May 31, 2011

My Signature Look

Everyone has their signature look... that style you create in the morning without even thinking about it.

Mine are...

1. Teased to perfection hair
2. Black winged eyeliner
3. Thick, long, and flirty lashes

People ask me a lot about my hair and makeup, so I thought today I would let you in on a couple beauty secrets that go into creating my go-to look:


{ HAIR }

  1. I start with brushed, towel dried, damp hair and finger comb a couple golf ball sized globs of volumizing mousse into the roots.
  2. Then I blow dry focusing on the roots until it's about half way dry and round brush the ends, still not drying it all the way through.
  3. I go through the top half of my hair and set 2-3" sections with large velcro rollers and let them cool as I do my makeup, giving the roots an extra boost of volume. 
  4. After it cools down I take out the rollers, rub a little bit of style cream through to avoid static, and then I quickly go through with a flat iron just focusing on the ends.
  5. I then go through sections and back comb each layer, spraying a shot of high hold hairspray at the root and repeating where necessary.
  6. I comb over each section, so the back comb part is hidden underneath, and comb through until I find the right balance between too flat and too big, always leaning towards a little too big ;)
  7. I finger comb the ends out so it's a little piecy and then I do an all over mist of hair spray to set the look... then I'm done!


I also love to add a french braid for that chunk of hair around my face that I would otherwise keep pushing behind my ear. 

{ MAKEUP }

For my eye makeup I usually go for a modern take on a vintage classic that is bold yet simple...

"The Winged Cat Eye"

  1. I apply a black gel eyeliner with a perfectly pointed tip brush and start by drawing a small scalene triangle on the side of the outer upper lash line, and fill that in, slowly pulling it out until the end of the wing is a clean point.
  2. Then I start drawing a thin line on the inner corner, and basically connect the two lines, smoothing it out with a very steady hand, trying not to blink!
  3. I follow that up, of course, with several coats of black mascara, my pick being CoverGirl LashBlast. I absolutely cannot live without this mascara! People always ask me if my lashes are real, and I love telling them yes :) 


My weapons of choice?
 


{From top left clockwise... Maybelline's Eye Studio Black Gel Eyeliner, CoverGirl's Lashblast Mascara in Blackest Black, Got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray, Got2b Fat-tastic Thickening Plumping Mousse, Garnier's Fructis Style Shine Wax, Soft 'n Style Velcro Rollers}

So, what's included in your signature look?

May 29, 2011

Life's a Great Balancing Act


"Step with care and great tact,
And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft,
And never mix up your right foot with your left."
~Dr. Seuss

{via}

What a whirl wind of a week this has been... let me introduce you to the balls I've been trying to balance this last week...

Balancing Ball No. 1: SCHOOL & PROJECTS
A. Store Logo Design and Corporate ID to be completed by end of this week
B. InDesign four page newsletter completed by Tuesday
C. Decide on my Ethics research paper topic (...any ideas?)
D. Figure out what the heck is going on in History

Balancing Ball No. 2: WORK
*BIG OPPORTUNITY ALERT!*
I was hired by my company to custom draw/design seven cohesive sketches based around the Harry Potter book series to be featured on our print materials for an upcoming client appreciation event. Oh, and the deadline is in three weeks :) Thumbnails are to be reviewed on Wednesday. 

Balancing Ball No. 3: FAMILY
The most heavy ball for sure is the fact that my favorite aunt has been at the hospital in critical condition since last Monday :( If she doesn't pull through I will fly out to Connecticut so I can help my mom with everything. I'm not so good expressing myself with this topic, so I'll just add that my heart is aching... and leave it at that. 

Balancing Ball No. 4: MARRIAGE
The hubby and I have been planning a short Memorial Day weekend trip to California to visit his family for a couple of months now. With everything that has been building up the last couple weeks I thought I would take this much needed time and stay home to get caught up with everything so I didn't continue to fall behind, but quickly realized how disappointing that would be to my husband, and decided to go anyway, using the down time to work on my school and work projects. So here I am in California this early sunny morning typing away on my laptop while the hubby is still asleep :)

Balancing Ball No. 5: MYSELF
The way I have been treating my body lately has put me all out of whack. I sleep maybe 6-7 hours a night, I'm at work by 8:00 AM as cute as I can manage myself to look, I guzzle down coffee and talk to my favorite co-worker throughout the day so I don't wring anyone's neck, I don't eat anything until I get off at 1:00 when my stomach starts eating itself, I finally eat something around 1:30 that's usually not very healthy, and just when I feel like I have time to get things done I get an overwhelming urge to lay down and nap, so I end up getting an energy drink, go to school a little early so I can work without distractions, and go to class from 5-10 snacking on whatever crap is available in the vending machine, conveniently get a lecture from my Ethics teacher about processed foods and euthanasia, then I go home to my dozing husband who is ready for bed, I eat something late at night while trying to wind down with my TV shows I still manage to follow, and sometime around midnight I pass the f*** out. If you were to throw kids into this mix I probably would be dead. 

Balancing Ball No. 6: THIS BLOG
I'm trying... I really am! I won't give up... it's just that I want every post to be carefully thought through and worth reading. Posts will probably be slowed down for a bit until I can get the hang of this "balancing act."

So, I want to know... how do YOU manage the balancing act?

I know most importantly I need to make a change with my health habits and it would probably solve a lot of issues, but isn't working out and cooking just another thing to throw into the balancing act? At what point do you decide to drop a few things in order to save your sanity? 

May 25, 2011

Featured!

Hey guys!

So this is exciting news...

A couple weeks ago I was asked to be featured on Serious Interview's blog and filled out a little questionnaire/interview... it was posted today here... go check it out :)

P.S. Thanks to Kat for choosing me to be one of your "victims"! hehe

May 23, 2011

The Frustrations of Logo Design

Hi everyone... sorry for my lack of blogging lately....

*hangs head in shame*

Does anyone else get in blogging slumps where you think to yourself, "What the hell do I have to say right now that could possibly be worth reading?"

Well, that's how I've been feeling.

I've been so consumed with school work lately and stressing over being some kind of creative genius that I am making things harder than they are supposed to be and I'm not really getting anywhere.

For example, my store concept idea totally went out the window last week.

Originally I thought of doing a boutique that carried a line of vintage clothes that were designed for the modern girl. I wanted to call it "Modern Vintage" and started working on sketches for the logo design. I planned on posting about my thumbnail sketches to give an example of how the creative process works, but that was before I discovered there was not only another store called Modern Vintage, but it almost had the same exact logo design I had sketched out AND was located less than 10 miles from me.

So I kind of had to start all over... meh :(

I figured I could still keep the concept but I had to think of a new name and new design, and of course I overcomplicate it.

The thing with store names and logos is that they are supposed to be simple. It's easy to be gaudy and add and add until you come up with a clusterfugg of a design, but it's the simpleness that really creates the brand.

For example, Nike. A swish and its tagline... "Just Do It"

What's more simple than that?

It sounds easy, this simplicity, but it's a long and complicated process... trust me!!!

It's kind of like getting ready in the morning after a shopping trip wanting to wear all of your new things... then you take a look in the mirror and realize you look like you're trying wayyy to hard to be cute and think to yourself, "You're not from Jersey... take some shit off!"

That's kind of stretching it but it's the only way I can think to analogize the situation. Is that really a word? Analogize. Spell checker didn't catch it. I'm gonna look it up...

a·nal·o·gize /əˈnaləˌjīz/ 
Verb: to make a comparison of (something) with something else to assist understanding

Huh. I love when I make up words and realize they already exist. Awesome.

Anyway... this has been just a little snippet of my frustrations lately. And what the hell, I'll share some of my thumbnails just to give you an idea of my very beginning stages... (keep in mind, a lot of them are shitty!)

First round of sketches...


Second round of sketches...


After reviewing them with my instructor I decided to focus on this design...


Then I came up with a third round of sketches focusing on this design and introduced a pink, gray, and black color scheme, added more detail to the design including a crown, and touched up the custom script typography...



You can kind of see where I started brainstorming new store name ideas. 

Pretty sure I Googled my brain silly that day, but I think I came up with one that I really like. I was inspired by my birdcage thumbnail and wanted to incorporate birds somehow.



I love birds (I have some tattooed on me) and they have that vintage-y feel to them. I also was thinking about old music and The Beatles song, "Blackbird" so I came up with "Blackbird Vintage" or it could be "Blackbird Boutique" or even "Vintage Blackbird." I Googled and it does exist but it's located in Seattle, Washington... that's OK right?!

I don't know, I get really self conscious when brainstorming and sketching, and then sharing them for critique... probably because I know they aren't even close to perfect but also because I'm really not sure if it's even a good idea.

I also have the challenge of being the only female in this certain class, so trying to get men to understand from a female perspective can be difficult. I'm sure compared to their hardcore testosterone-packed designs all the guys think I'm a cheesy girlhead cornball with sugary sweetness oozing out of me...


*que whiny crying voice*


"No one understands meeeee....."


*sniffs* *blows nose*



Just kidding. I haven't cried over this... yet.

Maybe I should open it up to you guys... what do you think of my store concept?


Please... be gentle!!!


May 16, 2011

I Heart Lazy Weekends

HAPPY MONDAY LOVELIES!

It's been a good morning at work, the coffee was definitely working for me! Though, I don't understand why it can't work like that on the weekends when I'm home and have stuff to do around the house. Maybe I've trained my brain to go through selective caffeine responses...

Anyway, the weekend was great because I basically sat around and did nothing except go to a Utah Blaze game, which was great because I basically got trashed and enjoyed every minute!



















What? It's indoor football! How else am I supposed to entertain myself?

I also discovered who is now one of my most favorite comedians ever...
{via}

You know when you laugh so hard you run out of breath and continue laughing even though you're not making any noise and tears are rolling down your face and when you finally breathe you can't stop snorting?

Maybe it was the fact that we were watching it at 2:00 AM but I can't remember the last time I had laughed so hard.

Here's a clip from his "Beyond the Pale" show. I'm guessing several people will need laughs today considering it's the most dreadful day of the week... so please, enjoy!


How was everyone else's weekends? :)

May 11, 2011

Secretaries Use Illustrator...

First of all... 

HAPPY RECEPTIONIST'S DAY!

Yep... it's a legit holiday. I heard it on the radio as I was driving to work this morning. But, I didn't get flowers, lunch, recognition... nothing.

ANYWAY... I thought it would be the perfect day to confess some of my recent thoughts and observations.

I keep hearing these phrases...

"Your secretary can use Photoshop..."

 "Your secretary uses Illustrator..."

Actually, I'm not even sure of the exact phrase my instructor uses, but it's something like that. Everyone chuckles when they hear him say it. At first I thought he was poking fun at me because he knows I work as a secretary (and he is), but it started to make sense after a few times. You aren't a designer just because you know how to use Illustrator. In other words, the dumbest people alive (ie. secretaries) can use Illustrator. Thus making the point that simply knowing how to use the program isn't enough... blah blah blah.

It's funny, actually. I tried to Google the phrase to see if it was common enough of a phrase to show up in a search (I didn't find anything) but I did come across a forum of all of these Adobe employees listing the words/phrases that throw up red flags and basically annoy the shit out of them. I was scrolling through and one comment made me bust out laughing...

Similar, and usually uttered to some poor secretary, who probably has zero graphics arts background. "We want you to start doing all of our ads, so we don't have to pay the agency. You have a Word on your computer don't you?" Gawd, I feel sorry for those poor folk thrown to the lions.

One person replied to that saying that his boss gets secretaries that make "crap" in Publisher and he "refuses to work with those files."

Oh, P.S.... before this blog was born,

I WAS THE SECRETARY USING PUBLISHER! 

My boss at my previous job actually convinced someone to come over and teach me how to run the website so they didn't have to pay anyone else to do it. I used Publisher to design all of their advertisements and print material. I remember sending my files to printing companies and they hated my files and graphics and always had someone redesign the whole thing. I would get pissed because it never looked the same. I was probably one of the most difficult clients to deal with! Now I work at a printing company... go figure!!!

Now that I'm a little more educated in the graphic design field I bet these professional designers get so annoyed with secretaries. After all, they are kind of stealing their jobs in a way. It's really the company that is cheap and doesn't want to hire a professional, but that just goes to show how many people don't care about the details and will settle for generic and cheap. Which probably makes the designer even more pissed...

I have to admit though, most graphic designers are kind of snobby. No offense, but if I can speak stereotypically for a minute, they kinda are. They are picky people, almost OCD, and have a level of knowledge and sophistication that keeps them feeling intellectually ahead of everyone else. They are the kind of people that prance around with their iPhones, iPods and iPads screaming, "YEAH! I'M F***ING AWESOME!" I mean God forbid they aren't using an Apple product...

I guess this makes me an amateur at the moment, but I'm on my way to being a snobby graphic designer! :D

Just watch... a couple years from now I'll get sent a Publisher file and have to send it back, and I will probably chuckle and whisper to my co-worker, "Ugh... can you BELIEVE how freaking AMATEUR some people are??? Gawd..."

May 09, 2011

Busy & Bewitched!

Last week I started my third term at school and I must say I'm really excited about the next ten weeks! Since I switched to full time my life is going to be quite busy and also a huge challenge for me to stay focused and manage my time well, since we all know about my procrastination tendencies :)


My Ethics class will be really interesting to say the least. I'm a little perplexed about stating my opinions, though. The instructor told us a story of her last Ethics class... she had a student who told the class about a website that tracked women who had abortions so that this group of people could hunt the women down and perform honor killings! The craziest part is when the instructor asked whether or not the student agreed with this ritual, believe it or not he said YES! I mean holy shit right? 


And my history class... at first I was dreading it but I think I'm going to enjoy learning it the second time around and hopefully retain the information :) The pro is that the instructor is really cool and the tests are just essay questions which I feel more comfortable with, but the con is that it's pretty much lecturing and taking notes writing as fast as you can the whole time!! I actually try to design my notes so that they are visually appealing to look at it... is that weird? hehe


I think I'm really going to enjoy my Publication Design class. I will be learning InDesign in depth and since there are some newbies in the class we are going at a slow pace, which is good. I've already learned so many tricks in just one class I'm excited to see what our projects will be!


But I have to say from first impressions I'm most excited about my Concepts & Critical Thinking class... the whole term will revolve around a single project based off our own personal mall store concept, its business identity, marketing concepts, store layout and design, then wrap it up with a research paper on how we solved problems and came to solutions and closure. Next class we are going to head over to the mall to be inspired by the stores and come up with our own store sketches and ideas. How cool is that? It's exciting to me, and I really want it to be amazing. I know I will most likely have to use a lot of programs that I'm not yet comfortable using, which will definitely be the big challenge, but I have found that the most challenging projects are the ones that I'm most proud of. 


I hope this change in my schedule doesn't show in my blogging! I'm going to put sponsors on hold until I can develop a more dependable blogging routine. 


I'll leave you with some of my latest obsessions that seem to have me under a spell... enjoy :)


TSUNAMI'S "DON JUAN" SUSHI ROLL
{via}
Oh my... in my opinion this is God's gift to mankind. 
Tuna, Crab, Smoked Salmon, and Cream Cheese, Tempura Fried & Served with eel sauce... HEAVENLY!

LEMONADE ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINKS
{via}
These babies get me through night school and they are delicious! I'm usually not a fan of energy drinks because they taste weird and awful, but this one is non-carbonated and tastes just like lemonade. 
Can you say addicting?

MAXI DRESSES
{via}
I really, reeeeally want one!

AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL CYCLE 16
Confession: I've been obsessed with this show since junior year in high school, seen every season and every episode. I got so upset with the winner last cycle that I swore I wouldn't watch again (I've done that a lot) but... I keep watching. It's down to the final three and the season finale is this Wednesday! 
I'm rooting for Brittani to win this one! (yes, those are live bees!)

{via}


SEAGRAM'S SWEET TEA VODKA
{via}
Mmmm... mix up this delicious concoction with some Sprite and you got the perfect iced tea! 
I have a feeling I will be sipping on these all summer long :)


. . . now back to the grind! 

May 08, 2011

Mother's Day

                                                                                                             {image via Pinterest, typography added by me}

Happy Mother's Day 
to my wonderful mom and to all the lovely mothers out there who sacrifice a lot more than pie!

May 03, 2011

My Ridiculous Road to RED!

Ohhh boy... do I have a story for you guys!!!

Remember when I mentioned I would be dying my hair red? 

Well last night was the evening of my transformation. I had went with my hairstylist to pick out the color. We found this really pretty warm red/copper tone that was a little lighter than what I had originally wanted but the hair sample was my favorite.

She mixed in the color with a neutralizer that was supposed to tone down the red and bring out more of the brown so it wouldn't be too overwhelming.

About five minutes in I heard her mumble, "Oh dear..."

"Oh god... what?"

"Nothing... it's just already starting to lift pretty quickly."

"Oh... well does it look OK?"

........

"CHALESE!!!"

"Well I think it will go darker, lets just finish and see if it changes."

"Um... OK... well what color is it?"

"It's... um... kinda orange."

"Liiiiike red orange or like mac and cheese orange?"

"Ummm..."

"CHALESE!!!!"

This conversation kept going until I checked it halfway through and saw that the color on my roots resembled the color of mac and cheese.

NO JOKE.

Soooo we decided to let it sit for the 40 minutes and see if it darkened at all.

It didn't.

Shortly after washing and drying it I realized I looked exactly like Vitamin C!!!!





UM.... YEAH.

"This one time... when I had yellow hair..."

This is how I responded when my husband tried to tell me it looked good...


I was kinda freaking out but I was laughing more than anything! I mean, how often do you get to see yourself with Vitamin C hair?

Thankfully my stylist rushed down to Sally's before it closed and fixed it with a red/brown color and added some brown low lights. It's darker than what I expected, but I'm really digging my new style!

Check me out!



Despite the color drama, I am so happy with the end result! I'm back to my natural dark tone but feel a little bit more feisty with that red tint...

And just to be clear- I LOVE MY STYLIST! She has been doing my hair for a couple years now, SHE'S AMAZING, and it was NOT her fault! We both have no idea how the hell it happened, but the important thing is that she stayed til 11:00 PM going above and beyond to fix it. I LOVE YOU CHALESE!!!

After telling my terrifying tale to co-workers this morning and hearing their own funny color-gone-bad stories, I'm just dying to know... has anything like this happened to you before??? DO TELL!

For now I'll leave you with one of my favorite Vitamin C songs.... 
"SMILE :D"


May 02, 2011

New Month, New Design!

Happy Monday, fellow bloggers! How was everyone's weekend?

It's a new month and you might have noticed my blog has had a complete makeover! 

I love it... but seriously dudes... what a pain in the ass! Despite several breakdowns full of shouting profanities and almost throwing my laptop across the room (I may have a slight case of rage?) I have successfully completed my first re-design!

It feels good to be able to customize my blog on my own and to finally have a header that I made myself- not taken from a free blog background website :) It's also a little preview of what I may be doing for a living someday, and even though it's frustrating at times, it's still really fun to play and have it all work out in the end :)

What do you think of the changes?

I'm considering doing sponsors soon... I'll post the prices and details later on this week! :)