1/27/17

Beware Of The DIY Turmeric Face Mask

I've struggled with dark spots and blemish scars on my skin for the last little while, but in an effort to save some funds for upcoming adventures, I have put off purchasing any fancy skincare. Instead, I decided to make use of ingredients in my kitchen and concoct a face mask that could target these concerns.

I decided to go super basic and combine a tablespoon of coconut oil with a teaspoon of turmeric. For the record, I have used this mask four times now and I've probably only used half of the batch I created, so a little goes a long way.


Turmeric is full of antioxidants and supposedly helps with pigmentation and discolouration, among many other things including age prevention, improving elasticity and keeping blemishes at bay. It all sounds pretty peachy to me!

Now, the title of this post may be slightly misleading. I assure you, I have not experienced any horrendous breakout from the natural ingredient. It actually does make my skin look fresh and glow-y, although I am not sure it is diminishing the look of my dark spots...

Instead I'm here to warn you about the mess and headache you'll experience if you try this yourself. I've also provided some tips to deal with these frustrations.

Beware Of The Stain
Firstly, turmeric is a lovely burnt orange/yellow colour, but man does it stain! I spent a good 10 minutes worrying that it would not wash off my face while I let the natural ingredients go to work. I feared walking out in public and being the subject of Homer Simpson related jokes.

Don't Use Oil
In all honesty, it wasn't the easiest to remove. We all know oil and water do not mix, so perhaps I should have used yogurt as a base ingredient instead...



Sacrifice A Face Cloth 
A wet cloth is definitely a better option than going in with a splash of water and trying to massage the mask away with your hands. But trust me, that cloth will be ruined! Definitely don't use anything white or light-coloured.

Use Micellar Water
I also found that using some micellar water on a cotton pad (or two) is the trick to remove every last trace of yellow.

Wear Ugly Clothes
I made the stupid mistake of wearing a nice top when I first tried this DIY mask. The coconut oil began to warm up from the heat of my skin and drip from the high points of my face. I literally sat with a few paper towels pressed up against my chin trying to catch the yellow droplets so I would not ruin my clothes, bedding or anything else around me. What should typically be an enjoyable pamper session, became nothing more than 10-minutes filled with stress and anxiety.

I reiterate, yogurt may be a better base ingredient. But I've learned my lesson and now I change into a grubby t-shirt and apply an extremely thin layer.

Watch Your Eyes
Also, be careful not to get any in your eyes. Turmeric IS a spice, and it WILL burn!

It Kinda Smells...
There is definitely a slight scent to this mask - similar to ginger or curry, but not as strong. If you're sensitive to odours, this probably won't be the DIY mask for you.

You Will Scare Everyone Around You
Finally, it's a pretty scary looking mask, which is why you don't see any pictures of me wearing it. I prefer to do it when no one is home, or I'll make an announcement before it's applied so they have some kind of warning. I'd suggest staying inside and far away from any windows so you don't frighten your neighbours.

All-in-all, I'm still trying to decide if this mask is worth the hassle. I have noticed a slight change in the appearance of my skin but I'm not sure it's enough to make me want to apply it on my face every night.

Have you tried an at-home turmeric face mask before? What was your opinion?

xxx

1/24/17

Faux Fishtail Bubble Braid

I have been doing this hairstyle quite a bit lately, especially when I'm feeling super lazy but still want to look put together!! I like to call it a faux fishtail or bubble braid, but there really is no braiding involved! It's seriously so easy and it's perfect for wet or damp hair, which creates tousled curls that can be worn the next day.


First I sweep all of my hair to one side and secure it with a tiny elastic. Clear elastics are all I have at the moment, but if you're going to try this for yourself I would suggest using ones that match your hair colour.


I then take a second elastic and secure it in place about two inches below the first.


I separate the hair in between these elastics, creating a hole for the lower half of hair to be flipped through. This is known as a Topsy Tail! It twists the hair inwards, mimicking the look of a disheveled fishtail braid. 


I then add another elastic roughly two inches below the last and repeat the same step. Once I've run out of hair I like to spray some of my favourite dry shampoo (Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo) for texture and massage each section so it looks a little more full. 


I have extremely thin hair, so unfortunately my braids - or faux braids - never really end up being big or voluminous. But you can imagine how cool this would look on someone with thick hair!


xxx

1/20/17

Three Easy Eggy Breakfast Ideas

Five minutes! Five minutes is all it takes to cook up each of these 'egg-cellent' breakfast recipes. I feel silly calling them recipes because each contains very minimal ingredients and is super easy to whip up.

Eggs are a good source of protein and essential amino acids. But I find an over-easy or sunny-side up can sometimes be a bit bland and unappetizing. I need flavour! So I've been experimented with different egg combos - some sweet, some savoury - over the last couple of years and today I'm sharing some of my favourites! I'll warn you, some are...well, they're interesting. Don't worry, I'm not going to try and convince you to add a raw egg to your smoothie. Dev does that and I think it's disgusting!!!!

Let's get started with the most basic and common, shall we?

Spicy Omelette
I get bored of food easily, so I'm constantly trying to find flavours and recipes that keep me interested. An omelette is so versatile and definitely a go-to when I'm craving something savoury. Lately I've been loving this ham, mushroom and gruyere cheese combo!



I use a slice of the Kirkland Extra Lean Ham, which I often rip into small pieces with my hands rather than dirty a knife to dice. Mushrooms are also a great veggie for quick omelettes because they cook so fast. There's really no need to prepare them separately because the heat from the eggs will soften them enough.   

I'm a huge Ketchup fan, but according to the masses, it's not very good for you. So instead I've been obsessed with a spicy buffalo wing sauce from President's Choice, which is 0 calories! It tastes SOOOO good on eggs!! YUM!   


Now this post is about to get weird...

Egg & Banana
Do me a favour and give this one a try before you stick your nose up at it. Sure, it sounds strange but I promise it tastes delicious!! It's almost like a deconstructed pancake and tastes like fried bananas!


I start by heating a glob of coconut oil in a small frying pan before cracking one whole egg and two egg whites. I don't even scramble these beforehand, I just plop them right into the pan and let them slowly start to cook away on low heat. This is typically when I take a quick minute to mash one banana. When the eggs have started to cook through, I'll add the banana to the pan, along with a teaspoon of cinnamon, and use a 'spoon-ula' to scramble everything together. 


That's it, that's all! I like to top mine with berries (if my fridge is stocked) and a drizzle of real maple syrup. DELISH! 

Egg White Oats
Another strange one, I know, but seriously...don't knock something until you've tried it. Mixing cooked egg whites in with oatmeal is a great way of adding more protein to your morning meal, ensuring you'll stay full for longer. I'll admit you can taste them a little bit, but next to the oats' 'wheat-y' flavour they're just barely recognizable.



I prefer to cook my egg whites in a pan on the stovetop first, but you can also try mixing them in with your oats and liquid of choice to cook all at once (this will actually create an airy, fluffier texture). After heating up my oatmeal in the microwave for about two minutes, I'll stir in my egg white scramble and top it with fruit or nut butter. Pictured today you're seeing blueberries, cinnamon, chia seeds, a drizzle of real maple syrup and a splash of almond milk. TASTY!


That's all yolks! 

Haha! Even I'm shaking my head at that corny joke...

If you try any of these recipes for yourself, let me know what you think!! 

xxx

1/17/17

A Peek Inside My Purse

I've never been much of a purse gal. I'm still not really...Most of the time you can catch me out and about with just a little wristlet, but every now and then I do enjoy carrying a larger bag, especially my beloved Michael Kors Selma.


After the holidays, my purse was basically overflowing with receipts, coupons and junk. I did a clear out the other day and now it's ready for 60 seconds of fame. Take a peak at what I keep inside!


Necessities
Coach Wristlet
Keys
Sunglasses


I actually don't use a wallet and instead prefer to keep my debit, credit, gift cards and cash stored in a little wristlet. As I mentioned above, sometimes I can't be bothered to lug a big, heavy purse around with me, so this Coach wristlet is perfect for grab-and-go moments when I'm just heading out to run some errands. 

Random 'Beauty' Items



I'm known to carry a half-dozen lip products (sometimes more) at a time, but the brand and colour change quite a bit depending on my mood or the occasion. Dark Side is still hidden in a pocket from New Year's Eve.  



Sephora Mirror
Kleenex
Spare Contact Lenses
Claritin


Electronics
iPhone 7
Headphones
Phone Charger


I finally got a new phone (after using an old iPhone 5s with a shattered screen for nearly a year) and it feels so good!!!! I can talk on it without fear of cutting my ear and the forward facing camera works, so Snapchat filtered selfies look clear again! Woooohoooo! 

Organization Tools
Monthly Planner
Sharpie Fine Tip Pen
Sharpie Highlighter


In the spirit of a new year and resolutions, I'm trying to be more organized and write things down. We'll see how long this lasts, but so far I really enjoy using this little planner to schedule blog content, jot down grocery items and mark upcoming events. I do use the calendar on my phone as well, but sometimes I just like to see things hand-written...

I'm curious, what's one must-have item in your purse? 

xxx

1/13/17

Sephora Radiant Luminizing Drops Product Review

I must admit, I'm on the fence about the Sephora Radiant Luminizing Drops. I haven't quite found a way to make them work that really blows my mind yet. The shade Morning Light is a gorgeous, shimmering, champagne colour with a hint of gold and looks quite natural on the skin (when blended correctly). 


It is quite a liquid consistency, but pigmented so a little goes a long way - I find a drop is all I need to spot highlight (this bottle is going to last me forever). So far I prefer to use my fingertips over a brush or beauty sponge to apply it on the tops of my cheekbones and cupids bow. However, I do find that it can move my foundation and concealer around, causing patches of skin to show through. When blended carefully, it really is beautiful and stays in place throughout the majority of the day. It can be worn alone (for a more subtle look) but also acts as a great base to intensify powder highlights or give them something to adhere to. I find it just takes a little more patience and a delicate touch to apply. 


I've also tried mixing some into my foundation for an all over glow, or applying it on bare skin for 'no-makeup' makeup days, which is quickly becoming my favourite way to wear the liquid illuminator. It makes my skin look healthy and alive and is much more easy to blend. 


I do like how it comes with a dropper, which always seems to make me feel somewhat like a chemist when I'm doing my makeup. Although, it did take me a little while to figure out the pump mechanism (science never really was my thing...) but after reading some reviews online, it seems I'm not the only one. At first I was getting frustrated because it didn't seem to pick up any product, however, I finally found a way to make it work! If I remove the dropper from the bottle completely and press down on the button before inserting it back into the bottle, and then slowly remove pressure, it seems to suck product up like a syringe.  

Another downside of the packaging and thin formula is that I have nightmares of accidentally tipping the bottle, causing product to spill everywhere. Unfortunately, it has happened with different beauty items in the past, (I'm a klutz) so it's not an unlikely circumstance... 
   

Final verdict: I like this product and the metallic sheen it creates, but sometimes don't have the patience to apply it...

xxx

1/10/17

Current Gym Sesh Playlist

My Dad let me borrow his brand new Apple Airpods for my gym sesh the other day, and while I felt like a knob with cigarettes hanging out of my ears, I really enjoyed working out with the cordless headphones! They were super comfortable and it was so nice not getting tangled in wires. I felt much more free and my workout was way more enjoyable! They're a little pricey if you ask me, but I can't deny wanting a pair for myself!


Anyways, it inspired me to share with you some tunes that keep me motivated and working hard.

My current workout playlist: 

Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran 

Bruk Off Yuh Back - Konshens 

Love On The Brain (Gigamesh Remix) - Rihanna

I Can Only (feat. Alessia Cara) - JoJo

 Dude - Beanie Man 

Try Anything - Shakira 

Bad Things (feat. Camila Cabello) - Machine Gun Kelly 

Cake - Flo Rida

Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5

Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran

Light - San Holo  

Love Me Now - John Legend

Make Me (Cry) (feat. Labrinth) - Noah Cyrus 

The Mack - Nevada

Gal A Bubble - Konshens 

No Letting Go - Wayne Wonder

Faded - Alan Walker 

Make It Bun Dem (feat. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley) - Skrillex

Sinner's Prayer - Lady Gaga 

Don't Leave - Snakehips & MØ

xxx

1/6/17

High-End Beauty Favourites From 2016

I hope you're all surviving the first week of 2017! I don't know about you, but the start of a new year always seems to really motivate me and I have been super productive these last few days! For once I actually feel somewhat organized and it feels great! I have some fun ideas for the blog, but first it's time to share my favourite high-end beauty product discoveries from 2016!


Tangle Teezer Compact Styler
This strangely shaped brush has become a total game changer for me! Admittedly, I've never been one to frequently brush my hair. In fact, there were many days that I went without brushing it at all, turning to my fingers to loosely tame my bedhead. The Tangle Teezer glides through my hair so easy and the small size, along with protective cover, are perfect for tossing into a handbag for use on the go.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleanser
I love oil cleansers! Especially during colder months when my skin needs a little extra moisture. I like that the Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleanser is all-natural and rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids. Not only does it remove all of my makeup, but it is also seems to help with hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone typically caused by blemish scars. It smells pleasantly like grapefruit too!

Pictured is a travel size bottle because I just finished my full-size a couple of days ago. Spoiler art: you can expect to see it in an empties post soon!


Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil
My skin just seems so happy when I consistently use this natural oil. I massage about 4-5 drops over my entire face and down my neck every morning to prep my skin for makeup. It absorbs quickly and contains vitamin E, so it's highly nourishing. Earlier in the year I experienced some major dry patches under my eyes and concealer was nearly impossible to blend without looking like I had wrinkles. As soon as I started using this product my skin concerns seemed to vanish! I will definitely buy a full-size bottle in the near future.

Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner
This stuff is constantly sold out on the Sephora website - and for good reason! It cleans brushes without having to wait 24 hours for them to dry. Plus it leaves them smelling of vanilla! I managed to make mine last practically the entire year, but it's time I purchase another (and maybe a back-up).


NARS Blush in Sin
Last year my high-end blush favourite was Orgasm by the same company, and while I still love the golden peach stunner, I seemed to have used this deep plum more during 2016. It is quite dark in the pan but I find a little goes a long way and when applied with a light hand it works well with my fair skin. I particularly like to pair it with a bold lip. There's a hint of shimmer, but it's not chunky or too intense like Orgasm can be. The NARS blush formulas are also silky smooth, super long lasting and easy to blend. They're definitely worth the price tag if you ask me.


Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01
OH MY GOSH! Where has this been all my life? Why didn't I make the splurge sooner???

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this subtle 'matte' highlighter. It looks absolutely gorgeous when applied to the cheekbones, but I've been known to douse my entire face with the marbled champagne powder for a ultra dewy look. It's quite natural looking and achieves that 'lit from within' glow I often aim for.


Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Blackberry Sorbet
For some reason these seem to smell more and more like cough syrup to me, but I've learned to become a mouth breather (basically) while wearing these lip stains because the colour range and formulas are really, really good! This shade in particular is a newer favourite of mine (as mentioned in my Five Favourite Lipsticks For Winter last week). I'm simply obsessed with the wine colour!

In case you missed it, click here to check out my top drugstore items from 2016. What were some of your favourite beauty discoveries last year?

xxx

1/4/17

Spiced Apple Shower Goodness



The Body Shop Spiced Apple Shower Gel is my favourite holiday scent of the year (well...last year). It even tops some of the delicious smelling candles I got from you know where...and that's saying a lot!

It smells like crisp apples picked fresh from a farm and stewed in a pot with a blend of cinnamon and clove. Think spicy, yet sweet. Trust me...it's amazing! And with extended Boxing Day and end of year sales happening right now, I'm basically telling you to go, GO NOW, and pick up a bottle for yourself. It's a seasonal scent and won't be around for long. I managed to nab mine at 50% off and I'm kicking myself for not buying more from the range.


Now, I'm not trying to peer pressure you into a new shower gel, I'm simply just warning you that I may purchase all that's left before you have a chance to. So if spiced apple scents are up your alley, I highly recommend adding this green goodness to your shower routine.

And in case you were wondering what taking photos on a rainy day with a dog looks like, this is it...


Muddy paws on a white towel. GRRRRR. She's lucky she's cute, and I'm lucky I got my shots before this happened.
xxx

1/3/17

Drugstore Beauty Favourites From 2016

Happy New Year! Despite loving 2016 and the memories created last year, I have somewhat looked forward to the arrival of 2017 so I could write and reflect about some pretty outstanding beauty products. Surprisingly, narrowing down my drugstore favourites was easy! Let's dive right in, shall we?

 

Wet N Wild PhotoFocus Setting Spray
When a product is given its very own feature post on Beauty by Birdy, it's a good sign I like it! Do you remember when I wrote this 'Long-Lasting Impression' post and swore the Wet N Wild setting spray saved my face from melting off during a hectic work event? It has been a staple in my collection ever since. It really does a great job of holding makeup in place and getting rid of any excess powders. With aloe as an added ingredient, it's also super hydrating and kind to my skin.


Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water
I've raved about this product numerous times now, so I'll keep it pretty brief. The Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water works - period. It gets rid of makeup and is easy to use. What more could a girl ask for? I pretty much can't live without it and even carry a pint-sized bottle in my purse wherever I go for makeup emergencies or surprise sleepovers.

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
I'll admit, the fact that this bronzer smells like a tropical vacation is a huge reason I love and can't stop using it. The coconut scent seems to put a smile on my face every morning. Yumminess aside, it's also a beautiful tone and blends easily onto the skin, creating a natural looking, sun-kissed effect.

NYC Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder
I really only use this under my eyes to set concealer, but I absolutely love the finish!! I have fairly dry skin so rather than 'baking', I prefer to press it directly into my under eye area with a damp beauty sponge. It's super fine - like flour - and seems to vanish fine lines or pores, but it's translucent and doesn't alter the tone of my concealer. Orange triangles under the eyes = not cute. I do wish the packaging were a little more sturdy or travel-friendly, but I did manage to get it safely to and from Jamaica last year (somehow).


L'Oreal Pure-Clay Mask
I've made basically everyone I know try this face mask! You'd be surprised at the number of men who have willingly agreed to be my guinea pigs...and not one person has been disappointed. It's a total hit! The thick, mud-like texture glides evenly onto the face and feels quite cooling. It tingles ever so slightly as it dries and washes away with ease, leaving behind fresh, luminous skin. It's super comparable to high-end brands and smells similar too! A little also goes a long way, therefore the generous size packaging has lasted me quite a while.

ColourPop Creme Gel Pot in Get Paid
If I had to pick a stand-out brand from 2016, ColourPop wins the golden medal! Although their products are not available in a physical store, they are certainly sold at drugstore prices! I am so happy I gave this affordable, online brand a try!


Their eyeliner formulas are wicked! My obsession with the colour Get Paid is strong and ongoing. It's the most beautiful rose gold that seems to draw out the green in my eyes when worn along the waterline, creates an interesting cat eye when worn as winged liner and works as a base on the lid for a super shimmery look. It also stays put pretty much all day long. 

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in So Quiche
Is it green? Is it purple? I don't know and I don't care...it's gorgeous and that's all that matters to me. Unique colour aside, the ColourPop Super Shock Shadows are such an interesting texture. They're a powder-cream hybrid and pack powerful pigment. The wide range of colours and finishes available is nearly overwhelming, but oh so enticing at the same time! I can't wait to place another order and add even more of these shadows to my collection. 


ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip in Frick N' Frack
I have worn the crap out of this liquid lippie over the past five months or so. I love the dark, rosy-brown shade and it's also super comfortable to wear. It's not exactly matte, and it's not completely kiss-proof, but IT IS super long-wearing. I definitely want to try more of these in the future.


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
I gave the Miracle Complexion Sponge a try back in February and managed to extend its life for basically the entire year. I'm in desperate need of a new one, and the only reason I haven't bought another is purely due to laziness. Who really wants to hit up Walmart around the holidays if they don't HAVE to anyways? Not me, no thank you...

I personally enjoy it most for blending out concealer, but it's a great tool for 'baking' or setting as well. Its soft, squishy texture seems to hold onto product without absorbing too much and distributes it evenly onto the skin.

I can't wait to see what the drugstore releases this year! I have a feeling there will be some really great product launches.

Ps. Keep an eye out for my high-end faves later this week.

xxx