Month: March 2012

Manicure of the week: Rose Confidentiel

This week I am bringing out another of Chanel’s older polishes from its current permanent collection, the lovely and ultra-feminine Rose Confidentiel. Do not be fooled by the bottle colour of this one; it might seem a bit blah, and even grandmother-ish, yet it is anything but that on the nail. Instead, it is a beautiful faded rose colour that can probably flatter any and all complexions. Pictures do not really do justice to the real-life beauty of this polish, but here is my best shot.

Application is my only issue with Rose Confidential; it can be a bit tricky. This is another of those jelly-creme hybrids which can take three coats to achieve full opacity. Two very thick coats might do the trick, but then one runs the risk of smudges and other boo-boos (not to mention a very long drying time). In the photo above, I used two coats, and I could still see visible nail line (VNL) in some lights; VNL is my manicure equivalent of VPL – hate it!

For anyone who loves this colour, but doesn’t wish to commit to the Chanel price tag, one of the polishes in the recent OPI Holland collection is a very close cousin – step-sibling, even – of Rose Confidentiel. If you ignore the too-cutesy name, Gouda Gouda Two Shoes has the same colour base as Rose Confidentiel; GGTS’s formula is slightly thicker (hence, better application and coverage in two coats for me), and GGTS has a shimmer finish that is particularly visible in bright light, but otherwise they are almost indistinguishable.
For this week’s inspired outfit, I wanted something very ladylike, to match Rose Confidentiel’s vibe, without being too fussy or staid.
Sky-high heels always liven up an outfit, and the exaggerated shoulder line is also pretty fun. I still haven’t been able to find a high-necked sweater to pair with my Peter Pan-ish collar blouse, but this comes closest. I love the muted colours in this outfit, and the fact that it is packed with hidden detail.

Having said that, the sweater is currently sitting in my “swap pile” for next week’s party; I just haven’t gotten as much wear out of it as I thought I would. This was going to be its 11th hour chance at redemption … but, I am not entirely convinced. What do you think?

Happy Friday!

A stylish Saturday

A couple of Saturdays ago, I headed out with a friend to check out the revitalized High Street area around 124 Street downtown. I was inspired on my trek, initially, by news of the Pop Up Vintage Store. Borrowing a concept that has become popular in cities like New York and Vancouver, the store was basically a two day operation featuring a selection of vintage wares (clothes, shoes and jewelry) curated by Jessica Kennedy and Sarah Ares. I love vintage pieces, especially accessories, so I was dying to see their finds. I was also really drawn to the idea of a pop-up store, which has so much potential. [I would love to work on a similar project, although the amount of effort involved must be herculean. Some day …] For example, following the vintage event, the same space was being taken over by the folks from Coup, Dote Baby, glas.ful and So Pretty Jewelry – bringing a selection of stylish women’s and baby fashion, as well as jewelry and glass wares. Although I did not get a chance to see its second incarnation, I look forward to future events in the same vein. I love seeing the fashionable side of Edmonton really taking off!

Of course, with the Pop Up Vintage Store being right next door to the Duchess bakery, you can guess our second stop of the day. Here is a hint …
Yep, the newly relocated Duchess (actually, just next door to its old location) is the not-so secret secret of confectionery lovers in Edmonton. Since I don’t get as many chances these days to make the trip downtown and experience the delights that Duchess has to offer, I had to make the most of this opportunity. So my friend and I loaded up on the sweet stuff – pistacchio and white chocolate cookie, lavender sugar cookies, madeleine, meringue, chocolate cake … and, of course, their famous macaroons.
I can happily report that everything – but especially the macaroons – are as good as advertised. I would also highly recommend the Duchess blend of black tea, which had a nice, fruity kick to it.
All and all, brunch was delish. After all, you cannot go wrong with chocolate, ever.

Afterwards, we trekked back towards Vespucci, one of my favourite clothing stores in the city. 

I can tell you than my limited shopping in the last few months has had more than a little to do with the fact that I haven’t been able to visit my old haunt for a while. I was very excited to check out their current selection of spring and summer fashion, and perhaps get some new inspiration. But on the way, I got a little sidetracked.

The Lux Beauty Boutique has been around for a while, so I am not sure why I haven’t popped in before. It is a veritable wonderland for any beauty junkie (including nail polish addicts like me). They carry a great selection of hard-to-find-in Edmonton products, from b.Kamins, to Mario Badescu, to Stila, and RGB. And these beauties:

Did I mention how beautiful the store is?
Of course, although I am supposed to be on a polish-buying ban, I couldn’t leave without picking up this sparkler:
Butter LONDON Tart with a Heart
I love this polish so much – it makes my fingernails looks like they’ve been dipped in candied sugar. Yum! Here is one coat of Tart with a Heart (gotta love the name!) over two coats of Butter LONDON All Hail the Queen, another favourite.

For anyone interested, Lux is hosting a slew of interesting beauty events in March, including the Stila Spring Colours Launch (March 23 & 24), a make-up tutorial for getting a photo-friendly face (March 25), and a nail art workshop (March 26 to April 1).

Our final stop, Vespucci, did not disappoint. On a quick tour of the store (my baby-sitting meter quickly running out), I spotted some great pieces from Diane von Furstenberg (wrap dress, $149), Prada (patent leather slides, $148), Elie Tahari (silk tops, around $60), and many, many others. I was a good girl, and decided to stick with my budget rather than my love for pretty things, and eventually narrowed down my shopping choices to two items. First, a lovely silk tunic from MICHAEL Michael Kors, which is actually a duplicate of a top I already own, but in a different print ($38).

Second, a floral silk camisole from Talbots with a very spring-y vibe ($32).

So, which one (yes, just one!) did I decide to pick? Have a guess in the comments.

All in all, it was a lovely Saturday afternoon and I am looking forward to exploring more of the High Street area in the near future. My next stops will likely include a couple of cool boutiques, Black & Bold and Red Ribbon. Got other recommendations for me? Share them in the comments!

Manicure of the week: Pearl Drop

This week’s Chanel, Pearl Drop, is not one of the superstars of its line-up. Released as part of the same collection as Black Pearl (which I have already featured), it is not quite in the same attention-grabbing league. It is a soft, pretty ivory with gold shimmer, which can be seen as a different take on the neutral nail.

The shimmer really comes out under bright light.

Looking at the photos above, you can probably guess my biggest issue with this polish. Yep, it’s sheer. So sheer, in fact, that two coats come nowhere close to opacity. And you know that I am not a fan of either three-coat manicures or VNL. I am still looking for the perfect “underwear” for Pearl Drop – i.e. a good base colour to layer under it. Until I find it, this one will remain one of my lesser used, and loved, Chanels.

For this week’s outfit, I was inspired to go with a simple palette – black, white and grey. But I wanted something pretty and girly, because Pearl Drop is a soft colour rather than a stark white. I dug out my Club Monaco shirtdress, which has a very hip-forgiving cut – a true blessing these days. And I added a belt because it never hurts to emphasize one’s assets.

I absolutely adore this J.Crew flower belt, although I am usually too self-conscious with regards to my age to wear it. Can a 31-year old wear a big flower un-ironically? Time to find out.

Happy Friday!