Ultimate Makeup Wish List (if money was mostly no object).

Ultimate Makeup Wish List (if money was mostly no object)
I love makeup but a tightening budget has me looking at makeup prices like: whaaa? Still, I do keep an ongoing list of products that I would buy if that bank account wasn’t under self imposed lock and key. Who knows? There are birthdays and Christmas and those times when you find fifty dollars on the sidewalk (okay, so the last one hasn’t happened to me).

These are all attainable products that I could purchase and you probably could (I’m not a celebrity who can take baths in La Mer) but right now when I am watching what I spend, they are remaining on a list.

Touche Eclat Blur Perfector

This is supposed to be amazing and worth every penny. It goes from balm to powder, is great for all skin types and tones, you can use it to set your makeup or all over to be one of those people with “perfect glowing skin.” Every blogger has raved about it. I read about it on beauty sites. It’s supposed to be amazing.

Anastasia Beverly Hills

I have been eyeing this for a long time (not sure if I would go for the cream or the powder option but a long time). I love highlighting and contouring and this kit is supposed to be bananas.

DiorShow Mascara

Confession: I used to exclusively wear this. It. is. amazing. in. every. way. But lately, you know, back to that whole money thing, I have been using up all my sample mascaras. I have not found one to match this. Benefit’s mascara compared to this is blech. MAC? Love their lipstick but just no. No. This is the best.

 StriVectinLABS™ ‘Anti-Wrinkle’ Hydra Gel Treatment System

You put these pads on under your eyes for 15 minutes and then the gel after. They are supposed to be the holy grail for under eye bags and dark circles. It also sounds so relaxing. I’ve seen it all over IG and this was recipient of Allure Mag’s Best of Beauty.

SK-II Pitera™ Essence Set Pink Flower Limited Edition

Truth be told I have wanted to try SK-II whole face system for a long time. It is supposed to be amazing. I mean Cate Blanchett uses it. Have you seen Cate Blanchett’s skin? Apparently there is a limited edition set right now at Sephora that is more affordable. So I mean, maybe?

Giorgio Armani: Eyes To Kill Silk Eye Shadow

I’ve used this stuff on one of the brides makeup and it is amazing-ing-ing-ing. So is his foundation. His foundation is just…it maybe the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of applying on someone.
Urban Decay

All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

All summer all the bloggers have been talking about this. So obviously…

What is on your Ultimate Makeup Wish List? Or what have I missed on mine?

You can feel free to check out either of my makeup boards on Pinterest. The first is for Beauty Products and Rituals

Follow Flowers in my Hair | NB Creative Inc.’s board Beauty Products and Rituals. on Pinterest.

and the second is all for looks I love that I want to try. I call it Give Face.
Follow Flowers in my Hair | NB Creative Inc.’s board Makeup Looks | Give Face. on Pinterest.
P.S. If you do get any of these products, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. Also let me know how they are in real life, you know?



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DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes.

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes 3Living a studio apartment, there aren’t many ways to hide things (like messes or even organized piles and files). Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to get more organized. Enter: storage boxes that I can easily fit on top of my book cases. Of course, I fell in love with the Kate Spade storage boxes that were outrageously expensive (like…$54.00 for the nesting boxes). I could not afford them and yet I was seeing them more and more on Pinterest. People were making similar ones themselves so I thought I would give it a go. I knew I wanted to do the bold stripe and then decided on a dalmatian print.

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes 4

What do you need to make boxes inspired like those?
-Boxes (the smaller ones I used and the larger ones both come in pairs, the smaller pair is $10 and the bigger pair $20)
-Painting Tape
-Oil Based Sharpie in Black (and white…if you want to fix a mistake or two) (I got this pack)
-Oil Based Sharpie in Gold (for the accents…a marker is easier than paint)
-White Craft Paint (to fix mistakes)
-Black Craft Paint
-Paint Brush

Let’s get to it, The DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes 5

First, have all your supplies at the ready (that means the black paint poured out) and paint brush chosen. For the striped boxes, start with the lids to get a feeling for it because they are simplest. To divide evenly, start the tape here where the silver corner begins. See?

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes 6

Place tape on each side of the lid so there is a large white space between them. Then eye the middle area. Place tape there. You’ll have two windows that are basically equal on each side on that equator line. Tape there.

The goal here is to tape, press that tape down, and paint quickly. Because of the material of the boxes (it’s not like they are super expensive!) if the tape is on too long, it will pull off that shiny layer leaving paper. So press the edges of the tape down and paint quickly (don’t worry about the finesse, just make sure you get around the edges of the tape…I as you can see from the photos, I did not want to extend the stripes of the lid the side of the lid; I used scissors with the tape to get a clean edge). Don’t wait for the first coat to dry before you start a second coat and here is the crazy part…don’t wait for the paint to dry before removing the tape. The first time I did wait and it was a disaster.

There are pros to doing this: the lacquer doesn’t come off and the box doesn’t become papery on the black and white parts (so the straight lines don’t even matter). The con: your lines are not 100% perfect. I used the white paint to fix that issue (of course, you don’t have to use the white paint by all means, don’t!). I also used the black sharpie to create crisp lines.

For the sides, I do not recommend taping all four sides at once (I did this and disaster struck). Tape one side at a time. You’ll take two horizontal lines and keep them as even as possible. Paint and remove the tape. Let it actually dry before you move onto the next side so you can match the placement of the tape.DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes 6

For the smaller boxes, I actually drew with the oil based sharpie the dalmatian print. I used a print I liked and mimicked it for awhile before I had it down. Again, I started with the flat surface of the lids.

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes 2

Use the Gold Oil Based Sharpie to color in “the hardware” and the “edges.” Decide which way you’ll have the boxes face and place the now gold “label holder” (official title?) on the appropriate side of the box.DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage Boxes 1

Then start organizing! It’s more fun when you’re organizing using pretty things or is it just me? I actually ordered two more small boxes for more space. I will probably leave those white and change the silver hardware to gold.

Here is the thing: these do need a few touch ups. But the fact is, this project and I needed a break from one another because it was bringing out all my neurosis. But I love them and I am so glad I did it. I might do more. Ultimately, with the supplies I already had plus the fact that these are customized to my design aesthetic, I have so much more storage for a lot less money than if I would have gone and bought the Kate Spade Single Set of Nesting Boxes For a Lot of Money (even though I obvi love Kate Spade).

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Storage BoxesIs this a project you would try for your girl boss office storage?

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When Kate Spade Gives You Lemons Giveaway.

When Kate Spade Gives You Lemons Giveaway:

When Kate Spade gives you lemons, you get a toiletry/cosmetic travel kit that is so organized it will blow your mind. You can fit your straightener in one section of it–it’s that big. And yet, I tested it and it fits great in a carry on. I could do away with all my separate containers and just use this single one! Do you know how exciting that is? If you do, you are probably skipping this paragraph and already entered. Meanwhile, the fabric (beautiful fabric) is covered with plastic so you can simply wipe it down when your eyeshadow breaks mid flight and you open your bag upon arrival and realize: wonderful, pink dust is everywhere. That’s a wonderful thing in my opinion.lemons

You want to know what else is a wonderful thing? These ladies who are helping me give this away. I mean, listen. We are here to give you lemons, on a cosmetic bag, made my Kate Spade, and you do not need to make lemonade unless you feel like it.kslemonsAnne | Christina | Lindsay
Bex | Summer
Nina | Liz | Sheryl

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coming at you this week is a beautiful makeover and finally the reveal and tutorial for the faux Kate Spade storage boxes that save you oodles of money and take your girlboss office to the next level. And possibly some footage from the Billy Joel concert I went to…with Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence. No, but really. Let’s get this week started.


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Let it Go | Awareness of my Anxiety.

It’s not a song. It’s a list.

Things I am letting go of:
-perfection for this DIY project
-everything in the non-urgent, non-important category (for now)
-cut down the number of books I’m reading to 3 (10 is just too much)
-the over organization (my zeal for this change to an organized life has me focused on the minutia instead of the overall organization of my life in general)
-the lists (there is no need for the same list, multiple times, in my bullet journal, and in various places on my computer and online)
-this list because I could go on and on

Here is the thing. Throughout my life, when my anxiety is higher, I find small things to focus on–like a chimp picking fleas from her baby’s head. That truly would be the perfect task for moments like this. And also, throughout my life, these small tasks have ranged from healthy to the not so healthy.

globeI’ve realized something so important when it comes to the awareness of my anxiety. When the world feels big and out of control, I do what I can to make it feel small.

I can gauge my anxiety which stems from fear and lack of control by the extent of these tiny obsessions. How long did I work to make straight lines on an upcoming DIY project? So long that it was a wakeup call and that was with painter’s tape. It’s not always like this. It’s actually been awhile since it has been like this. It’s hard to know when I am just battling perfectionism (which still should be battled) and anxiety.

Finding the root is the key but it’s easier said than done. I have to find activities after work that are soothing, like coloring (kind of dumb but I channel it into sending snail mail…) or journaling or writing. Since I work from home freelancing, I have to get out of my little world (when not working or taking my work to a coffee shop) and make my world big again.

IMG_4558_1024No idea where I found that picture of me but I’m letting it go.

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So You Have a DSLR, Now What? | Photography 101.

photography101I had a DSLR for a long time before I learned how to shoot manually by taking classes and seeking out knowledge. Now, I can’t imagine shooting auto. Still, I know I waited a long time to learn because I was intimidated. I’m a writer and numbers were involved (eek!). A few people have asked where and how I learned. I definitely recommend taking a class. A great one can be found through Nicole’s Classes (where they also often have sales) but if a class isn’t in the cards, check out a book like The Busy Girl’s Guide to Digital Photography.

My goal here is to make this a simple series–Photography 101 for shooting manually with your DSLR. It won’t be exhaustive because I want to focus on the basics in order to keep things as clear as possible.

First things first, turn your camera to M for Manual. If you’ve been playing around with other settings (I was always fond of Macro), you probably have taken some great photos. The issue with these presets is that they use Auto Exposure for each setting which may not be correct for the light, the depth of field, or the photograph.

Let me break it down the best I can.

So what is Exposure?exposureExposure: the actual process of capturing light with the camera to produce an image. It is the combination of the F-Stop or Aperture (the same thing) and Shutter Speed.apertureAperture or F-Stop: literal opening of the camera lens. It also controls the depth of field.* Annoyingly because it is opposite of my intuition, a large F-Stop gives a smaller opening while a small F-Stop give a larger opening. A smaller opening offers less light a darker exposure and a larger opening brings more light into the image and a brighter exposure.
shutterspeedShutter Speed: It is the duration that shutter is open and exposed to light, measured in seconds. For example, if I am photographing sports, my shutter speed is going to be fast. If I want to take in a lightening bolt, I will have an extremely slow shutter speed so my shutter is open for longer in order to hopefully capture the bolt. A long shutter speed requires a tripod because one cannot hold a camera still long enough for that lightening both. Fast or slow, the shutter speed will affect the Aperture and vice versa.

ISO: This number is how sensitive the sensor on your DSLR is to light. A low ISO number means less sensitivity to light and a high ISO number means more sensitivity to light. A higher ISO also means more grain or “noise.” When possible shoot with as low of an ISO as possible. Change the ISO last after you have tried to adjusting the Aperture and Shutter Speed so you don’t lose quality. Like Aperture and Shutter speed, these all effect one another.

I  have a Canon Rebel T2i so you may have to check your manual but this is where I am able to determine my exposure, change my aperture, shutter speed, etc. You’ll also see that I tried to take a picture with my phone of what you can see if you look through the viewfinder and press the shutter down slightly.cameratrioWas this helpful? Feel free to ask me any questions but keep in mind this is a series of Photography 101. At first, this was so overwhelming me. Take a lot of photos. Put your camera on manual and play with the aperture and shutter speed.

P.S. After the photoshoot of my camera, I cleaned it. :)

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