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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Decoden: Part two

My dear friend Mia needed a phone case.  She's one of the most coordinated athletes in my social circle, but oddly...also the most clumsy.  Her phone was at risk... so I made her this..


I tried to keep her case relatively 2D because she likes to stuff her phone in her pocket.  It came out pretty good.  Pink, bright, and sparkly, just like her personality. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Decoden Phone Case

Since I've had some trouble with maintaining proper pressure whilst using my jewelry pliers, I've started branching out into crafts that require less sensitive, delicate work.  Of course, I stumbled onto Decoden.  Decoden is a decoration phenomenon in Japan.  Quite literally, Decoden is "Deco" as in decorated and "den" as in Denwa, the Japanese word for phone case.  Tons of people will think that these Japanese trends have nothing to do with American fashion, but you'd be wrong.

Have you ever gotten nails covered in rhinestones and little filigree add-ons?

Courtesy of Slodive.com

Courtesy of Fanpop.com



Sure the nails have been a thing for a looooong time.... But seriously, doesn't this look vaguely familiar?

From brand-crea.com

Looks familiar to me.  Well, seeing all these fancy pants cases made me want to make my own...


BAM!!! 

While mine is significantly less cute and significantly more amateur looking, I like it a fair amount. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Memebox Special #44: Very Berry PART THREE

I swear to goodness I'm going to post something I've made soon.  ...Soon.  Hee hee hee..  But first, let me tell you about another of the memebox products that I got in the Very Berry box that I really, REALLY liked.  The Reinplatz Essence Mask.  I got blueberry. 

Out side of the package, it looks like this.  It's a little bit strange looking if you're used to American clay masks, but it is still functional.


You smooth the mask on your face and just let it sit for 30 minutes.  The essence mask sinks into your skin and leaves it refreshed, revitalized, and smooth.  I haven't had to do my usual, twice weekly exfoliating mask in 2 weeks since using it. My acne is reduced as well.  I should probably use one of these regularly.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Memebox Special #44 Very Berry: PART TWO

The next product I tried, of course was the lip color.  Mine came in the Cherry Punch color.  It's reported to adjust the pH level, moisture level, and prevent moisture loss.  Sounds like chapstick- well.  No it doesn't.



Yadah's lip tint has a faint, natural-smelling cherry scent and literally melts into your lips.  Shortly after applying, my lips seemed to soften and smooth.  They looked plump.  I mean... I have fat lips to begin with, so they ALWAYS look plump, but they looked lifted.  This lip tint gave me a lip lift.  A dab of lip gloss over the tint brought them to the full pout I usually sculpt into being. 

After about 4 hours the lip tint was gone because I was eating and drinking.  That aside... the scent of the tint lingered, just as advertised and, stranger still, my lips were still soft, supple, and hydrated.  I decided to test this one again.   This time, for a longer time frame.

I put it on before I left for work, didn't add gloss.  The tint survived 6 hours, until I had lunch and wiped my mouth off.  It wasn't until I hit the 7.5....closer to 8 hour mark that my lips started to feel a little dry.  This is a notable feat because the hospital I work in has air is as dry as the Sahara.  I put a little more on to renew it.  It held until I took my make up off.  I think if I had added the gloss, it would have stood up better.

For a lipstick, it falls short.  For a tinted lip balm, I must admit, it works BETTER than chapstick and the creamy long-lasting effect is on par with MAC creamy lipsticks.  Chapstick feels waxy.  MAC lipstick smells like crayons.  The Yadah lip tiny was creamy and left my lips super hydrated and plump.  No more chapstick for me.

Here are some photos of my bare lips, then 1 coat of the lip tint, and finally 2 coats.  After two coats, it's pretty opaque and kind of glossy on its own.  After 3, watch out.  It starts to get runny.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Memebox Special #44: Very Berry

This is the first Memebox that I ordered from eBay for myself.  On the memebox website, it was advertised as having the following items: Skin CRONies Aronia Moisture Cream, Konad Niju Blueberry Moisture Hand Cream, Swanicoco Super Brightening Hydro Solution, Reinplatz Essence Mask, Borntreen VitaBerry Cleansing Foam, eChoice Fall in Love Berry Body Lotion, and Yadah Lovely Lip Tint Stick.


The one I got from eBay had everything but the Cronies Moisture Cream, and the Swanico Super Brightening Solution.  I won't miss them too much, though.  They were anti-aging creams and radiance boosting formulas.  I figured I could live without something to fight crows-feet.  At least until I'm 30.  I've got a few more years. 

When I opened the box, the scent of berry things wafted up from the very paper in the box.  I don't know if that's an effect of the products inside or if memebox engages in some subtle mind-fuckery when they assemble their signature pink boxes.  I dove in, examined all the products to see if they had been tampered with.  They hadn't.  Then, I had to decide what I would use first.  The answer was simple.

The same place a lady starts her beauty regimen
The cleanser was the clear choice for my first product test.  I opted not to do a lame test like a lot of bloggers- you know the one.  Where they test the product ONE TIME and then you never hear about it again?  Instead, I tested this product over the course of five days to see how it truly affected my skin, using it the same way I use my other cleansers.  I used it over the course of 5 days and documented the changes in my skin in a little mini-diary.  My findings were thus.

Day 1:  Product left my skin feeling velvety and soft, hydrated and supple.  Since it claims to be a 'gentle' cleanser, I'm worried that there's a residue on my skin instead of just clean, fresh skin like my usual cleanser leaves behind.

Day 2: The zit I was getting it smaller than I thought it was going to be and kind of sore, but my skin still feels velvety and soft.  Nothing weird here.  My skin's not as oily and my whiteheads seem to have calmed down.

Day 3: Today I used it with my cleansing brush, like I usually do with my usual cleanser.  It worked into a nice, rich lather.  My face tingled for a little while afterwards, so I let it sit and sink into my pores for a while.  It actually works well for a facial mask.

Day 4:  I washed as usual today and used my usual facial mask..  The mask tingled more than usual and the blemishes that were hiding under my skin were clearly visible when I took it off.  Made short work of them. 

Day 5: The blemishes I popped yesterday appear to be healing well and the mild abrasion caused by popping is already starting to peel.  Overall, my skin is VERY supple, soft, and velvety.  My spots seem lighter too.  I'm going to switch to my regular cleanser to see if that makes a difference.

In the end, after using my regular cleanser for just two days, my skin had returned to its usual either painfully dry or fried egg greasy state.  My whiteheads came back with a vengeance and I got new zits.  As soon as I used the VitaBerry cleanser, my skin returned to the supple, fresh, dewy texture I had gotten accustomed to. 

Wow.  I guess I should make a switch to the Vitaberry Cleanser...permanently. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Memebox Special: eBay

Now, you all know I'm a bargain hunter... but with memebox that's actually not necessary.  Each regular sized box costs about $23 bucks and contains from 4-7 FULL SIZED HIGH END BEAUTY PRODUCTS.  Full sized.  Not sample.  FULL.  Get that in your mind.

On average, the products included will cost from $10-$25 each.  So, if you get 1 15 dollar item and 3 $5 items, you've still spent less than you would have if you had bought them separately.  I can't do any better than that.  My Google-fu and eBay-jitsu is not as mighty as the memebox bargain. 

Unfortunately, memebox's set up doesn't cater to those of us with specific tastes.  They announce a box 3 months before it actually ships, give it a theme...and you have to wait until they're sold out or shipped before they will actually tell you what's in them.  The only thing you know is that each box will always include some sort of cleanser, moisturizer, mask, and lip balm- at the very least.  Even then, a lot of memebox's good or really interesting boxes sell out FAST.

A lot of the boxes that I knew I wanted to try had already sold out, so I waited.  I kept missing the new boxes as they were released.  Then, one day, on a whim, I typed in memebox in eBay's search bar and BAM!  People were selling their memeboxes. 

As it turns out, the mystery effect memebox shrouds their boxes in leads to people ...overbuying.  The results are a bunch of folks with boxes full of things they can't use, have too many of already, or they don't like.  The effect?  A surplus of memeboxes sold on eBay.  "Used" memeboxes anyone?

Now, under normal circumstances, I'd be afraid to buy something like this from eBay.  A USED beauty product could have anything in it.  However, a "used" memebox is a horse of a different color...  You aren't buying a single, used product.  You're buying a used box.  There may be one or two products missing, but all the others are still tightly sealed in their original foil and shrink wrap packaging. 

The best part is: memeboxes for less than $20.  I bought one- I mean... a few.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Korean Skincare

A while ago, I reviewed the Etude House Baby Choux peach primer, the Dear Darling Jelly lip tint, and the Princess Etoinette lipstick.  I raved over the benefits I saw, the positive skin changes I experienced with the products as well as glee over the scents and effects they rendered.  Because I am a scientist at heart, I began to research South Korean beauty trends, products and skin treatments.

What I found was intriguing.  For one thing, South Korean Beauty culture is one of the most frighteningly damaging things I could ever hope to learn about.  Sure, they based a person's beauty on a standardized "Golden Ratio".  They also view beauty as a sign of good health and invest a great deal of research in products that will treat beauty problems from the inside out... That's all fine.  The Golden Ratio is hardwired into our brains to help us pick out healthy partners for reproduction.  It's science.

But they also have an absurd frankness when it comes to evaluating their beauty.  The stigma of possibly being ugly shadows both men and women.  There's an also a destructive amount of esteem placed on plastic surgery...to the point where parents are recommending it preteens to get it before their kids hit puberty.  As damaging as this plastic surgery culture is... I have to admit that they still have some very effective skin treatments.

Serious stuff aside, since my affectionate relationship with Etude House began, I've been on the look out for any other cool, cute, and effective beauty items I can snag from Korea.  It was through this that I discovered that Etude House, with all its pretty packaging, sweet scents was only considered a "Drug Store Brand" as far as Korean cosmetics go. 

Now Etude House is cheap for a drug store cosmetic brand, so I was intrigue and went forth to learn more about higher end products.  Let's face it, in the past, I've had luck with finding the right shades in American drug store brands, but the skincare products are of lower quality and break me out.  My line of thought was, if Etude House is drug store for Korea and it does nice things for my skin, then surely the higher end products will do even more wonderful things for my skin.... 

I was right.  Check back for a review of the first product on Monday.