O Canada Pt.2

When it comes to beauty finds, Canada is quite egalatarian.  You can find Clinique at Sears; Smashbox, Elizabeth Arden, and Cover FX at Shoppper’s Drug Mart (SDM), which is comparable to CVS or Walgreen’s.  These brands are found in major department stores here in the United States.

Last year, I was looking to purchase a kabuki brush.  Since we were in Canada, I decided to check out Shopper’s Drug Mart.  I was hoping to get a Quo brush, a SDM brand.

QUO Bronzer Brush Quo Contour Brush

I read mostly positive reviews of their brushes on Specktra.net.  I walked over to the Quo brushes and I was not pleased with the selection.  There must have been a sale or something because many of the brushes were sold out.  I found a suitable brush called Cover FX after further search, which I never heard of before.  The bristles were soft and it came with a neat little pleather travel bag.   When we got back to the hotel, I checked the brand. In the U.S., Cover FX is sold at Sephora and Nordstrom.

If I saw this brush at either store, I would not have purchased it… would have purchased a MAC kabuki instead, which I was trying not to do at the time (and still not done.)  Regardless of that, I love my Cover FX kabuki. One of the few brushes that I use on a regular basis because I have other brushes that I can rotate.

Whenever you are in Canada, check out Shopper’s Drug Mart.  They tend to be pretty easy to find like drugstores here (you can always check SDM’s website.)  You may be surprised with SDM’s beauty finds.

Mix Maven

I Love Cherry Culture and Dollar Store Hauls

My home girl, Yummy411 , aka President of “The Pretty Committee”, called me out for being a Cherry Culture fanatic. 🙂 I want to blame her because she exposed me to Specktra, where I learned about Cherry Culture. LOL!

One of my new favorite nail polish brands is LA Colors.  The bottles are shaped like OPI polishes at fraction of the cost ($2!!!) and less toxins. I found this product on my foray at the Cherry Culture website.  The LA Colors lacquer, Vibrant Violet,  was apart of my first purchase on Cherry Culture.  I was totally pleased with the brilliance of the color and purchased other colors from Cherry Culture. One of the Specktrettes (a Specktra.net member) discussed buying LA Colors products at her local dollar store.  I decided to head a Dollar Tree and I noticed that this store carried a few LA Colors products that I have seen on Cherry Culture’s website. (Unfortunately, no LA Colors nail polish… 😦

Here is what I got:

LA Colors Shimmering Loose Eye Shadows

LA Colors Shimmering Loose Eye Shadow – This product is similar to MAC pigments, which I love, but I find them to be somewhat chunkier than most pigments.  I am glad I only paid $1 and not the $3 listed on Cherry Culture.  The brush applicator is not favorable and I will find away to open the container (without too much fallout) to put in another container.  If you are starting out on the makeup scene, definitely check these loose shadows out, which is why I gave them to my cousin J to play with.  (Always remember to use a base when applying any type of eye shadow!)

LA Colors Mascara and Liners

LA Colors AutoLiner, Mascara and Liquid EyeLiner

I have not used these products yet, but I have heard rave reviews about the mascara and autoliner. These products range between $2.50 and $3.00 on Cherry Culture.  The liquid eyeliners are, somewhat, issued, because some may be opened and have a bit of dried liner liquid on the product (see photo) Hey, only $1!

My Cherry Culture Haul from the recent 20% off sale:

NYX Brushes

I like NYX brushes.  You know I still love my MAC brushes, (especially the black-bristled brushes).  As one of my friends says, “What’s better than money? More money!” I have the same feeling about brushes.  One cannot have enough makeup brushes. I have other NYX brushes and I use them alongside my MAC brushes.

I ordered: NYX Professional Blush Brush (I will use for foundation blending), NYX  Professional Eye Primer brush (similar to MAC 252) and a NYX Professional shading brush.

NYX Brushes

I also picked up one of my favorite low-cost eye shadow brands, Wild & Crazy.  This time I got “Favorite Pink” which is a dupe of MAC’s Da Bling eye shadow.  The texture is great and is blendable.  For the most part, I have enjoyed the Wild & Crazy eye shadows that I have, except for a matte.

I decided to try NYX’s nail polish in Barbie Pink. The pink is vivid and pretty. I cannot wait for my next manicure appointment. (which is very soon) 😉

I also wanted to try the LA Colors metallic palettes. The palette is called “Serenade” a series of pink shades.  The shadows are pigmented, but the palette is smaller than I thought it was going to be.  I swatched a few of the shadows on my hand, so I think they will be fine.  For the $4 price, I am pleased, though, chances are I will not stock up on the other LA Colors metallic palettes.

NYX Nail Polish in Barbie Pink, Wild & Crazy Eye Shadow in Favorite Pink, and LA Colors Metallic in Serenade

Overall, I am pleased with my haulage. MAC has some good stuff coming out almost every month of 2008, so I am definitely bracing for that.  Happy Haulin’ to you!!

Mix Maven

FYI, I am not a photograher…. ok 😉

I Love Too Faced

Friends ask me all the time about which cosmetic brands, specifically which eye shadows, are worth checking out.  At first, I was all about the MAC, which I still am, but now I have added Urban Decay, Lorac, Ben Nye, CARGO. I want to add Too Faced to that list.

My Too Faced admiration started last year when I was looking for a shimmery chocolate eye shadow, which MAC does not have.  I ordered Too Faced “Dirt Bag” online from Sephora from the color description “dark chocolate with golden sparkles.” (Sidebar: There are about 2 Sephora stores close by my home and for whatever reason going to either store was not an option at the time.)  When the package arrived, I was pleased with the color and the product. Too Faced eye shadows are smooth and very blendable, which is something that should be available in all department store brands. Recently, I have added more Too Faced to my collection:

  • Glamazon single (Silver fawn)
  • Sitcom Siren single (Plum taupe shimmer)
  • Cocoa Lily Duo – (rich metallic chocolate brown/ glimmering lilac rose) *Very lovely*
  • George & Weezie Duo – (icy gold/ bronze pearl) *I bought this one because I liked the name*
  • Rich Bitch Duo – (slate blue with golden sheen/ soft gold shimmer) *Basically, these are both gold in my opinion, the blue barely shows up.*
  • Skinny Dip – (cobalt metallic/ iridescent sky) – – *The prettiest blue I have seen in a long time, the iridescent sky is too pretty…like a soft bluish purple hue*
  • Shooting Star Galaxy Glam Eye Shadow – (black with galactic gold) *similar to MAC’s mineralized eye shadows, but with a better texture*
  • Supernova Galaxy Glam Eye Shadow – (black with peach and pink)

Too Faced Dirt Bag Single Eye Shadow

Too Faced Cocoa Lily Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced George & Weezie Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced Rich Bitch Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced Skinny Dip Duo Eye Shadow

Too Faced Galaxy Glam Eye Shadow (Shooting Star & Super Nova)

The Galaxy Glam Eye Shadows are great for creating a smoky eye look.  I tried the Super Nova recently with Cocoa Lily and I liked the outcome.  (Please pray for me and my liner technique…getting better though.)

Liquif-Eye Set

I also want to try the Liquif-Eye Set (eye shadow / eyeliner set). (See above comment) 🙂

Each eye shadow is very pigmented and has a buttery texture.  My only problem with Too Faced is that the brand needs more colors.  Too Faced, for the size, is a good deal as it is cheaper than MAC (when size is compared.)  MaybeI could break-up with MAC eye shadows for Too Faced (I love MAC too much though), but there is no other brand with the extensive eye shadow color range and textures.   I implore the Too Faced guys to come out with more colors.  I will be in the first one in line to snatch them up.

Definitely check out Too Faced products, I think they are definitely worth your time and money.

Have a beautiful day,

Mix Maven

Clutch On This

Hey Pumps and Glossy ones,

Every woman needs several clutches in her life. These mini-handbags do not hold the kitchen sink, but the bare essentials to keep you looking fresh for night out.

I can always trust JCrew to have classic, yet unique products. Navy accessories that are not boring can be to find. I am totally in love with this navy clutch. I like the visual interest of the “hand-painted paillettes on linen.” This clutch is a must have for my collection.

JCrew\'s Paillette Mirabelle Clutch

Bottega Veneta’s Lizard Clutch. I love, love, love this clutch. This metallic lizard clutch is a must have for those women who have $4500 USD to spend. I also love the details, the knot closure, the gold/silver tones. Well done Bottega Veneta!!

Gucci, Gucci, Gucci, I love thee. I think this clutch is just breathtaking. The Tippy evening bag is made from “platinum leather with platinum resin stone detail.” Pure luxury!

Mix Maven

Stuff Women Need For Spring

Spring is nigh. I know you are looking at your winter wardrobe and you cannot wait to pack them up for storage.

Everyone needs a hip trench (all-weather) coat. I totally love the asymmetrical collar and masculine plaid that create a feminine look.

Soia & Kyo Pleated Plaid Coat - Nordstrom.com

Polka-Dot is wonderful, which is why I love this shades of green polka dot dress. The colors are fresh and spring-like. Makes me more excited about the season.

Maggy London Geometric Print Babydoll Dress - Nordstrom.com

Alexander McQueen’s Pink drape dress intrigues me. I like the dress because it is very bold and eye-catching. Not sure where I would wear this to, but I think I want this dress! 🙂

Alexander McQueen Draped Silk Dress NM - Source - Neiman Marcus


I do not wear much jewelry except for wedding rings and a miscellaneous bracelet here and there. Actually, I love bracelets, but I do not own many, but I definitely want this pave wide cuff bracelet. (Just delicious!!)

Nadri Woven Pave Wide Cuff Bracelet

Clutch purses are my favorite, especially from Banana Republic. BR has not sold an acceptable clutch since 2005, so I am loving the yellow lizard-embossed clutch…. a great accessory for spring/summer.

Flatiron Embossed Lady Clutch - Banana Republic

Ok, ok, so you know every woman needs a Christian Louboutin (any time of the year). Everyone knows I love a shimmer and sheen.

Christian Louboutin Prive paillette platforms - Net-a-Porter

Honorable mention for Spring: Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. Darrel’s Black/Yellow/Green pumps. I gotta have this shoe because of the the wonderful island of Jamaica’s flag colors, the land of my birth. Would I wear them, probably not, but that does not mean I should not have them! 😉

Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. Darrel’s Black/Yellow/Green pumps - Zappos.com

Have a happy spring ( starting March 20, 2008).

Mix Maven

Stuff Pregnant Women Like

This is the year of the Baby in my family. Four babies will be born in 2008. The current score is 2 out and 2 to go. 😉

I notice that the moms-to-be are all different and yet the same.

I have noticed that pregnant women like (not in any order):

  1. Consuming food they would not normally eat. One of my cousins loves sweet desserts (sidebar: does not include any sweet vegetable, which she already found utterly disgusting), especially an occasional cookie or yellow cake with lemon frosting. Currently, she is totally disgusted by any sweet food or drink. She told me she is buying juice that with 17g-25g of sugar (no high fructose corn syrup.) Very cool to me! 😉 My favorite cousin was chowing down on soul food in her first trimester, which is funny because she does not normally eat soul food.
  2. Banana Republic – Two of my cousins have been going to Banana Republic to purchase maternity clothes. (No, BR does not sell maternity clothes) The blouson tops and dresses allow them to hit up the clearance rack for cute clothes without having to spend the high price of maternity branded clothes.Banana Republic Rouge TopBanana Republic Silver Flutter Top
  3. Pregnancy websites and blogs. Books are great, but pregnant women love to read these websites and blogs because they get updated information and cool 3-D womb shots and fetal development e-mails. Check out Nymbler (a baby naming tool, quite innovative. Select your names that you like and the wizard will help you find other names that you might like) and BabyCenter.com
  4. Guilt – This can be a valuable tool when asking husband to trek in the middle of the night to get food or get a glass of water downstairs in the kitchen. This should be used sparingly because you do not want to cause any feelings of resentment.
  5. Looking at paint store websites. My favorite cousin’s latest obsession (again) is BenjaminMoore.com. She loves to decorate anyway and pregnancy has brought on a new project for her. She has been creating different color combos for me to check out. Oh fun times!!Benjamin Moore Paint
  6. Watching or recording the Baby Story on TLC. My cousin told me about how some of these women, the first-timers, want to have natural, drug-free delivery. I asked her would she do that and her answer is “HELL NOOOOO!!”
  7. Shopping for nursery furniture. (see #5)
  8. Shopping for baby clothes and accessories
  9. Expensive diaper bags. On my cousin’s wish list: A Louis Vuitton Diaper bag (that is a no-go area) Louis Vuitton Diaper Bag - Source: Eluxury.com or a Coach (more acceptable) Coach Signature Stripe Large Tote
  10. Talking about their pregnancies. My fave cousin finds this conversation tends to be initiated by friends who already have kids and want to tell her about what they went through. She finds most of the information irrelevant to her situation.

I will update from time to time. Fun learning new things about motherhood.

Keep Believing,

Sexual Carob

Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous Pt. 1

Fashion, especially good fashion, can be a wonderful thing. Fashion is art for the body. According to Coco Chanel, “Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions.”

One of my favorite shows on the TV is the post awards Fashion Police show. (Sidebar: This is by far the funniest show on TV.) The show reviews fashion from the major awards show. On each episode, the panelists include a fashion designer, stylist, hair stylist and other beauty experts. Kevan Hall has been a guest panelist.

Kevan Hall

This Detroit-born, L.A.-based designer is a staple on the Red Carpet. He attended the famed Cass Technical High School that boasts such alumni as Diana Ross, Lily Tomlin, Ellen Burstyn, and Tracy Reese (noted fashion designer). Kevan Hall attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California. He received the prestigious Peacock Award in his senior year at FIDM. He worked as Design and Creative Director from fall 1998 – spring 2000 for Halston.

Kevan Hall with his wife and partner, Deborah, started the Kevan Hall Couture line in 1982. This line can be found in many high-end stores e.g. Neiman Marcus and Bergdorff Goodman. In 2002, Hall launched Kevan Hall Collection.

His clients include Vanessa Williams, Drew Barrymore, Katherine Heigl, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross. His fashion philosophy is “emphasize purity of style, incomparable tailoring and sensuously draped streamlined silhouettes.”

Here are some of my favorites from his Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 lines:
Kevan Hall Black Gown

Kevan Hall SeaFoam GownKevan Hall Grey Pleated Dress

Kevan Hall Brown Linen Applique DressKevan Hall Collection

Live Elegantly,

Mix Maven

Spring is Springing

I do not mind cool weather, I just do not like cold weather. I swear that this winter has been the coldest on record. (probably not) 😉 I am totally looking forward to Spring.  Spring time is pedicure season, which means SANDALS & PEEP TOE PUMPS!!!

Christian Louboutin always keeps his shoes interesting. I am curious who was the inspiration for this shoe: a silver lace-up slingback. I do not think I would wear this shoe, but I am sure there are plenty of ladies out there that would.

Christian Louboutin Lace-Up Oxford - Source NM.com

I love green in most shades. These Nine West special occasion slingback in a medium green satin is adorable. The heel is 4.5 inches, therefore you must have beaucoup de confidence! I know Joyful Radiance will love this shoe. 🙂

Luxious SlingBack - Source: 9West.com

Nine West also has a delightful leather kitten-heeled slingback in mid-tone green. I would pair this shoe with a classic sheath dress.

Falcoin SlingBack - Source: 9west.com

I want to give an honorable mention to Marc by Marc Jacobs Purple suede peep-toe pumps with silver stones. My friend, Renita, loves purple and would want these shoes badly. I love the classic yet chic look.

 Source-PinkMascara.com

I love the shimmer and shine of it all. My favorite of the season:

Stuart Weitzman Luxury Evening Sandal.jpg - Source: Nordstrom.com

Stuart Weitzman Luxury Evening Sandal. I have a couple weddings to attend this summer and you might see me rocking these captivating sandals. I do not think these shoes are made for walking, so you may not see me wearing them on the dance floor.

Are you all looking forward to Spring?

Check out Paolo Nutini’s song “New Shoes”

Mix Maven

Alert: Free Suze Orman Book

Suze Orman is giving away free copies of her new book, Women and Money on Oprah.com.

Women and Money - Suze Orman

You will be able to download a free copy of the book (pdf file.)  The book is available in English and Spanish.

Ok, there is a catch.

The deadline to download this free copy is

February 14, 2008 June 27, 2008

5PM (Pacific Standard Time) /8PM (Eastern Standard Time)

To download Adobe Reader, go to Adobe Reader download page.

Download your copy ASAP!!!

Thanks “happy mom” for the update!!