Spring Fashion Show Featuring Alfred & Co.

Yesterday, I attended Alfred & Co.’s Spring Fashion Show here in Ottawa at Santé Restaurant sponsored by PRESS The Fashion Magazine.  This showing is part of a seasonal fashion series that showcases Ottawa’s favourite and new boutiques and designers, and runs for several weeks throughout each Fall and Spring season.

A group of Ottawa-based bloggers was invited to lunch and enjoy the fashion show featuring Alfred & Co.’s beautiful selection of designer consignment pieces shown on models from Models International Management, and styled by Alyssa Beltempo (www.msbeltempo.com).

Alfred & Co. is an Ottawa-based online consignment store owned by the very fashionable entrepreneur Alicia McCarthy.  Alicia has managed to carefully curate a wide selection of covetable pieces ranging from designer gowns, ready-to-wear, top-label bags, jewelry and more!  Continue reading Spring Fashion Show Featuring Alfred & Co.

Amazing Night – The Ottawa International Music Conference Opening Reception – May 29, 2015

I was invited by the Ottawa International Music Conference (OIMC) organizers to attend their opening reception which took place this past Friday, May 29th here in Ottawa at the cool, industrial-feeling Maker Space North!  To say I was “thrilled” at this invite is a huge understatement!

The OIMC is an essential platform for electronic and live music for audiences, venues and artists to connect in Canada’s capital. The OIMC showcases groundbreaking acts, shares knowledge to stimulate the growth of the music business and solidifies the local network by creating opportunities through the events, seminars, workshops, panels and parties presented. Continue reading Amazing Night – The Ottawa International Music Conference Opening Reception – May 29, 2015

SD Beauty Review: Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Queens Gardens

Gel polishes are taking over – and rightfully so.  I’m sure we are all sick of manicures only lasting a day or two before they start to chip.

I remember the first time I got a shellac manicure,  I was stunned at its longevity!  It lasted 10 days without chipping and probably would have kept going if my nails didn’t grow so fast (I hate that “grown out” look and rushed back to the nail bar to get a fresh polish).  Shellac manicures are fantastic thanks to their longevity, but the removal process is annoying and unhealthy.  Who wants to soak their hands in acetone to get the shellac off, especially when it smells like paint thinner?

Anyways, several brands such as Sally Hansen and Revlon have come out with their own lines of no-UV light gel polishes claiming to have the same staying power as shellac.  I was curious about these polishes, so during my last couple trips to Sephora, I snagged two bottles of Nails Inc. Gel Polish.

Nails Inc. claims to mimic gel formulas due to their “plasticizer technology”.  This promises a thick, even, self-levelling finish and a huge amount of shine. What’s nice about this line is that it does not require a special top coat like Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, but it is suggested that the Kensington Caviar Base and top coat be applied to maximize staying power and shine.  I didn’t bother getting either.  By the way, I feel that the Nails Inc. range has some of the most beautiful, “pop-iest” colours out there!  Be sure to check out Judo Red too.  WOW!

WNails Inc. Gel Effect Polish Covent Garden Place Style Dominqiue
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Judo Red

I picked up the Nails Inc. x Victoria Beckham gel polish in Bamboo White (shown below in matte black bottle) and Queens Gardens, the fabulous bright teal.

Nails Inc. Queens Gardens Gel Polish UV Light Style Domination Nail Polish Beauty Review
Foreground: Bamboo White; background: Queens Gardens

Well, on Sunday night, I polished my nails using the Queens Gardens colour.  I was blown away! The formula is thick and opaque, goes on very evenly thanks to that self-levelling technology I mentioned and was very shiny.  I was sold!

Nails Inc. Queens Gardens Gel Polish UV Light Style Domination Nail Polish Beauty Review
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Queens Gardens

Now, I have to mention that I use Nailtek Nail Strengthener under every polish I use.  This product is fantastic and thanks to it, my nails no longer peel, crack or break.  I do notice though that it causes most nail polishes to not “cure” or dry properly.  I used the Nailtek under the Nails Inc. polish and I found it took forever to dry completely, so I will provide a proper review when I redo my nails this weekend with this same colour.

Overall, I give this nail polish a tentative two thumbs up! I will be heading back to Sephora soon to pick up Covent Garden Place – the most bright, happy, raspberry-coloured polish I’ve ever seen!

Have any of your tried these Nails Inc. Gel Effect polishes?  What are your thoughts? What are your favourite colours?  Let me know if the comments section…because God knows, I need more nail polish.  LOL!


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Spring Haul 2015 – Check It Out On My Youtube Channel!

Hi all!

Just posted my latest spring shopping haul to my YouTube channel! Check out some of the pieces I got including Splendid pyjamas, a treat from the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit, Aesop skin care and more!

You can find me at http://www.youtube.com/styledomination.  Give my videos a looksie and don’t forget to subscribe!!!

Thanks so much for viewing and subscribing!  Your support and encouragement means a lot! xo

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My Favourite Perfume of All Time: Penhaligon’s Violetta

I’m a sucker for singular note perfumes and perfumes with a strong, distinct top note.  If you have a look at my collection, you will see that the bottles that always run low are Jo Malone Red Roses, Serge Lutens Sa majesté la rose, Lily Dior and Aerin Lilac Path.  I’m not completely sure why these perfumes appeal to me so much, but I think it has something to do with memory.

I remember the first rose a boy gave me and being so overwhelmed at what a nice gesture it was (I couldn’t believe someone liked me!), I remember the strong scent of lily of the valley that grew outside my childhood home, and having family barbecues near the huge lilac bushes that grow in my parents’ backyard.  I associate all of these pretty floral scents with good things that have happened in the past. Continue reading My Favourite Perfume of All Time: Penhaligon’s Violetta

Random Acts of Rudeness: Signs Your Etiquette May Need Help

George Costanza Jerk Store Seinfeld Etiquette Rude BehaviourA few days ago I was driving to work and had the misfortune of being tailgated by a jerk.  She drove her a big, black SUV so closely to my car that I’m sure it must have looked like I was giving her tow.  It’s not like I was driving slowly either as I was racing to work at about 15km/h over the speed limit myself.  Finally, THANKFULLY, the road split into two lanes and she raced past me.  Unfortunately, she also raced past a stopped school bus that was picking up children in front of us.  Our traffic laws dictate that that you must stop behind the bus until all children have boarded…but I guess the law didn’t apply to her! Needless to say, it was a pretty crappy way to start the day.

It got me thinking about everyday rude behaviour that we have all seemed to have gotten used to.  I am guilty myself of constantly being late (I hate that about myself) and interrupting others.  The latter I chalk up to growing up in a household of big personalities and you had to be loud and interrupt in order to be heard (I know, no excuse).  Our family dinners are deafening, raucous affairs that we love…but I’m not so sure others would!

As part of the “Dominique Self-Improvement Plan”, I’m working hard on curbing these two offensive behaviours.  I now add 30 minutes to my “getting ready routine” in order to arrive on time, and I try very hard to listen to others and not interrupt.  I think it’s working, although my poor friends may disagree. Here is my list of jerk behaviours that I tend to see more and more often as time goes by…


I find littering isn’t so much of a problem where I live.  People in our city are proud of it and it is a fact that the city’s residents are very in tune to the surrounding environment and keeping it pristine. That very same lady though who tailgated me so closely also threw a chocolate bar wrapper out of her car window.  It came across as careless, disgusting and slovenly.  Littering is dangerous to the environment, breeds vermin and disease and there is no faster way to announce to the world that you are a pig.  Major pet peeve: throwing cigarette butts out of car windows too. Stop.  Just STOP.


Being late.  Sigh.  I am ALWAYS LATE.  I hate it. My life seems to be one giant stress-y race to get from point A to point B and you know what? It’s completely 100% my fault.  No – I didn’t need to throw in a load of laundry before leaving the house. No – I didn’t need to watch another five minutes of Real Housewives of Atlanta to see if Nene kicked Claudia’s a$$.  No – I didn’t need to tear apart the house looking for that blue eyeliner I swear I bought last year. Tardiness is disrespectful.  I don’t want my friends and family to feel like I don’t care about them or their own schedules.  Set your clock a few minutes ahead or just accept the fact that it takes you two hours to get ready, not 30 minutes!


Stop.  Breathe.  Listen.  Listen to what people have to say.  Don’t stare at them thinking about wishing they’d stop talking so you can make your own point.  You are not the centre of the universe. It’s disruptive to the flow of conversation too.  People who interrupt will often turn the conversation in other direction and leave the interruptee hanging.  Not cool.

Tina Fey Rude 30 Rock SNL Table Manners Etiquette A few tips to stop? Think about actually keeping your mouth shut! Write “SU” (shut up) on your hand.  Tell your friends to point out every time you interrupt, or have one of them say “Let her finish…” when you’ve interrupted. Trust me, it helps!

Constantly on Your Cell Phone

Another one I am very guilty of.  When you are out with a group of people, you want to be engaged!  Don’t get distracted by your phone.  If you are constantly texting, emailing or scrolling instagram while with your buddies, it sends the message that you don’t care to be in their company, that you have more important things to do.  And we all know that looking at Kim Kardashian’s instagram to see what she isn’t wearing that day is not license to ignore your pals.

Holding Doors

I know you’re in a rush, I know you are late, but hold the door open for the person behind you.  Come on.  It takes two, maybe three seconds. Worst of all, don’t look them in the eye then proceed through the doorway without holding the door open. RUDE.

Poor Hygiene

Ewwww.  This is a biggie for me.  I find it SHOCKING when I see another person in a public washroom exit their stall and then proceed on out of there without washing their hands.  These offenders are the reason colds and the flu spread like wild fire, not to mention nasty noroviruses (Norwalk Virus) that can level you for a week.  It’s just gross. This extends to not brushing your teeth, showering once in a blue moon, and blowing your nose without a tissue.  Yes, I’ve seen it.  Yes, I’m traumatized.

Cover Your Mouth

Cover your mouth when you cough or yawn.  Sneeze into the crook of your arm.  I don’t want to see how many teeth you have, and I don’t want to be showered with a spray of potential cold/flu-laden saliva.  Disgusting. Can you tell I work in public health? LOL!


Ahhh yes.  Manspreading.  The act of sitting on a bus or train and spreading your legs as wide as possible in order to take up two seats because you don’t care about anyone but yourself. STOP IT. Manspreading applies to the ladies too.  Your purse does not need its own seat.  And don’t give me that designer bag crap either.  I watched a lady on the bus get mad at another because the seat hog’s Vuitton had it’s own seat.  When the Vuitton-owner balked at moving it, the other lady said to her in a big, bold voice:  “Maybe you shouldn’t have bought that bag.  Maybe you should have taken the money and bought a car instead!”.  OUCH. Mental note: never bring designer handbags on buses.

Rude Rudeness Etiquette Table Manners Style Domination Manspreading LA TImes
Harvard-educated manspreader

Bad Table Manners

Don’t hold your knife and fork like a shovel. Put your phone away. Chew with your mouth closed.  Don’t belch at the table – no, it is not a compliment to the chef.  Don’t talk with your mouth full.  Don’t use your fingers as utensils.  Don’t pick your teeth at the table. Don’t ask the chef or your host for ketchup or salt to drown your dish in. They took the time to make you a nice meal, don’t alter it in such a bush league fashion. Instead…

  • Always place your napkin on your lap when dining out at more formal restaurants. Keep it on your lap (except when using it) until your party is ready to leave the table.
  • Wait to begin eating until everyone at your table has been served, unless the fellow diner who’s waiting for their meal insists you begin.
  • Compliment the chef!

Personal Grooming in Public

On a recent flight, the lady next to me filed and buffed her nails for 45 minutes.  We breathed in her nail dust for 45 minutes. Thankfully, the man on her other side asked her to stop.  Don’t clip your nails in public, don’t pick your teeth in public and most importantly, don’t take a poo on the bus in front of everyone.  Yes, I saw this first hand and no, I have never set foot on a bus again. Anything to add to the list??  Let me know!

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Nail Art I’m Obsessing Over – Pshiiit Polish

Happy Monday and Happy Memorial Day to my American friends!

This past weekend was gorgeous here in Ottawa and particularly fantastic as my sister Erika came to town to visit!  I love it when my sisters visit and stay with us as we normally end up spending our days relaxing in our backyard under the sun, reading fashion magazines, sipping sangria and we always end up doing our nails.  I think they do this on purpose too as I am a former esthetician and have a nailpolish collection at about 200+ bottles strong!

Sure enough on Saturday, since the weather was a little miserable, we got into the nail polish.  I started thinking to myself that I would really love to get into some expert nail art designs!  Usually, I stick to one colour for my tips and if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll do a glittery accent nail.  That felt boring though, especially after the thousandth time.  So, I took to instagram to check out one of my favourite accounts @pshiiit_polish for a little inspiration!  This lady is a maestro – a modern day Van Gogh of nail art!  I peruse her account regularly and am usually left stunned at the designs she comes up with.

Check out my favourite looks from her beautiful account!  (Blog here: www.pshiiit.com)

Nail Art Pshiiit Nail Polish Manicure Pedicure OOTD Style Dominiation
All photos courtesy of http://www.pshiiit.com

Do you have any favourite nail art websites that you frequent often?  What are your favourite nail trends for this year?  Let me know in the comments!

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Canadian Tulip Festival Instameet! Instagrammers Unite!

Hi all!

Photography is something that I have always been interested in.  I remember being 12-years-old, saving up all of my Canadian Tire money to buy a Kodak 110mm camera.  Wow.  I’m old.  And for all of you who are mystified by “Canadian Tire” money, it’s a fake currency given out by one of Canada’s most popular hardware stores.  It’s like Monopoly money that you can only use at that store.  My Dad, being a huge Mr. Fixit, it would shop there and hand me all of that Canadian Tire cash. LOL…but I digress…

Style Domination Kodak 110mm camera
Kodak 110mm camera. Wow. I’m really dating myself here.

When I graduated at 17, my parents helped me buy my first real camera, a 35mm Pentax.  I loved that thing like people love their first born.  It went everywhere with me, and I have thousands of printed pictures to prove it. Continue reading Canadian Tulip Festival Instameet! Instagrammers Unite!

8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have

About three months ago, Ashley of Sed Bona (one of my favourite blogs ever), published this post regarding eight important things every happy woman should have.  I felt it was such an endearing post that spoke directly to me, and would resonate with my friends, family and readers.

Over the past couple of years, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on things I could do to better myself and live a happier, positive and “truer” life.  I really enjoy learning and discovering new things, and I feel to do so, you need to declutter your life and really think about what brings you happiness. Continue reading 8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have

Prettying Up Your Blog: 6 Secrets For Taking the Best iPhone Photos

*information courtesy of Stylecaster

I love photography.  I’ve been fortunate enough to collect some black and white prints by a few reknown Canadian photographers. Every time I look at them though, I think to myself: “I wish I could take such clear, fantastic shots!”

Being obsessed with Instagram and Twitter, I’ve seen my share of beautiful pics taken by both amateurs and pros.  I’ve also seen what seems like hundreds of thousands of terrible shots too.   Continue reading Prettying Up Your Blog: 6 Secrets For Taking the Best iPhone Photos