Beginner, Education, Guest, How-To, Lab Bunny Crew

Newbie to Junkie: Tips for Beauty Beginners

Today, I have a post from MY NEW INTERNET FRIEND, STEPH. I asked her to write a guest post after another friend, Denys, said she thought, based on Steph’s comments, she’d be a great fit for the site. After Denys pointed it out, it seemed so obvious! DUH. The only reason I missed it was because I spend most of my time thinking about myself. 

Because cosmetics and beauty have always been a part of my life, I often forget that not everyone has the experience and know-how that I do. It’s come up here before. Steph pitched her idea for a post about tips for beginners who are looking to step up their beauty game, and I was like, YES, DO THAT!! Her recently acquired knowledge is thorough and insightful. She’s a natural! 

I’m super excited to have her stepping outside the comment box and into the spotlight! I hope you all enjoy reading what she has to say as much as I did. Thanks for your great comments and warm messages, Steph! I’m so happy your voice is a part of The Lab Bunny!


Steph post photo

Hi!  I’m Steph, fellow beauty junkie!  I’ve been a fairly regular commenter on The Lab Bunny and was extremely flattered to be asked by Sarah to guest post.  I’m a novice when it comes to makeup, especially compared to Sarah’s mad skills, but I’ve been actively working to get better over the last year.  I want to offer some advice on getting started to my fellow newbies, but first I want you guys to understand why I stayed away from makeup for so long. 

My first experience with makeup was a traumatic one.  I was in the fourth grade and had been picked to represent my school for a fundraiser.  Being the representative was a BIG DEAL; I wanted to look perfect for my moment onstage, so I asked my stepmom to give me a makeover.  She agreed, and I immediately started imagining what I’d look like once she was done.  I’d never worn makeup before, but even at that age I was a firm believer in its ability to make the ordinary into something more.

I remember sitting down in the dining room, surrounded by her beauty tools.  As she went to work, I envisioned what the end result would be.  I was guessing I’d pretty much look like Cindy Crawford or Jennifer Aniston.  As soon as she finished, I raced into the bathroom to check out how gorgeous I’d become, only to see this staring back at me:


I wish I was joking, but I had bright red lipstick, an insane amount of blush, clumpy mascara, and blue eyeshadow for days.  I’ve got nothing but love for Mimi, but I just don’t have the coloring to pull that kind of look off.  As I stared at my reflection in horror, I heard my dad call to me that it was time to head out.  There was no fixing this before school started.

I’m not going to get into the details of how that day went down for me, other than to say that the adults at my school were surprisingly polite about my brand new baby hooker look.  Predictably the other kids were assholes.  I decided that day that makeup was not to be trusted.  Some people looked good with it, but I was not one of those people.  I stayed pretty far away from makeup after this, except for lip gloss and mascara when I occasionally went to a school dance.  Luckily I was a big tomboy in high school, so it didn’t come up often.

It wasn’t until I hit my mid-twenties that my girly gene finally kicked in.  I started small by having mini spa days every few weeks, complete with manicures, face masks, and deep hair conditioning treatments.  To me, these things are basically the gateway drugs of the beauty world.  They take almost no knowledge or expertise to use successfully, so using them served as a good transition into girliness.  After a few months of that, I felt ready to start tackling makeup again.

Getting into makeup can be really intimidating.  There are a million different products, many of which you may not have realized existed before.  Below is the best advice I have for someone who’s just starting out.

Know what look you’re going for, and don’t get overwhelmed.  There are so many different ways to do your makeup, and if you don’t get an idea in your head of what you like, it’s going to be hard to decide where to start.  Take some time to look at pictures and think about what speaks to your.  Do you want to look natural?  Dramatic?  Retro?

Personally, I’m obsessed with a perfect cat eye and really red lips.  When I started out, I knew that’s what I wanted to be able to do; it helped me get an idea of what products (other than the basics) I need to buy and what techniques I needed to learn.  Going to a makeup counter and asking them to give you an application in your favorite style is also a good idea before you start buying products.  A smoky purple eye could look amazing on you, or it could make you look like you’ve just gone up against Mike Tyson for a few rounds in the boxing ring.  It’s best to find that out before you buy the eyeshadow.

Practice every chance you get.  DO NOT wait until an hour before you’re leaving the house to attend a party to become an expert on creating the perfect smokey eye.  You will fuck it up, you won’t have enough time/expertise to fix it, and the night will end in tears.  When the pressure’s on, stick with tried and true makeup you’ve done in the past.  Practice applying colors, products, and looks you’re never used or done before when there’s no rush.  One of my favorite times to test new tricks out is just before I wash my face at the end of the night.  Even if I completely screw it up, I only have to look at my face for a minute before it becomes a clean slate again.  There are still things I regularly make a mess of, but practice really does make perfect.

Use the internet!  Seriously guys, it’s not just for porn anymore.  There are a million different resources available, including everything from product reviews to step-by-step tutorials.  Whenever I’m getting ready to buy something new, I do a ton of research before I take the plunge so I don’t get stuck with something I hate.  Once you’ve got a short list of products you’re interested in, head to a Sephora, Ulta, or department store makeup counter and test all the things.  There is no substitute for getting a product in your hands and checking it out for yourself.  I always feel better about making a big makeup purchase if I do both of these before I pull the trigger.

Some of my favorite online resources for buying products and getting tutorials (other than The Lab Bunny, of course) are listed below.

Reddit’s Makeup Addiction Subreddit (  Reddit can be an awful place sometimes, but their Makeup Addiction subreddit is fantastic.  You’ll find links to articles, tutorials, information about new products, and before and after pictures.  You can also post your own pictures up for constructive criticism and suggestions on your makeup.

Reddit’s Makeup Exchange Subreddit (  This is another really useful subreddit, and it’s one of the first places I go when I want to try a new product.  It’s premise is this: users post up lists of the products they have that they’d like to get rid of, or lists of products they’re trying to track down.  Other users can then offer to swap products from their own collection, or buy products outright.  Sometimes the products are used/sanitized, sometimes they’re brand new.  I’ve had great luck trading here; this month alone I picked up Urban Decay foundation and the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for well below retail.  More details on how the swapping system works are listed on the site, and there are many other makeup swapping sites out there if this concept interests you.

Temptalia (  This is one of the greatest sites for product reveiws.  Not only do you get detailed descriptions, ratings, and gorgeous swatches to look at, duplicate shades from other brands are linked so you can check out all the options available to you.

The Beauty Department (  This site has so many comprehensive how-to guides for basically every aspect of makeup application.  If you don’t even know how to apply foundation yet, The Beauty Department can help.

xoVain ( This site has a lot of good (and completely random) makeup tutorials.  They did “how to look like Bowie” earlier this year!  Alle’s posts in particular are wonderful.

I hope this was helpful!  I know I’m kind of long-winded, so thanks for putting up with my rambling.

Naked 3, Upcoming, Urban Decay

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette Colors!

Urban Decay released a sneak peek of the colors in the upcoming Naked3 palette today!

The video is HERE on their Instagram. 

It looks like the leaked photos floating around the internet are the real deal. The shadow names and colors in the video all match up with the names in these pics.

naked3 leak photos

Photo via Reddit

What do you guys think? Do you want it? I’m sort of on the fence. I’m not crazy about how rosy all the shades look in the pan, but I’ll have to see it in person to be sure. It’s going to be tough to pass it up. I’ve been able to mostly squelch my addiction to buying UD palettes, but these Naked products keep callin’ my name!



Birchbox November 2013, Review & Photos

birchbox 11:13


REAL TALK: I took photos of this month’s Birchbox much faster than usual because it had a snack in it. I mean, I was on it with a quickness. Never mind that I just got rid of all the leftover Halloween candy. This is WAAAY better than picked over Whoppers.

So, my November box was already in it to win it with the inclusion of food. And things only got better from there!

TOCCA Crema da Mano in Cleopatra

What they said: Loaded with natural oils, this grapefruit and cucumber lotion absorbs in a flash.
What I say: This hand cream is already out on the coffee table as my new “house lotion.” I’m a sucker for all things Cleo, and I love a nicely scented grapefruit product. It smells wonderful, and it moisturizes nicely without leaving any greasiness or weirdness behind.

Color Club polish in Top Shelf

What they said: From the new Cocktail Hour Collecion, this shimmering shade give nails a gorgeous glint.
What I say: I do not understand why I keep getting polish in this color! What’s with the rose gold obsession, Birchbox?! This color is not me, at all. Plus, it’s kind of a bummer that I really did get another Color Club polish in a nearly identical shade just a couple months ago. This was the dud of the box for me.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil

What they said: This face illuminator brightens and contours – it can be applied 10 different ways!
What I say: YAY! This is in my makeup bag, and it’s my new eyebrow highlighting pencil. The coverage is great, it blends nicely, and the color is nice. I’m super stoked to get such a good product in a generous size!

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

What they said: This customer fave mimics effects of microdermabrasion for a glowing, smooth complexion.
What I say: Another really solid product! When I was an esthetician in salons, one of my favorite treatments was a papaya enzyme peel. This product is really close to the one I used in my facials; the texture and the effectiveness are remarkably similar. I loved this. I miss my peel! So far, I’ve only used this once, but there was a noticeable difference in the brightness of my complexion, and the texture of my skin. It lives in my shower now, and if it keeps up the good work, it could become permanent.

Chuao Chocopod

What they said: Made with premium cacao, these inventive treats satisfy any sweet tooth.
What I say: The piece I got had candied orange peel in it, and that’s all I needed to know. Yum, yum, get in my belly. I ate it all up, and it was DELICIOUS!


Besides the boring nail polish, this was an A+ box. I had a hand cream AND a brow highlighter in my Sephora cart, then this box came, and I was able to buy other stuff! Between that and the chocolate, it’s like Birchbox has got me bugged. Add in the fabulous papaya peel, and I was SO EXCITED. This month was totally worth the $10 price! I’ve found myself, more and more, really looking forward to getting my Birchbox every month. I’m really excited to see what’s in store for December!

Get your own Birchbox subscription HERE.

Bargain Beauty, Lips, OCC, Sephora

OCC Lip Tar All-Star Mini x 4 Set: Anime & Black Dahlia

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 5.32.04 PM

Sephora, $20

Yesterday, I told you about this exclusive to Sephora set of OCC Lip Tars.  Four of OCC’s amazing Lip Tars in the perfect size, at a great price. Long wearing, deeply pigmented, super sexy, ultra awesome liquid lipstick for only $20!

occ lip tar sampler

I showed you the neutral pink and the primary red yesterday. Let’s finish up the set!

occ lip tar set arm swatch 2

Anime is a hot, blue based fuchsia, so I was in love right away. It’s a vibrant, bubblegum pink that’s eye catching and bright.

occ lip tar set anime

Anime has great coverage, and it doesn’t crease or show lines when you press your lips together. The color was easy to work with, it applied beautifully and left a pretty stain. I loved this color! I definitely see myself wearing it often. A bright lip like this is more wearable than people think. It looks pretty and unobtrusive when you pair it with a light eye.

Black Dahlia is a deep, blackened red. It’s a beautiful wine color that’s great for fall and winter. I was super into this color, and it inspired me to create a whole witchy look.

occ lip tar set black dahlia

DO YOU LOVE IT?! I love it! It looks so much darker in the tube, but on the lip, it was much lighter. Black Dahlia was the most difficult to work with out of the set. The color moves around quite a bit, and it will settle into lines and cracks. A little patience and a steady hand with the little brush will get you through. Remember dark colors will make your lips look smaller. If this is a concern for you, blot the color down and/or use a concealer or highlighter color on your cupid’s bow, above your lips, to make your lips look fuller.

To get the best results out of your Lip Tars, be sure to prep your lips before you wear them. You’ll get a smoother application and better wear time if your lips are lookin’ and feelin’ right.  I try to keep my lips prepped at all times. You never know when you’re going to be in an emergency that calls for your well hydrated and exfoliated lips to look on point! YOU LITERALLY NEVER KNOW.

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 8.37.18 AM

I figured out a way to show scale! DUH!

I think this set is a really great buy. Crazy long wearing, you only need a tiny amount, and the price all combine to make an amazing deal. This is an excellent starter set for anyone new to OCC’s Lip Tars. I’m totally thrilled they made it, and I hope they do the entire Lip Tar collection in this size!

Buy the Sephora exclusive OCC Lip Tar All-Star Mini x 4 Set HERE.

Bargain Beauty, Lips, OCC, Sephora

OCC Lip Tar All-Star Mini x 4 Set: Memento & NSFW

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 5.32.04 PM

Sephora, $20

Well, this is freaking brilliant.

This set is proof positive that dreams really do come true! Ever since I bought my first Lip Tar, I’ve wished for a smaller, cheaper tube. The pigment in their formula is so intense, a tiny bit goes a really long way! How was I ever going to finish a tube?

occ lip tar sampler

L-R: Memento, NSFW, Anime, Black Dahlia

The tubes in this set are small, 0.08 oz each, and they’re exactly what I wanted! Large enough to be useful, but small enough to feel like I didn’t pay for a ton of wasted product. I’m trying to show scale here with my little paw, but, you have no idea how big my hands are! Let me just say that the iPhone is almost getting too tall for my hands now. Does that help? The colors are good for a wide range of looks, and I think they show the vibrancy of the OCC Lip Tar formula really well. This set is a Sephora exclusive, and at $20 for four small tubes, when a full size tube is $18, it’s a really great deal.

To me, these four colors seem really accessible – they’re a good choice for anyone new to the line. They might seem really bright, but they can be easily blotted down. Besides, come on! Live a little! Are you going to go your whole life without wearing some insane lipstick? Brother, that ain’t livin’.

We’ll do two colors today, and two colors tomorrow. Starting with, what I think, are the two most useful colors, Memento and NSFW.

occ lip tar set swatch 1

Memento is a neutral, medium pink/plum. It’s bright, and sweet, and it would be a really beautiful day to day color.

occ lip tar sampler 1

You could wear this color with so many looks, in so many different settings. It’s versatile, and the most wearable of the four colors.

NSFW is a balanced, true primary red. This color means business and it is GORGEOUS. I have a super special place in my heart for red lipstick, and NSFW is about as straight up red lipstick as it gets.

occ lip tar sampler 2

Red lipstick makes me feel like everyone should look at me. ALL HAIL MY POWER COLOR. Red lipstick is my can of spinach. I put it on, and my beauty muscles pump up! I even commandeered my own attention in the mirror in this color. I’ll tell you this, I was very compelled to take a ton of pictures of myself wearing NSFW.

occ lip tar sampler diptic


Let she who is without a thousand pictures of her own face in her phone cast the first stone. There’s a reason that self facing camera is there, ok?

As usual, you’ll get hours of wear time from these Lip Tars. They stain like crazy, so if you don’t use a slow and steady hand WITH the recommended tiny bead of product, you could very easily end up looking like some dirty, Kool-Aid mouthed hillbilly child. That’s not a cute look. We want super sexy confidence power mouth, not “nobody cleans my face and I think Kool-Aid is the same as juice” mouth.

Part two tomorrow!

Buy the Sephora exclusive OCC Lip Tar All-Star Mini x 4 Set HERE.

Bargain Beauty, Links, SALE Friends & Family Sale 2013’s 20% off Friends & Family Sale starts today, 11/5, and goes until 11/16. They have a lot of the same brands Sephora does, so if you weren’t able to get in on Sephora’s F&F sale, you still have the opportunity to pick up some new products. I bought the Kevyn Aucoin powder. It was a little bit of a splurge, but it looks so beautiful, I need it on my cheeks.

The sale link was sent out via email, but mine didn’t show up. So, you can use Temptalia’s link HERE or The Muse’s link HERE.

And you KNOW I have purchase suggestions for you!!!

Beautyblender Makeup Sponge Applicator

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder

NARS Blush in Orgasm or Super Orgasm

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

You HAVE to use the sale link to access the sale, so be sure you click through to one of the other bloggers to get the 20% off. After you do that, you don’t need a code or anything.

Happy shopping!


Unexpected Found Spam Poetry

This spam comment has me mystified. I’ve been clicking over to the spam folder just to read it over and over. It’s like getting an ominous riddle inside a fortune cookie. What does it mean?!

spam fortune

an elaborate system of scheming

an elaborate system of scheming


I can’t even touch the part about the misery that awaited us. What are you talking about, ugg bebe?!




Friday I'm in Love, Personal

Season of the Witch

ahs friday im in love

Oh man. I ate a ton of little candies last night. I got all hopped up on sugar, and then I crashed. I woke up this morning feeling terrible. Is this what kids feel like the day after Halloween, or, am I just an old lady? I don’t know, but I have a ton of candy left and I’m surfing the crimson wave, so I’m basically just going to sit on the candy bowl while I dump the rest of the bags into my mouth until I either stop or start crying. We’ll see how I’m feeling. Thanks for everything, body! You’re a real shithead sometimes.

Other than enduring a visit from Tia Rojo, this has been my first full week back to work here at the Lab Bunny in I don’t know how long. I am SPENT! I don’t know how some of these other blogs do so many posts a day. Don’t they have television shows to watch?!

Speaking of television shows, can we talk about American Horror Story aka The Reason TV Was Invented? I am a HUGE AHS fan. American Horror Story is my Breaking Bad. Like, Breaking Bad is a good show, I get it, but BB can eat it next to AHS. EAT. IT. Now, I’m not all the way through Breaking Bad yet, but I’m pretty sure Walter White never fell in love with the ghost of a school shooter, or became a possessed nun, or went to witch war against Ms. Tina Turner. Gimme a show where Dylan McDermott cries and jacks it at the same time, or give me nothing. This season is about female power, and I am INTO IT. Jessica Lange is fantastic, as usual, but I’m really excited about Frances Conroy’s character, Myrtle Snow. They’re so obviously dressing her as Grace Coddington, and she looks fucking fabulous. I can’t even take it.

Grace Coddington




I want those red, ruffled gloves so bad. When they made their appearance on Wednesday night’s show, I literally gasped. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty positive I’d never take them off.

When AHS is over at the end of the season, I am so, so sad. I wish it was on year round. This year, the first episode of the new season debuted a few days after my birthday, and it made me want to skip right over my birthday, just to get my show that much faster. You never know what’s going to happen on this show!! Like, making predictions are fun, but they never matter because they hardly ever come true. This year, I saw alligators come back from the dead and eat some dudes. Zombie alligators. Why? WHY NOT?!

First rule of AHS: You ALWAYS talk about AHS.

Second rule of AHS: Don’t ask why. “Why?” and AHS do not belong together.

Mad Men used to be my favorite show. Mad Men is still one of my favorite shows, but my passion for it has never reached AHS heights. I’m becoming an obsessed weirdo with a television show. Like Dr. Who people. Dr. Who people are nuts! But, I get it now! Dylan McDermott’s murder gazebo from Season 1 is like my magic phone booth, or whatever.

You guys. This season has Patti LuPone. LUUUUPOOOOONE. She’s a holy roller with shirtless hunks for sons who all live next door to a boarding school for teenage witches.

Sometimes, I think the writers just have a bunch of different words written on scraps of paper in a witch hat, and they just pull random ideas out of the hat and write a show. I love it. I really, really do.

I sat down to write a little post about my week, and it just ended up being about American Horror Story. So, you know what? Fuck it. Friday I’m in Love with American Horror Story. And I have every reason to believe it’s in love with me. This season, in particular, feels like a love letter to me. Every stage of my life has had its pop culture witches, The Witches, The Craft and now American Horror Story Coven. I’m all grown up now, and I like my witches to be POWER BITCHES with gorgeous outfits.


The first season is on Netflix. It’s scary and so funny. The second season hasn’t show up yet, and the third season is 4 episodes in. I’m not sure if you could pick it up right now, but maybe! Really, every week a new story develops, so you might as well try to jump in now!