Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trying to Do It All

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Everything-you-asked-for Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oh Dear, Sephora Had a Sale

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

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

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

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

Anyway, here's the damage:

1. Nars One Night Stand Palette

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

2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye liner

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

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

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

4. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

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

5. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter

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

6. Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Talking with a Makeup Artist & My Love for Cool Chicks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then I moved onto my bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 1, 2013

Drugstore Makeup-Favourites and New Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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