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Bellabe Facial Hair Remover from Nail Polish Canada

Good evening, dear readers! :D

Recently I was asked if I would like to review the Bellabe Facial Hair Remover from Nail Polish Canada.

I love reviewing things, and as I have do have longer hairs on my face than I would like (they may be mostly blonde, but I don't want a mustache! :(), I definitely said yes!

Normally I either shave, pluck, or get my sister to thread the hairs off.  I was curious to see how well the Bellabe would stand up to the other methods.

According to the website:
"The Bellabe Facial Remover uses a unique precision spring to remove unwanted coarse facial hairs or "peach fuzz" from the roots. Bellable works best on unsightly hair above the lip, on the chin, sideburns and cheeks. It can be used over and over again and is a much faster method of hair removal then plucking.
To use Bellabe, start by flexing the spring into an upside down “U” than apply to the face and gently roll the handles. No wax or creme is required as the coils of the spring will trap and remove the follicles and hairs. Bellabe is easy to use and practically painless."- nailpolishcanada.com
(Image from nailpolishcanada.com)
These retail for $15.00 Can., and come in 8 colour options:


(Image from Nail Polish Canada)

Here is the product after I first received it:

It comes in a really cute tube for storage!

It also came with a folded sheet of instructions.



So, as I had been growing out my facial hair for this review, I was quite excited to be without a mustache again.

It sometimes takes a few turns to get the wire to grip onto some hairs, but once it does, it's NOT letting go!!

This really does exactly what it will say it will do, except for the "practically painless" part.  While some areas were a little less sensitive than others, I'm not going to lie; this HURT!  At one point my eyes were watering and my nose got runny. But in all seriousness, I'm technically ripping hairs out of my face, so regardless of the method, it's going to hurt.  I didn't expect it to be pain-free, so I went into this with that in mind. 

It hurts just like tweezing hurts, or threading with thread.  But it is faster than those I find, as it covers more area and can pull out more hair faster.  It's also more effective than shaving, as the hair takes longer to grow back in and you aren't left with blunt hair edges.  Another bonus: you can't cut yourself with this, like you can do with razor blades (I may or may not have done this...).

The before and after:


And for those of you who want to see just how well it grips the hairs:

(Eeew!! XD)

This is an extremely effective product, and I give it two thumbs up for working as well as it does.  

In short: (to me!) it really hurts, but it really works. It does redden the skin for a while (as you can see on my "after" photo), so I would suggest doing this a while before going out anywhere.  I think I'll try this again after numbing my skin a bit with ice and see how that goes.  Also keep in mind that I have very low pain tolerance and very sensitive skin, so the pain and redness could vary greatly per person.

I'm very glad to have been able to try this!

Have you tried this method of facial hair removal before? (That is, if you have any facial hair that you want to remove)

Have a wonderful day! :D

-Ash
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Demeter Fragrance Review - Laundromat

Good evening, dear readers!

Today I have a review of Demeter Fragrance's Laundromat.


(Image from demeterfragrance.com)

According to demeterfragrance.com:

"This is simply the freshest, cleanest scent imaginable, just like clean clothes right out of the dryer. It is inevitably, the most comforting, comfortable scent in the Library. 

J.F. Cantrell noticed that personal washing machines were a luxury many of his neighbors could not afford. On April 18th, 1934, Mr. Cantrell opened the first Laundromat, in Fort Worth, Texas. At Demeter, we celebrate April 18th as the inspiration for the freshest, cleanest scent we know, our version of Laundromat cologne."



This smells lighly floral with a hint of fake lilac, with some soapyness.  I asked my sister what she smelled, and she said "grandma's house".  And it does smell like my grandma's house!  I know that isn't particularly helpful to my readers, but I got to give it to Demeter for bringing up scent memories.

I don't get "laundry" when I smell this, and when I think of soapiness in the scent, it's more decorative hand soaps (particularly ones I smelled in the 1990's) than laundry detergent.

Its a very mild scent that stays close to the skin, and the initial strength really dies down a lot faster than many of the Demeter fragrances I have tried.

It's hard to say what exactly you will be reminded of when you smell this, as how it turns out on me will not necessarily be how it turns out on you.  Not only that, but when you work with finding a fragrance for something like a laundromat, there are so many variables that can affect customer opinion.  The products that I've used in laundry and the products that I've smelled other people use could be vastly different than someone in another home or country.  So for all I know, this could smell exactly like a laundromat in the creators town.

I'm sure this will be a pleasing scent for many, and while it may not be something that I will wear often, I'm glad that to have been able to try it out.  It was a nice surprise having something to bring back more memories of my grandmother, as this did.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and I'll be back with more Demeter reviews soon!

-Ash
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Demeter Fragrance Review - Lilac

Good afternoon, dear readers!

Today I have another Demeter Fragrance review for you, and this one is for Lilac.

(Image from demeterfragrance.com)

From Demeter Fragrance:
"Beautiful spring flowers, driving by it perhaps, a quick burst of intense, almost overwhelming, scent...We're in danger of some "purple prose" here, we know. But, we do love it.

Lilac grows as a shrub or small tree up to 20 feet in height producing a crowd of erect stems, clothed with spirally arranged flakes of bark. It is covered with smooth shoots and leaves, usually heart-shape and 2 to 6 inches long. Our concern, however, is with the fragrance and unforgettable flowers."

My family has had beautiful lilac bushes growing in our backyard for many years (over twenty), and every spring the air fills with their glorious scent.  I've always enjoyed the fragrance, but was sad to learn that I couldn't buy lilac essential oil, as it cannot be properly extracted.  It is too delicate, and gets ruined in extraction processes.

So, when I learned that Demeter had a lilac cologne, I had to try it!


There are definite hints of something similar to lilac, and as my sister said we can see where they are going with this, but it's not quite a true lilac scent.  As lilac is hard to do I cannot really fault them for this, and the fragrance is rather lovely.  I find it to be a delicate, soapy floral, and I think that many people would enjoy this.  My sister liked it a lot, so I gave it to her.  I like it as well, but I think it suits her more than me.

I've read reviews where other people thought it smelled exactly like lilacs, but I think it is a bit different.  It is still really pleasant though! :D

I would suggest giving this a try if you are a lilac fan, as there are similarities of it in there.  I think one of the best ways for me to describe it would be: if I had to smell it without knowing what it was and wearing a blindfold, I would think "hey, that's lilac fragranced" vs. "this is a bunch of lilac flowers."  So you can get that it's lilac, but to me it's not 100% exact.  All in all I'm very glad that I got to try it.

Are you a fan of any Demeter fragrances?

Have a wonderful day! :D

-Ash



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Demeter Fragrance Review - Pumpkin Pie

Good morning, dear readers!

Today I have a review of Demeter Fragrance's Pumpkin Pie.


According to demeterfragrance.com:

"What Thanksgiving would be complete without Pumpkin Pie? The memories of the laughter in the air and the smell coming from the kitchen dominates; pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, a touch of ginger and hint of cloves.

When it comes to Thanksgiving we all have special and fond memories, whether it is of a special guest, the origin of a family tradition, or a particular reason to be thankful. Our fondest memories of Thanksgiving are the ones of childhood. The family would gather at grandmother's to celebrate. There had to have been at least 50 or more of us there. The kids would be outside playing, while the women were in the kitchen cooking and the men where in the living room watching football on TV (not very millennium, but that's how it was).

And, of course, there is the rest of the story. According to a study at the Monell Institute in Philadelphia, the smell of Pumpkin Pie increases the arousal level in men by 40%. Maybe our mothers and grandmothers intuitively knew this as truth; the Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook, circa 1965, says it best: 'Men love Pie'."


Originally I thought about saving this review for September, but I changed my mind.  I think pumpkin pie is so delicious, and I love how much it reminds me of fall (surprisingly I'm the only person in my whole immediate family that actually likes it!) 

When I saw this listed on the Demeter web page, I absolutely had to get it!  Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons, and I tend to get very nostalgic for them during spring and summer.  I've been especially craving those seasons lately as the weather has been getting too hot for me and it's making me grumpy. :(

So, on a hunt for scents that reminded me of those beautiful months and to cheer myself up, I grabbed several vials of various fragrances hoping to bring me some relief until those seasons actually arrive again.  

When I first spray Pumpkin Pie on me, I get... pumpkin pie!  (Hahah sorry, I had to!).  I get the spices and some pumpkin puree, and it smells glorious!  After a few moments (seriously, really fast) the cinnamon comes out and dominates the fragrance, and it turns into a scent very reminiscent of cinnamon heart candies.  It flickers between that and cinnamon festive candles, but I find it's slightly more on the candy side of the spectrum.  I don't notice much in the way of crust, as some other reviewers get.  Also the actual pumpkin part does fade really fast, and isn't noticeable for long, leaving you with a mainly spicy scent.  

While I hoped that it would have more pumpkin in it and that it would stick around for longer, I do really enjoy cinnamon hearts and I like this cologne!  It's a warm, spicy scent that cheers me up, and I think I may pick up the splash size in a future order.  I'd wear it in the autumn (or when I want to think of autumn!) and winter (especially around Valentine's Day!).  :D

I'll be back soon with more Demeter reviews!

Take care and have a wonderful day :D

-Ash

5 comments

Demeter Fragrance Review - Thunderstorm

Good morning, dear readers! :D

Today I have a review of the Demeter Fragrance Thunderstorm.
(Image from demeterfragrance.com)

According to demeterfragrance.com:

"Have you ever considered the olfactory side of rain? You know it's coming, you can smell it in the air (exactly!).

It does seem that on summer days when it is hot and dry, with a thunderstorm brewing just over the next hill, you can `smell the rain. Well, you can smell something, but rain? Have you ever tried to smell this same rain in January when the ground is frozen solid? Not a chance, but when the ground and plants are warmer, you can smell something. What you really smell comes not from the air, but the ground! Plants release oils that enter the soil and blend with the other earthy odors. These odors are released into the air when the relative humidity at ground level exceeds 75 percent. Moist humid air will transmit odors far better than dry air. In these moist humid conditions we notice these odors more readily. And since rain is so often connected with moist humid air, we tend to associate one with the other.

The Demeter Fragrance Thunderstorm captures this complex sensory moment perfectly. Like poetry, Thunderstorm is subtle and difficult to define, but real, with Thunderstorm reflecting the deep and violent nature of a summer storm."



I was pretty excited to try this one, as was my sister.  We both got samples of it, and she tried it first, and I after. :D

The samples were 3ml and retailed for $2.06 USD (usually $2.50 but they were on sale).

Sadly...it didn't smell like petrichor to us.

There were some grassy notes at the beginning, some watery notes (definitely!), and some artificial soil.  On my sister the fragrance went almost straight to dirt after the initial grassy burst (also artificial smelling), and on myself there were some watermelon rind/almost cucumber notes.  The whole while though there was an underlying 'men's cologne' tinge to it, and when I had the perfume on for hours, that was mainly what I smelled. My sister even got an almost leathery note, which we think was the soil part of the scent.  I found the soil kind of smelled like the old 'dirt' Crayola fragranced crayon.  XD

Although Demeter Fragrances are unisex, I think I would prefer to smell this on a man instead of myself.  My sister thinks I can pull it off, but I find I end up getting distracted (sadly not in a good way) when wearing this, and a bit queasy if I keep smelling it.  However, 4 hours or so later I think it smelled nice on my arm, being barely there at that point and almost reminiscent of spice.

So Thunderstorm didn't work for us, but fragrance is such a personal thing. I have seen both good and bad reviews for this, but it depends on what you prefer and how fragrance develops with your personal chemistry.

I'm looking forward to reviewing more of Demeter's offerings! :D

Have a wonderful day!

-Ash

(P.S., if you've ever tried this, please let me know what you thought!)


2 comments

Demeter Fragrance Sample Haul

Good evening, dear readers!

This morning I received an eagerly awaited package from FedEx... my Demeter sample haul!  :D

(These were paid for by myself, but the large bottle was included in the package because I spent over $25 USD :D).

Each sample was $2.06 USD for 3 ml (they usually retail for $2.50 USD but were on sale).

Wooohooo check it out:



Here's a list of what I ordered:

Christmas in New York
Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon Bun
Egg Nog
Fireplace
Frozen Pond
Gingerbread
Laundromat
Lava Rock x2
Lilac
Mountain Air
Mulled Cider
New Zealand
Paperback x2
Pumpkin Pie
Snow
Sugar Plum
Thunderstorm x2

And they threw in the large Prickly Pear for free! :D  Four of the samples were ordered for my sister (that's why there are some doubles; we both wanted to try several of the same ones).

Shipping to Canada is expensive, so if you are going to place an order with them I highly recommend making it a big one (if you want to try that many things).  It was $20 flat rate, so I'm going to save up for another bigger order next time I purchase from them.  Truthfully though, the company is pretty awesome, the customer service representative I talked to in the past was really nice, they have some really lovely products (over 250 scents to choose from in different forms), and they are cruelty-free, so it's hard to go wrong with them. :)  Also my order arrived within a week, and I am pretty happy about that too!

I'm really looking forward to reviewing these here! :D

I'll be back soon with some reviews, and I hope that you have a lovely evening.

-Ash
3 comments

Gambling With Magic Cards - My Modern Masters 2015 Experience So Far

Good morning, dear readers!

Here is another MTG post.

So this spring Modern Masters 2015 was released.  It was a very hyped up set, from the beginning.  Eldrazi?  Awesome.  Elesh Norn?  Sweet!  Bitterblossom, Vendillion Clique, Daybreak Coronet, Karn Liberated, Tarmogoyf, Iona, Cryptic Command... a super awesome bunch of cards.

Then, when all was said and done and the whole set was spoiled for us to see, there was a lot of "meh" from the fans.

There were a lot of rares that would not get you your money back, and the chances of getting those was high.  (I know that not every Magic fan views the game from such a financial standpoint, but this article is more about that side of things.)

I know that is the case with pretty much every Magic set, but the thing is, (while it depends on your location), each pack of MM2015 costs about three times the price of a normal pack of magic cards.

So while, say, a pack of Dragons of Tarkir will sell for $5 Can. or so, Modern Masters 2015 sells each pack for $15 Can..  And sure, you are guaranteed a foil in every pack (and so an extra card), but most of those will be commons or uncommons that aren't worth a whole lot.

A while back The Mana Source did a video unlike most they have done, where they reviewed the value of the set and whether or not it was worth it to buy a box.  While the math isn't perfect as cards fluctuate wildly and they aren't taking into account the teensy chance you have of getting a foil mythic that is worth hundreds of dollars, basically it boiled down to about 19% chance of actually making your money back in pulls for each pack.

Those are terrible chances!  Not only that, but I heard that the quality control wasn't so good for this set, so one man opened two boxes and had one that was repeats and repeats of junky cards, and the other had a bunch of good ones.

But!  Like the Magic fan I am, I like to gamble now and then and buy packs to see if I would get something spiffy for trade, sale, or altering.  (Believe me, this is NOT always the best idea.  But it can be fun now and again!)  And this time it actually paid off!! :O

I bought a total of 5 packs over the past two weeks, three of which I gave to my Dad, and two that I opened for myself.  So that is a hefty chunk of change right there.  My Dad also gave me two packs, so in total I opened 4.  The first pack sadly had a junk rare that I can't remember, as I opened it last week.  The three packs I got my Dad had junk rares.  The three I opened yesterday for myself:

Pack 1:
First had Indomitable Archangel (worth about $0.85)
Gorgeous card, but yiiikes!

Pack 2:
Tarmogoyf (worth about $174.99)
SAY WHAT!

Pack 3:
Ghost Council of Orzhova (foil) (worth about $4)
Fulminator Mage (worth about $20.45)

Needless to say I was pretty ecstatic over the Tarmogoyf.  I don't usually have the best luck in pulling amazing cards, but this time I was very lucky.


You rarely will make back what the card is worth, so while it would cost you $175 in store to buy a near mint copy, if I sold it to a store I would get around $125-130ish tops.  So, I am selling it to someone else in the community for a solid $145.

I know this isn't a foil Tarmogoyf (worth about $350!), but I am still making back what I spent on those packs ($75) + $70.

A part of me says: use the money to buy more!  And the more rational side of me says, "no, you aren't going to get any more great cards, don't waste your money!!'  The chances of me pulling something that great again are pretty much non-existent.

Should you buy into Modern Master 2015 as a collector?  It depends what kind of collector you are. If you are looking for only some of the cards, it is a risky gamble. It's a gamble that I was fortunate enough to benefit from, but if I continued trying my chances I doubt it would be worth it.  You'd most likely be better off just going and buying the particular cards you needed than trying to open them, and packs of MM are very expensive.  If you are trying to collect the whole set, then it makes sense wanting to open some packs as every card in the whole set is one that you want to have.  However it will still be an extremely expensive set to collect.

Is it worth it to try and get money cards?  I don't think so.  There is such a minute chance of getting something that you are much more likely to be throwing money away than making it.

Now if you are drafting, that is a whole other matter.  But that is also a $35+ draft, so it's not for everybody.  If you are my friend Mike, it's worth it, because he aaaaaaaalways pulls the best cards.  Aaaaaalways.  It really is uncanny!

I know that probably most of my readers don't play Magic, but for those who do, what are your thoughts on Modern Masters 2015?

Take care and have a beautiful day!

-Ash


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Lush Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask Review

Good morning, dear readers!

Today I'm going to be reviewing Lush's Love Lettuce fresh face mask.



This retails for $6.95 for 60 grams (or you can bring in 5 empty Lush black pots and get it for free!).

"Balancing mask for all skin types

Love Lettuce is our exfoliating ground almond mask that scoops up dirt, oil and debris and washes it all away. Exfoliation is an important part of good skincare, as it removes the buildup of dead skin that can clog your pores and cause impurities. Love Lettuce is a great example of how just a few ingredients can make a fresh, effective product for the skin. We blend calming French lavender oil with seaweed and honey to nourish and soften skin, and to balance oily T-zones." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Agar Agar Gel (Gelidium cartilagineum) , Kaolin ,Honey , Fullers Earth , Glycerine , Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) , Ground Almond Shells (Prunus dulcis) ,Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis) , Lavender Oil (Lavandula augustifolia) , Chlorophyllin , *Geraniol ,*Limonene , *Linalool , Fragrance



This has a delightful green colour to it, which makes me happy as I think of it as a classic face mask colour.  XD  You can definitely notice the scrubby bits in it, and you can exfoliate your skin while applying it (and removing it).


(You can see my bottom snaggle teeth! XD)

You leave this on for 5-10 minutes, then remove it.  I used a yellow face cloth; it could very well come out with more scrubbing, but I think there was a wee bit of green staining on the cloth when I was finished.  Again, this could come out in the wash, but to be on the safe side I recommend using a cloth that you don't mind getting a bit stained in the worst case scenario.

The lavender fragrance is lovely, and the added notes from the other ingredients really help to bring about even more of a relaxing spa feeling.

Afterwards, my skin was soft and dewy.  It wasn't dried out at all (which a lot of masks can do), and it had a moisturized look to it.  There was a bit of redness, but I attribute that to the scrubbing, and that my skin is really sensitive.

I quite enjoyed this mask and my skin feels clean and refreshed!  I will enjoy using this again, and if you want a really relaxing mask that can exfoliate and doesn't strip your skin, I recommend it! :D

Have you tried Love Lettuce?  Are any other Lush fresh face masks your favourite?

Have a lovely day! :D

-Ash
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MTF Forest Alter - The Unicorn in Captivity

Good morning, dear readers!

A few weeks ago I did a forest alter for Magic the Gathering, and I wanted to do the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry that I have loved for a very long time.  So here she be:


The whole painting took about 5-6 hours if I remember correctly.  

I took progress photos while I was working on it:

There are things that I didn't add, like the chain and the initials around the tree, and there are differences because there was only so much detail I could fit into the card and copying exactly would have taken me months.  But I am happy with how it turned out! :D

I am actually working on another one and I sold this one shortly after finishing it.

I hope you have a wonderful day! :D

-Ash
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The Face Shop Sseal Escargot 24K Gold Cream Review

Good afternoon, dear readers!! :D

Today I have a slightly more unusual review for you: The Face Shop's Sseal Escargot 24K Gold Cream.  (Whew, that was a mouthful!)




Last year around Christmas The Face Shop was having a really great sale, so my sister and I picked this up while we were there.  It was actually my sisters Christmas gift to me, as I really wanted to try it, and it was bloody expensive.  Not as expensive as so many other products that are available these days (La Prairie Cellular Cream Platinum for $1000+?  Nuuuupe!), but still pricey enough with a hefty around $100-ish price tag for 50 ml. (I am seeing it listed online for cheaper now, but I don't know if those are legit.  Anyway, it was that expensive in store.)  Thankfully they were having a half-off sale, so it wasn't as bad.

I'd heard things about snail cream for facial care, and I love trying all sorts of things to get my skin in better condition.  So, naturally, I really wanted to test it out (yay snail goo!).



This cream consists of 60% filtered snail mucous, and then there are the 24K gold flakes. Fancyyyyyy!  (I admit, I like feeling fancy!)

Along with the jar, you get a small plastic scoop, which is great in that you don't have to scoop the product out with dirty fingers and contaminate it.  However, I lost mine.  >.>



The cream (although I'd call it more of a smooth gel, than anything) has a lovely fragrance!  I know that a lot of people aren't fond of fragrance in skin care, and I don't blame them.  It really is an unnecessary additive that can cause skin irritation.  I do like a good fragrance though *shifty-eyes*.

The gel-like texture has visible gold flakes in it, that disappear into your skin when you rub the cream on.  They are preeeetty!

 (I tried to zoom into a photo to show the flakes more, but it's kinda blurry)



INGREDIENTS: SNAIL SECTRETION FILTRATE*GLYCERIN*WATER*CYCLOPENTASILOXANE*DIMETHICONE*DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL*BETAINE*PROPYLENE GYLCOL*SORBITOL*CYCLOHEXASILOXANE*BUTYLENE GLYCOL*PANTHENOL*SODIUM HYALURONATE*GOLD*SPIRAEA ULMARIA EXTRACT*THEOBROMA CACAO (COCOA) EXTRACT*AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER*CITRUS PARADISI (GRAPEFRUIT) EXTRACT*HYDROGENATED LECITHIN*CAPRYLYL GLYCOL*POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE*LAURYL DIMETHICONE/POLYGLYCERINE-3 CROSSPOLYMER*ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER*STEAROXYMETHICONE/DIMETHICONE COPOLYMER*XANTHAN GUM*POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE*DISODIUM EDTA*FRAGRANCE

From what I could gather with research:

Snail secretion filtrate = filtered escargot mucus
Glycerine = hygroscopic (attracts water molecules from surroundings) simple sugar alcohol compound, used to improve smoothness, provide lubrication and is a humectant
Water = aqua!
Cyclopentasiloxane = slip agent, emollient
Dimethicone = silicon oil (polymerized siloxane), silicone based polymer, emollient, slip agent
Dipropylene glycol = fragrance carrier, viscosity decreasing agent, solvent
Betaine = an amino acid which functions as a humectant and anti-irritant
Propylene glycol = slip agent, humectant
Sorbitol = sugar alcohol (while obtained from fruits, most comes from corn syrup), humectant, thickener
Cyclohexasiloxane = silicon based polymer, emollient, solvent, skin-conditioning agent
Butylene glycol = organic alcohol, humectant, skin-conditioning, solvent
Panthenol = alcohol form of vitamin B5, moisturizer, lubricator
Sodium hyaluronate = sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, humectant, skin-conditioning
Gold = gold
Spiraea ulmaria extract = meadowsweet extract, skin-conditioning agent
Theobroma cacao extract = cocoa extract, skin-conditioner
Ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate = emulsion stabilizer
Citrus paradisi extract = grapefruit extract, skin-conditioning
Hydrogenated lecithin = surfactant - emulsifying agent, skin-conditioning, suspending agent
Caprylyl gylcol = skin conditioning, emollient, humectant
Polymethylsilsesquioxane = opacifying agent
Lauryl dimethicone/polyglycerine-3 crosspolymer = surfactant, emulsifying agent, solubilizing agent, viscosity increasing agent, skin-conditioning
Acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer = emulsion stabilizer, viscosity increasing agent, film forming
Stearoxymethicone/dimethicone copolymer = viscosity increasing agent, emollient, skin-conditioning
Xanthan gum = sugar based polymer produced by bacteria, emulsion stabilizer, binder, skin-conditioning agent, surfactant, viscosity increasing agent, gel forming
Potassium hydroxide = caustic inorganic base, pH adjuster
Disodium EDTA = viscosity controlling
Fragrance = mystery smells!

It sounds like this would be pretty moisturizing!  However, on me, it isn't.  :/  It doesn't dry me out, but it doesn't really do much in the way of adding moisture into my skin either.  There is a film on the skin right after application, but within the hour it is pretty much absorbed.  And while my skin is a little softer to the touch, it doesn't feel super supple.

After application it adds a slight sheen to the skin making it look more moisturized:



I don't feel that it is drawing much water into my skin.  I find that when I am using the cream, my skin gets a tiny bit flushed on the apples of my cheeks, almost as if I applied a bit of blush.  (It doesn't show up in flash photos well but in my bathroom mirror it is much more obvious.)  Maybe that's the 'radiant' I get with this? XD

I also don't find that it plumps my skin up much, and my fine lines look pretty much the same before and after application.  It really doesn't say that it is an anti-ager, but creams that really moisturize your skin do tend to make them look younger.

Continual use of this product (more than one day) causes my skin to start breaking out in those tiny pimples, so I can't say how well this helps the skin in the long term. :(

Overall I'm very glad I got to try this, and if I use it only one day at a time and not several in a row I am fine, but I don't find that it provides the benefits necessary to justify the price tag.  While it is certainly possible that I could get much better results with continued use, my skin won't allow me to do that.  Also, the regular moisturizer I use provides results even after one application!

Have you tried any snail creams before?  What are your thoughts?

Take care and have a wonderful day!

-Ash


0 comments

Sun Awareness Week

Good morning, dear readers! :D

I was recently contacted by Oscar Insurance (whom you can find more about here), and was informed of National Sun Awareness Week (June 1st-June 7th, or June 1st-8th depending on the organization).  

I think sun protection is extremely important, so after some conversation with them, a blog post was created to bring more information available to my readers.

Even though we all know that sunlight can be very damaging, many of us still disregard these warnings and do little to protect ourselves from ultraviolet radiation.

I like using the longer term, as the shortened "UV rays" doesn't sound as bad as the reality of what it is: radiation.


(Image from here.)

Skin cancer is a very scary and very real danger, and I personally know at least two people who have had it.  One of my family members is one of those people, and while he was lucky and had the non-life threatening kind, he still had to have surgery and now has scars on his face from where they had to remove it, and from where they removed and added skin grafts.  Not only that, but it's actually come back since then :(.

It's easy to go about life thinking that the terrible things that can happen in the world won't "really" happen to us, or those close to us.  But I've personally known at least 5(!) people who have had different types of cancer, several of which are family, and extremely sadly, one of those people (my grandmother) died from it.  I don't know a huge amount of people, so having that many diagnosed with cancer out of the relatively small group of people I know is really saying something.  This is a very real and very serious risk that is only getting more and more prevalent in the world today.

Not only do we have the life-threatening risks, but ultraviolet radiation promotes skin irritation, premature aging (wrinkles! sunspots!), and cataracts.

So what can we do?  Work on things to make ourselves healthier, and at a lower risk.  I know this sounds funny coming from someone who has had a history of smoking for 16 years (don't even get me started on that), but that's even more reason for me to protect myself from the Sun's rays, as I've already exposed myself to the ridiculous dangers of that horrible habit.

Some of the ways I avoid sunlight is by wearing big hats and sunglasses, sunblock/sunscreen, and taking my daily walks either in the evening, or really early in the morning instead of when the sun is at its zenith, and when the ultraviolet index is at its highest.

I'm not a saint, I've been known to be lax on wearing sunscreen, and I know that I need to improve that.  Last summer I didn't wear it, and even though I didn't go outside in the sunlight very often, the times I did resulted in a big influx of freckles! :O  If it did that to my skin, enough that its effects were that visual, what else was it doing in invisible ways?

One of my favourite sunscreens is Banana Boat Sport Performance misting sunscreens.  These go on well, are very lightweight and a lot less greasy than some other products I've used, and they actually work.

For those of you who hate thick and sticky sunscreens and sunblocks, Japanese brands tend to be a lot more watery and lightweight, and I would suggest giving those a try.

More things you can do:

If you have noticed any changes in moles or skin, don't hesitate to bring it up with your GP, who can recommend a dermatologist.  Early detection is a literal lifesaver!  

Keep an eye on the weather network, as it uses the ultraviolet index to inform the public about when UV rays are at their highest in the day, and if possible, plan around spending long times outside at the peak.


(Image from here)

When you buy sunglasses (protect those peepers!  Cataracts and cancer are NOT fun!), make sure that they protect against both UVA and UVB.  Did you know there are UVC rays as well?  Luckily, these are filtered by Earth's atmosphere (in particular the ozone layer), so right now none of the UVC rays reach us.  



(Image from here.)

Make sure that you are applying the right amount of sunscreen to your body (most people don't apply enough).  According to skincancer.org, the proper amount is about "two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimetre of skin" which is "the equivalent of a shot glass (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to the exposed areas of the face and body - a  nickel-sized dollop to the face alone.  If you are using a spray, apply until an even sheen appears on the skin.  Remember that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently after swimming, heavy perspiration, or towelling off."

Be sure to protect yourself at all times of the year.  You may be covered up in the winter, but especially for any skin that is exposed, the UV rays can still reach you.  In fact, they bounce off of snow and ice and then you get more from all sorts of directions.

What do you like to do to prevent sun damage?  What are your favourite sunscreens/sunblocks?

Have a wonderful (and safe!) day! :D

-Ash

10 comments

A Day in Ottawa

Good morning, dear readers!

Yesterday I went into Ottawa with my sister and father.  My sister and I had planned on going to a few stores downtown for about a week or so, and my father kindly offered to drive us (thank you so much dad, I know how much of a pain in the butt it is!!).

With anxiety, doing everyday things can be a lot tougher.  The night/morning before I couldn't sleep because a mix of anxiety and excitement (I don't get out as much XD I also have trouble sleeping the night before Christmas, and my birthday.  I can get REALLY excited about things!).

First off, we went to Sushi Kanata, and got their all you can eat lunch.  Every single time I've eaten there, their food has been excellent.  Yesterday was no exception.

I had the tempura shrimp and sweet potato, some crunchy spicy salmon rolls that were melt-in-your-mouth fresh, and some sesame dessert ball-things.  OH!  I just realised that I still have a fortune cookie in my purse! :D SCORE! (Edit: not anymore, I just ate it.)

After that we went to Bubblicity tea shop on Somerset, which is now named Dumpling Bowl (they started serving dumplings too after more competition for bubble tea popped up).  I got the taro sherbet and my sister got the mango slush.







I don't know who the artist is, but they have a bunch of paintings from someone that I really like.  I remember these from when I lived in Ottawa, and they brought back nice memories :D.  I especially like this one :


They changed their decor after the company makeover, and the interior is as lovely and calming as ever.

From there we went to World of Tea, an amazing tea shop on Bank St. with a wide selection and a very beautiful store.  The lady who was working there was the absolute sweetest!!  I believe she is one of the two owners.  She was incredibly helpful, obviously passionate about teas, and very knowledgeable.  She is such a lovely person!

I came in particularly for their matcha, as I've been wanting to get matcha for a loooong long time (and it's finally available in Ottawa!!).  They carry 5 different kinds: organic, culinary grade, chiyomukashi, hatsumukashi, and kyomukashi.

Sadly they were waiting on a shipment from Kyoto, and what they had left over was sold that very morning before I got there.  The lady felt really bad about it, but I should have called ahead before arriving there, and it wasn't her fault.  She offered me a 5% discount on matcha for when I come back (which is saying a lot, as it doesn't really go on sale).

I picked up a few more teas while I was there: a houjicha karigane and genmaicha for myself, and a flowering tea for my sister.





I picked up some matcha essentials while I was there:

A chasen:



And a really lovely chawan, which was surprisingly budget friendly:



I would have loved to go back there right after they get their shipment in, but it is downtown and I don't drive, I live outside of the city, and the busses where I am are pretty terrible.  Aside from that, it is very hard for me to go places that far often due to my anxiety disorders (especially if I have to go by myself).  I really hope that in the next few months I can manage to get back down there, as I would love to give them more business.  If you love teas and are in the area, I highly recommend it!! :D

As I really wanted to try some matcha, I ended up picking up some from David's Tea in the Rideau Center.  I would have preferred trying the ones that World of Tea offered, but as it will probably be months before I can go downtown again, I settled on the ceremonial matcha at David's.  They offer three different kinds (not including the ones infused with other flavours, like the vanilla matcha): grand cru matcha, matcha matsu, and ceremonial matcha.  There was a definite visual difference between the grades, and I went with the brightest and most vivid one they had.



I was originally a bit leery of trying it, as David's Tea is chain store, and I wondered at the quality of this as a lot of places are hopping onto the matcha train (with widely varying qualities in the matcha they offer).  However, so far I am really impressed!  David's Tea sources their matcha from Nishio, and while I haven't tasted it yet (and I am in no way at all a matcha connoisseur!), the colour and fragrance are absolutely enthralling.  It's hard for me to describe the scent of green tea, as I find it is the only thing I've smelled that has that exact fragrance.  But this is an intense, creamy, beautiful green tea, and I am looking forward to tasting it.



I do wish that they had smaller cannisters, so there would be less air getting at it.  Oh well, what can you do?

Here you can see the difference in quality between David's Ceremonial Matcha and a powdered green tea bought years ago:


(Please excuse the bit of lower-quality tea that got onto the matcha on the right.)

The David's Tea matcha is beautiful!!

After that, we popped into Lush (which was very conveniently beside the David's Tea!), and I picked up a few things for my sister, my friend, and I.


I picked up several things that I never reviewed before, so I'm looking forward to that.

All in all we were out for about 5 hours, and I am so happy that the three of us could spend the day together and go to all those places (and eat all that delicious food!).  I'm also very happy that I was able to sell three paintings earlier this month that allowed me to have money to go out today.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and thank you for stopping by my blog! :D

-Ashley


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About Me

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Heyo!  I am the writer behind Art Evolve, a blog about things and stuff, that I update sometimes.  >:D

I have a serious love for books, gaming, and general sci-fi and fantasy things.

I also love music and art, and hope to become a better musician and artist as time goes on.

I just started playing Magic: The Gathering again after a looooong break (11 years!?!), and it is awesome.  I hope to become a better Magic player too, because I'm not that great at it heheheh.

I was introduced to edh last (I think?) month, and it has quickly become a favourite format.

UPDATE: Wow, that was in March of last year!  Time really flies!  Definitely not magnificent at it, but still on the Magic train and much better at it than last year.  XD

OH!  I also do MTG altered art, which I recently started and it is seriously fun and rewarding.  Magic + art practice?  Aw yeah!! :D

What else, what else...  I like video games, and play on both PC and console (PS!!).  I love rpg's and some good shooters, and killing zombies is a plus.

I love chocolate, tea and coffee.  I smoke cigarettes, which is stupid, so don't ever smoke cigarettes because it is stupid.

I also really like food.  Too much so.  Especially crunchy things!  I seriously need to get some bubble tea because it has been way too long.

I love to study but my ADHD makes it a bit difficult (a lot difficult, because remembering things can be kinda rediculous).  I also have obsessive compulsive disorder which sucks.  And anxiety disorders, which suck.

Favourite subjects include: astronomy, nihongo, art, geology, stuff like that.

HAVE AT YOU, KNAVE!  *slaps*
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