Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tanzania Packing List (A.k.a. Why I'm Leaving You for 2 and 1/2 Weeks)

Where I'm off to. (It's East Africa)
Yes, you've read the title correctly, I'm leaving you for 2 1/2 weeks *ducks rotten vegetables*. But, I have a valid reason! I promise!
As a Zoology student, to complete your major you are required to participate in at least one field course, and I won the lottery and got my first choice of Tropical Ecology in African Ecosystems (elephants, and hyena and lions, oh my!). I mean who wouldn't want to go on a safari and camp in the Serengeti with all the wild animals? (Actually don't answer that question, I'm fairly sure most of you don't, especially due to the possible lack of running water). However, I thought I'd at least make an interesting packing post about my trip so you don't feel to much separation anxiety (who am I kidding? This is totally for my separation anxiety from you!)

My make-shift pillow. Because I don't have room to carry a full pillow I'm taking my travel pillow, and stuffing a t-shirt into it. Then I can have my travel pillow for the very long plane rides and still have something to sleep on at night. (And for anyone wondering, these totally work! I've been saved so many neck kinks because of this!).
Summer weight sleeping bag, yeah we're in tents, not sure if its a good thing or not at this point.

Self inflating, light weight mattress pad to sleep on, these are totally worth it. They cut down cold seeping up from the ground and make it so you can't feel pointy rocks digging as badly into your spine. :D.
Mosquito net treated with permethrin. Since insects, Mosquitoes especially carry malaria and other diseases it's important to have a net, even better to have one that repels them too.
Ear plugs so I can sleep even with Hyenas talking to each other at night (or more likely my fellow students, but I digress...); a soft sleep mask to block out light on the plane; a silk liner for my sleeping bag for extra warmth if I need it, and a eco-friendly dish wash, clothes wash, body wash, shampoo (all in one bitty bottle). The neat thing about it, other than all it's uses, is that it biodegrades really quick so it won't harm local wildlife.
Two, all natural 5 hour energy drinks (without the crazy, dangerous caffeine amount some drinks like Red Bull have); Spray waterproof sun screen (I'm gonna need it, we're hiking at least one 3-4 hour hike- bleh); a Nivea SPF 30 lip balm, and a Blister Block stick for my feet. I've read many great reviews for this, it's supposed to add a slip (without being greasy) to you skin so the friction that creates blisters doesn't happen. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out about their animal testing status, so please take note.
A whole bunch of double A batteries for my camera (because I've got no electricity for which to charge my rechargable ones); a mini binoculars with case and lens cloth; dust bags for my camera and lens, and a giant bag to put my backpack in so straps and sleeping bags, etc. don't get ripped off and lost at the airports.
My first-aid kit which includes bandages, sanitation wipes, polysporin (not pictured here), hand sanitizer (also not here), individual neosporin packages, and blister bandages. Also pictured are a package of 30 kirkland face wipes, to help remove sunscreen and sweat at the end of the day before my normal face routine. (Note: I bought the SPF 30 Blistex stick before I realized they tested on animals, sorry!)
Deep woods bug spray (I have a feeling, I'm going to be grateful I've got this!); Neutrogena SPF 100 Dry touch sunscreen with silica (to help reduce oily feeling) (Also, the SPF 100 claim is false, no sunscreen can currently go above 50, it's not chemically possible, but I figured what the heck, and I heard this formulation was the nicest feeling). I've also got After-Bite, in nifty pen form, and Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo in a spray can (because even if all of us are going to be without running water, I want to at least look semi-good, gosh darn it!)
My not so interesting (and therefore, not attention worthy for thieves) camera bag with my camera and telephoto lens inside. I'm hopeful for some awesome wildlife pictures! Shown again are the dust bags for the camera and lens themselves.
My wrist braces, because I've got carpal tunnel from being on here too much. Presented on a themed rug :D.
My Clarisonic Mia with charger (I'm hoping that when we're at the hotel the first couple days will allow the charge to last a good amount of time when we're without electricity! Maybe that's just wishful thinking...), Also my Murad face cleanser and my acne treatment gel for daytime (also by Murad).
My green Tilley hat, a light-weight hat that floats, washes and dries overnight, and protects from the sun with an SPF factor :D. On it are my well loved sunglasses with the kinda dorky glasses string so they don't get lost; another facial sunscreen, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain (Oil-free, with SPF 20, so far I love this- review after I get back!), because I really hate my crappy skin so I want some coverage; and finally Melatonin, a natural sleep aid that I'm going to be using to try and overcome jet lag (recommended by the pharmacist).
My miniature backpack for day trips, to hold water bottle, money, my field notebook, sunscreen and first aid kit.
A blank notebook, so when I'm bored I can try and write up a couple make-up reviews, some novels, a magazine for the plane and some granola bars (to supplement my diet, because I don't eat red meat and they told me they might have trouble accommodating that, so snack food).
And to shove it all in my comically large backpack (which literally dwarfs me!) Not included in the pictures because I've been running around like a loony for the last couple days are: hairbrush, mini toothpaste and travel tooth brush, all the medication needed for travel (i.e. malaria pills) and enough over the counter medication to supply a small pharmacy (I like to be prepared....), travel clothes (light weight and breathable), and I'm sure enough other things to completely freak me out because I can't for the life of me remember anything at the moment. (Ohh, aftersun!)

Anyways, I hope this was at least relatively interesting! If it isn't, I apologize, and hope to provide you with our regular programming when I return. But, while you wait....

So, what can you do while I'm gone?

  • check out past posts
  • Explore some of my fellow bloggers blogs in the links at the bottom of the page
  • Leave comments for me when I get back (maybe with ideas on what you'd like to see more of on Hebridean Sprite Beauty)
  • Become a follower (delighting me when I return!)
  • Run off and write a story about Mony Python bunnies in Africa
So, until I return, much love (and wish me luck!)~ Krista (Hebridean Sprite) *hugs for all*

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NOTD: Nubar Gem

Nubar Gem from the Prisms Collection
After seeing numerous swatches of this online I caved one day and ordered a bottle online from ebay. This polish is the most fantastic and unique one I own. With true holographic glitter (that usually appears green or silver) and a taupe base I was a little warey of ordering it, afraid I'd not like it in real life. However, this is not the case and its as fantastical as it is online. As I said the base colour is taupe which makes it neutral enough to wear to work or school, but the neat thing about this is the duochrome effects. In some light it appears silver, others, mauve, lilac, violet and dark brown, all with a subtle fine glitter through out to add interest. Below are some pictures in different lighting to try and capture some of the effects.

I like the formula of the nubar, which only needed two coats to be opaque but was quite thin/runny with the first coat which is a little intimidating due to my past experience being with mainly thick formulas. I do however, like the formula, I just needed a little self adjustment time :D. In other blogs I was told that the glitter is quite rough, but I haven't found this, yes you can feel there is glitter but it's not huge chunks, nor is it that rough when dry. I fixed any texture feel with a top coat which completely eliminated the problem. I've also found it has lasted quite well with very limited tip wear (3 days- great for me since I'm hard on my nails!) 
See! Greenish glitter! So neat!
Overall, I'm adoring this nail polish, I'm eager to check out more colours by the brand as they see to strive for unique polishes as well as being Big Three Free and vegan. 

Rating: 9/10-> Lost one point for slight texture and very thin formula.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ecotools Swap

From the Ecotools Website- the highly raved for Retractable Kabuki Brush
Ecotools is my favourite brush company. The brushes are soft, durable, soft, apply product well and soft. Did I mention how luxuriously soft they are? 'Cause I literally pet my face with these at times. Plus, not only do these work well, they are 100% cruelty free, as they use synthetic bristles made of specialized plastic (which make them easy to clean and less prone to holding bacteria), as well as recycled aluminum ferrules and bamboo handles (bamboo is extremely quick growing and therefore easily sustainable).
From the Ecotools Site
Some of my personal favourites are the five piece kit with the blush brush, mini kabuki, crease brush, concealer brush (that I use for eyeshadow) and a little hemp bag to carry it all in. I also like their eyeshadow brush and other popular ones include the bronzer brush, the angled liner brush, and the retractable kabuki (pictured first). 
From the Ecotools Swap page
On top of this, Ecotools is trying to help the environment by giving you coupon incentives to switch over to their brand. You send in your old products, and they'll send you vouchers for Ecotool products. For all the details (or just more on Ecotools itself) check out the Look Gorgeous Love Green Site here.

Mac Venomous Villains Collection

She Who Dares eyeshadow duo (from Temptalia)
Mac Venomous Villains has hit the blogs! Or to be specific, hit the big time blogs with PR backing lol. In other words not me. However, Temptalia definitely does have the goods up for a look (or two or three!) and she has it all! Recommendations on what to get, swatches, a video from the launch and pictures galore! So, head over to Temptalia for the complete low-down on this upcoming Mac collection! (My personal favourite, is the Malificent (pictured above) section! Love the purple and green theme.)

Check it out HERE! :D.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guerlain Winter 2010 Collection

I like how the bee on the powder looks like a Fleur de Lis in the mirror.
(Image from British Beauty Blogger)
What!? The winter collection in August! I had the same reaction, but I figured I'd show you the pictures and let you see the stunning packaging and shades anyways. Especially because they don't look particularly winter-themed.
The first picture features the new Ombre Eclat 4 Shades Velours D'Or with a black liner, a shimmery gold shadow, and a lighter and darker two purple eye shadow shades. The top of the compact is embossed in an arabesque design in addition to the beautiful print on the powders inside for 37 british pounds. Beside, the quad is a double ended mascara called: Le 2 De Guerlain Volume High Shine Mascara Volume 13 Or 2 Nuit for 25.50 British pounds. The unique thing about this mascara is that in addition to the black side, there is a copper-gold as well, which I think would be a neat look every once in a while.
All three of these lipstick shades look lovely!
(Image from British Beauty Blogger)
The entire collection is inspired by gold and the Guerlain Bee, which I think is a nice touch (it certainly looks very high end, in my opinion!)
Another meteorites (with bee on top this time) and a purple tinted pressed powder with bees.
The famous ballz in this collection is officially named Meteorites Perles D'Or Illuminating Powder, with pink, lavender and beige/gold balls inside for 35 British pounds. The other in the image; Meteorites Poudre D'Or Exceptional Pressed Powder; is a stunning mix of beige/gold illuminating powder accented with lavender, pink and white bees, all in a white gold compact. Unfortunately, this costs a wallet destroying 107 British pounds (OUCH!). Though, at least the compact is refillable (if it's made of gold it darn well better be refillable!).

I particularly like the distressed parchment look in the background of the photos. 

Lastly, but certainly not least, is the spray Or Imperial Sublime Radiant Powder Face and Body, which can be sprayed over face and neck to delicately create a shimmer on the skin; and Midnight Star Collect D'Or which is the long cylinder that contains little one use tubes of a cream illuminator. The Midnight Star D'Or costs 39 British pounds, and the stunningly packaged Imperial Powder (in the neat old fashioned perfume spray bottle! *squee* costs a whopping 48 British pounds *sad face*.

All in all I think the jewel purples and rich gold is a lovely colour theme and that the collection is beautifully done. However, as with all Guerlain products, the price packs a punch (and thus they will forever be cemented in the High End category).

What do you think? Which items catch your attention?

(Note: Images and collection information from British Beauty Blogger site, because Guerlain does not rate me even worth notice for collection information :P)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

NOTD: Nyx Fire 136 Polish

The polish bottle.

This nail polish has quickly become one of my favourites. A stunning peach-pink base with a green and blue duochrome it adds colour without being in your face. In fact I’d almost classify it as a neutral. Perfect for spring and summer, this shade reminds me of a fire opal, which I suppose makes sense because NYX named it 136, Fire. At times, it also looks like mother-of-pearl inside sea shells as well.
Outside, ooh pretty green flash!
The formula for this is good, being thin enough you can easily apply a coat, but due to it’s high pigment, one coat is almost enough for an opaque nail. Unfortunately, I did get some minor bubbling, and it took a while to dry even with the quick dry topcoat, but it wears well. I particularly like the short handle on the brush for this, and I would gladly look into getting more NYX polishes.
Made in the USA, the bottle holds 0.5 oz or 14ml. It’s DBP free, and NYX mentions that it’s their professional salon formula. The small bottle makes it easy to pack so you can take it with you on vacation (which is where I put it on :D).
Outside, showing all the imperfections I made *hides face*
Shown is two coats of the polish, with Revlon’s 2 in 1 Base and Top Coat as the base, and China Glaze’s Quick Dry Top Coat on top.

Overall, I do really like this polish, especially because it reminds me of my recently passed Grandmother, who was fond of peachy-pink corals like the base of this one.

Rating: 7/10 -> This lost points only for longevity of polish on the nail, and not being big three free.

Review: Mac Chromographic Pencil NC15/NW20

Chromographic Pencil with Box

This pencil was recently released during the Pret et Prepier collection but is permanent from the Pro Mac store. This super creamy pencil I love using mainly on my bottom waterline. I’ve also used it as a subtle brow highlight, or for discolouration but it’s not really a concealer, so I don’t recommend buying it for that purpose alone. What I love this for is to make my eyes look larger, and healthier. This is because it covers the pink inner rim, and gives the illusion that its not as large, blending the line between the white of the eye, the rim and the lashes. Here’s some picture’s of me not wearing it and then wearing it.
Eye without pencil on waterline

Eye without pencil again.

Eye with pencil on waterline.

On waterline again.

Here's a look at the pencil on both eyes.

Overall, I love this. I love the finish it gives to a look. I love how little amount of product it needs per application. I like how portable it is. The only downfall is that it tends to migrate into my lash line after some wear, but it still gives a similar effect, especially if you just smudge it with your finger so its not a harsh line. So really this holds up well on my oily, watery lid. I highly recommend getting one of these pencils in your corresponding skin tone (or something close, a tone lighter really won’t make too much of a difference- lighter would be better as the idea is to lighten up and make the eye bigger, darker would make the eye smaller, and a close match makes it look natural).
Here's a swatch on my NC15 hand.
Close-up on the pencil end (nice wood look pencil shaft)

Pencil tip (it's been used), and amount of product in total.
Chromographic pencils are available in NC15/NW20, NW25/NC30, NC42/NW35, Pure white, Black, and ten other colour shades. It costs $17.50 CND.  And though the price is a bit steep, I will buy another once I’m out because I love the finish to a look it gives. Though I’ve used it at least fifteen times and I’ve not needed to sharpen it yet. 
And here's a full picture with the pencil included in the full look.
Rating: 9/10 -> this lost one point for the traveling it did after some wear time, other than that I love it! (And of course that traveling isn't too much so it's easily fixed).

So, does this sound like something you'd like? Leave a comment! :D

Friday, August 13, 2010

Skunk Smell

I don't know about anyone else, but to me an attractive trait is to smell nice, or at the very least not smell bad. The other night, my little dog Peppermint, fondly nicknamed Pepi, decided he would play with the visiting skunk at 4:00 in the morning and so promptly pestered my mom into letting him outside. I'm sure you understand the wonderful connotations of this as he returned quickly with a large yellow patch and squinty eyes. So, in case you love animals and also want to smell good even if they decide to become Pepe Le Pew, here's the best formula I've come across to getting rid of the stink.
From Google Images

For the Dog you'll need (all available at any drug store)
- 1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- Liquid Dish Soap (the gentler the better)
- Rubber or Latex Gloves
- An Open air tub

1. Mix all the ingredients together in the open air tub, it will fizz this is the desired effect because the bubbles are oxygen being released to powerfully remove the smell molecules.
2. Immediately place dog in the tub and soak/massage the mixture into their coat for at least 5 minutes. Keep out of their eyes, nose, mouth, and ears or it will cause them pain. For the head you can carefully apply or multiple websites online suggest gentle douche solution as an alternative. (I've not used this, so I can't vouch for the effectiveness).
3. Wash them off with clean water (like with a spray hose as I did). And Presto clean little white dog again :D.

NOTE: Do NOT mix the solution together in a closed container, the release of oxygen will cause it to explode (not like fire explode, but like shaken pop can explode)! Also, it won't work if you store it, the solution will either explode from the storage container, or not work at all- it's the fizzyness that makes it work!

My recommendation is to hose down as much as you can with water and soap, however the new Febreeze works fairly well for furniture or rugs (though I do suggest airing them outside if you can). Any remaining smell can be captured with the remaining baking soda set out in open dishes around, mixed up every once in a while. The larger the dish and the more spread out the baking soda the more effective it will be (It's a Surface Area thing, I won't bore you with the details).

So, even though this isn't really a cosmetic post for you, it can be for your dog. (Unless of course you decided to go out and visit Mr. Black & White I suppose, lol.) Useful? Not useful? Comments are always welcome!
Peppermint, up close and adorable!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just Because It's Pretty

Just Because It's Pretty: Honey Edition!
I don't know about anyone else, but I love honey. I love the smell of honey, the taste, the pattern of beeswax and honey comb and the moisturizing/ antibacterial benefits it can have for your skin. So, today, I present two honey comb themed items for the Just Because It's Pretty series. (I was going to upload a review, but I left my iphone cord at home, so I can't upload the multitude of pictures I've taken. I'm going to be writing up reviews/posts and posting a bunch when I get the cord back in a week.)

First Up: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca Eau de Toilette
Image from Sephora Site
I chose this due to the unique top of this perfume. The lovely gold honey comb really brings to mind hazy summer days and meadows. It's also why I chose this particular scent from the line, as Sephora describes it as: 
"Herba Fresca is like a barefoot stroll on a summer morning through a garden wet with dew, the scent of fresh cut grass filling the air with each step. A touch of mint, a sparkle of citrus, and a tingle of wild flowers, Herba Fresca evokes a feeling of pure freshness in direct contact with nature."
Sounds lovely to me! This retails for $58 USD, and holds 2.5 oz of liquid.

Second is: Mac's Naked Honey Hi-Light Powders in Honey Light (lighter shade) and Golden Nectar
Google Images
*drool* These beautiful shades came out in a previous limited edition Mac collection, but they are still lovely to look at! In a warm golden brown and a beige both colours came with a honey comb pattern imprinted on them and a gold sparkly overspray. Both have a pearl-esque effect to them to create a subtle shimmer/ highlight when worn. Honestly these pictures make me want to smell it, in hopes it is scented like beeswax!  Heres some more pictures.
Honey comb on honey comb lol! Here you can see the true colour of the powder without overspray in the centre. 
The Mac image, showing both powders without overspray.

When they were released these powders retailed at $29.50 CND, and holds 10 grams of product. I think the lighter of the two would work for all skin tones, and the darker, would be great for medium to darker tones as a bronzer or contour shade.

So, what do you think Honey? (Sorry I couldn't resist the pun! :P)