Thursday, December 26, 2013

Catching Up: Sephora VIB Rouge & Moving Forward

It's been quite a while since my last post, and that's because December is a goddamn nightmare and has beat me into the ground and drained me of any spare energy I had to do things like blogging. Or smiling. But now Christmas is over, and I can feel my will to live slowly returning. Because as much as I hate to get sentimental, I really did have a great Christmas spending time with the people I love, which was very refreshing (and the sweet gifts I received didn't hurt either).

So I've got my joie de vivre back, and we have a lot of catching up to do. You might not be surprised to hear that in all the holiday shopping frenzy, I got a little confused and somehow bought myself a few things at Sephora. How the heck? And my last purchase qualified me for VIB Rouge, the highest level of their "Beauty Insider" program- which means that I have spent over $1000 at Sephora in the past year. Oops.

Ok, I know it looks bad. But *FLIMSY JUSTIFICATION ALERT* Makeup is my thing. That's what I like to shop for. I don't own a lot of shoes, or handbags, or jewellery, or even clothes. And I work a lot to support my habits. And I don't carry a balance on my credit card. And I put money into savings each month. And part of what put me over that $1000 mark was a $100 bottle of cologne for my boyfriend (by the way, picking out a cologne is a very stressful, yet sexy experience). But still. I'm shocked and slightly ashamed that I've spent that much at a makeup store. And also excited because now I get free shipping on all my orders! Damn Sephora, you a bad bitch.

One of my latest purcashes, because I already own Naked 2, and Naked 3 was sold out.

I think it's totally appropriate that I qualified for VIB Rouge right at the end of the year. I feel like I've built a good collection of makeup over the past 12 months, and now I can make a New Year's resolution to NOT spend that much next year. Not that I make New Year's Resolutions, but that would be a good one. I think part of the reason I bought so much(although I didn't want to admit it to myself) was that I wanted things to write about in my blog. And I do think it has been a good way for me to get comfortable putting myself out there. Makeup is pretty non-controversial and fun to write about. But I've actually found that the posts I get the most response about are the ones that are more serious and not makeup related. So now I'm feeling a little bit more confident, I hope to focus more on less superficial topics.

2013 has been kind of a rough year for me. Nothing horrible has happened, but I feel like I've had to face some hard truths, and learn some of those shitty life lessons that end up being valuable, but never feel good at the time. But starting this blog has been really good for me, and I want to put more into it in the New Year. I'm  at a point in life where I realize I gotta do the things I want to do. I learned that from a wise man (Drake).

One thing that I hope will really motivate me is a gift I received for Christmas. My boyfriend bought me a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR Camera. It was a ridiculously generous gift, and I don't even want to know how many bj's it would take to adequately thank him for it (I think the answer is infinite, so I won't bother). Instead I will thank him with great quality photographs of cats and makeup(I'm not going to totally abandon that subject matter).

I have other projects in mind, but I'm not big on telling people things that I'm planning to do, I'd rather wait until I'm actually doing it-I don't want to be all talk ya know? But in general, I'm really excited about saying peace the fuck out 2013.

And in the spirit of the gross overspending I've done in the past year, here's some of my current favourite products:

Clockwise from left: Body Shop Body Butter in Satsuma, Macadamia Oil Control Hairspray, Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, Aveda Damage Remedy Leave-in treatment(thanks, Sis!), Nars blush palette, but specifically the Laguna Bronzer-first bronzer I've really loved, and Soap & Glory A Great Kisser Lip Balm. 
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Happy New Year, see you in 2014!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Realistic Perspective on Eating Clean

I've mentioned "Clean Eating" before in this blog. "The Eat Clean Diet" and many other books on the same subject are written by Tosca Reno.  In recent years the diet has gained huge popularity as a healthy way to eat, and has strongly influenced my own eating habits. The basic principles of Clean Eating are eating frequent, small meals of lean protein, lots of vegetables, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. You should drink lots of water, and avoid processed food, especially white flour and sugar...and alcohol. There are other rules too, but there's no calorie counting, no weighing food, and no starvation in clean eating.

I had thought about writing a full post on this subject before. But I always felt like I wasn't a good enough "clean eater" to deserve to tell other people about it. I definitely don't follow all the rules laid out in Tosca's books. Like when she suggests that instead of using salad dressing you just top your salad with a squeeze of lemon? Fuuuuuuck that. I eat chicken breast and friggin lettuce almost every day, sometimes twice a day, often even on weekends. I refuse to believe that the universe would be so cruel that a little salad dressing on that boring combo is going to make me fat. But I feel like maybe that sort of thing is exactly why I should write about Clean Eating, and how it influences-but doesn't completely dictate-my eating habits. Because even though it's presented as one of those diets that's not really a diet, but rather a lifestyle, I really think that if you followed it's rules strictly, Clean Eating is definitely a diet. So maybe I can offer a more realistic view of how the Eat Clean Diet can be loosely followed by people who don't want to be on a diet, and still be hugely beneficial to the way you feel and look.

For me, Clean Eating has really changed the way I feel about food. I am not embarassed to say that I have had a lot of issues with body image and food. I don't want to get too in depth on that now(although if anyone ever wants to talk about that kind of stuff I'm open to it. So many people go through that shit). But I've been pretty messed up in the past when it came to having a good relationship with food. The past few years, when I've adopted many of the principles of Clean Eating have been the healthiest I have felt in a very long time. And it's the first time I've really thought my body looked good because of healthy habits, not destructive ones. So even though I make jokes about it, I really do believe that Eating Clean is an amazing, healthy way to eat, and I do try to follow it as much as possible without making myself feel deprived.

The majority of the food I eat on a daily basis is clean. I eat lots of lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocado and nuts. I drink lots of water-mostly thanks to Fiji water coming in 1.5 L bottles. I very rarely eat white bread or white flour products, and I never eat fast food.

Here's a typical breakfast for me:

Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal, with hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and mixed berries. Honestly it takes your palette a little while to adjust to eating this kind of thing with no added sugar. But this is quick to make and not too filling for first thing in the morning.

I also try to cook in batches-this is a great tip in Tosca's books. If you spend the time to cook a large amount of clean food, it's just as easy to reach for that throughout the week as it is to eat unhealthy fast food.

Mmmmm chicken breast forever
And I really do find that eating vegetables and protein is satisfying. You feel full, without feeling gross.

Turkey Burger, no bun topped with vegetables and avocado, and a salad. And Fiji water
Big salad with Chicken and Avocado

So far looks like I keep it pretty clean right? And on a day to day basis I do, mostly. But then sometimes I really don't. I've read a lot of Tosca's books and articles in magazines and on her blog. Sometimes she refers to unwinding with a single glass of wine, or treating herself to a square of 70% chocolate. Um.....wut? When I "unwind" it's with about 2 Budweisers, 6 vodka sodas and a few shots of Tequila. And when I know I'm going to be drinking, I always eat pizza, and maybe some chicken wings too. Because I'd rather feel a little bloated for a day than experience the week long shame spiral that inevitably occurs when you get black out drunk because you only ate salad for dinner. I do limit myself to drinking maximum once a week, and that means I don't even have an odd beer or glass of wine here and there. But when I go for it, I go all in, and I have a good time. And I don't treat myself to chocolate, I eat it almost every day. Seriously. I can say no to almost all junk food, but I am not going to stop eating chocolate. It's not like I mow down a couple Oh Henry's every day-but I do usually somehow get a little chocolate in there. Like this week I baked cookies (to give away to other people,  I don't eat cookies, are you crazy?) and only used half a bag of chocolate chips. I could have sealed the bag up and used it for more cookies, but no.

Oh fuck yeah, girl. Imma be eating those right out of the bag, no doubt. I don't care. Chocolate is part of what makes me love being alive. I'm not even going to pretend I want to give it up.

Overall I like to say I eat "pretty clean". The majority of my meals and snacks are clean food. But I don't keep it as strict as suggested in Tosca's books. I also don't eat 5 or 6 meals a day, as she suggests. That's just not realistic for me. I try to make healthy choices without making myself feel like I'm really on a diet. There are times where I will really tighten up my eating habits, like before a vacation or just a few random times through the year where I want to look my absolute best. But I find that even loosely following the rules of Clean Eating, combined with regular exercise keeps me happy with my body, and with the way I feel. For me the number one thing seems to be staying away from white flour, and really bread in general (other than the crucial pizza nights). I think it's also important to see all treats as one big category. Like don't eat pizza 'just this once' and then the next day eat a donut 'just this once' and then fish and chips 'just this once'. I think it's totally ok to treat yourself or "cheat" with whatever you want to eat-but don't have a different treat every day. Be honest with yourself, and don't think that because you eat some clean meals that will cancel out whatever other garbage you're eating.

Or honestly eat whatever the fuck you want. Food, and the way you feel about it is a totally personal thing. Eat what makes you feel good. Unless it's Taco Bell. That shit is just nasty.

Also, it's important to remind yourself that the person writing the "Eat Clean" books is a fitness professional, whose livlihood depends on her body looking a certain way. Yes, eating clean can transform your body, but you will have to make sacrifices. It's up to you to decide which sacrifices you're willing to make, and what just isn't worth it for you. Not everybody wants to look like they are prepping for a fitness competition. With this, and all other diets, you should be doing what makes you feel good.  Decide what your personal goals are, and adjust your eating and activity habits to get where you want to be. The only person's ideals you need to live up to are you own.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trying to Do It All

It's been longer in between blog entries than usual. This is partly because I decided I wanted to write about things other than makeup for a little while. Then I searched my brain for other subject matter and found that there's really not a whole lot else going on in there. So that's an obstacle moving forward, fo sho. But also, I've just been really busy lately. Actually I feel like I've been kind of overwhelmingly busy for the past few years, starting about the time that I turned 25 and realized I wasn't a teenager anymore-delayed reaction on that one.

I work a full time (sometimes more than full time) job, take a class at university, and try to keep up this blog. I go to the gym. I try to make time for friends and family. I try to keep up on my housework(that last one is a lie to you, and a lie to myself). And in between all that, I try to carve out some time to listen to and memorize the lyrics to all the most important hip-hop songs, so that I can fully participate in rap-alongs at the bar.

I don't think I'm special or unique in being busy. It seems like lots of people have too much on their plates. And it does make sense. I'm in my late twenties, and so are most of my friends. We're young, but not so young that we can really justify using all our time to party or just be lazy. And a lot of us don't have obligations that demand our time, aka children. It just feels like the time of life where you should be working hard and doing everything you can to move forward and build some sort of foundation for the rest of your life.

But one of the most important lessons I've learned in my time is that if you really want to progress, you can't do everything. Sometimes you have to identify what activities in your life are just sucking up your time. I know you want to do it all, and be good at everything, but that's not possible. I used to paint. But at some point I realized that I wasn't really super passionate about it, and it was taking time away from the things that I really was passionate about. So I gave up painting and focused on things I really cared about, namely fitness, which I decided I really was passionate about. And I was able to progress, because I wasn't spreading myself so thin.

Right now,  I'm kind of feeling like I need to once again examine all my obligations and figure out what I can cut out to free up some time for the things that are really important to me. But this time I'm really stuck. I feel like everything I'm doing really matters to me.

I've always been a bit of a workoholic. Even in high school, when I skipped school all the time, I'd still show up and work 5 shifts a week at McDonald's. I'm still like that now, I just enjoy working. I and I really like my job. I'm not going to slow down there, I've accepted that. And I defintiely not going to cut down on gym time-I actually need MORE time for that. I also don't feel like I can cut back on my social life. My motto is defintiely not "No New Friends". I'm always meeting new people and making plans and trying to spend time with everyone. I know I don't always follow through, but if I've ever said I want to hang out with you, I meant it and I promise it will happen eventually. And I really love writing this blog. I'm not going to stop doing it, even though that could give me more time for other things. In a way I am actually starting to feel like the blog is an extension of my social life, that allows me to connect with some of the people I really honestly want to hang out with in real life.

The one thing I'd love to kick to the curb is school. I love learning! But I just do not enjoy school. I'm slowly working on a degree in Political Science, but I just don't have a strong feeling that all the time and money I've put into it will pay off. Especially because I already have a college diploma that I'm not applying at all in my life. Right now especially, I feel like school is taking up time that I'd honestly rather spend in the gym or writing.  But for some reason, there's a big part of me that really wants to push through and finish school. I don't know if it's societal pressure or what, but I do want to eventually finish my degree. Until someone hears me rapping all those songs I've memorized and signs me to their record company(it's just a matter of time), I feel like I need some sort of conventional safety net.

So as overwhelmed as I sometimes feel, I guess I gotta just keep on truckin'. I know I'm not the only person who feels like they have too much packed into my schedule. I try to remind myself that no matter how busy I am, there's always someone who has more going on than I do. I also find it helpful to tell myself that I'm lucky to be so busy. I lead a full, if somewhat stressful life, and I'm thankful for that. I'm also very, very, very thankful for coffee. I just drink about 8 cups of it in the morning, and picture Corey from Empire Records saying "My dad always said, there's 24 usuable hours in every day" and try to power through my days. And hopefully never have a breakdown after Renee Zellweger throws my secret stash of diet pills at me and exposes me as a speed freak in front of all my coworkers. As long as I can more or
less keep my shit together, I think I'll be ok.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Everything-you-asked-for Blog

I want to tell you guys something crazy. I am not really that passionate about makeup. Ok, I really, really, really like makeup. A lot. But there are a lot of other things I like. I'm big into fitness, I love pop culture, I'm a huge book nerd, etc. The one thing that I am passionate about above all of those is writing. That's why I started this blog, not because I felt a burning need to tell the world about how much I love eyeshadow(although you're happy to know, right?).
I never meant for this to be a makeup blog-it's just sort of become that. But lately I've been getting a bit bored of writing about makeup so often. I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about next, so I turned to Facebook to see what other people might like to read about. And I got some very...interesting responses. I was just going to take one and roll with it. But I've been working on a paper for school the last few days, and I'm pretty burnt out, and having a hard time forming comoplete thoughts. So I thought I'd just write the first few things that come to mind for all the suggestions igot. And if anyone else has a topic they want to talk about, just throw it out there. I'll talk about anything, ain't no shame in my game.

Local Comedians-It seems like there's a growing scene of comedians in my city, which is amazing. I love stand-up comedy so much, I think it's my favourite type of performance to watch. Some of my biggest female heroes are stand up comedians; Joan Rivers is my Queen. I think getting up in front of an audience who expect you to make them laugh must be really scary and I have huge respect for anyone who is up to the challenge. I've only had the pleasure of going to one local comedy show, but it was awesome. I'm excited to take in more. I don't see myself as a potential critic for that kind of thing, so I don't necessarily know if I'd ever write about a show. But I know there's a lot going on in Hamilton and other cities around here, and I defintiely encourage people to go out and support these brave and hilarious souls.

How fucking weird the dating scene is-You know I thought about this for a bit, and realized that I don't feel like I know a whole lot about the dating scene. I've been a serial monogamist since high school. Once I start seeing someone, I'll usually try to jam them into a relationship for at least a year or two, regardless of how poor a match it is. And I'm very lucky to be on good terms with almost everyone I've dated. Except one or two notable exceptions, and I just pretend those didn't happen at all(and I'd definitely recommed that technique. It's always best to repress unpleasant memories). If you want to talk about relationships, I have lots to say. But if I were to offer any thoughts on dating I'd say just do whatever and whoever the fuck you want to do. Don't beat yourself up. Who ever really knows how people meet and why some things work out and some things don't. You're awesome. And don't bother asking people for advice, because you're not going to listen to it anyway.  Ooh, also sometimes you just gotta accept a dry spell and not stress about it. Use the time to go the gym so that you feel super hot when you do meet someone.

Clothing- I don't have a lot to say about clothing. I think I would be a lot more into it if I were super rich. I do follow and enjoy high fashion. But as it is I've been wearing the same 2 shirts in rotation for about 3 weeks now(this is a true story, ask my workmates).  I have lots of clothes, but when I find something I like, I just want to wear it all the time. I do think it's worth it to spend money on higher quality clothes, especially if you're like me and don't care that much if you look the same every day. Yeah you can go to Forever 21 (shudder) and get super trendy stuff and look cool every day, but you're basically throwing your money away. If you're into thrifting, that's a whole other story. I don't enjoy clothes shopping enough to be a thrifter, but if you do I think thats great, and I'd probably check you out and be super jealous of how cool you look.

Herbal Tea-What do I look like some kind of friggin hippy? I drink Diet Coke, coffee and water. And I only drink the water so I can feel like I'm flushing out some of the aspartame that's my biggest vice and probably killing me slowly. I don't know jack shit about herbal tea. I do collect tea pots, but I'm frontin'-they're just there for the kitsch value. Don't worry though! I do have a connect in the tea department. Heather, who designed the header for this blog is a major tea afficianado. She's currently working on bringing a travelling tea trailer to the streets of Hamilton. You can find her and her tea story HERE.

Penis- The fact that this came up as a suggestion is very telling of the kind of depraved people I associate with. This is a really big topic (well, if you're lucky). All I'm going to say right now is this: be nice to them, but don't trust them.

Holistic Treatment-This is a topic I know nothing about. BUT! Since someone suggested it maybe it's a good excuse for me to try some holistic treatments myself so that I can talk about them. See, that's why I love having a blog. It gives me a great excuse to buy things for myself. It's research.

My Escort Service-This came from a male friend of mine. I think he was trying to insult me because I was being an asshole to him, so fair enough. But I don't think it's an insult at all! AT ALL. Do you know how fucking rich I'd be if I had my own escort service? I don't look down on that kind of work. I read an article in Toronto Life last year written by an esort and it sounds like a sweet deal. I'm not here to knock anyone else's hustle. You get it girl!

Food-Actually my first attempt at blogging was a few years ago, when I had a cooking blog for a few months. The thing is that it got pretty monotonous talking about food. That's why with this blog, I didn't start out with a particular theme. Obviously makeup has become the focus, but I don't want to limit myself to that. It's easy to burn out of writing about the same thing all the time. I'd be down to write about food and cooking again. Although my eating habits have been pretty atrocious lately. I say I eat clean, which I think I do for the most part. But I live alone, so I also end up doing things like eating hot chocolate mix straight out of the can with a spoon. Does anyone want the recipe for that?

So there ya go. My thoughts on a bunch of random topics, including dick. Good thing my Mom reads this.

I like there to always be pictures, so here's one of my cat:
Always chillin'

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oh Dear, Sephora Had a Sale

I think I may have recently said that A)I'm trying not to spend money and B) I'm kind of disenchanted with Sephora at the moment. But I say a lot of things like "I am done with drinking tequila" and "I know it's been so long! Great to see you!"-you can't always take me seriously. And when I found out that Sephora was having a 20% off sale for VIB members for just a few days, I was all over that shit, no hesitation.

Actually, the sale really turned into a crisis situation for me. Pretty much the moment it started, I went online and picked out a bunch of stuff to purchase. And then when I went to check out, I was informed that one of the items had sold out while I was shopping. And it wasn't just one of the "filler" items I picked out to take advantage of the discount-it was the one thing I wanted the most. It took a lot of self control not to rip apart my own apartment in a blind rage in that awful moment. Thankfully I had an trusty informant who not only comforted me, but let me know that the Sephora near me had the item I was losing my mind over. It was a great example of why we need an open dialogue about makeup. I like to know exactly who I can turn to in times of cosmetic need.

I went to the store immediately the next morning. I only had like 15 minutes to spend there before work. So it was kind of a Supermarket Sweep scenario(tell me you remember that show). I was just running and grabbing and frothing at the mouth. I mean, I had the one thing I was there specifically to get, and a vague idea of a few other things I wanted-but it got pretty wild and blurry for a few minutes there. As I was leaving the store ($200 poorer, but I had "saved" $50)-I wasn't even sure what I bought. But it turns out I'm really happy with everything I got-a happy ending to a harrowing tale of retail panic.

(Side Note: I was motivated to shop because of this sale. And I was motivated to write about it because I have a paper due in 2 days that I've just barely even thought about. Any past or present student knows, that's prime time for getting really productive in all other areas of life. My bathroom is so clean right now.)

Anyway, here's the damage:

1. Nars One Night Stand Palette

Might as well start with the hero of the story. This is The One. And I think you can see why I went insane over the possibility of missing out: it's glorious. I'd been eyeing this online for a bit and when I found out about the sale, it was the first thing I thought about. Like I said it's now sold out online, but may be available in some stores. The palette has 4 blushes, a bronzer and a highlight. Nars is very well known for their blushes. Orgasm-which is included in this palette-is almost definitely the single most talked about blush on YouTube. Everything in this palette is good. I can't think of any makeup purchase that has excited me as much as this. I love it. If you were standing in front of me right now I'd grab you by the shoulders and shake you while screaming "I LOVE IT!!!"  My only complaint is that there are no labels on the packaging indicating which blush is which. But whatever, I'm over it.

2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye liner

This is a staple item for me, so I figured I might as well pick one up while I could get a discount. It's the best liquid eye liner I've used. It has a really nice tapered felt tip. Super easy to apply, you can get thick or very thin lines, it doesn't feather and it really does stay all day. What else do you want to know?

3. Formula X for Sephora Nail Polish in Out of Sight

I went to Sephora a few days before the sale started to do some "research" and see what I might like to buy. Yes, that's how serious I am about this whole makeup thing. And I didn't get out that time without making one small purchase. I picked up one of Sephora's new Formula X Polishes in "A+" which is a mid tone raspberry colour. I'd heard good things about their new store brand-and I was impressed. I really don't give that much of shit about nail polish. I have lots-and some are really shitty, but it's very rare that one really stands out as awesome. "A+" is great-I can't speak to the whole line, but that one went on opaque in one coat, had a great finish and didn't chip easily at all. "Out of Sight" is a really cool top coat-it looks like gold leaf on your nails. Like I said, nail polish is pretty whatever to me, but I definitely think Sephora might have something going with Formula X.

4. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

I've had a few people ask me how I feel about primer. I'm pretty undecided on that hot topic. I think that primers can feel really nice, but I'm not 100% convinced they really do much for the look and wear of your makeup. This particular primer is very popular and gets amazing reviews. It feels absolutely luxurious(and I am not at all prone to using that kind of flowery terminology). And I think it makes my foundation look really great-but I also really want to think that since it's $21 for a wee bottle. I'm not going to give it a thumbs up or down. It feels really nice, and I'm glad to have it, but I don't think it's super necessary. Try it if you want, but don't blame me if you feel like it doens't do much.

5. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter

Other than the blush palette, this was my best purchase from this trip. I had just run out of my Philosophy Purity Cleanser. That one is really good, but I was kind of feeling like I needed something geared more towards my dry skin. I had heard good things about Clarins in general, so I grabbed this cleanser, hoping it would be good. I am so impressed. Like really. I always think people are exagerrating when they say they notice a difference in their skin after one or two uses of a product. But I totally noticed a difference in my skin after one or two uses of this product(combined with the next thing I'm going to show you). It's super hydrating but not greasy at all. It's also super gentle, and you only need a tiny bit because it really foams up to cleanse your whole face. There's also a similar one for oily skin. I'm not an expert on skin care at all, but this cleanser is awesome. Which kind of blows because it's $34 and now I'm going to want it to buy it all the time. Do I really need to pay my hydro bill?

6. Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil

Another skin care item that I have been using and loving the last few days. I've been using it as my night time moisturizer and I love it. I know it seems crazy to put oil on your face. But I think we all felt that way about putting oil in our hair at one point and now, where would we be without Morrocan Oil, huh? I promise this does not clog your pores or make your skin feel greasy. I put it on at night and my skin still feels soft and hydrated when I wake up in the morning. Combined with the cleanser it's almost a problem, because my skin feels so nice that I want to keep touching it which you're not supposed to do. I do have fairly dry skin, so I'm not sure how this would work with oily skin. But I still think it's worth a try. If you don't like it for your face you can use it in your hair, on your body or even just as cuticle oil. It's good shit yo.

Ok so that's it. I wanted to buy so much more, but we must have some self control. A tiny bit anyway. I definitely think the discount encouraged me to pick up some things I might not have otherwise-namely the skincare items, which ended up being amazing finds.

Now I'm really done with Sephora until after Christmas. And I'm not just saying that. I have to start thinking about spending money on other people. Which is obviously the absolute worst, but I just keep reminding myself that I will be receiving lots of nice things too. Did you hear that, loved ones? LOTS. of. NICE. THINGS.

(Sometimes I make myself sound like such an awful person that I feel like I need to tell you I'm just kidding, guys. But everyone likes to get nice things sometimes right?)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Talking with a Makeup Artist & My Love for Cool Chicks

I am very lucky to have a little sister who manages a salon in Toronto. It's called Civello, and is a certified Aveda Salon. I've been meaning to somehow take advantage of that here on my blog. Because it's easier to be happy about someone else's success(especially your little sisters) if you can directly benefit from it. I'm kidding, I'm super proud of her as she's worked very hard and very much deserves to be where she is-in my eyes there is no greater success than making money being around beauty products all day.
A wall of products. My favourite kind of wall.
 Despite the fact that I'm totally jealous of my sister's cool job, I do want her to succeed, and I'm inclined to speak positively about her workplace. So I might be a little bit biased. But honestly, if the place was a dump, I probably just wouldn't write about it at all. I think I've been there 4 times now and I've been really happy with my hair every time. The stylists really listen to you, as you explain that you realize your hair is fried, and it's really only long in the back, and it hasn't gotten any longer in years-but you're still clinging desperately to the idea of Rapunzel hair and only want the tiniest trim. You know? They get that.

 I didn't previously really know anything about Aveda. I had the full intention of doing some research and writing a blog entry about some of the best products. But then I had the opportunity to talk to Taryn, who colours my hair, and Melanie, one of the Makeup Artists at Civello. They had lots of great information about Aveda. But I was more just struck by what cool ladies they are (although I've lost track of whether or not it's ok to call grown women ladies). So rather than just yap about products, I want to take a moment to talk about how much I admire cool females. Before I go full fan girl though, I will share some of what I learned yesterday.
Taryn and I (from the summer) I think I'm trying to stick my chest out so it looks like I have boobs. But to no avail.
Aveda is an environmentally and globally consious company. The use naturally derived ingredients. Their website even gives a definition of what "naturally derived" means to the company, which I thought was nice because those labels can often be pretty vague. Melanie shared some great stories about various ingredients used in Aveda products, sourced directly from places like Nepal and the Braziallian Forest. I can be pretty critical about any company making statements about ethical business practices, but Melanie gave such specific examples and human stories that I think Aveda's claims are legit. I've had a few people ask me recently about vegan and cruelty free products. I don't know that much about those things, nor do I buy makeup or other beauty products based on whether they're cruelty free or ethically sourced. It's not that I don't care-I just don't care enough(just telling it like it is there). But that kind of stuff is starting to creep into mind a bit more and I know it matters to a lot of people-as it should. So it was nice to learn a bit more about Aveda's environmentally concious philosophy.

That's all really great, but like I said, what really excited me was having the opportunity to sit down and talk with Taryn and Melanie, the makeup artist. Y'all know I love makeup, but I'm no pro. It was really cool to hear a bit about what it's actually like to have a career as a makeup artisit. It was a really casual conversation, not an interview, but even in the few minutes I spent with her I was completely fascinated with her career arc, and her experiences in that industry. From what I gathered, to be successful in makeup you have to work very hard, have a well rounded skill set (like being able to do hair too), and work for free a lot in your early career. Just talking for a few minutes, I could see that Melanie is an intelligent, career driven woman, and I am always happy to be in that sort of company. I love seeing other women doing well in a field that they are passionate about.
A VERY SERIOUS discussion about makeup
I don't think that people who work in the beauty industry always get the respect they deserve. It's like there's some sort of feeling that it's frivilous or doesn't require very much brain power. I know that even in my blog I often feel the need to almost be apologetic when I even write about makeup, saying things like "I know this is silly" or "I swear I'm not always superficial". But talking with Taryn and Melanie yesterday was really refreshing. Beauty and cosmetics might not be saving the world, but they are things that many of us think about on a daily basis. And there's a sort of vulnerability that comes with putting your looks in someone else's hands. So it's awesome to know that there are so many intelligent, passionate hard working people whose careers revolve around hair and makeup. 

In general, it was just awesome to talk with Taryn and Melanie and get that feeling like fuck yeah, girls are awesome. Not that I'm not a fan of the opposite sex. Girls, what's my weakness? You know the answer. But in the past few years I have really come to admire all the cool girls that I am lucky to know. I think it's kind of instinctual to be jealous of other girls, like my own sister, especially when you see them doing well or achieving something that you want for yourself. But it's sooo much better just to be happy for other people and use their success to push you towards your own.  So I just really wanted to take a moment to say I'm a big fan of females, and I'm really stoked on all the different awesome things that my friends and acquaintances are doing. Unless what you're doing involves you have really long beautiful hair. Then you're a bitch and I hate you.

Just kidding, I love you. But I'd shave your head in second.

Thanks for reading, as always. Right now it's Sephora's once a year 20% off VIB sale. You can only imagine what kind of stress that's putting on me right now. I'm looking forward to making some ridiculous purchases and sharing them with you soon. Ok bye!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Anti-Haul: Getting rid of stuff I don't need

You know I love me some shopping. I love buying new things, and I often use shopping to reward myself when I've been working a lot, or just when I feel like I deserve something nice (which is pretty much all the time). But lately I've been looking around my apartment thinking that I have a lot of stuff, and it's feeling a little crowded in here. I've been thinking maybe I need to get rid of some stuff before I add anything else to the mix via another shopping spree.

I recently came across a blog called Born Again Minimalist, which has further persuaded me that it's time to rid myself of (at least some of) the crap I've accumlated over the years. B.A.M. is written by a woman who purged herself of half her belongings following her divorce, and subsequent period of time living with her mother. Since then she's been living and writing about the minimalist lifestyle. While I don't see myself becoming a real minimalist (I just don't think it jives with my need to own 20 blushes), reading about someone who is one has inspired me to get rid of some of my old shit(to make room for new shit!)

Seriously though, one of the two main reasons I want to declutter has to do with getting something new. Since I've started this blog, I've accumulated quite a bit of makeup. I want to set up a vanity in my bedroom so that I can properly store everything-and maybe even have a nice place to start filming tutorials as one or two people have suggested I do(literally one or two people, and one of them might have been myself). But I think to do that I'm going to have to get rid of my dresser and just use my closet for all my clothing storage. So I need to minimalize my wardrobe. And I figure while I'm at that, I might as well get rid of other stuff I have that I don't really need.

The other reason I want to declutter is that I know it will feel good. I'm kind of having one of those times in life when I feel like I need a change or something new, but I'm not sure what (I'm on like, my 4th quarter life crisis now). I think that getting rid of stuff will be a good place to start. As much as I'm not a minimalist, I'm not really a hoarder either. I've gotten rid of large volumes of accumulated belongings before, and I know it can a very refreshing experience.

I also want people to know that I'm not just a totally frivilous human being who only thinks about makeup all the time. I think about other things too like, I really enjoy having blonde hair, but I've seen a lot of people with really nice red/auburn shades lately, what should I do? And do I want to buy a pair of neon running shoes like everyone else at the gym, or should I just stick to black Nikes? And after all that, if there's still time I might wonder if all of that is a giant waste of time and money and I'm totally buying into the propaganda of consumerism and maybe I should shave my head and go live in a tent in a Northern Ontario and learn to fish with my bare hands and eat tree bark? Then I land somewhere in the middle and pack up a few boxes of stuff to take to Value Village, and resolve to at least wait until my next pay day before buying any $30 eyeliner.

I'm going to share with you some of the stuff I got rid of. Even though I'm probably not going to start living off the land any time too soon, I do totally think that we can get mentally bogged down by our possesions. One of the best lessons I've learned is how to let go of stuff. It feels really good, you should try it.

Here's where I started in my decluttering process:
My Desk
Ok, shut your front door and don't even pretend like you've never had a situation like this in your own home. Sorting through all this was a difficult task, because a lot of stuff in the drawers had felt important to me at one point-lots of old birthday cards, some with particular emotional attachment. But I managed to do a pretty good job of cleaning out all the excess stuff(that pair of pink feather false lashes stayed though).

Then I moved onto my bookshelf:

 This was hard too, because I like owning a lot of books. But there's really so many here that I'm never going to read again. I packed up most of my chick-lit guilty pleasures and a bunch of my old text books. I made room on the shelf for the magazine stack in the corner there. At the same time I realized that little end table the magazines were under hadn't been used for anything in years, so I got rid of that too.

My closet-the space I most need to minimalize, wasn't difficult really. Mostly because, shocking though it may be, I'm not too much of a clothes horse to begin with(wtf is a clothes horse anyway? You know what I mean though). I like to look nice, but I generally can't be bothered to have a lot of variation in my wardrobe. I'm the type of person to buy three pairs of the same jeans if I find ones I like. So I don't really have that much excess clothing. But I did manage to get rid of a few things, including a $160 pair of Guess jeans that never quite fit right but I held onto because of that price, and a backless sideless dress I bought for Vegas but never wore. The biggest purge was my shoe collection. I had a lot of shoes that I've worn once or twice and would never wear again that just had to go.

Just a few of the shoes that got cut from the team. I was sad about the flip flops. I really love them, but they cut my feet up really badly. The one time I wore them I got really day drunk & didn't notice until I looked at my feet the next day. Make sure you wear appropriate foot wear for day drinking! Be smart!
 I've still got a way to go. I haven't even begun on my front closet, where I keep the sewing machine I've never used and THREE different newspapers from the day after Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal for Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics(I'm probably going to keep those actually). But I think I'm off to a pretty good start with decluttering my apartment. I'm really resisting the urge to reward myself with a trip to the mall.

Thanks for reading. I hope you don't mind me drifting from my usual subject material. I'll be back on more materialistic pursuits soon, I promise. Or if you don't hear from me at all, come look for me in the woods. I'll teach you how to fish.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Drugstore Makeup-Favourites and New Stuff

I'm going to make a crazy confession right now: I'm not blown away by the last things I bought from Sephora. Or rather, the one really friggin expensive thing(the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder). The Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette is really nice, and the Urban Decay Setting Spray is always good. But getting a disappointing expensive piece of makeup from Sephora makes me feel like a bit of a sucker. I'm not saying that there isn't a lot of great stuff there, but you gotta be careful. I think that a big part of what makes Sephora so successful is HYPE, and I ain't tryna hear that.

As much as I love to shop at Sephora, the reality is that the makeup I wear day to day is mostly from the drugstore. And really there are a lot of great products there that match, or even exceed the quality of their high end counterparts. The only things that I really think are better high end is eyeshadow(in general) and eyeliner(Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner specifically). I've found great products in every other category of makeup at drugstore prices. And another great thing about drugstore makeup is that it pretty much ALL goes on sale. So once you know what you like, just keep your eyes open for when it goes on sale and get it for even cheaper than it already is.   
If I had unlimited funds, would I buy all my makeup from Sephora? Honestly probably yes, but mostly because all the packaging is so pretty, and the reason I said I felt like a sucker earlier is because I totally am one. But straight up, there is great quality, affordable makeup out there.

Here are some of my favourites, and a few recent purchases of mine:

Revlon Lip Products-Across the board, Revlon does a great job on lip stuff. Pictured above are ColorBurst Lipgloss in Embellished(New Purchase-highly pigmented gloss,) ColorBurst Matte Balm in Showy(New Purchase-love this one, it's very smooth and nicely pigmented with a great matte finish), Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Super Natural(just a nice, sheer, nude gloss) and Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Honey and Cherish (these are glossy, sheer lip crayons, very easy to apply and wear every day).
I know none of these are actual lip sticks-although the Matte Balm is definitely pigmented and wears like a lipstick. I just don't wear a ton of actual lipstick in general. But I have heard good things about Revlon's Lipstick lines too with one exception:

The ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick isn't a favourite for me. It's one of those long-wearing lip products that really dries your lips out. Just wanted to give you a heads up on that one. Other than that, Revlon lip products are great.

Drugstore Foundation- The two that I really like are CoverGirl 3 in 1 and Revlon Colorstay. I think I previously said I didn't like Colorstay, but it's grown on me. I switch these up depending on how dry my skin is feeling. I love the matte finish of 3 in 1, but if my skin is particularly dry it can look a bit cakey. It's definitely great for oily skin. The Colorstay comes in two formulas, Normal/Dry and Combination/Oily. Neither one of these is super cheap-usually between $15-20. But I always buy them on sale.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder- I had to steal an image from the internet for this, because I've used mine to the point that the label is worn off. This is the best powder I've used from the drugstore. It does a good job of setting makeup, and staying matte like it says.

Nyx Eyebrow Cake Powder- Another recent Sephora disappointment was my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil. It performed well, but broke off into pieces. This brow powder is great. It comes with two shades and a wax, but I only really use the lighter shade. I apply it with a small angled brush, and don't have any problems with smudging or anything like that. Good product.

Maybelline Concealers- Sorry about how gross these look, but it's because I actually use them. Pictured here are the Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser, and a range of Fit Me concealers (because I got pretty tanned this summer). The under eye concealer is very effective (yay!). And the Fit Me concealers work well for blemishes. They're maybe not quite as good as my Mac Pro Longwear Concealer, but not far off at all.

Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush is Pink- I just bought this, so I can't say it's a favourite. But as  I said, I'm a sucker for packaging and this adorable little gem won me over pretty easily. Physician's Formula is on the expensive side of drugstore makeup-this blush is sold for about $20. But it was on sale for 40% off-that's the kind of thing that NEVER happens at Sephora.

Nyx Lipliner in Prune- Another new purchase. Drugstore lipliner can be pretty shitty-really dry, not very pigmented. Many that I've tried are literally throw-away products. But I've heard good things about Nyx liners, so I picked this one up the other day. I wore it with dark Revlon Colorburst lipgloss, and I think it performed well. It was maybe not as long lasting as some of the higher end ones I've tried. But it went on very smoothly and the colour was great. I'd say this is the best drugstore lipliner I've tried, and it was only $4.99.

I could really keep going here-there's sooo much good affordable makeup out there. I didn't even mention Revlon Lash Potion Mascara-which is still beating any high end mascara I've used recently. But I gotta wrap it up somewhere(mostly because I have to go to work, not because I'm tired of talking about makeup). Remember: more expensive doesn't always equal better. Don't believe the hype.

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Stuff from Sephora

Ok enough talk about stupid shit that no one cares about like higher education and exercise. I know what you're here for-the makeup. Don't worry babe, I got you. I just ordered some really overpriced crap and I've been super excited to tell you all about it.

You know I talk about makeup a lot, but it's been a while since I've made a big Sephora purchase. I even held out in New York, in probably the most beautiful Sephora that exists. The thing about that store is that really, you could want everything. And shit ain't cheap. You have to make wise decisions, unless you want to give up everything else you have and live in cardboard box (albeit with an incredible makeup collection-which sort of sounds like an alright option). Anytime I go to Sephora or shop online, I pick out about double what I afford and end up putting half of it back. It's a painful decision making process, which I've spent more time on than I did choosing what to go to college for(seriously).

 This time I bought 3 things: one is a new product that I just felt I had to have, one I've been thinking about for a while, and one that I've decided is a must have in my daily makeup routine. That sort of describes the criteria for all my Sephora purchases: New and Excited, Long-Coveted, or Staple Item. Let's just get right into it:

1. Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette ($68): I need everyone to do me a favour. If I buy any more eyeshadow in the next, say 3 months (I'm not even going to try for 6), call my mom and tell her that her daughter has lost all control. She's the only person who scares me enough to stop me. I really have way too much eyeshadow This palette(which was just released recently) really spoke to me though. It said "Buy me, sucker"- and I listened. I was drawn to it because it has a lot of shadows that are different from what I already own (about 6000 neutrals). I wouldn't say this is a great purchase if you don't have a lot of makeup-not enough practical shades for every day use. But I've heard very good reviews and I am happy to welcome it into my home.

2. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light($52)- This is one of the most overpriced single pieces of makeup I've ever purchased. But I'm kind of at a point where I have enough foundation and blush and every day stuff like that, so I feel justified (sort of) in buying a few more unique things. This is finishing powder that is supposed to give you a glow without being sparkly or shiny like a highlight. Yeah, I don't know. It could be totally useless. But it was so expensive that I'm going to tell mysef it's a miracle product, regardless of its' actual performance.

3. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray ($35)- I've written about this spray before. I had only purchased the smaller bottles before because it felt like a lot to spend for the full size. But I've gone through two of those and decided I'm totally sold on this product. It really helps your makeup stay in place and keeps your face matte without adding an extra layer of makeup.
On a side note, Urban Decay is really starting to stand out as one of my favourite makeup brands. Their eyeshadow primer the best thing I've ever bought at Sephora. I love their eyeshadows, and their new Revolution Lipstick is the best non-Mac lipstick I've tried. I don't know what I'm getting at here. If you're gonna be dumb like me and spend ridiculous amounts of money on makeup, Urban Decay is a good bet.

Marc Jacobs Honey VIB Reward (500 points) Sephora has a rewards card where you get points for all your purchases and you can redeem them for various cosmetic bonuses. I've been hoarding my VIB points for a long time, to the point that I had well over 1000, even though the biggest rewards are 500 points. I just felt like I had to wait and use them for the perfect thing. Kind of like when you hold onto a gift card for a long time because you don't want to waste it. This seemed like a good use of my hard earned points though. I love Marc Jacobs fragrances-I have Daisy and Lola(thanks Courtney!). Honey is the newest edition to the lineup. This gift pack came with a mini rollerball, a lotion and a little pouch for.....I don't know what, maybe a 20 bag and some papers. I'm looking forward to trying the fragrance out.

Mini Buxom Sculpted Lash Marscara (free)- This was from some other online promo that was going on. I always try to time my online Sephora orders with some sort of promotion, because they have lots that exclusive online. A friend of mine recommended Buxom mascara to me, so I thought this was a good way to try it out. And check out its' crazy S-shaped wand. Maybe it will be a miracle worker. I'm still really happy with my Revlon Lash Potion, and not really looking for a new mascara. But I'm down to try one for free.

So that's all of it. I have been eagerly awaiting this all week. And now it's over, and I have nothing to live for. Just kidding. Christmas is coming, and I am really looking forward to all the receiving I'll be doing.

As always, thank you for reading, and supporting my gross spending habits. Also, if you're interested I started an instagram just for this blog. That way I can post all I want about makeup and stuff like that without annoying my male followers. It's ruthandglory. So add it or not, I'm easy (not in that way, usually).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You need to stop acting lazy: Get back to the Gym

I generally don't get very deep on this blog. Like most people in their late 20's, years of disappointing relationships and bad life choices have left me emotionally stunted, and I prefer to keep things pretty surface. In the words of one of my favourite YouTubers Daily Grace: "Repress....all of it."

Every once in while though, some feelings creep in, and I am compelled to talk about something with a bit more depth than the products I'm currently wasting my money on to feel pretty. At least to pass the time until my recent Sephora order shows up.

September was a bit of a rough month for me. Ok nothing really terrible happened. But as a citizen of the First World I reserve the right to get bummed out sometimes because life is hard. During my brief stint of self pity, I kind of fell off the fitness wagon. I hardly went to the gym at all for almost the entire month. I think this happens to a lot of people when they're not feeling their chipper selves (although no one has ever accused me of being chipper). And it makes sense-you just get down in the shitter and lose your motivation. But then it just becomes a cycle of shit: you feel too bummed to drag your ass to the gym, but not going to the gym makes you more bummed out.
(The excessive amount of alcohol you're drinking to numb the pain probably isn't helping turn things around either, but hey, this isn't AA.)

I never let myself stay down for too long. In the last couple weeks I've forced myself back into my gym routine. I'm amazed at how quickly I feel better-about everything-when I'm working out regularly. It has literally never failed me. Booze as therapy is pretty hit and miss: it's either the best time of your life, or ends up in a shame spiral of lying down in the shower and dry heaving in the middle of the street on your way to work (not that I would know, personally). But going to the gym makes you feel better every single time.

On the other hand, I think it's ok to take a gym break once in while. It's taken me a long time to feel that way. I used to freak out and get really mad at myself if I even missed more than a couple days. But that's not healthy either. Sometimes life comes at you and you need to make something other than tight buns your top priority. Sometimes when everything feels like it's going wrong, it's nice to just take that pressure off yourself. But you need to know when it's time to kick yourself in the ass and get back to the gym.

Does anybody sew?

I think I've told you before that I've been working out for a long time-10 years at the same gym now. So for me it's become part of my identity that I'm not willing to give up just because I'm in a rut. I've created a support system for myself because my friends and family know I care about fitness. They (unintentionally) motivate me when they ask how the gym has been lately and I haven't been all week. Even if you work out alone like I do, it's good to have other people to hold you accountable to your fitness goals.

But still, none of those people can actually make it happen for you. You have to make the move yourself. And that's true whether you've been working out for 10 years or you've never been in your life. You have to be your own drill sergeant sometimes. In some masochistic way it sometimes feels good to just lay in bed and feel bad for yourself. And if it doesn't feel good, it's definitely easy. But things aren't going to get better from there. You have to be the one to put your spandex on and just get your ass to the gym.

Thatta girl

I am kind of thankful that I fell off my game last month. It reminded me how great fitness is for me both physically and mentally. Sometimes I focus so much on that physical aspect of it, that I forget how good it makes me feel. I spent some time in September marathon watching Friday Night Lights, living off rice cakes and coffee and feeling like life sucks. But I did that to myself, and I got myself out of it. One week of my normal fitness routine and I felt completely better-I couldn't even tell you what was so bad in the first place. Life happens and you have to keep trucking through. And if you need something more to motivate you, just think about Jennifer Aniston. That's what I always do in times of trouble.

As an aside: Gym Makeup: Someone recently asked me to talk about makeup at the gym. I wanted to address it, but didn't think it warranted it's own post because I don't think you should wear makeup at the gym. In my last post I mentioned that I never leave the house without makeup, and that is true. But when I go to the gym I wear the absolute minimum I need to be able to make eye contact with the person at the front desk and not feel ashamed. Concealer, a bit of powder to set it and maybe fill in my eyebrows, that's it. I've gone with more makeup on and when I broke a sweat, it looked awful and my foundation ran into my eyes. It's really the time to let go of vanity(while you work on your physique, motivated by more vanity).

If you see someone you know on your way to or from the gym, just tell them where you're going. I feel like if you look like crap, but you tell someone you're going to work out, it plays some sort of mental trick on them and you automatically look a lot better. Same goes for if you're holding a giant water bottle. Try it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

End of the Week Roundup: Products that disappointed, Ipsy Glam Bag, & No Makeup on a Bad Skin Day

Is Sunday the end of the week of the beginning of the week? I'm not sure. As I've told you before, I find basic day to day life quite difficult. The other day I hit my head on a door AND a wall, at separate times. Knowing the order of the days of the week is kind of beyond me. Anyway, I digress.

Happy Thanksgiving! I want to say that I am so thankful to anyone who reads this. One of my most recent entries has been viewed 112 times so far. I know that's a very small number in internet terms, but on a personal level it's really cool. I write this blog for my own enjoyment-I try to not to be very self promotey(that's a word). But I really love it when anyone sends me a message on Facebook or asks me questions in person about anything on my blog. It goes a long way towards validating my superificial pursuits. If there is ever a topic that anyone wants me to write about- whether it's makeup or fitness or really anything else, please let me know. Now that I know at least a few people are reading, I'd love your input.

I don't have a specific topic to write about today, so I thought I'd just share a bunch of stuff that I've thought of this week. My Ipsy Glam Bag showed up a few days ago, which is always exciting. Ipsy is a beauty product subscription service. For $15 a month I get 5 products mailed to me. The last few have been really good selections of products I've actually used. This month was great too:

September's Bag contained: Sexy Hair Spray Clay (which I tried and didn't like. I just prefer a lighter hold hairspray I think), H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment(I'll get to that in a minute), Ofra Lipgloss Plumper in Sultry(no complaints), Nourish Organic Coconut and Argan Body Lotion(it's alright but has a sickly sweet smell), and Zoya Nail Polish in Mason(I might use it).

So all around pretty good. The Face Oasis thing is pretty cool:

It's a moisturizer but it's like a gel. I like it and have been using it for a few days. I love getting skincare products from Ipsy. I don't know if I'd actually buy this stuff, but I am glad to have it.

And talking about skincare is a good lead in to the next part of this post. I want to post something a little scary: A photo of myself with no makeup. And I don't mean "no makeup", I mean  no makeup (you know the difference, right?). I've seen a lot of beauty bloggers do it and I think it's a really good thing to show people. I recently had someone tell me I have nice skin, and I want to clear up the confusion. I don't have nice skin. I'm just good at faking it.

I did take this on a good hair day-gotta give myself something ya know?

I even took this photo with the front-facing camera on my iPhone so it would be better quality and you'd be able to see my zits and dark circles in full detail(and get a little peek of the mess in my bathroom). I know it's kind of a trend on Instagram to post #nomakeup photos so that people can tell you how great you look without it. That's not what I'm going for. I just want to show you what I'm really working with-and that it's nothing exceptional.
I also think this little exercise was really good for me. I do not leave the house without makeup, I really don't. And most of the time I wear a lot of it. I think I get so used to seeing myself in full face paint that I think I look weird or bad without it. I feel like it's good for me to look at myself without any makeup on to remember what I actually look like, and realize that I could probably get by with less than 4 colours of eyeshadow every day.

Just kidding, I need that shit. And now that I have this blog, I feel that it's my duty to keep cake facing it up and reporting back on what's good on what's not.

On which note I want to tell you about 2 products I've picked up recently that I haven't been impressed with.

Mac Fix + Spray-I just bought this recently, and for me it's a dud. You're supposed to be able to use it for a few different things, including to soften up an overpowdered look. But I found that when you spray it on after applying makeup, it totally messes it up. Like makes streaks in your foundation and blush. So you might not look like you put on too much powder, but you'll be a mess anyway. Maybe I'm just not using it right, but I was really not impressed. My Urban Decay setting spray doesn't mess up my makeup at all.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz- This one is kind of love/hate. It is a good product-the best brow pencil I've used. But see that little nugget that looks like mouse shit? That's a piece of the pencil-it's broken into pieces that fall out every time I use it. This thing cost $27- I feel like it should stay in one piece. Then again, maybe this is just what I deserve for spending that kind of money to draw on fake eyebrows everyday.......hmmm.

I know this post was kind of all over the place. I really really really want to buy some new things at Sephora, but I also really want to pay for school(notice only one "really there-don't worry, Sephora will get some of my money soon). In the meantime I don't want anyone to think I'm slacking in the makeup department. I still think about it all the time-and I am not ashamed to talk about it at length. Like I said, if anyone has requests for future posts, I'd love your input. We'll be like a bunch of pals having a sleepover talking about girly things. And if you fall asleep first, I'm definitely gonna draw a dick on your face. But I'd use really nice lipstick to do it.

Thank you for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Going to School as an Adult Kinda Blows

We don't need no education
It may seem that I live in a world filled with only eyeshadow, perfume rollerballs and free weights. And listen, that sounds like a dream life that I'd love to be living. But outisde of superficial pursuits, I occasionally do other things. I have spent much of my twenties in postsecondary education of some sort. The timeline goes like this: college, university, college, university-for a total of five full years, one diploma and about 60% of a degree, which I am currently working toward very part time. There's been a couple false starts and a few years off in there somewhere. I have not taken a traditional path in my schooling. Because I kind of hate it.

I haven't liked school since I was about 12. I was lucky to get through high school. Not because I struggled with any of the subject matter-, but becasue I skipped so many classes. I always got that speech "Ruth, you're so smart, why don't you apply yourself?" I failed ceramics. Let me repeat that. I failed ceramics. I had a great time smoking cigarettes on the sidewalk outside of school though, and running away from the Vice-Principal, that was fun too. In my last year of high school, I at least went to class and ended up graduating with honours, but I didn't even bother to apply to college or university. I just didn't feel like it. I only wanted to work, and party with my friends. And for a while, that's what I did.

After a few years of working in fast food restaurants and shitty retail stores, I started to realize that my dream of becoming famous for absolutely no reason wasn't coming true, and I could be looking at a lifetime of minimum wage mall jobs. So I deciced to go to college. By that time I was really into working out, which had taught me a lot about discipline and dedication. I transferred those skills to school, and ended up doing really well. I even won an award that first year. But then I got bored and decided I wanted to go to University. Then I did a year of that, and dropped out(out of boredom again) and took a few more years off. Then I back to college, and actually stuck with it, mostly because I didn't want to NOT finish again, and earned a diploma. And THEN I went back to university, where I could only stomach a year of full time classes. So now I'm working a job I like, and doing one class at a time. It's an alright arrangement for me, but I still can't get over my distaste towards Academia. I'm not stupid, I realize that eventually having a degree might be an asset. But I've got some problems with the whole thing.

Whoa, I am so sorry I did not really mean for my whole backstory to come out here. But I guess it provides a framework and gives me some credibilty. I'm not bitching about something I know nothing about, or that I haven't given a fair chance.

Here are just a few of the problems I have with school-some of these are just specific to being an older student. And come on now, don't take me too seriously. I spend my free time thinking and writing about $30 blush.

1. I can't afford it. I'm not the poorest person in the world, but daaaaaaammmmmnnnnnnn school is expensive! I've accumulated some debt over the years, and I don't want more. As an older student, I have seen many friends graduate and struggle with extreme debt from school, and I'm scared of that. Especially after all the episodes of Til Debt Do Us Part I've watched. I do not want Gail up in my house cutting up my credit cards in the future. I'm trying to pay for the rest of school myself and that sucks. The thought of debt is even scarier because......

2. doesn't guarantee a high paying job. Again, I've seen a lot of my friends go through school and end up in jobs similar to mine. Ok, I am a manager at my work, and I don't know that I would have been capable of that before I went to school and learned a thing or two about time management and deadlines and all that kind of stuff. But my schooling has only been indirectly beneficial to my career. It's scary to think that I could finish this degree a whole lot poorer, and maybe not have any more job prospects than I have now.

3. I hate Academic Elitism. I have always been book smart. And that's cool. But I am a firm believer that book smart is only one kind of smart. And not necessessarily the most important kind. I just hate the attitude that some (not all!) academics seem to have that going to university makes them better than the rest of the population. When your toilet gets backed up, you're gonna need a plumber, not a professor.I feel like people at school kind of forget that.

4. Being in school with a bunch of young people really makes you face what a horrible bitter person you've become. I'm awful! My inner monologue at school sounds like this "Look at all these little shits. Wearing their school colours. Oh, everythings so happy and wonderful isn't it? Nice sweatpants everybody, glad you're feeling so casual. You don't know anything about the real world you idiots." Calm down Ruth, they're just enjoying their lives. I'm probably just pissed that they're all making better life choices than I ever did.

5. Going to school as an adult is lonely. Working in the bar and restaurant industry I've been extremely spoiled to almost always be among people I consider friends. My job is all about interacting with people. And despite all my YouTube watching and blogging, I'm really social. I'm not used to being in a environment where I feel like I don't fit in. And that is the reality of it-it's not like I'm in high school and just think I don't fit in. I actually am close to 10 years older than most of my classmates, and  have a whole different set of priorities.  I try to be really nice to the older ladies who serve coffee in the student centre because I feel like I have more in common with them than anyone else. They're probably calling everyone Little Shits in their heads too.

6. I just have a general problem with the whole institution. I'll blame this on going to too many punk shows as a teenager. But really, the whole thing just pisses me off. It's supposed to be a place of higher learning, but you have to do everything the way THEY want you to do it. I think I just have a general problem with authority and that's my own fault. But when I'm told that I have to reference things a certain way, or write the way everyone else does or whatever it is, I get pissed. I'm paying a lot of money to be there and I want to do things MY way. I don't like the feeling that an institution is trying to mould me, and I feel like I'm always up in arms against it. Like I said this is my own fault and I'm probably just being contrary for the sake of it. But still.

And now let me make a confession. I think the whole reason that I'm writing this is that I have a midterm in two days. Any student past or present knows that when it's time to study, you're gonna get creative with your procrastination. The truth is that I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to get an education-I know that many people are never given that chance. But I have some issues with the whole thing. And quite a few chapters of an anthropology text  I should be reading right now.

And for anyone who just wants to hear about makeup, I took a photo of most of my blushes today. I think it's a good illustration of why I need to think about things other than makeup to write about. I have a problem.
No seriously, this is shameful.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Makeup Shopping in NYC

Note: I set up a Twitter account for my blog, so I can tweet about makeup and stuff like that without annoying all my male friends on my personal account. Follow @ruthandglory

I spent this past weekend in New York City with my Mom and sister. Have you guys ever heard that rule where if you cheat when you're in a different area code, it doesn't count? Well, I think I feel that way about shopping-doesn't count when you're away from home, right? I anticipated that I would spend a lot of money in NYC.
But something crazy happened-I hardly bought anything! I'm kind of at a point where I don't really need any more makeup(understatement alert!). I'm probably not going to stop, but I at least want to try not to buy products that are similar to what I already own. So I think I was hoping that I would find tons of unique stuff in NYC that I can't get at home, which would add further reason to overspend, along with my area code theory. But I really didn't. It was all pretty much the same as what we have here in Canada. Even though The Sephora on Fifth Avenue was beautiful enough to be a wedding venue, it had all the same products that I'd find here.
I'd get married to an Urban Decay Palette
Actually everywhere we went, the setups were disgustingly beautiful. Saks Fifth Avenue is the most depressing place I've even been. Holding an Alexander McQueen clutch in your hand and not leaving the store with it(unless you're up for a very fast run)-I don't think that's a loss a gal gets over too quickly. But the store was full of beautiful things to look at. And cry over.
Chanel Perfume at Saks

I did find one store in Times Square that was really exciting, and affordable(ish). Inglot is a brand I've heard about on YouTube, but never actually come across. I don't know that much about them, but they have a line of build your own makeup palettes called the "Freedom System" that is the stuff dreams are made of (if you like to keep your dreams fairly pathetic, as I do).

They give you a magnetic board to shop with and pick out your own colours of eyeshadow, blush, face powders and lipsticks available in different size palettes. Once you've picked out your colours on the board, you just take it up to the counter and pay for your selection, which they give to you in individual boxes for you to assemble in the corresponding palette. This kind of thing makes me feel like I am extremely simple minded. I don't know what it is about all these little squares of colours that makes me lose my mind. I wanted to eat them. I managed not to ingest any at all, and only purchase 4 eyeshadow colours and one palette to case them. I think the full set here was about $40.

I'd been wanting some orange shadow for a bit, so this seemed like a good choice. I didn't particularly need the light or dark colours, but what was I going to do, only buy two? I don't think so. I could have bought a ton at this store, but I really need curb my eyeshadow habit. Which brings me to one of my only other beauty related purchases from the trip:

Oops. This adorable little 8-pan palette from Maybelline called "Sunbaked Neutrals" is one of the few things I found that I hadn't seen anywhere in Canada. One of my favourite YouTubers EmilyNoel83 has mentioned this one a few times recently. And, because I've deluded myself into thinking these internet people are my trusted friends, I wanted to get it. Honestly there isn't a colour in this palette that I don't already have somewhere else. But it was fairly cheap, and I was feeling desperate to find makeup that I couldnt get back home.

One more thing I picked up was a hairbrush. My salon-manager sister was harping on me for "brushing" my hair with a comb. So then I made fun of her loafers, and she called me annoying and I called her boring, and then we played nice for a bit because it was my Mom's birthday weekend (love you, Anna). But she was right about the brush thing. Bitch.

This thing is called a Tangle Teezer. It's supposed to be good for brushing your tangles out without ripping chunks of hair from your scalp. As you can see there's no handle, you just hold it in the palm of your hand. I don't know, it seems alright. I have shitty hair that breaks and doesn't grow no matter what I do. This doesn't seem to be making it worse.

So that was really all I got in terms of anything beauty related on this trip. I love New York, but this is kind of similar to what happened last time I went there. I budgeted and planned to go buck wild shopping, but ended up coming home with very little. There's just SO much to buy there. And most of what you really want is stuff that you could never conceivably afford, unless you want to sell all your possessions and move back in with your parents for a year or two. And, you know, now that I'm thinking about that McQueen clutch.....we had a pretty good weekend Ma, what do you say?