Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fit for a princess

Back when my nail polish collection was small enough to store in a single tray under my desk (my collection has since multiplied at a horrifying rate), I swatched Essie St Lucia Lilac for the first time. I recently decided to revisit it, and add something extra by topping it with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Strobe Light. The result is pretty--I got compliments, one friend demanded this combination be her next mani from me--but the combination of lilac and sparkly-ness just reads too princesses-and-unicorns for my taste.

The picture below I posted on Instagram shows the glitter in Strobe Light a bit better:
Strobe Light's small and tiny round pinky-lavender and holographic glitter caught my attention after admiring how it looked by itself on my cousin's nails. I'm not brave enough to try to remove 3-4 coats of this glitter off all ten fingers, but maybe I'll try an accent nail next time?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zodiac Collaboration: Sagittarius

I was a huge astrology nerd as a kid, so when an astrology/zodiac-themed makeup challenge was suggested, I just couldn't say no. I ended up picking my own sign, Sagittarius, although I've always felt I didn't really fit a Sagittarius personality.

With some Googling, I learned that the colours associated with this sign are purple and blue (in my brain it will be forever green for Sailor Jupiter though!) Sagittarius people are said to be straightforward, yet also optimistic and fun-loving. For these reasons, I chose to use brighter blues and purples, and have a clean, sharp outer edge on my eyeshadow. Since Sagittarius is also symbolized by the half-man half-horse centaur, I used my longest falsies to mimic a horse's long fringe, and attempted some contouring to elongate my face. I kept the rest of my face fairly simple and fresh since Sagittariuses tend to be outdoorsy and natural.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Preview: LUSH Emotional Brilliance

For me, LUSH products have always been about pampering and feeling great about yourself, so it's no surprise that their new line of vegan colour cosmetics, Emotional Brilliance, is no ordinary makeup range. I had the opportunity to preview Emotional Brilliance at the newly-renovated Robson location in Vancouver and check out the upcoming liquid lipsticks, liquid eyeliners and cream eyeshadows, as well as face powders, tints, and mascara.

Emotional Brilliance is a collection that is all about wearing the colours that will help shape your behaviour--products have names such as Wise, Calm, and Vibrant. The company worked with a strategic behavioural therapist, who specializes in changing attitudes, to carefully choose the words to suit each shade. Feeling unsure of yourself today? Swipe on Decisive, a bold red, to change your mood for the better. The power of the words associated with the shades you choose to wear can help focus or shift your perspective.

The shadows, liners, and lipsticks ($22.95) are all packaged in small glass bottles with black caps reminiscent of droppers. Liners come with a fine-tipped brush, while liquid lipsticks and shadows come with a doe-foot applicator. True to established products such as the solid shampoo bars and Toothy Tabs, LUSH has designed Emotional Brilliance to minimize packaging or use recyclable materials. The bottles are glass, so they can be recycled easily or repurposed after you have used up the product. Emptied black pots that once contained LUSH facial masks were recycled to become the black caps. The brush wands are not nearly as long as cosmetics from other companies, which also reduces the amount of material that goes into the packaging.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sky-high lashes with Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara

You might recognize this sleek black tube from a recent post where I mentioned going on something of a Marcelle spree. Looking for my next new mascara, I went into London Drugs with a friend's recommendation for Annabelle Le Big Show mascara on my mind. Instead I came away with two Marcelle cleansers and Marcelle Xtension Plus mascara. Due to the Marcelle sale, I got to pick out a Marcelle Rouge Xpression lipstick (more about that later) for free! How could I resist?

The mascara wand features a comb-like polymer brush that promises to "extend, define and separate lashes" with "no clumping or flaking". The wand has a bit of a secret unless you give the box a closer look. Until I did, I didn't realize that one of the rows of teeth on the wand is longer than the rest. The longer row is intended to give the option of lengthening your lashes even more than the rest of the brush offers. Since my lashes need as much help as they can get, I always use the longer row. I find it by holding the brush at eye-level horizontally and slowly turning the wand, I can spot the long row quickly.

Moving on to action shots (big close-up pictures of my eyeball ahead)--

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Essie Shine of the Times

I was lusting after Essie Shine of the Times for just about ages when I first saw swatches--all those colours flashing on one nail, augh. Apparently I wasn't the only one with major feels for this top coat from the Essie Luxeffects collection, because it was pretty much sold out anywhere I walked in.

I finally caught it at London Drugs, and since I was in a very navy mood at the time, layered it on top of China Glaze First Mate.

The colours! Look at them!
If you're a big nail polish fanatic, you're probably familiar with flakie polish through brands such as Nfu Oh, but this is my first and I was positively enchanted by all the shiny iridescent bits on my nails that practically glow.

Shine of the Times flashes anywhere between reddish-orange to green depending on the angle that you are looking at the nail. When the nail is angled away from me is my favourite, maybe because I have a huge soft spot for greens and blues--such a vibrant green! As I angle my nail towards me, it shifts from yellow to orange to the red-orange that is most apparent in the first picture.

Although Shine of the Times is intended to be a top coat, I added an extra layer of Seche Vite on top for a super glossy finish and a perfectly smooth surface.

Long picture of the colours changing below the cut!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Taking a cue from one of my favourite bloggers, Liz at Beauty Reductionista, I thought I'd try posting once in a while about random things going on in my life, beauty-related and not. Vancouver has been having a miserable summer of rain and wind with the occasional sunny day, but I think summer has finally arrived (in July! Can you believe it?) as of this past Wednesday/Thursday. I bought Neutrogena sunscreen in SPF 60 weeks and weeks ago in anticipation of summer, and can actually start using it now for the bright sunny days ahead.

Speaking of skin care, I may have gone on a minor (ahem) spree when Marcelle was on sale recently, mostly cleansers and makeup removers. Not pictured: Marcelle Essentials Gentle Makeup Remover, Renforcils Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, and my second bottle of Cleansing Water. Hopefully I can get around to reviews soon (spoiler alert: I'm loving everything.)

I saw Brave with bff and absolutely loved it. We went in with high expectations and were very pleased with the film. It's not exactly the most original premise (the first half of the movie is pretty much The Little Mermaid) but the delivery was funny and touching (not to mention visually-stunning). As someone who doesn't always see eye-to-eye with her mom, Merida's relationship with her mother pulled at all kinds of heartstrings for me. Will definitely be buying it on Blu-Ray when it comes out.

I graduated! (Small voice) although I don't really feel like an adult yet. It was a total gong show (so busy!) and my name was mispronounced "Angelina", but it feels awesome to be finished. My tips if you are convocating soon: wear low/comfortable heels, and make sure your cell phone battery is charged. My phone died midway through the ceremony and I was bored to death. Plus it was really difficult to find my family afterwards with no way to contact them, since I didn't know where they were sitting.

Recently some fellow Vancouver bloggers decided to have a fashion challenge to style shorts. The other week on a rare sunny day, I managed to make off with a few photos before my camera battery completely died. Looking at the photos at home, I thought they weren't bad until--wait a minute why is my arm not in the sleeve? Forget fashion challenge, clearly the task of putting on clothes properly is already challenging enough for me. Maybe wearing cardigans with only one arm in the sleeve can become a new trend? Erm. Check out the ladies who actually did this successfully: Jordana, SarahSheila (there is a picture of me wearing my cardigan properly there). 
Last thing which is not really about me but perhaps you would like to know: FYI Nail Polish Canada is giving away a lifetime (25-year) supply of CND Shellac to whoever gives the best explanation of how winning a lifetime supply of lacquers that promise to stay chip-free for 2 weeks will change their life. I'm still thinking of a super compelling reason to sway the judges at Nail Polish Canada and public voters myself. You can read up on the details here (open to Canada and US). 

How's your summer going? Will you be rocking the one-arm-in-the-sleeve-only look?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Get To Know Me: 25 Random Questions

I recently was tagged to answer 25 random questions about myself. The culprit in question is Sarah of Cooper's Closet, who is awesome and fun to hang out with, and has great style to boot!

1. Where were you 3 hours ago?
In the car on the way home from a long day at work

2. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
My point and shoot camera

3. What are you wearing right now?
Still in my work clothes--beige skinny pants, camisole and pointelle cardigan

4. What are the colours of your bedroom walls?
Ugly 80s wallpaper that hopefully can turn into blue-grey paint if I ever get around to cleaning my room...

5. Who is the last person you sent a message or comment /BBM?
Commented on Sarah's blog/texted bff

6. What does your last text message say?
"ughhhh bb why do you have to go away when it is getting nice D:"
(am sad she won't be here this weekend to go to night market)
The text before that was telling bf to just Google for spider ceiling, since he wanted to show it to his sister (don't Google it)

7. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
I think I prefer Coke

8. Is your hair curly or straight?
Stick straight! Hair is still a little bit wavy on the ends from last year's digital perm

9. Which is the hardest thing you ever had to do?
Changing majors in university maybe. I felt like I had just wasted the past 2 years of my life

10. Favorite 2 color combination?
Hnnng too hard, moving on

11. What is your favorite accessory?
A full fringe of lashes ;) Or maybe a great (home-done) manicure...

12.Which current celebrity's style do you admire most?
I'm bad at following celebrity style. Natalie Portman, maybe

13. What is your favorite fashion store/shop?
Maybe Forever 21 and H&M for the value? Mexx for work. I don't really have any at the moment; I haven't been buying clothes lately.

14. When was the last time you drove out of town?
Drove over the border to Bellingham, WA earlier this year

15. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Listening to Big Bang's Fantastic Baby on YouTube (it grows on you okay)

16. What was the last thing you bought?
Candy from Superstore ( ゚ Д゚;;)  Clothes/makeup-wise, turquoise linen tee from Zara, Propaganda paper bag shorts (see me and Sheila wearing them here!)

17. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
The fastest way to turn off my alarm and go back to sleep

18. Favorite food?
Everything @__@ poutine, spicy tuna rolls, bubble tea, pizza, kimchi etc etc. Anything that is spicy, or has bacon, cheese, or potatoes in it is automatically more appealing to me

19. Biggest turn off?
People that aren't considerate of others, people who are trying too hard to be something they're not

20. What do you always have on you/wear?
My earrings are huggies-style and super comfortable so I never take them off

21. What does your screen name mean/ how did you come up with it?
It's based on the internet meme "do not want"! The full explanation is here

22. Favorite style of top/blouse?
Lately I'm loving button-up blouses that have a breezy, relaxed fit

23. Favourite TV show?
Once Upon A Time is so good, I can't even deal with it (and filmed here in BC in Steveston!)
Also love New Girl and Raising Hope

24. What is a favorite TV show from your childhood?
I watched way too much TV as a kid. Sailor Moon, Xena, Hercules, Fresh Prince

25. What does your dream bedroom look like?
Big open windows to let lots of sun in, lots of turquoise and blue :3

Monday, July 2, 2012

New! Richmond Centre Kiehl's

Last week I was invited to check out the new Kiehl's store in Richmond Centre, which was bringing its much-loved skin care products to the Richmond area of Greater Vancouver. Founded in New York, Kiehl's has been around since 1851, although it has only begun expanding from its original store very recently.

Photo of the original Kiehl's (still standing today!)
It was a great opportunity to learn about the history of the company and how it has evolved over the years. Fun fact: Kiehl's stores often feature vintage motorcycles that represent the founders' adventurous spirit--but it was also a great way to get men into the store to try skin care products, long before the term "metrosexual" was ever thought up. Talk about savvy marketing!

Mr. Bones of Richmond Centre
Like the motorcycle, Mr. Bones is a Kiehl's icon, which was used in the brand's early days to teach customers about their various ailments. Now he just hangs out looking handsome ;)
Mr. Bones gets some love from Sarah and I 

Mortar and pestles, and all types of tubes and jars decorate the store as a nod to the company's past as an apothecary.
For my dry skin, I was recommended the Ultra Facial line, which is a customer favourite for hydrating and balancing the skin. I'm looking forward to thoroughly testing these products and reporting back!
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