Canada

#DealOfTheDay: Jessica Simpson Leopard Pumps

I took my first trip to Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW), a US retailer who recently opened its doors in Canada. As you may have guessed by the name, DSW is known for having designer shoes at warehouse prices.  The store I visited was quite large, had great selection, and was well organized.  The prices were reasonable, and as a deal hunter, I was pleasantly surprised to find a sale section at the back of the store, even with it having been recently opened.  It was there that I was able to score these Jessica Simpson “Venita 2” leopard pumps, (made of printed pony hair and stretch fabric, with a 4-inch heel), for just a fraction of the retail price.  Typically, these pumps sell for $130.00 CDN, however DSW had them marked down to $79.99, and then an additional 70% off, making these beauties just $23.88!  The elastic fabric makes these shoes surprisingly comfortable to wear, and the leopard print is perfect for Fall’s warmer color palette. Love!

Spring Favourites

With just a couple more weeks of Spring left (helloooo Summer!), I wanted to share some of the products I’ve been loving for the past few months.  Let’s get started!

1. Beauty With a Twist Daily Shampoo and Conditioner*

Created in 2013 by celebrity stylist Oliver Ifergan in an effort to capture the essence of the California lifestyle (palm trees, sandy beaches…basically everything I dream about), Beauty With a Twist’s products are formulated with only the highest quality, certified-organic ingredients.  Their products are not tested on animals, and a portion of their sales are donated to The Beagle Freedom Project to help end animal cruelty.  Their Daily Shampoo and Conditioner smell amazing, (notes of coconut and soft peach), and leave hair feeling soft and moisturized.  Both are formulated without parabens and are sulfate-free, ensuring they protect and preserve colour treated hair.  Beauty With a Twist products can be purchased in Canada exclusively on Amazon.ca.

2. Sahajan Discovery Kit*

This Discovery Kit is like an adult goodie-bag full of nourishing treatments for your face, body, and hair.  All of Sahajan’s products are natural and organic, and are developed and made in Canada (Toronto to be exact!) with eco-friendly and sustainable practices.  This kit is the perfect way to test out some of Sahajan’s products and includes: Nourish Face Cream, Restorative Eye Cream, Protective Face Serum, Nurture Hair Oil, and Ritual Body Oil (plus a handy linen makeup bag and a natural-wood mirror).  All of the products in this kit are impressive; they are nourishing, lightweight, and smell beautiful.  If I had to choose just one favourite (and trust me, it’s hard), it would have to be the Restorative Eye Cream.  A good eye cream is hard to find, and this one left the skin under my eyes feeling soft and moisturized, and looking brighter.  You can purchase this Discovery Kit, or the individual Sahajan products at Toronto’s Blossom Lounge.

3. Skechers Flex Appeal Sneakers in “Floral Bloom”

For me, these sneakers were love at first sight (um, hello, do you see those flamingos!?).  Not only are they bright, adorable, and perfect for Summer, they are also extremely comfortable, thanks to their memory foam insoles and stretch mesh panels.  They are light-weight (a women’s size 7 is just 6oz!) and are super flexible, allowing them to bend and flex naturally with your feet.

4. NYX Lip Lingerie in “Corset”

After reading positive reviews about this colour and formula online, I decided to give it a try.  This product is a matte liquid lipstick with a griege-ish tone.  It is long-lasting, and, as is commonplace for the NYX brand, is affordable without compromising on quality. If you’re looking for a super-unique yet wearable tone to add to your makeup collection, this is it.

5. Prada Candy Eau de Parfum

I’m one of those people who likes to switch up their scent on a daily basis, so it’s not often I find one that ends up on repeat.  I received a sample of this scent about a year ago, and brought it with me on a trip to Mexico.  Now, maybe it’s that every time I smell this scent I recall sandy beaches, warm breezes, and pina coladas, but since purchasing a full-sized version a couple of months ago, I still can’t get enough.  With notes of caramel, musk, and vanilla, this scent is soft and sweet with a nice warmth to it, just like a Summer night.

What have you been loving these past few months?  Let me know in the comments below!

Note: products indicated with an asterisk (*) were received for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

Year-End Gift Ideas for Teachers Featuring Foxy Originals (+Giveaway!)

When I learned that one of my favourite Canadian jewelry brands, Foxy Originals, created a teacher-inspired collection, I just knew I had to share.  A love of teaching is something I’ve always held close to my heart, (I originally went to school to be one, after all!).  I think it’s such a kind and meaningful gesture to give back to a teacher who’s made a difference in your year (or perhaps your life).

Foxy Originals have created 2 necklace designs (both of which come in gold or silver), that arrive ready-to-gift on a card that reads “Live. Love. Teach”.

The Inspire Teacher Necklace reads “Inspire” one one side of a circle charm (1.38″ diameter), and “Live Love Teach” on the opposite side.  This necklace comes on a 17″ chain is just $20.00 Cdn.

The second necklace (and my personal favourite) is the Teacher’s Charm Necklace.  The front of the charm (1.25″ x 0.75″) reads, “It takes a big heart to teach little minds”, and the back reads, “Live Love Teach”.  Also on this necklace is a tiny heart charm, and small beaded charm.  This necklace is also on a 17″ chain, and retails for $25.00 Cdn.

Both of these necklaces are made from fine pewter, and are then plated in gold or silver.  Every item Foxy Originals makes is lead-free and is produced locally.  Both of these necklaces are affordable, meaningful, and versatile gift ideas (you can wear each of them 2 ways!) that a teacher will truly appreciate and use.  They’re also great for dance teachers, singing teachers, and beyond!

Giveaway! 

Foxy Originals has generously offered to host a giveaway of their Teacher’s Charm Necklace in gold to one of my readers!  To enter, simply click the “a Rafflecopter giveaway” link below and follow the instructions.  This giveaway is open to residents of Canada only, and will close on Tuesday, June 14th at 11:59pm EST. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Top Picks: Quo’s 2016 New Product Release

I recently had the opportunity to attend Quo’s Sweet 16 party, which was by far the chicest birthday party I’ve ever been to.  There were gorgeous flowers, treats that were almost too pretty to eat, and, of course, makeup as far as the eye could see (I pinched myself to ensure I wasn’t dreaming).  Besides celebrating 16 years of Quo, (Shoppers Drug Mart‘s makeup line), it was also an opportunity to get a sneak-peak at the new products for 2016.  I am incredibly grateful to have been sent home with a bunch of goodies to test out, and have chosen my top 3 picks to share with you today!  Also, stay tuned at the end of this post for some pictures of the event!

1. Quo Brow Kit, $18.00

This kit comes with everything you need to create the perfect arches: 2 brow powders, an applicator, and a brow gel.  Why 2 powders, you ask?  This allows you to create the perfect shade to match your brows, and takes the guessing out of choosing the right colour for you while at the store (one size fits all!).  Simply mix the powders, apply to your brows using the applicator, and finish with the brow gel to keep everything in shape.  This set is an amazing value for money, and is also great if you change your hair colour frequently (your brows will always match!).

2. Quo Colour Spectrum Refillable Lip Gloss, $12.00 (Refill: $10.00)

Available in 6 different shades ranging from nude to pink, this lip gloss is rich, creamy, and beautifully pigmented. What’s most unique about this product however, is it’s packaging.  Purchase the full lip gloss to start, and then simply purchase refills at a lesser cost!  This product is a fun, innovative way to reduce packing waste (and recycle!) without sacrificing style.

3. Quo Contour Kit, $23.00

If you’re anything like me, the idea of contouring can be a bit scary.  As someone with oily skin, I worry that by the end of the day, my makeup will have shifted and I’ll look like a watercolour painting.  But this kit actually inspired me to give contouring a try.  Why is it any different?  The products in this kit are powder based, which is perfect for oily skin (as opposed to thick, creamy products). It also comes with fool-proof instructions built right into the packaging!  Included in the kit are a bronzer, highlighter, and contour shade, as well as a super-soft brush to achieve the perfect look.  There’s also a built in mirror for when you’re doing your makeup on the go, or touching up throughout the day.

Pictures from the Event

Have you tried any of the products from Quo’s new collection?  What are you most excited to try?  Let me know in the comments below!

Spa Day Essentials Featuring Blossom Lounge

With a long weekend just a couple of days away, it’s the perfect time to prepare for some rest and relaxation.  And hey, why not make your extra day off feel like one spent at the spa?  Today, I’m featuring 3 fun products to help you do just that.  All can be purchased at Blossom Lounge, located in Toronto’s Distillery District (I’ve featured them previously here and here). Be sure to follow them on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) to stay up to date on new arrivals and more!

1. Graydon Clinical Luxury Superfood Mask + Scrub

This unique mask gently exfoliates and brightens skin, and is formulated with 19 superfoods (including papaya, matcha green tea, white willow bark, cinnamon, activated charcoal, and more!).  Each mask is individually portioned in a vegetable-derived capsule to ensure the product stays as fresh as possible, without oxidizing.  So how do you use it?  With clean, dry hands, simply break open a capsule (learn more here), mix it with your favourite creamy cleanser, soap, or face oil, and massage it into your skin.  Leave it on for as long as you’d like (try for at least 3-5 minutes), and then rinse off with water.  Repeat up to 3 times per week.  For an even more natural touch, try mixing the mask with ingredients such as full-fat yogurt, raw honey, coconut oil, or mashed avocado instead of your cleanser!

 2. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in “Subtly Sassy”

This nail polish is the perfect everyday, cool-toned, nude (seriously, it matches everything).  But aside from being the perfect shade, it’s also an impressive, long-wearing polish: mine lasted a week with just a basic base and top coat.  The rich, creamy, 7-free formula only requires 1-2 coats, which, let’s be real, is a rarity in the light-toned, cream-polish world.  Another perk?  It’s also vegan and cruelty free.

 3. Coal and Canary Candle in “Gimme Some Sugar”

This candle’s unique notes of brown sugar, honey, yam, and vanilla, make it the perfect cozy-up-and-relax scent (and may also make you crave baked goods!).  Hand poured and made in small batches, these Canadian-made candles are created with only the highest quality soy/vegetable wax blends and fragrance oils.  The wooden wick burns cleanly (no smoke or soot here!) and provides a soothing crackle when lit. What I love most about the brand, aside from their unique scents, are their fun, catchy product names.  Some examples: “Good Beats & Eatin’ Sweets“, “Hiking Trails and Breaking Nails“, and “Peach Pies & Cute French Guys“.   Coal and Canary candles are 8 ounces each, and the burn time is an impressive 45-50 hours.

Which product are you most excited to try?  Let me know in the comments below!

*Products provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.  

Miracle 10 for Acne Prone/Oily Skin

Whether it is uneven skin tone, wrinkles, breakouts, or dryness, we’re all looking for a miracle when it comes to our skin.  More recently, I’ve been facing my own struggle with acne.  So, when Miracle 10 reached out to me, asking if I’d like to review their kit for acne-prone skin, I couldn’t have been more excited and optimistic.  The kit includes 5 products: a cleanser, solution, serum, AHA gel, and veil, all specially formulated for oily, acne-prone skin.  But the benefits go far beyond just blemishes and oiliness; they also helps with hyperpigmentation and scarring, minimizing pores, and fighting signs of aging.  So why Miracle “10″, you ask?  Because the brand is confident that you’ll see real results quickly: an increase in smoothness and clarity in just 10 hours, a decrease of discoloration and dullness in 10 days, and a lessened appearance of wrinkles and pore size in 10 weeks. There are also products and sets specially formulated for Normal/Maturing Skin, and Delicate/Dry Skin.  Keep reading to learn more about my experience and personal results, and also, to get a sneak peak of an upcoming Instagram giveaway!

The Products:

Cleanser II:

This cleanser leaves my skin feeling smooth and clean, without any residue.  Antioxidants deep clean and exfoliate skin without any irritation (thanks to its pH balanced formulation).  This product is used morning and night.

Solution I:

To be honest, I’ve never really used toners (they tend to irritate my skin).  But what I loved about this product is that, thanks to Glycolic and Lactic acids, it is more of an exfoliant (with pore-minimizing and antibacterial benefits) than a toner.  It leaves my skin feeling extra clean and balanced without any redness or irritation. This product is used morning and night.

Light Serum:

This is my favourite product of all.  It gives your skin the moisture it needs without being heavy or greasy.  Vitamins A, B, D3, E, and K replenish and balance your skin, and makeup applies beautifully overtop.  This product is used in the morning.

AHA Gel I:

Formulated with Glycolic and Salicylic acids, this gel helps resurface skin while also combating acne bacteria while you sleep.  The gel feels light and applies evenly, and a little bit goes a long way.  This product is used at night.

Veil:

This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer soothes and calms the skin while working to re-texture and reduce oily skin conditions.  This product is used at night.

My Experience and Results:

My favourite thing about all of these products is that they are super light-weight, which is something oily-skinned individuals such as myself really appreciate.  Every single step left my skin feeling calm, smooth, and clean.

Within just a few days, my skin’s texture and appearance had dramatically improved and my makeup was lasting longer throughout the day.  The scarring from previous acne was disappearing (I even stopped using a concealer!), and each morning I’d wake up to a face that was better than the day before (which I credit in part to the AHA Gel I; I love it!).  I also appreciate that each of the products applies evenly and easily, and you only need a small amount of product for your entire face.  I like that the packaging is simple and chic, and that most of the products have their own pump for easy application and reduced waste of product.

All in all, these products truly are impressive.  They are high-quality, made of effective ingredients, and are part of a foolproof system tailored to your skin type.  They are all fragrance-free, paraben-free, not tested on animals, and made in Canada, and are developed by skincare experts themselves: The Plastic Surgery Clinic, which specializes in non-surgical skincare. There’s a reason why these products are raved about in magazines, on TV, and beyond!  If you’re curious about learning more, or want to determine your own skin type, simply visit miracle10.com, or visit a Miracle 10 boutique if you’re in the greater Toronto area.  And don’t forget to sign up for emails to get 15% off your first order!

The Giveaway:

Miracle 10 has generously offered to provide one of you with your very own travel kit customized to your skin type (a $135.00 value)!  This giveaway will be hosted on my Instagram account in the coming days, and will be open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Stay tuned!

*The products in this post were provided by Miracle 10.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Gift Guide Day 5: A Gift With Meaning

GG 2015-5

I love a personalized gift: one that’s unique and has meaning. Each piece in the Speechlust collection is adorned with an uncommonly used word; one that has a much deeper meaning than it’s few syllables would lead you to believe.  One of my favourites (pictured above) is the Halcyon Necklace.  According to the Speechlust website, Halcyon is defined as: “(adj.) To be calm, peaceful and tranquil. (n.) A mythical bird said to calm the waves of the sea.”  Wearing this necklace can be a reminder, “to slow down and keep perspective. When you take the time to breathe, you’ll realize that, like the waves, this too shall pass”.

You can view a full dictionary of all words offered on the site, and can shop by collection.  Some of my other favourites are the Ikigai and the Heliophile necklaces.  All come on a 22-inch chain, and some styles are offered in beaded versions.  Each necklace also includes a card with the word’s definition (so the person you’re giving it to won’t need to Google after opening!).

I also love Speechlust’s story.  Canadian owner Courtney Chilton was inspired to create Speechlust while traveling in Southeast Asia.  She created the brand having had no background in business, learning as she went along.  I admire that she created her brand purely with passion and a love for what she was doing.  All to often, I think we sell ourselves short because we don’t think this passion is enough.  It is.  Give these necklaces to friends, family members, or significant others, and support a small business while doing so.

Missed the first 4 days of the Gift Guide? Check them out below!

Day 1 (+Giveaway!)

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Gift Guide Day 4: A Very “Mary” Christmas

GG 2015-4

Today’s gift is a fun collaboration between Roots and Mary Maxim: the Mary Maxim Scarf Knit Kit.  Inside is everything you need to make your very own Roots infinity scarf (yarn, needles, pattern and instructions, as well as a cute cotton tote!).  What I love about this as a gift for someone, is that you’re giving them an experience, whether it’s learning something new, or doing something they already enjoy.  I also love that the outcome is a modern, trendy scarf, similar to those in Roots Cabin collection.  Pair it with a cute mug, some hot chocolate, and a scented candle, and you’re giving someone the perfect winter-night in.

Check out the first 3 days of the Gift Guide here:

Day 1 (+ Giveaway!)

Day 2

Day 3

This Counts: Shopping with a Purpose (+Giveaway!)

This Counts 6

A running joke with my boyfriend is that I “fake online shop”: I sometimes browse a website, put all of my wishlist items in my cart, and then walk away because the shipping charges are outrageous. So, one of the things I instantly loved when introduced to a Canadian e-commerce retail site, This Counts, was that they offer free shipping on all items (AND all listed prices include taxes!). What I love even more than the free shipping, is what the site stands for: giving back. A portion of the sale of every single item goes to a charity supported by the retailer: with every purchase you make, you’re changing and saving lives around the world.  And, if you’re curious to see which charity the retailer supports, just click on the item to find out!

On the This Counts site, you can easily share items, and create boards to keep track of your wishlists (which you’ll want to do, as the site continues to grow everyday!).  You can shop by store, by item, or by collection.  There’s something to be found for everyone: from electronics, to men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, to home decor.  They have a wide variety of pieces ranging from classic to super unique, and their prices are extremely reasonable.  Curious to know what’s on my wishlist?  I thought you’d never ask (keep reading for a giveaway and promo code!).

Let’s be honest, sometimes navigating the inside of our purses can seem….puzzling.  How awesome is this Rubiks Cube Purse (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada)!? 

This Counts 1

I’ve mentioned before that I’m in love with anything palm-trees or flamingos.  These Dessert Palm Earrings (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada) are no exception! 

This Counts 2

Is there anyone who doesn’t love Ryan Gosling (who just happens to be from my hometown)? I’m picturing this “Run for Ryan Gosling Tee” (supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities) paired with a chic statement necklace (or some cozy sweats). 

This Counts 3

We’ve all seen the stereotypical heart-shaped ring, but how about this amazing “Lifeline Heartbeat Ring” (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada)?! My heart races just looking at it.  

This Counts 4

Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad, but sometimes I just want to read a good old-fashioned hard copy book.  This “Once Upon a Time” bookmark set ensures you won’t lose your page, and is a gorgeous conversation piece.   

This Counts 5

But wait, there’s more!

This Counts has generously offered to provide all WhatDidSheFind readers with 15% off sitewide! Just use promo codeSHEFOUND15″.

And if you’re feeling lucky, why not enter to win a $50.00 credit to turn your wishlist into a reality!? This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, and will close on July 5, 2015.

 Click to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

Foxy Originals “Juliet” Bracelet Giveaway!

Foxy Juliet Bracelet Giveaway

Want your chance to win this gorgeous Juliet Bracelet in Silver by Canadian jewelry company Foxy Originals?! Simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter link below to enter!

Entrants must be a resident of Canada or the United States, and be 18 years of age or older to enter.  This giveaway will close on May 23rd at 12:00am EST, and the winner will be contacted and announced on May 24th. Good Luck and don’t forget to check back next week to see how I style a Foxy Originals piece of my own!

ENTER USING THIS LINK:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Bracelet provided by Foxy Originals