July 31, 2010

Moderne Burger

I realized that I almost never use my iPhone camera, so I've made a resolution to start snapping random pictures as a kind of "day in the life" project for when I don't have my digital camera with me.

My boyfriend and I went to Moderne Burger for dinner yesterday. The restaurant is super cute 50's diner-style with booths and hand-mixed sodas and shakes. The menu is simple (just burgers) but very yummy. They do take-out too!

Address: 2507 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

July 29, 2010

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Urban Decay Naked Palette (closed)

Last week I managed to get my hands on the much hyped about Urban Decay Naked Palette. Urban Decay is generally known for its bright and glittery eye shadows rather than its neutrals so I was really excited to see this palette devoted entirely to tones of brown and grey. Not to mention the gorgeous packaging... slim, sleek, and velvet-clad!

Naked contains 12 full-sized eyeshadows, a double-ended eyeliner (containing the ever-popular Zero and the brand new Whiskey), and even comes with a mini Primer Potion. At $53 CDN, it's a steal when you consider the fact that you're getting over $250 worth of product.

The eye shadows are as follows: Virgin (nude satin), Sin (champagne shimmer), Naked (buff matte), Sidecar (beige sparkle), Buck (brown matte), Half Baked (bronze), Smog (golden brown shimmer), Darkhorse (bronze-plum shimmer), Toasted (taupe-bronze), Hustle (mocha shimmer), Creep (near-black metallic), and Gunmetal (dark grey metallic).

Urban Decay Naked Palette (open)

I've been using this palette everyday since I got it and the combinations are endless. The shadows are all great quality and highly pigmented. But what I especially love is the fact that though these are neutrals, they are definitely not boring. In fact, the darker colours on the right side can be used to really amp up an everyday work look to bring it from day to night.

My favourite shades right now are Darkhorse and Hustle, but seriously, they are all great. If you can find this palette (it's supposed to be a part of the permanent collection but as of right now it's constantly out of stock), you should definitely do it!

July 24, 2010

Joe Fresh Style Faded Violet

Joe Fresh Style Faded Violet
I haven't used Joe Fresh Style nail polish in ages; the last time being my review here. However, I had this bottle of Faded Violet lying around unused (but what nail polish junkie doesn't have bottled on unused nail polish?!). So I decided it was about time I tested it out!

Faded Violet is exactly what its name implies... a very muted light purple. It's a nice pastel and not flashy at all. This isn't normally a colour I would gravitate towards but now that it's on my nails, I quite like the subtle look.

I only used two coats this time as opposed to my usual three and that was perfectly fine to reach opacity. I find the Joe Fresh Style formula to generally be on the watery side so the first coat often applies a bit streaky. Adding extra coats evens it off pretty well so I can't really complain about the polish being unworkable.

As I have remarked in my previous reviews, the best part is the brush. I have no idea how it works but there is always minimal to no clean-up! I don't know if it's the particular brush shape or what because it honestly doesn't look like anything special. In fact, the hairs seem pretty cheap and occasionally cause streaking (easily fixed with another coat of polish).

July 15, 2010

Nicole by OPI The Right Thing (+ Upcoming Gossip Girl Collection)

Nicole by OPI The Right Thing
Nicole by OPI is one of OPI's off-shoot brands, offering the salon quality we all know and love to the mass market. I find that the colours are often a bit more trendy than the regular OPI line, so they're great if you're looking for something a bit unique.

One of my favourite summer shades is The Right Thing, a bright red-orange that I always get numerous comments on. In fact, whenever I look down at my nails, my spirits are often lifted because it's just so bright and cheery. Funny how nail polish can have that effect!

You can expect the same formula as OPI minus the typical wide brush. And while the brush is much thinner, I don't find it to hinder the application process that much anyway. Opacity on this colour can be reached in only two coats, but I usually add a third for good measure.

Thanks to its wide availability and the great shades, I've been a pretty big fan of this line for quite sometime. I suppose my only "negative" are the bottles - they are so weirdly shaped! Curvy on one side and diagonally flat on the other... makes it incredibly difficult to hold comfortably and takes up more space than necessary when storing.

While I'm on the topic of Nicole by OPI, I feel it's probably necessary to mention their upcoming Gossip Girl Collection. The 4 shades are based on the sooooo trashy but sooooo good TV show and they are gorgeous!

(L-R): Too Rich For You; Scandals, Secrets and Sparkle; Party in the Penthouse; Nicole... Spotted!

I'm personally most looking forward to Nicole...Spotted! because I love the glitters but I suspect Too Rich For You will be a big hit for its greenish-blue hue. Look for the Gossip Girl collection when it launches mid-August and remember that they'll only be out for a limited time!

July 12, 2010


Most people find it shocking that I don't particularly like Mexican food. It's not that I don't like it per se... but more that it would be the last cuisine on my list if I were to choose. But nevertheless, I won't deny a trip to a Mexican restaurant (I do love food, after all!). One of my favourite Mexican places in Vancouver is Poncho's, a cute family-run joint in the West End right between Stanley Park and English Bay.

If you're lucky, there will be live music to entertain you while you eat. Even better is when the owners bring around instruments for every single patron to play while you dance and sing along to such classics as "La Bamba." As you can see, I was very excited about shaking my maraca!

Homemade salsa and chips are standard with every meal, and I absolutely recommend the pina coladas. Mmm...

I generally order some type of chicken dish. The above is a fried chicken filet with seasoned potatoes and a mixed salad. Personally, I find the food only average for the price (you're looking at around $15-30 per person depending on what you order). However, the atmosphere is great and I love the authenticity of it all. Worth going to at least once!

Address: 827 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC

July 9, 2010

Got 2B Guardian Angel 475°F Heat Protect 'n Blow Out

Although I blow dry my hair everyday, I have to admit that it only recently occurred to me that I should be using some sort of heat protectant (I know, I know... bad Alison!). So I was excited to find exactly what I was looking for at London Drugs the other day - and on sale too!

Got 2B Guardian Angel 475°F Heat Protect 'n Blow Out is a Blow Dry Lotion + Gloss Finishing spray aimed at protecting hair from heat and providing styling support. You should use this if "your constant blow drying has left your hair dull, damaged and fried" (which mine definitely was).

After towel drying my hair, I spray this on all over before blow drying. It's recommended to spray from 20-25 cm away, kind of like hairspray. The product has a distinct fragrance that some people might not like, but it does dissipate quickly and doesn't seem to leave my hair smelling weird.

Since I started using this product, I've noticed a considerable difference in the quality of my hair pre-spray and post-spray. Before, my hair (especially the ends) often felt super dry and brittle. Now, it actually feels silky smooth and is much less frizzy. I also like how my hair seems shinier than usual.

If you're looking for an affordable heat protectant, I definitely recommend trying this out. And if you're not a chronic blow dryer like myself, the Got 2B Guardian Angel line also features sprays specifically for flat ironing and curling

July 1, 2010

Nail Stickers = The Lazy Girl's Nail Art

Although I am constantly painting my nails, I very rarely have the time to dedicate to complex nail art. And since I don't wear fake nails, the process can take even longer and end up quite messy. So what is the best solution for someone who craves a bit of "dazzle" but lacks the skills/patience/tools/whatever? Nail stickers, of course! 

Nail stickers have come a long way from the ones I remember playing with as a child. Companies have upped the intricacy of designs, even adding rhinestones and glitter. I personally love the super girly designs like cute little bows and hearts. I got the ones above from Daiso, the Japanese $2 store, but unfortunately, the quality was significantly lacking. The stickers have a weird smell and the adhesive wasn't sticky enough. In fact, the stickers started peeling off despite having applied two layers of top coat. They were only $2 though, so I suppose I can't complain too much!

But thanks to Viva La Nails I was able to try out some much better quality nail stickers, which are just as affordable as those cheap Daiso ones. Viva La Nails is a UK-based online store specializing in professional nail supplies. They carry a wide range of products from stickers and decals to glitter and rhinestones. Their prices are extremely reasonable and perfect for nail technicians or anyone simply interested in nail art.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Silver Lining
Viva La Nails Fashion Nail Stickers NSF06

I was extremely impressed with the adhesive quality, and application of the stickers was really easy. I also love that some of the stickers come with rhinestones. Saves me from trying to apply those pesky things with tweezers and nail glue!

Viva La Nails has a pretty wide variety of nail sticker designs, so I definitely recommend checking them out if you're not sure where to buy them. I'm also planning on trying their water decals soon, so look for that in an upcoming post!

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