One of the regular features that I’ll be bringing to this site are monthly favourites! At the end of every month, I’ll go through things that were on my radar – whether it’s a movie, a song (or an album), beauty products, restaurants & food… you name it. If I loved it a ton that month, I’ll feature it here!
2016 started off great – I turned 27 a few weeks ago and I’ve gotten back into the swing of things at work after Christmas break.
Now let’s dive in!
When I turned 27 a few weeks ago, my friend Kim gifted me with this beautiful necklace, created by Marmalade Designs. The designer is based in Toronto and every piece is handmade in her studio. It’s a beautiful silver and bronze piece that has my initial, the crescent moon for my surname, and a garnet (my birthstone). It’s an incredibly thoughtful and personal gift which means the world to me because Kim totally knows my aesthetic (it’s delicate but not too frou frou) and I definitely love silver (especially this kind of burnished, antique look) over gold. All her pieces are absolutely adorable and I’ve been wearing mine every single day (as long as the neckline of my top allows it). Thanks, Kim. 🙂
I was stoked when this product got announced, and even more stoked when I found it in stores at Sephora because as of this writing, it’s not even on the Canadian Sephora site yet! This medium coverage tinted moisturizer-slash-foundation comes in twelve shades (I’m in Cuzco) and it’s quite possibly my new favourite foundation that I currently own. It’s lightweight but still covers my blemishes and redness, and it has SPF 30! Even though it has the SPF in it, I don’t have ghostly flashback in photos, either, which is a great plus. I know for sure that this’ll be my go-to for travel, especially when I visit the fam in Hawaii for days in the sun. I’ve been putting it to the test, wearing it for over eight hours all day at work (plus the 1.5 hour commute each way), and though I have to powder my nose at some point (inevitable, really), the rest of the finish is awesome. It’s the best base product I’ve used from NARS, for sure…and I’ll definitely be repurchasing!
Everyone and their mother has talked about this concealer since it first came out, but since I wasn’t really concealing until the last few months anyway, I wasn’t really dying to drop high-end price on a tube of the stuff. I finally did this month, though, and boy am I glad I did. It’s the perfect consistency and coverage for the under eye area! It brightens my face, covers dark circles, and as long as it’s set right, doesn’t crease or feel heavy at all. I totally get the hype now! Ride or die, man. Ride or die.
After yearning for it for months, I finally got my hands on the Foldio. It is, in essence, a collapsible lightbox / photo studio, perfect for small items. Case in point – I used it to shoot my makeup and necklace for today’s post! I also plan on using it for small food items and desserts. The best part is just how portable it is, which I think is absolutely fantastic. It folds up in seconds, and assembles thanks to some really smartly placed magnets! The LED lighting is powered by 1 (or 2) 9V batteries and is the perfect brightness.
The Foldio comes in a larger format as well, which I’ll probably invest in eventually – especially if I want to do full plates, but for now, this pup will do me just fine.
There’s An App For That
This app is an actual godsend. The perfect tool for mobile photography, it does everything you could dream of – whether you need to edit out a weed from a shot of flowers or you want to add text to images, or add filters, textures, brushes, borders… heck… you can even contort and shift photos (you know, the way they say the Kardashians do to make their waists smaller and butts bigger… though I don’t encourage dishonesty :P).
Though I still prefer VSCO for its preset filters, everything else Enlight does is unbelievable, and I think it’s entirely worth its one time price tag. In fact, all the photos I’ve edited for today’s post were done in Enlight (I didn’t touch Adobe Photoshop at all), and I’ll likely continue to do so for future posts. It’s user friendly, and teaches you how to use everything with ease – what more could you ask for?
Food / Dining
Timber Vancouver – $$-$$$
1300 Robson St., Vancouver
Ever since Chef Chris Whittaker opened Timber a few months ago, I’ve been dying to go. Aside from the fact that my good friend Selma works there and the fact that its fine(r) dining big sibling Forage is one of my favourite restaurants in the city, the concept behind the space intrigued me. The place has no reservations… just great drinks, cool atmosphere, Canadian fare, and quality delivered by Whittaker and his team. I finally got the chance to head over there and chow down and boy, was I ever pleased.
It may not be the type of place you’d go to daily, what with deep fried cheese curds, perogies smothered in kraut and onions (add the brisket, you won’t regret it), and a deep fried Nanaimo Bar that’s to die for… but it sure as hell is a place I’d go back to. Gladly. The service is amiable, the scents wafting from the open kitchen are mouthwatering, and the five (five!) different caesars (plus all the other cocktails) will keep you coming back. It’s the perfect after-5 place to go to for some beers with friends, catch a game on one of the TVs playing, and as long as you don’t mind the deer head on the wall and the stuffed beaver at the door (Canadiana!) then you’re going to be just fine.
My final favourite for the month is the album Covers, Vol. 1, by artist Ryan O’Neal, known by his moniker Sleeping At Last. The acoustic + singer-songwriter genre has always been what I’ve gravitated towards when I listen to music, probably because it’s the type of music I also perform. Discovering Sleeping At Last’s cover album was an absolute godsend to me! If you look at the titles above, they’re all very peppy, upbeat songs in their original form, but what Ryan has done is he’s reworked them to fit the genre – slowing them down, transforming them, making magic.
It’s no surprise to me that his work has been featured on Grey’s Anatomy. That blasted show has been on for far too long and I hate it with a passion (am I bitter that it’s been on for a decade while so many great shows see untimely demises? YES, YES I AM.)… but there’s no denying that Grey’s Anatomy has brought a lot of great musical artists into the mainstream (which some may argue isn’t cool, but I’m all for supporting artists and making them more prominent).
I’m certain Ryan’s work isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally okay, but it’s totally up my alley and the album has been on repeat for me. If there’s one you have to listen to, it’s definitely his reworking of The Proclaimers’ hit I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). I hope you check it out and understand just why I’m wowed by it. I’m looking forward to more from Ryan (as well as his fantastic original works).
So there you have it, folks. My favourites this month. What have been your favourite things in January? I’m stoked to see what February has in store.
Til the next post!