I'm back with an update, plus some (unusual) beauty tips!

Hey, lovelies! I’ve missed you.

So….my hiatus lasted a little longer than I planned. Life is like that. This year hasn’t gone quite as planned, either. But the good news is that life is good, I’m working at a new and fulfilling job, and I defend my thesis in just a few weeks! WHAT! (Better late than never, right?)

It’s been so long since I’ve really had time for my hobbies that my camera battery is fully dead, and I don’t even know where my charger is. Yeah. So while I wait for a replacement from Amazon, we’ll need to be cool with bad iPhone photos that I take in the after-work darkness. Hence the Snapchat filter in the photo above—I can only dream of my makeup and skin situation being that good after a day at the office! No one wants to see the aftermath.

I’ve been working on some ideas for blog posts, and this is one I’ve been thinking about for awhile—I’m hoping to move beyond the typical ho-hum product reviews. Everyone does those. And does ANYONE really need a new eyeshadow palette? I know I’ve reached critical mass—that is, if I buy any more, they officially won’t fit in my eyeshadow palette drawer. Yes, I have a whole drawer just for palettes…

But I digress. I want to write the kinds of posts that my girlfriends want to read. Not just “You need to buy this.” More of “Here’s how to make makeup WORK for you.”

Tonight, I’m sharing five unusual beauty tips I’ve learned (mostly) through trial and error.

1) Don’t overcleanse.

Struggling with “problem” skin, including breakouts? If you’re over 30, RUN from most of the acne-fighting skincare products at the drugstore. Most are designed for adolescent acne, which is not the same as adult acne. (Side note: Avène has a good line for adult acne.) Our skin is more delicate, more sensitive, and thinner than teenaged or 20-something skin, so using harsh, acne-fighting products all over your face can make things worse. Stripping your skin of its oils and natural goodness will actually send your oil glands into overdrive. If you must treat a spot, treat just the spot—and be as gentle as you can. Additionally, think of an extracted spot like an open wound. It needs TLC—not another layer of benzoyl peroxide.

Not sure whether you’re overcleansing? Pay attention to how your skin feels after you wash and before you moisturize. Is it really tight and uncomfortable? Chances are you could do with a gentler cleanser. Ditch the foam and try a cleansing milk, or even micellar water. I strongly recommend Bioderma Senisbio. I can’t even tell you how many bottles of this I’ve gone through. It’s a bit pricey, but you can get it at Shoppers Drug Mart—so Canadians, use your Optimum points!

2) Getting oily by mid-day? Moisturize and hydrate. Really.

If your makeup looks greasy by mid-day, it might not be your makeup, or that you’re “just oily.” It might be your skincare. As I wrote above, if your skin does’t get the moisture or hydration it needs, it will freak out and start producing more oil. (And just when you figure out a skincare routine that works, the seasons will change and your skin will annoy you again.) You may need a heavier moisturizer—especially in the winter. Bottom line, if you get oily, don’t just cake on the powder. Consider the source. If you’re really not sure, get a facial—a pro can tell you more about what your skin might need.

3) Go easy on the dry shampoo.

This is less a beauty tip than a sanity tip. I know dry shampoo is a modern miracle, up there with running hot water and delivery pizza. I make good use of it, washing my hair less frequently than I actually should. (Who has watched and identified with this clip by Baroness Von Sketch?) But you guys…I’ve gone overboard. And it’s not nice. It itches. It flakes. It leads to gross buildup. And it smells…musty. Do your scalp and the people you love a favour and wash your hair at least twice a week. For the days you do need dry shampoo…remember you don’t need to spend $30. I suggest Batiste. A final word to the wise: If you use the dark brown stuff, for the love of all that is good, SHAKE the bottle per the directions before you spray. Don’t be like me and get smeary brown fingerprints on your forehead.

4) Try double-removing your mascara.

Frustrated that your eye makeup remover doesn’t remove every trace of gunk? It doesn’t have to—at least not if you use a residue-free, rinse-free remover like my beloved Bioderma (linked above). Remove almost all of your eye makeup with your eye makeup remover and a cotton pad or two. Then wash your face with cleanser and water, making sure to splash/gently rub some on your closed eyes as you’re comfortable. That will remove a lot of what remains. Then, after washing your face, go back in with another cotton pad and some Bioderma. That will remove 95 per cent of what remains, and you won’t need to scrub and risk irritating your eyes or losing an eyelash. Full disclosure: Bioderma is no good for waterproof mascara. Just be aware.

5) Want a sheer, stained look on the lips? Apply your lipstick over your balm.

I’ve been doing this one since high school, when I thought lipstick made me look like a clown. I don’t remember what made me try this, but I would apply a layer or balm, and rub a bit of lipstick over top. The colour mixes with the balm and sheers it out. No need to spend $40 on a separate, sheer lipstick when you want a more casual look.

That’s it for today’s wisdom! Did you know any of these? Have you tried them? What are some of your tried-and-true beauty tips that no one else in the beauty community seems to talk about? Let me know in the comments—and also let me know if there’s other content you’d like to see here.

Good to see you all again, lovelies! Cheers.

I'll be back!

Hello, my lovelies. I've loved being with you here the last several years. The time has come, though, for a short hiatus. Life is a little much these days. Take January: Within 30 days, I dealt with illness, a hospitalization, a job offer, restructuring at work, AND all the stuff related to the car accident I mentioned in my last post. Oh, and I'm working two jobs and attempting to graduate from my master's program in a few months. NBD.

I'm so rushed in the mornings that most days, an eye "look" consists of a little bronzer, eyeliner and mascara that I put on at my desk! Who would have thought that Eyeshadow Addict would skip....eyeshadow?? 

I promise I'll be back in May, when my thesis is all wrapped up (I  hope!). For now, please keep following me on InstagramTwitter, or even Facebook, where I will keep posting about all things beauty-related. 

Until then, may your eyeliner be symmetrical and your mascara smudge-free! 

Love you all. Please wish me luck!

Merry Christmas to my hair: Is MONAT's Volume System a Christmas miracle?

MONAT's Volume System, which consists of Revive Shampoo, Revitalize Conditioner, and Reshape Root Lifter.

On the holiday season and Christmas miracles

You may have noticed it's been a little quiet around here, lovelies. I'm sorry for that. December, including the Christmas season, has been busy. Great, but busy. I made some headway on my graduate thesis. I wound down at work after months without any time off, and I did some teaching on the side. I also had a little mishap that involved a few drops of water and my six-year-old Macbook Air. (Did  you know that you can't replace a Mac keyboard after five years? Apparently my machine is now "vintage.") Miraculously, the keyboard began working again after about an hour of malfunctioning. No explanation. It just dried off. A Christmas miracle? Maybe.

After my mishap, my hubby and I spent Christmas eating, drinking, and snuggling babies. Nieces and nephews are the best, am I right? Yesterday, we decided to head home—back to real life, a few more days off work, and a more reasonable diet.

The highway and our car had other plans. About an hour out of Kamloops, BC, where my in-laws live, my hubby and I hit an icy patch going a little too fast. With a spin, spin, smash smash, our car was (probably) totaled, but we were, miraculously, still able to move all our body parts. I can still hardly believe we didn't hit another vehicle given the traffic. A Christmas miracle? Most definitely.

The RCMP and a tow truck arrived almost instantaneously—they must have been patrolling that part of the Coquihalla highway (and for good reason). Within a few hours, what was left of our car was sitting in a tow lot, an insurance claim had been filed, and we were back at my in-laws' with our heads spinning only a little.

We'll probably never see our car again. It may cost us a lot. I'd really like to be at home snuggling my fur-babies right now and not several hours away in a house that isn't mine. My back is a little sore. But I keep reminding myself of a rather important detail: My husband and I are alive, and no worse for wear. I'm thankful. SO thankful. Drive carefully, my lovelies.

Given this back story, maybe referring to a hair care system as a "miracle" seems inappropriate. Maybe it's like a starter miracle. Or really sweet science. But whatever I decide to call it, my hair is really happy!

MONAT's Volume System

A couple of months ago, a friend referred me to a friend of hers who sells MONAT, a high-end hair care line that is meant to repair hair and stimulate growth. The before-and-after photos are impressive. Would I like to try MONAT and post a review in exchange for free product?

Yes, yes I would. My lifeless, flat, stick-straight hair needs all the help it can get, and then some.

I received the MONAT Volume System, which includes shampoo, conditioner, and root lifter, sometime in October, and I've been using them since. Immediately, I noticed my hair felt softer and smoother, but I wanted to use it a little longer so I could see the maximum benefit. (See the unattractive smears on the bottles that I forgot to wipe off before taking the above photo? Consider them proof that I really have been using the products regularly. You're welcome.)

A couple of months in, I still prefer the look of my hair after a blow dry and a few minutes with a flat iron. The products are not a replacement for volume styling. However, my hair is noticeably more voluminous without help. For the first time in years, I'm okay with wearing my hair down without styling it first. That's a big deal, my friends. What's more, when I do style my hair, it holds volume and style for longer.

I'm not big on the science behind beauty products (though if you are, you can read about it here). I just care whether they do what they say they will do. So far, MONAT does what it says, and I'll definitely be replacing the products—out of my own pocket—when they run out. Are they cheap? At $129 CAD for all three products (you can buy them separately, but it's not quite as good a deal), that's a hard no. But I think it's worth it.

I regret to say that I don't have before-and-after photos for you. (I know. LAME.) I cut and toned my hair around the same time that I began using MONAT, so I didn't think comparison photos would be accurate or helpful. So you'll have to take my word for it: The stuff works. I am a convert.

The downside of MONAT is that you need to go through someone who sells it rather than buying it in store. I recommend you check out the Elizabeth Suitor's website, or visit her on Facebook or Instagram accounts (she hooked me up with product). She features photos, information, and more. Plus, if you visit, you'll be supporting a lady boss, which is something I can always get behind!

Have you heard of MONAT? What do you think? Would you consider giving it a try? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: These products were provided for my consideration. As always, opinions are my own.