Tuesday, October 27, 2009

St. Ives Body Polish

One more day until I have my computer.  I find the times I "sneak" on tend to be less fulfilling than previously.  Yesterday after work I went to a craft store to purchase items to make gifts for the upcoming holidays.  Holidays aren't the same not having family round, but I think it's not about what I want, but what can I contribute.  I will have fun baking, making cards, jewelery and other things for friends, so I'm still happy.  I joined a group for socializing and they kicked me out for not being "social enough" but, oh well.  So whilst out perusing, I went to the chainstore and was looking to initially buy a sea salt scrub.  I will write about the difference between the salt v. sugar scrub later.  But, I purchased two numbers, and St. Ives was one of them.  I have liked many of the products I've purchased by this brand.  Way back when I was young there was a peppermint mask or something like that I would use on my hair and it smelled and felt really nice and it had this tingle to it.  I graduated to other brands; however, every so often I buy something in their line like a face wash or whatever happens to be on sale.  I tried this polish and was first thrown off at the contents.  It's solid, which is unlike the runny, oily stuff you dig out with your hands.  There is no oil at all.  It's the texture of a sandcastle.  It's unique to me, since you have to dig it out literally!  A little goes a long way.  But, what I really like is that it doesn't make me itch, and there is no oil.  (I have a phobia that I will slip in the shower and bust my head open)  I do follow the instructions and apply to damp skin, but I don't use it on my typical areas of concern.  Women tend to overlook a few areas which are our age giveaways.  Our hands and neck are often overlooked when we think of skincare.  I exfoliate both and find that it keeps the dryness less visible in my hands.  As for my neck?  I have not been a sun goddess and always wear sun cream so I don't have signs of sun damage and I'm religious about including my neck when I do facials or moisture treatments. 
The pros:
works well, is inexpensive, does what it claims
The cons:
Wish the tub was a bit larger
This is an easy 8.5 out of 10 point product
I would recommend it to my friends, I would repurchase and no skin irritation or residue

Monday, October 26, 2009

Giorgio Armani Cosmetics Rant

One  more day!!! I get a new computer and can blog it all out!  *Happy Dance* In some ways it's been cool not to access the world wide web.  For instance, I spend more time getting out and about and having a "real life."  Week one, I loathed going home.  No blogs to read, no forums to peruse, no YouTube, just silence.  By week two, I was reading all the books I had set aside, and by the third week, I was about taking pictures of people, places, and windowshopping.  The world is really cool when you look at it from the lense of a camera. I'm no photographer, but some of the simplest things become so amazing.  Like architecture, rustic buildings, squirrels, flowers and the elements have a different element to them.  You see them quite different.  In addition, going to cosmetics counters in person as opposed to blogs and forums is quite interesting.  There arae so many beautiful women of various ethnicities, ages, skin tones and I found so many different ideas and experimented with products I had never touched.  Well, big thumbs down for Giorgio Armani...boo, hiss, I'm so upset.  This is one of the leaders in the fashion industry so, quite naturally I would be interested in their cosmetics.  But, unforutunately they don't have foundation in my skin tone??? What the frack is that all about?  I mean, the last I looked it was 2009 and black women are some of the consumers which keep this billion dollar industry in the black (pun intended).  No matter what's going on in my world, I was told as a child to make sure if I only had one outfit, make sure it was clean and pressed and if I could not do my face right, to have one lipstick that would flatter me.  I think it's sad that both women quite pale, and those who are darker are hard pressed to find a foundation to match our skin tone.  We exist, our money spends the same, and guess what, we aren't diminishing in number, we are learning more about how to emphasize our God given beauty and we'd like to get in on the action.  I felt more sorry for the sales assistant who took me to Chanel and still couldn't match me.  I'm not very dark, but I applaud those companies who do realize they have a demographic who would love to purchase their products.  End rant!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

ELF Sale Alert!

I hate not having my laptop.  I hope they are able to salvage it.  I have had serious withdrawals, and writing about beauty and learning about how I can enhance myself in a manner where I feel confident has become a great outlet.  I fear if it's not resolved, I will definitely by another one and may end up with two.  Oh well...
I guess I have become addicted afterall...


Friday, October 9, 2009

The Art of Waling in Heels

Everday I get asked no less than four times, "How do you walk in those high heels?"  Which is followed by how a woman used to wear them back in her "hayday" but now she is either too old, too fat, etc. Or, I have the ones who try shock therapy.  They give me lovely tales about how they once wore heels and now they have a bad back, flat feet, or some other orthopedic ailment which has them now a slave to trainers or Birkenstocks.  While I don't doubt any of their stories, I don't feel the need to run to my practioner or chiropractor and get an exam.  Let me share with you how I manage to wear heels 99.9% of the time.  I don't wear heels when I get home in the evening, nor when I sleep or putter around the house.  In fact, I don't own any flats at the moment, but it's an internal issue.  The times I have worn my low heels (kitten heels) I have felt very insecure, and to make things worse, I ALWAYS bump into someone and leave feeling short, fat, ugly, etc.  It's a given just as if I wash my car it will rain.  So let's get to the important stuff:

  1. Know your limits.  If you can't walk in heels, start low and work your way up and stop at the level of comfort for your body.  If you don't feel comfortable in heels, it will show in your walk.  Baby steps are key at this stage.

  2. Understand your feet.  Sounds simple, but it's so underrated. If you have flat feet and plan to rock some stilletos, rather than be a Diva, you will be destroyed and so will your feet.  Do your feet sweat?  Do you retain water? Are your feet narrow?  You can't buy the proper shoes if you don't understand your feet.  I have a narrow heel and most of my weight shifts to the ball of my feet.  Because of this, I buy insoles for the back of my heel to secure my heels can hold my feet in and gel comfort soles to alleviate the pressure from causing pain or calluses to form.  The insoles come in a variety of styles and most stores who sell shoes carry them, even the likes of Walmart and Target.

  3. You get what you pay for.  My mother emphasized the importance a good shoe would have to the point where I knew if I had to cut costs, clothes were a preferred option.  This has kept me from developing bunions, hammer toes and so many other ailments.  If the shoe fits improperly you can distort your feet and it's a bugger to fix.  If you have wide feet, please don't try to buy a regular shoe and squeeze into them, you will save yourself and your feet in the interest of saving some $.  I know it's hard to resist those small chain boutiques in the mall with flashy night out on the town shoes, but those should be limited to disposable use.  Wear them minimally, they are discount price for a reason.  If you plan to wear your heels long term, think of them as an investment!

  4. Have confidence in yourself.  If you don't think you can walk in heels, you can't! Practice walking in your home to develop confidence, get the feel of your shoe and learn how to gain the feel of walking in heels, it's not easy at first, but in time, you'll be Carrie Bradshaw ;)
  5. Practice, Practice and Practice more.  Walk in the comfort of your home and don't just walk, dance and practice your "Signature Walk!"
If the unthinkable happens  don't fret, it happens to the best of us.  Just shake it off, and keep it moving.  Besides, if it's around people you know, the odds are they will laugh which breaks some of the ice, and if it's about people you don't know, a) they've seen worse and b) who cares?


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Amazing Cosmetics Product Review

Whilst shopping my stash I came across a product I purchased at ULTA quite some time ago called Amazing Concealer by Amazing Cosmetics.  I am embarrassed to admit I cannot remember how much I paid for it, but it was new at the time and only came in the large size.  Currently, it runs about $42.00 USD for the large and $28.00 USD for the small size. 
I love this concealer and don't know why I stopped using it.  In fact, I didn't use it simply for a concealer, I used it as a foundation as well.  The texture is not thick, but it's not runny either.  Think of when you squeeze a bit of gel for your hair onto your palm...that's the consistency.  It's that perfect mixture.  It's opaque so make sure you match yourself properly otherwise you will look sick or "off."
A little does go a long way, and this works well for oily skinned ladies like me who also worry about fading, or creasing.  I haven't tried it with a primer; although I can't imagine it having a negative effect.  I wore this today and a co-worker asked if I had on no makeup.  I lied and said, "Yes, why?" and he said, "You look pretty and sweet today."  That's guy speak for my makeup looks better simple than when I wear my over the top eyeshadow combinations.  Oh well, can't please them all.  Yes, I looked him right in the eye and lied.  What?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MAC Cinderfella Dupe

Yet again I torture myself whenever a MAC collection is released by perusing blogs, forums and YouTube to see what "IwilldieifIdonotbuy" items everyone is all abuzz about.  So when MAC launched the Style Black I was determined not to buy the MES since I gravitate towards them regardless of price, color or current count in my stash. 
Well, I knew immediately when I saw a swatch of Cinderfella I had a dupe for it already.  The best thing is, I only paid $3.99 for it!  Yes, it's true!  Better yet I have a swatch of Jesse's Girl cosmetics.  Can you tell which one is MAC and which is Jesse's?  To be fair, I swatched each once on bare skin with no foil.  Quite naturally, MAC is the one on the right.  Less pigmented and visible as Jesse's Girl is on the left with the better pigmentation.
Sometimes it pays to be frugal.  Learn from my errors, I have more makeup than I will ever wear that is money not well spent.  Why?  MAC was "in" and it still is, but I'd rather use what I have and pass on the "scarcity" purchase.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Birthday Wishes!

I am so proud of myself this year.  A year ago, my birthday was very depressing.  It was a pivotal birthday and yet none of my friends or family rang.  So, I got dressed up with my dog and decided to take photos of myself and celebrate.  It was the year I decided to start blogging.  I kept that commitment and as I pass this year, I am giving myself a new challenge.  I've thought long and hard about this for nearly three years, but fear held me back.  I think I'm going to give it a go and not worry about what will or will not happen.  That is my gift to myself.  To do something, if only once and if I don't like it, I don't have to do it, but sitting on the sidelines has not gotten me anything but callouses from routing others on.
For my birthday this year, I knew it would be the same as last year, and I was feeling sad about the fact my other is so terminally ill she does not realize I'm even her daughter.  It has caused a rift between my father and me yet allowed me to get closer to the brother I had been estranged from for many years.  I don't blame my family for forgetting about me.  I have kept to myself and been quite isolated and don't work at having a strong relationship with them.  Too many bad times, and I'm not ready to let go and I still fear their response.  Anger, violence, and addictions have been far too rampant.  Sure I get sad when I hear about all these people who are close to their family, or during the holidays when people visit their family I feel left out being alone with my dog, but I have so much to be thankful for but it just doesn't feel that way when one's heart is heavy.
So this year I took myself to two cities for the day.  One was a hit, the other a miss and I don't think I'll go back to that town ever again.  I'm talking about a day in San Francisco and Napa Valley.
San Francisco was amazing!  The weather was warm, the people were kind and the streets and stores were busy.  I finally went to Kryolan and without going into detail, I should not have gotten my hopes up.  The customer service was so horrible, I went to move my car and decided, "I've had enough, nothing I can't buy elsewhere."  The lady was horrible.  Each time I asked a question she replied condescendingly and the first few times I blamed it on a miscommunication but we were both speaking English.  No thanks, see you at the Makeup Show or another event, but as for your store, not anytime soon.
So, I had to go to the MAC Pro store and that was the best time short of the Pier and downtown shopping.  The girls were so kind, so patient and didn't try to sell me on anything.  They offered samples and told me they didn't want me to buy anything I wouldn't be 100% happy with.  I thought I was in the wrong store.
For the purpose of brevity, I'll get to Napa.  I had only one goal for Napa.  The CCO and maybe a winery or two and taking pictures.  Had I planned it, I would have taken a tour and gotten a massage and facial.  Oh well...
Well, Napa is a cool town with an old historic vibe to it.  Highway 29 is the route I was "stuck" on and spent three hours trying to get off of.  I was so tired of driving and sitting in my car on a two lane highway with so many people cruising and sightseeing.  I was stuck in traffic and in the wrong direction.  Which meant, yep, I had to turn around and do it all over again. 
As for the blog, I kept this up for a year and now it's time to work on my next act.