Thursday, 18 October 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks and Lip Liners


I am by no means a beauty guru and honestly consider myself to be an average young adult in Vancouver. I have a fairly simple relationship with makeup. I pull it out for special occasions, but for the most part, I am au natural. So when I do purchase makeup, I usually splurge on higher-end brands. 

A good lipstick can give you a pretty pout, but a great lipstick can transform your entire look. Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks happen to fall in the latter category making its high price point justifiable. At $55 a tube, Charlotte Tilbury falls into the luxury makeup category. I feel the brand has only recently come into the mainstream. In fact, Charlotte Tilbury was picked up by Sephora a mere few months ago! Prior to that, in Vancouver I could only find it at Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom, two of the worlds biggest luxury brand retailers. 

Their lipsticks are packaged in a lovely metallic copper-hued tube with ridges and the logo stamped on top of the lid. These lipsticks definitely stand apart amongst the sea of black packaging that we usually see. 

Last year I had picked up Secret Salma and Penelope Pink, two neutral everyday shades that I have come to adore and love. Honestly, I have used a fair bit of the Secret Salma stick because it makes even an everyday look more polished. This year I have gone with bolder hues, a bright coral pink named Lost Cherry and a dramatic deep plum that goes by the name Hel's Bells

When I hear Lost Cherry, I think red, but this lipstick is actually an orangey-pink coral tone with a matte finish. Definitely not a bright red. Aside from the misleading name, its a fun colour that reminds me of spring and summer. It would go well with a  natural look and rosy cheeks. I cannot wait to rock it in 2019. The best part, though being matte, it does not sacrifice moisture making it comfortable to wear. 

Hel's Bells is the complete opposite of Lost Cherry. The deep plum purple is super vampy and does wonders for my complexion. I cannot help, but feel sexy when wearing it. This too is a matte finish and is comfortable all day long. I have always loved berry coloured lipsticks, so it goes without saying that I am elated to finally own one! Perhaps its an extension of my immense love for fresh berries - Strawberries and Raspberries! 

As I mentioned earlier, I did get two lip liners, which are completely new to me. Walk of Shame is the reddish tone while Love Trap is a darker nude brown colour. As the name implies, it is used to define the shape of your lips before applying your lipstick of choice. Unlike the lipsticks, the lip liners are very firm, making them hard to apply. Granted, I honestly have never used a lip liner before in my life, so maybe all lip liners are like that? I probably will not be exploring the world of lip liners and with these two shades in my collection, I can pretty much pair them with any lipstick. 

All of their lipsticks have fantastic pigmentation and are seriously long lasting. I am a lazy person and am infamous for never touching it up, so I need something that is going to last me through an event and eating and drinking. They almost "stain" your lips, which is why even after vigorously rubbing my arm under warm water, you could still see the colour. 

With the days getting cooler and leaves steadily piling up at the base of trees, I certainly see myself donning my new dark berry shade, Hel's Bells more and more. 

BYES







Monday, 1 October 2018

Attending Interior Design Show Vancouver 2018 as a VIP

Over the course of 4 days, some of Vancouver's most creative minds were all under one roof for the Interior Design Show (IDS) Vancouver. This was my third year attending, but unlike in the past, this time I got to go to the private media cocktail party. I got to walk the floor with an exclusive VIP lanyard around my neck and explored the exhibition during the private cocktail hour on Thursday evening. That fancy lanyard of mine also granted me access to the exclusive VIP lounge. 

For the cocktail party, I donned an emerald green lace dress from Aritzia which I paired with black leather Rachel Comey booties. I thought I looked pretty amazing, yet I still could not help, but feel a little underdressed. I was surrounded by gorgeous people decked out in the most fabulous fashion forward outfits. Needless to say, I was living for their outfits. 

During the closed cocktail party, food stations were dispersed around the large space. There were platters of fine cheeses with artisanal crackers, sushi, spring rolls, mini sliders and of course free flowing red and white wine. Since it was around dinnertime, I found myself scouring the floor for food and only after I settled my hunger pangs did I start exploring the actual show. 

IDS Vancouver held its first exhibition in 2004 and nearly a decade and a half later, IDS Vancouver has exponentially grown into Western Canada's largest celebration of design. The show is diverse and nearly a third of the exhibitions were by local designers and artisans. The show featured panelists, abstract art installations, and the newest trends in home decor. 


My favourite part of the show each year is the conceptual space challenge. For 2018, eight designers were asked to re-imagine the bathroom as a sanctuary. The theme was Retreat and each of the 100 square-foot conceptual spaces were distinctly unique, echoing the designer's style. As with every year, this corner of the convention hall was insanely busy. My favourite bathroom which unsurprisingly also won Best Exhibit Space was a collaboration between Annaliesse Kelly ID Studio and Madeleine Design Group Inc. The wall behind the bathtub was a stunning blue to white ombre of scalloped tiles that screamed mermaid. The space was also framed by a unique laser cut design. Another bathroom was grand and featured rich gold and copper tones and even had stairs leading up to it. I also really enjoyed Kendall Ansell Interior's blue ad mustard hued bathroom that had a macrame swing and wicker baskets. 

For some weird reason, September was cursed for me because everything I touched seemed to break. My SD card decided to become corrupted, which means I was not able to retrieve a huge proportion of my pictures from the night which is a bummer because the Altered States exhibition by Caesarstone and Snarkitecture was a stunning interactive piece of art and a real focal point of the night. The different layers really gave it a lot of depth and was fun to pose on. Sigh my pictures :( Good thing everyone there was taking a lot of pictures that they posted to Instagram under the hashtag: #idsvancouver. 


Before the night was up, it was my turn to sit and look pretty for photographer Ian Azariah. He was there for the night of the Media party with Seen Signs and was photographing guests with an 1860's method called Tin Type. With a  little bit of science and of course magic, he fused particles of real silver onto a metal plate in his make shift darkroom on the back of a trike. The image development was really freaky because the image first starts as an inverse and slowly changes into the final picture. I swear he is a sorcerer and since I smiled in the picture, I fear he has captured my soul! 

The resurgence of Mid-Century Modern furniture is real and I could not be happier because I am living for the solid walnut and teak furniture. I find those woods have a lovely warm orange tone that makes spaces feel cozy. I hope to someday furnish my own future home with furniture in this style. Did you know Teak wood is the hardest wood and is currently one of the most expensive types of wood. 

The night went by so fast that it feels like a blur. I do not think I have had this much fun at an event before! Thank you so much for having me IDS Vancouver and I look forward to celebrating design with you next year. 

BYES






Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Final Morning in LA Exploring Silverlake | LA Day 8

It is my final day in LA and with my flight scheduled for late afternoon, I only have part of a day left to explore. LA is brimming with brunch prospects, but I had my mind set on a cute little hip establishment called Sqirl. For a Friday morning, I was not expecting such a long lineup for this Silverlake Breakfast and Lunch spot. We probably waited well over 30 minutes. 

What better time to spoil yourself with bougie-priced breakfast then when you are on vacation right? Do not lie, you have all looked at a breakfast/brunch menu and asked yourself, "who on earth pays $14 for a granola and yogurt?!"


Well I did, oh Yes I did! Because I love granola and yogurt and wanted my last breakfast in Los Angeles to be memorable! Their Granola is made with organic oats, maple, coconut sugar, cinnamon, cardamom & seeds that blanketed the tangy in-house made yogurt. And since I was already being extra, I opted for the additional fresh fruit. Fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and sliced apple brought a delightful pop of colour as well as flavour to the dish. I personally have never been much of a blueberry person which is shocking considering I hail from the lands of blueberries the province of British Columbia in Canada. However, oddly enough, the blueberries being sliced in half looked beautiful and perhaps that is why I found them to taste amazing. Guess the age old saying that we eat with our eyes first definitely played a role in me liking the blueberries. 

The Sorrel Pesto Rice was an aromatic dish that teased both my tastebuds and my nose. On a bed of Kukohu rose brown rice and nut free sorrel pesto was a lacto-fermented hot sauce, watermelon radish, french sheep feta, a soft poached egg and a thick-cut of crispy bacon. The most important underlying ingredient had to be the preserved meyer lemon as it just really brightened up the dish. 

Now I was not about to leave Sqirl without trying their Famed Ricotta Toast. A thick slice of Brioche toast is given a generous smear of fresh house made ricotta cheese. We had a choice of three of Sqirl's jams: Cara Cara Hibiscus, Seascape Strawberry and Blueberry Rhubarb. We went with the latter three which made for a beautiful red and deep purple coloured toast. The ricotta is extremely fresh and has a lovely milkiness. The jams were wonderfully fruity and I deeply regret not bringing home a few jars. 

If I were to compare Sqirl to a Vancouver food outlet, it would be a mix between Birds & The Beets, Le Marche St. George and The Gardens Strathcona. They all have a smilier atmosphere and focus on simple dishes made with fresh quality ingredients. But Sqirl is far busier and a greater emphasis on food rather than coffee - though they still make a divine iced coffee!  



After satisfying my hunger pangs at Sqirl, we Ubered it back to our Air BnB to pack. Our Air BnB was a few blocks from Sunset Boulevard, Silverlake's central hub of hip shops and cafes. So with our suitcases in tow, we spent our last hour in LA exploring Silverlake's best offerings. I did not get to check out too many shops, but there is a great mix of home decor, stationary and clothing. I also stumbled across The Social Type's studio. The walls were lined with greeting cards and the tables were filled with swoon worthy goodies like foiled matchstick boxes and pretty pencils. 

Alas, the time had come for me to bid adieu to Los Angeles. Over my 8 days in LA, I was able to go on some amazing adventures and they are going to be some of my most fondest memories. I will 100% be returning to LA and though I do not know when it will happen, it will most likely be in the next few years. The flights from YVR to LAX are astonishingly affordable, so all I need is a travel buddy. If you have any questions about planning a trip to LA, feel free to leave them in the comments below! 

Thank you for following along with me on my trip to Los Angeles. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I loved my time there. 

BYES







Monday, 17 September 2018

Breakfast at Republique & Exploring Venice Beach | LA Day 7


I am back in Los Angeles and 6 days of non-stop exploration, 4 of which were were spent at amusement parks, really takes a toll on you. Needless to say, it was a slow start to the morning. After spending far too long in under the shower head and sitting in front of the mirror to do my "makeup" aka eyeliner and mascara, I finally made it to Republique for an early afternoon weekday breakfast. For the first time in a very long time, I was not the person who found and suggested this restaurant. Before going on our LA trip, my friend came across this Youtube video and suggested we go there one day for breakfast! 

Friday, 14 September 2018

Disneyland | LA Day 5 & 6



After years of dreaming and begging my friends to go with me, I finally made it to Disneyland! As I mentioned in my previous post on California Adventure, I spent two of my three days at the original Disneyland park. Despite getting to the park the moment it opened and not leaving until it closed at night, I still was not able to explore every corner of it and was unable to enjoy all of the rides. Coupled with the fact that Pixar Pier was closed off during my visit only means it is a must that I re-visit Disneyland California. 

Disneyland has 8 distinct regions, and their 9th and biggest one yet aka Star Wars is currently being built. Starting with my favourites:

Main Street, U.S.A. ; Adventureland; New Orleans Square; Tomorrowland; Fantasyland; Frontierland; Critter Country; Mickey's Toontown

I adore Main Street as Walt Disney himself walked down that very path and they have worked hard to maintain the same charm and wonder from its opening day. The shop facades are beautiful and they line the path leading to the iconic Statue of Walt and Mickey waving to guests in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. This street is iconic and also happens to feature another favourite: Starbucks. There are no rides per se in this region, but instead you can take short little tour around the street on a horse-drawn carriage, a vintage car or even a super rad old double decker bus. This also happens to be the hub for your Disney related shopping. But if you are a dork like me, you are going to die for the little museum dedicated to Walt Disney's legacy. There you can look at some of his sketches, the actual bench he was sitting on when he thought of building Disneyland and lots of old pictures of him. 

Intricate wrought iron banisters and the aroma of bayou cooking will lure you into New Orleans Square. It took some expert craftsmen to bring the mystic-filled alleys of New Orleans to life. There are a few places to eat here, but I settled on the more affordable restaurant, New Orleans Cafe. There I got my first taste of Ratatouille and Gumbo and it was so delicious that I came back on my second day for lunch. My friend and I were just randomly chatting about how I hope to someday return for my birthday and unbeknownst to us, our server overheard part of our conversation and surprised me with a birthday Mickey-shaped beignet complete with rainbow coloured Mickey sprinkles and a lit candle. Best service ever! I later also grabbed a whole bag of those classic powdered sugar beignets and sipped on refreshing virgin Mint Juleps over the two days. The only bummer was that the ride that spurred one of Disney's biggest movie franchises, Pirates of the Caribbean, was closed for maintenance. 


Tucked behind New Orleans Square was the busiest part of Disneyland, Adventureland. For such a small space, Disney managed to pack it with some of the coolest rides and attractions. Indiana Jones Adventure is a MUST! Like the majority of the bigger rides at Disney, this ride is hidden from view and even as the line winds through the corridors of the tomb, you still do not get a single glimpse of this epic ride. 

You will also find Pineapple Dole Whip in Adventureland, a frozen treat that is practically synonymous with Disneyland. I do not know how to describe it, but imagine a creamy soft serve that is pineapple flavoured. It is located to the entrance of another hallmark Disneyland attraction, the Tiki Room!!! Truth be told, I had no clue what the Tiki Room even was and honestly stumbled across it completely by chance as I was eating my Dole Whip. Dancing plant dolls mysteriously descended from the tree as an unmarked door swings open beckoning patrons to enter. I am so glad that I followed the crowd inside. You are treated to a marvellous show of singing birds, statues and flower animatronics. I do not want to give away too much because this is a show that absolutely captures that Disney Magic and I think what made it better for me was that I was an unsuspecting audience. 

Tomorrowland is a pretty significant portion of Disneyland and is home to several large attractions including Autopia, Star Tours, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Space Mountain. I find Tomorrowland to be quite fascinating. It is one of the five original lands that opened in 1955 and is not the typical fantasy you would associate with Disney, but instead Tomorrowland is what they imagined the future and outer space could possibly be. Space Mountain is beloved by guests and after riding it myself, I too joined the Space Mountain fan club. During the entire ride you are in pitch darkness while a super dorky alien sci-fi music plays in your ears. By not having you sense of sight, every twist and turn in the ride is a surprise and overall experience is more immersive. 

Walt Disney set out to create an amusement park that could be enjoyed equally by children, adults and elderly and I truly believe he met his goals. Part of that has to do with how the rides are designed to tell a STORY and you as the rider get to experience that story firsthand. 

So there are no massive gut wrenching drops or crazy loops because Disney rides are not about cheap quick 20 second thrills. But what really blew me away and makes Disney truly stand apart from other amusement parks is the fact that every ride that I went on was designed to be accessible for those in a wheelchair. I commend Disney for taking the extra step to ensure everyone can enjoy their attractions. On Space Mountain a section of the track shifts over with an empty cart. This allows the the individual that needs extra assistance to get into the cart without feeling that they are holding up the ride. Once they are ready to go, that cart slides back onto the main track. I do not consider Space Mountain to be a "kiddy" ride as it features fast accelerations, sharp turns and takes place in complete darkness. I really doubt other non-Disney parks designed their big coasters to be as accessible.  

"I felt that there should be something built, some kind of amusement enterprise, where the parents and the children could have fun together. So that's how Disneyland started" - Walt Disney

I kept trying to save Sleeping Beauty's Castle for my last day, but when I finally felt ready to explore every corner of Fantasy land and the Castle, I learned they were closing that area of the park in order to prepare for the fireworks show. I was beyond choked as it was my last night at Disneyland and I did not get to see the castle. Still bitter and upset about that, so if you go, make sure you visit the castle earlier in the day. 

Each night, Disneyland finishes with fireworks spectacle. The staff will ever so slightly start ushering guests from the outer edges of the park towards Main Street, U.S.A. This is because the end of the fireworks signals the closing of the park. I talk about the methodical crowd control planning that has gone into Disney Parks in my California Adventure post too. The fireworks lit up the sky above the castle, but what I was not expecting were the video projections on the castle and on ALL of the storefronts along Main Street. I think my favourite part was when thousands of colourful balloons were projected on the stores with the music from Up filling the air. The fireworks show ends with that classic "When you wish up on a star" that we hear at the beginning of all Disney movies. I live for it!

I will be writing a few more shorter posts on my Disney trip. One of them will be on Club 33 and the other will be all about my souvenirs including pressed pennies. 

BYES