Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Few Good Tools

There are a couple of beauty tools that I've been using over the past few months, that have completely replaced their former competitors.

The first, is this squirmy little springy type-thing which is used for hair removal, called the My Spring It. Before bending, it looks like one long piece of junk.

All you need to do is bend it like so:

use both hands to twist towards each other, and run upwards against any hair that you would like to remove. It's thorough, quick, and for my sensitive skin, causes little to no redness or irritation. This has become a bit of a "while watching television" project, and is so much less painful than threading used to be for any facial hair. And no, I don't use it on my brows. But yes, the women in my family have converted.

The second tool topping the charts, is the Sephora Professionnel Platinum Airbrush #55 foundation brush. It's incredibly soft, packed fairly dense (yet not over the top), and actually creates the airbrush appeal it promises. So many brushes claim to do this, and in my experience they either:

a. Pack on too much product (cake-face)
b. Absorb too much product (wasteful)
c. Create streaky and obvious lines

If you prefer an effect that is natural and takes little time to create, then this is the brush for you. Due to the size that the hairs cover alone, it quickly covers the face in a minimal amount of time. Time is something I've been short on lately, so it's been the first brush I reach for in the morning.

What are some of your new favorite tools? When you find a standby tool, do you ever keep one eye open for the next best thing?

I was tagged by sweet Su-Pah over at Treasure Trove of Makeup. The point is to share seven facts about yourself that are otherwise unknown to your readers. Here they are:

1. I've never owned a Barbie (have I told you this?)

2. Pro-biotics are a current obsession. I've been enjoying Good Belly (black currant), and Nancy's (peach)

3. I never take medicine. You'd have to put an IV in me. Unless it's natural (as in, my mom prepared it and says "hey this will help you..your grandma used to cure this or that with it...)

4. I live and breathe Target. If you like something I'm wearing, check Target--your chances of finding it there are high.

5. I will never invite you to sit on my bed. And I definitely won't make you feel comfortable if you're sitting on the comforter.

6. Touching my hair was a big no-no until this last year or so. Friends still tell me that my aversion to someone's hand getting near my head amuses them.

7. Speaking of hair, I had my first haircut at age 15--and that's early for girls in my family. My dad nearly tore what was left of it, off--he was so upset. Mind you, it was a trim of 3 inches.

I now tag anyone who will promise that they'll complete these questions--link me, because I love reading your answers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hair Stories

As I'm an oil girl through and through, the search is constantly on for a bigger and better fat. Coconut will be my all-time standby, olive oil runs a close second, and one that is vying for third place is argan oil. The Josie Maran tube has a permanent home in my purse, and I've recently fallen for the most publicized of them all--Moroccan Oil.

When my grocer ran out of pure argan oil, I began to get nervous. I didn't want to sell out to the highly marketed products toting argan oil, but had little choice. My hair needed it, and I had to put its needs before mine. The bottle that was acquired is an interesting one--I think it was originally meant to be sold outside of the country...which only made me like it more.

The scent is warming. It seems to have hints of vanilla and undertones of orange. The results--equally impressive. This oil is perfect for all hair types, as the formulation is not thick, nor is it super thin. It absorbs beautifully into my hair without leaving a residual grease slick. This is one of those products that has you pulling your hair to your nose all day, because the scent lingers on. Yesterday I went to the salon to have my ends trimmed, and even my stylist commented on the new health situation my hair was facing. Although my love for oils is truly for the kinds that are original and unadulterated, this may be the one that stays in the styling drawer for a good long time...or until I find its superior :)

I was tagged in November by Tali at The Gloss Goss, with a survey:

1. What is your beauty style? (Natural, trendy, etc.)
I tend to go for the natural look most times. I appreciate a dewy and fresh appeal, with the slightest hint of shimmer. Even when I think I've really outdone myself, I'll take a picture and realize that I am never as over-the-top as I think I am. So perhaps in my mind I'm really fierce, but on paper..not so much!

2. Where do you get your beauty inspiration from?
I like odd pairings. Pink and orange, blue and teal... when I see things like that, I think of anything from peacock feathers to sunsets. So, things that occur naturally in the world.

3. What beauty products do you have the most of?
Moisturizers and lipglosses. I need the full spectrum in moisturizers, but not so much in lipgloss. Although, I'm constantly convinced that I'm finding something new...thus, the collection continues to grow.

4. What's your favourite/holy grail colour for:
Eyes: Browns, golds, and greens...especially the offerings of Le Metier de Beaute. Spicy is a favorite.
Lips: Lipstick - L'Oreal's Aishwarya Beige / Lipgloss - Sheer peachy tones, like those by Castledew
Cheeks: Benefit's Coralista, Illamasqua cream blush in Rude, Maybelline Mineral Power in Original Rose
Nails: Lippmann Satin Doll--a slightly shimmery beige which is beautiful with one coat, and opaque in two.

5. Three favourite brands of the moment:
1. MAC - Warm & Cozy brought me least for the meantime
2. Laneige - Everything in the line makes you feel so clean and fresh
3. Guerlain - The blendability of their shadows, and great packaging always gets me

I now tag: Pri*Sila, Javy, Cherries in Syrup, Dila, and any others who would like to do it! Leave a link in the comments if you do!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dry Skin: Solved.

My face went insanely dry about a month ago, and it wasn't going away. I'm talking, literal patches of dry skin that were sort of ruining my life. You see, I've always felt that this body really wasn't created for the cold weather. It was made for a warm place with lots of sunshine and humidity. So every time Winter rears its head, I end up being plagued with the transitional terror known as extra-dry skin.

I tried everything. Even argan oil refused to come to my rescue.

Fed up, I was strolling through Barney's one day and decided to take a closer look at the NARS skincare line. I didn't really need to explain to the makeup artist what was going on--as it was clear--and he instantly recommended the NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator. In my mind, I compared it to the RMK Recovery Gel that I read about on Cosmetic Candy's site. A gel product, made predominantly of water (87% in this case--which made me wonder why I was paying so much for water), and could be used as an overnight treatment. He told me that the product was nearly always sold out--and those were the last words I needed to hear.

It works so well. Amazingly well. Honestly, it's the best hydrator I've had in years. I all the heavy creams when this part of the year comes around, but never has anything worked so well. It doesn't plump up the skin in the same way that thick moisturizers do. Because it is mostly water (which bursts when it hits the skin's surface), I don't have to worry about milia being formed under the skin's surface. Since it's meant to be used at night, I wake up to nicely moisturized--not greasy--skin. I can happily say that the trauma is over.

In other news, I have apparently decided to prevent myself from anything fun in life. I'm back on the detoxing train, and currently on day six (in one hour..hey, it counts) of ten. It's never been easier--which has been a pleasant surprise--as I wasn't too thrilled about starting this time around. It's given me an opportunity to prioritize things in my life, and to finish a few projects that I had abandoned. Coincidentally, a handful of friends were starting at the same time, so I figured there was some strength in numbers.

Is anyone interested in going for a 5-day?

PxP has also resumed once again, thanks to Tali at The Gloss Goss. I don't know why I do these things to myself. Most likely, because I never want to be absolutely comfortable in life. I like a little fire under the seat to keep things moving. So, until I finish 10 products fully, I won't be purchasing any more makeup for myself. The x can be replaced with any number you like. These products appear to be items that I've yet to review, so expect a few short reviews on these things--they'll be finished up for a reason! Pray this ends soon.

Who's in? For that matter, who else is dealing with dry winter skin? What do you do to resolve the issue?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Swap 'n Hearts

When I returned home after spending a few Christmas days with the family, I pulled up to a box sitting outside of the garage. The side of the box read, and the first thing I thought was "Great, time to go and deliver this to the person it was meant for." But no no no. It was for me!

This package came from the Scarlet Empress herself, Javy! We had agreed ages ago to do a swap, and then life got in the way. From wedding, to health, to school..there was always something. So we collected and collected, and left our boxes to wait.

And let me tell you--her box did not disappoint. So much so, that I thought I was having slight heart attacks as I continued to pull out product after product.

I was (and am still) so overwhelmed with her generosity. Looking at this picture is a reminder that I have met some of the sweetest girls through this blog. It makes all the annoying amounts of time that I spend watermarking my photos, so worth it! It's shocking that Javy could pinpoint my interests and tastes so well--I was going to pick up the Too Faced Bronzer that afternoon, and there is also an amazing honey and shea body balm that now has a permanent spot next to my monitor. Her package is en route, and I won't bother to post any photos here because that would be spoiling all the fun! If you've yet to check out Scarlet Empress, there's no better time than the present!

Thank You, Javy!

We finally let go of our Christmas tree last night. I was a sobbing mess through the whole ordeal. At first I told the Mr. that I couldn't bear to take its lights and ornaments off--but it needed to be done. Then I said that he could take it outside and I just wouldn't come back outdoors until the garbage truck had come to pick it up in the morning, therefore I could avoid seeing it cold and lonely on the curb. Before I knew it, I saw him walking with the tree across the house and through the deck! I had to stop him, because the way he was carrying it was so funny.

He has a way of making me laugh, even when I think I'm going to cry. Especially if it means chucking our seven foot tree over the deck with one hand. Hey, he was sparing me all of the pine needles on the rug!

And for a little more randomness...

Since our Christmas decorations are down, I'm now looking forward to Valentine's day. I love seeing how creative people can get with basic heart designs--and I attempt to find coffee mugs each year that reflects this. This year I've already succeeded in finding two! There are some masculine mugs in the cabinet for the guys...but these make me look forward to my morning tea or coffee.

Is anyone else a fan of St. Valentine's Day? I'm trying to get back to regular posting, and seem to be so backlogged on reviews and you mind the general chit chat?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Start of Something New

Happy 2010 to all of you! The holidays are over (in my mind, this occurred yesterday--the 12th day of Christmas!), and it's time to take down the tree and move forward. I get really sad seeing everyone's used-up trees in their front lawn. It's as though they were taken for all their beauty, and then just thrown out to the wolves. I'm not sure why I associate so much life with every object I come across, but that's just how I feel (and perhaps why I've yet to take down ours).

We rang in New Years at a restaurant with family. It was nice to relax, kick back and make fun of each other for a night. If I'm to be honest, we do that on most nights--but to do it as the clock revealed to us a new decade...well, that was somehow different.

As for the look of the night, I kept it simple in all black. It was nearly impossible finding a good photo of the outfit, as the angle from the perspective of a 6'6" husband is majorly unflattering. Photos taken by him have a way of making me look about a foot tall, with two inch legs! So this one's chopped at the waist, but the only thing missing are some leather leggings and studded pumps.

Mouse, Poppy, Coney Island

I had stopped by American Apparel earlier that morning, to check out their much raved about nail polishes. A bright red shade, with an orangey base (Poppy) became the color of the night. All of the colors are flat and opaque. I can imagine that two coats would be the maximum needed to insure that everything is smooth and uniform. Packaging is nice, and true to American Apparel form--but I'd be lying if I didn't say I'll be looking forward to more color options in the future.

While lazying around on New Years day, I discovered my old list of 101 things to accomplish in 101 days. Luckily, I have until 2011 to complete it--but I love lists. Especially bucket lists, and lists of goals. It's the Virgo in me. All in all, I'm happy to have wrapped up 2009. This new year looks so promising, and while we celebrated some pretty amazing things this last year, I'm excited about the possibilities ahead. I'm more than happy to take the memories from this past year with me, as I open myself to everything 2010 has to offer. To steal a quote from my dear friend 'Anapesi's blog, I think my perspective on this are best summed up in this statement:

“In the Pacific, it is generally thought that people walk forward into the past and they walk backwards into the future, where the past and future are constantly fused and diffused in the present…this means that the onus of preserving the past and the mapping of the future- whether they be for culture’s sake or the humanity of future generations--rests squarely on our shoulders in the present." -Hufanga Dr. ‘Okusitino Mahina

What are you looking forward to this year? How was your New Years?
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