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Dedicated to successes, failures, learning experiences, and fantastic finds in makeup and beauty.


Pucker up and say... NOUBA

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 1:45PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

What began as an uneventful trip to the beauty supply store turned into a discovery of epic makeup proportions...

NOUBA cosmetics http://www.noubamakeup.com/ has set up camp in one of my neighborhood haunts. It sits in an unimpressive little display, tucked between Jane Iredale and some brand that I've never heard of. What attracted me was this:

Packaging look familiar? Close your eyes and it looks and feels just like NARS. According to the sales person, they're the folks behind NARS presentation. Francois, say it ain't so!

I don't really care, because NARS does not carry color 414... which IMMEDIATELY sold me on the brand. I can't even describe it. You'll have to go see the iridescent purply fuschia fabulousness for yourself! They call it a plumping gloss, but it doesn't plumps and it's just a bit glossy. I still don't care. The color and the staying power is completely and utterly fabulous.

From NOUBA, I purchased the alleged (but fabulous) plumping gloss in 414 and the volumizing mascara.... which is  equally fabulous. NOT CHEAP though. Think of NARS prices, and that'll keep you in the proper $$$ range.

So far, LOVING IT! I hope to see more from them in the future.


Lashing Out

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 10:01PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

I have decent eyelashes. Could they be longer? Sure. But it's not something I really obsess about. In my world, the sparsest lashes can be spruced up with a fantastic mascara or a pair of falsies.

Still, the rapidly expanding market of 'lash growth' has my attention.

I'd recently heard about Enormous Lash by Beauty Society;  a company that is apparently known for its lash growth serum. They've been on a marketing blitz to introduce the world to their mascara, which apparently contains some of the same magic ingredients to make your lashes grow.

Nordstrom is touting it as some kind of fabulousness that you simply MUST have. They're even carrying a 'set' with the serum, mascara, brow formula and eyeliner for 119.00. Apparently the serum alone is 95.00. So I imagine it's a bargain if you simply must have it. I simply must not. But I was curious enough to try the mascara.

Like any girl excited about a new thing, I applied a coat to my bare lashes the second I got into my car. OUCH! A worded description simply will not do the sensation justice. It was a slow burn, that began at the base of my lashes and made its way to my eyeball. I immediately removed it.

Doubt crept in... perhaps I'd used it improperly? I tried the next day, being careful to avoid the very base of my lashes, and only really minding the tips. It took a little longer, but eventually the burn once again found its way to the base of my lashline, and to my eyeball.

It's going back to Nordstrom tomorrow. I like the idea of a mascara that contains a growth serum, but I like the idea of my eyesight a lot more.



Take A Brow...

Wed, 03/17/2010 - 5:24PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

I'll admit, I can't remember the last time I dealt with my own eyebrows. Perhaps it's selective memory loss, since I can recall several incidents of holes in the general shape (and I use the term 'shape' loosely), bad arches, and unintended baldness.

To date, a wonderfully talented (but unreliable) brow technician has taken care of me. She does wonders with my disobedient brow hairs, and always leaves me looking perfectly groomed. But as of late, her artistic (flighty) behavior has left me with two dash marks for eyebrows... she has cancelled my last two appointments, and I have a public apperance tonight that demands that I look more like myself and less like Freida Khalo.

So I've enlisted the help of the following experts to help me look my best:


This new pencil from Christian Dior works wonders because it DOESN'T MOVE. And the brunette color is ashy enough (People please never NEVER use a black brow pencil. Dark skinned people: say NO to warm brown pencils... go for the ash) to fill in the spaces between my black eyebrow hairs. I like just about everything about it EXCEPT it doesn't come with a top. Notice the lack of top in the picture... It comes like that. I literally ripped the packaging apart looking for the top. It doesn't exist.

Givenchy makes a pencil that actually comes with a top... and a lovely 'powdery' formula that doesn't imitate that unmistakable sheen that you get from a grease pencil. People with 'half brows' know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. This one goes on like a powder, but gives you the precision of a pencil. But, the color is a bit warm for me. Their 'brunette' color is more like a dark golden brown. No thanks.


Shu Uemura makes a most EXCELLENT shade of  'Seal Brown' that's so ashy that you might mistake it for black. It's not. It's also formulated to ONLY color the hairs of your brows. That means, if you need to draw on skin, try something else. This one will NOT transfer to skin... anywhere. Yes, I tried.

Those are my top three picks. None are perfect, but all offer something unique and stand alone as quality products that will have you put your best brow forward. Now, if I can just master the perfect arch...


YSL: The answer to Shu Uemura 050

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 4:23PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -


Perhaps I'm a bit impulsive. I admit it; I see something that I like and find that it's discontinued and my brain says BUY THEM ALL! Such is true about the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited 050 (see previous posts).

Alas, I may have acted too quickly.

YSL seems to have answered the call for a not quite pink, not quite purple lipstick color... with their Rouge Volupte lipstick in FORBIDDEN BURGUNDY:

I have NO IDEA why it's called burgundy. It's not. Not even close. It's like a berry with a purple twist. And it changes, depending on who's wearing it. On paler complexions, it looks like more of a berry. But on darker skin tones, that purple streak sneaks up and just beautifies the entire experience.

Add that to the UNMATCHED moisturizing and pigmentation properties of this lipstick, and we have a winner! It's not cheap (34.00), but it's worth it if this is a color you know you'll wear. The Rouge Volupte lipsticks act as a lipstick and a gloss. You don't need ANYTHING else to make them lovely. You can put them on dried out chapped lips and they will plump right up.

I know this to  be true...

I'm not ashamed to say that I've tried it.





Self Portrait...

Wed, 03/03/2010 - 2:37PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

Model: Me

Makeup Artist: Me



RMK Creamy Base MAT 
Shu Uemura Architect Cream Foundation


<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">EYES:

MAC Bare Study (PAINT)</span>

MAC Indianwood (PAINT)

<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">MAC Artifact (PAINT)
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Bourbon 

MAC in Lilyland Beauty Powder (CHEEKS)

NARS Toundra Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (LIPS)</span>

Most of the makeup was applied with fingers (the paints sort of demand it). I wanted to test the actual longevity of the RMK Base. I must say, it lived up to expectations!

Now, if I could just get them to start selling in the united states...


Fri, 02/26/2010 - 5:27PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

Model: Crystal T

Makeup Artist: Peter (Melrose Lightspace)

Location: WEST LA




Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

MAC Blush in Feeling



MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study

MAC Paint Pot in Indianwood

MAC Paint Pot in Delft

Sleek Original Palette (black based blue)

Shu Uemura Painting Gel Eyeliner in Black

Smoke & Mirrors False Lashes

Givenchy Eye Pencil in Beige



NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Toundra

YSL Golden Gloss #1


Stroke of Genius...

Tue, 02/16/2010 - 9:47PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -


Makers of, quite possibly, the best brushes I've ever used. They rival Shu Uemura in quality and price... but that's not what makes them special. The unique craftmanship of each series is simply breathtaking.

And to further delight you, the customer service is UNMATCHED. Based on my experiences with my very first purchase, I can tell you that Hakuhodo has a customer for life.

They'll be at the The Makeup Show in LA on February 28th, and I do believe they'll be at IMATS in June. Pending any tragedy, I'll be there too... live and in technicolor!


Room for Improvement...

Tue, 02/16/2010 - 11:06AM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

Sometimes we recognize it. More often than not, we don't. Since I became familiar with MAC many moons ago, every attempt to put out a functional mascara has been met with criticism. Too light, too heavy, too drying, too clumpy... or just plain bad. Until This:


They finally did it! This stuff is AWESOME. I bought it with some hesitation, based on past performance. But I must say, they recognized the room for improvement and took the steps to make a mascara worthy of the MAC name. Goes on clean, doesn't clump/flake/dry out or fall apart! I've put on one coat... I've put on 10 coats. It applies beautifully and dries soft...

I love it.

I'm nearly done with my first tube. I'll be heading back to MAC soon to pick up a few more.


Actual work vs. Plastic work

Mon, 02/15/2010 - 9:49PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

This is an old topic. REALLY old, and probably a losing battle. I've heard many respected artists go off about it, likely to no end. Things will get airbrushed. Photos will be retouched (let's be honest: sometimes they really need it), features will be 'refreshed.'

But I feel like when we get to the point where any normal human being can't see that the plastic veneer being passed off as skin isn't airbrushed (and not remotely close to reality), someone has to say something... AGAIN.

And no, I'm not talking about airbrushing for art or effect. I'm talking about plastic, poreless featureless faces being passed off as some sort of realistic ideal. As if a makeup artist's brush, or a photographer's lens, actually created that effect. Instead of the reality; that seconds (for the lazy ones who go over it with a wide blur) or hours of 'retouching' took place to make the picture what it is. Not just removing blemishes from the skin... but adding light and highlight and altering features. It's frustrating, because any 'work' put in by the artist is lost. It is. And honestly, anyone who passes these glossy plastic images off as the work of a makeup airbrush is lying to themselves, and their potential clients.

A model once mentioned that she judges makeup artists by the ratio of 'real' to 'plastic' photos in their books. It made me pause. It also made me brave enough to post raw photos of my work. I get PLENTY of criticism from alleged artists and pedestrians about it... and I've developed a thicker skin about it. It gives me a clear eye about what I've ACTUALLY done with the tools in my kit... not what a retouching expert has done with the tools on his/her hard drive.



Mon, 02/15/2010 - 7:51PM by ingenue01 0 Comments -

I have a lovely mark on my face... courtesy of ME. I've been cooking for 20 years... I can COUNT the number of mishaps I've had in the kitchen. But this has been a particularly memorable week.

Yesterday, while fussing and slicing lettuce (perhaps a universal warning that I ought not multitask everything), I sliced open the back of my finger. OUCH. I've since patched it up and done the best I can to live life normally (typing is a bit of a strain... which is a problem for obvious reasons).

Today, while dumping sliced onions into hot olive oil... I managed to catch the PERFECT CIRCULAR DROP on my forehead! Really? REALLY???? It's awful. I have a lovely white mark, surrounded by pink flesh on my forehead.


I wonder what makeup trick I've got stashed away to take care of this little discoloration... before it heals. In the meantime, I've cleaned it and splashed it with a little HABIBI Oatmeal & Peppermint Face Moisturizer. It's cooling and healing. I'll pack it with Neosporin, Vitamin E, and prayer and hope that it clears up over the next week or so.