Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ROUNDUP: Cool Stuff on the Internet Vol. 6

{Note: Hey! You might have noticed things look different around here. I've been a little MIA on the posting front because I've been busy working on the new layout and design - hope you like it!}

It's time for another round of Cool Stuff on the Internet! Here's some fun stuff I found recently:

Okay, don't get too excited here - this mockup of a Golden Girls Lego set has only entered the Lego Ideas Program, which means, though it received the necessary votes to move to the next phase, it still has a long road ahead of it before production is a possibility. Or, maybe you should get excited because THIS IS A TINY MODEL OF THE GIRLS' LIVING ROOM AND KITCHEN and how could you be asked to contain yourself?! So many good details, including, duh, a mini cheesecake.

For those of you who've lamented that you can't paint an accurate rendition of Jerry Seinfeld's face with your non-dominant hand (all of us, am I right?), YVNG PEARL has you - well, your nails - covered. This Etsy shop is full of original illustrations of pop culture touchstones turned to wildly unique nail art decals. Make it tasty with tacos and pizza, keep it festive with the fez-topped turkey from Friends (pairs well with the "We Were On A Break!" decal) or show your mysterious side with a slice of Twin Peaks cherry pie - because who doesn't need Leland Palmer on their middle finger?

These archival images of hollywood legend Sophia Loren's Italian home are opulent. First you're like, "Umm, that's the biggest pool I've ever seen in my entire life." Then you think, "Wow, this place is over the top." Finally, you realize, "Oh, that giant brick building that looks like a fictional elementary school is her pool house." Yeah, she got it like that. This home has so much gold and ornate detail, it's like the fancy frame around a painting you're not allowed to touch.

In the spirit of Garfield Minus Garfield, this tumblr-based comic strip takes the artwork from Cathy cartoons and replaces the text with material from comedian Louis CK's various standup routines. The result is oddly harmonious, and worth a follow just for the random bits of Louie it adds to your day.

These are highlights from a VHS released by Angela in the early 90s, showcasing her health and exercise routines, as well as her thoughts on life. That all sounds fine, but what you're really here for is the awkward floor thrusting, aloe lotion rubdown and the bubble bath finale. Skip around at least some of this video because there are so many odd visuals: "on land swimming," gesturing as exercise, inexplicable car buffing, and a parade of pastel jumpsuits. Oh yeah, and that bubble bath, during which Angela tells us her thoughts on female sexuality. I don't know either.

What cool stuff have you found lately? Leave me some links!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BEAUTY: Milani Bella Eyes Review

Okay, the full name of this shadow is Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow, and this recently launched drugstore line is so good that it was actually worth typing all of that out. Gel powder? Yes, gel powder. Those words together make me think more of the flaky leftover residue one might get from an overzealous Dep application, but what it actually means, according to Milani, is that the formula "starts as a gel and then is transformed by a special process into a stunning powder eyeshadow with pure color and power wear."

What this special process is, or what exactly "power wear" might mean, remains a mystery, but I can tell you that the result is opaque, smooth-as-soft-serve eye colors. You can see the true color and tinsel-esque shimmer right there in the pan. With about 30 shades in the line, there are plenty of reasons to suddenly become very interested in new fake-sounding beauty processes.

The Bella Eyes shadows come in three finishes: Satin Matte (Navy), Shimmer (Emerald) and Metallic (Rouge). I picked up one of each to show you, but I honestly didn't notice a major difference between the formulas. Each seems perfectly shimmery to me, and I liked them so much that I can't say I care about the lack of diversity. To me, this is a useful line of shimmer products in every color you might need, at a price you can totally justify even when you're "being good," or whatever, even though being good should never mean talking yourself out of eyeshadow purchases. You might want to write that down on a little piece of paper and stuff it inside your wallet for future reference. I'll wait.

TOP: Swatches of Bella Navy, Bella Emerald and Bella Rouge.
BOTTOM: Swatches of Bella Navy, Bella Emerald and Bella Rouge over Milani eye primer.

Oh, good - you're back. Hi, there! Here's what I think of each shade:

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Emerald
Green is my favorite color (honorable mention to blue!), so I was excited to try this one. I usually reach for my Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette when I do a green eye, but this single shade pops so much on its own (with a little Urban Decay Sellout blended around it) that I don't miss the mix of shades I typically use. If your face is a crown (and IT IS), this color becomes your stunning jewels.

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Navy
Blue eyeshadow scares a lot of people, but this shade is deep and rich enough to totally avoid 1980s babysitter vibes. I really love this one, and tend to use it the most of the three shades. Navy blue is a good alternative to black when you wanna lighten it up a bit. It really makes brown eyes sing (don't worry - not literally), but would look majorly powerful on some icy baby blues, as well. VERSATILE.

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Rouge
This shade is unique, especially for the drugstore. You just don't see a lot of cranberry shades there, and I know this because I was looking for awhile. This performs just as well as the other shades, but I don't love it on me - at least how I've styled it here, with black liner and Urban Decay Half Baked. I'm going to find a way to wear it, though, because it's so GORGEOUS that it's practically glowing:

Straight up: I usually don't even mess with single eyeshadows because, in my opinion, all the value (and fun) lies in palettes, but these are smooth and blend-able and just plain beautiful. Maybe you like single shadows, though, or you just need a great highlight shade (Bella Champagne is your guy) and these would fit nicely in your world. They're less than five bucks and sales are frequent. Plus, the gold looks like melted jewelry and the violet looks like some kind of moon rock. You need this.

Have you tried the Bella Eyes shadows yet? Are you a Milani Fan? What's your favorite drugstore eyeshadow?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

DIY: Gold Spike Necklace Tutorial

Sometimes projects are born from unprecedented levels of snowed-in boredom. Well, maybe not boredom, per se, because I rarely get truly bored (my mind would need to stop racing for that to ever happen - thanks brain!), but after four days without so much as opening your front door, you learn that there are only so many Netflix documentaries, internet k-holes and weird drink concoctions available to occupy the mind.

When in need of an activity, I often turn to jewelry making, and since I couldn't drive out of my parking spot, let alone to a store, I was left with just my own craft stash to make this little guy. I would've maybe done some things differently if given the option, but I think my little golden Frankenstein necklace, made from random bits and beads, is charming in its own thrown-together way. Here's how I made it, and may you never have another snowed in weekend in which to try this.

Gold Stud or Spike Beads (these are from Joann's)
Gold Tube Beads
Gold Round Beads
Beading Wire
Jewelry Pliers
Wire Cutter
Jump Rings & Clasp
Crimping Beads & Crimping Tool {not pictured}
Small Length of Chain {optional}

First, cut a length of beading wire (I like to cut it WAY too long just in case, because I'm paranoid). Start stringing the spike beads on the wire, placing a round bead in between each spike. Don't skip the round bead - it adds just enough space to allow the spikes to fit flush next to each other (otherwise the spikes with splay up and down, like in the supplies photo above).

Continue stringing in this pattern until you're pleased (with the length of the necklace, not just pleased in general...we've already established this is a snowed-in project so that is not possible).

Use the gold tube beads to fill in the space on either side of the spikes along the beading wire. If you use gold wire (which you should if you have it, I was just working with odds and ends in my supplies) you could skip this step and let the wire show for a more minimal look.

To finish off the ends of the wire, I created some loops that can attach right to jump rings. To do this, I trimmed the wire, looped it back over itself so that the end tucked into the last gold tube bead in the row [below top]. Then I slid on a crimp bead over the loop, which I first squished a little to make the bead fit [below middle]. Then I reopened the squished loop [below bottom].   

Next, use a bead crimping tool to secure the crimp bead. Repeat this process on the other end of the necklace. {If you're new to crimp beads, read this post where I talk more about them}

I finished my necklace by attaching a small length of chain with a jump ring to those newly formed loops, before adding more jump rings and a clasp to the free ends of the chain. This is all optional, and you can simply attach jump rings and a clasp right to the wire loops.
You can wear this spiked necklace in a neat and orderly way (above) or jostle it for a wilder look (I mean, it is a metal spike necklace, right?). Just don't let it poke you in the throat. Not that I did that or anything. You know what? Maybe make yours longer than mine.

I typed 'the wire' so many times here that now I want to watch The Wire. You're in my head, Omar!

Are you into spiked and studded jewelry? How many days has the snow kept you inside against your will? Or are you into all this snow?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BEAUTY: Ulta Birthday Gift 2015

In case you missed it, I recently shared my joy over the 2015 Sephora birthday gift (NARS lip pencils!) and I thought you might also like to see my free birthday gift from Ulta. Much like Sephora, once you're signed up with Ulta Rewards (a free service which gets you points for dollars spent and fun coupons) you will receive a coupon for a free birthday gift during your birthday month. The gift for those with birthdays in January, February and March 2015 is the Ulta Complete Eye Palette in Indie:
Oh, why thank you, Ulta!
Last year, Ulta gave out a free full size CK One mascara for every birthday, so this year is a bit of a departure in that they seem to be changing the gift up quarterly. Not sure what the idea behind this thinking is, or if they'll actually follow through with it, but every source I've seen has specifically listed this gift as intended for those with birthdays in January-March.
The good news is that if you like this eye palette and happen to have a birthday outside of those months, you can purchase it outright for $12.00 here. {Side note: last year's mascara gift was valued at $18.00 for those counting at home.}
This palette has a mix of 4 shimmer and 1 matte shades (only the medium brown is matte). The texture is smooth and blend-able, and pigmentation is very nice. None of these shades is patchy or sheer, and there are enough colors to create a nice brown smoky eye situation. Overall, this was a nice, albeit kinda boring, gift. But, hey - free eyeshadow is free eyeshadow, right?
This palette reminds me of one of my drugstore favorites, Wet n Wild's Silent Treatment, which I swatched here a million years ago.
SWATCHES: Ulta Complete Eye Palette in Indie
ON MY EYES: Ulta Complete Eye Palette in Indie
To get this gift from Ulta you WILL need a coupon they send via email (unlike Sephora, where you can just walk in and ask). I got mine on my birthday, so expect it on or around the big day. For those of you with birthdays later in the year, make sure to sign up for Ulta Rewards now and wait to see what your gift will be...I hope I'm not jealous of it!

Do you get free birthday gifts from Ulta? What other awesome free birthday finds have you scored?

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