Monday, September 30, 2013

Geek Chic Cosmetics Fang Bangers Quartet Review

While on the hunt for something new and different, I recently stumbled upon Geek Chic Cosmetics.  GCC is an Indie makeup company, that specializes in creating unique vegan, cruelty-free makeup items.  While browsing their site, I noticed a collection that caught my attention: The Fang Bangers Quartet.  This awesome loose pigment eyeshadow collection is inspired by the TV series (and the book series) True Blood.  Being a Geek Girl, this definitely caught my eye; and the icing on the cake was that the Fang Bangers Quartet was the "Set of the Month" and therefore half price, until the end of September!
Fang Bangers Quartet
This awesome set is currently on sale (until the end of September) for $14.97, or the individual shadows or lipstick for $2.99 each, and GCC offers FREE shipping to the US on any order over $10

My package arrived in a timely manner (8 days after my initial order, ships from Oregon- all the way across the country), and the packaging is super cute.  My favorite part of the packaging was the awesome tiny business card!

Each pot contains 1g of pigment, hand crafted for each individual order.

I tried these pigments out, and am happy to say that I had very little fallout, and no creasing when used with a primer. I love how these are made as they are ordered- my products are fresh, and have not been sitting on the shelf. I can't wait to see what next month's Set of the Month will be!

Viking King
This is the purest gold shadow that I have ever seen.  It's almost like putting gold leaf on your lids! I seriously love this color and will be using it.  A LOT.

Eye of the Werewolf
I've been on the quest for the perfect brown for my neutral eye look.  This shadow is a beautiful light brown and does wonders with my skin tone.  I love this!

Purity Burns

Purity Burns is a true silver shadow, as silver as Viking King is gold.  Sheer perfection!

Blood Bond

I wasn't expecting to like this pigment shade, to be honest. Blood Bond?  Who can pull off red shadow? Certainly not me!  When I saw it in person, I was so happy I chose to order this- it's a beautiful purple-ish rusty red shade with lots of metallic shimmer.  Absolutely gorgeous!

Once Bitten

If you are looking for a true red lipstick, then look no further.  This is a shocking bombshell red.  This lipstick doesn't come in the traditional bullet form, but in a twist up applicator, and is gluten free (a nice thing for a lippie- so many people are sensitive to gluten!).

Swatches of the set:
Swatches left to right: Blood Bond, Purity Burns, Eye of the Werewolf, Viking King and Once Bitten
My Fang Bangers Quartet look
Because I'm so pale, I need to tone the lip color down, so I tried my J.Cat lipstick from my September Ipsy bag.  The effect was beautiful:
J.Cat in Honeycrisp over Once Bitten
Here's my completed eye look with the Fang Bangers Quartet:

Doesn't this set just look GORGEOUS??!!
In short, I absolutely love that there is a cosmetic company that caters to geek girls like me. Even at regular price ($29.95 for this set), the prices are very affordable, and the quality is great.  I'm very happy with my little splurge purchase!

Tell me- what indie cosmetic company have you tried lately?  Should I be trying them too?

Until next time, my friends- Stay average!

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Disclaimer: I purchased these items with my own money my husband's money.  I was neither requested nor required to review these items, and all links in this post are NOT referral links.  I strive for honesty.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

UPDATED- My Ipsy + Benefit LashBash in Photos

Hello my beautiful friends!

WARNING: VERY photo-heavy post!
Our Lash Bash Crew.  And Clifford, for some reason.
I finally have squeezed out the time to post the pictures from my Lash Bash, sponsored by Ipsy and Benefit Cosmetics.

We had SUCH a great time, and I can't wait to share it with you all! 

I hate these things (mayo!!!), but these disappeared very quickly, I can assure you :)
My husband and I spent a good bit of time working on the menu- we wanted cute food items, that fit our theme well.  The star of the show was his Little Smoky Lipsticks, but somehow no photo was ever taken of them. If I can get him to make them again, I will totally do a tutorial because they were SO cute! Even though we had a kitchen fire (yes you read that right) the morning of the Lash Bash, that didn't stop us from having a fantastic time!
The Little Smokies Lipsticks are in the background here!  How cute??!!
We made a spa-face cheese ball, that I found via Google.  Here's the original blog post, by Hungry Happenings, if you want to make one for your very own!
Benefit Martini glass with Wink Lemonade

Adding the sugar rim to the glasses :)
I loved the Benefit martini glass that was on one of the party planning pages, it just had the Benefit girl's head, with a "B" inside.  I took this inspiration and made our guests their own Benefit martini glass- the front has the Benefit logo, the backs say #benebabe, and the bottom has the guest's names, so that there was no confusion. 

Here's TweenAngel with her Wink Lemonade.  The quilt behind her is her Girl Scout Bronze Award (hers and a friend's), made for the family of a Scout that has passed on.

Here's one of TweenAngel's friends, and of my Scouts. She had SO much fun :)
My girlfriend Cher, snuggling with my doggy. I made the throw that is falling down behind her.
The always gorgeous LisaMisha, and her beautiful daughter. Wink lemonade went over very well :)
We filled these with "Wink Lemonade", and made the rims pretty (and sweet) using lime juice and pink sugar crystals.  HERE is my tutorial for how I made these SUPER easy lovelies.
My Benefit pink cupcakes, with thought bubble flags :)
I also made cupcakes for the Bash, as I am sure was expected by my guests.  The cakes themselves were chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, and I used silver liners to kind of blend with our theme.  The icing is buttercream, and you can find the recipe I use HERE (my go-to basic buttercream) ; I just added pink icing tint to get them to this beautiful color.  The thought bubble picks were made by printing out images provided by the Lash Bash, and then colored with a magenta colored pencil.  Then I folded them over a toothpick (pictures on both side), and used a glue stick to hold it all together.  The guests were thrilled to see just what phrase their cake was thinking!

I had a pretty bowl, decorated with pink hearts, for our White Elephant gifts.  We also used it for the makeup guessing game :)
We had a BLAST playing games- we did a White Elephant gift exchange, played "Two Fakes and A Real" "What cosmetic am I", and a REALvolution Purse Search.  The younger guests were MAD that they didn't bring a purse to the party!  

A sampling of prizes for the game winners.  I spy Benefit, Ulta, and Freeman Beauty...
I had collected some cute prizes to give out, all unused items from my stash, and some Benefit items I had picked up recently at Ulta, and the winners LOVED choosing something fun!

Playing What Cosmetic Am I- sticky notes on the forehead identified what cosmetic a person was, and they had 20 yes or no questions to guess.

Playing Two Fakes and a Real

Some very cute little ones stealing the show :)

REALvolution Purse Search  One of these ladies found a screwdriver and a fork...sadly not on the list.
The White Elephant gift exchange was a hit!

Cher is very happy with what she received.  Heather is waiting for someone to switch out with her.

Opening a present...

Kim does not look happy with losing her gift at the exchange.
You can see on the young ones, that they have definitely sampled the BeneTint!

Heather REALLY wants the purple eye shadow.  Go Ravens, and all that.

A trade is being negotiated.
We created a photo booth-style wall, for our guests.  

The Photo Wall before it was decorated  by the guests.

The younger crowd had a blast playing with it, and the props I made, but I didn't get any pictures.  I was busy doing makeovers!  The older crowd would have posed there too,  but we just ran out of time.  

...And after :)
At the close of the bash, I asked the guests to write their honest thoughts of Benefit Cosmetics on the wall. I think it turned out really well!  HERE is how I made this gorgeous and simple backdrop.

The gift bags, my cosmetic case, and the case with game prizes.
The girls received their gorgeous gift bags.  The tissue paper came from Dollar Tree, if you can believe it, and I added a couple cute items to the bags; eye gels and a cupcake bath fizz.

My DIY banner
My Ipsy mailer banner was a huge hit- learn how to make one for yourself HERE!

Each guest tried out They're Real! Mascara, and were excited to try the Benetint and Sugarbomb lip gloss. 

Here's a BUNCH of #Realsies shots:


Heather: left is They're Real; right is au naturale


Lori Jo

Heather, with They're Real on both eyes now



Three guests received makeovers, using Benefit makeup, and they LOVED their looks!

The makeup that received the most rave reviews was, surprisingly, the Gimme Brow brow gel (we used disposable mascara wands to apply) and the Hervana blush (not surprisingly- this stuff is seriously gorgeous!); in addition to, of course, They're Real Mascara.

I posted a LOT of pictures on my Instagram- if you want to follow me there, my screen name is @OnlyAverageMom.  The highlight of my night was when Benefit and Ipsy commented on my pictures, and Ipsy even chose to follow me on the 'gram!  

We had a seriously fantastic time, and didn't spend a TON of money to do it.  I honestly can't think of a better way to spend the evening with my friends.  Thank you so much to everyone who was able to attend!

One last thing- I promised you all a coupon code, when I posted my Lash Bash unboxing HERE- If you purchase a FULL SIZE They're Real Mascara from Benefit Cosmetics, you will receive a mini Stay Don't Stray (eyelid primer) and a mini Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow.  To get these goodies, use coupon code LASHBASH, and this is valid until 10/5/13.

And if you don't already subscribe to Ipsy, one of the sponsors of the Lash Bash, won't you consider it?  For $10 a month (plus tax in NY, NC and CA, plus $4.95 shipping in Canada only), you receive 4-5 full size or deluxe sample items plus a cute cosmetics bag in the mail, monthly, and you can cancel at any time (no commitment!).  I've found lots of new faves because of Ipsy, and it's because of my subscription to Ipsy that I even KNEW about the Lash Bashes, let alone won one!  If you want to give Ipsy a try, won't you use my referral link?  I get points towards a reward, and you get good karma.  We can all use good karma.

I think that just about sums up my Lash Bash experience.  Now all that is left to do is sit back and wait until they announce the winners of the final contest: one winner wins a weekend for two in San Fran (please please please please please pick me!!!!!!), others win a year's supply of They're Real, still others win a $100 gift card for Benefit Cosmetics, and others a prize pack.  I would love any of these prizes, so send some winning vibes my way, if you can!

Lash Bash Crew :)
Tell me- did you attend a Lash Bash?  If another one is in your area, would you go???  Do you think I have a chance of winning a Grand Prize??

Until next time, my lovelies, stay beautiful!

UPDATE: 8:53 pm est, 9/26/13
OMG you guys, I WON a prize for my Lash Bash!  I haven't heard from Ipsy what my prize is yet, but I am so FREAKING excited, I can't even begin to say!  Thanks to you all, and to my girlies who attended for helping make this happen for me!!!  As soon as I know more, I will absolutely let you all know!!

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Disclaimer: The referral link in this post is one where I would receive credit for a referral, and be compensated with free product for referring 2 people. Here is a link that just goes to Ipsy, without my referral code. Other links in this post go to other posts on this blog, or to the original source's blog or website; and are not referral or compensated links.  I strive for honesty :)

DIY Tutorial: Customized Martini Glasses on the CHEAP

Hi everyone!

I took yesterday off to clean my house, and BOY did it need it!  Laundry was everywhere, and dishes...dishes as far as the eye could see!  Now we are all nice and tidy, and I can return to my little bloggy slice of heaven.

For my Lash Bash, I wanted to create something personalized for my guests to take home. When I saw Benefit's martini glass with their logo on it, on the page with food and drink ideas on the Lash Bash planning site, I KNEW I had found my something amazing.  I didn't want to use the exact same logo as what was on THEIR glasses, so I chose to use the written out logo, that was available for download on the Ipsy/Benefit Lash Bash planning site.  I looked in to lots of different ways of creating personalized glassware, but they seemed a bit on the expensive side, and since I am a gal on a budget.....I did these the Only Average way.

I do want to note that although I used permanent markers, this was NOT permanent on the glassware.  If a glass is rubbed hard, or washed vigorously, the writing will wash off. I am sure that there is a sealant that could be applied to the glasses, but I didn't do it. This worked well for the one-night event, and were a hit.  I offered to re-write on anyone's glass after it was washed, if they wanted to save it.

Customized Glassware for my Lash Bash
Customized Martini Glasses

What you'll need:
You will need permanent markers, a printout of what you want on the glass, two pieces of tape, and your glass.
  • Clear (or lightly tinted) martini glass (this one is from my local Dollar Tree), or other glassware you would like to personalize; washed and dried.
  • Permanent markers in two shades: the metallic ones I used worked very well, and are (you guessed it!) sold in sets of 2 at Dollar Tree
  • A printout of the logo/phrase you want on your glassware, cut out close to the words
  • Two small pieces of scotch tape

First, download the image of the logo or phrase you want to put on your glass, I copied and pasted mine into Word, so I could easily resize it. Once it's sized as you like it, print it out on plain white paper, and cut it out closely.

Next, put two pieces of tape on your logo paper- one on each side, so that the sticky side is on the same side as the printing is.
Remember to keep your design low on the glass, and one that you can easily trace.

Tape the paper inside the glass, with the words/logo facing out- this is so you can trace the letters onto the outside of your glass.  

A top view of the paper taped inside the glass.
Keep in mind that you want to avoid the rim of the glass (where someone would put their lips); as not all markers are non-toxic.

As you can see, you can't really see the silver letters. That's ok- what we really want is a base for the red.
Take your base color marker and trace the logo/words onto the glass, allowing it to dry for a moment.  I used silver as a base color.  This will likely not show up too darkly- and that's okay.
If your tracing isn't perfect, don't stress it!  The marker will easily wipe off at this point, if you want to try again.  Personally, I think that imperfections make this project unique.
Next, trace over the letters/logo again with your main color.  This should be a brighter color, and will stand out much more on the base color than if used alone, and allow to dry. 
Simple and classic.
Remove the paper logo and tape from the glass.
Love Benefit?!  Why, yes...yes I do!
I added a heart, freehanded above the logo, since it looked a bit low on the glass.

For a basic personalized glass, that's it!  

Freehanding the letters was really easy!

Just freehand the words again, right over the base color.

I had so much fun making these, that I wanted to keep going, so I flipped my glass over and freehanded the hashtag: #benebabe to the glasses, first with the silver, and then the red/pink marker.

The silver looks better here, but is still very pale and boring.

The red over the silver really makes it "pop".
I wanted each guest to instantly know which glass was theirs, so I wrote their names on the bottom, first in silver, and then in the red/pink.  

These turned out super cute, and were a major hit at the party!

I served "Wink Lemonade" (Pink Lemonade) in the glasses, and rimmed them with pink sugar crystals.  This is a super easy way to up your presentation, and only takes a minute to do.

So gorgeous, served with Wink Lemonade :)
Sugar-rimmed glassware

What you'll need:
You will need: two plates, sugar crystals, lime juice (or fresh limes), and your glass
  • two smaller plates
  • decorator's sugar crystals in the color of your choice (we used pink!)
  • lime juice, either fresh or bottled
  • the glass you wish to sugar rim

First, put some lime juice on one plate. I bought fresh limes for my party, but I didn't have any today to photograph.  If you have fresh limes, you can just slice into the lime and run it around the glass.  I didn't want to do this, because I didn't want to chance hitting the personalization on the glassware.

Next, pour some sugar crystals onto the other plate.  I removed the shaker top from the container, because it was taking forever to pour them out with it on.  You want to put enough on the plate so that it is easy for the crystals to stick to the rim of the glass.
So easy, the kids took over this job at the party :)
Invert your glass onto the plate with the lime juice, and twist.
There isn't enough sugar on this plate, but I think you get the idea.
Place the lime juiced glass into the sugar crystals, and gently pat the glass into the sugar crystals, until it is coated as you desire.

Fill with your favorite drink, and serve.

See?  Easy peasy, and oh so cute!

This project had great presentation and cost VERY little- the markers cost a total of $2 (the colors I wanted didn't come together), each glass was $1; the sugar crystals were less than $3 at the market, and the limes were on sale-a bag for $1.  

I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial, and can use it at your next house party!

Tell me- what's your favorite drink to sip from a martini glass?

Until next time, my friends- Stay average!

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