Friday, November 19, 2010

So. Much. Shiny.

Meow Cosmetics have opened their Xmas Shoppe, which is all of their Christmas collections. I thought Hallowe'en had a lot. I was wrong. So much sparkly stuff. o_o There's 12 collections.

They also have an early Black Friday sale starting tonight - the usual: US has free shipping, Canada has free shipping at $30+, and other international has free shipping at $50+.

(There's stuff I'm pretty sure I want, but I'm going to hold off for a while, since these are going to be available for a month and a half or so, and it's not quite the rush that there was for the Hallowe'en collections. But SO MUCH STUFF. I'm especially liking the Xmas Tree, Glacial Grove, Holiday Ghost Stories, Merry Mayhem, and the two December-only collections. It's going to take a while to narrow everything down.)

And now for something completely different.

I was going to do a proper NaNoWriMo post, but then I realised that a) a lot of people have said what I wanted to say, and I'd just be repeating them and b) meh. So instead I'm posting about a program that I was introduced to through NaNoWriMo... last year, I think, actually.

Liquid Story Binder is developed by Black Obliesk Software. It's basically exactly what it sounds like - a virtual binder. On using it for the first time, it can be overwhelming because it's such a versatile program, and can be rather complicated at first.

I initially wasn't that drawn to it - there was too much for me to even think of using, and I just couldn't be bothered to figure it out. And then as more and more of my writing settled itself in the same universe, and I needed a way to be able to cross-reference between storylines and character profiles and timelines, I realised that it was probably much better to use than I thought.

It's a teeny little program - download size comes in at about 7 mbs. And then you open it, and then you discover just how much is stuffed into that itty bitty program.

I would say it's like Microsoft OneNote meets yWriter5 meets a simplified version of XMind. And maybe a few others besides. I mean, sure, you could use any of these programs individually, but eventually having several programs open all at once can get a bit taxing (and that's if you're actually organized. I am not. This helps with the organization a lot).

Off the top of my head, this program can:
- produce outlines
- create mind maps
- create character listings
- has a fully-loaded word processor (that's more like Wordpad than Notepad) which also has a full screen mode
- produce storyboards
- a built-in journal section
- an image gallery
- create checklists
- create timelines
- a playlist manager (which I've never used because my sound card is on the fritz and I rarely listen to music on my computer anymore)

I'm still looking for the option that makes me tea, but it does A LOT. And it's teeny. I think the developers have access to Time Lord technology.

Considering all it can do, LSB costs a fairly reasonable $50 USD. If that made you wince a little (I did just say how small the program was, after all), that $50 registration/license/whatever code entitles you to 1) free upgrades for... basically forever... from the time you buy it and 2) the ability to use the program on any computer (that runs Windows XP through 7, of course) you wish. (It was actually point 2 that I was concerned about, because my computer is getting up there in age, and I may need to replace it within the next year, and I didn't particularly want to spend another $50 to get a new license when I do. Apparently, it's nothing to be worried about.) Which - considering the racket that a lot of programs have (Microsoft Office, I'm looking at you and your "three computers only" license deal you have going on) - is incredibly reasonable. (It's also currently discounted for the month of November - 50% off. I paid $24 CAN for it. They're supporters of NaNoWriMo) You can also test-drive it for 30 non-consecutive days and see how much you like it.

I don't have any screenshots of my own setup (suffice to say it's very simple and everything centers around a listing), but the LSB website has examples of how it can be set up.

All in all, I really like this program. :D

Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Lethal Lather

I first heard about Lethal Lather from Eyeconic Makeup, and as LL offers a little sample set ($2.50 for three mini-bars of soap), I decided to try them out. All of their products have names that are on the morbid side (hello, creepiest forest in the world!), but they're actually quite pleasant products.

I picked the following scents: Aokigahara, Anetzi, and Mata Hari. The samples aren't that big - the site says that they're about the size of a hotel bar of soap, but you can get a few washes out of them.

Anetzi is a bright light green coloured soap, that smells of a mix of eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint, and other... bright smells. It is also fantastic for post-workout showers and when you're sick (seriously. It helps to clear the sinuses. It's kinda awesome. I loved it when I had the flu). Actually, it kinda reminds me of a nice version of Head and Shoulders (which... I use, so, you know, not an insult there). I mean that in the best way possible. I swear.

Aokigahara smells rather greenhouse-y, with lots of watery, planty scents to it. It's also bright blue. (And I shall warn you that the blue bleeds a little, but it rinses off easily enough with no staining. So you may find bits of your shower surfaces dotted in blue, but it comes off.) It smells rather "clean" though. And like a greenhouse.

Mata Hari is a dusty rose colour. At first smell, I thought it was rather spicy-floral, but now that I've used it, it... well, it reminds me of Christmas hard candies (you know, the ones that are like sweet cinnamon-flavoured and come in a little tub and they stick together and it's a pain to seperate them but they're nice sometimes? Those?). Almost exactly that. Not that I mind, it just took me a while to remember what it smelled like.

All of the ones I've used have the same sort of moisturizing soap feel, and there's no sticky feeling like some soaps can have. The scent doesn't last for very long (I'm personally okay with this, because well, sometimes soap scents layering with other scents don't always work well) post-shower - except for Mata Hari. I smell faintly of Christmas candy for a few hours afterwards.

Shipping was also superquick (it was shipped the day after I ordered), and shipping prices are reasonable.


Now back to writing. I am behiiiiiiiiiind in NaNoWriMo, oh noes!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shiro Cosmetics swatches! :D

So. Shiro Cosmetics. What can I say about this place that hasn't been said? Adorably geeky products, crazy good service (I was not expecting a convo note on Etsy stating when she was going to ship it out - which was the next day), cute packaging (the little red bag it comes in! :D). Some of the prettiest satin shades I've seen. Basically made of win all around. Don't know why it took me until now to get around to trying them out. But they are AWESOME. :D

And swatches (even though Anastasia's are much better. Damn you camera and utter lack of natural light. DAMN YOU. *waggles fist*)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Haus of Gloi mini-review!

This will just be a mini-review, because I don't have that much to review. I got a soap (Madcap Garden), two perfume oil samples (one I bought - Elevenses, and one that was included free - Moon Dog), and a limited release lip balm (in Bloody Marshmallow).

I haven't used the soap yet, so I can't review anything on that. But the lip balm. I like it. I'm not precisely a lip balm conniseur or anything, but I do have quite a bit of it (everywhere, actually). It's a little bit grainy right out of the tube, but it melts superquick and you can't feel it on your lips. It also soaks in quick as well. The scent I got was Bloody Marshmallow - and it smells exactly like homemade marshmallows. Not sickeningly sweet, but just sugary and fluffiness, the way that a good marshmallow should smell.

The two perfume oil samples - it's kinda funny that I got sent Moon Dog, because that was the other scent that I was debating getting for soap and decided to not get for now. Ha. Weird, that. Anyway. Elevenses ("What about second breakfast? Elevenses?") is pretty much exactly as it's described - like a treat of tea and citrusy-flavoured biscuits, and the almond note comes out strong (so, uh, if you really don't like almonds, don't get this one). Once it warms up, the tea scent comes out, with something that smells like baked goods following it. Moon Dog smells like mild coconut and a bit of something musky, and a bit of something watery (and I love the mythological reference in the name!), and once it warms up, I smell the clove and nutmeg - a strange sort of combination, but it totally works (I just checked, and the notes should be sandalwood, coconut, clove and nutmeg. I don't know where I'm getting the ozone-y water smell, but I smell it for some reason).

Madcap Garden smells like all my favourite kinds of tea (well, not so much on the chamomile, but everything else - peppermint and black tea? Yes), and the soap itself has golden shimmery stuff on it (you can kinda see it in the picture). :D It's really really pretty.

So, yeah! I like Haus of Gloi. :D I shall definitely be buying again from them in the future!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One Hand Washes the Other review!

Okay, so I love Hallowe'en. Which is kinda funny because I never actually do anything for it. Seriously. I don't. I don't dress up (beyond wearing more obnoxious eye makeup than I regularly do - and I didn't even get to do that this year because I was too busy focussing on my midterm exam). I don't go anywhere. I never decorate. On the other hand, I can get cute skull and bat and black cat things for fairly cheap and I can stock up on black candles, so, you know. There's some good things in there. (It also doesn't help with the Christmas creep - come on, stores, give the other holidays their day in the sun!)

Anyway, so I heard about OHWTO's Hallowe'en scents and um. After reading the descriptions, I just had to get a few of them. One of the ones I wanted took a while to get back in the shop, so I ended up waiting about two weeks just to order them.
I got: Coven, Calaveras, and Pumpkin Eater (I believe these scents are still in OHWTO's shop, but not for much longer!).

There were also three free samples thrown in: Choco Pumpkin, Pomengranate, and Juniper Sage. And there were Hallowe'en stickers and little plastic creepy crawlies in the envelope (I would've included them in the picture, but I seem to have misplaced the envelope)! :D

(Here comes my weird sort of scent descriptions.)

Coven: Because of this, I discovered that I needed much more incense-y perfumes in my life. I love it. Love it, love it, love it. It seriously does smell like a bundle of mixed incense sticks, with a little bit of smokiness to it. On first smell, it's kinda... churchy, but it quickly shifts from churchy to witchy. It also starts off strong and stays strong (unlike the other two, which are mild to begin with and then warm up). There's also a bit of something cinnamon-y in there too.

Calaveras: This comes out as a spicy-sweet rose scent on me - kinda chai-ish with roses. The rose scent isn't so strong in the tube, but it really comes out when I wear it. (I actually like rose scents quite a bit, but it's always hard to find one that isn't old-lady-rose scent - some of you will know what I'm talking about. This most definitely is not that sort of rose scent.)

Pumpkin Eater: This one could probably be considered a bit more masculine, probably because of the patchouli in it. But it's not a hippie sort of patchouli. "Earthy" is very accurate. Very sort of "out in the middle of the night, stomping around on wet leaves with smooshed pumpkin nearby". In a good way.

Choco Pumpkin: Basically exactly what it sounds like - like cocoa and pumpkin (for some reason, it's more of a cocoa than a chocolate smell to me - I think I tend to associate most chocolate scents as fairly sweet, and cocoa as not as sweet, and this isn't as sweet, so let's go with cocoa).

Pomegranate: Pomegranates are one of my absolute favourite fruits (and in fall, I try to stock up on them as much as I can because they keep for so long). This smells like pomengranates that are surrounded by some flowers - I can't quite place the sort of floral scent, but it's like that. You can smell the pomengranate note well enough, but there's a very strong floral note to it too.

Juniper Sage: This was a weird one, because I smelled it and I thought Christmas. For some reason, half of our Christmas decorations smell exactly like this (I don't know why, they just do). So, to me, this is a wintry sort of fragrance. I'll actually probably wear the sample more closer to Christmas because of the weird memory connection to it, but it is pleasant - like pine needles and outdoorsy-ness.

I also love the solid perfume format. I don't really need to worry about the containers breaking along its postal route and spilling everywhere, and it's just more durable.

Wear time for me was about six hours or so for all of these, which is fantastic.

As of right now, the only reason keeping me from buying more stuff from OHWTO is uh... I can't choose what I want. Ha. Too many choices. And I'm waiting for the winter/Yule fragrances, too - don't even know what they are yet, but I imagine they'll be wonderful, considering the fall ones.

One Hand Washes the Other can be found on either Artfire or Etsy. :D

... wow. I can babble a lot. o_o