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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: March 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If a Purse Genie Gave Me Three Wishes...

Imagine this scenario: You are standing in Holt Renfrew wearing the creme-de-la-creme of your wardrobe (because nobody walks into Holts dressed otherwise), pretending to be an uncommitted browser. A beautiful Lanvin purse catches your eye and you stroll over casually to disguise your childish eagerness. You covertly (and covetly) stroke the lusciously smooth leather when suddenly-POOF! A purse genie appears and grants you three purse wishes. Which would I choose? ....And yes, I did choose Lanvin because it rhymes with Aladdin.

1) Chanel (Who wouldn't have Chanel at the top of their list?)

I love this quilted calfskin tote bag in black and cream, the two most iconic colours in Chanel handbags. This bag is versatile with its hand straps as well as shoulder straps. If I could wear a Chanel bag everyday, it would be this one; large enought to fit a book, wallet, sunglasses, cosmetic bag, and keys-my daily essentials. It is a timeless classic that can be handed down for generations.

2) Valentino Ricamo Shining Flower Tote

This piece of purse heaven is embellished with black sequins, cream-silk chiffon petals, crystals and black satin. It may sound like overkill and kitschy, but Valentino knows how to reign it in within the boundaries of class, sophistication, and glamour.
3) Marc by Marc Jacobs Groovee New Q Leather Bag

The two staples of a purse collection are an everyday black and cream purse. Coloured purses supplement a purse collection with drama, originality, and versatility, but the two pillars are the black and cream purse. My favourite cream purse is this tote by Marc Jacobs. It has a detachable khaki strap that lends itself well for daywear as well as the tradition arm straps to rest in the crook of your arm. This bag has a classic silhouette but the red leopard lining gives it a flare of modern rebellion.


Chanel Rouge Coco

"The perfect colour is the colour that is right for you."-Coco Chanel

Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Colour, the new permanent lipstick collection by Chanel, has a colour for every woman. In fact, most colours are universally flattering which adds to the appeal of these luxurious, moisturizing, and long lasting lipsticks. (for high definition swatches, click here)

The mastermind behind the Rouge Coco line, Peter Philips, endeavoured to create a product that would tempt all women, whether they be lipstick traditionalists or gloss-crazed moderns: "The challenge is to keep Chanel edgy and modern but also retain the values of a luxury brand and offer beautiful, quality products." The end product was the perfect compromise between the two preferences: a smooth as silk lipstick that gives off just the right amount of sheen. Of course the lipgloss loyalists can add one of Chanel's Glossimers on top, but I prefer these lipsticks as they are.

Adding to the charm and appeal of these lipsticks is the sentimentality associated with the names. Each of the lipsticks represents some aspect of Coco (Mademoiselle) Chanel's life. For example, the Chanel store is located on rue Chambon in Paris, both of which are names in this range. When applying the lipsticks you feel a profound connection not only with the brand, but with its creator.

These lipsticks are the the beauty world's equivalent to a Manolo Blahnik shoe-beautiful with an accompanying weighty price tag. They retail for $38.00 Canadian before taxes, which means the average woman may not find this conducive with her monthly budget. If you are interested in trying one of these tubes of perfection (and there really is no rush seeing how 30 of the 33 colours are permanent) but can only afford one, I would suggest you pick one side of the spectrum: an everyday natural (Camelia or Mademoiselle), or the iconic Chanel red (Cambon or Gabrielle).

However, there is a free alternative if you are unsure if you can invest that much without being convinced for yourself. All the Chanel counters have a sample package with four colours and a small lipbrush that they hide behind the counters. Usually they only give them to purchasing customers (they have already given me two), but if you ask nicely to the right person you can try one of these samples and draw your own conclusions.

I currently possess ten of the lipsticks and, in keeping with my promise of full disclosure, I did receive several for free and others at a discount.

From Left to Right: #9 Organdi Rose, #17 Orchidee, #23 Rouge Orage, #20 Rose Comete, #15 Ruban Rose, #11 Legende, #10 Camelia

From Left to Right: #6 Egerie, #5 Mademoiselle, #33 Bois des Iles


Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Fair Carey Mulligan, Hollywood's Modern Day Audrey Hepburn

With rumours rampant that she may accept the role of Eliza Doolittle-Hepburn's fame making role in My Fair Lady-Carey Mulligan is subject to style comparisons to Hollywood's original sweetheart. This movie has a special place in my heart as does Ms Hepburn, so I would hate to see the role go to somone who would be found lacking. Thankfully, I feel that Carey is the perfect choice due to the undeniable similarities in her style and disposition to Audrey Hepburn. Additionally, Carey has the acting finesse that would allow her to carry the role, not be overwhelmed by it.

Carey possesss all the qualities that made Hepburn so loved: genuine, humble, intelligent, talented, whimsical, beautiful, and refined. I have created a montage demonstrating why I think Carey is the modern Audrey Hepburn:


Friday, March 19, 2010

A Little Sass and Brass

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, makeup company ad campaigns are supposed to inspire buyers to try and recreate the look that they are presenting as the new face of the season. My personal favourite beauty related campaign du jour is Scarlett Johansson for Dolce Gabbana.

Clearly inspired by the sirens of the 1950s (most iconically Marilyn Monroe), there is an emphasis on a bold red lip, porcelain skin with light contouring, and a neutral wash of colour on the lid balanced by dramatic liner. Scarlett showed women that this look does not prefer blondes when she appeared at the launch party with luscious chocolate waves and cherry red lips.

You are all well aware of my vintage movie and red lipstick obsession, so it is not a far stretch to imagine why I adore this look. The Dolce Gabbana range is exclusive to Saks 5th Avenue; thus, I must lust from afar


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Product Rave: L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black

Do you want the look of fake lashes without the hassle of glue and poking yourself with tweezers? Me too! Which is why I am so excited about my L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara. I have been quite dubious of L'Oreal mascaras in the past (all promise and no pay-off) but they have certainly stepped up their game with this one.

Not only does it lengthen, it also thickens and curls lashes with the darkest pigment of black giving the illusion of fake lashes. So much so that I actually had a woman at a beauty counter ask me if my eyelashes were fake this week. The brush is the perfect compromise for people on opposite side of the brush-size preference spectrum; it is large enough to add wow factor, but not too small to be obsolete. Thankfully L'Oreal refrained from going down the "brush on steroids" road like some other brands (AHEM! Benefit Bad Gal Lash...).

If I had to compare this to a high-end mascara then I would say that it is comparable to the YSL Faux Cils
or Benefit Bad Gal Lash. My one bone (or should I say lash?) to pick with this mascara is that by the end of the day there are a few flakes of fall-out, but it is not excessive.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Scent of A Woman

I am in constant pursuit of my signature scent. There are definitely certain scent notes that people in my life associate with me (vanilla, cinnamon, amber); thus, whenever I stroll the perfume section of a department store and am accosted by an army of spritzer women, I am secretly searching out my perfect scent.

Time and again I have been sure that I have found THE ONE scent that screams "Lydia!", but alas my fidelity is challenged with a fresh waft of scented air.

For you all, I have compiled a list of my all time favourite perfumes, both past and present loves. You will notice that they all (with few exceptions) belong to the same vanilla/oriental/spice family which I persistently favour over more floral scents. Additionaly, I prefer the more saturated eau de parfums to the fleeting eau de toilettes. Please feel free to offer up suggestions or post your own personal favourites.

1) Yves St Laurent- La Parisienne
Notes: blackberry, damask rose, and sandalwood

2) Thierry Mugler- Angel
Notes: Bergamot, Hedione, Helional, Honey, Dewberry, Red Berries, Vanilla, Caramel, Patchouli, Chocolate, Coumarin

3) Hanae Mori- Butterfly
Notes: Strawberries, Bilberries, Black Currant, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Sandalwood, Almond, Praline

4) Lolita Lempicka- "L"
Notes: Bitter Orange, Cinnamon, Immortal, Vanilla, Precious Woods, Solar Notes, Musk

5) Dior- Miss Dior Cherie Eau de Parfum
Notes: Green Tangerine, Violette, Pink Jasmine, Patchouli, Crystalline Musk, Strawberry Leaves, Caramelized Popcorn, Strawberry Sorbet.

6) Dior- Hypnotic Poison
Notes: Bitter Almond, Caraway Spice, Sambac Jasmine, Cinnamon, Tuberose, Vanilla, Musk, Mosses, Jucarunda Wood.

7) Viktor and Rolf- Flowerbomb
Notes: Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, Patchouli

8) Juicy Couture- Viva La Juicy
Notes: Wild Berries, Mandarins, Honeysuckle, Gardenia, Jasmine, Amber, Caramel, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Praline.

9) Burberry- Brit Eau de Parfum
Notes: Italian Lime, Icy Pear, Green Almond, White Peony, Sugared Almonds, Amber, Mahogany, Vanilla, Tonka Bean

10) Michael Kors-Very Hollywood
Notes: Mandarin, Gardenia, Vetiver

11) Vera Wang- Princess
Notes: Water Lily, Lady Apple, Mandarin Meringue, Golden Apricot Skin, Ripe Pink Guava, Tahitian Flower, Wild Tuberose, Dark Chocolate, Pink Frosting Accord, Precious Amber, Forbidden Woods, Royal Musk Captive, Chiffon Vanilla.

12) Cacherel- Amor Amor
Notes: vanilla, jasmine, black currant


Affordable Honourable Mentions: Victoria Secret- Vanilla Lace, Victoria Secret- Amber Roance, Benefit- My Place or Yours Gina

Envelope Vanity

I have 50+ resume envelopes to lick shut and all I can think about is the Seinfeld episode when George's fiance dies from licking wedding envelopes. I don't know why they don't make pretty AND self-adhesive envelopes. Is this the price to pay for envelope vanity?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar After Party Glitz and Glamour

1) Lea Michele (You really can't be suprised. Just get used to the ideo that Lea will be a permanent fixture on my top dressed lists.)

2) Cameron Diaz in Victoria Beckham Collection

3) Jessica Simpson in Carolina Herrera

4) Zoe Saldana in Riccardo Tisci
5) Nicole Ritchie in Reem Acra. I realize that she wore this dress to the awards show as well and she was overlooked on my first Best Dressed list, but the more I look at this ensemble, the more I love it. Is it just me or is this a modern take on Audrey Hepburn circa 1960s?

6) Jennifer Hudson chose the perfect colour and silhouette.

Oscar's Golden Girls (and one Golden Man)

1) Sandra Bullock in a gold, form fitting, beaded Marchesa that was perfectly accessorized by her newest acquisition...her much deserved and belated Oscar.
2) Maggie Gyllenhaal in a gorgeous paint stroke patterened Dries van Noten. Nobody but Maggie could pull of this dress.
3) Rachel McAdams is radiant (as always) in an ethereal and multi-coloured Elie Saab.
4) Carey Mulligan-Hollywood's fresh faced talent and budding fashionista. It is so refreshing to see a young starlet taking risks with fashion and succeeding so flawlessly. Carey's Prada dress was sequined with miniature forks, knives, and scissors which cut down her competition to get unto my dressed list. (And she took Anna Wintour's advice to go short for the Oscars halfway to heart.)
5) Cameron Diaz in a golden sequined Oscar de la Renta. I am reminded why he is one of my favourite designers.
6) Kristen Stewart in a navy specialy designed Monique Lhuillier. This trumpet shaped gown created flattering curves on Kristen's reed frame.
7) Jennifer Lopez in a pale pink Armani Prive that highlighted her beautiful bronze skin.
8) Queen Latifah continues to hit fashion high notes in this embellished lavendar gown.
9) Penelope Cruz in a wine red Donna Karan that celebrates her Spanish roots.
10) Kate Winslet in Yves St Laurent was the embodiment of grace and sophistication.
11) Amanda Seyfried looked like a princess in her ice blue Armani Prive. She stole my breathe away as she flowed on to the stage to present. Unfortunately Miley Cyrus followed close behind...
12) I grudgingly add Miley Cyrus to this list with reservation. To be honest, I am not a fan, HOWEVER, this dress was flattering to her figure and colouring and for a moment she actually looked elegant.
13) Robert Downey Jr has held a soft place in my heart since the very first time that I watched Only You. Tonight his quirkiness was a fun departure from the tight laced tuxedos that abound on the red carpet. I love the additions of blue and the sneakers that her work with his Lanvin tux. Plus, his GORGEOUS wife perfectly complimented and balanced his eccentricity.

And the Oscar for Best Makeup Goes To...

I am so happy to see a bold lip that is not red! Sandra and Maggie (who wore Chanel Rouge Coco in Paris and Nars Shiap respectively) were not overpowered by their gorgeous lips; instead, it added the perfect amount of colour to their faces. I will absolutely be reaching for my fuschia lipsticks now that this trend has been revived.

1) Sandra Bullock

2) Maggie Gyllenhaal

3) Rachel McAdams

4) Jennifer Lopez

5) Zoe Saldana