Category Archives: From Mary’s Desk

Happy Father’s Day

Father's Day 2016

This is a photo that I took of my dad around 2000 or 2001. (Unlike me with an extremely heavy eyeglass prescription, my dad had excellent eyesight, even in his 70s. He only needed glasses for reading, and his prescription was very light.)

Today’s post is my annual tribute to my dad for Father’s Day. He passed away in 2010. He had an aneurysm and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, but didn’t make it out of the ER. Needless to say, it was devastating, and it all happened so quickly that you couldn’t prepare for this tragedy.

I had a very close and loving relationship with my father, which is why I continue to write about him each year. Sometimes, I sprinkle memories about him in my usual beauty posts, too.

(You can read the previous posts about my dad that I published on the blog in 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. For those who are only interested in my nail or beauty blog posts, things will be going back to usual in the coming week.)

I almost can’t believe that it has already been six years. Time flies, whether or not you’re having fun. But life isn’t always about having fun and the good times. It’s about growing and learning, as well as having the courage to pick yourself up and carry on, even when your instinct is to curl up in a fetal position.

Each year that I sit down to prepare a Happy Father’s Day post, it’s always a struggle where I’m fighting back tears and thinking about aborting the task several times.

But the drive to honour my father propels me, and I remind myself that I have already accomplished tasks that I previously thought were impossible. (What you are capable or incapable of doing is up to you.)

For instance, when my father passed away, the last thing I wanted to do was to write a eulogy. Emotions were high, and the act of writing seemed trivial at a time when my world was caving in.

But I did it. And I read it aloud to friends and family during the visitation at the funeral home because I wanted to honour my dad’s life, his legacy, and what his love for me meant.

I also was one of the pallbearers.

If I can do that, then I can certainly do this.

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Harbourfront in Toronto for Victoria Day

OPI The I's Have It Swatch Harbourfront

Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada, and it was gorgeous with the sun beating down and the mercury rising!

If you follow me on social media, you already saw the above photo that I shared from when I went to Harbourfront in Toronto.

Enjoying the dancing waves, the sunshine making the water sparkle, and feeling the gentle breeze kiss your face are all experiences that everyone must have at some point. It is simply magical!

I only snapped a few photos during the day because I wanted to soak in everything, rather than be stuck behind my smartphone. Live in the moment!

Since I don’t have a nail-polish review for today (it’s coming soon), I decided to instead share some photos from Harbourfront to spread that summertime feeling! 🙂

On my nails: OPI The I’s Have It (from the Alice Through the Looking Glass Collection).

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Happy Victoria Day!

Bikini Nail Polish Victoria Day 2016

To my fellow Canadians who are celebrating the long weekend, Happy Victoria Day!

Whether you’re enjoying the beautiful sunshine at the park, or you’re swimming like I did the other day, I hope that you have a fun time spent with loved ones.

I’ll be relaxing today, but an in-depth nail-polish review is next on my To Do List, so you can expect that soon. (You know that I can’t stay away from blogging for long!)

Nail polishes shown:

Also shown is my favourite bikini that I purchased from La Vie en Rose a couple of years ago. It’s extremely comfortable, and I love this style because, if you’re petite like me, it’s handy to have so many ties that you can adjust to customize the fit.

Disclosure: This post contains nail-polish press samples provided by PR.


My Exclusive Interview with Maribeth Madron, Makeup Artist & Eyebrow Specialist

Maribeth Madron

Whenever I get the chance to promote smart, successful, and talented women, I leap like a frog at the chance because their examples serve to remind us all of what you can achieve when you embrace potential, push up your sleeves to work hard, set and achieve goals, and never settle for mediocrity.

In today’s post, I share my Exclusive Interview with Maribeth Madron, who is a highly acclaimed makeup artist and eyebrow specialist.

I was honoured that the queen of eyebrows and makeup took the time to answer my questions, so that I could help others get their eyebrows on fleek!

Continuing to make her indelible and inspiration mark on the beauty industry, she has numerous recognitions including Best for Brows by Allure (eight times!), Best for Makeup, Best for Wedding Makeup, and a feature in Vogue’s prestigious beauty listing, “The Guide” for her brow work.

Working hard and remaining dedicated to her passion have always been part of her repertoire, as she began training since she was a teenager!

To date, under her belt, she has 10 years as Laura Mercier’s international makeup artist and educator.

Over the course of her fast-paced career, she has made personal appearances, been a globetrotter for press events, photo shoots, launches, and educational seminars. Clearly, there’s never a dull moment, and her drive propels her to tackle new and greater challenges.

Taking the beauty, entertainment, and fashion industries by storm, her work has been featured on many of today’s popular shows on television: The Today Show, Access Hollywood, The Bachelorette Wedding, the Grammy Awards, the Tonys, Good Morning America, The View, Late Show with David Letterman, Extreme Makeover, and Fashion Emergency.

Her work has been also featured in print in many of the top beauty, fashion, and lifestyle magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar (HK), Vanity Fair, Allure, Marie Claire (UK), and Ladies’ Home Journal.

Being able to juggle everything, she still also squeezed in time to be a frequent panelist for the Women’s Healthy Beauty Product Awards, and she was an Emmy Awards judge in the makeup categories.

Since 2013, Maribeth has been Maybelline‘s Global Brow Expert, and she’s involved in many of their initiatives including product development, as well product launches and print and video shoots.

Keep reading the rest of this post to get the lowdown on tips for keeping your brow game strong and insight into the upcoming brow trends, according to Maribeth in my exclusive interview!

Also, I talk about my eyebrow journey when I was a teen. (Hands up if you also tweezed too much in the 90’s!)

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Help Provide Fort McMurray Fire Relief Support

Fort McMurray Fire

The above photo was captured by Sarah Peats (@SarahPeats1 on Twitter). She was born and raised in Northern Alberta. Her tweet reads: “Praying I have a home to go back to. Fire isn’t over officials say the worst is yet to come. #FortMcMurrayStrong” This was one of the many tweets I came across that compelled me to write this blog post.

Hey everyone,

I was going to publish my usual post about beauty products. However, I had some things on my mind that I wanted to share, following the catastrophic events in the news. (If you’re not interested and want your usual daily dose of nail polish, check out my social media. I will still post a manicure on there later today.)

While I don’t live in Alberta, which is in a state of emergency, I am Canadian, and it hit me hard to learn about the raging wildfire in Fort McMurray.

The countless images and videos I’ve seen of the Fort McMurray fire sent shivers up my spine. All the flames and smoke remind me of what I envision hell to look like.

Many families have had to evacuate their homes, knowing that they may have nothing but rubble and soot to return to afterwards. *Sigh* I can’t even imagine how that feels. It’s the province’s largest evacuation of over 70,000 people.

If you’re an evacuee:

Forget about your opinion on the oil industry, politics, and climate change for a second. Don’t even add insult to injury to the people who have been torn from their homes by making snarky and distasteful remarks. Sadly, I’ve seen a bunch of these social-media posts.

Remember that people are being ripped from their homes and the things most precious to them. They’ve had to abandon the things that have made their house a home. They’ll have to rebuild their lives, not just their homes. Think about that.

At the time of writing this, so far, there have been no fatalities, which is amazing and something to be truly grateful for! Also, some women have gone into labour while being stuck in traffic during all of this!

Through any catastrophe, there’s always a beacon of light, and we shouldn’t ignore it because it breathes hope back into humanity.

Sometimes, it takes the worst situations to remind us of the best in people.

I am thankful for all the firefighters and emergency first responders who risk their lives daily to help the rest of us feel safe. I am also inspired by the numerous volunteers who so generously give their valuable time to help others in need.

The full extent of the Fort McMurray fire probably hasn’t been realized just yet, and the community will have to rebuild from the ground up when it’s all over.

The rest of this post includes additional information for how to contribute to the Fort McMurray Fire Relief Support.

How to Help with Fort McMurray Fire Relief Support

Donation to the Canadian Red Cross via the Website

To help them get back on their feet faster and also to help with the immediate relief support, I strongly urge you to give what you can and donate to the Canadian Red Cross. They have an official Alberta Fires Appeal where your contribution can make a huge difference, whether you donate $5, $5,000, or anything else.

The Canadian Red Cross’ website accepts donations via credit card or PayPal, and you don’t have to be a Canadian to contribute. (There’s a drop-down menu, so you can select your country of residence.)

The Alberta government will be matching dollar-for-dollar donations made to the Canadian Red Cross for Fort McMurray.

According to Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Canadian government will not only provide future assistance, but will also match charitable donations to the Canadian Red Cross for Fort McMurray.

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My Thoughts on the Sephora Epic Rewards (aka Sephora Epic Fail) Yesterday

Sephora Epic Fail Epic Rewards

Yesterday, most Sephora customers (myself included) felt like Chris Bosh.

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re a beauty enthusiast like me and you spend a good chunk of change at Sephora (also known as a makeup paradise).

But with the Sephora Epic Rewards fiasco yesterday, many have been referring to it as a Sephora Epic Fail!

Is Sephora now a paradise lost?

Today, I share with you my honest, raw opinion about how everything unfolded.

Although it’s a departure from my usual nail-polish and beauty-product reviews, I feel that the topic is worth discussing because: 1) This is a beauty blog, 2) Some of my readers were probably affected, and 3) I was one of the people who tried to score the Sephora Epic Rewards and didn’t.

This post isn’t a rant. It contains constructive criticism and my viewpoint as a customer, the marketing missteps I think Sephora made, and how the company should see it as a lesson to be learned, so they can avoid making the same mistakes again and avoid a similar hailstorm of complaints.

Although I feel like I’m in the minority here, despite them being under attack from all angles, I still support Sephora and hope that they’ll find their footing again.

For the record, I’m very disappointed in what went down yesterday. They dropped the ball.

Readers, get comfy, and start painting your nails because this post is very text-heavy!

Also, if you were affected by the Sephora Epic Rewards event yesterday, how did you feel about it? Even if you didn’t participate, but heard about it, I’m curious to see which way the pendulum swings for you.

P.S. I added the caption to the image of Chris Bosh, which is from my video clip I posted over a year ago on Instagram. I think it expresses how a lot of Sephora customers feel.

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