Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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Project Empty: Buy or Cry

Like many people, I am trying to be more responsible about my self-care habits. That means different things to different people. To me, it means, buying less of everything. The last few years, I bought far too much makeup. I’m reasonably good about skincare because I know that some have ingredients that deteriorate so I don’t stock up on it – I’d rather not throw away my money. Makeup became an issue and this is the year that I am limiting what I purchase to only items that I need like foundation and buying less of what I don’t (eye shadow palettes and lipsticks). I am also trying to use up products that are not cruelty free. In the YouTube world, this is called a low buy. In my world, it’s called project empty. I’m not a YouTuber, nor am I an Influencer, so I realize that I don’t need to have a million of everything and I should only buy replacement items or something truly unique. I’ve spent a lot less money this year (I’ll compare 2018 to 2019 at the end of the year) and I’m also getting rid of items that do not suit my colouring. Hanging on to them does not “spark joy” in the words of the great Marie Kondo.

I’ve had a lot of empties over the last little while and need to play catch up. Similar to my other Buy or Cry articles, I’ll let you know if I would re-purchase the item (buy) or not (cry). I’m supposed to tell you that these are just my views and you can think what you want. All true – but I’m right about everything!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, I have really sensitive skin so you aren’t going to see a lot of variety in skin care. I have a fair complexion; even if I like a formula, certain colours may not work for me. You are also going to get an honest opinion about the product whether it is cruelty-free or not. Just my little warning….Now here we go:

Lancôme Hypnose Drama Mascara (Cry) – I received this mascara as a gift. I know that people swear by this brand’s mascara, but I always find that it flakes on me so I would not re-purchase it. It is also not a cruelty-free brand if that is important to you.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Extreme Zero Smudge All Effects Mascara (Cry) – This must have been a point perk or gift with purchase based on the small size. I checked the website, and I don’t think that they make this exact product any more. The wand was tiny and perfect for your bottom lashes. It was a great formula too with no flaking. Unfortunately, Estée Lauder is not cruelty-free so I couldn’t purchase the mascara, even if it was available.

Becca Mini Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Moonstone (Both) – This is a great formula from a cruelty-free brand. The only reason that it is a cry is because I prefer the Vanilla Quartz shade which is a little lighter. If you have a lot of highlighters or it just takes you a long time to go through one, I strongly suggest the mini-size. In Canadian dollars, the mini is $27 and the regular size is $46, making the larger size the better deal, but unless you put it on with a spatula, this will last you at least 9 months and will ensure that you actually use up your product so that it will be fresh.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in paaarty (Cry) – This was a 2017 Sephora Birthday Gift that I finally used up. The colour was nice – it was a neutral pink. The formula was nice, easy to apply, pigmented enough to not need to build it up, but not so pigmented that I felt like a clown. The major draw back was the lasting power. I found that it disappeared on me in about 3-4 hours. It is cruelty-free if you still want to try it.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon in Night Mauves (Buy) – I got this in a Sephora lip box in December 2017. Those boxes are one of the reasons that I have far too many lipsticks so I decided to stop buying them. I believe that this was a full size. It is a unique formula – it really feels like you are wearing nothing on your lips and has the lasting power of a liquid lipstick. It does not make your lips feel dry like a traditional liquid lipstick would. The colour was perfect. If I ever get down to a reasonable amount of lipsticks, I would 100% repurchase this cruelty-free product.

No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Berry Blush (Both) – No 7 lipsticks are not available in Canada. I first tried them when I went to Europe and fell in love with their formula and perfect colours. I would always stock pile them when I went to Europe or the USA. The reason that this is getting de-cluttered was simply because it smelled off. I bought it in October 2016. I also cannot find information on whether the brand is cruelty-free or not, so I’m going to take a break from it. If that is not a concern of yours and you want a great drug store brand, this is it.

Bésame Cosmetics 1930 Noir Red Mini Lipstick (Both) – Bésame is one of my favourite brands. This came in a mini-lipstick set that I received as a gift. The formula of the lipstick is perfection. Their customer service and packaging is also perfection. The only reason that this is a cry at all is because the colour is way too dark for me. If you have a deeper complexion or just like very dark lipstick, then this will work for you. I highly recommend this cruelty-free brand.

Empty!

Joico Daily Care Leave-In Detangler (Buy but….) – This product did exactly what it promised – it detangled my very tangled hair. It did not weigh my tresses down, nor did it make them feel greasy. It is perfect except….it is not cruelty free. I believe that the issue is that the brand sells in China. I’ve read that China may eliminate the need for animal testing in the very near future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Eau De Parfum 30ml plus sample (Both) – I loved this perfume. It reminded me of old school sun tan lotion. It is beautiful and unique. I got compliments every time I wore it. Alas, it is not cruelty-free. Hopefully, one day I will be able to buy this beautiful fragrance again. Until next time Tom….

Empties

Bath and Body Works 24 Hour Moisture Cream in In the Sun (Both) – This is a great body cream. The scent is the perfect affordable complement to Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc. It has that same amazing sun tan lotion scent that just screams summer. The issue? It’s not cruelty-free. I have a ton of Bath and Body Works products to use up. They always do those buy 3 get 3 free (really who needs that much body lotion?) and I have some that are gifts. I won’t need body lotion for a very long time.

Ahava Dermud Intensive Foot Cream (Buy) – This brand is cruelty free and vegan. This foot cream saved me when I had my cast off after surgery. My foot was as dry as a lizard and my skin was flaking off – it was gross. Within a week of using this, my skin was back to normal and it has really helped with heel cracking too. It isn’t cheap, but I have not been able to find anything that works better on me.

All Empty – All Cruelty-Free

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream (Cry) – This was expensive and it just did not work for me. I actually felt like it made my under eye area even drier.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (Buy) – All Drunk Elephant products are pricey (this one is $100). This one happens to be worth it and lasts for about 3 months. Do not stock up on Vitamin C serums, even if it is on sale or Sephora is doing one of their Rouge/VIB events. The product will degrade in time and they have a very short shelf life.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum (Cry) – I got this is “The Littles” gift set. It was worth the $110 to try more Drunk Elephant products and see what I liked and didn’t like. The little container held a lot of product – this lasted me for almost two months. It was long enough to see that this just did not work for me.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser (Buy) – This is a great face cleanser and a little goes a long way. This one tube has lasted me for almost 6 months which makes it cheaper over time than other drug store brands. It is $40 but you can save by buying it at the Sephora sale – it will keep if you buy one or a spare but don’t go crazy and buy ten. It leaves your face satisfyingly clean without drying out your skin.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream (Buy) – I wrote about this product in my last Buy or Cry. Here is the link to learn more
https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/project-empty-buy-or-cry/

Are you on a low buy or doing a project use up yourself? Tell me what your favourite products are.


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Organized Hair-iness

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Today is one of those days where I feel like covering two topics.  One is another episode in “Reformed Hoarders” and the next is something a little hairier.  Having gotten rid of reams of paper in my big office move inspired me to tackle some papers stored neatly in my room.  That was the job for today, along with my jewellery box and my hair doodle drawer.  I’m one of those sentimental people that likes to hold on to every card, note, and even test that I’ve ever gotten and today was about getting rid of some of those memories plus tossing a few other goodies here and there.

As I reviewed tests and essays from high school and university, I was struck by one thing – what was the purpose in holding on to these memories?  Was it so I could look back and feel smart – because I didn’t feel any smarter looking at them today.  Was it the fear that someone may ask me to trace the flow of blood through a frog’s circulatory system, because I haven’t been asked this question since Grade 12 Biology and somehow, I don’t think it’s going to be coming up again.  I’m probably not going to get many questions about my paper on the Political Economy of Canada either.  Like many other things, these all got tossed along with various versions of my resume (many that I was hanging on to were hopelessly out of date).  The picture just don’t do it justice – I easily got rid of about 500 sheets of paper (or more).  I did keep a few cherished assignments, but most didn’t make the cut.  Here is a quick list of a few other things that were tossed today:

  • 1 pair of pants
  • 2 bracelets (ugly and I’ve never worn them)
  • 1 watch – it was falling apart and there was no point in trying to donate it
  • 6 pairs of earrings – I never wear them or I get ear infections from them
  • 5 orphan earrings – much like my orphaned socks, their mates were never coming back and it was time to accept that
  • 1 box of candles – a thoughtful, yet really ugly gift that it was time to get rid of
  • hair elastics, clips and other hair accessories too numerous to count
  • 1 mirror
  • 1 bottle of dried up shoe polish

Again, it was all very cleansing and the extra room in my cupboard is also very nice.

Now on to a little fun Dr. Oz Test I tried.  It was to see how healthy my hair was.  It’s a simple test – you just pull about enough hair that would fit in a straw.  Start at the base and gently pull up and see what’s in your hand.  I had no hair come out and this is a good thing.  As we age, our bodies don’t produce hair as often, so you lose strands more often.  If you happen to do the test and say get three or more hairs, you are aging a little faster than you may want to.  Check out the video from doctoroz.com for more information – http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/could-antibiotics-meat-be-making-you-sick?video_id=3819362833001.  Being a bit obsessive about my hair, I did this test over and over again, and not one piece came out.  My next goal is to stop myself from repeating this test every single day.

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada and as always, I do have a lot to be grateful for.  Mostly I’m grateful for my family and friends.  I am also grateful to be learning a couple of important life lessons through this blog.  That memories can be captured in ways that don’t require physical proof and that throwing away a few papers isn’t going to diminish my good (or bad) memories.  It’s just going to create more space which will ultimately relieve stress and allow me to focus on the here and now.  If you aren’t living in the past, which I never do anyway, stop hanging onto things that aren’t even important reminders of it…those little words of wisdom exhausted me, so until tomorrow, I remain…

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Big Fat Hairy Deal…

…at least it is to me.  I’m talking about hair.  I’ve always had some hair trauma or another.  That first boy-like hair cut that I had when I was young, the one that made everyone tell my mother what a cute son that she had.  I cried the day they cut my hair like that.  I even hid under the bed at my grandmother’s house.  I was shorn at a salon in Ottawa and from that day on, my hair has always been a source of drama for me.  The next trauma was the semi-mullet in grade 7 – you know the cut – business in the front and a party in the back.  At least it was a one off cut – even at a young age I knew that it was wrong.  My last huge mistake was the one and only perm that I got at 18.  My hair has always taken well to anything – colour, texture, whatever you want to throw at it.  Boy those curls never wanted to go away.  Big hair – big mistake.  After that, I got myself a proper hair dresser, found a couple of cuts that work for me, and have never looked back. 

Hair is top of mind for me, not just because it’s a chapter in “You Being Beautiful”, but because I just got my hair cut and coloured (yes, like many women, I colour my hair – just keeping it real) yesterday.  I love my hairdresser – not only is he one of the loveliest people that I know, but he’s always honest about what I need to do to keep my hair healthy, even when I don’t want to hear it.  I’ve always had a thing about wanting long hair, and there have been times where he’s had to cut a lot off, and I’ve cried, oh how I’ve cried…but I knew he was right.  He got me to use really good shampoos and conditioners – no more Revlon Outrageous for me – remember it?  The Giorgio fragranced shampoo that made you want to “shake that body”?  Now, it’s professional products all the way, and I’ve never looked back.  He also made me take a break from blond for nine months to get my hair back to being healthy. 

According to “You Being Beautiful” (and my trusty hair dresser), the bleach used in making my hair the beloved blond that it has been for more than 10 years, is very damaging to your hair.  You end up losing the body of the hair faster than if you left it alone.  My hair dresser told me last year that I needed to take a break, and I’ve listened.  My current hair colour is the darkest that it has been in years.  It’s also a little shorter than I’m used to (still past my shoulders), but I really want my hair to be healthy.  If you have a good hair dresser, they will be honest and tell you what you need to do to maintain your mane.  So, for nine months it’s dye, no highlights, and cutting off whatever length my hair grows.  I’m also going to only highlight my hair spring/summer from now on – fall and winter, it’s back to dye to give it a break from bleach. 

Now for a couple of tips from “You Being Beautiful” that I will incorporate into my hair care routine:

-Don’t pile your hair onto your head when shampooing – treat it like fine silk and let it hang down.  I’m a piler, but will make an effort to stop this even though it takes the fun out of shampooing – no more shower mohawks

-I have combination hair – my scalp can be oily and the ends tend to be dry.  I play with my hair a lot, and the book says that this can make your hair look oilier – point taken – hands off my head

-B vitamins are good for hair health so I bought a bottle of B Complex vitamins and will start taking them tomorrow

-Omega 3 fatty acids are also good for promoting shine – I guess I have to make time to grind my flax seeds

-Low iron levels can also impact your hair health.  I have low iron and my doctor told me to take a supplement (only do take one if your doctor recommends it).  I actually have noticed a difference in my hair since I’ve started taking it

Again, the best advice is listening to your hair dresser or even just asking what they think will make your hair look and feel better long term.  They are professionals and know what can help.  If you’ve been going to your hair dresser for a longer period of time, they will notice changes in your hair.  Don’t be shy – ask away – and if you don’t like the answer, well, remember, they are the experts.  I’ve learned the painful way that hair does grow back, and I’d like mine to grow back healthy.