According to the summary, this book is about four women. We meet them at the dawn of their camaraderie in the 1980s and already each woman is distinguished from the other: Tamsin, the compassionate mother hen; Reagan, the brazen and clever overachiever; Sarah, the seemingly perfect beauty; and Freddie, who despite being far from her U.S. home, finds strength in her friends. We forward to today, and as promised they are still firm friends… that is until a crisis occurs and the principles that define their friendship test are challenged.
In her subtly english manner, Noble tells a seamless story of four compelling women and their ever evolving friendship. She guides us through a journey of love, loss, betrayal, family, and adventure. Through all the curves in their life roads, the friendship between these four incredible women was often tested, yet always constant.
This is the kind of book I love to relax with after a long and stressful day, in a bubble bath with a glass of wine. It is a light and enjoyable read that allows you to immerse yourself in this very human story. The Friendship Test is chick lit at it's finest, and I recommend it to you. Definitely a good beach read - the folks at my local book store were right after all.
Note that if you're in the UK, this book is titled The Tenko Club. I'm not quite sure why the two titles. Annoying.
I will definitely be seeking out more books by Elizabeth Noble next time I'm in a book store.
My name is Bea, and I got this from Daisy. This is my first one of these types of 'tags' and I thought it was really cute.
Never in my life have I been: to Hawaii.
The one person who can drive me nuts is: my little sister - but I think that's the 'Little Sister Directive'.
High school: was real, and fun, but not real fun.
When I’m nervous: I get fidgety.
The last song I listened to was: "Let Go" by Frou Frou
If I were to get married right now my best man/maid of honor: my little sister.
My hair is: Long and flat - and in need of a stylist.
When I was 5: My little sister was born.
Last Christmas: Was spent with family.
I should be..: Getting ready for bed.
The happiest recent event was: Enjoying the good weather with a long walk with the dogs.
By this time next year: I hope to be back in California.
There’s this girl I know that: drives trains for a living.
I like you when: You keep an open mind and have a sense of humor.
The world could do without: People who get off on making others miserable.
Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: Viva Glam Cindy lipstick from MAC.
Most recent thing someone else bought me: Passion fruit cleanser from the Body Shop.
The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: People.
Once, at a bar: I ran into my advisor from school...and he was WASTED!
Last night I was: rewatching Queer as Folk - I love that show!
There’s this guy I know who: loves to gossip more than any girl I know.
Tomorrow I am: going to the movies.
Tonight I am: going to watch some more Queer as Folk, then head to bed at a decent hour.
My birthday is: April 13th
I clean my brushes everytime I use them with MAC Brush Cleanser. I also deep clean my brushes with soap and water every couple of weeks (depending on use).
I will show you how I clean my brushes with MAC Brush Cleanser in this tutorial.
Brush cleanser may damage some surfaces so be sure to protect your furniture.
Many companies make these types of brush cleansers. I have not tried them, so I can't recommend them.
I know that there are people out there who put their brush cleanser into a spray bottle and spray the cleanser directly onto the brush. I don't do this because I do not want to risk getting any cleanser into the ferrule, where it can disturb the glue. The few dollars I would save with the spray bottle method is not worth the potential damage to my expensive brushes.
~ Ditch the brush (even the expensive ones leave streaks) and use a small foam roller whenever possible.
I resisted buying this brush cleanser for a long time. But as time went on, and my MAC brush collection grew, I broke down and got it. And now I can't live without it.
I have heard people complain about this brush cleanser, because it is too expensive and it is drying on the brushes. My last bottle of brush cleanser cost me about $15, and lasted me several months of DAILY use. I consider that a pretty good deal for ensuring that my brushes are well maintained.
I have also not experienced problems with the cleanser being drying. I do condition my brushes (with hair conditioner) when I deep clean them. All of my brushes are as good as the day I bought them, despite the fact that some of them are over 5 years old.
I spot clean my brushes everytime I use them - and a brush cleanser is the way to do it. I will post a tutorial on cleaning your brushes in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out for it.
Preheat oven to 450oF
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until mix looks like bread crumbs. Stir in Blueberries and lemon zest, then stir in cream. Do not overmix. Shape dough into palm sized balls, place on parchment lined baking sheet, and press until flattened (1 inch high). These will look all cracked and messy at this point - that's ok!
Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
In my pefect world:
I couldn't finish the vanity today, because it was chilly, gloomy and very windy. So instead, we decided to take the dogs hiking. Here are some pics from today's romp in the forest.
Today I filled any holes and after the wood fill dried, I sanded it down. I then wiped the whole thing down again really well and let it dry. The first coat of paint also went on. The guy at the paint store recommended Melamine Paint by Benjamin Moore. It's an oil based paint, which is not my favorite to work with. However, I am really impressed with the way this paint went on, and the satin finish it's giving me. I had it tinted to an 'antique white'. The drawback to this paint is that it does not come in a huge variety of colors, and the colors are premixed. I was told that a light color can be custome mixed, but they can't guarantee a match. Since I wanted something off white, I wasn't too concerned. I bought he paint because I was told it's very stain resistant and durable.
Tomorrow, more sanding, then the second coat of paint. Then finishing touches! Oh, I can't wait!
For the full story, check out the rest of PROJECT VANITY.
OOH, and I have an appointment for some makeup at the Bobbi Brown counter!
Organize your files into functional folders. So for example, I save my blog templates under ~
Documents > Blog > Templates
Then, and this is the cool part, I name the files with the date first (YEAR_MONTH_DAY). So the template I saved today is called ~
10_03_17 blog template
By first listing the date, the files are automatically arranged chronologically. So in my template folder I have the following three files ~
10_03_06 blog template_new fonts
10_03_12 blog template_new header
10_03_17 blog template
Now I can easily delete everything but the three most recent templates (just in case!). This has worked very well with my resume and correspondence folders as well! I'm loving this system so far!
How do you organize your computer files?
To get you started, there are only a few tools that are key to getting the basic face.
Curling your lashes before you apply mascara will open up your eyes dramatically. My favorite eyelash curler is the legendary one from Shu Uemura. This curler is great because it magically grabs every lash at the same time - even those little ones at the inner corner.
All I have to say is: WHAT A CROCK!!!
The shoe 'story' featured only a handful of lower heeled shoes - none of which were actally cute. The rest of the shoes were super high heels that would only be appropriate for work if you were a Victoria's Secret model. The concealer 'story' was just a chart talking about 5 different concealers and why they like them. How about preventing creasing/cakey concealers? How about application tips? How about general guidelines for what to look for when buying a concealer? Why just feature/advertise 5 concealers - one of which is $70 dollars? Really, how many of us are really going to get that one anyway?
And let's talk about those 425 pages of spring fashion and how to wear them. The magazine in its entirety was 425 pages, and at least 1/2 of those were ads. I get it, the ads help pay the bills. But so does the $5 I paid for this magazine. And I did not pay for ads - and there was little mention of 'how to wear them'. Imagine going to 2 hour movie and watching 2 hours of commercials between scenes. You'd be walking out and demanding a full refund. Then why accept it from a magazine. It will be a long time before I buy another issue. Perhaps if they spent more time on producing quality content, they would sell more magazines and need fewer ads to pay the bills.
Clearly I'm looking for a new magazine for my next bath event. What are your favorite magazines?
Since it has been raining, and therefore all outdoor activities have been suspended (the walk with the dogs left me DRENCHED), I went to the mall! My sister was shopping for a new pair of tweezers. Of course I had an opinion. I love the Anastasia tweezers. I have had mine for years and they're still just as good as the day I bought them. There is no warping - the edges have remained true and sharp. This allows so much precision, and easy plucking of even the finest hairs. These babies are totally worth their $30 price tag, because they'll last you for years and years. And as a bonus, they're pink! :)
My sister got these tweezers and then called me about an hour after she got home to tell me how much she loves them. I'm so glad she likes them too!
~ fresh banana bread
~ hot soup and watching movies on a rainy evening
~ my skin with the help of Bioderma skin care & Kiehl's eye treatment with avocado
~ remembering to apply cuticle butter/oil regularly all week
Do you sometimes see a review of a product and then are DYING to try it, even if you already have something similar? Lately I've been trying to be really thoughtful of what I buy when I'm makeup shopping. I don't want to have stuff sitting around unused. Here is my list of things I have to use up and things I want to try:
I was skeptical about this book when I plucked it from my friend's book shelf. I thought it would be another judgemental book attempting to guilt its readers into becoming vegetarian farmers. Now, I have absolutely nothing against vegetarian farmers, I just am not one of them. I am a city girl, I eat meat, and I rarely ate locally (note the past tense). So I picked up this book, read the title, rolled my eyes and was about to shove it right back on the shelf, when my friend started to go on and on about how good it was. I was interested, but not interested enough to actually read it.
Then one day I was at Costco, and they had NOTHING that I wanted to read or hadn't read already. And there was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, staring at me. Taunting me. So I picked it up. And I was pleasantly surprised. It was an honest book journaling one family's experience. The stories were wonderful, and it was a much easier read than I expected. There was no judgement. There were a lot of facts, many that I ddn't know. For example, did you know that eggs from free range chickens who are allowed to forrage for their own food are not the cholesterol bombs that you get at the supermarket? There are also some delicious recipes.
The bottom line message I got from this book is that we should eat locally. Local ensures freshness (and hence better nutritional contents), supports the local farming community, and is fantastic for the environment. Now does that mean that I'm going to be moving to a farm and living off the land? Not likely - though my dogs would love it. However, I do try to buy my produce locally as much as possible. The first thing I did was find a family close to my aunt's house (about 1 hour away) who raises chickens and sells AMAZING eggs. The yolks are orange and not yellow! Right now it's winter here in Canada, and there is not much growing out there, but when things pick up, I'll be out there checking out the farms.
Overall, a good book that's worth reading, and maybe even thinking about next time you're at the grocery store.
I was cruising through our local drug store when I spotted some Bioderma skin care. I thought that Bioderma was only sold in France. And yet there it was, smiling down upon me from the shelf right here in Canada. Since I've been DYING to try it ever since Gemma reviewed a cleanser on Youtube.
My skin is normal to dry, depending on time of year, climate and what skin care I've been using. I the odd hormonal breakout around my chin. But my biggest skin care issue is redness and skin sensitivity around the corners of my mouth and down towards my chin. This area sometimes gets so irritated that the skin flakes. As such, the two Bioderma items I picked out are both geared towards sensitive skin.
According to the Bioderma website "Sensitive skin makes its presence felt with feelings of overheating and diffuse or localised redness. It easily becomes dehydrated and the subsequent dryness contributes further to its weakness and is accompanied by feelings of tightness". Yup. Check.
Bioderma describes this as a Soothing non-rinse cleanser and makeup remover. It is alcohol and fragrance free, and is supposed to completely cleanse the skin and remove makeup. Furthermore it is supposed to soothe irritated skin and minimize redness.
Like others who have tried this product, I was a little skeptical about cleaning my face without the use of water and some sort of creamy and/or bubbly cleanser. However, I was impressed with the way this product removed ALL of my makeup. No racoon eyes in the morning from leftover mascara! And I figure that if it can remove my makeup so well, it can also cleanse other impurities out of my skin. So I have been using this product as a makeup remover and cleanser. When I have makeup on, I cleanse with two cotton pads. The first pass removes all of the makeup and the second ensures no residue.
The Bioderma H2O delivers on all of its promises. It does not irritate my skin. There is no stinging and tightness after cleansing (which is what I've experienced with irritating toners in the past). And while it is gentle, it is also an excellent cleanser. I do not have any congestion on my skin that would suggest my skin is not properly cleansed.
SENSIBIO LIGHT CREAM
I usually tend towards heavier moisturizers when possible, because I find the light moisturizers are just white water that sinks right into the skin and does nothing in terms of moisturizing. As such, I wanted to get the Sensibio Rich Cream. However, the packaging is completely the same, so I picked up the light cream by accident. I'm glad I did because the light cream is actually sufficiently moisturizing. Bioderma recommends the Sensibio Light Cream for normal to combination skin. It is supposed to restore the cutaneous barrier, allowing for a reduction in the penetration of possible irritants, and increasing the skin's tolerance threshold. Translation: it strengthens the skin, allowing it to be better at it's main function - to be a barrier. Bioderma also promises that this moisturizer is formulated with rigorously selected active ingredients, and is free of fragrance and preservatives.
To be honest, I am not sure if this cream delivers on all of these claims. How does one tell if their skin has been restored and fortified? The non-empirical evidence suggests that this claim has been met, since my skin is much less irritated and red. The main thing I notice with this moisturizer is that my skin is well hydrated but not greasy. And as an added bonus, it effectively moisturizes my skin without leaving my face greasy as an oil slick. I should also point out that I have been using a smaller quantity of this cream than other moisturizers even though if I compare labels this one is 'lighter'. This is great for my wallet!
All in all, I really like this skin care. I am a minimalist when it comes to skin care. I do not have separate products for day and night. There is a mask with this range that I would like to try and also the eye cream. I will definitely be keeping the cleanser and cream in my skincare routine permanently. My skin has never looked better.
Do you have a friend or acquaintance who always looks polished and put together? Do you wish you could get the look that they seem to effortlessly achieve every morning? Then I encourage you to ask that person for help. It can be intimidating to approach someone out of the blue and ask them for advice. However, I can assure you that there is absolutely no better compliment than being told that you look so goood that someone else wants to look like you! I am sure your friend would love to go to the makeup counter with you, and may even recommend a good makeup artist that they know at one of their favorite counters. And if they're just an acqanintance? Then this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
On the whole I think the strength of Mary Kay makeup is neutral, wearable, everyday makeup. They also have new looks put together by their makeup artists in each catalog, which are also available on their website. They give you the colors they used in each look, as well as application instructons. Check out their all in one compact, which is great for traveling and keeps all your colors in one place. I also enjoyed their medium coverage foundation, which feels light on your face and gives you an even complexion. However, beware of their bath and body products, which are very perfumey.
May Kay is quite a controversial makeup line in some circles. Its poor reputation is mostly rooted in questionable business practices that have resulted in unhappy ex-consultants. My experience with Mary Kay has been positive. I really enjoyed the makeup I have tried, and the guidance I got from my consultant was great.
Here are some tips on how to avoid a similar experience.
- Ask the person if they are a trained makeup artist.
- Ask around or search the web for recommendations of makeup artists in your area. Check out makeup forums, such as Specktra.net, and don't be afraid to post questions.
- Take a look at the artist's makeup. Look for makeup that is well blended (think GRADIENT of color, and not STRIPES), paying special attention to eyes and cheeks. And don't worry, just because the artist is wearing really bright colors does not mean that she will apply those colors to your face, unless that is what you are after.
- When you find someone you like, make an appointment. Avoiding peak mall hours will ensure that the artist has plenty of time to devote to you an is not constantly distracted by other customers. Book the appointment during the day, so you can look at yourself in daylight.
- Tell the person that it's your first time getting your makeup done, and give them some guidance as to the type of makeup you are after (more polished, neutral, day-to-evening, formal event, bold lip, etc.) and ask for tips and techniques while they apply the makeup.
- If there is something you do not like, tell them. For example, if the lipstic is too bright, ask for a more neutral one. Alternatively, if the lipstick is so neutral it completely mutes down the color of your lips, ask for something with more color. Too pink? Too brown? Too red? Let the artist know.
- Once your makeup is done, go outside and look at your face in daylight. How does that foundation look? Foundation should even out your skin tone, but it should still look like skin. It should feel light on your face. There should be no color variation between your face, neck, and decollete.
- Keep in mind when booking your appointment that you will be expected to either pay for the appointment or purchase products. For example, there is a $50 fee for a MAC makeup appointment, or you need to buy at least $50 worth of product. Keep in mind that the artist just spent a significant amount of time with you when they could have been selling products to other customers.
- You don't have to buy EVERYTHING the artist recommends. It is perfectly acceptable to ask them to write down the names of the products you are not buying after your appointment so that you may go back and purchase them later. If there is something you didn't like, don't get it. And keep in mind that the drug store has lots of very good quality mascaras and plenty of brown eye shadow and liners, all for a lot less money. However, foundation and concealer are very hard to match by yourself, and the drug store has thousands of lipstick shades that don't have testers. So prepare to be able to say NO THANK YOU to products you don't like or aren't sure about.
- Counters I recommend: MAC, NARS, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Estee Lauder and Laura Mercier.
I would love to hear how it goes, so keep me posted on your progress. And come back for the next installment of this series, where I will recommend a handful of products that are a good starting point for an everyday look.
Best of luck!
And please note...
I do not work for Adagio, nor am I in any way affiliated with them. I think their products are good quality, and I love their sample tins, which allow me to try many different types of teas. The sample tins are only $2-$4, an last for about 8-10 cups of tea. Not bad.
Are you a tea drinker? If so, what are some of your favorite teas?