Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not Makeup: Rememberance

A young corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces was killed while serving in Afghanistan yesterday. I did not know him, but he was very close to someone I used to be very good friends with. That friend and I had lost touch years and years ago, but her loss feels shockingly close to home. I can't even begin to imagine what she is going through.

Selfishly, I wondered: what if it had happened to me? What if it was my boyfriend, or brother, or best friend? How would I deal with losing someone so young and so full of life... someone I had looked forward to sharing my entire life with?

I don't know how I'd deal. But I do know that I was reminded today to be grateful for the amazing people in my life. Take a minute, and just forget about everything. Forget the bills, the job, the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses. And for God's sake, forget the wrinkles, the frizzy hair, and the cellulite. Because we are all perfect the way we are. We are loved, and we love, and for even just one minute a day, that is enough.

My thoughts and prayers to grieving family, and to my old friend.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Product Review: Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker

If you are reading this blog and you have cable, chances are good that you've seen the ads for SJP's new perfume on the telly. Featuring a glammed up Ms. Parker as a would-be fragrance felon, the commercial tells us that she "had to have it". The ad is very much in the vein of Carrie from Sex and The City -- stylish, cute, and a little bit insane.

I'd read that this would be a strange and unexpected scent. Sexy. Dark. Gourmand. None of these are words that usually draw me to a perfume. Especially the latter - foody scents tend to go all fake and overly sugary on me, and spice notes and I don't really get along.

But of course, I had to try it (super-liminal messaging, anyone?). So just like the the girl in the ad, except minus the stilettos and the couture, off I went to seek out the jewel-like green bottle.

And what a bottle it is! I think it's so much more interesting and display-worthy than Lovely's bottle was. I'm not crazy about the cap, since it's not an actual lid, just a circle of molded plastic that fits over the nozzle. But lid schmid, what about the juice?

On the test strip, it really wasn't much. I couldn't pinpoint it... it just smelled like perfume, perhaps with a biting top note. True to the sales-girl's word, this fragrance really does need to be worn on the skin to be properly experienced. So I hesitantly sprayed some on my wrist. Much to my relief, Covet is certainly not a Big Bad 80's scent that punches you in the nose. In fact, I found it to be much more easygoing and likeable then I'd expected.

The top notes are bright, sharp, and fresh. The warm floral heart on my skin is gone in a flash, and I am left with a smooth, subtly sweet base. Whenever woods and amber are gently blended like in Covet, it makes me feel all warm and cozy. The chocolate is not sugary and high-pitched (hello Aquolina!), but rather lends a ... a toothiness to the fragrance. You will not smell like German Torte; Covet leaves just a hint of edible-ness. The listed notes include: wet greens, geranium leaves, Sicilian lemon, lavender, chocolate, honeysuckle, magnolia, muget, musk, vetiver, bois de cashmere, teakwood and amber.

For something advertised as a "fougère on estrogen", I didn't find it very masculine at all. I suppose the greeness of it at the start keeps it from being too feminine, but I certainly felt girly enough wearing it. While this will be a disappointment for anyone looking for something really extreme or weird, I think Covet will do very well with the masses. For one, it's a fragrance people can actually wear. Sure, classics like Shalimar or Poison are classics for a reason, but I can't exactly wear them to work or school and still feel like myself*. It's definitely a cool-weather scent, and its sexiness is that of a woman who is polished and confident, but who is neither a sultry sex-kitten nor a tempermental temptress.

To try out Covet for yourself ("You have to have it! Join the Navy!"), click on over to, where you can check out all the various zany ads for the perfume, as well as order your own free sample while supplies last! Until October 15th, they'll also be running an interactive game/contest where you try to solve a whodunnit-style mystery surrounding the theft of a one-of-a-kind bottle of Covet. As if figuring out Who Framed Sarah Jessica wasn't enough fun, there's up to $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. You can get new weekly clues as well as a chance to win even more prizes as the game unfolds on Covet's MySpace page.

If you're looking for a new scent for the Fall/Winter season, give Covet a sniff. It can be found pretty much everywhere... I've seen it at The Bay, Sears, and Shopper's Drug Mart so far.

Okay, off to read some papers and try to stay awake. It's like the whodunnit game, but instead of framing poor Carrie Bradshaw, the crime is subjecting me to intolerable boredom!

* As opposed to feeling like someone who wears blue sequined suits with mega-shoulder pads, who just found out that her daughter, the one who is in a coma, is not actually her daughter, but is instead her daughter's identical twin sister who was taken away from her at birth because ... Stay tuned next week, when Days of Our Overly Dramatic and Implausible Lives returns!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ANTM ... of the FUTURE

Hiya dolls! So tonight was the premier of ANTM's cycle 9, and whooo boy! First, we must congratulate Ms. Tyra Banks for looking pretty much phenomenal during the whole show. Sistah must've worked her butt off over the hiatus. No puffy armpits anywhere to be seen! Rest assured though that what she may have lost in poundage, she took on in camp, meglomania, and general insanity. Same old Tyra that we know and love.

Now that the (apparently) requisite butt-kissing to Tyra is taken care of, let's bid a fond farewell to my girl Marvita. I mean, her name is Marvita, for chrissake, it doesn't get much more awesome than that. But then it does, because in a bikini, she basically looks like Chris Rock with a really nice rack, and she's tough as nails but has a heart of gold and won't take even a second of Ebony's BS. So here's to Marvita!


In a way, it's probably a good thing that she didn't make it. If she and The Boston Bartender were finalists, I'd never be able to pick a favourite (and no, I don't care if the Boston accent isn't for real, it was for awesome, and that is for sure).

          As it is, I'm already torn between Lisa and Jenah. Lisa because... well, just because she is who she is. And Jenah solely because she reminds me of Amanda Peet, who I think is just gorgeous. And then there is the unbelievably good looking Sarah. Major props to go Jay Manuel for his "real-size model" comment. (Hey, hosting your own show apparently allows you to remove your lips from Tyra's ass long enough to make insightful comments!)

But enough is enough, folks. Let's stop with this Mila ludicrousness, ok? She is like Nicolette Sheridan, Mary Cherry, and a trailer park, all rolled into one unholy package. As my friend wisely said: "They always need someone who obviously gets kicked off in the first couple shows." Well, let's hope this one gets kicked off sooner rather than later.

And on that loving note, I'm off! Anyone else watch the show? Any favourites yet?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Product Review: Mentholatum Petit Sunplay Sunscreen

Hello you lovely, beautiful, patient people! How's it been? I've been terribly remiss in my blogging duties, I know. Between moving, and starting the new term, and applying for (and then getting) employment, it's been a busy month! But I'm back now, and with my newer and more jam-packed schedule, I literally have to pencil in blogging time, which should ironically mean that I'll blog more. Or at least more regularly.

Anyway. You know how our North American beauty culture is obsessed (amongst other things) with golden tanned skin and pumped-up lips? Well in Asia, it's all about pale porcelain skin and pumped-up eyelashes. I'll get to the eyelashes in another post, but the pale skin fanaticism is truly rampant. They even have something called "pore-putty", which is a kind of concealer that apparently makes your skin look poreless. (And... um, sealed in?)

I don't know about putting putty on my face, but I can certainly applaud the Asian sentiment towards pale skin. Aesthetics aside, it just makes plain, healthy sense. Besides carrying umbrellas in the sun to shield their skin, the ladies of Hong Kong have about a zillion products to keep their faces fair and beautiful. I was most thrilled with their most basic of all skincare items: Sunscreen.

For all my talk about how everyone should wear it, I really dislike the whole sunscreen process. I mean, I put it on, but I don't love it*. It's sticky and thick and feels kind of gross. And there's that ever-present sunscreen smell that interferes with my fragrance choice for the day. Not fun!

But this! This is fun:

Picture courtesy of

Mentholatum's Petit Sunplay Sunblock. This itty bitty bottle of sunscreen is a godsend. It comes out as a thin white fluid, about the consistency of a cleansing milk, which makes it a breeze to spread onto my skin. It dries to such a nice, sheer and non-sticky finish that I can even put it on my face without fear of breakouts or makeup meltdowns. And the smell! It smells like Grapefruit*! It's delicious and fruity and has not a trace of the sunscreen smell and blends with a lot of my perfumes and I'm in love!

Oh, and did I mention it's SPF 50? Awesome.

The only downfall to all this wonderfulness is that the bottle is truly petite. At a measly 20g, this can't be good for much more than like 2 days at the beach. If you're only using it on your face/neck or arms, it might last a bit longer, but you'll still go through bottles before the summer's over. I guess the small size makes it easy to bring along for touch-ups, but I would love to get my hands on a full-sized bottle. (I can't. They don't exist.)

Well, they say good things come in small packages, and I guess that's the case here. I'm still on the lookout for a great everyday sunscreen that won't break the bank, but for now, I'll stretch out my little stash of Petit Sunplay as much as I can (of course I stocked up before I came home!). Each bottle costs $34 HKD, which works out to be about $4.50 CAD, and they come in 3 scents: grapefruit, raspberry, and green apple. (I didn't try the other 2, but if they're anything like the grapefruit, they will be delightful.) You can get it online from **, or try eBay.

Well friends, it's off to bed for me. This new schedule of mine has me in bed by midnight most nights. Ridiculous! Until next time, stay gorgeous and ... um, screened from the sun!

* I don't love skin cancer even more though, so sunscreen wins.

** They charmingly/alarmingly spell it "rapefruits" on the website and in the store. Which is almost worth the $5 in and of itself.

*** Sasa is like a giant drugstore chain, but without the drugs, or household goods, or any of that other useless crappe. That is to say, it is as if the beauty section of your local drugstore exploded, then became best friends with a Sephora. That is what Sasa is like. It's marvelous.

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