Retail Therapy

My therapist gave me permission to shop (yes, she’s the best), so I have been doing my best to stem the tide of shattering grief by buying things. I suppose it’s working, considering I’m not crying my face off right now?

Here’s what I bought:


Two black tees. I’m taking a little vacation from that denim-shirts-as-performance-art thing I’ve been doing for a while now, and have decided that my summer look is going to be a tight t-shirt tucked into a denim skirt. I wasn’t planning on all black tees–one is linen, the other is a cotton/ modal blend–but so far haven’t seen a v-neck in the right grey. V-necks don’t seem to be in at the moment?

Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock yarn in Lady Grey. I’m normally not a fan of superwash yarns due to the texture, but this stuff is lovely–really nice feel, soft halo, gorgeous colour. I’m also not normally a sock knitter, so this will end up as a scarf. I’m even hand-winding the ball, just to maximize the textural pleasures.

Papa Recipe Bombee Ginseng Red Honey Oil sheet mask. No idea if I’ll like this mask or not, but I’ve heard good things about Papa Recipe, so my hopes are high(ish).

Missha Shower Towel. This promises “Best Quality & High Life” on the package, and you know I love the high life. I use an epilator, which requires an on-point exfoliation game. I’m hoping this scratchy thing–it has the texture of a pot-scrubber–will do the trick.

Atelier Cologne in Figuier Ardent. This perfume blends fig leaf from Provence, bergamot from Calabria, and tonka bean from Brazil. Fuck knows what a goddamn tonka bean is (this? [actually this is kind of interesting]) but this perfume is a favourite of mine–green and fresh, yet sultry at the same time. It is gorgeous and interesting. (I do not know how to talk about smells.) This is actually a re-purchase; my first 7.5mL travel spray lasted about a year and a half (I rotate between 4 or 5 different scents). I do think the full size is worth it, but in the context of this weekend’s shopping-for-happiness thing, I decided that 100mL would not make me happer than 7.5 mL, so here we are.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Black. Using that handy Wayne Goss technique, I’ve been using a black eyeshadow to line my eyes, and generally managing to not make a total hash of it. But the shadow does not stay put–especially if I’ve been dancing and getting sweaty–so I’m hoping to use the Goss technique with this Tarte liner for smudge-free fun times. The Tarte liner was recommended by Tamara at the Robson Sephora, and she seemed like a trusty little gal. Also I love the gold lid–so shiny!

The Annual Balcony Refresh

These before and after pics are a little bit boring, because all I did was clean… but damn, scrubbing down my balcony once a year is just immensely satisfying.

Every winter, the balcony gets super grimy and even grows a bit of algae. It’s gross.

So each spring I wipe down the railings, scrub the floor, and wash the windows inside and out.

And afterwards, it looks SO MUCH BETTER, and I can step outside in bare feet without contracting tuberculosis of the foot.

Of course, scrubbing doesn’t help the globs of orange paint left behind by a previous tenant (I think the kitchen used to be that colour, if you can imagine!), but–so clean. So clean!

Of course if I were a legit blogger, I’d swap out the furniture I don’t like–the round wire chairs were inherited from the previous tenant, and they are NOT comfortable–and fill the place with way more plants, and maybe add an outdoor rug… But for a zero-dollar-enjoy-what-you-got-ain’t-nobody-sponsoring-this style refresh, I am happy (and sitting outside as I type this).

Link 86: Oh My God Hollywood is Dumb

I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THEY ASKED WILLIAM FREAKING GIBSON TO WRITE THE THIRD ALIEN MOVIE AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN FREAKING FILM IT. I mean, COME ON: “Ripley’s cryo-pod gets damaged and she goes into a coma, and little Newt is wisely sent back to Earth to stay with family (there’s a sweet scene where she draws a map of where she’ll be and pins it next to the comatose Ripley)…” I’ve never even seen Alien 3 but I would have watched the fuck out of Alien III.

Link 85: On 1D Drag

I really (really!) don’t listen to One Direction, and don’t listen to any of the boys’ solo efforts, either. (I made it about a minute into “Sign of the Times” before turning it off.) However… there is something very entertaining–very compelling–about 1D fans, and their relationship with the band.

This piece from Racked about fans dressing like the band is a super interesting read. A “respect for the femme” is perhaps what I find so enjoyable about following the boys’ celebrity, even if I have no use for their music.

Links 83 and 84: A Couple Of Funnies from Elle

I did read some serious/ seriously good stuff this week (ie. that slavery article, plus this and this, all devastating in their own way. I’m slightly surprised that Tizon’s essay was mentioned in this piece by Jia Tolentino because I think it’s a form of memoir that’s vastly different from the kind of schlock that xoJane used to trade in [and I don’t think The Toast shut down because of a shifting landscape of personal essay writing, but because of Nicole and Mallory’s shifting goals and needs]; however, if Tolentino hadn’t written her piece then we wouldn’t have this bit of genius, so there’s that). (Also, Karen Templer’s wardrobe planning is envy-inducing and oh so inspiring.) Anyways…

I was left rather hollowed-out feeling by Tizon’s writing and the story of his untimely passing, but Elle served up a couple of good palate-cleanser-y pieces, and now I’m thinking I should be checking out on a more regular basis? Maybe? This piece on ultra-long hair extensions was just exactly what I would want out of an article on ultra-long hair extensions (plus I am really digging her outfit!) and this piece on the problem with calling it a “romphim” is so right and very funny. I will 100% forever read everything about dudes in rompers because honestly they are sort of cute and people should just wear what they wanna wear but all of the *controversy* is highly entertaining. It’s this week’s Fyre Festival, no?

Link 81: On Peptides

This /r/AsianBeauty thread on peptides was super interesting reading, particularly since I’ve added The Ordinary’s “Buffet” peptide product to my routine. (I’m currently avoiding the unpleasant smell by using a single drop of product around my eyes and on my forehead.) Even if I don’t stick with the “Buffet” long-term, I think I’m always going to want a peptide product in my routine!


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!)