20 November 2008

MAC has just released an awesome set of metallic cosmetics in Metal Urge. And this weekend, you can order online with free shipping.

7 shades of Brushed Metal-X Eye Shadow:
  • Gilded Ash - dark charcoal grey with pearl
  • Gold Spice - metallic coppery gold
  • Forged Rose - Reddish copper with gold pearl
  • Verdigris - Dirty deep green with silver pearl
  • Metalblu - Navy blue with silver pearl
  • Pink Platinum - Light blue/pink with silver pearl
  • Material Gold - Pale peach/beige with gold pearl
3 shades of Pigments:
  • Cocomotion - Dirty gold with an olive undertone and a gold sparkle
  • Spiritualize - Yellow green with silver and gold pearl
  • Gold Mode - Tan gold
4 shades of Glitter:
  • Reflects Bronze - Rich sparkling gold
  • Reflects Blackened Red - Sparkling burgundy
  • Reflects Purple Duo - Rich sparkling purple
  • Reflects Very Pink - Sparkling fuschia pink
Liquidlast Eyeliner:
  • Dress Khaki - Khaki green with yellow pearl
  • Molten Sol - Rich gold with intense metallic
  • Powerplum - Deep plum with red pearl
  • Inskpill - Deep green with green pearl
  • Inky - Navy blue with low-level pearl
  • Visionaire - Clean baby pink
  • Classic Cream - White gold
Looks great, and I can't wait to buy a couple!

18 November 2008

Cleopatra Eyes

I'm home sick today with a beaut of a headcold. I tried to sleep as late as possible, and it's peppermint tea for the throat and Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup for the tummy. For the soul, it's Days of Our Lives and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra (1963).

I haven't watched DoOL in ears, and its just as cheesy-good as ever. Someone is a murderer, and someone else nearly married him, and someone is secretly very ill, and someone is pregnant, and so is someone else, but keeping it a secret from the father... It's comforting that even when the names change, the plots stay the same.

Cleopatra, a four-hour epic, was considered a box office flop because of the cost overruns, but it's a lavish slice of 1960s hubris. I love that the Egyptians are wearing fitted bullet-bra garments. And let's face it; any excuse to see Liz Taylor's remarkable cleavage is worth it. She's sexy, and totally covered up.

I grew up in the generation where Liz Taylor was either a lush or frail from an illness. But this movie reminds me that she was the queen of Hollywood, and at five-foot-two, no one could touch her.

It also reminds me that of the reason she married Richard Burton twice. He was a vital, handsome man back in the day. I always picture him from the interview he and Liz did with Barbara Walters in the 1970s, and it seemed to me that he was a drunkard and kind of sad. But once he truly was a lion among men.

It also makes me thing of the cat-eye makeup look, and how this movie had such an impact on the fashion of the era. It had such impact that it continues to be an iconic look that is adapted every decade. The eyeliner flair may change, and the colour or use of eye shadow differs, but it's always there in the fashion realm.

Admit it, you've rocked the cat-eye in your day!

15 November 2008

Teal Time

For some reason, I'm crazy for teal this year. I don't know why, but it's my favourite colour right now. I've been obsessed with finding the perfect shade of teal; not too blue and not too green. I found a mohair sweater that came close to perfection. I even found a ginormous leather satchel that was a lovely shade that evokes images of deep Caribbean waters.

Imagine how excited I was when my LouLou Magazine Special Edition arrived yesterday, I was stoked to see that some of the handbags for the fall in glorious shades of teal!

Longchamp has "Légende" ($900), a patent calfskin leather bag in "DuckBlue" with a large interior and two outer pockets. The bag has a patent leather handles and wrapped around the base, and shiny, crinkled leather for the main material. There are metal feet on the bottom, so the bag is more protected from dust and dirt. The main bag of the interior contains two zippered pockets and a leather key holder. The overall size is 18 x 13x 8 inches, so there's lots of room for all your goodies.

Coach has a beautiful handbag called "Amanda Satin Mini Satchel" ($298) in Brass/Teal. This a a smaller bag, only 11 x 5 x 4 inches, it has leather wrapped handles and a removable shouder strap. Inside, there's a zip pocket and an open pocket.

There you have it. Two very different shades of teal in different materials. Simply lovely!

11 November 2008

Remembrance Day: Wear a Poppy with Pride

If you haven't been wearing a poppy all week, please make sure to wear one today. I'm working on my second one, and I was checking for tips to keep the poppy from falling out. Most people I know go through about 3-5 poppies a year.

First, try weaving the poppy through the fabric several times rather than just once. This can help anchor the poppy. I've been told that bending the tip of the pin works. I was trying that this year, and it sort of works, but the pins keeps poking me. Another tip I've heard is to push an earring back or a pencil eraser into the end of the pin. The eraser works the best, and if you push it up far enough the poppy will hide it.

I hope you wear a poppy today (on the left side over your heart), and I hope you take 2 minutes at 11 A.M. to remember those who fought and gave their lives for our freedom.

The Canadian Legion distributes around 18 million poppies a year across the country.

Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCra, 1915

10 November 2008

Product Review: Carmex vs. Prairie Dawn Natural Lip Balm

Dammit! I'm hideous again! I have another cold sore!

As sufferers know, sometimes the little buggers come one after another. This one is on the other side of my mouth. I HATE when this happens. I only get cold sores on the left side of my mouth, and this monster tag along is bigger than that last one. I HATE when this happens.

So, since last time (less than a month ago!) I gave you information on cold sores and the treatment I like the best. This time, I'll discuss what to do with the rest of your lips.

Whenever you have a cold sore, it's tricky to keep the rest of your lips moist. You want to lick them because they feel misshapen and dry, so you end up drying them out even more. Wetting your lips and the cold sore dries it out and makes the sore more likely to crack and take longer to heal. So the important thing is to use a lip balm. I tend to choose between two kinds of balm: a balm that tastes bad or a balm that tastes good.

My choice for lip balm that tastes bad is Carmex. Introduced in 1937, it contains methol and phenol to disinfect and cocoa butter to moisturize the lips. Ounce for ounce, I find it works better at softening lips over every other lip balm. The active ingredients are camphor, menthol, phenol, and salicylic acid.

Carmex works well to keep the whole lip soft when the cold sore is healing and doesn't interfere with other treatments. It's not tested on animals, and it works really well to plump your lips while they heal. Best of all, it has no expiration date. I keep a jar marked "CS" just for when I have a cold sore, so I don't mix it up with other jars.

The taste is... well... camphor. It is available in other flavours (strawberry, mint and cherry), but I find that the mediciney taste is still noticeable. I don't mind it so much, but I wouldn't call it good tasting.

Now, for tasty lip balm that works well, I use Prairie Dawn Natural Lip Balm. Listen to this ingredient list:
  • Jojoba oil (Organic virgin cold pressed & unrefined from the Sonoran Desert in Arizona)
  • Virgin cold pressed castor seed oil
  • Alberta beeswax
  • Unrefined wheat germ oil
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Virgin unrefined coconut oil extracted from the milk of the coconut
  • Avocado oil
  • Pure essential oils

This lip balm comes in four flavours:
  • Sweet Orange
  • Lime
  • Peppermint
  • Black Licorice
Prairie Dawn is really delicious, and it's extra moisturizing. It feels silky and rich on your lips, and because it uses essential oils to flavour, the flavour is completely realistic. Lime tastes like lime, and licorice tastes like licorice. It leaves a nice sheen that isn't too glossy, but lasts for a long time.

So when your lips are really feeling yucky, treat them to something that makes them feel good and fixes them.

08 November 2008

Product Review: Canus Fresh Goat's Milk Soap

I love Canus Fresh Goat's Milk Soap. I admit to being very lazy when it comes to skincare. I only do the minimum when it comes to anything from the neck down.

Mostly, I just feel I shouldn't mess too much with the body's natural systems. It's silly to use a cleanser that strips moisture away only to add moisture back with a lotion that adds other things to your skin that you have to remove with cleanser to prevent clogging pores... it's a vicious cycle that's just silly.

Canus soap is safe for all skin types and is really moisturizing, so I use it in the shower to wash my whole body. This Canadian product is made with entirely natural essential oils for fragrances and doesn't test their products on animals, and the soap is biodegradable and phosphate-free, so I feel guilt-free about the suds going down the drain.

Canus started when a pair of entrepreneurs in Quebec, Canada teamed with a biochemist to create a line of skincare products. The line expanded, and now is marketed in Canada, the United States, France, Korea, Vietnam and Japan.

Goat's milk contains lactic acid (reputed to be a highly effective moisturizer), and caproic and capric fatty acids (which have moisturizing and antibacterial powers). It also contains vitamin A Retinol, caprylic acid (which promotes absorption of emolients and relaxes the skin's surface) and B-complex vitamins. Goat's milk has a pH similar to human skin, and contains natural emollients, vitamins and triglycerides that moisturize the skin.

Canus soap moisturizes using fresh goat's milk concentrate. Fresh milk isn't as easy to preserve as powdered goat's milk, but it does retain its curative properties better than powdered milk.

I find this bar soap and it is quite gentle. The soap is triple-milled, so the bar is hard and doesn't dissolve in the shower the way some soaps do. It lathers up nicely into a silky froth.

Canus has severals lines of products, from cleansers to moisturizers. Their products come in six varieties:

  • Original Formula - The first and signature products. All the beneficial properties of fresh goat’s milk combined with a subtle, fresh fragrance made from essential oils that is trademark Canus.
  • Fragrance-Free - This deliver all the virtues of our Original Formula collection, minus the fragrance. This makes them ideal for people with sensitive skin or odor allergies.
  • Shea Butter - Shea nuts grow in Africa. They look like small avocados. They contain approximately 50% fat. They are used in skincare products because of their nourishing moisturizing properties and skin softening powers. They help maintain the skin’s elasticity. The fragrance is both calming and refreshing.
  • Olive Oil and Wheat Protein - Olive oil is known for its skin softening properties. Wheat protein helps tone skin, restore the skin’s elasticity and also soften skin. The fragrance is equally charming and invigorating.
  • Orchid Oil - The orchid is Thailand’s national flower. People in Asia have been using orchid oil for centuries to help repair and protect skin. Orchid oil is recognized as an effective skin moisturizer and softener, and for its antioxidant properties too. The fragrance is exotic.
  • Marigold Oil - Marigold oil, also known as Calendula Oil is recognized as an excellent antioxidant. Used in skincare products, it is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it popular with people suffering from itchy skin or skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, etc. The fragrance is fresh and tonifying.

07 November 2008

Product Lust: Givency Phenomen'Eyes Mascara

I'm somewhat frugal when it comes to cosmetics, but I spend more on products where I think it makes a bigger difference. I find that eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks, etc. are still decent in quality whether you pay $8 instead of $25. I spend money for high end foundations, concealers, etc. because the money goes into things like finer milled powders, nicer consistencies and better colour choices. I do tend to get excited by new products. You may not be able to build a better mousetrap, but surely you can make an eyelash curler than doesn't kink my lashes like a cat's tail that was stuck in a door? Still, I don't relish the idea of spending three times what I normally pay for products that get the job done. Having said that, I got excited when I saw the new Givency Phenomen'Eyes Mascara. I usually use pharmacy brands of mascara, so the $27 pricetag made my stomach drop. Then again, I hate using mascaras because they tend to be clumpy and spiky on my lashes. Maybe it's time I started spending more money on expensive mascaras to see the benefits.

The Phenomen'Eyes wand looks
trés cool with the spherical bulb and the soft-looking bristles. The idea of coating every lash is certainly appealing. I find that long mascara wands tend to catch the bulk of my lashes in the middle but almost none on the corners of my eyes. My lashes are long but sparse, so making them all pop is definitely what I'm looking for in a mascara.

This is one item that's going on my shopping list, and I can't wait to see if it works!

05 November 2008

Beauty Tips: Traveling Light

I visited my sister in the UK this spring for two weeks, and decided to travel super-light, as in no checked luggage. Air Canada, in their infinite wisdom, have allowed for two carry-on bags per person; one bag up to 21.5" long and one bag up to 17" long, plus your purse (up to 10" long-can you say wee?).

I brought the 21" wheeled carry-on that I usually take when I travel. It's old and I often think about replacing it, but it's quite lightweight and durable, and it can be crammed full of gear and still fit inside the airline carry-on measuring cage. Because I wanted to bring my laptop and do some writing, I bought a fantastic backpack from Targus (CityGear Chicago model # TCG650). This bad boy fit my 15" MacBook Pro, camera, my makeup bag, toiletry bag, a change of clothes, and a few other essentials. When I was in London, this bag came everywhere with me, hauled my laptop and snacks and a raincoat.

For clothing, I splurged and took extras:
  • 2 pairs of jeans (light silver-grey and dark blue)
  • tan cotton chinos
  • short dressy skirt
  • long cotton skirt
  • 2 tank tops with built-in shelf bras
  • 2 long-sleeved tee shirts
  • dressy vest
  • denim blazer
  • waterproof jacket
  • 3 pairs of undies
  • 1 convertible bra
  • 3 pairs socks
  • 1 pair stockings
  • leather clogs
  • Aerosole boat shoes

Since my goal was to go small, I decided to go light on makeup & beauty items. My sis told me to borrow her shampoo & conditioner. I took only minimal makeup and small, airline-approved tools. The Revlon Beauty-Tools-To-Go was awesome; it was easy to clear through airport security and the curler worked perfectly.

For makeup, I brought:
Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner Cover Girl Volume Exact Waterproof Mascara
MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder NC15
MAC Select Cover-Up Concealer NW15
Maybelline Wet Shine Lipcolor in Gem Crushed Merlot
MAC Lipglass Viva Glam VI SE
Quo brow/liner brush
Quo travel powder brush
Quo powder brush

Whadda Bahgain: MAC Little Darlings Holiday Collection

Free Shipping on MAC Little Darlings Holiday Collection when ordering online. Drool!

Issued as part of the Holiday Collection, these adorable sets come in an orange-red patent cylinder-shaped gift box with a lift-off lid. There are six sets available:
  • 5 Coral Lipglass and Lustreglass ($35.50) Underage, Ola Mango and Pink Grapefruit Lipglass, and Wonderstruck and Budding Lustreglass
  • 5 Pink Lipglass and Lustreglass ($35.50) Fleur Delight, Song and Dance, and Magnetique Lipglass, and Flashmode and Little Vi Lustreglass
  • 5 Neutral Lipglass and Lustreglass ($35.50) C-Thru, Mouthwatering, and Languish Lipglass, and Love Nectar and Beaux Lustreglass
  • 5 Warm Pigments and Glitter ($35.50) Gold Dusk, Gold Mode, Gold Stroke, Melon Pigments, and Reflects Antique Gold Glitter
  • 5 Cool Pigments and Glitter ($35.50) Frost, Quietly, Pinked Mauve, Teal Pigments, and Reflects Blackened Red Glitter
  • 5 Softsparkle Eye Pencils ($35.50) Peacocked, Mint and Olive, and Chocolight, and two Eye Pencils in Black Funk and Fab Orchid

I want the Cool Pigments and Glitter. I've been dying to buy these colours already!

Use offer code DARLINGS at checkout.

FotD: Grey Shimmer Face of the Day

My first Face of the Day! Not my best effort, but also really the way I show up for work - makeup under glasses. Honesty at its best. I did a black & grey shimmer eye palette.

Here's the look. Sorry the photo is blurry; it's sort of a "Dynasty" filter :)

Here's what I used:

For the eyes:
Physician's Formula Baked Collection in Smokes
Bourjois Paris Ombre A Paupieres in Rose Tentation
Rimmel London Exaggerate Full Colour Eye Definer in Steel
Cover Girl Volume Exact Mascara in Black
Quo Crease Blender Brush
Quo Liner/Brow Brush
Quo Definer Shadow Brush
Avanti Powder Brush

For the cheeks:
Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Blush in Pink Glow

For the lips:
Maybelline Lip Indulgence in Plum Pastry
MAC LipGlass in Viva Glam VI SE

For the Face:
MAC Select Sheer/Pressed Powder in NC15
Estee Lauder Spotlight