Friday, December 26, 2014

Hoping Everyone had a Merry Christmas!!

        Well, Christmas Day is officially over. I'm So tired but I just can't sleep. I'm so excited!! I have the Best Woobie (for those of you that don't know, that's what my hubby and I call each other) in the world!! He bought me so many gifts for filming and taking photos of my creations. He got me a camera that also does video, lighting, monitor calibrator for my graphic design work, tripods, Gorilla whatever their called tripod, a color balancing thing that you use to take a picture of before you take pictures so it automatically adjusts the image colors, photo and film editing software, etc., etc,. I honestly didn't get a chance to even look at anything though because I was too busy cooking and taking care of everyone else. So once I get a chance to play around with it all I will post some more info about it all. Now if we can get my studio done so I can get started that would be awesome!

        He of course bought me other things, like a Pandora necklace and matching earrings that are Gorgeous. I got him a faux ivory handled safety razor and matching shave brush and stand along with other various shave creams, balms and lotions, etc., just to name a few items. The children (although 3 of them are technically adults) had a good Christmas as well. The oldest three children just wanted clothes and the youngest wanted Portal and Minecraft gear. So they got their wish as well. Not that presents are the most important thing about Christmas, but I don't openly discuss the religious aspects of Holidays. Not because I'm embarrassed or anything, but because I feel religion is a personal choice  and you should be able to worship in your own way.

        I just wanted to hop on and give a little update since I haven't been on in several days, or maybe even weeks for all I know. The past few weeks have been so busy it's all just a huge blur. I will be back though. I have a few more recipes I want to share that I've recently made up and some hauls, when they finally come in, as well as some reviews of some new makeup I purchased. Let me know what you got for Christmas or for whatever Holiday you celebrate in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you. Also, I need to start trying to figure out what videos to film first, so let me know what you think. My very first one will probably be a studio tour. I may do a makeup tour as well. I don't know, I have so many ideas not sure what to do first. lol Well, it's late and I think I may be able to finally fall asleep. I hope I have a few minutes to at least upload a recipe or a quick kitchen tip tomorrow, or today actually. :) So until then I bid you all a Farewell and Sweet Dreams and hope your Holiday was as happy as ours! Blessings to All and to All  a Goodnight!! Huge Hugs!!

        Jewel ;o)

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Battle of the Eyeshadow Primers

        Eyeshadow Primers are everywhere. Almost every cosmetic brand has one in their line-up. But which ones to use?!?! There are expensive ones and cheap ones and ones with shadow built in and ones that shimmer and some are clear and some are flesh tone. So many choices and prices ranges. Are you confused yet by the hype of this one or that one? Do you remember a time when no one had ever heard of them because they didn't exist? Ugh!! What to do, what to do!?!?

        Well, to begin with, let's be honest. Do you use it because you really need to or because everyone else is and you feel like you have to as well to get your eyeshadows to stay put and not crease? And honestly for me I have only been using them for a couple of years now and I never had an issue with creasing or with fading of my eyeshadows. But I do find that for some shadows, because we all know that all eyeshadows are not created equal, they help them if they aren't quite as pigmented as they should be. They will make the shadows darker and give them a little boost, if you will.

        I am by no means an expert on eyeshadow primers, but I have been doing make-up for many years. I have used high end brands and low end brands and drugstore brands, etc,. I have to say that I have found that there are some drugstore/low end brands that are actually better than some of the high end brands. One brand in particular that I literally have been using since high school when I had no money and I still love their products today is Wet-N-Wild. I am a huge fan and love the quality of their eyeshadows, mascaras and lipsticks especially. And it goes to show that you don't have spend $20+ dollars on lipstick to get a good quality lipstick, etc,. So getting back to eyeshadow primers; which have I used and which do I prefer? Well, let me tell you.

        Here is a list of ones that I have tried and you tell me which you think I love and use on a daily basis. Spoiler alert, I tell you after this list. :)

   ~ Covergirl - Intense Shadow Blast Primer & Rich Shadow in one
   ~ Too Faced - Shadow Insurance Eye Primer
   ~ Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion
   ~ Lorac - Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
   ~ Smashbox - Photo Finish Lid Primer
   ~ e.l.f. - Essential Eyelid Primer
   ~ e.l.f. - Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
   ~ And a few others over the past few years but I don't really remember which ones. These are just the ones in my arsenal as of right now.

        I have found that really they are basically the same. They all do the same thing for me. Others may have different results because you're older or younger, have oilier skin or dryer skin, etc,. So not everyone is going to have the same results. But for me there's really only one that stands out, has not failed me, I use it daily, is the one I always reach for and is well worth the money. You may be surprised, but the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer is the best in overall value, quality and it does the job just fine for me.  Now for the best part it, costs only $3.00.

        I will say that I have and have used the e.l.f. Essential Eyelid Primer and it's also great. The Mineral Primer has vitamins A, E and C in it which gives it an edge over the Essential Primer. But the Essential Primer is only $1.00 so if you are on a really tight budget or would just like to try one for the first time, it is an excellent choice. If it doesn't work for you then you're only out $1.00. Which is why I tell people all of the time that if they aren't sure about something start out with a less expensive item to see if it is something that they may actually be interested in.

e.l.f. Mineral and Essential Eyeshadow Primers


        As to why I love the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer. It is smooth and blends into my skin easily. I also run it through my brows so that when I put my brow pencil on it lasts longer and doesn't smudge. I also put it under my eyes and over other fine lines and wrinkles after I put my foundation on but before concealer or powder and it keeps the concealer and make-up from caking in them. I also feel it adds a little hydration as well. It has a creamy texture and is in my opinion better than the any of the other brands I've tried thus far. I do have an olive complexion and therefore I do tend to get oily very easily in my T-zone and eyelids when I'm wearing make-up. Not so much on my eyelids as in the rest of my T-zone, but they still get fairly oily when I don't have any make-up on. With the fact that it is mineral based and had the added vitamins A, E and C that also makes it that much better. But when you factor in the price...You've got a great deal!!

So the Clear Winner for Me is!!! e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer

        Now again, I will say that out of all of those other primers that I listed earlier in this post, there aren't any horrible ones. The others are pretty much the same as far as the consistancy, how well they help the shadow last, how well they blend into the skin, keep the shadow from creasing, etc,. etc,. they are all pretty comparable and there aren't any other real stand outs for me. Your results may differ because as I mentioned earlier, everyones skin types are different. So tell me what your fave eyeshadow primer is and why. I'd love to hear your thoughts!!

Huge Hugs from Me to You!!!!

Jewel S.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"In the Kitchen Tips" Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time

        After years of making hard boiled eggs I finally came up with a full proof way of getting them perfect every time. The secret you ask......your tea kettle/pot. Here's how:

        Place cold eggs to be hard boiled in your tea kettle/pot then fill to about 1" above them with cold water. Place them on a cold burner and turn heat to medium high. I have a glass top stove where the burners go to a setting of 9 as the highest and I put it on 7. Place lid on tea kettle/pot and cook until it whistles. When it starts whistling remove lid and continue to boil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes leave kettle on burner, but turn burner off and let them set for another 5 minutes. Next place the kettle in the sink and let cold water run over them for another 5 minutes. Then viola they are done and should be perfectly hard boiled. It may take a little tweaking as we all know that all cookware and stoves are different, but it should be pretty close.

        From here you can use them right away as they should be cooled off enough to handle or you can put them in the fridge for later. Either way this method also helps them peel easier as the quick cooling helps pull the egg away from the shell and membranes.

        Just for this reason my tea kettle/pot is in my top 5 favorite cooking gadgets I couldn't live without. I use it more for hard boiled eggs than I ever have tea. :) Please tell me what your favorite cooking gadgets are or gadgets that you use for other things than their intended purpose. I'm always interested in learning new things and hearing your ideas. And if you try this method, please let me know how it worked for you or what you do to get the perfect hard boiled egg. All feedback is welcome but as always remember only family friendly comments will be posted. Let's keep it clean. :) Huge Hugs and Blessings to You All!!...

        Your Friend Always,
        Jewel S.

"Updated" Hard Candy "Top Ten Trendsetters Eyeshadow Palette" in GuiltyPleasure

    Tonight I was out with my stepdaughter and had to run into WallyWorld for some q-tips and other necessities. I came across this adorable palette by Hard Candy and had to have it. It just so happens that I have been looking for some glittery eyeshadow that I can tap over the center of my lid for a little highlight and thought this would be perfect. I have tried several Hard Candy items in the past and so far had not been disappointed by them. So I decided to pick up the palette, like I seriously need more makeup. You do not even want to know how much I have. lol Anyway, I just couldn't wait to get home to try it out. I get so giddy and impatient when it come so new makeup, nail or hair products. So I got it home and immediately swatched it. Ugh! Not what I expected at all. For starters, the glitter is only on the top. What I rip! Yes, I know it's only $6.00, but still, I expected it to run all throughout it. Then upon swatching it the eyeshadow is very cakey and crumbly and not very even. I would say it's chalky, but it's actually very creamy/velvety. I have not actually used it yet, so this isn't a full review, just swatches and first impressions. So here goes the pics:

It's a Gorgeous little palette. It's called Top Ten Trendsetters Eyeshadow Collection in Guilty Pleasure. There are several different ones and I love the colors in this one in particular. I love the rose gold studs on the cream faux leather, which upon inspecting I don't think it's glued on real well. I tried to get a good pic of the glitter on the shadows but it's hard to do.

It's hard to see the glitter on the shadows, but it's there. And once again they are lovely shades. It also has a pretty nice mirror as well.

I know the swatches are hard to see. I'll try to get my hubby to take a better pic later on when he gets home.

Here is the palette after I swatched it. You can see the glitter came off the top of the shadows. :(

And here is what the shadow look liked on my fingers when I swatched them. You can see that they are chunky I guess you could call it. But the shadows themselves are very velvety in texture, so time will tell when I actually use them how well they do.

 Like I said this is just a swatch and first impression and as soon as I use them a few times I will be sure and post an update on them and let you know how well or not so well they did. Until then, over and out!! Huge Hugs and Blessings Always!!...

Jewel ;o)


I have worn theses shadows a couple of times now. They go on very well but the darker colors aren't very pigmented. They start to go on fairly dark, but as soon as you blend them, the color fades out. Also the burgundy shade totally faded to nothing after about an hour or so. The lighter colors are very good minus the very first one which I actually thought was a cream color, but turns out is supposed to be a light peachy pink color. I guess it faded in the store to cream!?!? But upon taking off the first layer or so it changed to a pinky peach color. So for $6 it's not a horrible buy, but money probably better spent on something else.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm Back!!!

    So I know that it's been forever since I've posted anything on my blog and it's been a few months shy of two years since I've even sold anything. We have had some changes in our life that took me on a different path for a while. I needed to focus on family and my studio was disassembled for some time. It's almost back together and new. We actually had to build another room in the basement to house it. But when it's done it will be so worth it and I can't wait. I will have lighting for filming and video of craft, cooking, makeup, hair, nail art, etc. tutorials. I can't wait to get started. I will let you all know when everything is in place and I'm ready to get back in business again. It will be bigger and better than before.

    So being that I'm creative and all of my craft supplies have been boxed up and in storage I had to find a new or actually an older creative outlet. I used to be heavily into hair and fashion, makeup and nail art, etc. but with my business and the family and all the other things I had going on I sort of got stuck in a rut of doing the same thing over and over again and not having time to do much more than the basics. But with a little more free time on my hands I've been able to rekindle my passion and creativity in these areas again. It's been fun finding me again. I've also realized that I have a vast wealth of knowledge about these subjects that I didn't realize I have. But with talking to other makeup, hair and nail artists and telling them things that I have learned over the years or things that I do maybe differently than others that I have some things to share and contribute or help make someone's life a little easier.

    So from here on out you will find more than just craft, decorating and graphic design creativity around here. I may have to eventually separate them up a bit, but for now they will all be here. I'll be revamping my blog soon as well, but that's another story. And for now you find mostly fashion, hair, makeup and nail reviews and ideas until my studio is up and running.

    Thank You ever so much for your patience and your loyalty through my "vacation" or family issues. You have no idea how much you all mean to me and how much I appreciate your support. Huge Hugs and Blessings to you all!...

Jewel Simonson