Thursday, 26 January 2017

Dream Vanity

I set up my first real vanity table in early 2011. I had always wanted one but so few people seemed to have one. Was I being vain? I hoped not. For me it is a place of peacefulness, a place where I can relax and concentrate 100% on me. It's my happy place. It's a luxury every woman should have. Also, I hate keeping makeup in the bathroom with all of the moisture issues and bending over the sink to do my eye makeup got old many years ago.

So back in 2011, vanity tables were really just getting popular again. My vanity table and current set up is not ideal but it is functional. I have been thinking of updating it but there are so many options out there I want to make sure that I get it right this time. I would like to have something reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. It also has to be functional with lots of storage space, comfortable and still look somewhat modern and elegant. This is what I have in mind for my dream vanity...

In the collage above, I have put together what I am envisioning for my dream vanity set up. Let's start with the centrepiece, the table. I would like a white desk that I can wipe. White is timeless and looks good with almost anything. My bedroom is mostly silver and lilac. A white table would work well. I love the table in the picture above. I saw it on Pinterest and it links to an article from Better Homes and Gardens. This table has lots of big drawers for storage, a huge tabletop so I can spread out my makeup and has an old Hollywood look while not looking dated.

I have two ideas in mind with regards to the chair. I think I would prefer the white one in the top left hand corner of the collage. It's screams old Hollywood to me and it looks so darn fancy. The chair can be found at Neiman Marcus under the Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture collection and it is the Swanson Sheepskin Side Chair.

It may be personal preference, but my vanity chair must have a back. I hunch too much and I need the reinforcement to sit back. Also, it's just way more comfortable. The other chair, the grey brown one  from Frontgate called the Sweetheart Vanity Chair to the right of the collage is also something I would like as it is elegant, neutral and practical. I would imagine I would have a hell of a time getting any makeup marks off of the white chair.  

Lighting and mirrors are a serious consideration. I have a mirror attached to my current vanity as shown in the collage below. I find it kind of low and it's hard to get just the right light to hit it. I have a friend who swears by her Impressions Vanity Company lighted mirror. She says it is worth every dime. I need this. There are so many options to choose from on their website. I would also like a full length mirror that can stand up against the wall next to my vanity. I really like the Arhaus Newport Floor Mirror for this purpose. It's timeless and beautiful. In addition to the lighting on my vanity mirror, I would like to have a hanging ceiling light to tie everything together and add some more sophistication to the look. Arhaus has some great pendant lighting and chandeliers and the one I especially like is the Anabella Chandelier in Nickel. You should check out their gorgeous lighting fixtures!

I currently have an Alex Drawer Unit with 9 Drawers from Ikea and I plan on keeping it as it is perfect to store makeup and jewelry. You can also store your perfume, for example, on top of it in a nice tray and it looks very smart. I actually could maybe do with a second one, but let's not go there (my husband will freak out). The Alex units by Ikea have so many uses, can be turned into part of a desk and can be used with almost any vanity set up.

Finally, a girl needs some eye candy on her vanity table. If we can throw in some functionality, we are laughing. I particularly like the Freya Glass Hurricane which can also be found on Not only does it look glamorous, but you could use it to display your bigger makeup brushes, eyeliners or lip glosses.  

As previously mentioned, the collage I have below is what I currently have. The vanity table and chair are from Bombay & Co. They have had this particular duo (sold separately) for a number of years and it is still a big seller. It's the Prima Vanity and the Priscilla Vanity Chair. When I bought them, I wanted something antique looking. I have since decided that I want something bigger, brighter and more modern. The drawers do not hold much. The mirror is not great like I said, too low. I recently got a young cat and she loves my vanity chair. So much so that she lost her vanity chair privileges earlier today. She loves to hide under it and scratch it. She also managed to knock it over twice today...  

Finally, I was struggling with lighting my vanity area. I was using an overheard generic ceiling light coupled with a small lamp and a desktop magnification vanity mirror. I originally ordered a desktop LED magnification vanity mirror that was battery operated from a company in California. The name has slipped my mind. It stopped working last fall and I was constantly changing the batteries. I found a fantastic plug in one at Costco for $19.99! It's much better than some I have seen for $250! They were flying off the shelves last Christmas at Costco. I can't seem to find a photo of it online. Because I was struggling with the overall lighting situation, my husband bought me an inexpensive floor lamp from Lowe's with an adjustable light. It's really bright and works well for the time being.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gets you thinking about your dream vanity set up! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Palette - Review and Swatches

Today I am going to do my long awaited review on the Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Palette. I've had this palette for a few months now and I have not worn it as much as I should. Too much makeup, too little time. I got mine from Sephora for $59 Canadian. I believe it is $46 U.S. I don't see it on Sephora's website as of tonight, but it may still be in stores. It is on Tarte's website still for full price. The palette contains 9 eyeshadows, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer. Each eyeshadow is 1g or 0.035 oz. The highlighter, blush and bronzer are each 3.2g or 0.11 oz. All good and fair sizes at this price point. The palette smells a bit like chocolate to me. The mirror inside is huge.

The bronzer, Sweet Tea, is nice. A bit orangey for my taste and cool toned complexion, but nice nonetheless. The blush, Does this thing really work?, is unusual. A very shimmery raspberry. I can wear it, but it will not be for everyone. It is quite pigmented. Okay, the highlighter, Gator Wings, is one of the most potent highlighters that I have ever seen. It is stunning, but it is not for the faint of heart. It is disco ball city and quite icy gold.

On to the eyeshadows. On the top row above we have #SFS, Natural Peaches and Dogman. The second row contains Big Baby, Sassy Bun and Sippy Sippy. Finally, on the third row, is Haunting, Uncommon and Mancat. I feel like I need to add a summary or disclaimer to these eyeshadows as a whole before I get into them individually. To preface this, I will say that I have seen a number of reviews online saying that this palette mostly or only caters to fair skin tones. Maybe you have seen those comments as well. There is some truth to that opinion, however, I feel that many women could pull off many of these eyeshadows if they are dark skintoned. Dogman, Sassy Bun, Sippy Sippy, Haunting, Uncommon and Mancat would look gorgeous on many dark women. It's really women who are medium toned or light cool toned that will struggle with this palette. Some of these shades would simply get washed out on medium skin. If you are light skinned, but cool toned, some of these colours could look too orange on your complexion or bruise like. This palette would look best on those with a light warm skin tone (peaches and cream complexion) or dark toned skin.

Left to right in the picture above is Gator Wings (highlight), Does this thing really work? (blush) and Sweet Tea (bronzer). Gator Wings is crumbly, you will get fallout.

From left to right above is #SFS, Natural Peaches, Dogman, Big Baby and Sassy Bun. I've said it before and I will say it again. Tarte does not make good, glowy light coloured eyeshadows. They are always flat and get washed out on the skin. #SFS is one of the lightest colours in the palette and it's drab and washed out on my skin as you can see. Natural Peaches is a good crease colour on me, but I think it is meant to be a overall wash of colour on the lid? Doesn't look nice on my lid but if you have blue eyes and a peachy skin tone, hey, it may look awesome! Dogman is a very pigmented rust shade. Many people could wear this if applied properly. Big Baby. Sigh.....what a waste. Totally washed out on my skin and it is the lightest colour of the lot. I have seen this shade so many times with different names in Tarte palettes. Awful. Lastly here, Sassy Bun. It's kind of a fun shade. You could do a lot with it.

Last four shadows shown above are Sippy Sippy, Haunting, Uncommon and Mancat. These four are the highlight of palette as far as I am concerned with the exception of Sassy Bun which is also a solid eyeshadow. Sippy Sippy reminds me of  a dupe for Makeup Geek's Bada Bing. Great pigmentation. Haunting I wish was more needs a bright eyeshadow base under it but it is a nice colour. Uncommon isn't that uncommon but it's a nice crease shade. Finally, Mancat is my favourite of the bunch. A very vibrant plum.

There we have it! Overall, I think the palette is different and some people will love it. I do not regret my purchase but I will not get as much mileage out of it as someone with a more compatible skin tone for this palette. The quality of the palette both packaging and colours is very good. Some of Tarte's best work minus a couple of the eyeshadows that fell flat for me.

I haven't tried the brush that came with it as yet.

Packaging: 10/10   
Pigmentation: Light Shades 2/10  Medium or Darker Shades: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 7.5/10
Longevity: 7.5/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 7.5/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 (maybe a bit big for travel but it is a face palette)
Attractiveness of Product: Depends on your skintone
Would I buy this again? Maybe
Overall Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Tend Skin the Skin Care Solution - Review

Sensitive skin? Get razor burn? I do in certain areas. It's not pretty to look at and it sure can be irritating. Enter Tend Skin.

I was sent a bottle of this from to review. I have been buying a number of things, mainly nail polish, from them for a couple of years now and I have always been very happy with the products they send me, their prices and the speed of their shipping. I had never heard of Tend Skin before and I was happy they introduced me to this brand. I have tried it out and I can say that it does a fantastic job of preventing and treating razor burn, red bumps and ingrown hairs. I am not sure if it is my imagination, but my hair seems to be growing back slower in the area where I used it. The bottle says it is suitable for men and women. 

The product smells similar to rubbing alcohol but the smell dissipates quickly after application. The cap inside allows you to get what you want out of the bottle so that you don't waste the product. It is suggested that you apply the product to a cotton pad and then to your skin. I did do that and it worked just fine. I also used my bare hand a couple of times and that worked just as well if not better. I saw a comment online from someone saying that they put theirs in a small spray bottle when travelling. I think that is a fantastic idea and not just for travel! The bottle I have is the smallest one I believe which is 118ml or 4 oz. I think this bottle will last me a good deal of time. This size is $19 Canadian and I think well worth the money.

In the past I have used Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads. They work great but are super expensive. A jar of 50 pads is (you better sit down) $49 Canadian or $38 U.S. I'm normally a cheapskate when I buy them for travelling and I look for their travel pack which is around $20-$25 and you get maybe 20 pads because $50 for 50 pads is absurd. I can tell you that I could easily soak more than 50 cotton pads with my small bottle of Tend Skin and it would cost a fraction of the price of the Bliss ones.

Tend Skin is cooling on the skin and didn't sting me at all. The blue bottle is quite attractive too. It also comes in a roll on. I've gotta try that. You should pick some Tend Skin up if you, like me, suffer from razor irritation and ingrown hairs and rid yourself of the problem.     

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

December 2016 Empties

My last post was November Empties and now I am doing my December Empties. I really must strategize my blog posts better. A palette is next for sure. Let's get to it. Won't take long as I only have 5 items.

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins is a good night cream. This might be maybe the third one I have gone through. I would buy it again. I get a little bored of it sometimes so I switch things up. Smells great. (review here)

Origins yet again. Plantscription serum. I have been using this for years and I really like it. Seems to be keeping the fine lines at bay. Already repurchased.

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit. Didn't care much for the smell of this one. Is it me or has the quality of these deodorants gone downhill over the last year or two? I've already repurchased 3 in other took me forever to finish this one. I tend to use Dove more in the summer months. Please leave a comment below if you have been finding the quality of these to be on the decline. Maybe I am losing my mind.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Vanilla Bean. I am sensing a vanilla theme forming. I was on a mission to finish this and I finally did. Yeah! I have talked about this eyeshadow to death. I will bore you no more. Will not repurchase.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Volume + Lift Mascara. I must have bought dozens of these at this point. This was a travel sized tube. I have taken to buying them in this size if I can get them at the Estee Lauder sale as they are a fraction of the price of a full sized tube and last just as long. Plus they work just as good. Only true non smudge mascara on the market as far as I am concerned. (review here)

So that's it. Hope you all had a wonderful New Year!