Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Haircut and some shopping

My quest for long hair is now over...I've decided that "Kardashian-length" hair is not for me - it just feels too heavy and tangly. I cut my hair a couple of weeks ago and am SO much happier with it now - it's much easier to style and take care of.
I''ve also been picking up some fall staples - my most-used item so far have been these faux-leather riding boots from Old Navy:
I purchased them in "Cognac" and wore them so much that I also picked up the Black pair (Link). I've never owned Old Navy shoes before, but these boots are REALLY comfortable. They are priced at CAD$49 but I got them for around $30 each during one of their frequently occurring promos.
I also bought this striped sweater - it's 53% cotton, so the material is very breathable, but it also adds some much needed warmth (I'm ALWAYS cold!). Old Navy always has great basics - I've purchased this v-neck cable-knit sweater in 3 colours (oatmeal heather, grey heather and pink sherbet). Can't believe they've marked it down to $17 now...I think I paid more! These sweaters are 92% cotton - so they're perfect for wearing under winter coats without worrying about getting overheated.
For a little cold-weather sparkle, I purchased the "Amazing" studs by Sonya Renee. They are CZ not diamonds, but are apparently very well-made - Beautygirl24 loves her pair and they are very popular among fans of theCurrentCustom.
My last purchase was a blush...I know I'm not supposed to buy any more blushes this year - but I've heard so many good things about these Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes (they are meant to last 12 hours and improve your skin!!) that I couldn't wait until next year! I narrowed my choices down to Tipsy (coral), Blissful (warm peach) and Amused (bright pink). Blissful didn't really show up on my skin, while Tipsy was too orange, so I chose Amused. I have to be careful to apply it with a light hand, as it's very pink (but still manages to look like a natural flush of colour).

Have you been doing a lot of fall shopping? What are your current must-haves?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cuticle creams ...I've got plenty!

I'm a little obsessed with cuticle creams...I think well-groomed and moisturised cuticles are very important - I wish I could keep my cuticles looking as good as they do after a professional manicure:
Unfortunately, I have very dry hands and my cuticles have a tendency to peel - so I'm always on the hunt for effective cuticle treatments. Here's a selection of my most-used cuticle products:
  • Burts Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - this is one of the most popular and highly-reviewed cuticle creams. It is a thick balm with a sugary lemon scent. Since it has a thick consistency, it provides long-lasting moisture.
  • Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream - this balm contains apricot oil - and it smells AMAZING. It reminds me of my childhood Strawberry Shortcake dolls - so I love applying it. I've also noticed a lovely cooling effect upon application. I keep this in my handbag as it's very light. I don't think it's as hydrating as the Burts Bees balm, but it's more fun to apply!
  • Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Cuticle Pen - this pen dispenses a light oil onto your cuticles. The brush dispenser makes it portable and mess-free to apply. However, I don't find the oil very moisturising - and I wouldn't repurchase this.
  • Body Shop Almond Oil Nail & Cuticle Pen - I LOVE this product. It has the same dispensing mechanism as the Sally Hansen pen, but the almond oil solution is MUCH richer and effective. My favourite part is the soft cuticle pusher on the pen cap - you paint your cuticles with the oil and then use the cap to make your cuticles look neat.

I've also pictured some of the tools I use to groom my cuticles - I use them in conjunction with cuticle removing cream (not pictured). They are the Revlon grooved cuticle trimmer, Cuticle Nipper and 2 cuticle pushers. Some people say you should only push your cuticles and never cut them, but sometimes mine get overgrown and need to be cut.

If I had to recommend just one cuticle product to buy, I'd choose the Body Shop Pen as it combines a moisturising product and a grooming tool in one. I think if you used this regularly (like three times a day), this would keep your cuticles looking amazing. I think most of these products work best if used multiple times a day - sadly, I can usually only remember to put it on once a day!

What cuticle product would you recommend?  I've used pure oils like Olive Oil and Coconut Oil (neither were effective on me) and heard good things about LUSH's Lemony Flutter and CND's Solar Oil. I'm also curious to try the Dior Creme Abricot reviewed by Andi at Saltwater Dreams. I'm always looking for really moisturizing hand creams too - so please recommend those as well.

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

My first Balenciaga bag

I first started wanting a Balenciaga bag in March of last year, when I saw this picture:
Source: Just Jared
I'm not that familiar with LeAnn Rimes - but HOW ADORABLE is her bag??? I adore small bags - and I needed this bag in my life! I started researching Balenciaga and discovered several things:
  • This bag style is called "the First" and is the current version of the original Le Dix motorcycle bag first produced in 2001
  • First bags used to made out of goatskin (chevre). After 2006/2007 they switched to lambskin (agneau). Many Bal enthusiasts prefer the earlier chevre leathers as they are thicker and "chewier". Chevre bags can cost the same if not more than purchasing a new agneau bag.
  • Bal leathers are delicate and can be prone to discolouration. Darker colours can fade unless protected from sunlight, while lighter colours are affected by colour transfer and handle darkening.
Choosing MY bag was an ordeal - this bag is quite an investment, yet unlike other high-end bags (like Chanels) their appearance changes over time, even after careful use. I didn't want to end up with a shabby looking bag!

I went to my local Balenciaga counter (at Holt Renfrew). They don't carry many colours in the First style, as other styles (like the City) are more popular. They currently only have bleu lavande (a purplish blue), cyclamen (hot pink) and black in the first size. At the same time I was checking reputable/recommended e-stores for a mint bag from a previous season. I ended up purchasing a Black first from Holt Renfrew and a mint Sahara first online.
Pros of the Black bag:
-Don't have to worry about colour transfer or handles darkening
Cons of the Black:
-Had a greenish tinge that would only grow more prominent over time (even if I changed this particular bag, I may end up with another bag with a similar problem - even if it doesn't fade to green, it may fade to grey).
-from far it just looks like an ordinary bag
-I don't wear a lot of black
Pros of the Sahara:
-Light colour allows you to see the Bal design details clearly
-neutral colour  to match a lot of outfits
Cons of the Sahara:
-Handles may darken over time
-Could end up with colour transfer

CELEBS with Bal bags:
Kourtney Kardashian with a 2010 Sahara
Kate Moss with a Black First
Lo Bosworth with a Sahara bag
Gisele Bundchen with a Black first
 Which would you have chosen? From these pictures it's clear that Supermodels choose Black while Reality stars choose Sahara LOL!
 In the end, my heart was with the Sahara bag - so that's the one I kept (guess I'm not supermodel material!):
I also purchased the Balenciaga leather protectant kit from Lovin My Bags, to hopefully prevent darkening and marks over time (fingers crossed). I hope I got lots of use out of this bag and that it holds up well!

I'm also still on the lookout for my Chanel WOC from hubby - I called the Chanel stores but apparently they're out of stock until October!

Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here!


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