12/31/14

Favourite Products of 2014


I found some golden, tried-and-true products this year and I thought it would be fun to share them with you. Some of these items will forever be on my holy-grail beauty list!


Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
This is hands down the best liquid eye liner I have ever tried. At first glance, it seems like it has a sponge tip applicator, but it's actually a tiny brush with very fine bristles. This is what helps the product glide on smoothly to get a precise line. I also love that it stays on all day and doesn't smudge!


Bite Agave Lip Mask
As you can tell in the photo, this product has received some serious lovin'! It has a very thick consistency, similar to vaseline, but it is made of food-grade ingredients and doesn't contain petroleum or gluten. I use this lip mask every night before bed and it has seriously saved my life (lips). Last year I really struggled with dry and cracked lips, especially during the fall and winter. I have not had any issues in 2014 and I credit this sweet baby for it. I also really like that it is made in Canada - WOOOOO represent!


Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black & White
I received a sample of the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black perfume a little while ago and it didn't take long before it was gone. I fell in love the slightly masculine, sensual vanilla scent. But this beautifully scented baby is stinkin' expensive! I couldn't bring myself to fork out the money for an entire bottle, especially when I already have perfume begging to be used in my collection. Lucky for me, Nirvana Black was released in a limited edition mini rollerball set with it's sister, Nirvana White. These are perfect purse size and if layered together, create a third unique scent.


Mac Angel Lipstick
This lipstick became very famous thanks to Kim Kardashian a few years ago. I was a little late hopping on the beauty bandwagon with this one, I purchased it this summer and quickly became my favourite lipstick. It's a pale pink with just the right amount of frost. It's perfect for any time of the year and compliments any makeup combination. I also think it looks really great with a tan!


The original beautyblender
Since purchasing this magical sponge, I have used it every day to blend out my concealer. It works like a dream and cuts down my makeup process by at least 30 seconds! (It's actually a long time when you think about it).


Garnier Fructis De-Constructed Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray
I found this gem at the drugstore and bought it on sale for just $4! Not only am I addicted to the scent, it also provides instant lift to my otherwise limp hair, without becoming crunchy. I just spray it fairly generously at my roots and massage it in gently with my fingertips. It dries quickly and gives me the "va-va-voom" volume I'm desperate for.


Bath and Body Works Warm Caramel Cider Candle
I know this isn't technically a beauty product, but I am so in love with this scent, I HAD to share it with you. One thing I have learned with Bath and Body Works is that the really good candles don't last long in a store and once it's gone - it's gone. Therefore, I am very sad I didn't buy a dozen of these. Lesson learned. Next year I am stocking up!

It has a scent similar to candy apples - but the fresh cut apple smell is definitely more potent than the sugary sweetness of the caramel. I also love how Bath and Body Works frequently changes its packaging and the little leaves attached to the lid are so adorable! This is one thing I miss with the candles I've recently purchased - they don't have lids. I know most people toss them in the garbage, but aside from a pretty topper, I can appreciate them because they prevent my house from burning down. The lid locks out any oxygen and I can sleep soundly knowing the flame is completely out.

It was a good year for beauty products and I look forward to seeing what I'll discover in 2015!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Happy New Year! Be safe and have fun!

xxx

12/29/14

New Year's Eve Glam Makeup


I recently received the Lorac PRO Palette 2 for Christmas, and the minute I laid my eyes on the fabulous blue colour, I knew I wanted to use it for a glam New Year's Eye look. The result was this beautiful, blue smokey look.


Since the focus of this look is on the sultry eye, I decided not to include photos of my typical face makeup routine in this blog post. It's the same as normal - foundation buffed into my skin using a Sigma F80 and concealer in a triangle shape under my eyes and blended out using a beautyblender

It's New Year's Eve, so I want to ensure my makeup stays on all night. To prevent my eyeshadow from creasing, I used the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

Using a fairly large brush, I used the colour Buff from my Lorac PRO Palette 2 and swiped this all over my lid and up to my brow bone. 


On a fluffy blending brush I used a windshield wiper motion to apply Lt. Brown in my crease. 


On a flat shader brush I packed Navy onto my lid, being careful not to bring the colour into my crease. It took me a little while to get the pigmentation to where I wanted it. Next time I am going to use a black or blue cream base to help amplify the colour. This shadow also had a bit of fallout - a base would help give it something to adhere to. 


It looked really messy and scary at first! But trust me, it gets better. 

With a clean blending brush I blended right in-between the blue and light brown colours. The idea with this look is to add a bit of colour and blend. Then blend some more...and some more...and more...

I blended the crap out of these edges!


I took another clean fluffy brush and applied the colour Nectar very gently around the outer edges of the soft brown colour. 


I really wanted to create a gradient and soft, smokey look.

To add a little more glamour, I used my finger to pack on some of the shimmery Silver colour just in the very centre of my lids. I also applied a small amount of Beige on the inner corners. This really helped add some brightness to my eyes and prevented it from looking like I had been sucker punched. 


After lining my waterline using a NYX Slim Eye Pencil in black, I smudged a little bit of Navy onto my bottom lashes and used Lt. Brown to blend it out with a pencil brush.

Since the eyes are so dark, I made sure to apply a couple thick coats of Covergirl Full Lash Bloom mascara to ensure my eyelashes didn't get lost. This would be a great look to wear some false lashes with if you wanted to! It is New Year's after all - bring out all your magic tricks and glamour!


I wanted to really warm up my skin with Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer, so I applied this on the contours of my cheeks, temples and a little bit on my forehead and jaw. I didn't want to make this look muddled with too much colour so I opted for the warm golden hue in my Glamorous Blush 10 Color Palette from bhcosmetics and applied it on the apples on my cheeks.  


To accent my cheekbones and attract more light to my face, I used the Body Shop Radiant Highlighter and blended it in using my fingertips.




It's hard to believe a whole year has come and gone already! While 2014 treated me well, I look forward to seeing what 2015 has in store. 


Happy New Year Y'all!

Products Mentioned:

xxx

12/24/14

Festive Holiday Party Makeup Look


I had intended to get this post up a little bit sooner, but as well all know - December is a busy month!

I got a little carried away with my 12 Days of Festive Nails series and between shopping for Christmas, baking goodies and attending family/friend gatherings, time flew by faster than I could have ever imagined.

Although Christmas is tomorrow, I still wanted to post this look to give you some inspiration for future parties (ahem - New Years).

The eye shadow combination is what I have worn to every holiday party this month and it wears well with any lip colour. My favourite is to wear it with a bold red lip, but I've also sported a nude and pink as well.

I started by smoothing a little bit of the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser onto my nose, cheeks and forehead (anywhere I tend to have visible pores). Next I applied Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation in the shade 120 Nude Beige. I used a Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki brush to buff this into my skin.


I used Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in the shade Very Fair in a triangle shape under my eyes, as well as a little bit on my chin, down the length of my nose and on my forehead - because I was going for the war paint look. Just kidding! I used my beautyblender to blend it out. By placing the concealer in these areas, I am helping illuminate the high points of my face.


I always make sure I prime my eyes to ensure the colours I apply will last throughout the day and night. I really like the Lorac Pro Behind the Scenes Eye Primer.  For shadows, I used the colour Taupe from my beloved Lorac Pro Palette and blended that into my crease using a Sigma E35 Tapered Blending brush. 


I then took a wet flat shader brush and mixed a bit of the Nude and White colour from the same palette. I packed this onto my eyelids. I also used my finger to press even more pigment onto my eyes. By wetting the brush, I am helping amplify the sparkle and colour of each shade. I really wanted the centre part of my eyelids to be nice and bright. 

I also applied the Nude colour on the inner conners. 


I went back in with that same blending brush from before, without picking up any additional product, and went around the edges to make sure everything looked smooth. 

Using a smaller crease brush, I mixed a bit of the dark brown shades in this palette - Sable and Espresso - and focused this on the outer corner of my eyes to add a bit more depth. I also smudged this along my lower lash line. 

I used the Cream shade with a fairly large shader brush to highlight my brow bone. It's matte so it helps balance the shimmer from my eyelids. 


It wouldn't be a glam holiday look if I didn't do a winged liner, and of course I used my holy grail liquid liner - the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. I also applied the NYX Slim Eye Pencil in Black along my waterline. 


I've been loving the Covergirl Full Lash Bloom mascara lately, so I applied two coats of this to my eyelashes. 


The end result is a subtle smoky eye with a little bit of sparkle - perfect for this time of year. 

For the rest of my face I used Benefit Hoola Bronzer and Nars Sin Blush


The red lip may be my favourite part of this whole entire look. I used Siren in Scarlet from the Maybelline Color Sensation Creamy Matte collection. I first applied it straight from the bullet and then I took a piece of tissue and blotted. 


To help the colour last throughout the night, I then went in with a lip brush and painted over the already existing colour. This also helps get a more precise and crisp line around my lips. 


That's it guys! I hope you enjoyed this post and I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! 


Products Mentioned:

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation
Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
Lorac Pro Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
Lorac Pro Eyeshadow Palette
Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
NYX Eyeliner Pencil
Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Nars Sin Blush
Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick

xxx

12/23/14

12 Days of Festive Nails: Day 12 - Sparkles Galore

Although Christmas Eve is tomorrow, I am sure we've all started to think about New Years plans already. This nail polish from Nicole by OPI is called Rainbow in the S-Kylie and it was released with the Kardashian Kolor Holiday collection a couple of years ago. It's perfect for the holidays because it's sparkly and glamorous, but I also love it for ringing in a new year - it reminds me of a disco ball.


There's silver, orange, green, red and pink chunks of glitter in all different sizes and it's just amazing!

It can be worn as a top coat over any nail colour (in the picture above I used OPI Samoan Sand, which is a nice, nude tone).

However, I love to wear it alone and layer three to four coats of it on all of my nails. The end result is a really fantastic glitter explosion. It's like wearing an all-over sequin dress (on your nails), so if you can't find that perfect sparkly outfit to celebrate in, this is the best way to add a little pizzaz to something basic.


Well everyone, that's it for my 12 Days of Festive Nails series. I had a lot of fun and hope you did as well. I also hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  

xxx

12/21/14

12 Days of Festive Nails: Day 11 - String of Lights


Christmas lights bring a lot of memories for me...

Since I can remember, it has been a tradition to visit a house in our City, which is decked with thousands of beautiful, dancing lights. We even have a video of my Mom and I on the news when I was just a toddler, enjoying the sights. It's always exciting every year to see what new feature is added to the bright spectacle. My favourite has always been a dragon that seemed to slither across the lawn.

I also remember my Mom and I would wear gloves to try and wrangle the string of lights around our Christmas tree.  Those branches would leave our hands scratched and battered. Thank goodness for the invention of pre-lit trees!

One year we even had singing lights. Oh my parents loved them (NOT) - but as a child, I couldn't wait to burst out of my bed, run down the stairs and play Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, first thing every morning.

I can remember my Dad standing outside on a ladder in bitter temperatures to decorate our house with white lights. But as tradition states - it had to be done and he was a trooper year after year.

Without festive lights, Christmas just wouldn't be the same. There's something nostalgic about walking or driving down a street and seeing the spirit of the holidays. A tree wouldn't quite look the same without twinkling lights. Imagine if people didn't decorate their houses - OR if neighbourhoods were decorated all year round! How absurd! Christmas wouldn't be Christmas. It would lose it's magic!

So after my quick rant about why I love Christmas and the lights that come with it, you can imagine my reaction when I saw this manicure on Pinterest. I HAD to recreate it. How could I do an entire festive nails series without including one that screams Christmas?

I'm not the handiest with nail stripers and I was afraid my lines would be horrendous, so I came up with the idea to use some thread.  I would have rather used black, but navy blue was all I had on hand and it turned out pretty well.


I painted my nails white and before the polish had a chance to dry, I laid the thread over top and gently pressed it down. I trimmed the excess with a pair of nail scissors.


I then went in with my trusty skewers and created red, green, yellow and blue dots to mimic bulbs.


The spacing and placement of these dots were totally random. 


Within the first couple of hours of wearing this manicure in public, I received three compliments. I think they're just adorable and part of me now wishes Christmas occurred all year-round so I can wear this manicure every day for an entire year. 

xxx

12/19/14

12 Days of Festive Nails: Day 10 - Sweet Sugarplum Half-Moon

Welcome to day 10 of this festive nail series. Yes, you read that correctly - day 10! This means there are only two holiday-themed nail posts left. It also means Christmas is literally around the corner! Which results in a hyper Birdy spewing excitement. (EEEEEEK!!!!!)

Today I'm going to show you how to get this really pretty half-moon manicure.


It's a lot more simple than it looks. I took a quick trip to Staples and bought a pack of binder reinforcements (translation: those circle stickers with holes in the middle). I didn't have a clue what they were called at first...



Not Like The Movies (Left), Vampsterdam (Right)

I started by applying a coat of OPI Not Like The Movies, which was released with the Katy Perry Collection in 2010. Once that was completely dry, I placed a sticker at the base of each nail and made sure they were pressed down firmly. Next I painted directly over top of the sticker, using OPI Vampsterdam, as if I were painting my nail normally. I waited for this to dry and then carefully peeled the binder reinforcements away.



This time around I used colours that weren't particularly Christmas-y. But the deep, metallic purple reminds me of sugarplums, and the iridescent silver poking out from the bottom changes to a festive green in different light. Therefore, I have found enough justification to wear this manicure during the holidays.


In addition, the colour combinations for this manicure are endless and the half-moon design can be worn all year round.

xxx



12/18/14

Xmas Gift Idea: DIY Gingerbread Body Scrub


A few weeks ago I was building a gingerbread army, (no really, see here) when I came to the conclusion that I have a weakness for the spicy and sweet scent of these delicious cookies. So much so, that I would bathe in the dough if that were possible.

Call me the sugar fairy if you will - I am turning this possibility into a reality! Introducing a DIY Body Scrub that smells scrumptious and leaves your skin nice and smooth.

Go ahead - keep it all to yourself and smother it from head to toe. Or share with some friends so they can join in on the ginger party as well. This would make a really nice Christmas gift for your girlfriends, mom or any other lady in your life.

If my girlfriends are reading this right now - SURPRISE! Merry Christmas! :)

I didn't follow a recipe for this, but there are a ton online that you could find and use. I based quantity of ingredients by how much scrub I wanted to make and I relied on my nostrils to do the rest. My goal was to make it smell just like a batch of cookies would before they hit the oven. The great thing about creating DIY projects is that you can make adjustments or customize it to your liking.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Coconut Oil
1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 pinch of Clove
1 tbsp Honey

I started by slowly melting the coconut oil in a saucepan on the stove.


I added the liquid to the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and clove.  


Mix! I added a squeeze of honey because it can help with dry skin. 


I had a couple of empty jars lying around, so I filled those up and screwed the lid on tightly. I found little cappuccino spoons at the dollar store and tied them to the jars with some gold ribbon. 


This was a simple project using ingredients I had on hand in my kitchen. The batch came together super quick and there wasn't much fussing involved. 

I personally love to receive homemade Christmas gifts because they have more thought and meaning to them. I can appreciate if a friend or family member has spent a little extra time on something for me. 

xxx