Announcements.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Obviously, I’m not updating on anything like a regular schedule here. I’m not going to apologize for it this time either; I realize I’ve been making the conscious choice to focus my energies elsewhere, and I stand by it. I only have so much time and energy. I need to be picky about what I invest it in.

So, the time has come (the walrus said) to move on yet again! The secret collaborative project I mentioned in my previous post has been unveiled for over a month now, and I’m going to be spending a lot more time and effort over there instead of over here. It’s called The Octopus Society of Evil Authors. There’s a lot of ways to find us, which I’ll also list at the bottom of this post. Please come join in the fun! We focus on various aspects of writing, of course, but we’re very entertaining about it and quite a few things we discuss can be applied to non-writers as well (including an informative and helpful introduction to creating a secure and private internet, which is a very timely subject…).

As for this blog, I’ll be leaving it up and may even post something new now and again, but for the most part I’m considering it on indefinite hiatus. It’s so far on the back burner it’s not even on the stove anymore.

Because honestly, there’s a lot of moving parts to keep track of in my life right now. Quite a few of them are voluntary undertakings, but they feel important and even essential in other ways beyond the strictly literal. This blog just isn’t one of them anymore, at least not without completely overwhelming myself with commitments and having something else — something less deliberate — falling by the wayside instead. I’m on the constant edge of being stressed out, and doing everything I can not to tip over. The only way I can keep all the other things going is if I can give myself a little breathing room every once in awhile; caring about my personal blog is one of the things I’m sacrificing to do that. It might be the wrong choice, but at least it’s my choice. I can change it later if I so decide, and meanwhile it means I’m not losing my grip on something else.

Besides the O.S.E.A. project, I’m still writing fiction, still trying not to spend too much of my money on cool new habits like fountain pens, and still working my seasonal job. There’s a bunch of other things going on too — like trying to maintain friendships; needing to travel more; taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally; needing to find a less stressful living environment and trying to decide if that means a new line of work and what that line of work might be; trying to figure out how to live my life and find a job more in line with my values of greener and more sustainable living, with a gentler and more healing touch on the earth; and on, and on, and on… And, of course, trying to decide what turning 30 in about two months means to me (if anything).

While I could use this blog to try and figure out these things “out loud” so to speak, I’d rather just focus on the time and energy I’d spend writing posts on actually doing something about all this instead. Don’t get me wrong: writing it out in the blog has been beneficial in the past. It’s just not the approach I’m using this time. Time to give something else a try, you know? See if I get different results, and all that.

So thank you, my lovely cyber-friends, for sticking with me this far. Please do join us over at The Octopus Society of Evil Authors, and if something huge happens in my life I’ll serenely try to post about it here. In the meantime, be well, take care of yourselves, and make deliberate choices.

Love,

GeGi.

PS: here’s a list of the O.S.E.A. links –

WordPress: octopussocietyofevilauthorsblog.wordpress.com

Twitter: @OctopusSEA

Tumblr: octopussocietyofevilauthors.tumblr

Email: OctopusSocietyofEvilAuthors @ gmail

Advertisements

For The Lips: Perfectly Pretty and Practical.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Happy DIY Friday!

Today’s original recipe can be found here, where a fellow blogger talks about coming up with a copy-cat recipe for Burt’s Bees lip balm and gives step-by-step directions. I’ve experimented twice with it now, and today’s post will be about the second attempt: using it as a base for a mica-powder-tinted lip balm.

WARNING: THIS PROJECT WAS SUPER MESSY.

How messy, you wonder? Let me show you some (slightly blurry) aftermath…

IMG_5855

This stuff hardens REALLY fast when you take it away from the heat of the double boiler, especially if you make it in small scaled-down batches like I did. Combine that with keeping multiple colors and containers separate, and you get, well, the picture above.

Below is the “before” picture of that counter…

IMG_5849

As you can see, the base ingredients from the recipe are being used:

  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Lanolin
  • Essential Oils

Differences: I switched up the “flavors” of the essential oils to have a little variety; I skipped the E oil because I didn’t have any around; I added several different shades of mica powder (all of which had been labeled as “safe for lips”); I scaled down the recipe to make exactly the right amount for the number of containers I wanted.

As messy as this was, they turned out really pretty…

IMG_5868

The mica powder adds a TON of shimmer in the container, but once it’s on your lips it basically looks like regular tinted lip balm. The pink one on the left doubles as a “hint of lip gloss” look without the stickiness of actual lip gloss, because it’s light enough you can’t see the color — just the shimmer.

If I want more of a traditional lipstick look, I just add a couple extra layers and maybe some lip liner. Because I love the shiny and the 3-d lip look, I also add a light coat of loose mica powder (it can even be the matching color!) as a highlight.

The moisturizing factor is amazing; they last even longer than regular lip balm for keeping my lips feeling soft and smooth. Plus, they come out really solid, so I’ve never had a problem with them melting in the containers when it gets hot. Definitely a win in a tropical climate…

I don’t have any demo type pictures this post because I’ve yet to take a picture of my lips that I don’t feel is awkward and weird. Eyes, yes, but not lips. If you have any tips on how to do it, please leave them in a comment!

Tomorrow may or may not have a make-up look. I haven’t taken one, and I don’t know if I’ll get around to it.

I’ll be posting a post about posting soon, too; this month will have some alterations to the schedule, and I’m going to talk about why that is and what they’ll be.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

GeGi.

Hawaiian Sunrise.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Time for mica makeup!

I’m calling this look “Hawaiian Sunrise” because the color combo reminds me of a yummy tropical drink — the kind with fruit and a paper umbrella, perhaps…

First, I use a pointed blender brush to apply the semi-matte mica powder mixed with arrowroot powder as a primer around my eyes. To show the difference, I took a photo when only one eye was done (it’s the one I’m pointing to):

IMG_6060

It’s very subtle, but it evens out the skin tone a little and adds some brightness to the shadow areas (like under my eye). It also helps the mica powder spread more evenly and stick around when used as a primer.

When used as a finishing powder — which I highly recommend trying — it evens out different shimmer levels so the makeup has a more uniform, polished look. It also helps keep the mica from traveling to the creases of the lid quite as quickly.

Once my eyes were primed, here’s the powders and brushes I used:

IMG_6061

  • Copper mica 
  • Blue Claret Pearl mica
  • A domed blending brush
  • A domed smudge brush

All were bought from Coastal Scents.

And here’s the Hawaiian Sunrise eyeshadow look!

IMG_6064

IMG_6073

So pretty!

As you can see, I used the pink on the medial edge of my lid which blends into the copper on the lateral edge. Nothing else was used to get this look.

Be sure to come back for my Monday Media review!

Love,

GeGi.

Three-In-One: Black Eyeliner Looks.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

It’s DIY Friday! This time, I’m going to show off my homemade black eyeliner.

Today’s post will be a little different from previous some DIY, because I’m not going to do a step-by-step how-to. This is partly because (amazingly) I can actually give you the link to the original recipe I modified, and partly because I ended up taking a lot of pictures showing off several the ways this eyeliner can be used, and thought that might be more interesting.

I was specifically looking to make an eyeliner that didn’t use activated charcoal for the color — very common in DIY recipes, I’ve found. I have nothing against using it, I just never have and didn’t have any around.

However, I did have black iron oxide. I found this original recipe if you’re interested in trying it yourself. I basically just modified it for what ingredients I happened to actually have at the time.

IMG_5820

Those ingredients happened to be sunflower oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, clay, and of course, black iron oxide.

Obviously, this means my eyeliner came out a little different than the original… But I still followed the same basic steps, melting and adding in the double-boiler.

Here’s what it looked like when I was done:

IMG_5827

Very solid, and very black.

I was a little worried about how well I could use it with my small detail brush (stolen from my oil painting brushes before it ever got used), since it was so very solid. But I was worried for nothing!

Running the brush over the eyeliner several times quickly turns the bristles black, and it easily transfers to my skin. It looks like nothing is getting used because it takes very little to be effective — basically it means this tiny jar will last approximately forever.

Now, onto the looks!

First up is my eye with nothing on, for comparison purposes.

IMG_6119

And then with a simple thin line, very basic.

IMG_6118

I LOVE how much control and precision the brush gives me, and the homemade eyeliner is very cooperative.

IMG_6120

You can see there is just a little smudging onto the crease above my eye.

I’ve yet to use ANY eyeliner that doesn’t do this if I put it on too thick (I put on quite a few layers to make sure it’d show up on the camera). With the homemade stuff, though, mistakes come off super easily and cleanly, while still lasting quite a while where I want it. I can’t say as much for every store-bought eyeliner!

My second look really demonstrates how much fun you can have with homemade eyeliner and a good detail brush:

IMG_6122

Fairy makeup! I can’t resist it…

As mentioned, this cleans up very nicely! The beeswax base means it slides off super cleanly, with just a little warmth and/or oil to help if it gives you trouble.

I got look number three when removing the fairy makeup…

IMG_6130

The classic, ever-popular, smudgy smokey eye.

So there you have it: three quick and easy looks using only homemade eyeliner!

Be sure to come back for tomorrow’s post when I show off a little more of the mica powder looks…

Love,

GeGi.

Daytime friendly.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Time for another home-made make-up look!

Today’s eye makeup is daytime-friendly, that can easily transition to evening.

Image

Image

For this look, I started with a base of arrowroot/mica powder, applied with a blending brush.

Then I took the darker shadow mix I created (from this post) and used a dome smudge brush to apply along the upper lid and slightly into the outer crease.

I took a clean blending brush to smooth out the edges, and then used it to apply arrowroot/mica as a finishing powder along the underside of the eyebrows and the lower lid, blending it into the edges of the shadow.

I took a detail liner brush, and applied a cream eyeshadow I made out of a dark purple mica powder (look for a future DYI Friday post on making that!) along and slightly beyond the outer edge of the lash line, top and bottom.

This makeup wears well. I didn’t noticed the color migrating — like it did in last week’s look — until I teared up during a particularly feels-filled scene of a movie later in the evening. After that, the shadow was definitely heavier in the creases of the eyelid. But I find that an acceptable exception. We’ll see how much that happens with the powder base verses a cream base in future looks.

Also, on the rest of my face, I’m wearing a homemade face cream, concealer, and finishing powder! Those will all get future blog posts as well.

Love,

GeGi.

Subtle Enough For Work.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

As promised, here is my all-homemade make-up look!

For the first official post, I went with something completely different: subtlety. This is because I needed an eye make-up look I could wear to work, something very neutral. So I figured I’d share it with you all!

Image

Image

My eyes:

I used a tinted cream as a base (keep your eye out for that future DIY post: tinted chapstick).

Over this, I used a dome smudge brush and a pointed blending brush to apply two mica powder eye shadow mixes:

A lighter one for my lid,

And a darker one (from this post last week) for the outer edge and crease.

Then I used a detail brush to apply a thin coat of my black iron oxide eyeliner (also in a future post!) along the upper lash line.

I used my arrowroot and mica mix — and another blending brush — to finish off under the eyebrows and the lower lid with some translucent brightness!

I also used a not-homemade mascara on the outer upper lashes, after I curled them (shh, don’t tell!).

Pro Tip for naturally-long-lashed people who wear glasses: even if you don’t wear mascara, try curling your lashes anyway. It helps keep them from brushing against your lenses! I went WAY too long before figuring that out for myself…

This look lasted through my work-day without any big issues. The color migrated a little bit to the folds of skin on the upper lids, but it was only noticeable when I closed my eyes, and the overall appearance was still good.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Love,

GeGi.