Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Low-Buy Guidelines

I've been on a low-buy for about 3 years... That's when my stash got to a "considerable" size mostly with the help of beauty boxes which I had SO MUCH FUN with. I tried most of the ones that were available in summer 2012 and was subbed to them for about 6 months... from Glym, Glossybox, Julep, Natural Beauty Box, Topbox, Ipsy... I had a relapse on Ipsy once or twice and I've purchased one or two Julep boxes since then too...! I definitely recommend trying a couple of these if you don't have very much makeup and want a variety of products you probably (as a person who doesn't have a lot of makeup) wouldn't buy yourself, for a very very decent price!

Anyway, I feel a bit makeup crazy these days... I need to make sure that I can control myself and make the best purchases possible so here are my Low-Buy Rules:

Rule 1:

No impulse buying! I will only buy a product that I know performs well (from reviews), that I really want (things that have been on my wishlist for a while) and that fits into my stash (do I "need" it?)

Rule 2: 

Must set a budget per "shopping period". I've had 90$ summer budget, a 120$ winter/holiday budget, that type of thing. Some seasons are not tempting, so there is no budget set on those and I simply don't buy!

Rule 3: 

These are guidelines for what I *should* buy with my allowed budget, but not strict. To follow the spirit of my low-buy which is to fill the holes in my stash, I am thinking of getting:

  • Finishing powder
  • Foundation
  • white drops (MUFE) or white foundation (Illamasqua) for making foundation lighter
  • a custom eye shadow palette
  • eyeliner colours I don't own

Paula's Choice Skincare


Realizing I needed a completely different skincare regimen, I started searching for what a face like mine could need. Watching the "skincare" videos of my favourite youtubers, asking in some Facebook groups, asking friends.

My skin type  is acne-prone (hormonal breakouts around my jawline and mouth area), combination (dry patch on my chin, gets oily in the t-zone), uneven skintone (redness, some texture) and sensitive skin. It felt a bit overwhelming to try to properly address all of these concerns!!

I saw the ProActiv commercial with the free brush and was very tempted  but then from a bit of research I concluded that it was likely too harsh for my skin, and not a skincare routine to follow long term.

A helpful commentor to my question on Facebook gave me some good suggestions and info, and I decided from there to start using an acne spot treatment and an acne-fighting toner.

A Mary Kay lady contacted me and I decided to buy the acne spot treatment from her, something to use a couple times a day on actual breakouts. It's the Clearproof acne treatment gel 5% benzoyl peroxide and I like the texture and smell and I feel it made a difference in how fast the breakouts faded from using this product.

For toner I started alternating between a very soft and mild toner, not for acne (Simple Soothing Facial toner) and something in the acne-fighting category (Biore blemish fighting astringent) and I feel comfortable with this combination.

Now onto the PAULA'S CHOICE products

Since late September (full 2 months of use), I've been using the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA gel exfoliant and it has done wonders! I really do feel my skin being way less acne-prone, softer, and smoother. Pores seem slightly reduced, texture slightly improved.

The product has a gooey texture, goes on watery and a little goes a long way. It can be applied once or twice a day. I mostly apply it at night but the feel of the product is not unpleasant for using in the daytime as well.

The second product I purchased is a daytime moisturizer with SPF. I got the Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30. It is definitely light, sinking into the skin quickly and giving a smooth finish. It's ideal for oily skin and will not be enough for dry skin. The cream is tinted in a a way that evens out skintone even if it's not something I'd consider makeup. Since I started using both products, I've been feeling more confident with my skin's appearance and my makeupless face.

I plan on re-purchasing both of these when I'm out, and adding a nighttime moisturizer and serum by Paula's Choice to my routine. Seriously, my limited experience with their products has left me impressed.

And a note about the Customer service, it's incredible! They helped me pick what was best for me when I called in originally, and when there was a mistake with a product I  purchased being back-ordered, they refunded me, and compensated me for the problem in a super-quick delay.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sticky9 review

I ordered from Sticky9, a website formerly known as Stickgram that specializes in making digital images come to life on "real life stuff" with their main product being square magnets (3x3). These magnets are supposed to be your choice of Instragram photos, easily printed and shipped to you. You can chose any other non-Instagram pictures and cut them to square shape easily on their website.

 November 27th (Thursday) and I received it December 2nd (3 business days later). I am VERY PLEASED with this service! WOW.

They arrived safely and looked pretty good. They are not glossy pictures, they are a matte finish, which makes them look lower quality and this is the part I liked the least. I imagine that for instagram pictures that have been filtered with older-looking styles, it would look good this way, but for my pictures it was not the case.

I purchased 2 sets of 9 magnets on special from them so for the price I paid, I'm really happy. I might go elsewhere if I decide to want custom magnets in the future just because of being a bit disappointed with the matte aspect of these photos.


GREAT and fast shipment
EASY to use website
FAIR price

matte pictures

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween

I had such a nice Halloween! Made myself up as a sad mime during my day at work and went out trick or treating with the kids in a different neighbourhood than usual. It was great, so many kids, it reminded me of my neighbourhood when I was a kid! A neighbourhood that is now completely void of any children, since the kids are now in their 20's and the parents that still live there are enterring elderly status lol

Here's my sad mime:
I was supposed to do a co-worker's makeup too, so I practiced it on myself the night before and overall liked the way it turned out. It would've been better and improved on her if I did it, but she ended up doing her own makeup (which looked very cool in the end too):

My daughter was a princess vampire like last year and my son was a firefighter. I even did some makeup on my husband - a huge scar on his face. He put on a lab coat with fake blood on it and looked pretty intimidating!! It was his first time putting on a costume for Halloween. He normally comes with us dressed in his normal clothes.

Me and my daughter followed up trick or treating with a haunted house with the mother in law (think a 65 year old woman in hijab) and she got really scared! It was quite something. She was a really good sport, coming with us when it's not something she's used to doing or celebrating at all, being an Egyptian Muslim.

Then after all that, me and my husband went to a midnight screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show! We saw alllll sorts of things. Again, picture the Egyptian Muslim man seeing men dressed in drag, women dressed in lingerie, seeing tits and asses (male and female), women dressed as men, drunk people all over the place, etc. It was, again, quite something! :D I really took these Muslims out of their comfort zones this Halloween hehe

How was eveyone's Halloween??

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gay Pride Parade Montreal and FOTD :)

Miaow, I love makeup :D 

It was 10am but I went for a look that, for me, is pretty "out there", having lots of shine on the eyes AND bright lips. I think I did a much better job than I normally do with eye makeup and I'm quite happy with how this turned out, even though in the end, with my glasses, it didn't give the full effect of the look... 
I think the next makeup skill I need to learn to do well is highlighting and contouring. 

A couple pics from the parade: 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Going Cruelty-Free

I want to make some steps towards going cruelty-free. For things not beauty related, I've been making small (tiny..) steps with my eating habits. I've cut my meat portions down and I try to eat cruelty-free (organic) eggs as much as possible. Today I'm trying to find a list of sustainable wild fish so that I can limit myself to only eating this fish, avoiding the farmed fish industry as well as harming the ecosystems and stuff by eating fish that is endangered or not sustainable. I seem to be on and off with my consumption of dairy products. Sometimes I buy rice milk, coconut milk, soy milk, flaxseed milk, some flavoured for the kids and alternate and for a couple weeks we drink just that... And then we go back to cow's milk. I guess it's an improvement over drinking ONLY cow's milk - I have to see the positive. I'm not a very drastic person so I couldn't do it all in one shot.

NEXT. Beauty products. I really really need to go cruelty-free. There are PLENTY of options for good quality cosmetics, even in different price ranges so really no need for me to buy products that have been tested on animals (directly or through its raw ingredients). It'll take a bit of effort to go cruelty-free on my shampoo since I always just purchase whatever is on special for my hair. I'll need to get informed.

Who here makes efforts to be cruelty free? What do you do? What are some tips or favourite brands or other ideas you can share? THANKS!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wayne Goss brushes ordered!!

I don't even have anything real to share but I can't contain my excitement about ordering 4 of the Wayne Goss brushes just now!!! My brush collection is basically a 15-piece kit from elf, the eye set from Real Techniques and a few kabuki brushes so this order is really really something special! I hope I won't be disappointed because just these 4 brushes are worth more than 3x what I paid for the whole rest of my collection (about 25 brushes).

I really love Wayne Goss on youtube and based on that and the reviews... sounds like I can't go wrong. I just hope I picked up the right ones that I will love.

Brush 04 - a medium sized crease brush
Brush 06 - blending brush, but I also want to be able to use it for applying eye shadow to the lid
Brush 14 - elongated-shape and not too dense, I hope to like this for pigmented blush especially
Brush 11 - the largest "powder brush" by Wayne Goss... I mostly want it for that reason (powder) but it'll be nice to try for blush and foundation to see what it can achieve.

After 3 days of intensive research from reading the descriptions, reading a lot of blogs, watching a lot of videos on youtube... I decided on which ones I wanted to buy. I wasn't sold on every single brush of any of the sets (based on what they do and my own needs) so I went for a couple brushes that I feel more sure that I'd want to use often. 

When I set up my low-buy for summer 2014 (June to mid-Sept) I gave myself a 120$ budget... When I started wanting these brushes, I gave myself a 200$ish budget, convincing myself by saying it's about the equivalent of buying one full set, but that I'd customize it myself... I'm proud to say that I purchased fewer brushes than I originally thought and it was 124USD for these. I'm sad that this is my whole summer's budget though!!! lol I have a feeling I'm going to fail... Whichever brush of these I didn't have an equivalent for, I'll re-give myself the amount as my summer budget. Better fail with limits than fail like crazy! 

Have you tried these brushes, what did you think of them? Any link to a blog post or youtube video you made? 

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Julep Konjac Cleansing Sponge - Dry vs Wet

I just wanted to add to my previous review of the Julep Konjac Sponge (CLICK HERE to see original post) by showing what it looks like when dry and rock-hard vs what it looks like when it is wet.

I still love this sponge; it's part of my routine to use it every couple days so I got back-ups during a secret store sale. :)