Sunday, July 31, 2016

FOOD: Public Kitchen & Bar - Kitchener, ON

A few weeks ago, I ate at Public Kitchen & Bar - arguably one of the best mid-priced restaurants in the Kitchener Waterloo Region. Located in an unassuming plaza in quiet neighbourhood, it's a tapas style restaurant with a homey feel. 

There must be less than 30 seats in the restaurant, which makes for a very intimate setting (great for a date). Service was friendly and attentive. Music was chill. My only gripe was that there wasn't enough lighting for my photos. 

Caramelized eggplant crostini with feta, crispy onions and tahini sauce ($6 for 2)

Freshly shucked oysters with mignonette and house hot sauce ($15 for 1/2 dozen)

Wild boar rillettes with housemade pickles, mustard and crostini ($12) 

Potted foie gras and chicken liver pate with house cured pickles and sherry gastrique ($14) 

Beef tartare with pickled onions, red wine reduction and fried capers ($15)

 Crostini of Serano ham and seared Morcilla sausage with creamy celeriac and apple slaw ($8 for 2) 

 Patata's Brava's with pickled cabbage and aged cheddar cheese sauce ($7) 

My favourite dishes were definitely the eggplant crostini and the serano ham/blood sausage crostini. The crostini was quite crisp... so much so that it felt little sharp but the toppings had some great flavour combos. I also really enjoyed their housemade pickled beets, carrots, radish and asparagus (on the foie gras and Rillettes dishes). 

Overall, one of my favourite dining experiences in Kitchener and I highly recommend it if you're in town.  

FIND PUBLIC KITCHEN + BAR
295 Lancaster Street West, Kitchener
519-954-8111
MPC Public Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I paid for my own food :) 
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift & Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm

I'm hesitant to try cult favourite, luxury skincare because everyone's skin is inherently different. But I guess when someone with a British accent on your computer screen like Caroline Hirons (skincare queen), Ruth Crilly (A Model Recommends) or Zoella tells you to try something... it might be a good idea. 

The Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm ($52.44 USD on FeelUnique - get 10% off $40 with the code FUNSIZE10) is one of those products. 

At a glance, it's similar to the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm, but the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift & Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm is a little more multi-purpose.  Not only is it an effective makeup remover and cleanser, it also is meant to minimize pores and calm sensitive skin, in addition to being used as a rescue balm (on elbows, knees and lips) and a soothing mask when worn for 10+ minutes. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

KISS New York Professional Cosmetics - Lipsticks, Liner, Shadows and more!

You probably already know KISS. The world's largest manufacturer and distributor of nail and nail care products, well known for their affordable false lashes and IMPRESS Broadway Press-on Nails. Now, KISS New York Professional has makeup! 


KISS New York Professional sent over a few lip and eye products and of course I've been testing them out! It's a no nonsense kind of beauty brand with tons of variety in colour. The packaging is clean, simple and straightforward - black or clear with white text and the prices are very affordable at $10 or less. 

Swatched - KISS New York Professional Dead Sexy Liner Jumbo Eyeliner in Blackest Black, Top Brow Fine Precision Brow Pencil in Brunette, Single Eyeshadows in Wisteria (matte glitter) and Cashmere Matte (matte)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator

Lately, I've been scrub a dub dub dubbing with the Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator ($30.35 via FeelUnique). 

Antipodes is an organic, natural skincare line featuring ingredients from New Zealand. I'm in love with their ethos - recyclable packaging, local manufacturing, sustainably sourced ingredients. Let's not forget the fact that, their products look pretty darn cute in a flat lay. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Too Faced Melted Chocolate Liquified Lipstick in Metallic Candy Bar

As a fan of the Too Melted Liquified Lipsticks, it was pretty exciting when Too Faced launched a shade extension of 6 cocoa-infused CHOCOLATE shades. Three metallic finish (Metallic Chocolate Diamonds, Metallic Frozen Hot Chocolate, and Metallic Candy Bar) and Three satin finish (Chocolate Milkshake, Chocolate Honey, and Chocolate Cherries). 


Earlier this year, I attended a Sephora VIB x Too Faced Chocolate dinner at Moroco Chocolat in Yorkville courtesy of my blogger pal Zubie (livingthegrey.com). There, I got the scoop on the latest from Too Faced goodies and went home with a full-size Too Faced Melted Chocolate Liquified Lipstick ($25 CAD). Obviously, I wanted one of the satin finish shades but I ended up with a metallic. 


I didn't like it at first and only started using it more regularly this month. On my arm, it can look like one of two things - chocolate... or poop. You decide. The Too Faced Melted Chocolate Liquified Lipstick in Metallic Candy Bar is a sheer, yellowy medium brown with golden shimmer. The colour is a bit strange but it grew on me and now I'm kind of digging the slightly glossy, subtle 90s brown lip. 


On my lips it appears as a brown nude shade. The shimmer isn't noticeable unless you're up close and personal. Like the other Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipsticks, it's creamy, fairly lightweight, non-drying and the shimmers aren't gritty or uncomfortable. The colour definitely transfers and the wear time is around 3 hours with eating and drinking. 

It's an everyday take on the 90s brown lip. But the best part about it? It smells like chocolate. 

Are you into brown lipsticks? 
Received as a gift! 
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Monday, July 25, 2016

6 Shades of Nude - OPI Infinite Shine Summer 2016 Collection

Blush, beige, pink and peach polishes are the way to my heart. When I'm not painting my nails with designs and brights, rest assured I've got a solid neutral polish on my nails. Inspired by the summer collections of Fendi, Elie Saab, Calvin Klein and Oscar de la Renta, the OPI Summer Infinite Shine Collection titled "Nuances of Neutral" features six must-have nude shades. 


While I didn't have a great first experience with the Infinite Shine Polishes, my second experience with them was stellar. Infinite Shine is a 3-step system that promises high shine with the long wear of a gel manicure with no light needed. All six of the neutral shades require 2 coats of polish for opacity. My manicure using the Infinite Shine lasted a little over a week. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

FOOD: Tamam Restaurant, Rhodes Island, Greece

Every Greek island has its own unique flavour. The food at Tamam was so delicious and unique that it deserves a post of its own. It's rated #1 on TripAdvisor for the entire island of Rhodes, and there's a good reason for it. I have nothing bad to say about Tamam other than the fact that I regret not eating there more than once when in Rhodes. 

Tamam is a tiny little restaurant (~20 seats) that's family run. The father and daughters are the waitstaff while the mother is cooking away in the kitchen. While I visited Rhodes during low-season, there were no lineups but apparently during the summer the wait is quite long and reservations are necessary. 

Rocket Salad Smoked Rhodes Graviera Cheese (8.90)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MAC Face & Body Foundation in C3

MAC Face & Body ($44 CAD for 120mL) is known as an oldie but a goodie in the world of beauty. A couple years ago I picked up a sample of it and fell in love with its lightweight texture and skin-like finish. I didn't end up purchasing it until last year's IMATS but I'm so happy I did. And just like the purchase, this review has been a long time coming. 



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

NUDESTIX Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm in Rebel and Pulse

Serving up some new(ish) newness from NUDESTIX. Introducing the NUDESTIX Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm in Rebel and Pulse ($28 CAD each). 

NUDESTIX is a luxury Canadian beauty brand (sold at Sephora, Beautylish, Urban Outfitters, etc.). It's a family business. The company was founded in 2015 by mother Jenny Frankel and daughters Ally and Taylor Frankel are the faces (and social media managers) of the brand. NUDESTIX is all about easy-to-use, no-makeup makeup for that I WOKE UP LIKE THIS face. And if it wasn't obvious enough from the name, most of the products come in sticks/crayon format formulated with vitamins, antioxidants and moisturizers. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

Mary-Lou needs no introduction. Unless you've been living under a rock. I've had my eye on theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer ($24.15 USD at FeelUnique.com - get 10% off $40 with the code FUNSIZE10) for a very long time and now that it's finally in my clutches I can't stop piling the glow on my face. 


Monday, July 18, 2016

Wet N Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Polish in Bye Feluschia, Cyantific Method, Pardon My Peach & Missy in Pink

As far as I know, the Wet N Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Polishes ($5.99 each) are the least expensive "no cure" nail polishes on the market. What makes them special is that only 1 product is needed (hence the name 1 Step) - no top coat or base coat necessary. The 1 Step Wonder Gel is available in 18 shades. I tried 4 of them! 


Wet N Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Polish in 722B Missy in Pink, 726A Pardon My Peach, 727A Bye Feluschia and 730A Cyantific Method 


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Banila.Co Clean It Zero Makeup Remover

Banila.Co Clean It Zero Makeup Remover ($29.99 CAD at Echoo.ca) is a cult, award-winning Korean cleansing balm. If you watch Jenn Im (clothesencounters), you'll know that this is one of her favourites! 


In addition to the original Clean It Zero, the product comes in 3 additional iterations: 
  • Clean It Zero Reservatrol - for anti-aging and antioxidant properties
  • Clean It Zero Radiance - for skin brightening
  • Clean It Zero Purity - for sensitive skin
None of the additional 3 are available on Echoo.ca but hopefully they will be in the future. 

The product is packaged in a pink and white plastic jar and also comes with a scooper and cover for hygienic purposes. Inside the jar, the product is a solid balm. When rubbed between the fingertips and onto the face, it becomes a silky smooth oily texture. I find that I need a quarter-sized amount to cover my entire face. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Quo Holy Grail Mascara // #Quo2016

"Holy Grail" is a big claim to have in the name of a mascara. When I think "holy grail", I think volumizing, lengthening, non-clumpy, holds a curl, easy to remove, non-smudging, non-flaking, a little wispy... Is that too much to ask? 


I've been using the Quo Holy Grail Mascara ($12 CAD) for the past couple months and indeed, it checks most of the boxes. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

(Lip) Oil Me Up

Lip oils are all the rage in the beauty world and to me, it's no surprise. What's not to love about a beauty product that's got a shot of hydration and the teensiest flush of colour, especially for the summer? I'm all about it. Today - a roundup of 4 lip oils that I've been testing out! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Burberry Wet & Dry Silk Eyeshadow in Pale Barley No. 102

The Burberry Wet & Dry Silk Shadow in Pale Barley No. 102 ($31.74 USD from FeelUnique.com - get 10% off $40 with the code FUNSIZE10) makes me feel like a fancy lady. Pale Barley is supposed to be the one-shadow-wonder that you sweep across your eye lids and you are transformed into a goddess of all things put together, natural, chic, and sophisticated. 


Burberry's Pale Barley is the one single eyeshadow shade that I've been yearning to get my hands on since the beginning of my blogging days. My student wallet told me otherwise and I was lucky enough to receive this one as press sample. Turns out everyone was talking about the Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow formulation (now discontinued). 

While the Burberry Sheer Eyeshadows are no longer available but re-released and reformulated as the Burberry Wet & Dry Silk Eyeshadows. My blogger buddy Gummy Vision has a post (and swatches!) on the differences between the two and by the looks of it, the new Pale Barley is slightly more cool and less golden than the old one. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sephora Formula X Nail Polishes in TGIF and Decadent

Today, I'm taking a break from the Formula X Color Curators posts to remind you that Formula X has a boatload of glorious nail polish colours. The Formula X Nail Polishes in TGIF and Decadent ($13 CAD each) landed in my mail box a few months ago, so I thought I'd swatch them on the blog. 

For the most part, Formula X polishes are fantabulous (I've tried at least 25 shades). The cream polish formula is highly pigmented, not too thick (or too thin), long-wearing, super shiny (even without a top coat) and don't stain the nails. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

You Don't Shea

Boy, am I a sucker for a good pun and an organic, local, fair trade beauty product. You Don't Shea ($24 CAD for 8 oz.) is an organic, fair trade shea body butter by the brand Lines of Elan. 

A little background - Lines of Elan is a Toronto based business started by two friends Laura Craig and Sarah Marcus. The brand is built on three pillars - Sustainability, Community and Simplicity and the three pillars are exhibited through reusable and eco-friendly packaging, locally sourced or fair trade ingredients and no additives, synthetics or preservatives. Their product lineup is fairly small,   easy to navigate, and includes skincare, haircare, lip balm, candles and dryer balls. Lines of Elan was kind enough to send me a few of their products, so I'll be reviewing a few things starting with the Lines of Elan You Don't Shea Body Butter. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mediheal X LINE Friends Face Masks

The little Asian girl in me is squealing with delight. Cartoon characters and skincare unite in a cute yet cool skincare collaboration.... the Mediheal X Line Friends Masks ($3.98 each at Echoo.ca)

WHAT IS LINE FRIENDS? LINE is a Japanese social media company and app that features instant text, picture and video messaging. Once upon a time LINE created sticker emoji cartoon characters (called "LINE FRIENDS"). These characters became so popular that you can now watch videos of the Line Friends singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm on Youtube and purchase stuffed animals, sticky notes, costumes and other miscellaneous Line Friends branded merchandise... including face masks. Brown is a bear, Sally is a duck and Cony is a rabbit. 


WHAT IS MEDIHEAL? Mediheal is a Korean skincare brand developed out of Seoul University. The brand's vision is to encourage consumers to get beautiful skin at home, without the need for surgical treatments. I haven't seen the brand much in Canada, other than in Korean beauty stores. Even so, they must be pretty popular because their website says they've sold over 10 million masks to date. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation and Concealer Creme

For Fall 2016 (can you believe we're almost there already?), Kat Von D has a few new and exciting launches in face makeup - concealer and foundation and brushes and setting powder, galore! 


The Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation ($42 CAD) is still the same. Just 13 new shades (now 30 in total) plus snazzy and sleek new packaging. I really appreciate the great shade selection organized by warm/cool/neutral undertones. 

What's brand spankin new is the Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme ($34 CAD), which can be used for concealing, highlighting and contouring and comes in 21 shades including a pure white.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

HAUL: FeelUnique Makeup & Skincare

FeelUnique.com is a Europe's largest online retailer for premium beauty products, shipping worldwide (including Canada). The site boasts 500+ brands including harder-to-get-ahold-of brands like DHC, Antipodes, Omorovicza, Lily Lolo, Embryolisse, Emma Hardie, By Terry and Figs & Rouge, as well as readily available brands such as NYX, RealTechniques, Sally Hansen, etc. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

THE LOOK: Kye for Shu Uemura - Glamorous Kute

Tinted brows and bold liner made wearable...

K-beauty (Korean beauty) trends and products are always something that will be on my radar because they're so different from North American technologies and beauty standards (though Sephora seems to be catching onto the K-beauty train). In my mind, the Kye for Shu collection is an "east meets west" sort of deal - an easily accessible brand available in North America in collaboration with a popular Korean designer. 



Monday, July 4, 2016

#CNDRescueKit - CND SCRUBFRESH, Cuticle Eraser, Solar Oil & Rescue RX Keratin Treatment

I do my nails pretty often, so my nails aren't always in the best state. I did do a post on How to Grow and Maintain Long, Healthy Nails a few months back and everything that I recommended there works for me. Sometimes. It's not always enough.  

Enter the #CNDRescueKit. CND sent along a bunch of nail polishes PLUS some much needed nail treatment goodies. Most of the products I already use but some are a nice addition to my nail care routine! 



Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Month in Nail Art - June 2016

June came and went like it was nothing. Here's the stuff that I put on my nails during the month: 

Wavy

Another one inspired by +MADELINE POOLE (aka @mpnails on instagram) that makes my nails feel like they're groovy... and oceanic. 


Products Used: Ceramic Glaze Heavenly and French Riviera from the Botanical Oasis Collection, Ceramic Glaze Santorini Blue

Saturday, July 2, 2016

TRAVEL: Canada Day in Brighton, ON

Fresh air. Outdoor cats. Glass art. PIE. 


On Friday, I took a mini road trip with my grandparents to Brighton to spend the day with family. 

Brighton, Ontario is a small rural town between about halfway between Toronto and Kingston. It's a beautiful escape from the city. The air is different. There's less people. More quiet. And with very different scenery. 


My aunt and uncle own a clay and glass studio in Warkworth, ON (a small nearby town) called Frantic Farms. The studio's previous location was at their family home in Brighton and even after the move, we still referred to their home as "Frantic Farms" because of all the quirky art pieces and knick knacks in and around their house. As kids, my brother and I would stay at Frantic Farms for a couple weeks at a time during the summer. While their house has gone through quite a few renovations, visits are always a nostalgic treat. 

Beauty/makeup photography is also tedious at times, so giving my camera a new subject was refreshing. 

INNISFREE Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam

The INNISFREE Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam ($21.99 CAD) caught my eye on the Echoo.ca website, because the word "volcanic" immediately took me back to on of my favourite vacations in Hawaii. Like Hawaii, Jeju is a volcanic island. It's located in Korea and it's volcanic clay is said to have magical oil-absorbing, skin clarifying properties. 

Considering I have oily skin, the INNISFREE Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam seemed like the perfect fit for me. 


Friday, July 1, 2016

THREE THINGS: Mary Kay Wedding Essentials

By "wedding essentials" I actually mean "event day essentials" because I'm not yet at the age when all my friends are getting married (though some are getting engaged!). Mary Kay has got a ton of products specifically for special moments like weddings graduation, prom, garden parties, etc. when you want your makeup to look amazing without having to worry about it.