Sincerely, Stasia

Living and learning on a teacher's salary.

Baby Steps to My Pinterest Projects July 23, 2012

Filed under: DIY,Home — sincerelystasia @ 11:39 pm
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Those of you who follow me on Pinterest know I’m all over it. I have just about a million [actual count] recipes and projects to try. As I get around to them, I’ll show you how I did. I refer to it often, but my St. Patrick’s Day fire extinguisher experiment lets you know I’ll be honest about how I do. No sugar coating here – Not my style. After a 30-minute dash through Michael’s, where I was like a kid in a candy store, I had the supplies I needed for a handful of Pinterest projects to get started. I decided to start with baby steps and work my way up.

First I went with a really simple project. Really more of a purchase-and-put-together, but I still did it so I’m counting it. Kind of like when I add things to my to-do list that I’ve already done just so I can cross them off. You’ve seen me go through messy drawers and cabinets and purge. We’ve also discussed my obsession with Sephora. Here I’m combining the two. I like to be organized, which is much easier for me at school than it is at home, as evidenced by the way I keep my makeup brushes (left).

Clearly that is not an effective, sanitary, or aesthetically acceptable way to store them. Considering those brushes are not exactly cheap, I thought it might be a good idea to take better care of them. I should also be cleaning my brushes more regularly, and this has been helping. Straight to the point: For this ridiculously simple project, I bought two bags of glass beads, a plain glass container, and voila. My brushes are now in a pretty display and always within reach. And, it’s easy for me to clean them on a daily basis and then stand them up to dry. Perfect! Looks a little bit better, too, huh?


Once this was finished I decided to try something a little more difficult. I found the idea for painted vases here. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Swedish. Fortunately, I didn’t really need to. Straight to the point: First, I picked up a few plain glass vases and painstakingly removed the incredibly annoying price tags and glue that was left behind. Then I poured a bit of acrylic paint into the bottom of the vase (starting with the smallest one instead of jumping into the bigger ones) and slowly turned the vase, letting the paint leave a trail. This took a lot longer than I expected and got a bit frustrating at times when the paint wouldn’t cooperate or I was left with bubbles I had to remove. But, there’s worse things than practicing patience. I had to strategically drop more paint in depending on which areas I needed filled in, and the large bubble vase took just about forever, but overall it went well.

So there you have it – My first two Pinterest projects, completed. Not too exciting, I know, but it’s a step in the right direction. Now just to tackle the hundreds thousands? of pins I have left…

Sincerely, Stasia


The Origins of the Sephora Obsession March 1, 2012

Filed under: Fashion,Lifestyle,Style — sincerelystasia @ 11:22 pm
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I’m late today, I know, but instead of coming right home after class I had to check out a new wine bar with a grad school friend for Chianti and tuna tartare. For the record, it was fabulous. On to my late night post (and yes, as a teacher during the school year, this is now late night).

Like most people, I credit (or blame?) my family for who I am. My stubbornness and sarcasm: My dad. My tendency to be overly emotional and fiercely loyal: My mom. My outspokenness and love of sports: Gram Stasia. And, specific to today’s topic, my slight obsession with makeup: My Godmother, Aunt Kathy. I still hate acknowledging that she passed away in 2002 when she was only 46. There are a million things I love and I miss about my Aunt Kathy, who was really just incredible, but that’s another post for another day.

Since before I was born, Aunt Kathy was working for companies like Lancome, L’Oreal, and Revlon. Adding to her general fabulousness, she traveled extensively and spent some time living in London, where my lovely cousin was born, before moving back to NYC. Now to say that she was generous with products from her companies is a massive understatement. Every time she visited it was like Christmas. And when it was actually Christmas? Man. That was serious. One year we all got Revlon toolboxes that were literally filled with all sorts of makeup.

When I was a kid, she would come to visit and we’d go to the beach. I specifically remember one trip when she slathered some new, unreleased waterproof mascara on my 8-year-old lashes and sent me into the ocean to see if I would come back to our blanket without looking like a raccoon. I don’t remember the outcome, but I do remember how much fun it was when we played with makeup together.

I’m not going to say that, because we’d been playing with makeup together since I was little, I had any idea what I was doing. There’s a reason I don’t share pictures from intermediate school. Just take my word for it – We were clueless, I had access to every eyeshadow and lipstick color known to man, and it was the early 90’s. Horrific combination. But, I was completely hooked.

Now, I’d always been given all of my makeup by Aunt Kathy. Except, of course, for the pre-teen staples like Maybelline Watermelon Kissing Koolers (throwback!). After she left Revlon, I started buying my own drugstore makeup. Within the past few years, my skin decided it wanted to be fancy and I started having all sorts of fun allergic reactions to anything that I tried. During that time, fate introduced me to Sephora. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic.

Sephora is like a playground-amusement-park-happyland for women. That’s right, I said it. The downside is that everything is just a touch more expensive than, say, make up you’ll find at CVS. I won’t even get into the amount of money I spend at that store each year because it’s depressing. This is especially true considering I always know exactly what I’m going in for, so within 5 minutes I’m in and out of the store with a bag the size of my wallet and a receipt for upwards of $100. Oh, and I never impulse buy there. Ever. Is that believable?

Straight to the Point: I’ve been back and forth between a lot of different products over the past year and right now I’m really happy with what’s currently in my makeup bag. I highly recommend everything listed below… While they can be more expensive than some other products, there’s a reason for that.

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation: Light and sheer, but you can build it up if need be.

NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna: The only bronzer I’ve ever found without an orange tint to it. Considering I’ve finally given in and admitted how ridiculously dangerous trips to the tanning salon are, I swear by this and it looks completely natural unless you try to Snookie yourself.

Stila Custom Color Blush in Self-Adjusting Coral: I was afraid of the orange-y color when the saleswoman showed it to Sephora!me, but it’s pretty amazing and is really quite soft.

Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Airbrush #55: I’ve used this brush for everything from liquid foundation to loose powder to bronzer to blush. It applies lightly, blends evenly, and cleans easily. Perfect.

Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss: Lots of colors to choose from, moisturizes, not too sticky. Doesn’t last too long, but it’s better than some others I’ve used.

Sephora Collection Colorful Mono Eyeshadow: Not overly expensive, applies nicely, lasts all day, and comes in about a thousand colors (although I’m usually boring and just wear a brown crease, lame-o).

Sephora Collection Classic All Over Shadow Brush Small #22: I’ve used it for all over color and contouring. Simple and all purpose, in my opinion.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (black): Creamy eyeliner, applies smoothly.

Lancome Le Crayon Poudre – Powder Pencil for Brows: Brush on one end, powder pencil on the other. Genius.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara: Jet black mascara that people have been raving about for a reason. I’m super picky about mascara. I’ve moved from Christian Dior Dior Show to Benefit Bad Gal Lash to this. The brush took a while to get used to because it’s stiff and plastic-y, but after using it just a few times I was completely won over. Love this!

I’m not going to pretend that this is everything I have in my arsenal, but it’s some of my favorite stuff. If you’ve never been to Sephora, I recommend a trip. However, don’t blame me if you become addicted to trying all of their fun products. You can blame it, second-hand, on my fabulous Aunt Kathy – I’m sure she’d be more than fine with it.

Sincerely, Stasia


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