Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cheap Thrills: ELF Eyelid Primer

Eyelid/eye shadow primer does three main things.  1)It makes eye shadow colors apply more vibrant and truer to the color in the pan 2) It makes eye shadow last longer without fading. 3)It prevents creasing.  The ELF eyelid primer does this for only 1$.  I haven't tried many eye shadow primers, so I can't really compare the ELF primer to other primers.
The ELF primer does make eye shadows apply truer to the color in the pan.  I applied several shadow swatches with and without primer.  I applied each shadow in sided by side swatches.  The left swatch is without primer and the right swatch is over the ELF primer.  As you can see, shadows look much better over the primer.  I took the pictures in direct sunlight, but I probably should have taken them in the shade.  I apologize for the poor quality.

ELF primer also prevents creasing.  The picture below was taken at the end of the day.  The eye on the left (my right eye) had ELF primer.  The eye on the right (my left eye) had no primer.  As you can see, the eye without the primer has a clear crease in the eyeshadow and the eye with the primer is almost crease free.
You only need to watch the video up to the part where I apply the primer.  The rest of the video has most of the same info in this post with some random chatter thrown in.  Less is more with primer.  A thicker coat, just means there is more stuff on your eye to crease.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Spring Nail Polish Trends 2012

I want to point out that none of the nail in this post are mine.  Click on the polish name for the corresponding blog post.  The polishes are from the OPI Holland Collection, Nicole OPI Kardashian Collection, Essie Navigate Her Collection, Zoya True Collection, and a new Milani.
I'll start with peach/pink polish. The Essie version is reportedly very streaky.
Essie A Crewed Interest
Another big trend is what I'll call denim blues.  Sort of a denim blue color with sparkles.
Another trend it light greens, especially the colors in the first picture.
Also, bright orange and red-orange, red-coral.  I'd imagine these are more like summer colors, but they are in the spring collections.
And is it just me, or does the name OPI A Roll in the Hague make you think of this too?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Free Red Zoya Polish (offer expired)

Click this link for information on how to get a free red zoya polish and free shipping with purchase.  Offer ends 11:59 PM EST 2-15.   Might I suggest Zoya Jade. Some reds are coral reds, pink reds, or more purple reds. The red options aren't all super red. I got Zoya Rica as my free "red" and Elodie as my regular polish.  They should be fun corals for summer.

Monday, February 13, 2012

O.P.I. Big Apple Red

Happy Valentine's Day!  O.P.I. Big Apple Red is one of the polishes I got from my Aunt.  It is a true red.  It isn't a color that I'm really drawn to.  I haven't used OPI enough to have formed an opinion and I can't remember if this is 2 or 3 coats.  I used my stamping kit to stamp hearts on my nails for Valentines day.  I'm still learning how to stamp and I'm not very good yet.  One thing I just recently learned (after I did it for this mani) is quick dry top coats drag the color of the nail stamp as you apply it. I'm still trying to figure out if the problems I'm having are the stamping kit, the polish I'm using, or user error or some combination.  Hopefully I'll get better at it.
Update:  I get 5 days wear from OPI, which is just O.K. for me. (I can get 6-7 days with other brands.)  OPI is not worth the price for me, but I might buy a bottle of a special color. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Zoya Laney

This nail polish is Zoya in the color Laney.  This is the second polish I got in Zoya's recent promotion.  The accent color on the ring finger is Zoya Noel (first pic).  I love Zoya nail polish.  It wears like iron on me.  With Essie Good to Go topcoat,  I have found a way that I can get Zoya polish to dry before the manicure gets marred.  I really like this color.   Zoya calls this a cool toned, metallic finish with a 4 out of 5 opacity.  Laney is silver without being futuristic.  It took three coats to make this opaque.  The downside is that you can see brush strokes.  That isn't a deal breaker for me, but I'd prefer no visable brush strokes.  I've added pics of my other silver polishes.  Milani in Ms. Milani is on the pinky finger.  This color is taupe with silver.  It does not read silver when you wear it.  IMHO, the color is just meh.  Zoya Laney on the ring finger.  The Middle finger has L'Oreal Silver Star (very old bottle and limited edition).  It has a shimmery finish.  This color reads futuristic disco robot.  The Milani and L'Oreal colors do work well for a silver gradient manicure.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Styling Techniques for Wavy Hair

Here are short descriptions and links to popular styling methods for curly hair of all sorts.  These are the techniques that also happen to work really well for wavy hair.

Plopping-  Plopping encourages curl.  Put a towel (microfiber, flour sack, cotton t-shirt, etc.) at chair height.  Lean forward and accordion fold your hair as you lean down.  When your head is against the towel, wrap the towel against your head and secure.  This is a popular video, but there are tons if you search "plopping curly hair" on youtube.com.  In the video, plopping is referred to as plunking.
Experiment with plopping different times.  Some people can only plop 10-20 minutes without causing frizz, others can plop overnight.  For some plopping will never work.  Plopping often doesn't work on short hair, but it worked for my hair when it was ear length. 

 Diffusing-  This video shows how to use a diffuser.  I recommend using a bowl diffuser.

Pixie Diffusing-  Pixie diffusing encourages curl.  For some it doesn't work because it causes wonky curls (technical term :)).  To pixie diffuse you gather hair in the diffuser bowl and press it against your scalp.  Then you turn on the diffuser.  Diffuse that section on low for a 1-2 minutes.  Shut off the diffuser. Move on to the next section.  Turning the hair dryer on and off in this manner stops the hair from being blown around and therefore helps reduce frizz.  I work the diffuser around the perimeter of my hair. The original Pixie Diffusing Method does five sections:  sides, back, bangs, and top. Water Lilly 716 (video below) has a good youtube channel for curly hair and the curly girl method.
The Pixie Diffusing Thread on Naturally Curly.com. (NC.com)

Smaster's Method, A.K.A. the consistently awesome hair technique-  This is great for encouraging curls.  It works especially well for shorter hair.  You apply half of your hair product.  For example apply your curl enhancer now and then gel later.  Or apply half your gel now and half later.  Anyway, apply 1/2 of the product.  Diffuse until your hair is half dry.  Wet your hands slightly and apply the second half of your hair products.  Diffuse some more.  If your gels are sticky (like mine), wetting your hands helps prevent frizz.  If you apply the second gel with dry hands, it will pull individual hairs away from their clumps and causes frizz.
Smaster's method thread on NC.com.

Ice Queen Method-  The Ice Queen Method helps promote clumps.  What is a clump?  A clump is where several strands of hair (like a 1/2-1 inch square section) form one curl.  The opposite would be more stringy hair where that same 1/2-1 inch section forms several curls.  For the ice queen method, scrunch in conditioner upside down until your hair feels seaweed-y.  Then, rinse out your conditioner upside down with cold water.  Scrunch in your leave in conditioner followed by your gel or curl enhancer upside down.  Scrunch out as much water as possible upside down.  Scrunch again right side up, maybe adding more product.  For some people (like me) this method results in wonky waves, but nice clumps.  These links are more NC.com threads.
Explaining the ice queen method.
Big thread about the ice queen method.

Super Soaker Method-  This method is also to promote clumps.  You coat your hair with leave in conditioner and curl cream.  Comb or denman brush your hair.  Brush or comb away from the scalp.  Bring cupped hands full of water to your hair and up to the scalp.  Repeat until your whole head is soaked.  Scrunch out excess water from hair.
Link that explains the Super Soaker Method.  Video on page 2.  This is a concise, thorough explanation.
Link to Super Soaker Method thread.  Link to the same video in first post.

Scrunch Out the Crunch (SOTC)- After your hair is dry, squeeze it repeatedly to release the gel cast.  The hard gel cast helps hold your hair in a wave shape as it dries.  Crunch is your friend. When your hair is 100% dry, scrunch it out.  Some people find they prefer to lightly coat their hands with something first.  You could use a pea size of conditioner, curl creams, oils, butters, etc. to SOTC or just use your bare hands.
For some, especially those with fine hair, the water's weight will pull the wave downward and pull out the curl as it dries.  Diffusing hair helps set the gel cast in a wave shape and remove some of the water weight.  Using a gel with a hard hold can also help hold the wave shape. 

I use a mixture of these techniques.  I do a modified Super Soaker method.  Then plop.  Then Pixie Curl diffuse half way.  Then add more product (Smaster's method) and Pixie Curl diffuse some more.  Then I air dry a bit and then Scrunch Out the Crunch.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lists of Curly Girl Products

I'll give you these links to lists of Curly Girl (CG) products on one condition.  You have to promise, cross your heart, hope to die, that you will check the ingredients list before you buy anything.  Formulas change all the time.  Lists of products are impossible to keep updated.  You will always have to double check to make sure a product is still CG.
Going No Poo, List of Silicone Free Conditioners   Click on the links on the side for silicone free gel and silicone free leave ins
Healthy Curls
Girl with a Curl  Products list on left side of the blog.  This list includes products with amodimethicone as being CG.