Thursday, June 16, 2016

inside beauty

here's another random list post! huzzah, huzzah.

back in 2013, i did a master post on what makeup and beauty products i use the most. aside from being a pretty big wall of text, some of those choices are a bit outdated for me now, so i figured i might as well highlight five beauty products i'm really digging right now. (hello beauty and makeup brands, please send me free things to try and then extol about on my blog! i am a good ambassador.)


korres black pine antiwrinkle & firming cream

in my ongoing quest to constantly cover myself in anti-aging creams, i picked up a free deluxe sample of this one by korres back in december and loved it to bits. not only did it smell awesome, but my skin did feel a lot better in the morning. after some searching around, i found it available at shoppers here in canada (i originally got the sample at sephora in the us), but i'd recommend scouring ebay and amazon for cheaper deals. (the total of both at shoppers would be around $120 and i got them on ebay/amazon for $50 total)

bite beauty amuse bouche lipstick

i got a sample of the above - "radish" - through sephora's beauty insider rewards program (i'm at their highest echelon, which i'm hilariously proud of) and i love it so much that i keep trying to find excuses to buy more bite lipsticks. they come in some pretty wacky colours - even more so than the above's hot magenta - and they go on smooth and vivid without any inconsistency or flakiness. it's a bonus that they're canadian, and put a lot of focus on natural and organic ingredients.

original source mint shower gel

this is going to be a bummer for anyone in north america, but in england they have this miracle shower gel called original source tea tree & mint. the import boy had mentioned it a couple times, and so i ordered him a couple bottles off amazon for his birthday and christmas one year, and then i got hooked on it. whoops. anyway, sean went back to the uk in may for his brother's wedding, and i asked if he'd get me some tea tree & mint shower gel. he went one better and got me the fantastically-named xxx mint. it is goddamn ridiculous. it's like getting punched in the sinuses by a continuous blast of menthol. i love it and i'm going to be so sad when i run out and don't want to pay $20 for an internet order.

summer scents

i have a little shelf of perfume - all samples and rollerballs; i'm not ballin' enough to fork over $100+ for a full bottle of anything - in my closet that looks a bit like this (i've rotated out a lot of those samples by now though):

in ocd-esque fashion, i line them up based on seasonal appropriateness, and my current top pick for summer is versace bright crystal. (winter's picks: issey miyake l'eau d'issey, cartier la panthère légère) it's bright and fruity and just a bit floral, and it pairs awesomely with sundresses and warm days. not overwhelming when it gets really hot out, either, which is when a lot of perfumes can get gross. (runner-up for best light fresh summer scent: nest citrine)

face primer + setting spray combo

speaking of overly warm temperatures, i have an oily face that also sweats a lot, and that adds up to my makeup basically sliding the fuck off my face whenever it's hot out. fortunately, i read a post on the sephora tumblr (can you tell i'm a sephora addict?) that advised putting down a base layer of primer, then spray it lightly with setting spray before doing foundation, and then another spritz after you're done your entire face. it's worked for me so far! i haven't tried too many yet, but i really like the pairing of smashbox photo finish primer and primer water.

...and that's all for now! leave a comment and let me know what you think of my picks, or tweet me with new suggestions. i'm always willing to experiment with new products to see what works, so long as i don't end up looking weirdly clownish in the middle of the day. (though i am becoming way more intrigued by bizarre lipstick colours, uh-oh)

[ music | drgn king, "wild night" ]

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

read up

o shit it's a book post!!!!

i mean, i get it. this kind of stuff is the blog equivalent of a cheap pop - listicles, etc. - but they work twofold in that 1) "top picks" blog posts are great when you have nothing else to write about, and 2) they're good conversation starters, because everyone has an opinion or a recommendation or both. (i've done a couple of book posts before; one for "cabin fever reads", one in 2011 for the best books i read that year, and so on)

but honestly, i've been writing a lot of ecommerce articles lately, and a lot of my research makes the note that consumers take their friends' recommendations more highly than anything else. and i know it's true - i'm definitely more likely to pick up a book if a friend has mentioned they loved it, or try out a beauty product if someone i know on twitter gushes about it. maybe i'm just easily led, but i prefer to think that my friends have good taste. so hopefully people also take my recommendations seriously as well, because i am always very serious about books.

here are five books i've read and loved lately:

the fireman, by joe hill
true story: i devoured this book in a day and a half, then immediately went back to page 1 and read the entire book again. i was that excited for a new joe hill novel that i basically did the reading equivalent of gorging before reading it again to actually taste it this time. here is my condensed 140-character review:

it's not exactly about the apocalypse, but rather what happens afterwards and how people can retain their spirit and humanity. and there's a lot of people bursting into flames. look, it's great, just read it.

the stand, by stephen king
given that the fireman has strong hints of the stand, i figured it was time to reread the original - and i always forget that a 1,500 page book is something of an undertaking. it's not my favourite of king's works, but it's a deep, intense read that's equal parts enthralling and terrifying. plus, if you read it after - or concurrently - with the fireman, you can pick up all the stealth references, which is a lot of fun. i've never read the shortened version (the book i have is the rereleased uncut/extended edition) and i've never seen the tv mini-series, but that's fine by me. the stand definitely stands on its own.

shrill: notes from a loud woman, by lindy west
man oh man, i think i've loved lindy west ever since i read her jezebel review of robocop, which brought me to tears from laughing so hard. i'm also always into feminism writing as well as autobiographies of strong, funny women (see also: why not me? by mindy kaling), which means that west's first book was right up my alley. her series of essays about surviving and thriving really resonated, and i'm still in awe over how she dealt (and presumably still deals) with online trolls. so many great life lessons to learn from lindy west.

every heart a doorway, by seanan mcguire
i've always been super into mcguire's work under her pen name mira grant (her newsflesh trilogy and symbiont triology are amazing examples of how to world-build), and i was already excited for her newest standalone novel because it was built around a theme i loved: the notion of children disappearing to other worlds, and what happens after they return to reality. it's not an overly expansive read, but it's immerse, with a memorable cast of highly original characters. i never knew how much i wanted a portal to a gothy dark world with a mad scientist until i read this book.

#girlboss, by sophia amoruso
a controversial pick! i know there's a lot of controversy around nasty gal these days, and some people find a certain amount of snarky irony in the content of sophia's book now, but i still admire her career path and feel like there's a lot to learn by reading about it. her story especially appeals to me because i know what it's like to feel aimless and careerless and unsure, and i can only hope i similarly strike gold with a hidden passion someday. in the meantime, i do recommend this book especially for millennial women in the workforce - some good lessons to be found here.

and that's it for book recos! leave me a comment or tweet me to send me your recommendations, since i read pretty much anything except for maybe giant dusty war novels.

in the meantime: zzzzzzzzzz

[ music | lana del rey, "music to watch boys to" ]

Saturday, June 11, 2016


behold! the summer of ice cream (so far):

(both sean's and mine, less you think i'm determined to give myself diabeetus)

if you're in toronto and you've never been to dutch dreams up at st. clair & bathurst (the location serving those ridiculous cones topped with cotton candy), then man. go go go. it's quirky and adorable and their ice cream is the besttttttt.

i figure it's an okay tradeoff given that i'm trying not to drink as much this summer. there's a good piece in now magazine this week about how more and more millennials are going teetotal, and while i myself wouldn't go that far (i really, really love red wine), it's still a good reminder that not everything needs to be an excuse to get hammed. i do enjoy my booze, but these days it's not great for my wallet or my waistline, so i have to limit it.

in the absence of wine right now, i'll give a shoutout to cold brew coffee. 'tis the season to inject coffee concentrate into my veins, preferably northwood's superior bottled cold brew. (if you're not near christie pits, then starbucks actually has a really good brew right now, but get it unsweetened or even half-sweet. then again, i prefer my coffee to not taste like dessert, so.)

another point unrelated to drinking but related to summer: sunscreen. just do it. i walk to my gym almost every day, and it's only a 20-25 minute walk (most of it in the shade), yet i still slap a layer of spf50 on my face and neck. yes, it can feel greasy and annoying, but it's worth saving your visage from wrinkles later on. (also make sure you cover up all your tattoos with either clothing or sunscreen - the sun is the enemy of our ink) i like neutrogena ultrasheer dry-touch spf50, but go with 30 if you're sensitive to white residue.

so looking back, i'm noticing that i didn't post anything last month, which isn't a huge surprise. nothing happened in may; at least, nothing worth blogging about, really. as i said to my mom, no news isn't good news - it's just no news. but i think back a lot to what i mentioned in my last blog post - that more and more people are claiming that "blogging is dead" - and it does absolutely feel like personal blogging has largely been phased out. it's true that these days, i do post a lot more in the shorter, more media-driven networks; i'm probably most prolific on twitter, followed by tumblr, then instagram (yes, those are all blatant plugs). so if you want to keep up more closely with my life - hi, ex-boyfriends! - those are the places to haunt.

still, i like to keep a written digital archive of my life for my own amusement. sometimes if life gets dull or depressing or whatever, it's fun for me to look back and read about my first wwe house show, or the final kill hannah concert, or my last days spent at the old family home, or even going way back to relive the sisters of mercy concert i went to back in 2008. (yes, those are all blatant plugs.)

i mean, it's swell that i have a readership and stuff, but i've only ever really blogged for me, so i can remember the good times (and even the bad). when i was a kid - like, 15-16 years old - with an "online diary," i used to carry around physical notebooks so i could scribble things down that i would blog later. that's how dedicated i was to preserving my life so i could recall it in the years to come. because you never know what might happen, and it may be handy to have an online time capsule of sorts.

honestly, though, if i ever do decide to shut down this blog, i'll post about it and let everyone know. i'm not much into just fading away and disappearing when it comes to my online work. a dead blog without a conclusion just seems lonely and sad to me.

enjoy this picture of adorable kittens sean and i got to play with last week (their names are barack and michelle):

[ music | kristin kontrol, "skin shed" ]

#Reverb16: Summer Lovin'

What do you love about the summer? Do you switch up your routine? What does summer mean to you?

to start, i'm gonna throw this over to an old tumblr ask of mine:

Seriously though, I don’t hate summer - there’s lots I like about it. I like flowers blooming and trees being on full display, and I like sundresses, and I like drinking on patios. But I especially like summer because it’s one of those seasons where you remember everything vividly – especially summers spent in your twenties. When I think back, I can’t even recall what I was doing with work or school or whatever else happened during the daytime – it was all just background noise to my actual life outside the office or classroom. 
To me, even now, summer is long warm nights where you feel like you’re going to live forever. It’s fairy lights and the spectacle of the big city and watching fireworks from rooftops, cigarettes smoked on balconies at 1 a.m., condensation drops on glasses of vodka soda, drunk and laughing with your friends as you stumble through downtown streets. It’s feeling like nothing else matters but that one moment in time, and that you can’t imagine life getting better than this. 
Summer nights are endless and timeless and they are the best part of the year.
I wish it wasn’t so friggin’ hot, though.

ain't all that the truth.

so that's what i think of when i think of summers past, and those are generally the times i remember whenever it rolls around again every year. i love a lot of the memories, and i get a warm fuzzy feeling at the thought of long evenings on patios and good times with friends. toronto is a phenomenal place to be in the summer, and there's always so much stuff going on. it's vibrant in a way that i can't imagine in many other cities.

counterpoint: the heat. it fucking sucks.

i hate being overheated, and unfortunately, my life seems to be set up for it. for one, my apartment doesn't have air conditioning, and i also live on the 18th floor, which means all the heat rises during the summer. having the windows open just lets in the hot air, and fans just blow it around. i absolutely cannot sleep when i'm overheated either - i need it to be cold in my bedroom in order to sleep properly - which makes me perpetually exhausted and cranky until about late september. it's no surprise that i'm a fall/winter girl.

for two, i have hyperhidrosis, which is legit one of the dumbest human afflictions. it means i sweat too much - not that i get smelly, but my armpits and feet are always soaked when it's hot out, and even when it's not. this also means that i end up being dehydrated quickly and easily in the summertime, which isn't a lot of fun.

my ideal:

no change to my routine, really, although it's extremely annoying to have to schedule your gym time and errands around thunderstorms that are constantly being predicted but only happen 40% of the time. i'm more and more convinced that meteorology is mostly unreliable witchcraft.

in conclusion: let it always be leather jacket weather.