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Category — beauty

So Very French

Carrie Bradshaw Paris

Remember the Paris episode where Carrie took a face plant in Dior? Then she was mortified and bought the entire store. Hrmm…unintentional poetry.

Little French cafés are so mignon (cute, dainty), non? Today, me and A went for petit déjeuner (breakfast) at the most darling patisserie housed in a Victoria row house.  The food was deliciously French and so were the waiters.  It’s the kind of place where they serve you lattes with the foam shaped in a heart.  And where you say no béchamel and you end up saying yes to brioche and crepes with nutella.  I can’t divulge its name for fear of it becoming too popular.  Sorry darlings.  Some secrets have to stay in my hair.  We had a very French afternoon punctuated by flirty girlish giggling.  Those are the days my friend!

Catherine Deneuve

The epitome of chic: the one, the only Catherine Deneuve

If you don’t know much about my French muse Catherine Deneuve, I insist you really must read on Parisian Bombshell Chic: Catherine DeneuveTrust. 

Croque Madame

Perhaps you will order yourself a Croque Madame – a grilled ham and cheese with béchamel topped with a fried or poached egg

C by Bloomingdales beret

It’s rather chilly out, non? Tilt your C by Bloomingdales beret ever so slightly. Passerbys will admire your air of “je ne sais quoi”

Eiffel Tower at Night

Bonsoir and bonne chance young lovers! The Eiffel Tower lit up at night *le sigh*

 

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November 3, 2013   No Comments

The Alcorn

The Alcorn

The Alcorn on the corner of Yonge & Alcorn (naturally!) Image c/o BlogTO

Sometimes if you venture outside of your comfort zone, you will be generously rewarded.  As a west end girl, it’s highly uncommon for me to venture north of Bloor.  I make rare exceptions for veryx3 good friends.  But I’ve been in a hair slump since my hairstylist T’s (aka My Perfect Man) sudden city departure for higher education.  My bangs were a hot mess and the state of my tresses were more shabby than chic.  baha!

So I was mentally auditioning hairstylists to see if they could fill the void, or at least trim the split ends that T left behind.  The Alcorn (1222 Yonge St) is a boutique salon in the chi-chi neighbourhood of Rosedale (near Summerhill station).   The salon is refreshingly low-key, bright white on white décor with fashion photography.  The staff was extremely friendly and professional.  There was a mix of clientele – Bergdorf Blondes getting touch ups, privileged teens getting their hair blown out and a micro fashionistah just chilling.   My stylist R had reallyx3 good hair of the Olivia Palermo variety.

Michalsky Style Nite during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2010

Don’t let those lustrous locks fool you! Olivia Palermo has two redeeming factors: her amazing hair and her uncanny socialite sense of style. Life is more unfair once you Google her supermodel boyfriend.

If you arrive early, check out the cute boutique across the street The Cloakroom (1177 Yonge St.)  They have a nice assortment of contemporary brands including my faves – BB Dakota and One Teaspoon.  But you might buy something by accident…like this girl I know.

One Teaspoon November Rain Blazer

One Teaspoon is an Australian contemporary brand. Loving the draped collar on this November Rain Blazer

BB Dakota top

Following a fashion event, M asked me, “What is the point of a leather skirt?” To which I said, “There is a point. I love leather skirts!” Anyways, that’s how you should feel about this faux-leather perforated BB Dakota peplum top. Trust.

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October 28, 2013   No Comments

Fall Beauty Trends: DIY Nail Art

Hypnotize: This nail art image from Vogue Beauty should tempt you to mix up your mani. Planting the seed and watering it. Jedi mind trick.

I have always been a big fan of Nail Art — what better conversation starters than the mini canvases on your fingertips?  But I am very particular about what looks I love versus looks that I think are best suited for editorial or the Nicki Minaj’s of the world.  These days, there are many options to DIY (do-it-yourself) your nails.  Instead of taking the weekly trip to salon, save some cash-dollahs by staying home on a Friday night, doing your nails whilst watching Never Been Kissed.  Plus, if your nails are wet, you can’t eat that bag of chips in the cupboard.  Beautiful nails, zero calories!

Here are my Top Fall Nail Trends:

Chanel Frenzy Vernis is the perfect greige (Grey + Beige). And the key to exquisite statement solids is 3 coats to make it opaque.

  • A Striking Solid – Nail art doesn’t have to be over the top to have a high ROC.  Sometimes a very unusual colour can illicit ooh’s and ahhh’s.  Right now, I love colours that look like Pantone swatches from ELLE Decor.  The other day, I was getting my nails done and I chose Essie’s Glamour Purse (an almond taupe shade) and the woman beside me felt necessary to comment, “The colour looks like it’s fading into her skintone.”  Puh-lease, you don’t know.  Insert eye roll.

Mix up your French Manicure by applying black tips. Very Fall 2012! You heard it here first fashionistah-adventuress!

  • Black Tips French Manicure – A MAJOR trend to ignite the runways, this one is very easy to adapt to real life.  All you have to do is take a classic manicure and making it edgier by using black polish striper to finish the tips.  To create an even more daring contrast, you can use a trendy colour (such as a vampy burgundy, a metallic or a tawny shade) as your base coat.  Ooh la, you are so September Vogue right now!
  • Colour Block Those Digits – This is the most fun nail trend.  There are number of easy to follow nail polish tutorials on the web to give you ideas on colour blocking.  Similar to the apparel trend, it would be taking 2-3 contrasting nail shades to achieve a Mondrian-effect on your nails.  My favourite is taking 2 of the same hue (a light & its darker counterpart) to do a French manicure.  There is also the reverse Half-Moon where you use 2 solid colours – very dramatic in black and white!

Katy Perry goes ying-yang for nail art on the cover of September ELLE

Cutepolish on YouTube has many easy to follow Nail tutorials – here are my favourite based on the Fall Trends: 

  • Chevon Nails - This one takes effort so you may only want to do your thumbs or ring finger. Totally Missoni! 
  • Black Lace Nails - Another MAJOR runway trend. Fun idea: Wear a black lace outfit and do black lace on your nails.  It’s another case of life imitating art, imitating life! (micro-macro)
  • Half-Moon Manicure - Vintage 1920’s design will be very popular for Fall/Winter as Baz Luhrman’s highly anticipated The Great Gasby will be released in movie theatres inspiring an Art Deco fashion moment

Art history lesson on The LC: Composition A by Piet Mondrian. Inspiration for many a colour block fashion moment!

What are your favourite nail trends for Fall?  What’s your colour of the moment? Do TELL in the comments!

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August 12, 2012   No Comments

DIY Hairdo: Loose Summer Waves

Blake Lively's perfectly "done-not done" hairdo. Oh yes, you can add tiny braids - that makes this look even more Summer-y!

Two of my top read posts, EVER of all time is DIY: Sideways Bun, Zero Carbs & Lauren Conrad’s Hair Made Her a Star.  I am very lucky because JC gave me a thick, long, shiny mane and I enjoy styling it in different ways depending on the occasion and the outfit.  Now that the nights are warm, I like to wear my hair in looks that feel “done-undone.” Very Serena van der Woodsen meets Lana Del Rey.  It’s a sultry look to be sure.

Will you be mine, will you be my baby tonight? If your hair always looked like that, it is doubtful that you'd have Summertime Sadness. Cheesy joke, I know. Lana Del Rey stares meaningfully at you.

DIY Hairdo:  Loose Summer Waves

Step 1. Talk the bottom half of your hair and twist into a low bun at the nape of your neck.  Secure with an elastic.

Step 2.  Taking 2″ sections from the crown of your head and using a large barrel curling iron, curl from the ends to the top of your head.  Hold for 30 seconds for each and pull the curling iron away from your head releasing on the diagonal.  Repeat for all the sections of hair around the crown of your head.

Step 3.  Release the bun and apply a generous coat of hairspray – I like both Pantene Maximum Hold & Elnett Satin.  To define some of the curls, use a tiny dollop of a molding mud like Sebastian Professional, and twist the curls around your fingers.  Don’t go crazy on the molding mud though as you still want your hair to be lightweight and non-greasy.

Step 4.  You can either take your mane and pull it to your left side so that it cascades down your left shoulder naturally or you can take a few bobby pins and affix them to the nape of your neck for added hold. 

Step 5.  Hairspray all over again!  Hairspray happy.  I am. I am.

Wow, you look stunning!  You could technically curl all your hair, but the point of this is to be “done-undone.” To have put in some effort without any major try.  Now, there’s only one thing to do — get your hair tousled!

Don't leave home without it. Elnett comes in a tiny travel size which you can actually take through airport security. Banish post-flight frizzies with your little can of magic.

The guy that tousles my hair on the regular (literally, not figuratively). I mean, my hairstylist looks like Neil Patrick Harris. It's his brother from another mother (figuratively, not literally).

Pin that to your Bad Boy Board titled "Boys & Hair Tousling." Chuck Bass never gets old for me.

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June 30, 2012   No Comments

In Search of Inspiration…

A plethora of inspiration boards.

I like to think of myself as a renaissance woman.  Inspiration for me is everywhere but I do have an abundance of sources… 

On Fashion – Working in the industry, I am constantly surrounded by clothes and accessories.  Like a chocoholic in Serendipity.  I have many wonderful fashionistah friends who always have their own distinct personal style.  Brunch is never just brunch — it’s a lookbook.  Reading magazines (my faves are Harper’s Bazaar & Vogue) and fashion blogs will also keep you up to date on how to adapt a trend. 

Whoa gorgessity! Emma Stone covers July Vogue. As far as I'm concerned, it's the fashion bible.

On Beauty – The best resource for beauty is Allure.  I learned how to apply makeup from reading the tutorials, collecting books from Kevyn Aucoin and practicing on my friends.  I still beg them to let me before we go out; but they willingly oblige because I do a fierce smokey eye.  In my early 20’s I visited my first Sephora in Paris.  As you can imagine, the clouds parted, the rays of sunshine beamed down and angels sang ‘Alleluia.’  Then I entered, sprayed glitter in my friends’ hair, sampled eyeshadows and played with lipgloss for two hours.  A heavenly experience.

The glorious Sephora on Les Champs Elysees, Paris.

To Live Well – As a bohogi, it sounds cliche but I value every experience from having sangria with friends to afternoon walks in the park.  I love to travel and experience different cultures, so I constantly look at Conde Nast Traveller and dream of an exotic adventure.  I never know how or when I will get there, but I put it out there and make a plan to go.  The universe always delivers!   

Read more about finding inspiration on living well on BlogHer and don’t forget to enter the Life Well Lived Sweepstakes.

My absolutely favourite museum Caixa Forum in Madrid, Spain. They have installations, documentaries, live performances and an amazing gift shop.

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June 24, 2012   No Comments

We Built This City On Rock N’ Roll

Nothing like holding down that spray button. Julianne Hough getting her bangs teased in Rock of Ages.

OMGx3.  In my middle age, sometimes I get a very random memory come back to me and I enjoy a silent chuckle.

As a tween in the 80’s growing up in the suburbs, we often had ‘punk parties.’ To achieve such a look:  find an oversize shirt (WWMW – what would Madonna wear?), throw on a wide leather belt slung on your hips, crimp/tease your hair with a liberal application of hairspray (hold 10 seconds), accessorize with mesh gloves and the piece de resistance, drawing a giant lightning bolt on your cheek with blue lipstick.  Sometimes you would get misinformation and a half hour before your arrival, you wouldn’t know if it was a ‘normal/wear jeans’ party or a ‘punk’ party.  Such stress!  And it’s not like we had cell phones back then! Drrrring! Dring!

In dire scenarios such as these, there was only one out — to keep a tube of blue lipstick in your pocket and offer to punkify the rest of your friends.  With costumes, commitment and persuasion are key.

The reason I missed the bus from 1985-1988, morning episodes of Jem & the Holograms. Model your lightning bolt after The Misfits.

You wanna throw a punk party now.  Ditto.  Here’s your 80’s hair band playlist:

  1. Starship – We Built This City on Rock N’ Roll
  2. White Snake – Here I Go Again
  3. Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
  4. Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City
  5. Mr. Big – To Be With You
  6. Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  7. Thompson Twins – Hold Me

Don't forget the bigger the hair, the bigger the attitude! 80s Rocker Chic is so Paris Vogue 2010.

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June 5, 2012   No Comments