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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To Fix Beauty Mishaps

Christmas is coming so very soon! My husband and I picked out our tree tonight at The Home Depot and we hope it will be as lovely as the one we got there last year. For some reason they are about $15 cheaper than last year - not that I'm complaining. It sure smells good. Nothing beats a real tree!

Sometimes when I'm getting ready to go somewhere, I will goof up my make-up, hair, etc. I have found that the following are very useful tips, when I make a mistake and I hope you'll find them helpful too.

1. Eyebrow Gap

To fill a gap in your brow, brush your brow hairs in the opposite direction of the growth so the bare area becomes more visible. Use a brow pencil to cover it with light hair length strokes. brush the brow back into place.

2. Too Much Blush

Sprinkle translucent powder on a make-up sponge and blend over the blush. Blend the colour in toward the cheeks instead of out towards your ears. If your cheeks still look too dark, then go over them again with two drops of foundation on a make-up wedge.

3. Streaky Self -Tanner

To lighten colour in one spot, stroke the area with a lemon wedge or a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide. To fill in light streaks, even out colour by applying self-tanner with the edge
of a make-up wedge, or brush on matte bronzer with a small blush brush.

4. Perfume Overkill

Rub skin with an unscented baby wipe or a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. If you've sprayed too much perfume on your clothing, blast fabric with a hair dryer for 30 seconds.

5. Too Light Highlights

Wash your hair twice with a caramel hued colour depositing shampoo to deepen your highlights.

6. Smudged Nail Polish

Put some nail polish remover on the end of a cotton swab and gently blend away the smear. Add a coat of clear polish instead of more colour which will make the nail darker than the others.

7. Clumpy Mascara

Do this immediately as mascara dries in seconds. Wipe all the mascara off the brush with a piece of napkin or paper towel (don't use a tissue because it could leave pieces of it on the wand). Wiggle the wand gently from side to side from the roots to the tips of the lashes. You can also purchase a dedicated de-clumping wand in the make-up brush section of the store.

8. Dirty Hair And No Time To Wash It

Blot your scalp with an oil-absorbing sheet (the kind you use for your face), then sprinkle baby powder or a dry shampoo onto your brush and comb through your roots.

9. Eyeliner That Has Gone Astray

Dip a cotton swab in an oil-free moisturizer and dab the sift tip on the back of your hand until it almost feels dry. Use it to wipe away stray marks.

10. Deodorant On Your Clothes

Simply take a clean, white sock and rub the sock over the deodorant mark in small circles. It removes the white mark without leaving behind any bits (like paper towel does) or smearing the mark into a bigger mess (like using water can do).

Hope these suggestion assist you the next time something goes wrong while getting ready.


Monday, November 28, 2011

How To Shop Smart

My sincere apologies for not being around last week. I was ill and my internet was cutting out every minute or so. I am now well and have a new modem so all is great!

With Christmas on its way, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how to shop smart.

1. Know What You Need

Always have a list. It can be in your head but better yet, put it on paper so you're not overwhelmed once you reach the mall.

2. Be Sure About It

Ask yourself, "Will he/she love it?" and "Will he/she use it?" And don't buy it unless the answer is a "yes"!

3. Dress For Action

Wear a comfortable outfit and shoes. Bring some bottled water. Make sure you eat enough and eat more when you need to before low blood sugar strikes.

4. Avoid The Crowds

If you can sacrifice a weekday morning for shopping (before the lunch rush), you'll be rewarded with emptier stores and less stressed out salespeople.

5. Shop Early

I started my Christmas shopping in October. For those of you who haven't started, why not start now? It's just going to get busier and crazier the closer it gets to the big day.

6. Have A Christmas Storage Area

Designate a small part of a closet for Christmas gifts. Throughout the year when you see something you know someone on your list will love and it's a great price, buy it and store it in your Christmas area.

7. Feel Happy

Don't shop when you are hungry, tired, or depressed. Once again don't wait until the last minute.

8. Set A Budget

Figure out beforehand how much you can afford to spend on Christmas gifts and stick to your budget. If you have a tendency to max out your credit cards, then shop with cash only.

9. Keep Your Receipts

If someone ends up not liking something or the gift is defective you can easily return it. Many stores also offer gift receipts that don't show the price so you can include it with the gift. Remember that gift receipts are only useful for a return if you pay with cash. If you pay with a debit or credit card, the gift recipient will only be able to get a store credit because they won't have your card.

10. Buy Extra Gifts
Find some "generic" items on sale that can be for a man or a woman, and purchase a couple of extras. Wrap them up and put a sticky note on the box stating what the item is. This way you'll always be prepared if someone unexpectedly gives you a gift, and you can avoid any embarrassment or hurt feelings by returning the favour.

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Awake Fake

As I write this I am totally exhausted. I just woke up from a nap and am ready to go to sleep for another eight hours. Since Friday I've gone to class, partied, sang at Mass, attended a photo shoot, and doctor's appointment. So I thought that writing about how to look awake - even when you're not - would be a good blog entry.

When you wake up and look like you haven't slept even though you may have, there are some simple tricks you can use to look more rested. First off, lie down again and reduce the dreaded under eye bags by putting slices of cold, raw potato over your eyes. A brewed tea bag soaked overnight in cold milk does wonders too. You can alos try soaking a washcloth in icy water and putting it on your face. Another trick is to keep your moisturizer in the fridge to help contrict the swollen blood vessels which can be responsible for puffy eyes and face.

After you do some or all of the aforementioned, get up and start moving around. Try even jumping rope for five minutes. Don't drink excessive amounts of caffeine if you can avoid it and instead drink water to rehydrate and make skin glow.

Splash some cold water on your face and massage gently to promote circulation. Try some tinted moisturizer instead of heavy foundation to hide imperfections and look more natural. Tilt you head down to apply your under eye concealer to make sure you see where it needs to go most. And make sure to curl your eyelashes and put mascara on your upper lashes only so your eyes look bigger and more awake.

Hope this helps everyone to fake looking awake. I'm off to bed... ZZZzzzzzzzzzzz...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday's Faux Paw

First off I want to wish my Mom and co-blogger, Joelle a very happy birthday today. For some reason humans get hung up on their age, but I still think she looks great. I had hoped she would have gotten bacon as a gift and shared it with me, but she told me that bacon is not a popular gift for a human on their birthday. I really cannot understand why bacon is not the ultimate birthday gift ever, so I will continue with this blog entry.

It is good for a women to look and feel beautiful and/or sexy, but many go about it the wrong way. As I watch Joelle get ready to go out for drinks tonight, I see her wearing a very short lace dress with bare arms. Then she covered up her legs in black tights, and her bare arms with a sparkly sequined jacket. The result was a totally sexy, yet age appropriate look.

Others however have not realized that you can look sexy without looking like men will have to pay you for your company. The basic rule of thumb for those over thirty-five is if you show your legs, cover up your top and vice-versa. No super short skirts with knee-high high heeled boots, unless you wear some black opaque tights. And no see through tops showing off your bra. You can still wear a see through top, but wear a camisole underneath. My verdict for not dressing age appropriate:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Why Don't You?" Wednesday Part II

With the Christmas season almost here, I thought it would be a good time for another "Why Don't You?" Wednesday based on the legend Diana Vreeland's "Why Don't You?" column from Bazaar. So here are some suggestions that you could try:

Why Don’t You…

...donate used clothes to a shelter or program that gives clothes to someone for free?
...have everyone over for a Christmas Party Clothing Swap?
...learn to knit and make toques and mittens for homeless shelters?
...wear some glittter to your next Christmas party? a little red dress, little purple dress, etc instead of wearing the same little black dress?
...pop by a make-up counter for a holiday makeover, actually buy some of the make-up used, and use it?
...find and donate to a charity that gives haircuts to homeless people to help them get jobs?
...go through your shoes and get the ones that need repairs fixed and give those you don't need to charity?
...drop off your clothes that need tailoring to a tailor?
...get your nails done? (I did and I feel wonderful!)
...get all of your Christmas shopping done now so you don't get trampled during the holiday season and have more time to spend with loved ones?
...feed Zeke bacon? (Seriously, Zeke! Quit messing with my blog entries! Your column is Friday.)
...take time and have a relaxing bath? You will look better and feel better!
...get a pedicure so you can wear your strappy heels with pride?
...spend an hour at home trying out some new holiday hair-dos?
...dare to wear dark purple lipstick instead of red?
...make yourself a feather choker to liven up your little black dress?

...ask your spouse out for a shopping day so he/she can buy you your gifts (takes the guess work out and you'll love them) then eat at your favourite restaurant?
...get your outfit and accessories ready for New Years so you have more time to enjoy your holidays?
...have a makover/spa party for the ladies and try out different looks?
...have a fashion themed party and rent all the fashion movies you can find ie. The Devil Wears Prada, Prêt-à-Porter: Ready To Wear, The September Issue, Confessions of a Shopaholic, etc?
...shovel someone's walk without them knowing? It will make you feel beautiful on the inside!

Let me know what you do and how it works out for you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Have A Christmas Party To Attend And I Don't Know What To Wear!!!

Yes it's that time of year again when we shop for gifts, wrap them, bake, decorate the house, visit loved ones, eat suprising amounts of food, and get invited to Christmas parties. No ideas on what to wear? Then check out the following suggestions.


Why not try and sequined dress? My favourites are:
$90.65 Ricki's 

$50 Suzy Shier

$68 Smart Set

If you're not brave enough for that, then wear a little black dress with a sequin jacket over it. I picked up this one at Forever XXI for $33.80.

And if you're really scared of the sparkle, then wear glittery accesories and shoes.


Purple and plum are really in for evening wear right now. Some suggestions are:

$40 Suzy Shier 

$80 Suzy Shier 

$139.95 Le Chateau

Vintage Inspired

If you're on a budget like me, then maybe you'll want to buy a dress that should stay in style year after year. Some suggestions are:

$139.95 Le Chateau

$50 Suzy Shier

 $149.99 Sears
Go Long

For something different, why not try a long dress for your holiday event outings? Some beautiful options are:

$89.99 Sears

$70 Suzy Shier

$225 Le Chateau

If you like being daring and romantic, wear a lace dress. Here are some options:

$50 Reitmans

$69.65 Ricki's 

$129.95 Le Chateau


If you're more adventurous, then go for a print dress. Florals are still going strong along with polka dots, paisley, animal print, graphic print, and tribal print. My favourites are:

$37 Smart Set

$99.99 Sears

$110 Le Chateau

Hope that this helps everyone find their perfect holiday dress!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday's Faux Paw

May both my Canadian and American friends take a moment today to remember those who have selflessly paid the ultimate price so that we may live in freedom.

Today's faux paw is very important to me. It is wonderful to wear a poppy to honour fallen veterans and those who have passed on since the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean Conflict, Iraq, and Afghanistan. But it is completely disrespectful not to wear it properly. The correct way to wear a poppy is on the left hand side of the body over the heart - not on your hat, back jeans pocket etc. I searched the internet to find someone wearing their poppy incorrectly to post it here. Thankfully I couldn't find one. So please wear a poppy and wear it in the right place! If you don't, then you're...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How To Look Younger Part II

As promised on Monday, here are more tips on how to look younger without going under the knife.

Tip Eleven - Skip The Powder

Powder tends to settle into your fine lines and wrinkles, making them more noticeable. Older skin doesn't produce as much oil as younger skin. Plus a matte face look solder than a dewy fresh face.
Tip Twelve - Eat Healthy

Too much sugar can make your skin look dull and wrinkled due to a process called glycation which breaks down you skin and decreases firmness and elasticity. Make sure to eat enough protein because your body needs it to convert it to amino acids to repair skin cells, cartilage, and muscles. Aim for 120 grams of protein a day or else your skin could start to sag more.

Tip Thirteen - Don't Overpluck Your Brows

Once you hit your 30s, you'll want to be careful not to overpluck your eyebrows since brows are less apt to grow back if you excessively pluck. Full, natural looking eyebrows can soften your face making you appear younger. Fill them in with feathery strokes using a matte eyeshadow that matches your hair colour.

Tip Fourteen - Update Your Wardrobe

If you're wearing stuff from the 1970s, 1980s, and in some cases the 1990s, it is definitely a time to ditch those outdated clothes and buy more current pieces. When I say current, I don't mean trendy. I mean age appropriate, modern pieces that suit who you are now. Every five to ten years it is a good thing to re-evaluate what works and what no longer does.

Tip Fifteen - Don't Smoke

I know that Zeke has blogged about this one before, but I would be amiss if I didn't bring it up here as well. Smoking prematurely ages skin by between ten to twenty years, increases the likelihood of facial wrinkling (by 3 times) particularly around the eyes and mouth, gives a sallow, yellow-grey complexion and hollow cheeks, which can cause smokers to look gaunt. Yep, it makes you look older.

Tip Sixteen - Curl Your Lashes

If you are already blessed with thick, curly lashes then this tip is not for you. For the rest of us mere mortals, break out the eyelash curler. Curling lashes opens eyes making them pop and eyelids look less droopy.

Tip Seventeen - Lighten Up On The Make-Up

The term less is more truly applies here. “Less makeup is more youthful,” says makeup artist and Cover Girl Pro Paul Venoit. “But it doesn't mean no makeup. Foundation in particular helps gives the complexion a fresher finish.” Gravitate towards eyeshadow in natural colours like browns, and plums. Swear off dark matte lipstick and instead opt for creamy formulas with a satiny finish. And use gloss, since shine makes lips look fuller.

Tip Eighteen - No Shiny Eyeshadow

When you're in your 20's you can get away with any type of eye shadow. As we get older, it's best to use only matte eye shadow because it stays on better, plus it won't amplify every wrinkle making you look older. If you must use sparkly/shiny eye shadow, only apply it on your brow bone as a highlighter because there usually aren't many wrinkles there.
Tip Nineteen - Use A Retinol Product

This Vitamin A derivative boosts collagen production and normalizes cell renewal, a process that slows with age. Use Retinol to help keep your skin plump and smooth. Retinol is available in a variety of over the counter products.

Tip Twenty - Look After Your Smile

A great smile makes one look youthful. Teeth-whitening kits are budget-friendly and effective if you follow instructions. And take note: “Brushing immediately after consuming teeth-staining food pushes the stain deeper into the enamel,” says the Baltimore-based dentist Michelle Dozier. “Instead, rinse as soon as you can, and brush about 30 minutes later.”

Hope this has been helpful in your quest for the fountain of youth!

Monday, November 07, 2011

How To Look Younger Part I

It sure would be nice if we all had lots of money (and weren’t scared) so we could have cosmetic surgery. But we don’t – at least that is what I am assuming. And surgery is a pretty drastic measure. So why not employ some of the following tips which don’t involve pain to help you turn back the clock?

Tip One - Apply mascara to your upper lashes only.

As we get older, dark under eye circles become more noticeable as well as those dreaded crows feet. Also mascara on the lower lashes can smudge and flake off more easily. If you are trying to draw attention away from those areas, then just put mascara on the upper lashes only.

Tip Two - Use age appropriate concealer.

Purchase under-eye concealer which doesn’t settle into wrinkles and skip the powder which can also settle into fine lines.

Tip Three - Colour the grey.

Stay within two shades of your natural colour so you avoid roots. As you get older you also lose colour in your face so make sure that the colour you choose isn’t too dark which will make you look older by washing you out. The colour that looks best now might be a lot lighter than what your natural haircolour was at one time.

Tip Four - Get a modern hair cut.

This no longer means you have to go short, this just means that if you wear the same hair style you've had for decades, you will look dated or like you're trying desperately to hang onto your youth. If you are petite, you could look like a 15-year-old with super long hair. Keep your hair between your chin and your shoulders. Side-swept bangs and hair no longer than your shoulders will take off years. Shoulder-length hair looks good on all women no matter their size, face shape or age.

Tip Five Dress age appropriately.

Know your body shape; this is essential to dressing appropriately for your age. Get in front of a full-length mirror and try on all the clothes in your closet. Get rid of anything that is too tight and too revealing. Remember to show skin appropriately. Tops that show off your shoulders and neckline are timeless and can be worn at any age. As you get older, stay away from teeny mini-skirts and the itty-bitty midriff-baring tops. Stick with the classic looks like a well-tailored jacket paired with classic-cut pants. If it is dresses that you adore, choose wrap dresses. These classic dresses look good on women of any age. Follow trends in small doses. It is okay to be trendy, but do it with accessories such as jewelry and scarves. Wearing a few accessories shows that you are still fashion forward but not a slave to clothing trends.

Tip Six - Stay in shape.

Everyone looks younger when they are physically fit. Try walking, yoga, water aerobics, pilates, the list is endless. But make sure you lift weights because they are many benefits to strength training as we age. Strength training increases your metabolism, increases and restores bone density, prevents injuries, improves balance, and decreases coronary disease. However don't lose too much weight. When you do, your face can look hollowed as you age and that will make you look older.

Tip Seven - Exfoliate.

Your skin is composed of layers of skin cells. Some dead skin cells remain bound to the skin. This can cause your skin to appear dull or damaged if excess dead skin cells build up.
Exfoliating frequently can remove the skin's natural oils that help to keep your skin soft. Because your skin naturally becomes drier as you age, exfoliating every day can be harmful. Instead, you should exfoliate no more than twice a week. And don't forget to exfoliate the rest of your body as well!

Tip Eight - Wear Sunscreen.

When it comes to the details of how to protect your skin in the sun, what you don’t know can damage your skin. The result of this damage is wrinkles, brown skin discolorations, dull-looking skin, and potentially even skin cancer. So make sure you wear a sunscreen in the winter with 15 SPF and a sunscreen in the summer with at least a 30 SPF. Don't forget to re-apply if you are in the sun for many hours, sweating, or in the water.
Tip Nine - Drink water!

If you want to stay young looking, make sure you drink at least 64 ounces (8 glasses at 8 ounces each)of water daily. There are many benefits of upping your water consumption including: 

  • Water helps the body get rid of acid waste and alkalize, slowing the aging process.
  • Water helps you fight colds and other viruses.
  • Water moisturizes your skin from the inside making it more youthful looking.
  • Dehydration is the No. 1 cause of daytime fatigue, headaches and heartburn.
  • Water helps the body metabolize fat, keeping you slimmer.
Tip Ten - Get a Good night's sleep.

Few things age you overnight more than a poor night's sleep. Your eyes are puffy, your skin sallow and dull and your face sags. Daily stress ages your face and body because of the release of cortisol and the increase of bad neurotransmitters like norepinephrine. Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage. When you sleep soundly your body releases growth hormone – and for growth hormone read youth hormone. During sleep, your body also releases melatonin, which has incredibly positive effects on your skin and your immune system. So make sure you get as close to eight hours as you can!

Join me on Wednesday for How To Look Younger Part II.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday's Faux Paw

Denim jackets are very stylish. A denim jacket can be worn over a girlie sundress or with cargo pants to make it more casual. Actually the possibilities are endless. Jeans are another item that never goes out of style. But the the colour or cut does - remember the acid wash jeans of the 80s? However when you combine these two closet classics, the end result is that you look dated and dumpy. It looks like you never even tried to put any effort into your outfit. Men are the worst offenders of this fashion crime. If the denim jacket is the same colour as the jeans, it is called a Canadian Tuxedo. The people who Jeff Foxworthy now makes fun of started this trend in the 80s and it needs to go by way of the Dodo bird. Others try to wear contrasting pieces of denim, for example a light denim jacket with dark jeans. The Gap thought this fashion atrocity would be a good idea, but this ends up looking like you just grabbed whatever you found on the floor your bedroom. And don't even think about wearing a denim shirt with jeans for the same reasons listed. If you are truly interested in looking great please wear a denim piece with a non-denim piece so your neck doesn't get red.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What's Your Personal Style? Part II

Monday I put up a quiz from Nothing To Wear? A 5-Step Cure For The Common Closet by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo to help you determine your personal style. So let's see which style (or style combination) you are: Classic, Chic, Whimsical, Bohemian, Avant-garde, or a combination ie. Classic/Chic.

Here's the answer key:

1. a) Chic  b) Classic  c) Bohemian  d) Whimsical  e) Avant-garde
2. a) Whimsical  b) Bohemian  c) Chic  d) Classic  e) Avant-garde
3. a) Bohemian  b) Whimsical  c) Chic  d) Avant-garde  e) Classic
4. a) Chic  b) Classic  c) Bohemian  d) Avant-garde  e) Whimsical
5. a) Avant-garde  b) Classic  c) Chic  e) Bohemian  e) Whimsical
6. a) Classic  b) Bohemian  c) Whimsical  d) Avant-garde  e) Chic
7. a) Chic  b) Bohemian  c) Whimsical  d) Avant-garde  e) Classic
8. a) Avant-garde  b) Classic  c) Whimsical  d) Bohemian  e) Chic

Add up your results. Is there one particular style that is dominant over all the others? If so, that is your personal style. If you are tied with two styles, then you're both. Or you could be a combination of two styles. For example, if you have three marks for Classic and two marks for Chic, then you'd be Classic/Chic - mostly Classic and a bit Chic.

Now I will describe each style and give you some style icon examples:


Simple, clean, conservative, neat,  and traditonal; a timeless look because the sihouette and colours rarely change. Always ladylike, classic garments are often tailored. Clothes are of excellent quality. Basic colours like navy, charcoal, black, and white.

Icons: Laura Bush, Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Diane Sawyer, Princess Diana (earlier years), Renée Zellweger

This style is defined by a powerful look and sharp lines that seem to come together in an effortless way. It is often monochromatic and combined with bold accessories. Uses some timeless pieces combined with a hint of current pieces to make the look unique. Always up on the latest trends, but not a slve to them.

Icons: Halle Berry, Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Hepburn, Carolina Herrera, Nicole Kidman, Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis


This playful style appears to be "thrown together" but is actually a thoughtful combination of colours and patterns. The wearer is often young at heart and the look is sometimes ethereal and romantic. The look can change depending on the wearer's outing from contemporary to flirtatious and sexy, to retro, but always playful and fun.

Icons: Mischa Barton, Sofia Coppola, Kirsten Dunst, Betsey Johnson, Vanessa Paradis, Gwen Stefani


Relaxed, lived-in, hippy or funky, incorporating offbeat accessories and usually lots of denim or suede. A relaxed look with an emphasis on natural fabrics and earth tones, this style evolved from the hippie look of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Icons: Kate Hudson, Jade Jagger, Ali MacGraw, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Stevie Nicks, Joss Stone


This is an ultramodern style that uses fashion as an extension of the wearer's creativity. It often seeks to make a dramatic statement. Typically, the foundation for this wardrobe is black. Often chooses an asymmetrical hemline or something unconventional like wearing a tuxedo pantsuit to a cocktail party. The avant-garde mantra is, "I'm different - I'm not a fashion victim."

Icons: Björk, Cate Blanchett, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Diane Keaton, Annie Lennox

Hope this helps everyone to learn more about themselves and narrow down your choices on your next shopping trip!