Thursday, November 30, 2006

I suck at packing

This would make life so much easier. And prettier.

10 shadows, 5 lipsticks, 2 blushes, a lip pencil, an eye pencil, mascara, and a bunch of applicators, all in one handy kit. The shades all look wearable and natural. It's what Q would give James Bond if Hollywood got confused and cast him in Miss Congeniality 3: Lipgloss is Not Enough. I can see him all opening it, one handed, with a flourish of the wrist. Suave.

So when your husband / boyfriend / mom / hotel porter yells at you to "pack light", I'm pretty sure they mean you should go out and buy this. You could maybe even use their credit card, because at $40 USD for all this (a $110 value, apparently!), they probably wouldn't even notice. Spy style!

Available from Sephora, and, hey, if you spend $50 USD or more on an online order before Dec 31st, you get this amazing gift chock full of yummy samples. Just enter code AMAZING4 during checkout. Tight.


Prairie chic is a way of dress, not a way of life.

Dear Landlord:

Here at Casa del Brain Spam, we are pretty easy-going folks. We acknowledge the fact that we are students, making our way in a big, exciting, and expensive city. And so we tolerate the cramped living quarters -- it gives Roomie and me a chance to bond anyway. True friendship is knowing the size of each other's pores, after all.

And sure, there's a terrible draft that comes into my bedroom. But you know, that'll be good training for when I decide to ditch this school business and make a reality my life-long dream of being a spelunker off the coast of Antarctica (I hear someone buried a trunk full of MAC lipgloss down there!). Besides, the constant chill acts as a reminder: drink more, more often. Boozy warmth limbers up frozen fingers long enough to type and blog.

Being of such sunny dispositions, we even try to look on the bright side. "The bathroom!" we say. "It is much bigger than any of our friends' bathrooms. Lots of essential storage space, with excellent lighting for examining those pores. Clearly the bathroom is a winner!"

Well, dear landlord, we are sunny no more. Because the electricity in the bathroom has unceremoniously and inexplicably decided to stop flowing. No more excellent lighting. No lighting at all, actually.

While the idea of showering and doing one's make-up by candelight may seem rusticly romantic, I can assure you that it is not. It is, in fact, complete shit.


Goosebump-limbed hugs,


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Product Review: Awake Invention Hydro Manage Makeup

Today's review is brought to you by Meg's Makeup. Go here to read a condensed version of the review, or to see what other gals thought of the product!

Anyone ever tried Bernard Callebaut's truffles? They are chocolate heaven... everything about them is perfection. From the delectable fillings raging from fluffy and whipped to creamy and rich, to the light dusting of cocoa on the outside... it's a world-class experience.

Trying on this foundation from Awake reminded me of the first time I tasted a Callebaut truffle. Behind the surprised delight, a little voice in my head whispered, "Daaamn. I am about to develop an expensive habit."

Upon first glance, I was wary of using this. The base looked like it was loaded with shimmer! Now I love sparkly things as much as the next product-obsessed girl, but an entire face covered in shimmer? Yikes.

Throwing caution to the wind, I grabbed my trusty foundation brush and went at it. Then came my next surprise... the foundation felt spongey in the pan. If you press on it lightly with your finger, it "gives" a bit, and then springs back. A shimmery, spongey, foundation? Those zany Japanese make up folks!

Due to the unique texture, in order to pick up the product, you kind of have to push the foundation brush lightly into the pan in a stippling motion. My third surprise came when I applied it to my face with firm, but short brushstrokes -- it feels cool! I can imagine how refreshing that'll feel during the summer months.

Regardless of all these bizarro properties, the best thing about this foundation is the coverage. It feels barely-there, but provides this amazing, natural looking coverage. For blemishes or redness, all you have to do is dab a bit more product on, and the imperfections fade away.

Even on my undereye circles, the coverage is impressive. I still use a concealer (because I: a) don't sleep, and b) am obsessive like that) but those with only light circles may find that they can ditch the concealer entirely. In fact, if I were in a rush, I wouldn't bother with concealer either -- and I wouldn't do that with any other foundation I've tried to date.

Meg, being the pro that she is, sent me this in Apricot, which is an almost perfect match for my light/med warm skintone. It's maybe a hair on the light side, but for winter, it's a great match. This base looks incredibly skin-like, but there IS the sparkle factor to account for. If you've powdered, from far away, it just looks like glowy perfection. But up close, you can see tiny shimmer particles here and there. It doesn't feel at all gritty and it's not super obvious, but it may be a concern for some.

I think I am in love with this, especially for night-time, when the shimmer thing won't matter as much. At $33 USD a pop, perhaps it's a good thing that I can't get it readily in Canada. It comes in 10 shades and can be had from Neiman Marcus. I think Bath & Bodyworks also carries some of the Awake line, but I'm not sure that they have this particular base.

Thanks again to Meg for this one; foundation is such a varied thing, so be sure to check out her site for other reviews to see how well it worked for others. But me? I am smitten.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Product Review: Tarte The Eraser Concealer + Happy News!

Coming home after a big exciting trip is always a bit... bleagh. You've gotta unpack, do laundry, respond to the gadzillion emails that have accumulated in your inbox... it's decidedly un-fun. But fortunately, I had something to look forward to...

I've been invited to join The Beauty Blog Network! A directory put together by none other than the fantastic Elke VonFreudenberg, it's comprised of some of the best beauty blogs out there. And... uh... me.

Anyway, I'm super thrilled to join the network. Plus, there's a handy weekly summary of what people around the blogosphere have been talking about. Bringing the best of beauty to your doorstep! (Screen-step?) Do check it out!

Now, on with the review. Remember how I was all wanting to try Tarte's The Eraser Concealer? Well, I finally did!

I really really wanted to like this, but it just wasn't going to happen. Don't get me wrong, the coverage was great. While not as opaque as it could be, it looked very natural and skin-like. It applied seamlessly, like a thin, smooth, flexible layer of second skin. That's the silicone at work for ya, I guess. It was just creamy enough to feel smooth and substantial, without being hard to blend.

The applicator is a bit finicky -- it's like those lip glosses with the brush on the end, where you have to twist the bottom to advance the product. If you've used those, you know they're kind of a pain. But it does save on you toting a separate brush around if you're travelling.

The biggest thing though, was the shade selection. I bought the "Light" shade, thinking that it'd be perfect for my light-to-medium warm skintone. Sadly, it was just a titch too dark for using on undereye circles, and isn't that the whole point? It *was* great for concealing blemishes and redness, but so are lots of other, cheaper concealers. I tried the "Fair" shade as well, but that was too light. Sigh. Back to Sephora it went.

So until Tarte comes out with a "Fairly Light" shade or something, I'm out of luck. But if you think you can find a shade match, I'd definitely recommend giving this a shot. Just be sure the store allows refunds... I'd have been mighty pissed had I been out $27 CAD!

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Home Sweet Home!

Hi y'all! How've you been? I've finally made it back across the pond after a fabulous trip... castles! Scotch! Accents! Shopping!

The Glasgow Museum of Modern Art at night. Pretty, no?

Oh the shopping. There was so! much! shopping! And speaking of shopping, there's really no better person to do it with than my now-in-real-life (zomg!) friend Erin and her lovely (and patient) fiancée. Seriously, girl knows how to shop, and her bargain-hunting skills surpass even my own. She graciously took me to a bunch of UK hotspots where I proceeded to go completely insane and grab things off the rack like a crazy person. (She had coupons! How could I resist?)

So that was crazy fun. Plus Erin introduced me to some incredible loose eyeshadows from BarryM, and Bourjois products are like half the price over there, so... yeah... I... I spent rather a lot. But it was worth it!

And I'm sure everyone will be much relieved to know that Hen was spot on and my Conair iron worked just fine with the plug adaptor. Of course, I only used it once the whole trip... apparently, it rains daily in Scotland, yo. Oh well, it's about options, people.

A big ferris wheel! This was taken on the way up the hill to the Edinburgh Castle. A castle!

Other things that are spot on: CW's and Chicken's recommendations -- M&S rules! And Astral cream is possibly the best moisturizer I've tried in a long time. My hands felt like silk after I put some on. Pity that I only bought the travel size (luggage space was at a premium), but maybe I can convince The Boy to bring some back. "Well I know it's 500 mL babe, and I know you've only got a hiking backpack, but have I mentioned how much I love you and hey have you been working out?"

Alrighty-roo, I've got to jet and take care of some schoolish business. Who knew taking a week off would mean that you'll have loads of work waiting for you? But stay tuned, I've got some exciting news to share on Monday! Whoo hoo! In the meantime, hope those of you in the States are having a great Thanksgiving weekend, have a drumstick for me!

PS: Chicken, I replied to your concealer question in the post, but here it is again just in case. Full details to follow, but I think I am in love with Cinema Secrets' foundation/concealer. Not sure where you can buy it in London, but I got mine at Industry Cosmetics in Toronto. They do online sales, but do charge for shipping.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Calling all Ex-Pats!

Hurray, I am off to Glasgow in mere hours, presumably to visit The Boy, who is currently studying there. Little does he know that this is just an excuse -- I'm really going for some cross-Atlantic bounty procuring (aka: shopping), and to hopefully hang out with a fellow blogger & Benji fan.

So, to those of you who are from the UK, have spent time there, or just generally know about these things, here is my question:

Are there any awesome beauty goodies that I simply must get while I'm there?

I mean, the UK Body Shops have freakin' Pink Grapefruit body butters, but at almost $26 CAD for a 200mL tub... I'm not sure even I can justify that. But there must be something else that puts the bloom in those English Rose cheeks! Do share!

Oh, and it doesn't have to be beauty related. For example, I'll definitely be picking up some Milky Way bars for the ride home*. And I know that they're basically the same thing as the Three Muskateers bars, but somehow, Milky Ways just taste better. More celestial, maybe.

But yes, leave a comment, or email me any suggestions. And then I can buy more shiny pretty things and review them here, and the cycle will be complete! Thanks in advance!

* Not to be confused with the American Milky Way bars, which are apparently the equivalent of our Mars Bars here in Canada ("Now Peanut Free!"). It's all very confusing, go here to see a handy comparison. Warning: do NOT click that if you are feeling hungry, or are trying to avoid sweets. Seriously.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Minor Hair Freakout & Review: Conair High Heat Ceramic Straightener

So, if you've been reading along, you will know that I am just a little bit obsessive about my hair. This being the case, I made well and sure to buy a voltage converter for my upcoming trip (OMG, just 50 hours to go! I so need to pack!!!!!) to the UK, because like HELL I'm going to have hair that is frizzy in addition to lopsided while I'm over there.

You see, I am very devoted to my straightener. Sure it only cost around $40 CAD at the drugstore, and it's true that "Conair" is a far cry from "Chi". But dammit, this thing WORKS! My hair is generally straight to begin with, but the ends are oddly wavy and wiry. Despite my hair being thick, hard, and plentiful, this modest little straightener glides through my strands, and leaves my locks silky, sleek, and shiny. I used it for the first time last December and I haven't looked back since.

A big worry with cheap hair straigteners is that they don't get hot enough. Not so with the Conair. It's got a little turn-dial that lets you select between 25 heat settings, and I've never had to go above 20 or 21 to get my desired results. In fact, I've moved it down to 17 and it still works well. The plates grab tightly, and mine came with an awesome comb attachment (not pictured) that prevents the iron from tugging on hair, which could lead to greater damage. The slim design is easy to use, and I find it less tiring than the "scissor" type of handle. I've had this for a year now, and it's still going strong.

Much love for this straightener. I take it with me everywhere.

But then, I started reading some reviews (because I am an internet junkie, yes, I know) about some high-heat ceramic straighteners that will fritz out EVEN WHEN you use a voltage adaptor! Somehow, I don't think the other 3 guys with whom The Boy is currently sharing a flat would appreciate my straightener shorting out the flat's circuits at 8am.

So madly I scurry off to go grab my straightener & its model number, to see if anyone else has tried using it in Europe. And then I see the magical little words: "125/250V AC 50/60Hz"

Allllright, this baby's dual-voltage!

So, in addition to being effective, easy-to-use, and affordable, it also travels! Which means I can return that $50 voltage converter now, and use the funds to buy cool UK beauty loot instead! Beat that, Chi!

FYI, the model number on mine is the same as the one depicted (CS25HC), but mine has gold plates, and the comb attachment (which comes off if you want).

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Product Review: Laurence Dumont Crème Brûlée

Okay, so as per a fragrance recon request, I went & checked out Laurence Dumont's Crème Brûlée at Sephora today. It essentially smells exactly like the dessert. In the bottle & on paper, it smells strongly of the burnt, caramelized sugar that sits on top of the custard. On my skin, it mellowed out a bit and became creamier, with the vanilla coming though more. It reminded me a teeny bit of The Body Shop's Nut Butter, but sweeter and more foward. But it basically smells like a caramelly-crème brûlée the whole way through.

I'm not a big fan of foody smells, so I wouldn't buy this for me. But if you love the smell of the dessert, this is certainly true to form. To its credit, the sweetness wasn't plastic or saccarine like cheapie dessert smells can be. And, I didn't find one light spray too obtrusive -- it stayed pretty close to the skin after the first few minutes. I would put lasting power of the Eau de Parfum at around 4 hours, which seems a bit short. This might be just my nose getting used to the scent really quickly though... Roommate was with me, and she seemed to smell it on me much more than I could.

This would be a great pick for crème brûlée fanatics in your life -- only about $30 CAD for a big 3.4 oz bottle. As for me though, I'd rather enjoy the scent as a burning oil or lipbalm.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Product Review: L'Oreal HappyDerm & L'Oreal HydraFresh

Quick! TriBond time! What do the following 3 things have in common? (The links are tips... it's like Brain Spam: Scavenger Hunt Ed. around here!)

~ Winston Churchill's martinis

~ "Classical Music: The Era of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven", by Phillp G. Downs*

~ Calgary (aka: my home town)**

These things are all drier than the Sahara.

Those of you familiar with the Canadian praries will know that "humidity" is pretty much a foreign concept there, especially in the winter time. When 82%*** of the precipitation you get comes in frozen form... well, lets just say that you buy a LOT of rich moisturizers.

Now that I live in "Blame-It-On-The-Lake-Effect" Toronto though, I've been getting by with just using one lightweight moisturizer for day and night.
L'Oreal HappyDerm (for Normal/Oily skin, SPF 15) is simply lovely. It's non-greasy and sinks in fast, but keeps my face from feeling tight or scaley. It doesn't break me out, feels fantastic & smooth going on, and actually seems to improve the condition of my skin. Plus, the citrus-ginger scent and bright colour perk me up, and the SPF 15 is, of course, essential.

As of late though, the skin on my cheeks started to feel kind of flakey and rough. Could it be that I had acclimatized to the Toronto air, and that my beloved HappyDerm wasn't going to cut it in the winter any more?

This was quite the dilemma. Heavier creams have broken me out in the past. Plus, I don't have time in the mornings to wait minutes for my moisturizer to sink in before applying foundation. What to do?

Since HappyDerm had worked so well for me, I decided to try another L'Oreal product. I'd actually purchased the HydraFresh Moisturizer in the summer, when it was on sale. But when I tried it then, I found it too sticky, even when used at night. But 5 months later, it's just the ticket. (Sorry for the not-so-professional picture, I wanted to show the texture, which I think is unique and awesome.)

The Combo/Oily version of this is a cool sorbet-green, and has an airy gel/cream consistency. (The Sensitive/Dry version is pink) Right now, my skin is drinking this stuff up. When I put it on at night, my skin is silky soft the next morning. I don't seem to have the stickiness problem that I did in the summer -- primers and foundation glide on with no problems. It doesn't leave the smooth matte finish that HappyDerm does, but it's still quite nice.

The scent is not peppy like HappyDerm's, but is rather a pleasant soapy fragrance. It doesn't linger after application, but if this bugs you, I suspect that the pink version would be scent free. Best of all, it's done away with the dry patches on my cheeks... my skin feels moisturized, with no breakouts!

Both of these products can be easily found at drugstores or Wal*Mart-type places. Happy Derm goes for about $14 CAD, and Hydra Fresh for about $18. Both have SPF 15 and a light texture, making it ideal for either day or night use.

I still prefer Happy Derm slightly, for the velvety finish and the wicked bottle with the locking pump, but I'll definitely be reaching for Hydra Fresh on those cold blustery days that are looming on the horizon.

PS: For those of you wondering about the SPF-ness of HappyDerm, in Canada, there are 2 versions -- with SPF 15, and without. The pic above is of the version without SPF. The box for the version that I use is shown here (click for bigness). The difference in packaging is really minimal, so make sure to double check which kind you're getting. If you are outside of Canada, I'm not sure that you can get the SPF version. In fact, HappyDerm isn't even on the US site any more, although it does show up on the French site and some other European sites. It was available in Australia a few years ago, but I'm not sure if it's still there now.

* I've never read this. It could be a sparkling and lively tome, for all I know. But somehow I doubt it.
** Much love, Flames! You can make it into the play-offs still! All is not lost! (maybe)
*** This percentage may or may not be correct. I made it up in my head just now.

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Today's Perfume: Dolce & Gabbana's Sicily

Okay, so with an ad like this and a model like Monica Bellucci, do we even care what the perfume smells like? The poster alone makes you want to own it!

Listed Notes: Sicilian Bergamot, Jasmine, Pearl Rose, Sandalwood, Heliotrope.

I was talking about picking a warmer scent for Fall, and this certainly qualifies. This, to me, is the perfume equivalent of an expensive fitted cardigan. While not "old-ladyish", this might be something I'd wear if I were some fabulously organized and sophisticated business woman, who also happens to be the Perfect Mom.

Let me try and explain. Right off the bat, Sicily smells very soapy. Not in the harsh chemical detergent way, but rather like the floral soaps in your guest bathroom that no one in your house is ever allowed to actually use. I also get some woods (the sandalwood, I guess) coming through right away, and don't detect any of the bergamot that's supposed to be in there. This is certainly no sugar-laden citrus... if it's there, then it's subtle and dry.

I do think there is a sweetness to this though, and I think that's driven by the smooth vanilla (hence the "Mom" comment). I also detect some spice mixed in to the woods, but it's more of an incense-y spice than a foody kind. (I wouldn't call the fragrance smokey though, it's got too much soap for that.)

Like Ecume de Thé, the last bit of the drydown is my favourite part of this fragrance (although I like it much much much better than Ecume de Thé). There's a teeeeny bit of something salty down there. I can barely smell it, but that, combined with the smooth sandalwood, leaves an interesting last note on the skin.

I could see wearing this out to the theatre, or an art gallery or book reading or something. While I am not stark raving mad about this one, I do think it's quite nice. Not really something I could pull off for everyday though, as it is a bit pervasive. It's sort of like "Floriental Lite", if you will. I'm sure Dolce and/or Gabbana would have a heart attack to hear me say that, but ... well, I doubt they read blogs, you know?

However, if you told me that this scent would fool people into thinking that I was as gorgeous as Monica, I'd bathe in the stuff!


Thursday, November 09, 2006


Helloooo! Please excuse the somewhat ridiculous title -- I swear it's for a good reason. I am not one to throw the suffix "-gasm" around lightly, you know.

So last night, I had the wonderful opportunity... no, PRIVILEGE... of hearing Kathryn Rose, Melanie Doane, and the incredible Emilie-Claire Barlow in concert. 3 amazing voices in one beautiful room. Wild!

Kathryn Rose is self described as a chanteuse of "theatrical pop". I'm not really sure what that means, but I DO know that she's got this beautiful, full voice that could lend itself sucessfully to pretty much any genre. Kathryn's style (she writes her own material) is like that of a less-hard Holly McNarland. Her voice is a lot less reedy than McNarland's though... much warmer and breathier.

Listening to her songs on iTunes, she reminds me a lot of Sheryl Crow, although this didn't strike me as such during the show. I think she sounds even better in person -- if you're in the area and get the chance to catch her live, I'd recommend it. She sang backup for Sarah McLaughlin's world-wide Afterglow tour, which should tell you that this lady has some serious pipes. Plus, she's just got this sultry gorgeousness about her -- after having a baby not one year ago, no less! Wow. Her husband is one lucky man. (And he's kind of hot, for an older guy. Don't tell my boyfriend.)

You guys remember Melanie Doane, right? She hit it big a few* years ago with her songs "Goliath" and "Adam's Rib", and won a Juno (aka: Canadian Grammys) for her efforts. Her style is rocky- folksy- pop, with a dash of country and an infectious foot-tapping beat. She had a bit of follow-up sucess with "Wilma or a Betty Man" in 2003, but she's been mostly taking some time off, having kids, writing, and all that wonderful stuff.

Well, lemme tell ya: she sure hasn't faded in her years away from the spotlight. I forgot how much I liked her -- I think it's fair to say that Ms. Doane rocked the house. She had some old material, previewed a catchy new tune, and then tore an electric fiddle apart. There's the ol' Maritime spirit for ya. You just can't say no to a lady who is bringing down the room with an electric fiddle. You can try, but you will fail, and then you'll want to jig. It's awesome. (Also, her guitarist is kinda hot. Don't tell my boyfriend.)**

Ahh, and there was Emilie-Claire Barlow, of course. Even with a smaller-than-usual band, she delivered an exceptional performance as always. My favourite number was probably "Little Jack Frost", off of her new Christmas album, Winter Wonderland. Which, might I say, I now own. AND it's autographed. AND I shook her hand, AND chatted with her briefly after the show. Whoo!

ANYway, "Little Jack Frost" was especially great because of the swingin' vocalese*** that Emilie-Claire had written for it. It was crisp, clear, and dizzingly good. I don't know how she does it; it's indescribable. You have to listen to the CD to fully appreciate it. Finally, I'd just like to mention that Emilie changed outfits for all 3 sets, which is something that I totally would have done (um, if I could sing and had gigs, I mean). It's about mood people -- she's a lady after my own heart!

And as if all that weren't enough, we then got treated to a set of songs performed by all three singers. Not only was it super cool to hear Emilie-Claire do some non-jazz stuff (the bluesy-song, especially! Hurray for more blues on the next album, Em!), it was astounding to hear how well the 3 voices blended together, especially considering how strong they are individually. Just... wow.

What a fantastic, fantastic show. I'm so glad I got the chance to go. The crowd was great too, really enthusiastic. I may have literally shoved my iPod into the hands of the nice ladies sitting next to me, in an effort to convince them to buy some of Emilie-Claire's CDs. In my defense, I think it worked, and I know they'll enjoy their purchases.

Ok then, it's off to bed for me. All concerts and no sleep make G a bad candidate for getting any work done. Stay tuned in the upcoming days for some talk about a bunch of concealers -- on the cutting board will be the much sought after Eraser by Tarte. Pass? Fail? Wait and see!

All pictures courtesy of Greg King, photographer extraordinaire!

* oh God... like, 8 years ago now! I'm old!

** Yes, I'd been drinking that night. How'd you know?

*** Ok, so technically, it wasn't a vocalese, because she wrote over a vocal solo, as opposed to an instrumental solo. She called it an "Emilese". Emilese is gonna be HUGE in Japan, just you wait.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today's Perfume: Comptoir Sud Pacifique Ecume de Thé

So, the weather outside is frightful
The draft in my room's just delightful*
But so long as the sky doesn't snow
I'll let it go, let it go, let it go...

Ahem. There's a reason I have a make-up blog, and not a song-writing blog.

Anyway. Yeah, it's getting chilly out. And with the grey skys and crisp weather, it seems kind of weird to wear something super-ultra-sunny-fruity-sweet. Which isn't to say that I won't do it, I'm just saying it's weird. So today, I reached for my sample of CSP's Ecume de Thé, to see if it would make me feel more "Fall".

Basically.... I don't like this. I like tea, so I thought I might like this, but I really don't. It doesn't even smell like tea to me. I get an initial blast of sticky sweetness, and then this note of... I don't know what. I've been trying to figure it out all day. It reminds me of something edible, like a fruit with a pit, or maybe some sort of nut? I can't pinpoint it. I guess it's the tea note, but I would have never described it as such if this didn't have the word TEA in the title.

There is a hint of well-behaved spice to this, and a bit of smooth smoke. I think of woody, dark green and brown things. Which tea leaves technically are and all. There's also an almost licorice tang to this that I find sort of disagreeable. The listed notes are: bergamot, lemon leaf, hibiscus, lotus, orange pekoe tea, mate, and tea wood.

So... yeah. Not a fan. Lasting power is unfortunately good on me. There IS something nice way down in the drydown -- I suspect it's some sort of mild musk. But overall, I am disappointed. Is this what tea perfumes smell like? Where's my cup of Earl Grey or English Breakfast, dammit?

* .......


Friday, November 03, 2006

Product Quickie: Red Lips and Lace

Hello! Here's a new feature where I talk about a bunch of products really fast, so that my supervisor doesn't catch me blogging I can dish about upcoming deals, update on previous reviews, and all that good stuff in a timely manner.

So, remember how I liked the L'Oreal Color Juice & Maybelline Moisture Extreme lipsticks? And how I said I couldn't wait until Fall to try out the Cherry Freeze shade of Color Juice? Well, Fall is here!



I decided that Cherry Freeze doesn't really work on it's own, it's just too bright for me. But! Pair it with the kinda-dull Plum Wine shade of Moisture Extreme and you've got yourself the perfect, customizable berry-red shade! I swipe on Plum Wine first, then tap Cherry Freeze on top. Hawt.

The Good? Super moist and comfy. Your lips smell like a raspberry-watermelon bomb for the 10 seconds during application, which is cool.

The Bad? Put that coffee cup down, this stuff doesn't stay put. But it's pretty. And Moisture Extreme lipsticks are only $4 at Shoppers' (this Sunday only!), so you can afford to re-apply.

Also: Stand aside, Paris, Britney, and Hilary... there's a new kid on the block. Well, kinda. Danielle Steele has joined the ranks of the celebrity-beauty-elite and has released a new fragrance.

Danielle is described as a lush, fresh floriental with watery green notes, an ultra-feminine floral heart, and a rich base that reveals "darker facets". So... a fruity floral with a musk base... no one is surprised. At least the bottle looks nice.

However, I do want a sample of this really really bad, just so I can write a review like this:
She shuddered as the musky base note rippled through her, igniting those dark facets once hidden by the soft innocent florals. The burst of mandarin that had drawn him in was fleeting... bright. But its carefree facade, torn apart by passion, now lay scattered at their feet like their inhibitions. His strong arms lifted up her Blue Vetiver dress, tenderly, insistently, and he tasted her White Amber skin. His tongue, silken like Cashmere Musk, gently teased her neck...

Come on! That would be way so much fun to write. Except I live in Canada, and can't get a free sample of it. But you lucky Americans can! Just go visit the flash-a-rama website and fill out the form. Interestingly, Danielle Steele waxes poetic about the bottle and the packaging, but doesn't say a single thing about the juice itself. Maybe she was just too hot & bothered over the suggestively phallic bottle to even notice the scent...

Well that was just too much fun. I'm off to take a cold shower or something. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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I blame sleep deprivation

So, we had a lovely re-cap of ANTM last night. Who knew that AJ had such a penchant for holding her own head under water? (It reminds her of, like, the womb...) And who knew Amanda actually had, you know, a personality? And who knew that Monique was actually clinically annoyingly crazy? (Oh... wait...)

I'm glad they showed all that "Never Before Seen Behind-the-Scenes Footage!!!", because now I'm less miffed that Jaeda's still around. That Tyra impersonation's worth her stayin around for couple episodes at least. And "rock n' roll" Megg needs to get some "therapy". To her credit, mascara dribbles are totally hard core.

Ya know, since the start of this season (I am NOT calling it a cycle until you stop showing your armpits, Tyra!), I've been saying over and over that Christian looks exactly like Usher, except female. Everyone just stared at me, and pronouncing it "Ursher" like Lil' Jon (YEEEAHH!) didn't help. The more I said it, the blanker the stares...

...because by "Usher", I meant, of course, "Pharrell".

Oh wow, I am so not cool.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Product Review: The Body Shop Lip Gloss Dot

Oh the Body Shop. We have a love/hate relationship, she and I. Some of her products, like the "only-at-Christmas" Cranberry body butter* & scented oil, are just unbeatable and I keep going back for more. Others, like their shampoos and the foundations from their old makeup line, are not much better than drug-store quality, and yet they come with a much bigger price tag. Since L'Oreal took over the company though, there have been some changes for the better. The Cassis Rose line, for instance, is a big hit. Roommate has also fallen in love with the new Golden Apple Body Butter, and I totally agree that it smells good enough to eat.

Ah, but this is (mostly) a make-up blog: what of their recently launched make-up line? Having had less-than-stellar experiences with the old products, I was hesitant to jump in with any big purchases. But, and Kristen over at Beauty Addict agrees, the sleek, modern-looking packaging was too hip to pass up, and I was in the market for a new red lip gloss. So I decided to give their Lip Gloss Dots in Bilberry a try.

Bilberry is a rich cranberry red with a subtle red-gold shimmer. In the pot, it looks like a cool, dark red, but it comes off on the lips as much more neutral -- almost on the warm, brickish side.

The gloss goes on smoothly, gives a nice shine, feels moisturizing, and has a buildable amount of pigment. Depending on if you've slicked on lip balm under it and how much you're applying, you can get anywhere from a sheer wash of colour to a medium-intense hue. Staying power is decent, and it's not at all sticky. Oh, and it smells EXACTLY like the Body Shop's old Dewberry gloss, which is sort of a sweet, tart-fruity berry. There is no taste to the gloss, just scent.

This lipgloss is a great way to try out the Fall red lip for the uninitiated. Certainly, no one will accuse you of getting lost on the way to a burlesque show when you wear this, but it's more dramatic than the safe pinks and mauves that are accumulating in your make-up drawer (ok, MY make-up drawer). These Lip Gloss Dots come in 4 other shades: Ice Shimmer, Candy Pink, Hot Pink (pictured), and Soft Plum. How festive.

Oh, there will be sadly no perfume talk today, as I have literally been at school for 37 hours (and counting). Oh yes, I am a fine sight to behold right now. Yay me.

* I should warn: though the Cranberry Body Butter smells divine, it tastes like the worst thing ever. I can scrub my hands clean after application, and still taste it on my fingers hours later when I put on lipbalm... nast! However, this might be a good deterrent for over-eager suitors who try to kiss when kissing is not warranted. "Ha! Eat bitter lotion, Mr. Pushy McGrab Grab!"