Obscure Toronto: The Graffiti Alley

I have lived in Toronto for 8 years now, and it just dawned upon me that I really don’t know my city. I mean yes I have visited the popular attractions, crammed for exams at the TRL and been to the better known restaurants but I really haven’t made an effort to explore the more rustic, humble side of Toronto. Hence, the birth of the series Obscure Toronto where I will be documenting the more underrated places in TO that I’m exploring this summer. I have already done some research into some places and made a list but I think the beauty of this series lies in the spontaneous adventures and losing yourself in the streets of TO.

Today’s entry is going to be the Graffiti Alley which I will admit isn’t that unknown but I really have never been there and so I headed there with a bunch of friends to check it out and do some impromptu photo shoots lol .

The Graffiti Alley is located in the Fashion District of Toronto and you can reach it by heading south from Queen St. West (We kinda just kept walking, hoping we would find it).

One thing I must say is that the Graffiti Alley was definitely smaller than I expected but for what it was there was really impressive artwork. It was also decently crowded with people taking photography lessons and even a music video being filmed there (lowkey hoping i would get a feature in it).

I def. recommend this place if you’re looking for some good photos to take and want to kill time for a couple hours while witnessing the Torontonian soul through some rustic artwork.

Cue the pics (plus a mini OOTD):

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That’s all for this post. Catch you guys in another part of Toronto 😉

Until then,

Mayuri

Henna, Tats and answers

So today my close friend Margaret and I were discussing tattoos and how if a meaningful situation were to arise we may document it permanently on our bodies. We were also talking about foreheads and 93 yr old singers. On my bus ride home I was thinking about what my first tat would be. After seeing some crazy cool tats online, I went home convinced that I should get a tattoo asap. Obviously (like duh) I won’t be allowed to get one now neither do I have anything meaningful enough to permanently plaster on my skin.

Since it is a friday night, however, I got the brilliant idea of suppressing my rebellious instinct through henna. So I reached for a henna cone (we store them in bundles in case there is an apocalypse and we run out of henna god forbid) and surfed the web to find a simple design. I haven’t applied henna in a really long time so my hand was shaking and i found it really difficult to do more intricate designs. Regardless, I managed to pull something off and this was the result:

simple henna design for beginners on palm

I’m giving myself mad props for this. sure it looks like shit in some places but at least it looks somewhat legitimate from afar.

So currently im typing this post with henna on one hand because I want to keep it on for as long as possible. My mom also suggested to add a lemon juice/ sugar solution to deepen the hue. So I followed. But then now I’m curious as to why henna works the way it does. So I decided to research.

(Clearly I enjoy the word “so”)

Also my room is mostly red. you like?

Shout out to Wikipedia since no one else does it even tho we all should.

Mehendi/Henna contains this pigment called Lawsone which is easily absorbed by the pores in our skin/hair and is responsible for the staining. Henna itself is mixed with a milder acidic medium which aids in releasing the lawsone from the plant. So then it only makes sense that with the addition of the lemon juice, the lawsone pigment is released further to deepen the stain. The sugar helps the paste adhere to the skin longer by making it stickier.

tldr; This dude called Lawsone in your henna does some good shit and is also good friends with mild acids. Lemon juice brings out the best in Lawsone. #lesone.

Since i titled this as “answers”, I also wanted to share another quick opinion of mine:

Many protest that when other cultures wear henna for its aesthetic value, it is cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation imo is  when a culture adopts another cultures practices with the aim of disrespecting or belittling that particular culture. It is also when a more powerful, dominant culture take/steal elements of an oppressed culture.

If someone is respecting your culture and wants to experience/celebrate it then there is nothing wrong with it. Let’s stop latching onto historical contexts and look towards a future where all cultures can be celebrated by everyone.

Yes I know that Henna plays a very auspicious part in hindu weddings and therefore you cannot simply dismiss it as a design or a semi-permanent tattoo. But tbh, me being a hindu girl, I wear Henna because of its aesthetics and it’s intricacies (also cuz its crzy fun to apply). So if I can wear a henna without being incriminated for then why can’t a person of a different culture wear it for the same values? I don’t in any way feel attacked or oppressed when a different culture wears my traditional clothing. I feel elated knowing that people can respect our customs and expose it to the rest of the world.

Also, I find that we tend to belittle our culture the most. We all joke about our traditions and practices but when another culture decides to experience our culture we consider it oppression and dominance. I dont get it.

Cultural appropriation is problematic when certain practices are “trendy” when some wear it but “ethnic” when the culture wears it. Now, however, if I walked to school with henna, instead of deeming me as ethnic people will view me as unique and will be fascinated by my culture. My culture constructs a portion of my identity. If someone else were to adopt features of my culture then depending on the circumstances I consider it to be appreciation over appropriation.

There is a fine line between appreciation and appropriation. Henna has definitely evolved from a symbol of marriage and womanhood to an artistic muse. If someone is wearing henna from sheer admiration, then why don’t we let them experience our culture like we do for theirs?

If me and my  friend can talk about our cultures in fascination then that to me is an indicator of a more open minded and progressive thought school.

controversial ik.

byebye

Thoughts

Yes i haven’t posted in 4 months. No, I haven’t lost interest but rather I have lost inspiration. If someone told me that right when Gr. 12 comes around I will incessantly stress over school, university and life, I seriously wouldn’t have taken this path. What path? Path of stress, unnecessary paranoia and isolation. Ok I’m probably drawing this out a little more dramatic than it should be but the point is, I honestly feel really lost. Call it an existential crisis, if you will. Call it “tumblr” if you will. But to be trite, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life right now. In fact, I don’t understand why I’m allowing myself to fall into this cycle of pointlessness.

The problem is…

I have so many questions that probably no one can answer because we have all been leading life oblivious to these questions. We have categorized and created meaning out of life from things that virtually have no meaning.

This morning, while studying, my dad walked in and started badgering about university and how Im not taking things into my own hands. He said I should have finished my SAT essay by now, talked to my counselors about post-secondary, taken biology during summer school because “easy marks” by this point of time. He also went through a slew of careers that I could pursue due to “scope” even though I have explicitly stated that they don’t interest me and that I have other passions. Mind you, my passions aren’t anything “rebellious”, it’s just a science (academic chem) that’s not the most yielding in terms of pecuniary value. Yet, he rambles about artificial intelligence and software engineering in hopes to change my mind.

My question is: So what if I do software engineering and get a good job? So what if I have all the money in the world? Does that mean I’m successful?

By doing software engineering in a reputable university, it doesn’t mean that I am making anything out of my life. The only difference between software engineer me and high school me would be the mere label. We have constructed since day one that the meaning of life is studying hard, getting into a good university and getting a good job. But what happens after that? We get old, and then impose the same values in our kids. It’s an infinite cycle of pointlessness. At the end of the day, there is never a feeling of accomplishment but rather regret and rancor.

Yes, I admit that I wanted to take my SATs and go to the US and study in a prestigious university. That has been my aspiration since middle school. Last year, I went through a phase of self doubt. I thought:

I’m not a genius. I haven’t done anything extraordinary. I just do above average on (most) courses. That doesn’t make me in any way eligible to study in a good university.

This year, it’s a phase of self-understanding. My thought process is this: if I do get into an amazing university as an engineer, I just add to the legions of engineers in the world. That’s all. That’s all. I’m still the same person except now when people ask me, I can self-righteously say I’m an engineer. Because I’m going to let a meaningless career define my identity. Sigh.

This is a really ineffable topic to write about because it’s hard to explain the inner gut feelings and the epiphanies that you go through. The epiphanies that send a shiver down your spine in apprehension. But when you try to share this trepidation with someone else, they wont understand you because they pursue their lives oblivious to these realizations. They follow this scripted formula and consider deviations as being “rebellious”.

This morning after my dad left the room, I had a sudden mental breakdown and started crying and screaming at the wall as if my dad was there and that I was getting everything off my chest. This post still feels a little incomplete because I had a lot more things I wanted to say but I’m just finding it difficult to put these thoughts to words.

Also, engineering was just an example. If you want to be an engineer, more power to you. I’m just citing an example where society puts certain values on a pedestal when in reality they are values constructed without meaning.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE lol…. I have decided to pick this blog back up and start posting once again. I have also decided to change the theme of my blog and make it more comprehensive so that I don’t restricted/guilty when I post irrelevant rants like this lol. I’ll still be occasionally posting some beauty stuff. I should be doing some pointless (reiterating my point) stuff for school, but now writing this blog post has made me realize the power of words. The power of writing as a medium of expression. It’s power to alleviate even your deepest, abstract fears…

Not the horseshit writing you do for school that follows the formula someone else laid out for you.

-Mayuri

Also, this song is quite appropriate rn : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3dmlgg3ZDY

When spring knocks on your door…

Hello lovelies,

It’s been rather cumbersome studying and cramming for my IB exams locked in my room with depressing music on. Consequently, I don’t have a polished post ready for this week. I have, however, been benefiting from the occasional trips to my backyard (you know your life is miserable when….) and it dawned upon me today that spring is here in Canada! Better late than never right?! My backyard is filled with fruit trees and this is the time when they are decorated with lovely, delicate flowers. Naturally of course, I decided to take a few snaps of the trees/flowers and thought why not share the joy of spring with you all!  Also, since these are fruit trees, maybe in the summer time I’ll have a post up showing all the organic fresh produce that my parents skillfully garden. Stuff tastes way better when you hand-pick them yourselves, doesn’t it?

Ok im going to stop the blabbering, here’s the gallery of the snaps! ALSO, if you have snaps that show the essence of spring, make sure to send me your blog link to it and I would love to check it out. DO IT. I NEED IT OR I MIGHT DIE FROM LACK-OF-SUNLIGHT-SYNDROME. Basically, my attempt of trying to vicariously live through your lovely pictures whilst staying within the confinement of my four walls. sigh.

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So here it is. I apologize for the somewhat-unrelated post but I just need this slight relief from my exams. Hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll be up and running with some tutorials and reviews! Check out my instagram for more pics and stuff (link in the side bar). Also, let me know your instagrams and Ill definitely follow!

Thanks so much everyone for the support! Make sure, if you haven’t already to like, comment, share and subscribe!

Until next time,

Mayuri ♥

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Brows on fleek: How to pluck, shape and fill in your eyebrows at home!

Hola!

Today post is all about the brows. I mean the “brows on fleek” phrase has definitely created a lot of buzz for the eyebrows and so i decided to pay them their due respect. I have been doing my brows myself at home for a year now after a terrible brow waxing incident at a salon. I do my brows once every two weeks, not because they grow back slow but because I’m too lazy to actually spend a half hour each weekend.

Alright so I’m going to try and narrow down my routine to 5 steps that make it easy to follow.

5 steps to brows on fleek (follow with visual down below):

How to pluck, trim and shape eyebrows with tweezers at home. Stray hairs and concealer

Step by step process to doing your eyebrows at home!

1. Pluck Stray hairs: This is the easier step because you don’t need to worry about precision here. Using your tweezer (or eyebrow plucking tool of choice) pluck around the brow to get rid of stray hairs. This includes the brow bone area, the “uni-brow area” and also don’t neglect the upper part of the brow. Tip: invest in good tweezers. Blunt tweezers can be a major pain when trying to tweeze the finer and smaller hairs. 

2. Trim: Using a spooley/eyebrow comb, comb through the hairs and use a hair trimming pair of scissors to cut down the hairs that grow longer than the rest of the brows. These are the hairs that usually move all the time and make your brows unruly.

3. Fill in: Use your favorite eyebrow product to fill in the “bald spots” of your brows. Products can range from a cream based eyeliner product with an angled brush to an eyebrow powder. The best way to fill in your brows is to use a lighter hand when filling in the beginning of the brow and then use more pressure while filling the arch area. It’s almost like an ombré brow. Tip: use a shade of brow product that is a couple shades lighter than your natural eyebrow hairs. This keeps it natural. If you have black eyebrows like me, opt for a dark grey/dark brown eyebrow product.

How to pluck, trim and shape eyebrows with tweezers at home. Stray hairs and concealer

Fill in ’em brows

4. Conceal (optional): Apply concealer using a flat brush on your brow bone and on the upper eyebrow skin? and blend it out to give a cleaner, crisper and more defined eyebrow look.

How to pluck, trim and shape eyebrows with tweezers at home. Stray hairs and concealer

Conceal the brow bone

5. Intensify: This is for you guys that love your defined eyebrows. Use your angled eyeliner brush to clean up the edges of the brow so that they look solid and crisp. This is also the part where you should use a spooley/eyebrow comb and run it through the hairs to ensure they are looking natural and blended out. Tip; If you have unruly eyebrows use a wax or even a lip balm to keep the brow hairs in place. 

And Ta-da, we are officially done! Of course with different eyebrow shapes, this procedure may differ slightly but in general these are pretty good solid set of steps to follow while doing your brows at home. Its cheaper and saves you the fuss of having to leave to the salon every week or so.

How to pluck, trim, shape eyebrows at home. DIY how to Eyebrows on fleek routine

Somewhat decent pic of the brows. Ignore the background clutter aha

Okay, so that’s it for this post! I would really appreciate if you guys commented and let me know some ideas for more blogs cuz that will definitely keep me motivated and on track! If you found this helpful, make sure to like and share and of course follow if you haven’t already 🙂 

Until next time,

Mayuri ♥

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DIY Inexpensive Room Decor Inspiration – Paintings/Crafts & more!

Hey guys!

Getting straight to the point, in this post I am going to show you guys a few decor pieces that I made/revamped for my room. Bare with the camera quality, please. haha



DIY Canvas Paintings:

I have two canvas paintings in my room that I did over the summer. Canvas paintings are great because you can easily find inexpensive canvases and acrylic in local art or even dollar stores! Whether you are good at painting or not, you can still pull off some impressive looking canvases without much effort.

Here`s an example of a canvas painting that you can do simply with tape and paint. Just tape the areas where you do not want any colors and then paint your favorite colors in the un-taped areas. I went with pastel colors and a pop of gold. You could also fill the areas with glitter for some sparkle. The great thing about this painting idea is that due to geometric shapes it looks simple, chic and modern!

DIY geometric tape canvas painting which is inexpensive, cute and chic

Complete with a snowman plushie

DIY canvas painting with tape!

Inspiration for this painting: http://diyhomedecorguide.com/diy-canvas-art-ideas/


This second idea for a canvas painting definitely takes a little more precision and skill and I would recommend it to anyone who is fond of painting landscapes. To make this painting I used two canvases which when placed close together will look like one solid painting. I mixed yellow, white and orange for the background and added darker orange contours. After the background was completely dry, I painted with white tree (I had to go over it twice), white birds and the baby blue leaves. I added some white highlights to the blue leaves to make them pop!

Yellow/blue canvas painting

Yellow/blue canvas painting

I love this painting because it complements the red wall in the room although I have yet to hang the painting.

Inspiration for this painting: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/514536326151372383/


DIY Ombré Tissue paper flower garlands

This has got to be one of my favorite DIYs ever. These paper flower window garlands look cute and girly with a bohemian touch. To make this I made paper flowers from four different shades of tissue paper (white, light pink, baby pink and magenta) for the ombré effect.

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#OOTD: SEMI FORMAL 2015

Hey guys,

Not much writing today, just a whole bunch of photos from my schools semi formal that took place this thursday (Feb 12th). I decided I wanted to show you guys my outfit and quick overview of my makeup as well! So here goes…

Outfit details: 

  • Dress: French collection
  • Shoes: Nine West
  • Necklace: Macy`s
Outfit details:   Dress: French collection Shoes: Nine West Necklace: Macy`s

Ft: Bathroom towel

Semi formal outfit inspiration, hair and makeup. black lace dress. bodycon. statement necklace. red lips.

Semi formal outfit inspiration, hair and makeup. black lace dress. bodycon. statement necklace. red lips.

Semi formal outfit inspiration, hair and makeup. black lace dress. bodycon. statement necklace. red lips.

Stephanie(left) and Sufia(right)!

For makeup, I went with some winged eyeliner, neutral eyes with loads of mascara and bold red lips. As for hair, I curled the tips of the hair for those soft curls and pinned all my hair to one side.

Semi formal outfit inspiration, hair and makeup. black lace dress. bodycon. statement necklace. red lips.

Finished hair and makeup look

Semi formal outfit inspiration, hair and makeup. black lace dress.  bodycon. statement necklace. red lips. Sole beauty

Featuring my favorite leech (inside joke), Ellen ♥

So thats it guys, tons of pics not much text, but overall I would say I had a blast at my first ever semi formal in junior year. Ended up with dead feet, full belly and some frustration over having to wait an hour to get my coat back but some really great memories overall! Finally got the chance to dress up and not look like a sleep deprived zombie like I usually do lol. Will be posting an in-depth make up tutorial soon, so stay tuned!

Comment down below on what you thought of my outfit and dont forgot to like and follow!

Until next time,

Mayuri ♥

Sole beauty Semi formal outfit inspiration, hair and makeup. black lace dress. bodycon. statement necklace. red lips.

red lips, Maybelline great lash real impact mascara review, sole beauty, fotd, selfie

Review: Maybelline great lash real impact mascara

Hey guys,

I needed a new mascara and so I hit the drugstore in hopes of finding the perfect volumizing and lengthening formula. Of course, instead of sticking to the ones I already know and love, my fickle curiosity led me to purchasing the new installment in the Maybelline great lash line, the Maybelline great lash real impact mascara.

Maybelline real impact great lash mascara

comes with an added vibrant package!

Maybelline great lash real impact mascara bought from shoppers drug mart

Bought it for $6.79 at Shoppers drug mart

The product promises:

  • real looking volume
  • easy removal

It comes with 11 ml of product which is higher than the usual Maybelline mascaras. Right off the bat, when I opened it I found that it was a slightly drier formula with a medium thick synthetic brush.

Maybelline great lash real impact mascara wand brush review

This is the brush, its quite thin making it easy to coat the smaller lashes

The first coat was quite disappointing actually. It barely added volume/length, it was only able to slightly darken my lashes. If you do like the natural look, then this might be something worth looking into.

The second coat was much better. I started to see a greater volume build up and my lashes started to look more prominent. I wouldn’t say I saw great length but it wasn’t too bad.

The third and final coat definitely added more volume but I wouldn’t call it a real impact. This was also the stage where I started noticing the clumping and it took me a good 2-3 minutes to separate the lashes. I also added the mascara to the bottom lashes, and I have to say, the smaller brush made it quite easy to coat the lower lashes while making them pop.

Maybelline great lash real impact mascara review (three coats)

Maybelline great lash real impact mascara review (three coats)

This is the finished look, I did both eyes after curling the lashes and also added a touch of inner corner eyeshadow. What do you guys think? Not that dramatic from far.

red lips, Maybelline great lash real impact mascara review, sole beauty, fotd, selfie

Faking a lob

red lips, Maybelline great lash real impact mascara review, sole beauty, fotd, selfie

The lashes lack drama as you can tell from this pic

Longevity and removal:

A major flaw in this mascara is that it FLAKES. If you were to touch your eyes throughout the day you would notice black flakes on your lids and under-eyes. I also noticed some smudging from the bottom lashes. In terms of removal, it was pretty simple actually, I was able to get most of the mascara off with just warm water and a cotton pad.

Final verdict: Definitely not the best mascara out there. Its okay for its price ($6.79 at shoppers drug mart) but I highly doubt I would ever repurchase this product. Its suitable for the lower lashes and suitable if you dont want dramatic lashes but I would warn you to stay away from it during long nights out just because of its tendency to flake. In total I would give it a 2.5/5 stars.

Thats it guys, shorter post today but hopefully this might help you narrow down your choices the next time your hunting down for that perfect mascara. Make sure to like, comment and follow me here for more beauty posts!

Until next time,

Mayuri♥

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The EPIC About Me [TAG]! | Sole Beauty

Hey guys!

Who said bloggers can`t do tags?

Alright, so the [TAG] you are about to read is my attempt at merging a tag that I saw on the famous beauty blogger/vlogger, Zoella`s blog and an about me tag that has been lingering on YouTube. .

Ok, I`m going to stop now and carry on with the tag since this is quite long.

The About Me [Tag]:

Vital Statistics:

Me: Mayuri
Nicknames: Moomoo cow (Progressed from a friend not being able to pronounce my name -_-)
Birthday: 6th February, 1998
Place of Birth: Sri Lanka
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Male or Female: Female
Occupation: Part-part-time piano teacher, haha 😉
Residence: Toronto
Screen Name: SolelyMayuri
 
Appearance:
Hair Colour: Black
Hair Length: Long
Eye colour: Dark Brown
Height: 5ft 3″ (I think?)
Braces: Turns out I didnt`t need them (though I still think I do).
Glasses: Yes: Gr 8 summer. … And I lost it… My parents still don`t know
Piercing: Ears
Tattoos: None.
Righty or Lefty: Righty

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This is the final look. I'm wearing the L'oreal Carbon Black mascara (holy grail product) and a highlighter shade from one of my Covergirl quads.

Hooded eyes – How I do my winged eyeliner – Perfect for beginners.

Hey guys,

The time has come for me to post a makeup tutorial. This being my first, please excuse the quality of the pics (i’m still figuring out how to take decent pictures of my eye). Anyways, i’m going to show you guys how I do my cat eyeliner. It’s not super dramatic but its just the right amount of drama to wear for glamorous and everyday occasions. I used to find it a chore to do cat eyeliner and Q-Tips were my best friends. My hooded eyelids (may not be visible in the pic), make it quite bothersome to do eyeliner because as soon as I open my eyes, I notice that the eyeliner has taken up the space of my entire lid and the eye shadow. But with patience and persistence comes skill. So I persisted in figuring the right eyeliner for my eye shape and may I say, I’ve finally figured it out!

Here are some tips if you have hooded eyelids, to make the eyeliner process less arduous:

  1. Keep your eyes open while doing the eyeliner. This will give you an insight on how much space your eyeliner is taking up and how thick/thin to make your eyeliner.
  2. Generally, keep the eyeliner thinner (starting from the tear duct)  and gradually make it thicker as you reach the end. This will keep the eyelid space relatively free till the end. This method also elongates the eye
  3. When doing the wing, look straight ahead and chose an angle (preferably extending your water line) that doesn’t interfere with your natural crease.
This pic shows what happens when I apply my eyeliner with my eyes closed. As you can see, it interferes with my hooded crease. The wing is shorter and it appears as though the hood is "swallowing" the wing.

This pic shows what happens when I apply my eyeliner with my eyes closed. As you can see, it interferes with my hooded crease. The wing is shorter and it appears as though the hood is “swallowing” the wing.

This pic shows that when I apply my eyeliner really thick it takes up a lot of the precious eyelid space.

This pic shows that when I apply my eyeliner really thick it takes up a lot of the precious eyelid space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now onto my 6 step eye liner process (Refer to pic below while reading the steps):

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