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So…what is the Monday Poll?

Well, it isn’t exactly a poll. It’s more of a constantly evolving (devolving?), somewhat random list of questions I’ve been putting out to readers every Monday morning for the past 11 (!) years. (It’s like a kickstart for your brain.) I’ve always enjoyed reading your answers in the comments, and I hope you enjoy reading mine.

1. White nail polish or black nail polish?

Contrary to my all-black errrything philosophy and my inevitable future as a Sith Lord (Star Wars moment, sorry not sorry), I gotta go with the white nails.

I love wearing opaque white nail polish, but the finish has to be absolutely devoid of shimmer, and I also have to use a super shiny gel coat.

And my nails also have to be extremely short.

2. What are you striving for today?

A bunch of things, but most importantly, whatever I do, I want to go about my business with a joyful heart. I also want to kick some mutha’ trucking butt in HIIT class tonight.

3. Have you ever shouted at a stranger?

Uh…not lately.

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It’s true what they say. When the cat’s away, the OTHER cats will play.

Things have been totally different here on the circle lately because two of the local feline hooligans recently moved, so Tabs has been living it up. Now he has the place almost all to himself.

I mean, there are still a couple of other neighborhood cats. Like, there’s this one tabby tyrant named Harris who still comes around sometimes. In fact, Tabs is pretty sure that Harris is the one who vandalized the front office catnip plant, but unfortunately someone sabotaged the security tapes, so he has no proof.

It’s just nice, though, not having to look over your shoulder all the time, you know? No more worrying about some upstart kitty model stealing your favorite rainbow tie out from under your nose. It’s nice to be able to relax and let your fur down.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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Happy Caturday, sweets! Please excuse me while I slam this cup of coffee that my body desperately needs…

Ah… Now can we talk about shoes for a second?

Yes, “OF COURSE WE CAN” is the only acceptable answer here. You know this, right? 🙂

Damn, these Chinese Laundry sequined flats? Freakin’ DSW taunting me and playing games with my 💗 heart…

You know, I’ve owned two or three pairs of Chinese Laundry shoes over the years, and all of them were terribly uncomfortable. And I don’t even think one of them lasted more than a year. So why — WHY?! — am I having lusty thoughts about these sequined rainbow flats?

In my mind I’m like, “Karen, they’re flats. Flats are usually pretty comfy… You could also stick some arch supports in ’em, and and they’re rainbow, so they’ll go with everything. Even your black stretchy pants! And look at the toe — it’s pointy, but not witchy pointy. You could TOTALLY wear these shoes…”

This is the power of persuasion that sequins hold over me!

I might have to pop in and try them on…

Yeah, I’ll just try them on, and if they happen to be comfortable (*crossing fingers*), maybe they’ll come home with me.

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1. Personal palette challenges

I’m the first to admit it — I get stuck in makeup ruts sometimes. I’ll get comfy and do the same look over and over and over again. And over again. And again. (*cough* soft bronze glam *cough*)

But I’ve been trying to not do that as much lately by challenging myself to take old palettes (and new ones, too) and doing anything other than my usual brown/bronze look with them. And I’ll give myself no more than 20 minutes each time.

Granted, this doesn’t always work out, and sometimes I end up looking CRAY and have to take everything off and start all over again (*shrugs shoulders*), but I’m trying. 🙂

2. These astrology mugs from Target

My cupboard already runneth over with mugs, but if I had extra room, I’d get one of these astrology mugs from Target for every important person in my life.

3. Bistro Santa Fe Style Salads

Bless you, Costco! These salads are super tasty, and they’re only $10 for a pack of four! The ingredients: romaine, roasted corn, chicken, crunchy tortilla strips, cheese and a dressing that tastes like thousand island.

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Good morning, friend. Happy Friday…

I’m doing my best to smile and keep a positive cattitude right now, because I don’t want to evoke any more disappointment or sadness or frustration or pain at a time when the news is 24/7 heartbreaking.

If you’ve turned on the news once in the past two days, you know what I’m talking about. 🙁

So, let’s talk about frivolous stuff, because the serious issues will still be serious at the end of the day. We Americans will still have to figure these things out, but right now…at this moment, on this blog, I want to talk about things like gray hair.

Early yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to take Connor to her two-year pediatric checkup, I looked at my roots and thought, dammit, I really gotta do something about this situation, because I’m about two weeks from my next hair coloring appointment.

I don’t usually mind the process of covering up my grays myself during the weeks when my roots go from barely noticeable to OH, SH*T GIRL between salon visits, taking the root cover-up spray, and spraying it on, and then using the crayon for baby hairs up front.

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Let’s break it down, babe.

Starting with…

  1. What is it? Well, I’m glad you asked! 🙂 It’s a new line of $36 medium-buildable pressed powder available now in the permanent line.
  2. It has a split pan with two shades, one warmer than the other, so you can customize your color.

    —-I love this idea and wish more brands would do this! Heck, I’m always mixing shades anyway.

  3. MAC says it’s for all skin types, but it’s supposed to be ESPECIALLY good for normal and dry skin…or so they say (more on this in a few).
  4. The plastic compact feels sturdy and substantial (yay!). It also comes with two applicators — a sponge and a face brush.
  5. It’s available in 11 shades (Dark Deepest, Dark Deep, Dark, Medium Deep, Medium Dark, Medium Golden, Medium Plus, Medium, Light Plus, Light, Extra Light).

    I wear Medium Golden, which is a good match for my NC42 skin.

  6. I think ladies and gents who want 1) oil control, 2) pretty good coverage (one or two layers easily hides hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone) and 3) a matte finish should give it a try.

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Seriously, this packaging is amazing! All of the details are completely there. THIS IS A LIP PALETTE, PEOPLE. But it totally looks like a mix tape. I can see it sitting on the floor of my little red Honda Civic back in the day. (Side note: it would have been filled with songs that I recorded off the radio on KMEL.)

This is NOT a MAC mix tape, obvs. It’s the $25 MAC Lip X 9 Future Emotions lip palette, and it has nine of MAC’s non-shiny lipsticks inside, so Matte, Amplified and Satin finishes in bright and deep shades like pink, purple, orange — the bold route. There’s only one nude, and everything else is like BAM!

Unlike lip palettes where, when you dip a brush or a finger into the pans, they’re so soft that you accidentally dig a fingernail into them, the lippies in this palette feel hard and kind of stiff. They don’t exactly glide, and they definitely feel a little drier than usual for MAC… When I wear them, I feel like I need to constantly put lip balm on, before and after.

That said, if you don’t have super dry lips like I do, and flaking is never an issue for you, it’s a fun palette, especially if you like to mix colors.

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The beatbox-lookin’ MAC Jeremy Scott collection centerpiece Eye Shadow X 29: Lo-Fi palette contains 29 (!) powder eyeshadows, and LOTS of them are colorful.

It’s like someone poured a bag of Skittles into it.

First things first, swatched on my arms…this palette looks like a HOT mess. Several of the shadows swatch unevenly, which is kind of disconcerting (it’s $75 after all). One might logically assume that the rough arm swatches imply patchy application problems on lids, too, but that hasn’t been the case for me.

So far I’ve done three different looks with this palette, and the shadows applied fairly evenly in all three. Blending hasn’t been bad either, and most of the shadows I’ve used look more pigmented on my lids than they do in arm swatches (weird!). I’ve also noticed very, very little fallout. Like almost none.

It would be easy to dismiss this palette based on arm swatches alone, but you really gotta get in there and work it to see what it can do. You gotta drive the car first, so to speak.

(FYI, when I wear some of the brighter shades, like the matte pink, red, purple and green, my eyes have been watering a little, which happens to me sometimes when I wear bright colors, so I’m not surprised by it.)

Here are three colorful ways to wear it.

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I realized JUST RIGHT NOW that I accidentally repeated “Day 7” of this series twice, which is what I get for staying up late to watch Altered Carbon on Netflix. Note to self: go to bed earlier, K-Dawg! Lack of sleep depletes your math skillz.

Sci-fi fans, check out Altered Carbon

Yeah, so this is technically the 14th edition of 14 Days of Ravishing Red, not the 13th. Whoops!

With it being V-Day and all, I wanted to wear a red lip today, but not just a lip with a hint of red, or a tint of red, or a sheer gloss of red. But a RED red.

But I was also in the mood for fuchsia. I looked around and couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I mixed a fuchsia lipstick with a neutral red (Bite Beauty Kimchi Lipstick and Cayenne Lipstick, which are $18 each) to get exactly what I wanted.

I wore this this afternoon at home, and now I’m taking it off before heading to my workout class. No big Valentine’s Day excitement around these parts because it’s a work/school night, but El Hub and I made a date to go to the movies soon.

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Ya know, I’m looking at this palette from the new MAC Jeremey Scott collection, and it’s dawning on me that…I don’t think I have a legit CD player in my house anymore.

There’s one in my Mazda…and I think I might have an external USB one somewhere for my computer…but that’s it. I don’t think I have a regular old music CD player anywhere, and I guess that’s a good thing, because I can totally see myself trying to force-feed this blush palette into it, either by accident, as I mistake it for my Prince mix and push “Play” a bunch of times and, after hearing no sound come out, curse all the technology that has ever existed, or, on purpose, out of morbid curiosity. 🙂

The MAC Jeremy Scott Cheek X3: Acoustica palette CD packaging looks so real, though! When I turned it over, I half expected to see scratches on the back.

The palette is $35 and part of a new ’90s music-themed MAC collab collection with designer Jeremy Scott, who has his own clothing line and also designs for big brands like Adidas and Moschino.

His style is kinda out there… Like, if the Care Bears were club kids in the world of the Fifth Element (fun fact: Jean Paul Gaultier designed the costumes for that movie).

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