12/30/15

Drugstore Beauty Favourites from 2015

It's unbelievable how quickly a year can really fly by. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating 2015's arrival and tomorrow we will be bidding it farewell. Although it truly is just another day passing by, New Years is also a time to reflect on the past - memories good and bad. It's also a good excuse to do a favourites post featuring some of my most used beauty items!

It's been a year of experimenting for me when it comes to beauty products, but no matter how many fancy, high-end items I tried, drugstore brands still proved to be top contenders. Therefore, I have decided to split my year-end favourites into two: drugstore and high end. Today I am gushing about budget friendly beauty buys that really knocked my socks off. So without further ado...


Essence Longlasting Lipstick in barley there!
I have no idea how the Kylie Jenner lip trend is still a thing, but I suppose you could call this super moisturizing lipstick my attempt at rocking the Kardashian sister's famous hue. It's a wearable brown with rosy undertones and looks quite flattering on the lips. The formula is smooth and buttery, but lasts for several hours, and best of all...it only costs a few bucks!

Covergirl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara
I've been asked a couple of times if my eye lashes were real while wearing this mascara, which is a big deal to me because normally they're pretty average. This one definitely holds the curl like no other and makes my lashes long and lush.


I also really enjoyed the Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara by LashBlast for creating soft and natural looking lashes. It's a great option for those with sensitive eyes or contact wearers.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water
I went through multiple bottles of this magical water during 2015. I find myself using it most on lazy nights when I just want to crawl into bed and can't be bothered to wash my face. It removes all of my makeup without stripping my skin. Unfortunately my stash is dry at the moment, so I wasn't able to capture a photo, but I have done an entire post dedicated to the Simple Micellar Cleansing Water in the past. Click here if you haven't seen it.

Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Honey
This lippy looks purple inside the tube, but on the lips it's quite sheer and neutral. It's an 'MLBB' (My Lips But Better) kind of colour that's so easy to apply and wears well with everything. It has a slight minty scent and moisturizing properties, making it feel more like a lip balm rather than a lipstick. I generally have this beauty tucked in a pocket of my purse and use it while on the go, especially when my pucker's feeling chapped but I still want a tint of rosiness.


LUSH Shampoo Bars
I'm not sure if LUSH would be considered drugstore or high end, but each shampoo bar costs roughly $10, which I compare to a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. I fell head over heels in love with these nifty pellets this year! They're super compact and great for travelling, last a really long time, lather better than anything I've ever tried before and leave my hair clean but conditioned at the same time. While I've tried multiple different shampoo bars, the one pictured below is Brazilliant, which contains loads of vibrant citrus oils leaving my hair smelling like a Creamsicle.


Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder
I hit pan on this setting powder a long time ago and it's still kicking! I have dry skin, so I only use a tiny amount under my eyes and on my t-zone where I tend to get oily patches. It locks everything in place, eliminates shine and makes my pores look smaller for a flawless finish.


Well there you have it, some of my most loved, and used, affordable products from the past year. You can catch my high end beauty favourites on the other side.

Happy New Year! Celebrate it well, but as always, remember to be safe.

xxx

12/23/15

Happy Holidays and Plaid Nails

'Tis the season to be jolly and joyous...FA LA LA! There's only two more sleeps 'till Christmas!

I haven't been able to get the Muppet song out of my head, and I'm probably driving everyone around me bonkers, but I'm so stinking excited for the next few days! Family dinners with to-die-for food, wine flowing like water, present bows and wrapping paper flying around the room like Harry Potter on his broomstick, and let's be serious...smiles and laughter shared with the people I love. This is what I look forward to year after year when Christmas comes around.

Today's post is going to be the last one before December 25 arrives, so before we get into the festive nail design, I want to send you all my warmest wishes for the holiday season. I hope your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa - whichever holiday you celebrate - is filled with happiness and love.

I saw this Pretty in Plaid nail art idea while scrolling through Pinterest a little while ago, and thought it looked so neat and festive, so I decided to try it out myself! I used OPI's The Thrill of Brazil for the red base and OPI's Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow, a deep (almost black) olive green colour, over the top.


I used a small dotting tool to create the boxes on each nail and used a nail striper to create thin, diagonal lines connecting them together. I made a mistake by not leaving some areas blank, but I still like the end result.  


Happy Holidays!! 

xxx

12/20/15

Top 5 Nail Colours for Winter

Although I recently started a series featuring five favourite lip colours for each season, I somehow managed to skip winter last year when I wrote my top five nail colour posts. Since my pucker normally sports the same hues during fall AND winter, I thought I would rewind a little and share with you my five favourite nail polish choices for the frosty season.

Ps. If you missed my five favourite lip colours for fall post, click here.

Coincidentally, all of these nail polishes happen to be by OPI. It's honestly my preferred brand of nail polish, period.

OPI Ski Teal We Drop
I still love to wear colour during winter, just in darker tones. This beautiful polish combines blue, green and grey to make a deep teal cream. It's so rich and can be worn with anything! For some reason it reminds me of a chunky knit scarf. It's definitely a sophisticated way to wear blue, because sometimes brights can be a little tacky...


OPI Dutch'ya Just Love OPI
Unfortunately I think this colour is discontinued. It was part of the Holland collection in 2012. It's a deep plum with subtle golden and red shimmers throughout. The formula is super opaque and applies smoothly with just one coat, but I apply two for good measure.


OPI The Thrill of Brazil
With Christmas and New Years smack dab at the beginning of winter, it seems quite appropriate to wear a festive red. This nail polish in my opinion is perfect - not too deep, not too orange - a simple, but classic red. I think a statement, poppy nail is wearable during any time of the year. It reminds me of Marilyn Monroe and old Hollywood glamour - definitely feminine and sexy!


OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
At first glance, this 'cult favourite' nail colour looks black, but stare a little harder and it's evident that there is an eggplant/plum undertone. It's dark and grunge-y without being too gothic. I think ebony shades like this were frowned upon at first and deemed inappropriate for the workplace. But in my opinion, if paired with the right outfit, this nail colour can be quite sophisticated and modern. Plus, Linoln Park After Dark is purple, not black - so it's different!


OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue
Don't OPI polishes have the cutest names?! I can picture this deep shimmery navy colour on my nails as I sip champagne and count down to midnight on New Years Eve. It's super shiny and glamourous and really does remind me of a midnight sky during winter time.


Please don't mind the cut on my index finger in these photos. I will, however, suggest to be extra careful while wielding a knife to cut watermelon if you're running late for work...

Here's hoping winter will be mild and short! I do love wearing these vampy colours, but I also can't wait to slap on some neons! Actually...I just can't wait for sunshine and warmth!

xxx

12/17/15

Sugar Plum Eyeshadow With A Pop Of Evergreen And Double Winged Liner

Last year I posted a classic Christmas look with a shimmering smokey eye and bold red lip. This year I wanted to do something a little more atypical. As the title would suggest, this vibrant, but still holiday appropriate look, is inspired by sweet sugarplums and piney evergreens. 


I used a variation of purples on the eyelid, with deeper tones blended throughout the crease and outer corner. A deep green, blown-out along the lower lash line really helps to make the eyes pop. I really love how the two tones contrast, yet still work together. 

The eyes are quite colourful and bold already, but I wanted to make it even more interesting by doing a double winged liner. It was my first time trying this trick and I am impressed at how easy it was to achieve. I attacked it as if I were applying my liquid eyeliner as usual, but angled the first flick a little lower than I normally would so that it stuck out straight rather than angled up from my lower lash line. I then went above this line and used it as a guide to add another flick.


From a distance it looks like extra thick lashes on the outer corners, but up close and personal it's pretty cool to look at as well!

Face:

Eyes:
  • Buff (all over lid)
  • Plum (crease and outer corner)
  • Snow (inner corner and brow bone)
bhcosmetics 88 Matte Eyeshadow Palette (purple on lid and green on lower lash line)
xxx

12/14/15

December's Birchbox - See What's Inside

Christmas came early! At least, that's what it felt like when this pretty package arrived on my doorstep. 


 This month Birchbox sent along products to help everyone get ready for the Holidays. 


What's Inside:

Coastal Scents styleEYES Eyeshadow Palette - socialEYES (Full size = $16)
"A bold, beautiful eye shadow palette in alluring smoky tones."

These two shadows are just a sample of colours that have been curated into a mini, purse friendly, palette. The charcoal grey and nearly black hues are quite shimmery, but pack lots of pigment. I just wish they had sent more wearable colours for everyday looks, but these will definitely come in handy when creating a smokey eye for a night out. 

Lord & Berry Pailettes Eye Pencil - Black (Full size = $24)
"This blend able pencil from the Italian brand is studded with bits of silver shimmer."

Sparkles around Christmas and New Year's just makes sense, so I think this creamy black eye liner with flecks of silver glitter is genius! It glides nice and smooth along the waterline, has pretty good staying power and adds a subtle glimmer to the eyes. 


My Daughter Fragrances Always Loved (Full size = $85)
"Notes of Bulgarian rose oil and Turkish rose mingle with cedar, bitter cocoa, and patchouli for a romantic scent."

This sweet, feminine perfume combines notes of Bulgarian rose oil and Turkish rose absolute. Founder, Janey Ganson says "if a cowgirl went to Paris, she'd come back smelling like Always Loved." It's got a great balance of floral and warm undertones. 

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle (Full size = $26)
"Best-selling elixir that locks in colour, protects from heat damage, and adds silkiness."

This tiny product is a jack of all trades. When used as a leave-in conditioner, it not only helps detangle hair so a brush can gently glide through, it also tames frizz and fly-aways. It can protect against damage from hot tools, like a straightener, and adds shine and silkiness. It's also 100% vegan, which I think is a pretty cool little detail too.  

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo (Full size = $26)
"Weightless spray in the brand's signature Obliphica scent that refreshes hair sans residue."

My cousin (also my hairdresser) introduced me to the amika line a long time ago. I fell in love, but it is quite expensive and for that reason I never went out to buy one for myself. I was thrilled to see this cute, miniature version in my Birchbox this month because it really is an amazing dry shampoo! It doesn't leave any residue and smells divine. 

All in all, I think this box was awesome! As always, there was a good variety of products and I can't wait to use them up. 


Ps. Meet my newest fury friend! Dev and I are cat-sitting for a few weeks and this little guy was just desperate for his 15 minutes of fame. How cute is he though?!

xxx

12/10/15

Colourful and Festive Ombre Polka Dot Tree Nails

Unfortunately I won't be doing 12 Days of Festive Nails this year. I had a blast doing it last December, but this time around I wanted to dedicate the month to a variety of different post topics. I do, however, have a few festive nail art ideas planned to share with you, including this colourful ombre polka dot tree. 


Reds and greens are nice, but I wanted to do something bright and colourful, yet still Christmas appropriate. I chose orange and purple and really love how the two look together. 

I've done a post on how to create ombre nails with a makeup sponge before. (If you haven't seen it, click here). It's actually super easy! Simply paint colours, in the order you want them to appear, directly onto the sponge and use it to stamp your nails. 


For the tree, I went in with a dotting tool and created rows of polka dots in the same gradient colour pattern. The dots taper to a point achieving a christmas tree shape. I also glued a star stud to top it off - I think it is the perfect finishing touch. 

I hope you guys like this nail design as much as I do! 

xxx

12/3/15

November 2015 Beauty & Lifestyle Favourites

We have bid farewell to yet another month, and now the countdown is on! Christmas Eve is in exactly three weeks!!! But before I get to excited and consumed by everything Holly, Jolly and Bright - here are my favourites from the month of November.

Favourite Beauty Products:
LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in On Point
I've used this shadow stick nearly every day since I received it in my November Birchbox. Whether applied all over the lid or just as a pop of highlight in the inner corner, the colour is absolutely stunning and stays put all day long. I love it for busy days when I just need to get out the door and don't have too much time to focus on my makeup.


Essence Cosmetics Gel Eye Pencil Waterproof in Cocoa Bean
I'm really into brown eyeliner lately! It's not quite as harsh as black and really compliments any eyeshadow look. This formula itself is really creamy, smudges easily and seems to stay in place on my waterline fairly well. I also really like the twist up packaging. Bonus, it cost me three loonies.


DAVIDsTEA Santa's Secret Tea-Infused Lip Butter
Who would have thought a tea chain could do lip balm so well?! Infused with tea - of course - and hints of vanilla and peppermint, it smells pretty edible (save it for your beak, not your belly). It's also extremely smooth and hydrating. Furthermore, I love the shape! It's oval and for some reason much more enjoyable to apply than typical rounded chopsticks.  



Lifestyle Favourites:
Yoga Studio by Modern Lotus App
My Dad recently introduced me to this yoga app (he got it as a free download months ago). It features 10, 15, 30 and 60 minute classes at either a beginner, intermediate or advanced level and can be sorted based on target areas (i.e. strength, flexibility, relaxation, etc.). It really makes finding time to workout a breeze. Plus, being surrounded only by living room furniture means I don't have to worry about the clothing I wear or how much deodorant I put on.  Occasionally an excited pooch confuses yoga for play time, but it's all fun and games at the end of it.


Adele 25 CD
Adele is definitely my girl crush of the moment! She's so sophisticated and beautiful...but damn, that voice! Dev bought me her newest CD a couple of weeks ago and I've been belting out her lyrics while cruising the streets of my hood ever since. My favourite songs are Send My Love (To Your New Lover), I Miss You and Water Under the Bridge.

Starbucks Gingerbread Tea Latte
I'm obsessed with Starbuck's newest holiday release!! It's a black tea with gingerbread aromas, topped with steamed milk a sprinkle of cinnamon for good measure. It's not too sweet and definitely has a little bit of spice to it - excellent for warming up on a frosty day.

Are you enjoying these monthly favourite posts? I'm definitely having fun writing them! Until next time...

xxx

11/30/15

Delicate Blush and White Lace Nails

I'm beginning to think nail design posts are my favourite to do! I love being creative, searching the internet for inspiration, and discovering how just a little bit of polish can create something unique and interesting. Today I'm coming at you with these cute, and fairly easy, pink and white lace nails. 


To start, I painted all of my nails a nice blush pink colour. Then I went in with a fairly large dotting tool and some white polish to create two lines of dots down the centre of one nail. 


Next I took the same blush tone as my base on a slightly smaller dotting tool and overlapped the white polka dots just slightly, allowing some to peek out along the outer edges. 


I took white nail polish again and painted a solid line down the middle of my nail. I added some additional pink spots to the centre of this stripe and used a teeny-tiny dotting tool with white polish to stipple around the outer edges of the original dots I put down. 


I know it's not even Christmas yet, but I think these would be perfect for Valentine's Day! Lace nails are also fun because there are so many variation possibilities and colour combinations. I already can't wait to do another set, so watch this space because there may be more coming your way!

xxx

11/26/15

Lather Up With Some Good Karma

Male Post: By Dev

Welcome to another edition of the Male Post on Beauty by Birdy. This time we’re going to be talking about a good ol’ fashioned soap story. Since the first post about the amazingly minty ‘Dirty’ Soap’, I’ve come to terms that I might really like barred soap again. It was a kid thing for me, early nineties, I didn’t care much for the fancy stuff so Ivory Springs it was! 

Now thanks to LUSH, they have revived - resurrected perhaps - or better yet, even revolutionized body hygiene and skin care for me. Call it a puff piece, but they honestly make great products. 


Below is a little low down on LUSH for the newbies.   

LUSH uses all natural, as local as possible ingredients with a firm stance on ‘NO’ animal testing. Lush started in the 70’s and was founded with the vision of creating natural hair and beauty products, that weren’t harmful in any way to the environment, producer and consumer…you! They combine fresh ingredients from all around the world, using little to no preservatives in their products and literally no packaging until you leave the store.  

LUSH products have given me a turnaround perspective on what I use to clean my skin. I was into the name brand gel body washes, like I’m sure a lot of you lads and ladies use. It’s easy to find at stores and they smell so damn good! But unfortunately for me it was too harsh on my skin. Dehydrated, cracked and irritated skin is what I kept drying off after my showers. Luckily I stumbled upon LUSH, and I haven’t looked back.


Karma Soap: This soap was one of the first that I really liked. It turns out though, that when I discovered it, I didn't purchase it right away. Shame on me because it’s one of my go-to soaps nowadays, especially for the scent. It’s not a sudsy soap at all, meaning it doesn’t lather too easily, but it does glide across your skin coating it in a clear-orange, karma covering. However, it is highly slippery when wet… if that is it’s only downfall.

It’s made with very earthy and citrus toned oils, which is quite relaxing when you mix it with a hot shower, moisturizing and relaxing your skin with every wash. One of the more prominent oils in the Karma soap is an ingredient known as Patchouli Oil, derived from a dried plant through the process of steam distillation, where the natural and aromatic oils of certain compounds can be extracted through the use of steam, heat and condensation collection. Patchouli Oil is an all natural ingredient that is popular in perfumes today as well as in the hands of aromatherapists for a relaxing experience.


I also recently picked up ‘Karma Komba’ a Shampoo Bar with the same citrus scent. Let me take a second to explain this whole, 'shampoo in a bar,' thing...

They can last up to 80 washes if you keep them dry and away from water after use. I find standing it straight up in a shampoo bar tin, that you can get from LUSH stores, is the best way to let it air dry on all sides. It lathers easily and gives you some more intimate time with your hair, scrubbing in this bar and really massaging your scalp. It feels like a spa treatment when all is said and done and rinsed. Karma Komba is the perfect exotic treat for your hair. The oils in the bar, remember Patchouli, as well as citrus oils and pine, also help to soothe dry and damaged scalps, and smooth out tangled mops of hair, leaving lessto rip out. I also want to note I think it’s cool that the colours of the soap and shampoo bar contrast to the coming holiday season.

Thanks for reading this bubbly piece and I hope you get a little adventurous on your next shower experience. May you indeed receive good karma.

Until next time,
~Dev

11/24/15

Date Night Glam Pamper/Makeup Routine

Dev and I escaped to Niagara Falls for a little relaxing getaway this weekend. We had such a great time and I didn't want the days to end. We treated ourselves to a fancy dinner at AG Inspired Cuisine, which is recognized as one of the best restaurants in Canada. It was fun to dress up, wear a little more makeup than normal and feel extra special for the night. I thought I would share with you how I got ready.


On special occasions, I like to take my time getting ready and do a couple more steps than normal. After all, a little pamper session can do wonders to help a gal feel relaxed, rejuvenated and increase confidence.

I really like the Sephora Collection Eye Masks because there are a wide variety of benefits and each one is infused with different ingredients to plump and brighten the under eye area. Plus, they're basically gigantic and cover every contour, delivering maximum penetration of the ingredients. After 15 minutes, I'll remove the pads and gently massage the remaining product into my skin. My dark circles are deflated, I feel much more awake, and I'm prepped for a smooth application of makeup.


For makeup, I again took a couple of extra steps and used more products than I would on a day-to-day basis to achieve this date night glam look...because why the heck not?!

I used small pieces of scotch tape angled from my lower lashes up to the tail of my brow for eyeshadow. Once peeled away, it creates a nice clean line and acts as a guide to create a perfect liquid eyeliner flick. I used a combination of rosy-mauve, matte shadows in my crease and applied a shimmery olive hue in the outer thirds of my lids for a smokey effect. Of course, a glam look is not complete without contouring and a shower of highlight! I basically doused myself in Mac Soft and Gentle. If I had brought a pair of false eyelashes with me, I would have definitely popped those on too.


Ps. I highly recommend you check out the Sterling Inn & Spa next time you're looking for a place to stay in Niagara Falls. It's just a short distance from Clifton Hill and doesn't look like much on the outside, but I assure you it's fantastic on the inside! It's one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. Each room is unusually spacious and no two rooms look the same. The king size bed is a dream and the fireplace keeps you cozy during colder months. The complimentary breakfast in bed completes the experience with a tray full of delicious goodies including hand-pressed coffee, fresh croissants with whipped butter and Chef prepared granola and yogurt. It's the perfect place for a romantic getaway.

xxx

11/20/15

LUSH's Yog Nog is the Bomb!

Yog Nog, Yog Nog, Yog Nog. Try saying that 10 times, fast...

Although quite the tongue twister, I assure you it's one brilliant scent released by LUSH around the holidays. As the name would suggest, it's inspired by a vegan egg nog beverage and contains spicy clove bud oil and hints of nutmeg.


I became addicted to the soap circa Christmas 2014, but never really talked about my obsession publicly. However, this year the fresh handmade cosmetic company released a Bath Bomb with the same, creamy delicious scent. So now my secret is out! I can no longer contain my love for Yog Nog because it is THAT GOOD and I am so excited to see LUSH expanding the range! I urge you to give it a whiff for yourself. Let me know if it makes you feel nostalgic!

This frothy, spherical gem would make for a perfectly relaxing, cozy night at home on a cold wintery day. It's also packed full of organic shea butter and jojoba oil, so you can expect your skin to feel nice and soft afterwards.

What I want to know is whether or not LUSH will introduce Yog Nog in different ranges of products next year. I would love to see the scent as a Bubble Bar, Shower Gel, Massage Bar and OOOOOOOOOO a Shampoo Bar too! You bet your bottom dollar I would stock up on everything with the warm, spicy, festive aromas...because I am straight up addicted!

xxx

11/16/15

November's Birchbox - See What's Inside


This is my favourite Birchbox to date! The packaging is absolutely stunning. I mean STUNNING! And the products inside are so good too. It has a perfect mixture of makeup, skincare and haircare, with products that I am genuinely excited to use.


What's Inside:

Calypso St. Barth Figure Eau de Parfum (Full size = $30-$75)
"A Mediterranean-inspired scent featuring notes of fig, violet petals, vanilla and musk."

I can really appreciate fragrance samples that have a sprayer! They distribute a mist of the scent over a larger area, and tone it down ever so slightly. Plus they're the perfect purse-size items. I think this is my favourite perfume from Birchbox so far. It's a nice mixture of floral and warm tones but not too overpowering. 

Salon Gioje Keratin Protein Mask (Full size = $40)
"Formulated with pure natural keratin, this mask repairs your locks from the inside out."

I wish I took a photo of this bright blue substance! It's so vibrant! Formulated with pure keratin, it helps repair dry or damaged hair to look voluminous and shiny. Unfortunately I haven't put this one to the test yet, but I do love a good hair mask and I am excited to try it out. 


BioRepublic Pomegranate Crush Illuminating Sheet Mask (Full size = $14.50)
"Infused with botanical extracts, this finer mask brightens skin and evens tone." 

It seems sheet masks are all the rage right now, but I have never personally tried one myself. My skin has been on the fritz lately and could use a good refresh, so I am excited to treat myself to a pamper night and relax with this illuminating fibre mask. 

LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in On Point (Full size = $12)
"From Birchbox's new brand: A creaseless, waterproof shadow with shades curated by Tati Westbrook."

This shadow stick is a beautiful shimmery champagne/taupe shade that looks great all over the lids. The name is quite appropriate because you can literally wear this with a little mascara and be set for the day. It's very creamy and easy to blend. 


theBalm cosmetics FratBoy (Full size = $27)
"This talc-free eye shadow and blue combo gives skin a fresh radiance that makes you look (and feel) young."    

How adorable is this tiny sample? Of course my blush brush doesn't quite fit in the pan, but the powder is so pigmented and soft that it blends effortlessly on the skin. Just a tap is all it takes, rather than a full-on swirl with a brush. It's a beautiful peachy-appricot shade with the finest amount of golden shimmer running through it. 

Kudos to Birchbox! This box is excellent and contains everything a girl could ask for...especially as we gear up for the holidays! 

xxx

11/12/15

I Wish I Hadn't Purchased _____

I think sometimes it can be helpful to understand why a product didn't work for someone. So today rather than raving on about something I'm loving at the moment, I decided to dig through my collection of beauty items and write about the ones currently collecting dust. In other words, they're are some things I just shake my head at and ask 'why did I buy it?' 


Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
Maybe it's my limp hair at fault here, but this spray did nothing for me other than add lots of crunch. Seriously...I couldn't even run my fingers through my hair but my strands were still stick straight. On the bright side, it smells like coconut-y goodness.

Ed Hardy Hearts and Daggers Eau De Parfum 
I went through a serious Ed Hardy phase several years ago. I had it all: the bling-y hat, graphic jewelry, 'sitting shoes' because they're too high to walk in (yes I've tried...and failed miserably) and this perfume. The bottle is cool, but I don't even like the scent. We all know how this ends...a phase is a phase and eventually I grew out of my Ed Hardy loving days.

LUSH Shimmy Shimmy Solid Body Tint
I've had this little guy for years now, but put it to use only a handful of times. It's similar to LUSH's massage bars, which are a huge hit in my books, but Shimmy Shimmy is chock-full of iridescent glitters. I won't lie - I bought this during my single, club-hopping days because I thought it would make my skin look beautiful as I danced under the laser lights. I was under the impression that the shimmer would be subtle, but instead I looked more like a sparkling disco ball than a glimmering diva. Plus, the chunks of glitter were super harsh and abrasive on my skin.


I believe this product is a different shape now, so maybe it has been reformulated too.

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara Waterproof Carbon Black
I have a habit of picking items up at the drugstore and tossing them in my basket before analyzing to make sure it's what I want. I bought the waterproof version of this mascara by accident. The regular formula is incredible and probably my favourite mascara ever, but the waterproof kind failed to lengthen and thicken my lashes. It just isn't the same. Tip: Never trust description tags on the rack. Always double check the product's packaging before making your purchase. 

NYX Xtreme Lip Cream in 05 Bonfire
The colour is really gorgeous but when I wear this lip product it seems to travel to every edge of my face. I end up looking like The Joker by the end of the day. In my opinion, it's just a little too thick and slippery.

I've said this over and over again - just because something was a miss for me does not mean it can't be a hit for someone else. These are just my personal opinions, but I hope this post is also a reminder to make you think twice...maybe five times...before purchasing something. Do you really need it? Will it be put to good use?

xxx

11/9/15

Sally Hansen Complete Care Extra Moisturizing 4-in-1 Nail Treatment Product Review

Imagine the horror when I ran out of both base and top coat at the same time a couple of months ago. Ok...it wasn't that dramatic. But funds were low at the time and I really didn't want to spend money to buy both nail care products. Which is why I was so happy to spot the Sally Hansen Complete Care Extra Moisturizing 4-in-1 Nail Treatment at my local drugstore. I hate the name (it's just so stinking long) but I really love this product!


I would say it's a better base coat, but that doesn't mean it's a bad top coat. It contains a ton of great ingredients, like avocado oil, olive extract, soy, wheat and silk proteins to moisturize and strengthen. I've noticed my nails growing faster and breaking less since I started using this product. They really feel much healthier.

As a base coat, it smooths ridges and creates a really nice canvas for colour application. Even after it's dried, there's a slight tackiness, helping the polish adhere and apply with minimal streaks.

The shine when used as a top coat is nice, but it can take nearly an hour to dry completely. I can't keep my hands still for that long! I always end up with a smudge on at least one finger. It seals the colour decently, but chips a little faster than some other top coats I have tried. Although, I think 'chippage' can also be related to the brand/finish of the nail colour itself.

To conclude, I genuinely like this product! My nails have never felt better!

Sidenote: Please leave me a comment if you've ever had to go to the washroom whilst waiting for your nails to dry. Trying to undo buttons on your pants with a fresh mani is an exhausting battle. The struggle is real, people!

xxx

11/5/15

I Like to Mauve It, Mauve It - In Support of Movember

The dreaded Movember...it's here, and the dirt-staches are growing.

Despite some female complaints about straggly upper lip hairs during the month of November, it's for a great cause! Men all around the world have participated in this tradition for many years to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer.

Ladies, I'm so excited to tell you that there is a now a way for us to get involved too! This year, Bite Beauty has teamed up with the Movember Foundation and created a limited edition lipstick, exclusive to Canadians, cheekily called Mauvember. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these lipsticks will be donated to the global organization working to change the face of men's health.


I absolutely love this idea and immediately ran out to 'make my donation'. I also really like the unique hue Bite has created and know that I will be wearing it quite often this month.

It's definitely mauve! On me it leans a little more purple and is slightly darker - perfect for this time of year! It's a colour that would look different on everyone but could suit a variety of skin tones. The shade is sure to spark conversations, so when someone asks 'what lip colour are you wearing?' we can proudly say it's in support of our Mo Bros.


The Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Mauvember ($28 CAD) is available at Sephora.

xxx

11/3/15

October 2015 Beauty & Lifestyle Favourites

October was a blast, filled with a ton of fall-festive activities and food. But I'm a little happy to see it come to an end, as the arrival of November means I can officially begin the countdown to Christmas!

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, today I'm sharing some favourites from the month we just bid farewell to. I didn't wear a ton of makeup during October, but I do have a few stand-out products as well as a couple random favourites to share with you.

Favourite Beauty Products:
Covergirl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara
I have a whole post on this product, here. But to summarize...it's amaze-balls! It makes my eyelashes so long and supple and doesn't flake throughout the day.


E.L.F. Studio Flawless Concealer Brush
This brush makes applying concealer a breeze! Bonus - I found it across the border for just three dollars! It's super fluffy, soft and the perfect size to use on the delicate under eye area. It's the perfect density to blend, without dragging or removing any of the product.


Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
I have used the crap out of this product, as you can probably tell by the beat-up packaging. It's barely recognizable with the writing rubbed off. But I still adore it, especially during this time of year when the weather takes a toll on my pout. I apply a small amount religiously before bed and it works overnight to rehydrate and heal my chapped lips.


Marshmallow Fireside Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle
This scent is my obsession right now! It has a blend of creamy vanilla with a twist of masculinity...like a woodsy cologne.  Literally like marshmallows toasting on a campfire, but not quite as smoky as you would expect. My only problem...it was available for a limited time during the fall and once this one has burned down, I'll be sitting with fingers crossed waiting to see if it will be on shelves again next year.


Lifestyle Favourites:
Scream Queens
I watched the first episode while on a treadmill at the gym and I can only imagine what onlookers thought of my facial expressions. This show is bizarre, a little grotesque and vulgar, but also insanely cheesy and comical. Somehow, I'm addicted. Emma Roberts is a gem in her evil role and the addition of Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Nick Jonas and Ariana Grande make for a priceless cast.

Once Upon a Time
The writers of this show are so creative! I love how all of the fairy tale characters intertwine and the stories I remember from my childhood are reimagined. What I don't like however, is how Peter Pan is (was) portrayed. If you've never seen the show before, I won't spoil it for you. But for those of you who are on the storybook bandwagon, I'm sure you understand what I mean.

Smoothies for Breakfast
My favourite combination is mango, banana, spinach, chia seeds, yogurt and coconut water. I find that it keeps me full until lunch time and I have less junk food cravings throughout the day.

Halloween Makeup Tutorials on YouTube
During the month of October, I was literally in awe of some dramatic Halloween makeup looks posted to YouTube. Like this American Horror Story Freakshow inspired look by Desi Perkins, or this twisted fortune teller makeup by Nicole Guerriero, and this glam mummy created by Lustrelux. These girls are insanely talented and deserve all the praise they can get. It's evident that a ton of work is involved in each video and I love how each introduction is like a mini-movie in itself.  I understand that Halloween is over, but maybe you'll find inspiration from these videos (like I did) for your costume next year.


I hope you enjoyed my first ever monthly favourites post. I am going to try to do them on a regular basis from now on.

Ps. Hope you're having an amazing week so far!!!

xxx

10/29/15

Songs On Repeat

We're changing things up today on Beauty by Birdy! Before we begin, I encourage you to grab a cup of tea, a glass of wine, or water - whatever floats your boat and get comfy so you can open your ears to some really great songs I've had on repeat lately.

Adele - Hello
Of course, Adele's Hello is at the top of my list. How could it not be? It's such a beautiful song and with over 10 million video views in the first five days, I know other people really love it too. I don't think I'll ever get sick of this one.


Demi Lovato - Stone Cold (In Studio)
Demi pours so much soul into this song and kills it with the vocals. I've been really impressed with her lately and think this is definitely her year to shine. You go girl!


Meghan Trainer - Better When I'm Dancin'
This song makes me so happy! Turn it on while you're getting ready in the morning and start the day off on a cheerful note. It's such a catchy tune and it's nearly impossible not to dance along to.  



Brandi Carlile - Wherever Is Your Heart 
I have to credit Dev for introducing me to a lot of new music and artists that I may have never listened to otherwise. This song is definitely a feel-good one - I dare you NOT to shimmy a little. But Brandi Carlile in general is an amazing artist and has so many other great songs, including an oldie but a goodie, The Story


Of Monsters and Men - Empire
I actually did not like this song at all the first time I heard it. But after a couple of listens, it caught on and I really love it now. I also think the video is so beautiful and interesting. I haven't yet connected the dots about the plot, but that's what I love most. It keeps me guessing. There could be so many different meanings behind the lyrics.  


What did you guys think of this post? Would you like to see more like this? Also, please share your current favourite songs with me! I'm always interested in some new tunes. 

xxx

10/26/15

Mesmerizing Shattered Glass Nails

Back to back nail posts? I'm afraid so! Sorry...not sorry.

I've seen this nail design floating around the Internet over the past few days and I couldn't wait to give it a try. The trend - called Shattered Glass Manicures - can be achieved by using tiny pieces of cellophane arranged on the nail. The iridescent material reflects the light and mimics the look of broken glass.

I tested out two techniques:

1. The Layered Look:


Pieces of cellophane overlap and make the nail look like a crystal gem.

2. The Mosaic Look:


Tiny shapes of cellophane are spaced meticulously around each other to look more like glass shards.

The end results are mesmerizing and intriguingly glamorous.

What do you think about this new nail trend? Will I be bumping into you at the craft store with an arm full of cellophane?

xxx