Month: June 2013

The grass is always greener …

… on the other side of the long-versus-short hair debate. I always seem to be either waiting for my hair to grow, or just dying to cut it short.

Gallery of haircuts

How do you cope with the hair dilemma? And do you think I have any hope of success if I promise myself I will never chop off all my hair again … this time?

Favourite New Beauty Products

I’m not much of a beauty product junkie; the older I get, the fewer products I seem to use, and the more loyal I grow towards my tried-and-true favourites. I have my morning routine down to a science, and by necessity, it’s a short ritual. [Getting ready for work with a curious, active toddler in attendance is a tricky maneuver.] So there is little opportunity (or time) for me to experiment with new products. Occasionally, though, I do get the urge to try something new … and every so often, I discover some new favourites. Here are a few of some recent discoveries.

Benefit Bad Gal Eyeliner

I have always been a fan of the “statement lashes” look – “go big, or go home” being my motto in this regard. That said, I have always struggled with eyeliner. I love a good “cat eye”, but I seem to have two left hands (all thumbs) when it comes to creating the look on myself. Liquid eyeliner requires a steadier hand that I can muster. Eyeliner pencils never seen to give a sufficiently intense pigment. I used to settle for eyeshadow, applied wet with an angle brush.

Recently, on a whim, I decided to try a pricey alternative – Benefit’s Bad Gal eyeliner pencil. As most of my beauty experiments are wont to be, this one was inspired by a Shoppers Drugmart points redemption event; I spend my points, and get to splurge on beauty items with some “free money”. Guilt-free. At over $30 a pop, this ain’t a cheap eyeliner pencil, for sure. But … I really like it.

Favourite Beauty Products
Benefit Bad Gal Liner

The line I can get is of medium thickness; overall, it’s a bit of a mod look, but I like it. I could try to keep the pencil sharper for a thinner line, but I find it easier to handle and more fool-proof this way. The pencil is quite pigmented, and it doesn’t fade on me as the day goes on.

Favourite Beauty Products
Benefit Bad Gal Liner

I definitely think I will buy this again – I’ll just have to wait for the next Shoppers Drugmart points redemption event.

Clinique Chubby Sticks

Another one of my recent finds was Clinique Chubby Sticks. I am tired of lipglosses, and hate the feel of lipstick, so I was looking for something that was a step above a tinted lipbalm, but with similar application. Initially, I cheaped out and tried a drugstore version of the Chubby Stick; I hated it – it felt chalky and dry on my lips. So I decided to suck it up, and go for the real deal.

Favourite Beauty products
Clinique Chubby Stick

I love how easily it glides on, and how it feels on my lips. It doesn’t really moisturize, per se, but it also doesn’t dry out my lips. And I love the colour – a little more intense than a hint, but less in-your-face than lipstick. From now on, I plan to alternate between the Chubby Sticks, and my all-time favourite lip product, Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Of note, Chubby Sticks also come in a more intense flavour, as it were, for people who prefer a bit more pigment.

Benefit Coralista Blush

I have been wearing Stila’s Convertible Color blush for almost two years now, and been quite happy with it. It’s a rosy pink colour that works well with my skin’s undertones. [I don’t put much stock in the old adage that redheads shouldn’t wear pink. Orange, yes, it can be tricky. Pink, not so much.] But I wanted to try a more subtle, sun-kissed look, and decided to try to find a good peachy blush.

Favourite Beauty products
Benefit Coralista blush

I heard that Benefit’s Coralista blush came highly recommended by fellow pale-complexioned gals, so I decided to use some of my Shoppers points to try it out. And I am definitely happy I did. I love the natural, healthy glow that I get using Coralista – even in the dead of winter. At $35, the glow doesn’t exactly come cheap, but it’s better than a tanning addiction. A keeper, for sure!

EOS Lip balm

Speaking of products much needed in the Alberta winter season (6 months long, it seems), EOS lip balms have been a life- (or should I say lip-)saver. The packaging is really cute too.

Favourite Beauty products
EOS balms: Honeydew; Sweet Mint; Strawberry; Summer

More importantly, these cuties moisturize like nobody’s business. I try to stock up every time they show up at Costco (4 for $10), otherwise they can be pricey (up to $6 a pop). They do last quite a while, and smell delicious too. Love them!

Got any new favourite beauty products of your own? Share them in the comments!

Remix Challenge: week 40

Friday, June 14, 2013: date night/early Fathers’ Day dinner

remix challenge
Skirt, Eva Franco for Anthropologie (thrifted); tank top, J. Crew Factory; jacket, Tommy Hilfiger Outlet; shoes, consignment; bag, Coach (vintage)

With a busy weekend ahead, we decided to get a jump on things and treat my husband to an early Fathers’ Day dinner. Although we had Luka in tow, this also doubled-up as a date night – hence my relative effort in dressing up. I really wanted to see Man of Steel (for reasons not wholly related to the hotness that is Henry Cavill), but the lack of baby-sitting options nixed that plan pretty quickly. At least the pancakes at IHOP were delicious!

Outfit-wise, I was excited for a warm evening to give my Eva Franco thrifted skirt a whirl. To celebrate, I managed to dig out my solitary pair of flat sandals and remembered that I actually quite like them. I bought them 2 or 3 years ago at consignment, and the label has long worn off – sadly, I have no idea what they are. The quality is not great – in fact, one of the straps broke off ages ago – but I find them to be a flattering take on the gladiator style, and I’ll be keeping my eye open for a replacement pair.

remix challenge
Vintage earring (worn as pendant) and thrifted necklace

Monday, June 17, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Sweet Chemise; shoes, Jimmy Choo (thrifted); bag, J. Crew; bracelets, Swarovski and Links of London
Going through my wardrobe master list recently (what, you don’t have one of those?), I realized that my Sweet Chemise wrap dress is one of the oldest items in my closet, dating back to 2007 or 2008. I remember that, at the time, it was a huge purchase for me – it cost over $75, the most I’d ever paid for an article of clothing up to that point. It’s a good thing that it has held up so well over time, non? It also kick-started my love-affair with the Sweet Chemise label; I have found their dresses to be timeless and well-cut. Also, as a home-grown brand, its clothes are (or at least used to be) made in Canada. Bonus!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013: work
remix challenge
Pants, maternity; top, MICHAEL Michael Kors (consignment); cardigan, J. Crew (second-hand); shoes, Ferragamo (vintage); bag, Mulberry (second-hand)

Nothing fancy to see here, folks – just regular “pants day”. I just bought this J. Crew cardigan, which replaces an old, worn-out Joe Fresh one in the same colour (love the rust brown and it works great with other colours in my wardrobe), so I’ll count this as a “new” outfit, although I’m pretty sure that I’ve worn something similar at least once before.

remix challenge
Obligatory bump shot

For anyone who likes to keep track, I was officially 28 week along today … and feeling appropriately cumbersome.

remix challenge
Nail polish: A England Ascalon

Wednesday, June 19, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Banana Republic (consignment); earrings, Swarovski; necklace, Tiffany; shoes, Nine West; bag, J. Crew.

I got this dress during my last pregnancy, and am finally at a stage when it’s starting to fit again. It’s not a maternity dress, just a larger size than my usual, hence the fit issues – the bust requires some, um, filling out. [And now you know more than you wanted.] I am a fan of anything aqua/turquoise, so I love accessorizing this dress, particularly as the rest of the colours in the print are neutral and don’t compete for attention. Stay tuned for different takes on it, because this is one of the contenders for “Closet Survivor, pregnancy edition” (the last dress standing gets crowned … and immediately donated thereafter).

Thursday, June 20, 2013: work

remix challenge
Skirt, Milly (thrifted); top, H&M; blazer, Theory (consignment); necklace, J. Crew Factory Store; shoes, Ferragamo (vintage)

I figured I might as well give this thrifted Milly skirt a whirl, even though it’s not (strictly speaking) maternity wear. I have a million ideas for ways to accessorize it (or at least try), but I picked a fairly conservative option this time around as I had an important client meeting today.

remix challenge
Not maternity wear, but it works

Friday, June 21, 2013: golf tournament work

remix challenge
Jeans, maternity; top, Jacob (consignment); jacket, Esprit (swap); shoes, Nine West; bag, Longchamps

Initially, I was scheduled to attend my company’s annual golf tournament; by Monday, I realized that, while optimistic and demonstrative of team spirit on my part, my commitment wasn’t physically feasible (or at least pleasant) anymore. So, it was just another Friday at the office. Jeans, T-shirt, and jacket are a typical stand-by if I don’t feel like being creative on casual office days. Yeah, it happens.

remix challenge
Nail polish: A England Princess Sabra