Monday, February 26, 2007

Herbacin Kamille Hand Cream

Everyone has a list of "must have" products that they rely on and frequently use. One of my "must haves" is Herbacin's Kamille hand cream.

My hands take a beating in the winter. The cold climate dries out my skin easily, be it my hands or my face. I can constantly hydrate myself but if I even spend three minutes outside without gloves or mittens, my hands suffer. They becoming unbearable - rough and dry, eventually cracking and bleeding. I find many hand creams to be a little over-powering, especially if you have very dry skin. Either they don't help at all or they help for a bit while your hands burn like hell because of the ingredients/scent. I find that even the products designed for people with sensitive or extremely dry skin leaves my hands moisturized but red and burning. So do I suffer with dry, itchy hands or soft hands that feel like they are on fire? It's a tough choice.

So I seek the expertise of my mother. Moms are good for knowing tips on what to buy and what not to waste money on - in other words, what works. They are not blinded by what's considered "cool" and trendy. They aren't phased by fancy packaging or celebrity endorsements. They've been around long enough to know what works and to guide you into becoming a smart shopper.

Years ago, my mother introduced me to Herbacin's Kamille hand cream. It remains my favorite hand cream product to date. I've tried many others but they failed to cure my chapped and dry hands, especially in the winter. I find a lot of products out there that are designed to heal (lip balm, hand cream, etc) do more harm than good. They only help you in the meantime, never truly solving the problem you have. I believe this is an evil way to sell more products.

Herbacin's Kamille hand cream is different. It is a very effective German-made hand cream that contains the healing properties of camomile extract, the moisturizing substances of natural glycerine, and the protection of natural silicone. The scent is natural and delicate, smelling of soft camomile and does not irritate my sensitive skin. It applies smoothly and easily, absorbing into your skin immediately without feeling greasy or heavy. A little goes a long way so this product will last you a long time. It is very gentle, not causing your skin to become red and irritated. It's simple and effective, no bull-shit kind of product.

Over the past weekend, I forced my friend to try it out for herself as her knuckles were rough as sandpaper. She blurted out a surprised WOW! and commented how smooth her hands felt - "not greasy like other hand creams".

I highly recommend this product. Your sad, dry hands (or ankles, or feet, or elbows...) will thank you for it!

The company, by the way, also makes a line of bath products called
Ombra. I only found this out recently. Ombra ROCKS, no lie. It's my favorite brand of bubble bath, good Lord! Their line of aromatic bubble baths are superb - they smell great (ginger lime, juniper, etc.) and the bubbles actually last through a long, long bath.

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Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisturizer

At the beginning of this year, I filled out dozens of free online beauty giveaways and samples. Needless to say, I have been waiting patiently for the mail to arrive. The only free goodies I have received were not beauty related and I don't think this is the right blog to talk about my experiments with the fine art of East Indian cooking (I got a free mini cookbook too).

Last week, I received a free sample of Aveeno's Positively Radiant moisturizer. I was a bit doubtful as I have used one of their facial soaps last year and didn't care for it whatsoever. I'm confident that it works - just not for me. It left me super shiny and smelled odd. Like fish. Yuck.

The first thing that impressed me about this free sample was that it came with a packet of wildflower seeds for your flower garden. It was truly a nice touch that made me look forward to spring. Sadly, I have no flower bed as I live in an apartment. I'm sending it off to my sister. I'm sure she will be pleasantly surprised by this little treat in the mail.

I have been using this 0.03 Fl.OZ sample for over a week now and I have to say - I am very pleased and impressed! I have never found a moisturizer that I completely loved and I was always too afraid to go out try a new one. Moisturizers tend to be a bit pricy when you have bills and other such adult things to tend to. Sigh!

The consistency seemed a little thick at first. However, I found that a little goes a long way with this product. Knowing that helps me feel a lot more confident to spend my hard earned money on it. It is rich but not greasy at all. The smell is subtle and natural. It did not smell like the soap, that's for certain! After a day or two, I noticed the difference. I don't know if you can say that my skin looks "positively radiant" but there is a definite improvement. My skin looks much more smooth. It feels much more soft. I'm amazed by it, quite frankly, because my skin has the tendency to look lifeless and feel very dry in winter conditions. As well, I have problem skin. This moisturizer did not irritate my sensitive skin nor did it cause any acne flair-ups.

The product contains "total soy complex" and "natural light diffusers". I have no idea what this means - only assumptions! I think it would have been handy if they contained a small description of the product with the sample. Nothing a quick internet search won't solve! For those concerned with UVA/UVB protection, it does contain an SPF 15 sunscreen. A lot of people don't realize that skin needs protection from the sun in the winter months too.

What I appreciate about this product is that it works well with the other products I use in my beauty regime. I found a lot of moisturizers I have tried left my skin feeling as though it was covered in a fine film, causing my foundation to go out with trouble. This product doesn't. My foundation goes on easily and smoothly. It also works well with the skin perfector I use daily - Biotherm's Source Therapie. They compliment each other greatly, leaving my skin the softest that it has ever been in the winter.

All in all, this is an excellent product. It is lightweight but effective. It's ideal for sensitive and/or acne prone skin. A little goes a long way so you don't have to feel guilty for buying it. It's smell is very subtle. It leaves your skin feeling brand new! I love it and I will certainly purchase this product again in the future.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Applying Avon's Sparkle N' Shine Eyeliner - An Evening Look

As I previously mentioned and reviewed, I have been playing around with a new makeup product over the last few days. I'm going to show it off, even though the photographs don't do it justice whatsoever! I keep reminding myself, it's all in the name of fun! Even though my eyes are oddly puffy in these photos...

Over a naked eyelid, I moderately applied MAC's Pixel eyepaint. I think I am addicted to this stuff, as it is literally crease-proof - even at the end of a long, long day. It adds a little shimmer to your eye without overdoing it.

With a fluffy brush, I applied MAC's Electra eyeshadow. I'm a fan of MAC shadows and lipsticks - I used to work there so I have all these products I am slowly using up. It's a nice silvery shadow, that can be applied too thickly if not careful (it will look too chocky, otherwise).

With another fluffier brush, I blended the silvery eyeshadow with MAC's Krisp eyeshadow towards the brow bone. You can't really see the difference here but it smoothes out darker silver.

I then applied Avon's Sparkle N' Shine liquid eyeliner close to the eyelashes - as I normally would with black liquid eyeliner. It's unfortunate that I could not truly capture what it looked like in "real life" - but you could see the glimmer, I swear! And yes, I do have eyelashes. They are just really small and light. Sigh.

My eyelashes are certainly not my strong beauty point even with the application of mascara. However, you make use with what you got - I applied a coat of mascara to make my eyelashes a little less puny and for my eyes to jump out a little more (or a small hop, since they are so little!).

I added a little sweep of MAC's Print eyeshadow to the crease as I felt I did not look dramatic enough and my eyes seemed a little tired without the look of black liquid liner. I was probably just being paranoid! As well, I applied a second coat of the Avon sparkly eyeliner.

Ah, the completed eye with eyebrows filled in. I wish you could see how pretty the Avon eyeliner actually is. You'll just have to take my word for it and forgive me for the lacklustre photos!

The finished look! I think this makes for a lovely eye, especially for a night out on the town. The silver glimmer brightens up the eye and would add a fancy touch with a great outfit. It's not too dramatic, just subtle. I suggest wearing a more dramatic lipstick for a smashing look! Personally, I would choose a darker red lipstick - but that's just me. I would opt for MAC's Cherry lipliner covered in MAC's Diva lipstick, applied with a lipstick brush.

Give Avon's Sparkle N' Shine liquid eyeliner a try today! It's seriously inexpensive so even if you don't like it, you won't hate yourself for wasting money on something that broke your bank.

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Avon's Sparkle N' Shine Eyeliner

Recently, it was my birthday and I received a new cosmetics product in my mail from my mom - Avon's Sparkle N' Shine liquid eyeliner in Silver Twinkle. I saw this sparkly eyeliner in the catalog when I went home for Christmas and I instantly wanted it. Weeks before, I was shopping at the MAC counter and spoke with an artist there who was wearing a sparkly liquid liner. I was quite impressed by it, the silver glimmer instantly adds a bright touch to the eyes and can be played up for more of an evening look. I almost bought the MAC liner that day but after Christmas shopping for my family, I honestly couldn't afford MAC prices. Moms are great for paying attention to what their children like, no matter how old they are. I squeeled with delight when I found this Avon product at the bottom on my birthday care package!

I have used this product twice so far - as eyeliner on its own and as a sparkly coating over black liquid liner, for curiosity's sake (see above photo). The product works very well. I don't know if my skin is hypersensitive due to the cold weather this season but my eyes stung a bit when I first applied it. The brush and wand are very easy to use and control. There is a good consistancy of sparkle, though I found that I had to reapply a few times when applying on its own (however, I'm a sucker for dramatic looks). It doesn't apply heavily, even when you are reapplying for more glimmer. It removes very easily too which is always a bonus for your delicate eyes, providing you have yourself a good eye makeup remover (I use Avon's eye makeup remover - it's an wonderful product that not only does the job but it is super cheap).

I think Avon gets a bad rap sometimes. Compared to high-end counters or even the slick displays at the drug store, ordering from a catalog from a representative that comes to your door may seem a little less professional. Hell, I used to think this way about Avon products. It wasn't until I decided to end my snobbery and try some of their products out. Of course, there are some products that I really don't like but I can say that about every makeup/beauty line - even MAC Cosmetics. Beauty snobs may say "you get what you pay for". Sometimes that's true, but you can't always knock something when you haven't even tried it.

I'm happy with Avon's Sparkle N' Shine liquid eyeliner - it's cheap, it's pretty, and it's easy to use. What more can you ask for?!

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An Easy, Subtle Smoky Eye - My Daily Favorite!

Everyone has their favorite, tried and true eye makeup that they always rely on. It's easy, it's fast, and after years of wearing the same kind of eye - it's utterly reliable. Yes, some may say that it is boring and repetitive but when you have it down to an art - how could you go wrong?! That's what I think so I thought I would share with you my favorite eye makeup that I wear when I'm in a rush or when nothing creative comes to mind. I'll probably be wearing this kind of eye 'til I'm old and gray, looking like some painted-up crazy cat lady. Ah, I can't wait!

It's a take on the smoky eye, yet a little more subtle. I can do it in minutes, especially on a good day when I'm full of coffee and my hands are steady. It's long lasting and can be played up to make for a more dramatic eye, with a little extra touches such as a darker shadow, slight shimmer, or red hot lipstick.

I start with a naked eye, powdered to ensure long lasting makeup. With a brush, I apply MAC's Pixel Eye Paint. I swear by this eye paint, as it is extremely long lasting and it barely creases by the end of the day. I love it! It is so easy to apply too! It has a slight shimmer which is a nice touch. I apply it on my entire eyelid, blending towards the brow bone. As well, I apply it on the lower eyelid, starting from the corner of the eye. If you want a little something extra, add a teeny bit more to the corner of the eye to draw more attention to your eyes.

Apply MAC's Print eyeshadow with a small, firm brush to into the crease of your eyelid. For a smoky gray, it is very simple to use without messing up completely. To blend, I sweep the brush towards my brow bone. Brush a little more from the outer lower corner of the eye, towards the middle of your lower lid. If I want something a little more dramatic as far as gray shadows go, I'll substitute the Print with Urban Decay's Oil Slick. It's a dark gray with a bit of sparkle in it.

Close your eye and sweep just a little more shadow onto your lid, working towards the middle of your eyelid.

With a flufflier brush, I sweep Cover Girl's Snow Blossom shadow across the edges of the smoky gray to soften the eyeshadow. It makes your eyes look a little more delicate and even.
This is how it should look, once you have blended the gray eyeshadow with the shimmery white eyeshadow. Simple and effective!

Now, add a little mascara! I wish you could actually see the difference here - my eyelashes are quite pitiful.

Another coat of mascara and you're done...unless you want to dress it up a little further! See below!

I added a sharp line of L'Oreal's Lineur Intense liquid eyeliner - that I love so darn much. I swear, I'm hooked on the stuff. It didn't turn out as even as I would have liked it too but the winter has been a little cruel on my skin. You get the point though. I use liquid liner on a daily basis, but if you are little more conservative - save it for those lovely evenings out when you get dressed up! If you still want a little eyeliner, use an angled brush and dark eyeshadow to create a soft line.

Ta-dah! The finished look of mine consists of brushing in some eyebrows, since I color my hair black and I have naturally fair eyebrows (as you have noticed in the previous photos). This look is SUPER easy and extremely fast to apply. Try it out and remember - you don't have to follow any rules when it comes to applying makeup. If you don't want to use a shimmery white eyepaint, use something you are more comfortable using. If you don't want go for smoky gray, try a more natural brown. It's your face!

That's the beauty of makeup - the possibilities are endless!

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Monday, February 05, 2007

BeBop HairWear - Product Spotlight

I have a wonderful friend who lives overseas now. She is the designer and owner of BeBop HairWear. And today seems like the perfect day to spread the word of her fantastic line of hair accessories!

Her line of hairwear is called BeBop HairWear. Each and every design is handcrafted by the lovely Ms. SherriesJubilee. Her company began in the wintery city of Winnipeg in 2004, in which she promoted her cute and stylish creations on the popular socializing site Myspace. She caters to alternative lifestyle designs, influenced by fashion trends and symbols of rockabilly, psychobilly, rock n' roll, and other such popular subcultures. Her fabulous barettes are truly attitude for your hair!

There are many different styles to choose from. Take a look at her gallery on her website or myspace page. Whether you are interested in old horror movies (there is a great Frankenstein barette!) or old school tattoo symbols (nautical stars, swallows, dice, cherries, etc) - there is something for every girl who takes pride in her hair! There are also familiar faces of the decades before (Bettie Page, Elvis, Johnny Cash, etc) and even some of today (Mike Ness, etc). There is a Tiki line that is super cute, Hot Rod hair wear, devilish kitty cats, stylish skulls, and so on. There is literally something for everyone! I don't think you can say that about any other hair line out there. A pair of her barettes were even featured in a European Cosmo magazine - it's nice to see a beautiful and talented girl from the Prairies succeed!

I have ordered hair barettes in the past from other companies and was left disappointed. The barettes from BeBop HairWear are durable and long lasting. I have owned several pairs for a long time now and all have remained in perfect shape. And I'm pretty tough on my accessories.

Not only do these barettes rock my hair, dealing with Ms. SherrisJubilee is a pure joy. She is the sweetest gal you will ever meet, let alone do business with. She takes pride in her designs and she doesn't make you feel like a number like most companies do.

As well, she can create custom orders for
you. If you have a fundraising event and wish to sell barettes - she can make 'em for you! If you want something different to promote your band or roller derby team - she can do it too! Her prices are reasonable for both single item purchases and larger orders. And if you love them as much as all her other happy customers do, you can snap a photo of yourself in your cute new barettes and become a BeBop Girl!

For more information on her amazing line of hair accessories, stop by her
Myspace site or visit her website - BeBop HairWear.

Take a look! I guarantee you will fall in love and your hair will beg you to buy at least one pair of funky hair barettes! Tell her, Linda sent you!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

L'Oreal Lineur Intense Update

In my previous posts, you may have noticed that I'm a slave to my L'Oreal Lineur Intense liquid eyeliner. And you may have read the heart-wrenching tale of how the bottle spontaniously broke on me one morning while I was applying it. I am still using this sad bottle, wrapped up in Saran Wrap to ensure it does not dry out and propped up against a few bathroom items so it doesn't spill all over my sink counter. Sigh, it's beginning to be slightly sticky in consistancy. I'm assuming that really isn't good for your delicate eyelids. Ah, but I'm also poor. Groceries, the heating bill, rent - sadly(and I mean sadly), comes before buying cosmetics. Grrr! It was quite troubling to use this liquid liner each day and not be satisfied as I normally am. It simply wasn't right. It just wasn't right.

Good news, however. My letter of complaint (and praise) has been listened to! L'Oreal Canada wrote me a sweet form letter to thank me for my faithfulness in their products. AND! For my inconvenience of having a liquid liner disaster in my bathroom one Sunday morning, they sent me a gift certificate for one free Lineur Intense liquid liner.

Oh! Happy day!

It isn't so much the "free" part, I'm happy that they have listened to my words and kindly responded after so many years of using their products - especially Lineur Intense. I certainly feel like a valued customer.

Thank you, L'Oreal Canada!

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