Monday, January 30, 2012
Reclaiming Beauty From Ashes
By: Jackie Clark
In the 1980s, comedian Billy Crystal created a Saturday Night Live catchphrase with, “You look marvelous, darling.” His popular parody of actor Fernando Lamas celebrated a character that truly believed if you looked good, you felt good. It fit the more superficial mood of the decade, but there is some truth to the idea how you present yourself to the world affects how you feel inside. A boost of self-confidence helps you smile a little easier, stand a little straighter and feel more comfortable in your own skin. For patients undergoing a life or death battle with cancer, this can bring a little bit of normalcy to a time when everything they once knew is turned upside down.
Organizations such as “Look Good, Feel Better” match volunteers with cancer patients for workshops that help these individuals deal with those minor things many take for granted. This is done through the use of makeup therapy, where free cosmetics and instruction on how to wear wigs and accessories help these patients achieve some levity and self-confidence during an uncertain time.
It may sound superficial to worry about such things, but for a person with a serious illness it could provide a welcome respite to reclaim what cancer has attempted to steal. These brave individuals are in the fight of their lives and deserve a moment to feel vibrant, alive and beautiful.
Almost undeniably, cancer dramatically alters the landscape of one’s appearance. Whether through surgery or medication, the loss of how one used to look affects one’s identity. Whether it is losing a breast, or both, to losing an eye or other tissue, it chips away at one’s own self-perception, even if the cancer affects those parts of the body unseen.
Even mesothelioma cancer, which affects primarily the lungs, can change one’s appearance in unexpected ways, ways in which makeup or cosmetics can restore a bit of that old reflection in the mirror. For patients undergoing chemotherapy, the toxic medication administered to kill off cancer cells, this battle affects most notably the hair on their heads. But this also can affect their eyelashes and eyebrows and even their complexion. Like non-cancer patients who use makeup to stall the hands of time, these cosmetics help restore what medication tends to rob at an accelerated pace. The end results are rosier cheeks, fuller eyebrows and lashes, and a renewed sense of identity for the patient.
Moreover it harkens back to a more carefree time when the patient could worry about something as mundane and ordinary as her outer appearance. This in and ofitself helps ease the burden from a patient’s shoulders by finding joy and laughterand beauty in a dark period of her life, and where programs such as “Look Good,Feel Better” thrive among cancer patients.
Every day they wrestle away from disease is reason enough to celebrate the beauty of life, one each and every patient can and should enjoy to the fullest.
This is definitely a difficult subject. I'm sure we all know someone who has suffered from cancer and if you haven't yet, there is a great chance that you will in the future. For me, it was my mother-in-law. It's difficult to see someone you know and love having to deal with the effects and even harder for someone dealing with it themselves. But hopefully this will help any of you out there who are going through this.
Thanks to Jackie for your time spent on writing this for us to read. You can read more at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog here: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/
Sunday, January 1, 2012
So I had the best intentions over the last 3 weeks to blog a ton, but I was away enjoying a family vacation to Orlando, Florida. Disneyworld being the big ticket attraction, of course. I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old, so they had a great time and so did me and daddy. lol.
I plan to do a what I beauty items I packed on my trip and what I should have packed post. Haha, I packed too much! I do that everytime though :)
When I got home, I was in need of some items so I nipped over to Sephora before work one day and came away with these:
I picked up the Laura Mercier Secret Camoflage concealer duo in SC-5, the Kat Von D eyeshadow palette in Saint, a UDPP and as a 100 point perk I grabbed the Korres Mattifying Face Primer.
I had 600+ points but wasn't too keen on the Sephora pack they were offering as a 500 point perk. So I opted for this primer since I've been looking for a new one. I've been having a bit of a hard time finding one I really like for my skin right now. Last year I was loving the Illamasqua Satin Primer in the winter and the Illamasqua Matt Primer in the summer but my skin seems to have changed quite a bit because I'm finding my skin gets oily with both of them lately, which is strange because my skin is usually dry but not lately.
This Laura Mercier camo duo is so amazing. Again, only been using it for 2 days now but I love it. If you guys have been following me for a while now you know that I have some pigmentation issues (hyperpigmentation) and I've been using the pro longwear concealer from MAC to conceal it but I've been finding that with all the sun from Florida, the spots have gotten darker and it's I'm using too much product for my liking to conceal them. (read:$$$$) As a warning, if you haven't used this concealer before it is SO SO dry. But for me and for what I need it for, this is bomb. Seriously. I don't need as much, but I can build it up to full coverage and it lasts all day. All day. Plus it doesn't feel like I'm caked with concealer.
It's been really cold lately so it feels like this concealer is rock hard. So I
either warm it up under a lamp bulb or use my blowdryer for a minute to warm it up. It dries like it would if you didn't warm it up. I'll do a post on application hopefully soon.
UDPP, well I'm sure the majority of you know about this anyway. There are so many reviews out there on this and I'm sure my feelings on it are quite similar to those. Love it.
Let me know if you have any questions about any of these products and I can try to answer them once I've had the chance to try them out a bit more :)
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Monday, November 28, 2011
So in my bathroom, which is where I do my makeup now (I used to have a makeup table which I miss sorely), I have this freestanding drawer unit that fits perfectly into a little alcove. So on top, I put my makeup mirror and my brushes, some cotton in a jar and makeup remover. I'd have taken a pic of that for you guys too, but it had makeup brushes laid out drying from being washed.
But here is how I store my makeup:
I labelled everything for you guys so hopefully you can see the text. This is my top drawer. It consists of stuff that I tend to reach for more often. So pigments on the top left, my UD naked palette and MAC eyeshadow and blush palettes, deodorant, moisturizers, Vaseline (I slather it on my lips before bedtime.) And I have these little plastic things that keep my makeup separated. There are 2 containers on the left which I got from Daiso for $2 Canadian each and the one on the right I got from IKEA a while back.
So in the top left container I keep my face makeup: primers, foundation (it's on the bottom left of the container...it's a MAC face and body foundie that I just transfered into a smaller squeexe container), pressed and loose powders, blushes, bronzers and concealer.
I keep all my eye makeup in the bottom left container: mascaras, eyeliners, eye brow pencils and powders, brow gel, undereye concealers, udpp, MAC paint pots, random single eyeshadows, and a small MAC palette, too.
In the container on the right, on the bottom I keep my skincare: undereye creams, more moisturizers, fix+ and also my MAC brush cleaner (which I transfered to a small spray bottle.
My middle drawer:
In the middle drawer I keep...more bins!!! Lol, I keep most of the colour products in this drawer...the ones I don't use too often. Well except the lippies. I change my lippies everyday so I just toss whatever colour I'm feeling that day into my purse in the morning. Ok, so containers on the left side are just from a dollar store...actually $1.25 store to be exact. The container on top left has all my blush, bronzer and highlight powders (all singles.) Container on the bottom left has all my palettes, mainly eyeshadow palettes but there is a MAC cream blush palette and a few lipstick palettes in there, too.
Now on the right side are 2 containers I picked up at Daiso the other day. I LOVE THEM!! They're exactly what I've been looking for for ages and they were ony $2 each. Score. They house all my lipsticks and lipglosses. Well actually I have more lipglosses and lippies but these are the ones that get used the most. Here's a better look at what they look like:
It's got 6 spots and you can get 9 MAC lipsticks in each cubby hole and 6 Illamasqua lippies.
Here's what it looks like from the side:
And the second one keeps my lipglosses, lip butters, lip balms and lipliners:
Okay last drawer:
In this bottom drawer I have yet more bins. Top left has my concealers and foundations that don't match me at the moment (so many colours from winter when I'm more pale to darker summer colours), I've got setting sprays here and random moisturizers.
On the bottom left bin I've got face powders, loose and pressed, a random face mask, beauty so clean cosmetic sanitizer and a large ziplock full of unused lashes.
On the bottom right, in the handled plastic container I keep my eyeliners in the zip up bag and more single eyeshadows that need to be depotted ;)
Above that are new sponges in another big ziplock bag. Next to that is my MAC brush cleaner (which I just refill when my spray bottle runs out), some airbrush makeup and some face masks I never use.
Okay so let's see it, how do you guys keep your stash contained??
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Okay so yesterday I was talking about how I've been uninspired in my everyday life when it comes to makeup. I mean, I'm a mom of 2 kids, I work...I can't go around in neons all day. Not practical for my lifestyle but I've been starting to bore myself lately.
So here is my everyday look. Nothing special, just enough to get me through my day without scaring small children:
Products I used:
-MAC face and body foundation in C4
-Hard Candy glamoflage concealer in tan
-MAC MSF in medium dark
-Stila sun bronzing powder in 01
-MAC mineralized blush in superdupernatural
-Shu Uemura hard pencil in seal brown for brows
-Urban Decay primer potion on eyelids
-MAC ricepaper eyeshadow on the lid
-MAC one to watch pro longwear eyeshadow in the crease
-NYX eyeshadow in highlight for under my brows
-Clinique brush-on cream liner in true black
-Maybelline lash stiletto waterproof mascara
-MAC hug me lipstick (although I think at this point I'd already eaten it off)
Nudes and neutrals. Boring. I don't always use these exact colours but the outcome looks exactly the same. Lol. I have so many eyeshadows that are nudes and neutrals. Sometimes when I'm at work I'll wear a brighter lip (red, orange or hot pink) just so it doesn't get TOO boring for me. Actually during the summer I only wore bright lipsticks. I guess the cold has made me lazy! But do you see why I haven't been posting looks? So lame.
Well, I thought why not bump up the look a little bit? So IF I were to go out with friends for drinks after work, which has only happened once in the last 6 months, I can just bring a few key pieces of makeup to make the look a little more intense. Then I thought, well maybe some of you out there can get more use out of this than I can :P
So with just a few pieces that you can pop into your purse you can give the look a little oomph (not too much oomph...cuz I'm too lazy for that. haha) So here's the look with a little more makeup added on top of what I already had on:
Monday, November 21, 2011
So, maybe I haven't been inspired to do anything special with my makeup but that doesn't mean that I haven't been wearing any. That would just be ridiculous. I wanted to show you guys some of my fave products at the moment that I use everyday:
So I've been loving, all from MAC: Face and Body foundation in C4, Mineralized Blush in Superdupernatural, Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Dark, Pro Longwear concealer in NC35, Fast Response Eye Cream. Also Shu Uemura's Hard Pencil in Seal Brown and Maybelline Lash Stiletto waterproof mascara in black.
I use all but one of these products everyday, but that doesn't mean I love that one product any less. Here's a little rundown on why I love each of these products...By the way, this might be long. Just a warning.
MAC Face and Body foundation: I kept hearing about this product from everyone in the beauty world. With this foundation it seems like either you love it or hate it. I happen to love it. I used to always buy full coverage foundations in an attempt to cover up my spider veins and my hyperpigmentation, which happen to look like freckles on steroids on my cheekbones. But very recently I've realized that for the most part, my skin is pretty good and I really just have pigmentation issues on my cheeks. And when I buy full coverage foundations it seems so difficult to find a foundation that really perfectly matches my skintone. Plus it is just way too much coverage for the rest of my face when it doesn’t need it. So I bought this foundation to basically give me sheer coverage and I depend on my concealer to do the real coverup work. I basically use it to give my face a uniform looking colour. Some women can get away with a little bit of concealer but because I have such a large part of my face to conceal (from upper cheekbones down to my jawbone, pretty much) and with layering the concealer to get the coverage I need it just looks fake on that part of my face. With the face and body foundation, it has quite a bit of slip to its consistencey so it seems to work with my heavy duty concealer to look more like my skin. It lasts all day on me, it has a nice dewy effect if I don't use powder but looks great with powder on top, too. And it feels nice on my dry skin. Plus you get a ton of product. And most likely because of how sheer it is, it matches really well with my colouring. I think in a month's time or so I may need to go to a C3...but I can actually go back and forth between the 2 colours now so I think that's a testament to how well these foundations can blend into your skintone. Love this foundation and glad I found it cuz heavens know I've been looking.
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer: This concealer lasts all day (duh, pro longwear) and I like that it looks like skin. I can layer it to get the coverage I want but it doesn't get cakey looking if applied correctly. I'm sick of using thick creams to get the coverage I need. The way I like to apply this product is with my Illamasaqua highlighter brush. I'll put a small amount on the back of my hand, dip the brush in the product and then I'll buff it into the area I need coverage. Then I'll wait a minute for the product to set and then I'll get more product on the tip of my brush and I'll stipple it onto where I need more coverage. Dabbing until it is all blended out. Now obviously this is not going to work for those of you who only need to spot correct. I would suggest using a blending brush like the MAC 224 for this.
MAC Mineralized Skinfinish: This is the only powder that my skin is liking these days. For whatever reason we had a falling out this summer when I would apply it and it would just turn a bit pinkish on me, which I attribute to the oiliness of my skin and all the spf in my moisturizers, but it seems my skin has neutralized and we're friends again. It's the only powder that doesn't make my skin seem dry and powdery. I think that winter is wreaking havoc on my skin and this powder gives more of a skin-like finish (again, duh...Mineralized Skinfinish) instead of a matte look which can make a dry skinned gal look yucky. I use a big flat top kabuki and use it like a stamp. I "stamp" the brush onto the powder a few times and then I "stamp" it onto my face only on the areas that have been concealed. Then if there are places that have excess shine I'll take whatever is left on the brush and lightly sweep it onto those areas.
MAC Mineralize Blush in Superdupernatural: I've had this blush for a long time now. I kind of forgot about it and then while cleaning out my makeup stash, I came across it and remembered how much I loved it. It's a natural looking colour on my tan skin, but I think it's a colour that would work on most people. You can definitely build it up if you need more colour or wear a light layer of it for a less dramatic look or if you have fair colouring. It's got shimmer to it, but nothing that makes you look like you have chunks of glitter all over your face. More like a built in highlighter. That's how it looks on me anyway. And it seems to work with whatever colours I'm wearing on my face that day. Doesn't seem to clash with anything.
MAC's Fast Response Eye Cream: Now this is the item I don't use everyday, but I love it all the same. I suffer from allergies to...well, pretty much everything. I suffer from hayfever in the spring, in the fall when all the leaves fall and start to mold I get my allergies, I'm allergic to animals, I'm allergic to lots of fruit...so much so that once when I was cutting up an apricot for my daughter to eat and some of the juice flew up into my eyes, they swelled up like baseballs. No joke. And what do I do when I get allergies and my eyes are swollen and grody? I use this product. Now obviously I'm talking the skin around my eyes not my actual eyeballs okay? So if I wake up and my eyes look all crazy, I wash my face with ice cold water, apply this stuff on my lids and under my eyes (in these moments, I use more than I would normally use for an everyday eye cream) and then I make myself a coffee and then continue on with my makeup routine. By the time I get to applying my eye makeup, most if not all of my puffiness has subsided. I've been using this stuff for a long time now. You have a fight with your man and you're crying your eyes out before bedtime? Slather this stuff on your eyes before you go to sleep and you'll thank me in the morning. Trust.
Shu Uemura Hard Pencil: This thing is like magic. I remember checking it out at the Shu Uemura counter at Holt Renfrew and I was trying to swatch it on my hand like a mad woman. Nothing. Not a line, no colour whatsoever. The makeup artist sensing my distress came over and told me that it doesn't work on your hand. It has to mix with the natural oils on your brows. wtf. Serious? What is this hocus pocus you speak of? But me being the curious little cat I am had to buy it. I think it was something like $30...something like that anyway. Ridiculous for a brow pencil, but the price of it intrigued me more. It MUST be good I thought. So she grabbed me a pencil in my colour and took me to the counter, then proceeded to tell me that I can bring it back anytime to be sharpened because there's a specific shape it comes in. Don't know if you can see in my pic above, but it is wide and slanted from one angle, but turn it on it's side and it's thin. I thought this is too much trouble for nice brows, but at this point I was invested. So I paid for it and ran straight for the store's bathroom. Had to try it. And you know, she was right. Totally worked on the brow, not the hand. And it's a hard pencil so it doesn't get smushy. You can't really overdraw your brows with it and it looks really, really natural. I mean, I don't really ever use my Bobbi Brown boar hair brow brush anymore and that's saying a lot. It was my HG item for brows and it has been completely replaced along with any of my fave brow powders for this expensive, hard to sharpen, only available at one makeup counter in the entire province (that I know of) pencil. I love it with a passion. And I would pay double for it. I love it that much.
Maybelline Lash Stiletto Waterproof: This is the mascara with the weird, uneven looking brush that is supposed to lengthen. I don't know if all the Lash Stiletto wands are like this now but I swear the ones I used to get weren't like this. Anyway, I like this one. It really does grab at the lashes and makes them seem longer. But that's not really the reason I like this mascara. I mean, I don't think they make my lashes look shiny or tapered. I like this mascara because I have shit straight asian lashes that don't like to stay curled. I'll curl them and they look great. Perfect curl. Then I'll add mascara and most mascaras make them go limp like they've just found out their dog died. But not this mascara. This one keeps my lashes just as curled as before I added mascara if that makes sense. I'm sure it will for those of you out there who have this problem too. Other mascaras that work for me are the orange covergirl one. You know the one...I can't remember what's it's called. Lashblast I think. And Dior Show, but apparently it contains perfumes in the formula which caused my eyeballs swell up to baseballs (yes, another thing I'm allergic to...whip out the eye cream! STAT!) I go back and forth between this and the orange Lashblast, but I've been buying this one more for whatever reason.
Okay that was a ridiculously long post for someone with admitted time management skills. Where did I find the time to type all this out?? Haha, do any of you out there use these products? Do you guys love them, like them or hate them?
Anyway, hopefully I can keep up with the blogging cuz I’ve missed all you guys and I’ve missed the makeup too! But bear with me, I'm trying to get the hang of this again. Even taking pictures of those product seemed more difficult than I remember. Oh dear...
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Anyway, just wanted to put out a quick fotd for you guys:
So if you're wondering what I used...here's the list:
-La Mer moisturizing lotion
-Urban Decay brightening primer
-Illamasqua Skin Base foundation #12
-MAC Liberty of London beauty powder in Shell Pearl
-MAC Refined Gokden bronzer
-Illamasqua powder blush in Hussy
-Shu Uemura hard/brow pencil (can't remember the colour, sorry!)
-Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion in Eden
-Clinique brush on cream liner in True black
-Covergirl eye lights mascara for brown eyes
-DuWop reverse lipliner
-MAC lipstick in So Chaud
and here's me messing around with my camera. Haha. Just for you guys! Can't be serious all the time!!
Chat soon guys <3
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Anyway, yesterday I stopped in at the IMATS here in Vancouver and picked up a few bits and bobs, which I will take pictures of for you soon...although I've pretty much ripped into everything and played with a bunch of stuff. Should have taken pictures before I used em. Haha. *Eager* whoops.
But 2 items I wanted to showcase for you guys are these 2 NYX lip products bought from the show:
So this lipstick is the Matte Lipstick from NYX called "Summer Breeze" such a fitting name :)
And I paired it with this lipliner pencil from NYX called "Pinky" (#835)
Here is a swatch of both products.
And a lame picture of me wearing the lip products. I think it's a cute colour and a fun pop to your look. I've been all about all about the bright lips this summer. But I guess I'm like that every summer. Lol.
Anyway, I'll be posting my IMATS haul soon. Talk soon!
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