Saturday, October 31, 2009

H1N1 and Vitamin D

I really didn't want to post about this because a) this is a beauty blog and b) I'm not a doctor, but recently my friend (a registered nutritional consultant and owner of alerted me to the importance of vitamin D intake to help boost our immune systems. Most of us don't get enough vitamin D, and whether or not you plan on taking the flu vaccine, it can't hurt to make sure you're getting your daily recommended intake of all vitamins this season. If you google 'vitamin D and H1N1' there is a lot of information. You'll also come across a lot of conspiracy theories, etc. about this flu, and since I'd rather stick with facts, here is a good link to check out:

Hope you and all your loved ones stay healthy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A quote...

Here's one we've all heard:

'There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.' (Helena Rubinstein)

I have to say, I agree with the first part, there are no ugly women. The right makeup and hairstyle can almost instantly make any woman beautiful, I truly believe that. Diet, exercise, and proper skincare can make huge improvements. Hollywood is full of examples of women with mediocre looks and talent who have been transformed into dazzling beauties with the help of top makeup artists, hair stylists, and fitness experts.

The reference to laziness, in my opinion, is a little harsh and mean-spirited. I recently came across this lesser-known but much gentler (and more optimistic) quote from actress Arlene Dahl:

'There is no such thing as an ugly woman. There are only those who have not realized their full potential.'

I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My American Pharmacy Haul

People are always talking about what a glamorous experience it is to visit European pharmacies, and I agree, with their obscure miracle products not found in North America and very formal and knowledgeable staff, it's not to be missed. Though part of their charm is that they are usually located in some gorgeous historic building, these places are usually tiny. Much of the magic is often kept behind the counter and you're better off going knowing either what you want, or willing to be instructed on what you need. Sometimes, I just want to enjoy the experience of getting lost in browsing around a big-ass store with tons of cosmetics, crazy hair products, and all those beauty gadgets I see in the infomercials. Ped Eggs and Bumpits and The Strapper, hell yeah! At the same time, it's also kind of amusing to be able to pick up anything from a pet bed to a fishing rod to go with my beauty purchases. That's what I love about American pharmacies, they really have it all, and you can really feel free to wander around at your leisure. I find it so relaxing and therapeutic.

Here are my treasures:

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 'Pink Lady'
After seeing this lipstick in the November issue of Allure, I was excited to get my hands on it as it's not available in Canada. Although it's not my favourite color, the thrill of the chase and finally tracking it down was worth it. It reminds me a lot of Laura Mercier's 'Baby Lips' lipstick.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers in 'Raisin' and 'Peony'
I had seen both of these colors mentioned in magazines as makeup artists' favourites (of course couldn't find them in Canada) and they didn't disappoint. Both colors are lovely, sheer, lip stains with a fresh, minty taste that makes the lips tingle when applied. 'Raisin' is a deep, reddish-plum, and 'Peony' is a very wearable light, shimmery blush pink.

CoverGirl TruShine Lipstick in 'Blushberry Shine'
Another one I'd seen on best in beauty lists for a few years now, of course nowhere to be found north of the border. A lot of drugstore lipsticks have a very strong blue-pink base, so I was surprised that this one stayed true to it's original color rather than leaving the 'fuchsia stain' as it wore off. This sheer berry-nude shade is fairly similar to Clinique's Almost Lipstick in 'Almost Blush', a favourite that was discontinued a few years ago.

Ardell False Lashes #301
It doesn't get more fool-proof than this as far as false lashes are concerned. These are for the outer half of the eye, and they are the perfect, unexaggerated length and thickness. No trimming necessary. Everyone needs a pair of these. I suspect I may actually be able to find these here because of the bilingual packaging, which is mandatory for products for sale in Canada. I will post an update if I do find them here.

So what's the difference between Canadian and American pharmacies? Smaller stores and much, much less selection. When I was unable to find L'Oreal's 'Pink Lady' lipstick in Canada, I called up their customer service to find out where I could purchase it, assuming it was for sale here under a different name or number. I was very surprised when I was told that Canadian pharmacies don't carry the entire L'Oreal line because our market is only 10% of what it is in the U.S.

I guess that explains it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

42 is the new 20?

Hello from sunny and gorgeous Anna Maria Island, Florida, where I am currently on vacation!

Funny thing happened today, my 42 year-old husband was asked for ID buying wine at a Publix grocery store. In Canada, the drinking age is 19 for most provinces, and for Quebec, it's 18, but nobody bothers to check really anyway. Hopefully, somebody somewhere will mistake me for less than 21 years of age and ask me for some proof, too. Please?

I'm having a blast down here, and I absolutely love American pharmacies. The selection is excellent. So far, I've picked up some great products that are currently unavailable in Canada. Long live CVS! Long live Walgreens!

More on my American pharmacy haul later, I'm off to the beach...

UPDATE: It happened, I got asked for ID at the T.G.I.Fridays at the Tampa Airport. Of course I was flattered and excited, until I saw the same waiter card a table full of men that were obviously in their fifties. When I asked the waiter about it, he said he now asks almost everyone for ID because recently someone who was not asked got offended and sued, AND WON! Unbelievable.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I don't like my 'boyfriends'

Some relationships are just not meant to be.

A few days ago, I set out on a mission to buy myself a pair of 'boyfriend' jeans. I know, I'm late to the party by many months, but I just thought these jeans would be perfect to wear to the park to hang out with other moms, and what better way to hide a pair of granny underwear and a giant maxi pad? Then of course there's the option of slipping on some high heels with those same jeans and becoming instantly sexy and ready for a night on the town, right? Is that too much to ask of one pair of pants?

Yes, it is.

I tried on several pairs, and wasn't quite sure of any of them, which should have been my first clue that this was not going to work out. Somehow, though, I convinced myself that if I just gave them a chance, brought them home and threw on a cashmere turtleneck and my favourite stilettos, I wouldn't look like an awkward teenager that raided her father's closet. This, in fact, is exactly what I did the first time this trend appeared in the 80s. Thankfully, I settled on a pair from the store with the best return policy. After giving them an honest try with practically everything in my wardrobe, I knew I had to get rid of them. It wasn't me, it was them.

Maybe it was the way they made my ass look flatter and saggier than it actually is. Maybe it was that extra space at the crotch meant for a penis, a penis that I don't have. I think the real reason though is that jeans have gotten so good with their fit in the past few years, I just can't settle for a pair that doesn't maximize my rear view, slenderize my thighs and make my legs super long. Why would I invest in an article of clothing that just isn't flattering? Why should you?

I realized that what I really liked about this style was the look of rolled up jeans. It's a cute, casual, and fun look. So I'll just save myself the ridiculous $200 and roll up the jeans I already own. Problem solved.

As for 'boyfriend' jackets, there's another trend I'm not falling for. While I still have a waist, I'll be wearing my jackets nice and fitted, thank you.

Speaking of jeans, here are some that are really special:

Though I think that they're missing their target clientele by featuring some casually dressed woman strolling through suburbia. How about a group of cougars in high heels, strutting through a singles' bar? Or better yet, a young hot guy dancing up a storm in the gay part of town?