Vacation snaps

This past weekend, my husband and I were in Vancouver on what is quickly becoming our favourite long weekend-getaway. This time around, we were thrilled to be invited to celebrate the marriage of two dear friends of ours, which made the trip extra special. Their beautiful sunset wedding took place at the Dr. Sun Yat-Set Gardens – a true oasis in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

Every part of the evening was carefully planned and perfectly executed, down to the smallest details. 

I loved the red/pale blue theme – such a striking, beautiful combination (definitely something to keep in mind).

Congrats to D&K – may your marriage be blessed always!

Of course, Vancouver being what it is, after two gorgeous, sunny fall days, we got a dose of “8 degrees and raining” on our last day. Sadly, the rain scuppered my husband’s plans to trek down 4th Ave in search of a particular pair of eyeglass frames (Amy Saks) as well as our visit to the Kitsilano beach. Luckily, by then, we had already made our usual pilgrimage down Robson Street, where we were thrilled by this sight:

A trip to Vancouver is never the same without some Japadogs. Or, for that matter, cupcakes:

As always, though, we were left wanting more. Till next time, Vancouver!

Who is afraid of colour?

I admit it, I’m biased. I love colour. I’m the kind of person who gets excited about new Sharpie colours, and likes using at least 3 different kinds of Sticky Notes at once. I also collect wild eye-shadows and even wilder nail polishes — few of which I ever wear. Such is my love of colour.

But even for the people less addicted than me, colour can be a great way to take an outfit from the everyday to the special. Sure, you might have to experiment a little, but there is no need to be afraid of colour — after all, if you end up looking like a clown who dressed in the dark, you can just change. 

One of the easiest ways to start playing around with colour, is to change shoes. Your “everyday” shoe is likely to be a colour that matches some shade in your outfit. Or else black. But it doesn’t need to be. 

Red shoes are great for experimenting. They complement most neutral colours except brown — black, navy, beige, grey. And they can also work surprisingly well with things you might not expect. Including pink.

But you can be even bolder. One approach can be to mix complementary colours (purple and yellow, orange and blue) but beware: it will be a very strong statement — no fading into the background with this one. If you’re concerned about the ‘visibility’, choose one shade as the “anchor” colour, and use the other as an accent — shoes, jewelry or a bag. Another approach is to mix slightly clashing colours, again in small doses, as long as they are on the same side of the warm-cool spectrum. 


Don’t be afraid to break of the “black habit” — you don’t need black to complete an outfit. Sure, black goes with everything, it’s classic, and it’s safe. But it’s not a “must”. 

I’m loving brown at the moment.


And if you can’t live without black in your wardrobe, mix it with something unexpected. “Matching” rules are made to be broken — like the one that says black and brown don’t go together.

The beauty huddle

How to get the perfect “pout” — sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Over the centuries, that quest has driven women to try all kinds of things – from crushed beetles to beeswax. Luckily, now we need look no further than the local drugstore; unluckily, the selection of lip products at the local drugstore can make anyone’s head spin. So many colours! So many formulas! Moisturizing! Plumping! And on and on.
Given such bounty of choices, it’s hard to argue that there is any one “right” way of getting the perfect pout. It really depends on what products you like to use, and how you prefer to go about it. Here’s the process I’ve devised for myself. Like my skin, my lips are quite pale au naturale. So, unless I want to look completely bloodless, a simple swipe of lip balm will not do it for me. In the past, I’ve gone the “lipstick, pat with powder, blot, re-apply lipstick” route for occasions when only maximum impact will do, but I’m generally too lazy to take more than a few seconds applying product to my lips. So it was lip gloss for me, 9 times out of 10 … even if it meant that I had to re-apply a dozen times a day or risk lapsing into Twilight-diehard mode.

Recently, I starting using Cover Girl’s Outlast Lip Stain as a base — it looks and works like a Sharpie, so it’s easier (for me) to handle than a lip pencil, and it dries matte. It doesn’t stay put forever, no matter what its name implies, but it does stay put for at least a few hours, sometimes even through a meal. Then, depending on whether I want to go “natural” or “all out”, I’ll apply either Smith’s Rose Salve or some lip gloss, respectively. I’ve used L’Oreal lip glosses in the past (I’m fond of the Glam Shine line), but my most recent purchase was a Rimmel Vinyl Shine gloss I got for $3.99 at Shoppers Drugmart. How is that for thrift?

Here’s a look at the results:

The starting point (looking deceptively pink):

Cover Girl Outlast lip stain + Smith’s Rose salve:

Cover Girl Outlast lip stain + Rimmel lip gloss:

What are your tips for getting the perfect pout? Share them in the comments.