Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sailor Moon nail art

July is really getting away from me. It's been over a month since I posted any nail art! This one is a bit of a throwback because I did it back in October or November (blah blah backlog blah) and forgot to post it.

Sailor Moon nail art
Sailor Moon! I must have stumbled on a photo or something that inspired this, but I can't remember what it was. Base for the skin tone was Nails Inc Basil Street, OPI Alpine Snow for the white, and acrylics for the rest. I did a pretty good job of mixing the acrylics and getting the colours about right, I think.

Sailor Moon nail art
When I first unearthed these photos, I was thinking ugh. messy, messy. But I still love the concept. I've been really lazy lately and not doing any nail looks at all T__T I should tackle this again with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto colours.

Sailor Moon nail art
My favourite in the beginning was Sailor Jupiter (fellow Sagittarius and badass brawler who also loves to bake, what's not to love?) Then I moved on to Sailor Saturn and Neptune. Later on I read the manga and watched the live action, which presented a very different version of Sailor Mars that I fell in love with. (Clearly, I am a very fickle fan.) Who is your favourite Sailor Soldier?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

BISC Vol. 12: Do you toss expired makeup?

BISC Vol.12
Do you regularly toss expired makeup?
BISC Vol.12 Authors
RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog
Hah! Absolutely not — I throw out expired products as I come upon them, but I definitely don’t toss en masse or get rid of things based on expiry dates. Once a product is past its prime, it gets thrown out, but I’m far too lazy to sort through my collection and search out expired products on a regular basis! :p
TRACY | USA | Swaybeauty
Whenever I purchase an item I put an alert in my phone from 3months up to a year out depending on the product.  That way I can keep track of what I’m using (and not using for that matter) and toss anything that should be thrown out. If however something either doesn’t look quite right or smells weird I don’t hesitate to toss it right then and there.  And the money lost definitely takes precedence over a possible infection.

You wouldn’t put spoiled milk on your cereal so why would you put expired foundation on your face.
ANGELA | Canada | Do Want Makeup
Confession: I sometimes use mascara past the 3-6 month mark if the texture is still good. Honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to the expiry date (unless it’s sunscreen!) or the period-after-opening date (that jar symbol with a number). I make a personal decision about whether a product is still okay to use based on the consistency, smell, or appearance. If any of those things change, then I toss it. I try go to through my stash once or twice a year to declutter and purge items that are expired or no longer hold any interest for me.
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
I´ll probably make myself main target to the wreath of the beauty community out there, but I couldn’t care less about expiration dates. There are foundations, lipsticks and eyeshadows I purchased four to five years ago that I still happily use every once in a while. As long as they don’t smell or look weird, I think this is perfectly fine. The only thing I toss within expiration date is mascara, mainly because it doesn’t last any longer.
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
I do, but only with liquid eyeliners and mascaras. Everything else I keep until I notice a change in texture and/or scent. I try to be proactive about keeping my makeup clean where I can. For example, I make sure my hands and vanity are clean before I start putting on makeup. I rarely ever share my makeup with anyone. I dab cream and liquid products on the back of my hand and apply with a separate applicator to prevent possible contamination. I also keep my makeup only in a dry area away from sunlight and humidity.

[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*hellojaa.com]

Friday, July 24, 2015

LUSH Shark Fin Soap

To coincide with Shark Week earlier this month, LUSH released a limited edition Shark Fin Soap. 100% of the $5.95 purchase price goes to organizations working to protect sharks, particularly from finning. Sharks are stripped of their fins for shark fin soup and traditional medicines, then tossed back into the ocean to sink to the bottom of the ocean and die. There's an interesting post on the LUSH website written by Rob Stewart, a director who made a documentary about the finning industry.

LUSH Shark Fin Soap
*cue Jaws theme*
I'm late to the game and Shark Fin Soap is already out of stock online, although you may be able to still find it in stores. LUSH might bring it back for Shark Week next year, and it's very similar (perhaps identical?) to the Sea Vegetable soap in the permanent range, so hopefully there's still some use in me posting about this.

LUSH Shark Fin Soap
Shark Fin Soap has a refreshing, aquatic scent from lime and lavender oils, as well as seaweed absolute, which LUSH says gives the smell of "seaweed drying on a salt-water beach after a heavy storm." As far as LUSH soaps go, the scent of this one is milder and may be better tolerated if you share your bathroom with someone sensitive-nosed.

As with most LUSH soaps, it has moisturizing rapeseed and coconut oils, but it also has a bit of sulfate lauryl sulfate lower on the ingredients list. This soap still feels as hydrating as others I've tried in the LUSH range, but it's something to know if you are sensitive to sulfates.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Essentials

All of a sudden, it's almost August. How did this happen?? I've only been to the beach once so far D: Although a bit belated, here are some things I've been loving lately:

Summer essentials
LUSH No Drought dry shampoo (press sample): for the past several weeks I've cut down to washing my hair only once a week to preserve the red colour. As you can imagine, it's a bit harder to keep hair looking clean when you're sweating in 30+ weather. No Drought is doing a good job of absorbing oil and giving my fine, limp hair a boost of volume. It's infused with grapefruit peel and lime oils and pretty much smells like Saje's Liquid Sunshine diffuser blend (my absolute favourite!) and a dry shampoo had a baby together.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra-fluid Lotion Tinted (press sample): alcohol-free is pretty surprising considering this tinted sunscreen has a super lightweight texture. I like that it's SPF 50, which is what I usually wear for sunscreen. What surprised me the most is that the tint is really good: I might pop a bit of concealer on top if I'm feeling fancy, but it evens out my skin and gives a glow that's just enough to roll with an effortless, not-too-done-up everyday summer face. I have a full post coming up with before/after photos so you can see just how good this stuff is.

Lise Watier Rivages bronzer (press sample): aka "the bronzer that made me love bronzers again." I fell out of wearing bronzer a long time ago, but something about Lise Watier's LE summer bronzer is just so lovely. Most days, I'll sweep this on top of the LRP tinted sunscreen and skip blush and contour to complete my lazy summer makeup.

Goody Bun Foundation (press sample): this thing is the greatest ever. It took a little practice to get used to, but I can now roll my hair into a neat little bun without even using an elastic to tie my hair in a ponytail first. It keeps my long hair out of my face/off my back in hot weather, and this particular one is not too big, so I'm able to cover the entire mesh donut thing with my fine hair. And since I don't use an elastic with it, I can comfortably keep my hair in the bun all day and night without getting a headache. If I keep it in long enough, it gives my hair super pretty waves.

Jo Malone White Jasmine and Mint eau de toilette: it's been well over a year and my obsession with WJ&M continues while I stretch out my baby sample vials. I still flip-flop over committing to buying a full-size bottle. It's stunning to wear in summer, when the green notes of mint and jasmine cut through sweltering heat.

H&M men's straw hat: I picked this up last year, but they should still carry some version of this hat. The brim isn't wide enough for me to really think of it as sun protection for my face, but at least it protects my scalp (sunburn on the scalp is a bigger problem for fine-haired folks). Also it makes me look kind of put-together when I'm actually very sweaty and gross.

Summer essentials: Lise Watier Rivages bronzer
I was realized later I should have photographed the Rivages bronzer open for maximum prettiness. Here's a proper product photo of it instead!

What are you go-to summer products right now?

Friday, July 17, 2015

The best $5 I've spent in a long time: Salux Beauty Skin Cloth

Every so often I do some Googling to see what people using to help deal with the appearance of their keratosis pilaris (KP). Sometimes referred to as "chicken skin", KP is a genetic condition that causes bumpy, uneven-looking skin on my legs and it's harmless but I hate it. Anyway, this odd little cloth came up.

Salux bath cloth review
The Salux beauty skin cloth is a nylon/polyester washcloth that promises to stimulate circulation. The buzz was that it was a super scrubber that helped bust KP and ingrown hairs. Salux sells it to Canadian customers for $11 on their website, with discounts if you bought multiples. (It's almost half the price for US customers, by the way :<) $11 seemed a little steep so I put off buying it. Good thing, because I randomly spotted it in a Korean market while grocery shopping for $5! \o/  Of course I'm gonna buy it!

Salux bath cloth review
At 28 x 90cm, it's a good length and width to reach your back, and lathers up very quickly with bar soap or body wash (I've been using it with LUSH products). And yes, this thing really is abrasive. I once described the Jealous Body Scrub as the most satisfying scrub-down I've ever had, and the Salux cloth is very comparable to that.

Because it's so easy to use--just lather up and go!--I've been using it frequently and my legs are suuuuper smooth. Like, smoother than ever. Not sure that I see a difference in my KP personally, but I'm not going to complain because I can't stop rubbing my legs.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Japanese snack subscription: May Okashi Box

A few months ago I suddenly got the idea in my head that I really wanted to try a snack box subscription. Makeup subscription boxes are kinda meh for me--how many different ones are available now anyway? I'm very picky and struggle with the size of my stash as it is, so those kinds of subscriptions never held any allure for me. But food? Oh yes.

After some researching, I settled on the box from Okashi Connection ($22 USD). My reasons for going with the Okashi Box: free shipping because I hate paying for shipping; roughly a pound of snacks in every box; and a promised focus on snacks that are seasonal or hard to find outside Japan (being in Vancouver, we have access to a lot of Asian goodies, so I don't want just any green tea Pocky I can pick up at T&T.) FYI this post is totally not sponsored, nor was the box provided for consideration; I thought this would be a fun (pic-heavy!) break from beauty :>

May Okashi Box review
The boxes are shipped out of Japan, so it took about 3 weeks for it to arrive. I roped MizzJ into splitting the box with me, so it took even longer for us to try everything since we needed a free day to get together. This is everything that came in the May box! They seem to usually put together a mix of savoury and sweet snacks. Not pictured, but the box came with a piece of paper that gives information about each snack so you're not going in totally blind, given that the packaging is all in Japanese.

May Okashi Box review
Pear Shokorantan: kind of like toffee squares, with nuts, chocolate, and pear. Liked them and the pear taste was surprisingly distinct!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

LUSH Love Soap

Today I'm sharing something special from the folks at LUSH and All Out. Their new Love soap (aka the #GayisOK soap) was created to support the global LGBT community and their right to love and marriage. There have been some positive changes in LGBT rights--most recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that states cannot refuse to issue or recognize same-sex marriage licenses. Unfortunately homophobic attitudes persist even in so-called progressive countries and homosexuality is outright illegal--sometimes punishable by death--in other parts of the world.

LUSH Love soap #GayisOK
Love soap is intended to draw attention to this injustice and help provide funding to the cause. All proceeds from LUSH's appropriately-named Love soap will go towards supporting grassroots LGBTQ equality groups worldwide through their Love Fund (equality groups can apply for funding here!) LUSH is encouraging people to show their support and raise awareness with the #GayisOK hashtag.

I am totally late to the party and am posting about this behind schedule--the campaign started on June 25 and technically ended July 4. I still thought it was important to post about this, and fortunately the Love soap seems to still be available, at least online.

Okay, on to the actual soap!

LUSH Love soap #GayisOK
Scented with cinnamon oil, ylang ylang oil, petitgrain, and oakmoss extract, Love smells uplifting and cheerful. I don't get any of the spiciness from the cinnamon oil, and the soap overall comes across as citrusy for me. I have found that the scent doesn't linger on the skin as much as other LUSH soaps I've used before.

The top of the bar is embossed with the campaign's #GayisOK hashtag. The entire bar is gold-coloured, but only the top side is completely loaded up with amazing, gold foil-y glitter. I found using the top side to be surprisingly kind of abrasive from the glitter--you can use this to your advantage to scrub your arms and legs, but I would be careful around more delicate areas like your neck and chest. I've been using the underside of the soap to wash, which is smooth like LUSH's other soaps and preserves the pretty glitter side for as long as possible.

As with other solid soaps from LUSH, Love is made with very moisturizing ingredients (coconut oil, rapeseed oil, glycerin) and leaves my skin feeling pleasantly soft and hydrated. I have been struggling with a mean case of eczema on my hands and simply holding a conventional bar of soap can cause a painful burning feeling. I haven't had this problem with Love because of all the emollient main ingredients.

I have always been puzzled (as a kid anyway; as an adult it's more like rage) by the arguments against LGBTQA+ lifestyles and gay marriage--or as reasonable people call it, marriage. In the end, we are all people with a right to live and find happiness, with the person we love (or maybe not, if you're an aromantic person.) I am so happy to see companies like LUSH supporting change and love.

Ingredients: water, glycerine, rapeseed oil (Brassica napus), coconut oil (Cocos nucifera), sorbitol, fragrance, cinnamon leaf oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), petitgrain absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara), ylang ylang oil (Cananga odorata), oak moss extract (Evernia Prunastri), mica, sodium chloride, synthetic fluorphlogopite, calcium sodium borosilicate, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, sodium hydroxide, EDTA, tetrasodium editronate, silica, tin oxide, citral, cinnamal, coumarin, geraniol, limonene, linalool

Available at LUSH: $5.95 CAD / 20g

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