New Year’s Eve shiny nails

Quick post: my mani of the day for New Year’s

I might cover a couple of subscription boxes later today (assuming there’s some sunshine to take pictures by), however, I did my nails last night.

I do my nails when I’m reading, or watching TV, so I rarely do anything intricate. I wanted something classic with a shiny accent to it for New Year’s. Red, of course, and glitter, well, of course!

nye nails 2014

New Year’s Eve 2014 Zoya Shiloh and Enchanted Polish Amazing

I used Zoya Shiloh and Enchanted Polish Amazing for a simple look that’s polished but festive. I gave myself a rudimentary manicure, but you can tell I’ve been neglectful, oops.

Something to work on in the new year?

Much Love,

Gloria

Camera-ready face in a half-hour

brushes

This isn’t for the faint of heart…you see me close-up in BRIGHT light, with no makeup at first.

I’m not going to go into technique here, but I thought I’d give you a photo series of step-by-step what I do to get camera-ready in the morning. I’m not a professional makeup artist, as I do my own face best, really. I also didn’t go to extra trouble today because I was in a little bit of a hurry, and stopping to take pictures took extra time.

This isn’t doing my BEST. This is doing my usual hurry-up and do as good of a job as I can while half-asleep and under the clock morning makeup.

Because I can be messy with my eyeshadow, I prime and do the eyeshadow and top liner first.

eyeshadow

Kat Von D Ladybird True Romance eyeshadow palette.

shadow

liner

I forgot to put in that I use Julep eye primer and ELF cream liner (it doesn’t dry out like gel liner and lasts just as long on me).

Then, I prime with benefit the POREfessional primer, color correct and conceal (scary pictures coming up)

color correctconcealer

cover

Coastal Scents Camo Quad Concealer color corrector Make Up For Ever Full Cover Camouflage Cream but the color has rubbed off

Now, I airbrush my foundation on, and then powder and contour and apply blush, and then line my water line. Sometimes I do silver to make me wide-eyed, sometimes I use both. Today I was lazy and just used black. Also, I look like I’m trying to stare through the mirror and hurt someone with my eyes.

airbrush

Temptu Pro S/B in 004 and 006

foundation

powders

Kryolan translucent powder TL3 Sephora MicroSmooth in Tan

contour waterline

cheekscontour

Julep Glow pore-minimizing bronzer in medium tan Julep Glow pore-minimizing blush in peach bellini

liner lashes eyebrows

Mally starlight waterproof liner in Midnight. ELF clear mascara Julep BIG mascara unknown brown brow pencil

Now, I define my brows, and then set them with clear mascara, then brush in the same dark brown eyeshadow from my creases on my lower lashes to smudge in some of the black from the water line and to define, then pat in some light eyeshadow under that to keep it from smudging.

Then I curl my lashes, brush on Make Up Forever High Definition powder, highlight with a sample highligher, and finally add mascara and lipstick. You’ll note I line and then take a concealer pencil to contour my lips using it in the middle of my bottom lip and just under and above my cupid’s bow, then blending it before applying lipstick and gloss.

lip liner

lips

Sonia Kashuk lip liner in Dusty Rose NYX wonder pencil in medium jouer lipstick in sophia Too Faced Diamond Gloss in Canary

highlight

the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

finishedIt isn’t at all perfect, but good for on air. Yes, it can be a little cakey because of the layers of concealer (and my airbrush gun isn’t working quite right…time for a trip to the studio in Manhattan to have it looked at), but if you do less, in my opinion, you’re being a little lazy and you won’t look your best. I should take another 15 minutes to be a bit more thorough, but I don’t do close-ups at the chroma key wall, so no need!

Yes, it is a major pain in the  rear to do this daily, never mind also doing my hair. It’s part of my job, and I considered it my responsibility to learn how to do it well. Anything less means I don’t take my job seriously, right? Still, some days I miss radio and rumpled t-shirts.

Much Love,

Gloria

I’m not proud. I don’t mind high-end consignment

lamb jacket

Valentino dress for $120? Yes, please.

My job requires me to have a lot of nice clothing- kind of boring clothing, yes, but a lot of it. Since I started a blog about living on the cheap, I’m sure you realize I am not rich. I get a small expense account for clothes/makeup/hair but it’s tiny compared to big networks. So, since H&M have a limited stock of air-ready looks, I turned to clothes people don’t want anymore: consignment.

I love local shops, and one of my favorite chains is Second Time Around. In fact, that’s where I scored the Valentino. It was worn once. ONCE. Ladies, you know what I mean. I have a Valentino in my closet.

Since I work a lot of hours, I don’t always have time to go shopping. And there’s this nifty thing called the internet. Introducing Twice. It’s an online consignment shop where I’ve managed to buy $1000 retail value in clothes for $150 at a pop each time. That gorgeous L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani jacket up ast the top of this post goes for $450. I got it for about $30. Let go of the pride, people. This wasn’t for work, but I can’t go out of the house in just sheath business dresses.

Here’s how you can get $20 in store credit right off the bat, and I’ll tell you how to get a 50% off coupon for your first order.

You need to go in this order: First, sign up here with my referral link and you get an automatic $10 store credit. Then, download their store app for Apple on your phone or tablet, sign in and you get another $10. If you have an android, then you also get a 50% off coupon if you check out your first order on the mobile app. You can also use coupon code Y9EIOLLD5 and you should get 50% off. If not, they usually have ads on Facebook for 50% off your first order, and if that doesn’t work, use GIFT25 for 25% off your order and you get a gift of some sort if you spend $50. I’m not sure what the gift is. I’ll let you know next week.

I hope you try it out, because so far, I love it.

Much Love,

Gloria

 

The best cat toys cost nada

Kitty enrichment on the cheap

Kitty enrichment on the cheap

I have a lot of expensive cat toys…that are completely ignored

My cat is far too smart for her own good. She’s a bengal, and has all the qualities that go along with the breed: loud, chatty, needy, playful, active, curious, and easily bored. (plus health things, but not this post)

I always look for ways to keep her occupied for a few minutes each day so she doesn’t feel bored or antsy, and when I got a package filled with biodegradeable packing peanuts, I thought, ah-ha!

Box. Cat. Crunchy things.

Fuzzy kitty bottom digging for treats.

Fuzzy kitty bottom digging for treats.

I hid a few treats in the middle of all the peanuts and she spent a good 10 minutes digging around, pulling out the peanuts and enjoying all the crunchy sounds and throwing them around. Plus, she loves her some yummy treats. She did 3 rounds and I put it away for another day.

Rosie is older, so doesn’t do much playing fetch (yes, she does that), or running around chasing a string any longer, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still need to have mental and emotional stimulation. When it comes to older pets, creative toys can be simple, and cheap!

Much Kitty Love,

Gloria

Zoya Bitch Christmas mani

Zoya/B.i.t.c.h. by Jacyln Christmas textured mani

Zoya/B.i.t.c.h. by Jacyln Christmas textured mani

Get your own damn tiara, Oswin!

No, really. Those are the colors. Zoya Ultra Pixie Dust in Oswin and b.i.t.c.h. by Jaclyn in Get Your Own Damn Tiara. I didn’t have time to do a detailed designed mani, but I wanted a Christmas look. What better than red with silver icicles? I love textured nail polish, but it looks like Zoya, one of my favorites, is discontinuing pixie dusts in 2015. They have a BOGO on them until midnight tonight/Sunday.

b.i.t.c.h. is a small company, and are closed for the holidays, so you’ll have to wait on a re-stock.

Use the bogo link up there so that I can get some points when you create an account and buy some pretty, pretty Zoyas.

Much Christmas Love,

Gloria

I’m probably a closet Martha Stewart

I buy a few nice ornaments every year.

O Christmas Tree

When I was going to school at UNT, some friends from England taught me how lovely hand-crafting things as simple as cards and wrapping is, and if you’re broke, using ingenuity made it even more gorgeous. Back then, all groceries were packed in brown paper bags, so we had an endless supply of kraft paper, but these days, I tend to use them for my paper recycling or re-use them as shopping bags when I go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Regardless, there’s something really special about receiving a gift wrapped with thought, especially if you took some time to make it unique. Usually, I’ll use the technique taught to me by Alun and Andrew in my 20’s and carve stamps out of raw potatoes, and using water or poster colors, stamp a few designs onto the kraft paper-wrapped gifts before ribbons or glitter or other bits. I was really pressed for time this year, and the extra hour or so meant I’d be up wrapping instead of relaxing a bit before bed.

I also forgot to take a picture of the gifts under my tree, so I asked for the families to take pictures for me before unwrapping and one of them is slightly blurry. Sorry about that, but I promise when a birthday comes up, I’ll do better.

Much nicer than neon paper that just gets ripped into anyway.

See, aren’t they sweet?

Isn’t this better than elf paper?

 

I went to Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts and snagged a bunch of ribbon and two rolls of kraft paper for 60% off. I still have quite a lot left, too. My only complaint is that the paper seemed to be coated, so tape had an awfully hard time sticking to it. I should have just plugged in the glue gun, but I knew that I would end up reopening a couple of the packages to make sure I got the right gift to the right little girl since the boxes were identically sized.

 

For boxes, I wrapped re-used boxes from different subscriptions with kraft paper so they look like plain boxes under the wrapping.

I wish you could see the glitter tape better in these photos (will show you better shots next gift time) but I took double-sided tape and sprinkled snow (irridescent glittery flakes) on one side and taped it around the box all the way around as an accent.

Those tiny little ball ornaments I find at Target in plastic tubes in the dollar section in the front of the store, so I snag a new tube every year or so since I use them for just this sort of thing. The same with the tinsel, but make sure you get the stuff that’s attached to a strip at the top so you can use it to decorate gifts more easily without it going absolutely everywhere.

For tags, I took pieces of kraft and folded them into a tag shape, punched a star-shaped hole at the top with a shaped punch, and tied them on with some skinny ribbon with an ornament attached. Since “auntie Gloria” knows little girls, I also knew that at least one of them was going to end up with a craft box of odds and ends to play with.

I think the look missed a stamp or three in various Christmas colors. My friends, however, still loved the outsides, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw their hand-made wrap designs at some point.

Hopefully you have all your holiday shopping finished, and only need to wait for days off, relax and sip an eggnog with your loved ones.

Much Holiday Love,

Gloria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enchanted Polish Holiday 2014 and Good Life

Enchanted Polish November, December, Holiday 2014

Enchanted Polish November, December, Holiday 2014

Enchanted Polish November, December, Holiday 2014

Enchanted Polish November, December, Holiday 201

Definitely not cheap, but very shiny

This is a quickie showing you one of my favorite indie polish brands out there. I can’t wear stuff like this all the time, because I like classic looks quite a lot, too (oh, the gorgeousness of a red nail and lip). I had to show you what EP looks like, and since I just got November, December 2014 as well as Holiday 2014 I did my nails last night in front of the TV.

Enchanted Polish is one of the first 5-free polishes out there, and she specializes in holos, or holographic finishes. Think kid’s stickers or bikes in the 1980s where it shifts colors as you move it around the light. The colors can have names like Water For Unicorns or Dime Piece or I’m Kind Of A Big Deal, or they can be monthlies like today’s. You can get it retail from $15-20 if you get lucky with a re-stock, but since she does this by hand, some of the colors are only released once, and it’s first-come-first-serve so you’ll find some of the older polishes up for sale on EBay for $100+.

I’m not kidding.

EP Dec 2014

EP Dec 2014

EP Nov 2014

EP Nov 2014

EP Holiday 2014

EP Holiday 2014

 

I try not to use them often because of this very reason, but I have a few, so here is what I did last night with Holiday 2014 and Good Life.

EP Holiday 2014 with Good Life brush-over and Julep Oxygen Performance Top Coat

EP Holiday 2014 with Good Life brush-over and Julep Oxygen Performance Top Coat

EP Holiday 2014 with Good Life brush-over and Julep Oxygen Performance Top Coat. Notice how the sunshine really brings out the holo.

EP Holiday 2014 with Good Life brush-over and Julep Oxygen Performance Top Coat. Notice how the sunshine really brings out the holo.

You’ll notice how holographic the polish looks in the sunlight, bringing out the color shifts and changes. I walk around looking at my hands when I’m walking in the sunshine. I look like an idiot, but it’s so gorgeous!

If you can get your hands on some of these at retail, awesome, if not, you can find the newer and more common colors up for sale at about $25-30 if you look around. Good luck and I hope you’re enjoying your holidays!

Much Love,

Gloria