November 28, 2010

Rock & Republic Contrived Pressed Blush: Bedroom and Tease

The beauty blogger world has been raving about Rock & Republic Contrived Pressed Blush for quite some time now, and I finally managed to get my hands on Bedroom and Tease from a HauteLook (invite code link) sale a few weeks ago.

First off, the packaging is beautiful and super luxe. Each blush comes individually packaged in a round "hat box". When you open that up, you reveal the absolutely gorgeous, shiny compact with the R&R logo embossed on the front. So pretty!!

Rock & Republic Blush Packaging

Now, these are rather pricy ($40 retail or cheaper if you get them on sale) but when you think about it, you really are getting your money's worth. These compacts are HUGE compared to other blushes [see my comparison with MAC and NARS below]. You get 9g of blush versus 6g in MAC and 4.8 g in NARS.

Bedroom is described as a "guava" (essentially a matte peachy-pink shade). Tease, on the other hand, is a cool-toned mauve/pink. I decided to blend out my swatches a bit to show how these would look when worn (for reference, I'm a C4 in MAC). Both are great, wearable colours.

Rock & Republic Bedroom and Tease Blushes

I was super impressed with the quality of these R&R blushes. They are finely milled, apply like a dream, and last a long time. Since they are extremely pigmented, however, you do have to be careful not to overapply. I usually use my MAC 187 duo-fibre brush to apply blush and that works well with these.

Anyway, long story short, I LOVE THESE BLUSHES and I highly recommend them. Next time they show up on HauteLook I am definitely purchasing more (and you should too!)

November 25, 2010

Aki Japanese Restaurant

In a city where there are sushi restaurants on every corner, it's a treat to find a joint that is actually authentically Japanese. Aki Japanese Restaurant is one of these places.

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver and in operation since 1963, the restaurant is reminiscent of the izakayas you can find in Japan with its wooden decor and perky waitresses who greet you in Japanese the moment you walk through the door.

Their menu features a wide variety of sushi and sashimi, but you can also order plenty of robatayaki items (meat, seafood, and veggies that are grilled up by the chef). And of course, there are the standard tapas items, like gyoza and my favourite - agedashi tofu.

I prefer Japanese tapas over sushi and sashimi (when I eat sushi it's generally only the vegetarian kind), so I opted for the above dishes along with a plate of beef short ribs (not pictured) from the robatayaki menu.

My friends are more adventurous than me, however, as evidenced by their orders of sushi, chirashi-don (sashimi over a bed of rice), and Japanese-style pasta with beef (which I forget the name of!).

As you can see, there are plenty of menu options to suit all tastes and the prices are consistent with most other Japanese restaurants in Vancouver (not dirt cheap but not super gourmet either). Definitely worth a visit for the atmosphere and delicious food!

Location: 745 Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC

This post was kindly sponsored by Sauce Communications.

November 21, 2010

More iPhone Day-in-the-Life Shots

I was supposed to start using my iPhone camera more often... Unfortunately I haven't been that diligent about it, but here are a few snapshots from the last little while.

Strawberry crepe from Gypsy Rose Cafe on W. 4th

 Very "realistic" portrait of me and my bf drawn by a homeless man (if only my eyelashes were naturally that curly!)

English Bay, the day after our first snowfall

They serve as reminders of those simple but memorable moments in life, and will hopefully get me through the super boring studying/paper writing I've got going on for the next month or so.

November 18, 2010

American Apparel Coney Island

American Apparel Coney Island
Here's yet another nail polish post (I'm in the middle of preparing for exams/final papers so have been painting my nails as a distraction).

This is American Apparel Coney Island, perhaps named after the giant bags of cotton candy you can buy there... and that's exactly how I would describe this shade: cotton candy pink! It's super girly and I feel like it's the kind of shade that people would either love or hate (I love pinks so not a problem for me).

The formula is quite watery and applies thinly. Coney Island is also quite light, so it streaked a lot with the first two coats. I had to apply 3 coats to reach opacity.

In my review of Factory Grey (here), Dani mentioned that the AA polishes made her nails feel really brittle and dry. I haven't really noticed that yet but it may be because I change polishes fairly often and didn't really give this time to "sit" on my nails? I'll have to try wearing these ones longer and try and compare with my other polishes to see if this is really true.

November 13, 2010

Sally Hansen Evening Fog

Sally Hansen Evening Fog
I've blogged about Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish before (see here, here, and here), and everytime I've been impressed by the quality and shade selection. For Fall 2010, Sally Hansen has collaborated with Tracy Reese once again to create a collection full of on-trend greys/browns/taupes, glitters and reds.

I was immediately drawn to Evening Fog, a creamy "greige" which I am totally in love with. The colour is neutral but still noticeable, and the formula is consistent with all the other Complete Salon Manicure polishes I own (i.e. applies smoothly and is opaque in 2 coats).

Unfortunately the brush on my polish is a bit wonky. I've heard of people having problems with brush quality and so far, I've never had a problem. On my Evening Fog, however, the bristles are kind of all over the place and super splayed out. Was very annoying to deal with at first, so I'd recommend checking the bottles before you buy. I didn't really have an option though -- this was the only bottle left and I had to have it!

November 9, 2010

China Glaze Vintage Vixen: Classic Camel

China Glaze Classic Camel
China Glaze nail polish is hard to find in Canada, so I was super happy when I stumbled upon a few bottles from the Fall 2010 Vintage Vixen collection. Unfortunately there was no Ingrid or Emerald Fitzgerald which I was looking for, but I did manage to pick up Classic Camel (the focus of this review) and Foxy (which I'll review at a later date).

A lot of bloggers have been saying that these give the illusion of "mannequin hands" and I have to admit that when I first saw swatches of Classic Camel I thought it was a super weird colour. But it's kind of grown on me! I mean, I love unique nail polishes and this certainly fits that category - a mustard with distinct gold flecks. Definitely work-appropriate too.

The formula, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. I don't have a lot of experience with China Glaze but I'd heard that it can be a bit tricky to work with. I had problems reaching opacity in two coats, though I know others managed to just fine with this polish. I think once I figure out how to work with it, it'll be fine, however. I've never let a poor formula stop me from using a colour I like!

November 6, 2010

Gyudon Ya

Community Wool Cadet Coat (featured here) / Boots: Steve Madden

I recently discovered Gyudon Ya, a Japanese fast food-type restaurant that specializes in donburi rice bowls. The menu is super simple and it's very reasonably priced. You can also get a large size bowl for $1 extra or make it a "value meal" (comes with salad and miso soup).

I suppose the signature dish is the Beef Bowl, which is exactly what it sounds like - a bowl of rice and beef. My bf decided to order that while I opted for the Beef Shortrib Bowl. Both are really good, but I think we both preferred the shortribs. Seems like it comes with more meat!

Gyudon Ya Beef Bowl
Gyudon Ya Beef Shortrib Bowl

Address: 500 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC

November 3, 2010

MAC A Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

I've been eagerly anticipating A Tartan Tale, the 2010 holiday collection from MAC ever since the promo pics were released in the summer. Sometimes the holiday sets are a bit hit or miss for me, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for plaid!

At the top of my wish list was the Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette, which is now in my possession thanks to my bf who thought I deserved a present. He ventured into the MAC store all by himself - very brave for a guy who knows nothing about makeup!

MAC A Tartan Tale Beauties Play It Cool Packaging

The eyeshadows are neatly packed in a square palette with a blue plaid fabric covering and plastic gold MAC charm in the middle. The paper box mirrors the design of the palette - cute!

Now for what's inside... six cool-toned eyeshadows with a distinctly purple theme. Lately I've been really loving purple eyeshadows (remember my post about Dior's Stylish Move?) so it's no surprise that as soon as I saw this palette I knew it had to be mine.

Silverwear (frost) is silvery white; Hold My Gaze (frost) is a shimmery khaki; To The Ball (satin) is a grayed purple; Altered State (veluxe pearl) is a shimmery grape; Magic Moor (veluxe pearl) is a blackened plum; and Heather Belles (satin) is a charcoal grey.

Silverwear, Hold My Gaze, To The Ball, Altered State, Magic Moor, Heather Belles
(Clockwise from top: Silverwear, Hold My Gaze, To The Ball, Altered State, Magic Moor, Heather Belles)

The eyeshadows all coordinate well, which is convenient for creating a range of looks from a more neutral day look to a smokey night look. This makes it the perfect palette for travelling or just tossing in your purse for on-the-go, especially since it comes with a tiny brush. I never use the brushes that come with these palettes because they're usually quite cheap quality and don't work as well as my full-size brushes. But if you're packing light, this mini brush will get the job done!

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