A change of scenery

"Words and things and stuff," that's what I say to Scott when I'm at a loss, whether it be in thought or you know, words. To be honest, I've been lost for a while now in this big, wide world of blogging and I fear I'm beginning to grow resentful of the thing I love, makeup -- I tear up at the thought of despising something that once gave me joy.

Right now I don't possess the words to talk about makeup, and I don't ever want to review something for the sake of it as it's a disservice to everyone. Put simply, I will not put my name to something that looks and smells like crap.

So, where do we go from here? Well, Bagful of Notions will remain live yet quiet, and the format will change. It's going to take me a few months to get the ball rolling with this next big idea. Let's just say the local makeup market is lacking something I think a lot of women could benefit from, and for me to become that conduit it's going to take loads of research, a business plan, and education.

Thank you for your continued support of Bagful of Notions. If you ever have any makeup-related questions, I'm only a message away.

Spahhh time: Red Carpet Face Spa

Wander behind the black curtains

Wander behind the black curtains

I burst off the tram and ran a block, I was ten minutes late. "Great," I thought, "way to make a first impression" -- huffed, beet red, and slightly sweaty from an unexpectedly warm Fall day. Despite my tardiness Neelu (Neelu Ameen, Owner of Red Carpet Face Spa located in Armadale) was super welcoming, she even opened her arms to give me a hug; I took this as a no judgement, I'm ready to bring my A game. Prior to getting me settled into one of the beds tucked in the back of the salon, Neelu sat me down for a chat to find out what I wanted to get out of my visit, and asked me to express my skin concerns. This mini getting to you know you put me at ease and excited me all at once. I was ready for glowing skin.

With facials I like to chat and ask questions throughout the whole process; I realise my yammering on makes it difficult to remain in relaxation station, but I find if I don't talk or ask then I'll always wonder. My mind is overactive and curious in that regard, and thankfully Neelu happily obliged by figuratively holding my hand. During the 60+ minute facial my skin was treated to a cocktail of cosmeceuticals from Medik8 and natural Aryuvedic products, and an introductory treatment to microdermabrasion (no ouch/redness factor whatsoever) was thrown in for good measure.

Overall the experience felt personal, informative, and precious thanks to Neelu's care, knowledge, and fastidious touch. If I can entice you to visit her at least once, I can promise you won't be disappointed -- fresh skin (the kind you want to touch again and again, but shouldn't), and glorious head massages (the snore inducing sort) await.

For more information be sure to visit Red Carpet Face Spa.


*This facial was kindly provided as a complimentary service in preparation for this review. Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

Troubleshooting Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity

Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity

So, you've handed over a wad of moolah for Hourglass' latest release, now what? You've read the reviews, watched the how-to videos, stared at its uncharacteristic features -- its ripples and rolling waves, while trying to wrap your head around the fact that the pan lacks dividers. Or is it just me and the fine line of OCD-like tendencies I steadfastly walk along?

I, too, read the reviews and had my reservations regarding performance issues. Would my experience dissolve into a moment of frustration and regret? Let's delve into the Modernist eyeshadow's formula, and tailor your application.

The Formula

It's mighty soft, and finely milled to help reduce the amount of guess work for you. Hourglass has dumbed down these palettes, and I for one do not feel insulted. The eyeshadows lend themselves to mixing and melding for that sultry, smoky, editorial look (how very Nina Garcia of me).

The Colours

They're natural. Elements derived from the earth to intensify the colour of your eyes. I was drawn to Infinity for its rich chocolate-y browns and plummy/tea rose undertones. It's worth noting four of the five shades featured in Infinity are matte, whereas the fifth shade (centre) is the magician with its shimmery, metallic come-hitherness.

The Brushes 

Now, this is purely based on what I personally own, but I'll do my best to offer similar brushes based on affordability and accessibility.

Application Tips

  1. Before applying your eyeshadow, prime the eye area.
  2. Set out your brushes in a handy spot for easy access.
  3. Curl your lashes first to prevent unnecessary smudging.
  4. Ok, we're ready to apply. When you bring the brush to the pan gently dab the surface to agitate and lift the product onto the brush. Sweeping back and forth will only lead to a messy situation.
  5. Next, dab (again) excess eyeshadow onto the back of your hand in order to reduce the risk of fallout. Tapping your brush over the basin works, too.
  6. Follow the order of operations (my method) >> Base > Contour > Shade > Line > Define > Mascara.

You'll notice there's a bit of dabbing involved prior to bringing anything near the eye area. This gentler approach means you'll be wearing eyeshadow instead of it wearing you. Does that even make any sense? In other words, your eyes won't be reduced to a powdery mess.

Swatches of Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity 

Swatches of Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity 

Wearing Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity on my eyes

Wearing Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity on my eyes

Tinkerbell (lower right) approves!

Tinkerbell (lower right) approves!

With your palette in one hand, and a few key eyeshadow brushes clasped in the other get ready for a strong eye game, I know you can do it!

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Hourglass' Modernist Eyeshadow Palette:

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 8 out of 10 bags — Work with it, and it'll work for you. I can't speak for the six other shades' performance, but I am pleased as punch with Infinity.

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

Mecca Maxima haulin' and other random bits of madness

Can you say out of control?

Can you say out of control?

Well, I've gone and done it again.

Ahhh, retail therapy, that inhalation of stale air, the teetering back and forth under horrible fluorescent lighting while clamouring for the newest makeup-y things to hit the shelves. That was me this past Friday.

I recently changed employers, hence the infrequency in posting since late January. Needless to say it was a stressful and emotional time for me before, during, and after saying see ya later to the the company that gave me a shot after landing in Oz. To celebrate this transition I felt the need to treat myself.

Here's the rationale behind my latest spend..

Argument: If it's good enough for Vivianna and Lily, then it's good enough for me.

Being the enablers that they are, both ladies, in their own way, convinced me (it's the accent, I swear) to purchase Bobbi Brown's Powder Brush (holy crap, it's crazy expensive), Real Technique's Setting Brush, Bumble and Bumble's Sunday Shampoo, and UD's Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Light Warm. I hope these ladies work on commission, because they're doing something right!

Argument: Needed a fill me up.

True story: This Works Perfect Eyes Recovery Cream really works! It de-puffs, hydrates, and reawakens the under eye area. Definitely using this on the regular.

Argument: It was pretty!

Nars' Eye Paint in Porto Venere had me at first swatch. That said, if you own MAC's Painterly I don't think you need Porto Venere this very second.

UD's 24/7 Glide on Pencil in Sabbath for its matte-y, navy, and equally dreamy qualities. I can tell Ro(Cocoa) will be getting a bit of a break now that I have Sabbath in my life.

My shop wouldn't be complete without grabbing a lippie, cue UD's Sheer Revolution in Sheer Shame. Slightly intimidating in the tube, yet appears as a sheer beet-y, plummy hue that only sticks around for two or so hours -- points off for longevity.

Argument: Memories / nostalgia.

Essie's Ballet Slippers will forever hold a special place in my heart as it was the first shade to ever be professionally polished on my nails. I was nearing the end of a winter break from school, so my Mom treated me to a last-minute manicure before driving me back to Boston. Thanks Mom!

A good hair day paired with pretty much everything I mentioned above

A good hair day paired with pretty much everything I mentioned above

After this latest indulgence, let's just say I've handed my debit card over to Scott to help keep me honest.

Your turn. What did you last splash out on?