Archive | July, 2013
Aside

Just to let you know.

22 Jul

Zoya Pixie Dust nail polish in Liberty. Oh. My. God. Go buy it. It’s gorgeous. I’m so in love. I’m probably going to get another bottle before they’re discontinued. Because oh my god. So sparkly. And so matte. And so amazingly pretty, I can’t stop looking at my nails.

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Nail Polish. Just. Nail Polish.

21 Jul

Some might say that I have an addictive personality. This is a lie, because if I did, I wouldn’t be able to control myself. I’ll have you know, that I only have 97 polishes, and that’s INCLUDING top/base coats!

I got super excited last night. I can’t be spending money on these things anymore–but my last true impulse purchase came in the mail. Three little Zoya beauties, by the names of Ivy, Cheryl, and… (Dramatic Pause)… Liberty! Yes, Liberty, the beautiful blue Pixie Dust shade that they recently did a promo on. Including shipping, I spent $15 on these three polishes–still a steal, considering, but also more than I’ve spent on polish since I dropped $62 for the China Glaze Hunger Games collection.

Usually, I get cheaper polishes. That’s what made the hobby so addicting in the first place; I could go and for $4 indulge myself in a new color. I know how much each of my brands usually cost, so it wouldn’t be hard to calculate how much my collection is worth–but I don’t want to, because it’d probably be several months worth of rent, and that just won’t fly, knowing that right now.

Nevertheless, I don’t regret a single one. They’re all lovely, and I don’t just use them on my nails. (Whaaat?)

When I finally get around to posting pictures somehow, I will have to add the pile of USB drives (another addiction) which are colored with nail polishes. I’ve got a neat one that I put a black crackle over yellow on, plus my Minecraft one, which has a personal favorite: Blue Funk (Studio M), which, when on, looks very Tardis-y.

As I was saying, though–I got super excited. Not just because my Zoya colors came in, but because I went ahead and purchased a few nail color swatch rings; the kind you look at color samples on by holding them against your nail? They were only $3, so I feel okay with that, especially since I’ve been trying to figure out how to organize and swatch everything forever. I’m still deciding how I’m going to do it–grouped by color or brand?? Maybe I’ll do them all twice and cross-reference the swatches with an index card catalog! (I have a problem…)

If You’ll Indulge Me A Moment; A Rant

20 Jul

I find it unlikely that the sort of people who are guilty of the herein mentioned crimes are ones to frequent quirky little fashion blogs, but just in case, I’d like to take a moment to talk about shopping at large retail outlets. Small ones, too, for that matter, but I’m talking big department stores right now.

I have seen grown women ignore posted ‘Six items only, please’ signs, take twenty garments into a dressing room, and leave all but a single shirt, plus their hangers, on the floor, inside out. They then proceed to argue over the price of the shirt, demanding coupons and extra discounts, before eventually leaving without it, because they’ll “come back when it’s on sale, so can you hold it until Saturday?”

I wish I was exaggerating.

The rack for returned items is on your way out of the fitting rooms, how difficult is it to carry it that far? Even before working retail myself, I made sure things were right-side-out and on their hangers, before placing them on the returns rack. It never took me more than a minute; I thought it was just common decency? Evidently not.

I think I’d love working at a little boutique, where there is one of each size on the rack, and everything else is kept in back, so you have to communicate with an associate to try on something, instead of throwing over the clearance bin and leaving the sales floor an utter wreck.

It’s not “retail” that is the problem. I like fashion. I like working with clothes. I love helping customers find good outfits for whatever they need: work, wedding, parties, etc. God help me, I even like straightening the racks. But, I could do that more happily somewhere where customers aren’t mostly jerks trying their luck with expired coupons and such. Of course, I don’t really want to work somewhere I can’t afford the clothes I’m selling, but at retail wage, that’s mostly everywhere anyway.

My point is, retail workers work hard for very little money. I’m not asking you to do their job for them; they ARE getting paid to sort, fold, hang, and ring purchases, after all. I’m just asking that people get shown a little respect.

Alrighty, stepping off my soapbox. Back to your regularly scheduled blog feed!

Hair-Raising Adventures! (Not really.)

17 Jul

The title would be a funnier pun if I was talking about rabbits. Instead, good-old hair! One of the things I will never change about myself (again, since I did so once and hated it) is my hair. Six years ago, it was down well past my waist, approaching classical (bottom of buttocks) length. Because of a boy, I chopped it first to mid-back, then to shoulder length (And had enough to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program each time). I hated it, and am again letting it grow out. I’m back to mid-back, mercifully blessed with relatively fast-growing hair.

Nevertheless, I abuse my poor hair, and it is miraculous that it cooperates with me as well as it does. I generally dye my hair every few months with a semi-permanent color (Natural Instincts, in Spiced Tea or Amber Shimmer, depending on the season). It’s obviously not good for it, but when red goes better with my skin tone than dishwater blonde, who am I to argue?

Because of this, I spend an inordinate amount of money on conditioners, and I must say; Aussie’s Three-Minute Miracle is amazing. Literally, the best once-a-week deep conditioner for the price, and I recommend it to anyone who wants an occasional extra conditioning boost for thier hair, long or short. It’s thick, stays in your hair until you rinse it out, and leaves it super silky, for around $4 a bottle (which gives me anywhere from 15-20 treatments).

That’s my little plug for the day. I just thought of it as I was showering this morning (Since it’s Super Conditioner Day today), and thought I’d share, in case any of you might find it helpful 🙂

The Bare Minimum: My Work-Makeup Basics

16 Jul

Presently, I work in one of the large chain department stores, the kind whose big business is in Guess, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein. Consequently, it is expected that we dress appropriately, including business casual black and, as my manager eloquently put it, ‘nice’ makeup.Before working there, my standard was something along the lines of heavy goth eyeliner and not much else, or wide winged liquid liner and matte red lipstick. I only ever wore foundation if I knew I was going to be with my old roommate, who makes pictures entirely unavoidable.

Now, my pre-work routine is actually fairly concrete, and while rather involved by my standards, I know some people might benefit from a “Ten-Minute Work Face.”

First, the ‘ingredients’: I use Revlon’s Photoready BB cream right now, because as a former Japanese major, I’ve heard all about the magnificent qualities of BB cream. I might review it properly later, but for now, suffice to say that it works for my purposes. On top of that, I use an Avon loose powder, black eyeliner (in liquid or pencil–NYColor for Liquid, Wet’n’Wild for the pencil), E.L.F. highlighting eyeshadow (Or, more recently, Urban Decay’s Ammo Shadow Box), Maybellene’s Full&Soft waterproof mascara (which I once bought specifically for a funeral, but became addicted to), and one of a variety of Maybelline’s Baby Lips lip balm.

I’ll have to add pictures eventually, but for now, here’s the basic process:

I lay down the BB Cream with a sponge applicator. This always looks a bit silly, since I have to hold my bangs up out of the way do do so, but usually about a quarter-size dollop gets my whole face. Smoothing this over and making sure it’s even is literally the hardest part of my face. Next, I powder my nose and upper cheeks. I never use blusher, since my skin is ruddy enough that I don’t need highlighting. I don’t bother powdering my forehead unless I’m pinning my bangs back.

My eyes are more simple. I sweep a light neutral over my browbone, and something slightly deeper over my lid. Liner is next. I tend to go heavy on my liner, since my glasses frames are fairly heavy themselves. If I’m using a liquid, I wing it out anywhere from an eighth to a half inch; if I’m using a pencil, I fill in my waterline and try not to get too much on the top lid (I usually fail. Years of practically coloring my top lid entirely has trained me). Mascara comes as soon as the liner is dry, and I only ever do my top lashes.

I finish with one of Maybelline’s Baby Lips. I have three; Pink Punch gets the most use. It’s delightfully pink, and I don’t mind reapplying it when it feels so lovely going on. Cherry Me comes out if I want to look a little more mature, and Peach Kiss is more like a regular balm with a hint of shimmer. I tend to carry all three and occasionally switch it up through the day.

I finish with Urban Decay’s All Nigher setting spray, because the running around and forced smiles tend to take a toll on one’s face. I’ve only used it since I got it two weeks ago, but it’s become indispensable, especially when I’m wearing the pencil liner, so that I don’t get smears in the outside creases of my eyes.

With that, I’m done! Usually, hair included, I can go from stepping out of the shower to stepping out the door in twenty minutes (Honestly, I twist my hair up while wet; it stays better and looks just fine on me). It won’t work for everyone, but I tried to be a little vague on the details, because it’s probably a very adaptable process, and really could work with any makeup at all. I really think that the key is to get a routine down, and do it the same way every day. Leave the experimenting for your evenings and off days!

Just Covering Bases!

15 Jul

If you’re the sort to seek out fashion blogs, you’re also very likely the sort to already know about Makeup Alley. In case not, though, it’s a brilliant website which allows you to read and write reviews for cosmetics, all in one spot. You can add pictures, rate products, and particupate in forum message boards. I don’t have much up there myself yet, but I’ve been reading reviews on MUA for ages. If you feel like finding me, my name is LifeTheUniverseAndBlogs 🙂

Little Early for a ‘White After Labor Day’ Complaint, but…

14 Jul

Last year, anticipating looking hot and wandering around like I was the queen of the world, I bought a pair of white skinny jeans.

I never wore them…

Well, I’m wearing them today, with a grey embellished flutter top and a lace camisole, and I look phenomenal, if I do say so myself. As I was getting dressed, though, most of my ideas involved sweaters and fall/winter colors. I’m going to be breaking all the rules this year, because the best outfit I can imagine with these, involves my favorite brown fall sweater.

You’re thinking, “Brown and white? Really?” Oh yes. And throwing in some olive green and beige, too. It’ll work, and I’ll pull it off like a boss.

Just… not in this 90°F weather!