Monday, December 30, 2013

Eyebrow Threading in Vancouver: 4 Angels Beauty Care Inc.

Last Saturday I had the absolute pleasure of getting my eyebrows done at 4 Angels Beauty Care Inc. in Vancouver.  I met Navkiran and her daughter Sifti at a blogger event in early December, where 4 Angels was a sponsor. They were so friendly - not to mention the fact that they both had amazing eyebrows - and when they offered me a complimentary brow threading for editorial consideration (did you see that fancy phrase I just threw in there?), I was like, "Is this real life?"

It was.

A couple weeks after meeting them and getting their card at the blogger event, I tested my luck by calling them up on a Saturday morning to see if they could fit me into their schedule. Spoiler alert: They could. I'd purposely let my brows get a little out of control before making an appointment, in order to get a true feel for the work that Navkiran could do. Also - there's no point in heading into a brow shaping appointment with already-fine brows, right? Right.

So with my brows all a'bushy, I made the walk over the Burrard Bridge from my Kitsilano apartment to 4 Angels Beauty Care at 1342 Burrard St in Vancouver.

4 Angels Beauty Care, Inc. on Burrard St in Vancouver
.  i love the turquoise theme they have going on in the shop  .

Walking into 4 Angels I was literally welcomed by Navkiran and Sifti with a big smile and a hug - told you they were super friendly - and was invited to have a seat in one of their reclining salon chairs.

Sifti and Navkiran of 4 Angels Beauty Care Inc in Vancouver
.  sifti and navkiran

Inside 4 Angels Beauty Care Inc in Vancouver
.  i'm totally photobombing my own picture here  .

We started with a short consultation about my brows - their current condition, any concerns I had, and what shape would best suit my face.  I'd never had my brows threaded before, so this entire experience was new to me. On top of the threading aspect, it was also in the back of my mind that it might be nice to get my brows tinted as well. Navkiran explained the process for tinting, letting me know that she could make them darker gradually so that I could see how they looked after each application.

After the consultation, Navkiran got to work!

Here's what we were starting with:

Sidebar before we go too much further - I was extremely uncomfortable with having so many super close-up shots of my face in this post. How awkward. But I can't very well write a full blog about my eyebrow threading experience without including any photos of my eyebrows, which happen to reside quite close to the rest of my face. So... HELLO CLOSE-UPS.

Anyway... told you I let my brows get a bit nuts. I hadn't trimmed or tweezed them in a couple of weeks at least! And you can see in the above photo that my brows are quite blonde - blonder than the hair on my head. I used to have platinum blonde hair as a child, and my eyebrows never quite caught up with my gradually brunette-ing hair as I got older. Add to that the fact that I'm not the type to apply makeup to my eyebrows, and my blonde eyebrows were extra ready to be tinted.

Navkiran applied the wet tinting dye to my brows, leaving it on for one minute. After the first minute, she wiped if off and we both evaluated the situation. My brows could stand to go a bit darker, so she applied more dye and we went for an additional minute. I liked the way they looked at that point - they were darker but still natural looking. Definitely closer to the color on my head. It's a little tricky to tell in this picture... but you'll see what I mean in a later picture. KEEP READING.

.  oh hey girl  .

Next was the brow shaping! Navkiran is an expert on what proper brows should look like, so she drew the "right" shape onto my brow area with a white pencil and then proceeded to thread all of the hairs that fell outside that outline:

If you've never had your brows threaded before, perhaps you might like to know what it's like. Navkiran had me help out by pulling the skin around my brows/temples taut and then she used her twisted cotton thread to quickly pull each hair out by the root. You can watch a video of a threading process (not mine) here. My eye were closed while she was doing it to me, so I couldn't actually see what she was doing. I only figured it out by watching that YouTube video haha! My eyes watered a tiny bit, but that's inevitable. It didn't hurt really - just a slight pinching feeling.

After the threading, she trimmed my brows...

.  peek-a-boo  .

And then finished up with a looovely aloe lotion massage of my brows and face. It was so relaxing, and I probably could have fallen asleep there. By the way, this might be a relevant time to mention that they also have an array of massage services at 4 Angels, in case that interests you! I'm a big fan of massages so it probably won't be too long before I head back there to get a neck/shoulder massage.

After the little face massage, Navkiran turned to her makeup tools and talked me through how she was filling in my brows. I was really impressed by the sturdiness of the little angled brush she was using to fill in my brows, so it was lucky for me that they happened to sell them right at the salon. I definitely bought one (and a new eyebrow makeup pallet... in case I do want to become the type of girl who puts makeup on her eyebrows).

I didn't take a close up picture of my brows after the makeup application, but you'll still be able to tell in the further-away picture below...

.  sifti and me  .

The fact that you can even see my brows in the above picture is a massive improvement over where we started!

So officially, I had the Divine Brows and Superb Brow-Tint services done:

Brow services at 4 Angels Beauty Care, Inc in Vancouver

Here are some more views from inside the salon... The turquoise theme is so pretty:

Jewelry for sale inside 4 Angels Beauty Care in Vancouver

Interior of 4 Angels Beauty Care, Inc, with their Christmas decorations up!
.  some of their christmas decorations  .
Christmas decorations inside 4 Angels Beauty Care

Comfy couch and colorful pillows inside of 4 Angels Beauty Care in Vancouver

Turquoise bottles of lotions at a beauty salon

Salon chairs inside 4 Angels Beauty Care

Now that I've had my brows threaded at 4 Angels, I see no reason why I'd ever go get my brows waxed anywhere again. It does cost a bit more than a hasty waxing job at some other places, but the care and precision that Navkiran took while she worked her magic was worth the extra money. And as for the tinting - which should last about a month - I'm obsessed with the fact that I can SEE my brows now. David has been tolerating my constant gushing about how much I love my "new brows" ever since my afternoon at the salon!

Thank you again to Navkiran and Sifti for their hospitality and expertise. I very much look forward to heading back, and I hope that you will check out their salon as well! Here's where you can find them:

4 Angels Beauty Care Inc.
1342 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC

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Disclaimer: I was provided this eyebrow shaping/tinting for free in exchange for this review, but all thoughts and opinions are mine, allllll miiiiiine!!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!! I did purchase some lovely products while I was at the salon though - a new eyebrow makeup brush and a new makeup pallet for light brows.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Starry Night New Year's Eve Nails

So as I was painting my nails last night, David looked over at them and said, "That looks like a starry night." He was right. Thus, the title for today's nail polish post!

If you're into getting yo' glam on for New Year's Eve, but don't have a ton of sequins in your wardrobe - these nails are for you. The silver sparkles will catch the light, and after you slap a nice shiny top coat on these little ladies, everyone will forget to kiss each other at midnight because they'll be too busy staring at your dazzling digits.

Revlon Stiletto black nail polish with silver glitter polish on top of it.

I used three coats of Revlon's Stiletto polish on all of my nails, then topped them with one coat of Pure Ice's Beware and one coat of Love & Beauty's Crystal Silver.

Black nail polish with silver glitter

Black nail polish with silver glitter, perfect for New Year's Eve!

Black nail polish with silver glitter, New Year's Eve nails

New Year's Eve nails, black nail polish with silver glitter

Do you have plans for New Year's Eve yet? I don't foresee anything raucous in my future, personally. Last year we just took a long walk into downtown Vancouver, all the way to the waterfront, and did some late-night people-watching. I'm perfectly happy doing something like that again!

And as a random parting sidebar, my 2013 New Year's resolution of "be gentler when brushing my teeth" has been going really well all year long. *Fist bump to myself*

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Few Good (Winter) Things

Like most people, my life has been a bit busier the last month or two. I've taken lots of pictures and done some fun things... but haven't had the time to blog about them! Consider this particular Few Good Things post a bit of a photo dump, and take a peek into my recent life in pictures. Also... it's more like "a TON of good things" than just a few, so... brace yaself.

I spotted some pretty colors and flora while out for a late-November walk...

Late fall scene, berry bush beside a green shrub in Vancouver

Tree and seagrass in Vancouver

Trees against a green hedge in Vancouver, early winter

The Lights of Hope in front of St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver:

The Lights of Hope in front of St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver
.  lights of hope is an annual fundraiser  .

I walked down to the waterfront to see the Vancouver tree lighting ceremony on December 6...

Vancouver Christmas tree lighting ceremony, 2013

This year I wrapped all of my family's presents in brown parcel paper, 
tied with hemp cord and red sparkly string:

Presents wrapped in brown parcel paper, tied with hemp cord and red string

A few random shots of our Christmas tree...

Close up of Christmas tree with white lights

Christmas tree with white lights

Presents under a tree, wrapped in brown parcel paper
.  you might have seen me share this picture on my facebook page!  .

On December 8, Dave and I took a walk along the Seaside Bike Path...

Boat capsized along the Seaside Bike Path in Vancouver
.  this boat didn't appear to be doing well...  .

Ships in the English Bay, Vancouver
.  view of the tankers out in english bay  .

Blue Vancouver skies in December
.  sunny december skies  .

It snowed a bit on December 9, and we took a walk through the quiet snow that evening...

Kitsilano Beach under a layer of snow, and ships in the English Bay
.  kitsilano beach under a thin layer of snow  .

Bald eagles in a tree in Vancouver
.  my buddies, the two bald eagles near my apartment, hanging out in the quiet snowy night  .

I found Smarties flavored candy canes at The Candy Aisle in Vancouver...

Smarties flavored candy canes from the Candy Aisle in Vancouver
.  in canada, "smarties" are a totally different candy than the smarties in america - this was an import item!  .

On December 15, Dave and I took a nice long walk to Stanley Park...

Bright red tree in front of a bright green tree in Vancouver
.  pretty colors!  .

Bright red tree in front of a bright green tree in Vancouver, Stanley Park

Hummingbird in Stanley Park, Vancouver
.  i spotted a hummingbird in the park  .

Huge tree in Vancouver's Stanley Park
.  some of the trees in stanley park are huuuuuuuuuge  .
.  sorry, i couldn't resist putting this BIG picture in here!  .

Sun coming through the trees in Stanley Park in Vancouver
.  sun rays through the woods in stanley park  .

On December 20 it snowed. On my palm tree. JUXTAPOSITION.

A palm tree in Vancouver covered in winter snow.
.  the palm tree on our porch, covered in snow  .

So that's just a random smattering of the things we've been doing around here lately. As I mentioned earlier this week, we went up to Whistler, BC for the 2 days leading up to Christmas. We did some hiking/snowshoeing on Monday and then enjoyed Whistler Village on Monday night and Tuesday morning before heading back to Vancouver. I'll share some pictures from our trip soon!

Did you do anything special on Christmas Eve? We ate grilled cheeses and rented Fred Claus last night - not a bad evening, if you ask me. Today we each FaceTime/Skyped with our families back on the east coast while our nieces/nephews opened presents. I love that the technology exists to let us all see each other, even when we're an entire country apart!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and that Santa brought you everything that you wanted. Now, who is with me on leaving up the Christmas trees and decorations until January 25th?

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Nails: Holiday Cheer!

Today we are heading off to Whistler for a mini pre-Christmas trip! We'll do some hiking, snowshoeing, and enjoying the winter wonderland while trying to avoid being run over by packs of rabid skiers. I actually haven't even checked the weather yet but hopefully we're not due for just straight rain for the next 2 days... that'd be a bit of a pre-Christmas bummer.

I didn't think there'd be much time to post any other blogs between now and Christmas so these may be my final Christmas nails. I hope they make you merry.

aka Bailey, Christmas nails, red, green, gold, nail polish

aka Bailey, Christmas nails, Milani Ruby Jewels, green, gold, nail polish
There are a ton of great Christmasy colors in my stash of polishes, so it was hard to choose which reds and greens would go into this look. Here are the colors that ended up on my nails: Ruby Jewels by Milani, Envy by Sinful Colors, Gold/Green from Love & Beauty, and A List by Essie.

Ruby Jewels by Milani, Envy by Sinful Colors, Gold/Green by Love & Beauty, A List by Essie

Ruby Jewels by Milani, Envy by Sinful Colors, Gold/Green by Love & Beauty, A List by Essie
Have I mentioned how much I love Milani's Ruby Jewels polish? (I have.) It's the perfect "Dorothy's ruby slippers" polish... so keep that in your sneaker for the next time you're looking for the right colors for your Wizard of Oz themed nails...

aka Bailey, nail polish, Milani Ruby Jewels

I changed things up a little bit on my right hand:
aka Bailey, nail polish, Christmas nails

Which do you like better?

I bought my first pair of snowshoes yesterday at MEC in Vancouver. In the past I've just rented snowshoes or borrowed Dave's. Now I have my own and am officially a big girl. #Score. I'm excited to break them in today in Whistler!

What are your Christmas plans? After we get back from Whistler, I'm looking forward to a day of at-home cooking (mostly by Dave), hot cocoa, and all-day movies on Wednesday. There are lots of small presents wrapped beneath our tree right now and I can't wait to dig in and unwrap them on Christmas morning - even if I bought/wrapped most of them myself!! HAHA! Is that weird? When I was a kid there were always PILES of presents beneath the tree, and it's pretty important to retain that feeling as I get older... don't you think?? The piles may be a lot smaller now, but they're still piles. ;)

Merry Christmas errrrrr'body!!

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