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

Archive for January, 2012

Zero Gravity

Urban Decay Eyeshadows

I promised several weeks ago that I would post some looks using the Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV Palette.  I’ve been slacking and just finally got to playing with the colours last night.  So here is my first concoction:

The main shade I wanted to make sure I incorporated was the deep rich purple, Gravity.  Without making the look super dark I went on a hunch and paired it up with some of the neutrals that have a pink undertone.  It ended up blending together nicely.  What I love most about this look, is that it is still very dramatic drawing focus to the eyes, but not overly dark and heavy looking.


Rainbow Bright Saturday Night Cupcakes

Tie Dye Cupcakes

Tonight, rather than playing with nails or makeup a friend and I chose to spend our Saturday night doing something a little out of the norm, for us anyways.  Baking.

Using a basic white cake mix and standard vanilla frosting we made some Rainbow Bright Cupcakes.


Danger! Mines!

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I think it is fair to say that the majority of people couldn’t point out Cambodia’s location on a map…unless of course it was one that had all of the countries labelled and I gave you some time.    I fully admit that I was one of those people until 2005.  I knew nothing of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge or Angkor Wat.  Originally intending only to do a border run (to refresh my tourist visa) I had no intentions of spending anymore than an hour or two outside of Thailand.  But with all of the organized trips to Siem Reap advertised in Bangkok, I quickly grew curious of what was there and what I was missing.  To this day I couldn’t be happier that I decided to spend several days there and experience this hidden gem.

Siem Reap is a very long trip by bus.  The road from Bangkok to the border is smooth, paved and quick, but from that point on, be prepared for an undeveloped dirt road which has become infamous in the backpacking community.  I even recall having to wait for a bridge to be rebuilt so we could cross a small river.  The small bus didn’t have A/C – so the windows were open the entire time, letting the hot dusty air circulate through the bus…it wasn’t all that pleasant.  If I may be so bold as to suggest, please heed my words of wisdom.  If money isn’t an issue, take the plane.  And whatever you do, don’t change your money to the Cambodian Riel, no matter what.  They will stiff you on the exchange almost everywhere and most places don’t even accept their own currency – it seemed like more of a hassle when trying to use their own money.

Thailand and Cambodia Border CrossingPoi Pet Border CrossingBobo the Elephant, Cambodia

The lodging in Siem Reap was dirt cheap at $3 a night for a private room with two double beds and a personal bathroom.  It was clean, large and spacious with a restaurant attached to the inn.  Locals are available for hire to take you to the famous Temples.  For just $12 you can have a chauffeur take you to watch the sunset over the valley in the evening and be up at 4am to make sure you don’t miss the sunrise behind Angkor Wat, the largest religious temple in the world.  Travelling via tuk-tuk your driver will drop you off, let you explore and be ready to take you to the next site whenever you are ready to move on.  If you are lucky, he might even sing on the way.

AngkorCambodia Sunset

Built in the early 12th Century, Angkor Wat is now a protected Unesco World Heritage Site that hosts over 700,000 tourists every year.  Guidebooks warn of King Cobras lurking in the cold dark shadows of the temples and instruct you to only enter the well lit areas.  You might be thinking “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO GO?”.  The best way I can answer that, is show you.  Take a look and see what it looks like to have the night disappear behind Angkor Wat as the sun rises.  Some things in life are worth waking up at 4am for.

Angkor Wat Temple Angkor Wat TempleAngkor Wat TempleAngkor Wat Temple

Even this early in the morning, the grounds of Angkor Wat are packed with tourists all wanting that majestic picture.  It was cloudy enough that morning that I didn’t get that perfect picture, but the moments were beautiful nonetheless.  There was something very special about seeing the temple for the first time reflect itself perfectly in the pools as the day lent just enough light to make out the majestic scene.  The grounds surrounding this temple are just massive, complete with libraries, pools and even a moat 3.6 km long.  You can literally explore this site all day if you wanted to.  Large viper statues mark the entry to the main temple and the stairs to the towers are so steep you need to use all fours to reach the top safely.  Angkor Wat is certainly one of my most favorite places on the planet.


Glitter Gradient Nails

Glitter Gradient Nails

I wanted to share another really easy but fun nail style.  The gradient nail trend is super popular right now and can be created many different ways.

Orly Liquid Vinyl and China Glaze Some Like it Haute



snap CRACKLE pop

Half Crackle Nails

After a few more nail posts, you should be able to tell that I am a big China Glaze follower.  I love their nail polish!  They have a huge range of colour, including mattes, glitters and metallics.  They also go on rich, creamy and smooth.  And just like eyeshadow  – that makes me happy!  What I love most about Crackle Nail Polish, is you can add it to your nails after 2-3 days when they start to look tired and it makes them look brand new, like you just redid your nails.  Which you sort of did…but with just one easy top coat!  This is certainly my most common use of the Crackle line of polishes.

Coral Star, Silver, Black Mesh Crackle

Coral Star, Silver, Black Mesh Crackle

Saturday night I painted my nails with Coral Star Nail Polish by China Glaze and today they started looking a little weak.  They definitely needed some touching up.  So rather than just piling on more of the same shade, I had a little fun and added some Crackle Nail Polish to refresh my nails and change the appearance – without all the work of starting from scratch. I love also using the Stripe Rite products to finish the look with a nice clean line across the bottom edge of the Crackle polish.


For Better or For Worse?

Envy and Retrospeck Eye Makeup

During my time off between Christmas and New Years I made my way to Sephora for my free wedding consult (I had a coupon to waive the $50 purchase).  So with a girlfriend in tow we headed downtown to see what look they would come up with.  To sum things up, I absolutely loved what Emily from Sephora did with my skin but I wasn’t sold 100% on the eyes.  I don’t own foundation and usually don’t wear anything on my face, and if I do it is a tinted moisturizer and a light powder.  So I didn’t want anything cakey, but I was looking for nice even coverage that would photograph well and last all day.


It’s Not Easy Being Green

Green and Black Eye Makeup

One of my bridesmaids and her mother held a Bridal Shower for me yesterday.  This meant a lot to me.  Seeing as I am not from here originally, none of my family lives here in Ottawa and my Maid of Honour lives in Alberta as well.  So they were sweet enough to make sure I still got a shower – they deserve a big huge thank you!!  It really was a special day – thanks to all who were able to come!

Keeping with the theme of an Emerald Green wedding dress I gave myself some dramatic green eyes.