Thursday, 16 June 2011

Review: Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask

A couple weeks ago I picked up the Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask from Lush.  Up until now the only face mask that I've tried from Lush was Cupcake and it never really stood out to me as anything special.  However, after using Catastrophe Cosmetic I think I'll be going back to get another one, this mask has been great for my oily skin.

Lush Fresh Face Masks come in 60g tubs and are usually good for 3-5 uses depending on how heavily or how lightly you apply them.  The main selling point of these mask is that they are fresh, meaning no preservatives.  This also means that these masks need to be refrigerated and used up within 7-10 days.

Another nice thing about Lush masks is that if you bring in 5 empty tubs (and they can also be from other products that Lush sells in tubs, not just masks) you can get a free face mask.  I've just reached 5 tubs with this most recent purchase and I'm still torn between getting another Catastrophe Cosmetic or trying out a different face mask.

Here is the description for the the Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask from the Lush website (well, the UK one since Fresh Face Masks aren't listed on the Canadian one):
Fresh blueberries are rich in beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to reduce inflammation and act as a mild antiseptic. Soothing chamomile, Irish moss and almond oil work with the gentle cleansing action of calamine to save your skin. Apply to clean skin, avoiding the eye area. Leave for five to ten minutes, then rinse away.

When I first used the mask I found that it had settled and separated a little, leaving a watery layer on top, however, with a little mixing and I was good to go for my first use.  I did find the mask a quite messy to apply because there are little chunks of blueberry skin mixed into the mask that fell out as I applied the mask to my face.  These little pieces also fell out during the 10-15 minutes that I had the mask on and it was drying down, leaving little bits of blueberry on my shirt.  This did not bother me too much since I was applying the mask at night before going to bed, however it is still something to keep in mind.

As the mask dried I found that it felt a little lighter than a clay mask, it started getting a little tight and started to crackle but it was not nearly as tight as some clay masks that I've tried.

When it came time to rinse the mask off I found that my skin was very matte afterwards.  If you have ever used milk of magnesia as a primer/oil control (this was all the rage among bloggers and forums when I first started getting into makeup a few years ago) then you'll have an idea of what your skin would feel like after rinsing this mask off.  It did feel like there was still something on my face after rinsing the mask off but I did not find the this feeling to be uncomfortable.  However, the real test came the next morning when I found that my normally oil slicked face did not have the usual shininess, it looked like I had normal skin.  This mask helped to control the oil production on my face for about 2-3 days following each use.  I was wonderfully surprised.

Overall, I was extremely happy with this mask, the oil controlling power of this mask and the fact that I could still see the results days later gives it an A in my book.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Just Knit: Wavy Scarf

I recently completed this wavy scarf for a friend's birthday back in May.  I wanted to do something a little lighter that she could get some wear out of before summer finally settled in.  I used an acrylic yarn and knitted the scarf in a wavy, openwork pattern.  The pattern that I used can be found here on Ravelry.  The pattern is originally meant for a shawl but I decreased the width of the pattern and made it a little bit longer so that it could work as a scarf.

I found this pattern very quick and easy to knit.  I was able to complete the scarf to just over 5 feet in under a week.  However, I think my favourite part of this pattern is dropping and unravelling stitches!  As a beginner knitter I still make a lot of mistakes and dropping stitches is usually a big headache for me because it usually takes me a few rows to realize that I've missed a stitch.  Then I have to find my crochet hook and try and figure out how to hide my mistake without ripping back all my work.  This pattern, however, is full of intended dropped stitches.  I found it a lot of fun and oddly satisfying unravelling these stitches, kind of like popping bubble wrap.  The pattern is also very easy to memorize, making it a pattern that you can knit on-the-go without carrying a printout of the pattern.

If you are looking for a fun and fast to knit, I would really recommend checking out this pattern!

Monday, 6 June 2011

NOTD - May 31, 2011

I am a little late getting this post up but I had last Tuesday off from work and so I decided to have a little fun with my nails.  I found a great tutorial for gradient nails over here by Rebecca Likes Nails.  I was a little heavy handed with the sponge so the gradient isn't as gradual as I would have liked, but the tutorial is very well done and I think with a little more practice I'll be able to get my nails the way I want them.

As you can see from the picture, I did a slightly different interpretation of the tutorial than Rebecca posted.  Instead of finishing off with black zebra print I did a purple leopard print which was inspired by a makeup bag I recently picked up at Bath and Body Works.  This was also done out of necessity since I don't have any konad and had to make due with a toothpick for the leopard print.

The colours I on my nails are:
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Mellow Yellow
  • Wet N Wild Fastdry - The Wonder Yellows
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Mandarin
  • Revlon - Oh My Magenta
  • Wet N Wild Fastdry - Buffy the Violet Slayer

If you have the time and patience to try out gradient nails (it took me about an hour due to waiting for each coat and colour to dry down before applying the next one) I would really recommend trying it out.  I have gotten numerous compliments and comments on my nails over the past week from friends family, customers at work and even random people on the street and the bus.  It is also a nice pick me up to look down and see my fun, summery nails.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Review: Revlon Nail Polish - Kiss Me Coral

I recently purchased a Revlon nailpolish called Kiss Me Coral.  The colour is a beautiful orangey-coral colour with a shimmery finish.  There is no chunky glitter but there is a very nice gold/pink sheen to it.  This is one of those colours that look great with a tan and really bring out any colour that you do have.  As you can see from the picture above the colour can flash more pink, or as the following picture shows it can flash more orange/coral.

Overall, I found the application to be very sheer.  I own a few Revlon polishes and I have never had any problem with them but I found that Kiss Me Coral required three coats to get an opaque finish whereas the other Revlon polishes that I own are fine after only two.  The following is a picture comparing the consistency of different Revlon polishes. 

For reference the other two colours are Emerald City, a matte suede finish polish and Oh My Magenta, a magenta polish with a silver/blue sheen similar to the gold/pink sheen of Kiss Me Coral.

As for wear I can't really comment on it.  My job requires me to work with my hands a lot and regardless of brand, top coat or base coat most polishes start to chip on me after only a day or two.  However, I have found that Revlon polishes do wear very well.  Overall, I am happy with this polish even with the sheer application, I would give this polish a B-.

Haul - MAC, Sephora and Lush

This week I did a bit of shopping.  Most of these items were picked up on Thursday when I did a bit of birthday present shopping.  I also wanted to catch the Surf Baby collection before anything sold out as well as Lush and Sephora coupons that I wanted to use.  All in all I am super happy with my purchase, although I think I'll have to hold off on any more cosmetics until after summer is over.

Click through for more goodies and pictures!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Just Knit: Summer Top/Cover-Up

I started this project towards the end of last summer.  Unfortunately, as the weather got cooler I began to loose interest in the project since I wouldn't be able to wear it before fall hit.  The last couple of weeks have been gorgeous here and so I finally picked up this project and finished it off.

The pattern is an edited version of this one.  Rather than finishing off the sleeves with ribbing I left them with the openwork pattern.  I did try adding on ribbing when I finished the top but apparently my knitting has gotten a lot looser in the last year and even going down two needle sizes left me with loose, floppy ribbing.  In the end, I decided to skip the ribbing altogether.

I also skipped the cowl neck collar.  I had started this project with the intention of wearing the top as a cover-up so I had planned to skip the cowl neck from the beginning.  I did have to add a crochet boarder to the collar though because it was just too wide to stay on my shoulders.  The collar is still wide enough to wear off the shoulder though.

The yarn I used was a 100% cotton, worsted weight yarn.  I had originally bought the yarn (a jumbo-sized 400g ball) to make dishcloths and potholders, but after knitting up a few I wanted to try something different.  I'll admit, this may not have been the best choice for this yarn but I will see how the top holds up after I've washed it a few times.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Summer Reading

This summer will be my first summer since 2006 that I will not be enrolled in classes.  For me this is a very exciting thing.  Normally my summers are the most hectic part of my year.  Every summer I work at the local fair and have done since 2005.  This means that while most people are soaking up the sun and enjoying the weather, summer is the only time I actually have to juggle work and school at the same time.  However, this year I decided to take the summer off from classes since I only have a couple left until graduation and I figured I'd just finish them off all together in the fall.

With all this free time on my hands I decided to pick up a few books for some summer reading.  A couple weeks ago I went to Value Village and scoured the shelves for some summer picks.  I walked out with the five following books:

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Review: Quo Baked Beauty Box

Last week I was in Shopper's Drug Mart looking at some of the Quo products.  They were having a 20x the Optimum points promotion so I figured it was enough incentive for me to finally check out this brand that I have generally been hearing positive review of.  One product that really caught my eye was the Quo Baked Beauty Box.  This palette includes 2 blushes, 1 highlighter, 1 highlighter duo, 6 eyeshadow trio and three applicators.  The regular price of this palette is $34.99 but when I got it to the register it rang up as only $29.99.  Not only did I get my points bonus but I also got a nice surprise discount :)

Keep reading for pictures and swatches!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Welcome :)

Hi everyone, welcome to my blog, so glad that you could stop by!  So you may be wondering what this blog is all about since it is a little bare at the moment.  To be honest, I'm still not 100% sure.  I know there will definitely be a lot of beauty related posts, that is a given but I do want to go beyond that.  I am a new knitter and hope to share some of my projects.  As well, for the first time in years I'll actually have some free time this summer to do some leisure reading (rather than strictly academic reading) so I'd like to share that as well.  There will probably be a personal post or two thrown into the bunch as well.

All of that being said, I guess this blog will be about my passions.  Although it they may seem unrelated at times and everything may not be of interest to you (I'll admit, beauty bloggers seem to be far more prevalent than knitting bloggers) hopefully you'll stick around for the posts that you enjoy.  I'd love to meet some new people and hear from everyone that stops by! :)