Skinsuit Maintenance: Trying Out The Ordinary

This quickie take down of Canadian skincare brand The Ordinary from Fanserviced-B made me chuckle. I’ve been making mental notes about The Ordinary since it was released last summer; mentions pop up fairly often on the Skincare Addiction and Asian Beauty sub-Reddits. Reviews seem mixed: some people love it, and some people don’t. So it seems like The Ordinary products are a crap shoot, which is basically all skin care is anyway. Faceonomics’ longer take on the epistemology, shall we say, of the brand is a good read, too.

I was in the mood for something new last month, so I pulled the trigger on my first order from The Ordinary in the spirit of experimentation. The line is pretty danged inexpensive (although the bottles are itty-bitty!), and I figured that even if things were duds, it would be $30 worth of fun and experimentation.

I ordered the Vitamin C Suspension 23% that Fanserviced-b hates so much she won’t even put it on her face (yikes!), the “Buffet” peptide serum, and the Advanced Retinoid.

So far I feel like I’m getting what I wanted out of my order in terms of a sense of novelty and fun. It was great to order something, have it ship the next day, and then arrive at my place just a few days later–much more fun than a three-month wait for things from South Korea, and zero wondering if my package has been lost. (Canada Post/ Canadian Border Patrol drama has definitely cooled me on ordering from overseas.) And I am digging the medicinal/minimalist look and feel of the packaging. It’s attractive!

The first product I introduced was the retinoid. I’m digging it. I’m on a three-day rotation at the moment: one ‘rest day’, then an AHA day, then a retinoid day. So far no over-exfoliation, and I always feel like I’m counting down towards something exciting while I wait for each retinoid day. Since the rest of my routine is quite stable, I am enjoying having something new, and wondering if it’s going to work. Retinoid is a long-game thing, so I have no idea if this retinoid is really doing anything for me. So far: it’s not breaking me out, and although some people may find the formulation a bit oily/ heavy-feeling, I kind of like the enjoy the sensation of having stuff just slathered on my face. I use about three drops for my whole face.

I have also used the Buffet a few times. I was travelling for about a week, and the 30 ml bottle fit nicely into my toiletry bag. I am not digging this one. The smell is awful! So even if it works, I just don’t really want it on my face. The retinoid has a slight wet sawdust smell to it which isn’t great, but not so bad I don’t want to use the product. Whereas the smell of the Buffet is bad enough to turn me off of the product entirely. I will use it up, but I will not repurchase.

I haven’t used the Vit C yet, as I’ve been waiting to see if the Retinoid melts my face off or something awful, but I am kind of dying to use it. Is it really as bad as Fanserviced-b claims? Can’t wait to find out!

(And–fresh off a bout of soul-searching on the subject of a lipstick purchase, I’ve also decided to get strict with myself on skincare purchases. No more new things or experiments for a while–only repurchasing staple products!)

Links 79 and 80: Some Tasty Food Writing

This New Yorker story by Lauren Collins on the racist history of a barbecue chain was super interesting to read. My vote: nope, it’s still not okay to eat there. But do read the article!

Collins opens her piece with an anecdote about Kathleen Purvis throwing down the claim that “men are the new carpetbaggers of Southern food writing.” Purvis’ piece at the Bitter Southerner is also a great read; she really does know how use a snappy line (and makes some highly valid claims).

(Also: yes, sorry about the title of this post.)


That Time I Didn’t Buy A Lipstick

So. The other day I watched all of the Makeup Breakup videos on YouTube because I was bored with Netflix and also these ladies are funny and remind me so much of the fun Aussie babes I used to work with on Tasmania.

And of course I fell in love with the lipstick worn by Kat (the brunette) in one of the videos.


So I made a little plan to head downtown to the MAC shop and get this lippie, because it just seems like the perfect summer colour, and wouldn’t wearing it just show that I am a fun pretty summer person who has fun and looks pretty while wearing the perfect summer lipstick and doing summer things.

Except that… Before I made it downtown, I read this anti-haul post on Faceonomics, and this anti-haul post on Bad Outfit Great Lipstick, and then poked through the BOGL archives, and I started to think about the emotional roots of my desire for the MAC Darling Clementine lipstick, and I managed to decide against buying it. I am a fun person all the time regardless of what is or isn’t on my lips, you know? And if I’m not feeling fun, it has nothing to do with lipstick or the lack thereof.

Not only did I not buy the MAC lipstick, I was even inspired to clean my bathroom and reorganize my makeup… which… just… Mad props to Bad Outfit Great Lipstick. Not that my bathroom was gross, but I don’t usually dig into that task with that much enthusiasm, shall we say.

So I took my (somewhat dusty, I’ll admit) over-flowing jar of lip products, and divided them into summer colours and winter colours. The winter colours got tucked into the linen closet to await their day, and the summer colours got prettily organized in a little bamboo bin.

Look at all of those summery aren’t-I-a-fun-summer-person-who-has-summer-fun colours! At left: a couple of Sephora lip glosses which I received as a gift. From top to bottom: Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 in Grapefruit (highly recommended); Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg; Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Lodhi; Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Unapologetic; Revlon Just Bitten Kissable (ugh that name) Balm Stain in Rendezvous; Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart Valentine.

Lining all that up was so great, I actually [poured myself a gin and then] tidied up my shelf of skincare products, and dug into the linen closet to tidy up the makeup and random junk lurking there. So satisfying! I will admit to throwing out some old products–things that I just never used and were likely long past their use-by dates. And chucking out products–even just deluxe samples from Sephora–really reinforced that I do NOT need to buy more makeup. I just do not get a lot of wear out of this stuff, and already have plenty of fun things that just need to be enjoyed more often.

tl/dr: Don’t buy more shit; just use the nice things you already own!

Link 76: Cocktail Room!!!

Oh my gosh.

This house tour is danged cute–I could definitely live there (minus the kids rooms, lol). And how great is the ‘cocktail room’ moniker? Usually when I dream of owning my own place, I think about how nice it would be to have an art/craft studio. But a whole room devoted to drinking? That’s is a GOAL.

“I Get Overwhelmed” — Dark Rooms

If last night’s Beth Ditto was too upbeat for you in these dark times, may I suggest an alternative? It’s almost hilariously overwrought, but if you feel the need to lie down on the carpet and stare at the ceiling, Dark Rooms’ “I Get Overwhelmed” is a good soundtrack choice for that.

And if you’re wondering where you heard it recently: it is the song used in the trailer for A Ghost Story. Which is a very cool-looking movie that I am not going to see because Casey Affleck is reprehensible.

“Fire” — Beth Ditto

I’m not sure how much I actually like this song–it’s snappy, but I expect won’t have much staying power in my playlist. However, you must watch the video at least once.

Beth Ditto whipping a corn dog out of a dude’s mouth is a sight to see.

Also can’t let a denim shirt sighting pass unremarked-upon. (And that line dancing is something, no?)