Sunday, May 28, 2017

Inked: Ballerina Tattoo from Dali and Disney

I have a feeling I'm developing the habit of getting tattooed in May. It's worked out these first two times because it's been the end of the school year. Although my tattoos have had anything to do with school, it feels like something nice way to cap-off that period of time. Now, I'm no longer in school, so I'm not sure if this time of year will hold any significance in the future, but maybe the timing will stick. 

The Tattoo
This little, headless ballerina is from the short film Destino. It was created by Walt Disney and Salvador Dali in 1945, but had to be abandoned due to the war. The film was completed by a team at Disney in 2003 (you can watch the full thing below.) Though I've seen the gif of her dancing many times, I watched the film for the first time in Paris in 2015. I sat on the idea of getting it as a tattoo for about a year, and it feels so great to finally have it. 

The Shop 
Laura (@nothingwildtattoo on Instagram) did my tattoo at Fleur Noire in Williamsburg. It was a lovely experience and I'd recommend the shop to anyone interested. I'm so happy with the simple design and I think it suits me more than a straight copy of the film. I'll be headed back to the shop soon enough. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Transitioning to Cruelty-Free Makeup and Beauty Products

It's been about a year since I decided to really go for 100% cruelty-free makeup. The start was typical bright-eyed excitement over making an ethical change, but the complicated nature of what's considered cruelty free, various certifications, and parent companies settled in quickly (read the article at the bottom of this post if that's got you dizzy already.)

This is all to say that this past year has been more about research and looking through dozens of reviews for replacements of my staples, more than actual shopping. Though tedious, it's something I've gotten used to and trying out new products can be a lot of fun. Here are some of my thoughts on what I've been trying out lately: 

Yes To shampoos and conditioners have been the biggest surprise on this journey. With very curly, dry hair I thought I'd never find a drugstore combo I'd like and haven't even tried one for years, sticking to salon favorites whenever I run out. I was in a pinch a month ago and the bottle of Coconut Oil & Argan Oil conditioner looked promising enough to give a drugstore option a try. The conditioner is thick and has a ton of oils too that add moisture and shine to my curls. This Tea Tree & Sage Oil shampoo is great as well, I feel clean but with no uncomfortably squeaky hair in sight.

When I'm wearing my hair curly I've been using the Jane Carter Solution hair nourishing cream as a leave-in conditioner. It smooths over most of my frizz and leaves my hair soft rather than crunchy, but I'm not sure I can get over the strong smell. I guess one of the oils and I just don't mesh well, and I think I'll have to search for something new once this one runs out. 

I've been turning to Pixi Beauty for replacements of a lot of my favorite staples. Before I started to transition all my products, I had already been using the Glow Tonic which has really helped with my skin texture, and I've gone through about 4 tubes of the Eyebrow Tamer gel as well. I've struggled a lot with finding a good mask, and this Glow Mud Mask is alright. It's great against acne, but burns a little too much for my sensitive skin. I've come to love using the Beauty Cream before my night moisturizer, but I'm not sure if it really does anything. It may just be a nice ritual. 

Something that's been an absolute score is the Milani Eye Primer. I was really sad to give up my Nars primer, but the Milani one works just the same keeping my eyelids free of oil and my eyeshadow in place. The only real drawback is it's not translucent, but I haven't had an issue with it looking weird on my skin. The Velvet 59 Exotic Lotus eyeshadow palette is nice as well. I've used the brown and purple tones frequently. Unfortunately, the champagne color (Princess of China) doesn't show up as well and comes off as just glitter. 

Like Pixi, I've been continually turning to Drybar for any hair products I need. The Sheriff hairspray, Hot Toddy blow dry cream, and the Mai Tai Spritzer sea salt spray are all great for styling my hair when I straighten it and they all smell seriously incredible (I usually skip perfume when I'm using any of these.) I also have the Baby Buttercup hair dryer which is all the power of a normal dryer in a compact size. I'm not as skilled with a curling iron, but the 3-Day Bender has been user friendly and heats up really quickly every time I've used it. 

Any cruelty free recommendations? The search for a great mascara is still on. 

Further Reading: 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Adventures in DIY and Buying the Wrong Clothes

In the past year, I've tried to break the bad habit of buying clothes that don't actually fit me. Most of the time, I avoid wearing these items because they just don't look right. I also seem to always have something better to do than try and DIY them to make them work. Though it's difficult when nearly everything is made for someone taller than me, I had been doing pretty well in this quest, until this dress. 

The Dress 
I'd been searching for a red halter dress to live out my fantasies of recreating some Bianca Jagger looks and after some nights hunched over my laptop searching, I pounced on this lace one from ModCloth since it was on sale. It was perfect, until it arrived and the neckline cut down to nearly my belly button. After months of it sitting in my closet, I finally resolved the issue with a strip of snap-buttons I found at the craft store. With some patient sewing it's finally something I can wear (though my skills in sewing up the raw ends need some work.) 

The Jacket 
Since I was already on a DIY roll, I also ironed on some patches to my beloved J. Crew jacket. I think they will be many future Etsy purchases to fill this jackets with random nerdy patches. Recommendations are much appreciated. 

Dressed in: ModCloth lace dress (similar here and here), J. Crew jacket, Vans X Star Wars shoes, Threadless Mars Rover patch

This patch is from the Harry Potter Studio Tours