Wednesday, 17 February 2016

We may be nearing the end of February, but around here spring isn't going to start showing it's face for at least another month. Planning on spending the rest of winter bundled up from head to toe? Why not include a warm and cozy design for your nails!
Before getting started you may want to check out my tips and tricks for getting the best results from your nail art stamper.

For this nail look I started with a Covergirl's Speed of Light for a light taupe-grey base. The pattern was created using this winter-themed plate from Born Pretty and the Konad White Stamping polish. I have to say, using the Konad brand polish made a huge difference in achieving a crisp, opaque design. While I've had plenty of success using various branded polishes in other designs, this was the best white I have tried by far!

Has winter let up at all yet where you live?

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Monday, 15 February 2016

If you're a beauty junkie, you know the struggle is real when it comes to packing up your beauty products to take with you on a trip. After returning from my recent trip to Mexico, here are my top tips for getting the most out of your storage while limiting the temptation to overpack!

1. Choose a great organization system. Over the past three years of packing bags at least once per week, I've learned relying on gift with purchase makeup bags just wasn't working for me anymore. I invested in the Sonia Kashuk Weekender and it's been a serious game changer. It fits all my beauty storage needs: skin care, hair care, body care, makeup AND brushes in one slim and easy to clean package. 

2. Think about where you're going. This may be completely obvious, but really stop and think about the environment and activities you'll be participating in during your trip. Do you really think an eyeshadow palette is necessary if you'll be on the beach 90% of your trip? Will your favourite mascara cut it in the humidity? Go through your everyday routine with that frame of mind and determine what can be cut and what needs to be added for your trip. You may realize you can save some space by ditching an eyeshadow palette and choosing a waterproofing top coat to get maximum use out of your favourite mascara.

3. Focus on double duty. Space is limited so make the most out of it. Choose products that can help you achieve multiple functions while you're away. A face product that includes your spf, a tinted brow gel that can fill and tame, a beauty oil that can moisturize your body hair and face, and face palettes that can sub in for eyeshadows for a special dinner are some of my favourite multitasking products. 

4. Make use of your samples. If you've been collecting minis of products, now is the perfect time to use them. While you may not want to revamp your whole skincare line while away for a week, mini mascaras, powders, and hair products are ideal for trips away. Finished any samples recently? Save the packaging for decanting small portions of your favourite products. My full size favourite hair mask and facial mositurizer take up a ton of space in, but I was able to use sample packaging to bring just the right amount for a week away. 

Do you have any winter getaways planned? What are your best packing tips?

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Monday, 8 February 2016

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and while Tyler and I don't go crazy celebrating the day, it is nice to change things up a little from our typical weekend routine. For a semi-engagement party dinner this weekend, I decided to focus on a soft, slightly smokey eye incorporating rosy tones and fluttery eyelashes that would be perfect for a Valentine's date.

EYES | I primed the eyes with a combination of the Milani Eye Shadow Primer and Jordana Made to Last eye pencil in Almond to cancel out any discolouration on my eyelids before packing on UD Sin all over the lid. I worked UD Naked into the crease and under the eye for a neutral matte base, and layered MAC Sketch on top of the outer corner and smudged across the upper lashline for some soft definition. I love the look of Sketch layered on top of a shimmery shadow, as it brings out a little more dimension in the plummy shade. I used some of my Laura Mercier Matte Radiance powder to bring a glow to the inner corners without going overboard on the shimmer. 

To finish off the look I skipped liner and focused on creating long fluttery lashes with my fibre extensions on top and my IT Cosmetics Tightline on the lower lashes. 

Here is what was used on the rest of the face:


LIPS | NYX Tokyo Soft Matte Lip Cream

Do you have anything special planned for Valentine's Day?

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

January is typically one of my least favourite months of the year, but between a tropical vacation and big life news, this month has to be my favourite January ever! I received a number of makeup related gifts for Christmas, which led to plenty of amazing new discoveries for me this month in the beauty world. So, let's get cracking!

Beauty Blender | This one completely surprised me, because I've been in a very happy relationship with my Real Techniques sponge for over a year. I had always wondered if the original was really any different, and I have to say sadly I think it is. There is something about the material that really helps blend liquids/creams without absorbing a ton of product. I've been storing mine in a recycled David's Tea tin, which is the perfect size wet or dry, travel friendly, and the lid makes for a great mixing palette when I'm combining foundations!

Sephora Solid Brush Cleaner | Which brings me to this product, which has made me dread cleaning my brushes SO much less. It's quick and easy to swirl brushes or sponges on the product, and it comes with a mini scrubbing pad which really helps work in the cleanser and get rid of all the dirt and grime even in dense foundation brushes. Just rinse & go, no dry hands or hours spent at the sink!

Sephora Mud Mask | I've been on the hunt for this mask since the fall but it was always out of stock, finally I got my hands on it and now I see what all the hype is about! It makes my face feel extremely clean without the dry, tight feeling post-rinse that I've felt from most other clay masks. I haven't had any significant breakouts all month long!

Coconut Beautifying Oil + Sibu Moisturizing Lotion | I spoke about both of these already in my post on banishing dry winter skin, but the combination has been pure heaven on my legs this winter. I've been swimming in chlorine pools multiple times a week so my legs have needed a little TLC, and this combo has given me the softest skin I've ever had! 

Smashbox Primer Water | It's hard for me to put my finger on what this product actually does, but somehow when I use it my makeup just looks better. On top of that it smells and feel great to apply, which is likely why I've gone through over half of the travel size in just over a month!

Dream Smoothe Mousse | I've fallen in love with this all over again since coming back from vacation. The texture is so light it feels like you're wearing nothing on the skin, but the coverage is amazing!

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance | I wasn't big on the fuss of highlighting on an everday basis until I discovered this powder. It gives the most beautiful glow to the skin without looking chunky or over the top in the slightest. I've been wearing it basically every day since I first tried it!

Did you kick off 2016 with any new product discoveries?

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Monday, 1 February 2016

Some big news happened this weekend, and I couldn't wait to share it with all of you: Tyler and I are engaged! I am so grateful for all of you who reached out after my sneak peek on snapchat with your well wishes and congratulations, and I'm excited to be able to capture and share this next step in our journey on the blog for both you and I!
I don't think I've ever mentioned this, but Tyler and I live around an hour apart, which has probably been the toughest part of our relationship because it takes quite a bit of planning to decide where we will be spending our free time. This weekend I had planned to be at home because I was taking my Grandma out to see the theatre in the city. I had stayed with her Friday and Saturday, but Tyler lured me back across the city for Sunday by saying that we were going to look at some puppies. If you know me at all, that was the perfect ruse!

After church, we headed to the "breeder" but had some time before the appointment, so we headed to a nearby pier that I had always loved walking. It was actually where he took me on one of our first dates, and was where we got the first photo of us as a couple. It had been raining a bit before we arrived, but when we got out to the pier it was just a little bit of mist and the most amazing sky. 
It seriously looked like a sunrise or sunset in the middle of the day! I had brought my camera to take some photos of the puppies, and was busy snapping away as we walked down to the end of the pier. Tyler took over the camera and told me to look out at the water for a photo, and when I turned around he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. It was so beautiful and special, it will be a day I never forget.
The rest of the day was a whirlwind, telling all our friends and family that are spread out across the country. I'm not the type of girl that's had my wedding planned out in my head, and am typically not so great at making decisions, so I really have no idea where to begin. I humbly ask for your prayers any would be so grateful for any advice!

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