Tag: Changes

Shani Asks You Sundays – Big Changes and 200 Posts!

Welcome to my 200th post! Funny how these milestones seem to keep happening on Sundays.

Anyway, last week 2 things happened. The first is that I had my last day at my job, and I start my new one tomorrow. (Wish me luck!)

The other is that I went for a haircut, asked for 2 inches off, since I knew my ends were still really damaged, and when all was said and done, she had taken off 6 inches. Or so. I’m still not recovered from the trauma. My long, long hair is no more. I actually choke up every time I see someone with very long hair. I’m not even joking.

(My least favorite placation is, “It’ll grow back” followed very closely by, “She didn’t cut off THAT much” [she DID], followed by, “It doesn’t look that short.” So don’t even try. I’m not saying it’s not a good cut, but that’s half a year’s growth, so it’s not JUST going to grow back any time soon. My hair hasn’t been this short in years My one friend who understood said, “It’s the first shower that’s the worst,” and it was. I almost cried. I just hate it when they take that control away from you.)

I have some OOTD posts that I’ve been saving up since I lost my photographers when I left my job, so you’ll probably see shots of my old hair interspersed with my new hair. (Then tell me it’s not that much shorter!)

So, on to this week’s question:

What big changes are going on in your life right now?

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Poll time: What blog content do you like?

With an eye towards the changes that I’m working on (and if you haven’t seen my layout design poll…here it is), I was also looking for feedback on the content. I’d like to know what you like, what you think is working, and what isn’t.

I sometimes worry that something like Music Monday isn’t a big hit, since it’s not about beauty or fashion. Although I know many people like music as well. And maybe having 2 days a week where there’s an assigned feature gets boring.

So here’s your chance to let me know what you’d like to see on the blog!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
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Should I keep Music Monday?
This poll is closed! Poll activity:
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Should I keep Wishlist Wednesday?
Which Polka Dot Jetts do you prefer?

Poll: Which blog layout style do you prefer?

Changes are going on behind the scenes at shedreamsinperfectfrench. This is going to include a change to my blog theme. Which, of course, makes me wonder about blog layouts.

I know that I definitely prefer reading some blogs over others, and so much has to do with design and layout. I want my blog to be pleasing to my readers, so I would love your input as to which blog layout style you prefer to read.

I’m kind of layout illiterate, so let me explain what I mean by the choices below with examples:

Choice 1: Continuous reading on one page
This is the style I currently have. You come to my blog, you find the latest entry, you scroll down to read (sometimes with a “read more” tag).

Choice 2: Large most recent post with thumbnail magazine layout
The most recent entry is in large at the top, and the archives appear as a grid of images below. Zoé Macaron is an example of this style.

Choice 3: Dynamic large posts with thumbnail magazine layout
A couple of most recent entries appear in a large carousel at the top, and the archives appear as a grid of images below. Gemsmaquillage is an example of this style.

Choice 4: Large main image for each post, click to read
Each post is represented by a large image, running vertically down the page. To read the entry, you click on the image. Vivianna Does Makeup is an example of this style.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
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Do you like weekly blog features?

On 100 posts…and blogging in general

Yes, you read that correctly. 100 posts.

Holy shit, y’all.

If you would have told me back when I started this thing that I’d be celebrating this (okay, fine, modest) milestone (but still a milestone!), I would have given you my famous eyeroll and side eye. (You know that look.)

Not that I’ve been at it that long. I guess that’s what posting nearly every day does for you.

In that time, however, I’ve had some thoughts on the whole thing. So I apologize for monopolizing this post by airing them.

1. Blogging is hard. I mean, I knew it was. I’ve started and abandoned it so many times. But it’s even harder than I thought. Especially when you’re working full time. Everyone assumes it’s just a bunch of words and pictures on a page, but it’s extremely time-consuming. And potentially expensive. You know, buying things to review. And so forth. Amielle and I are constantly cheering each other on from across continents. Because motivation is necessary.

2. And thankless. So you’ve really got to want to do it. I started this blog for a variety of reasons. One of which was to have a portfolio of writing outside my main industry. (More cryptic half-snippets of personal information.) And, mission accomplished. But, I’ve since formed other goals. None of which have really been accomplished yet. And I sometimes wonder if they will. For every successful blogger, there are thousands of little blogs like mine. I may never get there. And yet.

3. But can be rewarding in surprising ways. I may not have very many readers, but I really value the relationships I’ve developed. Even if they’re just in the form of comments. I like my “blogging friends.” I look forward to you comments. And I look forward to reading your blogs. Trying to blog requires you to comment on as many blogs as you have time for, but there are the ones that I make sure I check and keep up on. (P.S. You’ll find them in te blogroll in my sidebar, which I updated recently.)

4. And is about you, not me. Though perhaps belied by this post, if you’re not finding something interesting to appeal to you, you’re not staying. I’ve seen some of the v/bloggers I used to love turn into ego monsters, where every single thing they post is now photos of themselves doing whatever it is they’re doing. Not what they’re doing. (Then again, they’re the ones with thousands of followers egging them on, so they must be doing something right.) I promise you, my blog and social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…if you’re inclined to follow me 😉 ) will never become showcases of photos of me. Good god, that would be awful. (I do necessarily have to post some photos of myself to show you how things look on an actual person. It’s harder for me than it is for you, trust me.)

And some changes are coming. I’ve joined Google AdSense, just being up front about it. And I’m gonna get all official and add a disclosure policy. (Rebecca, yours is amazing. I may have to rip it off. Oh, sorry, I mean “sample.”) In case I ever do get any PR samples. (Has not happened yet. Even my “semi-sponsored” posts were not actually beneficial.) I also updated my commenting system (a week or so ago) so you will actually see replies to your comments (—let me know if you like this format, because there’s another I can try.)

In general, if you have any feedback—comments, advice, suggestions—I am all ears.

So, in conclusion, thank you for reading this personal, non-topical post, if you’ve made it to the end. I look forward to hopefully entertaining, educating, and enlightening you for 100s of posts to come. (Well, at least another 100. I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself.)

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The ball is rolling!

The skin I’m in—My basic skincare regimen dissected

Someone asked me to do a post (someone asked me to do a post!!) on my basic daily beauty routine, so I thought I would start with my skincare.

My oily skin has been the bane of my existence since I was a teenager. My favorite joke about my skin is that there is enough oil on my face when I wake up in the morning to solve the energy crisis. (There really is.) When women talk about wanting a foundation that makes them look “dewy,” I know that with me, all I have to do is put on foundation and wait an hour and POOF! Dewy.

Much like my perfume-buying habits, I’ve been through practically every oily skin line of skincare trying to find the holy grail of mattifying moisturizer (or cleanser or toner). My conclusion: There is no such thing. The companies will claim to eliminate all your shine, but if you’re as oily as I am, you’re always going to be a little bit shiny. The thing that you can work on, though, is how shiny you’re going to be.

I feel like I need to state that one of the problems with taking care of oily skin is that in an attempt to eliminate oil, we sometimes strip away too much oil. Doing what? Causing your skin to produce more oil to compensate. So don’t forget: some oil good, too much oil bad. I use moisturizer even at night, even though it seems counter intuitive.

I had a fantastic run from March to April this year, where by the end of the work day, I just had a slight sheen, and just needed to dab a bit before going out. I had started a new skincare regimen and also discovered a new line of foundation (that I’ll talk about in the follow up to this post).  What was the magic combination, you’re wondering?

DSC_0999Clockwise from left: Lush Ultrabland, Tea Tree Water, Grease Lightning, Enzymion, Fresh Farmacy Soap

I have friends in Scotland who are big believers in Lush, so I decided to go in and buy a skincare system and see how it worked. The routine was, take my eye makeup off, then use Ultrabland to take the makeup off the rest of my face. This step was something new to me. I had never taken my makeup off my face before cleansing, or, double cleansing. It feels completely counter intuitive to put Ultrabland on oily skin, because it feels oily (and is in fact made with essential oils), but seeing how much dirt came off my face when I used the Tea Tree Water on a cotton pad to take it off, I was amazed. I also did not break out more because of it, and rationalized that it was probably good to be putting some oil back into my face (see factoid above). The Tea Tree Water smells fresh, feels refreshing, and is really a great product. The person who helped me told me she even sprays it on her face during the day to help mattify and refresh her skin (I haven’t tried that for fear of my mascara running, heh).

Next step was to wash my face with the Fresh Farmacy Soap. She chose this cleanser because I do have some pimples, but don’t need an exfoliating cleanser since I use a Clarisonic Mia brush. Fresh Farmacy is made with calamine, so it’s the same color as the old mosquito bite remedy. You can smell it, too. It kind of feels medicinal, but in a good way.  At night I (still) use a prescription retinol on my face, generic Retin-A. During the day, I uses Grease Lightning for oil and pimples. Then I used Avibon (which is a French skincare secret: pure vitamin A retinol, used by French women to keep wrinkles at bay) under my eyes and whatever eye cream in the morning I was using at the time (probably some sample I got), and then moisturized with Enzymion. I’ve heard that they do demos of this moisturizer on people’s hands, showing how it sucks up oil. I’m sure it does, and like I said, it worked really well for a spell. It smells citrusy and fresh, which is especially nice in the morning.

In April, I went to Spain for a week and a half, and I don’t know if it was the traveling, the change in regimen while I was away, or the changing of the season, but when I got back, my skin did not respond to this routine as well. Quel disappointment! So what’s a beauty product addict to do? Go find some more, of course!

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Wishlist Wednesday #5

Hello, again, and welcome to another edition of Things Shani Wants But Can’t Afford (Right Now) Because She’s Unemployed. Today changes things up a bit, in that I’m not just going to write about a single item that I’m lusting after, but an entire new makeup line.

I recently read this article about celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt‘s new makeup line, Surratt, which just debuted at Barneys New York (sadly, not all the items are available online right now).

I think we all love perusing Japanese stores such as Muji for their interesting and ingenious products . Surratt took all that innovation and injected it into his line, and some of the items inspire unnatural amounts of lust in me.

For example:

Surratt describes his Autographique liner (liquid liner) pen as being inspired by calligraphy pens, and contains a similar capillary system. The point is fine and made of nylon, not felt. And—get this!—the tip is refillable! So instead of throwing out another whole pen, you can just replace the tip. I think this is a brilliant idea, and I really want to try it. (I have liquid eyeliner dysfunction, so anything that may help me with my eyeliner applying skills…)

502978764_product_1 Autographique liner

Another Japanese influence Surratt drew on for his line was the difference in brow pencils, making his harder and more powdery. This gives the pencil more of a graphite pencil feel, and allows it to fill in between the hairs of the eyebrows more naturally. I’ve been trying to find a good one, and this sounds pretty excellent. (And it’s also refillable!)

502978770_product_1 Expressioniste Brow Pencil (This is just a link to the refill—the pencil seems to be sold out online.)

The article says that his line has a look-good-on-everyone red, and of course, I, in my search for the perfect red, NEED to try it. It’s the Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring. The product description says that it has a non-drying, suede-like, matte finish, which sounds just right for a red. And it looks pretty stunning to me!

502978588_product_1 Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring

Another great feature of the line is customizable palettes, which, if you’ve ever had a pre-made palette with colors you just don’t use, you know is a godsend.

In general, the line looks amazing (see here, here, and here).  And it doesn’t hurt that the man himself replied to my tweet! 🙂 As soon as I have some money, I am hightailing it to Barneys to try all of these out for myself!

Do any of these tempt you? What are you wishing for this week?