Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday Deals: All My Books Are 99 Cents!

I don't believe people should be at a disadvantage for wanting to spend the Thanksgiving holidays with their families. That is part of the reason I have always loved Cyber Monday: you can shop from home, and don't have to deal with the crowds--in fact, you never have to leave your armchair.

That's why all my books are going to be ninety-nine cents from now until cyber Monday on both Smashwords and Amazon. The omnibus editions of Horrorscape and Shadow Thane--DEADLY GAMES and WITCHFIRE will be $2.99 each, as opposed to their regular $6.99 and $5.99 respectively (and you get all three books in the series bundled--what a steal).

Nenia's Smashwords page

Nenia's Amazon page

The changes have already been made on Smashwords, but there's a couple hours' lag on Ammy. So if they haven't registered, just check back in a few hours!

I am truly grateful for my readers and, especially, my fans. Please spread the word and let others know about this sale!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Out with the Old and In with the New...Makeup, That Is!

I'm a closet girly-girl. I say I'm closeted because, given the choice, I'd rather not clothes shop (it's too depressing -- at my size, I generally have my choice of "color blind bag lady" and "frumpy mama"), or get a manicure (I'm twitchy and have a short attention span and don't really like people touching my hands), or my hair (too much PTSD from bad haircuts...also, twitchiness and boredom).

But makeup, on the other hand, is something I can really get on board with. It's like art...for your face! And whereas those other three activities I listed are pretty costly and time consuming, makeup (if you budget yourself carefully) can be pretty affordable, and, if you watch the right videos, fast to apply. (Obviously you'll want to practice.)

My problem is that I didn't use to wear makeup all that much, especially not in college. Who gives a fuck about what color your lips are when you're cramming for a final exam in cognitive neuroscience? (And yes, that is totally a class, and yes, it is as hard as it sounds.) I only wore makeup on special occasions, which meant I kept it on hand far longer than is advisable. And, given my limited funds, I was unwilling to part with said makeup.

I'm that person who pretty much keeps her makeup around until it gets gross. It used to be a pretty common occurence that I'd open up a lip gloss, and find out that it had separated, so it was thick and gooey on the bottom and watery and clear on top. Or that it'd smell funny. Or once, when I opened up a three-year old compact of Revlon concealer, covered with a thin sprinkling of mold.

I immediately made a goal to myself that I would not be That Person who had twenty-year-old lip glosses in her purse. Also, I'm really making an effort to actually use what I buy. For example, last year, a 150-color palette of ELF eye shadow went on clearance for, like, five dollars. I really wanted to buy it, so I made myself promise that I would actually use the eye shadow if I bought it. And I have. Some colors more than others, but I really have been using it. So I'm proud of myself.

Anyway, today I bought some makeup at the store where I work because a) I'm getting a feel for the colors that do and don't work for me (I used to be clueless), and want to get rid of the ones that don't, and b) I have an employee discount, which means that makeup is even more affordable.

The first thing I got was Sinful Colors nail polish in Cauldron Couture.

It's a Halloween color, so it was on Clearance. I think by the time all the discounts were applied, it was only about fifty or sixty cents. I really like Sinful Colors. I bought a bright red by them for my 1920s Halloween costume, and it looked really great (and was only about $1.99 full price).

I also have another color by them, a metallic electric blue called Hottie, that looks like something straight out of Frozen. It's such a lovely, icy color, and I haven't seen it's like anywhere else.

For Halloween I also bought a lipstick by Rimmel called Rosetto. It's from Kate Moss's line and has a really great, luminous red color without any orange undertones. I cannot wear orange or yellow, so this is great. I need solid reds or pink reds, and it is surprisingly hard to find a solid red.

But this one is.

The only thing I don't like about Rimmel is that the caps aren't sealed in plastic like Revlon or No7, so I had to look inside each one and make sure that they hadn't been used. (People are so disgusting sometimes.) Rosetto is almost the exact shade as No7's Love Red, but half the price. It also smells like cherry chapstick, which is a little disconcerting. Since when does lipstick have a smell?

It bleeds like a mother, and the best way to stop bleeding is to use a lipliner, which I didn't have. I think the last lip liner I owned was in middle school, and it was a dark purple, and oh my god, I paired it with all the wrong lip colors and I'm pretty sure I looked like a chola.

It was really, really bad. Let us never speak of it again.

Anyway, I found an affordable lipliner for a little over $5, sealed in plastic just the way I like it. This one is by L'Oreal (because I'm worth it), and called Always Red.

I haven't actually used it, yet. Tomorrow, probably!

What I'm trying to do is get rid of things when I buy new things, so I don't end up with a crapton of stuff that I don't need. I'm trying to do that with clothes. There are a lot of things in my closet that don't fit (I call them my "I wish" pants -- as in, I wish that I still fit into them, and keep them around as testament to the fact that both I used to fit into them, and might someday fit into them again) and I'm trying to get rid of these things, because keeping them around is just sad. I'd rather have things that fit. And if I lose the weight I've gained over the years, then I fucking deserve to go shopping.

SO since I bought makeup, I decided to go through my drawers and see what was moldering away that could be thrown away to make place for my fun, shiny new toys.

And here is what I found:

Clinique eyeshadow -- it's probably about seven years old. I haven't worn it for at least four years. So it's been sitting there, being like, SOON. I think it's time to toss it, don't you?

Clinique face wash -- I have no idea how old this is. I've had it since high school, but since it's a scrub I stopped feeling comfortable using it on my face years and years ago. But since it was expensive, I kept it around...out of guilt. No longer. Bye, zombie wash!

ELF eyeshadow -- ELF (Eyes Lips Face) is probably one of my favorite brands. They're cheap, and they don't seem to have terrible ingredients because they don't give me bad skin reactions. (Clinique, on the other hand, has -- their face concealer used to make my skin peel...ughhh.) But these colors -- moss and yellow green, and royal and robin's-egg-blue -- just didn't work with my complexion.

ELF glitter body powder -- I LOVE THIS SHIT. I bought it last year during the holidays, and then they stopped fucking selling it. I am so white, that most concealers, even the lightest beige, are too dark on me. This stuff was supposed to be transparent but actually made for a great concealer. When mixed with lotion, it also added a nice (but toned down) sparkle that made for a dewy finish. As you can see, I pretty much used it up, which I almost never manage to do with makeup (sadly). It's down to a few sad little crumbs, and I am very sad to see it go. Please make more of it, a.s.a.p. I'll be waiting!

Patti Dubroff cream eyeshadow pencil -- Patti Dubroff is another one of my favorite makeup brands, and they frequently have her stuff in value packs at Costco. I have two different sets of her lipglosses (pinks and nudes), two eyeshadow sets (her "dream palette" and a lipgloss, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and blusher set that is fucking AWESOME), and a bunch of her cream pencils. Her neutrals are better than her colors, though. This one was the color of a bad bruise and made me look like I'd been punched in the face when I wore it. The green one that came with it is better, because it has a kind of oxidized copper finish on my skin tone that looks smoky and kind of nice.

The moral of this story is:

1. Makeup can be affordable.

2. Makeup is a good way to look like you've put in a lot of effort even if you're lazy (like me) or hate clothes (like me).

3. You should probably throw away your makeup at some point, especially if it's been several years.

4. Even if you have your favorites, you can still be (pleasantly) surprised by new brands.

5. Sometimes the cheaper brands are just as good as the more expensive ones.