Happy New Years! As I put this piece together we have about ten minutes to go in Alberta, Canada. Mother Nature, as she did in many parts of the world, decided to make it more than minus forty degrees Celsius with the wind chill so most of the New Years events here were cancelled.
The fireworks, I believe were still happening, but they were supposed to be earlier this year for families and kids, but I didn’t hear any fireworks popping and crackling yet. I usually do from where we live. Anyways I hope you enjoyed your New Years celebrations tucked snug in your home, at a party, or at New Years events. Wishing you all much happiness and joy.
So, here we go . . . Oh the fireworks have started. 🎉 Some of these quotes are a bit cheeky, as well.
Good Morning! I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile as part one was done before Christmas. I have an interesting selection of beauty products since the Fall Beauty Haul and I hope you find this post useful in your own Beauty Product selection.
1. Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara – (www.sephora.ca) – $31.00 CAN
I received this mascara as a sample from Sephora. I adore Make Up Forever products in general so I was excited to try another of their mascaras. As usual, since my mascara never stays on my lashes unless the mascara is waterproof, I put on a coat of a waterproof L’Oreal mascara after applying the sample mascara. I like this Make Up Forever mascara, it’s quite black and the brush does a good job of creating volume for your lashes, but I’m not thrilled by this mascara. It’s a middle-of-the-line mascara and I think if you bought it you would like it, but not be overly impressed. There isn’t a wow factor to it. Honestly, there is not much difference between The Make UpForever Excessive Lash Mascara and the L’Oreal one I put over top. The brush is the same, the opacity of the mascara the same, and the only difference is the L’Oreal mascara is waterproof. I’d say this rates about a three out of five stars for a mascara.
2. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil – (www.sephora.ca)- $29.00 – Two Pencils: One in Stingray (Jet Black) and Lion Fish (Deep Bronze Sheen)
For the longest time, I always used pencil liners because they were easier to apply than the liquid ones I tried; however, then companies such as Lancome led the way coming out with liquid eyeliners which were easy to apply, they had great foam tipped applicators. I have especially used waterproof eyeliner since makeup brands such as Stila and well everyone else, has come out with wonderful liquid eyeliners which are like fine-tip markers for the eyes (pens). Once you learn to apply these awesome liquid eyeliners, they are usually much more vibrant and remain on your eye better than pencil eyeliners.
Nonetheless, during the Christmas season, I was searching for my trusty Stila liquid eyeliner pen in black and Sephora didn’t have any left except in a Christmas Gift Set that was $44.00 CAN and included Jet Black and Lion Fish eyeliner pencils as well. These eyeliner pencils aren’t’ exactly pencils such as the ones you sharpen. Instead, they’re roll-up, which means the tip remains small and pointed. I love them so much as everyday makeup products, enough to permanently add Jet Black pencil liner to my regular makeup purchases when it runs out.
The reason I love these roll-up pencils so much is that they are similar to smudge pot eyeshadows. They glide onto your eye line smoothly and they leave behind pigmented and rich color which is also waterproof, so it doesn’t rub off as many pencil eyeliners do. They are excellent eyeliners especially if you have trouble lining in your upper water line. The roll-up pencils do a fantastic job coloring in waterlines when you need, and remaining on your waterline, which is an extremely difficult feat for a makeup brand to accomplish.
I love Stila’s Jet Black for use on my waterline and sometimes for regular eyeliner. Lion Fish is a bronzy color which is a great change up for a daytime look from using a black liner. Lion Fish also has a bit of shimmer in it instead of being merely being a matte brown liner.
This gift set was completely worth the purchase for $44.oo because I received both these pencil liners and my black liquid eyeliner pen, a cost of about $96.00 regular price before tax. A definite five out of five stars for the Stila Smudge Sticks.
3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Luster Liner in Liquid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – $23.00 CAN
I cannot say Stila is the only pencil eyeliner I was recently impressed with. I had seen that gold eyeliner was a trend for the holiday season. Watching a Pixie Woo’s makeup tutorial on YouTube, I loved how the one Pixie Woo used this Anastasia eyeliner to line her lower waterline and corner of her eyes, it looked fantastic.
But the Anastasia Luster Liner in Liquid Gold was extremely versatile and is a product and I think I will buy again. It works great on waterlines and the liner stays on with a couple of coats, and it appears beautifully on top of black eyeliner as a bit of a fancy touch. But my most favorite use for this eyeliner pencil was using it on Christmas and New years to fill in my entire eyelid area, then blend it out with other eyeshadow.
I had to be careful doing this as once this waterproof liner sets it remains put. It`s not moving except with eye makeup remover. So if you use the Anastasia liquid gold eyeliner this way, put on most of your eyeshadow before applying the gold liner on your lid. It does take a while to blend other eyeshadow colors into the gold eye pencil if you choose to use it this way. I loved this festive product and think it could be used for special occasions or if you want to add a bit of glimmer to your daytime look in the corner or your eye or your bottom waterline for instance.
I used most of the pencil up over two-months and only have a bit left, but it`s not a product too high priced to purchase again. I`m impressed with how well it works for multiple looks for a waterproof gold eyeliner with such bold and vivid gold color, and not a yellowy gold shade (if you know what I mean). The Anastasia eyeliner also comes in the color Liquid Silver. It was easy to sharpen and it never broke even though the pencil was soft and the color bright.I would give this eyeliner pencil five stars.
So it’s Winter which means for many of us in colder climates, we are experiencing dryer skin. I usually have skin oily enough that it doesn’t seem to require much extra moisture, expect maybe applying my Clinique moisturizing gel twice every few days. This year I had a bit a different experience and found at night, I required a solid moisturizer but one that would not cause me to break out. So I used some of my Sephora points and received a large sized sample of the Origins Night cream and it lasted about a month, so I think the product itself even though it’s $55.00 for the smaller size, would last a person the entire winter.
I had tried eye creams and other one or two day samples from Origins and I have always liked their products and how my skin reacts to them. They are great to moisturize dry skin and even though it was a night cream, I did use it in the day sometimes. It felt wonderful and smelled great. As well, I like that the cream is made out of plant minerals. I have always found these type ingredients to be fantastic indicators of a quality cream/lotion/or gel. I completely recommend this product for dry skin, especially at night. I would give the Origins Night Cream four our of five stars. I can use this in the winter, but not in the summer or spring when the weather seems to indicate I need less moisturizer.
5. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (Eye Shadow)- 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – $4.49 US ($6 or $7 CAN at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada)
I’ve heard good things about NYX as a cheaper makeup brand. I adore their matte setting spray for makeup so I thought I would try something else from their line. I wanted a base color that I can put on before my other eyeshadow, which is the reason I bought this pencil.
Unfortunately, I bought the wrong shade, it’s a bit too yellow for me and I should have bought a similar shade with more pink in it. But it’s not bad for a shimmery base color and I’ve worn it a few times. The only problem is, I’ve worn the eye pencil down and would think you could sharpen it, but I do not own a sharpener which can fit the jumbo pencil in.
The eye pencil color stays on your eyelids well and doesn’t come off easily. You can blend other eyeshadows of various types into it as well, and the color is easy to cover up if you don’t like the shade but are using it as a base.
I’m not sure where to find a sharpener which fits the NYX jumbo pencil, or if it even can be sharpened? If you know let me know. I think as with most products in the makeup industry, you get what you pay for and the NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil is an example of this with only a two-star rating.
6. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract – Sensitive Skin – MakeUp Remover – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – $16.00 CAN
My last product to share was part of a gift from a friend with many lovely Body Shop Products. They definantly have some nice products and not only lotion and body wash. I was really thrilled with this cleansing balm I received. I wasn’t sure what it was at first.
But, it’s an awesome makeup remover and is also extremely moisturizing at the same time. I have doubts about using it in spring and summer, but right now it’s exactly what my skin needed. I usually use cleansing clothes to remove my makeup and right now I use both. I put the balm all over my face with my hands, including my eyes — it’s awesome at removing any and all eye makeup especially waterproof makeup. The balm feels as if it might be a bit greasy, but it’s not at all. It cleanses your face completely of makeup and works well with the cleansing clothes you can throw away.
The cleansing balm leaves your fast moisturized and feeling great, not to mention, it smells fantastic. If you can get your hands on some I recommend it. Four stars our of five.
If you haven’t read Part 1 of my Beauty Haul it was in December and can be found HERE.
After much preparation Christmas has passed. It always feels as if there is this huge build up and then in a moment, Christmas Eve and Christmas have gone. So, how did you spend yours?
I have been feeling a bit better then I have the last couple of Christmases so I spent time baking these spice cookies we call Christmas Tree Cookies and Chocolate Turtle Squares. Christmas Tree Cookies require baking and then being decorated with colored icing and decorations of little sugar crystals etc. The chocolate turtle squares I was able to swap out the flour and use a Gluten free flour so my Dad could eat them. He did eat them all; they are gone now. My Mom also managed some baking. She made shortbread, brownies, and peanut butter cookies. Not to mention we have a lot of chocolate to eat.
On Christmas Eve, I went to Church with my Mom and Dad. My brother
came a bit later in the service. We sang Christmas carols and the pastor had a brief sermon. I haven’t been to church in a long time. It hasn’t been possible for me to wake up early enough on a Sunday that I can get to a Church my Mom or Dad go to. After the service, we went hope and there was snacks and baking. We had mini spring rolls, cheeseball and crackers, some kinds of cream cheese dip, sushi, different kinds of sausages, vegetables, and baking. We drank wine, beer, and soft drinks. After talking and eating, we opened presents. For most of us that meant money, gifts cards, and chocolate. It was nice but my eldest younger brother wasn’t able to make it for the first time so it was a bit weird without him.
J (my brother) did make it for Christmas dinner the next day. We had ham, perogies, cabbage rolls, stir fried rice, Ichiban Chinese Noodle Salad, broccoli with cheese sauce, raw vegetables and dip, and baking for dessert. We ate around 1:30 pm. We tend to have early holiday dinners because it is a lot easier to get everything cooked in the day and because a lot of other people have Christmas get-togethers at night.
Boxing day we didn’t do too much. But I have been catching up on some movies that have come out in the last few years that I have wanted to see but I didn’t get the chance to see. So, on Boxing day (and before Christmas) I watched The Avengers: Age of Ultron which is fun and fantastic. The only problem is I think if you haven’t seen the Avengers movie before this one, all three Ironmans, both Thor movies, and both Captain America movies, you might not quite understand everything that is going on. All those movies are intertwined so much it makes it hard for someone to see only one of these Marvel heros movies and understand the entire story.
The same probably goes if you haven’t see the last three X-men movies
plus the movie about how the X-men began, you wouldn’t understand the fourth X-men Movie Days of Futures Past. But it is my personal opinion it is an excellent movie on it’s own I think. It had a great story line and it fixes all that went wrong in the first three X-men movies. So, the ending is excellent. Also, if you are into the new Star Trek movies, the second one Star Trek: Into Darkness is pretty decent. I am not the hugest Star Trek fan but the Chris Pine who plays Kirk is h0t and the storyline wasn’t too bad either. It was kind of a typical Star Trek movie in what went on. But I think a fan would like it.
I also watched a Nicholas Spark’s movie called The Longest Ride. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was for a Nicholas Spark movie. He hasn’t had many good ones since TheNotebook, Dear John, and a few others. The story was in a way similar to a The Notebook. And the lead handsome guy is played by Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott. He is going to be a good actor I think. He is about thirty-years-old and has the same wrinkles around his eyes that his Dad has. But he is definitely hotter I think, at a similar age to his Dad. So if you are in the mood, for a good Romance, I recommend The Longest Ride.
I still have some movies on my list: The 4th Transformers movie, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Wolf of Wallstreet, and I think there is another Nicholas Spark’s movie in there too somewhere. At the theaters I am waiting to see the new Star Wars movie and also a movie called Joy with Jennifer Lawrence. I think I talked about it before.
Tomorrow I am going for a much needed haircut and a gel manicure. I like
gel nails they look good for a longtime and they’re shiny. But they can be hard on your nails. I used a certain kind of nail polish remover to try to get the remaining Gel polish off my fingernails. It works with Shellac nails so I thought it would work with Gel. It kind of did but damaged my finger nails in the process. The better option if you get gel polish is to simply file the polish off after three or four weeks. It works the best and takes more time but will not damage your nails. I did this on my toes and they were fine after I removed the polish using this method.
Not sure what the New Year’s plans are yet. Was different before because I have always had a boyfriend to spend the last four New Years with. However, it works out I am happy. If I get to sleep that will be good, if I go out for a few hours that will be fun too. Happy New Year to you all!
Last night I had big plans to go out for supper at Earls or to the Druid later and ring in the new year. But two things happen: the skirt I bought for New Years didn’t suit me so I wanted to return it and waiting for my boyfriend to get his haircut for three hours I became extremely tired and hungry. A came back bringing McDonalds and I was already in a sparkly sweater, leggings, and high sparkly stilettos ready to go out. I had a headache and my head was just thumping. I took an Advil and awhile ago I had texted A, let’s just stay in. Which is ironic because that’s what he maybe wanted to do at first.
But I stayed up to midnight and I watched Ryan Seacrest ring in the new year in NY with a whole bunch of singers and bands. Lady Antebellum was my favourite from Nashville. And pretty much as the ball dropped in NY I was in bed and trying to sleep. I had a restless sleep but now it’s 1 pm and I feel sort of awake. A went out later last night, I wish I could have gone.
I was also thinking about New Year’s resolutions and if I should make any. You are supposed to be direct about your resolutions and break it down into small completable steps. But I’m not sure I can do that because the things I want to accomplish I don’t know that I am humanly able to be able to do them.
I want to be healthy, but I have little control over that besides watching what I eat and trying to do just a little exercise. But I can’t make my illness go away, I can just pray I’ll heal. The other thing that I want to be able to do is know what I have. I think I am becoming close to what disease I have through these recent blood tests. I think I will find some answers, I hope. I want to be able to do cardiovascular exercise to lose weight but I’m just not able.
I can make smaller goals such as I would like to blog three to four days a week. I would like to see a friend at least every two weeks. I would like to keep a cleaner room and I would like to be more useful around the house. I would like to get a B- in all my editing courses or more and I want to pay off as much debt as possible. I would like to take a vacation with my Mom.
There are so many things I would like to accomplish but some of these goals require miracles. And I’m still waiting on those. Some of them I’m able to accomplish and I look forward to completing some of these goals. What are your New Year’s resolutions? Did you have an exciting New Years Eve?
I miss a quiet house when everyone is home over the holiday. Time passes more slowly and I feel as if I have all this free time after Christmas and I’m not exactly sure what to do with all this time. I believe this coming week will definitely pick up but the weekend was about as slow as it could get.
Sleep issues played havoc with my concentration so I felt, having tried several times, I couldn’t pay attention to any kind of reading. But knowing I had a small library of books to read in my iTunes book library, I endeavoured to try different sleeping medication options given to me by my sleep psychiatrist so that I had a restful sleep and could think during the day.
I added half a tablet of clonazapam to what I was already taking and viola I could sleep through the night. It has been that way for the last 3 nights, so I believe I can actually do activities this week.
Today and yesterday I spend reading the new novel by Meredith Wild in the Hacker’s series called Hard Limit. I’m about a third of the way through and so far it delivers as the three other books in the series did — good romance, exciting plot, lots of tension between the main characters, and some good sex scenes if you’re into that. See meredithwild.com for further information.
The other activity I’ve been doing is watching The Fall with Gillian Anderson ( The X – Files ) and Jamie Dornan. Dornan as Paul Specter plays an elusive and intelligent serial killer/ family man whom Anderson is trying to find after a series of similar murders. There are only six episodes in Season One and I have only two episodes left. I’m excited that Season Two comes out January sixteenth on
Netflix. It is an HBO series and the second season just ended. It is very much a thinking crime series and a tad graphic at times but it is odd to see the very personable ( I think from interviews) and former model Dornan playing such a dark character. You’d never know he’s usually a very good-looking and happy guy. Anderson plays a similar type role to that if her character on her old TV series. She is serious and detailed as a police investigator. What is fascinating is the whole idea of morality on this show. It would seem that Dornan as a Dad of two, with a lovely wife, and a job as Grief Councillor, would be a great guy but he’s a serial killer. He is also extremely perturbed to find out that one of the woman he killed was quite a few weeks pregnant. Kids are important to him. Anderson it would seem should also have greater morals then she does but the viewer sees that even in the Police of Belfast morals are pick and choose. For instance, Anderson’s character thinks nothing of having an affair with another police officer who is married, she never thinks to ask.
Between watching Seasons One and Two of The Fall to finish and go back to episode five of Grey’s Anatomy. I have watched it religiously for years but since it was not on the same TV channel I just watch it on my iPad when I have time. I would like to finish out the last couple years of Grey’s but truthfully I’m much more into Scandal these days.
Tomorrow I’m off for more blood testing, banking, some errands, and to see The Battle of the Five Armies, the third instalment of TheHobbit. I’m excited to see it but not for the sudden cold taking the bus will entail. Also, looking forward to seeing A this week and New Year’s Eve at an Irish Pub, The Druid. It will be fun to dress up and I’m hoping it’s not to icy to wear my silver heels. Happy to see my man and enjoy 2015!
I feel a little stuck lately. I had all these plans to read and catch up in all these series I have read. To reread some books and for others to read the final books in the series that seem to have all come out at once. But you know what, as much as these books hook me on a regular basis, right now I’m just not feeling them once I get down to the task of actually reading them. I feel extremely excited to read them eventually but today, right now, I can’t concentrate except to find more books on my tablet I would like to read. So it’s a bit of a hard thing but I just can’t seem to get into any of these books.
It’s much easier to write myself and tell you about some of the posts I plan to do in the next week. I have to get working on my book so I’m going to write the 3rd instalment of How was Last Night For You and if I’m very productive a chapter four as well. It has taken some thinking on my part about where I want to take the story next and having finally some idea, I intend to do some major writing.
Also, as smaller pieces go, I have to go back and write a piece for Writing 201, a piece making a point and proving it. I was so busy this last week I could not take the time to do this even though I have spent my life in education writing pieces like this, that prove a point. Thirdly, I have a couple beauty pieces, one on a shampoo and conditioner by Kevin Murphy, I tried and the other on a couple Benefit products and a Revlon product. So look forward to seeing those sometime. No promises but this is the plan. By the way, I will post on the Writer’s Place (whatever it is called) for the book chapters.
As for other things, as I said I plan to read I hope a great deal, I want to exercise a bit more maybe on the elliptical. And I need to return to doing some Yoga. I found the perfect New Years Dress in my closet. It is black lace with a peplum waist for the Druid on New Year’s Eve and I have these crazy silver shoes that have sequins all over them to where on my feet and a silver and pearl necklace I used for a picture on here once called A Swarm of Pearls and that will make the outfit. Looking forward to Christmas Eve also, to family, and snacks, presents, and little children singing at church.
Additionally, I had a wonderful mani/pedi this week in bright pink! Seasonal I know. I also went to see a rheumatologist who sent me for more testing for my fatigue. And I took 2 days and finished proofreading a final for proofreading. I was so happy to be done that and mail it off two days ago. It was a lot of work by hand but I learned the copywriting/proofreading symbols well. I’m all ready for April now. Also, I’ve been talking to my Mom about going to Vegas in May or so midweek to midweek. It will be a bit more expensive that way over a weekend but a lot of fun!
Today I am getting ready for a party tonight. My friends and I finally came up with a date for our Christmas/New Years get together that is tonight. Since I have practiced all these different hair styles I learned a new hair style last night and curled my hair then pinned it up this morning. I am quite happy with the results I just hope everything stays in and looks as good as I think it does. Here is thesmallthingsblog.com video that I used to do my hair. Once you curl your hair with a 1″ curling iron or your new Babyliss Miracurl, the rest of the hairstyle is easy.
After I did my makeup well and unlike usual I put primer on to ensure my makeup stayed in place. Although, I got a box of sample smashbox primers from Sephora which even included a light Smashbox primer and an under eye primer, I am much happier with an Benefit primer called Stay Flawless 15 hour Primer. It was a sample also from Sephora and it is a primer in stick form and you spread it across your face and it makes your face feel very smooth plus it lasts for 15 hours that’s amazing ($38.00). It does not,
however, make your face break out like I find the Smashbox primers often do, even after wearing the primer a short time. The only Smashbox primer I used was the under eye primer which I am quite happy with funny enough ($32.00).
So hair and makeup finished I made an easy dip which can be found on the kraft website. It is a really easy recipe and very basic:
1. Take 1 brick cream cheese and heat in the microwave a little bit. Spread into a small round dish (8 inch or so).
2. Place 1 cup of Salsa on top of the cream cheese and spread with a spoon.
3. Grate 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese and sprinkle across the Salsa and cream cheese.
4. If you like, take 2-3 green onions and cut up and sprinkle across the top of the cheese, salsa, and cream cheese
5. Before serving with Taco chips or crackers, heat the dip for 2-3 min in the microwave then serve.
So, I made up my little snack for our party. I was planning to do spinach dip but the Sobeys which had a bakery closed down by my house so it is really hard to get out and get bread since for spinach dip you make it in a big round cut out sour dough loaf. But I can make that another time.
The other critical item I bought for my party was some alcohol. We are doing a greedy gift grab with whatever kind of alcoholic beverage we have chosen and wrapped. I went with wine, it’s pretty obvious by the gift bag I chose but as for the kind well that’s the surprise. Our limit was $25.00 for the gift grab.
Later, I am getting a ride to the party and then we are going out dancing to The Druid (if they have dancing on Sunday’s?) Most places do since A and I are always going out Sunday nights to dance at some bar or another. Speaking of A he is coming up this week. Too bad he couldn’t have been up a day sooner but he is just coming in around 7 or 8 pm Monday night and I think will be tired out after a long bus ride. We will have to do our own New Years thing the next day! So my New Years plan were ruined but that is okay since I think I will be tired enough after tonight tomorrow and will be busy enough this week with A.
Happy New Year’s everyone and have fun at all your parties!