Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Vapour Organics

Since I started working in a Major Cosmetics Boutique a few years ago, I have amassed a large quantity of makeup. In my teens and 20's, I used as much makeup as most girls that age. I even worked for a Major Cosmetics Store in my early 20's and had access to makeup and skincare that no girl that age should be able to afford. I fell off the makeup wagon while I was working at a spa, but now my makeup bag is bursting with primers and highlighters and liquid tints and powder blushes. However, my one consistent love has always been red lipstick. On days that I'm too lazy to wear anything else, red lipstick gives the illusion that I'm wearing a full face of makeup, even if I'm not.

One thing that the Major Cosmetics Boutique is not is organic. I'm the type of person who is concerned about what I put in my body, and as an esthetician I'm very concerned about what goes on my skin. So even though I love my products from the Major Cosmetics Boutique, I'd like to find a more natural alternative to it. Not to replace all of it, because I don't think you can get cancer from a cheek tint or an eyeliner. But seeing that I am a lipstick addict, and lipstick is the one cosmetic that gets ingested, I should probably be more concerned about what I'm putting on my lips.

And that is my quest. To find an organic lipstick that doesn't SUCK. My big problem with organic makeup in general and lipstick in particular is that it is mostly made for hippies. Girls who don't want a whole lot of color on their skin and think that pale pink lipstick is too much. Not to mention these companies usually brag about how moisturizing their lipstick is, which basically means that the color fades in two minutes. If I want my lips to be moisturized, I'll use a lip balm. Give me a lipstick that LASTS.

I discovered Vapour Organics by doing a search on Pinterest for organic lipstick (how on earth did I ever find anything before Pinterest? These days I almost prefer it over Google). They offer sample packs for $15 so I figured I'd try it out. You can get whatever you want, so I chose their Siren lipstick, their Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, an eye color, and a cheek/lip stain.

When I got their samples, I was a little disappointed at how small they were, just scrapings inside of small plastic sample packs. I just reminded myself that not every company has the cash to make travel sizes the way Major Cosmetics Boutique can. Also, it turns out the samples are so concentrated that I still have enough a week later.

Out of the four, I probably won't buy the eye color or the stain. Both were good, it's just that the eye color creased really bad. I have a couple different eye primers that would help it stay on, but what's the point of buying an organic eyeshadow if you're wearing it over a primer that has chemicals in it? As I said before, I'm not too concerned about using non-organic eye makeup anyway. I was "meh" about the cheek and lip stain too. It's good. In fact, if you're looking for an organic cheek and lip stain, I recommend it. I just like the cheek and lip stain my company sells better.

I really liked the foundation. It isn't cakey, it blends well, and it gives my skin a nice glow. I'll definitely buy a full sized version. And the lipstick? It's my organic lipstick dream come true! The red is perfect, it isn't too slick or too dry, and it last longer than any other organic lipstick I've ever tried. Hell, it lasts longer than the lipstick my company sells! I'm still using my sample, but I can't wait to buy the full size, and will probably get some other colors as well. I might even become a Vapour convert, because I know I'll try more. Other organic cosmetics company take note...it isn't enough that your products have natural ingredients if they aren't sexy.

For anyone interested in skincare/cosmetics that don't use toxic ingredients, here are all the companies listed in the Compact For Safe Cosmetics.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Knitter's Nightmare

Years ago, in the few months of unemployment I had between esthetician school and my first esthetician job, I learned how to knit from Debbie Stoller's Stitch and Bitch. Like an army of other young women that summer, I fell in love with it. I bought plastic needles and soft acrylic yarn from Joanne's Fabrics and knit my little heart out. It especially came in handy when I started working, because I could knit a scarf in between clients. As the years went on, I bought nicer needles and pricier yarn made of natural fibers and worked on more complicated projects, like lace and cables and sweaters and socks. Knitting is a great hobby because it's portable enough to take anywhere, and it makes lazy nights in front of the TV productive. ("I just watched four hours of Buffy re-runs, but now I have a hat!")

The last year has seen a sharp decline in my knitting. We moved to our first condo, and even though one of the reason I like it here is because there is a lot of natural light, there is an unfortunate lack of unnatural light. Basically the light fixtures the developer put in are very fancy looking, but suck. They require expensive little spotlight bulbs that burn out in less than a week. So once the sun goes down, it gets too dim to do anything crafty. So I haven't really picked up the needles in a long time. I tried working on a sock over the summer, which was nice and reminded me of how much I miss knitting. Then I stopped when I realized I had messed up the number of stitches cast on, which is such a newbie mistake I was disgusted with myself. So I put it down and didn't pick it back up.

The other night, Trench asked me if he could borrow some yarn for the Halloween costume he was putting together. I went into my long-neglected stash to see if I could find something. As I delved in, I realized that something was wrong. All my little rolled up cakes of yarn looked rough, like something had been nibbling at them. For the last couple months we had seen tiny little brown flies around the apt. I didn't think much of them because it was summer, and bugs happen in the summer. I thought they were coming from the drains so I'd been pouring bleach down them. Could they be...moths? My suspicions were confirmed I saw a worm crawling on MY PURPLE MERINO.

I had Trench throw the entire basket out immediately. I rescued a sweater that had still been a work in progress...I only needed one more sleeve. Once the infected basket was gone, Trench and I went through the other boxes. (What, you thought I only had one basket of yarn?) All the natural fibers were toast. Acrylics and cottons still looked okay. I went into the closets to see if they had gotten any of my finished knits, and yes they had. I lost hats and scarves. Luckily the scarf/shawl that had taken me two years to finish was fine because I'd been wearing it. Same with Trench's gray scarf with the intricate DNA cable pattern I had made him years ago. We tend to throw our outerwear on the bed in the guest room rather than hang them up in the closet like we should. Laziness for the win! Sweaters that I've made didn't have worms, but did have webbing (re: cocoons) on them. I stuffed them into the freezer. From what I've read (and you know I was doing research as this was happening), freezing temperatures kills larvae. Heat kills eggs. My sweaters, half-finished sweater, and whatever yarn remains of my stash (because those little fuckers don't eat acrylic but could be hiding in it) have been in the freezer for a few days now.

Dry cleaning kills moths, larvae and eggs so I'm taking my finished sweaters, as well as a couple of coats from the closet that have traces on them, to the cleaners today. My almost-finished sweater is sadly going to be a casualty. I threw out the rest of the yarn that went with it, so there's not much point in keeping it, and it had been in the most infested basket. Tonight the rest of my yarn is going to get baked in the oven. Seriously. 110 degrees for 30 minutes (under careful watch, of course). I don't like the idea of insecticides, so I'm going to douse my closets and drawers with eucalyptus and lavender. (Thank the gods they didn't hit my wardrobe! Except for my knits I mostly wear cotton and acrylics.)

If you knit or crochet and have a stash of yarn hanging about, be aware of what's flying around your home. Clothes moths do not look like the normal moths you see flitting around light bulbs in the summer. They are tiny, about the size of a fruit fly, and look like a fleck of wood when standing still. From now on, my stash will be kept in ziploc bags. Once we get a new light fixture for the living room, I'm hoping to return to my knitterly ways, but now I'm slightly terrified of natural fibers. I might just knit with cotton blends for awhile.