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April 06, 2014

More Inane Questions!

Yes, that's right. I'm going to answer more questions that I found on tumblr. At this point, it's not so much for your reading pleasure, but so I can feel like I'm twelve again, answering questionnaires at recess.  Here we go.

1. First thing you wash in the shower.
Definitely my face. If I wanted to freak you out, I would answer, "I soap my buttocks to begin with . . ."

2. Are you more of a coffee drinker or an alcohol drinker?
I am a crazy coffee drinker. Now of course I'm a university student, so obviously I partake in my fair share of alcohol drinking; but I NEED coffee to make it through each day.

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
Umm, no. Enough said.

4. Do you plan outfits?
Most definitely. It's rare now that I dress spontaneously. Unless you count throwing on sweatpants after classes "spontaneous".

5. Favourite movie ever?
Oh, jesus. Could there be a more difficult question to answer? I'll compromise and list my top five (not in order): Moulin Rouge, Beetlejuice, Dazed and Confused, Pulp Fiction, and Ace Ventura (not even kidding with that one). 

6. How many countries have you visited?
Sadly, only two: The U.S. and Ireland. Although I've only been to two, I've travelled quite a bit around Canada, and have done a lot of travelling throughout the States. I'm planning to study abroad for a summer or semester in the next couple of years, preferably in Scotland or Britain, so hopefully that number will go up!

7. What is your zodiac sign?
I was born in May, so I am a Taurus.

8. What are you listening to?
Right now I'm listening to "Scorn" by Portishead. 

9. What is your favourite time of day?
I generally like early morning - like six o'clock - or late at night - anytime after eight o'clock. Being in the sun can sometimes give me a rash/hives, so I prefer times of low level sun intensity, and night time. I know, I sound like a vampire.

10. Lefty or Righty?
My right hand is dominant in writing, but I can write legibly with my left, and use my left for many tasks instead of my right. I wear my watch on my right hand, and have to use my left hand to open bottles and jars because it's stronger. I'm not totally ambidextrous, but I think that I'm closer to being ambidextrous than I am to being completely right-handed.

11. What are your favourite bands/singers?
This is ridiculously difficult, but some of my favourites are Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, Mazzy Star, Hole, The Rolling Stones,Sonic Youth, The Beatles,  Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, The Cranberries, Heart, R.E.M., The Tragically Hip . . . god, there are so many more, but I'll leave it at that for now.

12. Weird talents?
I can roll my tongue into a shamrock, and can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. I am also a great braider. Plus, I was always able to forge my friends' parents' signatures in highschool. 


Ok, I will conclude my little Q&A session! Maybe someone will enjoy reading my answers as much as I enjoyed answering the questions . . . ? 

Cheers,
                  Anna xx

March 26, 2014

Basic Bitch

Even though I am always busy with plenty of assignments to write, and numerous novels to read, I always find myself procrastinating by reading articles in magazines and online about beauty. Beauty is just one of my obsessions; it ranks right up there with Pumpkin scented candles, Billy Corgan, and Peanut Butter. One of my favourite things to read about are daily routines: what people rub into their skin, paint on their lips, and lather their hair with. So, since I am so curious about daily beauty practices, I thought that I would record mine, and hopefully it will appeal to others like me. 

Skincare:
To start, I'll explain a little bit about my skin type and the products I use everyday, as well as what I use when my skin is particularly finicky. My skin is extremely dry and flaky, super sensitive, prone to redness and hormonal breakouts. I've never had a problem with acne, but in times of stress, and when my period is approaching I usually get a few angry blemishes. 

Morning: Every day when I wake up, I wash my face with La Roche-Posay's "Physiological Foaming Water". The product is designed for sensitive skin, and is very gentle on my fragile skin. I usually use about one or two pumps, and massage it all over my face (avoiding my eyes!). After about thirty seconds, I wash it off using cold water. Then I moisturize with Clinique's "Moisture Surge" in the gel-cream formula, rubbing it all over my face, but focusing on my nose (which is the most dry area of my face). I then let the moisturizer soak into my skin before applying any makeup - five minutes usually does the trick!

Night Time: After a long day of wearing makeup I really like to pamper my skin before bed so that it has time to recover. First I remove my makeup using the Garnier Skin Naturals "Fresh Cleansing Cloths". I know that lots of beauty bloggers caution against using wipes to remove makeup, but I find these really effective, and they're the gentlest on my sensitive skin and eyes. After wiping all of my makeup off, I then use an exfoliator. I tend to switch up what I use but currently I've been using St. Ives "Apricot Scrub" for sensitive skin. It's incredibly gentle, but definitely helps to slough off all of the dead skin. If my skin feels particularly grimy, I use my Foaming Water with my Clarisonic. After exfoliation/cleansing, I then rinse my face with cold water and pat it dry with a clean towel. Then I apply the Burt's Bees "Natural Anti-Blemish Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment" with my finger to any ongoing blemishes, or spots that are threatening to become pimples. It can really sting if you put it on an open or aggravated blemish, so use it with caution! Despite the stinging, and kind of strong smell, I really love this product and would recommend it to anyone! After that, I apply a generous layer of Clinique's "Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer", or if my skin is terribly dry or aggravated, I use Clinque's "Moisture Surge Overnight Mask". 

Makeup:

Face:  After I've let my moisturizer sink in and dry, I start with concealer. My favourite concealer to use for everyday is Revlon's "ColorStay Concealer" in the shade 'Fair'. It comes in a tube with a sponge applicator on the end of a wand, and is very easy to blend. The colour match is the best I have ever been able to find, so for anyone with fair, neutral toned skin, this may work for you too! I try to focus my concealer on scars and red spots, and try to use it minimally. I find that blending concealer is easiest to do by gently tapping at the area with my middle finger, blurring the edges and pressing it into the skin. If I have any really persistent spots, or scars that are still visible, I use Bourjois' "Healthy Mix" concealer in shade '51 Light Radiance'. This concealer is really great for covering problem areas, but I find it a little too heavy for my whole face, so I only use it to layer on really bad scars or bad blemishes. After concealing, I dust Mac's "Mineralize Skinfinish Natural" in the shade 'Light', all over my face with a large fluffy brush, focusing on my T-Zone. If I have a bad blemish, I will use a small and clean eyeshadow brush to pat the powder onto the concealer, to set it and make sure the blemish is completely covered. Next I use a very light bronzer to contour my cheeks slightly with an angled brush. The contour palette that I use most often is Korres' "Face Contouring Powder Trio" in 'Santorini'. In the palette there is a highlighter, rose blush, and a light bronze contour colour. I use the light bronzer on an angled brush to lightly dust the colour on the hollows of my cheeks, blending upwards to my temple. Since I'm quite pale, I try to use a really light hand so the contouring doesn't appear too dark or too severe - I prefer it to look natural. Next, I dust blush on the apples of my cheeks, blending out to my hairline. My two all time favourite blushes that I use as my go-to colours are NARS "The Multiple" in 'Maui' and a powder blush from Mac in 'Dainty'. 'Maui' is a really pretty rose shade with a hint of shimmer, so it makes me look flushed and slightly dewy. 'Dainty' is a really pretty shade between pink and apricot and instantly perks my skin up. After blush, I like to use a clean powder brush to go over my contouring and blush, making sure that everything blends into my skin really well and looks natural.

Eyes: I tend to change up my eye makeup everyday from winged liner, to only mascara, to 90s matte grey shadow. But my standard go to is a quick swipe of either navy or dark green liner and mascara. To start, I use an eyeshadow brush with my Mac Mineralize powder on both my lid and under eye to conceal any dark circles, and blur all of my blue and purple veins on my lid. Next, I grab either a navy liner like Stila's "Smudge Stick Waterproof Liner" in 'Blue Ribbon', or a green liner like Smashbox's "Cream Eye Liner Artist Pencil" in 'Antique Gold', focusing the liner on the outer 2/3 of my upper lashline. To make sure the liner isn't too severe, I use my ring finger to lightly smudge the liner to make it appear softer. For everyday I tend to avoid using liner on my bottom lashes. Next, I use the Sephora Eyelash Curler, clamping down as close to the roots as possible, pumping the curler slightly. I usually have to repeat this on each eye a couple of times because my lashes are long, but super straight! Then I use Elizabeth Arden's "Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara" in 'Black' to coat my blonde lashes. I use the standard 'wiggle' and drag method on my lashes, and tend to focus on the outer lashes so they look feathery. I love the Elizabeth Arden mascara because it really doesn't clump, and it leaves my lashes really soft, so they aren't hard and flaky. It almost feels as if there isn't anything on them, which is always nice. I don't use this mascara on my bottom lashes because it does tend to smudge after a couple of hours, so I switch to Clinique's "High Impact Mascara" in 'Black' for the bottom. I brush a very light layer on my bottom lashes, again focusing on the outer corners. If there are any clumps, I use a brow comb to brush them out. After my lashes, I fill in my brows lightly with an angled brush and Chanel's "Perfect Brows", using the blonde shade. I inherited this old palette from my mother, so I have no idea if it's still available or what the price is, but it is a very nice product. Then I brush through my  brows with a spooly brush and use a bit of Vaseline in the place of brow gel - I like my brows to stay in place, but also stay soft and malleable. 
A look at what my eyes look like on the daily.

Lips: My lips are already fairly pigmented and full, so I usually leave them untouched, Though, if I want something a bit more polished, I absolutely love Clinique's cult classic "Almost Lipstick" in 'Black Honey'. The colour is so sheer, and looks like your natural lips, but on crack! I tend to apply it to the centre of my bottom lip, then smack my lips together to blend it, and it looks super pretty and natural. I've also recently discovered Elizabeth Arden's "Lip Protectant Stick Sheer Tint" in 'Berry'. It is in a tube and looks exactly like your traditional lipstick, but it is basically a tinted lip balm, with an SPF - SCORE! The colour that I have is a really pretty rosy red colour, and when I wear it it looks like I just ate some strawberries. So pretty! I apply it in the same way that I do the Almost Lipstick for a really natural look. 

Well, that's it for my daily skin and makeup routine. I tend to lean towards a more natural look for everyday, but when I'm feeling fancy or bored I usually amp it up with a darker lip or a winged liner, or super thick lashes and heavier brows. Hopefully you may be inspired to check out some of my favourite products and give them a try too! 

Cheers,
                  Anna xx

March 12, 2014

Midnight Rider

Well, I suppose that I have failed once again to write a post that I had set out to do . . . Whoops! To appease my own conscience, I will instead post my latest 8tracks mix, "Midnight Rider".
This mix is a collection of songs that always have struck me as perfect for going on a nighttime drive. Some nights, when you're too restless to let your head lay on the pillow, you just need to be out in the midnight air, driving through the deserted town. So, here are my favourite songs to go night driving to. Hopefully you'll enjoy them as much as I do!





Cheers,
                  Anna xx

March 01, 2014

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer

Yet another post about my recent activity on 8tracks. I would apologize for the shameless self-promotion, but I feel as though it's arbitrary at this point!
So, my new three mixes are part of a serial, all about the glory of the good old School Dance. As I say in my description of these mixes on 8tracks, school dances are the pinnacle of social gatherings for adolescents. Don't we all remember the giddy feeling of drinking $1 cans of coke in your school gym, waiting for your crush to ask to you dance - preferably to one of the slow songs. Well, to celebrate the wonderfulness of the school dance, I have made three different mixes, each with various popular songs that would have been DJ favourites during the '70s, '80s, and '90s respectively. So give these a listen, and be prepared to have the urge to sneak into the local highschool's homecoming dance. 












Cheers, 
                    Anna xx

February 27, 2014

Crushing Hard

As per usual, I am posting to introduce new playlists on my 8tracks account. But, I'm hoping to have something ready for T.V. Tuesday, in less than a week! 

Anways, the first mix that I recently published is called "If I Had A Heart, I Could Love You". The mix is a collection of songs that are either down on love, or melancholic and lovelorn. While love can be all fine and dandy, I tend to air on the side of cynicism, and so I made the mix for like-minded souls, who sometimes want to drop-kick those that prattle on about how much they "luuuuuvvvvvvv" their significant other. 




The next mix that I published kind of, sort of, contradicts my previous mix, but I don't care! This mix is called "Crushing Hard" and is a collection of songs that remind you of  what it was like to gush to your friends at recess, or in the library during your spare, all about how you're totally in love with the boy/girl that sits in front of you in English Lit. So if you have a massive crush on someone, listen to the mix while doodling their name on your notebook/binder/agenda/term paper. 




Hope these mixes are enjoyable! 

Cheers,
                   Anna xx

January 26, 2014

Sour Girl

Though I have various assignments and papers due in the upcoming weeks, the majority of my weekend was spent watching Jane Eyre (the 2011 version with Michael Fassbender - wiping the drool from my chin), drinking coffee, and drunkenly watching Disney Classics with my housemates. Ahh, higher education, eh? Anyways, among those procrastinating activities, I also went on an 8tracks binge, publishing two new playlists and working on various others. 

The first is "Mellow Out, Mum", which is a collection of mellow pop/rock/folk songs that my mother used to listen to in the late 90s-early 2000s while she drove me to and from school and Girl Guides. The songs aren't my particular cup of tea, but I can't help but smile when I hear them, remembering my mum singing along and guzzling coffee in between our heart to heart conversations about my struggles of elementary school. If your mum was also a fan of Sarah Mclachlan, Jewel and Alanis Morissette , then you too may get all warm and fuzzy when you listen to these.

My second mix of this weekend is entitled "Sour Girl". As I've already mentioned on this blog, I have a really wonderful relationship with my maternal grandmother. She has lived with my family since before I was born, so I've grown up with her as a second mother figure. Now, with any relationship, there are ups and downs, mostly due to the fact that we don't see eye to eye on many issues. One of which is the fact that I consider myself a contemplative, melancholic cynic - which translates to my grandmother as sour. Rather than vehemently arguing that I'm not sour, I'm just not perky, I have decided to embrace my title as a 'sour girl'. So, this mix is a collection of songs that I feel are the anthems of my sour disposition, which will hopefully appeal to other sour people. 

I hope you enjoy these mixes as much as I do!

Cheers,
                    Anna xx

January 15, 2014

T.V. Tuesday . . .Errr . . . Wednesday: 'Reign'

I suppose my plan to announce what I had in mind for Tuesday backfired, as I did not manage to post this on the actual day that I myself had picked. (A round of applause for my brilliant efforts, and subsequent failure). Anyways, let's not toil on the past. Today I will be trying to break down the beauty of Mary Queen of Scots, as played by Adelaide Kane, in the new CW show 'Reign'.
The show portrays the highly sensationalized (and fictionalized) early life of Mary Stuart, and her time at the French Court as she awaits her marriage to the Dauphin of France. Filled with first kisses, political treachery and lots of sex, 'Reign' has become a new obsession for me. While I consider myself a history buff, and have to laugh aloud at the blatant inaccuracies, I still find the show immensely entertaining. Not to mention, I have a serious beauty crush on Mary! So, let's begin, shall we?
Photo Courtesy of parade.com

Makeup

Face: One of Mary's most prominent features is her beautifully clear skin. At this time, pale skin (or rather skin that remained out of the sun's harsh glare) was a sign of wealth and importance. Mary, being a Queen of Scotland and future Queen of France, has beautiful porcelain skin. To achieve the same perfect glow as Mary, start by washing your face with your preferred cleanser, and follow with moisturizer. After letting the moisturizer soak into your skin, apply a light primer to help set any concealer or foundation you may apply. Depending on your current blemish situation, or lack thereof, you can decide to either only conceal dark circles and redness or to apply a foundation to even everything out. To achieve Mary's bright and youthful skin I would recommend using an illuminating foundation. Although I'm not really a foundation kind of girl, I recently purchased Gosh's CC Cream, which I love to use if I need a little more than translucent powder. To ensure a light application, I would recommend using a beauty sponge, like the Beauty Blender, or some other version. Wet the sponge, squeeze out the excess water, and then tap the foundation onto the skin, focussing on the T-Zone. Lightly pat concealer onto blemishes/redness/scars/dark circles. For Mary's perfectly flushed skin, apply a rosy cream blush to the apples of your cheeks with your preferred tool (I like to use my fingers or a stippling brush). Contour your cheeks lightly with a shade only one or two shades darker than your skin colour. The easiest way to find where to contour is to suck in your cheeks, following that line from your temple to your mouth - but be careful to apply it lightly, and blend very well! Next, dust a translucent powder over your face to set your makeup.

Eyes: Although Mary would have been very limited in cosmetic products during her life in the 16th century, the show pulls off a pretty, yet natural look in the eyes department. To achieve this natural look, start by applying a shadow all over your lid which matches your skin tone, or is one shade lighter. When I do this, I use one of my face powders instead of an eyeshadow, so feel free to do the same. The next step is to find either a medium brown (think Milk Chocolate) or burgundy eyeshadow. The one that I prefer to use is Mac's single shadow in Trax, which is a purpley-burgundy with small flecks of gold shimmer. With your shadow, take a sharply angled eyeliner brush and pat the colour into your upper lashline. Try to get the shadow as close to your lashes as possible, blending very lightly to soften the line. With the excess on your brush, lightly smudge the remaining colour onto your bottom lashline - but try to do this very sparingly. The result should not be a definite line, just a little definition. If your shadow looks too dark, or too definite, continue to smudge the colour until you achieve a lighter look. The last touch on your eyes is mascara. Curl your lashes lightly, so they curl only slightly upwards. Very lightly coat your upper lashes, trying to avoid the "wiggle" move -  you want it to look as though you have naturally dark lashes, not like you're wearing a pound of mascara! If you ran into some clumping, grab an eyebrow brush, and brush through the clumps. Without dipping the wand back into the tube, lightly coat your bottom lashes with mascara, combing through them with the eyebrow brush whether there are clumps or not. 

Lips: Mary's lips always look  a little rosy from all of the kissing sessions with both Francis and Sebastian. To achieve the 'just been kissed by a prince (or his illegitimate brother)" look, lightly tap the same cream blush you used for your cheeks onto your lips, focussing the colour on the centre of your lips. Finish off with a layer of lipbalm! 

There you go! If you would also like an explanation/breakdown of Mary's hair, leave a comment below! Also, if there are any T.V. shows that you would like me to consider, let me know. 

Cheers,
                 Anna xx