hillarygayle: (Hillary Dark Queen)
It seems that when you don't have any money, you manage to continually come across things you desperately want but can't justify. Today that's the Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream vault. I cannot even begin to express to you how much I want that, but alas! Still no work.

That's not to say there hasn't been some progress, because oh mercy there HAS! Today the floodgates opened with the arrival of my prescriptive certificate number! I don't get the document in hand for a day or 2; it's going out from the Board of Nursing today in the mail, but the number is the thing! When I called the BoN this morning, they gave it to me, and I emailed CH, the credentialing coordinator. She asked if I had an NPI number, and I was extremely disheartened. I didn't even know it was required, but it's the unique provider number assigned by Medicare/Medicaid, so it's quite important for billing. I went online and applied, thinking I might get my number sometime next week...and behold. It came in an email 5 minutes later. Are you KIDDING ME? Nothing governmental has ever been that efficient. I still don't have a DEA #, but that's not prohibitive for practice. It just means I cannot yet prescribe Schedules III-V on my own; I have to get a collaborating physician to order it. That's not a problem in an ER, where you can't throw a rock without hitting a physician. I will apply for the DEA number and when it comes in, I can stop getting orders from collaborators.

After I got that done, CH submitted my credentialing application for approval, and not even 5 minutes later I got an email from Dr. Mc with instructions to get myself added to the group malpractice insurance policy. I did that. Then I got an email with 2 appointments at the hospital next Monday for orientations with 2 different departments. It's happening, folks!

In honor of my very good mood at such progress, have my new favorite song from Steven Universe!
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: (BFFs Candied)
e.l.f. recently had an online sale. They do this a lot, and really, it seems totally silly to wait for a sale because LOOK AT THE PRICES ANYWAY. Seriously, though, I got this entire haul for half-price. That means $1.50 per piece in most cases.

Haul from recent e.l.f. sale
There are 2 things I didn't really review in depth: the Praline matte lipstick (I love & highly recommend this lipstick; already have it in almost every other color) and the mist & set, which is also a staple of mine. Everything else here is a new try, so I wanted to call them out specifically.
And here they are! )
hillarygayle: (Default)

For those of you who keep up with my attempts to find the longest wearing makeup, you'll know I've been on a lipstick quest for the longest. I've found eyeshadow primers, liners, mascaras...but this is the first lipstick I have been able to tentatively recommend for 12 hour shifts. This is Revlon's liquid lipstick. Texture is similar to the Stila liquid lipstick, but this is $8 where Stila is $24. This pic is after a Gouda soufflé, a cranberry orange muffin, & 2 cups of coffee. First work shift test drive is tomorrow. I will check in. ;)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

hillarygayle: (Default)


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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.


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.

hillarygayle: (Hottie Eyeshadow)
I have this "thing" for looks named after Dave Matthews Band songs. Q & I are bizarrely huge fans of DMB (HEY ASK US WHERE OUR TICKETS ARE FOR THE DALLAS SHOW WHY I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED THEY'RE IN THE FREAKING PIT), so it fits that we'd do this. 

We always thought green & gray would be a cool theme for the song "Spaceman"; sparkly gray for outer space, shiny green for little green men. I recently got a GORGEOUS kelly green waterproof eyeshadow from Makeup Forever, and I'd been wondering what to do with it. It hit me suddenly as I was getting ready to put on my makeup this afternoon that it would be perfect for the Spaceman theme. So without further ado, here's whut I dun...

On mah fayce: MAC Mineralize Skin finish in...something pretty pale
Cheeks: Hard Candy blush in Honeymoon, just under the highest angle of my cheekbones. Have I mentioned how much I love my cheekbones? 
Contouring beneath jaw: You can't really see it, but I use Sephora bronzer in Bahamas applied with a fan brush & then I blend the devil out of it.
Lips: Makeup Forever waterproof mineral cream for lips in muted pink & eyes in pewter (I combined them; they have numbers, not colors, and I'm no good at remembering numbers)
Eyes: Makeup Forever waterproof mineral cream for eyes in kelly green (all over lid) & bright silver (under bottom lashes). Then mineral pigment "Train to Nowhere" from The She Space all over the lid & "Drops of Moonstone" to highlight. For liner, I drew a thin, messy line of MAC's black kohl liner, then smudged the devil out of it with a smudge brush. Then I went over it with Hard Candy glitter liner in "Galaxy" (multicolored glitter in a clear gel base), which is my FAVORITE thing to do with this liner. On the waterline (and a bit under the lashes just to fill in a bit more), I used Makeup Forever's Aqua Eyes liner in bright silver; it's exactly the same color as the cream eyeshadow. The whole thing is finished off with Bad Girl waterproof mascara in black.

I don't know why I have such a thing for waterproofs. I think it's because they're generally long-wearing aside from being waterproof, and Q & I are both suckers for long-wearing makeup. We do work 12-hour shifts in pretty brutal jobs.

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hillarygayle: (BFF Grin)
I work tonight, so I decided today I would do the Lips portion of Hey There, Makeup Newbie. It's shorter than the eye one.

Lip Things

You know there are scrubs for your face. There are also scrubs for your lips. These are usually less harsh, and many of them use sugar. Scrubs exfoliate your lips, so if you're one of those people who have very peely lips, this might be for you. The thing about exfoliating scrubs is that you want them to be moisturizing as well, because otherwise you're going to dry your lips out and they'll be even more peely. Gross. I've used Laura Mercier lip sugar with great effect, and I also use LUSH's Ocean Salt scrub (but I moisturize the HECK out of them after that). In my previous post, a commenter mentioned baking soda in Cetaphil as a scrub, and I can actually see baking soda in lotion as a very good, gentle lip scrub. CHEEEEEEP.

There are 40 billion lip moisturizers out there, and I think I've figured something out: you just have to find which one works for you. Different folks like the feel of different types of moisturizers. For example, anything that feels oily is gonna drive me nuts, so I use Nivea Q10 moisturizer from Target. This goes on my lips each time I moisturize my face. Some people swear by pricier things, some people use Vasoline (which I've done in the past when they've been ULTRA dry). Just like dry skin, this is another reason to drink water. On nights when I'm at the hospital & I drink hardly any water during my shift, my lips are much worse in the morning. So. DRINK WATER. (Do as I say, not as I do, obviously.)

There is such a thing as lip primer as well. Lip primers smooth out your lips and allow the color to go on more evenly. Again, this is optional. Some people don't really need it. I use it because of my whole "dry lips" issue. I use a Nivea product here: A Kiss of Moisture. It's available at Target or Wal-mart or wherever. Urban Decay makes a lip primer, but I don't have any experience with it.


Stains are just what they sound like. A stain is a very thin liquid or gel that's rubbed on the lips to give them the appearance of a different NATURAL color. For example, if I put a pink stain on my lips, it just makes them look like pinker lips. Stains don't change the texture or "finish" of your lips--only the color. It's the sheerest color coverage you can get. Stila makes some of these called "Lip Crushes", and I own them in pomegranate & mango. I love both; even the pomegranate, which is a dark pink & you'd think would look awful on someone of my complexion, looks pretty great. It just gives my lips a flush of color. There are actually brands available at department/discount/drug stores: CoverGirl has an Outlast lip stain, and then there's the Pixi line available at Target. It's pricey but it's available.

I didn't mention it yesterday, but there are cheek stains as well. They're like blush for those who don't wear foundation (I don't recommend putting a cheek stain on even over the sheerest tinted moisturizer). Blend them on with your fingers wherever you'd put powder blush.


Glosses are a viscous liquid, usually applied with a wand or your finger. They usually give a sheer wash of color, though there are glosses with high color payoff. All glosses have one thing in common: a very high shine finish. They will make your lips look glassy, and they do not really "dry", though some of them stay stickier than others. Some of them are labeled as "plumping", and these usually have some sort of irritant in them that makes your lips tingle (& they really do make them plumper). I used to abhor glosses, but [livejournal.com profile] asqmh converted me (in much the same way she converted me to Apple, Livejournal, and about a billion other things I'm currently obsessed with), and now I own lots. Some of my favorites:

MAC's Lip Glass: I have this in sheer black with gold glitter. That is nowhere near as gaudy as it sounds; I wear it at work a lot & get tons of compliments.
Sexy Motherpucker (Soap & Glory, at Target): Available in clear, but very subtle color if you get the plum or nude or whatever. I have the nude & I love it, even if it smells slightly like Tootsie Rolls. Ick. EXTREMELY moisturizing & pleasantly tingly.
Buxom Diamonds: At Sephora, Bare Escentuals brand. Highest sparkle payoff of ANY gloss I've ever seen. Most of them are pretty colorless, but the color "Clare" is a dark sheer mauve that I think would look good on any skin color from Q's to the darkest chocolate.

I also hear awesome things about the Hard Candy gloss line. Hard Candy is a good option if you're curious about MAC or Urban Decay type makeup, but you're on a Wal-Mart budget. HC is only available at Wal-Mart. Wow. Typing that I realized for the first time that I share initials with the Hard Candy makeup line. Whee!

Lipstick is the stuff that you already know. Maybe you're baffled. I can see why. There are a million different types of lipstick.
Matte: no shine. Flat color & texture. Usually full coverage.
Satin: no glitter/shimmer, but it is shiny. Sheer to full.
Shimmer or Frost: These are hard for me to tell apart, personally. They do have a hint of metallic-ness in them. Not big enough to be glitter, but still there. Sheer to full.
Glitter: O, hey, you kissed a 3rd grade art project. LOOKS GREAT! Sheer to full.

There are also different coverages, just like foundation. Sheer is minimal coverage, just a bit of color & smoothing texture. Then there's medium, and then there's full. Full coverage covers up any trace of your lip color or texture, overlaying it with that of the lipstick. I have one called Hipster by MAC: it's an ultra dark black-red. THAT is a full coverage lipstick.

I wear almost exclusively MAC lipsticks, with some Sephora ones thrown in. My reason for this is the ability to try them on. Lipsticks are a type of makeup that will change pretty significantly on each different person who puts them on. For example, you should see what happens when Q & I try on some of the same lipsticks. Some of the spicy colors that she pulls off easily look garish & out of place on me, and some of the cooler colors I wear make her look cyanotic. And you can see from this icon how close in color we look. This is why I never buy lipsticks in Target or Wal-Mart--I can't try them on first!

Different "looks" are going to call for different lipsticks. If you're going for a fresh, natural look, you'll want to avoid full coverages and go for sheer. If you're doing super-bright colorful eyes, you might want neutral lips or you might not. How long you want it to wear matters, too: a stain theoretically lasts much longer than the others. More examples: when I'm wearing something like blue+yellow eyeshadow with a distinct black liner, I want neutral lips. I tend to wear MAC Viva Glam II on those days, or perhaps a sheer gloss. When I want to wear Hipster, I do an extremely neutral eye with a darkened crease and very heavy black liner. If I'm doing a sheer wash of a single color on my eyes, I like to wear MAC's Meltdown, a medium-coverage, bright orange shimmer on my lips. It makes my whole face bright. So there are totally different uses for every lip product.

All I can really tell you about lipwear is that you have to experiment. This is where places like Sephora come in handy. You need to be able to try things on, and possibly even speak to a makeup artist or someone very experienced (come shopping with me & Q!). They can help you pick which samples you should try.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Turquoise Eyemakeup)
I get asked about my makeup. Like, a lot. I think this has less to do with the Inherent Awesome with which I apply my makeup and more to do with my complete lack of color fear. :D For example, my eyeshadow application may be neat & mediocre & uninspired, but if the eyeshadow itself is a combination of neon & spring greens (like today), people notice it and go "HEY! You're great at eyeshadow!"

But it occurs to me that through pure love of it, I have acquired a lot of makeup knowledge, and many of you have asked. Some of you don't even have the vocabulary, so that's kinda how I'm going to start. You other Makeup Monkeys please feel free to jump in and clarify if I start getting questions in the comments. I am certainly not the only makeup fan here, and there are a couple of people on my list who are far better at it than I am.

What I find is this: yes, the eyeshadow is the "centerpiece" of my face, but in order to be happy with it, I have to make the rest of the face look a certain way, too. For me, the look I'm most fond of is very matte, no shimmer. I contour my cheekbones and my jaw line and that's it. The only other place I wear much color is on my lips, and only in the winter. In the summer, my dearest [livejournal.com profile] asqmh has kinda converted me to the glossy, sheer wash of color type look. My high pigment MAC lipsticks are mostly for the cold weather.

If I mention products, I'm going to try & list both a high-end brand and a department store brand, so you know what to look for in your price range. I use a mix of both, honestly. I'm a Target girl, so anything I mention is available there.

Stuff That Goes On Your Face in General
In the order I use them in..

I use a mild soap for this, honestly. Some people will flip out & tell you NEVER to use soap, but there's this guy at the Memphis Farmer's Market who sells goat's milk soap and y'all, it's the BEST. This is what I use to wash my face, and it does me very well. I'm also extremely fond of several LUSH cleansers, like Ultrabland and Angels on Bare Skin.

Cleanser is mandatory; this one is optional. A "scrub" is something that exfoliates the top layer of your skin. I have a tendency toward dry skin no matter what I do, so I use scrubs to get rid of that top, dull looking layer. I don't use them every day except on my lips. My lips peel like CRAZY, and the only way to keep that under control is to use a scrub to get the dead skin off daily. My favorites are Ocean Salt from LUSH and the Walnut Scrub from Bath Junkie.

Toner is a liquid you use after cleanser & before moisturizer to make sure you've gotten all of the cleanser & scrub off your skin. Some people swear by this but it seems pretty optional to me. I will say that when I use a toner I need less moisturizer. I use Tea Tree Water by LUSH. Department store option: look for something by Clean & Clear or Noxema. Please note: astringent is different. It's harsher on your skin & I don't recommend it. Sea Breeze has an astringent. IT BURNS USSSSSS.

Even if you have oily skin, you should probably be using one of these. You've just washed the devil out of your face & it's time to be putting some healthy moisture back in. Also, drink water. Your skin likes it. That's not Makeup Hillary talking...that's Nurse Hillary. Physically, skin is healthier when you're hydrated. Obviously if you're oily skinned, you won't want a heavy moisturizer. Enzymion (LUSH) is a very good light one. In Target, look for the Oil of Olay brand and then pick one that says it's for your skin type. I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin lotion at night, to sleep in, and I use LUSH Celestial or Imperialis under my makeup during the day.

Optional. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. Primer goes on over your moisturizer and creates a smooth surface for your foundation. I always wear it beneath powder foundation (it makes my skin look very matte, and then the powder evens out the tone). In a store like Sephora, you'll notice many brands: Sephora, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Makeup For Ever. They all cost more than $10, and all of them have a common ingredient: dimethicone. Want to know a secret? This is another tidbit from [livejournal.com profile] asqmh. Monistat makes a "chafing ointment". If you've ever worn a pair of wet jeans & gotten a rash, or if you've had "chub rub" where your legs rub together, that's what this stuff is for. Put it on your skin & it creates a barrier, smoothing out all of the friction-causing places. Monistat's ointment? Dimethicone. So if you can get over putting something called "Monistat" on your face, you can get a tube of primer for $5. :D It's what I use, and I also own a sample of Sephora's primer. They look, feel, and wear EXACTLY the same.

Now here we get into MAKEUP! Foundation is optional. The goal of foundation is to even out your skin tone. You want to match your skin tone as closely as possible. For this I do recommend going to someplace like Sephora or the MAC counter or another place where there are makeup professionals. If places like Target had testers available, it would be a different story, but as it stands you'd have to buy a whole product before you could test it. At Sephora or MAC or Ulta, testers of all products are available, and you can try out a foundation on your hand (or even your face, if you were so inclined!). It's really great. In fact, this is what I did a few days ago to test the powder foundation I got. You can't go on dark/light alone; skin has "undertones", and sometimes they're unexpected. I am ivory, but my undertones are more pink than gold (which is unusual for a redhead). Like I said, check them out to see what fits you best.

Foundation comes in many forms: powders, liquids, creams, etc. You can apply it with a sponge, a brush, your finger, whatever. Different forms have different "coverages"; powder applied dry has a light coverage and is good for natural looks, while liquids & creams have heavier coverage, and usually go on with a sponge or fingers. I favor 2 currently: Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse (in Classic Ivory) for my medium-full coverage and Sephora Mattifying Powder Foundation (in D20) for my light-medium coverage. I apply the Maybelline with my fingers and blend it all over. The Sephora is applied dry with a kabuki brush (short, very broad brush with a very short handle, meant to be used with a circular "buffing" motion). To illustrate what I mean by coverage: the Maybelline lightens my freckles to the point that you can't even see them on my forehead, and they're much more faint on my nose & cheeks. The Sephora powder lets my freckles shine right through; it just seems to "soft focus" my skin. They're there, they're just less sharp.

Blush is used to "contour" your face. It's slightly different from your skin tone; brighter or darker. You put it somewhere on your cheeks to achieve a certain look. For example, I use Sephora's Blush Trio in Apricot. I place it just on the bottom edge of my cheekbones. You can barely tell it's there; all it does is call attention to my cheekbones. It emphasizes them, makes you notice that they're there. Why? Because I have awesome cheekbones. That's the point of blush. You use it to emphasize the line you want on your face. You have adorable apple cheeks that make you look 10 years younger? Blush them puppies. It's going to depend heavily on the shape of your face, so I can't tell you precisely where to put it. To me, some of the best examples of blush usage are 1940s Hollywood actresses and pinups. Those girlies knew how to rock the rouge.

DO remember, however, that blush should not be terribly noticeable by itself unless that's the specific look you're going for. This is why I would never wear an extremely magenta blush; I stick to slightly cool tone apricots & peaches. You want it to blend into your own skin tone at the edges. Don't apply it so that it leaves a visible line. Lines look icky.

Bronzer is related to blush, but not quite the same. Some people use it to make it look like they've been in the sun; a fake tan, if you will. That's not what I use it for. I use it on my neck, just underneath my jaw line. This is because from the front I have a very defined looking jaw, but from the side I do not. Bronzer (EXTREMELY WELL BLENDED) beneath that jaw creates a more defined line. I put this on with a fan brush for super delicate application, and then I blend the living daylights out of it. You can use any bronze-toned blush for this. Physician's Formula is a great department store brand for this, and I'm currently using Sephora's bronzer in "Bahamas" I think.

I am not well-versed in using bronzer to actually, y'know, BRONZE oneself. I'm assuming it would go on the places one wanted to look "sun-kissed", like perhaps the tops of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, etc. Again, BLEND THE DEVIL OUT OF IT. You do not want a line. Lines are not okay.

Finishing powder or setting powder is used to bring the look of a face together. In my case, it's a matte powder that I use to kill the last bit of shine on my nose & cheeks & forehead. Others don't use a matte powder; for example, [livejournal.com profile] asqmh is a junkie for MAC's "Mineralize Skin Finish". These provide a bit of shimmer and make your face look quite "glowy", as though someone lit a candle under your skin. It's a very pretty look if it's your style. My powder: Maybelline Dream Matte powder. I've not used any of the higher-end powders because I'm really very happy with this one.

That's it for now. I'll take a poll here: next, shall I do lipwear or eyewear?
hillarygayle: (With Chopsticks!)
I decided to go ahead & sleep last night. I wasn't getting enough sleep when I tried to stay up all night to readjust my schedule, so after a discussion with Bryan, I thought I would try it this way: I sleep the night before, wake up very early when my boys leave, do some things around the house & putter about on the intarwebz, and then take the longest nap I can manage before waking up to go to work. This way I'm getting MORE sleep than I usually would instead of losing sleep while trying to orient to nights. At least this week I'm 2 nights in a row (Thursday/Friday). At first I thought I was getting the shaft completely, but I realize now what T (our patient care manager, which translates in this case to "lady who schedules us") was doing was making sure I could attend the arrhythmia classes. I do the classes during the mornings on Monday & Wednesday this week and next, and in each case I work Thursday & Friday nights. It works out well. It does not leave a weekend for going to Dallas though.

I thought it was hard visiting the Texas Grandminions during nursing school, but it's no easier now. In one case my schedule was simply too stuffed to leave room for trips, but in this case it's simply too chaotic. There's no rhyme or reason to it, and Bryan & I are rarely off during the same periods of time. I think this will change when I'm not the "new girl" anymore.

If I was going to try to take a nap this afternoon in prep for my night shift, perhaps 2 cups of press coffee was not the greatest idea. *vibrates with energy*

My fellow amateur photographers! I'm considering a camera lens for Christmas. The problem is, I'm not yet very well versed in lenses. I've no idea what I want so far.

I do know that the lens that came WITH the Alpha-330 is great for close-range snapshots & general shooting. It is NOT that great for zoom. I found this out at the DMB concert, where I thought I'd be able to get really great close ups from where we were, but I didn't. Next time we hit a concert, I wanna be able to get all up in Rashawn's trumpet.

That is not a euphemism.

So to that end, here are some lenses I'm looking at. If you know more than I do about this, please chime in. I'm hunting down information on what the mm measurements indicate about the lens performance, what range of aperture is best for me, etc.

Sony SAL 18250 Alpha DT. High magnification with lens hood, it tells me.

Sony SAL 18200 Alpha DT.

Sony SAL 75300 Compact Super Telephoto Zoom Lens. If I'm really looking for zoom, this appears to be the place to look.

Part of me wonders if I'm just going to have to start a lens collection & then determine what works best for what conditions & situations. I'm really excited to have the leisure time & money to actually spend learning amateur photography though. These "time" and "paycheck" things. They are unfamiliar to me.

I found a lip primer! Q mentioned a Nivea lip balm at Wal-Mart that has the same formulation as a high-end primer (I can't remember which primer). I was at Target to pick up some Sexy Motherpucker lip gloss (ALSO highly recommended; more staying power than any other gloss I've found, even though it smells gross to me), and I decided to stroll through the moisturizer aisle to see if I could find the balm Q had showed me. No such luck, but I did find another Nivea product. Q-10 (O hey how you like that letter?) Rejuvenation serum. It's meant for putting on in the morning as you would a moisturizer to prevent sun damage. I figured it might hold up well to lipstick. Lo & behold, it does! So if you're looking for a lip primer for less than $4, you might go check out the Nivea stuff at Wal-Mart & Target.

Currently in makeup, I'm having a love/hate relationship with cream eyeliner. The Sephora blockbuster has 7 cream eyeliners in great colors. I love the way they go on, and I love the way they create a dramatic, bold line. Liquid liner: tiny precision lines. Cream eyeliner: dramatic, mysterious, Sophia Loren eyes. The kind you want when you're doing a smoky eye; you can use the cream liner over the smoky layer to define so you don't get raccoon eyes.

However, SMUDGE. -_- The Sephora cream liner smudges & I don't think it's just because of the formulation. I've tried other cream liners, and they smudge too. The problem is my prominent browbones & the way my eyes are set into my head. When my eye is entirely open, my lash line actually touches my browbone. This means that whatever I put on my lash line will transfer to just above my crease if it's not fixed. You may recall I encountered this with applying mineral pigments to my lash line as eyeliner with just water. Once I found the Pixi sealant, that solved that problem.

I'm thinking applying an eyeshadow over the cream liner might do it. It would have to be in the same shade, obviously, and I'd have to be super careful & use a very small brush (maybe my smudge brush, just tapping it?) so as not to destroy the look of the line itself.

I haven't been a fan of Tori Amos since Little Earthquakes. She left the more lyrical, melodic, get-stuck-in-your-head type of music for a more esoteric type that I can't follow well. The rhythms change frequently and without any type of logic I can see, the lyrics seem more like freeform poetry than lyrics, etc. I'm sure lots of people love that style, but I prefer a little more form to my music. A rhythm that can stick to me, something I can sing to myself.

Midwinter Graces is her newest, and it's a Christmas album. Sort of. Maybe more of a holiday album. One of the reviews says that she marries the concept of rebirth of the light (a common theme in many belief systems) with that of the birth of Jesus. Essentially what the Church was trying to do when it co-opted the Midwinter Holiday (Saturnalia, Longest Night, Solstice) and turned it into Christmas. Kind of neat. But beyond that, when I previewed the songs on iTunes, I liked what I heard. It's like she's returned to the things I loved about Little Earthquakes. I may end up buying this album.

This led me to preview the songs on "Abnormally Attracted to Sin", which is her album released in May of this year. Well, then. It appears maybe she's come back to that sort of thing in general. From what I can hear, "Strong Black Vine" and "Not Dying Today" sound precisely like something I'd listen to. This album appears relevant to my interests. THANKS, TORI!

In other news, I am now the proud owner of The Baronessa. We have decided to call this Bryan's gift to me for passing the boards. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL THIS COMES IN. Someone's gonna have to come over & help me lace the thing, though. I do not think Bryan will be brave enough. Not to mention he'll most likely be distracted. Because me. In a corset. I am still searching for the appropriate butt-wear to pair with this to wear to the Rocky Horror Picture Show party. I think I'll be wearing it with jeans & a blazer to get my tattoo, whenever I go for it. It will leave my back bare, plus it's FREAKING HOT. What better thing to wear to get your deep & meaningful tattoo than something that makes a statement about yourself?

Makeup, corsets, tattoos, boots, fashion in general. This self-expression mess is FUN, Y'ALL!


Nov. 10th, 2009 08:04 am
hillarygayle: (Jeff 2 at once)
So Q & I went to Memphis yesterday & had Fancy Times. Mostly we just went to Sephora, visited a friend of Q's, went out to eat, & hit Whole Foods on the way home. It was fun. Let's see: one tidbit about each thing.

Friend of Q's: We said something at the same time and went on as if this was nothing (because it's been happening every time we're together for the last 14 years). This completely weirded him out. "You guys--you just---at the same time...O_O!" This amused us.

Sephora: I got this COOL lipliner. It's an extremely cool nude ivory, which is almost precisely the color of my skin. This is for doing a super neutral lip, which is a lot of fun with a crazypsycho eyeshadow. I'm considering getting a Pocket Rocket lip gloss from Urban Decay, but I decided to forego that yesterday. If I draw either Courtney or Ashley for Christmas gifts, I shall be getting them the Sephora Blockbuster color kit. <3

Eat: We ate at TGI Friday's...or is it just called Fridays now? Whatever. I had a pumpkin pie martini, which was okay. The flavor was great but it was watered down. Q had a black russian, which I tasted & found delightful. I think I'll try a white russian next time I'm somewhere that sells drinks. Q drank it on an empty stomach and then found everything like 3 times as amusing as she did before, and also she started talking without thinking. This is not typical of Q. We discovered our "tipsy types" are polar opposites. I usually say what comes into my head without a lot of vetting, and Q chooses her words carefully. When we are tipsy, I think about everything I say and am very intentional, and words just fall outta Q's mouth.

Whole Foods: Q stayed in the car while I just ran in quickly to grab a few things. We ate these gingerbread cookies on the way home and HOLY COW, I RECOMMEND. They're called Gianna's Handmade Baked Goods and they looked like they'd be crispy, but they WEREN'T. OMG. They're soft & incredible & full of real ginger and nutmeg. They're sweet & spicy and due to the real ginger, there's a lot of "mouth heat" in them, giving them the "sweet/hot" combination I ADORE so much. I didn't find the Lindt cherry-chili bar I wanted, but this took care of that particular craving. Far as chocolate goes, I found a dark chocolate bar with mango & cashew by "Seeds of Change". Have not yet tried it.

Then we headed home because Bryan was sending us texts that just said "foooooooooooooooooooood". I brought him something home from Whole Foods (London broil sliced beef & naan bread). On the way home we stopped at Starbucks because I wanted a coffee to go with the spectacular gingerbread cookies, and we had to go inside because we'd made each other laugh so hard that we had to use the bathroom. My darling BFF tweeted a photo of the bathroom door behind which I was..."communing with my bladder" as she puts it. Nice. Thanks for that, love. Then she made me burst into flames on the way home. It only took one sentence. New record.

Today I will be listening to music & catching up around my house. I didn't feel 100% awesome last week, but today I find myself feeling awesome, having free time, and motivated. AWESOME. How many more "awesomes" can I fit in this entry?
hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Earring)
A few weeks ago I ordered 2 rainbow stacks from Calypso Mineral Beauty. She was having a buy one/get one 50% off sale, so Q & I went in together and each bought one. I had to wait for a couple of weeks on them because the Etsy shop suddenly got slammed with a LOT more orders than she usually gets.

However, I've got them now!
Review )
The verdict: these are my favorite minerals so far. I like them better than the ones I've been in love with for the past 2 years. They made a GREAT addition to my collection: there's a lot more I can do now that I have a series of very subtle colors and a series of very bright ones.

The Friday Five from yesterday:

# how old were you when you first started your livejournal?
Let's see. It was 2002, so I was 23 years old.

# how has your life changed scince then?
Wow. In just about every way I can think of. I've moved once (we were in the Jonesboro apartment when we moved here first). Bryan has gone back to school, gotten two more degrees, and now teaches high school as opposed to using the advertising degree he had previously. We have an Overlord now. I went back to school too, and now I'm an RN. If you had told me in 2002 that I'd be an RN before 2010? o_O!

# if you could go back and change one thing from your past, what would it be?
This question happens a lot & I hate it. I would not change anything because I'm happy with my life the way it is now. Every experience in my past has led somehow to where I am now, and I wouldn't change anything for fear that I would not end up here now.

# what is one thing you would do to make livejournal better?
I don't know. I like it pretty well as it is. If I'm talking about Dreamwidth (to which this is cross-posted), I'd say I wish there was a good option for photohosting when you're posting from a mobile device.

# if you joined the spice girls today...what would your spice name be? (ie, baby spice, scary spice, etc)
I am definitely Spicy Spice. MWA HA HA.

This afternoon we are off to see my younger sister's house in Jonesboro, and then this afternoon we'll go play at the fair! It's armband night. Not that that means anything anymore, since we don't do rides (Bryan's not a huge fan so I have no one to ride with), but Jodi & Jessie & their families are all talking about being there. The fair is GREAT for taking photos, so I'll bring along my DSLR. There are fried snickers and roasted corn and caramel apples and giant polish sausages with onions. Oh yes, I like the fair.
hillarygayle: (Firedancer DMB)
Just for my own personal enjoyment. Sometimes I think there's no way I'd have the first thing in common with Dave Matthews as a human (you should see his artwork on the most recent album; his brain must be PURELY artistic), and then he does an interview like this, and I realize we think very similarly about certain subjects.

Dave Matthews on racism & other stuff )

Shopping around on Sephora and OH WOW. I have a weakness for makeup kits. I like to have a lot of makeup at my disposal to make choices & achieve certain specific styles. Kits give me lots of picking & choosing options all in a glance.

Sephora PURE Natural Believer Palatte in Wanderlust. I love the greens & blues, and mixed with the browns these could be REALLY striking.

This, though...THIS is the big one. HOLY CRAP LOOK AT ALL THAT STUFF FOR ONLY $50! *twitches & falls over* All those lip glosses I could blend for effects (especially the purples + browns)! Those glitter eyeshadows to go over colors! Brushes! Cream eyeliners! Y'all I'm seriously drooling over this thing.

MWA HA HA! As I was looking at it, Bryan walked by. I showed it to him and his first statement was the same as my first thought: "I can't imagine how much that thing must cost." I told him, and his eyes went all big. "Well BUY IT, then! That's a crazy good deal!" I guess I only needed a little nudge, so I did! I'm now the proud owner of that extremely large Sephora makeup kit. *FLAIL* I can't wait to play with it!

I took a 2 hour nap today but that was it. Aside from that I've been awake since 3pm yesterday. I am pretty incredibly sleepy.

Went to a training on "building a culture of safety" this morning. It was good information; it's required for all hospital staff & I approve of the message. Especially on the floor, there are a lot of things we do, shortcuts we take, that can lead to life-altering events for patients if they happen at the wrong time. That doesn't need to happen, so we need to be more careful.

On Monday & Tuesday I have Meditech training. It's the new computer charting software for the hospital. I'm not looking forward to it for 2 reasons: 1) computer classes always bore the crap out of me. I'll be in a class with people going "double click? How do I double click?" or "I should click 'save' now?" and I'll be about 30 steps ahead of them, bored to tears. 2) DAVE MATTHEWS BAND on Tuesday night. The Meditech class ends at 4:30 so that should be more than enough time to make Little Rock by 7:00, but it doesn't exactly leave me lots of time to get prettied up for the concert. -_- Wait holy cow I have no idea what I want to wear yet. o_O
hillarygayle: (Hottie Eyeshadow)
Warning: I'm about to brag about my husband! Arkansas students excell at AP courses. It's about how the AAIMS grant is benefitting students in several Arkansas high schools who have the grant. If you look into the article, it mentions a list of schools, and Bryan's is Newport. In fact, Bryan is what they call the "lead teacher" for the AAIMS funded math program at Newport. This grant is really cool. In Newport's case, it has allowed Bryan to be more creative in the ways he teaches things. This year, for example, the AP Statistics students are not using textbook examples for their projects, but Bryan is sending them out into the school to gather their own data. We got a census packet & he took it to school to show them, too. :D He's hoping this will not only motivate the students a little more, but that by making them more visible during class time, he'll be planting the idea in the head of the younger students: "Hey, look at what the stats class gets to do. I want to be in stats, too!"

Makeup review time!

I pay a lot of attention to my eyeshadow, in case you haven't noticed. :D I like it bright & fun & cheery, and I like it to be "just so". I feel really "off" all day if my eyeshadow isn't exactly the way I want it. With a lot of practice, I've gotten to the point where it really is always the way I like it.

However, that left me realizing I was just putting Burt's Bees lip balm on & going. No attention to my lips. I'm not saying Burt's Bees isn't awesome because it IS (it's great for my lips, it smells minty fresh, & it's great for in-a-hurry lipcolor), but even the tinted ones don't have the best color in the world. I have to mix colors to get the shades I want, it's hard to apply them precisely, they aren't highly pigmented so the color is pretty uneven depending on your lip condition, and they aren't exactly long-term wear. In fact, my Burt's Bees gloss is gone after one cup of coffee.

So when Q & I went on our pilgrimage to Sephora in Little Rock, I was on a mission: I was going to find the perfect lipstick. I wanted something bright that worked with my skin tone & added cheerfulness to my face, but it also had to be neutral enough not to clash with blue & yellow eyeshadow (or purple or orange or red or green or anything else I might wear). I love Sephora because you can test anything in the store. I tried on a million lipsticks, putting them on, wiping them off, thinking one was perfect & then realizing it was $26. I even tried out the "dark lips" look that's so in style this fall (I have a lipstick that works for that, but that'll be another review, with photos). In the end, I did find the perfect lipstick, and in doing so, have fallen irrevocably in love with Sephora.

My first Sephora lipstick, the one I bought that day, is from their "Maniac" line. Mine is #7 on that page, the "copper beige shimmer". The color goes on very true; as it states, this is a "highly pigmented" lipstick. That said, since this color is so well matched to my skin tone, it doesn't look like the eyeshadow. It's very close to my own lip color, just evened and slightly shimmery. Looks perfect with my hair. Anyway, the lipstick glides on smoothly and they aren't kidding: this stuff really does stay on for a very long time. It only takes freshening up a couple of times a day.

I wasn't planning on buying more lipstick. I mean, I really DID love that "dark lip" look they'd been touting in the store, but I was just going to ride the summer out with this nice, neutral, bright shade. But then Q, temptress that she is, pointed out that Sephora was having a sale with several lipsticks going for $5. DANG IT. So I went shopping online and I came out with these:In which I review 3 more lip products )

Well, tomorrow is my first day of work! I'm doing laundry right now, & I'm planning on hitting the hay early so I can get to work in good time. I'M SO EXCITED! And then I have the boards on Friday and eeeeeeeeeee!


May. 13th, 2009 09:17 am
hillarygayle: (April Flores)
I want to link you guys to my new favorite community here on DW: [community profile] eyeshadow! I posted last night; there are pictures of various eyeshadows I've done in the past. Some of my favorites. Anyway, I'm SO looking forward to seeing what everyone posts.

In other news, I have a Dillard's gift card that I got for Mother's Day, and I'm thinking I need a good bright purple eyeshadow, and possibly a nice copper liner. MAC counter, here I come!


hillarygayle: (Default)

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