Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Favourite YouTubers

I think I've mentioned once or twice that I am addicted to watching Youtube. And I mean, My name is Ruth, and I am a YouTube-aholic. It has pretty much completely replaced television for me. So I thought it would be fun to do a little write up of who I watch on a regular basis, and what I like about them. I pretty much watch all beauty related channels. But most of the "beauty gurus" end up doing videos about topics other than makeup and beauty. It starts to kind of feel like hanging out with a girlfriend. But I have friends in real life too. I swear.

Here's my top 5 Favourite YouTube Channels, not in order. I put their actual names in brackets beside their channel name, so there's no confusion.

1. Leighannsays(Leighann)
 Ok, I know I literally just said that these aren't in order, but this girl is definitely my favourite on YouTube. She just straight up seems like someone you would want to hang out with. Of all the people I watch she is the most relatable. Some of the girls on YouTube seem to have endless funds to buy every bit of high-end makeup on the market. But Leighann uses a lot of drugstore products and I notice her re-using the same products in different videos. She's very pretty but comes across as super sweet with a bit of cute nerdiness to her. Total girl crush here.

2. Grav3yardgirl(Bunny)
The reason Bunny is next on my list is because she and Leighann are from the same place, and they occasionally do videos together which is pretty darn cute. Bunny is like the Lady Gaga of YouTube. She is always talking about thinking positive and loving yourself and being kind to other people. I would say her audience definitely skews a bit on the young side, but I think everyone can use a little positivity regardless of their age. Her personal style is absolutely to die for, and she does a pretty wide variety of videos(not just makeup related).

3. Sprinkle of Glitter(Louise)
I don't know, maybe I lied, Lousie might be my favourite YouTuber. I just recently discovered her, and she rules. She also does a lot of different types of videos. She seems like a really...real person. That was eloquent of me eh? But she talks about all kinds of life issues. And she's funny. When I watched her video about her worst dates ever I just about died of laughter. Or at least I actually laughed out loud, which is maybe not a near death experience, but it doesn't happen often watching a YouTube Beauty Guru. Lousie is also British, so I just believe everything she says because her accent makes her sound smart.

4. Jaclyn Hill(uhhh, Jaclyn)
 If you're looking for a straight-up make up guru, this is your girl. She's an actual makeup artist(unlike many of the girls I watch) who worked for Mac. Her tutorials are the best. Watching her has actually changed the way I apply makeup, and I feel like I'm much better at it now. She's pretty off the wall, but she definitely knows what she's talking about. Check her out if you're looking for real makeup application advice.

5. Eleventh Gorgeous(Tracy and Steph)
These two are sisters, and they have a huge following. To be honest, when I first watched them I thought they were a little too bubbly for me. And they definitely are pretty perky. But what's awesome about them is that they talk about mostly drugstore products. I love shopping at Sephora, but I think it's unrealistic for most people to buy all high end makeup. This channel is the place to go if you want to find out what's the best in affordable makeup. And I'm probably just jealous of their perkiness because my soul is a kind of black.

I could easily have made a list of 10 or more channels I watch on a regular basis, but I don't know if I'm ready to reveal the depths of my addiction to the internet. So I'll leave it at these five for now. And that's all for tonight. I've got some videos to watch.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today was a very girly day. I traveled to a nearby city to get my hair done, catch up with a girlfriend and do a bit of shopping for my upcoming vacation. I meant to come home and write about my salon experience. My sister manages the place where I have been getting my hair done recently. I wanted to follow her around a bit and ask her about working in the beauty industry. But she was in meetings while I was there, so I didn't get the chance. She also forgot to bring me the Diet Coke she promised me, which was much more troubling than not being able to write about working with hair.  Other than the lack of aspartame, I did have a great experience there as I always do, and I will one day write a proper entry about her workplace.
This is Taryn! She did my hair reaaaaal nice today.
After leaving the salon I met up with a very good friend of mine, B. We're the kind of friends who don't see each other that often, but every time we do we have the most intense conversations about life. B is one of the most beautiful girls I know. She also has a degree in Women's Studies and is just an amazing human being all around. I've been really gushy about my friends lately but seriously. Is there anything better in life than great friends who you can really dig into the deep stuff with? I mean, there's some really good mascaras out there. But true friends are just invaluable and I am endlessly thankful for mine.
B and I both work in the Service Industry. We both like it, though I think I might like it a bit more than she does. Our talks often turn to the superficial aspect of our jobs, and then in turn the superficiality of our lives in general-and how, as (we think) intelligent women, we have some inner conflict about that. I've touched on this before, and it won't be the last time I bring it up. I really like all things beauty related. I love makeup. I have 4 kinds of conditioner in my shower right now. It takes me at least an hour to do my nails because I want them to be perfect. But these things alone do not fufill me. There have been times when I felt utterly defeated by the beauty myth. I have felt like I might as well give in and focus all my energy on looking good, because that's all that people really care about anyway. Then I think about the women that I really look up to. And of course, there are beautiful women amoung them. But what I really admire in other women is their achievements, not their looks. I admire strong, educated(formally or not), accomplished women. And I hope to always keep that in mind when I start to feel bummed about our world being superficial. Looking good is nice for sure. But it's not everything, and it's not the most important thing. B and I talked about being angry at the world for putting unrealistic expectations on us to be beautiful. We also talked about using that anger towards doing good in the world. And I didn't come away feeling angry-I felt ok. Because I think we're smart girls, and we'll figure it out.
And because our conversation got so deep, I didn't feel too bad when we left the restaurant we ate lunch at and went immediately to Mac, where I spent almost $60 on lip products. Because I understand that lipstick isn't essential to my personal fufillment. So it's totally fine.
Up the Amp & Saint Germain, Magenta Lip Liner not pictured

Monday, May 27, 2013

In the Garden with Mallorie

One thing I think I've learned in life is that you can't do everything. I've dabbled in many hobbies-painting, playing instruments, making zines, etc. But at some point you kind of have to make some decisions and cut things out to make time for the few things that you really love doing. The problem for me is that I am honestly interested in everything. Just because I don't have time to do everything, doesn't mean I don't want to learn a little bit about as many things as possible. That's why I think it's great that I have an amazing array of friends who do many different and wonderful things with their spare time. If I decided I want to learn a bit about beekeeping, knitting, fixing bikes, taking care of lizards, refinishing old furniture-I could really go on here-I've got friends for that. I know a guy. This afternoon I wanted to learn about gardening, so I turned to someone very near and dear to me; my close friend and colleague, Mallorie.
This is Mallorie.
Some of Mal's potted plants
As you can see very clearly in the above photo, Mal is real salt of the Earth kind of lady, and a much better person than I. She does things like pick my Starbuck's cup out of the trash can and put it in the recycling when she thinks I'm not watching(I see you, Mallorie). And she's always telling me about her rooftop garden-and the way she talks about it I know that she loves it like I love cultivating my makeup collection and going to the gym. I felt that I was much overdue for a visit to my friend's personal sanctuary.
Now, I am not a garden kind of gal. Mal actually gave me a Bonsai tree for Christmas, which I loved-and killed almost immediately. And I think I may have zoned out a bit when she was talking about.....soil, or something. But that's mostly because I'm severely over-caffeinated and can't pay attention to anything for more than three minutes. Despite this I really did appreciate the quiet beauty of the plants sprawled over the balconies of Mallorie's eclectic all-female house. And it's pretty inspiring to hear someone talk about something they love, and show you what they've done with their own hands. I felt very proud of my friend, and I'm glad I finally went to see her garden. Or gardens, plural? I don't know, her plants.

What is this? A little greenhouse?
I meant to give Mallorie a little interview and get some back story to how she came to love gardening and maybe a detailed explanation of the plants she's currently growing. But we're good friends, and we're girls. So we pretty much just talked about boys and lounged in the sun. The only note I have in my phone says "Organic tea farm in Australia." So I guess I'm a pretty bad interviewer. But I did pick up that Mallorie grows mostly vegetables, rather than flowers, so that's really cool. And she did do some work at a tea farm in Australia. You'll just have to ask her if you want more details about that.
Overall this was the nicest afternoon I've had a while. I was certainly not inspired to grow my own garden. But it's really motivating in general to see someone taking the time to do what they love. I can tell that Mallorie has put a lot of work into really learning the right way to do things. I get the feeling that she  started with just a few plants and a little knowlege, and things "grew" from there. It's quite the little metaphor for getting started doing anything in life isn't it? But that's starting to sound like something  on a cheesy wall plaque from a mall gift shop, gross.
I'm glad that I spent quality time learning more about someone else's hobby. Sometimes I get bummed because I feel like I'm not good at enough things, and sometimes I feel like I don't have any skills at all. So it's nice to bask in the glow of someone else's creative achievements.
Thanks for the lovely afternoon Mallorie, I'm really sorry about the Bonsai tree.
Mal let me hold a plant, and it didn't die upon contact.

Friday, May 24, 2013

She's baaaaack

Just a quick entry here to show you another magazine I love. Bust is a quasi-feminist publication that I've been reading since my early 20's(not so long ago). I say 'quasi-feminist' because its not as in your face with it's ideology as some other mags like Bitch(actual name of a magazine found in stores). But it has great content. Lots of interviews with successful women in the public eye-actors, musicians, activists, artists-real women who are strong and beautiful and generally amazing. Past cover girls have included Kathy Griffin, Beth Ditto, Amy Poehler and more babes of the like. There's also lots of DIY stuff, cool articles about women's history and a whole section of book, movie and album reviews. I would probably say that Bust is my favourite girly magazine to read. I don't buy it every month, but I'm always happy with it when I do.

I was very excited when I saw this month's issue on the news stand. As you can see, Courtney Love is the cover girl. Now I don't know if I'm exactly a fan of Ms. Love, but I can say that I'm always fascincated by her. I just think about what it would be like to have been her when Kurt(who people worship) died-and now, when people truly hate her. What it would be like to have to deal with your own grief along with the grieving of so many other people on such a public scale. I feel like that would fuck anyone up. Or maybe she would have been just as fucked up anyway. Either way, I find her pretty captivating. And though obviously photoshopped, she's looking pretty good in this cover shot, so that's nice too. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to say for herself.

Also, RuPaul, Margaret Cho and Gloria Steinem all featured in this issue? I'm so in.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Face Paint

I believe that creating a flawless (or as close to flawless as possible) looking complexion is the most important aspect of makeup application. For my every day running around I usually don't wear any eye or lip makeup. But I basically never leave the house without trying my best to hide my dark circles and blemishes, and give my face an overall smooth and even appearance.

My current favourite foundation is Covergirl Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation in Shade 910, Classic Ivory. This is a product I bought based on Youtube reviews. It totally lives up to its' repuation. I find it very easy to blend, and it dries sort of like a a matte finish, not shiny at all, which I like. My only complaint is that the pump dispenser doesn't get right down to the bottom of the bottle, so I found that near the end of the bottle none was coming out when there was still a fair amount in there. I have repurchased it though, so obviously it wasn't that big a concern for me.

I'm using two concealer products right now. Mainly I have been using the Mac Pro Longwear Concealer in NW 20 that I mentioned a while back. It's the first higher end concealer I have purchased and it really is worth the money. I can use it on my dark circles, areas of redness and on any blemishes(which I swear I was supposed to stop getting at least 10 years ago). It doesn't crease or move at all throughout the day. I have a dispenser complaint with this one too though! You really only need a teeny tiny bit, and it's very hard to control the amount that comes out of the pump. I find that to cover all my problem areas, even a half pump is too much-and it's hard to get any less than that out. I guess that goes to show how good the product is, but it's still annoying-the bottle cost $22, and I'd love to not waste any. The other product I use occasionally is the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller. It's probably totally unnecessary, but sometimes when I really feel tired I like to use it to brighten up my under eye a little more than usual. I use it over the Mac concealer, but I have worn it alone and it is actually a really great product. Sometimes I even extend it to my temple area as a sort of highlighter/brightener there too.
I also wanted to mention a couple products that haven't really been doing it for me. The first is Revlon Color Stay Foundation. It's not that I hate it-it's a more or less adequate foundation. But it's one of those products that constantly gets raved about on Youtube, and for me it just didn't live up to the hype. It's just okay. Also it has a weird sticky formulation-a little thick and heavy for my liking. The second is the Garnier BB Cream for Combination/Oily Skin. It's a new product, and I really liked their original BB Cream(which is really just a tinted moisturizer, but really nice). This one is supposed to have a matte finish. I don't know, it just didn't cut it for me. It's really runny and I actually found it a bit greasy. I probably would repurchase the orignal one though, and I love the under eye roller, so nothing against Garnier in general.
I didn't include a powder, even though I use it every day. Right now I wear Revlon Photo Ready pressed powder in 010 Fair. It's a good powder, but it's kind of like every other one I've ever used. I've yet to find a powder that really wows if you know of one, let me in on it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Getting to know Blog

I really want to challenge myself to make this a good quality blog, not only in content but in appearance. I have very limited knowlege when it comes to anything graphic or web design related, so when I say "challenge" I mean it quite literally.
I went to college for a Tech program (as in most of the work was done on computers). Having previously done a year in an Advertising program and deciding it was too soul sucking, I chose this program on a whim because it sounded interesting. On the first day of class the teacher asked to upload a file from his website to our USB sticks. I knew I was in over my head when I didn't even know how to access the file itself, much less complete the assignment contained within. I spent the next two years charming my classmates into sitting with me in the labs helping me with each assignment step by step. And though I was proud to graduate with A's and B's, I retained nearly nothing and still consider myself a bit of a technophobe. So if I can somehow manage to learn a bit of HTML and formatting I'll be very proud indeed.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Current Colour Obsession

I am the type of lady who likes to be cloaked in all black all the time. I find it very difficult to break into the colour wheel. It's not that I don't like colour, it's just that I'm not very fashionable and black is easy for me to work with.
This season though, there's a range of bright pink, purple and orange colours popping up everywhere that I am absolutely in love with. I'm not great at describing colour. I would say these shades fall somewhere between neon and pastel-neither of which I find appealing. But somehow the in-between is irresistible to me. I just realized that the combination of these hues reminds me of rainbow sherbet-perfect for summer.
I have been cautiously proceeding with working these colours into my life. I've found some really pretty pieces of makeup in this beautiful pinky lilac shade. Pictured below are L'Oreal Nail Color in Shade 380 Butterfly Kisses, Maybelline Color Whisper in Shade 90 Oh La Lilac, and Maybelline Blush Limited Edition in Shade 205 Wild Blossom. I'm wearing the polish and lip colour right now-and even though I'm also sporting a black shirt with the Grim Reaper on it, I really feel these pops of lilac give me (the illusion of) a sunny disposition. Baby steps. I also photographed them on a peachy orange tank in the same sort if shade, so you get a better idea of what the hell I'm talking about. Muah, summer!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Magazine Addict

For years I have been a huge magazine lover. There were times when I would buy 4-5 magazines a week. This was partly because I used to read while doing cardio(bad habit). But also I just love buying magazines. I realize for the most part you can find all the content you would find in a magazine online. But there's just something about having it all wrapped up in a neat glossy package that I can't resist.
These days I usually buy about 1 or 2 mags a week. I try not to buy any just because I feel like I need to buy something(which is an ongoing struggle for me, and not just with reading material). Where I used to buy just any mag I hadn't read yet, I now stick to a few that I love and buy every month, plus a few that seem especially interesting to me or that I haven't seen before.
The only two that I am pretty religious about picking up are Oxygen-a fitness magazine I've probably mentioned before-and Juxtapoz which is a street art mag. A couple others I've been liking lately are Lou Lou(Canadian fashion mag) and Vogue(no explanation needed).
I want to mention that I absolutely detest Cosmopolitan. I think it's misogynistic garbage that needs to go away. Trust me ladies, gently biting the tip of your boyfriend's penis is not one of the 50 ways to give the best oral sex of his life.
This month I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Juxtapoz. I saw on Instagram that this month's issue is a visual history of the Beastie Boys and a tribute to MCA. When Adam Yauch died last year it was the first time I'd ever cried over a celebrity death. To have my favorite magazine do a tribute to someone I greatly admire is very exciting for me. Rolling Stone did a great tribute article on Yauch following his death. I am looking forward to reading more celebration of his contributions to the world.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Deep Pool with a Shallow End.

I feel a little self conscious that all I've posted about lately is makeup. I never intended this to be a blog about makeup. I really didn't intend for it to be a blog about anything really. That's where I've failed at keeping up with blogs in the past. I feel like if I give it a theme I eventually get bored and just give up.
I think it's important to identify that a person can have many different-and sometimes conflicting- aspects to their character. I struggle to balance the superficial and the more cerebral sides of my own personality. I do my best to look good. But I also care about nurturing my intellect and expressing myself creatively. I struggle with my ideas of feminism, and the role it plays in my life. I absolutely consider myself a feminist. But I like to wear a lot of makeup, do my hair, wear dresses and sometimes(when I forget how much they hurt) even heels. Am I just feeding into the idea that a woman is worth what she looks like? Sometimes I'm not sure how to reconcile these things. I took the problem to my mother and she made the point that men want to look good too. But I don't know of too many men who have as many Sephora Beauty Insider points as I do.
I'm not saying its bad to care about appearances. I just think that if you're going to love makeup like I do you need to check in with yourself and make sure you're still having fun.
I could go on, especially about my inner conflict regarding feminism. But I'm falling asleep, so maybe that will be another day. After I talk about my favorite mascara.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ruthie's first Ipsy Glam Bag

In the online makeup world-yes that's a thing- there is a lot of talk of various makeup subscription services. You sign up online and pay a monthly fee to receive a selection of makeup products. There's different ones-Birchbox, Glossy Box, and the one I've signed up for, the Glam Bag by Ipsy. I think there was a reason I chose that as my first makeup subscription, but heck if I can remember what it is now.
I've just received my first package. I think I'm impressed. When something comes packaged in a fuschia bubble wrap envelope it can really throw a girl like me off her senses. There were five products, a small makeup bag and some coupon codes and special offers included in the package.

Here's what came this month:
Full sized Zoya nail polish in Piaf
Full sized Mirabella Lipstick in Posy
10ml Roll on Pacifica Perfume in Tahitian Gardenia
58ml tube of Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl bronzing body butter
A tiny sample of Yaby concealer in Honey.

I did some research/just googled it and found that the prices of the first three products alone totals over $40, so the Glam Bag is certainly worth the $15 it costs me.
My favorite product is the perfume- I'm just getting into perfume so I'm happy to add a new scent to my collection. The lipstick and nail polish aren't colours I would pick out but I can definitely see myself making them work. The concealer looks a bit dark for me but I'll try it out. I'm going to have to read up on the body butter because I'm not sure if it's a full on self tanner(which I'm not into) or one of those gradual tanners (which I could deal with).
Overall I'm not disappointed with any of these products. I'm impressed that other than the concealer, they're all good sizes. I'll definitely be trying them all out. I'm really excited to finally be on the makeup subscription bandwagon, and I'm already looking forward to next month's Glam Bag. Good job, Ipsy.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mac attack

I am not a big huge Mac fan. I've not owned many of their products. The few I have purchased-namely the Plush Lash Mascara and the Lady Gaga Viva Glam Lipstick-weren't really hits for me. But now that I'm a YouTube junkie, I've learned a lot about the brand and I want to give it another go.
Today I purchased two things that I've heard good things about. First was the Pro Longwear Concealer (shade NW 20, second was a lipstick in Creme Cup. I used them both today and I'm definitely happy with them. The concealer worked especially well on my under eye circles,which is one of my main concerns in life. Because I have my priorities straight ya know? I hope to add more Mac products to my collection soon.