While "researching" my Valentine's Day style post, I stumbled upon a red lipstick that I knew I had to have. I'd owned the same formula in a nude shade already, and it was my most-used, most-loved lip product ever. Naturally, I was going to get it. While chatting with a girlfriend, I mentioned that I was leaving the house on a snow day *just* to pick up the red lipstick of my dreams and started to question her sanity when she responded with "To use on your under eye circles? Do you think that really works?" I was pretty sure she was joking.
SHE WAS NOT JOKING.
After watching a handful of videos, I knew I had to try it. As a busy Mummy, looking yummy can be difficult at the best of times. Now that I'm in the midst of my second move in under six months and battling cold season with a five year-old, I'm rocking the under eye double-punch with dark circles and a some "I need sleep" bags. Not a good look. I have no small arsenal of under eye related products, from concealer to skin brightener, eye creams to depuffing rollers and while the creams care for the skin and the concealer and brightener masked the darkness, I could always see my under eye circles peeking through. And besides, what did I have to lose? (Note: My under eye circles are pretty tame in these photos. Yay for sleep and hydration!)
First things first, know that red lipstick does not work on light skin tones. Leave your red lipstick for your lips, fairskinned ladies. If you have a darker skin tone, an orange-y red will work well. Light skin tones would do well to stick with apricot shades. (Trust me on this one.) If you own a matte or non-shimmery lipstick in an apricot, peach or red shade already, you need not pick one up. If you don't, look for a matte shade with an orange undertone.
You need a lipstick in the appropriate shade for your skin tone - this may mean some trial and error but an easy rule of thumb: the lighter your skin, the lighter the lipstick. You'll also want your regular concealer, foundation, and any makeup brushes or sponges you'd typically use.
An apricot or orange-y red colour will look ridiculous when you first put it on your under eye skin, but it's that orange base that helps counter the bluish, purple shade of under eye circles. Using a makeup brush, pat the lipstick around your eye and dab on any other dark spots you'd like to cover up. Laugh heartily at yourself.
Now that you look like a (possibly scary) clown, go ahead and grab a makeup sponge and your favourite concealer. Dab on your concealer and blend, covering the lipstick, and then continue your makeup routine as per usual. After my concealer, I used my favourite BB cream, blush, and eye makeup. I'd be lying if I said this is a trick I'd use on a daily basis - it's too time consuming for my taste - but it's perfect for "big" days like interviews, date nights or fancy events.
Dark under eye circles can be caused by poor diet, genetics, illness and lack of sleep. If your under eye circles are especially dark, you should discuss it with your doctor to ensure that your body isn't trying to tell you something. If it's just a matter of too little sleep and a few too many glasses of wine, combine this magic trick with a shimmery, cream-coloured eyeliner along your waterline to help brighten your eyes and wake you up.
And smile - it'll instantly brighten that pretty face of yours!
After a weekend of freezing my face off in 50 Shades of Maritime Weather, I'm trying to divert the "blahs" Fifty Shades of Grey left me feeling last night by focusing on what a good sport Mr. Hockey Coach is since he sat through the movie with me and only made a couple of sarcastic remarks... and also stayed awake. In any case, we braved the absolutely horrific roads and hit up the movie I feel as though everyone has been talking about. Was it sexy? To borrow from Ms. Steele: No, sir.
I read the books when they first hit the shelves, and soccer moms were elbowing one another to read about the sexy Christian Grey and the doe-eyed Anastasia Steele. I'd be lying if I said I didn't at least kind of enjoy them. Perhaps I was too horny to truly comprehend what was happening as I flipped from page to page. It was the first time I'd ever read erotica and while I found it a little too corny from time to time, I read all three books over two weeks.
I'm not going to be a Sally Spoiler and ruin it all for you if you haven't read the books or seen the movie and plan to. What I will tell you is this: Anastasia Steele is a virgin in university and Christian Grey is a sexy, successful business man with a playroom in his badass condo. He becomes obsessed with her, she falls in love with him, they have "vanilla" sex and engage in BDSM and she's torn between wanting a boyfriend who's normal and wanting Mr. Grey.
The Twilight fan fiction aspect completely eluded me from page to page, but it slapped me across the face in theatres. Some of the scenes were almost identical to those in the Twilight Saga (yeah, yeah - I own it on DVD...), which I should have seen coming but there you have it. The acting was OK - I'll give credit where it's due and admit that it's probably really hard to act out the especially ridiculous lines and scenes.
I went in with a roller coaster of expectations. From a purely cinematic point of view, it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be but it wasn't as good as I would have liked it to be. I was kind of hoping for a little bit of sexy, and instead I left feeling a little... slimy.
I can get behind the idea of BDSM - though it's not my cup of tea - but I can't get into the perpetuation that a woman's body belongs to her partner. The overbearing, possessive nature of Mr. Grey is uncomfortable to watch playing out in front of your eyes and I found myself cringing as he showed up in Ms. Steele's bedroom or while she's out for lunch with her mother. Scene to scene, I almost felt as though I was watching an abusive relationship slowly unfold.
There is a line that separates BDSM and abuse, and as far as I'm concerned Fifty Shades of Grey has blurred it. The question of consent is there from beginning to end. As a control freak, the idea of being "dominated" between the sheets is one thing... but being ordered around in my daily life is another. As the mother of a little boy and as a woman, I hope this movie can really drive home the importance of consent because that's what it all boils down to.
Image Source: Universal Pictures
The colour red is the most emotionally intense colour, even stimulating a faster heartbeat and breathing-rate. It's also the colour of luuuurve. Red is an eyegrabbing shade, and its intensity can be a little overwhelming. The most romantic colour, pink, is less stimulating but still beautiful. And contrary to my what my mother told me once in grade eight, you *can* wear pink and red together.
With Valentine's Day around the corner, I thought I'd round up some great ways to inject the colour of love into your style - whether for a day at the park with the kids or a night out with your partner. (Or a night in your fat pants on the couch watching Friday the 13th with some take-out Chinese. Whatever your jam.)
Because red is such an eye-catching colour, many women tell me they feel uncomfortable wearing it head-to-toe but the good news is that red is incredibly chic as an accent to an otherwise neutral ensemble! A red nail and red lip combo is classic and glamorous, while red shoes are a fun way to inject some colour into your outfit. A red blouse breathes colour into your face while red skinnies make for a super cool alternative to regular denim. Go big or go home in a red jump suit, a daring red dress or top off your look with a cute red jacket. Or wear red under your outfit. Ahem.
Oh! And, of course, these pieces will look beautiful on the other 364 days of the year too!