Monday, October 31, 2011

Beautylish Beauty Social Part 1: Santa Monica


Hey Everyone, 

As most of you probably already know, a week or so ago, I went to Santa Monica, California for the Beautylish Beauty Social. I had an amazing time and have so much to share with you, including two really big hauls. Rather than bombard you will one huge post outlining my trip, I've decided to break it down into five or so smaller posts: my travel experiences and what I did in Santa Monica, the different Beauty Social booths and what treatments they were offering, the Beauty Social seminars and panelists, a Santa Monica haul and finally my Beauty Social swag bag haul. 

For today's post I wanted to tell you about my experience traveling to Santa Monica, what I did while there and show you a bunch of pictures of my hotel, the Santa Monica pier, etc. 


 


As I mentioned on a previous post, this was my first time traveling completely alone and I would be lying if I said I wasn't somewhat freaking out the morning of my trip. After calming myself down in the shuttle bus on the way to the airport, I started to relax and figured we would have an easy ride and a quick trip across the border considering we didn't have anything to declare (I live in Canada but flew out of the US). Boy was I wrong. The border patrol guy was on a serious power trip and started asking me some pretty random questions. The first line of questions started after I told him I was heading to a beauty blogging event. "What is a beauty blog? So you blog about beauty, what does that mean? You really write about makeup? Hmmm...weird!" The next line of questioning started after he saw my tattoos. "What does that say? Well does it have a meaning? Well what does it mean, explain it to me?! What does that one say? What language is that writing in? Hmmm...weird!" After 15 minutes of my heart pounding like crazy, he finally let us go and I was off to Santa Monica. 





After requesting a room switch (the first room was not nice), I finally settled into my hotel after a long day of traveling. Not wanting to worry about finding my way around the city, I chose to stay at the same hotel where the Beauty Social was taking place -The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. As the name suggests, the hotel is located right on the beach, just a short walk from the famous Santa Monica pier. The hotel had a nice pool (it was too cold to go swimming unfortunately), a stunning lobby and this really cool lounge area outside where you could have a drink or some dinner around a fire pit. My hotel room was nice with a big bed, a chaise lounge chair and a TV in the bathroom (need to get one of those at home!). 



Because I was in Santa Monica to experience the entire weekend of Beauty Social events, I didn't get much of a chance to really  explore Santa Monica, but I will fill you in on some of the highlights of my trip. 







Shopping
I had this huge plan that I would spend all day Friday shopping on Third Street Promenade (a four block pedestrian-only road lined with a variety of stores and restaurants). I really wanted to get some new clothes and was excited when I found out that there was a Nordstrom and a Bloomingdales in the outdoor mall near Third Street. Unfortunately, Santa Monica (or maybe just Third street) has a thing about us bigger girls because not one store I went to (including Forever 21) carried anything bigger than a size 12. Needless to say I didn't buy much except for some cheap costume jewelry and, of course, some makeup. Luckily, I managed to find an amazing cupcake store called 'Yummy Cupcakes' and drowned my sorrows in icing. So good!


Dinner With a New Friend
One of the most exciting parts of my trip was finally getting to meet Keira from Keira's Lucky Charm (picture above), a fellow beauty blogger and second time mommy-to-be. Keira not only picked me up from and dropped me off at my hotel safely, knowing I was a vegetarian, she picked a vegan restaurant with lots of choices for me. We had a great time and had lots to talk about so the conversation was always flowing. Being the sweet person she is, Keira surprised me with a gorgeous mineralized eyeshadow from the latest MAC collection (you can see it in my upcoming haul post). My only regret about the night was that we didn't get a picture together (I even brought my camera!). It is so awesome being able to meet fellow bloggers and I really hope Keira comes to Ontario at some point so I can be as great of a host for her as she was for me. 







The Santa Monica Pier
Before I left for trip, I checked various weather websites and saw that Santa Monica was supposed to be super hot (in the 80s) while I was visiting. Not wanting to over pack my suitcase, I planned for the hot weather and didn't bring anything warm except for a light sweatshirt. Yep, not hot, actually kind of cold, especially when I spent my last night in the city walking along the pier. Luckily, what the pier lacked in warmth, it completely made up in appearance. Not only was the view of the beach and water really pretty, at night when the ferris wheel is lit up, the whole pier looks absolutely gorgeous.







From sitting by the water for breakfast to watching people doing crazy acrobatics (we're talking cirque du soleil here) on the beach, I had an amazing time in Santa Monica. However, the best part for me was traveling completely alone and proving to myself that I could find my way around, handle any problems that arose and have fun by myself. I definitely have the travel bug and can't wait for my next solo vacation (hopefully to NYC for IMATS in April). 



Have you been to Santa Monica? Where have you always wanted to travel? Any places you highly recommend I visit? Want me to come crash on your couch? Let me know in the comment section below.



xx
Alicia

Monday Q & A


Hey Everyone, 

One of the best parts of the Beautylish Beauty Social I went to in Santa Monica, was listening to Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog talk about her advice for fellow beauty bloggers. One thing she said, that really stood out to me, was that subscribers really respond to blogs that include a personal touch in their posts. I love this idea (or really just love talking about myself), and have decided to take Karen's Monday polls and post my answers on my blog every week. I give full credit to Karen for the questions, and encourage you to post your answers to her questions on her blog, on your blog, and/or on my blogHere is this week's poll: 

1) Mood: While I have gone through my share of more serious medical problems, there are two medical issues that make me extremely grumpy: having a cold sore or having a sore throat. Unfortunately, I have both at the moment. Grumpy for sure!

2) Your most memorable Hallowe'en Costume: It has been forever since I dressed up for Hallowe'en, but as a kid, I remember my mom making the best homemade costumes. My favourite, and most creative, was a half man, half woman look. She sewed together half a skirt and half a pair of pants, took a fedora and decorated one side with lace and flowers, gave me pretty makeup on one side and a mustache on the other. It was really cool and definitely the costume I remember liking the most.  

3) Who knows you better than anyone else?: I have always been extremely close with my mom and tell her pretty much anything (I'm not great at keeping things from my family), so I would have to say she probably knows me better than anyone else. Speaking of telling my family everything, I have a funny story showing just how bad I am at keeping secrets from them. When I was 18 and had just got my G1 drivers permit (basically you couldn't drive in the car without an adult), my parents were away and I was in desperate need of getting some laundry detergent at the store (we were out, and I needed to clean a certain outfit because the boy I liked was coming over the next day). So, I decided to take my mom's car to the shopping center and get some detergent. I felt really guilty and, when my parents got home, I told them about it. Having always been a bit of a goody goody, they didn't believe me, and thought I was trying to sound 'all bad ass'. It took me 6 months of trying to convince them that I really had taken the car before they grounded me from TV for a week. My friends thought I was an idiot for telling them again and again but my conscious wasn't clear until they believed me.

4) What's the first thing you do when you get off work/out of school?: It's been a while since I was in school or had a steady job, but I remember the first thing I would do when I got home from school was change into pyjamas. It wouldn't matter if I had somewhere to go that evening, I loved my pj's and would wear them around the house as often as I could. 


5) What's the most awkward movie-watching experience you've ever endured with your family?: My family is pretty open so I don't usually feel embarrassed watching 'love scenes' with them, but I had just received five seasons of Sex and the City for my birthday and my dad decided to watch the show with my sisters, my friend and myself. It was definitely uncomfortable. 


6) How many times have you been in love?: None


7) Which game show would you like to be a contestant on?: My sisters and I always say we would like to be on family feud. It drives us nuts when the families on the show are so encouraging of each other saying "good answer" when really it was the worst answer anyone could ever give. We'd definitely bring some real family dynamic to the show, probably screaming at each other for giving such stupid answers. Needless to say, family feud won't be calling us anytime soon. 


8) If you have one, tell me about your fitness routine?: I was working with a trainer for a while and we would do light cardio and a bunch of stretching (I can't do much with my fibro). Lately, however, I haven't been working with her as much and really need to get back on track. 


9) Favourite Hallowe'en trick or treat?: Chocolate wise, definitely Reese's peanut butter cups (who ever invented chocolate and peanut butter was a genius!). Candy wise, definitely sour patch kids. Unfortunately, we don't have any trick or treaters that come to our house, so we don't have any candy for me to steal.


10) Weekly goals: I want to post at least one blog post a day this week. So far, I'm on track (but it's only Monday). 


I really hope you take this poll and either leave either your answers, or a link to your answers, below. 


xx
Alicia

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Beauty Quote of the Week #45


Beauty saves. Beauty heals. Beauty motivates. Beauty unites. Beauty returns us to our origins, and here lies the ultimate act of saving, of healing, of overcoming dualism.
-Matthew Fox

November Giveaway


Hey Everyone, 

Although it is not quite November yet, I decided to post my November giveaway a little early as I have a lot of posts to put up this week. After listening to some of the panelists at the Beautylish Beauty Social last week, I decided to try posting more often, and it is my goal to post at least once a day during the month of November. I hope you will all help me stick with that goal, and call me on it if I start slacking off.  

Before I talk about this month's super cute prize, I wanted to quickly announce the winner of my October giveaway. I am still using an old computer and can't figure out to take a screen shot, so you will have to trust me to announce winner. So, the winner of my October giveaway is AnythingAmy from Beyond Beauty. Congratulations Amy!

 

This month I am giving away a super cute set of mini OPI nail polishes from the new Muppets Collection. This set contains four polishes in the following colours:

* Wocka Wocka: a deep berry red with hot pink shimmer
* Excuse Moi: a thick pink base with pink, green and gold glitter
* Designer...de Better!: a taupe polish with bronze shimmer.
* Warm and Fozzie: a thick bronze and gold glitter polish.



RULES

1) You must be a subscriber of FunnyFace Beauty (no anonymous entries please).

2) Mandatory Entry: In thee comment section below, let me know who your favourite muppets character is. 

3) You can earn 3 extra entries by posting my contest in either a blog post or your side bar (please leave a link to this in your comment).

4)Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

5)The contest will run for 14 days and end on November 13th, 2011.

 xx
Alicia

Saturday, October 29, 2011

NOTD: Pirate Style


Hey Everyone, 

When OPI's Pirates of the Caribbean collection first came out, I wasn't impressed. To me, most of the colours looked boring and too similar to polishes I already owned. However, after reading a number of posts featuring swatches of the collection, I was happy to see that, several months after the collection came out, my local beauty supply store was still carrying two of the polishes: Skull and Gloss Bones (a gorgeous high shine light gray) and Stranger Tides.


This week I am wearing Stranger Tides, a super light almost minty green that works surprisingly well for fall (at first glance it looks more 'spring'). Wanting to stick with the ever so popular accent nail trend, I used OPI's 'Uh Oh, Roll Down the Window', a dark khaki green from the recent 'Touring America' collection on my ring fingers. Finally, to add some sparkle (and to test out one of the products I got in my swag bag at the Beauty Social--haul to come), I used CND's Nail Effect in 'Saphire Sparkle', a clear polish with iridescent blue and purple shimmer. 


I really like the two greens together and the sparkle is nice without being too over the top. 


What are you wearing on your nails this week? 


xx
Alicia 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pari Beauty Event & Haul


Hey Everyone, 

I am back from Santa Monica and can't wait to tell you about my trip and the Beautylish Beauty Social (wait til you see my haul). Before I start that series of posts, I wanted to tell you about a really awesome event I had the privilege of attending the week before I left for California. On behalf of The Toronto Beauty Bloggers' founder, the lovely Farah (www.facesbyfarah.com) and Pari Beauty, twenty or so beauty bloggers were invited to attend 'Beauty Bloggers Night Out: an evening of makeup, networking and much more' at the swanky, and super modern, Novotel Hotel in downtown Toronto.  




Pari: A Heavenly Beautiful Woman

Pari Beauty is a fairly new company (they have been around for two years) which caters to professional makeup artists and novice beauty addicts alike. Based on the belief that “beauty starts with healthy skin”, Pari Beauty sells a line of products (including skincare) infused with ingredients that help keep the skin looking bright and healthy and that reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. All of Pari Beauty’s 400+ products are 100%  cruelty free and the company makes an effort to try and use recyclable packaging.  

Used by makeup artistry schools around the world (they have locations in Europe, South America, etc.), Pari Beauty have been focusing on selling their products to the every day woman have recently begun selling their line at 11 sears locations across Canada taking over for Makeup Forever (who used to sell their line at Sears). For those not able to access their line through Sears, Pari Beauty has a full retail website here.




After providing all of us bloggers with different hors d'ouvres, drinks and the most tasty little cupcakes, Shaun, one of the owners of Pari Beauty and Andrea, Pari Beauty's account manager (and makeup artist) showed us the Pari Beauty line, explaining the benefits of some of Pari's top products. Andrea used the beautiful Aanchal (website here) as a model to demonstrate how the different products work and look on a real on a real woman. Finally, Shaun and Andrea gave us a sneek peak at some of the palettes and products from their upcoming holiday line (one of their palettes features the best highlighter I have ever seen) and let us play with all of the makeup they brought to the event. 


 

As a smaller company, Pari Beauty loves to interact with their customers and Shaun and Andrea encouraged all of us beauty bloggers to share our opinions on which products we liked, which products we thought could be better, and any products or colours we throught might be missing from their extensive line. Personally, this endeared me to the company as it was really apparent they listen to their clientele, something that can't always be said about the bigger makeup companies (think MAC coming out with a mediocre 'new' line every 2 weeks). 


Finally as a gesture of thanks to all of the beauty bloggers who came to the event, Pari Beauty provided each of us to an amazing swag bag including a full sized 'Mineral Perfection Foundation' matched to our individual skin tones. Here are the items we received:


Pari Beauty Skin Perfecting Veil ($39 CND):
This makeup primer is not only great at keeping your makeup on throughout the day, it evens out skin tones, reduces the size of pores and has anti-aging ingredients that help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. My favourite things about this primer are its scent(citrusy) and the fact that it contains fine iridescent shimmers that, when rubbed in, give the skin a beautiful glow. 


Pari Beauty Mineral Perfection Foundation in 'Light Nude' ($26 CND):
This creamy mineral foundation, which dries powder finish, is not only good for covering imperfections and smoothing out skin tones, it also contains ingredients which help reduce the appearance wrinkles and stimulate collagen production. The formula is talc and paraben free making it great for acne-infested skin (the skin care professional I am seeing suggested I use only mineral based face products). 


Pari Beauty Travel Brush Kit:
I'm not sure if Pari sells this kit as part of their regular line, as I can't seem to find it on their website, however they do sell full sizes all of the brushes in this kit. This particular kit includes a powder brush, a blush brush, a foundation brush, a flat eyeshadow brush, a crease brush, a lip brush and an eyeliner brush. I plan to keep this little kit in my purse for makeup touch ups throughout the day. 


Pari Beauty Precious Glow in 'Bronze' ($15 CND):
Pari's Precious Glows are liquid shimmer lotions that can be used on the eyes, face, or body. While I have yet to try it myself, the website says that the Precious Glows can be used as an eyeshadow primer which helps extend and intensify the wear of powder shadows. Precious Glows also look great on the cheeks as a highlight (especially on darker skin) or mixed with body lotion for an all over shimmer


Pari Beauty 5 Shade Colour Cube in 'Pink Corals' ($36 CND):
Pari's colour cubes contain loose coloured pigments which can be used as eyeshadows, blushes or highlighters, or can be mixed with nail polish or body lotion for various looks. The cubes are stacked in 5's or 8's and come in a variety of colours. While I am not a big fan of loose powders in general, these colours do have a nice colour payoff and I will definitely be testing them out to see how they wear. 


Pari Beauty Powder Eyeshadow in '#62' ($11 CND):
Pari Beauy's eyeshadows come in four different finishes (matte, satin, glitter an frost) and can be easily removed from their individual packaging and placed into magnetic palettes (Pari sells those as well). #62 is a gorgeous teal blue with a frosty finish. It is very pigmented (a little goes a long way) and super creamy, making it easy to blend. I definitely think this is a great quality shadow and plan on picking up more colours at the Toronto IMATS in a couple of weeks.   


 Pari Beauty Thickening and Lengthening Mascara ($22 CND):
This mascara, with it its uniquely shaped cone head (seriously, I've never seen a brush like this) works its way between the lashes to make them appear longer and thicker. According to the website, this mascara is long lasting, smudge proof, dries quickly and is great for sensitive eyes.

#62, Bronze


 Pink Corals

It was a great night, and I was so happy to be included. I need to thank Farah for inviting me and of course Pari Beauty for introducing me to the line, providing me with some amazing new products and for organizing such a fun night. For all of those going to IMATS Toronto in a couple of week, be sure to stop by the Pari Beauty booth and check out the line. You can also check out Pari Beauty on Twitter and Facebook.

xx
Alicia