It has been a bitch of a week, so to say I needed and deserved a massage today is an understatement. I tend to drop in to The Rub on Willis Street to have someone dig around in my shoulders and back when my tension gets too bad (or when I can spare thirty dollars) but that doesn’t compare to a full spa treatment experience. I’ve never been to a spa attached to a hotel before – I think I was worried they’d be a bit hoky, like most restaurants attached to hotels, but Bodyhaven Spa at the Amora was the complete opposite. Seriously, I have never felt more relaxed in my life. Driving home afterwards was almost dangerous because of how relaxed I was.
I’ve had quite an adventure with eye creams: there was the saga with the Clinique one and the bumps, the expensive Apot.Care bought as an emergency solution and a few more besides. While St Paula reckons eye creams are a bit of a stiff, I do think there’s some truth to using a specialised cream around your eyes. The skin there is thinner, with less sebaceous glands (the ones that produce oil), so it is often drier and more likely to have a compromised moisture barrier. There’s also less collagen and elastin in the skin (the stuff that keeps it supple and maintains structure), which is why you get laugh lines and frown lines and all that showing up sooner rather than later.
I’m on the fence about embracing signs of aging: I wrote a breakup letter to my grey hair a few months back, but to be fair I’m too lazy to maintain the colour and now I’m rather enjoying my witchy streaks. I’m not too into the idea of wrinkles around my eyes, though, so I’m trying to use eye cream regularly. I bought the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream when I visited the new Bobbi Brown counter at Queensgate a few months back (read about it here), and it’s pretty dope.
How better to start a series of old-school product reviews than with a review of an old classic? The Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer doesn’t even look like this anymore, which is testament to how long I’ve had it and how long I’ve been into it. It was my first true bronzer – before this, I was using a brownish-pink Rimmel blush with more than a little shimmer in it to contour my face. I bought it when I lived in Toronto; I used to walk over to the Shoppers Drug Mart on Sherbourne St and spend hours ranging around the beauty section and contemplating walls of products which, at the time, entirely overwhelmed me. To be fair, the drugstore offering of matte bronzers was pretty pathetic seven or so years ago, so that Rimmel abomination may have been the best choice available.
Anyway. The /r/MakeupAddiction subreddit that got me into this Too Faced bronzer, and I loved it for a long time before moving on to others that I bought needlessly at the peak of my “I need all the makeup” phase. (That was around when I started this blog, actually, and when I wrote this post about contouring.)
I haven’t written a lot here over the past few months, for a bunch of reasons. One of them, I’ll be honest, is because if I’m deciding between whether to write something for my own blog or for xoVain (where I get paid), I’ll pick the latter. At the moment my income is pretty inadequate and my partner is looking for work, so every little bit helps.
Related to that, I guess, is that I haven’t had as much money to spend on products for myself, and I don’t want to fall back on writing exclusively about PR samples. With that in mind, the next few posts on Hyacinth Girl will be good old-fashioned product reviews, of things I’ve bought and am into and want to rave about. While you wait for those, however, I’d suggest having a read of xoVain 💖
On a particularly bad day last month I arrived home to find a box containing the Sigma Fall 2015 collection on my doorstep (short of the lipsticks, which I haven’t swatched yet, sorry ’bout it). I’ve never used Sigma makeup before – or their brushes, really, aside from feeling them when I visited the Beauty Bliss pop-up store and then immediately coveting them. I know people are hesitant to buy makeup from brands that are primarily sold online, because the experience of seeing the product in person is so important to making the decision to buy. With that in mind, here is a swatch-heavy post with thorough reviews of each product, so hopefully you can make an informed decision. I’m no Temptalia, but this was fun to put together, so whatever. The range launches properly in a couple of days!
I’ve started going to the gym regularly again, but don’t worry – there’s no chance of Hyacinth Girl becoming a fitness blog. It’s still a slog getting my shit together and actually making it to the gym, and my endorphins aren’t winning out over my preference for sitting down or getting an extra hour’s sleep. That being said, there are a few things that have definitely helped make going to the gym slightly less miserable.
You all know by now that essie is my favourite nail brand, some percent due to it being, you know, actually good, and the rest because nail polish bottles of all shapes and sizes stress me out a little bit. Square essie bottles are simple and practical, and the brush is nice and flat and wide, and (with a few exceptions) the polish is really good quality and stays around for ages. I’d almost say essie didn’t need to launch a gel-like top coat, but they did it, with Gel Setter* available now, and it’s bloody great.
If I were the type of person to be embarrassed about how much nail polish I own, I would say I have an embarrassingly large nail polish collection; as it happens, despite adding to it frequently, I never quite feel I have enough colours. It does mean I often reach for bottles on the essie stand at work only to realise that I already own them. Luckily for you, though, this means I have a brand new bottle of Sand Tropez as well as a new Gel Setter to give away!
Last time I properly checked I had eleven lipsticks loose in the bottom of my bag, and I suspect I’m not the only person who does this. I want to be able to have a quick rummage to find my lipstick for a top-up, so bags-within-bags don’t make a lot of sense to me; or, they do when I’m trying to be tidy and organised, but they don’t function so well in real life. What this means is that I spend a lot of time groping around for a lipstick, finding a tube, then pulling it out and uncapping it or scrutinising the little sticker on the bottom to see if it’s the one I want. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Lipstick tubes that are the same colour on the outside as the product on the inside are both enchantingly cute and mind-blowingly simple. Need your dark red lipstick? It’s the dark red one! Genius.
What do you do when you ask a brand for a press sample of an upcoming release but before it arrives the associated celebrity does something that confirms that they are, in fact, The Worst and you don’t really want to support them? Write a conflicted blog post about it, obviously.
Recently I got pissed off with how much clutter I had on my makeup desk and did a big cull; in the wreckage was more than a few half-used Chapsticks well past their use-by date. I gave up on Chapstick some time ago in favour of lip balms that work properly. There’s no one favourite, now, but a selection spread around the physical space my life takes place in, and each serves a slightly different purpose.