Monday, November 29, 2010

Product Ballet: Hair Masques - Kérastase vs. L'Oréal Professionnel

Kérastase Nutritive Nutridéfense Anti-Dryness Nutri-Protective Treatment for Dry and Sensitised Hair
L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Absolut Repair Neofibrine Repairing Masque for Very Damaged Hair

During Ottawa Fashion Week, I was given samples of both of the above products. Since I had been wanting to try the Kérastase for a long time, I thought I'd give it a whirl first.

So, I started using it. I thought it would help my very dry and damaged hair. (I’m rough on my hair. Too much colour and too much heat styling.)

After a few applications… Not much difference. Not only that, my hair actually felt not as soft as when I was just using my regular Baléa conditioner. I mean, it wasn’t horrible or anything, but it definitely wasn’t anything super-special. I figured I’d use the product up (I’m cheap like that), but kind of couldn’t wait for it to be gone.

Once I used that up, it was on to the L’Oréal Professionnel masque.


Here is why I like it more:
1. It smells deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelish, like a boy I used to kiss in high school.
2. It’s thick and rich.
3. It makes my hair super-soft.
4. My best friend Jaime told me my hair looked really good the first time I used it. SHE NEVER TELLS ME MY HAIR LOOKS GOOD. NEVER.

Both products are used in the same way (“apply a small amount to towel-dried hair, leave on for a few minutes, rinse out”), but where the real difference lies is in the price.

When I decided I wanted to do a review of these products, I took some time to look up the price of them on various websites. They seemed to run about the same price – both around the $50.00 mark. But when I broke it down to the price per ounce, this is what I found:

Kérastase: $8.21/ounce
L’Oréal: $2.59/ounce

You guys! That means the L’Oréal stuff (which works better) is ONE THIRD the price of the Kérastase!

The weird thing is that they are both made by the same company. They are essentially the same product, designed to deep-treat damaged hair.

Higher prices do not mean better product! Aren’t you glad I researched this for you?!

If you have dry, damaged hair, or if your hair is in need of a little love this winter, RUN DO NOT WALK to buy L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Absolut Repair Neofibrine Repairing Masque for Very Damaged Hair!!!

I tell you this because I love you!

Exclamation points!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lunchtime Lookup

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt
A teeny tiny little Lunchtime Lookup today—it's been a hectic week! Regardless, come on, let's take a tumble around the internet! Here are things I super-enjoyed!

Andy Warhol on Nerd Boyfriend. Dear every boy I know: Please crib this look. Swoon. Glasses get extra++ bonus points.

Sal at Already Pretty with lessons in eBay shopping. I'll admit it here: I've never bought anything from eBay! Should I start looking?

As you know, I love candy, but Coilhouse makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with Denmark?! Also, Charles Bronson killing hipsters.

The Sartorialist on why cardigans look so darn good.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend my kitten!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Little Bit of Heaven (Formerly Things I Love Thursday)

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt
So, I changed the name of this little feature from Things I Love Thursday (which I cribbed from Gala Darling), to A Little Bit of Heaven. Little Bit of Heaven is a dessert that my mom used to make for church pot luck dinners, and although I can't seem to find the recipe anywhere online (nor could I eat it anymore, now that I'm a vegan), it was one of my favourite things in the world. It had a graham cracker base, and whipped mocha middle, and toasted almonds on top. It was light and fluffy and not too sweet, and it was absolutely delicious. Typing that out made me taste it all over again!

Anyway, I thought it was the perfect name for this feature! Things I adore, things that make my mouth water, things that make me happy. A Little Bit of Heaven indeed. On with the list!
  • YOU GUYS IT IS MY OTHER BEST FRIEND'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! First of all, I am the luckiest girl in the world because I have TWO best friends! B) I am super-lucky that one of them is Jaime. Finally, it's her birthday! Some readers may remember Michael's birthday back in March, but I don't have a bunch of photos lying around of Jaime. So instead I submit for your approval this cover of the Dik Van Dykes "Birthday Song" (which was the only version I could find on YouTube). Happy birthday, buddy!
I kind of wish the audio was better on this, and maybe the lyrics aren't 100% work appropriate...
  • Sticking up for myself. This is kind of a big deal to me right now, because I've never really done it before. But I started realizing how much people that I trust as my friends bring me down with negative comments and sometimes say downright insulting things to me (in public, no less), and how that's not OK. So I'm learning to say, "Don't treat me like that, I don't like it." Unfortunately, this means that if they continue to treat me that way they need to go from my life, which is a really hard decision to make. And sometimes they say things that are so mean that I have to have a little cry (that happened last Tuesday). But really, if people are mean to me, why should I want them in my life anyway? I don't. Everyone deserves to be treated kindly and with respect, especially by their friends. I demand to be treated the way I treat others.
  • Lavender incense. It fills up my bedroom nearly every night with its lovely, smoky, relaxing goodness.
  • This photo of blog sponsor @renwest completely makes my day. He posted it on Twitter last week and I thought I was going to have a fit I squealed so loud! It totally reminds me of a picture I had pasted into one of my journals in the mid-1990s of a baby with its eyes all big and watery and sad.
  • Making new friends. This has been a very exciting year for me! I have taken on the challenge of talking to new people, getting to know them, and learning from them. I try to give what I have to offer, and so far it's been absolutely amazing! My life has been completely enriched in incredible ways.
  • Honourable Mentions: old men who call me dear, lemongrass curry tofu from Springroll House, going to the theatre, glittery eyeliner on rainy days, fairy lights woven around my bed frame, daydreaming about chandeliers to hang over my bed, plotting international living, discovering little girls and I have the same favourite colour (pink, of course), giving friends advice and them actually listening to me.
How about you? What's on your list of things you adore this week, things that give you that little bit of heaven? Share with us in the comments!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Product Review: Joe Fresh Style Fresh Glass

Right after Ottawa Fashion Week, I entered a contest! Miss-SLY was asking Twitter to answer a trivia question about which Canadian fashion celebrity we thought she might be interviewing. I guessed Jeanne Beker, and guess what you guys? I totally won! I never win stuff! So that was pretty awesome. 

I won a Joe Fresh face palette (review coming soon), and when it came in the mail (which was totally awesome, I love to get mail!) it came with a bonus: Joe Fresh Style Fresh Glass lip gloss in Cosmopolitan!

I am pretty picky about lip glosses. I find most of them to be too thick. But since it was free, why not try it out, right?

Im glad I did!

Its a minty gloss, usually associated with plumping lip glosses. Which Im generally not a fan of, as I find they can be too minty, which hurts my sensitive little lips! But this has just the right amount of mintyness, with a lot of shine and minimal stickiness. Not as low-stick as Rimmels Sweet Jelly lip gloss (which I believe has now been sadly discontinued, although it looks like Royal Glass might be an adequate replacement), but not as super-sticky as MAC Lipglass (which I love the shine of but hate hate hate the texture). It lasts a long time and it looks like this:

Give me a kissssssss!
For the price, I definitely think this is a decent lip gloss and would buy it again. MWAH!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Commenting Policy

Photo by Mixy Lorenzo
Dear my favourite friends and kittens, and casual readers who I also think are awesome,

As this blog grows in popularity, something is happening. People are actually commenting on what I write. This is a good thing. This is what I want. I encourage dialogue—talk amongst yourselves, I am happy to join in when I can. This is a very exciting time with the growth of the blog and everything, and I’m excited that things are happening.

However, last week I had my first every negative comment on the blog.

Wait, that’s incorrect. I’ve had comments along the lines of, “You’re wrong and this is why,” but those I have no problem with. I don’t actually see those as negative comments on the blog in the least. It’s part of having an open dialogue with my readers—I want to know when I’ve messed up.

This comment was not like that. This was a personal attack, sent from a familiar IP address. I won’t get into the details of what it said (although I did reference it on Twitter the day it happened), because it’s not important.

It’s important for me to remember that when I am being criticised for just doing what I do, it’s actually not about me. People are cruel for all kinds of reasons, and it’s not up to me to figure out why they decide to take that anger out on me. They just do, and I hope they figure out a way to do it better, because that sure isn’t a positive way to live your life.

So, sadly, it's time for Miss Jes to lay the hammer down. Negative, personal, hurtful comments will not be tolerated. I screen comments for a reason. Personal attacks attempted to be posted on the blog will be deleted, marked as spam, and IPs will be blocked.

I am working very hard to keep this blog and all online presence as a positive space. Of course I have issues–everyone does. Everyone in the whole entire world. But I don’t need to play them out online, and I certainly don’t need them played out for me.
I love you all to bits and bits forever!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Which Jes Learns To Give Up Some Control

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Texture Hair Salon has come on board as one of my blog sponsors. Last week I had the opportunity to go in and have my colour done by the lovely Sam. My cut was handled by the insanely talented Ramsey.

When Ramsey, Sam and I were first talking about my hair, I gave them carte blanche to do whatever they wanted to with the colour. But, as I had been growing my hair out for two years, I really didn’t want to touch the length. I was happy having long hair. I could pull it back. Which I did, most days. When I wore it down I was often frustrated with the texture, it just seemed somehow poofy at the bottom, and I did not love that at all. But I had been growing it for so long! I didn’t want to touch it!

Anyway, I went in for my appointment, and Sam started in on my colour. We decided the bangs were going to be Rhianna red, whilst touching up the black everywhere else. As she was lifting the black out of my bangs, and I got an look at the contrast between them and the rest of my hair, and thought a bit about the shape of where my hair currently was, I made a big decision.

I called Ramsey over.

“Cut it off. I’m over long hair.”

“Yes, you are. Good.”

After the colour was done*, I tripped over to Ramsey’s chair (not my fault, they kept feeding me wine!). We started to discuss the cut, and I told him what I like: blunt lines, asymmetry, sophistication. Since he had just returned from Paris where he had taken some Vidal Sassoon courses, we decided on a very steeply angled bob.

He stood behind me. He raised his scissors. I winced.

A large chunk of hair fell to the floor. “Well, that’s that then.” I couldn’t change my mind if I had wanted to at that point.

Finished hair! Photo by Ren West.
I am so glad I let him do what he wanted! I am so pleased with my new cut! It takes no time at all to blow-dry, it falls beautifully, it’s bouncy, it’s got a certain Ramona Flowers quality to it, judging by the amount of men who have been hitting on my since I had it done. My life is so hard, I know!

Thank you so much, Sam and Ramsey! I can’t wait to come back and do more experiments in cut and colour with you! If you need a cut or colour, I can highly recommend them.

Having said that, please note that while Texture Hair Salon is a blog sponsor, I wouldn’t have them here if I didn’t believe in what they do.

*Usually removing box dye takes very strong bleach to lift the colour out of my hair, and when I’ve had to do it in the past I’ve left the salon with my head feeling tender and burnt, but I was most impressed with whatever they used on my head to avoid my feeling like that.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lunchtime Lookup

Photo by SweetOnVeg
My mother is visiting this weekend, so I might be a little scarce around the internet. Have no fear that I'll be responding to comments and e-mails again come Monday! In the meantime, a short little roundup of links to keep your Friday entertaining.

Casey's Elegant Musings has this nifty little how-to on making a 1950s-style bow headband.

Musings of an Inappropriate Woman talks about three steps to fabulousness.

Natalie Joy pointed me in the direction of Nerd Boyfriend! I love it! Nerdy boy looks and how to get them!

Isaac Likes J Press for Urban Outfitters—a perfect illustration of an amazing capsule wardrobe for men.

At McSweeney's, Blanche DuBois' American Apparel Photoshoot. Funny!

Super Kawaii Mama talks about developing a unique style—if you're just starting to branch out your wardrobe, this is a must read.

Fashion Tribes Blog with a sneak peek at the Smithsonian's documentary on The History of the Hope Diamond.

Miss-SLY ran some street-style photos from Ottawa Fashion Week, and yours truly was in one! Neat! Katie too! You can click to make them bigger!

We adore you.

Have a fantastic weekend! I adore you, too!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Remembrance Day

I don't wear a poppy. I don't wear red on Fridays.

I get a lot of criticism for those two things.

I understand the point. I support our troops in that I want them to be able to come home safely to their families. I respect and appreciate everything our veterans did in the wars that proceeded my life.

I am thankful and grateful that I get to live my life in the way I choose because of their sacrifices. There is military blood in my veins.

However, I do not want anything I do or say to be misconstrued as supporting our current government's missions overseas, particularly in Afghanistan. I think our government has made a severe error in judgement and continues to do so the longer this mission continues.

Thank you, veterans. Thank you for the choices you made. I am glad you came home safely. I can't imagine the pain you've seen.

Thank you, Canadian Armed Forces, for what you do. Thank you for the choice you make. Please come home safely. I wish you painless days until you can be back with your loved ones.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ottawa Fashion Week in Photos: Days One and Two

Backstage at Ottawa Fashion Week.
During Ottawa Fashion Week, I had the opportunity to meet photographer André Bergeron. I noticed him at first because, well, let's be honest, I thought he was handsome in that "I'm a rugged photographer with an unshaven face" kind of way. And yes, I think that's a very attractive look for a man.

Anyway, of course I was visually keeping tabs on him throughout the weekend, and I noticed that unlike most of the photographers who stayed pretty close to the end of the runway, he was moving around and getting shots from all over the place. So I thought, "Maybe he might like to contribute some photos to my blog!" I introduced myself, gave him my card, and on Monday he e-mailed me saying photos were ready for my blog if I wanted some!

And I was so pleased! They are so great! Thank you so much, André!

Emilia Torabi. These pants had a great black ankle band.
I would like them, yes please.

Lovely menswear detailing at Trive by Modasuite.

Sustainable fabrics at Nixxi.

An amazing pearl scarf at MICALLA.

Lovely draping at Elroy Apparel.

Summer casual at LABEL Clothing.

If I were a high-up in the government I would
only ever wear Andrew Majtenyi's clothing.

Eee hats! At Jana Hanzel. SO PRETTY.
All photos copyright André Bergeron. Thanks a million!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nina Garcia's One Hundred: #96 Wellington Boot

I'm slowly trekking towards owning everything in Nina Garcia's book The One Hundred, or at least everything in there that works for me. My newest and most happifying* acquisition is my new pair of wellies.

First, some background information on my history with rubber boots. I love rubber boots. I love wearing them, I love looking at them, I think they are some of the cutest footwear a gal can own. And they are important in climates where it sometimes rains! Or where it rains a lot! There is something very satisfying about sloshing through particularly deep puddles on one's way somewhere knowing that one's feet are staying warm and dry.

However, I have a problem with the standard pull-on rubber boot. You see, due to a rare, hereditary muscle disease called Thomsen's, my calves are quite large around. Pull-on rubber boots never fit me. They always scrunch up in a weird way before they go all the way up.

I was bemoaning this to The Boy in the summer, when he mentioned Ilse Jacobsen's boots. He told me that they sold them at Vanilla on Elgin Street between Cooper and Somerset (I'm sorry, but they don't have a website). And he told me that rather than pull on, they laced up.

Well, being the frugal girl that I am, I couldn't very well justify going out to buy a new pair of rubber boots right away, as my pink boots from Zeller's were still doing the job just fine. But once they started to leak last month, and I mentioned it to The Boy, he promised me a trip down to Vanilla as soon as we got the chance.

The day before we went, I called to make sure they had them in my size. They had one pair of the white ones left (the colour I was craving), and lo and behold! It was in my size.

We went to Vanilla, I slipped my feet inside, and I fell in love.

They fit a dream. They went over my jeans. They were woolly and warm inside and felt just like a hug.

ON MY FEET. Best hug ever.

The boots are made with natural rubber in Hornbaek, Denmark, by hand. They are a quality boot. With warm socks, their heavy tread should be able to get me through most of the winter.

Have I mentioned that I love these boots? (Also: love The Boy for the present.)

*Yes, I know "happifying" isn't a word, but I made it up because of how much I love these boots.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Product Review: Balea Fresh Blends Shampoo and Conditioner in Honey Nut

In my ongoing quest* to find bath and beauty products that make me smell like cake and candy (because those are my favourite smells), I picked up some Balea Fresh Blends shampoo and conditioner in Honey Nut at Shopper's Drug Mart.

I alternate between cheap and expensive hair products, and while these weren't super cheap, they were less than $10.00, which is a requirement for me with drugstore brands. And they smelled heavenly.

Unfortunately, that was where my love affair ended.

While I adored the way these products made my shower smell, I did not adore they way they took care of my hair, and that's more important than their smell. I had to use a lot of the shampoo to get my hair clean (sometimes three latherings with a very generous amount of product), and the conditioner was nothing special either. My hair didn't have that silky finish I look for.

Balea brand is made for Shopper's, and is positioned as more "high end" than Life brand (the Shopper's store brand). But quite frankly, I've had better experiences with Life brand products!

Sorry Balea and Shopper's. This is not the brand for me.

*If you know of any bath and beauty products that smell amazing that you can pass along to me, please let me know in the comments!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bonus Round: Salt Water Taffy!

On the first night of Ottawa Fashion Week, my assistant Katie and I realised that the canapes that the organisers had sprung for were not going to cut it for us, hunger-wise. (This was due to the the fact that there were so few of them that the poor servers were literally being chased by ravenous fashion show attendees.)

We decided we would bring snacks with us the rest of the week. The next day, Katie and I compared what was in our bags—The Boy had packed me carrot sticks, mixed nuts and water, while Katie's bag was full of... Candy. To be more precise, apple drops, lemon slices and Taffy Town Salt Water Taffy.

Katie is my sugar pusher. She's the manager of The Candy Store in Westboro, and my girl knows her treats. The Candy Store is one of my favourite shops in Ottawa, unlike the hustle of Sugar Mountain, The Candy Store is calming and relaxing, and I know that my candy is curated by some very knowledgeable staff. In fact, Katie wrote about the taffy here.

Anyway, about the salt water taffy...

She brought two flavours with her, grape and key lime. Oh my gosh. Transcendent. The taffy is the right amount of sticky, a whole lot of sweet, and the key lime flavour? Amazing. I'm not a huge fan of grape-flavoured things, but the grape taffy was slightly flowery-tasting and quite nice as well.

Get yourself to The Candy Store. They also sometimes have cupcakes and macarons. And if you're planning an event, they can cater a candy buffet holy wow oh my gosh I want a party where I have a candy buffet. What more could you possibly ask for?

The Candy Store is located at 350 Richmond Road, between Lululemon and MEC. Thank goodness it's not on my way home from work.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ottawa Fashion Week: Trendspotting

Photo by John Smith.
My sweet little kittens, do not lose your mittens! I finally got all my thoughts down on paper about Ottawa Fashion Week!

But I’m teasing you a little, I know, because it’s not here! I wrote it for Apartment613.

It’s super-easy for you to read it, though. Click here for What Ottawa Fashion Week Means For You: Trends for Spring/Summer 2011.

Lunchtime Lookup

Mmm canned food.
A lot of people hate on Anna Wintour, but not Isaac Likes! He says Anna Wintour is awesome, and I tend to agree. Also discussed, the controversy over the latest Calvin Klein Jeans billboards. (Possibly NSFW, triggering.)

The Sartorialist had a photo of these string curtains all in knots. I love the delapidated look of this!

Gala Darling designed some shoes (in collaboration with Jeff Silverman)! Of COURSE, you know I want them!

Ari at Advanced Style had this great post on dressing how you feel, not by your age. Also, even though I had fun at Ottawa Fashion Week, I wish I had been at this show instead.

My friend Ariel asked me the other day how she should style her new sequinned jacket. It looks like The Budget Babe has a pretty solid lock on how to wear one.

A Glamorous Little Side Project (an offshoot of This Is Glamorous) shared this beautiful capelet. I definitely could rock that. I could also rock this haircut in a major way.

It's a little late for Halloween, but CRAFT has this great tutorial for making masks out of album covers. I would make a Kenny Loggins one to wear in the bath. And I luuuuuuuurve these lacy long socks! Hello winter knitting project...

My Fashion Life announces the Derek Lam crowdsourced collection. Awesome.

Oh, McSweeney's Internet Tendency. You always make me laugh. A Tibetan Buddhist Monk Tries to Figure Out Who Stole a Rock From His Zen Garden. Bad language alert!

Ashley at Dare to Unravel on vice and virtue.

Yikes Machine on gratitude. "You guys, I cried." So did I, reading this lovely piece.

If It's Hip It's Here showcasing sweaters knit from dog fur. That's all well and good, but what does it smell like when it gets wet? Yikes. (Via Gala Darling.)


Are you beautiful? Of course you are! Faces of Beauty posts reader-submitted photos in the hopes of encouraging self-love and acceptance. Radical self love indeed! I love this!

You Look Fab talks about determining when an item looks dated.

Cyanide and Happiness: why you shouldn't ask if an outfit makes you look fat.

The Cherry Blossom Girl had some Halloween costumes that were super-sexy without being slutty. What a concept.

What did you find on the internet this week?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Things I Love Thursday

Won't you be my love?
Here's a little list of things I've been loving this week!
  • You guys! My little blog has its first sponsor, Texture Hair Salon!
  • Walking arm-in-arm with The Boy!
  • Going to used book sales! I picked up some excellent reads this week, including Peter Pan, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and Tuck Everlasting! My goal is to read a book every two weeks...
  • The Boy's been reading me one of his favourite books (Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut). I absolutely love being read to! He is so amazing, I don't even need to ask, he's been saying, "Shall I read to you now?" Swoon.
  • I got bunny ears at the drugstore. I've been pretending I'm a bunny. A lot. And I've been saying, "I'M THE EASTER BUNNY HOP HOP" with a Rochester accent, from the old Great House of Guitars commercial. And then I giggle like crazy. It amuses me to no end.
  • To that end, getting back in touch with my whimsical, sparkly side!
  • Thai food!
  • I made a big decision this week to no longer seek approval from those who will never provide it. I don't need validation from anyone other than myself! As long as I'm doing what I love, I'm happy. And I am! So hooray!
  • "Your legs and feet look like sexy swans."
  • Ghost stories told in old houses. (The Turn of the Screw was so scary.)
  • The (sometimes agonisingly) slow progression towards actually being a vegan, not just not eating animal products. I am really starting to get there!
  • Crossing things of my to-do list. It's so satisfying.
  • My new personalised address labels! Thanks Ren
The Boy's middle child has a reading response journal for school. Her mom
e-mailed me this on Monday. The song is "Oh Rainbow". The Girl's response
is "Oh Rambo". That's pretty much my favourite thing ever.
  • Ottawa Fashion Week. Wow. Just, wow. It was my first one ever. What an incredible experience. I can't wait until next season! I am going to try to do Montreal next season, as well as Ottawa.
  • Coming home from working late at Fashion Week to find a dinner of pasta with vegan mushroom cream sauce waiting for me. It's nurturing things like this that make my heart sing!
  • Foggy, crisp autumn mornings like yesterday's.
  • Winning contests! I used to never win contests! I guess my luck is changing, or I'm changing my own luck! Thanks, Miss SLY!
  • "You look like a big, sexy kitty!"
These videos:

I've been watching this video a lot this week. Because Kurt's my favourite character on Glee, and Gypsy is one of my favourite musicals.

Here's the full version, with the lovely Bernadette Peters.

"He ejaculates in my wound." Brilliant.

This video's been making the rounds in the blog world for the last couple of weeks. Watch it, please.

If there's one thing I love more than anything in the world, it's men in drag with one thing off. Keeping a masculine aspect. Like his moustache.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Have No Fear!

My friends, I promise you that my coverage of Ottawa Fashion Week is on its way! I have been busy transcribing my voice notes and organising my thoughts!

To tide you over in the meantime, here's my column at Apartment 613 this month—the subject: menswear.

Ottawa Fashion Week coverage later today, fingers crossed!