Jun 30, 2011

MAN POST: The Things He Steals From Your Vanity Table

I was standing in the shower this morning, singing away while enjoying the piping hot water, and bent down to grab my morning cleanser.  I picked it up and the first thing I noticed was that it was almost empty.  That's odd, I thought to myself, since I'd clearly purchased it not even a month ago.  I thought that maybe it was me just using way too much product.  As it turns out, it wasn't me who was using too much at all!  IN FACT, Allan was the one enjoying my cleanser too. 

Men want to look as good as we do however, they are less inclined to purchase the products themselves.  This means that if a product is in the shower, or in the medicine cabinet and will do what they need the product to do, they will "borrow" it from us.  Here's a list of your products he's most likely to use:

1. Hand Cream - I don't know about your man but Allan gets dry hands all the time.  ( I think it has something to do with his mountain biking...).  Either way, he is CONSTANTLY stealing any, and all, of my unscented hand creams.  Allan's pick is Eucerin Repair Hand Cream 5%.  According to him "it doesn't have a funny smell and you don't have to use too much for that dry feeling to go away."

2. Lip Balm - I have had 10's of tubes disappear without a trace.  Since I always check my pockets before I put my clothes in the washer, I know it's him stealing them.  Allan's pick is Blistex Lip Medex in the pot, not the tube.  He likes how it "tingles his lips and how long lasting the product is.  Oh, and it feels like it's actually doing something while on my lips."

3. Sunscreen - I love that he is as skin-conscious as I am!!  I always wear sunscreen and used to use a non-scented one that Allan would always steal.  However, since I've been wearing a lot of tinted SPF moisturizers lately, he's obviously been leaving them alone.  Allan's pick is Clinique M Protect SPF 21 Moisturizer.  He loves that "you can kill two birds with one stone.  I don't have to put on two products which saves me time in the morning and allows Christina to use the bathroom for longer."  Thanks, Allan!

4. Cleanser - This is a given.  I am going through twice as much product BUT at least he is actively cleansing his face.  Because a man will hardly ever wash his face at night, a good cleanser kept in the shower (for mornings) is an absolute must.  Allan's pick is Clean & Clear Morning Burst Cleanser.  He enjoys this one because "it smells citrusy and is tingly on my skin.  Plus, it comes in a pump, so it's easy to use."

Allan says that "guys want to keep it simple.  So the less products a guy can use, the better.  If a guy has to put on six different products before he shaves, it's a waste of time and energy."  So, I say keep items around the house that he can use easily, or better yet, buy your man some of his own items so he stops using yours!  (By the way, Allan, thanks for your help!!!  Love you)

XO

Jun 29, 2011

A Birchbox For Canadian Gals

One of my favorite bloggers Tara at Haute Lunch opened my eyes to something called a Birchbox.  As soon as I read the words "$10 USD" and "free products shipped to your door" I started to drool.  Seriously.  So, I opened a new internet window and was off looking into the phenomenal Birchbox company.  (For those that aren't too familiar, Birchbox is an American company that works with many upscale and well-known cosmetics/skin care companies and, for a monthly fee, ships a box every month to your door step.)

HOWEVER...

Birchbox is only for American residents.  After learning this I was extremely depressed.  (Ask Allan....he kept asking me why I was so mopy.)  I even emailed the company and asked if they could make a teeny-weeny exception for me to which they replied with a big no.  For weeks I was a sad girl.....

And then, I found it.  The Canadian gal's Birchbox.  It's called Luxe Box by Loose Button.  For almost the exact same price as the Birchbox is, you can have similar products and brands delivered directly to your Canadian address.  I just signed up for my first one and it will be shipping out July 11th....I can't wait!!!

Check it out ladies!  How can you say no to beauty products arriving directly to your house?  Ummmm, you can't....

Wedge Fascination

Espadrille Obsession





 I love love love wedges.  I don't know what it is, exactly, but there's something so fascinating about them.  They can dress up a slightly dull outfit, elongate your legs, are oh so comfortable, add a punch of color and, my favorite reason, they look great with every outfit.  Whether it's jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts, or leggings, adding a pair of these bad boys creates the perfect summer outfit.

Here I am with my newest wedge shoes bought on my weekend shopping spree for only $32.  Aren't they fun?

What about you?  Is anyone jumping on the wedge shoe train?

XO

Jun 28, 2011

My Top 3 Beauty Products for Summer

We had our first real day of summer on Sunday!  YAY for us Vancouverites. 

I spent the day walking the pier with a girlfriend, having beer and yummy eats on a patio with said friend and was having such a good time that I forgot to apply sunscreen to my back.  So I also got my first sunburn of the year....Ah, good times.

The sun (and my brightly colored maxi dress) got me thinking about my favorite colors and products for the summer.  Typically I would list off a TON of products that you HAVE to buy but, being as frugal as I am (ha), I've narrowed it down to your three 2011 summer must-haves: a good orange lipstick, a fabulous bronzer and a coral blush.  My personal picks for this year are Revlon's Colorburst Lipstick in Peach (075), Gosh Cosmetics' Giant Sun Powder (001) and Elizabeth Arden's Pure Finish Mineral Cheekcolor in Sunkissed Coral.

Revlon's Colorburst Lipstick in Peach has been my go-to shade for about a month now.  At first I thought I couldn't pull off an orange tone but I'm happy to say I was wrong.  I've been rocking this shade at the office, dinner dates with Allan and even around the house.  (it makes me feel glamorous.)  By the way, it only costs about about $9 CAN so I highly recommend it.

Gosh Cosmetics is slowly becoming one of my go-to product lines.  The line is price comparable to MAC (maybe even slightly less) and is almost as pigmented as MAC items.  And the best part is, it's available at all Shoppers Drug Mart locations.  Anyway, I was needing a new bronzer and decided to upgrade from last year's Rimmel purchase and this HUGE compact caught my eye.  As soon as I put it on my skin, I fell in love: it's smooth, has a fabulous golden tone and the perfect shimmery finish.  Well worth the $25 CAN.


Elizabeth Arden (the line) occasionally shocks me, like they did with this awesome blush color.  It's part of their Bronze in Bloom 2011 Collection and, best of all, it's mineral.  I love the soft color, the matte texture and the packaging, which is pretty much the best part.  Because it's a loose blush, there is a chance that the product could spill HOWEVER they created a snap close lid AND a turn-dial that, once turned to the right, enough product comes out for one use.  Genius if you ask me.

Oh look, it's me...ha. Here I am with the lipstick, bronzer and blush on.  See how shimmery everything is?


And an eery up-close shot.  However, you do get to see beautiful orange hue of the lipstick and the golden tone of the bronzer.  Sigh, I love these products.


NOTE:  For those ladies that live in Canada, check out the magazine FLARE (July 2011 Issue).  In the center of the magazine you'll find a coupon for the Bronze in Bloom Collection sold at the Bay.  With this coupon, if you purchase one of the BIB products, you'll get a free full-size Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara.  You should definitely take advantage of this!!!


XO

Jun 27, 2011

Cocktail Party with Marc Jacobs

I. Heart. Fragrances.


This is, quite possibly, the most generic statement I've ever written.  However, it's true.  Whether it's the floral masterpiece of Calvin Klein's Beauty, or the smoky femininity of Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle, or even the summer scented paradise of La Vanilla's Vanilla Coconut, I adore them all.  (And yes, these are three of my favorite scents.  CK Beauty being my current number one.)  I have bottles and bottles of fragrances ranging from Chanel, to Thierry Mugler, to Dior to even less expensive brands such as Mark and Clinique THAT I hardly ever wear.  Yes, it's true and  I hardly wear them because we have a 100% scent-free policy at work.  Can you believe it?  8 hours a day of being completely unscented. 

However, I've found a collection of fragrances that I'd be willing to break the rules for: Marc Jacobs Splash Summer Cocktail Collection.

This collection consists of three limited-edition fragrances, all designed for the rising summer heat: Ginger, Cranberry and Curacao.

Ginger - Developed by perfumer Yann Vasnier, this spicy scent combines ginger, coriander, cognac, geranium, passion flower, musk, sandlewood and rhubarb.

Cranberry - Sigh, this one is my absolute favorite!  Developed by perfumer Richard Herpin, this fruity floral fragrance combines cranberry, orange, honeysuckle, red currant, musk and exotic woods.

Curacao - All developed by perfumer Yann Vasnier, this sweet scent combines citrus, blood orange, violet, apricot, pear, white moss and musk.

All scents are amazing (though Cranberry is the one I have dreams about....it's gorgeous) and all come packaged in a HUGE bottle: 10 oz (300 mL) to be exact.  The price is $85 CAN per bottle from Sephora but if you can get your hands on one from the States, it's only $65. 

Have any of you ladies tried these fragrances?  What are your thoughts?

XO

Jun 24, 2011

More Awards....For Me???

Today is supposed to be a DIY Beauty Friday day and I came home from working out FOREVER and thought I was going to die.  (Yes, I'm that out of shape).  Instead I thought I'd post about something I've put off for quite some time....

I am a terrible blogger friend.  My pal over at Purrceptive Vixxen nominated me for the Stylish Blog Award and me, being the horrible person I am, forgot I received this award until my awesome pal, Liz, over at Beauty Reductionista tagged me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  So, I'm going to combine them both on here AFTER I give some major blog love...

Purrceptive Vixxen is one of my current favorite reads.  I love her blog because she isn't afraid to take chances with her posts and she shows her true self on her blog.  Oh and her and I both have a love for Avon products.  She's my Avon sister....ha.  Thanks again lady for the Styligh Blogger Award lady!!

I faithfully read Liz's blog, Beauty Reductionista, because she is such an insightful writer.  Her posts are well thought out and I can tell she loves beauty products as much as I do.  Also, she takes some of the best pictures......EVER.   If you haven't checked out her blog yet, PLEASE DO SO.  She is extremely talented!!

Thanks again, ladies.  You're both rockstars....Alright so let's see, things you don't know about me already

1. I usually change my hair color every month HOWEVER I've stayed in the red color family for the past 6 months.  I've never stayed with a color this long before 
2. Kids movies make me cry.  I honestly can't make it through the Land Before Time without tearing up when Little Foot's mother dies.  Sooooo sad
3. Allan bought me a bike, hoping I would ride with him (he's a downhill mountain biker) and I don't like it, at all. 
4. One of my favorite snacks is carrots dipped in mustard.  YUMMY
5. I am absolutely dreadful at applying eye liner.  Seriously, I try but it never works out the way I want it to.
6. I adore spicy food more than anything in the world.  The spicier the better.
7. I take a pill every day for chronic heartburn.  I sometimes wonder if this is because of #6???

I feel like I'm running out of secrets.  HA. I'm tagging (for both awards)

My girl Mandy from MandysSecrets 
My amazing pal from Beauty Boudoir
The oh so fashionable Mimi from Aesthetic Lounge 
The awesome chick behind The Make Up Fairy 
The beautiful Natalie from 4 Seasons

XO

Jun 23, 2011

WARNING: This Dye May Turn Your Hair Black!!!

This is the message that should appear on every box of Clairol's Nice 'N' Easy 5RB (Medium Reddish Brown).  Seriously, I'm not kidding.  (And, yes, this picture on the left is what my hair looked like immediately after dying it.)

Just to clear something up, I am NOT new to coloring my own hair however I did just recently start doing it again in an effort to save money and have fallen completely in love with L'Oreal Excellence Creme in 5RB (again, a Warm Reddish Brown.)  Unfortunately, when I went to re-purchase this awesome dye it was sold out!  Everywhere!! So instead I grabbed a box dye with the same coloring and classification as the L'Oreal.

I was wrong......oh so very wrong.  How two separate brands can have the EXACT same color system/classification and yet end up so dramatically different is completely beyond me.

Oh, did I mention that this Clairol color was a foam?  Well, it was.  The foam brands have been getting rave reviews online and I selected this because of what others said.  I will say that the mixing of the colorant into the foam bottle was very easy as both were liquid.  (No messy containers or squeeze bottles.) 

However, the fun ended there.  First, the smell was absolutely atrocious.  As it was going into my hair, the first thought that came to my mind was rotten fish.  (I know, terrible comparison but it was grossly disgusting).  Second, the foam did not stay foamy; in fact as soon as I squeezed it into my hand, it turned to liquid.  This means that it dripped everywhere from my forehead and down the back of my neck.  Once on, the instructions said to leave on 25 minutes which I did.  I rinsed out, used the awesome (I say awesome because hair dye conditioners are amazing!!!) conditioner, stepped out of the shower and screamed.  Yes, my hair was black.  I crawled swiftly into bed, covered my head with the blanket so Allan couldn't see me and fell asleep.

I was up at 4:30 with an incredible plan of stripping my hair.  Armed with Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo and a box of baking soda, I made my way to the shower and shampooed (a mixture of shampoo and backing soda) three times.  After that, I shampooed with my normal shampoo, twice, and conditioned with my Moraccan Oil Treatment Conditioner.  45 minutes later I emerged from the shower with a dark red hue.  Much better.  (Left: color after the backing soda application.)

Lesson of the day: Just because a hair dye claims it's the same tone/shade as another, does NOT mean they are the same.  Never again will I use the Clairol Nice 'N' Easy Foam Color and even if every single store in Vancouver is sold out of the L'Oreal color I love, I'll drive to through the States until I find it.  Case closed....

Here's a quick picture of me making the best of my new hair color.  What you CAN'T see from this photo are my bright red eyes and tear-streaked face.  Thank goodness for concealer....

Jun 22, 2011

A Gorgeous Pink for Every Budget

Pink is my favorite lip color.  I adore pink because it looks fabulous with a smoky eye, can be worn to the office and out for a night on the town and it looks great with every outfit from casual to formal.  I like pink lipsticks/glosses so much that I have over 25 different shades.

I wish I could say that I don't have a problem and I use all of my 25 tubes frequently.  However, this is not the case at all.  Last night, I went through the dreaded third drawer of my vanity table.  I say dreaded because I throw absolutely everything in this drawer.  (Packages I've ordered and am trying to hide from Allan, duplicate products, etc.)
 While scouring the drawer, I stumbled across 5 tubes of lipstick/glosses that all had a very similar hue.  From left to right: Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in Sparkling Warm Rose, Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Negligee Pink, ELF Super Shiny Lip Shine in Pink Kiss, Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 in Milly Pink and Mark Glossblossom Ripening Lip Tint.

Though they look very similar in their packages, you can definitely see the differences between them all from the swatches.  From left to right: Avon, Dior, ELF, Clinique and Mark.  (Quick note: The Mark Glossblossom is a color changing product.  As you can see, the color hasn't really changed while being on my hand.  The product does, though, change to be a pale pink with my body chemistry.)

OKAY, here's where it gets rather amusing.  After taking a series of pictures with each of the products on my lips I realized that they all look verrrry much the same.  See for yourself:....

Avon Lipstick in Sparkling Warm Rose. ($7 CAN)

Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Negligee Pink. ($32 CAN)

ELF Lip Shine in Pink Kiss ($1 USD)

Woohoo, a slight change in color.  Clinique Glosswear in Milly Pink ($18 CAN)

Mark Glossblossom Lip Tint. ($8 CAN)

I know right?  Allan was laughing as he was taking the pictures saying "why do you have so many of the same product?"  I must say, after looking at the pictures I have to agree with him a bit.  

What are the differences you ask?  Why not just buy ELF instead of Dior?  Well, for me and my lipglosses/lipsticks, it comes down to what a product feels like on my lips.  So, my ratings are as follows:

1. Dior Gloss: This one takes the ribbon!  Gorgeous color, long lasting shine and not at all sticky on my lips.
2. Avon Lipstick: I love Avon!!!  Great color, super shimmery and very moisturizing.
3. Clinique Milly Pink: Stands out because it has a very slight fuschia undertone.  Plus, it's long lasting.
4. ELF Gloss: Very glossy and shiny but not that long lasting.  It does moisturize your lips though.
5. Mark Glossblossom: This fell flat for me.  It takes a good 10 minutes for it to change color and by that time, I would have applied something else.

What are your favorite pink lipsticks or glosses?  Have you tried any of these before?  XO

Jun 21, 2011

My Shopping Spree Weekend (Part 2)

Buying clothes can sometimes be a slight challenge for me.  See, I quit smoking sometime ago and gained quite a bit of weight (almost instantly) and it's been very difficult for me to adjust to my new size.  I have started working out again (YAY for me) and am eating extremely healthy so I know it's only a matter of time before I'm back to my original size but it's taking such a long time AND I'm so impatient.  Ha.  So, with this in mind, I never have high hopes when I'm out shopping.

This weekend was completely different....

Saturday's shop was at Suzy Shier.  I like their clothes because they aren't expensive AND they always have a vast selection of sizes.  Plus, they were having a fabulous sale where you buy one item and get a second item for free.  (How great is that right?)

As per usual, I was instantly drawn to this long maxi dress.  It was a bargain at only $30 (plus I have a discount card that saves me 10% off everything too) and it fits me really really well.  I am beyond obsessed with maxi dresses right now, which you all know, and liked this one because of the two-tone black and white.  (Color blocking is a big trend this year and this dress is a quick and easy way to rock the trend without trying too hard.)


I also picked up a gorgeous new top for work (I call it my peacock top), a pair of black classic Audrey-inspired capri pants and a pair of denim shorts.  The top was a mere $20, the capris only $22 and the shorts were on sale for $12.  Such a bargain. Last but not least (from Suzy Shier anyway)....

 My very first Carrie Bradshaw-esque outfit.  (Thanks to my girlfriend Bronwen for making me try this outfit on AND telling me it looked fabulous!!)  I probably wouldn't have had the guts to try it on had I been alone but, with a slight push, I realize I can totally rock a fun outfit like this.  The skirt is awesome!  Not only is the color fantastic but the elastic waistband can either be rolled down OR worn high with a shirt tucked in.  The black and white flowy top is shorter and I'll wear it tucked in slightly to the skirt.  With a pair of really high black heels, I'm totally ready to go out on the town with Allan.

While cross-border shopping on Sunday, I saw these adorable wedge shoes and HAD to have them.  Plus, they were 40% off and I only paid $31 for them.  I have been wanting a pair of cream wedge shoes for a while so I felt like I struck gold when I saw them!!

I am always on the hunt for great work tops and seem to have a lot of luck at the Gap.  I veered in the store instantly and it turns out they were having an additional 50% sale on all clearance items.  (Lucky for me since all of these items were on clearance.)  The red top is nice and flowy with a cute little flower pattern on the right side, the green tank is perfect for working out and I am always needing more black tank tops.  These three shirts were only $35 total.

Macy's was my next stop.  I usually find a lot of items at Macy's but never items that are on sale.  So when I walked in, I told myself that I was only allowed to purchase sale items.  And I did just that.  I BOUGHT MY FIRST ROMPER!!!  I say that in caps because I'm actually quite excited about it.  It has a halter top, which I love, and a verrrry low back.  (Super sexy.)  I'll be honest, the shorts being connected to the top does take some getting used to, but all in all, I love that I stepped out of my comfort zone and bought it.  This little number was $45.

I also got a couple other work shirts from Macy's; one being the tank top on the left and then my FAVE work top of the lot on the right.  It's this cute V-neck flowy top with a pink bow pattern.  So cute.  The tank was $23 and the bow shirt was $35.

I am so thrilled with all of my purchases and am very happy with the way the fit me.  Though I am still adjusting to my size, it's nice to know I can still look good!!!

XO
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