Makeup

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!

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August Favourites!

August Favourites

It’s hard to believe that August is officially over…where has the Summer gone?!  My favourites this time around are a mix of both warm and cool weather-inspired products. Let’s get started!

1. Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in “Celebrated” $34.00 

At first glance, the colour of this blush is a bit under-whelming.  And to be honest, it’s probably not something I would have ever picked out on my own during one of my Sephora trips.  It wasn’t until recently, when I had my makeup done for an event, that I fell in love with it.  This “warm pink nude” wears completely different than it appears in the packaging, and suits nearly every skin tone.  So what’s with the name (“Celebrated”), you ask?  This long-wearing shade was actually limited edition, brought out in celebration of Tarte’s 15th birthday.  Beauty fanatics went so crazy for it, that they re-released it.  Now I know what all the hype is about!

2. Glade Wax Melt Refills in “Cashmere Woods” $4.68

This scent was released in Canada a few years back, and I bought a handfull of candles to keep in my “backup” collection.  Sadly, I went through them quickly, and was left with the opportunity to restock only during the occasional cross-border shopping trip.  On a recent trip to my local Walmart, I spotted both candles and these wax melts in the Cashmere Woods scent, and yelped in excitement.  Since my candle collection is quite large at the moment, I decided to opt for the wax melts, along with the Glade Wax Melts Warmer.  Since I’m already a huge fan of Scentsy, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  To my surprise, this warmer performs just as well as the Scentsy, spreading the smell of “mixed notes of citrus and jasmine and the oaky scents of amber and vanilla beans” throughout the entire house.  I simply cannot get enough of this scent and am so excited to have it back!

3. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in “Retsina” $28.00

Let’s face it, the perfect nude lipstick is on every beauty lover’s shopping radar.  Bite Beauty is not a brand I’d tried before, though I’d always heard great things, and I love that their products are made of all-natural, food grade ingredients (and that they’re Canadian!).  I decided to purchase the colour Retsina, a creamy, natural pink tone.  This product feels amazing on your lips, is long-wearing, beautifully pigmented, and has as much resveratrol (with anti-aging properties) as 5 glasses of red wine!

4.  Guess Factory Hilary Backpack in “Red Multi” $52.49

I may not be headed back to school this September, but this adorable backpack was just too cute to resist.  I purchased this on a recent trip to Dixie Outlet Mall during the “She Who Hunts Finds” blogger challenge.  I love that it’s a) a backpack and can carry anything and everything, but more so that b) it comes in buffalo plaid!  It’s faux-leather details make it easy to dress up, and the colour is perfect for Fall.

5. St. Ives Indulge Coconut Milk & Orchid Body Lotion $4.47

I received this product in a seasonal giftpack from Walmart, and decided to give it a try.  This lotion smells amazing: like Summer in a bottle, and goes on smoothly with no greasy residue.  I also love that it is extremely affordable, at under $5.00 for 600ml!  The pump makes it easy to apply, and the packaging is super cute!

 

What did you love for the month of August?  Let me know in the comments below!  

 

 

 

Outfit Reveal: “She Who Hunts Finds” Challenge (Part 2)

Outfit Reveal

While I’m a true Summer girl at heart, I have to admit I love Fall fashion: the colours, the cozy fabrics, and the layering.  I knew that for this challenge, I wanted to create an outfit that encompassed all of these things.  My first stop upon arriving at Dixie Outlet Mall last Saturday morning was Winners.  I’m a huge fan of Winners and I always seem to find great deals at the Dixie Outlet Mall location.

At Winners, I scored this gorgeous pocketed red and black vest.  I loved that it was a little edgy and lumberjack-inspired, but in a girly way with its beautiful draping and cozy fabric.  This vest retails for $70.00, but I scored it for just $39.99! I love that you can wear it as a chic cape as well (shown below).

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The vest was the piece that inspired the rest of my outfit (I found it within 5 minutes of entering the mall!).  Since I styled a fun jumpsuit for the Spring challenge, I knew this time I wanted to purchase a classic dress: something that could be worn to work, an event, or a night on the town.  I found this Cynthia Rowley dress at Winners.  It’s a thick (and super forgiving) fabric, with a classy length, and pockets (need I say more!?).  Even better? This dress is an outfit in itself! It retails for $80.00, but I scored it for just $39.99.

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With the dress and vest purchased, my next stop was to grab a fun statement necklace (not a surprise if you know me well).  I wanted something colourful, but not something that would compete too much with the patterned vest.  I found this fun red statement necklace at Payless Shoe Source for just $4.00 (regular $19.99).

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On to Claire’s, where I purchased a pair of earrings, and a cute set of midi rings.  I knew I wanted to go with stud earrings, so as to not take away from the necklace-and-vest combo.  I decided to go with this set of earrings (which came with a third pair as well).  I thought it would be a cute touch to include a pair of leaf earrings: so very Fall inspired!  The rings were just a fun extra, and I loved that they were simple and understated.   The set of 2 rings, and the set of 3 earrings were both $2.00 each (regular $4.00 and $12.00, respectively).

Earrings

For a purse, I headed to Danier with the intention of purchasing a cute neutral clutch.  I spotted this chic over-the-shoulder bag (on sale!), and fell in the love with the tassel detail, and the fact that you can wear it multiple ways.  This leather bag retails for $129.00, but I scored it for just $47.99!

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Finally, my trip to Dixie Outlet Mall came full circle, and I finished back where I started: at Winners.  I purchased these super comfy open-back black booties that I’d eyed in the morning, and couldn’t get out of my mind.  These retail for $55.00, and I purchased them for $39.99.

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Overall, I spent $198.84 and saved a total of $194.03!  My Eagle shopping persona definitely held true as I made my way around the mall: I knew what I wanted, and I wouldn’t stop until I found it (I was there open-to-close!).  I’m super excited with my #DixieDeals, and am looking forward to wearing this outfit to work or a date (hayride or fall festival, anyone?).  What would you buy with $200.00 at Dixie Outlet Mall? Check back soon for a chance to win your own shopping spree!

Dixie Logo

May, June, and July Favourites!

July August 2015 Favourites

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but hey, better late than never, right?! Here’s what I’ve been loving for the months of May, June, and July!

1.  Alex and Ani “Zest for Life” Charm Bangle

I’ve blogged about my love of Alex and Ani bracelets before, and this newly released, limited-edition version is no exception.  Each Alex and Ani bracelet has a special meaning, and this particular one, called “Zest for Life“, is a “reminder that when life hands you lemons, you have the power to take positive action, sweeten the situation, and make lemonade.The power to create a desirable outcome is always within reach.” (Alexandani.com) Not only is the meaning super-positive, for each purchase of this bracelet, Alex and Ani will donate 20% of the purchase price to a charity benefiting childhood cancer patients and help fund pediatric cancer research.  I love that this bracelet stands for positivity and helps others, and so it was well worth the drive to the USA to pick one up.  Check out more about this bracelet, and where you can purchase Alex and Ani products here.

2.  Too Faced Shadow Insurance Champagne Eye Shadow Primer

I love a product that multitasks.  Not only is this primer the perfect base for both shimmery and matte shadows, helping to bring out their pigmentation and last all day long, it’s also a gorgeous product to wear on it’s own (for those lazy mornings we all have now and again…or every day).  This product is crease-proof, waterproof, and lasts all day.

3.  Mark’s Work Warehouse Denver Hayes Romper in “Black”

I recently posted about my love of this romper on Instagram, and how I’d been searching for one with longer-length shorts for what seems like the entire Summer.  I want to be able to do normal human things (walk, bend over, sit down) without having to worry about showing off too much (if you know what I mean).  I wanted a romper that was classy, comfy, and fashionable, and this one from Mark’s Work Warehouse has it all.  Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s currently on clearance for only $14.88!?

4. Urban Decay Naked Smoky 

The Urban Decay Naked palettes never need much of an introduction (I’ve blogged about previous palettes here, here, and here).  As someone who lives for a good smoky eye, this newly released “Smoky” version is close to my heart.  With 12 gorgeous neutral, smoky toned shadows, not to mention the beautiful packaging, this palette is an essential for any makeup lover’s collection.  It even comes with a dual ended brush, and a lookbook to help you create 4 (of endless) looks using the palette.

5.  Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes-Pink Grapefruit

I’ve always tended to prefer face wash over wipes, however after receiving these as a gift, I decided to give them a try.  Needless to say (as they are in my favourites after all), I fell in love.  Not only do I use these to remove makeup, I also like to use them mid-day (especially on weekends when I don’t typically wear makeup) to remove oil and freshen up.  I love the fresh, grapefruit scent, and that they leave your skin feeling smooth and clean (no greasy residue).

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

March/April Favourites!

March-April 2015 Favourites
I hope Spring is treating you all well so far! Here’s what I’ve been loving for the months of March and April.

1. Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette

After reading all the rave reviews and seeing swatches online, I purchased this palette during the most recent Sephora VIB sale.  The 12 shadows are a gorgeous, creamy texture, and are impressively pigmented.  The colours range from light neutrals to darks, making it extremely versatile (and perfect to keep in your purse to help transition your look from day-to-night).  I also love the packaging: super chic and girly!

2. Dove Beauty Finish Dry Spray Antiperspirant

New from Dove, this antiperspirant sprays on (as opposed to a glide-on stick formula), dries instantly, and lasts up to 48 hours while moisturizing the skin.  I admit that upon purchasing it, I was a little skeptical that a spray could be as effective as a stick deodorant.  But I was pleasantly surprised when, 14 hours later, the pretty floral scent (water lily, freesia, and jasmine) was still present.  I also love that, because it dries instantly, you don’t get any white deodorant marks on your clothes (finally!).

3. Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Lip Butter

I love this product so much, that I actually wear it in place of lipstick some days.  Not only does it smell amazing (exactly like its namesake states), it is also super moisturizing (thanks to shea butter and almond oil) and long-wearing.

4. Christian Siriano for Payless Perforated Wedge

I originally went into Payless Shoe Source looking to use a coupon I received during a previous visit.  I had my sights set on a pretty pair of floral pumps, but sadly my size was absent.  I then spotted these on the top shelf, and as soon as I tried them on, I knew it was meant to be.  These are, by far, one of the comfiest pairs of shoes I’ve ever owned.  They are super easy to walk in thanks to the wedge heel, and go with nearly everything: jeans, dresses, and ankle pants.

5. Alex and Ani “Everything Happens for a Reason” Charm Bangle

When it comes to bracelets, t-shirts, or nearly anything adorned with a positive saying, I need to have it.  I’m also a big believer in the idea that everything comes our way in life for a reason.  I received this bangle as a gift, which has since sparked a slight Alex and Ani obsession (I Instagramed about some of my others here).  As someone who has ridiculously small wrists, I love that I can adjust these bangles to fit perfectly, and also that each one has its own special meaning.

 

What have you been loving these last couple of months? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

My Outfit Reveal: Dixie Outlet Mall’s “She Who Hunts Finds” Challenge

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After being challenged by Dixie Outlet Mall to put together a Spring outfit whilst saving as much money off of the suggested retail price as possible (read more about the challenge here), I immediately knew which direction I wanted to go: floral.  I mean, does anything else scream “Spring” quite as much as flowers do?! This outfit is extremely versatile (wear it to work, a night out, or even a Spring wedding), and I’m super excited to tell you all about it, and my experience at Dixie.  Let’s get started!

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Upon arriving at Dixie Outlet Mall, the first thing I began looking for was a fun, colourful, floral print.   As soon as I laid eyes on this gorgeous Vince Camuto jumpsuit at Winners, I knew it was meant to be. It is super comfy and lightweight, and I love the stunning, bright, waterprint-ish colors.

Suggested Retail: $80.00

I Paid: $49.99

Total Savings: $30.01

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Dixie-Jumpsuit 2

Next up, I needed some shoes.  For a while, I debated between a nude sandal and a navy pump, but eventually spotted these awesome white statement heels from Aldo Outlet.  What I love about them is that, with this outfit they look a simple pair of white, pointed-toe pumps, but when worn later on with a skinny jean or shorter dress, you can see the edgy, studded detailing on the ankles.  I also love that the white shoe keeps the outfit bright and fresh.

Suggested Retail: $90.00

I Paid: $69.98

Total Savings: $20.02

Dixie-Shoes

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With the jumpsuit and shoes in hand, I now needed something to carry all my essentials (phone, wallet, lipstick, keys).  I knew I wanted something navy to play off of the colour-blocking around the neck of the jumpsuit.  I found this navy clutch at Nine West Shoe Studio, and was pleased to discover it was on major sale.  I love that it is large enough to carry all I need (and more).

Suggested Retail: $85.00

I Paid: $30.00

Total Savings: $55.00

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We all know that Spring equals sunshine, and this means a pair of chic sunglasses is essential.  I scored these white Roots aviator-style sunglasses from Winners.

Suggested Retail: $28.00

I Paid: $14.99

Total Savings: $13.01

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Next up: jewelry.  I found all I was looking for (and a lot more) at Ardene. They had almost all of their jewelry on sale: 10 items for $10.00!  I decided to go with 5 pieces for this outfit: a set of midi rings, 2 pairs of earrings, and 2 bracelets.  I wanted to keep the jewelry in the gold family to play off of the gold detailing on the neck of the jumpsuit.

Suggested Retail: $30.46

I Paid: $5.00

Total Savings: $25.46

Dixie-Jewelry

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At the end of my shopping trip, I had just enough left to purchase this pretty lilac nail polish by Revlon from Cosmetics N’ More for Less.  As someone who loves makeup and beauty products, I probably could have spent the entire shopping trip in this store alone!  I love that this polish is subtle, but has a hint of color that ties into the lilac tones in the jumpsuit.

Suggested Retail: $8.97

I Paid: $2.00

Total Savings: $6.97

Dixie-Nails

I had so much fun participating in this challenge, and hope you like my Spring outfit as much as I do! In total, I saved $150.47 off of the suggested retail prices for the pieces I purchased.  All of the items I purchased were high quality, gorgeous pieces that I’ll be wearing all Spring and Summer long.  I highly recommend shopping at Dixie Outlet Mall, whether it be for yourself, or for a friend/family member.  There are many great deals to be had from a wide variety of stores, and she (or he) who hunts, is sure to leave with an armful of finds!

Interested in a deal-hunt of your own? Stay tuned for a giveaway that will allow you to do just that!

5 Accessories to Ring in Spring!

5 Things for Spring

While Summer is my favourite season, there’s just something about the fresh, warm(er), Spring air that makes me smile.  Another thing I love about Spring? It’s when bright colours and fun patterns make their way back into style.  Check out these 5 fun accessories I’ve chosen to help you celebrate.

1.  Indigo Applique Pouch Swimmer 

Just try and look at this pouch without cracking a smile (it’s basically impossible).  Use it as a makeup bag, put your camera in it, or rock it as a fun clutch!

2.  Kate Spade New York Umbrella

Until those flowers arrive, make the most of April’s showers with this adorable umbrella from Kate Spade New York (that reads “Rain Check?”).  The clear shell allows you to actually see where you’re walking (it’s happened to all of us…), and it folds up easily with a tab-with-snap closure.

3.  Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in “Anarchy”

Aside from being one of my favourite accessories in general, I especially love that each season comes with a brand new range of lipstick shades to choose from.  One of my favourites right now, (and one that is perfect for Spring and Summer), is this gorgeous bright fuchsia from Urban Decay (picture of me wearing it here).  Extremely pigmented, this lipstick applies super-smoothly and keeps your lips moisturized courtesy of jojoba oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.

4.  Aldo “Frerima” Necklace

I love this necklace for 3 reasons: 1. the floral design screams “Spring”, 2. the colour allows it to be extremely wearable, and 3. the unique, asymmetrical design makes it extremely interesting to the eye.  Pair it with a simple black dress, or with a plain tee and jeans.

5.  Keds Crashback in “Navy Flamingo”

Warmer weather and sunshine means it’s time to trade in those Uggs for something a little lighter (unless you’re me and wear them all year round, of course).  Called “Crashback” because you can collapse the back of the shoe any way you’d like, these awesome flamingo-adorned slide-ons are perfect for commuting to the office, or pairing with jeans on the weekend (making them both fun and practical).  Not a flamingo kind of gal? They come in a variety of other colours/patterns (but really…who’s not a flamingo kind of gal?!).

 

Review: Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser

Garnier

Aside from loving the feeling of a fresh, makeup-free face, one of the reasons I remove my makeup at night is because my eyes and skin are extremely sensitive (blemishes, dry spots, and eye irritations are not uncommon).  As many of you already know, finding the perfect cleanser or remover can be far from an easy task…until now, that is.  Enter Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser: a product that is extremely gentle, but impressively effective at dissolving all traces of makeup and impurities (including waterproof mascara!).  The formula is infused with the Moringa seed and plant extracts, and is fragrance, alcohol, dye, and oil free.  It is also dermatologist, allergy, and ophthalmologist tested, making it well-suited to sensitive skin.

I was given the opportunity* to test this product out, and was excited to see it work its magic.  The instructions state to apply the product directly to dry skin with your fingers and gently massage.  To remove, simply wipe away with a cotton pad, or rinse clean with water.  I first tested this product out on a day where I had on a full face of makeup (including waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and a lip stain).  Truthfully, I was a little skeptical that a lotion, especially an oil free one, would effectively be able to break down the long-wearing makeup formulas I had on that day. So, I applied as per the instructions on the bottle, gently massaging the lotion and focusing extra attention to my eye area.  I was especially excited when the “sting” in my eyes I normally get with other eye-makeup removers never came! I washed the product off with warm water, looked in the mirror, and my makeup was completely gone.  Even better, the product left my face feeling like I had just applied moisturizer: soft, calm, clean, and refreshed.  I also tried using this product with a cotton pad, as per the second recommended method, and found it worked just as well (see the picture below, where I removed waterproof liner and a lip stain from my hand).

A lip stain and waterproof liner are easily removed.

A lip stain and waterproof liner are easily removed.

Because this lotion works to remove not only makeup, but also the various impurities that collect on your skin, you are able to use it morning and night.  Additionally, you’ll continue to see and feel the benefits of using this product over time as you continue to use it (I did!).  I’m excited to have found this product, and consider it a permanent addition to my beauty regime.  I’d definitely recommend trying this product out…your skin (and eyes) will thank you (and don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below)!

*Product has been provided by Garnier Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Garnier Canada.

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January/February Favourites!

Jan-Feb 2015 Faves

I can barely fathom that it’s already March…where did January and February go?!  Wherever it went, it did leave me with some awesome new favourites to share with you.  Let’s get started!

1. American Eagle AEO Soft & Sexy Jegging V-Neck T-Shirt

I know what you’re thinking: Elyse, a t-shirt is a t-shirt.  But trust me, these shirts are perfection.  Part of AE’s new collection, these tees are the perfect length, are extremely soft and silky, are tagless, and come out good-as-new when washing.  I purchased my v-neck in black, (they are available in other colours), and the “Soft & Sexy” line also includes other styles (muscle tees, baseball tees, zip ups, and more!).

2. Arm & Hammer Pro Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste

For me, a good toothpaste is hard to find.  Sometimes I don’t like the texture, sometimes I don’t care for the taste, and sometimes I’m just not happy with the results. But for me, this toothpaste has it all: sensitivity protection, whitening, and a great “clean” feeling after you use it.  I’m especially impressed with its whitening ability, and noticed a significant difference after just a few days of use.

3. Tetley Chai Tea

I tried this tea after I found it in my pantry on a day when my go-to, Orange Pekoe, had run out.  When it comes to home-brewed tea, this is definitely one of my new front-runners.  A combination of, “cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, star anise and cloves”, I find it to be extremely smooth tasting and aromatic (just smelling it calms me down at the end of the day).

4. MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in “Hip ‘n’ Happy”

Lip pencils have become one of my favourite beauty products as of late (check out my Valentine’s day post here).  I was introduced to this MAC classic when I went to pick up the new Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick and Tinted Lipglass.  The makeup artist at the MAC counter was wearing a gorgeous colour on her lips, and she informed me that it was actually this lip pencil underneath the Miley lipglass.  She had received so many compliments on her lip combo, that her store at the mall (and the MAC counter in The Bay) were all sold out.  So, three MAC counters later, I now own and love this lip pencil.  Wear it on its own, with a lipstick, or under a gloss.  Any which way, you’re sure to love it too!

5. Aldo Accessories “Olaoviel” Necklace

Aldo Accessories is one of my favourite stores, and I frequent it often to check out their sale section (usually buy one, get one free).  This fun statement necklace, made of multifaceted black rings woven into braided black fabric, is perfect for jazzing up the neckline of a simple crew neck tee (or LBD).

6. Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Exfoliating Scrub

I’ve already raved about this product in my previous post: a review of the Aveeno Fresh Essentials line.  So to summarize, this scrub: a) smells amazing, b) feels awesome on your skin, and c) works like a charm.  Highly recommend!

  “Spring is when life’s alive in everything” ~Christina Rossetti

The Perfect Pout (Just in time for Valentine’s Day!)

Valentine

One of the girliest days of the year is just a week away, and whether you’ve penciled in a hot date, or a night out on the town with the girls, consider these your essentials for your prettiest pout yet.

Step 1: Exfoliate

Nothing ruins a gorgeous lip colour quite like dry, flaky skin beneath it.  Prep your lips by exfoliating them with a toothbrush, or with this Sugar Lip Polish by Fresh.  Made with real brown sugar, this polish tastes as good as it will make your lips feel.

Step 2: Moisturize

Aside from applying at bedtime, I like to swipe on some moisturizer at the beginning of my makeup routine, allowing it time to soak in.  I then wipe off any excess (or wear as-is depending on the day), and follow with other lip products.  This Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm by Dior makes your lips feel incredible (and can we note the festive “rose” scent? So very Valentine’s Day).

Step 3: Prime

Once you’ve given your moisturizer some time to work its magic, prime lips using your foundation, or this Lip Insurance Lip Primer by Too Faced.  This not only helps prevent creasing and feathering, it also ensures your lipstick or lip gloss stays as true-to-colour as possible.

Step 4: Line

In the word of makeup, I don’t think lip liners receive nearly the credit that they deserve.  Yes, they prevent feathering and “bleeding” (essentially, looking like you coloured outside the lines), but they also make your lip colour last considerably longer.  If you’re looking for long-wear, carefully line your lips with a colour in the same family as the lipstick you’ll be using, then finish by colouring within the lines.  If you’re simply looking to prevent any unwanted shifting or creasing, try No Bleeding Lips-Secret Lip Liner by No Cosmetics.  This product is clear, so you don’t need to worry about matching it to your lip colour or gloss, and it also acts as a temporary filler for those who have deeper lines around the lips.

Step 5: Colour

Probably my favourite step of all, is applying the colour that finishes off the look.  For Valentine’s Day, my pick is Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in Mistress.  A gorgeous pink with a satin finish, this lipstick offers full coverage and gently plumps lips as you wear.  Apply your lip colour, blot with a tissue, and finish with gloss if your heart desires (pun intended!).

“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald