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My Uniform

Not a word of lie when I say I wear some variation of the following every day:

- Gray sweater (Everlane Raglan Sweater)
- Black jeans (an especially slouchy pair from Theyskens Theory)
- Metallic loafer (Silver Anniel in the photo, gold Joe Fresh in real life)
- Light floral fragrance (usually Miss Dior Cherie or Penhaligon Rose)
- A smoky gray eye (Cle de Peau Color Quad in #9)
- Vampy lip (full disclosure: this is my going-out uniform)

Having come from a uniformed high school you'd think I'd get sick of it, but nope.

The Makeup Addict Tag

Let's not refer to it as an addiction.  At least, not a current one.

It's weird for a beauty blogger to say, but I think I'm kind of over makeup.  Does that sound negative?  I still love everything it can do for people -- giving confidence, expressing creativity and for some people, showcasing their true selves, but I think I'm kind of over products.

That might be beautysphere blasphemy, but I think I've gotten to that point where I know what I like, I know what works, and I don't really want to try too many new things.  Even my great loves of nail polish, lip gloss and brushes have calmed down.  I've gotten to the point where I have everything I know I'll use and I probably won't repurchase until something runs out.

Then again, maybe that was the goal the entire time.  I started writing here because I'd purchased way too many products that I didn't use, and I enjoyed using them other people (mainly Tod).  After four years of this space, I've tried, tested and thrown out enough product to know what I'll never purchase again, and to have decluttered away everything I've used a few times.

I can feel myself pulling away from beauty and more into lifestyle, because let's face it -- when your favourite YouTube videos are makeup storage ideas, you know you're more about the organization/home goods life than anything else.

Not to say that beauty won't still be a priority -- it always will be -- but how would you guys feel about seeing a food post pop up every now and then?  It'll likely be 100% breakfast-related because I am all about that brunch life.  Or maybe a few things about fitness?

LOL. Kidding.

Maybe not though, one day.

8 Red Lipsticks and Nail Polishes You Need

I never knew how much of a red lipstick person I was until I tried to downsize my nail and lip collection and found myself subcategorizing the reds.  For pink/vamp/nude lips, I'm fine with one go-to colour, but the reds...different story.

Most people have capsule make up collections, I have a capsule red pigment collection.  I can't even begin to explain how difficult this is to curate for someone with such an olive skin tone as me.  Coincidentally, it's Chinese New Year, which is the most perfect time to share all of the types of red lipstick and nail polish you need in your life.

Lips (clockwise from the left)

Orange Red: Hands down, NARS Heat Wave.  It was the colour I used in my "How to Make Lipstick Last" video; it makes me look and feel more tan!  It has a matte finish (like everything else I own), so it can drag a little, but on a well moisturized and blotted lip, it'll last ages.

True Red: Chanel Rouge Allure in 99 Pirate -- I LOVE this colour.  It's also one of the more comfortable reds I own and the pigment is insane.  All of these lip colours have mindblowing pigment, but this one just glides on SO easily.

Vintage Red: My first MAC lipstick purchase -- MAC Viva Glam I!  This has a lot of brown to it, probably more than any other red lipstick I own, but I feel like a 40s movie star when I have this on. It's a matte shade so it's not very moisturizing, but I don't find it at all too drying.

Blue-Red: On those days when you need a little pick-me-up for your lips and your teeth?  Look no further than Tarte Lipsurgence Matte in Fiery.  I love the texture of these so much -- it's feather-light and ultra-smooth, leaving you feeling like you're wearing literally nothing.  It also long-lasting but easy to remove with an oil-based makeup remover or Bioderma Crealine!

Vampy Red: Vamp lipstick is here to stay, and as much as I love Tom Ford Black Orchid, Le Metier de Beaute Color Core Moisture Stain Madaket is a more wearable version.  I swatched this in my "How to Make Lipstick Last" video and got way more compliments on it than I could have imagined! Since it's also a stain, it's extremely buildable and lasts forever. One of my favourite ways to wear (besides full-on, of course!) is to pat it into my lips for the most natural berry-stained lip I've ever seen.

Nails (clockwise from the left)

Bright, Summery Red: I love the way Olivia Palermo rocks Essie Lollipop but it just makes my hands look dirty (I'm extremely olive toned, and my hands are probably about NC35-40).  The closest orangey-red I can find for my nails is probably a true red on someone else, but OPI Big Apple Red was my first OPI polish ever, and it holds a special place in my heart.  This also looks incredible on Tod who's an NC 15  (yellow undertone, pale-light skin) skin tone.

Go-to Red:  Chanel Le Vernis Lotus Rouge technically leans a little blue, but this nail polish balances out perfectly on my olive skin.  Chanel Polishes are a guilty pleasure of mine, but I have to say that the texture of this polish is far above and beyond any other I've tried.  As much as I love their limited edition colours, this creamy red polish has the best pigment and spread of all of the Vernis I've tried.

Sexy RedOPI Quarter of a Cent-cherry is one of those colours I spent days hunting down.  I randomly picked it up in a bargain bin only to fall in love and have it meet a most unfortunate kitchen tile death a few months later.  It took me a few years to locate another bottle; by that time, I never thought I'd see one again.  It's a darker version of Chanel Lotus Rouge, lots of blue, with a hint of brown that turns it into the perfect fall/winter colour. It also goes perfectly with MAC Viva Glam I!

Get Ready With Me/Morning Routine

I'm generally pretty rushed in the mornings before work so I haven't bothered filming a morning routine for that even though it's closer to my regular life.  That said, it would be a 45 second video of me brushing my teeth while simultaneously looking for my keys.  On regular weekend mornings I tend to putter away my time, so there's not really a routine there unless you count watching YouTube for the first two hours of my day, falling back asleep, then contemplating venturing outside to scavenge for food.

A long weekend is an entirely different story.  I'm not sure what it is about having that one extra day to catch up on life, but on one of the three days, I realize I have all this extra time and I bother to wake up properly, make coffee, put make up on and actually dressed.  It's a magical 24-hour alternate universe where I'm both properly hydrated and never late.

Either way, I'm obsessed with these videos -- I can't really watch them unless I know I have a huge swath of time because it is just one click-hole after another.  I don't even know why they're so compelling since they get pretty repetitive after a while (people don't often deviate from wake up/brush teeth/get dressed), but here's mine added to the mix!

What are your thoughts on these random YouTube trends?  Do you love/hate morning routines?  Wait, is this a Get Ready With Me or a Morning Routine?  I don't even know.


Sometimes I'll go into sudden death pampering mode.  You ever get that?  Where all at once the beauty stars align and not only do you have time to exfoliate your entire body, do various masks and manicure your hands and feet, but you can already picture the most efficient order to do it in?

Of course, Murphy's law dictates that everything else can be perfectly set up, but you'll have run out of your favourite hand exfoliant or Whitestrips.  That's okay -- coconut oil to the rescue!

Start with a hair mask -- I comb a palmful (I have giant hands and super coarse hair so your experience may vary) of coconut oil through my hair from root to tip.  Give your scalp a massage while you're in there.

Head on over to your bathtub with a mix of equal parts sugar and coconut oil and scrubadub.  Get into all the nooks and crannies that you don't normally detail (elbows, knees, shoulder blades, and heels, it's all fair game).  If you're finding the texture too coarse, add more oil.  After you're done completely scrubbing up, fill your bathtub and dump another cup of oil into the running water.

While your tub fills, apply a thick layer of coconut oil to your face.  Is it cheating if I ask you to mix in a spoonful of honey and a few drops of tea tree oil?  Up to you, but my acne-prone skin needs that antimicrobial love.  After applying a layer all over your face, neck and chest, get into the tub. Relax and breaaaaaaaaaaaathe.

After your post-bath shower, take a few minute to revel in your glowy, smooth skin.  In fact, take all the time you need -- you're the boss of your own pamper day.

If you want to be super fancy, grab some cotton socks and gloves, apply a thick layer of coconut oil to your hands and feet before you slip them on.  Then never take them off.

Kidding, obvs.  Wash your hands the next morning.


I can't recall if I've ever written about these before, but I freaking LOVE American Apparel Unisex Circle Scarves.  I've been wearing these for at least seven years now -- I started with the bright emerald green version (I think I also bought a bright orange version on the same day, God knows where that's been left behind), and to this day I'm still constantly asked about them.  Between Tod and me, we have at least four of these that we know of in our house.

These are innocuous little tubes of fabric, just too short to be a sleeping bag, but perfectly sized for rainy day snoods, airline blanket replacements, and a makeshift throw for the first few days that you move into your brand new apartment.

I found myself pretty annoyed with the "How to tie a circle scarf 10 ways" because at the end of the day, they're being used as scarves.  The issue with these videos is that as long as you're using the item as a scarf, it looks pretty much the same regardless which way you tie it.

Its true versatility lies in its ability to repurposed as a substitute for other pieces in my closet.  Check the video above for a full how-to.

What are your favourite wardrobe purchases?

Why I don't moisturize my body

1. I'm lazy.  Occam's Razor -- the simplest answer is often the right one.

2. Why do we even moisturize our bodies?  For one, my body skin has never felt tight the way my face skin occasionally can.  I also don't feel that my body overproduces oil the way my face does if i don't keep it properly hydrated.  There's probably a really good reason to moisturize your body but...see #1.

3. Fine, I occasionally experience flakiness in the winter (limited to the shin area), but I tend to solve that issue by exfoliating really well.  Get yourself a Salux bath cloth -- you'll have the smoothest skin without having to deposit lotion over a square mile of skin.  Also, your body wash will last longer since it creates lather like no loofah could ever aspire to.

4.  I'm not exaggerating, I'm really tall and it's a lot of body to cover.

5. On the rare occasions I do moisturize, it's with Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse (get it here) and nothing else.


I can't be the only person who loves the process of getting ready to go out more than actually going out, can I?  There's just something about settling down and taking time to focus on yourself, really taking the time to unwind, and let's face it -- the people you get ready with are the people you really want to hang out with anyway.

They say I'm an enabler -- I'll push for everyone to order dessert, I'll actively peer pressure people into staying for one last drink, round up the troops for an impromptu trip, and force new lip colours on people.

The comment I often receive in response to "Try this new violet lip pencil I got!" is "Oh no, it'll get everywhere, I can't be bothered."

Yes, you can be.

I will bother you.

Watch my video.

Since my attention span gets shorter and shorter each day, here's the tl;dr version for those of you who didn't make it through the 90-second video:

1) Exfoliate your lips with lip balm and a Q-tip (i.e., forget buying lip scrubs/exfoliants).  Let the lip balm soak in while you finish the rest of your makeup

2) Line and fill in your lips with a nude liner -- this will give your lipstick something to grip and help the true colour come through

3) I apply lip colour in three stages; first I stain it on with my finger to really work in the colour, then I clean up the edges with an angle brush.  For full-on saturated lip pigment, I'll apply the colour directly from the bullet.

4) Blot the colour off with a the cheapest brand of facial tissue available to you.  Higher-quality tissues then to have lotion or other softening agents in them, and they'll have a hard time absorbing the oil from your lipstick.  Remember, oil is the sworn enemy of all lip products.

5) Seal your lips with a translucent powder so your lipstick stays put.  I also love an ultra-matte lip, and this helps tone down the shine of most lipsticks.  If you're looking to keep the shine, skip this step!

 I need to get back into lip colours, I've been eschewing lipstick for absolutely nothing lately. There's no excuse, I'm just lazy. Filming this video has brought the lip colour obsession back 10000000% though

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