Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hair

Freshly cut bangs = happiness.

I need a little happiness, I need a little bang trim. Badly. My bangs have gotten to the point of no return. I am forced to sculpt, if you will, my bangs in place with my bare hands. With this method, my bangs will stay in place for a good hour. A minute past that hour, it collapses like a house of cards. Tomorrow, hopefully, I will get my bangs trimmed and then I'll stop growling at the mirror. Speaking of my hair, I think I can honestly say that I am officially sick of it.

Back in the day, when I had money to toss around carelessly on whatever I pleased, I had some pretty cool hair. And when it wasn't "cool", I was trying fun things with it regardless of the outcome. I guess it comes in handy to work in a salon, like I did back then. As well, I knew some pretty amazing people in the hair business. I had so much fun with my stylist back then. Not only did she do a fantastic job, she had a heart of gold. She was one of those people that you just had to smile with. She saw the beauty in a lot of things, in a lot of people. She always made me feel beautiful and it wasn't because she was an awesome stylist. It was more than just that. She simply was a beautiful person herself, inside and out, who got herself into a bit of mess that I cannot elaborate on.

I haven't really let people mess with my hair since her, other than my mom and a few others. Needless to say, my hair has done nothing exciting for a long time. It's long. It gets caught in things. It strangles me in my sleep. My bangs look fine when they are cut but the rest of it is just there.

I don't like depending and becoming attached to hair. I just want to chop it off without having second thoughts (it's easier to do so when your hair isn't long). I don't like to be caught in that cycle where you wonder and obsess on what-if-it-doesn't-look-good.

Anyway, in the grand scheme of things - this means nothing. It's just hair and I'm just complaining. I've let only about three people in my life cut my hair - my mom, my wonderful stylist, and the stylist at the salon I worked at. Truth is, I just don't trust anyone when it comes to hair.

I'm thinking about finding my old stylist when I go back home this summer. I sincerely hope life is treating her well again. I sincerely hope she is brimming with wonder and beauty again.
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Tagged!

Back in January, Allie from What's My Wardrobe Today tagged me to blog five things my readers do not know about me. Well, it's almost May. Yikes! Time really flies, doesn't it. As the saying goes, better late than never...I'll try my best to make it cosmetics or beauty related.

Five Things About The Make-Up Mistress

1) People who know me in "real" life, already know this. I feriously bite my fingernails. I loathe this habit of mine and I do not know how to stop. I can quit smoking just like that. Tell me stop biting my nails and it's impossible. I long to have long and sexy red nails. Sigh.

2) I used to have a major fear of the dentist. I would have reoccuring nightmares of losing my teeth, the enamel peeling off in layers, and a pillow full of teeth bits. This made me wait to see a dentist for way too many years. I learned my lesson and paid the price. I've had to get a lot of minor work done on my teeth. But, I am no longer afraid of the dentist! :)

3) Once again, people in "real" life and are close to me know this. My biggest physical insecurity is my skin. I had pretty bad cystic acne when I was a teenager and it's left scars on my face. It looks a lot better now but I still have some pretty embarrassing break-outs as a 30 year old. I'm seeing a dermatologist come June.

4) I would love to work in the beauty industry again - be it at a makeup counter or salon or somewhere else. However, the only thing that holds me back and makes me ill is the thought of dealing with bitchy clientele, women with terrible breath who expect me to apply their makeup comfortably, and superficial and catty salon owners and co-workers again. I swear, working in the beauty industry is worse than working in retail. But you never know what may be in store for me!

5) I once sold makeup to Bif Naked at the MAC Counter. As well, Burton Cummings of The Guess Who stopped by and yelled a question at me. That frightened me. On a different celebrity note, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith stopped by the music store I managed back home. He played with hair and said he liked my bangs. I'm no fan of Aerosmith but I still giggled when he kissed my cheek and asked me if I sold dirty movies. Tee hee.

I don't really have anyone to tag, other than myself at my other blog. Maybe I'll write five things about me and how I'm grateful and set it to photos...hmmm!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Top 5 Beauty Picks!

I'm a gal who loves her cosmetics and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I use cosmetics daily. I love to buy and browse at cosmetics counters. I have worked in the beauty industry. Nothing makes me happier than playing around with cosmetics - on myself and on others.

There are many products that I use on a daily basis and there are those that I use every so often. Here are my top five beauty products that I swear by, in no particular order.

1) L'Oreal Lineur Intense
I've been using liquid eyeliner for over half my life. I have used many different kinds and I have always been drawn back, no pun intended, to this particular brand. This product offers great control and a crisp line. It can be applied minimally or for more dramatic looks. It is long lasting, throughout the day and even a rainstorm! It applies and removes easily. It doesn't cost a lot and the product itself lasts a long time.

2) MAC concealer
I used to work at MAC Cosmetics but I discovered this concealer long before my career there. It comes in a handy pot. It can be applied gently with a fingertip or a firm brush. It provides excellent coverage without looking too heavy. There are many different shades for all different skin tone types. It lasts a long time so you won't have to go out a buy a new concealer every month. A little goes a long way with this product.

3) MAC Russian Red Lipstick
My look is dramatic, even on the most plainest of days. I appreciate a true red lipstick - one that screams sexy and sophisticated. If you are looking for a true, vibrant red, this is your best bet. The color is pure and applies perfectly. It doesn't bleed like most dramatic lipsticks. It is long lasting to create that red-hot look your lips deserve.

4) Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion
Why spend all that money you could be spending on red-hot lipsticks and crisp eyeliners on an eye makeup remover? Avon's Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion is an excellent product. It's very cheap. It removes eye makeup perfectly, without stinging your eyes or causing redness. It lasts a long time. As well, Avon often offers this product on special so you'll save a good chunk of money you could be spending elsewhere.

5) MAC Eyepaint
I love MAC's line of eyepaints. I am disappointed that they discontinued many of the more dramatic colors in this line. However, if you want more natural and neutral tones - they have a grand selection. MAC Eyepaints are a cream-based shadow that can be applied directly to your eyelids. I've always been leery of cream shadows as they crease very easily after application. This one, however, does not crease. It is extremely long lasting, even when you apply a regular powder shadow in the crease of your eyelid. The colors are brilliant, with a slight shimmer. I am a fan of Pixel Eyepaint. It's a light white shimmery shadow that brightens your eyes without looking heavy or made-up. It comes in a handy tube (much like watercolor paints!) that lasts a long time. As well, it is also accepted in MAC's recycling program.


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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Minerals

I'm always looking out for new cosmetics. Of course, I don't necessarily have the money for it but I like to look and I like to try! Lately, I've had champagne tastes on a beer budget. I think that's how the saying goes, anyhow.

Last year, my online friend from Oklahoma came up to stay with us. She showed me some of her super fun cosmetics that she got at a beauty mall (we don't really have them up here in Canada). Anyway, she told me all about her foundation/powder. I don't really feel comfortable calling it a powder foundation but it's along those lines. I was impressed at how perfect it looked and how long it lasted. She was shine-free. Her skin looked flawless even though she spent the entire weekend drunk, haha. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of this product! I should really ask her about it. I'm interested in trying it.

I got a heads-up from my sponsor (I feel funny writing that) about a new informercial that will be airing soon. It looks much like the powder/foundation that my friend had. It's called Naked Minerals. Call me dirty but I kinda like the name, heh! It looks interesting. Instead of the typical powder/foundation, it is a pressed mineral makeup. What's cool is that it comes in a shade of African-American women too. Anyway, I wish they could give me a free sample of the stuff to brag at as the only thing that totally throws me off from using this mineral makeup is the price. Yikes! By the way, the company also makes a colon cleaning product called "Almighty Cleanse". I don't know why, but it makes me laugh.

Anyway, has anyone ever used any mineral products before? If so, tell me all about it!


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nails

I like giving my readers a head-up on some great websites and deals out there. Some of them have no interest to me but you never know - one of my loyal readers just may be interested. As well, I have recently acquired a sponsor for this particular blog as you may have noticed with a few of my recent posts. Don't worry, I will still continue to write blogs here on a more personal note! That's the whole idea of a blog, right!?

Anyway, I came across this site called EnailSupply. It's an online beauty supply shop - much like those you can visit if you are a licensed beautician/stylist. They seem to specialize in nails and waxing. It would probably be the perfect site to go to if you were starting up your own personal salon out of your home.

I used to work at a nail salon/day spa. I won't lie. It was sheer hell. For that reason, browsing through this website seemed much more relaxed than browsing around the salon I worked at. Honestly, as a former salon employee and current nailbiter - I would prefer to shop online than deal with people who work in a salon, haha. Once they forced me to wear acrylic nails. Thankfully, I knew where to draw the line and refused fancy nail decals. I can, however, say that Essie and OPI polishes are pretty kick-ass.

Anyway, take a browse. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

RIP June Callwood

I realize this has nothing to do with makeup or beauty. However, Canada lost one of the best today. June Callwood - a strong woman who deserves to be acknowledged by the gals who read my blog. Last weekend, I watched the last interview with June Callwood on CBC's The Hour. It was beautiful, touching - what a marvelous lady she was, full of grace and wit. If you want to watch the video of her, this is the LINK.

Last Updated: Saturday, April 14, 2007 | 10:28 AM ET
CBC Arts

June Callwood, the remarkable Canadian journalist, humanitarian and social activist, died early Saturday after a long fight with cancer. She was 82.

She was first diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 2004, but refused treatment and continued to be active, most recently on the campaign to end child poverty, until a few months ago.

Callwood blazed trails for women's rights, gay rights and the rights of the underprivileged in a history of activism dating back to the 1960s.

The author of 30 books, she was also the founder of a breast-cancer support centre, Nellie's hostel for abused women, Jessie's centre for teenage mothers and the AIDS hospice Casey House.

"The Casey House community is deeply appreciative to the Frayne family for sharing their precious mother and wife with us for so many years," said Jaime Watt, chair of the hospice's board of directors, in a statement. "We send them our love and deepest condolences."

Callwood was a founding member of the Writers' Union of Canada, the Writers' Development Trust, Canadian PEN, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, the president of a prostitutes' community organization and a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

A tireless campaigner who harangued politicians, wrote letters and organized lobby groups, Callwood fought poverty and injustice wherever she saw it.

"She was gentle to a fault ... She wasn't called Saint June for nothing," said friend and writer Sally Armstrong.

Always dressed chicly and known for driving a sporty car, Callwood approached social justice with a smile and joyful, optimistic demeanour. Even living with cancer didn't seem to get her down.

"As a companion, June is self-aware, witty, non-judgmental, sophisticated, informed, passionate, available and loyal — all those special qualities, leavened with her own brand of quirkiness and self-deprecating irony," friend Sylvia Fraser wrote in Toronto Life in March 2005.

Takes on journalism challenge

Born June 2, 1924, in Belle River, Ont., a French-speaking community near Windsor, Callwood remembered the deprivation of the Depression years and a father who left the family when she was 13.

She found her way into newspaper writing during the Second World War, initially at the Brantford Expositor and later at the Globe and Mail.

At the Globe, she met and married sportswriter Trent Frayne, and quit her job at age 20 when she had her first child.

She and Frayne had four children — Jill, Brant, Jennifer and Casey — losing the youngest, Casey, in 1982 in a motorcycle accident when he was 20.

After a period spent raising her children, Callwood began freelance writing, starting with a magazine piece on her flying instructor, a woman named Violet Millsted. She wrote for Chatelaine and Maclean's, tackling such subjects as the sexual abuse of children, birth control, test-tube babies and the battle of the sexes.

It was later, when her children were adolescent hippies, that Callwood began her social activism.

"What brought me on to it was during the '60s in Yorkville — that was my watershed," she said in an interview with CBC Radio.

A hippie at heart

Callwood said she was "entranced by the hippie movement," but noticed that when hippie kids from the Toronto suburbs went home there was an underclass of homeless, poor youth remaining in Yorkville.

"Everyone thought it was a middle-class kids' revolt. What was going underneath [was] that despair of thousands of teenagers who've never had anything and thought for one brief crazy moment that there was a place for them," she said.

Already a founding member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, she tried to get help and health care for the poor homeless youth, and saw doors slammed in their faces.

"That politicized me — that did it," she said. She founded a house, Yorkville Digger House, for them to live in.

In the summer of 1968, Callwood was arrested for protesting against police conduct in Yorkville. "I thought I was ruined," she recalled in an article in Saturday Night magazine.

"In my generation, you didn't get arrested unless you were an awful person. One year later, I was B'nai Brith Woman of the Year!"

Founded shelter, hostel for teens

A prominent voice against sexual violence and domestic abuse, she was founder of Nellie's Hostel for Women, a shelter for abused women in Toronto, serving as its first director in 1974. She also founded Jessie's Centre for pregnant teenagers.

She continued to write prolifically on feminist topics — penning Love, Hate, Fear and Anger (1964), Canadian Women and the Law (1974) and The Law Is Not for Women (1976).

Other books from this period include Emma: The True Story of Canada's Unlikely Spy, the story of a young Doukhobor woman from Saskatchewan convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and imprisoned in the late 1940s, and Twelve Weeks in Spring, about the last months of a friend named Margaret Fraser, who died at home with the help of a group of friends and volunteers.

"Someone in that group said to me that being with Margaret was like studying — we were boning up for our own deaths," she said in a 2004 interview with the Globe and Mail.

"It was a huge gift to us, in fact, because there's a great pleasure in providing palliative care, in surrendering your own ego totally in order to stay in tune with the person you're trying to help. You're not calling the shots for once. You're not doing anything except getting the ice cream."

Callwood's next big project was Casey House Hospice, for people dying of AIDS, which opened in 1988 at a time when there was little effective treatment for the disease.

Faced accusations of racism

With her direct, shoot-from-the-hip style, Callwood was described as better at founding organizations than at running them.

She was disparaged by public accusations of racism in the late 1980s, a period of extreme political correctness.

A conference she organized for the Canadian branch of PEN International was picketed by local black writers for excluding writers of colour, despite PEN's plan to bring in writers dedicated to freedom of speech from Ghana, South America and India.

The bad vibrations around the dispute spilled over into her term as a director of Nellie's, where an employee accused her of racism and the board boycotted a fundraiser it had asked her to organize.

There followed months of accusations in the press, with Callwood portrayed as an insensitive WASP, despite her years of activism and Métis background.

"Except for my son's death, nothing in life had hurt so much," she said in a Toronto Life article.

Callwood had two TV programs, In Touch on CBC (1975-78) and Callwood's National Treasures (Vision TV 1991-96), and also a column in the Globe and Mail that highlighted social issues.

She continued writing about AIDS in Jim: A Life With AIDS (1988) and Trail Without End: A Shocking Story of Women and Aids in 1995, the story of 20 women infected with the AIDS virus by the same lover. She also wrote Callwood's National Treasures, a book of portraits of great Canadians.

She has been an awards judge for Governor General's Literary Awards, National Newspaper Awards, 1976-83, and National Magazine Awards.

Callwood was made member of the Order of Canada in 1978 and officer in 1986, and has won numerous humanitarian awards and honorary university doctorates.

She points out that her effectiveness in leading change evolved from her energy and work, instead of privilege.

"I don't have power — I have influence," she said. "Power and privilege? It's an ability to help to change. My prominence is a trust."

A park in Toronto's Fort York neighbourhood has been named after her.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Make-Up Mistress Update

Well, well, well! It's been a while. My most sincere apologies, my loyal readers - all five of you! Seriously though, I share the computer with my partner who spends much of his time on it. It's a little difficult to write quirky and sassy blogs while he's pacing behind me, waiting to answer his emails. Ah! But I have some alone time with you readers today!

I have yet to find a good loose face powder. Truth be told, I haven't really looked that hard for one. I searched the internet with the few suggestions that my lovely readers gave me. I haven't committed to any brand yet because I just don't know. I want to try it out or at least see it with my own eyes. I think if I had much more money to blow, I would order some of the No7 powder that Ellie told me about. It looks fun and I've seen her makeup in photographs - so I can trust her opinion. From searching about the internet, I could find no supplier in Canada nor did I find any auctions on eBay. I'm back at square one and the need for a new powder is much stronger. Due to my clumsy hands, I have dropped my pressed powder. Not once...but twice. Needless to say, I now have loose powder - for all the wrong reasons. It's a mess but I don't know what to buy next. Decision making is not my strong point! I keep thinking about Clinique - I wonder what their powders are like? Has anyone tried them? Any more suggestions?

I haven't tried much in the way of new cosmetics lately. I did, however, receive an Avon mascara in the mail. My mom is such a sweetheart. She always seems to know what I am running out of, even when I don't tell her. Mascara is another issue for me. I can never find one that completely satisfies me. Perhaps, I am simply picky. I have pretty pathetic little eyelashes and I find that most mascara only color my lashes, not lengthen or thicken as promised. As well, a lot of the wand applicators are quite wide and my eye makeup ends up looking a bit messy. I just may write a little blurb about the Avon mascara soon!

The biggest news in my world of beauty? I finally bit the bullet and booked an appointment to see a dermatologist again. I used to see a dermatologist when I was a teenager. I needed to - I had pretty bad acne that left scarring on me. Not only did I have acne on my face, I had acne on my back - on my upper arms - on my chest....AND I was a teenaged girl. Needless to say, those awkward teenaged years were a little bit hellish! I took many medications, maybe antibiotics. Nothing ever worked, unfortunately. I stopped seeing the doctor when the last resort was birth control and Accutane. I refused to go on the pill back then as I do today. I don't like messing around with my hormones like that. And Accutane - I've heard the horror stories and it simply scared me back then. I remember the dermatologist showing me what a baby would look like if I got pregnant on Accutane. Good Lord, it was like a sketch from a bad science fiction comic. No thanks. I made the decision to live with it, accept it, and looked forward to growing out of it. It could always be worse, right?

Well, looks like I never did grow out of it. Of course, my skin got A LOT better. I no longer break out on my back, shoulders, or chest - THANK GOD (nor do I have scars). My face is another story. Though it can be a hell of a lot worse, I have always been fairly insecure about my skin. I still have scars on my face. I still break out in scarring acne. For those who have had cystic acne, it is not fun. They hurt. They cannot be concealed. They hang around like bad news. And then they leave a lovely scar. I may be thirty years old but my face is still stuck at 14. Actually, I hate talking about this and even writing about this. I know...I know it can be worse. But for once, and for fear of sounding like a Morrissey song, please...let me get what I want and have clear and perfect skin for once in my life.

So, I'm going to the dermatologist. I would prefer to go the homeopathic route as I did before I moved but it is pricier (I have a friend who is a Homeopath back home). I'm hoping to hear there is something out there that I can actually take. Something that will not mess up my hormones. Something that won't require me to take birth control. Something that isn't antibiotics. Otherwise, I am truly stuck with it.

My appointment is in June. I'll be sure to let y'all know the outcome. Keep your fingers crossed!

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