Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Clarisonic Mia vs Neutrogena Wave

25/03/13 Update: I have released a follow-up to this post.

Time to talk vibrating.

I must admit that I am jumping on the bandwagon a little later than everyone else (I've always straddled the line between Late Majority and Laggard...), but better late than never!

And now that I've tried it, I must say: I just can't get enough.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Editorial drugstore? I think it's possible.

I used to really, really not believe in drugstore products.  I won't lie to you - to this day, I still quite subscribe to you get what you pay for.  However, I've been trying to be open-minded recently and I've been making my way into the world of drugstore cosmetics that are not mascara (something I try not to spend money on because the shelf life is so short).

To mark my way into the drugstore aisle, I've created an editorial look using exclusively drugstore products.  Does it hold up?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: Chi Silk Infusion

So here's my love-hate relationship with my flatiron.

I love my hair all beachy-soft and wavy.

I hate how unhealthy and crunchy it gets.

I love touchable, soft, healthy hair.

I hate my natural hair texture.

What's a girl to do?


Monday, February 21, 2011

Pretty Little Liars have the best nails on TV

I've never read the books, but with a name like Pretty Little Liars, I had to check out the premiere of this ABC show last summer.  It was okay, nothing special, fun plot - but definitely a very teen, guilty pleasure type of show.  I usually watch these shows (*cough*Gossip Girl*cough*The City*cough*) for the clothes and such.  They also make for a good all-day-in-bed day.

So I've adored the nail colours on this show - it's not often a show pays such attention to nail colour.  The last TV character I can recall loving this much nail-wise is Georgina Sparks (played by Michelle Trachtenberg) on Season 2 of Gossip Girl.  That may have been too specific.  On her first appearance she wore Chanel Blue Satin, which was (and still is) one of my favourite colours.  Then she changed to That's Hot! by OPI, amongst other colours (including a gorgeous, gorgeous bright blue).

Anyway, back to Pretty Little Liars - I was advised to do a post on my picks for each character's chosen nail colour...challenge accepted!

I've decided to go a step further and limit myself to colours from my own collection only.  If you've seen it and the show, you'll know that a couple of the characters will be hard for me.  But here goes nothing!

Pardon the blur - this photo showed the colours in their truest form!

From left to right - can you guess?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Travel Beauty: What to Pack for...the City!

I personally am not spending the week relaxing on a beach - instead, I am going to a city that boasts good food.  If you know me, you'll know I'm a huuuuge foodie and I occasionally get more excited about eating than buying on vacation.  That's right - food > make up/clothes/shoes/accessories.  I think I've just committed beauty blogger blasphemy.

I'll be there for five days, which will include one night of dressing up, but otherwise pretty casual activities, maybe with another nice dinner along the way.  So here's my extensively detailed packing list.  All of the following items fit on my person and into a 20.5 inch carry on.  You ready?  Let's go.

Plane:  Jeans, white tank, black blazer, boots, leather tote

The great thing about this outfit is that it's comfortable, and all the pieces can easily be re-worn.  In fact, I'll be wearing these boots (too tall to be shown) every single day, except for dressier things.

Day Clothing:  Pink t-shirt, black tank, black long sleeved shirt, cropped sweater, grey jeans

Between two pairs of jeans and four shirts and a layering piece, I should be able to get at least 16 outfits from this.  Of course, I only need five, but I felt the need to carve out the realm of possibility.

Night Clothing:  Black pencil skirt, white top, heels

I'm wearing exactly this combination to a party, and if I should need another dinner outfit, I can easily pair the black tank with this skirt for a makeshift LBD.  Not sure how scandalous this backless top will be, but I can always pull on a blazer if it turns out to be an uber-conservative party.  Maybe I'll even throw in  a piece of jewelry?  I'll likely forget.

Accessories:  One circle scarf, long silver/turquoise necklace, silver hoops and cocktail ring, leather strap watch

I realized this green scarf belongs under plane clothing, but not until after I took the photos.  Oh well!  I use circle scarf mainly so when I wrap myself up on the plane, the ends won't come undone and my hands won't end up anywhere awkward (not that that's happened or anything).  The necklace can go day or night, and the silver hoops are just in case I feel like changing it up.  This cocktail ring goes with everything and I usually keep this in my purse in case I suddenly need to dress up a little.  I probably won't wear any of these things together though (except the watch, which I wear all the time).

Make Up:  Make  Up For Ever HD Foundation, Lancome Maquicomplet concealer, L'Oreal Telescopic liquid liner, Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara, contact lens case with shea butter and NARS Multiple, palette (currently contains Benefit Dallas and Hoola, and the rest will be filled in with four MAC shadows I will purchase on my trip), Urban Decay All-Nighter, travel brushes.

I don't normally do foundation on trips, but since my skin has been so unruly lately I've found it necessary for every day.  Also, for a five-day trip, I keep one nail colour the entire time.  It's possible, if you get a good manicure and dry it properly, otherwise the nail polish bottles just take up a ton of room in my liquids baggie.

Skin Care:  Stacked pots with Lancome cleanser, Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen; Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector as a concealer (and I recently ordered a Clarisonic Mia which will be waiting for me at my destination!  Review to come!).  Also, I'm not bringing the full sized tubes with me, just showing you what the original products look like!

You need, need, need sunscreen even in the winter.  I cannot stress this enough.  Most people don't believe me/make fun of me when I put sunscreen on as though they've decided the sun has gone away just because it's been hidden by some clouds.  To those people I say: when the rays bounce off fields of snow, they get even worse.

Hair Care: I am bringing my own conditioner and that is all.  My hair's pretty good with once-every-3-days washing so I'm only bringing a travel sized bottle.  Maybe I'll bring a little baby powder to maintain my pre-vacation blowout, but beyond that, shampoo's the same everywhere.

If you made it all the way to the end of the post, we would probably get along really well in real life.  Happy vacationing kids, I'll talk to you soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Travel Beauty: What to Pack for...the Beach!

Reading week's coming up, so I figure there'll be a flurry of you student people headed for various vacation spots just to get away from the slushy filth that has become our fair city.  Of course you'll bring along books in the vain effort to "study" on the beach or the chairlifts or whatever, but what else are you bringing?

Beach vacations are rather popular for this time, so I figure I'll start with that!  Again, here are my rules for packing:
  1. I hate checking luggage, so if I don't have to I won't.
  2. I hate bringing unnecessary crap.
  3. I better use everything, or I'll kick myself after the trip.
  4. Don't forget anything, or I'll kick myself during the trip.
This will be based off my most recent beach vacation, where my roommate promised me she'd bring shampoo and a brush, and she didn't.  The hotel room offered really crappy soap that didn't wash out with the hard water that came out of the shower, so my only option was to soak it in the ocean and hope that it looked "beachy" and not disgusting.  Based on photos, it did not work.

So here's my basic packing list - things will be different depending on where you go, if you have any fancy events to go to, how good you want to look, etc. but this should cover about a week of beach time.

Beach Vacation Apparel

    • Swimwear - I like to bring at least two bikinis, so I can wash one, and if it doesn't dry the next day, I have something to fall back on.  I don't particularly care about mismatched tops and bottoms, but I do try to bring two somewhat coordinating suits.  My roommate grabbed 3 tops and about a dozen mismatched bottoms which she started wearing as underwear because she forgot to bring any.  So there's that too.
    • Cover ups - While I'm completely comfortable walking around the resort in my bikini, I'm not sure everyone else is similarly appreciative of the human form.  Bring a sarong, or one of those beach shirts.  Shorts also work, and I think they are my favourite option so I bring two.  I end up using my sarong as a scarf, but I've never subscribed to this whole sarong-as-dress thing. They are often see through, so...just don't.  Unless it's opaque.
    • Evening wear - One mistake I made was highly underestimating how casual the resort would be.  I imagined there would be a dress code for dinner every night, but turns out people were quite comfortable in their bermuda shorts.  I brought five dresses and just looked really overdressed the entire time.  If I could do it again, I would bring one or two day dresses and then a skirt and some tops, which can also act as beach cover ups.
    • Extras:  I highly, highly recommend wearing jeans and something warm (i.e. long-sleeved) on the plane. Last time I went to Cuba, it rained/was bitterly cold for the first two days, and I shivered under my hotel room blankets in shorts.  Bad idea.
    • Bottom Line:  2 bikinis, one sarong, 2 day dresses, 1 short, two tops, one skirt and wear something warm on the plane.

Beach Vacation Make Up
Make Up: I can't imagine anybody really wanting to wear make up on the beach, but it's fun to dress up for dinner, so here's my recommendation
      • Waterproof mascara
      • One eyeliner - I bring a black waterproof liquid liner.  Pencil and cream liners smudge too much.
      • If you must bring eyeshadow, find a quad you can bring, but limit yourself to no more than two products.  Just do yourself that favour.  You'll feel better about yourself.
      • One cheek colour - I prefer cream blush or cheekstains because I find powder slides off/clumps on my sweaty self
      • A lip colour - again, lipstick may be a little heavy for a beachy vacation.  I would go with a gloss or a very moisturizing lipstick.
      • SPF lip balm
      • Tinted moisturizer - a foundation will melt off.  Be warned!
      • SPF - for face AND body.  Regardless of the SPF you need to reapply every hour or so!
      • Secret weapon:  to even out my tan lines, I bring a little oil (coconut, argan, whatever) and rub it anywhere I'm paler.  Not that you should tan or anything.  You know, because it's bad for you and all that.  Ahem.
      • All of the above things either have applicators or can be applied with fingers - bonus!  But I do keep an army of cotton swabs with me just in case.
    Hair Care
      • I do not bring heated appliances with me.  Why?  Because if you do need hot tools every day, your efforts will likely be thwarted by the insane humidity anyway.  If you must, I'd bring a flat iron that can straighten and curl.
      • Leave-in conditioner:  Preferably one with SPF (or you could just wear a hat).  It'll also protect your hair from any harsh climate damage.
      • Shampoo and conditioner.  See above.  Unless you know that your hotel/resort is supplied by a brand you love.
    That should fit into a 22 in. carry on with plenty of room to spare.  If it doesn't, you're obviously packing incorrectly. 

    PS: Don't forget your beach entertainment!

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Valentine's Look!

    I realized that I haven't done a look since New Year's, so Valentine's Day seemed appropriate.  There are plenty of gift recommendations out there so I didn't really want to do one since they're more or less the same (e.g. Shave kit for the guy, sparkly things for girls).  You should know your significant other well enough to choose.  Or better yet, they should subscribe to my school of thought and release a yearly wishlist that has enough items to cover a full year of gifts.  Just sayin'.

    So here's a look that's romantic and pretty with just enough tacky theme to do St. Valentine proud.  Have fun with it!

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Review: Korres Wild Rose Foundation

    I've been kind of breaking out lately, probably due to stress/unhealthy diet/everything else you can think of.  No matter, while I figure out a way to calm my skin, it's an excuse to test a series of medium-full coverage foundations on your behalf!

    First up?  Korres' Wild Rose!

    I was perusing the Sephora site when I remembered all the things I'd read about the Watermelon Tinted Moisturizer.  I'm looking for something a little heavier, and a few clicks later, they brought me the Wild Rose Foundation.  The claim?  That it lightens acne scarring and helps reduce hyperpigmentation.  Bingo!

    Korres Wild Rose Foundation WRF1

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Review: Poshe vs Seche Vite Top Coats

    So you may have heard here or here that I like nail polish.  However, I am terrible when it comes to taking care of my nails.  I bite them, shred the skin around them, never file my nails or soften my cuticles.  That's not a joke.  In fact - tip of the frickin' iceberg.

    This is awful but I only recently started using base coat.  I only started using base coat when my nails were so yellow my mother saw them and wanted me to get my liver checked.  I managed to soothe her hysteria by showing her my nail polish collection.  Then she started yelling at me about buying so much polish.  Good thing she hasn't found the rest of this blog!

    So here are two top coats that garnered significant buzz around the blogosphere - after reading several reviews, I decided to try both.  First Seche Vite and more recently Poshe.

    Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat .5 Fl Oz

    Deets after the break!

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Hot Tool Indeed...

    I mentioned in this previous post that I recently purchased my first Hot Tools curling iron.  Hot Tools is one of my very first heated hair tool.  I think the very first was one of those old Conair drugstore flatirons that came with 3 different kinds of attachments in different crimp sizes.  It was terrible.  Since then I've never used anything Conair that's not from their Infiniti line.

    So here's the one I got - the 1.5 in. barrel Hot Tools Professional spring iron:

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    I hate people who play favourites.

    But I've been finding more and more of these monthly favourite posts on different blogs and I want to be one of the cool kids too!

    Monthly Favourites - they are exactly that.  At the end of the month, or in the first few days of the next month, I'll post a list of fun things I've tried or quite simply fallen in love with.  It makes sense once you read it.

    Favourite things of January (in an orderly, clockwise fashion)!

    January Favourites

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    So Soft, Smooth, Silky and other Sexy S Words!

    In honour of Valentine's Day being this month, I was thinking I'll do some V-Day themed posts.  Starting with the following:

    (Not that I'm a huge V-Day fanatic or anything - I swear I'm not one of those girls who feels the need to bash it if I'm single, or to celebrate it if I'm taken.  I've always been kind of indifferent, which I've heard is the real opposite of love.  Maybe this isn't my holiday...)

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