Thursday, July 25, 2013

Too Faced Loves Sephora Palette and Dear Lord I Have Enough Eyeshadow (almost)

I had a bit of a crappy day today. Not to worry though. Like the good, middle class, North American woman I am, I headed straight to the mall where I spent too much money on things I don't need, making me feel simultaneously better, and much worse about myself. Gosh I love capitalism.

It's kind of that shitty in-between season where there's nothing good to buy clothing wise. So I went to Sephora, and came out with a full-body coat of glitter, smelling like 15 different kinds of perfume. It was very therapeutic.

 Though I joke about my spending habits I managed to only pick up a few things and only feel slightly nauseous post shop (seriously though, don't you always feel a little ashamed after shopping at Sephora? I'm not suggesting we stop, I'm just saying).

The big thing I bought was the Too Faced Loves Sephora Palette. This is a special edition palette in celebration of Too Faced and Sephora being in business together for 15 years.

It's a little bit of a wilder colour selection than I'd normally go for. But as you're going to see in a minute, I'm pretty much covered as far as neutral eyeshadow goes. I thought I'd branch out a bit. I swatched some of the shadows in the store and the one called Jer Jer is what really sold me on the palette. It's real purdy. As you can see there's 10 shadows, 2 bronzers(one matte, one shimmery), a blush, a mini tube of eye primer, 2 booklets of looks you can create with the palette and a totally useless brush. I don't get why companies like Too Faced-who I think know better-insist on including total friggin shit brushes with their makeup. You're not fooling anyone you filthy whores! Oops, disproportionate anger there, my apologies. Overall this seems like a great selection of products and I'm looking forward to using all of them. Except for that damn brush.

While I'm on the hard hitting topic of eyeshadow palettes I thought I'd do a quick review of the other palettes I own. Even though I clearly love Sephora, I don't actually buy a lot of makeup there. I really think that you don't need to spend that kind of money to get good products. But if you do want to spend some money and get something really enjoyable, I think eyeshadow palettes are the best high end purchase you can make. You get a lot of different products for your money and they last a long time. And there's often not an equal drugstore product to a full palette. I've acquired a few now, and used my other ones enough to tell you what the fuck I think about them. Sorry about the swear-heavy post. I told you I had a bad day.

1. Urban Decay Naked 2 ($50)

If there was a makeup religion, this would be one of its' holy artifacts. This palette is super hyped in the blog/Youtube world. It was my first palette, and when I first bought it I thought it was great. But honestly, after using it for a while and finding a palette I liked way better, this palette is a bit of a miss for me. The shadows are good quality. But there's just not enough variety. Of the 12 shadows, 9 are shimmery. There needs to be more matte colours. I feel like Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve and YDK are all too similar to each other. If a few of those were replaced with some matte browns this would be a much more versatile palette. I'm not saying don't buy it, but maybe don't buy it if you only want to buy one palette. Plus it's another one that comes with a shitty brush. Why ya gotta play me like that, UD?

2. Stila In The Light ($39)

This is the beauty that knocked the Naked 2 palette out of the water for me. I know it doesn't look vastly different in terms of shade range. But it just has the perfect mix of mattes and shimmers, lights and darks to create a huge array of looks. Hands down the best palette I own. And it comes with a full size Smudge Stick waterproof eyeliner, which is a $20 value alone-so much better than a brush. This is the palette I would tell you to buy if you only wanted to buy one ever. Stila, you're doing it right.

3. The Balm Meet Matt(e) Nude ($42)
I just recently acquired this palette (and blogged about it). I've had a good chance to use it now and I'm very happy with the purchase. Partially because it was a gift. It's much easier to be happy with overpriced makeup that someone else buys for you. But also it's a great palette. It's actually what I've been reaching for on a daily basis lately. You can get a really nice subtle look that's good for daytime. I'm sure you could get deeper looks too, but that's just how I've been using it. The shades Ive been using most are Malloy, Rosen, Singh and Lombardi. All very good quality. Plus it's always nice to say good morning to that handsome gent on the package. Hey there. Hey.

4. Wet n Wild Comfort Zone (about $9)
I thought I'd include this as a great, affordable palette. Wet n Wild is one of those brands that I would probably never have gotten into if I were not a YouTube junkie. It's so inexpensive that you kind of assume it must be crap. But I've purchased lots of their shadows now, and for the most part they're awesome. This particular palette is really nice. It's all shimmery, which I realize I complained about with the Naked 2, but at this price point I think it's ok if you need other shadows to create a full look. I really like Wet n Wild too for beefing up and diversifying my shadow collection. They have trios in all different colours that are $3. Definitely worth that money, and if you don't love them who cares anyway. $3 can't even buy you a shot of tequila. Trust me, I know.

So that's a roundup of all my eyeshadow palettes. I don't need anymore. Except have you seen the Lorac Pro Palette? Oh it's so nice. I want it. No I don't. Yes I do. I'll wait until I have another shitty day, which I hope doesn't happen anytime soon. Or do I?

Honestly nothing really bad happened today. And after buying myself a gift and then writing about it, I don't feel too crappy anymore.

But you know what woud make me feel even better?


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why I Started Eating Meat Again

I could just not get the hang of eating box, really.
Ahhhhhh fuck, I'm sorry. Believe me guys, I tried with all my might NOT to use that terrible joke, but it was just too easy. I'll try my best to avoid any more sexual innuendo in this post.

This topic is pretty far off from my usual blog post. But I've been promising a friend I'd write about it for a while, so here it is.

I was some variation of vegetarian or vegan for close to eight years. About three or four years back I made the decision to start eating meat again. Since then I've had a lot of people ask me about why I made that choice, and how I feel about it now.  It wasn't an easy decision and I didn't make it on a whim. There's a bunch of reasons that going back to carnivorous ways was the right decison then, and continues to feel right to me now.  I'm not trying to start a debate here. The way we eat is a deeply personal matter, and I totally support anyone who chooses to be vegetarian or vegan. I think it's great when anyone takes the time to really think about what they're putting into their body. This is just why that particular way of eating didn't turn out to be right for me. Some of my reasons might make me sound like a bad person-which I probably am, but at least I'm being honest about it. I'll break it down in a list and explain as I go.

1. I started craving meat- This is what started it. I was getting these crazy cravings-like I wanted salt and fat. I remember eating tomato sandwiches just loaded with salt and margarine thinking that would satisfy me. But nah. After a while I figured it out: After 8 years of not even eating fish, my body was telling me that it wanted meat. At this point I still wanted to resist, but the idea of going back to eating meat was starting to grow in my mind.

2. I started to question why I became vegetarian in the first place- I was 17 when I went vegetarian. At that time I was going to a lot of punk shows where there were often PETA booths set up with really cool looking people working at them and promoting the vegetarian way. I was also dating a guy who was vegetarian. Admitting to yourself that maybe you made a big life choice based on other people's influence is hard. At the time I honestly felt like that was the choice I wanted to make because I cared about animals. But would I have made that same choice if I wasn't surrounded by other people who were cutting meat from their diets? I wasn't so sure.

3. I called bullshit on myself, ethically- When I was vegetarian, I had a real sense that I was doing something "good". I wasn't supporting a cruel industry, right? But I still shopped at the big name grocery stores where most people buy their meat. I still ate in restaurants that served meat. And honestly, upon realizing this I wasn't willing to go out of my way to try and find more animal friendly places to get my food. I started to see that even though I felt like I was taking a stand agains the meat industry, I continued to support it indirectly.

4. I realized I was half-assing it anyway-This is sort of like #3.  I hung out with some people who were hardcore vegans. They were so awesome and true in their efforts to avoid any kind of product that involved animals in any way. You know, like their cleaning products were all certified vegan. I just didn't care that much. And if I didn't care that much, how much did I really care at all? I didn't know.

5. I stopped identifying with the veg community-

One of the most fun things about being vegetarian is the community-like any subculture, there's a corner of the internet for vegans too! And I was really into it. I had tons of veg cookbooks (my best chocolate chip cookies are still made using the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance), subscribed to Veg News magazine, and when I traveled I went to veg restaurants that I'd heard about through message boards. But as my dedication to fitness grew, I felt myself being less and less interested in all that. It seemed like veganism was all about who could make the best vegan junk food-the best vegan mac and cheese or vegan cupcakes. I just wasn't into that stuff, and it took a lot of enjoyment out of the community element of being vegetarian.

6. I realized I wasn't healthy- A lot of people think that vegetarians are inherently healthier eaters than carnivores. I don't think that's true at all. You know all that fake meat stuff that vegetarians eat? Most of it is artificial crap, made with chemicals and pure wheat gluten, which is a nightmare for your body to digest. Again, around the same time I started eating meat I was getting really serious about fitness. I'd been working out for years and now I wanted to adopt a clean eating habit. You can totally do that as a vegetarian-there's a whole Vegetarian Clean Eating cook book. But then you have to get most of your protein from nuts and beans and that just really wasn't for me. And I know there's lots of vegan athletes out there who prove differently, but for me this was the right choice. My weight used to flucuate 5-10 pounds. Since I started eating meat it has balanced out and I find it a lot easier to not gain weight. I feel like I just never figured out how to have a balanced diet as a vegetarian.

7. I wanted to be able to eat a meal that my Grandma cooked- This definitely wasn't a deciding factor, more of a nice side effect to breaking veg. I never felt like my family judged me for my decision. But it's really nice to sit down at a family meal and eat food cooked by the people I love and not have to question or turn down any of it.
And on that note, this entry is getting sentimental as fuck, so I need to wrap it up.

The point is, I really thought about whether or not I should eat meat. I weighed the pros and cons and came to the conclusion that the carnivore life was the way for me. I very strongly feel that I made the right choice. Yes, I am fully aware of the horrible cruelties that occur in the meat industry and sometimes it does make me sad. And I'm sure that there lots of vegans who would read this and think I am horrible for being so aware and not doing anything-or even worse, that I'm actively participating in murdering animals. I don't really have an argument against that. It's probably a really selfish thing that comes down to the fact that I care more about my own satisfaction more than I care about the quality of life of all those animals. That's shitty to admit, but there it is. I could probably go on and on about this topic, but I think that's a pretty good summary of where I'm at on the issue right now.

Man, I'm sorry to end on a bummer note like that. Hey, I know what will cheer us up:
Mmmm, look at all those sausages

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July Ipsy Glam Bag

Today I receied my July Glam Bag in the mail. I knew it was coming, because Ipsy sends its' subscribers emails when their bag has been shipped. They also give you an overiew of the products you could be receiving. Not every Glam Bag is the same-I think you get 5 out of a possible 7 or 8 products each month. This month I was really excited because one of the possible products was a sample size of Benefit's Bene-tint, which is a cheek and lip tint that's supposed to be really great. Alas, when I opened my pink bubble wrapped package, there was no Bene-tint for me. This has happened to me a few times with the Glam Bag. I feel like their website showcases the best products you might receive, so you get really pumped, and then they sent you some other friggin crap like the sparkly eye gel I got last month. Don't they know that this is the stuff that keeps me going in life? I guess not.

Here's what I did receive:

1.  BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample- This little trio looks alright to me. I swatched them on my hand-nothing special, but the brown in the middle is pretty and I could probably use the gold too. BH Cosmetics is a bargain brand though. This set is a sample of a palette that comes with 16 shadows and 4 blushes for $10, so it's clearly not a high value item.

2. Coola Mineral Sunscreen/Tinted Moisturizer- I don't know that I'll use this at all. When I was in Barbados earlier this summer my face broke out really badly from the sunscreen I was using. I'm really nervous to try anything new in the facial sunscreen area, especially a mineral product. I have heard some reports that mineral oil can aggrevate or cause breakouts, and shorty don't want to play that game.

3. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray-Now this I can get with. I just finished a bottle of Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, which is really good for getting beachy hair. I'm looking forward to seeing how this spray compares. It contains Argan Oil, which is one of the hottest oils on the market right now(according to me).

4. Nailtini Nail Laquer in Mai Tai-Well this looks kind of pretty and summery doesn't it now? Plus it's a full size product which is always nice. I already tried it on a couple nails to see how it looks. But I didn't have time to fully do my nails so I had to remove it. Which turned out to be next to impossible. I'm not kidding, I rubbed at it with a cotton pad and nail polish remover for over a minute with each nail and it barely smudged. To get it off I had to apply a thick coat of clear polish and immediately rub it off before that dried (that's actually a good trick for getting stubborn sparkly polish off too). You know I ain't got time for that-this is a total throwaway product for me.

5. Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Fuchsia Flirt-This almost makes up for the nail polish. I don't know if ya heard, but lip crayons are huge right now (right up there with Argan Oil). Almost every makeup brand seems to have a line of them. I own a few from Cover Girl and Revlon and really like them. This one from Pop Beauty is a really pretty, wearable pink. It has a fairly sheer formula that makes it easy to apply and nice for every day wear.

This is the third Glam Bag I've received. Even though they like to build up your hope with better products than you actually get, and despite the fact that they thought it would be funny for my nails to be bright orangey-coral for ALL OF ETERNITY, I'd still give this subscription service a thumbs up. Yeah, you get some crapola, but each month there has been at least 2 products I've been excited about and gotten some use out of. And there's always brands that I've heard of and might want to try anyway. Plus it's fun to break up the monotony of post quarter-life crisis existence with a pretty pink package in the mail. I've more or less accepted the fact that I'm probably not going to get "discovered" at Starbucks on a Tuesday afternoon and become an overnight international sensation (despite lack of any kind of talent and average at best looks). But it's still nice to feel special once in while. I realize that I am paying for, and sending the package to myself but it's all I got, so just let me have it ok?

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Balm Cosmetics

 Something really sad happened to me lately and I need to talk about it:

I dropped my mother effing $30 Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter from The Balm, and it smashed. When I did it I actually laid face-down on my bed and cried for a minute. I ain't lyin'. You know you've had it good in life when this is literally the worst thing that has ever happened to you. Well, it's either this or you know when you let someone else pick where you're eating lunch and it's a cafe that only serves sandwiches and you're forced to eat WHITE BREAD? That's pretty bad too. But I'm always one to try to see the positive side in any situation, and I made no exception after this terrible mishap. I realized that my level of sorrow over mangling this product must mean I love it a lot. And that made me want to try more cosmetics from the same brand. I'd been planning on buying some new makeup for a bit, so when I found the whole line from The Balm on sale, it felt like destiny.

The Whole Gang

The Balm is a higher end brand that's sold in drugstores and online at A lot of their products get great reviews on Youtube and in blogs. The above picture includes that beautiful, broken soul Mary-Lou, an eyeshadow palette that was a gift, 2 blushes and a lipstick I bought for myself and two sample sizes of cream foundation that was given to me by the nice lady at the makeup counter. I'm going to show pictures of all the products indivually, but other than the Mary-Lou Manizer, I haven't had much of a chance to use these things and give them a proper review. But I wanted to get this post up in case any one else who lives near me wanted to take advantage of the sale that's on for a few more days. Rexall has 25% off all The Balm Cosmetics. In addition to that they are offering $10 off when you spend $50 or more on cosmetics. So I got the 2 blushes and lipstick for under $60 when I think they would have come to close to $90 if I paid full price. Plus they gave me another $10 gift card for my next purchase. High end makeup doesn't go on sale that often so you might want to get on it.

 Even though I have only tried most of this stuff out once, I'll give you individual descriptions to the best of my ability.

Pleased to meet ya
I have wanted the Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette ever since I saw Leighannsays use it in a Youtube tutorial months back. You can see in the picture at the top, this is a big palette, and the eyeshadows themselves are really big. Matte eyeshadow in general is really nice. It looks more natural than shimmery shades. Matte shadows also look better in photos, which we all know is of utmost importance these days. I don't want to get too analytical here (or god-forbid, self reflective) but doesn't it seem like makeup has become way more important since social media has a been a thing? Is that because we all know our picture could end up on Instragram at any moment? Nahhhhh. On with the expensive cosmetics!

 I've heard lots of good things about pretty much all of the blushes by The Balm. I decided to go with "Cabana Boy" because I don't own anything like it. It's a darker blush that I think could be used in the hollows of your cheeks like bronzer to make your cheekbones stand out. Another really good one is "Hot Mama." I actually prefer that one, but it looks a lot like Nars Orgasm, which I already own, so I went for something that would bring something new to the party.

I also picked up one of their new Instain Blushes. These have a different formula and are supposed to be really long wearing. There's six shades-this one is Argyle. There were a few really nice ones and I had a hard time deciding. This one seemed like the most wearable for every day. But now I'm gazing at it lovingly and thinking it's going to be hard not to go pick up another one.

[Update: On day two of wearing this blush I have decided that I love it. Definitely recommend.]

This Balm Girls lipstick is called Anita Boytoy. It's ok. I'll definitely wear it, but it's nothing special. When I buy Mac lipsticks I pretty much want to rub them all over my body, they're so freaking beautiful. I had no similar perverse feelings upon trying out this lipstick. We'll just be friends.

Good old Mary-Lou, the star of this post. It is a great powder highlighter. But I have come across quite a few other photos and reviews that suggest breakage is a common problem. Not all powder products smash so easily. So just be careful if you decide to buy this one. Mine's still usable but it's pretty annoying and I might try to fix it.

I haven't used the sample foundations I received, but I will say that I haven't heard great things about foundations by The Balm. The brand's strength seems to be their powder products-blush, eyeshadow, bronzer, highlighter.  I've heard negative reviews on some of their other products including foundation, concealer and mascara, so maybe keep that in mind.

I'm really excited about my new things from The Balm. And I know that you can't say that you SAVED money just because something was on sale. *LIFE LESSON ALERT*. If you buy something that you don't need at all, you aren't "saving" money no matter how deeply discounted is was, you're just spending. But still, it's nice to buy things on sale.Especially makeup, because I'm pretty sure that whole industry is trying to take me for everything I've got. And it's working.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Revlon Clipless Curling Iron (I think they meant 3 in 1)

I've been seeing a lot of clipless curling irons lately. Rather than grab your hair with the clip and curl it by moving the iron like you would with a regular curling iron,  clipless wands are held in place and you manually I never really found hair kinks a major life issue. But still, I was excited about this new development in hair destroying hot tools.

I had been eyeing one at Sephora for a while, but it was around $150 and I couldn't justify spending that much when I already have a curling iron that works fine. When I saw the Revlon Style Expert 2 in 1 Styling Iron for about $30-35 at Target I decided to try it out. I've been using it for a bit now and I wanted to share my thoughts.

Here's what it looks like (it comes with two barrels and both are pictured):

Ok, if you think THAT looks like a dildo check this puppy out :
Revlon Curl Magic

 Jiminy Cricket! I don't own the second one (too wild!), but I promise in my house the top one only gets used on my hair. And it has really underperformed in that area, always a let down with a new toy. I mean tool.

The product comes with two interchangable barrels; a 1-inch barrel and a skinnier taper. The bigger barrel is meant to be for soft wavy curls, while the taper is more for spiral curls. It also comes with a heat resistant glove as most clipless curling irons do. This is so you don't burn your fingers when you wrap your hair around the barrel. But here's what the glove looks like:
It's a body exfoliating glove. Which are great for that purpose, but really shitty for working with your hair. I tried to use it, but its so thick and textured that you can't get a good feel for what you're doing at all. It also kind of snags and pulls at my hair. It was basically useless, so I just had to use the wand with bare hands. Hey that's ok, I never liked having feeling in my finger tips anyway, thanks Revlon.

I really found the curler hard to use in general. I could kind of work it on one side of my head, but the other side was super awkward. You have to hold it upside down and reach your hands over your head to wrap your hair. I end up having curls going all different ways because I can never figure out which way I'm supposed to hold it. 
This is how I have to hold it the whole time.

Honestly it's really not worth the trouble at all. I am not a hair expert, but I do curl my hair often, using both a regular curling iron and my straightener. I don't think I should have this much trouble using a hair tool and getting a look I like with it. And I gave it a few chances. Even when I managed to maneuver it I didn't like the curls I got with it. The big barrel just gives you waves that flatten out quickly. The taper gives you ringlets that make you look like Shirley Temple. No offence Shirley-my family had a copy "Bright Eyes" on VHS and it was delightful.

I wouldn't recommend this curling wand at all. There were really no advantages to using it over a traditional curling iron. I just found it too hard to use for too little payoff. But then again, I sometimes lose my balance and hit my head on walls out of nowhere. I find life in general pretty difficult. So maybe if you have a better handle on things you'd be able to use this thing just fine. You can have mine.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Few Things about Fitness

When I started this blog, I talked about my workout routine and my passion for fitness. I haven't really brought it up since then. Recently though a friend contacted me with some fitness related questions, and I feel like that gave me the push to talk about something I really care about (so thank you if you're reading this!).

Fitness is my real passion in life-infinite miles ahead of makeup. But I've conciously avoided writing about it for a few reasons. I feel like it's really hard to write about fitness without sounding braggy or preachy, and I don't want to come across that way. I also think it's a topic that can get pretty heavy, and I've tried to keep the tone of my blog pretty light and not too personal. It's hard for me to keep my snarky edge when I talk about fitness becasue it's something I actually deeply care about. So I don't know that I'll be writing about fitness too much, but I thought maybe a few people would be interested in hearing my take on staying healthy and feeling good about your body. I promise not to get too cheesy.

Like too many girls, I have been through the ringer when it comes to body image, weight flucuation, and fucked up feelings about food. But in the past few years I really feel like I've figured out what I need to do to be healthy and feel like I look good (it can be a tough balance for sure).  A lot of what I've learned has just come through time. I've been going to the gym for almost 10 years, and I started out knowing nothing.  For me, reaching my fitness goals has been a lot about adjusting my mental attitude towards fitness. Here's just a few lessons I've learned (usually the hard way) over the years.

1.Being in your best shape is HARD- I feel like you really have to give up on the idea of finding an easy fix. Some people are probably lucky enough to have bodies that are naturally amazing, but I believe they are a tiny minority. Chances are if there's someone whose body looks lean and fit-and makes you want to touch it- they are working hard for it.

2. You have to decide how important being in shape is to you. For me, it's a top priority. I give up a lot of my free time in the gym. It can hinder my social life, and I never seem to have enough time to dedicate towards housework. But I accept those things because I've decided that going to the gym gets first dibs on my time. It's ok if fitness isn't that important to you. But you should admit that to yourself and be okay with it.

3. You need to push yourself. This goes with #1. I used to go to the gym and do an hour or more of low intensity cardio followed by a few light weight exercises.Classic "girl" workout. It was better than nothing, but it only served to keep me from gaining weight. If you really want to change how your body looks, you need to work harder than you think you could. A great way to learn how to push yourself is to hire a personal trainer for a while. I did this about 5 or 6 years ago. It was expensive. But it was undoubtedly the best money I've ever spent on myself.

4. You need to figure out your nutrition. You might have heard the 80/10/10 rule. It says that the way our bodies look is 80% Nutrition, 10% Exercise and 10% Genetics. It seems crazy, but I have found  it be very true. You can't out-train a bad diet. And again, you need to be honest with yourself. You say you're eating healthy, but are you really? If you're eating Special K for breakfast, Subway for lunch, a Lean Cuisine for dinner and those 100-calorie cookie snack packs in between..that's NOT healthy!!! I follow the Eat Clean Diet, and I really feel like it is THE way to eat-I recommend at least looking into it. Lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts-whole foods. I can honestly say that when I follow this diet my weight does not flucuate, even if I take time off from the gym.

5.You have to eat. This goes with #4. I have been thinner than I am now. But I got there in a very unhealthy way. I learned that being thin doesn't feel good and doesn't make you happy if you got there by treating your body horribly. I feel best about my body when I am eating lots of healthy food. It's honestly so rewarding to have a body you like that you got by making healthy choices. Don't be mean to yourself.

6. Know that even top fitness models don't keep that physique all the time. It's ok to relax sometimes. This is something that I've just started to figure out myself. Fitness models train extremely hard for events or photoshoots. Then they chill out on the crazy dieting and extreme workouts. If you make fitness a life commitment you can learn to do this too. I like to stay in shape to the point where if there's something coming up that I want to look my best for, I can get in my personal best shape in a few weeks.

Ok I think that's all I'm going to say for now. I guess these aren't really specific tips, more like overall ideas that have helped me along the way. I'm not an expert, but I do have a personal commitment to fitness. It's a huge part of my life, so I guess it will inevitably turn up in my blog. It's definitely more important to me than makeup-which is fun, just not essential. But don't worry. I've been really good about saving money lately and I'm ready to blow some at Sephora soon.

I like there to be a picture with every post. So here's a photo of Camille Leblanc-Bazinet. She's an amazing, strong and beautiful CrossFit athlete who has been inspiring me lately. She lifts, FO SHO.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Current Skincare Routine

I don't have great skin. Sometimes it's not even good. It's super-combination, which doesn't make sense, but seriously. I get really oily in the chin and nose area, but I also get dry flakey patches on my cheeks and near my eyes. I also break out fairly often, though usually just on my chin and not many at a time. I don't think I should complain about that because I know it can be so much worse. But still, whoever first said that zits are a teenage thing is an asshole.
Despite these grievances, I do think I've gotten somewhat of a hold on how to take care of my skin, and how to keep it looking reasonably okay. I would love to expand my skin care knowledge. Right now I'm just using products that seem to do a good job. But I want to learn more about which ingredients do what and why certain things happen to our skin. If I get around to doing more personal research, I'll definitely share it here. For now I'm just going to tell you what products I'm currently using, and what I like about them. They're listed here basically in the order I use them.

1. Nivea Express Eye Makeup Remover- My number one bit of skin advice is to make sure you remove your makeup completely every night. For me it's a two step process- first eyes, then all over the face. It's important to find an eye makeup remover that's gentle on the eyes like this one. You'd think that would be a given since it's an EYE makeup remover. But I've used some store brand ones that have stung my eyes terribly. This one is gentle and effective. Also the two layers are pretty. I like pretty.

2. Pond's Cleansing and Exfoliating Towelettes- Makeup Removal Part Two. Wipes like these are an indispensible part of my skin care routine. I used to use these in place of cleanser, but I really think that it should be a separate step. Unless you're using them when you come home drunk, in which case good on you for making any attempt to cleanse before passing out in your dress and heels. Which reminds me that excessive drinking makes my skin look absolutely wretched, so I try not to overdo it there. I tried to photograph these so you could see that they have a textured surface on one side. I don't think it really exfoliates that well, but I guess it kind of makes you feel like you're getting a deeper clean. These aren't the best ones I've ever used but they do the job. Again, it's important to find a brand that doesn't irritate your eyes.

3. Purity Face Wash by Philosophy- The first two products were both pretty interchangeable with other similar products. But this one I really love, and will definitely repurchase it when I've used it up. It's from Sephora, and they carry a few different sizes. This bottle is 240 mL and cost $22. So kind of mid range price-wise. But I've had it for over two months and used less than half, so I really think it's worth the money. It's just a really great cleanser that makes my skin feel very clean without any residue. It's so gentle that you can use it on your eyes-which I guess you can tell is important to me.

4. Aveeno Positively Ageless Moisturizer- I have sentimental feelings for this brand-I can remember my Mom using their products when I was a kid. They've done a lot of rebranding lately, and introduced a new spokeswoman, my girl Jennifer Aniston (call me!). Oh no, sorry I just looked it up and her official title is "Celebrity Ambassador" which sounds way more important. Anyway I've tried quite a few Aveeno products and I haven't been disappointed with any of them. This is a good every day moisterizer. It doesn't make my skin feel greasy, and it has a high SPF which is important. I would probably buy this again, unless I find another cream I want to try. I should mention that this is a day time cream. At night lately I've just been using the coconut oil I mentioned a few posts back.

Those are the things that I use on a mostly daily basis. I will switch the product brands up, but I do like all these ones, and my routine stays basically the same regardless. I also want to tell you about a few other things that I use less regularly.

1. Exact Apricot Scrub- Another classic product, this type of exfoliator could always be found in my parent's house. This is a store brand, but it's exactly the same as the name brand one. I just keep this in my shower and use it every few days when I feel like my skin needs a little exrtra scrubby scrubby (technical term). 

2. Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Mask- This mask was part of a gift that a friend brought home from the States for me. I haven't seen this brand in Canada. But if you've used a mud mask's like that. Although I have actually seen this specific product appear as a favourite on YouTube from time to time, which is very exciting. I use this very occasionally, when I'm feeling particular oily or if my spidey senses tell me I'm about to break out.

3. Noxema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads- Ugh, what a nightmare teenage product. These are exactly what you think they are; toner soaked cotton pads. Right now my skin is more on the dry side and I haven't been using a toner daily. But I keep these around and use them VERY occasionally, again usually in an attempt to stop a breakout before it happens. I don't think it works that well, but I'm not going to Zit Town without a fight. When I do use these, I'm careful to only use them on the areas that are actually oily, as they can be very drying.

So there you go, that's more or less everything I'm using right now. Honestly, I think the best thing for my skin would be for me to stop wearing makeup. I'm sure my BB Cream/Foundation/Concealer/Powder/Bronzer and so on contribute to clogged pores and breakouts. But I'm not about to go au natural so I just try to do my best to keep my skin clean and balanced. If you are brave enough to go makeup free for a few weeks and your skin is the best it's ever been please let me know. And I still probably wouldn't try it, but I would seriously be so happy for you.

One last tip and I knoooww you don't want to hear this again but.... DRINK WATER. It really truly makes a difference in your skin. So drink it. Just do it. Everyone who has ever told you this is not lying. Drink water. Do it. Do it now.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weird Commercial of the Day

Apparently this week my thing is to critique commercials. I actually like to do that a lot. I think it makes watching commercials more enjoyable. It also makes me feel like I'm very big media concious while I spend hours watching TLC.  Sometimes, when I a commerical one that really bugs me, I'll pick up my copy of Noam Chomsky's "Media Control". Then I remember how I struggled through those first three pages I read five years ago. I put it back right away and watch the next episode of Sister Wives instead.

This isn't really a critique, more of a question. Watch this and tell me.....
..........are they about to have an orgy? Because that's what I'm getting out of this. There's just a real sexy bedroom vibe going on. When I first saw it I thought it was just the one woman in a room full of men. Yikes. But now I see there's a fairly equal ratio and I'm more ok with the implications. Way to get funky, Rolo.