A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Archive for December, 2011

Peppermint Nails

Candycane Nails

Today I felt like nail marbling and although I wasn’t trying to create what I will fondly refer to here on out as “Peppermint Nails” I sort of stumbled upon this look by accident. Because “Heart of Africa” and “Watermelon Rind” nail polishes work so nice in the water, I decided I’d put them together and because I just picked up “Swing Baby” I wanted to include it. As soon as I saw the first nail come out, I couldn’t think about anything other than “that looks like a candy cane – perfect!” So here we are.

Holiday Nail Polishes

Heart of Africa, Swing Baby, Watermelon Rind

To note:  I did not use the white base coat on my nails.  This wasn’t because I thought it would look better, but simply out of sheer laziness.  It was already late and I wanted to save a step.  I have no doubt that the white base coat would make these Peppermint Nails really pop.



Urban Decay Palette: Book of Shadows IV

16 eyeshadow colours for Urban Decay

So my love for packaging and pretty colours over powered my sense of reason.  I certainly didn’t need another palette…but they are such a good deal when you are used to purchasing individual colours, that I couldn’t resist!

Introducing Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows IV:

Book of Shadows IV Palette



The Art of Nail Marbling

Nail marbling design

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  And if you don’t celebrate Christmas than I hope you had a very merry whatever you celebrate.  🙂

About a week before Christmas my fiance was blindsided by his best man and a groomsman and whisked away to Vegas for a surprise bachelor party.  He thought they were going to Mt. Tremblant in Quebec for a fun, but simple get away.  He had an hour to repack his bag and they were off to the airport.  Pretty amazing of them!  And I couldn’t have been happier for him.  Having known about this all along, I made plans to head to Montreal and stay with the Best Man’s girlfriend.  It’s only a two hour drive from Ottawa, so I grabbed a girlfriend of my own and we were off to have a girls weekend.  For any guys reading this….no, we didn’t strip down and have a pillow fight in our underwear.  We did our nails, we went shopping, played with makeup, went out to a movie and we hung around playing Super Mario Bros.  (all fully dressed)

I brought my nail kit and the four of us girls marbled our nails.  Even though this technique is all over the internet and I mean ALL OVER, there are still people that haven’t heard of it or seen it before.

Nail Polish Collection

So needless to say the four of us girls had a lot of fun, made a mess and ended up with beautiful nails in the process.  Let me show you how to venture into the world of nail marbling.


Same Post, But Different

Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

As promised I am back tonight to finish telling the story of my experience in Thailand.  (November 2005 – February 2006)

Let’s see – where was I?

Upon fleeing what I fondly refer to now as Monkey Mountain, we packed up, checked out and headed to the train station.  We had purchased tickets for a 4pm train to take us further south.  We were riding 3rd class and about to travel the distance from Calgary to Edmonton for a whopping $3.  We were the only tourists aboard and had to find a seat alongside the locals that found the two of us very fascinating to watch.  Which was funny, because we found them very fascinating to watch.  Coming aboard hauling their chickens and giant baskets of vegetables.  Selling their purple peanuts, plastic bags full of juice and dried plantain chips…I assure you, we were entertained.  A very nice man came over to chat with us.  He spoke very broken English, but he had been sent over to ask us some questions by the rest of his group.  (I guess we looked pretty out of place) He asked where we were from…and that was the only question we could understand.   There was a lot of smiling and nodding.  I definitely recommend the 3rd class train though for situations where you are trying to get somewhere 2-4 hours away.  It is comfortable enough (like being on a city metro), clean enough and you can’t beat the price.


Same Same, But Different

Khaosan Road, Bangkok

I promised to do a travel post monthly and people have been reminding me all month that it is December and time for another country.  So here we go!

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

~St. Augustine

For those of you that are familiar with the term “same same but different” you don’t need me to tell you the name of my featured country for the month of December, you’ve already experienced this madness…for those of you that have no idea what I am talking about, you will understand soon enough.

I had hardly been back from Costa Rica for a month before the travel itch struck and even if I wasn’t booking flights, at the very least I needed to start thinking about the next destination.  It didn’t take much thinking at all.  For a couple of years already, I had a place in mind, one I actually longed after much earlier than Costa Rica. So let me rewind a bit to a few months before my Costa Rica trip to help make sense of all this.  In the fall of 2004 I was planning my very first backpacking trip, I just had to work up enough courage.  I had my destination selected, I’d applied for my leave of absence at work, I had even started training my replacement.  But on December 26th, 2004 all of that changed.  My dream destination was one of the 15 countries that had been hit with one of the worst natural disasters my generation has ever seen.  227,898 people were killed, another 1.69 million people displaced.


Time for Pin-Up

Pin-Up Makeup

By now you should all be able to tell that I love to do a bit of experimenting and try different things from time to time.  I like to stretch my comfort zone and push my boundaries…and other people’s boundaries for that matter, as far as they’ll let me anyways.  But the latter is not what I will be posting about today.

Yesterday was my work’s annual Christmas party.  All the people that you see 260 days out of the year transform into different versions of themselves.  They dress up, they spend extra time on their hair and makeup, they hide their glasses and they make their entrance with their other halves in tow.  Christmas parties are sort of a weird creature, a little awkward, a little stilted.  You make pleasant conversation, you meet some new people.  You drink just enough to loosen up, but you are always a little weary of having one too many and being that person that the stories around the office surround until the next big corporate event when someone else has a chance to embarrass themselves.


Ultimate Mascara Review

FairyDrops Mascara Review

The world of mascara is something I’ve never really ventured that far into.  Don’t get me wrong, like almost every woman out there, I love mascara and it is an essential before leaving the house. But when it comes to splurging on makeup, I always go for the high quality highly pigmented eyeshadows and pigments.  I’ve always been happy with the $5 mascara from the drugstore.

Mascara Sampler

I won’t lie though and say I’ve never been curious, I always linger and hum and haw over whether or not I should try that new $15/$20 mascara because the picture always makes it look SOOOOO amazing.  So I decided to do a trial and actually follow up on my curiosities and suspicions.

Unfortunately because I have a bit of a “go big or go home attitude” rather than buying one mascara to try, I picked up the Sephora Favorites Mascara set so I could try a bunch of different ones.  Sephora compiled a box set of their top selling mascaras from different lines.  You can purchase it online here:


This set comes with 2 x full size mascaras (7ml), 8 x travel size mascaras (ranging from 3.9ml-5.4ml) and 1 x 30ml Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover.  I purchased this kit a few months ago and was trying a different mascara everyday so I could figure out a favorite and see if I wanted to start purchasing a high end mascara on a regular basis.  What ended up happening though, was I wouldn’t remember which one was which, what I preferred, or even what I had on half the time.