Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Skincare samples!

This past weekend was my big skincare/shopping expedition! I was accompanied by two of my best friends who are great to have around for opinions and help in justifying any purchase.

Over the past few weeks I've been reading up on reviews of mostly moisturizers, tinted moisturizers, cleansers and lip balms. These are the things I need/use most and therefore want the best that's out there. And I can tell you now I have so many samples I probably won't know till the end of this week or maybe even the next which I like best, but I can at least tell you what I've got and what I like so far etc. (be prepared for a longish post)

Before I begin let me tell you that I have normal skin with a slight tendency to break out (if I'm not exercising some, drinking some water and eating decently (which for me isn't really that healthy)). But for the most part I have normal skin, very fair and with some freckles. Just so you can take into account that this is how things are working for my skin.

I bought a few items, the Korres lip butter in the Quince tint. So far this has been exactly what I've been looking for (except that it doesn't seem to have any spf, but I have other chappys that do). It is so creamy, and chemical free! I know a lot of people don't like balms that they have to apply with their hands and they have it offered in a "glaze" version in a squeeze tube, it is however a few more dollars. Whenever I buy a lip balm or a lip gloss it has to be something that makes a difference (color/tint) but that I can still apply without a mirror. This is the answer, and another bonus you can even use a bit of it for cheek stain (this however, requires a specific technique. You must first get some on your finger and then gently (don't force it off) swipe it on the back of your hand to get off excess and then rub in a circle on your cheek, if you need more you can always go back to the excess you swiped off, but this helps prevent a giant glob of pink on your cheek that you have to remove).
-I do have another lip gloss fav but it's 20+ dollars! and this korres is only 10. It's Smashbox's O-glow. It goes on clear but then changes to match your skin tone. I was always skeptical about such things (see: mood rings) but this was perfect for me, and easy since it's a gloss, but like I said, it's pricey and can't be bought often.

The next lineup includes moisturizers. I bought Josie Maran's Argan Natural Oil. It was one of the most reviewed I found and almost everyone loved it, so I thought (since it was such a small bottle and only $14) I'd just buy it and try it out, and if I didn't love it on my face I could use it elsewhere). I've used it either after morning or night face washings every day since I bought it (except for last night and this morning). I have decided that I really like it. It is an oil so you have to get used to rubbing an oil in your skin (which seems so backwards because weren't we always told not to get oil based products? but I think that since this is an actual natural oil and not some face wash with chemicals it's okay, at least I hope so). But it is actually lightweight and two drops covers my face and cuticles, so a little goes a LONG way. Another plus, it can be used for cuticles, split ends of your hair (tried this, and I think it works okay, helps give a moisture boost) and other areas you need moisture. I will however advise against putting a tinted moisturizer on top of this, it's just too much moisture for your face, or I suppose if you were using a really creamy, thick foundation I'd stick clear of this.
Sephora doesn't have Josie Maran's full product line, at fashion place (they said they'd be getting it soon) so they didn't have the spf one, but next time I suppose.

The next one I've tried is Estee Lauder's Hydration lotion. I've only used it at night, but so far I think I like it. I would definitely recommend for dry skin, it's very creamy and I really liked the way my skin felt afterward, it felt very luxurious if that makes any sense. I've only used it once or twice so I'll have to keep you updated on this one. But so far I like it.

The next one I got a sample of is L'occitane's face shea butter. I've only tried it once, last night. Afterwards I smelled like baby powder, so if you like that smell then you'll love it. And boyf said I smelled like makeup. It did have a very nice feel to it, similar to Estee Lauder's hydration in that it felt like I was putting something that costs a million bucks on my face. I'm going to keep trying it, and I'll keep you updated on this one.

The next sample I got was for Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer. Apparently they are famous for their tinted moisturizer (a fact I was unaware of until saturday). I have used it twice, once on top of the argan oil which was too oily, I was dabbing off my chin after about an hour, but obviously two moisturizers is one too many. And then I tried it today after washing my face and without any moisturizer under. So far it seems to be okay, I wonder if I need the next tone up because the last time I looked in the mirror I looked quite pale, and a little sick (but then again my peach shirt color isn't helping any, def. not my color-online purchase, it happens you know?). I didn't put any blush on so maybe that would help. The only concern I have with the tinted moisturizer is putting on concealer. How do I do this? And the current concealer I have is a powder, can I just put this on top? I didn't try it today, so I guess that'll be tomorrow's test run. But it is easy to use, just rub on with your fingers and it's got spf which is a huge plus. It is $42, so I don't know how I feel about that. It comes in a decent sized bottle, but man why does skincare have to be so expensive?

The next sample I have is a cleanser. It's Estee Lauder's Perfectly Clean Light Lotion Cleanser. It's a product that I've never even heard of existing on the market (but apparently it's an idea that's been around for a while). It's a lotion cleanser that you rub on dry skin and then rinse off. It's kind of weird to rub a lotion on your dry skin on top of makeup and then rinse it off and your skin is clean. So far I love it! And with normal skin I hardly have to put on any moisturizer afterwards (when I use at night), I still do of course put a bit on just to make sure I've got enough for my skin. But if you have foundation, concealer and just normal make up on it's great at taking it off gently, but if you have crazy smoky eyes, or glitter on your face I wouldn't count on this alone or at least one wash of it to take that all off, but since I hardly ever put that much makeup on I don't really need to worry about that. I think it'll be one that I end up buying after my samples all used up.

I did also buy Sephoras face complexion brush. It's a small brush that you use to help exfoliate your face. I thought this was genius, and only $5 is going to save me a lot of money. This way I can use this with my regular skin cleanser two or three times a week to exfoliate my face without having to buy a separate face wash to exfoliate my skin. Great, huh? I've used it once and plan on using it again tonight after the gym to get all my sweaty grossness and makeup off. I'm pretty excited about this thing. It's very soft to the touch of your hand, but it's not super soft on your face, it's not harsh though, just what I would expect from exfoliating beads in a face wash. But, I think the key is to only use it a few times a week and not at every wash because that might be taking too much off your face.

I did also get two perfume samples, just for fun. I got one of Marc Jacobs new Daisy. I really like it, but it seems to fade easily. But since I now have a sample bottle maybe I could just keep some in there and tote it around with me? But that's kind of annoying. The other I got was Dior's Miss Cherie. I haven't tried it yet, so I'll let you know. Perfumes are fun for me, I feel like a whole new person when I have a completely new scent. 

This concludes my review (I did also get an eyeliner pencil from sephora but it's just a basic dark brown one, nothing special works just like it should). I will say that with skincare it can be so expensive that I will definitely have to pick and choose what I get from the grocery store and what I spend the money on. I will definitely be spending money on moisturizer (once I choose which to get, other than the oil) and I think I will keep getting the korres lip balm (it's only $10) and whether I decide to stick with the powder foundation/concealer that I currently have (It's bare essentials and it works fine, just wanted to try a tinted moisturizer) or if I decide to switch to Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer. I will continue to get my mascara from the grocery store. I use it maybe 5 times a month and therefore do not want to spend $14+ on it every few months. I also am going to try a grocery store version of a brow pencil (although I'm a little wary of this because I love the mac pencil that I used and am now out of). I'll let you know what I decide on that. If you use mascara a lot and want a good one, I think that clinique's (don't normally like clinique) high definition (I think that's what it's called, it comes in a dark shiny green(very dark almost black) tube). I hate the clumpy look and this is definitely not for you if that's what you're going for, it's more about length and defining what you have, but I think it's $14 or $16. so If you want to spend that on mascara I'd recommend it.

Okay, now I'm done.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Youth in Revolt Movie

What a lame, terrible movie. And I'm pretty sure it was just shy of an hour (or at least that's what it felt like).

Before I ever thought about reading the book(see book review below) I checked out the movie from the library, however, after a few minutes of it I stopped. I then decided to read the book.

Now, from my review it sounds like I didn't really like the book, or that it doesn't have any redeeming qualities at all. This is not true, it was entertaining in the sense that all the characters were extreme versions of their personality types (which often seems to be the case in movies/books) and of course ridiculous teenage schemes. After reading the book I was so interested in how they would portray it in movie form (especially since it's 498 pages long).

I was extremely disappointed. They left out all the most hilarious parts of the book (the parts that I could never imagine Michael Cera playing, like the part in the book when he spies on his friends getting "busy" during a hike and then falling down the hill right in front of the guy and girl after they've taken their shirts off). They didn't even try to approach these moments with a 10 foot pole. The character Vijay has such a larger part in the book, and his sister isn't even mentioned in the movie. Their trip down to Sheeni and Taggarty is totally different and they even have another friend accompany them and they take his dead grandmother's car, not Vijay's hospitalized grandmother's car.

Quite obviously I was very disappointed in this movie. Lately I haven't been impressed with Michael Cera because he's been playing the same role since Arrested Development (which I loved, and his character was great in that movie) and this film did not help his cause ANY!

I strongly suggest passing over it at the movie store (if you ever go to any), skipping it in netflix, and leaving it on the shelf at the library.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Current Workout Regime

With my new found devotion to the fieldhouse I've had a few people ask me about what I do there in the way of working out. I will tell you! (although, I think that most people that read this have already asked me, but I have some pictures to show! yay for pictures!)

In a perfect world I can work out 3 times a week for an hour or an hour and half. Although, sometimes I have to skip a day or I have to cut it down to 40-45 minutes.

I'm going to tell you what I do when I have all the time needed, and then at the end I'll let you know my condensed regime.

To start out I like to spend 15 minutes on the stair master machine. I usually choose the "fat burner" workout at level 5 (I started at level 4). I actually really like the stair master because I really feel a serious burn, it's hard and I can tell that it's helping add some muscle to my thighs, which is where I currently lack muscle.

Then I move over to the weight room. I love my iphone because I can listen to my workout playlist and have all the photos that I take from magazines of routines and things to do with weights. I'll just post the photos and hope that they are pretty explanatory for you.
this one is sideways so I'll offer some explanation. I usually do this one with 8 lb. weights, and you start off with your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart, feet pointed at 45 degree angles. While keeping your back straight and palms facing each other lower your arms and bend down (still keeping back straight) till your hands are level with the middle of your shins, and then return to starting position. I do this 12 times, and while it doesn't seem hard at all when I do the first few reps after about 5 I start to really feel it in my lower back.
I guess I'll have to give a little explanation on each since they turned out so dark. This one starts out with the same stance as the previous one, with the 45 degree angled feet, etc and even with your arms at sides, palms inward. Begin squatting, keeping knees bent and behind toes. During squat do 2 hammer curls, palms in, elbows by sides. Return to start position. It says to repeat 5 times, I however have been trying to repeat 10 times.

Along with these weight lifting routines I also do some tricep kickback, and tricep raises behind the head/neck. I assume that most of you know about these.

After some weight stuff I move on to the bikes, and I have a great bike routine. If you decide to try the bikes I suggest riding the bikes that resemble actual bikes; the ones with nice cushy seats that are more like desk chairs are not going to give you the full workout that you need, however I suppose if you need to start really basic then that's an okay place to start.
I think my bike routine is easier to see; the far left column is minutes and the middle left shows what to do during that time. I really enjoy it, I totally feel crazy burn, especially when I do the "stand up and climb", the first few times I tried this I could only stand up and climb for 2 minutes, but I finally can do 3 full minutes.

This is usually where I end my workout, but if I have extra time I like to walk around the track upstairs and hopefully run around a few laps, but I'm usually too exhausted to run around more than 3 times. 

Now, If I can't complete my full workout I skip the stair master machine and go right on to weights. I've read that it's good to start out with weights because it keeps you burning fat for longer after you finish the weights, and then I move on to the bike. 

Now you know what I do at the fieldhouse, and so far I'm really liking it. And While I've only been going for about a month and half I can definitely feel and see the results, and they aren't amazing, yet, but what I have seen/felt is great for the amount of time I've been going. Plus, if I go 35 times I get a short sleeve t-shirt! yay for free t-shirts!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

V-day and Tea Tree Oil

I'm doing something bad and combining a "beauty" post with a reg. post, but oh well. live with it.

So Valentines day was yesterday! woo! I had the greatest valentines surprise from my niece and nephews who brought me very cute princess and spiderman valentines and some delicious cupcakes (made by their mom, although I'm sure they helped, probably mostly in the test tasting area). One of my favorite memories from my sister-in-law was a valentines day about 4 (is that how long it's been since I've been out of high school? I don't even know) years ago when she and my oldest nephew (who was just a little guy then) brought me a giant heart shaped cookie into my government class. It was so cute, and I was so excited to see them. And the best part? the cookie was delish!
While that was a great valentines, the past two years have been extra great because I've had my honey around. This year we sort of celebrated a little differently. On saturday I attended my cousin's funeral (very sad day) and the weekend was just a hard one (don't you always feel so emotionally and physically exhausted when dealing with something like that?) and boyf could tell. We had sort of made makeshift plans for monday to go to dinner or something, but boyf took me out on saturday to one of our favorite sushi places and it totally lifted my spirits. Then afterward he gave me my gift which I was so excited about (although you may not be). I had always thought that "bobble" water bottles were so cute and very functional, so he got me two of them (if you don't know about them they are very cute, while they also have a filter in them which is great for me because now I can drink from the water fountain at work that all the kids suck on). Needless to say it was great, and very mood lifting. On monday I gave him his gift (tried to give it on sunday but it ended up not fitting correctly, and needed to be exchanged) of a few hot sauces from the hot sauce store in gateway, as well as a yummy Swedish meatball and zucchini dinner.
All I have to say is that this month is turning out to be a complete roller coaster and I'm very glad that I have boyf to help me through all of it. It's nice to have him there just to hold me and give me eskimo kisses.

Moving on (wow, that was a lot longer than I had originally planned). My first purchase towards great skin came with the purchase of 100% tea tree oil from whole foods. If you don't know this is what (at least what I've found from multiple sources) tea tree oil can help with:
-dry, itchy scalp
-zaps zits
-help with congestion (rub on chest at night)
-aromatherapy in baths
-bug bites
-athletes foot (did NOT purchase for this use)
-it also can be used for a plethora of house hold cleaners

I purchased it to help zap any zits that may pop up and for my scalp. During the winter my scalp becomes dry and itchy. Not so much flaky, but I can tell it's crying out for some help. I've only had it a few days and I've only used it on my scalp once so far but I can tell the difference. The few trouble spots slash minor zits I've used it on has really helped. I put it on at night and then in the morning redness has faded and its much smaller, easily covered up. I should have taken pictures to show you, but that's kind of gross. I will warn you that it has a strong odor. It's not anything bad, but very sort of pine tree-esque. Not quite, but that's pretty much all I can compare it too. Anyway, can't wait to try it on mosquito bites come summer/spring.
And of course, I'll keep you updated on the many uses I find for it and the results as well.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

needed: Recipe Book and Wallet

I'm looking for a recipe book and new wallet.

Recipe Book- I am torn between buying an already made recipe book or making my own. I was thinking it would be nice to make one with just a binder and page protectors to just slip in recipes. My main reason for choosing this path is because I will soon be receiving a subscription to Cooking Light (thanks to boyf!) and I'm wondering if I'd just want to take them right out of the magazine. BUT then I think that I wouldn't want to mutilate my magazine right away; that I'd probably wait a year or more before going through the magazines and taking out recipes that I've liked.
And so then my thought was I'd just get a regular recipe book. My problem with this is, I want a really good one. I want a cute, large one that will last for a while and that I'll really love. hmmm.....does anyone have any suggestions? I found a cute one at Anthropologie but I'm not sure that it's the one I really want, especially since I can only see it online. The reviews said that the paper dye made it smelly and that it wasn't actually very big.

Wallet- I need a very organized wallet. I've realized how poorly I've been managing my money and I believe that this might be a key to helping me. My friend at work has a great one with a little pad of paper in it (great for groceries or planning out the months/weeks finances) and then a few files which would be great for cards, cash and receipts. She told me that she got it at Hip and Humble but they didn't have any in stock. They put me on their "wish list" so that if they got it in they'd call me, but I'm very skeptical of that every happening.  Please also leave me your suggestions. I'm also (obv) looking for something very cute here as well.

While I was at hip and humble I found a great "Personal Library Kit" that Amber should have. I would have bought it for her but alas, I am but a poor student and could not. Also, I went into Koo De Ker next door; I haven't been there in about a year or more and the prices have significantly dropped (or so it seemed to me) and I bought an adorable, hopefully very transitional spring/summer dress for only $25! Yay!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Youth in Revolt

I'm currently reading Youth in Revolt, and it is a LONG book. It is 498 pages long, and while I would never complain about the length of a book if it was a fascinating read, it's just sort of wearing on me. I will finish it (I hope) but I am truly being exhausted of each of the characters and their behavior. Everyone in that book is extremely selfish and I'm sure has never bothered to think about anyone else, regarding family, friend, lovers or the rest of the world and could all do with a good down to earth smack across the face.

That being said, it is entertaining. In a sort of, teenage boy obsessed with girls and sex and is willing to (truly) do anything for them; one girl in particular named Sheeni, who is devastatingly beautiful and plows through them as though they were snow.

So, in the sense that it is a diary of young Nick Twisp, obsessed with girls and sex it is a thoroughly entertaining book. However, if you decide that 498 pages is too much time to devote to such a subject I suggest watching the movie (which I hear is hilarious and I myself have no yet watched but is currently in my queue at the library).

health and beauty

As you can plainly see I just added a new "page" to my blog entitled "Health and Beauty". Now, I wanted another venue to post about these topics but it looks like I can not post more than one thing on this new page at a time. Bummer, (come on blogger, this would be the perfect solution to people starting and abandoning so many blogs). So I don't know what to do. When I have something new (and related to these subjects) to post should I just post them in my regular blog or should I start a new blog? Mostly I am leaning to just keep everything in one place, my life is not exciting or interesting enough to have a blog devoted to health and beauty (or my poor attempts to achieve those) and then my silly pictures of boyf and the possibly cute pictures of nieces and nephews. But, I do want a way to sort of separate them, or at least have a place that I (and you, all you readers out there) can go to for just those things. hmmm....I'm so unsure right now.
Please offer your suggestions.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

now for the pictures

So here they are, and yes they are silly and I don't expect anyone to appreciate them as much as we do, but oh well.
A long time ago we had taken a pic of him on his bed with the blanket covering his legs and it looked like he just had little stumps for legs. We thought it was hilarious (we would) and so here it is for you all to see.
as I mentioned before boyf has very odd facial hair. He can grow a little in the mustache area and then a few stray hairs on his chin. He hardly has to shave and sometimes will let it go a little too long (if you can see what I mean). Anyway, this was taken after probably 3 weeks without shaving? and mostly I don't mind, except the chin hairs look a tad silly. His hair is pretty thick and course so when he has his mustache hairs in I like to "pet" them (I am obsessed with animals (mostly dogs, cats, bunnies) whiskers and always like to pet and pinch those parts of their cheeks) and when I do this he will often say, "I'm not a cat!" and that's when he knows it's time to shave.

this is him biting me while I'm reading. Sometimes when we're both reading our magazines or books he takes little breaks and pats my arm or leg or bites me, just to let me know he's thinking about me.

Now you know how truly juvenile we can be at times. But sometimes you need a little silliness, right?