Friday, June 29, 2012

Current Wishlist

I haven't done one of these in a while and there are a few items that I've been lusting over for a little while now.

  • Bond No. 9 New York OUD Scent. Bond makes scents that match New York neighbourhoods. Their high class, high quality and highly addicting. I love this scent and it's red plum flavour with hints of saffron and and orange zest. 
  • This cuff by Lanvin features large jewels of various colours and is definitely a huge statement piece. 
  • I've also bee into purple lately and I figure this cute YSL clutch is the perfect way to add a touch to any outfit. It really isn't too dressy and can be worn either way. Plus, I'm a huge fan of anything that has gold hardware.
  • These spiked Louboutin heels are not only fashionable, but they double as a weapon too. 
  • Lastly, I've been lusting over this Balmain jacket for ages. It's totally something that I could integrate as a staple into my wardrobe. 

Emmanuelle Alt wearing a similar jacket to the Balmain one above. I seriously wish I could just raid her closet and take all of her clothes. Her style is the perfect example of laid back chic! 

And of course, as I was perusing through Net-A-Porter, I stumbled upon this absolutely stunning cuff by Erickson Beamon. The silver and the rhodium go perfect together and the fuchsia and Swarovski crystal elements add that extra pop. This is definitely a need on my list. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DIY: Subtle Ombre Nails

To start off, you're going to need to gather 3-4 polishes that come from the same colour family. Arrange them from darkest to lightest as that's the way you're going to be putting them on your nails. The three shades that I'm using are Essence's Ultimate Pink, Chanel's Rose Insolent and Revlon's Sweet Tart. I chose to keep the first two shades similar while opting for a brighter pink for the top of my nail. You're also going to need a good base coat (Revlon's Quick Dry Base Coat) and a top-coat if you so choose (recommended). 

Along with your polishes, you're going to want to have handy some makeup sponges. The ones above are by Quo and were 3$ at my local drugstore. A few Q-Tips come in handy as well to clean up the edges of your nails when you are finished. If you don't have Q-Tips, you can just use paper towel to clean up the edges or to prevent mess all together, grab some plain scotch tape and tape off the area around your nails. When you're done, peel the tape off and your skin should be clean! 

Start off by applying a simple base coat to your nails. I prefer to use one that is quick drying. This polish by Revlon works wonders and prevents your nails from yellowing and the polish from chipping off too soon. 

Next, paint the lightest colour in your polish trio on the base of the make-up sponge. You don't need to use up the whole bottom of the sponge, one corner should do. Follow by painting the second colour and then paint the last colour on top. Be sure to use a fair bit of polish since the majority of it absorbs into the sponge. Also, try to avoid using quick dry nail polishes. You want to allow yourself some time to work with the polish on the sponge. I've painted my three colours on the paper just to show you how it should look. 

You can dab the sponge on a piece of paper prior to dabbing it onto your nail if you'd like. Sometimes this helps to ensure the polish blends nicely but I find you can get a gorgeous ombre effect without doing this. 

Once you've applied the polish onto your sponge and are happy with the way the colours look together, begin to sponge the polish onto your nail. I usually use a rolling action going from left to right to ensure that I get the best coverage possible. Try not to pat the polish on too much because it starts to look speckled after a while. It is sort of hard to tell from the image above how the ombre looks, but I find that you can really begin to see the ombre effect once the polish begins to dry. Do this as many times as necessary. Just ensure that you allow the polish to dry in between. 

Your finished product should look something like my nail above. You can add a top coat to add extra shine and to try to hide the speckled effect that sometimes occurs. This was achieved with around three coats of polish. 

Personally, I prefer a more subtle looking ombre nail. You are able to do a more stark and noticeable ombre. This is a great way to get some use out of the polishes you have and work them all together. 

If you don't have polishes that match each other, the New Black makes gorgeous polish sets and colour combinations that make ombre-ing your nails super easy! You can find them online @ eBeauty for 24$ / 5 shades of polish!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crazy Over Essie

Essie's latest collection Bikini So Teeny managed to catch my eye in the drug store the other day! Bikini So Teeny consists of six shades that are guaranteed to make your nails pop for summer. I ended up purchasing only one from the collection and a second that was on sale.

In Canada, Essie prices range anywhere from $8.99 to $10.99 depending on where you go. Personally, I'd rather splurge on a $26 Chanel polish that I know will be great no matter what. For me, Essie is a hit or miss.

Some polishes that I have purchased from their line (Mojito Madness and Cute as a Button) have been a great consistency. What polish should be. While others (Meet Me At Sunset) seem runny and horrible to apply. I'm a two coat kind of girl. Anything more and I find myself wasting time. 

Meet Me At Sunset was one of the shades released in the Braziliant collection a while back. It's super runny and I'm honestly not a fan of applying it. The colour however, is fantastic. It's a gorgeous deep orange with red hues. If only It didn't take so many coats to apply. 

Mojito Madness was recently released in Essie's Bikini So Teeny collection. I've yet to use it on a full set. Essie calls it a 'fun loving lime green'. It might be a little lime, but it's definitely not the lime I'm used to. It really doesn't remind me of a mojito at all. Maybe a different name would have suited the colour. The formula in this polish is thick, unlike the one mentioned above. It's great to apply and usually takes two coats (sometimes one) for full coverage.

Lastly, I picked up Cute As A Button. I don't think It's from a specific collection but I do know that it was released in 2009. It's a peachy coral against my skin tone and it's definitely one of my new favourites. Once again, the swatch on the Essie website proves to look nothing like the actual product. It's a bright pink yet on Essie the swatch makes it seem like a deep "persimmon" like colour. Not even remotely close!

Application wise, like I said, it depends what you get. They are all different. Try before you buy with Essie.

I do love the colours that Essie puts out. They're all cute and they definitely have something for everyone. However, I'm stumped when I constantly see different swatches on the website, on beauty review sites and in stores! Everything is different! It makes it hard to plan ahead to buy a colour and when you get to the store, the colour is not what you expected at all. Definitely do not go by their website swatches. Go into the store and look yourself!

What are your thoughts on Essie polishes? Do you think they are hit or miss? Have you had a bad experience with their polishes in the past? 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bad Blogger and Mini Haul

First off, sorry for the extreme lack of posting! I'm in the middle of my exams and my graduation is next week so I'm a little tied up and focused on doing well on my exams! Wish me luck! 

Moving on, I went shopping a little while ago because I needed to pick up a few things and well, I ended up picking more than what I had hoped on buying. We actually ended up at the mall until 9:45. Totally lost track of time!

Victoria's Secret was having their semi-annual sale. I picked up two undies from their VS Pink line. The leopard print ones are just basic bikini style but if you know me, you'll know that I love leopard print! The second pair is a bright yellow and made specifically for wearing underneath a yoga pant! They're great because they don't give you an underwear line and if you're like me (a thong hater), these are the perfect alternative! These were practically a steal at 3$ each. 

Next up was Sephora. I still had 60$ remaining on a gift card from there so I picked up a few things. I was sort of unimpressed with the makeup but then again, I really do not need any more makeup. The smell of Philosophy's Pink Frosted Animal Cracker body was is divine. I don't know if it smells like animal crackers, but the pink frosting is definitely evident. I've also never seen this 'flavour' before. 

P.S. A little tip. If you want to substitute this stuff as shampoo, do it! Your hair will smell amazing and it surprisingly gives a great clean! I do it all the time!

Lastly, was LUSH. Once again I had difficulties picking something out. I ended up with one bath bomb and one bubble bar that I refuse to take a picture of because it is FILLED with glitter. The one above is Mrs. Whippy. Scent wise, it was awesome. The entire thing smelled of strawberry ice cream. When you first pop it into your bath, you think it's going to be quite dull but out of no where, this bright pink inside pops out and changes your bath water into a neon pink! I was quite disappointed with the fizzy power of my bomb though. I think perhaps I got a bad batch! Nevertheless, it worked wonders and made my skin feel super soft.

I promise everyone that I will get back into the blogger mood shortly! I just need to finish this last exam! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Caviar Manicure Without the Price Tag

I've been fascinated with the idea of a caviar manicure for a while now. A recent trip to Sephora showed me how expensive the set was. For 25$ you get a simple black nail polish by Ciate, a bottle filled with tiny black microbeads and a little funnel for you to put the beads back into the pot when you're done. 

My caviar manicure cost me all of 8$. The nailpolish is a plain black by Essence and the microbeads are from Michaels. You get double the amount of beads that you would get in the Ciate kit and there are loads of colours that you can choose from. 

So what is a caviar manicure? All you have to do is paint your nails a base colour. I really wouldn't recommend using a fast dry nail polish. Look for one that takes a little while to set and fully dry. After you've applied however many coats you need, begin to sprinkle the microbeads on your nail and gently press them down. Do not apply a top coat when you're done. It's super easy and simple and can definitely be done for a fraction of the price!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Neon Nine Ways

  1. HAIR / Emi Jay $6.50
  2. SHIRT / Miss Selfridge $26.00
  3. NAILS / Barry M $4.79
  4. BRACELET / Juicy Couture $33.90
  5. PURSE / Rebecca Minkoff $250.00
  6. DRESS / Topshop $96.00
  7. FLIP FLOPS / Melissa $50.00
  8. HIGH HEELS / Jeffrey Campbell $150.00
  9. EARRINGS / nOir $58.00

Fathers Day 2012: Easy Gifts for the Outdoor Dad!

  1. If your Dad is a man who enjoys the outdoors, chances are he goes through his fair share of gas! He will surely appreciate a gift card that gets him some free gas! Usually available in a variety of denominations at your local gas station.
  2. The perfect stainless steel grill set by Cuisinart is sure to please Dad by helping him make those perfect steaks on the BBQ! $34.99
  3. Most Dad's are not so pro golfers. Give him some special golf balls for those days when he's on his game. Titleist Pro V1x golf balls are sure to make his swing look way better than it actually is. If your Dad is a bit better than average, you can personalize them with a little message! $53.99
  4. Some Dad's prefer the lake over the putting green. If your Pops is one of them, grab him a kit filled with all the lures he'll need to catch the perfect fish. Bass Pro Shops has many kits for you to choose from. Each one with different lures to catch a different fish. From salt water to fresh water, there's always something at Bass Pro! $26.99
  5. Beer is usually a hit with outdoors Dads. If he loves his Budweiser, he'll love the sauce. In four tangy and tasty flavours, these go perfect with his new grill set. Available at your local grocery store or online at Amazon! 

Review: got2b Powder'ful Volumizing Styling Powder

I have never heard of using powder to style my hair. When you think of styling products, you don't think of using powder to get the look and hold that you're looking for. Last week, I ordered TIGI Candy Fixations Sugar Dust Root Powder after seeing it on Annette's blog (Nettenestea) Since I'm so impatient, I also decided to grab this got2b Volumizing Root Powder from their Powderful line. 

First off, I found this powder at my local Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $4.99. However, the regular price won't break your bank at $8.99. One tube comes with 10g of product inside which is a fair amount. Don't be alarmed at the light weight of the package. It's filled with product and you do not need a lot to get the job done!

The back of the package boasts that this product is weightless and creates maximum volume at the roots. Also, that you can apply it anywhere for an instant transformation. Sounds good right? Well, I managed to find some flaws. The instructions say to sprinkle a small amount into your palm and rub your hands together. However, when you do this the product becomes sticky and turns your hands into glue like magnets. I've adapted the instructions to just sprinkle into palms and pat onto my hair. 

Once the product is on your hair, you need to work it throughout your roots. You won't be able to run your fingers through your hair as the product feels like glue! My roots were so sticky after I applied. The product did last the entire day and my roots were more voluminous than natural. The root boost is definitely not instant as the instructions say. You almost need to let the product sit for a while and then go back and work your roots. 

After you've finished applying, you are really going to need to wash you hands. So the idea of it being able to be applied any time is not a good one. If you're somewhere without a sink, forget about it and deal with some flat hair. 

While the product does add extra oomph to your hair, it really is a bit of a burden to apply. You do get what you pay for though and if you're on a budget, this product does work. My hair remained voluminous for a while without any hair spray. However, my roots felt sticky and almost gritty. 

I'm looking forward for receiving my Sugar Dust in the mail shortly and will definitely be comparing the two. I'm really disappointed in the Sugar Dust already though! The bottle itself only contains one measly gram of product! That's like, a 1/4 of a teaspoon! For the price I paid, Sugar Dust better be made out of gold!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jewellery on Demand

I've never been a big jewellery wearer. Although I have my ears pierced, I just find wearing earrings horribly uncomfortable. So instead of wearing the jewellery for myself, I just make it for others. It's really more of a hobby than anything but it really comes in handy if you're looking for that specific piece that you just can't find anywhere else!

The ring above features a medium sized white rose cabochon which is made of a sturdy resin. These little flower cabochons are perfect for this kind of thing. They have a flat back and no hole so you couldn't use them for stringing. I set this little rose on top of an antique bronze adjustable ring base. I think these little things would be perfect for small bridesmaids gifts of favours for your party of some sort.

More recently, I've been making earrings for my friends who just want something to match an outfit that they're planning. I'm not quite sure what the flower above is, but nevertheless, they're super cute. These earrings are cute little dainty cabochons, set on a silver post. They actually sit quite nicely in your ears and they are not overly large, which is something that I'm not a fan of. 

Making jewellery is just one of the many things that have found it's way into my spare time. I've managed to collect a fair number of cabochons and keep them in a small little container. Once you start buying these things, It's hard to stop! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Not Your Typical Feathers

While I was making my Summer Brights post the other day, I stumbled upon these earrings from an Etsy shop!

They're faux leather feather earrings. Say that ten times over. Each one is hand painted and adorned with some cute glitter and little jewels on occasion. They come in 4.5 inch or a smaller 2.5 inch size and they're set on either gold and silver findings. 

The ones pictured above are some of my favourites. I'm a sucker for bright neon colours and glitter anything.  If I had to choose one to purchase, it would be the Bowie. Pictured above, it's a gorgeous neon pink feather dipped in silver glitter. It's also adorned with a single Swarovski crystal adding that extra pop! 

Prices range from 19.00$ to around 30$. Definitely give the Etsy site a look! Yon won't be disappointed! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara (Review)

Maybelline's range of Volum' Express mascaras have been a staple in my make up kit for a long time. They're durable, long lasting, quality mascaras without the expensive price tag. 

Recently, I picked up the newest addition to the Volum' Express family, The Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara. Honestly, the only reason why I bought it was because it was on display at Wal-Mart and the colour caught my eye. If it weren't for the super cute packaging, I probably would have walked right by it!

My current mascara in my make up bag is Dior Show Black Out. It's by far the best mascara on the market and it does everything a mascara should do: lengthen, thicken, and add a little extra va-va-voom. Although it's amazing, it also carries an expensive price tag - 25$. Not something that you want to continuously replenish in your make up bag. 

The Mega Plush mascara comes in the classic bottle but the one thing that is different, is the brush. The want and the brush are both bendable. I don't really get how this helps because you don't really need to push down on the wand and the brush that much to apply mascara, but hey, whatever. The brush itself is this massive, soft and plush, thick and thin bristled thing. The mascara sits nicely on the brush and doesn't clump at all.

As for the product itself, I didn't really find that it lengthens quite like my Dior Show Black Out. Then again, I don't think you can compare the two since one is 7$ and the other, 25$. The product does live up to it's 'weightless' gel mousse description. You cannot feel the product on your lashes at all, but you still get a great application. I found that the classic wiggle on the mascara works best. Start at the root and wiggle the wand all the way to the tip of your lashes. I also curl before and after I apply. Yes, I know curling after mascara application is wrong. 

Lastly, the removal. Black Out gives me a heck of a time when I try to remove it. Even with eye make up remover, I still end up looking like Rocky Raccoon. The Mega Plush comes off nice and easy. Maybe a bit too easy. I did notice that if you have greasy eye lids, you might experience a bit of smudging. Be sure to seal it all in using your make up set/sealer of choice. 

So, the verdict. If you're looking for a nice, cheap everyday mascara that won't cause you to take a second mortgage out on your house, this is your product. You can find it at your local drug store or Wal-Mart for under 10$. It lives up to the gel mousse weightless hype, however, don't believe the model on the web page with the lashes as long as the Nile. 

Grading: A-
Why?: A great every day mascara (formula etc.). Not really for those nights when you want your lashes to have that extra oomph. You get what you pay for!

New Baby!

I should not be allowed to go shopping by myself. I have a horrible shopping addiction and I just end up buying things that I don't need. I own a perfectly good Nikon D3000 but decided that I was going to go ahead and buy this cute little Samsung PL210 point and shoot camera. 

I've been thinking about investing in a P&S camera for a while. Although I love my Nikon to the moon and back, It's not the most portable camera. There's nothing quite like making everyone wait until I've set up the DSLR and gotten everything ready before I can even take a picture and I've missed countless moments because it takes quite some time to get ready. 

This camera was regularly 180$ CAD but was on sale for 130$. However, I ended up paying 99$ because it was the 'open box' camera. This essentially means that it's the one that they have on display for people to try out and stuff. It was actually a great deal because it's still covered under the warranty for one year and you can still return/exchange it. The only little thing is that there's a small scratch on the screen but it's really no big deal when I think of how much I saved. 

The camera itself is great. The photos come out fantastic and it performs really well in two of my most commonly used shooting situations: low light and macro. The only flaw in the camera for me is the fact that it doesn't use a normal SD memory card. I actually have to go out and buy a MicroSD to fit into the slot. So for now, I can only take a limited number of photos until I managed to hit up Future Shop again. 

I'm really happy with my buy considering the deal and the product that I ended up with. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to use the camera which is fantastic, and there are a lot of different modes to suit whatever you're shooting! Definitely a great buy in my books!