Vanishing Cream

The Pros and Cons of Lush’s Vanishing Cream

I decided a long time ago to start implementing organic products into my beauty regime, and I started with my cleansers and face creams. I buy most of my beauty routine items from Lush and one of the facial moisturizers that I’ve been using is Vanishing Cream.

It’s hard to find a cream that you love without spending a lot of money to find the perfect fit for you skin. The nice thing about Lush is that, if you don’t like the product, you can return it.

Pros:

  • Smells Great
  • Lightweight
  • For oily or blemish prone skin
  • Contains lavender, which helps me relax at night
  • Hydrating
  • Vegetarian formula
  • Disappears into skin after applied
  • Has rosewater and witch hazel

Cons:

  • Greasy feeling next day
  • Not moisturizing enough for winter
  • Not hydrating enough for particular dry places
  • Watery
  • Nothing like Gorgeous at all!
  • Doesn’t tighten pores like it claims.
  • Not supposed to leave skin feeling greasy.
  • A bit expensive ($44.95 CAD).
  • No noticeable results, just a greasy face.
Smells Great, Lightweight, Contains Lavender

I bought this over a year ago and I decided to continue using it mainly because it is lightweight and a good one to use for summer. It also contains lavender, which helps me relax at night, which is when I use this moisturizer.

However…

Originally, I was going to buy Gorgeous. I had a sample of it and my skin absolutely LOVED it. It was perfect in every single way. I went to Lush, took the pot to the cashier and when she told me the total, I nearly had a heart attack. I had no idea that the product was $87.95 CAD! I wasn’t going to spend that much on a face cream no matter how much my skin loved it! I can’t afford to buy something that expensive even though it lasts a long time!

Supposed to be a “Cheaper Alternative to Gorgeous”

The girl recommended Vanishing Cream and claimed that it was exactly like Gorgeous, but a cheaper version of it. Well, sorry sweetie, but that was an outright lie. Where Gorgeous has a perfect consistency, Vanishing Cream is watery. Gorgeous smelled good enough to eat, but Vanishing Cream doesn’t smell as delicious. Vanishing Cream smells like lavender, which is great for me, but some people don’t prefer it. Gorgeous also disappeared easily into the skin and didn’t leave my face overly greasy in the morning, but Vanishing Cream does.

For People with Problematic Skin, or is It?

The other thing that really ticks me off about this cream is that it’s misleading! It’s supposed to be for people that have greasy, problematic skin and it disappears into the skin after application. However, the next morning I wake up with my skin feeling super greasy, as it does with most Lush lotions.

Hydrating Enough (for the Summer)

It also isn’t as moisturizing as I’d like because it’s so watery. I have really dry skin in the winter, and this doesn’t do the trick for me. During the summer, I find that this lotion is hydrating enough without clogging my pores.

Would I Recommend It?

Yes. I highly recommend getting a sample from your local Lush store because you never know if your skin is going to love it. My skin may not love it, but your skin might. Everyone’s skin is different and it involves a lot of trial and error to find the perfect cream for your skin.

ajin2

Ajin Season 2 Review

One of the things that bothers me is that I lose interest in season 2 of an anime, if I even make it through the entire first season. This is not the case with Ajin Season 2.

Ajin Season 2 is just as captivating as the 1st Season.

That’s one of the things that I love about this anime. The first episode has a way of capturing your attention and throwing you back into the universe of Ajins and their story. Things continue to escalate in a different direction and we watch as Kei’s character develops even more throughout the season.

Kuro-chan is even more interesting than before.

There are new developments with kuro-chan and it’s really interesting to see the new things that we learn about them and if it only applies to certain people or all of them. We also get to see many setbacks as well and watch the trial and error that Kei faces.

We learn more about Tosaki and Shimomura.

There’s a reason why Shimomura follows Tosaki’s orders and it’s here that we really get to see more into their pasts. It’s understandable why she follows him, and it’s even more surprising towards the last episode of the series. Character growth, indeed. Not just Tosaki, but Shimomura and Kei.

The intensity heightens.

The plot of the anime continues where it left off in season 1 and escalates things to a new level. If you thought the suspense and drama was high in the first season, wait until you watch the second season. It was enough to make me forget where I was or what I was doing. The anime has a special way of attracting all of my attention that I paid little attention to anything else around me. I was on the edge of my seat almost through every single episode and that’s the kind of anime that I love.

If you haven’t watched Season 1 OR Season 2, I definitely recommend it! You won’t regret it! Yes, the animation style is a bit weird and takes a while to get used to, but once you do, you will get thrown into the story, full force.

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Ajin Season One Review

I stumbled on this anime last year and never wrote a post about it. When I first read the description, I immediately became interested in it. However, I was not a fan of the drawing itself. I found that it was weird compared to other styles of animation, but I slowly got used to it.

One of the things that makes Ajin so great is the story itself.

We see what an Ajin is in the very first episode and what we have to look forward to in the coming episodes. Then, we follow Kei Nagai and his journey as he learns what he really is because of a freak accident. We also witness a transformation of his personality throughout the series as he faces multiple hardships.

The best part of Ajin is kuro-chan.

Kuro-chan happens to be the black matter that forms outside of a host’s body. The reason why I think kuro-chan is the most interesting part of the anime is a spoiler, so you’ll have to watch it yourself to see what I mean. Let’s just say that we get to see some really cool stuff and find out more about kuro-chan as the anime progresses. The other thing that I really enjoy about this series is that there are many psychological elements involved, especially when it comes to the character Sato. As for Kei, he possesses a lot of intelligence and is able to use logic to plan his way through the hardships.

I really like the characters.

They are multi-dimensional unlike some other anime that I have watched. Besides Kei, the other character I really like is Yu Tosaki (and not just because he’s voiced by one of my favorite seiyuu, Sakurai Takahiro). Tosaki is one of those characters that appears to be a total jerk, but he has a history that we don’t know about until later in the series. He has another side to him that totally changed my opinion about him. I love characters like this! Not because he’s a jerk, but the fact that he’s a jerk for a reason. Pretty much one of the reasons why I like Gaara so much. Anyway, I digress.

Since I watched this series after it was released in January, I was able to binge watch all the episodes in the matter of a couple of days. It was so addicting, even with the final episode that I was craving more. After watching this anime, I found it really hard to immerse myself in other anime, especially ones that I had previously enjoyed.

If you haven’t watched Ajin yet, I HIGHLY recommend it! Especially if you liked Death Note or any anime that has psychological/logical elements in it.

Finally, season 2 came out in October and I was able to enjoy another season of Ajin. Season 2 review coming out soon! Stay tuned!

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10 Reasons to Try Routine Cream

I have used almost every natural deodorant under the sun that I could get my hands on. To my dismay, none of them worked like they claimed. After a while, I stuck with one just because I had tried everything else out there and it was the most effective from the pile of trash. However, about a year ago while I was using Instagram, I found a post about Routine. I will admit, the reason why it even caught my attention was that the picture on the packaging was a howling wolf. If you know me, you know that I love wolves. A few months later, I purchased the sample box and tried 12 of their scents. I found a couple that I really liked and my first jar was Bonita Applebom.

I loved Bonita Applebom because of the scent as well as the wolf on the packaging. However, I noticed that using it after shaving my underarms was an itchy nightmare. I couldn’t shave the same day and apply this formula unless I wanted stinging, red, and itchy under arms. In the summer, this wasn’t a good combination. After I finished my first jar, I bought A Girl Named Sue, which is for sensitive skin and with less baking soda than the original formula. The smell is light and there is no baking soda in the formula, so it’s really gentle for under arms. I can apply this after shaving and there’s no stinging, redness, or itching. LOVE IT!

Here are some reasons why you should try Routine Cream’s Natural Deodorants:

  1. All natural ingredients. What’s better than that? There are no harsh chemicals or names that you can’t even pronounce. Everything is natural! From baking soda and corn, to shea butter and essential oils. The added bonus is that they have a couple vegan formulas without beeswax as well!
  1. They have a wide variety of deodorants. They have more than just one to cater to people’s diverse preferences. Some smell fruity and some musky, some are for sensitive skin, some with vegan ingredients, unscented, some with baking soda, some with less, and some without.
  1. You can purchase a sample before committing to one. If you’re like me and hate buying a large one only to find you don’t like it, you can buy the sample pack that comes with 12 formulas to try. If you don’t like it, you can keep the deodorant in your purse for emergencies or even use it on your feet! Yes, it’s also a good deodorant for feet!
  1. Made in Calgary, Canada. I love supporting local businesses regardless if they are in Canada or in my city. Let’s all help each other out! Why buy American products when you can get Canadian products or products from you city!
  1. You can buy them online or in-store. I got my sample pack from Well.ca, but I bought my jars from Amaranth Foods. You can check out your local health food stores since most of them carry Routine’s deodorants. You also have the option of purchasing them from the Routine website, Amazon.ca, or Well.ca.
  1. Made by two sisters. What’s better than supporting a local business AND supporting business owners who are women?!
  1. They actually work! After years of searching, I finally found a deodorant that actually works! The essential oils and other natural ingredients work wonders together to block out the smell of sweat. It’s really hot where I work, so this is a MUST.
  1. The glass jars are recyclable! Enough said!
  1. A little goes a long way! The great thing is that you don’t have to use much for the deodorant to work! Less is best!
  1. Give back to environment and no animal testing. The sisters love animals and the earth, which is why the packaging is 100% recyclable. They also support local, use ethical beeswax, and give a portion of all sales to apiaries and bees for communities, donates a full jar to those who attend Cancer Chic in Calgary, donate to Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, etc.

 

 

miura

Still Missing Review

featured-book-still-missingA while ago, I had a student that recommended this book to me by Chevy Stevens. I had never heard of her before, but I decided to give it a read since he talked so highly about it. I also wanted to read more suspenseful novels. Well, I picked up the book from the library and DEVOURED the book. From the moment you start reading, you are sucked into Annie’s living hell and what happened to her. It’s bone-chilling and terrifying at the same time. Some parts were hard to read, but I couldn’t stop! I stayed up late into the night reading this book. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with Chevy’s writing. She is phenomenal! Here’s why:

  1. Annie is believable because we can feel her emotions as we are thrown in the roller coaster that Annie has to live through, day-by-day. Annie’s frustrations, anger, and even sadness are raw and real. Her desperation in the events that follow make our heart pound and even feel sick. Her logical response to the situations presented also make her strong and made me think: if I’m ever in a position like this, I hope I’m smart like Annie.
  2. Chevy’s words flow. That’s almost enough said right there. From the moment you read the first word on the page, you’ll find that everything flows together. There’s nothing in this book that ever made me feel like I wanted to hurl the book across the room or wonder how a character could be so stupid. Chevy has a talent at making her characters believable as well as their surroundings, fictitious or not. Chevy is also incredibly gifted at telling a story without giving us unnecessary information that does nothing for the plot. Everything is delivered in a nicely written package, from start to finish. I’m not even joking. It’s been a very long time since I’ve raved about someone’s ability to tell a story that’s so real, I often forget everything else around me. Chevy’s words are captivating, gripping, chilling…the list is endless.
  3. The endings are realistic. Not just with this book, but all the other ones that she has written (which, I have read, of course). The characters start out one way, go through a series of situations that transforms them into someone completely different. We see it with every story, but Chevy has a unique way of letting us see that change. We don’t just see it, but we feel it. The fact that her characters are realistic enough to transform into what they are at the end makes reading the ending more satisfying. It’s not always a happy ending, but there’s always something that’s been accomplished or some sort of realization that the character comes to that helps propel them in the direction they need to go.
  4. The suspense is real. By that, I mean that everything that happens in her books has made my heart pound and my palms sweat. When I read books, I usually don’t get so worked up because I find that it’s easy to distinguish myself from the characters as well as their fictitious worlds. However, Chevy creates such suspense that continues to build throughout the story that I hardly realized that I was tense in anticipation. There were a couple of night where I couldn’t even sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen to Annie next. There are a couple of chapters that made me feel so tormented that I had to keep reading because I knew I couldn’t end the chapter there. THAT’S suspense. I read a lot, but not even Diana Gabaldon’s books make me want to read the whole thing in one sitting. (That’s what I mean by unnecessary writing. Diana’s got a bunch of stuff that I would have edited out, whereas Chevy manages to keep everything we need to know and never strays once from this formula).
  5. Do you really need more reasons to pick up this diamond of a book? It only took this ONE book to have me hooked on her writing, craving more. I went to the bookstore and bought ALL the books she has ever written. She also has a new book coming out this year and you can pre-order it. Are you kidding me? I’m all over that stuff.

    My recommendation: stop reading my blog and go get the book. I guarantee you won’t regret it! Just be prepared for some sleepless nights and to experience suspense like you’ve never experienced it before! If I could, I’d give this book a 100/10 because she’s that amazing. She’s Canadian to boot. Yay for us Canadian writers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

miura

Outlander S2 + Dragonfly in Amber

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Before the second season of Outlander came out, I read the book. I will admit, I was really excited to read it. About a 1/4 of the way through it I became really bored. Without giving any spoilers, there were a lot of details about “other things” that didn’t really interest me as much. I was really hesitant about watching the second season, but come the first episode I was amazed. They changed a lot, but they did it in such a way that made the story telling so much better. Don’t get me wrong, I love Diana Gabaldon’s books, but the first half of book two was REALLY slow. I think that it could have been better if she had bits and pieces of both worlds to keep up engaged. That being said, that’s not ALL the screenplay writers and director changed. I was expecting certain “things” to happen later in the series, but I was hit in gut when they showed two particular scenes. I won’t mention which ones they are, but one was enough to render me shaking and going through the same emotions while the other…well, I was in shock at how they did it. I was watching the episode with my boyfriend and I wasn’t expecting it to happen in that episode, I tried so hard not to cry, but after the show ended I was balling my eyes out and curled up in a ball.

dragonfly

The really nice thing about the screenplay writers and the directors is that they come up with really creative ways to show us Diana’s world and characters. So far, I have liked what they have changed and I don’t disagree with anything, except one particular scene in Season 1 that they really SHOULD have included. I was pretty miffed that it wasn’t there since I had been looking forward to it. I even agree with the scene that had me crying my eyes out. I hated feeling so tense every episode because I already knew what was going to happen, I just didn’t know if it was going to  be the same on screen or not. That entire episode, I was so tense that I gave myself sore muscles. Just when I thought things were going ok, BAM! I felt like I received a punch to the gut. It makes so much sense to do it the way they chose to, especially since it had quite the effect on everyone. I couldn’t get over that scene for days, even weeks later I was still upset over it. I’m not mad at how they chose to do it, I actually agree with it! Usually, when a director or screenplay writer makes changes that deviate quite a bit from the book, I hate it, but I really enjoy watching what they come up. I hope you do too!

The tension of book 2/the TV series is just as good as season one. There’s lots of drama, lots of lying, intrigue and new characters to fall in love with and despise. Season 2 is by far my favorite for costume design because there’s one scene where Claire is wearing the most stunning dress in the history of dresses. I wasn’t a fan of the length, but the dress itself was absolutely stunning. The best part: Jamie’s reaction to it was just as I had imagined it. It was SO incredible that I actually choked on my drink. All of Claire’s dresses in this season were fantastic! I was drooling over them every single episode and wishing that I could wear dresses like hers in real life. Gah! So fabulous and beautiful! You honestly have to watch the tv show or see pictures to understand what I mean! I’m a huge fan of 16-18th century dresses. If only I could have a wedding dress in that style…

If you thought season 1 had a lot of emotions, you haven’t seen anything yet. Season 2 is a roller coaster of emotion. From suspense, to anger, to heartache, all of the actors portrayed their characters to a T and deserve awards from here to the Sun. They were even more incredible than the first season, if that’s even possible. I was so hyped about season 2 that I even convinced my boyfriend to watch it with me and he pretended that he didn’t like it, but when Saturday came along he was asking me “isn’t Outlander out today?” I was really pleased that he liked it. In fact, he even asked when Season 3 would be starting! Here’s the news, in case you didn’t already know:

Season 3 is set for June 2017! I’m so excited, but at the same time I’m not looking forward to a bunch of scenes that really made me sad and angry. I know it’s going to be tough watching some of those scenes, much like the end of season 1, but it will all be worth it in the end. There’s one scene in particular that I am looking forward to the most and I know I’m going to cry hardcore. I really hope they (the screenplay writers and directors) don’t mess it up because it’s SUPER important. So much emotion involved in this scene. I know I’ll have to have my tissues ready (or to watch it before my boyfriend so that I can at least prepare myself and cry over it by myself-haha). As I stated in my previous post, I’m not one to cry in TV shows or movies unless an animal gets hurt, but Outlander has stirred something up within me…The actors really did a great job in making the  viewers love and hate them and we’ve become so emotionally invested in these characters and this world that it’s really hard not to feel something.

I’m counting down the days for Outlander’s return!

miura

Outlander Season 1

outlander_tv_series_2014-2560x1440I haven’t done a review about this ridiculously addicting TV show that aired in August 2014. I will admit that I had never read the books before I found out about the TV show, but after the first three episodes I went out and bought it and I am already reading the fourth book.

I was really bored one day because there were no good TV shows on, so I was perusing an online streaming site to see if there were any good shows on channels that I didn’t get and I found Outlander. I read the description and as soon as I saw that the main character, Claire Randall, goes back in time to the 16th century, I was sold. I am obsessed with books and TV shows that take place in the past, especially between the 16th-18th centuries. I watched the first episode and learned about the main character’s life and about her husband, Frank Randall, and how they went to Scotland. The first episode shows you a lot of scenes between Claire and Frank that I actually found a bit slow and boring. It’s not until near the end of the episode when Claire and Frank go to the hill of Craigh na Dun that things start to get really interesting. There’s a beautiful scene on that hill when they go there together that is burned in my memory. It’s also my favorite scene from the first episode. The cliffhanger at the end of the episode had me itching for me, so I immediately called up Telus and asked them to add Showcase to my subscriptions!

Episode two is where things really kick off and how we really feel for Claire as she struggles through each episode on trying to survive in a foreign land and century while trying desperately to figure out how she can even get back to Frank. There are numerous things about this show that I love 1) Caitriona Balfe is an amazing actress with the most expressive chin I have ever seen. 2) Sam Heughan is amazing as Jamie McTavish (a.k.a you’ll find out soon) 3) the scenery in Scotland is absolutely STUNNING and made me want to go even more than before! 4) the entire cast of Outlander is incredible.

The nice thing about Outlander is that, while it’s a time traveling drama, it also has some comic relief that is usually provided by two certain characters, and one of them is my favorite character (in the TV show, but not in the book). While there are some jarring differences between the TV and the book, the way they are executed leaves little room for us fans to complain since they did a damn fine job of compensating for it. Example: Claire’s physical description is nothing like Caitriona’s, but her superb acting makes up for it. Angus is completely different in the book than he is in the TV show, but he totally makes up for it and I have a soft spot for Angus in the show rather than the book.

All in all, this is a fantastic TV show! I am not one to cry during movies or TV shows (unless an animal dies), but Outlander had me in tears in season one more than once because of the connection that we form with Jamie and Claire through their acting. Both leads draw you in like you wouldn’t believe and before you know it, the episode is already over. I highly recommend watching the TV show AND reading the book because both are magical.

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The thing about the book is that author Diana Gabaldon openly admitted that she wrote the book without expecting anyone to read it. This explains why some scenes in the book are questionable and were omitted from the TV show (and for good reason). I was quite surprised, however, that these particular scenes weren’t edited out on advice from her editor. As an editor myself, I would have advised to get rid of those scenes, but that’s just my opinion and it doesn’t really detract from the book’s originality or plot.

My favorite thing to do once I got my hands on the book was to read what I already watched and then read a little more in advance, then compare what happened. I loved spotting all the differences in the TV show and I was really surprised that I actually liked the changes that they made. If I talked about the changes that the directors of the Harry Potter films made, I find there are things that I hated and was actually angry about them omitting! That’s beside the point, however. I actually thoroughly enjoy the changes that the director made in the TV show and I hope you do too!

Happy reading and watching! Here’s the opening song “Skye Boat Song:”