Posts Tagged Blog
As many of you know, I’m having a rough go of it lately with respect to finances. I don’t really know how to handle this situation mentally and emotionally – I don’t want to come across as a whiner, or like I’m some sort of a ‘victim’ of circumstance. I also don’t want to be one of those people who sits around not DOING anything to change their situation – generally I’m a fairly pro-active person. But the way things are now, well – the whole issue is tricky, and not easily solved by just ‘doing something.’ First, there are so many options (and if you’ve been reading for a while, you know me and options = anxiety): I could get a roommate. I could get a serious part-time job (not just hours here and there with Clinique). I could sell and buy a new, smaller, more affordable
hole-in-the-wall place. I could rent my condo and then rent an affordable apartment to live in. Everyone has great suggestions for me, and are trying to help the best way they can. Problem is, I am the type of person that can see merit in just about any idea a person has, so every new suggestion seems like ‘The Best Choice.’ And every option has a downside, which makes it easy to cast aside. I like my space. I like my free time. I love my condo – maybe not the location, which (as much as I like the area) means I’m terribly isolated from almost everyone I know, but the actual building and unit itself is damn near perfect. SO. What the heck do I do?!?
Essentially since I returned from New Zealand I’ve been a lesser version of myself. I’m tired often, I’m unproductive, I’m generally uninterested (in reading, in work, in running, in being social, in romance – take your pick)…I just feel overall blah. And everyone around me has all these great things happening and going on, and as truly happy as I am for them, what it seems to mean for me is that no one really notices that I’m struggling, that I’m trying to maintain this joie de vivre that I’ve always had, but that I’m failing. And I’m not interested in bringing them down with me.
Note: I can write all this here because the majority of people in my life don’t read my blog. Typing that sentence feels kind of shitty, actually, when you think about it. But I don’t hold it against them; the reason I started the blog and then continued it was because it was so amazing to me to actually meet other like-minded individuals, when I truly thought there were none. So they really have no reason to read my ramblings on makeup and beauty.
Last week I realized that I spend almost 100% of my free time looking at makeup etc. on the internet. I come home most evenings to just sit at my computer and stare at the screen, making lists upon lists of products to try, and then repeat the same behavior every single night. I’ve been pondering this behavior a lot and trying to figure it out. Sure, I’m kind of obsessed with beauty and I sure do love makeup and all the pretty things that come out here and there. But I’ve never taken it this far. It’s never taken over.
I think the reason I’m behaving this way, is because it gives me something to hope for. Even on a small scale, regardless of the fact that ‘hoping’ for more makeup may be sad, and pathetic in it’s way, nevertheless – making wishlists of beauty products allows me to imagine a time when I might have more money to actually indulge myself, sort of like acting in a self-fulfilling way; if I write these products down, it’s like saying ‘I will be able to purchase that, someday’. It’s not to say that I don’t buy makeup at all now – obviously that’s not the case (see all the posts over the last 6 months!). But every single purchase comes with a price: guilt. And just like anything else, once I deem something as a ‘no-go,’ it tends to be all I think about.
Anyway, that’s a little bit of what’s going on with me lately. Sorry to be a downer, but you know everyone has low points in their lives, and this just happens to be one of mine. While this blog is dedicated to beauty, it doesn’t mean I’m a robot without feelings, and blogs by nature are a place to express yourself. It just so happens that my expression today is sadness. Additionally, sometimes its easier to confess to those you’re not as close to – for the most part I’ve been keeping my feelings under wraps with my loved ones, as I find those who care about you most want to give you advice, rather than just be an ear. And I think right now I’m kind of maxed out on advice.
I will return to the regular light and fluffy posts now – in fact, I’m just about to write a review on Chanel’s quad in Vanités. If you stuck through this whole ramble, I applaud you. Life isn’t always fun, but you have to have some lows to appreciate the highs.
Well, hello there! It’s been uh, a long, LONG time since I’ve been around, no? And I left without barely saying goodbye, please forgive me! The days leading up to my trip to New Zealand were absolutely insane – all the plans I had for pre-trip posts and a handful of scheduled posts pretty much went right out the window, unfortunately. It was a truly stressful week – thankfully at the end of it I was on vacation for 5 weeks How’s everyone been doing since I left!?
I won’t go into major detail about the trip, because this IS a beauty blog after all – and it’s hard to sum up 5 weeks of some of the best times of my life! It was an absolutely amazing, wonderful, fantastic time, and I can’t wait till my next adventure (no, I don’t have anything planned yet but I hope to soon!). I made some truly solid, lasting friendships with people from all over (most notably: Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and even some fellow Canadians!); saw some of the most beautiful landscapes; did some daredevil stunts (SO unlike me!); and even had a wee bit of a romance I even got a tattoo (I will post pics!)! I guess I could summarize the trip by saying, I got majorly out of my comfort zone and did things I never thought I’d do, and I came back a better person for it all. It was the trip of a lifetime, and in all honesty, I struggled to come home. But alas, here I am!
One thing I did NOT do, was think much about beauty (for shame!). I wore minimal makeup on the best of days (most days I skipped it altogether) – opting for concealer, mascara, and a dab of cream blush when I did wear any. If we went to a bar, I put on a bit of black eyeliner to really go crazy (lol). I wore my hair au natural without any product most days, and actually loved how it looked – kind of beachy-kinky. Unfortunately, I’m trying to recreate the look now that I’m home and it is NOT working for me – it’s too humid here, and it just does NOT look the same. Boo Anyway, makeup etc. was the furthest thing from my mind on this trip (though I confess when I was in the LAX airport en route to NZ with 7 hours to spare, I DID buy a MAC mascara – Haute ‘n’ Naughty – because I was planning to buy it when I returned, and with duty free and the price difference ($23.50CAD vs $20US), I ended up saving $7-8 bucks – sweet! Will review soon!). Oh, I’m lying, I did buy one other thing, but I think I might use it for a giveaway soon, so I’m gonna keep that to myself for now!
Anyway, enough rambling – time for pictures! Since this could easily get lengthy, in this post I’m just going to summarize the ‘beauty’ portion of the trip – tomorrow I will post actual photos of New Zealand itself (I know, waiting sucks, but it’s tough to find time when you’re majorly jetlagged – I keep sleeping in till the afternoon :S – and trying to fit in seeing everyone again…it’s crazy-busy!).
What I packed for cosmetics:
I put Bumble & Bumble deep conditioner in the Ojon jar, TIGI styling lotion in the Aveda container, and TRESemme conditioner in the Bioderma container lol (reuse and recycle!). Everything in this picture was entirely used except for all of the styling lotion – still some left!
The Curel lotion was used up in about two weeks, max – I had to give in a purchase a small Aveeno lotion to get me through the rest of the trip. I’m just finishing the Glysomed hand cream, the Dove soap is still kickin’, and I barely used the Vichy sunscreen – I know, I know, and they have a big ol’ hole in the ozone layer over NZ which on bad days can burn you in 2.5 minutes (no, I’m not exaggerating, this is fact!), but dudes – it was pretty damn chilly there! I wore sleeves and pants almost every single day… The Burt’s Bees cuticle cream took a beating, and the deodorant was entirely used up, it lasted *just* until I made it home!
I bought the travel size of the Purity cleanser before I left – even though I’m leery of the ingredients, I still really like this cleanser and don’t have any issues with it. The Simple cleansing cloths I had bought a while ago but had only used a handful – these were awesome when you were out in the wilderness or if you were sharing a bathroom/shower and wanted to get it done quickfast. They also served as my exfoliant on the trip, and worked quite well!
My trusty facial SPF standby, Clinique’s City Block Sheer, is still going despite using it every day; the Clarins Sun eye cream is on it’s last legs and expired at the end of Oct so it’s going in the trash now. The little pot beneath it is my 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine eye cream, which I squirted into this container – I used almost the entire pot to try and combat those late, excessively boozy nights of which I had FAR too many. Vaseline – the cureall, and of course not even near finished. Next to it is Weleda’s Almond Facial Lotion, which was very nice and which I used up completely. The Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion and the Moisture Surge samples I’ve finished only since I got home, though note I did have TWO of the Moisture Surge packed. I used the Clinique Even Better SPF20 sample up the first week I got to NZ as the weather was still cold enough to justify a heavier moisturizer. I carried the La Roche Posay moisturizer sample around with me everywhere and dabbed it on when needed – that tiny thing lasted about two weeks! Lastly, the sample of Clinique’s All About Eyes serum I used in the AM and it’s still probably half full, it lasts ages!
In an effort to get rid of the millions of perfume samples I have, I brought a handful with me – but forgot to apply it most of the time! As such, I only used up the Escada sample (last one on the right), which was a sweet scent and perfect for summer (not that it was quite summer in NZ…brrr!). The rest (3 Jo Malone and 1 Bond No.9) were worn sporadically, and still are quite full :S
Lastly, we have the makeup. I also threw in a green Urban Decay 24/7 liner in the mix just before I left for a little color, which I did wear sometimes on the lower lash line when we went out. For the most part though, I just wore one of the two Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges (or sometimes both at once), a touch of mascara, and concealer (which I forgot to feature here). When we went to a bar, I’d add one of the two black liners, a bit of foundation (in the contact lense case – learned that trick online somewhere!), and some lip gloss. Out of all this makeup, which was mainly the dregs of my collection – items that were near done or which I wanted to use up – NOTHING was finished, because of the infrequency of wear. DAMN. The samples of primers, the loose shadow in the jar, and the sample Burberry lippies weren’t even touched. BOO
I stored all my makeup in this little case:
I think my cosmetics stash was pretty reasonable for five weeks, for a beauty junkie – don’t you? Actually, one day I was unpacking my whole backpack (which I had to do EVERY day because it only opened from the top – super annoying!), and the girls in my room were shocked at how little stuff I had overall. It sounds great, but honestly I was NOT prepared – for all the partying! I had brought one black tank top, one dressy sleeveless shirt, one pair of jeans, and two dresses (each of which I wore only once because it was NOT a dress kind of trip) for ‘going out’ clothes. I had NO idea that I would be out dancing my ass off at bars and clubs for half of the trip…FAIL. I thought I’d be off hiking every damn day, not getting wasted in Queenstown at World Bar where drinks are served in teapots, or singing kareoke at the Establishment bar in Wellington! Not one other person packed as ‘practically’ as I did, either. Dammit all to hell. Ah well, I still had the BEST time a gal could have! (but I did buy a whole new outfit once I returned to Auckland near the end of my trip – at least ONE night I was well dressed lol).
Alright, that’s it for this installment – I go back to work tomorrow, and actually have to get up at a respectable time! I will post photos of the actual trip tomorrow! In all fairness, this IS a beauty blog, so I had to get the business side out of the way first
I’m really glad to be back, I missed you all! I can’t wait to catch up on the goings-on in the beauty/blogging world, I hope I didn’t miss anything too crazy! Let me know all the gossip – and what I NEED to know regarding makeup collections, etc. I am so MAJORLY out of the loop!!!!
Well…I’m pretty much sucking at this whole low-buy thing. You’d think, a gal who could give up buying cosmetics altogether during Lent last year could do a silly low-buy that consequently enables her to ALSO buy up to 5 nail polish a month and 3 LE items per season? Er, no. Seems I can’t. I am simply struggling to finish enough products in order to justify the amount I’ve purchased!! I tell you, it’s becoming impossible. There are just too many awesome products out there, it’s *sooo* not my fault!~Boo Hoo~ Enough with the whining I guess…you want to see the damage, I take it? Check out what I bought/swapped for in the last month (reviews for products will be eventually forthcoming):
1) Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin (bought)
2) Neutrogena Moisture Oil Free Sensitive Skin (bought)
4) Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Aqua (bought)
6) Laura Mercier Full-Blown Volume Mascara (bought)
6) MAC Refined Golden bronzer (swapped for*)
7) MAC Pigment in Melon (swapped for*)
8) Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Nectar (swapped for*)
9) Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee in Shimmering Sands (LE) (bought)
10) Zoya Cho (bought)
11) Nfu-Oh #51 (bought)
12) Nfu-Oh Aqua Base (bought)
*For the swapped items, I exchanged for my MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot, MAC Electra and Strike a Pose eyeshadows, Urban Decay Zero 24/7 eyeliner, the Fyrinnae Shinkirou eyeshadow, and a Marc Jacobs perfume and a handful of perfume samples. So that totals to 5 makeup items.
OK. So I am at a surplus with my polish allowance – all good. I’m already down one for my Summer LE quota (which I can already forsee is going to be a HUGE problem with all the amazing items coming out!!!). Otherwise I picked up 2 skincare products and 7 makeup items. Hmmm…let’s see how I did in the *purge* category.Last month I was kickin’ butt at using up my makeup, but this month hasn’t been so successful. I did get rid of a couple of straggler products overall, but still…I’m disappointed. Take a look:
Suddenly, this was finished this weekend – I had no idea I was on my last pump, but I am SO happy about it! Shave gel = useless product.
Live Clean Moisturizing Body Wash
I used this to soak my feet in after realizing I wasn’t a fan of the generic soap-scent. Worked well in that area, at least! It foamed up really nicely.
Redken Real Control Crema Care (50mL)
This is a great styling lotion if you’re looking for a travel product – it holds and softens hair at the same time, but it’s a bit sticky feeling. I wouldn’t buy the full size version.
butter London Nail Foundation ($20CAD)
I enjoyed this for the first couple months, loving how *flawless* it made my bare nails look, and how it helped eliminate VNL, but it didn’t adhere my polish any better than any other base coat, and it got thick fast. I added thinner to no avail. For that price tag – bye bye!
I know a lot of people have issues with the Clarifying Lotion. I don’t dislike it, but I’m not necessarily a fan, and if you have sensitive skin it can be a pretty harsh exfoliant. I’d recommend the mild version for most skins, which I may try some day. For now, I’m glad this is gone. I got it for free, so you know I *had* to use it.
Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes ($10CAD)
I have yet to have luck with any wipes which don’t seem to harm my skin in some way. The first time I used these, I loved how soft they made my face feel (and still with that lovely orange-y scent, yum!). But then the next day my face seemed to be extra-reactive, and I think these may have been the culprit. There were only 10 wipes, so I just used them on the nights when I was just TOO lazy to wash my face. All done now
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (50mL) ($17.50CAD)
Travel size of this cleanser. I bought it to check it out, and when I realized it wasn’t much of anything, I used it to travel with. However, I’ve been slowly running out of cleansers and I am trying to use them all up before buying more, so I started using this in the shower daily. It’s pretty fragrant so I worry about the effect it has on my skin – seems OK but I’m always suspicious. I wouldn’t buy this again.
Josie Maran Argan Oil (15mL) ($18CAD)
I sadly can’t get behind the hype of this product; it didn’t do anything amazing for my skin, and I was SO prepared for it to! I might be great in the warmer months for a nighttime product, but during the Winter days and nights, it was both greasy and yet not quite moisturizing enough some how. Fail.
I finished a foundation!! I can’t remember the last time I did that I’ve spoken of this one before – I really liked it; the color match was superb, the coverage just right (sheer to medium) and it didn’t irritate my skin in the least. I could use this on the sensitive skin around my mouth and it never caused any problems, and actually hydrated it a bit. I can’t use this in the Summer because it’s a bit too much for my oily skin, but in the cold Winter month it was just what the doctor ordered. I’d even potentially buy this again next year!
Clinique All About Eyes Concealer in Medium Honey ($20CAD)
- This used to seem like the perfect shade for me…but lately I found it to be a bit grey, for whatever reason. So it was a good thing that it was nearing it’s end. It’s pretty old too, probably 4 years+, and the sides are cracking so that I’d get concealer on my fingers when I squeezed too hard. How annoying. Time to go!
- I know some people really enjoy this mascara, and the first time I used it I LOVED how long it made my lashes look – but it quickly got dry and super-clumpy, and I never felt like I had enough product on the brush since it comes in the package with the brush separate from the mascara tube to begin with. I dunno. It got old quick, literally
Buxom Mascara in Blackest Black (sample)
- I received this back during the Sephora opening, and only started using it about two months ago. Could be because it was older, but it just never gave enough *oomph* for me. It was absolutely AMAZING for getting every lash and for not clumping, ever, but it almost somehow faded throughout the day and my lashes seemed to get more and more puny as the hours wore on. I’m not into the au naturale look with lashes so this is not for me. And NOT Buxom by any means!
- I got this in a gratis or through a school or something…and it’s SO not for me! Not only am I not a huge lipstick wearer, I don’t wear ANY of these shades, and I get irritated having to use a lip brush every time I want to apply it. No thanks man! I had this in a drawer at work just collecting dust – it’s time it kicked the bucket.
- I think I picked up the Annabelle liner looking for a recreation of MAC’s Spice liner, which I heard a lot about. Whether or not they’re dupes, I dunno…I barely used this because a) I just don’t use liner, and b) it was a muddy color on my lips. Boo. I’ve had this for like, 10 years – why am I keeping this kind of crap! BEGONE.
The Smashbox lip pencil, well…it’s sheer, and its a lip pencil. Not. For. Me. TOSS.
MAC Gleam Lipstick ($17.50CAD)
- I went through this kick a few years back where I wanted that pale nude-lavender lip look (see my post with Keri Hilson’s look) and this was the shade I picked up thinking it could help create it. Uh, no. This is like a pale silvery-beige-purple sheer lippie that makes me look dead. I tried mixing it with other shades to make it work, and I could, but good gosh – I don’t want to have to work so darn hard! It’s going, I can’t deal with it any longer. And it looks ugly in the tube. I hate when my makeup gets ugly-looking. GET OUT OF MY LIFE.
MAC Venetian Lustreglass ($17.50CAD)
- A couple years ago I had my makeup done at MAC for a Christmas party, and this was part of the look. It looks fantastic then, and then…never again. It’s too much of a blue-based red, and because it’s more on the sheer side, it looked weak as well. I am the most proud of this getting tossed – I mixed this with every friggin’ lippie I could to get rid of it, and hallelujah – success!! I could probably get a couple more uses out of it, but NO. NO, I REFUSE. I AM DONE WITH YOU.
So….yea. Getting a bit angry there, sorry! It’s just that those items that were long overdue to get the boot and it was driving me insane that they were hanging around forever. I hardly have any of those kinds of items left now though, sa-weet! …Except that means that I have very few products that are going to get used up any time soon, which means…very little allowable purchases for awhile (supposedly – hopefully I get some willpower this coming month). DANG.
Anyway, lets do the tally:
Limited Edition (Summer) – 1 of 3
Acquired – 9 (2 skincare, 7 makeup)
Got Rid Of – 22 (7 skincare, 1 hair, 14 makeup)
Skin- and haircare don’t even really warrant discussing – I think I’m always going to have more going out than coming in (although…how is that even possible? Hmm…eventually it’ll be one to one I guess) – but on the makeup side, I managed to achieve my use 2, buy 1 guideline by the skin of my teeth. I’m going to be up-front – I pretty much ransacked my stash to see if there were any items I didn’t want or even like and got rid of them just so I could ring in on the level. I know I need to strap down and really take this more seriously; the whole point of engaging in this challenge was to use and appreciate what I have…and lately I feel like I’m just chasing after the next thing and the next, and barely even registering what I’ve gotten. Which is a terrible habit to get into, and more than anything else I want to stop that cycle.
Next month, I PROMISE to do better! And hold me to it – there’s no point in engaging in another 9 months of this if I’m just going to continue on the same way I always have. My arse needs a good kick sometimes!
How do you keep your purchases in check? What are your suggestions on how to truly slow down and appreciate what you already have, and resist the siren call of new products?
Earlier this week I mentioned that I was attending a press event here in Halifax, and now – I bring you the details! Last month, a PR representative for Sephora contacted me through this blog to invite me to a press lunch for the new store opening here in August. Obviously, I was ALL over it! So, today, several other Halifax bloggers, a couple TV personalities, the PR rep. Caroline and the VP and General Manager of Sephora Canada, Klaus Larsen (!) met for lunch at one of the more upscale restaurants in Halifax, Onyx.
After introductions between everyone, we sat down to an amazing meal, while discussing everything from our day jobs, American Idol, kids, and of course, Sephora and cosmetics in general! Klaus was truly a pleasure to talk to – he was funny and engaging, with wonderful anecdotes , and although it was clear that he was someone to respect and admire, he was terribly easy to talk to. As if I needed another reason to love Sephora, right? Caroline was exceptionally kind, and the other attendees were also extremely interesting and lovely, and inspirational on their own. It’s so nice to get to meet other bloggers living in Halifax! Each of them bring something unique and wonderful to the online community. Which of course you all know I’m madly in love with as it is
A li’l link love for them all below:
Some details on the store: it’s going to be standard size, which means it should carry all the brands that every other full-sized Sephora in Canada has. For now, it will only be the one store – which makes sense due to our population at this point. Just the fact that we’re going to finally have our own store, that I won’t have to order online anymore…I’m over the moon. And a little bit scared for my bank account…
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Sephora event without a few goodies!! We all left with a Sephora bag full of product, which I managed to hold off rooting through until I was back home. The goods are as follows:
- NARS Lip Gloss in Wonder
- NARS The Multiple in Laguna
- MUFE Uplight Face Luminizer Gel
- MUFE Aqua Liner in #5
- Hello Kitty Memoirs of a Kitty Eyeshadow & Blush Palette
- Tarina Tarantino Sparklecity Bronze Eyeshadow Palette
- Tarina Tarantino Sparklecity Pure Bronze Sparkle Powder
- Tarina Tarantino Sparklecity Bronze Shimmer Dust
Ohh yea! I’ve never tried Tarina or Hello Kitty before, and I had JUST been looking at the new NARS Summer 2011 collection and considering the Wonder gloss, so that was a great surprize! I’ve swatched everything to show you, but in an effort to keep this post shorter, I’m going to show it all in a separate post tomorrow.
So, now you’re in the loop on my ‘secret’ rendezvous. Caroline and Klaus mentioned that they are going to keep us all posted on a possible VIP-type pre-store opening event, so we’ll have a first look at the new store. I really can’t wait, or contain my excitement!! Sephora in Halifax…all is right with the world.
A great way to spend a hump day I think!
Thanks for reading