Monday, November 25, 2013

Blue Tip and Glitter

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chai Thé Lounge

Exams are quickly sneaking up on us! Sometimes it’s important to change our study locations to best absorb all the information we’re trying to cram into our brains. Montreal is filled with cafés to study at but this week I want to talk about one of my favourites – Salon de Thé: Chaï Thé Lounge.

I’ve visited Chai already many times and there’s always something new to try on their menu. The tea selection includes a variety of green teas, black teas and herbal teas and is served in a colourful teapot with a matching teacup. A few of the flavours I’ve tried include Apple Spice, Spicy Chai, Bora Mango, Coconut, Mint Chocolate and one of my personal favourites - the Holiday Blend. As a bonus, they can turn any flavour of tea into a latté by steaming milk and adding a bit of sugar or sweetener. Although their specialty is tea, they also serve a variety of other warm drinks like hot chocolate (with different flavours), cappuccinos, mochas and espresso. Their cold drink menu is also quite extensive but I’ll save that for another week!

Not only does Chai serve some of the most delicious teas, they also have a large selection of desserts such as cupcakes, cookies, biscotti and my favourite, macarons! Their desserts are a perfect study snack or can even be packaged to go and given as a gift. Chai also sell accessories like teapots, tea infusers and travel mugs, which would also make great gifts for others (or yourself). My favourite gift to give though is a pack of 6 macarons with a tin of tea. You can choose any flavour of tea to be packaged in either a 50g, 100g, or 150g gorgeous tin which makes a great hostess gift.

In addition to its convenient location (Parc and Milton), Chai is currently offering extended hours during exam time so take advantage of this! A huge bonus is that the owner of Chai is also the owner of El Mundo, a café next door that services delicious soups and sandwiches. If you get hungry while studying you can order from the El Mundo menu and have it brought right to your table at Chai. Who wouldn’t want to go study there?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dotted Accent Nail

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Great Scent Search

Finding a fragrance that’s right for you can be a rather overwhelming process – especially if you walk into a department store and multiple sales people start attacking you with bottles. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of scent shopping.

1.    Try to go to a perfumery that specializes in helping you find the right scent. Search your area for a perfumery of apothecary and if you can’t find one then opt for the nearest department store. It’s worth searching for one because the people who work in a perfumery or apothecary tend to be very passionate about what they do. You want that when you invest in an expensive bottle of bliss! I go to Etiket in Montreal. Usually whoever is working there will ask you some questions about what you typically find yourself attracted to (if you don’t know they’ll help you figure it out!) and then they’ll walk you through variations in that fragrance family.

2.   Be Open! Some commonly used notes in perfumes come loaded with assumptions (old ladies wear roses, hippies wear patchouli, musk is dirty). Perfume is a complex and subtle art. One material used in one way will not even slightly resemble the same material used in another composition. Forget what you think you know and let yourself get lost in the smell.

3.   Use the little paper tabs that are provided. It is of course important to spray a perfume on your skin, but until you find one you’re really excited about and potentially want to purchase, you should only spray the tabs. When you spray the perfume on the tabs, avoid making contact with your nose. The scent will stay on your skin as you’re smelling every other fragrance.

4.   Don’t smell coffee beans, smell yourself! The best way to neutralize your nose is to smell your own care skin. It sounds silly but I usually smell my elbow or my shoulder because I don’t wear perfume there. It works a lot better than coffee beans because the beans confuse my nose!

5.    Lean about different notes. Everybody’s chemistry is a little different so you can’t make a general statement about top, middle and base notes. Typically, the top note is the first thing you smell when you spray or dab perfume on the skin. It lasts about 5-15 short minutes so enjoy it! Next you’ll get the middle of “heart” notes, which last about 30-45 minutes. Base notes give a fragrance its depth.

Of course, everyone’s tastes and preferences are different so I encourage you to be really patient and open-minded when scent shopping. I’ve learned that fragrances are a really important accessory. They leave a lasting impression on people you meet and can also evoke memories. My scent search was so fun at Etiket and it’s not over yet! I always love trying new fragrances and even try to change them up by season. I hope your search is as fun as mine is. Good luck!

Originally Posted on The Beauty Department

Monday, November 11, 2013

Movember Pastels

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Le Magasin Général du Vieux Montreal

Montreal is a gorgeous city filled with young professionals, students and of course visitors. One of my favourite things to do here is to host family and friends that come to Montreal for a visit. It’s a great chance for me to explore more of the city, find hidden gems and sites, and of course spend time with those I care about!

My most recent visitor was my cousin, S. Together we toured the McGill campus, went shopping, hit the town and of course explored all the beautiful sites of Old Port. While we were in Old Port we stumbled across a cute store right by the water called Le Magasin Général du Vieux Montréal on Rue de la Commune. This market had gorgeous trinkets and treasures that included but were not limited to jewelry, home decorations and unique gifts.


In the back of the store we found a little café-like bistro that served everything from hors d’oeuvres, wine, soups, sandwiches, desserts and of course coffee! All of their food was homemade and seasonal! We started with bruschetta as an appetizer and then I ordered a chai latté and S ordered a glass of warm milk with butterscotch flavouring. It was the perfect afternoon snack to tie us over until dinner, and our drinks warmed us up after the chilly walk through Old Port.

Although Le Magasin du Vieux Montréal opened in 2010 the bistro only opened in 2013. The bistro is a beautiful yet small space with exposed brick and a grand piano in the corner giving it a very cozy and rustic feel. It was filled with couples, friends and families all stopping in for a snack after their shopping. It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas shopping and this boutique is definitely a good place to check for those family members who are harder to pick gifts for! Le Magasin du Vieux Montréal has everything you could possibly be looking for!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Black and Silver Glitter Base Line

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rancé II: Le Vainqueur

Last week I wrote about Eugénie – my favourite women’s fragrance in the Rancé collection. This week I explored the men’s fragrances at Etiket in pursuit of some gift ideas. I was drawn to the men’s fragrances especially in Rancé’s Imperial Collection. My pick is Le Vainqueur, a gorgeous yet strong scent.

This fragrance was created in 1805 by François Rancé himself. It was crafted as a dedication to Napoleon in his success. This woodsy scent is perfectly balanced with citrus and floral notes to create a fresh, Mediterranean fragrance.

Head Notes: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Ginger, Melon, Watermelon, Italian Mandarin

Heart Notes: Lavender, Geranium, Lily of the Valley, Nutmeg, Calabrian Jasmine

Base Notes: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Florentine Iris, Leather, Ambergris, Musk

 Le Vainqueur is a fragrance about success. It is full of spirit and confidence – a perfect choice for a businessman. The gorgeous obelisk bottle captures victory itself.  Similar to the other Rancé perfumes, Le Vainqueur has a long life and changes once the notes open. Discover Rancé at here.

The spirit of all Rancé perfumes reflect tradition, innovation and naturalness.