The placebo-effect?

As mentioned before, I don't use anti-aging products.
It's not just because I think they're doing more damage than good (mentally, fucking with our perception of who we are and what we should be like), but because I am of the opinion that aging isn't a bad thing. I think of the body as a mindmap. Maybe even a scrapbook if you will.

But as Lipglossiping wrote in a recent post,
"The problem with being a total beauty nut is that I find myself noticing flaws in my appearance that I’m sure wouldn’t really bother the average woman my age."
the more I get hooked on beauty-products, the more I start to question my standpoint.
It's almost as if reading about certain items gives birth to a craving. Alters my perception of what it's like to grow old(er), to age and to feel confident in my own skin. Makes me think that confidence could and should be bought.

But then again, I am starting to think that maybe this is all about the placebo-effect? These products don't do much but we think that if we didn’t use them, we’d be way worse off?!

I am trying to stick to my opinion that cosmetics and so-called beauty-products should be about having fun and not hiding who you are and what you look like, but every now and then, I must confess that it's not written in stone.

What's your take on it all?

No town for a polish-a-holic

Had a look around town to see what was new and what was not. Realized I live in a town where the stores do not believe in updating their Depend and Viva la Diva-displays, so the latest collections were nowhere to be found. Too bad because I had actually saved up some money to be spend on cutesy cute polish.
The same went for OPI and China Glaze. 15-20 polishes, all basic colors. Nobody had heard of Orly. I guess Transdesign dropping us european customers will either leave us desperate for anything or if we're lucky, push the local vendours into carrying these brands as well?
However, I did get my hands on the new matte topcoat from Isadora. It wasn't an easy task though, had to go to 4 stores before I found one that had it in stock.
I am not much for matte polishes (I prefer a satin finish) but a tiny bottle like this means one can testdrive a few matte nails without adding yet another big ottle to the unused shelf.
But don't be fooled by the low price. It's only a tiny bottle, 6 ml, for 69SEK ($9.50) means that if you know you like matte, you might as well go for some of the other brands as it's not a cheap polish per se.

In all, I didn't do much shopping because there wasn't anything thrilling to be bought. Imagine that?
Thank God for Ebay.

(I realize that there is a matte polish from Essie that goes by the name Matte about you, but when I edited the picture, that didn't even cross my mind)

Shaken, not stirred

I might have to retract some things said. Especially since I am listening to the Gits right now. That fugly Golden green polish seems like it was made for wearing while listening to the Gits. That is, if I would have come across Golden Green 15 or 20 years ago, I guess I would have loved it. All I wore back then were bronze and other metallic shimmers. I guess grunge really got to me, right?

However, when I said the polish was bad, I meant it. My polish is not doing well. Picture on the right is taken less than 6 hours after having applied a fifth layer of it on my nails. You can see two distinct layers and the golden shimmer in the green is lumping together. Why is that? Does anybody know what happened to this poor polish?

But I must confess, seeing this picture reminds me that I want a nice royal blue jelly-polish really bad. Maybe not even a jelly, but a sheer? That would be fine.

It's my party and I cry if I want to

Don't believe the hype is said for a reason.
Most of the time, I take pride in not taking in what's trendy, what's now and what's a so-called must have. But at other times, usually when the hype is about something green, organic or by a small indie-company, I don't just believe the hype, I go shopping!

Below are 3 big reasons why I should never ever listen to when people say that something is perfect, to die for or a must have. Just like that nasty Maybelline mascara in a lovely lime and pink packaging, these are not what they seem.
Scratch nails is a small swedish company that doesn't launch any big extravagant theme collections, but that means they also have a pretty standard selection that doesn't raise any eyebrows. That is, except this polish which I read about everywhere. The name is Green gold and the color makes me think of fairies, green moss and toads. Quite lovely, isn't it?
In the bottle it is. On the nails it's crap-a-roo, a streaky mess that leaves you with a sand-papery finish and nails that makes you look like you've been dead for two months and a half. Plus, it was the smelliest polish I have yet to come across.
The only good thing about this adventure with Green gold is that I bought the bottle on Ebay/Tradera and it cost me next to nothing.

Number 2 on the list has been with me for a while and can't be given away as nobody I know even wants to go near it. It's a temple balm, Flying fox, by the lovely company Lush but as with a lot of other Lush products, it doesn't smell nice, it's just smelly. This fragrance is so strong it's migraine-inducing and has made a bit weary of Lush's products as this is not the first time I've come across products that are just over the top and then some.

Number 3 had the organic allure. That and being a body butter. I like the idea of it being called butter. Indulgence and extravagance. Bathing in milk and telling the poor they should eat cake if they're out of bread.
It's Southern Belle body butter.
However, my butter came with lumps of what feels like stearic acid but after having read the ingredients, I am guessing it's the glyceryl stearate that's lumpy? So, I didn't get the feeling of butter but of old porridge. Now, it may not be tested on animals and it may be 72% organic, but no porridge is making my skin softer. The smell might be lovely, but if it stays in lumps on my skin, it doesn't really matter.

It saves, it saves

Ever since I was a tiny toddler, I've been picking at my cuticles. It always felt as if the skin around my nails was itching, so I had to tear it off in big chunks. Whether or not I had issues, is a completely different story which you can read about elsewhere, but whatever the reason was, my fingertips, sometimes even down to the knuckles, were always red from dried blood.

So, what does a girl do? Seeks help, goes to therapy, watch Dr Phil? She does neither. She get's hooked on nailpolish. I think it was Stargazer and it was sold locally, which in retrospect seems rather odd. This small, rather posh village had a beautyshop that had a big stock of old Stargazer polishes. There among the cute shimmery pinks and the nude french manicure polishes, you could find green polish with big chunks of gold glitter. It was like finding Dame Edna next to Tyra Banks, you were knocked off your feet. Before I knew it, I was a 18 year old collecting nailpolishes that were so anti-grunge (this was in 94) my dr Martens wanted to crawl off my feet. Before I knew it, my skin wasn't bleeding anymore. I don't even remember the transition, how it all happened but my guess is I was so bedazzled by the polish that I forgot to massacre my fingers. If the nails were all Joan Collins, the cuticles couldn't be Terror on Elm Street, could they?

I still tend to do that when my head's in the barrel, pick at my cuticles and dig my nails into my skin. Still, at 33.
That is, unless I wear polish. I guess that somewhere deep down I am thinking it's a waste of good polish?

The polish in the picture right is Essie's Jag-U-Are, which has had both me and my kid gasping for air. The color makes me think of the tale of the girl with the ruby red shoes, the color that makes you forget about anything else.

Pretty in pink and raving zombie in black

There's been a couple of raised eyebrows concerning this blog.
Not about the content itself but the author - does she really care about that? She doesn't look like it. She doesn't seem like the type.
I guess we have a stereotype lurking in the back of our minds, that it's the pretty blond cheerleader-type that's salivating over limited edition eyeshadows on Ebay or the latest collections from China Glaze. That she's the one writing all these blogs on superficial matters while the rest of us are out there fighting world poverty and saving the whales.
The idea that this interest, makeup, is worth less than golfing, collecting Pez or freeform crochet.
That it's superficial, egocentric and lacks any sort of creative output.
I am guessing that the people who are of that opinion have never ever seen posts like Jangsara's, Dr Frankenpolish or Purity.

But then again, sometimes it's just about color. That color.
The color that got me hooked and back on the makeup-junkie wagon was black. More precisely, last year when H&M carried the black lipgloss pictured above. Suddenly, among the cute nude and pale pink, was a gloss that made you look like a raving zombie. Suddenly, makeup was fun again.

Cheapo and the vanishing makeup

Ever since I first heard about MAC's Greasepaint, I've been wanting one. Ever since I saw Ivonne's photo of her with said product, I knew I had to get it or something like it.
Seeing as that particular line won't launch over here and my wallet is too thin to take on ordering and shipping from the States, I decided to go cheap. I read, googled, read and googled some more.
After a while I finally came across something I knew I had seen and that I could get my hands on. Somebody somewhere told me that Sally Hansen's old Color sticks was similar to Greasepaint and as I remembered having seen them online at our swedish Ebay (aka Tradera), I put a bid on them. For less than $5, I had 3 Color sticks in my hand.

This morning, I tried it out and well, it wasn't all that greasy but they felt more like crayons than eyeliners, so it was a go. 2 hours later, a long dogwalk later, I snapped this photo of what was left of my Delicate blue from Sally Hansen.

Greasy, ain't it? So greasy, it melted away and left a babyblue mess. Lilac racoon-eyes.

Now, if I could only find the person that told me that Sally Hansen's Colorsticks were deadringers for Greasepaint sticks and I would grease them up alright...
Lesson learned - this is what you get for being cheap.

It's not classic like an old Amazon Volvo, but hey, it's working

Sweet Helena over at Lipgloss bitch throws a challenge at her readers - What's their classic eyemakeup that they keep on doing over and over no matter what season, trend or weather?
Well, she didn't write that last part, I added it because that's what I do - I don't care about what and when if I like something.

My pièce de résistance is probably not something to show off but as I am pretty confident I'm going to stand out like a yellow-eyed bird among pretties, I'm posting it anyways.
It's a basic black (mascara and thin eyeliner) + something so colorful it will singe your eyes which in this case is an old yellow from Make up Store. This color in particular has been discontinued but is my all time favorite even though it's somewhat chalky and doesn't flatter me at all. Sometimes, it's not yellow I am going for, but lime (Noisy from Face Stockholm), green (Stillness, discontinued from Face Stockholm) or turquoise (Aquarius from Make up Store). The eyeshadow is smeared on the outer part of the lid up to the crease using a finger of your choice. Yes Mam, I don't even use brushes...

As you can see, I am not only staying true to my roots by only using Swedish brands (heh..), but also to my style icon of all time, Cyndi Lauper.

I don't use plumpers, I'm plump as it is

I am at that age where I am supposed to want to look and feel younger. Where I am supposed to act my age, but still pretend I have the skin of a 17 year old. Not just pretend, but pamper, disguise and alter. Make sure that my skintone is even, pores are minimized and all dark spots are taken care of . Everything that proves I am human is to be covered up.

That mentality worries me. What and how I look today is a result of all that has happened until just now. The good and the bad. It's a map, my own private mindmap.
That being said, I don't use anti-wrinkle products and anything that's whitening isn't coming near my skin. Restylane, botox or collagen-filled plumpers, no thank you.
However, if it's something hotpink, turquoise or maybe a nice neon yellow, bring it on and I'll slather it on like it's 1983. Because I honestly feel that cosmetics and skincare should be about having fun and living your own life.

So, once more for the record - this is not a blog where you will ever find info on good anti-aging products because I personally find that to be (pardon my french) complete and utter bollocks.

The perfect red

I didn't believe my luck when I scored the perfect red nailpolish for next to nothing. It's not just the perfect red, a cold blueish crimson, but it's the holy grail of reds. That and it's Orly. When I came across Orly's Cashmere Cardigan last year, it was love at first sight. Unlike bloggers en masse, I like Orly. To be honest, I don't just like Orly, I think I love them, their bottles, their userfriendly cap and their formula.

Being so infatuated with this brand, I have asked myself (and others) why Orly is a brand rarely mentioned on beautyblogs, but the only answer seems to be that they're not slaves to the trends and they don't send out as much pr-material and samples as the other companies do. Maybe they aren't even targeting that market and have decided that the (not so) young and hip is not for them? Whatever the reason may be, I rarely seem them mentioned on blogs unless it's about the Foil collection and that is the only collection I wouldn't even look twice at. I think I may just have worked too many years in a kitchen to fall in love with the copper saucepan-look.

So, what is this perfect red called? It's called Mandalay Ruby and pictured above next to the red that used to be my favorite, Eyeko's Red hot. While I still think Red hot and the candy it's been named after (my all time favorite) is one damn good red, Eyeko's polishes are far from top notch and unfortunately, I have yet to come across a polish that chips faster than the before mentioned. It's too bad as I really like Eyeko as a brand - fun, cute, colorful, sparkly and cheap. The focus seems to be about playing with colors rather than being the prettiest of them all, which is something I fully support. Have fun, you can go for pretty when you're old.

I don't want your money honey, I want your love

I am nowhere near being a makeup snob. Trendy brands, makeup-artists, what celebrities wear what - I just couldn't care less.
That means that when you take a look at my stash, you might find some things that some of you might consider slightly unsettling. The sensitive should look away for I am to present to you my favorite trio which might be what most people would consider a bust, incredibly tacky or novelties.

Like for instance, Jessica Simpson's Dessert Treats and Dessert Beauty. Did you test it? Even after you saw the horrible ads with words such as kissable, sexy and tasty? Did you buy it? Did you even, ehum, like it?
I did. My favorite 3-in-1 product comes from Dessert Beauty and is a creme blush called Sweet Cheeks. The shade is called Juicy and is a bubblegum-pink that works on my cheekbones, eyelids and lips.

Number two on my beloved list is from a brand that is an either or. Either you like it or you think it's a waste of good money. We're talking Maybelline. I have grown fond of their lipsticks but for some odd reason, it always happens when they're discontinued. I'm always too late to get on the train.
Below is Wet shine lipstick in the shade Cherry rain.

Then there's my third product that could be considered a Oh no, she didn't, but yes she did and she does like Rimmel. The cheapest of all cheap makeupbrands I have ever come across and I consider it to be quite fun and daring. A sign of me getting old perhaps?
The formulas might not be awardwinning, but every now and then they hit the nail on the head as they did with this product. Metallic stars, it's a roll-on eyeshadow in nifty packaging that means you will never ever have a bag full of eyeshadow. My shade is called Star slam and is a pastel-pink with blue shimmer.

This is what it looks on. The blue shimmer is more direct when applied wet and blended it looks purple.

Smell you later

It's a good day when you find an untried polish at the back of the polish-shelf.
It's almost better than shopping because you feel like you've gained something, gotten it for free.
It's a great day when the polish in question exceeds your expectations.

This was an orange polish from danish variety store Tiger. On the nail it's not orange but more neon-red and it's a dream to apply. It smells like Toxic Avenger's hut but it's free of the evil trio.

A good day, it is. (But with that smell, this polish is getting no where near my kid..)

Psst: While we're on the subject of cheap things, I love the blog Nouveau cheap.. While a lot of beautybloggers seem to sneer at all makeup that isn't high-end, this blogger makes it an art getting a lot for as little as possible.

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

As the name Rugby beauty implicates, I am not a delicate cutesy-cute girl. I don't use a night-cream nor an eyecream. I have never been at a salon and my hair has been left to do with as I please since I was 12.

If this was Hollywood, somebody would come along, pity me and within 75 minutes, I'd be Cinderella at the ball snogging some has-been like Adam Sandler or Ben Affleck.
Good riddance this isn't Hollywood and I don't need to be rescued!

However, in retrospect, it does seem somewhat odd that I ended up here like this. My stepmother was all about high-end makeup and high-end accessories. The type of woman that didn't just buy the cute LV handbag (real of course) but the whole set that went with it. She had creams for everything and never left the house without her face immaculate.

And, can you imagine, my first makeup-purchase was Lancôme. At 14, I bought Lancômes Liquid eyeliner. I think it was the discontinued Maquiglacé Lumineuse and I still consider it the holy grail of all makeup ever. My makeup was all about Lancôme and I still consider their mascaras to be the best on the market. From there I went on to using Clinique for my skincare and as a teenager, I praised the 3-step skincare line.

My latest purchase was makeup-remover on sale at my local supermarket. Before that, the Preppy pink nailpolish at HM. That's one mighty big step from Lancôme and Clinique.
How did I end up here?

And on the 4th day, she removed the polish

I have a confession to make. A bad review to retract and a quick judgement to regret:

OPI's Yes... I Can-Can is not a bad nailpolish.

It's not among the worst I have tried and no, it's not only worth it's buck because of the lovely hue - it's also worthy all of your money because it's one goddamn fine nailpolish!

How so?
As mentioned earlier, I have a 3 year old kid, a 2 year old dog and a mighty fine allotment that requires that my hands get dirty more often than not.
Granted, the OPI polish did chip within a few hours, but then it seemed to get it's act together and did hold up for 3 days of playing fetch, dogwrestling and lego-juggling. That with no base-coat and no top-coat.
That's good enough for some rugby beauty, right?!


Blogger Crystaliciousss has a rather colorful giveaway that ends tomorrow.
Personally, I wouldn't mind that LA Colors palette or that vampy plum polish from Jessica.
So, what's the hook? Well, have a read...and not just because of the giveaway.

To shop or not to shop

Just yesterday, I found Head2Toe and Transdesign. Buying nailpolish online wasn't something that had occurred to me. Sure, I do the occasional Tradera as well as Ebay, but shipping colorful liquids in glass, well, if it goes wrong, it ends in a terribly mess.

I spend an hour ogling the colors and more importantly, ogling the prises!
Say I wanted Opi's Suzi Says Feng Shui, (and tell you, I do!) I'd pay  $4.99 for a bottle at Transdesign but if I were to get it locally, I would have to pay 150 SEK, which is about $20.50. Granted, shipping and handling from the States ti Sweden would mean that I'd a little more, but in the end, it's a substatiable difference. No wonder european lackoholics turn west!

But, then again, if we buy everything online, chances are we're putting the local stores and salons out of business. Do we really want that?
Then there's that other aspect,  the green aspect that's always nagging at the back of my head.
Think about the environment and buy from the source or do you support your local store? Or is it better to ship en masse to the local store or to buy individually from the source? But then again, all these online shops aren't really the source, are they? They're just the closest we get to it.

Maybe I think too much, but buying something is not just cash for item. What I buy where and when matters. Even if it's something as toxic as nailpolish.

What did you wear last Thursday?

Hopping around from one user on Google friends-connect (aka Followers) to another, I found this gem:
365 days of makeup
We've all seen the 365-projects where the focus is on clothes or portraiture, but makeup? I sure haven't. I would like to see more projects like this. If I had the energy to put on a different face (pun intended) every day, I would probably do it aswell. If nothing else, it might kickstart my inspiration, don't you think?

What did you learn today?

At the age of 32, I realized that concealer was a good thing.
Now at 33, I've realized the difference a little color on the eyebrows make.

The question is, what big secret am I going to unveil next year?

Pastels is the new black?

I have a confession to make:
I have gone pastels. I no longer just own one pastel nailpolish but two!
It all started with a classic that I have seen on many wishlists - Orly's Cashmere Cardigan. It's as lovely as suggested and on my durance-test (kid, dog, allotment) it passed with flying colors.
Somewhere along the way I realized that maybe pastels weren't the enemy? When black, green and brown nailpolish is more common than red, maybe it is about time I go softie and turn my life into a pastel-wonderland? Ok, maybe not, but you get the idea. A milky pink or a soft latte-shade, it almost seems punk these days.

Therefor I went shopping for the new pastels at HM and of course, the minty polish was already sold out (all 3 shades are sold out online), so I went for the cutesy pink nailpolish Preppy Pink. I have yet to try it on, thinking it's a streaky one, but so far it's posing as a fancy ornament on the shelf.

(Speaking of HM and minty experiences, I noticed that my local HM finally had Bella's Choice back in stock. It sold out early on, but now there were plenty of bottles. I have yet to decide if I want this or if it's a waste of money.)

I am all Peg about it

Now, I am not one to look to trends or even know that remembers collections, but on Nihrida's blog I spotted a collection från Essence that's been on my mind since I read the entry.
The keyword in all of this is
I am a sucker for leopard-, zebra- and tigerprint on clothes, bags, shoes and basically anything. I guess what I am saying is that I dig Peg Bundy's fashionsense. Calling her a styleicon might be stretching it but in all honestly, not stretching it all that far.
So, when Essence, which is an affordable brand for those that wants to remain teens 'til they're retired, has a trend-collection called Into the wild (No Emile Hirsch, no Eddie Vedder), I'm all over it. That is mentally. Essence is still not sold in Sweden. I am hoping I can add a yet to that.