Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I have been...

ridiculously busy.

Seriously, I've graduated from my university and am now job-hunting in a new town. I don't have any money to actually buy products to post about! I really want to continue blogging but we will see what happens once everything settles down. Writing is really my first love. I want to continue doing something with it. Maybe, I will be back here in a few weeks or maybe I should create a more informal tumblr account? I already have one but I do not post there often. I'll keep this blog updated no matter what I do. It just may be a few more weeks before anything happens!

Wish me luck on the job hunt!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Quick Post: Essie A-List

Now, this isn't the greatest photo, but it is the greatest red nail polish-- Essie's A-List. I adore this beautiful, true red and it is almost always on my toes. 

I have to apologize for my absence. In about one week I am graduating from college! I have to get all my papers done and turned in. For some reason, all of my finals this semester are papers, nothing in class. I'm not sure how I feel about that but I've counted the total pages I have to write before my graduation ceremony and it is a staggering 50+! 

Wish me luck and I'll be back soon with beautiful posts of all the lovely beauty products I plan to buy as a graduation treat to myself!

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Instagram post: Revlon Whimsical on Essie Mint Candy Apple

Love this combo!

It is one coat of Mint Candy Apple with three coats of Whimsical on top.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Garnier BB Cream Review

A couple months ago I was lured into the promise of a great drugstore BB cream. Due to my college finances, I had been unable to purchase some of the other, more expensive BB creams. I ran to my local grocery store and picked up Garnier Skin Renewal Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream in light/medium.

***Disclosure: My skin is probably at the worst it has been for a few months. I do not contribute this to the Garnier BB Cream but more that I've got uber loads of stress from school combined with some bad food habits!***

  At first, I thought the formula made me way too greasy and I mean GREASY! Seriously, when I put it on my face looked like an oil-slick. I was let down. I had all my hopes on a drugstore BB cream and I didn't like it. But, I tried experimenting. I put a little bit of Revlon Colorstay foundation around my chin and nose (the oiliest and most acne prone part of my face) and then dusted the rest of my face with a little translucent powder with my fluffy Sephora powder brush. I also started using a flat foundation brush to blend the Garnier BB cream into my skin. It seemed to help the formula be less shiny, although I still definitely needed powder afterwards.

This little combo of foundation products did the trick! I didn't look so oily anymore even though the process took a little more time than I wanted. Using a BB cream was supposed to take time out of my morning routine, not add to it. Throughout the day whenever I glanced in a mirror I noticed my skin was still looking fresh and clear. When I was just using my Revlon Colorstay my foundation melted off my oily face within a few hours, but the combo with Garnier's BB cream it was staying on all day long, like into the nighttime bar hoping long.

So far, I'm still doing my little foundation combo. On days where I am just running errands or hitting the gym and don't care if people see my acne, I just use the Garnier BB cream. So, so far, I'm going to keep using Garnier, but the moment I have some spare cash I'm going to grab some Clinique or Dr. Jart++ BB cream. I want to invest in a BB cream that is just more than a tinted moisturizer with SPFs. I'm hoping my next BB cream has more of the skin benefits that BB creams are supposed to have, i.e. anti-fine lines/aging, skin clearing/evening, moisturizing without greasiness, etc.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finger Paints in Shades of Dark

Like most dark polish shades, Shades of Dark was extremely hard to photograph! The nuances of the color's purple-y blackness don't show through the camera lens very well. The formula is very shiny and wearable with one coat but not totally opaque. One coat shows more of the polish's reddish-purple undertones but stays a little too streaky for my liking.  With two coats the polish is dark and edgy without being high school goth black.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Revlon Nail Enamel: Flirt

Can I just say that I'm in love with this color? Flirt is Barbie pink meets a very pastel Easter lavender. Like the Revlon Colorstay Polish in Pale Cashmere the drying time leaves a little to be desired. I kept smudging my nails just by touching them to see how dry they were. Compared to my OPI and Essie polishes these Revlon formulas take AGES to dry. However, beauty is a pain and if you like a color you just have to stick it out. 

 I think the picture below shows a little better how this polish has a slight pastel lavender tone to it. I would love to do some kind of pastel nail art with it. Maybe a moon manicure with white? Or even a pastel green like Essie Navigate Her?

Also, next time I have any free cash I'm going to order this NARS Sea of Love set or the NARS Beach Lover set both from Sephora. I've never owned a NARS product and this would be a great starter set.  

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Revlon Colorstay: Pale Cashmere

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday and as a treat to myself, I decided I could go buy $20 worth of drugstore makeup. I posted my small haul yesterday on the blog. I painted my nails with Revlon Colorstay's Pale Cashmere last night and I'm loving the pinky-creamy color. 

The application itself was a little rough. I'm so used to the drying time of Essie colors that I kept smudging my nails thinking they'd be dry already. It took forever, I swear. Also, the brush itself is a little wide and stubby. It isn't bad, just different than Revlon's regular polish which is thinner and lengthy. 

I'm too much of a polish addict to test Revlon's claim that this polish can stay on up to 11 days continuously. Maybe next time I'm on vacation I'll see if it really does. Which, for my sake, I hope a vacation comes a long real quick! I'm drowning in homework! 

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Quick Drugstore Makeup Trip

I ran to the local grocery store and ended up grabbing around $20 worth of products. First, I snatched up three Revlon polishes which is a brand I've never picked polishes from. I'm usually an Essie or OPI kinda girl, so I'm excited to try these babies out! Pictured left to right-- Revlon Colorstay in Pale Cashmere, Revlon Whimsical, and Revlon Flirt

I'm absolutely in love with all three colors and Pale Cashmere is currently on my fingers. Whimsical maybe be the hardest to apply but it is definitely a funky color. I've noticed a lot of Revlon's polishes with glitter in the creme colors mimic a few Deborah Lippmann ones, just FYI. I can't name a Deborah Lippmann polish off the top of my head that Whimsical is a dupe for, nor can I attest to their formula being similar. However, they look really similar in the bottle. My DL polish Bad Romance looks just like Revlon Facets of Fuchsia .

My next grab was Maybelline's new bronzer. Bronzer isn't a product I'm super familiar with, so I'm excited to start contouring and bronzing my pale little face. 

Glitter Wave!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

My sad, little, ombred easter eggs

When you don't live with your parents you tend to forget to do all the little holiday thing you did as a child. In the last 4+ years that I've been living out of my parent's home I haven't dyed any eggs for Easter. Not one little egg. Last year I tried to-- I even bought a little egg tie-dye kit! Today I remembered I had that little kit stashed in the back of one of my kitchen draws and decided to try it out.  

The tie-dye process seemed a little flawed to me. Using one egg at a time, you popped those hard-boiled suckers in to a plastic baggy then dripped a few drops of one color of dye in. Then to get another color you switched bags and repeated the process. I ended up getting dye everywhere anyway, so I just used my fingers by my second egg. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll buy one of these weird kits again. I'm just going to stick to the old-fashioned dip-dye.

I tried to create an ombre effect on the two eggs below. They are probably my favorite out of my measly batch of four dyed eggs.

Quick Post

Everyone should go look at this tumblr Pinners Be Crazy. It is really hilarious how there is a clash of generations, backgrounds, and ideas on Pinterest. You can definitely tell a few users have not been around the internet block before.

Also, I've added to right of my blog, a little Instagram widget. If you use Instagram follow me! My user name is LaptopsandLipgloss! I need to follow a few more people, so I'd love to see your feeds!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A quick swatch of Julep's Sofia

Since I liked Julep Maven's Natasha polish, I decided to do a quick swatch of their varnish Sofia. The polish is a springy green with fine, blue glitter. From looking at the bottle, I wished I would of had it on St. Patrick's Day.

But, I'm sad to be the bearer of bad news. I really disliked this polish. The formula was very thin. My swatch is three coats and you can still see through the polish. For those who don't mind translucent polishes this probably won't bother you. Just make sure to apply a topcoat, after I let the varnish dry the color was a little dull. 

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Currently Reading: Middlesex

In addition to beauty blogging, I love to read. I just started Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex. I've never read any of Eugenides' work, but I've really only heard good reviews about him. If this novel ends up being fantastic I just might have to check out his latest book The Marriage Plot.

I'm hoping I like this book because the last one I read was a dud. Even though I really thought I'd like it, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter wasn't as good as I was expecting. 

*Semi-Spolier* *Don't read this paragraph if you don't want to know anything about the book*
I sort of found it to be insulting that Lincoln's entire reason for wanting to get rid of slavery was because of the vampires involved. The author could of made it a part of his dislike for the disgusting practice of slavery and made Lincoln more complex. All of the characters were flat for me and towards the end of the novel and Lincoln's life I was just bored, so bored I flipped through a few pages without reading. 
*End of the Semi-Spoliers*

 Anyway, what books have you guys been reading?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Julep Maven Varnish in Natasha

I've got two different kinds of pictures taken by my iPhone (DSLR was dead! I hadn't noticed till I went to go use it!) of Julep Maven Varnish in Natasha. The top photo is in indoor light with a little sunlight filtered through a window. The lower photo is out in direct sunlight. 

Natasha is very similar to Essie's Meet Me at Sunset. It is very opaque, even with just one coat of polish and has a fairly good sheen to it. The color didn't chip at all during the three days I was wearing it. Really, the only reason I took it off was because I painted my toe nails with Essie's Ole Caliente and ruined my Natasha manicure in the process! 

My only minor gripe was the formula was a little drippy! When I would take the brush and dip it into the bottle and pull it out polish would drip every where! Even when I tried to regulate the amount of polish that got on the brush and the stick it would still run and drip down from the plastic stem. I accidentally dripped a few dots of orange onto my carpet! Oops!

In non-Julep Natasha news, I have got a major sunburn on my chest. Which, for me, is my number one burn spot other than the part of my hair. I need to be a little more vigilant about applying sunscreen if I don't want to age my skin so much! For some reason the burn is just absolutely itchy and it is driving me insane!    

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Fries from Budget Bytes

The other day I decided to try out a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Budget Bytes. The recipe, Loaded Baked Potato Fries looked absolutely delicious, not to mention I had all of the ingredients. 

Per Beth's instructions, I cut up my potatoes, added all of the ingredients and baked my fries in my janky old oven.

Love me some Lea & Perrins!

The end result was absolutely amazing. I ended up throwing some leftover barbecue chicken on top of the fries before melting cheese on them. It was amazing and cheap. I didn't have to buy one thing, nor did I really have to do much other than chop up some potatoes. 

Mmm... cheesy barbecue goodness.

I really recommend you all check out Budget Bytes. Seriously, I have made some delicious and cheap meals from her recipe index. 

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fan Binbing: New Fashion Icon?

Picture originally from

I'm a huge web surfer. I spend hours every day combing through fashion blogs, make-up blogs, lifestyle blogs, really every kind of blog you can think of. I've been a longtime reader of, although I don't comment very often. I'm a really big fan of a few of their writers like Tracie Egan Morrissey (@jezebel_tracie), Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria), Jenna Sauers (@jennasauers), and Dodai Stewart (@jezebeldodai).

Today on Jezebel, Tracie Egan Morrissey posted about Fan Bingbing, a Chinese actress who has impeccable fashion taste. Seriously, everyone who sees this should go to the article "Fan Bingbing is the Coolest Girl on Every Red Carpet". Her style is funky and very creative, but she also is elegant and demure at the same time. I don't get it. Bingbing pulls off being crazy and daring without looking insane or desperately seeking all the attention in the world, *cough* Lady Gaga *cough* (Gaga, I really do like you, but I'm just getting a little tired of the act).

I, for one, cannot wait to see more of Bingbing. Her looks are amazing and I'm now curious to see anything she has acted in. But, for real, everyone go over to the article and check out Tracie's gallery of her looks!!


Essie and Julep Show down!

L to R- Essie Ole Caliente, Julep Maven Natasha, and Essie Meet Me at Sunset

I decided to swatch my three orange-y polishes. Obviously, Essie Ole Caliente is much more of a reddish pink than the others who are a little more "true" orange. I haven't tried out my Julep Maven Nail Varnishes just yet, so I'm not sure what their wear time is like. The Natasha shade was pretty opaque with one layer and went on smoothly. 

In the picture below, Natasha is a little lighter than Meet Me at Sunset. Natasha is more like the color of an orange traffic cone.They are very, very similar shades, almost dupes, but I'm not sure I would categorize them as dupes for sure. I think that Meet Me at Sunset has a little more depth and shine and Natasha might be redder, but only by the tiniest amount.

 Soon, I'll do a long wear test on Julep's Natasha, then we'll see who the winner is! Since, Ole Caliente is much different than the others, it already wins for being a gorgeous orange red. 

L to R: Ole Caliente, Natasha, Meet Me at Sunset

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Essie Pink-A-Boo

So, I don't think my camera really captured the shimmer in this polish all that well and truthfully, it seems a little more pink in real life. Not sure why all my photos look so washed out! Essie's Pink-a-Boo is a glittery, sheer baby pink that isn't too sheer. In the photos, I only used two layers, I thought about doing three but my laziness overtook me. I think three would probably look about the same as two.

The micro glitter in the formula catches the light easily. I see mostly pinks, but occasionally catch a cool blue from the glitter. This nail polish is great for those who like baby pink colors. I'm not usually one of those folks, but I could see myself wearing the color again. It is classy without being too "old". The shimmer and the tone of the pink really bring out a young girl vibe. I think my niece will enjoy it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Essie To Buy Or Not To Buy

In contrast to my lost post in which I very much disliked Tour de Finance, I adore To Buy or Not To Buy. The pastel lilac color is perfect for an Easter manicure. If I had a steadier hand I might trying drawing a little yellow baby chick on my ring finger. 

In my swatch above I used three thin layers, although two thicker ones would probably suffice. Also, in real life this manicure is much shinier and maybe a little bit more saturated than my camera let on. 

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Essie Tour De Finance

Okay, I have to admit, I'm a huge Essie fan. However, I'm not the biggest fan of Tour de Finance. The pink reminds me of an 80s themed Barbie color (which by its self is just fine, don't get me wrong). The application was smooth and two coats did the job just fine. 

Skip to this afternoon, not even a full 24 hours after the application and my right hand's pointer finger already has a massive chip. Luckily, I usually take a photo of my left hand, which is above, but you can still see small chips on my middle finger. Other Essie Spring 2012 and Resort 2012 polishes seemed to last forever. And, I mean annoyingly forever. I would be rubbing away at full manicures six days after I painted it. 

I should give Tour de Finance some credit. The color is great, the application is smooth and it fits well into a summer polish collection. I can also see my little nieces and cousins wanting the polish applied to all their little toes and fingers. Which, truthfully, is probably what I'll save it for. 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

all about the skin

all about the skin

Starting from the top then going left to right!

1. Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel- I have not used this product, but all the other Dermalogica products I've used I've absolutely adored!
2. Bioderma - Wonderful makeup remover recommended by the makeup artist Lisa Eldridge
3. Boots no. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum - This stuff is absolutely amazing. It moisturizes my face without creating shiny spots or any more acne. Plus, it has anti-fine line benefits and is available at Target!
4. Dr Jart+  Premium BB Cream
5. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream - I can't decide which Dr. Jart+ BB cream I want to try out! I've heard both are fantastic though.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Essie Ole Caliente

Ole Caliente is a perfect red orange. It is bright and fiery and reminds me of summer sunsets choked with smoke from near-by wildfires. If you've never seen one of those sunsets, I can tell you the sun goes blood orange, just like this nail polish. Other than the threat of your home burning down or not being able to breathe the air, wild-fire sunsets are very beautiful. 

Like most Essie polishes, this formula is thick and one coat gives almost full opacity. However, I recommend two coats for the best application. The polish went on slightly sticky and streaky, but dried smooth and without flaw. I imagine myself wearing this color on a hot summer night, in a flouncy, yet elegant LBD salsa or flamenco dancing (if I could even dance like that!).

Ole Caliente might just be my favorite polish from Essie's Spring 2012 collection. It is very similar to Meet Me at Sunset, but I'd say this color has much more a pinkishness to it. Meet Me At Sunset is a deeper, darker orange, without any pink undertones. You may not be able to tell in my pictures, but the two polishes are noticeably different in tone and shade. So, I'm excited to wear this color all summer long!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Introductory Julep Maven Box

I recently signed up for Julep Maven, which is a company similar to Birchbox, where you get a monthly subscription to beauty products. In addition to the subscription, Julep Maven also has their own range of products you can buy individually. Once you are signed up and officially become a "Maven" you'll receive 20% off those orders among other benefits.

First thing I opened in my box was the hand-scrub and nail file. I've been needing a nail file lately, so that is a nice little addition to the box. I haven't tried the glycolic acid hand-scrub yet, so we'll see how it works. I've never been one to use scrubs anywhere other than my face, but I'm willing to give this product a shot!

Now, the real meat of the package, two Julep nail varnishes. When you signup for Julep Maven they have you take a quick little personality test to cater to your orders. According to them I was a "Bombshell", so the company added the two colors you see above into the box. The orange creme is Natasha and the green with light blue sparkles is Sofia.

 Just for a little reference, I compared Natasha to Essie's Meet Me At Sunset. I'm not going to say they are dupes till I compare them side by side on the nail. But in their bottles they seem very similar. Meet Me At Sunset may be a tad darker than Natasha, but we'll see how they hold up when I swatch the two next to each other!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Essie Navigate Her - Just in time for St. Paddy's Day!

I just barely got my nails done for St. Paddy's! A little late and with a little less flair than I was going to do but Essie's Navigate Her fits the American-Irish holiday quite nicely. The soft pastel green isn't so obnoxiously green that I would feel weird wearing for the next few days. It is a perfect creamy Spring pastel.  No wonder Essie put it in their Spring 2012 collection.

Normally, I'm pretty hard on pastel colors. They are not my favorite. I tire of "baby" colors, like baby pink or baby blue very easily. But, not this pastel green. I keep thinking up combos to pair this shade with . . . maybe a lovely lilac for some geometric color blocking? 

Well, enough of the holiday crap, when it comes down to it, Essie's Navigate Her fits right in with my nail polish collection. I have no other pastel greens and, of course, like other Essie formulas, this polish goes on streak free and only needs two coats to reach full opacity. Safe to say, I'm a little in love with this color. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is finally here, well at least where I live. There are sunny days ahead that will only be getting hotter and hotter. I can't wait! Here are a few of the products that I would love to create some spring looks!

1. Mac Vera Collection Face Powder Sunday Afternoon
2. Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Blush
3. Milani Runway Eyes for Spring in Haute Couture
4. Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint in Enchanted
5. Essie Navigate Her (Swatches coming tomorrow on the blog!)
6. Essie To Buy Or Not To Buy (Swatches coming the day after Navigate Her)
7. Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint in Lucky

I think my favorite product I received in my special edition March Teen Vogue Birchbox this month is the Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint in Lucky. It definitely goes on matte, a little more matte than the picture below seem to show. However, it did not dry out my lips at all! The minty smelling product felt more moisturizing than anything. 

When you wear this product be sure to exfoliate and moisturize before you apply it. Any stray dry lip skin flapping off your lips will be shown! I repeat, flappy dry lip skin will be very noticeable with this product on. I made that mistake when I first slapped some of it on my lips right after I ripped my Birchbox open!

I'm now very, very curious to see what the other darker colors in the collection look like, particularly the Fiery and Warm Rose shades. I'm sort of getting obsessed with matte finishes and this product only enhanced my desire to obtain and horde more matte makeup like a little make-up goblin or squirrel (don't they horde things?).

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Birchbox Arrived!

This month was my first official Birchbox box! I opted to be sent the Teen Vogue editor's beauty picks and I was not disappointed (Although read on for one little hiccup)

First up, I received a green Twistband hairband that I'm excited to try out and a mini bottle of Kerastase Elixir Ultime. I've never really tried hair serums or treatments, so I'm very excited to try this little product out. Plus, I always hear wonderful things about Kerastase so I'm sure it can't be bad! 


Now, on to the product I am already wearing on my lips! Tarte's LipSurgence natural matte lip tint in Lucky. Its a little chubby crayon that goes on very matte and exactly the shade of pink the product is in. It is very Nicki Minaj Barbie and definitely much different than any lip color I currently own. I've found that I need to exfoliate my lips well before I apply this; the matte tends to highlight any flakey spots on my dry winter-worn lips.  


Last, but not least, there was a sample of Kate Spade's Twirl perfume which is floral and sweet, very spring-y to me. 

I absolutely adore I received a full size Essie LuxeEffects nail polish in As Gold As It Gets, but due to my uncontrollable spending habits I already own this shade! Too bad I didn't get the Set In Stones silver glitter because I've been lusting over it for awhile now. But, all is not lost, my mom will be happy to take one of the polishes from me! 

Now the countdown begins for April's Birchbox! I can't wait!

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Essie Sure Shot

I'm loving Sure Shot by Essie. The pinky fuchsia color harkens back to the decade of my birth (the 80s). If I was rockin' some eighties throw-back looks I would pair this polish, with its subtle blueish/cool-toned  shimmer with this Revlon lip butter for some matchy lips and nails. 

The formula itself was classic Essie; Dries fairly fast, settles down to dry without streaks, and takes a few days to chip off. In fact, I'm still wearing the remnants of the shade right now. This shade is from the Resort mini collection I mentioned previously. For sure, this lacquer will be slapped upon my toes multiple times this summer for those sunny beach days.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kate Moss for Rimmel Lipstick

I'm in love with the packaging. I want to buy more of her colors just for the tubes alone!
My new favorite drugstore red lipstick is Kate Moss' #1 shade for Rimmel. The lipstick formula is smooth and moisturizing without being too shiny and I did not have a problem with fading unless I was chomping down on some food. When I was eating the lipstick did transfer to the cup/spoon/food but it miraculously did not smudge outside of the edges of my lips or even my teeth.

My only little nub of criticism deals with the scent. To warn you, I'm a pretty scent-sensitive person. A whiff of certain alcohol-laden floral perfumes or sickly, sweet "beachy" clothing store body sprays  gives me massive migraines. This lipstick's scent wasn't unbearable and it definitely did not give me a migraine, but the odd smell, which I can't really place (cherry soda mixed with face powder?) leaves much to be desired.  

So, even though this little review ends on a bad note do not be under the impression that I don't absolutely adore this lipstick. In fact, I've been searching for more occasions to wear it! 

*iPhone swatches below. Sorry, was pre-DSLR!