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Sunday, 26 March 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Ole Henricksen 3 Little Wonders, Mariage Freres Tea

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  In my ongoing decluttering efforts (when will it ever end??), I decided to sort through my tea collection.  Even though I only drink one type of tea on the regular, I am gifted all sorts of tea which end up languishing in a designated cupboard in the kitchen.  I unearthed a very interesting box which I had completely forgotten about.

Mariage Freres Jasmine Mandarin tea! I opened it up, expecting the usual paper sachets and what did I see?

Oh my, cuteness overload.  If ever tea could be described as cute, wee or pretty then the above sight fits all those descriptives.  They look like a little pile of plump dumplings all ready for their hot water bath.  And their delicate scent is beyond divine.

I have been really missing my Ole Henricksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer this week.  I don't know about you but those few moments every day that I allocate to skincare are moments that I really look forward to.  I can slow down, turn off my mind and just relax.  And yes, I know that marketing hype and packaging is all just smoke and mirrors but I am a weak human.  By chance, I found out that I had accumulated enough points with Sephora to get the Ole Henricksen 3 Little Wonders travel or introductory set.  The set consists of 7 days worth of Truth Serum, Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer, Invigorating Transformation Gel and Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser.  Admittedly, in the past,  I have avoided products with high concentrations of acids as I found them overly drying.  But, in my desire to get my hands on the moisturizer, I was willing to try out the cleanser and gel, both of which contain AHA's (glycolic and lactic acids).  I do like the fact that the box clearly outlines the steps involved in the 7 day regimen, breaking it down into an am and pm routine.  I am about half way through and my face hasn't fallen off my head yet.  Do you have a skincare regimen?  Or, like me, have you just woken up to the fact that youth is no longer your ally and you had better take action right sharpish?  

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Indeed Laboratories Fillume Moisturiser Review

I ran out of my beloved Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer and instead of running out and restocking, I decided to shake things up a bit and try out Indeed Laboratories' Fillume Volumising Moisturiser.  It was on sale at Shoppers, it is manufactured in Ontario (win win!) and I was really curious about its packaging.  Indeed Laboratories is best known for their star product, Nanoblur, nicknamed the Selfie cream for its ability to get you photoready but they have a few other products in their arsenal such as Fillume, which are worth considering.

Much like the Abnormal Beauty Company, Indeed Laboratories' raison d'etre is to "eliminate all marketing hype and costs from skin care and instead deliver real results as cost-effectively as possible."  Another striking feature of Fillume is that it is packaged in an airtight jar.  I know moisturizers packaged in a jar are a real bugbear with skincare mavens as it is unhygienic and the constant exposure to air destabilizes the ingredients.  So how does the Fillume jar work?  One presses down on the top and the moisturizer squirts out the dispenser in the middle.  The only other moisturizer that I can recall that comes in an airtight jar is Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream but its price tag will give you sticker shock and make you stagger back like a....drunk elephant.

I must say there is something oddly satisfying about pressing down on what amounts to a giant button and having an exact pea sized amount magically appear in the middle.  As with everything, portion control is key and it is comforting to have the guesswork taken out of trying to dispense the recommended amount onto one's fingers.
The moisturizer hasn't broken me out and performs adequately for a cold, harsh Canadian winter that is dragging on for far too long.  It contains sesamin, a paraben free extract from sesame seeds that supposedly minimizes the appearance of fine lines and restores "volume" to the face.  The only grievance I have with it is the fragrance or lack of it.  My first whiff of it produced a gut reaction of intense dislike.  It took me a couple days of grimly slathering it on to my face before I figured it out.  Its slightly medicinal smell reminds me of the generic lotion dispensed in doctors' offices and in hospitals.  In fact, it reminds me of Phisoderm, that decades old cleanser that I was forced to use to combat my unruly teenage complexion.  We all know that scent can be incredibly evocative and reminders of my youthful self obsessing over hormonal eruptions is not a good thing.  Luckily, the scent does disperse eventually.  I intend on soldiering on until I have finished it in an effort to recoup what I spent on it but I don't think that playing "Whack-A-Mole" with the top can compensate for the resurgence of youthful memories so it's unlikely that I will be repurchasing it.  I will say though that if you don't care about the scent and have sensitive skin, you might want to give it a go.  After all, there is something to be said for supporting companies that are offering skincare products with targeted ingredients at a reasonable price.

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Frugal Tips: Getting Creative With Accessories

Because of ongoing health issues, the easiest type of tops for me to wear these days are ones that button up in front.  Tops that I have to pull over my head are difficult for me, at best.  Trawling the shops, the only button up tops I found were preppy, masculine shirts.  The last time I channeled the prepster look was when I was a student which was many moons ago and it's a look that I am not particularly keen on revisiting. Give me a few frills, a few lovely details to help lift my mood!  When did the traditional button up blouse fall out of fashion?  Am I so far behind the times?  When I wasn't finding racks of traditional button down shirts, I was instead finding a strange, modern variant of it, the "popover shirt".  The name is a Halloween joke as it is a pullover top masquerading as a shirt.  A shirt to me has buttons going all the way down the front and mysteriously doesn't stop a third of the way.  Another fashion trend at the moment are large statement necklaces that are almost collar-like.  This is another trend that I have not gotten on board with as they don't suit my face shape.  Longer necklaces work better on me but I didn't have any on hand.  Time to get creative!  Lately, I have been obsessing over this vintage glass Christmas ornament.  I love it so much that I didn't want to pack it away when Christmas was over and left it out.

I threaded a long cord onto the ornament-now-pendant.  The heart is seasonless and isn't specific to Christmas.  I love the fact that the clear colour works with everything I have on and makes a statement in a discreet subtle way.

I have been wearing it almost daily for the last couple of weeks now and the other day Monsieur asked me, "What is that you are wearing around your neck?"  Hah!  Do you ever have those moments?  If you have any frugal fashion tips, please let me know!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush and Tarteist Lip Paint

My all time favourite blush, Too Faced Love Flush,  fell on the floor and what was left was reduced to crumbs.

As you can see,  there wasn't much left anyway as I had been diligent about using it up so I wasn't terribly sad when it fell on the floor.  There is an indescribable satisfaction in using something up and avoiding excess and wastage.
Luckily for me, I had just gotten my mitts a couple of days previously on a new Tarte blush in the shade "Paaarty" (yes, it is spelled with three "A's") and a lip paint in "Birthday Suit."  Both are a pinky brown nude shade.  The Tarte blush is supposed to last 12 hours as opposed to Too Faced's 16 hours.  Has anyone compared the longevity of the two?

I do like the fact that my new Tarte blush and lip paint are in travel sizes.  I have been binge watching documentaries on tiny homes and my growing fascination with miniaturizing things has spilled over into makeup.  I would love to have a magical box for making mini's of everything!  No more having to worry about decluttering and trying to cram as much as possible into closets and cupboards already bursting at the seams.  But that is a story for another day.

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

LBH February Favourites: Nordic Noir

When one spends most of one's time housebound as a semi-invalid, you would think that anything to do with unicorns, rainbows, birds tweeting in the sunshine and a lovely maiden (that would be me) flitting through a meadow wearing vintage linen and lace would be in heavy rotation at Chez L'Heure Bleue At Home.  Noooo, you would be wrong.  Currently, I am obsessed with hunting down Nordic Noir on Netflix Canada.  I need storylines with plenty of plot twists that grab my pain addled mind and won't let go.  I don't even mind the subtitles as they force me to pay attention.  And the scenery!  Who can deny the sullen beauty of the perpetually overcast skies and windswept landscapes? Here then are my top three Nordic Noir favourites.

Image Source via Wikipedia

"The Bridge" is a Swedish-Danish co-production and centers around the Øresund Bridge which links Malmö
and Copenhagen.  There is something imminently refreshing about watching actors who don't look like they just stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue.  There is something even more refreshing about the main character, Saga Noren, who lacks any sort of social filter whatsoever yet, if I were trapped somewhere surrounded by raging psychopaths, I would want her watching my back.

Image Source via IMDb
"Nobel" is a Norwegian television series that depicts the political and economic machinations driving Norway's involvement in Afghanistan.  I found the portrayal of the military involvement of a Scandinavian country, a nation incredibly removed from Afghanistan and its plight, incredibly engrossing due in part to the fact that the story and characters are presented without the usual rabid chest thumping and xenophobia.

Image Source via IMDb
"Trapped" is an Icelandic production.  Yes, you read that right, Iceland!  And you know what, Iceland has got Nordic Noir down to a fine art.  And why not, all that snow and ice can't help but seep into the national psyche.  The storyline takes place over an approximate 10 day period yet I felt like the story unfolded over  six months as every twist and turn, every red herring is thoroughly investigated.
And there you have it, my top Nordic Noir picks.  If you have unearthed any others, please let me know!

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