Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kodachrome is dead! Long live the film!

Today, my last 2 rolls ever of Kodachrome film are being processed by Dwayne's in Parsons, Kansas.
At least, I hope they are - I held out for as long as I could so I could use up every precious frame of that stuff and had to next-day it to the lab. Parsons is so small, however, that USPS doesn't have daily service there. That's what the gal at the counter told my anyway.

I know I've mostly posted about nail polish but this isn't a nail polish blog. I just happen to like nail polish.
I also happen to really like film photography. I've been a "soup and fixer" shooter since I was a freshman in high school, worked at a photolab for a while, went to a pretty high-class photography school, and was looking toward a job with Hedrich Blessing when life did a 180 on me and brought me to where I am now.

The end of Kodachrome is the end of an era. Kodachrome was far from the first colour film - but it was the BEST. Because of the *rolls eyes* difficult processing it had to undergo (seriously, anyone who processed it in a modern automated lab, chime in on the "difficulty") Kodachrome resulted in a highly stable negative.

My dad is a shooter, my grandmother was a shooter, and both her father and stepfather were shooters...
Have a peep at Great Grandpa II's Kodachrome and tell me why Kodak got rid of this:
Great Grandpa I's box of 1930's Kodachrome slides were passed on to me several years ago. Despite poor storage following his death in 1938, his stunning images of Cuba, Manhattan, and aerial views from a DC-3 are crisp and easily colour corrected.
Seeing the world at that time in colour film is a delight and draws us closer to the past.
What will our great grandchildren think when they look at poorly saved, pixelated mush that was our graduation photos and holiday snapshots?

For me, this discontinuation of Kodachrome processing is a huge smack in the collective face of photographers by the corporate hand of Kodak.
When it was announced in June of 2009 that Kodachrome would be no more, finally confirming the rumours everyone had been chasing for almost 5 years, we were assured that we would have several years of processing left. Photographers everywhere snatched up rolls to freeze and preserve so we would have it in those several years. Myself, I snagged 2 rolls from the last shipment in Chicago.
Seeing the love, savvy marketers put their shipments up on eBay and other storefronts for insane prices. I saw single, 36 shot rolls of Kodachrome go for as high as 30 dollars....
But, out of nowhere, Kodak changed their mind and gave photographers just over a year to shoot up and process all those caches of film.


For me, the end of Kodachrome is more than just the end of a film. It's the end of corporate honesty.
Yes, we're all familiar with "Truth" campaigns and everyone is pretty solid in their belief that Philip Morris, BP, Monsanto, and lord knows who else is lying to us. But film can't lie.
When a company says, "this film is 100 speed", it IS 100 speed.
When a company says, "this film is infrared sensitive", is IS infrared sensitive.
So when a company says, "you have a few years to enjoy this classic product", we expect a few years to enjoy that classic product.

Kodak lied to their photographers.

Perhaps the people that buy the piece of junk $60 digitals from Wal-Mart don't care.
Perhaps the people that enjoy the $100,000 scientific sensors don't care.

But to the thousands of photographers (Dwayne's - the only Kodachrome processor in the world - does did 700 rolls of Kodachrome a week) who watched Kodak discontinue large format Kodachrome.... Then 200 speed Kodachrome.... Then listened to some suit try to convince us that Ektachrome was just as good, Kodak is a bunch of lying snits.

I just hope Kodak doesn't pull a Tom Petters.
Almost immediately after scrapping all the machines that made Polaroid instant film, the market for instant photography SKYROCKETED! Now Fuji's instant cameras are being sold in clothing stores and on QVC for like 100 bucks.
Kodak has recently started production of new large format stocks.  They see there is an obvious need for professional films - one of which being Kodachrome - so I imagine we may see the production of Kodachrome films (or a direct copy as Fuji has done with their pull-apart instant) again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kleancolor Holo Chrome

I first came across the Kleancolor brand at my local independent beauty store while on the search for makeup to go along with my 1940's living history persona. I found a daring red lipstick that went on smoothly, smelled beautiful, and wore almost all day!
So when I found their nail polish at another local store, I wasn't too hesitant about buying it.

Kleancolor Holo Chrome in the bottle... Featuring blur-o-vision to show the HOLO!!!

After reading this post by Emerald Sparkled, I am in a holo mood. I want everything sparkly and glitter and I WANT IT NOW!

Kleancolor Holo Chrome isn't quite like OPI Designer Series or what I imagine those Turkish lovelies to be like. It is a purple jelly (if my understanding of "jelly" is correct) with holo glitter in it.

Once on the nail, it has a slight grittyness, but nothing that wasn't cured with one coat of Out The Door's Northern Lights. What can I say, I just needed more sparkle!
I find I also really like the current Kleancolor bottle. It has a really chic look. Unfortunately, I discovered as I was shaking the bottle up at the store, the cap stem is not glued on. If you're a shaker, hold the bottle by the bottle instead of the cap. Thank God it didn't shatter all over the tile floor it landed on!!

The polish is very fumey and when dry (this one) has a grapey scent.
The ingredients are listed as: Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Formaldehyde Resin, Acrylates Copolymer, Steralkonium Hectorite, N-Butyl Alcohol, and Ethyl Alcohol.
So - long list short - NOT 3-free.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Orly Galaxy Girl

Found it on clearance for $3.99 at Sally Beauty Supply.
Hated it.
Exchanged it for China Glaze For Audry.
Am not sure if I'll like that either though :(

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hello Kitty Beauty

Verdict: Meh. For more info, keep reading...

Today I checked my email and found the following:
Ah, so the presale ended today... I probably should have looked at my email sooner.

I'm a huge Hello Kitty fan I'm a huge Sanrio fan, with Keroppi being my favourite, but I enjoy Hello Kitty if only for her omnipresence so I figured I'd be pretty stoked for this collection. Maybe it's because I'm pretty broke right now, or maybe it's because I'm in a generally "humbug" mood, but it didn't strike me the way I thought.
Maybe Hello Kitty's omnipresence has finally desensitized me. I mean, we've already had a MAC Hello Kitty collection and if you like bling there's none better than Kimora Lee Simmons' pieces... And Tarina Tarentino. OH TARINA!!
I am so sorry this is on Jeffree Star. You can't deny, though, that he is FAB!!!

But this...
A) Who makes it?
B) Do you really expect us to buy a cosmetic without ever trying it?
C) Why, despite the "launch" at Small Gift, is nobody talking about this?
D) Why are so many products called "Charmmy" when Charmmy Kitty is NOT Hello Kitty, she is KT's pet?

I don't know. I don't know who makes it (though I'm rather sure that Hello Kitty is being licensed from Sanrio, rather than it being produced by Sanrio themselves). I don't know the quality of these cosmetics. And I don't know anything other than they're much more expensive than I would ever pay for such things.

To be honest, I feel like they're marketing toward people with more money than sense who will just see SHINY!!! KAWAII!!! MAKEUP!!! and drop the dollars. I mean, it's not like the diamond pendants or the officially licensed Smart Cars that cost only marginally more than non-branded items.

Ah, whatever. Just have a peek...

It honestly doesn't look like anything special to me... And I went INSANE over MAC's Hello Kitty collection despite my deep, intense loathing of MAC. The one that pisses me off the most is the "Bling Mirror" for 49 dollars. I don't know if it's actually sterling silver or whatever but for 20 bucks I got a couple of Target Dollar Spot mirrors a few cycles ago, some Swarvoski flatbacked rhinestones, and clear epoxy and I had a great time. I pull mine out all the time and people will stop and ask me where I got it - so I don't really see a point in spending 50 buck for something like that.

12 dollars for blotting papers?! Because they have a cartoon cat on them?!
I would like some of the crack they were smoking in that board meeting.

So, no. I don't believe I'll be buying any of the Hello Kitty Beauty products. Depending on the coming reviews of quality, I may pick up some of the nail polish because the bottle is very clever but...
Screencap from Beauty Ambition*, who is quite excited over the collection. you can see, it's nothing special. Even the Pink Sprinkles and Purple Sprinkles look very much like the Katy Perry OPI due out in spring.

Anyway, did YOU buy some this weekend? Leave a message and let me know how it goes for you.


Friday, December 17, 2010

China Glaze Party Hearty!

I picked this up at Sally Beauty Supply a few days before Thanksgiving, but I'm pretty hardcore on keeping Christmas in the Christmas Season - which, in my mind, will never overlap Thanksgiving.

I played with it and have worn it a few times since Thanksgiving, but forgot to post about it. There's not that long until Christmas, so I should get on it!

The set includes:
Phat Santa, a rich red
Holly Jolly, a deep holly green (I used this for the Zombie experiments too)
and Party Hearty, a festive glitter in green, red, gold, and silver.

Party Hearty looks really great layered or on its own.
Here is 4 coats of glitter, 2 of glitter, each of the colours with 2 coats of glitter and bare, and OPI Alpine Snow with 2 coats of glitter.
So far, I've had the best feedback with the white.
2 coats of glitter may seem excessive, but I REALLY like glitter. Christmas seems like the only time of the year where something this glittery is seen as festive rather than childish.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hot Pop Collection

A week or so ago, I posted about Creative bringing Hot Pop Pink into the Shellac collection...
...with lackluster results.

So here's the rest of the collection. Now that I see the whole thing together, I'm falling a bit in love with it again but am still unimpressed. I hope the Shellac will be nice.

Nothing else to say about it, so here's the pics:


Today is my last day of classes for the semester!

(okay, it's not out for ever - just 4 weeks over the winter)

I had a pretty nice first portfolio review. I've had a rough time this semester because of being ill, but I worked through it.
Now I have a nice break where I can bang out and schedule some blog entries... and maybe finally get around to talking about that Benefit "Her Name is Glowla"!

I hope everyone else has had lovely finals and will have a safe and enjoyable winter!

OPI Tuxedo Collection

A recent post on Body and Soul, a blog I follow, reminded me of the beauty that is was is the Tuxedo Collection by OPI.
She titled it "Old School!", to which I replied "oh come now, it's not THAT old..."

Then I found it in a 2005 advertisement in a nail magazine.
For the fashion world, that's ANCIENT!!!

Even so, it capitalised on one classic rule of fashion - black never goes out of style.
Which to me is kind of funny because this was one of the first times that black was IN style for nails. Previously, black nails had pretty much been reserved for goths, punks, and all the other rockin' counterculture kiddies.  We had to stock up during Halloween and put up with the sheer, spotty coverage of what Markwins gave us. (And I do have to say now, Markwins is putting out some quality stuff - just look at everyone's reviews of the Wet N' Wild holiday palettes.)

Not only did OPI give us deep opaque coverage in a lush black creme - they gave us 3 different finishes!
Midnight Blue Glitter, Black Satin, Black Onyx, Alpine Snow
This pic is junk. I'm sorry. I swear I went to photography school. Really.
Anyway, OPI offered in the Tuxedo Collection:
Midnight Blue Glitter, a charcoal gray glitter with deep blue specks (needs 3 coats, but I give it 4).
Black Satin, almost a precursor to the Suede Collection - it is black with silver/gray shimmer and a gloss finish. It really looks like when you put a gloss topcoat over the Suede polishes.
Black Onyx, a beautiful pure black creme that is opaque in 2 coats and hard wearing.
Alpine Snow, a standard white shade. It had always been our beauty school standard for french tips but on the whole nail I find it needs a minimum of 3 coats, sometime 4, for complete opacity.

The ads all showed different ways to give yourself a tuxedo manicure like doing the tips black or even drawing a little bowtie on the nail. I actually find the suggestions to be clever and it would be really fun to go to a black tie event with that kind of whimsy (and that thought may be the reason I've only been invited to one black tie event).

Alpine Snow and Black Onyx are now part of OPI's standard line. I've seen Black Satin pop up from time to time at the nail supply shop but I don't know if it is old stock or if OPI releases small amounts. Midnight Blue Glitter, to my knowledge, has not been produced since 2005. It can be found on eBay usually without the HUGE markup of other discontinued shade.
With storage in an outside garage for a year, my bottles did not suffer a bit (they were inside in a closet the rest of the years). Some of my polishes show separation from having frozen then been subjected to heat so bad all my LPs warped, but the entire Tuxedo Collection applied just as the day I bought it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Glitter and Gel Part 2!

I've talked a few times already, I think, about how much I love the OPI Designer Series. Somehow, I missed out on China Glaze OMG (found some at the supply shop today, though) so I'm diggin' the holo sparkle of DS.

After the success of the iPod glitterizing with Spitfire, I decided to take my Divine manicure into a more permanant arena...

I didn't get a "blur-o-vision" of this one, but the holo on this is pretty amazing too! Divine sparkles with blues and silvers. Very lovely and multi-dimensional.

I used the same method as before but did both the front and back this time. On the back, the brushstrokes didn't level out all the way. I'm not sure if I should be using more or less gel, a wider brush, or thinner product. Time will tell.

Til then, here's some rad pics of the project...
Matching nails. This is just too good of a shade. I may need more bottles!

I wish this captured the many colours of the sparkle better.

I see blue, and I see silver, and I see gold, and I see....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Glitters and Gels

Last week, I got my order from Premier Nail Source. I love them as a distributor so, so much. Their shipping is quick, orders are packed safely and personally, and they give you a FedEx tracking number as soon as it gets picked up - I didn't even have to ask for one!

One of the things I decided to invest in is a UV Gel system. I have had brief tutorials on using a few gels from Young Nails at trade shows, but have never used them myself so I went with an inexpensive kit that came with a lamp and sample sizes of products.
The Nouveau Nails UV Gel Starter Kit
I don't wear false nails, though, so I don't really have anyone to practice on right now. I wanted to get the hang of working with the brush and lamp, so an old habit and a new colour inspired me...

Pure Ice's Spitfire really drew my eye. Even under the crap light at the WalMart, I could see the intense sparkle (check out the blur-o-vision!!) and as soon as I saw the name, I knew I NEEDED IT!!!
(Trivia: I'm a HUGE aviation nerd and one of my favourite memories is driving down the Dan Ryan as a formation of Spitfires flew overhead on their way home from Oshkosh.)

This colour was more than just a nail laquer - it was a lifestyle and I had to properly capture it!

One of my old hobbies was to cover most everything with nail polish for a customized look. I would do my sunglasses, my electronic organizer, my Tamagochi, my cellphone (in SRO Silver! WOOT!)... If it was paintable, it got painted.
The only problem was that it chipped easily and glitters left a bumpy surface.

The solution? Gel overlay!

After covering the face of a hard plastic Belkin iPod case with Spitfire, I used 2 coats of Nouveau Nails UV Gel (each cured under the light), and was able to skip any topcoats.
The gel came out a little bumpy and would probably benefit from a buffing, but I think it's pretty great for a first attempt!

I can't wait to use the gel more - hopefully on NAILS soon!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

China Glaze Zombie Zest

I don't know how behind the times it is to take a look at Halloween polishes, but I love Halloween and wear Halloween clothing and keep up my decorations year-round.
I found Zombie Zest, part of the Awakening Collection, at Cosmoprof for $1.99 on clearance. They had the whole boxed Awakening Collection for $7.99 but they also had the VooDoo box for $3.99 so I got just my favourite colour.

Wow! Looking to see if China Glaze still had a link to the collection, I discovered this polish was reviewed by some other bloggers as early as July this year. Now, my mantra is "Halloween is every day" but releasing a collection in July seems a bit early. Ah, that's the fashion world for you. I *AM* pretty behind...

When I first got the polish, I was wearing OPI Who the Shrek are You? and just put it on over. It looked siiick. It really looked like glistening, rotting flesh or the skin of a salamander. I got to thinking about using it as a layer glitter rather than on its own.

So I tested different greens!

The new colour balance makes everything look kinda blue.
CND's Hot Pop Yellow, OPI Who the Shrek are You, Sally Hansen Lickety-Split Lime, Some Neon, China Glaze 4 Leaf Clover, China Glaze Holly Jolly, Finger Paints Expressionist Red, and Zombie Zest.

I thought it would be neat to throw in a few odd ones. Zombie Zest over Shrek looked really sick, so I wanted to see if a red base would mystically transport me to Silent Hill or something.

Hot Pop Yellow, Shrek, Lime, Random Neon Green

4 Leaf Clover, Holly Jolly, Expressionist Red, 4 coats of Zombie Zest
Each colour got 2 coats of Zombie Zest and I also did just some Zest to see what it is like on its own.

On the Yellow, it really reminds me of a salamander and on the red it came out very gold. It was quite surprising to see the variations on Zombie Zest when placed on different bases. I almost want to take this nail wheel into my Colour Theory class for extra credit.
And as soon as I typed that, it sounded like a good idea.

*packs up schoolbag for tomorrow*,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Do I finally have relevant news? Goodness, I hope so!

I put nail stickers on my Japanese Rose Garden. I got them from XXI about a year ago...
They're.... okay. They were cute and I had fun with them but they chipped off quickly. At the salon, I have my hands in water all day so I really need longevity out of my stuff. I have a lot of polish that will last a week or so, but even the polish - not just the stickers - peeled off. Lame.

But that's okay!

It's time for a celebratory change anyway....


In addition to the current offerings, CND will be adding to the Shellac line:
Mother of Pearl
Clearly Pink
Iced Coral
Rock Royalty
Black Pool



Ooh, Hot Pop Pink was one of my most favourite colours. I still have the entire Hot Pop collection, as well as a display backer card I stole from the beauty supply store. Man, I even have a binder from beauty school that I did completely Hot Pop themed.
So yeah, I'm obviously.... stoked....?

Hm. This is not the Hot Pop Pink I remember. It's a bit washed out because I couldn't get the camera to white balance for anything but the flash, but that is pretty dead-on as far as the shade goes.
It's Barbie pink.
Not that I have a problem with Barbie pink, it's just that Hot Pop Pink was so loud and in your face and WOOO LOOK AT ME I'M PINK!!!!!
This took 3 coats for even a streaky coverage and is still sticky without top coat a half hour later.

This is not the Hot Pop Pink I remember.
Has anyone else had problems with their older polishes getting strange like that? Everyone seems to talk about needing to thin it out and having stringy application. This was quite unexpected.
I'll be swatching the rest of my Hot Pop collection to see if it's just a pink problem and will be hoping hoping HOPING that the polish, not my memory, is faulty and the Shellac will be nice.

Monday, November 29, 2010

OPI Japanese Rose Garden

Found this one in my polish box this evening when I was going through it for green polishes.
Pinks like this usually aren't my thing (exception, Mod About You). I go for hot pinks like China Glaze's Pool Party or glitters like OPI Glow It and Show It. I don't recall how this one came to me. I imagine it happened the same time as Let Them Eat Rice Cake and Miso Happy. I'm pretty sure I've never worn it.

With flash, tungsten lit (I swear I'm trying to get into CFLs)

Japanese Rose Garden is a lovely salmon pink with a silver frost. Very delicate and feminine. I really see this as a princess colour. I can't wait to do some rhinestone nail art or lace Konad stamps with it.
The consistency of this was really off. It took 3 rather thick coats to get full opacity. The formula was rather thin, but runny and streaky, leading to globby bits that got to thick in some areas. I used Rush Top Coat, but can see brushmarks. That's the way frosts go, I guess.
No flash.

I rather love this shade. It's very fun to try out things that don't fit with the Punk Rocker Who Loves Barbies version of myself. I can already see parts where this is peeling off my nails though, so soon it will be back to some kind of glitter.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

China Glaze ON SALE

Premier Nail Source has China Glaze on sale for $2.50 a bottle!!

I don't know if you have to provide a beautician's license to shop there, so I apologise if one is needed. Even if they don't require it, a LOT of the products on there are intended for PROFESSIONALS ONLY so please stay safe and limit your purchases to traditional nail lacquers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've become rather ill. My doctor has gotten into an accident so we're making other arrangements to get me fully diagnosed and treated, but until then one shouldn't expect much out of me. I have 2 days off this coming week due to the holiday, so perhaps I can rest up and finally post the photos I have of the new Revlon Fire and Ice.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: Bed Head Urban Antidotes Re-energize

Today, I tried out my sample of Bed Head Urban Antidotes Re-energize shampoo and conditioner.
Totally a stock image.
This stuff came out over the summer (maybe sooner?) but since I've just gotten back into the salon it's pretty new to me . The Urban Antidotes comes in 3 levels depending on your damage:
Re-Energize to hydrate, strengthen, and add shine.
Recovery for dry, coloured hair that needs damage prevention.
Resurrection for weak and brittle hair .

My hair is currently coloured with a semi-permanent vegetable dye. About  a year ago, it was pretty horribly overprocessed and though I had the ends cut off (what didn't break off anyway) and I've done several conditioning treatments,  the dye took very strongly to the ends and has already faded from the healthier hair by my scalp.
Normally it is... well, normal. I don't shampoo it very often so it tends to seem oily, but the rest of my skin goes more toward the dry end of the spectrum. It has a bit of a wave that can spiral in to ringlets but curl never stays. It straightens easily and I use an iron at least twice a week.

If that kinda sounds like your hair too, this stuff is AWESOME!!!

The samples were 1/4 oz and that was the perfect amount. I remember in beauty school being given 1oz "shot glasses" of shampoo but it being of such poor quality that we sometimes had to argue for another full ounce.
The shampoo didn't lather very much at all and I was surprised to find that it has sulfates in it. Usually, sulfate-free shampoos don't have as much suds. Being that Urban Antidotes has colour protecting qualities, I assumed it was sulfate-free (in addition to being very drying for some people, shampoos that use sulfates as their surfactant can fade colour faster than shampoos without).  Even so, it cleansed very nicely in my incredibly hard water.
The conditioner is nice and creamy. It felt light on my hair like a lotion and rinsed away cleanly, but as my hair dried it felt soft and obviously conditioned.

Today in class, we "carved" 50 pound blocks of salt with metal rasps leaving a powdered sugar-fine dusting of salt on my 3-days-since-I-washed-it hair. It really was a torture test on whatever cleanser I used. Urban Antidotes performed admirably. My hair was left feeling bouncy and soft, and my scalp was cleansed but not dried out in the way that seems to make me oilier in the end.

Bottom line: would recommend. Excellent value and performance.

This product was a free sample found at the salon I'm working at.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blimp my Pog

I've started "monetizing" my blog here. I don't know what I'm expecting out of it, but if you see anything you like please click and check it out. I'm hoping I can start getting ads from some of my favourite brands like Benefit Cosmetics and OPI or links to the newest stuff from Sephora.
I've also added the Amazon doohickey. From now on, you should assume links to Amazon are sponsored - but most other links will be just stuff I like. I'll let you know so nothing seems shady.

I know a while back the FTC decided that bloggers and Youtube reviewers needed to disclose where they got stuff from. Unless I say otherwise, I have purchased everything myself. I am a licensed stylist and a working makeup artist so I often get steep discounts on items and hair companies send me things from time-to-time (I have some Bed Head to try out tonight, in fact) but so far it's not been anything that other professionals can't get.

I'll be trying to find out how else to promote the things I love as time goes on. I don't wish this to end up being a fruit salad of links and promo codes, but I will be adding more.
Everything you will see here is stuff I love, have tried with success (often on other people!), and wish to share just because I think you'll love it too. I'm not paid to say "Absolutely Alice is the greatest nail polish ever made". The only money I'll get is the few fractions of pennies that Google and Amazon send my way.

And that's all I think I need to say about that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30's moon manicure

Felt like busting out my fave red, Finger Paints' "Expressionist Red". For Veterans Day, I thought I needed something to match the many paper poppies I'm sure I'll be picking up.

This was my first time doing the moons. I didn't have a brush to take the moons out so I used a little bit of cotton wrapped around an orange stick. I think using a brush would be a lot better.
I can't wait to try this again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Makeup, first day of work:

Today, I had my first day at my new salon. It has been a while since I've had to care at all about what I look. Well, I mean that I care... We all care or we'd never buy a hairbrush. I just mean that I haven't "had" to get done up in the morning for quite some time.

Last night, I took my shower, tweezed my unibrow, shaved my upper lip (I just can't handle wax there) and all that business so I could sleep in a little more. I only wash my hair about twice a week because it seems to make my hair loss* worse. I also don't bother shaving my legs because I always wear trousers. Sadly, because of this, I've really gotten out of practice and it takes me almost 10 minutes to shave.
Anyway, when I woke up, I feel like I woke up pretty fresh...
Or as fresh as one can be with not enough sleep. :(
It's a little embarrassing that this is the first glimpse of yours truly, but we might as well get the glamour shots out of the way first off.

To get ready for today, the very first thing I did was iron out my hair. I love the texture of my hair first in the morning, but by midday what looks like lovely beachy waves turns into some kind of white trash lookin' hot mess. You can see also that my hair is all separated and a bit chunky looking. I sweat really bad at night and I wake up kinda goofy - but that's also what makes it curly. To counteract that greasyness, I use Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo.

Next, I used Benefit Cosmetics' EyeCon eye cream because it makes undereye concealer go on smoother and That Gal primer all over my face. For "foundation", I use Hello Flawless. I dust it on with the brush all over then use the sponge on my spots. I really hate foundation. Halfway through the day, it makes me itch. All of it. I have yet to find a brand that doesn't make me want to claw my face off. Even Hello Flawless makes me want to pick at my face... Which, sadly I did halfway thru my day.

For colour, I used the new holiday Her Name Was Glowla kit. Coralista blush really looks good on everyone even though it looks like crazy 80s stuff in the box. I'm quite fair and it is so nice and glowing on me.
In fact, you can barely see Coralista in this pic!
I also used Revlon Just Bitten lipstain (the new marker type) in either Flame or Gothic - I have both - under the lipgloss in the Glowla kit and Benefit Brow Zings to cover the fact that I really don't have much of an inner 1/3 to my eyebrows.

Everything wore pretty nicely during the day. I ate some lunch at work but the stain made it so I didn't have to carry lipstick with me. Even better, I had time to iron my shirt and sit and relax for about a half hour before leaving for work.
So, of course, myspace shot!
And there it is! I'm so good lookin' for work!

* I've been having problems with alopecia for some time. Off and on through most my life, really. Over the past year, I've lost about half my hair density. It's gotten so bad that my man compares me to a shedding cat. I had enough hair to create a 1 square foot portrait of myself in a week. What can I say, I'm an art student...
Anyway, this past weekend, it was discovered that I have seriously minimal adrenal function AND my thyroid is really sucking. I have an appointment on the 22nd to see what's going on. It's likely that both glands are having some sort of dysfunction, so it could go wither way as far as fixing the problem. 

Monday, November 8, 2010


On Wednesday, I start my new job!

When I was still in Chicago, I worked for the Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta in Arlington Hts. It was awesome. I loved the job and actually cried when I had to tell my boss that I was moving to Indianapolis. But I found a job that had promised me everything I could ever want - central location, exclusivity, pricing structure for extension services, plans for expansion, and brides brides BRIDES!

Sadly, tragically really, none of that came to pass. There were weeks where I had only 2 clients. Not that I was horrible and only had 2 clients, but that only 2 people came in to the salon while I was on shift. Then I got cut to 9 hours from 25 because of some odd personal beef. Then I came to see that that odd personal beef was a result of my boss' paranoia. Then I came to see that my boss' paranoia was a result of her cocaine use. Then it dawned on me that her boyfriend, that spent every day in the salon, was dealing cocaine.

Then I walked out and never looked back.

So for a year, I've been looking for a job. I've been putting in almost weekly applications at Supercuts, Great Clips, Regis, Mastercuts, Sport Clip... Each time, expanding my reach further and further... but nothing.
I started getting really super bummed. I thought something was wrong with my computer so I started going in to the salons in person only to be brushed off and pretty rudely told to do an online application (one woman even scoffing, "Well if we wanted you, we would have called you"). Then I started to think something was wrong with me. I got in to a pretty deep funk when I was interviewed, thought I nailed it, was really qualified for every aspect of the job, but got the "we're going with someone else" call...
Thankfully I realised that it was just the job market here and I would have to be patient and wait for things to perk up.

Of course, once I got the flu, I got a flurry of interviews (and I think the constant traveling and being "on" for 4 straight days is what got me hit so hard with the flu). I drove all around this town from south suburbs to north suburbs and sold myself as hard as I could.

Thankfully, it paid off!
I'll be starting at a salon on Wednesday.

It should be good. I've been looking at the chain salons because I have no clients and salons here don't seem to use assistants Note to salons: Assistants are indispensable not only as an asset to your workflow but also to ensure your stylists are properly trained. If you're hiring outside help without promoting your assistants, you're not doing something entirely right.
Anyway, this place is "medium-tier" with a cut and style being $26 and is full service. I'm hoping we can work pricing for specialty services like extensions and eyelashes. Glue-in's around here run about 90 bucks and I can get one done in about 30 min.

The last salon I really gave my all to, I was a certified educator and started working hair shows for manufacturers within 2 years. I think I can really get some work under my belt and really get at something I'll be able to take to Toronto with me rather than starting over again in a few years.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

For Pat.

My "stepmother" Candy's mother is a lovely wonderful woman.  Though Candy and my dad are not married (long story...), Pat welcomed me warmly into the family from day one. When her mother died well into her late 90's, her jewelery was shared with me as though I was a rightful heir to it. I always had a spot at her table and when I went off to college, I had a better send off from Pat than from my own birth mother.

So when I found out she was losing her house of 50+ years (through no fault of her own, for the record), I was devastated. Though I'd only known that home for 14 years, it was more of a home to me than any of the 29 places I'd rested my own head.  I had this mix of anger over the situation that led to her going from paid off for over 30 years to foreclosed on an "equity" loan. I raged against the family member that pissed away the money on a new truck and next-gen console gaming systems. I raged against the system that allowed a $45,000 house get $91,000 in the hole. I lamented the loss of her things, her late husband's things (sadly, I never met him), her mother's things, and just her space in general.

But then I calmed down and I thought about the VA apartment she was going to get to live in now. I remembered the way I was able to blossom as a person when I moved into the dorms at my university and saw how her new place was like a senior dorm. She was going to have other women to hang out with, parties she didn't have to set the table for, and a space of her own for the first time in her life. I even started hoping a little that she could meet a nice man and have an autumn boyfriend.

So I got off my duff and made a housewarming gift.
Pat is a very old fashioned lady - really a page right out of a 50's Better Homes and Gardens. Her husband, Don, built a fallout shelter in the backyard... and it still stands today. Sadly I doubt that was a selling point at the sheriff's auction.
I went old fashioned with my gift and crocheted a nice set of coasters and a doily. Since it's getting to be that "most wonderful time of the year", I picked out a pretty Christmassy yarn.
Round little donuts of Christmas  
I've just learned how to crochet this summer. I do living history and we're all a little strange. At a friend's birthday, the boys all went out in the garage and talked about guns and jeeps and moustaches or whatever dudes talk about when chicks aren't around and the women sat in the living room drinking and stitching up various historical costumes. Without a chatterling (I'm sure I misspelled that) to create, I was taught how to knit.

 I wasn't half bad for being pretty drunk at the time. My friend sent me home with a pair of needles and a ball of yarn so I could practice on the long, long drive home across southern Michigan.
Almost as soon as I got home, though, I lost one of the needles. I put my project down for a moment to get the phone, or save the bird from the miniblinds, or wake the boyfriend... I dunno... and when I came back the needle was just GONE. Still is gone!

The doily. You can tell I've just learned to crochet, but I think it's charming in its own way.

I found a crochet needle for 49 cents soon after though, and taught myself how to crochet from a book called Get Your Crochet On! by the gal that makes hats for Common. (Disclaimer: I've not yet figured out how to make money off Amazon links, so I'm not just pluggin that book for cash.) It was really awesome and though I never finished a hat in the time I had with the book (I got it from the IMCPL who, by the way, NEEDS your money), I learned how to crochet in the round and started making some cute bun covers and will make a snood for myself soon.

So here I am with my little old fashioned present for Pat. I really hope that it helps her feel at home when she gets it. I think of her new gal pals coming over and having tea, setting their mug down on this happy circle of Christmas joy (while making it, honestly, all I could think of was the Italian deli on Northwest Highway in Edison Park... Boy do I miss Chicago), and thinking that Pat really has it together.
I know that a lot of her stuff is going to sit in storage for most of the winter... and honestly, nobody is very sure what exactly they were able to get out of the basement. Is it all crap? Well, we'll find out soon.
 I couldn't fit the doily into the box, so it became the decoration. Now I don't have to wrap it! Yay!
I'll be giving it to her, and seeing her new place, Sunday night, so I should report back on what she thought of it. I'll report back. Hopefully, I will have figured out better how to post photos and stuff so I can not look like a total blog noob.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More of my fave polishes!

When it comes to nail colours, I like to think I'm quirky or a little different. In some ways I may be, but I haven't really changed much at all for years. I've always gotten the same colours - green, pink glitter, blue, and black.

This week's new purchases were no different. When I moved from Chicago to Indianapolis, very little stuff could come with me, but I was sure that my best nail polishes did. Here's what I had (with my new ones now added)

1) Absolutely Alice from OPI's Alice in Wonderland collection.
This is by far one of the best glitters OPI ever made. Once I moved all my stuff from Chicago to Indy (a year after I moved my body here), I found a box of nail polish dating from 8th grade to my beauty school 8 years later. In it, I found 4 or 5 different blue glitters. Not a single one is as good as Absolutely Alice is. Not a single one could have such nice coverage in only 2 coats. This polish is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

2) DS Divine from OPI's Designer Series
The Designer Series is everything it has ever said it is. It has amazing coverage, intense holographic sparkle, and long wear. Divine is 100% pure Barbie. I'd pair it with Stila's or MAC's Barbie cosmetics collections (more on Stila's later). When I wear this, I have trouble not looking at my nails. Now that I'm going to take a job back in a salon, this will have to be vacation polish. Yes, it's that distracting for me.

3-7) See yesterday's post.

8) Russian Navy from OPI's Russian Collection 
I believe this is now in the normal stock. At least, we had it in line at Ulta last year. I remember when it came out everyone was ga ga for the fact that it was "off black". It really is deep. When the Russian Collection hit shelves, I was spending too much money on fine art supplies (though little of what I've ever made could be called "fine" art) so I got a knock off version. Too blue! The OPI version has this... something about it. It's blue, true, but it's not dark blue. It's something different.

9) "Summer French"
This was one of the new polishes I got this week too. I hate the way it looks on the wheel though. In actuality, it's a very sheer red shade. This is very like the polishes used in the 20's and 30's. I'm trying to get a more retro aesthetic to my fashion lately, so I figured I'd give this a go. The jury's still out on it. It seems to be a "private label" polish and I got it at the pro supply store but Orly's Beverly Hills Manicure is very much like it.

10) Miso Happy With This Colour from OPI's Japan collection
Sadly, I think this one is discontinued. I have always called it my "going to court" polish. On my skin tone, it is very natural but still finished. It can have a sheerer coverage, but I always do 2 coats - usually without base and top because it gets removed rather quickly... Not because it's a bad colour; because it's just not really "me".

11) Let Them Eat Rice Cake from OPI's Japan collection
I'm pretty sure this one is supposed to be a sheer coat. When done with only one, it doesn't get streaky like so many other sheers do. It's a little light for my tastes, but it was given to me at a beauty show so it went into the grandmother-approved collection. I've worn it several times to go do bridal trials or office job interviews. Sometimes, you have to play dress up.

12) Barefoot in Barcelona from Espana by OPI
Holy crap holy crap holy crap this is my FAVOURITE COLOUR!!!!!
I know I don't usually tend toward the neutrals, but this one is just so timeless and classic I don't think anyone can pass it up. In fact, the ENTIRE Spanish collection was perfection in a bottle. I call it my "rich lady" colour. My hands just look so refined and my nails look long and well formed when I wear this. It really goes well with any skin tone. I think everyone should own it. Even better - it comes in a no-chip gel polish form! Just be sure to see a professional to have it applied. OPI's UV gels are NOT for consumer use!

13) Can You Tapas This? from Espana by OPI
Lucky 13 - Can you Tapas This? NO YOU CAN'T!
If I had the money for the whole collection, I would have bought it. Can You Tapas This is a perfect deep burgundy with just a hint of brown to bring it neutral. It's another of my "rich lady" polishes. Very chic, very vintage! This is a wonderful colour for the 20's smokin vamp. I think this one has gone into the in-line collection as well.

Looks like I have a few more spots on the colour wheel. I can already think of a few that are missing. Lincoln Park After Dark, for one. Black Satin from OPI's Tuxedo Collection belongs on there too.
What do you think? What colours would you put on your wheel of favourites? As an inaugural blog contest, the first commenter to this post will receive a full-size OPI polish in my choice of colour. Perhaps one of my faves will become your new fave!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Nail Polish

I have ALWAYS been a fan of nail polishes!
As a young girl, my mother subscribed to a faith that did not allow the wearing of cosmetics or nail polish (or slacks, or jewelery, or modern hair styles, or...). That faith worked for her, but as a fan of New Wave bands like Culture Club and Missing Persons it didn't work for me.

You mean Boy George is a boy?! All the better!
When my father married a cosmetologist in October of 87, every holiday spent with him was like an act of rebellion. I spent my days in the salons where she worked and played with the haircolor swatch rings, putting the samples up against my own hair (Level 5 Ash Brown, I discovered) and thinking of all the cool punk rock things I would do when I grew up. Punk would never die, after all... Not like disco!
His wife was also certified to do Tammy Taylor nails. Acrylic nails were the new hotness back then and not every salon offered manicuring services. Tammy Taylor was (and still IS in many ways) the best system available so as word got around that she used the best products, her reputation grew... And as her reputation grew, her collection of nail polish colours grew!

When I was younger, I could only paint my nails with my right hand. The boys I played "superhero" with would tease me and call that my "COOTIE HAND!" It was a bit of a duality - I only "had cooties" when I would do things outwardly girly. Otherwise, I was just one of the boys - except for that one hand.

Back then I would usually wear whatever my dad's wife had available. There were always beautiful reds but also shades like "Muted Wine", "Dusty Plum", and "Windswept Arbor". In other words, "mauve". There was also tanning beds in her salon (nothing I ever took part in) so she always kept around "California" colours like neons and pastels. I always gravitated toward neon pinks and various greens.
The mid-90's came and her design focus changed. She opened her own salon and put aside nails for styling people like Courtney Love and Beck. My tastes still leaned toward obnoxious nail colours though.  My mother and I finally came to an understanding on nail polish so I started buying from the Delia's catalogue and brands I could get at K-Mart like Street Gear and Jane.

As I grew up, I found the only thing that changed was my brands. I started wearing Orly, OPI, and Creative (now CND).  I would sometimes have to mix shades to get what I like but eventually my generation "grew up" and started making the decisions - like putting BLACK NAIL POLISH (3 shades, in fact) into OPI's fashion collection! For the first time, I didn't have to stock up at Halloween.
OPI continued the trend of previously avant-garde colours and the rest of the salon brands followed suit. Today, I can find most any shade I could ever dream of having....

And in fact, this week I found 5 shades I dreamed of having!
1) OPI Burlesque Collection; Sparkle-isicous (gold, red, pink, and blue sparkles)
2) OPI Burlesque Collection; Show It and Glow It (various pink and silver sparkles)
3) OPI Shrek Forever After Collection; Who the Shrek are You? (an intense chartreuse green)
4) OPI Coleccion Espana; Here Today, Aragon Tomorrow (dark, almost black, green)
5) China Glaze Rainbow of Hope; Ovarian Cancer/Four Leaf Clover (light blue-green)

Aren't they all just so interesting and beautiful?
I can't ever resist glitter nail polish. When I saw a preview this summer that OPI was doing a collection based off the movie Burlesque I was pretty excited. OPI polishes and strippers? Well that's gotta be a HOT collection. Then I found out that CHER was going to be in the movie and I just went over the moon. CHER?!??! I LOVE CHER!!!!! As always, these glitter polishes are a wonderful quality. They only needed 2 coats to get the coverage shown and dried as quickly as the other polishes.
Shrek and Aragon took me some convincing to buy. I have always loved green polish but I never get the coverage I expect. I loved every other colour in the Spanish Collection, but shied away from Aragon. I had a manicure at my favourite place in Indianapolis and decided on that colour and was not disappointed. It opened the door to not only add it in to my collection but to also try Shrek and the China Glaze Four Leaf Clover.
A "psychic" once told me that seafoam green is my "power colour". I'm not very sure what she meant, and she said that I would be stinkin' rich by now, but neither of those points detracts from the fact that Four Leaf Clover is one of the most lovely shades I've seen in a long time. And when you purchase any of the Rainbow of Hope colours, China Glaze will donate funds to cancer research organizations. Check out the shades - they are raising awareness for not only Breast Cancer (pink, of course) and Colon Cancer (brown, LOL) but also Male Breast Cancer (a lovely blue) and a very fall chic grey Brain Cancer.

I really love all these shades. I've gotten out of my usual practice of weekly polish changes. I'm hoping this new purchase reignites my passion for this simple accessory.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Glitzkrieg Beauty Blog

I have been kicking around the idea of a blog for some time. My facebook feed is getting too cluttered with multiple updates a day when I've found something cool for my friends. So, here we are.
I gotta say, first, I really hate the word "blog". I think it makes me think of someone lazy saying "bog", which I then equate with a toilet... But I guess we could argue that's exactly what this is.

As a first post, "what is this whole thing about?"
It's about beauty.
It's about saving time and money.
It's about vintage living.
It's about a mend-and-make-do mentality.
It's about being glam on a dime.

I've been in the beauty industry for quite some time and I've seen it all from buzzing a kid's hair in a Detroit alley to being paid 150 bucks for "night out" makeup because the client didn't own eyeliner. Even though I'm not famous for what I've done, I'd put my thoughts next to the guys and gals you see on TV and in magazines.

That's just the kind of ego I have.

In the end, I'm pretty sure this is going to end up a disjointed mess of product reviews and raging against modern consumerism that will eventually be used as evidence for some kind of long-term nuthouse commitment... But we should all have fun getting there.