Written reviews from a rural perspective for the sassy shopper in all of us

31 July 2006

L'Oreal Lineur Intense Defining Liquid Liner

I've been using liquid eyeliner ever since I was 13 years old and an aspiring headbanger. You see, my sister was this crazy rocker with big bleached hair and eyes lined in electric blue liquid liner. Being the little bratty sister I was (and probably still am), I bought myself a bottle and began to practise. Needless to say, I'm glad I grew out of that phase of teased out hair and electric blue eyeliner.

I didn't grow out of liquid eyeliner though. In fact, it was just the beginning of a love affair! For many years, I practised and perfected the precise liquid line. I tried many product lines, in search of the ideal liner tip. I became a little disgruntled at the lack of good products, even though I realize it was all about your own personal preferences. I hated the marker type felt tip. Too many products ran out so quickly when you use them on a daily basis. The lines weren't intense and crisp enough. Even with the steadiest hand, you could not get a very fine line. Even with the pricier, department store counter brands didn't satisfy me.

And then I found L'Oreal's Lineur Intense Defining Liquid Liner. My beauty saviour!

You know, every so often you find that product. That amazing product that you hope will never go off the market by being discontinued. That product you mention when somebody asks you if you had to take any makeup product on a desert island, what would it be? I would say L'Oreal's Lineur Intense Defining Liquid Liner. This is one on my most relied on product and it has never let me down.

There are many benefits to this great liner. First of all, the liner brush tip is not a marker type felt tip. It is a small brush. With a little practise, you can achieve both a very fine line or a dramatic thicker line - depending on how sassy you feel. You have complete control when you use this brush.

The eyeliner itself is very intense. The line is crisp and perfect. The color will not become see through by the end of the day, nor will it leave it's mark on your eyelid. It's long lasting and you can't say that about many pencil liners or powder liners. This liner is perfect for achieving that fun and retro 50's makeup look or that darker gothic eye or even that professional, classic lined eye. It's very versatile.

As well, I live in snowy Canada. I've been caught in the rain and blustery snowy days. Yet, the eyeliner has completely stayed on! I've had PMS monster outbursts and I didn't have raccoon eyes! Yet, at the end of the night it comes off very easily with a great eye makeup remover. It is apparently great for sensitive eyes and safe for contact lens wearers.

I can't emphasize this enough - this is an amazing, must-have product. If you are new to liquid liners, give it a little time. Practise makes perfect!

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19 July 2006

Revlon Age Defying Foundation

I've always had a bitch of a time trying to find the right foundation.

Once upon a time, I used to work at a MAC counter. I was, what one would call, a makeup snob. I never treated "regular" folks like crap however. I treated each and every person like the deserving client they were, regardless of what kind of style or how they dressed. Lord knows, the other girls at that counter were pretty judgemental at that. So, I stuck to my snobbish beauty regime. I only used what I thought were good products. I scoffed at the dreaded drugstore brands - ewww. That was until I became rather unemployed, haha.

Actually, I never liked MAC's foundation. I cringed at having to use it. On some people, it looks fantastic. I enjoyed Studio Fix on those days were I was completely in a rush to get ready. The coverage is amazing but I still wasn't personally satisfied. I have combination skin. It is the skin type most often overlooked, I think. You have your foundation for normal skin. You have it for dry and oily. But what about those tragic gals like myself who are burdened with the state of dry/normal/oily skin? Top it off with some ridiculous adult acne and you have a pretty sight.

For a while, I used Max Factor's Lasting Performance. And yes, you can purchase it at Wal-Mart. The makeup snob in me shuddered at the very thought. I liked the coverage and it became my brand of choice. It still didn't do the trick. I found that it ended up making my face look rather heavy, picking up those dry flakes, but it could be my own damn fault for trying to hide my own blemishes. But you know, after the powder was applied - it truly brought out my dry skin. I think it would work amazing with oilier skin.

Then one day, my small town no longer carried Lasting Performance. Isn't that the worst thing? Sigh, it is always a sad day for your face when your favorite brand of cosmetics is discontinued or no longer available in your local shops! I had to enter that dread drugstore again!

I came home with Revlon's Age Defying Foundation for combination skin (normal to combination, actually). Of course, the title Age Defying scared the crap out of me. I'm not even thirty and I need some thing the defies my age? Okay, breathe deeply...I am not getting old...I am not getting old...

Here are the stats:
- It's apparently supposed to make you look younger in 14 days. I think I still look 29
- It contains Botafirm, which is a patented blend of hexapeptides and botanicals - reducing lines by nearly 50% in 2 weeks
- Specially formulated for normal/combination skin, it is an oil-free formula that contains a clean pore complex and plant extracts to help tighten and tone pores.
- Medium coverage
- SPF 20

First of all, I was just happy to find one product out there that was for combination skin. When the sales associate helped me, that was the only thing she could recommend. It is a very light textured foundation and does not appear heavy. It smells really fresh and I look forward to applying it. Yes, it is medium coverage so if you do have blemishes - it helps if you use a good concealer for those spots and under eye rings. It applies smoothly and easily, whether you choose to apply with a makeup sponge or your fingertips. It comes in a wide range of skin tone "colors" unless you are black or simply have a darker complexion. It feels very healthy on my skin and has never irritated my very sensitive skin type. I was really impressed, to say the least!

I always thought Revlon products were a joke. I never liked their mascara nor their nail polishes. I was very surprised to see the quality of this product. It has been a complete pleasure to use and it is now a part of my daily beauty routine.

If you have that unpredictable skin type titled "combination", I suggest you give it a go!

01 July 2006

Food Facts

- Mastitus, a common problem with cows, is treated with penicillin injected directly into the udder. The resulting small amounts of penicillin in milk would not be harmful for most people - only to those allergic to the drug.

- Laetrile from apricot (and several other fruits) pits can liberate cyanide.

- Bananas can be kept longer when stored in a paper or plastic bag with an apple.

- Mountain Dew contains more caffiene than Coke. Except in Quebec - caffiene in soft drinks can only be brown colored pop.

- Carrots are native to Afghanistan.

- Eat cooked carrots with a pat of butter or margarine to ensure that the body fully utilizes the vitamin A.

- Ready to eat cold cereals were developed as health foods by an institution founded by Seven Day Adventists in 1866.

- One of Dr. Kellogg's patients at the sanitarium, C.W. Post, invented Grape Nuts.

- According to a study, women who drink more than 3 cups of coffee a day reduced their chances of conception by 25%.

- Certain foods trigger eczema - eggs, dairy products, seafood, walnuts, and pecans. Environmental concerns - nickel, latex, acrylic adhesives, and lanolin.

- Botanically speaking, berries are defined as fruits that develop from a single ovary - therefore a banana would be considered a berry.

- It is fat that gives ice cream it's smooth texture.

- Adults who can digest milk are the minority in the world's population. 70% of people of African descent are partly or entirely lactose intolerant after 3-4 years of age. By contrast, 90% of people of North European descent continue to produce lactose.

- To make the most out of juice, place a lemon in warm water before squeezing.

- Putting milk in the microwave for 60-90 seconds before refrigerating extends shelf life for 4-5 days. Place milk at the very back of the fridge rather than the door, as it is colder back there.

- By weight, both pumpkin and sesame seeds have more iron than liver does.

- Ounce for ounce, peppers are a better source of vitamin C than citrus fruits.

- 32 cups of unbuttered popcorn equals the calories in a single cup of roasted peanuts.

- Tea in tea bags were inadvertantly invented with a New York merchant sent out tea samples enclosed in silk.

- Soybeans, ounce per ounce, contain more protein than beef, more calcium than milk, more lecithin than eggs, and more iron than beef.

- Chronic underconsumption of water increases the risk of developing kidney and bladder stones.

*From Foods That Harm - Foods That Heal

Books - May & June 2006

I suppose you can say that spring took a hold of me and I became a little distracted. I haven't read as much as I would have liked to!

May 2006

1) Watership Down - Richard Adams
I took my sweet, sweet time with this novel. It was beautiful, tragic at certain times, and a delightful pleasure to read. I never thought a simple story about the life of rabbits could be so marvelous! He takes you on a journey through the eyes of a strong and lively team of rabbits and creates a completely believable story. I was impressed, to say the least. I cried, I smiled, and I cheered on those fiesty little rabbits. It's a must read, I believe. I did not want the story to end as I felt as though I befriended each and every rabbit. I like to believe now that rabbits have their own little personalities and worlds in which they live.

2) Farewell My Concubine - Lillian Lee
Perhaps, this was another case of lost in translation. Overall, this proved to be a beautiful and rich tale of unrequited love. I'm all about sad and tragic. I love stories like that, especially when they are set in Asia. I could almost feel the texture of the costumes and painted makeup. However, I know what it feels like to love so deep and not have it returned. I did not feel as though the characters truly felt this pain. I only believe that this was a case of lost in translation.

June 2006

1) Tough Guys Don't Dance - Norman Mailer
I have always heard about Norman Mailer and I was expecting great things when I picked up this novel for one whole dollar at the used book store down my street. Maybe spring distracted me, I don't know. I just couldn't get into this book. It wasn't a bad read. It simply didn't do it for me. There were a few lines in it that were pretty crass and made me chuckle. I couldn't get into it.

2) Runaway - Evelyn Lau
I love reading published journals of any kind. I thought I would give this a whirl since it's sitting in a box in my apartment, ready to be given away for free. This was a widely acclaimed novel about a young runaway from Canada, living on the streets and making her way through drugs and prostitution and thensome. I have to take into consideration that I cannot relate whatsoever to the life that she lead, when she was only fourteen years of age. I wasn't like that, at that age, and I am certainly not like that now. It was good for a while but soon, I became annoyed. I realize she was only a young women when she wrote this so I shouldn't judge so harshly. I found that she became very repetitive in her use of sentences/phrases. I found her to be kind of self-centered and spoiled - when she clearly had many opportunities to be something big. Her diary became quite annoying and I was glad when I finished reading it. I suppose if someone published my own private diary, they would call me spoiled and self-centered too.

3) The Unconsoled - Kazuo Ishiguro
Man, was I ever glad when I finished this book! This was 535 pages of well-written nonsense. As you can tell, I didn't enjoy this read. I'm confident that Ishiguro is a fine writer. This was the first novel of his that I read. It simply went nowhere. It went in circles and didn't successfully wrap up - maybe that is why it is called The Unconsoled? Whatever the case may be, the story just irked me. The main character is a famous pianist who is visiting a city. He has no complete memory of this city, it's inhabitants, or why he is there. Yet, he wanders around without admitting he is clued out. He runs into people who know him and they rant and rave to him, telling him on and on about old timey stories. If I want some of that, I would go back to my old town and listen to the folks babble on and on about something I am not really interested in! The main character often gets sidetracked, becomes arrogant here and there, and ditches people. He walks around in circles and ends up right where he started, at the hotel. He runs into more people he cannot remember and they tell him more stories that make no sense. 535 pages of unnecessary dialogue! Good grief, at some point during reading this (while having PMS), I actually threw the book at the wall.

4) Foods That Harm - Foods That Heal - Various Writers (Reader's Digest publication)
This was a treat to read. I read it over several months, tasting a few entries per day. I'm often dumbfounded by domesticity and I figure that I must have fallen asleep during home-ec when I was in junior high. There were a lot of quirky facts about food and a lot of probably widely known facts I didn't know whatsoever. It wasn't a suspenseful read nor challenging, but it was informative and pretty to look at. Lots of great food photographs. The section about worms in food, however, frightened me a bit.

Favourite Books of May and June?
Watership Down by Richard Adams and Foods That Harm-Foods That Heal!