Glossy

So often when I sit down to write the words just flow easily. It’s like stepping outside of  my life for a moment and abandoning myself to the loveliness of words.

Today is not one of those days. Writing is one of the very few things that comes easily to me and it’s frustrating when I feel blocked. I’ve been struggling to come up with a post all week so I’m going to keep it simple.

I love Clarins as a brand. I love their makeup and their skincare. They make some of my favourite glosses and that’s what I reach for most at this time of year when everything is so dry.

Clarins’ Instant Light Lip Perfectors and Lip Perfector Balms are the perfect mix of gloss, moisture and colour. They smell like vanilla cake. They’re not sticky but they do hang around for a few hours. I reach for them several times a week.

What’s your favourite lip product for this dry time of year?

Do you Deciem?

Deciem. Do I dare?

If you ever look at the internet I imagine you’ve heard of Deciem and the recent controversy surrounding the erstwhile CEO. I went back and forth on whether or not to write this post but in the end obviously decided to write it. Lovers, this is not a blog about current events, this is a blog about products and so products is what I’m going to talk about.

Deciem exploded on to the market about two years ago. I first heard about it when one of my favourite Youtubers gave the brand a rave review. Deciem is a Toronto-based company composed of a number of brands including The Ordinary, Niod, Hylamide, The Chemistry Brand, etc. The concept is simple: skincare made with quality ingredients at a low price. The prices start at about $5.00, really. Genius. I’m no expert but I do know that there are only a few skincare ingredients that have actually been proven to do anything. Included in this list is hyaluronic acid which is a basically a magnet for moisture, and retinol which encourages cell turnover.

I’ve gone through two bottles of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and I love it. I rarely notice any immediate change in my skin after using a product, with the exception of this stuff. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do – plumps and moisturizes the skin. Brilliant. Mind you give your face a quick spritz before applying it kittens – the skin has to be wet for the acid to do its good work.

I also gave the retinol a go. The first time I used it I did not do it properly. I slathered it all over my face, including under my eyes. I paid the burny price. Retinol is to be used sparingly, avoiding the eye area. After the initial mishap I used the rest of the product successfully. I cannot honestly tell you that I noticed a huge change in my skin but I think if you are concerned about the signs of aging this is a good one to try.

I also used two tubes of Hand Chemistry from The Chemistry Brand. Again, I can’t really speak to any anti-aging benefits but I can tell you that I love this stuff. The scent is fruity but not strong at all and it just works. My hands feel nice and hydrated after using it which, after-all, is the whole point right?

I’ve also been using The Ordinary Coverage Foundation for the past year. It’s good. It has great coverage but it’s not heavy on the skin. It lasts well too. Nothing lasts all day on my face but I get a good few hours out of this foundation.

Have you tried any of Deciem’s products?

On scent

I love fragrance. I always have. I’m always burning scented candles at home, I love picking out a new body wash, and I have a small but well curated collection of perfumes that I love to wear.

My favourite of the moment is something rather special that I treated myself to when Mr. P&P and I spent a few days in Calgary last spring. I’m talking about Jo Malone London Blackberry & Bay.

Blackberry & Bay is fruity but tart. Juicy and green at the same time. The notes are blackberry, grapefruit, florals, vetiver, cedarwood, and bay leaves. The Jo Malone website describes it thusly:

This fragrance evokes childhood memories of blackberry picking—a burst of deep, tart blackberry juice blends with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods for a vibrant and verdant impression.

They’ve nailed it. It’s fresh and great for summer but I think it works for all seasons. It was a spendy little purchase but I cherish it and look forward to wearing it.

What’s your scent of the moment?

Glossier

A while back Glossier was everywhere. Everyone was talking about it. At first I wasn’t too interested because their vibe is all about dewy, fresh skin. My skin is dewy enough. I do not need help in that department (the oily skin struggle is real friends). Eventually though I obviously fell for the hype.

My first order consisted of the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Moisturizing Moon Mask. I loved them both. The cleanser is very gentle and perfect for a quick morning cleanse. I wouldn’t use it at the end of the day because it’s not quite up to removing all of my mascara. Mr. P&P also enjoyed using it. It’s slightly rose scented but it’s not overpowering.

I used the moon mask a couple of times a week while I was in the bath. I put on a thick layer and let it sit for 15-20 minutes and my skin always felt velvety soft afterwards. Even though I’m an oily girl, I need to make sure my face is well hydrated so that it doesn’t start over producing oil, especially in winter. I used every last drop and would absolutely purchase again. It’s divine.

I was so pleased with the first two products I tried that I ordered the Wowder plus the Wowder Brush set as soon as it came out. I love both. The powder itself does exactly what it’s supposed to do as far as setting foundation and concealer. It’s light and does not settle onto the skin or look cakey. The brush is kind of unusual. It’s not as large and fluffy as most powder brushes. I like it because the handle is the perfect length and the shape of the brush makes it easy to make sure you’re powdering the trickier spots like the under-eye and the sides of the nose.

Have you given Glossier a try?

Tips and Tricks for Shopping eBay

I like to shop. I live in the Yukon. These two things are not particularly compatible. Online shopping is the best thing to ever happen to me and I’ve been practicing for about 15 years. Lucky for you because I’m here to share some of the best tips of the trade!

Today I want to focus on eBay because it is an absolute goldmine. It’s a great way to create a more sustainable and responsible closet, find pieces that no one else will be wearing, and score pieces from spendy brands for a fraction of the original retail price. It’s also a great resource if you are into vintage.

So, without further blah, blah, blah, here are my top tips for scoring a great deal on eBay!

  1. Know your size. This means measurements! Shoulder to shoulder, armpit to armpit, chest, waist, hips, inseam, and rise! This is especially important when looking for vintage pieces because vintage sizing is smaller than modern sizing.
  2. Include as much detail as you can in your search. What size are you looking for? Colour, material, style, decade, fit, location, free shipping, and price, to name just a few, are all options you can narrow your search by.
  3. Check seller feedback. This is important. I only order from sellers who have 95% or higher positive feedback. I would also recommend not buying from sellers who have only sold a few items, though if they have an item you’re dying for listed then it might be worth the risk.
  4. Check the shipping costs. If, like me, you live in a remote area this is particularly important. $20 for a cashmere sweater is a bargain but not if the shipping costs $40. I tend to confine my buying to North America for this same reason. Also make sure to check that the buyer ships to your area.
  5. Shop on www.ebay.com, not www.ebay.ca. All the Canadian items for sale will still come up but, because it is the US site, the selection is better.
  6. Read the seller’s return policy. You don’t want to get stuck with something that doesn’t fit or is damaged. Make sure the seller will pay the return shipping costs, if not you lose out on that money.
  7. Try searching for misspellings. Not everybody is great at the whole written word thing. Try Madwell instead of Madewell, Parda instead of Prada, Ralph Laren instead of Ralph Lauren, the list goes on. With some luck you might just find yourself a gem and be the only bidder! Here’s a sweater that I’ve currently got my eye on and I can bid at my leisure because other buys will miss it!
  8. Save your searches. Once you have narrowed all of your parameters down to the exact item you’re looking for (for example, Gucci brown horse-bit vintage loafers size 7.5) you can save the search. You’ll receive email alerts when someone posts something that matches your search and you won’t have to reset all your item specifics when you go to do your search again.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you want more photos (for example, I often ask for a photo of someone wearing the item if one isn’t already posted), need more information on the sizing, fabric, any flaws, etc. ask. If the buyer isn’t willing to answer your questions then move on to the next seller. A good seller will want you to be totally happy with your purchase and will do as much as they can to ensure that happens.
  10. If you’re looking for something specific don’t get discouraged if you don’t find it the first time around. People all over the world post items everyday so chances are good that if you keep searching you’ll eventually track down what you’re looking for!

And that’s it! As with anything, with practice you’ll get better so get out there and get shopping friends!

xo,

Poutine