Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Wonderful Hello Kitty-filled Life

Nee over at Simply Nee is having an *amazing* Hello Kitty contest -- a lot of fun/creative contests going on right now -- which calls for participants to share what is their favorite HK item. (Mine is listed at the very bottom of the post, btw.) The contest runs till June 5.

This is difficult for me to answer because...the more I think about it, there is probably far too much HK in my life. Uhhh well you *mom* loves HK. Something she picked up after my sister and I left for college. So our family home is filled with lots of little HK touches. And I happen to be in NY visiting this weekend, so let me share (just) some with you...

The HK products that mean the most to me are the ones that I share with my mom -- like we have matching bracelets and lockets. I keep a HK bracelet clasped around the clothing bar in my apartment's closet, for example, because it's a happy reminder of my family.

I don't have a pic, but the HK product I use most often is my lap desk. It stays close to my bed and I grab it in a pinch to have a flat surface for my laptop, a bowl of cereal or a note pad.

But my FAVORITE HK product??

My Hello Kitty toaster. Hands down. It's just so adorable and useful and kind of crazy in a fun way. My mom and I both have HK toasters too!

It burns little HK faces into toast. Yummm toast. (Hers is packed away, sadly, plus I can't take a good photo of it with the toast like that, so I used this official Sanrio pic.) This thing kept me with lots of toast all throughout college. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tinkerbell Inspired FOTD Contest Entry

This is my entry for Sarah's Disney Inspired contest, which is running until June 1. Since I recently purchased a short blonde wig, I figured it would be perfect to use for my Tinkerbell inspired look!

I applied a light beige shimmer to the inner corners of my eyes, followed by a light green on the middle and darker green on the outer V. A light touch of blush on the cheeks, and a swipe of pale pinkish lip gloss topped things off. Oh, and lots of mascara!

The goods:

I feel pretty, oh so pretty...

Black Cherry Nails

Not easy to photograph, but very lovely in person. This is Milani's black cherry nail polish, which looks just like the fruit for which it's named. On my ring finger is a white flower decal with a crystal in the middle.

Two coats gives a nice, rich color. My only complaint is that the polish consistency can be a bit runny and gloppy during application, making the first coat a bit uneven. I've found this with other Milani polishes and though it's somewhat of a pain, it's not bad enough to prevent me from purchasing them in the future.

With a good topcoat, black cherry shines like dark glass on my fingertips; it's chic and packs a subtle punch of spice. I'm not planning to wear dark colors all summer long, though, and I'm already imagining how smashing this would look on a winter pedicure!

Milani's black cherry is available for between $3 to $5 at national drug store chains.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Alive!

I revamped the look of the site on a whim today, mwah hah hah! (Evil scientist laugh.) It feels like a very good use of my day off from work -- I'm really digging it. Thoughts?

And Happy Memorial Day! (Some interesting facts about it, for other history nerds out there.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I'm Not a Big Fan of Renee Z. But...

I think this Carolina Herrera gown is fantastic. The silver is just dark enough to compliment her uber-fair skin, and the cut highlights her strong shoulders. Zellweger wore it to the 69th Annual American Spring Gala in New York on Monday, May 18. (Photo from WENN via Radar Online.)

On the topic...I also love the color of Mariska Hargitay's dress, but don't think the fit is quite right, or maybe it's her pose. Her hair and necklace are great, though. As with above, the dress is Carolina Herrera. (Photo from PR Photos via Monsters and Critics.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Worst Eyeliner I've Ever Purchased

I'm no eyeliner connoisseur but I've tried my hands (no pun intended) with all different kinds -- blacks, browns, blues, golds and greens, liquid and pencil, from a variety of drugstore and beauty supply brands. Some that rub off too quickly, others that won't come off without scrubbing.

I've never used a liner that disappointed me as quickly as this one did. It's L'Oreal's voluminous line marker in "true brown."

I had high hopes that it would combine the ease of a pencil liner with the precision and color-intensity of a liquid. The felt tip, reminiscent of a calligraphy pen, isn't something I'd used before.

Unfortunately, it was a let-down from the time I first tried it on my skin. "True brown" is too sheer and muted to be a liner, in my opinion, and the coolness of the applicator didn't make up for that. Since I couldn't manipulate the marker to give me the color I wanted, I just ended up with a thick line of lackluster color. (And I'm very pale, so I can't imagine how this would come out -- or, rather, not come out -- on someone with a darker complexion.)

I've read mixed reviews about this product. Some people found it smudgy and didn't like the applicator while others (including Vanessa at Necessary Makeup, a fav of mine) found the applicator to be quite easy.

I think the color I tried could be very much to blame. I'd probably buy this again in black (not black brown though, for fear that it'd be too light too) -- but only if I found it on sale. (It retails for between $7-9 at drugstores.)

I definitely would not recommend it in "true brown" if you're looking for a liner to define your eyes. It lacks the impact needed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Zebra Skirt <3

I don't wear this very often, but I love it. It's too bold for too often. Catch me in the right mood, though, and putting this on makes me feel sexy in a sophisticated way.

It's made of soft, fine wool. A $170 skirt I got for $17 at a Lord and Taylor outlet. (My mouth almost gaped open when I got to the register.) Fits very well.

Even though it's mid-May, I'm planning to wear this baby to the office sometime this week.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Is It Weird...

I kind of like this dress.

It was featured on Yahoo's OMG entertainment news site in the "What were they thinking" category.

To me, though, the textures are interesting, the colors work, and the whole look comes across as effortlessly pretty and fun. I don't know who the actress is or if it's necessarily red carpet appropriate, but I think she pulls it off. I especially like how the white contrasts with the black accessories and her dark hair. What a lovely face too.

I'll admit that the top looks a bit strange -- I wonder what that mesh-like material is. And it's not that I'd ever wear this dress, or can't see how people might say 'wow, that's bizarre looking.'

But there's just something about it that I like.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pretty in Gray

Yesterday morning I did something cool at work for once -- went to a press screening of the Luis Melendez exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Melendez is regarded as the greatest Spanish still-life painter of the eighteenth century. His paintings of cheeses, vegetables, breads and other staples of Spanish cuisine looks so realistic you just want to grab them off the canvas! And his mastery with a brush was such that your eye is drawn to the textures of the foods, not the brush strokes on the canvas themselves.

Anyway, I'm no master of self-photography, but I felt very cute in the pictured outfit. Instead of wearing a suit, I opted for a feminine gray sweater-shirt (with white blouse sleeves and a white tie at the top) and a gray-and-black sweater. (From Target, no less!) I wore it with black slacks and brick red maryjane flats, for a subdued pop of color.

It was a good outfit for the event and for enjoying yesterday's beautiful weather while strolling through the city.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Six Things: Birthday, Mother's Day

Six things for which I'm thankful this week:

--Good friends and family.
--Especially those who wished me a happy birthday today. ;)
--And my mom, without whom none of my life would have been possible, literally. Happy mother's day to all the awesome moms out there!
--$10 golden caviar from Harris Teeter that put the finishing touch on my dinner menu tonight: shrimp and pasta with champagne-ginger sauce, sashimi tuna salad and cucumber topped with cream and caviar.
--My new blonde wig, which I will show off on the blog shortly.
--Being able to sleep diagonally on my full-sized bed, swaddled in many blankets. Until 10 a.m. on Sunday. Days like this almost make me forget about the drab of the work week. :P Which I'm back to when I wake up tomorrow...

EOTD: Silver Smokey Eye

I wore this look out to a club last weekend and to dinner this weekend. It's a silver/black smokey eye based on a video by Francine of Frantastic Makeup, whose site you should definitely check out. Her videos are easy to follow and show you how to achieve complex looks with relatively simple steps. Plus, her tone is authoritative yet fun. She's very likable.

(I took these photos post dinner, so that's why I probably look tired! The color was more intense and made my eyes pop more in person.)

Basically, the video's instructions call to divide the eye by thirds -- the part closest to the tear duct is the lightest silver color, the center of the eye is a medium silver, and the corner 'V' is black. I found it useful to see how much color she applied and how she blended it. Her blending tips were definitely the most helpful part of the video for me and really made my look polished.

I even got compliments on how well my makeup was blended! This is certainly one of the cleanest smokey eyes I've ever done.

For even more 'wow,' follow the clip below.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Potential Birthday Wishlist (Vote in the Poll)

My 23rd birthday (gasp, wow!) is this Sunday, May 10 -- yep, Mother's day. Sadly, I won't be home with my mom and grandma (or friends from home) because traveling from DC to NY will be too hectic with the holiday.

I'm not big on holiday presents, and more into "just because" little presents. I'm the type of girl who likes going out to a nice dinner on a random week night or buying someone flowers as a surprise. I would rather just give/get gifts when the spirit moves me. And thankfully, I'm not normally for want of anything.

But this birthday, I'll admit that I do kind of want a nice present. I don't need to get it on my birthday itself -- in fact, I'd rather get it a few days/weeks later, to feel as if my birthday celebration is continuing, hehe ;) But now, the question is, what kind of present do I want?

I've narrowed it down to six items. As you can probably tell, I'm very indecisive -- that's why I'm still making up my mind three days before my birthday -- and that's why I'd like your opinions on which gift I should get myself/ask for from my fam.

In no particular order:

Bamboo Fun Tablet ($99 - $199)
From the company's site:"Bamboo Fun makes your computer your canvas, allowing you to freely express yourself by simply touching the pen tip to the tablet. Touch up digital photos, draw by hand, create artwork and paintings, and even write in your own handwriting."
Pros: Very cool, and it comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements and some other programs to do creative work on the computer.
Cons: How often am I going to use it?

I don't have a TV/cable in my new place, so a video game console seems like a fun thing to do as a replacement. I've played Wii sports before and it was a blast -- it's active and engaging. Plus, I can take the console with me when I move in a couple of months.
Pros: A more engaging replacement for television and lots of fun.
Cons: Expensive -- games add up in price. I don't have a TV so I'd have to hook it up to my 15 inch spare computer monitor. And will I get bored of it quickly? Maybe I'd be better off getting a Netflix subscription.

Compact digital camera ($99+)
I use my 7.2 megapixel Casio camera for work and play...but in three years it's gotten pretty beat up, and has started to give me some errors.
Pros: I'd love a camera that's smaller, sleeker and has better picture-quality than my current camera. It's an item I'd definitely use a lot, and a smaller camera would be easier to carry around.
Cons: My current camera is still pretty good.

SLR digital camera ($500-ish)
Pros: This would be awesome to help me further pursue my interest in personal and professional photography. (I sometimes take pictures for the newspaper I currently work at.) I could probably easily get a refurbished camera.
Cons: Expensive. I'm changing jobs in a few months (shh on the DL, haven't told my bosses yet...) and won't be using it at my next gig. So by the time it'd be worth it to use a camera like this for work, the one I get now will probably be outdated.

Memory foam pillow
($15 - $100)
Pros: We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Why not do it comfortably? These pillows are freaking amazing, I feel so rested after I sleep on one.
Cons: None, except even though I know I'm going to spend a third of my life asleep, I'm too cheap to invest in a nice pillow.

iPod touch ($250+)
Music, apps, a nice big screen, planner, etc. This was a last minute thought, but...another cool item that I'd like to research more.
Pros: Works as a music and game player, as well as an electronic appointment book. Sleeker and slimmer than my current iPod (a video iPod that's about 2/3 years old) with more features and a bigger screen.
Cons: Smaller memory than my current iPod. I don't watch a lot of videos on my current player. And again, my iPod isn't broken. An upgrade would be really nice, but isn't necessary. (Guess I could sell my old one?)

Now that I think about it...I don't really need any of these things. But if I were to get one...which do you think I should go for? Comment or vote in the poll on the right.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Six Things For Which I'm Grateful: Empanadas, Dancing

--Good friends and family.
--GPS is my buddy.
--Hole-in-the-wall Bolivian restaurants with amazing empanadas (salteƱas) and peach cider.
--Carefree nights spent dancing with friends. (I went clubbing in D.C. last night...such a nice change of pace.)
--Eyelash curlers. A few pumps makes my eyes look so big and awake! (Like last night, when I was exhausted before going to the club...I'd slept four hours on my mini sofa in the living room the night before because there was a hornet in my bedroom. And I'm crazy. Blah.)
--Sighs of relief followed by laughter.

...That ring is a bit big for me...I'm thinking about giving it to my mom for mother's day, since she is very full of laughter and life :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Volume Fail Mascara

I didn't know what to expect when I purchased Rimmel's Volume Flash (waterproof) mascara the other day at Target. I'd heard good things about other Rimmel mascaras and am reasonably happy with the company's Lash Maxxx, but I didn't recall hearing much about this particular product.

Now I know why. It boasts that it is instantly thickening and volumizing. I got nothing of the sort.

You know how your hair looks 10 hours after you put it up for a fancy occasion -- prom, a wedding, etc. -- once the environment and festivities have begun to take a toll? When your coif is still decent but more frizzy and worn-in than when you started the day? That's how this mascara made my eyelashes look. Not clumpy-icky, nor making me wonder if I had any mascara on. Just, it made my lashes look stringy and tired.

It's too bad because the sparkling blue tube is very pretty.

The wand, however, doesn't live up to expectations. I expected it to be a lot less clumped with product, based on the picture on the box. I was disappointed with how short the bristles are, because it's difficult for them to coat the lashes thoroughly. (Maybe why I didn't get the volume I was promised.) The mascara formula doesn't seem like anything special, though it deposited a decent amount of color and didn't easily smudge. It smells a bit funny from up close.

From a distance, my lashes looked fine with this mascara. I could see it working for people who want something low maintenance and waterproof. And hey, maybe your eyelashes are different than mine and this would fit you great!

But if you're looking for full, lush lashes, I'd still recommend trying something else. There are so many drug store mascaras out there, including others by Rimmel with great reviews, so I keep my bar high. (This mascara is listed at $7.49 at, but I got it cheaper at Target.)