Maybelline Colossal Volume Mascara

I was getting ready for going out with my husband and I really wanted my eyelashes to look really full and long, so I went to use a different mascara that I hadn’t for a really long time. That is my Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal, and boy have I missed this mascara. I used to to use this mascara all of the time and I really liked it, but I haven’t used it much since I bought my Benefit They’re Real! Mascara. (These together, however, is amazing!) My lashes look full and volumous, as well as apart and long. I am loving this combination right now. I talked about the Benefit mascara in this post so you can check that out if you would like to read a review of this mascara.

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I have missed this mascara so much, that I even went out to buy a new one because I noticed that this formula was getting fairly dry. You can really notice the love that this mascara has gotten because the writing has really started to wear off. I have always gotten this mascara is Glam Black, but that is just me. I can’t say enough good things about this mascara. It just does what I want it to do.

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Maybelline mascaras are really the best mascaras that I have ever tried. They are always less than $10, and their formulas are great. They last a long time, and I have found that they really are not very wet formulas, so they don’t tend to make a mess when you are putting them on. Plus, there are so many different varieties of mascaras, that you can find one to do whatever you want. I really find that the Colossal Volume is the best for me, but I like my eyelashes to be very full and thick looking. I also find that the brush is awesome, and doesn’t sting your eyes like the Benefit mascara sometimes does, because is it very sparse and plastic.

Typically, I use one of these products, and then I use the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, (because it really is the best) on top. I use this mascara in the regular, as well as the waterproof formulas. My mom has been using this mascara for years and not only is it cheap, but it is also such a great mascara and I love using it. It just provides another layer to really separated your lashes and give them extra pop. I love that. Plus, it is so cheap, usually between $3 – $5. You can’t get better than that, really. This formula has been raved about by so many websites and magazines – and they are right!

My husband and I are going to be making some pumpkin seeds in the oven this week, so I will post pictures and give the recipes! Thanks for reading.

L.

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October Ipsy Bag

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I signed up for Ipsy a few months ago and I finally got my very first bag in the mail this week! I wasn’t sure what to expect really, since I had never gotten anything like this is the mail before. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. For the $10, or so, that you pay, you get a lot of really great stuff. I have used all of the products once or twice to try everything out, and here is a list and a review of all of the product that I received.

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1. First off, the bag is actually very cute and a really nice fabric. It feels like it is waterproof because it is very thick. However, it is white, so it will probably get dirty pretty fast. But it is a great size, and I will totally use it in the future in my purse or just to keep other products in.

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2. Next, I received the Nourish Organic Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Body Lotion. Since I am very picky about my moisturizers, I have to say that I was quite skeptical of this product. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It is a little greasy at first, but gets absorbed into the skin really well and doesn’t leave your hands feeling very oily at all. I really like that. The smell is a interesting, but quite nice. Maybe a little too strong for my liking, but that won’t stop me from using it. I will definitely be using this in the future. I am not sure yet whether I will purchase this, but the sample is nice (although a little small). You can buy a full size (236mL) bottle of this product from their website for $11.99, and I know that they also sell this stuff at Target. I definitely recommend checking this product out.

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3. I got a very reddish lipgloss in the bag that I was very skeptical of for sure at first. However, when I put it on I was really happy with it. I got the Ofra Sultry Lipgloss with Plumper. This product is very thick, but not too sticky. It actually gave me a really nice colour to my lips that I wasn’t expecting. I am not very big into heavy lipglosses, mainly because I don’t like the taste of them, and I always feel like I want to wipe them off, or they don’t last very long in the first place. This lipgloss actually didn’t have a very strong taste of anything, but whatever it was it was pleasant. Now I have a new lipgloss that I like! What a rare find. I literally mostly wear Maybelline Baby Lips, or Blistex, so this is definitely a nice step up for me. This product retails for $12.95, and it only comes in one colour which is very interesting. I have to say that this colour did work very nice for me, and I do think that it would look good on a lot of girls, but I don’t know about everybody. It seems very interesting that it only comes in the one colour. I liked it a lot though.

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4. I got this beautiful black box that I really wasn’t sure what it was at first, but when I opened it I was really happy. I got a Zoya Nail Polish in the colour Mason, which is a dark pink with a bit of purple colour, that is fairly sparkly. It wasn’t a small sample size either, but one that you would buy at the store. Nice. I looked into how much these nail polishes retail for and it is about $8 per polish. They are an organic nail polish as well, which I had never used before but was happy to try. I have heard that some organic nail polishes sometimes don’t last as long on the nails as regular polishes do, but I put it on my toes on Monday, and it still looks good today! It has chipped a bit from my baby toes, but that is it. I didn’t even put on a top coat. It isn’t really a colour that I would normally go for, but I like it a lot.

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5. Then I found something that I was really hoping to get, and it was a sample of a hairspray. I received the Sexy Hair Spray Clay. I always like trying new hair products for sure. I have very unruly hair that can get very frizzy and is very curly and long, so I like to try anything that will improve this for me. I used this after my hair had been curly, in the morning after I woke up. My hair just needed a little reviving and it was pretty frizzy from being slept on. I just sprayed a little bit all over my hair (the hairspray came out very fast and sort of like a dry shampoo, but clear). But it was almost instant that my frizz was less, and I even wore my hair down again because it looked so good. Plus, the smell was really nice, kinda strong but not really. I will definitely purchase this once my sample is done. It retails for about $18 at Ulta (which we don’t have in Canada), but when I go back down to the states I may consider picking up some just because it is so good.

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6. Lastly, I got the H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment. This product was very interesting to apply. You apply it to your face after you have washed it, but before you dry it, so it is still damp. It took quite a while for it to be absorbed into the skin, and the packaging was really awful. It started leaking out the sides even before I started using it. I have only used it once, but I didn’t really find it particularly hydrating. I didn’t find that it really did anything but add an extra step to washing my face. I will try it again just to see, but I don’t know…What I do know is that a bottle of the product retails for $36 on the their website. Not as expensive as what I would have thought, but still.

And that is it for my first Ipsy bag! I have to say that I am really happy with it. I will definitely keep getting more. I think that the value of what you get is really great. With the nail polish and the bag alone basically covers what you would pay, but you get 4 more products. I like trying new things but I really don’t like spending a lot of money to get them if I am unsure, so this is a great way to try new products. I definitely recommend getting them if you can. Thanks for reading!

L.

My Morning Skincare Routine

I have really gotten into the habit of washing my face in the morning and at night more recently (a little late I suppose), but better late than never! I don’t use anything really fancy on my face, because I really don’t like to use a lot of heavy products. I have pretty much combination type of skin where I have a tendency to get really dry around my nose and on my cheeks, but I can get very oily on my t-zone, especially directly on my nose and sometimes my chin.

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I start with using the Freemans Grapefruit Facial Scrub, which I massage all over my face. I have found since using this that my skin is more smooth and I have less black heads and much fewer clogged pores. I have never had extremely smooth skin, especially on my face, but since using this for sure I have noticed such a difference. This is certainly an abrasive scrub, but not to extent that it is painful. The scrubs in this exfoliator are fine, and I don’t find that it bothers my skin, and I have very sensitive skin. It makes me feel more like I am really cleansing and purifying my skin. Plus, I love grapefruit, so I get the best of everything.

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Next, I use my favourite skin cleanser that I have been using for the better of about 5 years is the Spectro Jel Cleanser for Blemish-Prone Skin, which my husband actually turned me on to using. I have never had much luck with cleansers. I have tried the Philosophy Skin Cleanser with the moisturizer, but this broke me out a lot, so I stopped using it. I am always very hesitant to try new cleansers for this very reason. I think that if you are using something that works really well, why change anything? All that you can do is add to it!

I have yet to really find a toner that I really like, since I find that toners generally are very drying, and I already have fairly dry skin, especially in the winter. I don’t like to keep my morning routine very complicated, and I don’t use very expensive products. You can get the scrub for about $5 at London Drugs (and they usually have them on sale), and the cleanser I can get at Walmart for about $12 for the big pump. Really, I am not spending a lot. I don’t like to keep things very complicated for sure.

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Then I finish off my face with just a simple moisturizer. In the summer I use the Coppertone Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion for the Face. I really like this moisturizer because it doesn’t break me out, it blends in beautifully, and it has the added bonus of being SPF 60. I started using this about 2 years ago, and even on really sunny days in the winter I will sometimes use this for sure. It also doesn’t run in my eyes when I sweat, which I find a lot of face sunscreens do, so that is a big plus for me.

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Every other time I use the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV Riche Anti-redness Hydrating Cream for my moisturizer. This is the most expensive product that I use for my face, and I do find that it does reduce the amount of redness in my face. I started using this maybe about 9 months ago because I was really looking for a moisturizer that wasn’t heavy and also kept my skin from becoming very dry. When I was looking for a good moisturizer all of the ones that I was finding really left my skin feeling parched, so when I found this one I was very happy. No, it isn’t overly expensive, and usually London Drugs will have deals so that I can buy it on sale. I love the way that this really soaks into the skin well, and I don’t have to use a lot. I am not totally shut off to other moisturizers, but since I have very red and sensitive skin, I am very picky.

And that is my morning skincare routine. Not overly complicated, even though I seem to go on and on about what I use, but I am just really enjoying my products right now. If anyone has a good suggestion for daily eye cream I am totally for some suggestions! My nighttime routine will be coming soon as well. Thanks for reading!

L.

Hallowe’en Hoopla

Photo Courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Photo Courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Holy Hallowe’en! This holiday is definitely upon us in about a week and that feels crazy. I have to say that I am not particularly a Hallowe’en fan per se. I would rather spend my time and money decorating for Christmas, but Hallowe’en seems to just come and go for me. I really like to dress up, but I really hate putting in so much effort to do so. I don’t really care for anything really scary, and I am not into skulls and vampires. Frankly, I get nightmares from a lot of this stuff. (As I am writing this, The Cranberries, “Zombies” is playing – oh the irony).

I think that my only favourite Hallowe’en was when I was in Grade 7 and my friends and I went as the Spice Girls (they were very cool, okay). I was Ginger Spice, of course. I even had borrowed my friend’s mom’s sparkly halter top and used shoulder pads to fill it in. This was topped off with orange hairspray, and of course completed with a big coat in order to cover up the whole outfit while completely defeating the purpose of dressing up. Awesome.

Really, Hallowe’en is for my nieces and nephews. I love to figure out what they are going to be. One year I did the makeup for my niece to be a butterfly. It was pretty great I have to say. Otherwise, (or at least for the past few years) I have been working on Hallowe’en night, which I have to say is kind of a blessing in disguise. I am always terrified that something bad is going to happen, and I don’t really like firecrackers. Fireworks are amazing, but firecrackers are scary. I don’t want to worry that someone is causing somebody’s house to light on fire, or they are burning their hands off. All I think is: DANGER! Wow, aren’t I the party pooper? Raining on everybody’s Hallowe’en parades. I will be happy and excited now, I promise!

Because everyone likes lists of likes, and I have already ranted about my many dislikes, I will give a mishmashed list of things that I really like about Hallowe’en. Which will be short and sweet.

1. So, I love candy! I mean really, who doesn’t? I could eat that stuff all day, everyday. I am definitely a sugar loving person for sure, and I am more than happy to pay half-price for Hallowe’en candy any day (except if I have to fight people off at Walmart for it – I don’t care that much).

Photo Courtesy of lindsayfincher.com

Photo Courtesy of lindsayfincher.com

2. I also really like good Hallowe’en movies that show Hallowe’en how it should be. Of course, all of these movies are more than likely G-rated, or at least campy enough to be really funny and enjoyable. My favourites are as follows in order which ones I would watch before the others:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is by far the best Hallowe’en movie of all time. I am such a big fan of this movie, that I would love to get dressed up as Dr. Frankenfurter all of the time if I could. I sing “I’m a Sweet Transvestite” a lot…and I really just think that this movie is the best song in the world. It is so weird, wonderfully musical, and bizarre that it is just amazing. We even went to a production of it when we were in Montreal last year (which was the best show that I have ever been to). I even have the album on vinyl that I listen to a lot when I am cleaning the house, or need to perk myself up a bit after a bad day.

Shaun of the Dead, and I know that this really isn’t a Hallowe’en movies per se, but really it is about zombies so…I think that it qualifies. I could really watch this movie everyday, and I quote it definitely on a daily basis. My husband and I love it.

Hocus Pocus, really just because of the awesomeness of this movie. Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker in this amazingly hilarious kid show? I could watch this as a kid so it has to be good and G-rated. I love this movie. It brings back so memories, and has such a good message…awww.

Evil Dead II, because this is probably the weirdest and hilariously scary movie that I have seen, and most likely will ever see. I haven’t really watched a lot of scary movies, but this is about as scary as I like to get (I am a total scaredy cat for sure). I watched this movies with friends on Hallowe’en like the cool kids that we were, and I went as a fairy, and my husband was Hugh Hefner (quite the ladies man I have to say).

Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which was a t.v. show in the 1950s and 1960s that was amazing! He really was such an amazing director/producer, and all of these episodes were really creepy and suspenseful, but in a great way. I love them.

3. Carving pumpkins is about as creative as I really like to get for Hallowe’en. I actually really enjoy carving pumpkins and I feel that this is a very satisfyingly beautiful and fun activity for Hallowe’en. I really like to see really amazing artwork and I can appreciate that. (I can also appreciate really great costumes, don’t get me wrong – I just don’t want to dress up).

Photo Courtesy of Southern Living

Photo Courtesy of Southern Living

Hallowe’en is in about 1 and a half weeks! Crazy! I will most likely be at work as a cat, for about 2 hours, and then I will scratch my face so much that I will have to take it off. Happy Hallowe’en!

L.

Figs, Figs, and More Figs

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My husband and I have a huge fig tree in our backyard that seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year. Last year, after we had been at our house only 1 year, we had no idea what to do with them. They also ripened just at the time that we were away in Europe, so we didn’t get a chance to harvest them. Honestly, I had never eaten figs before, and didn’t really know what they were. This year, I tried them and boy were they good. I have been going a little crazy looking up different recipes to do with figs. I have been picking them for about 3 weeks now, and I have about 4 huge containers full of them in my freezer (there is no way that I could eat them all). Plus, they get ripe very quickly and don’t last very long in my fridge or on my counter (about 2 days tops). A few days ago I picked more than 50 from our tree in about 15 minutes, and just from branches that I could reach (no ladder involved). Crazy!

I thought to myself, what am I going to do with all of these figs? Seriously! I hope people like figs, because I am pretty sure that I am going to be giving them away for Christmas presents. Hello friends and family! A DIY is coming your way.

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So I made some jam…I used about half of one bag of figs and it made 9 jars of jam. How many jars and I going to fill? Lets just say…I am going to have to buy a few more (plus a hell of a lot more sugar). It is a good thing that this jam is tasty! Actually, it isn’t really very sweet, but almost has a savoury quality to it. I love it!

My mom and I made it at her house, and it really only took maybe an hour to make one batch. If any of you have ever made jam, let me just tell you that it is hot! I have burnt myself on more than 1 occasion, and that stuff hurts bad. Like, really bad. Nothing burns more (except maybe tomato sauce). Making jam is really quite easy to do, and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Like I said, about an hour or so just for the one batch (and a lot of counter space), then you are pretty much done. It does help to have another person to be there so that you can multitask most stuff, but it can definitely be done by yourself.

I got the recipe from kraftrecipes.com for a Certo based recipe (which is a powdered pectin product that is common to buy to make jam). We first chopped the figs into small chunks until we had 4 cups. Next time, I think that I will chop them up a little smaller in hopes that I could use more figs. I then measured out 7, thats right, 7 cups of sugar. If you have ever seen that much in a bowl, it is very surprising. I look at it saying, “Are you sure? ALL of it?”. You want it to taste good. I have made low sugar jam before, and it is gross. Probably better for you, but in general, if you don’t slather on the jam every day (like my husband), than I think that you will be just fine

We then put the figs in a pot, added 1/2 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of lemon juice (to prevent them from going brown), then mixed it all together. Then we put it on the stove and added the sugar. Then came the hard part. We boiled it. Stirred constantly, and boiled it. The nerve-racking part. Let me just say that it is a good thing that I wore a longsleeve sweater. When anything boils it starts to pop and spray, and when you have to stand right over it and stir it continuously for about a minute to prevent it from burning, is a really long time and can be quite dangerous. I would definitely recommend a long sleeve sweater and maybe oven mitts. Don’t wear something that you don’t want possibly tainted with jam.

During this time we washed all of the jars, and boiled the lids in a pot. Then we put all of the jars in the oven at about 200 degrees. Preparation is key! You always want to have these steps in the works first before you start the pot. If you start the pot too early than you won’t be prepared to start when the jam is ready. This is sometimes wear another person does come in handy if you need to do more than 1 part of the process at a time, because while the jam is boiling you can’t really stop to do anything else. If the phone rings, you will not be answering.

Once your hot jam is boiled, you need to move all of the hot jars onto a large wood cutting board, or a tea towel to protect the counter. You then skim off whatever foam is on the top. With this jam I didn’t quite follow the recipe to add the other ingredient to prevent it from foaming because I usually just use the skimmed off bit as jam (it is really yummy), but there wasn’t really much. Then you can start pouring in the jam. I like to use a funnel that is shallow and fits into the jars well. My mom has a perfect one, but if you don’t have one you can buy one here. We just used a plastic one and if worked just fine. So you basically just use a ladle and a funnel to fill a jar. Then you get a hot lid from the pot on the stove, and place it on top. You then use the screw tops for the jars to make sure that it is sealed, and set the jar aside.

You follow these steps until all of them are filled, and then comes the fun part. Only when I have canned pears or peaches have I ever had to do this, but this step makes sure that all of the bacteria is killed, so it is pretty important. For all other jams that I have made I didn’t have to do this step, but figs are special. You need to get a canner, or a pressure cooker works just fine. You fill it with water and place all of the jars in. The water must be high enough to cover an inch above the highest jar. You then boil the water for 30 minutes. When taking these babies out, please use tongs so that you don’t burn your hands (like my mom is famous for doing because she just thinks that she can take them out…Christmas gift idea!). You can then set the jars on the same tea towel, or wooden cutting board to cool, and voila!

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We have been enjoying our jam for sure these past few weeks and I can’t wait to make more. We just got another 100 or so figs from our tree just today, and I don’t even have enough space in my freezer for them! I know what I will be making constantly this year! Time to research more fig recipes! Thanks for reading.

L.

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*Sorry I didn’t include any photos of the process, and basically only the before and after, but I honestly didn’t have time. The whole process went by so fast, that I just didn’t get a chance. But since this jam situation will be happening in the future, you can be sure that I will have more photos!

*Also, if you don’t really want to purchase any really new items in order to make jam, I found this website that shows you how to make some of them! Or you can make freezer jam (not with figs) with raspberries or strawberries

Trying New Products

I haven’t uploaded a blog in about a week. Is it weird that time just seems to go by and you don’t know where it went? How did it become Friday already? I guess that happens when you work too much!

I am so happy that it is the weekend! Finally. I rarely get a weekend off, but when I do it is amazing. I love having weekend free because then my husband and I can spend some time getting things done around the house that we only do when we are together – like hanging pictures, painting, or decorating. This weekend I think that we will move a cabinet that we put in our eating area to the upstairs of our, because we are finding that it really doesn’t work in our space.

Onto what this post is really going to be about: new products. I broke down and bought two new things that I have been meaning to buy for a while now, but just bit the bullet and did it.

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I bought the Benefit The POREfessional. I really love this stuff since I got a sample of it about a month ago. I actually still have a little bit of it left, but felt like I would run out pretty quickly so I went out and bought the real thing. It is truly amazing how long the sample has lasted me since I have been using it almost every single day for about 5 weeks now. You need such a little amount, that it really goes a long way and is truly worth buying it. I feel like you get your money’s worth for sure.

Next, I bought the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser for Dark Circles. Really, I had heard some great things about this product and have been really interested in trying it out. I wasn’t even really planning on buying it, but when I was in Shopper’s Drug Mart the other day it was on sale for $5.99! I really couldn’t resist, since it typically retails for about $12. You can’t go wrong, honestly. I mean, even if I didn’t like it I really wouldn’t feel too bad about buying it.

So I have used this about 3 times, and so far I really like it. I think that it provides good coverage for the under eyes and doesn’t crease whatsoever. The colour that I got was Medium 130, which may be a little darker for me, but I felt like the colour lighter than that one was too light. It was between that and the shade just lighter. I tested both on the inside of my wrists, which provides a better view for a match since the back of your hand doesn’t typically match the shade on you face. Then I decided that the lighter was way too light and would make me look too white. So I tried that darker shade. The applicator is very weird, because it is like a spongey brush, and it takes about a million clicks to get the product to the end initially. I find that a very weird aspect of this product, but other than application I am really liking the formula. It really isn’t drying, or too heavy, and it covers surprisingly well. I would definitely recommend this product.

So now I will start my weekend off right with a blog post and going out for dinner with some friends that we haven’t seen in a while. Well, thanks for reading!

L.