If and when I want a new beauty item, I can usually find some reason to have it. I don’t have this colour! I just got paid! It’s Wednesday!
A lot of that wanting comes from reading my favourite beauty blogs. So it comes as no surprise, then, that when I innocently fell upon this blog post on The Burgundy Book, I was instantly struck with a desire for YSL Glossy Stain in Coril Fauve. I mean, Rema makes pretty much every lip colour look gorgeous but that one in particular shouted PLEASE TO HAVE ME PLEASE NOW.
I already have a red YSL Glossy Stain but I bought it when my hair was still dark brown so I haven’t worn it much since I’ve been blond again. Something about blond hair and red lips feels a little too Courtney Love to me. So, clearly I needed a pink stain for my blond self.
The BF had a week off recently, and since my freelance schedule is pretty much up to me, we booked a last minute trip to Roatán, Honduras.
I used to be pretty snobby about all-inclusive resorts because in my early twenties I lived all over the place, including in Cuba and in Mexico. So, after actually living in a country and experiencing all it has to offer, it seems sort of rude to just hang around a beach, speak English, and have local people serve you all day.
But I got over it because let’s face it. All-inclusive resorts are a cheap and cheerful way to get away from our horrible Canadian winters and to come back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
I mean, look at this place.
I’m quite serious about my sunscreen application. I’m one of those people who, if I miss a spot, I’m blotchy mcblotcherton for the next six months. And I have to admit. I silently judged people on the beach, walking around with a lobster-like hue to their skin. The danger of a sunburn also makes me incredibly nervous.
So, these are my must-have vacation sunscreens. I only use SPF45 and up, but the BF, with his Mediterranean heritage, refuses to wear anything over SPF30.
I love the spray cans. You can get every inch of exposed skin and get to the beach much faster than if you were applying lotion all over yourself. I mean, really. I don’t know how we did it in the 80s on family vacations with three girls. That’s a lot of lotion application.
Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray covers really well, and leaves a non-sticky residue. The only trouble is there doesn’t seem to be a ton of product in there, and it only lasted me a day and a half.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch sunscreen is one of the best sunscreens for the face. My friend Eve introduced this stuff to me on a mini-getaway to Miami a few years ago. And let me tell you, she has the most beautiful skin. This stuff absorbs quickly and doesn’t have that greasy sunscreen feel, or smell.
The Ultra Protection Sunscreen Stick from Vichy is great for exposed spots, such as my not-so-little nose, lips, forehead and, um, tattoo.
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray is the BF’s favourite. There are all these rules about applying sunscreen a half hour before sun exposure, and then reapplying after you sweat or swim, and then the sunscreen turns all white and goopy and it’s a huge mess. But this stuff applies really easily after a dip, and stays put without the goopiness.
Also in the Ultra Sheer line is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist sunscreen. This one is my favourite. It’s really refreshing so feels great on over-sunned skin. It also lasts a long time and doesn’t have that sunscreen-y texture.
What are your fave sunscreens?
When it comes to doing sweaty activities, there are a shortage of things one can do with short hair. Most headbands just slip off my head and ponytails aren’t an option. And unfortunately, the time of the bandana is over.
But when I went to the yoga conference in Toronto a couple weeks ago, I was immediately jealous of the girls at the Halfmoon booth. Turns out, they were sporting KOOSHOO headbands. I immediately ordered two styles online. (I ordered from the KOOSHOO website but in the short time since then, the Halfmoon site started carrying them as well. Whaddya know?)
The company was started by two Vancouver-based yoga teachers and their products are handmade in Los Angeles using only natural and organic materials. Oh, and for every product sold, a person of need gets a free yoga class.
My order came with a cute little card explaining the different uses for each style (there are also videos on the site) and a personalized note from the KOOSHOO team. I got the ENSO and the HU (pictured below). For me, DOING yoga is different from TEACHING yoga. I don’t care what I look like in the first one. So, in that case, I’m kind of okay with this Axl Rose impression.
Confession: I’ve always been a bit scared of dry shampoo.
The concept, a product that refreshes hair between washes, just doesn’t work for short hair. Either I wash and blow dry my hair in the morning or I look like a Fraggle. There is no in-between ponytail option or even a headband option without looking like I have a triangular shaped hair-do.
However, I was willing to give Batiste Dry Shampoo a try. And dare I say, I was pleasantly surprised.
On mornings when I have to get up and teach yoga, I usually wash and dry my hair all pretty-like.
You see, the part I miss the most about having a regular, full-time job is wearing grown-up clothes and looking somewhat put together. So, it’s important for my mental health to still look somewhat put together even if I spend my mornings in a yoga studio. Plus, I don’t want to be a grubby teacher. But I started replacing the wash n’ dry routine with a couple sprays of dry shampoo (more like blasts, actually – this stuff is powerful). I opted for the Batiste tropical scent, mostly because I like all things coconut-smelling, and it really does smell wonderfully like vacation without being too perfume-y.
This stuff creates volume in my otherwise unfortunate bed-head and more importantly, makes it acceptable for me to be seen in public with just a bobby pin to hold my bangs to one side. The instructions say to brush the product through your hair, but I skipped that part because I rarely brush my hair as it is. I did notice that it left my hair feeling a bit dry to the touch. It also left a residue on my fingers when I touched my hair, but that’s not unlike any other styling product. Otherwise, this product gets top marks.
If you don’t believe me, check out the rave reviews on Makeup Alley.
A bunch of other scents (including Original and mini bottles for travel) are available on Nail Polish Canada. And until May 7, you can enter to win four bottles of Batiste. That’s (almost) one for each workday.
It comes as no surprise that my first cues about upcoming trends are new nail polish collections. And if Essie knows anything, and it usually does, pastels are in. Personally, I think I could dip into this trend with a few cute accessories, like a purse or a scarf or the mint platforms pictured below. And full disclaimer, I don’t even like macarons. I’m more of a donut person.
What do you think of this trend? Will you be sporting any mint green or lilac items this spring? When it finally decides to show up, of course.
Of all the things to get compliments on, my cuticles really steal the show.
I mean, after my sense of humour, excellent penmanship and natural beauty, of course (not really – my cuticles get more compliments).
As you’re no doubt aware, I take a lot of photos of my nails. And I make a big fuss of not taking gross photos of my nails. There are plenty out there, however (it’s one of my beauty pet peeves). So for the good of Instagram, I’m sharing a couple tricks for keeping your cuticles in good shape and more importantly, photo-friendly.
Moisturize: I slather my cuticles with Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter every night. I’ve tried a lot of cuticle creams and this one wins, hands down. I also layer on plain old coconut oil (used for cooking) under a pair of cotton gloves (available at the drugstore) every few days. It’s not a cute look, and you can’t really check Facebook on your iPhone during this process, but it will make your hands soft and smooth while you watch season four of The Vampire Diaries. Or the show of your choosing. Ahem.
Pre-manicure: I never, ever cut my cuticles. I apply a few drops of Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover, and push them back with an orange stick (which is really just a wooden stick and not orange at all). Then I gently scrub Milk Made Smoothing Hand and Cuticle Buffer from Cake Beauty into my cuticles, rinse well and pat dry. There are a lot of hand scrubs out there. I’ve tried them all. This one is the best because although it’s oily going on, it leaves your hands lightly moisturized and soft. I follow this up with Milk Made Velveteen Hand Creme, but your favourite hand cream will do. Just be sure and wipe each nail with a cotton pad soaked in alcohol or nail polish remover before you apply your polish.
Post-manicure: I use a small paintbrush (available at any craft store) dipped in 100% acetone to clean up my cuticle edges after I paint my nails. I’m getting pretty good at controlling the brush, but I’m also a perfectionist and I like a nice round edge where the polish meets my cuticle. Because acetone is so drying, cuticle oil is a must. These days, I like Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil because it smells good, but any brand will do. Don’t be stingy with this stuff and get a good wipe on each cuticle.
Remover: Recently, my neighourhood drugstore was out of my favourite nail polish remover so I picked up this random brand at Walmart instead. It takes a bit more work to get the polish off, but it leaves a nice, moisturized finish on your nails instead of cracked, dry skin in its wake. It’s not great at removing dark colours or colours that tend to stain (I don’t know what’s up with turquoise nail polish but it never comes off), so for that I reach for the acetone. But on a regular basis, I’m loving this stuff.
What are your cuticle tricks? Do you think you can adopt any of my not-so-secret cuticle secrets?
I’ve never been one for an Oscar party. It just doesn’t seem like an event worth getting fussy about. Truthfully, I forgot they were even on until about 6:30 last night.
But I do love the dresses and makeup on the red carpet. And I found myself getting a bit carried away. I had a fleece blanket wrapped around my waist last night so the neighbors wouldn’t see me in the kitchen in my underwear. I may or may not have traipsed around the house in it, kicking it away as I walked, imagining it was a gown.
This was a game my sisters and I used to play when we were little. But instead of fleece blankets it was a duvet and instead of celebrities we were princesses.
Same same but different.
I’m not going to even pretend anything I’m going to say about Oscar fashion, at 4:30 pm the day after no less, hasn’t already been said. Nevertheless, let’s take a moment for Sandra Bullock’s hair doo-dad. I loved it. It’s sort of Grecian goddess meets vintage Hollywood glam.
The BF hated it. Which means nothing, really.
What did you think?
[image via Hollywood Life]