6/29/15

Canada Day Inspired Makeup

As a proud Canadian, it seemed only natural to create a makeup look inspired by our upcoming national holiday. Winged liner and a bold red lip is always a classic and simple combination, but I wanted to put a twist on our country's colours and smoke out the eyes using various shades of grey.


For the eyes I used my Lorac Pro Palette 2, beginning with Buff all of the lid and up to the brow bone. I wanted the centre of my lid to be fairly bright, so I sandwiched the shimmery white colour called Snow in between Silver, which was packed onto the outer and inner-third of my lids. Cool Gray was my transition colour and Charcoal helped give a smokier effect to the outer corners. I also used a black liquid eye liner to create a thin feline flick.   


I feel like cool tone eyes have the tendency to wash me out, so I used a ton of bronzer to warm up my skin. I also used a matte red lipstick to create balance from the shimmer on my lids. 


In my opinion, this is perfectly suitable for evening wear - especially if there's a party - but I also think it's easily adjustable to wear every day. The eyes can be paired with a nude lip, or the lip can be worn with a simple neutral eye. However, I always say makeup is meant to be fun and a special holiday is the best excuse to experiment and go a little overboard.  


Face:

Eyes:
  • Buff (all over lid)
  • Cool Gray (crease/lower lashline)
  • Silver (inner/outer thirds of lid and lower lashline)
  • Charcoal (outer-v)

Lips:

How will you be celebrating when July 1st rolls around?

Happy Canada Day ya'll! Play safe!

xxx

6/24/15

Top 5 Nail Colours for Summer


Finally...FINALLY...summer has officially arrived! June 21 marked the first official day of hot weather, bathing suits and beaches! To celebrate, I'm sharing some of my favourite nail colours to wear during this season.  

From left to right: L'Oreal Not a Cloud in Sight, Quo Femme Fatale, Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty,
Zoya Charisma , OPI Pink-ing of You


L'Oreal Not a Cloud in Sight
In Canada, we're really fortunate to have some great summer weather. If we're lucky, the days are filled with cloudless blue skies, temperatures can reach sweltering and we're surrounded by bodies of water (or pools) to swim in. In my opinion, there's no need to travel to tropical destinations when 'Porta Backyarda' (as we call it in my house) is just as good. This turquoise/blue colour is the perfect addition to complete the tropical vibe for a stay-cation.

Summer is the season of sunshine and eye-catching nail polish. Go bright. Go bold. Go neon! I love this pink colour because it's out-there but not too crazy like a neon green or yellow may be.

Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty
The only time you'll ever catch me wearing yellow on my nails is in the summer. It tends to be a difficult colour to wear, especially for me because I have a lot of yellow undertones to my skin. I've been told before that it looks like I just ate a hotdog and spilled mustard all over my fingers. Uhhhhh...no thank you, not the look I'm trying to achieve. This one from Sally Hansen is not too bright and pretty wearable. Plus it looks great with a tan!

Zoya Charisma
This nail polish is very unique and interesting. It's not quite hot pink and it's not really purple, but somewhere in between. The formula itself can dry pretty dark and matte without a top coat, but with a bit of shine added on top it's really vibrant and beautiful. 

OPI Pink-ing of You
While I would love to pull off bright and neon colours throughout the entire season, sometimes it's important to tone it down and wear something a little more professional and feminine. This pale pink colour is my go-to neutral and it's absolutely gorgeous on toes! 

What are your favourite colours to wear during summer? Are you a neutral lover or do you prefer to go bold with something vibrant? 
xxx

6/22/15

Spinach and Blueberry Smoothie Recipe


Not long ago I became curious by the idea of hiding vegetables in various recipes. I found that smoothies were the easiest way to experiment with produce and flavours. In many cases, the 'secret' ingredient is nearly tasteless and it's a great way of sneaking in an extra dose of vitamins and nutrients. 

It seems like parents have been using this trick with their kids for years. Blended cauliflower in mac and cheese, mincing onions and carrots for spaghetti sauce, or for the adventurer - avocado chocolate pudding. I haven't tried the latter, but I bet it's tastier than we think. 

My point is, a lot of us don't realize that as adults we probably don't eat enough fruits and vegetables in our daily diets either. So maybe sometimes we need to use these same tactics when meal planning for ourselves. For those that may turn their nose up at kale, spinach or even beets - try making them invisible in various recipes. 


This is my favourite smoothie recipe, but it could easily be changed based on personal preferences. Try it with pineapple instead of banana. A little coconut water would add a tropical twist. Or throw in some strawberries and raspberries. Really just experiment with flavours and see what satisfies your taste buds. Protein powder could also be incorporated for an extra boost of protein. 

I will say, however, that this frozen drink is quite filling - like a meal in itself. It's perfect for breakfast on the go! There's a really great balance of fruits, vegetables, and protein from the greek yogurt and chia seeds. It's also super tasty and refreshing on a hot summer day. 


Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Chopped Baby Spinach 
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Frozen Blueberries
  • Half of a Banana
  • 1/4 Cup of Plain Almond Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tsp Chia Seeds

Directions:

  1. Remove the stems from your spinach - they're bitter and a little harder to blend. I also like to chop my spinach into tiny pieces to help give the Magic Bullet a head start.   
  2. Layer all ingredients into the cup. It doesn't really matter which order, but I do prefer to put the spinach near the top so that it begins blending first and breaks down into itty bitty pieces. 
  3. Blend, blend, blend. 
  4. Pour into a serving glass and enjoy!

Also, make sure to check your teeth after drinking a batch of this! Although you may not detect the spinach based on flavour, there will definitely be a trace of little green bits stuck in your teeth. It's just a friendly reminder that veggie goodness is in there!

Cheers!

xxx 


6/19/15

Mani Spotlight - L'Oreal Butterfly Kisses

I absolutely love how nail polish can transform in different light. It's like a mood ring...without the mood swings...

Butterfly Kisses by L'Oreal is such a hard colour to describe because it never looks the same - a reason why I have been loving it lately! Sometimes it looks Barbie pink, other times it's lilac and there are even moments when it looks mauve. 


The above photo is captured in direct sunlight, while the one below was taken with indirect sun. 


As you can see, it's a beautiful feminine pink, with hints of purple. There's also a hint of silver shimmer.  The formula was a little streaky and required a solid three coats to achieve complete opacity. But the unique colour is totally worth it and my manicure lasted for an entire week with hardly any chips! 

I picked this nail polish up from the drugstore just a few weeks ago, but had I discovered it sooner, it definitely would have been included as one of my favourite nail colours for spring.

xxx

6/17/15

Pinned and Tried - Baby Powder for Fuller Lashes

According to this pin on Pinterest, baby powder can be used to create the illusion of false lashes. The hack sounded too good to be true, so I put it to the test.


The steps are simple - apply a thin coat of mascara, dip or roll a Q-tip in some baby powder and apply it directly to your lashes. Coat again in layers of mascara until the desired look is achieved. 


My eye pictured on the left received the special treatment, while the one on the right received the same old attention it does every day. Do you see a difference? No, me neither...


Unfortunately I was left with more of a powdered mess from fall-out, than the appearance of fuller lashes. I would say this beauty hack is busted!

xxx





6/15/15

LUSH Honey I Washed My Hair Shampoo Bar Review

I'm probably not the only one who couldn't wrap their head around the idea of solid shampoo. My initial thought - it's just not normal. But in my mind, normal is boring. So after working through the skepticism of how a product like the LUSH shampoo bars work, I decided to bite the bullet and give one a try.


I've been using the Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar for a few weeks now, and couldn't wait to share my experience and opinions with you. But first, let me provide you with some factual information about the product...

To create a solid shampoo bar, the geniuses at LUSH compact all-natural quality ingredients and essential oils into hockey puck shapes. Although small, each shampoo bar can last for roughly 80 washes. They're self-preserving, meaning they're not only good for our hair but also for the environment. Unlike many shampoo products, these ones do not require packaging and are helping to reduce the amount of plastic bottles entering landfills. Their compact size also makes them perfect for travel.


The one I purchased smells like toffee and contains Fair Trade honey, a very moisturizing ingredient to create soft, supple hair. I rub the bar directly at my scalp in three-four different areas before using my fingers to create a lather. Let me tell you...this stuff has incredible lathering capabilities. I felt like I was part of a shampoo commercial. Bubbles galore! 

To protect it from steamy showers and prevent it from melting in between uses, I bought an aluminum tin to store mine in. A tip I was told when purchasing this heavenly bar is to make sure it's somewhat dry before putting it away, otherwise it will turn into goo. I just use a piece of paper towel. 

I really want the delicious scent to linger on my tresses, so I don't use a conditioner. At first I was concerned about running a brush through my hair, but was pleasantly surprised when it glided right through. The shampoo bar also makes my hair feel squeaky clean, a great quality after a day of too many styling products. 

Call me a convert - but I love solid shampoo and would recommend them to anyone and everyone! They come in all different scents and combine ingredients that serve different purposes. So whether you have a dry, itchy scalp or struggle with tangles or simply just want a little more shine - there's a shampoo bar for you. 

xxx





6/12/15

Five of my Favourite Things - Current Obsessions

The following are five beauty related items that have me really excited lately. 

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Bad to the Bronze
I've had this product for a few years now, but it wasn't until recently that I realized it's full potential. The colour is the most beautiful, stand alone, taupe/golden shade and stays on all day without creasing. It's the perfect option to swipe all over the lid on days when there's not much time to focus on an entire face of makeup. As you can see I hit pan - a result of me wearing it nearly every day these past few months.


Essence Lipliner in Satin Mauve
Essence is a brand I've only recently started using and I am so impressed! It's one of the most affordable at the drugstore and the quality is outstanding. All of the lipliners are very creamy and long-wearing, but I'm really digging this mauve shade in particular. I like using it to define my lips and slightly overline my cupid's bow.


Essence Longlasting Lipstick in Barely There
I'm definitely a darker nude girl and this colour is right up my alley. The formula is really fantastic and at a few dollars each, these lipsticks are a steal!



Bath and Body Works Stress Relief Body Wash & Foam Bath in Eucalyptus Tea
This is actually my moms, but I'm guilty of using the majority of it for my baths. I'm a huge, HUGE, fan of the LUSH bubble bars and haven't found anything that compares, but this comes close! It's the scent that reeled me in. The essential oils are very calming and I enjoy treating myself to a relaxing bath after hectic days to help me fall asleep at night.


LUSH No Drought Dry Shampoo
I don't use this product specifically as a dry shampoo, but more for it's lemon-lime scent. I love to squeeze the bottle while holding it upright to create a cloud of powder or shake some into my hands and apply it to my roots. The fruity fragrance smells amazing and the formula helps boost my roots.


I like to change my beauty routine and experiment with new products frequently. Therefore, a product must really wow me and be used on the regular in order for it to be considered a favourite. I've been using each of these items a ton these past few months, which encourages me to confess my obsession with them all. 

Try some of them for yourself and let me know if you love them as much as I do. 

xxx

6/10/15

Subtle Two-Tone Lips (Times Two)

Don't be intimidating by the ombré lip trend. After all, makeup is supposed to be fun! And layering colours can also really add dimension to the lips. I put together a couple of options to show you how wearable two-toned lips can be. 

Subtle Purple/Pink Ombré Lips:
The Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Fig is a very interesting purple/mauve shade unlike any other lipstick I've seen. With it's dark tone, I knew it would be the perfect choice to begin an ombré look. I applied it on the outer corners of my lips, making sure it was even on both sides. I then used the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Showy and concentrated this colour directly in the centre of my lips. To accentuate the fade from dark to light I chose to use the Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Lipliner in Berry and filled in the absolute corners.  


This is definitely my favourite combination and I love how the cool-toned pink turns a dark 'fall colour' into something suitable for summer too. 

Subtle Fushcia/Orange Ombré Lips:
For this second look, I combined two of the Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Lipsticks in Vivid Rose and Vibrant Mandarin. Using the same technique described above, I used the hot pink colour to fill in the outer corners of my lips and filled the centre park using the vibrant orange.  


My camera didn't quite pick up the difference in colours as I had hoped, but the final outcome is still quite wearable. These lipsticks also had a pretty sheen to them which created the illusion of fuller lips. 

The possibilities are endless, you just have to experiment and discover which colours work best for you.

xxx

6/8/15

Neon Pink and White Leopard Print Nails


Summer has nearly arrived and I've done a complete 180! For the last six months I have been bundled up in dark colours and now I find myself gravitating to anything bright and bold, including this neon leopard print manicure. I'm completely obsessed and can't get over how easy it was to accomplish. 

I started with three nails painted a hot pink base. The other two received a couple coats of white nail polish. I waited a few minutes for both colours to dry before moving on to the next step. 

For each pink nail, I added white polka dots and did the same with pink nail polish on each white nail. 

Once again I waited (somewhat) patiently for these spots to dry. 

Using the end of a bobby pin dipped into some black nail polish, I created some 'C' and 'U' type shapes to roughly outline each spot, being careful not to make a complete connection around the shape. I also added some additional black shapes and lines in empty spaces to fill the gaps. My hand was nowhere near steady so things got pretty squiggly, but a leopard's spots are always unique to each animal, so I thought it went well with the style of manicure I was trying to achieve. 

Again I waited (kind of) patiently before applying a clear top coat to seal the deal. 



I love how visually intriguing this nail art turned out. I think it is the perfect balance between girly and funky, with bright colours to compliment the sunny weather. I'm already brainstorming ways to modify the style and use the leopard technique to create more vibrant looks.   

xxx


6/5/15

Pinned and Tried - Mouthwash Remedy for Bruises

For some unfortunate reason, I bruise super easily! You could flick me and a bruise will pop up. Actually, you could probably poke me with a feather and a bruise would pop up. It's never a good look...

According to this post on Pinterest, there's a secret home remedy for minimizing the appearance of bruises. It's something most of us already have in our cabinets at home...mouthwash!

Of course I was skeptical of the trick, but after a day of helping my cousin move, I was left with a handful of ugly bruises all over my body. It seemed like the perfect time to put this beauty hack to the test.


For comparison purposes, I only tried the trick on one bruise (the one pictured on my left knee). I soaked a cotton pad and held it over the spot for a good minute. I didn't notice a huge difference after initial application, although it did feel really soothing.


I decided to repeat the step again for the next couple of days to see if the bruise disappeared faster than those without the treatment.


I was super excited with the idea behind this remedy and wanted it to work SOOOO bad. But I have to admit, I didn't notice any spectacular results. There was a cooling sensation immediately after application, which helped soothe any pain I felt, but it didn't last long. In addition, the physical appearance of my bruise did not fade any faster than the others, which leads me to believe the mouthwash was hardly a miracle product.  

The verdict? I don't think this will be on my holy grail list of secret remedies...

xxx