It began with a letter. The clunk of the mailman’s shoes as he delivered a letter sealed with scarlet. Genevieve snatched the letter from her mailbox. Her hands trembled. The writing of the address seemed masculine. It curved without order or neatness. The fact that a male could handwrite these days surprised her.
“Perhaps he’s an older man?” She shrugged and slit the letter. The name on the envelope wasn’t one Genevieve recognized. She did not believe its sender was ‘actually’ ‘John Smith.’ She rolled her eyes.
Genevieve slid three folded cream pages from the envelope and straightened them. The first page had a tiny emblem in the corner. She wasn’t sure what it meant. A ‘J’ with a squiggle looped over and down from the top of the ‘J’ to form a tiny ‘S’ beneath it. The third letter was a ‘T’ that she realized matched the wax seal.
‘John Smith’s’ writing began without greetings. Genevieve read a few sentences and discovered the letter was penned to someone called Moose.
“I’m not Moose, and I don’t know anyone with that nickname.” She struggled to read ‘John’s’ handwriting. After a bit, she set down the first page. Moose was involved in serious business.
She threw her coat and purse on the floor. She’d only returned from work a minute before the envelope arrived. She groaned. “Why C/O Genevieve O’Connor?” But no one answered, as she knew they wouldn’t.
Genevieve pinched the bridge of her nose. “Shower and food. Then, I’ll read more.” She gathered clean clothes and pondered the letter under the shower’s spray. After a half hour, she dressed and heated left-over Ravioli.
She grabbed a cozy blanket from a linen closet and flipped over page one of the letter Genevieve swore under her breath. Damn illegible handwriting. Can’t you print like a normal person?
She padded back to her room to towel dry her hair and to comb through some mousse. Then, she reclined on her sofa, gathering her blanket as she deciphered ‘John’s’ letter. She shivered despite her hot shower, and couldn’t help the feeling that something about this letter was amiss.
That’s how it Genevieve became lost in the forest, and ended up at a summer cottage closed for the fall. Her body trembled and she couldn’t stand the dirt, blood, and other forest offerings on her skin. The only place to wash was a large kitchen sink. There was no shower, so Genevieve stuffed the cabin’s broken window pane with a blanket and stripped.
She couldn’t get rid of the tang of blood or acrid dirt. It made her nauseous. She scrubbed her skin raw, and poured more dish soap on her hair. She stepped out of the sink careful not to slip. As she rinsed her hair, evidence of the past few days whirled down the drain.
She was tired of being alone. She yelled at the absent John Smith. He’d helped her only once before. “You’ve a lot of explaining, John.”His name was a sneer. “I’m tired of this game. I never knew Moose. I don’t know why I’m his contact: let me be, and tell your gun-totting buddies too.”
Her voice echoed in the cottage, and she was alone except for the howling mountain’s winds; its paradoxical breezes made her headache throb. Gentle winds mixed with gusts causing the windows to clammer.
Genevieve scrambled through kitchen drawers until she found the Advil. Swallowing two pills, she fell into bed. The sheets were lavender-scented and the duvet warm. Who lived here? She didn’t know. Then, a hand swept across her forehead, and she mumbled thinking it was a dream.
“John?” Her voice was hoarse, and her hands reached, and gripped a muscled arm in flannel. Genevieve groaned as his fingers combed through her wet hair. His hand rested on her forehead.
“It is you.” The room was dark and only John’s outline was visible. She knew it was him by his scent. Fresh and masculine.
“You’ve a fever.” She rolled her eyes. Genevieve was mad.
“Drink this?” A red mug lowered to her mouth.
“What is it?”
“I’m not here to hurt you, Genevieve.”
“Such a liar.” He insisted she drink it, so she did. In-between sips she grumbled and tried to sit up. He pushed her down.
“It’s Neocitran. You’re sick and you need sleep.”
“I’m sick? Whose fault is that? After everything, now you show up?” Genevieve’s eyes closed as lethargy overcame her.
“Go away, John. I’ll figure this out alone. You complicate everything.”
He sighed. She opened her eyes as he rubbed his hands over watched his face, and through his two-day stubble.
“I didn’t mean to handle it this way. I didn’t know you’d never met your brother.” He combed through her hair once more.
It bothered Genevieve that things seemed less hopeless with John beside her. She wanted him to stay but knew he’d be gone by morning.
“Just leave, John.”
“Not a chance, Genna.” She thought she imagined his last words.
Happy May Long Weekend! I haven’t had a beauty post in a long while.
These products I’ve picked up are from February to the present month of May. I didn’t necessarily buy all these products at Sephora, but it is easier to search for them all on the Sephora website. As I’ve mentioned, I often buy some of my makeup and skincare at Shoppers Drug Mart or at Beauty Boutique Online, but they do not always carry all the products and brands I use.
This is Part 1 of a beauty haul. I have a second part coming soon with products unrelated to the eyes. Also, a note, I’m using this post to fulfill a Writing 101 prompt to critique something; I’m certainly critiquing these eye makeup products and tools.
1. NARS – Dual Intensity Eye Shadow in Andromeda – (www.sephora.ca) – $33.00 CAN
I’m fond of NARS blushes and eye shadows because they have fantastic colour pigment. Years ago, I had bought a NARS palette with eye shadows and blush included, but I have never used NARS eyeshadow since I used up that pallete. I was searching for a lighter coloured eyeshadow with a bit of sparkle and shine to it when I saw this NARS shadow at Sephora. The colour Andromeda is perfect for highlighting your brow bone or the corner of your eye. It also is a beautiful colour to wear all over your eyelid if you are looking for a colour to make your eyes pop. Darker colours can make eyes appear smaller (even though darker shadow look lovely in an ombre or smokey eye). Another reason I like Andromeda is because in other eyeshadow palettes I’ve purchased, I always run out of the lightest colours first. My skin is pale so extremely dark colours don’t often suit me unless I’m going out at night but even then, I can only use a bit for effect.For the most part, a medium intensity or lighter coloured eye shadow suits me in the daytime and those of you who have lighter skin tones. I’m able to use Andromeda with my palettes to replace the lighter colours I use up quickly. There are many more gorgeous colours of NARS eyeshadow available at Sephora and I recommend NARS eyeshadow for their quality of pigment and variety of colour.
2. Make Up Forever – Smoky Extravagent Mascara: Dramatic Impact and Graphic Precision – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN
I received this mascara as a sample from Sephora. It is an excellent mascara due
to its wonderful volumizing brush. The shape of the brush is extremely wide at the bottom of the mascara wand and tiny at the top. This means you receive major volume where your lashes need volume in the middle of your eyelashes, but the wand still picks up the tiny lashes in the outer corners of your eyes. I’m extremely pleased with this mascara.
Using the product, I’ve had to use a waterproof mascara over top (as usual) as regular mascara tends to streak around my eyes due to my oilier skin. With the waterproof mascara over top the Smokey Extravagant Mascara, the product stays on well. On Sephora’s website, however; I found a waterproof version of the Smokey Extravagant mascara called Aqua Smokey Extravagant Water Proof Mascara. The price is exactly the same, so if I bought this mascara in the future I would buy the waterproof version. Using the regular mascara or the waterproof version, Smokey Extravagant is a fantastic mascara, one of the best mascaras I’ve used in a long time. The brush on the mascara wand makes such a huge difference when you apply mascara, not to mention a mascara formula which doesn’t become clumpy over time.
3. Tarte – Lights, Camera, Lashes 4 in 1 Mascara – (www.sephora.ca) – $25.00 CAN
I received this mascara as a sample from Tarte when I ordered off their website. It is a great mascara. The brush is designed so it picks up every lash and I know many people who rave about this mascara. There is also a waterproof version available on Sephora called Lights, Camera, Splashes, for the exact same price. I was pleased how the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara wand picked up every one of my lashes coating them with mascara. I would have said it was the most awesome mascara, before I tried the Make Up Forever mascara above.The issue is, sometimes mascara wands which pick-up every tiny lash, fail to create volume in your eyelashes where you need it. The mascara itself appeared to be a great formula but I think the Lights, Camera, Lashes brush needs a bit of work. I believe it is an excellent mascara and I would use a sample again if I received it, but after using the Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant mascara, I think the Tarte mascara doesn’t quite measure up .On the upside, Tarte products are made from natural minerals and are a Vegan makeup line so if you’re looking for these aspects and want makeup that is of excellent quality, Tarte is the brand to use. As well, a five dollars difference in price between the two mascaras maybe a deal breaker for some of you.
4. Stila – Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black and Midnight Blue – (www.sephora.ca) – $29.00 CAN
Months ago, I was searching for a
waterproof liquid eyeliner to replace my Lancome liner, which changed after many years. I had used the non-waterproof version of the Stila liquid eyeliners and was not impressed. I was hesitant to try the waterproof version, but after seeing how intense the black eyeliner was on my hand, I decide to give the black eyeliner a try. It has become my new go-to for black eyeliner. The felt tip is pointy so you can give yourself a thinner line or build it up to be a thicker line. The Intense Black liner has lasted me four-months and is going strong.
Recently, I have seen a trend in magazines, of blue eyeliner with a paired down eye of basic eyeshadow. I went and I purchased the same Stila liner I have
in the colour Midnight Blue. I probably chose a darker blue than they showed in the magazine, but I’m extremely happy with this Midnight blue liner and have been wearing it everyday since I bought it. It’s dark enough that it doesn’t make your eyeliner completely standout, but the Midnight blue is change enough you notice it isn’t black liner. The colour goes well with blue eyes and I imagine it would appear beautiful on people with brown eyes, as it is an opposite colour for brown eyes in makeup. I believe these Stila liquid eyeliners are a fantastic investment for eyeliner, whatever the colour(s) you choose. Sephora has other colour options available as well. Also, the waterproof liquid liner stays on your lash line well and works well for giving yourself a cat-eye flick. You are able to wipe a bit of liner away if you’ve messed up your line, as long as you do it immediately after applying. If you’ve waited too long, you can take some concealer on a Q-tip and gently make some of your eyeliner fade and disappear where you messed up.
For those of you who have trouble with eyeliner, especially liquid eyeliner. Here is a helpful YouTube Tutorial I found on Basic Eyeliner this morning:
5. Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion in Minor Sin – (www.sephora.ca) – $26.00 CAN
I have used various versions of Urban Decay eye shadow primer for years. Their
primers for eye shadow are the absolute best and help your eyeshadow stay put on your eyelid, without your eye shadow fading. I usually use Urban Decay’s basic primer but I chose to buy Minor Sin this time as it has a bit of a shimmery golden sheen to it and can be worn without eye shadow. Layering eye shadow over Minor Sin, also gives your eye shadow a slight sheen underneath, if you don’t apply too much shadow over top. Urban Decay eye shadow primers also last a long time. I usually receive over six-months use out of a large tube.
The only issue I have with Minor Sin is I do not like that its tube is not a squeeze tube such as my Urban Decay eye shadow primers have been in the past. Minor Sin comes with a brush and I don’t like the brush. I don’t believe it is as sanitary as a squeeze tube. You shouldn’t place the primer directly on your eyelid/eye area with the brush because bacteria could get into the tube once you put the brush back in. I think the best idea is to put some of the primer on the back of your hand and use your fingers to apply it to your eyes, however; I do not like this method either because it is easy to waste the product accidentally applying too much product to the back of your hand. The squeeze tube was both more sanitary and made the primer last longer as you only used as much primer as needed with the squeeze tube. I love how Minor Sin looks and works as a primer, but I’m not happy with the design change of the tube and brush.
6. Sephora – Must Have Powder Eye Shadow Brush #60 – (www.sephora.ca) – $19.00 CAN
My last fluffy eye shadow brush I bought was from Shoppers Drug Mart and I still have it and use it. But Shoppers Drug Mart didn’t have the same brush available so I went to Sephora, whose brushes I have found to be better than Shoppers Drug Mart brand makeup brushes anyways. I didn’t choose Sephora’s top of the line brushes as I have with some of my makeup brushes such a foundation brush or a blush brush. I do not find it necessary to have top quality makeup brushes with eyeshadow brushes, which don’t go through the wear and tear other brushes do. I wanted another fluffier powder brush to blend eyeshadow above my lid and this brush works perfectly for the job.It’s not as fluffy as the Shoppers Drug Mart brush but it it is good enough and washes up well with dish soap. No hairs have fallen out of the brush so I believe for the price point and design, the brush is excellent.
Much of what I said with the last eyeshadow brush applies with this crease eye shadow
brush. The crease eye shadow brush is used to blend a darker shade of eyeshadow into your crease area. I have and use my first crease eyeshadow brush from Shoppers Drug Mart and I like it better than the one I bought at Sephora.
Although, the Sephora brush is nice and the hair doesn’t fall out when you wash it, the brush is a bit big and fluffy for blending eye shadow in one’s eye crease. It works, but it is easy to accidentally apply too much eye shadow in your crease with this brush. But for my purposes, this brush is fine. I use it to go in after I have used my original Shoppers Drug Mart crease brush, and blend all the eye makeup in my crease together. The reason I bought both brushes was for blending purposes and not to actually apply eyeshadow, although; I will probably use the brushes for both jobs. I’m happy with both brushes, but wish the crease eye shadow brush was smaller and less fluffy. For the price point and quality, they are both excellent brushes.