Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Neal's Yard Remedies - Foundation Review

Now these aren't exactly the *best* pictures of me (left is without foundation, right is with foundation) but I wanted to show you how light and natural the new foundation I bought is.  Makeup isn't a requirement for survival so if you're being really technical, all of it is wasteful consumption.  That being said, makeup is a pretty entrenched part of our society - and I like how it makes me look - so I'm not cutting it from my life.

Neal's Yard Remedies products are all manufactured in their purpose built factory in Dorset and they are very careful with their ingredient choices, preferring to omit substances that aren't proven safe.  This is the first of their products that I've purchased so I'm still being introduced to the brand.

Their mineral foundation comes in a very limited selection of colours, there are currently only 4.  As I'm new to the brand, I'm unsure of whether there were previously more options or if they are expecting to add colours more suitable to darker skin tones but this foundation line is probably pretty useless to POC.  I can't *guarantee* that since, as you can probably assume from my photo, I have zero experience in choosing makeup tones for non-pasty skin but even their darkest shade seems *awfully* light.

For the members of the population that haven't been ignored, I can recommend this product IF you prefer foundations that provide light coverage.  If you struggle with problem skin or have significant variations in skin tone, this foundation will probably not be ideal for you.  It has very light coverage and even when I attempted to "build" the coverage by blending more on, it was still very sheer.  I don't wear heavy makeup though so this was perfect for me.  I also found that once it "set" (ie, absorbs some of your skin's oil), it had a "glowy" finish instead of the super matte look some mineral foundations provide.

It was $39 when I purchased it (regular price, I'm not sure if it ever goes on sale) so this is clearly not a drugstore makeup price point.  I haven't purchased department store or specialty store foundation for years but I imagine this is similar to their price points.

Neal's Yard Remedies is fairly new to Canada and according to their website, currently only has 2 store locations, both of which are in Calgary.  If you live outside this area, I encourage you to check out their website at NealsYardRemedies.ca.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Body Blues

I'm embarrassed to admit that even at 34 years old, I still struggle with self-esteem issues and my body.  I had reached a point about 5 years ago where I was actually happy (thrilled, even!) with my body and fitness level.  I felt strong and attractive.  My fitness level suffered a bit when I started working a second job but I was still more or less okay with where I was.  When I got my promotion at work about 2.5 years ago, things went rapidly downhill.  Being on reserve meant my schedule was a joke and packing food became nearly impossible.  I regularly packed food and then had to toss it because it was either not allowed past customs or I was unable to keep it cold enough to be safe.  The saving grace was I lived across the street from my gym and so was still able to make it there regularly enough.

I love Calgary, really I do, but I'm struggling even more with this reserve schedule (where I'm often not even called).  You would think that being paid to sit around, waiting for a call would be a dream but apparently, for control freaks like me...its less than ideal.  In Ontario, I was used to always being called out and then being able to fit in a short workout during my layovers.  Now, I wait to be called and kill whole days by doing nothing.  I can go for walks through my neighbourhood but whenever I pack up my car to try and hit the gym (bringing all my work-related stuff with me in case I'm called out), I start feeling very anxious.  I wish I could say it was just a bit of discomfort but I actually am SUPER anxious, like just-shy-of-anxiety-attack anxious.  I know I should just work on pushing past that but frankly, with the emotional upheaval that has occurred due to everything else, I kinda just don't want to deal with it.

Where does that leave me?  More or less stuck at home for half the week but able to get in regular exercise the other part of the week.  What I need to do is focus on finding fitness options for me to do at home, while waiting for a call.  So far, I've found 2 apps, Sworkit and Nike Training Club.  I will have to devote some funds to picking up some equipment (hopefully I can find some stuff secondhand???) so I can add some weights/resistance to these workouts but we'll see if that's any kind of improvement.  My friend Karen over at torontogirlwest.com (who I'm sure had changed to a new blog name and will have to find it!!) is currently running a Wellness Challenge and trying to coach me through this rough spot.  

Please wish me luck,

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Versalette arrived!!!

I had been off flying for a few days over the holidays and when I returned home I was *freaking delighted* to find out my Versalette (by Seamly.co) had come in the mail.  I had really, really wanted the black one for Christmas but my parents decided to give me money instead of buying things off my Christmas list and by the time I found, the black one had sold out so I opted to buy the navy version (which is fine by me since my closet is filled with black, navy, gray and white clothing anyways with only a few more colourful items).

This is basically how the conversation in my head took place once I checked my mailbox after arriving home (keep in mind I was exhausted after a loooong day of flying):

Yay!!! My Versalette is here!!! Woot!!  Best. Day. EVER!!

scampers back to apartment, tears open package, holds up Versalette

Um....how does this work?  This hang tag only shows the final products...how is the model managing to not look like she's wearing a sack?!?!

attempts to arrange versalette in various configurations, getting tangled in various drawstrings

Ohmigod...I must be too stupid to own this type of clothing.  How am I too dumb for this????

drops Versalette to the ground in despair, hauls out iPad, watches how-to videos clutching Versalette and wearing nothing but a bra and underwear

Okaaaay, I think I understand this a bit more.

SLOWLY try on a few configurations, managing to look decent, decide on ruched T-shirt look with jeans for evening walk

I then walked to the library to drop off my library books despite my utter exhaustion (they were due the next day and I'm too cheap/broke to let myself deal with library fines) and during the walk home, convinced myself that I hadn't tied the bottom drawstrings well enough and I was now wearing jeans with a Versalette dress under my winter jacket.  It turns out I was wrong, everything HAD stayed in place and I was just being paranoid.  Now my lovely purchase has been packed away in my layover bag until I'm on days off.