Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Grove City, baby

Welp. Since this blog is basically gathering dust, I thought I would talk about travel stuff, because I feel like it.

So, every year, I go on this annual family road trip with my parents and my sister. It's probably my favourite thing ever . It's always about three or four days long, and it involves a lot of shopping in the U.S, so we try to minimize what we bring as best we can. Normally, I wind up bringing way more clothes than I need, and then I wind up buying a ton of clothes, so I'm always trying to challenge myself to bring less each year.

This year, I got it down to one backpack and my day bag. The cat in the background is not coming along, and he has turned his back on me in silent, furious protest.

I'm pretty proud of myself! There's still a ton of room in the backpack, not to mention that it expands about another four inches. For someone that is incredibly high maintenance when it comes to my routines and products, I think I did really well. 
One of the first things I do once I know I've got a trip coming up is to make a packing list. I have a special notebook that is just for this purpose. I like to hand-write mine out and make little check-boxes, but that's just because I am one nerdy motherfucker. You can actually buy pads of packing lists now, at places like Indigo, but I find that I have to have my own customized list because shit like eczema cream is never on the pre-printed ones.

Packing itself is pretty enjoyable for me. I lay it all out on my bed first, so I can see exactly how big it is, and then decide what kind of bag/suitcase I'm bringing. 
So this is everything from inside the backpack. Yes, that is Batgirl underwear. You're jealous.

The actual clothes I bring when I travel take up the least amount of space. Normally, I'd use packing cubes, but they don't really work for me if I'm taking a backpack. For this trip, I'm bringing pajamas, underwear, two bras, socks, three t-shirts, a couple of bandannas and one pair of comfy denim capris. I'm wearing my jeans as my one other pair of pants.

If I'm flying, then I bring about half as much liquid/cream stuff, so this pile would be even smaller.

The purple bag has all of my skincare and shower stuff. Sunblock, lip balm, floss and tooth-brushing stuff, skincare and haircare products in the little black pots, makeup remover, deodorant, my own washcloth gloves because did I mention I'm high maintenance?, conditioner (for three days, ain't nobody got time for shampoo), eczema medication, a billion kinds of body lotion and body oil, Q-Tips, a tiny Venus razor in a tiny case (JUST LOOK AT IT! IT IS FUCKING ADORABLE), my own face washcloth and special morning and evening routine cards just for travel.

The routine cards are part of my life-organization project thing I have going on. I should probably blog about that, but I haven't gotten that far yet. Essentially, every morning and evening, I have routines that help me keep my life and home in order, and because I'm a dork, I have them on laminated cards so I can check them off with dry-erase markers as I go along. Shut up. Anyway, so I have special ones for just when I travel, so I don't get an anxiety attack from being someplace where things aren't always predictable. THIS COULD HAPPEN.
I also bring stuff like migraine medication, allergy medication, vitamins and antacid tablets, but those go in my day bag so I can easily get to them.

I chose to bring the Urban Decay black palette this time.

My makeup and brushes! You'd think this pile would be bigger, but I've learned how to bring only the essentials. The black bag, which is new and something I haven't tried out before, is the Pull It Together travel bag from Sephora. It's really cool, all your stuff just gets tossed onto it, and then you pull the drawstring doodad and it becomes a tiny bag. You can spread it out on a counter when you get to your hotel and not have to worry about rummaging through a toiletry bag. GENIUS.

Onto the makeup. I always bring face primer, undereye primer, eyeshadow primer, a contact-lens case with foundation in one well and liquid highlighter in the other (genius idea that wasn't mine), concealer, one blush, one contour colour and one powder highlight, a nude lipstick palette and a red lipstick palette, matching lip liners, matching lip glosses, and one eyeshadow palette. I used to bring two eyeshadow palettes but then I found that not even my eyeshadow-loving ass would use two palettes in a week, so I quit that. Also, it doesn't matter where I go, I always seem to buy another eyeshadow palette, so why bring extra? 

The brushes I bring aren't too crazy. As you can see, they all fit into that case at the top of the photo, along with my brush guards. The Sephora brush wipes are AMAZING for travel. I clean my brushes after each use, and while my foundation, concealer and other cream-or-liquid brushes get washed properly with either shampoo or the Beauty Blender solid cleanser, my brushes for powder products get spot cleaned.  That's what I do at home each day, and then once a week the whole lot gets shampooed and conditioned, and THIS is why my brushes last me for years and years. I digress! I used to have to bring my Cinema Secrets brush cleanser in a tiny spray bottle, and now the individually-wrapped brush wipes are my homegirls. You just wipe your brush back and forth on them, and one wipe cleans like, ten brushes. Not as well as the Cinema Secrets cleanser, but well enough to get the job done for a week.

I forgot to take a picture of the contents of my day bag, so here's another shot of the Pull It Together bag. Look at this thing! It magically makes your makeup shrink three sizes! If you travel and you have makeup, you need one.

My day bag has all the usual stuff I'd keep in my purse. I bring my agenda, my phone and my headphones, my Kindle, snacks for the trip, hand lotion, my small makeup bag with my lip stuff in it, my chargers for my phone and Kindle, sunglasses and napkins, because bitches always need napkins.

So, I'm all packed for three days of family fun and shopping! I'm so excited, I can't even sleep tonight. I'M READY FOR THE HOT MESS THAT IS OUR ANNUAL FAMILY ROAD TRIP.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Black Eye Shadow Comparisons

 I wear a lot of black eye shadow. As a matter of fact, my favourite look ever is the always easy black smokey eye (black eye shadow all over the lid and blended all around. Takes literally five minutes and always looks bad ass). My search for the blackest black eye shadow means that I have about nine zillion of them, and they're all different, with varying degrees of pigmentation.

Makeup Geek!

I have things!

I know, surprise, surprise. A few weeks ago, I went bananas and bought my entire Makeup Geek wishlist. I had heard so many great things about Marlena's line of eye shadows and I was especially curious about the new lipsticks, so I caved. There's really not much else to that.

If you're not familiar with Makeup Geek, it's a kind of... well, I guess it's an instructional-type beauty blog with tutorials and reviews and swatches and stuff. Marlena, the CEO and founder of Makeup Geek, came out with her own line of pressed eye shadows and, more recently, lipsticks, so you know I had to get all up in that. I've watched her videos for years, and always wanted to place an order with the Makeup Geek store (the store stocks other brands like Palladio and NYX, plus some extremely affordable brushes).

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

My Favourite Cruelty-Free Makeup Companies!

Yes. I still exist.

There's been a lot of coverage on cruelty-free cosmetics companies lately, and some debate on what that means. Even if a brand is cruelty free, they may be owned by a larger corporation that is not, or a company that was previously cruelty-free has changed its policy to accommodate their business in other international markets that insist on (in my opinion, the rather barbaric and useless practice of) animal testing for cosmetic purposes.

In an effort to showcase smaller indie companies and possibly introduce more options to those of us who are concerned with this stuff, here are some of my favourite completely cruelty-free cosmetic brands!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

My travel stuff

I do about a moderate amount of traveling - usually four times a year for work, for no more than a week at a time, and two or three times a year with Stephen or my family. This means that I am awesome at packing for short trips, and not so awesome at packing for longer ones (once, I went to Europe for two weeks and brought practically my whole house along with me. Then I used my hair dryer in the hotel and accidentally blew out the power. And I DID HAVE AN ADAPTER so I don't know what happened. Anyway).

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Dewy Skin!


Ashiness! Roughness! Discolouration! Congested pores! Flakiness!

That is my face first thing in the morning, after I have intentionally mistreated my skin. I went to bed the night before without washing my face and without going through my whole evening skincare routine so that I could show you guys how I bring my skin back from the depths of grossness.

For reference, my skin is relatively sensitive, and I get some slight oiliness around the t-zone. I'm not breakout prone, other than that one week out of the month when my skin goes haywire (ladies, we've all been there). It tends to be dry if I go crazy with powder - which is why I usually use liquid foundations. I lean toward products that promote radiance and dewiness because dry brown skin is ASHY AND FLAKY AND GROSS.

In order to rescue my skin and make an immediate difference, I wash and exfoliate my face, slap on a face mask and then use the greatest moisturizer in the entire world.


So there you have the final result.

Products used:

Ultrabland facial cleanser
Ocean Salt face and body scrub
Full of Grace serum
Eau Roma Water toner
Ayesha fresh face mask - only available at LUSH shops, not online
Gorgeous moisturizer
Enchanted Eye Cream

By the way... I started shaving (most of) my head a year and a half ago. Not for any reason in particular, just because I'd always thought about doing it and one day I zipped it all off. Sorry the explanation is not more exciting, I just felt like doing it and that was that. I shave it about once a week now, and I cut my bangs myself, which is why they're all crazy uneven. I don't care, if you're going to shave your head, then you don't really care what your bangs look like.

Hope that was helpful!

<3 DR

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Sephora Haul!

This happened because I forgot my keys at work on Tuesday night.

The next day, I had to leave the house early with Stephen, because of the door being locked and all that, so I arrived at work two hours early. Two hours! What do you do with yourself for two hours? If you're me, you go get the largest coffee you can find and then wander around Sephora.

 I needed a new makeup bag because while I love my Scrabble pencil case, it's too stiff (that's what she said) and it makes it difficult to find smaller items. I needed something a little more flexible. This was $9.

I got this little dude for free with my Beauty Insider points. It's pretty hard to impress me with skincare, since I already use the best skincare on the planet (shout out for LUSH love!), but I've always been curious about this one. Korres products seem to be on the less toxic side of cosmetics, and I like what I know about their ethics and their brand. Mostly, I was thinking I could use this when I travel.

 YSL Vernis a Levres Glossy Lip Stain in no.20, Rouge Enamel

 The applicator is one of those triangular petal-shaped deals.

 without flash

with flash

This one is a Sephora exclusive, and it's a warm red with shimmer. I *think* I like this, but I find that my lips feel a bit dry after removal. I tried this with and without lip liner, and without lip liner, it wore for about 6 hours. Towards the fifth hour, it started to look less glossy, but was still pretty shiny. With lip liner, it was on for about 8 hours straight with no fading or feathering, and I had to practically scrape to get it off. It's quite comfortable to wear, I like the texture, and it doesn't give you the dry inner line that can sometimes happen with lip products when it collects there. This was $38.

 Makeup For Ever Aqua Liner in No. 16 (white shimmer)

The applicator is tapered and won't splay out like crazy after you use it the first time.

with flash

Without flash. I clearly didn't know what to do with my hands.

Lately, I've been using white liquid eyeliner as my everyday look (no eyeshadow, just a thick line of white at the upper lashline with a thin line of black just where my lashes meet my eyelid. Nothing on the bottom lashes at all), which looks great and takes 5 minutes in the morning. I enjoy the contrast of my NC45 skin with the stark white, but I wanted to put something glittery on top for extra zazz. This is perfect. It wears for hours and hours without fading, smudging or flaking. It was something like $28? I don't know.

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Eyeshadow Collection in "In the Dark"

Dry, without flash. Ho-hum.

Dry, with flash. Again, is there even any product there?

Over Fyrinnae Pixi Epoxy, no flash. Eh, a little better.

Over Fyrinnae Pixi Epoxy, with flash

With a black cream base and Fyrinnae Pixi Epoxy, no flash

Over a black cream base and Fyrinnae Pixi Epoxy, with flash. That's what I'm talkin' about.

I bought this palette specifically for travel. I love, love, LOVE black-glitter eye shadows, especially when used with Fyrinnae's Pixi Epoxy (a foiling medium, necessary for any kind of shimmery or glittery colour). I love them even more over a black creamy base. The Urban Decay Black Palette used to be my go-to travel palette, but it was sort of a hassle since I always had to bring along a separate highlight colour and transition/blending shades, so I've had my eye on this one from Sephora for awhile, which comes with that top row of lighter shades. Altogether it was $36, which is a bargain for 10 eyeshadows, and the palette itself is nice and sturdy with a lovely lace print on the front.

So yeah. Not a whole lot of stuff, but what can you do when you only have two hours?

Where to buy: Sephora