Procrastinating Pretty


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What's on my Vanity?

I don't technically have a vanity where I sit and do my makeup -- I learned some time ago that my life is laptop-centric, so if my makeup is anywhere farther than arm's length from where my computer lives, it's not being used.  True for eating as well -- Tod and I don't have a dining room table because we eat over our Macbooks.  Right.

That said, since we both prep/eat/watch tv/blog/tweet from one single, narrow IKEA table, I've learned to invest in very streamlined storage that keeps my everyday products organized.  I've also given myself a little room to squeeze in a few options so I keep my rotation fresh and my collection in use.

My set up consists of a MUJI Acrylic 3-Drawer Case that I schlepped home from New York last year (YAY for Muji coming to Toronto!).  The drawer height is very narrow, just high enough to accommodate a Tom Ford lipstick.  In fact, that was the original reason I bought it -- this unit used to house lipstick in one drawer, lip gloss in another, and lip balms in the third.  After a huge decluttering sesh, I've managed to fit 95% of my lip collection in one drawer.  The rest is in various bags or at the office. *pats self on the back*

On top is a cosmetic case from The Container Store -- I was inspired by Emily Weiss's set-up on Into The Gloss.  In the back I keep all tubey makeup things like brushes, pencils, mascaras, and general tools -- I think my nail clippers live in there, but I never cut my own nails so...that's moot. In the tray in front I keep a tin of cotton wool and cotton buds and everything I need to prep my base.

Is anyone else as obsessed with makeup collections and vanity tours as I am?  I find myself getting sucked in to those videos for hours.  Worst clickhole ever.

PS: Today is my big brother's birthday -- you know, the brainiac behind this video.

Nail Polish Repurchases

In a time when I thought I would literally never run out of nail polish -- that is, before I proudly decluttered to thirty bottles, go me -- I still managed to find a reason to repurchase a few.

Chanel Blue Satin / Vendetta - Blue Satin was my first dark nail polish, my first Chanel purchase, my first bottle I legitimately used up. I've lamented several times before that black nail polish never actually looks black on me -- I need the cool tone of a navy to give me that inkiness that just screams chic.  And I never use that word.  They released Vendetta, a purple version of Blue Satin, and honestly, you don't need both.  I'll probably go back to Blue Satin after I finish this bottle of Vendetta.

OPI Quarter of a Cent-Cherry - This is my perfect red.  It's perfectly midtoned with just enough blue to balance the skin tone in my hands, keeping them from looking too red, too ashy or too muddy.  This was released in 2008 with the 25th Anniversary collection, but I think most displays still have a few kicking around.  That said, I dropped my only bottle a few years back and have been hoarding it ever since.  It looked like a scene from Alien -- or at least what I imagine the Alien trilogy to look like.

Nails Inc Baker Street - I have a weakness for blue/turquoise/green, but for some reason this particular blue --  a neon-level bright cobalt that leans slightly periwinkle -- this incredible colour is a game changer.  In my entire nail polish career (can we call it that?), I've never felt so strongly about a blue, and that includes OPI Dating a Royal, which was the first blue I ever purchased.  That one will always hold a special place in my heart, even though I don't feel the need to keep it in stock.  That said, I just threw out a half-empty bottle of Dating a Royal, but I've run through half a bottle of Baker Street in less than six months.

DIY: Saltwater Toner

My brother was browsing my YouTube channel the other day and came across my Tanda Zap review.  He's a longtime sufferer of acne -- two rounds of accutane, antibiotics, prescribed topical mediaction, you name it, he's done it.  He's started getting his skin relatively under control in the past few years, and this is a tip he's shared with me several times.

When I was a kid and got canker sores in my mouth, my mom would force me to swish my mouth out with saltwater.  Salt is a natural antiseptic, striking fear into the hearts of bacteria and other microbial beings.  I finally tried it as a beauty remedy, and it's pretty magical.  Tod will show you!

Other ways to use:

  • Spot treatment -- you could add a few drops of tea tree oil to help treat surface blemishes
  • Mouthwash -- add a few drops of peppermint oil for flavour
  • Hair rinse -- not recommended for coloured hair, but I occasionally will rinse my hair with saltwater to give it a little beachiness when it air dries.

On Not Washing my Hair..

My hair sticks to a fairly strict regimen in the summer -- freshly washed, one day straight, second day curl, third day loose curl, 4th day beachy wave, and depending on how much activity it's seen, I might even leave it on the fifth day.  I'm gross.

My tips to preserve curls and get away with not washing my hair?

#1 - Invest in a great dry shampoo -- these work differently for everyone, but a few favourites include Klorane, Batiste, Rene Furterer and good old baby powder.  Not sure how to use dry shampoo?  Check out my handy-dandy video.

#2 - Body shower -- My biggest issue is that no shower cap in the world will contain my hair, so I've started using my bamboo head wrap to help my hair avoid getting wet.  It also helps to have a shower head that detaches, instead of the fixed ones that force you to contort in all sorts of positions to avoid the spray.

#3 - Texture will help hide any dirty hair, so embrace that tousled, beachy, bedhead. My hair is super straight, so that usually translates to dreadlocks, but if I take a few minutes to put a little wavey dent in my hair, it goes a long way.   Take ten minutes to wrap your hair around a 1 inch curling iron or to get some waves with a GHD -- the messier, the better.  Don't stress if the waves loosen on day three/four, it'll add to the 'I woke up like dis' effect.

#4 - When in doubt, put on a hat.  Or if you're feeling super 90s, a bandana.

Hair Chat

The best selfies are video screenshots, obvi.  #justsayin

I tend to take my hair for granted -- unlike skin care and makeup, I've been very fortunate that I don't have to try all that hard to get my hair to cooperate with me.  That said, because it's become such an easy part of my routine, I forget how much I rely on my hair to feel confident.

The ShineStrong tag is something I helped develop for Pantene-- a series of 12 questions inspired by these two videos for us beauty girls to share our stories of confidence, bravery, and hair journeys.  I can't get enough of all the encouragement and inspiration people have been sharing with the #ShineStrong hashtag; it's incredible to see how far we've come with empowering women.

If listening to me blabber on about me and my hair inspires you to answer the questions, it would be my pleasure to read/watch/consume -- however you prefer to do it.  If you do video though, be sure to share your best screenshots.  See above.

Until the next post, #ShineStrong, beautiful.

A Lazy Person's Smoky Eye

I may have just committed a click bait crime -- not that my tutorial (if you can call it that) isn't lazy, but I don't know that it is technically a smoky eye.  That said, it looks like one and wears like one so we'll call it that.

First up, you'll need the most versatile eye shadow in the world: A cool, matte, mid-tone brown. Every single brand in the world carries one of these, but I've been reaching for Le Metier de Beaute Tamarack.  It can simultaneously be applied as a sheer wash all over the lid or built up to a rich, chocolate line.  You'll know you have your holy grail neutral shadow when it can act eye contour, eye colour, liner and brow product.

For a classic smoky eye, grab a large, fluffy brush (pictured here: Paula Dorf Sheer Crease) and pick up a little colour.  To make sure everything stays even, I like to work the product into the bristles by blending out the colour on the back of my hand.

Sweep the product all over your lid, working into the socket and concentrating the colour on the outer third of your eye.  Since my eyes are typically Asian, I do this with my eyes open and build up to the intensity I like -- it's different every day.  Next, use your pinky to tap more colour onto the outer corners of your eyes, smudging a little underneath on the lower lash line to give an especially hazy look.

For more drama (and my less lazy peeps), the possibilities are endless.  Layer a paint pot underneath for ultra-rich pigment, pop on a bright eyeliner, or even just playing with the shape of the eye shadow can have a huge impact.

That said, I recently broke my right arm.  After an unfortunate mascara vs. eye incident, I've decided my left hand is not skilled enough to wield an instrument more complicated than a fluffy blending brush.

Summer Beauty Essentials: Beach Days

Did anyone else know that we had beaches in Toronto?  I had no idea.  A few things that crossed my mind:

- There's actually sand there.  Like, beach sand.
- Apparently there is more than one ferry drop-off location.  Don't just go for the shortest line or you'll walk for an hour and a half to get to the beach.
- There is little to no cell service.  Prepare yourself for Nomophobia-induced anxiety.

What beauty essentials did I tote with me on my inaugural Toronto beach trip?  Caudalie Soleil Divin Anti-Aging Face Suncare SPF50 is a chemical sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays.  I mix it into a light foundation for beautifully sheer, uber-dewy coverage. Next, a strategic dusting of  Diorskin Forever Compact Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup with SPF 25 (LONGEST NAME EVER) gives me a little more coverage, and takes down the sheen so my face glows only where I want it.  I keep it with me to control shine and to pretend I'm topping up my SPF.

I never bother with eye makeup at the beach, but those of you who are partial to waterproof mascara, go get 'em!  Lastly, don't forget a lip balm with SPF; in this case, Fresh Sugar Rose with SPF 25 for a hint of colour. I've literally never burned anywhere except my bottom lip.  Never again.

One thing that I've never, ever regretted bringing with me is a bottle of Avene Eau Thermale.  I use it for literally EVERYTHING -- to soothe any random cuts, cool down a rogue sunburn (Tod can attest to this), to escape from the relentless heat.  Literally everyone laughed when they realized it was pressurized water in a can, but not a single person complained when I spritzed them down at the height of the burning sun.  Just sayin'.

An optional item, but I had to mention because it has the most appropriate name -- BECCA Beach Tints.  It's a full makeup look in a 5 ml package; just dot on your eyes, cheeks, and lips when you go from the beach to dinner.  I like Fig because it makes me look like Evangeline Lilly from Lost.  *cough*

And lastly?  Sunglasses, otherwise known those things people use to shield their eyes so it's not completely obvious they're checking you out.

What? No, I don't do that.  What are you saying?

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