lauren's life,

Lovely Links

imageI’ve seen a few different blogs doing posts like this lately so I thought I would join in the party. Nothing too fancy, but I’m going to post a few of my favourites links every week for you guys to get a feel of what I like to read and what I find helpful.

Lingerie Store Removes Skinny Mannequins- Not only do I love hearing about social media backlash to negative body image but this video shows that extremes even mannequins are being pushed towards now a days.

Best Way to Dry Wet Running Shoes- As a Vancouver girl who’s recently taken up running again, this link is necessary.

4 Tips for Not Spending Beyond Your Means- Some super helpful tips from the lovely Michelle Phan on how to save while shopping.

Carrots N Cake- I’ve been looking into following more fitness blogs to motivate myself and this one is amazing. Not only is Tina a personal trainer and fittie but also keeps up the lifestyle while in her third trimester!

Why I Refused to Put a Shirt on for Shape- This has been all over the internet recently, it’s the story of a woman who had an amazing weight loss journey but didn’t get what she was expected when Shape Magazine asked her to be a success story.

Enjoy!

-Lauren xo

Bikini Body Breakdown: Getting Started

After having the craziest few months of my life I finally am getting the chance to get up off the couch and accept the fact that eating ice cream 3 meals a day for a week isn’t considered a ‘healthy diet’. So I thought I would start keeping you guys updated on how everything’s going and a few tips I find helpful in my journey.

So I’ll give you a little breakdown about where I’m coming from. Back in high school I was playing soccer 3 times a week, dancing a few days a week, and still doing extra workout on top of that. Then I went off to university and now I’ve become a lump who can barely walk up the stairs without panting. This week I’ve started trying to get out at least once a day, actual squat (because I miss my ass), and not eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting.

Even though I tried to start this a while ago let’s call this Day 1. The day where I start accepting that wearing a sports bra is fantastic and that a little fresh air won’t hurt me. Once I get in more of a routine I’ll post them on here, as well as bit and pieces of my diet. Other than that I was thinking that a monthly update sounds good, unless I’m needy and do every 2 weeks. I hope you guys are okay with me veering a bit away from the beauty posts and into more lifestyle posts, but let me know what you think!

Good luck getting fit,

Lauren xo

Influenster Mystery Box Revealed!

Just over a week ago I received an adorable little box in the mail from my friends at Influenster. It contained 3 50ml mystery bottles labeled as shampoo, conditioner, and a split end serum from L’oreal Canada. That was it. No brand name, no nothing. They asked us to try the products out for a week then they would send us the actual packaging and more information on the products. All I can say about the package I got today was, oh my goodness! I was beyond thankful to receive the gorgeous box below in the mail yesterday.

Damage Repair

The box contained 4 different Garnier Fructis Damage Repair products. The shampoo, conditioner, split-end damage serum, and the strengthening reconstructing butter.

This line claims to “reconstruct hair strength 90% from root to tip and prevent future damage”. I’ve personally been using 3 of these products for the last week and I must say I kind of sort of love it. The first thing I noticed that I adored is the scent. If you’ve ever been to a high end salon and know that ‘salon’ smell, that’s what these products have. The scent, feel, and results of these are identical to the result I get from a more expensive brand.

The shampoo is interesting. It has the same consistency has any other shampoo but it doesn’t leave my hair feeling try, almost leaves it feeling more moisturized if that’s possible for a shampoo. At first I was taken aback because I’m used to the ‘squeaky clean’ feeling but it wasn’t greasy by any means. It feels like it doesn’t strip my hair which is great for anyone who already has dry or damaged hair.

My gosh, this conditioner. It’s actually the thickest conditioner I’ve ever used. It’s the feeling of a deep conditioner but it’s also not heavy. I have no idea how they did it but I’m happy with it!

For the split-end serum I’m spit, you like that pun I know.  I don’t have terribly damaged hair so that might be why I don’t noticed a massive difference but I honestly didn’t notice much. I do have slit ends but they’re completely because I haven’t cut my hair in over a year and I’m asking for it. I’m going to keep using it and we’ll see if I notice any more but as of right now I’m neutral about it.

So that’s pretty much it, a super fast review of the 3 I’ve tried. I also may do a a separate review or an updated one once I add the deep conditioner to my routine. Overall I’m super pleased with these products, plus hello I’m not going to say no to free conditioner. My hair isn’t greasy but isn’t dry with these guys and they feel very high end compared to other drug store brands. I’m not sure if these are already available in store or when they’re being released but if you have drier hair be sure to give this line a shot because I’m a thumbs up form me!

xx

Lauren

Sally Hansen VoxBox

If you’ve looked through my blog before you would know that I’m an avid nail polish junkie. Last week my roommate looked utterly appalled when he exclaimed that it was the first day he had seen me with naked nails since he’s known me (approximately a year and a half). So needless to say I was very excited when I was told I would be receiving the January VoxBox from Influenster. This month was a Sally Hansen VoxBox and I received 3 of the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes. These polishes claim to gave 7 benefits in come bottle and also claim to make your life easier by acting as both a bottom and top coat as well as supplying opaque colour. If you’d like to see my full review on them I made a video in which I will link here (also photos are to come here when rush is over an I can have my nails a colour other than pink). Overall I really did enjoy the polishes. The lighter colour left a little bit to be desired, I applied 3 coats and could still see my nail through it, but the darker ones are gorgeous and definitely supplied that gel finish I was looking for. Once again, for a full review and look at the polishes be sure to go watch my video on them, but I hope this little write up supplies some insight on there loves polishes!

xx

Lauren

All About maikanguyen.

So this week I was given Maika’s first paper to review. In her paper she discusses how different parts of a blog itself impacts the voice of the blog as well as how blogging as a whole has become integrated in the technological society we all now call our lives. She also discusses what exactly publishing is in the modern day, touching on how publishing is no longer just books but spreads itself out to social networking sites such as YouTube and Tumblr as well.

Overall her paper was quite enjoyable to read. It opened up with amazing stat on how many of us bloggers are really out there and seamlessly moved onto different topics from there. I like that she looked at different points outside of just the blogging world as publishing as well. When most people discuss this shift they see it as book vs blogging instead of the mass amount of other social media that also controls the technological world of publication.

I think my favourite part of this paper is the quote she used from Matthew Sadler that said, “Publication is not the sale of books, per se; it’s not the pursuit of beauty or the creation of a record or an archive. It’s not simply a tool for transmitting information; publication is a political strategy, the creation of a public”.  I think that quote really show how modern online publication can hold it’s own and is more than just some kids in their parent’s basements typing away about there lives.

Like I said before, overall I really enjoyed her paper and the different aspects it discussed throughout it. I think anyone who is a firm believer that publication is only for books should take a look at a few of these points and see that the modern generation has a lot more going for it is publishing that they may have thought.

So now that you’ve read this go over to Maika’s blog and read the paper for yourself!

5 College Girl Beauty Essentials

I’ve had a lot of experience living the ridiculously busy life of a college girl. Last year I got away with the no makeup and hoodie look to work everyday but this year I don’t have that luxury, so I’ve come up with some beauty products that I think every busy student needs in their kit.

1. Concealer Primer

I know what you’re thinking, why not just concealer lauren? My answer to that would be that to make your concealer really work for you there’s a lot of work involved. I find if I don’t set it with a powder and check it throughout the day it will b one by the end of the day. Primer, on the other hand, doesn’t have this issue. I’ve been using Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray for a few months now and not only does it work on it’s own because it’s tinted but it also last the entire day until I scrub it off. Bye bye bags!

2. A Decent Coverage One-Step Foundation

This sounds very ominous but it really depends on your skin type whether you want to go with powder or liquid. The moral of the story is to find some type of foundations that have at least a medium coverage and isn’t difficult to apply, this way you don’t have to stress over extra concealer to cover blemishes and you can do it on the go. I switch between my Laura Mercier Foundation Powder (the sponge it comes with is fantastic too) and my Smashbox CC Cream. Both I don’t need a brush to apply, blend out well, and cover everything I need it to!

3. Felt Tip Liquid Liner

Easy to use, quick to apply, lasts all day, and always a polished look. Need I say more? (I recommend the Revlon Colorstay or Marcelle ones from the drugstore!)

4. Holy Grail Lip Balm

Not only does lip balm hydrate your lips but also gives them that lovely ‘I look like I tried even though I’ve only been awake for 4 minutes’ look. My favourites are the b. Karmins (sorry I have no idea where to get these anymore, some sephoras still carry it, others don’t), but I’m also a fan of the Korres lip butters and there are plenty of good quality ones at the drugstore too!

5. Makeup Remover Wipes

My final recommendation isn’t makeup for say but is probably one of the most the most important items in my makeup routine. When you’re working all day then staying up all night writing papers you probably aren’t too concerned about taking your face off at the end of the day. Although I’ve been blessed with my Clarisonic and a great skin care routine through work I still find myself reaching for my good old Costco wipes at the end of the day when I just want to pass out. Believe me, your skin will than you when you let it breathe before you hit the sack.

So there you have it my friends, the 5 things I think every college girl needs in her life. If you have anything else you think I needed to add either leave a comment for me or tweet me @vancitychiblog!

-lauren

xx

Wrap Up.

If you look at my activity online in the past few years I guess you could say I have always been an online published. Ever since February 2010 I have been actively putting myself online in video form, which although may not be publishing in the traditional sense I do believe it fits into what we have talked about this semester. I have always had a generally positive experience with this and was genuinely excited when this class gave me the opportunity to publish in a more formal means than just YouTube. I think I have personally learned a lot about what I want to talk about and who I want to speak to through this blog so far and cannot wait to see where it takes me by the end of the year.

I think in the beginning this was just going to be a blog that was an extension of you YouTube channel, my rambling about whatever I pleased in hopes that someone was crazy enough to join me on this roller coaster that is my life. In Maika’s post about my first essay I think her overall explanation of it describes my blog as a whole, “She voices her opinion well, and everything is clear and simple.” That itself is what I planned on this being form the beginning and hope it will stay until the end; simple posts from an opinionated girl that is at least somewhat entertaining. I did not really know what my ideal audience was but I assumed it was the same people who watched me, people around my age who felt connected to me in some way or another. For the most part people stick to a blog because they see themselves in the blogger for some way or another so I am not really surprised that a lot of my audience is around my age and students living in Vancouver. As much as I do believe a lot of my current audience is those people who have found me through Twitter it has grown beyond that as well. Because of the content I attracted a lot more beauty bloggers, a somewhat older audience, as well as more personal friends and family check this out than those who watched me before. As for the value it provides I think that shaped itself as my blog came into it’s own. The more it turned itself into a beauty blog and not just a personal blog the more value it actually held. From the very beginning all I wanted to do was create something that was fun to read and provided entertainment for others so if I can do that and also provide knowledge to help them I am more than happy to do so. It is nice to know that something I write here could help someone feel more comfortable with a product, feel more informed on a style, or reassure them that they are making a good purchase. I think that in itself brings both value to any of my readers as well as to myself knowing that I can help. At this point I am not collecting comments on my blog in the traditional sense but I noticed I am getting feedback in other ways. Some people comment on it on twitter, a lot of my followers from YouTube tweet products at me they would like me to talk about or review now. I also get a lot more in person comments. Whether it be my neighbour saying something about a post or my mom calling me from a few ours away to tell me her friends have been reading, I know that I’m getting feedback just more in the verbal than the digital sense.

Looking back I know that the direction has changed since I created it. I really struggled with simple things like the name of it and the theme because I was not totally sure what I wanted when I stepped into it. I think what it was turned itself into was more of a natural process than something I really had planned on. If I was not receiving the tweets and comments that I do now it would probably be a little bit less professional and beauty based that what it has turned itself into here. But I do have to say I am very pleased with what it has become. I think it is pretty clear that I have always been interested in blogging/vlogging so I will definitely stick to it form here on out. I think this is a topic that I really do enjoy writing about and is generally pretty easy to build an audience with. When reading through theminimalists’ advice to successful blogging they said that one of the most important parts to blogging is finding your niche, which I think I have definitely done with beauty blogging. I do not have any specific goals set out other than to try to keep up with it on a regular basis. I do plan on trying to brand it more, with my twitter and my instagram now linked to it, and I also plan on linking beauty videos to posts on the same material so the larger audience that already watches me there has the chance to read what I have to say as well as hear it. I really noticed that linking those up did make a big difference, especially after reading the Huffington post article on how so many people are reaching out to different social networking sites other than just Facebook. Hopefully it will naturally grow like the rest of my social media presence has in the past. Lately I have been more involved, getting invited to things like beauty blogger events and working with other people from the city who are online publishers. I also am planning a trip down to Los Angeles in the summer for a convention with thousands of other content creators where my blog will be on my business cards and linked to my other networking sites which should help it out. At this point I do find myself invested in it and after looking up a bit on why blogs tend to fail and learning that for the most part it is completely psychological I am more determined than ever to stick to it. As for sticking to it I also plan on trying to create a blogging schedule, like social media monthly advises, as well as I’m keeping the notebook I have been using for publishing to jot down ideas for anything and everything (another one of their suggestions). I do really hope to see it grow along with the rest of the channel and sites I work on, and I can definitely see myself paying to keep it going to several years to come.

I am really happy that I have gotten the opportunity to grow through this blog. Although I have been involved with so many types of social media I think the fact that I have a decent sized audience on those I was scared to break out of the box I had built for myself. Here I feel a lot more free to say what I want without the fear of judgement (I am not sure if this is because it is less likely for people to comment or because I know people are just seeing my words and not my appearance with it). Like I said I do plan on sticking with it and I am personally really interested in seeing where it ends up if I begin to dedicate more time to it. I would highly recommend for someone to start a blog and just start typing if they were interested it in at al just to see where it takes them. I think I have grow not only in audience size with my online presence but personally through this and think it is something that everyone should try out at least once.

Forbes: How To Get Real Attention On Your Blog

http://www.forbes.com/

Huffington Post: Sites Kids Are Moving To

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Maika’s blog: Reviewing My Paper

http://maikanguyen.com/

The Minimalists: Successful Blogging Tips

http://www.theminimalists.com/

Social Triggers: Why Blogs Fail

http://socialtriggers.com/

The Social Media Monthly: Keeping Your Blog Fresh

http://thesocialmediamonthly.com/

 

 

Remix?

As a self proclaimed feminism I am personally offended when people like Robin Thicke roll around and get away with songs that very bluntly objectify women. On the other side it also means I highly appreciate when artists like him get called out on the shitty things they’re saying. Last week the always racy British popstar Lily Allen released her new song “Hard Out Here” as well as the video for it. Not only is this song ridiculously but it also calls Mr.Thicke out like I’ve never seen before. I considered this a remix because she doesn’t just directly quote lyrics from the infamous “Blurred Lines” she also provides images that are a tribute to his video. While Thicke’s anthem involves the oh so charming line, “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two” Allen snaps back with lyrics such as, “Don’t you want to have somebody who objectifies you? Have you thought about your butt who’s going to tear it in two?”. The other clear show at Thicke is made near the end of Allen’s video where she recreates the balloon sentence. Being an extremely humble man Thicke provides a very large let of balloons in the video that spell out “Robin Thicke Has A Big Dick” (I know, so modest). Allen decides to show how insanely ridiculously this is by grabbing some balloons of her own. Hers spell out, “Lilly Allen Has A Baggy Pussy” instead. The last direct ‘remix’ of his video I found is the other people in the video. In Thicke’s video he, a completely clothed male, and his fellow artists are surrounded by almost completely naked younger woman. Allen went for the more popular sensation that is twerking but still dressed herself in a full bodysuit that covered her legs and arms while every other woman in the video was done up in bikinis and tiny little one pice suits. Allen also has many lines that question the overall double standard of men compared to women in modern culture, “If I told you ’bout my sex like, you’d call me a slut. Them boys be talking ’bout their bitches, no one’s making a fuss”, and “If you’re not a size 6, and you’re not good lookin’. Then you better be rich, or b real good at cookin’.” along with into to the video people a group of male plastic surgeons and a male talent agent telling her she let herself go when in reality she’s just had two children. Although other female artists have shown this nasty side of the industry I think that Allen was the first individual to, in her words, ‘grow a pair of tits’ and actually directly call someone out on it. That along with showing how uncomfortable it is for a woman to objectify other woman compared to a man doing it is sort of a remix in itself. She’s physically placed herself in the situation Thicke was in to prove a point that no matter the gender of the artist, surrounding yourself with nearly naked women who’s only purpose is to shake their ass and ooze sexuality should be seen as uncomfortable to witness and immoral to be a part of. I could go on for days about this topic but I shall let everyone go and leave you here. Below are both Lilly Allen’s video as well as the uncensored version of Robin Thicke’s video. I warn you both have a lot of booty and there is very blunt nudity throughout the entire “Blurred Lines” video.

-Lauren

xx

Hard Out Here – Lily Allen

Blurred Lines (uncensored) – Robin Thicke

 

Perfect Pinks!

I’ve been seeing a lot around lately so I thought I would join the trend a make a most on some of my favourite pink products since it’s October (aka breast cancer awareness month). You’ll see that obviously there will be more of some types of products than others since not a lot of pink shadows and whatnot exist but here are a list of my favourite pink products!

P1020072

1. I Am Strong- Essie

This is one of the polishes that came out with the breast cancer awareness line that Essie did so it would be silly not to include it. It also just happens to be the perfect Barbie pink. I happily wore this on my nails for a few weeks now.

2. Pink Mosaic Blush-Marcelle

Unfortunately I do not know that name of this blush since I received it at blog van city instead of picking it up from the store like normal people. I just love the mix of the shades here, they supply the perfect flush without any glitter or too much colour.

3. Speak Louder-MAC

I will forever rave about this. I picked it up on a whim as a back to MAC and it wasn’t until having it for 6 months did I fall deeply in love with it. Now it’s become my go to pink lipstick. You need it in your life.

4. Clarisonic Mia 2

This is my newest baby, and the packaging is pink so I can include it in here right? My Mia is one of those things that I wasn’t aware that I needed in my life until I had it, now I cannot imagine cleaning my face any other way.

5. Teenage Dream-OPI

We started off with a nail polish so why not end with one. This is one of those products that no matter what the base colour is I get an uncontrollable urge to throw this glitter on top of it. Because nothing is better than a pink and silver glitter, right?

-Lauren

xx

Happy Halloween! (NailPolishCanada Review)

P1020068Earlier this week I thought I would treat myself and finally buy some polishes from Nail Polish Canada since all of the lovely Halloween collections have come out. I was going to buy an orange and black splatter from work but when I saw what looked closer to a Halloween glitter I had to jump on it, and who can say no to glow in the dark polish right? So then I ended up with these babies.

First I’ll talk a little bit about my experience with the company. I set up my account and placed my order on Thursday, then received my conformation email on Friday saying that I should expect my polishes in 1-5 business days. Usually I’m prepared for up to two weeks for shipping so seeing this alone excited me. I was even more ecstatic when I got the notification Monday morning saying that they had already arrived. When I picked it up it was in a nice little box that was filled with foam peanuts and my receipt. The polishes themselves were wrapped together in bubble wrap (if it wasn’t such a fast/short shipping process this would worry me since there’s a possibility the bottles to bang against each other). Overall I’m really pleased with the service. Products I love, collections I can’t find in store, and free and fast shipping. I’m pleased, massive thumbs up for NailPolishCanada.

Now onto the polishes themselves…

P1020065The first one that caught my attention was “Ghoulish Glow” by China Glaze. Most glow in the dark polishes aren’t actually to great when it comes to glowing but this one surprised me. The bottle defiantly glows and with 2-4 coats it will glow on your nails as well. A few of the reviews did complain about how it’s not exactly a top coat and is more of a yellow polish in itself, but for the most part I disagree. I could see how over a darker base colour it would show but I used it on top of “Ballet Slippers” by Essie and barely noticed a change in colour. The only other thing I noticed about it is that it left a strange texture on my nails, also the feeling you get with a matte top coat but without the matte look. This is annoying if left but if you apply a top coat it’s perfectly fine. If you’re looking for a good glow polish this one is definitely worth it for the $6.75 it was online, if it weren’t for the strange texture it would be a perfect.

P1020063The other polish I order is “Boo-gie Down” from China Glaze. It’s a strange mix of difference sized hexagonal orange, black, and white glitter in a clear base. I originally wanted to put this over an orange polish but didn’t have that available so I decided to just layer it instead. The glitter is definitely sparse in this, there’s about 5-6 coats on in the photo, and it doesn’t disperse evenly by any means. To create this I did 2 basic semi-even coats then placed any extra glitter in places that the original coats had missed. It did also leave my nails with a lot of texture but 2 coats of the Formula X top coat from Sephora and it was completely evened out. My final verdict is that if you have the time and patience this special effects coat does look really cool on it’s own, and I also think it would look awesome over another Halloween coloured polish. I would get more use out of it and it would save a lot of time if the glitter was in a black polish instead of a clear one, or even it if was thicker go the glitter went on more intensely. So if you want a fun, festive glitter this is worth the $6.75 I paid for it, but at the same time I probably won’t use it any other time of the year and it isn’t exactly the easiest product I’ve ever worked with so keep that in mind.

So there are some of my thoughts on my experience with NailPolish Canada as well as a min review on these China Glaze Halloween themed polishes from their Monster Ball collection. If you like these polish reviews let me know and I’ll be sure to do more, and if you’re a fellow Canadian be sure to check out them out for some awesome deals and fast shipping on polishes.

-Lauren

xx

 

 

 

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