Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Skincare Junkie's Anonymous

 Since I'm presently on the hunt for (yikes!) an anti-aging serum, I thought I'd share my go-to place to cross reference make up & skin care product reviews:

 As much as is super-duper informative, this forum is handy because you can filter by reviews from people with similar skin woes -or blessings- as you do. You can search by brand and product type for comparisons. It's funny how the top rated products can range from simple vaseline, pure apricot kernel oil, to $250 La Prairie creme. Trust me these ladies are very detailed about their pores, their routines, the hits and misses they experience, etc. Its great to hear how ordinary women discover whether or not a product does what it claims to do. Reading product literature composed by strategic marketers would make anyone believe they are holding the next big miracle. The reviews at makeupalley are refreshingly unbiased.

 Considering there are hundreds of product review sites out there, I found this site one of the most helpful and diverse in content. So sign in and enjoying being a junkie!

p.s. So far so good, I'm leaning towards a Dior serum and the feedback is tempting me try it out!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vogue Pays Peanuts

 The latest fashion trend apparently, is lawsuits. There's been news of at least seven in the past few months filed by big modelling agencies at war with each other for poaching and by models suing their agencies for ripping them off. Poaching, just like the hunting sense, is stealing models from other agencies and making them break their contracts. Maybe this is an industry that cant get used to the fact that employee loyalty is a concept of the past. Considering how it is so cut throat and exploitative, this fact should not be so shocking. 

 Anyhow, the interesting thing that comes from this are the stats disclosed from the case filed by Polish models Anna Jagodzinska and Anna Cywinska, and Estonian model Karmen Pedaru. They are suing their former agency Next Management for $3.75 million in lost wages and punitive damages. Jagodziska, who was fairly in demand  in 2009/2010 is one of the faces of H&M, J Crew, Gap, Calvin Klein, David Yurman, etc. She revealed her earnings statement from April 23 2010:


 The numbers from Vogue are the real shock. French and American Vogue pay $125 & $250 respectively for editorial work- that's less than the cost of the hosiery they make the girls wear in the shoots!  So realistically to make it big like the Kates & Giseles of the world, a model has to land the lucrative catalog, beauty, or ad campaigns. Doing the magazine editorials will only garner them exposure and networking opportunities with the photographers and creative directors who can hook them up with campaigns. Mind you, Jagodzinska is relatively successful and very few even make it to this level of success. She only nets 38.7% of her contracts, assuming she wins her lawsuit and gets paid. Talk about dispelling the glamour of the industry. I wonder if they tell the contestants this on  America's Next Top Model? At least they learn to smile with their eyes- that's a useful life skill. :)

Noteworthy Magazine Issue: Elle UK December

  Have you ever picked up a magazine and realise after you finished flipping through it, you wish you could get your $5 back? I feel that way all the time- especially after buying tabloids. They make me feel terrible for fueling the paparazzi business, but darn that addiction to celeb street style! Editorials are great for showcasing the fantasy outfits of the up coming season but wearability does not fall within a real woman's budget. However, seeing what Ashley Olsen wears to Starbucks is a lot more accessible and real. That plus candid, (mostly) non photoshopped photos, of course. I know, the things we tell ourselves to justify reading the garbage.

 Normally I peruse my favorite publications at Chapters: The Economist, Plaza, Vogue (US & UK), L'Officiel, Elle, Fashion Week Mini, Harper's etc.. but since Anna Wintour is stuck on her obsession with Blake Lively, I rarely buy any more Vogues. But yesterday I started reading, and could not put down the Elle UK Dec 2010 issue- the one with Anne Hathaway on the cover in a hot Balmain frock. Sure I parted with $11.40 but it was worth it. Its been a long time since I've found an issue with real decent reading content. Too bad its the end of the cycle and they'll start putting up skinny January issues. But anyhow, the articles worth checking out in this issue include:

- The Model Powerlist : Who are the faces of 2010? The industry has spoken...
- He is Legend: Keanu Reeves (brought back memories of a jr high crush inflicted by watching Speed :)
- The Importance of Clothes: Does what you wear send out the right messages?
- The Elle Beauty Awards 2010
..and more.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Our alternative holiday tree!

Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season with your family and friends! Make sure you get some beauty sleep and rest for boxing day adventures tomorrow.. I'll be passing since I am holding out for a 1K shopping spree at Holt Renfrew early in the new year - got almost that much in HR gift cards to blow: cant decide between another Hermes scarf or something from Chanel, either a pearl necklace or small clutch.. oh decisions decisions!

So I'll leave you on a warm note... here are our toasty mukluks which arrived this week! (See a couple posts ago :)

Warm hugs to all...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nicole Richie: Ballerina Bride

Normally I don't go gaga over celebrity weddings, but one of my style inspirations got married Dec 11 2010.. Nicole Richie! I never watched the Simple Life but I've been a fan of her style since she cleaned up (and got healthy). Apparently she wore three Marchesa dresses! I could only dream of wearing one Marchesa let alone two more.. lucky girl! Ahh, the perks of being rich & famous.

Here's a sneak peak at her ballerina gown before People Mag releases the exclusive later this week or next. I'm not big into frou frou, but the dress was fitting since she walked down the aisle to her dad's song "Ballerina Girl" written for her. This is the frock in the photos and it had a skirt crafted from more than 100 yards of hand-draped silk organza and tulle petals.
Cover of German Tabloid "In"


Muks- Putting Canadian Heritage on the Map.. and on Tootsies around the Globe


Fed up with my routine of three layers of sockies and still freezing my toes every morning, I've decided to give in and look into real winter boots. Yes, living in our climes, this is far too delayed. Uggs are out, since I've never been a fan. I'm sure some of you can relate. Sorrel's are revitalised and trendy. They are a practical solution, but I think Muks are winning me over. Maybe it's the boho appeal that calls my name. The wedge and wrap styles are clearly funky and hip. Some call these ugly as well, but unlike Uggs, you can pet these. :)

They aren't cheap ($250 - $450) but they are handcrafted in Canada and local tribes do the embroidery. The  luxurious fur comes from either breeding animal or purchased directly to the families who rely on hunting for survival.  The comfy sole uses an environmentally friendly rubber and the original Muks are 100% biodegradable. Last but not least, the company gives 11% of profits to the local communities.

Ironically, the founder Jamie Cook is Canadian but tranplanted herself to the UK so that's Muks' HQ. She started the company in 2003 and started selling mukluk boots her mom would send her from home. Clearly she credits the aboriginal heritage for the mukluck concept, but she adds her glam 70's rock spin to the designs- at least for this season anyways. Leave it for Kate Moss to be her first ever customer and from then on Cook secured the worldwide distribution rights for mukluks and its all history from there. Thats not a bad career when she says she only became interested fashion at the age of 21.

See the whole 2010/2011 collection at

Hello Blogosphere! Is anyone out there?

 This is nerve-wracking... after three years plus of simple snippets on Facebook notes, we've come to this. I'm sure we will blissfully chat to a wee audience for a long time, but we don't mind. We appreciate any who cares and shares our love for this topic. Feedback and comments are always welcome. We're complete newbies and don't always know what we're doing.

Ciao for now!

- Obsessive Seng & Dasha


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