Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Castor Oil Eyelash Update

It's been a month since I started my Castor Oil Eyelash Experiment (initial post about it is here). I've been pretty good about applying it - usually at least 5 nights a week. I've stuck with the clear Castor Oil - as it is relatively odorless, and less likely to irritate my eyes.

Here is an update photo - the top photo was before, and the bottom photo is one month into the experiment.

Conclusions: There doesn't seem to be any noticeable change. My lashes look a little spikier in the bottom pic because I used an oily eye make up remover today. I know that a lot of lash growth solutions take at least 6 weeks to take effect, so I'm going to continue applying the Castor Oil for another month. Will post another photo then.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

He said yes!

I'm so excited!!! I convinced hubby to buy me the Louis Vuitton Speedy 25. I love designer bags, and I love classics - and the LV Speedy is an adorable combination of both.
Although there are many fakes of this bag, I don't mind - I like knowing that mine is the real thing. I think this is the perfect *everyday* bag - it will only get better with age.
Now I just have to figure out when hubby can go pick it up from the LV store.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Products I'm Using Right Now (Tag)

I found this tag on one of my favourite beauty blogs: BUBBLEGARM

Shampoo & Conditioner: L'Oreal EVERPURE Shampoo (the EVERPURE range is sulfate free) and ORGANIX smoothing Shea Butter Conditioner. I don't *love* either product - although they work well enough. I'll probably re-purchase the EVERPURE Shampoo, and switch to Aveda Sap Moss Conditioner (I used to love this product - but will have to check that it doesn't have any nasty chemicals in it)

Shower Gel: Fruits & Passion Rose Shower Gel and The Sanctuary's Foaming Cream Scrub (I used to buy this range at Boots - and was so pleased to find it at my grocery store in Canada)

Styling products: Moroccan Oil (but very occasionally - I don't really use styling products. I don't *love* this product either, it tends to make my hair look oily - don't need any help with that!)

Body moisturiser: Fruits & Passion Moringa Body Butter (love the texture of these butters)

Deodorant: Crystal Body Deodorant (the doctor prescribed this for my cousin after she broke out in a rash from Dove deodorant. Most deodorants make me feel itchy - this one eliminates that problem - and also it is the first deodorant to make me completely odor-less. This is a holy grail product for sure! Just remember to apply it wet to freshly washed skin - and you have 24 hour protection!) By the way - they sell a similar product in the UK in Boots and Waitrose - it is called Pit Rok.

Fake Tan: Don't need one - I'm NC35 all year round!

Skincare: Burts Bees, Avalon Organics and Clarisonic

Primer: Don't use one

Foundation: Will use Bare Escentuals Tinted Mineral Veil once in a while

Foundation brush: Bare Escentuals Handy Buki Brush (Works much better for me than regular Kabuki brushes - the bristles are very dense and firm)

Concealer: MAC Studio Finish in NC35

Powder: the Tinted Mineral Veil mentioned above

Blusher: NARS Orgasm or Chanel Blush (will have to update with the name later)

Bronzer: Boots No 15

Highlighter: Golden Bronze from the Sephora Shimmer Brick or Benefit Gilded pencil

Eyeshadow base: Don't own one yet - but am looking to buy the Urban Decay Primer Potion

Eyeshadows: Sephora loose gold eye shadow and Stila Kitten

Eyeliner: MAC fluidline in blacktrack

Curler: Revlon (I purchased this after reading that Jemma Kidd (the make up artist) recommended it)

Mascara: Maybelline Full n Soft (Nice buildable coverage, and comes off so easily)

Lipstick: none

Lipgloss: MAC Dazzleglass in Liqueur and Chanel Glossimer in Blizzard

Nail Colour: Sephora/OPI in Set the Mood

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My MAC collection

Here are all the MAC items that I own. Now that I've gotten more into beauty blogging, I've written down lots of wishlist items - so I expect my collection will get much larger! I've pasted their details from the MAC website underneath the photo.

Would repurchase: the gel eyeliner, concealer, lip brush and blush brush.
Wouldn't repurchase: 191 foundation brush (I was sold this brush to apply concealer with - its way too big for that!), spice lipliner (a cult classic, but nothing special for me) and nylon eyeshadow - it doesn't really suit my skintone.

From left to right:
Facecolon 129 Powder/Blush Brush: All-purpose for blush or face powder. This brush is particularly good for blush application (CA$ 41)
Facecolon 191 Square Foundation Brush:A large, flat, square-shaped synthetic-fibre brush with a fine firm edge for distribution and blending of liquid, emulsion or cream products on the face or body. (CA$ 38.50)

Eyecolon 242 Shader Brush: For powder, concealer or emollient-based product application. This brush has firm fibers carefully shaped to form a rounded edge for a smooth, even finish. (CA$ 27.50)
Lipcolon 318 Retractable Lip Brush:A compact lip brush for the handbag. Ultra-firm with tapered tip. Defines the contours of the lip: applies fill quickly and easily. (CA$ 25)
Lip Pencil, Spice Shade description: Pink cinnamon stick (CA$ 15.50)
Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer, NC35 (CA$ 20)
Dazzleglass, Liqueur (CA$ 21.50)
Fluidline, Blacktrack Shade description: Solid flat black (CA$ 18)
Pro Palette/X4 Eye Shadow (CA$ 4.50)
Eye Shadow/Pro Palette Refill Pan (CA$ 13 each)
Clockwise from top left:
Nylon: Pale gold with icy metallic shimmer (Frost)
Retrospeck: Beached blonde (Lustre)
Black Tied: A midnight black with a silver white sparkle
Honesty: Pewtered bronze (Lustre)

EDIT: Recent Additions

Lipstick, Crème d’Nude Shade description: Pale muted peach beige (Cremesheen)
Lipstick, Myth Shade description: Pale muted peachy-beige (Satin)
Lipstick, Angel Shade description: Soft pink (Frost)

Eyecolon 217 Blending Brush
For shading or blending of colour or creamy products.
Eyecolon 239 Eye Shading Brush
Soft and dense to shade or blend eye shadow or emollient-based products

Drugstore Make Up For a Teen

My cousin is turning 13, so I went to Walmart and got her these items as part of her birthday present (we're also taking her out to a sushi dinner). She won't be wearing make up that often, so I didn't think it was worth it to buy high end items. As she is a young teen, I got items that would make her look glossy and pretty, but understated and age appropriate (she is definitely not a Bratz wannabe!)

Wet n Wild MegaGlow Illuminating Powder: This is a multipurpose product - sort of like Bobbi Brown's shimmerbrick. We can swirl the brush through all the colours to give a general glow to her face. Focusing the blush brush on the darker shades, we can get a blush/bronzer effect, while the lightest stripe can be used as eyeshadow.
Wet n Wild Face Styling Brush Kit: Since the powder didn't come with a brush, I got this surprisingly cheap brush kit (around CAD$4) which has 3 eyeshadow brushes, one lipliner and a blush brush - all made out of natural hair. The blush brush will definitely come in handy, while the eyeshadow blushes can be used to play with the different shades and try out different effects. The eyeliner brush can be used wet, for concentrated shadow colour.
Wet n Wild Eyeliner in Dark Brown: Eyeliner applied above the lash line is a flattering and subtle look - we chose brown to make the look even softer. I own this eyeliner in Black - and it is really long-lasting. Many reviewers say that it is a dupe for MAC eyeliner.
Bonnie Bell Smackers Lip Sparkler in Celestial Strawberry: this is the classic tween/teen brand, so I had to get this light shimmery gloss. It will add just the right touch of sparkle.

Sephora trip

I received my Sephora Gift Card ($15 off $35) so I went to the store today, to pick up some treats. Here's what I purchased:

Stila Kitten Collection: The eyeshadow is one of those cult classics that I've always read about - and this deal is great - you get the full-size eyeshadow AND lipgloss, for the price of 1 item. The lipgloss is such a gorgeous shade - I'm very excited to try this out.

I also got 2 nailpolishes: Sephora/OPI nailpolish in Set The Mood (metallic dark pink on nail#1) and Sephora brand nailpolish in turquoise (nail #3). I was debating between the Sephora brand polish and Sephora/OPI's Mermaid To Order (nail#4). In the end I chose the Sephora brand polish, as Mermaid to Order has a greenish metallic tinge that doesn't suit me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The top 5 things that have helped clear up my skin:

In my early twenties, my skin started to act up. I'd frequently get clogged pores, and would always have at least 1 spot on my skin. When I was 27, my skin was the worst it has ever been, as I was prescribed some medicine which interfered with my hormones. I was left with acne all over my forehead, cheeks and chin. It took a long time for the effects of the medicine to flush out of my system. (This picture shows my forehead when I was 27, and now)

Now, 4 years later, my skin is probably the clearest it has ever been (knock wood!). Here are the top 5 things that have led to this transformation.

5. Sticking to my cleansing routine - I currently wash my face in the morning, and deep cleanse it at night. To prevent myself skipping my deep cleansing session because I'm too tired, I've started washing my face earlier in the night. This ensures my skin is clear every night, and there are no clogged pores - therefore, less spots.
4. Changing pillowcases frequently - I noticed that there were more blemishes on the side of my face that I sleep on, so I've started changing my pillowcase every 1-2 nights. This is especially helpful because I use Castor Oil in my hair twice a week - and I don't want oil residue ending up on my face. I keep spare pillowcases in my pajama drawer, so that it is quick and easy to change the case.
3. Burts Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser - There are a lot of followers of the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) which claims that oil is more effective at cleaning out blocked pores than soaps. Furthermore, OCM doesn't strip your skin of its natural oils, thus preventing over production of in response to cleansing. (You can read more about OCM here). I personally don't have the patience to follow the full OCM method, but this Burts Bees cleanser uses Orange Oil - which allows me to enjoy some of the benefits of OCM.

2. Avalon Organics Vitamin C Vitality Facial Serum - I've been using this product for around 2 months. This serum has tightened my pores (I have few, if any blackheads now!) and given my skin an airbrushed finish. I think it has also prevented spots from forming and lightened any existing acne scars. This truly is a wonder product, and nearly made it to first place. Also, I love that it is organic, so I don't feel guilty about adding yet another product to my skin care regimen.

1. Clarisonic Classic Skin Cleansing System - I use the Clarisonic once a day (at night-time) to deep clean my pores and ensure that all make-up has been removed. It is an expensive product, but it delivers on its promises. I've been using this for a year now, and I'm amazed at the difference it has made.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Forever 21 jewelry

I'm not usually into cheap jewelry - I've always focused on acquiring classic and elegant items - such as diamond studs, simple pendants etc. This year, I've found myself inexplicably drawn to delicate and colourful jewelry. There is one kiosk in the mall that I can't pass by without purchasing something (will try upload pictures of my items from there later). I've found that wearing my cheap and cheerful jewelry really cheers me up!

So when I read that forever 21 was having free shipping yesterday, I spent a long time browsing their limitless collection - and chose 2 items to order. I love how tiny and delicate this strawberry is:

This leaf necklace reminds me of the Jennifer Meyer one that Jennifer Aniston wore in "The Break Up" - I've always admired it:

Since shipping was free, the 2 items came to $13.10 - seems like a great deal to me! Will update once I receive the items.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Castor Oil for Eyelash growth

I've been hearing about the benefits of Castor Oil for hair growth, and I've already started using it on my scalp. I've also decided to try it on my eyelashes. From what I've read, Castor Oil allows hair to reach its full growth potential - through its antibacterial and moisturisation properties.

In general, I'm happy with my eyelashes - but thickness and extra length are always a bonus. I'm hoping that there will be a postive effect, and if not - fingers crossed that I don't end up worse off.

Here is my before shot:

I plan on taking comparison pictures after 1 month, 2 months and 3 months. By then, I should be able to see if there is an effect or not.

Every night, after I've washed my make-up off, I'll use my fingertip to apply Castor Oil to the roots of my eyelashes. In the morning, I'll wash it off.

Here is the Castor Oil I'm using:

I'm waiting for this Castor Oil to arrive in the mail, apparently it is unrefined and is more effective. I'll probably switch over to it once I get it.

Just a warning - if you're interested in trying this - do so at your own risk. From what I've read, Castor Oil is used in MANY common products - BUT the eye area is sensitive, so make sure to test carefully before attempting this treatment. I've already used this for 3 nights - and so far, so good - but I'm careful to make sure my hands are clean and that I use only a small amount.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Drugstore Make Up

I don't own a lot of make up. I research and sample a lot of products, and then buy the *ultimate* product - one that I can use all the time. I prefer buying "high end" make up, because I like to feel pampered when I'm doing my make up. However, there are a lot of items where the *ultimate* product is a drugstore brand.

Here is a pic of all the drugstore products in my make up box. I'll share which I think are great, and which are just so-so.

Top Row (L-R): Revlon Lip Gloss - great everyday gloss, shiny and not-sticky; Wet n Wild Mega Slicks Lip Gloss in Bronze Berry - this shade is supposed to be a dupe for Blizzard by Chanel - which I also own. It doesn't compare - hardly any colour shows up, and it wears off easily; Sally Hanson Collagen Injection/Lip Inflation - they plump really well, especially when combined, but the gloss smells sickly sweet; Wet n Wild eyeliner - the BEST liquid eyeliner I've tried. The brush is easy to control and apply, the colour is thick and long lasting. Better than the liquid eyeliners I've tried by Lancome, L'Oreal and Revlon. The only thing I like better is gel eyeliner; Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara; Max Factor Volume Couture Mascara - I don't *love* it, not much thickening action; L'Oreal Panoramic Curl Mascara - my FAVOURITE mascara - it thickens and curls my eyelashes so well! 17 Bronzer and eyeshadow - these were bought from Boots in the UK, the bronzer gives me such a healthy glow - not too shimmery, and never makes my face look *dirty*, and I love the pink and gold colours in the eyeshadow.

Bottom Row:

First section (from Top to Bottom) - L'Oreal lipliner - goes on easily, is the best lipliner I've tried so far (and I own Spice by MAC, which is supposed to be a cult fave - it does nothing for me!); Revlon lipliner; Wet n Wild lipliner #666 - is supposed to be a dupe for MAC Spice liner, I actually prefer it to the MAC version, as it shows up more on my lips;

Second section (from Top to Bottom) - Wet n Wild eyeliners in green and black, the black one is a good basic liner, I haven't really used the green one yet, but I keep meaning too! Max Factor eyeliner in blue - this pencil is really old, but it looks really nice when paired with simple make up and dark lashes; Boots and Revlon eyeshadow brushes - not my favourites, but I'm not that good at applying eyeshadow, so I don't have to worry about blending or contouring with them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Outfit of the Day

This past weekend was my nephew's birthday party. I didn't really have time to go shopping for a new outfit, but I wanted to wear something colourful - so I added a cardigan to an outfit I usually only wear in the summer:

Cardigan: JCrew outlet
Dress: Old Navy
Jeans: Miss Selfridges
Shoes: Guess
Necklace: Street vendor

Sunday, November 8, 2009

2 outfits and some shopping...

Just catching up with some photos and posts. Here's an outfit from last month - lots of Old Navy - the trenchcoat, sweater and jeans are all from there, while the shoes are from Payless, and the scarf is from a street vendor. I like my trenchcoat, as it makes any outfit look elegant and dainty. However, although the cropped sleeves make it more stylish, it also makes it less practical.

Below are my beauty purchases from this week. I went to Sephora to browse - and saw that they were having a free gift (the silver clutch with flower) with $50 purchase, so I picked up some items that had been on my list for a while - Sephora/OPI nail polish remover, Clarisonic brush head, and Lip Venom in Pink Shimmer. I have the original Lip Venom, and while I don't really think any "plumping" lip gloss really works, it is a shiny and long-lasting gloss - so I'm excited to get it one that will make my lips seem pinker.

I also went to Fruits&Passion - I love this place. I hope that it does not get run out of business by Bath & Bodyworks. F&P products smell sweeter and last longer. I'm in love with their hand and body butters. I purchased their Avocado hand butter (just thick enough to prevent winter dryness, and comes in an adorable little tub) and their Moringa body butter (it smells divine - and a good replacement for Body Shop body butters - which are now more like lotions than butters!)

Here is a picture of my outfit today - went out with my sister. I'm wearing a sweater dress by Esprit and boots by Payless. I don't usually wear dresses, but I loved this outfit. I thought the dress with boots combo was cute, while the leggings kept me covered up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Outfit of the day and new purchases

Just a quick update post, I wore my new purchases today. Here are my shoes from Guess, and my bag from Aldo. I think the bag is perfect for winter, as it is roomy enough to stuff my hat, gloves and scarf in when I'm not using them. I just need to find a little fabric to tie on the handle to cheer it up a bit.

Funny story - when I was posing with the bag in front of the mirror at Aldo's - trying to decide if it suited me, an older lady with a Gucci bag and Burberry trenchcoat told me "No - that's not for you - you're young - you need something with more colour in it." I think unsolicited opinions are cute - especially with the hidden compliment thrown in (that I look young - he he!). I guess I've always been drawn to either very girly things - or very lady-like/conservative things.

Today I wore my Old Navy Jeans, Primark black t-shirt with New Look kimono top. Now that it's gotten colder, I'm trying to stretch out my summer tops by layering underneath.


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