Monday, July 26, 2010

How much mascara (lipgloss, blush, shampoo) is too much?

I just read this article on, "When being a product junkie becomes a problem"
and highly recommend you all read it. You'll probably find that you don't fall into the category of a compulsive buyer or hoarder, but good grief, for me, it was a close call!

I'm sure a lot of people can relate to a time when your spending habits gain momentum and you lose sight of want v.s. need; you buy a nail polish, mascara, bottle of shampoo or pair of shoes that you really don't need, but 'have to have'. Then one day you look around and realize your bathroom is covered in half-full bottles, and you have three of the same lipsticks cluttering your handbag. It's time to take a step back, assess, and take a break from purchasing stuff

Easier said than done, right? I've only recently settled into a comfortable pattern of buying products and clothes when I need them and not when I'm bored, have money to spend or need an emotional 'boost' (read: shopping high!). Throughout my university years I definitely fell into a pattern of buying things I didn't need, and looking back I should have realized it's a major red flag and needs to be dealt with instead of hidden. But, now that I can see it for what it is I'm confident I won't fall back into that habit. 

Here are some warning signs that your beauty spending is becoming a problem (source: Los Angeles Times):

 • There are negative consequences associated with your behavior — physical, safety or financial.
•You want to stop hoarding cosmetics but can't.
•You start losing livable space in your home because of your beauty products.
•Heavy layers of dust build up on all of your beauty supplies.
•Bottles, cans and brushes start getting sticky, whether they're in a box or out on the counter.
•You ignore expiration dates.
•Most items that aren't out on shelves or stashed into the closets are still in the bags in which you purchased them, along with the receipts.
•You purchase multiples of the same item.
•You leave the price tags on.
•You purchase items that aren't appropriate for your current life. For instance, if you're a single woman who is childless, you purchase Dora the Explorer soap kits or men's shaving products.
Personally, I find just by taking inventory of what I already own helps prevent unnecessary purchases - who's ever gone to purchase something only to realize a few weeks later that you either had the exact same thing already or something pretty darn close to it?! This is when the back of the closet is useful (not)!


By keeping the bathroom and/or vanity table clean, emptying out your purse and sorting through it weekly or bi-weekly, and throwing out (recycling) expired or empty products you can keep things under control. Anything can snowball out of control, so prevent this from happening by sorting through products on a regular basis - even if you have a lot and don't want to acknowledge it. I also put myself on "no Shopper's/Sephora/M.A.C" bans for a few weeks at a time to force myself to use up what I already own. Also, living with someone else who doesn't share your same "enthusiasm" for products can curb the obsession (*cough* boyfriend who uses 2 products and has the uncanny ability to make them last for 3 months at time).

Above all, if you think you have a problem with obsessive spending or hoarding or someone has commented on your spending/hoarding, definitely seek counseling as it is nothing to be embarrassed about. Over spending and hoarding are often used as a coping mechanism for another aspect of your life, so it's important to address it and find support.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Changes in L'atitude

Going on a trip this summer? Lucky you! Confused about what can and cannot be brought on-board? Personally, I won't be traveling by airplane this summer for my vacation but I thought a post outlining the new safety rules for carry-on and general tips on what to pack might be useful for some. Bon voyage!

1. Go through your carry-on and make sure everything complies with the recently changed (stricter) carry-on rules. Then go over it again just in case! Paris Hilton needs to get schooled on the art of packing...I bet there's tweezers in there somewhere!

2. Air Canada allows for one piece of carry on and one "personal article". Ideally use an expandable, soft duffel type-bag as your carry on to easily store it in the overhead compartment or below the seat in front of you.  If you have less stuff to bring with you, use a backpack, purse or tote bag. The personal article includes your coat, baby stroller, or special needs item, etc.

  • I love Le Sports Sac for their incredible website, great selection and versatile bags. The best carry-on bag from them would be the Small Weekender or Deluxe Travel Mate. 
  • LL Bean has a cute duffel bag that you can customize and have monogrammed - use it as a gym bag later! 
3. Jersey, Jersey, Jersey. Wear jersey fabrics! They breath, resist wrinkling, bunching, and most importantly are comfortable. A great pair of black jersey wide legged pants/sweats and a white jersey t is the ultimate comfort traveling outfit, I say. Pair with slip-on moccasins, a jean or leather jacket and a pashmina scarf and you are set. Ignore Vicky B when it comes to airport dress codes, k? Take inspiration from L.C instead:

4. Stay hydrated: Eat lots of water-full foods like veggies, fruit and whole grains leading up to the flight to help prevent dehydration. 1 cup of coffee is ok, but skip sugary cocktails and soda on the plane itself, which will only dry you out faster. Stick to tea and water. Consider bringing lubricating eye drops on the plane with you, they really work and clear blood shot eyes instantly!

5. Use a good moisturizer even if you don't usually use one and keep makeup super light: the recycled air of the plane tends to dry out skin. Skip those aerosol water spritzers as a) they don't hydrate more than a moisturizer can, b) they might go flat due to the altitude change and c) why risk having it thrown out at security if it doesn't meet standards? Excellent moisturizer choices include:
  • MAC strobe cream
  • Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Oil-free Moisturizer
  • Clinique Turn Around Concentrate
6. If you can't find samples of your favorite products to bring on board, try finding travel size  (3.4 ounce) bottles from the dollar store, department stores and drug stores - then label and fill up with your products. Store everything in one ziploc bag (quart size) that meets the Canadian Air Transport Authority's standards.

Have a fun and safe trip!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Spring cleaning

New banner! What do you think?
...too biyotchy?

I still love these...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Curly Hair 101

To know me is to know my hair.."Frizzy Lizzy" is pretty accurate in many respects, but especially when describing my hair. My frizzy, curly hair has been both the bain of my existence and my crowning glory. Although lately it falls in the first category, which brings me to the topic of this post. 

My goal this summer is to bring my hair texture back to a healthy state, and FINALLY grow it out below my shoulders. My friends know that my hair has been hovering around my collar bone for the past year due to haircuts trying to remedy damage from the past 2 years. 

If you're like me, you are never satisfied with your hair...OR if there is some freak stretch of time when you are satisfied, logically the first thing you think is "Awesome! This is working for me...let's see if I can make it better!". Long story short, you will regret it and walk out of the salon with dyed jet black hair and a chin level bob - did I mention that my hair is curly? Feel free to use MJ circa Jackson 5 days as a visual for that cute look...

That hair cut was 2 years ago and I am still trying to get over it. Unfortunately, instead of hunkering down and growing it out naturally and healthily I decided to have my hair permanently relaxed last summer thinking it would combat the short afro I was working. Big mistake. Any curly haired girl knows that having straight hair is like being on holiday - it feels and looks great for about a month, but then regrowth appears. Regrowth is like the hangover of hair. A sick reminder of your birthright blended with the pin straight Hollywood tresses you dreamed of.

Ever since those two "tragedies", I've been getting haircuts regularly (every 6-8 weeks) to try and alleviate the monstrosity that is my hair.  Despite all the chopping my hair has never looked shittier. The curls are not growing back healthy and springy, instead they're flattened and frizzy. I also still have some relaxed pieces around the front of my hair leftover from last summer.

Let's take a stroll down memory lane...(Ya this is weird for me too...but educational, right?)
After doing some research - which I should have done years ago - I've realized that at this point the only option I have is to try and get my hair healthy again and let it grow. The bouncy curl I used to have may never reappear as years of colouring, straightening and the use of hot tools can permanently destroy natural curl pattern (did. not. knowwww). 

Now on to the less depressing part! How to deal with your curly hair and what I've learned over the years: 

1. Determine what texture(s) you have in your hair. 
  • is a helpful website for figuring out what's on top of your head. Personally, I have several textures in my hair especially after the permanent straightening.
  • I have 2C, 3A, and 3B (and some 3C) curls.
2. Acknowledge that curly hair is damage prone and fine (usually not thick, as most people assume) and treat it accordingly.
  • Weekly deep conditioning treatments are necessary and will improve the curl pattern - it really does reduce frizz.
  • Heat tools kill curl pattern permanently, especially straightening irons!
  • Diffuse or blow dry your hair when it is 80% dry to prevent damage.
  • Drug store products, generally speaking, aren't enough for curly hair - invest in your hair.
3. If you have curly hair it probably means it's naturally dry. 
  • Unless your hair gets oily, you will probably only need to shampoo it 3 times a week. When you feel you need a refresher just dampen in shower and apply conditioner or freshen with a spray bottle.
  • Extend the wear of your hair by protecting it when you sleep - try a silk pillow case or a silk scarf around your head, as silk cushions the curls and won't crush them.
4. If you feel like taking a break from your curls, here's what you might consider:
  • Try braiding your hair to change the pattern and soften the curls: the tighter and smaller the braids the more crimped they'll be, bigger braids will result in looser waves. 
  • Try getting a professional blow-out at a salon instead of doing it yourself at home. Do some research and find a salon that does blowouts without the use of a straightening iron. You can make the blow-out last one week by using dry shampoo when necessary and wrapping your hair at night (silk scarf).
  • Don't make rash decisions like getting a relaxer or any other chemical put in - take it from me: you think you'll be able to cope with the "grow-out" phase, but you won't! It sucks!!
5. Check out Taren on YouTube! She is amazing and loves to talk about curly hair, I've learned a lot from her!

If you're interested here's what I plan on doing to revamp my hair - I'll update you all on how the process is going in a month or so!:
  • Limit contact with heat tools as much as possible - I'm going so far as to hide my straightening iron.
  • Follow the advice above: use a deep treatment weekly, etc.
  • Refrain from colouring. Who am I kidding?! If absolutely necessary use semi-perm dye.
  • Apply hair oil (tea tree, argan, coconut, etc.) pre-shampoo and do a scalp massage to stimulate blood flow (improves hair texture and encourages growth, woo!)
  • Start deep conditioning only instead of shampooing every day - daily cleansing is completely unnecessary for my hair as it is literally a brillo pad at this point and doesn't produce any natural oils.
  • Healthy, nutritious diet..blah blah blah
Curly hair products I use that work:

TIJI's Curls Rock Curl Amplifier Creme

 Morrocan Oil Hair Treatment
Curly Solutions Curl Keeper 
Hopefully some of you can relate to my hair texture and find this info helpful or at least comforting, knowing that yes, there is someone out there who has damaged their hair more than you! I know that a lot of people can at least relate to having had a bad haircut or heat/chemical damage at some point in their life. 

What tricks do you use to keep your hair in great condition?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bronze Summer Video Tutorial

Inspired by the heat wave that's lazing over most of Ontario right now, I decided to film one of my favorite summer looks - a bronze eye and bronze cheek. 

Products used:
  • Rimmel Stay Matte foundation (perfect foundation for the summer because the shades are on the warmer side, which will flatter a tan on any skin type)
  • Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
  • MAC Paint Pot in Constructivist
  • Maybelline Eye Studio in Copper Chic
  • CoverGirl Lash Blast in Black
  • Clinique Up-Lighting in Bronze (04)
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Red Head
  • MAC Lipglass in Underage
This look is fabulous for a night out in the hot summer because it's light, easy and still dramatic. Smearing eyeliner and cakey foundation will be the last thing on your mind!