Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Bellycorn: Behold Its Magical Beauty

This month, two years ago, I had the bright idea to put up a beauty blog.  In truth, I had zero clue the emotional (and financial) rollercoaster this blog would be over these twenty four months.  More importantly, I celebrate this blog and all of you, who tirelessley have been trudging through my blog posts: the food posts and the makup posts and the endless naval gazing posts.

That's right!  It's a Belly Blog Birthday Bonanza!

In honor of it, I drew you a picture (and keep scrolling and keep reading):
Behold, the majestic magical beauty that is the BELLYCORN!

Or so I thought.

When I solicited some feedback from the well informed denizens of the makeup board on makeup alley, I received the following:
  • "Is that a goatee?"
  • "the darker grey areas appear to be stubble... poorly groomed 'corn."
  • "She needs a waxing?"
  • "pubes?"
God, you people just can't appreciate good art.  I think that my standards of beauty is just different.  *scratches self*  To pretend to be more mainstreamlike, I gave it a brazillian wax:

Thank you for joining me on this journey... on the George Washing Bridge.
I know many of you have been long-time readers and your company cheers me greatly.  For all your comments, your advice, your words of wisdom, your many funnies, I thank you!  Or hump your leg... whatever.  Same thing.

In honor of you & the hairy unicorn, I would like to offer you a chance you smear yourself with unicorn dandruff.  Iz a surprise, a unicorn surprise.  (I say check out my Instagram photo stream to get a pretty big hint.)

Starting today, you can enter to win a unicorn.  Ends midnight in two weeks.  I swear it is not a bag of unicorn pubes.  I totally pinky promise.  To enter for a chance to win, all you need to do is:
  1. Ask me a question in the comment field.  Best questions will be compiled into a future post (for ridicule & fingerpointing).
  2. Enter in the Rafflecopter Widget below (allows me to draw ONE random "winner."  This isn't to say that the rest of you are losers.  Well technically, you would be a loser.)
This is open internationally and you need to be 18 years or over to be considered a valid entry.  All terms & conditions are in the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday and What There Was to Chop Up & Make into a Pancake!

Halp!  I've been sucked into some bizarre space-time continuum where it is Sunday every day!  Alright, you caught me in a lie.  Sunday has come and gone, but my blog writing general malaise seems to also contaminate other aspects of my blogging life: such as attempting a regular Sunday post about whatever it was that I fried, baked, stewed, butchered.

But this is too good and too easy to hold back until next Sunday, which is so far away! So many days away from next Sunday and with complete lack of restraint, allow me to share the kimchi pancake (or jeon).  The kimchi jeon is one of many variety of jeons that exist in Korean cuisine.  If you've eaten in a Korean restaurant, you've probably eaten the pa-jeon, with is a green onion (scallion) pancake.  Or you have had the seafood variety of the pa-jeon called haemul (seafood) pa-jeon.  A good restaurant will include more than a scant sprinkling of inexpensive squid, it may include plump oysters and shrimp and whatever delicious seafood morsels to include in the big flat pancake.  Those pa-jeons include a good portion of rice flour which allows for a very light and crispy pancake, but I will show you the home version using all-purpose flour and left over kimchi.

Ingredients are minimal and easily found, except for perhaps kimchi.  Kimchi I sometimes find in my normal Stop n Shop and Costco, so I hope you can find this near you.  The key to excellent kimchi pancake is the stinky.  That's right.  Have you ever had a jar of kimchi sitting in the back of the fridge until it becomes sour and full of such stink you cry to the heavens to clear the toxic substance from your fridge?  Yeah yeah.  That's the good stuff.

All purpose flour (cup and a half)
1 cup of kimchi chopped
Seltzer water (cup and a half) - or substitute with regular tap water.
4-5 bunches of chopped scallions/spring onions.
1 can of chopped clams including the clam juice (optional but worthy addition)
generous grinding of pepper
1 Tbsp of sugar (optional, but works to balance the sourness & heat)

The amazing thing about this is that apart from the water, kimchi and the flour, everything else is optional.  You can easily omit the clams, but it adds a delicious brininess and bits of chew so I recommend this.  Whatever bits of left over meats, vegetables (especially sliced onions) are welcome here.

Dump and stir all in a large bowl.  The approximate texture you are aiming for is slightly runny.  Adjust with additional seltzer water or flour.  You don't need to be precise, aim for thinner rather than thicker.  This recipe yields about 5 large pancakes.
"Bubble bubble..."

Heat up a large pan on high heat with a generous amount of oil.  You can use any pan that has a well seasononed surface (like my cast iron pan), a griddle or a non-stick surface.

You can make small individual pancakes which increases the surface area available for the edge which becomes beguilingly crispy.  Or a big giant pancake, like mine.  I spoon 3-4 Tbsps of batter into the pan and spread until it is somewhat roundish and is thin overall.
You want to let it cook until you can see the edges of the pancake turn brown and the top of the pancake become mostly dry.   Flip and cook until equally brown on the other side.

You can cut into wedges or tear into it with your asbestos hands and shovel it into your moth.  Goes well with an icy cold beer.

I joined Instagram the other day.  Apparently, I am obsessed with food there as I am over here on my beauty blog.  You can check me out what other dopey things I am pondering over there, too.

Hope you liked the spicy, crunchy & the greasy!

My First SUQQU Palette - Ginbudou 06

If it feels like deja vu all over again, it's because I've featured this palette several times before on the blog.  (And probably because I am running out of ideas on what is a "good" post on the blog, frankly! :P  But needless content, hey!  Why not!?)  Doing the recent post on the new limited edition palette, EX-21Murasakisuishou made me recall what exactly about the "older" palettes I love so much.

I don't want you to think I am some total glitter pr0n nerd, because these days, I am finding all sorts of new found respect for matte eye shadows.  What I really wanted to showcase, was what I mean when I say that a palette is balanced in terms of color composition, texture variation all with a pigmentation that allows for some beautiful layerability.  And darn it, it looks as good on my skin even though my skin is changing over the years.

The color combination of the charcoal grey, the deep purple and the iridescent gold is inspired.  Sure, much less available combination and layering options compared to the eight-color EX-21 Murasakisuishou.  Still each shade and each finish of Ginbudou combine to create light, depth and shade.

For me, when I mention in other posts about a matte shade that grounds a color story, there aren't many palettes that have a star like this purple.  It's not just this star purple color though, it's working in conjunction with velvety satin grey combined with an unexpected rich iridescent gold that makes this exquisitely moody color story.
I didn't fully appreciate this palette intially, falling prey repeatedly to all the new things that relentlessly pursue me (and my wallet) and distracting me.  Many times, after a few frenzied months of love for new things, I kick things to the curb.  But Ginbudou only has grown in my esteem, allowing me to try colors I would never try together and developing a fuller appreciation for the beauty that is this palette!
Took me a few years to truly love this palette.  Yet I remain a fickle monster!   So hence, you can expect all those other things that continue to...SQUIRREL!

Ginbudou remains in the SUQQU brand line up and is available as a UK exclusive.  You can ring up your favorite Selfridges SUQQU counter to purchase it as it occasionally comes back into stock.

Do you have makeup items that holds a special place and gets better and better?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I R on Instagram

Continuing my rampage into social media dominance, I am casting off my Luddite tendencies and joined Instagram.

Perhaps you want to add me?  I R wondegondigo.

I've also added Instagram to my social media icons on the right --->

Instagram be like Twitter with a larger character limited and more filters?

 Click to Follow MEH!
Click to follow meh.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

SUQQU Blend Color Eye Shadow in Murasakisuishou EX-21

Updated: as of 9/21/14, it appears Ichibankao currently has this quad in stock.

The ire of disgruntled SUQQU fans regarding the accessibility of this particular palette is not something to ignore.  When I saw the initial images of the eight-color palette, I knew it would have enough novelty appeal for many people so I made sure to secure one.  I was really fortunate that Liz from So Lonely in Gorgeous was generous with her time to snag one for me from Japan.  I saw it appear on Ichibankao for about half a day before selling out, and then heard unsubstantiated rumors that it appeared for a scant moment on the Selfridges website.

It's a true shame that I'm showing a palette that has only been out a few short weeks but has already become such an impossibility to get a hold of.  Though I try to think of this blog as a vanity object for sole purpose of personal fulfillment (!), I know at times my posts and swatches can be helpful for those trying to make a purchase for things.  Sure, I could have gotten this post up much earlier, but #1) I lazy #2) takes me a long time to get my thoughts in order.
 Yes, much pretty here, but hopefully at the end of the post you will feel either glad you own one already, or feel ok for letting it slip by.  Either way, it's all good.

Shall we take a look at the shades?

 The swatches below correlate to the numbers on the pans above.

  1.  light bright pinky purple with intense multi colored shimmer
  2. yellow warm golden shimmer, again loaded with multi colored shimmer
  3. warm brown bronze shimmer shade
  4. cool plummy brown with predominantly silvery shimmer (among other multi colored bits)
  5. opaque cool white satin; the pan shows pink but not so much on my skin
  6.  opaque cream satin; both the whites 5 & 6 are pigmented.  
  7. dark khaki brown with intense shimmer.
  8. dark cool plummy grey

 Textural variety this palette ain't got it, but what it lacks in mattes and satins, it sure makes up for in crazy complex shimmer.  All the colors coordinate easily and beautifully together and layer well, but the color composition in this palette is not particularly as inspiring as say...something like Ginbudou with its moody grey, purple and gold.

That quibble aside, the colors are very beautiful and easy to use.

In addition to being able to use each shade according to mood and whim, Murasakisuishou is almost an embarrassment of layering options.  I've done some of the easier to compose layering one might initially use.  As the individual pans are split and colors on the skinny size, it would be easy to layer and mix up and two colors in each pan.  Here they are:

 Pan #1:

 To my eye, the layering intensifies the effect of the bright shimmer and multiplies it by a factor of ten.  (can you also glimpse a little bit of the crazy shimmer way on the right of this photo?!  I mean, come on!)

Pan #2:

Pan #3:

Pan #4:
This is a collection inspired by jewels.  Instead of what one might think of in typical jewel tones and saturated colors, SUQQU has brought to life the inspiration of jewels in all the complexity of light and light reflection.

A little more layering, because really, SUQQU layers are just so ridiculously gorgeous:
Then one more combination, layering the above shades with the respective "whites:"
I find the quality, the texture, and the complexity very much what I would expect from SUQQU.  The thing is, for a mature SUQQU collector with a sizable stash of eye shadow palettes, this is kind of a redundant addition.  I have other palettes that have some beautiful color combinations or textural variations that make them much more desirable to me.

However, for the new fans of the brand, Murasakisuishou would be the epitome of SUQQU shimmer!  And with so many shade options and outrageous glow, I can think of how this would really please many people.

The cruel irony would be that this palette is so darn freaking impossible for many fans (new and old) to get a hold of.  Woe!  Cruel twist of fate! 

Look 1: Heavy on the Pan #2, with the combined shade of pan #4 to define and smoke around the eyes.
 Other products used: Edward Bess Blush Extraordinare in Secret Affair.  (Can't remember the lipstick. oops)

Look 2:  Basically layered all the shades like a mad person and really packed on the purple in pan #1.
Other products used: SUQQU Frame Fix Cream N foundation, Serge Luten lip palette (the blue red), THREE shimmering glow duo.  THREE Divine Radiance blush.
Look 3: Trying to place the shade more individually.  Purple as main lid shade, the other shades for specific crease and outer lid placement.

 Other products used: SUQQU Frame Fix Lasting Pact foundation, THREE Divine Radiance Blush, YSL Gloss Voluptée (I think this is sample of #47).
SUQQU is available in Japan, Bangkok and UK.  In the UK it is available in Selfridges & Fenwick.  International customers can call the Selfridges counters, or order on their website.  Various other website retailers (I use Ichibankao) also carry this brand.

Were you able to snag one of these limited edition palettes?  What do you think about these hard to find items.  Do they make it more covetable or does it turn you off completely?
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