Everyday Makeup Using Drugstore Products

When it comes to makeup I’m a no fuss, no muss kind of gal. I spend maybe 5 minutes applying makeup in the morning. And I use mostly drugstore makeup products because it’s cheap and it gets the job done. When I was younger I used to splurge on the expensive stuff, but when I tried drugstore brands I was impressed with the quality and called it “good enough.” Why pay more?

These are the drugstore products I use every day as part of my makeup routine.

everyday drugstore makeup favorites

1. L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup
This foundation has SPF protection and that’s why I got it. I use a kabuki brush to apply it, which is my favorite way to apply foundation. From time to time I’ll use my fingers if the brush isn’t available, and it works just fine. This foundation is pretty sheer, which I like. I don’t want to look like I caked on fondant on my face. It’s just enough coverage to even out my skin tone. Plus, it’s moisturizing, which is great during winter when my face becomes parched as a desert wasteland.

2. L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder
I used MAC Blot Powder for years, and I recently switched to this. Easier on the wallet and works just fine.

3. Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quads
I use Chai Latte – a neutral palette that works well for everyday eye makeup.

4. NYX Cosmetics Slide On Pencil
This is a creamy eyeliner pencil that glides on smooth. It’s so easy to use! If you have oily eyelids (like I do) you may need to touch up later in the day (but I don’t bother). I use the shade Jet Black.

5. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Shimmer
On the days I don’t go for the lip-liner-as-lipstick shtick I use this tinted lip balm. I like the shade Rhubarb. This is a moisturizing lip balm with good pigmentation. Doesn’t make your lips too shiny.

6. NYX Slim Lip Liner Pencil
I just recently discovered that you can use lip liner as lipstick not just as lip liner. Who knew? Apparently it’s how the young kids to do it. It will give your lips a very matte look so you may want to touch it up with some lip gloss or lip balm. I find using a lip liner as lipstick way easier to apply than lipstick. With lip liner you can define and color your lips all in one go and be very precise about it. Efficient! Love it!

If I go for mascara I use Innisfree skinny mascara which I order from Amazon. Works fine. But I may switch to a NYX, L’Oreal, or CoverGirl brand in the future.

If you’d rather use a tinted moisturizer (and skip foundation) I highly recommend Boots No7 Dual Action Tinted Moisturiser. I’ve been using it for years. I recently stopped using it because I switched to an oil-free moisturizer with higher SPF (the onset of wrinkles at my age is REAL, and I needed to take action). But I still occasionally use it if I’m in a hurry and can’t bother to do the moisturizer-then-foundation routine. I just mix the tinted moisturizer with a bit of foundation, apply to my face using my fingers, and I’m good to go!

Have you ever watched makeup tutorials online? Once I start I can’t stop watching them! I just keep watching one after another. They are so addictive. It’s mesmerizing to watch makeup artists transform their faces, and they make it look so effortless.

These are a couple of my favorite makeup tutorials on Youtube:

If you want to learn how to apply foundation, check out this tutorial by Jaclyn Hill.

Doing eye makeup can be especially challenging for Asian women. I watched tons of eye makeup tutorials for monolid eyes. I like this one by Jen Chae, and her other eye makeup tutorials for Asian eyes are also good. Seriously, I can watch her channel forever.

Our Fabulous New Vintage Armchairs

Our latest furniture acquisition has been a pair of vintage armchairs. If you follow me on Twitter, you may remember how I was agonizing over whether to get them or not. We’re in the midst of apartment hunting so it seems kind of impractical to get new furniture, especially when you don’t know what your future space is going to look like.

But I saw these chairs when we visited Attic Treasures on Commercial Drive – a great resource for midcentury modern furniture and other vintage goodness, by the way – and they just really tugged at my heart. I wasn’t even in the market for new armchairs since I already got one a few months ago. It’s always when you’re not looking for something in particular that you find that piece you know is perfect for your home. I simply fell in love with these chairs and I wanted them badly. But I didn’t purchase them right then and there. I gave myself a week to think about it, and when I decided that I really did want them, I hoped and prayed they’d still be there. And they were! Hallejulah! 

What I love about the chairs are the tufted cushions, the strong 70s vibe, and the manly chrome frame, which also lend them an airy look. Most of all, they’re just full of character. They actually remind me of E.T. for some reason; perhaps because they’re short, squat, and brown. The armchairs now occupy the space where the ugly and very uncomfortable loveseat used to be.

I’m an advocate for buying used as much as possible when it comes to home furnishings. It’s just a sound and sustainable way of decorating your place. That’s why I’m an avid vintage home decor collector. I love looking around our place and seeing all the unique pieces I’ve accumulated over the last few years by scouring thrift shops, vintage shops, Craigslist, and estate sales. Hence, adding yet another piece of vintage furniture to our home feels like winning to me.

Reupholstered Chairs

This past summer I worked on a dining room chair reupholstery job for my relatives. I love the contrast between the simple clean lines of the fabric and the graceful antique chair. Having contrasts is one of the best ways to liven up a space. If everything is too matchy-matchy and coordinates seamlessly, then the room looks flat and sterile, i.e. booooring.

Upholstering the seat of a dining chair is the easiest type of upholstery that one can DIY. This is my favourite Youtube video on how to re-upholster a chair. There are also a countless number of tutorials out there. I read a few to figure out the best technique.

The obligatory before and after picture.

Dining room chairs

I’m a nut for stripe patterns. If I allowed myself, I’d have striped everything.

We acuired a teak lounge chair back in September. It was on sale at Sugar Barrel Antiques on Main St. so we snatched it up. Unfortunately, the cushions were friggin’ ugly, and the fabric was worn through and ripped on parts of the the seat.

teak chair - before

I wasn’t confident enough to take on the reupholstery project myself. So I paid someone a lot of money to do it for me. It took almost a month to get them back because they were super busy. Hence the reason why this blog post is long overdue.

vintage teak lounge chair

Unfortunately, I’m not quite happy with the results. It was the first time I ever had anything professionally upholstered so I didn’t give specific directions. What I really wanted were boxy cushions, but of course, to my great irritation, the person couldn’t simply read my mind. Anyway, I think in the future I may try to reupholster the cushions myself.

teak lounge armchair - after

It’s a beautiful chair. I agonized over whether to get it or not. But it was such a good price that I couldn’t pass it up. It’s only going to go up in value because there’s only so much midcentury modern furniture in the world and everyone wants a piece of the action it seems. SBA is a great source of MCM furniture and accessories in Vancouver. All their MCM stuff is in the basement, and I go weak in the knees looking at their vast collection every time I go.

We recently acquired a pair of vintage armchairs (from Attic Treasures on the The Drive), and I can’t wait to show them off here. But first we need to get rid of the loveseat (the last piece of ugly furniture we own) before they can take their proper place. Our living room is an unholy mess right now.

Stuff I Buy From Etsy: Bookhou

bag by bookhou

Although Bookhou is an Etsy shop based in Toronto, I actually made my purchases at the CircleCraft Christmas market a couple weekends ago. I’d been eyeing the stuff at Bookhou, especially the bag above, for a while now. And when I found out that Arounna was going to sell her wares in Vancouver, I went to CircleCraft without hesitation. I wanted to see the products in person before buying.

I love everything about Bookhou, especially their products that feature geometric patterns. I also couldn’t resist getting this 2012 tea towel calendar. It’s hanging in our dining nook, which had a big empty wall until now.

2012 calendar by bookhou
2012 calendar by bookhou

Seriously, buying handmade is the best. I’m always happy to buy things that are well designed, and it feels good to support the creative efforts of a real person(s) behind the product.

While on the topic of buying stuff from Etsy, my own Etsy shop, is having a sale this Thanksgiving weekend. Because we live in Canada where we already celebrated Thanksgiving in October, it feels odd that today’s Thanksgiving and we’re not doing anything to celebrate. Oh, well. Every year I mean to do a Thanksgiving dinner but things get in the way (this year is Photoshop class). That’s expat living for you.

I’ll also be offering special discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So be sure to check the shop on those days for all the details!

Stuff I Buy From Etsy

Mr. Tea and Lionel Richie

Every morning when I open the kitchen cabinet to grab a mug, I’m greeted by Lionel Richie. When I first saw this mug from Lenny Mud I knew I had to have it. I’m not even a fan of Lionel Richie. I don’t know any of his music. But I just could not resist this mug for some reason. I also bought the Mr. Tea mug from the same shop because I used to be a huge A-Team fan.

This is the song “Hello” that inspired the mug.

I plan to sing it the next time we go to karaoke.

The other day I was feeling really bummed out about the impending Canada Post strike, so I went out to Main Street to see what the hipsters were up to. Just kidding. My main purpose was to check out an antique shop that sells midcentury modern furniture that someone recommended and to visit my favourite clothing consignment shop, Front and Company. But I got distracted…

I went into a vintage store I’ve never been to: I Found Gallery. And I fell in love with a pair of vintage sunglasses. So I got them and brought ’em home. At 30 bucks, how could I resist?

They’ve got prescription lenses so they need to be changed. I will keep this pair forever. They’re a classic and will never lose their stylish mojo. It’s made in Italy. Those Italians really know good design, eh?

This stupid postal strike that’s about to happen is really going to hurt my online vintage shop. Also, I was going to launch my new Etsy shop today, but now I have to delay it.

The last of the wall shelves were installed in the living room against the maybe-too-bright red accent wall. The shelf brackets and rails came from Home Depot. The wood is a white cedar 1×10 cut to size from Kerrisdale Lumber. It’s was lightly sanded and left untreated.

Most of the stuff on the shelves is personal junk mixed in with some things I sell in the shop. The yellow vase at the very top is by Huronia, a Canadian pottery company that closed in the 1970’s. I’m so taken with that shade of yellow that I’m considering hunting and gathering similar ceramic pieces by Huronia.

The cactus print is from an Etsy shop called PerlaAnne. The ball of yarn is from Bristol County Dyeworks, and it’s currently being knitted into a pair of handwarmers.

The print of the branches is also from PerlaAnne. The set of pipes is on sale in my vintage shop.

The next thing on the agenda is getting a new loveseat. We got the current one when we were poor as dirt from a sketchy used furniture shop because I was tired of living months without a couch. It’s not comfortable and it’s too bulky looking for the tiny space it’s in. Something lean and leggy would be preferable.

Founds lots of cool stuff when I went thrifting last weekend, one of which was this lamp. I really like it, so I’m considering keeping it for myself rather than selling it in my vintage shop.

Its woody chunkiness is what got my attention. The current lampshade on it though is a tad bit too small. If I were to keep it, I would dress it up with a big sexy black lampshade.

Below is the lamp that it would potentially replace. I found this lamp at an estate sale last summer. It was a gem in the midst of piles and piles of junk. Love its midcentury modern coolness. Airy and graceful.  The very opposite of the specimen above.

Hmmm…not sure what to do. I have a feeling I’m going to agonize over this decision. Can’t keep both because we don’t have space for two.

The horse is a new addition. I got it from my favourite Etsy vintage shop, Hindsvik. It’s a ceramic horse bookend. I love, love, love it. It’s the first time I bought something vintage from Etsy. The Dude thinks it’s butt ugly and doesn’t get it, *sigh*. Maybe if it were a robot or Godzilla he’d appreciate it.

I have a love-hate relationship with craigslist. I suppose most people who use it do. Trying to sell stuff on craigslist is usually a pain because of flaky shoppers. And trying to buy stuff is a pain because of flaky sellers. Nevertheless, I have to admit that it’s a great internet tool for buying and selling crap. Well, this past week I had two consecutive good experiences selling and buying on craigslist. It was as if all the stars were aligned or something.

First, I bought an awesome, old storage chest for $50. It’s got the right dimensions and even the loud turquoise colour works for the colour palette I’m going for. I’ve been hoping for months to find a wooden chest that would function as storage/coffee table/extra seating for the living room. And I can’t believe I found one that fits the bill perfectly. We just need to slap some casters on this baby and it’s golden. The best thing about it: not IKEA.

Second, we finally sold a black armchair that I’ve been trying to get rid of for months. After taking a hiatus, I re-posted it and it sold within days – huzzah. Now the living room feels a bit more spacious. The armchair had the wrong proportions that made it look odd with the rest of the furniture. I bought it last summer at an estate sale and it turned out to be one of my “early mistakes.”

Now we only have three more pieces of furniture to purge: the Dude’s big-ass ergonomic chair and two bookcases that are standing in the place where the new storage chest/bench/coffee table is going to go.

My purse diet officially ended when this tote arrived from rib & hull. It’s the first handbag I’ve bought since 2006! I’m pretty sure that was the last time I bought a purse, and what a fabulous purse it was, a vintage snakeskin clutch that I use for special occasions. Anyway, I’ve been gifted a few purses during the dry spell, but I’m proud that I resisted buying a handbag for myself in all these years. My purse addiction is no more – I hope. 

Bought this fun orange tote from an Etsy seller based in Poland. It’s constructed very well and worth every penny I forked over. I love buying handmade. I also bought from the same seller a case for my scratched up iPod touch, which I mainly use as an alarm clock these days. But now that I have this cool iPod sleeve maybe I’ll take it out more often.