Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Toronto- Queen St West& Sunny Mummy Spa.

T5 Heathrow to Toronto and then on to New York
Initially (the first time I visited to Canada) I did not have a very positive experience in Toronto Pearson airport at immigration and was treated to 2 full interviews with immigration and a full search of my case- which which was beyond horrible and a terrible introduction to what is actually a beautiful city with some wonderful people.......I got over it and got over myself and I have been back several times since and I am impressed with this city more every time I go.

I stay mostly at the Harbour front/near the CN tower & fashion district, the harbour which is so beautiful and serene, with views out over the archipelago that remind me of Scandinavia  and the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Sunrise- just beautiful

At first I was smitten by Yorkville a really ritzy part of Toronto but as somebody that spent their formative years in Camden- actually Queen St West is actually more my cup of face shredding espresso.
So, it is a long road (well it feels like it when you are trotting along looking for a specific restaurant- that I never found by the way). It is a street of character and the further West you head the more character you encounter.
Pretty far West on Queen St opposite a beautiful park that was packed with activity despite the nip in the air I saw a wonderful day spa Sunny Mummy Spa +boutique.
Now, I am more of a Sunshine & showers kind of gal, but I wanted a manicure and try out a new place. I *walked in* as a walk in/chancer looking for a service without a booking you know within a very short period of time whether you are actually *welcome* or actually an inconvenience. I was accommodated for my manicure and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.

This day spa is pretty special it uses Aveda products and has a hand picked team of very experienced therapists that are very skilled at their job, so the reputation of the spa has grown mainly because of the excellence of services but................it provides child care facilities too, this is literally a *genius* idea, I remember back to when my son was younger and if I was not working (making somebody else look amazing) I felt that I literally had no time to spend on myself- well I wish that I had lived in Toronto and been within stroller pushing distance to this place. There are for sale some beautiful skin treats for babies and small children and a shop with gorgeous clothes and accessories for children
Play room in the salon

Flawless manicure in a glossy true red shade.

I had a lovely chat with the owner Nilla as she did my manicure which was flawless and and she really got my fragile nails back to better health with oils and unguents,  I had a fabulous chat with her  adorable 7 year old daughter too (who has impeccable taste in nail colours (of course) as it was a Saturday- she and I had a lovely leisurely chat about: maths, school, best friends, favourite cartoons- the essentials in life :). Next time I am in Toronto I am definitely going back for a bespoke facial- slather me in the Aveda gel masque. This salon brought home in this time of *quick fixes/express treatments* that quality and attention detail are actually worth the wait and paying a little bit extra for.

I am so going back next time.. for more of the same. A true *find*.

So, if you live in Toronto and are looking for a *quality salon* or somewhere with childcare, or like me you are a visitor I cannot recommend this place enough.

* Manicure was not for free, I paid full price, just wanted to share a brilliant  experience.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Short film- Musician John Lennon McCullagh.

A short film featuring a beautiful acoustic version of one of his tracks. The styling/feel for the film was a slight nod to the *beat poets/beatniks*, just very pared down and grooming was kept to a very *natural* look and a little texture in the hair.

John Lennon McCullagh is signed to 359 Music an new label which is Alan Mcgee ex- founder of Creation Records- which was home to many huge artists: My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Oasis & Super Furry Animals to name a few. Alan has hand picked the small number of artists signed to his new label and they are all ones to watch especially this dude.


Monday, 4 November 2013

Fashion film and shoot- my work.

With the model:Tom's face (looking like Josh Hartnett's far better looking younger brother/a young Matt Dillon :) Andrea Vecchiato behind the camera and Bruce Weber as inspiration it was always going to be a beautiful piece. I grew up in the time of: The Outsiders, Rumblefish, the Bratpack and Bruce Weber was such a huge influence on me. Legends!

Just click on the link. I hope that you enjoy it!

Screenshot of a shot of Tom from the shoot.
Skin was prepped, primer, tinted moisturiser, contouring, brows groomed- the regular :)

Flip side of the coin....sliding doors moment!

What would I have done if my son did not share my bordering on insanity love of cats? I really don't know, would have been a very different story.
The motion of this house is that we are kind and respectful to all living things (including humans) and of course we love all animals....but there is just something about cats! But a special mention for: foxes,wolves, owls, squirrels,chinchillas, dogs,chickens, pandas, field mice, doves, gold fish,  etc etc etc etc :)

My every day make up & where I store my make up when I am testing it.

This is not my kit, this is where I keep the things I use personally & the things that I test before they make it into my kit. There is : Make up, skin care, tools, brushes here, so it needs to be organised. The drawers are divided into category.

Cleaning your brushes/sorting out your *stash* shouldn't be a *chore* hygiene-wise it is essential, if I have things that I have not used neither likely to use after 6 months but it is pristine (I give it away) if it is old and I am a little dubious about how sanitary it is- *say hello to the bin*- I maybe a little flakey in some aspects of my life, of that I can assure you :)

All perspex drawers and pots are from Muji. Clear is best as you can see what is to hand.

No way dude! Could this eyelash curler and brow pencil be better than Shu Uemura? I think so!

Kevyn Aucoin- lash curler & Precision Brow Pencil
The Kevyn Aucoin range is an edited collection that pleases make up artists and beauty mavens alike, I have tried a few things some things I quite liked, something I actively dislike (the mascara) and then these 2 items I LOVE!
In fact they are far better than I envisaged with the biggest shock being the quality of the eye lash curlers....WOW! Better than Shu Uemura well I do think so!

Eye lash curlers £17.00
Love: Feel robust and sturdy, the red pad means that you can see lashes easily (minimising the risk of nipping skin),  ease of mechanism very smooth so very easy to use- a sheer joy to use- A MUST!- nothing negative to mention at all- a flawless piece of kit! I curl at the root of the lashes, curl the mid lash and then curl gently at the end of the lash so that there is a natural (curve) opposed to a crimp.

Precision Brow Pencil- Brunette £21.00
A Shu Uemura style (seal brown approach) with a neutral minky brown shade, the quality of pencil is excellent hard but decent payoff, because of the precision thin pencil it is very easy to build up the brow with light feathery strokes and *break down* too heavy an effect by brushing through with the cornrow brush/spoolie at the opposite end. It has excellent lasting capabilities- a great product but more for a natural looking *filling in* & enhancing the shape of the brow opposed to a block brow effect.
Negatives: No lid on the wind up pencil end- would like one for travelling/to keep clean in a make up bag & more shades currently 2 (maybe more will be added).

I will always be looking at this brand with great interest as Kevyn is a make up artist that was one of the 1st superstars in make up , the brand has stayed true to his vision/aesthetic despite the fact that he passed away in 2002- major kudos.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Picture heavy post...some recent, favourite looks (my work) !

Soft bronzes.
70's inspired smokey.
No make up make up
Skin with a *glow*
Metallic AW trend look
Red lip & porcelain skin.
Barely there with a lip stain

Touche Eclat- Yves Saint Laurent review! WIMH goody!

YSL Touche eclat/Radiant touch- £25.00

This golden pen is 21 years old and has won numerous awards over the years and I still remember the hullabaloo that was caused by the launch and how revolutionary it was, it was very different as it was sheer and the light reflection was *delicate* and it was a bit of a revelation! The brightening effects are instant and it is a brilliant nude highlighter but it is to be used sparingly. It now comes in several shades YAY! So is suitable for a broad spectrum of colourings.

I admit I had not used the YSL pen for years as lots of brands brought out their own versions: Chanel, Dior, Clarins etc, etc so when I saw that What's in My Handbag were doing a give away because it was part of a stash featured, I entered- more out of nostalgia for a product I used to use.
So I was beyond thrilled when I was selected and sent one to try.

What it has to cover: I do have problem dark circles and a tendency to a little under eye baggage (genetic) so I am careful as when you use too much concealer under my eyes, it definitely exacerbates the problem.

Application:I took a little foundation under my eye and then drew a thin line to the top of my cheek bone (at an angle) and then from that point a thin line at an angle just beyond the outer corner of my eye.I also applied a tiny amount just under the highest point of brow to *lift* I then blended by *patting* it into my skin.

My method of application- an upside down point under each eye and under the brow (highest part to lift).

I am so impressed- It really brightens and looks completely natural.
Effect: Very natural and a *fresh* look with dark circles minimised and eye baggage not *highlighted) does it stand up to my memories from days of yore, actually it is even better (I have a sneaking suspicion that I need it more now that I am in my 40's), another revelation which is HUGE, is that it is better than some of the copy cat products from other high end brands that I have tried!

The big question....is it worthy of my kit....yes it is and I will definitely be purchasing for my kit in key shades.

If you like make up, like to have a nose around other people's make up favourites  then you really must have a look at https://www.whatsinmyhandbag.com/  I am obsessed!!!

* I entered a giveaway at WIMH at was lucky enough to be sent a Touche Eclat. Other than that nothing insidous, just lucky.