closet, and everyone in the family is healthy.  The kids are happy and adorable, and shoot, two of my old friends are coming up for my birthday.  You really can’t complain about that, right?

You will, if it’s not what you really wanted, if you feel like you sold yourself short.  And that’s how I feel almost every waking moment of every day.  And I’m not even mad at anyone else.  I went through a phase of being pissed at my ex-husband about it.  When I was talking about sitting for the LSAT and going back to law school, he was sitting there saying it was a terrible idea because of the cost.  To be fair, there’s something to be said for taking the economic burden of law school into account because the legal jobs, for a while anyway, weren’t there.  Not everyone is going to make $350 per hour as a high-powered attorney.  But he would tell me, without directly telling me, that it was a dumb idea because even if I made it through three years of law school, there was a good chance that I wouldn’t pass the Bar.  Great guy, huh?

I scoffed for a long time, but you know, I never went back.  And that’s not his fault.  He’s an asshole, and that is his fault for sure, but it’s my fault for letting him convince me that I couldn’t do it.  I should have told him to sit on it and spin.    But I didn’t.  I married him instead.  Idiot.

So there’s the problem.  I’m disappointed in myself and the stupid choices I made.  I’m mad at myself for allowing him to convince me that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough.  Because that’s not true.  I am.  I would’ve kicked ass in law school.  That was the attitude I needed to have.  If I have learned nothing else over the years, it’s that determination and a can-do attitude will carry you miles and miles further than intelligence will.  I have known a lot of tremendously smart people who were lazy assholes, confident that the world would give them everything because they were smart and therefore worthy of better things, and they have all fallen by the wayside.  I’ve also known a lot of people who weren’t even really all that smart but had a lot of drive and enough confidence in themselves to get them further than those tremendously smart people.

And you know, fillers ain’t going to fix the past.  It might make things look better in the mirror, but it won’t fix the real problem.  No doctor can fix that.  I know the only way out is through, and I know that I’m the only person who can make it right.  The law school ship has sailed, unfortunately.  I am going to regret it the rest of my life, I think, but that’s one of those things about getting older: it’s hard to get there without having a few regrets.

This is probably the point where you’re thinking to yourself, “But Marge, you haven’t addressed the really pressing question, which is: What can I get you for your birthday?”  Glad you asked.

If you have someone in your life – asshole friend, idiot co-worker, significant other that you should be dumping, or annoying family member – and they are telling you that you shouldn’t go after something that you want because you aren’t good enough for some reason… Tell them to fuck off.  Tell them to ugo straight to hell and get out of your face.  And then go do whatever it is that they seem to think you can’t.

What am I getting myself for my birthday?  Well, I need a couple new pairs of pants because weight loss, fuck yeah, so I guess I’ll do that.  But that’s necessity, not want, so for my 32nd year on this planet, I’m going to get myself another tattoo.  And when I’m done getting needles stabbed into my skin, I’m going to go buy a pack of Camel Turkish Golds and a fifth of George Dickel Kentucky bourbon.   I am going to dinner with my ladies, and I’m going to start drinking at dinner.  Then we’re going to hit some of the less terrifying Jacksonville bars.  And then, once the bars are closed, we’re going to come back to this very house of mine, and I’m going to drink as much of that fifth and smoke as many of those cigarettes as I can.  Because those are two of my top five favorite vices, and when I’ve given up on those five vices, you’ll know that I’ve actually given up.  Until that day comes, I’m going to go for it with gusto.  I’m going to earn those wrinkles.

Update: So the whole coconut oil thing was a complete fluke that was the result of a minor freakout.  I’d heard it’s good for your skin and that a tablespoon or some such amount a day is good for you.  I can’t speak to it being good for you in general, but I can tell you that after exactly two – yes, two – nights of smearing coconut oil all over my mug, my skin is softer, clearer, and the couple of acne-prone spots I’ve had of late seem to be clearing up.  I’m frankly amazed.

I’ve always had to be somewhat careful about foundations and heavy face creams because most of them break me out which, in the case of face cream, is doing the opposite of what’s promised.  That has been truer post-babies.  I often do one day on and one day off with foundation just because even the gentle, organic ones will sometimes do a number on me.  I’ve worn full foundation two days in a row, and so far no eruptions or irritations.  Not even a hint, and that is damned unusual.

I would recommend this stuff to anyone.  Why in the hell would you spend like, $65 (or a lot more, in some cases) on some high-end face cream or whatever when you can get a jar of organic, pressed coconut oil for like, $8 at Wal-Mart that will last about three to four times as long?  And I’m telling you, I’ve used those high-end creams and never seen a difference.  Coconut oil was overnight.  Overnightpeople!

Try it and call me a liar if it doesn’t work.  I bet it will.  Bare minimum, your skin will be smooth as a baby’s ass when you get up in the morning.  And you will smell like a tropical vacation.  My only caution is that you might want to wash your face and put it on about two hours before bed to give it some time to sink in.  It does stay oily for a while before it sinks in.  But once it sinks in… Mmm, Daddy…!

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Girly Post: Marge’s Makeup Picks Spring 2016

If there are still any guys who aren’t gay and/or drag queens reading this post, go away.  I know you don’t care about my MUFE experiences.  Come back when I go on a libertarian rant.

Okay, ladies, they should be gone.  (I see you, straggler in the back.  Get gone.)  So I actually thought about doing a video for this, but I haven’t colored my hair for like, two months, the gray is showing big-time, and I am too vain to want to do a video with the gray hair and acne that I’m currently rocking.  Seriously, it’s like an episode of Twin Peaks up here on my left cheek.  Like, why?

So I subscribed to Ipsy a couple of months ago.  I’m honestly not sure what compelled… Nope, I remember.  My cousin’s new wife subscribes to Birchbox, and you know me.  I can’t just subscribe to something.  It has to be something that I actually think is going to be a good deal for me, money-wise, and something that will include stuff that I’d actually like to have.  And there are a lot of makeup and clothing subscription services out there right now, so I did my research first.

I chose Ipsy because of the value, first off.  You get generous samples – often they are actual full size items, and the ones that are legit samples are big.  Okay, actually, I think you get one full-sized item each month.  Anyway,  I have not been disappointed.  Plus, you get a cute little makeup bag that it all comes in every month, and the first one actually matched my new Kate Spade purse and wallet, so Mama got a new makeup bag for her purse straight out the gate.  And it’s cute!  But seriously, their average bag value is something like $40, and it costs $10.  To me, that’s a good deal. And I’m all about a good deal, especially if it’s on stuff that I’m going to go out and buy anyway.

I’ve been trying more than just items included in the Ipsy bags lately though, and I’ve got some reviews for you.  Some of them might surprise – or disappoint – you.  I know one of them particularly disappointed me, so I’ll get to that one first.  Because I was.  I was really disappointed.  Are you in suspense yet?  Here I go…

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil

Oh my God, you guys.  I have been wanting to try them for years, and I have heard nothing but good things.  I finally ordered one from Sephora in Whiskey.  But you guys… I’m so fucking disappointed.

So full disclaimer: I love Urban Decay, and this is NOT a bad eyeliner pencil.  It’s not. But I was expecting Ron Paul, and I got Rand.  It just… For the price – and that’s the key here, for the price – I don’t think it lives up to the hype.  And I feel like there is a lot of hype with certain products, and this pencil is one of them.  Everyone’s always like, “Oh, it’s amazing!  It doesn’t move around on you, and there are like, fifty shades to choose from!  I lurvs the Urban Decay pencils!”

The problem with the thing is that it cost me 20 damn dollars (online from Sephora).  I can do a lot with $20.  I can put three quarters of a tank of gas in the ole Mom Van.  I can buy a shirt.  I can buy several pairs of pants for the kids.  I can get groceries.  Or I can buy one fucking Rand Paul eyeliner pencil.

One gripe I have – and this is in general, not UD pencil-specific – is that it is a legit pencil.  If you’re looking for a twist-up, you need to look elsewhere because this is a pencil.  You need a sharpener.  And I fucking hate pencils.  They’re messy.  Like, as plain writing utensils, they bother me.  I have to use mechanical pencils.  And I strongly prefer twist-up eyeliner pencils.  That’s just me.  I get that there are people who don’t like the twist-ups.

The other thing is that all pencil liners move.  They do.  I have yet to find the mythical unicorn that stays put in my waterline all day.  I tightline on a day-to-day basis, so I gravitate towards a slightly softer formula that doesn’t make me feel like I’m stabbing myself in the eye.   But that wasn’t really the problem because the formula feels fine with the Urban Decay pencil.

My issue with this pencil was how it moved.  It left a residue in my waterline and clung onto my lashes and mascara.  I know that sounds fucking weird, and it is.  I hate it.  When I was washing my face that first night, I was like, “What the hell is going on here?!  I have lost all control of this situation, and I can’t get it back!  Get off of my lashes, you scurvy knave!”  Seriously, it was bad.  Maybe it was my mascara (NARS).  And then it wouldn’t get off of my waterline.  Like, it was fine to migrate over to my lashes and clump up, but come off with soap and water?  Uh, no.  Shit is waterproof.  I’m baffled still.  It took exactly two days of growling at my eyeballs in the mirror for exactly the same reason to make me throw the pencil into the depths of my eye makeup drawer, and it hasn’t come out of time out yet.

So yes, lotsa colors.  Pretty colors.  Great for creating certain looks.  Don’t expect miracles because miracles only happen if the Catholic Church says so.  Marge don’t say so.  I say, frankly, that I prefer my ~$6-7 Revlon Colorstay twist-up eyeliner in Black-Brown.  It lasts forever, it has a blender thing on the butt, it stays put reasonably well but blends out for smoky eyes, and it doesn’t cling to my damn lashes like the Kardashians are clinging to fame.

I’m sorry, UD.  I can’t.  Don’t hate me.

(Photo from Phyrra.com)

NARS Blush.  You know the one.

Guys, I Orgasmed.

NARS blush is another one of those “gold standard” beauty products that you hear a lot about.  I tend to approach mass rave reviews with some degree of skepticism.  My overall view of people and their opinions is, “Think of the most average person you know and how stupid he/she is.  Now realize that 50% of the population is dumber than that person.”  That was my initial (stupid) reaction to the NARS hype.

I got big shoulders.  (No, seriously – I have man shoulders.  I can never get blazers that fit right.)  I can admit it when I’m wrong.  I was wrong to put off trying NARS.  I got it in Orgasm – the gold standard color of the gold standard blush – and ohmygod.  Orgasm.  It was a 10.  It’s a 10 every night when I look at it and every morning when it gets on me.  It makes me purr, and I’m thinking about buying Deep Throat this afternoon.

First of all, the formula rocks.  It just does.  You only need a little bit, and it builds beautifully.  Flawlessly, in my opinion.  I have another high-end blush – more expensive than NARS – and it won’t build.  Can’t get any payoff.  I use my NARS every single day now, and I expect it will last the better part of a year.

And I highly recommend Orgasm because it’s a beautiful color for any skin tone.  Normally, I shy away from anything with orange in it because I have very pink tones in my skin, and orange gets bad fast.  This will not.  This will make you pretty.  Flushed, if you will.  It goes perfectly with my daily routine makeup, which is pretty toned down for work.

So I’m spreading the gospel of NARS Orgasm blush.  If you don’t have it, you’re honestly missing out.  It comes in at $30 from Sephora.  Very rarely will I say a little compact of blush is worth $30.  It is.

(Photo from apopofcolor.com, and it shows the gold flecks very nicely.)

Naked mica pigment

This one was one I got from Ipsy, and I am in love.  I love pigments, anyway.  I love smearing insane colors on my face.  I don’t know why.  It makes me happy.  It makes me happier if it’s sparkly because I’m a 90’s chick at heart: glitter with my flare, just don’t care.

I got it in Sierra Nevada, which is a sparkly champagne color.  It applies beautifully and has amazing payoff.  A little goes a long, long way.  I would tread somewhat lightly when applying it because you will go from zero to bedazzled in no time.  It is beautiful from the first pat on your eyelid.  I daresay you could use it as a highlighter, if you didn’t use too much.

My main gripe about this product is the fallout.  Fallout with this amount of sparkle is normal, but there is a lot here.  As state above, I’m okay with that because I’m fond of all things bright and shiny: diamonds, sequined T-shirts… I’m like a weird packrat.  That said, I wouldn’t use it for day-to-day looks appropriate for work.  To me, it’s definitely a “going out” enhancement.  I think you could potentially tone this down for work, if you used it as a very, very modest highlight in like, one spot, but I personally wouldn’t.  (I’m getting too old for that.)

But I like it.  I liked the payoff, I liked the way it went on, and I liked the color.  It’s just pretty, and it’s fun.  Individually, these are retailing for $15 each, or you can buy collections of 6 for $60.

I know Makeup Geek is doing pigments now, and I think they’re coming in at a lower price point.  I’d be interested to know how they compare.

It’s a 10 Leave-In Conditioner and Marc Anthony Argan Oil 3-Day Smooth Cream

The only conditioner you will ever need.  I was like, “It’s a 10?!  Pssht, ain’t nothing ratin’ a ten anymore!”  Again, I was wrong.  I love this shit.  It’s like magic potion for your hairs.

I color my hair a lot.  I’m oily, I’m gray, I use dry shampoo, I blow dry, I flat iron, I have this crazy bubble curling wand that I burn myself on… I’m a mess when it comes to hair.  I can’t do shit with it, and I have tons of it.  My hair is fine, thick, and stupid.  Won’t hold curl.  Curls when it’s humid.  I don’t get it.

I use conditioner so I can get a comb through it.  It’s wavy and just thick enough to be annoying, but honestly, most conditioner makes my hair oily faster, and I don’t need help with that.  I figured that this stuff would make the oil situation worse.

But holy shit.  It makes it better.  It makes everything better.  I don’t even use shower conditioner anymore because it’s a waste of money.  That’s how good this is.

It’s a 10 Leave-In averages about $20 for a 4 oz. bottle from most drug stores and Wal-Mart.  It’s a lot compared to other “OTC” conditioners.  It’s cheaper than or comparable to what you’d buy in a salon, generally speaking.  And I’ve used Redken conditioners, Biosilk, all that crap.  This is the best.

I just spray it in, brush my teeth, smear on my deodorant, and then start combing my hair out.  The brush goes right through with no problems, and then I give myself a blowout with the roll brush.  And it’s awesome.  Looks great all day.  Doesn’t frizz, stays where I put it, so to speak, and takes styling product a lot easier, on the odd day that I decide to actually style my hair.  This stuff is the sole reason that I no longer default my hair into a ponytail every day.

I really liked the Marc Anthony 3-Day Smooth smoothing cream, too.  And it’s on sale for like, $9/6.5oz at Ulta today, so I’ll probably buy some, but here’s my issue with it: it’s not a spray.  Sounds stupid, I know.  Here’s my thing: I wear rings.  Well, I wear two rings, and the only time I take them off is when they’re at the jewelers for cleaning once a year.  I hate having to take them off to use lotion or put hair product in.  I much prefer to spray in my conditioner.

I will say that the cream makes it a solid two days.  By day three, my hair is too oily to forego another washing, but it definitely does wonders to smooth one’s hair.  It’s better at keeping static at bay than It’s a 10.  But again, I feel like It’s a 10 wins by virtue of packaging and the fact that it “does more” than smooth.

Both are great products, in my opinion.  I can imagine not using It’s a 10, but it would be right back to the old ponytail for me.

NYX Lip Suede liquid lipstick/gloss whatever

This was one of those things that I seriously wanted to like.  I don’t wear tons of lipstick because it dries my lips out.  And also, little vain aside, I think my lips have a good natural color that doesn’t really require much doctoring, unless I want a red lip.  And sometimes I do!

I do like some lip glosses and lip stains.  I don’t wear them often because I do have a strong natural color to my lips, and it always shows up darker or more intensely than I feel like it does for most folks.  And then people point it out.  I don’t know if this is a Marge-specific phenomenon or if people notice lip color more than other makeup.  If I doll my eyes up, people say, “Oh, that looks really nice!”  When I put on lip color, people say, “Oh, wow!  You’re wearing lipstick!”  And there’s no qualifier.  It’s just like, Hey, nice whore paint!  That’s what I feel like is going on, anyway.

Anyway, I think this is NYX’s attempt to keep up with the Kylie Lip Kit thing.  Full disclosure: you will NEVER see a review of anything the Klan is pushing up on my site.  NEVER.  I hate those trolls.  But liquid lipstick that produces severely matte lips with a possible side of chola lip liner seems to be all the rage right now.  I think it looks insane and trashy as hell, but you know.  Trends.  I know that there’s a time and place for matte, but I personally prefer a hint of shine.  To me, too much matte – matte skin, lips, eyes, brows, blah – ages you to the heavens.  Kylie Jenner looks like a 40-year-old that’s been rode hard and put away wet, in my opinion.  I don’t like this look.  Why would you want to look old and hard?

In the words of Dolly Parton, it costs a lot of money to look this cheap.  Classy as trap house rap, so I’ll appropriately use a loose Chief Keef quote.  Plumped up matte lips and drawn on thick-ass eyebrows: that’s that shit I don’t like.  

So with all that background of information about why I don’t prefer matte, especially in its present incarnation, you’ll probably understand why I’m not feeling tons of love for this Liquid Suede stuff.  I actually don’t hate the notion of it.  It feels nice going on, and it’s not too tacky or anything like that.  It dries fine and all that.  I think maybe it was the color that threw me off.  They sent me a very pink color, and honestly, it’s too young for me.  It would sit great on a 17-year-old taking Kylie lookalike selfies, but it’s not a color that I could wear to work.  And frankly, I just wouldn’t wear it on a date or for a night out.  It ain’t me.  I do like loud colors, as state above, but there are some things that you just shouldn’t do, and this particular formula in that particular shade of pink over the age of 28 is one of them.  Twenty-five might be pushing it, really.

So if you like the Lip Kit/Jenner/Kardashian look that has ignited the makeup world thanks to Pimp Mama Kris & Co., this would probably be a great product for you  And more power to you.  Enjoy your youth and being able to wear whatever the fuck you want with impunity.  I would’ve worn sluttier outfits and done more with my makeup if I’d had the benefit of age’s wisdom.  But alas, that’s the irony of youth.

And also, I just fed into the Kardashian machine by talking about them.  Goddammit.

Makeup Forever Artist Palette #9

Again, full disclosure: I have not really done more than one look with this pallette because I don’t go out much, and the colors aren’t really what I would use for work.

I got this palette on sale from Sephora, so I can definitely say it was worth the money because I don’t think it topped out at more than $35, which I feel like is pretty decent for a MUFE palette.

The colors are gorgeous in person.  The pictures don’t really do them justice.  The packaging is good – cute Rocky Horror-esque lips on the front, mirror inside, and it’s magnetic, so the top won’t pop off when you’re traveling and just flap all over the place.  This is definitely something I’d throw in my travel bag and pack along for a weekend in the city.  I say that with a caveat, which I’ll address below.

You could do some daily wear looks with the neutrals, but let’s be honest: this thing is just begging for some out-there look that you can wear out to get crunk in the club.  The payoff on the colors is really good, and I wouldn’t expect any different from MUFE.  There are nine different colors ranging from hot fucking pink to emerald green and champagne.  (I love a good champagne – flattering on all.)  They are all shimmers, so no mattes to be seen here.

You’re going to kick me for sounding like an inconsistent asshole, but I do think it’s worthwhile to throw in one or two matte finishes in an eyeshadow palette. The reason I say that is because I like to have a matte neutral or two to use as a base, if possible.  Without that matte base, you’re going to wind up carrying another set of colors, and if you’re trying to travel light, that can be annoying.  Just throwing that out there.

Having made that gripe, I don’t feel like this is really a standalone palette.  Does that make sense to anyone else?  When I say a standalone palette, I’m thinking of something like the UD Nude palette.  That fucker has everything.  You need exactly nothing else.  It can do all the heavy lifting by itself and throw out some baller looks with little effort.  This is not that palette.  This is a specialty palette that you throw in your bag to go to Chicago knowing that you’re going to have to throw in a good palette that has some “normal” colors, too.  And that brings me to my steal of the year…

(Photo credit to Vanity Rouge)

Maybelline “The Nudes” palette

Okay, ladies, you know that the Urban Decay Nude palette – the first one – is another “gold standard” in the makeup world and has been for years.  It’s gorgeous, it’s practical, and it’s worth the money.  The payoffs are good, the formulas are creamy, and you can take it anywhere.  It’s like meeting the perfect guy, and he’s not taken, divorced, or secretly into fetishes involving animals or clown outfits.

This palette is like meeting his cousin who makes a little bit less money but has a great little house where he mows the yard, vacuums regularly, and can even make puttanesca in his stupidly practical kitchen, if he’s really out to impress you when you come over.  (And he will because he’s that guy.)  In a nutshell, he’s a reliable soul who loves you to pieces and whom you’ll cast aside, forgotten like a barely-used tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm for a guy with a Harley and an arrest record.

This palette has twelve neutral shades – seven shimmers and five mattes for twelve excellent shades.  When I picked it up, I chuckled and started talking to myself, as I frequently do when I’m out in public.  “I wondered when the drugstore brands were going to start knocking off the old Nude palette.  Took long enough.”  I mean, seriously, that thing has been out forever.  They’re on the third iteration now, right?  I’ve never been a big Maybelline fan, frankly.  I’ve had their stuff before, and it’s usually just so-so.  I’ve always wanted to like Maybelline, and I really don’t, as a rule of thumb.  Kind of like I want to hate Revlon, and I fucking love everything Revlon that I’ve ever bought.  Dammit.

I put it back and then looked at the price and thought, Fuck it.  It’s $12.  If it sucks, I’ll give it to Brett and she can smear it all over her face and pretend she’s a princess.  Just like I do every morning. 

It lives in my eyeshadow drawer now, and Brett isn’t allowed to touch it.  Because it can do the heavy lifting.  It can do the lifting that the UD Nude palette can do.  And it does it very well.  I actually don’t own the Nude palette because it is a bit pricey, and I’ve never been in the notion to buy it when I had the money lying around.  I really can’t imagine that at the ~$50 price point that it’s that much better than this.

These shadows are great.  You might get better payoff on the dark brown and black mattes, but the others are lovely.  The shimmers are stupendous.  And they are just really pretty on.  You can do tons of looks with this palette, as you would expect.  The last time I went out cavorting, I used this palette along with that Naked mica pigment, and it looked freaking awesome.  Seriously.  I was convinced well before that, but I looked good, and I’m not one of those people who is effortlessly good-looking.  It takes about 45 minutes, primer, foundation, blush, highlighter, concealer, more primer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and a lot of brushes to get it all done.  And this thing can do it.  I mean, not all of it, it’s not an octopus, but you know what I mean.

I loved it so much from day one that I bought it for my cube mate for her birthday.  I don’t know that she uses it, and she never reviewed it to me, but you know that I like something when I’m willing to recommend it and will spend money on something twice.  Because folks, I’m getting picky.  The older I get, the pickier I am.  And I am more than willing to leave cranky reviews about products that I don’t feel like were worth the money.  That’s how you know you’re getting older and have been a wage slave for a while – you write companies to express your extreme pleasure or mind-numbing irritation about their product or service.  Actually, this very thing was what led me to be anarcho-capitalist.  I realized that if I wrote to a company about their crappy service or whatever, I’d get an apologetic email, promises to do better next time, and a voucher for something free.  If you write to your congressman – and I used to all the damn time – you get a canned response from one of the worker drones that barely addresses the issue.  Threaten people’s livelihood and they will respond.

Anyway.  I love this palette.  It is worth your $12.  If you don’t have UD’s original Nude palette and the price is what’s been holding you back, I would strongly recommend this substitute.  Not having used the UD palette, perhaps I’m not qualified to make that judgment, but I honestly can’t believe that for the price difference that you’d be getting short-changed by opting for this one.  I just can’t.

 

I think the moral of today’s review story is that sometimes the major brands are really worth it, and the standard bearer products really do live up to their promises and all the rave reviews.  But overall, I would honestly say that quite often, the knock-offs will work reasonably well.  I don’t know that that was as true a few years ago, but I think a lot of the drugstore brands are doing a good job of keeping up with the high-end brands.  My advice is always that if you have the choice between two essentially similar products of roughly equivalent quality and one is significantly cheaper, get the cheaper one.  Nobody will ever know unless you tell them.

So.  If I had to choose only two of these products that I’ve reviewed and liked… It would be hard.  Because the ones I liked, I really liked.  And I’m not the easiest person to please.  Do a Griswold drumroll… My picks are…

It’s a 10.  Because I actually like the way my hair looks for the first time in my life.

NARS Orgasm blush.  Because it’s just that good.  But if I’d already had a blush that I loved, I would’ve put the Maybelline Nudes palette here.  So it was actually kind of a three-way.  Given the name of the blush, I’ll leave you at three-way.