Sunday, November 20, 2011

wow a week off - what to expect this week

What a crappy way to start a blog - taking a week off straight off the bat?
This is what happened while I've been gone, expect posts about it all this week (though not necessarily in this order):  

1)  I picked up a super small pre-order haul from my local Macy's Dior counter: Nail Polish, Top Coat & Mascara.  And I got a cute little GWP (do they normally do this?) - expect details, pictures & reviews this week.
2)  I got some of mini orders from Sephora's F&F sales: Cover FX foundation, Cover FX anti-acne kit, Diro Polish
3)  Got my Dior polish from their website.  Remember, those summer duo's they had with the bright pink or bright orange + top coat?  The Orange one is still available on their website.  And you get free shipping with ANY PURCHASE with the code: DONNA2011  (this is supposed to expire Dec31st).  I didn't realize THIS until I'd already purchased the top coat in store, but I really wanted the summer color, so - got both :(
4)  Christmas Gifts Haul at BBW (in store) & online (for me).
5)  My eyebrows are looking a LOT better.
6)  Saw this cute jacket at Marshalls.  

To me, it's Chanel Inspired.  I like it.  It's $80, and if I recall correctly, it's by Vince Camuto.

7)  I'm doing AWESOME at decluttering my house (this is a big deal for me)... I'll do a post on this alone & will title it appropriately so you who are only interested in beauty stuff don't have to read personal stuff.

Hope your week was good.
Talk to you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

permanent eyebrows

So, after about 3 years of wanting and 1 failed attempt (made appointment with a woman who's grandfather got sick right before my appointment thus causing her to cancel and me to lose $350 in airfare), I finally got my eyebrows tattooed on.

I've been wanting permanent makeup (brows only) for a while now because I've always been aware of how much a well groomed brow can do for a face.   I used to do my friend's eyebrows and get compliments on mine until recently (3 years ago) when I realized that something just wasn't right.  My brows were now two different shapes.  one higher than the other.  One curved, the other arched.  One bushy, one not as much.  But, both had bald patches... which meant for maximum effectiveness, I had to ALWAYS draw something in my brows... a big pain in the ass.  So, that's when I got the idea of getting permanent eye brows.  What took so long is my aversion to the LOOK of tattooed eyebrows.  You can do a google search and see a million pictures and only about 0.05% look acceptable to me.

I initially found permanent makeup by Mary and THAT is what convinced me that i could actually get eyebrows tattooed (!) But then that whole situation above happened and my plans with her fell through.  I'm so intent on having 'hair stroke' brows & ones I'm pleased with that I vowed to wait until I got around to flying down to Tampa to get them done before I considered seeing anyone else.  But still I would do searches wherever i was in the country (in advance) to see if someone nearby had a similar track record.  No luck for me.

Then, by chance I was walking downtown and saw a permanent makeup poster in a spa window (they were closed). It was SofTap and the results were not bad at all.  I was surprised, intrigued and determined to find out more.  I went home, did research (sofTap is not tattooed on, it's hand tapped in), and made my appointment (here is the place I got these & all touchups done at). 

So, I went there and had an hour long pre-procedure question/answer/planning session.  (It doesn't normally take that long, I just had a lot of concerns and specifics about how I wanted my eyebrows). The technician politely provided and took her time planning out the shape of my new brow.  WE consulted TOGETHER 100% of the way about the shape before she started putting anything permanent on my skin.  The procedure itself felt like hard scraping with the end of an unfolded paperclip.  I got there a little after 10 and left a little after 1230 (so the permanent brows was probably around 1.5 hours).

After the fact:
OMG these babies are dark! I know to expect them to looked stamped on for about a week... I'm hoping they fade to color reaaaall quick.  I have to be at work in 6 days :(  That said, I can already see drastic improvement in the shape.  Down point: my 'problem brow', the one she has to draw into place because it has a completely different arch & location from the other is too thick... now it's bigger than the 'right' eyebrow... she said on my follow up, she can take off some if I want to  -  I guess with this method, you can basically 'erase' (maybe because the needle doesn't go in as far as with a tattoo gun).  Second problem, I realized when studying my new brows is that all i really wanted was 'hair stroke' brows - and that 'hair' to be placed in a location that made it look like I have two matching brows.  Instead, I look like I have two tattooed brows :(  Luckily this method doesn't last as long as 'regular' eyebrow tattoos.  If i don't like how these turn out, I'll fly my behind down to Mary.  But, this woman said she can add 'hairstrokes' if I'd like to at my touchup appointment. By the way, there is a third problem too - waaay worse than the other two.  She asked which brow shape I like better and wanted the other to look like, and I told her THE WRONG ONE (!!!)  I didn't realize this until I was in the car and thinking about how I looked in the mirror and the one that I always like in pictures is opposite in real life. What a dummy!  Oh well, that's one I can't worry about now, besides the other one isn't so bad, just a bit more round than angular & arched.

Either way, knowing that one brow was too thick, I did what I always do when I need to erase something semi-permanent on my face... I reached for a TCA peel.  So, I used a really thin brush to paint on a few layers of my 30% TCA peel on the parts of the tattoo that I knew would need to come off. (That day & the next day).  Now, I'll leave them alone, continue to let them heal as 'prescribed' by the Perm MU technician. 

UPDATE:  Here they are, 7 months after the first try. I've had 2 touchups (to perfect the shape).  I still love them. The color has lightened up a lot.  Here, I've added closeups so you can see how the brows look in the area where I don't have any 'real' hair to cover it up.  I could also get individual hairstrokes (in a near black color, like my real hairs), if I choose.
Please disregard the unruly strays, I just wanted to show you what they look like in REAL life.  Also, in case you're wondering the mascara in the more recent pictures is Dior ICONIC (my HG Mascara).

I really like how they look. In my opinion, they look polished, without looking fake.  I will prob get one more touchup on my left brow, to fix the shape on top & add some individual 'hairs' in my bald spot.  If I do, I'll post pictures.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

comparison of deep purples/blues

About 2 weeks ago, during Sephora's Friends & Family, I got Nails Inc.'s Belagrave Place.  Of course, I swatched it immediately & then was thoroughly dissapointed because I thought it looked a lot like another polish I have.  So, I went to my stash, found Zoya's Pinta & painted a stripe to compare. Very Similar. So today, for you I have comparison pictures of the two.

Pinky finger is Pinta; Ring finger is Belagrave Place.
Pinta -                  - a dark, rich purple "eggplant" purple in color,
                            - thicker consistency when compared to BP
                            - so dark that at an arms length, it looks like black unless you're either a polish addict or right under light.

Belagrave Place -  thinner,
                            - streaker on first 2 coats
                            -  still purple, but definitely more blue;  though dark, even a regular person (read: non polish addict) can see that it's a blue, not black.
Both seem to dry at the same pace - I'll update with information about the wear of the polish.

You may also note the middle finger and the pointer/index finger.
Those two are Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle and Nars Midnight Express.  These are near dupes of eachother when each is painted with 3 coats, before & after that - very different.

RBL Recycle -   - a true, deep blue
                           - stays blue with 3rd and subsequent coats
                           - Smoother application, looks okay after 2 coats, but gets on cuticles easier
                           - takes longer to dry (a cream)

NARS Midnight Express - a tealy blue until 3rd coat (where it becomes near dupe to RBL, just darker),
                         - leans towards black the more coats you add, so dark if even applied "a normal person" would have a hard time telling it's blue (@ 4 coats)
                          - streaky as all get out on coats #1 and #2 - straight up looks like crapy
                          - faster drying (a jelly)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sephora by OPI Midnight Mango

So theotherday's manicure was a fail: (1) the glitters didn't look so hot over the base color and (2) the next day it was chipping.  More like corners peeled up - even base coat came off.  Maybe that was because I was too lazy to get up and use a real base coat (I just used my top coat on bottom),  or maybe it was mixing a full chemical base with a 3Free polish? Don't really know but expect it was one of those two because my other Butter London's don't do that... I will eventually get around to some experimenting to figure that out.

But, for now, on to the title.  Since that was chipped, I decided to start over.  Yesterday, I used my Midnight Mambo nail polish (Sephora by OPI).  I've had it for a while but never got around to using in, the color in general is just not me, but I HAD to have it because I'm a sucker for the words 'limited edition' and 'exclusive.' 

Midnight Mambo is a candy blue similar to a lot of the blue text on buttons and most websites.  It has quite a bit of chunky silver and matching blue glitter with a few holo glitters thrown in.  The formula is a bit thick and application is best described as chunky.  It is nearly opaque in one coat, but use two to fill in the slightly noticeable lighter areas.  The finish is almost like a matte or velvet look... which is also saying that the glitter doesn't shine to brightly.  I attempted to clear this up by pouring on two layers (each) of two different types of top coat (Seche Vite and SH Insta Dry).  Both were nearly absorbed by the polish and didn't make much of a difference in the finish (still not very shiny) or texture (still chunky).  Overall, I don't really like this polish but I'll keep it because it's the only color I have like this and I'll wear it on vacations or something.

On the ring finger is a dark blue by OPI from a halloween mini collection a few years back.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Day & My Goodies

I'm going to try to figure out how to make it so you can CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE BEAUTY RELATED PORTION OF THIS ENTRY.  Until I learn to do that - skip to the 3rd paragraph if you're not interested in the extra.

I just flew from Australia (Awesome!) to California (long ride) today & during that time I finished a book called:  Bait And Switch (The [futile] Pursuit of the American Dream, By Barbara Ehrenreich.  It was an interesting look at the troubles a mid-life, formerly white collar, unemployed person can face when attempting to regain employment at a level near their previous job.  Pretty grim outlook, but has some stuff that's doesn't feel like was a total waste of your time reading (tips from 'job coaches', how to 'network' etc.).  Made me really appreciate my job.

Overall, pretty depressing, but 1 book down from my HUGE lot of books that I'm reading to clear out my (already sold) book cases.  My books are currently in stacks in my room & boxes in my living room.  I recently moved from a large(r) apartment into a small one (with minimal storage) and realized the need to downsize my stuff along with my space.  I had a bunch of oversized furniture (most, I sold), and stuff to fill that furniture.  In the past month, I've taken about 4 car loads of clothes, household items, linens, shoes and the like to Plato's Closet and good will.  All of it has been in VERY good shape.  I've netted about $200.  Donated a Ton and cleared out a lot.  I will continue to do so until I'm comfortable having company over my house (I've got a lot of work to do). 
Anyways, one of my goals for the next few days is to finish going through my books & seperating them into books to donate now, books to read before donating, and books to keep.  If you're interested in a particular type of non-fiction or self-help book, let me know & if I have them, I'll send you a message before donating them.  You pay media-mail shipping & you can have them for (otherwise) free.  I'm not selling makeup books or photography books BTW.

So, after all that, on to the beauty related portion:  I'm trying my hardest to send at least as much out of my house as I bring in. BUUUTTT I went on a nail polish shopping spree just before I left on vacation.  When I returned, I had some pretties from Lynderella:  All Hallow's Eve, Gotta Love Brains, Snow Angel, Connect the Dots, and Shape Shifter.  I couldn't wait to try them so I painted 2 coats of Butter London's Wallis (my first time using, I ordered this in hopes of finding a dupe of one of my all-time-favorites (A no name I picked up for 1 Euro in Rome) & did two different ring finger blings.  BTW, BL isn't the dupe I want it to be, but I don't have anything else like it so I kept it).  

On the 12th (when I go pick up my pre-order), I'll get a comparison swatch up against Dior's Holiday 2011 Polish - Exquis #611.  Let me know if you want anything else swatched.

Here is the ring finger with 2 Coats of AHE atop 1 coat of Wallis and topped with 1 coat Sally Hansen Insta Dry Top Coat.  Finish is still a bit rough (Another Coat of TC would do nicely).  I probably would rather the green glitters over a green or blue base, but overall, application was easy & I like the glitter coverage with only 2 coats.  I've decided this will be in my Holiday Section (helloooo Christmas and St Patricks Day)

On the other hand, I used Connect the Dots (in the same layering order).  I can't WAIT to use this polish over a ton of other colors & it will probably be a ring finger topper for the next month, at least :)  Application was pretty easy.  This was first time using bar glitter & it wasn't hard at all.  Notable: 1 coat of top coat makes the surface a bit smoother than the 1 coat on AHE. 

I can be honest that the color coordination could have been better & showcasing these new Lynnderella's against Wallis is probably not the best, but on thier own - they're pretty friggen awesome.  I can't wait to play with them some more (and maybe try a gold microglitter on Wallis instead).   AHE (and more-so CTD) made up for me figuring out that Nail's Inc Belagrave Place is a near dupe for Zoya's Pinta (post to follow this weekend). 
I'm still waiting on an order from A-England.  Those will be fun to try too.

Just a warning, my work place is superstrict on nail colors so expect the week day postings to be neutrals (unless it's a holiday), and the weekends to be more fun. & add all those apologies about the condition of my nails & cuticles, and lack of photography skills, and crappy lighting.  Look - this was the best I could do in the time that I had.  And I can barely hold a camera in my left hand, much less hold it still while taking a picture. 

aaannndd (not specifically related) is having 20% off now through 11:59:59 Pacific 11/11/11.  It's a click through email link so message me & I'll have them forward to you too. 

All photos taken indoors with fluorescent lighting. 

Starter Post

Hi everyone!
I created this blog because I realized I have an obsession with a ton of things mainly related to accumulating a lot of STUFF.  Most of that 'stuff' is related to beauty (Makeup, Nail & Skincare) and Fashion.... and who into those things doesn't want to hear from other's interested in the same ;).
So, here it is. Yet another blog attempting dry humor while showing pictures and getting off topic.


PS: the blog title came from my (near constant web browsing) & stumbling across Amazon book about too much clutter (Story of my Apartment - more on that later).  I realizing that my random crap & love of 'things' (material objects) are basically me filling a void in my life.  I'm not going to unload psychologically on ya'll, but until that void is filled, I'm gong to embrace & heart my stuff dearly, damnit!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

scam alert (not related to beauty, fashion, etc) LONG & DETAILED

I've run into TWO scams on craigslist.
One for an apartment & One for a vacation Rental.
Please see below for details so you can recognize a scam in progress:

The apartment (around 15AUG2011).
Listed on Craigslist, for about 10% less than other cheap apartments in the area.  Would  have been a really great deal, but not too unreasonable.  The person represented himself as MARC CURRY and stated he was currently living in NIGERIA attending university, but that he and his wife were looking for someone to live in their home stateside until their return.  He emailed me a preliminary questionnaire with SOME personal information & asked that I call him.  The number he gave me to call was: 2347089080990 .  I called and actually spoke to this individual (on about 3 occasions) - (which is a little surprising for a SCAM).  He asked that I Western Union him $400 so he could Fed-Ex me the paperwork and the keys, then I could visit the property & pay the deposit/move in fees if I found the property to be acceptable.  I told him it doesn't cost $400 to send Fed-Ex.  His emails and conversation resolved around how he felt God had told him I would be a good tenant and I was the right person to rent to.  Last red flag is that he couldn't answer a question I had about the land/property as if he had no idea there was a little cottage on the same lot (I saw it on Google Earth).  A month later, I found the SAME house (exterior photo) on a reputable agency's website.  No interior photos were on the reputable site although there were interior photos on the SCAM page.  The email address he used was:  (You can find the text here).

The Vacation Rental (around LATE JULY and EARLY SEP 2011).
This vacation rental was for an vacation rental / apartment in Sydney, Australia. (again, found on Craigslist).  This user was 'named' FABIAN NICHOLS from . 
I asked for more information & referrals about the rental.  He replied with a lot of information, two references and a 'discount rate' of $10 off $90 rental.  The references were: Shawn Greg and Anne Cole

I actually emailed Shawn & got a positive response.  Later, I googled the email address and found 'FABIAN' had used the exact same scam (same wording, and email addresses and EVERYTHING) on someone else. Fabian asks for 1/2 rent upfront & 1/2 on arrival.  Which really stinks because not only are you out of $440, but you're also out of a place to stay once you fly overseas! What if it's a holiday & the only places left available are $400 a night?!?!  And here for the 'reference' letter.   I'm embarrassed to admit that I fell victim to FABIAN simply because I didn't Google enough before sending money.  The evidence was easy to find.  I immediately (the next day) emailed a plea for some of my money back, which went unanswered.  (The text of his emails here & the text of the reference can be found here.) 

Western Union Info was:

Hope this helps SOMEONE!  And please let me know if you want any more information.