Bring Back the Words

by Ginger on September 9, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

I’m falling down on the job over here. Let’s get some prompts up, shall we? And don’t forget you can write about any prior prompt at any time!

1. Tell us about a product you’ve been loving or hating lately.

2. Sunset (whatever that makes you think of/want to write about)

Now get to writing!

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So Much For That

by Ginger on September 3, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

Well, it’s pretty obvious that I completely failed my August challenges. I at least feel like on the writing side, while I didn’t come close to my 5 times a week goal (HA!), I did manage to make 3 times a week pretty much every week. It’s not what I was hoping for, but it’s better than it was. I’ll take the failure that’s still an improvement.

But oof, my commenting challenge. Yeah. That. Not so much. I don’t know WHAT it is lately with commenting. What ended up happening was I kept pretty much all the posts I *meant* to comment on in my reader, so by the end of the month, I had something like 200 posts. Yeah. That wasn’t going to happen. I dunno how to get myself back into the habit. Maybe it’s just time to admit that comments aren’t a thing anymore? I keep trying to hold on to that part of blogging (even though, yes, I do lots of commenting on Twitter & FB, so it’s not like it’s totally gone, just shifted locations in a lot of cases), but maybe it’s time to give up the ghost? I dunno.

Anyway, I’m still glad I challenged myself. Even though I wasn’t successful, it did remind me of the whole liking to write thing that sometimes gets obscured by the whole I’m-really-lazy thing. I need to try and remember that first one more and get past that second one.

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A while back, I was on reddit on r/indiemakeupandmore and I saw a post from a new indie owner. Her shop is Life’s Entropy Cosmetics, & she was launching her store with these products: eyeshadow, Lip Theories (which are sort of like the OCC Lip Tars but better. More on that later.), foundation elixir–a white product to mix with foundation to lighten it (she’s also working on a yellow one to add a warm tone), and contour sticks. She was offering a blogger pack that got me a bunch of stuff with a bit of a discount, so I caved.

LEBloggerPack

The blogger pack came with one full size eyeshadow, one full size Particle Contour Stick, one full size Lip Theory, & 10 eye, lip, or face samples (of which I chose 2 contour sticks–one of which Jane upgraded to full size for me–, one lip theory & the rest as eyeshadows). I also ordered a set of lip gloss mixing tubes. More on that later. And Jane sent along one eyeshadow as a sample.

So let’s get to reviewing!

Particle Contour Sticks

The Particle Contour Sticks are a cream contour product. Jane, the owner, described them this way: “Pigmented, creamy contouring sticks that come in 5 colors: Proton (similar to Illamasqua Hollow), Neutrino, Neutron (cream version of Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder), Electron (similar to Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate 1), and Quark.”

I can’t speak to whether they’re dupes for the products she listed, since I’ve never used any of them, but I can say they’re pigmented, creamy, and pretty easy to use. I’m also basically a novice at contouring, so if I can use them, anyone can use them.

They’re available in full size & sample size.

Contoursticks

 

contourswatches

From bottom to top, it’s Proton applied, Proton blended, Neutrino applied, Neutrino blended, Neutron applied, Neutron blended (terribly). Because these are cell phone pics, the color isn’t totally true to life, but it’s pretty close–mostly Proton isn’t pink like it looks in this picture. You can see a better color in the next pic.

Because the full sizes are in lipbalm like sticks, they’re actually pretty easy to apply.

Protonapplied
Proton applied (this is much more true to life than the swatch)

Protonblended
Proton blended out

Neutrinoapplied
Neutrino applied

Neutrinoblended
Neutrino blended out

I don’t have one with Neutron on mah face, because I got lazy with taking pictures, and it’s a little dark for me I think. But maybe that’s partially that I’m still not super confident in my contouring.

I basically use one of these every day now. It’s easy to use, easy to blend. A+, would recommend heartily if you’re interested in contouring.

Eyeshadows

You guys know I’m enamored with my indie eyeshadows, so I was happy to try out a new company. The ones I chose were:  Shadow Walk, Astral Imprisonment, Just Kitten, Exorcism, Horsing Around, Monkey Business, Smoke Screen, and Happy Annibearsary as the full size. Jane sent me Dismember as a free sample. Let’s swatch!

LEswatches1

On the left is with regular primer, on the right is on bare skin. Top to bottom: Horsing Around, Monkey Business, Happy Annibearsary. Monkey Business is looking really purple in this light, but it’s more of a reddish purplish color.

LEswatches

Top to bottom: Dismember, Just Kitten, Smoke Screen

LEswatches3

You can kind of see the shift on Smoke Screen here.

LEswatches4

This one is flipped, on the left is bare skin, the right is primer. Top to bottom: Astral Imprisonment, Shadow Walk, Exorcism

LEswatches5
To show the shift in Exorcism.

As you can see, most of these really benefit from some primer. Dismember looks even better with a sticky base like Pixie Epoxy, and some others might as well. In general, I felt like these swatched beautifully (that Exorcism patchiness is due to my rushing, not the shadow).

Working with them on the eye can be a little trickier. I feel like they have a tendency to be a little more finicky than some of my other indies when I’m actually applying them, & blending them. Not enough that I don’t like them, or don’t use them. Just enough that if you’re new to the world of loose shadows & indies, I might not recommend this as the place to start.

That being said, here are some looks I did with them:

LElook1

LElook3

LELook2

One thing I really do like about these shadows though is they’re very easy to make work appropriate. Not that I limit myself to tasteful neutrals during the work week (HA), but I definitely appreciate having the option to tone things down on occasion.

Turn Around Time & Customer Service: I ordered on July 21. My order shipped on July 29, and it arrived on August 4th, which is all a pretty good TAT & delivery in my opinion. Especially since she had just launched. I also have to say her customer service is great too. I had a couple of questions I sent her by email, & each time she answered me quickly and was friendly and concise in her answers. I’ll also throw in a little mention that her packaging is VERY nicely done–samples all come in a little matchbox looking package, full size eyeshadows come in an adorable little box, and all the labels are very cute.

I’ll do another post tomorrow about the Lip Theories & the custom gloss set, which are both very interesting to me & deserve their own post, but know that they were all included in the same package.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the eyeshadows, but the real star here to me is the contour sticks. Easy to use, easy to blend, and good colors for me make them a product I’ll definitely repurchase when these are gone.

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Birthdays at 35 versus 5

by Ginger on August 27, 2014

in Celebrations, Mom Thoughts, The Kid

Another year older, another year wiser, or some such nonsense. Yup, another birthday has come and gone & though this one was a bit of a milestone, I still feel…the same I did at 34.

Although I did buy myself an all new skincare regimen last week. Ok, maybe I’m a *bit* of a cliche.

Contrast that with my almost 5 year old, to whom birthdays are a magical, mystical EVENT. I remember that feeling of being a kid, where the anticipation of a birthday is second only the the anticipation of Christmas morning. And sure, some of it was about the gifts, but some of it was also just about that thrill of getting older. A WHOLE EXTRA YEAR, the joy!

I enjoy my birthday (especially now when I can buy myself a cocktail to celebrate), but that thing when you’re a kid is in a different stratosphere. I mean, sure, I can buy myself pretty awesome birthday gifts, which is definitely a nice perk, but I do occasionally miss that anticipatory, excited feeling.

Luckily, I do kind of get to relive some of that feeling with Jackson. He is so into birthdays, his and other people’s, and I can’t help but get excited along with him for HIS birthday. His is coming up, and he is practically vibrating with anticipation, and I can’t help but get jazzed about helping him celebrate.

One of the cool things about kids is getting to get a kind of second go-round at all the best parts of childhood. Birthdays included.

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Paddling Around

by Ginger on August 25, 2014

in Celebrations, Day in the Life

One of the things on this year’s to-do list is to “do something really fun for my 35th birthday.” I never know what I mean by that when I make these kinds of statements in January, just that I want to do something more exciting than just go out to dinner. I love going out to dinner, don’t get me wrong, but we go out to dinner all the time–it’s not really anything more special than a typical weekend day. And this year I figured, well, it’s a “milestone” year, I’d like to do something really fun.

Which is how I ended up on a stand up paddleboard this weekend.

I’ve been talking about wanting to try it for a bit–we see the paddleboarders at the beach, and it looks so much more…peaceful, I guess, than surfing. Anyway, it’s been something I’ve been thinking about maybe possibly perhaps wanting to try. So that’s what N.C. got me for my birthday, a lesson & some time out on a board.

We didn’t go out on the ocean (which I’m grateful for!). Instead, we went out on Carlsbad Lagoon, where things were moderately calmer (although we did have to contend with quite a bit of wake from the boats that share the lagoon), and we didn’t have to worry about getting out past the breakers. The guy who did our lesson spent 20 or so minutes teaching us the basics on land, and then we were off in the water.

We started out on our knees for a ways, to get us a little used to the board & the paddle. We headed to a marina to stand up for the first time–the water was calm and still there without the wakes and wind of the rest of the lagoon–and boy am I glad we did that. For as calm and peaceful as the paddleboarders always look? Yeah, it’s harder than it seems. It took me a bit to get my balance, even on the calmer water, and my legs were a bit shaky in the whole endeavor there at the beginning. Right when I thought I was getting fairly comfortable, we headed back towards the open lagoon, got hit with some mild waves and….

Splash.

Into the water. Oh well, I was expecting to end up in the water a few times, so the fact that it was less than 30 minutes into our time on the water & when we hit our first waves? Eh, I’m ok with that.

Back on the board (well, eventually. I fell off the board trying to get back on. I never said I was graceful), and back on my feet, and out onto the lagoon. This time, I held on, and we made our way across the lagoon, watching fish jump (seriously, some of these fish were getting 2-3 feet off the water!), boats speed around, and kayakers and paddleboarders make their way around the water.

We took a brief break on the opposite shore, and my legs felt super wobbly back on land. Balancing on the board was taking all my lower body & core strength, and being on land really highlighted what kind of effort it was taking. (Yeah, yeah, I’m out of shape.)

After a few minutes sitting on the beach relaxing, we headed back out again. This time, we were heading into the wind, and the boats were still speeding around making waves for us, so it was…a pretty good workout. I was starting to get comfortable-ish though–enough so that I could have a conversation with our instructor while we were paddling at least. It was hard work, but also not hard work, in that it was working many many muscle groups (and oh man, did I feel it the next day!), but I was starting to get comfortable with the rhythm of it all.

Yeah, right about then was when I fell in the water again.

Oh well.

Back on the board, and we paddled around for a little while longer. I worked on getting my stroke form down, and making smoother turns, and, oh yeah, not falling in the water again. I succeeded in that last one, only getting wet again when we brought the boards all the way to shore & I hopped off into the shallows. N.C. paddled around a bit more, and our instructor let him try the smaller, faster board that he’d been using, while I watched from a chair in the shade. N.C. did great on the littler board, though he did hit the water once, but that thing was definitely more challenging than the massive beasts we had been learning on.

We left with a handshake to our instructor, information on rentals, and that nice tired feeling from a good workout in the sun. I definitely want to do it again–despite the hard work, it WAS the kind of peaceful I thought it might be when I first started watching paddleboarders months ago, and I enjoyed the challenge and the serenity of it.

And almost more importantly, I felt a bit of satisfaction with myself–trying something new, that I had no idea if I’d be any good at (while in a bathing suit no less!), at almost 35, made me feel pretty happy. I tend to get wrapped up in my own thoughts of what I can and can’t do, and I didn’t do that at all this time. I felt good about myself for trying, and I felt good about myself when I was done.

I’d say that’s a pretty good birthday gift.

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