How To Improve Home Ambiance With Curtains

Bedroom curtains

This post is brought to you by Julie Brooks and I’m all kinds of excited about it because I LOVE curtains. Curtains are an essential element in a room. In creating an impressive interior décor for the room, they will be critical in creating the overall tone. Remember, though it is easy to undermine the value that shutters and curtains have in the room, the two are important soft furnishings. Curtains, whether plain canvas, lined eyelet, or pencil pleat can drastically complement existing interior design and improve home ambiance. They will thus tone a room and tie everything together to give coherence, beauty and elegance to a room.

The Colors to Choose

The color of the curtain that you pick is vital and it should match the colour of the walls to make a room more spacious and improve interior design. A quiet place will be brought to life by warm colors such as shades of pinks, reds or yellows. Shades of grey, blue and white will, on the other hand, give a soft appeal to a room. For a smooth, earthy tone, green or brown curtains are best. All in all, the shades that you pick should be pleasing to you and complement or ease in well with other colors that may be present in the room.

The Ideal Length

Curtains can either be long or short. The short curtains are best if one wishes to create a casual feeling in the room. They are especially ideal for kitchens. Conversely, curtains that drape to the floor create a more formal tone. They also visually give the impression of a longer window by adding the perceived height of the window.

Curtains

Adjusting the Lighting

Laces and sheers can give your room an amazing lighting effect that filters and softens the light getting into the room. However, if you wish to, for various reasons, block out the light completely, lined and insulated curtains or fabric shades are the way to go. These often come with extra privacy.

Rods to Use

Curtain rods are varied in shape, nature, style and material. Finials are great silhouette creators. For ruffled and tailed curtains, continental or mesa rods are best. Wooden and wrought-iron rods go well with tab curtains.

You can now easily change the ambiance of your room to suit your preferences using curtains.

Sonia Kashuk Does It Again!

My girl Sonia K is at it again. I have a very special place in my heart for this brand. When I first got into makeup and couldn’t afford those ridiculously overpriced brushes at department stores, Sonia took me in her arms and led me to her bargain brushes. I tried to brush her off (haha, see what I did there?) because I was under the impression that cheaper brushes performed…cheaply. But hey – I was dumb. A few purchases later and it’s no doubt that Sonia Kashuk continues to dominate the the makeup brush game.

If you’ve strolled Target lately, you may have come across some of her gorgeous new brush sets – including the Brush Couture Five-Piece Brush Set.

Sonia

The print is art -inspired and they are almost too pretty to function. They do, though! I’m thinking these are ideal for the my professional-minded makeup lovers of the world as newbies may be a bit stumped on how each of these brushes works.

Of course, I’m thinking I need to scoop this up mainly for that duo-fiber brush. I hoard these brushes like mad because they have so many uses! Perfect for bronze and blush application, I have also been known to use a duo-fiber brush for sweeping on powders and tinted moisturizers.

This set also gives you a pointed blending brush, large shader brush, crease brush and smudge brush. And all for $16.99.

Yes, girl. Head to your local Target store or Target.com to get more information (and to BUY) this set as well as other fashion/art-inspired brushes.

 

Any Sonia K lovers in the house?

 

Hot Designs Nail Art pens – Score or Snore?

So I’ve rambled before about how much I suck at nail art, right? I have long determined that my God-given talents just don’t really flow in the artsy category. I’ve accepted it and have decided to foster my strengths in other areas. But still. Part of me wishes she could be that patient and talented nail artista. And that’s why I was so excited to receive a sample of these dual-sided nail art pens from Hot Designs.

Hot Designs nail pens

Retailing for $14.99, nail art lovers can cop a package of 3 pens from retailers like Walmart. And by dual-sided, they mean that one side of the pen is a nail polish and the other side is nail pen.

Hot Designs

How cool is that? Definitely innovative and that makes the price tag seem much more appropriate. And honestly, I’d be much more in love with these if the quality of the polishes were better. Because they aren’t, application is a bit of a mess and no matter how careful you are, you probably find yourself dealing with less than attractive nail polish designs. But, first let’s get a better idea of what these are SUPPOSED to do.

Hot Designs packaging

You pop the top on one side and you’ve got a nail polish with a basic brush and you remove the top on the other side and you’ve got a pen. You gently squeeze the tube and the polish flows effortlessly through the pen. So…easy? Yes!!


Hot Designs pen tops
But here’s where the funny part comes in – the quality of the nail polish is well…it isn’t good. I found each shade to be a bit on the thick and gloppy side. Due to the thick consistency of these, I struggled with both applying them on my nails and applying the art on top of the polish. And this saddened me greatly because I really wanted these to work.

Hot Designs polishes

You’re going to laugh when you see my designs but keep in mind that this blog is called Clumps of Mascara for a reason. Perfection does not live here. And dude, Hot Designs could really tweak their formula a bit because the concept is just…very cool. It doesn’t work well, though if you’re dealing with polishes that don’t play well with the nails. I manage to do a good coat of polish on each nail but using the pen to crank out designs was…tough. The polish kept bubbling and would splat quickly on the nails and this happened…

Hot Designs on nails

I know, girl. I know. Granted, as mentioned, I suck in the designs department, but I feel like I would have done a little better if the formula was better.

So who would these be great for?
Maybe the newbie nail artist in your life? I’m thinking my youngest sister would looooove these as would really professional nail artists who could tweak the bubbly pen issue with another brush, or something. So no, all hope isn’t lost but I don’t think these are great for people like me who are already struggling with nail design.

So. What do you think? Have you seen these? Tried ‘em?

Suzy Sew Crafty Whips Up An Amazing Gift!

Elle has gone to 3 birthday parties this summer. The kid is more popular than me which I’m finding both hilarious and…sad. Because we didn’t have a 1st birthday party for our girl (we plan to do parties when Elle is older), I am always stumped on what to get these wee babes. I’m not big on buying toys because…really? Don’t they have enough of those? They grow out of clothes quickly and they are too young for the really fun things. I usually opt for books because I feel that’s something that can grow with them but giving a book isn’t really a personal gift. I’ve been trying to do better and wanting to do more personalized gifts and that’s when I knew to reach out to the talented Suzy over at Suzy Sew Crafty.

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I’ve always wanted to be the woman that can knit, sew and create beautiful pieces with my hands. And yeah no. I can’t. But Suzy? Whoooa! She is the Embroidery Genius of Central Florida. This wife and mom of 3 works from home in her state-of-the-art studio (no seriously…it’s amazing!) and cranks out everything from fun shirts and bodysuits for the little ones celebrating birthdays to hand towels and beautiful designs for the grownups in your family.

More about what she whipped up for Beauty by Cat’s little one…

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Cat told me that her son Sebastian was a huge lover of trucks so I thought it would be very cool to get him a hoodie towel that he could use for years. I told this to Suzy and she came up with the idea of a dump truck that could dump out Sebastian’s name. Um…wow!

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I would have never thought of this. But you see…this is why I deal with pros. And within days, I picked up this gorgeous towel that, I thought, was the perfect usable and memorable gift for a sweet little boy who I’ve known since birth.

Suzy also does…

  • Custom embroidery/appliqué clothes (including onesies, shirts, dresses, aprons etc.)
  • Custom embroidered home decor (including towels, robes, pillows, shams, Christmas stockings, etc.)
  • Monograms (including men’s ties, golf towels, polo shirts, wedding favors, etc.)
  • Nautical accessories (including flags, personalized fishing shirts, caps, towels)
  • Logos (embroidering logos on any apparel or clothing)

I’ve got a list of things I’m going to have her make. Some hand towels, t-shirts with Clumps logo on it, Christmas stockings, wedding gifts – the list goes on and on. I also have a giveaway coming up in the next month or so. Stay tuned but in the meantime, swing by her site and let Suzy know that Brittany sent you.

 

Disclosure: This towel was gifted to me in exchange of a blog post. Suzy is a personal friend of mine and we are big believers in the bartering system. :wink: But because I believe in supporting my local entrepreneurs, I will definitely be making purchases from her to support her flourishing business.

JOHNSON’S Baby Has Some Incredible News

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One of world’s favorite baby brands has been doing some serious work. JOHNSON’s Baby has recently reformulated many of their products. And why you ask? Because the consumer asked them to. What sounds like a simple request is really heavily involved and detailed. Remember when I told you about my visit to the headquarters in February? It was there where I got a chance to meet with some of the chemists and marketing professionals behind the brand. They were so candid and honest with us bloggers as they talked about how challenging it was to reformulate some of their most popular products.

But they felt like they had to do it. Because the consumer asked them to.

And before you get all “What GOOD! How hard is it to remove an ingredient or two or 10?” on me, think about your favorite skincare product. You use it because you love it, right? You like the way it feels and the way it performs on your skin. You’ve been using it for a while because it is consistent and you can always depend on its efficacy. You would flip if the formula changed, wouldn’t you? Especially if the scent was different or if wasn’t as moisturizing. JOHNSON’s Baby had the daunting task of reformulating their products without changing the consumer’s experience. Wow. Far from easy. But they did it.


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Because the consumer asked them to. They reformulated the following products:

o JOHNSON’S® Baby HEAD-TO-TOE® Wash
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thick and Curly Hair
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thin and Straight Hair
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo with Calming Lavender
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Soothing Vapor Baby Bath

Exciting, right? It’s a big deal and I can’t wait to see what loyal JOHNSON’S Baby fans are thinking about the products and if they can detect a change. Having played around with them, I can guarantee you that I haven’t noticed anything different. Which is a good, thing, right?

In honor of the new changes, JOHNSON’S Baby put together a lovely video that acts as an open letter to moms showing scientists and their families coming together to build an origami stork mobile, symbolizing the delivery of our promise. So sweet.

Ya gotta love a brand that actually listens. Check out the video and let me know what you think!


Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 135

Shea Moisture blush

 

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Clumps of Mascara – can’t wait to try Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Basics palette! But…will she like it? Dun dun dunnnn!

Gouldylox Reviews – Wonder how something that calls itself “Bulletproof” actually stands up to smudging? Read the findings of my investigation of Too Faced’s new Bulletproof Eyeliners!

My Beauty Bunny – What products does a beauty blogger spend her cash on? Check out my very favorite cruelty-free faves and see!

Nouveau Cheap – Your friendly neighborhood lip balm fanatic gave the new eos Visibly Soft Coconut Milk Lip Balm Sphere a whirl. Adorable packaging aside, is this worth a purchase? Click here to find out.

Pink Sith – agrees that saving money on beauty items is awesome. but sometimes “saving” costs more than the “splurge” as she explains in her recent post.

Prime Beauty – gets in touch with her sensual side (don’t laugh!) with Laura Mercier’s Sensual Reflections Collection for Fall 2014. Can it be soft and sexy at the same time? Find out!

Phyrra – Craving Fall? Check out my Colour Pop Fall Tutorial!

we heart this – No need to get out your fangs, we’re giving away all 23 perfume oils in the BPAL Only Lovers Left Alive collection (based on the the Tilda Swinton/Tom Hiddleston vampire movie!)

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Clumps of Mascara – My girl Ren over at Makeup by Ren Ren creates an amaziiiing look using a cheap (yet powerful) little palette from Wet ‘n Wild.

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

Question of the Week:

If you could only wear one nail color for Fall 2014, which shade would it be?

B says, “China Glaze’s Community. It’s a beautiful brown that matches my skin!”

What about you?

See you next week!

Oh Laura Mercier…will you marry me?

Okay, I’m kidding. I’m not sure Esposo would be okay with me running away to marry one of the world’s most talented makeup artists. He doesn’t understand my love for all things Laura Mercier. I have yet to try a product that I didn’t like. Everything that has graced my skin has been sheer…love. I received the Secret Camouflage ($34) and Tinted Moisturizer ($43) for review and they have permament residency in my Beauty Headquarters. AKA the bathroom.

Laura Mercier

I won’t ramble too much about these in this post since I’ve done a video, but these products are fantastic. The Secret Camouflage has an oil-free formula that plays nicely even in this very hot weather.

Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge

While I think the shade I got is too dark (I have SC-7), it really does blend nicely to conceal any dark spots and the lighter shade works well under my eyes. However, I think for better coverage under the eyes, I should been aiming for the next shade down. This is okay because there are 8 shades to pick from. Because remember, Laura Mercier likes to put out shades for various skintones. And then there’s the tinted moisturizer…


Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

I feel like I’ve used this before (maybe in a former life) but wow wow. I am a lover of light coverage and this tinted moisturizer gives me that plus SPF 20. Pop on over to the video to get an idea of how I use these products and how nicely they work on my skin.

Have you tried anything from Laura Mercier? Any favorites?

Zoya’s Having A Twitter Party! Are You Coming?

I feel like it has been forever since I’ve attending a fun Twitter party. This Zoya party is just what I needed!

Zoya

 Did you see that? There will be giveaways! Yessss! As if I needed another reason to attend. Not sure how a Twitter party works? It’s easier than you think, girlfriend.

· Follow @ZoyaNailPolish on Twitter.
· Zoya will release a series of questions marked Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.
· Reply to these questions with the corresponding A1, A2, A3, etc.
· Use the hashtag #FALLingForZoya so Zoya (and everyone else) can find your tweets easily!

But don’t think you can just drop it and drop out. Well, I mean you can but only followers that participate throughout the entire party will automatically be entered to win goodies. Said goodies will be given away at random.

As a bonus if you upload a picture of your Zoya manicure at any time during the Twitter party, you will get a chance to win Enter to win a full Fall Zoya Nail Polish Wardrobe! Don’t forget to include #FALLingForZoya.

See you there, beauties!