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