Thursday, June 23, 2016

**RESOURCES** Writing with Laughter and Murder

I think every fiction writer has seen the jokes about having to explain their internet history.

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I really, REALLY want this cup!

Today, when I made some changes to a short story, I had to do some Googling for ways to kill with food. Now, I'd better hope and pray no one I know dies of anything food related. At any rate, I gave up on the whole death-by-food idea. It wasn't a good ploy for my story. However, I spent way too much time looking for info on killing off fictional characters.  Because it was so tedious to dig through a bunch of dud sites on the subject, I thought I'd throw together a list of the useful ones I found. (Forgive me if I sound scattered, but I really am exhausted.)

I really do google the most random things...:
via Pinterest via
By the way, I was going to include a lot more links but, after I looked at some of the sites, I was worried that I'd be giving the wrong information to (possibly) some of the wrong kind of people. I know that anyone with internet access can find the info, but I just don't feel right including it here.

i have no words.  thank you, @Rachel Trunk:

I don't want to get carried away. The main thing to know is that there are lots and lots of ways to kill off fictional characters. 

Now I have to get back to work on the stories. Before I kill myself by overdose of chocolate.


Friday, June 17, 2016

**MAKEUP** Swatches on Skin (dark foundations)

Since I have said over and over that I should do this, I've decided to go all Nike on y'all and just do it.

(By the way, ladies, even though I'm posting about darker foundations, I believe that each of the products covers ,most skin tones from the palest to the deepest. Just wanted to toss that in because the makeup struggle is real, no matter what your shade!)

The shades are:

  1. * BH Cosmetics Complexion Collection (shade - Deep Espresso)
  2.  Mary Kay's Timewise Luminous Wear (shade - Bronze 8)
  3.  *Black Radiance' Complexion Perfection (shade - 8435 Ebony)
  4.  *NARS' Sheer Glow (shade - Khartoum/Dark4)
  5.  *Black Opal's True Color Pore Perfecting (shade - Ebony Brown)
  6. Mary Kay CC Cream/sunscreen SPF15 (shade - Deep)
I starred my faves, but I won't count on Black Radiance not to discontinue the Ebony shade. The Mary Kay products were my late sister's and she loved the way the looked and made her skin feel. I might have to see about some shades that suit me.

Now, here is how these looked against my skin in full-on sunlight:
#1 shade is bottom, #6 is top by eye
By the way, to help with which shade is which, #1 on the list is on the bottom part of my face while #6 is the first and nearest my eye. I lost track when I was adding the numbers onto the photos!

Keep in mind that I didn't blend these, but just wiped them on to give you an idea of what the shades looked like. When my faves are blended, they are pretty flawless. Even the too-light Mary Kay Luminous Wear doesn't look outrageous if I blend it in. That's why I want to try one of the darker shades from the brand.

When I moved back a bit so that my face was still getting a lot of sunlight but not as direct, this is what the swatches looked like.

This is the reason I want to point out is that, even when a shade is too light (or orange/red/whatever), there can still be some use for it. I like to highlight the area just over and under the outer parts of my eyebrows with a slightly light shade. Sometimes, I will use a lighter shade as an eyeshadow.  Also, everything depends on lighting, lighting, lighting. You think I'm lying? Just go look at how some folks prove that "ugly" can be about the angle (or lighting) of a shot. Big thanks to Sad and Useless for the post. Lifted my esteem a notch.

The next photos are of the swatches on my arm held at different angles. This was done under indoor lighting - or "office" lighting since I had a couple of computer lights on.

Most days, I don't go all overboard with my makeup. Let me back up and admit something: most days I only half-step it when doing my makeup. Sometimes, all I'll bother with is some lip pretties (stain, stick or gloss), but usually, I do light foundation, mascara, and the lip pretties. That's because I'm getting older and am not as confident as I used to be. There was a time when I went totally barefaced and strutted around like my poo didn't p.u. It's nice when I find a shade that works to look natural and light.

Anyway, I hope that these photos help to give some of you all ideas for shades you might be wondering about.

Next time around, maybe I will show some of the lip pretties I love.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

**REVIEW** Black Opal True Color Foundation

Cue the singing of angels!

I have found yet another reasonably priced foundation in a shade I love. It's not hard to find a good foundation. I've checked many brands at the drugstores that feel good on the skin, have a great look (if it matches the wearer's shade), and doesn't break the bank.

My problem is my darker-than-"deep" shade. I love how all the darkest shades near where I live stop somewhere between Mocha and Cafe Au lait. It's as if someone decided that most black women are actual sisters of  Beyonce, Mariah, or Alicia Keyes. I might find something real close to a Jennifer Hudson shade every now and then, but those usually go wrong just enough to leave me looking ashy or chalky. That's just what happened with this Revlon 2-in-1 foundation and concealer I recently tried in "Cappucino"...
NOT the reviewed product!!!

That certainly looks like if would work for me. If anything, from the photo, it looks like it might be perfect.

It's not.

First of all, it's only that dark in the photo. Second of all, even though the actual product was dark enough to fool me when I saw it at the store, it's not that dark when applied. It's more of a Cappucino with a dose of cream. When I applied it, it worked so well that I could have gotten away with wearing it if no one looked past my jawline, In other words, I looked like a black kabuki-painted chick. If there is such a thing, I mean. (No offense intended to any cultures.)


I was disappointed until I found this:

This is the Ebony Brown shade of Black Opal's True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation.

Since I first spotted it online, I was a bit worried about the shade match to my skin.  Thankfully, some sweet lady had lots of photos in different types of lighting. That made it easier for me to take a chance and try this one.

I'm going to pause now to share some photos in different lighting. Sort of a pay-it-forward thing since I didn't get the name or site of the lady who helped me out.

The TOP (darker) photos are the truest to color.
The BOTTOM photos make the liquid look lighter than it actually is

Most of you should have an idea of what shade my complexion is by now. One thing I learned long ago from a beauty consultant was to always test new shades to the neck or jawline. I don't know how good this photo is, but I can tell you that this foundation in Ebony Brown is just about a super match to my skin tone.

There is ZERO makeup below my jaw. I actually did one side of my face and left the other side bare this morning, but the match is too close for my camera to show you the difference. Looking in the mirror, it looked as if I had "blurred" or put BB cream on the side with the makeup. There's just a smoothing and evening-out effect that I love. Doesn't do much for the 5 decades worth of wrinkles around my eyes, but I still love the effects. 

Good thing that I didn't see this part of the box before I bought this makeup or I would have passed. From the picture below, this would seem way too light for me:

Here's the crazy thing: when I compare the bottle of this Ebony Brown to the (now returned/refunded) Revlon Cappucino cream foundation, they look like exact matches. But, oh, nay nay.

There is one interesting thing that I noticed when I was checking the label. There's this part about the product being "alcohol-free"...

...that sounded good until I looked at the ingredients:

Am I missing something - or is something that has "Cetyl Alcohol" in it considered free of, well, alcohol? Apparently, yes, I am missing something. I guess it's not only important to read a label but to also know the games played with them.

Because I assume the alcohol is meant to keep down the shine, I'm a tiny bit disappointed that I do get shine with this product. I have discovered that it best to blot this really well to remedy that. Also, even when I did blot after applying, after a few hours in the car (on a warm day), I had to tissue my face again. If you don't blot (or re-blot), this makeup transfers to everything that you touch. (Side note: my optometrist was probably hating me when she had to clean all her testing machines after my exam today.) My NARS and BH foundations are much better non-shine/non-transfer products, but the coverage is lighter than with this foundation. (I will have to review the NARS one day soon.)

Aside from the (not really) alcohol-free and the other issues, I do love this foundation. I'm going to be checking with Black Opal to see if they send out samples. I'd love to check the Black Walnut shade in the product.

One day, I will have to do a post comparing all the different brands and shades I've still got laying around. For now -


P.S.: I do want to give credit to Revlon for having a shade as dark as Cappucino. At least they are offering some shade variety. By the way, if you can wear their 2-in-1 product I mentioned, it's some great stuff and I'd tell you to give it a try. Can't wait to find a cream-to-powder that works for my skin shade.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

**RESOURCES** For Writers and Students

As I've been working on (or juggling the work on) three different books, I've been OneNoting some resources to share with you guys. Here are the latest links I culled from my notebooks. Here we go....

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Visualizing Words

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Dictation Software

  • Braina (Scary good dictation software, but be careful of the Pro trial. It's not totally free... Also, not expensive)
  • Speechnotes (So easy to use, but no download as far as I know. It's all online, then copy or share to other utilities.)
(I use it on my phone and if I could ever get something as good as S Voice for my computer, I'd be one happy heffa!)

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Other Lang & Slang

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What & Where in Time

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Too Good to Leave Out

Enjoy & Peace