A few days late but here are my favorites from the month of August. Not much new. I’m usually pretty loyal to shades, if not to certain products.
I’m still loving the N.Y.C. Blushable Creme Sticks. For August, I got a lot of use out of South St. Seashell. It gives the most natural looking sun kissed bronzy color. It’s hard to go wrong with this shade because it’s so blendable as well as buildable in color. I haven’t even touched my powder bronzers this month!
I’ve been wearing my cheap-o $1 L.A. Colors Craze nail polish in Atomic on my toes all month. It’s such a fun, bright teal color. Love it!
On the days that I don’t wear South St. Seashell I opt for Maybelline Mineral loose powder blush in True Peach. This is another foolproof product. It gives my cheeks a natural peach flush, and is neither too pink nor too brown. It’s got a tiny bit of shimmer so it’s not totally flat matte but it’s so far from being a shimmer bomb; it just looks like my own skin but prettier.
I don’t usually wear eye makeup but I found myself reaching for the N.Y.C. waterproof eyeliner pencil in Bronze Gold a lot. I use it to line my upper lash line only. It just adds a little bit of oomph and summer fun without being over the top.
Lastly, I rediscovered my Prestige Sun Baked Mineral Bronzing Powder in Pure Shimmer. I don’t know why they call this particular shade a bronzer because it’s clearly a highlighter. Maybe Casper the Ghost would consider this a bronzer shade but even that’s iffy. Pure Shimmer is a gorgeous golden beige powder with fine shimmer. It’s a bit pricey for the drugstore (I think I got mine for $11 at Duane Reade) but it’s a seriously nice product.
Not much at the drugstore has been tempting me. I guess I’m waiting for all the Fall/Halloween collections to come out. Of the Fall collections that have already hit the stores, I haven’t really been all that impressed.
I’ve been on the hunt for some nice berry and plum colored nail polishes in preparation for the autumn, so I picked up the two Limited Edition shades from N.Y.C.’s Berry Bloom collection. From left to right the colors are: N.Y.C. Peony, N.Y.C. Mulberry Frost, and NK (that stands for Nicka K) African Violet.
I think something went wrong at the N.Y.C. factory and somehow the stickers for Peony and Mulberry Frost were switched because, to my eye, dark purple Peony is the color that’s slightly frosty and bright fuchsia Mulberry Frost looks like a creme finish.
The other items in the Limited Edition N.Y.C. display really didn’t impress me all that much. If you haven’t already seen it, it looks somewhat like this promo/teaser photo that was released a few weeks ago.
The actual display that I saw in person is different. The front row has two shades of lip gloss squeeze tubes x2 on the left, two shades of glosses in round packaging x2 in the center, and two shades of nail polishes x2 in the front row on the right. In the back row are two shades of Cheek Glow blushes x2 (a rose and a bright berry), two shades of roller ball shimmery eyeshadows x2, and one eyeshadow palette x2 consisting of berry shades.
When I saw the promo pic, I thought the rose shaped compact looking thing would be a powder. No. In reality they’re lip glosses in cheap black plastic packaging with a clear plastic flip top. A rose design is embossed into the gloss, so the gloss itself is a raised 3D rose shape about the size of a half-dollar coin.
I was hoping for new Blushable Creme Stick shades but since there weren’t any I decided to pass on everything except the nail polishes. I love me some N.Y.C. Quick Dry polishes 😀
I’d heard that wet N wild had reformulated their eyeliner pencils to a creamier texture and that they’re now part of the ColorIcon collection. My HG brow pencil is their eyeliner/brow pencil in Taupe – it seriously looks the most natural on my brown black hair – and I wanted to know if anything significant had been changed. I ended up buying one ColorIcon pencil in Taupe and another in Bronze (hoping it would be a cheaper dupe to my Limited Edition N.Y.C. Bronze Gold pencil).
I also heard from several people that the N.Y.C. eyeliner/brow pencil is comparable to wet N wild’s so I wanted to give it a shot. N.Y.C. also makes a Taupe pencil that costs 99 cents so I decided to get one to compare.
Just looking at the N.Y.C. and wet N wild Taupe pencils side by side it’s hard to see any difference (top/left: N.Y.C. Taupe, bottom/right: wet N wild Taupe). I have a sneaking suspicion that they come from the same factory. The length, the shape, the cut, and the packaging all look so similar. Both of them are also made in Mexico.
The differences become apparent when swatched. From left to right, the swatches are: wet N wild Taupe, wet N wild ColorIcon Taupe, and N.Y.C. Taupe. As you can see, the old Taupe pencil and the new ColorIcon Taupe pencil are definitely different in terms of color. The old Taupe is more brown whereas the new Taupe is more grey. I haven’t tried the new pencil on my brows yet so I have no idea if it’s an improvement yet but I have a feeling the darker, more greyish tones will be a better color match for me. We’ll see.
The N.Y.C. Taupe pencil is much more red compared to either wet N wild pencil. This color would definitely not be good for my brows, so I guess it’ll be serving eyeliner duty.
As for the wet N wild ColorIcon Bronze pencil…so NOT a dupe of the N.Y.C. Bronze Gold pencil. The ColorIcon pencil (left) is pretty but is much more reddish/copper compared to the more golden N.Y.C. pencil (right).
For lunch today I went to a newly opened Popeyes. Restaurants in the NYC area are now being inspected and graded by the Department of Health on a letter system and this new Popeyes had an A rating. Hmm…let’s see what they’re rated a year from now. A KFC restaurant a block away was closed last year for health violations and the building has been vacant ever since. Will that be Popeyes’ fate in a year or two?
Prior to today, I’d only been to Popeyes once in my life and that was a long time ago. Popeyes simply isn’t as ubiquitous as other fast food joints where I live. I decided to remind myself whether I like their fried chicken or not.
One thing about Popeyes that I was disappointed by is their lack of cheap food options (i.e. a dollar menu). The most inexpensive item on the menu is what I ended up choosing: the 2 piece chicken meal that comes with a drink, a side, and a biscuit. I believe it came out to be around $6.50 after tax.
I have to say that Popeyes chicken looks very appealing to the eye but, honestly, I still prefer the Crispy chicken (sorry, not a fan of Original recipe) from Kentucky Fried Chicken. The crust on the Popeyes chicken is very crispy but it’s bland and lacks flavor, in my opinion. I have to say, though, that the chicken portions are very generous. I received one drumstick and one breast in my meal and the breast was much larger compared to KFC’s chicken breast portion.
For my side, I chose the cajun fries. Unfortunately, mine came slightly limp and soggy, not to mention very salty. Meh.
The biscuit that accompanied the meal didn’t seem to have as much rise as KFC’s biscuit; it definitely looks flatter. Also, the Popeyes biscuit had the distinct taste of margarine. Now, I always use butter in baking/cooking but I personally love the flavor of margarine on toast so to me this was a good thing. It’s also not as salty as KFC’s biscuit.
To top off my meal, I went to the Chinese grocery store to pick up some mooncakes. Yep, it’s that time of the year again. It’s almost time for the mid-Autumn festival! Yay.
This is the brand that I’ve grown up eating. I’m not sure what the brand is called in Chinese, and I don’t know if it’s the best/worst but it’s what I like and am used to. It’s one of my comfort foods. I think it’s a Taiwanese brand.
My favorite flavor and the only one I eat is Lotus Seed Paste. This particular brand has some pine nuts sprinkled throughout their filling.
The flavor I hate the most? Jujube (a.k.a. Date fruit) paste. Blech. It tastes like medicine to me. I’m also not fond of (but unlike the Jujube flavor, I can eat them if I have to) Cantonese-style mooncake fillings that have egg yolk and/or meat (ham, chicken, duck, etc., in combination with lotus seed (or sweet bean) paste. I like salty sweet combinations sometimes but not in my mooncakes!
The last part of my massively long post has to do with why I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks.
I had some relatives show up unexpectedly to stay. It was actually the rudest experience of my life.
I have a cousin that lives in France. He’s about 20 years older than me, and my dad considers him as a kid brother (there’s only a 10 year difference between my dad and my cousin). Anyway, my cousin called my dad up and asked if he and a friend could come to stay for a few weeks. They promised they would stay completely out of my dad’s way, he wouldn’t have to lift a finger (eta: they know that my dad is semi-retired and now runs an at-home business so he wouldn’t be playing tour guide for them). All they wanted to do was sight-see in NYC which they said they could do on their own but they needed a place to stay and the hotels were too expensive or filled up. My dad said okay, no problem, come on over. They could use the empty second floor but the upstairs was in mid-renovation. The carpeting was half torn out and the entire second floor was unfurnished. The little kitchenette area on the second floor also had a broken stove so they wouldn’t be able to cook. Would that be all right? They said sure, don’t go to any trouble, we’ll eat out and manage.
Fast forward to two days before their expected arrival. It turns out it wasn’t just my cousin and his friend coming to stay. It was my cousin’s family (him, his wife, and their two kids) plus his friend’s family (him, his wife, and their two kids). That’s eight people instead of the expected two!! What the hell? My dad can be a little absent minded sometimes but there’s no way he could’ve gotten that wrong. He was totally duped.
Since my sister and I hadn’t seen my cousin since I was two years old and my sis was a few months old, we had to stay over at my parents’ house as well to welcome them and chat them up, etc. while they were in America.
Then it turned out that they had made no plans for transportation from the airport and weren’t going to make any plans. So my dad had to drive out and pick them up. Twice! Because he has a sedan and can only take four people at a time. What the hell? We live on Long Island (and there’s a direct connection from JFK airport to our town via shuttle & train) so, luckily, my father only had to pick them up from the train station which is five minutes from our house. But, still, there’s a taxi dispatch right at the train station. You’d think they’d at least offer to take the taxi for at least half the party when they realized my dad had to make two trips.
But that’s not all! They stayed for a bit over two weeks, and for the rest of the two weeks my dad picked them up and dropped them off at the train station each day. That’s four trips per day!! You’d think that when they realized the inconvenience they were putting him through, they’d rent a car or finally hire a taxi! But no.
Also, my mother likes to stock extra pantry supplies on the second floor. Remember how my cousin told my dad that they’d handle the food on their own and eat out? Liars. The eight of them ended up ransacking the pantry and eating everything. Even the all-purpose flour which I don’t understand because what could they possibly do with it without a working stove? Months of clipping coupons and buying items only when they were on sale…gone. I don’t think my mother would have minded so much if only they had asked before they started devouring everything in sight.
But the worst thing is that they ended up clogging the toilet and plumbing and my dad had to end up calling a plumber. My dad had to shell out $200.
So they got a free place to stay, free transportation, and free food. What did my family get? Well, besides the expenses, they brought my dad some French dessert wines because he likes sweet liquor, they brought my mother and sister some jewelry, and they bought me some perfumes. I guess I can’t blame them for not knowing that I don’t really like scented things but looking at the whole situation if someone told me they did know and did it on purpose I wouldn’t be at all surprised.
I got a collection of Dior travel-size perfumes. The set of scents comes in a box designed to look like a gift bag. It’s actually kind of cute.
Inside you have a bottle of Miss Dior Cherie, Pure Poison, Dior Addict 2, Forever and Ever Dior, and Diorissimo.
I was the most excited to sniff Miss Dior Cherie but, woof, it stinks. I think it contains patchouli or something equally pungent and I’m very anti-patchouli.
Dior Addict 2 is even more overpowering in scent. Yikes. It reminds me of those older office ladies that I’m crushed up against on the subway sometimes, the ones that douse themselves in overly strong perfume.
My favorite of the bunch is Diorissimo which smells just like lilies of the valley. I grow them so the scent is quite familiar to me. My second favorite would be Forever and Ever Dior which is another mild floral scent. And my third favorite would be Pure Poison which is admittedly very old lady-ish and smells like beauty powder. However, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be using any of these perfumes because of my aversion to fragrances. The bottle are pretty to look at though.
After that visit from hell, is it any wonder that I entered a funk and didn’t want to blog for awhile? It was just a horrible experience. I really hope to never see them again. If I didn’t like house guests before, I do now. I still get cranky just thinking about it.