Thursday, July 26, 2007

Product Review: Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Moisturizer

This review was brought to you by Meg's Makeup. To see what others thought of this moisturizer, check out the reviews here!

Dudes. I had to spend last night at The Boy's place unexpectedly (okay, "chose to spend...", whatever) , and thus had none of my gear with me. I mean, I had soap and shampoo and all that basic stuff over there, but no beauty stuff... no cleanser, no moisturizer... nothing. All the makeup I had was whatever was in my purse, so my deepest and most sincere apologies to whoever saw me at work this morning and gagged a little at my appearance*.

Being away from my moisturizers sucked, and I don't even have super-dry skin. But this experience of missing a moisturizer reminded me of a product I'd received from the razor-sharp wits over at Meg's Makeup a bajillion moons ago. I never posted about it here! Egads. Well here it is: Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Moisturizer. And lemme tell ya: I LOVED it!

This cream... so gel-like and cushy and quenching. So refreshing and calming. So delightful in its soft vanilla-lemon-apple scent. So lustworthy. So $45 USD for 2 oz (!). So little left in my jar. So sad.

I used this throughout the late winter/spring, and I don't know if it was the moisturizer that did it, or just all those holidays that involved copious consumption of chocolate and alcohol. But my skin looked brighter and more even, and felt silkily plump. And I smelled like a princess who could afford to use kinda-bling** face cream at bedtime, so that's always a bonus.

I have been hoarding away the last little bit in the jar for a few months now. My old standby (L'Oreal HappyDerm) is still as good as ever, but I miss that Green Apple Moisturizer! I've heard that Juce Organics makes a drug-store version of it that is much more affordable, but I keep forgetting to pick it up whenever I'm in the States. And no matter how awesome Juice Beauty's moisturizer is, unless it also happens to pay my rent and buy me groceries, I'll have to stick to its humbler (but hopefully adequate!) cousins for now.

What's the scoop, blog friends? Have you tried Juice Beauty's Green Apple moisturizer? Or Juice Organic's version? What do you think?

* It actually wasn't that bad, if I may say so myself. On a good-skin day, some judiciously applied concealer, and a brozny-rose lipstic (Estee Lauder's Sugar Honey") on the cheeks and lips can do wonders.

** Not really bling though. It ain't balla like this stuff.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A little mid-week distraction

This is pretty much all over the internet by now, but I just found out about it yesterday, so here ya go:

(Probably not safe for work, depending on where you work. Nothing too bad, just some language.)

The Landlord

Too awesome. You can see the outakes here. Now if you'll excuse me, I too need to get my drink on. It IS Wednesday, after all.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Product Review: Beauty Rush Lipgloss (by Victoria's Secret)

Bonne Belle Strawberry Kiwi Lipsmacker.

Does that mean anything to anyone? It sure does to me. That smell ... to me, it is my first ever high school band trip, all the way to Seattle, WA. It is trying to change out of concert gear and into street clothes while on a bus with 50 other kids (feckin' panty-hose!). It is me angling for the attention of my First High School Crush (a senior! Oh the scandal!), the thrill of sitting next to him for entire HOURS at a time, and play-fighting with him on the marina. It is the leaden disappointment I felt when I found out he had asked out a girl he liked to his Grad, and the ensuing grit-your-teeth-and-smile-dammit sensibility that I carried around the rest of that trip.

A whole lot from such a little lipbalm!

It's crazy how something so insignificant can remind you of so much. One whiff of that lipsmacker and I'm 15 again. And the instant I slicked on some of Victoria Secret's Beauty Rush lipbalm in Melonrageous, I had another flashback:

Caboodles! This smelled just like those little drugstore glosses from yore, in the watermelon flavour. Except Beauty Rush's version is much less thick and sticky. A medium-weight gloss with a smooth texture, Melonrageous goes on with high shine and a very sheer medium pink colour. This will add a touch of colour to the face, but it's very see-through.

I also got 2 more shades (they were 2 for $10! I couldn't resist!). I Want Candy is a pale milky pink, and tastes like... well, candy. I lost the gloss shortly after I got it, so I'm not too acquainted with it, but it seemed pleasant enough.

Pinked Lemonade is a hot pink, sort of magenta-ish*, with an iridescent pinky-violet shimmer. It smells and tastes PHENOMENAL. It's mostly in the smell, actually, as these glosses do have that slight plasticky taste that most flavoured glosses have. But seriously, if you like pink lemonade, and if you like scented glosses, you simply must try this. Despite its vibrancy in the tube, it's quite easy to wear, since the colour is again quite sheer.

The Beauty Rush glosses are moderately sticky, but great if you are looking for a shiny sheer look and lots of flavour. I could do with something a little more moisturizing, but they're not bad. Definitely a fun purchase, it's perfect for tweens and teens who want something a bit nicer than Bonnebell, but who aren't quite ready yet for the department store stuff. Oh, and also for gloss-a-holics with a sweet tooth, of course!

* I am very intrigued by a deep hot pink/magenta lip these days. With minimal blush & shadow, but with a bit of sharp eyeliner, sooty black lashes, and sleek hair -- very modern and strong. A little bit CEO and a little bit rock 'n roll. Or with bare eyes, and bright, almost sun-burnt looking cheeks. I see it all in my head, but in person, I'd rather try it out in gloss-form first so no children run around pointing and yelling "Tramp! Purple-lipped tramp!" at me. Just in case I, you know, end up looking like one of those "ladies" on Church street.


Friday, July 20, 2007

New Product: Almay Smart Shade Blush

Hello blog-friends! Hope you're all doing just swell out there in Internet-Land. I had the great fortune to attend a tres classy wedding in Ottawa last weekend, and it was such a blast. Amazing food, amazing speeches, and of course, the amazing bride! She looked so good in her simple, elegant silk gown -- this is a lady who gets up at 5AM to go for a long run, and then goes to the gym, and THEN arrives for an 8AM class. Her new hubby is a lucky man indeed!

All this talk about blushing brides must be getting to me, because when I saw the new Almay Smart Shade Blush hiding in the bottom rack of a display at a drug store yesterday, I veritably pounced on it.

It's no secret around here that I'm a big fan of Almay's Smart Shade foundation, so even though I was in a big rush that day, and had exactly 3.2 minutes in that drugstore to buy, write on, and mail out a birthday card to my Mom (Happy Birthday, Mom!), I used some precious seconds to grab the tester of Smart Shade Blush and smear it not only on my own hand, but also on that of my ever-patient and tolerant boyfriend.

The Natural shade (only tester they had) came out whiteish, just like the Smart Shade foundation. The texture was also very similar: creamy, light, and silky. It is not at all gel-like. And, just like the Smart Shade foundation, the blush turns into its colour as you rub it on your skin -- on me (with my golden/yellow skin tone), it was a tawny pink, and on The Boy (he of white and pink skin), it was a cooler, powdery looking rose*.

The colour looked very natural, with sheer, flat colour (i.e., no shimmer or sparkles), and seemed like it would be easy to blend in. None of this neon-pink O-Glow business happening here. But I did not buy it, friends! Why not? Well, I have this thing where cream blush freaks me out a bit. I have nightmare-ish visions of a cakey, streaky mess on my cheeks. Since I like my foundations to be either in powder form, or have a powder finish, I use powder blushes exclusively. But, when/if I decide to try out a cream blush (I predict this will happen in September, when I get my funding and actually have discretionary income again), you can bet Smart Shade is the one I'm going to try!

Almay Smart Shade Blush comes in 4 shades: Pink Rose, Natural, Berry, and Sunkissed (which I think is supposed to be a bronzer). At about $12 CAD for a 0.5 fl. oz. tube, it's not exactly cheap, but I get the impression that you just need a smidge. And maybe you can even multi-task it and use it on your lips! (Like every other cream blush in existence!) Has anyone tried it? What do you think?

* Have I mentioned how utterly secure in his masculinity The Boy is? Because he is. So much so that he can do an interpretive dance to Cascada's "Every time we touch" while in the car and not lose an ounce of masculinity. Hawt.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not Makeup: Cauliflower

aka: "I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing!"

You know what they say about makeup -- "a girl can't live on makeup alone"*. And so I thought I'd share this recipe for roasted cauliflower with y'all. Maybe it's old news to you, but it's just so darn tasty that I really must post it.

Cauliflower, despite its fanciful name, is not exactly the sexiest of vegetables. It doesn't have the vibrant lure of bell peppers, or the lush texture of a portabello. It is not the incredibly flavourful sweet onion, nor the straight-up vixen that is asparagus. But it has hidden potential... don't mistake cauliflower for a wall flower!

When thinly sliced and roasted, cauliflower loses its bitter edge, and takes on a crispy, golden exterior. It becomes sweeter; softer. Some have likened it to tasting like french fries, and while I wouldn't go quite that far, it is very very very good. So good, infact, that I ate an ENTIRE head, by myself last night.

You think I'm crazy, I know. But look! How can anyone resist this?

YUM! Here is the recipe:

1 Head of Cauliflower (or more!)
About 1/4 cup of good olive oil
Kosher or Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

(Serves 2 as a side dish. Or 1, if you're me. It does cook down quite a bit.)

First, preheat your oven to 400F. Slice up your cauliflower into 1/4" or 1/8" thick slices. Some people just start slicing up the whole head, and others cut it into large florets first, before slicing. Do whatever feels right to you. Either way, you will end up with some large, lacey slices, and then lots of little crumbles and mini florets.

Throw the whole mess in a big bowl and toss with the olive oil to cover. You don't need a whole lot of oil, just enough to coat everything thinly. Salt and pepper to taste, being sure to get the seasoning all mixed in.

Spread the cauliflower onto a baking sheet. I use a foil lined one to help it cook more evenly, but you don't have to. They key is to get as much surface-area contact between the cauliflower and the pan as possible. This ensures the best browning and crisping. I usually do one head over a large sheet and a small sheet, but apparently 1 head is supposed to fit on one large sheet. Just try to get it in 1 layer, and you should be ok.

Pop it into the oven. One head should take about 40 mins at 400, but you really just have to watch, as I find it varies from oven to oven, and from cauliflower to cauliflower. It's done when it looks all golden and crispy -- in fact, you can even go a bit darker than what the photo above depicts. Some of the little crumbly bits will brown faster, but don't worry too much, it'll all taste good.

If you find some areas of the pan browning too fast, give everything a good stir to move stuff around. You can flip it half way through too, although I'm not very good at that part, and have omitted it successfully before.

If you haven't tried this already, you really need to! Even people who don't like cauliflower cooked other ways find themselves loving this. It is so easy, so quick, and so good. Healthy too! The recipe is ultra versatile -- you can roast other veggies prepared in similar ways (broccoli, or asparagus, or yams spring to mind), purée it to use in soups or sauces, use it as a mashed potato substitute, use other spices and seasonings... the sky's the limit!

For more delicious ideas, check out this eGullet forum thread devoted entirely to roasted cauliflower (15 pages!). I first learned about it on there, and the kind posters have lots of helpful tips and great ideas. The gorgeous photo above was shamelessly stolen from Susan in FL's post on pg. 13.

Hope everyone is having a beautiful day!

* Yes, I know, it's "love", but for me, it is the same, no?

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Product Review: TheBalm Time Balm Concealer

Hello friends! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I had a fantastic one myself -- it was me and The Boy's 1 year anniversary, and it's been sort of a week-long celebration. From cooking classes to winery tours to waterparks, it's been a crazy fun weekend, albeit a very tiring one.

Fortunately, I was toting around my Time Balm Concealer throughout the festivities, and thus managed to appear bright-eyed and alert* in any incriminating photos.

Concealers really have a thankless job -- we ask them to cover up all things unsightly, and demand that they get no credit for the work by being as invisible on the skin as possible. Well, Time Balm goes one step further and promises to deliver wrinkle-fighting and anti-dark circles technology. You're supposed to even wear it in your sleep!

Well, I don't know about all that jazz -- sounds like a clever ploy to sell twice the amount of concealer to me. ("But look!", they say. "Your circles are diminished when you wake up!" This is true. This is because I still have freakin' make up on. Yeesh.)

But none of that matters much, as Time Balm is really a very good concealer. The coverage is quite opaque, about on par with my beloved Cinema Secrets concealer. However, where the Cinema Secrets glides on smoothly, you need to work at the Time Balm a bit. It can feel a bit dry and unblendable going on, but there's a few things you can do to deal with that:

1) Moisturize like mad
2) Leave the container in the bathroom while you shower (the heat makes it smoother)
3) Work at it a bit in the container before putting it on.

I find it best to use my ring finger to apply, as the heat from my skin helps the concealer go on.

Where it does have an advantage over other high-coverage concealers is its tenacity -- this is probably the longest-lasting creme concealer I've tried. After you put it on, it dries to an ever-so-slightly tacky finish, which in terms of home decor, hair style, or date choices is a very bad thing. However, in concealer-speak, it means that it's less likely to budge or smear your mascara. I can go running with this on, and if I don't go crazy swiping at my face with the towel, it'll still have coverage at the end. It even sorta-kinda survived an entire afternoon at the waterpark -- a touch-up was definitely needed, but it wasn't entirely gone either.

So, if you have a problem with disappearing concealers, give this one a try. However, if you have very dry skin, this might not work that well for you, although the tips I mentioned above do improve its workability a lot. It comes in 4 shades, with Light/Medium being my perfect match. Definitely worth a try for the $26 CAD at Sephora, and you can even get it on sale at Bombshell Bargains for $17 (plus shipping).

* Well, bright-eyed and slightly drunk in some of them, if we are being honest. It was a celebration, after all.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

3 M's

Yowza it's been a long time! I'm sorry for the delay, dear readers, I'm in the throes of the 3 M's: Marking, Moving, and Makin' Whoopee. (Okay, not that last one.) (Well, not that you need to know about anyway.)

Marking is (boring) business as usual, but moving! That's new. The lovely Roomie and I have decided to leave the dank craphole that is our current appartment and quit giving our landlord slumlord any more of our hard-earned cash. Which means the past little while has been full of appartment hunting, and in my case, shopping for furniture, appliances, and general house-stuff. Because although my illogical collection of 16 zillion martini and cocktail glasses is all fine and dandy, you can't exactly fry an egg in any of them.

In addition to all this hooplah, there's lots of travel involved in the next few weeks, plus it's Roomie's birthday soon, which means bad things for posting. I haven't even had time to watch SYTYCD to see if my beloved Jessi made it through her tragic illness*. (Though CNTM has barely made it into the schedule)

Nobody rocks weird lamb ears like this girl does! Mwah!

But hang tight, dear friends! I will be back, saying alternately loving and snarky things about various products as per usual! In the meantime, I hope you are having a beautiful time out there in blog-land. Check back soon!

* Okay, so I just googled it and apparently she WAS sent home, and, according to this online petition that you bet your ass I'm going to sign, was sent home without any sort of real reason from the judges. This is deplorable. I am incensed, I say! INCENSED!

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