Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dupe or Dud? Maybelline The Blushed Nudes vs. Urban Decay Naked 3 - swatches/comparison/review/demo

Just how much does Maybelline's new eyeshadow palette, The Blushed Nudes, compare to Urban Decay's Naked 3 palette? Watch my comparison review to find out!

I did my right eye with Naked 3 and my left eye with The Blushed Nudes, so you be the judge of how well they compare. I show swatches of both palettes near the end.

The Blushed Nudes:

*Pretty range of colors
*Pinks and rose-toned shadows are stylish right now

*Way more powdery, so there was more fallout than the Naked 3 palette
*You have to use more pressure when digging in to these shadows and applying them to achieve a similar look as Naked 3

Naked 3:

*Legendary for the texture and consistency of the shadows-- creamy and highly blendable
*Excellent color payoff
*Will last a long time (I suspect, based on my experience with my Naked 2 palette-- still haven't hit pan although I use it regularly)

*High-end price tag may not be worth it for some people
*Many of the shades are remarkably similar, like, why even bother having two of these shadows? I would have preferred a wider range of colors

My preference is for Naked 3 for the quality, but The Blushed Nudes for the price. My wallet just can't justify the higher price tag, even for the better Naked 3 shadows. I personally think my eyes looked nearly identical at the end, so what's the point of paying more?! Save the extra $44, people!!! Just go with The Blushed Nudes, LOL. :)

Affordable dupes for NARS Orgasm blush! Two cheaper options that work

Do you love the universally-flattering NARS Orgasm blush, but hate the $30 price tag? My video features two options that are way more affordable. One is even dirt cheap, and it's my favorite!

            *Flatters most (although not all) skin tones
            *Finely milled allows for easy, smooth application (good quality product)
            *Can be considered a highlighting blush since the golden flecks are so shimmery
Cons –
            *High-end price may not be affordable for everyone
            *Shimmer is just a little too much for my taste, it made me look a little oily which I try to avoid since my skin is oily

            *Affordable (less than $10)
Cons –
            *I thought it was too orange-y

            *Cheapest price at only $3!
            *Subtle, peachy shade gives you what I think is just the right amount of glow
            *Bronzer comes with it J
Cons –

            *May not be enough of a pop on your cheeks for some people’s preference

Wrap-up: I believe these two blushes are effective, although not exact, dupes. NARS Orgasm is the best of the three in terms of quality... I've had the NARS before, and it lasted FOREVER, much longer than the ELF blush/bronzer duo. That was probably because I have to use more of the cheaper product to get it to show.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pretty NEW Maybelline The Blushed Nudes eyeshadow palette

Check out my latest CruzTube video by CLICKING HERE! It showcases the latest eyeshadow palette from Maybelline.

New Eyeshadow Palette Review/Demo/First Impressions/Tutorial

--Unbeatable price! 
--Small, slim, lightweight size is good for traveling
--Shades in this palette seem to be universally flattering
--Rose-toned shadows are very trendy and on-point for Spring!

--Low color payoff (I had to apply over and over to get some of the shades to even show up)
--A bit chalky texture
--Some of the shades had a lot of fallout

Final assessment: Worth the low cost if you are looking for a trendy palette that's pretty fool-proof. This is a great beginner palette because the shadows are so easily blended and non-intimidating.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Historic Mai Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale

The Mai Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale is so historic, it's definitely worth a visit-- not just for the legendary  shows (I only caught a glimpse of them since my husband and I just did dinner during our visit), but also for the crazy delicious food. Every single item of food was insanely good! And the lovely lush gardens were beautiful. A little taste of Polynesia!
A garden section indoors, too.
The bathroom is famous and award-winning.
Reservations are recommended, since it can get very busy.
We ordered the Pu Pu Platter appetizer (with several juvenile jokes about its name). It was sooooooo yummy!
Nathan had the Mai Kai beef, and I had chicken coconut curry. Can't recall the exact name, but everything was so flavorful and the meat was tender.
What made the food sooo delicious? It was the flavor and texture and how fresh it tasted. I eat a lot of Chinese buffets-- I guess I was expecting food on that bland level. This was so far beyond that. Every bite was pure pleasure!
If you ever visit Fort Lauderdale, I think it's worth a visit!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Crocheting versus knitting - new obsession!

My grandmother taught me to knit when I was just a wee little lass. The skill stayed with me for life, although I've never been ambitious and was just satisfied making scarves (that's still all I can do with knitting). But I started flirting with the idea of crocheting, and I was inspired by The Crafty Reporter. She messaged me one day that it's fun to crochet, and I was intrigued by her crafty-ness.

So I bit the bullet and purchased some cool yarn and a few crochet hooks from Michael's. Now I can't stop!
Mogwai approves of the baby blanket in progress

I'm working on my second baby blanket (see blue yarn blanket above) for my friend Carli, who had her baby boy a couple of weeks ago. I just finished my first ever baby blanket (see multi-colored blanket below) for my bestie Tambre, who had a lovely little girl, also a couple of weeks ago.
I also can whip up a quick scarf like nobody's business. I have made so many scarves for my mom and friends and family! Below is a scarf I knit for my friend Alanna while we had an hour-long phone conversation. The scarf was finished when we hung up! 
The beginning of the Tambre's baby blanket below, plus two other scarves I finished. All this in just one night! There's no way I would ever have been able to do that knitting. Knitting is so much slower...
Infinity scarf for my bestie Leslie since purple is her favorite color.
Same purple yarn but for another bestie, Kelly Aline, who works for the Alzheimer's Association.
My precious mom sporting the scarf I crocheted for her, wearing it this past weekend on her San Francisco trip.

It's so much faster to crochet than knit-- there's no way I'm going back to knitting! It used to take me a week to make a scarf. Now I can make THREE SCARVES IN ONE NIGHT!

Also, my step-grandmother pointed out that crocheting products look prettier and more pleasing to the eye than knitted looks. Maybe that's a personal preference, but I am definitely not going back to knitting now that I'm "hooked!" :)

Update: I had a comment on Facebook from my friend, Christina, who mentioned how you have to pay more attention when crocheting than knitting. She said, "Knitting is mindless." I am actually going to agree with that-- I don't have to look at my hands when I'm knitting, so knitting is better if I'm watching a movie. I have to at least glance at my hands when I crochet, although I have a system for when the TV is on -- I can prop my hands on my knees, so they're about eye-level with the screen, and I can make it work!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Day I Missed Working in TV: A Tribute to The List

Ever since I started working on "the other side of the camera," I'm regularly asked if I miss working in television. The immediate answer is, "No, not really." I actually still go on air regularly, plus I shoot video, edit and write, which I always enjoyed. I work so much with media that it satisfies my need for urgency/immediacy, plus working for a non-profit organization that helps animals is extremely fulfilling. Although my job is not perfect and I go through phases where I complain a lot (*ahem* gala fundraiser prep time *cough cough*), I'm aware that I'm blessed in my current career, and that not all former newspeople have the luxury of such a satisfying transitional career. One news mentor of mine got out of the biz for many years, and ironically recently began working again at the same station where she used to be the main anchor. She calls non-news careers "trying to work a civilian job." I don't presume that we former newsies are even close to military, but I do think working in news makes your mind work in ways it would not otherwise... and if you leave television before you're fully ready, it will leave you wishing you had stayed in (no matter what negative circumstances you are dealing with in your dysfunctional newsroom -- because what newsroom runs without a little dysfunction?).
Back in the day!

That same mentor made me fully realize and admit to myself that one day, there is a likelihood I will again work in television. Why? Even though she and I had both been out of news for a while, we still talked about TV all the time. It was a common passion between us-- a language we both spoke fluently, and a binding interest. Every time I visit my hometown, I watch my former coworkers on the air. When I visit San Francisco, I'm watching the local NBC affiliate, reminiscing about the day I job-shadowed the morning team. I love watching Miami news, fantasizing that I, too, could be on the air with the rest of the divas, with my long hair extensions blowing in the ocean breeze. ;)

The one and only time since I left WPTV NewsChannel 5 that I have missed working in television came not too long ago. It was a moment I was watching my favorite news magazine show, which actually airs on WPTV. The show is called The List, and the South Florida segment began airing. As soon as I watched reporter (and my former coworker) Dan Corcoran bite into a gourmet grilled cheese sandwhich for a standup, I had a startling revelation: if that were my job, it could have been me getting paid to eat grilled cheese sandwhiches on TV! And I admit that I felt a pang of envy that Dan and the other bureau team members, Bureau Chief Andy Delancey and Photographer Amanda Crane (as well as former South Florida and current Denver Reporter Ashley Porter) had such AMAZING television jobs. 

They get to have unique experiences, review cutting edge gadgets and interview celebrities... They even let me tag along a few times for cool stuff like interviewing the lead singer of Jefferson Starship
With David Freiberg

Of course, I was always grateful that they put the Zoo where I work on air a million times...
Dan at the Zoo filming ladybugs

The show is community info-tainment, and it is pretty much a dream job I would love to have. I'm not a hard-hitting investigative type of journalist, but I would have investigated just how melted that grilled cheese really was!

So I was happy to spend time with Andy, Dan and Amanda as they came to the Zoo to film a ladybug release to promote our upcoming weekend activities. The shoot went off without a hitch, but they had to leave quickly because they had a corporate phone call scheduled immediately afterwards.

Then, the bombshell -- Andy texted me that the corporate phone call was to tell them their local segment is being CANCELLED. The bureau is shutting down. This devastating news hurt me on multiple levels. First and foremost, I'm a fan of the show. As a viewer, I get a kick out of the easy-breezy, fun and funky format. Secondly, on a professional level, I will definitely miss the regular coverage they were so kind to provide the Zoo. They could do more creative angles of our events and Zoo news like no other.

Lastly, and more importantly, these affected employees are my friends. Nobody cracks Baptist church jokes with me like Andy does, and he is one of my most supportive friends, always there for me. Amanda won a special place in my heart back in our news days, when she drove an hour at top speed to deliver to me some legal documents outside the Okeechobee courthouse. She brought the papers JUST so I could hold them up on air and refer to the lawsuit for an active liveshot. She was shaking when she got out of the car from that nerve-wrecking drive! She is one legit photog. As for Dan, my husband (who is also a former TV reporter) and I both agreed even when we were new to this market that he is so good, he belongs on CNN. All three of these journalists are skilled, talented and dedicated-- and as my friends, it pains me to see them lose jobs they love through no fault of their own.

Whether they go the way I did and stay out of television (for now), or whether they will find other news jobs in this market or other cities, only time will tell. But my true wish for each of them is that their next careers will be just as great as the adventure they have been on ever since The List began... And that they never miss what they had by even one day, because their new roles will be that much more wonderful. Y'all are on MY List! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Key West vacation, day 3 -- touched and fed sharks!

One of my meteorologist friends who worked in Miami for a while used to tell me, "The sun always shines in Key West!" But it was a blessing in disguise that it was raining today. I needed to catch up on some serious work, and I got a lot done while I was in my room. It really helped me to focus!

Still, it was obvious that I was on vacation, because I kept the balcony door open to the fresh, balmy breezes wafting through the palm trees. My background soundtrack was the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore! HEAVEN ON EARTH.

I barely ventured out of the hotel today, but I did take myself to Mallory Square. I passed by the Little White House.

 Made it to downtown Key West.
 Saw the trolley.
 I think this is the Arts Museum? I took photos of the titles of things, but of course forgot that (I'm typing all this at midnight) so can't remember the names of stuff.  :)  My bad, yo.
Love the view from the top of the Shipwreck Museum, my husband and I went there a couple of years ago.
 I was disappointed this little shack was closed. It makes such yummy conch fritters! It's right beside the Key West Aquarium.
The rain quit around 4:30 p.m. and I was bound and determined to get a sunset photo. 
The sunset was disappointing from the cloud cover, but the Key West Aquarium more than made up for that.
 Horseshoe crabs. Freakin' prehistoric.
 Moray eel.
 I've never seen sea horses while snorkeling... maybe one day!
 Saw this fish out in the ocean yesterday.
 Cool anemone.
 Really wish I could remember the name of this cool fish...
 Eel and lion fish.
 I LOVE YELLOW TANGS! They look so bright and cheerful!
 Well, hello there, Mr. Lobster!
 Blue-striped grunt, I think.
I believe this one is a scrawled cowfish.
 So the sunset wasn't the spectacular phenomenon that Key West typically boasts, but it was still an attractive gray sky.
 Conch pride!
 This is a tomato clown fish! Unique coloring, right? I had never seen one before.
 Grouper. I think it's a red grouper?
 Even the baby gators were snuggled up in the chilly air.
 I've seen these huge manta rays at the Atlantis aquarium in the Bahamas... their size is truly impressive. And slightly terrifying, although they are gentle giants.
 Just some of the marine life you can pick up.
 You can touch all the stuff in the aptly-named Touch Tank!
 The guide shows off a sea cucumber and a horseshoe crab.
 We got to touch a nurse shark! The skin was rough...
This large sea turtle is named Spike. She was rescued in 1998, when she was just the size of your hand! Now she weighs 200 pounds.
 So after my aquarium adventures, I made my way around Duval Street again. It's like a magnet to me, although I'm not really a partier. I just like to look!
 It's so pretty! So much like New Orleans, but less stinky!!!
 Yay. :)
 I had amazing pizza again from Duetto's, and this time ended the meal with mint chocolate chip gelato. Happy ending to a great day!
 Bye, Hemingway!