It’s probably no surprise to you that I have an ingredient problem. So many things are just $3–$5 for the smaller size, and then the descriptions and reviews sound so promising… and before I know it I’ve justified a cart full of mysterious powders, oils, and miscellany. Unfortunately, not all of my little investigative gambles have paid off. Some have been full on regrets, and some have been the sort of thing where it’s only useful for a select few things. So, here’s my list of things I don’t think are worth buying, or should at least think twice about. Hopefully I can save you a few dollars and a few regrets.
Every colour of mica & oxide
If you just take a moment to brush up on your colour theory, you can get by with just the primary colours (red, yellow, and blue… plus brown, black and white [titanium dioxide]) for most things by blending (yellow + red = orange, etc.). Same with micas—get silver and maybe gold or copper, and then shift the colour with oxides.
I’ll happily admit that I get a wee thrill of pride from being able to say that I make all my own bread. I mean, that’s kind of cool, right? Or if not actually cool, it’s neat (please, let me have neat), and tells people that I have some free time and a lot of flour in my house. Anyhow, it took me some time to find a bread recipe that made a great, all-purpose loaf. Something soft enough for toast & eggs, with good flavour, a bit of healthy fat, and some flexibility. It also needs to freeze well because I don’t have that much free time.
Drying lotion definitely seems a bit of an oxymoron, but the name comes courtesy of Mario Bedascu, along with the idea for the product. It is, more or less, rubbing alcohol, salicylic acid, and calamine lotion, and it’s designed to dry out your zits and make them vanish like a magic trick. It also performs a bit of a magic trick on your wallet, ringing in at a whopping $17/oz (hence the need for a DIY dupe).
One of my favourite articles on natural(ish) hair care dates back to the early 1900s, and is written by Mlle. Aline Vallandri, a woman who is famous for the length and health of her hair. The article is accompanied by a rather shocking (to modern eyes, at least) photograph of her with her hair… which drags at her feet. When you see the photo, you can understand the fame:
Speaking of things I wasn’t sure I’d ever crack—mascara. There’s a reason this is my first entry of my third year of blogging. I have been trying to figure out mascara for ages now. You wouldn’t believe the amounts of black goop I’ve tossed over the last few years. You see, mascara is tricky. Infuriatingly so.
First off, mascara must dry quickly—but not too quickly. Once on your lashes it must dry straight away, but on the brush or in the bottle, it must remain supple and apply-able. (more…)
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to share this recipe with you. Eyeliner is one of those things I have tried (and failed to make) many, many times. I tried many times, and ended up tossing a lot of small dishes of darkly coloured muck down the sink. However, I believe I have finally come up with something with which I am happy. Awesome!