Friday, December 10, 2010

Holidays at Holt Renfrew

Is it a sign that I spend too much time (and money) at Holt Renfrew if they send me Christmas cards? I mean not the store in general, but I got Christmas cards (that are designed to look like the HR boxes) from the Shu Uemura and Giorgio Armani cosmetics counters... thankfully the two counters with nice SAs that I like!

In any case the content of this post actually happened a month ago (obviously despite my best intentions I forgot to post... again) and a kind reminder from my dear Old Cow reminded me that I should update... at least so that the few readers of this blog who I don't also stalk on twitter would know I was a live!

Holt Renfrew is almost the only store in the Core (Calgary's downtown shopping district) that decorated for Christmas as a number of parts are still under construction and the Core actually donated its decorating budget to the United Way (which is nice, though I do miss the Christmas trees everywhere)! For the fellow Calgarians, the Core is MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer than it was even 6 months ago - no more exposed piping every metre! There's still a bit of construction but I think the mall looks beautiful and it's now one of my favourite places to be

The gigantic skylight doesn't hurt :)

My holiday trips to Holt Renfrew actually happened over two weeks...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shiny Pretty Things

You know that feeling when an object sticks in your head, and you tell yourself there's no point in buying it, but it never really leaves your mind? That was the story with me and the Jill Stuart 5th Anniversary box! I've loved since I first saw it last year, but first I didn't really own any jewellery and then couldn't rationalize WHY I needed it. Plus, I had a lovely case from Yume that fit all my earrings nicely... and then I began to read more blogs and my jewellery collection suddenly outgrew my storage space!

I made do, keeping things in their original boxes, but after having an awful day at work a couple of weeks ago, AND with it being my birthday, I decided to give in and order the jewellery box I'd been thinking of on-and-off for more than a year... and I'm SO happy with it! I purchased from Gooddealer and everything was wrapped perfectly - styrofoam and bubble wrap with fragile stickers galore - and a tracking number.

As I wanted to show off my shiny new storage, I thought I should show off the shiny things that now live in it. This post for my dear Old Cow who is the reason my collection expanded so quickly AND why I started to wear necklaces :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Warm Holiday Collections (and Wishes!)

Thus far, the least wonky self-portraits tend to happen in my car :)

I actually have more than ONE post worth of content, and under the threat  encouragement of several of my favourite girls online, I'm going to try to post more than once this month... we'll see how it goes. I tend to have grand plans about blogging and then I get distracted and end up tweeting everything and never posting. It's a vicious cycle.

In any case: I usually don't post 'haul' posts since I don't find my own purchases to be all that interesting after I gush about them (or at least they don't seem interesting enough to talk about) but after a hellish two weeks at work, not only did I end up with a LOT of new makeup - but I didn't have any chance to play with any of it! Two weeks ago was the beginning of my awful stretch of shifts (partly my own fault, partly the scheduler's) and on the minimal days (3 in 14... bearing in mind I do 12 hour day/night shifts) I wasn't at work I apparently had to maximize my time and buy as much of the collections as I wanted as possible.

Before you have a heart attack: part of this was truly spending, and the other part was all free thanks to the Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum program.

So what did I end up with?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrations & Giving Thanks

At O Shima Restaurant
For all the Canadians out there, today is the last of a long weekend, as it's the 'Canadian' thanksgiving - and the weekend has been beautiful! We've had a lovely amount of sunshine over the last week, so it was nice to be able to wear a dress to celebrate my birthday without shivering to death!

This weekend has been all about food, friends, family, and more food for me :) It was a lovely way to celebrate my birthday!

Except I didn't actually take a lot of food pictures AT my birthday dinner with my friends! I was too excited for a tonkatsu curry plate, I guess ;). This was the first time I'd ever had all my besties together at once (usually at least once schedule interferes) and it was a lot of fun. The restaurant was surprisingly good! I had booked it wanting to eat sushi, but they had quite an expansive menu (so in the end, only 2/9 of us got sushi, haha)

We did go for dessert afterwards though! This is my mini-trio of birthday cakes. I hate being sung to - especially in public - since I always get embarrassed, so I browbeat the besties into staying silent... no pictures at the second restaurant as the lounge was SO dark (and I haven't quite mastered the use of my camera yet).

E and I shared this :) The best part was the first cake (why can't I remember the name?) though I remember the last cake was supposed to be a sticky toffee pudding, but we both thought it tasted more like warm banana bread. Still good :D

Thanksgiving day was all about the food....

Friday, October 8, 2010

24, New Camera, Mooks

My new camera has a 'soft focus' feature
Yikes, only 3 hours away!! I know I tend to post sporadically, but it went to posting nil after my beloved Sony DSC-T200 camera died :( I couldn't take pictures AND I had no idea what to talk about.

My birthday is tomorrow, and I'd been contemplating a beginner's DSLR anyway, so I bought myself a new camera as an early birthday present and replacement for mine (though I will probably pick up another point-and-shoot since they are more portable, and I am lazy). I picked up an Olympus PEN E-PL1 but I am still mostly using the auto settings... definitely need to find a good beginner's guide to DSLR cameras (suggestions welcome).

In any case, to prove I am alive (and hopefully to kick my butt into posting more), my latest mook purchases (I say 'latest' but one is really old, and the other two were posted about weeks ago by other people.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

San Francisco Day 3: Japantown, Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf

Honestly, I am going to try to finish talking about this trip before I go to San Diego but I'm being honest with myself when I say it probably isn't going to happen. XD; I don't know why I don't have as many pictures with my mom... I think she is holding the camera a lot of the time :P

Anyway Day 3 we spent in downtown San Francisco, and we saw all the tourist-y things as neither Kuya A nor Ate M had seen them before (it's about a 3 hr drive for them, so quite a distance - and hotels are expensive!). The weather was gorgeous, and after another train ride on the BART from the airport we bought day passes to tour more of the city. It was cheaper for us to get the day pass as it is valid on the regular bus system and the cable cars :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

San Francisco Day 2: Golden Gate Bridge, Palo Alto, & A Hotel on the Bay

My second day in San Francisco started off much better, as my ears had popped while I was sleeping, and also that we were checking out of our ugh hotel to go to our actual hotel. Also because my cousin A and his wife M were coming to pick us up to spend a few days with us! I hadn't seen A since I was 3, so it was really like we were meeting for the first time :)

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, which was nice, as we spend a lot of the day outdoors and driving :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

San Francisco Day One: Fisherman's Wharf, a Crappy Hotel, and CRAB!!

My trip to San Francisco ended a couple of weeks ago, but given my rate of posting (slower than a snail) I thought I should finally upload pictures and chat about it... especially as I am back to California in 3 weeks (this time San Diego :D). Normally I don't end up doing a lot of sight-seeing on the first day, but as we got to San Francisco quite early (around 2PM) and our temporary hotel ended up being crap, my parents and I decided to squeeze some sight-seeing in right away... and grab dinner while we were at it. First stop: Fisherman's Wharf.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Revlon Colourburst Lipsticks + Sunshine, FINALLY

It's been raining a lot this week so I was super happy that my weekend off was filled with lots of sunshine and gorgeous weather! Spent a lot of time outside, loaded up with the sunscreen, to celebrate the official beginning of summer, and the birthdays of my oldest sister and one of the besties! I haven't posted in ages (work has been killer) so ... this is going to be a LONG post.

If you've ever 'met' me in person (or you are one of the above mentioned besties) you know that as soon as it's sunny and warm I live in skirts (no matter how windy) and dresses! I found this in my closet (I don't think I'd ever worn it) but the v-neck was a bit low-cut, hence the green tank top under the dress. Depending on my mood I'll either match my makeup to what I'm wearing, or go neutral - for the bestie's birthday party I matched, but I picked up a quint at random for today and ended up going neutral with my beloved Dior Parisian Lights palette. So of course I wanted to play with one of my many new lippies. This is actually Chanel Rouge Allure in Genial (from the Les Pop Ups summer collection) and will be the focus of a later post - it's a colour I'm currently obsessed with).

On to the actual content...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Colour Tag + Dior Tailleur Bar + Revlon Colourburst Lipsticks

Working and a few days of rainy, grey weather certainly impact my desire and ability to blog! I think I am more productive when I have a few days off and it's SUNNY, so I feel like taking pictures, haha. Yesterday was grey and rainy but brighter than it had been (plus I had time to dither over a makeup look), but of course, I lacked 'inspiration'... so I turned to Yumeko who I was happy to catch online, and she suggested grey and pink :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Green, Purple, and Redemption?

I think that pink and purple look from a few days ago catapulted me back into loving bright eye looks... too bad I'm going back to work tomorrow so I'll be back to my standard work face :P

I've been thinking about doing this look for a while, but hadn't actually picked up any of the colours until I was poked by Yumeko to try it out since she posted it first and then Haru posted a similar version using different products! I find it so interesting to see how different girls interpret looks and tutorials, so of course after her reminder I wanted to try it out
I'm not sure why this turned out more like seafoam green and purple (it's more of a kelly green in person, but I can't catch it on my camera). The green appears a bit darker on my webcam pic so I'll attach that at the end.

Keep reading for products used...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rose Tinted Glasses

This morning I was lacking inspiration both with what to post about, and how to do my makeup! This happens a lot when I wear a neutral colour like black or white :P. Recently I'd been wearing more neutrals like bronze/gold/brown, but I wanted to break out of my rut - so naturally I turned to twitter for suggestions. The lovely ladies on my feed suggested pink and purple, so off I went! I love this look and am happy I delved back into the bright part of my stash again, but the look also made me think of a predominant theme in my life: the colour pink.

Pink is everywhere in my life, a recurring theme I am always willing to indulge, from clothing, to electronics, to makeup (of course). So I thought I'd use this post to examine the colour's role in my life...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lovely Regrets

Every few months I clean out my stash (which you can blurrily see in the background), removing items that I don't use often (or at all) and setting them aside to give to others. Normally this encompasses eyeshadow, as I previously did not have a lot of lip products - not to mention sharing used lip products just seems a bit unsanitary to me (I don't any of the sanitizing/alcohol sprays at the moment). Even with the items I purge, there's rarely any regret in my purchases, I get rid of things to make room for new(er) purchases.

I re-swatch everything before I give it away, and on my most recent 'clean-up' I took a look at my lipsticks, and pulled out Blooming Lovely, which I couldn't remember using often... and couldn't remember why I hadn't been reaching for it. However once putting it on I suddenly remembered... my experience solidified 'Blooming Lovely' as being a major buyer's remose case :(

Thursday, April 29, 2010

From A Land Far, Far, Away...

I don't think the weather in Calgary is aware it's almost May as we've had three snowstorms this month - the one last night dumped about 20 cm of snow and knocked out the power in my neighbourhood for about 3 hours... we lucked out though since the areas further out of the city still don't have power right now!

The roads were gross today, so once I got home from my meeting I decided to try to re-organize my makeup (I'm in the process of it now) and after some nudging from Jen I thought I should probably do a post on my GMarket order from... 2 months ago. Haha.

This was actually just my second GMarket purchase and my first for makeup. You probably remember my search for the Maybelline Eye Studio quads a few weeks ago... well I was happy and also annoyed to learn that Maybelline released similar quads in other countries... that were completely different colour combinations from here! I still do not have all of them, mostly because I get distracted easily, but my search for them led me to discover that Maybelline changes EVERYTHING depending on the country/continent, from packaging, products, and even how the same products are numbered. This makes things really confusing (and hard to find).

However, similar to many Western marques, Maybelline's range in Asia is completely different to everywhere else on its own - different shadows, different lipsticks, and completely different focuses! This is how I discovered Maybelline's Watershiny Volumy Range... (I spelled it Watershine Volumny in all the pictures because that is what the Korean stickers say... but the JP website is different XD)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

sakuras & sunshine :)

Last month I made a last-minute trip to Vancouver to meet up with my dear friend from Japan (and the friends he also brought with him, Kana-san and Y-san)! I rarely travel so last minute (I booked the trip about 2 weeks before I left) since usually I have to book my vacation months in advance, but luckily fate was on my side - the dates that my friend (we'll call him K-san, since Yumeko kindly thought of a name for me) was going to be in Canada I had somehow already requested vacation for!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Smiles in Her Eyes

Have I mentioned enough times how bad reading beauty blogs is for my wallet and stash? Lately I've become better and being able to resist the brand new 'thing' everyone seems to be blogging about, but after reading nothing BUT positive reviews, I gave in and indulged... in Sugarpill. This is the new makeup line from Shrinkle and, for me at least, I've found that it is getting raves both across Blogspot, YouTube, and LJ. After reading and seeing so many swatches I gave in and went to place my order... only to find that the palette I wanted was sold out! Thankfully the shop restocked quickly, so here is my first purchase:

Please enlarge to see product names

Did it live up to the hype?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Got My Addictions

I seem to fixate on one type of product at a time in terms of purchasing... like for a long time I purchased only/mostly eyeshadows, and then there was a very brief period were I was really into foundations (I tried a lot but didn't purchase much), most recently I was into blushes, and after a brief foray back into eyeshadow I graduated to lip products. Of course. I think I do this because I can justify purchases of products I have less of, while it's much harder for me to justify eyeshadow purchases (which I have so much of I doubt I will ever finish ALL of them). Haha, mostly I look for reasons to go shopping ;)

When I first got into makeup all I was interested in was eye-makeup as my skin was normally pretty good and I didn't yet understand why blush worked so well, and frankly I thought lipsticks were absolutely disgusting. Which is probably a holdover by being kissed by too many "aunties" with gobs of awful smelling/waxy lipstick as a child. I slowly moved on to each successive category of makeup, and while I had accepted lip gloss, I still eschewed traditional lipsticks (though I liked the liquid ones, notably Chanel's Rouge Laque Allures) for whatever reason.

I still can't pinpoint what made me talk the plunge into buying 'traditional' lipsticks but 2 months later, these are my most recent purchases (except for MAC's Viva Glam Cyndi, but I am too lazy to go back and take more pictures). I wear a lot of colour so at first I was searching for the perfect nude lippie, and then it turned into the perfect nude pink lippie, and now I am just drawn to pinks (of course). Faced with an array of shades I will 95% of the time reach for the medium pink lipsticks to swatch first. So which are the ones I've liked enough to purchase?

Sunday, February 28, 2010



What an AMAZING Olympics!! After a less-than-ideal start I think we went on to ROCK these games!! 14 golds, a new record both for Canada AND for most gold medals won by a single country in a Winter Games AND at home.

I have the stupidest grin on my face right now and I am SO PROUD of the athletes right now!!

And my Team Iginla T-shirt lasted me all the games! Every time I wore it we WON!! (I was at work, in scrubs, when we lost the USA game in preliminaries).

So sad the games are over, but WOO CANADA!! VANOC did fantastic!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Need for Symmetry

So, confession time: when I arrange things, I really need them to be symmetrical. In nursing school I was once told that everyone has some degree of OCD-ness, and mine manifests in liking 'nice' numbers (like perfect squares) and symmetrical shapes. You're probably wondering what his has to do with this post, but basically, I was getting ready to post about the Maybelline Eye Studio quads, but when I went to go take a picture of all of them it bothered me a LOT that 11 did not make a nice shape so I went looking for the one I had missing and bought it today.

Maybelline Eye Studio quads are part of Maybelline New York's spring collection and were also released with mineral baked shadow duos (which looked nice, but didn't pique my interest). I saw them first before Christmas at London Drugs, and was struck by how 'Asian' the display looked... it reminded me a lot of the displays I saw in drugstores in Japan! Naturally I had to take a closer look, and while the display only offered a tester for the Sapphire Siren quad, I was impressed with the texture (soft) and pigmentation (decent) of the shadows swatched with my finger and was totally ready to pick up a few... until I found out that they were 12.99$! I thought this was too expensive (though this is in line with the pricing of KATE's palettes so I'm not sure why I have such a double standard) so I passed, and went on with my errands.

Eventually they popped up at WAL-MART and Superstore for a more palatable price of 10.00$ CAD so I picked up one, then two... got a couple with Christmas gifts and then when ALL the stores had them I bought them during the BOGO sales (or with gift cards - I had one for Shoppers Drug Mart for instance). Soon I had most of them (save for the elusive 12th quad) and now that I had all of them I figure it's a good time for a review and swatches :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Purple for Love

Maybelline Give Me Gold Eye Studio Quad, MAC Violent Grape Blush Ombre + Shell Beauty Powder on cheeks, GOSH Angel Balm on Lips

First off, Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Lunar New Year to everyone!! This year is the Year of the Tiger (which is what I am... which means I'll be 24 this year... XD) Hopefully everyone's been having a good 2010 so far. Actually made it out to celebrate CNY this year, dim sum with the besties, and otherwise I've been watching the Olympics. GO CANADA GO!!! This next picture has nothing to do with the post but I'm happy at how my avatar turned out so this is who you'll be 'seeing' on twitter until the Olympics are over... or I take another picture I like:

Maybelline Purple Icon Eye Studio Quad, Shu Uemura P Brown 76 Glow-on Blush, Dior Serum de Rouge 510

I love my Team Canada sweater, and my Olympic mittens :D

I digress. Yumeko did a magazine scan post a while ago that talked about lucky signs for each Zodiac colour. My colour was purple, and while I like the colour a lot I'm obviously more partial to pink... but then I checked my Pantone colour of the year at and that was also purple so... maybe it's a sign.

I have been wearing a lot of purple lately, eyeshadow, clothing, etc, but the strangest/newest thing that purple has invaded is my blush collection :)

MAC Violent Grape Blush Ombre, Illamasqua Powder blush in SIN, Illamasqua Powder blush in THRUST

Do those blushes not look terrifying? ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In which coupons are hazardous to my wallet's health...

Despite my promises to shop primarily at Shoppers Drug Mart to buy most high-end makeup, I do occasionally purchase things from the Bay (I have 10$ coupons I can use once a month which is a nice incentive) and even more than occasionally, Sephora. There are still brands that only Sephora carries but mostly I still shop there because of Urban Decay and Kat Von D... and because once-in-a-blue-moon Sephora will send out discount coupons.

This is a large part in my failure to NOT SPEND there. Makeup so rarely goes on sale that when I GET Sephora coupons I 'look' for stuff to buy. So bad. So when I got my Congrats-You're-A-VIB-10% off e-mail I immediately began perusing the site, only to realise like always that [1] Canadians aren't allowed to use their coupons online and [2] By the time the stuff online I wanted came IN the coupon would probably have expired. Luckily (or unluckily?) it turned out that the e-mail had been sent out mistakenly, but I was still allowed to use the discount... and got an extra couple of days to do it.

My devotion/addiction to Dior has been well-documented, I think. Since my last post I've purchased 3 quints, and the most recent one was Extase Pinks which I found (you guessed it) at Sephora. As this quint was a new permanent addition to the line I wasn't in a huge rush to get it (in fact I was planning on waiting until SDM had it and had a bonus points event to buy it), but when I went on the last valid date of the coupon it was the only thing I wanted in the store... I caved. Saving 5.80$ is pretty decent, hey? Plus it gave me enough points to redeem a sample on the e-mail the coupon got sent to, so double bonus. :)

I normally don't post single-item-reviews but I did promise Haru so...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Creature of Habit

Excuse the scary picture, this is the only example of my 'work makeup' I have... this was taken at 4AM a few nights ago!

I've been back at work for 3 weeks now, and despite being off for more than a month, it was like I'd never left at all (aside from being sore after the first shift... that doesn't happen anymore). As one of my fellow nurses put it, ICU is generally 'Same stuff, different day...' or more like 'Same sicknesses, different patients'. So I'm back into the swing of things :)

Although I love to play with makeup (hence this blog's existence), the way I do my makeup for work hasn't changed very much in about a year, for several reasons, namely:
1) I wear the same thing every day for work (scrubs)
2) I work long hours and start EARLY (7AM) so my routine is fast thereby allowing me a tad bit more sleep
3) This 'face' is pretty much indestructible in terms of wearing off... I come home with the majority of it intact and that is after running around like a mad-woman at work for 12.5 hours
4) I am seriously trying to hit pan on some things, and these are the most likely to happen as I use them ALL THE time, if not every day
5) This is a pretty natural looking face I think... it doesn't look like I'm obviously wearing a tonne of make-up which is important to me at work :)
6) As long as I'm awake enough, this only takes me 10 minutes, including my hair :)

First off, the skin-care regime...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Loves at the End of a Decade

Even though I spent most of the month of December at home, I still think my 2009 ended on a high note, as I got to celebrate Christmas with my family, and more importantly, I went back to work! The first two days were harder than I thought they would be (mostly my body was not used to running around for 12 hours so my whole body - not my back - was really sore) but it was awesome to just drop back into the flow of things, even if everyone thought I'd gone on vacation (and then was SUPER nice when they found out I'd hurt my back).

This last year has overall been fantastic :) It was the first year after my dad's recovery from open-heart surgery, my first year as a practicing registered nurse, the first time I'd flown outside North America without my family, and the first year I had my car! It was also the second full year I'd been into make-up :) There are so many hilights this year, more than I can mention, but I can only thank everyone in my life and who I've met for making the year amazing <3.

I can however, give you my December hauls...