Bath and Body Works

What I’ve Been Loving Lately…

It’s been a while since my last post, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back into the swing of things!  The products I’ve discovered these past few months are some of my all-time favourites, and I hope you’ll love them, too!

1. MantraBand “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly” Bracelet

I discovered MantraBand during a trip to the USA this past summer.  Being someone who loves motivational quotes, I was immediately intrigued by these bracelets, which are sleek and simple in design (available in silver, rose gold, or yellow gold), and adorn various fun, inspirational messages.  In particular, I was drawn to the saying, “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly“.  The MantraBand website describes this bracelet as a reminder to, “Remember to focus on one thing at a time and give it your all. Stay calm, look on the bright side, and keep going. Because it’s all about the journey, not the destination.”  I, like many others, often times find myself rushing to get things done, and I can easily forget to slow down and enjoy the process.  Naturally, I’m now hooked on these bracelets and have a handful of others on my wishlist: “Hakuna Matata“, “Ohana“, and “Que Sera Sera“, just to name a few!

2. L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve waited a long time for an affordable shampoo and conditioner that were specially formulated for oily roots, and guess what?  It’s finally arrived! L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Clay line is perfect for those who have hair the equivalent to “combination skin”: an oily scalp, with ends that could use some love.  These products use the power of various clays (white, blue, and green) to cleanse, moisturize, and revitalize the hair and scalp, leaving hair balanced for up to 72 hours!  The shampoo lathers beautifully and leaves your hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed, and the conditioner is super moisturizing and lightweight.  Oh, and both products smell amazing.  Using the shampoo and conditioner, I noticed a difference in my hair within just two uses.  Next on my list to try is the Pre-Shampoo Clay Mask.

3. Benefit Cosmetics Dallas Box o’Powder Blush

I’d always heard great things about Benefit Cosmetic’s boxed blushes, but had never actually purchased or tried one for myself.  I decided it was time to hop on the bandwagon, and chose the shade “Dallas” (described as a rosy-bronze hue).  Trust me, the shade you see in the box does not do this product justice.  Once applied, it wears as a gorgeous, warm bronze that gives you a healthy glow, and is perfect for Fall.  You can even use it as a bronzer, or to contour, and it suits nearly every skin tone.

4. Quo Effortless Curl Mascara in “Black”

I’m someone who’s lucky enough to have long lashes naturally, but if I don’t use the right mascara, they just fall flat and can end up looking sparse.  I’m therefore always on the lookout for affordable options that give volume and hold curl.  I received this particular mascara in a gift bag from a Quo event, and was hooked after trying it just once.  The formula is glossy and super pigmented, the curved silicone brush adds curl, and it apples clump-free and lasts all day.  This mascara easily compares to high-end versions, and is just a fraction of the price. Definitely recommend!

5. Michael Kors Eau de Parfum in “Sexy Amber”

This is a perfume that has been on my wishlist for a long time, but due to it’s higher-than-average price tag, I always hesitated.  When Shoppers Drug Mart hosted their recent redeem your points event, I decided to finally take the plunge.  First off, this product is an Eau de Parfum, meaning a little bit goes a long way (making it a good value for money). It comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with gold accents, and the signature Michael Kors logo.  The scent itself has notes of warm amber, sandalwood, and white flowers.  It’s warm and musky but still feminine, and it’s perfect for the colder months ahead.

6. Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar”

Surprise! Another warm, musky scent that I can’t get enough of.  Until it was recently discontinued, Bath and Body Works’ “Twilight Woods” was always one of my favourites.  However their new scent, “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar” has now replaced it as my number one.  It has notes of almond creme, Bartlett pear, brown sugar, toasted hazelnut, silken vanilla, and decadent pistachio mousse (hungry yet?).  It’s a pretty, sexy scent, but is also subtle and not overpowering.  I pair the shower gel in the same scent with the Ultra Shea Body Cream for an extra scent boost.  Note to self: stock up on this before it’s gone!

What have you been loving lately?  Let me know in the comments below!

6 Fall Must-Haves

Fall Must Haves

When I think of Fall, I think of pumpkins, apples, warm colours, and cozy knits.  Here are a few of my Fall must-haves.

1. Bath and Body Works Mini Candle in “Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin”

When it comes to candles, I’m typically more of a vanilla/musk/men’s cologne type of gal, but I have been absolutely loving this Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle as of late.  Picture a fresh pumpkin pie baking in the oven mixed with a hit of vanilla (mmmm, right?!).  I love that it fills the house with fragrance, but isn’t overpowering/headache inducing.  I own this candle in the 3-wick version, but how cute is this mini version? Perfect for testing out the scent!

2. Old Navy Patterned Sweater Cape in “Warm Multi”

Capes are huge for fall this year, and I’m in love with the Aztec-inspired pattern on this one from Old Navy.  What’s great about this cape is that you can wear it many different ways: over top of a chambray shirt, a sweater, a dress, and beyond.  It can be a statement piece that inspires the rest of your outfit, or simply an extra layer you leave at your desk during the day for when the office is chilly.  It’s versatile, affordable, and the perfect cozy material for Fall. And while I’m still a huge fan of the blanket scarf, this is a fun alternative.

3. Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in “Brandy” 

When it comes to lip colours, I simply can’t resist a good berry tone.  This one from Bite Beauty is perfect for Fall.  Described as a “muted raspberry”, it’s super pigmented, applies smoothly, and has a matte finish.  The crayon-style applicator allows you to line your lips easily before filling them in, and the colour has serious staying power. For mornings that are getting increasingly darker (and when you start using the “snooze” button more often), simply pair this shade with some mascara and you’re good to go.  I’ve blogged previously about Bite Beauty and their use of food-grade ingredients; I’ve become a big fan and highly recommend trying them out!

4. Grove Square Spiced Single Serve Hot Apple Cider 

If Fall were a drink, it would be a nice hot glass of apple cider.  These k-cups are a super fast, easy, and convenient way to enjoy this seasonal classic at home, without having to make a full pot.  If you’re feeling fancy you can even add some cinnamon sticks or orange slices.  Yum!

5. Forever 21 Leaf Statement Necklace

There’s something so very “Greek Goddess” about nature-inspired jewelry, and this gorgeous one from Forever 21 is just $12.90!  What’s great is that, while it’s perfect for this time of year, it can actually be worn year-round.  And because a statement necklace makes, well, such a statement, it can be worn with the simplest of outfits (hello button-up and dress pants) for those not-so-easy Fall Monday mornings.  If you’re feeling a little more energetic, picture this necklace paired with a buttoned-up chambray shirt, a top-knot, a berry lip, and hey, maybe even the cape from Old Navy!

6. Mark’s Work Warehouse “Brooklyn” Mid-Rise Plaid Rain Boot

Buffalo plaid.  Need I say more? These fun rain boots from Mark’s Work Warehouse are perfect for Fall’s rainy days.  Even better? They are treated with antimicrobial technology to ensure they stay smelling and looking fresh.  I own a pair, and wore mine recently to go apple picking!

What are your essentials for Fall?  Let me know in the comments below!

Spread the Love: A Valentine’s Day Wishlist!

Gifts To Love

No significant other? No problem!  Gone are the days when you needed to be in a relationship in order to celebrate, what I consider to be, the cutest day of the year.  More and more, people are choosing to nominate their best friend, family member, or co-worker as their “Valentine”.  I decided to put together a short list of items that I think would make great gifts for any of these people, or even fun purchases for yourself.  And hey, if you are in a relationship, keep in mind this link would make a great post on your significant other’s Facebook wall, or a nice addition to their email inbox (a subtle hint never hurt anyone, right?).

1. Stella and Dot Luxembourg Scarf-Wild Hearts

This scarf is a fun addition to any outfit year-round, yet it’s somehow especially cute when worn in the month of February (the leopard-like pattern is actually a series of hearts!).  The best thing about giving or receiving a scarf, is that it’s versatile: you can wear it a variety of ways.  Whether it be around your neck, tied to your purse, or over your shoulders, the possibilities are endless.

2. Fossil Georgia Three-Hand Leather Watch-Pink

Stylish, functional, and wearable: this watch has it all.  Oh, and did I mention it’s currently on sale on the Fossil website for $39.99?!  The band is made of sturdy leather, and the face/band size allow for layering with other bracelets.  Another thing I love about Fossil is the 11 year warranty on their watches, which means you’ll have this piece for many Valentine’s days to come.

3. Indigo Double Hearts Mug

In my opinion, mugs make one of the nicest gifts.  You can use them pretty much every single day, and they allow you to remember special moments, people, and events in your life.  This cute mug from Indigo is covered with hearts on the outside, but holds a cute message around the inner rim: “When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew”.  A tad cheesy for your liking, or too inappropriate to give to a friend?  No worries, try this one instead!  Another great perk? These mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe (because no one likes a gift that’s high-maintenance).

4. Pandora “Love Birds” Charm

Another great gift when celebrating special moments or events,  is a Pandora charm and/or bracelet.  This adorable Love Birds charm is made of sterling silver, and has a dangling heart with the word “love”.  If you or your Valentine don’t already own a bracelet (or if you/they prefer necklaces), keep in mind Pandora’s charms can be worn as pendants too.

5. Bath and Body Works “Twilight Woods” 3-Wick Candle

Candles not only fill the room with scent, they also create an ambiance that makes you say “ahhhh”; you can’t help but relax.  The problem with purchasing candles as gifts for other people however, is that you have to hope the scent you chose for them isn’t headache-inducing.  Say goodbye to the guesswork!  Twilight Woods is one of Bath and Body Works most popular and preferred fragrances.  It’s described on their website as “A hypnotic blend of apricot nectar, mimosa petals and Tuscan cypress inspired by the enticing warmth of woods at twilight.”  The 3 wicks ensure the candle burns evenly (so you get your money’s worth), and they have a burn time of 25-45 hours.

6. Swarovski USB Heart, Light Rose

Back in the day, there were mix-tapes and CD’s filled with cute songs.  These days, there are much smaller, cuter ways of sharing music, photos, and sweet-nothings.  This awesome pink heart pendant from Swarovski doubles as a USB drive.  Fill it with your own items, or pre-load it with fun mementos for the person you’re giving it to.  It comes in a variety of colours, is embellished with 54 crystals, and has a 4GB capacity.

Swarovski

7. Too Faced- The Chocolate Bar Eye Pallete

Two ways to my heart are makeup and chocolate, and this pallet happens to combine both.  Formulated with real cocoa powder, these smooth, scented eye shadows (there are 16 of them) are a variety of textures and tones that are extremely wearable.  The shadows are packaged in a fun case that looks like a giant chocolate bar, and also includes a card with how-to’s for 3 chocolate-themed looks.  Chocolate without the calories…I’m in!

  There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.          ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)

Beauty in the Nude: My Favourite Neutral-Toned Products

Nude

As much as I love getting dressed up every now and then (fake lashes, contouring, the whole nine yards), there are times when looking like your headed to prom isn’t really appropriate, or necessary.  Below are some of my favourite neutral-toned products for those days when you want that ethereal “no makeup, but yes I’m wearing makeup” glow.  Some of these products are drugstore purchases, others are higher priced items.  Click the links below to buy the products online.  A certain product not in your budget this month? No worries, just use it as inspiration to find similar products on your own, or send me an email/leave me a message below and I’ll do the work for you!

1. Revlon Color Stay Nude Expressions Nail Polish in “Nude Beige” (Limited Edition)

When it comes to nail polish, I tend to lean more towards unique, vibrant colours (like this one I blogged about recently).  However, as soon as I applied this nude polish, I fell in love.  The colour complimented my skin tone perfectly, applied beautifully, and lasted for days.  No need to layer 5 coats to achieve colour-payoff, I only needed two to obtain a perfect, even hue.

2. Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in “N4”

A good nude lipstick is hard to find.  They’re either too pink, too brown, or leave you looking like you have no lips (not cute).  Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural line is full of beautiful neutral tones, including my personal favorite “N4, Pink Beige”.  Wear it alone for a creamy finish, or layer it under a pink or brown gloss (like the one below) for an extra shiny finish.

3. Bath and Body Works Liplicious Lip Gloss in “Amazon Coconut”

Introduced as part of their Summer collection, this gloss is not currently available to purchase online (though I did see some fairly recently in-store).  This gloss is a bronzy-gold tone, that applies sheer and smells like heaven (aka: coconut).  My personal favourite pairing is with the lipstick above, but it looks great on it’s own too.  Fingers crossed that Bath and Body Works brings it back again this Summer!

4. Nars Bronzing Powder in “Laguna”

Not shimmery, not too dark, and not too thick: all these things make this bronzer my daily go-to.  It creates a believable “I just got back from the Bahamas” glow, and is finely milled so it won’t cake when applied over your foundation.  I’ve yet to find a bronzer that I love as much as this one.

5. Covergirl Bombshell Shine Eye Shadow in “Copper Fling” and “Gold Goddess” 

Newly released, these creamy, highly pigmented shadows work great as a base underneath other shadows, or on their own.  As someone who has oily skin, I didn’t have any issues with creasing or melting, and the shine lasted the whole day.  What’s great about these shadows is that they can be applied thicker for a rich, shiny finish, or applied with a lighter hand for a more subtle, shimmery look.  Other colours from this collection on my wishlist? “Ooh La Lilac” and “Platinum Club”.

6. Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in “Baked Starburst”

This pinwheel style blush is not only pretty, it’s also a serious multi-tasker.  Wear all shades together for a pretty, neutral, luminescent blush, or wear each shade individually as eye shadow, highlighter, or mix with a gloss to create a custom lip colour.  Because it can do so much, it’s also great for travelling!

7. Urban Decay Naked Palettes (1, 2, 3, and Basics)

All or any of these pallets are an amazing addition to your makeup collection.  The shadows are highly pigmented, apply smoothly, and blend easily.

The original Naked palette is a collection of matte and shimmery bronzed-toned shadows (some of my favourites: “Buck”, “Naked”, and “Half Baked”).

Naked1

The Naked 2 palette is a collection of matte and shimmery taupe-toned shadows (some of my favourites: “Busted”, “YDK” and “Foxy”).

Naked2

The newly released Naked 3 palette is a collection of matte and shimmery pink-toned shadows (some of my favourites: “Nooner”, “Factory”, and “Blackheart”).

Naked3

Lastly, the Naked Basics palette is a collection of 6 matte, neutral hues (which are perfect for work or every-day).

Naked Basic

The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural ~Calvin Klein

Keep the Receipt! How your purchases can save you cash.

ReceiptsWe’ve all heard it before, the infamous, “would you like a copy of your receipt?” from the person behind the cash register.  If we say “yes”,  we either throw it away, or lose it in the abyss that is also known as our purse.  If we say “no”, it’s usually because we already know we won’t need it, or, because we don’t want our significant other to find the evidence (admit it, it’s the latter).

However, stores are starting to use receipts as a way to not only gain valuable feedback from their customers, but also to provide shoppers with discounts on future purchases (so now you just have to go back for that beautiful leather bag!).  I’ve touched briefly on this subject before, but today I wanted to share all the receipt-coupons that I use on a frequent basis (spreading the love, if you will).  Be sure to comment below if you know of any other great ones!  But first, a few quick rules to get us started:

1. Don’t Be Lazy!

The surveys usually only take 5 minutes of your time, and most of them are completely worth it.  What are you waiting for!?  Complete them as soon as you get home and put them in your wallet.  That way, you won’t be searching for it or wishing you’d brought it the next time.

2. Watch the Clock.

Some of the receipt coupons have expiry dates.  Make sure you’re using the ones that expire sooner, first.

3. Break it down.

Don’t be afraid to break down your purchases into multiple transactions.  If you have more than 1 receipt-coupon, and the store is willing to let you use them all, why wouldn’t you?!

4. Do the Math.

If the store is making you choose between a current promotion/other coupon and using your receipt-coupon, always do the math to see which one is the best deal.  Don’t waste your hard work!

Let the shopping begin:

Bath and Body Works $10.00 off your purchase of $30.00 or more (Note: when the large candles go on 2 for $30.00, you can now get 2 for $20.00 (or 4 for $30.00 using 2 coupons/transactions)!

La Senza– $10.00 off your purchase of $40.00 or more

Victoria’s Secret- $10.00 off your purchase of $60.00 or more

The Body Shop– $10.00 off your purchase of $40.00 or more

Payless Shoe Source– $4.00 off your next purchase of $10.00 or more

Old Navy– 15% off your next purchase (on randomly selected receipts)

The Gap 20% off your next purchase (on randomly selected receipts)

Banana Republic– 20% off one regularly priced item (on randomly selected receipts)

American Eagle-15% off your next purchase

Mark’s Work Warehouse-$10.00 off your next purchase of $40.00 or more

Globo Shoes– 10% off your next purchase

Aldo Shoes– 15% off your next purchase (aldoshoes.com/survey)

McDonalds– Free medium fries and a drink with your next sandwich purchase

Burger King-Free Whopper or chicken sandwich

Subway Sandwiches-Free cookie!

A penny saved is a penny earned.~Benjamin Franklin