Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hey There, Puddin'! My Harley Quinn Cos-Play Photo-shoot!

Wowzers! I have had very little time or energy to sit down and write a blog post. I recently received some extra responsibilities at work, so I've been too busy to write anything at lunch.  Whenever I return home, I usually have chores to do; I also need to unwind with a good book, video game, or some swimming.

Forgive me, pretty pandas! :( Here's a new post!

In August, I am attending MechaCon in New Orleans for the second time (it's an anime/movie/Japanese culture/video game/comic book convention). I am going to cos-play as my own version of Harley Quinn, The Joker's loony sidekick who wears wicked colors. This past Sunday, my friend Brad shot some amazing photos of my youngest sister, Anne, and me in downtown Houma. He attended UNO for film, and he knows what the heck he is doing. Anne is going to cos-play as Catwoman! I wish our other sister, Kristen, would cos-play as Poison Ivy so we could be the Gotham Sirens, but that's not her thing. 

For your viewing pleasure, here are his shots! Enjoy, and please let me know what you think!

Makeup I used (in order of application):

*If you ever decide to paint your face, I recommend placing a strip of Scotch tape along your jawline or in the desired location(s) before applying the face products. This is how I was able to have a perfectly straight line.*

Have you ever cos-played before? Who or what were you? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings

  • I still haven't had a snowball this summer!!!!!!
  • My dad found a little kitten near our neighbor's mailbox! We're taking care of her until Anne's friend comes to pick her up next week. Her temporary name is Muffin.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Avon Mega Effects Mascara Review

If you believe the eyes are the windows to the soul, wouldn't you want to make those beauties as gorgeous as possible?

I have been on a bit of a mascara kick lately. I don't believe in spending a hefty amount of money on mascara; I find cheaper ones work just as well--if not better--than the department store brands.

What most mascaras have in common is the application: a wand comes in a tube filled with the product. The wand's brush can differ: some brushes are large and thick while some are rubbery and have thin bristles.

Avon has unleashed a brand new way to apply mascara with the Mega Effects Mascara, which recently became available.

For just $10, I had to order one for myself. My mom requested one as well after she had seen it featured on the Today Show. Ours are both in the black shade.

Here's what the product description is on the site:

"This breakthrough mascara provides 24-hour volume, leaving lashes darker, denser and more dramatic. Get ready for a corner to corner lash transformation with our first ever Wonderbrush.

The Wonderbrush bends and adjusts to multiple angles capturing every lash, top to bottom. The unique brush fits the natural shape of lashes, coating them evenly with formula from root to tip. The extra surface area of the Wonderbrush bristles are designed to deliver 40% more mascara to the lash.

Mega Effects Mascara provides a clump-proof, sweat-proof, non-flaking and non-smudging experience. Ophthalmologist-tested. .317 oz. net wt."

So, how does one release this unique wand from its prison? After popping off the cap, simply wiggle the wand around and gently pull it out.

Let's see how it looks!

I am quite impressed with how easy this mascara is to apply. Simply brush the product on your lashes as many times as you wish, and then go on about your day. I love the volume this mascara gives my lashes. I am a volume freak

There is no clumping or irritation whatsoever. Just be careful when applying the mascara to your bottom lashes; some may get on your skin. I recommend keeping a cotton swab handy to gently remove the excess.

Should You Try It: Without a doubt--yes! It's affordable, convenient, and effective. I really love this new method of mascara application.

What: Avon Mega Effects Mascara

MSRP: $10

Pros: Affordable, no clumping, great volume and length, revolutionary and effective application method

Cons: May have excess mascara under bottom lashes, not readily available without an Avon representative (visit and click on "Find a Representative" if you don't have one)

Have you tried this new toy out? What about similar revolutionary mascaras? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings

  • I tried a blog sale for the first time ever from Cosmetically Challenged! I bought her Tarte Treat Yourself to Gorgeous  eye shadow palette, and everything came preciously wrapped and as described! I'll share that later. :)
  • Brownies are better with chocolate frosting, y'all.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

True Blue Spa Blackberry Purifying Peel-Off Face Mask Review

Do you like Bath and Body Works' products? I certainly do--especially during their semi-annual sales. ;)

I picked up a product from True Blue Spa, a face mask, from the clearance bin last month. I love using masks to soften my skin and deep-clean it.

This particular mask is made from blackberries and claims to "purify" your skin.

The things I'll do to keep my skin healthy.

It's called a peel-off mask, which intrigued me. Most of my masks are just creamy.

So, after finishing my bath the other night, I pulled my hair back and applied this mask over my face.

It has a sticky consistency, and you may need a few globs to cover your desired areas. It is dark brownish black, and it doesn't dry clear or anything. You could have some fun sneaking up on people! It also has a sweet berry scent, so be careful if you have sensitive skin. This product may be too strong for you. :/

(Be careful when applying any type of mask around your eyes and lips; these areas are especially sensitive!)

I left my mask on for about half an hour, though the back of the tube says that only twenty minutes are necessary. I was playing a video game, so... yeah, time flew by.

With the "peel-off" claim, I expected to take an edge of the mask and just pull it off. Oh, no--I had to take a damp cloth and rub the mask off. It turned my little towel black, but that washed off in the washing machine.

My skin did feel softer and smoother after this mask; I just wish that it were actually a peel-off mask.

Should You Try It: If you cannot tolerate fragrances, dislike stickiness, or have sensitive skin, I would avoid this mask. If you like trying new facial products and like masks, have at it! The results are pretty nice.

What: True Blue Spa Blackberry Purifying Peel-Off Face Mask

MSRP: I paid about $5 for it on clearance, and it seems B&BW carries it only during the semi-annual sales. You can find a smaller version on Amazon for $10.00 if you are interested. 

Pros: Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother, stays put on face

Cons: Sticky, doesn't peel off well, rare

Have you tried this mask yet? What about other products from True Blue Spa or other brands' face masks? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings
  • My sisters and I will be at MechaCon in New Orleans on Saturday, August 24th! See you there! ^_^
  • I love chicken salad sandwiches.
  • I got to see a job site for work yesterday--pretty neat! I liked getting out of the office for a bit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara Review

Mascara used to be something I didn't think was important enough to use. When I first started wearing makeup, I thought eye shadow, some face powder, and lip gloss were enough.

Well, I was 12 and didn't have as many complexion issues just yet, so I got away with my style.

Today I have a review on Mary Kay's Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in I <3 Black. 

My MK consultant gave me a sample recently, so, of course, I used it as soon as I could!

Here's what the product claims to do:

Long, strong, seriously separated lashes. What’s not to love?
  • Creates bold, instantly intensified length of lashes.
  • Lifts, curls and perfectly separates lashes.
  • Conditions and strengthens lashes.
  • Non-clumping, flake-free formula wears all day for over 10 hours

The brush has short rubber bristles. I like the sleek, simple packaging. The full-size mascara comes with 0.28 ounces of product.

As you can see, the mascara does do a great job of separating my lashes and adding length. I really like to see more volume added since my lashes are somewhat sparse, but that's not the goal of this particular mascara. The formula doesn't irritate my eyes, and I use just one or two coats.

For $15, you're getting a nice deal. Mary Kay mascara tends to last for a while, and it really does perform better than some drugstore mascaras. My mom has sensitive eyes, and she's been using MK mascaras for years without any problems.

Should You Try It: If you crave length and separation, check out this mascara. Ask your consultant for a sample if you're not ready to spend the money. Contact-wearers, you'll be all right!

What: Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in I <3 Black

MSRP: $15

Pros: Great length and separation, no irritation, great for everyday use

Cons: Little volume added, a little expensive, only two colors available (I <3 Black and I <3 Brown), no waterproof formula available

What kind of lashes do you prefer? Do you like Mary Kay mascara? Have you tried this one? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings:
  • I just ordered some Mehron white face cream and setting powder for my Harley Quinn cosplay! ^_^
  • I commissioned one of my favorite Etsy artists, Miss E's Accessories, to make a Harley Quinn-inspired jewelry set for my cosplay. Eloria has serious talent; just look at how amazing these pieces are! I can switch out the Joker card with the red and black pendant!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint Review

Monday sneaks up on me every time--and it's raining. :/ I love the rain, but I love it whenever I am home and in my pajamas. With a book. In my bed. 


A few weeks ago, I received some goodies from Paula's Choice from a contest I won on Phyrra's site. Phyrra is one of my favorite beauty mavens; her style is edgy yet approachable. Her tutorials are helpful for those of us who are a little nervous about using colorful products.

I received one PC Barely There Sheer Matte Tint with SPF 30 in the light/medium shade (I was able to choose the shade), one RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator, and one RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.

I received some samples and booklets, too! The hydrator is the taller bottle on the left at the top, and the serum is the tube in the middle. The tint is on the right.

I have been using the sheer tint on days that I would prefer quick, low-maintenance makeup. 

Let's check out the product, shall we?

Left: without anything but moisturizer. Right: After applying PC Barely There Sheer Matte Tint in Light/Medium

This tint helps to minimize the redness and uneven texture of my skin, but it lives up to its name: it is sheer. It's perfect for days outdoors, like at the beach or camping, whenever you don't want heavy foundation.

I like to apply some loose powder over it to set it (I tend to take this step with any liquid face makeup). 

As far as having a matte finish, I find that it does dry matte but leaves my skin somewhat luminous. Is it just me? Maybe it was my bathroom's lighting. I'm not complaining at all; it's just something I noticed. 

There are four shades to choose from: Light (Level 1), Light/Medium (Level 2), Medium (Level 3), and Dark (Level 4). I find the range limited, so this could be a problem if your skin tone is not included.  

Should You Try It: Paula's Choice is supposed to be an excellent line for sensitive skin, and the price isn't bad, either. This is my first time using anything from PC, and I'm impressed. So, if sensitive skin or rosacea plague you, try this bad gal out.

What: Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint

Pros: Affordable, nice coverage for a casual or outdoor event, every-day wear, high SPF, sensitive skin-approved

Cons: Seems to be available only online, limited shade range, truly sheer coverage (not like a BB cream or foundation for those of you who are wondering)

Have you ever used anything from Paula's Choice before? What about sheer tints for your face? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings
  • OK, Nintendo, you have me hooked on Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I really want to complete the mermaid home decor collection.
  • Brett and I ate lunch at Subway today, and then we walked down to Rite-Aid. NYC Color has a BOGO Free event, so I played a little game with Brett: he had to choose any two products (except nail polish because I have waaay too many bottles at home). What did my wonderful boyfriend choose for me?

Blue cream eye shadow and red lip balm. He said the colors were pretty and called out to him. He must love the '80s more than I do.

I'll make it work out--someday! :P

(That's his hand, not mine. I bite my nails too much to have such long ones!)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sensitive Shaving Solutions

It's Friday, which means I'll be busy writing my August articles for What Now Magazine this weekend! I am excited to feature my alma mater's retiring president's story and a local Cajun saint altar for the readers. :D

I don't know about most girls, but when I was a pre-teen and had just discovered shaving, I was elated to begin a ritual that seemed to validate my entry into teen-dom and adulthood. 

What a silly feeling that elation was. Now I'm extremely happy whenever I can wear pants or jeans for a few days so that I can shorten my bath time and get on with my life.

Don't get me wrong; I love having smooth, soft legs. I just dread the extra time and care required to shave. It's become so much of a chore now, and until recently, I actually had irritating itching after.

For the next day or so after my shave, my legs and sometimes my underarms would become incessantly itchy. No redness, rashes, bumps, or visible signs of irritation, though, so I thought was I was losing my mind.

I shaved with body washes and sometimes applied scented lotion after I dried myself, but the itchiness wouldn't pop up until the next day, which was so strange.

I complained about this skin woe to a co-worker, who suggested that the lathering agents in my body washes could be getting into the tiny cuts and abrasions on my skin that my razor left behind, leading to the invisible itching. She recommend CeraVe lotion since it's fragrance-free and gentle, and she said I should try Dove body wash.

Current Dove body wash. I like to save it for shaving. It has no scent, but I still smell a "clean" fragrance. It's definitely safe for you sensitive gals, but I always find some kind of aroma in everything. 

I have been using Dove's soap bars since I was a toddler. I love them and their gentle, moisturizing cleaning. I have used the body wash before, but I love trying new brands and types for variety. I still use scented ones on non-shaving days, and sometimes I blend the gel ones with this creamy Dove body wash.

My legs, underarms, and arms feel so silky smooth with this! It really does seem to follow through with the commercials' and ads' claims.

My CeraVe lotion. I apply it after I dry off. It has no fragrance, but, like almost everything to my nose, I detect that "clean" scent-free aroma. I'm odd, I know.

I didn't realize just how awesome CeraVe is. I guess I never was much on lotion--I'm a lazy lady--but this is essential after I shave. It's pricey (about $10 a bottle for 12 ounces), but two pumps is enough for each leg and each arm. It softens my skin and heals it after it's been subjected to shaving torture. 

My Schick Quattro for Women Trim Style Razor. 

I have been using Schick religiously for several years (along with some last-resort/in-a-bind razors), and I keep buying the replacement heads. I can use one head for several shaves. I like the convenient bikini-area trimmer for these summer swimming days. Nothing beats a wax, of course, but those are expensive!

So far, I have been having great results and less itchy skin--or no itchiness at all. I apply some other unscented/soothing lotions on days after my shaving to save on the CeraVe, and it seems that my skin is doing better.

Do you have any similar issues? Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? What are your shaving tools? Let me know!

Pretty Panda's Ponderings
  • It's been raining for the last few days, and I wish that I had an excuse to cuddle up with a good book and my jammies. 
  • I ate sushi last night at Ichiban with Brett, my sister Kristen, and our friend Grem. We had a great time relaxing and enjoying delicious rolls and miso soup!
  • Tom Perrotta is my favorite author of our generation.