Wednesday, June 29, 2016

DIY: Pillow Covers from Fabric Napkins

I feel like there are a lot of jokes about ladies loving throw pillows, which, aside from being vaguely sexist and dismissive, is also kind of true. But, like, what's not to love? First you have the "throw," and - hello? - who ISN'T interested in throwing things? Then you have the "pillow," and if I have to explain the myriad virtues of the pillow to you, then something tells me you're not yet ready for a basic sewing tutorial.

I'd been keeping an eye out for a cute set of throw pillows for my couch, and after months of being underwhelmed by prints and overwhelmed by prices, I set my peepers on this cute set of fabric napkins at Target in the Easter display. Hey - inspiration can strike anywhere!

This is the joyful print that I saw in that rabbit and egg-themed pile.

I loved the vintage-inspired floral print and the kaleidoscope of colors, and I knew the napkins would be coming home with me, despite the fact that I've never used a fabric napkin outside of a restaurant in my life. The napkins were 18" squares, so I was sure they'd make perfect throw pillows.

Fabric napkins are great for this project because they're hemmed, and usually square and pillow-sized. Easy. Plus, you can find them cheap and in lots of colors and prints. Think of this unexpected shortcut as a private joke you can laugh about to yourself every time you see someone resting their head on an Easter napkin. We all need one of those.

Wanna try this? Come on!

+ Fabric Napkins
+ Pillows or Pillow Stuffing
+ Matching Fabric (optional)
+ Needle & Thread or Sewing Machine


First thangs first - iron those napkins! Likely, they've been folded and have defined creases, so iron them unless you want everyone to know your little secret.

You can use a napkin for both the front and the back of the pillow, but I chose to use a soft pink fabric for the backs, both because it's cozier and because I like the pop of color. Let me save myself some typing - I've already written a thorough DIY Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial (complete with graphics!) so we'll be using those directions for the construction.
Basically, I cut my back pieces (two per pillow) and hem the edge that will show in the final product.

Following that tutorial, I pin all my pieces (in the right order!) and sew around the edges.

Next, flip the pillow cover right-side out. 

Stuff those suckers with pillows and you've got a new set of throws!

The pink fabric is so soft, you guys. Only downside is that I now have pink fuzz from fabric cutting overtaking my life. There are worse things.

Do you fulfill the throw-pillow-loving lady stereotype? Do you think I'm crazy for making pillows out of Easter napkins? Seriously, what I am going to do about all this pink fuzz?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BEAUTY: New at the Drugstore Spring 2016

With each new season comes the greatest of gifts. No, not your crippling allergies or an excuse to buy new clothes. I'm talking new drugstore makeup! Not that the industry needs a reason to give us new or limited edition products, but they do seem to love a seasonal release. I can't resist every new thing that catches my eye on an endcap at Walgreens.(Believe it or not, I am only human, though I'll let you know when I grow my unicorn horn. Hooves crossed!)

Having picked up some newbies here and there with a plethora of coupons mixed with sales, I realized I had a bit of a haul to share, and what am I here for if not to share my overly specific opinions on things you've never asked me about? I do what I can.

Let it be said: NYX makes some of the best damn liquid eyeliners in the drugstore - nay, the world! My ride-or-die everyday liner is the NYX Collection Noir Liquid Black Liner, and all the things I love about it are captured in the Vivid Brights line: a thin, flexible brush tip, opaque formula, and smooth application. I wouldn't necessarily classify these shades as vivid and bright, though. They're great colors (the full line contains 9 rainbow-spanning shades) and add a pop to your eyes, but I was expecting these to be VIVID and BRIGHT, but they're more like vivid and bright, you know? Still, I love 'em and their all day staying power so I'll reach for them when I need a little oomph on my eye.

Around this time last year, I was shouting my love for Provocalips from the rooftops (assuming, of course, that a blog post and vigorous texting with my sister are the modern day equivalent of rooftops). I'm in love with this stuff! No other lip color has ever lasted as long or as well on my lips. Plus, it's like stupid cheap and available basically everywhere. I'm done trying to convince you; honestly, it's your loss if you sleep on this stuff. What you do need to know, though, is that three new shades are now available, and the two I've purchased are just as great as the rest. The other new shade is a deeper berry color, but it looked too similar to Kiss Fatal for me to pick up.

I feel like I'm in high school again! Why? Because that's the last time I consciously purchased a CoverGirl eyeshadow. I love me some CoverGirl 3-in-1 foundation, but their eyeshadows usually leave me underwhelmed, with the exception of the eyeshadow single Disco Ball, which I wore almost exclusively from the late nineties through the early 00s. So much glittery fallout, so little time. Sigh. ANYWAY, I kept seeing swatches of this palette and was shocked how good it looked. It's obviously an attempt at a Naked 3 dupe, but these are nowhere near Urban Decay quality. I found that the shades swatch well, but lack some of that pigmentation when applied with brushes, which is a bummer, and no matter what colors I used my eye ended up a bit muddy looking within a few hours, even with an eye primer. Not a total miss, but not the drugstore beacon I was hoping for.

Here we have two products that I couldn't feel more differently about! First, the Jordana: this is a typical liquid lipstick, but what stood out to me was how very matte this looks when it dries down. It's almost chalky, but in a good way? It's surprisingly comfortable for just how matte it is, and lightyears more comfortable than, say, the ColourPop Matte Lips. Raspberry Tart, pictured here, is the perfect cool toned pink that my collection was missing. Bonus: the doe foot applicator has a little scoop shape so just enough product comes out. It's the little things.

Okay, bummer of all bummers: Moscow, this lovely midnight blue shade of Soft Matte Lip Cream, suuuuuuucks. Yes, I meant each and every one of those u's. Don't get me wrong, I love the SMLC line, but this shade is a streaky mess. Lack of pigmentation is one thing, but you can't even build the color up without cracking or wiping off the underneath layers. I tried a navy eyeliner as a base, and that too was rebuffed. This is the lipstick that does not want to be worn. There are so few cheap and accessible blue lipsticks that this is a real loss. Moscow, we hardly knew ye.

This is my first nail tattoo purchase, waterless or otherwise, and it was on a complete whim, but I'm kind of loving how simple these are to use. You just cut around the design, peel it from the backing, press it on your nail and seal with a topcoat. They have great staying power and look lovely over a bright polish base or on naked nails. The roses are fun, but not 100% my jam, so I'm impatiently waiting for some new designs to be released. 

Have you found any great new products lately? Can you point me in the direction of the best blue lipstick? How many rose-themed manicures do you think I can realistically get away with before people start to talk?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

DIY: Eyeshadow Palette / Z Palette

I like makeup. Probably too much, actually. I've curbed most of my impulse purchases thanks both to my deep-seated love of tireless research, and the need to see the approval of at least five internet strangers before hitting the checkout. I've amassed quite a bit of eyeshadow over the years, though, and aside from my larger palettes, I have a lot of eyeshadow singles and small palettes that don't get as much use because they're easily overlooked or perhaps I only like a shade or two within the palette. I needed to fix this!

The time had come to de-pot my eyeshadows: remove them from their original packaging to compile them all into one, easy-to-use palette. That way I'd have the colors I like, toss the ones I don't love, and then could find them all in once place. I know I could buy an expensive Z Palette, but honestly you should by now that this is not my style! Curious how to revamp your collection? Read on!

+ Eyeshadows
+ Watercolor Palette 
(or other slim, clear case)
+ E6000 Glue
+ Scissors & Pen
+ Magnet Sheet
+ Small Magnets
+ Duct Tape Sheet (optional)


First things first: remove the plastic paint insets from the palette. They're not attached in any way in this particular palette so they pop right out. Set those aside and get back into watercoloring painting like you're in second grade again! You're welcome.

There will be some plastic prongs in the middle of the palette, but the brittle plastic breaks easily. I used some wire cutters to snip them, but a number of tools could accomplish this.

Now, we're off to the races! Trace the palette on your magnetic sheet and cut it out. You may need to trim and adjust for a perfect fit so play around with it.

This step is optional, but it adds a lil' somethin' somethin' to the overall look. I think it might also lessen the magnetic force a little bit, so don't feel too bad if you skip it. I stuck the magnetic cut-out to a sheet of duct tape, trimmed off the excess, and tucked the edges behind neatly. Use some glue to secure it to the palette.

Now comes the ~scary~ part: de-potting your eyeshadows! 
My stakes were pretty low since I'm working with drugstore shadows, and, admittedly, I made kind of a mess, but after trial and error I think this is the most foolproof way to handle this:

Put one palette or eyeshadow single on a baking sheet (I recommend covering the sheet in foil to prevent a potential mess) and place it in an oven which is preheated to 200 degrees F.

Use a timer and leave it in for about two minutes. The heat is warm enough to loosen to glue keeping your metal pans attached to the base/palette, but not so hot that it should melt any plastic in such a short time. Plastic in heat is not ideal, but this was the gentlest way I found to do this, and I experienced no melting or terrible fumes. Use your best judgement though!

Use a metal tool to pry and pop those pans right out! If they don't come out easily, place the whole thing back in the oven in 30 second bursts and try again.

Once all of your eyeshadows are free, secure a magnet (or even a piece of the magnetic sheet) to the back of the pan. I used self-adhesive magnets, but you can just glue them too.

Put all of your eyeshadows into your new palette and marvel at your handy result!

Obviously, some of my eyeshadows received a little damage in the process, mostly while I was trying to determine the best way to remove them from their respective palettes. I fixed them by spritzing some alcohol and pressing over them with a paper towel, but they're not perfect. This is about real life DIY though - I really don't care about looking Pinterest perfect, honestly! This is a useful project that solved an everyday issue for me and I couldn't be happier!

What's your biggest issue with your makeup stash? Have you ever made a DIY palette or other storage? What on earth should I paint with those watercolors?!

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