Month: September 2014

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.


Hodge Podge

Edme Esylltw Tulip Perspective skirt; Old Navy clogs; Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Aidan
Skirt, Anthropologie (thrift); top & shoes, Old Navy; cardigan, J. Crew Factory; earrings, J. Crew; bag, MbMJ (via eBay)

Because, sometimes, I just throw everything together and call it an outfit. Does it work? Not important! In this case, I love all of the individual pieces, and that’s all that matters. So style, much idiosyncratic.

Edme Esylltw Tulip Perspective skirt; Old Navy clogs; Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Aidan
totally secure in my questionable choices

You know who else likes to march pose to the beat of his own drum? My kid. Here is proof that a fashion blogger gene may, in fact, exist.

Your next fashun blogging superstar
Your next fashun blogging superstar

See, he has even mastered the “look to the side, and smile like you heard something stupendously funny” pose. ‘Atta boy!

Edme Esylltw Tulip Perspective skirt; Old Navy clogs; Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Aidan
my work here is done

Into The Blue

J. Crew Factory floral shorts; Marc Jacobs Mag bag; J. Crew Factory Anya flats
Shorts, shirt, sweater & shoes, J. Crew Factory (sorry); bag, MbMJ

In the weeks leading up to my return to work, I allowed myself to wallow in the blues to a somewhat unnecessary extent. I always get a bit sad at the end of summer, and this year that time was more bittersweet than usual. I just hate change, even when it’s the good kind. Bah! But that’s by way of explaining how we ended up taking the kids to Calgary for an impromptu weekend road-trip. Let me back up.

Seven thirty on a Saturday morning found me complaining about my slightly depressive ennui. My husband’s response: “Why don’t we go to Calgary?” We both pondered this for a moment, and decided that it sounded like a terrible idea. So, naturally, we started packing up the car. I was saving this outfit for a tentative brunch date, but I figured I might as well throw it on. It wasn’t the most ridiculous choice I made that morning.

J. Crew Factory floral shorts; Marc Jacobs Mag bag; J. Crew Factory Anya flats
The many possibilities of the Mag bag

(Quick outfit aside: I know that’s a whole lotta blue, but I just couldn’t resist throwing all these pieces together. I’m a colour addict.)

J. Crew Factory floral shorts; Marc Jacobs Mag bag; J. Crew Factory Anya flats
Also kinda crazy about these shoes

Predictably, traveling with kids was the opposite of relaxing. Neither of the kids has been acclimatized to long car rides, so the trip to (and from) Calgary was all sorts of interesting. Luckily, the scenery is lovely this time of year.

Alberta prairies; alberta road trip; prairie fields
Prairies in late summer

And there is always a chance of some cool car-spotting.

MG; carspotting
Possibly an MG Midget (according to my old-car expert)

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but we never make a trip to Calgary without stopping in at the Donut Mill on Gasoline Alley. Even if that means compounding our road-trip problems by getting the kids hopped up on sugar.

mmmmm, donut
mmmmm, donut

The (recent) birthday girl got in on the action too:

hey, you gonna eat that?
hey, you gonna eat that?

But, you know what? We survived the trip, kids and all. There is a lesson in that. Something about embracing chaos, and change.

J. Crew Factory floral shorts; Marc Jacobs Mag bag; J. Crew Factory Anya flats
lotsa lotsa blue