Monday, August 29, 2011

In and Out, end of August


- late summer/fall TV shows!
Currently obsessed with Big Brother - the US version since the "celebrity" UK one gives me a migraine. I mean, Paddy the gypsy is on it for crying out loud and I'm pretty sure he's more relevant than Tara Reid. Entourage is also great, Dexter and Gossip Girl start soon-ish and fall always makes me want to re-watch old episodes of Sex and The City *sigh* life is good :)

- cardigans. Since I lost my old Zara favourite, this fall a new grey cardigan is on the horizon.

- my birthday is on wednesday... will be spent at work but a lovely dinner with friends is planned for the next day

- studded jewelry, bracelets in particular. I stumbled upon this photo in Tumblr the other day and I had heart palpitations:

Naturally I haven't got a clue where any of these are from but I WANT! That skeleton tail one is pretty amazing as well. Also, if you've seen Jay-Z and Kanye West's Otis music video, one of the girls in the back of their Maybach has the most gorgeous gold studded bracelet as well (yes this is what I observe in rap music videos...)

Even this week's Net-A-Porter lady is rocking some studded bangles:

- Since my next weekend off from work won't be until Canadian Thankgiving (early October), I am planning to go see my friend in Arizona and soak in some sunshine in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area for a few days. Trip planning makes me happy.


- my Chapters order hasn't shipped out yet. I feel like this should be a "first world problems" type of tweet but there's nothing worse than placing an order for some items - in my case books - you're excited about and it takes longer than usual to receive them

- my incredibly shitty (for a lack of better terms) jewelry storage. I don't even know if you can call it storage, it's basically a mass of boxes tossed around in a drawer. I need a re-vamp! How do you organize your jewelry?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Something Old and Something New

You know that feeling when you're opening the closet before an evening out and your eyes quickly dart from left to right... panic sets in and *gasp* there's nothing to wear.

Then, out of the corner a small shred of fabric sticks out and all is right in the universe, an old favourite comes to the rescue!

That was me a couple of nights ago, and this is the blouse that saved the night. It is by BCBG Max Azria and I have owned it for a long time. I hadn't worn it in over a year because the thin, slightly sheer silk-blend fabric makes it a "summer only" kind of piece.
From the front it is a rather plain and simple sleeveless blouse with high neckline, but from the back - insert artsy photo here -


I just knew I had to pair it with simple eye makeup.

My most recent eyeshadow purchase, Patina by MAC seemed perfect for the occasion.

Patina eyeshadow all over the lid, with a hint of Mulch eyeshadow (also by MAC) along the top and bottom lash lines. A bit of black eyeliner and mascara and done!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Late summer lovin'

Just two things I want to quickly share with you before I run off to relax and enjoy this amazing beautiful day that I have off from work ----- just kidding, it's most likely going to rain today and I'm headed to a dentist appointment but hey, it's still my day off so let's continue, shall we?

I'm a creature of habit, and I have entered the familiar "end of summer" zone in which I'm extremely lazy with my makeup, unsatisfied with my hair colour, hate all my nail polishes and sink into the comforts of my favourite late August scent, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.

I'm not even going to try describing this to you, but if you haven't smelled it because you've been hiding under a boulder the past few years, it's a very popular scent that is feminine and sophisticated and I resort to it mostly in the evenings ranging from late August to October.

As for the nails - I feel stupid rocking the pastels of spring, and I don't want to start the permanent stain of deep reds, blacks and purples just yet so I'm opting for neutrals. They never fail me when I'm in a "nail rut". They always look polished and sophisticated. On my nails today is "Topless and Barefoot" by Essie but Samoan Sands and Tickle my France-y by OPI are also beautiful, as is Essie's Sugar Daddy for a sheer wash of pink. I'm also really into the slightly more oval nails coming back into fashion since the squared off nail shape makes my fingers look like shovels most of the time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A quick pick-me-up...

Keeping it simple today, popped into Chanel and the Fall collection was happily smiling at me.

I only walked away with these 2 babies -
A new eyelash curler (my Shu Uemura one was in need of a companion) and I also got my hands on Graphite nail polish, which I had been lusting for.

The eyelash curler fits my eye shape a tad better than the Shu although it's not as "tight" when it clamps on the lashes, if that makes any sense. They're both amazing and I can say I love them equally in their own way.

As for the polish, I haven't tried it yet but I will definitely start sporting it come fall.
Hope your week is lovely!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Magic in a syringe? Brazilian Peel First Impression

Not too long ago I received a little box of random samples with a Sephora purchase.
A lot of those random samples were just fluff - things that either got tossed away or tried out with very little enthusiasm.

However, one thing in there got me really excited... one application of the "Brazilian Peel". It's basically an at home glycolic acid peel. It contains 30% glycolic acid which is stronger than many other glycolic products that I have tried before which have been somewhere within the 5%-10% range, but it doesn't sting more than them. It also has some antioxidants in it coming from Acai fruit and comes in a clever "syringe" packaging to make you even more aware at how awesome and clinical-strangth it is, I assume.

One full size package of the peel runs at $78 at Sephora and comes with 4 applications - you're supposed to use one a week. My sample contained one application and I was thoroughly impressed.

Here's what I experienced:

- you push the syringe and the two sides come into contact with each other in your palm
- you rub your palms together to mix the 2 lotions and it starts to warm up
- you apply it all over your face avoiding the eyes and lips
- one syringe contained enough to generously coat my entire face neck and chest
- it stings a lot in the first minute and feels warm and then it subsides
- leaves a thick, clear and slightly sticky residue on the face
- leave it all on for 10 minutes as it works
- rinse it off to reveal AMAZING skin

Literally I couldn't stop staring at myself haha... my skin was glowing, my pores looked smaller and my skin just felt plump and tightened. I'm definitely buying the full size of this later on in the fall.
I prefer to do stronger exfoliating systems like these in the fall/winter (I used a 10% glycolic peel by NeoStrata in the past), because sun exposure isn't recommended and it's easier to avoid the sun during the cooler seasons.

I also wouldn't recommend this if you are still in your late teens/early 20's or if you are still regularly breaking out because you don't want to irritate your skin. Opt for a more gentle alternative like Avene's Diacneal, which I liked to use weekly in the spring/summer.

I am officially entering "mid 20's" territory this month and while my skin is still oily and acne-prone, I'm definitely on the lookout to incorporate some anti-aging tools in my beauty routine. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (such and glycolic and lactic) are great ingredients to keep an eye for since they promote cell turnover, help fade acne scars and contribute to a more glowing complexion.

Are you a glycolic junkie like I am? Tell me about it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The slates and the nudes...

I've been absolutely obsessed with silk, silver and soft modal jersey... add in a chunky knit (in preparation for fall) and some of my favourite colours and we've got a very happy Sandra!

I purchased a pale taupe-pink tank top in Germany and it's been sneaking its way into as many outfits as I can as of late, outfit of the day posts to come! Not only is the colour one of my favourites, but the material is amazingly soft and the fit is loose yet flattering. It has a small pocket at the front and a racer back.

I also found this deep navy/slate silk jacket at Nordstrom that works perfectly for the end of summer when it's not as hot yet not quite cardigan weather...
and to top it all off with my big chunky cardigan from Miss Sixty that I'm absolutely obsessed with. It might alleviate the pain of summer ending and fall starting, it might.

Ok, enough talking about fall. I've still got 2 good weeks of summer left and I'll leave the "fall fashion" posts until a later date.

Have you been thinking about transitioning from fall to winter yet?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Breakfast of Champions?

Strange topic to write about since this is predominantly a beauty blog but hey - it's my blog and I can blog how I want to. This morning while eating my breakfast I was enjoying it so much that I took a picture and decided to tell you about it.

I get asked quite often to do a diet/fitness video on YouTube and while that is probably never going to be done (I am no professional by any means, I just try to keep active as much as I can and eat healthy... "everything in moderation" is my motto, I suppose).

Anyways, here is what I have for breakfast on a regular basis:

A "DIY" mix of cereal, if you will.
I purchased organic granola mix from the grocery store (the bulk seed section), added some whole grain cereal (mine was also bought from that bulk seed section of my grocery store, they sell them pre-packaged as well in the cereal aisle), some walnuts and a sliced banana!
Add about half a cup of almond milk and we are done...

Sometimes I add dried cranberries instead of banana, or throw in some flax seeds as well.

Never skip breakfast, although it's so easy to just be lazy and push the snooze button in the morning - I'm guilty of it too sometimes - having a nutritious breakfast daily can make a huge difference. When I have more time I opt for an omelette or salad with boiled eggs... but that's another story!

What are your favourite breakfast foods?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

face of the day (and week, pretty much)

Here's what I've been putting on my face religiously for the past week or two (albeit a few changes in cheek products - sometimes I opted for bronzer).

Simple, ultimate "lazy girl" makeup for weeks filled with work and errands.

1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - this is like the gift that keeps on giving, I've had it for almost a year and use it regularly and I'm dying to use it up because I want to try something new.

2. Laura Mericer Full Blown Volume mascara - a Sephora sample
2.5 we can't have mascara without eyelash curlers!

3. Stila Convertible Eye Colour in Teak - so easy! I have a blog post dedicated to this multitasking little pencil.

4. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - I only like using this in the summer, does absolutely nothing for oil control but feels incredibly lightweight and makes the skin look very polished

5. MAC Mineralize blush in "Earth to Earth" - this was sadly limited edition and is the only mineral blush by MAC that I own... one of my favourites though.

And here is the medley of the items on my face:

I just have a clear lip balm on my lips (the EOS one that I think is extremely over-hyped), trying to grow out my eyebrows and patiently waiting for fall so I can dye my hair darker.

Lazy girl makeup for the win!

Friday, August 12, 2011

In and Out, extremely annoyed edition


- not too many INs, I'm afraid... however I have been enjoying drinking copious amounts of mineral water (S. Pellegrino FTW) as of late

- I've also been getting regular manicures to get my healthy nail kick starting since they were a mess for the past year. After 2 weeks of Shellac my nails were nice and strong and longer. I got it removed today since I do like to change it up with colours from my collection, and opted for Deborah Lippmann Girls Just Want To Have fun - a bright pink coral that stole my heart at the beginning of summer. It's the slightly pink sister of OPI Cajun Shrimp, which leans more on the orange coral side.

- damn it, I got sucked into the Jersey Shore whirlpool for yet another season. I've been loving Big Brother as well, but if Rachel keeps lurking around I may have a nervous breakdown.

- using up products... expect a video to come on that soon, if my computer decides to co-operate.


- something went wrong when I installed my new operating system (OS X Lion, which is performing like a dying cat rather than a ferocious feline) because every time I try to record a video in iMovie, the sound and video get increasingly out of sync as the video progresses. No bueno.

- Canadian Chanel counters are extremely slow at putting out merchandise. I'm sick of stalking the counter every week to still find a half-empty display of Summer 2011.

- MAC's new collections. Zero interest. I do need to get Patina eyeshadow sometime soon though.

- eyeliner! I have yet to use eyeliner this month... crazy, eh?

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Rings of Summer

Since my computer is "ill" after upgrading my operating system I cannot film my vacation purchases video until I get my laptop looked at...
So here I am, showing off the 2 rings I bought in Germany that I am absolutely in love with! They have not left my hand on any outing I've made since my return. I've been looking for bold gold rings for ages and was not willing to settle for a cheapish Forever21/H&M version since the tones of gold never matched my Michael Kors watch and I had been hunting for something in the same shade of gold. I also didn't have the money to shell out for 14K gold offerings that I admired from afar.

Cue the angels singing...

The brand is "DYRBERG/KERN" and I had not heard about them since I saw these at a display in the jewelry section of a department store in Munich and pointed with delight. I now know they're a jewelry brand from Denmark, aaaand they make some pretty awesome stuff. They are so incredibly well made and feel great on.

When I travel I tend to hold out and buy a few special pieces to remember the trip by, rather than a pile of disposable items that won't last more than a season.

This concludes my vacation jewelry purchases! :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish: the good and bad

Please excuse the use of generic photograph, but my muslin cloth is embarrassingly stained at the moment and I do not wish to harm your vision by showing it to you in a photo.

I've gotten several requests for a review on this - and now that I've been using it for a good couple of months I'm ready to share my experience.

First off, if you're not familiar - Liz Earle is a British brand, and their "cleanse and polish" cleansing system is their most well-known product. It is a creamy foam cleanser (quite a densely packed foam that spreads like a cream, if that makes any sense) and if you buy the intro kit it comes with a cleanser and two muslin cloths.
To use, you massage 1-2 pumps of the cleanser onto your skin. It starts melting off all the makeup and dirt, then you wet the cloth with hot water and wipe the cleanser and the melted impurities off your face. A quick rinse afterwards and voila - beautiful cleansed skin!

Here were my pros and cons while using this cleanser:

- loved the scent (very herbal)
- natural product, free of sulfates and parabens
- didn't break me out (I'm acne prone and oily and sensitive so this was a huge plus)
- great for travel, I left my Clarisonic at home while I was traveling because it was heavy and took up too much space but this was a very worthy replacement
- skin felt amazingly radiant and clean afterwards

...sooo yeah, I really loved this! It would definitely be my "holy grail" if it wasn't for...

- for me, in Canada (and for you ladies in the USA too, I'm guessing), we can only get this online from their official website
- the price... at $31 a pop for 100mL, this is double the cost and half the size of the Cetaphil cleanser I regularly use. I wouldn't really mind since one bottle goes a long way - I've used mine daily for 2 months and I'm still not out, and they also sell 3 packs of it for $58.50 BUT...
- shipping to Canada costs $17 *cries* in the US it's $7 which is a lot more reasonable

Bottom line... I hate having to rely on online shopping for such an essential product like a cleanser.
I do love this product, though, so I would gladly repurchase and have it in my arsenal for travel since the foam is very light and convenient... but I'm not getting rid of my beloved (yet chemical-ridden) Cetaphil Cleanser just yet.

Monday, August 1, 2011

In and Out

Happy August!!
Here's what's been up and down on my mind as of late:


- shellac! I can't stop staring at my nails. They survived a weekend of breaking rolls of coins at work. This never happened.

- wearing minimal face makeup. I never thought I'd be a "tinted moisturizer" girl or a "just a bit of concealer" girl but I have been this summer and that makes me happy. Still totally into foundation but it's nice not having to wear it when it's a million degrees out in the summer time.

- anticipating Chanel Fall 2011 makeup to arrive at my counter... I look at the promo photos and I can't waiiiit to see that shiz in person. I don't know if it's just my counter or most counters in Canada but I haven't seen ANY of the fall stuff yet (didn't see it in Europe either) so I'm thinking it just got distributed in the USA sooner than in the rest of the world.

- day off tomorrow and wednesday, meaning I can finally catch up on videos that I need to record!

- my new iPhone 4

- still obsessed with Chanel Rouge Coco Shines

- Liz Earle cleanse and polish... whyyy must this only be available online (for us people that aren't in the UK) and with crazy shipping fees? :'( will post a review soon


- Apple OS X Lion... it may look pretty but it makes my computer freeze a lot more often and it made my recording software not recognize my webcam... dun dun dun... couldn't film today. I have since fixed it after a couple hours of panic but it was frustrating nonetheless

- the Bachelor/Bachelorette. YAWN.

- Sloane and E on Entourage. I'm so angry that the wedding is off. I was rooting for them, dammit.

- eating crap. I need to stock up on some of my favourite healthy foods because I ate astronomical amounts of pizza, pasta and every type of pork meat imaginable on my trip. Need to resume my workouts as well, but I'm lazy :(

Hope your week is off to a great start!! xox
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