Category Archives: Fashion

The Hive hair salon, Victoria

On the day of my birthday, I treated myself to a much-needed haircut. After a few requests on Twitter, I was referred to The Hive salon in downtown Victoria.

I once read somewhere (it must have been an older version of the Ocean Island Hostel guide) that there are probably more hairdressers per capita in Victoria than anywhere else in Canada. If you’ve ever walked through downtown Victoria, you’ll get their gist: there are probably more salons than there are clothing stores. This town certainly isn’t in need of good hairstylists.

This isn’t a review of the haircut (even though I am very happy with it!). I just found the place amazingly quirky, feminine and awesome. The salon is filled with antique furniture, old hairstyling accessories and a bunch of accessories and products for sale.

Here’s the salon space, with high ceiling and bare brick wall:

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An old blowdryer:

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Tea or coffee from the cutest little cupboard:

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Worthy of a lady’s dresser:

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I must say that the service was excellent and I loved my haircut. Christina did a great job with my thin and rather limp hair. They even offer complimentary bang trimmings!

The Hive hair salon
714 Cormorant St., Victoria
250-361-4473
They even have a blog!

Disclaimer: I paid for my haircut and wasn’t asked to write a post in any way. I just wanted to share a great spot in Victoria for some great haircare. Opinions are always my own.

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Finding the Right Bra

Curvy girls need chest love too. Elomi Caitlyn in sapphire. Model available at Victoria Classic Lingerie.

Now don’t get too excited. There won’t be any bra-clad pictures of me in this post. Enjoy this photo of a model instead.

You may remember my rant to the fashion world. There is a problem with the fashion outlets in this country. In Europe, they found a great way to cater to big-boobed girls… but that’s another post.

In any case, sick of living in my now too-small lululemon sports bras (my recent weight gain turned my DD cup into a G cup) and coming home with chafed shoulders and a painful bust, I needed help, and fast. After a quick Google search on places in Victoria that do bra fittings, I discovered this little hidden gem: Victoria Classic Lingerie on Fort at Linden.

A failed attempt to visit on Saturday (they are closed during holiday weekends) didn’t detract me from visiting after work today. The lovely Kirsten helped me find the perfect bra for my new size with humour, care and discretion. They have a great selection of bras for us curvy girls and even for the smaller ladies out there. They take the time to fit you to the right size (I must have tried 7-8 different bras) and to give you fitting and wearing tips. They also have great accessories like silicone pads and just regular nightwear as well.

Victoria Classic Lingerie is the only spot in Victoria that I know offers sizes up to K in certain models. Trust the advice of a girl whose daily comfort depends mostly on her bra: once you get a bra that fits you perfectly from a professional fitter, you’ll never go back to mass bra retailers that will remain nameless.

Victoria Classic Lingerie
1181 Fort Street (at Linden Ave)
Hours: 10h to 5h30, Monday to Saturday
ViCLingerie on Twitter
Victoria Classic Lingerie on Facebook

P.S.: Did I mention there’s free 90-minute parking on Fort once you go past Linden? Don’t pay for parking lower down the hill!

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Color Shift Eye by Bare Minerals (review)

If you didn’t already know, I love make-up. In the same shopping trip when I bought the Tarte True Blood case, I also got myself a little glitter from Bare Minerals.

Bare Minerals has a lot of kits available at Sephora, so I bought the one that included that new eyeshadow they came up with this fall: Color Shift eye.

The kit comes with the eyeshadow, a brush, mascara, a lip gloss and blush. I’m just going to review the brush (because it’s awesome) and the eyeshadow (because it’s an original product).

The basic idea of the Color Shift eye is that it changes color with a little buffing. In the bottle, the powder looks gold. It remains so when applied loosely, but if you blend it into your skin, it turns blue.

To be honest, I’ve had trouble keeping the gold color when I actually apply it to my eyelids. It turns blue pretty quickly. It’s a pale blue that looks almost grey in some lights. I also had creasing problems after a long day of wearing it. Maybe if I used a primer it would hold better.

My favourite part of the kit has been the brush. The slim, tapered end is great for precision work and for lining the eyes. The blending end is perfect for the crease and for blending dark eyeliners.

The concept of Color Shift eye is interesting: two complimentary colors in one bottle. However, it’s a bit hard to keep the gold as even just a little bit of blending turns it blue. Lucky I have another gold powder, because I like the mix of gold and blue–I have blue eyes and a warm complexion.

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True Blood Eyeshadow Case by Tarte (review)

On Friday September 9th I had something like 3.5 hours to kill between the media premiere of Trouble in Tahiti, a play for Fringe (see my review here) and my boyfriend coming in town for the weekend, so I headed downtown for a bit of window shopping.

The “window” became actual shopping as, against my better judgement, I walked into Sephora at the Pacific Centre.

I used to be a makeup addict as a teenager. I had a bit of acne, and in high school I also thought that starting to use makeup and being fashionable would make me cooler (it didn’t). A bit into my early 20s, I stopped bothering with makeup altogether since I realized that 1. it made my skin worse and 2. it wouldn’t bring me any friends. But one of the first web sites I ever coded was a makeup trends and tips site.

This city does things to you. It brought me back into fashion and cosmetics with a vengeance. Long story short, at Sephora I saw this:

Shiny. True Blood-themed. By Tarte, an environmentally-friendly cosmetic company who avoids mineral oils, parabens and other harmful chemicals. 17 shades of eye shadow with a mascara, an eyelid primer and an eyeliner. Value: 400$. Price: 68$. Comes with tutorials for 4 different looks. Best thing about it: the case.

I’ve just used some of the colors yesterday for an event, and I must say I was pleased with the quality of the color. They didn’t crease even after 8 hours of wearing. The aqua-gel eyeliner was a pleasure to apply and left a cool sensation on my eyelids.

With so many colors, all perfect for the new fall season, you’ll always have something that matches your outfits. You can use one of the four looks provided by True Blood’s award-winning makeup artist, or invent your own.

I don’t think I’ll wear much of the blue, yellow or green, but I have a lot of pink and purple stuff this season that goes perfectly well with the palette.

There were only a few left on Friday, so you might want to head down to your closest Sephora soon if you want to grab one!

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Modalu Pippa Portfolio Bag (review)

In another life, I studied fashion marketing.

Yes, shocking I know! My move to Vancouver brought me back full circle to my love of everything fashion–especially cosmetics (I used to be a make-up fiend). Sephora is now my favourite shopping place.

I also tend to self-medicate with shopping when I am stressed or upset, and access to shopping malls in this city is so damn easy (contrary to Edmonton), so last week I spent the most I ever did on a bag:

Modalu Pippa Portfolio bag

My precious...

This is a Modalu Pippa Portfolio–and yes the Pippa is for Pippa Middleton, because she is seen wearing Modalu Bags around London. I’m no stranger to expensive bags (I own three Lululemon bags), but this one was the most pricey of them all.

This is an awfully pretty bag. For 250$, it better be… I love the faux-croc look of the leather. Gives it an elegance that it wouldn’t have with plain patent leather. The handles are solid and easy to grasp. I don’t really like the shoulder strap though; it’s too thin and it dug uncomfortably in my shoulder.

You can slip your laptop or iPad in one of the two side pockets, or you can use them for documents. There’s a handy zipped pocket as well to stash valuables like your wallet. Since it’s a portfolio bag, it’s meant to be narrow, but there’s still plenty of space, as long as whatever you’re carrying isn’t too wide.

The front features two zipped pockets and the back has one large one. There’s more than enough space for your keys, phone, sunglasses and whatever you need on hand quickly.

I’ve only taken the bag out once, but I imagine it’ll come handy when I actually have to carry stuff to work. When I have a job. Soon. Hopefully. Because I have good skills that only need to be discovered. Anyway. It was a bit big for just my iPad, my Kindle and my wallet, but I can see it becoming useful for carrying more stuff.

I love my Pippa bag. It’s very pretty. It doesn’t break dance but it makes me look like a serious professional. There are many different models that look a little less formal; I might grab myself a smaller model for casual days.

You can find Modalu bags in a Town Shoes store near you!

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Big breasts: A fashion rant

I can’t escape it: I have big boobs. DD cups. It’s a fact of my body that I have to learn to live with every single day, through the shoulder pain from bras and the bouncing and the staring if I wear anything remotely revealing.

Fashion designers and buyers for clothing stores: THINK ABOUT US. Average bra cup size in the US is a D–Canada can’t be that far from that, at the very minimum a C.

Why then, I ask you, are most clothes made to fit B-cup sizes or smaller? Why do the princess seams on blouses and tops only fit women with breasts at most 3-4 inches tall? I can’t buy those tops because the seam ends up in the middle of my chest. I only get a limited amount of choice because my completely natural and normal bra size doesn’t fit with your idea of who should be able to wear your clothes.

Anabelle in Cuba

I have big boobs. It's not as easy as it seems.

Understand my dilemma: I’m not big enough to go to “big girl” type stores, but regular-sized stores can hardly dress me because of my chest. I’m stuck in the middle, having to buy the boring t-shirts and the lose tops because I can’t wear the frilly, the halter, the strapless or the one-shoulder tops (I always, always need to wear a bra with shoulder straps).

I know that women have been calling for a more realistic fashion world for years. My personal rant probably won’t change much, but at least I’m adding my voice to the clamour. Here’s the gist of my issues with fashion these days:

Most women are not the size-0, skinny sticks your clothes are made for. Bebe with the biggest size 10 that’s still like an 8, I’m thinking about you.

Women have curves and breasts, and they won’t all fit in your tights or your lace body suits. American Apparel, I’m thinking about you.

GET RID OF PRINCESS SEAMS. Or put them lower at higher sizes (because God knows a DD-girl will never wear a size 2 top). This applies to absolutely everyone.

Get feedback from real women, not just models. Real women wear your clothes on the street, not models. Again, everyone.

So that’s my Frivolous Friday rant for this week… Sometime it will be happy, I promise :) Next week I’ll review the most expensive bag I ever bought in my entire life… so stay tuned!

So, what are your fashion problems? What would you like clothing retailers to change in how they imagine women’s bodies?

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Frivolous Fridays: Leggings

I was walking along Robson this afternoon and I saw something interesting in the window of GAP: “Leggings are the new denim”. Now don’t get me wrong, I like fashion like the next gal, but really? Leggings are going to disappear like stirrup pants did in the 80s.

Tights are not pants

Tights are not pants.

A little history–I resisted the wearing of leggings (or tights as pants) for a few years before I finally gave

in, on certain conditions. There are some girls who just don’t get that leggings are really just tights without feet. Lindsay Lohan is NOT a trustworthy fashion icon. Unless you enjoy orange prison jumpsuits.

This means that your top that doesn’t go past your waist? Yeah, it doesn’t go with those leggings. They’re meant to be worn with something that goes at least mini-skirt length. I know they’ve started making thicker leggings, almost pants, so that there’s no more transparency effect. But in that case they become nothing more than cigarette or skinny pants with another name.

I do wear leggings once in a while, but only with longer tops that don’t make me look like I forgot to put on my pants. But a lot of girls still haven’t learned that lesson. I call it the TMI look.

Is there a current fashion trend that you think is completely ridiculous? How far are you willing to give up your dignity simply to follow the fashion?

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