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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Outfits for Living Room Rock Stars

I used to be a professional video game tester. It sounds like a dream job, right? Except for the part where I rarely play video games. I get frustrated fairly easily, and I also get really stressed out by things trying to kill me. (I think that's understandable.)

What I do have, however, is a fairly good sense of rhythm and the ability to hit a note properly. Therefore, it's no surprise that some of the video games I love best are the music games. My all-time favorite is UmJammer Lammy, the sequel to Parappa the Rapper, where you hit your PSone (yeah, old school!) buttons in time to play the guitar.

Needless to say, there's been a lot of changing and improving since '99 (was it really that long ago??). Now we've got full-on plastic instrument peripherals for Guitar Hero, plug-in microphones for Karaoke Revolution... and, of course, Rock Band's full band kit, with guitar, microphone, and drum kit.

For more on Rock Band, check out this podcast on real musicians, including Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, playing Rock Band and talking about how even though it's not the same as really getting up there on stage and playing true music, it's still a lot of fun for the casual gamer/music fan. (Which is me!)

So, since Rock Band is meant to be played in a group and there's nothing better than having a full performance, I poked around Polyvore and made up some outfits for the four parts of Rock Band -- drums, guitar, bass, and vocals.


I picked flats for easier use of the bass pedal, decided a no-go on bracelets because you'll be busy with your drumsticks and don't need bangles crashing around, and a cute yellow watch to keep time for you. Plus a Blondie t-shirt because female rockers need to rep-re-sent! (Seriously, there are far too few female-vocal songs on Rock Band.)


The guitarist, on the other hand, gets the awesome bracelets and heeled slouchy boots. Also, sequins. And naturally, our favorite colored tights.


Like drums, the bassist has a watch to keep the beat, but is also more laidback with jeans and a loose tunic top, plus a headband to keep hair out of her eyes. Again, sequins, but this time on the shoes.


But ah, vocals! This is usually what I wind up playing if I'm in a group, although lately I've been going for drums. I originally went for more of a diva gold glam look, but realized it wasn't really rocker enough. Even this is on the girly side, but the pyramid bangles are a lot of fun (seriously, I want some) and I love the feathered headband. Plus, since everyone's going to be watching your lips, the original Viva Glam is obviously the red lipstick of choice. And, once more with feeling, there are sequins.

Honestly, I'm much more likely to play Rock Band in my pajamas than anything else, but it's fun to have the rock star dream, isn't it?

images from polyvore.com

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's my party and I'll Give Stuff Away if I want to!

Updated 5/1: I've extended this out to next Friday, May 9! Thank you so much to everyone who's entered so far!!

(Excuse me while I borrow Kati's tiara.)

Happy birthday to me!! My birthday wish? For you to please go vote in the mascara poll -- we've still got a couple of days left before I go buy myself some brand-new mascara and face three straight months of SCIENCE. (Updated 5/1: The next mascara test subject is L'Oreal Voluminous with 50% of the votes! Thanks for voting!)

I've been planning on doing a blog giveaway for a while, and it occurred to me around, oh, January? that I should do it for my birthday. I figured it was a nice deadline that I couldn't forget, and even though it's not the blog's birthday, a Blog Birthday Present package would be an awesome thing to put together and give out to a reader. Yay! Unfortunately, it will not be booze. (But if you are over 21 and in the San Francisco area/I am visiting your area, I will totally treat you to a drink some time if you are a reader!)

So I've been gathering things while I've been purchasing them for myself, and I've put together a package that has some of the blogosphere's favorite things, including lots that we love here at Periodic Style. All of these are brand-new and unopened in package unless otherwise mentioned, and all are personally purchased by me (with the exception of the samples, which came free! with things I personally purchased).

Thus! Here we go! THE GOODS.

- LUSH "Ghost" body wash is limited edition from last fall; I've been hanging onto this one for some time! It's shimmery white and smells like lilies -- I've got a bottle for myself and I'm a fan.
- MAC Eyeshadow in "Parrot" has been legendary for years, and when it was re-released with the Originals collection this past December, I picked up an extra one "for the blog". Kati's also referenced this lovely shadow in her colored smoky eye post. Definitely a rockstar.
- MAC Kohl Power Pencil in "Feline" was my number one pick for black liner way back in October; they have since all disappeared from MACCosmetics.com. Sad! I love this pencil. I think you will too.
- Christopher Kane Juicy Tubes World Tour in "Peach Mochi" is a sheer sweet pink with a lovely design on it. I mean, come on, you guys, you name any beauty product anything related to Japan and I'm going to pick it up, right? Also, mochi is delicious. As are Juicy Tubes.
- Hard Candy nail polish in "Sky" made Blogdorf Goodman's Beauty Cult Icon list along with Parrot this past March; I was inspired to pick it up again since yeah, I totally wore pale blue nail polish many a year ago. I wore this on my nails when the weather was lookin' springy a while back. This one certainly's nostalgic for me.
- The Hard Candy "Workout Mix" may not be a mix tape made by Kati, but it is a cute little palette of neutral colors. (I don't really wear make-up to the gym, but you might?)
- Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen Salon in "Arabian Nights"... yeah, I'm not proud of having stalked two separate Longs Drugs for this collection, but I did all of the legwork for someone who's getting this very cool and very desired nail polish.
- I have three Demeter cologne splashes in "Chamomile", "Daphne", and "Cherry Blossom". All of these have been opened once to sniff, and, in the case of "Daphne", tested for the daphne perfume comparison. The winner gets to choose which one they'd prefer!
- I have a ton of samples that I've been hanging onto, and so I'll be throwing some of these into the package as well. These include Product Body samples -- remember, it was a sample I sent to Kati that got Crush on You on our 2007 Faves list. I also have a gazillion perfume and such samples from Sephora and Beauty.com and so forth, so if you're the winner, I'll email you with a full list and you can pick and choose what you do or don't want.
- Finally, Winner's Choice. I will pick something out and buy it specifically for the winner. I'm going to limit this to (hopefully?) $20 or under, but I'd prefer if it's, you know, less than that, so "your favorite Chanel perfume" and such is off the list. It can be something like "Jeanne's favorite red nail polish" or "best polish for summer toes" or "the coolest hair clips you find at Maker Faire's Bazaar Bizarre" or "something delicious, hilarious, or both". Things like "I don't have pierced ears" and "I'm allergic to chocolate" (in both situations, I'm really sorry) are also useful.

So how do you enter? You need to comment to this post with what you'd want me to pick up for you if you are the winner (if you don't and you win, I will pick something for you!). For an extra entry, you can also tell us what one of your favorite Periodic Style posts from the archives is (doesn't have to be written by me, Science Fairs and Total Beauty round-ups don't count!). I will put the names in a hat and draw the winner before witnesses.

I'm going to pick a winner at 4:30 PM PACIFIC THIS NEXT FRIDAY (MAY 2 9), because I'm going to Maker Faire on Saturday and so if I have to buy a Maker Faire goodie for the winner, I would like to know that before I go! (UPDATED 5/1: I'm going to go ahead and buy some Maker Faire goodies anyway!)

So again, leave a comment and you will be entered to win! I'm so excited to hear from you and share some of my favorite things!

image from periodicstyle.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Science Fair for April 21st-27th

In my job, I do a lot of news monitoring of conflict and weapons-related issues. I come across a lot of material that it not only upsetting, but rather tragic. Apart from those, there is a certain cohort of news stories and links that are amusing and informative. So, in the spirit of sharing, I present to you a rather bellicose festival of links entirely unrelated to Jeanne's birthday! Happy birthday anyway, Miss Jeanne!

-More convicted felons and petty criminals are being allowed to join the U.S. Armed Forces. This story has been all over the news lately - I find it both fascinating and depressing for the future of our military.

-From The Onion, possibly one of my most favorite stories they've ever made up - a new chemical gas causing a distinct feeling of ennui! I love it.

-Ladies, ladies, ladies, come and get your guns! The NRA wants to create a whole generation of Annie Oakleys and encourage sporting use of firearms. I don't know about that. What do you think?

-"Apart from the smell, the only indications that you're standing in a room full of drugs are the large bongs in the entryway."

And now for something a little more light-hearted from the BAFTA red carpet! Check out Keeley Hawes and Tamsin Outhwaite!
Has anyone else been watching the first seasons of The Fixer and Ashes to Ashes? I thought Tamsin Outhwaite was pretty good in the delightfully dishy Hotel Babylon, the lady can certainly rock a suit and heels. If you are a fan of action-y shoot-'em-ups like I am, you'll enjoy her new show on ITV, The Fixer.

-Speaking of women, this is big news for those of you who remember, or know, the thalidomide babies phenomenon: thalidomide is back on the market, now to treat cancer symptoms.

-But there's good news out of the UK, you can go get your fertility treatments AND a sandwich soon, ladies! Go have some IVF and a coffee during your lunchbreak.

For the more dainty among us, a little high tea-themed section for a beautiful, sunny Sunday (which I hope it was somewhere in the world).
-Why flowers have lost their scent: Is it related to the bees disappearing?

-Imagine a teaspoonless future, with self-stirring coffee and agricultural by-product cake plates.

-Pranksters plant a yard full of plastic forks while the victims are away on their honeymoon. Better than TPing their house, for sure!

Have a great week, everyone, I'm going to keep on trucking in the dismal April showers we're experiencing in NYC right now!

Friday, April 25, 2008

This Week in Total Beauty: April 25th

Friday at last! Has this week been extremely long for anybody else? All I want to do this weekend is sleep, but somehow I don't think that's going to happen -- I'm not slowing down any time soon!

Check out what's going on around the Total Beauty blogs this week:

The Muse shares her first impressions of MAC DressCamp with Product Photos and Swatches of this sold out Collection!

Laurie at Beauty's Spot gets an amazing massage and energy healing session from a San Francisco-based massage therapist and healer.

Monique at beauty girl musings shares how to save your hair from everyday heat styling.

Girl Gloss finds a great new lipstick from the new Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Cosmetics line

Tink at Casual Lavish talks about At home remedies for whitening your fingernails.

Beauty Anonymous invites you to the springtime nail colors of OPI 2008 Beyond Chic Collection .

Beauty411 shares her review of Klean Bath + Body's Blue Hawaii Sugar Body Polish, which smells like a tropical island and exfoliates your skin, too!

Forget virgin daiquiris, The Beauty of Life is all about the gorgeous polishes from the new Extra Virgin Collection from Dashing Diva!

Periodic Style's Jeanne goes back to school at Sephora University!

Toya of The Life of A Ladybug asks "What's your 'thing' right now?"

Find out which organic shower gel, leaves Christine's hubby in a woodsy lather...at Beauty in Real Life.

Answering the complicated question, "What does organic mean?", A Mom in Red High Heels helps clear away the confusion.

Budget Beauty Love takes a look at the new Sally Hansen Natural Beauty foundation and primer and isn’t too thrilled.

Makeup Junkie finds a new best friend in Chi's Pink Flat Iron!

Kitiya of Mischo Beauty has a reader who shares her favorite organic conditioner!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bugs in my blush?! Veggie-friendly cosmetics picks for Earth Day

Thank goodness, there are no actual physical bugs crawling around in any of my beauty products. But we all know that carmine, the red coloring that's used a lot in food as well as cosmetics, comes from little bugs, right? (That's them right there. Sorry.)

And while I'm not vegetarian or vegan, I'm definitely interested in learning more about make-up that doesn't require bugs as an ingredient. (I'm really interested in experimenting with dye-quality cochineal for fabric, though... but that's fabric, not my face.) Because even though I do use regular non-veg cosmetics, it's still pretty gross to stop and think about it.

So, because it's Earth Day and living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is every day, here are some lines that let us know what's in (and, more importantly, what's NOT in) their products.

If you're looking for a soft natural look with your cosmetics, there are several lines you can try out. Ecco Bella is sold at natural food stores like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and some drug stores (!). They address what products aren't vegan in their FAQ, so you can know what products have carmine or beeswax and avoid purchasing them.

Did you know that Origins is veggie-friendly as well? They say that the only animal products they use are cruelty-free beeswax and honey. I'd recommend going and checking out the products in person if you're looking to avoid beeswax and honey, since the ingredients are listed on the packaging but not on the website. (Booo! List your ingredients on the website!)

So while the soft, natural, pretty "office-ready" look is all well and good, it's not the only thing you can do with veggie make-up. Some of us like a little more color and sass, and it's awesome to know that there are animal product-free choices for bright colors as well.

Both Urban Decay and Hard Candy have made shopping lists and face charts available for vegan shoppers. I'm glad to see a lot of my favorites (a lot of the eyeshadows, most of the 24/7 pencils, lots of lip products) are veg*n, so I can recommend those whole-heartedly. (I am, however, dismayed that Primer Potion isn't on the list! What's in it?? In looking at Sephora, it's beeswax.) In addition, all Urban Decay brushes are made of taklon fibers and are cruelty-free.

If you'd rather shop a little more indie than hitting up Sephora or Macy's for your cosmetics, I've heard really good things about Fyrinnae cosmetics from the various make-up forums I haunt. I haven't tried any of their products, but with over 130 colors of eyeshadow (!!) at $5.25 or under each (!!!!), it's certainly tempting! (Check out their Steampunk eyeshadow -- gorgeous!) Alas, no lip products that I can see, but the variety in loose pigments (some of which are lip-safe) makes up for it.

In Googling around, I found another company that I think would be fun to try out if you like bright primary colors: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics specializes in airbrush and effects make-up that's completely vegan and says so right off the bat in their FAQ. While most of the products are for airbrush and professional make-up, they do offer loose pigments for eyes and body in a variety of bright bright colors.

And for bonus, they also offer vegan nail polish in a whole bunch of colors, including several reds and pinks, royal blue, dark grey, black, and "wasabi" (neat!). And if they're as quick-drying as they claim, I'm all for it.

This is just a jumping-off point for all of the cool veggie-friendly cosmetics lines out there -- I'm sure there are plenty more I haven't heard of!

Do you take ingredients like carmine and beeswax into consideration when you buy your products? Are you a vegetarian or vegan beauty addict? What lines or products do you like most, and what are you curious to try?

images from aurorasilk.com and urbandecay.com

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beauty Insider: Sephora University's Bare Escentuals Night

It's been about a year since I signed up for Sephora's Beauty Insider program, and I'm really glad to be a part of it. You get recommendations based on your skin type and eye color (it keeps telling me I should buy green shadow because I have hazel eyes -- trust me, I know, Ms. Matchy Thing), special insider-only products, a birthday gift (last year it was Bliss body cream, this year it's a Sephora cupcake-scented shower gel), and bonus deluxe samples every time your product history total is over $100. (For example, the most recent samples were a mini-Benetint, a small Bliss The Youth As We Know It, and... something else. I chose Youth As We Know It.)

But what I've really been waiting for has been the special VIP access to events and parties and things like that. Yes, having a tracklist of my products is awesome (if humbling, sometimes), but I've been waiting to be invited to something.

So when the invite to Sephora University's first event -- a master class with Bare Escentuals' CEO, Leslie Blodgett -- came into my inbox, I was on the phone signing up as soon as I read it. I am a big believer in "say yes so they keep asking you to things", so obviously I wanted in on this (and future events).

They fed us cheese and wine (I had a glass of Sofia blanc des blancs -- a can is a little more than a regular wine glass; it was surprisingly tasty for wine-in-a-can!) and seated us at tables for six, with one Sephora or BE expert heading up each table.

The main focus of the event was to point out the new Get Started: Eyes, Cheeks, Lips collections that were recently released; they were created to help BE users figure out what colors suit them. You know, the whole, "I've got my foundation match, but what colors should I use??" thing. So they demonstrated how to use the colors and put the boxes on the tables so we could play with them.

In addition to showing us these products, Leslie also revealed a couple of products that will be released later this year. While I didn't get to look at the boxes (they never came to our table, boooo), the descriptions were pretty cool and I can tell you that one of them will definitely suit those of you looking for a darker eye look, and the other will definitely be a crowd-pleaser if you're into BE.

So after we went around the table and got to play with the provided make-up and brushes, we were ushered into a room where laptops were set up for us to order what we wanted. Ah, yes. For getting in, you had to pay $25 to hold your spot, but that $25 was magically turned into an eGift Certificate which you could redeem That Night Only. And so I ordered the Light-to-Medium colors kit for my mom, since she loves Bare Escentuals and Mother's Day is coming up, then my color-match powder (Medium Beige, holla) and a brush for me. (And a whole ton of extra goodies, like my samples, my newest Beauty Insider sample, and my birthday shower gel.)

Would I go to another Sephora University event? Sure! I think I might wait and see what brands are coming; while I like Bare Escentuals, it's definitely my mom's favorite brand, so I mostly went for her. If it's a brand that I really love, like BeneFit or DuWop (both of which I've gone to smaller Sephora events for) or Tarte or Stila, for sure I'd go. But the location was awesome (a block away from the Embarcadero MUNI/BART station), the event was nicely handled (although I would have liked to have been warned that there would be filming/photographs -- I purposefully didn't wear make-up so that I'd be makeover ready, and there were camera guys EVERYWHERE), and while we all knew that we were there for the "hey, this brand is cool and you should buy it", it was a little odd to get the order form right in our swag bag. (At least, I felt so. Maybe it's just because I'm not used to filling out actual paper order forms anymore?)

Speaking of swag, what did I get? We got a slant blush brush (woo!), face color in Bare Radiance (which I am wearing today), a Sephora brush belt (awesome!), a make-up bag, a cell phone mirror (??), and lots of pamphlets and such, as well as a pen, a Sephora University pencil, a notepad, and a Sephora University water bottle (wooo! I am taking this to the gym today). And alas, I was not one of the four raffle winners (boo!), but maybe next time?

I'm looking forward to seeing what else Sephora has planned for its new Sephora University events! Next time, I will probably wear make-up there because the camera guys are totally everywhere... and Sephora provided wipes. Clever, clever, clever. I should have known they'd be prepared!

images from periodicstyle.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Science Fair for April 14th - 20th

It's Sunday, and it's Science Fair time! And next Sunday is my birthday (woooo!), so I will have a special announcement for everybody!

- I've been in the market for a new deoderant lately (ready to try something new!), so I was glad to get the warning from The Non-Blonde on what NOT to buy. Mmmm, pudding-scented armpits. Oh, wait, no.

- Here's a job I might like to have: studying the mating habits of octopus. Mostly because I would spend a year either snorkeling or walking along reefs on a tropical island.

- Everyone knows I like covers a lot, right? Well, I do. And so II was glad to find this NPR blog post on the best covers ever. (Speaking of NPR blogs, did you know that Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney has one? Awesome.)

- Hooray for DIY solutions to designer styles! LuxeNoir's would-be Givenchy necklace is incredibly creative and very, very cool. (Five meters of gold chain is not enough!)

- Are you participating in the iCiNG Transformation Challenge? I am! I'm going to be working out at the gym more and, in addition, hooping! Yeah, I'm getting a big stripey hoop and it will be awesome.

- Here's a neat list of fragrances listed by celebrity -- who smells like what? (There's also a great corresponding post by Invisible Magnet.)

- Finally, you have probably already seen the May Vogue Superheroes photoshoot featuring Coco Rocha, but it is pretty darn cool if you haven't seen it yet (and even if you have). My favorite is Catwoman with her Louboutin-for-Rodarte heels.

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Lip Gloss

So I was out shopping yesterday, trying to get everything I needed for tonight's masquerade ball (possibly more on that later,) enjoying my first day off in eight days and signing up for a MAC Studio Talk Class (definitely more on that later,) when I stumbled across these little tubes in my favorite Target aisle. (You know, the one with Boots and Burt's Bees and now Philosophy stuff!)

"What's that?" I thought. "Burt's Bees... LIP GLOSS?"

And thus one in Sweet Pink went into my basket.

I'm generally kind of hit or miss with Burt's Bees Products-- absolutely love their cuticle cream (as evidenced by last week's post,) like their chapstick and lip shimmers, do not love their hand creams. But I like the way their lip products moisturize and generally act as a balm as well as being a lip product, and Super Shiny Lip Gloss does not disappoint.

The name is a bit of a misnomer, it's not actually that glossy, which is fine by me considering the Lip Shimmer is mostly shimmer-- a bit much for daytime wear. There's just a hint of gloss, a hint of color, and a lot of moisture in the Super Shiny Lip Gloss. It's a great daytime gloss, and I love the grapefruit scent of the Sweet Pink.

The only thing missing is SPF, but then it wouldn't be all-natural, I guess!

Image from burtsbees.com.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This Week in Total Beauty: April 18th

Boy, do I have something awesome to share with everyone once I get some pictures off my camera! But while you're waiting, check out this week's web tour of Total Beauty blogs:

The Beauty of Life smiles pretty after discovering the tartly terrific Lemonade Smile Toothpaste by GoSMILE!

Canadian Beauty gives away a gift basket worth over $200!

Tink at Casual Lavish wants to make sure you are summer ready with a cooling SPF!

Beauty's Spot discovers Korres Natural Products for a brilliant Spring Fever Face Mask at home.

Monique at beauty girl musings finds this mascara's promises not so promising.

Beauty411 reviews Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner and has the 411 on the upcoming Kiehl's Earth Day promotion!

Rediscover the Muse's old post on Dior's Spring Collection 2008 including First Impressions, Product Photos, and More! Sneak a peek at the Dior Flower Blossom Palette if you haven't yet seen it up close and personal!

Jeanne at Periodic Style is a mascara mad scientist! Help her decide which mascara to try for her next experiment...

Toya interviews her first beauty lover of color - Angie! Do you want to be interviewed, too?

Check out a snippet from a Q&A with The Body Shop international artist Chase Aston on The Daily Cookie!

Mischo Beauty shares her recommendations for an at-home skincare regimen to maintain the health of your skin in-between facials!

Kia of Yummy411 tries MAC's new Mineralize Skinfinish Loose Foundation.

The girls at Beauty in Real Life let you in on the secret to getting your makeup to stay put all day and still look natural.

A Mom in Red High Heels finds an
eco-friendly nail polish
that is even safe for pregnant mamas! Discover the brand and fun color names like Crave!

Meredith at Daily Dose of Coffee checks out the new summer fragrance Bronze Goddess from Estee Lauder.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Great Mascara Experiment: Update #2: Pho-tos!

Well, that's a wrap: I'm declaring the first round of the Great Mascara Experiment of 2008 over!

First round, you say? Yeah, I'm likely going back for a second round. As you've probably gathered from past posts, I've been unhappy with my results. For one, I didn't get any really gross or icky growth on either of the petrie dishes. And the one that I did get some ickiness on... was the brand-new one. Say what?

Starting off, here's photos of day zero of the mascara petrie dishes, March 23rd:

Oooh, pretty, right? Riiight. On the left-hand side is the brand-new, just-opened mascara, and on the right-hand side is the mascara I used every day for seven weeks.

I gave the petrie dishes about a week and a half of sitting in my dresser before realizing that nothing had really (visibly) grown. Since bacteria loves dark and warm places, I added a heating pad and let them sit for a weekend. I turned it off and left it alone for another week. So it's been growing a while, but the agar actually dried up from all of the heating (oops?).

Here's today's (April 14th) photos:

No big change in the Seven Weeks, but the Brand New is growing a couple of bacteria colonies in light-grey/white. Ick! But why the Brand New? Did I get the lids confused when I did the initial swiping back on March 23rd? I made sure I didn't. Did something contaminate it?

My feeling is that if I really want a conclusive answer, I do have to go back and start from scratch and go for the three months, then take better care of my petrie dishes -- make sure I know the right lid is on, make sure they don't dry out, etc.

The thing is, I don't want to use Great Lash again! As I mentioned today on Beauty Addict's Great Lash post, it made my eyes sting and water up a lot more than they normally do (before Great Lash, they almost never watered up!).

Thus I have three new candidates to choose from, and I need your help picking one. My qualifications are that it has a bristle brush, and not a rubber one (so LashBlast and LashExact are out), and that it's easy for anyone to get their hands on, so preferably a drugstore-sold brand (I'll consider Sephora-sold brands, but I'm not dropping $50 on two tubes of DiorShow for science!). I've picked the following three options: Neutrogena Healthy Volume, CoverGirl Professional All-in-One, and L'Oreal Voluminous. Of course, I'm open to other options, too, so I'd like to hear which ones you're curious about.

What do you think? Which mascara should I pick? I've made a poll, which I'm leaving open until May 1st -- the day I start all over again...

images from periodicstyle.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Science Fair for April 7th-13th

Lots of links for you guys this week. Not a lot of talking because I'm in the middle of an eight day stretch at work, hope everyone is having a great weekend!

-The Diet Blog dishes on how to get our eight glasses of water a day and whether the whole eight glasses of water thing is a myth.

-It's Sexual Assault prevention month. I know my local Take Back the Night is on Thursday! Are any of you attending your local rallies?

-This guy is awesome. On feminism and the lack thereof in children's movies.

-Have you ever looked at a book cover and gone "Man, that's the worst book cover ever?" Trashionista has! They discuss rating book covers and creating a go-fug-yourself style place for book covers.

-A really extensive and through review of No!No! I've been super curious about this since Jeanne first blogged about it back in December, it's great to see it in action and find out that it really works!

-Gala Darling dishes on Muxtape, a place to create mixes online-- I think I know what I'm going to be testing out with the next Lab Accident!

-The article that everyone in my house was talking about: The Wall Street Journal discusses mommy-blogging.

For news in the Total Beauty World, check out the Total Beauty Link Roundup here!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hopeless and Romantic

In the spirit of "April showers bring May flowers" on this thunderstorm-y day in Manhattan, I am going to share with everyone a little music for a rainy day.

You've heard of Broken Social Scene, right? And some of the great solo albums its approximately twelve thousand members have produced to great acclaim? Right behind Leslie Feist, Jason Collett is one of BSS's most prolific. In the past few years, he's worked with Broken Social Scene, put out three albums of his own, and taken time off to raise his kids. Can I say, I think that's adorable? His recent Here's to Being Here is a whiskey-splashed, pop-and-blues-tinged, two-days-of-beard-stubble sort of album to follow up the decidedly Dylan-esque Idols of Exile from 2005.

Like many of today's great unlauded indie albums, Here's to Being Here is music for a breaking heart on a gray day (the other band who can help you out in those times is The Submarines). It's a little bit bitter and a little bit melancholic, but there is a glimmer of excitement and hope in Collett's eye-closed and half-dancing guitar licks. In "Not Over You," surely the chorus is repetitive, but in a charmingly tantric way. It's soothing and cathartic to sing along to, like a great power ballad from the 80s that you realize is entirely underappreciated after rocking out to it in your car.

"This is very much an old school guitar record, in the sense of it being very tasteful... that's one of the greater accomplishments of this record" says Collett, "recording in bigger spaces and live off the floor allowed us to capture some of the band energy. This allowed for spontaneous creations, which led to many wonderful little accidents."

If you like Broken Social Scene's more ambiant, diamond in the rough tracks, check out member Kevin Drew's recent solo album, supposedly the first in a series of Broken Social Scene Presents...!

Image and quote from ArtsCrafts.ca. Arts and Crafts, I love you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

This Week in Total Beauty: April 11th

Oh my gosh, is it a web tour? I do believe so, yes!

Laurie at Beauty's Spot finally dishes on meeting Lauren Conrad at Fashion week and gives you the details on Mark. Cosmetics' makeup backstage!

Want long, lush lashes? The Beauty of Life offers you the chance to win some with an amazingly lash-tastic contest, courtesy of Ardell Fashion Lashes!

Monique at beauty girl musings shares her timesaving discovery that you are sure to love!

Tink at Casual Lavish shares her newest creations with you. Check out her Delusions of Alice nail polish "frankening" collection.

The Muse reviews the Kiss Spring 2008 Collection directly from Japan!

A Mom in Red High Heels shares about her consultation with makeup artist lebec of lebec cosmetics. Check out all that she learned!

Tea, anyone? Jeanne of Periodic Style spills on some green tea goodies!

Jennifer, from Beauty in Real Life, gives you the tips to avoid the dreaded mascara smudgies!

Beauty411 reviews the Kate Somerville skin care line. Learn how you can get your own Red Carpet glow!

Meredith at Daily Dose of Coffee spots something new at Sephora: Cargo Melt-Proof Collection,! Now the summer isn't looking so humid.

Budget Beauty Love shows you how to get a Cleopatra inspired eye.

Joy from Makeup Junkie gets our skin prepped for summer with Beauty 101: Beauty Prep For Summer Part 1!

Mischo Beauty is pleasantly surprised after using natural skincare and mineral makeup by Erth.

Hand Repair!

I work in a kitchen for my day job, which is a lot of fun. However, being around the constantly changing temperatures (cold in the walk-in, hot everywhere else) has been playing havoc with my hands, and my normal routine of just throwing on some Dream Cream or Celestial while I moisturize the rest of me has not been cutting it lately. Plus, the weather here has been freaking out-- rocketing between spring and winter and back again, so it's not just my hands that are drying out.

So what have I been doing to help repair my super dried out hands?

Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream

This has a delightful lemon-y scent that really is a true lemon scent, not one of those icky lemon scented topnotes with base notes of ick. It's great for cuticles, but I also love to spread it all over my hands when they're super dry. Plus, it's available at Target, so it's really easy for me to pick up more when I run out. (You know, once I get a day off.)

Product Body Shea Butter

Okay, so I have to admit I have not bought the full size of this product-- I'm still working my way through a sample sized tub of it that Jeanne sent me. I'm a big fan though! I've been using it on any ezcema flair ups I've had for the past year, and it really works well at getting rid of them. And now that my hands are insane, I've started using it there too, and am about ready to spring for a full sized tub. Love their products. I've been using it in Sweet Vanilla Mango, which smells like a pina colada to me, but I think I'm going to get a replacement tub in Pink Grapefruit (my tub of Crush on You is in Pink Grapefruit and it smells so delicious!)

What is everyone using on their hands? Anyone have any suggestions on pump bottle hand lotions?

Images from amazon.com and productbody.com.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Basically anything that is awesome." - A Periodic Style Tribute to Kelly Kapoor

At long, long last, after months of waiting, The Office is finally back on TV starting tomorrow night.

However, I'm of the (admittedly, unpopular) opinion that I'm totally bored and done with Jim and Pam, especially after season three, where Pam learned to grow up and Jim... didn't. (When everyone was picking sides between Team Pam and Team Karen, my side was "Team JIM DOESN'T DESERVE EITHER OF THEM".) But I will tell you whose side I'm firmly on: TEAM KELLY.

That's right: I am sticking my flag in the sand at the Beach Games. I would much rather hang out with, get to know, and be BFF with Kelly Kapoor than anyone else on "The Office".

Kelly started out mysteriously on "The Office", as the customer service rep who only made brief appearances to play off of Michael's prejudices, most notably in "Diversity Day" and "The Dundies" -- it wasn't until the middle of the second season that she really started to become this bubbly, girly (and AWESOME) character.

And so some fans wonder what, exactly, happened with Kelly that can't be explained by "Mindy Kaling is awesome and we need to build up Kelly more". My feeling on the subject is that when we first meet Kelly, she's in that "new employee" mode -- dress conservatively, keep to yourself, be on your best behavior. (Heck, even the fact that camera crews are around would be enough to make me be on my best behavior!) But as she got used to the job, used to the camera crews, and used to the regular bouts of absolute INSANITY in Dunder-Mifflin, she let her hair down (literally) and opened up.

Kelly is the friend that you can trade celebrity gossip with, who will tell you you look cute even if she is a little apprenhensive about it, who will take you on double-dates and introduce you to online shopping, then encourage you to have a fashion show at lunch. And she won't judge you if you have guilty-pleasure pop songs on your iPod -- she fully enjoys them, no guilt. And even if she may be a little boy-crazy (which, uh, may be the understatement of the year), her woes with Ryan and Darrell would still be more entertaining than listening to either Angela confessing in secret code while simultaneously plotting your downfall or Pam moping over Roy or Jim (even though Pam is no longer moping, but).

Plus, it goes without saying that Mindy Kaling herself is incredibly smart, brilliant, and fun and I wish she was my friend, even as she wishes that Katherine Heigl was hers.

So here's to you, Kelly Kapoor! Let's go get pedicures and drink Seven and Sevens with eight maraschino cherries each, sugar on the rim, and blended if possible. I'm looking forward to having you back in my house on Thursday nights, because I missed you, girl!

images from such-a-dork.com

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oi, ocha!

Mmm, green tea. I've been a tea drinker for years, and my tea of choice is green tea, whether it's hot or cold. My favorite is Itoen's classic "Oi Ocha", which you can often find in specialty markets (I believe I've seen it in Whole Foods), some Japanese restaurants, and (naturally) vending machines everywhere in Japan.

Plus you get all sorts of health benefits from green tea, too. So it's no wonder that beauty products are feeling the green tea love, both as an ingredient and an inspiration.

For example, green tea is high in vitamin C, so it's used in skin care serums such as Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum. I haven't tried it, but the reviews at
MegsMakeup.com are glowing. It's also used as an ingredient in a lot of powder products, such as Fresh's eyeshadows, which I do own (the Mission Fig trio). Do I notice a real difference in application or wear due to the green tea? I can't really say, honestly, but I do like their eyeshadows on their own merits with or without green tea as an ingredient.

In addition, green tea is also an ingredient in Boscia blotting linens for oily skin. Beauty Addict loved the linens in lavender, so I've definitely been curious to try them in the green tea variation. (I don't really use blotting tissues, though -- I have some, but I think they're in one of my gazillion purses and not the one I'm currently carrying.)

But here is my question: why can't we get the scent of green tea right in perfume? I had high hopes for CB I Hate Perfume's Japanese Green Tea, since I know he's someone who wants to get scent down right. But instead it's this sweet, almost floral scent that we've come to accept as "green tea". You know what I mean? Creative Scentualization also offers a green tea scent that just isn't right -- it's still too sweet and too fruity. What kind of green tea are perfumers drinking??

Maybe it's because so many of us are drinking sweetened green tea that we don't recognize the actual flavor of green tea any more. Even Starbucks alters its offerings to cater to what we believe is green tea: they add melon flavoring to their green tea lattes. Seriously! Melon! If you are a Starbucks green tea latte drinker, ask them to leave out the melon next time for a real green tea latte. If you still like it sweet, ask to add white chocolate (delicious!).

One company that gets it right: Vosges Haut Chocolat's Macha milk chocolate bar. It is awesome and delicious and a great blend of milk chocolate and green tea flavor, without that fake melon-y taste.

And let's not forget that you can bake with matcha (powdered green tea), as Cupcake Blog did with her two types of matcha frosted cupcakes. Raspberry Eggplant made Pomegranate Matcha cupcakes as well -- two of my favorite flavors combined, ooooh yes please. And these matcha shortbread cookies look delicious too.

And now I'm hungry (and thirsty!). Time for another cup of tea...

images from itoen.com and mapetiteshoe.com

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Periodic Style news update!

Karen is currently on an airplane, so Science Fair may be a bit delayed this week! Because we <3 you, here's some Periodic Style news:

- After our interview with Julie Teel, she gave me an update as to what she's doing now that the writer's strike is over (hooray!). Her newest gig: she's now working on 30 Rock as Tina Fey's makeup artist! So. Awesome. So. Jealous.

- The petrie dishes are still under observation; I didn't see any growth at room temperature (which is, I suppose, good for all of us who keep our mascara at room temp!), so I stuck a heating pad under it on Thursday to see if I could kick it into growing something. I've been leaving it alone to grow, so I don't know what kind of grossness may have emerged in the past couple of days... but I will keep you posted. I'm still debating if seven weeks is long enough to really get something good and icky out of it; I may have to try again. Consumer Reports says you should replace it every three months; others say six (!!). What do you think: should I try and go for the full three months? And if I do, should I go with Great Lash again (please say no!), or should I try a different brand of mascara?

- In case you haven't noticed, we've joined some awesome new blogging networks: Total Beauty and Coutorture Media. We're super-excited to be part of both of them -- Total Beauty is an exciting new company, and I've been a fan of Coutorture since I first started following beauty and fashion blogs in late 2006. We're also a member of IFBU: Independent Fashion Bloggers, which is an amazing resource for anyone who's interested in blogging about fashion or beauty or just blogging, period.

- Are you on Twitter? Because we are! If you want to keep track of our blog updates, it's periodicstyle; if you want to follow (or contribute to!) the daily mini-misadventures of me (Jeanne) or Kati, we're at msjeanneb and kitkati, respectively.

That's the news! Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow!

image from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weekend_Update

Science Fair for March 31st-April 6th

-To commemorate his recent visit to NYC, here's a story on Pope Benedict XVI rejecting designs for new liturgy vestments. Can you tell I don't really know a lot about Catholicism? I do enjoy religious symbolism in art, however, so this is pretty interesting.

-A South Korean cosmetics company was forced to drop Nazi-themed advertisement due to protests from the Israeli embassy in Seoul, amongst others. I get the East-meets-West idea, but really? Nazism and Korean beauty is not the very first combination that comes to mind.

-Our homegirl Miss Manners totally schools Anna Wintour in a typically composed yet delightfully snarky way. I love you, Miss Manners, and wouldn't it be amazing to be your personal assistant?

-NASA manages to crush space-filled dreams of German teenager. NASA, you don't have a premium on genius, let the plebeians win sometimes!

-She's A Betty shares a skull tee versus skull tee challenge with us: fight! In related news, market analysts predict that our perennial resource for cheap tank tops, amongst other famous brands and corporations of the late 20th century, will be gone by 2010.

-CMJ posted a link to download one of my favorite tracks off of The Submarines' new album, Honeysuckle Weeks. I listen to "You, Me & the Bourgeoisie" while commuting on the bus, it's strangely appropriate for the Upper East Side, Midtown and the office-working life in general. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Lab Accident: "Do You Want To See The World?"

This was a difficult mix to make. Normally I'm limited by song choice when I'm making themed mixes, but when I started this mix I had over a hundred songs to work from. And yet, there were certain countries/cities that I did not have in my music at all! Whiter the Australia songs? Then there are certain iconic cities (Paris, New York, San Francisco) with a million songs written about them, and all of the songs are good, which makes narrowing them down difficult. (One of these days I will just make a East Coast Vs. West Coast mix, pitting the songs about New York against the songs about California.)

So if I left your city out... well, make me a mix with your city in it!

Do You Want To See The World?

17 songs, 58 minutes.

1. Reitzell / Beggs "Intro Versailles"
2. The Kooks, "See the World"
3. Siouxxsie and the Banshees, "Hong Kong Garden"
4. The Decemberists, "Los Angeles, I'm Yours"
5. Neutral Milk Hotel, "Holland, 1945"
6. Utada Hikaru, "Tokyo Nights"
7. Everclear, "Santa Monica"
8. Guster, "Amsterdam"
9. Taking Back Sunday, "Timberwolves At New Jersey"
10. Benny Goodman, "Swingtime in the Rockies"
11. Peter Bjorn and John, "Paris 2004"
12. Hot Hot Heat, "In Cairo"
13. Cake, "Mexico"
14. Matt Pond PA, "This is Montreal"
15. The Wombats, "Moving to New York"
16. Tegan and Sara vs. Mylo (Party Ben mashup), "Walking with a Ghost In Paris"
17. Bloc Party, "Kreuzburg"

Images from periodicstyle.blogspot.com.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Busy busy busy!

Oh MAN, have I been busy these past few weeks! I moved desks at work and got a bunch of new assignments on top, came home to California for a week's vacation and I haven't had a moment to myself! My goodness. It's been a week full of doctor's, dentist's, and hair appointments at home, not to mention taking care of my elderly grandfather while he visits us, too. It can all get a little overwhelming for a girl sometimes. I haven't even been able to put together a passable WorkWear Daily in WEEKS, I've been so uninspired!

So, 3:00 in the morning though it may be, I am taking this time out to give myself a little breather, a little escape, a little fantasy-land time in the world of glorious fashion we like to call this blog. It's about time to start thinking about light spring jackets to get us through these cold April-May nights, guys!

In breathy anticipation of the return of Doctor Who tomorrow night in the UK (fourth season!), I thought I would take inspiration for spring from one of my favorite sources: TV wardrobe. I almost wrote "costuming" there until I remembered that "costuming" should really be reserved for period shows like Miss Marple, say, but then Doctor Who is in a category all its own. Case in point, we have Rose Tyler and the Doctor ending up on a dead planet, trapped in a cursed space station in the two-part "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit." See below, Rose's amazing asymmetrical-zip hot-pink jacket:
Rose &amp; the Doctor, Forbidden Planet
I remember seeing Rose's jacket and my first thought being, WHERE DID SHE GET THAT I WANT IT--then remembering that a wardrobe department is wholly responsible for it. What are your thoughts on the asymmetrical jacket? I have yet to find a good style where the zipper doesn't buckle oddly, but there is a sneaking suspicion that somehow, magically, the asymmetrical zip makes you look thinner. Yes, no?

Next up, we have the retro and tough-to-pull-off-without-looking-lumpy cropped jacket, seen again on Rose:
Rose &amp; the Doctor, 1950s
Ogle and adore the Doctor's aviator glasses and bouffant hairdo, then let's move on to the jackets, shall we? I've put together this Polyvore collage of some Doctor Who-style jackets, Rose-themed of course:

From the top left and clockwise around: Soundgirl's bike party jacket, Oli (UK) bomber, Republic (UK) "miso" bomber, a surprising choice from Overstock.com, and two Dorothy Perkins hardcore biker jackets--both remind me of this scene, which just makes me CRY. If you click on the link, you'll see an excellent example of cold-spring-night layering that I have often employed, namely the hoodie-under-jacket combination. A+!

Now, lest I become all talk, I will admit to buying a jacket for spring while shopping with my grandmother. I have conflicted feelings about it. If I could find a photo online OR my camera, I would show you, but it would be embarrassing. It's from Charter Club, at Macy's. I know. Not for young, vivacious girls traipsing about big cities in their dainty girl-clothes, but it's actually kind of...cute? Dare I say it? It's cream and black paisley with purple and green floral designs, definitely not something I would have picked off the rack for myself, but what can I say? Grandma has THE EYE. Still, I wish I could have some of these more military/equestrian-inspired jackets:

From the top left and clockwise around, all utterly out of my price range: Alexander McQueen asymmetrical tailored jacket--don't you love how the buttons nip it at just the right point at the waistline?, a naval-chic BCBG MaxAzria asymmetrical button jacket--I love the trim, another Oli piece that is rather structured and pretty, and finally, a row of great leather jackets by McQueen, Miu Miu, and Mike&Chris. I am quite curious about this Oli store...it looks deceptively cheap but cute as hell, in a Target-in-the-US way. Can anyone from the UK clarify for us?

What are you looking forward to wearing this spring? I'm definitely seeing mainstream clothing stores picking up on last year's bright-yellow trend these days! There is a delicious cream-colored straw fedora with a wide black lace trim just waiting for me on the shelf for a warm Saturday afternoon walk through Central Park. Since I'm a budget-minded girl, I'm going to have to stick with my old, distressed teal H&M bikers jacket and a newish winter coat from Institut in SoHo. I can but try to approach the great fashion heights of the BBC!

Images from bbc.co.uk and polyvore.com.

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