Monday, December 30, 2013

Body modification: My dermal anchor

So, I am very into the body modification lifestyle. To an extent, everyone is. If you dye your hair, or even shave your legs you are technically doing body modification. However, more minor instances don't tend to be included. I like all of it, even the most extreme cases. But body modification is a personal journey about what works for you to make yourself look how you see fit.

I have stretched earlobes (1/2 inch), tattoos, and a dermal anchor. I also used to have my lip pierced, but it has closed up. But today I'm going to be talking about my microdermal anchor, because I just got it re-done!

First and foremost I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I am not a professional by any means. I am just sharing what I have learned and believe to be fact. Feel free to correct (with sources) if I'm mistaken about something. Also I am not the best at explaining things. If you want more thorough explanations you can google 'dermal anchors'.

I'm going to cover some frequently asked questions as well as my personal experience with having it done twice.

What is a dermal anchor?
Also called microdermal anchors & micro-dermal implants, dermals are shallow piercings that only have one entry point. For instance, in a lip piercing it goes in one side of the lip, and out the other. A dermal anchor only makes a small pocket, and does not go 'out' the other side. Popular places to get a dermal anchor are on your chest, on your face (usually in a 'tear drop' placement), and on your lower back (where back dimples would be).

How does it work?
The piercer uses a needle to create a shallow pocket. Then they place the anchor part in. The anchor part resembles this: _i_   The bottom part usually has holes in it that allow your tissue to go through it and attach to it and hold it in place. Then they screw in the gem into the top. Once it's properly healed, you can change the gem out.

How do you take it out?
Aside from accidentally ripping it out (more on that in a minute.....) the only way to get it taken out is by going back to your piercer and getting them to remove it. Normally this is done by making a very small incision and removing the base.

Does it hurt?
The first time I got it done (in 2009) I don't remember it hurting at all. This could be because I have a high pain tolerance or just because my memory has faded. However when I got it re-done, in the same spot, it did hurt. Not unbearable or anything, but it wasn't pleasant. I would say the first part with the needle is just a quick sharp pain and is over quickly. However when they screw the head on, that is what hurt more. I also had to go through scar tissue that time and I had a different piercer, who was more rough in my opinion. So all of those are factors in the pain meter.

Below are pictures of me getting it done. They are not graphic but if you are easily queasy you might not want to look!

Here is when I was getting it done for the first time, in 2009.  This is the part with the needle.

One last picture of the piercing progress.

Here is immediately after I got it done the first time.

Everything was going fine for about a year...
Until one night, after consuming one too many captain & cokes, I decided to race my friend to the car (to get something, not to drive anywhere!) I veered off the sidewalk and found myself face first in a tall bush.
I didn't think anything of it that night...and I didn't feel any pain (thank you Captain Morgan). But when I looked in the mirror the next day, my poor dermal was lopsidedly hanging out.
I actually went back to the shop, got it re-set and thought it was fine. But it rejected and before I knew it it was lopsidedly hanging out again. So I went back again and got it taken out.

3 years went by and I was a very sad girl. I had gotten used to seeing my dermal in the mirror and in pictures. I missed it! I didn't feel like myself without it.

So, this Friday the 13th (December 2013) I finally took the plunge and got it re-done!

I don't have any pictures because I went by myself. But here's some photos of the after math.

This was the next day, as you can see there was still some redness around it.

notice anything different? I may be in the middle of dying my hair blonde!

So there we have it! That's the story of my dermal anchor. Any questions? Leave them in the comments below!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Haul

Normally I wouldn't feel the urge to post what I got for Christmas. But I am doing so for a few reasons.
1- I have read on blogs recently people proclaiming to be 'so nosey' and wanting to know what others got for Christmas. So, why not oblige?
2- I left Christmas this year feeling overwhelmingly thankful for the people in my life, and how grateful I am for the gifts they kindly gave me. This year I got truly spoiled and I could not be more thankful!
3- A lot of my gifts were beauty related! So of course it's only natural to share them on my blog!!

First and foremost is the lovely gifts I got from my friend from work, Jessica from Leopurrd. She definitely spoiled me, as you can see! Here's a closer look:

Aside from the Seche Vite quick dry top coat that she knows I use, she got me these 2 lovely shades of OPI nail polish.
On the left is OPI DS Magic . Right when I saw the silver cap I knew this must be a special polish. I was right! The DS stands for Designer Series. So this is a lovely extra fancy polish. It's a shimmery sparkley blue that flashes a purple duochrome. I guess to me it's a true blurple, since it shifts!
On the right is OPI Underneath the Mistletoe, which is part of the Mariah Carey holiday 2013 polishes. It's a red jelly with silver glitter which is exciting because it's my first jelly polish!

In addition to the unique polishes, she gave me my first BH cosmetics! I got the 120 palette, the first edition. I love how thoughtful Jessica was- she got me and another friend of ours both the 120 palette. However she got me the first edition because it contained mostly bright colors and she knew that's what I liked; meanwhile she got our friend an edition that contained mostly neutrals because she knew that's what she liked! Truly thoughtful, I tell you!

Above is the top layer- soo manyyy cooolors!

And here is the 2nd row of colors. So many colors I don't know what to do with!

My favorite part about this palette is the size. I thought it was going to be the kinda palette that you leave at home (I often do my makeup on the go or at a friends house) but to my delight the size is perfect to throw in my makeup tote and bring along with me. It's not too big at all!

Not pictured that she also got me is the BH cosmetics flawless brow trio in medium. I didn't take a picture of this because I have used it far too much for it to be picture-pretty. I have to say that I like this trio better than the ELF one I was using before!

This amazing present was sent all the way from Colorado from my best friend! And how well does she know me!! First the 'big' gift is this lovely nail polish set from Sephora. In addition to the ones pictured is a black, clear, a multicolored glitter polish, and a set of star shaped studs. These are all great staple colors to have in your collection so of course I'm thankful for them.
However, the main star of this present is the Hocus Pocus lanyard! I can't wait to put my work badge on it and wear it every day. This just truly goes to show how well my bestie knows me, since it's in my top 5 favorite movies of all time! We also watched it one year in the middle of July just because! So this movie has memories for us, as well. I thought it was a very sweet and thoughtful gift to include, when the polishes would have been more than enough!

Now every year my mom usually buys me a fragrance for Christmas or my birthday. This is usually an interesting experience because my mom has no sense of smell! However somehow she has usually managed to be spot on with my taste- I don't know how she does it! Well, this year she cheated! Sort of. I truly wasn't expecting this present because my mom got me a big gift this year- pictured below.

Just before Christmas I half-mentioned that I should have asked her for a perfume this year, since I don't currently have one. She asked what I would have wanted and I didn't tell her because I felt that she already spent too much on me. Yet on Christmas here I opened a full size bottle of Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck! Whaaa? How did she know?! Apparently at one point I mentioned in a store that I loved it while I tested it. I don't even remember this and yet here it was under my Christmas tree! Truly taken aback and pleasantly surprised by this gift. I love this scent!

Now I'm saving the biggest & best for last so I'm going to shove these non-beauty items in here awkwardly.

If you know me then you know that my favorite animal is an Orca whale. I'm obsessed. So my boyfriend adopted one in my name! It's Princess Angeline from the J pod near San Juan islands in Washington. I have a friend that lives there and works for the whale watching tours so I have lusted after going there for years now. So he adopted me this whale because it's the next best thing :P

Princess Angeline was picked especially for me because for one, she's a princess, and I am also a princess. For two, her pod number is J-17 and my birthday is June 17th. And lastly, she was one of the whales in the Free Willy movies! I love those movies because they are what got me interested in Orcas when I was just 5 years old.

My boyfriend's family can always be counted on for media related gifts. They are religious black friday shoppers and always are sure to get media at a ridiculously good price!
This year they got me Pretty Little Liars seasons 1 &3, Season 3 of Justified (PLL and Justified are my 2 favorite shows! Next to Parks & Recreation). They also got me Eminem's Marshall Mathers 2 LP and (not pictured) Miley Cyrus's Bangerz, which is currently in the car player!

The big gift I mentioned my mom got me was this Nikon Coolpix S3500 point & shoot. I'm going on a cruise at the end of January and really wanted a point & shoot to take along so that I wouldn't have to drag my DSLR everywhere, and also because I don't feel comfortable taking it off the ship. So I am so excited to have a point and shoot camera again! Woo! Thanks momma.

Now for the grand finale!

First and foremost is this set of holiday MAC brushes that I got from my boyfriend. To be fair I specifically asked for these. I was going to buy them for myself but they sold out online. So naturally, I sent my boyfriend on a quest to find them. And he did! He got the last one apparently!

These are my first MAC brushes!!! I only own Elf brushes other than this, so this is a big deal!
Speaking of deal, this was a great one! I couldn't ever bring myself to buy any MAC brushes because the price is quite steep. However with this limited edition Holiday collection, the price of each brush is less than half price!
I got "the essentials" set, which comes with 168, 193, 217, 239, and 212.
I can't wait to try out these brushes!!

And, drumroll please...

I know. I know. My jaw is on the floor, too. ALL THREE Naked palettes?!?
I can't even.
Technically one is from my boyfriend, one is from his parents, and one is from his siblings. I am so overwhelmed that they would spend this kind of money on me and I truly can't believe how lucky I am!

To go from never trying a naked palette aside from lustfully swatching a few shades in Ulta, to owning all three is simply unimaginable to me. I don't even know where to begin!

So in 2014 you can expect LOTS of new looks! Between the colors in the 120 palette, the neutrals of Naked, the array of nail colors, and the beautful brushes I have to apply them, I am now so excited to put together looks and tutorials for you! And I'm going to smell great while doing it ;)

So that's the majority of my Christmas haul! I can't believe how blessed I was this year. I hope that you all were doubly blessed as I was and that this holiday brought you all you wanted and ever so much more!

Did you have a good holiday? What do you want to see me swatch first? Let's talk Christmas in the comments below! 

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

P.s. As there is a slight chance this is the last post I will be posting will be the last of 2013 so THANK YOU everyone who has read this blog in 2013 and I hope you stick around through 2014! I can't wait to see what the next year has in store :) 

Friday, December 27, 2013

December IPSY glam bag: celebration

As you can imagine things got pretty busy this month. But hey! The month's not over! So my review is still on time.

I know you guys have missed me (hold the applause) but I am ready to dive head first into 2014. I have so many posts lined up, so many goodies to share, and so many plans for this blog! So I hope you're all down for the ride!

This month's bag was a new design. I love that IPSY is branching out with not only the print design on the bags but the bag design themselves. This month's design had the zipper on the front, instead of across the top. It was a 'patent leather' material with a quilted design. Personally the material gave off a very strange scent at first. It was so strong at first that I couldn't stand it! I put away my bag for days before really looking through it.

The smell eventually settled down, though. 

This month's bag is eh. I am not thrilled but I am not disappointed, either. I feel like I say that frequently about IPSY bags. But that's fine by me. As long as they aren't disappointing then I don't mind dropping $10 a month on it. 

The first item I found was this set of false lashes. It comes with adhesive which is awesome because if it didn't I'd be shit out of luck. 

I am not the type of person who wears falsies that often- mostly because I am really bad at putting them on! I know that's something that comes with practice though so I am glad that I got this.
This is exactly the type of product I like receiving from IPSY. Something that I wouldn't normally want to buy for myself, but enjoy having.

Included was #33, a safe choice. They are just run of the mill lashes. Full and simple.

I've never heard of this brand and the IPSY website links to Ulta to buy it from, so I'm guessing that's the only place to buy it? It can be found here for $3.99

It's no secret that I love nail polish and may have a slight addiction. This is an interesting mini bottle from Indie polish brand Starrily. My first indie polish actually!

Bzzz Bzzz is a glitter bomb with various size glitter in yellow and black. Makes sense with the name, huh? 
However, realistically this is such a random color. Like, unless you like the Steelers, when the heck is this an appropriate color combination?

I can tell you right now I probably won't use this much. But since nail polish pretty much never goes bad, I don't mind tossing this in my collection.

Starrily polish can be found here, however, the store is closed for the holiday. You can't even look at the polishes, which is a bummer. SO I have no idea how much this retails for. I will be updating this as soon as the store is back up and running!

One product that I couldn't be bothered to look twice at is this eyeshadow trio from Pop beauty. 
It's a staple for most collections, a smoky eye trio. shimmery white, grey, and black. However once I saw it I didn't even have interest in opening it. Does that sound bad?
It's just, the truth is, those colors are boring to me. I have a million white eyeshadows and even more black shadows. 

To be completely honest, I didn't even open it to swatch it. I offered it to a friend right when I opened it and really, I had trouble trying to open it anyway so I didn't even bother! I think she will enjoy it so hey that's fine by me! 

So this is another confusing product to find the price for. There doesn't seem to be any trios at all on the Popbeauty website. So if a 10-pack runs for $24, a trio would cost approximately $7.21

After I was less than impressed with the Be a Bombshell chubby pencil, I wasn't too excited to find the Be a Bombshell The One Stick in my bag. It's an extremely chubby cream stick that is supposed to function as lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow.  

I got the shade Flustered, which is described as a "warm, bright pink". 

Swatch is on the left with a blended version on the right. In my opinion this is too bright and pigmented of a color to really work as a blush for me. I like subtle blush, personally. I suppose it would work as a lip color, however since it's so large and shapeless, it's a bit harder to apply than regular lipstick. As an eyeshadow it's more subtle, just a slight tinge of cream color. 

So I'm not stoked on this product, but it's not horrible. It did not sell me on the Be a Bombshell brand, though. Especially since this product retails for $16. I would never pay that much unless it really functioned extremely well as all 3 products it claims to be. 

The last product I accidentally didn't take a picture of the product itself. It's a Nyx round lipstick. I love Nyx but I have never tried their round lipsticks- only their matte lip products. 
I probably would have been happy with any shade. But I was pleased with the one I received- sunflower. 

Sunflower is described as a shimmery red-orange, but I see it as a coral. In the swatch above, it's the one on the far left. I really like this color because it's not one that I would buy for myself in the store because I'm not usually drawn to coral colors. However I will gladly wear it now that it's in my collection. For that reason alone I can be happy with this month's bag.

Unfortunately I'm disappointed that the two lip products I received were so similar in shade. I would have much preferred receiving a deep or even nude Nyx color, to contrast with the pinky red 'all in one' stick.

Nyx creamy round lipstick can be found here for $4. 

One last thing that I got- a beauty blender!! I traded my IPSY points in for my very first Beauty Blender. I haven't used it yet but I can't wait, since all I have heard are raving reviews!

So that wraps up my December Ipsy bag. All together it was worth approx. $31.20 (that's without the Starrily polish!) So once again, a great deal for only paying $10. 

If you'd like to get in on this great monthly sub service, you can click my referral link here and sign up! 

For those of you that have IPSY, did we get similar bags? Were you happy with your December glam bag?

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

P.s. I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas, if that's what you celebrate. Or just winter holidays in general :) Have any big plans for New Years Eve? I'll be sharing lots of Christmas goodies (makeup, nails, & a haul!) this week! So be on the look out for that!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Profusion Neoperle Palette (blue) review & swatches

I was perusing my local Walgreens last week when I started eyeing all the holiday gift sets that were out.
I have to admit- I hit the jackpot!
I found every thing I was looking for! And more! Such a great haul. But instead of doing a haul post I love all the products so much I want to just post a review/swatches of each product!

So basically this product falls under the "more than what I was looking for" category. I didn't even realize it existed. I was looking for some $1 Profusion products I had heard about and stumbled onto this instead.

Priced at $2 and sized a little smaller than a checkbook, this little palette or "journal set" packs quite a punch!

I have no idea what a journal set is, and I have never heard that in reference to eyeshadows. But ok, Profusion. You keep doin' yo' thing.

That's right, 15 eyeshadows for $2! I literally could not say no to this deal.
[moment of realization. This is actually not the first palette I bought. Notice the title says (blue). This palette also comes in 2 other colors. I first bought the green one and was so impressed I HAD to go back out and get the other two.]

Anyway, I couldn't wait to get home and swatch these shadows!

Full disclosure about these swatches: they are not one-swipe swatches. I do not find those to be accurate considering when I put on eyeshadow I don't expect to only use one swipe. Also, half of the swatch is done over Urban Decay primer potion and the other half is over bare skin. As you can probably see, though, you can't tell at all where the primer is. So while the primer would help to keep the eyeshadow on longer, it does not do anything for pigmentation.

As we start with row 1 you can immediately see that these shadows are super pigmented. The shadows themselves are so soft- maybe even a little too soft. But they are silky smooth. Look at that blue! So bright!

Since my camera only focused on the first 2 shadows in the first picture here's another picture with the focus shifted to the last few shades.

Row 2 of this palette includes one of my favorite colors- the third one. So pretty! :)

Come on! Look at these colors! THEY'RE SO GREAT!

Again with the focus issue so here you can see the second shades better.

Ughhh look at these babies!

All in all- while I wouldn't call any of these shades groundbreakingly original, they are so, so freaking pigmented!
And all for only $2? Consider me sold!

I really urge everyone to try and go out and find these palettes. There are 3 different colored packagings, and I have reviews coming for all of them!

What do you think? Is this palette worth $2? Are you gonna try and find these at Walgreens?
Let me know below!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

p.s. I am changing something MAJOR about my appearance this week! o0o stay tuned to find out what it is!
OR head over to Budget Splurge Beauty's Facebook to see it first, before the blog! ;)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Smoked Crimson Eye Makeup FOTD

Here's a look I threw together one night while messing around with some makeup I had never used before.

I have a simple pictorial and the eyeshadows I used but I don't have any of the other products I used that day. Sorry!
However I think this pictorial really highlights the fact that when it comes to makeup- it gets worse before it gets better. Hah. At first you look like a mess and ask yourself, what am I doing? But you keep trekking on and in the end you are left with something you can be proud of! Looking at the first pictures in this compared to the final product proves my point.

The first thing I did for this look was covered my eyelids with Nyx's chubby pencil in Milk. If you are a beauty fanatic and haven't heard this trick, you must live under a rock! Putting a white base first helps boost the pigmentation of eyeshadows that are too sheer on their own. Plus they are a little sticky to help it adhere better.

I swept the nameless color - so I'm calling it crimson- all over my lid. The coloring in this picture isn't the best. The pigmentation was a lot better in person.

Next I loaded the 2nd darker color onto the top of the lid. I was experimenting with different color placement...this isn't normally how I do my eyeshadow FYI haha

Next I blended out the two colors and added a highlight, then added the rest of my makeup.

The first color I used in this was this coppery red shade (marked with a daisy) from this small compact palette. It's called "Halo-the palette" from Profusion. I found this little guy on clearance for, like, 60 cents after christmas last year at Walgreens. I bought a few of them since I figured why not? So cheap! And, plus side, they don't suck! They aren't the greatest but I have no complaints, particularly for the price.

It's funny that I'm finally posting this (belated) post featuring Profusion when I have quite a few more Profusion goodies coming up!

For the crease I used the definer color in the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette. I need to get better pictures of this because it has a beautiful duochrome that didn't really show up in pictures.

So that's that. Just a simple look I played with one boring night, using all very cheap makeup products!

What do you think? 

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rose tip manicure- simple nail art!

I haven't done a manicure post in a long time, and this one is far overdue!

I was inspired by this pin on pinterest. Here is the picture from it. There was no credit on the pin (it just leads to a list of "pastel nails") but a little google magic lead me to this blog! Apparently the picture is from before she had a blog so that's why it's hard to find credit.

So, while mine are of course nowhere near as pretty as the original, I gave it a shot and I don't think they turned out bad!

Um close they really don't look like roses. I get that. But they are a ~full on Monet~ so they look pretty good from far away.

I put together a short pictorial on how to replicate this. Or how I did it , anyway.

First I painted all nails with Sally Hansen Instadri Pink Blink and layered Sinful Colors You Just Wait on top of it. It may not be obvious in the pictures but this is a GORGEOUS combination! I loved that the SC added a pearly pink sheen on top of the baby pink SH. It reminded me of a barbie doll.

Next I added small blobs that would be the rose buds across the top. These are Sally Hansen Instadri in Flashy Fuchsia and on my accent nail I started layering Wet n Wild Shine in Sparked. The blobs don't have to be perfect, just circular shaped.

Next I added little 'C' shaped and swirls into the rose buds in Wet n Wild Shine French White Creme to create dimension to the roses. I added small leaves in Sinful Colors Irish Green.

I added more Sparked to try and get a more opaque glitter.

All in all I really liked how this manicure turned out. It was very feminine and pretty.

All products used, from left to right. SC You Just Wait, Wet n Wild Shine Sparked, Wet n Wild Shine French White Creme, Sally Hansen Insta-dri Pink Blink, Sally Hansen Insta-dri Flashy fuchsia, Sinful Colors Irish Green.

What do you think of this manicure? Do you ever use 'abstract' roses as an accent to your manicures? 
Let me know!!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Thursday, December 5, 2013

November IPSY glam bag: Glam it up

One thing that has become clear is that when it comes to blogging & holidays I really suck at doing both at once.
I'm going to try! A lot harder! 

But for the time being I hope you accept this late review of my November IPSY bag. 

november ipsy bag