hillarygayle: (Hillary Dark Queen)
Friday Five from a couple of weeks ago!

1. Have you ever done something awful to your hair? What happened?
Not particularly, but do you remember when that layered bob was in style? Everyone called it the "Rachel" because Jennifer Aniston on Friends made it popular. I had something approaching that cut, though I styled it a bit differently. It looked okay on me, because I have a nice face shape for it, but looking back, meh. It just wasn't outstanding.

2. Conversely, at what time in your life have you looked your best?
I don't have a good answer to this question, because for the last 12 or so years, I've been super intentional about my appearance. Everything I wear, all my makeup, my hair--all of it is very intentional and I've considered exactly what it will express to most people. Because of that, whatever image I have now is exactly what I want to look like, and that's been true for the last 12 years.

3. Do you have a favorite article of clothing? Tell us what and why.
Oh, I do, I do. It's more like several articles, though, because it's all my custom-made eShakti stuff! I have 2 dresses and 3 or 4 skirts that are entirely bespoke: I took my measurements, chose my dress, and requested any alterations I wanted (like skirt length; I love 50s silhouette skirts just below the knee). What arrived in each case is a garment that is literally tailored to fit me. The dress I wore for the party after graduation is one of those dresses. There is nothing like putting something on and having it fit perfectly in every possible way.

4. Confess the worst fashion trend you ever succumbed to.
Hmm. I grew up in the 80s (born in 1979) so I lived through a lot of seriously questionable fashion decisions. I can't say I "succumbed" to those, though, because I didn't have a lot of say in what I wore before my teenage years! I went in for grunge in the late 90s, which coincided with my late teens, but I don't hate what I was wearing when I look back at that time. I mean, oversized flannel shirts and jeans are comfy and the right plaid can be adorable. I think I'm going to go with the huge fluffy bangs and spiral perm I had right when I was about 11 or 12. Think Reba McEntire in the 80s and early 90s. In fact, my hair looked exactly like hers, and I got told that a lot. It was in style then, but looking back now it's like ooooooo. Yikes. Also, my first pair of glasses was a huge, round-lensed affair with thick, clear, acrylic frames. Like, you've seen Barb on Stranger Things? I had those glasses. If I had been older during the 80s, I would've BEEN Barb.

5. Are there any clothing / fashion trends today that you simply don't understand?
I'm not so much the fashion police. For the most part, I'm perfectly content to wear what I want, and let others do the same as well. A lot of people get super judgmental about leggings worn as pants, but usually I'm just kinda "whatever" about it. EXCEPT when the leggings in question are the same color as the skin of the person wearing them! THEN it looks, from a distance, like the person is not wearing any pants. Do I think they shouldn't wear that? Nah, that's up to them. But the 8 year old in me is still gonna giggle at the idea of apparently pants-free people in public.


So I've been saying for a while I wanted a silicone wedding band I could wear at work. Obviously I do a lot with my hands, so it's better for me to avoid a metal wedding ring at work. Also there's the alcohol hand foam, which isn't great for metal and appears to react with it to tear my skin up under my ring. I'd wanted to see if a silicone band did that, and of course there's always the danger I could catch my ring on a bed or other piece of hospital equipment in a rush situation like a code.

So I got this one!
My silicone ring came in today! I chose @saferingz because I wanted more gender neutral options (unlike the brands that carry mainly pink & turquoise for women and black & camo for men). This is antique metal finish. It's so comfortable I've forgotten several times I was even wearing it!

It's from SafeRingz. I chose them because they had mostly gender-neutral options, and I didn't like the fact that Qalo & Enzo had basically turquoise and pink and peach for women vs. camo and brown and black for men. SafeRings has actual metallic finishes!

Here's a video of the ring in all its squishable glory:


I wore it all day yesterday and forgot I even had it on! Can't wait to see how it works at work...in part because that means I'll be WORKING, and I'm still going stir crazy waiting on my privileges!
hillarygayle: (Hg Princess)
Recommendation time! I have recently ordered some skirts from eShakti (I've always wanted to, and some amazing father-in-law got me a gift certificate *cough*Augie*cough*) and some from Modcloth, since my friend Tashina recommended them. After a couple of snafus (I didn't measure for eShakti at first, and then I over-estimated my size at ModCloth) my skirts are all in, and I'm thrilled!

They have the 1950s silhouette I can't find in mainstream clothes, and they fit like a dream! They are all extremely high quality, lined skirts WITH POCKETS. I know that's a big deal for everyone, but speaking from the perspective of a fat lady, that's the holy grail. High quality, pocket-having, classically fashionable skirts that FIT. So of course, by the "choose two" triangle of "fashion, quality, & low price," that means...

If you go to the sites right now, the first thing you're going to think is "WHOA, expensive!" and they are. However, both sites have sales quite often; in fact, all 3 of my ModCloth skirts were on sale for 70% off, meaning I spent less than $20 on each one. eShakti gave me a $25 gift card each time I ordered, as well as a $10 gift coupon each time I left feedback. That means I ordered 2 more skirts this morning & spent $12. I had to have the ModCloth skirts altered because I bought them on clearance & they were too large, but eShakti has a very generous return policy if you want to exchange: you pay to ship the items back, but they refund the full amount on a gift card so you can get new ones that fit.

My favorite thing about Modcloth.com is the wide variety of patterns & styles, & my favorite thing about eShakti.com is the customizability of everything on the site. You can even put in your specific measurements, in case you have a much larger than usual difference between waist & hips, for example. Also please note: your size may be MUCH different on these sites. I'm a size 16-18W or 1-2X in mainstream clothing, but when I order from eShakti, I am I size 26W, and from ModCloth a 3X.

So. All that to say: I have had a VERY good experience with both companies & I highly recommend them. Just remember to measure yourself first, do NOT freak out over the larger number sizes (the number doesn't matter--only how awesome you're going to look), and watch for the sales!
hillarygayle: (Agent Happy)
 Recommendation time! I have recently ordered some skirts from eShakti (I've always wanted to, and some amazing father-in-law got me a gift certificate *cough*Augie*cough*) and some from Modcloth, since my friend Tashina recommended them. After a couple of snafus (I didn't measure for eShakti at first, and then I over-estimated my size at ModCloth) my skirts are all in, and I'm thrilled! 

They have the 1950s silhouette I can't find in mainstream clothes, and they fit like a dream! They are all extremely high quality, lined skirts WITH POCKETS. I know that's a big deal for everyone, but speaking from the perspective of a fat lady, that's the holy grail. High quality, pocket-having, classically fashionable skirts that FIT. So of course, by the "choose two" triangle of "fashion, quality, & low price," that means...

If you go to the sites right now, the first thing you're going to think is "WHOA, expensive!" and they are. However, both sites have sales quite often; in fact, all 3 of my ModCloth skirts were on sale for 70% off, meaning I spent less than $20 on each one. eShakti gave me a $25 gift card each time I ordered, as well as a $10 gift coupon each time I left feedback. That means I ordered 2 more skirts this morning & spent $12. I had to have the ModCloth skirts altered because I bought them on clearance & they were too large, but eShakti has a very generous return policy if you want to exchange: you pay to ship the items back, but they refund the full amount on a gift card so you can get new ones that fit.

My favorite thing about Modcloth.com is the wide variety of patterns & styles, & my favorite thing about eShakti.com is the customizability of everything on the site. You can even put in your specific measurements, in case you have a much larger than usual difference between waist & hips, for example. Also please note: your size may be MUCH different on these sites. I'm a size 16-18W or 1-2X in mainstream clothing, but when I order from eShakti, I am I size 26W, and from ModCloth a 3X.

So. All that to say: I have had a VERY good experience with both companies & I highly recommend them. Just remember to measure yourself first, do NOT freak out over the larger number sizes (the number doesn't matter--only how awesome you're going to look), and watch for the sales!
hillarygayle: (Agent Smith Not So Bad)
Thought I'd do a post for those who are always complimenting me on my makeup & hair. I get quite a few questions about specific things I use (probably my eyeliner is the most commented on!), so I figured a list was in order. Here are some of my favorite, won't-do-without products involved in my beauty regimen.

Nyx Liquid Eyeliner, Noir Collection: This is a very close duplicate of Urban Decay's 24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion, only the Nyx brand costs about a third of the UD. I have several colors of the UD, but I noticed that the black was my go-to, and I always ran out of it first. I went through several brands trying to find an acceptable dupe: L'Oreal (brush wasn't good), Makeup Forever (also crazy expensive & I didn't like the applicator), ELF (runs & transfers when you sweat). The Nyx turned out to be almost identical. It will easily wear 14 hours without transferring, running, or flaking. Love it.

Nyx Mascara: I am a mascara connoisseur. My preferred mascara look is volume: I want it to look like I have a veritable fur coat of thick eyelashes. Currently, I'm working my way through all the Nyx mascaras to see which ones are my favorite. So far, Full-Figured wins for my favorite waterproof. Le Provocateur is thus far my favorite non-waterproof, but Voluptuous (which I tried for the first time today) is possibly in the running. Again, these are about a third of the price of something like Urban Decay or MAC, and easily as good.

Urban Decay Primer Potion: I have never found an eyeshadow primer that works as well as this one. For those of you who've commented on the vibrancy of my eyeshadow, this is the secret. I use this on my lids & my eyeshadow remains very true to color and it will stay easily for 14 hours. I use the anti-aging formula, which doesn't have much color at all on its own; it's a sheer wash. If I need the color to show up a bit more brightly, I use...

Maybelline Color Tattoo or Nyx Eyeshadow Primer: Over the top of the primer potion. If I'm using Color Tattoo it's the very pale silver/white metallic color, or if it's the Nyx it's matte white. This gives me a perfect blank slate for the super, ultra bright colors.

Fresh lip balms: These come from Sephora, and they're one of my very few "must haves" among the really pricey makeup brands. These babies are $22 a tube, but I have never found anything that remotely duplicates the beautiful, sheer color wash or the incredible soft feel. They aren't sticky in the least. I wear these usually when I've done one of the extremely bright eye makeup looks. They feel incredible, they look amazing, and they are extremely good for your lips.

Blotting papers: These are awesome. Instead of using more powder when you get shiny during the day, you use one of these papers to blot the oil off your chin/nose/whatever. It keeps you from looking like you caked a lot of makeup on. These come in a million brands. I got a LOAD of them last Christmas when Target had the ELF brand in 3-packs, and I'm still using those up. Nyx has them as well.

Nyx Matte but Not Flat powder foundation: I use this over moisturizer or BB cream in the summer. It lays down just enough color to even out skin tone, but isn't heavy enough to melt off my face when I sweat.

Nyx BB Cream: Favorite tinted moisturizer, & I've tried MANY! Feels very light on your face, but will even out skin tone even if I have the whole redness/irritation thing going on around my nose or chin.

BH Cosmetics: Eyeshadows & blushes! Their palettes are INCREDIBLE deals! So are their brush sets. They have wonderful sales quite often. This is a perfect way to get a wide variety of colors all at once for a really low price. Their shadows have far more pigmentation & color payoff than anything you can get in a drugstore, but possibly slightly less than Urban Decay. However...drugstore price. :) So it balances out. Their brushes are not to be missed; soft & durable. From BH, I have the Galaxy Chic, blush duo, professional blush, 88 cool matte, 120 1st edition, & Take Me To Brazil palettes, bronzers in Diva & Starlet, and the 36 piece red snakeskin brush set.

Maybelline 24/7 Longwear Lipstick: Nurses, ever wanted a lipstick that would last your whole 12 hour shift? Found it for you. This is what I wear when I'm going to work & I want my lipstick to look perfect all the time, but I don't wanna mess with it. This stuff doesn't come off unless you take it off. It can be very, very drying, so if you have problems with cracking lips you're gonna want to miss this one. It's hardcore.

It's a 10: Leave in hair treatment. Works as a detangler, strengthener, conditioner, you name it.

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry: Spray it on my hair before I blow dry it, and it shaves a good 10 minutes off my normally 25 minute drying time! It also seems to keep my hair straighter until I wash it again. It primes the hair as well so it's less damaged by the blow dryer heat. I really wish this hadn't worked so well, because it's a bit expensive. :(

Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo: Do I think there's a difference between this one & Suave's normal dry shampoo? Nope. This one just smells better. I wash my hair every 3-4 days, since it's incredibly time-consuming to wash, condition, & blow dry it, and if I don't blow dry it, it will stay wet for 10-12 hours. On the 2nd or 3rd night, I will spray my hair with this before I go to bed. It's an aerosolized powder that absorbs the oil & refreshes your hair. I don't think I'd recommend it for curly hair, & I certainly don't recommend it for dry-ish hair, but if you have long hair that tends toward the oily side? Give this a try.

hillarygayle: (Agent Elrond)
This weekend has been the hottest all summer long! It's been a pretty mild summer thus far, except for the mosquitoes. Oh my lord the mosquitoes.

As it's been scorching, this weekend has consisted mainly of staying inside the house & pretending it's not 100 & Hell degrees F out there.

I packed up the aforementioned eShakti skirts & shipped them back. I'm expecting they'll arrive at eShakti either tomorrow or Tuesday, & from there I will get a credit on my account. Then I can reorder the same skirts in the appropriate, misleadingly numbered size, but WHATEVER! They were gorgeous, well-constructed, and they had pockets. They can tell me that I wear a size Elephant for all I care, and I'll still buy them.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Garden)
Coffee pods for those Keurig machines. Lots of waste there. Normally I use the re-usable cups & grind my own coffee, so that's just coffee grounds for waste. However, I ran out of coffee, and as I order mine from Eureka Springs, I needed a stop-gap. At Kroger last night, I found their Simple Truth organic brand came in a bag, & I wondered how that worked for pods. Poking at the bag, I realized they were squishy & small, but STILL said "For use in brewers that use K-cups". Out of curiosity (and need for coffee) I got them. Here they are!
Coffee Pods
On the left is a K-cup from Green Mountain (I drink decaf, but rarely, so I usually keep a few of these on hand). On the right is the Kroger Simple Truth pod. The coffee container is a small, tough mesh. If you were inclined to reduce waste, you could take the coffee grounds out of it, collapsing it down to something about the side of an average peel-off lid. I thought that was a neat idea to reduce waste.

Now for some fashion! :D Bryan & I really like shirts from the geeky, one-shirt-a-day places. He does mens' 2X, and I usually do men's XL, unless we're ordering from TeeFury, where I can do a women's 3X (I'm a size 16 with thick biceps & a belly). We did TeeFury's grab bag this time, and also there's one in here from Shirt!woot, which I got because the combo of emerald green & biology nerdery was too much for me.

Nerd shirts for cute fatties! )
hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Polka Dots)
So I was at Target yesterday & there were lots of shoes for the upcoming season. Autumn fashion is my favorite. I really love boots, long skirts, jackets, bolder makeup in darker colors. I see autumn the way I want to see myself: calm, cool, intellectual (it seems intellectual to me, what with school starting back & all), with a bit of bite. That's deeper than I meant to be here, though. Really I'm just going to post photos of shoes!

Geek chic
This was a favorite of mine. It's not quite my style; I don't have a lot I'd wear with this shoe, but MAN IT'S SO BLOODY CUTE. I love the ultra bright sole; it's not a place you usually see color on a shoe.

ALL THE SHOES )

Silly as it feels to be renewing my basic CPR when I am ACLS certified (if I'm currently certified to run your code, you'd think that would mean I was also certified to provide basic chest compressions & rescue breathing, which ARE COVERED in ACLS), I had to. I took pictures, just to keep myself from being hella bored.

Bagging an infant mannequin
Bagging an infant mannequin.

Infant compressions
Two finger technique for infant compressions (used in a 1-rescuer scenario).

As a public service announcement, though: those who are BLS certified by the American Heart Association, please be aware of changes to the basic CPR order. Instead of ABC (airway-breathing-circulation), we now do CAB (circulation/compressions--airway--breathing). It was found that stopping to open the airway & check for breathing were causing a delay in the start of compressions, and since the vast majority of adult collapses are cardiac in nature, & not respiratory, that was a problem. This means CPR now begins with a round of 30 chest compressions (at least 100 compressions per minute rate), then follows with 2 breaths.

In a side note: I would like to have a "Keep Calm" phone case. I want it to say "KEEP CALM & START COMPRESSIONS." :D

Been doing a couple of different fashion things lately. Hair first!

Clippy extensions are my friends
Extensions! Hot Topic carries synthetic hair extensions in crazy colors. I now own a LOT of them. :) They satisfy my urge to have ridiculous colors in my hair without having to pay a ton of money every time I need to get my roots done. Bonus points: they blend fantastically with my long hair, they can be styled by curling iron (low heat), and I get to have a different color depending on my mood or outfit. In fact, I'm considering letting the black streak grow out entirely & moving entirely to clip-in extensions.

Lipstick focus
Lipsticks! Instead of focusing on my eyes, as I am usually wont to do, I've recently discovered the fun of a lip focus. I do an extremely minimal eye (my go-to minimal look is my usual Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, Invincible Light by MAC, & Urban Decay 24/7 waterproof liner in whatever color), and then I put on a crazy bright lipstick. My favorite colors for this are red & purple.

I've recently been in love with setting mists. They're misted over your face before foundation & then after you're entirely finished. They help keep a matte look, & keep your makeup from meting off. Urban Decay has one called "De-Slick" for $18, but E.L.F. from Target has the same formula for $3. Unfortunately the E.L.F. has a sub-par spray. My solution: I snagged a tiny bottle of De-Slick as a 100-point perk from Sephora. The atomizer on the bottle is top-notch. Once I finished the sample bottle, I refilled it with the E.L.F. product! Tada! Exact same effect as the UD for much less money.

Well. We are headed off to Texas to visit the Grandminions today as soon as the boys get home. For the first time in years, I've got Labor Day weekend off! We may drive through rain on the way there; I'll be happy if we do. I'm ready for autumn & rain & jackets & umbrellas. Summer was fun, but it's time to move on.

Besides, THIS FALL IS FULL OF MUSIC. HURRY, OCTOBER!
hillarygayle: (Hottie Turquoise Eyemakeup)
So [livejournal.com profile] onceupon, in her alter ego as The Rotund, linked to a new plus-sized boutique, LucieLu. I am EATING IT UP. This stuff is GREAT! It's priced a bit less expensive than Lane Bryant (for example, the Delaney skirt is $36 and I would immediately expect that skirt to be about $50 at LB), a bit more than Avenue, as [livejournal.com profile] onceupon notes. The REAL hook, though, is the style of the clothing. These clothes are more on-trend, less career-oriented. Obviously that appeals to me because I don't need "career wear." My career has its own wear. :D When I'm out, it's cute time.

Let's go shopping!

The Delaney skirt.

The Patience skirt.

The Teagan dress, which I don't see on me but I think would look AMAZING on [livejournal.com profile] starry_midnight.

The Emme dress, which I would like very MUCH to see on me. I love the design, the colors...I love everything about this dress. This is such a Hillary dress. They should rename it.

The Eau Claire dress. Another awesome one. I love the simplicity; the beauty is all in the draping & in the way that one, simple design draws the eye.

The Audra dress. This one is vintage inspired, faux-wrap. It looks like the top part has an interesting cut, and I'd be really interested to see how that looks on an actual human.

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