Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dream Vanity Space

I have a rather different than average style, so when Arhaus encouraged me to possibly do a post about my dream vanity, I was worried about not being able to do it justice. However, I decided to take the plunge and I'm really pleased with what I've come up with.

At the moment I don't have a vanity area. I sit on my rug in my room in front of my mirrored closet doors with all my make-up spread around and do my face up there. It works but it isn't very stylish nor organized. This post is instead all about what I'd want for an area to do my make-up in if money was no object and I could have anything I wanted.

Though I searched for quite awhile I couldn't find anything that fit my preferences exactly for what I would want in a vanity. As I stated before I have preferences for items that aren't the current fashion. Mainly I like traditional and vintage pieces that are unique but don't look distressed or old. I really dislike the look of chipped paint, or the idea that the drawer on might have a half rusted handle.

In addition to a vintage look I wanted practicality- meaning a good amount of storage. I would love to have an area that has ample divided storage for everything. A section for lip products, for eyeshadow palettes, for blush etc.
This vanity is one of my favourites of the ones that appealed to me. I love the rich turquoise colour. I especially love the contrast of the deep stained wood tabletop against the turquoise. I just think that's so eye catching. I also really adore the shape of the mirror, as well as the multiple levels of table space. Personally however, for me it would need some more storage and I'm not a fan of wheeled feet on furniture. Which brings me to my next vanity choice.

From: Eloquence inc
I love the desk part of this vanity. I love all the drawers for storage, the decorative swirls outlining the drawers and on the legs. The delicate shape of the legs, even the simple drawer handles. I'm not a fan of the mirror or the colour but otherwise the bottom half is perfect. If I could combine the first vanity with this one I'd have my perfect vanity.

From: Wanelo

This is a bit of a cheat, but I couldn't pass up on including it. If I couldn't find an attached mirror that I liked I'd get something like this. I love the feel of this. I love the wrought iron work and the rose garden theme. Just stunning. And besides you can never have too many mirrors, right?

From: LampsPlus
I picked out two lighting options for my perfect vanity area, mainly because I liked both, but also because having sufficient light is so important when trying to do your make-up. My first pick is the above pictured mini-chandelier. I didn't even know they had mini-chandeliers until I started looking at Arhaus' lighting pages, but I love the idea of this. It doesn't matter if you have a small space you can still add instant glamour and class. The only thing I'd change about this chandelier would be to make it black metal to match the rose garden mirror or to set off the dark stain of the wood in the stained top of the vanity.

From: Arhaus
The second lamp I chose was this floor lamp. I just love the metalwork stand. The nice thing about a floor lamp is that you can bring light to darker corners and such- you don't need the electrical to already be in place like you do with an overhead light, all you need is an outlet nearby, or possibly an extension cord. 

From: KarensChicNShabby Etsy
I adore the style of this chair. Not only does it look neat with all the curves to it but it looks comfortable! I'm someone who needs back support so I love the full back on this, plus it looks like it has a decent amount of cushioning to it as well. I'd stain the wood the same as the vanity top and change to fabric to match the turquoise of the vanity. 
From: Arhaus
I'd finish the whole vanity area off with some more storage. I really like this triple basket stand from Arhaus. It's practical and I like the style of it. Plus I like that it's partially transparent as that makes it easier to choose amongst items that are similar. It's also a great spot for products that I use everyday so I don't have to dig through drawers.

From: AngelFishIndustries Etsy
Last but not least is this wooden makeup brush holder. I have so many brushes and it helps a lot if I can keep them all in one place. I like the simple natural wood grain of this, and larger to smaller hole gradient. I also like the many holes this has as well as the depth of the holes as I can store shorter brushes in this. The ledge on the front is a nice touch too. 

So, that's it, my dream vanity space. If you're interested I created a Pinterest Board Here that shows a couple vanities and other items that I liked the look of for a perfect space to get ready in. What about you, do you have a dream vanity area? What do you currently use? Any pieces that really call out to you? Let me know!

Disclaimer: Though I was given the idea from Arhaus to do this post, I did not receive anything in compensation for including them. The only benefit is to hopefully get to a larger audience. None of the links on this post are affiliate links. 


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Skincare: Tamanu Oil

Source: Lucky Vitamin
I purchased Tamanu Oil a while ago, mainly because it is recommended for acne-prone skin. Tamanu oil is a nut oil from a tree that grows in Polynesia and Southeast Asia. It takes the entirety of a single trees annual production, 100 kilograms to produce only 5 kilograms of oil. It's time consuming too, as the nuts are put in the sun for 2 months and must be protected from moisture from rain or humidity during this time. The nuts when they are dark and sticky with oil are then cold-pressed, producing the typical thick yellow-green oil.

Tamanu oil is supposed to be good for most skin conditions. It's got a comedogenic rating of 2 out of 5 (with 0 being the lowest and least likely to break someone out). For me, I was worried about this as I have extremely acne-prone skin. So what I recommend and what I did was a patch test. A patch test is where you take a small amount of the oil and put it on your skin in an area that will break-out but currently is clear. You do this daily for two weeks in the same spot. It usually takes about this long before you'll see a breakout form. Another good thing about a patch-test is you'll see if you have a sensitivity or an allergy to it too (you'll likely have a much quicker reaction time if so).

Tamanu oil has a fatty acid profile of:
  • 29-38% Linoleic Acid
  • 34-42% Oleic Acid
  • 13% Stearic Acid
  • 12% Palmitic Acid
  • 0.2% Linolenic Acid
Fatty Acids are the components that make up oils. All oils have different fatty acid profiles with different effects on the skin. Linoleic Acid for example is another name of Omega-6. An awesome article about the fatty acid profile of oils and acne-prone skin  is here by Minimalist Beauty. Another really great article about oils and fatty acids is this one by XO Vain.

What really drew me to Tamanu oil is it's use to lighten acne-scars. It's also supposed to have anti-bacterial properties, pain-relieving properties and regenerative properties. It's great on other healing cuts and scars too, reducing the time it takes to heal and the redness and pigmentation of the area.

It's best to store Tamanu oil in a cool dark place, I personally like the fridge. This will help increase the shelf-life of the oil. Over time all oils react with air and light and high heat and eventually go bad or rancid. This is usually characterized by a change in smell, normally Tamanu oil smells like a mix between butterscotch, nuts and bullion cubes- an odd scent but not an unpleasant one. Often when oils go bad they will smell like crayons. Tamanu is a fairly stable oil however and it lasts even longer in the fridge where it will go to a waxy-solid consistency wise.

How about anyone else, do you use Tamanu oil? Any other facial oils you use?

Mountain Rose Herbs
Holistic Health Herbalist
Garden of Wisdom

Monday, January 30, 2017

New Becca Soft Light Blurring Powder- Swatch and First Impression

When I was at Sephora the other day I took a look at the new Becca Soft Light Blurring Powder that is out for spring. It's $38 USD or $46 CND, and it's a powder that is supposed to be a universally flattering shade named Golden Hour. The powder is supposed to blur imperfections, eliminate shine, add extra dimension to the face, and add a subtle radiance. It sounds counterintuitive to have it both eliminate shine and add it, but I suppose it's possible.

The packaging on this powder is huge. I have small hands, but I did find this slightly difficult to get a grip around. It's a large transparent plastic rectangle with a slightly odd opening mechanism for the lid. You turn it side-ways than pull up, if you continue to turn it it will close again.
The powder is a peach-gold colour that is finely milled and is dispensed through a sifter. It felt light-weight when I swatched it.
Left bare skin, Right swatched Golden Hour Soft Light Blurring Powder
On the skin the orange tint to the powder goes away leaving instead a lovely light gold. In the swatch above I layered the product a couple times so it could be seen in a photograph, but I think it could be lightly applied for an all-over glow. Just keep in mind it will be glowy- this definetly isn't as satin as their glow metre depicted on the display indicates. 

I think this product might be good if you're looking for a loose all-over glow or a less intense highlight shade. In purpose it reminded me of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders- though I don't know how it would perform in comparison. For me personally I liked the powder but I don't know if I'd like it all over my face- I might have to try that sometime to see if it really does blur imperfections, and to see how much glow it actually imparts there versus what my hand showed. 

Have you tried this product? What do you think? Does it both eliminate shine and add radiance? Let me know! :)

Disclaimer: The widget at the top contains an affiliate link, and brings you to the page on Sephora. I get a whole 5 cents if you click it. Mainly though the picture is there so you can see a professional shot of the product.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills- Matte eyeshadow swatches

When I was asking around about people's favourite matte eyeshadow formula, Anastasia Beverly Hills was one that was brought up again and again. And I've never tried them! So I decided I needed to rectify this immediately and went off to swatch and play with these at Sephora.

Each shade below was on my bare skin, with the pigment built up on my finger than swatched in the same spot twice.

L-R: Baby Cakes, Buon Fresco, Stone, Fawn, Ash Brown, Burnt Orange
L-R: Burnt Orange, Sienna, Noir, Custard, Warm Taupe, Caramel, Hot Chocolate, Smoke
L-R: Dusty Rose, Fresh, Birkin, Blazing, Orange Soda, Red Earth
Overall they are pretty impressive. Some of the shades swatched better than others (generally the darker shades were better than the lighter ones). Blazing in particular had fantastic pigmentation, as did Burnt Orange, Hot Chocolate and Smoke. Noir the matte black I'd pass on as it wasn't that great in terms of pigmentation and creamy texture.

The only shade they didn't have from the matte shades was deep plum, the whole tester was missing, making me think someone likely swiped it. I did include Dusty Rose in the swatches even though it's labeled a velvet because it didn't have any of the sheen of the other velvet shades- it looks matte to me.

Do you have any of the Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows? Any favourites from the line?

Disclaimer: The widget link at the top is an affiliated link. I get five whole cents if you click it. Mainly I'm using it for the nice professional photo.

Interested in seeing more swatches from Anastasia Beverly Hills? You can see the Duochromes from the singles swatched here.

Anastasia Beverly Hills- Duo-chrome Single Eyeshadows Swatches

This is the second group of swatches from Anastasia Beverly Hills single eyeshadow line. Previously I swatched all the matte shades from the singles in the permanent line, you can see that post here. Today is the smallest group of swatches, the four duo-chrome shades.
L-R: Electro, Iridescent Purple, China Rose, Dragonfly
The four duo-chrome shades are Electro a light cool-pink with purple reflect, Iridescent Purple a medium to dark cool purple with a slightly lighter purple sheen, China Rose a gorgeous copper-pink with light orange reflect, and Dragonfly a blue teal with green-teal reflect. Of the four shades China Rose was the most pigmented and rich. Electro also had good pigmentation and both Iridescent Purple and Dragonfly needed to be built up more.

L-R: Dragonfly, Iridescent Purple, Electro, China Rose
Here are the four shades watched on my fingertips, to give  a better idea of the duo-chrome each shade has. 

Of the four I would highly recommend China Rose, it went on really well in the swatch and had such great pigmentation. None of the shades are ones that are truly unique in the cruelty-free market, (Urban Decay comes to mind. If anyone is interested I can do comparisons at some point) but all are nice shades.

Do you have any ABH eyeshadows? Any favourites?

Disclaimer: The widget link at the top is an affiliate link. I get a whole 5 cents if you click it. Mainly it's there so you can see the Dragonfly eyeshadow professionally photographed.