Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PSA & Review: Shopper's Sale on Revlon ColorStay Top Coat, + Soap & Glory

Hey guys! A quick post today to tell you about Shopper's Drug Mart's sale on Revlon's ColourStay Top Coat. Only $4 a pop, compared to the regular $7 or $8, a total steal! In the states, this Top Coat appears to be mostly sold in a set along with a coloured polish (more on that below), but for once, we Canadians have the advantage and can buy it separately.

This topcoat is thick, but dries quickly enough under OPI's Drip Dry (another awesome product that deserves a post of its own). It's perhaps not the shiniest top coat... it gives moree the glossiness of hard plastic than the bright shine of vinyl or crystal, but I like the look. It somehow manages to hide my polish mistakes... minor bubbles or dragging (from me not being patient enough to wait for the 1st coat of colour to dry) are disguised. The best part is that it makes my nail colour last and last.... I am NOT a gentle person when it comes to my hands (basically because I am a klutz), and this stuff actually allows me to keep colour on for more than a day without looking like a Derelicte reject.

Given my newfound obsession with nail colour, my bottle of Color Stay Top Coat is about 2/3 gone, so I'll definitely have to stock up.

A note on the actual coloured polishes in this line: While the wear is no doubt great, I found it impossible to do a manicure with the shade I got (Always Vintage). The polish is thick, goopy, and stringy, even from a brand-new bottle. It's ok for doing toes, since I can use my dominant hand for everything, and you don't have to be as precise. But nails? No way I can pull that off. If you have better polishing skills than I do, you may find them ok to use, but I think a lot of people have experienced similar issues with this line. Plus, it stinks something fierce.

Speaking of things that stink... it looks like Shoppers will start carrying Soap & Glory stuff! I saw some on a recent trip to the States, and was charmed by the packaging and cute names. I bought the travel sized version of Great Shakes Hand Cream, but while it felt really nice, I was appalled by the strong, sickly scent. It is headachingly cloying and sweet, like the strawberry+patchouli scent that is Miss Dior Cherie. (Which I hate, but if you love it, you will probably love Great Shakes.) Still, I haven't given hope for the rest of the line, and am glad we're finally getting access to it! Look out for Soap & Glory at your friendly neighbourhood Shoppers!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Product Review: Garnier Light Daily Moisturizer

Only 5 more days to get chances to win a bottle of Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist! A simple $5 donation using the widget on the sidebar gets you 10 chances to win! What could be better than wrapping yourself in this cuddly sweater scent, knowing that you supported the Canadian Cancer Society?

Baby, it's cold outside! Or, at least it was last week. Frickin' freezing, actually, undeniably heralding the arrival of our Canadian winter. Which is why I was so grateful for my super-duper-special delivery, all the way from Asia!

So, you may have heard me proclaim the virtues of Garnier's Light Daily Moisturizer. I'd fallen in love with it on a trip to Hong Kong, but since it's only available in Asia, I had to settle for a boring Neutrogena moisturizer when I ran out of the good stuff last spring. Neutrogena was alright for summer, but it wouldn't cut the cake now that it's cold and dry and miserable. So I finally bit the bullet and bought a couple jars of Garnier Light off EBay. And, oooh, lemme tell ya, it's like comin' home.

The "Light" line's main feature is "Fairness + dark spots prevention" (mmmm, Engrish), and the ads claim that regular use of their products will lighten your skin-tone by 2 shades, through the gentle exfoliating power of lemon essence, the mysterious and potentially euphemistic properties of "Long Dan", and the ... um, sunshine-y goodness of vitamin C.

While I think this "2 shades lighter" business is totally subjective and completely unprovable, I must admit that my skin does somehow look brighter and clearer after using the cream again. Not "clear" in reference to acne or anything, just.... clear. Clear like a crisp cool morning. Clear like the tone of a pure bell chime. Clear, unlike over-extended and dubious metaphors.

Right. So in addition to the brightening aspect, this is just a really great moisturizer in general. The white cream is comforting and soothing, and moisturizes without stickiness. The soft lemony scent is refreshing, and it doesn't sting around the eye area (unless I really get it in there). It's gentle, doesn't cause irritation or breakouts, and for my slightly dry skin, it's a great daily cream for any season.

The problem of getting your hands on this great product remains a pain in the butt. carries the entire Light line, but unless you happen to be buying a bunch of other stuff too, you'll have to pay shipping. The shipping charges are reasonable if you live in the States ($6), but not if you live in Canada -- $18 for standard shipping??? Um, no. (If you are in the market though, Sasa also has Fiberwig mascara for much cheaper than Sephora's $22.)

The other option is to go through EBay (I found a pretty good deal), or beg a kind friend who lives in Asia to send this to you. The in-store cost in Hong Kong worked out to about $15 CAD for a jar, which lasts 3-4 months. But I'd pay $20 for it if I could only find it in a store here!

Anyway, the line offers a plethora of products, from cleanser to moisturizing "milk" (a super light moisturizer, I guess?) to spot treatments and various masks. I have tried the Dark Spot Corrector Pen without much success, and have heard that the eye cream is ineffective, though I have not tried it myself. I might be tempted into trying out some of the masks, or the "intensive" products if I get bored, but in the meantime, I'm plenty happy with the truly awesome and delicious moisturizing cream!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Product Review: MAC Nail Lacquer Nightfall

"Christian said he'd call the next day, but in boy time, that meant Thursday. So, you can imagine my astonishment to hear from him while I was packing Daddy up."
(10 points to anyone who can identify the quote!)

Right, so I must be operating on Boy Time, since 'tomorrow' turned into like 5 days later. But nail polish this good is worth the wait!

I've never really been a nail polish person. Sure, I'll throw some on my toes if I'm wearing sandals, but on my actual finger nails? Couldn't be arsed. Until recently, when I randomly decided to go for a manicure, and ended up loving how glossy and shiny and rich my nails looked. I was hooked!

Of course, applying nail polish at home was a whole different story. I don't have the steadiest hands (caffeine diet, anyone?) and my first attempts ended up looking like those of a 5-year old with Parkinson's. But with patience, practice, and a ready supply of remover-soaked Q-Tips, I eventually managed to have nails I could be seen out in public with.

So, while I'm totally not a polish expert, I've since tried my hand (har!) at a good handful of nail lacquers. One that I'm totally loving is Nightfall, by MAC.

I had originally wanted a flat gunmetal grey, which is apparently impossible to find in stores in Canada. Nightfall is actually darker than that... a deep charcoal. But since it's a frost, the shimmer in it lightens up the shade enough that it's passable. (Rest assured though, this is not that Sally Hansen metallic dragon-lady frost of the 90's. Due to its depth of colour, it just shows up as a dark glossy colour with some shimmer.)

After wearing it for a day, I ended up loving this colour. Less harsh than black, you might think this looks really punk, but on short nails, it's really chic. I've been wearing it to work all week and I haven't felt weird or anything. (Granted, I don't exactly have an office job, but still.)

One of the best things about this formula is how well it wears. I've had it on literally a week, and other than some tip-wear (I spend my whole life typing, so this is pretty much unavoidable), it's stayed on like iron. Like silky glossy iron. Aside from one small chip that was easily fixed, I haven't even had to put on more top-coat or anything. Amazing! The application is also a breeze... smooth, pigmented even with 1 coat (though I do 2), and no tugging or streaking. Luscious.

At $13 CAD a bottle, it's not the cheapest. But the easy application, long wear, and gorgeous colour make it worthwhile. Plus, I think the bottle is a bit bigger than your typical polish. Sadly, MAC doesn't have that many shades, and are not likely to expand much in the future, according to the SA. This is understandable... their forte is their makeup. But Nightfall is definitely a winner... a perfect match for this season's grey and purple clothing, and would even carry you over into Christmas and New Years to put a bit of edge on your little black dress!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SYTYCD Canada, the inside scoop!

Remember that you still have a chance to win a bottle of Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist! For every dollar you donate to the Canadian Cancer Society using the widget on the left until November 30th, 2008, you'll get 2 chances to win the prize!

Howdy, bloggerinas! Sorry I've been away so long, seeing a live So You Think You Can Dance taping affected me so that I've been recuperating for the past week and a half.

Okay, not really. I've just been busy. But being part of the Live! Studio! Audience! really was a lot of fun. Yeah, there was a lot of standing around, and I felt too old by about 7 years, but they had a comic-type-guy come out while we were standing around, getting various audience members to be ridiculous on stage, and other such tomfoolery. Good times.

Yup, that very well could be the heads of me and Ex-Roommie up in there. Yup, entirely possible. Or it's just some randoms, I can't tell.

And of course, there was the show! Tre Armstrong and Lara (poor Lara!) look even lovelier in person, and Nico... well, Nico is just... sigh. He's so... tall and so... grrrrr! Leah Miller calls everyone "sweetie", but not sarcastically. I know I like to give her crap for not being Cat Deely, but that girl was wearing a frickin' pink spandex dress last week, folks. And she looked tight, so mad respect to her for that. Another person I like to rip is Natalli, for her sometimes overly sexed up routines. But after seeing her, make that her 8-pack from like 30 feet away, I take it all back. If you've got a stomach like that, you've earned the right to show it off wherever and whenever you want.

Tamina and Jesse were both in the audience cheering for their friends, and Jesse at least was great about posing for fan photos. (Tamina might have been too, I wasn't paying much attention). Nice to see that these dancers really are as tight-knit and supportive of each other as they appear to be!

The one negative thing about seeing a live results show is that on TV, after they announce the loser, the show just ends. In real life, you get to watch the eliminated dancers look crushed for a whole 10 minutes afterwards (until you, the audience-sheep, are ushered out, that is). The "losers" cry, the winners cry, Leah cries, and Rex... well, he just keeps chewing his damn gum like the queen he is. But really, it's very, very heartwrenching. (Incidentally, I did NOT agree with the choices... I thought Francis' solo was awesome, and that Danny and Allie should have been the ones to get cut.)

Francis looked SO disappointed and verklempt... everyone kept hugging him. Lara got an extra long hug from Miles (just the friendly kind), and Lisa had those strong silent tears streaming down her face.

In fact, I think Lisa might be the nicest person ever... she came up and hugged 2 fans (not us, sadly) at the end of the show, even though the stage manager types yelled at her not to. She kept saying "I know, I'm sorry, I just have to!" while hugging those 2 girls. What a doll!

Alrighty, I just wanted to pop in and say hi. Turn in tomorrow for my first nail polish review ever!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

So I think I can dance. Or WATCH dancing, at least.

Hey guys and dolls, super news! Ex-Roomie and I are going to be in the live! studio! audience!!! for So You Think You Can Dance Canada tonight! Wheee!

So yes, it's a results show, which is not as fun as if it were a performance show, but hey I'll take what I can get. From last night, I really don't know who's going to go home. NOT Nico and Arrasay of course, because my mortal soul would just shrivel up and die. God they're hot. But everyone's so good... who knows?

That's right, Arrasay, you TAKE that jacket off!

Personally, I would not care if Izaak, Allie, or Natalli went home. Actually, come to think of it, I don't really care about any of the guys other than Nico (because he's hot). Miles can stay so we can watch him continue to have dance-sex with Lara (though I disliked their routine this week... ballroom in no shoes + Lara's fakey fake expression were just too much for me).

And was it me, or was Lisa dancing on an injured ankle? I thought their hip hop routine was decidedly NOT hot, and I especially expected more from Lisa*.

But really, the dancing bit is only half the reason why we watch the show... there are clothes and makeup, people! Despite my earlier rant about Leah, I must admit that she looks much better now that she's deflated her 'do. Girlfriend needs to realize that knee-length sheaths and sleek hair is for the win:

Black & Green 1-shoulder flower dress: Dolce & Gabanna. Of course.
Tan & Brown Sheath: Hervé Leger

and that thigh-high flouncy things is for the ham. Thank goodness she straightened her hair in that 2nd one... can you imagine how French-Poodle-craptastic she would have looked in that dress if she had big curles?

Green Polka Dot: Lida Baday
The... um, tutu thing: Stella McCartney top & Betsy Johnson skirt


Very excited about tonight!! Naturally, I would love to see Arrasay and Nico do their thing in person**, but that would mean they're dancing for their lives, and we certainly don't want that. But oh, just to be a part of it all! Keep an eye out for me, lovelies, unless of course you don't know what I look like, in which case just keep an eye out for glimpses of Nico's abs. The are some serious abs.

* I almost had a Lisa-sighting on Halloween! Word is that she popped by the bar where our department was having our Halloween party, decided it was lame, and left, all before I even showed up. Not that I blame her, that place is ghe-tto (which is exactly why we chose it), but I wish she'd stayed long enough for me to see her.

**Actually, I would like to see Nico do his thing in my bed, but you know.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Comments for a Cure Wrap Up

Thanks to all you readers for commenting over the past week! I received 26 comments during the run of the campaign, so I will be donating $26 to the Canadian Cancer Society. (Okay, so one of those comments was actually spam, and I deleted it, but it counts anyway! =D) Thanks again for all your help!

And of course, those of you who commented for the giveaway have been entered into the draw for that bottle of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist. The commenting part of the contest is now closed, but you can still get more chances to win! Just click on that widget on the sidebar and donate a few (or more!) dollars to the Canadian Cancer Society. Each dollar you donate until November 30th counts as TWO entries into the draw! A mere $10 donation gets you 20 entries; totally a deal!

I'll announce the winner of the giveaway as well as the total amount of money raised on December 1st. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming .... again, my heartfelt thanks to all of you who commented, it means a lot that you readers care about this cause.

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