Sunday, 28 April 2013

Under eye concealer review

I'm all about low maintenance, and quick and easy looks.  Because I have a long commute, a couple of jobs and various other challenges in my life, I have very little time to make myself presentable for work.  This typically means I have less than 2 minutes to apply makeup in the morning.

Oh, did I mention that I'm on a tight budget, so high-end cosmetics are out of the question.

I had some extra time a few weekends ago, so I test-drove some concealers at Shoppers Drug Mart (note to Shoppers execs, you need to make sure that you have testers for ALL concealer and foundation at your stores).

I tried this Revlon under eye concealer in and I really liked it.  The sponge applicator precisely delivered the perfect amount of concealer.  Plus the concealer was lightweight and did a great job concealing my dark, undereye circles and other imperfections.  It glides on smoothly and stays put.

This concealer was priced at about $10.80 before taxes at Shoppers Drug Mart.  If you surf the net for coupons, you may find a coupon for it.

I give this product two thumbs up.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Polar Plunge baby!!

Most normal people wouldn't dream of diving into freezing cold Lake Superior during the spring.  If you  participate in the Polar Plunge, this would not apply to you.

Behold, some images from Polar Plunge taken last Saturday (images from Weather Network contributors).  The temperature hovered around -3 Celcius, with sleety rain/wet snow.  

Bat Girl!!  Her boots got filled with icy cold water.

A team of Plungers. 

A hole about 9 square feet was cut in the ice.  You'll see some of the slabs of ice that were cut out of Lake Superior if you look near the bottom of the pictures.  Oddly enough these slabs were stangely compelling.  They were a gorgeous, translucent white with a hint of blue...if I had an ice castle, I would have used these slabs for my throne!!

Anyhoo, back to the Polar Plunge.  It was interesting to see the reactions of the Polar Plungers as they jumped into the lake.  Some would jump in and completely immerse themselves in the water.  Some sorta eased in.  Once the shock of the cold water hit, their eyes would pop wide open and they would make explosive sputtering noises as they thrashed their way out (with the 2 divers there to assist them).

Later, I spoke with someone who had participated in the plunge in previous years.  He said that jumping into the lake felt "tingly".  Hmmmm, I think I'll stick to my nice, warm, heated pool at the gym.

The Polar Plungers wore a variety of garb. From swim suits, to work-uniforms, to full-body costumes.  I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Gummy Bears! The Plungers raised money for charity, good on them!  I'd definitely support a Polar Plunger!

If you are considering participating in the Polar Plunge, here are some outfit suggestions:

* Wear a bathrobe or long coat over your Polar Plunge outfit.  This will keep you warm while you wait for your turn to plunge.

* Don't wear shoes, and definitely don't wear loose boots when you plunge in.  They'll fill up with ice water, and they'll make walking back to the changing room extra uncomfortable.  Wear flip flops or sandals, take them off before you plunge.

* If you are covering your body with body paint, consider getting body paint that won't immediately wash off when you dive into the water.

* Wear something that you can get off easily, after you get out of the lake (ie. no tight, frozen, wet jeans with fussy zippers).

The Polar Plunge lasted about 45 minutes, and in that time I was drenched by the sleety rain/wet snow.  Next time I'd definitely bring a wool blanket to bundle around me, an umbrella and water repellent footwear.

Stay warm everyone.  Spring is coming, I promise!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Silver silk with a twist of mint

Have you ever had one of those days when you got ready for work and your hair co-operated???  Yesterday was one of those days.

What I wore while my hair co-operated

Pale mint blazer, Jones (thrifted, Sally Army), $7
Silver silk blouse, Calvin Klein (thrifted, Sally Army) $3
Black dress pants, Ricki's (thrifted, Sally Army) $7
Green striped scarf, Jacob's $20

Long gold necklace, Zellers clearance $4
Light green crystal studs, Kohls (3 pack for $12)

Suede pumps, Nine West (thrifted at charity shop, $2)

What my thrifty outfit cost (including shoes and accessories): $47

I bought this silk blouse at a 50% off sale at Salvation Army.  It was in pristine condition.  I threw it in the wash, on the delicate cycle and it came out fine.

Erm, ignore the wrinkles in the blouse :)

What I did over the Easter weekend

I hope that everyone enjoyed their Easter weekend.  I really enjoy this long weekend.  It signals that warmer weather is on its way.  In Canada, almost every month has a long weekend.  A few years ago, the Ontario government created "Family Day", which gives us a long weekend in February.  Prior to that, it was a loooong stretch without holidays between New Years and Easter.  The next long weekend will be Victoria Day in May.  Yup, sometimes government is a good thing.

I spent most of the Easter weekend lazing around with my stylist, my boyfriend and his offspring.  Our Easter dinner was chicken wings, quesadillas, nachos and salad.  Traditional, eh?

I volunteer with a local community centre.  We host Easter Egg hunts for the local kids.  On Thursday my stylist and I helped stuff around 400 plastic eggs with treats.  On Friday we frosted about 300 cupcakes.  Later we had the Easter Egg hunt (note the snow next to the field).

No Easter Eggs were harmed during the production of this blog

Tote bag from thrifted fabric

Over the weekend, my stylist acquired her second American Girl doll.  Her name is Julie Allright.  I hunted through my fabric stash to find material to make a tote bag for her two dolls.  The tote bag has little "seatbelts" inside, so that the two dolls can sit facing each other.  Wow, I can't believe I'm sewing for inanimate objects now.  Listen up people, motherhood makes you do strange things.

Tote bag sewn from thrifted fabric.

I really like this fabric.  I purchased 2 metres of it during a 50% sale at Value Village.  The cost was $5.  It's white, with a squiggly red and oxblood design.  The material appears to have water repellant finish.  Hmmmm, I think I'll make a tote bag for myself next.

What I would have worn if the weather had co-operated

I usually spend an hour or two on Sundays laying out my clothes for the upcoming week.  Unfortunately, I couldn't wear the outfits I picked out because the weather was too cold.  Here are the accessories I would have worn if it was warmer.

Bubble necklace and neon earrings Joe Fresh.
This necklace is a knock-off of the Banana Republic and J Crew bubble necklaces from last year.    When I saw these necklaces on the J Crew site, I craved them.  But financial sensibilities prevailed.  This necklace was $14, I think the 3 pack of earrings was $14 too.

Rhinestone heart necklace and earrings. $2 each at Claires.

Thrifted paua shell earrings $2, taxi-cab yellow necklace $5 Bianca Nygard.
I really like the jewelery at Bianca Nygard.  Their necklaces average about $30-$45, and their earrings average about $8-$20.  Their jewelery is higher quality than other fashion brands, and they reproduce runway looks at a fraction of the cost. Plus they have killer, end-of-season sales.  This necklace was marked down from $30 to $5.  I haunt the clearance jewelery rack at Bianca Nygard.


The green choker is another $5 clearance item. The Betsey Johnson earrings were $3 (ebay), the green flower ring (Icing, $8) and green beetle bug (estate sale, 50 cents).

Thanks for popping by.

Stay thrifty.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Thrift store haul (so much for resolutions).

Ah, it's April in Northwestern Ontario!!  The temperature is about -5 Celcius at night, and it rises to 5 Celcius during the day.  That is only 5 lousy degrees above zero, but I'll take it!!

We're into the second week of spring here.  I'm noticing a few hardy, university kids are wearing shorts.  Mind you they are wearing Bermuda shorts with a parka on top.  This combination of shorts and parkas is a classic springtime combo where I live.  Nothing feels better than fresh air on bare legs after a long winter of thermals and jeans.

Spring is also the time of year that people clean out their closets.  Sometimes a stylish lady of a certain generation will purge her closet of gems from the past.  At that point I will scoop up these gems, chortling merrily in the process.  Seriously, I chortle in thrift stores.  Don't judge me.

Vintage blazer ($1 thrifted)
The blazer you see above is made of a thin, high quality polyester.  The print is houndstooth with an overlay of ....FLOWERS!!!  Genius!  Although this bold print relegated this blazer to the $1 clearance rack, I saw the potential to transform this oversized blazer into something cute, like this...

Alexander McQueen Houndstooth pussy-bow shirt
I love to sew, which is a blessing and a curse.  I'm the "go to" girl when pants need to get hemmed, and costumes need to get created.  However, I've recently started carving out ME time!  During which I get to sew things for myself.  I'll work on this blouse and I"ll post an after pic when I'm done.

You may recall my feeble attempt at, "Don't buy till July".  The purpose of this resolution was to decrease the alarming rate at which I'm acquiring clothing, purses, jewelery, scarves and shoes.  I have 2 closets, and I share an additional closet with my stylist.  Plus I have a coat and shoe closet.  Plus I have about 5 Rubbermade totes (they are the small totes mind you!) in the shed.  These totes hold my seasonal stuff.

Oh, I also have a sewing room with large piles of clothing to be madeover into fabulous creations.

So I'm struggling with "how much is too much".  I'd like to know YOUR opinion.

And, without further ado, here is the rest of my haul.  Pardon my bad pics, I'm working on it.

Chaps t-shirt with cute side lace
Looking forward to wearing this nautical inspired t-shirt this summer.  If summer ever comes.

Conrad pink blazer
This blazer gets two gold stars.  It 10% CASHMERE, and it's a bold pink.  The pic doesn't do it justice.  LOOOOVE this blazer.

Black and white tweed blazer, Harve Benard
This is the blazer that broke my resolution.  I saw it a few weeks ago on the $1 clearance rack at a charity shop.  I couldn't stop thinking about it.  This blazer belongs in my collection.  I think I'm going to change the buttons though.

Upsidedown shot!
Tooled leather backpack that has PALM TREES on it.  That's right people, I said "PALM TREES!".  A steal at $5.   The purse next to it is a nice straw purse for summer, it was $5 too.

Jaeger Blazer with velvet collar
Argh, another bad pic.  Have you ever watched the sun set?  There's a point where the sun has passed over the horizon, and the sky turns a deep blue.  At the edge of the deep blue, there is a band of deep purple.  This blazer is deep purple.  And it looks ASTOUNDING on me!!  This blazer was made in the UK.  I dunno if Jaeger still exists, or if it still manufactured in the UK.  The workmanship is IMPECCABLE.  A steal at $7.

Some random Kohl's brand
Nice floaty, butterfly skirt.  If the weather co-operates, I'll wear it next week.

Ooops, you can see the tips of my runners.
I took these pics after I finished my morning workout.  You can see the tips of my runners.  This is a vintage Smart Set skirt.  In a yummy plaid.  The material is a nice wool/acrylic blend...and it's made in CANADA! Go Canadian workmanship!

Kasper blazer....LOOOVE IT!
This blazer was the most expensive thing I bought (I think it was about $13 at Value Village).  I looooove it!!  This blazer flatters everything that is good.  It hides everything that is bad.  After I trim the fringe from the side seams, I will wear it every, single day.  Every. Single. Day.

Embroidered Jones of New York skirt. Nuf said.

Have a good day, eh?