7/30/15

30-Second Hairstyle for Rushed Mornings



Like so many others, sometimes I crave a little extra time under the covers. Sure it may eat up my time to get ready in the morning, but doing my hair is the last thing I want to think about when sleep is the only thing on my mind. 

During these times, it's important to have a few different quick and easy hairstyles in our arsenal to ensure we look somewhat put together and not like we just rolled out of bed, even if we did. Shhhhh...no one ever needs to know. 

Here's a hairstyle that takes literally 30 seconds to do. No heat. No funky styling products. Just a couple of bobby pins and some hairspray (optional). Heck, you don't even need to wash your hair. This look would be perfect for second or third day hair because the lovely oils - or grease - that develop will help hold the style all day long. 

It's very similar to a french braid, but uses two strands instead of three. To be honest, it's a lot easier to do as well so if you have troubles with braids, try this!   


To begin, gather an inch or two of hair at your part and separate it into two sections. Pull one section over the other so they criss-cross. The section that used to be near the back of your head should now be at the front. 


Grab a third small section from your hairline and combine it into this front section. Repeat step number one and overlap the two pieces of hair. The two strands will now have switched places for a second time. Once again, gather some hair from the front of your head and add it to the front piece. Basically you're just twisting the two pieces of hair together and continually adding more from the front.


I stopped adding sections of hair just above my ear and did a few extra twists before securing it with a bobby pin. I did the same on the other side and finished with some hairspray to control fly-aways and lock in the style. 


So next time you sleep through your alarm and find yourself rushing to get out the door, try this hair style. It really takes no time at all. 

xxx

7/28/15

Top Five Products Under $5


I have to agree that in some cases high-end makeup is worth the splurge, but sometimes the cost of a beautiful face can put a damper on our bank accounts. Today's post is all about budget-friendly products that can compete with Sephora brands, but cost less than $5.00. Here are my top five under five products:

Essence Lip Liner $2.49
It happened! I don't know how, but it happened - I've fallen head over heels with these long-wearing lip liners. I picked them up on a whim one day because they were on sale for $1.00! They're already cheap to begin with, but at that price I couldn't say no. I was shocked at how good they were! They are so unbelievably creamy and last a really long time on the lips.

NYC Liquid Eyeliner $2.47
Aside from the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, this is the best liquid eyeliner on the market! It's super jet black, matte and stays put all day long. Plus it's under $3.00. What more could we ask for? It has a brush applicator (opposed to felt tip) and can be a little tricky to use at first, but practice makes perfect and at such a great price, you could practice all you want without feeling guilty for using up the product.


NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny $3.47
It doesn't cost a fortune to achieve a sun-kissed glow. If you're seeking a natural looking bronzer, NYC is the way to go. It's quite pigmented, but the colour is more on the terracotta/orange-y side. I wouldn't suggest it for contouring, but it's really nice for warming up the skin. The powder isn't as finely milled or smooth as other bronzers I've tried, but at less than $5.00 I think it's a great option for beauty birds on a budget.

Revlon ColorStay ShadowLinks $3.47
Although you're only getting one eye shadow, I think these Revlon ColorStay ShadlowLinks are the best bang for your buck. Unlike many other inexpensive shadows which can be quite chalky, these ones are smooth, have great colour pay off and blend really easily. Plus, you can connect a few different colours together, creating your own compact palette perfect for travelling.

Wet 'n Wild Mega Last Lip Colour $2.84
This lipstick is an Allure Best of Beauty Winner and for good reason! It's a semi-matte formula but feels very comfortable on the lips. This particular colour in Purty Persimmon stains the lips just slightly, making it wear even longer.

I wanted to show you what each product looks like on the face, so aside from foundation, concealer and mascara the below photo shows me wearing each of the five products discussed above.

Five products at a total of $25.00 versus one product for $25.00 dollars. What would you choose? Keep in mind that the less expensive products are just as good (if not better) than high end ones!


I'm in love with each and every one of these products and would highly recommend them to everyone no matter what your beauty budget may be!

xxx

7/20/15

New Morning Favourite - Warm Banana Coconut Breakfast Bowl


I feel like all of my #HealthyBirdy posts up to this point have featured breakfast recipes. Which is a little strange to me because I used to HATE eating breakfast. But now I gladly admit that I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I always wake up with a grumbling tummy and look forward to creating a deliciously satisfying meal. So here we are again with another morning dish...

This warm banana coconut breakfast bowl is one of my new favourites, especially because it takes less than three minutes to make. It mimics those fried bananas I always order at sushi restaurants, but much healthier of course. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans
  • 1/8 Cup Shredded Coconut

Directions:
  1. Slice the banana into a bowl and top it with all of the additional ingredients. You could also substitute the almond milk with coconut milk for even more coconut-y goodness. 
  2. Warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Dive in with a spoon and enjoy!

I not only love the way this recipe tastes, but also how it fills my belly with a warm, comforting, feel-good sensation. I think it would be a great option especially during the cold months of our Canadian winter. (Ugh, winter! At least it's still fairly far away). 

I'd definitely suggest giving this one a try! With only five ingredients and barely any preparation, it's practically foolproof! 

xxx


7/17/15

Easy Fishtail Braided Nail Design


I've seen this trend a couple of times on Pinterest, and thought it looked really cool! So I decided to try it for myself. It's actually super simple!


I started by painting a base colour on each nail. Using a second colour, I painted a line going diagonally from the base of my nail to the tip. From there I used a third colour to create a diagonal line going in the opposite direction of the first. As you can see, there's some criss-cross action happening. Going back in with the base colour, I overlapped the pink slightly creating yet another diagonal line underneath it. 


It's tough to visualize the end result at first, but basically I'm just alternating colours and directions until I reach the tip of my nails. 

Since we're smack dab in the middle of summer, I wanted to pick three colours that were not only bright and cheerful but also complimented each other well. I went with Essie Chilato, OPI Charged Up Cherry and L'Oreal Not A Cloud In Sight. 


The end result kind of reminds me of a Tornado Popsicle or Twister Lollipops. My lines are not as crisp or even as I would like them to be, but everything takes practice. I think it still looks really interesting and I can't wait to try out more colour combinations.


If you're going to give this a go yourself, just think of it as if you're braiding your hair - one strand crosses over the next. It will seem less complicated. 

xxx

7/15/15

Empty Products - Hits and Missed Round 3

It's that time again! Time to talk about my garbage...


I bought this nail polish during my Katy Perry phase a few years back and wore the crap out of it! I managed to use half of the bottle before it practically turned into silly putty. It's a pretty pink with multi-dimensional glitter and can be worn as a sheer top coat or built to opacity with a few coats. Unfortunately this was a limited edition shade, which makes me sad, but I'm somewhat over the super flashy nail look now. It's time to lay this one to rest...

This product fits in at the top of my list for favourite concealers. The large sponge tip applicator fits perfectly under my eyes and does the majority of blending for me. It's got great coverage and doesn't crease. Plus it's formula helps reduce the appearance of puffiness around the eyes. Consider it a saviour after a sleepless night! 

I probably won't be buying this concealer again. It's a little too thin for my liking and seemed to settle into fine lines and crease pretty badly under my eyes. 

I went through a full-size Satsuma Body Butter and miniature Coconut Body Butter recently. These are by far the best moisturizers on the market and I simply cannot get enough of them. They absorb quickly and make my skin feel hydrated and soft. The Satsuma scent is my favourite!

This bad boy has appeared on my blog quite a few times. It is one of my holy grail beauty products and I'll continue to repurchase it over and over again. 


This shower gel is a giant! It took me nearly a year to finish, but during that time I never once felt bored or sick of the scent. It's the company's signature 'Original Pink' scent, which combines citrus and fruity notes with a bit of a floral action. It's very fresh and unique. 

I've written a whole review on the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water here, where I declare it the ultimate lazy girl's solution. Basically it's quick, easy, gets the job done and I love it. I'm already halfway through my second bottle. 

I was pleasantly surprised by this product! It came in an Origins value set I bought a few months back and was definitely the underdog of the bunch. It doesn't appear to have much colour straight out of the tube, but once applied it transforms and adjusts to my skin tone leaving a sheer tint. It's perfect for summer because it contains SPF and adds a healthy glow, mimicking a fresh from a beach holiday vibe. 

This BB cream just didn't do it for me. It's very moisturizing but lacks pigmentation and has nearly no coverage. It'd be OK to slap on during the summer if you're looking for a no-makeup, makeup look. 


This has to be another holy grail beauty item for me. I apply a tiny amount of it over a blemish before bed. When I wake up the next morning, the size and redness has been reduced significantly. It contains only 15% tea tree oil, which is less drying and a little more gentle on the skin than a pure option found at most health stores.  

I really liked this product initially, and even dedicated a post to it, but I eventually found cheaper alternatives that I liked better. 

My skin is just too dry to wear a matte foundation like this one. It felt uncomfortable and caused irritation. The coverage is beautiful, but I think it's more suitable for those with oily skin. 

This is my current favourite mascara! Unlike many others that harden and flake throughout the day, this one dries soft and fluttery. It's a really great choice for contact wearers. 


I hope you found these mini product reviews helpful! Let me know if you've tried any of the items above and what your thoughts were. 

xxx

7/10/15

Matte Mauve Eye and Glowing Skin


I absolutely love the look of luminous skin during the summer. A fresh and glowing complexion can be so lively and youthful. Combined with a sun kissed tan and I declare perfection!

The star of this look is the new CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous Natural Glow Foundation. This is a super dewy, light-medium coverage foundation perfect for us dry skin people. It doesn't cling to dry patches, blends super easily and can last all day long. I like to apply mine with a damp beautyblender which further enhances the dewy finish. In the bottle there appears to be super fine shimmers but on the skin it looks so beautiful and radiant. It's the perfect base for a glowing makeup look. 


Lately I've been pairing a matte eye with a ton of highlight on the high points of my face. This eye is basically my go-to everyday combination. When I'm lacking creativity and just don't know what to do with my makeup, this is what I go for. The mauve tone compliments my hazel eyes and the end result is neutral enough to pair with any blush and lip colour. I use Taupe from my Lorac Pro Palette as a transition shade, and buff Mauve with a dense blending brush directly into the crease. To achieve a softer look I use this same brush to apply Lt. Pink all over the lid.  


The second star of this look is Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle. The golden highlight adds even more glow to the tops of my cheekbones, tip of my nose and cupids bow. 


Face:

Eyes:
  • Cream (all over lid up to brow bone)
  • Taupe (transition shade)
  • Mauve (crease)
  • Lt. Pink (all over lid)
  • White (inner corner and brow bone highlight)

Lips:


Oh how I love the glow! There's apparently a new beauty craze called strobing which uses highlighters instead of bronzing products to contour and make facial features pop. Have you heard of it? Have you tried it? Should I try for myself and write about? Let me know what your thoughts are about this new trend!

xxx

7/3/15

Achieve Healthy Skin with Fruit Infused Water

In my opinion, the most important step in any beauty regime is to drink lots of water. Keeping our bodies hydrated helps moisturize our skin and retain its elasticity. Let's be honest - we can hoard all of the high-end beauty products we want and spend a ton of money, but it will probably look like crap if our skin is not taken care of.


A huge fad at the moment is to drink fruit infused water, also known in the diet world as detox water. I prefer to think of it as a way to jazz up H20, which can sometimes seem bland and boring. Fruit infused water is a great alternative for juice and pop. It's also fun to experiment with different flavours - if you're feeling adventurous throw in some vegetables, herbs and spices for added benefits.


Two of my current favourite fruit infused water recipes:

Apple & Cinnamon
This seriously tastes like an apple pie! I'll admit, it was a little strange at first but now I love it! Cinnamon is known for suppressing hunger and apples contain high amounts of fibre, further boosting our metabolism. I notice myself feeling full for a long period of time, especially the few hours in the morning between breakfast and lunch.

Strawberry, Lemon and Cucumber
This is literally summer in a glass. It's sweet, tart and super refreshing. Lemons and cucumbers can battle the dreaded bloated belly and regulate our digestive system. Plus, cucumbers contain silica which can help calm irritated skin caused by breakouts. In addition, this drink contains a ton of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

The longer these ingredients sit, the stronger the flavour gets. The fruit can even be recycled throughout the day so go ahead and fill a jug with water over and over again until your bladder simply cannot handle any more.

If you're desperate to increase your water intake, I suggest you try these fruit infused recipes and experiment to create your own. Your skin (and waistline) can thank me later ;)

xxx

7/1/15

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer Review

While the Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquers are not exactly new to the market, they are fairly new to me and after using them consistently over the past couple of months, I couldn't wait to share my thoughts. I have two shades from the 15 colour collection: HD Petalite is a creamy peach with subtle golden shimmers and HD Smoky Topaz, is a beautiful rosy brown with a slight shimmer to it as well. It's definitely my favourite of the two!


These lip glosses can be worn over top of lipsticks, but they look equally nice worn alone. The colours are quite pigmented - what you see in the tube is what you get - and the micro-glitters help achieve high impact shine. They're formulated with a wax-free technology, which helps prevent them from feeling too sticky. They're definitely a little thicker than most glosses but sit comfortable on the lips.

I'm a pretty big sucker for nice packaging, and these Revlon lip glosses did not disappoint me. I love the little jewel on top of each cap and think the clear tube is sleek and purse friendly. They contain brush applicators (as opposed to doe-foot) which feel much more luxurious. I do find it difficult to achieve clean lines, but I haven't decided if this is due to the brush or the thick consistency of the product.


I'm more of a lipstick girl, so I normally tend to go for neutral hue glosses that can be layered over any colour. I'm not one to wear a bright red or fuchsia gloss on its own, but I'd be curious to see how some of the more vibrant tones wear.

Do you own any of these? What are your thoughts?

xxx