Archive | December, 2011

Heels in winter, do it.

22 Dec

Just because they’re hot doesn’t mean you’ll be cold.

“Slave to fashion”, I don’t think so. Here are 5 reasons to rock your tall girls Canadian style.

1) They are built in stabilizers. You literally have a spike coming out of your foot. What will you and winter-chained tires have in common? Not eating the snowbank.

2) Seasonal affect dis–armed!… okay, this may be complete bull but personally heels make me feel happier. They make me feel powerful, in control and sexy.

3) If (hollywood) spys get to do it, you can too.

4) So for the most of us weight fluctuates a little throughout the year. Personally if I’m a little plumper over the winter I’m going to write it off as an extra layer, or my body wanting to hibernate or something. Those extra inches will give the appearance of  lesser “lbs”. So I’m thinking, with a little help from my favourite footwear, it’ll all even out 😉

5) Lets face it, there is no way i’ll be wearing UGGs everywhere I go.  Maybe Marilyn said it best: “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.” Amen.

❤ RL

Holiday Trend: Lash Attack

16 Dec

Jennifer Lopez wears mink lashes

Are you looking for a way to bring your look to the next level this holiday season? Eyelash extensions are the perfect trick to shape your face from civilian to A-Lister. Whether you get a Hollywood glamour full set or a natural looking fresh eye-lifting half set, you’ll flutter your eyes awake every morning with a new va va voom to your day.

How It’s Done

Each synthetic lash is attached to your own natural lash by an adhesive.  Because the synthetic lashes are attached to your natural ones it gives almost a photoshoped version of you in everyday life; you’re working with the natural goods but you’ve just been oomphed up a bit for display. The application is a bit of a timely procedure, usually taking between 1-2 hours.

Before / After images pulled from Flirt Hamilton’s website

There is a downside to your new wonder-watt lashes, each individualized lash follows the life cycle of the natural lash it’s attached to. According to different boutiques you’ll generally want a “refill”, or “re-lash”, about every 3 weeks.

I’m addicted, what now?

Pain is beauty — well not in this case, unless you’re pained by how expensive it is, in which case the saying holds true.  At a lash-extension certified boutique the application and maintenance is pretty pricey. Since it’s a procedure that involves tweezer-point-precision, eye-friendly adhesives, and synthetic substances being strapped to your lashes, you don’t exactly want to cheap out for a lesser product.

So lets break it down…

A half set is about 35-40 lashes per eye and costs on average about $100 for the initial application. But as mentioned above, you’ll need a re-lash about every 3 weeks. A half set re-lash will cost about $55. So when all is said and done you’ll be paying roughly $980 a year to have and maintain your half-set of lashes (tips not included).

So now you’re so lusty over your half-set that you want to take it to the next level… A full set application is about 80-90 lashes per eye and costs roughly $200 for the initial application. Your re-lash every three weeks will cost about $68.  To apply and maintain a full set of lash extensions it will cost you about $1288 a year (no tips included).

pst! psst! love your half set, want a little more, but not ready for the commitment of a full set? Well most studios offer different in between half-full set options.

Who’s doing it?

The Kardashian girls, Kim – Kourtney – Khloe, all wear eyelash extensions…click for a larger view!

Everyone in Hollywood is doing it… Perhaps some of the most noted lashes are those of the Kardashian clan. Other celebs, mentioned on different salon websites, include:  Nicole Kidman,Paris Hilton, Gwen Stefani, Lucy Liu, Naomi Campbell, many “real house wives” across america, Ashley Green (twilight), Megan Fox, Miss Canadas and Americas, fashion journalists, fox journalists, and the list goes on and on.

psst! There are all sorts of fake lash extensions, synthetic, silk, mink, and the list goes on. All of the above prices are for the commonly used baseline synthetic lash extensions.  

Where can I get it done?  

Hamilton:
Flirt Custom Lash Studio

Toronto (to name a few):
Winks Eyelash Boutique | Spa
MYNC {lash lounge & brow bar}
Lash & Beauty Lounge

Halifax:
Gentle Touch skin & laser centers

Taylor Swift with her winged out lash extensions

❤ RL

Like: Something Borrowed

16 Dec

Hudson and Goodwin play childhood besties, whose friendship knew no limits…  

When I first saw the movie SOMETHING BORROWED I left the cinema with my best friend feeling unsure and uneasy. The film follows Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) who falls in love with her best friend Darcy’s (Kate Hudson) fiance Dex (Colin Egglesfield).  The film poses the uncomfortable question: What do you do when you truly love your best friend’s fiance? And worse yet, what do you do when those feelings are reciprocated? The answer should be obvious right? You stoically ignore your feelings and let your best friend live her happily-ever-after. But if we’re honest with ourselves, human nature is a lot greedier than that.  It’s this human greed that gets Rachel — a do-good kind of girl — into a lot of trouble, where the stakes are a lifelong friendship vs. a potentially lifelong romance.

Truthfully I don’t think that it’s the narrative so much that bothers me, but the fact that I constantly find myself sympathising with Rachel.

What happens when best friends fall for the same man?

I find myself validating Rachel’s choices by the flaky, shallow, and insincere nature of Darcy’s character. On the flip side I’m horrified by what she is doing — it’s her best friend’s fiance, and they’ve been best friends since they were kids.

I’ve seen SOMETHING BORROWED twice more since it was released this summer, and since then it’s really grown on me. I think that’s because I’m falling more and more in love with Dex and Rachel as a couple, and that is largely due to Ginnifer Goodwin’s performance…

Acting Chops

Ginnifer Goodwin as “Rachel”

Goodwin is so compelling in this film. She has an understated quality which really shines through. It’s as if she internalizes every emotion before she expresses herself; breathing in each thought and letting it shine through her eyes before she even speaks. What’s interesting about Goodwin’s character is that she understands the full ramifications of her actions. She’s cared for Dex since they first met but never knew that he felt the same way, she knows that she shouldn’t proceed, but then she can’t not! She is a good person who cares about her friends and has always put Darcy of all people first.  But ultimately, she can’t fight it; she loves Dex and she has to pursue those feelings.

Colin Egglesfield as “Dex”.

Egglesfield masterfully plays the infidel fiance in a way that makes me feel sorry for him! …Do I need to repeat myself? I actually feel sorry for the poor, technical, shmuck. He’s this guy who cares so much about making other people happy, that he doesn’t necessarily consider the consequences of ignoring his own happiness. What makes Egglesfield stand out in this film is that he projects true love towards Goodwin whenever they are on scene together. It’s not an undeniable lust that we see between them; it’s feelings, emotions, and possibilities. Without Egglesfield’s projection of a Dex who’s at odds with his feelings, the film could have taken an drastically different turn; we could have ended up with a Dex who just wants one last whoopie with the girl that got away.

Dex (Egglesfield) and Rachel (Goodwin) sharing a moment.

In virtually silent scenes between Dex and Rachel it’s the actors’ use of breath that builds the impression of love for me. There are so many things which they feel towards each other, things that they are too scared to say. They breath in the thought and then they pause and hold onto it, tasting it because that’s the closest they can let themselves get to the other, and then they fight it back and say nothing.

Darcy (Hudson) is absolutely vapid while practicing her “bridal moment” to see if her mascara will run…

Hudson presents Darcy, a woman who is so vapid and shallow that it takes away from her physical beauty (think about that for a second, Kate Hudson is gorgeous). Hudson goes against the grain of her normally charming characters by playing a woman who is obnoxious rather than outgoing; self obsessed rather than caring and compassionate; and all through vain. It is largely through Darcy’s personality flaws that I find myself somewhat validating Rachel’s choices.

<3RL

Love: Burlesque

11 Dec

Aguilera plays Ali. A good girl gone “bad”…but still good. Her stage makeup has exaggerated eyes and lips with bronzer contouring her cheeks and boobs. 

“What? … I Am a Good Girl.”

Why have I seen BURLESQUE three times in cinema, and many more times since? Well clearly I love it. It always leaves me feeling energized, and optimistic towards my own dreams. Yes, the movie has an unfair advantage: I adore musicals and I love Christina Aguilera, but really, it all comes down to being a fun ride.

Beautiful to Watch:

BURLESQUE is often set in the self titled night club, Burlesque, and takes advantage of the many components that go into live performance. What really stands out to me is the dynamic use of lighting, bejeweled and skimpy costumes, and aggressively bold and beautiful  hair / make up.

Aguilera’s silhouette has a seductive allure as beams of light cut her out of the shadows. 

In the club scenes the lighting designers play with a lot of colour, movement, and shadows. Though there is quite the pallet the colour motifs seem to be a combination of red, blue, and inevitably purple. The lighting styles range from beams of light shooting down onto the stage and moving in sweeping gestures; to diffused colours onto a background of ruched curtains. In other shots it’s the absence of light that shapes the images within the frame. These shadowy images add a sexual mystique to the club that takes on a tenacious quality of their own. The lighting is as much a form of presentation as the girls dancing on stage.  It creates a sense of possibility and intrigue, and it is often through the lighting that I am drawn into the performance before a line of text is spoken or beat of music played.

feathers, sparkles, and lighting –oh my!

When I think show girl, I think BIG, BOLD, and BEAUTIFUL. In the case of BURLESQUE you can never have enough sparkles, feathers, fake-jewels, or frankly: skin. These dancing divas get to wear all sorts of frisky outfits from leather-hand-printed bustiers, to beaded pearl negligées. Despite the excessive nature of the costumes they are not tired or even predictable. Michael Kaplan, costume designer, says on behind the scenes footage that he wanted the look to be mint:  “We didn’t want to have feathered bowas, we didn’t want to have a strip tease. We wanted it to be fresher than that.”

Don’t trick yourself into thinking that the clubs scenes are the only spot for hot fashion action in this film, because the costume department certainly doesn’t skimp out when it comes to Aguilera’s out-of-club wardrobe. In particular there is a pair of Louboutin pumps that her character, Ali, wears which are so increadibly beautiful that I accidentally screamed  the first time I saw them in the cinema.  According to an NBC article, Kaplan worked with Christian Louboutin to make a custom pair of pumps for Aguilera to wear in the film. This white and silver pair have the wonderous look which Ali’s name plays odes to… Alice, welcome to wonderland.

Perhaps the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen in my life, a custom Louboutin pump made for Aguilera. 

Finally, if you like feathered fake eyelashes, lots of liner, sparkle-based eye shadow, bronzer (contouring everrrywhere), and a rouge lip: you’re in for a make up treat. All of the show girls’ eyes grow about 10 sizes when we get a closeup of their stage-made-up faces. When it comes to hair you get two options: big, textured, curled, and blown out; or a fringed bob.

A taste of Burlesque: beautiful women dancing in beams of blue, red and purple light; big hair; and frisky costumes.

To make things even better, all of this visual stimulation comes together in baudy dance routines to catchy music…

Music

Despite the beautiful images on screen, it’s the music that reals you into BURLESQUE. Aguilera has the vocal strength and diversity to pull off Etta James covers, such as “Tough Lover” or “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”, without you pinning for the sounds of the soulful originals. According to Director Steven Antin in behind the scenes footage, it’s not just Christina’s voice which changed the film but her writing: “Christina changed everything when she came on board… She went out and wrote song after song after song, it was spectacular.” Within those songs came “Express” which hit number 2 on Billboards 100, and “Bound To You” which was nominated for a Golden Globe under “best original song”. Every time I watch the movie the different songs are seared into my head for days on end — without even annoying me!

Acting Chops

BURLESQUE has a stacked cast including Oscar winner Cher; beloved Stanley Tucci, up and coming actresses Kristen Bell and Julianne Hough; and finally first time ever actress  Christina Aguilera. Cher is Cher, need we say more? Tucci hits his one liners with an almost patented witty delivery. Bell and Hough dazzled the screen in their short but snappy scenes; however it was Aguilera who really surprised me. Being her first time acting I was slightly concerned when first going into the cinema. I was worried that she was plugged in as solely a big name and great voice. Acting, it turns out, is another strong point for Aguilera.  She presented an Ali who was strong, confident and determined, but who was also breakable and endearingly vulnerable. I wasn’t watching a “Christina Aguilera” persona on screen but a fully crafted character. I don’t think another actress would have brought the same dimension’s to her character, in fact Aguilera as an actress was entirely irreplaceable to this film. In a video Aguilera largely credits Cher for her performance, saying that she inspired and taught her the roaps on her first acting job.

Cam Gigandet, provides some much appreciated slates of man-candy.

Man Candy… 

Well clearly there is lots of scantily clad female beauties but what of the men? For me the winner goes to Cam Gigandet who plays Jack, Ali’s love interest. Ali’s fling Marcus however is also a note worthy contender, played by Eric Dane who is most known for his role as Mark Sloan (a.k.a. McSteamy) on Greys Anatomy.

Eric Dane…no this is not from “Burlesque” but doesn’t he look beautiful!

The chemistry between Aguilera and Gigandet is obvious from the first moment she learns that he is both straight and unavailable, plus Gigandet will leave you craving cookies long after the film ;). Meanwhile, Dane plays his usual rough-but-combed bad-boy-man-toy role. Though he doesn’t have a large role in the film, and though his character didn’t develop, I loved his minutes on screen… He is the lone wolf man-babe and every eyecandy movie needs one.

❤ RL