Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beauty Buys from a Non-Beauty Blogger

Everyone has their happy place. That one store that speaks to them, where they can always count on being satisfied. Your go-to place when all else fails. That one place that you just KNOW you will walk out of happy.

For me, that place is, always has been, and probably always will be, Shopper's Drug Mart. An odd choice, you may think, but hear me out before judging. It is THE perfect balance of frivolous and function, I can go there to buy my necessities, and not so necessities as well, which totally justifies each and every purchase (at least that is what I tell myself). But in all seriousness, it is the basically the best place ever. They sell all of my most necessary and favourite things: food, hair colour, foot therapy accessories, makeup and travel sized items (how can you resist them, they are just so small and cute!)

Needless to say, I never walk out of there empty handed, or without some racked up Optimum points. Did I mention it is the perfect place for that self indulgent shopping trip? I mean really, if you are having a fat day, do you really want to go try something tight on that you can't zip up or that shows every crook and cranny? Heck no. Shoppers has the, a new hair colour or nail polish... all are quick fixes that don't have a size.

I don't do many beauty posts because well, I don't really consider myself an expert in the field. Clothes, I know, clothes and I are tight, but make up and I are not so close. We aren't frenemies or anything like that, more like acquaintances. We recognize each other, are at peace with one another, but always keep that friendly distance. I figure if I'm so clueless, I must not be alone right? K, well, here's my attempt at a beauty post..and of course it starts at our beloved Shopper's Drug Mart.

I went in today to pick up a new concealer, and walked out with a bag full of goodies, of course. So lets play "What's in the bag?"

1. The concealer, obviously. At the very least I got what I went for. I was recommended this concealer and am giving it a shot for the first time. I don't use a full face foundation, I just find it too much, but definitely need something to hide bags and breakout zones. I do like Benefit's quirky names of their products, so hopefully their makeup will be just as fun. This one is called "Boi-ing". Has anyone tried it?

2. The tried and true mascara. For years I used the iconic Diorshow by Christian Dior mascara, loved it, but then woke up and realized "Hey, you are a starving student, in what world do you think you can afford $30 dollar mascara?!" Diorshow was great, and if you have the funds, by all means go for it. My sole issue with it was that it was kind of difficult to take off. I knew there had to be a decent, cheaper option out their and once I found it, I never turned back (but do treat myself to Diorshow on occasion). The winner? Covergirl Lashblast, the orange tube. (Maybe this is why I fail at beauty posts...I refer to my makeup as "the blue one" or "the orange one"). They might of changed the name? I don't remember it, but now there is a "Volume" added on the end so it is "Lashblast Volume". Anyways, it is fantastic. And I actually always get complimented on my eyelashes for it. People always ask me what mascara I use, maybe even more often than when I used Diorshow! This baby was on sale, so I took the opportunity to grab it before I ran out of my current one.

3. The perfect shade of pink polish. I am not a nail girl. It might have something to do with the fact that I can't wear polish to work, but I have never been nuts about doing my nails. It might also have something to do with my lack of hand eye coordination and clumsy nature, but that's another story. Nails have never been my thing. The odd time I DO paint my nails, I almost always opt for a shade of soft pink. Mind you, within the pink palette I am all kinds of crazy. From blush pink to rose hues, it gets pretty wild. I figure since I use it so much, I could do to invest in a quality bottle. This shade spoke to me, quite literally, because it was called "Eternal Optimist". How could I NOT get it? Plus, it made for the perfect Instagram subject.

4. The perfect shade of pink lipstick. My go-to look for a night out is ruby red lipstick. I love the classic look it gives and it always takes my outfit to the next level. I have been trying, quite unsuccesfully, to find a pretty shade of pink for more casual affairs and I think this one may be it. It is by Covergirl and the shade is called "Heavenly Paradisiaque". To be honest, I have never heard the word paradisiaque in my life, but heavenly is always good, right?

5. The foot stuff. Ever since April of 2011, when I fractured my heel, I have never been so damn aware of my feet. I mean, they are essential pieces of our day to day life, we rely heavily on them, but they are just kinda always...there. I never really paid attention to them before, but boy, now are we ever up close and personal. I have no choice but to take a lot better care of my feet now. I have been left unable to wear high heels (basically the bane of my existence) and need to live life vicariously in flats. I have some flats that are just well, too flat, so I figure getting a pair of insoles will give them another chance to work their way into my wardrobe. I also picked up this thingamajic. I have never seen anything like it in my life (other than the toe separator thingys you walk out of a pedicure with) but it actually was exactly what I needed. You see, the toes on my bad foot have been left rather, clawed. It is not as bad, or ugly as it sounds, but my toes are definitely nowhere near as straight as the other foot. The bottoms do not even touch the ground. So I've been thinking of buying some tape and just taping them up for a few hours a night and see if that does the trick to straighten em out. Little did I know, there was actually a device for this! The "Flex-tastic". Apparently its the secret to healthier feet. I think its actually made for ladies who wear pointed toe high heels too often, or as the box calls it "dress-shoe fatigue", but it is supposed to "straighten and realign problem toes". I tried it out this evening, and to be honest I think it is actually working. I feel like I worked out my entire leg! Obviously my toes are not perfectly straight again already, but I think if i use it on a daily basis they will be soon.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Joe Fresh & Spring Stripes

Alright guys, the snow is so, so, slowly, but surely, melting, yesterday we sprung ahead an hour and all the little kiddies are on March break...all of these signs can only point to one thing, and that thing is SPRING! (When I'm happy I rhyme, so sue me.) 

As a born and bread Canadian, I am obviously mildly obsessed with the weather. Whether you are 9 or 90, it comes with the territory. Probably because we are one of the countries that actually experience 4 distinct seasons (or if you ask me there is winter, worse winter, warmer winter and summer). Regardless, we love to chat about the weather and we particularly love to chat about the weather when it is warming up, probably because it is such a rare occurrence. 

One of the things I am most excited about for spring is to break out of my horrible winter uniform of layers, Lululemon pants and leggings, and wear things I actually LIKE! (cough cough dresses)
I recently visited the brand spanking new Joe Fresh store here in Ottawa and picked up a cute cotton dress that I am so excited to wear. It is striped and simple, but the colors and different gradients of the stripes add interest to an otherwise blah outfit. I have been looking for a striped shift dress in this style for quite some time now and have been frustratingly unsuccessful. Since it is such a basic, I checked stores like Old Navy (had some but the shape did not fit my body at all) and Forever 21 (shape actually fit, but it was inappropriately too short, would be extremely dangerous to bend over in) to no avail. I was deliriously happy to find the perfect one at Joe Fresh that met all of my criteria. 1) fit my shape 2) was long enough 3) was striped 4) was comfortable and 5) was affordable. Check, check, check, check and ringing in at $19 plus an additional 20% off, CHECK! I have a funny feeling this dress will become my new spring go-to outfit, and I am a-ok with that! (It beats the socks off of my winter go-to outfit at least)
 Amazing price!
Made in Cambodia!

While at Joe Fresh, I also picked up this chunky gold chain linked necklace, which is also an item I have been searching high and low for. Notice the nautical theme? Another thing (other then the weather) that I am more than just mildly obsessed with is anything and everything nautical. If you know me, you are well aware I adore anything with a stripe, anchor (I even have a tattoo of one) or sailor inspired. I took my new necklace for a test drive last weekend for my friend Katherine's birthday and paired it with a striped (surprise, surprise) ensemble. Red striped peplum tee was picked up on the same shopping trip at Dynamite for only $15.
This was the first time I experimented with stripe on stripe, think I was able to pull it off?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Canada goes Hollywood- the Canadian Screen Awards

The first ever Canadian Screen awards were this past Sunday March 3rd evening. Canadian? TV? Screen awards? All those words in the same sentence? Trust me, I was just as surprised. In all honesty, after watching the catastrophe of this year's Oscars I didn't have much hope for the Canadian version of such an awards show and only really on put it on as background noise while I was studying. I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by the show. Not only was it entertaining but the jokes were actually funny (a rare occurrence for an awards show, not to mention a Canadian one).  Before I knew it I was paying more attention to the TV then my study notes! I actually was lol-ing (can that even be a verb? Anyway I literally laughed out loud) at most of Martin Short's jokes and realized how many decent Canadian shows there are out there and that I actually watch! I graduate school this summer and am planning on spending at least a few months outside of the country and have started to think about all the little things I am going to miss about this cold country that I have a deep love/hate relationship with, and a number of shows is among that list of what I will miss most. The shows I will proudly admit to watching include Dragon's Den (the entrepreneur in me LOVES this one) and George Stroumboulopoulos, and also the ones that we will just call guilty pleasures (Real Housewives of Vancouver and The Bachelor Canada), I will miss them all. Dragon's Den won best reality show (was there really any competition?) and Kevin O'Leary gave an awesome shout out to all of Canada's talented entrepreneurs that they have seen over the 8 years.

With awards shows come fashion, right? Let's discuss who, in my personal opinion,  rocked it and who royally failed.

Best dressed goes without a doubt to Laura Vandervoort. She looked amazing in this gorgeous red number that was the perfect mixture of sophisticated and sexy.

The Real Housewives of Vancouver's Mary Zilba rocked an elegant number. It was classic with some sparkle detail around the neck in a classic neutral dusty rose color. I loved this number.

Kristin Kreuk's outfit was cute and fun, but not at all appropriate for an awards show. Even if its a first of its kind, we need to up the ante for Canadians, and this jumpsuit was way too casual for such a formal affair. 

Arlene Dickinson of Dragon's Den (and overall awesome entrepreneur, communications professional and just great human being) shone in an Elie Saab dress. The dress was lovely, sparkled and was age appropriate, but the rest of her look fell flat. Her hair was poufed to the extreme and was completely outdated. Her dress said "star" while her hair said "grandma". 

Also, Kim Catrall won a secret award! I found this on the Facebook page of the Canadian Screen Awards but did not see it mentioned at all on the actual show! Nor was Kim herself anywhere to be seen. The award was for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to Film & Television. The color of this dress worked on her but I'm not sure how I feel about the asymmetrical straps.  As a Sex and the City star, she could have done better.

The show was only an hour long, not near enough time to honor all of our Canadian talent, and there were a few technical difficulties in the beginning. All in all, a great start and I'm sure that the first time kinks will be worked out by next year.  I am so, so proud to be Canadian (eh). Congrats to all the winners and everyone nominated. I hope this wonderful initiative continues and maybe even one day, comes to our nation's capital!

Did you watch the awards? What did you think?