Lux Red Carpet Event Beauty Awards at High Street

Wow, just TYPING all of that hoity-toity text made me feel like a high-class kind of dame. Now, I’m not sure I’d classify myself as a high-class kind of dame, but I WOULD classify myself as a highly-prone-to-maximizing-extravaganzas-and-deals kind of dame. And maximize I did, this past Sunday, at the Lux Beauty Boutique Red Carpet Event.



Lux has closed their festive and bedazzled doors at High Street, so that they could open some different festive and bedazzled doors at High Street, just 2 sets of non-festive and non-bedazzled doors away. They now have an upstairs and a downstairs and the downstairs is where I want to have most of my birthday parties from now on. You can order in food, cart in drinks, lounge on their adorable and highly hip thrift shop style furniture, and get yourself prettified. This is good news for girls like me, who, at the age of actually-pretty-old, STILL don’t know how to do their makeup right!

That’s right. I love Lux. Luv Lux. I have Lux Luv. But I can’t cover/shellac/contour/lusterize for the life of me. I love Lux for the experience. I LOVE that they have stayed right in my 102 ave. bridge-stressed neighbourhood through all the dire and discouraging moments. I love their selection of smelly things. I love that I can get my Bumble & Bumble shampoo and conditioner there AND get points for it. I also love that if I time it right, I can restock said hair products whenever Lux has one of its glamorous events, at which I can either spin a wheel o’ prizes, snag a bag of swag, and/or win an amazing gift basket! (HAS NOT HAPPENED YET. NOTE TO LUX : AM WAITING PATIENTLY.)

I also have kind of a thing for Voluspa candles, which you can buy at Lux, or at a million other places, it seems now! (I’m going to totally ignore the fact that they are now for sale at Chapters – makes them smell just a little less exotic and just a little more Oprahbookclubbish.) This time, I brought the intrepid Robert with me and he settled in to choose our next candle.

We settled on Moso Bamboo, which is musky and cypressy and, I think, exudes quite an alluring and sensual scent. (Ok, the Voluspa adman thinks that, but I felt so mysterious writing those alluring and sensual words, I just had to go with it.)

While you feast your eyes on that beautiful  and ornate candle vessel, allow your eyes to drift upward in this photo that was supposed to be cropped, but avoided aforementioned croppage due to a mini-revelation. While I was inspecting the photo to see if any omnipresent 5 inch dog hairs had drifted into the frame, I noticed that somehow, by the luck of all things Danish and Scottish, I had captured three of my favourite lovely things! Alluring and sensual (ha) Voluspa candle, cookie jar full of Valrhona cocoa cookies, and bottle of  pretty good French wine. Really, all I have to do is light candle, pop cookie jar lid, and pour wine, and I’ve got a grown-up version of university de-stressing faves.

(For a liberating university version, replace Voluspa candle with twinkle lights strewn about bohemian closet-sized bedroom, Valrhona cookies with mega-pack of Double Stuf Oreos, and pretty good French wine with seriously bad Royal Red/Baby Duck/Copper Moon/Naked Grape.)

Note: As I am writing this, I have just realized: WHY do all of those wines bear monikers of 2 syllable-1 syllable form? Have I unearthed some kind of strange and surreal Da Vinci Code sort of ancient messaging system? Is there a desperate cry for help embedded in the names of many of the vinegary wines of today? Will members of an ancient secret society be hunting me and my 5 inch-haired dogs into oblivion as reprisal for this timely and shocking revelation?

But, I digress. (STRANGE, I know.)

Just go to Lux. If you love to breathe in beauty and scents, and chat with really friendly and knowledgeable and fun girls who know how to do their makeup, just go!





Might as well start with Duchess!

Writing about Duchess Bake Shop just seems like the correct celebratory way to start off my new digiwebsinternets journal! (The word blog is just so…blaawwwgggish)

Robert, my delightful husband, and I, walked over to our long-time favourite provider of coma-inducing baked lovelies. You have to know the treats are of astronomical quality if Robert will agree to wait in a long line of  elbows poking and toddler limbs flailing only to have to sit within 1.784 dm of neighbouring YELLY lady who could not seem to communicate any of her points to her luncheon partners without YELLING repeatedly and with gusto. I think he repeated his mantra, “There are wayyyyyy too many people in this world” about 5 times.

But, I digress. (How ODD for me.)

As is our wont, we ordered too much, with Robert telling the server, “We aren’t going to eat all of this HERE, for goodness sake. Of COURSE, we are taking most of it home.” This truly is our intention, every time. We are such innocents.

I started with my usual question: “Is there any chocolate bread pudding left?” Nope. Will I ever get my arse out of bed in time to catch the limited production run of my absolutefavourite? Must make it a weekend goal at some point. To soothe my chagrined soul, I ordered the small pumpkin pie, the savoury mushroom brioche, and a German gingerbread tea. I’ll blame the rest on Robert – the everything danish, the Hummingbird  loaf, 4 macarons (rose, caramel apple, Mexican hot chocolate and salted caramel), brioche pepin and a latte. Poor Robert was so depressed when he realized he had neglected to order his beloved tartiflette!


If you’ve never had the pumpkin pie from Duchess, and you are a pumpkin pie lover, you have erred mightily and you have only until the end of October to right your wrong! This pie is a weighty beast full of heavy cream and smacking of molasses. I can never finish a small pie, and that is truly saying something. SO GOOD.


The two savoury goods we well, savoured, were both so yummy, but so different. The mushroom brioche was subtle with cream cheese and a mushroom jam, and then some lovely mixed mushrooms. What I loved best was getting a snippet of thyme with my bite of mushroom. Felt like we were eating the brioche on a blanket at a picnic in a French forest. The everything danish really grabbed Robert. (those cheeky Danes!) The flavours were stronger and the leeks tasted so fresh. Robert marveled at the flakiness of the pastry – a Duchess signature!

The hummingbird loaf is an adorable-sized loaf of a nutty banana bread with cream cheese icing. Cream cheese icing is basically my kryptonite. And let me tell you, cream cheese icing can be done WRONG (as a certain orange-hued presidential candidate might say). This icing is a great balance of sweet and cream cheese. The only thing to improve is to quadruple the amount. (kidding. not kidding. at all.)  loaf

Robert loves his macarons and is a big fan of saying the word correctly. His all time favourite is salted caramel, but every month, he likes to try the new offerings. (Robert’s observations: Mexican hot chocolate was amazing, salted caramel please marry me, rose was smooshy but yummy, and caramel apple tasted like caramel apple.)


The brioche pepin was also a Robert favourite, and he said that it tasted better than ever! I have to agree. Maybe because we haven’t eaten it for a few months, but the vanilla bean creaminess and the chocolateyness melded together in its superbuttery bed of brioche just perfectly today. Yum!

I might also note that when we go to Duchess, I don’t just notice the baked delights. Without fail, there are always interesting fashion/hair/makeup/general look aesthetics going on, whether from customers or employees. Girl with long brown hair in ponytail with red lipstick, I LOVED your striped dress with speckled brown wool tights. You are an inspiration! I also envied the carefree bun of the blonde haired server there who, unlike me when I do a casual bun, did not look she was harbouring a bushy-tailed animal in her coif. And mesmerized I was by the realllly high nude stilettos of girlwithenormousdiamondring who, I might add, did not wobble one bit as she walked back and forth to fetch her latte and spoon and so on. Well done!

Yes, well done, all. We finished ALMOST all of our baked goods and had two rounds of our latte and tea. Thank you again, Duchess, for a lovely Sunday outing!