Monday, May 27, 2013

Tattoos Again: What I'm Learning

I've been loving and wanting a tattoo since I saw my friend's mom with a cute little ring tattooed on her finger when I was about 7 or 8. That's when I knew I'd eventually get one/some. I wasn't in any rush though - I'm 26 and still don't have a single tattoo.

I like to learn from other people's experiences as much as possible and that's what I've been doing for many years regarding tattoos. I'm careful like that and tattoos are too permanent to jump into half-informed.

I've been learning a lot recently and wanted to share some points for anyone considering a first or even 2nd, 3rd... tattoo:

You need to check out this tumblr blog: http://critink.tumblr.com/




This blog will teach you how to plan for your tattoos and will teach you the difference between an awesome tattoo and one that is so-so. Seeing examples of good tattoos and reading a bunch of critiques of other people's tattoos, you learn the dos and do nots of getting a tattoo.

I was learning a bunch of this information overtime, but this site is like a compact guide to getting tattooed.

Here are some things to keep in mind, I believe most points make an appearance on this site:

General:

1) Find the best artists that you can in the style you want. This will be on your body for a long long time, don't take it lightly. A great artist is a difference between a bad, good or amazing tattoo.



What to get:


1) Think about whether it's just a tatttoo trend or really something you want. You probably wouldn't want to have a tribal tattoo right now, but it was trendy at one point and everyone got them... Is your idea the next thing that will be the typical tattoo? Placement can also be a trend, like the lower back tattoo that has a bad reputation right now. I strongly disagree with the "tramp stamp" label on lower back tattoos for women but it's still something that women with these tattoos has to live with now.

2) Be culturally appropriate. Don't put all sorts of things you don't understand on your body.

Example 1: Kanji symbol or Arabic script. If you don't speak or read the language, WHY get this?! If you want something no one can understand except you, you might as well make up your own language and go for that. It'll have the same meaning without being tacky or potentially offensive. Well... it might be tacky.

Example 2: A person of another culture (a Native American woman, an Asian woman, etc?). It's kinda racist.

Example 3: Be careful with symbols that are not part of your culture. Do you fully understand them? Are they really part of who you are? Are you contributing to making this symbol lose its meaning? Are you "stealing" from a culture that is not your's, in particular a culture that has been historically oppressed?

3) Keep in mind that a drawing, painting, cartoon or other artwork will generally not look as good tattooed as it does in its own medium.

4) Script. Don't get Microsoft Word font. Make the script original and make it work with your body curves, etc. Let it be a work of art, not a piece of paper you printed in 2 seconds. And be careful with awkward spacing between the letters words and lines. Like having enough space for a whole other line of text between two lines of text. Or cutting the phrase at an awkward spot to put the other half on the next line...

Placement:

1) Keep in mind how visible it is. Wrist, ankles and foot tattoos are popular spots for first tattoos but very visible!

2) Do you think you'll want more tattoos later on? If yes, you need to think about this when planning your current tattoo. You might like a particular, single, tribal design but it might look like crap with something else you'd want in the future. You might want a black and grey half sleeve, but if you also like colour, think about how all this will look together. You don't want to look unbalanced and unplanned. This is you and how you will look like for a long time.

3) For a better overall look, make the tattoo "fit" the space it's in...

Example 1: Getting a really tiny tattoo smack dab in the middle of your foot is not as nice as one that fills the space better.

Example 2: A round tattoo on the shoulder area will look more attractive on the roundness of the shoulder than in the flatter crook towards the chest.

Example 3: Be mindful of possible future tattoos you might want to get in a spot before you put another tattoo there. A phrase on your bicep might be hard to incorporate in with other various tattoos you also want on your arm... And it risks always looking like an obvious first-tattoo in the area.

4) For script, keep in mind that people will try to read it if it's in a visible place (like your arm, forearm, back when you're wearing tank tops) and they might touch you and approach you. It'll probably get old quick so the recommendation is to not put a paragraph of script on your forearm (for example).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tattoos

I LOVE tattoos. I don't have any yet because I was too indecisive and cautious as a teen and then since I met my husband at 19, I've been busy with life. When you have a hard time making an appointment and going for a haircut, you're not thinking about a tattoo session. And, another important factor is that my husband hates tattoos to the point of telling me he would never forgive me if I got one. That puts a bit of a stick in the wheels.

I'm trying to discover myself lately and tattoos are something that I want and that won't change so it will have to be the problem that it is when the time comes, there's only so much denying of oneself that we can do for others... That's what I'm learning.

Here are some that I like:
*No image is mine!!!


 

I love the frame and the roses. The bug is also super well-done but not my style.
The part that I love are the peacock feathers as part of the mandala


I love the embellished circle, the flowers, the placement... Not into the Buddhist prayer beads personally, I find it makes it look a little messy but the significance is awesome for her.


I don't love the execution on this, but the placement and the feather, I love.


John Mayer!!! What more can I say? He represents the transition from high school to college to motherhood for me. AND he has great tats! I love his sense of aesthetics... the rectangles, the waves, the flowers...


I ove the simplicity of this


I love birds, I think the placement is really nice and with her shoes, great photo!


Birds going free, nice symbol and beautiful too
The one on the right, I likeh the snowflake look, but it also has stars and what looks like suns... I like.

Swatch-fest

On Monday, I made an impulse purchase of Smashbox eyeshadow palette and yesterday I got my Ipsy bag and it gave me a bit of motivation to go through my makeup and re-discover it all after not really wearing any for a little while except my Skinfood BB cream and Benefit benetint.

I started swatching to see which shades in my MUA palette and Back to Basics Quo palette were similar to my new Smashbox and from there I started swatching all sorts of eyeshadows that I haven't used in forever and realized that i have many that I don't plan on using. And the swatches basically made the decision for me. Here's what I kept:


Here's what's going (+ a bit more), some that I'll offer my mom, some that is just trash:



This continued with my lip products as well with probably 5 leaving my stash. For my skin makeup, a broken MUA bronzer had to go to the trash, it was making too much of a mess but I kept the rest. Here are my quickly-done swatches of blush, bronzor and highlighting products. i thought i had kore variety there.


All in all, a nice cleanup/purge, a nice rediscovery of my products, a lot of fun!





shadow swatches



lipstick swatches


bad blush swatches

Impulse-buy - Smashbox palette


Already in my stash, my MUA primer and Mirabella primer PLUS
my NEW Smashbox palette!

I went to Winners with no intention to buy any make-up... Isn't that typical? I ended up seeing a Smashbox palette for 15$ and I've never tried any of their products so I went for it. I found out its from the fall 2009 collection so it's far from a current collection but it is what it is! I'm trying out Smashbox so I'm satisfied with this for now, though it was a disappointment to find out it's so old.  

It's a 6-shadow palette called Monarch from the Reign collection. It has the more matte (less shimmery) colour in the middle with the more shimmery one around the outside. These colours are exactly the type of colours I would wear normally. I like the packaging on it overall except that the having one colour on the outside and one on the inside isn't exactly practical.

Monarch palette by Smashbox from the Reign collection, with my Pinkie Pie sticker from my iPad showing in the mirror ;)

I swatched the eyeshadows twice, once with my Mirabella primer (from my Ipsy bag) on the left and once with my MUA primer on the right. You can see the difference between the performance of both of these primers (Note my first swatch is a bit off, I think I had some leftover of a darker colour on the brush). The MUA one which is made only for eyeshadows unlike the Mirabella one, helped the colours adhere and pop a whole lot better. I don't exactly have much experience with primers overall, but upon application, the MUA primer is better. I have no idea how it performs compared to other eye shadow primers... Like Urban Decay which is a lot more expensive than this one but is a go-to primer for a lot of people and I imagine performs extremely well. These swatches were with a brush I have which really doesn't swatch as pigmented as just using my fingers...


I'm pretty happy with my purchase! These colours are right up my alley :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Random: Our new Pet!

My daughter found and adopted a cute lil snail. It's a little bit low-energy for a pet when compared to my slightly hyper daughter, but she loves the heck out of it. Her name is Safiyah:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Essie Sleek Stick Nail Appliqués - stickers and stones REVIEW

I was at Walmart the other day and after passing by the Essie nail sticker display multiple times, I decided to try a set. Afterall, it was to have nice nails for my daughter's birthday party. Any reason is a good reason to try a new product!



What are they, what do they come with?

This product by Essie is basically a sticker for your nails. It is not a nail polish strip like other brands, where the product after applied is more like nail polish on your nails and must be removed as nail polish. It's really a sticker. The product comes in a sleek white envelope that has the design showing through and it includes 18 stickers of various sizes, a cuticle stick and nail file.

Application and ease of use

The instructions recommend pushing back cuticles and wiping down the nail. You then pick the appliqué that fits your nail size the best, stick it on and file the end off.

Sounds easy, but I had bit of a hard time. First hand I put them all upside down (with the squarer part at my cuticle and rounder part being filed off) so the fit was just not good since my cuticle area is round. My mistake! Application on the next hand went more smoothly and the stickers fit better. I found that the edges I was filing off looked a bit jagged and I wasn't able to get a look of perfection with them but I think that was noticible only to me.

I had a few of the bigger nails left and I will try cutting them to try on my daughter. Hopefully that works out, and if I'm able to make a manicure for her with the leftovers of my stickers it'll be that much more worth it.

Durability

I never manage to have nail polish looking good more than 24h and these stickers looked good for more than 24h, but there was wear on them pretty fast and I removed them after 4 days. With better application, I think I'd be able to keep them an extra couple days but I can't imagine having them on more than a week.

Removing these was easy, they just peeled right off and a bit of sticker-glue left on the nail was easily scratched off and probably could be wiped off easily with a wipe or something too. I loved being able to remove them without any product.

Overall experience

The first thing that I have not mentionned anywhere yet is: MY GOD THESE STICKERS ARE GORGEOUS! For that reason alone, I want to repurchase. For the price of around 10$ and based on my experience I wouldn't go out and get them regularly but for a special occasion, these are just too beautiful to not be my top choice at this point. I will definitely prefer to purchase these than to get a professional manicure. Next time I am at Walmart, I'm getting Oh My Gold to wear at my co-worker's wedding in June.

Recommend: Yes, I do. But they are not perfection...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Little Pony

I made these My Little Pony stickers (which will be cut) and I have others personalized with each guest's name and they'll receive it with the corresponding nail polish colour as a party favour :)

I love MLP, I'm excited for my daughter's party! Lol