Saturday, 21 November 2015

Nush Reviews: Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer (face primer)

Hey guys,
I know it's been a hot minute since I've written a review,  but I really just HAD TO for this product. In case you didn't read the title (it happens), we're talking about a face primer from Innisfree (an affordable Korean brand) today (and no i'm not being paid to say any of this).

 Now the official description of what this stuff does, is a little unicorns and mermaids (if you know what I mean). Apparently it both smoothes out AND 'cleanses' uneven pores and bumps to create a 'clear skin texture' before you go over it with makeup. 'Mint and minerals' control oil production and the moisture balance of the skin, while 'Jeju green persimmon extracts' tighten wide pores and create 'healthier skin'.  
Say what now? Are there any clinical studies behind these claims? can a primer really clean and create healthier skin all while priming the face for makeup? I don't know. Then again, i'm no scientist. I'd be interested to hear from some though. If you know if any of these claims can be substantiated, please let me know.
Up next: some incredibly closeup shots of my face (ugh).
So this is the area beside my nose, first thing in the morning after washing my face, but without anything on it. Pores and oil control are my two problems in this area, and are what I expect primers to help deal with.
Directly after application, this is what the skin looks like. No, I haven't gotten into the face-shaving habit. The pores are filled in and the skin looks refined.  
I figured I would include a shot of what it looks like after foundation and powder application
(well, a Garnier BB cream application but you get the drift).
This BB cream isn't my favourite, and I don't know why I used it tbh. The skin actually looks better without the foundation and powder then with.
After 5 hours (during which time I was walking out in the sun, it was about 32-35 degrees Celsius (about 95 degrees Fahrenheit) all day, I was sweating .. it was not a cute situation.
The pores are still refined, but the skin is shiny and oily.
After blotting at the 5 hours mark (you could blot of touch up with some powder to take down the shine).
Shine-free but not flat matte either.
After 8 hours of wear, in both natural and tungsten light:
The pores are extremely visible, the skin is shiny. Kind of what I expected after 8 hours. The BB cream had broken down completely, and there was no powder left either.
So those are the results (I would never subject y'all to such extreme closeups but for this kind of review). What do I think?
Love it!
 It performs similarly to the Sleek primer, and to the Porefessional by Benefit here in the tropics, and here it costs far far less than both (in fact it is half the price of the Sleek primer, itself a drugstore product). I'm not sure about it creating healthier skin, but looking at it purely from a 'mattifying primer' standpoint, it performs well. In fact, my favourite way to apply it is to just pat it into areas of large pores (mostly t-zone and cheeks in my case), and then use a mattifying powder over-top (the one from Astor is brilliant). No foundation or BB cream required.  
Anyway, let me know what you guys thought if you've tried this primer, and if you've tried other great products from the Innisfree line, I would LOVE to hear about them.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Optometry of a Photograph: LITHIUM and an update

Hey Guys,

(she says while popping pills and eating oreos) how are y'all doing? (and yes, I really want to know). I am, as a friend of mine put it the other day, unwell. I have been suffering from bipolar depression for over a year now. I almost don't remember what it felt like before. The 20th anniversary of Aladdin has me extra sad (even though I know to most people that sounds ridiculous). I loved Robin Williams, and everything that he did in his career. As a part of 'my 20s' tattoo, I have the genie's lamp from Aladdin. Partly for my love of all things Disney, but also as a tribute. The way he died, and that he did ... it's heart breaking especially for one so talented and who had so much to give.
That's not what this post is about, however, I figured I would just update y'all on my condition and what i'm doing to try to ease my symptoms and live life. I don't know if I mentioned this before in another post, but I joined a "bridal makeup" course. I thought I could learn some techniques, have some fun, get back into 'learning' mode. Unfortunately what has happened is that I feel down before, during, and after every class. There's always something wrong- my eyeshadows are useless, my look is "too natural", my palette smells bad, this is the easiest hairstyle I teach and you can't even do that. Like that. Exactly like that. I dreaded class today so much that my demeanor actually got me out of it. Yesterday I was just so so angry, and I felt like i'd start bawling at any second. I watched quite a bit of the first season of Friday Night Lights, and the credits made me tear up. I drank a substantial amount of merlot. I stayed in my room almost the entire day. My mother HATES when I miss class, but after taking blood and visiting the doctor this morning she suggested I do so today.
I can't even describe the relief. Last week it was finally decided that I should go on lithium. I'm still doing ketamine infusions once a week, but I guess they figured it was time. I tend to fall under the "rapid-cycling" version of Bipolar Disorder, which is why they haven't tried it on me before, but now that I've been stuck in a depressive state for as long as I have, they prescribed it, and we're in the "adjusting the dose" stage. Which basically means a lot of blood tests. They think if the lithium works we might be able to stop the ketamine, but i'm getting ahead of myself. Thus far, the lithium has done nothing but give me a slight hand tremor (so that my eyeliner game gets flushed).
In my own makeup shenanigans, I came up with a bit of a Bipolar nymph character this week. Maybe a character to give you strength and courage and solidarity. That's what I hope anyway, for people suffering all manor of mental health problems.

And a Friday Night Lights inspired look, also in relation to my disorder and struggles.

"Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose."
As always, remember you are not alone in your struggles. Remember that you can talk to me at any time if you would like to. You are not alone.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Optometry of a Photograph: Pinky Swear and Danger Zone

Hi Guys,
So I know my posts have been kind of heavy lately. I guess they always have been, but I used to do more reviews of products and films and such, and I haven't done a makeup post in awhile. Thing is, it can be very hard for a bipolar person to just feel .. proud, or happy, about something they've done or created without making a million excuses as to why it's actually crap. My disorder has definitely been rearing its ugly head since i've been back from Germany. I've had two ketamine infusions since then (I asked them to stop the ECTS, they were having an effect, but the trauma of the process was outweighing the benefits), and I can do a post all about that if anyone is interested.
Today, however, if a makeup post. I have been taking a course since I've been back (I've had exactly 5 lessons, hah) on 'bridal makeup and hair'. It took all 5 lessons for me to create a ponytail well enough for my instructor to give me a pass. (Now I get to make a higher ponytail! yay!). Anyway, it's inspired me to do more full-face looks as opposed to just doing eye makeup, and in the last week I have created two looks of which I am... proud. And happy. And I thought i'd share them with y'all.
So look number one is dedicated to my friend Min, who loves Hello Kitty and pink and everything cutesy :)

I used products by Nyx, P2, Daiso, Qianyu, Essence, and Catrice.
The second look is a complete departure from this one, and is my personal favourite. It's dark, it's fall appropriate (or say clubbing appropriate), it's glittery, the colour combination is bomb, and yeah. I'm psyched about it, and the shoot went so well too, which is always a bonus after getting a makeup done the way you want it.

That last one is for my Oma. She's always complaining i'm too serious in my makeup photographs. Face products were by ZA, Bourjois, and Makeup Revolution. Lips are Loreal and Manhattan Cosmetics. Eyes are femme fatale cosmetics, Manhattan Cosmetics, Collection, Daiso, Essence, and Nyx.
And yes, my hair really is that colour now, it's not a wig or extensions or chalk or anything.
Anyway I hope you enjoy the pictures and like the looks as much as I do. It took a lot for me to make them in spite of everything shitty going on in my head, so ...yeah.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Optometry of a Photograph: Fat Shaming/ Dear Fat People

Now I haven't done one of these in a little while, I've been in and out of hospital, off to Germany for a month, an uncle of mine just passed away (yesterday), so ... hectic times. Plus I feel like I should only really post when I have something of use to say. Too many people talk just to make noise/hear themselves do so.
This? yeah I have some things to say. I'm debating watching this video at all and giving this bitch and her "comedy" the time of day.. but I suppose I will for the cause. Give me a moment (or 6 minutes to be exact).
Quotes Please:
"If we offend you so much that you lose weight, i'm ok with that".
"want to die quicker come this way"
"isn't it ironic that it's taking a blonde girl to explain shit?"
"i'm talking tlc special fat.... and they complain, and they smell like sausages... that's just their aroma"
"big sassy black women in church dresses are my favourite thing in the world.... I have no idea the correlation between high notes and calorie intake but i'm not gonna question it"
"i'm not saying all this just to be an asshole, i'm saying it because your friends should be saying it to you"
End Quote.
UGH. Just plain UGH. Oh honey ... you're not funny. Your shtick isn't funny. Your message isn't funny. Your delivery isn't funny. How you can call that a "comedic" piece is beyond me.
One thing I did do was watch a lot of reaction videos. A lot of the people speaking were in tears, or on the verge of. Of course an equal number of fuckwads were out and about adding their two cents -just stop stuffing your fucking piehole and move your ass- type things.
Isn't society wonderful?
(sometimes ya just want to slap everyone silly)
People get fat for innumerable reasons. They find it hard to lose the baby weight, they were overweight kids who turned into overweight adults, they have medical conditions that encourage weight gain, they're depressed and lack the motivation to eat right/exercise at the time, they work 12 hour days sitting in a chair and are just exhausted when they get off.. this list is fucking endless.
I can only speak from personal experience, so that's what i'm going to do. I was an anorexic teenager. I am currently overweight by about 10kgs. I'm not obese, but I am fat- if you understand the distinction. Either way, I have weight to lose. I put on these 10 kgs in the last year and a half.
My bipolar disorder got so bad that my meds quit working. All I had from them were the side effects- slowed metabolism, and increased appetite being among them. I don't eat excessively. I don't eat too much crap. From January until about June I was running for 2 hours every. single. day. I lost no weight at all. Not one gram. 
To pull myself together enough to do all that working out and eating right, in the midst of a full-blown bipolar depressive episode took blood, sweat, and tears, and what did I accomplish? NOTHING. My meds just said NO.
More recently I went on an ECT regimen. I explained this in my last post but essentially they knock you out, and give your brain a seizure, in the hope that it will reset the chemical imbalance in said brain. It was an ordeal I endured 21 times. My hands and arms look like an addicts' because of all the little scars where they stuck me trying to find a vein. Anyway, as far as this post is concerned, the point is, the stress of the ECTs just made me eat. And the fatigue brought on my the anesthetic made it next it impossible for me to exercise afterwards. Did any of it affect my weight? NO.
I went to Germany for a month. My mom and I walked about 18000 steps a day in the forest, or a couple of hours. We walked to Frankfurt. We walked around town. We ate one meal a day, a healthy one, and then ate berries and peaches and everything fresh and healthy at our disposal. I came home, I lost half a kg. After walking several marathons worth of exercise. That was it. I've probably gained it back by now.
That's me.
One of my best friends is approaching the 100kg mark. Her father passed away when she was young, and her family lives over, and owns, a restaurant. She goes to the gym. She doesn't overeat. She's just ... built big.
I could sit here and type example after example, but i'm not going to. I'm sure you all know people who have weight they could lose. Maybe it's you yourself. And i'm pretty sure the last thing you or any of us needs to hear is some "comedic" rambling by some "blonde girl" about how all we have to do is eat well and exercise and we'd all be thin. Only a truly ignorant asshole can say things like that seriously.
To all the young people, old people, middle aged people, struggling with your weight, i'd like to send you love. Just love. I watched Meghan Tonjes break down in response to this BS, and it just made my heart hurt. Whatever your size, I send you all my love and support, however you choose to live.
As with all my bipolar posts, know that you can always come and talk to me if you need a friendly ear- whatever the subject. You do not need to pay any mind to the Nicole Arbours of the world.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Optometry of a Photograph: Instagram, Makeup, and Bipolarity

Hi Guys,

so lets talk Instagram. Some of you may know that I post makeup pictures on Instagram, under the name 'nushinspacemakeup'. In fact I post something new almost, if not every, day. You'd be surprised how many thousands of other people do so as well. And yes, that is my new hair colour, lol, I got bored with the blonde so I ombre-purpled it. Anyway, Instagram. It's a treacherous place to be. You're putting yourself and your work out there for basically complete strangers to judge and sneer at.
Now why the picture above for today's post, well i'll tell you. It's a makeup look I created and posted today after i'd been to the hospital and undergone my .... 16th? 17th? ECT. They've taken the quantifiable threshold off the table. I amuse and awe my fellow patients with all the makeup (and hair) shenanigans I keep pulling, and that makes me feel good. There is a Sikh lady .... maybe in her 70s, who undergoes ECTs with me, and she spends the time beforehand just crying her heart out and constantly going to the bathroom and needing a nurse to hold her hand because she is just that afraid. So I rocked up with this do, and my red-heavy makeup, and all of a sudden she's smiling and asking me about what I did and how and when and etc- she went into the operating theater smiling. Now THAT made me feel good.
So I post the picture above to Instagram, and someone says:
 "you really need to learn to do makeup. your makeup is awful. I really hope you don't leave the house looking like that".
I'm not going to name names, but ... yeah. Now obviously you can't please everyone, and haters and going to hate no matter what, but .... yeah. To take time out of your day to pull down someone else's so viciously.... it's beyond me. And as a bipolar person, I find these kinds of comments particularly cutting. The ECTs must be doing something though because instead of wanting to jump off a bridge I thought, "my makeup isn't awful and there is nothing fucking wrong with that picture". Red isn't the most wearable eyeliner colour, obviously, but the overall look is strong. I'm sorry, but it's true.
It got me thinking about how I might have reacted pre-ECT, or last year, or five years ago, for example. I can't deny I still feel hurt, but back then I would have been hurt beyond all bounds. I might never have picked up an eyeliner again. I definitely would have stopped looking in mirrors. Or going anywhere near cameras. I would have stared at the floor a lot more. I might have given my makeup collection away entirely. I would have cried. And cried. And cried. That comment would have ruined me, for months on end.
I know it sounds dramatic, but any of you in the midst of a bad bipolar spell/ depression will feel me. I also know that there are, right this minute, people posting shots of themselves on Instagram and getting hateful comments. And that some of those people ARE in a bad spell/ bad depression. And I fear for them. And I feel for them. And I hope for better for them.
As always, my message is, you are not alone. I am here with you, or have been here with you. Before you jump off that bridge, come talk to me. Whether you're Bipolar, depressed, schizophrenic, obsessive compulsive.... whatever your mental ailment may be.
Also, come say hi! I would love to talk to you guys on Instagram, it would be more immediate. 'Nushinspacemakeup' is what it is. I definitely consider makeup part of my therapy; with the occasional hiccup like today I guess.

Monday, 22 June 2015

UPDATED Optometry of a Photograph: the ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) of it all

Hi Guys,
so I've been MIA since forever ago, and i'd like the chance to explain why. Since January, and all the turmoil with my Oma, my health has taken a serious downturn. It got to the point where my medications stopped having any effect, and nothing my doctors were suggesting was bringing me out of my depression. I can't explain it, rather then to say I feel heavy. Physically too, but mostly mentally and emotionally- just heavy. Like breathing is hard.
I took it upon myself to start the year right. The minute we got back from Germany I started eating right and running 2 hours everyday. You know where it got me? nowhere. My medication has a stranglehold on my metabolic rate, and instead of losing weight and getting in shape, I put on another 5 kilograms. And I am like 5 foot bugger all, so that's a crap ton, especially on top of what I spent last year putting on. I just feel like i'm trapped in a hamster wheel going round and round and getting absolutely nowhere. And I am sick of doctors telling me I "just have to try". I just got back from the hospital about an hour ago and today's advice was "drink more water and you'll lose weight". Sometimes i'm not that surprised that I have detailed fantasies about doctor slapping.
Anyway, my meds weren't, and aren't working. So my doctor gave me a couple of options. ECT/ Electroconvulsive therapy or a Ketamine infusion. I chose the former, though lord knows when the latter will be back on the table. So what is ECT? You're put under general anesthetic. Through electrodes on the scalp, an electric current is passed through the scalp to cause a brief seizure in the brain. You're given a muscle relaxant prior to treatment to limit the seizure to slight movements of your hands and feet. Now typically you wake up like 15 minutes to a half hour later and apparently don't remember the ECT or the events directly preceding. I say 'typically' and 'apparently' because I've now been through 10 (yes, ten) ECT sessions, and have yet to forget anything.
I'd love to do some forgetting actually. I'm one of those people who is very hard to put under, on account of no one being able to find my veins. Today, for example, it took 5 different needles and 5 separate tries before someone managed to get a vein. The highest the count has gone up to was 8, and that included 3 punctures in my feet. As you can imagine, it's a trying experience. They're holding you down, and people are poking into you with sizeable needles, while someone else has an oxygen mask clamped over your nose and mouth. I'd liken the feeling to claustrophobia. Pain and claustrophobia- that's what I remember from before the ECT.
Apparently (again) people can wake up feeling nauseated and vomit-inclined, but I've been fine in that respect. I've done my treatments as an out-patient, so I've always woken up and gone home afterwards. 
I'm going to complete a course of 12 treatments, and then reassess. I don't know what happens if this doesn't work out. I really don't fancy undergoing another course of ECTs anytime soon. If any of you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments. I'm happy to answer whatever I can. If you're considering ECT or undergoing it yourself i'd love to hear about your experience. The main point I want to drive home is that a modern ECT is not like some Frankenstein scene. You are literally out for the count during the procedure, and you barely feel any side effects afterwards. I had people telling me that I was going to turn schizophrenic if I underwent an ECT, and that is simply not the case. I'm not saying it's something to enter into lightly. Not at all. It is still GA, and it is still an electric current and your brain.
Consider carefully. Talk to your doctor. Get second and third opinions. Think long and hard about how you're feeling and if any of your meds are having tangible effects or not. Exhaust all your options, but at the end of the day, if all roads lead you to ECT, don't be afraid. You are not alone. You can always come talk to me (and countless other people, obviously, but I can only speak for myself). I am here to help. Today's hospital makeup will have to satisfy the 'optometry' requirement:
UPDATE: the advent of my period heralded a slump in my BDI score, and some cause for concern medically speaking (holy hell of a sentence huh? jeez). So now my docs are discussing an ECT plus Ketamine induction. Essentially using Ketamine instead of Propofol to put me to sleep during the ECT. Funnily enough, I didn't have an ECT yesterday (usually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) because docs could not get a vein to save their lives. When you're going in that often, yours tend to close down, and viable ones become few and far between. After 12 attempts, I made them stop, and called in the psych team to discuss giving my veins a rest, so to speak, until Wednesday in the hope that that will help. I will then undergo the ketamine induced ECT for the first time, and will update this post again once that happens.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

5 second movie review: 50 Shades of Grey

Hi Guys,
here's a 5 second review of the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie. It's fucking sexy. The end.
I kid, but it is. Sam Taylor-Johnson did a fantastic job handling the subject matter, directing her actors, and making the movie its own entity, freed from the terrible prose of the books.
Dakota and Jamie have so much chemistry from the get go, it's just great to watch them. It's literally explosive chemistry.
I was prepared to rag on this film, like I ragged on the books (still terrible), but I really enjoyed it. If you can "enjoy" something like this.
It was hot. Steamy. Sexy. And best of all you felt like it was kind of equally a part of the female gaze as the male's. You could definitely tell a woman directed it; it hit all the right notes, judging from my own, and the reactions of the women in the audience.
I was surprised to see someone from just about every walk of life in the theater. A mother with her daughters. An elderly couple. A business man. A group of guys in suits. A young couple. Everyone.
Rating?? A-