Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MUSIC: First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit is a Swedish folk band of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg. Their music is ethereal with perfect harmony. Their videos are very artsy and mystical. Their signature 1970s style is prevalent in their videos, photos, and performance. I don't see this level of glamorous 1970s bohemian style often. Florence of Florence + the Machine is the only other performer I can think of with a similar style. For me, I enjoy both their music and their style, much like Florence. The videos below showcase both their fashion and musical styles.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BEAUTY: Flower Beards

I came across this beauty photography concept today. It's what you see, men with flower adorned beards. It's not likely a fashion statement, as much as a beautiful photography subject. I wonder if I can convince my husband and dad (both bearded), and maybe my bearded brother, to let me decorate their beards with fresh flowers, and photograph them. I think the Richmond hipsters should get in on this concept. We have a huge hipster population, thanks to being a college city.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BEAUTY REVIEW: NYX Macaroon Lippies

A few months ago, I learned that NYX was producing unusually colored lipsticks, called Macaroon Lippies. In June, I was finally able to order mine from Ulta. I bought Black Sesame (grey) and Chambord (black). I only wear lipstick for special things, which is normally costuming or a night out dancing with friends. Otherwise, I wear lip balm over my naturally pale lips. For League of Space Pirates, I'm fond of using unusual colored lipsticks and eye products, for a more futuristic makeup look. Noah and I shot a short video, for my character Chroma's summer break. I chose to do an ombre of the black and grey lipsticks for the video. I figured this also gave me a great chance to finally do a review of these two lipsticks. I tested out the NYX Lip Primer, which actually worked great. I need to test it with a few other lipsticks before writing a review for that. I had to remove my lipstick to eat, and didn't reapply the primer before reapplying the lipsticks for photos.

This is Black Sesame, a light grey lipstick. It went on smooth and provides decent coverage. You can build the color for better impact. I'm not aware of any grey lip liners, that you could use before applying this. The lip primer does provide a nice waxy barrier to prevent feathering. For other lipsticks, I've used Maybelline's Color Sensational Lipliner in Clear. That might work nicely for this too.

This is Chambord, a black lipstick. If I was wearing this out for the evening, I'd apply NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Blackberry (black), before applying the lipstick. I'd likely put Rimmel London Stay Glossy in Black Diva. It's not being produced anymore, but it's a great black lipgloss over black lipsticks. I bought a few tubes, and tend to horde it when I find it, to my husband's amusement. This lipstick does apply nicely. It's a nice creamy formula, with a decent shine. It's hard to find a nice quality black lipstick, as they are often very sheer and cheap. I might do a comparative review of the black lipsticks I have, just so you all can see what is available.

For the video shoot, I did a similar ombre to this. You can do ombres a few different ways. I tend to do them this way...a lighter or brighter color in the center, and a darker color in the corners. Other ways are dark in the corners and along the top and bottom edge, with lighter or brighter color in the center. One color on the top lip and another on the bottom, blending where they meet. You can also use more than two colors, applying and blending them where you choose. The point is to have an even blend where the lipstick colors meet.

I applied Black Sesame to the center. Then, applied Chambord to the corners. How far in is up to you. The gradient with a lighter/brighter color in the center, makes your lips look more pouty.

To blend them, I patted the lipstick with a finger, where the colors met. You could do this with a lip brush instead, for a more controlled blend. I sort of rushed this, because my camera was battery was low, but for wearing out of the house, I'd blend it better. I'd also make the black farther back on the top lip, so that looked nicer when blended.

The NYX Macaroon Lippies come in 12 colors. I made this collage with images from Ulta, so you could see the color range.

This lip collage from NYX shows you how they look applied. The color impact will vary based on lip and skin color, but you get the idea.

I did this review just to show off the products I purchased myself. I love that NYX has inexpensive and nice quality cosmetics that are comparable to high end products. You do have to know which products to use together to get the best bang for your buck, but that applies to any brand. Kudos to my mom who gave me an Ulta gift card for my birthday, so I could buy the lipsticks, lip primer, and a few other goodies.

Monday, July 21, 2014

LOSP: Chroma Summer Break

Friday, Noah and I went to Hull Street Outlet to film a short video for League of Space Pirates: Summer Break. Since my character is an assassin (though in reality, I'm very peaceful), I choose weapons shopping as my summer break theme. Hull Street Outlet has a huge Military Surplus section, and the guys were super excited to help us out. I decided to break away from my normal costume choice, and do something a bit more deconstructed. I used an old pair of Army camo pants and various fabrics to create a bustle belt. For my necklace, I strung plastic army men onto ribbon. The rest of the costume, I already had on hand...and really, I had the other materials on hand too.

Noah took the costume photos and shot the video.

Here is a look at my makeup. For the video, my lips were an ombre of black and grey NYX lipsticks. However, I ate lunch with my parents before returning home, and removed my lipstick then. I'll do a review of those lipsticks some time this week, and you'll be able to see what that the ombre lips looked like.

I used Maybelline Color Tattoo in Audacious Asphalt (It's a dark grey. The black one isn't available in the USA.) and Silver Strike as colored bases. On top of that, I used Sugarpill Bulletproof (black) and a silver Jane eyeshadow. I used small flat brushes to apply that precisely. My eyeliner was running out, so I wasn't able to do the liner like I wanted.

My allergies have been rough lately, so despite keeping my skin moisturized, my eyes were super dry and my dark circles more pronounced. 
The other band members should have their videos done soon, and up on our YouTube channel. We've been on summer break, because a couple band members have newborns. We'll be back to regular live broadcasts, come August.

GIVEAWAY: Floral Headband Supplies from Bowtique Emilee

Bowtique Emilee has high quality supplies for making fancy headbands, perfect for girls of all ages. They gave me the opportunity to design my own headband using some of their supplies. I made this headband with some basic hand sewing, for my daughter, but it fits me too. I chose a design inspired by floral crowns, that was more wearable for school and special events. Bowtique Emilee is giving away one set of my supplies to make this headband yourself.

1 yd Black Polka Dot 5/8" Elastic - Enough to make a headband and a few pony tail elastics
Red Mini 1.5" Shabby Chiffon Flowers
Black and White Polka Dot 2.5" Shabby Chiffon Flowers
1 Red and White Polka Dot 2.5" Shabby Chiffon Flower

Just follow the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! If you are new to Rafflecopter, this hand dandy guide explains it.

Giveaway is open worldwide and will run for a week until next Friday night, July 25nd, at midnight EST.  I'll randomly choose and email a winner when the contest is over. Add my email address, to make sure it can get through your spam filters! craftyladyabby@gmail.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 19, 2014

RESORT 2015: Temperley London

Temperley London's Resort 2015 collection has a tailored coolness mixes with prints, patterns, and flowing fabrics. This collection is a combination of her two lines, Alice and Temperley London. There is a great mix of looks from office to casual to formal. There are bursts of orange and blue shown in graphic printed fabrics. There is a Fair Isle style knitwear that are chic and cozy. The check plaid is subtle, and is used in both tailored and draped pieces. No collection is finished without standard black. The use of mesh and lace add nice texture to the black pieces. Overall, I really love this collection...so much, I had to break it up into two sections, so I could fit it all nicely in a post.

Friday, July 18, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Nail Polish Canada's The Great Polish Giveaway

I love nail polish. I have a ridiculous amount of it. As a crafter, I don't keep my fingernails painted, as it will chip off quickly. Instead, I keep my toenails painted. My favorite polishes are glittery, because I always need a little sparkle in my life. I came across this huge giveaway from Nail Polish Canada. They are encouraging bloggers to join in, by letting us choose a polish to include in the giveaway haul. I choose a glittery one, Muse by Zoya. It's similar to the color I'm currently wearing. Reminds me of tropical water and mermaids.

The current prize haul is at 135 shades of nail polish. It has the ability of going up to 200!!! That's a lot of nail polish!!! The contest ends on August 14th...in 27 days. You can enter daily, using the rafflecopter. For more entries, search for "Nail Polish Canada's The Great Polish Giveaway" to see the contest posts from other participating bloggers! If you are a fashion and/or beauty blogger and would like to participate in promoting the contest, go here and nominate a nail polish.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 17, 2014

JEWELRY TUTORIAL: Glass Chip Earrings with Swarovski Ceralun Epoxy Clay

Jenny at Craft Test Dummies sent me some Swarovski Ceralun Epoxy Clay to review and play with. I was looking through my bezels and found a pair of deep ovals with earring hooks already attached. I knew that this clay holds almost any object, because it's has a resin mixed with it's polymer, making it air dry and very sturdy. I looked through my bead stash and choose to use my black glass chips. The clay and glass combined, worked perfectly to create earrings with an unusual chunky texture and lots of shimmer. The clay comes in 8 colors. You could use other colors of chipped glass, chipped stone, or small beach glass to achieve a similar look.



1) The clay is very sticky, so you'll need to prep. Lay a large piece of wax paper on your work surface. Put on a pair of gloves.

2) Using the clay blade, carefully cut a small piece of part A and part B. The blade is very sharp.

3) Mix the 2 pieces together for several minutes until they are completely blended. Roll it into a ball in the palm of your hand.

4) With the clay knife, split the ball in half. Roll them into 2 balls.

5) With one ball, place it in the bezel. Work it into the crevices and smooth it out. It might dome up a bit. If there is way too much or not enough clay, adjust the amount inside the bezel. Hopefully you have enough and won't need to mix more. The working time is 3 hours, so don't fret about the clay starting to cure before you're done working with it.

6) You can take your gloves off and set them aside. Push some larger glass chip beads into the clay inside the bezel. Fill in negative space with smaller glass chip beads, until the clay is evenly covered. You want the pieces jetting out of the clay.

7) Use the toothpick to clean up the edges, pushing clay into the bezel area.

REPEAT STEPS 6-7 with the other bezel

Let the earring cure flat for 72 hours before wearing.

That's it for this tutorial. You can use this clay and other embedded elements to create all sorts of jewelry.

Here is everything I made with the Swarovski Ceralun Epoxy Clay. You can see my product review and a breakdown of these pieces, on Craft Test Dummies.

DISCLOSURE: I was sent the Swarovski Ceralun Epoxy Clay to review for Craft Test Dummies. All projects and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

RESORT 2015: Andrew Gn

Andrew Gn's Resort 2015 collection is inspired by English gardens. Lush in florals and petal like shapes, it makes me feel like I'm roaming though a decadent garden. The florals are broken up giving a watercolor and abstract feel to the prints. There is also a space dye like stripe, which helps break up the florals. I feel like this collection was two in one...day wear and evening wear, though the fabrics, colors, and shapes carry between day and evening. It's hard for me to find clothing that works for my age, but isn't stuffy and boring. This collection fills my need for classy shorts, mini skirts and dresses, paired with smart blouses and jackets.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

RESORT 2015: Ohne Titel

Ohne Titel's Resort 2015 collection plays with geometrics. These feel like pieces that could blend into their Spring Summer 2014 collection. While still interesting, it's not a new take on their common geometric theme. These are all summery pieces, perfect for going from the beach to an evening out and on day trips. These pieces can be mixed an matched to create other looks. The collection is consistent, which makes that possible. It can also be mixed with the Spring Summer 2014 collection.

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