Monday, March 28, 2011


I have a zillion draft posts, I swear. Things just keep coming up that stop me from writing, like trying to balance 26 hours of work with full-time study and not be a complete hermit. It's gotten pretty stressful, my depression and anxiety have flared up and the stupidest things make me cry. Like yesterday when I was going to have breakfast with my boyfriend before work, but my phone put the time back an hour so I thought it was still 9am when he came to pick me up at 10am and I wasn't dressed.


Anyway I got my Sugarpill haul, which was my birthday present from my darling boy :) my new job has a strict policy in regards to makeup, I can only wear really soft and neutral shadows. So I've tried to play with Sugarpill as much as I can on my days off.

Here's a few looks and some matching nails:

Junebug and Tako
I wasn't really excited about Junebug since I have lots of green shadows already, but this is absolutely stunning in person

Buttercupcake, Flamepoint, a bit of Fyrinnae's Banana Mochi and Afterparty.
Inspired by this tshirt :) the crease was a lot brighter and more orangey in person. I had to use Banana Mochi over Buttercupcake because yellows just do not show up on my skin for some odd reason.

Afterparty and Midori, with High Voltage Outshined to highlight.  
I also did a matching manicure for this look, using China Glaze Starboard with Rokk 96 Moonlight layered over.
 I ended up with a ton of bubbling, but I only had it on for two days so it didn't bother me too much.

I'll try to take some photos of my work looks soon. The whole 'neutrals only' schtick is slowly growing on me - it helps that I have a fair bit of variety of textures, tones and companies to choose from.

Hopefully I'll be back on the bloggy horse soon, and I'll be able to finish the photos for the blog sale as well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review of Executive Assistant: Iris (issue #0)

Reading comics straight after creative writing workshops is GREAT for review purposes. Enjoyment, not so much. I started critiquing this straight away while I was reading! Not because it's bad, but because I had my "critical reading" hat on. I tried to stick to a straightforward review and keep some of my overly analytical comments to myself - I was doing some major "Ooh this word choice represents the paradox of blah blah blah"!

This is an older series (it began in 2009) that I've only recently gotten my hands on. It seems to have petered out at the end of last year, finishing with issue #5 (making it 6 issues long). I'm not sure if it actually finished there, or it just wasn't popular enough to continue.

I do love that this series' main protagonist is female. However I'm reserving judgement as to how well they develop her character.

This series looks to be full of bloodshed, secrecy and politics. Basically Iris' role as "executive assistant" includes being "a secretary, a bodyguard and an assassin". As to whether or not, as one of the unfortunate henchmen in this issue claims, she's also sleeping with her boss... We'll find out later. If she is I will most definitely stop reading - what would really make this series for me would be seeing a real divide and dichotomy between Iris at 'work' and her private life. I want contrast, I want to see that as well as being a cold-blooded obedient murderer, she's a woman too. Hopefully not a woman sleeping with her boss.

Anyway! I quite like the art so far, especially the viewpoints and the colouring. I wish Iris' business suit skirt was a bit longer and her assassins' costume was less "shiny", though. Sexualising female characters is a comic book 'thing' but I feel it takes away from how powerful and dangerous, and potentially complex she is. This is a gripe about the whole industry, I don't mean to single out this series at all. Artifacts does it too, even though several of the main characters are strong and powerful women.
In regards to this issue specifically, I have ONE bit of criticism which is a bit spoilery, so you might want to skip to the conclusion right at the end :)


The second to last page, when the comes into his daughter's room and sees her all bloody, I almost gasped out loud. It was a great set-up, great bit of plot/character development... But... I think that if we had SEEN Iris do that, it would have accomplished two things:

A) drawn out the moment of suspense a lot longer

B) told us far more about Iris' character

If she had walked into the child's room and stared at her sleeping face, perhaps straightened the blanket and smoothed her hair... Then have a frame from the child's level, looking at Iris' face... Then a close-up of the knife in Iris' hand... Then a frame with Iris lifting the knife... And then go into the sequence of the man hearing the "whump" and going to investigate?



My conclusion:
It's very promising! I'm going to try and get caught up on this series real quick, it might be a nice surprise in terms of story and character development. At this stage, I tentatively recommend picking it up. I think there is a trade version available if you'd like to take the risk and splurge on getting the whole story at once.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This is mostly for my make-up oriented readers: just letting you know I've been staring at my stash lately and going "Ehh, I hardly use most of this."

So early April I will be having a blog sale. It will pretty much be eyeshadows and nail polish only. ALL of it has been used, or at least swatched. I will try and be really accurate with the descriptions and take good photos so you know what you're getting into.

Eyeshadow brands will include:
Aromaleigh (some full sizes)
Evil Shades (some glitters)
Sobe Botanicals (some OOAKs)
Concrete Minerals
Sassy Minerals
Morgana Cryptoria (these will mostly be large samples in unstickered jars, I'm going to share out some of my fullsizes)
Sassy Minerals
Meow Cosmetics

Nail polish brands will include:
Mode (lots of it, heh)
China Glaze
Orly (minis)
Rokk 96
The Face Shop

I'm going to spend the rest of the month A) deciding what to get rid of, B) photographing stuff and C) trying to figure out some ballpark postage costs. All stuff WILL be available internationally, but I'll have to be careful with the nail polishes as international regs are a bit tricky, and they may be pretty pricey to ship because I'm totally paranoid about bottles breaking in transit.

Please comment to register your interest! If there's no interest, well... not much point in having it :P

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review and Swatches: Persephone Minerals

I ordered from Persephone Minerals after seeing Annamax's review and swatches. I had previously been a bit hesitant to order from Persephone as the product photos are... well, quite bad, to be blunt! I was really excited about two things: duochrome shadows and a SAILOR MOON collection! I used to love Sailor Moon when I was little. I'm seriously considering buying a DVD box set so I can indulge in some nostalgia :P

Victoria put together a custom order for me. I wanted to get all of the Sailor Senshi Crystal Power eyeshadows and a few other things too. I ordered sample jars as I find it hard to work with baggies. Victoria's response was prompt, the listing was up right away, my order was posted quickly and I got my package within about 14 days - super fast for international shipping!

They're slightly smaller in circumference than your usual 5g eyeshadow jars (that's a Fyrinnae mini on the left and a Persephone sample on the right) so they just made me AWWW when I opened the package. They're very clearly labelled on the bottom. Stickers are NOT waterproof and may get smeary if you're not careful with them.

Victoria very generously included a free sample jar of a new colour, Rampid. It's a bright fuschia, I didn't swatch it here because I gave it to a friend. I hardly ever wear pink, I actually doubled  my pink shadow collection just with this order!

The shadows are smooth, a little translucent (though they can be patted/layered on for complete opacity) and the Crystal Powers are amazingly duochrome. I didn't have a lot of pinks or golds in my collection before now. I would reccommend using Pixie Epoxy or a similar sticky base with these to get lasting power and the full effect of the colour shift. If you want the gold to stay a little more subtle, these work just fine without PE. I've done my swatches over Concrete Minerals primer.

Mercury Crystal Power: "amazing duochrome shift from gold to bright blue. It is chock full of sparkles of gold and pink."
This is ridiculously duochrome - the gold does tend to show a bit more than the blue, though. The pink sparkles are very subtle, which I like because I'm not a big fan of pink, and I think this colour is lovely just as a duochrome..

Jupiter Crystal Power: "a duochrome shift from bright green to gold complete with sparkles of gold and pink."
Goldy-lime green and gold duochrome. The pink sparkles do show up in this one, but it's a nice touch. I'd definitely reccommend PE for this, so the pink glitter stays the whole day.

Jupiter Oak Evolution: bold green overtaken by green and gold sparkle.

Not so sure I'd call this a 'bold' green. It's more of a deep foresty green, and has a slightly lighter sheen. I really love this one - I admit I was a lot more excited for the duochromes, but this is seriously beautiful - you could easily use it as a liner with PE. The glitter is very present in this one.

Mars Crystal Power: "this is one hell of a duochrome shift from bright red to gold, chock full of pink and gold sparkle! It looks like a pinkish color in the jar, but do not let that fool you!"
The disclaimer here is GOOD, because here's the jar:
The swatch:

I don't know if it was a disagreement with the primer, or if I rubbed it with the brush too much, but I ended up with a red streak that had a gold halo, rather than a proper duochrome like the other Crystal Power shades. I guess I'll need to experiment with this a bit more. I don't wear a lot of red shadow anyway, it's one of the colours I'm not really confident with unless it's on my lips/fingernails.

Mars Flame Sniper: "nice deep red, overloaded with red, orange, and gold microfine glitters." 

This is such a nice deep, almost maroon red and seems to have a slight pinkish sheen in some lights. I can actually see myself wearing this! The glitter is fabulous. Again, you'd probably want to use PE to get it to stay on your lids. I love this so much, I had to make myself put it away and keep swatching! I wanted to put it on and play with it.

Moon Prism Power: "A striking duochrome of blue and pink with the palest possible touch of blue so that the pink dominates. Topped off with lavish gold shimmer!"

Well, this is embarassing... the shadow is white in the jar, and then as soon as it is applied becomes a sparkly, iridescent fuschia sheen with a hint of gold glitter. I don't get any blue out of it. Could I get it to show up on camera? NO. I tried every light setting I could think of, tried flash, tried artificial lighting, tried natural lighting... no matter WHAT I did, the pics showed the shadow as a soft, shimmery white. I did a swatch over PE. I broke out my Nyx Jumbo pencils and swatched over Milk and Black Bean (it goes almost purple over Black Bean). More settings, lighting... and nada. Every picture it shows up plain white. I stuck my SD card in my computer and stared in disbelief at the sea of white swatches. Then suddenly...
It's a bit brighter and glowier in person, but it's NOT WHITE!

This is not the Pixie Epoxy shot. Or Nyx pencil, or flash or tungsten. It's the first shot I took, dry, in natural light with the macro setting. I just couldn't see it was pinkish til I looked at it on the computer. /facepalm.

Moon Crystal Power: "A shift from pink to gold, leaning more on the pink side when foiled."
Pretty, soft, girly. I will probably do a super-soft wash of this as a work look.

Venus Crystal Power: "this is a slight shift from orange to gold, chock full of pink and gold sparkle!"
This isn't really a duochrome to me, more like a slightly orangey gold. The pink glitter shows up really nicely in this swatch, but from a distance it's barely visible.

After all the crap that's been happening in the MMU world recently, it's refreshing to find a new company that makes quality products, has good customer service and takes criticism well. There are lots of positive reviews of Persephone Minerals just a Google search away, if you're wanting more opinions and swatches. Her prices are very fair as well, she does full-sized sets, sample sets both in bags and in jars.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to put the pretties away and do some studying. SIGH.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chew win!

Chew giveaway is now closed! I'm too cool for (I didn't think there was any point using it for three people :P), so I put the names on pieces of paper, screwed them up, and let my cat pick the winner. This was determined by which piece of paper she jumped on first.

And it is?...

(Cat's like, "Oh, so you wanted me to play with the paper? In that case, I'm not interested").

Because only three people entered the give-away, I've decided to offer Lillian and Florida Girl a copy of Chew issue1 as well! The official WINNAR, Silhouette is also going to get a copy of The Example, which is an amazing short comic from Gestalt Publishing, which I will review in the near-ish future :)

I'll be having lots more small give-aways over the next few weeks, and they will be sneakily hidden at the end of posts ;) so keep yer eyes open. A few more comic books, some makeup, some polish and also some perfume.

I'm going to go crawl into bed now. Winnarz, please email me at the.jade.carver at gmail dot com with your postage deets! I'll buy the other two comics on Wednesday after work, and I'll post them Friday at the latest. Lillian, the other two will get theirs before you do :( silly oceans!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tales of a Part-timer

**Please read my review of Chew if you haven't already, and comment on the review for a chance to win a copy of issue 1!**

You guys, I did it! I made it through my first week (by week I mean two days, I haven't done my weekend shifts yet) of part-time work (mostly) intact!

I look a bit tired because, er, I am, and also because I'm wearing NO MAKEUPS in this photo. I'm smiling behind the paper, I promise. I was going to do the whole cheesy thumbs-up thing, but I can't find my tripod at the moment. It's probably hiding under my couch cushions. One day I'll find a dust bunny under there the size of an actual bunny. Then I'll sell it on eBay.

These are some of the more entertaining thoughts that were running through my head over my first few shifts:
  • This POS system is so old I think that it might actually BE a dinosaur.
  • No, sir, I cannot give you a free display box worth $60 because you're buying a "lot" of coffee. FYI, you are not actually buying a lot of coffee.
  • Oh god which one did she say?! Just tell me the package colour please. On second thought, don't do that, because you'll say gold and then I'll have to ask you if you mean the pinky gold, the pale gold, the yellow gold or the copper gold... and then it will be bad (thank god there are only three reds, two greens and one that people keep referring to as blue but I swear it's purple... albeit a very bluish, cool lilac-y periwinkle-y colour).
Today I had the trial run of what I like to call the "doomsday race"... basically, I have classes from 8:30am to midday. Then I have to somehow:
1) Get changed into my work clothes.
2) Have lunch.
3) Get to Perth, which is an approx. 20 minute trip via public transport.
And I have to do all of this in one hour. Hence by the time I got to Perth it was 12:45 and I hadn't eaten yet. I ventured to the closest and least busy place-that-sells-food, which happened to be a great Japanese sushi bar. I got a Teriyaki chicken box which was about twice the size of the one I normally get (from a different shop). It was my first shift with the assistant manager so I was absolutely FREAKING out about being late and making a bad first impression, so I starting wolfing down my food like it was going out of fashion (funny phrase, but I can't think of anything similar right now).

I got the hiccups. I'm eating and freaking out trying to eat fast, and hiccuping, and thinking "oh NO, I have the hiccups, how long is this going to go for aaaah nobody is going to be able to take me seriously!..." and then they stopped. Normally when I have hiccups I have them for a good twenty or so minutes. By sheer force of will I made these ones go away. I didn't quite finish my food because I suddenly realised how much I'd eaten and I didn't want to make myself feel sick later, so I hurried off to work. The assistant manager is delightful, in case you're wondering.

One of the girls I worked with today will be on with me on Saturday, and she's already told me I can ask her anything at any time, which is so nice. Also my boyfriend has promised to get up (gasp!) on Sunday morning to have coffee with me before I go to work. It's not that early, don't worry, but I do feel a bit bad making him miss out on his weekend sleep-in. He's a tradie so he starts work at 5:30am.

More makeup reviews, swatches, comic and webcomic reviews are on the way! I was going to do 'a something' tonight but this will have to be it... I kinda sorta maybe haven't done my readings for class tomorrow (EEP) and I'm rather sleepy.

How are you all, any significant changes in the last few weeks? Read any good books lately? Had something funny happen to you or to someone you know? Share in the comments, or if it's something you'd rather not tell the whole interwebz, you can email me at the.jade.carver at gmail dot com. Or tweet me. I'm on Twitter all the freakin' time!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: Chew volume 1

I picked up volume 2 not so long ago, and was eager to review it, when I realised I never even did a proper review of volume 1! So, vol. 1 collects issues #1-5, and vol. 2 collects issues #6-10. I really like getting trades, because it's cheaper, you get nice little extra bits, and then you're not waiting torturously in-between issues. I only do trades of Chew, Buffy and Angel at the moment. I collect Deadpool mini-series singles, and if anything remotely Firefly/Serenity-related comes out I grab it no matter what format it is.

Alrighty. Chew takes place in a universe where bird flu became a massive pandemic, causing the keeping, cooking and eating of chicken to become illegal in most countries. Because of this, the FDA (food and drug association, of America) have become a special-ops type unit who investigate any reports of black-market poultry dealings.

The main character of the series is a cop named Tony Chu, who is a cibopath. Don't bother Googling it, as far as I can tell it's a term the creators of this comic whipped up. Basically it means that he gets psychic impressions from anything that he eats. Yep, eats. But fellow squeamish people, do not worry, this comic isn't ridiculously gory (a la Nemesis), despite the premise.

Please click on that cover to full-size it, I love the artwork in Chew, and especially the fact that Rob Guillory does the covers AND interior art, so the style is consisent. Yay, consistent!

My other favourite thing about this series is the banter. I'll freely admit I'm a sucker for witty banter. The relationship between Tony Chu and his partner John Colby is awesome. Where Tony is quiet, serious and focused, John is loud, flashy and careless. They hate each other. It's hilarious. Unfortunately their relationship doesn't last long, as John gets a meat cleaver to the head thanks to a serial killer in an illegal restaurant that he and Tony stumble across. Tony ends up being booted from the police force after he uses his, er, 'ability' to find out the names of the previous victims. He is subsequently recruited by the FDA by a mysterious, and humungous man named Mason Savoy.

Having read all the way up to volume three, I can tell you that this series is immaculately crafted. There are twists, there are turns, the alternate universe is close enough to our own to be scarily relateable, and differeent enough to be absolutely fascinating. The characters are so interesting, especially Tony's love interest, who has a special ability of her own.

Like all good 'reality-based' stories, Tony has to deal with crap from his job, crap from criminals who threaten him and crap from his family - often all at once. This comic makes you wince, cringe, laugh and want to give Tony a hug (after he washes his hands and has a mint. Or some gum).

This series is well worth picking up, despite the HORRIBLE CLIFFHANGERS at the end of the trades, but if you're still not convinced, you can do one of two things:
1) Find more reviews, there are plenty of them since Chew won an Eisner award for best new series last year.
2) Comment on this post and on the 12th of March, one of the commenters will win a copy of Issue #1. It will come bagged and boarded so you get your comic in pristine condition. It also has a pretty cover, see?

Well, definitely not pretty in the sense of content... but the art is amazing. Dark but not gothic, anime-inspired without being cartoonish, proportioned without being too studied... I could go on.  Or I could show you the stunning two-page splash of Tony's cibopathic experience...

... but that would spoil it for you.

High Voltage Cosmetics: mystery colours on sale!

Just letting you all know the High Voltage Mystery Colours are on sale again for this weekend!

For $1.25 you can get a fairly generous sample of colours that are not available on the rest of the site. During the last mystery sale I picked up 21, 28 and 34. I decided to do some reeeeeally quick swatches, since there don't seem to be a lot floating around online yet. Swatched over Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. It was the closest :P

21: leaf green with gold-green duochrome
Really pretty. The gold isn't overpowering in this, just makes it lighter and shimmery.

28: muted gold with a strong gold flash
Not anywhere near as metallic and intense as my beloved Ra from Meow Cosmetics, but still a beautiful soft, non-sparkly gold.

34: brass
This is more of a metallic brown - an antiqued, dirty brass. I can see this being an awesome crease colour. It's quite lovely and I don't have anything quite like it. It was quite hard to photograph, hence the larger swatch!

I'm working on a bunch of reviews for comics and books at the moment, but as I'm now a third year uni student (gulp) my workload has increased quite a bit... bear with me! Thankyou all for your comments and support. I have met some really awesome people thanks to this blog :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A bit royal: EOTD/NOTD

A while ago I did a swap with a lovely lady I've been chatting to on Twitter for a while - I'd link you to her blog but she's between, er, topics? Anyway, I wanted to get some fullsize Meow Cosmetics shadows without paying their (frankly exhorbitant) international shipping fees. In return I provided some Aussie bits and pieces. No Vegemite, I wanted her to still talk to me afterwards!

I painted my nails with China Glaze Passion, a new acquisition. Unfortunately the end result was very streaky. I layered some gold-and-pastel glitter over the top to try and disguise it a bit:
I don't really like it, but honestly I don't use/wear gold very often, so I decided to leave it on for a while and  made the most of my Midas-y theme by using Ra, and a bit of purple (Sassy Minerals Cocktail Party in the crease/upper lid, and Neverending on the lower lashline. Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk is on my waterline. Cocktail Party turned up quite mauve-y in the photos, it's more of a sheer, shimmery pinky-purple in real life).

This is without PE, folks. Just TFSI. Ra is liquid gold in shadow form. I know everyone raves about Goldilux from Sugarpill, but I probably won't ever buy it because to me, Ra is sheer perfection. It's not glittery or shimmery at all, just a smooth, gleaming metallic. It's ridiculously beautiful, and shows up on my medium olive skin, which is great. A lot of yellows and golds just sort of disappear on me. Not this baby.

I realised I didn't have any gold and purple earrings, so I dismantled a bracelet I hadn't ever worn, and made these really quickly before running off to uni:

I have six of the crackle beads left, so I could either make a bracelet with some gold chain between the beads, or I could use more wires to make a wide/long pendant. We shall see!