Fall Beauty Haul 2016 Part One


Happy Friday everyone. I’ve been meaning to do a beauty haul for a while for those of you who appreciate makeup and beauty products. This will be the first half of the new products I’ve tried since spring and I will do the second half either on the weekend or early next week.

In my opinion when you buy makeup, you often get what you pay for. This does not mean a $300.00 beauty cream is better than a $75.00 cream. But I do find a difference between drugstore brand makeup and skincare and higher-end beauty products one might find at Sephora or in a department store. Sephora makeup for instance, is often better quality depending on the brand and ingredients. The makeup lasts longer, works better, and depending on the product, can save you money in the long run.

However, there are always cheaper products which break the rules. And drugstore makeup products are improving in quality and have improved a great deal in quality since I first used them as a teenager around eighteen-years-ago. I do have a bit of variety in price point for products I’ve been trying lately.


  1. Kat Von D – Shade + Light Contour Quad – In Plum – Matte Finish – (www.sephora.ca)$34.00 CAN (three additional colour pallets to choose from).
fall-beauty-haul-kat-von-d-eyeshadow
Kat Von D Eye Shadow Quad In Plum (www.sephora.ca)

I was searching on Sephora one day, for that perfect palette to create a pink and purple eye. I was concerned mainly, that the palette have a light purple-pink colour.

It’s a colour which appears great on women with blond hair and winter skin colouring. I also wanted the pink to be in a palette because individual eyes shadows alone can cost $25 dollars and up so I feel if you’re going to use even some of the other colours in a pallet, it’s usually a better deal to buy a palette.

I ended up choosing an eye shadow quad in plum by Kat Von D. Outside of her foundation, I have never tried products from her brand before. I know she is an extremely artistic woman with many beautiful tattoos and had her own tattoo show and I’m pleased with her makeup brand so far.

The pigment of each eye shadow colour in the Plum quad is excellent and there is not a lot of fall-out when you’re applying the eyeshadow to your eyelids and eye area. I also liked how the colour you are supposed to apply all over your eyelid and above, is bigger than the other eye shadows. This makes sense because you use more of that colour than any other colour.

My only problem is this bigger-sized eye shadow in the plum palette is not a good colour for me. While the other colours are more wintry colours, this shade is a fall colour and too orange for my complexion. It didn’t appear that way on the Sephora website — this is a reason its sometimes good to see the products you are purchasing in store.

Nonetheless, this didn’t bother me because all the other eyeshadow colours in the quad are colours I will use and have used a lot. I put a different lighter colour underneath which is more of a cool light-brown.

The idea of a contouring palette is that having a darker crease area and highlighting in certain places on your eye, will make your eyes pop and be a defining feature on your face. For the most part, I’m impressed with this eye shadow quad and would be willing to try other Kat Von D products in the future as they are also reasonably priced.


2. Joe Fresh Lip Gloss – In Fresh Glass – (Shoppers Drug Mart or Superstore) – $8.00 CAN aprox.

beauty-haul-fall-2016-joe-fresh-lip-gloss
Joe Fresh Lip Gloss in Fresh Glass – Shoppers Drug Mart or Superstore (in store).

So in Canada, are main drugstore is Shoppers Drug Mart. They carry drugstore brands as well as high-end makeup. They were bought out by Superstore a grocery store chain. This hasn`t changed anything except that brands from Superstore, are now appearing in Shoppers Drug Mart such as Joe Fresh and President’s Choice.

My local Shoppers isn’t great in terms of their variety of beauty products because it’s in a poorer neighbourhood and people tend to steal. They did, however, start carrying Joe Fresh Make Up which is inexpensive and from the women I`ve talked to,  decent makeup.

You can always use a lippy so I decided to choose a Joe Fresh lip gloss from Shoppers Drug Mart in a darker rose-pink tube. I thought the gloss would be coloured but it’s clear. In fact, whatever name or colour the tube of lip gloss was, I found they were all the same clear colour called Fresh Glass. I think it’s deceptive to name each tube a different colour and then only have clear lip gloss.

Another weird thing about the Joe Fresh makeup line is it cannot be bought online. Shoppers Drug Mart does feature the products on their website, but you have to go in store to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada or Superstore to buy Joe Fresh makeup.

Over all, I`m pleased with this Joe Fresh lip gloss. It’s extremely moisturizing and not sticky at all. It stays on your lips a long time. I`m disappointed I couldn’t buy a coloured lip gloss but for around $8.00 CAN, I`m not complaining. It was a great purchase.


3. Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation – Waterproof and Longwear – Full Coverage – Matte Finish – Oil Free – Shade 0.5 (fair porcelain) – (www.sephora.ca or http://www.beautyboutique.ca) – $49.00

urban-decay-all-nighter-waterproof-longwear-liquid-foundation
Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Longwear Liquid Foundation – Full Coverage – Matte Finish – Oil Free (www.sephora.ca or http://www.beautyboutique.ca)

I lucked out finding this foundation. I loved my Make Up Forever Matte Foundation but I kept running out every month and a half. It’s not a bad lifespan for a foundation for me but the All Nighter Foundation by Urban Decay lasts much longer for around the same price.

All Nighter is a brand new liquid foundation from Urban Decay and Shoppers Drug Mart also carries it in store or online at http://www.beautyboutique.com. What’s even better about this foundation then the Make Up Forever Matte Foundation (which I would still use) is that my shade o.5 is a bit lighter than the my Make Up Forever shade and it blends into my fair skin better.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s difficult to find foundation when you’ve such pale skin but still need some coverage. Sometimes, you have to use the lightest foundation shade you can find and later upon wearing it in daylight find, it isn’t light enough or appears too orange for pale skin. For winter, this is a better foundation in for me, but I might go a shade up for in summer time.

All Nighter also lasts even longer than the Make Up Forever Matte Foundation — a full 24 hours. Both foundations are waterproof and have a matte finish so on that account, their equal. As well, neither foundation since they are matte and oil free, are better for oilier skin types and don’t make me break-out. The Urban Decay foundation sure does last longer by far.

Literally, two dots of foundation from the pump on the back of my hand and I dab the foundation over my entire face and into my neck and blend with my foundation brush. The All Nighter foundation blends even better than its Make Up Forever counterpart and I need to use so little of it. I have to be careful I don’t make the dots of foundation on my hand too big or I will put too much of the Urban Decay foundation on my face. I totally recommend this foundation, it’s so worth it and there are twenty-four foundation shades to pick from.

The only issues I see with this foundation are if you aren’t looking for full coverage foundation, this isn’t the foundation for you. Also, if your skin is dry you probably want to choose a creamier foundation, something that is has more moisture in it. You could apply more moisturizer under this foundation but I do think it is better for women with oilier or combination skin types.


4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Blonde or Cool Taupe – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN

Since I started to define my brows, I have used the Benefit Brow pencil which cost

anastasis-beverly-hills-perfect-brow-pencil
Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil In Blond (www.sephora.ca)

$30.00 CAN, the same amount as the Anastasia Brow Pencil. The brow pencil shade I used was pretty much the same colour as well. However, Benefit decided to change their brow pencils and make them thinner in both options they carry. This isn’t good for me as the Benefit brow pencils are soft and in a thinner pencil, I would use it too quickly.

The lady who helped me at Sephora said Anastasia was one of the first makeup artists to care about brow appearance, beyond filling them in a bit if you had sparse brows.

While the Benefit pencil looked the same as the Anastasia brow pencil it was a much softer pencil and I used it within about two-months. I didn’t like how soft the Benefit brow pencil was at first but I grew used to it because a softer pencil meant you didn’t have to use as much product.

Since I have switched to the Anastasia brow pencil, I find it much harder than Benefit’s discontinued brow pencil. It may mean it will last longer than the Benefit brow pencil did but, on the other hand, I find I use the Anastasia brow pencil differently. I use it to fill in my brows and trace around my brows. Since the pencil is harder, it does not spread over my brow as easily as the Benefit brow pencil did.

I do need to fill in my brow to get a fuller appearing brow with the Anastasia brow pencil and then blend it with the spooly on the end. With the Benefit brow pencil I traced around my brow and blended it, no need to fill in my brow because the pencil spread easily.

I’m happy with the Anastasia Perfect Brown Pencil and becoming used to working with a harder brow pencil.  I’ll let you know if this one lasts longer than two-months. I’m positive so far, it will last longer than two-months which is always easier on the budget. The Anastasia brow pencil comes in eight varied brow shades.


5. NYX Matte Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray – MSS01 – (www.ulta.com and Shoppers Drug Mart in store) – $10.99 CAN or $8.99 on sale ($7.99 US)

nyx-cosmetics-matte-finish-makeup-setting-spray
NYX Matte Finish, Long Lasting MakeUp Setting Spray (www.ulta.com and Shoppers Drug Mart in store)

This is possibly my best purchased cheap product. I’ve heard good things about the NYX makeup brand even though it is a cheaper drugstore brand. I had tried an Urban Decay setting spray earlier in the year which was about $17.00 CAN in Sephora for a small-sized bottle (1 oz.). Like he NYX Matte Finish Spray, it was oil free and set my makeup so it did’t run or come off on a pillow case (much) if I napped. Both sprays also never let my makeup melt in the day. For most occasions, using a finishing spray on my makeup means I do not need to wear a primer underneath.

A couple of other beauty bloggers I recall reading, raved about the NYX Setting Spray which is available in both Matte and Dewy finishes. As I have combination oily skin, I chose the Matte finish. Some girls who were looking at the spray in store, expressed concerns about it causing them to break-out more.

I did find I had to let my skin become used to wearing the NYX setting spray. I broke-out a tiny bit but not a lot. Now I don’t break-out wearing it at all. I bought the spray at Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $8.99. I have had it for over two-months and there is still setting spray left in the bottle which is 2.02 oz and a much better deal than buying a small Urban Decay Setting Spray for $17.00. I have used the NYX Setting Spray daily as I did the Urban Decay one.

Urban Decay originally came out with a makeup setting spray. They have several kinds you can choose from in a larger bottle that is $38.00 Can (4 oz) at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart (www.beautyboutique.ca).

The smaller version they offer only lasts one month (1 oz). I would like to test to see if  the $38.00 (4 oz) Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray which is almost twice the size of the NYX spray (2.02 oz), might be a better option if it lasts double the amount of time. It would need to last at least four or five-months.When I have some Optimum points from Shoppers Drug Mart, I might try the bigger version of the Urban Decay Setting Spray in Oil Free.

For now, I’m extremely satisfied with the NYX Matte Setting Spray for Makeup. If I can buy it on sale for $8.99 CAN, I think it’s similar or the same product as the Urban Decay sprays for a better value or less money spent at once. Has anyone tried both products and has an opinion on whether they like the NYX or Urban Decay Spray better and why?

That’s it for today’s Fall Beauty Haul. I’ll be back with a Part Two later.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Poem: Free Verse – “Silver and Gold” #poetry #amwriting


http://www.thecollegeinvestor.com

———-

Please Listen Below: 

———-

​Forged in Silver and Gold,
My legs in Bronze wrapped.

Precious metals, the artist molds.

Silver and Gold; precious and cold.

You never let me attach;

Though you feel my skin,

Your most beloved metal.

The artist in me approves,

As you etch my form, and carve,

The length of my body in Silver and Gold.

The Gold of my hair, burnished with Bronze.

The Silver of my pale skin,

Gemstones for my eyes;

The bluest of Sapphires.

More shadow in the glitter,

Masks the deception we share.

Hides my introspection, pain on the inside,

How you could hurt me?

Sketching my soul?

With your golden hands;

So tanned from your heritage,

Creating art with our beauty.

As the Ancient Greek and Romans,

Perfection in Silver and Gold bodies.

You sketch and you etch,

You carve, curves and sensations,

With Silver and Gold,

Caressing my body,

Destroying my core.

My heart and my soul,

The edge of reason fading,

Quicksilver in my veins draining.

Etching you back,

Silver and Gold, for my chosen;

Highlighting your scars,

Diamond gems bright.

Silver and Gold; until I am old,

My body you fashion in Silver and Gold,

Taking and talking, performance art.

My artfulness; your artfulness,

Mutual thirst, for precious metals slaked.

Ag and Au the atomic symbols,

In movements like music,

Golden pixie dust brightens the air,

Silver dust on my eyelids, your cheeks.

Fly me to the Neverland;

Let’s escape the rabbit holes.

Paint our trail flying in Silver and Gold.

I’ve nothing but my heart,

For you my most precious metal.

Silver, Gold, and gems, your body imparts,

Hoping there is more at your core;

In your heart, and in your soul.

Something warm and soft,

The dust from precious metals as pillows pulled of feathers.

Hurt me not; forget me not,

Love me with your Golden skin.

Your Bronze eyes alight and brilliant;

Silver and Gold, we’ve no control,

When the talk turns to whispers;

We blossom and glisten, sweat beading,

Golden and Silver;

My scars so deep glimmer,

Created to highlight the Silver in my skin.

Of Gold so entranced,

Your enthralling hands;

Touch me and multiply the treasure.

You cannot melt me down;

I’m quicksilver on your tongue,

Solid Silver in your grip;

Trapped by your Bronze eyes.

Silver and Gold, in the rise of sun,

King Midas, his work done.

Silver lips give you a kiss,

Beg for your shimmering touch.

As the sun beats down,

The most Golden light,

Of all the light known,

Creator has granted in Silver and Gold.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

Part 1: February to May Beauty Haul 2016 – For Eyes #everydayinspiration


Happy May Long Weekend! I haven’t had a beauty post in a long while.

These products I’ve picked up are from February to the present month of May. I didn’t necessarily buy all these products at Sephora, but it is  easier to search for them all on the Sephora website. As I’ve mentioned, I often buy some of my makeup and skincare at Shoppers Drug Mart or at Beauty Boutique Online, but they do not always carry all the products and brands I use.

This is Part 1 of a beauty haul. I have a second part coming soon with products unrelated to the eyes. Also, a note, I’m using this post to fulfill a Writing 101 prompt to critique something; I’m certainly critiquing these eye makeup products and tools.


 

1. NARS – Dual Intensity Eye Shadow in Andromeda – (www.sephora.ca) – $33.00 CAN

Beauty - NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Andromeda 33.00
NARS Dual Intensity Eye Shadow in Andromeda -Colour appears less pink than it is. (www.sephora.ca)

I’m fond of NARS blushes and eye shadows because they have fantastic colour pigment. Years ago, I had bought a NARS palette with eye shadows and blush included, but I have never used NARS eyeshadow since I used up that pallete. I was searching for a lighter coloured eyeshadow with a bit of sparkle and shine to it when I saw this NARS shadow at Sephora. The colour Andromeda is perfect for highlighting your brow bone or the corner of your eye. It also is a beautiful colour to wear all over your eyelid if you are looking for a colour to make your eyes pop. Darker colours can make eyes appear smaller (even though darker shadow look lovely in an ombre or smokey eye). Another reason I like Andromeda is because in other eyeshadow palettes I’ve purchased, I always run out of the lightest colours first. My skin is pale so extremely dark colours don’t often suit me unless I’m going out at night but even then, I can only use a bit for effect.For the most part, a medium intensity or lighter coloured eye shadow suits me in the daytime and those of you who have lighter skin tones. I’m able to use Andromeda with my palettes to replace the lighter colours I use up quickly. There are many more gorgeous colours of NARS eyeshadow available at Sephora and I recommend NARS eyeshadow for their quality of pigment and variety of colour.

 


 

2. Make Up Forever – Smoky Extravagent Mascara: Dramatic Impact and Graphic Precision – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN

I received this mascara as a sample from Sephora.  It is an excellent mascara due

Beauty - MAKE UP FOREVER - Smoky Extravagent Mascara
Make Up Forever – Smokey Extravagant Mascara: Dramatic Impact and Graphic Precision (www.sephora.ca)

to its wonderful volumizing brush. The shape of the brush is extremely wide at the bottom of the mascara wand and tiny at the top. This means you receive major volume where your lashes need volume in the middle of your eyelashes, but the wand still picks up the tiny lashes in the outer corners of your eyes. I’m extremely pleased with this mascara.

Using the product, I’ve had to use a waterproof mascara over top (as usual) as regular mascara tends to streak around my eyes due to my oilier skin. With the waterproof mascara over top the Smokey Extravagant Mascara, the product stays on well. On Sephora’s website, however; I found a waterproof version of the Smokey Extravagant mascara called Aqua Smokey Extravagant Water Proof Mascara. The price is exactly the same, so if  I bought this mascara in the future I would buy the waterproof version. Using the regular mascara or the waterproof version, Smokey Extravagant is a fantastic mascara, one of the best mascaras I’ve used in a long time. The brush on the mascara wand makes such a huge difference when you apply mascara, not to mention a mascara formula which doesn’t become clumpy over time.


 

3. Tarte – Lights, Camera, Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara – (www.sephora.ca) – $25.00 CAN

Beauty - TARTE - Lights, Camera, Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara (www.sephora.ca)

I received this mascara as a sample from Tarte when I ordered off their website. It is a great mascara. The brush is designed so it picks up every lash and I know many people who rave about this mascara. There is also a waterproof version available on Sephora called Lights, Camera, Splashes, for the exact same price. I was pleased how the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara wand picked up every one of my lashes coating them with mascara. I would have said it was the most awesome mascara, before I tried the Make Up Forever mascara above.The issue is, sometimes mascara wands which pick-up every tiny lash, fail to create volume in your eyelashes where you need it. The mascara itself appeared to be a great formula but I think the Lights, Camera, Lashes brush needs a bit of work. I believe it is an excellent mascara and I would use a sample again if I received it, but after using the Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant mascara, I think the Tarte mascara doesn’t quite measure up .On the upside, Tarte products are made from natural minerals and are a Vegan makeup line so if you’re looking for these aspects and want makeup that is of excellent quality, Tarte is the brand to use. As well, a five dollars difference in price between the two mascaras maybe a deal breaker for some of you.


 

4. Stila – Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black and Midnight Blue – (www.sephora.ca) – $29.00 CAN

Months ago, I was searching for a

Beauty - STILA - Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black
Stila – Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – Intense Black (www.sephora.ca)

waterproof liquid eyeliner to replace my Lancome liner, which changed after many years. I had used the non-waterproof version of the Stila liquid eyeliners and was not impressed. I was hesitant to try the waterproof version, but after seeing how intense the black eyeliner was on my hand, I decide to give the black eyeliner a try. It has become my new go-to for black eyeliner. The felt tip is pointy so you can give yourself a thinner line or build it up to be a thicker line. The Intense Black liner has lasted me four-months and is going strong.

Recently, I have seen a trend in magazines, of blue eyeliner with a paired down eye of basic eyeshadow.  I went and I purchased the same Stila liner I have

Beauty - STILA - Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Midnight Blue
Stila – Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – Midnight Blue (www.sephora.ca)

in the colour Midnight Blue. I probably chose a darker blue than they showed in the magazine, but I’m extremely happy with this Midnight blue liner and have been wearing it everyday since I bought it. It’s dark enough that it doesn’t make your eyeliner completely standout, but the Midnight blue is change enough you notice it isn’t black liner. The colour goes well with blue eyes and I imagine it would appear beautiful on people with  brown eyes, as it is an opposite colour for brown eyes in makeup. I believe these Stila liquid eyeliners are a fantastic investment for eyeliner, whatever the colour(s) you choose. Sephora has other colour options available as well. Also, the waterproof liquid liner stays on your lash line well and works well for giving yourself a cat-eye flick. You are able to wipe a bit of liner away if you’ve messed up your line, as long as you do it immediately after applying. If you’ve waited too long, you can take some concealer on a Q-tip and gently make some of your eyeliner fade and disappear where you messed up.

For those of you who have trouble with eyeliner, especially liquid eyeliner. Here is a helpful YouTube Tutorial I found on Basic Eyeliner this morning:


 

5. Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion in Minor Sin – (www.sephora.ca) – $26.00 CAN

I have used various versions of Urban Decay eye shadow primer for years. Their

Beauty - URBAN DECAY - Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Minor Sin
Urban Decay – Eye Shadow Primer Potion – Minor Sin (www.sephora.ca

primers for eye shadow are the absolute best and help your eyeshadow stay put on your eyelid, without your eye shadow fading. I usually use Urban Decay’s basic primer but I chose to buy Minor Sin this time as it has a bit of a shimmery golden sheen to it and can be worn without eye shadow. Layering eye shadow over Minor Sin, also gives your eye shadow a slight sheen underneath, if you don’t apply too much shadow over top. Urban Decay eye shadow primers also last a long time. I usually receive over six-months use out of a large tube.

The only issue I have with  Minor Sin is I do not like  that its tube is not a squeeze tube such as my Urban Decay eye shadow primers have been in the past. Minor Sin comes with a brush and I don’t like the brush. I don’t believe it is as sanitary as a squeeze tube. You shouldn’t place the primer directly on your eyelid/eye area with the brush because bacteria could get into the tube once you put the brush back in. I think the best idea is to put some of the primer on the back of your hand and use your fingers to apply it to your eyes, however; I do not like this method either because it is easy to waste the product accidentally applying too much product to the back of your hand. The squeeze tube was both more sanitary and made the primer last longer as you only used as much primer as needed with the squeeze tube. I love how Minor Sin looks and works as a primer, but I’m not happy with the design change of the tube and brush.


 

6. Sephora – Must Have Powder Eye Shadow Brush #60 – (www.sephora.ca) – $19.00 CAN

Beauty - SEPHORA - Must Have Powder Shadow Brush - 60
Sephora – Must Have Powder Shadow Brush #60 (www.sephora.ca)

My last fluffy eye shadow brush I bought was from Shoppers Drug Mart and I still have it and use it. But Shoppers Drug Mart didn’t have the same brush available so I went to Sephora, whose brushes I have found to be better than Shoppers Drug Mart brand makeup brushes anyways. I didn’t choose Sephora’s top of the line brushes as I have with some of my makeup brushes such a foundation brush or a blush brush. I do not find it necessary to have top quality makeup brushes with eyeshadow brushes, which don’t go through the wear and tear other brushes do. I wanted another fluffier powder brush to blend eyeshadow above my lid and this brush works perfectly for the job.It’s not as fluffy as the Shoppers Drug Mart brush but it it is good enough and washes up well with dish soap. No hairs have fallen out of the brush so I believe for the price point and design, the brush is excellent.


 

7. Sephora – Crease Eye Shadow Brush #73 – (www.sephora.ca) – $20.00 CAN

Much of what I said with the last eyeshadow brush applies with this crease eye shadow

Beauty - SEPHORA - Crease Eyeshadow Brush- 73
Sephora – Crease Eye Shadow Brush #73 (www.sephora.ca)

brush. The crease eye shadow brush is used to blend a darker shade of eyeshadow into your crease area. I have and use my first crease eyeshadow brush from Shoppers Drug Mart and I like it better than the one I bought at Sephora.

Although, the Sephora brush is nice and the hair doesn’t fall out when you wash it, the brush is a bit big and fluffy for blending eye shadow in one’s eye crease. It works, but it is easy to accidentally apply too much eye shadow in your crease with this brush. But for my purposes, this brush is fine. I use it to go in after I have used my original Shoppers Drug Mart crease brush, and blend all the eye makeup in my crease together. The reason I bought both brushes was for blending purposes and not to actually apply eyeshadow, although; I will probably use the brushes for both jobs. I’m happy with both brushes, but wish the crease eye shadow brush was smaller and less fluffy. For the price point and quality, they are both excellent brushes.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for Part 2.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

1. How Was Last Night For You – The Beginnning


Chapter 1: The Beginning

“How Was Last Night For You.”

She had never seen John in her life before last night. But from the moment he and Nina spotted each other at The Manhattan Martini Bar, Nina had felt an invisible pull between them. Something about John made Nina feel breathless, excited, and terrified all at once. When he approached her with a unique pick up line it had made her smile. ” Of all your beautiful curves, your smile is my favourite,” he had whispered to her. John had bought her a cosmopolitan and they had started to chat. Nina and John had small-talked about the weather and how they liked living in Adare.

The next moment a fight broke out across from their table. Two men were wrestling. One head butted the other in the stomach while the other one punched the first guys neck and back. The men continued to fight. John had put a protective arm around her and led her away from the fight to another small table where they continued their conversation keeping an eye on the fight as it became increasingly violent and bloody.

It was an unusual scene for such a posh place, two men in designer suites going at it as if the fight was all that mattered. Jason, the manager of the Martini bar had called the cops and she wondered with increasing worry when they would show up. Some men had tried to unsuccessfully break the two fighting up with disastrous results. They had found themselves thrown out of the fighting circle and on to their asses, noses bloodied and ribs throbbing from a stray punch. The fight was getting too much to watch. Nina glanced up at John who wasn’t at all worried. He reassured Nina that the situation would be fine but she could not ignore the gasps, shouts, and groans of the other people at the bar as the two men fought like bears ready to maul each other to death.

Nina looked up at John with worried delicate pale-blue eyes. She did not know him well. But John had been perfectly amiable and flirtatious towards Nina. She felt John was distracted; however, and not by the fight.Nina had come out alone that night, to the little Martini Bar The Manhattan, underneath her condo building.

She had jumped in the shower after work, washing, then drying her almost white blond hair and carefully putting on sexy natural looking makeup: mascara, concealer, pink blush, and gloss. Nina chose a short classic black dress, the fabric hugging her curvy size ten pear-shaped figure. The dress draped in the back, revealed her soft white and shapely back. Nina was petite so gorgeous pink heels that completed the outfit were a must.

Nina’s group of friends had all been busy that night and she had  wanted to do something, anything, just to relax and forget a day at work where she had had to hustle. She was not sure why she spent so much time getting ready; she just had had a feeling about tonight, a premonition perhaps, that she needed to look smashing.

Then there had been John with those startling sapphire eyes, dark hair curling at his collar, and boyish handsome face. He was taller than her 5’6″ by a lot and he was nice offering to buy her a drink, sharing pleasant conversation with her, and making her laugh. But as the cops finally showed up, bursting through The Manhattan’s doors, Nina felt there was something off about John. He had not been one of the many men who attempted to intervene in the fight. He had watched the event as if it were perfectly normal as if he expected there to be a fight. John had almost seemed to be bored by it.

The cops who had come in numbers, with sirens, and with yelling, efficiently stopped the fight. Both fighters had swollen eyes that were black and blue and noses that were busted and bent. The men said nothing as they were separated and were shoved off into separate waiting police cruisers. They looked at each other with gleaming eyes full of malice and one of the men was jerked back painfully as he spit at the other man.

The noise in the bar gentled to a hum of excited voices out on a Friday night. The police were talking to witnesses, some people who had been at the bar near the fight, the bartenders, and waitresses dressed in tight black dresses and stiletto pumps. Nina looked up at John who was watching her closely. “Wow” she said, “that was brutal. I thought the police were never going to come. And did you see that fight so violent so….”

“Vicious” John replied quietly.

“But you weren’t worried at all?” Nina asked John.

“Not really” he shrugged “Boys will be boys, besides I would have kept you safe” he smiled. She half smiled back but found it hard to stay cheerful.

“Yeah, but you never thought to stop it with some of the other bigger men. I mean you must be 6’2″ or so and you look like you workout?”

“Why thank you,” John grinned but said seriously,” I knew the cops would have it handled, stuff happens at bars all the time, even this one. Given the nature of the fight I thought it unwise to interfere and leave you here alone.”

“I guess” Nina said distractedly wondering about John. There was something about him that just did not sit right with her. Yet at the same time she felt attracted to him and as if she didn’t want to be anywhere else.

“Want another drink?” She deliberated. “Nina?” John said quietly in her ear.

She shrugged “Sure I guess, a vodka water lime.”

“Let’s make it a double!” He grinned at her going to the bar but coming back empty handed. “Bar’s closing down, something to do with the fight.”

Nina nodded “I should….”

“Come on the night is young. Let’s go for a walk, go find somewhere else to enjoy?” John asked with a mischievous look in his eyes. Nina considered John’s request briefly. Was she safe going off with him? She still felt their was something a bit off about John. But there it was again, an invisible thread of attraction between them. She could feel the connection blooming between her and John when she caught him staring at her.

“Sure, sounds good.” Nina decided. She did not often go off alone and felt a bit nervous walking off somewhere with this near stranger. Usually, if she met guys at a bar it was with a friend or two. The thought comforted her but she felt drawn to John. She trusted him oddly enough, to some degree.

John draped Nina’s jacket over her shoulders and took her hand. They began walking down the block Nina lived on past other condo buildings, stores, and the occasional pub. John wasn’t interested into going into any place so she continued to walk with him, although her feet ached in her slim pink pumps. The heels were not that high but were not met for long walks past the Downtown to the Harbor of Adare, where bells dinged and she could hear water sloshing against the large white fishing and sailing boats. They had barely said a word to each other except for John asking her if she was okay occasionally. She nodded and they continued their walk past the Harbor to a further section of Downtown Adare.

Nina finally had to break the silence. “So you grew up here?”

“Yeah my parents still live here and like I said earlier, I own a publishing company with my two brothers Jasper and Jordan.” John grinned, ” I have great fun with my brothers, most of the time.”

” I bet,” Nina laughed. “Do you fish like most everyone around here?”

“Yeah, I love it. My Dad used to take my brothers and I out fishing when we were young. Taught us how to catch the best trout and how to gut and clean them. I’m more into sailing now, but my oldest brother Jasper goes with his two little boys sometimes. Their a bit young yet to fish but they like being with their Dad. Sometimes I go along.”

” Yuck” Nina said wrinkling her nose, “I hate fish. The way they smell, how they taste. It makes me throw up.”

“I’ll remember that,” John said, “No fish. I usually sail anyways. Only fish now and then makes good eats,” John teased.

Nina was distracted when she heard sirens again and was aghast to find police cars pulling up all over the block they were walking on. A group of paramedics carried a stretcher out in front of them and she heard whispers of a knife attack. She saw the evidence, bags of bloodied clothing, and a knife being carried out in a plastic bags by investigators.

Nina looked at John who shook his head and shrugged apologetically, “bad night” he murmured, “let’s get away from this scene, are you doing all alright?” Nina looked at John than up to the bright white orb of the moon dancing in the sky. It burned through the night sky as some beacon of hope then, a dark cloud moved to dance over it, partially hiding the moon’s revealing brilliance.

“I’m okay John. It’s just Adare, the city tonight is a bit scary. It kind of feels like the fight at the bar happening and this knife attack are more then just coincidence.”

John looked up at the moon and bit his lip. “Ah, full moon” he said” that explains everything” and he seemed satisfied with his answer. “Really are you fine, Nina?” Because I can help you get a cab or walk you home if you really want.” She breathed out carefully not so much afraid as flustered by John’s nearness.

“Like I said, it’s only that having a massive fight and encountering a stab victim on the same night is a lot to take in. Maybe we should head back to The Manhattan, I live right above there.” John looked at her thoughtfully and took her hand. They turned around walking back along the Harbor. Nina turned her head to look at the full moon again. “It’s so pretty but ominous” she breathed. John smiled, a gorgeous smile, much like the moon himself.

“Yes it is pretty, you’re pretty, and you don’t have to worry I’ll get you home. People just go a little peculiar on nights when there is a full moon, it’s scientifically proven. All the crazies come out.”

“Interesting theory” she wondered aloud,” what other kinds of weird things happen?”

“Oh, we’ll I guess anything out of the ordinary you could think of.”

“Hmm” Nina said, “that doesn’t make me feel better. But I do feel safe with you John.” He smiled at her. Nina continued to walk by the lake wrapping her white coat tightly around her body.

It was then something wrapped itself around Nina’s pink shoe and pulled! She screamed. John quickly came to her aid and pulled her away from the edge of wooden walkway at the Harbor. But a cold white hand, hung on to her ankle, and John pulled Nina and a cold shivering mess of a woman out from the Harbor water. “Oh my God” Nina stammered at the woman, “What happened to you? Are you okay? Are you hurt? How did you end up in the lake.Did you fall in?” Nina felt panicked.

The shivering mess of a woman began to cry. ” Somebody pushed me in” she wailed, ” I was standing at the rail of the boat after having dinner with my husband and then I was looking back waving at Thomas and these hands just grabbed me and hulled me over the side of our boat.” The cold wet woman had long auburn hair and shivered as John gave her his coat. She wrapped herself in the coat gratefully and Nina stood their transfixed as the woman told her story, frightened green eyes hazy with cold. “Then I called for help but no one heard me so I swam to the edge of the Harbor here. The water is so cold and I barely made it, then I saw your pink shoe and grabbed on.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Nina bent down to the woman. “ We should call the police John,” Nina said. John retrieved his Samsung phone from his pants pocket and began to dial.

“No, no, no” cried the woman suddenly, changing her mind,”it must have just been my imagination. I probably just fell. But I was sure there was this girl in the water. But I think I was tired and seeing things.” John and Nina looked at one another not knowing what to believe. It was strange, this woman changing her story and becoming all nervous, as if she was afraid of someone or something.

“But a doctor?” suggested John you could have hurt yourself and not known it.” The woman stood shakily and then more steadily.

“I’m fine really thanks…” The dripping wet woman hiked up her wet skirt and ran down the dock dropping John’s now soaked coat and headed for a boat with lights on. She turned around  and waved.John and Nina were left standing on the dock unsure of what to do as they heard the woman’s bare wet feet hit the dock in the distance.

John pulled himself together first, shook his head and went to retrieve his jacket. ” I wonder . . .” he said to himself thoughtfully, then shook his head as if what he thought couldn’t be true.

The light on the boat the woman had ran to went out and John grabbed Nina’s hand. They half walked and half ran all the way to her condo. John walked Nina up to her condo and feeling brave, after everything she had witnessed that night Nina invited him in. “What was that?” she asked John. What a night! A bar fight, a stabbing, and a woman who nearly drowned. And what was that she said about seeing some girl in the water?Do you think she was imagining things.” Nina took out a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Rye. They did a few shots to calm themselves down and began to talk again.

” It will alright Nina it was just one awful night and a full moon. We’re fine. No one is going to hurt us.” He kissed her forehead as if she were a child and preceded to make her laugh by telling her stories about growing up in his family with a Dad who was a Professor of Fairy Tales and Folklore, and a stay-at- home Mom who was a nurse again. Nina told him about her own childhood. About her divorced Mom, Heather, a Cosmetician, and her Dad the Wall Street Lawyer who they never heard from.

It was 3:00 am when Nina drunkenly, sauntered to the bedroom. John followed a dazed grin on his face. She never did things like this but tonight she felt adrenaline from the night rushing through her and just maybe, it was the full moon.

Nina felt her dress fall to the floor and John kissing and biting his way down her neck, before they both fell on to the bed half-dressed. Things became fuzzy after that. They had made love and fallen asleep but when she woke up the next afternoon it was to the ringtone on her iPhone “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce.

“How was Last Night for you?” The voice said on her phone as she pinched her eyes together and rubbed her left temple as a hangover set in.

“Um, interesting…” She croaked.

John laughed, “yes, it was” he said.

“How’d you get my number?” She asked John confused. “Oh, you gave it to me last night” he laughed “and this is me giving you my number.”

“Oh thanks,” Nina croaked trying to sound awake.”You left early.”

“No, thank you” he beamed through the phone “ I had a meeting. I just didn’t want you to forget me after all we had to drink and all that happened last night.” Thinking fuzzily back to last night Nina groaned:

“I wouldn’t forget you, believe me. It was just all so weird all the violence and that woman grabbing my shoe.”

“I like full moons,” John murmured,”unusual things happen.”

“Unusual is right.” Nina lay gratefully back on her soft bed.

“You, you were unusual, unexpected” he said softly.

“So were you,” Nina countered.

“I never thought I’d have a chance when you walked in but then….”

Nina sighed, “well that’s a full moon you. Strange things happen.” she commented wryly thinking about the palpable attraction she shared with John.

Nina planned lunch with John for Sunday afternoon. He did not seem so weird to her this morning, after their conversation late into the evening. Nina considered last night and shook her head in disbelief. When she thought of John and his handsome face she smiled. Then, she settled back against her pillows for a few hours more sleep. What a night.

Please read Chapter 2 here.

—–

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.