Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Asian Taste

If you know anything about me, you probably know that I have a total obsession with sushi. Unfortunately, where we live there isn't a ton of nice, cheap sushi shops to feed my addiction. To solve this dilemma, a couple of my girlfriends and I decided to try our hand at some home made sushi...and it was (if I may say so) every bit as good as my local sushi joint!

We decided that we would do different combinations of smoked salmon, asparagus and avocado. Divine. To recreate these yummy treats you will also need some "sushi rice" or calrose rice, sheets of seaweed, mayo mixed with sriracha and a bamboo sushi roller. If you don't have a bamboo one like us, you can easily do the same motion with a slightly damp dish towel. You will also need a really sharp knife!


First, make your rice per the directions on the package and let it cool for at least 20 minutes. If it's not cool I find that it is harder to get it to stick to the seaweed.
 Next, smooth out your rice on the paper leaving about half an inch without rice on one of the ends. On the opposite end add your filling. I like to add the sauce first so it all sticks together!

If you use asparagus don't forget to steam them! Ours were still pretty crunchy after steaming them but it ended up being a nice contrast to the other softer fillings.

Now comes the tricky part: rolling. It is pretty hard for me to explain this process in words but I've found a handy little video for you to learn from. It takes a bit of getting used to but I promise it isn't that difficult!

And chop! Make sure you wet your knife each time to get a clean edge.

Now I'm not saying I'm a pro, but these were definitely tasty. If you give this a try I'd love to see your finished product! Leave a comment with any tips/ tricks you have picked up on your own sushi-making adventures!



Monday, 8 April 2013

A Skincare Routine to Combat Dry Skin

Okay, there is one thing to note before I launch into this post, and that is: I'm kind of a freakazoid about my skincare routineIn general, the more steps there are in my regimen,  the happier I am. I love the ritual of cleansing and moisturizing before bed and starting each day with a fresh face. However, I wasn't always an advocate for a 7-step routine. My interest in skin care began somewhat recently. Last winter was definitely a turning point for me, skincare-wise; It was a constant battle against dry skin. After trying several different facial moisturizers, I added a serum to my (barely there) routine. It made a slight difference by keeping some of the dry skin at bay. But my skin still didn't have the plump, moisturized, healthy look I was searching for. When fall 2012 rolled around and the temperatures started to drop, I didn't plan to wait for dry patches to kick in. I revamped my skin care routine, adding in several steps (products) I hadn't considered in the past and switching out products that were no longer effective for new ones.

I start my routine with a cleanser, such as a hydrating one by CeraVe which contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid (aka makes my skin rejoice). It's basic, unscented and doesn't foam but leaves my skin feeling clean and hydrated from day to day. On nights where I might wear eye makeup, I add in a makeup remover such as Bioderma sensibio H2O solution micellaire to make sure it has been removed before going to bed. My preference for using this product lies in the fact that I don't have to pull at the skin around the eye area to remove stubborn eye makeup. I use MAC Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion as a toner after cleansing and before using the Hydraluron serum and a moisturizer. The toner has a slight scent (which I love) and I do not find it to be at all irritating or drying, as I have found with others. On week nights, I rotate between using Olay Regenerist night resurfacing elixir as an AHA exfoliant and Proactiv repairing treatment as a benzoyl peroxide treatment (only on small areas where I'm more prone to break out), and a moisturizer that contains a small amount of retinol, such as Neutrogena healthy skin anti-wrinkle cream. I use a moisturizer with spf every morning. Olay Regenerist one is a current favourite as it layers nicely under makeup.

So you may mock my, ahem, extended routine (*Emily*), however since I began using these products, I haven't had a single dry patch of skin all winter *knocks on wood*. One of the best aspects of this routine is that almost all of these products are from the drug store!

Have you found a routine that works for your skin type?

Products Mentioned:

Bioderma sensibio H2O solution micellaire, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, MAC Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion, Hydraluron, Olay Regenerist night resurfacing elixir, Proactiv repairing treatment, Neutrogena healthy skin anti-wrinkle cream, Olay Regenerist enhancing lotion with UV protection (SPF 15)

Sunday, 31 March 2013

I put some new shoes on...

Lately I've been obsessing over ankle strap sandal heels (see here, here, and here). When I got an email a few weeks ago from Zara letting me know that these were available in my size, I didn't waste any time before taking the plunge and purchasing them. I like that this pair has a chunkier heel than many ankle strap sandal heels I've seen (because who wants to be wobbling around like Bambi?). The fact that they're flattering and give some extra height (at 5'3 I'll take what I can get) are just bonuses. For spring, I imagine wearing them with everything in my wardrobe boyfriend jeans, a classic button up shirt and a blazer. You can bet that as soon as the temperature rises to double digits I'll be breaking these babies out!
Now to get a pedicure..

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Incorporating a Wardrobe Staple: The Trench

Yesterday, I channeled my inner Emma Watson for Burberry (ha.) and took this coat out of the closet for the first time since autumn. This trench coat from Zara has definitely been my favourite purchase of the last year. While my credit card hurt a little when I purchased it, I have gotten more use out of this coat than I ever thought I would.

I love trench coats for their versatility. This coat has been a staple in my work wardrobe (a classy look for any office!) as well as in my day to day running of errands.

On this rainy spring day, I wore the coat over a grey and white tee, a leather pleated skirt, tights, and my favourite black boots. To give the outfit a pop, I added my new favourite, bright royal blue, Marc Jacobs inspired, bracelet to give the outfit some colour that the rest of the outfit was lacking.

While I have opted for a slightly dressier outfit today, I think trenches look really cute paired with some skinny jeans, floral Keds and a plain t-shirt.
Trench - Zara; Tee - Smart Set; Skirt - Forever 21; Bag - Shoe store in London; Bracelet - Smart Set

Thanks for taking a look at our first outfit post! Hopefully you will be seeing more of these in the coming weeks :)



Wednesday, 20 March 2013

You've Got Mail

You've Got Mail

Envelope clutches are not new to the fashion scene. These structured accessories have been around for several seasons now and according to SS2013 runways don't appear to be leaving anytime soon. Streamlined and sleek, they were featured in collections by the likes of BCBG, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Mulberry and Oscar de la Renta. While in the past clutches may have been more dainty and fitting for fancier events, in recent years the envelope clutch has emerged as a staple accessory that is large enough to fit the necessities and available in many colours and prints, making it a fun and practical addition to a basic ensemble. Personally, I love the idea of incorporating a brightly coloured envelope clutch into an otherwise neutral outfit to make for an easy yet chic way of transitioning to spring. These selections above are definitely making me consider leaving the carry-all at home for the day.

Will you be accessorizing with an envelope clutch this spring?


Monday, 18 March 2013

Rimmel Wake Me Up Review

Like any true North American beauty obsessed gal, I have been lusting over Rimmel’s Wake Me Up line that was released in the UK in early 2012. After watching endless YouTube videos by the likes of Tanya Burr, Zoella and Gemsmaquillage all raving over the quality of the foundation, I jumped for joy when I finally found it in my local Shoppers Drugstore. Because I have no apparent sense of restraint I picked up the foundation in Ivory (200), the concealer in 'very light' and the Instant Radiance Shimmer Touch in 'flush of pearl'. After 3-4 uses I can say confidently that the foundation and concealer are in the running for my favourite drugstore face products.

While I am usually a high end foundation lover (Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 being my HG foundation) I can already tell that the Wake Me Up foundation will soon become a most reached for product in my makeup bag. Appearance-wise, the foundation comes in a glass bottle with an orange cap with a pump for easy dispersal of the product (NARS PLEASE TAKE NOTE!). 

The product on first glance is very sparkly which almost immediately turned me off. However, once applied, the sparkle almost disappeared on my skin and only enhanced the glow of the foundation. The consistency is relatively thick, I would give it a medium coverage label. For that reason I would not recommend this for my dry-skinned friends out there. The foundation clung a bit to dry skin but I found mixing a little moisturizer in helped this issue.

Despite looking ultra dark in this picture, for me, the colour worked. One issue I have had in the past with Rimmel (and that some may have with this product) is that the colour range is minimal at best. The lightest shade will probably work for anyone with NC 20 skin but if you are a true NC15 I would pass on this one.

With regard to staying power, this baby lasted all through the work day... without a primer! Most recently I have been using Nars Sheer Glow and finding that my face loses that flawless finish just after lunch. I would be good to go all day with Wake Me Up.

For those who know me, they know I am exceptionally picky about concealer. Being a victim of allergies, I have always had dark circles under my eyes and am constantly seeking out a concealer that does not crease, has maximum coverage and does not need constant retouching. 

Wake Me Up claims to be a “full coverage concealer” and frankly I think it comes pretty darn close. Again, while a little dark, the concealer barely creases, covers my circles for at least 4-5 hours and works well for blemishes as well.

The only product I had a bit of an issue with was the cream highlighter. I would really classify it as “adult body glitter”. The product has the same glitter as the foundation but doesn’t fade in as much as the foundation’s does. 

In my opinion, highlighters should just provide a nice sheen on one’s face as opposed to a fairy dust look so this might be falling to the bottom of my bag sometime soon. The only way I could get this product to work was to mix it with the foundation in a similar fashion to the way I would use Mac’s Strobe Cream. This way the foundation looks extra glowy for those days when you really need it.

All in all though, if you are looking for an inexpensive but quality foundation or concealer, definitely try Wake Me Up! We would love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to comment below about your experiences with the product!