Commitment Issues: The Mascara Edition

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 I love mascara. From cheap dates with Loreal and Revlon to pricier affairs with Lancôme and Dior. Because I do actually toss mascaras at the 3 to 4 month point (yes, I am a mascara goody-two shoes), I have lots of opportunity to date around. When researching cleaner options for mascara, I found a lot of posts lamenting the options. But I also found a few mentions praising Canadian brand Pure Anada.

I purchased Pure Anada mascara in black through etsy for $13. An aside: I had to call customer service about the order and the dude who answered was so nice. Is it just me, or do you have the impression that Canadians are really polite? (Ignore the Biebs and this stereotype holds.)

The verdict: This mascara is pretty damn good. It darkens, lengthens, and doesn’t smudge or flake. The coverage is buildable. You can layer it without clumpy results. It also washes off easily. I like the wand too. It’s long with a spoolie-style brush, and the brush is on the narrow side so you can get to the roots of lashes.

If you’re looking for cleaner mascara, do give this a try. Do not write to me after and say it’s not as good as (insert name of dirty mascara that makes you look like you have falsies on here). If you do, I will say: duh. Then I will direct you to meditate while listening to this song. You can’t have it all, but I got a lot of what I want with this mascara. And I am not pining for any former dirty lovers, er, mascaras.

Here is what’s in it:

Aqua (Water), Oryza Sativa Wax (Rice Bran Wax), Olea Europea fruit oil (Olive Oil), Vegetable Source Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut), Coernica Cerifera (Carnauba Wax), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Wax), Vegetable Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Acacia Gum, Black Iron oxide (CI 77499),  Aminomethyl Popandiol (Ph Adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative).

I am planning to repurchase. I am not promising marriage Pure Anada, but you’re at the top of the dating rotation.

Quickie: A Product I Reach for Every Day


Yeah, I know. There are products we all reach for everyday— sunscreen, foundation, English muffins. Those are all MUSTS for me too. This product one I don’t have to reach for, but I do.

I was never a fan of lining the waterline for a smokey eye. It doesn’t stay on, it smudges, you have to retouch, it gets on contact lenses. But what about lining with a light nude to wake up those peepers? Well, then the fading/smudging isn’t such a big deal–especially if the nude liner is fairly close to your skintone. I have always a fan of a little luminosity on the inner corner of the eye and brow bone. Now I am able to do all three things with one product: Youngblood Eye Illuminating Duo Pencil.

I use this thing every day. I generally don’t take the time to do eye shadow in the morning. Instead, I sweep the shimmer side of the YB pencil under the arch of my eyebrows and dab some in the inner corners of my eyes.  The pencil is very smooth and applies without tugging. The color looks champagne-like in the swatch, but I find it to look more of a pink champagne and when applied to the inner corners. It brightens without being overly sparkly and stays put. I use the matte site on line my waterline. That doesn’t stay put all day, but I don’t expect it to. I also think the matte nude in this pencil is preferable to lining with a white liner. White seems too noticeable to me. I’ve also never had any irritation from waterlining with this product.

This is definitely a secret weapon for me. This, a little liner and mascara and guess who looks awake and ready to face the day? Love.

Read about the brand and ingredients here.

Beauty Routines and the Working Mother


I used to be obsessed with cutting steps from my beauty routine.  Not anymore. I have discovered the musings of facialist Caroline Hirons. I love her blog. She has skincare cheat sheets and recos and more. She’s also the first British beauty blogger I started following. I now follow her plus a few other blogger/vloggers from across the pond. I swear between the BBC shows I devour on Netflix and my British beauty bloggers, I am going to start speaking with a Madonna-style Brit accent any minute.  Anyway, I now have a routine, darlings. Here it is:

1)      cleanse with an oil-based cleanser
2)      second-cleanse with a gel (non-foaming because suds+chemicals)
3)      tone with an acid-based toner (to restore the acid mantle of the skin—who knew?)
4)      hydrate with a spray toner
5)      apply a water-based serum/gel
6)      apply an oil or cream moisturizer

If someone told me that I would be doing all this a few months ago, I would have laughed at them. Even now, I take all these steps and am amazed at myself for sticking with it. But you know what? There is a reason they call it pampering and there is nothing wrong with showing yourself some TLC.  I have not had a mani in two-plus years—since having my glorious son—and let’s not even talk about time for getting waxed. As a friend said: the working mother is hairy. Or she shaves because it’s faster. Pedicures happen in summer only. But my nightly routine? That I can do.  Every night. In my pajamas. Without an appointment. In ten minutes or less.  Exhale.

The products I use in this routine are in transition. I started it before “greening,” so I am finishing up some things and hoping to replace them with other options. I’ll get to all of them. For today, I am going to focus on step 4: toning with a hydrating spray.

I started out spray toning with Caudalie Beauty Elixir. Hirons and the whole internet are big fans. So I got it in the travel size ($18 for 1 oz…yes, you read that right). I didn’t want to love it. But the scent—herbal and minty-fresh; the fine mist sprayer; the cooling effect it had when it dried… Oh wait. That cooling effect? Alcohol. As winter set in, we had to part ways. So I did some searching for an alcohol-free, clean, hydrating toner.

Enter Zen Society Skincare.

Zen Society was founded by master herbologist and certified holistic health practitioner Kaitlyn Lockman. From Zen Society’s website: “Zen Society’s goal is to foster a world free of chemicals and toxins and to promote overall well-being. Kaitlyn’s healthy formulas are created with ingredients from the roots of nature and are 100% Pure (Preservative Free).”

I can get behind that. Zen does a Hydrating Rosewater Mist ($22 for 4 oz) with organic rosewater, witch hazel, and jojoba. That’s it. It has three things in it. One of them is oil, yet it doesn’t feel like it has oil in it at all. It smells light and rosy—not at all in an old fashioned kind of way. The sprayer sprays a fine mist. This is great because in addition to toning with it, I like to spritz it on after I use powder foundation. It helps it feel and look less dry. It’s a lovely product. Their site directs you to spray 2-3 times on your face and body. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. You’ll want to spray more than that! Good job, Zen Society.