You Might Be Wondering Where I’ve Been

And you’d be right to wonder.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access WordPress for nearly two weeks.  I don’t know why.  Every time I would try to log in, I would get a server error.  Tried from my Mac, and from my iPhone, and neither one worked.  Hopefully it was just a server glitch, but we shall see, won’t we?

Anyway, Finally Indigo is going to be undergoing a HUGE redesign in the next month.  New graphics, prettier UI, easier navigation… Basically becoming a professional blog.  I plan to continue this into college, and I’ve spent the last two months making connections with cosmetics and beauty companies and coming up with ideas for new directions to take the blog in.

So, posting will become sparse during this period as we work on the internals of the system.  So, read through the archives, try out my awesome Wheat Free Banana Bread Recipe, and keep checking back daily to keep my traffic up and make me a more viable option for companies to start interacting with.

I thank you all so much for your continued support, and know that I wouldn’t be here without all of the great comments and criticisms you’ve all given me.

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I’m So Impulsive…

Really.  In the past two weeks, I’ve made countless purchases of makeup, haircare, and fragrance products that I just absolutely don’t need.  But I’m loving everything so far!  That’s what important, right?

I’ll take some pics of everything I got tomorrow and start working away at discussing them, but here are some of the brands I got to get you excited:

  • Graftobian
  • La Femme
  • Keromask
  • Bumble and Bumble
  • Bvlgari
  • Jack Black
Excited yet?

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The Best Banana Bread Has a Dirty Secret…

How can something that looks so delicious be lacking in one of the most vital baking ingredients ever?

It doesn’t contain any wheat.

I’m not going to write out a long story or metaphor or analogy or parable as to how I came to this recipe, or why.  If you want to know why I’m off wheat, check out my previous post.

This recipe is mostly my own.  It’s an amalgam of many different recipes I’ve tried over the years, and includes a few of my own substitutions and ideas.  By my account and those of friends and family, this recipe produces a moist, rounded, and sophisticated banana bread that, while delicate, can hold up to a variety of spreads or accompaniments without being overshadowed.

This recipe is extremely healthy, containing very little fat and a ton of protein, and is perfect as part of a gluten- or wheat-free diet, or for those trying to limit calories.  It is also great as post workout snack, acting as a good source of both complex and simple carbs, and muscle-repairing protein.

I’ve made this bread every weekend since creating this recipe.  This is a great way to use up bananas that have gone past the point where you’d eat them, but haven’t yet rotted, and I actually buy a bunch of bananas at the beginning of the week, and let them ripen until the following weekend, to the point where they are completely brown and soft, just to be able to make this.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbs. (.5 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large bananas (ripe to the point of nearly rotting)
  • 1 cup (about six oz.) plain or vanilla greek yoghurt, fat-free
  • .5 tsp. vanilla extract or liquer
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • .75 tsp. salt
  • .5 tsp. baking soda
  • .25 tsp. baking powder
  • .5 tsp. cinnamon
  • .25 tsp. nutmeg
  • Additional ingredients, such as chocolate, walnuts, or dried cranberries to taste

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Why I Went Wheat Free, and What That Means For Me

Recently, I went off wheat.

Many of you who follow my blog closely know that I suffered from some sort of dermatitis on my face that never seemed to go away permanently.  About a month ago, it got so bad that I had to schedule an emergency appointment with my dermatologist, and she was finally able to diagnose it as a moderate-severe case of eczema.  I was prescribed Protopic (a high level immunosuppressant) that literally cleared it up within two days.  However, this ointment is a pain to apply as it has the consistency of Vaseline (so it never absorbs completely) and looks incredibly greasy when on (so I only wear it at night).  I tried not using it for a day, and the eczema came back right away.

Now that I knew what this skin affliction was, I started doing some research to see what I could do to end it.  After a few weeks of reading through multiple articles that basically said that medication was my only hope, I stumbled upon one that listed wheat as a possible instigator of skin rashes.  Armed with my new search-word, I was flooded with articles and research about wheat allergies (different from coeliac, which is a gluten allergy, wheat allergies are often an adverse reaction to the a certain protein found only in wheat products).  And, surprisingly, many of them listed eczema as a possible symptom of mild wheat intolerance.

Seeing no downside to testing this theory, I went off wheat for a week.  Now, for me, that was no big deal.  I don’t eat pasta or bread, and looking over my normal diet, the only things I’d need to cut out would be granola bars and baked goods (I love baking).

To properly test this possibility, I would also have to forego using the Protopic for a few days after purging wheat from my system.  So, after a week of denying myself all manner of confectionaries, I went for three days without using the ointment.  And nothing happened.  My skin stayed clear.  No dry, red, inflamed skin.  Nothing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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A Realization

So, I realized something today.

The reason my posts have become so infrequent is because, quite simply, I don’t know what to write about.  I’m still a beginning blogger, so I don’t have a relationship with any companies and don’t receive pre-release products for review or overview.  I’m a guy, and don’t wear much beyond foundation, powder, and some contouring, so the number of products I can test on myself/buy for myself is rather limited.  And I write for Makeup and Beauty Blog, so many of the products I purchase for my kit are reviewed for/on there.

But, I’m not giving up.  I’ve just decided to expand the focus of the blog a bit.

Finally Indigo will continue to be a beauty blog, but focusing less intensely on product reviews and widening it’s scope to include many other aspects of beauty.  This includes cooking (recipes, tips, tricks, etc.), exercise, and a variety of other topics that all factor into making you the most beautiful person you can be.

This is a big change, and one I hope will keep me posting much more regularly.  My YouTube channel will still be devoted to beauty products and reviews only.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this shift, and leave me some ideas of what kinds of topics you want me to cover in the future.  I want to thank all you who have stuck with me and the blog through all of my absences and lapses.  It’s seeing the numbers of daily visitors that really keeps me going.

So. What do you want to see from Finally Indigo in the coming months?

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Full Look Using a Few New Inglot Products

Here’s a pic of one of my best friends, Dana (on the left).  I did her makeup for prom.  On her eyes is the Inglot Matte Collection AMC Eyeliner Gel in 76 (white) (you can find a review for this product, and the same one in black, here) with a bit of the 496 eyeshadow patted on top.  I softly shaped her brows with a bit of their brow powder in 562 (swatches will be up soon).  On her lips is the lipstick in 44, and a nude gloss from another company.  I did the rest of her face as well, but those are the only Inglot products I used on it.  And I did her hair, but you can’t really see it in either of these.  Whadya think?

Dana (left) using Inglot products. That's our other friend Sharon on the right, but she did her own makeup.

And just another photo, in different lighting.  You can see how vibrant these products are, even from far away, which is often an issue with white shadows and creams.

From left to right: Alex, Simcha, Julia, Dana. I only did Dana's makeup here.

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Inglot Eyeshadow and Lipstick Swatches

Update 5/29: These photos were taken under harsh, yellow-toned fluorescent lighting, and therefore may not accurately represent the colors as they would appear normally.  New swatches will be taken and posted within the next week.

Check out these swatches of some of the Inglot products I bought about a month ago.  I just sent my review of them over to Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog, so I’ll link to them when they go up.  Isn’t it obvious just from these why Inglot has quickly become one of my new favorite lines?

All swatches were applied with a fingertip swiped once across the product, to show how pigmented they are.

The numbers underneath each swatch are their “names” (Inglot assigns products numbers rather than giving them a wordy name.)

Eyeshadow Swatches from the Freedom System

Lipstick Swatches from the Freedom System

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Unlikely Sources of Inspiration

Isn’t it funny where inspiration comes from sometimes?  I went to school for the last time today (besides graduation and honors night) and am so completely over it.  I’m honestly not going to miss it at all.  Of course, certain things (mostly some of the teachers and obviously a few close friends), but overall… Nah.  I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

But on my way out… I saw this tree that I had never really noticed.  These blossoms seemed to just be sprouting out of its trunk, almost like a lichen, and they were this surreal fuchsia.  It was stunning.  And it gave me an idea for a makeup look.

I took a few pic, and went home.

 

So, my question to you is… Where have you found inspiration where you never expected to?  Mine was outside the cement, clinical building that was originally intended to be a correctional institute yet now serves as my former high school.  Where was yours?

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Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I’m back.  For good.  I have one exam tomorrow afternoon (US History… Ugh) and then I am done with High School forever (barring graduation on June 10).  That means I will have so much time to dedicate to this blog, my YouTube channel, and writing for Makeup and Beauty Blog.  I’ll also hopefully be working full-time, which means more money, which means more products I can buy for review.

I’ll definitely be able to handle a lot more Reader Questions now, so send em in (check out the “Ask Me” tab up top).  Can’t wait to dive back into it full force!

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Two Weeks

Hey y’all.  So, opening weekend of my play went fantastically.  The makeup is so much fun (think Twiggy in the mid-60′s) and the cast is just wonderful.  It’s a hilarious show and the audience seemed to love us!  A few people even asked if I act professionally, which was really flattering.

The Inglot products I bought are amazing.  Like, incredible.  I’ll have swatches up soon (although I have school this week, I’m not doing much else until Thursday night {second weekend of the play run}).  I’m thinking of stocking most of my kit from them, even.

I also got my Temptu S/B products in the mail and am currently learning how to work with them.  I had no idea they’d be so different in technique than the OCC W/B ones!  Video on those will be coming up as soon as I feel confident enough with them not to make a fool out of myself.

And in exactly two weeks, I’ll be done!  With school, with the play, with… well, that’s it.  But like I said, once that happens, I’ll have so much more time to dedicate to this, which makes me really happy.

How was everyone’s weekend?  Find any new product loves?  Gotta say, I’m digging Inglot’s matte cream liners.  Their black is seriously incredible.  Dare-I-say, better even than MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack…?  Perhaps.

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