Monday, October 30, 2006

Today's Perfume: Red Currant by Votivo

Okay, so today's perfume isn't really a perfume at all -- it's actually a room spray by Votivo, a gourmet home-fragrance maker. The Red Current scent is apparently one of their most famous, and it smells so darn good that I couldn't resist using it as a perfume.

Red Current is a sweet fragrance bursting with luscious, ripe fruit flavour. Despite it's candy-like sweetness, it remains fresh and doesn't veer into cloying or synthetic territory. The driving note is the currant, but there is an acidic green bite to it which cuts through refreshingly. There seems to be a tiny touch of cream, and I detected a hint of powdery-rose, but other than that, it is a mouth-wateringly straightforward scent on me. Beautiful and uplifting -- good enough to eat!

I applied it pretty liberally this morning, and I can still smell it 10 hours later. It seems to last longest on fabric; my sweater sleeve is in Red Currant heaven.I didn't have any adverse reaction to using this on my skin & clothes, although you should of course be careful on sensitive skins and fabrics.

As a room spray, Red Current is lovely, if a bit fleeting. I have a small bedroom though, so it's perfect: I mist it a couple times in the morning, and by the afternoon, a pleasant hint of it lingers in the air.

Either as a fragrance or room spray, Red Currant gets a big thumbs up from me. A fantastic candidate for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, or office gift-exchanges!


Product Review: Cover Girl TruBlend Whipped Foundation

Before I get started with this review, I'd like to share some exciting news about a cool giveaway that's going on. What's not to love about a giant box full of free, quality make-up must-haves? Nothing, that's what!

Want in? All you need to do is hop on over to Meg's Makeup and sign up on the site (just click the red link at the bottom of the page). Don't worry, you won't get spammed with messages telling you to "Make it bigg3r now!!" or "Paul, ref1nance your home with l0w intere$t". Meg runs a classy site, only good news ever reaches my mailbox from her. Like news about the giveaway! So what are ya waiting for, go sign up now!

Now, on with the show! If you've been reading up on your runway trends, you'll know that smooth, velvety matte skin is all the rage for Fall and Spring. You may have also noticed that Cover Girl has conveniently introduced TruBlend Whipped Foundation, and that Maybelline has likewise amped up their advertising for their Dream Matte Mousse.

I tried Dream Matte Mousse when it first came out, and I must say that I hated it. The product was too dry (almost 'crumbley') to blend well, and even after you tried to smooth it out, the foundation would just sit on your skin, looking all weird, chalky, and masky. It made my skin feel like it was suffocating. Ick.

Given this, I was a bit hesitant to purchase Cover Girl's version of a mousse makeup for $13 CAD. But, I was really impressed with their TruBlend powder foundation, and I do have that whole compulsive spending habit thing going on, and so I plunked down the cash and brought home my own little jar of TruBlend Whipped Foundation in Warm Beige*.

Even at first glance, TruBlend Whipped is very different than its Maybelline counterpart: TruBlend has a much softer consistency, reminiscent of Cool Whip. It also has a faint sweet almond smell on application, but it doesn't linger. But how does it perform?

Well, the fact that it was softer certainly made it easier to apply and blend with my fingers. It felt really nice and airy going on, so that's a plus. But, while it didn't just sit obviously on the skin like Dream Matte Mousse, it still looked a little cakey for my liking. Plus, as the day wore on, it started to feel kind of greasy, as though I could actually feel the foundation smudging on my face. Damn.

But wait! Reading the handy reviews on MUA, I saw that some helpful person suggested using a foundation brush to apply it. And let me tell you: that makes ALL the difference. Coverage is much smoother and it no longer feels heavy on the skin. Plus, the foundation doesn't migrate like it did when I applied it with my fingers. I think this is due to the foundation brush applying a much thinner, more even layer than my fingers did. I felt all make-up-artist-cool with my brush, as if I were magically painting away all the little imperfections. At the very least, it's probably more hygenic this way.

TruBlend Whipped gives a natural, pretty, smooth-looking matte finish. I do need to powder on top of this to stop shine and add staying power, and even then, shine will come through after the 4 or 5 hour mark. But blotting takes care of that, and the foundation remains relatively intact throughout the day. It still doesn't look quite as skin-like as my still-favourite Almay Smart Shade makeup, but then again, it offers better coverage (light-to-medium) than Smart Shade does. As well, this could double as an undereye concealer for those mornings when you're too rushed to bother with a lot of products.

Bottom Line: TruBlend Whipped Foundation is a good option for those looking to try a mousse foundation, and it is certainly loads better than Maybelline's version. If you hate powder foundations, but love the new matte skin, pick up a jar of this and give it a shot!

* Their Colour-Matching thing on the website is wack. Don't trust it, just go look at the actual shades and hope they have a few testers out.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Long Overdue

Procrastinating on writing my long-overdue paper made me think of other things that are long-overdue. Like updating the links on this dusty ol' blog. So here they are!

- Product Girl: Carla has awesome beauty reviews and podcasts. She makes me want to set up camp in a Sephora and never ever leave.

- Shoes, Glorious Shoes!: Dear Erin posts lovely things on her new blog that make me want to spend money. Dammit. Go over there and check things out so I don't have to feel alone in my debt-inducing ways.

- Chaptastic: It's an entire blog about lipbalm. Need I say more?

- The Beauty Newsletter: Elke dishes on her favourite products and trends, and includes pro tips and podcasts to boot.

- Don't forget to visit The Beauty Brains at their new home ( Same quality posts, but now on their own domain -- remember to update your links (...said the pot to the kettle).

And for some non-makeup related reads:

- I go to RX Vixen and Seriously? OMG! WTF? to satisfy my TV fangirl cravings. Collective "SQUEEEE"-ing never felt so good!

- Ballpoint Wren muses on life, laughter, and family, and does a fun thing every week where she gathers clever things from around the blogosphere for a quick & entertaining pick me up. Check it out!

- Last, but certainly not least, Emilie-Claire Barlow's myspace page is a great way to keep up on the latest news regarding this talented jazz singer's albums and performances. You can also sample some of her great tunes there. This lady's gonna be (even more) famous one day, so why not rack up some indie points and say "you knew her when"? (No, she's not paying me, she's just that good.)

Alrighty, back at it then. Real reviews next week, plus I am doing a thing where for the next 2 weeks, I am allowing myself to wear only those perfumes that I own but rarely use. Because, what's the point of owning over 30 fragrances* and not wearing them?

* Seriously. Yeah... "addictive behaviour"... I know.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Excuse me miss, does this dress come in a size Extra-Bitchy?"

So, we saw last night's episode of ANTM, yes? And we are enraged, yes?

I mean, what, did Tyra wake up on judging-day and decide "Hey, I should put on this unflattering dress and take out my puffy-armpit angst on Brooke"???

Brookie wasn't my pick to win the competition (go CariDee!), but I certainly liked her better than vapid Eugena (who has EXORCIST eyes). Not to mention, that cute slip of a girl posed with a freakin' SNAKE around her neck last week and rocked it. Compare and contrast with Ms. Jaeda, who has been whining for like 17 years about her damn hair. Which looks awesome. And yet who is still around?

But what pissed me off most of all was the rampant meglomania. Fuck you, Tyra Banks. You are NOT more important than graduating High School. "Think how many girls would give anything to be standing where you are now"... oh yeah, getting unfairly booted off a reality TV show is so much more appealing than celebrating 4 years of good memories and hard work. When your ex-contestants reliably end up as famous models (fingers crossed, Joanie & Danielle!), then maybe you can justify dousing yourself in Eau de Narcissism.

Here's to you, you beautiful girl! May you go on to great things!

In related news, could someone please send Smell-Rose a bottle of shine serum? Girl needs to comb her haystack hair once in a while. Oh well, Smell-Rose looks a bit too Village of the Damned for my tastes anyway. Like she wants to eat my brain, but is confused about it. Maniacal. I don't dig it. Again: Go CariDee!!!

In yet some more related news, look what I saw in the Shopper's Drug Mart flyer yesterday:

That model... is it... could it be... Andrea?!??! Y'know, as in Anderexia. Winner of CNTM. This one:

Now granted, the photo in the flyer is just horrible. Lady looks like a 35-year old dude. But then Anderexia sort of looked like a dude sometimes. The ad reminded me of that gawd-awful Cover Girl spot that the Final 3 shot. Seriously, who picks this stuff??

I don't know if Andrea's actually in that horrid ad, but to her credit, she was looking very cute at a recent function-type-thing. She looks a lot like Paige from Trading Spaces in that 2nd one, which isn't a bad thing at all.

Plus, she got to pose with Samuel L. Jackson! How badass is that? "NO I CAN'T STOP YELLING, THIS IS HOW I TALK! HAVEN'T YOU EVER SEEN ANY OF MAH MOOOVIES?"

And here she is on Much Music, finally looking like how a good model might look. Hip, glowy, and un-skeletal, if a little bit tired:

Whitby's come a long way. But Ylena still shoulda won.

Whew, and that's it for me! I promise to talk about the TruBlend Whipped Foundation soon, I think I've figured out the secret to its sucess. At any rate, it doesn't make me look like a 35-year old dude!

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Friday, October 20, 2006

5 things on a Friday

Hi everyone! How are you these days? I'm sadly still thesis-ing, there is no end in sight! But I thought I'd pop by and update a bit. Here, have a list!

1. I am sick. Boo.

2. Hey, check it out, I finally got an avatar! I custom-built it at Abi-Station -- there are lots of options to choose from, and it's far too easy to accidentally spend hours on fiddling around with your graphical mini-me. You have been warned.

Anyway, this is cool, because now y'all can see what I look like. That is, what I would look like if my head took up 60% of my body-weight, I didn't currently have hair-from-hell, I had ginormous eyes, and was perpetually winking. The coffee cup and shopping bag are, however, pretty much entirely accurate.

3. I have hair-from-hell!!! Keeping in theme with Halloween and all. I went to get it cut at this student place, and... well, let's just say it was a bad idea. It's shorter than I wanted it (it's ALWAYS shorter than I want it), and she cut the front layers weird, so that there's this strange step-y half-bang thing going on. Aargh. As it is, it's got me doing the side-swept bangs thing to try hide it, but hopefully it'll be fixed before I go to Glasgow.

4. Hey! I'm goin' to Glasgow in less than a month!!! Wheeee! The tickets are bought and everything, I'm so excited!!!

5. I think I'm going to be a pregnant cheerleader for Halloween. It is an odd fact of life that any costume generally becomes funnier when you add the pregnancy aspect. Okay, fine, I just want to play with pom-poms and pretend to be a cheertator for the night.

Okay! Well, I should get going and do something about plenty of hot fluids. I hope to be back soon because I want very badly to talk about stuff like the new Cover Girl TruBlend Whipped Foundation (meh) and red lip products (I can't stop buying them!!).

Oh hey! It's my 100th post! Yipiee!

Love (but no hugs or kisses, as I do not want to give you sick germs),