Saturday, June 29, 2013

Damn The Man

Last night I went to see World War Z. It was a reasonably entertaining movie, but it didn't really hit the mark for me as a great zombie film. It was a little too Hollywood-Brad Pitt's hair was perfect to the very end. But whatever, if you want to go see it, go see it. Just make sure you read the book too, ok?
What I really wanted to talk about is a Coca-Cola commercial that played before the movie started. Now, I'm not really one to get upset and worked up over big corporations and things like that. I understand that they're pretty evil. But I don't entertain any illusions that I'm above enjoying the things they produce. This particular commercial was just so offensive that I had to say something about it.
The ad tries to sell the viewer on the idea of government surveillance. It says something like yes, cameras do catch lots of terrible things, but they also cature a lot of beautiful moments. Then there's a montage of clips of cute things happening-people returning stolen purses, couples kissing etc.
I was really disturbed by the premise of this commercial. I hope that we are all intelligent enough to see how fucked up it is. I am not trying to start a debate about government surveillance. I'm not really educated enough on that subject to take a stand. But I know for dang sure that I don't want my personal moments recorded and then sold back to me by one of the world's largest corporations in a sappy commercial. Yeah, I'm sure surveillance cameras do record plenty of lovely human interactions-but people should be able to have those in private.  There's a very obvious 1984 reference here. I love technology and I think we are living in a very exciting time. But we gotta be smart. I know it's just a commercial and it's not something to get too upset about. Except it kind of is. I don't think we should be quiet or let things like that just slide past us. Because that's how THEY win.
Rant over.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Natural Beauty

A few days ago I mentioned that I had picked up a few beauty related items at the health food store. If you've read any of my makeup related posts you know I like to fake it up-I'm no Earth girl when it comes to cosmetics. But that doesn't mean I don't like to experiment with natural products. I just look at them like anything else-if it works, I'll use it. And if people on YouTube are talking about it, I'll definitely give it a go.

Recently I've been hearing a lot about coconut oil. Oils in general are huge right now, have ya heard? I think it started with Moroccan Oil. It's literally the best thing that's ever happened to me, and I have 5 kids. Just kidding, I don't have kids. But I think it would still be a pretty tight race. Moraccan Oil is amazing, but it's used for hair, and I wanted to open my heart and home to a more multi purpose oil. In comes coconut oil. Expert internet sources (Wikipedia) have told me that it can be used as a moisturizer for both skin and hair. It can also be used as a shaving cream, eye makeup remover, acne treatment and tons of other things. I just read that it can be used as a sexual lubricant, but I'm just going to go right ahead and say we're not doing that one. Thanks though.

I have been using it for more.....external puposes in the past week, and I'm actually really impressed. I've used it in my hair like I'd use Moroccan Oil-a little goes a long way, so proceed with caution. I've used it to shave my legs-totally effective, though I think the oil clogs the razor up a bit. What I've mostly been using it for is a night time facial moisturizer. I was so nervous to try it like that- I have kind of oily skin and the thought of applying MORE oil to it scared me. But I took the risk, and I'm happy with the results. It completely absorbs into my skin and hasn't broken me out at all. My skin feels really nice and soft in the morning. I don't know if it's necessarily better than any other night cream I've used, but it definitely does the job. What I like most about it is the smell. I'd say it tastes amazing too, because it does. But that really opens us up to referring back to the personal lubicant thing, and I don't want this blog to get too racy for my mom to read.

The other thing I bought was Tea Tree Oil, which I've used in the past. This is a totally different kind of oil. Rather than being a moisturizer, this oil works to dry blemishes (I know, I don't get it either). It has other uses but that's pretty much all I have ever done with it. It's a decent spot treatment for the zits that were supposed to stop coming a decade ago. Those little fuckers.

While we're on the topic of natural beauty I thought I'd share a quick hair mask that I like to make. While I've never been too much of a hippy about makeup, I have always liked to experiment with making my own hair and face masks. Just ask my family about the time I almost killed my Grandma when she slipped in the shower after I used olive oil as conditioner and didn't clean up after myself. Oh, don't feel too bad, she's a hearty old gal.

1 Ripe Avocado, Mashed
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Honey

Mix all three ingredients together and apply to dry hair, from root to ends. You can just tie it back or put a plastic shower cap on. I don't actually think the cap makes a big difference, but having an extra step makes you feel like it's working better. Leave this in for 20-30 minutes. Wash as usual. And make sure you clean up after yourself (for Grandma's sake).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Business Matters

I just have a few things I want to say.

1.  I think I'm going to have to resign myself to calling this a blog. It really isn't my favourite word. At all. But I've been reading a lot of other great blogs lately, and have found that there is a huge world wide community of bloggers. It's occurred to me that it's kind of bitchy of me to say that I don't want to call this a blog just because I don't like the word. That's what it is. I look up to a lot of the writers of the blogs I read and I don't want to distance myself from that community, or insult their amazing blogs. So I'm sucking it up. This is my blog.

2.  I've gotten a few really nice compliments "in real life" from people who have been reading my posts. I am so thankful and think it's the best thing ever that anyone at all is reading this. I have a really overactive, anxious mind and I need to have hobbies so that I don't drive myself insane. Writing this blog is proving to be a very good way to keep myself occupied. Not to say that I don't put effort into it or want people to read it. But my main motivation in writing here is to make myself feel productive. To know that even one person reads it is the icing on the cake. So thanks for that.
I didn't have a photo to go with this post. So here's some pretty flowers, because no one hates those.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Woman Crush Wednesday- Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Since I've been (trying) to curb my spending lately, I thought now would be a great time to talk about one of my favourite tv personalities, Gail Vaz-Oxlade.
Gail is the host of three shows about personal finances- Til Debt Do Us Part, Princess, and Money Moron. Each show focuses on people who have lost control of their debt. Gail comes in to teach them and her viewers about how to properly manage their spending and debt repayment. That might sound a little dry but I love all three of her shows. Gail is a straight shooter, and I honestly feel like I've learned a ton about finances from watching her shows, and more recently reading one of her many books about money management.

 I think a lot of us-myself included, at times-have the attitude that we are going to be in debt our whole lives, so we might as well just really go for it. And a lot of norms in our society don't help break that mindset. Like how we allow 17 year old university-bound kids to take on $30,000 or more in student loans. Who at that age understands the true weight of carrying that much debt? Gail urges her viewers and readers to educate themselves about debt and other financial matters, and to take control of their own money.

I recently picked up a copy of one of Gail's latest books "Money Rules." I loved the format of the book. Rather than chapters, it's broken down into 261 rules that each take up no more than a few pages. So nothing gets too complicated. The book is full of awesome and useful information no matter what tax bracket you fall into. And a lot of her rules are just great life tips in general. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite rules to better illustrate the content and tone of the book.

Rule # 5: Figure out what's really important to you- Here Gail talks about setting goals and deciding what you want the most. And if it's not what everyone else wants, that's ok. But you have to figure it out, and then you have to work for it.

Rule # 7 Your banker is not your friend- This was a total revelation to me. I just never thought about the fact that banks are businesses, and just like any onther business they want your money. We often think that banks won't give us debt we can't afford to pay back-NOT TRUE. A bank will give you higher credit card limits, larger mortgages and huge lines of credit that could take you forever to pay back. It's important to know for yourself what kind of debt repayment you can afford and not just trust the bank.

Rule #158 Eschew Envy- This is probably my favourite rule and just plain great advice, money related or not. It's so easy to imagine that other people's lives are better than yours. But chances are, the person you are envying is envying someone else, and another person could be envying you. But the reality is everyone's life has good and bad. The best you can do is focus on making your own life better, and not worrying about how you measure up to others. I know this is easier said than done, but it's worth the effort to let go of envy.

I definitely recommend that anyone who is financially independent read one of Gail's books.  It's cool that we all learned Pythagorean Theorem in school, but I for one would probably have benefitted from a lesson or two in personal finances to go along with it. Gail picks up the slack though. I know that this isn't the most fun topic. But when you live in society it's good to educate yourself on its' rules and how to make them work for you. I'm not saying that I follow all Gail's rules. But I've gotten better with money than I have been in the past. Sometimes when I have a would-be impulse buy in my hands I picture a little Gail on my shoulder, reminding me that I haven't paid my phone bill yet and calling me an idiot (she is not reserved about telling the people on her shows what she really thinks)-and I walk away without buying. Because she scares me.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Header!

I'm very excited to add a professionally made header to the top of this site. It was done by my co-worker's girlfriend Heather. She's a talented graphic designer who did an amazing job. As I've said before I'm not too tech savvy or talented with the graphic design element of this whole thing. Heather did a perfect job of interpreting my requests. I wanted it to look girly-hence the swirls and hearts-but not fully girly(never go full girly!), so that explains the little dangling spider. I'm thrilled with her work. And she's a very sweet girl to boot.
Thanks so much Heather!

Heather's online portfolio:

heatherpeterportfolio.carbonmade.com

Monday, June 24, 2013

I caved immediately

Well it has been 5 long days since I declared a freeze on buying makeup. And I already failed. I bought a few things today. But in my defence, they are drugstore items which I said in that last post that I might be buying. And the three things I bought came to less than $30, which is less than most of the high end items I want on their own. I might not be an actual makeup expert-but I'm a pro at the art of justification.
1. Nyx Blush in Peach- I recently did a quick post about how excited I am that the drugstore near where I live has expanded their Nyx section. Nyx is a brand that I had never heard about before I started watching YouTube, but I'm finding that a lot of their products are superior to more well known drugstore brands. This line of blushes gets expecially great reviews. After receiving a Nyx Cream Blush in my last Ipsy Glam Bag and really liking it I decided to take the $11 plunge into their powder blush line. I also recently suffered a great makeup tragedy-I left my Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush behind in Barbados. I just really needed something to ease that pain.  This doesn't exactly take the place of that $30 loss, but it is soothing none the less. I really love how it looks in the packaging. I also love that most Nyx products don't come with any little brush like most drugstore makeup. Those things are just a waste of space and material.


2. Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal 24 hr Cream Eyeshadow in Inked in Pink- First of all, I hate when makeup products have names this long. We wear makeup to look pretty, not expand our vocabulary right? But I already own one of these and love it, so I'll forgive you Maybelline. The other one I own is called Bad to the Bronze. Eyeshadow is my favourite type of makeup to play with. But as I've said I don't want to wear tons of makeup in the super hot weather. These are perfect for summer because they don't crease or smudge, and they look really good on their own without having to layer on a bunch of different colours. The only problem is that most of the colours in the line are pretty bright. I'm definitely a neutral eye gal. This one is a limited edition, so obviously I had to grab it before I lost my chance.

3. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical- Ok, maybe the other two things were unnecessary, but I literally needed this one to maintain my quality of life. Everyone knows that dry shampoo is a gift from heaven. This is by far the best brand I've tried, and I've tried quite a few. It sprays out like a powder-like if you spray it on your fingers it actually feels dry, which makes sense for a DRY shampoo. I tried to rough it and use my Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo. But it has a much more wet formula and just doesn't do nearly as good a job of making your hair look clean when it's actually really gross. Plus I think the Tresemme stuff smells like toilet bowl cleaner, which is generally not what I look for in any hair product. I had to restock my Batiste. I know it's a weird brand that you've probably never heard of. But trust me, it's the best.

Ok so now that I've confessed I feel like I'm cleansed of my shopping sins. That's how it works, right? But ahhh, I'm not even being fully honest. I bought two other beauty related items today. They're both new to me though, and I dont' want to say anything about them until I've had a chance to try them for myself. I will give a hint though-they're from the health food store. I usually like to keep my cosmetic routine very artificial and full of chemicals. But I'll give anything a try. So look for that soon.

I'm also going to really try and do a few posts that aren't makeup related. I never intended for this to be a Beauty Blog, that just seems to be the way it's going. I like to joke about being really superifical. But it's really because I'm sad and insecure on the inside. I'd like to use this space as an outlet for those feelings.

JUST KIDDING. I'm a pretty happy and positive person. And makeup isn't the only thing that makes me feel that way. Now that I know at least 3 people are reading this (including my mom and my sister) I'd love to use the opportunity to talk about other things that make me happy. I look forward to sharing my other interests that I hope will make me seem a little less vapid. But just a little less. I'm trying to maintain an image here.
That was a joke too, I have a problem with taking life seriously.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Everything in Moderation

As much as we all love makeup it's important for one to look inwards at times and ask "is this excessive?" Check yo'self before you wreck yo'self. It's so easy to overspend on cosmetics. You think you have enough blush, but then you try on Nars Orgasm at Sephora and realize that you can not live another day without it. Right now I'm really at a place where I feel like I have ENOUGH makeup. I don't have everything I want, but I have way more than I need. Plus it's starting to get hot out. I've heard other people talk about not wearing a lot of makeup in the summer and thought "No way. Cake face straight through to September". But then I went away on vacation and felt real heat. And I must admit I am defeated. It is not attractive or comfortable to pile on makeup when it's too hot for your hair to hold a curl. All I can do is make sure I have a good mascara that doesn't run, and hope that next winter I still have few enough wrinkles to pull off a smokey eye. All told, it's time to put a temporary freeze on buying makeup.

But just because I don't want to spend on comsetics right now, it doesn't mean I can't plan for the future. One of the fun things about being into makeup is knowing the products before you buy them. That's why I watch YouTube and read beauty blogs-research. I accept that I like buying makeup. I know it's frivilous but you're not going to talk me out of it. Still, I realize that the beauty industry is a beast and is not to be approached with ignorance. So even though I'm not actually out in stores, I still kind of feel like I'm shopping. I just see it as a process, and I'm in the information gathering stage.

I really enjoy buying products that have received strong reviews in blogs and on YouTube. Yes, some of those people are paid. But a lot of them aren't, and a lot of their information is useful. I have had very good experiences buying makeup products that have received postive reviews across the internet (or at least in the makeup corner of the online universe). Right now I'm working on a list of products I'd like to add to my makeup pile. Sephora even has a function for Beauty Insiders on their site where you can create a saved list of products you love. Yes I realize that's a marketing tool, but it is working on me.

Here's some of the products I'm currently coveting. Since these are things I don't own, these aren't my photos. But I used the most generic ones I could find so as not to upset anyone.

1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation- I have never bought a high end foundation. I wear foundation almost every day and it would defnitely be one of my top 3 desert island makeup picks (everyone knows you always get to bring along some makeup when you get stranded on a desert island). I just really feel like my drugstore foundations do the job, and haven't felt the need to splurge on a higher end product. But I have heard so many great reviews on this one that I think I may eventually cave. It's super expensive though-over $40. So I think if I bought this I would also keep a cheap one on hand and only bust out this one for really special occasions. Like doing full makup and staying in with my cat on a Friday night taking selfies.

 2. Bobbi Brown Color Corrector- These are a range of peach and pink concealers that are meant to be worn underneath your skin-tone concealer to neutralize dark circles. I think that anyone over the age of 25 who stares at their face too long is going to notice some darkness under their eyes. And once you see it you can't unsee it. I have dark circles, but when I'm being rational I know they're not too bad. I'm pretty happy with the results that I get just using my Mac Pro Longwear under my eyes. But again, I've heard so many good things about these correctors that I really want to see what the hype's about. I'm a little afraid that once I purchase this I will not be able to live without it, which is probably part of the reason I'm hesistant. I just checked the price and it's not that crazy-$23. So maybe I'll just have to sneak this one in earlier than I planned.

3. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar- Apparently Bobbi is just killin it. I am totally drawn to this highlighter based on the way it looks in the package. A real sucker, this one. I have heard good things for sure. But just look at it. I held one in my hand at Sephora recently and practically drooled. I should be embarassed that I react that way to makeup. But I did manage to pry it from my own hand and run from the store before I dropped fifty bones on this beauty. I've pined for her ever since.


4. Smashbox Master Class Palette II- Even though it sounds a little snooty when people refer to their "makeup collection" this really is a collection piece. 32 eyeshadows, 6 blushes, 2 highlights and 4 cream eyeliners? Gimme. This would be another thing I'd pull out on a Friday night to show my cat what drag queens look like. But there's also a ton a wearable shades for both day and night looks. This whole kit is only $59. That's not crazy, but I don't see myself getting much use out of it until it cools down again. So maybe I'll hold off on buying this for a few weeks. Or at least a week.

These isn't an exhaustive list of the reasons I'm hiding my credit card from myself right now. I could probably just link the Sephora website here and just say I want it all. And there's tons of drugstore items I want as well. I'm actually more likely to pick up some of those cheaper items sooner, because that tends to be what I use every day. But these are my top "want" rather than "need" items that would each feel like a gift to myself. Shopping is fun, but you gotta pace yourself otherwise you'll end up like MC Hammer: All flash, no cash.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June Glam Bag

I have returned from Barbados safe and sound. I'll definitely do a post about the whole crazy experience. But I returned to find this month's Ipsy Glam Bag in my mailbox which quickly made me forget about the amazing vacation I just took (just kidding. It was the non stop flow of rum punch that caused me to have few memories of the trip to begin with).
The theme of the bag this month is "On the Wild Side". I don't know why they give the bags a theme. It doesn't really have much to do with the products inside, so it seems a little gimmicky. But the bag itself is leopard print so I guess for some people that's pretty wild. My definition of wild is a little different, especially after the past week. But if a leopard print makeup bag gets you lit up that's cool too.
Here's what came this month:

Cailyn Gel Eyeliner in Purple

J.ca Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette

Chella Eyebrow Hightlighter in Ivory Lace

Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tipsy

Nyx Cream Blush in Natural

Once again I'm impressed with the selection of products this month. Each one is full size. I couldn't find all the prices online, but the highlighter alone costs $18, and the blush is about $10. So great value for the $15 the bag costs me each month.
I think I'll probably get some use out of all these items, with the probable exception of the glitter palette. I left that kind of thing behind with white eyeliner and hair mascara. I'm most excited about the highlighter-it seems like a pretty high quality product. I like to highlight my browbone when I do eye makeup and this matte cream pencil is just a new way to do that.
The eyeliner is weird. Its' packaging looks like a liquid liner. But it comes apart with a standard size pot of gel liner, and a built in brush that attaches to the bottom with a huge piece of plastic that serves no purpose. It's really bothering me.
These are the things that keep me awake at night.

Despite the wasteful packaging and Halloween glitter, I'm really excited about this Glam Bag. I wish they would call it something different though. "Glam Bag" sounds like a lewd compliment from one drag queen to another if ya catch my drift. It was nice to have a little something to cheer me up in the post vacation slump. And I will get around to posting about Barbados. I just need to consult with my girl friends-hopefully between the three of us we can patch together a coherent story.

Friday, June 7, 2013

I refuse to give in!

I just wanted to say that from now on it, I'm going to call this a "website" rather than a "blog". I might think of a better term down the road. But I honestly just can't deal with the word blog for one more day, I'm done. I think we can all agree it's a word that belongs on the Weiner List-which I just made up by the way. It also includes the words "munch" "epic" and "uber".
Thanks for visiting my website.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Throw Back Thursday: Vegas

Note: I hit "publish" at 12:01 on Friday ugh. But it still counts as TBT because it was Thursday when I wrote it. Technicalities.

As I pack for my vacation-now less than 36 hours away-it's natural that I reflect on past travels. In particular I've been reminiscing about the trip I took to Las Vegas 2 years ago with the same ladies I'm traveling with this time(less one). We headed to Sin City for a full week in August of 2011-which is pretty outrageous, as I hear many people say a weekend there is enough. But we did break it up with an overnight trip to see the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.
Four Vegas Girls on Fremont Street

This was the first trip I've ever taken with friends, and it really gave me the feeling of crossing something off my bucket list. I always had boyfriends in my teens and early twenties. After my last major breakup I  really felt like I was lacking in solid female friendships. It's not that I didn't have girlfriends. But I always felt really jealous of other girls who did cool things together. Vegas 2011 was 100% a girly girl vacation and I loved pretty much every minute of it. It wasn't all about finding ourselves and having a lot of really touching moments. It was just a week long good time with some great girls-we definitely got our party on.  I really treasure doing things that make me feel like if I'm old and married one day, I'll look back and know that I killed it in my youth and didn't miss out on anything.

Pool Party at the Palms. This was near the end of the week and I was struggling. DJ Jazzy Jeff hosted this party, which was a 90's dream come true.
If you haven't been to Vegas: GO. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it-I thought it might feel smarmy and just too much overall. And ok, it really is much too much, but in the best way possible. The Strip and everything around seems designed to ensure that it's impossible to have a bad time. One night we just walked around for hours, not gambling, not drinking, just taking it all in. Everything is big, and designed to be looked at and to impress. My favourite thing about my Vegas experience was that everyone is just so stoked to be there. We'd walk down the street drinks in hand and just raise our glasses to strangers and yell "yeah, Vegas!!!"-and the gesture would be returned.Woooooo!!!!!!!
My impression is that you could design your Vegas trip to suit your idea of the perfect vacation. For us it was a lot of drinking in our hotel pool, a few nights of full-on, dressed up clubbing, and maybe a bit too much shopping. We didn't really gamble much, just played slots a bit to say that we had. Obviously you could go there on a strictly gambling trip-which many people do. And I could see an older couple having a great time going to shows and eating in the world famous restaurants that Vegas has to offer.
The Grand Canyon! Where decent clothing is apparently optional.
The Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon served to make the trip feel a little more educational and a little less hedonistic. Both were incredible. I was especially in awe of the Dam. I have a weird fascination with bridges and structural engineering. Seeing the various structures built right into the rock face was a nice bit of nerd candy for me-how'd they do it????? So cool. I was also surprised that at the Dam there's a lot of art-deco style metal work built into it, which looked extra beautiful in such a stark, hard environment.

At the Hoover Dam! Chevy Chase where are you????
I could ramble for ages about that whole trip. It was definitely one for the books. But then I'd have to get into a whole lot more detail. And you know what they say about Vegas! It's great to look back on that trip now though because it was such an amazing time. I have no doubt in my mind that Barbados is going to be another banger of a vacation. I'd bet on it.
I learned an important lesson about credit card debt after this trip. I like to learn all my lessons the hard way.

Excitement of the Day

My local drug store now has an expanded Nyx section, which I'm checking out for the first time as I type this on my phone. Nyx is a bargain brand that I didn't know of at all before I started watching YouTube. It's not always all about Sephora and Mac. There's tons of awesome cheaper makeup, and YouTube is a great resource for figuring out what's what. This new section here has products that I've never seen in Canada, including the line of Nyx blushes that are the top drugstore blush pick of many a guru. If I hadn't just gone on the shopping spree of a lifetime I'd be stocking up, no doubt. As it is, I'm just going to get one or two must haves. At least they're must haves now that they're can-haves. I was doing fine without them yesterday.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Vacation Shopping: Makeup Edition

Pre-Vacation shopping wouldn't be complete without picking up some new makeup. I set today out with two things in mind: Mac Mineralize Skin Finish and Makeup Forever Full Coverage Concealer. I purchased neither of them.When any one piece of makeup is $30+(as both those products are) I require a bit of a push before I can justify dropping the cash. The girl at the Mac counter was overwhelmed with customers, and didn't have time to really sell the product to me. Same kind of goes for the girls at Sephora, where Makeup Forever is sold-they just weren't pushy enough. I'm not complaining, but note to both those companies: always be fully staffed so you can make sales on suckers like me.
Not to worry though! I still managed to spend way more than necessary on other things I probably don't need.  Here's the loot(a mix of items from Sephora, Target and Walmart):
I'll just go through and say a bit about each product, in a clockwise fashion from the top.

Real Techniques Brushes-Travel Essentials Set- I've heard these brushes raved about on YouTube for a while now. They were actually created by a YouTube Beauty Guru, Samantha Chapman. I haven't tried them out yet, but I've pulled them out of the box and they feel really nice-soft and dense. They come with a brush case that folds in different ways so you can travel with the brushes or stand them up. I don't know if I'll use that, but it's better than a kick in the arse.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion- Up until the last year or so I didn't even know eyeshadow primers existed, much less that they are absolutely vital to my personal happiness. Ok maybe not quite, but  this stuff is the shizz. You put it on your eyelids before doing your makeup and your shadow will last all day without creasing or smearing. I work in a restaurant that gets very hot, and this primer holds up in that environment. On the occasional rushed day that I forget to use it, I absolutely notice the difference in the wear of my eye makeup. I really feel that I can't adquately express how great this product is. I might even say it's my Sephora MVP, which is why I had to repurchase it today, before my other tube is even fully gone. I don't want to risk being caught without it.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer Mini- This was one of products that line the checkouts at Sephora, so you know how that goes. You barely even realize that you bought it until after you've left the store. What just happened?!? Or at least that's how I always feel. But I've heard good things about this bronzer-it's completely matte, no shimmer, so it's supposed to be good for contouring. And it smells like chocolate. This little mini came with a brush called a "Flatbuki"-a flat kabuki. Upon initial inspection, it actually seems like a decent brush, which is not usually the case for brushes that are included with makeup.

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in 530 Pulsating- First of all, I just read the label and what a disgusting name. Pulsating? Barf. It's just a nail polish- I didn't put much thought into this purchase. It's supposed to dry quickly, which I thought would be good if I wanted to do my nails on vacation. If I can get past the name.

Hard Candy Topcoat in 651 Black Tie Optional- This name is much better. It kind of reminds me of Justin Timberlake(I be on my suit and tie....). It's also a more exciting nail polish. It looks like it's glittery, but its actually matte with little pieces of black and white....confetti? Sure. I saw something similar on a blog the other day but now I'm not sure whose blog because I read so many. Anyway it looks really cool on the nails, especially over a light base colour.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze- Another product that seems to be a favourite of just about every YouTuber I watch. It's the first cream eyeshadow I've purchased. I wore it today, with Stila Kitten over top. I liked it. I'll wear it again. And that's all I have to say about that.

Anastasia Go Brow Kit in Medium Brown- Another impluse buy. But I have no regrets, because I used this today and was impressed. The kit comes with mini tweezers, a brow pencil and a clear brow gel. I mostly just want to talk about the pencil. I am a proud member of the Bold Brows Crew. I fill my brows in every day. Up until now I've been using a shadow, or a drugstore pencil. I am so surprised by the difference in quality in this pencil. The drugstore pencils I've used seem to have basically the same formula as pencil eyeliner-they're quite soft and almost sticky. I've often had brow hairs pulled out and stuck in them. But this pencil is totally different. It feels more like putting a chalk or charcoal on your brows. I didn't have to push hard at all to get the colour payoff. My only complaint is that the colour is a bit dark for me, but I can still make it work. Two thumbs up.

Bumble and Bumble Prep Spray-I don't even really know what this is supposed to do, but I've heard good things. You spray it on your hair while it's damp, and it's supposed to make it....better. It's like a leave in treatment I think. It's just not that often that I'm really impressed with hair products. Like almost never. But I keep looking. I recently purchased the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, and I like it. So I thought I'd give another of their products a whirl. I hope this is the potion that brings me hair happiness. I'll let you know.

That's not even all I bought today, but it's all the makeup, so I'll stop there. Lest anyone think that all this shopping is the norm, please know that this is the biggest vacation I've taken in a couple years and I've been saving to buy everything I need to have a great trip. And yes I realize there's a gaping hole in that justification in that none of these items is really tropical vacation related at all. But let's just not examine that any further, ok?

And I'm done.



Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting Ready for Vacation

I am lucky enough to be leaving for a vacation to Barbados in just 5 days. The trip has been planned for a few months, and I can't believe it is already upon me. In less than two weeks I'll be back home again, with a week's worth of great memories-and most likely a few hazy bits in there too.
I think that a lot of girls can agree with me that pre-vacation shopping is essential. It's not enough that you're forking out the cash for airfare and hotel, or taking a week off work during which you'll have nothing to do but spend money. Oh no. Not this girl anyway. As soon as I book a vacation I start to think to myself "Self, what do you absolutely need to make this trip the best ever?" The answer is obviously that I need everything. And it doesn't help when you're traveling with girl friends who text you every couple of days asking you if you're bringing this or that which you've forgotten about and must purchase immediately.
So the last few weeks have been filled with spending more money than advisable, with my last purchase  giving me that nauseous feeling that lets me know it's time to stop shopping. As soon I get just a couple more things that I promise I NEED.

I'm going to start off with the most essential item I've picked up, which of course is a PARTY HAT. If you've ever traveled without a party hat, you're missing out. When I was in Las Vegas two summers ago, I purchased a souvenir Vegas hat that increased my vacation enjoyment by at least 200%. This time I wanted to arrive with a party hat already in tow. I was looking for something that said Good Time. And I think I found it:
Even though it's an L.A. hat, I think it's fitting for any destination. And the guy at the hat store told me that nothing says "Great Vacation" like a floral hat. I couldn't agree more.

Clothes are also pretty important on this trip. We're going to be spending a lot of time on the beach-not so much clothing going on there. But there's definitely going to be a few nights out, and I wanted to pick up a few pieces that were both dressy and comfortable. It's going to be hot and we're going to be dancing, fo sho. Somehow I managed to choose two romper-type garments. I think they must be pretty trendy right now. Either that or I am looking for a challenge when it comes to using the washroom after partaking in some beverages-probably going to have to enlist a buddy to help me in and out of these things. Good thing I'm traveling with females.
Beachbum Romper by Naven(this is the back of it)
Peri Romper, Wilfred by Aritzia
Vacation shopping wouldn't be complete if one didn't pick up a few new bathing suits. And this is where tragedy struck. If you've ever ordered bikinis from Victoria's Secret you know that it is one of the most stressful things that can happen in a young woman's life. Forget body hang ups, that's not what I'm talking about. There's just way too many damn options. You've got to plan it carefully and figure out which tops go with which bottoms and if they can be mixed and matched and whether or not you're going to be brave enough to wear the "cheeky" bottoms, etcetera. So after much, much thought and friend-polling I ordered 3 tops and 3 bottoms which I knew would be perfect and give me the most combinations to wear. Except that I was so caught up in the whole process that I didn't even notice until after I'd processed my order that one of the tops and one of the bottoms were out of stock and won't even ship until after my vacation. Oh god, sister, I know. Definitely some f-bombs were dropped when I figured that one out. So I'm contemplating heading over to my local VS to pick up just one more top before I go. But then I'd be in a mall, which at this point is defintiely The Danger Zone. And I am happy with the suits I did receive. I've bought a bunch of bikinis from VS over the years, and they're great-flattering and affordable. As long as you limit the amount you buy, which I seem unable to do.
Cheeky Bottoms-or as my friends and I call them "Crunchy Bums"


I've bought more things, but these seem to be the most important. I'm very much looking forward to this vacation. And though I joke about overspending, this isn't going to be the type of vacation where we're spending loads of money shopping while there. We're mostly going to be drinking cocktails and lounging on the beach. Although I do think we might find occasion to wander into town and see what kind of souvenirs we can pick up.................