May 2013: What I bought, watched and read
Before I get into this, just check out this awesomeness of 5 minutes (skip ahead if you’re impatient like I am).
This guy recreated a classic painting in 5 hours on an iPad mini with his finger:
WHAT I WATCHED
DEPARTURES (ALL 3 SEASONS!!)
I watched all 3 seasons of Departures, a TV series created by Scott Wilson (far right) and Andre Dupuis (middle), traveling with Justin Lukach (left) all over the world.
(They also look better than pictured in the photos above. I don’t know why they’re soaked. It isn’t very attractive and it looks kind of weird like they’re about to go into an Ultimate Fighting Championship ring with a camera.)
They go to places I will never visit — India, North Korea, Cooks Islands, and all these remote in-the-middle-of-nowhere places. It’s nice to see what it looks like even if it’s just a video instead of being there in person.
I can see how much WORK they put into doing the videos and it is no joke. They obviously did it out of the love of traveling and it’s pretty cool to see people totally up for anything, totally bitten by the travel bug.
I’d also say that they make it look…easy. Not that it IS easy, but they make any boring country or landscape look amazing, when I know it was hours and hours of mind-numbing traveling in a car, RV or plane. What I am watching is just a half hour to an hour of 2 weeks of footage, and anything looks cool when it’s compressed like that.
Well worth the watch. I highly recommend it!
My Week with Marilyn was a decent film, but mostly for Michelle Williams’ OUTSTANDING acting. She was just fantastic in it as Marilyn. Not that I ever met the movie star, but she just embodied her so well, I was fooled in a couple of scenes.
After watching it, I have mixed feelings about the movie, but also about the actress (Marilyn Monroe that is, not Michelle Williams) herself. She just seemed so…. flightly, breathless, fawning and dumb when in fact she really wasn’t.
It’s just sad that she had to take so many pills to get through her life, but was such a famewhore (yeah I said it) she couldn’t give it up, even though it’s linked to her need to be loved because she wasn’t really loved as a child.
I don’t know.. but this kind of acting from Williams that makes me really see the portrayed Marilyn Monroe for who she is is quite fantastic.
Still have mixed feelings. I’d watch it for the outfits, she had some killer ones on.
WHAT I READ
A classic that I have never read. I don’t think I quite “get” the book, but he has some really beautiful sentences in there that paint a perfect feeling and image in my mind.
Now I just want to watch the movie.
WHAT I BOUGHT
I didn’t buy much… ish?
J. CREW – BALLET FLATS – $300 for both (this is after 30% off)
Finally used up my gift card balance, during a sale to boot!
I couldn’t ask for it in cash or else I wouldn’t have bought anything at all at J. Crew, so.. yeah. *sigh*
Both made in Italy and the best I can do at J. Crew considering pretty much everything else is made in China there.
PERSOL SUNGLASSES – $
Cheapest I could find, even on Craig’s List.
I bought them in-store, liked them (wore them for a week), and now am going to return them and buy them online.
Yes, I am unscrupulous in finding deals, especially at $150 off just by ordering ONLINE.
BURT’S BEES LIP SHIMMER IN RHUBARB – $4.99
I actually got it for $4.49 because of this one sale at Mark’s Work Warehouse (I KNOW right? OF ALL places to buy lip balm), but you can find it for as low as $4.99 in places like Essence of Life in Kensington Market.
The retail price says $5.99 however.
- Castor Seed Oil (EWG: 2)
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (EWG: 0)
- Beeswax (EWG: 0)
- Candelilla cera (euphorbia cerifera wax, cire de candelilla) (EWG: 0)
- Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil (EWG: 1)
- Lanolin (EWG: 1)
- Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter (EWG: 0)
- Cera carnauba (copernicia cerifera wax, cire de carnauba) (EWG: 0)
- Shea Butter (EWG: 0)
- Fragaria ananassa (strawberry) seed oil (EWG: 0)
- Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil (EWG: 0)
- Ribes nigrum (black currant) seed oil (EWG: 0)
- Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract (EWG: 0)
- Sambucus nigra (elderberry) seed oil
- Tocopherol (vitamin E) (EWG: 1)
- Canola oil (huile de colza) (EWG: 1)
- Glycine soja (soybean) oil (EWG: 0)
- Limonene (EWG: 6)
(May contain/Peut contenir):
- CI 77019 (mica)
- CI 77491
- CI 77492
- CI 77499 (iron oxides)
- CI 75470 (carmine)
- CI 77891 (titanium dioxide)
I really don’t like that tingly, peppermint oil in there and I wish they had left it out…. but it goes away after a while.
This is a more pigmented, more like a lipstick hybrid (closer to a lipstick) lip shimmer.
The colour itself is pretty true-to-colour as depicted on the cap and on the tube. I wish these darn places had testers but.. I just took a gamble and picked the most natural looking ones.
I’m one of those who tends to shy-away-from-lipstick because it just bleeds everywhere and I never think about applying it perfectly, which is why lip balms and shimmers work better for me than actual lipsticks that require brushes and a deft hand.
If you want to see it on actual lips you can see it here at Embellishments Beauty.
BURT’S BEES TINTED LIP BALM IN HIBISCUS – $6.99
This is the cheapest I found at Essence of Life, but the highest price I’ve found is $7.95 near the rich areas (St. Clair and Yonge for instance).
Definitely a more natural colour, more sheer and not as pigmented as the Lip Shimmer.
Very easy to use, don’t be fooled by the seemingly “natural” cover in paper for the lip balm because it comes in a plastic tube form, NOT in the paper form.
(Yeah I started to get a little lazy trying to get each EWG score..)
I think I’ve pretty much found all the “lipstick” I will ever, conceivably wear. Something dark for “events”, and something lighter and more natural for everyday.
SUNCOAT SUGAR-BASED NATURAL LIQUID EYELINER (BROWN) – $13
Not that I don’t love my Jane Iredale pencil eyeliner, but liquid eyeliners have a different, harsher, stronger look than a pencil.
They also don’t melt off your eyelids and run down your face.
- Aqua (EWG: 0) — Don’t even need to check this 😛
- Kaolin (EWG: 0-1)
- Glycerin (EWG: 0)
- Hydrolyzed Zea mays (corn) starch (EWG: 0)
- Lecithin (EWG: 3-4)
- Citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract (EWG: 6) because of contamination concerns
- Tocopherol (vitamin E) (EWG: 1)
- Citric acid (EWG: 2)
- Iron oxides (Cl 77491, Cl 77499) (EWG: 2)
- Titanium dioxide (Cl 77891) (EWG: 1-3)
- Ferric ferrocyanice (Cl 77510) (EWG: 1-4)
- Mica (Cl 77019) (EWG: 2)
- Chromium oxide (Cl 77288) (EWG: 2-5)
- Ultramarine blue (Cl 77007) (EWG: 1-4)
I tried it yesterday and while I like the end result, it was a bit finicky to use. It’s not really a brush, more than it is a felt-tip marker of sorts.. but with liquid.
It isn’t as easy to apply as a felt-tip marker, and I had to wipe it off twice to get it right, but once you get the hang of using this marker-tip with liquid, it becomes easier.
My tip would be to start in the middle of your eye, work it to the outer-end of your eye, and THEN fill in the inner-eye part until the middle of your eye.
Don’t try and go all the way across in one long swipe, it won’t work.
I confess to not liking it as much as my Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner from Japan, but maybe it’s because I just have to get used to learning how to apply it without making it cover my entire eyelid.
It lasted pretty well the whole day, but when I went to go curl my lashes, it came off on the eyelash curler, much like my Urban Decay Sabbath liquid eyeliner, and left a bit of a patchy mark that I had to re-touch up post-eyelash-curling.
THE HUNT FOR NATURAL MAKEUP WIPES
I am looking for wipes for when I travel.
I can’t really carry coconut oil and my reusable wipe pads when I travel because coconut oil is almost like a water and is SURE to leak in my bag.
Wipes are just so much easier and better to refresh myself with, and even better if they are biodegradable so I don’t feel bad about “wasting” them.
Hunt is still on-going. THEY ALL SUCK in comparison to my Costco makeup wipes.
I’m going to try Korres next, even though I have a nagging feeling that their “Parfum” ingredient is not essential oils. Maybe I’ll hold off and try Burt’s Bees next. I’ve had great luck with their lip stuff so far.
So far I’ve tried the following and here are my mini reviews for natural makeup wipes.
REVIEW OF JOSIE MARAN BEAR NAKED WIPES
Cute name, cute marketing gimmick to help polar bears, smells great… BURNED MY EYES.
I don’t know WTF is going on with these natural wipes, but I swiped it on, it removed my makeup and burned my eyes. I thought I had poured chili pepper oil on them, it was so painful.
REVIEW OF SEVENTH GENERATION LAVENDER FACIAL WIPES
Smells great, love lavender, ALSO burned my eyes. Just slightly though, a bit of a sting and not too bad.
Now that I’ve used it a bit more, the sting has gone. I don’t know what happened with the first wipe, or maybe I was just really sensitive.
Update: So far these are the winners for makeup wipes specifically, but I still want to see if I can just buy baby wipes instead.
REVIEW OF KAIA NATURAL BAMBOO WIPES
I tried these again after hating them before in December 2012 (Review) because they were so dry (must have been an old sample lying around at Pure and Simple that dried out) AND TINY!
This time I managed to get one with a lot more liquid than before, but the wipe itself is just too small. I need at least 3 to clean my face properly, but at least they didn’t burn my retinas.
For now, I won’t buy them because they’re so small. SO SMALL. They need to be triple the size to be worth the purchase.
If I try Burt’s Bees AND Korres and I find out that neither of them work as well, I’ll bite the bullet and buy these, but use 2 of them rather than just one.
REVIEW OF TREEHOUSE BABY WIPES
I tried these on a hunch that wiping a baby’s bum might be just as good for wiping my face (although not as ..er.. messy).
They’re okay, with very few ingredients, but they seem to suck all the moisture out of my face. My eyes turn into two dry balls and they go slightly red.
My skin also turns super dry after using these, and I have to immediately wash and moisturize my face.
I think I might be slightly allergic to the aloe being used in these natural wipes to cause such a reaction.
They just don’t clean well enough, but they’re the best I have if I don’t want to spend a fortune cleaning my face with bamboo wipes that aren’t big enough for a cheek.
REVIEW OF ALEVA LAVENDER BAMBOO BABY WIPES
Biodegradable in 21 days! They also smell great.
They work just about the same as the others, but are a lot cheaper. I will say that “makeup wipes” as they are named, have more stuff in the liquid to get rid of your makeup, but baby wipes are a bit drier..Tail
ESTROSMART & ESTROSMART PLUS PILLS
This might be TMI but it could be helpful to the rest of you with hormonal acne.
I’m going off the pill because long-term effects are not good on your body (or so research says, although I received an email from Bridget saying that it actually prevents cancers), and I don’t want to rely on chemicals to regulate my hormones for the rest of my life.
Birth control pills are not a long-term solution anyway.
Now the problem with going off pills is that my hormones get out of whack.
They’re so used to getting a daily dose of estrogen and androgen-blockers that my acne just flares up something fierce.
I’ve gone off them cold turkey and have replaced them with these pills instead.
I’ve been breaking out like crazy, and I’ve opted to try going on these pills for 3 months to promote good estrogen, break down bad estrogen and block androgens.
I’ve read a lot of articles, reviews and notes, and these pills are supposed to help regulate your hormones to get them back to “normal”, by feeding them a lot of these items:
- Indole-3-carbinol — breaks down bad estrogens
- Calcium D-glucarate — detoxes bad estrogens
- Diindolymethane (DIM) — breaks down bad estrogens
- Sulforaphane — From broccoli sprouts to help stimulate your good estrogens
- Green Tea extract — caffeine free and apparently good for your body
- Turmeric — proven to help with inflammation (I was drinking turmeric teas before)
You can read about it here.
I know my acne is NOT from my diet, NOT from stress and NOT from toiletries/products I use, because it mostly shows up on my chin, mouth and jawline which is linked to hormones.
3 months of this stuff is pretty pricey, at about $50 a month but at this point, I am willing to try anything.
I will let you know once August rolls around how they worked. I’ll write a review if anyone is interested.
WHAT I FIND REALLY PRETTY
Not going to buy any of it but it’s so pretty.
Look at this gorgeous Burberry cashmere and wool white trench coat worn by Natalie Dormer!
She was playing Irene Adler on Elementary for the finale and I LOVED ALL OF HER OUTFITS. I wish there was a blog somewhere to show me what they wore, and so on.
This is a lovely jacket over a sheath dress. I could probably replicate this one easily.
This is a loose button up over a dress, another easy replication.
Ditto. Just need a sheer linen shirt and a grey tank top.
It looks like a really nice khaki-brown trench coat (Burberry again I bet) with a crossover top underneath.
And the last one is a bit too German SS solider for me if I were to wear it on my own, but I liked the whole look for the show especially at this part.
How gorgeous is this dress? Seriously?
If it wasn’t Polyester, and if I could verify it not being made in China, AND to get free shipping I’d totally buy this.
And I like really odd jewellery like this:
VEGAN LEATHER BAGS BY MATT & NAT
If anyone is looking for vegan purses, Matt & Nat from Canada creates a line of recycled plastic bags that seriously look and feel like real leather.
That’s the one bonus we have in Canada over the U.S. I guess. Mat and Nat! 🙂
By the way, don’t be surprised if this bag ends up in my arms next month:
That does it!