Thursday, March 31, 2011

Electric Sapphire

I hardly experiment with makeup during university & tend to stick to my usual routine, which can be quite boring. Even if I want to change things up, I just don't want to spend time doing that especially at this time of the year when all the deadlines are close & exams are coming up. Yesterday I switched 1 product that I use in my daily makeup routine & even though it wasn't a makeover kind of change, it still changed things up a bit.

Sometimes all it takes to get out of a makeup rut is using coloured eyeliner instead of my usual black liquid eyeliner.

Products Used:
  • Annabelle Cosmetics' Smudgeliner in Electric Sapphire [upper lashline + winged]
  • MAC eyeshadow in Mylar [applied heavily in the tear duct area + swept lightly on the lower lashline]
  • Lancome Hypnose (waterproof) mascara in Black [upper lashes]
  • MAC Plush Lash mascara in PlushBlack [lower lashes]

How simple is that?
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Poser in Purple

A look that I did for a birthday dinner that I went to last night. I played up the eyes & used a blush to add some colour to my cheeks. The blush wore out by the time I got in the mood to take pics - hours after I got back home from the dinner. I only wore lipbalm since I was going to be eating anyway so I couldn't be bothered to make an effort with that - didn't apply anything on my lips before taking pictures either.

Was in no mood to touch-up my makeup, just felt like being a poser.

P.S. only the face pics (1st & last) are edited via Picnik
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Huge Teeka from Gerrard Street (Toronto)

I absolutely love huge teeka's and for my best friends wedding, I knew I had to wear one. Wanting to wear a huge teeka was one thing, but finding one that matched my bridesmaid outfit was another. I was on a very short time limit & had a few hours at the most to find this teeka, so I headed down to the Indian & Pakistani area of Gerrard Street. If you don't know what area I'm talking about, it's pretty much a section of a street that has all Indian & Pakistani stores with clothing, jewelry, home decors, grocery, restaurants, etc.

I went from one store to the other & was disappointed with what I saw. The closest thing to what I wanted was overpriced & I wasn't willing to spend so much on something that I wasn't loving completely. I was almost out of time since I had to head back to the consulate, wasn't in a good mood (had gotten into a small accident while driving to downtown Toronto & was not happy that I couldn't find something I liked after visiting so many stores), & was just sick of the lack of good customer service, but I decided to try out one last store.

Business card of Sajawat - the store where I picked up the teeka from

1475 Gerrard Street East,
Toronto, Ontario, M4L 2A1
(416) 519-6408

When I walked in the store, I didn't have any expectations & didn't expect to like a teeka here either. I was proven wrong quickly, when I started going through the teeka's and found something that I fell in love with. My mum was so relieved considering how picky I am, haha! The teeka came in 3 or 4 different sizes (I want to say 4 but I'm not 100% sure). I was completely sold on it & the hardest part for me was deciding between the 2 biggest sizes. I ended up choosing the 2nd biggest one because the beading on it was absolutely perfect! There wasn't that much of a difference between the sizes, but depending on your facial structure & size, it would definitely make a difference. I have a big face as compared to others, so this huge teeka suited me.

Taken with flash so that you can see what the red beads in the teeka would look like under sunlight, with light hair, or against fair skin.

I'm pretty sure the teeka was part of a bridal set because they had hand jewelry that matched & probably had everything else too - at this point I was overjoyed about the teeka & could care less about anything else. I was so happy that I was willing to pay the ridiculous price ($30-40) that most of the smaller teekas at the other stores cost. This teeka, however, only cost me $15! I was SO surprised that I considered contacting the other bridesmaids since we had all decided to wear teeka's at the wedding. I was already running late & didn't have a way to show them what the teeka looked like, so I didn't end up contacting them.

Look at how flexible that teeka is!

Besides all that, I loved that the teeka was flexible, so it wouldn't sit flat against your forehead.
Another thing (not teeka related) that I was happy with was the customer service I received at the store. Most of the time when I'm in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) & visit a desi store, I always have problems with their customer service. The people working at the stores act like they have too much pride to be working there, they don't seem like they want to help you, or they only want to help you to force the sale of a product on you & not because they care. This can also be because I'm accustomed to the customer service in the Niagara region, but most of the time the lack of customer service from desi people in the GTA annoys me way too much. At Sajawat, however, the customer service was great, which was a bonus for me.

Left - shown completely so it looks like a bridal teeka; Right - hidden to tone it down

The picture above shows 2 ways that you can wear the teeka. On the left, the teeka looks like something that would be fit for a bride. I didn't actually wear it to the wedding this way - the picture was just taken for the purpose of this post. The picture on the right is an actual picture of me wearing the teeka at the wedding. Even though the teeka is huge, I wore it so that my hair was covering most of it, which really toned it down & made it more appropriate for a bridesmaid.

So at the end of it all I learned that you can get good customer service from desi people even in Toronto & you can find an awesome, reasonable, huge teeka, but you just have to be patient & look a little.

Disclosure: This teeka was not given to me by the store to review or I was not paid in any way to write this post. I found a great teeka at a store that had good customer service, so I wanted to share it, especially since I have received questions from people on where I got this teeka from.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Boycotting My Flat Iron

I wanted to buy a large, round, vented hair brush for a while & recently I purchased it. In order to see if I really liked it, I decided to put it to the test by using the brush to blow dry my hair straight without following up the process with a flat iron. It took time to blow dry, but I loved that my hair was straight, had a lot of volume & wasn't pin straight. Since then I decided that if I can get better results by blow drying my hair, then I'll stick to that instead of applying direct heat through a flat iron. I have washed my hair 6 times since then (for reference, I wash my hair every 3-4 days) & I have not used my flat iron since! Oh, & have I mentioned that my hair is naturally curly? Yup, curly not wavy.

My weapon of choice while blow drying my hair is a brush called Beautique Large Metal Thermal Round Brush that I got at Sally Beauty. In case you are interested, I got the large one & the model number for the large brush is 738628.

Sally Beauty's website states that "Beautique Metal Thermal Round Brushes contain a thermal core that holds heat from a hair dryer longer reducing drying time." The brush is curved, so it fits the shape of your head; the handle has a good, comfortable grip; & as it states on the brush, it is very light, which makes the brush easy to work with. This brush has definitely played a big role in giving my hair volume.

Besides the volume, another thing that I like is that blow drying makes my hair look a lot thicker as compared to what it looked like after I flat iron my hair. One thing that I don't like about blow drying is that I get a lot more flyaways after I'm done as compared to when I'm done flat ironing. This can easily be fixed using some sort of mousse, hairspray, etc. but I prefer using less products on my hair, so I don't do that. I also have stubborn hair on the sides, which take a lot longer to tame using a blow dryer. It's also a pain trying to blow dry long hair, not only because it takes longer, but also because my hands just start hurting after a while.

I absolutely love how I can create curls at the end that look so natural, volumized, & effortless. I have created more defined curls than what you will see in the pics below, but this time I didn't want that look. If you want defined curls, you can do that with a round brush & then use hair spray to hold the curls. I just like how the ends are not completely straight, but have a bit of texture & my hair overall has a lot of texture & volume when I blow dry.

I'm loving that I don't have to use a flat iron to get my hair as straight as I want it. It's a step toward starting to take better care of my hair along with using hot coconut oil & some homemade treatments more often. I think the next step for me should be finally getting a haircut so I can get rid of the split ends of my split ends! Eek, I know.. I'm bad.
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