Last of the Summer Skirts

Anthropologie Edme Esyllte Phosphorescence skirt; Pour La Victoire wedge sandals; Marc Jacobs Courtney hobo

Skirt, Anthropologie (via eBay); top, Old Navy); cardigan, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Pour La Victoire; bag, Marc Jacobs

This is really it, you guys. Say goodbye to my colourful Anthro skirts, because they’re going into storage for the winter. Fall. Winter. Mostly semantics around these parts after October hits.

Anthropologie Edme Esyllte Phosphorescence skirt; Pour La Victoire wedge sandals; Marc Jacobs Courtney hobo

the details

You can already see the fall vibe in this outfit with the burgundy cardigan. Was there ever a more cool weather colour than burgundy? It just looks so … toasty. It’s no secret that I’m mad for all things burgundy, and here’s a good reason why – it works so well as the “neutral” colour in this outfit. Who needs black?

Anthropologie Edme Esyllte Phosphorescence skirt; Pour La Victoire wedge sandals; Marc Jacobs Courtney hobo

matchy matchy

Oh look, my nail polish matches my outfit. Totally not intentional … (much).

Anthropologie Edme Esyllte Phosphorescence skirt; Pour La Victoire wedge sandals; Marc Jacobs Courtney hobo

my hair is still funky

I wore this outfit on a visit to some dear friends, who just moved into a new neighbourhood. Possibly the best one in Edmonton. I mean, look at this view:

Edmonton downtown; North Saskatchewan river; edmonton river view

pretty as a postcard

Siiiiigh …. this picture brings back so many memories – I think I have a case of the (end of) summertime sadness.

Anthropologie Edme Esyllte Phosphorescence skirt; Pour La Victoire wedge sandals; Marc Jacobs Courtney hobo

au revoir, summer!

Date Night: El Cortez Tequila Bar & Kitchen

Vintage floral fit and flare dress

Dress, Temperance (thrifted); belt, Club Monaco; shoes, J. Crew Factory; bag, MbMJ (via consignment)

Right before I went back to work, my husband and I got to have one last (summer) date night courtesy of my parents, who offered to babysit. You don’t turn down that kind of offer. At least, we don’t. So I got myself gussied up, and we hit Whyte Ave with a vengeance. I love the vintagey vibe of this dress I thrifted at Value Village for $8, so I added some actual vintage sparklers – a matching brooch ‘n earrings set.

vintage brooch; Vintage floral fit and flare dress


We decided to check out El Cortez Tequila Bar because, apparently, our newest hobby is hanging out at hipster haunts. Also, my husband loves Mexican food. Also also, we were both in a nostalgic mood; we remember about 3 previous incarnations of this little joint. I spent many a night in my undergrad years dancing at Suite 69 upstairs – and I can’t quite believe it’s still there 15 years later. That’s practically an eternity in nightclub years.

Back to the present. The menu is not extensive (the name gives fair warning that the food is secondary at El Cortez), and everything is kinda expensive for the amount you get. We enjoyed the salsa trio appetizer, as well as the cheese taco. The other tacos were forgettable. I persuaded my husband to get a Dos Equis beer, because how could he not. I Instagrammed everything, because how could I not.

Edmonton El Cortez tequila bar; dos equis beer

Hipster tacos

We also got the (mini) churros, which were excellent – possibly the best part of the meal.

Edmonton El Cortez tequila bar; churros

mini churros!

But what I really loved about El Cortez was the dedication to its theme. Everything from the table settings, to the food presentation, to the decor, is very OTT Mexicana by way of Desperado. My favourite was the bathroom.

Edmonton El Cortez tequila bar

Mexican whorehouse chic? Yes!

I could have happily spent a few hours in there, and that is not something I’ve ever said about a bathroom before. Since I was alone, I figured it was as good a time as any to take a selfie.

Edmonton El Cortez tequila bar; blue collar red lipstick


The upside of the small portions at El Cortez is that, for once, we had plenty of room for dessert – not counting the yummy churros. We took a leisurely stroll down the Ave, and hit our go-to dessert destination, Block 1912. I also made my husband stop in front of every brick wall along the way. What can I say? He really loves me.

Vintage floral fit and flare dress

same dress, different brick wall

A lot.

Vintage floral fit and flare dress

Besos, amigas

Beauty Chat: I Have a Problem

… I can’t stop buying lip products. I know, random. I’ve been using the same stuff (mostly Clinique Chubby Sticks) for ages, after experiencing one too many lipstick disappointments. (Side note: there is nothing more annoying that having the cheap thrill of a new lipstick ruined by the discovery that you’ve got a dud in your hands. Or, rather, lips. Blergh!) But Clinique is a bit out of my current budget, so when I recently got the urge to experiment with some new colours, I decided to branch out. In all sorts of directions.

I started with the Rimmel version of the Chubby Sticks. I loved one of the colours I picked (Lady Marmalade, see below), but I still wasn’t entirely satisfied. So, I kept looking. And buying. (Which kinda defeats the purpose of buying cheaper products, but let’s roll with it.) At last count, I have a dozen or so lip products, of various descriptions, laying around. It’s a little bit ridiculous, but not without precedent. Years later, I’m still on a quest for that mythical perfect lipstick – you know, the kind that will give me natural looking lips, but better. Which, for the record, the Chubby Sticks reproduce wonderfully; I just want the look for less.

Anyway, this is all by way of introducing you to a bazillion close-ups of my lips. Although, in retrospect, most of these colours look suspiciously alike, I assure you that they are not, in fact, the same. And some are definitely better than others.

Clinique Chubby Stick chunky cherry

Clinique Chubby Stick (Chunky Cherry)

For reference, here are 2 of my fave Chubby Sticks. First, Chunky Cherry. I used to wear this all the time. Love it.

Clinique Chubby Stick Two Ton Tomato

Clinique Chubby Stick (Two Ton Tomato)

And this is Two Ton Tomato. Although the two colours look kinda similar in these photos, Chunky Cherry is a cool, blue-toned red, whereas Two Ton Tomato is more of a true red. (Duh! The names kind of speak for themselves.)

Cover Girl

Cover Girl Lipslicks Smoochies in #2 cute

I haven’t worn Cover Girl anything in years, and I can’t remember what prompted me to try this; suffice to say, I’m no bigger CG fan than I was before. The colour is lovely – it reminds me a little but of Clinique’s Black Honey, another old fave. But the formula … ack! It applied patchy, and made my lips look extra dry/flaky. No, thanks!



Another impulse buy from a brand I don’t usually buy these days. Robyn at Brightest Bulb in the Box mentioned liking a particular Maybelline gloss in one of her posts, and I was intrigued. Sadly, I forgot to jot down the exact name of it, and by the time I was done binge-reading her blog (seriously, you guys, it’s so good), I had forgotten the details. I think this is the right gloss, but I don’t think it’s the colour she mentioned. Oh well! It is a very nice gloss. I don’t mind the colour, but I have a tendency to buy the same rosy/mauve lip colour over and over, when what I actually want is something … less rosy. Also, I’m kinda over lipglosses in general; I prefer the lip balm/stick thing a la Chubby Sticks. But I’d recommend this gloss if you’re in the market for one.

NYX Matte Lip Cream Stockholm

NYX Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm

Another impulse buy. I was intrigued by the “matte” aspect. And, guys, I love it. L-O-V-E it. It took me a while to get used to the formula (it feels “drier” than regular lip glosses, and more “velvety” at the same time), but I’m a huge fan now. It has wonderful pigmentation, and the matte-ness makes it look more office-appropriate, I think. Stockholm is a nice peachy-nude on me. (Sorry, peeps, I’m not sure why the colour is so off in the right photo. Mysteries of iPhone photography.)

NYX Beige

NYX Beige

I picked this up a while ago, after reading that it’s some kind of cult fave among beauty editors or some such nonsense. It’s a perfectly nice gloss/colour, although ever so slightly too pink on me. I prefer it layered over Stockholm (see above).

Rimmel Lady Marmalade

Rimmel Color Rush in Lady Marmalade

This has become my go-to lip product when I want a bright pop of colour. The Rimmel Color Rush balm has been the closest thing to a dupe I’ve found so far for the Chubby Sticks, and this colour is lovely – an easy to wear orangey coral. It might be a little bit too bright for everyday office use, though.

Rimmel Mauving

Rimmel Color Rush Mauving

I got this colour because it looked great on my mom, but I don’t think it’s nearly as successful on me. It’s pretty, but a bit darker and more purple-leaning than I’m used to.

Rimmel Color Rush Not an Illusion

Rimmel Color Rush in Not An Illusion

Embarrassing confession time: I forgot I had this colour, until I accidentally found it again in my make-up drawer. I don’t know how that happened because THIS. This is pretty much that magical my-lips-but-better colour. Love it! Not too rosy, not to orange, just right. As I mentioned, I’m a big fan of the Color Rush formula, so this one is definitely a keeper.

NYX Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Daquiri

NYX Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Daquiri

I bought this because I was trying to find a matte version of the Rimmel colour. I didn’t do too bad on the colour front, but this lipstick feels more like a regular lipstick than the NYX Lip Cream (which was the finish/formula I was going for). Still, I’m fairly happy with it.

Rimmel Apocalips

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Light Year

This, on the other hand, was a complete disaster. I don’t know what possessed me to buy yet another lipgloss, or a fairly dark mocha colour at that. While not entirely evident in these photos, this gloss looks terrible on me – half corpsey, half 70s throwback. Also, I found the smell quite strong, and chemical-y. This was my least favourite product of the lot.

L'Oreal Glossy Balm

L’Oreal Glossy Balm

Ah, much better. I was pretty much lipstick-ed out by the time I came across L’Oreal’s version of the Chubby Stick, but I decided to buy it anyway … in the interests of science. Or something like that. I really like the formula and the amount of pigmentation. I picked a colour that looked nude-ish based on the packaging (no testers, grr!), but it ended up actually looking quite rosy on my lips. Foiled again! It’s a very pretty and wearable colour, though, so I’m not super mad or anything.

So, which are my favourites? (Apart from the Chubby Sticks, of course.) Since I can’t pick just one, how about a top 3?

1. NYX Lip Cream Stockholm – for days when I want a more polished (and non-rosy) look;

2. Rimmel Color Rush Lady Marmalade – for days when I want a bright pop of colour; and

3. Rimmel Color Rush Not An Illusion – for all the other days, forever and ever.


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