Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Let me tell you a secret, put it in your heart and keep it...

Those are the first lines of a song I didn't know I knew. Well, clearly I did know it, but for the life of me, could not remember who sang it and how I knew it. Curiouser as it were, the man who fancies himself as somewhat of a musical encyclopedia, my husband-to-be didn't know it either.
So I Googled and boy, oh boy am I ever glad I did!
The song is called Heal the Pain and is from the album, Listen Without Prejudice by the timeless, George Michael. It's a pretty song, not a popular tribute but obviously one that left an impression deep in my grey matter. I immediately downloaded the entire album from iTunes and with it came two solid hours of nostalgia thick enough to knock out a small child. I remember being nine years old, spending hours singing along to that album, wanting so badly to be a supermodel in the ever-sexy Freedom video (Linda, Tatiana, Christy, Naomi and Cindy!). As nostalgia often does, it triggered other memories of other pre-teen sing-a-longs. So that night, my dear, sweet husband-to-be got a front-row ticket to 1987 as I dramatically reenacted Carly-esque versions of Lost In Your Eyes and Father Figure. Needless to say for the last week, my collection of late 80s classics including pre-cocaine Whitney, pre-Deborah, Debbie and post-WHAM George has grown exponentially and with it, my hair which thanks to the rain in Toronto, has also gone back to the future. SO RAD!
Just for kicks, speaking of sexy videos, this still might be one of the sexiest videos of all time - Being Boring, Pet Shop Boys.
"She was never bored because she was never boring."

Monday, June 13, 2011

When is it okay to hug?

Sometimes, I wish I had Ms. Manners as my fairy godmother. Actually, it's more Ms. Appropriate whom I really need to hang with more often. Case in point: I never know when it's appropriate to hug. Take today for instance. I ran into a former colleague with whom I was friendly but never good friends. Since our random meeting took place in a professional environment (in front of my boss), I initially went in for a half-snuggle but catching myself, stuck out my hand for a good ol' profesh handshakehowdoyoudo. The result was a super-awkward half-handshake, half hug where I blathered some frantic words like "oh of course lets hug, it has been so long..." True story.

This kind of thing happens all the time. Being from European descent, despite not having been to Europe until I was almost 30, my pals and I always performed the double kiss. My family and I typically do the double kiss. So when I meet newer friends and we get to the kiss hello phase, I go for the double kiss. Muah, Muah!

Now, do you know what happens when you go for the double but your smooching partner sticks to the single? You sometimes kiss lips. Or eyeballs. Or other parts of their face. Regardless of the exact location of the smooch, it's quite embarrassing. My solution to this conundrum is to play it safe. Now I only go for the single. Let someone else look like they want to make out with me. I'm done!

But unfortunately, it's not that easy with the hug. As much as I'm a double kisser (muah, muah), I'm also a hugger. So how do you avoid going in for the hug and having someone recoil from your embrace?? Is there a tactful way to pull it back once you're mid-way there?

And really, when it comes to profesh situations, is it even appropriate to hug? I ask in earnest. Please help me stop embarrassing myself. xo Carly

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Battle of the Bronzers

Yesterday, I wrote about my crusade against boring, sad fingertips. In my quest to punch out a perfect 10, I popped into my favourite store on earth, Sephora. Now as many of you know, I live in Toronto, a city where winter hides in the summer just long enough to wear skin-exposing outfits, but not necessarily long enough to goldify the pasty whiteness of that skin.

Enter woman's other best friend: the bronzer. As overwhelmed and panic-stricken I was to make a colour selection at the nail spa, making the wrong choice when it comes to a bronzer can be a costly mistake - and I don't just mean in dollars. One false move and you can go from the walking dead to Adam-Lambert-meets-Oompa-Loompa. (Orange and glitter make for an evil concoction)

The key that I have found to a great overall natural bronzed look is a combination of textures and colours. Over the years I've tried various products ranging in price and functionality. Here are three that I will keep in my stable of summer staples:

BEST FOR FACE: Revlon ColourStay Mineral Bronzer
This product actually does what it supposed to: Stays all day. It has a nice soft matte finish with very subtle shimmer. No big sparkles, sorry Avril. Great for an all-over, nicely blended sun-kissed look. And priced under $15, it's a fantastic deal for the quality and quantity.

BEST FOR BODY: Sephora Tinted Self-Tanning Body Mist
I just bought this yesterday and I think I'm in love. Fine, I'm not in love per se but my legs might be. This is a body mist that is tinted in a nice shade of bronze that is simple to apply and (so far) has lasted more than 7 hours without wearing off. Unlike other body sprays end up so matte you look like you are wearing very ugly flesh-coloured pants (nothing subtle about that), this formula is moisturizing and has just a hint of sheen while giving a gorgeous natural-looking tan. Its scent is slightly overpowering at first but luckily it wears off quickly and you're left with colour that would have 1970's era Bo Derek awarding you a 10. Also priced right, Canadian girls can pick up a bottle for around $17 at their local Sephora.

BEST FOR AU NATURAL: NARS Illuminator in Laguna
I love NARS products. Always have. Always will. I fell in love more than 10 years ago when I was interning at FLARE Magazine. I had just wrapped up my eight-month stint as a copy editing intern and my farewell gift was a raid of the beauty closet. This is where I first decided it was okay to work for make up instead of money. This is also where I first met NARS - it was a foundation. It was for very dark skin. I used it as a bronzer. Now, I'm grown up and so is NARS. The Illuminator product line comes in four light-reflecting shades. Designed as a highlighter, it has a little more shimmer than the two products above, but is gorgeously light that you can wear it on its own for a super-fresh glow or dab a little in strategic spots above your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, on your decolletage, even down the front of your legs. To add an extra oomph (not oompa!), apply Laguna and highlight with Copacabana - this is the secret weapon that makes Jennifer Lopez look so radiant. Priced around $38.

Monday, June 6, 2011

my manicure made me sad

There are a few things that regardless of my income, social status or age will forever be non-negotiable. A bi-weekly manicure is one of those things. Not simply a must-have for aesthetics and hygienic reasons, a manicure typically serves as an inexpensive pick-me-up, one you have heard me refer to as a "manicure-all" for a bad day, what ever the day.
This weekend, I was desperate. Having forgone my bi-weekly ritual due to an imposing and overloaded schedule, my hands needed some serious TLC. As I perused the arrays of fuchsias, reds, corals and plums, I panicked. Overwhelmed with the thought of clashing with my neon pink toes, I opted for what I thought was a comparable sweet baby blush shade to an OPI Bubble Bath or Sweetheart. It was Not. Even. Close.
The shade I selected is clear. I opted for clear. Who ever said, when in doubt, go with clear?? No, clear should only be reserved for top coats and nylon runs... and even then, nylons cost $4, you'd be best to ditch them then dab them with clear polish.
So that, dear reader, is why I am sad. Every time I look at my neatly squared off tips and my finely trimmed cuticles, I am sad.
Thank goodness there is a Sephora en route home. This calls for some mayjah colour intervention. In fact I'm nearly tempted to give those nail prints another chance! Okay, not that desperate but something needs to be done, and done quickly! Means I should probably get a new lipstick for my troubles... and maybe a bronzer too ;)