Monday, December 26, 2011

I want.

This. Shirt. Is. Perfect.

I've been drooling for something like this for months and it just popped up in the post-Christmas sales.

Hello, 3.1 Phillip Lim beautiful top!



It's my kind of thing. On one hand we have soft, delicate knit. On the other we have badass lambskin leather sleeves.

There's 1 left in stock, it's $525 (reduced) and in a size 4. Naturally it's not in my size or price range at the moment but I know that many of you reading share my taste in clothing and if I can help anyone make their wardrobe more fabulous by posting about a droolworthy item, then I've done my job!

You can get it here.
And I'll be jealous forever.

xox

Sandra

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

First of all, I want to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas (if you celebrate)! I hope you all have a very happy and healthy holiday season with your families and friends.

It doesn't really feel like Christmas here today because it's sunny and all the snow from 2 days ago has melted but I've got an arsenal of Christmas films to watch that will keep me in the mood.
I've been wearing the same makeup for the past few days, I really wanted to wear a red lip today but with the copious amounts of food available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a light natural lip colour was the most sensible option :)


Face:
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation (shade B30)
Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzer
NARS Mounia Blush
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Illuminator


Eyes:
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in "Illusoire" as a base
Le Metier De Beaute eyeshadow in "Corinthian"
NARS Demon Lover eyeshadow (the deep matte purple) in the crease
Shu Uemura Painting Liner in black
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara

Lips:
that same Dior lip gloss in colour #137 that I've been trying to use up all month!

Hope you're all having a great day. It's my first Christmas as a vegetarian so it won't be as interesting as other years but bring on the potato salads!!

pre-Christmas silliness with friends ^_^

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things I'm loving

Not sure about you, but I am a big fan of these "Polyvore" type posts. I like to see what some of my favourite bloggers are looking at and how they would pair it together.

So today I decided to combine a little list of some items I've been keeping my eye on online - one of which I haven't been able to spot in stores just yet - and I wanted to show you... maybe it contains some items you've been looking for as well :)


1. H&M fake leather leggings. Sadly these aren't available online but they are in the current H&M collection. I've seen a couple of ladies on YouTube feature these in their hauls and while I haven't seen them pop up in my local H&M (which is so poorly stocked it makes me wanna cry, but that's another story) but if I do I will most definitely be trying them on or purchasing. I love the paneling on the side.

2. Joseph mohair color-block sweater. Currently available and on sale here. There's just something special about a fine knit sweater. This one is classic yet not dull or boring. Me likey.

3. Aigle Ecuyer boots. Can be found online at JCrew here and they currently have a 30% off and free shipping promotion. If I told you how many times I've had these things in my shopping cart you'd laugh at me. All it takes is another week of non stop rain and I'm pushing the "check out" button. Aigle is a French company that specializes in equestrian-style rubber boots. I like the fact that they look much more refined than Hunter boots. They use natural rubber and are made in France. There is a cool video on YouTube featuring their manufacturing process, too! Might be info you don't care about but I personally like knowing little stories about a company's history, I like to know what's behind the products I buy, if I can.

4. Pendant necklace, Forever 21, currently in stock (link). Has a "house of harlow" feel to it for about a fraction of the price. Forever 21 remains one of my favourite places for little trendy jewelry cravings.

5. Mulberry Lily bag. I am having a moment with these - I keep admiring them online and I haven't seen many people with them which makes me like them even more. They are the perfect piece that you can wear day or night with anything from leggings and a sweater (like I have them featured here) to a cocktail dress.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting My Cake Face On

When I was in the middle of final exam pre/holiday stress, I could feel my face getting aggravated and I could feel clogged pores brewing. So I took a little break, walked my butt over to LUSH and their fresh face mask stand. I was about to reach for my trusty Cosmetic Warrior mask (which I mentioned in videos before, it smells like hummus, garlic, and dirt) but then I felt adventurous and I opted for a new one instead - Cupcake.


Cupcake looks and smells a lot more appealing than Cosmetic Warrior. They are both geared towards oily skin with imperfections. Cupcake smells and looks exactly like chocolate cupcake batter with a bit of a minty earthy kick due to the clay inside and some of the plant extracts.

Unfortunately though, for me, Cupcake fell short. It did leave my face feeling very soft and clean, but it also dried it out too much, and the smell lingers onto the skin but just in a sickly sweet way, even after I wash my face of it twice. It didn't really improve the condition of my skin other than making it feel extra "clean", which is something I can accomplish just as easily and with less mess with my Clarisonic.

In conclusion, I won't be repurchasing this. You can give it a try if you're feeling adventurous - I do know of people who saw great results from this. For me, though, Cosmetic Warrior is my warrior of choice. That one didn't make my skin feel dry, and it actually left the skin luminous and bright due to the antioxidant power of the garlic in it. It may not look or smell as fabulous but it's dear to my heart :)

Have you been trying out any face masks lately?
I'm also LOVING the Dior HydraLife Rehydrating mask that I got a month ago, so keep an eye out for a post on that as well.

I'm a big fan of masks so I wouldn't mind your recommendations either.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Girly Blouse & Winter Shorts - an outfit post


By now you all probably know that I can't resist a nude blouse. This one has a soft and comfortable jersey body, delicate ruffle detailing with silk chiffon at the shoulders and chiffon semi-sheer sleeves. Love.
I love pairing delicate feminine tops like this with a not so feminine bottom - in this case, dark grey shorts!
Since it's below 0 outside, opaque black tights are a must underneath. Add some winter-proof ankle boots, a fun necklace and that is my outfit for the evening :)

blouse - bought at Winners, and the brand is something I can't even read, something I've never heard of. I found something similar here (similar detailing at the shoulders, and comes in different colours!)

necklace - no brand, from a jewelry stand in Arizona

shorts - Guess

opaque black tights - DNKY from Nordstrom

silver bracelet - Pandora



My ankle boots are by Miss Sixty, and they're one of my favourite fall/winter shoes. I bought them in 2009 and have worn them so many times! This exact style is no longer available but they have a very similar pair here if you're interested in something like this.

Hope you're all having a great weekend :)

x

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yep, I'm writing about my underwear

This post might border into "too much information" territory but I'm stepping into it anyway.
For the past couple of years I kept hearing about Hanky Panky underwear and I brushed them off. The words "overpriced" "one size fits all? really?" and "what a silly brand name" often came to mind.

Until one day, after a fit of anger because none of the underwear I had in my drawer seemed to be comfortable or seamless enough for a particular outfit, I caved and ordered a pair of the Hanky Panky lace low rise thong.
First let me tell you, I'm a "lacy cute boy shorts" kind of girl. I always buy them in a myriad of cute prints 3 for $30 at Victoria's Secret. I find them flattering and cute. I am not a "thong" girl. I wear those when I have to but I do not enjoy it, I just find them uncomfortable. Some of them cut at unflattering areas of the hip, etc.
The Hanky Panky thongs are SO comfortable. They wear and wash well and I have just purchased my 4th pair. At $18 each they're pricy and there are similar panties on the market - La Senza and Victoria's Secret tried to make "dupes" of it but I owned both versions and they don't hold up after multiple washes and dryer tumbles, nor are they as comfortable as these.


This is the pair I just got in today, I order mine from Shopbop (link to them here).
Sometimes you can get lucky and find them on sale at Nordstrom/Saks/Neimans outlets.
They come in many different colours, and they are one size fits all. They don't cut off at any unflattering part of the hips, they don't have seams showing through, and I just love them!

I figured with holiday party season looming and any sort of tight dresses/skirt options out there, I should mention that these are definitely worth a try. Especially if you're a "thongs are the devil but sometimes I have to" girl like me.

Hope your day was less rainy than mine!
xox

Sandra

PS: I had lots of requests to do a Facebook Page so I did - I figured it will be a great way to streamline new updates on both my YouTube Channel and the blog. Some people don't know I have both, some don't like subscribing to too many things, etc... so I figured it was good to have. I will post mini beauty product thoughts on there as well since sometimes I feel like I pollute my twitter feed with too many obsessive product rants.
Link to the page is here http://www.facebook.com/ttsandra

Monday, December 12, 2011

Matte Daytime Smoky Eyes - FOTD

I randomly tweeted a picture of my makeup today and I had an overwhelming response to do a FOTD/tutorial on it. Considering I used the "slap it all on with one brush and hope for the best" approach, I am leaving the tutorials to the pros and letting you know the products I used instead, so you can experiment and see how it suits you best :)

moody faces R us
Usually I wear very little (or very light natural shades) on the eyes during daytime, but today my hair was a dirty mess and had to be tucked away at all costs and I figured making the eyes stand out might make me look like I put a little bit more effort into my appearance. Hey - it worked! I had a final today and I had several compliments on my makeup... if they only knew... haha

So here is the low-down on the eye makeup:


the Sleek Makeup "Au Naturel" palette $10.50 and AMAZING

1. Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer all over the lids
2. the matte pale grey eyeshadow (2nd from top left) mixed on the back of my hand with the 3rd from bottom left cool toned brown shade... all over the lid
3. with the same brush I took the matte black shade and the plum shade (first and second from the bottom right) and I mixed them with a bit of the pale grey again and applied it all over the crease and outer corner
4. Chanel Yeux Waterproof eyeliner in black to line top and bottom lash lines
5. MUFE Smoky Lash Mascara

The End!

I know everyone and their grandmother is raving about the Urban Decay Naked2 palette but this natural palette by Sleek is 20% of the price of Naked2 and is so good. I love the fact that it has a lot of matte shades that are pigmented and easy to blend. I got mine in a swap with my lovely friend in the UK, Anna, but the Sleek can be found and ordered online on their site, for $10.50! Yay! LINK.

As for the brush I used, I used just ONE brush for all of this, and it's one of the best eyeshadow brushes I have ever used. It's by Laura Mercier and it's called the "Pony Tail Brush". If you are a fan of the mac 217 and the 224 for blending and quick, easy eyeshadow application... check the Pony Tail out. It's just amazing.

For the rest of my face I stuck to the basics - Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint, my under-eye concealing combination that I just did a video on - will blog about it soon as well,
On my cheeks I used Benefit Hervana. It's their latest powder box invention that I received. It comes out December 14th and I am SO pleasantly surprised by it. It's beautiful, not shimmery - more of a subtle satin finish - and applies like a dream.
On the lips I'm wearing the same Dior gloss (#137) that I've been trying to use up all month.

Hope you enjoyed and don't be afraid to show your matte eyeshadows some love.

xx

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In and Out - procrastination edition

I have a final tomorrow - a long, painful exam focused on the effect of various government policies on a nation's economy blah blah blah... so naturally I'm comprising this In/Out list instead.

IN
- Tom Ford Black Orchid. Makes the cheapest clearance rack sweaters smell like you got them from the second floor of Saks Fifth Avenue (you know, the floor where they keep the fancy clothes and the shop assistants give you the evil glare as you shuffle your feet past the CHANEL boutique door.)

- this dog. Apparently his name is Boo and he has a website. And he's real. If this photo doesn't make you want to cry, smile and want to hug your grandmother at the same time then you're probably not as weird as I am haha... but come on... just look at that face and that fur. He looks like a baby bear.


- the stack of books I'm excited to read this winter break:


Amazon.com and Chapters have kept me a busy bee this season. I got some great gifts for people and for myself. 

- Watching my favourite holiday films with friends.

- Peppermint mochas

OUT

- me procrastinating. Must stop this and get back to work. Hope you had a great weekend! xox

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Revlon Lip Butter vs. other sheer lipsticks of the world

Revlon released their new "ColorBurst Lip Butter" lip products in North America a few weeks ago - started off in the USA but they have made their way into Canada now. I'm assuming they'll make their way across the ocean some time early next year.

Everyone seemed to lose their marbles over them.
I'm talking people were hauling like 10 of them in one sitting, displays across the continent were raided within days, etc. I'm a fan of Revlon's regular ColorBurst lipsticks and glosses so I figured I should give these "lip butters" a try. I found them at Superstore, the display looked normal and intact with every shade in stock; maybe because it's a grocery store and people don't really go in with lip products in mind, so check that out first if you're in Canada... they're $8.99 there. The colour I picked up is "Creme Brulee", a wearable beige/brown-based nude. It was the one I knew for sure I would wear the most out of all the other offerings.

Aaaaaand I'm here to tell you to take it easy and don't run over that old lady in the parking lot on your way to raid the display because...
*takes deep breath and prepares to run for cover*
they're really not that special.


Let me start by getting the main thing that bothers me about them off my chest - their name. I'm not sure about you, but when someone tells me "lip butter" I instantly imagine a creamy, hydrating, soft-textured item. Something that improves the condition of my lips and makes them soft and moisturized after it sinks in. The Revlon "lip butters" do none of that.
They're basically a semi-sheer lipstick with a glossy finish. They don't leave your lips any more hydrated than they were when you first apply it, so don't be misled by the name. They actually made my lips feel rather dry after the initial glossiness fades.

Now considering them a sheer lipstick with a glossy finish, which is what they actually are, I thought I'd compare the texture, finish and application with other similar lip products I already own.

So, from left to right we have: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Evasion ($32), 17 Mirror Shine lipstick in Beehive (UK drugstore product), Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee ($8.99 at drugstores & more), YSL Rouge Pure Shine #26 Natural Beige ($30) and Dior Addict lipstick in Singulier ($28).


Packaging-wise, the Lip Butter without the lid reminds me of the Dior Addict design with the sleek silver, which is nice.


Scent-wise the Revlon smells like some sort of dessert with a hint of plastic, YSL smells like peaches/melon, Chanel smells like roses, Dior has absolutely no scent and the 17 lipstick smells like plastic.

Colour-wise, the Creme Brulee Revlon Lip Butter is most similar to my YSL Rouge Pure Shine in #26. The YSL glides on a bit more smoothly and is a touch more glossy as you can see in the photo.


Now let's see them all against each other:
From left to right - Dior, 17, Revlon, YSL, Chanel.


The pigmentation of them is all good, but keep in mind that different colours in the ranges may be more sheer/more opaque than others. The ones I happen to own all are quite comparable (since I'm not exactly the most adventurous when it comes to lip colours as you can tell!)

If I had to rank them from most pigmented to least I'd say:
1. YSL #26
2. Revlon "Creme Brulee"
3. Chanel "Evasion"
4. Dior "Singuliere"
5. 17 "Beehive"

In terms of smoothness of application, Dior Addict and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine win hands down. They are also the least drying. You can see that they applied smoothly and evenly on my hand while the Revlon, 17 and YSL went on a bit more uneven and grainy in some parts.

top to bottom: Dior Addict, 17 Mirror Shine, Revlon Lip Butter, YSL Rouge Pure Shine, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
YSL Rouge Pure Shine is the most glossy, followed by the 17, Dior, Chanel and Revlon who were all pretty even in second place.
In terms of drying-ness (totally not a word but you know what I mean), Chanel Coco Shines and Dior Addict are the least drying and left my lips rather comfortable throughout. The other 3 (Revlon, YSL and 17) all leave my lips slightly dry as they wear out - I'd recommend applying a lip balm and then the lipstick as you reapply throughout the day for the best results.

So, there we have it - my take on the uber popular Revlon Lip Butter.
I think it's a good product, especially in terms of price and colour selection. It performs well against its more high end counterparts - but if you are like me and prefer quality over quantity, treat yourself to a Dior Addict/Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick instead for a similar effect but superior performance... or maybe add one to your Christmas list :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bundled up and currently loving...

The Christmas music is softly playing in the background, the decorations are slowly coming out of the storage room and I am counting down the days until I am done exams and can have a bit of peace of mind.
Just thought I'd share some things I am enjoying at the moment:

- infinity scarves
They are so easy to throw on and go, and so warm. Mine is from H&M and I got it last year.

makeup is almost exactly the same as the one in my "December Challenge FOTD" post, except with Chanel Safari and some matte shades from the Sleek Au Naturel pallete
- Philosophy shower gels
The little "Happy Birthday" bottle in the photo I got for free from Sephora in the summer as my birthday gift. I recently started using it and have really fallen for it. It smells like vanilla birthday cake, lathers well and leaves the skin soft and doesn't dry out the skin... so it enabled me to try more!
I nearly jumped for joy when I saw that my local The Bay department store has a Philosophy counter/section. Today I got a box with these 2 minis of their limited edition holiday gels Twinkle Berry and Holiday Lights Aglow. THEY SMELL SO GOOD.
They smell fruity and fresh, not really gourmand scents like the cake one. Holiday Lights Aglow is described as "winter green citrus". Twinkle Berry is "bright raspberry punch"; it also has some subtle shimmer throughout. I can't wait to use them :)
You can find them at Sephora online if you're interested or on the Philosophy site, where they ship internationally but for a pretty penny.

yum yum yum
- the first snow

I'm sure I will curse and hate snow come January when I'm stuck indoors and can't even get to my car, but for now seeing the first snowfall made me all happy and cozy feeling. I tried to capture it against the evergreen tree we have growing by my window but it just looks like gross long raindrops. Sorry.
(is there some sort of snowfall camera setting that I am missing? haha)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Wishlist (in my dreams...)

I saw that Tali just did this on her beauty blog and I thought it was such a cute idea! With the holiday season upon us I thought it was fun to share a little dreamy luxe Christmas wishlist with you all.
*takes deep breath*
Here I go:


1. J Crew Cashmere Sweatshirt - a modern spin on the classic crew neck cashmere sweater, with a little "sweatshirt" design. J Crew uses 100% italian cashmere (whatever that means), and their sweaters always come in a myriad of beautiful shades. Since I'm a Neutral Nancy, I picked this warm golden camel colour for winter. You can find them online here (and they offer $9.95 flat rate shipping to Canada which is nice, customs and duty are also included so you don't get any surprises from the mail man when he comes knocking on your door).

2. Lanvin cut-out wedges - the wedge heel is literally cut out. They are so badass, imagine them with a simple fitted black long sleeve mini dress!! I stumbled upon them on one of the many shoe porn blogs I follow (I have a problem, I know); and considering how much I paid for my pair of Lanvin flats, I don't even want to know how much these cost.

3. Red zip-around Continental Wallet by Balenciaga - I briefly mentioned my wallet woes in a previous post; my wallet was stolen in October and I've been mourning its loss. The Balenciaga wallets are chic and come in so many different colours, I also love the hardware options - different metal finishes and sizes of the studs. I have a weird fixation with red wallets as of late, hence my option.

4. Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer - I blame this on Tali (again!!), Laura, Tanya and Millie from Made in Chelsea. They all have been raving about this product this past year and since I'm a newly converted tinted moisturizer junkie, this baby is next on the list. The price tag is slightly tear-inducing, though. You can find it online here.

5. Smythe Cape - this one makes me suffer. I saw this cape on the shelf at Holt Renfrew in Toronto last month and I fell in love. Smythe is a really cool Canadian clothing company focusing on jackets and outerwear. They have some stunning well-tailored pieces. Everything is made in Canada (unlike Mackage, another Canadian outerwear company that I previously liked who now manufactures in China and still charges you your firstborn for a coat. Hey, I care about these things!) and while the price points are high, I can assure you that the quality in impeccable. Sadly this cape is out of stock online but Shopbop does carry Smythe and I'm eyeing the site constantly since I am in dire need of a GOOD new coat this season. My Guess trench coat from '08 is barely hangin' on.

6. Christian Louboutin Daffodil platforms - also known as... hooves...? When these first came on the market and started being spotted on all sorts of famous feet from Victoria Beckham to Kim "She Who Shall  Not Be Named", I absolutely hated them. I even tried them on once at Saks just for kicks (not literally, I couldn't even stand up) and just kind of laughed them off. I don't know what happened because I kind of liked them now. And by "kind of", I mean "really really". Ridiculous price point for something so impossible to wear often without a chauffeur at my disposal but hey, it's my dream wishlist after all :) If you'd like your very own pair of sexy hooves this season, Barney's has some in stock here.

7. Rose gold watch - been wanting a rose gold watch for a while and this option is perfect. I like the price point and the fact that the rose gold is a slightly darker, smokier shade. Link!

So that's about it for me... these are the items giving me heart palpitations as of late.
What's on your dream Holiday list this year?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nail Party!! (again)

The dreaded "final exam season" has dawned upon me and what better way to enjoy a study break than to paint my nails with the most festive nail polish I own?
I mentioned this briefly in the summer when I first bought and it's the most gorgeous holiday party season nail polish: Deborah Lippmann "Lady Sings The Blues"


Sometimes I refer to it as "ocean disco party" nail polish. It's a fantastic pedicure shade as well. The nail swatch in the picture above is with ONE coat only. The base is a deep blackened jelly navy blue polish, with smaller and larger hexagonal silver glitter inside. One coat gives you not only great coverage with the navy colour, but also a great mix of both varieties of glitter.

It's the perfect nail polish to jazz up a little black dress or to add a bit of edge to a feminine nude-colured blouse/skirt ensemble. I often refer to nail polishes such as these as "outfit nail polishes" - nail polishes that I like to apply and keep on only for a specific outfit or occasion since it may not exactly be everyday office-friendly (depending on your work environment). So, the fact that it has such great application in one coat makes it perfect for that purpose :)

If you want to rock it all week long (or 2-3 weeks as a pedicure colour like I have done in the summer), don't fret because Deborah Lippmann polishes have good lasting power as well. If you are interested in joining the nail party, I found this polish online here (with free shipping, yay). Otherwise, as I mentioned before in my older post, I have seen various salons and Holt Renfrew department stores carry this brand in Canada. In the US, Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus all carry Deborah Lippmann as well.

I am planning on doing a video on my favourite holiday season nail polishes this weekend and I just felt like this one needed a bit more love. I got requests for nail swatches when I mentioned it before and I hope this helps. Stay tuned for the video in the next couple of days :)
As always, I'm always keen to hear what your favourites are - my nail polish ban is almost over for the year YAAAAY

Hope you all have a great weekend!

PS: to remove glitter polishes, I soak a a piece of cotton wool in nail polish remover and press it against my nail, then wrap the nail in a bit of tin foil to hold it in place. I do this on all my nails and just keep the tin foil "caps" on there for about 10 minutes. When you take the tin foil and cotton wool off, the glitter polish goes off with it! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My December 2011 Challenge and FOTD

Happy December!
I was so excited to open the first door on my Lindt chocolate advent calendar today (I will always remain a child at heart, what can I say), and I am even more excited to tell you about the little challenge I came up with for myself and for anyone else who would like to join me...

A few posts ago I mentioned my strong desire to put an end to lipgloss hoarding and to show more love to the glosses in my collection. I don't have a massive number of glosses but I do certainly have more than I manage to use, and with them being impossible to keep totally sanitary over the months - I know I could buy disposable wands and all that but I'm planning to stop the hoarding, not manage it ;) - so no need.

So what I am proposing is try and pick out the lipgloss that you've had the longest in your collection (it most likely is a special edition you've been trying to limit use on) AND USE IT UP. Don't fall in the trap of rationing limited edition products & keeping them until they get stale. Use it lots and enjoy it while you can.





Here is the gloss I've had the longest - it's by Dior, it's limited edition and I bought it in the summer of 2009. It's one of the Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflects and the colour is #137 "Trench coat beige". It's a gorgeous opaque warm nude with subtle shimmer. It doesn't smell stale or anything so it's still safe to use. Dior glosses have no scent to begin with at all. Sidenote - if you have any glosses with scents that have gone off over time, throw them out.

So I'm going to be using this bad boy every day or as much as I can (obviously it can be used in many different combinations) and at the end of the month hopefully I will have used it up! I did the "stick it in a cup of hot water" trick to see exactly how much I have left... so a little under half a tube to go!


Face of the day:
skin - Bourjois Healthy Mix (original), in shade 52. If you live in North America and are wondering where to get it, click here... shipping is free worldwide :)
Also used Chanel Mat Lumiere Powder in #125 to set it.
Under the eyes I used Collection 2000 concealer (thanks Vivianna!), mixed with some Armani Corrector and Laura Mercier Secret Brightener... this is the beeeest under-eye combination ever and I might even do a video on it. I've owned my LM brightener for over a year (I'm sure you've seen it pop in and out of posts) and I have only now figured out the best way to use it haha
cheeks - NARS Mounia blush, Chanel Bronze Universel
eyes - Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Chanel Safari Eyeshadow all over, Chanel Taupe Grise eyeshadow in the crease, some black liquid liner by the brand 17, and MUFE Smoky Lash mascara
lips - the Dior gloss on top of Rimmel East End Snob lip liner

on my nails I am wearing "Twilight" by Laura Mercier, which is part of their Fall 2011 collection.

Hope you're all having a great day and that you are willing to hop on board with this challenge :)

xox

Sandra

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lip Care 101 and the end of "Blogvember"

With winter shortly approaching - it's been raining non stop the past couple of days, that misting freezing rain that could turn to snow if it were just 1 degree colder. With all of that happening, proper lip care has become essential. Some of my absolute favourite products (some new, some old) of the moment have been these:


1. Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm 
This product is great and a fantastic dupe for the Fresh Sugar Lip Balm (the original one, not the tinted one, obviously). They smell the same and glide on smoothly, perfect for little boosts of moisture throughout the day. I got mine at Rexall for $8 here in Canada, and it is also available online on Amazon for slightly more but still half the price of the Fresh one. They also make a more concentrated version in the pot that I will purchase later on in the winter once I use up my MAC Lip Conditioners.

2. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish lip scrub
I got a little sample pot of this from my friend and it's a really nice lip scrub. The full size is a bit larger and costs a whopping $22.50. I am a lip scrub novice so I can't tell you how this stacks up against Lush or other brand offerings, but I can tell you that I did try to make my own sugar/honey/olive oil lip scrub at home before and it was an epic fail. I mean, my lips felt nice but this is definitely more nourishing and less messy. I do like the fact that after you scrub and wipe away the product, the lips are left moisturized as well - soft and supple.
It's a bit of a splurge but would make a nice Christmas present for a girlfriend or stocking stuffer for mom :) Who doesn't wan't a little treat this time of the year? You can find this at Sephora.

3. Eucerin Aquaphor the good ol' remedy
Tried and tested, this is basically a thicker version of vaseline meaning that it contains nothing that actually puts hydration back into the lips. What it does do, however, is lock in moisture and make the lips feel super smooth and look glossy. I like to apply this at night on top of my lip conditioner in order to seal in the moisture and let the conditioner sink in and do the hydrating work. You can find this at most drugstores.

4. Laura Mercier Lip Silk before bed magic
This is what I have been applying before bed (followed by Aquaphor) every night and my lips have never felt better. It's quite thick and not nearly as luxurious as I thought it would be but it definitely does the job. It doesn't smell like anything nor does it add any glossiness/colour to the lips. It coats them and sinks right in. Perfect for before bed!

5. MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner "Feelin' Good" everyday perfection
This is what I use in the morning on most days. These are permanent at MAC but this colour was limited edition from ages ago and I'm almost out of it. On one hand I want to finish this up because God knows for how long it's been lurking (I only tend to reach for this in the fall/winter) but on the other hand I'm sad because all the permanent ones don't have as nice of a nude colour as this does. This is not only a very moisturizing, non-sticky and slightly glossy lip treatment but it also offers the prefect subltle "makes lips one shade lighter type of nude" colour. It also contains an SPF of 15. Love it.


Anyway, today is the last day of November, meaning my little "Blogvember" challenge is complete.
I hope you had as much fun reading the posts as I did writing them.

Take care, keep those lip balms on hand during the upcoming winter months, and I am cooking up a new challenge for the month of December so stay tuned :)

xox

Sandra

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's in my bag?

I've been carrying around this massive silver tote for the past month. Juggling a busy school schedule with the semester coming to an end, and going home and then to work and then home again, I needed a bag big enough to tote random things like an extra sweater or my lunch, as required.

Shall we take a peek?


roomy and soft faux leather tote - was actually a gift with purchase from Saks Fifth Avenue
The contents:


1. the book I'm currently reading (When God Was A Rabbit... it's good but it's taking me a while to like the main character/narrator for some reason)
2. hair clip... I like to call her THE CLAW
3. my Michael Buble Christmas CD... lol
4. NUXE Reve De Miel lip balm
5. my iPhone
8. my "back-up" wallet since my wallet got stolen last month
9. (red) day planner, a Canadian Tire receipt (for car oil, so exciting), a coupon, a paycheck
10. Clif Peanut Butter Crunch protein bar - so good! I always have one with me on the go.
11. gum
12. Boscia blotting sheets

Ta da!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

In and Out, November 28: fur vests and Christmas?

IN


- Bath and Body Works Candles! Currently enamoured with the Marshmallow Fireside and Merry Mistletoe scents... they are 2 for $30 right now in Canada and plenty of $10 off coupons around so check those two out if you're in the mood for some new candles :)

- this photo of the "winter fair" that was set up in my hometown of Sibiu, Romania on the weekend. This is in the main square of the town and seeing it pop up on Facebook this morning just made my heart warm. It looks like a picture from a fairytale. I moved to Canada when I was 12 and I have since gone back to visit as much as I could, but only during the summer. This just brought back memories of my Christmases growing up and going carolling with my friends from grade school, things like that... so lovely.


- Christmas in general. My sweet, wonderful co-worker heard me mumbling something about how much I loved Michael Buble's Christmas carol renditions and she surprised me by getting me his new Christmas album. SO GOOD! I'm getting myself an advent calendar this week, lighting my candles and getting into the festive spirit!

- [faux] fur vests. I have 2 that I rotate, one is silvery gray with leopard-ish black spots, one is a warm beige/brown mix. They were both totally random steals - the gray one from Winners last year for about $40, the brown one from Value Village (!! scored it for $6 taxes included when I was there searching for Halloween costumes in '09). I wear them during the day over sweaters or plain T-shirts as well as at night accessorized with some bold jewelry or a belt, or over a feminine sheer blouse for a fun play with textures. If you are on the lookout for something similar, check this one out at Forever21!

someone pass me the blotting sheets because clearly I misplaced them lol


OUT


- this gross "Orange Pekoe" tea that I bought in bulk for the Tassimo hoping it was good. It's not. It tastes like poison. Trying to finish up the package so I can never repurchase it again.

- MAC Collections... "in honour of black friday we have re-issued our black lipstick!" ... have they totally missed the plot? Stop releasing 423984723892 new things/repromotes every week and focus on creating quality textures and innovative products. End rant.

- lipgloss hoarding. Makeup hoarding in general, but for some reason lipgloss is the main one I get mad at myself for because I rarely use it nowadays. Must use up some before they get stale - there's nothing more I hate than wasting money on a product that I don't use up - not because I don't love it but just because I'm lazy. You all know I enjoy using up my products rather than collecting them and it's time to focus on lipglosses, perhaps it will be a project in the making for December... stay tuned!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Slow Hands

I guess this can be a "hands of the day" post - title inspired by Interpol's song with the same title...
If you are like me, part of the "when in doubt, wear all black" brigade, then what better way to jazz up than with some metal and good nailpolish?


I busted out some of my favourite silver rings that I've collected from various trips back to the homeland (Romania, in case you were wondering ^_^ ), and a mix of bracelets - my current favourite combination of Pandora silver bracelet & 1 charm with the Tiffany's silver bead bracelet and my studded silver Forever21 bracelet to add a bit of edge.


As for my nails, I painted alternating nails with either Barry M Raspberry (the lighter colour) or Essie Angora Cardi. I've never done this before but I quite like how it turned out. Fun for the weekend.

Take care,

Sandra

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The prettiest thing I ever did see - Laura Mercier Illuminator

What more could I ask for to cheer up a gloomy day than the most gorgeous piece of makeup I've seen all season?

When I opened up the package I so generously received from Laura Mercier's PR I am certain I heard the angels singing when I took a glimpse at this little container... the Laura Mercier Holiday 2011 Illuminator.

motion blur action for dramatic effect...

look. at. this. gorgerousness!!!!

I am well aware that "gorgeousness" isn't a word but if it was, this picture would be next to it the the dictionary. I tried hunting this down every since Tali blogged about it but every counter I hit was sold out -- so imagine my joy when I opened the package and saw this baby.
It just became available online at Sephora (LINK) but it is limited edition so don't hesitate. 
The texture of this is so smooth and refined. Almost too beautiful to touch but I stuck my paw in it anyway :)


A refined rose gold highlighting powder. I am planning on using this as eyeshadow too. The texture is definitely on par with Dior Amber Diamond but obviously darker and more rosy. 
You can build it up as eyeshadow or even to enhance the colour and dimension of an already rosy blush... or you can sheer it out on the cheekbones for a candle-lit glow.


I don't fall for highlighters often but when I do - it's gotta be amazing.
Next on the list is the Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel liquid illuminator but I am going to need a tan for that - so it's on the summer list.

Are you a fan of highlighting powders? Highlighters in general? I don't think they're a necessity but every once in a while a little gem pops up - akin to this one or the Dior Amber Diamond - and it's a beautiful treat for any collection.

xo

Sandra


Friday, November 25, 2011

Pandora lovin'

After months and months of deliberation (well not really, it was more like "man these things are so stupid" turned into "OMG NEED ONE NOW!11!!~*~") I finally bought myself a Pandora bracelet and I am mildly obsessed with it.
I would have loved to get the solid gold one but at $1400 a piece, that was not happening so I settled to what I think is the best fit for me - the solid silver. 
I don't know what made me change my mind and start loving these bracelets, it might be the fact that my good friend always wears hers and she leaves it only about 1/4 full so there's a lot of movement and fluidity. I personally don't like the look of them completely full of charms but anyway, I got the silver because I figure if I want to add gold, I can buy gold charms, if I want to switch it up and do solid silver and a particular colour stone - I can simply just add those types of charms.

Here she is (paired with my beloved Tiffany & Co. bead bracelet):


I call the charm the "squiggle mess", I was having a really bad day - a mess, if you will - so I figured it would be an appropriate first charm. It's silver coiled up with a hint of gold. All of Pandora's gold is solid 14K or 18K (which would explain the astronomical price of the gold version of this bracelet).

I really love it and I am excited to play with more of the charms. I think maybe a Christmas one would be cute for the season *big cheesy grin*

Happy weekend!!
xx

Sandra

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bear in the woods

Except that by bear I mean my furry vest and by woods I mean some landscaping.
I found this faux fur vest at a thrift store a few years ago for the bargain price of $6. It has since become a go-to piece during this time of year.


I also got a new MAC lipstick - a perfect warm red called Lady Bug. It's a lustre finish, making it super easy to apply.
Today is a busy day so I'm going to keep the rambling at a minimum - here's what I wore:



bear hug!





Outfit details:
vest - thrifted
top - Guess
scarf - Zara
jeans - 7 for all mankind "Gwenevere" 
flats - French Sole
sunglasses - Chanel (classic cat eye model)
ring - House of Harlow (it's on sale now yay)
bracelet - Pandora
Hope you're having a beautiful thursday!

xo

Sandra


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