Music Monday: Doctor Doctor



David Myles is a musician who I've been a huge fan of for several years now.  I've been to his live show at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, as well as at the Indian River Festival here on PEI, and he consistently puts on an absolutely fantastic show.  So obviously I was eagerly anticipating the release of his latest EP, Here Now, which came out last Friday.  This tune was the first single from the EP to be released, and it's been an integral number in the solo car concerts that are typical of my lengthy drives to visit family and friends each weekend. Feel-good fun, and I like it. 
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Paris After the Rain

L: Lip Parfait Creamy Colour Balm in Rive Droite and Rive Gauche
R, Top: Matte Eye Colours - Champs Elysée, Saint Germain, Tour Eiffel and Le Marais
R, Bottom: Multi Chrome Pearl Toppers: La Madeleine, Arc de Triomphe, Rue de Rivoli, and Montmartre
    
I'm never one to turn away from the chance to try a new make-up look, so I basically jumped at the chance to give the new spring launch from Laura Mercier a go.  The launch (in stores as of January) included two new colours in the Lip Parfait Creamy Colour Balm (USD $25) range, as well as a limited edition eyeshadow palette, entitled Paris After the Rain (USD $55).  
  
The Lip Parfait formula is creamy, with a medium coverage and a gloss-like shine. Both Rive Droite and Rive Gauche are lovely nude colours, wearable with so many looks and so easy to wear.  I am all about a nude lip of late, and so I was thrilled with these. Not to mention that my parched lips very much appreciate the balm in Colour Balm. These lippies are seriously hydrating and I am officially a fan. 
  
Eyes: Laura Mercier's Saint Germain, Le Marais, Champs Elysées, Montmartre and
 Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara  Lips: Laura Mercier's Rive Gauche 
   
The Paris After the Rain palette has beautiful colours encased in simple and classic black matte packaging. Inside, there are four matte shades and four "multi chrome pearl toppers", or, in layman's terms, shimmery shades. With the exception of Saint Germain (matte) and perhaps La Madeleine (shimmer), these are fairly dramatic colours for everyday, and are much more suited to a smoky eye look, accented with the pearlescent shimmer of the multi chrome colours.  Saint Germain is also the most buttery of the matte shades, to the point that it almost feels like a different formula to the other three. Even though the remaining three matte shades are also quite creamy - they are just not as next-level as Saint Germain.  That said, all four are richly pigmented, and long-lasting: the make-up look I tried out above lasted for hours and hours with no touch-ups required.  
   
The glittery pearl shades are also beautifully formulated, much like Saint Germain, and are super easy to apply. I went for my fingertips instead of a brush and was very pleased with the resulting dimension it added to the look.  The only real drawback for me with this palette is that it's pretty pricey for the quantity of shadow it contains. Consider that the Tartelette in Bloom palette with 12 shadows instead of eight, in USD at least, is ten dollars less. However, for the die-hard eyeshadow fan, and especially for fans of Laura Mercier products, I think this palette wouldn't disappoint.  I know I'll certainly get a fair amount of use out of this palette, especially for evening and more dramatic looks.
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Book By Its Cover v.2

   
As I have mentioned before, I do admit to being drawn in by beautiful cover art.  It is what always initially leads me to pick up the book and take a peek at the description inside the dust jacket or on the back of the novel. Lately, I'm particularly taken with floral covers, and there are some seriously beautiful ones featured on novels I'm also very interested to read, so I thought I'd share those here today. 
   
Black Iris by Leah Raeder - A dark suspense novel with themes of bullying, gossip, mental illness and romance - sounds like a good read to me!
The Widow, by Fiona Barton - After having read The Girl on the Train I was intrigued by the idea of this story of the widow of a man who'd been suspected of a terrible crime. I think it is a unique premise, and that is always intriguing.

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra -I actually just finished this historical fiction novel about an heiress with an unusual speech impediment, unraveling the mysterious work being done by her physician brother-in-law and her potential suitor.  

You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz - I admit that with this one, it is the cover that interests me more than the story - a romance with a Lurlene McDaniel-esque tragedy. That said, I may still give it a try.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - This book initially caught my eye as one of the Best of 2013 Goodreads winners for historical fiction - a genre I generally enjoy. Also interesting was the idea of a protagonist who dies and comes back to life repeatedly.  Not sure I understand how that will work into the tale, but I am definitely curious.
  
The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith -  Although I think that this will be a difficult read, I think it's also an important one. It follows Eden, in the aftermath of a rape by her brother's best friend, set over the course of her journey through high school.  I'm interested to see how Amber Smith depicts such a sensitive and unfortunately all-too-common occurrence.
Are there any beautifully-covered books grabbing your attention lately?
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Happy Valentine

Valentine

   
Whether you're celebrating with a special loved one or enjoying the day solo, taking a day to remember and delight in the love that surrounds us is always a good idea.  Even if romance isn't in the air for everyone, there are many kinds of love to rejoice in - certainly the love of friends and family is always something to be grateful for.  And certainly, taking some time to invest in loving and caring for yourself is always worthwhile too.  To that end, I've shared a few little bits and bobs that I think would be the perfect little treats for a love-filled day, whether your being treated or simply treating yourself!
   
If ever there was a "healthy" and beautiful chocolate bar, the new Chocolate Bon Bons palette from Too Faced (or any of their Chocolate Bar palettes, for that matter) is certainly one of them.  A gorgeous set of wearable shades that even smells like chocolate = perfection.
   
A sparkling and glittery bauble is something I love any day of the year.  I personally love this classic pavé chain-link bracelet from J. Crew.
   
It might be a little bit cheesy or kitschy, but I can't help but enjoy this sweet little heart-shaped Secret Admirer bag from Kate Spade - it's totally adorable.
   
I'm a huge fan of the Hello Kitty x OPI collection (more on that later), and this sparkling rosy pink polish, Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel is absolutely gorgeous on, and especially perfect for a love-filled day like today.
   
There's nothing like a gentle aroma to lift the spirits, and so for me, a lovely scented candle is never amiss when relaxation and indulgence are the words of the day.  This rosewater, cherry and violet scented pick, Loose Lips, by Byredo, is just the ticket for a Valentine's Day scent. 
   
Continuing on with beautiful scents, this new perfume from Miu Miu has been on my wishlist for a while, and it's not simply because of the totally stunning packaging (although as a lover of perfume bottles as much as perfume itself, it certainly helps.  I got a sample of this and used it up almost immediately - the central note, lily of the valley, is one of my very favourite floral scents, so it comes as no surprise that I love this fragrance. 
   
So it might be a major splurge item, but I think this Cat Nap Set from Charlotte Olympia would be the perfect gift, or also the ideal way to treat yourself.  With sweet snoozy kitten slippers and matching sleep mask, what's not to love?

Lastly, it wouldn't be a true wish-list of mine without a book. Obviously. I am smitten with all things Paris (my dream to visit has yet to come true) and I would love to get my hands on this inspiring collection of chic looks, Paris Street Style. The ultimate inspiration for Parisian-chic dressing.
   
No matter what your relationship status, I hope you find yourself surrounded by love today.
   
Happy Valentine's Day!
   
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Reviewed: Oxygenetix Foundation & Moisturizer


Even though I am well into adulthood, my struggle with acne and covering it up continues to be very real.  So, when I got an email from Oxygenetix regarding breathable, oxygenating moisturizer and foundation that are targeted to both covering and healing a variety of skin concerns -  in my case, acne, I was intrigued.  
   
The Oxygenating Moisturizer emerged as the hands down favourite of the two.  It is lovely, super light-weight, very hydrating, and wears extremely well under make-up. I've been using it morning and night for about a month, and my skin has been responding really well to it.  Oftentimes with very sensitive skin, some formulas can be irritating, but this is one I would absolutely  be interested to purchase when my current supply runs out, if budget allows.
  
 I was impressed at the range of colours in the Oxygenating Foundation range, as it does seem to cater to a truly wide array of skin tones, more so than many foundations I've seen from other brands.  I went with Pearl, and it was a very good colour match for my very fair skin. 
  
I would say it provides a light-to-medium coverage that I was happy with, although I think you could likely build it up to full coverage.  I'm not sure how it would be at covering up scars or more intense redness, though, as I don't have those skin concerns.

It wasn't like my experience with Dermablend, which provided super-full coverage and really perfected the skin.  However, I do think that there does have to be some allowance made for the breathability of this foundation, because it certainly feels like there's nothing on your skin, which I love.  I did still have some breakouts, but those were not exacerbated or increased by this foundation, which, for me is definitely unusual but totally great!  As a super-pale redhead, I do also certainly appreciate the SPF.  Both products are also vegan and cruelty free, which is a plus.
  
  
This is a very specialized product, and so the price reflects this.  It is certainly not drugstore range, but much more high end with the moisturizer at $85 and the foundation at $66 - and that is on a US site - our poor Canadian dollar! Ouch! Particularly when noting that Chanel's brand new Les Beiges foundation is $65 (CAD) for double the amount. Combined with very minimal, less attractive packaging, it makes the price point a bit hard to swallow, considering the 15 ml gets used up very quickly - I'm already almost out! That said, if it fits your very specialized skin care concerns, it might well be worth it. 
  
The main downer for me, is how difficult it is to get this product. It's not available anywhere on PEI, and is only sold in select specialized beauty or skincare clinics in Canada (There is a list here).  It seems to be more readily available in the US, and I did find it (on sale!) at online beauty boutique Lovely Skin, which does actually ship to Canada - although with our dollar the way it is, even the relatively reasonable flat rate shipping of $20 is going to hurt.  You're going to have to really want this stuff and seek it out to add it to your collection.  I noted that Lovely Skin does offer $9 samples of foundation to test for colour match, which is helpful, especially since one can't easily pop in to a counter to swatch, as you might with drugstore or even higher end designer brands like Nars, or Armani. 
  
Overall, I did find these to be good quality if difficult-to-obtain products.  Both are a bit costly for my more humble beauty budget, but I may make an exception for the moisturizer. If you do have seriously sensitive or damaged skin, however, the foundation might also be worth considering, although with the price point, I'd certainly suggest trying out the sample size first to be sure of a good colour match.
  
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