Black and Red Ombré Lip

So this is SO EASY to do. I’m sure there’s better techniques and more complicated ways to achieve the red and black ombré lip, but this is the way I do it. I AM OBVIOUSLY NOT A PROFESSIONAL. I didn’t grow up doing makeup (I actually wasn’t allowed until I was 18) so I got a very late start and my techniques are not top shelf. Obviously you can customize it with your own products and shades of red but this is how Cailin does it.

Trace the bottom lip with black lipstick. I use one by Hard Candy called “Black Diamond” that I got at WalMart. You can use a lip liner if you want, but just make sure it will smudge a little. You want it to be able to blend and bleed with the red. I actually used a thicker line than the one pictured. It’s up to you how much black you want.

Go over the entire lip with red. Dealer’s choice on this. You can use a lip liner and a lipstick, just a lipstick, just a lip liner. But again, something that is smudgeable. For mine I used a NARS matte liner called “Mysterious Red” over the whole lip, including over the black. Going over the black with the lip pencil automatically makes the colors bleed into each other. (Note: This is also where I added a thicker line of black as the original line was too thin to really see that gradient effect. Just be sure to go over it with more red if you do this

That’s it! Literally.

Now, I still haven’t figured out a way to get it to stay this perfect throughout the day. Tips welcome . . .

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Kiki 🌸 002

To read chapter one, go here. To read my intro about Kiki, go here.

Kiki spun around in front of her full length mirror, making sure her jeans fit the way she wanted them to and her navy and white baseball tee didn’t have any stains she wasn’t aware of lurking on the fabric.

Satisfied, she made a kissy-face at the mirror with her red painted lips and turned to grab her brown leather messenger bag off the bed.

Just in time too because Kiki heard a distinct honk outside in the street and knew it belonged to the white Lexus convertible parked outside her house. She bounded down the stairs and called out, “Bye, Mama!” as she headed out the front door.

At the same time, the front door of the house across the street opened and a girl came out, sporting a baggy pair of jeans and a tight, camo print top.

“Amber!” a voice called behind her and soon a woman in a clean business pantsuit marched out, blue cardigan in her clenched hand. “I think you forgot something.”

Even from where she was, Kiki could see Amber try not to roll her eyes as she took the sweater. “Thanks, Mom.”

“Morning, Mrs. Lepowski!” Kiki called as she got closer, trying to distract the woman from starting any lectures about appropriate school attire she was thinking about laying out on Kiki’s friend.

Mrs. Lepowski smiled. “Good morning, Kiki. How’s your mother?”

“She’s good,” Kiki assured her.

She nodded. “I should really invite her over sometime. It’s been awhile.”

Amber warily eyed her mother.

Kiki tried not to laugh. “I’m sure she’d like that.”

Mrs. Lepowski nodded and sighed as she looked at Kiki’s house. She was a college professor and was usually very concerned about Kiki’s mother. She was convinced that Mama’s life couldn’t possibly be fulfilling as a stay at home mom and seemed to think it her mission on occasion to save her from the oppression of cooking and cleaning and taking care of her children. She’d have Mama over on weekends for coffee and have less than subtle conversation about professional goals or send her home with brochures on night classes. Amber was always humiliated and apologized to Kiki, but Kiki (and her mom) were heavily amused by the whole thing.

“Well, anyway,” Mrs. Lepowski went on. “Have a good day at school, ladies.”

Kiki and Amber said goodbye and got into the backseat of the Lexus, which currently has the top up, giving Amber enough privacy to mumble, “Sorry about that.”

“Sorry about what?” said the driver, turning in her seat, her long, red hair falling over her shoulder and spilling down the front of her Gucci dress.

Amber turned her hazel eyes to Taylor Johansen. “My mother continuing her quest to better the lives of the minority.”

Kiki finally let herself laugh. “Amber, it’s fine. All she said was that she and my mom should get together.”

“Ooh!” enthused the young man in the passenger seat. Simon Peterson—or “Busta” as he was known to everyone, including his teachers—bounced as he turned around to face the two girls. His shaggy black hair was streaked purple today and fell into his brown eyes. “If she can’t make it, I’ll get together with Mrs. Littles! That drink she made for us last time . . .” He smacked his lips, then pretended to wipe some drool off his chin with the collar of his Foo Fighters T-shirt. “Delicious. What was it again?”

“Hot chocolate,” Kiki said.

“Yeah, but say it in Spanish.”

Before she could, Taylor lowered her Saint Laurent sunglasses and peered at Busta with her turquoise-colored eyes. “I’m not sure if I should be jealous right now.”

“You should be. It’s no use standing in our way anymore, Tay. This is bigger than all of us.”

Kiki wrinkled her nose. “I’m not sure if you’re talking about my mom or the champurrado. Either way, please stop.”

“Ooh, champurrado,” Busta repeated with heavy-lidded eyes. “Say it again . . .”

“Oh my gosh,” Taylor mumbled, putting the car in gear.

Busta grinned widely before leaning over to plant a series of loud, smacking kisses on Taylor’s cheek.

His girlfriend giggled, finally.

“Enough,” Amber mumbled, never particularly comfortable with anyone’s PDA.

Kiki honestly didn’t mind. She and Taylor had been friends for as long as she could remember. Her last relationship (which had also been her first) had ended badly and Kiki had worried it would make her cynical of anything in the future. But before it could, Busta had moved to their hometown of Mt. Blue, California from Chicago. Kiki loved his offbeat and goofy personality and had fallen in love with the fact that he and Taylor had fallen in love.

Busta settled back in his seat and pointed out the window. “Onward ho!” He patted the roof as he brought his hand back in. “You should put the roof up, though. It’s so nice out.”

“It’s Southern California. It’s always nice out,” Taylor said. “Besides, it will mess up my hair.”

“That’s never stopped me before,” Busta said with a grin.

Taylor tried to hide a smile. She reached over and tried to push his hair out of his eyes with her manicured nails. “Well, maybe that’s a decision you should rethink from time to time.”

“Taylor,” Amber interrupted, clearly ignoring any conversation that had been going on. “How late were you up last night studying for the calculus test?”

“Oh,” said Taylor, who shared all her AP classes with Amber. “That’s today, huh?” She shrugged. “I guess I forgot.”

Kiki watched Amber’s eyes bulge. “You forgot?” She ran an anxious hand through her copper-colored hair. “How? I was up so late cramming for it.”

“To be fair,” Busta pointed out, “you’re up so late every night cramming for tests. And you always ace them.”

Taylor smiled. “Funny. It’s almost like those two things are connected somehow.”

Busta put his feet on the dashboard, though not for very long as Taylor waved them off. “Oh, come on,” he said. “You never study, Taylor, and you always get perfect grades.” He had turned in his seat and was hanging his legs out the window instead.

Taylor glanced in the rearview mirror, but Kiki knew she wasn’t checking traffic. She was looking at her. “All right, let’s stop talking about school. We’re about to go and spend six hours there. Amber, don’t sweat the test. At this point, the rest of the year is just busywork. We already got our college acceptance letters. Let’s just enjoy the rest of our senior year. Now, Busta, go through my iPod and put on some music, preferably something in the boy band genre.”

As Busta groaned and fiddled with the device, Kiki couldn’t help but mentally correct Taylor. Not all of them had gotten college acceptance letters.

Kiki 🌸 : 001

To read my intro to Kiki go here.

“YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” “LET’S GO!”

Kiki Littles was shoved from a rather pleasant dream involving a seven floor mall and a limitless credit card she would never have to pay the bill for, by the sound of her clock radio blaring the latest from Usher and Lil Jon.

She blew a thick lock of black hair out of her brown eyes and reached out to slap the alarm off.

She groaned and dropped her face back onto her pillow. School. Wasn’t it enough that it was boring and long and hard? Did it they have to add to the torture by making it so early?

There was a series of light knocks without rhythm on her bedroom door before opening.

“Time for school!” Giovanna announced, all smiles and corduroy and pigtails.

Kiki groaned again, not lifting her head as she waved to her little sister. “Thanks, Gi.” She knew the four year old had been up for hours and Kiki wished she had her energy.

“Mama said don’t let you sleep or breakfast will be cold and ruined.”

“Okay,” was all Kiki could manage.

“It’s arroz con huevos.”

“Yum,” Kiki mumbled, drifting off.

“Are you gonna get up?”

“Mm . . .”

Giovanna sighed and walked out.

And instead, her 12 year old brother walked in.

With an air horn.

The loud noise jolted Kiki from her covers with a shriek. “Miguel!”

He grinned and smugly pushed a hand through his collar length black hair. “Hey, you had a chance to wake up the nice way with Giovanna.”

She growled in frustration, but before she could respond, she heard her mother calling up in rapid-fire Spanish, the gist of it being that Miguel was in trouble for having that air horn, Kiki was in trouble for not getting out of bed, and she didn’t make this breakfast for no one to eat it.

Kiki groaned a final time and got out of bed, waving her siblings out of the room along with her.

In the hall, she paused by a long mirror on the wall and tried to finger comb her black hair so it resembled something passable. Two summers ago, she had chopped all of her long hair off to her chin. She had loved swishing her hand through it, how much lighter and cooler it felt, how the blunt cut made her look a mix of chic, sassy, and adorable.

Two months later, she was sick of it.

However, it had taken her and additional three months to admit that, hanging onto the look, dutifully going to the salon every couple of weeks to keep it clipped in shape. And then one day, she just canceled her appointment.

Now it was exactly where she wanted it, a few inches past her shoulders with a bit of layer to give it some dimension.

Of course, her current bedhead gave it a little too much dimension and her fingers weren’t doing much to help. She blew out through her lips as she gave up and traveled downstairs to find the delicious smelling breakfast.

“There you are,” her mother huffed as soon as Kiki entered the kitchen. She began herding her toward the table, already laid out with her breakfast. “Eat and then get ready for school.”

Miguel nodded, waving his fork in his mother’s direction. “Very insightful plan, Mama. Well thought out. It’s like Kiki’s been doing it since kindergarten or something.”

Mama scowled. “Silencio, hijo.” She shook her head, causing her short, raven ponytail to quiver. “Always so much trouble . . .”

Kiki smirked, already spearing at an egg with her fork. “We should send him back to the pack of wild dogs you and Dad adopted him from.”

Giovanna giggled around a mouthful of rice.

“Kikita,” Mama scolded before going on how such lies were bad example for her sister. But Kiki could see her trying not to smile.

Miguel scowled. “Just for that . . .” He pushed his plate away. “I’m having Lucky Charms instead.”

Kiki’s eyebrows raised. Giovanna froze, spoon halfway to her mouth. Kiki chanced a look at her mother, whose eyes had gone ablaze.

“Here it comes,” Kiki sang under her breath.

And boy, did it. Quick, angry Spanish filled the kitchen, mostly about how she never heard anything so ridiculous and who would pass up a hot and delicious breakfast for over sweetened cardboard bits and Styrofoam and Miguel was so ungrateful because when she was a little girl in Juarez, she didn’t have it so good and fine, what did she care what he ate because she just wouldn’t bother anymore.

Kiki tuned her out somewhere in there. Her mother prided herself on her cooking and carefully planned and prepared all the Littles’ family meals. She made a lot of traditional dishes from Mexico, where she was born and lived until she had married Kiki’s father, but she enjoyed cooking anything, from Italian pasta to American burgers, Chinese noodles to French cuisine Kiki couldn’t even pronounce. And all of it tasted delicious.

As her mother well knew and being passed over for processed, packaged food would not be tolerated and was the best way to rile her up.

Which Miguel knew. There was the faintest bit of accomplishment on his face.

Finally, her mother’s tirade paused. There was only a beat before Giovanna asked, “Can I have his eggs?”

“Sorry, babydoll,” a new voice chimed in as it entered the kitchen. Dad straightened his tie, his black hair still damp from his morning shower. “Miguel’s going to eat the wonderful breakfast his mother made for him. Everyone’s going to finish up and go to school. And Mama’s going to calm down and know her silly son was just joking.” He drew Mama’s face toward his and kissed her cheek.

Kiki’s mother did visibly calm down, but Kiki also knew she wasn’t ready to admit that Dad’s relaxed demeanor always did the trick. Instead, she headed toward the sink. Muttering to herself.

Kiki wondered sometimes if that’s what drew her parents together. She knew the story of how her American-born father was visiting his extended family in Mexico and how his cousins took him to a party and that’s where he had met her mother and they spent the rest of the night dancing, even though he wasn’t very good. But she wondered if her mother felt the residual peace her dad seemed to always carry with him, or her dad thought her mother’s take charge attitude and excitable spirit was a fun change of pace from his chilled out vibe. Or were these traits they discovered about the other further on down the road? She wondered when they had really known they were in love.

Because she had known right away.

Met Gala 2018: My Picks

So the theme of the night was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (not sure what the hell that subtitle is supposed to mean. No pun intended). Some people nailed the theme. Some people took it to the extreme. Some made me think that they missed the memo. But anyway, here are my favorites of the night.

Best Group Look: Jared Leto, Lana Del Rey and Alessandro Michele in Gucci

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I love the clear cohesiveness of this ensemble look. The blues, the whites, the embroidery, just yes. Also, I love Jared Leto. I love Lana Del Rey. I know they’re not a couple, but I’d be totally fine if they were, please.

Best Hair: Jasmine Sanders by Renda Attia

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I’m generally not a fan of braids, but come on. This is just amazing. And those are real roses! Sleeping Beauty anyone?

Best Headpeice: Nicki Minaj and Priyanka Chopra

A tie. I don’t know who for sure designed these pieces. I know Nicki was wearing Oscar de la Renta and Priyanka was in Ralph Lauren, but I don’t know if that necessarily means they designed the headpeices. BUT LOOK HOW PRETTY. I couldn’t decide. On the one hand, Nicki’s is more my style (hello black and red) and I would have no problem wearing that any day of the week. However, I wasn’t crazy about her dress (despite the epic tulle train) whereas Priyanka’s overall look was just awesome (sidebar: She was my favorite last year).

Best Male: Chadwick Boseman in Atelier Versace

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Most of the guys were pretty tame, if not downright boring. Not Mr. Boseman! On theme and just enough over the top without being plain silly. Also, there was gold glitter in his hair. Enough said.

Honorable Mentions: Ariana Grande in Vera Wang and Gigi Hadid in Versace

I like the soft, classic painting-come-to-life feel of Ariana’s look (yes, even with the “giant baby bow” as my roommate called it). And usually I think the single sleeve is awkward looking, but this Versace dress on Gigi has such a perfect balance. I love the design and the shape and everything about it.

Best Overall: Blake Lively in Versace

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YES. YES. YES. JUST EVERYTHING YES ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING. I love the color, I love the detail, I love the jewels, I love the train, I love the hair, I love the nails, I love her! I thought I would be biased because Blake Lively is always on my girl crush list, but COME ON.

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Like, what.

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SO MUCH PRETTY.

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Hi, yes, somebody do my nails like this please.

Who the hell is Kiki Littles?

It all started with a floating head named Chuck . . .

History of the Mt. Blue Universe

It was a regular fifth grade recess when my friend, Lara (follow her blog The Picky Gourmet!) came up to me and said, “Look what I drew in class.” She produced a penciled drawing of a cartoon face sporting a backward hat, buck teeth, freckles, and crossed eyes. “His name is Chuck. Isn’t he awesome?” He was our mascot for the rest of recess.

I decided I wanted to make one of these cartoon faces too. This one was a girl with black hair, crossed eyes, and a big bow. I carefully wrote the character’s name at the top if the notebook paper.

 Kiki.

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This is actually the second drawing I ever did of Kiki. Sometimes it pays to be a pack rat.

At a chorus concert put on by our younger brothers’ class, I showed my creation to my friend, Charissa (my current roommate). I told her about Chuck and how, by this point, Lara had drawn a few more characters, including a brunette with a side ponytail named Amber, Chuck’s girlfriend. Charissa loved the idea and declared she wanted to make a character of her own. She created a full-bodied cartoon teenager with blonde pigtails and a more realistic look (no cross eyes) and named her Brandy.

Lara and I jumped on the bandwagon of turning our female characters full-bodied and realistic. We also began signing their names with little symbols – Kiki with a flower and Amber with a star.

Along with their new look was the creation of boyfriends. Chuck was discarded and instead Lara created a Leonardo DiCaprio look-a-like named Tobias (after her favorite Animorph character). Charissa pulled from real life and used Taylor Hanson, her celebrity crush (though he’s referred to now as Jordan, Taylor Hanson’s first name). I created a preppy football player with an earring.

Jake.

It was around this time that I began writing a journal for Kiki, detailing a drama-filled summer full of break-ups, friend fights, and a meeting with the Spice Girls (can you tell what decade it was yet?). In the midst of the ongoing project, Lara decided to scrap Amber and start over, creating a redhead with a little alien sticking out his tongue as her symbol named Taylor. The alien went to a mushroom and that wasn’t the only change to the group. Our friend, Devon (whom I’ve been friends with since kindergarten and was actually my foster sister for awhile), became inspired to make her own character, Amber. She had no idea Lara had an old character of the same name. Stranger still, her symbol was also a star. Devon followed suit and created a boyfriend for Amber named Jack. But he wouldn’t last long.

Charissa wanted to make another male character, but not necessarily a new boyfriend for Brandy (even though she had grown out of her Hanson phase). She created a black-haired skateboarder with a rough home life named Brent. At first, he was just Brandy’s cousin, but Devon was intrigued with the idea of Amber, who was academically driven and generally well-behaved, falling for a bad boy. They were made into a couple and Jack was briefly transferred over as Brandy’s boyfriend.

Not long after, Lara made a few changes. She changed Taylor’s symbol to a butterfly and grew tired of Tobias, who was now called Kit, since Charissa gave Brandy’s brother the same name. Instead, she created someone unique for Taylor – a sweet goofball with changing colored streaks in a mop of black hair that covered his eyes named Busta.

But Charissa had one final character to make. On the back of her shop homework (which she still has!), she drew a blond boy with a mouth full of braces and a Red Sox hat. He would become Brandy’s final boyfriend, A.J.

All these changes took place from sixth grade through our freshman year of high school. Throughout, we continued to draw our characters on everything from book covers to party invitations to posterboard and even painted them on the cafeteria wall for our junior high mural. Multiple journals and stories were written about the group from the fictional town of Mt. Blue, California, and as time went on, each character developed more of a history and a distinct personality.

By sophomore year, the four of us went their separate ways and not much was done with the characters for the remains of high school. We did have a mini reunion during our senior year where we drew and wrote about our characters, but that’s as far as it went. College separated us even more (well, college for them. I never went) and it wasn’t until our twenties that we got together for dinner and reignited our friendships.

In the spring of 2012, Charissa and I came up with the idea of writing a new story involving all the characters. It would focus on the gang graduating high school and separating, only to come back for their five year reunion. Charissa and I primarily wrote the story, posting chapters on Insanejournal for Lara and Devon to read. After a month, the entries stopped, but the characters and the story remained in our minds and our friendship stayed intact.

 Four years later, I finally posted a new chapter. The resurgence of the story not only sparked interest in that project, but multiple others. New drawings, new journals, and music videos – a new medium using footage of actors we felt represented our characters. Plus, Lara once again changed Taylor’s symbol to a diamond (some things never change!). We became more serious about establishing each person’s history and started combing through old notebooks to set a definite timeline.

Kiki Littles

So now that you know the history of how these characters came about, I want to talk about the evolution of my particular character, Kiki. As I said, she started off just a goofy cartoon. I don’t remember when I gave her the last name Littles. I do remember it was fifth grade that I started drawing her more “realistically” (read: without crossed eyes) and drawing her in clothes that I thought were cool.

I know it was also fifth grade that I created Jake and I think he always had the last name West. Nothing about him has ever changed. He has always had brown eyes and side parted brown hair. He’s always been dressed like a poster boy for American Eagle and he always was obsessed with football. So back to Kiki.

Even though Kiki is the oldest character in the “Mt. Blue crew,” as we call them, I feel like she’s gone through a lot of changes. She started off with long hair and bangs, but I quickly changed that to a straight, chin length bob to match Victoria from the Spice Girls (Yeah, I liked the one that never smiled and always wore black. Shocker). We used to draw different outfits for our characters (from normal things like prom and cheer-leading to more obscure occasions like babysitting and cat-walking), but my default outfit for Kiki was baggy jeans and a crop top. At some point, I started drawing her with a medium-length layered cut and a baseball tee. When I got together with my friends our senior year, I actually draw Kiki with a more goth look, reflecting my own clothing choices and what I liked.

I scrapped that idea pretty quick though. That wasn’t who she was. At that point, Kiki had become her own character. In the beginning, she was a reflection of the sort of girl I wanted to be, someone that could wear what she wanted, had a hot boyfriend, etc. But now she was someone different than me in so many ways and remains to be.

I actually gave her traits that I personally couldn’t relate to on a personal level, but were traits I didn’t see represented in the TV shows I watched or the books I read. When she was first created, she was Caucasian, hence the bland last name Littles. I don’t remember when I decided to make her Mexican. I remember I was learning Spanish (which I can’t remember any of now -_-) and I thought it would be fun to incorporate that into her. I thought I made this decision later on, but looking back at some of the oldest stories, she had a little brother named Miguel and she talks about visiting her family in Mexico over the summer, so I think I made the decision earlier than I thought.

I also wanted her to not be very good in school. Again, I don’t know where this came from because I was pretty good in school (until eighth/ninth grade when I suffered from severe depression and my grades suffered along with it). I knew Kiki wasn’t “stupid” or even had a learning disability. Back then as a teenager, I just explained it as “school just isn’t her thing.” She worked hard at it and was smart in a practical sense, but she still brought home D’s.

Again, I didn’t see this represented much in the characters I read about or watched back then (this was 90s and 00s). Now, decisions to make characters that are POC or in an interracial relationship or representing that not everybody learns the same way is intentional. For me and Kiki it just happened. It’s just who she was and who Jake was. Maybe it was “progressive” back then, but I didn’t think much about it.

 

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New Story

As I said, I’m going to be posting chapters for a new story based on Kiki in my blog. I don’t have a definite plot set out, but I know I wanted to get back to the root of when my friends and I wrote our characters, when it was the six core characters together and coupled off and having the “ideal” high school experience (whatever the hell that means). But I also wanted to touch on those themes of race and school, particularly how Kiki sort of struggled with these things on her own.

It’s a bit scary. For one thing, putting your fiction out there for anyone to read is a little intimidating in and of itself. On an honest note, there’s a fear of putting Kiki out there in the world. She’s so personal to me and I have such a deep history with this character. Writing and drawing her has always been like breathing for me. I know her like I know me. But we also live in an era where people are easily offended. While I’ve never made Kiki an offensive stereotype (and I don’t fear that I will), there’s more the nerves that people will roll their eyes and think that I need to check my “white privilege” before I write a story about a Mexican-American. I mean, I’m 50% Irish, 50% Italian, single, and my parents were born in bred in New England. What the hell do I know about being Latinx with an immigrant parent and being in an interracial relationship?

But it goes back to why I gave Kiki those traits to begin with. I wanted her to be different than what I saw out there back in ye olden days of Dawson’s Creek. Sure, she and I had different heritages, but we both liked shopping and cute boys and music and had annoying little brothers (Sorry, Spencer). I think representation is important (that might be the most millennial sentence I’ve ever typed) and I don’t think writers should hold back from creating characters that are different from themselves because of the fear that they’ll “get it wrong.”

So why me?

Why not me?

So here she is, ladies and gentlemen. Kiki Littles, eyes uncrossed and the realest she’s ever been.

Nails and Stories

One complaint and one announcement. So the complaint is that I wasn’t able to get all the colors in the Vanessa Hudgens Festival collection from Sinful Colors. By the time I got to Ulta, they had already taken down the display (even though one of the colors never came in, in stores or online) and three of the colors were sold out within a week of going online. I will say I’m loving the colors I did get (currently wearing “Hand’s Up). Inexpensive but great quality!

Now the announcement. I’m going to be starting a new story about my oldest character, Kiki Littles, who I created when I was 11. I’m going to do a whole blog post about her in the near future. But for now, hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

 

🌧 Rainy day coziness. 🌧

Do you prefer the traditional book or an audiobook? I’m a real book girl all the way, however if an actor I like of doing an audiobook, I’ll definitely give it a listen. These are my newest books (like I needed more) and the ones I’m curling up with on this super rainy day.

The first is Life Inside My Mind, which is a collection of essays about mental health from different writers, including my favorite, Francesca Lia Block. The audiobook is The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Carve the Mark. Carve The Mark was narrated by my favorite actor Austin Butler, whose voice is just pure butter (or if you don’t like butter, substitute it with something else delicious and wonderful. The point is, he could read the dictionary and it would do things to me). When I saw there was a sequel I crossed my fingers it too would feature that wonderful voice and Haaaalelujah! It does!

No coziness is complete without tea and candles and cats in my opinion. For tea, I’m drinking Yogi Tea’s Healthy Skin (which sounds very tree hugger of me, but I just like the taste) in my trusty Little Mermaid mug, which I got from The Disney Store. The candle is from the Zoella Lifestyle collection and it aptly names Lazy Days. As for cats, Damon is one of a kind and you can’t have him. Sorry.

Goodbye Polyvore

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As many of you fashion lovers know, yesterday it was announced that Polyvore was being replaced by SSENSE, a company I personally have never heard of. There was no warning, no lead up time to when the change would take place. One hour it was there and the next it wasn’t. What was once a unique, creative, and social community where everyone had a passion for fashion and beauty and product sharing, is now just essentially an online store.

For me personally, Polyvore really fueled and helped me get more into clothing. It allowed me to find stores that I otherwise would never have heard of, see clothing or accessories I probably would never have bought, except that someone created a set and showed me a way it could be worn, inspiring me to get it and put my own twist on it. It featured items from high end stores like Barney’s and Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman all the way to something more attainable, like Amazon and Target and Walmart. And the sets people created often mixed the two, proving that it’s never about the price tag. It’s about style. It was a place I never tried to gain followers and likes, but I got hundreds of them anyway, without trying, just being myself.

Unfortunately, it was also where I had a LOT (and by a LOT, I mean, a majority) of my content organized for this blog. Apparently, the site is offering members a chance to request a download of their collections/creations, but I haven’t received my download yet and I honestly don’t know what that’s going to look like when/if I do.

So. In the meantime, I’ll still be trying to post, but I’m probably gonna need a big to find a new outlet to get myself organized and plan some new content. If any of you know or can recommend a site very similar to Polyvore, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

In the meantime, a hearty f*ck you to everyone involved in this merger. It could have been handled WAY better and I personally will be avoiding SSENSE as much as I can.

What I’m Coveting From Macy’s

Welcome to my new blog series “What I’m Coveting.” I know coveting is a sin but the title is catchier than “What I saw and wanted but can’t have right now so while I’m grateful for everything I have this would be nice.” These will be short little posts done whenever the mood strikes, those times when I’m browsing online stores and adding things to my wishlist (it’s retail therapy without spending money), the things I want to share but can’t or haven’t actual bought myself, or when I just want to drop hints about gift ideas. So, probably daily. Sometimes it might be an entire wardrobe of things. Sometimes, just an item. It’s whatever I feel like, damnit. (I know. Cursing is frowned upon too).

So today, I bring you, what I’ve coveting from Macy’s, and we just have two items, both in the beauty category.

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The first is a lipstick by Smashbox in the Be Legendary matte lipstick in “Infrared,” which is a true red shade. I know. I have plenty of lipstick and plenty of red lipstick, but not this shade and not in matte. It’s $21, so a bit pricey for a lipstick. But it would be a nice splurge!

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The next (and last) is a nail polish by Essie. Maybe it’s the leftover Easter vibes that has be eyeing this shade called “Turquoise & Caicos,” but whatever. It’s $9, which to me, anything under $10 that you actually want is a bargain.

Both these can be bought at macys.com if you want to grab them for yourself and make me jealous of you!

March Playlist

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Happy spring! Here in New England, sometimes it feels like it, sometimes it doesn’t. Right now, we’re in a “doesn’t” period. Anyway, you’ll notice there haven’t been any posts this month and there hasn’t been a real reason for it. I’ve been posting a lot on Instagram (@thecailin), but I really need to be cross posting those pictures onto here of the products I’m loving or using or buying. There will (hopefully) be more content this month. One reason is I put a poll on my Instagram stories, asking people what they were interested in seeing me post. Thankfully, I got some solid and honest feedback and so I have some cool posts in the works, one of which will be a series where the first one is going up tomorrow (I know. Whaaaat?)

But onto the music of March.

Again, stuck mostly with my records this month, so hence the One Direction, Lana Del Rey, Simon & Garfunkel, Beach Boys, and John Lennon.

I did a lot of good writing this month and I downloaded some tunes by Halsey, Fink, ZAYDE WØLF, and Pim Stones that got me in the mood.

New music that came out this month includes Jax & Nash Overstreet, Thirty Seconds to Mars (SO EXCITED FOR THE ALBUM THIS MONTH), A$AP Rocky, Johnnie Mikel, Vann, and Rob Pennington.

Oh, yes, and some music from The Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack. My roommate and I watched it this month I realized I only had one song in my library. So that’s amended.

  1. “Night Changes” One Direction
  2. “No Control” One Direction
  3. “Castle” Halsey
  4. “Fireproof” One Direction
  5. “Spaces” One Direction
  6. “Stockholm Syndrome” One Direction
  7. “Clouds” One Direction
  8. “Once In A Lifetime” One Direction
  9. “Act My Age” One Direction
  10. “Ride” Lana Del Rey
  11. “Cola” Lana Del Rey
  12. “Body Electric” Lana Del Rey
  13. “Blue Velvet” Lana Del Rey
  14. “Gods & Monsters” Lana Del Rey
  15. ” Yayo” Lana Del Rey
  16. ” Bel Air” Lana Del Rey
  17. ” Somewhere They Can’t Find Me” Simon & Garfunkel
  18. ” Surfer Girl” Beach Boys
  19. ” Looking Too Closely” Fink
  20. ” The Last One I Made” Pim Stones
  21. “Imagine” John Lennon
  22. ” Back on My Bullshit (B.O.M.B.)” Jax & Nash Overstreet
  23. ” One Track Mind” Thirty Seconds to Mars feat. A$AP Rocky
  24. ” Friday Night” Johnnie Mikel
  25. ” Save Tonight” ZAYDE WØLF
  26. ” The Bells Of Notre Dame” Cornell University Chorus, David Ogden Stiers, English National Opera, Paul Kandel, and Tony Jay
  27. ” Topsy Turvy” Paul Kandel
  28. ” God Help The Outcasts” Heidi Mollenhauer, Cornell University Chorus
  29. ” Rescue Me” Thirty Seconds to Mars
  30. ” Future in You” Vann
  31. ” Brooks & Dunn” Rob Pennington