The Weekend Post | The Productive Pamper

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I’m convinced that there is a reason that we all — in the blogosphere — seem to find ourselves writing posts on the ideal pamper on a frequent basis, in a way that veers towards the obsessive and that said reason is not a lack of originality; there’s something about the power of a pamper, that makes our hectic daily lives a little more relaxed and manageable, I reckon. I have far too much on my growing agenda to abondon in the aim of merely giving myself a little bit of indulgence, however, so I find myself loving the routine of a scaled-down pamper with some productivity thrown in. Now, I’m not necessarily one to look towards for organization inspiration, though. I’m just overcoming my previous status as organizationally impaired.

One. Break down and the list into smaller achievable tasks and write it down.

This seems so obvious but it’s not so simple and easily dismissible as it seems. I can’t even tell you how many times I rolled my eyes when authority figures preached this at me in my earlier school years and while they presented it in the most irritating patronizing manner, they were right in a sense. It’s much easier to get things done when you actually identify what realistically can be accomplished in the time quota and the smaller individual parts that the tasks require. I’m aware of how difficult it can be at first to actually look at what has to get done without making yourself instantly nauseous or panicked.

Two. Gather your tools and edit out the rest.

I’m not someone who has a naturally organized disposition so this was not something that I believed in, in the past but a clutter-free space actually appears to make a difference. I do have to make the effort, forcing myself to get up and choose the necessary items for the whole ordeal and then clean out all of the extras without becoming distracted within he process. It’s not particularly fun — at all — but the tidy-up is a worthy step nonetheless. I’ll get out the books that I have readings that I must get through, my notes if I’m working on some sort of assignment and perhaps my blogging notebook, for example.

Three. Set up the pamper-y atmosphere.

With the previous step down, this one should be a breeze. The whole pampering experience seems to me to be synonymous with the zen-like state and ease that lounging with your feet in the bath, whilst wearing the most luxurious bathrobe and while I wouldn’t go that far on a typical Sunday not-funday, I try to emulate the spa-like experience. I would go for some of the most comfortable and cozy glorified sweatpants-and-a-hoodie combo, embrace the cliche and light a scented candle, with a magazine and cozy blanket within sight.

Four. Work a face mask into the routine and add full-on body cream slather into the mix.

Obviously, the pamper requires pamper products and with productivity in mind, it only makes sense to go for a duo (or trio) of products that bring on that pampered feeling with minimal time and effort while making the whole task of getting stuff done a little bit more enticing. So, I normally would go for a mask but I didn’t because my skin is like the sahara desert at the moment — but I normally would. Instead, I went for the fruit-acid containing Indeed Laboratories Facial Powdered Exfoliator ($30) that once mixed with water forms a milky foam that instantly brightens and perks up the skin without adding to the dryness situation or further irritating the skin. Unless you have such irritated skin that body moisturization is a necessity or you are obsessed with the whole experience, you likely aren’t someone who religiously finds themsleves slathering on the lotion twice daily but just going for this indulgent experience can be a breath of fresh air, while being bundled in the most cozy blanket, of course. I use a separate cream on my lower legs on account of my irritated eczema there and this cream is the lovely La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($30) . For the rest of my body, I’ll go for my new Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream ($20) that I adore because it smells like the most appealing zesty margarita and has the most luxurious creamy texture.

Five. Tidy up the nails and whatever that entails.

I may be someone who spent the majority of her life away from that whole mani-pedi nail-painting game but I do recognize the power of having simply tidied nails, whether they are polished or not. Although the whole nail-doing task takes an embarrassing amount of effort for me, the process seems to be tremendously calming on the psyche, whether or not you go for the whole ordeal or are just bringing your nails into tip-top shape with a coat of clear polish on top. The whole upkeep situation has been almost too much for me lately but I’m undecided as to whether I’ll forgo the manicure or not…

Happy (or-not-so-Happy) Sunday!
Maggie, x.

The Weekend Post | Project 10 Pan

DSC_0538DSC_0539This week’s edition of ‘The Weekend Post’ strikes me as a little bit different than the usual in the sense that there’s no real feature distinguishing it from a post that I might do during the week and it’s format is a real blast from the past, although I hadn’t done one before. For a good while, I’ve been feeling that a stash cleanout and beauty shopping hiatus is in order in the meantime. As many of you who have been into the beauty blogging and video-watching thing for years will be aware that the idea was created by Laura of “Buy Now Blog Later” who we all know and love and the basic rules are that you select ten items of the beauty variety that you must use up before purchasing something within the same category. I’ve actually already finished a few things of my ten because I had been mulling over doing a whole no-buy until finishing these items and had been attempting to use them up while debating whether or not to commit. I’m going to try to not only not allow myself to buy items in these categories until these ten products are used up and also limit myself to only purchasing beauty items that are essential — or perhaps on sale for a ridiculous good price. Let’s get onto it.

1. REN Hydra Calm Global Protection Day Cream ($54) – finished

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Since noticing maybe a month ago that I was coming near the end of this nicely nourishing and soothing moisturizer, I’ve been committing myself to finishing it up and as a result I pumped out the last little bit this morning. I’ve been using this not only as a daytime moisturizer but also one for nighttime use consistently since receiving it for Christmas and while I really have enjoyed using this moisturizer, I’ve been ready for a change and that change has taken the form of the recently-purchased Caudalie Vinosource Intense Moisture Rescue Cream. I am rather proud that I forced myself to use this one up before moving onto the next shiny new toy.

2. Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Even Skin Tone Enhancer ($40)

DSC_0549This cream-serum was not only among my very favourite beauty discoveries of 2013 but also has a place in my heart with the few skincare products that offered drastic results shortly upon first use, however the tube is coming to an end and I have other brightening acidic-based products in my arsenal that I should get to before repurchasing this beauty. That was a roundabout way of saying that I would like to finish this AHA and Chromabright containing brightening treatment. If brightness/dullness is one of your skin concerns along with general texture and hyperpigmentation, this product will serve you very very very well.

3. L’Oreal Sublime Soft Gentle Micellar Solution ($12-13)

DSC_0547My mother picked this one up as a gift for me this spring after I placed the product in her hand with one of the elusive coupons that provided a few dollars off – clearly, I may have influenced the decision – and when I ran out of my previous bottle of Bioderma, I gave this one a good go. Months have passed and I’ve used up the majority of my bottle but in recent weeks, I spotted the good ol’ Bioderma Sensibio H20 in the difficult-to-find 500 mL size for less than the price for the typical bottle, and it’s tempting to completely return to the original. However, the L’Oreal is almost a dupe and works 99.99% as well but can’t quite remove difficult eye makeup as well…

4. NOW Solutions 100% Natural Shea Butter ($20) – finished

DSC_0541I had been applying a generous layer of this oil-balm twice daily to soothe and heal the whole leg eczema situation and I had really been enjoying the soothing butter but as I was nearing the end of this balm, I spotted La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP at a local drugstore (Lawton’s to be exact) for less than half-price and of course I picked it up and had to use it immediately. I’m pleased to report that I restrained myself afterwards and actually finished the shea butter before continuing use with the latest shiny object within sight.

5. John Freida Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray ($15)

DSC_0542I do believe that these refreshing-slash-styling sprays are essential for hair like mine that is on the curlier end of the spectrum and that benefits from not being washed and styled daily, as my hair seems to lose vitality by day especially towards the roots and crown of my head. This served its purpose decently, both refreshing my curls and hydrating the hair but it unfortunately worked by making the hair rather wet and it was irritating waiting for it to dry. It’s tempting to just go out and try another product of this variety for better results so I’m forcing myself to use this one up beforehand.

6. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation ($9-12)

DSC_0545This may be a surprising one because while I might not be able to say that the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation is my absolute favourite foundation, it remains among the top of the very best of them and therefore I love it dearly. However, I’m not someone who can typically wear more than a scant helping of foundation on their face at any given time and as a result I rarely go through them so seeing as close as I am to the end of this bottle, I can’t resist making it a priority to finish — especially considering my foundation hoarding tendencies.

7. MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($30)

DSC_0540Not being a powder girl on account of my drier and uneven skin, this one has impressed me time and time again with its non-powdery tendencies, and I’ve been using it for well over a year and things are coming close to the end so I’m making an effort to reach for this one to simply get rid of the packaging, or rather save it for my next ‘Back 2 Mac’ product redemption. Regular readers for a long time around here will be aware of my feelings towards this powder and if you’re in need of a recap, it doesn’t completely mattify the skin and it doesn’t highlight dry patches…

8. L’Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Liner in Carbon Black ($9-10) – completed

DSC_0548Strictly speaking, I have not finished up this liner but it is rather difficult to literally finish up liners of this variety because the tips fray and the formula dries up first. I hadn’t been happy with the results that I had been getting with my favourite liner, finding them to be messier and lacking the usual precision but then after many uses I realized that I had been using this bottle consistently for 10 months and the issue was that the tip was beginning to fray and the formula was much dried up along with the potentially problematic hygiene issues. I love this stuff.

9. Annabelle Smoothliner in Black ($7)

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I’ve raved about this creamy jet-black long-wearing liner countless times and for good reason; the creamy texture might not go as far as some others but at its price and quality this one can’t be beat. However, since getting the liner down to a nub, I’ve found myself reaching for other liners but I want to make sure I use this one up before it dries out and just to streamline my stash in general.

10. Revlon Bold Lacquer by Grow Luscious Mascara in Blackest Black ($8-9)

I’ve been naughty and have had more than one or two mascaras open as of late and now that I stop to think about it, it was a bad idea considering their shelf lives and thus, I’m making an effort to use up my older ones. Now, this one isn’t the oldest (that would be the L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess) but it’s close to it and I would rather get rid of this one because I don’t love it as much and it seems to be beginning to dry up in that not-so-fabulous way.

Have you ever done anything like this? What products are you trying to use up?

Maggie, x.