My top 5 (or 6) Urban Decay Must Haves

5 (or 6) Urban Decay Products I can't Live Without

 

I love love love love LOVE Urban Decay! The packaging is what sold me at first (they a lot of butterflies and I love it) but the quality products made me a fan for life. I thought I’d share with you all a few of my staple items that I keep around no matter what.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate and referral links. I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you!

Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion

I find this stuff helps me a LOT since I’ve got a medium dark skin tone and have issues with colors showing up sometimes. Of course, primer isn’t going to change color theory, but it helps if you get enough of the eyeshadow to actually stick to your skin. A little bit of this will keep your eyeshadow in place all day.

24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil

Just about everyone knows and loves Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliner pencils! This one is in black but I also keep a purple. If I had to choose one though, black all the way. I remember a time when I didn’t realize they could actually be sharpened, so I’ve had a few that I always kept even though they were dull. Fun super noob fact about me! At least I had plenty pencils to use for awhile after I figured that out.

These are so great because as the name suggests, they just glide on. They also really are long lasting! The only thing I enjoy more than these pencils is gel eyeliner. Now that I think of it though, these are sort of like gel liner in pencil form. At least that’s how it feels. Top product!

Perversion Mascara

I actually got this one in as a sample in an Ipsy bag. I’ve had other Urban Decay mascara that I’ve used and loved before, but at the time I had just bought L’Oréal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara that I was busy trying out. Honestly, I like them both, but I  just always want a UD product around, so I keep this too. It’s great for creating long dramatic lashes without dealing with lash glue. It’s long lasting and I haven’t had any issues with clumping.

Makeup Setting Sprays

All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray and De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray

Oh my god, life savers! These two sprays are my absolute favorites, especially the De-slick. All Nighter make up setting spray was an absolute hit back when it first came out and afterwards they began formulating other versions of it. As soon as I learned there was one for oily skin, I purchased from my nearest Ulta ASAP.

De-Slick Mattifying Powder

This little compact lives in my purse. I use it throughout the day to touch up my nose. Seems like no matter what I do, my nose just loves to produce oil. This helps with that! I highly recommend it if you find yourself having the same problem on any area of your face.


And there you have it. My Urban Decay staples! I look forward to trying out more things in the future. I’m currently not wearing much make up right now because I’m focusing on skin care. I still have to have that eyeliner sometimes though.Looking through all these products makes me want to shop for more, so I’ll probably make a wishlist soon! You can bet the new Alice palette with be on there as well.

Think you could use these products as well? Check them out below!

Keeping yourself ON TRACK! – Time Management Tips

Working at home is certainly a unique opportunity. Being able to create, write, design, and do all of your customer service in your favorite PJs is definitely an experience. However, it requires a lot of discipline, especially when it’s your main source of income. If you’re anything like me, you can sometimes be easily distracted or just have trouble keeping focus on any one thing at a given time. Or maybe you just get bored easy. I certainly have all of these problems.

The worst part about working at home is that it’s easy to just stop what you’re doing and do something else, promising that you’ll get back to whatever it is you’re doing because you have so many extra hours in your day because you don’t have to commute, or stop to deal with coworkers, etc. While that approach may have worked while I was in college, now I’m an adult. My bills are much more pressing and competition in my field has gotten MUCH better and there’s MORE of it. I can tell it’s just not going to work if I want to be able to make any money.

Yesterday’s post ties in with this one I started writing about staying on task, so I figure this is a pretty good time to let you in on a couple things I do when I set goals that are maybe a little too ambitious.

Schedule Your Whole Day

A few years ago I set out on a daunting project: create 9 hairstyles within about 2 weeks. Maybe even less. Now, back then, my methods were a little simpler so it was easier to produce at this rate, plus I was using real life references in which several of the styles were similar, so one could be made simply by editing another a bit. I knew this and then set out on my task.

By now, I knew that if I truly focused, I could do a base model of a hairstyle in about 4-8 hours depending on complexity and familiarity with making the different types of locks for each style. I set up a Google calendar that blocked out two 4 hour time slots each day. I also scheduled in time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, completing any administrative or customer service related duties dealing with my shop, and of course, sleep.

Any remaining time I had left I scheduled in as breaks or for any extra work time, which I definitely did need! If I remember correctly, on two separate occasions I pulled 48 hour days. It was worth it in the end though. Of course I had some other project around the same time that might have been the 2day-ers. It’s all very hazy and it was about 4 years ago as of the time I’m writing this post.

My point is, even though I may not have correctly given myself enough time to complete this RIDICULOUS goal (9 in two weeks or less!!), I learned that the most efficient way for me to work was in short intervals with 30 minute – 1 hour breaks in between (you know, sort of like a “real job”). This gave me time away from project to do something fun. Time I would be able to look forward to instead of carrying on and on with no end in sight. Time that I would sometimes start to think of what I would do next on my project which in turn allowed me to get excited about returning to work on it.

Sound Familiar?

What I’ve just talked about might sound a little bit familiar if you know anything about the Pomodoro Technique. I learned about it a few months after I had set up this schedule. In the shortest explanation ever, the Pomodoro Technique a system to break up the time you spend on tasks into 25 minute blocks. After that 25 minutes you congratulate yourself for focusing and take a little break. After 4 blocks, you take a longer break before going back to work. Pretty easy, right? For some, it’s probably way less scary than trying to plan out 24 hours, 7 days a week.

You may decide you want to spend 3 pomodoros on a certain task each day. Or perhaps you just need a little help focusing on that one huge project you’re trying to finish. This is a great way to maximize your time AND still feel rested. Crazy how sitting at your desk all day can make you feel absolutely exhausted, right?

My little scheduling thing isn’t the same thing, but I recognized the work flow as something similar. I was excited to learn about this because I really do have issues focusing on single tasks. If I can break up my time into little chunks, I tend to get more work done.

Pomodoro Websites

Besides the main website, there are also a few other websites and apps built around the Pomodoro Technique:

TomatoTimer is a simple website with work (25 minutes), short break (5 minutes), and long break (10 minutes) options. The site uses audio tones for alerts and if you use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, you can set up desktop notifications. This way you don’t have to keep the site up to know when you take your breaks. You also don’t have to worry about working over the intended time.

Marinara Timer is a lot more customizable. You can choose to follow the traditional Pomorodo Technique with 25 minute intervals followed by 5 minute short breaks and 15 minute long breaks, or you can set up your own time cycle. There is also a simple timer option to just set a time and once the time is up – ding!

This website also allows you to share the link to your timer set with other people, so if you have a team working together, you all can be on the same time. You can send Viewer or Administrator links; Viewers can only view the timer, Admins can also control the timer.

PomoDone is probably my favorite though. It integrates with several task management apps – such as Trello, Wunderlist, and Evernote to name a few – which are tools I use to manage my entire life pretty much. You can download an app or use it through the website. Work times and breaks are can be customized, and you can even set time presets for easy switching. Maybe you want to work for 30 or 40 minutes this time but go back to 25 after your break. Easily done!

Pomodoro Apps

There are also several apps available! You can find plenty of results if you search in your phone’s app stores. There are too many to list them all so I’ll just mention two; one for iPhone and one for Android. Pomodoro Time seems pretty popular for Apple users. As an Android user, I might be just a bit jealous. Not to worry though, because we have ClearFocus. I’ll be downloading it as soon as I get my new phone, for sure.

The Challenge

So, I challenge you to put your work to the test! Grab your favorite planner or calendar and map out your entire day for a week. Even schedule in your down time. Stick to that schedule and track your productivity. Is it more, or less? You can extend the experiment by switching up the length of hours you work or the length of your breaks. I was able to combine my breakfast and administrative duties to give myself more “me” time or more work time if I needed it.

I admit that I don’t always stick to this schedule (chaos is way more fun!), but when I have a serious I-really-need-to-get-this-done project, out comes the schedule. If I stuck to it more often, I’d probably be doing way better for myself. It’s something I’ve been working on this year especially. I’m finally starting to see the benefits as of the last few months.

If you’re struggling to balance your work-at-home life, try it out. Let us know how it goes in the comments below if you want. Want some tools that can help you manage and track your time? I can help with that too. Check back later this week for a list of my favorite project and list management tools, and also for a great time tracking program.

Working through the seemingly impossible

Two days ago I found myself in what seemed like an impossible situation. I had 19 hours to complete something that normally takes me up to 4 days. To top it off, this PC was starting to show possible configuration issues. I’ve been trying different things to see if it will work better, but that day with 19hrs to go, I didn’t have time to mess around.

Finishing this project was important because it’s going to be my only source of income for most of the month. I’m not even 100% sure I’ll make it into my biggest event at the end of the month due to their selection process. So at 10am, I got to work. By 2:30am I was all set up and as expected, totally ready for bed.

It wasn’t without its ups and downs. My original idea would have been impossible to finish in time. The back up file was 2 days older than my last edit. I had been trying something new and it was taking me extra time to learn and develop good techniques. Had I had the right file, I definitely could have finished it.

Unfortunately, it looked like I was going to need to start from scratch. My worst fear. I’ve created other things in one day before the but that was years ago and not at the quality I can, and have to if I want to make any money, create today. I had to choose something that I knew I’d be able to finish quickly, while also minimizing the use of features that could give me fits when uploading, if I was going to be able to finish. 

On top of that, my computer would go through crashing “cycles”. It would constantly crash several times and then be okay for a length of time. Then it would start right back up again. Sometimes the program I was working in would crash and I couldn’t reopen it until I restarted. Then I would be exporting a file and suddenly that would stop working. Basically, if it could go wrong, it did. 

Despite all these issues, I successfully completed something I thought I would never be able to do. And I even had nearly 2hrs to spare.

So what does this story have to do with anything? I wanted to share an example of what people can do when they put their mind to it, even and perhaps especially in tight situations. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself having to shift focus at the last minute. If you’re determined enough, you may be able to accomplish things that you thought you couldn’t. You can always go back to your original idea later.

The Creation Process: Wonderland Loft Graphics and Social Media

Graphics

So I’ve already mentioned I need a logo and I’ve sort of been working on that. Really, today mostly I’ve been creating a template to use for feature images for each of my posts. You know, the cute little graphics people have at the beginning of a post. I’ll be able to use them as photos that appear on Facebook or Twitter, as well as use them for pinning my posts. They’ll be good for tumblr too.

In addition, I really need to decide what theme I want to use. I want to make graphics that will look great no matter what theme I use, so if/when I decide to change in the future. I don’t know why I’m saying “if”, I definitely will!

Anyway, I guess all I’m trying to say is that I want to create a cohesive look that will last a long time. So far, it’s been super fun! I hope to have some examples ready to post tomorrow.

Social Media

I spent a bit of time last night creating social media pages for the blog. I have now dedicated pages on Pinterest, tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram. So far, Pinterest is the most developed, Twitter is starting to come along. I’m sure I’ll quickly fill tumblr with content. I always do. However, I’m keeping things a bit empty because I don’t want TOO many people visiting them. I still need to make a logo and get it posted as profile pictures to all of these sites. One day I’ll totally show my face, I promise. That day isn’t today though.

If you think you’d like to stick around to follow my future posts, feel free to make some preemptive follows. There’s not much content yet, but there will be soon. Hope to see you there!

 

Looks like I’m back in business

Of course, right after I announce a crisis, my luck turns around. Not that it’s a bad thing. It just seems silly to scream doomsday one minute then declare that everything is fine the next. And fortunately, everything will be mostly fine.

My sister was kind enough to make the 2 hour trek to bring the PC I had left upstate with my dad. That means I’ll still be able to get work done, and I’ll also continue doing cute and fun things like making graphics for this blog! It will also be easier for me to document my progress while setting up my blog. Expect lots of screenshots!

This is going to be an interesting few weeks for sure. I opted for Windows 10 on this computer just so I could give it a try. I haven’t updated on my main PC because I’m afraid it won’t run certain games right or it might mess up a program I use for work.

So far it’s been great, but Photoshop is giving me a little trouble. The context menus are FAR too large. Many run beyond the bottom of the screen so I have to scroll to see all the options. This wouldn’t be a problem, but to scroll I have to use an arrow key. Real annoying. Plus the larger text is kind of ugly.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a quick post with an update for the day. It’s Sunday and in my whole blog plan I’d like to take Sundays off, but since I don’t have much content here yet, I wanted to make a post anyway. Hope you’ve had an awesome weekend and the work week ahead isn’t too strenuous. Bye for now!

I am PCless for 2-3 weeks! Ugh!

Go figure. As soon as it’s time to start work on two new SL events… my PC dies. Due to me being about a 2hr drive away from the one person I know who will fix and upgrade it for free (thank you, dear father) and me not driving, I won’t have anything until my sister comes down here to get ready to go back to law school, which is about two or three weeks away.

I’m not sure exactly what happened. I was taking a nap when I heard a noise and my computer shut off. At first I thought it was the power (our power had been out once for 5 hours the week before), but after walking into the kitchen, I noticed the clocks on the oven and microwave still working. So then I thought maybe a fuse. I went to check the box but everything seemed okay. I started to head back into my room, thinking it must be something with my PC. Then came the burning smell.

I rushed into my room and unplugged the power strip. Nothing was on fire at least, thank god. But then the realization that my PC had probably fried sunk in. I went to work opening the case and inspecting each part to find out which one was damaged and began texting my dad with details of the issue. We assumed it was the power supply, seeing as it was clearly overheating inside anytime I tried to turn it on.

My dad was able to overnight me a new PSU (thank you Amazon!) which had we been a little bit faster, I could have had it delivered in a few hours with Prime Now. They sold out before my dad could get around to ordering for me. That’s okay though, because I ended up with a 1000w PSU instead of an 850w. I won’t use all that, but as long as this one doesn’t break as well, I’ve got a piece I can use through many hardware upgrades. I had my last one for around 5 years, which I think is a pretty good run considering todays quickly changing PC standards and the frequency and stress I put my machine through.

Anyway, I received the part and installed it; there were a few cables I found I had to switch out so they would fit in the new connectors so it took a little bit longer than anticipated. Unfortunately, my PC still won’t turn on. My worst fears – the motherboard is probably fried. Good news and bad news. Bad news is obviously that I’ll be without my PC for so long AND my backup PC that I keep just for times like this is also still with my dad, as I had left it with him to upgrade it into 2016 when last I was in town. Good news: I’ll finally get a processor upgrade! I suppose I don’t ~really~ need one, processing speed isn’t too much faster than what I have now, but it’s the only piece in my rig that hasn’t been upgraded in awhile, so I just want something fresh. Plus I’m only getting my speeds because it’s overclocked. It’d be nice to have something that runs the same or better as the default.

So yes, I’m really sad about this. I won’t be able to play through all of the Overwatch Olympics event (I still need to get that Mercy skin!) and I won’t get to play No Man’s Sky on my PC. Oh and of course yeah, I can’t work. I’m just glad that due to a pretty successful summer season, I’ve got a little cushion so I can still buy things like FOOD. And even have some left over for the non essentials like No Man’s Sky and a new phone (finally!).

Plus, my store still “runs” itself. People can still buy things and I can still cash out. In the long run though, not participating in sales events hurts stores, and I may not be able to do my best performing event. It happens at the end of the month, so I’m not giving up hope that there’s still a chance I can participate.

At least I have my laptop so I can continue to work on my blog. It’s super old, from 2007, so it’s not as fast as I’d like, it’s still running Windows Vista (not even 64 bit), and I’ve only got old copies of Photoshop on it (CS4, ugh). I suppose it will do for now. Everything will be a bit more frustrating to deal with, but it’s something.

I’ve been wanting to work on a blog for awhile and now I can do it without having to stop and do work things. I’ll probably give creating a shot still, but the last time I was confined to this laptop, it didn’t work out too well. So I’ll just create content for whomever feels like reading this. It’s good to have posts queued up and ready to go anyway. Plus I still need to unpack a lot of things from the move and arrange my living room so it’s not such a mess. Suddenly glad I didn’t work with all that until now.

Time is precious, don’t ever forget that!

First post! Super excited!

I feel really cliche in writing this, but here I am, making my first post on this blog. I’m excited because though I’ve done blogging in the past, even before things like WordPress existed and Blogger was just starting out, I don’t think I ever did it SERIOUSLY. It was mostly a thing for my friends and myself. It was a place to write down my thoughts and random things I did that day.

However, I want to really get back into it again, and this time on a much larger scale. I’ve always wanted to do a fashion blog or a gaming blog. I’ve kept putting it off saying I’m not ready to take photos or I don’t feel like taking pictures of myself, but I really regret waiting this long to start. I guess I’m a little bored now. Maybe I just want to try something new. Whatever the case, I’ve decided to take the number one advice I’ve seen out there for people who want to start a blog; just start one!

At first I was worried about content, but I’ve made a list of things I can write about, I’ve studied other blogs, and I’ve done a lot of research into how to pick topics. I suddenly realized that I actually have a lot to talk about and a lot of advice to share as well. Even just writing this paragraph, I’ve thought of something I could share with people. In fact, once I started writing this post, I realized it might be beneficial to document my progress in creating this blog.

Perhaps no one will see it now, but hopefully, eventually, putting my entire thought process out there just might help some other beginning blogger. I’m thankful for all of the people out there who have shared their experience to help us newbies out, so why not give back as well?

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’m really looking forward to this new journey and I hope many others follow along the way. Perhaps I should have started with an introduction post, but I think I’ll save it for my “About Me”. In any case, here goes nothing!