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:
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