Apr 3, 2017

The Beauty Blender Matter

Some months ago, if you followed beauty tutorial videos or make up review videos on youtube, or beauty blogs and so on, you would hear about the wonders of the Beauty Blender. This beauty blender is basically a makeup sponge people use to put on different products on, such as foundation, BB creams, CC creams, primer and even applying and difusing correctors. Many of these products are often applied directly with fingers, brushes, makeup sponges such as those well known little triangles, or those sets that come in the shape of flowers from which you pluck out a petal and use until it crumbles away or looks too disgusting to be used again. These triangles are also called "sponge wedges".

Source: http://www.tattooedtealady.com/
Though a true makeup artist, or a person used to put on makeup everyday can apply makeup to themselves and achieve that flawless porcelain doll complexion the rest of us can only dream of and bitterly envy, most of us often struggle with some of the products. I am one, for instance, that hardly EVER put on make up. And when I do, my usual makeup look doing my eyebrows with my KIKO Milano eyebrow kit, some eyeliner, and maybe a lipgloss. If I feel very generous, I do some eyeshadowing (currently LOVING Oriflame's eyeshadow pencils) and that will be that. So, when someone with less skills or less practice decides or needs to put on some makeup (say, you got into a fight on Black Friday for the perfect shoes and ended up with a black eye... and the shoes, or you went partying all night and your face hasn't woken up yet), things like brushes and sponge wedges can make the plaster foundation or BB Cream you put on look like... well, plaster. Basically, with these tools a less skilled person will end up with brush stroke marks all over their face. The makeup will look fake instead of achieving it's intended purpose of making you look your best.

The makeup industry constantly strives to offer products that make donning makeup a much easier, better experience. One such product is the beauty blender, which is basically an improved makeup sponge. It differs from other sponges in its form, but also in the sponge material itself. Beauty blenders tend to be more dense - in my experience - and are used slightly differently. When you buy the beauty blender, it's this really small little drop shaped sponge, much the size of a wedge. This you have to wet and squeeze several times until it gets bigger. With a wet and squeezed beauty blender you can apply your beauty products by gently tapping on your skin. This movement allows you to apply the products quite evently and without leaving marks, and helping you get that complexion you are looking for.

Stormberry's property
A while ago I decided to get more skilled with makeup, and decided to start trying on BB Creams and CC creams, emboldened by some videos I watched. I first applied them with sponge wedges or my fingers, and then got a beauty blender from KIKO Milano in one of my trips to Vienna. This sponge doesn't have the original beauty blender's shape, but it is a wonder to work with! No, I don't put on make up daily now, but when I do, I always used my little spongey :-). I believe I have this sponge since December 2015 and have been using it quite a couple of times. I never leave it with product residues on, since I use it so seldom, so I normally use it and clean it with handsoap. And it has lasted me wonderfully, I must say.

Stormberry's property
This year, on my trip to Vienna, I found at the DM stores a lovely turquoise beauty blender with drop shape, marketed under the EBELIN brand. Yay!! DM is a rather good store, and I have bought a gozillian things from them, so I packed in one of these beautiful beauty blenders. Did I needed it? Not really, but it was cheap (I think it was around €5,00) and it was turquoise! I've got to use it the first time when I was back at home. From the first time I used it, as I was cleaning it (the same way I have dozens of times cleaned my KIKO Milano beauty blender) the material close to the tip started to rip. If I were a more intensive user of these sponges this one would have crumbled apart AGES ago! Clearly, I'm quite disappointed about this. :-(
I'm happy with my KIKO Milano beauty blender, truth to be told, but I did wanted the experience of using a drop shaped on, like the original, since these do accomodated better in the hand, unlike KIKO Milano's hourglass shaped one. I had seen some beauty blenders - original ones - at Sephora, in Wroclaw, when a friend of mine and I were there, and also have seen them in Paris. I did notice that the original beauty blenders sold in Wroclaw look different than the ones in Paris, as those have a sort of band around... you know, like smoothed sponge. The ones in Paris don't have it. The time in Wroclaw I refrained from buying the beauty blender because of the weird band it had, and the time in Paris I didn't buy it because it would have set me €19 back, and with the amount of makeup I do, that's not an investment, but a crazy expense.

Stormberry's property

I might end up getting one now, though - the next time I'm in Paris, I guess - just to compare the qualities - but one thing I can tell you all for sure is that you will never, ever again catch me buying a DM beauty blender... and I will be wary about EBELIN branded products.

Apr 2, 2017

Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell

Source: google.com
It has been over 13 years since the last time I was pretty much consumed by Japan animation or animé and manga art. That year (around 2004) was the end of almost seven years of being immersed in the otaku culture. During that time I watched pretty much every single series and OVA I zcould get my hands on. One of those OVAS was Ghost in the Shell, a futuristic, dystopian story based on cyborgs and political moves.

Many of the movies I watched in those days had an impact on me, due to the quality of their art, but also the dark line of their stories. Akira, Perfect Blue and Ghost in the Shell are a few among them, though of these three, Ghost in the Shell struck me the most of the quality of the art.

Source: google.com
When the movie theatres started promoting Ghost in the Shell in live action format, I knew I had to go and see it. No, normally I don't like live action movies, and I have seen a few. Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron wasn't appealing to me, for instance, but an amateur attempt at Dragon Ball Z Mirai Trunks, or alternate universe future was so breath taking, that I decided to give it a shot.

I must say that the movie disappointed me. From the very selection of the intro music, and all the re-naming of Mokoto Kusanagi and then giving her all that past... (was that somewhere and I missed it or forgot about it?) Why make a perfectly good story into some emotional, hollywoodian motion picture? Ms. Johansson didn't look like a cyborg, but rather looked like a butch female, and Major's (Major? Really? Did something happened in the series I didn't watch that escaped from the OVA I saw?) sensualization and attempt to catch the essence of humanity was quite a slap for those of us who paid for the movie ticket in hopes to revive one of our old favorites.

Source: http://thescreen.hu/ ghost-shell-osszehasonlitas-az-alapkent-szolgalo-animevel/
The whole movie was like watching some AU fanfic, produced by Americans and Chinese, based on a beloved, Culture-movie of otakus of old, which lifted the idea of the movie, some characters, some costume designed and then copied here and there some scenes. Even in the scenes lifted from the original OVA, the movie felt fake. I felt cheated, truth to be told.

From what I gather from other websites and blogs about the movie, the sentiment is quite generalized. It was a big gamble, I would say, and it didn't paid up well. Then again, I guess that in today's world knowing isn't really all that important when enterprises embark into an investment. Knowing your market is really inconsecuential, when one thinks that one knows things better than all the others. Well, enterprises and enterpreneurs would do well remembring that they ought to know their market if they want to reach into their pockets.

Feb 13, 2017

No Complications

I have exciting news people! I have not changed a thing. ^_^ Yes, I was totally teasing you there, but you are smarter than that, and if you are one of the few people following this dwindling blog, you know that the exciting news is just that I deigned to come around and share a piece of my mind. Because that's usually exciting. And with the cryptic title, well, what can you expect? Because when you write "No Worries", it means that there are worries in the text. And when you write "No Heartbreak", you pull out the box of tissues, because it's sure to make you cry. So, by the same logic, "No Complications" shall mean, that complications lie ahead, right? The thing here is that I want to break free precisely from complications. Those gray, odd "complications".

These are things I normally write in painful detail in my personal journal (which will never see the light of day, thank you), but this topic - I believe - is one that might pertain to many other people, so I decided to quickly (really quickly) share a little thought about it.

"It's complicated" is actually a relationship status in Facebook. That doesn't mean anything by itself, of course, except that it is often used to cover a situation where a person isn't single, but isn't with someone either. It covers a multitude of situations, like when the relationship is, for whatever reason illicit (an extramarital affair or a relationship with a person from a given group that is perceived as not moral, decent or allowed), but also when the people in the relationship - or a part of them - isn't willing to let the relationship consolidate in one way or the other. I'm quite good at these and I like this twilight zone-like relationship because of the freedom they give you - though normally my prefered kind of relationships have a name far more defining than "it's complicated". Yes, I'm a big fan of fuckbuddies and one-night-stands. As you can guess from it, I'm the "no strings attached, no commitments, no complications" kind of person. Just have fun, enjoy the moment and then go back to the usually scheduled program. However, even is such a free, easy, clean cut situation, and preference, sometimes things can get messed up, when one of the parties seems to want to bend the rules, or goes playing by another set of rules.

You know the case, right? The one that is namely in a commited relationship but behaves like they are still single and can do as they please. The one where one set of rules apply to one party, and another to the other party or parties. The case when one says that sure, you are friends, but then acts like you owe them something. Does it ring a bell? Hopefully it doesn't. Well, these situations but the "complicated" in "it's complicated", and often, un-complicating them isn't as easy as just talking it over, because more often than not, the things either go back to original settings for a while before morphing back again to the asymetric or dissonant situation, or the complaining part receives big, wide eyes and accusations of "you are the one acting weird, things are actually as discussed in case A".

What can you do? Well, don't ask me: my answer is the usual: cut it off.

The point here isn't that you can or can't do something to solve this situation: relationship situations are hardly solved, because people tend to be persistent about what they seek, whether they admit to it or not. The thing is for you to recognize it, to refuse to cover behind the "complicated" tag and recognize things for what they are, and then act according to your preferences and needs. Just as "Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater" is true, so is for every other tendency in a relationship. Don't let your own hopes cloud your judgment.

Jan 6, 2017

New Year and New Resolutions

I disappear from here some... three months and the whole thing changes! Wow, maybe this is a sign that I should be around here more often. Hn... nah. 😉Forcing  writing is never a good idea. Writing is a delicate process where if you force the inspiration then you ruin the thoughts. Do keep that in mind.

Through Google.com taken from
Like for many people, 2016 was a mixed year for me. There were positives and negatives, but I think I'll decide to keep the good and learn from the bad. On the plus side, I started learning German, and I've gotten some advance. I get good grades, but my recent trips to Germany and Austria prove that grades don't really show what you can actually produce in real life, when facing real situations... like asking in a restaurant for a take away. I do have been able to understand more and speak more, but after a year, I still feel like my communication skills in this language still have loads of room to grow.

I also got my diploma in Accounting and got into the... well, I don't really know how to explain this, but like into the Association that allows me to practice Accounting. I also finished all the subjects I need to take for Finance, so this year I'll submit my project for my thesis. Yay!! So excited!!

I read about 36 books, which was over the goal of 24 books I had set at the begining of the year, and then I had this FABULOUS idea about reclaiming my time with myself and do the Letter Writing Monday Project, which I fully intend to carry on for 2017. As result of this fabulous thing, I finally worked through my pile of letters and replied to all of my penpals. :-) It felt amazing!

I kept going to the nutritionist and basically I've kept my weight all year with just minimal fluctuations, but all within the range of my ideal weight.

On the learning side, I learned more about my friends, people I consider my friends, and also about myself. I rediscovered the importance of giving yourself your place, and not to be afraid of claiming it back. Respect starts with you, and if you don't respect yourself you can't expect others to respect you. Don't push yourself to the side, don't be always accomodating to others, because if you give up so easily your requests, nobody will ever fulfill them. What do I mean? Things as simple as actually standing up and enforcing your right also be considered in the decision making, your choices and preferences also taken in account, and from time to time, others to accomodate to them, not always you accomodating to others. 2016 taught me that even I have to take stock of what I want and what I allow to happen.

I made so little to no exercise, that I also learned that, as I made time for Letter Writing and German, I must make time to do some exercise. This year I went, for the first time in my life, to skating. It didn't go very well. Well, it just didn't go. At all. BUT I made the effort and I want to keep trying. So I think I'll try and get myself a pair of rollerblades and practice some at home to get better stability - though ice skating and rollerblading are so different! - and then come back by the end of the year and give it another try. And  this time ask before hand if the "trainers rink" is open, because the regular one is one hell of a rink! >_<

I'd like to add yoga back into my routine and go back to the gym, maybe even go back to Archery, though I really have to find a way to fit all that into my available time.

I went quite well for the tracking of my finances, until the last... six weeks? Then it got off the wagon. The controlling of the budget was much more difficult, BUT that means I still have room for improvement.

Spiritually, I didn't do much, let go of my Pagan studies and practices, which have given me much solace, truth to be told. I haven't felt particularly Christian either, though that's the faith I identify with the most. I'm considering the possibility of trying out my Pagan side this year, maybe do a test, a Year and a Day of studying, as if to convert to Paganism, and see how I feel about it, how my relationship with God matures through the process and experiment how I feel as a Pagan. Solitary Witchcraft is an option, and though the Church excludes the possibility of multi-religiousness, this is something I feel as being part of myself. 

I learned also to be more watchful about my health, which I'll try and be better at this year, though that's something that scares me a little, but then, we are all like that with it, don't we?

I have not really made my New Year Resolutions, and many of m last year's resolutions went unfulfilled, basically because as the year went on, those were not the top priorities, so there's another thing to learn: how to plan for the year. I have a new planner this year, a new filofax, in a new size and with new possibilities. :-) Let's see what can I get out of it for 2017, shall we?