9/29/15

'Fall-ifying' a Makeup Brush Holder


This project was inspired by a series of hikes over the last couple of weeks. The leaves are beginning to change colours and flutter to the ground. It's so beautiful and I appreciate how everything looks different each time we hit the trails. But the change of season always seems to happen way too quickly and soon it will all be over. I wanted to bring the colourful leaves indoors to enjoy even after they all disappear outside and came up with the idea to 'fall-ify' a makeup brush holder.


I recycled a 3-wick candle from Bath and Body Works and used the glass jar as the base. I had to depot some of the leftover wax and wicks, but this was fairly simple. I popped the container into the freezer for roughly 24 hours so the wax could harden and then carefully cracked it with a knife, creating several different chunks that could easily be removed. The wicks are glued to the bottom of the glass and the best way to loosen them is with hot water. I boiled a kettle and very slowly poured enough to covered the wicks. Tip: let the jar warm back up to room temperature before doing this, otherwise you risk cracking the glass.


The particular candle I used had a really pretty orange ombre effect on the outside, which provided a nice background for the yellow, red and orange leaves I used. You can barely tell where the spaces are between each leaf. A clear one would also work really well but I would suggest overlapping the leaves a little more.


Although I was tempted to go leaf-hunting in the great outdoors to collect different shapes and sizes for this project, I opted for these really beautiful fabric leaves with golden glitters I spotted at my local craft store. Everything is better with a little sparkle, don't cha think?

The rest is pretty self explanatory...apply a layer of modge podge around the outside, let it get tacky, place a leaf and apply even more modge podge over the top. Once all the leaves were positioned, I added a final coat of the sticky stuff over the top to seal the deal and waited an entire day for it to dry. It's very similar to paper mache projects we did as kids!


My brushes stand up nicely thanks to some vase filler.

Supplies Used:
  • Empty candle
  • Leaves (real or fake)
  • Modge Podge
  • Sponge or brush
  • Knife 
  • Vase Filler

Q-Tips, cotton balls, nail polish, lipsticks, or even markers...the possibilities are up to your imagination. It's such a versatile project and could be used to hold more than just makeup brushes.  

I hope you enjoyed this DIY post and if you'd like to see more like this, please comment below. 

xxx

9/24/15

A Unique, New Favourite Mascara | Covergirl The Super Sizer

It's no secret that Covergirl makes some of the best mascaras on the market. The original LashBlast Volume in orange packaging seems to be most popular at the drugstore, and the Full Lash Bloom has been my favourite for the last six months or so. Until now...


Bravo Covergirl! You've introduced me to yet again another fantastic mascara, The Super Sizer, which recently took first place as my favourite. Initially I was skeptical about it's claims to create 400% corner-to-corner volume - that's a huge promise. To be honest, it doesn't thicken my lashes all that much, but I'm glad I made the purchase and gave it a whirl for many other reasons.

First, let's discuss the wand. It's a little atypical, with a spiky comb-like brush. It'd say it's a square-ish shape, rather than round, with two sides sprouting long bristles and two sides with short, nearly non-existent spikes. The bristles also gradually get longer towards the end of the wand in a slight curve. This brush really grabs hold of lashes and coats them from root to tip. It's also easy to use for the inner corners and works wonders on bottom lashes because the wand is so slim.


The formula is quite wet, so you do have to be careful about it smudging after immediately applied (fight back those sneezes ladies), but it allows for multiple coats to be layered without clumping. Once it's dry, it's there for good and leaves soft, supple lashes that won't flake throughout the day. Plus, it's also opthalmologically tested and suitable for contact wearers! 

It creates some volume, but what's most impressive is how long and fluttery my lashes become. They remain curled and lifted, looking beautiful all day long. When it's time to take my makeup off, the mascara removes with ease. 

I love this unique gem so much, which says a lot because generally I'm oblivious to a mascara's power. I'm telling you...Covergirl has got the magic touch! 

xxx

9/22/15

One Year Blogiversary

Today marks one year since I launched Beauty by Birdy. Holy moly, where did time go?!


I'll be honest...I never imagined I would last this long. But blogging has become a hobby I have thoroughly enjoyed and continue to get excited about! Writing each post is somehow therapeutic and watching the numbers grow is slightly addictive. I'm proud to say I am still at it and having a blast!


I can't say thank you enough to those who have stuck around this year and continue to read each and every post. Your support means the world to me! For those of you who are new...hi, I'm Kelly! Thanks for checking out my little corner on the Internet, I hope you enjoy and come back for more. 


I'm so excited to see what this next year has in store. Time truly does fly when you're having fun. 

xxx

9/19/15

Five Favourite Lip Colours for Fall

Last year I spoke about my top five nail polish picks for each season, and had so much fun pulling colours that reflected both the weather and my mood. This year I'm excited to share five of my favourite lip colours, starting with fall, which seems to be sneaking up way too quickly!

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fig
I would say this is the perfect introductory colour for those interested in wearing a purple lip. It's a smokey mauve with rosy pink undertones. It's different from anything I've ever seen before. Plus the formula of the Too Faced Melted lipsticks are phenomenal! They are highly pigmented and shiny when first applied, but dry to almost a matte finish resulting in mega staying power.


Essence Longlasting Lipstick in Barely There!
This mid-tone, rosy-brown is very on trend as we continue to see styles from the 90s resurrected. It's a little darker and more adventurous than a typical nude, which makes it one of my favourites for fall. I also think the Essence lipsticks are definitely the underdogs in the beauty world. At less than $3, they're a steal but the formula is pretty outstanding as well. They're buttery smooth and hydrating - a key factor for colder months when the air can really dry out our lips.


L'Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Pure Reds in Blake's Red
I spoke not too long ago about this lipstick when I dedicated an entire post to it and explained why I was so impressed. A few weeks later and I am proud to say that I am still utterly obsessed. Although this will be my first fall season wearing it, I know it's going to be one of my favourites. The colour is stunning and after all, it wouldn't quite be fall without a bold, matte red lip.


Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie
An oldie but a goodie! This has been one of my fall favourites for many years now. It's the perfect raspberry shade with a subtle glossy finish and contains heaps of shea butters to hydrate and soften the lips. I love that it's dark and bright all at the same time - perfect for transitioning away from summer and into the colder months.


Mac Lipstick in Dark Side
Of course I couldn't write a fall favourite lipstick post without including a dark, vampy wine shade. My colour of choice is Dark Side, an Amplified deep burgundy with a hint of brown. I enjoy wearing it fully opaque, but it also looks great when patted onto the lips and blended with a finger for a more sheer or stained effect. Mac lipsticks are what made the cosmetic company so famous, which is proof enough that the formula is bomb!


Fall is my favourite season for multiple reasons, but I love it because it seems to be the time of year when lipstick can be a little more bold and experimental. What are some of your favourite colours?

xxx

9/17/15

Birchbox September 2015 | What's Inside

First off, how cute is this box?! My last box was brown and boring, so when I unwrapped this beauty I was SUPER excited! It's like a piece of art! I'm hoping my first box was just a generic introductory version and I can't wait to see what design arrives on my doorstep next. I'm already brainstorming ways to display and utilize these boxes for storage. 


Now on to the good stuff. What's inside?

100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream (Full size = $26)
"An instant pick-me up that reduces the appearance of fine lines and dark circles." 

Although it's not full-size, this is a pretty great sample size - especially for an eye cream. It's formulated with natural and organic ingredients, including coffee beans and green tea, which help reduce puffiness thanks to their caffeine properties. It smells delightfully similar to a Tim Horton's Cafe Mocha. But just a warning for those with scent sensitivities...it lingers...  

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Liner - Cobalt (Full size = $21)
"From the fashion designer's makeup line: an ultra precise, smudge proof liner in a rich, cobalt blue."

I believe this is actually full size! Not bad Birchbox, not bad! I really love the sky blue colour, but after giving the product a try, I found myself disappointed in the formula. It wasn't completely opaque at first and trying to go over an already drawn line seemed hopeless. The applicator basically just smudged the product around. After a couple of hours wearing it, I also noticed that some of the colour transferred to my crease area. Now that's definitely not smudge proof, if you ask me. 

Davines Ol All in One Milk (Full size = $33)
"This nourishing leave-in treatment adds volume, shine, detangling and heat protection."

It may just be me, but this hair product smells way too much like a kitchen cleaning product. Which makes me immediately picture Mr. Clean with his bald head, and now I am concerned my hair is going to fall out. OK, I'm over-reacting...it does make my hair nice and silky smooth.

*Bonus: Birchbox threw in foil packet samples of the Davines sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner retailing at $31 and $37.50.


Raw Spirit Fragrances Wild Fire (Full size = $50-$113)
"Woody aroma blends amber, jasmine, ylang ylang, cedarwood, and musk with Australian sandalwood."

This perfume smells almost exactly like the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black! It's very warm and woodsy, slightly masculine and very seductive. To make sense of the price range listed above; a rollerball size costs $50 and the full size, 1fl. oz. version is $113.

TOCCA Esfoliante da Corpo - Giulietta (Full size - $38)
"This sugar-based formula also has crushed olive granules which gently exfoliate for a supple effect."

The sugar base of this product is quite abrasive, and may not be the best choice for those with sensitive skin. But the addition of olive and grape seed oil help soothe the skin after dead skin cells have been scrubbed away. The pink tulip and green apple scent is also really nice and subtle.

September is Birchbox's 5th birthday and to celebrate, they sent a 20% off online purchases coupon. Each subscriber will receive this special offer as a simple thank you for helping the company succeed. As a quick update from my last Birchbox post, the Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels were a huge hit for me! I may just use this discount to purchase the full-size.


xxx

9/15/15

A Little Birdy Life Update

Ay ay ayyyyy!! It's been nearly two weeks since my last post went live. Which doesn't sound like a long time, but to me it feels like forever! To say I've missed it would be an understatement.

Last week was quite a busy one...


I had the pleasure of attending my very first Indian wedding. They really don't lie when they say Indian wedding's last an average of three days. The Maiyan, ceremony and reception all took place on separate days. But I had so, so much fun and was really grateful to be a part of the lovely couple's big day. I stuffed myself full of spicy and sweet traditional dishes, got to wear stunningly intricate outfits, learned words in a new language, got my bhangra on (well at least I tried to) and met a ton of really welcoming and humble new faces.


I have thought about creating a post on the makeup look I paired with the beautiful blue dress I borrowed, because I really loved the way it turned out! So if you're interested in seeing the gold and navy smokey eye, leave a comment below or reach out to me on social media and let me know!


During this same week, my Aunt and cousin were here from BC. My cousin has just moved to Ontario for the next five years as she attends college. It's been a very long time since I saw her last and I'm really excited to show her around all of my favourite spots in the GTA. The time flew by as each day was jam packed, but it was really nice getting to spend time with them both, and it seemed like the perfect time to take a wee break from blogging. (How many times can we say 'time' in one sentence?)

Yesterday I began school again. I've touched on this in a post previously, but for those of you who are new, I'm currently taking part-time online courses to become a Certified Association Executive (CAE). I am learning the skills and best practices necessary to become a CEO or Executive Director of non-profit associations. From now until December, my nights are going to be filled with studying and discussion posts. I'm afraid there will be limited blogging opportunities, but I am doing my best to pre-write some posts so I won't be M.I.A for long periods of time.

With Beauty by Birdy's first birthday around the corner, I have placed a fair amount of pressure on myself to continue pushing out posts and making each one better than the last. Which is why I chose to take this little break. I really believe in quality over quantity and want to be proud of the content I publish. But I have not disappeared forever and I am excited to get back into the swing of things and bring you tons of fun fall themed posts. Talk to you soon!

xxx

9/3/15

Mani Spotlight: OPI Alpine Snow


The topic of many conversations lately seems to be fall's upcoming arrival. Although it's still scorching hot here in Canada, we have now entered into September, which is known as the transitional month. It's a time when kids go back to school, leaves begin to change colour, the nights become colder and Starbucks launches their iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte. I have to admit, I am not mad at the fact that summer is nearly over. I look forward to sweater weather, wearing scarves and rocking bold, vampy lips.

But it seems to be an awkward time for nail polish. I am slightly over neon colours but not quite ready to wear darker tones. My solution to the problem is to wear white! I love the way it looks with a tan during the summer, but think it is also neutral enough to wear during the colder months. It's really the perfect 'in-between seasons' shade and OPI's Alpine Snow is my absolute favourite white nail polish...ever! 


It's a pure white (not cream, ivory or egg shell) and is opaque after two coats, which can often be a challenge with many other pale colours. If a white polish could ever be considered bright, this one is! It's so crisp, clean and really pops on the nail! 

If you're only going to ever try one white nail polish in your life, this should be it! I highly recommend it and think it's a great option for summer and fall. Heck, with a name like Alpine Snow, it even screams winter. Ok ok...I take it back...it's a great option for literally every season! 

xxx

9/1/15

Tips to Get Your Butt Out of Bed and to the Gym

I get it! Waking up early to fit in a trip to the gym before work is tough! Believe me...I am not a morning person and LOVE my sleep. But sometime's a girl has go to do what a girl has to do. So here are some of my tips that make getting out of bed to exercise a little easier:

Grab Some Early Shut-Eye
It's not easy waking up when you haven't gained a solid night's rest, so if you're really set on working out in the morning, try falling asleep at a decent hour the night before. Aim for 7-8 hours, and you'll avoid feeling like a zombie.

Place Your Alarm Out of Reach
The easiest way to get out of bed in the morning, is if you're forced to literally do so. One way of making this happen is to set your phone or alarm clock out of immediate reach.


Set Multiple Alarms
If you tend to hit the snooze button a few too many times, try setting more than one alarm, with the first one going off well before you plan to actually wake up. Eventually it will turn into a series of obnoxious sirens and disturb any extra sleep you're trying to sneak.

Plan The Night Before
Chances are if you have to dig around looking for a sports bra in the wee hours of the morning, you're going to: A) become frustrated and give up on the idea of working out all together or B) loose quality time spent at the gym. Plan ahead and set your outfit aside before crawling into bed.

Or...

Sleep in Gym Clothes
If the above tip doesn't work, try sleeping in your gym clothes. I'm definitely a champion of this tip! It means you can literally roll out of bed and head to the gym. So even if you press the snooze button a couple of times, you'll still have time to fit in that workout.


Do It With a Friend 
In my opinion, there's nothing more motivating than scheduling an early morning workout with a friend. It's helpful knowing that someone had to wake up at the same time and is depending on you. Plus, there's less wiggle room (time-wise) to bail. After all, it'd be hard to ditch your amigo knowing they're waiting for you sleepy eyed and probably grumpy. Wouldn't it?

Reward Yourself
Use a tasty treat as motivation to work out. We all need a little pat on the back sometimes, so if you're really craving that Chai Tea Latte in the morning, go for it without feeling guilty because you've actually done something active.

It's also important to remind yourself how good it will feel once your workout is done. You'll feel energized and ready to take on whatever the day has to throw at you. Plus, the hard stuff will be out of the way and your evenings will be free to do whatever you please. Maybe it's vegging on the couch watching your favourite TV shows, but hey, that's OK because you were active in the morning! Enjoy and relax knowing that you did good.

Do you have any tips not listed above that I can add to my bag of tricks? I would love to hear them!

xxx