Weekend ramblings for June 16, 2012
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Next weekend is IMATS LA!! I’m looking forward to meeting so many people!! Later today I’m headed across town to meet up with several other beauty bloggers for dinner, and tomorrow will be spent cropping and resizing all the photos I took two weeks ago. I hope to find time to swatch the colors from Meow’s Joys of Summer collection, so that I can at least have those swatch photos and my initial recommendations for folks this week!
I can’t believe that IMATS LA is next week! Some wild whim possessed me and I ordered site cards with the site, Twitter, and Facebook URLs on them. And because it’s so close to the date that I’ll be leaving, I paid for rush processing and shipping. The crazy notions that grab hold of my brain…I’m not soliciting advertising of PR samples or sponsored posts, I don’t consider myself a “pro” blogger…but I felt the urge to make business cards?!?? (And matching magnets. Because I’m as much of a sucker for special deals as the next person. Lawzy.) If you’re attending IMATS LA, they just released a free smartphone app that will let you see all the exhibitors and scheduled events, check floorplans, and keep up to date with any late changes or additions. I don’t know for sure, but I’m assuming that there will be an app for IMATS Vancouver, Toronto, et cetera.
There are some reports of malware circulating on Blogger and Blogspot sites. This can happen when someone installs a widget that doesn’t come from a trusted source, or that DOES come from a trusted source but pulls in a file from a third source…and that third source gets hacked. This doesn’t have anything to do with Blogger as much as it does individual bloggers who just happen to see and install a widget that doesn’t play nicely with others. In the next few months, I’m going to be putting together a managed WP hosting package - bloggers can have WordPress installed for them, they can choose the theme or hire a designer to build them a custom theme if they wish, and I and my team will handle all software and WP plugin updates. I have to work out pricing, but I’ll be working with a colleague who’s used WordPress for several years, installed and maintained client WordPress installations for at least five years, and has been a hosting client of mine for almost half a decade. Release of this plan will coincide with the anniversary of completing my tenth year as a professional web host, just a few months from today!!
You may have heard a thing or two about Revlon’s Just Bitten Balmstains (chubby pencil-balms with excellent color payoff.) I’m here confirming, again, that they are excellent - and a great value. They’re an even better buy through June at Walgreen’s, where they’re buy one-get one 50% off. Not quite as good a deal as the 40% off people got at Rite-Aid the first weekend of June, but still a fairly good price! You can get the two colors that interest you the most, and then keep your eye out for sales on Drugstore.com or at your local stores to save money when you buy the others.
Stila has restocked its Last Chance section, adding all their lip liners, several of their lip glosses, a few shades of the long-wearing lip color, and their green and blue smudge pots. That’s right, Stila’s going the same route as MAC and removing all but the “basic” colors from its smudge pot lineup. My only guess is that now that Maybelline’s Color Tattoos are out and quench our thirst for brighter shades, Stila and MAC’s decision to sharply pare down their paint/smudge pot lines makes good business sense. I ordered myself a pair of backups in each shade, along with a set of their lipliners and a few lip colors. At $7 for the smudge pots, and pretty deep discounts on the other products I bought, I’ve got myself a nice little haul on the way.
For the past month I’ve been wearing Thierry Mugler’s Womanity perfume almost every day. I decided to give this a try after reading the description on Lucy Writes. The perfume is strong enough that if I spritz my lower neck, I get a bit of a headache; so I’ve been spraying my stomach, then dabbing my wrists and putting a little bit behind each ear. I get the benefit of renewed scent throughout the day as my body heat warms the perfume, but the source of it is far enough from my nose that it doesn’t clobber me.
In other perfume news (and just when did I become a nascent perfume junkie?!??) I ordered Stila’s Fragrance Rollerball Trio in late April. The set was inexpensive enough at $25 for three fragrance rollerballs; and the scents sounded like a good mixture, so I bought a kit. I am less than perfectly delighted with the kit. Sure, the three perfumes are nice, and there’s a good mixture of sweet, floral, and citrus…but the scents dissipate fairly quickly. The rollerballs are also glass, and they seem a little fragile. I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable chucking them in a purse or an overnight bag - which, to me, seems like one of the primary pluses of a rollerball applicator: its portability and ease of spot-application. So while I’m not cursing with regret over my Stila fragrance purchase, I can’t really recommend it to anyone else. If you want nice scents that are inexpensive and in rollerball format, just stick with Avon. I remember getting a rollerball of Sweet Honesty in my Christmas stocking when I was 12! Those rollerballs may not be the prettiest ones around; but they’re not flimsy or super-fragile.
Last weekend was spent hunting free-to-use fractal graphics, for these miscellaneous posts. I stumbled on a real treasure trove with the Fractal Science Kit! The images in the gallery are varied, gorgeous, and are free for noncommercial use (with attribution); but the site also sells the software used to make the fractals, AND it has lots of tutorials on how to get the various effects! I’ve long been interested in fractals as design elements, as well as some of the mathematical properties, but when I’ve previously downloaded fractal plugins or software, the directions have not been all that great. If you were willing to spend a lot of time finagling with the software, or already knew a little bit about fractal-graphic generation programs, you could get some pretty interesting results. But if that was your first foray, once past any program presets, you were pretty much left on your own. Finally, there’s some software that lets the pros really play, and shows beginners how to start playing about without condescending to us! It’s like teaching someone to use Photoshop for the first time: you’ve got to start with some basics to give folks context within the program. Sure the beginning knows what a menu is, and how to use a mouse; but beyond that, the program specifics and language are geared toward people who already have a bit of knowledge. A quick guidebook is needed. And this site does provide such a guidebook, as well as example images.