Going out in the middle of the night to watch the Perseids Meteor shower is one of my favorite traditions. Last night, I did that very thing and it was lovely. Peak rates were about 20 meteors (super dark observatories report double that number), which means about every 3 to 5 minutes, we saw a little activity. It was lovely. It’s not too late though, you can still check out the Perseids tonight.
If you’re just getting started with astronomy and want to get yourself geared up from a technical perspective, I suggest checking out this post we did last year on all the tools, books and apps you’ll need.
Happy meteor spotting.
So it’s Cyber Monday. I know it’s supposed to be about gifts, but in case you’re like me, this is your chance to get some great Lady Geek gear at a reduced price. Here are some of my favorite picks for yourself or your recipients:
ShadowPlayNYC: These lovely ladies are offering 15% to 30% off on their space gear with a variety of coupon codes. The infinity scarves are so soft and wonderful, you won’t regret it.
Rifle Paper Co: I love, love great stationary. For lady geeks looking for wanderlust in 2014, you need to check out their line of travel calendars. And their iPhone cases. I picked up the London one because LONDON! Everything is 30% off with CYBER2013.
LEGO: Amazon cut prices by as much as 40% on lots of great LEGO sets, including Marvel sets for my Avengers loving friends. And yes, the Amazon deals are better than the LEGO store deals today.
Black Milk Clothing: Overpriced leggings become… less overpriced today. Everything is 30% off. This is one of the only sales they will have all year so it’s best to get on that now.
PhotoJoJo: Virtually everything in their store will be some percentage off today through one of their flash sales. Follow them on Twitter and keep checking back for good deals. I’ve got my eye on the Digital Holga Lens, which is $5 off today.
Stickygram: One of my favorite gifts I bought for someone else last year was a set of Instagram magnets of my adventures with my Mom. The magnets are the right size and super fun. The sheets of 9 are 25% off today.
I’ve always really really loved makeup. In 7th grade, I started saving up my allowance to raid the Jane cosmetics section at Target. In 8th grade, I bought my first non-drugstore makeup in a Korean mall in Los Angeles. Today, Sephora and LUSH are my favorite brick-and-mortar stores (really, one of the few reasons I ever drag myself to a shopping center any more).
So, the theme of today is “Pretty Nerds are Nerds Too.” I’m friends with tons of lady nerds. Some of them never wear makeup. Some of them look like they fell off the cover of a magazine. They’ve all been judged for it, no matter what side they’re on, which is sucky.
But, I say, embrace your beauty. Wear makeup if it makes you feel pretty. Don’t if it doesn’t (so I’ve included some skin/spa-type products for those who don’t wear makeup).
And without further ado, here is the first-annual Nerds Are Pretty Too, Best of Beauty list (just in time for the holidays):
Things We Discovered and Fell in Love with in 2013:
This is probably the most amazing primer I’ve ever used (and it doubles as a concealer) — and I’ve pretty much used them all over the years. If you aren’t using a primer under your eye shadow, you’re pretty much throwing your makeup away by having to re-apply throughout the day. This is thick enough for blemishes and really helps even out your eye tone — and of course holds your eye makeup forever and ever.
Is this what heaven smells like? I certainly hope so. Pretty much everything at the Lush store smells amazing. This moisturizer is so thick and creamy and it smells absolutely amazing. After spending most of my life avoiding skin-irritating scented products, Lush holds an extra appeal to me, because their ingredients are all natural. Karma is one of their signature scents and this stuff is absolutely worth every penny.
Living down the street from an Aveda Institute has it’s benefits, one of which being easy access to discount-priced facials. Blue Oil is the last step in their services, and the mix of peppermint and camomile is incredible: both refreshing and calming at once. I keep this in my bag at work and bust it out when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Minis at Sephora
Nice makeup is expensive, I’ll give you that. But the worst is shelling out for a product that either 1) you aren’t crazy about or 2) comes in a size that you will never use up before it’s expiration date. Sephora has tons and tons of miniature products and kits, which I think is a great way to try new things and add colors and options without breaking the bank. Two sets I picked up this year are Too Faced’s Tan Without The Twinkle (perfect matte bronzer), and Benefit’s Gettin’ Cheeky (minis of three of their cheek stains).
Another pick with some aromatherapy attributes. This is great when I want to kind of balance my skin out (I have a lot of oil and dry spots, often caused by the prescriptions I used to manage my acne). It adds a little moisture back to my skin without slathering on a cream and it smells amazing. I usually use it at night, so the scent kind of helps me to fall asleep. It’s also great to help you cool down or to use at 10,000 feet to combat the deadened airplane air and perk your skin up.
This is a bit of a splurge, but it makes a really nice gift (I tell you this truthfully, having received it as a gift last Christmas). It’s like giving someone the ability to have a facial any time he or she wants. There are also interchangeable brush heads for different skin concerns (deep pore, acne-prone, aging, etc). I’ve found they are often much cheaper to purchase replacement heads on Amazon.
Lots of the eye palettes I buy are limited edition, one-off products (which is how I came to own a gorgeous set of Tarte shadows that were packaged to match a “True Blood” theme). But Naked and Naked2 (and, rumor has it, soon to be Naked3) are signature products from Urban Decay. This is the kind of palette that looks gorgeous on anyone and you can build out simple day looks, elegantly professional eyes for work and a fancier, more dramatic look for going out. Naked2 also has a simple, slim case, which makes it awesome to travel with.
This is the perfect nude lip color! This line (Intense) is, as you would imagine, slightly more pigmented than the original Chubby Stucks, which went on more like a colored balm. This is a gloss/lip color cross, but goes on smoothly and actually is quite moisturizing. I’m in love with this color and would have one of these in every purse, jacket pocket and desk if I could.
Tell us about your best beauty discoveries of 2013 AND let’s talk more where you believe beauty products and nerdiness intersect.
Recipe by Emma Carew Grovum. She is a data journalist working at the Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as the Digital Editor for The Cooking Club of America and blogs at kitchendreamer.blogspot.com Emma loves Star Wars, pandas and all things Joss Whedon. Find her on twitter at @emmacarew.
I am making a commitment. A commitment to wear color. I know. This is big. Like, really, really big. I think you’ll see that I’m not breaking out that far, but this is a start, no doubt.
Things I’m obsessed with this summer: the moon, stripes, shorts with patterns that look like vintage couch upholstery, tassel things (I’m behind on this trend, but it’s so fun) and green with orange.
Now if only the weather in Minneapolis would quit being shitty. It’s rained for literally two weeks straight. Despite this, the internet keeps me aware of the seasons by helping me purchase these items, because dammit, I want summer now:
What are your summer essentials?
Every year, I get myself a new pair of specs. And it’s always a quest. I will likely never experience a Tolkien-like journey in my lifetime, so why not make the day to day responsibility of vision impairment improvement more exciting by over-complicating it? Right?
A poem and links to these lovelies below the jump!
I’m not much of a girly-girl. I like black clothes. Gray on an adventurous day. Nothing weirds me out more than a floral pattern. And I’ve certainly never mastered the “smoky eye” - but I do want to look nice. Looking nice is key. And so I’ve set out on what one might call a scientific experiment to sort out the way to look nice without looking overdone. I’ve also got terminally dry skin, which is something the entire beauty industry doesn’t seem to think exists.
I had to put this in the frame of scientific pursuit in order to justify the high price tag of beauty products, but also because I feel as a dry skin person, we are oft ignored. Apparently the entire world A. doesn’t live in Minnesota or B. is sweating. After much work, this dry fleshed girl is pleased with the results.
So every face must start clean. Wash it once a day or twice a day, but no matter what, if you have dry skin like me you must use something that is chemical free. I like Derma E Face Cleanser. Chemicals = “dryness.” Be kind to your epidermis and spend the extra money.
Now, before I pat my face down with a rough towel, I put two nice droplets of Josie Maran Argan Oil into my hands and rub it over my damp face. The towel rubbing only aggravates the skin.
Once my face feels clean and moisturized, I use the Josie Maran Argan Stick to add extra hardcore moisture to my super dry regions. My T-Zone and eyebrows are a trouble spot for me, so I just rub it all over those spots. My whole face now starts to feel properly moisturized and smells super awesome. Josie Maran’s products are 100% organic, but that doesn’t mean they smell like Patchouli. I like that. Next I add a nice thin layer of Clinique Continuous Coverage. I know it doesn’t matter much right now, but the SPF will be nice in the warmer months.
Next, it’s time for some color. I then brush a nice bit of Physician’s Formula SPF Bronzer over my forehead, nose and just under my cheekbones followed by some Sonia Kashuk Blush. I hate a glittery blush as I am not a ballerina or a 15 year old. This Target brand does the trick.
To finish it up, I add a bit of Neutrogena Lip Balm that’s got a bit of color in it just for the extra splash of rouge while getting more moisture.
To recap, I’m using:
I’m not even going to pretend to give you general beauty tips, but this has been a proven method to prevent my skin flaking off all winter and as we know, prevent zombie face. Minnesotans can get a bit of a zombie look this time of year from the pale skin and it skin falling off only makes it worse. These steps seems to have given me the right mix for preventing such zombie/human confusion.