And Now For Something Completely Different…ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lips Review

“And now for something completely different…” – John Cleese, Monty Python

This series of blog posts is for posts that don’t really match the rest of my blog (i.e. they aren’t related to writing, reading, steampunk, etc) but that I wanted to post anyway. In this edition, I’ll be reviewing the new ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lips (to be fair, this post will relate back to steampunk a bit; read below to see!)

I was excited when I saw ColourPop was coming out with lip glosses. ColourPop, a company based in California in the US which is cruelty-free and mostly vegan, is one of my favorite cosmetics companies. I was specifically excited about the lip gloss because it’s a welcome break from the super-matte trend that’s been happening lately (nothing against matte lips, they just aren’t for me and my dry-and-angry lips).

The Ultra Glossy Lips, according to ColourPop’s website:

Our Ultra Glossy Lip provides extreme shine with a cushion-like comfortable feel. Absolutely NO stickiness or tackiness! This lip gloss smoothes and conditions the lips with emollient ingredients leaving your lips looking fuller, healthier, and super kissable.

I would agree that the formula is very comfortable, though I wouldn’t say there’s NO stickiness or tackiness. There isn’t much, though.

I ordered 3 colors in 3 different finishes: Finder’s Keepers (créme), Dropout (sheer), and Cheat Code (metallic). Here’s what they look like on the website:

Upon opening my package, I was immediately saddened to discover I wasn’t sent what I ordered! I got Finder’s Keepers and Cheat Code, but not Dropout. In its place I had Master Plan (another créme).

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As you can see, it’s very similar to Finder’s Keepers. I reached out to ColourPop to correct my order, but in the meantime, I’ll review what I have. I’ll probably come back and edit this post once I receive Dropout so that I can review that one too.

First up: Finder’s Keepers. This color is one I gravitate toward for everyday-wear. It’s subtle but still adds color to my lips so I don’t look washed-out or dead (a common problem when my lips are dry and sad during the winter or during allergy season (which you may note covers the majority of the year…)). This lip gloss has a good amount of pigment, and overall looks pretty nice!

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Next is Master Plan. Just as I suspected by looking at the tube, it’s very similar to Finder’s Keepers. It’s just a tad darker and a tad more purple. It’s definitely still a color I would gravitate toward, so I’ll probably wear it in the fall (it’s not quite dark enough to qualify as “vampy” but it’s as close as I’ll get on a workday!).

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And finally, the element of Steampunk I promised:

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See? I told you there’d be Steampunk! This is Cheat Code, and it is awesome. It’s very pigmented and very metallic. I’ll be wearing this to the Enchanted City III: A Brave New World next month (where I’ll also be having a book signing for Grigory’s Gadget at Market Block Books!)

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Overall I really like these lip glosses. I’ll forgive the order mistake, since this was a brand new line that just launched and I know ColourPop gets inundated with orders when they come out with new stuff!

We’ll be back to our regularly-scheduled programming next week, when I’ll probably explain how I failed at Camp NaNoWriMo again…

UPDATE

Huzzah! My inaccurate order has been corrected. I’ve received not one, but TWO lip glosses in the color Dropout!

This is a deep dark shade in a sheer finish. I built up the color a bit below, but it can easily be applied to be sheerer.

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Meet the Characters: Demyan Volkov

(Image source: harvenhait)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Demyan Volkov.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Demyan Volkov (DEH-myan VOHL-kohv)

Name Meaning: DemyanRussian form of Damian, meaning “to tame”; Volkov – Russian patronymic from the word for “wolf”

Age: early 20s

Physical Appearance: Brown hair, green eyes, below-average height with small build

Hometown: Lodninsk, Morozhia (LOHD-ninsk, moh-ROHZH-ya)

Family: Father died from a plague that swept through the city; mother died in a cave-in at the Lodninsk mines, which was caused by the Skarbniki revolt

Relationship Status: in a relationship with Zoya Orlova

Education: studying archaeology

Religion: None

Greatest Strengths: Trustworthy, honest

Greatest Weaknesses: Is not quick to adapt to new situations

Favorite Color: White

Hobbies: Reading-up on history, playing card games like Durak

Biggest Goal in Life: Settle down somewhere safe and consistent, minimize conflict and complications

Indie Author Day!

I recently heard about a new event coming up this fall: Indie Author Day. From their website:

During the Inaugural Indie Author Day on October 8, 2016, libraries from all across North America will host their own local author events with the support of the Indie Author Day team. In addition to these local programs, each library’s indie community will come together for an hour-long digital gathering at 2 pm Eastern featuring Q&A with writers, agents and other industry leaders. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity for libraries and authors to connect on both local and global levels!

I think this is a fantastic idea! I love the idea of indie authors and libraries boosting each other up. The book industry can be a pretty crazy place, and we all need to support each other.

I’m hoping to help organize a local event here in Buffalo. Curious to see if your library is hosting an event? You can find the list of participating libraries on the website. You can also reach out to the event organizers to try to get your library involved if you don’t already see it on the list.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016

So far, so good. As of today, July 8th, I’ve met my word count goal every single day this month!

*loud cheering*

Granted, I made July MUCH easier than I had made April. My daily word count goal is a meager 500 words per day, for a total of 15,500 words by the end of the month. It’s enough writing to keep my story moving forward, and to get me into a solid habit of writing every day. But it’s also far less intimidating than the typical NaNoWriMo goal of 1,667 words per day in November.

If say, you forget about NaNoWriMo until 10pm one night, and then find out that PokemonGO has been released in the US, you can still fit in 500 words before bed! 500 words, a bulbasaur, an eevee, and a weedle.

This is serving as a lesson for me to be realistic about my expectations. Summer is busy – like, REALLY busy. I may not be writing as much as I’d *like* to, but at least I’m writing consistently.

Good luck to any other Campers out there!

Meet the Characters: Lilia Alkaeva

(Image credit: Aminta’s Fasion)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Lilia Alkaeva.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Lilia Alkaeva (LIH-lee-ya al-KAH-yeh-vah)

Name Meaning: Lilia – cognate of Lily, from the flower which is a symbol of purity; Alkaeva – from the Russian verb alkat “to wish, to be wished”

Age: early 20s

Physical Appearance: tan skin, brown eyes, short thick black hair, glasses

Hometown: Lodninsk, Morozhia (LOHD-ninsk, moh-ROHZH-ya)

Family: Father and brother died in an airship crash; mother died from a plague that swept through the city

Relationship Status: single

Education: studying literature and history

Religion: None for most of Grigory’s Gadget, converts to Drevnih toward the end

Greatest Strengths: loyal, nurturing

Greatest Weaknesses: easily discouraged

Favorite Color: Pink and purple

Hobbies: reading, “dance lessons” (secret code which actually refers to sword fighting lessons)

Biggest Goal in Life: establish a safe and stable life