beauty

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Etsy Finds: Nails

Published January 11, 2013 by kurolace

Hiya! I’ve been away for a while because I’ve had a rough week. A week ago I started having some weird feeling in my chest on the left side, and actually ended up going to the ER on Friday night / Saturday morning. They did an EKG and blood test, which all came up normal, and told me I was probably having anxiety or something… But then less than 24 hours later I had chills and a fever, and ended up in bed for like 3 days. I’ve gotten a little better, but still am getting a sensation of weight/pressure in my chest. I spoke with a nurse on the phone for a while yesterday, and she relayed all my symptoms to my doctor, who said it seems like I have a viral infection or something. It’s a week until I can actually go to the doctors office… so I am supposed to just rest and not go outside much until then.

I missed some work at the beginning of the week since I was still really weak, so now I have to work extra to make it up… So while dragging myself through the extra hours of work I decided to go on Etsy and enjoy some browsing. I had a few search terms of course…. but I finally decided to do this post on the search term “nails.”

You’ll find that a lot of people sell nail stuff on Etsy these days. A few years ago, there wasn’t nearly as many people seeing acrylic sets or other nail items… I haven’t included any nail polish (which plenty of people are selling), but some other interesting nail items. 🙂

Holds about 144 bottles of polish!

Holds about 144 bottles of polish!

To start out with, I found some organizers. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have bottles of polish all over the place, lol. Especially around my computer, since that’s were I often paint my nails (while working, lol). But recently I’ve been thinking it would be nice to get a rack to store my polishes in. The nicest one I found on Etsy is the “Hanging wrought iron nail polish rack” from daisypam2011. I love the scroll work and elegant design. Its a bit out of my price range though, at $275. There are larger ones available as well.

This one holds about 27 OPI bottles.

This one holds about 27 OPI bottles.

Quite a bit more affordable is the “Petite ‘Nice Rack’ Floating Polish Rack” from BeautyPopShop. Its available in black or white and costs 25.  The petite rack is probably just about big enough for my current polish collection, but the shop also carries larger ones with different numbers of tiers. There are also some colorful racks available.

If you don’t have many nail polishes, perhaps you’d like to try your hand at Frankenfrankenkit Polishes? Making Franken Polish is particularly good for people who like glittery polishes… since that is the easiest way to Franken a polish. (Mixing colors is a bit more tricky). I found this great “Franken Nail Polish Kit” from SillyLilyPolish. It would make a great gift for someone else, or for yourself! Its $35 and includes lots of different glitter, tools, and 15 mini polish bottles with clear “glitter suspension” polish  to make/store your creations in.

2mm Rhinestones are perfect for nails.

2mm Rhinestones are perfect for nails.

If you’re interested in doing 3d nail art, you’ll want to stock up on supplies like these 2mm Glitter Flatback Rhinestones from colorfuldaysdiy. There are 12 colors in a wheel-style case…2400 pieces for under $7! I like to add rhinestones to my nails, either to enhance a sticker or decal design, or just on their own. Just make sure you coat the whole nail with clear polish afterwards in you want the rhinestone to stay on a long time.

Ice cream, chocolate, and cake, oh my!

Ice cream, chocolate, and cake, oh my!

Polymer Clay slices are a popular design element on Etsy. You can find a huge range of them, pre-sliced, or sometimes in cane (un-sliced form). I prefer getting them pre-sliced and in the wheel storage boxes. I have some fruit ones, but there are a lot of other designs available. Check out these cute Food & Cake Slices from zacoo. There are ice cream cones, cupcakes, roll-cakes, and more. 120 pieces for $1.50. I would recommend using acrylic nail glue (which I never use to apply fake nails – but more on that another time) to attach these (over dried nail polish – use a clear coat if you have bare nails). The slices don’t like to bend to fit your nail, so they need that extra strength to keep them on.

Lots of other designs in the same store!

Lots of other designs in the same store!

Of course, if you are too lazy to do your own nail art, you can buy pre-designed acrylic nails. I have several sets of these from my favorite Etsy nail tech, nevertoomuchglitter. Her nails are top notch quality and she can do custom sets if you want them. The only issue for me is that the “active length” nails are too short to cover my natural nails, but the “medium length” are too long (particularly in the thumbs). But I think that “active length” is usually appropriate for most people. Check out the Alice in Wonderland Silhouette nails that she has hand painted. The set of 22 nails costs $10.

If you want to try making your own acrylic nails, you can buy the blanks on etsy.

Try your hand at nail art.

Try your hand at nail art.

The blank nails that are on a “spine” are easier to handle while painting than individual blank nails. Here is a Make Your Own Fake Nails kit from SweetenedWithLove. It includes 4 sets of nails with optional base coat painting, nail glue, and some two-sided nail stickers for temporary wear. $7

BTW…The nail stickers are what I would recommend for applying acrylic nails, because they don’t damage your nail – however, they do start to come off after only a day or two (depends on how often your hands get wet). The other option for temporary application is Ducato repeating nail glue, which you can buy from nevertoomuchglitter, as well as some other etsy sellers. Using these temporary adhesives means you can use the nails again and again.

Okay, thats all! Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

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Sculpted Evening Bags by Kathleen Dustin

Published December 19, 2012 by kurolace

I was searching for a snap purse I had seen at the store the other day – a cheap one, covered in purple rosebuds, when I came across Kathleen Dustin’s webpage (thanks to the search term “rosebud purse”). The “exquisite evening bags” on her website really are something unique, and lovely. Of course, seeing as they are works of art, they are a bit out of my price range ($700-800 for a wrist bag). But I still wanted to share some of the pictures from her site with you all, because the bags really are gorgeous…

The bag which came up in my search results is this rosebud bag.

The bag which came up in my search results is this rosebud bag.

There are some other interesting bags, including gourds, artichokes, and this "opening seed pod" bag.

There are some other interesting bags, including gourds, artichokes, and this “opening seed pod” bag.

And these stone bags are really neat.

And these stone bags are really neat.

On the mainpage, there’s a blurb about the artist:

Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading polymer clay artists, Kathleen Dustin has been a pioneer, an educator, and source of inspiration for those interested in this emerging medium. Her exquisite evening bags and polymer clay jewelry are celebrated for their translucent depth of surface and vibrant colors as well as attention to the details of the natural world that inspires her. Kathleen’s desire is to make wearable art that can enable anyone to embrace Oscar Wilde’s sentiment, “One must either be a work of art or wear a work of art”.

There’s also sculpture and jewelry listed on the page’s gallery, but for me its the handbags / purses which catch my eye most.

Etsy Finds: Pastel Goth

Published November 1, 2012 by kurolace

Hiya 🙂 I hope you had a happy day of Haunting yesterday. Mine was lame. I stayed at home and watched the end of Tegami Bachi, ate frozen yogurt, and dreamed of happier Halloweens. 😦 But anyways…

I’ve been busy lately… Flu, job searching, a torn up / non-functional kitchen, and getting ready for my very first craft fair (Nov 17th!)… So I haven’t had time to do much in the way of photography, crafts, or anything for this blog. How sad :(…

Recently I’ve been doing a LOT of browsing Etsy. For various reasons… price comparison for my items that I’ll be selling in a few weeks, as well as just having fun on Etsy. I’ve been pretty much broke lately, which I think only adds to my desire to browse more than usual. I’m particularly obsessed with dreaming about hair-color-that-cannot-be…. Since I’m job hunting I have to keep it natural. That’s probably what got me started today on my “Pastel Goth” Etsy quest…

It all started with these amazing clip in extensions… I can’t tell you how much I wish that I could have my hair like this (other than job hunting, there’s the fact that my current hair is henna/auburn, so I’d have to do a fair amount of bleaching before the colors would look right, I just don’t like bleaching)….. The price is pretty good for a full set of custom dyed, clip in extensions, but sadly out of my budget:

  NinasCreativeCouture

Of course, the hair would be perfect when topped with this head band (seller has other colors too):

LockshopWigs

When it comes to pastel goth stuff, I particularly love pastel Bats… They are sooo cute! I found a few great items I’d love to have…. Including these adorable polymer cell phone charms:

QuernusCrafts

These bats aren’t pastel, but the stars have that candy plastic look to them:

LittleMizzKitty

I found this belt, which I love for being so weird / cute. (The seller also has a bat wing scarf):

CuteCandyClouds

An important detail, IMO, are fingernails. I adore fake/temporary nails (temporary thanks to awesome, one-day glue from Japan). So of course I want some that would fit in with a pastel goth outfit… I’d prefer them in blue or purple, but these pink ones are still cute:

castlecouture1

Lastly, although not pastel, this is very cute. I’m always a sucker for lace:

BloodCross

Needless to say, Etsy has tons of other items too… You can just search “pastel goth” and find a lot of good stuff. 🙂

Check out my brand new…crocs?

Published April 28, 2012 by kurolace

The color here is pretty accurate...although perhaps a bit lighter than in real life.

The other day I was thinking about the jelly shoes I used to wear as a kid…. in my late elementary school – middle school era. You know, the ones with the glitter? Yeah, I was a 90’s kid, people 😛

Anyways, I decided to look around on the internet just to see what sort of jelly shoes might be available these days. Of course.. in the last 11+ years my tastes have changed dramatically, and the pink & silver clunkers that made me happy at age 9-11, just don’t cut it anymore. Fortunately, it turns out there are a few jelly shoe options out there for women too! On Zappos I found a few, but they all seemed over priced and were often the “thong style” which I’m not terribly keen on. Amazon had a few others that I liked better, not to mention they were at a more reasonable price.

I was kinda amazed to see that the style I liked best were actually a pair of crocs! Of course, I kinda knew crocs had moved on to more styles than those nasty, huge, stinky, clogs. But I hadn’t really paid much attention to the brand, as generally they aren’t really something that fits into my goth aesthetic.

The pair I ended up ordering yesterday  aren’t really very goth either, at least not by most people standards. But they are very ME.  Although I had chosen the 2-day shipping option thanks to my Amazon Prime account, that shipping is free), I was pleasantly surprised when the shoes arrived today. Occasionally this happens, if it ships from the right distribution center 😛 … Oh BTW, the style is called “Adrina”.

Anyways…. As for my thoughts on the shoes after having worn them for a few hours: They are definitely very comfy. The only gripe I have is that my heel tends to come out of them as a walk…. but I have that issue with pretty much all ballet-flat style shoes. The positive side of that problem is: with these crocs, the plastic/rubber/whatever-it-is is soft enough that it doesn’t hurt my heels. With other ballet shoes (actually any slip-on type) I usually have to wear a band-aide or tape on my heel to avoid a bloody heel.

The sizing is just about right on… I normally take anything from an 8 – 10, and the pair I bought was a 9 (they only come in whole sizes, BTW). (In my ideal world, shoes would come in quarter sizes, and then I’d like to have a 8.75)

“Adrina” is available in 8 colors… I thought about getting the black, but its actually kind of a charcoal. I decided to go with “Ultraviolet / Berry” which has a blue-purple body and a pinkish-purple sole. The picture on amazon is pretty much accurate in regards to color. I’m gonna wear these for a week and see if I feel tempted to buy another pair in a different color. $30/pair is cheap enough in my opinion to warrant 2 pairs 😛

Eh... taking pics while wearing them requires a better set-up than I had patience for... lol. So please excuse the not-so-great angle/focus... not to mention the chipped pedicure.

Henna Adventures…. or: How-to Dye Your Hair Naturally

Published April 26, 2012 by kurolace

Hello Again!

Yesterday I dyed my hair with henna for the second time. The first time was over 9 months ago. Back then I used a henna/cassia mix because I wasn’t sure how red I wanted the results. This time I used a henna/indigo mix because I wanted to darken my hair a bit. I sort of messed up and didn’t take a before picture… sorry :P… my hair was sort of a warm, slightly red, light brown, but with ashy-brown roots.

1 day after using a 2/3 henna, 1/3 indigo mix (picture taken with scanner - so that's why there's a weird light :p)

In high school I had a few crazy colors in my hair, and then started using boxed grocery-store hair dye… but in college I eventually developed a sensitive scalp and had to find a new way to dye my hair. I actually let my hair grow out for about 1 year, then last summer I decided to try henna…. (it wasn’t the first time I had tried henna.. but the really-first time was such a messy disaster without any results what so ever – That was the bought-at-co-op type henna that is all twiggy and leafy when you open it up)

After searching the web I found a great site about dying your hair with henna, called: Henna for Hair. That site links to one where they sell the pure henna, cassia, and indigo that you might want to dye your hair with. Its much higher quality henna than what you might buy even at the whole foods store. Its also extremely well powdered and certified by an independent pharmacy to be safe. The pricing isn’t too bad – its more expensive than the grocery store boxed dyes, of course… but it isn’t as expensive as a trip to Aveda. I bought about 200g of henna, and 100g indigo, for $36, and it turned out to be twice the amount I needed.

 

Steps for dying your hair:

1) (Optional) Do a test swatch by harvesting hair from your brush and preparing a small amount henna to dye it in. (I’ll admit, I always skip this step – but if you area really picky about what color your hair turns, then you should go ahead and do this) Try different strengths of solution and different lengths of time until you get what you want. Henna for Hair sells small sample amounts that you can use to find your ideal color.

2) Buy enough henna to cover your hair  – if you haven’t already. The Henna for Hair website claims you need about 100g per 3inches of hair, but in my case that wasn’t true. I have really fine hair, so although its long, it just doesn’t need a full 500g of dye (the amount that I bought the first time ). Even 300g was too much. BUT I think you’re best getting the full recommended amount the first time, so that you don’t run out. – Luckily henna can be frozen and stays good for a few months that way (so you can save left overs – just don’t forget about it!). Unfortunately I don’t think indigo can be saved.

3) Mix up your henna the night before, using something acidic like lemon juice. Let the henna develop for 12 hours.

4) The next day, section your hair carefully and wind the sections up into mini buns all over your head. The more sections, the better – it’ll be easier and faster to apply the henna. MAKE SURE to use plastic accessories / pins, because metal can react with henna and ruin it.

5) Clear the area where you’re going to work. If you want to, you can put down plastic or wear a garbage bag if you are worried about getting stuff on you or the floor. Definitely wear latex / rubber gloves – or else by the time you finish dying your hair, your hands will be dyed too.

6) If you are using any indigo… now is the time to mix it up with some water, then add it in with the henna and stir well. Don’t let it sit around, or it will loose its potency.

7) Apply henna to head. The instructions that came with my order said to “pack it on like a child making mud pies” lol… I used a salon highlighting brush to apply my mixture… you can easily buy one on amazon. It took me forever to apply the mixture… about 1.5 hours. But I am slow and have a hard time with the back of my head … plus my hair is long. The easiest (and fastest) way to dye your hair, of course, is to get someone else to apply the mixture to your hair – like your mom, sibling, girl/boyfriend or friend.

8) After you’ve gotten all of your hair covered in dye, wear a shower cap. You’ll need to leave the dye in for a long time…. at least 2 hours. You can blow dry your hair a little bit to speed up the process.

9) Rinse all of the dye out. Shampoo and condition if you want to. Henna darkens a little bit over the next 2 days.

Above the instructions, you may have noticed I mentioned both Cassia and Indigo. Cassia is sometimes called “blonde henna”… but its a different plant. Its a very lightly colored dye and wont show up much (or at all) if you have darker hair. But it makes a good “spacer” and a conditioner. That’s why I used it to dilute the henna for my attempt 9 months ago. Indigo is a plant which can dye your hair black. It only takes about 2-3 hours to become useless, so that’s why you don’t mix it up ahead of time like you would the henna or cassia.

Natural hair dyes can’t get you blue, green, or purple hair…but you can achieve dark auburn, red, or black hair… which are all good Goth hair colors in my book. 🙂 By mixing different amounts of henna, cassia, and indigo, as well as a adding a few herbs, you can really tweak your hair color to exactly what you want. For instance…. mixing henna and cassia together, and using it on light hair, can result in strawberry blonde hair. Pure henna will usually result in red or auburn hair. Henna mixed with indigo can result in auburn, dark auburn, or brown hair. And indigo, applied after rinsing out henna, can create a beautiful midnight / jet black.

 

 

 

Two Ways to Heat-Free Curls

Published March 4, 2012 by kurolace

Hiya! The other day while working, I was also on YouTube browsing through some beauty videos. I came across two really great videos about how to curl your hair without heat. I found both of these ideas really interesting, and although I have yet to try them, I wanted to share them here on my blog. I’m a big fan of “no-heat” or “little heat” hair styles. I personally don’t blow dry my hair unless I absolutely have to, and I prefer to use old-fashioned means for curling my hair (satin rollers are one of my favs!)…

The first video shows you how to use a head band to get curls. I actually went out to the store to buy a suitable head band to try this with… Then when I started trying to use it, I realized that I think my hair is a little too long for this method, so I’ll have to wait until after I cut my hair (which I’m planning to do soon).

The second video uses socks(!). This is genius and one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” sort of things. Actually, I was thinking that instead of socks I might go buy some terry cloth from the fabric store, cut it into strips, double them over and sew them, so that they are a little smaller and easier to take up high on the head. BTW, the girl in this video… I am SO jealous of her hair. I wish I could grow my hair out that long and have it look so full.

Well, there you go. 🙂 Hope you find these videos as interesting as I did 😛

Eyebrows: Seeking the non-drawn-on alternative

Published February 27, 2012 by kurolace

Hi!

So, as we all know, drawn on eyebrows are kind of a iconic thing in goth fashion. They can be natural-ish, or extreme. I know some people even have their “trademark” style and color. The problem for me is, I’ve always been terrified to actually try to do this. To be honest, its mostly because I am a tad bit lazy and I don’t want to have to draw on my eyebrows everyday or otherwise be “the eyebrow-less wonder.” I also somewhat doubt my ability to draw them on perfectly even… I already have enough trouble with symmetry with my natural brows! And thirdly – I actually have a tiny mole under my left eyebrow… so if I were to shave off the eyebrow, suddenly I’d have yet another mole to try to deal with.

Sadly I have kinda bushy eyebrows. Its really annoying, because the hair on my scalp is very fine…. you’d think that it would mean that my eyebrows were also fine / small…. but apparently there is no relationship between the two. Ever since high school I’ve always pluck and shaved my eyebrows. There have been times when I’ve been good at maintenance, and other times when I hardly bothered with them at all. Recently I had just been plucking the bare minimum, but I was starting to get annoyed with the shape, so I decided it was time to break out the stencils, tiny electric razor, eyebrow scissors, ruler, and black eyeliner!

Eyebrow templates - contains four shapes... if only I could get eyebrows like the model on the package, lol.

I decided to do most of the shaping by using the electric trimmer ( bought at Bed, Bath, & Beyond). That way, if I did make a mistake, the hair would  grow back fairly quickly. On a clean face w/ no make-up, I started by using a ruler to line up the corner of my nose and eye… then I marked were the brow should begin. Then I held the stencil over my natural eyebrow and used black eyeliner to fill it in. I used to use the “classic” eyebrow template a few years ago, but this time I decided to go with “elegant” (The template set I have has 4 shapes total). The only problem with the elegant style was that the outer part of the brow was at a completely different angle as my natural brow. So I decided to only use that part as a guideline  for length.

I then shaved away anything that was outside of the template area. I also plucked a few of the most obvious stray hairs.

After I finished both brows this way, I wasn’t entirely sure I liked the end results… my eyebrows are kind of unsymmetrical naturally, and the problem seems to carry over a little bit whenever I am trying pluck or shave the new shape.

I did take a few lousy, unflattering pictures… so you can see for yourself.

Before plucking / shaving

The color is way off on the second/”after” picture… not sure why that happened!

1 day after reshaping / shaving

Anyways… like I said, I don’t know if I’m all that happy with the results, all though I do think they are an improvement. Maybe I should just suck it up and completely shave off my brows.

Do you shave & draw on your brows?