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    The Lipstick Bandits | MAC 3D Silver Glitter + starry lip look

    It’s been forever since I posted a lip look. I was feeling some glitter and I wanted to do a thing with The Lipstick Bandits (check out the #lbrevival💄 tag on Instagram), though, so it’s that time again. I pulled out my old MAC 3D Silver glitter and some clear gloss, and I was off to the races.

    Lip looks that are just chunky glitter in a clear gloss have always held my heart, and this is no exception. When I started planning this look, I actually had something else in mind – a really disperse, gold glitter look.

    But seeing as not a single MAC or Sephora in the entire city carries chunky gold glitter (why?! How?!), my plans had to change. I checked all the theatre makeup shops and special FX shops, too, and came up totally empty-handed. It was weird.

    Get the MAC 3D Silver lip look

    This lip is simple. It’s a naked lip, covered in a blend of Shu Uemura Shupette Gold Pigment and Lise Watier Haute Lumière Crystal Lipgloss.

    I’m running inexplicably low on clear glosses right now, so Crystal wouldn’t have been my first choice. The Haute Lumières pack beautiful, even pigment in a lot of their red shades, but I’m not crazy about how heavy they feel. The sweet, synthetic berry scent is weird to me, too – it’s a formula that photographs well (especially in colour), but there’s just something about it that feels “off.”

    Patted through the clear, golden-sparkling lip is MAC 3D Silver Glitter, and placed into the gloss with tweezers are a few gold and silver stars from my old arts & crafts kit. (What? I was a child once too, you know).

    I think, in retrospect, that I should have skipped the gold glitter – it was lovely in person, but glitter that fine tends to look a little like grain through a camera.

    The rest of this look is simple, too: air-dried hair, a Rodial-based tinted moisturizer, and just a bit of NYX Blush in Raisin to contour. Throughout the entire ten-minute look (counting in time to set up and shoot, of course), there was only one difficult part…

    The cleanup.

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    LUSH Halloween 2017 review, photos | Sparkly, spooky goodness

    As I write this, I am waist-deep in a tub of LUSH Halloween products. I mean this literally: I woke up this morning to a stomach-clenching, full-body ache. So, after a bowl of chicken noodle soup, I hopped right into a tub full of crumbled Lush Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar and starting type typitty typing.

    I’ve talked about it at length before, but let me start out by reminding you that I love/hate Lush. On one hand, I LOVE some of their products, and their limited edition collections are always the bomb dot com. (Their Gorgeous moisturizer rocks my world, and I use Sympathy for the Skin pretty much constantly.)

    But just like any other company, Lush is a corporate machine. They make a ton of money off of their hippie image, but at the end of the day – their products contain a crapton of artificial fragrances and dyes. So, as with any of my Lush reviews, please take this with a grain of salt.

    Because these products are great. They’re just not as natural as some media outlets would have you believe.

    Lush Sparkly Pumpkin, Pink Pumpkin Bubble Bars

    Why I hate change (aka why I love Lush)

    The best thing about covering a Lush collection is that it’s so. Damn. Easy. It usually takes me 1-4 months to turn around a review, but with Lush, I can get it done in a day.

    Why? Because, for the most part, their products are just variations on a concept. If you love their bubble bars, you’re going to love ALL their bubble bars, provided that you like each scent. If you love their bath bombs, you’re going to love ALL their bath bombs, with varying degrees of initial squee.

    (Plus, they’re all so brightly coloured that they’re easy as heck to photograph and edit. Lush products will pop against anything.)

    I personally love it when companies pull this kind of marketing, because it makes shopping–and especially shopping online–super easy. Once you know what you like, you can enjoy it in a plethora of ever-changing forms.

    Lush Pumpkin, Lord of Misrule, and Monster’s Ball Bath Bombs

    The Lush Halloween 2017 collection

    The 2017 Lush Halloween collection contains a lot of super cute items, like the Ectoplasm Jelly Bomb and Bewitched Bubble Bar. Each piece runs at about $7.95 apiece; a little less for soaps, and a little more for shower gels.

    I’m most excited for the berry-scented Bewitched Bubble Bar (aka that adorable cat face), but I haven’t gotten to try it out yet. (My partner is fascinated by the idea of a black bath, and begged me to wait to use it until he could watch it bubble up.)

    Lush Holiday 2017 review

    In the meantime, I’m focused on the Pink Pumpkin and Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bars, which are super hella glittery and feature a floral bouquet and a juniper-citrus blend, respectively. From there, I’ll be moving onto the Bath Bombs (I have Pumpkin, the green Lord of Misrule, and the adorable Monster’s Ball pictured here), and at some point, finally moving onto the soaps – which, I must admit, are my least favourite part of any Lush Halloween collection.

    I die for some of Lush’s soap scents, but like the bath bombs and bubble bars (which get a pass for being so damn enjoyable), the formula is just too drying for my skin. I usually end up leaving them out when guests are over, or gifting them to friends. Someone’s gotta enjoy them, right?

    Lush Hedgewitch and Magic Wand Soaps

    Finally, to round out this post, there are two non-bath products from the Lush Halloween collection: one that I’ve tried and loved, and one that’s new to me. The Lush Goth Fairy Shimmer Bar is back again, and has as much fruity, silvery glitter as ever, and the Black Rose Naked Lip Scrub is a gentle, waste-free sugar scrub in a buttery base. (Murumuru butter, illipe butter, extra virgin coconut oil, and jojoba oil, to be precise.)

    What do you have your eye on from the Lush Halloween collection this year?

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    Bijoux Indiscrets Maze X-Harness & Suspender Belt review, photos | Light in leather

    *This post was sponsored by Beyond Delights. Images by Sean Trayner.

    What makes a shop stand out from the crowd has to do with a lot of things. There’s their ethical standards, for starters, and the owners themselves. There’s also their disclosure policies, and their willingness to support small businesses and bloggers. And then, of course, there’s their selection.

    I met one-half of the Beyond Delights team while I was at the Woodhull Sexual Freedoms Summit in August*. Between workshops, panels, and blogger hangouts, Narine introduced herself and her burgeoning business to me, and we chatted about putting a feature together for you this fall. EDIT 09/10/17 – see notes at bottom. 

    Well: the feature is here, and it has been an awesome convergence of good things, in the fullest sense of the word.

    Makeup: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation, Marcelle Translucent Loose Powder, and Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion in 01 Golden Pink. Colour: shu:palette eyeshadows, Ardell Individual False Lashes, and Burberry Lip Colour Contour Pen in 01 Fair.

    The Bijoux Indiscrets leather look

    One of Beyond Delights’ main brands is Bijoux Indiscrets, a sensual, playful designer of what can only be described as “passion products.” The Barcelona-based Bijoux Indiscrets makes everything from skin jewelry to stick-on masks, as well as the harness and suspender set featured in this post.

    (Hey, do you remember that time I wore a stick-on mask for theNotice? I forgot about that thing!)

    Pictured: Bijoux Indiscrets Maze X-Harness. Dynamite dress (similar). Geox Inspiration Stiv boots.

    The Beyond Delights team sent over a couple of Bijoux’s Maze products, and they couldn’t be a better representation of the Beyond aesthetic. They’re sexy, vegan-friendly, and cruelty free, and are offered at an affordable price point.

    I’ve been focusing my attention first and foremost on the Bijoux Indiscrets Maze X-Harness in Brown ($64.99 USD), which fits up to a size 12. It’s made from a recyclable polyurethane, and features lovely little details in gold. My one caveat about the Maze collection is that it runs large, so my advice would be to purchase these if you’re in the size 6-12 range. I’m 5’2″ with a 34″ underbust, and I had to punch extra holes in the suspenders and triple-loop the harness to get them to fit.

    The other vegan product photographed here is the Bijoux Indiscrets Maze Suspender Belt ($44.99 USD), which turned out to be a little hard to photograph. (I’m not saying there are nudes, but… there are nudes. They may or may not end up on social.) It’s a simple, functional harness that’s comfortable to wear, and it blends in seamlessly under a fit-and-flare dress.

    Pictured: Bijoux Indiscrets Maze X-Harness and Suspenders. BonLook Myrtle frames in Rose Dazzling ($145 CAD). Dynamite dress ($39.95 CAD). Geox Inspiration Wedge boots. 

    Anyhow, here are some feelings

    These photos were taken by Sean Trayner, and I always get a little caught up in them when I open them up. You can see all of my awkward bumps and lumps in them, and it’s just – it’s so weird for me. I asked for permission to clean up the images when they got to me, but in the end, I chose not to.

    So here’s what I actually look like, cat hair and all. In the green dress, you can see my arms (which I’m convinced are chubby) and my thighs (which I swear, look like sausages in thigh-highs). If you look closely, you can even see the underwire of my bra, and the scar that Tuna left me when he fell off of the range hood.

    My favourite photo from this shoot, however, is the one below. I love this shot because I hate it: it’s a beautiful image of a person that I don’t particularly like. It catches all of the flaws that I couldn’t tuck away, from my acne scars to my awkward neck wrinkles and my bumpy arms.

    I am very, very uncomfortable with the photos in this post, and I kind of love that I am. I feel exposed. I’m a romantic at heart, and I always feel like the images someone takes of you are a representation of how they see you. This is the me that other people see, and for whatever insane reason, they think I’m smart and attractive and have value and stuff.

    Which, as my imposter syndrome would have you believe, is crazy. So stop doing that, you guys. You’re going to make me stop deflecting my feelings or give me self-confidence or something.

    Pictured: Bijoux Indiscrets Maze X-Harness with BonLook Illusion frames in Blonde Metal ($145 CAD).

    And, finally… About Beyond Delights

    Beyond Delights is a new, online boutique that stocks exclusively high-end, body-safe sex paraphernalia. Their aesthetic is really sexy and sultry, and all of their shipping is done discreetly.

    » Use code TheNotice10 for 10% off most products at Beyond Delights!

    I really enjoy the fact that all of the products stocked at Beyond Delights are phtalate-free, and I love that their toys aren’t sorted into gendered categories. Each product is listed simply as it is (for instance, Shop -> Vibrators -> Bullet Vibrators), and product descriptions include terms like “up to a size X” instead of “one size fits all.”

    I’ll be honest with you, however. The Beyond Delights team is pretty green, and they have a lot of learning to do. We struggled through a few bumps in the road getting to this post (they sent me 18 emails hammering out the details, which is a volume that I have never once come across in my 10 years of blogging), but that presents a unique opportunity for growth.

    So tweet them. Email them. Experience the store for yourself, and let them know your thoughts – because, hopefully, they’re ready to learn.

    What’s one thing that you love about yourself? 

    *Thank you again to Chaturbate for the summit scholarship, and to all of the amazing supporters of our crowdfunding campaign to get more POC bloggers to Woodhull! ❤️

    EDIT 09/10/17: This post mistakenly listed Beyond Delights as a POC-owned business, as Narine mentioned that she and David identify as both Armenian and ethnic. However, this post has been updated to reflect the fact that Armenian-Americans are in fact legally considered white in the United States (as of 1909).

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    No7 Youthful Replenishing Face Oil review, photos

    The product: Boots No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil

    You guys, I have had a rough fall. I missed two or three posts last month due to sheer exhaustion, and honestly, I’m already struggling with October.

    Despite how I’ve been feeling, this face oil is honestly kind of getting me through. I mean, sure: it’s not fixing all of my problems, and it doesn’t have any analgesic effects. But it puts a smile on my face every time I use it, and it’s left my skin GLOWING–like, straight up glowing–despite how tired I am.

    Why I’m so into the No7 Youthful Oil

    I mean, that’s easy: it’s really good. It smells like a $100 face oil (for a quarter of the price), and it feels silky-smooth. I’ve been using 3-5 drops every morning and night for the past month, and I’ve honestly seen my skin change in that time.

    I nabbed this at a No7 event while I was in Toronto this summer, and it must have been meant to be. The brand didn’t do a big push for Youthful when it came out, so it’s kind of flown under the radar – but you guys. It is GOOD. My skin was looking a little peaky when I got home, with some crepiness around my eyes and mouth, and that has all but disappeared in the past month. I’ve been getting hella compliments on my skin recently, despite an allergic reaction and some mild chemical burns (thanks, Nair), and it’s gotta be coming from somewhere.

    The No7 Youthful Face Oil formula (aka why I love Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides)

    The No7 Youthful formula is a surprisingly basic one. It’s a light oil, comprised mainly of Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides and jojoba oil, and I fell in love at first touch. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is my favourite skincare ingredient of the moment – it’s a thin, fast-absorbing emollient that features prominently in my all-time favourite face oil. It has a ridiculously long shelf life of 48 months, and it’s an effective carrier for fat-soluble actives, too.

    In other words? Oils like this one don’t need to use any silicones or parabens. They’re shelf-stable on their own, and will have a similar silky effect (and reliable delivery system) to a thin, fluid silicone. Formulations like this one (but with more actives) are common in brands like Clarins and L’Occitane – so if what you’re looking for is good skincare on a budget, then I hope you’ve been paying attention.

    The No7 Youthful Replenishing Face Oil verdict?

    Do I think that the No7 Youthful is the holy grail for anyone with ageing skin? Well… I wouldn’t take it that far. It’s a little light on the active ingredients, and I’m not sure how long-lasting the results will be. But do I think it’s some seriously good shirt for anyone like me: anyone with dry skin, or skin that’s starting to mature. 

    “Replenishing” is the keyword here. If your skin needs a bit of replenishment; a bit of extra oomph, then this silky goddess will be perfect for you.

    Availability: $25 CAD/$22.99 USD at Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada) and Ulta (US).

    Read more

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    theNotice turns 10 | A decade of thanks (and a giveaway worth $560!)

    Today’s the day: as of this afternoon, I’ve been writing theNotice for the past ten years. Which is… I mean, it’s crazy. This blog is officially almost old enough to go to Hogwarts. 

    When I started theNotice, I never thought it would become part of my day to day life. I figured I’d blog a few times a week, as a hobby, and maybe (just maybe!) a few of my friends would read it. But it grew like an unstoppable, beautiful force, and it blows me away to be able to say that writing is now my full-time job. (Want to get started in blogging? I have a series on that, now, too.)

    » Skip to the giveaway «

    Blog posts you should totally hit up

    Throughout this blog post, I’ve linked a few of my favourite posts from the past ten years. I’m particularly proud of my pieces on emotional abuse and IUDs, although I have a few favourite makeup looks, too.

    The makeup look that I’m most proud of is this abstract ETOD, but I’ve done a lot of looks with graphic liner. My cut-out eye look gets a lot of game (it was even featured on Buzzfeed!), and it’s really easy to copy. I also really loved this YSL Arty Stone makeup look – it was one of my very first posts on Instagram, and I am forever aiming to one day look that well-composed again.

    One of my favourite eye palettes from the years I’ve been blogging was this wonder from Lise Watier – oh man, and this guy from Shu. I’ve mishandled my em-dashes for a decade, and I’ve raved about Clinique Chubby Sticks and Clarins Eye Quartets (RIP the originals) for just as long.

    What’s changed in 10 years

    Not to be too overtly clichéd, but: everything. And nothing.

    When I started theNotice, I was a healthy, able-bodied introvert finishing high school. Now, I’m 25, trying my best to live my brightest, most extroverted life. theNotice was the blessing I never expected to get, and it’s been my crutch over the past decade. It was there when I found out, at fifteen, that I would need to have heart surgery. It was there when, at seventeen, I found out that I had a chronic illness. And it’s here now, at 25, creating opportunities for me to work despite my disability.

    I can’t tell you where I’ll be in ten years. What I can tell you is that I consider myself to be unbelievably lucky to have had the past ten. I honestly don’t know if I could have gotten though the past decade without theNotice, and it means so much to me to have an amazing support system here, on the internet, where all of us weirdos can come make sense of things together.

    So whether you’re an OG reader (Sarah, Arianne), one of my fellow spoonies (Katie, Alison), you’ve sent me an email that broke my heart (EfraĂ­n, Shannon, Anna!) or you’re brand new to the blog, what’s coming up next is for you. 

    Win $560 of my favourite things from the past 10 years

    I wanted to do something really special for my 10th blogiversary, so here’s one incredible gift bundle for one heckin’ lucky reader. (It’s worth $567.22 if you don’t adjust any of the currencies, but that just doesn’t roll of the tongue in the same way!)

    Every single product in this giveaway is something that I love and use on a daily/weekly basis. These are the items that I re-buy as soon as I run out, from brands that I support because they’re made up of really beautiful souls.

    Here are the amazing goodies that you can win:

    • Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipsticks in Vamp and Cherry ($9.95 CAD each), and Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Taupe ($8.95 CAD)
    • Aveeno Fresh Essentials Moisturizer SPF 30 ($23.49 CAD)
    • Lise Watier Twist & Sharp Eyeliner in Platine ($23 CAD) and FĂ©line Eyeliner HD in Vert ($22 CAD)
    • Lovetica Natural Lip Balms ($18.99 CAD) and Natural Deodorant ($14.99 CAD)
    • Marcelle Translucent Face Powder ($15.95 CAD) and Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen ($11.95 CAD)
    • MIYU Hydrate Mi Deluxe Pairing ($55 USD)
    • PĂĽr Cosmetics Eye Polish in Satin, Suede, and Caviar ($32 CAD each)
    • SheVibe – Vixen VixSkin Mustang Dildo in Fluor-A-Pink ($140 USD) and Je Joue Mimi Soft External Vibrator in Black ($117 USD)

    Giveaway swatches, L-R: Cherry, Vamp, Precision Liquid Eyeliner, Vert, Universal Ebony, Platine, Suede, Satin, and Caviar.

    Want to win it? It’s easy – just enter using the giveaway widget below. (Full details in the widget.) This prize is shipping directly from my office, so it’s open to everyone: if you’re legally allowed to enter contests in your place of residence, I will ship it out to you.

    Writing theNotice changed my life. Think of this as my way of saying “thank you” – thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, thanking for making my career a reality. ❤️

    theNotice’s big 10th blogiversary giveaway (worth $560!)

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