Almay Makeup Review

I mentioned before that I was hoping to purchase Almay’s BlemisHeal foundation, and I’m pleasantly surprised to say that this stuff is some of the best foundation I have ever had in my life. It’s a bit pricier than what I’m used to paying, but I’d say it is definitely well worth the $11.99 price tag.

I am currently using Physician’s Formula gentle green concealer stick, the color of which really balances out redness in a few of my worst blemishes, as well as balancing out the bruise-like dark circles under my eyes. I apply this straight with the stick, which looks a like lipstick in shape, and goes on smooth and gentle as advertised.

I then apply small amounts of Almay’s BlemisHeal liquid foundation in Ivory with my fingers. Half a pump covers my face just fine, and I tend to do small dots with my fingers which I then blend in, concentrating on the problems areas. I then dab on the Almay BlemisHeal pressed powder in light. I am pleasantly surprised to say that not only does the one-two combo give me flawless coverage, but it feels great on my skin. The foundation doesn’t feel heavy, doesn’t clog my pores, and most amazing of all, does not get shiny. Ever. I have extremely oily skin, and the additional oils from my hair tend to turn my forehead into a reflecting surface by mid-day. I gave it the ultimate test today with close to 100% humidity, and it still had a perfect, matte finish when I walked back into my apartment from my morning errands. This stuff just does not quit.

If you have oily, problem skin that’s prone to break-outs, give Almay’s BlemisHeal line a go. The price tag is well worth it, and a little goes a long way, so I’m sure I’ll have this bottle for a good long time. I hope it works as well for you as it does for me.


Summer is coming to a close as the big boy’s Tonka trucks pack up and ship out. The front entrance is looking great, and I’m hoping the big double doors (which will open up right by the bookstore and Campus Hub, technically located on the Sub Level, will be open for business very soon.

The English department is back in Miller Hall! Diane is set up and eager to assist incoming freshman of the English track in finding your adviser and creating a schedule that fits your life. This woman is seriously a wizard when it comes to these matters, I don’t know how she does it, but I’m so grateful to have her. Expect a big CBE very soon English majors!

The hope is that all construction in the Hammond building will be finished before classes start, but its cutting it pretty close. For now, please be advised that the only entrance currently to the building is the front entrance that has been open all summer. From there you can take the elevator to the first floor and beyond, or the stairs to the sublevel. You can also take the elevator down, but it tends to be crowded, so do the stairs if you can.

The quad is going to be a mess with the construction of an Edgerly porch still well under way, and no end in sight as far I’ve heard. If you need to cut across the quad, you can cut through the Conlon buildings to Highland, or go through Condike science, which will exit right by the Anthony building. Highland street is open again, so moving into the townhouses should be slightly less of a headache now.

I hope everyone’s enjoying there last days of summer, and are all set to move in on the 3rd, and begin classes next Wednesday on the 5th!

It has officially become my least favorite thing to shop for on the planet. It is now right up there with shoes, eye wear, and bras that actually fit. For I wear a size 10 women’s (which most companies don’t even make, thank you Journey’s), am blind as a bat, and despite my petite frame have giant manly shoulders and a broad back. But no, makeup has officially made the top of the damn list.

After LadyUnlaced imparted on me the knowledge that my beloved Aquasmooth foundation by Covergirl was no longer an option because they test on animals, I have been determined for the past two months to find something that works with my pain-in-the-ass oily/super sensitive skin. A product from a brand that doesn’t test on animals. Something the two of us do not understand, as even the cheapest of brands, such as NYC and Wet n Wild, are above this, so you can’t sit here and tell me its just cheaper, because if they can find a way to make it work, surely anyone can. Maybelline is also on the do-not-buy list, as is Loreal.

After much trial and tribulation, I learned a few things. First, I was reminded once again why I am really glad to not have cable/satellite tv. I fucking hate advertising, so much, and with makeup its some of the worst. Its all the same keywords and bright colors and pretty packaging. I also learned a few things about type: dewy complexion is a sort of moist look? (I don’t need this, my skin does this all on its own thanks) and matte, which is the nice, flat, not shiny or “glowing” complexion. This is what I want. Glowing complexion only really works on people who have some sort of color to their skin. Mine is so pale I have to give makeup away to Unlaced simply because it is too freaking dark for my skin tone, and the last tone I gave to her was Light Ivory/Natural Porcelain.

I also learned that finding something that was the exact same coverage/density as my beloved Aquasmooth was not going to happen. Everything else is either too wet or too dry. The stuff that does cover really freaking well, such as 25th Hour by Rimmel, of course clogs your pours and will make you break-out like mad. So instead of finding the perfect thing to cover my flaws, I decided to try something that would instead help heal them. I am now using Almay BlemisHeal in pale as hell “light”, which despite the fact that it comes in only three shades was still paler than Neutragena’s Microclear makeup, and cheaper. It goes on really light, and no the coverage is not perfect as it is a pressed powder, but actually is really better for my skin. I tried a patch on my skin last night to test it out with a concealer stick, and at first I was a bit disappointed because it didn’t blend it at all, but after I took it off with a bit of witchhazel I found something astonishing: the area was softer and smoother than the rest of  my face. Okay Almay, we have an accord. They have an entire line in the BlemisHeal that I am hearing rave reviews about, so I might dive into it once I’m a little more comfortable financially. Till then, good luck and happy makeup hunting. And remember to never settle, your skin is the largest organ in the human body, it deserves a little TLC. Perhaps more than a little.



The time is nye for back to school. Some of us are going back to highschool, others are starting (or returning) to our college curriculum one more life-consuming time. If you’re like me, you might not have remembered all the crapola you are going to need until the last minute. So! Here’s a few things to always remembers when you’re shopping for college, and how to stay on budget.

1.) Check your text books. Odds are by now your professors have already listed them, and I’m sure the prices in the bookstore are enough to make you weep. Ask around on Facebook or text a few friends to see if they have a copy they’d be willing to part with, first and foremost. I always make sure to run my booklist by my good friend and college grad Adam Britt before I even begin text book shopping. After that, get to know the Amazon Used and New section. You’ll save hundreds.

2.) Remember to stay organized! I take a total of six classes every term to keep up with my degrees, so I always buy a cheap acordion folder with enough pockets to hold all my things for classes. You can always buy a few single folders of course, but I find having one thing for all your classes means you’re never grabbing the wrong folder, and thus never have to face the moment of an essay or assignment left at your house five towns over.

3.) Keep notarized. I always make sure to have healthy supply of highlighters and sticky-tabs on hand for making notes for class, and editing assignments. Signed up for a math class? Make sure you have the calculator they require. Buy more pens and pencils than you’ll ever think you need, and that should be enough.

4.) Make sure your laptop is up-to-date with all software and anti-virus tech you’ll need. If you go to Fitchburg State, you will need the E-Nac security check installed on your computer with a green light saying you don’t do illegal activities before you are able to access the net. I reccomend doing this at home before you get to campus, as the system will otherwise be flooded with loads of other incoming students doing exactly the same thing. If you can’t afford Word, get Open Office(its free!). Make sure your laptop meets the requirements for your classes before you get there and are faced with the Professor-glare-of-your-impending-GPA-doom.

5.) If you’re dorming it up, call to see if you can get the measurements for your space. It’ll save a lot of time and headaches for when you’re trying to squeeze your furniture in later. Also ask about rules and regs. You don’t want to be the bane of the room-check on your first month in. Make your list and check it three times, then check it again. I dont know about you, but I’d probably end up forgetting something, and it would be important.

6.) An additional note to Fitchburg State students: the library printing system is going green and will be down to the one Rico printer on the first floor, and it will be printing double-sided only to save paper. This is good for the environment, but we’re also anticipating lots of jams, and the new Pay Printing system (yes, it will NOT be free next semester) is still super-glitchy. So make plans to NOT print at the library. Additional printers (that you will still have to pay for) can be found in Edgerly, just check the rosters on the doors so you dont end up interrupting a class. I reccomend just ponying up the money and getting a cheap printer of your own, especially if you’re an incoming freshmen, its probably going to be cheaper in the long run.

Whether you’re new to cleaning your own place, or have done so for years and years, keeping your house clean and tiny can be a painstaking, and sometimes expensive, process. The aisle in the store is just a barrage of “all natural based cleaner” “kills 99% bacteria” and insanely bright colors, its an advertisers wet dream and a consumers worst nightmare all rolled delightfully into one. Here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout my household cleaning trials.

Condense Your Supplies
One trick I’ve learned from my parent’s is the magic of a simple cleaning product that has been around for decades and has truly stood the test of time: Murphy’s Oil Soap. Its mostly designed for wood, however, it cuts through the grease and crud on my stove top like nothing else, and lifts stains out of upholstries and carpet. You can also buy it in a great big concentrated bottle and water it down in a squirt bottle for every day use. I do exactly that and the bottle says very simply Do Not Use on Glass. Aside from that though, this still will clean everything from counter tops to carpets.

Go Green, Save Green
Chances are, somewhere in your house, there is lurking a hardwood or tile floor. Try getting what I call a Green Mop by either Libman or Rubbermaid. Unlike their Swiffer counterparts, they need no batteries, the pads can be washed and reused, and the bottles can be filled with whatever floor cleaner you like. I use a Libman with some nice lavender scented Lysol to get the job done for a whole lot less. I love that I never have to worry about running out of pads, buying more fluid, or having to replace the batteries ever. They are truly a worthwhile investment for your home.

Don’t buy name brand
And steer clear of pretty scented additives and things. Generally they just weigh down the formula and make it less effective. Most mopping products are okay with a bit of scent, as most concentrated materials are as you can control how much you need (which to me is just far more simple and effective) but for the most part just keep it basic. The only other things I have for cleaning are your basic broom and dust pan, glass cleaner, and knock off Swiffer wipes called Grime Boss that I used to dust the tv and anything else I don’t feel like getting cleaner on (my witchy things for example).

Also make sure to clean your house more often than what you would consider to be normal in summer, and especially don’t let dishes sit in the sink too long or food crumbs linger on the counter. Now is the time when ants get into your home and that is the last thing you want to deal with in the summer heat. As always, keep all of your cleaners stored safely away from kids, cats, small things with low IQ scores in general. Be smart, be safe, and be cheap man. You’re never too rich to save a dollar or two.


If there is one thing I find incredibly frustrating as a young woman, and a college student, its being told by campus police to basically stay inside, lock your doors, just don’t go outside at night, ever. But this really isn’t realistic. Eventually, you’re gonna go have to go out after dark, we live in a city, not the Village. Here’s a few things I practice myself on my nightly travels.

1.) Avoid going out alone. If you can, always bring a friend with you. If you can’t, and you’re feeling nervous, call someone. Call, not text. This way if something happens, the person on the other end can call 911. Just pay attention, which leads me to number 2.

2.) Be mindful of your surroundings. No, this doesn’t mean I’m advocating that if you go into a dark alley way you will get mugged. I mean turn off the iPod, take off the head phones, stop texting, and pay attention. Always be aware of who and what is going on around you, especially if you’re crossing busy streets at late hours.

3.) Don’t go out unarmed. People who prey at night are opportunists, they’re looking for an easy target. If you pull out a weapon, you’re not so easy anymore. It is illegal in MA to carry mace or a tazer, but it is not illegal to carry small knives.

4.) Don’t be goaded. I’ve gotten a lot of disgusting cat calls at night, regardless of my attire or whatever the hell have you. Just move along. They’re not worth your time, and clearly anyone enjoying such behavior isn’t going to care about your feminism rant on rape culture and female objectivity. People are assholes, don’ t let them get to you.

5.) You don’t need to be formally trained to take someone down. If you are attacked or approached with intent, use your elbows and knees, and aim for the knees, groin, throat, and eyes.

6.) Bring plenty of water. It may be night time, but its still summer, and its still often hot as hell. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated.

Basically, to sum it up, stay alert, be armed, and be prepared.

Be smart, and be safe.

Dude, I know getting up for work sucks. I’m sitting here chugging coffee from a gigantic black mug that proudly reads “A giant cup of I don’t give a shit,” which is generally my attitude when I get up at 6am to be at my job for 8am. However, as much as I destest this hour of morning and all it is, there are a lot of good reasons I’m up two hours before I have to go to work, and why you maybe should too.

1.) You feel pretty damn Ace sipping coffee relaxing with a book on the porch watching the sun cresting over the rooftops. The earlier you get up, the more time you have to chill before starting your day. I am a long time believer of the “I can get ready in 15 minutes” philosophy, and usually I can, but you will feel less stressed if you’re not running around like a maniac trying to get everything done.

2.) Job hunting. Its something I am loathe to do when I walk through my door again a little after six at night. Between the book and story writing, and trying to find a moment to read, and oh hey I should probably see my boyfriend before he goes off to his night job, yeah. I find its best if I tackle it in the morning. Open all the tabs, attach all the resumes, you get the drill.

3.) The earlier I get up, the more coffee I can drink.

4.) Sun salutations, ie morning yoga. A good stretch does the body good.

5.) Write the damn book. Often times, if you have a soul-sucking job, you’ll come feeling about as inspired as an artist being forced to make a Best Of album. Get up early and beat the grind to get some pages in.

6.) Time to actually put on make-up, which I almost never do because I am a tired, lazy fuck in the mornings, but its nice to have the option, and you usually feel pretty damn awesome when you do.

So rise and shine man, and tackle the day! Don’t let it tackle you.