Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Very rarely I am surprised. Not that there is nothing that can surprise me and leave dumbfounded, but more often than not I am pretty well informed and know about things. Especially when it comes to make up. Well I spend time and effort to read, watch and explore for news and cool innovations. So… AVON succeeded in surprising me. A few days ago, I received a pretty black Avon branded paper bag, with a little, very small pink and black box, and it said Mega Effects Mascara. Well mascaras come in a long and slim box, not small and flat. Surprise one.

I was super intrigued so I opened the box, and there was inside something like a highlighter and not the normal mascara. You know as a woman in my late 20s I have used quite a lot of little tubes of the black magic. So this looked strange. Surprise two.

I started trying to open it. No twisting, no cap. You have to pull. And then… no brush! No brush people, but a small pink handle. So bizarre. Surprise three.

To be honest, and I know it might sound stupid, I was scared of breaking the little thing. So I put it back in the box and left it to explore in quiet. Later on I was meeting two of my guy-friends, who like gadgets, so I showed the box, and asked them to help me figure it out. The one took it out of the box wiggled it and said- ‘Well let’s look at the instructions!”. Surprise four!

This mascara came with instructions! So yeah we opened it and it was strange and new and interesting. It did look like a mascara, but not like the ones I have been using in the past two decades. So I did some research on got the info on it. It is revolutionary. Changing our make up habits and showing us there is always something new to expect.

But to be honest it is great. i have used it only once lightly for day make up, but with just two brushings you get long black eyelashes. I am going to play with it and try for dramatic lashes and see what happens. So far no flakes, no smudges. The only thing is that I am so used to using the Artistry  mascara that comes off without making any mess, this one makes me look like a panda bear when I am taking it off, like the normal mascaras.

Много рядко нещо може да ме изненада. Не, че няма нищо, което да ме изненада изобщ, но по-често, отколкото не, аз съм доста добре информирана  за нещата около мен. Особено, когато става въпрос за грим. Все пак прекарвам време и усилия, за да чета, гледа и да се запознавам с новости и готни иновации. Така че … AVON успяха да ме изненада. Преди няколко дни, получих черен плик брандиран с  Avon, с малка, много малка, розова и черна кутийка, на която пишеше Мега Effects Mascara. Е спиралите идват в дълга и тънка кутия, не е малка и плоска. Изненада едно!

Бях много заинтригувана затова отворих кутийкатаи вътре имаше нещо като маркер, а не на нормалната спирала. Като 28 годишна цена съм използвала доста малки тръбички черна магия. Така че това нещо в кутийката изглеждаше странно. Изненада две.

Започнах да се опитвам да го отвория. Нямаше как да го завъртя.  Трябваше да се издърпа. И тогава … не четка! Вътре нямаше четка, а една малка розова дръжка. Странно. Изненада три.

За да бъда честна, знам, че може да звучи глупаво, аз се страхувах да не счупя това малко нещо. Така че, го поставих братно в кутията и я оставих за проучване в тих и спокоен момент. По-късно се срещнах двама мои приятели, които обичат джаджи, така че им показах тази странна спирала и ги помолих да ми помогнат да я отворя. Единият я извади от кутията и яразмърда и каза: “Ами нека да разгледаме инструкцията!”.  Тази сприала идва с инструкция! Изненада четири!

И така с инструкцията отворихме магическата спирала. Определено не приличаше на спирала,която сте използвали през последните две десетилетия. Това е революционна нова спирала или поне начинът и на слагане върху миглите. Радвам се, че все още има иновативни марки, които се опитват да променят индустрията и нашите потребителски навици.

Пробвах спиралата само веднъж за лек дневен грим и съм много доволна. Не се размазва, слага се лесно, макар и да е странно да използваш плоска четка. Определено ще си поиграя с нея за по драматичен грим. Единственото нещо е, че съм свикнала да спиралата ми Artistry, която не се размазва, когато я премахвам вечер, така че, беше много странно когато започнах да свалам Avоn спиралата и се погледнах и приличах на панда. Но не може всичко да е перфектно, все пак Avоn са създали нещо много иновативно и екстравагантно. Смело е са се опиташ да смениш навиците на няколко поколения жени.

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We Make Beautiful Sparks

Super duper cool! I am not even a Tropicana fan, but this ad definitely makes me juice-thirsty. How awesome is it! And it lights up at the end! Makes me happy… really!

This is innovation – get something ordinary and turn it into extraordinary! Plus, come on.. how catchy is this song? Beautiful sparks… duuupp too dooop!

Good job Tropicana people!

An inspiration

It is interesting how life works. One day you have no idea about something, and on the next day that-something is everywhere.

That happened with Temple Grandin. I never knew who the lady was. Never heard of her. Until yesterday I decided to waste some time and procrastinate working on my coursework, and where do we procrastinate better than on TED. So there was this recent video called- Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of mind, – yes, a winner!

So Temple Grandin is pretty amazing. She is one of these ladies that you judge and stereotype when you see, and stare in awe when they start talking. She is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. In TED she is talking about how her visual mind works in pictures, and this leads to innovativeness and a different approach to life. She also emphasises how nerdy kids in the Midwest, and everywhere  should be shown interesting stuff and made interested in various things, so they can develop their minds in a way that can be beneficial not only to them, but to the world as a whole. It is very interesting as she has a first hand, or I would say first brain experience with Asperger syndrome and Autism , and knows exactly what it feels like to have a brain that functions in a way that normal people have no clue about.

She definitely deserved the standing ovations at the end! It was so inspirational and great to think out of the box. 20 minutes definitely well spent.

Then by some kind of karmic incident I found the movie about her-Temple Grandin, that was just released on HBO. The movie talks about her life- age 4 till her mid twenties when she started improving slaughter-houses in Arizona and talking about Autism.

It is one of these great movies that makes you tear up, and gasp in admiration to the human mind, and will. She is persistent, a little weird for the “normal” people, and painfully creative and smart. Claire Danes did a great job portraying a truthful image. The character of Temple’s mother was amazing too- supportive, a little paranoid, and always there.

I then started reading about Temple. She indeed is an innovator- created the hug machine to calm hypersensitive persons, she designed facilities for humane livestock handling, and contributed greatly to the understanding of Autism. She has several books, has been published in most of the major magazines and has several movies and  documentaries about her. From an outsider’s perspective she is simply magnificent in what she managed to achieve, and is a role-model for everyone who feels a misunderstood or out of the norms.

Both the talk and the movie made me think of stereotypes, and how we label people, and segment them in order to explain them.  Those people with different minds who are a little weird, a little nerdy, and very often stared at or made fun of, can have such a great potential, but they are often disregarded. Being mainstream and “normal” can be good, but even if we are not, we should embrace our inner-nerd, and the special powers we are given, and apply them to a higher purpose, with persistency and courage.  Temple is an inspiration, and I am so very happy I am a procrastinator, so I could discover her and her genius, and yes thank you TED for bringing that genius to all of us.

To innovate or not to innovate?!

So what a day, huh? Steve Jobs uncovered the new tremendously cool new product that we all have been waiting for and speculating about, and biting our nails to figure out. Well, here it is: the iPad. As a true geek-wannabe I was watching live streaming from the press conference, and reading several blogs simultaneously, trying to figure it out. Is it truly THAT cool?! Mr. Jobs called it “magical device”, the buzz online was immense, the buzz on Twitter was close to ridiculous… but in the end is it that amazing?

Let me start with the name. My first thoughts when I heard it was that it is way too close with iPod, I mean it is just a-typo-away to mess them up… but then… it got renamed very fast, because it really sounds like a female hygiene product…Yeah, pretty bad name dear Apple people. It is hilarious, though, that on Twitter there was no #iPad trend, but there was #iTampon. And yes.. the jokes are still streaming like a flooded river. I am pretty sure after the developments on Twitter some of the marketing folks were in a huge “ooops, we did not see that coming!” state of mind. It is quite rough start, I shall say, they could have thought better. Especially with the speculations of the iSlate, it is so much more sleek and sophisticated name. But, anyways, the iPad it is.

However, is it really that worthy of all the buzz that was created and circulated for the past few weeks. It was supposed to be revolutionary, and to change the way we all use computers and communicate. Well… kind of disappointing I must say. There are very cool apps, and functions, and it is very mobile… but it terms of innovation and improvements- not so sure. It is described as revolutionary and magical device, but I definitely don’t see pink flying elephants and unicorns jumping out of it. It is just a larger version of the iPod Touch. Really. It has no features that are completely novel, exactly the opposite, it lacks a camera, and 16 gigs are definitely not enough for such a machine, I mean my iPod has more memory, for crying out loud. As Stan said in his blog, perhaps we should expect more in the next version.

How about the price? Steve Jobs said he wants to put it in as many hands as possible, but $500 for the basic, Wi-Fi only, 16 gig version is way too much. It is as much as a little cheapy notebook, if not more. And if you want it all- the high memory, 3G version and the keyboard and stand/cover, it will come close to a $1000, which if you think about is expensive; and on top of that put a monthly fee from a 3G provider for the data and internet… So it is not going to be in my hands, at least for quite a while.

The truth is that, although not super impressed, I think it is a nifty device. It is handy, thin, high quality picture, great for everyday use- movies, games, reading, presentations, note taking in meetings. It is big enough to read on it without straining your eyes and giving up after 3 pages, but small enough for fitting in my purse and carrying around. However it did not deserve all the buzz and talk, speculations and gossip… it is far away from Minority Report, and not that magically revolutionary in any way.

There is much more to be desired, I would love for it to have the writing on the screen feature, of course a camera, voice recorder, and perhaps a cheaper alternative for the monthly data usage from a provider. But in the end it is Apple, and no matter how everybody claims they are disappointed, we will all jump on the bandwagon and come Christmas 2010 the iPad will be the most popular gift, beating the competition in the face of Kindle, X-box, and even the iPod touch. But for the competition of the iPad and Apple product cannibalization on a later note…

*image courtesy of