Shouldn’t Talk About It.

I’ve been hearing this catchy tune by German duo, Milky Chance for a few weeks now and I can’t get it out of my head (not that I want to). This song had topped the charts across Central and Western Europe last year, but is just making it’s way into the ears and hearts of North American audiences. If you haven’t heard it before, I hope you like it– if you have, enjoy again!

Brow envy.

For the last few years brows have been getting thicker and fuller, which has left much of the arch-challenged population in a dizzy trying to figure out a way to deal with their long overplucked eyebrows. Jennifer Connolly and Brooke Shields knew what’s up long ago, but unfortunately many of us have done a lot of damage that is irreversible. Or is it?

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Once damaged, follicles tend to not want to cooperate, but there are ways around that.

My dear friend Sara has been trying to grow her eyebrows in for a few months. Last week she decided it was time to get them cleaned up a little, but, to her surprise, the brow “expert” thought it was time to reshape them. Poor Sara was left with one brow quite different from the other. We all know they’re supposed to be sisters NOT twins, but these girls weren’t even related!

Sara got her brows done by an overzealous esthetician and undid a couple of months of growth.

Sara had her brows groomed by an overzealous esthetician, who undid a couple of months of growth.

what you need is a good brow kit and an angled liner brush

On Sara I used Brow Zings by Benefit Cosmetics. I applied the darker coloured wax with a straight liner brush to groom and tint the brows. After that was done, I used the angled liner brush and lighter powder to fill in the gaps in the brows and give them a fuller appearance. I apply the powder lightly in short strokes, while following the natural growth direction of the hairs. Try not to use too much powder when figuring out the right shape and size for your face. It’s easier to add product then to have to wash it off and start over when there’s too much.

the contrast between the two brows when only one is filled in

After we finished Sara’s left brow, you can see the difference filling it in made.

All done! With a pair of sisters above her peeps, Sara's ready to take on the world!

All done! With a pair of sisters above her peeps, Sara’s ready to take on the world!

Anyone can do this at home. All you need are a few good tools!

Perfect Arches
 
 
 
  1. The first step in getting admirable arches is to get familiar with a pair of tweezers. I know you’re thinking that they got you in this mess in the first place, but even full brows need to be neat and tidy. Tweezerman is the go-to brand for eyebrow grooming and with a lifetime guarantee the  price tag is totally forgiveable. Can be found anywhere or… Anthropologie $35
  2. If that seems a little steep, you can still get a great pair of pincers. I have always used Revlon and they work just as great. I usually use a $3-5 pair, but this one is coated with diamond dust for extra grip. Sounds fancy! Drugstore.com $12.99
  3. Since some of us are follicly challenged above the eyes, we may need to start with a growing aid. Rapidlash has been getting rave reviews from many people, including a friend of mine. Well.ca $59.99 (more budget friendly in the USA)
  4. On the even higher end there is a product called NeuBrow that promises fuller and healthier brows in 3-4 weeks. If you’re desperate and browless, this may be worth a shot. Neiman Marcus $100
  5. If you’re a bit more budget conscious, No.7 by Boots has a lash serum that is said to work well on brows as well. I love their skin products, so I wouldn’t doubt this serum based on the price tag. Target $9.99
  6. With eyebrows, the shape is arguably the most important part. If you’re not sure what’s best for your face, or how to obtain the look, you can always turn to Anastasia Beverly Hills. This woman made a name for herself by shaping the brows of Hollywood elite, so there’s no denying she knows her stuff. She has a whole lineup of brow products, like these stencils, at Sephora. Sephora $20
  7. This pencil/gel set from Revlon does double duty. The pencil helps colour in your brows to make them fuller, while the gel helps shape and set them so that they’re perfect all day long. Amazon $7.50
  8. Yves Saint Laurent’s eyebrow pencil promises to give your brows an effortlessly natural appearance, while nourishing them with a coconut oil formula. It comes with a brush on one end to keep your hairs groomed and in place. Neiman Marcus $30
  9. With a name like “Push-Up Bra For Your Eyebrow” this dual-purpose pencil from NYX has to be good. One end fills in your caterpillars, while the opposite end highlights your brow bone. Sounds like a winning combo! Target $9.99
  10. MAC Cosmetics developed a brow gel, which is available in many colours (including clear), that shapes, shines, and tints your brows in a simple stroke. If you like sharing your products with your boyfriend, they say he can use it for his beard or sideburns too.
    MAC Cosmetics $16
  11. My all time favourite brow product that I use every day (including on Sara today) is Brow Zings by Benefit. This set comes with a brow wax, a powder, and mini tweezers and brushes. I use this product every day to get a natural looking fuller brow. Gold star! Sephora $32
  12. For a more budget-friendly option, NYX has a set that has wax, powder, and tools too. This kit is cool because it provides you with two shadows so that you can blend and mix them to get the most complimentary shade. Target $5.99
 
There you have it! With the know-how, proper products, and a little bit of patience, you’ll have enviable arches in no time.
 
A big thank you goes out to the talented Sara Lynn Paige for being my beautiful model and directing the photo shoot for today’s post. http://www.saralynnpaigephotography.com

Soundtracking

Recently a good friend of mine asked me if I was excited for the movie Divergent coming out soon. I haven’t read the books, so I wasn’t planning on seeing it.
However, things changed today. While scrolling on Buzzfeed, as I tend to do several times a day, I discovered that M83 released a new single for the movie!
Great cast aside, a killer soundtrack can really entice me see a film. It might sound silly, but if the producers have good taste in music then I think they must know what they’re doing.

Take a listen!

I need my girl

So I just heard that one of my favourite bands, The National, are going to be releasing I Need My Girl as their next single today. I heard this song for the first time a couple of years ago, on December 8, 2011,  when I saw them in concert in Toronto. This was one of the first times they played it live, and Owen Pallet came on stage to accompany them on violin. The whole show blew me away, but this song was one of the more memorable and special moments of the night.

If you’d like to see an audience video from that night’s performance with Owen Pallet, you can catch it here.

Why so sniffly?

I don’t know about you, but this winter is starting to get to me. I’ve spent my whole weekend sniffling, sneezing, and with a kleenex box never more than an arm’s length away. Though I get an Rx when I have to, I like to find natural ways to stave off cold and flu symptoms.

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to drink plenty of fluids when you’re under the weather. Why not make that fluid a piping hot cup of tea? There are many benefits to drinking tea when you’re sick, but the one that stands out to me now is that it helps keep your nasal juices flowing. I’m currently suffering from a lot of stuffiness, so anything that gets this mucous out of me is very welcome. My personal preference is lemon balm tea, and when I’m sick I’ll add some honey for the added anti-microbial benefits.
Other great tea options to try when you’re sick are ginger, mint, and lemon.
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Another old world remedy that I’m a fan of is an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral compound that has many health benefits. The one I’m most interested in today is its cold-fighting power.
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According to Dr. Theresa Ramsey, cofounder of the Center for Natural Healing in Arizona, soaking in an Epsom salt bath gets your body to start a process called vasodilation. This increases the level of white blood cells being produced in your body and gets rid of those cold symptoms quicker.
For those of you suffering from flu-related aches and pains, Epsom salt baths have been known to relax muscles and flush out lactic acid that can cause them to cramp up.

My good friend, Danielle Zies, is a nutritionist and holistic culinary expert so I like to badger her for health and nutrition advice.

She gave me a recipe she has for a super-powered cold-fighting smoothie. This little blended miracle is packed with vitamins, and she recommends we drink it throughout the winter to keep our immune systems in fighting shape.

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Spicy Cold Busting Power Smoothie

2 cups water
1 asian pear
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
a couple slices of FRESH ginger (as much as you can tolerate)
1 hand full mullberries
1 persimmon
2 handful of greens
a generous sprinkle of ground cayenne pepper

I hope these tips help kick your runny nose to the curb!

Be sure to check out Danielle’s website Simply Nourished for more ways to keep yourself healthy and nourished.

Wake up and smell the orchids.

Every year the folks over at Pantone pick a ‘Color of the Year’ that sets hue trends for the 12 months ahead. Just before we rang in the New Year, it was announced that Pantone’s colour of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate this purple-pink tone into your life, look no further. Everywhere you glance, fashion and beauty retailers are brightening up their displays with this floral shade.
I have compiled a small collection of fashion and beauty items in the colour of the moment to help inspire your next shopping trip.
Wake up and smell the orchids
  1. This eyeshadow trio is by Smashbox and the set is called Autochrome. If Pantone didn’t have their own namesake collection with Sephora, I’d swear this was created just for them. $28 Beauty.com
  2. Années Folles, which is the name of this gloss from Nars, is what they call the “Roaring Twenties” in France. Dab this on your pout, and I’m sure it’ll help you have a roaring twenty-fourteen. $26 Nars Cosmetics
  3. When you don’t really feel like dressing up too brightly, you can always dress up your phone. This Marc by Marc Jacobs case is here to help! $20 The Outnet
  4. With all the snow on the ground now, you need to wear sunnies to protect your eyes. Why wear a boring black pair when you can get these violet Cole Haan cat eyes? $78 Cole Haan
  5. On New Year’s Eve did you resolve to work out more? Don’t forget style at the gym with the Nike Free 5.0. $100 Bloomingdales
  6. With all the purple makeup you’re buying, you’ll need somewhere to store it. Tory Burch has you covered with this Saffiano leather makeup bag. $95 Tory Burch
  7. If your “Color of the Year” budget has no ceiling, you might want to take a look at this gorgeous, beaded Emilio Pucci purse. This makes me want to cry about all the frivolous things I spent my money on instead of buying this bag. $2,490 LuisaViaRoma.com
  8. If you find yourself avoiding puddles on rainy days because you don’t have a pair of rubber boots, perhaps it’s time to take the plunge and get classic Hunter boots in this of-the-moment shade. $140 Hunter
  9. Even if you already gave up on your resolution to get fit, this Adidas crewneck will look just as cute on the streets. $45 Adidas
  10. Check how you new makeup is holding up throughout the day with a cute floral compact mirror from Forever 21. $3.80 Forever 21
  11. Whether you prefer to unwind by running, yoga, or with a glass of wine on the couch, these bright tights from Roxy will keep you comfy and stylish. $88 Sears
  12. You’ll look like an angel with Victoria’s Secret lacquer in Drama Queen on your nails. $10 Victoria’s Secret

Whether you love it or hate it, pinks and purples are going to be around for the next little while. You might as well embrace it and get some cool looks out of it.

How do you feel aboot boots…?

8 Boots that can help you through this winter!
With winter sweeping across most of North America, and the temperatures here in Ontario getting onterribly low (excuse the pun), I am dreaming about all the cold weather footwear that would be a welcome addition to my shoe closet right about now. Unfortunately, I’m still paying off my credit cards after going overboard on holiday gifts, but it’s that time of the year when sales are abundant!
Here is a list of boots that are super cool, (almost) all under $150, and the best part is that they are ALL on sale!
In case you see a pair you like, I’ve linked them all to the websites where you can purchase them.
  1. These over-the-knee Jeffrey Campbell boots are amazing and versatile. To top it off (if you’re a sci-fi fan) they’re call the “Time Lord” boot.  Karmaloop $128.95
  2. This next pair is by Report Signature. I think it’s a really cool ankle boot that can serve you all year long. Match it with black skinnies in the colder months, or with a sun dress and a floppy hat for a festival in the summer.  Asos $140.74
  3. These next boots are from Aldo. What I like about them most is how they’re a perfect mix of a Victorian lace-up boot and a modern combat style. The details in the stitching are old-fashioned, while the zippers give it an edgy moto look.  Aldo $49.99
  4. Nasty Gal brand, Shoe Cult, presents this deconstructed boot. They’re vegan and will definitely get noticed.  Nasty Gal $45
  5. Ash is a footwear label I love, that I usually have a hard time letting myself spend money on. That is why I’m so happy to see this next moto boot on sale! It’s a great mid-calf, leather moto boot, with on-trend stud details that will take you through several seasons. Karmaloop $158.95
  6. If I were not so tall, or so embarrassing in high heels, I would snap up the Sam Edelman Keegan bootie in a heart beat! I love everything about them– the fringe, the way the heel is shaped, the buckle detail at the ankle… I’ll stop before I start writing poetry about this pair. Even though I won’t likely be adding this to my collection, they can be all yours.  Shop Bop $136.50
  7. I love Zara, with their clean, elegant aesthetic. This pair of ankle boots has all that and a dash of their trademark European Edge. This one is more of a trendy shoe, but it’s at a price that can’t be beat.  Zara $39.99
  8. This is another pair from Zara. It’s a little bit more casual, but the fringe detail on the front takes it from plain to eye-catching. This is what I can see myself in when I just want to be comfy and casual without sacrificing style.  Zara $39.99

I wish I could buy them all, but I’d love to live vicariously through you instead. Keep warm this winter and let me know if you get a pair!