Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saw It Online: December 2013 Edition

Today's "Saw It Online" will not be me reporting on what I've seen trending on Pinterest.

It will be a rant.

PEOPLE, when you're pinning something from Anthropologie can you puh-lease label it "Anthropologie" and NOT "Anthropology"!?  I'm trying to pin stuff for work and all I'm coming across is over-priced, sweatshop-produced attire and home goods--all of which look like they were taken from the shelves at Goodwill.  (Side note: DO shop at Goodwill and other thrift stores.  SKIP places like Anthropologie.)

Here, have some links!

Pinning Pages Without Images

As a Pinterest addict I get super frustrated when I can't pin a page because there is no image on it.  There is an add-on for Google Chrome called ShotPin that will remedy this.  I tried it and it's pretty sweet.  I wish there was one for Firefox though.  First World Problems, right?

I learned about it from Cynthia Sanchez over at Oh So Pinteresting, which is an awesome site and you should go there to read about ShotPin and all the other cool stuff they write about.  Go!  Go now!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Saving Money on Mascara (IF the Brush is the Problem)

If there is one thing I am certain about in the world of makeup, it's that Maybelline is my favorite brand for mascara.  I've tried most of the other drugstore brands (or brands in that price range)--Covergirl, Rimmel, Avon, etc.  I've tried Too Faced and Urban Decay, both of which are highly praised on many a blog, but just didn't do it for me.  I've dealt with the smudging, the clumps, the ineffectiveness, and the eye irritation that I experienced with most of these brands.

Maybelline.  That's it.  The only one I personally can work with.  (Remember, makeup is not a one size fits all adventure!  Different brands work better for different people.)

The one I like the best is their Colossal Volum' Express.  (The one in the yellow tube.)  I have tried the others in their line and just don't like the brushes on them.  I don't hold them at the right angle or something.  I don't know.  It just doesn't look right all the time for whatever reason.  And this has bothered me, because there are many times that the others--such as The Falsies (the one in the purple tube)--are on sale or just cheaper than Colossal.

Here is the solution, if the brush is the problem:  If you're buying within the same brand, the caps/wands are most likely interchangeable.  Save and sanitize (hot water and soap--rinse really well!) the cap/wand from the one you like when it runs out and swap it with the wand you don't like in the other tube.

I currently have my Colossal cap/wand on my The Falsies tube.  There isn't anything wrong with the formula for The Falsies AND it was a dollar cheaper.  I just don't like the brush shape.  So I swapped them.  Problem solved, money saved.

Yes, the formulas are a little different by a couple ingredients, but not enough that it really impacts the product.  In my case, it's most definitely the brush that is making all the difference on how the mascara looks.  Obviously this won't help you in the same way if your problem is with the formula and not the brush.

My next adventure with Maybelline mascara?  Seeing if the Colossal cap/wand fits on a Great Lash tube.  So much money would be saved!

Have you tried this out?  Maybe even across brands?  If so, comment below if you have any insight to share.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Goodwill "Art" Revamp

I love thrift stores because you can always find things that can become awesome with a little bit of work.

Awhile back I found a couple of white square frames for $1.49 each, but wasn't sure what I was going to do with them.

I'm redecorating and reorganizing my kitchen and needed something cute to hang above some extra storage shelves I bought.  Inspired by a picture I saw at "Anya Adores", I decided to put the frames to use there.  (The shelves in the picture at her blog are the same ones I have--Hyllis shelving units from Ikea.)

The pictures in the frame were nothing I would want anywhere in my house, so they were discarded and replaced by my own printed-on-scrapbook-paper knock-offs of things I'd seen around Pinterest.

Here are the pictures that were originally in the frames (no thank you) and the finished project...

So next time you're in the market for art for your home, don't overlook thrift stores like Goodwill, Savers, or local shops.  You'll be saving yourself some money and contributing to the charities each shop supports.

PS -- You probably noticed I couldn't scratch the price tags off all the way.  I have some cleaner at work I use to remove graffiti (the joys of teaching teenagers) that is actually meant for removing adhesives and works great.  It's called Goo Gone.  As soon as I remember to bring it home I'll have them ready to hang up.

PPS -- When I get the kitchen all set, I'll post pictures of them hung.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saw It Online: November 2013 Edition

Here's what I've noticed is popular lately during my Pinterest adventures...

1. Coats, cardigans, and oversized sweaters

It's that time of year again--when everyone falls back on the comfy basics and our eyes get a break from some of the bright color combinations and patterns people tend to attempt to pull off in the spring and summer.  I'm not saying a bright patterned maxi dress isn't awesome, I'm just saying it gets old, especially when every single dress that was out there this past spring/summer was a high-low chevron-print something-or-other.  I was as excited about this change as other people get about the changing of the leaves.  It's time.

With that being said, pulling up "Women's Fashion" on Pinterest brings up pages and pages of big, warm coats, cardigans of all sorts, and the kinds of sweaters you just want to curl up in and read a book (or play Plants vs. Zombies 2, whichever makes you happiest).

And none of them (so far) have been chevron or ombre.  Huzzah!

2. Earthy, simple jewelry

I am not seeing as many of the large "statement" pieces out there anymore.  It seems there has been a shift back to more simple jewelry, most of which seems inspired by nature.  Even larger pieces are showing up in earth-tones versus the pastels and neons we were seeing only a month or two ago.

3. "Rustic"/Shabby Chic home decor

According to the "Home Decor" section on Pinterest, everything you own should look like it was made out of pieces of a barn, painted, and then set outside for a few years. As negative as I made that sound, I'm actually a fan... as long as it's not overdone.

What I've Been Up To

So... I was supposed to be writing more on here... and that definitely didn't happen.  Don't worry.  I've been doing stuff, which has included an almost complete redecoration/reorganization of my entire house.

A lot of the nifty things I am working on will end up on here eventually.  It's just very hard to do while I'm juggling work, more work, and classes.  My classes end soon, as did fundraising season at work, so my intent is to plow through everything I have left to do and then get to posting regularly.

It's always something though, isn't it?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Using Cheap Eyeshadow Pencils Fearlessly

Warning: I ramble, so if you don't want my back story and just want the solution to smudgy, creasing eyeshadow pencils, skip to the bottom of this entry.

I'm sure most people can relate to working a job where you never really know what's going to happen over the course of a day.  When I walk into the high school where I work I don't know if I'll just be in my classroom with my kids all day without incident, or if I'll end up subbing a P.E. class (what an awkward experience that was), breaking up a girl-fight, or crying over/with a kid who is going through hard times.  So at the end of the school day, when I then have to meet with a parent, stay at the school and put in 15 hours to work an event, run my own errands, or anything else where I'm still going to be seen in the public, I'm always a little worried I'm going to look icky.

It took me some time and a lot of experimenting, but I've been able to work out some tricks on how to prevent that issue with various products.

When I use cheap products (I'm not just talking price, but in quality too) I always worry my work of art is going to smudge, smear, crease, fade, whatevs before I make it to the end of the day.  This is a big problem--for me anyway--with eye makeup, especially eyeliners and eyeshadow pencils.

Once upon a time, I saw this wonderful picture of a woman wearing this periwinkle eyeshadow and winged black eyeliner.  (See the pictures below.)  I fell in love.  While I'm still looking for the perfect periwinkle, I did decide I wanted to try it with baby blue in the meantime.  The only brand I could find that had a dead-on baby blue in a powder shadow was MAC.  That isn't exactly a color I'd wear often enough to be willing to buy in an expensive brand like the rest of my shadows (I usually buy Urban Decay, specifically for its staying power), plus I didn't really know that I'd like how it would look on me.  So I decided to go cheap, and the only thing I could find that was actually the color I wanted was an eyeshadow pencil by NYX.

The only eyeshadow pencils I had used prior to this were Urban Decay, which "dry" quickly and stay put all day.  I was less than thrilled when I found out NYX's pencils weren't going to do that on my eyelids.  It stayed creamy and was therefore prone to looking melty and moving around as the day went on.  It was exactly the color I wanted though, so what could I do to fix my problem?

I started thinking about cream concealers.  They don't really "dry".  If you want to set them you have to use a powder over the top.  But what powder could I use over the top of a cream eyeshadow that wouldn't dull or otherwise alter the color?

I had just made a huge E.L.F. purchase to try out some of their stuff and one of the things I had got was their Studio High Definition Powder in translucent.  It ended up not being the replacement for my usual--and unfortunately discontinued--face powder that I was looking for.  Plus, I was not in love with the ingredients for something I was going to be putting on my skin every day.  It really was translucent though, and not so bad ingredient-wise that I wouldn't be willing to use it sparingly when the need came up... Like it was in this situation.

After playing around with the products for awhile I found a method that worked!

  1. Apply the eyeshadow pencil (or other cream eyeshadow) where you want it
  2. Lightly dust the E.L.F. Studio High Definition Powder in translucent over the shadow with a fluffy eye makeup brush (I used Urban Decay's Good Karma crease brush)
  3. Apply a second coat of the eyeshadow if so desired (I do)
  4. Apply a second light dusting of the powder if you chose to do a second coat of shadow

The shadow barely budged after working all day, taking a nap (I sleep with the covers over my head and face too!), and going back to work a football play-off game at the school until 10:00 that night.  The picture of my eyelid in the collage below was taken at 11:00 pm after I got home.  The stuff had been on since 6:00 that morning!

So if you want to rock a similar look, like any of the ones below... yes, even the "Mimi"... you totally can, even if all you can find in the right color is a cheap pencil or cream shadow. (PS--The image on the right is the one I love!)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

IKEA Hack: "Heat" Turned Mini Bulletin Boards

I am possibly as obsessed with IKEA lately as I am with makeup.  (The difference being I can generally afford makeup, but can't just go buy everything I want from Ikea.)  I love that so much of their stuff is great as-is, but can also be easily modified to fit exactly what people want for their homes.  There are even websites out there that focus specifically on "hacking" their products in this way, such as my personal favorite: IKEA Hackers.

Inspired by all of the projects I've seen on IKEA Hackers and various Pinterest pins, I decided I'd give it a shot with something small for starters.

I purchased the "Heat" cork trivets, which come in a pack of three for $2.99 USD.  They are 7" (or 19 cm) in diameter and thick enough that I can stick a push pin in them without it poking through the other side... which is good, since that's exactly what I'll be doing with them.

I started by going online and finding designs I wanted to paint on them.  I printed the designs on regular paper (I didn't have any card stock on hand) and cut them out.  I tried using a pencil to trace the designs onto the cork, but it wasn't showing.  I ended up using a ballpoint pen, which just barely showed, but worked fine because that meant the paint would cover the lines well.

After tracing the designs onto the trivets it was time to fill them in with paint.  I chose two shades of bluish-green (a turquoise and something that very well could be considered cerulean, hehe) craft paint and a bright white one.  It took three thick coats for it to look really good.  The cork sucked up the first coat like a sponge.  (Or like cork.  Whichever.)

I can't completely finish the project for a few days.  I'm waiting for the magnets to come in that I plan on adhering to the back of them.  I am going to put them on my refrigerator to use for posting reminders instead of using a bunch of plastic magnets.  (I just don't like the way they look.  I know, I'm weird.)  So it's not totally done, but here are the pictures anyway.

All Apologies...

It has been a disgustingly long time since my last post, and for that I want to apologize.

In July of last year I had broke my foot and was stuck in bed post-surgery.  I had a lot of time on my hands and was able then to spend that summer writing and setting up blogs.  When school started back up (I teach) I found it incredibly hard to balance performing all of my work-related duties on crutches and maintaining projects such as Cerulean and Pink.  And then I just found myself wrapped up in so many things with work once I was out of the walking cast... You know how it goes.

But I miss doing the projects that are just "me"--not related to teaching or doing things for the kids or anyone else.  So in order to make sure I'm taking time to focus on things that I enjoy, I will be making a greater attempt at getting on and posting entries more frequently and consistently.

I won't make any promises, but I will give anyone reading this permission to spam me with comments shaming me in the event I go back to hardcore slackin'.