Whatcha Reading | June 2016

    • 100 PERFECT HAIR DAYS | Jenny Strebe
    • BRUNCH @ BOBBY’S | Bobby Flay
    • YOUR BEAUTY MARK | Dita Von Teese
    • MY TINY GARDEN | Lucy Anna Scott & Lucy Conochie

      You can always tell the type of mood I’m in by the books I’ve got in my book bag. Lately I’ve been taking a break from makeup and have taken a liking to gardening… well, more like bringing spots of green indoors. I’m always fascinated by the thoughtful and creative ways that people make use of small spaces and the way that everything fits together so seamlessly and My Tiny Garden has been a great treat of a read to sneak up on others ideas. But of course a good trip to the library isn’t complete without a stop by the food shelves; being so busy with school the last while, food is one of my little luxuries and I always try to take the time to pack myself a good meal. Speaking of which, in case you’ve been missing my Foodie Tuesday series – I’ve got something else in the works!

      Good night,

      3 Things: Weekday luxuries

      Calgon Scrub EOS Shave Cream
      Weekdays have been busy lately to say the least and if I’m lucky I can find an extra 10 minutes to do something for myself before lugging said tired self into bed only to start all over again at 5:45 am the next day. These three little luxuries have been keeping me company…

      EOS | Shave Cream*
      Some of the creamiest whip I’ve ever used and it’s housed in a plastic pump dispenser. Who else finds their regular aerosols stop pumping 3/4 through? I really adore the ergonomically designed rubber coated bottle which is easy and fumble free in the shower plus my skin is soft and softly scented. Because the consistency is very thick, I find it better when used over very wet skin (rather than damp) as it spreads easier and won’t clog your razor.

      CALGON | 2-in-1 Sugar Scrub Daily Wash*
      Tell me I’m not the only one who own little collectibles of mini Calgon body sprays when I was a teenager long before I was allowed real perfume. This double duty body scrub and wash is quick to use on busy days and I’ve been enjoying it for a little chest and leg scrub in particular. The sugar particles hang around long enough to get the job done and I found the scent just right for a relaxing aromatic experience without covering everything in the bathroom for hours. And if you’re worried about the ginger, don’t be… it’s super mild and smells more of a tropical mix.

      MERCHANT & MILLS | Sewing Book
      For the past few years I’ve grown a great liking to a more rustic aesthetic (not too far out country though because I’ve gotta make sure the mail man can still get there). This Merchant and Mills sewing guide I’ve dug up from the depth of the library shelves has been my bedside read and I’m smitten with their approach to simple luxuries like linen, canvas and wool. The book starts with a few chapters on basic tools and then leads you through your first techniques with easy but beautifully rustic projects for practice. And if you’re a fan of photography, the visuals in here are lovely as well.

      Happy Wednesday,

      Whatcha Reading | Books Update | Jan 2015

      • This is Dali | Catherine Ingram
      • Pantone on Fashion | Leatrice Eiseman & E.P. Cutler
      • Read My Lips | Meg Ragas & Karen Kozlowski
      • Style Me Vintage | Annabel Beeforth
      • Gertie Sews Vintage | Gretchen Hirsch
      • Stylish Dress Book | Yoshiko Tsukiori

      Books are really beautiful things and going to find new books actually makes me extremely excited. The library especially is like a treasure trove of uncharted territory and new discoveries. Lately I’ve picked up a few that wonderfully merge art, style and history together. A little more fun to read than a textbook but a little more engaging than a picture book. I’m fully enamored with Pantone on Fashion which is something I pick up when I need a short technology break and of course the sewing books have been getting a good read too since I am currently plowing through the Wardrobe Architect Challenge. Gertie Sews Vintage has been keeping me on the straight and narrow while I’m debating on which pattern from my vintage stash to use, her explanations of the techniques provides a useful reference guide for things that aren’t always thoroughly explained in the pattern instructions themselves. Read anything good lately? Let me know!


      Book Talk:: Library Edition | August



      I’m always one to look forward to a library run. Sometimes I’ll go with a purpose and other times I’ll just let it surprise me. I have my favourite little niche sections and digging through the shelves can sometimes unearth exciting and unusual finds. Of course the beauty section is one of my favourites and I’m always stalking that shelf for new releases but perhaps you may dig up an old gem that still has a lot of wisdom to share. I find that there’s a bit of a stigma about libraries being old fashioned compared to a modern bookstore or even a hip vintage bookshop but hey the library is free, the chairs are comfortable and no one is going to disrupt your peace for the next hour or two.
      Love books?
      Let me know if I should make library books talks a regular segment!
      Library Run August

      Are you a big spender? Or big saver?

      I run this blog as a place to share my beauty and style adventures and of course with such great responsibility comes a lot of shopping. Looking for new items to add to my life and blog about along the way, sometimes it means wandering aimlessly through the stores to see what catches my eye. Indeed as beauty junkies we all have a method to our madness so here’s the question:

      Are you a big spender?
      Or are you a big saver?

      BBW Small Candle pyramid
      BBW Candles | Original : $12.50 | Sale: $3.13

      This thought briefly floated through my head as I stood in line waiting to pay for my 3 Bath and Bodyworks candles, ones that I have waited for almost a year to go on sale again (I don’t go in there very often so it’s usually a case of luck). Happily hugging my little treasures close, I had scored these at -75% off and I was in all honesty quite smug with myself being being so good. I revel in finding a good deal and it’s rare I would buy anything unless it’s on sale. Yet I’ve been known to drop it all down for a Chanel foundation or in the case of my biggest purchase, my Clarisonic.

      The Shopping Diet
      I recently found this book on the shelves of my local library and perked up right away at the title. The Shopping Diet? No it’s not a lecture about how irresponsible you’ve been with your money or how much your should or should not be spending. It is however quite a therapeutic look into why people shop (especially the ones that can’t stop shopping), how it functions in our lives and more importantly how to shop better. I adore Phillips’ philosophy that you don’t have to give up looking fabulous, in fact he encourages you to find that sparkle but to do it in a way that’s affordable for your lifestyle and in a way that’s versatile. If you love filling your life with pretty things (as I’m sure many of us do in various categories) then learn to do it efficiently because life’s too short not to to be happy in your own way.

      Hey, I’m not about to give up my passion for shopping anytime soon so I am absolutely ready to delve into this book!

      Life: The most precious paper on my bookshelf

      … is a book passed on to me by my aunt almost 10 years ago. She came to visit us one time and left this book behind rather nonchalantly among a few other pieces of clothing and such. I was instantly enamored with the mystery and vibrancy of the images and thus began began my love affair with a city I’ve never met.

      I Dream of NYC-01
      I Dream of NYC-05
       I Dream of NYC-04
       I Dream of NYC-03

      Most times this book sits in a little corner on the very bottom my bookshelf, a place easily missed by most people but a place that I will always know. We’ve developed a special bond over the years, I’ll pull it out once in a while and admire the vast greens of Central Park and the million lights of Manhattan island at night. While these images are more than two decades old, they reveal a city of wonder, of the solidarity of one in a place of thousands, making you feel so small but part of something so big. I’ve always longed to visit this place but at the same time been a little afraid that the realism of its existence might tarnish this secret intimacy that we built together.

      I Dream of NYC-02

      Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide | 2012

      Consider gifting something a little different this holiday season, I’m here with my Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide! The video is quite long so I will keep this short, I’m handing out books this year for everyone so here are my best picks for wrapping up in shiny little bows. You might be surprised what you may find here.

      • Kate Moss Style | Angela Buttolph | Here
      • Men’s Style: A thinking man’s guide to Style | Russell Smith | Here
      • What Shall I Wear Today | FiFi Lapin | Here
      • Ms. Dalloway | Virginia Woolf | Here
      • Story of the Stone | Cao Xue Qin | Here
      • Dinner: A Love Story | Jenny Rosenstrach | Here
      • Makeup: The Ultimate Guide | Rae Morris | Here
      • PONY’s Celebrity Makeup Book | PONY | Here
      • The Richest Kids in America | Mark Victor Hansen | Here
      • The Success Principles | Jack Canfield | Here
      • Think & Grow Rich | Napoleon Hill | Here

      Of course this is just a small selection of some of the wonderful paper goods out there, chosen from my personal bookshelf. Most of the links I’ve included are from Amazon because I think they are just so convenient when purchasing books and their shipping is always superb. I think there is something nostalgic and valuable about building a good book collection and I’m always one to get excited to receive a book as a gift, especially the solid hardcover variety. I hope this post gave you a few ideas to fill the empty spots in your shopping list.

      What are you excited to give out this holiday season?
      Do you have favourite from my gift guide list?

      Book Talk: Bobbi Brown makeup manual

      Let me start off this post by saying that Bobbi Brown has a very special place in my makeup history. Hers was the very first proper makeup book that I read (I believe it was Teenage Beauty) and I instantly feel in love with her kindness. Since then I’ve gone to read every single one of her publications to date and today I want to share with you one of her newer works, Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual.

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_01
      What I really love about her books is her dedication to teaching true beauty and life lessons about how to appreciate beauty rather just chat about powder puffs and mascara (but yes she covers those too). This book is a very well rounded beauty guide, perfect for anyone starting with makeup or wanting to brush up on their makeup basics it covers everything you need to know about creating a solid sophisticated routine.


      Title: Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual
      Author: Bobbi Brown
      Book dimensions: 29 x 1.9x 2.6cm
      Date published:1st edt, Dec 2008
      Price: $15CAD for paperback, $22.26 for hardcover
      Find it: Amazon or your local book retailer


      So you might be thinking, “I’ve been using makeup for years and know my way around a gel liner and eyelash curler, do I still need this?” Well, I’d say this book is still worth a read over because although many of us know what products to use the right method of application is just as important. Bobbi takes care to explain all the finer details of the your daily basics, from layering concealers to why you need a concealer brush. Even for myself, as someone who has graduated into my glitzy books, it was helpful to go back and review the small tips that I missed along the way. To show you a better idea of the layout and depth in this book, I’ve included some scans for reference.

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_04

      The “Tool Guide” section was one that I found extremely helpful and although I owned a good number of brushes, I never knew the distinctive purpose of the composition of hairs for each brush. And while all these products are from her line, she tells you what to look for in products so that you can hunt down more affordable alternatives.

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_03

      Bobbi known for her concealer and correctors, along with her correcting method so I knew that I had to share this page. It’s also a nice bonus that she included a photo of her concealer palette, next time I’ll know exactly what shade to get even if I’m shopping online.
      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_05

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_06

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_07

      This makeup manual strikes a good balance between a glossy photo-book and a textbook, makeup books that are too serious (too many words, too many steps) can be very intimidating and off putting for many people. I love the big bright inserts of makeup between the pages, so much fun.

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_08

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_09

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_10

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_11

      This page on “diverse beauty” is another section that I thought was very well written, it’s brief but hit some great points.

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_12

      And just to spice things up a little in the “Artistry” section, Bobbi shares some of her editorial looks. I really have to say that despite using wild colours, even her artsy looks are so sophisticated and polished.

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_02

      In short, I think Bobbi Browns Makeup Manual would make a universal gift for anyone getting into makeup. The fact that it’s so approachable builds people’s interest in makeup without intimidating them and as a book for teens (who are wearing makeup younger and younger now it seems) it puts them on the right path to appreciate beauty and diversity.

      Bobbi Brown makeup manual
      Personally this book was a great read (in fact I read it twice) and I did pick up some tips and tricks but it lacked variety (in terms of looks) which is currently what I’m interested in right now. If you are looking for juicy pages of full makeup looks, then book Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself by Francois Nars would be your better choice (I’ve reviewed it HERE).
      But I shan’t leave you empty, for your viewing pleasure…here’s Bobbi’s creative makeup kit in all its glory. Happy reading!

      Bobbi Brown MakeupManual_13

      Beauty News: Scott Barnes does it again…Face to Face

      Celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes is doing it…again. Just as I’m busy dissecting the contents of his first makeup book About Face I get wind that the man has penned a second book. What I’ve found from reading his first book is that while many of the transformations are truly stunning, they are quite a task for day to day life and I highly doubt many women would do so on a regular basis.

      Scott Barnes Face to Face

      This time, Face to Face focuses on teaching the best makeup tricks for everyday situations. Scott Barnes is undoubtedly a talented man and hopefully something a little more approachable will be appreciated by all.
      Release date: September 1st, 2012

      You bet this will be in my shopping cart!

      Scott Barnes-Face to Face

      Book talk: NARS Makeup your mind, Express yourself


      How do I even start talking about a publication of this magnitude and pizazz?
      As a makeup line, I’ve never been too interested in NARS mainly because when I first started with makeup, I felt that the overall feel of NARS was a little beyond my understanding (nor did I understand the reason behind a $30 pan of blush). NARS didn’t quite fall into the category of straight up artistic fantasy like the way MAC feels yet it didn’t have the same historical prestige of brands like CHANEL or DIOR.

      NARS collage

      Yet I’ve always been attracted to some aesthetic element of NARS images whenever I see them appear in magazines or promos that I can not help but be intrigued. It is his editorial looks which I’ve always collected, the vibrancy and life expressed via his hand drew the artist within me towards his work.

      Makeup your mind, Express yourself by Francois Nars takes a drastically different approach to what is already available in the makeup/beauty book market. Not an instructional manual by any means, this book is a documentation of makeup transformations, a catalog of a conversation between the model and the artist shown through makeup.

      NARS makeup book

      Title: Makeup your mind, Express yourself
      Aurthor: Francois Nars
      Book dimensions: 23.2 x 4.7 x 22.9 cm
      Date published: April 19th, 2011
      Price: $33 CAD
      Find it at: Amazon.ca, your local bookstore.

      Delve into my review video (below) to hear my thoughts on this book.

      Below are some scans that I’ve done to further show you the details of the book, including the layout, formatting and a closer look at the variety of looks that are included in this publication. I’ve done them so that the plastic overlay sits on top of the after photograph, of course sometimes it does shift slightly when I place it on the scanner so I’m sorry for the few that look a little off. I hope I’ve chosen a good selection to fully represent the range of that Makeup your Mind, Express yourself has to offer.
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_08
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_09
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_02
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_04
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_03
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_07
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_05
      NARS Makeup Your Mind_06

      I think if you are venturing into NARS for the first time, I highly recommend that you make your first purchase this book, even before the makeup. Although this book isn’t very biographical, there is a great deal of intimacy which is revealed in its pages about the author. Certainly to understand more about Francois Nars, you will learn to appreciate and understand more about the collections and products he creates.

      NARS makeup book
      Then again, if all I’ve been talking about just seems like gibberish and you are not a makeup lover at all this will still make a kick ass coffee table book worthy of any stylish living room. Moral of this post? It’s a must have book.