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

10/22/15

Sugar Skull Halloween Nails

I've been waiting all month to do this nail design and the time is finally here to share it with you. Today's post features sugar skull nails - perfect for Halloween!


I started with white and black on every other finger as a base. I then went in with a dotting tool and some polish to create two polka dots for the eyes. If you're going to try this for yourself, I suggest keeping these initial spots spaced fairly far apart from each other. Next I went in and added some additional dots around the outside of each eye. As you can see, it ends up looking a little like a flower. 


I used a slightly smaller sized dotting tool to add colour directly inside each of these outer polka dots. To create the nose, I again used a dotting tool to drag some nail polish into a triangle shape. 


I painted a stripe along the tip of my nail for the mouth, and added teeth by using the same colour as my base on a dotting tool to create polka dots along the top and bottom edges of that line. 


I'm so happy with how these nails turned out and have received a ton of comments. Many people can't believe that I did them myself, which I think is funny because they were so easy!

xxx

10/19/15

October's Birchbox - See What's Inside

Sometimes the simplest things can bring great excitement and happiness. 


I nearly tripped over this month's Birchbox while heading out the door to run an errand one morning. Let's just say the errand was briefly put on hold as I quickly kicked off my boots and grabbed a pair of scissors from the kitchen to reveal what was inside. 

The theme of October's box is 'Positive Force' and of course since it's Breast Cancer Awareness time, the marbled pink box is very fitting. This month, Birchbox has teamed up with the Look Good, Feel Better Foundation which helps women battling cancer feel beautiful and confident. What a great cause, right?! I love it! The power of a little lipstick is really incredible. 

As Coco Chanel once said, "If you're sad, add more lipstick and attack." 


Once again, I've had the chance to test out each product so below you'll also find mini reviews and personal opinions of each one. 

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (Full size = $34)
"This customer fave mimics the effects of microdermabrasion for glowing, smooth skin." 

Unfortunately, this 'gentle' cleanser may actually be a little too abrasive for my skin. My face was bright, bright red and sore after using it. 

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris (Full size = $78 - $132)
"The designer's scent mingles bright fruits and florals for an elegant vibe."

This perfume is nice, but I haven't reached for it since the initial sniff test - which is a sign that some sprays I currently have are a little more liked. 

Harvey Prince Hello Body Creme (Full size = $26)
"Infused with the best-selling citrus-floral scent, this hydrator leaves skin silky smooth."

I'm not the biggest fan of this scent - it's a bit too strong for me, but the cream does feel really nice on the skin and absorbs quickly. 

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (Full size = $32)
"Water-resistant formula that curls, adds volume, and has major staying power."

I've been wanting to try this mascara for a while, so when I spotted it inside my Birchbox I was quite the happy camper! But my first use was slightly disappointing. It didn't create any volume and I had to work fairly hard to get the length I like. In my opinion, there are less expensive options at the drugstore that I would pick over this one. 

ModelCo Ultra Long-Lasting Lipstick in Stiletto (Full size = $20)
"Highly-pigmented colour that glides on effortlessly, hydrating lips without the hassle of touch-ups."

This is a really great lipstick! It's slightly glossy but still has great staying power. The colour is a classic red and perfect for fall or the holidays. (Sidenote: countdown to Christmas is 66 days!)

*Bonus: Birchbox threw in a Beachwaver Co. hair clip.

I feel as though I sound like a 'Negative Nancy' because most of these products were a miss for me. But again, this is my own personal opinion and what may not be for me could very well work for others. Plus, that's what samples are for! It's a chance to see what works and what doesn't so you can decide whether or not you want to splurge on the full-size.

If you're curious to try Birchbox for yourself, visit www.birchbox.ca. At just $10 a month it's a great way to test out new products without breaking the bank. 

xxx

10/14/15

Cheap, Last Minute Halloween Costume | Mime Makeup Tutorial

Like most people, Dev and I generally leave Halloween costumes to the last minute. Last year was no exception. With the clock ticking and a will to save some money, we slapped on some creative face makeup and striped shirts to transform ourselves into mimes.


Our silent theatrics needed a little work, but our costumes were pretty darn convincing! Plus we spent a grand total of $5 to purchase a face paint kit.

I wish I had written this last year, but it was definitely a spur of the moment decision and by the time this post would have gone up, Halloween would have been long over. So here we are! If you're in need of some cheap, last minute costume inspiration, stick with me and continue reading.

Things definitely start a little strange, and you're going to think I'm crazy, but bare with me...


Step 1:
The first step is to glue your eyebrows. A good ol' fashioned glue stick will slick down the hairs and create a smooth base for white makeup to be applied over. Don't go too nuts with it though, or else it will become all funky and chunky. Don't worry, it washes off at the end of the night with soap and water.

Step 2:
Apply the white base using a disposable sponge. Be sure to cover your lips as well.

Step 3:
Apply black eyeshadow all over your lid and along your lower lash line. Don't be afraid of the racoon eye here. The bigger the black halo, the better!


Step 4:
Use a black liquid eyeliner to draw triangle shapes above and below each eye. I chose to overlap my original eyebrows.

Step 5:
Use the same eyeliner to draw a tear drop on one cheek.

Step 6:
Give yourself some eyebrows! Think thin and raised. A slight downturn will achieve the sad and confused look we're aiming for.


Step 7:
Use your fingertips to blend some red face paint or cream blush to the apples of your cheeks. Again, don't be shy with the colour intensity - the more the better.

Step 8:
Use a red lipstick to draw a heart shape and create the illusion of smaller, pursed lips. You could also opt for a more gothic look and wear black like Dev did.


Step 9:
Practice your expressions!

xxx

10/11/15

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my attempt at a pumpkin nail design. Let's call it abstract...


The real reason for this post is to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Cheers to stuffing yourself full of turkey, and all of the delicious festive side dishes until you can no longer move! Cheers to further enhancing your food coma by indulging in several large pieces of pumpkin (or apple) pie. But most importantly, cheers to family, friends and good laughs - the best things to be thankful for!

xxx

10/8/15

Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover Review


You HAVE to try the Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover! This is what my aunt told me last month while visiting from British Columbia. She spotted me using a crappy kind from the dollar store and promised the high-end version was much better. Before heading home at the end of her trip, she graciously bought one for me to try and I can't thank her enough because it is incredible! It has serious holy-grail potential.

Admittedly, I had never tried this product before because of its $12 price tag. No, it's not exactly 'expensive' but considering I could buy 12 bottles for that price at the dollar store, I was a little hesitant. But now that I've given it a shot, I realize I will probably save money in the long run.

Inside the bottle is a sponge soaked in the varnish remover, which eliminates the need to purchase cotton pads. To use, just simply plunge a finger into the sponge and twist until the polish comes off. In most cases, the colour is gone almost instantly without having to scrub too hard. I was is complete shock to see how quick it worked my first time!


As someone who commonly has hang nails (pulling at them is a habit I'm trying to break) I was also impressed to experience zero stinging when using this remover. In the past, I have avoided taking off my nail polish because I knew it was going to hurt some of the open sores around my cuticles.

In addition, this nail polish remover also smells surprisingly good (those sensitive to the acetone stench...a.k.a. my Dad...will be happy to hear that). It's ingredients include white peach extract, which not only help to create a subtle fruity scent, but moisturizes and softens at the same time.

So now I totally agree with my aunt and say you guys HAVE to try the Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover! Seriously...GO...go now and get yourself a bottle. You can thank me (or my aunt, rather) later.

xxx

10/2/15

Cranberry/Rust Smokey Eye for Fall


The LORAC PRO Palette still has my heart. Ever since it joined my happy makeup family, nothing else has compared - not even it's cool-toned sister, the PRO Palette 2. I absolutely love the shades and versatility of this palette, especially for fall! So today I am sharing this cranberry/rust smokey eye, a definite go-to of mine during the season.

I start with Taupe in the crease and place Garnet all over the lid. It's such a unique reddish-orange hue! I go back in with a blending brush to buff out any harsh edges. I then use Sable to deepen the crease ever so slightly and pop Espresso in the outer corners. I repeat these steps in reverse order for my lower lash line, starting from dark to light and and finish the entire look with Nude in the inner corner and on my brow bone.


This colour combination does something magical to draw out the green in my hazel eyes. I can't even imagine how stunning it would look on those who actually have green eyes.

I chose to pair it with a medium-toned lip by mixing a little bit of Mac Dark Side and Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Demure, but it would also look great with a nude or vampy colour as well. I was actually wearing this eye for my Five Favourite Lip Colours for Fall post, which went up a couple of weeks ago. So if you're curious to see how it looks with multiple lip options, go check it out!


Face:

Eyes:
  • Taupe (transition shade)
  • Garnet (all over lid)
  • Sable (crease)
  • Espresso (outer corner)
  • Nude (inner corner and brow bone highlight)

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! Catch you next time...

xxx