December 31, 2009

Hand it to Nuxe, The Body Shop and Upper Canada Soap

As the weather keeps getting colder I become more and more obsessed with trying hand creams - believe me, I've tried a bunch!  Many are just too light for this kind of cold weather, some smell awful and  there is no way I could stomach them and some are so greasy feeling that I felt like I was leaving slug trails everywhere I touched.  These 3 I liked and better yet are all in the $12 - $20ish range - so they are also very affordable!

Nuxe - Hand and Nail Cream - 75ml - Thanks to the Chilean rose, avocado and almond oils this cream is super moisturizing and thanks to the honey it smells sooooo good.  It absorbed nicely and didn't leave residue behind.  I was also pleased to find out that they have a body cream in the same line which has the same scent!  Available at Shoppers Drug Mart and The Bay.

The Body Shop - Hemp Hand Protector - 100ml - So this cream actually has 2 of the 3 unfavourable qualities that I mentioned above and yet, works so well that I use it anyway.  It smells horrible and leaves greasy marks all over everything!  But it is so freaking moisturizing that I must forgive it!  My solution to its shortcomings is to wear it overnight with cotton gloves on.  Not only does it give you that formal bedtime look that your husband will appreciate (mock), but when you wake up in the morning your hands will be so incredibly soft, you will be amazed!  This is a great trick with any hand cream as well as doing the same for your dry feet with cotton socks.
Upper Canada Soap - all about Hands - Avocado Daily Moisture Hand Lotion - 300ml - the least expensive and the biggest bottle.  I like avocados for their moisturizing effect and this lotion doesn't disappoint!  It soaked in quickly and didn't make slug trails.  Available at selected gift shops, The Bay and Sears.

As always, I will keep on trying out hand creams for your amusement!

- Lisamarie -

Looking Back: 2009 Was The Year of Sexy Photo Shoots and Crazy Pop Stars

Marloes Horst models a few 2009 fashion trends for Black Magazine.
Over-the-knee boots and asymmetrical designs were big this year.
The ubiquitous shoulder pads (on a Azzedine Alaia dress) reminded us of the 80's...

...and nudity was virtually in every fashion shoot. Vogue France even published a 2010 Calendar with all but one topless pictures.

Rihanna and Lady Gaga  took fashion to new dizzying heights. They both wear lingerie as outerwear here, another trend for 2009 as well as over-the-knee boots.


December 30, 2009

Benefit Sugarbomb - a name as yummy as the product!

Meet the latest addition to Benefit's powder box family - Sugarbomb!  I thought I loved Dandelion, but now I realize that I only like it a lot and just want to be friends, I love Sugarbomb - I know I'm fickle!  Why do I think you might want to dump your old powder for someone something new?  I love that there are 4 colours that you swirl together,  I love that it has only light shimmer which is perfect for daytime wear and I love that the pigment is light enough to wear all over my pale face for a "just spent an hour in the sun" flush (keep in mind this only works for someone as drastically pale as me) or when I'm going for a more natural look, this works great as a blush!  For everyone less light, this will be a beautiful highlighter/luminizer/blush/whateveryouwant.  The only thing I don't love is the brush, I prefer something bigger and rounder at home but if I'm popping this into my purse to go out, I just use the brush they provide to make things easier.  Pick this up now at select Holt Renfrew stores or mid-January at Shopper's and Murale for $36.  Just think how perfect this would be for Friday morning to hide the sins of your Thursday New Year's eve...

- Lisamarie -

The Art of Shoplifting: Karl Lagerfeld Knows Best

This short film "Vol de Jour" by Karl Lagerfeld shows two models: the beautiful Lara Stone and the handsome Baptiste Giabiconi, basically shoplifting Chanel clothes for 3 minutes. I'm not sure what the message of this film is supposed to be but watching Baptiste checking himself out in the mirror, Zoolander style, is priceless. For the rest, even without dialogue, it's badly acted and badly filmed....but you know what? I LIVE FOR BAD MOVIES! I've watched every Jessica Simpson's movie, the craptastic "Gigli" with JLO and Ben Affleck and even the incredibly stupid "Glitter" with Mariah "wooden face" Carey. So, trust me, I know stale acting when I see it! At least it's a commercial and not a Hollywood production!

Warning: you will not get these 3 minutes of your life back. No refund, sorry.


December 29, 2009

Look like a vampire, even if sucking blood isn't your thing...

I knew someday my pale skin would be super fashionable!  The Canadian Press reports that thanks to Twilight the sale of bronzer is way down while vampire friendly cosmetics such as light foundation and pale powder are up!  MAC will be jumping on the bandwagon this spring with their Pale 'n Dandy collection as did Lise Watier who has released a porcelain foundation and illuminating powder.

Now trends are fun and everything but I have to say that lately I have seen more then a few girls wearing foundation that was waaaaay to light for them - it's just not flattering to look that sun deprived unless you have fangs. Remember the key to an attractive pale and ethereal look is to only go a shade or two lighter then your natural skin tone.

I knew there had to be a reason I'm always so cold and pale, I'm already undead!

- Lisamarie -

All washed up with Rocky Mountain Soap, Green Beaver and Bath and Body Works

Rocky Mountain Soap Company - Alpine Air - Moisturizing Hand and Body Wash - 270ml - $13.49 - It smells like a little bit of citrus heaven due to the lemongrass.  Can be used as a body wash as well but I like this as a kitchen hand soap as it really cuts grease and the lemony scent hides the smell of my cooking.
Green Beaver Company - Cranberry foaming hand soap - 230ml -$8 - I loved the foaming action of this one, again I used it in the kitchen and it worked on greasy hands.  You will either love or hate the scent.  It smells like raw cranberries without the sugar.  I liked it, my husband didn't so you'll have to judge for yourself.
Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Soap - Country Apple - 259ml - $7 - This one comes in lots of different scents so there is sure to be one you like. There also always seems to be some kind of deal going on at B&BW so it's very affordable.  It is definitely very gentle as I didn't find it that effective as a kitchen grease cutting soap, so maybe better for the bathroom.
Washing up for dinner never smelled so good!  If only they made my cooking taste good as well!

- Lisamarie -

From Cali to Paris: in Search of The Perfect Little Black Dress

Little black dresses have rocked the world since Audrey Hepburn. Every woman should have at least a couple in her wardrobe, in my opinion, because these dresses can be so versatile. They are easy to accessorize and a classic design will last you many, many seasons. Just ask Lisamarie: she bought her first little black dress in 1988 1958 (it's payback time for this holiday post).

I have selected a few dresses from seasonal to classic, from reasonably priced (no, really) to impossibly expensive!

High Street

Zara's one shoulder black dress is on trend and affordable (just don't ask me how much, I can never find prices on that website!)

Unlike Mango's website with prices everywhere! This one shoulder dress is a little more festive and will look better on curvy women than the previous one. Yes, it costs $139.90, just in case you're not paying attention.

Classic and comfortable, this dress may not be the most exciting in the world but it's the perfect outfit to take you from the office to a night out with different accessories and jewelery. And what's even better? It's a great shape for curvy girls.

The designers' corner

The Hot Chick look by Canadian Carlie Wong ($380) for her Spring 2010 collection. If your legs are looooong and lean, this design is for you.

This sparkly number is from Naeem Khan's fall 09/10 collection. This American designer became hot property after dressing Michelle Obama last year. His style is usually quite mature but elegant. The shape here is classic, and again, should last for a few seasons. On top of that, I never get tired of glitter. EVER. I bathe in it. Daily.

This is what I call the Hot Bitch look, I would totally wear this at the office...if I had a few thousand dollars to spare right now. Good thing that Michael Kors is gay...Lisamarie and I would fight over him. With clothes like that, I just know I would be his dream woman. From Michael Kors Pre-fall 2010 collection.

And last but not least, a flirty and printed dress from the Spring 2010 Christian Dior collection. At this point, you don't even care about the price, do you? You know you would need to take a small mortgage to afford it.

Custom Made

Well, instead of taking a loan to buy a beautiful, fitted dress...I just ordered one from a tailor. Inspired by this Christian Dior dress (worn here by Dita Von Teese) it cost me $440 (for our Toronto readers, go check out  the Wardrobe Workshop), not cheap I'll admit, but the dress fits like a glove and I'm planning on wearing it forever! Or at least until next season. Same thing.

So go, get yourself a couple of black dresses, they are well worth the investment!


December 28, 2009

Michael Kors cures my post Christmas blues

 Am I the only one who finds the aftermath of Christmas kind of depressing? All this build up, work and anticipation and then it's just over. What's the best way to cheer yourself up? New shoes of course! A trip to Browns Shoes and an indulgent husband netted me this hot pair of Michael Kors sandals. Black and white snakeskin patterned, silver studded with a 3 1/2 inch heel, they are to die for! I could live without the shiny "Michael Kors" name on the plaque right smack in the middle of the shoe, but I know the label lovers out there will probably especially like this aspect of it.

Now I know you have heard Christelle whine about how ridiculous sandals are this time of year considering Canadian winters, and to that I say toughen up! Of course I think you should wear them with a pair of tights, not bare legs, I'm not a crazy person! But really, if you had to wait for nice weather here to wear sandals, you would only have a couple of months a year to show them off!

So go get yourself your own cure for the post Christmas blues - and with all the boxing day sales going on, you don't even need to feel guilty about it!

- Lisamarie -

I Want The Sun to Shine, Not My Forehead - Part 2

So how is that little shiny forehead of yours doing? Here are 2 products I've tried to keep that oily skin in check:
Exfoliating Face Wash from Kiss my Face ($16) - Normal to Oily  formula (also available for dry skin).
Here is a natural face wash that doesn't dry out your skin. My skin is super sensitive and this product is definitely very gentle.  It does a great job, though: the lemongrass and the green tea extracts leave your face feeling fresh and clean.

The YUM Gourmet Skincare offers an excellent Mandarin Blossom toner for sensitive skin ($33). This toner - again, 100% natural - helps removing all traces of soap, cream etc...  and balances the pH level of your skin. The smell is great and it leaves my skin feeling super soft. For the oiliest skins, the lemongrass toner is a better alternative, although I'm personally not a big fan of the scent.


December 26, 2009

Rocky Mountain Soap Company - Summer Lemonade on a cold winter's day

Rocky Mountain Soap Company - Summer Lemonade body butter - 55g/2oz - $12.49 - I know it's a strange time of the year for me to be talking about summer anything but I think this is exactly when people start craving summer again and what's better then a nice cold glass of lemonade?  Granted this body butter isn't cold but the smell is spot on!  Now I'm used to body butter in a jar so a stick form was a new experience for me.  Have to say, I'm a fan! You just rub it on exactly as you would a stick deodorant and then smooth it in with your hands.  I found it worked better when I used it on slightly damp skin as opposed to fully dry. This will be perfect for my gym bag as there is no worry of the bottle leaking.
Rocky Mountain Soap Company - Summer Lemonade Refreshing Body Soap - $4.99 - Had to mention the companion soap because the smell is equally wonderful.  I found the smell lingered longer if I used both together rather than just one or the other. This is a hard soap, the good part is it doesn't melt as quickly as soft soaps, downside is that it feels hard when applied directly to my skin so I prefer to use it with a puff.

Rocky Mountain Soap products are available online here.  It's time to lie in the sun in your hammock with some summer lemonade.

- Lisamarie -

December 25, 2009

Useless but Awesome: My Top 5 Perfume TV Ads for 2009

Yes, it's this time of the year again! You know, the time when you drink too much Champagne and make useless lists of your favorite things.

Audrey Tautou filmed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet for Chanel No. 5
The story doesn't make much sense, really, but who cares? It's pretty and very Chanel!

Olivia Wilde in Desire Me by Escada
Olivia Wilde looks more scary than sexy but I love the music and the energy of this commercial.

Kate Moss in Parisienne by Yves Saint-Laurent
This may look more like an erotic movie than a TV commercial, but it's still tasteful and sensual.

Flora by Gucci
I have a confession to make. Every time I hear Donna Summers songs, the gay man in me wants to dance and bathe in glitter. I just can't help it.

Scarlett Johansson in the latest D&G campaign for The One
Scarlett's voice is like honey, who could resist her? You know you want to buy this perfume now!


Happy ho-ho-holidays!

Christelle totally misunderstood me here when I told her to dress up for Christmas! 

Wishing you all the very best this season has to offer.  Here's hoping Santa leaves your heart's desire in your stiletto!

I am off "enjoying" the holiday with my family with the help of a LOT of alcohol!

- Lisamarie -

December 24, 2009

The Ugly Xmas Sweater - Our Ultimate Shopping Guide

I love Xmas. Well, actually I love Xmas sweaters more. These pieces of holiday fashion are so awesomely awesome: all my imaginary friends and family are getting one. I have selected a few beauties for this holiday guilty pleasure. Ebay has an entire selection of amazing Christmas sweaters and cardigans (how sexy is that?!) starting around $25.

For your little brother or cousin.

For your mom, because you love her.

For your sister, cousin or even your young hip aunt. They will thank you.

Go on. Go get one!


NeoStrata Intense Instant Tightening Serum - instant gratification isn't just for men anymore!

NeoStrata Intense Instant Tightening Serum - 30ml - $84 - I was trying to think of a way to describe what this product does that would do it justice when my good friend Pat did it for me - "Spanx for your face".  I couldn't have said it better!  If you've been living in a cave somewhere and don't know what Spanx are well first, welcome to civilization!  Spanx are basically bodyshapers that you wear under your clothes that allow people like me to wear clothing that is far too small for us!  It takes all your jiggly bits and smoothes them out which is a great analogy for what the Tightening Serum does.

Here's how it works, you take a pump of two of the serum and smooth it over the area you want to tighten in long upward strokes.  Be sure you wait until it dries before you put anything else on.  While it dries it feels weird - tight and a little uncomfortable.  That goes away in about 5 minutes.  This could be used anywhere on your face you want but I like it for my neck and chin, I think it gives my jaw line a much more defined look.  Just don't make the mistake I did one morning (come on, it was morning, you want me to be awake?!) and put another serum on top of the tightening serum, your regular moisturizer will be fine, but a serum on top of this serum turned into a weird soupy mess. 

I especially like that you get instant results with the product, unlike most serums where you have to wait weeks or months to see something happen.  Just bear in mind that although the product does contain peptides and will have some long term results, you would be better off with the Firming Cream for longer-term maintenance.

Cheaper and less intrusive than plastic surgery, NeoStrata has a winner with the Instant Tightening Serum!

- Lisamarie -

December 23, 2009

Shimmer & shine the organic way - Green Beaver, Burt's Bees, Kiss My Face & Physicians Formula

Natural products are certainly all the rage these days.  I like the idea of organic products on my lips since y
ou end up eating most of it anyway and I figure it counts as a fruit serving.  I was also curious to find out if they would be a good substitute for a lipstick or if it would be more of a tinted lipbalm deal...

Green beaver company lip shimmer - passion - $4.99 - this one had the most shimmer but not a lot of colour, good for a day at the beach or for a more natural look.
Burt's Bees lip shimmer - fig - $5.99 - didn't see any shimmer but had the best pigmentation, looked like I was wearing a sheer lipstick.
Kiss My Face sheer organic shimmer - ruby - $10.99 (set including lip shine) - didn't see much shimmer, colour very natural looking, good for catholic school girls who aren't supposed to be wearing makeup.

If you're going to shimmer you might as well shine too.  These were just like regular lip glosses, just free of all the chemical stuff you may not want...
Kiss My Face Sheer Organic Shine - Ruby - $10.99 (set including lip shimmer) - it goes on much lighter then the colour looks in the tube so don't be scared off, very pretty and shiny. Smells minty.
Burt's Bees Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss - Zesty Red - $9.99 - Great pigmentation, great shine, not much smell.  Has really impressive staying power for a lipgloss.
Physicians Formula Organic Superfruit Lip Gloss - Super Spice - $9.99 - colours are all pretty light, lots of shine.  Liked the smell of this one the best, very fruity.

Kiss My Face is available across Canada - you can find your closest location here.  Green Beaver sellers can be found here.  Burt's Bees and Physicians Formula are available at Shopper's Drug Mart and other mass and drug stores.

Should you shimmer and shine?  Absolutely!  These are a great option for those days when you don't feel like wearing much makeup or if you just aren't the makeup type (sounds crazy to me but I hear there are people like that out there).  Also great for the young girls in your life who might be too young for lots of colour.  Just bear in mind that because the products are natural, they aren't full of the synthetic preservatives your other cosmetics may contain and therefore won't last forever.  If the contents separate or they start to smell funky, it's time to toss them!  A good excuse to apply them several times a day!

- Lisamarie -

If you can brave the horrors of the mall - The Body Shop has a deal for you!

Although my general consensus is that anyone would have to be insane to go into a mall today, here's an offer too good to pass up.  Today only, The Body Shop has 3 Items for $30 - that's $10 an item, as long as you buy in multiples of three.  They had this same deal a few weeks back and it was awesome!  $20 body butters for $10!  $20 body scrubs for $10! You get the idea.  The only things the offer doesn't include are prepackaged gift sets and gift cards.

Last minute gifts (and a few for you) can be yours on the cheap.  Just remember your hockey elbows for the mall and your patience for the parking lot!  Happy shopping crazy people!

- Lisamarie -

Gucci 2010 Spring Campaign Makes You Want to Vacation Forever!

Look at these glorious pictures! Look at them! It's minus 10 C right now and I could really do with lounging by the pool on some tropical island, the wind blowing my hair, and wearing these AMAZINGLY HOT shoes. Let's face it, if I buy these $$$ clothes, I won't be able to go on vacation for the next 10 years. If I do choose to go on vacation instead, all I'll be able to afford will be a pair of flip flops. Choices, choices.
In the meantime, here are the pictures of the upcoming Gucci Spring/Summer campaign. It's styled beautifully: grays, black, and white designs really come alive with this intense aqua blue in the background.

Now stop dreaming, time to go back to your -cold- reality!


December 22, 2009

Christina Ricci's Four Play with Donna Karan (Video)

I've finally found the new Donna Karan commercial starring actress Christina Ricci and directed by Sting's son, Jake Sumner, called "Four Play". Only a man (or myself) could come up with  a title like that. Anyway, Sumner's idea was to create a commercial that looks more like a movie than a traditional advertisement campaign. Chanel started the trend with the epic Chanel N.5 commercial, starring Nicole Kidman, a few years ago;  but now, it's so subtle, you're left wondering: what the heck are they trying to sell ? The right answer is: Donna Karan Eldridge bag...yeah I didn't see that one coming either. This commercial is not exactly earth shattering but it has a cool vibe and Christina Ricci does look fab. Never mind the DK bag, I want whatever she's wearing!