Kiwifruit Jelly sandwich

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This is a jelly sandwich using Elope by Illamasqua (apple green) and Out of Sight by Ulta3 (black matte glitter). It ends up with a sort of kiwifruit effect which I wasn’t entirely aiming for but is a cool surprise. The only issue with trying to do jelly sandwiches with Ulta3 is they dry really slowly, so you need to commit a full 30 mins for the mani. If you try and use a quick top coat to fudge it you get some weird bubbling in the inbetween layer.

What is your favorite fruits? I love the stonefruits (nectarines and my kryptonite – fresh apricots). Nom Nom Nom.

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Grapelicious by INLP

One of my favorourite things about summer is grapes. (Let’s be honest, one of my favourite things about winter is wine which is grape-licious too!). I also really like holographic nail polishes and purple nails. This polish – Grapelicious by INLP has a grape-y name and is a intense linear holo. In fact it’s probbaly one of the strongest holos I own. It’s really fun to wear at the moment as Australia is sweltering with a heatwave whilist the northern hemisphere is shivering in a polar vortex.

The polish has a good consistency, easy to apply and no flooding. It’s lasted quite well for a holo as well (around 3 days? with tip wear) but no chipping. The colour is really fun, it reminds me of grape flavoured bubble gum growing up – or a grape starburst. Utterly unnatural and utterly delicious nonetheless!

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How to get the app of your dreams developed (or not)

One of the most common questions I get when it comes up in conversation that I have developed an app is “Actually I have this GREAT idea for an app. How do you go about getting apps developed?” So I thought it might be worth a post talking about the steps involved in making that app that you sketched on the back of a napkin one time 😉

Step 1 is a project scope. This is where you work out what you want to do, who you are targeting (which devices), how you think you will commercialise the idea. This is your business case where you think about what a reasonable budget would be for your project. The broader your targets the larger your development expenses will be so it’s worth trimming this to a realistic level (rather than wanting to target all devices, which is especially trick on Android). It also helps to look at your competitors and research which apps are in this space already and how to differentiate yourself from them.
Step 2 is wire framing where you work out what you want displayed on each screen but with not much design aspect (black and white ’sketch’ style). This is something you might do yourself or outsource. You can look at places like 99designs that can do this step for around $1k
Step 3 is design where you work out what you want the app to look like (think colour schemes and so on). This can be outsourced again or done in house if you had expertise.
Step 4 is prototyping – this really needs to be done by someone in the coding game. You develop an initial dummy app and get some users to try it and view/record how they use it. It reveals all sorts of details like whether your button are in the right place, whether people are searching for features that should be clearer to access and so on.
Step 5 is coding – self explanatory! This is getting a functional app out.
Step 6 is bug testing (also somewhat self explanatory)
(3-4-5-6) overlap to some extent as hopefully you are testing your designs throughout and going backwards and forwards).

As to choosing your developer, best bet is to find a developing group that has developed something with a similar look and purpose and depends a lot on the type of app you are looking at producing. The cheapest option is usually to outsource through sites like elance, but this can require substantial product management. Local producers tend to be pricier but easy to communicate with.

Let me know if you have any other questions or queries you would like covered.

Purgatory (and the joys of being a mother on school holidays)

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Here are some initial snaps of Purgatory by ILNP. You’ll notice I haven’t finished cleaning up in them yet but wanted to see how it looked inshade and sun. It seemed to be in that really close to black but not quite space… and I thought I might struggle to capture the teal shimmer.

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The sun is definitely the best for showing that it has a lovely blue green shimmer but it will look basically black in normal light. I’m not huge on those polishes – I like my blacks black, and jewel tones as jewel tones.

Anyway next thing I was called away on urgent mum on school holiday business, disconnecting lego pieces, opening paint bottles and finding pieces of marble run. So I didn’t get to clean up straight away …. and you can probably see where this is going,

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Close up shot of my torn ring finger. Anyway, nails grow (*sob*) as do children and before I know it they won’t need me so I just try to remain zen. Saying that I’m getting very very excited about school going back in two weeks. The last weeks of the holidays are a kind of purgatory of their own I guess!

Tag: The Seven deadly sins

Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?

Let’s see… Diorific lipsticks, YSL Touche Eclat which I rarely use as I prefer Benefit Highbeam/Illamasque Fondle, J’adore perfume.

Wrath: What item do you have a strong love/hate relationship with?

I love a yellow nail polish but whites and yellows always streak on me.

Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?

Its close to a draw between Illamasqua and Revlon. I love Illamasqua for nail polishes, pigments and glosses. Revlon does foundations and skin products than work for me.

Sloth: What product do you ignore the most due to laziness?

Probably eyeshadows. I’m in awe of the looks of the gurus like Queen of Blending but just can’t seem to get it happening. It’s a combination of laziness and lack of time on the school run!!

Pride: Which product gives you the most confidence?

Illuminator. It turns me from flat into 3 dimensional! People comment on how well I look when I wear and how sick I look when I don’t… Benetint and a lipstain like Revlon Colorstay Liquid Lipstick are a close second and make my 20 second makeup look for when I’m running out the door on the school run!

Lust: What item is at the top of your list?

Some more Urban Decay eyeliner and I’d love to try some more Tarte products (the eyeshadow/liner I have from them is utterly amazing) and I’ve heard great things about the rest of their products.

Envy: Which makeup product/look looks great on others but not on you?

Bronzer. I just can’t make it work. I look more dirty than warmly sunkissed.

Hat tip to Ginger Loves Makeup for tagging me 🙂

A year of no-buying

I have been drafting this post for a while but at some point I have to just hit send I guess. I have completed one of my initial goals since starting this blog a year ago and that was to blog for a year. I probably hit about 80% on the cosmetics no buys – I had a couple of splurges, once on hoidays and twice on nail polish sales. I felt icky afterwards and made sure I cut back on other areas so I could still donate to homeless charities.

I have donated $675 in total this year. Which is a lot and yet a drop in the ocean really. The homeless problem in my city seems to be growing exponentially at least by the visibility of beggars on the streets. Housing affordability is one side of it but the bigger issue is that supported housing for people with issues that intefer with them maintaining a household (drug dependencies, mental illnesses or so forth) are expensive and very hard to come by. The charities I support tend to the transitional homeless support (rather than crisis care they look at getting people into the level of supported housing that best suits their abilities). It’s slow, it’s expensive, it’s messy. It doesn’t tie up neatly in a bow at the end of a time period and often people will need ongoing support and never fully leave the system.

I’m not craving clothes or makeup in the same way. I threw out a few bags on clothes and yet really need to do more. I think in part its just that I have so much damn stuff it’s hard to see what else I need sometimes. So my buying is getting a lot less crazed. It’s a little offputting how few item I have actually used up this year though. It makes me realise the scope of my makeup hoarding and not in a good way!

I bought out an app so I can track which makeup I already have. This is actually super useful as it stops me feeling like ‘OMG what a great deal I’ll just buy…” as I stop and work out which versions of the same colour I already own. It is going pretty well though hasn’t set the world on fire by any means! I have learnt a lot about app development which is fun and hopefully I can continue to grow and refine the concept over time.

Thanks to everyone who has read and followed me this year. It’s been fun seeing you all and getting to know people with similar interests. Over the next year I think my blog will change focus a little but will definitely continue to have a makeup theme.

(And now I really must press post or this will sit in drafts until next year!)

Killa Red

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Sunlight

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Shade

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Topped with Ruby Soho

This is another one of my Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes. Luckily I have much nicer things to say about it. Killa Red is a blue toned red jelly. It applied easily, self level and looked fantastic. It’s a flattering retro-esque colour and had lots of shine. The weloar was also quite good with some tip wear visible by day 2-3.

After that stay I got a little bored so I layed Ruby Soho by Emily de Molly over this one. It gives the red toned glitters a great base and makes for a very interesting and multi dimensional festive, yet classic red nail mani.

Yellow Fever by Rescue Beauty Lounge

I’ve been craving a great yellow polish. Something bright and sunny, less neon and more the colour of a dandelion. On paper the screen this polish by Rescue Beauty Lounge looked like it might be it, but alas no. It’s a bright yellow creme with a hint of yellow-gold shimmer.

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The alas comes from the finish. Its’ streaky as … a bad home tan. This is 3 coats and it could probably have done with a fourth for a more even coat. Then in chipped within 12 hours. This is not exactly ideal for at $18 polish.

So I’m back to the drawing board… anyone know a good, non streaky, long wearing yellow polish?

The Myer Online debacle – why GST isn’t the problem for Australian retailers

The bosses of one of Australia’s largest department stores, Myer, have been vocal in the past year about the need to remove the GST loophole (the fact that consumers do not need to pay GST on purchases over $1000) in order to ‘level the playing field’. Then the Myer website collapsed under the weight of the many buyers heading online to buy specials in the Boxing Day sales (traditionally the biggest sales in Australia). It’s still down as of 7pm on the 1/1/14.

This proves quite concisely that the issue is not that the GST is an oppressive burden. Australian consumers like shopping online. They have turned to overseas sites like asos, bookdepository and sasa.com because they ship quickly and easily to Australia and have brands that Australians know but clearly Australians are still willing and able to shop from Australian sites like Myer. Shopping in person is particularly cumbersome for many people who have 2 full time workers in the house, single parents with young children at home (have you tried taking young kids shopping recently!), people who live outside of the metro areas and have limited ability to visit shops in person, people with limited transport options or simply the fact that the good online store have good ranges and its easy to compare offerings between brands.

Australian retailer also blame the very high retail rents relative to much of the western world and low shipping volumes. But the truth is, you have the option of a much more level playing field. Get your inventory system working and make sure that I can see from my home in Perth stock available anywhere in Australia. Any time. Make sure you regularly sense check your prices. I can regularly buy items from the US and use a resender than charges $20+/kg and still save money on my $50-$100 orders even when I can’t get free postage. It’s better to make a 20% margin on your sales rather than a 0% margin when your consumers buy from overseas. Get rid of whoever is managing your online department. Hire an asos director or someone from abebooks, anyone who gets the online sales proposition.

See it as an opportunity. When I visit a Myer store I tend to leave with what I came in for, if that. Half the time there is no one serving at a counter. The shops change floor layout all the time so I can never find anything and I have to try and get the homewares people to help me find lego (*cough*true story from the christmas*cough). It’s honestly easy to get assistance on the floor of Myer or Target. The floor is crowded and I feel overwhelmed. At home I shop when the kids are in bed. I often shop with a glass of wine in hand. I’m in my pyjamas. I can compare blogger reviews and look at the deals between sites. Once I work out where I’m going to shop I often check out with an extra couple of items that look like good deals or seem like a fun addition. It’s like a second treat when I actually get the parcels a few days later. Yay, a parcel for me! Some mail that isn’t bills! Smart retailers often give me a coupon to come shopping with them again in the next month. And when the gift feels like a treat, when it arrives quickly and is beautifully packaged I want to shop again. (Trust me, I very rarely want to revisit a Myer department store after I have recently been!)

The traditional acronym is KISS (keep it simple stupid). But in this case it’s Keep it Fun and Functional. KIFF might not be as catchy but I’ll bet its more profitable.