Thursday, June 29, 2006

He spins us right round, baby. Right round!

[EDIT: Clip found and posted in the Video Collection!]

Benji played a love-lorn DJ tonight, to Donyelle's Dancing Diva. Lovely performance, as usual. I must admit that for the first time, the Benjyelle routine was NOT my favourite of the night. (It was still really really good though!) That honour went to Heidi and Whats-His-Face*. It was AWESOME to see this perky little blonde girl get all African funky. Those arm extension-y things, where she's crouching down, and her arm whips from the front, up over her head, and then over her back? The entire side of her body just snaps back... it's stunning to behold. Plus, her partner played her Bum Drum!!! Who can resist the allure of the BUM DRUM?!?! (Certainly not Nigel Lythgoe, who looked like a living ad for Viagra after the performance)

But yeah, like I said, Benjyelle did real real good tonight. I thought Benji did an admirable job keeping the 'bouncy flair' (my own awkward term) that comes so naturally to him out of the routine. I don't know why I didn't like it as much as usual, but I suspect it has to do with this "Pop-Jazz" business. Recall that the team that did this style last week (Heidi/Whats-His-Face) wasn't too popular either. I'm sure they'll be fine in terms of voting though. I LOVE how the audience goes nuts when Benji is mentioned. And what about that eyeliner!!! He's a good sport, that Benji.

Three more little things:
1) I have decided that Alex Da Silva's name is now to be Rrrrromerrro Da Silva. He looks much more like a Romero than an Alex, plus it's fun to roll the R's.

2) Methinks our boy Benj is developing a wee crush on that lovely lass Donyelle**. I mean, I understand friendliness, but all those sweet lil' pecks are starting to look a bit more than platonic***...

3) If Nigel is the posterboy for Viagra, then Aleksandra is the postergirl for depression. Someone get that girl a Zoloft or something. She looks about ready to off herself.

* Yes, yes, it's Ryan. I'm sure he's a very accomplished dancer, but when that duo gets on stage, I just can't pay attention to anything other than Heidi, you know? She just draws the eye!
** NO idea what is up with the faux-Irish. Faux-rish?
*** To be fair, I said that about pretty much every couple that performed tonight. I blame the low blood sugar. Oh, and the fact that they were all practically making out with each other. Sizzle...


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Product Review: L'Oreal Sublime Bronze

Hello friends! It's been so long.... I've been battling car issues (DON'T get me started) and going to cottages and laying about on beaches and going to jazz shows! Not a whole lot of blogging got done in between all that, I'm afraid.

Let me take a quick moment to thank the lovely Emilie Claire Barlow for putting on an amazing show on Saturday. It's like she picked my brain and found my current favourite songs of hers and performed them all! EC is a jazz singer, quite possibly the best jazz singer in all of history. She's pretty much my favourite musician for ever and ever amen. She's local too, so I get to catch her gigs often, and I think that Saturday night's was the best I've seen yet. It was a warm night, the bar was packed, and the jazz was smokin'! I'd like to especially thank EC for finally hiring a young, goodlooking (and talented!) drummer. Not that I'm into that any more, of course. But it's nice to have nice things to look at, no?

Also! I saw Etta James in concert last night, and she is incredible! That voice hasn't lost any power over the years, and she remains a sassy and engaging entertainer. Plus, Etta looked damn good! She is the hippest, sexiest 70-yr old mamma ever and I envy her grandkids. I actually shed a couple tears (shh! don't tell!) when she sang "At Last". (Bonus: my mascara -- LashExact -- didn't run!)

Anyway, back to the review. Speaking of laying about on beaches, with beach season comes the fear of exposing one's legs and having them mistaken for flourescent light tubes. Fortunately, we now have all manner of self-tanning products to give our skin a healthy-looking glow. I've tried a few of those lotions where there's just a tiny bit of self tanner inside, and they're quite good at what they do (I think Cowgirl Warrior will be doing a review of a bunch of them soon!), but I was starting to miss the faster and more pronounced effects of a proper self tanner.

I've tried a few self tanners in the past... Sally Hansen (ewwww!), the Neutrogena foam (streaky AND stinky!), and the Body Shop's Fake It (alright, but not the best smelling, and pricey for what it is). On the recommendation of the most excellent Mrs. Badger, I picked up a tube of L'Oreal Sublime Bronze. She was careful to add that I wanted the tinted lotion version, not the gel, and not the one with SPF. And so that's what I got.

In a nutshell, this is the BEST self tanner I have tried. (I know this is old news to lots of people, but it's new for ME, so there ya go.) It goes on smoothly, and it's tinted this shimmery bronze colour, so it's clear where you applied it. Also, it means that you get a nice (if temporary) glow right away, if you're in a hurry. It gives great, even colour, and doesn't grab overly on dry skin (To try avoid dark spots, I use a good moisturizer just on my knees and ankles first, and then dab those areas again with a damp tissue after application). I grabbed the Medium-Deep version the first time as it was all the drugstore had, and to my surprise, I found that one application made me quite tan, but not too dark. After a day or two of regular exfoliation and shaving in the shower, it faded to a nice medium tan. I've since tried the Light-Medium, and it's pretty much the same performance-wise, just lighter in shade (duh).

The best part about this tanner is that the DHA-reek is NOT that evident! If I put it on before bed time, by next morning, it's quite subdued. I would say it's on-par with (or even a bit less stinky than) the Jergens Natural Glow lotion. If I put it on in the morning, I do find that it gets a bit smelly during the day, but it's no where NEAR the god-awful stank of the Sally Hansen stuff. I do find that it takes some time to dry ... it feels a bit sticky for the good part of an hour, so if you can arrange to be pants-free for a while after you put it on, all the better. For such an even, natural colour, I'm willing to put up with the slight smell and stickiness. Time to show off those gams!!

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Friday, June 23, 2006


The clip of the Top 20 Opening sequence for the June 14th show has been posted at long last! It's now in the collection, entitled, of course, "Benji has rock hard abs!"

Product Review: Sephora Professional Perfection Makeup Base

Ok, I'm over being depressed. What am I, Aleksandra Wojda or something?

Oh but before I review, can I tell you a story? I was in the lab yesterday, testing this girl. Miss "Let's sign up for the 6pm testing slot, because I KNOW you have to be back in Toronto by 8 to watch your precious TV show"* comes in, and she's got a serious case of racoon eyes. Mascara smudge all under her lower lids, and flakes on the top lid. Now, normally, I wouldn't care -- whatever man, they're her eyes. But we were using an eye tracker on her, which is basically a helmet-looking thing with 2 cameras attached that record where your eyes are looking. Through some kinda infra-red voodoo technology, it tracks your pupils. Apparently, it also tracks mascara flakes.

It was impossible to set up the damn cameras on this girl. Worse, her eye shows up in super giant size on the computer monitor, so she gets to stare at me staring at the GINORMOUS BLOBS OF MASCARA on and around her lashes while I'm trying to calibrate the cameras. It was pretty awkward. And what I wanted to do? Was grab her by the shoulders and tell her about "New Lash Exact mascara from Cover Girl! With amazing new wireless brush technology, created through the patent-pending Moldtrusion system! And the best part? No clumps!! It's like, sooooo great!" (No I didn't have to look any part of that schpiel up.) What's that word again? Where your frivolous blog-life starts to leak into your 'scientific' research? Yeah, that.

So hey, another primer review! This little ditty's from Sephora, and is about three quarters the price of the Smashbox Blend primer, for twice as much product. If you do the math, you'll find that it's... um, a lot cheaper.

The Professional Perfection Makeup Base, in its functional and hygenic minimalist tube, is quite a different animal than the Smashbox-type primers. For one thing, it's more of a cream than a gel. It looks off-white when you squeeze it out of the tube, but upon spreading, takes on this iridescent pink sheen. Rest assured though, that once on your face, it looks neither pink nor pearly. Rather, it gives a subtle "soft-focus" effect with just a touch of illumination. It is scented with a light powdery scent that I find quite pleasant, and the smell doesn't stick around for long after you apply it.

The Sephora primer spreads on easily and sinks in quickly, but I feel that I have to wait just a little bit before applying makeup, unlike the instantaneous "set" feeling I got with the Smashbox. Whereas Smashbox left my skin smooth, this primer made my face feel soft. Does that even make sense??? I guess it's sort of like the difference between a hard wax (e.g., the outside of a tapered candle) and a soft wax (e.g., the surface of parrafin). Poor analogies aside, the Sephora primer felt very nice and comfortable on -- not masky or heavy at all.

I was a bit worried about the apparent shimmer in this product. It's going to be a hot & humid summer, and I don't need to be adding any shine to my forehead. Fortunately, this primer really doesn't add any gleam, and it does a decent job at oil stoppage. My Almay Smart Shade lasts all day long when I wear it over the primer, and only requires one blot throughout the day to stay fresh.

I think that those with dry skin or those wishing to add a bit of vibrance to their complexions would find this product very helpful. It really seems to blur imperfections a bit, and it won't cling to dry spots. It doesn't minimize pores as well as the Smashbox, and I'd imagine it won't do all that much for filling in your fine lines. But it'll be great for those horrid winter days when your skin needs a boost, or for a pretty glowing summer look. An all-around fantastic option for those looking for a bargain primer! (Yes, $16 CAD counts as bargain in the world of primers!)

* Actually, she had the patience of a saint while I fumbled around near her eyes for way too many minutes. God knows that tracker starts to feel like a vise after you wear it for a while.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Too depressed to review

Yeah, so the Glitter-Mobile needs a new Y-Pipe. How can something with such a small name come with such a large repair bill? Hear that? That's the sound of my piggy bank breaking.

So, apparently Taylor Hicks (winner of this season's American Idol) is on Jay Leno tonight. Isn't that kinda... I dunno, redundant? Or at the very least, confusing. Who can keep all that chin and grey hair straight?

Oh well. At least there'll be another Benji sighting tonight.

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Urrghk... eeehhhgk.... gasp.

I tried to post earlier, but it looked like this:
Gah!!! Iiieeeeeeee! Benji!!!! Crawling!!!! Hips!!!!! Butt!!!! Crawling!!! Floor!!!! Muscles!!! BENJI HIPS CRAWLING MUSCLES RIPPLING FLOOR!!!!! EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Now that I think about it, I don't see anything wrong with that at all. The video collection is now updated. Mad hyperventilating props to for unwittingly being my SYTYCD clip dealer.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Busy busy...

... but not too busy for Benji.

Sorry folks for the lack of reviews lately, but I just wanted to let ya know that I found the clip that shows Benji getting accepted into the Top 20. God, I can't even watch it without getting misty. Did you hear him compliment his ex, after talking about how she got engaged without him? I missed that the first time around. This man is unbelievable. Go to the video post and scroll about halfway down to see it. I promise I'll make proper bookmarks for it one day. Maybe.

[EDIT: Also! A bunch of other new stuff, including a cleaner and more complete clip of the Too Much Booty routine, Benji being told that he's "safe", and some pre-show stuff.]


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Product Review: Jane Blushing Cheeks Cheek Shapers

Hello world! Guess what? My poster submission for this spiffy conference got accepted, which means I'll be heading over to beautiful Montreal in the fall! (That rhymes!) It's my first poster ever at a real live conference, so this is super exciting. Plus, it's in Montreal, which is a city that I really really want to visit (I haven't been since I was 12). I have such a rosy glow of happiness about me! Or might that be my new blush from Jane Cosmetics?*

First, a bit of background. I am devoted to my old Body Shop Colorings blush in Delicate Pink, but they discontinued it when they switched over their makeup line. Their new blushes are fine and all, but none of the colours are as perfect as Delicate Pink is. It's just the right shade for me -- natural looking, brightening, and goes with pretty much everything. I'm now scraping the bottom of the blush pan... soon it will be all gone. But it's no big deal, because: a) it's just blush, and b) EVERYONE seems to make a decent blush. Everyone except Cover Girl, that is. I tried their Cheekers Blush in Snow Plum, which is a happy looking shimmery peachy pink in the pan, but is invisible on my face. Even after I get it to show up, it disappears in an hour. And it smells like Grandma. Bad buy!!!

But I digress. Rarely do I come across a powder blush that I dislike. Everything from my Mom's old Mary Kay, to cheapie stuff like Rimmel, to Nicole Miller and Dior... even that gaudy-looking BRIGHT rose stuff that I had to wear for the stage... they're all fine. The colours are all pretty in their own ways, textures are not chalky, and staying power is good. So what's special about Jane's blush?

Well, it's cheap, for one. The compact ran me about $5 or $6 CAD, which is on the low end even for a drug store product (you can get the single colours in bigger pans for the same price). The texture is great... very silky and smooth. It's a "soft" powder, if you know what I mean. (If you've ever tried Neutrogena's blush mosaic thingy, you might have an idea of what I'm getting at... I found that powder to be "hard", like you had to work a bit to pick up the product.) And hoo boy is this stuff pigmented! You don't have to be paranoid about it, but you should definitely use a light hand to start, and build up as necessary.

I bought the Orchid/Blossom duo, and both colours are very pretty (the pic doesn't really do them justice). Blossom is a subdued rose that is on the cool side. To be honest, it looks a bit boring in the pan, but on the skin, it's lovely and natural. Orchid is the party animal of the two. It's candy pink and shimmery, but sheer enough to act as a highlighter as well as a blush.

Each colour is nice enough on its own, but together, they are dynamo. I guess the idea is to use the darker shade as blush/contour and the lighter shade as a highlight, but who really has time for all that? I just swirl my brush around the whole thing, then swirl it some more on the lid of the compact to blend the shades together and get rid of the excess, then sweep on to my cheeks. Voila, fresh looking, vibrant cheeks. It's so easy to customize too -- if you're feeling particularly sparkly that day, just brush on a bit more of Orchid. If you want more colour, add some Blossom. Neato. It's not quite Delicate Pink, but it's the closest thing I've found.

I also really like the case. Unlike their regular blushes, which come in screw-top circular containers, this compact flips open and snaps shut. The clear plastic is thick and sturdy, and it looks... I dunno, classy or something. As classy as plastic gets, anyway. I had originally purchased this as something to leave in the office, in case I accidentally spent the night there again, or if I had a last-minute invite to some fantastic event at which I could be fantastic and have fantastic amounts of fun. As it turns out, I've been using it daily since I've bought it! The duos also come in Glow/Earth, which is a warmer, peachier combo. At this price, I'd recommend considering these the next time you're in the market for a new blush!

* Okay, it's mostly the conference thing, since I am so uber geek. But the blush still helps!

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

He was MAJESTIC, yo.

Stanislav should not have been booted. He did nothing wrong, and made his partner look better than possibly anyone else on the show could have, for that style. He's a lovely lovely man, and danced beautifully, but he was too stoic and not pretty-boy enough for American Reality TV. Whatever happened to admiring the strong, silent, sashaying type? If it makes ya feel any better Stas, I thought you were pretty damn dashing. Oh well.

Oh, and Cat Deely really needs to work on her elimination schpeel. When my first thought is "Yikes, you should take notes from Ryan Seacrest"... well, YIKES.

Woah, 3 posts today, and all about SYTYCD. I promise tomorrow I will talk about some blush or something. Or at least not about Dance.


Oh you KNEW this post was gonna happen.

Oh YouTube, you are the best thing ever. I know these clips are all easily accessible on teh intarweb, but I thought that they should be collected here, in all its Benji-fied glory, all in one cozy, obsessive little spot. Because what kind of future wife would I be if I didn't do this? Ya hear that, Benj? Not only will I keep your sock drawer organized, I'll curate your internet museum of video clips too! As if this were a Benji Schwimmer Memorial. Or shrine. Or psycho fan page. Whatever, just watch, enjoy, and admire. Over and over and over again, just like I will.

I'll make a link to this post over in the sidebar, and will update with new videos as I come across them. Without further ado, here is the darling and luscious boy himself, starting from the most recent vid I could find:

[EDIT 07/07/06: Oh booo! YouTube got all 'copyright' this and 'without permission' that, and took down a lot of the videos. If you can't see them anymore, hop on over to the most fabulous Vixen's site, from which you can download a whole lotta Benji love. Lots of non-Dance footage too! Thanks for being the enabler to all us Benji-addicts out there, Vixen!! :) ]

Dr. Evil would be jealous of that ass: -- Benji's solo from the July 19th show. He shimmies and shakes and bends and points out his Benji-bum. As IF we weren't already fixated on it.

You cannot stop the Motion of Benji's Ocean! -- July 12th show. Benji makes Leave it to Beaver chic again, and Donyelle shakes her fanny muscles. I decide that the choice of song for this number is Benji's personal, secret, LUSTY message to me, much like the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky/Secret Necktie affair. Oh, except I am not quite as trampy as she is.

Benji is Footloose! -- opening sequence from the July 6th results show. I was a bad bad fangirl and didn't watch it, but here is the clip anyway! Hurray for all dem tricks! I wonder if Benji & Heidi helped choreograph it?

BENJI is the new Dimitry, bitches! -- July 6th show. Benjyelle kick the Vietnamese Viennese Walt's ass, in a most graceful and elegant manner. Donyelle also grabs Benji's glistening pectoral in a most graceful and elegant manner. I've lost my voice screaming about it all.

Benji buries his geek and brings out the chic! -- June 28th show. Benjyelle do a Pop-Jazz number and explore their urban/emo sides with copious amounts of eye-makeup and hair product. It's like the 2 reasons for this blog's existence, joined in holy matrimony!

Benji & Donyelle cha-cha to Cuchi -- June 22nd show. I'd comment on that tender lil' peck Benji placed on Donyelle's neck, but I'm too busy gaping at the stunning, rippling, toight... um, musculature... that he displayed in those last precious seconds. You know, when he was crawling on the floor. Aw Benj, now you're just teasing.

Benji & Donyelle are pronounced SAFE after Too Much Booty -- No one is surprised. Benji's open-to-the-navel shirt gives me the tingles. And, not that it'll ever HAPPEN or anything as I got dibs on dem genes, but if Benji and Donyelle were to ever have kids, I think they'd be just beyond gorgeous.

Opening routine from June 15th -- This was the show starter for the June 15th show, in which Stanislav (unfairly) got the nix. Not a whole lotta Benji action, but it's a great group number. And it is much more entertaining than all that posturing of Nelly Furtado's that happened later on. Leave that weave alone, lady!

So much booty! TOO MUCH BOOTY! -- Oh hells yes. Benji & Donyelle RIP IT UP during the first Top 20 show. The judges are very impressed. Includes the rehearsal footage for the routine, where Benji tells the world that he doesn't "really get close to girls in that way. Or at least not yet, 'til [he's] married". I'm waiting, Sunshine. I'm waiting:

Benji has rock hard abs! -- Yipiee! The Top 20 Intro sequence, where each dancer briefly showcases their own thing before the first Top 20 show. Includes coveted glimpses of Benji's abs! Watch at your own risk, may result in overzealous squealing:

Benji is RRRRRussian -- Short pre-show clip. Benji gives a shout out to his Russian Homies, and Travis Wall plays a prissy bitch:

Benji's gonna be bigger than Celine Dion! -- This is a video from Access Hollywood of all the Top 20 contestants. Benji appears about 45% of the way through the clip, after Nigel is done being mean to everyone. He mimicks an English accent, causing me to almost immediately drop out of grad school and hop on the first flight I could find and book it on over to Hollywood. Sigh. Also, Benji is apparently David Schwimmer's cousin. Who knew that I'd be marrying into such a diverse and famous extended family!

Benji is in the Top 20! -- A montage introducing all the Top 20 dancers. Benji only makes a brief appearance, but it's still awesome. Plus, it's set to Canned Heat, which is such a great song:

I'm like a beauty pagent person right now -- The judges play a mean, mean joke on Benji Schwimmer, before revealing that he will be going on to the Top 20. Benji captures hearts the world over when he talks about his ex leaving him while he was in a mission. (He still calls her an awesome person though! What a guy.) Featuring exclusive (well, not really) footage of him modelling mismatched skeleton socks and hugging random members of the very very fortunate camera crew. I screamed out loud a little when he did the hip thing. And I'm at work right now:

Benji's audition -- Benji dances for his life, with assistance from his lovely cousin Heidi Groskreutz. And I'd like to add, as a fully hetero female, that her ass looks utterly amazing in that costume. (The first half of the clip is the dance part of his initial audition again, sorry for redundancy.) It was at that moment, when Benji stakes his claim as the US Champion of West Coast Swing, that I decided he was to be my betrothed:

2005 US Open Swing Dance Championships -- Not from Dance, but this is like an extended version of Benji's "Dancing for your Life" routine above, with a KILLER ending move. I love how fluid Heidi looks here. Also, I thought the Donut Drop on this was even better than the one they did on Dance. Because clearly, I know so much about swing dancing.

I'm Luke Skywalker, baby -- Benji's audition, including his tearful reaction to being invited to Las Vegas, and some ridiculously charming banter about his father. (Do I even need to make a lighsaber joke. I mean seriously.):


I didn't know they were even dating...

Hi! Okay, time for another episode of Crazy Celebrity Clones.

But first:

Aww.... Heya Benji. Lookin' good. How yooouuuu doin'?

Anyway. Regard:



Heidi Groskreutz is apparently the love child of Jessica Simpson and Reese Witherspoon. Man, Reese can do so much better than the Reject Simpson. Ryan must be pretty upset about all this. Talented progeny though!

Pics courtesy of Use My, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and Capital Swing


Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Benji Schwimmer gets hella funky!

Benji Schwimmer looks stupid adorable in hats!!

Benji Schwimmer showed his abs!!!!

Benji Schwimmer can do the splits!!

My future husband!!! Can DO THE SPLITS!!!

Benji Schwimmer's loser of an ex-girlfriend is probably contemplating self-imposed exile from all of humanity. At the very least.

Benji Schwimmer doesn't "get close to girls like that. At least not until [he's] married." (TO ME!!!) But "[he] could get used to it". (WITH ME!!!) For God's sake can this boy be any more lovable?!?!?

OK FINE I'LL CONVERT. Are you happy, Mormons? Damn but y'all are devious.

Benji Schwimmer makes me wanna get TIVO. Like, YESTERDAY.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go lay down for a bit of private time. Toodles!

PS: Props also go to Donyelle, his partner, who I admire muchly. Also to Heidi, because she looked so lovely and graceful, and, y'know, because she'll be family soon and all.

PPS: Oh yeah, CNTM was fine. I'm beginning to hate Sisi less (but only a bit!), I thought Tenika should have been booted, and Brandi IS Thandie Newton, even if she was a bit of a drunk. But nowhere NEAR as drunk as Mary Murphy apparently is. All the time. And what is UP with that cackle? I swear she must have been doing a line or 3 during the commercial breaks. This lady out-Paula's Paula!


Product Review: Cover Girl LashExact Mascara

So, between all the ANTM and the Queen Latifa and Cowgirl Warrior's recommendation and all the hype on MUA, it was inevitable that I would purchase this mascara. Even though I have FAR too many mascaras for a girl who doesn't even use them all that often.*

Lash Exact's main selling points seem to be the brush, Jade, THE BRUSH, and its clump-free application. I picked up a tube in Blue, simply because I could. The purple tube is on the giant side, but it sure is purrty.

Let's get to talking about THE BRUSH then, shall we? This thing is plastic and spikey-looking, and is supposed to be key in providing separation and definition like you've never seen before. I liked that it pulls out of the tube cleanly -- there's no globules of excess mascara at the end of the wand to deal with. However, this shit hurts if you accidentally get too close to the lashline. With a traditional mascara wand with softer bristles, this usually leads to a big ol' smear, but it's not too painful. With the Lash Exact brush, there's much less smearing (yay!) but rather more pain (nay!). The answer to this problem is to not be a jittery klutz like me. Put DOWN the coffee before putting on the mascara, G! When will you learn???

As for the no clumping promise? There's certainly no clumps of the "chunk-of-mascara-on-a-lash" variety. But, while the mascara goes on my right eye splendidly, I somehow always seem to muck up the left eye (I am right handed) and get the lashes all stuck together. I've had to run a lash comb through them to separate them a few times. Since it defines my RIGHT lashes beautifully, I am inclined to think that this may be a problem with moi and not with the mascara. That being said, I am definitely not a mascara novice, so I'm not really sure what Exactly (har) is happening.

I have found that the best way for me to apply Lash Exact is to first curl the lash, then tilt my head back and look down my nose at the mirror and apply the product with a very light, feathery stroke. With the right eye, I have to twist my hand around so that the brush points towards my nose, not my ear -- this seems to solve my clumping problem. For either eye, any more than 4 strokes leads to clump city, but fortunately, you really don't need more than 2 or 3 strokes to coat the lashes thoroughly.

If you can get past all that, LashExact really is a very good mascara. It lenghthens and defines as promised -- it gives a natural, pretty, "casual lash look". Lashes feel soft, not brittle, and they hold a curl well. Most of all, I am amazed at its staying power! It does not smear. EVER. Not even on that spot under my left eye on which all mascaras smear. Not even after a long nap. Not even after an all-nighter. I haven't cried with this on or anything, but so far, it's impressed me very much me with its longevity. It's not even technically a waterproof mascara!

The Cover Girl website says that this is a good mascara to apply to your bottom lashes, a thing which I had never considered before. Because: a) my bottom lashes are so damn sparse I'd be lucky to find them with my mascara wand, and b) hello, if I can't keep mascara from smearing off my top lashes, how the hell am I supposed to make them stay put on the bottom ones??? While there's not too much to be done about the first point, Lash Exact's amazing stay-put-ability makes me willing to actually *try* mascara-ing my bottom lashes. And also willing to make up new words, apparently.

So, while LashExact takes a little extra time and care to apply properly, I'm willing to reach for this on those days when I just want to be sure that my mascara won't budge. As many others have said, it doesn't do a whole lot in the volume department, but it adds a nice amount of length and definition. (FYI, you can build with multiple coats, but there will be much brushing out of clumps required, and it still doesn't look as good as a proper volumizing mascara.) Oh yeah, it also smells kinda weird, but I'm not much for sniffing my own lashes, so whatevs.

For me though, the most rewarding part of owning this mascara is hearing Danielle say in my head every morning, in her southern accent: "The cluhmp stops herrrre!"

* Actually, I wear mascara ever single day now, for no reason other than the fact that I have all these freakin' tubes of the stuff lying around. This is most likely how people get addicted to crack and gambling.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Product Review: L'Oreal Colour Juice Sticks

Finally! A proper review! I mean, I'm sure that reading about my various reality TV obsessions is terribly interesting and everything. But I can hear you all thinking in the backs of your minds: "Talk about some damn lipstick already!"

Ok, fine, I will. Except it's not exactly lipstick... this time, it's all about these new Colour Juice Sticks from L'Oreal. Although I don't see it on their website, I'm pretty sure the in-store display advertised these as "lipgloss in a stick!", which basically means that I HAD to buy one. Or three.

These lipsticks are supposed to give sheer, light, buildable colour that is "never opaque, never fake". I think they're supposed to be sort of the drug-store version of the Clinique Butter Shines, although at $10 a pop, they're not exactly super cheap. However, the sleek, slender tube with the mirror-like finish does look quite high-end.

The Colour Juice Sticks felt very smooth upon application, and they smell fruity and sweet, like Trident Triple-Berry gum. They give a nice glossy finish, although those looking for serious patent-leather shine will be disappointed. This lipcolour was more moisturizing than most -- I could get by without putting on lipbalm underneath, which is a plus for those harried mornings when I'm flinging the contents of my make-up bag across the bathroom in an attempt to get out the door in time*. However, they don't quite beat Maybelline's Moisture Extreme lipsticks in moisturizing power. Moisture Extreme feels even creamier going on, and the buttery feel seems to last a bit longer than the Colour Juice Sticks. Sadly, I find a lot of the Moisture Extreme shades a bit too dense and flat for my liking (except for Red Dawn, which is an awesome shade, but is a titch too warm for everyday use for me). And so this totally justifies my buying yet another similar-yet-pricier lipstick. Right?

I first picked up Strawberry Fields (pictured), a light, sheer-looking mauvey-pink that is infused with a silver shimmer. This is a great grab-and-go shade... with sunny, bronzed summer makeup, this gives a pretty, natural lip look. With paler skin, candy pink blush and light, shimmering eyes, this shade takes on an ethereal, almost baby-doll vibe, all without going into tacky bubble-gum territory. Groovy!

So of course I had to go grab 2 more shades to try! Berry Spritzer is a rich plum/berry colour that looks really glittery in the tube. On the lips, it is actually quite natural looking, although you can see the micro-glitter if you look closely. So yeah, this might not be the best choice for work if you are employed by a Very Conservative Company, but I can totally see this shade with a tropical-coloured sundress, drinking sangria on a balmy patio at dusk**.

Cherry Freeze is KAPOW RED! in the tube, but again is more subdued than you might think on the lips (no glitter this time). This very cool red has half a foot in the fuschia category, but its sheerness makes it pretty easy to pull off. It's certainly not a quiet colour, but it would look elegant with a white shirt, pulled back hair, and minimal makeup on the face. I am definitely hanging on to this one for fall, because red lips are forcasted as a hot fall trend for 2006***, and a sheer glossy finish is my favourite way to wear a red lip. For some reason, Cherry Freeze goes on a bit unevenly if my lips are not smooth, which isn't a problem with the other 2 shades I've tried. It may be just because it's a more noticeable colour. Regardless, it's probably best to swipe on a bit of lip balm before applying this shade.

With the darker shades, even after the sheen has worn off, a hint of colour still remains, leaving the lips with an attractive stain. In terms of lasting power, these seem to be hybrids in the truest sense --they stay on better than a gloss, but you'll still have to reapply more often than with a lipstick. Because the product feels so light and the colours are so buildable, it's very easy to blend 2 shades together, if that's your thing. Their sheerness make them very wearable -- testers should be available for all colours, so do try out the shades even if they look scary in the tube.

$10 is still pretty spendy for a drugstore lipstick, and the colour selection is not the widest right now, but L'Oreal Colour Juice Sticks do live up to their claims. I got all 3 of mine for about $7 each (sale, plus $1 off coupon which I found next to the display). So if you love the feel of Maybelline Moisture Extreme lipsticks, but find their shades less than thrilling, give these Sticks a shot!

* Roommate might attest that this is apx. 87% of my mornings. This is not quite true... most mornings are actually quite relaxed. I'm just the type to drop things ALL THE TIME, which makes it sound like I am super frantic, when I am in fact just super klutz.

** You know you need to get out more when you anthropomorphize your cosmetics and they lead a more exciting life than you do.

*** Ok, so I made that up. But you KNOW it's gonna happen. When was the last time it didn't happen? And how do beauty editors get off saying that a "classic" red lip is a "hot trend" for a season? Aren't the 2 sort of mutually exclusive???


Friday, June 09, 2006

Public Service Announcement: Shopper's Drug Mart

Yo! If you have 40,000 Optimum points that your just *itching* to spend, this Saturday and Sunday would be a good time to do it. You can get $100 off your purchase by redeeming 40,000 points, which is $25 more than usual. Print off the coupon and read all about it here.

I'm going there tomorrow to buy my favourite perfume in the entire whole wide world, and maybe a percussion massager thingie.

When is Shopper's going to start paying me for all this publicity work that I do for them??

Sweet Victory!

Oh glorious day! Oh wondrous, spectacular eve!! In case you missed it, my future husband made it into the Top 20 on So You Think You Can Dance!!!! And weren't they tricky bastards about it too! The poor guy's heart must have been cartwheeling.

Oh, and his story about his floozy of an ex-girlfriend that ditched him and got engaged to some other loser while he was in Me-hi-co? (Doing THE LORD's WORK, I might add) Maybe dear sweet Benji is too much of a God-fearing gentleman to exact bloody revenge, but *I* sure as hell ain't. Watch out, you heart-breakin' hussy; let's hope we never meet. But Benji! He's DANCING THROUGH HIS PAIN! What a man! Sigh.

Seriously, I am so freakin' excited about his being in the show that I almost turned this entire blog into this. Except I didn't. Because it is ... how you say ... hideous. Also psychotic. But yes, those ARE real links, and yes, I spent FAR too much time on this, and NO I'm not even sure if my fanatic love of this dude is mockery or irony or completely 100% soul-mate-material earnest or WHAT.

In other exciting TV news, Luke Perry is on some new series about a bunch of beautiful people who win the lottery. LUKE PERRY!!! Brenda's BOYFRIEND! Wow. I must say that he looks pretty darn good for a guy who must be... what, 85 years old now? Yup, not bad at all.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Person of the Year!!

Hello internets! How've you been? Me? Oh, I'm alright... I actually left work while the sun was still up today, so that was a nice change. Plus, today was Wednesday, and that means super-fantastic CNTM fun!

Actually, I continue to be disappointed with CNTM. I know it's probably because my expectations are too high -- I'm sure that the first season of ANTM was equally shakey. But dudes, fish-eyed psycho Sisi has got to GO. Even if she did take a good picture this week. I maintain that the picture was only good in a scary-angle-y kind of way, but it was loads better than many of the rest. What was WITH all the non-face shots? Tyra would've been all "You gotta show the cam-er-a your FACE, and CON-NECT with the camera". Oh that Ty-Ty.

I am of course très triste that home-girl Dawny bit the dust, but she truly was very deer-in-the-headlights throughout this whole thing. Oh well, I recall that Calgary has a modelling agency, so maybe she can work for Avenue magazine or something, where being boring is not such a big deal if you're as gorgeous as she is. Speaking of boring, it was interesting how they asked the girls to vote someone off the (Vancouver) island. The producers were probably gagging from all the sisterly love and the "ohmigod you look sooooo gorgeous!" that was happening at the house, and decided to throw some venom into the mix. Will Psycho Sisi go all Alfred Hitchcock on her housemates? Only time and video confessionals will tell!

But on to the REAL topic of this post. So You Think You Can Dance proved to be a much more satisfying experience. Choreo, meltdowns, and cranial trauma, oh my! Not to mention all the breathtakingly tight bodies and even tighter moves. Of course there is delicious Brian, the hot young judge who manages to make us go all dreamy-eyed even when he's being mean. But my main man on the show is....

.... Benji Schwimmer?!?!?! Yeah. The son of the so-called King of Swing. The dude with the insane tricks and the spray-cheese facial expressions. The man in the hip-hugging black suit with FLAMING HOT PINK accents. The guy who looks like this:

Oh yes, I think that just might be a pleather pants-and-vest combo that he is sporting. Simply dashing, isn't it? He is shown here with his cousin Heidi Groskreutz, with whom I think he performed on the show tonight. They may have said that she was also a contestant, but I was too busy swooning to pay much attention. MAN, I loves me some Benji. I have no idea why, but I do. He is my new future husband. I will marry him and we will raise a barnful of swing dancing kids and form our own Swiss Family Robinson-esque dance troupe and go twirling off into many sunsets together. I'm sure my current future husband (Michael Bublé) will understand.*

To the chagrin of my irrationally smitten self, they showed a clip from next epsiode of Benji collapsing on stage in tears. This is supposed to make us think that he didn't make it through the next round of eliminations. OR IS IT??? Those could be tears of joy he's shedding. I think my future husband would be the type to shed tears of joy at a dance competition. That would be something he would do. Being "Person of the Year" is apparently also something he would do:

Have YOU been named "Person of the Year", Nigel Lythgoe?

So yeah Benj, you had better make it on to the next round, you hear me? I am not ready to let you out of my life yet. But if you do get booted, and you need a shoulder to cry on ... call me, okay? We can go pleather-shopping or something. Because a couple that accessorizes together, STAYS together.

* Ok fine, I have bizarre and inexplicable taste in men. And they're all very artsy fartsy and may quite possibly be homosexual. If you feel that you can't ever look at this blog the same way ever again, I understand entirely. If it makes you feel any better, I watched an entire season of Charmed just because I think Drew Fuller is hotter than Hades**. I even endured his awkward acting and poor delivery and everything!

** Wait, now I'm the chump that likes goofy effeminate men, AND watches Charmed. Super.

Pics courtesy of and

[EDIT: For those of you that landed here looking for pictures or videos of Benji Schwimmer and Heidi Groskreutz, I'm afraid I don't have any. You can check out the links on my fake shrine to my future husband, or go here and see some older footage (from previous competitions or shows, not from SYTYCD). Spread the Benji love, y'all!]

[EDIT 2: Ok, I lied. There are now videos. Please see the Benji Schwimmer Video Collection for your salivary pleasure.]


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

You know you're a grad student when...

... the fire alarm goes off in your building and your first thought upon stepping outside to safety is "Aw HELL, I left my USB key in there. I wonder if they'll let me back in for it?"* After all, 3rd-degree burns heal, but melted data do not.

I'm just going nuts over here... not enough sleep or coffee to keep going, really, but I really REALLY want to get this experiment programmed already! And then there was all that fire-alarm fun. So no time for a review today, but rest assured that things are in the works. I want to say words about Lash Exact, but feel that I should use it a few more times first. I will say that my lashes outlasted me yesterday, so that's cool.

Also on the back burner: L'Oreal Colour Juice Sticks, some stuff from jane cosmetics, and maybe a thing about how being sleep deprived, confused, and bleary can sometimes lead to good purchases.

In the meantime, please send caffeinated thoughts, y'all!

* This actually shows how BAD of a grad student I am. The good students have their USB keys tattooed to them. They'd NEVER leave it inside a possibly-burning building. Tsk.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Product Review: Tarte Cosmetics Park Avenue Princess Bronzer

It's tough for me to talk about bronzers. I'm just not a bronzing kind of gal -- I much prefer blushes. At most, I'll fling on some shimmery peach blush and call it a day. This is not to say I'm not interested in bronzers, I just don't think we get along all that well. But, as this is another review for Meg, I will valiantly go forth and bronze away.

As always, a condensed version of the review (as well as other testers' worthy opinions) can be found on Meg's Makeup. (Sorry for the incessant linking. It's a compulsion. Blame the universities of Canada for hammering in early the laws of citations in writing.)

Let's go right ahead and judge a book by its cover, shall we? In this case, we are judging a bronzer by its... er... case. Continuing the tongue-in-cheek fabulosity that seems to be Tarte's theme in packaging, Park Avenue Princess screams bling. With a bronze mock croc covering and a little gold chain (yes seriously) across the front, this compact looks kind of like a little purse.

Open the magnetic snap case and you'll find a pan of shimmery bronzer and a good-sized square mirror. The powder goes on very smoothly, and is quite pigmented. No worries about it not showing up -- even for the darkest of skintones, I think this would give an attractive shimmer. The first day I tried this, I used a rather heavy hand. All of a sudden, I felt like I should have some skimpy sequined top on. Like I should drink some Tab + vodka or something. Very much a Miami Club vibe...

Not exactly the look I was going for that day though. My second try was slightly more successful. But something still wasn't right... I looked more glow-y, that's for sure. But I missed the brightening effect that a good blush will give.

They say that 3rd time's the charm! Today, I swept on the bronzer with my usual blush brush (instead of the fluffier, larger one that I had recently purchased). The stiffer bristles on my blush brush gave me more control over where I placed the product. Plus, I think the residual blush particles on the bristles (I had been very amiss in brush cleaning!) both added extra colour and prevented too much bronzing powder from being picked up. The effect I got was a sheer dusting of sunny looking colour on my cheeks. The bronzer added a subtle, healthy gleam that I don't get when using blush alone. When applied this way, the shimmer is very slight -- no one was going to mistake me for an errant and confused club kid. That being said, if you ARE looking for that kind of look, this bronzer is unbeatable.

I liked that this bronzer was not too dark, and that it did not look muddy. The shimmer packs quite a punch, but you can avoid the blinding J.Lo look if you tap off the excess before applying. This yellow-based bronzer should flatter most skin tones... I imagine it would look especially good on blondes (because it won't overpower pale skin) or ladies of Mediterreanean or Latin descent. It would also be stunning on collarbones and shoulders for a night out (use a big fluffy powder brush). For me, the way to go is to swirl the brush in pink blush first, then pick up some bronzer, tap off all of the excess, and apply. Add a bit of pale gold eyeshadow, slick on some light mauvy-pink lip gloss, and I'm ready to take Park Ave by storm! (Or at least Mississauga Rd., as is the case today...) Now if I can only dig up some hot stockbroker around here with whom to share a 3-martini lunch...

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Product Review: LUSH Whipstick

(aka: 3 unrelated things)

1.   Whew, I am in full-on camp counsellor mode. From the capris and bright yellow t-shirt to the pony tail and runners. We had this Gala/Open-House Thing For Children and Old People today. I was manning the door prize table, lucky me! There was so much chipper small talk and nose-wrinkling cuteness that I feel like I should go pick up some lozenges and wrinkle cream. Ah well, it was a nice event (Sharon and Bram of Sharon, Lois, and Bram were there!!!!) and it was kind of fun. No, really. I am good at Children and Old People, it's a skill I have.

2.   Anyway, I should definitely be working right now, but because I love all you readers almost as much as I love procrastination, here's a quickie review on LUSH's Whipstick lipbalm. Just in case you were wondering what that's all about.

As LUSH's website says: "Three words: Chocolate Lip Balm. You don't really need to know more, do you?" They're right, it's MMM-MMM-GOOD! Smells totally edible, just like a chocolate orange: full of cocoa-y goodness without being overly sweet or plasticky. There is a slight (slight!) synthetic flavour, but that comes through in taste more than smell. There is a vaguely sweet taste, but the yumminess basically all comes from the smell. Definitely the best chocolate lip balm I've ever tried.

The name is deceiving. The texture is not really whipped. In fact, it's kind of hard. If, however, your boyfriend at the time goes "Cool! Lemme try!" and digs his finger into the tin in an overly forceful manner and ruins the smooth surface, you will find that the texture underneath is kind of whipped*. Spongey-whipped, like over-whipped cream, but harder. That sounds gross... it's really nothing that disconcerting, just a bit odd.

Once it gets on your lips, it melts on and delivers a good amount of light-feeling moisture. Doesn't feel slick or add much shine, but it feels quite smooth and nice. It imparts a faint beige tinge, which actually looks good on me, but you'll have to decide how it looks for you, of course.

The tin is cute, and the screw-top lid is neat. You get an insanely tiny amount for $10 CAD (after all taxes), but a little truly does go a long way. I guess being small means it's easy to tote around, at least. And that smell! What a way to get your daily dose of chocolate!

$10 is a teeny bit much to pay for this, but I do really like it and will probably re-purchase. Besides, what's the point of buying a less expensive product if you hate it and never use it? (Hello Body Shop Lip Butters!) Would also be a fab gift for a younger person, because it's more special than Chapstick but 'natural' enough so that Mom won't freak out.

3.   And finally, I leave you with this:

(click for giganticity)

Ok, I know "thou shalt not covet" or whatever, but I am seriously coveting Gabrielle Union's skin. Amazing! And that's in High Definition! Jen Garner also looks incredible in close-up. Covet covet covet!

Images from, which is a great place to go if you're the type to obsess over celebrities' pores and wrinkles and whatnot. I just came away envious. But it's still pretty cool. (Link via Jack & Hill.)

* After you have killed (or at least reamed out) said then-boyfriend, that is. Better men have died for less; do NOT fuck with my lipbalm.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Product Review: Tarte Cosmetics -- Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler & Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara

My first ever review for Meg's Makeup! Thank you, readers for being a part of this momentous occasion! My reviews for Meg's site will be sort of a summary of my longer reviews here, because I know that her readers might not have the inifinite patience that you lovely people must posess to get through my rambly reviews. So if you're pressed for time (or have run out of patience), check out the condensed version over there.

Today, my lashes are presented to the world courtesy of Tarte Cosmetics. I first curled them using Tarte's Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler:

Don't that look hi-tech! I'm used to using curlers with the 'scissor-like' handles, like the one you see here, so grappling with the purple-squeezy thing was a bit awkward at first. The mechanism did seem to give a bit more control over how hard you squeeze, and thus you get more control over the amount of curl you end up with. It takes more time than usual to position the curler properly (again, this could be because I'm unfamiliar with the design), but once there, it catches the small "outer" lashes a bit better than my usual drugstore curlers. Some of them still manage to escape, but a few more clamps usually takes care of them.

I had to use a light hand with the clamping, or else I'd end up with bent lashes. (although this is true of every curler I've tried). Used properly, this gives a natural looking curl. I also tried using this after I put on mascara (go gently, lest you rip out your lashes), and ended up with a more dramatic fringe. Overall, this is a nice, girly looking curler that is effective, but I don't find that it inspires manic devotion like the Shu Uemura curlers apparently do (I wouldn't know, I've never tried those). I'm quite happy with Tarte's version, but it's not like it out-performs drug store curlers by leaps and bounds or anything. Except in the looks department, of course!

Next, I applied Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara, which promises to deliver length, volume, and curl:

Will you just look at that thing? It's shiny purple faux snakeskin! And it has an exclaimation point in its name! Just holding it made me feel like one of those glam rebel chicks. It's the RuPaul of the mascara world, dressed in (the artist formerly known as) Prince's suit. Do I even care if it works?

Well... yeah. I do care. Why else would I have a makeup blog? Fortunately for Lights, Camera, Lashes!*, its cute name and bad-ass packaging do not make up the entirety of its merits. It's also a pretty darn good mascara! I have the sparse straight lashes typical of My People**, but have been blessed with a fairly long fringe. My mom always (randomly) said that having long eyelashes means that you're lazy, so if you slack off a lot like I do, maybe you can have long lashes too!

Anyway. This mascara added some length, but not crazy amounts, which is actually good, since I don't want my lashes to be knocking against my glasses. It gave me a moderate amount of volume... no one will think you're Liza, but it does add a nice oomph. Interestingly, I found that it actually deflated the curl in the lash a bit. It still maintained a nice flirty lift, just weighed down a little. Not a big deal, but I certainly didn't see any added curl.

The staying power is quite impressive. I do get a bit of smudge under one eye, but every single mascara I have ever tried does this, and always in the exact same spot. Maybe I have a weird eye. Maybe I unconsciously wink a lot. That would sure explain why all these creepy men think it's a good idea to have a conversation with me. ("She's either hitting on me, or has a facial nerve disorder! Either way, hook me UP!") Aside from that, Lights, Camera, Lashes! stays put. No flaking or smudging. I even fell asleep in it last night (shut up! I had Thai food! It made me sleepy!) and awoke to find that almost all of the mascara stayed on my lashes.

Lashes don't feel brittle either when you wear this, and I think you could build it up for Rock Star Lashes should you so please. It is a thickish formula though, so have that lash comb ready. FYI, when I apply mascara, I usually wipe excess product off on a tissue beforehand. I find this gives me greater control and more brush strokes to work with (i.e., I can do 3 or 4 strokes without clumping or heaviness). Definitely a good idea for thicker mascaras like this one. Applying it straight from the tube gives a "bigger" look, but at greater risk of clumping if you're not careful. I do notice a tiny bit of itchiness at the end of long days, but after 16 hours of wear, that's not really unexpected.

Overall, this is a pretty good mascara. I'd like to experiment more with a more dramatic look for nights out, but so far, it's fine as a day mascara. And you KNOW that your product-obsessed friend would just squeal with delight if they got this as a present from you. Since mascara is one of those "only when I feel like it" items for me, I wouldn't go out and spend $18 US on this, unless it was as part of a bitchin' present for someone. And it does look awfully bitchin', doesn't it?

And that's a wrap! Come back in the next couple of days and see what I thought of Tarte's Park Avenue Princess Bronzer!

*Because you just KNOW I'd have taken out its kneecaps if it failed to perform. Or maybe laid the brutally-torn-off head of a lash comb next to its pillow. Don't toy with me, mascara. I'm watching you.
** Is that term offensive? One friend always makes uncomfortable eyes at me when I say it. "My People"... it's just another way I refer to Orientals. I don't mean it in the 3rd Reich sense. Oh wait, that was probably way offensive. Man, I suck at this PC stuff.

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Friday, June 02, 2006


My hair. Is all black. All entirely freakin' black. Halloween witch wig? That's me. I had just wanted to take out my highlights. But this... THIS! I haven't had hair this dark since the womb. I am Morticia freakin' Adams. Ohmigod.

Plus I look really bad in hats. Stupid stupid porous hair. More details tomorrow, for now I am going to sleep on my inky black hair and hope it somehow looks better by the light of day.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006


Ooops, almost forgot. For all you Canadian gals, Shopper's is having a thing today where if you spend $50 or more, you get 20 times the points!

It's for today (June 1st) only, and you have to go here to sign up (have your Optimum card ready) and print out a certificate, which you must present to the cashier. PLUS, if you do this, on June 10th & 11th, you can redeem 40,000 points for $100 off your purchase, which is $25 more than what the points system usually gives you. I know I'll be hitting up a Shopper's later today*!

I'd like to think that I am personally responsible for this cool deal. Because Shoppers saw me hoarding away my points and thought "oh shit, we'd better make her spend them quick or she'll clear us out in one fell swoop". (No, I will not tell you how many I have -- I am not ready to admit that to the world just yet.)

*I'm sorry, bank account.


Happy June! (aka: Link-a-palooza!)

Hi everyone! Welcome to June! This month was always filled with excitement for me as a kid -- school was coming to an end, vacations to exotic and awesome places were just weeks away (what up Red Deer!), and you had an entire 3 months of ice-cream lunches and re-runs of Whose Line is it Anyway? to look forward to.

But now... now June is filled with the growing anxiety that only looming thesis deadlines can create. But let's not think about that!! Let's blog some more and update some links and talk about other great blogs and other fun stuff and what's so wrong with a little denial anyway!

First, hello to Produkt Junkie and Just Me & My Shoes! 2 fabulous ladies (from muh' hometown Calgary!) who share my obsession with all things girly. Nice to know I'm not the only compulsive browser!

On the DC connection, we've got Capitol Hill Barbie and Velvet in Dupont. The former is a fellow beauty blogger spreading the word from the White House* to the world, who is possibly even funnier than the original Capitol Hill Barbie (Oscar win and all). Plus, I think she's a science geek, which is extra props in my book. The latter has nothing to do with cosmetics, but chronicles the life of a single girl living the gaybourhood of her nation's capital. Her incredible writing and zany hijinks are a worthy read indeed.

The Impulse Impulsive Buy is a review blog for... well, for everything. [EDIT: Gawd, how embarassing. Impulsive. NOT Impulse. Sorry.] No, seriously. From iPods to cereal bars, everything is fair game. The author Marvo is a riot and a half -- any straight man who is willing to test self tanner on his legs for the benefit of his readers is a-ok by me.

Last but not least, I am absolutely thrilled to introduce:

Meg's Makeup, a smart, sassy, and HONEST product review site. You know how sometimes you surf sites like epinions or makeupalley, and the posts are always a mixed bag? Like, you'll get the person who writes:
OMG!!! Best ishadow 4evr!!! its awesum i luv it sooooo mutch all my freinds say it look good, lol i luuuuuvvv this u need it!!!
Yikes. I know these reviewers mean well, and spelling and punctuation are by no means prerequisites for having a valid opinion. But my head spins and my retinas try to crawl out of my eyes when I have to read page upon page of that stuff, and isn't that just a lovely visual?

Well sit back down and pour yourselves a drink, retinas! On Meg's Makeup, you'll only see fully literate reviews! Even better, it combines the 'statistical power'** of having lots of reviewers, with helpful and informative reviewer profiles. Because even the most well written review can't help you if the reviewer is 16 with oily skin and you're a 43 year old who wants to combat dryness. On Meg's site, you get a handy synopsis of the reviewer's traits under each review, with the option of finding out more about a particular reviewer. You can even see what their favourite drink is! Because as we all know, friends that drink together, stay together. (At least until they sober up.)

The lovely founder Meg has graciously invited me to join the ranks of her reviewers, and I'm both honoured and excited to be a part of this great project. I'll be posting the reviews both on this blog and over at her site. Stay tuned in the next couple of days for those reviews, and in the mean time, go on over there and check it out!!

* Well... probably not actually the White House, but who knows??
** Oh God, I'm talking about statistical power in relation to makeup reviews. I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY, MR. STATS PROF GUY.


Do they cover this in defensive driving?

So, today, I drove past this car that was completely on fire.


I didn't see the accident (looks like it plowed into a divider) nor did I hear the car go boom, but damn the pyrotechnics were crazy. The entire thing was just swallowed by fire... you could barely even make out the outlines of the car. The burning cars we see in movies were like birthday candles compared to this. I was 2 lanes over, and in the 1.3 seconds it took to drive past the flaming rubble, I could feel the heat coming through my closed window.

Toronto! Such madness. I don't know if anyone got hurt (couldn't find the story up on line yet... that's how fresh this news is, straight from me to you, o' faithful blog readers!!), and I really hope no one did, but exploding cars generally tend to hurt people quite badly.... Sigh.

Drive safe y'all, stay away from large objects engulfed in flames, ok?