Origins Face Mask Review



I’ve been using the facial serum from Sephora for around a week now and I am not sure if my skin is softer or not. If I’m being honest I would have to say probably not as it realistically is a two month commitment of using a serum before any changes can be really seen. Poopers; I wanted some instant payback being the impatient being that I am. I should do a face mask and see what kind of difference that makes on my skin because they tend to be instantaneous.

Now there is an idea. I’ll do a facemask.

Anyone ever used Origins products before? It’s the first time for me. I have fairly normal skin with an occasional oily T zone, where most of my black and white heads gather. I’m using a Clear Improvement mask based on white china and charcoal.It’s more of a silver grey in colour than the black I expected it to be and it’s a lovely smooth texture. It’s beautiful on and it has a slight tightening effect as it dries on the skin.

I didn’t have to use the whole of the 5ml pot so instead of four face masks in the sample container I bought there could potentially be eight face masks if I can seal up the pot again.Wouldn’t that be awesome for $10? A whole tube of the mask is only $29, so that seems quite reasonable for the amount of product it contains (100ml / 1.7oz / 3.4oz).


Yes, the mask is really tightening up now. I feel as if I tried to open my mouth the mask would crack; I love these types of things. It reminds me of my primary /elementary school days in the art room and brushing the PVA glue over the backs of my hands and letting it dry on my skin. Wish it was a peel off mask – that would have made it the ultimate mask, but alas it’s a wash off type. I’ve taken a couple of really flattering photos of myself for fun.

Got to go wash off the mask and find my beautiful skin underneath. Back in a moment.

First things first. Do not use a light yellow face cloth to wash the mask off… it seems to stain the fabric with the greyness. Drats. The best thing was that it did make the satisfying cracking marks across my face as I smiled before I washed it off.

But you know what? I think that mask has made a difference to my pores on my nose. They seem finer than they were before. Whilst they are visibly reduced they haven’t totally disappeared or anything so fabulous, but I think that if I use the product on a continual basis the pores will grow smaller and smaller. My skin feels cleaner; refreshed somehow.

Oh… that was worthwhile I think. Do you use face masks? Whats your favourite brand and what do you like about it?


Gender Equality for Immigrants


UN officials have said Mexico ranks among the world’s 20 worst countries for violence against women. Six women are killed in Mexico every day which is a terrifying statistic. If a woman does come forward to report domestic or sexual violence being perpetrated against them they are often let down by the legal system which feels free to pass judgement on their chastity before the attack took place. Can you imagine having to prove your innocence? It’s no wonder many women don’t come forward to report such attacks when they are met with disbelief, apathy and indifference from the very public servants who should be there to protect them.

It’s sad to think a North American country could quite obviously undervalue a woman’s life to a man’s. It’s as if gender equality has never even been heard of in Mexico, much less enacted. It makes me grateful that I grew up in Australia learning such behaviour wasn’t acceptable and now live in Canada where I can write about such things.

Except that it’s not quite so rosy for everyone here in Canada.

Every six days a woman is killed in Canada by her intimate partner. In October 2012 Canada changed its immigration laws to make it possible to lose your Landed Immigrant status if you leave your partner within two years of the marriage taking place. To substantiate a claim of abuse or neglect, immigrant women must produce corroborating evidence to gain their freedom from an abusive partner, but are not told of this fact in their native language when they start the immigration process. Women born in Canada have no such demands made of them in a similar situation.

Often immigrant women don’t speak English or French, don’t have social or familial support networks and have their spouse telling them that if they leave or make a fuss they will be deported from the country. How can this be thought of as gender equality? It makes my blood boil because I’m an immigrant woman. I didn’t have police records as I never reported the acts done against me. I was too embarrassed; my husband was behaving in such a manner? Impossible. I didn’t see the abuse happening, it was just my life.

Thankfully I was one of the lucky ones in that I spoke English and had friends on the outside that helped me escape a violent situation but I could have been just another woman trapped in a terrible situation. I wonder how the UN views the Canadian law application? It’s as if gender equality never happened for Canadian immigrant woman.

My Hair Has a Wiggle In It.

From having really straight hair when it was super short (ie when my head resembled a cue ball), as my hair grows it’s starting to get a little bit of a wiggle to it. I can’t get it to lie flat like I could and I can’t get it to go spiky either. Some Aussies might say I have boofy hair and I would have to agree. But could that mean that in a few months I might have some curl in my hair? Oh I just can’t imagine how wonderful it will be to see curls again. If I put my hand flat on my head the hair stands up through the fingers quite clearly now… it really is growing despite my feeling like I have been bald forever! Just about one more month and then I can attempt to put my pink back in… oh I’ve missed my pink stripe.

I tip my hat to all the ladies who are wearing chemotherapy wigs in this summer  weather… I don’t know how they do it. My head get so hot and sweaty in this heat; imagine wearing a winter hat all day long to cover up the bald head. I was lucky to do chemotherapy in the winter time when it was easy to wear wigs and hats and the like. And I’m so grateful that my church family pitched in to buy me a decent wig. I felt whole with the wig on; like I didn’t have to proclaim my personal battle to everyone around me. Like wearing the wig afforded me some privacy when the cancer journey was new and all too much to deal with. But I wonder if I would have tried to keep the wig on or if I would have thrown caution to the wind and gone about the busy streets with my bald noggin’ in the summer time? I’m guessing I would have gone bald.

I did go bald towards the end of the chemo and I was so sick I just didn’t care anymore. I probably frightened some innocent people in my local supermarket, but honestly, most people didn’t openly stare at me; surprising because I basically looked like death warmed up! I did have one moron who kept snickering behind me just once, but now I look back and feel sorry for that dope.  I turned around and proclaimed very loudly, “Yes I have cancer. Deal with it!”  To have no compassion for a person so obviously battling cancer and dealing with chemotherapy speaks more about him than my going about shopping for groceries bald speaks about me.

At least, that’s the way I think.

The Loveliest Store in the World


For a spot of madness Bronwen and I went to look at Nordstrom’s; I have to tell you, I am not their key demographic. I am not rich enough by far too ever shop in there, but we had decided to look at the perfumes, because I haven’t looked at new perfumes in years and I’m so out of date with all the new releases. And in the end, all stores carry perfumes at the same price because they are set by the suppliers. So it was a safe place to look, no?

I met with the most delightful sales lady, but I didn’t get her name (she didn’t wear a badge) but honestly, she made Nordstrom’s the loveliest department store I have ever been in. She shared that the first perfume she bought after working at Nordstroms for two weeks was a perfume priced at $375…. Oh. My. Gawd! I’ve never been to a store that stocks such exclusive perfumes before. (But I want to go again.) And I had no idea, but Nordstrom’s stock Jo Molone…. JO MOLONE! I was speechless as I’ve only every heard of the brand and heard the hype but thought I was going to have to go to the UK to ever get close to a bottle. I had no idea that it was here in Canada. But they have a huge range and I smelt every bottle they had on offer. I fell in love with two different perfumes, one of peonies  and the other of tuberose; I was in sniffers heaven.

But the sales lady wouldn’t hear of me making a decision on the spot. Instead she gave me two samples of the fragrances that I was wowed by, some hand cream in the peony scent and then another sample of a tuberose perfume that just blew me away. Then, on top of such goodness, she offered me a special event for Saturday. I’m going to have a 45 minute facial and my makeup done and then a Jo Molone hand massage. Just the thought of all that makes my head swoon. And the best part… it’s complimentary. >cue inner squealing happy girl images here<  I’m so excited. I haven’t done anything so girly in a long time.

But that’s what having cancer has taught me; seize every moment and make the best of it. Wonderful things will come your way. Don’t waste time because it can be cut too short so easily. Stop worrying about what others are going to think and just jump into the deep end.

Beauty Vloggers and Saturday Shopping

A model using laptop computer

I’ve basically spent the day watching beauty blogger/vloggers; let’s hear it for summer holidays. It is a personal weakness I must confess to look at pots and bottles and tubes and the like of all things beauty related. If I had an unlimited bank account I would spend a lot more money on beauty related products than I currently do, so I live vicariously and watch Beauty Gurus on You Tube. I’ve been aware that I tend to watch a lot of British based vloggers, but when I tried to find Canadian based people to watch You Tube searches took me to a host of Australian vloggers – weird huh? I did find a few Canadian women doing beauty stuff, but they didn’t really gel with me; not to the point that I wanted to hit the subscribe button. I wasn’t so impressed with their speaking style and what they were saying about the products they were reviewing was dull and uninteresting.

The annoying thing about watching beauty vloggers from other countries is that they have access to brands and products that you just can’t get here in Canada; annoying because I find myself wishing I could try the products that they have on show. Also, I must confess I get a fit of the giggles when a sweet dewy faced 20-something talks on and on about wrinkle creams. Wow has the advertising people done a good job on scaring young women about getting old and having wrinkles. You shouldn’t have to start using wrinkle cream in your 20s. There. I’ve said it. Wrinkle creams should come into existence around 38 and beyond. A 23 year old should only be worried about skin care and pimples, not flipping wrinkles.

Having said that, if I could get a hold of Sunday Riley products I’d love to see what all the fuss was about as so many of the vloggers I watch use her merchandise. Ok look at that… her products are in Sephora – looks like I’m going to be doing some shopping this weekend!

Feminism, Beauty and Fat

I read a fantastic newspaper article yesterday about a women who was unashamedly fat on her wedding day. It wasn’t the first article she had written about the topic but it was a challenging read for me on one aspect.

“Male approval isn’t where my self-worth comes from – and that realisation was a huge part of what made my current relationship healthy and fulfilling. Respectability politics might boost mainstream attitudes toward fat people in the short-term, but what does it do for women in general in the long-term? How can I simultaneously fight for women to be free of patriarchal standards and for fat women to be allowed to participate in those standards?” Lindy West

Oooh shazam… that last line has a real kick to it. Why should women be held to a patriarchal system of beauty and why shouldn’t fat women be allowed on the spectrum of beauty in the first place? It has me thinking about my size acceptance stance big time. As a feminist I don’t want to have to live up to a standard of beauty mainly created by men for men, and yet as a fat feminist I demand the right to be accepted on those standards as an equal regardless of what shape my body comes in. There is a real tension between the two positions. One is for women in general and one side is specific to me as a plus sized woman; which side do I take? I’m not sure that I know the answer.

Lindy suggests that there is something political about being a plus sized woman getting married at all. I hadn’t ever thought about it to be honest.

Because being fat and happy and in love in public is still a radical act.” Lindy West

I think it is seen as more radical for Lindy in that she is a plus sized woman in love with a ‘normal’ sized man. When I was married my partner was a plus sized man, so it seemed that society thought it was acceptable for us to be together and I never felt any tension being in public, but I do wonder what it would be like to walk down the street holding hands with a conventionally good looking man. And I wonder if there is a difference in finding love as a plus size woman and finding love as a regular sized woman and growing into a plus sized woman as the years go by?

All in this entire article has me thinking. I love Lindy West’s stance and her attitude expressed in her work. I really admire her for being so public about her experiences and her thoughts on the matter.  And I love her message of self-acceptance and her challenge to rethink what it means to accept society’s standards of beauty.

Disco Ball Earrings

Bronwen and I decided to go looking at earrings last night as a way to get out of the heat and into some air conditioning. And can I just say what a good decision it was.

We went to Magpie where they stock a lot of artisanal pieces  by various artists, although I’m not sure if the artists are local to the Ottawa area or not. They had a few nice pieces that I half-heartedly considered but nothing that made my heart flutter with excitement because I was after something very specific.

Then we went to Peoples  and in general I stay away from them because they are the ‘big box’ equivalent of jewellery stores. Everything they sell comes in multiples of 500 I’m sure. But looking through their earring swivel case collection I saw the earrings that made my heart leap with joy and I just said ‘That’s the ones!’ They are a fine gold bar with what is basically a disco ball of fine diamond crystals at the end.


Very simple but just exactly what I was wanting. And it all works so well as it makes me feel so much more feminine with my super short hair.

I love it when a plan comes together so easily.

I got suckered into buying a second pair of earrings because they were a buy one and get one 50% off, but on further reflection I am 95% sure I’m going to take them back to the store and get my money back; let’s hear it for 60 days return policies! They are a gold hoop with the same style of diamond crystals looped around the hoop (I couldn’t find a picture of them on the website.) They are very pretty, but I just started thinking that I could have a second pair of earrings or I could buy a smaller camera for my vlogging work  that I hope to start soon.

Weighing up each possibility, I think a new camera wins over sparkly earrings. Yay for being practical!