Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nailpolish Review: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Plum's the Word

Colour: Muted purple with grey undertones. Muted grey polishes have been made popular recently by Chanel's Particuliere - but I find true grey too dull for my skin tones, so this was a good compromise. (If you're interested, the shade "Commander in Chic" from the same Complete Salon Manicure line is said to be a good dupe for Particuliere).
Finish: This polish is formulated with a base coat and top coat (along with nail strengthener and growth treatment) - so applying it is a very simple process. The colour applies thickly - but there were translucent areas, so I had to apply 3 layers to get a uniform look. It dries evenly - with NO smudging.
Durability: This has the best durability of all my polishes to date - 5 days and counting without ANY chipping or cracking - and this is without needing to apply a separate base or top coat! Usually at least an index finger or ring finger nail would get chipped with daily activity - but not with this polish.
Packaging: I think the packaging of this nail polish feels quite elegant and luxurious. The bottle has some weight to it - and has extras I really appreciate - like a rubber grip around the handle for controlled application, and a specially shaped brush head that spreads to apply polish over the whole nail bed.
Price: I got mine on sale for $4.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart. I think they usually retail between CAD $6-9.
Grade: 9.5/10. I like my finished nail to have a very glossy look - so I think next time, I'll use a thin layer of top coat over it. But this is only my personal preference.
Would I buy it again: Yes - I love the durability and coverage of this polish and want to try more of the colours in this range.
Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself and was not paid to review it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tag: 42 Questions

I've seen this tag on 2 of my favourite blogs: Veronika's Blushing and Saltwater Dreams - I love reading these surveys, so I thought I'd join in as well. I tag whoever reads this blog (feel free to answer in the comments section too!)

1) How many times do you wash your face daily?
Twice - morning and night.
2) What skin type do you have?
Combo with small/medium pores (thanks to the Clarisonic I think!)
3) What is your current facial wash?

4) Do you exfoliate?

5) What brand do you use?
I use the Clarisonic every night, and an aspirin mask once a week
6) What moisturizer do you use?

7) Do you have freckles?
8) Do you use eye cream?
Yes. I used to use my night moisturizer around my eyes, but have recently started using Aveeno Positively Ageless eye cream.

9) Do you or did you have acne prone skin?

I think I do. It got better, but my Biotin and Castor Oil treatments are causing spots on my forehead.
10) Did you ever have to use Pro-Activ?
No - and I've heard of TOO many bad experiences to want to try it.
11) What foundation do you use?
Everyday Minerals in Olive Medium
12) How about concealer?
MAC studio finish in NC35 (I only use it under my eyes)
13) Do you know your undertone colour?
14) What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I will wear them to "big" occasions - they can totally make a look. If you need help putting them on - watch tutorials on's not as difficult as it seems.
15) Did you know you were supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yup...but I hold out a little bit longer...
16) What brand of mascara do you use?
Right now: CG Lashblast Volume and Maybelline's Full n Soft
17) Sephora or Mac?
18) Do you have a Mac Pro card?
19) What makeup tools do you use in makeup application?
MAC brushes
20) Do you use makeup base/primer for the eyes?
Not really - sometimes I apply concealer or foundation on my lids as a base. I intend to buy Urban Decay Primer Potion at some point.
21) For the face?
I reapply my Aveeno moisturiser - you need moist skin for mineral make-up, so that you don't look dry or flaky.
22) What is your favourite eyeshadow? Colour or shade?
I love bronze shimmery shades.
23) Do you use pencil or liquid liner?
Gel liner - doesn't budge!
24) How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
Ow...I often poke my left eye with the mascara wand - something about the angle...
25) What do you think of pigment eye shadows?
Haven't tried them, and don't think I will.
26) Do you use mineral makeup?
Yes - Everyday Minerals. I tried Bare Escentuals, but it left my skin feeling itchy and irritated. Everday Minerals suits me - AND - they have great sample sizes, so it is easy (and cheap) to find a good shade match.
27) What is your favourite lipstick?
MAC Angel
28) How about lipgloss?
Chanel Glossimer in Blizzard
29) What is your favourite blush to use?
Chanel Blush in Utopia (think it is discontinued)
30) Do you buy your makeup on Ebay?
No - but I did get some special edition MAC brushes and a Hello Kitty MAC make-up bag (after thoroughly checking the authenticity)
31) Do you like drugstore makeup?
I'll use whichever product suits me the *best* - whether that is drugstore or department store...BUT, I'd rather have a small collection with a few quality items
32) Do you go to CCO's?Cosmetic Company Outlet?
No - but I'd love to go.
33) Did you ever consider taking makeup classes?
No - and I don't think I'd want to...I'd rather learn from youtube - it is more useful and relevant.
34) Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
I don't think so - but I'm not that good at colourful eyeshadow application
35) Name a makeup crime that you hate?
When people do beautiful make-up - then pose for photos doing "duckface"'s probably a generational thing - but for me, it just spoils the effect.
36) Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick or eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
37) Which celebrity always has great makeup?
Nicole Richie, Jennifer Lopez and Lea Michele from Glee

38) If you could leave the house using just ONE makeup item, what would you use?
Cream blusher in a rosy/bronze-y colour.
39) Could you leave the house without any makeup on?
40) Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?
I'm content with how I look without make-up - I usually only wear it 2-3 times a week - so I'm definitely not dependent on it.
41) In your opinion what is the BEST makeup line?
Hard to say - but I think Benefit has a lot of flattering and unique products.
42) What do you think of makeup?
You can use it to enhance your best features - or to completely look like a different person. I like to use it for the first reason - to make: my lashes look thicker, my skin look smoother, my cheeks look rosier, and my lips look glossier - but not as a mask to cover myself.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's for Dinner and Diet Update

Today we had Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner - one of my favourite comfort foods. My serving was VERY satisfying - yet diet friendly. If you look a little closer, you can see that I substituted spaghetti squash for spaghetti noodles.

My verdict - a total success! In the first bite, you notice the difference - the squash is slightly watery and sweet. But after a while, all you really notice is the yummy sauce and cheese. I was able to eat to my heart's content - without the guilt! Also - the squash is really filling. If I had been eating a plate of pasta, I would have been able to finish the serving pictured above. But as it turns out - I could only eat 2/3rds of my plate before I felt full. If you're interested in making spaghetti squash - learn how to here. I never noticed it before, but it was easy to find at my grocery store.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the dietary changes I was making in this post. In that time period, I went from 113 lbs to 108.5 lbs. I'm really pleased about this, as I've been trying to get rid of this baby weight for nearly 3 years now. I've never followed a "diet" before in my life - and I'm excited to see positive results. I had committed to this for 2 weeks, after which I said I'd re-evaluate. Well - so far so good, so I think I'm going to continue this until I reach my goal weight of 106 lbs. After that, I will switch into maintenance mode. I don't want to lose any more weight than that, as it won't be healthy. Also - after a certain age, weight loss shows up on your face - and I'd rather have a couple of extra pounds than a gaunt face! On the whole - I've found this dietary change VERY easy to maintain - I don't feel deprived or hungry at all. The only thing I miss is my after-dinner cup of tea (Orange Pekoe tea with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp condensed milk - mmm so good!). I've replaced it with decaf Earl Grey Tea with 1 tsp brown sugar...but after I hit my goal weight, I'm going to let myself indulge in my milky tea once in a while - it's too good to give up forever!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Outfit of the Day and Some Shopping

I had some errands to do today - including getting my passport photo taken. I wore jeans and a white t-shirt with lavender accessories - and my favourite Old Navy scarf. I'm so happy that my scarf is now captured in my passport photo - I can look at it for the next 5 years! (I love it that much!)
The BOGO Payless event is on - and I was able to pick up the sandals I had been wanting (previously posted about here). I also picked up this pair:

It's super cute and comfy (as are the other 2 sandals). I've decided that I will only buy my casual flats and sandals at Payless. I've found their shoes to be pretty yet indestructible - and always comfortable. My Payless-only decision was prompted by these Guess shoes I paid over $60 for. The soles are slippery, the surface has started to peel - and I've hardly worn them! I think it's best to stick to save my money here - and splurge on high heels.
I used my 15% Sephora coupon on these 2 items:

The first is a "Tonytail" holder. It's by the same company that made the braided hairband I raved about here. When you wear it, it looks like you've wrapped some hair around the base of your ponytail - without actually having to achieve that look using bobby pins. I got it in black to match my hair. The second is Sephora's dispenser bottle. I decanted my BB Tomato Toner into this (since comes in a slippery glass bottle). I love how the press-down cap works - so much fun!

How come I have so much to say today - this is going to be a long post! I tried the CG lash blast Volume mascara today - and so far - I *LOVE* it. It makes my lashes look so long and thick, and there was NO clumping. Also - it came off REALLY easily - with one swipe of remover. I'm shocked - because I usually use Maybelline's Full n Soft - which is formulated to dissolve quickly - and the CG was even easier to remove ( F&S usually takes me at least 2-3 swipes!)

I'll have to go to the mall again tomorrow - as I got a call that my special order from Coach has arrived (yippee!) I'll just leave you with a picture of these adorable "Pook-a-Looz" - the new range of Disney plush animals. They are *so* cute, and I nearly purchased the Mickey and Minnie for fact, I can't promise that I won't in the near future! I love how vintage and home-made they look!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Recent Beauty Purchases

Just a quick post showing my latest beauty-related purchases:
Sally Beauty supply:
-China glaze nailpolishes in Jetstream, Grape Juice and Strawberry Fields. I've heard so much about the quality of these polishes - and am very excited to try them for myself!
-Argan Oil - another popular product at Sally's. I own Moroccan Oil already, so will be good to compare.
-Nail Polish Thinner - have been looking for this for ages - hope it makes some of my old faves usable again!
-Hairdressing clips - will be helpful in sectioning off my hair when I curl it.
Shoppers Drug Mart:
-Benefit Eye Bright - SDM were giving free $20 Esso gift cards with $75 purchases, so this nearly paid for itself!
-Shiseido Facial Cotton - quality cotton pads make such a difference when applying toner and removing eye make-up (no falling apart and fluff everywhere). I've never tried this particular product before, but have heard that it is amazing.
Health food Store:
Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel - I've decanted some of this toner into a spray bottle, and will be using it as a substitute for MAC's Fix+ spray. I was drawn in by the rose scent and the pink packaging.
Walmart (not pictured):
Burts Bees Ageless Serum - I've decided to switch back to this after getting REALLY fed up with the Radiance serum - it did NOT make my skin radiant - it made it DRY! (I will use up the rest of the Radiance Serum as a foot moisturiser - the only thing it is fit for...)
CG Lashblast Volume Mascara - I haven't had a chance to try this out - but I have high hopes for it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Random post: Deja Vu Houses

Are you ever drawn to a place - certain that you've been there before - maybe in a dream? When I was a teenager, I'd often dream that I was stranded in an ominous deserted mansion with my friends. There would be a sense of impending danger and we'd have to flee the house urgently. I still haven't figured out what those dreams meant - but recently I saw a picture of this house on a friend's facebook page and I couldn't stop looking at it:

I've never visited this place, yet it is disturbingly similar to the houses I've seen in my dreams - from its grand proportions right down to its lack of ceilings. It's located in the sugar fields of Negros Occidental in the Philippines. It was built in the early 1900s by a wealthy sugar plantation owner, but now only the concrete skeleton remains. Isn't it so hauntingly beautiful?

This property - Kiddington Hall in England, doesn't have an eerie atmosphere about it - but I'm still drawn to it. I love the gardens (designed by Capability Brown) and the clean-cut shape of the building. It was in the news recently because it was purchased by Jemima Khan (UK socialite, Hugh Grant ex and a fashion icon).

And now to the photo that inspired this whole "off-topic" post. This past weekend I was in a park in Ontario with my family. We were walking by the river, when I spotted this old house. I couldn't stop looking at it, and I had to take several (blurry) cellphone pics of it. My sister asked me if I was taking pictures for my blog. That wasn't my plan - but once she mentioned it - I thought it would be fun to post a pic here too.

This house isn't as large or beautiful as the other 2 houses pictured, but there is something intriguing about it. The arches on the facade of this house are striking while its location (down a hill and surrounded by trees) makes it seem isolated. Even as we were walking away, I kept turning back to have one last look.

Are there any common themes in your dreams? Are you inexplicably drawn to some places? I'd love to read about it in the comments!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's for Dinner and Diet Change

Yesterday for dinner we had grilled salmon, stir-fried veggies and rice. For the salmon I grilled it in two ways - the top fillets just have olive oil, seasoning salt and lemon pepper (for my kiddies). The bottom fillets have a chili sauce seasoning (for me and hubby). The veggies are frozen - but were surprisingly good - I stir-fried them with garlic, sea salt, lemon juice and soya sauce. The rice pictured is brown rice (am finally trying to make the switch), I still made a lot of white rice for the rest of the family.

Today for dinner I made Korean spicy chicken (following the recipe I used here), lots of lemon-y dressed salad (I'm craving lemon and sour food strange!) and brown rice. I did take second helpings of salad and chicken - I'm so full!

I'm trying to shift my last 6 pounds of baby weight - and I'm hoping some dietary changes will help me.
Here's my daily plan:
-Protein smoothie with organic whey powder for breakfast
-Egg white omelet with spinach and cheese
-Big mug of green tea
-Porridge with skim milk
-Dinner: Protein (chicken, fish or beef) with veggies or salad and brown rice
-Fruit for dessert
I already do cardio twice a week, and I'm going to add a 30 minute session of treadmill power walking on an incline.
I'm only going to do this for 2 weeks, and then if I see good results, I'll re-evaluate. I currently weigh 112-114 lbs and would like to go back to being 106-108 lbs. (I don't expect to lose all the weight in these 2 weeks - I just want to see if these changes are working for me).

UPDATE: This definitely worked for me - by June 1st, I reached a weight of 101-103 lbs (lower than I first intended) and have maintained this weight for a month and half)

What have you been eating recently? Do you have any good weight-loss tips?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Got some UK goodies (& Tiffany Marrakesh Necklace!!!)

Hubby went on a short trip to London this past weekend. While he was there I asked him to pick me up a few items - including my Omega 3-6-9 vitamins (the Boots brand uses Evening Primrose Oil, while most formulations I've seen in Canada use Borage Oil). I also *implored* him to go to Superdrug and buy me the Sleek Storm eyeshadow palette that so many UK bloggers have raved about. Bless his heart - he actually went to 3 Superdrugs to find it - and I'm so happy to have it! I only own neutral eyeshadow shades - and this palette has some lovely neutral colours, while also including some pink, cranberry, blue and green. So when I finally get brave enough - I can experiment with some colour!

I also asked him to choose me something from Accessorize - as I just wanted a little inexpensive trinket that hubby picked out himself. He's very generous - but he really dislikes *choosing* gifts - he'd rather I tell him what I want - which of course is great, but sometimes it is nice to be surprised. Rather than getting me something from Accessorize - he got me a present from Tiffany's ...I was *so* happy to get the little blue box - and even took a picture of the beautifully tied bow before I opened it.

Here is the silver necklace hubby chose - Paloma's Marrakesh Pendant from Tiffany & Co. He said that he chose it because the pattern reminded him of the Aldo earrings I got last week. I love it so much - because 1)he picked it for me himself 2)it's from Tiffany's!!! 3)it is unlike anything else I own, yet goes so well with so many outfits.

I think this is one of the most romantic presents I've ever received. What's the best present you've ever gotten - I'd love to read about it in the comments.


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