Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Avon Mega Effects Mascara Review

A couple of months ago, I won a pretty cool giveaway (Hoozah! The streak continues!) from MomTrends - Nicole was giving away an Avon Mega Effects Mascara.

The name itself, Avon Mega Effects, might not be super familiar to you... but I guarantee you've SEEN this mascara around ye olde blogosphere in the last year:

Avon Mega Effects Mascara Review by aka Bailey

MMHMM you know you've seen this crazy spaceship mascara around and have wondered about it. But despite my fondness for trying new mascaras, chances were pretty low that I'd actually be buying this one. I've literally never bought anything from Avon - ever. That's why I was ├╝ber psyched when it was gifted to me, so my foray into Avon would be a low-risk one. (Thanks Nicole!)

Avon Mega Effects Mascara Review in its packaging

I wanted to use the mascara several times before reviewing it here - especially because "mascara first reactions" are misleading, in my experience. Even with my favorite mascaras, there's a bit of a breaking-in period that one must go through before a tube of mascara feels like it's the perfect consistency. #HollerIfYouHearMe.

So here are the features of the Mega Effects Mascara, via the Avon site:
  • This breakthrough mascara provides 24-hour volume, leaving lashes darker, denser and more dramatic. Get ready for a corner to corner lash transformation with our first ever Wonderbrush. 
  • The Wonderbrush bends and adjusts to multiple angles capturing every lash, top to bottom. The unique brush fits the natural shape of lashes, coating them evenly with formula from root to tip. The extra surface area of the Wonderbrush bristles are designed to deliver 40% more mascara to the lash. 
  • Mega Effects Mascara provides a clump-proof, sweat-proof, non-flaking and non-smudging experience. Ophthalmologist-tested.
The "Wonderbrush" bends in lots of different directions - here are two of its HOTTEST POSES, to give you a taste:

Bendable wand head of the Mega Effects Mascara

Bendable wand head of the Mega Effects Mascara
.  i call this one "blue steel"  .



To get started, you have to squeeze the pink cap to remove it, unveiling the texture grip area of the mascara wand:

Avon Mega Effects Mascara, cap onAvon Mega Effects Mascara, cap off

Then, following the instructions, you rock the pink wand back and forth in its base to get it coated with mascara before removing the Wonderbrush from the base.

... Easier said than done!

It was difficult to remove the mascara wand from the base. The instructions make it sound like it's going to just wiggle right outta there with little effort, but you're going to actually require some strength and agility. You'll probably even feel like the wand is going to suddenly come flying out and spray you with black mascara splatter. I hope that doesn't happen to you. I really do.

Next comes the adventure of actually applying the mascara to your lashes. #YallReadyForThis?

Bringing the wand to your eyeball is rather a terrifying experience. I'm pretty sure the "Jaws" song plays in my head every time I apply this mascara.

The Wonderbrush is terrifying.

It's coming to get me.

Avon Mega Effects Mascara will literally eat your face.
You may end up being so frightened that you miss the base of your eyelashes altogether because you're terrified of what the shark-scara will do to your precious eyeball...

If you're too scared to get it up against your lashes, it's going to leave bald spots. GOOD LUCK.

When I do manage to get the brush into my lashes, I find that the Wonderbrush consistently loads a ton of product onto the base of the lash. This means that I always have to go back and comb through it with a clean mascara wand to separate and distribute the product.

I didn't find the U-shape of the wand head to be at all helpful. In fact, there's something about the shape that seems to make it especially prone to applying a good amount of product onto my eye lid - more so than with any other mascara I've ever used.

Avon Mega Effects Mascara is messy
.  hope you like your eyelids to have MEGA EFFECTS as well  .


And as far as the bendable wand-head... the point of it is lost on me. With a simple round wand, you don't need to stop what you're doing to bend the head of it into another angle - you simply rotate it to fit your needs. There's no "rotating" this Wonderbrush, clearly. Unless you want to lose an eye!! #PiratePatchesAreSOLASTSEASON.

My first reaction to the Avon Mega Effects Mascara ended up being the same as my ultimate opinion - I haven't had any more luck with it any time I've used it.

Long story short:  I wouldn't recommend this particular mascara to you or any of my buddies. With so many great mascaras out there that don't require all of this fuss, clean-up, and bravery... there doesn't seem much point in purchasing the gimmicky Mega Effects.

But to end on a demi-positive note... if you DO make it past all of the product redistribution and extensive clean up, there's a light at the end of the tunnel - my lashes do have a long, curled and sinewy look in the below picture:

Avon Mega Effects Mascara after I cleaned it up
So there's that. But I still wouldn't recommend that you buy this one.

Here are some mascaras that I would recommend that you try out:
  • Maybelline's The Rocket
  • Maybelline XXL Intense Volume and Length Microfiber
  • Covergirl Clump Crusher
  • Maybelline Lash Stiletto
  • Sephora Full Action Extreme Effect
  • Benefit They're Real
What are YOUR favorite mascaras?
Are you into drugstore mascaras, or more high-end?
Have you tried out this Avon Mega Effects Mascara?

p.s. Like my nails in these pics? See more of that mani here!

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST
INSTAGRAM
Follow on Bloglovin
{Linking with Beauty Buzz and Kelly's Korner Blog}



Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Few Good Things & Workouts of the Week

Dudes. My arms are like limp noodles right now - I put myself through a doozy of an arm workout this afternoon. I'm still trying to recover, while simultaneously trying not to sob because I know that my arms are going to be even more sore and useless over the next 2 days. #RecoveryTimeCanBiteMyButt.

I've been so productive today - scrubbing our tub till it looked like Ajax was here (holler if you get the reference), finishing up a collage that I began yesterday, washing tons of dishes and bleaching the bejesus out of our kitchen counters (coffee rings: #takethattakethattakethat), kicking ass at the gym, AND just finishing one of those yummy orange honey banana smoothies. AND IT'S NOT EVEN 5PM YET.

So to keep this productivity going, I thought I'd post this blog with lots of recent pictures from around Vancouver, plus all of my workouts from the past week. Enjoy!

Mountains north of Vancouver
.  mountains behind the city - i get to see this view everyday  .


Purple flowers next to a wooden gate

Colorful spring tulips

White flowers on the sidewalk

Gorgeous blue house with bright green bushes and red roses

Blue stucco house, bright green plants

Blue stucco house, bright green plants

Foggy Vancouver mountains
And here are all of my workouts from the past week:

4/21 (lower body)
5 mins biking, 1 mile
40 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
60 bridges
20 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
20 squats, holding 20 lbs
40 diamond clamshells each leg
1:30 plank

4/23 (upper body and core)
3:10 jumping jacks
12 deltoid flys, 8 lbs each hand
12 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
12 deltoid raises, 8 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, holding 8 lbs
12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 crunches on exercise ball, holding 12.5 lbs
12 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 alternating medicine ball flys, w/ 6 lbs medicine ball
12 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs
1:30 plank

4/24 (lower body and core) - I did this with Jenn from A Beautiful Zen :)
3 mins jumping jacks
2x:
   - 40 calf raises, 12.5 lbs each hand
   - 40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
   - 60 bridges
   - 40 Brazilian crunches
   - 15 deadlifts, 12.5 lbs each hand
   - 40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand
   - 40 diamond clamshells each leg
   - 20 lying overhead raise + double crunch, holding 5 lbs 
1:00 plank

4/25 - 4 mile walk

4/26 - 7.5 mile walk

Have you gotten in any workouts or outdoor walks? David and I took a couple long walks this weekend to enjoy the sunshine and lack-of-rain. My feet were soooore by the end of the day yesterday!

Hope you're all having a great weekend! 

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST
INSTAGRAM
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pastel and Silver Glitter Nails

You know how sometimes you just wanna throw some silver glitter on it? (Ke$ha, you know what I'm sayin, girrrrl.) #WULL, yesterday I was just cruising along innocently, painting my nails some pretty pastels.... when SUDDENLY there was silver glitter covering more than half of my nails! WHAT ON EARTH?! WHO'S THROWIN THE GLITTER???

Oh, it was me.

Pastel nails with silver glitter

I used two Sally Hansen Insta-Dri pastels - Jade Jump (shown here) and Pink Blink (shown here). They both act the way you'd expect a Sally Hansen pastel polish to act - streak-city. But they're still such pretty colors!

Sally Hansen Jade Jump with Silver Glitter, nails

For the silver glitter, I used my new Revlon Diamond Texture polish, which I also used recently in my Negative Space Glitter Nails

Sally Hansen pastel polishes with silver glitter

Don't mind my raggedy cuticles - I have no idea why they look so haggard in these pictures. I swear they don't look like that right now... maybe it was due to the acetone I was using for cleanup? 

Sally Hansen Jude Jump swatch

This mani kind of reminds me of sorbet ice cream with sprinkles on it... even though sprinkles aren't silver and glittery. What say you?

Revlon Diamond Texture silver glitter polish over pastels







This weekend will be one for top-to-bottom epic cleaning of my apartment because there's a very special visitor heading my way quite soon... My mom is coming to Vancouver next week to visit AND to run the Vancouver Marathon (she is a BOSS)! I'm so excited for her to see the city I've been living in. My hometown back in Massachusetts is in a valley with lots of big, rolling hills... but the mountains that are surrounding Vancouver are just on another level. She's going to love it! And as a cool touristy bonus, the marathon route doubles as a lovely tour of the city ;)

What exciting things do you have going on this weekend?
Any special visitors headed your way?
What are you rocking on your nails today?

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST
INSTAGRAM
Follow on Bloglovin
{Linking with The Nail Files}

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Orange Honey Banana Smoothie

Orange Honey Banana Smoothie recipe from aka Bailey

Who do I think I am, the freaking Smoothie Queen over here?? I post one smoothie recipe and suddenly I think I'm Martha Freakin' Stewart of the Blender?!

Well... yeah. HOPE YOU LIKE SMEWTHEEEZ, GIRRRRRL!

This one was a little different for me because... oranges. While oranges are a normal part of my day-to-day diet, I don't normally add them to my smoothies. Bananas, berries and peanut butter had my smoothie game on lockdown! But last week I decided to switch things up and started Googling recipes for orange-inspired smoothies.

Most of the recipes I found included bananas, which is when it occurred to me that what I obviously needed was an orange-banana breakfast smoothie to go with my usual peanut butter toast! I already eat a banana everyday with my breakfast (please see #12 here), so switching to an orange-banana smoothie would be a great way to a) switch things up a bit, and b) eat twice as much fruit in the morning. #DoubleWhammysAreMyHomeboy.

So now that I've made this smoothie a couple times and am in love with the way it tastes, it's time to share my own recipe with you!

Here's what you need for this Orange Honey Banana Smoothie:

  • 1 small orange (or 3/4 of a larger one)
  • 1 banana (frozen or thawed)
  • 1-2 tsp honey (you can use more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup of low fat milk
  • Optional: add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt for a little bit of a different take on this smoothie (Note: you may need to adjust ice cubes to make it icier)

I use cara cara oranges because they're my favorite - they're a lovely dark orange on the inside, always juicy and always sweet. Unfortunately, I think these juicy gems are only in season for a few more weeks, so EAT 'EM WHILE YOU CAN!

HERE WE GO:

Smoothie Step 1 - add banana

Smoothie Step 2 - add orange

Smoothie Step 3 - add honey

Smoothie Step 4 - add milk

Smoothie Step 5 - add ice

Blended Orange Honey Banana Smoothie

Chilly orange honey banana smoothie recipe

So like I said, this smoothie is really good and a way more fun way to eat my morning fruit. Um, also it's a great way to use my honey... which I've had for probably a year and haven't used - or even opened - until I just made this smoothie last week. #Whoops.

This afternoon I'm going to be meeting up with a blogging buddy, Jenn, for a workout session in downtown Vancouver. Jenn lives in Ontario and is in Vancouver to visit her boyf, so this is our first time meeting up! So psyched to put her through one of my workouts - hopefully she doesn't regret her decision to meet me for a gym sesh.

By the way, sorry I skipped nails last week - that hasn't happened in a LONG freakin' time. I know how much "bitches be like my nails" so it must have been especially hard on some of you...  ;)   Expect a fresh nail polish blog tomorrow!

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST
INSTAGRAM
Follow on Bloglovin
{Linking with What I Learned Wednesday}

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Top 10 Kanye West Songs

I've been a fan of Kanye-West-the-rapper since about 2004, though at that point I'd actually been enjoying hits produced by him for years. He performed a concert at UMass back when I was a senior (in 2005), and it was a REALLY good show that mostly showcased his Late Registration album. He even had a full orchestra with him onstage! This was back when he was "Wearing-3-pastel-Polo-shirts-all-with-collars-popped-Louis-Vuitton-Don Kanye," and not yet the "Angry Kanye" that we all know today.

Anyway - for the last few weeks, I've been almost solely listening to Kanye West songs on my iPod at the gym. I start with Black Skinhead for my cardio warm-up, because it's seriously the perfect tempo for doing cardio. (Uh, no seriously. Go listen to it if you're not familz.) Then my iPod will shuffle through all of my Kanye songs for the duration of my workout.

Since all of that workout music has put Kanye on my brain, I wanted to see if I could whittle his discography down to my 10 favorite songs. HERE WE GO.

My Top 10 Kanye West Songs

10. Never Let Me Down (College Dropout)
9. Get Em High (College Dropout)
8. All Falls Down (College Dropout)
7. Monster (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)
6. We Don't Care (College Dropout)
5. Gone (Late Registration)
4. So Appalled (MBDTF)
3. All of the Lights (MBDTF)



2. Lost in the World (MBDTF)



1. See Me Now (MBDTF)



Uh... sorry about the graphic artwork on that last one. That's Kanye for you. I'm actually pretty positive that he is a sex addict, if ever there was one.

You might be astute enough to notice that all of my favorite songs only come from 3 of his 6+ albums. Guess it's obvious which are my favorite albums of his! Yeezus is also coming in as a favorite, surprisingly. I say "surprisingly" because that album really did not thrill me at first. It seemed much more abrasive when I first began listening to it. It's grown on me, for sure, but I still don't feel like I've listened to it enough for any of the songs to be on my favorite list.

Other big contenders for this list were:

- We Major
- Drive Slow
- Almost any song on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I seriously love that entire album, straight through. If you haven't seen the 30-minute short film (called Runaway) that coincides with that album, you should check it out here.

I excluded the Jay-Z/Kanye West Watch the Throne collaboration album, because if I included that then there's no way this list could have been narrowed down to 10 songs.

Alright, now tell me the truth:
Are you in the Love Him or Hate Him camp?
If you hate him, you don't have to tell me why. I get it.
If you don't hate him - what are some of your favorite songs? Are you a casual fan, or do you own all of his albums?

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST
INSTAGRAM
Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rock Climbing at Murrin Provincial Park + Workouts of the Week

Happy Easter, err'body! Don't mind the radio silence that overtook my blog for the last week-plus. I'm still alive! I KNOW YOU WERE WORRIED.

Last Sunday found me in Squamish, BC for some light rock-climbing with Dave and some friends (Evan, Amin, and Sona), so I thought I'd share some pictures from the afternoon. It was a gorgeous day - blue skies, light breeze, and sun shining down on our wall. We set up in Murrin Provincial Park on a wall called Sugarloaf, where there were a nice range of beginner-friendly routes.

Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
.  clockwise from top left:  amin, david, evan, sona  .
Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
.  amin and david  .

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC
.  sona  .

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

Sugarloaf, Rock climbing in Murrin Provincial Park, Squamish, BC

I took all of those photos, so none of them are of me, unfortunately. I can only assume that I looked absolutely spider-like.

This was only my second time rock-climbing outside on a wall (read about my first time here), and it's pretty fun but definitely a little frightening. Ok, sometimes it's really frightening. There has to be so much trust in the equipment, which isn't an easy thing to come around to. Your life depends on the knot that you've tied and the care with which you've secured your carabiner and how strong your rope is and how much your belayer at the bottom knows what they're doing. Honestly, I'm too unsure of myself to belay for anyone yet. It's a lot of responsibility!! I'm learning though, and eventually I'll trust myself to do it.

For the last couple of weeks Vancouver's weather has been going back and forth between beautiful blue days with light breezes and grey rainy days with complete cloud coverage. I've been trying to take advantage of the blue days by going on long walks to get fresh air and balance out my regular weekly workouts. Because I neglected to post a "Workouts of the Week" blog last week, here's an outline of all of my workouts since my last workout post:

4/6 - hiked up to first pump of Mt. Seymour (pictures here)

4/9 (upper body and core)
3 mins jumping jacks
10 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 crunches on exercise ball, holding 12.5 lbs
15 deltoid raises, 5 lbs each hand
10 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
15 deltoid flys, 5 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand
10 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, 5 lbs each hand
30 alternating chest flys, 5 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
15 squats, holding 15 lbs
15 squats, holding 20 lbs
15 squats, holding 25 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 30 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 60 lbs

4/11 (lower body and core)
5 mins biking, 1 mile
15 deadlifts, 12.5 lbs each hand
15 suitcase deadlifts (each side), holding 12.5 lbs
40 bridges
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
40 calf raises, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 diamond clamshells each leg
30 cobras

4/13 - rock climbing

4/14 (upper body and core)
5 mins elliptical, .5 mile
12 bent over rows, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 crunches on exercise ball, holding 12.5 lbs
12 deltoid flys, 8 lbs each hand
12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
12 deltoid raises, 8 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, holding 8 lbs
12 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
1:15 plank
10 lat pulldowns, 30 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 40 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 50 lbs
10 lat pulldowns, 60 lbs

4/15 (lower body and core)
5 mins biking
12 deadlifts, 15 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
60 bridges
40 calf raises, 15 lbs each hand
30 side lunges + plyometric pushoff each leg
40 alternating weighted side bends, 15 lbs each hand
15 squats, holding 15 lbs
15 squats, holding 20 lbs
15 squats, holding 25 lbs
30 cobras

4/16 (cardio and core)
5 mins elliptical, .5 miles
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
30 Russian get ups, holding 5 lbs
40 alternating weighted side bends, 15 lbs each hand
30 cobras
20 mins stairstepper

4/18 - 4.8 mile walk 

4/19 (upper body and core)
5 minutes elliptical, .5 miles
13 chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
13 deltoid flys, 8 lbs each hand
20 Russian get ups, holding 8 lbs
13 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lbs
13 deltoid raises, 8 lbs each hand
13 overhead press, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand
13 bent over rows each arm, 12.5 lbs
40 Brazilian crunches

I assume my gym is closed today for Easter, so hopefully the grey sky I'm looking at right now won't turn to rain before I have a chance to go for a nice walk. Now if you'll eggggscuse me, I'm going to go cook up an eggs 'n bacon breaky. Enjoy your day!

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST
INSTAGRAM
Follow on Bloglovin