Monday, August 31, 2009

Nail Polish: Red

I am absolutely loving the sneak peak at this Chanel nail polish which is not yet available. The color is Dragon - isn't that just the ticket. At first glance it seems like covet, Holy Grail, swoon-worthy red and I hope, pray, plead to God that I can get my hands on it before it is out of stock - because we all know it will be. Today I'm wearing Keys to my Karma by OPI and every time I look down at my nails it makes me happy. It's almost a true red, but there's a hint of cherry in it. It's very bright, but nowhere near the vicinity of ornage. Until now I have to say my favorite red is Vodka and Caviar from OPI. It's the most beautiful red ever! I don't know if Chanel Drago will top it.

Keys to my Karma - OPI

I've been thinking about the matte nail polish trend and I don't think I can get behind it. It'll get no love from me. I mean, that ultra glossy, polished look is everything. It screams glamour, class, elegance, I-don't-wash-dishes, and my-nails-look-better-than-yours. What more can you ask for? I heard tell that the new IT color for fall/autumn Americana is going to be green. I can't get behind that either. For all my open mindedness about nails, green is the one color I cannot bring myself to love. I can't explain it, really, and it makes no sense since I love green eyeshadow. I love blue nail polish, but hate, hate, hate green.

Vodka and Caviar - OPI

A friend of mine is now coating her nails with a silicone base (the type they use on top of fake nails). It's a permanent coat and you have to sand off the top layer to remove it before applying a fresh layer - every 15 days, give or take. The thing about it is, it never scuffs or loses its shine. It never chips or breaks. You can paint over it if you like and safely remove it with nail polish remover and it still won't lose its shine. Your nails will always look perfect and never need to be touched up. That's pretty awesome if you have weak nails and/or you like to wear them color-free therefore showing off that beautiful shine. Would you ever doing something like that? Does it appeal to you? It's not overly expensive and seems to be ideal. The only thing is that it's permanent. The silicone coat has to grow out completely if you don't like it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Poetry: She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways

William Wordsworth

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love.

A Violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the Eye!
---Fair, as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky!

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her Grave, and, Oh!
The difference to me.

I really love Wordsworth's poems. They're beautiful and easy to understand. If you want to read a bit more about this particular poem, which I recommend, take a look here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lancome Makeup Reviews - J'AIME! - Big Time!

Finishing off my makeup reviews today. I love, love, LOVE the new Juicy Tubes pure. You know that I already love Juicy Tubes truly, madly, deeply, but the new Pure line is perhaps even better. It's just as long lasting, smells and tastes (oh yeah!) amazing and is less sticky. It glides on like a dream. The color I have is Rose Nectar and it's lovely. Beautiful sheer rose/beige nude color with a hint of shimmer, very subtle, very pretty. It's perfect for layering on top of my fave your-lips-but-better lipstick MAC Brave. The shimmer is not enough to be noticed straight off, but enough to make the light hit it and emphasize the shine. Brilliant!

The lipstick I got is a bronzy, goldish color and I have to say it's gorgeous - it's just not me. I know that sounds insane because technically it's a universally flatering color and it seems every woman on earth has this color (or something similar) in her lipstick arsenal, but I can't bring myself to love it. I use nudes, pinks and reds. The only other color I use in summer is coral (so Breakfast at Tiffany's). So my problem is that I put it on and then look in the mirror and I just don't recognize what I see as being me - or my lips. You know what I mean? That being said, the texture of the lipstick is amazing. Moisturizing, creamy, luscious and awesome! I really, really love the feel of it on my lips. There is basically no scent at all, I guess just a really subtle Lancome rose they scent all their makeup with. I love it and I'm going to look for that same line in another color, perhaps a pink/brown beauty - what do you think? Just in case you want to look it up the name of the line is COLOR DESIGN - Sensational Effects Lipcolor - Smooth Hold, and smooth it is. The color I received in Glitz & Glam. (not the one shown above) I'm still going to try it with the whole golden goddess look (bronzer, gold eyeshadow, kilos of mascara and the lipstick) to see if it brings the whole thing together. Fingers crossed.

And last but not least, Lancome Piha Black. OMG! It's magic! I put on MAC Ruby Woo - which as all of you know is a very matte, very bright true red - and then I put Piha Black on top and in one instant I went from pin-up to vamp. AWESOME! I really wish this were not a limited edition because I would use this all the time. Can you believe the wonders it would work on Dubonet? I would look like a vampire - for realz, and in a totally good way. I love it! If I find it anywhere else I'm going to buy a back up, although I don't think I will.

Hope these reviews were helpful. I know you won't have as much fun reading about it all as I'll have wearing it, especially Piha Black, but it'll still be fun and you all should totally cave on the Juicy Tubes Pure - worth it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lancome Makeup Reviews

I'm finally blogging about the products I won from Lancome. To start off I have to talk about the Minerale Tropiques Bronzer. Wow! It's smooth, so smooth. Glides on like a dream. Perfect color and texture, super finely milled powder so it looks really natural. The packaging is beautiful (Lancome packaging always is), and the smell is very, very subtle, and very Lancome. I usually use Guerlain Terracotta. It's been my go-to bronzer for years now. I use it as bronzer and as blush. It's very beautiful and I still love it. I've tried other bronzers before and was not impressed - ever. This Lancome one however, has earned a permanent place in my heart. OMG! I just thought of something terrifying - what if they discontinue it? What if it's a limited edition. I HATE limited editions! After using this mineral product, my first mineral product, I finally see what all the fuss is about. Very cool.

The eyeshadow quad is gorgeous! The colors are really wearable and very well chosen. There are three shimmery colors (the champagne, light bronze and olive gree), and there's a matte color, the perfect brown. They are all stunning. I use a matte chocolate color like that one a lot, so there's a lot of love there already. The champagne and bronze colors are very wearable and very pretty and sparkling. Then there's the olive green. I haven't used that color in a long time, and I have to say I have never used such a beautiful olive green. Since my eyes are hazel, it makes them seriously pop. I'm thrilled with the uber fine texture, shimmer, and wearability of this palette.

This is my new favorite gloss! It lasts forever, has a wonderful light scent, gorgeous, gorgeous shimmer, perfect texture and the color is beautiful. Fairy sparkly lips. So pretty I want all the colors. It's sticky, like all glosses, but it's not an annoying sticky or super thick. It coats well and leaves just a light layer. Good pigment and overall amazing performance. I don't know how I've survived this long without it. It just seems crazy to me. All this time I thought all my gloss needs were met. I thought my collection was complete. Boy, was I wrong. Don't misunderstand me, I'll still love Juicy tubes (Juicy tubes pure review coming soon), Chanel Aqualumiere and MAC lipglass, but now I love La Laque Fever as well - oh, okay, maybe a little tiny bit more. I don't know. Maybe not. Maybe. Fine. I love all 4! Speaking of amazing gloss, my sister and I were trying on makeup and perfume the other day and we stumbled upon an insanely beautiful gloss by YSL that I'm dying to get my hands on. I was wearing something already so she put it on and I couldn't stop staring. I'll have to try it and see what the texture's like, but we may have another contestant.

That's it for now. I'll be back with more tomorrow.

Get Lets Play Makeover

Monday, August 24, 2009

Miss Universe 2009

I watched the Miss Universe pageant last night and it's always fun. It was held in the Caribbean this year and wow! - amazing. Throughout the show they talk about all the places the girls went to and what they did and it looked awesome. Super luxurious, really fun (tons of water slides and parks), amazing beaches and activities. The islands there are just hotels, it's a vacation paradise playground with anything and everything you didn't know you wanted because you never knew it existed.

Back to the show. They did their whole dance and parading back and forth thing. I have to say, I was surprised with the standard of beautiful people this year. Very whatever. Considering this is Miss Universe, it was a bit disappointing. I remember last year I didn't know how to choose a favorite. Three of my faves were in the top 5 (Miss Brazil, Miss Japan and Miss Venezuela - the winner), but there were many that could have easily been chosen. This year, however, not so much. The only two I thought were wow were Miss Australia and the winner, Miss Venezuela. Miss Venezuela is a stunner. She stole the show. All eyes were drawn to her every time. There was no way she wasn't going to win.

So, last year's Miss Universe (also a Miss Venezuela) gave (or threw more like - for realz) the crown at the new Miss Universe. I couldn't believe mon yeux when I saw the crown hit the ground. Jesus take the wheel! The crown was picked up and then placed (crookedly) on the new Miss Universe's head.

Let's talk about Q&A time. What kind of idiot ass people come up with those questions? We always think it's the contestants that are airheads, but I would like to suggest that perhaps it's the judges. There wasn't a single intelligent or remotely interesting question asked. If it were up to me I would cut that part out altogether. It's a silly moment where no one really listens or pays attention. The girls are coached into saying ultra PC things they probably don't agree , and the judges pull out questions monkeys scrawled on pieces of paper with banana markers. Then if God forbid one of them should actually speak their mind like Miss USA, they get smeared all over the media and haters from every corner of the earth. (Just as an FYI, I did not agree with what Miss USA said about gay marriage, but I give her props for saying what she personally believes and not just quoting from memorized lines that were fed to her by R2D2).

After the show was over I could not stop thinking one thing: what lipstick was Miss Venezuela wearing, and how can I get my hands on a tube?

Here's a video of the moment the winner is announced and the crown falls...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Preciousessss

A while ago I bought a knife online for my birthday. I researched for a while until I found the one I thought would best suit my needs and my pocket. I chose the Wusthof Grand Prix Chef's Kife. It has brought much joy to my life. My kitchen is by no means a dream kitchen, and I don't have everything I need, or even the top of the line of anything, but I have a couple of items which bring a smile to my face. One item is my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer (totally top of the line and amazingly awesome!). It's a beauty. It's made my cake baking life a breeze. Next is my Wusthof. This baby has a lifetime guarantee and makes my knife skills 50 times better. I can chop better than a food processor. It's a dream.

For a long time I had trouble sharpening it because I didn't want to ruin it, and because I didn't really know what I was doing. I've sharpened normal funky knives all my life and have actually accomplished great things using a marble counter, stone (regular stone from the garden), and basically any rough surface. Sharpening my precious however is a whole 'nother story.

I recently stumbled across a site with the most amazing knives (and totally out of my price range), but they do have one thing that is totally awesome and can be used by anyone anywhere: a knife sharpening step-by-step. The first time I did it my knife was really dull and it totally worked. I've been doing this and ever since, my knives have been in pristine shape. Getting wetstones is not very difficult and they keep forever, so it's worth whatever you pay for them. I have all three types (the third finnest one you can easily find in dental supplies stores as they're used for sharpening surgical instruments).

I have a Santoku knife, which is the one I use the most because it's the best knife for chopping vegetables. It's a Henkles, not expensive, but really practical. I would like to complete my Wusthof set with the following knives: boning knife, fillet knife, Santoku, bread knife, and paring knife. I already have 2 of these, but I would like them all to be Wusthof. The weight and feel of it is ideal for me. Either Grand Prix II or Classic Ikon is cool with me. The feel of the Grand Prix handle is probably the best though, I don't know.

Good luck with your knife maintenance!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Poetry: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What Are You Up These Days?

If this shack were a castle, it would be my ultimate happy place. Okay, maybe not a castle, but at least a beautiful country cottage. The view and location are breathtaking, but the shack looks like a perfect place for a bad guy to keep a hostage.

I am so not right now. I'm making an effort to crawl to my happy place, curl up in the fetal position, suck my thumb and stay there. I have to say the one thing that's keeping me sane is the fantastic book I'm reading. It's a friggin' novela and I love it. It's jam packed full of deception, cheating, stealing, polo, wealth, promiscuity and what have you. So here's the round up of what I've been up to these days:

Polo by Jilly Cooper - so much nonsence, so much fun

Kenzo Amour le parfum - I'm desperately in love

How I Met Your Mother and True Blood - the new season of the Tudors just started as well, so that's awesome

The goodies I bought coming at the end of the month - and my new flatwear set, also arriving at the end of the month

Bane of my existence
Bleh - you know what I mean?

People need to mind their own business

Et vous?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tough Beans

Come on. Make my day, punk!

My washing machine broke. It's really bringing me down. The worst part of it is that finding a decent person to fix it is harder than getting my sister to clean her car. I don't get it. People are falling all over themselves everywhere in the world for work, and here I am offering honest work to anyone who'll take it, and yet, I feel like I'm forcing them to do it against their will.

My regular fix-it guy just up and disappeared. Fell into a toilet and drowned. Won the lottery - I don't know. Something happened because he refuses to answer any of his phones. The next logical step is to find someone else. But who? So I found an ad I saved from the last place we lived at and called the guy. His name is Francis, but I like to call him Beelzebub. When I called I scheduled for that same day at 5pm. Raise your hand if you think he showed.....exactly. Later that evening I went out to dinner and received a call from him apologizing and telling me he would be at the apartment at 10am the following morning. Raise your hand if you think the knave showed? I called at around 11:30 and he said he would be there in an hour. Nothing. Nothing, nothing.

This is when I started calling around asking for someone to recommend a name of a person who knew what they were doing and wanted to earn some money. No one had a single name for me. As I was getting ready to go out later that evening, guess who has the gall to show up at my door? Poohead - that's who. So, I let the villain have it. I couldn't believe him. I mean, "I'll be there in an hour" means 8:00 at night!!! While I'm on my way out the door?!

Sad thing is, I didn't have much of a choice and had to employ his services, because no matter how much I wish I could have clobbered him over the head and told him to go to the Devil (where he belongs!), I still have to wash my laundry. I believed I had scared him sufficiently to put him in his place and make him do a good job. Well, I am very naive. I sent him packing and told him that because I had to leave, he had to leave, and that I wanted him to return the following morning at 10am with the material he needed to do the repair. It's 11:50 right now. Raise your hand if you think Judas showed?

If this were a movie and I were Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry I'm sure I could think of something to make this punk whimper and whine and beg like the stupid mutt he is. He would grovel and beg me for a second (third) chance to get into my good graces. But alas I am a silly old woman at his mercy. I hate, hate, hate the situation I'm in. My God! Is there no one in this God forsaken place who wants to earn some cash for an honest hour's labor? Is there no one who will offer a decent service, charge accordingly and then laugh his way to the bank, or bar - whatever. Is there no one who will stop complaing about being poor and not being able to feed their family, or have that car or house they want, and friggin' go out and get it? Is there no one, no one who will come and fix my stupid washing machine? I guess not.

May God have mercy on this fellow's soul. If he only knew what awaited him here. I spit on you Francis the Villain. May you lose your hair prematurely. May your teeth hurt every time you take a sip of cold beer. May your car always stall when you're flirting with a pretty girl at the stop light. May your stupid silver neckalaces dangling gayly from your neck turn brown and never shine again. And may your shower run dry while your in the middle of a good lather. You've messed with the wrong house mom!

P.S. He finally arrived at 12:45pm and I went Dirty Harry on his ass. I answered the door with my 9" Wusthoff Chef's knife (I felt it would be more effective than a tongue lashing). I was all smiles as I pretended to dry off my knife and said hello. He was scared. Very scared. Even made a half hearted joke where he kind of chuckled and I just stared and didn't crack a smile. I feel better now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fun Stuff

I just wanted to let you all in on a couple of super fun sites and blogs I read daily and I think you'll all enjoy a lot:

Celeb makeup artist Troy Jensen
- and genius! - posts images of his looks on different celebs, includes the makeup he put on them and even gives details on what to do. Very cool.

Bella Sugar is a site that has tons of goodies every day and is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Blogdorf Goodman is a really fun. Annie loves all things beauty and fragrance so there's always a great review or new product announcement.

The Lancome Blog is a great daily read. There are always interesting posts on products, their spokeswomen, makeup artists, beauty editor business (super fun), goodies, giveaways and what have you. Don't miss it.

And on a totally not beauty related issue, the site Television Without Pity is fantastic! You can read recaps for episodes you missed of your fave shows, movie reviews, trailer reviews (love!), recasting wish lists (so me), anyway, if you love TV and movies you will love this site.

Tata for now...

An Affair to Remember

Last night I happened to catch a movie I had seen before, a while back, that is totally worth blogging about, An Affair to Remember. I'm sure you know it stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. It's that famous movie they talk about in Sleepless in Seatle where they decide to meet at the top of the Empire State Building if they really care about each other and that if they both show up they'll get married. However, on the way to meet him she gets hit by a car and ends up in a wheelchair. The movie is very beautiful and it never gets boring. There are however, some unnecessary scenes where she teaches some children to sing that I thought were weird and didn't match the story at all. But, the kids are cute, so whatever.

As I was sitting there watching the movie I kept remembering that scene in Sleepless in Seatle where Tom Hank's wife and Meg Ryan (or is it Rosie O'Donnel) are retelling the end scene and crying their eyes out saying, "Her little feet...". That was funny. But the last scene of the movie is not. It's like whole world comes to a halt and is suspended in time for that moment when he finally pieces everything together and figures out that she was the one in the wheelchair who had taken the painting he had made of her. I'll tell you what, if you don't cry, at least shed one glistening tear, then you are a cold hearted bitch and you don't deserve the awesomeness of this movie. (You know who you are)

Deborah Kerr is stunning, so I gathered some images I feel do her justice and posted them here. As I was reading the list of movies she's made on IMDB, I couldn't help but feel that I'm a stupid head who hasn't seen anything. I mean, my list is meager. Here are the movies I've seen with her:

An Affair to Remember
Bonjour Tristesse
The King and I (Dancing after dinner!)
Quo Vadis (too narrow on the hips)
King Solomon's Mines
From Here to Eternity (the famous one with her and Burt Lancaster are kissing on the sand and the wave washes up on them. Montgomery Clift is in that movie as well)
Casino Royale (the old one with David Niven)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Smith's Rosebud Salve by Perfume and Co. I love the feel of this lip balm. It was made in the 1800's and is still around today. I love the old fashioned packaging, it inspires trust. I love the smell, very subtle old fashioned rose, like your grandmother's makeup. I love the lightweight feel, kind of vaseline-y, but not gloopy, feathery light. But what I love best is how it instantly moisturizes and leaves my lips luscious, glossy, and awesome.

L'Occitane Amande Shower Oil. This is amazing! It's a shower oil that makes you feel like you're in a spa. It's thick and creamy, but washes off completely and leaves just enough for your skin to feel hydrated and ultra fragrant. It smells like almonds and vanilla but is not overpowering or cloingly sweet. In my opinion it is hands down the best shower oil ever, and may be L'Occitane's best product ever.

Kenzo Amour le parfum. Dieu! Comment je l'aime! This is the most beautiful scent in creation! It smells creamy, a little vanilla-y, a bit like sweet rice pudding (in the best possible way), there's a little incense and some other goodies thrown into the mix as well. It's not overbearing or too sweet. There's a depth to this perfume that is not found in other Kenzo creations. Since it is a "parfum" per se, it lasts an eternity right close to your skin. There is no need to reapply all the time, but when someone comes up close to you they'll know you have something on. It's gorgeous, just gorgeous. I needed this perfume because I liked the original Kenzo Amour a lot, but found it a bit sweet. Then when this version came out, it's like it filled in all the gaps I felt were there with Kenzo Amour. It was love at first sniff. There is a terrible bit of news though, it's not available anymore. They discontinued it, or it was a limited edition, whatever the case, I hate Kenzo! - and hope that the things they love run out and get discontinued. I'm trying to get my hands on another bottle and I think I may have succeeded, so, all's well that ends well. However, I may have to fall in love with the original Kenzo Amour because once my stash runs out, that's it - no more. Ever.

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Here are some movies I'm looking forward to, and after you see the trailers and teasers, so will you:


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunday Beans

Sunday night we were invited to James and Greti's for Boston Baked Beans and a new bottle of Hendrick's Gin. I made the cornbread, James made the beans and we all ate. It was some seriously good eats and I have to say we will not soon forget. The beans were caramelized to perfection. There was that smokey bacon flavor that matched perfectly with the maple syrup/mollasses. There was happy and lively conversation, never ending options of alcoholic beverages and a nice dessert (peaches with amaretto, almond slices and vanilla ice-cream). The night was a success - but then it always is with our fantastic group of friends.

Here are some picks of the prep and the final product. Enjoy!

The heart and soul of the beans. This is where are the flavor is and James' sauce was intense and awesome!

White beans, bacon and loads of onions layered in a baking dish ready for sauce and oven time.

The final result after 6 hours in the oven. Caramelized bacony goodness.

White cheese cornbread. Because we can.

My bowl of beans, cornbread and a healthy amount of super awesome butter. So good!