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Showing posts from January, 2012

making faces :: january's pretty things

'tis the post-holiday season of cold and wind and arctic air and snow and, to be honest, whatever excuse i can find to stay inside covered in a comforter and cats all day is generally a good thing. however, i have ventured out from time to time and even endeavoured to make myself presentable around the house so that dom doesn't have to come home to this:


i sort of wish that the weather wasn't so disagreeable, because low light and long nights are great conditions in which to show off pearly skin and deep lips, a look i prefer as a matter of course. but i suppose there's still lots of that left given that daylight savings doesn't kick in for a month and the sun stays mostly hidden until about the middle of march. and sometimes we get a bit of a thaw in february, which can be nice but also kind of a tease.

what i've been reaching for in my cabinet of pretties [actually dresser drawers] this month basically fits with what i mentioned above- highlighters to diffuse…

mental health mondays :: too good to resist

that's right, it's mental health mondays. i haven't done one of these since suspending activity on this front a few months back and i'm still not sure if i have it in me to do this regularly, but we shall see. in the meantime, when i saw that my hero/ girl crush jenny lawson [the bloggess] posted this npr article on twitter earlier today, i couldn't resist resurrecting mhm at least for this week.

it seems that studies have shown ketamine, normally used as an anesthetic by surgeons and veterinarians and [at lower doses] as a party drug by ravers. ketamine is a fairly popular anesthetic because it has a relatively low side effect profile [at least compared to those of other similarly effective anesthetics, which have a nasty tendency to screw with your respiratory system]. in fact, even occasional recreational users are on fairly safe ground, since harmful, long-term damage has been confirmed chiefly in chronic users and addicts. timothy leary experimented with the…

the montreal metro project, part 8 [the grand finale]

here at last are the final photos in my series on montreal's metro system. i hope you've enjoyed this look at what i consider in my hometown pride to be one of the most fascinating underground networks in the world. although some stops show serious signs of disrepair, each one is unique, something highly uncommon in public transit systems in the western world. [subways in former eastern block countries were often made more with aesthetics in mind, with the aim of making them testaments to the power of the workers and the state.]

to start us off, there are a few images of the cote-vertu metro station, which lies at the western terminus of the u-shaped orange line. it's one of the network's most used stations, as it serves as the hub for buses going to the suburban west island and to the western side of laval, to the north. i had to transfer to a bus from this station for over a year and in my daily rush, i can't say that i ever remarked at how striking it is. it'…

making faces :: a mediterranean escape with edward bess

much of the hype around former model edward bess' cosmetic line is focused on his ability to make magic out of seemingly mundane shades. the collection is focused on naturals and nudes, the kind of colours that have been around a long time, but which still form the staples of most cosmetic stashes. after reading so many rapturous reviews of his products, i overcame a little of my hesitance [mostly caused by the fact that his line seems to have a distinct bias towards warm-toned complexions] and decided to dabble my toes in the sea of bess.

although the greatest number of rave reviews are for his eye shadows and lipsticks, i decided to take a chance on one of his "quad royale" palettes- a soft highlighting blush with four slightly different [both in tone and texture] shades designed to be used on the cheeks or as an all-over powder. i think i was drawn to these because it's dark and grey and snowing periodically and these quads are all named for locations along the me…

h+m wtf?

i saw this on a friend's facebook page and felt compelled to share. basically, it's the story of a really sweet, decent gesture made by illustrator/ artist tori laconsay to show her appreciation for her georgia hometown. she decided to use a blank sign to send a positive message to the people in her community, which is something that a lot of us will never witness. what a wonderful idea for a piece of guerrilla art.

retail giant h & m evidently thought it was a great idea too. because somehow their design team came up with the same idea, using the same text style and the same heart for some of its housewares. h & m, of course, denies that their work is in any way derived from laconsay's.


this strikes me as the kind of thing that happens when you're a teenager and you come home at three in the morning and try to convince your parents that you haven't been drinking or smoking because, of course, it's not like they ever did anything like that when they we…

making faces :: quick peek [guerlain spring 2012]

today it was -15 celsius outside. "spring" is not the first thought that comes to mind. certainly not the particularly delicate palette of spring 2012, marked as it is by ultra-soft pastels from the likes of dior [see here], lancome [whose spring collection features a fragile mix of pinks and cool greens] and eve guerlain. i say "even" because last year, guerlain's spring collection seemed to target those who were spending the first quarter of the year hiding in the tropics until the mercury rose. although some shades had a lighter payoff, there was definitely a lot of colour- red-corals, peach, pinks and the stunning centrepiece of the collection, the torrid "blush g", which became a popular favourite.

from that offbeat take on spring, guerlain has swung to the other side, with a palette of pink, pink and pink for 2012. [they call it "pink & black", but the black seems to refer to the packaging only. or to their newly launched mascara, …

the right angles

i guess every girl eventually wants to write letters to the stars of her favourite television show.

dear mitt,

i hate to shatter your illusion that you're the aristocratic, above-the-fray president-in-waiting, but you need to know that your awkwardness is so pronounced that i feel awkward just watching you. the overwhelming tension that's evident when you smile makes me think you're being shot full of electrodes, or that you're about to fire me, neither of which is a good look for you.

we really don't care about your tax returns, but the fact that you squirm and stammer every time you talk about them makes us all wonder what it is you're trying to hide. and the fact is, i don't really think you're hiding everything. you say that you're proud of the success you've had, but your actions tell a different story. your reticence to throw a public light on your finances tells me that you're deeply uncomfortable revealing that you are a rich guy doin…

friday favourites :: 20.01.12

so often, it seems like i wonder about what to write here from day to day, but lately, i'm desperately trying to deal with blog-log. i am literally so behind on things i've promised myself i'm going to post that i've had to start maintaining a list so that i don't forget them. the problem is that ideas i had for more general blog posts are getting pushed aside by ones that are a little more time sensitive. i'm already annoyed that i didn't post any insane predictions for the republican debate last night, but what's a girl to do? [nor any thoughts on the previous debate -ed.]

but i did promise myself that i was going to throw a few favourites out there, because i need my little pause for positivity at the end of the week.

sopa success! :: undoubtedly the high point of the week was watching elected officials run from the sinking ships of s.o.p.a. and p.i.p.a. like they were italian cruise line captains. [too soon?] three of the four republican candidates f…

the internet does not need a guard dog

a long time ago, i came across a really interesting piece about the mistakes people make in training their dogs, particularly those who are interested in having a companion who also serves as a form of protection for the home. the author [and i apologise that i can't remember her name] made the point that training a dog to defend its territory by attacking unknown intruders is a recipe for disaster, because a skilled thief will know easily enough how to dispatch with an animal, but a relative, friend, postal worker or emergency care worker will not. so training a dog to be aggressive is likely to result in some pretty horrific damage while doing nothing to address the problem of safety.

i've been reminded of that story a lot lately as i've heard about the draconian legislation currently before the u.s. congress, because i suspected that s.o.p.a. and p.i.p.a. were similar to the guard dog- endangering bystanders while doing little to resolve the larger problem. those who en…

making faces :: quick peek [dior spring 2012]

i know that readers in the united states have had spring programs on their shelves since before christmas [which, frankly, should be illegal, because it's way too confusing], but here in canada, we're just starting to get the first hints of spring colour in cosmetic displays. sure, we can order from the u.s., but that's cheating... in a way. and besides, if you live in montreal in january, you know that spring is a distant mirage that exists merely to tease you with the promise of its eventual visit. in the meantime, we know it's going to be cold and miserable until the middle of april. and even then, i wouldn't bet serious money on a thaw.

nonetheless, as i mentioned, some bold folk are starting to dangle their springy bits in our faces, at least in certain retail locations. this past week, i spotted the new dior "garden party" collection [because, really, who doesn't want to have a garden party when it's -17 a snowing?]. i was able to grab some …

way better than a golden globe

what was the high point of my day? finding out from the lovely and talented beautyfully inspired that i'd won my first award, the versatile blogger award. behold:




for my personal awards ceremony [which consists of me strutting around my place in sock feet], i have chosen to wear an all-black two-piece ensemble of a cotton top in need of hem repair with low v-neck and faux wraparound-style detail from some shop on queen street west in toronto and a pair of knee-length faux-riding pants that i'm never quite sure about from h & m. i've paired this with opaque tights without runs or holes in the toes.

for the hair, i've gone for an ultra-trendy "napped-in" look held in place by my ears. my makeup is by mac, benefit, inglot and rouge bunny rouge and for my nails, i am sporting an edgy worn-tips look with butter london's "marrow".

i would, of course like to thank my nominator and to all my readers, who really cheer me with their comments and even …

making faces :: au naturel with mac

every year for the last few years, mac has released two complementary collections just after christmas. two years back, it was split between warm and cool tones. last year, it was soft and shimmery versus bold and bright. this year, they've more or less repeated that strategy with "naturally", a collection of neutrals and soft, shimmery mineral products for cheeks and eyes and an eponymous collection with the iconic iris apfel.

normally, anyone who knows me would expect that i'd immediately gravitate towards the bright side, but since i have a lot of bold shades already and didn't feel that there was anything that looked tremendously different from what i had already, i sort of hesitated.

when i arrived at my local store, a couple of days after both collections had launched, there were still some remnants of the iris apfel collection [although none of the lipsticks, which have been the real hit], but i found myself uncharacteristically drawn to the soft neutrals…

a box of dust

a box of dust is left
away from the eyes of light.
the stale air embraces it
and says "i will hold you forever."
and the box shudders and its contents-
dry remnants locked inside-
shift a little, mimicking life.
lacquered shell, blanched from days near sunbeams
its cargo crumbled to a mystery,
to a nothing, to an ending.

this might once have played music,
plucked out a tune naive and plaintive
or shown an image, diorama
some magical tromp l'oeil
to captivate and entertain and puzzle;
ladies and gentlemen- behold!
presented for your amusement
the sweet story in a light-box.

or maybe it his treasure maps
transcripts of ancient secrets
long since discovered and discarded
stained with the work of those
who passed them on.

could it be pandora's box
recovered from the fog of myth
its unwelcome contents cast
unwittingly throughout the world
[by the woman who had to know]
and that remnant hope languishing
in a wooden tomb?
it could.

and the air rests thick
around it,
showerin…

friday favourites :: 13.01.12

ok, i totally skipped friday favourites on the first friday of the new year. i own up to that. as it happened, it got working on my initial rouge bunny rouge review and it took longer than i thought it would to put the whole thing together, so when i finished, all i could think about was rouge bunny rouge and the enchanted garden and, really, getting those products was probably my favourite thing last week, along with watching the insanity of the republican iowa caucus and "cnn after dark", which i'd also already blogged about. but now i'm back and i have more things that are cheering me through the darkest days of winter. [not actually the darkest days, since the solstice is passed. -ed.] [i was being metaphorical, tight ass.]


the traveling red dress :: technically, this is sort of a repeat from a previous friday favourites, which i normally don't do, since it's about "the bloggess" jenny lawson, but this time, rather than just making me blow tea ou…

ever wondered why

... you pay such high retail markup on everything, even though the basic costs are relatively low? sure, there's budgets for advertising, discounts, returns, damaged goods, packaging, employee salaries and such. but next time you buy something, keep in mind that you're also helping to offset the cost of doing clever things like this:




oh and in case that wasn't embarrassing enough... there were two more similarly sized items on this order that were shipped separately. the next day. 

zero to hero? [movie review :: super]

that "super" comes from the mind of writer/ director james gunn gives it a somewhat promising start. his previous indie efforts have been oddball and at the least interesting to watch and have their own unique spin on genre films. this is actually his second stab at a superhero story, after he wrote the script for "the specials", but rather than dealing with people who have actual super-powers, "super" is the story of one man who simply decides to become a superhero, without the normal mutations.

rainn wilson, best known as the uptight salesman-cum-beet farmer dwight schrute from the american version of "the office", stars as frank, an average [at best] guy who's married to sarah, the girl of his dreams [liv tyler], until she abandons him to go back to her former life as a drug addict with slick lothario jacques [kevin bacon]. bereft and profoundly depressed by this turn of events, frank is at a loss until he is touched by the finger of god…

making faces :: another bunny tale

i promised that i'd follow up my previous post on cult cosmetic favourite rouge bunny rouge to let you know my thoughts on their "hues of enchantment" formula lipstick. i also decided that it might be a nice idea to post some comparisons of all the rbr products i bought, rather than just telling you that the shades were unique.

if you'd like to see my original review- with the "when birds are singing" shadows and the sheer lipsticks "succulence of dew" [i am still in love with those category names, as i am with most things rouge bunny rouge] by going here.

"hues of enchantment" is the family of rouge bunny rouge lipsticks that are more opaque. some look to have a frostier finish, but the shade that i got, "word of mouth", is a smooth, wearable red with no discernible shimmer. while not quite as super-soft as the sheer lipsticks, "word of mouth" is still very gentle on the lips. it feels creamy without being heavy and…

om nom nom :: restaurant review [poissonerie omega]

a few weeks ago, my friend martin [also], a devout foodie, took me out for lunch to help kick my ass out of an end-of-year kind of depressive slump. somewhat bored with options both in our own neighbourhood and in the plateau [which is where we often end up], we settled on finding something in cote-des-neiges, crammed as it is with eating establishments of various sorts, most of them highly affordable.

we ventured down lacombe street, which certainly has its fair share of places and were thinking of going to frites alors. while that would have been fine, it did sort of defeat the purpose of getting out of a rut if we ended up going to a different location of a franchise where we had eaten many times before. so martin suggested we check out "the fish place next door". as a maritimer, the idea of eating fish in a non-ocean-adjacent city at a place that looked a little dive-y had me nervous, but i figured that it was at least something new.

upon entering, while the place defin…

making faces :: show me the bunny!

the internet can be a dangerous place. it can be dangerous when you interact with strangers, when you make personal or financial information available, and when you leave records of things you shouldn't be doing in your cache. these have all been explored. less attention, however, is granted to the alarming dangers the internet can present to your wallet, especially when you stumble across something like the russian-based, british-born makeup brand rouge bunny rouge.

i first heard of them as a "cult favourite" and the more i read, the more apt that description seemed. there were rave reviews and swatches on blogs and those who were into them were really into them, despite the fact that their products are fiendishly difficult to find, available almost exclusively to much of the world through british luxury cosmetics store zuneta. which piques a girl's curiosity. so i checked out their web site, which was just that more dangerous because it was so charmingly odd. meant…

dissecting the iowa carcass

i can't believe i watched the whole thing.

well, actually, i have to admit that i passed out before wolf blitzer went all rogue and started calling iowa election staff in the middle of the night, but i made it almost all the way. with a small nap in the middle, because it turns out that watching iowa caucus results come in isn't quite as exciting [or as tweet-worthy] as watching these guys debate each other.

but the first big challenge is over and one more participant has been voted off the grand old island, while one of the last remaining non-romneys has seen his star rise. a few thoughts on the whole shebang:

- ok, i really got it wrong with santorum. he'd been languishing in the basement of the polls everywhere for so long i just figured it was impossible that he'd ever get his turn as the flavour of the week. but with a barrage of negative ads having disarmed the newt-ron bomb, indeed, voters turned to rick santorum in a last-ditch effort not to vote for mitt romney…

dj kali & mr. dna @ the caustic lounge 04.01.12

the first caustic lounge of 2012 was indeed a great time, one of the best [if not the best] thus far. both mr. dna and i had a fantastic time and we hope that all who attended will remember it fondly. drinks were had, laughs were shared, underwear was removed... and oh yes, music filled the air. i'm not sure how we'll top things next month, but we'll sure try. thanks to all who attended!

mr. dna

coldcut :: return to margin
blur :: battle
p.j. harvey :: my beautiful leah
primal scream :: higher than the sun
the cure :: at night
hot chip :: playboy
depeche mode :: blasphemous rumours
front 242 :: quite unusual
soft cell :: memorabilia
orchestral manoeuvres in the dark :: electricity
polysics :: black out, fall out
ash :: cantina band
stereolab :: contronatura
new order :: the perfect kiss
lcd soundsystem :: us vs them
the rapture :: out of the races and onto the tracks
franz ferdinand :: do you want to? (erol alkan mix)
can :: mushroom

dj kali

the death sound :: this sick fee…

the montreal metro project, part 7

i hadn't posted a new installment of this in a while, but there are still more photos from the metro system! this is actually the second-last installment and features stations from the western end of the green line- the part to the west of the downtown section.

i'll admit, this is an area of the city that i know very little about, probably because it's largely residential and i've never lived there, nor had any close friends who lived there. like its east-end counterpart, it tends to be traditionally working class, although parts of it are starting to lose a touch of their traditional grit. the neighbourhood of verdun, which makes up much of the territory covered by the green line, used to be known as the borough of choice for the hell's angels, back when the biker wars were in full force.

although it's not what you'd call "hip", the area does boast large apartments at prices lower than much of the rest of the city and, since it's on the metro…