Monthly Archives: November 2012

Love It, Loathe It: Friends Edition with Molly

Time for another installment of “Love It, Loathe It: Friends Edition.”  This time I’ll be featuring one of my good friends from back in the Mitten.  I’ve been lucky enough to have known her for ages.  She’s an all around fantastic girl and quite honestly an amazing mother to a particularly awesome little one.  So without further adieu here are Molly’s loves & loathes.

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Skin care product:

  • Love it: Mary Kay Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser – Light on the skin.
  • Loathe it: Anything by Neutrogena –  Too drying.

Bath or shower product:

  • Love it: Salon Care Honey Almond Shampoo – Cheap and lasts a long time if diluted & smells superb!

Hair product or tool:

  • Love it: TIGI Bed Head Hard Head Hairspray
  • Loathe it: Suave Professional Dry Shampoo – I LOVE dry shampoo but you only get a couple of sprays out of this before it’s empty.

Cosmetics:

Eyes:

  • Love It: Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio
  • Loathe It: Avon Glimmersticks Eyeliner

Lips:

  • Love it: Flirt! Chickstick in Bashful
  • Loathe it: Liquid Lip Smacker, seriously.

Face:

  • Love it: Mary Kay Tinted Moisturizer

Nails:

  • Love it: Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Salon Nail Color – Cheap and has a larger brush for perfect application!
  • Loathe it: Avon Nail Color

Scent:

  • Love it: Angel by Thierry Mugler
  • Loathe it: Outspoken by Fergie

Clothing:

  • Love it: ModCloth
  • Loathe it: Baby Phat

Accessory:

  • Love it: A Global Friendship Bracelets
  • Loathe it: Hair bows meant for little girls! Any!

Trend:

  • Love it: Scarves
  • Loathe it: Crazy print clothing

Book, magazine, movie, tv show or game:

  • Love it: Parenthood (tv show)

Music:

  • Love it: the Avett Brothers
  • Loathe it: Gangnam Style

Tech:

  • Love it: iPhone 4S
  • Loathe It: HTC EVO

On a side note, is it too early to put up the Christmas tree this weekend?  It might be but I’ll probably go ahead and do it anyhow.  For some reason I’m looking forward to Christmas much more this year than I have in a very long time.  So I figure, why not just go with it.  I’ll post some pictures once the decorating is done, just so long as Captain Canada doesn’t end up picking out yet another hideously misshapen tree this year…fingers crossed.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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His & Hers Holiday & Christmas Gift Guide 2012

First of all I feel as though I should offer a little explanation regarding my recent disappearing act.  In all honesty I felt like I had slipped into a bit of blogging slump, then there was that whole eye infection mess and a trip to Cologne this past weekend.  Not to mention my bout of Thanksgiving homesickness that I seem to experience every year.  So my sincere apologies for the long hiatus.  However, I’m feeling a bit more energized and ready to get back on the horse.

I thought it might be nice to share some gift ideas, since I for one was a little stumped this year myself.  I tried to choose things that would appeal to the masses but naturally I know that my choices may not suit everyone.  I tried to include some items that Captain Canada and myself actually own or things that may have been on our wish lists at some time or another.  Also, be sure to shop around if any of these items strike your interest, as the links I’ve provided are to sites that I’ve either purchased them from myself or I found decent prices for, so be sure to look elsewhere.  Anyhow, I hope that at least some of you find this a bit helpful.  By all means let me know what you think or if you have anything to add by commenting down below.

Gifts For Her

  • Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm:  A personal favorite of mine.  Especially perfect for the dry cold winter months.
  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir:  Everyone is raving over this stuff, and I imagine she will be very happy with the results.  Also comes in a 100 ml bottle.
  • Tangle Teezer Original:  Great for long or short hair, adults or children.  It is a detangling machine, yet it’s gentle and you can also find it at Sally Beauty Supply stores.
  • LUSH Snow Fairy Gift:  The shower gel smells so good and this set includes a few extras.
  • Real Techniques Setting Brush:  Great all multi-purpose makeup brush.  In my opinion it’s one of the most underrated little workhorses in the beauty community.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush: Exposed is a good neutral universal shade or you can opt for the Fantastic Foursome Enthusiast Set.  You can also find these at Sephora and Ulta.
  • MAC mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle:  Very well-known cult product in a universally flattering color.  She will be positively glowing with appreciation.  You can also pick this up at your local MAC counter.
  • Unii Palette:  Empty palette that allows you to add whatever essentials you need.  Great for travel.
  • Stick With It Palette:  Larger double-sided empty palette which can help condense any makeup collection.  Easy to clean, no fuss, no magnet unique self sticking interior.
  • GHD Flat Iron: Excellent hair styling tool, not just for straightening but for curling as well.  Well worth the investment.
  • Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish:  Any shade will do, but I would recommend Today Was A Fairytale, Nefertiti, Ruby Red Slippers & Stairway to Heaven as they are great for the season and quite unique.  Deborah Lippmann products are sold at numerous sites and stores.
  • Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Malice:  A beautiful sparkling red which is also great for the Holidays, not to mention year round.  Scoop this up quick though since this is part of the Limited Holiday collection.
  • Philosophy Shower Gel: So many fragrances to choose from including a few special Holiday editions.  This can be used as a shower gel, shampoo and a bubble bath.  Also available at Sephora.
  • Urban Decay Naked or Naked 2 Palette:  Great gift for the lady in your life who already loves makeup or for someone who is just beginning to take an interest.  You can’t go wrong with either of these as they were created to be universally flattering and neutral.  Also available at Sephora and Ulta.
  • L.L. Bean Boat & Tote:  This would be great for running errands, eco-friendly grocery bag, travel, heading to the gym, school, or even as a diaper bag for mommies on the go.  There is an open top & zipper option as well as a completely customizable version.  Monogramming option available.
  • Classic Leather Cambrigde Satchel:  Handmade leather bags (could also be great for him) that come in a wide array of colors and sizes.  Monogramming option available.  This is one of those gifts that will stand the test of time.
  • American Apparel Unisex Circle Scarf:  A little something to keep her warm and fashionable during the winter months.  As with most American Apparel products, you can choose from a huge selection of colors.
  • Neff Cupcake Beanie:  Yes, I own this and wear this constantly as soon as the weather turns chilly.  It’s warm, super cute, and comes in many different color combinations.
  • So So Happy Hoodie:  These are just out of control adorable.  She’ll enjoy wearing this everywhere from the gym, school, and around the house.
  • Ugg Bailey Button Mini Shearling Boots: Numerous color choices so you’re sure to find a pair that suit her.  Perfect for keeping her toes warm and snuggly this winter and all throughout the year.

Gifts For Him

  • LUSH Bohemian Soap:  A super zesty citrus scented soap that have him feeling energized and squeaky clean.  Not to mention smelling wonderful.  This is a personal favorite of Captain Canada’s.
  • Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave:  Ultra gentle & soothing shaving cream alternative.  Rave reviews can be heard and read for this product all over.  It’s perfect for the man in your life that likes a little follicle experimentation.
  • Tweezerman Stainless Steel Facial Hair Scissors:  Great little scissors to help aide him with his man-scaping duties.
  • Leatherman Multi Tool:  There are a crazy amount of models to choose from so you’re guaranteed to find one to suit the needs of any guy.  Super handy, useful, all around great gift.  (They also make a mini key chain version that is great for women.)
  • Klein Cushion Grip Screwdriver Set:  These are another favorite of the Captains as he owns numerous Klein tools.  They offer quite a few different sets ranging in size.  Well made, sturdy, easy to handle and he’ll have them forever.  Also available through Amazon.com and Home Depot.
  • Ticket Stub Diary:  Whether he’s an avid sports fan, or he loves going to shows, he’s sure to appreciate a way to keep all of his ticket stubs together and organized.
  • Pick Punch:  Excellent gift for those super creative guitar playing guys.  They’re sure to love this neat little gadget that allows them to create their own guitar picks out any thick plastic material.  Good way to recycle those old credit cards and gift cards as well.
  • Lego Storage Head:  Different sizes and faces available.  The Captain and I don’t own these exact storage boxes but we do have quite a few of the bricks and while they’re useful, they just look so cool. Perfect for the Lego enthusiast, adult or child. Also available on Amazon.com.
  • Shameless USA season 1 & 2 DVD or Blu-Ray:  We love this series and recently watched it again with friends and every man in the room was roaring with laughter.  Not for the faint of heart though.
  • Timbuk 2 Messenger Bag:  The Captain and I both have these in different sizes and we can attest to just how useful, and rugged these really are.  We’ve had ours for over ten years now and they are still just as bright as the day we received them and show very minimal wear which is saying a lot considering how rough the Capt. Canada is on his.  There are quite a a few sizes and styles, colors and fabrics to choose from or you can pay a little extra to completely customize them.  You can also add extra features at an additional cost, depending on how the bag will be used.
  • Old Navy Flannel or Poplin pajama pants:  With so many colors and prints to choose from, including Batman and Superman, you’re sure to find a pair that your guy will like.  Besides, they sure beat having to see him loaf around in a pair of ragged old sweatpants or grody old sport shorts.
  • Globe Castro Shoes/Slippers:  Another Captain Canada approved item, in fact he’s gone through two pairs of these so far.  While they can be worn as shoes as they have a sneaker bottom, the Captain wears his as slippers around the house.  You can find these in a wide array of colors and fabrics.
  • L.L. Bean Terry Cloth Robe:  Yet another tried and true item that the Captain and I both love.  It’s a nice weight, super warm and snuggly.  These get pulled out each and every winter without fail by the two of us and the Capt. likes to use his at the spa as well.  Monogramming option available.
  • American Apparel Unisex Flex Fleece Hoodie:  Tons of color options available and super soft & comfy.  He’ll be glad to receive this and enjoy wearing it all year round.  (Could be a good gift for women as well.)
  • The North Face Nuptse 2 Down Vest:  The excellent quality you would expect from The North Face and he is sure to get a lot of use out this in jut about every season.

Gifts They’ll Both Like

  • The New Kindle Paperwhite:  I have the Kindle and love it, but this new one with the backlight option would just make it all that much better.  Perfect gift for the avid reader.
  • The Settlers of Catan / Die Siedler von Catan board game:  If this isn’t our favorite board game then it is definitely in the top three.  This game puts just about every other typical American board game to shame (sorry, but it’s true).  Any one who enjoys a good board game will be glad to receive this one.  Perhaps the best part is that there are expansions for this which allow you to diversify game play.
  • All In One Company Sleepsuit “onesie”:  Fully customizable with extra options like feet, pockets, hoods, ears and tails.  Some ready made options and gift vouchers available.  Perfect for men, women and children alike.  Head over and check them out.
  • Clarisonic Mia or Mia2:  A smaller, more travel friendly, sized down version of the original Clarisonic.  Great gift for anyone looking to add to their skin care routine or for anyone currently experiencing any skin issues.  Multiple brush heads available that cater to different needs so you’re sure to find one that will suit the recipient of your choice

I know that the holiday shopping season has officially been in full swing for nearly a week a now and I hope that you were able to take advantage of some of the great deals that have been available in store and online recently.  I know I was particularly thrilled with some of the bargains I found on various websites that I shop.  In fact, I ordered myself a pair of Black Milk leggings since they were 50% off.  Sadly though that sale has come to an end though, sorry ladies.  As for my Christmas shopping, I’m nearly done already.  I don’t know about you, but I am not one for braving the crazy crowds that I’m sure to face in stores lately, so for the past two years I’ve done the majority of my shopping online.  Anyhoo, I am working on getting some reviews done as well as lining up some more people to do the “Love It, Loathe It: Friends Edition,” which seemed to have gone over pretty well.  Also, I have some things on the way from my mommy back in the Mitten, Mayti in the windy city and cousin Meredith from the Great White North and I’m doing a swap with the lovely woman behind Painted Nails & Baking Scales so I will be sure to share all of that with you in the coming weeks.  By the way, if you’ve not checked out her site yet, then be sure to head over and give it a look.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Models Own: Purple Blue

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand:  Models Own

Collection:  Beetlejuice

Finish:  Duo-chrome

3 Free:  No

Animal Tested:  No

Vegan Friendly:  Yes

Formula:  Average

Application:  Average

Durability:  Okay

Coats:  3

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  Essie Good To Go Rapid Dry Top Coat

Price:  $8 USD, $8 CAD, €6,30 EUR, £5 GBP

 

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Availability:  I purchased Purple Blue directly from Models Own during a 50% off promo a while back.  They ship internationally as does Ninja Polish who also carry Models Own products.  Models Own is readily available throughout the UK at stores like Boots, Next, Republic, and Very.

My Two Cents:  First of all, I loved how this looked when I saw it on the Models Own site.  However, once I applied it, I fell slightly out of love with it.  Since it’s a duo-chrome it of course has multiple personalities.  Unlike other colors I own from the Beetlejuice collection like Golden Green where the duo-chrome effect was much more subtle, Purple Blue is quite the opposite.  It takes on very noticeably different shades depending on the lighting and the angle.  While I quite liked when it did in fact look purply blue, I felt that it mostly just looked kind of like a murky brown pink, which I was not really diggin if I’m completely honest.  In fact I will probably be hard pressed to wear it again at all.

The formula on this one was pretty thin and definitely needed all three coats to be completely opaque.  However, with that being said it was difficult to apply or anything.  Another thing that I have found consistently with the Models Own polishes I have is that they really do not smell nice.  I know these aren’t huge, deal breaking, product boycotting issues, well at least not for me, but I do think they’re worth mentioning.  I also found that this one seemed to chip faster and that it was a bit more difficult to remove for some reason as well.

Tips:  Always begin with a base coat and finish with a good top coat.  Keep a good amount of product on the brush and do three good coats.

Something Similar:  Orly – Galaxy Girl, Claire’s Cosmetics – Evil Queen, Misa – Embroidered Emerald, & M.A.C. – Formidable.

I apologize for the lack luster pictures, but I had such an incredibly difficult time trying to capture the duo-chrome effect.  You may have noticed that I’ve been included a few new categories in some of my recent reviews.  I know that the subject of animal testing and whether products are cruelty and toxic free, not to mention vegan friendly are criteria that are relevant to many people I know personally when it comes to making purchases and therefore supporting certain companies.  So in order to provide you with as much information as I can I’m trying my best to look into these things.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Nails Inc.: Sweets Way

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand: Nails Inc.

Collection: Special Effects Sprinkles

Finish: Creme base with glitter

Formula:  Good

Application:  Good

Durability:  Average

Coats:  3

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat: Essie Good To Go Rapid Dry Top Coat

Price: $9.50 – $19.25 USD, $11.50 – $19.25 CAD, €14,30 EUR, £11 GBP

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Availability:  I ordered my bottle of Sweets Way from Feel Unique, which provides FREE worldwide delivery.  I know, it’s pretty wonderful.  Only those of you who live in the UK you can order directly from Nails Inc. as they do not provide international shipping at the moment.  If you live in the US and Canada you can find this and other Nails Inc. products at Sephora.  For more information on where you can find Nails Inc. products elsewhere click here.

My Two Cents:  Sweets Way is described as being white with pastel blue, pink & silver glitter and I think it looks amazing.  I was a little apprehensive because it is so light and it has pink in it, but somehow, it just works.  It really did remind me of vanilla frosted cupcakes with sprinkles on top the more I looked at it.  Perhaps the most incredible thing about this nail polish was the fact that it has been hands down the easiest glitter polish for me to remove.  I used Butter London Powder Room remover and allowed pieces of remover soaked cotton balls to sit on my nails for a few minutes before attempting removal, which is my method of choice for removing glitter.  Usually even using this method of removal I find I still have to do a fair bit of rubbing, but that simply was not the case with Sweets Way.

The one fault I found was that it just didn’t hold up well with prolonged wear.  If I remember correctly, I experienced very minor chipping the second day and significantly  more by day three.  With that said though, I am in love with Sweets Way and I plan to pick up at least two more from the Sprinkles collection if not all three.  In case you were wondering, there are four shades all together in the collection.  Pudding Lane – teal with navy and gold glitter, Sugar House Lane – pastel grey with monotone glitter, and Topping Lane – pink with cerise, purple and silver glitter.

Tips:  Be sure to use a good base and top coat to help extend the life of your manicure and definitely go for that second coat if not a third.

Something Similar:  There really isn’t anything like Sweets Way at the moment sadly.  You could achieve a similar look by layering a milky white polish over a mixture of pink, blue and silver glitter though.  If you by chance know of something that is similar to Sweets Way that I may have missed, please let me know by commenting below.

 

Some things that you can look for this month are some more brush reviews, Sugarpill product reviews, a his & hers gift guide, and maybe even one for dogs.  My apologies to my readers that are cat lovers, but I wouldn’t even know where to start where cats are concerned since my home is guarded by a team of rather adorable rascally Olde English Bulldogges.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Love It, Loathe It: Friends Edition

Since I quite enjoy reading everyone’s posts about their monthly favorites I thought it would be fun to do something that would allow me to feature the likes and dislikes of some of my favorite people.  So that is exactly where the idea for the “Love It, Loathe It: Friends Edition” came from.  I plan to make this a regular feature on my site so keep an eye out for more posts like this one and please comment below to let me know what you think.

To kick things off, we’re going to begin with the lovely Carolina who was kind enough to be the first to take part.  Not only is she family and a fellow lip balm connoisseur, but she is a wife and full-time mommy on the go living in a big bustling city.  Without any further adieu, here are her answers to my questionnaire and accompanying picture.

Skin care product:

Love it:  Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture for combination skin – Best

face moisturizer ever (for me at least)!  Nice balance of hydration without

being oily or greasy.

Loathe it:  Burt’s Bees – Peach & Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub

smells really weird and when you’re done using it your face still feels

dirty.

Bath or shower product:

Love it:  A loofah – I love loofahs, seriously they make you feel SO

clean.  Also, Moonlight Path Body Wash by Bath & Body Works or Yardley Oatmeal

& Almond Bar Soap, both smell wonderful, although my husband says the latter

smells like old lady.

Loathe it:  Dove products – They dry out my skin.  Soap, body wash

you name it.

Hair product or tool:

Love it:  BioSilk Silk Therapy – It makes your hair sleek and soft,

it smells great plus a small bottle lasts forever.  You only need a pea

size and that’s for long hair!

Loathe it:  Pillow Curlers (I think they’re by ConAir) – I’m a lazy hair

person so I gave these a try, they just made me look like I forgot to brush

my hair.

Eyes:

Love It:  Clinique quick eyes cream shadow in 01 sparkling nude –

I can get away with putting just this and some gloss on.  It is my grab and

throw on and run out the door eyeshadow.  The applicator is great too.

Loathe It:  Colored Mascara – I don’t get it.

Lips:

Love it:  Currently I’m addicted to Palmer’s Dark Chocolate &

Peppermint gloss.  It gives the glossy shine without the stick and it gives

great hydration which is wonderful for a chap stick fanatic!

Loathe it:  Anything  from SoftLips – At first I loved them mainly

because of smell/taste but then it was like my lips built a barrier to them

and they made my lips feel like helmets.

Face:

Love it:  Clinique Almost Makeup in 02 light – It’s the only foundation

I get along with, it is super light and you don’t feel it.   Pretty much a

foolproof foundation once you pick your color.   I use a Clinique brush

applicator to apply it evenly.

Loathe it:  Sponge applicator – They make me feel like I’m

caking stuff on my face.

Nails:

Love it:  Sinful Colors Professional in 944 Innocent – It’s the

best bright green nail polish.  I had it on my toes all summer.

Loathe it:  Super long fake nails – They look so unnatural!

Scent:

Love it:  Ops! – It’s a Brazilian perfume I’ve loved since I think

junior hight school.  It has a really nice subtle scent, can’t get sick of

wearing it!

Loathe it:  I don’t like smelling like food.  Food scented

body sprays weird me out.

Clothing:

Love it:  Motherhood Maternity Jeans Skirt – I love my dark jean

skirt that fits me while I’m pregnant and after.

Loathe it:  Halter Top Dresses.

Accessory:

Love it:  Light Pashminas – They go with everything and keep you

warm when needed.

Loathe it:  Gladiator Sandals – I don’t understand Roman shoes for

gals.

Book, magazine, movie, tv show or game:

Love it:  Pride & Prejudice – the book by Jane Austin & the newest

movie.

Loathe it:  Family Guy – that little baby makes me angry.

Music:

Love it:  All Angels – I don’t think I’ve heard anything of theirs

that I don’t like.

Loathe it:  Screaming music – I know there is a genre title but

seriously they just scream you can’t hear the lyrics or enjoy the music

because they’re screaming!

Tech:

Love it:  My iPhone – I’m addicted to being able to check

everything always.

 

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