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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: January 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hot Off The Press: The New ghd Air Puts the Salon In Your Hands

Established as a professional stylists’ must have styling tool for over 10 years,  ghd  has revolutionized the way in which we style our hair. Now ghd, the world’s leading luxury haircare brand brings you its first salon strength hairdryer that will blow you away - ghd air.  

Developed in conjunction with professional styling experts, the new ghd air is designed to help  you unlock the secret to a gorgeous salon blow dry, every day. Featuring a powerful professional  motor and  advanced ionic technology, it delivers exceptionally fast drying  and styling  while  helping to reduce frizz, leaving your hair soft and silky. Whether you’re looking for quick, sleek,  smooth results or fabulous, impactful volume, ghd air puts the salon power in your hands. It’s  the perfect companion to the other ghd styling tools and makes sure you leave the house  looking beautifully glamorous. 

ghd CEO Paul Stoneham  says: ‘We’re extremely proud to be launching ghd air, especially in our 10th anniversary year. An incredible amount of research, development and testing has gone into  producing such a high caliber, salon strength hairdryer. ghd air will leave consumers literally  blown away.”  
Ultimately sleek and stylish, the specifically designed ergonomic shape gives you total control over your style creation – whilst looking elegantly chic at the same time. Hailed as the ‘Aston Martin of Haircare,’ over the last 10 years ghd has transformed the style of women around the globe.  The launch of ghd air is the latest addition to ghd’s hair care range and is the perfect fusion of ghd design and salon power. 

An ideal tool to help create a salon look at home, the new ghd air boasts the following benefits:

 Advanced Ionic Technology: for reduced frizz and a silkier, softer finish
 Cool shot button: for a quick blast of cool air to fix your look in place
 Salon strength AC motor: for more powerful drying
 2 concentrator nozzles: helping to create a wide variety of styles
 Ergonomic design: for easy handling and maximum control

The new ghd air professional hairdryer doesn't just dry hair, it inspires it.


Hair Makeover at Lure Salon in Heart of Downtown Vancouver

Since moving to Vancouver a year and a half ago, my hair has been led to slaughter on two occasions as I tried to find a new hair stylist. I had given up trying to fix it and the result was a scraggly, outgrown and confused hairstyle that was begging to be delivered from its joyless existence. After a providential encounter with a makeup artist at Sephora right before Christmas, I was convinced that Lure Salon and its cofounder Linda Refosco would be my hair's saving grace.

Lure Salon, located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, is an energetic and fashion loving salon that focuses on masterful quality and luxurious experience. When sitting in a hair designers chair, clients feel like they have been welcomed in to the fold of a close, bubbly, exquisitely chic family and never want to leave. All of the designers are geniuses that have their finger on the pulse of new beauty trends and techniques that bring life back to your tired tresses. 

December 30th was my day of reckoning, so armed with a few photos for inspiration I was ushered to an oval table in the centre of all the action where Linda performs her consultations. My one request was "Get rid of this tail hanging down my back." We poured over the pictures I had brought and she thoroughly explained how certain looks would work and why others wouldn't. After she pulled some suggestions from the mountains of current magazines, we both agreed on Khloe Kardashian. 

The one word that best describes Linda is wisdom. Ladies, she is the real deal. A hair designer that can see the finished product even before she has started creating. She took in to consideration my attachment to length, the thickness and texture of my hair, and the shape of my face. Once I sat in her chair all of my fears fled and I let her have her way with me. 

Inspiration: Khloe Kardashian

My hair in all of its frizzy au naturel glory. I purposely left it wavy because I like for hair designers to see what it does when left on its own. On the off day that I leave my hair untamed, I still need my hair cut to work for me. 
Taken 6 hours after the taming of my shrewish hair. This is the BEST haircut I have had in years. No, scrap that. EVER. Linda's enchanted scissors managed to keep the length I love (hello security blanket), but still permanently ended the existence of that horrid tail. This hair cut has afforded me endless styling possibilities. The soft long layers throughout hold volume and curl perfectly. For the more casual days, a quick blow dry with a paddle and round brush give me soft movement and smooth tresses. 

I can not extol the virtues of Lure Salon enough. It is the place in Vancouver to find either your signature look or your "it" look of the season. 

**Please excuse the poor camera phone quality pictures.**


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) 2012: Best Beauty

Dianna Agron
Emily Blunt
Rose Byrne
Emma Stone
Michelle Williams
Lea Michelle
Viola Davis

Photo Credits:


Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) 2012: Best Dressed

 Emily Blunt in Oscar de la Renta
Emma Stone in Alexander McQueen
 Dianna Agron in Carolina Herrera
Sophia Vergara in Marchesa
Viola Davis in Marchesa
 Michelle Williams in Valentino
Jayma Mays in Reem Acra
Honourable Mention: Natalie Portman in Giambattista Valli

Photo Credits: Bella Sugar


Benefit's Hervana Blush: Ridiculous Name, Amazing Product

A "good karma" face powder? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! Aside from ridiculous name, this newest addition to the infamous Benefit blush range is a lovely soft-finish satin blush.

The pinwheel design is compromised of four complimentary colours: Lucky Shell, Divine Peach, Heavenly Rose, and Berry Delight. Because Benefit took the time to name the individual shades, it does make me wonder if they will be releasing full sizes of each in the future. 
It is a impractical to assume that you can use the colour individually because the strips are so narrow. It would require an infinite amount of patience and a very slender brush to achieve such a feat. Save yourself the hassle and enjoy the lovely result of swirling all the colours together to achieve an orchid blossom hued flush. 

Unlike some of Benefit's other coveted blushes, Hervana is softer in pigment on the first application, but it does build well; still, this is not a bold blush colour which makes it ideal for natural daily wear. In spite of apparent shimmer in the box, Hervana gives off more of a glow than a sparkle. 

Grade: A-


An Adventure in Gel Manicures: Nail Swatches

December: Gelish Soak-Off Gel Polish in Good Gossip
Grade: A-

A fun choice for the holiday season, but a little too cha-cha for everyday longterm. 

Beginning of January: OPI Axxium Gel Lacquer in Bastille My Heart
Grade: A-

A gel version of one of my favourite OPI nail colours. One of the advantages of the OPI range is that they have transformed some of their most popular colours into the gel formaula without compromising the pigment or the finish. 

End of January: Gelish Soak-Off Gel Polish in Diva
Grade: A+
This is definitely a colour that I will be getting again. I love all of the nuances and the infusion of fine multi-dimensional shimmer. 


Put Down The Nail File and Step Away From My Nails!! A Gel Manicure Nightmare

Thanks to Laura of Buy Now, Blog Later (formerly known as Lollipop26),  I have found the solution to my nail polish application nightmares. I have given up trying to apply my own polish and have surrendered to the fact that a four year old has more precision with the brush than I do. Enter gel polish manicures. That sound my friends, is the rejoicing of the beauty angels singing a Hallelujah chorus. 

Because there is always a "but"...

If you can find an honest and reliable nail salon, then the gel manicure experience is really a no-brainer. BUT, to find such a place will take research, patience, and-let me repeat-RESEARCH. Let mine be a cautionary tale that you do not repeat. Really, it was quite silly of me not looking in to spotting the fake gel manicures from the the legitimate ones. 

I had my first gel manicure right before Christmas at a popular local salon. The customer service was severely lacking but the technicien was diligent (if not a little rough) and the gel polish was applied with precision. I picked a colour from the Gelish range and she used that brand for all three steps. My manicure lasted for 3  weeks before it needed to be redone. 

I returned to the same salon in early January and decided to try the OPI AXXIUM Gel System. This was the first time I had the gel polish removed and right away red flags started to fly in my mind. I knew that there was a specific process that needed to happen but the more I questioned the technicien, the more she pretended not to understand me or speak English (even though she had a full conversation with her client before me). She filled a bowl with clear liquid from a squirt bottle and told me to soak my fingers up to the knuckle. When I asked what the liquid was she ignore me, grabbed my hand and plopped it in the bowl. Immediately my paper cut started to sting and I realized she had my wallowing in ACETONE! Then she impatiently began scratching at my nail surface with a cuticle cleaner and nail file until she had chipped away all the polish. WRONG WRONG WRONG. She used a Gelish Base and Top Coat with the OPI polish which should never be done because the two are not formulated to work together. The result was a manicure that was murky and lasted a week before showing surface scratches.

I so regret not getting up the minute she brushed off my apprehension. After doing some online research (I highly recommend the article from Bella Sugar), I found another nail salon that knows what they are doing, is extremely welcoming and professional, and will talk you through each step. And to add insult to injury, they only charge $35 versus $45 at the salon of horror. 
PROS Of Gel Manicures

-Manicure looks fresh and perfect without knicks or scratches for at least two weeks
-No fake nails required because it is applied directly over your own nail
-Protects and strengthens your nails allowing them to grow at an equal rate
-Great range of colours and finishes

CONS of Gel Manicures

-There are a lot of nail salons that aren't properly certified or trained but are still offering the service

-Huge cost discrepancy between nail salons. A true gel manicure can cost anywhere between $35 and $60 dollars
-Frequency of re-application dependent on how quickly your nails grow and how long you like them
-Your regular nail polishes will be neglected for at least two weeks
-Timely: removal and re-application takes approximately 45 minutes

Bottom Line: I love the low maintenance and stress free care of gel manicures and will continue to frequent my new salon. I have certainly learned my lesson.


Beauty Blog Link Love 28/01/12

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed thinks size does matter and tests out her theory with Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara - check out her results and see if you agree!

My Funny Valentine is proud to present...A vain person's guide to water sports: how to waterproof your makeup and deal with chlorine.

Nail bling strikes again! Musicalhouses shows you her silver and blue nail art with pearls and hearts!

At Lipstick Musings, Shannon embarks on her first-ever fragrance review with the all-natural artistry of Aftelier Perfume's Cepes and Tuberose.

With the BB cream craze in full swing, Rae takes a moment at theNotice to review (and swatch) the much-hyped Marcelle BB Cream. Find out it if this new wonder-product is all it's talked up to be!

New year calls for new product launches! Miss Beauty Nerd tests out Maybelline's newest - their SuperStay Lip Colors and EyeStudio Color Tattoos.

Beauty In The Mirror has been reviewing the very popular OCC Lip Tars. Pop over for some great pictures and advice.

Kajal Couture shares her tips on preventing eyeshadow fallout.

Prime Beauty is dreaming of spring with the Nordstrom Exclusive Dior Garden Party Milly Garden Clutch.

Looking for some double duty beauty products? Check out Krasey Beauty's recs!

Kimberly at Kimmie Karma Love shows her New Years Eve makeup and the day after pictures!

Phyrra presents a variety of lovely lipsticks and pigmented lipglosses from Morgana Cryptoria.

Tracy at Beauty Reflections has a new PRECIOUS called Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites.

Join Anita in celebrating reaching 400 followers and win yourself a gorgeous Accessorize Eyeshadow Palette!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ellen Does Sofia Vergara's Makeup

Starring Sofia Vergara as Dezi Arnaz and Ellen Degeneres as Lucille Ball:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Best Beauty Golden Globes 2012

Emma Stone
Charlize Theron
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Paula Patton

Dianna Agron
Evan Rachel Wood
Jessica Alba
Michelle Williams
Katherine McPhee
Angelina Jolie

Photo Credits: Bella Sugar