Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Video: My Everyday Spring Makeup Products

Hey everyone!

New video up today!


This is all about my everyday spring makeup products.  I have really changed my routine since the last video I did on my winter makeup products, so check it out!

If the embedded video isn't working, just CLICK HERE to see it.

xoxo
Laura

Friday, 24 April 2015

Babbling Book Review: Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter



This book has honestly floored me.

I bought it because the author gave a lecture at my University, but I couldn't go.  I had heard good things, but didn't really know much about the book itself or the author.

Confessions is about Alison and her dad.  Her dad 'came out' during the sexual revolution, much to the shock of his wife and 3 children.

This book covers the entire scope of perspectives of these years.  Alison's, who as a young child struggled with hiding this massive secret; her dad's, who wrestled with his sexuality and tried so hard to be heterosexual for his family; and her mom's, whose perspective is so poignant I honestly cannot put it to words.

This book is... unparalleled.  The human emotion is so raw  as Alison tells her story, and the not-so-far historical past of complete intolerance and homophobia that readers such as myself have not grown up with is striking and haunting.

Above all though, what hit me the most in reading Confessions is the LOVE that emanates from every single word.  This is more than a biography, more than a story, more than a historical account of intolerance and discrimination and intolerance.  This is a story about love.

I would completely recommend this book to everyone.  If ever there was a book that preaches about tolerance, love, and acceptance, it would be this one.  Alison Wearing has spun a fairy-floss story out of a complicated, difficult time in her family's life, and along the way imparted some important nuggets of wisdom that we can all benefit from, even in a society that is much more tolerant than it was 40 years ago.

I just want to leave you with my favourite excerpt from the book:

"We all have to deal with rejection and misunderstanding by family and friends, but the more that each of us fights his own battles against prejudices, the less torment there should be for those who come after us."

There are so many poignant lines in this book, I could honestly quote so much more.  Just go read it for yourself. This may be focusing on a girl and her gay father, but it certainly teaches us more about tolerance in a broader context, and the importance of love and acceptance for all, no matter what makes then 'different', or 'queer'.

xoxo
Laura

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Book Haul

Hello everyone!

A few months ago (i.e. January) I made a MASSIVE order from Chapters-Indigo.  Some of the books shipped instantly, and some... I just got.  So, I thought I would do a little book haul for you with all of them (even though one of the books I actually reviewed awhile back... oops...)

Blame the iffy shipping.


So, in the first order I received "The Nightingale".  It's about two sisters in war-time France, and it is amazing.  This is the one I already reviewed, so click this link if you want to see that.  This book was amazing, I would highly recommend it.


I also got this little notebook.  It was about $5 and I use notebooks all the time, so since it was on sale I snagged it.  I think it's super cute!


Then I caved and ordered "Love,Tanya" written by Tanya Burr.  I wasn't going to jump on board with all the YouTuber's books, but I LOVED Grace's Guide, and this one seemed like it would be good too.  This just shipped because it wasn't out in Canada yet.

Now, these next 2 books were the ones that took forever to ship to me, and honestly I'd forgotten what they were :P


The first one is called "Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter" and it's about a girl who grew up with a gay dad.  I bought this because there was a lecture held at my university that I couldn't attend, but I thought the book sounded interesting.  I am really excited to read this.


The last book I've got is called "We Should Hang Out Sometime" and it's about one guy's dating perils.  It sounded hilarious and I've heard good things, so I'll give it a shot.  Hopefully it's good!

So that's it for my book haul.  These arrived at a good time, exams are ending and summer break is starting, so more time for me to read!

I'll try to do reviews of these too, especially if they're good, so keep an eye out for that :)

xoxo
Laura

Friday, 17 April 2015

New Video: Semester 2 Product Empties

Hello everyone!

Complete with reviews, I have a LONG video on my empty and used up products for the winter semester.


Click above to see it, I hope you enjoy!  It's a little longer than usual...

xoxo
Laura

(P.S. Just in case the embedded link isn't working, you can click HERE.)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Makeup Collection Pt. 8: Storage

We're nearly there!

This is the very last post as part of my makeup collection series!  I was going to do lip products, but I have so many that I'm going to make that into a separate post that isn't part of this series.  I'll probably do it as my favourite lip products.  Anyway, part 8 is how I store my makeup and related items.  I have a pretty good system for it, or at least one that works for me, so let's jump right in!


My main storage is in this dresser.  I have a standing mirror on top to do my makeup and it's right by a window for good, natural lighting.  I just cleared it off a few weeks ago because I thought it was a little bit too cluttered looking.  Other than cotton rounds, a candle, and makeup brush cleaner, there isn't much on here.

Now on to the storage.


The top two drawers are dedicated to makeup storage.  They aren't full, but damn are they organized!  I've put in rubber coated cutlery organizers so they don't move around, and they're the perfect size with the perfect number of spaces.

The drawers are kind of organized based on how I do my makeup.



In the left hand drawer, we have foundation, BB creams, and primers in the back. Then, from left to right, we have blushes, powders and bronzers, small eyeshadow palettes (trios, quads, etc.), and eye liners.




Then in the right hand drawer, there's a red Lancome makeup bag that I put the products I use everyday in, just so they're handy to pull out and ready to be carried around if I go away for the weekend.


In the organizer, we have lipsticks, glosses/liners/liquid lipsticks, mascara and brow products, and single eye shadows (with a spare primer in the back there).

Around the outer edges of the drawers, where the organizers don't meet, I keep my larger palettes.  This way they're all visible, but are still organized.  I don't have any stacked on top of each other.  There are also a few spare products there too, like face creams.

The only other piece of storage I have is a set of white plastic drawers where I keep my makeup brushes, tape, extra sponges, extra cotton pads, and some empty LUSH containers I need to take back.

The dresser itself I refinished as a DIY project last summer.  I have a post on that if you want to check it out HERE.

Aaaand that's a wrap!  I hope you enjoyed my collection posts, they were a lot of work (and were supposed to be done two months ago... oops!) but they were also a ton of fun.  Stay tuned for new posts in a couple of days!

Until next time,
Laura

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Review: Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid Powered Contour Cleansing System

Hello everyone!


I was in Shopper's Drugmart and decided to pick up the Olay Va-va-vivid Powered Contour Cleansing System.  I have no desire to drop the money on a Clarisonic, but I was wondering if I could find a good, cheap alternative.  This is under $20, and I'm really hoping it can give me a good, deep clean.

What It Promises
On the box, it says that this system:

1) Is designed to fit into facial contours, giving a thorough cleanse of the whole face

2) Liberates skin from dirt, oil, and makeup giving a deep cleanse of the skin.

3) Super-soft bristles gently massage the skin without irritating it.

In addition, the brush can be used in the shower, but cannot be submerged in water (as it is battery powered).  I definitely like that it can go in the shower, as that's where I wash my face half the time.

Contents
In the kit, I received the battery-powered cleansing brush, a tube of Shine Minimizing Cleanser, and a AAA battery (which is required to run the brush).


Packaging
Once I finally managed to get into the box (it was sealed pretty tight), I was able to take a look at the product itself.  It was in plastic packaging so it wouldn't move around, 

The thing I like about the Fresh Effects line is that it looks really clean and fresh, just like the promises of the products.  The tube of cleanser is pretty standard, in a white plastic squeezy tube.  There's 20mL, which is a good amount to test out before you decide if you want to buy it or not.

The brush itself is teeny tiny.  The handle is a little small for my tastes, but it's not awful. The blue and white looks really pretty and, again, fresh and clean.  

I definitely like the packaging.  It's nothing special, but it isn't hard on the eyes either.  It isn't something that will be put away in a drawer because it's too ugly to look at.


Price
For the price, I think this is okay.  The fact that batteries are included makes me very happy.  I got the system for $13, so I would recommend picking it up on sale if you can, just because the size of the unit and of the cleanser isn't very big.  That being said, if it works it will 100% be worth the money.

But does it?

Performance
The bristles on the powered system.
The first thing I noticed about this were the rubber bristles, and I became wary.  Rubber might not be super gentle on the skin, and that freaked me out a little bit.  The head though is triangular and nice and small, definitely something that could fit into the contours of my face, and I have a small face.

The cleanser smelled alright, nothing too offensive.  The whole line is very heavily scented, so if you don't like that then I wouldn't recommend it to you.

This is what the cleanser looks like.
Since it comes with a cleanser, in my initial testing I used that with the powered system.  After a week, I did try out the system with my favourite cleanser (which is also from Olay).  It says to apply the cleanser directly onto the bristles, but I DO NOT recommend this.  Dot the cleanser onto your damp face, then use the brush with a little water on it, otherwise it drags on the skin and can really hurt.

The first couple of tries, I noticed my skin was so much softer.  I really liked the vibrating, because my skin felt like it was getting clean.  On Day 3, I noticed I had a little raw spot on the top of my cheeks, but if you don't brush really vigorously this is avoided (I was pressing too hard and focussing too much on one spot.)

I have now been using this system for 2 weeks, and I have really good things to say about it!  My face is so clean and my skin looks a lot better.  This really did help to even out my skin tone and make my skin look glowing.  I have gotten rid of dry patches and discolouration, and those pesky zits that lurk under the surface of your skin have, for the most part, come to the top and then disappeared.

There's something about this that really does work.  I wouldn't recommend it for sensitive skin, just because the bristles aren't super gentle, but for normal skin types this is great.  I love going to bed at night knowing that my skin is clean.  And, as promised, the brush really does get into every little space, something I thought would be a total gimmick.

Overall, I would recommend this.  I really like the powered system, and I have used in the shower too, so I have tested the waterproof claim.  I wasn't a massive fan of the cleanser, but there is no reason why you can't use a cleanser that you know works for you instead of the one that comes with the system.  I think it's a good price for the results, and it does a really nice job!

I'll see you soon with another post!

xoxo
Laura

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Babbling Book Review: Death's Acre

Hello everyone!

This semester, I took an Osteology class, and anyone who knows anything about forensics won't be surprised that we talked about the legendary Dr. William Bass.  He pioneered the forensics movement and revolutionized our understandings of taphonomic processes (what happens to a body after death occurs) at his facility in Tennessee, nicknamed The Body Farm.


This book, Death's Acre, was written by Dr. Bass about the events that lead to the creation of The Body Farm, and how the process began and developed.  It's incredibly interesting and informative, but it definitely isn't dry.  I read this in a weekend.

Now, I have to say that anyone with weak stomachs might want to avoid this.  It's not too graphic, but the processes of bodily decay are outlined (I personally chose to skip the picture section).

That being said, the book is amazing.  Dr. Bass talks about different cases he and his students worked on, and how those lead him to create new projects and experiments.  And he is an engaging author, this doesn't read like a textbook.  If anything, it reads more like a novel.

If you are interested even remotely in this topic, give it a read.  My prof recommended it to our class, and now I'll be recommending it to everyone.

Until next time,

xoxo
Laura

Monday, 6 April 2015

Hey everyone!


Awhile back I reviewed the Argan Dew Replenishing Hair Mask and LOVED it. (Check out the post HERE.)

For Easter, the folks over at Argan Dew were nice enough to give me the details on how all my readers can get 30% off. I highly recommend you check out the website (and that hair mask is awesome!)

CLICK to go to their website, it will open in another tab, and get 30% off your purchase this Easter!

xoxo
Laura

Friday, 3 April 2015

My Favourite Coffees and Teas

Hello everyone!

Today's post is all about my favourite coffees and teas.  I am a big fan of hot drinks, and the collection of teas in my cupboard is swiftly taking over the entire shelf.  That being said, I have a few VERY clear favourites, so let's hop right in !

***Note: I realized when writing this that I really really really like Twining's and Tetley.  This was not sponsored lol***

Black Teas
I have a few black teas that I adore, but I will admit, I'm fairly picky.


The first black tea I like is Twining's Irish Breakfast.  This is perfect in my morning brewed nice and strong with a little milk and sugar.


I am a huge fan of Early Grey, but I have to say the Tetley Earl Grey with Vanilla is the best.  I've featured this in a favourites before, and I adore it.  The vanilla adds a really nice flavour and smoothness to the blend.  I add a little milk to this, and sometimes a teeny bit of sugar too.


For those of you who don't want caffeine, the Stash Chocolate Hazelnut tea is decaffeinated and it tastes AMAZING!  This is a new discovery for me, but I'm already in love.  With a little bit of milk and sugar this is an acceptable tea for all times of day

I should mention that I really like chai, but I haven't found one that is perfect for me.  With Chai, I heat up milk, brew a little hot water and make a strong, sweet base, then add the milk to make it more like a latte.

Green Teas
I drink so many different types of green tea, it's a little ridiculous.  But I only have a few that I drink on a daily basis.


My all-time forever favourite is the Tazo Zen blend.  This has really light green tea leaves, mixed with lemongrass and spearmint and it's so light and refreshing.  I drink this a lot as the weather gets nicer because I don't feel like I need a 'hearty' tea as it gets warmer (I hope that made sense...)


Then we have this Glow blend from Tetley.  This is green-tea based, but it also has grapefruit.  I really love how light and refreshing this is.  Unfortunately, it is really difficult to find, and I'm almost out so I have to start hunting for this.


My final favourite green tea is also Tetley, and it's their Figure blend.  This has cinnamon in it and it's my favourite tea to drink in the morning.  It's a little heartier than the Glow blend, and I don't put milk or sugar in this, I just drink it black.

Other Caffeinated Teas


A really nice tea to drink that's very refreshing is Jasmine tea.  It has a very heavy, floral aroma and to me it smells so soothing and comforting.  The best kind is actually found in the international foods section of my grocery store, and comes in a huge box of 100 bags.  I don't have that right now, I left it at my parent's house, but this brand is good too (I find it hard to go wrong with Jasmine tea).  This is just the Shopper's Drugmart brand, it was on sale so I bought it.

Herbal Teas


My absolute favourite herbal tea has to be Twining's Sleepytime tea.  I really do find this relaxes me at night when I'm going to bed, and the taste is nice too.  It has chamomile, lemongrass, and spearmint in it, but none overpowers another.  The flavours all go really well together.


I also adore mint tea.  I drink it a lot when I study because I don't get strung out on caffeine (especially when I don't need to be) and apparently mint helps you remember information.  Not sure if that's true, but it can't hurt to try!


Along the line of mint tea is Tetley's Mojito blend, which is mint and lime.  I adore this, but I can't find it anywhere anymore!  If you know where I can find this, TELL ME!

Coffee
Little disclaimer here, I have a Keurig, not a coffee maker, so I use the K-cup pods for coffee.  That being said, you can probably get these coffee blends in grind or whole beans as well!


My favourite coffee right now is the Timothy's Rainforest Espresso blend.  This is the most fabulous coffee I have ever had.  It beats Starbucks, Tim's, everything.  The flavour is very full and smooth, but not bitter.


My other favourite coffee, which is not a surprise, is the McCafe coffee from McDonald's.  Most of you will know that I worked for the corporation for over 3 years, and early mornings I subsisted off of this stuff.  It also has a great flavour, not quite as bold as the Timothy's blend, but still very smooth.  Even though I don't work there any more, I still buy there coffee all the time!

That's it for my favourite teas and coffees.  If you want to see a full tea/coffee 'collection' or a tea cupboard tour, let me know.  I have a lot more than these ones, this is only a small portion of the teas I amassed this year!

xoxo
Laura

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

March Favourites

Hello again!

My March Favourites is now up on my YouTube channel.  I hope you like it, I've got a lot of new favourites this month to share :)


For some reason I couldn't embed this video, so click the link and it will open in a new tab.

Enjoy! :)

xoxo
Laura