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Ipsy January Unveiling

  • Posted on February 25, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Alright, so you might not know this about me, but I am a beauty-holic. Basically, I’ve fallen in love with things like makeup, jewelry, hair-and-body-care things, and in general just girly things. This means that I, like so many others, have fallen prey to the Subscription Box charm. Specifically, Ipsy.

Now, for those of you who don’t know (and probably don’t care) Ipsy is a makeup subscription service that you can get for $10/mo, and it sends you four or five makeup-items. It’s rather nice, actually, because there’s a quiz you fill out and then you get makeup based on your profile. Like having a personal shopper do it for you, you get the goods, without all the fuss.

Now, why am I, an author, writing about this on my author-y blog? Because, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to make money in the writing field, sometimes, you’re going to have to do things outside your normal range of writing! It’s a lesson in expanding your abilities. So, in my case, I’m going to provide a review of the items I received in my January Ipsy Bag.

Starting with:

The Glam Bag itself:

 

 

As you can see, this cute pink bag has a lovely diamond pattern to it. It’s made of an interesting material, most likely a poly-blend. The pink and the gray offset each other nicely, and it’s a decent size if all you want to do is carry a small amount of makeup. I have to carry some outside of it, because I am a pack-rat, and use a lot of makeup. The cute Ipsy pull makes for advertising in a cheeky way.  Way to go, Ipsy, for putting yourself out there!

 

 

Cargo Cosmetics Mini-Lipgloss in Anguilla

This lip-gloss is one of the best lip-glosses I’ve ever had. Despite having a stick-applicator with that fuzzy-tip that I hate, it’s still really easy to put on. It does have an odd sort of almost-tacky leftover feel, but it glides on smooth. The color is fantastic as well, when mixed with a Nyx Simply Red Lip Creme (in Candy Apple) it does the most amazing pink-ombre on my lips ever. It does smell a tiny bit funky, but other than that, it’s lovely! Definitely a recommend.

 

 

 

Model co BLUSH cheek powder in Peach Bellini

A blush for the ages. I adore this thing, no doubt about it. This blush gives me the rosiest cheeks, and makes me look five years younger, it’s great. I can’t wait to try out more from this company. It even comes in a nice round container, without being overly large! It fits beautifully in the Glambag, and in my hand!

Luxie Beauty Large-Angled Face Brush 504

This brush is mainly what I was buying this Ipsy subscription for! I had been hoping for an angled eye-shadow brush, but this beauty is just AMAZING. It’s great for applying the BLUSH we talked about earlier. Plus, it is soft as a button! It’s survived two weeks in my purse now, and I think it’s going to survive a lot longer! The pink handle is absolutely darling too. I have NO complaints.

 

Pencil Me In cosmetics Natural Eyeliner in Amethyst

Oh where was this eyeliner when I was eighteen and going through my emo-phase? It’s a lovely purple color, just like the name implies. Although I do find this particular eyeliner breaks at the tip pretty easily, the natural formula really entices. I have to admit, however, this one lives on my dresser, and I rarely use it.

And last, but most certainly least:

Eva NYC Up-All-Night Volumizing Spray

This one was the let down of the whole bag. I honestly didn’t get to try it! It broke open on transit, dousing the rest of the bag. Thank goodness it didn’t damage anything. However, since I had stated that I didn’t really WANT any hair-products in my bag (I have a pixie-ish A-line, as you can see in my photos), it was more a blessing in disguise. I let Ipsy know about the situation, and they were more than happy to send out a replacement. I haven’t received that replacement yet, but I’ll be happy to update this review once I do, if anyone is interested!

 

 

 

 

All in all, I’m really satisfied with the first Ipsy bag. The makeup is nice, the lip-gloss to die for, and I found everything else quite happily living in my purse during the week. Not only is much of it useful for my daily apply-makeup-on-bus schedule, but it looks GREAT on me too!  I am a little disappointed that one of the products was damaged, but I couldn’t really blame Ipsy for that. I blame the postal service! Damn postal workers.

Look at him. That smile is so fake. I’m watching you.

(All pictures (except mr. Mailman) courtesy of the Ipsy website. No offense meant to our fine national postal workers, they work hard, and I couldn’t help making the joke. Sorry!)

A day in the life of a saleswoman

  • Posted on December 20, 2014 at 1:52 am

As my schedule is varied and odd, I find my sleep schedule to be rather moot at this point. So while I sit awake at 1:14 am, I find myself contemplating my life choices. So therefore, I thought I would go through a day as myself. Perhaps this will help show some revelation or appearify some solution to my odd malaise.

Sleep has always been an odd thing for me. I remember when I was a young teen, I would go to bed, and lay there for hours on end, ‘elven dreaming’. I would later recognise this as a form of dissociation, but to me, it was simply a way of living a life inside my mind. Like reading a good fanfiction or reading a story I’d written myself, I became someone else in my mind, and that person lived a whole different life. Often, in the presence of my favorite characters, and in lives that I envied. It was often this that lulled me to sleep. Now, I don’t have this ability, and often I find myself sleepless.

When I wake up, it is usually at the start of what I call my “Get Ready Hour”. This is the hour I give myself before I have to leave my apartment in order to get ready for work. I don’t know when I started giving myself an hour, but I think it was perhaps in middle or high school. Every other day, I shower in the morning. When I shower, I brush my teeth before hand, and shave in the shower. I was my face on days like this, usually. Sometimes, I forget.  After my shower, I get dressed in clothes I prepared before my shower.

My work calls for me to be well dressed. My favorite outfit currently is a pencil skirt made of thick material, tights in a cable pattern, and a nice blouse. I usually put either a cardigan or a suit jacket over that. Jewelry goes on next, after I brush my wet hair into shape. I don’t do my makeup at home. I tend to think of this as a waste of time. After all, I have such a long commute.

Then, I check my computer. I usually end up replying to anyone who is on Skype, and to my roleplays. Then, I watch youtube videos, or surf tumblr. If I feel particularly self-defeating, I check the views on my site. Lately, I’ve been feeling as if I am horrible for not posting more, since there are people waiting patiently for new posts. I make promises to myself to post more. It doesn’t really work much, but I try.

When it hits the end of the “Get Ready Hour”, I put on my scarf and coat and set my headphones in my phone. I turn on an audiobook, via the OverDrive App, and start my commute. I get my bike out of the shed, the blue one with it’s little baskets on either side of the back wheel, and I bicycle the five blocks to the bus stop. Usually, I arrive just five or ten minutes before the bus I need. Sometimes, I am late, and have to wait twenty minutes for the next bus.

While I wait for my bus to arrive, I usually have time to curl my eyelashes, and apply mascara and eye liner. The audiobook I’ve chosen continues to play in the background. Once I see the bus coming down the block, I put away the makeup and set my purse on the ground. Putting my bike onto the bike rack of the bus, I then take my purse back, and get onto the bus. I have an old badge from an old job where they still provide free bus-passes via your badge for employees, so… I must admit I am stealing free bus rides every day to and from work.

On the bus ride to work, I usually finish my makeup, and then switch to music instead of the audiobook. I either surf the internet on my phone, or take one of the books I keep in my purse out and read them. I usually get through half a chapter. Maybe. Once the bus ride is over, I get off and bike around the mall-building to the bike-rack. Locking up my bike, I go inside, and wait around the time before my shift.

Work is difficult. Especially when I rarely seem to understand what I’m supposed to be doing at any time. I have a few routines I go through, which help a little. I clean the glass at the counters. I greet customers, and offer to show them something like our one carat diamond rings, or our Vera Wang collection. I try to talk them into buying something, and most of the time I succeed! During lull times, I talk with my coworkers, or I clean jewelry. I check in repairs and call guests. I straighten the jewels in their cases, or I try jewelry on, and dream.

Recently, I’ve found myself feeling jealous of the women who come into my jewelry store. Their perfect nails. Their perfect hair. Their perfect families, and husbands, who buy them things that I sell. I wonder if I will ever find something like that for myself. If I even want something like that for myself. Do I want a husband, who will work hard and allow me these jewels? Do I want to earn the jewels myself? Do I want what those women have, or do I just think so because I see it from the outside?

These are thoughts I have on bad days. On good days, I think about how much I’ve earned by selling them. One percent of my sales is my commission, and that, along with my hourly, makes for decent paychecks. I usually get a half hour paid lunch, although I always feel guilty for taking it. Me, my boss and one other full timer are the only ones who take lunches. The third full timer takes fifteen minute smoke breaks instead, and the part timers don’t take any breaks at all. You see why I feel guilty?

I don’t really ever make myself lunch. I started doing that for a while, and then… It became difficult. I couldn’t make myself get up early to make them, and making them the night before meant thinking about work the next day, and I just… I don’t know, it feels like something dangerous to do. Like if I think about that, it’ll make it come sooner. So I tend to forget breakfast. Lunch comes in the form of a cheap pizza meal at the mall food court. The girls know my order by heart now. I try to compliment them often. In fact, they know me so well they’re willing to loan me lunches on credit, if I need it. That’s a bit dangerous.

After work, I have two routines. If it’s after a night shift, and I’ve closed up, I bicycle home. It’s a four and a half mile bicycle ride in the cold, but I listen to an audiobook on the way home, and I get to see the city lights, which isn’t half bad. Plus most of it is downhill. If it’s an opening shift, and I get off before the buses stop running, I usually take one of them home. I sometimes stop and have dinner on the way home, at olive garden, or the rio grande, or some other restaurant around town on my way home. The food is good, but I always feel guilty about spending the money, because I know I should cook at home, and I know I should save money.

When I get home, I turn on my computer, and immediately continue what I was doing when I left. Watching youtube videos. Playing on Tumblr. Checking my stats. I don’t usually eat until I’m so hungry that I’ve passed into nausea. Then, I find the simplest meal I can make, and eat it. Sometimes, I write. Some nights I take a bath, or make a masque for my face, so that hopefully, I won’t lose much of my beauty. Sometimes I bake. But I haven’t recently.

I check a website called Sleepyti.me in order to find out when I should go to sleep to wake up on time. Until that time, I play on the internet. And then, I go to sleep. Sometimes, I masturbate. And then, I get up in the morning to do it all again. A day in the life of a saleswoman. My life is boring, I think. Although to be honest… I do love my life. I hate it but I love it at the same time.

October IWSG – A Hard Lesson

  • Posted on October 1, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Today, when I woke up, I was excited. At my work, we get to put on special events every so often, and I’ve always been told that these events are the easiest way to make my monthly quota on sales. So, since there had been two and a half months before this particular special event, I worked my tail off, getting appointments set up, prospecting buyers, and making sure the merchandise would have what I needed to make my quota.

I ate a small breakfast, and coffee, and dressed in one of my best dresses. I put on my warpaint, and smiled my sweetest smile. I rode my bike to work, and when I got there, I put my best foot forward, trying to make sure everything was perfect for this day. You see, I had a goal. My goal? 15 grand in sales. This goal, clearly, was WAY over the top, since my bosses goal for me was only 2500 in sales.

You probably want to know what this has to do with writing books, and I’m getting to it, I promise. But first, you have to understand. I was pumped. I was confident, happy, absolutely sure that my work was going to pay off. That I was going to end up in the big leagues. For the last two months, my manager had filled my head with stories about how he made 34k once at one of these special events. How he’d managed to put his name on the board. I was looking forward to finally proving I was GOOD at something in the working world.

When the time for my first appointment passed, I found a sinking feeling growing in my stomach. I knew the next six hours would be tough, because the rest of my appointments were scheduled AFTER my normal six hour shift. You see, on special event days, we’re allowed to stay until our last appointment leaves. I was set to leave at three, but my next three appointments weren’t until five, five thirty, and six thirty. Which meant I’d be cutting it very close to my deadline to catch the final bus home, instead of having to ride my bike the four and a half miles home in the soon-to-be-winter cold.

Tensions rose, as more and more appointments passed and no one showed. My manager started coming down hard on all of us, and morale was low. I will admit, I’ve had issues with panic attacks at work before, and when under this sort of pressure, I tend to hide how absolutely wrecked I am. I had to take small breaks in the break room to avoid bursting into tears under the dark cloud of failure. As my appointments passed one by one, I had to accept the fact that all of my hard work had been for nothing.

The guests never showed. I didn’t get to sell the great big amounts I had hoped to sell. I sold perhaps 200 dollars today, and that doesn’t feel like any kind of victory to me, when, in order to hold up my end of our team, I needed 2300 more than that. I left my store feeling like a failure. And then, to find out the bus had already gone? Well, let’s just say, my bike ride was even colder thanks to my tears.

Now, you ask me again, what does this have to do with writing? Well, more specifically, it has to do with perseverance. Because writing, being an author, and getting published? Oh, you can bet there are times when they feel just like I felt on that bike in the cold autumn wind. There is nothing more heart-wrenching then putting your heart and soul into something, really breaking your back over it, only to find that all that work was for nothing.

Whether you’re choosing independent publishing or traditional, it doesn’t matter. You ARE going to experience the sort of heartache I describe here in vivid detail. Months without sales on your amazon account. Rejection letter after rejection letter in your inbox. These things WILL happen. Nothing can stop them. No one is a success overnight, despite what the tabloids say.

I bet you’ve heard what I’m going to say next many, many times. But I have a precursor to it. I’m not going to just jump into the ‘you have to shoulder it and move on speech’, because honestly? That’s the most emotionally bass-ackwards poppycock I’ve ever heard. NOTHING should be tossed aside like that, when you have put so much effort into it. Mourn it! Throw yourself a small pity party! Whine about it to friends and family members. Post about it on Facebook. Eat ice cream until you feel sick, all the while crying into your favorite blanket! Do what you need to do to get over that sick feeling in your heart.

Because once you’re finally over it. Once the hurt has settled, and you can look back on it and begin to analyze it carefully, you’ll see areas where you can improve. Where you can move beyond what USED to be your hardest work, your most effort, and turn it into more. You’ll begin to see the moments you can turn from sand into diamonds. And there is nothing in the world more valuable than that moment of clarity, after the tears, after the sorrow. So yes, today, I was a VERY insecure writer. However, after this important lesson, and a good bout of tears and apple crisp, I have found myself even more devoted.

Because the goals I set myself are just that. Goals. Things to work towards, no matter how far I fall flat from them for now. A mistake here, a failure there, these aren’t things to fear. These are things to persevere.

thanks to www.fanpop.com for use of their autumn background for this poster.October IWSG – A Hard Lesson

For more Insecure Writers giving you good advice, please visit the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Breaking Down Nemesis: Part Three

  • Posted on August 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Hello again, all! Time for Part Three of the Breaking Down Nemesis Series, in which we break down “Miss Marple Takes Action”. For those of you just joining us, the previous two posts can be found by clicking the above posts, or these links right here: Part One and Part Two.

At the last we left off, Miss Marple had just finished reading a letter from the deceased Mr. Rafiel, who provided her with a code-word– “Nemesis”- and instructions to solve a crime. But what crime? Now, Miss Marple must take action, as the chapter title so endearingly states, and we begin to see how the lovable elderly lady whom Murder She Wrote was based upon works!

This gif says everything.

Like us, Miss Marple is startled over the amount of information she received. Or rather, the sheer lack of information. Dismissing the idea of Mr. Broadribb providing her any more information, Jane quickly decides that it was intriguing. And that, perhaps, Mr. Rafiel had meant it to be.

She then goes on to describe it as a crossword puzzle with no clues given. Considering for a moment, that he might have meant her to take a plane or boat to the West Indies or to South America, she decides that if that’s what he meant, he’s insane. Which, I agree. After all, he couldn’t expect her to find something to solve there that had anything to do with him? No, instead, Miss Marple would have to find something from her own stores of knowledge.

Three days later, Miss Marple writes a letter to Mr. Broadribb, letting him know she’s accepted the proposal (and wants that 25000. See Part Two for a visual representation of the money.) and that she really was expecting more information. She asks him questions about Mr. Rafiel’s relationships and connections, and whether or not he’d had a relative that might have fallen on an unjust situation.

Again, we are treated to Mr. Broadribb and Mr. Schuster talking. They seem to have no idea what to tell her either. Now, in this section, Mr. Schuster said something that I find rather offensive.

“-I don’t see the least chance that some old pussy from the country can interpret a dead man’s brain and know what fantasy was plaguing him.-”

-Mr. Schuster

Now, I realize that it was true to the times, as this is exactly how a man of that day and age might talk if he were uncultured swine, and I think it was used exactly to show that this man was boorish and rude. More and more I find myself disliking this man. I hope he ends up getting kicked by a horse or something. He also brings up the idea that Mr. Rafiel might be trying to take Miss Marple down a peg, ‘teach her a lesson’ so to speak, by sending her on a fool’s errand.

Mr. Broadribb, however, doesn’t. He seems to think that something was worrying Mr. Rafiel, and that he was dead serious about all this. Since neither can fathom what Mr. Rafiel might have been thinking, they decide to wait for some development. Meanwhile, Miss Marple waited for something to turn up as well. In fact, she ends up getting yelled at by Cherry for taking walks too much.

Apparently, her doctor has said that she wasn’t to exercise too much. Which honestly sounds odd to me, because exercise has good affects on the health. But well, it was back in old times, so. Cherry, done telling Miss Marple off, goes and has dinner with her husband, Chinese food, specifically, which set me off to craving Chinese too.

During after-dinner tea, she and Miss Marple talk about the house at the end of the village, which has been repainted, done up and someone called Miss Hastings moved in. If you remember from Part One, Miss Hastings is the employer of Miss Bartlett, whom Miss Marple talked about gardens with briefly. Miss Marple decides just then to write a letter. Specifically, to another friend from this previous adventure we still know nothing about, a Miss Prescott, who is sister to Canon Prescott, a clergyman.  She feels much better after sending the letter, because at least she’s done something.

Joan replies quickly, informing her of Mrs. Walter’s location. Apparently, Mrs. Walters DID remarry, and she’s now Mrs. Alderson or Anderson now. Miss Prescott provides her address, and Miss Marple sleeps on whether or not she should contact her by surprise, or write her first. And that night, she has a dream: MissMarpleDreamQuote

“I had a curious dream,…I was talking to someone, not anyone I knew very well. Just talking. Then when I looked, I saw it wasn’t that person at all I was talking to. It was somebody else. Very odd.”

This is the most brilliant bit of foreshadowing I’ve ever seen. Who does it refer to? Is Mrs. A not going to turn out to be who Miss Marple remembers? Perhaps Joan Prescott was not who she seemed? Or maybe something else entirely! I can’t wait to find out. What a lovely shiver from it, it seems so important!

Decided now, Miss Marple asks Cherry to help her set up a sting operation. Cherry is to call Mrs. A, and ask if she’s to be home today. If she answers or if she is going to come to the phone, she’s to say that Cherry is Mr. Broadribb’s secretary and ask if she can meet with him later that week. If she is to be home that day, then Cherry is to find out when she comes back.

Turns out Mrs. A is going to be in all day, and Miss Marple sets off in a cab towards her next clue!

I’ve noticed a trend, as I began breaking down these chapters. They’re quite short, for the most part. Easy to digest in a bus ride or over a lunch break. I find it easy enough to read a chapter, but not so easy to stop. With things picking up the pace, I can definitely begin to see why some have called Miss Agatha’s work addictive. I didn’t go into much detail about it, but even the cab-company gets some expanding on, information that Miss Marple remembers.

The descriptions in the beginning ARE very lengthy and quite detailed, which is definitely a point towards out Agatha Christie Code theory. But what drew me in the most in this chapter is how seamlessly Miss Marple went from having no idea what to do next, to thinking through, logically, onto what she should do next, her next point of contact. It was, again, very organic. It was what I had been thinking about in chapter two, just after I read the letter. Contacting Mrs. A is her best bet, and the logic of it gives the reader a sense of accomplishment, because they thought of it too.

In the comments section, please tell me your opinion on this. Is it a good thing to allow the reader to guess what is going to happen before hand? Or does it ruin the mystery of the story? When was the last time you read something so compelling that it felt as if you were deducing it yourself before the character?

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