Thursday, August 30, 2012

the devil made me do it :)

Excerpt from "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger:

... "I created it," she announced, smiling at her hand and looking at me.  I looked to Emily for an explanation, a hint as to who this might be, but she was on the phone again.  I thought the girl was referring to the ring, meant that she had actually designed it, but then she said, "Isn't it a gorgeous color? It's one coat Marshmallow and one coat Ballet Slipper. Actually, Ballet Slipper came first, and then a topcoat to finish it off.  It's perfect - light colored without looking like you painted your nails with White Out. I think I'll use this every time I get a manicure!" ...

oh jeez... the minute I read Marshmallow and Ballet Slipper I thought to myself "those are Essie nail polish names, and I have them". I never thought of layering them until I read that.  It seems so obvious, why not??? However it's Ballet Slippers not Ballet Slipper... so maybe not Essie ;)

Products used in order of application:
1. Essie, First Base - base coat
2. One coat of Essie, Ballet Slippers - sheer pale pink color
3. One coat of Essie, Marshmallow - sheer cloudy white color
4. Nicole by OPI, Step 2 the Beat of My ♥  on my pinkie- sometimes it can be a challenge to just grab one heart and not come up empty
5. Essie, To Dry For - top coat
6. Zoya, Hurry Up - speed drying drops
 
 Because Ballet Slippers and Marshmallow are both sheer colors, I find this mani looks best from a distance. Closeups reveal slight unevenness of application, and no one will really analyze your nails like that. So with this mani I decided to skip the extreme closeup.
(I actually might photograph all my manis this way from now on. That way I spare you the horror of my cuticles and my inability to stay "within the lines" :) )
 This is the only natural light shot, it was a rainy day in Toronto when I decided to due this mani... this is the best mother nature could do...
 As I'm typing this up, and I glance at my nails I am very pleased with how it turned out. The girl in the book was right, your nails don't look painted with whiteout, they are the palest shade of barely there pink. It's a  really nice combination.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Instagram

My sister talked to me about Instagram a couple of times, but on our trip to Chicago she actually showed me this app. I was intrigued.  Once we got back home, I installed it on my i-phone and now I am a woman obsessed. I want to post pics of everything... it takes all I've got not to :)

I have a feeling eventually it will be dominated by food... I love to snap pics of yummy stuff... but there won't be any clear theme to this account... still to keep things streamlined and connected my Instagram account is the same as my blog: limitedlucy

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the Chicago haul

My sister and I spent 5 days in Chicago... well actually I would say 4 and a bit. We walked our asses off, I lost 5lbs and my feet look battered, I can't even explain how they feel. But we took in so many sights, and had a truly wonderful time. A Chicago trip wouldn't be complete without a bit of shopping, so let me show you what I spent my pennies on...

We have Victoria's Secret in Toronto, but 5 pairs for $25 is a good deal, and I just found the goldfish panties adorable... plus you can never have too many pairs of colorful panties...
 hot pink shorts from J Crew... we enjoyed a heat wave in Chicago, extremely hot days and unusually warm nights... I needed these... they were also on sale and that always makes me happy :)
 Karen Millen top... you guessed it on sale... I just loved the dip in the neckline and the flower cutout detail...
 ok moving onto things I paid full price for, from left to right
- Erno Laszlo Tinted Treatment from Nordstrom
- Shiseido 42 Sun Protection Liquid Foundation SPF 42 PA+++ from Macy's
- Tom Ford Pink Crush nail polish from Neiman Marcus
- RGB Nail Foundation F1 from space 519
- RGB Seal nail polish from space 519
 I couldn't just walk by Sephora :) I picked up:
Boscia Purifying Black Cleanser
two Clarisonic brushes for acne prone skin
and a Laura Mercier 500 bonus point perk which contains: mascara, lip gloss, black karat baked eye color, black gold kohl eye pencil, and a foundation primer
 from Adagio tea a zodiac blend for moi... it smells delicious... Adagio got it right Bergamot is one of my all time fave flavors and scents...
 
 after three days of walking in very unwise choice of flip-flops I didn't want to touch my feet much less take another step... my wise sis steered me towards Bloomingdale's shoe department and I walked out with these on my feet... these Sperry's are so comfortable and pretty at the same time... very cushion-y with pretty pink detail that is covered with clear sequins for a bit of sparkle in sunshine... oh yes they were on sale, which  made them that much more appealing :)
 these great wide pants I purchased at the Field Museum of Natural History, they were the only ones on the rack in this color and in my size... I just grabbed them... felt a bit torn about paying the sticker price of $69 but I liked them too much to put them back.... at the cash register I was pleasantly surprised when they swiped at $32...
 last but not least, and not a sale item, this simple crystal headband from J Crew... it sparkles so prettily... picture is a bit bland as it was raining outside... 
and that's it... tomorrow back to work... baaaaaaa!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

finally!!!

Chicago trip is over got back last night.  It was wonderfully exhausting. I'll show you my goodies tomorrow.

This is just a quick note to say that I stopped by Sephora today and lo and behold I spy Illamasqua nail polishes on Canadian shelves... yay!!!! Finally... I didn't buy any as I did some shopping in Chicago... but it still made me happy to see it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm in Chicago :)

image from: http://www.woodstone-corp.com/blog/wood-stones-great-city-tour-part-1-chicago/
 For our second annual extended long weekend vacay my sister and I chose the Windy City. We plan to shop, sight see, listen to some jazz, and enjoy some delicious cuisine :)

So no posts in the coming days. I was going to pre-schedule some, but then decided against it. Blog break is a good thing.

One of my all time favorite movies "Adventures in Babysitting" is set in Chicago (but a lot of it was filmed in Toronto)… still I'm looking forward to seeing some iconic Chicago landmarks in person :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

on Aug. 18, 2012 I became a Tough Mudder

Christmas 2011 sipping some wine with the family... little sister and her boyfriend show us an event they signed up for, and challenge us to join them. My older sister and I do so. I don't know, it was December the event wasn't until August... I had plenty of time. 

Older sister got down to some serious training and looks amazing. I hurt myself a couple of times, so always procrastinated... and I'm more runner then weight lifter... so by August I was confident in running the course, not so sure about any of the obstacles.

On Aug. 18th I faced a grueling 10 mile (approx. 16 km) challenge.
"Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $3 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world."
to find out more click HERE

There were thousands of participants. We begun the course in heats. Once one group left to become a part of the next you had to climb over a wall. Now I have enough upper body strength for a half an assisted pull-up... When I saw that wall I seriously thought that I was defeated even before I begun... seriously there was no ladder or step or grip of any kind for your feet or foot to lever yourself, just the freaking plank wall and your arms to get you over... Jay could not help he wasn't participating he was photographing... and due to some timing issues I was alone in my heat without my group to rely on for help...

But here I am absolutely ecstatic on the other side of the wall. No I didn't get some magical spurt of inhuman strength... but that sizable hunk of man behind me did what needed to be done...
 This awesome picture taken by my sister... you can always rely on family for the good shots :)... god you never realize how huge your ass is until you see someone's hands on it... this guy had a good firm grip and plenty of upper body strength... wisely he lifted with his legs not his back :)
My heat, all of us on one knee listening to one of the best pep talks ever... after our national anthem it was time to run...
Some of the obstacles I faced on my 16km uphill-downhill challenge:
Boa Constrictor, Electric Eel, Hangin' Tough, Hold Your Wood, Kiss of Mud, Log Bog Jog, Trench Warfare, Underwater Tunnels... and a few others... descriptions can be found here... one of Tough Mudder mottoes "This is not a race, this is a challenge"... I received a couple of helping hands when I really needed  :)... thank you fellow mudders :)

Me with only meters to go, and one last obstacle to face Electroshock Therapy... I can't even describe how tired I am here... filthy dirty... and just look at that crazy hair...
 post my celebratory beer... which tasted soooo good... it felt so delicious to take off my muddy sneakers...
they joined this mountain...
 then it was into the human washing machine to sud up and try my best to scrape off some of the mud...
my dinner... this was the only downer... the food selection was sad for a vegan or a vegetarian... they've run out of veggie patties too soon... but pickles and french fries were better than nothing... also along the course they had water and banana stations... I had 1.5 bananas before this feast :)
 the end of the day... reunited with my team at the start wall... we all managed to cross the finish line, sore and achy, but without any serious damage :)
 family being silly... cuz that's who we are...
 gravel not kind to my elbows...
 the next day I could barely move... everything hurt... everything... but we're already pre-registered for next year... TOUGH MUDDERS for life :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lancôme - Arizona Peach (202) - nail polish swatch

I don't remember when I bought this polish, but it makes me glad I did. This is a lovey peach-pink (more pink than peach) color with fine gold glitter suspended in the jelly formula.

Products for my mani in order of use:
1. OPI Matte Nail Envy - because I have it, and so I use it.
2. Two coats of Arizona Peach.
3. One coat of Deborah Lippmann's Boom Boom Pow on my ring finger.
4. Sche Vite top coat… still torn on future repurchase… is this supposed to feel this thick?
5. Zoya Hurry Up speed dry drops.
The formula of Arizona Peach is lovely, smooth even application all the way. This is a jelly like polish so while maybe not glaringly obvious in my pictures because I keep my nails really short, there is visible nail line.

Next time, I might opt for 3 coats, but I don't think it will make much of a difference.
As for wear time, well my nails aren't really reliable source. They are a bit thin, weak, and uneven. I'm not really careful with my mani, and don't try and extend it's life by reapplying top coat and such. I enjoy changing up my color. On average I last about 3 days before i have a chip of some kind, regardless of the brand.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

SheaTerra Organics 100% Pure African Black Soap

It looks like dirt. It smells like ash (campfire according to Jay). It is the best cleanser ever.

I have forgotten all about PTR. This stuff is so horribly awesome. I wrinkle my nose because it's not pretty, but I love it because it works.

The texture is coarse and grainy. When I first looked at it, I thought this might be better suited for fertilizing my plants than for scrubbing my body. But to shower with me it went…

Once by body is nice and wet, I scoop a bit of this into my palm, moisten it, try to emulsify it, then rub all over. The ash scent is strong, but not nausea inducing, not for me at least. The ingredient list is pretty simple: coco pod ash, plantain peel ash, palm kernel oil, camwood bark. I don't know which ingredient is responsible for it, but this has a nice soft lather. You are covering yourself in dirt, when you're all lathered up, you are smudged in brown-black, and your tub/shower is splattered with it, but proceed to rinse (yourself and your tub/shower) and you'll reveal a clearer layer of  your epidermis. However a note, rinse yourself very well... if any residue remains on your skin, it will stain your towel... and it won't wash out... a lesson learned from Jay :) We both follow with our regular cleansers after the African Black Soap treatment, because our towels are a lovely cream color... well except for that one :)

African Black Soap is highly recommend for blemish prone skin. It's summer, I use copious amounts of sunblock, I run, I'm not immune… this jar has become my savior. I would highly recommend it to anyone who gets body breakouts, clogged pores, or suffers from keratosis pilaris (I don't, but this feels like it would be good for it).

Can be used as a shampoo. I haven't... I like my regular shampoos... but eventually I might.

Can be used as a face wash. But I won't. I find this too coarse and abrasive to scrub my face with. I have a another black soap product for that job. Talk about it soon.

Drawback, it is packaged in a dark glass jar (all the products I got from SheaTerra Organics are). Glass and tub/shower just don't go well together. I transferred my soap to a plastic container I saved from a previous product.

A 6.6 oz jar retails for $22 CAD, well worth it for a clean blemish and bump free epidermis.

And here is the back of the jar for you :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Green Beaver Company Gardener's Balm Hands & Heels with Canadian Organic Cranberry Oil

I am obsessed with having smooth heels... dry skin on my feet drives me insane. I moisturize daily. 

I find that sandal/ flip-flop weather is a bit harder on my feet, so I decided to try something richer.  I picked up this tin of goodness quite some time ago at a health trade show of some kind. I no longer remember what I paid for it... but I don't think it was more than $10.
The product is hard. I scrape the back of my nail against it to get some out. When I rub it in, it feels gritty and grainy, but it soon melts and feels smooth and extremely rich. I like the scent too... even-though it contains cranberry oil, it does not smell fruity... kind of nutty actually. And my heels are smooth and supple and very pleasant to touch :)
Keeping this post short and sweet. I am quite pleased with this product. Good enough for hard working gardeners, good enough for me. I'll be looking for it at Whole Foods and Big Carrot, definitely worth having on my bathroom shelf.

PS. Guys I'm good for about 6 miles (approx 10km), and 3 hills... still no upper body strength... I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the other 4...  or any of the obstacles really... I just really want a t-shirt :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Strange Beautiful Nail Polish: Volume 4 and Volume 5

I first stumbled upon Strange Beautiful nail polishes when I bought this little gem at Anthropologie… and vowed never to pay full price for it…. I should just dump the word "never" from my vocabulary... because soon after a slight obsession began...

This lead to some online browsing and I learned a thing or two about this line. The creator is Jane Shaub, she's an artist. The collection is all about color, this is not a line that caters to maintenance of nails, it's only aim is to keep them beautifully hued.

Collections are 3-free. Come packaged in a clear box for easy storage. They sort of resemble book volumes. All volumes I heard are limited edition. I couldn't resist the call of Volume 4 and Volume 5. Really I want all 7 but my wallet won't allow it.

The names of the shades reflect the things that inspired the color…. so…. some are rather disturbingly curious like "Menstral Last Day", " Gradation of Bruise"… and some are curiously beautiful like "The Gray Blue Heron", "Aged Chartreuse", "Borscht"... However none of the bottles are labeled so really all I can do is guess as to which is which anyways.

But there is also a kicker. For all the "limited edition" label assigned to this line, there seem to be different versions. For example original Volume5 had 8 shades, but the one I acquired has 10…not that I'm disappointed,but I am confused when it comes to identifying the color inspiration behind the shade, (8 inspirations, 10 shades???? hmmmm) And how is it limited edition if there is a re-release??? Well if there wasn't I wouldn't have any at all, but you know what I'm saying.
Pictured below Volume 4...
 and Volume 5...
 I labeled the boxes... but have no clue with regards to individual shades...
Anywho, Strange Beautiful craving satisfied for now… swatches will eventually make an appearance. Although I'm not sure how fun that will be without a color name to assign…

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rachel Zoe Sharon Wedge Sandal

The day I purchased my Michael Kors and Rachel Zoe shoes at Holts, I was actually torn between two pairs of Rachel Zoe's.  I liked these really awesome wedges, Jay really liked the heels (which I bought).

Now I didn't buy them just because Jay liked them, I bought them because when I asked the SA for the other wedge he came back from the storeroom empty handed, and informed me that they unfortunately only have the one shoe, a stock shipment mishap; and so I decided to buy the heels since there was no decision to be made.

However I've been dreaming about those wedges, they were stupidly high, but also ubberly comfortable. Couple weeks later, and still fantasizing about those wedges, on a whim I typed in "Rachel Zoe shoes" into my Google search bar… I ended up in shoppers heaven... shopbop.com. My heart did a little flip-flop when I saw my wedges with an even bigger discount than at Holts; even after adding in duties (shipping was free) they were still $60 less than what I would have spent at Holts. Only two pairs were left in two different sizes. A reviewer recommended sizing up by 1/2 size, double checking my Rachel Zoe heels, it seemed like a good idea....

Now I placed this order Aug. 9 around 6pm, I had this box in my hands by 4pm on Aug. 10... that was the quickest shipping I've ever experienced.
 This pair is brand spanking new, and unlike my Holt's purchase I even received a shoe dust bag for my sandals.
 and here are my ridiculously awesome Rachel Zoe wedges… this woman does a good shoe…
* Heel: 5.25" (135 mm)
* Platform: 2.5" (60 mm)
Oh yes bought at 70% off original price… SWEET!!!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Strange Beautiful nail polish swatch - Taupe (from Anthropologie)

Purchased early in December at Anthropologie in Toronto. I went into that store in search of Sheinwai polish. I didn't see it. When Jay asked if they carry any nail polish, we were navigated to a clearance table with 5 bottles. Two were this shade, three were clear. None of them had any names or numbers to id them by. Still I picked up this brownish, taupe like color, because the price was soooo right.
Speaking of price. Now that I know what kind of mark-down I can expect at Anthro, I realized I will never pay full price for polish there. I'd rather miss out, the shade selling out than spend $22 on something that eventually goes for $3.95. I know this might appear quite non-sensical as I purchase CHANEL, Dior, YSL and many other polishes which are in the upper dollar range… but hey they don't exactly go on sale for 80% off.

Anywho, the products I used for my mani:
 I don't know what I expected form this nail polish, but my first coat went on really light and sheer, I congratulated myself on not paying $22 for it. On the other hand for a mini polish (only 9ml) the brush is surprisingly good. The polish consistency felt watery. It took several strokes to spread the product, but the polish didn't dry crazy fast so it was workable.

In the end I decided on 3 coats of Taupe. Looking closely at my  nails some unevenness and blotchiness still peeks through. But that could be attributed to my nail painting skills or lack of.

By the way China Glaze Fairy Dust is one of my all time favorite accent polishes.

Moving on to swatches. The clear square bottle cap slips off, so you're left holding a nice small easy to maneuver cap. The color, a shade of ugly that doesn't play well with a tan, but I'm liking it nevertheless.
 
 
Description that was on Anthro website, when they still had this in stock:
Taupe: yellowy-brown, inspired by a painting by the artist Hieronymous Bosch