Monday, August 30, 2010

work it, move that bitch crazy

So I've been keeping this under wraps a bit but Samantha and I are attempting to restructure our online business. This year has been our first year working 100% fulltime as "Lipgloss and Black" and it's been a bit of an adventure of trial and error. Online selling has always been amazing for us, and we decided to branch out into selling locally (which for some reason seems impressive to people online) and as we begun to stretch ourselves out in Toronto, we found from other vendors that it's REALLY HARD to make it big online (so our online presence is impressive to those we meet in stores, HMPH, FANCY THAT.)

It's been tough spreading ourselves out a bit thin, so we're trying to slow down a bit and think about what's best for our future. Even though being 'all over the place' and having a presence in multiple stores and online is impressive, we needed to figure out where it's actually beneficial for us to be. Basically, our year of expanding locally has really slowed down our online business & we're realizing that online is really where we belong, so we wanna come back BIGGER.

We've been quietly (and tediously) working on our own standalone e-shop at www.lipglossandblack.com and are hoping that our customers come along even though we are branching away from etsy. We are hoping for a mid-september launch and have been working on getting product photos ready. I've been fiddling around with my home made lightbox and we've been setting up photoshoots.

So this past Sunday we had a big shoot in a warehouse studio with photographer Lasally, makeup artists Dera & Claire and Models Amber & Alejandra and assistant Caitlyn! We were originally hoping to have 2 more models with us but things got a bit messy with that & even though we had no intention to, Sam & I had to model :[

We were hoping to have a shoot finally where Sam & I were NOT the photographer, mua, model & stylists... but hey-- we got to just take a break from SOME of the roles at the shoot :). It was really great spending a whole day with really creative and fun girls. we're still a bit amateur at running photoshoots but things seemed to have went well! I think for next time we will HAVE TO remember to bring ipod docks just so that it's a bit more fun-infused AND I should remember to bring food appropriate for all food restrictions! (Sorry about the non-vegan choices Amber ♥)!

Anyway, we are working really hard to have our site ready for the launch in a few weeks. for now, here are just a few behind the scenes looks at how our day at the shoot was:


accessory table all ready!


my request: find a perfect red lipstick for me.
ughhh i just don't think i like red on me... i'm a lipgloss kinda gal.


assistant Caitlyn (me & Sam's lil sis... not that little though cause she's taller than both of us)
steaming the clothes so everything is wrinkle-free!


claire's setup. *DROOLS*


Dera's piles of palettes. we instantly bonded because A) we went to engineering school together B) we have stretched ears C) WE LOVE URBAN DECAY


I like your tool belt Dera.


Claire working her magic on Amber.
Claire is a seriously hard working MUA! Loved how she went to help Amber with posing and even helped with styling so much. Amazing. <3


ahahahah Dera's 6' tall & Sam is such a little mini with a short upper body...
so she had to sit on FIVE STACKED CHAIRS. NBD.


sam. workin it.


good job on DEM LIPS Dera.


creative team:
sam (designer & model), alejandra (model), dera (mua), amber (model), syl (designer, model), claire (mua)
all super sweaty and messy at this point cause of our mad-dash to finish before take-down time!


and then these two magically got e-harmonized together cause they both are muas, have the same iron maiden shoes, love silent hill & have matching tattoos! weird right?


see? dera's giant cupcake & alex's little mini one! totally matching :)

So yeah, it was a fantastic day of shooting & uber-tiring but I think we all had a ton of fun. We had an amazing team of gals who were all so easy to get along with :) THANKS to all of you ladies!! Can't wait to see the resulting pics-- & you know I'll share as soon as I get some!

xoxo

my birthday!

I'm a little behind on blogging, as Sam & I have been super busy with random projects (I'll elaborate in another blog entry). So I figure I should start with the oldest news & move forward, cause if I start with new news, I'll probably never blog about my old news. ughhh i'm rambling.

Anyway, it was recently my birthday & since my day falls at the end of the summer holiday (in school year terms), it's usually lost in a mess of getting ready for school & last minute vacations. Not only that, but the past 5 years or so have been a bit stressful because I was always battling with my university to register and reinstate myself back into school & never knowing what my fate would be for the school year. The stress of not knowing whether you'll ever complete your degree was definitely not a situation that made me want to celebrate my birthday. I've FINALLY left my engineering degree behind me (although possibly regrettable) & it's finally let me really enjoy my birthday for once!

I spent my birthday eve with my family at home & we celebrated with a yummy cheesecake & some marble slab zen-sation ice cream! You know how awesome sam is? she made sure that I got EVERY SINGLE THING on my wishlist!!! (except the camera lens, cause I'm hating on Nikon right now & might switch back to Canon & except for the purse) but yeah, I could totally recreate my little photo montage out of the things I actually own now :)



My best girl, Jenn decided to make my actual birthday day amaaaaazing. She took me out for an early morning trail ride (horseback riding!) at a local conservation area & ranch. It was so romantic ♥! haha. We didn't get any photos of us on the horses cause our cameras weren't allowed on the ride but here's some mini horses!



We hung out for the day, catching up, talking about stuff, looking at wedding photo blogs (hahah www.daveandcharlotte.com !) and baking coconut cupcakes with key lime buttercream frosting!



we had a bunch of fun getting ready together & then headed over to Matt's place to pre-drink and then go out to an Irish Pub! Matt totally surprised me by decorating his apartment in 'Happy Birthday" banners too! sooo cute.




the ladies & i made hors d'oeuvres and stuff while Matt generously served the drinks & the tequila shots, oh god the tequila shots.




my darlings josh & suzanne (getting married in october 2011! <3)


all the girlies at matt's!


after they all song happy b-day in english... and then dutch.


at the bar, a few more of my sweethearts came to celebrate!
jacq & shery! YAYYY


rickards white <3


and things got kinda silly... to the point where things got more than fuzzy.


yeah, that silly.


the aftermath was disastrous. and i'm not talking about the mess at matt's. I heard after a few days that about 50% of attendees were barfy the next day. truly a sign of a good night.

so yeah, this was one of the best birthdays I've had in a looooooong time & I love all my friends and family for reminding me how awesome they all are. Here's to having lived another year on this earth!
LOVE LOVE LOVE

Monday, August 9, 2010

konad nail stamps

So I've been nail-obsessed since I was about 6-- my second cousin was a teen in the early 90's & whenever we would go over, she would do my nails. She had an awesome kit with those thin tipped nail polish pens and would draw tiny flowers and hearts on my nails. I swear to this day, I never ever have naked nails (chipped, yes. naked, no)! and every two weeks, when I paint them, I do it up to the best of my ability, trying new things with french tips, reverse manicures, drawing with toothpicks etc...

For a while, I'd been seeing tumblr posts with these ridiculously intricately painted nails and I was wondering if it was airbrush work or what. So thanks to Miss Mai's blog, I discovered Konad Nail Stamps! Finding out that this was something I could do myself at home was amaaaaaazing, so I bought some start-up stuff ASAP! This is how it looks:

& I'll show you really quick how it's done!


So I ordered from www.wowsocool.com and I got:
- Stamp and Scraper set
- Nail Image Plate m71
- Konad Special Polish (white shown, though I also bought black)


Start off with your nails painted & dried. I used Apocalypse by Urban Decay.


So grab your image plate (a thin piece of metal with designs etched into it) and use your Konad Special Polish to paint the design you want on your nail. Apparently, you need to use the special polish for the stamps because it has a specific consistency that works for this application... though there are some lists online of certain polishes that are non-Konad that will also work.


Then take the Scraper and scrape the Special Polish off in one quick swipe (holding the scraper at a 45 degree angle to the plate)


You'll have just the Special Polish sitting in the etched design! Now grab your Stamper REALLY FAST.


You seriously have to immediately stamp the design as soon as you finish scraping. I've found that this step is the trickiest part... because the Polish there is in such a thin layer, it dries FAST. If you take too long, the image won't transfer completely onto the stamper.


Now take the stamper and transfer the image onto your nail, using a rolling motion. Here's a pic of me doing it on my cousin shellie's hand another time... because I only have two hands & no tripod :( haha


Then you'll have the pattern transferred onto your nail! Some will inevitably be on your finger, but just wait until the end & remove the excess with a q-tip dipped in remover.

Then take a paper towel (I prefer it over cotton balls because they leave linties) and nail polish remover to clean off the plate.


REPEAT x 10!
& there you go! It looks like a bit of work and can be tricky at first, but this is actually way faster than whenI use 3d nail art or even when I do multiple colours on my nails. I've just started to do some 'additional; art to my stamps lately-- dipping a toothpick in other colours to make the floral pattern more fun :) Anyways, if you're thinking of trying out Konad, just do it! www.wowsocool.com is so cheap & they have free shipping over $20! Totally worth it!

xoxo


PS, Every year, about a month or so before my birthday, I post a wishlist! How sneaky of me, to slip it into this post ;) I'm feeling pretty old because I really don't have a huuuuge list of things I'm lusting for, like I usually do. In my mind, this is actually all really practical stuff... all black everything too. haah looks like a really shoddy polyvore collage.



clockwise from top left:
Dramatic Cat Eye Sunglasses
Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens
Highwaisted Swim Shorts S
AA Gloria-V Bodysuit S
Carpenter Bee Bag
Fossil Boyfriend Watch
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

just in case you wanted to know ;)
i'll most likely grab the bodysuit for myself soon though.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Monster Ball!

I know that this was ages ago....but on July 12th Syl and I were finally able to go see Lady Gaga in concert after missing countless shows. She played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and there was no way we were missing this Monster Ball. We made sure to get a hold of our tickets in March and I've been so excited since the second our ticket order was confirmed.
But of course...we decided to wait until the morning of to create our outfits. I'm not so sure about Syl but I know that I spent the night before staring at the wall thinking about what I wanted to make. It was not until the morning of the show that we decided to start patternmaking, cutting, and of course sewing. There were some slight disasters in the process of rushing my outfit but in the end...thanks to my black bias tape - everything turned out fine in the end.

Syl in her traveling pants with two Gaga fans at the bus station. It was a pleasant meeting them.



























For some reason, Syl and I definitely expected more people to be dressed up to attend this event. But apparently it's not THAT common of a thing to do. When we walked over from Union Station to the ACC grounds we were getting stopped on the streets to get our photos taken. One lady asked us to pose for her camera and immediately after snapping a photo of us...she said "OH! My daughter is going to LOVE this!" We automatically wondered why she was in line to get into the venue without her daughter? Haha...anyways although there wasn't much quantity...there was definitely quality!

Syl and I with two ladies in their amazing costumes.




Syl in her Love Game inspired outfit. You may not be able to see it...but she's wearing her "I'm a free bitch" tote



My friend, Melanie, and I before the show.



The first sight of Gaga: singing Dance in the Dark



Amazing



Blue vomit



So Happy I Could Die



Put Your Paws Up



Rockin' her McQueens



Creepy =)
The five of us after the show















































































































































































































































































The back of our outfits!














































Needless to say...the show was amazing!
We were definitely  expecting it to be a really good concert from what we've heard about her  past shows but this show left us speechless! The sets, costumes (obvi),  her amazing voice, her stamina, her little talks between songs...it was just too great. We danced all night and loved every second of it.


Lastly, I'll leave a video I took at the show. It's crappy sound and image but it reminds my of how good it was =)




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