Stocking Poppers! Part 1

It’s that time of year again, when the stores are filled with anxious shoppers and bewildered faces. I do admit that I’m a fan of shopping for friends and family. I enjoy brainstorming gifts that will bring joy to my loved ones and I have no shame in admitting that I like receiving them as well. My family still exchanges stockings, which I love. There’s something about those little “gifties” – as my mom calls them – that are so much fun. It’s like getting a bag filled with fun impulse purchases – a weakness of mine. To help you find what to get the retro girl in your life or if you’re looking to treat yourself, I’ve compiled a list of stocking poppers. Let me know if there are any gifties out there that you’re jonesing for this season.

Soap & Glory A Great Kisser is my kind of lip balm. It feels more like a lip gloss than a balm with moisturizing mango butter and apricot butter to protect your lips from the elements. A Great Kisser comes in two scents – Juicy Peach, which delivers a pretty pink shiny tint and Vanilla Bean, which has more of a warm rose sheen with a bit of sparkle. And who can resist those cute, retro tins?

A Great Kisser Juicy Peach RGB

A Great Kisser in Juicy Peach, $10 at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations

A Great Kisser VanillaBean RGB

A Great Kisser in Vanilla Bean, $10 at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations

I like to dress up my nails, but don’t have the patience for nail art so I gravitate towards glittery, glitzy and bold polishes that add impact. Anna Sui’s nail polishes come in a spectrum of 45 shades and finishes spanning from gold glitter to flamingo pink and the perfect red. Plus, look at those bottles. Can you tell I’m a sucker for retro packaging yet? Available at Murale and Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques for $15.

SNAG-081 SNAG-083

Believe the hype. Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara does it all – lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts and separates in a long-wearing formula that doesn’t dry out. The custom domed brush tip will accentuate lashes you didn’t know you had. Check out the Benefit website for tips and tricks on how best to apply if you’re looking for a doe-eyed look or want to boost your bottom lashes.

Benefit_RealMascara_Murale $29

Benefit They’re Real Mascara, $29 at Murale and Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques

– Jodi Goulart

Take A Colourful Trip To Alice’s Wonderland

When I was a young girl I watched my VHS tape of Disney’s Alice In Wonderland religiously while acting out the part of Alice – movements, expressions, words and all – along to the film. My love of Alice and her magical adventures still lives on and with the film release this March of Tim Burton’s adaptation of the beloved Lewis Carroll story the warm fuzzy spot in my heart has been rekindled.

There’s no doubt that the merchandising surrounding the film will be overwhelming and tap into that cherished nostalgia shared by me and so many others. So I was really excited to learn that Urban Decay, one of my favourite cosmetics brands, has come out with the limited edition Alice In Wonderland Inspired Book Of Shadows. Just like a pop-up book, the palette opens to reveal Alice on her journey through the mushroom forest. The palette contains 16 best-selling shades with new names inspired by the film, such as White Rabbit, Curiouser, Jabberwocky and Midnight Tea Party. Also included are two travel-size 24/7 Eye Pencils and an Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

Urban Decay Alice In Wonderland Inspired Book Of Shadows, $62 at Sephora. Available February 1

Also getting in on the phantasmical action is OPI with its four limited-edition nail lacquers inspired by Burton’s film. My favourites are Absolutely Alice; a glittery blue shade similar to Alice’s dress and Mad As A Hatter; a purple multi-glitter. Be sure to pick-up the OPI Top Coat as the glitter polishes do chip easily. Enjoy the trip!

OPI Alice In Wonderland Nail Lacquer Collection, $10.95 per lacquer at salons and spas

— Jodi Goulart

Statement Nails Go Planetary

Statement nails are one of the most attention-grabbing accessories this season and one  manicure that’s come full-circle is the half-moon manicure. This style  first became popular in the 1940s and has most recently been on the Fall 2009 runways at Christian Dior, Ruffian and Thakoon. Burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese has been flashing her lunar nails for years.

Dita Von Teese

Best described as a reverse French manicure, the half-moon manicure is surprisingly easy to replicate on your own as long as you have the right tools. To prep, you need strong nails. I regularly use a nail strengthener because frequent abuse of nail polish and remover makes my nails weak. One of my favourites right now is Sally Hansen’s Quick Care Pen Strength Treatment, which is easily applied with it’s click-and-brush pen. You can have a painted half-moon or not, but if you want the full effect I’d go for the former. Beige and bordeaux were paired at Ruffian; white and navy at Thakoon and cream and purple at Dior.

Christian Dior Fall 2009

I chose white and a deep metallic blue with Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Colours in Whirlwind White and Blazing Blue. After painting my entire nail white I used Nailene’s Perfect Tips & Toes French Polish Guides adhesive stickers to make a perfect half-moon while painting on the blue polish. And voila! — the perfect half-moon manicure. Although it did take some time and patience, the end result is well worth it — just think of how great it will look while lifting a glass during the holiday party season!

Here is what I used to create a half-moon manicure:

  • Sally Hansen Quick Care Pen Strength Treatment, $9.95 at select drug stores and mass retailers
  • Nailene Perfect Tips & Toes French Polish Guides, $2.99 at Shopper’s Drug Mart
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Colour in Whirlwind White and Blazing Blue, $5.95 at select drug stores and mass retailers

Here are some other colour combinations inspired by the Fall runways:

— Jodi Goulart