Tuesday, December 27, 2011

If You Blog, They Will Follow

So, after doing such a good job of keeping up with my blog and Twitter I went and got super sick and had to take some time off to take care of myself. I have so many things to review in the new year! I'm so excited (thanks to Santa for bringing me a ton of Sephora gift cards!). Some things to look forward in the next week and the new year: Clarisonic Mia, Sephora Lash Stash set, Ole Henriksen products, Quo nail polishes, Urban Decay Lush Lash system and other fantastic gift sets!

I've also had to start a gallbladder diet, which means I really need to change up my eating habits. I'm trying to eat my way through the "no longer allowed" foods before I start going all for it, but once I've settled into my new way of eating I will do a post on that too.

Also, completely not beauty related, but my new obsession worth note - Dyson vacuum!! My mom got it for hubby and I for Christmas and it's freaking ridiculous. I went through my house with my old vacuum and then over it a second time with my Dyson and had to empty the canister 3 times!!!! AMAZING!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I Have No Self Control - Pic Heavy

     Do you ever find a product, take it home, swatch it and then run back to the store like a crazy woman to purchase eighty thousand more? I don't do that often - in fact, I think the last time I did that was a year or two ago when MAC brought out my perfect lip stick shade as a limited edition (Laugh A Lot).

     The Revlon Lip Butters were instant love. I knew they would probably sell like hot cakes once the beauty community learned that they were available in Canada already. So, after my blog post yesterday I ran back to London Drugs and then went back a THIRD time to get all the colours I wanted... Obsessed much?

     I really have no complaints about this product though. After wearing Berry Smoothie yesterday I found them to be relatively moisturizing. I think they wear for approximately the same amount of time as a MAC lustre. My only complaint is that I find it difficult to "draw inside the lines" with the shape of these. I have a really defined cupids bow so I tend to prefer a classic lipstick shape.

Top L-R: Raspberry Pie, Red Velvet Cake
Bottom L-R: Cotton Candy, Sweet Tart
Top L-R: Pink Truffle, Creme Brulee
Creamsicle
     So, now I am the proud owner of - count 'em - eleven freaking lip butters. I don't need eleven of them, but I think I'll get my use out of them. That being said - I've placed a lip product ban on 2012. The colours I've purchased now consist of: Strawberry Shortcake, Peach Parfait, Berry Smoothie, Candy Apple, Red Velvet Cake, Raspberry Pie, Cotton Candy, Sweet Tart, Pink Truffle, Creme Brûlée, and Creamsicle.

Red Velvet Cake

     Red Velvet Cake scares me a little to be honest. While I tend to be a red/pink/berry lip girl and really bright lip makes me uncomfortable. This is a warmer burgundy type red and, while it's beautiful, it might take a couple of drinks to get me to wear it in public. It is a nice shade on my pale skin with yellow undertones though and it stains like CRAZY so I might try it as a stain with some lip balm.

Red Velvet Cake

Raspberry Pie

     Raspberry Pie looks just like a raspberry in the tube. I found though that it both swatched and applied much more hot pink than bright berry (think a nice dark ripe raspberry vs a cooked down red one). Probably I won't get a ton of use out of this one.

Raspberry Pie

Cotton Candy

     Cotton Candy on the other hand has probably slipped into my top two shades! This is exactly what I wanted to get out of Strawberry Shortcake. Much like SS, CC is a barely there, wear with anything pink. The difference (which makes it look a lot better on me) is that it runs a lot more neutral to warm. I also find it less milky than SS which is also a big plus in my books.

Cotton Candy


Sweet Tart
     Sweet Tart is one that I avoided on my first outings and picked up, put back and picked up again on my final trip. It is a bright pink, which scared me a little after seeing swatches of Lollipop but I do believe this one is wearable. Sweet Tart is reminiscent of MAC's Lustering which is another favorite lipstick of mine. I would describe this as a slightly blue toned neutral mid to bright pink.

Sweet Tart

Pink Truffle

     Pink Truffle is one I had no interest in before swatching it in store (FYI - Berry Smoothie, Strawberry Shortcake, Pink Truffle and Creme Brûlée seem to be the standard in store testers). Not surprisingly this is a pink based brown. Typically I stay away from brown lips because they just don't appeal to me, but the rose undertone in this makes it pretty. I'm really excited to create a look using Pink Truffle as the star.

Pink Truffle

Creme Brulee

     Creme Brûlée is one I actually didn't care much for even after swatching. I'm not sure what possessed me to pick it up (I was in frantic shopping mode) but I did and I'm glad. This is a light neutral brownish colour. In the tube it reminds me of light brown sugar. But on the lips it looks really attractive. I have fairly dark pigmented lips to begin with and I think Creme Brûlée neutralizes them a bit without being scary.

Creme Brulee

Creamsicle

     Finally, I grabbed Creamsicle based solely on the recommendation from Elise (BubbleGumPrincess) on YouTube. Well, I'll just say that based on her videos our skin tones and colouring are similar, but OMG this is a hot mess on me. I was hesitant when I picked it up, but I thought it would go on kind of sheer. I was wrong. It's a milky orange - think a creamsicle that has melted and the orange Popsicle is mixed with the vanilla ice cream. I can picture it looking nice on someone with different colouring than me, but I think the combination of my pigmented lips and the tone of my skin make this really awful on me.

Creamsicle
     Finally I'm finished! I promise no more Lip Butter posts for awhile!! I'll summarize by saying I think these Lip Butters are wearable and workable. It's easy to get a light wash of colour or to build it up and get something more dramatic. For my personal taste and skin tone I'd say Berry Smoothie, Cotton Candy, Peach Parfait, Sweet Tart and Creme Brûlée are your must haves. If you could only get two, I'd recommend Berry Smoothie as your natural looking one and Sweet Tart for a more noticeable lip.

Top L-R: Berry Smoothie, Peach Parfait, Creme Brulee
Bottom L-R: Cotton Candy, Sweet Tart

   

















Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Faves: Revlon Lip Butters (IN CANADA?!)

     So I'll admit it - this is more of a first impressions review than a technical favorite post. However, even though I've only had these babies in my hot little hands for about four hours I've been playing with them and I can tell they will become quick staples!!! A big thanks to Dani at Call it Beauty for tipping me off that these Revlon Lip Butters had found their way into some London Drugs!

     I'm a big believer that a lipstick is a lipstick is a lipstick - whether the cheapest drug store brand or the most expensive department store brand. Sure, there are variations in formulation, pigmentation and longevity, but I find these are more across the board for certain COLOURS than certain brands.

     So far I am really impressed with these lip butters. I think they wear a lot like MAC Lustres (which are my favorite). They have a great colour pay off and leave a nice sheen on the lip. I have a lot of trouble wearing lip products other than lip balms in the winter, and I'm hoping these will solve my moisture problems... that doesn't sound quite right - but you catch my drift. I can't say if these wear for a long time or if they really keep lips moisturized, but I will be sure to update when I figure it out!!

     Luckily for me, they had all the shades available when I went to LD this morning. I am impressed with the colour range - there are very wearable neutrals, pinks, corals, reds and browns (which I'm sure you've all seen online anyways!) I picked up four and I'm already regretting not buying a few other shades...


L-R: Strawberry Shortcake, Peach Parfait, Berry Smoothie, Candy Apple



Top L-R: Strawberry Smoothie, Peach Parfait
Bottom L-R: Berry Smoothie, Candy Apple

Strawberry Smoothie
     Strawberry Smoothie is probably my LEAST favorite of the bunch, which is odd because I often go for pinks like this. I think it leans just slightly too cool for my skin tone. It's a nice barely there pink though. Slightly lighter than MAC's Lovelorn. I'm a bit sad because I was so looking forward to this one, but the others more than make up for it!

Strawberry Smoothie

Peach Parfait
     I am SO in love with Peach Parfait. It's one of those easy to wear colours. It looks a little peach on the lips, but it's not SO orange based that it looks kind of scary. This is what I was hoping Strawberry Shortcake would be. I would say this one leans a little more warm toned, but I could see some cooler toned people pulling it off too. I would say this is one of the must have shades.

Peach Parfait

Berry Smoothie

     I freaking love Berry Smoothie. If I could only have one lip butter, this would be it. A single swipe of this shade gives me a really nice "my lips but better" look. It's really easily buildable and several swipes gives you a really gorgeous (and wearable) berry colour. I have a feeling this will one day be one of those cult colours that you can't find anywhere. I'm resisting the urge to go and buy 77 back ups...

Berry Smoothie

Candy Apple
     This is another really nice shade. Applied it IS a pretty insanely bright red, but with a little blotting you can turn it into a really beautiful lip stain. One swipe without blotting is a bright, slightly orange based red and several swipes gives you a crazy bright lip. I'm not particularly comfortable with a bright lip, so I doubt I'll wear it like that, but it's still really wearable for me! So, that being said - girls who don't like a bright lip - don't be afraid of Candy Apple! You can make it work!

Candy Apple
Well, those are my first impressions. I'm disappointed that I didn't grab Red Velvet Cake and Sweet Tart. I hope you guys have some luck finding these in your local London Drugs! I'm glad they're here in Canada before the rumored February launch. I should also mention I was REALLY surprised that the Canadian retail price is only $7.99 on these. I thought it would be a lot more! 



Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Loves

     First things first - how is it already December!?!??!?!? November just FLEW by. It was supposed to be my "weed through the closets and storage room and throw crap out" month, but apparently that never got a chance to happen.

     I tend to have a pretty blah November make up routine. I LOOOOVE Halloween and fall so I tend to be going out a lot more often in October and I just kind of get tired of make up (well... sort of). This month is cruel to my skin and it's not QUITE time for holiday looks, but it's beyond those nice warm fall looks.

     I feel like my favorites this month are pretty random. Oh well. I will begin with nail polishes. After wearing a ton of browns, greens and oranges in the fall I've kind of fallen head over heels for metallics and glitters. I'm craving red and green glitters, but just couldn't justify them until the beginning of December.


L-R: China Glaze - Material Girl, OPI - French Quarter for Your Thoughts, OPI - Warm & Fozzy, Revlon - Copper Penny


     So I admit that two of these polishes came into my life just last week, but for the whole beginning of November I rotated Copper Penny and French Quarter. Since I received Material Girl and W&F I've had one or the other of those on my fingers!

     I posted last Friday about my total cream shadow obsession. These two shades I've been wearing faithfully throughout November. If you didn't see my cream shadow post - these two may look identical in the pot, but swatched the Benefit is a lot darker where as the MAC shade is more of a shimmery metallic barely there.

L-R: Benefit - Foiled, MAC - Morning Frost

     This is totally random, but I've been loving my BioOil. My hair is really long so it gets really dry and frizzy once the colder months begin. So, to keep my hair silky I put this in the ends of my hair on the evening before I wash it (I'm a morning washer). It makes your hair look really greasy and nasty while it's in there, but once I've washed it out my hair feels like I've just had a trim!


     I have to go scent free Monday to Friday, so when the weekend comes I LOVE smelling nice! I've actually been loving three different BBW scents this November, but sadly I am all out of Cozy Autumn Vanilla. I bought a bottle of the lotion for my mom for Christmas, but I'm almost thinking I may steal it... Winter Candy Apple is the perfect "bridging" scent for me from fall to the holidays. The apple makes it fall appropriate and the musky sweetness makes it holiday ready! Finally, one that I love all year round - Dark Kiss. This one is a raspberry vanilla musk scent. BBW's best IMO.


     Finally, I've been in love with MAC's Sheen Supreme lipstick in Bare Again. They remind me a lot of the lustres only with more colour. This is also a shade that my bestie picked out for me. I typically go for pinks, usually blue based, so going shopping with her pulls me out of my comfort zone. Bare Again is described at a pinky neutral beige, so really it's not THAT far out of my comfort zone, but I'm working on it! The warmth of the brownish undertone makes this more fall appropriate.

MAC Sheen Supreme - Bare Again

     A few total randoms - BBW Leaves Wallflowers. How did I live before these?? New Lord John book by Diana Gabaldon released. I haven't got it yet (it's in the mail) but I am excited to read it!!!! The faux fur lines hoodies I grabbed at Old Navy. They're SO WARM (although they make you look a bit like a marshmallow). No more freezing in movies for me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nail Me, It's Hump Day: Warm & Fozzy

     If you would have said to me two years ago that I would one day wear brown polishes, I probably would have laughed at you. But then it all started with chocolate brown with gold, then chocolate creams, then chocolate milks, and THEN Warm & Fozzy.

     Warm & Fozzy is from the (realitively) new OPI Muppets collection. After stalking many a blog swatch of this colour I decided it would be nice to have, but wasn't a must. Shimmery mid-toned brown? Been there, done that. I slowly but surely made it to my local mall and promptly found the Muppets collection - sans Warm & Fozzy. I was able to see a swatch of W&F at that display and realized why it was sold out. Apparently I didn't get the memo that this colour is AMAZING.

     So, I spent the afternoon driving all over the city and desperately digging through OPI Muppets displays to no avail. After a world of disappointment, I had an epiphany in the grocery store - Nail Polish Canada. I'd never ordered from them before, but this was a life or death situation. Off side topic - Order from Nail Polish Canada! They have the most AMAZING customer service I've ever experienced and the shipping was INCREDIBLY fast. Even after adding something on to my order, it took 36 hours from order placed to arriving at the door. YAY Nail Polish Canada!!

     So, back to W&F. No swatch or description can do this shade justice. It's a rich chocolate brown with bronze and gold and green and pink/red shimmers. Depending on the light it looks completely different. It's nothing like OPI's Pros & Bronze (which I thought it would be similar too). It's a much richer colour. I tried to get a couple of different angles for the lighting. If you can get your hands on this colour RUN out and grab it, especially from Nail Polish Canada!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lazy Day Link Lovings

I only managed to drag myself out of bed at 215 this afternoon (due to Nyquil, not booze) so I thought I would do a quick lazy day post of the blogs/ articles I've been reading and re-reading this week.

Leanne at The Lacquer Lounge continues to feed my nail polish addiction/obsession. I am blaming her if I find myself in nail polish debt. Awesome swatches and comparisons.

Following that, Nail Polish Canada is pretty much my new addiction. They have the BEST customer service ever, the fastest shipping around and FREE shipping over $29 (that was two OPIs and a Zoya). My first order arrived in just 36 hours and they were kind enough to add on to my order when I realized I NEEDED China Glaze Material Girl or I would just die.

Jen at Prairie Girl in the City has made me want out and hit up EVERY SINGLE EVENT in Vancouver... I've been missing out!!!

And finally, Christine, the girl who needs no introduction, uber blogger extraordinaire, from Temptalia, made me run to my local Bay, talons at the ready to pick up Dior Exquis polish with this post. Seriously, I know everyone reads her blog, but if you didn't check out that post in particular do. The swatches make me want to eat that polish for breakfast.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Faves: Cream Shadows!

     Because of the length of my morning commute, the hours the work and the job I have I prefer not to wear a lot of make up to work. I like a really quick routine that I can do without paying much attention to and that doesn't require a lot of product to haul to the gym with me (and to remember to take OUT of my gym bag if I'm not going the next morning!!!!)

     Then I found cream shadows. I have to admit I was pretty much a cream shadow virgin until September when I went a little crazy with a Sephora birthday haul... I had tried (I think) one of the Maybelline cream shadows many moons ago and found it creased, rubbed off, melted etc. Since then I had just never bothered to look into creams.

     Then comes my birthday shopping trip with my bestie. She was kind enough to give me a gift card (and I was smart enough to bring my credit card that's NOT shared with hubby) and I believe I put my first cream shadows into my cart while saying, "F%*k it, it's my birthday." I grabbed the Eye Gotta Annie Collection from Benefit, which has three powder shadows and two creams. I also grabbed two Paint Pots from MAC and some Buxom creams that are waiting for Christmas to go in my stocking!!!

     My new AM make up routine takes me all of two minutes to put together, looks professionally minimalistic and, best of all, is EASY! I conceal, fill in my eyebrows, throw on some eyeshadow primer, one of my cream shadows and then mascara and I'm DONE! I find this look really makes me look rested too.


MAC Paint Pot on the left and Benefit on the right
MAC Morning Frost on the left, Benefit Flash top right, Benefit Foiled bottom right.

     Now, in the pot MAC's Morning Frost and Benefit's foiled look IDENTICAL. But on the eye they are nothing alike. Morning Frost is a really nice mauve/silver wash of shine and colour and Foiled is a darker pewter kind of colour. There is a swatch at the bottom, but sadly it's a terrible iPhone swatch (I swear I asked Santa for a camera).
MAC Let's Skate!
     And then there is MAC's Let's Skate! I was most excited about this one... It swatched beautifully in the store - a nice icy pink with a slight gold sheen to warm it up. But on the eye? YIKES! Hello glitter-ball fairy princess freak show. It's too creamy and WAY glittery. I think mine is a lot more glittery than it was in the store. Maybe I have to get a little further in to the pot or maybe mine is just a freak. I have heard a few people say the same thing about this shade though. Maybe it's just one you want to love so much you convince yourself it's beautiful.
Bad iPhone swatches L-R: Let's Skate! Morning Frost, Foiled, Flash

Thursday, November 24, 2011

TopBox Update etc

I just wanted to give you guys a quick update - after I tweeted about the atrocious customer service experience I had with TopBox someone got in contact with me and offered to subscribe me to the January TopBox. Because the month of the box was the LEAST of my problems I graciously declined. I might sign up for TopBox one day, but it was such a horrible experience signing up, I just can't bring myself to do it right now.

Besides that, I've decided to do a Make Up Out 2011. I'm sure you all have heard about Gloss Outs, where you basically use up what you have and only allow yourself a certain number for the entire year. I'm going to do a Bath Product Out 2011, Lip Product Out 2011 and a Nail Polish Out 2011. I'm only going to allow myself one shower gel and one (scented) lotion. I have to go scent free during the week, so I count those as necessities. Lip products I will allow myself three (and these will probably all be Revlon Lip Butters) and finally five nail polishes (although there is a polish or two in my Christmas stocking that I won't count).

I'll update with photos of my hoard later ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nail Me, It's Hump Day: Nail Fail

Do you ever buy a colour of nail polish that is everything you've ever looked for and then get it home and it just WILL NOT work for you?

That's OPI's Princesses Rock! for me. I desperately wanted a pale, shimmery barely there pink for occasions that warranted subtle nails. This is just a hot mess. I've tried it alone, over light pinks, over whites and over nudes. I have a VNL (visible nail line) every time and the shimmers don't show up very often. I love this polish in the bottle but on me it just doesn't work :(

PS- this is one coat of pink base and THREE coats of Princesses Rock!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Battle of the Brands: TopBox vs LuxeBox

This is a review that is coming much earlier than expected. I had originally planned to get a monthly subscription to both TopBox and LuxeBox for a couple of months, decide on my favorite and then cancel one subscription and keep the other.

To those who have been living under a rock and never heard of these subscription boxes, you basically purchase a subscription and get a package in the mail every month with samples in it. I love me some samples, so this sounded like a really attractive idea. These two are the Canadian equivalent of a BirchBox or Julep Maven subscription (YouTube these babies if you want a better idea of what they are).

I believe the LuxeBox has been available in the US for quite some time and has recently realized that we Canadians like to get prezzies in the mail too (YAYYYY). On it's Twitter account ( @Loose_Button ) it promises "3-5 Deluxe Samples" where as on the website it promises "4-5 Deluxe Samples." It costs $12 per month for the subscription and can be cancelled any time. They also offer 3 months at a time or a yearly subscription that gives you two boxes free. I will likely opt for this option soon, but with Christmas coming and having never experienced one of these boxes I wanted to test it out first. Payments cannot be refunded for these options (but they can be cancelled at the end of the term, so long as the next payment hasn't been processed). I managed to create an account and finalize my subscription in about two minutes, and it could have been less if I didn't use my credit card so much the numbers are almost illegible. I also managed to get the December box!!

TopBox on the other hand is a relatively new Canadian company, also offering fabulous mail prezzies to Canadians. Their website promises 4 samples with every box and runs at $10 per month. I believe that they currently only offer monthly subscriptions and can be cancelled at any time. Up until I signed up attempted to sign up for one of these boxes I thought the TopBox would likely be the clear winner for $2 less and guaranteed 4 samples. I was sorely mistaken. When I went to the website the December box was sold out, but the January box was still available. This didn't bother me in the least, so I began creating my account. I entered my personals with no problem and chose to pay with PayPal, as my credit card wasn't with me at the time. It gave me a strange error, so I checked my e-mail to see if I had been invoiced and tried again, this time with my credit card in hand. After entering my details again and this time choosing to pay with credit card it gave me the same error. When I went to my account home page it showed THREE subscriptions, none of which had an invoice attached to it.

I proceeded to contact customer service and told them what my dilemma was. They promised to look into it and told me people had been having trouble with that page on FireFox. I told them I was using IE and asked them to please cancel two of the pending subscriptions. They e-mailed back again quickly saying they would be back in touch soon. Nine days went by and I still heard nothing from the company. So, I e-mailed again asking for an update and stating that I was anxious to make sure I didn't miss out on the January box. The only reply I got was, "There are no problems with the website. The January and February boxes are sold out, so you will have to wait for March." Ummm... excuse me?

I promise I am no diva... But if I successfully signed up for January and was unable to complete my transaction due to an error in the website I feel like I should be given the January box and an invoice. So, long story short, I e-mailed customer service back, told them I was no longer interested in trying their product and requesting that all pending subscriptions be cancelled. I haven't heard back again yet, but I certainly don't recommend TopBox. If it's a nightmare trying to GET an account, imagine how terrible it will be trying to CANCEL an account? It'll be like those book a month boxes my mom used to get in the 90's!!

I'll update you when I get my first LuxeBox (in December might I add...)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Animal Testing and Your Cosmetics

UGH! What a topic for me to chose to blog about today. It is a topic that I feel is important. But, it's also a subject that has a very fine line between educational and preachy. I promise to make my very best attempt to stay on the educational side of the line.

I believe this is a topic you need to educate yourself in and make your own decision about. No one can make this decision for you as it requires you to sacrifice some favorite products (the upside being that you get to find some new faves)!! When I first made the decision to go cruelty free I found it difficult to find information without horrendous pictures. I understand people are trying to make a point, but when I already don't believe in animal testing I don't want to see photos of maimed bunnies whilst doing my research.

I've turned this into a two part research. The first part, which is what this post is all about, is the elimination of products from companies that directly test on animals. I plan to start researching which raw ingredients are tested on animals and then doing another product elimination after (hopefully there will be any products left!!!), but I thought that would be a far too large project to do all at once. I also am NOT going into the testing of animals for pharmacological purposes. There are laws requiring the testing of animals for these products and I am currently not trying to change that, just attempting to make my beauty station a little bit more friendly.

So, a little background on me and my beliefs: I think it's one thing to use animals to find a cure for cancer (I don't like it, but I don't think it's as bad as using an animal to see if my moisturizer will give me a rash). I think that some pharmacological animal testing has helped us to make leaps and bounds in medicine, but it still makes me sad. The only non-cruelty free product I am still using is Sensodyne toothpaste as I have horrifically sensitive teeth, and I haven't found another toothpaste that helps yet. I am a flexitarian, which means I eat meat if my body tells me it wants it, but I make a good attempt at eating non-animal proteins often. I choose knock-off UGGs that are made from synthetics and, while they aren't as cozy, I feel good that I'm not wearing Mary's little lamb. I also believe that it's entirely your choice whether you feel comfortable consuming or wearing animals.

Image courtesy of howcanulikethat.wordpress.com

Once I discovered which products were animal friendly (most of my cosmetics, YAY!) and which were not (most of my skin care products, BOO!) I didn't immediately toss all the cruel products out and run out to buy cruelty free ones. I feel like the companies only care if you BUY their products. So long as you buy them it doesn't matter if you toss the product or use it. So, I returned any back ups I had and am in the process of using up any already used products.

It is not required by law to test non-medicinal ingredients on animals. However, some companies make this choice based on the ease of testing (you don't need to recruit people that don't mind a rash!) and sometimes based on the cost-effectiveness. There are other tests that can be performed - human study groups can be put together (with a lot of wavers!) and there are many tests they can run on human tissue created in the lab or donated. I won't go any further into this portion, but if you're interested - Google is your best friend!

It's much harder to find out that a company tests on animals than to find those that don't. I would say easily 95% of companies that don't test on animals advertise it either on the actual packaging of the product or the box that the product comes in. That was my first indicator when I was sorting my products. There is no particular symbol that is used, in fact many just say "Not Tested on Animals." Here are a few examples of the symbols:

PETA Logo

Courtesy of fuckhls.wordpress.com


These (and other similar) logos can usually be found by the expiration date located on the back of the packaging. If you can't find one of these logos I recommend going to the product's website and checking out the FAQ before banning it from your stash.

If all else fails PETA has a fairly comprehensive list of cruelty free products. Beware of sad photos on that website though!!! PETA also has an iPhone app called BNB or Be Nice to Bunnies for $2.99 which divides all the products into cruelty free and non-cruelty free as well as by category. I LOVE this app for when I am in the pharmacy buying shampoo and can't remember who is cruelty free. I was surprised by some of the non-cruelty free products (Playtex tampons - really?). I also found it was much easier to find "kind" products in higher end lines (ie - things I could buy at Sephora) than drugstore lines (bye bye beauty budget!!)

I won't make an enormous list here, but I thought I would just list a few products from each category.

Non-Cruelty Free (BOO!)
  • Clairol
  • Clean & Clear
  • Crest
  • L'Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Neutrogena
  • Vichy
Cruelty Free (YAY!)
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Clinique
  • Essie
  • MAC
  • Ole Henrikson
  • OPI
  • Revlon
  • St Ives (cruelty free and vegan)
  • Too Faced
  • Urban Decay
There are a ton of others on both lists so do your research! Once I've got my skincare regime working for me again I will do a "Bunny Friendly Skincare" post. As I mentioned before it is pretty easy to find out who does not test on animals. I have never seen "WE TEST ON ANIMALS" written on the back of any product.

I hope you guys enjoyed this and it wasn't a preachy information over load!! Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more on this topic in the future. Happy Sunday!!!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

First iPhone Blog Post

Just a really quick post to see how iPhone blogging works. The only things I love more than make up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pale Girl Forgotten

They always forget about me :(

I'm not going to deny it - I am one of those horrifically pasty people who has a lot of trouble finding a foundation. I'm not pasty in that charming way that looks beautiful on some people. I am just plain old pale.

Now let me give you an idea of what shade I mean... I am Nars Sheer Glow in Gobi. That is their third from lightest (I believe) or Revlon Colourstay in Ivory (and if my memory serves me that IS their lightest). MAC NC15 is not light enough for me. A lot of brands don't even make foundation that pale. If they do I am often the lightest shade.

I am so sick of companies forgetting that we pale girls like foundation too!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I admit it. Every now and again I get a nasty bite from the shopping bug. Especially when there are 20% off codes (thanks Sephora) and Christmas shopping happening!!!! I find that whenever I go out to get Christmas gifts I seem to come home with one for me, one for a loved one... That can't be normal.

Recently I've gone on a monstrous hauling phase. THERE HAVE JUST BEEN TOO MANY GOOD SALES!!!!!!!!! Ok, Ok. That's just an excuse. Unfortunately I don't have photos because a) my lighting is almost as bad as my camera and b) I just haven't found a good set up for photos. I know this makes for a rather dull beauty blog, but I'm working on it. I think I might actually attempt to blog from my iPhone and see what happens.

Anyways some recent good purchases:

Brown boots from Payless! They're so cute and will look amazing with some skinnies.

Bath and Body Works: I went to the grand opening at Metrotown a few weekends ago with a 10% off coupon in hand. Also, the first 50 people got a gift card AND buy three get three was on. So, I got a bunch of signature products for Christmas gifts and I got myself a set of Dark Kiss and a set of Sensual Amber. I also picked up the cute Christmas Scent Portables for stocking stuffers and a few Wallflower refills - Peppermint Bark!

Body Shop also had some crazy buy two get two sale going on so I grabbed four body butters. Two of the cranberry, a satsuma and a pink grapefruit.

Finally, I went to MAC and picked up two of their holiday release Paint Pots. I grabbed Let's Skate! and Morning Frost. I LOOOOVE Morning Frost. I thought I loved Let's Skate too, but on my eyes it's a bit of a hot mess. Maybe I just need to work with it some more....

I've also grabbed a crapload of stuff from Sephora, but that will all be in my Christmas Haul, when I hopefully have pictures!!!

What have you hauled lately?!

xoxoxox

Nail of the day: OPI's French Quarter for your Thoughts
Candle of the day: Candles By Victoria - Peppermint Bark

Saturday, November 5, 2011

October Loves

A quick diet update before I get to my loves.

I've managed to gain (wa wa) 2.1lbs, but I'm really hoping it's due to my gym visits. I hit up the gym 3 times last week and kept my diet fairly reasonable (with the exception of one night of take out after trafficaggeddon).

I also grabbed an AMAZING app for my iPhone called My Net Diary Pro. I think it was about $2.00 and it calculates the amount of calories you're burning and the amount you should be consuming. It also has a barcode scanner on it so you can scan a grocery item and the nutrition fact automatically enter into your calories. It also gives you thumbs up and down at the end of the day. For example yesterday it congratulated me for having 0g of trans fat, reducing risk of heart disease and my thumbs down was not having 5g of fibre for breakfast.

So, hopefully this time will be a success.

Now onto my October Loves!!!

Nars Sheer Matte foundation - This is the first high end foundation I've sucked it up and paid for, and I absolutely love it!! I don't know if the coverage is a whole lot better than say, Revlon Colourstay, but it's the longevity that really impresses me. I put my foundation on just over twelve hours ago and it still looks almost as fresh as it did this morning (with no touch ups). I'm someone who normally oils up around my t-zone within a couple of hours typically, but with this Sheer Matte I just get a hint of dewiness.

OPI's French Quarter for your Thoughts - REAL GRAY!!! I thought it would be a dead hand kind of colour on my, but it actually compliments my skin tone quite a bit. I love this colour so much!!! It is also a really easy to wear colour and goes with just about everything. OPI's Ginger Bells is another favorite of mine, but it clashes with a lot of clothes. Run and grab it while it's still out!!!

Revlon's Copper Penny - Another nail polish, but this one is effing beautiful!!!! It looks exactly like a brand new penny. It's kind of a half matte colour without a top coat, and with it is beautiful and glossy. The Revlon metallic polishes this season have been really fabulous.

MAC Sheen Supreme lipsticks - Bare Again is my favorite right now. It's very different from my typical blue based pink that I typically choose. They have a ton of colour and are so moisturizing and shiny. The only downside is that they aren't particularly long wearing.

BBW Leaves & Cozy Autumn Vanilla - OK so my house has smelled like Leaves since it was re-released this fall LOL. I have candles in that scent everywhere and I also have a Wallflower going near my front entrance. So amazing! Cozy Autumn Vanilla is that slutty vanilla scent, but it's so amazing. I've grabbed so many of the lotions when they went 75% off I will smell like a whore forever!!!

Getting to wear boots again! - Let's put it this way... as much as I looooove summer, it's often most important to stay cool and fashionable comes second. In the fall time it's so much easier to look cute! And really.. skinnies, a chunky sweater and some UGGs are way more comfy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Sunday evenings. Perhaps the most depressing evening out there. You know there are five long days of work ahead of you and, regardless of how much you like or dislike your job, it's nearly impossible to imagine yourself surviving another five days. Oh Sundays.

So, what's new with me after another long absence... which really is to be expected by now. I'm on a spending coo at the moment. I've realized that somehow I've managed to shop myself into a huge accumulation of "back ups" and "options" and it's gotten a little beyond ridiculous. Options are good. 10,000 options is not as good.

I went on a giant make up purge today. There's a program on the downtown east side in Vancouver that accepts "gently used" cosmetics for women in need, so I feel a little bit better about sending my bright orange Dazzleglass to someone who will love it than to the trash (really.. orange.. what was I thinking?) Besides the purge, I'm not buying any new make up items (besides necessities that I run out of obviously). I don't have a ton of money right now and it just doesn't make sense to pack more make up that I don't use into my bathroom. I don't wear make up to work because I don't feel like it's particularly appropriate at the hospital. And on the weekends A HATES a lot of make up. He says it looks clownesque, so I wear a natural look most of the time.

As for candles I've also stopped buying those (and BBW Wallflowers... I got a little obsessed). I have enough wax to last me years, so I am going to burn through most of that before I order or buy any more. Same as any product from BBW really (although I am going to allow myself ONE Vanilla Bean Noelle lotion). I have a ton of body products and Pocket Bacs and just don't need any more until I've just about used them up.

I am not buying any more clothes until I've worn out some of the ones I have. I seem to use all the same things each day anyways and I'm sick of not being able to fit anything into my closet. Really, I wear scrubs five days a week anyways. I don't really need a whole closet full of things.

Finally, as I sit here munching candy corn like it won't be back next year I'm singing that Weird Al song, "I'm fat, I'm fat, I'm really, really fat." After a few years of really dedicated gym visits I got really tired of getting up at five every morning, so I let myself have one sleep in and that was it. I was done and, besides a sporadic visit here and there, I haven't been since. I am at the heaviest I have ever been and it just sickens me. That's part of the reason I am going on a no clothing binge too. I wear hoodies over everything so you can't see my giant muffin top. So, it's come time for me to suck it up and set my alarm an hour earlier and start doing this again. I want to look better and feel better. If you start sweating trying on shoes there's a major problem.

So, with that I will brave it and tell you guys that on the first day of my diet blog I am 190lbs and ready to change. I think I will aim to have a weekly update and weigh in to keep me accountable.

Finally, I'm thinking I will end every blog post with a few "of the day" items/looks. So, for today:

Today I'm burning BBW Apple Crumble.

Nail of the day: OPI Ginger Bells with OPI Pros & Bronze on top. It looks fab!!!

xoxoxox

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Candles by Victoria... AGAIN! :)

Well, I broke down when Victoria put on another fabulous sale and ordered wayyyy more than I should have... oops. However, I can justify it because fall scents are my absolute fave!

Random note before I get started though... I picked up a mini of the BBW Leaves and OMG! I need a big one!!! (Sorry Victoria) It's like earthy plus apples. So random, but SOOOO delicious!!!

OK - Back to CBV. For those of you who don't know Candles by Victoria ( www.candlesbyvictoria.com ) I have to tell you that it's a family run company run by amazing people. They go absolutely out of their way to make their customer satisfied. You can e-mail Victoria any question you may have and she always replies with a helpful answer. Their shipping and customer service are speedy and, on the very rare occasion when a mistake is made they are SO quick to fix it. I feel in my years of ordering CBV that I've gotten to know Victoria slightly and I think she is an amazing person. I hope she does this forever.

Before I start reviewing I have a few disclaimers. One, subscribe to the belief of 'don't judge until you burn.' I got a few candles of scent shots that I just couldn't stand... until I burned them. Two, to me, fall equals cinnamon. Sadly, cinnamon on cold throw (pre-warming) is INSANELY strong and reminds me of Fireball... which reminds me of highschool and we just don't want to go there. So, beware, cinnamon mellows out.

I won't be using the scent descriptions - just going by what my nose knows. I shall start with my scent shots.

Country Bumpkin - This is one of those judge when it's warm scents. Frist sniff I get cinnamon (shocking), but hiding under there I get a bit of sweet potato and marshmallow. I feel like this is one I'll really like when it's warm.

Peppercorn - I think this one smells like a spicy, sexy man. I think it smells more like a cologne than an earthy type scent. It reminds me a bit of Old Spice.

Granny's Pie Crust - I got this one entirely because of message board raving. I thought it sounded like a kind of meh bakery scent... Was I ever wrong!!! It's a sweet, creamy scent with a teeeeeeeny bit of cinnamon. I can't stop sniffing it. This is a 10.

Cinnamon Donuts - Please see disclaimers. All I get is cinnamon now. Hoping I get the donuts when it's warm! This is a wait and see.

Brown Sugar Gingersnap - Mmmmm this one is perfect!! I wasn't all that impressed with Buttery Gingerbread, but something about the brown sugar completes the scent. Fabulous!!

Kahlua Cafe O'Lait - Chocolatey Coffee amazingness. I think it smells a lot like CBVs Espresso Brownie Comfort Candle.

Sugar Cookies - I get some bakery sugary scent. This one needs to be warmed up too.

Orange Cranberry Muffin - There is something about Victoria's cranberry (or any berry) that just doesn't agree with my nose. I always get something plasticy. This one isn't as bad, but I still get that weird note from the berry. Probably won't be a reorder for me. If you like berry scents give it a try though!

Carrot Cake Orange Delight - Well, I will tell you know that I don't much care for the carrot cake scent cold. So, I get that scent with a bit of orange. I think I will absolutely LOVE it once it's warm.

Kokamo Cave (free) - I LOVE this one!!! It reminds me a lot of Jamaican Vacation which is my absolute FAVE tropical scent. It's heavy on the fruit, light on the floral and absolutely delish.

Whiskey Sour - I got this one because I had heard it's more like Egg Nog than the actual egg nog scent it. And, I originally got that one because I am CRAZY over the Philosophy Egg Nog shower gel. I get kind of the spicy egg nog essence, but at the same time it's almost fresh and not so heavy? Still, it's amazing!

Pink Grapefruit - I love pink grapefruit. This is no exception. Smells just like the real thing!

Pumpkin Cider - My fave out of the whole order I think. Wish I would have gotten a big candle in this scent. Pumpking plus cider... perfect description.

Now on to my 8 ozers.

Coco Lime Verbena - If you like the BBW scent, this one is amazing too!! Slightly limier, but it's SO GOOD.

Baked Apple Strudel - A re-re-re-order for me. Apple scents are my fave and this one, in my opinion is the best one! Baked apple and some spice. How can you go wrong?!

Carrot Cake - Again, really weird on cold throw, but it warms up into the perfect fall homey scent.

Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread - Pumpking with apple and cinnamon and some sweet bakery. Don't love the pumpkin, but I think this one might grow on me when it's warm.

Citrusmoon - This is another top fave. Fresh citrus with some musky sexy scents. It's sexy citrus.

Graham Cracker Crust - Mmmmm sweet cinnamon buttery goodness.

Cinnabon - I smelled this one cold when I bought one for my mom and it was an instalove. Smells like cinnamon bakery with frosting... and lot's of it. And who doesn't love smelling a Cinnabon?

Peanut Butter Cookies - Another one I was neutral on cold throw... but it smells JUST like fresh PB Cookies when it's warm.

Apple Gingerbread Spice - Just like the name says. It's a close second to BSS, but nothing will dethrone that scent in my world...

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - This one is for my mom. I've had it before though and it smells like sweet bakery with some cinnamon. It's a good one.

Vanilla Hazelnut - Another one for my mom. I am neither a big fan of hazelnut or of vanilla so not my thing... But mom will love it.

Finally, Brown Sugar Shortbread - My fave big candle of the order... So amazing. Smells like carmelized sugar to me. Delicious!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Changes

So, I won't keep promising to write and blog and make myself crazy feeling like it's something I need to do.

From now on this blog will happen when it happens and I won't lose my mind over it. Writing should be enjoyable, not a chore.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reading Cook Books and French Manicures

First I would like to take a moment to remember Miss Elizabeth Taylor; an incredibly beautiful woman and one of my icons....


I am sad to see her go.

Sometimes I wonder if I aspire to be too much.. (wonder? I'm pretty sure I know...). Sometimes I feel like I need to spend hours grooming, be a triathlete, a CEO and Martha Stewart all at once to be a success.

I admit, I read cook books. I don't know if it's weird. It's one of those things... like saying, "I always pee myself when I laugh!!!" People look at you with horror, when you thought you were stating a totally normal fact. I read cook books and dream of amazing home cooked meals. I fantasize that I will come home from work every day and make a juicy pot roast, a luscious whole roasted chicken, or a perfectly glazed meatloaf with decadently frosted chocolate cake or a fruit pie with home made crust for dessert. In reality, I throw a lasagna from freezer to oven or dump some pre-washed lettuce into a bowl and open a can of tuna and call it a salad. If I'm feeling particularly gourmet I will put bread and cheese in the grilled cheese maker and pat myself on the back for "really cooking."

Let's face it - by the time I wake up, drag my ass to the gym, work and get home through rush hour traffic, I've been in constant motion for thirteen hours!! Who is going to make a frikkin pot roast by that time?! I guess a girl can dream...

And now onto another random thought of perfection and time management. At home French manicures... I love a French.. I think they are classy and always appropriate. I work in one of those jobs where I'm TECHNICALLY not supposed to do my nails and I never feel like I'm crossing a line when I have a French going on. One of my favorite combinations is OPI's Princessess Rule!! with white tips. I love Princesses, but I feel like it is lacking something when I wear it alone.

Oh, but doing your own French manicure... I don't know if I am alone in this or not, but I'm pretty sure they're impossible. I've tried the kits with the incredibly annoying strips that you put on, paint and peel off. I don't think I've gotten them on straight once and if I do manage, it bleeds underneath. Then there are those white nail polish "pens" made specifically to help you with the annoying task of drawing perfect white tips. Sometimes, I do the first nail and I know immediately that it's a bad idea. Those days are good, because you can wipe the one tip off and keep your polish. Other days, I do my entire left hand, think that my some miraculous intervention I've suddenly been given the skill of straight line drawing and then I move on to my right hand and I realize I am horribly mistaken. This turns out to be a horrible embarrassment.


Today I've managed to make my nails passable (for one day anyways), but it's just not the same. Maybe I need to think of investing in some gels again...?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Take Two

Well, here I go again - starting a blog and then abandoning it just when I see where it's going. I'm going to keep going with this one though, but I'm giving it a make-over (don't we all need one of those this time of year?). So, A Daily Dose of All Things Beautiful has transformed into Beautiful Ramblings. And instead of being a beauty-related only blog it has transformed into a beauty and life related blog. I will chit chat about anything I darn well please.

I figure seeing as I've been out of the blogging game for so long I will start off with a nice easy Take It or Leave It II post.

Taking
SPRING! - Can I say how happy I am that spring has been with us for close to an hour already? I feel like I've made it through one more winter! And Peeps are out. YUM!

Texture in Hair - I am so happy that hair is more than just pin straight. I feel so glad to wake up every morning and not feel like I am fighting with my hair.

Goals - This one sounds a little odd, but I feel as though I've been making a lot of goals lately and I'm really staying dedicated. It's changing my day to day life from surviving to having a purpose.

Leaving
Fashion - Right now I look in the fashion mags and the first thing that goes through my head is... "ughhhhh." Not the reaction you really want to have. Normally I am pretty adventurous with fashion... but right now all of the mixing prints and weird shapes?? I feel like in fifteen years fashion today will be worse than the big perms of the 80's.

Pastel Nail Polish - OK that's partly a lie. I love how they look. I HATE sitting around for hours fighting with them to make them look alright. Last night I painted my nails peach... when I woke up I realized they looked terrible. So, I painted them yellow this morning and they were so streaky and gross that I took the polish off right away. Then I went to my amazing signature hot pink, because it works.