Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Outfits and Inspiration Pics

Le Pliage bag, Garage Sweater and Jeggings, Old Navy Scarf and Nine West boots
My Le Pliage bag arrived - and I've been using it non-stop. It's great for my daily needs - small and light, but still enough space for me to fit in my checkbook wallet and stuff in my hat and gloves. Look at how long my hair was getting! I've cut it since (pics at the end of this post).
I picked up this polka-dot ruffled top at Old Navy.  I think it would be lovely in summer - either as a tunic with skinny jeans and a belt, or tucked into a slimline black skirt. I also bought this belt recently (from Garage) - love the colour - now I want boots and a bag in this shade too!
I also picked up this hot pink checked shirt from Old Navy. I love the colour - and how it contrasts with my dark blue jeans. However, I'm not sure if I like the fit and the collar doesn't sit that nicely (I pressed it down for the photo) - so I may return it.

I took some photos of my October and November People Stylewatch magazine (much easier than scanning, though the image quality is not as good). I've posted about my love for this magazine before here
 Love Elle Macpherson's style - very simple and classic - she always looks youthful and amazing.
Kate Beckinsale's casual layers look really comfortable - and the lilac top makes the whole outfit look elegant. I usually always love Kate's hair - but it is curled a little strangely in this pic.
Love how Eric Daman (Gossip Girl costume designer) styled this outfit. I love the shades of green and brown that he used - I'm never usually drawn to this colour combination, but now I want to try it out.
This outfit was put as a "don't", but I think it's so pretty. I like the style of her dress and her thin belt. Also, her hair and make-up are flawless.
Lastly - here's a quick picture of my hair cut - it's really hard to take a self-hair-portrait! I didn't want to lose much length, but my stylist convinced me to part with an inch of my hair, to keep the ends healthy. I mainly wanted to get my layers refreshed - they had gotten too long and were very tangly. Also - I like having shorter layers as it adds volume to my hair - but with longer hair - you have to be careful to NEVER venture into mullet territory!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Barry M make-up

Barry M is one of the make-up brands I fell in love with during my London visit (I mentioned them before here and here). I follow a lot of UK beauty blogs - and have often felt envious that they had access to such high-quality products - at very low (even for drugstore) prices. Their most popular products include: Dazzle Dusts (similar to MAC pigments), Lip Paints, Nail Paints (they have the best range of current shades, including dupes for Chanel's Paradoxal, Jade and Particuliere) and Dazzle Bronzer. Although they have a variety of products that are similar to premium make-up brands, Barry M is not a copycat brand - they are innovative and manufacture a lot of unique make-up (check out their black lipstick and crackle effect nailpolish!)

My Barry M Lip Paints - these are my Holy Grail lipsticks - they are pigmented, long-lasting and don't make my lips peel (I have very sensitive lips that can get irritated and flaky when I wear some lip products). I dab them on over lip balm for a soft stain, wear them straight from the tube or layer them under lipgloss.
Barry M Lip Paints in 53(Coral) and 141(Royal Raspberry)

Since I've returned to Canada - I majorly regretted not picking up more Barry M products - and then I learned from Monica (the lovely blogger behind BeautyParler) - that there was a chance that Barry M might come to Canada!!! I know several popular UK brands have come here like GOSH (not UK-based, but widely available there) and Boots No. 7 - and it would be amazing if we were able to get Barry M here too!

So this is where you guys come in - there is a Facebook group called Get Barry M into Canada. Please click on the link and "Like" the group if you'd like to see their products sold here in Canada! I would SO love being able to get Barry M here - otherwise poor hubby is going to have a long list of make-up to buy on his next visit to London!

I'll leave you with some links to Barry M posts by my favourite UK beauty bloggers:
  • Bubblegarm compares MAC pigments to Barry M dazzle dusts here
  • Bubblegarm compares NARS Laguna to Barry M dazzle bronzer here
  • Yummy Mummy features Barry M Pink Orchid blush here
  • Mouldy Fruit models Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream nail paint here
  • Lollipop26 wears Barry M purple nail paint here
  • Zoella shares her dazzledust collection here
Is Barry M available where you live? Have you tried their make-up? Which products do you love?
    DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with Barry M and am not being recompensed to blog about them. I am just a HUGE fan and I would love to have their products available in Canada.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    ELF Studio brush set, Le Pliage bag and Product Review: One 'n Only Argan Oil from Sally Beauty Supply

    I use the original Morrocanoil Treatment - but because it has a glass bottle, I didn't take it on my London trip. Instead I took my One 'n Only Argan Oil Treatment that I purchased from Sally Beauty Supply earlier this year (it comes in a plastic bottle, and was sealed - so I didn't have to worry about it leaking all over my suitcase). Since I used the One 'n Only oil exclusively over 3 weeks, I'm now FINALLY able to review it.
    Price: US$ 7.49 for 3.4oz (MOROCCANOIL is US$ 27.50 for 3.4oz)
    Usage: I use Argan Oil daily. I apply a tiny amount to towel-dried hair to help untangle it, then apply a little bit more to the ends. On days I don't wash my hair, I apply it before combing to undo tangles and prevent hair breakage. I don't usually heat-style my hair, but have heard that this is a great protectant against heat damage.
    Application: This product is thicker than MOROCCANOIL and takes longer to absorb. Upon initial application, it can make your hair look clumpy and oily - you have to keep massaging it into your hair strands. I've found the MOROCCANOIL is lighter, distributes easier, and is better at untangling my hair. I only need a small amount of MOROCCANOIL, whereas I have to apply the One 'n Only oil at least 2-3 times to get the same effect. These products both have a lovely fragrance, although the MOROCCANOIL is sweeter and longer lasting.
    Packaging: As mentioned earlier, the One 'n Only oil comes in a plastic bottle, which makes it more travel friendly than the MOROCCANOIL. I suppose it's possible to decant the MOROCCAN OIL - but it seems like a lot of trouble, and you'd have to be very careful to choose a plastic container that won't leak.
    Ingredients: Both contain "cones". MOROCCANOIL contains more ingredients - including Linseed Oil.  
    (MoroccanOil Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Butylphenyl, MethylPropional, Argania Spinoza Kernal Oil (Aragan Oil), Linseed (Linum Usitatissimum) Extract, Fragrance Supplement, D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone.
    One'nOnly Oil Ingredients: Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Fragrance (Parfum), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Yellow 11 (CI 47000), Red 17 (CI 26100))

    Would I buy it again? No. Although MOROCCANOIL costs at least 4x more (depending on where you purchase it), it lasts a LONG time. One 'n Only takes more time and effort to use, and although you'll get a similar result, the extra effort is not worth the savings. Also, I need more of the One 'n Only oil, so 3.4oz of MOROCCAN Oil will last you a lot longer than 3.4oz of One 'n Only oil.

    While I was in London, I heard that ELF were offering a 50% discount code - so I used it to purchase the 11 Piece Brush Set from their Studio line - and had a nice package waiting for me when I arrived back in Canada. I'd been reading rave reviews on several of their brushes - and $15 for 11 full-size brushes is an amazing bargain - especially since it includes a travel case. So far I've used the flat top powder brush (for applying liquid foundation with an airbrushed finish), the eyeshadow "c" brush (applies a wash of colour better than my MAC 239 brush) and the small smudge brush (perfect for concealing tiny areas). I'm really happy with my purchase - and can't wait to try out the rest of the brushes. They are really well made - I don't know how they can offer them so cheaply! If you do order from the site - keep in mind that ELF have several different ranges - I can't vouch for all of them - but the Studio line is worth checking out. Also, wait for a special offer - the 50% discounts come around quite frequently.
    I tried on the small Le Pliage bag by Longchamp while walking through duty-free in London. These bags are a common sight - but there is a reason why they are so popular - they fold up perfectly for travel, so you always have an elegant and classy bag. They are also easy to wipe clean. Unfortunately, they didn't have this pink colour in the size I wanted at duty-free - so I didn't get an amazing deal on this bag (I paid US$98 plus shipping and customs rather than £40 at duty-free) . But I know from experience that it's better to pay up and get what you really want, rather than getting a deal and wishing for something different.

    What are your thoughts on Le Pliage bags - do you own one? Have you tried ELF products - what do you recommend? Do you use Argan Oil?

    Disclaimer: I purchased these products myself and was not paid to review them.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Happy to be home

    We got to see and do a lot of fun things during our London visit - but I'm SO happy to be home, and so grateful that our permanent home is in Canada.
    Hubby was sweet enough to give me his business class bed for the plane ride home!
    I am majorly shopped out! Unpacking is no fun when you're running out of space to put things...I have some serious decluttering to do. Here are the last items I picked up:
    I adore Accessorize - it's one of those stores you walk into - and before you know it - you're at the checkout purchasing items you didn't need - but have to have! Their items are a mix of classic and cutesy - my current favourite is the gold disc necklace - it's an easy layered look (the last 2 items were pictured in  previous posts).
    I didn't buy as many clothes as I expected on this visit. I'm not sure if this was because the current styles didn't appeal to me or because it was too cold to try anything on (I'm used to shopping in malls, not going from store to store right off the streets - gosh I sound like a spoiled teenager!) I picked up these two tunics from New Look - they seem quite unique, and very useful for the holiday season. I plan on wearing the pink dress with a cardigan and tights - either charcoal grey or chocolate brown - am not yet sure what would go better.
    This last picture is a mixture of London purchases and FREE make-up. The 2 lipsticks are Barry M lip paints (in Royal Raspberry and Coral). I'm in love with Barry M products, these lipsticks were under £5 but are so pigmented and moisturising. I also bought the Dior Ultra-Gloss in Twin Set Pink - I don't love it as much as I thought I would, but it works well on top of lipsticks.
    Now on to the free stuff! I won the Balmshell mini-gloss set over at MAKEUP JUNKIE'S blog - so many different shades to experiment with! The Covergirl blush and concealer were sent to me by P&G. I signed up to be on their product review panel (non-blog related) - and was so pleased to be sent these 2 items (they also sent a lot of their bath products). I've raved about my CG blush in Lush berry before - so I'm excited to try out the Plush Peach shade.

    I still have some unpacking and a LOT of jet lag to get that's all for now.


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