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In Christmas 2020, Nals decided to get some bits and bobs #supportlocal
I was going to a new job and wanted to give my colleagues a little something.
I hawed and hemmed: Gift cards? Candles? Homemade harissa? Chocolates? I wasn’t sure what to give. Due to le pandemic¹, my options were limited.
So I started researching local businesses. I happened upon Beth & Olivia 🔗 handmade products.
Not Amazon² is also a good site to explore local businesses.
The story 🔗 behind the company is amazing. Annie, fashion designer by trade and training, decided to make sparkly jewelry that her daughters Beth and Olivia could wear. Annie also created a suitable skincare product for one of her toddler’s eczema. Commercial options weren’t cutting it. Annie’s bodycare line was born.
When you unbox, a lovely scent permeates the air. Crisp sheets of toile tissue, some paper packing and a personal handwritten note from Annie greet you. ♡ them personal touches!
I got Missy R: bath squares³ (Peppermint Chamomile, Orange Eggnog & Chai), hand butter (Orange Eggnog) and hand sani spray (Lavendar). Peppermint squares were her fave. She loved the idea of the body butter stick: easy for travel, not greasy, will not spill in your handbag!
I got colleagues: soaps (Earl Gray & Chai), hand butters (Love & Subdued) and lip balms. They loved everything. Due to respiratory and skin issues, a couple of these folks are very particular about their products.
I got my mom: hand sani (Lavender) as well as the foot soak and foot butter (Tea Tree Neem).
I got multiples of things to give as stocking stuffers… and a couple Squares for me. The Chai bath square is my fave.
Annie has a suite of offerings, including beautiful paper and wedding products. Gift wrapping or local pick up are available.
Yes we absolutely recommend ordering from Beth & Olivia 🔗 . Also available on Etsy 🔗.
Their website states “Do you need a solution to your clumpy mascara? Wonder’Lash mascara with argan oil is your best secret weapon to perfectly full, smooth, zero-clump volume! …Experience beautiful volume and lash definition in one smooth, easy stroke… and left feeling conditioned”.
Snap to me indicates sound or motion. (Julep🔗 has a lippie with a magnetic closure. It makes a little snap when it locks with its counterpart. So, I was imagining something like that.) I read the package and tried playing around with the tube. The only snap it made was in my head when I realized “Awww snap. It’s snapless!” (That would probably be a better name.)
The actual product
… is a pitch black colour. It’s thin, which is probably why it doesn’t clump as easily. As long as you wipe off the excess product before application, you’ll be clumpless.
There’s a voluminous curved brush. Reminds me of a cat’s hissy tail.
I wouldn’t say lashes become voluminous. SnapScara adds a bit of dimension and length. You’ll probably need to pair with another mascara to get max dual effects of volume and lengthening.
Snap off… kinda
It’s not super easy to take-off. Most of it came off with my oil-based cleanser. After rinsing, I had to go back in to remove residue.
Their website states “The Super Sizer Mascara gives you 400% more corner-to-corner volume for full, fanned out lashes. Our amazing Lash Styler transforms even small lashes— just twirl as you apply it to your lashes for an instantly Super Sized lash look. Opthalmologically tested, suitable for those who wear contact lenses”.
Reviews on their site 🔗are basically favourable at 88% (1161 reviews). Covergirl has suggested they contact Customer Service to remedy an unfavorable situation, if a reviewer mentions it. People might respond to this with of course they would because they don’t want bad PR. But, it takes time to read each review and respond accordingly°.
I curl before and after applying mascara**. Mascara holds the curl well through out the day.
Product colour is black, which helps the look of fuller lashes. But since it clumps with >2 layers, there’s not a lot of thickening effect.
Due to flared brush with bristles in a spiral formation (like DNA or pineapple seeds), application is best when you follow instructions on the package.
✓Mascara didn’t interfere with my contact lenses. ✓This particular tube had staying power and was waterproof. ×But it stuck on like a SOB. I use an oil-based facial cleanser (such as Julep’s Love Your Bare Face🔗). I tried all-sorts like soaking my lashes with Julep cleanser then gently rubbing to lift up product. I used makeup remover before cleanser… And then tried after. I tried to triple wash my lashes. And there were days that I didn’t get all of it off. I still haven’t found the best method because each time is slightly different.
This is not a good mascara for a newbie/novice due to the application instructions and difficulty of removal.
For the experienced mascara-ista… I probably would not recommend it again due to difficulty of removal and clumping properties.
Footnotes * formerly known as Mascara Monday ° To give you guys an idea, it probably takes Kells and I a couple hours to post and publish ONE post. Formatting, uploading pictures, viewing and re-editting take scads of time. Add additional time to take photos, picking topics and then writing. So, both N&K appreciate how much work goes into it. However, the varied comments on Makeup Alley give us pause. Why are comments different on the CoverGirl vs. MUA site? Hmmm… ** MUAs might balk at this double curling, as the curler could pull lashes out after mascara-ing. But I curl when mascara is dry as a bone. If you double curl, don’t do it wet!
So if you follow us on Instagram you know we recently did the student show case with the Vancouver Burlesque Company. I got to dance with a level 2 group. I was totally out of my element and felt very insecure.
Dancing puts me in a vulnerable position.
1. I’m not a small girl. So I feel like its obvious, me, this giant chick on the stage
2. Being giant, you are gunna see that a) I’m bigger than others, height and weight and b) you will see I’m not a good dancer (especially since I was dancing with former dancers).
3. Others in my dance classes are good dancers. They have danced before and they know what position 1 means.
4. I was told when I was younger, and wanted to join ballet, that I cant be a dancer because I’m to tall (Stupid that the things we are told when we are young sticks with us).
So yah, I’m feeling vulnerable but determined to do it. But this experience got me thinking about my thoughts vs others. What I see is me as an elephant in the room, dancing with cute ballerinas. BUT what others see is me doing well. I got good feedback from my friends. But these crappy feelings of me looking stupid flood other parts of my life too.
For example, at my gym, for the longest time, I always thought I could see my tummy reflecting off the heater that is located on the roof right above me. It literally took me over a year to realize it wasn’t my belly at all, but the big ball I was using making the reflection!
Like what the heck!?
Why? Why do I assume, this big ball is my stomach reflecting? Why do I go to a negative place? Why didn’t see a ball? Why didn’t I see me accomplishing this one work station that I’ve struggled with for so long?
I’m so annoyed with myself when I realized I’ve been doing this. Nals and I have talked about this (a lot). We always remind each other that we are pointing out negative things and will say “that’s not what I see”. As much as I have focused on trying to be body positive, and not negative on myself, I still find I have moments (like mentioned above) where I still beat myself up. I still see negative things.
But here’s what I can do:
1. Listen to the positive feedback
2. Recognize when Im being negative
3. Continue to challenge myself
4. Remember to love myself
5. Celebrate my accomplishments
I know I’m not the only one that goes through this. Please share the ways you challenge your negative self talk and ways you love yourself!!
We bought all mascara ourselves (which means nobody is paying us).
We wear each mascara for at least 1 week.
All mascaras purchased were black… and the darkest black they had available.
Every mascara used was put on the exact same way, with only 2 coats.
This is just our 2 cents. This opinion is ours…take it or leave it. Believe it or not.
What do we want in a mascara?
In a mascara, we typically discuss the following points: Lengthen, Volumize, Separation, Curl and Thicken.
Everything was initially fantastic. Long lashes for dayzzz. However after a month, I noticed that the product clumped on my lashes. And, at the end of the day, flakes fell into my eyes. I typically use several thin coats plus another mascara. For this tube, I only can do 2-3 thin coats. This product falls short on volumizing and thickening. So, I tried to pair it with another volumizing mascara. And again, I got clumped.
The brush picks up a lot of product. You must ensure that swipe off as much of the product as can before application. (That is, make sure you can see lots of the pink brush showing through.) Fair warning: this brush is a poke hazard.
The bristly brush and product lengthen & separate. As such, Rimmel Wonder’fully Real Mascara is a good lengthener and separator. It also keeps the curl. (One must use a lash curler!)
An interesting thing
I felt like sporting the au naturel look a lot with this mascara. At first I thought it was due to the emergence of the PNW summer sun. (The summer makes me feel more like a let’s-skip-work-and-soak-up-some-sun bronzed goddess than a dramatic eye queen.) Or, maybe I was too lazy to add liner? But, I finally figured out why… I noticed that the brush/product inadvertently builds colour at upper water line. Which is fantastic for an au naturel look. And fantastic that Nals was inspired to keepnit low-key.
The ugly truth is that it’s really hard to get a mascara with all of these features. Which is why I typically use 2 mascaras on every application. But I got clumped when I tried to pair this mascara with a volumizer.
Additionally this mascara is hard to remove. After washing, you’ll need to get in there with a cotton-tipped wand.
On our way to Leavenworth, we stopped off for road trip snacks at Target in Bellis Fair. We kept seeing ads for the new Morphe eyeshadow palettes.
Kells & I love makeup, and are pretty well-versed on brands. But we hadn’t heard of Morphe. And we were defo intrigued. Then Nals spotted one of the cashiers sporting mesmerizing coral-pink salmon-berry eye makeup. After almost-creep-status staring, Nals complimented her. She beamed and whispered, with the confidence of a makeup seductress, “Morphe*”.
Of course we booted off to Ulta Beauty. And right up front, with a resplendant shining halo, was the Morphe display.
What’s the deal with Morphe?
Morphe is a company featuring professional-grade products at an affordable price. It came to Ulta Beauty in October 2017. (Unfortunately, Ulta is not in Canada.) But a year later, Morphe made its debut in Canada at Sephora.
Why welcome to Canadian soil, Morphe.
So did we get some?
Hells yeah we did! Kells got a deliciously rich red matte lippie.
I picked up a concealer. And, I got Boss Mood which features metallics and mattes in purps, berries and greens. Having seen our previous pictures, in case you didn’t pick up on it: I looooove colour. When not at work, I am pretty adventurous with eyeshadow application.
Cutie T is building her eye makeup collection and got a neutral nude palette plus a Morphe eyeshadow primer.
Ulta’s atmosphere is between that of a Sephora and a drugstore, but closer to latter. Testers were available but MUAs, mirrors, tissues, applicators were in short supply. I think the concealer was not the best match for me. But it’ll do for now.
Application & Wear
The actual product was easy to apply and blend. Eyeshadow needs to be built up to get the desired effect. I find that because of my darker skin tone, most shadows/liners need to be layered on. And there’s some fallout especially with the Morphe glitters.
I’m glad I got the 24USD eye palette. It’s definitely worth it! Boss Mood is good for folks who are adventurous. But palette still contains some neutrals and basics, too. I was also eyeing the full Fall into Frost and a mini neon palette.
Morphe has a good selection of small, full and quad eye palettes. They’ve also got singles. They have a fairly good selection of concealers for dark and porcelain skin tones.
What are you waiting for? Go forth and explore Morphe, N&Kers!
Footnotes: The cashier pronounced “Morphe” as more-fee (as in morphine) but we think it’s pronounced morfh (as in the caterpillar will morphe into a butterfly). Interestingly, one of the staffers at Leavenworth Village Inn pronounced the word “chic” as chick, rather than French way sheek. American adorableness!
Small world! Miss Kells & Miss Balm work out at the same gym. One day, they got to talking. And, one thing led to another. So here we are: seeing if Pure Pit Balm’s assertion that “it’s da bomb”, is fo realz.
Pure Pit Balm is a natural deodorant for underarms.
What is a natural deodorant?
“Natural” deodorants can be made at home. They are typically a mixture of emollients & baking soda… plus maybe some essential oil for scent. The general idea is that they’re made from ingredients you have in your pantry.
Why mess with a good thing?
I’ve got an antiperspirant that works. So why change?
There are notions that antiperspirants can contribute to the development of brain diseases in older age☆. Apparently this has not been replicated in recent studies. But it got me to thinking about slapping random things on to my skin.
I work at a scent-sensitive location. And of course Mr. Nals (the ginger) is scent-sensitive°. So this made me think of crap that we randomly inhale – chemicals galore in perfume, lotions, cleaners, soaps, fresheners.
Antiperspirants make my pits ashy gray. When I’ve tried to go without, my pits clear up*. This is just for esthetics but I’m not a big fan.
I ‘ v e t r i e d ! But it gets real stanky at certain times. So, I’ve purchased commercially-made “natural” deodorants, crystals, rubbing alcohol, witch hazel and plain coconut oil. These irritated or cut the skin, dried it out, required frequent reapplication, stained my clothes and were ineffective.
So getting back to the belle of the ball…
Pure Pit Balm is made with shea butter, coconut oil, non-aluminum baking soda +/- essential oil for scent. Kells is allergic to shea butter and couldn’t participate in the review.
My concerns were that I’ve used natural deodorants before, with minimal positive effect. But Miss Pure Pit Balm perservered and supplied 2 complimentary jars – Sensitive (unscented, less potent) and Lavendar (more potent).
I first tried Sensitive. Application: After showering, I applied a pea-sized amount to each dry pit. I let my body heat melt and absorb the product. Then I got dressed. Effects: It actually worked great! There was no irritation and no stink! Now remember: it’s not an antiperspirant. So I still got swamp pits. (Translation: more laundry for me.) That was ok because it meant I wasn’t putting crap on my skin. And, my skin looks vibrant, healthy with no bloody ingrowns!
I’ve used it daily for >1 month. At the end of the day, or after exertion, I occasionally smelled an earthy alkaline odour. I think this was the result of an intense love affair betwixt my sweat and baking soda. So if I felt like I was getting sweaty, I’d wipe & air dem pits out. This seemed to mitigate the odour.
The product comes in a little glass jar (2.5 ounces, 74mL). With typical use, it should last 3 months. You can choose scents: Grapefruit, Lemongrass, Lavender or unscented Sensitive. Sensitive contains less baking soda so it was easier to smother on than Lavendar. Oh but la Lavendar smelled divine. As it was full-strength, my sensitive skin was physically irritated because I rubbed it in too much. This irritation was only intermittent, mild & always went away after a minute. Miss Pure Pit Balm suggested I stick with Sensitive, and to not use after hair removal.^
There’s an informational brochure, details on jar labels and a fabulous website.
Nals would recommend Pure Pit Balm. In the very least, you should try it out just to give your pits a break from excess chemicals. Plus, you’d be supporting a small local (Canadian) business!
Footnotes ☆refer to this article. °Both my mum & I loved scented lotions and potions. We bought vats of it, and madly rolled around in them like pups in a dead skunk carcass. So when I met Mr. Nals & he told me perfumes bother him, I was upset. And when we moved in together, I had to give my carefully curated scents to my mom. Oh Van Cleef & Arpels First, how I still long for you & TommyGirl. *Ashy gray pits are mainly an issue for people of colour. ^(If you’ve paid attention to labels or estheticians before, you know that you actually shouldn’t even gym or sweat or swim within 24 hours of waxing. Let alone, adding deodorant.)
So I mentioned that I had back surgery and I had to advocate for myself.
This motivated me to start dealing with the health issues I had been ignoring for years. The first one was my tonsils. They were large and in charge. Basically, I had swollen tonsils all day every day. I made an appt with my doctor, showed her that even though I’m not currently sick, they are swollen and asked to see a specialist. I went to see them, again not sick, and they told me that I should have had my tonsils removed years ago. Which I knew already. So I had them removed (had some complications but survived & trust me you don’t want to hear these bloody details). BUT this also meant I needed to follow up with my breasts.
Yuppers, I have breast issues. Mainly, they often hurt.
So here’s what they tell you when you are under 40 and you have breast pain: Don’t worry, it’s not cancer, Cancer doesn’t hurt.
Oh good. So you are under 40. You are in pain. And you don’t need to worry.
NO! So I went to see a specialist. And I was told I have fibrocystic breasts. Oh and if it gets worse come back. But there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try prim rose oil, but I have done researched it and discovered there is no evidence that prim rose oil helps. Some people say it does, some say it doesn’t. But I tried it. Can’t say it’s helped.
Sooo, it got worse. The pain expanded in strength and size. So I tell my doctor, who contacts the specialist that told me to come back if it gets worse. AND…denied. The specialist says no because there’s nothing they can do. Then why did you say come back! Arg.
So since I’m under 40, no other specialist will see me, as I’m too young to have cancer.
Here’s what I experience: consistent breast pain throughout the month. Then the pain increases to extremely sharp jabs of pain once or twice a month. On the one side, it radiates down into my arm pit, sometimes even extends further.
My doctor send me for ultra sounds and a mammogram. Let me tell you, having painful breast tissue squished is not a pleasant feeling. I was also sent for an ultra sound of the uterus and ovaries. Which, did nothing to help me. I was told I don’t have ovarian cysts.
You may be wondering what can be done? My doctor says: Nothing.
Yup, that’s right. There’s no pain management. No cure. And no help for fibrocystic breast pain. You are told either rub prim rose oil on it or deal with it. I actually told my doctor that this was not a good option. Women* are too often told to just deal with it. And I feel like I’m looked at as over reacting. As if radiating breast pain is nothing. It’s not cancer, so suck it up. The Mayo clinic says that severe pain or large painful cysts may warrant treatment. MAY being the key word. Let me tell you, when I compare my symptoms, I fall under the severe pain…and yet, I have been told there is no treatment.
According to one article, fibrocystic breasts aren’t cancer, but they can mean you have an increased risk of getting cancer.
The Mayo clinic says that 1 out of every 2 women can get this. The website Healthline.com says that there’s no treatment, but that advil or Tylenol will help. OR putting a hot or cold compress on your breast can help. Let me tell you, in my opinion, those options don’t work.
Soooo…that’s it. Half of women* are dealing with this breast pain on a daily basis and there is no treatment. WOW. Really? Nothing?
Here’s what I don’t get. According to Advil and Tylenol, you aren’t supposed to take more than so many pills a day and if you exceed that amount you should see a doctor. That doctor says take them anyways, since that’s your only option. Oh by the way, for me, taking this form of pain management doesn’t work.
Here’s my rant: Why does something that effects ½ of the breasts out there not have any treatment? Is it because it’s female*? Is it because it’s a female* issue? Makes you wonder, if this were testicle pain would there be treatment?
So what does this mean for me? Well, I need to get back to my doctor. And do a little more advocating!
Update: Went back to my doctor…I have more to say on this issue…stay tuned!
N&K meant to post this review around Christmas time, but our schedules got a little crazy with work, family time, holiday stuff, New Zealand and the burlesque show. And so here we are…
Sephora‘s Mix & Mingle Lip Set Limited Edition 2018 is a lovely little minx offering lip pencils (but I’m calling them crayons) and glitter glosses. The colours range from light nude to deep browns to coral red and to a dark mythic purple. The crayons are pointed so neither a sharpener nor a liner are needed. Colours are fairly long lastingly rich. Feel is smooth. Look is that of a creamy lipstick. Translucent gloss is not gritty and doesn’t slip off easy. No colour bleeding.
Slight sweet scent & flavour;
Crayons are great for ombre look;
Glosses are also lovely on their own;
Colours are good for Kells & my skin tones. Plus you can customize colours by layering;
Good for day & night looks;
For cleanup, you will need a good makeup remover;
Crayon caps are very short & tend to pop off. So place in a snack sized zippy plastic bag, to avoid colouring the inside of your Calvin Klein handbag (grr);
No colour names so if you like the singles, bring in the empty shell to match up to existing singletons. Or, sets are still available at Sephora Australia, Shape, Poshmark & Amazon.
Other reviews are positive. And, yes we agree that it is definitely worth the buy. In fact, Kells & I have added this set to our quick go-to photoshoot bag!