Friday, June 29, 2012

Stuff My Toddler Has Said

In the backseat of the car, 9pm, driving home from a wedding, after having been told gently to "Go to sleep, Rhys . . .shhhhh . . . ":   *growling* "Noooo! I no sshhhhhh!!!!"

In bed before falling asleep "Mommy, I skeerreeddd", Me: "What are you scared of, bug?", Rhys "MONSTERS" *makes jazz hands*

To his daddy, who had just told him that it wasn't ice cream time:  "No say no, say yes!"

Reciting his routine to me, off the cuff, as we took a walk through his daycare neighborhood at lunchtime:  "I go home mommy! I get backpack! I ride car! I go home see daddy! I play choo choo! I eat dinner! I brush teeth! I go nigh nighs! I snuggle mommy! I wake up! I read two books!"

Every time any timer or bell of any sort rings: "PIZZA!!!"

He's my favorite guy ever.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nail Art You Can Actually Do (and one style you can't)

I've been dabbling with nail art lately (thanks, PINTEREST) and have stumbled on a few techniques that have yielded surprisingly cool results for minimal effort expended.   In order of easiest to hardest:

1) Crackle Polish
This is almost a no brainer.  Base coat.  Two coats of color. Allow color to dry (at least 75% of the way, if you're impatient). Apply a thickish coat of crackle polish in as few strokes as possible (you're aiming for 2-3 passes with the brush).  Apply top coat.  In this picture I used Spoiled Toad-ally Amazing (mint creme) as the base and OPI Shatter in Gold (lovely and sparkly) as the crackle:
2) Glitter Beds
Using a creme polish basecoat (OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, pictured) and a chunky glitter polish (Milani FX in Gold) on only part of the nail yields a cool, sequined effect.  I applied the glitter over half dry base polish directly with a brush.  These glitter pieces are quite large, and it took a bit of coaxing to get them roughly where I wanted them, but the entire glittering process only took 5-10 minutes, and imperfection was the look I was going for, making this a hard to mess up nail art option.
3) Glitter Tips
For this look, I applied two coats of OPI for Sephora Metro Chic (griege creme), let them dry 3/4 of the way and then applied a silver glitter polish using a sponge to the tips of my nails only.  This sounds way harder than it is.  Simply dab a puddle of glitter polish onto a paper plate and apply using a torn up makeup sponge. 
4) Galaxy
This is another sponge painting technique.  Two coats of black or navy creme, topped with a plethora of colors and glitters using the paper plate and makeup sponge technique detailed above.  I like to use a combo of mint and nude cremes, yellow gold shimmer, silver holo glitter and silver glitter.  Finish off with toothpick applied dots of white creme and a good topcoat.  

As anyone who has tried nail art knows, not every design goes as planned.  Take water marbling, for example. The technique involves making a bullseye of polish droplets in a cup of water, swiping through the polish with a toothpick, then dipping a masked off nail into the puddle in order to transfer the polish. After two solid nights of attempting this, and developing a pretty spectacular acetone high, here is my best attempt:

1982 called. They want their nails back.

Can't win them all. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

BB Cream Round Up: 5 Solid Choices

Confused by the dizzying array of BB creams on the market?  Apprehensive about buying online . . . via ebay . . . from international sellers?  Wondering what all the fuss is about?  Not to worry . . . over the last 8 months or so I've swapped out my former sunblock/primer/tinted moisturizer/concealer routine for a one tube BB cream solution, finding a few duds and a few gems in the process . . . and I'm here to share my top 5 creams with you.  In order of favesies:

1) Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream
Price: $8.45 via eBay (lots of potential sellers, but the one linked above is the seller I used)
Size: 20ml
SPF: 42
Skincare extras: soothing, moisturizing
Coverage: Medium
Feel: Super lightweight
Notes:  My favorite BB cream for its fantastic coverage with a literally weightless feel.  It feels like absolutely nothing on the skin and the color match, as you can see above, is pretty spot on.  Your mileage may vary color wise, of course, but this formula is top notch.

2) Skin 79 Hot Pink Super Plus BB
Price: $7.98 via eBay (lots of potential sellers, but the one linked above is the seller I used.  I actually purchased a sample set of 4 Skin 79 creams, but the Hot Pink was my favorite of those.)
Size: 25ml
SPF: 25
Skincare extras: Claims to be a 10 in 1 solution:  whitening, wrinkle improvement, sebum control, moisturizing, UV protection.  That's 5 by my count, but half the page is in Korean, so what do I know?)
Coverage: Medium
Feel: Super lightweight
Notes:  A super close second to Missha . . . the coverage here is ever so slightly sheer-er and the color isn't quite as great a match, but still a total winner in my book.  I can see myself reaching for this cream more often in the winter, when I tend to be paler. 

3) Holika Holkia Peach Girl BB Cream

Price: $19.79 via eBay (lots of potential sellers, but the one linked above is the seller I used.I daresay I paid less though, by about $6.)
Size: 50ml (biggie!)
SPF: 37
Skincare extras: peach and strawberry extracts
Coverage: Full coverage
Feel: Lighter than a foundation, but heavier than the Skin 79 or Missha creams
Notes:  This is the cream I reach for when I feel like I need an extra bit of coverage. It comes packaged with a peach cream blush cleverly hidden in the cap . . .super duper cute.  I quite like the blush just on its own merits, but hidden in a cream cap? Now that I LOVE!

4) Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector

Price: $11.04 (drugstores!)
Size: 2.5oz
SPF: 15
Skincare extras: Renews, Brightens, Evens, Hydrates, Protects
Coverage: Sheer
Feel: Light, almost gel-like feel
Notes:  This is often my weekend BB cream . . . super sheer coverage and a cooling, lightweight feel.  Don't expect any "skin perfecting" coverage here, but this does a nice job of evening tone and moisturizing.  It has the perk of being the most readily available cream on my list, as it is carried by most drugstores.

5) Boots 17 BB Cream
Price: 6.99 Pounds, Boots chemists in the UK.
Size: 20ml
SPF: 15
Skincare extras: Conceals imperfections, evens tone, controls oil
Coverage: Full coverage
Feel: Closer to a traditional foundation feel, but still I wouldn't describe it as "heavy"
Notes:  This was my first BB and I still quite like it! It offers excellent coverage with a "lighter than foundation" feel. If I lived near a Boots (woe betide me that I do not), this just might have the right combo of availability, price and formula to be my go-to cream. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wrist Cuff Wallet

I got the idea from this cuff from an Etsy listing and, while I'm not in the habit of ripping off other sellers, the listing in question was well outside of my price range (over $300!) and much "fancier" than would be practical for my own use. 

The basic idea is a wrist cuff, with a wallet/lipstick holder/keychain built inside.  I drafted a pattern using paper and assembled my bits and pieces of fabric from there.  This project made an excellent stash buster, as I was able to use up tiny bits of loved fabric I'd been hoarding. 

I decided on a wallet/cash pocket (with a closure flap for security), a card width pocket with a keychain built in and a set of three elastic strips meant to hold a lipgloss tube as my interior accoutrements.  Assembly was simple, once I'd thought through the order in which to sew my pockets.  I finished off the piece with a row of three hook and eye closures, hand sewn on after the main cuff was all sewn up. 

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out! It is for sure functional as a wallet.  The weekend I made it I wore it both days and it worked well for me.  However, since I've got tiny wrists (narrower than a credit card, in fact), the cuff felt bulky on and once was actually mistaken for a carpal tunnel wrist wrap.  *fail* 

Given those issues, I'm pleased that I didn't spend $300+ on a leather and gold zipper festooned cuff from Etsy!  I'm going to continue trying to refine the design to make it less bulky and more comfortable, though.  And, if you have wider wrists, by all means, give a cuff like this a shot!  It is a fantastic idea . . . just maybe not for tiny boned peeps like me. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Union Jack Pillow for the Jubilee

I finally got around to making a Union Jack pillow for myself . . . and just in time for the Jubilee too!

This one I pieced together using all scrap materials from my stash (save for the pillow form, which I bought at Ikea, where I've found they have a decent selection of "blank" pillows at a fair-er price than most fabric stores).  The background and back of the pillow are a soft plaid flannel, the background stripes are done in a cream and wine colored toile, the crosswise ribbon accents are gingham and the foreground ribbon is plain black grosgrain.

I love how this pillow came out . . . it incorporates almost all of my favorite types of fabric: plaid, toile and gingham. 

Total project time was a little on the high side, as I pieced the toile bits together from tiny scrap pieces, instead of one continuous strip of fabric. Maybe 1 1/2 hours total?  Time well spent though, I think . . . I love how the pillow looks on our sofa!