Wednesday, April 6, 2011

i <3 blogger mosaic


Is this not the most brilliant and beautiful automatically-generated thing you've ever seen?  Cue angels singing.  And cue me being motivated to take more pictures and post more posts!

I think this is enabled by default, so you can visit anyone else's blog and add "/view" to the end of the blogspot URL:

And you can flip between the different layouts.

Is this cool beans or wut.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Modge Podge + $1 E.L.F. Compact = WIN!

Ta-daa!!!  It makes me so happy!  n_n

See?  The magnets are quite solid.

The $1 ELF compact while economical and rather sturdy, is white, tacky, and so limited!  I love the giant mirror but everything else about this was so meh.  Plus, I've gotten all into depotting things and needed a way to store the single pans.




Itemization of materials:
  • A: Crappy paint brush.  I think it's from a multi-pack at the dollar store. < $1
  • B: Super glue (because the metal sheet that comes with the compact is not attached to the case). $1
  • C: Modge Podge or your favorite decoupage glue.  Because awesomeness.  ~$2.50 but apparently you can make your own?
  • D: Magnet pieces.  Can be cut easily with scissors - I estimate this pack will be good for about 144 round/square pans, and 288 of the small triangle pans in the ELF Brightening Eye Quads.  Adhesive / "Peel and Stick!" preferred but of course you already have super glue!  $0.97
  • E: Decorative tissue paper.  The thin-ness makes it easier to get around the corners and edges without needing to miter the corners.  $1
  • elf Essentials Custom Compact.  $0.40 when I got it but normally $1
Other notes:
  • The original compact's insert / tray is snapped in, not glued down, so it can be easily popped out with something flat and stiff such as a butter knife.
  • Basic Modge Podge / decoupage technique:
    • Coat with Modge Podge
    • Apply paper
    • More Modge Podge
    • Allow to dry
    • More Modge Podge
    • Allow to dry
    • Continue until you've lost all interest or you've ran out of America's Next Top Model episodes, or you reach 3-4 coats.
  • Protips: 
    • Cover the ELF logos on top and bottom beforehand with white tissue paper or white out else it will show through your patterned tissue paper.
    • Cut your patterned sheets bigger than you need them.  After modge podging, you can fold the extra over the edge and if you rub with a spoon or the dull side of a butter knife, it will tear off in a straight line along the edge.
  • Caveats:
    • It's not going to be smooth
      • Can remedy with a find grit sandpaper or nail file if you are not as lazy as me
    • It's not going to be waterproof
      • Can remedy with a clear acrylic or lacquer coat (like out of a spray paint can) if you are not as lazy as me
List of pre-made custom palettes because I shopped around hardcore before settling on my decoupage solution:
  • TKB Freestyle Palette
    • $4.50 for small
    • Matte cardboard, clear window/no mirror
  • Coastal Scents Empty Magnetic Palettes
    • $8 for large, $5 for small
    • Matte plastic, large mirror
    • Not sure how neatly/easily the insert / tray is removed - I've heard it's a foamy material?  More info appreciated!
  • MAC Pro Palettes
    • $14 for large, $5 for small
    • Matte plastic, no mirror (clear window on small palette)
    • Not sure how neatly/easily the insert / tray is removed
  • Z-Palette
    • $20 for large, $14 for small
    • "eco-friendly recyclable materials that will not crack or break", clear window/no mirror
    • 40 pre-cut adhesive magnets for $4.30
  • UNII Palette
    • $29-27 for Large
    • Glossy plastic, large mirror
    • Cute thumb grip magnet
    • P.S. Awesome collection of depotting guides from YouTube.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10x ELF Nail Polish Swatches Compared to Computer Screen

(My attempt to contribute to the world of consumer reviews.)

By comparing to how the colors show online, Sammy and I take a stab at color-accuracy in swatches,.  As E.L.F. is ever so rare in brick+mortar stores, I think comparing them to how they show up on screen is quite useful.

And if someone wants to school me on the physics behind why taking a photo of a monitor is a color-transform no-no, please do!  My brain hurts when I try to think about it - it's just too meta.  

(These are photographed in partial sun in front of a 2010 Macbook with a matte display on max brightness using the best browser ever. My pictures seem to show everything slightly warmer than in real life.)

(2 coats of) Smoky Brown #1561 is not as grey and desaturated as it paints on screen, but it is almost as dark.  It separates easily and takes a lot of shaking/rolling to mix this creme.

(2-3 coats of) Desert Haze #1560 is a slightly warmer tan than on-screen, and a little darker. (Creme)

(3 coats of) Light Pink #1504 is just... pinker! ... than on-screen.  It also has a slight neutral shimmer.

(2 coats of) Bubble Gum Pink #1507 is a little warmer than on-screen.  (why is their website's "swatch" so different from their photo of the bottle anyways?)  This is a creme, as pictured.

(2 coats of) Fluorescent Pink #1508 is not what I would call fluorescent.. more of a medium-dark cool pink creme.

(2 coats of) Hot Pink #1548 is more of a slightly cool-toned pinkish red creme.

(2 coats of) Mango Madness #1563 is much less orange than pictured.  It's like a darker "Fluorescent Pink" with yellow-orange shimmer. Also, it's satin-ish-matte finish!

(2 coats of) Fuchsia #1547 is not as dark and marooney as pictured.  It's a plummy, purplish pink creme.

(2 coats of) Red Velvet #1568 is most definitely not glittery or sparkly!  it's a deep blood-red with a light red shimmer.

(2 coats of) Passion Pink #1564 is not pink at all!  It's a very lovely pinkish orange creme.

I have the following additional thoughts on E.L.F. Nail Polish:
  1. When 60% off (as it was, a few months ago) you can own all 40 colors for just $16, or $23 after shipping and handling.  If I wasn't paranoid that a $1 polish would totally suck, I really would have just bought the whole set.
  2. While B3F (big 3 free), this is the stinkiest polish I own.  Possibly stinkier than Seche Vite. :o
  3. You only get 0.35 oz and not the usual 0.5 oz, because the bottle is not square! The online photos lead you to believe you get a nice square bottle, but they are actually shorter in one direction than the other:
  1. The cap takes a lot more effort to screw on and off.  It takes 3 full revolutions (1080°) to remove!  In comparison, a Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear only takes ~2.3 revolutions.  It also just seems so much more tedious because the cap is square* and you can't roll it between your fingers. (*Yes, actually square, unlike the Chanel polishes that have a round grip under the square cap.)

There is something very satisfying about lining them all up in a row.  c:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

more liquid addictions: green monster!

Mmmmmm green monsters.  First off, credit where credit is due: Victoria's post led me to Angela's blog where I read the story of the green monster, which inspired me greatly in many categories.  I started about 3 weeks ago and haven't had them every day, but I've gone through 1.5 boxes and 2 bags of spinach so I figure i've made 10-15 batches?  They are way delish and they make me happy.  :D  I do it a little differently (as everyone should!) but it's close to the basic/original.  My basic ingredients are banana, spinach, milk, and sometimes ice.


1. Get your green on.

I just about fill my blender with raw baby spinach - it's not packed in very tightly at all. (Think "loosely loaded laundry")  I think if you cook it first I think you would get a smoother smoothie but I don't mind the 1-2mm pieces of spinach leaf that result from doing it my way.  Is there nutritional advantage to cooking it first?

2. Go bananas.

Just 1 banana will do, but I haven't tried 2.

Smoothie-destined bananas and banana-bread-destined bananas have this much in common: ripe is better! That is, as a banana ripens it gets more and more delicious and flavorful.  I wouldn't let it go all the way black, but let it at least grow some freckles.

3. Milk it for all it's worth.

If you are all about thick goopy paste-like substances, then by all means skip this step.  :D  But if you love drinking things through straws and coddle your old, old blender then I would add some liquid delish at this point.  I kind of just eyeball it, but I think it's about 6 oz.  Add a few ice cubes if you're too cool for school.

Soy vs. cow's milk? I think soy milk is better for you.  I've heard that at least American cows' milk is quite hormone-ridden but it's also much cheaper, so I've been making mine with cows' milk.  :/

4. Blend it like your life depends on it.

I pulse it because I feel like I'm supposed to.  It would be cool if someone could enlighten me as to why.  :D

I suspect that either it (a) lets larger unblended pieces fall back to the bottom where the blades are, or (b) gives the motor a rest and fights overheating and stinky burnt smells.  I'm leaning towards point (a), as (b) may just indicate I need a new blender.  9_9

5. Enjoy!

Healthy, banana-ey, foamy, tasty goodness.  Mmmmmmmm.  n_n

Sunday, July 11, 2010

my liquid addiction: watermelon slush!

Best summer treat ever.

I love watermelon juice.  I really (really) love watermelon and I really (really!) love straws so  watermelon juice is pretty much undeniably awesome.  I ordered a watermelon slush at a bubble tea place and was disappointed as I watched him blend watermelon chunks and ice.  What a ripoff for $3.75, right?  But after I stabbed my chubby straw into the top and took a sip I was in heaven.  Not enough to ever order it again, but enough to experiment at home.  :D


1. Select the most awesome watermelon that exists within a reasonable driving distance of your person.
Seeded melons seem logistically complex so I recommend the rounder, seedless variety.  If you're like me, you'll doll up for Costco and pick the biggest $5 melon they have before baby facing the seafood station guy into letting you use his scale so you can rub your mad melon skillz into your darling's face later. (20.89 lb! Thank you, thank you.) In terms of freshness, I use the pat-and-listen method: incredibly difficult to describe online. I suggest hanging around the watermelon bin until someone looks like they're using it, and then baby facing them into explaining. :D

2. Populate your blender with delicious chunky chunks.
There are at least two camps when it comes to watermelon consumption: choppers and spooners.  Choppers either make big wedges that people bite into, or fill bowls with little cubey chunks.  Spooners like me just split the whole thing in half and stick a spoon in it, carving watermelon out like ice cream out of a tub.  Having guests?  Grab a melon baller.  (Pro tip: watermelon slushes are a great way to consume that awkward part of the melon where it's getting to be white and non-delicious - you can just scrape it all into the blender and it averages out into a ever-so-slightly less sweet and more adult watermelon slush.)

3. Ice is optional.
Blender is ancient and pansy?  No ice.  Watermelon warm from the car?  Ice.  Sensitive teeth? No ice.  AC broken?  Ice.  Up to you.  I compromise by using smaller, heart-shaped ice cubes.  Truth.  I will note that the iceless version tends to separate into purer juice at the bottom and less blended pulp at the top, whereas the ice/slush version stays more uniformly thick.  (Bonus: watermelon slushes are also a good way to use up strawberries if you are a fool like me and fell for a "buy two, get four!" deal.  It's strawberry season, yo; I put 'em in everything!)

5. Straws are cool.
I am too impatient to wait for deliciousness to travel up a cute crazy straw, but I am super in love with the diner-style dispenser I found:

Happy summering! n_n

Thursday, July 8, 2010

micropost: bronzer... bigger is better?

hello, biggest bronzer i have ever seen!
nice to meet you!  i've heard of oversized bronzer (gosh, lancome, isadora...) but you are very impressive in person.  large and... in charge?
your box would fit in perfectly with my CDs. :D

i found your cousin in a youtube haul: fast forward to 7:45

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

national birthday notd + 3 questions

noth (n. o. t. holiday!) + seche vite shrinkage + 48 hr tipwear = 
milani whitest white
sally hansen xtreme wear blue it *
sally hansen xtreme wear so poppy
claire's cosmetics body glitter **

* if you have this color and you're rubbing your eyes or mocking my photography/white-balance/exposure fail, it's because the blue shown is actually something along the lines of 9 parts blue it and 1 part whitest white, which i think matches much better!

when i need a certain color or simply lose interest in a current one, i have no qualms in pouring in whatever i think will make it more to my liking.  another example is a burgundy-ish claire's polish that was way too cool-toned for me so i added bunches of a cheap nyc orange, which has helped!  i wouldn't wholly categorize this behavior as "frankening," though.  more like... plastic surgery?

** the stars are from claire's (a tween accessories/cosmetics store in the u.s.).  they are labeled as "body glitter".  wtf.  they are HUGE:

question 1: do you plastic surgery your nail polishes?
question 2: at what age (if any) is 4mm star-shaped body glitter appropriate?
question 3: does anyone else see blog posts about fall collections but keep reading "fail collection", e.g. "chanel fail"? (ok ok i admit i may be nerdier than most.)
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