Win! My Pop Culture Inspired Holiday Book Giveaway!

 

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The **holiday season** is officially upon us! To mark this most momentous and joyous of occasions I am giving away 2 book sets of the years most pop culture worthy titles—with a healthy dose of Canadiana, ’cause really—there’s no place like home!

I can’t extol the virtues of reading more; whether for pleasure, inspiration, relaxation or to buttress the ’ol noggin —it’s one of my life’s simplest and yet, greatest pleasures!

As a book purist, I love the tactile feel of REAL books, and I’m bringing that gift to you courtesy of Indigo Chapters  & Pop Culture Rainman Reads!

TAH DAH! It’s the Razzle Dazzle of READING!

Check out these incredible titles! Each gift pack will include:

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The Best Kind of People Zoe Whithall

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?

With exquisite emotional precision, Canadian award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse. 

*In the interest of pop culture, many have compared it to a modern day “Ordinary People.

 

 

51j10qkqfsl__sy344_bo1204203200_The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo Amy Schumer

#1 New York Times Best Seller

“Amy Schumer’s book will make you love her even more. For a comedian of unbridled (and generally hilarious) causticity, Schumer has written a probing, confessional, unguarded, and, yes, majorly humanizing non-memoir, a book that trades less on sarcasm, and more on emotional resonance.” —Vogue

 

 

 

1501141511Born To Run Bruce Springsteen

The fiercely private Bruce Springsteen opens up about his strained relationship with his late father, his on going battle with depression and life on the road as lead singer of the tight knit E Street Band since 1972.

“Richly rewarding…Bruce Springsteen proves that he has takenon life fully engaged both in living and examining it, and in doing so, he’s delivered a story as profoundly inspiring as his best music…It’s alternately brutally honest, philosophically deep, stabbingly funny, and, perhaps most important, refreshingly humble.” Los Angeles Times

 

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Shoe Dog Phil Knight

For all you sneaker heads and high top kick lovers, read all about the sneaker brand that changed the game forever. In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic and profitable brands

9780385689250Canada Mike Myers

In this instant national bestseller, comedy superstar Mike Myers writes from the (true patriot) heart about his 53-year relationship with his beloved Canada.

Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer, and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But as he says: “no description of me is truly complete without saying I’m a Canadian.” He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland.

  Keep them all or re-gift some away for the holidays—its up to you!
   

THE RULES

Contest is open to Canadian residents only

Must Be 18 Years or Older

Must follow me on either Instagram @reneepopculturerainman or Twitter @popculturerainman or follow my blog The Pop Culture Rainman. 

For Instagram you must write “I want to win the chaptersindigo pop culture giveaway from reneepopculturerainman#MakeItMerry #PCRReads on my Instagram or your own with a photo of the books

For Twitter you must write “I want to win the @chaptersindigo pop culture book giveaway from @popcultrainman #MakeItMerry #PCRReads on my Twitter or your own with a photo of the books

For Blog Comments just post below in comments section. No need to post the photo!

Do the above on at least one social media channel or in the comments section on my blog. Don’t forget both hashtags!

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↑ Copy and Paste + POST this photo for Insta or Twitter ↑

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GOT IT?

Winners will be randomly chosen and announced by December 19th, 2017.

GOOD LUCK!

XOXO,

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Trend Spotted! My November 2016 Trending & Pop Culture Picks!

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November was a standout month for pop culture trends, innovations, transportation’s + mannequin challenge funifications! Check out this pop culture infused time capsule of all the THANGS that gave my inner Jell-O its wiggle this past month!

Animalic Perfumes

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The NYT published an article at the end of October 2016 on “Animalics” a new niche trend in perfumes that bring out ones primal BEAST. Read all about it here

While the idea is not new, it is one that seems to be cresting as of late with both niche and indie perfumers getting attention for their unique takes on the trend.

Victor Wong a Toronto gaming programmer-turned-perfumer came up with the idea for his unisex brand Zoologist a few years ago. He was drawn to scents that seemed to reflect the wild animal kingdom —intense musk’s + strange and densely shocking smells. He created his line that takes the user on a wild journey that tells a detailed story about each animal. It should be noted all of his scents are hybrid synthetics—no animal’s are harmed!

Zoology is a nicher than niche concept for avid perfume collectors, pop culture enthusiasts, trend hunters and certainly anyone involved in the way-beyond-my-comfort-level cosplay world of furries.

Zoology’s Bat perfume won the coveted 2016 Art & Olfaction award—a pretty incredible feat for a first time indie perfumer—and it has a huge cult following! This is definitely not a first timers perfume line although we can all agree that The Nightingale, a pink floral chypre with rich scents of saffron and rosy, powdery Japanese plum blossoms is one of the lines most wearable scents.The pink liquid and feminine bottle alone, will delight anyone who (like myself) likes to collect eclectic perfume bottles

Cruelty-Free Winter Jackets

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If you know me personally (hey! lucky you), you know my well documented distaste for the fur industry and the unregulated barbarian practices that take place across the globe—and yes even in CANADA. Far too many people are blindly buying into fur-as-a-fashion-statement or as a deluded sign of stature? Murdered coyote framing the faces of thousands of unconscious tweens via Canada Goose isn’t my idea of style people (parents I’m talking to you!) It’s not the 1700’s and you aren’t a Courier de Bois paddling up and down the river in your canoe?! It’s 2016 and there are cruelty-free OPTIONS available to keep you warm and looking  great!

 Quartz Co.

In what just may be a world first Quebec’s Quartz Co. unveiled a true innovation in winter jacket insulation. They partnered up with Quebec’s Fibres Monarch who had 5 years worth of research and development under their belts to bring milkweed insulation to the marketplace! Milkweed is a natural fiber that is grown all over Canada and not only does it help trap cold, but unlike fur or down feathers it also ABSORBS the cold! Speaking of down feathers, depending on where the jackets are made, this can also be a cruel practice–so do your research before you buy! Best of all, with Quartz co. jackets no animals are hurt in the process and milkweed is also natural habitat for the sustainability of the monarch butterfly!

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Beautiful, natural milkweed!

 

  • The bad news: Quartz Co. sold out completely of their milkweed jackets for the 2016/17 winter season. The inaugural roll out was a limited edition. 
  • The good news: The 2017/2018 jackets are already finished a full production line with a brand new array of colours ready for next season!

 

 

Another Canadian Co. WULLY Outerwear from Toronto is offering up an amazing incentive to trade in your fur coats for $300.00 off on their amazing animal-free parkas. Watch Below!

Wow Air

You must have noticed that half of everyone you know posted Iceland vacation photos to Instagram in 2016? That’s because Wow Air  the incredible low fare airline that launched in Canada last May has travel deals to Iceland and Europe that are out of this world! New European destinations were announced this November go online and ch-ch-check them out!

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Iceland has become a hotbed for pop culture footnotes in the past few years with celebs like Beyoncé + Jay Z vacationing there and Justin Bieber using the incredible scenery to shoot 2 of his music videos in 2015 & 2016! The famed HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones also shoots in Iceland and even The Simpsons got in on the Reykjavik spirit complete with a champagne party in the famed Blue Lagoon baths. And just last month Miss Iceland—Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir (try saying that 3x’s fast!) made international headlines when she bowed out of a Las Vegas pageant (and all pageants indefinitely) when she was told she had “too much fat” to compete!?! VEGAS YOU CRAY! In fact all ‘beauty’ pageants are an affront to feminism and should have no place in modern society.

*Click on photos for a detailed look and captions ↓

Mannequin Challenge

Mannequin challenges started to go viral online in early November 2016. Should you have no contact to the outside world a Mannequin challenge is a viral video craze that shows intricately laid out scenes captured on video with people frozen on spot many of them set to Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” song, which for the record I think is a big stinkin’ pile of doo doo, but hey it is the #1 song in the US right now. 

Choosing a favourite is really like an impossible Sophie’s Choice of decision-making but here is my top 5.

1.High School Mannequin Challenge “The Real Royal Family”

This was the first all-student high school mannequin challenge that I saw in early November and I believe it set a precedence for all others to follow.

2. Zach King

King’s gravity defying ping pong stance boggles the mind. Is this real life?

3. Boxer Dog

Sit Ubu Sit…GOOD DAWG!

4. London Underground 

Cramped spaces, strangers politely cooperating in unison on a moving vehicle? Say no more!

5. Lebron James, Michelle Obama and the Cleveland Cavaliers...set to classical music, natch!

Which Mannequin Challenge(s) were YOUR favourites? Let me know????

That’s all she wrote for November, the anxiety soup of December deadlines await…eek!

Stay tuned for Part 1 of The Best of 2016 Coming SOON!

XOXO,

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My Leonard Cohen Article…RIP Open Hearted Poet.

I was lucky enough to interview Leonard Cohen 15 years ago in person at the Hotel Vogue in Montreal. 

For well over an hour we talked freely while smoking Vantage cigarettes (his) and drinking wine in his hotel room.

This was a man that made smoking look elegant and almost spiritual.

These kind of exclusive opportunities simply do not take place in 2016. The time, the access, and the personal generosity simply does not happen in music interviews any longer. Might I remind you this took place—as have all of my most cherished interviews before smart phones or “selfies” were ever part of our communal lexicon. 

While we were winding down the interview Leonard Cohen, THE LEONARD COHEN, suggested I get in touch with his “single” son Adam Cohen who spent his time between Montreal and Los Angeles. He gave me Adam’s number and told me he would give Adam a “head’s up” that I was calling. I looked at Leonard and said “Leonard Cohen thinks I’m good enough for his son? Can I call you dad?” He looked at me and chuckled.

I got Adam’s LA answering machine when I called the next day and I left a baffled/shy message that went something along these lines…”Um, hi Adam? My name Renee Gold and I just interviewed your dad, and he gave me your number…” I felt like an idiot leaving it! I soon found out through common friends that Adam (unbeknownst to Leonard) was in a new relationship in LA, with I believe the mother of his son Cassius. I never got a call back from him, but I LOVE the memory and the gesture of Leonard Cohen trying to fix me up with his son. 

Here is my short article that was published in Elle Canada Magazine.

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RIP Leonard Cohen. Thank you for your prolific poetry, words, and music.

XOXO,

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Lady Gaga Joanne Review; a couple of hits, many misses.

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First off can I just say that I think Lady Gaga is one of the most singular sounding, indefatigable musical artists out there? She’s an incredibly powerful singer and a highly skilled musician (piano, guitar, drums and keytar).  

I need to say this as I’m about to give her latest studio album Joanne [Interscope] a lukewarm-ish review—and in doing so it hurts me more than it will ever hurt her.

Some critics think that Ga-Ga’s experimental take on genre hopping on Joanne is a tad gimmicky, but I disagree. Everyone from Bob Dylan to David Bowie (who Gaga tributed so beautifully at last years Grammy’s) both have a long history of throwing complacency to the wind and experimenting up the yin yang—so I’m all for it. Especially, in Gaga’s case where I feel an authenticity to every genre she experiments with here, like country/western for instance. She’s an enigmatic artist and were not necessarily supposed to be able solve this musical jigsaw, or even ‘get it’ for that matter. That’s the beauty of Gaga’s art.

The good news is that Joanne, a popcowboydancesoulfunkfolkrock mash-up boasts some incredible takeaway hits.

The problem issaid hits” were released to the public in promotional succession before the album even dropped?

Tis’ true, that some could argue and by some I mean ME, that Perfect Illusion, A Million Reasons and A-YO are the best of what the album has to offer.

In other words, “Joannepeaked early.

THAT’S A FILTHY LIE!I can hear legions of Little Monsters spewing vitriol in my psychic direction.

Well, instead of tap dancing around the square footage of this review, let’s go through the album offerings at a glance.

Diamond Heart

For the first 30 odd seconds of this track, I’m convinced I’m listening to Stevie Nicks herself until Gaga, ever-the- chameleon soon transitions from a tumbleweed country rasp into her familiar dramatic vocals. I really like Diamond Heart.  It’s a song that begs for a film soundtrack to pick it up immediately, as I can see the synesthesia colours and scenes that it lends itself to. A great song to play loudly on the open road. 

A-YO

A-YO is a fun clappity-clap pop track with an infectious chorus that brings to mind Footloose or the Coyote Ugly film. Again a great song to drive to or dance to on the top of a bar, if the kids even do that anymore?

Joanne

In another departure for Gaga, she takes on a 60’s folk/rock persona in the songs first 30 seconds (again!), before she switches off into what I now see as a Stevie Nicks copycat vocal. The song, a dearly departed love letter to her aunt for whom she was named after is both heartbreaking and lovely. It’s a pretty tune, that may just be the only other stand out song on the album besides Diamond Heart—but again that is subject to your taste level. It’s a simple song both lyrically and in melody, and I’m not convinced its truly memorable despite its overwhelming beauty.

John Wayne

I won’t mince words. I don’t like this country head banger.

Dancin’ in Circles

With a “La Isla Bonita” sounding swagger and reggae guitar plucking’s, Gaga sings in various styles, including a Gwen Stefani baby-doll spoken word verse. It’s got a classic Gaga feel and is sure to be a fan favourite, but I could take it or leave it.

Perfect Illusion

The 1st of her album pre released singles, Perfect Illusion has a signature theatrical 80’s rock feel. I love the way she words the chorus lyrics, singing “perfect illoooosion.” Again, it has a classic Gaga sound and feel and was a great first release to encapsulate the album.

A Million Reasons

By far my favourite track on the album. Written with singer-songwriter Hillary Lindsey who also does those gorgeous  background vocals—I can’t say enough about this song. It’s a timeless ballad that introduces us to her country tinged scratchy vocal, that reminds me so much of Bruce Springsteen’s wife—Patti Scialfa. In fact a dream performance would be to see Lady Gaga, Patti Scialfa, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Nicks in a foursome circle, harmonizing us all to a heavenly crescendo. Grammy’s 2018 get on THIS! This really could be her signature concert encore song going forward à la Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive or Prince’s Purple Rain. To me its THAT timeless. A song that begs to be heard on a perma-loop play, courtesy of iPhone ear buds so it sinks into your soul.

Sinners Prayer

A HARD PASS on this country ditty.

Come to Mama

A derivative, Beatlesque-sounding tune that could have easily been a song from Hair Spray the Musical. It travels along the familiar GAGA trajectory of being an open-armed all-accepting MAMA Monster to her die-hard fans who have often felt marginalized. It would be fun for a flash mob, but I won’t miss it if I were to never hear it again.

Hey Girl

I had high hopes for this girl bonding duet between Gaga and one of my favourite artists Florence Welch. I loved it until after the first chorus, especially Welch’s singular brocade vocals that really peak when she sings “Hey Girl” in an upper register. As for Gaga, she sounds like a dead ringer for mid 70’s Diana Ross, as she again—morphs into another performance persona. A dizzying synth NOISE is introduced by producer Mark Ronson right after the first chorus and comes back in a screeching/nauseating way, that takes away from this song. In the end, I feel like Hey Girl, goes on a little too long, and becomes loopy sounding like a spinning record with a slight warp. It’s a must listen, either way.

Tell me that’s NOT vintage Diana Ross singing as Gaga sings us out on that last verse? WILLLLD!

Angel Down

An operatic ode to Trayvon Martin and the rampant shootings that have plagued the US in recent years. I wish I liked it, because I love the message, but it’s not something I’d want to listen to again. Perhaps its just to painful?

Grigio Girls

A cute, pared down acoustic song that speaks to sisterhood and female empowerment, but it didn’t speak to me.

Just Another Day

A simple piano plucking Broadway ditty that will please her fan base, but made me want to soft shoe the hell outta there.

Angel Down (Work Tape) 

I believe this is the original recording of Angel Down with little background music, but I didn’t like it the first time, so no thanks?

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Back to her dive bar roots, Lady Gaga performs Joanne at the Bitter End on the eve of October 20th, 2016.

So there you have it, a mixed bag of eclectic offerings and yet I am only enamoured with 1 song. It will absolutely be music to her LOYAL fan base’s ears, and very well may be a slow burn that we will look back on DECADES from now as a MUSICAL GENIUS departure, but in this moment I say with great lament…

Move on, there’s nothing to see here.

We will always have a MILLION REASONS Tho’…

XOXO,

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Get Foxy-Ready For Fall 2016~Beauty Edition!

 

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Greetings Gorgeous Lover Heads!

Sure, one could certainly make a case that I am ‘technically‘ late on the authoritative timeline for a fall beauty post.

But in my defense a) My entire life’s brand is built around the idea of being LATE as you will come to learn when I launch my 1st book + b) It just became fall in my neck of the woods like 8 seconds ago—so STAND DOWN SOLDIER, STAND DOWN I SAYYYYYY!

*I have no idea where that just came from?

…Soooo Whose ((((excited)))) for some FALL BEAUTY 2016 ??!!!

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SKIN

Getting foxy-ready for fall beauty should start to take shape in late August. I’m pretty disciplined with my skin and the state thereof—after all its the canvas that people first notice, amirite darlings?

I always recommend getting a facial that cleanses and relaxes the skin for fall. As for myself, I ventured off to one of my favourite oasis’s in downtown Toronto, the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris. I enjoyed a decadent VINOSOURCE Treatment that uses fresh grapes, (yup fresh grapes!) + a host of luxurious Caudalie products to cleanse and restore radiance to the skin, followed by a heavenly massage.

I’m thinking of joining a reggae band I’m so relaxed!

Je suis glowing n’est pas?

I would also recommend for women 35 and up a microdermabrasion or laser treatment to get rid of sun damage spots and ruddiness, and of course a sesh with my boyfriend BO—all of which I’ve written about before. It goes without saying that cleansing, an SPF and moisturizer has to be maintained to keep your skin foxy on the daily.

Maybe she’s born with it? Like hell she is.

Maybe she lives in a Kardashian beauty blowtorch dystopia and simply tries her best to keep everything from falling, sinking or sagging!?

And please no letters about how you are au natural and never do a thing? 

To that I say, slow golf claps for you, McWrinkles.

My late mother was the rare exception to the rule, but after a certain age, most women are doing something to stave off the sands of time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, and if you can achieve it with appearing like you’ve done very little (like JLo or Jen Aniston) who believe me have both done A LOT, that is the ideal. I’m not one for curtain pulling on the beauty regimes of others, but its common knowledge that both look fab due to GOOD work, not miracle genetics—although JLO’s are certainly impressive! She’s also stayed farrrr away from the drugs & the drank and that too helps in spades.

Hair

Care Free Curl

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Weird Science’s ‘Lisa’s’ 80’s Curl…

Not since the early-to-mid 80’s has curly hair been so fashionable as we saw for the Fall 2016 runway shows. And that’s good news for so many of us who have been flat ironing and blowing out our curls for decades.

FREEDOM!

Dark Brunettes

I do believe it was Kate Winslet’s ‘Rose’ who uttered the memorable line to Leo DiCaprio’s ‘Jack’… “Paint me like one of your Rodarte girls…”

K fyyyyyne, that never happened but the 2016 Rodarte gals really are my fall hair inspo foxy supernovas. Brunettes were seen strutting all over the runways, showcasing rich dark chocolate to jet black hair colour.

Bang It

Several versions of bangs were also front & centre for fall 2016 to accommodate stick straight or curly hair as you can see ↑ above and here. Honourable mention has to go out to model-of-the-moment Katie Moore’s career changing punk cut with short fringed bangs.

I decided to put these fall hair trends to the test so with my Rodarte gals saved on my iPhone, I set off to Tony & Guy in downtown Toronto–their only Canadian salon.

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London’s famed brand Tony & Guy is all about ‘polished edge,’ and my colourist Nicole took me from my end-of-summer straw-textured brown/blonde vomit colour to a shiny and gorgeous dark chocolate brown.

Next up I was lucky enough to have a private appointment with Chicago celebrity stylist Anthony Cristiano while he was in town for TIFF! Cristiano is model Adriana Lima’s personal stylist and I was honored to get exclusively “banged” by him. Heh, heh.

 When all was said and done, professional make up appliqué  included—my beau thought I was one face with the late great Suzanne Pleshette but I see more of a Connie Sellecca circa ‘Hotel‘ vibe.

I’ll let you decide…

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More Connie Selleca, Barely a Foxy Rodarte Supernova…

While my above make up is a tad heavy, I’m the 1st to admit that I definitely need to wear makeup (at least cover up, mascara & lipstick) before I subject the world to my face. Trust me, I fully admire Alicia Key’s #NoMakeupMovement, it’s just not something I can personally get away with.

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Alicia Key’s #NoMakeupMovement

…And that brings us to fall 2016 make up trends! While I’ve written about my ‘staple’ fall faves in the past, I’m going to stick to specifically what caught my eye for fall 2016 and the most wearable trends. After all, what works on the runway doesn’t always translate to “back to life, back to re-al-ity.”

Lips

Dark lips for fall certainly isn’t reinventing the beauty wheel, but there are more options available this season than ever! From dark Bordeaux’s to matte blue/black offerings in glossy and matte versions.

*Click on the photos to see products.

Another micro trend that surfaced was a gradiant two/three toned ombré lip as was seen at Creatures of the Wind + San Andres. The idea is to put one lipstick on all over and then build a darker or lighter application of lipstick(s) and gloss in the centre. I LOVE, LOOOVE the Creatures of the Wind blood red effect.

Product Faves 

I simply adore Tom Ford lipsticks. While they are certainly an investment (*In Canada they are $68.00 each for a full sized tube) I have to say they are absolutely worth the price. The pigments are outstanding, the packaging divine and the lipstick lasts at the very least a full year. And because they are made with such incredible ingredients Brazilian murumuru butter to chamomila flower oil it can last several years.

Copyright by PerfettoME.RU

 

This fall Tom Ford re-launched their best-seller (*for a limited time only at Holt RenfrewBlack Orchid and introduced a newer pared down version called Velvet Orchid. The Black Orchid doesn’t go on as dark as you would expect and both are simply divine. I am also in love with “Jay” a colour previously launched in 2015.

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Another colour that is back in a huge way is the classic red lip. Like the LBD, a red lip truly never goes out of style.

Chanel dedicated their entire fall 2016 collection appropriately titled LE ROUGE COLLECTION N°1 with a stand out gorgeous matte red called Rouge Charnel. That’s right the r is intentional, and not a typo—grammar police! 

Shiseido also launched their “Rouge Rouge” lipstick collection and YSL offers up bright red Baby Doll lip stain that is both for your lips and cheeks.

And lastly, iconic make up artist Pat McGrath launched her line Pat McGrath Labs line of Lust 004 lip kits online and through Sephora. The line includes 6 incredible high shine lipsticks, a gloss and various loose coloured glitters from gold to crimson red that can be mixed together or used alone. If the entire glitter look is a little much for your tastes, McGrath suggests just using a tiny bit of glitter in the center of your lips for a softer sparkle!

Eyes

While I normally like to focus on trends and products in equal measure, fall eyes weren’t as innovative as I would have liked.  Sure there was the “dead in the eyes” smoky look that was all le rage (yawnathon, nothing to see here…) and the dyed eye brow trend might be great for an Oompa Loompa convention, (I’m sure there are several)  but I don’t see it translating to a night on the town, never mind the kids drop-off at preschool, ya dig lil’ mamas?

Instead there were a host of intoxicating eyeshadow palette(s)that that are more than worth mentioning.

Royal blues are a definite trend for fall 2016 (Navy/Cobalt/Teal) and I adore the Nars dual intensity eye shadow in ‘Arcturas.’ It ingénue who drips all the sexies—Emily Ratajkowski—was on trend wearing Lorac products for her teal winged eye at the 2016 Emmy’s.

Speaking of celebs who seem to smoulder for a living, Victoria Beckham launched her new makeup line in collaboration with Estée Lauder. Here’s just a sampling of some of my favourites, that deep forest green shadow and sexy 80’s-siren red lipstick are all kinds of YASSS QUEEN!

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A palette that made my knees weak was YSL’s limited edition “Scandal” Full Metal Eyeshadow. The colours (notice the deep blue, the gold, the violet!?!?) the potential combinations, **WET or DRY**—I am having a full blown beauty big-O!  Everyone of  Tom Ford’s eye palettes are simply divine. Their latest duo palette is from their AW runway line, (Tom thinks FW is way too pedestrian to speak of, so it’s Autumn/Winter at TOM FORD peasants!) + I’m not certain when this last TF quad was launched but I want to warmly straddle it.

And lastly Giorgio Armani will only be launching their F/W runway palette (includes luminous sheer pressed powder) in mid October for a limited time—so who you calling late-to-print-a-fall-beauty-post Willis?

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Nails

Nails and nail art are as common as a daily weather and traffic update here at The Pop Culture Rainman. While there were new fall trends-a-plenty, I didn’t fall in love with the majority of them and relied instead on my own broad tastes as CLEARLY, someone isn’t doing their job right at ye old FALL 2016 Trend & Co?!?!

It’s totally a place btw.

Chrome Nails

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Chrome Nails are a huge nail trend that started making waves in the late summer that is still going strong for fall 2016. What may appear like simple metallic nail polish, is really the result of a much more detailed process of a base colour, a gel top coat, a nail lamp, loose chrome powder, a sponge tip applicator and Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies volumes 1-3 on DVD.

Ok fyyyne, Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the OLDS isn’t totally necessary, but I do strongly recommend it.

Personally, I think this trend needs to go back to Buck Rogers territory where it belongs. I find it tacky hideousness, but I know many women are loving it so here’s some rando YouTube chrome nail tutorial so you can get the gist.

 

 

In terms of Metallic nail art trends I am loving the following combinations of silver and gold…

…And these are my personal picks for French Manicure and Reverse French nail art combo’s with some of my favourite fall colours. Mossy ((deep)) greens are huge for fall 2016!

Lastly strictly plugging nail polishes might seem as mundane as walking into Starbucks to order a regular black coffee (I mean what kind of maniac does that?!?!)—but the colours available this season **feel** like a salted caramel mocha frappuccino with extra whipped cream, so were totes good.

Wait, what?

Polish that has polish…

*Click on photos for product info. FYI the Zoya colour is from 2015, but that and another Zoya colour called ‘Hope’ perfectly fit my fall colour schemes.

 

And that my lovelies, is how you do fall foxy beauty.

‘Cause being late is the new early

XOXO,

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Get Fall Foxification-Ready Guide~Fashion & Accessories Edition!

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  • Fall greetings my kittens!

Sincere mea culpage for having taken a longer-than-norms blogger sabbatical this summer. 

What was I up to you ask?

Travelling the far corners of the globe taking up feline-inspired needle point and making sweet, sweet love with my boyfriend actor Charlie Hunnam, crouching in the corner of my shower with a sponge in my mouth to muffle the sobbing.

Also, I feel it super necessary to mention that it was indeed another braless summer…

Ahem!

Fall Fashion is upon us! That vainglorious time of year when I wade through the seasonal trends and curate a unique FOXIFICATION guide so that you are fashionably on point this fall, or as the kids like to say “so lit.

Ready, set…get F-O-X-I-F-I-E-D!

The Transitioning…

While this title sounds like a low-budge slasher film starring Caitlyn Jenner, it really is the conundrum that has confounded fashionistas for millennia: 

How does one transition into fall?

I say it all starts with your feet—specifically the coverage of them.

No longer are airy-fairy flip-flops acceptable post labour day and/or your Burning Man comedown.

Substantial footwear is how you take that first step into fall.

new apfel

I listen to everything Iris Apnel says. Girlfriend just turned 95, has her own set of Emoji’s and is a total ledge.

String Theory

Heels and booties aren’t exactly groundbreaking fashion intel, but a trend that unites them both this season are stiletto-high heels with string details in exquisite oxblood/burgundies & royal blues.

*Click on photos for product info
 

Honorable mentions go out to these g-g-gorgeous boot offerings…

 

From L to R: Brian Atwood, Isabel Marant & Francesco Russo              

Brocade

Think grandma’s couch circa 79’ (that was covered in plastic!) and you will get a pretty good idea of what brocade looks like. It’s an opulent fabric worthy of a royal clarion call upon entering any room (that light blue Miu Miu ‘tho!) 

If its all a little too head-to-toe ornate for your tastes, the St. Laurent booties or the Self-Portrait Bomber jacket—another huge trend this fall, can be seamlessly worked separately into any outfit.

80’s

For this 80’s section, lets 1st set the table properly shall we? …Aaaand cue music!

This classic music video is brimming with sexual tension in every frame. The porny Cleopatra/Mark Antony scenes, the gushing background fountain, an astronaut writhing on a mattress, those pounding keyboard fingers—the whole spectacle is a work of artistic genius!

Back to fashion! First up I must give ample credit to where its due.

Holy Alexis Carrington-Colby **Feels**…

YSL came out swinging with its fall 80’s game—replete with sexier than thou nymphs slithering down a gilded staircase that could easily double as part of the Dynasty set. It’s all so James Bond’s Octopussy meets the Addicted to Love Girls with pink-neon-sex-lasers shooting out of their eyeballs—n’est-ce pas?

No, you cant see the pink neon lasers, but if you say Octopussy 5 x’s fast they will magically appear.  

Kinky 80’s

Ok fyyyne, I’m uncertain as to how I would incorporate these first two outfits into an evening out—and by evening out I mean Netflix, a bag of Fig Newtons & my Slanket—but I fully appreciate the dedication and continuity of it all. Kenzo’s hot pink zebra-striped dazzler might fair better off the runway in a separated scenario, and to Moschino’s biker zipper leather skirt vixen I say…er…Yayyyyy Taffeta!? I was wondering how and when they would bring that elusive fabric back, and look at that…look, eh…, sorry, yea.. I can’t do this.

But wait, I would so wear that Isabel Marant red satin sizzler (…or is it silk? Who could really tell?) but only with a pair of full body Spanx and if there was roller skating. There must be roller skating.

The best bet for you to incorporate some 80’s fall fashion into your ‘drobe is to cherry pick some key accessories, instead of going full-on ZZ-Top video parody.

From L to R: Christian Dior Earrings, Dsqaured2 Sequined Bag & Fogel of Switzerland White Lace Tights

Velvet

I normally avoid the colour red like a Kardashian All-Weekend E! Marathon, but in a crushed velvet version in that Haider Ackerman Russet Red…I want to BATHE IN IT! Below are some runway examples of this highly wearable and versatile fall trend. Special shout out to that **swoony** Elie Saab Hollywood siren gown!

It’s oh-so SWOONY.

*Click on the photo for product info

Also if you haven’t noticed, fur is an absolute no-no for me, and just look at the things you can do with velvet these days?

I mean hello, Fendi bag!?!?

fendi

 *No foxes were hurt in the making of this bag.

 

Sweater Stuffs

Two great trends happening in the sweater dept. for fall 2016.

First off, the oversized sweater in a host of varieties by Miu Miu, Gucci & the artfully frayed Simone Rocha in black.

…and Joseph really broke the mold on bringing this trend to the forefront. I adore them all, especially the last one which reminds me of the 80’s NAF NAF sweaters.

Secondly, the sweater dress has made a comeback with a mix of classic and utterly modern interpretations. If I had the choice I would wear these solely & exclusively all fall/winter long on the yearly, until infinity.

*Click on photos for product info

La Feminata

I came up with this title, as to me it exemplifies the flouncy & lacey detailed dresses (and Rodarte pants!) that were front and center for fall 2016. Standouts were the Roberto Cavalli mustard dress worn by Beyoncé in her “Lemonade” video,  the ‘Chinoiserie’ inspired dresses from Alexander McQueen and this billowy violet stunner at Giambattista Valli.

In fact the entire Giambattista Valli (try saying THAT 5x’s fast?!) fall couture show was such-a-tour de force that it is best exemplified by Celine Dion’s vigorous brand of French-Canadian **feels** from when the chanteuse was front row back in early July.

But the true stars of the catwalk were those fierce Rodarte femme fatales in black lace and leather. WERK it ladies!

In fact their entire look (jet black hair & bangs, dark stained lips, is my fall beauty foxification inspo—coming to this blog in 1 week!

Accessories

Fall 2016 was awash with inventive accessory options, but two bold trends stood out for me.

Down-to-there-Earrings

This trend is for the kind of women loves to make demonstrative entrances that changes all of the molecules in the room. A style arbiter and conversational polymath that everyone wants face time with! No other accessories need apply.

Top left to right: I spotted these Gucci works of art on Instagram super-fluencer Aureta + the stately lion gems are also by Gucci. The micro orchids at Rodarte were real and sadly didn’t last more than a day, but I appreciated the artistry!

Bottom left to right: It was love at first sight when I clocked in on those Simone Rocha precious jeweled flowers, they also come in black (hard to choose!) And mirror mirror on the wall…Lanvin’s show stopping metal duster earrings for fall 2016 and their resort 2017 tassel earrings for the win!

Pearls

Pearls. Sounds about as basic as beige paint and a bowl of tofu. But these aren’t your garden-variety stepford wives pearls. Oh no. Pearls have gotten a sexy modern upgrade for fall 2016. Stand outs are the Dries Van Noten pearl pin choker (I love both colours!) and those pearl Louboutins are so much fun!

…And that’s all she wrote for the Pop Culture Rainman’s Get Fall Foxification Ready Guide~Fashion & Accessories Edition!

I know this barely pierces the fall fashion membrane, but be sure to follow my Pinterest for the entire breadth of the 2016 season.

Be sure to check out my Get Fall Foxification Ready Guide~Beauty Edition October 5th!

XOXO

Stay Tuned & Stay Foxy,

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W Montreal Weekender Staycation…Can you go home again?

Can you ever truly go home again?

Have a new experience in what feels like an old narrative? 

As someone who was born and raised in Montreal—I know first hand what a culturally rich and supremely gorgeous city it is.

Living in Toronto for the past 7 years, I still miss the French influence of Montreal, the fresher air (downtown Toronto is condo construction city!) and of course my family and friends.

While I’ve visited frequently since moving, I have never truly experienced Montreal through the eyes of a tourist. I normally come in and stay with my sister at her place in lower Westmount, which was filled with familiarity, and the omnipresence of my late mother who passed 3 years ago.

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This time around I planned a *solo* journey (a sojourn if you will) staycation at the W Hotel Montreal, and sis recently moved to the up and coming GriffinTown area. I could no longer fall back on old habits of familiar terrain. This was a concious exercise in getting my brain to make new connections and fire off some fresh synapses. I realize it’s not a foreign country, but Montreal is still a backdrop like no other, and stands up to any European city. 

I had a profound intention for the weekend itself. To connect with my deeper self, to soul search and to see my beloved city through a new lens and aperture.

Plus, I love staying at beautiful hotels. There’s always a palpable air that anything can and will happen. 

The W Montreal is perfectly situated on historic Old Montreal’s Square Victoria street and proudly faces a poetically landscaped courtyard replete with water fountains and gardens.

W Lobby

The mood lighting of the W Montreal Lobby…

The mood and architecture inside The W Montreal drips with sexy and sleek luxury. When you arrive at W Montreal and take in the flora and fauna of dim lighting, bold colours, imaginative seating areas + an endless stream of attractive patrons from all over the world—an internal whisper emerges, “oh yes— this is going to be go-oood.”

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I check into my room which features a heavenly Queen sized bed with signature W Bedding. The bathroom boasts high ceilings and Bliss Bath sundries with a spacious Rain Shower. My view faces the spectacular Square Victoria courtyard and already I feel like I’m inspiring my muse to ‘come out and play‘ after a recent spate of ennui and creative stasis.

Away Spa

Away Spa…

On tonight’s menu, an early evening visit to the W Montreal’s Away Spa. Upon entering, I already feel like my shoulders have dropped significantly and that time is beginning to stand still. I take in the ambrosial scents of my surroundings while I rake swirley patterns in the exquisite Zen Garden set before me.

Zen Garden

Karen, my masseuse retrieves me and brings me into the treatment room for the AromaSoul Massage Ritual. She offers me 4 different scented oils to choose from, and explains that there is a specific massage associated with *each* smell.

I am immediately drawn to the fresh Mediatteranean scent, and she explains that the massage will entail circular motions akin to “waves in the ocean.” Being that I am a Cancerian water-baby, I am tickled by the suggestion.

The oil is first mixed in with Shea Butter and Volcanic Rock Powder for a full body application and exfoliation. Afterwards, I rinse off in a shower and return for the massage portion. The lights are dimmed and the music is a perfect blend of soothing chants and song.

As I let my thoughts wander, I start to make connections and answer questions from within. I see that I am currently riding a wave of opportunity, one that is at ‘ high tide.’ A wash of memories and familiar faces flash-flood over me. Some are more emotional than others, and like a *wave* I don’t judge it, I simply observe it’s natural ebb and flow and go with it. I relax into a blissful state and fall into a meditative dream-like sleep.

When it is over, I tell Karen how I had an abundance of wonderful thoughts and metaphors come to mind. I ask her what sign she is and she answers “a Cancer…” and it did not surprise me one bit. This was the beginning of many-a-synchronicity moment(s) throughout the weekend.

Back upstairs (plush robe still on from spa!) I order up some room service, capped off with an order of homemade beignets with chocolate sauce *and* lemon cream.

*No photos are taken to protect my dignity.

The massage has worked miracles, my skin is silky soft and I fall asleep instantly with remnants of donut sugar kissing my lips. Tomorrow is a big night out and I need my beauty sleep!

Sweet dreams are made of this.

Bonne Nuit! XO 

***

The next morning I wake up bright and early and head off to Montreal’s trendiest new enclave Pointe St Charles aka “The Pointe.”

I enter Café Bloom, and enjoy a sublime latte and some freshly baked treats.

Luxe Latte

Latte With My Name on It…oh hello loverrrrr!

The vibe is über hipster and I feel transported to Brooklyn, NY —except everyone here speaks French and the hipsters are less try-hard and impoverished.

Next up its time to get my hair and nails did. I saunter over to nearby M Salon located in the cooler-than-thou GriffinTown endroit.

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Adrien’ does my colour and blow out to purrrfection, and my nails, like my surroundings are done super ‘pointe’ styles in an arresting ice blue!

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Taking a leap of faith and trying a new salon has paid off! This is now my go-to one stop shop for whenever I come to town! Meanwhile, all of this beautification has made me honnnngray! 

Word on the street is that I must try L’Gros Luxe—a local eatery boasting farm fresh ingredients, many a vegetarian/vegan offering and inventive food combinations. It’s around 4:30pm so I’m turning this meal into an early dinner. My sister and I share a vegetarian El Burrito and a Grilled Cheese Poutine and, “yes” it is as delicious as it looks!

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Yes, home girl here can eat! *Were you expecting a dandelion salad?!

***

Tonight at the W Hotel’s Wunderbar I will be attending the Back to Disalvio’s reunion party with DJ Jo Jo Flores at the turntables. Many moons ago, on Montreal’s famed St. Laurent strip, club Disalvios was an epic dance club that brought together people from different cultures and backgrounds all in the name of house, dance and hip hop music. The reunion has been held annualy for the past 4 years, but this is the first time it is being held in the summer and at Wunderbar. I can never extol the virtues of the yearly event enough! It never ceases to be a less-than-stellar evening of marathon dancing and great vibes. I mean who even gets to go out dancing like this anymore?! I cherish it! 

Wunderbar...

Wunderbar…

Wunderbar is as sexy a venue as they come— an adult playground, really. In fact the entire hotel is a wonderful labyrinth of initmate nooks and crannys, lounges and private bar service. Get lost or found at your discretion, (insert a wink-wink here!)

I dance the night away with old friends and it is exactly the kind of night I need! Except for the having-one-drink-too-many part, and thus in the interest of dignity (again)—no further pictures will be posted!

Hot Mess, but such fun!

I’m a *Hot Mess* but oh what fun!

***

Waking up is infinitely more challenging than expected—le aging she is a wicked foe! I ring up the concierge and true to the W Hotels ‘Anytime, Anywhere‘ credo—I request some Advil NOW in my MOUTH, or my head will surely explode thankyouverymuch!

Not but 5 minutes later I’m downing a trifecta of tablets with icy-cold bottled water they’ve provided (something tells me they’ve seen this scenario play out before…) as I get ready for a decadent brunch at Être Avec Toi aka ÊAT, just off the main lobby.

ÊAT is a feast for both the senses and the palate. The room is covered in dynamic pop art installations and paintings by a collective of mainly Montreal artists, reflecting the city and its vibrant culture. Read more how this unique concept came to fruition here.

I’m joined by my sister and a round of fresh orange juice and lattes are procured. The music is funky without being overpowering (there’s a live DJ!) and the crowd is cosmopolitan chic. Brunch at ÊAT is nothing short of a work of art in and of itself. The presentations are like mini Pollacks or Rembrandts, the pomp and ceremony unparalleled.

I am following the waiters lead in terms of ordering. ÊAT is very heavy on the seafood which is music to my ears, and he suggests a variety of plates for the table.

We start off with the ‘presentation’ of the Bakers Basket (a cornucopia of gluten-everything) that is wheeled out on a trolley with various compotes and jams.

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions…

Actually can I say that everything is presented in various trolleys and pulley carts? It’s quite charming I have to say.

Next up, a Salmon Tatare that is so exquisitely presented it demands a round of applause followed by a moment of silence for this masterpiece set before me?!

A work of art...

A work of art!

We are then brought a cart of champagne  elixirs and mixers and enjoy some Laurent Perrier Rosé—hangover helper/hair of the dog coming right up! 

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Rosé all day…

Next we get a lobster roll and side salad each, and I’m happily eating and dancing while beaming at everyone in the room.

A couple from NY a few tables over is seat dancing as well and we end up inviting them over to have a drink with us. In another moment of synchronistic you-are-exactly-where-you-are-supposed-to-be/there-are-no-accidents scenario, turns out one half of said couple, *whom we’ve never met* works for a company that I had just been talking about days earlier. The coincidence (there’s more to it, but that’s private) just confirms that there is a divine order to everything and my spirit is buoyed even more (if that’s possible!)

I can't even?!?!

I can’t even?!?!

Last but not least we are served a gorgeous Lobster Benedict to share. Our new found friends leave us to enjoy this last offering of our kings feast.

This was an experience and meal for the record books! I leave fully sated (stuffed, really!) with a new set of NY friends, and a wonderful new outlook as I head back TO.

My weekend was a wonderful mix of the new and the familiar. A city has many sides to it, and a new connection can be made just by virtue of what street you walk down. Taking the road less traveled was the purveying theme for this weekend.

Like my city, I can visit my past as a tourist. I can take in the memories and the music, but I no longer live there. 

I think the adage that you can never truly go home again is pretty accurate. Home takes on new meaning as you get older, especially when you lose your mother. It can exist in the heavens or within a magpie memory, in ones significant other, or in the smile of your own child. It isn’t one place like it was when you were growing up and certainly isn’t restricted to an area code.

But man is it fun to visit

Merci W Hotel Montreal!

XOXO

P.S. The diet starts tomorrow!

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