Nude

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!

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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.  

Arbonne Cosmetics: A “Poppy” of Colour

My love of lipstick is no secret: pinks, purples, reds, nudes, I love them all! More recently, I’ve also been interested in finding cleaner, more natural products to work into my lifestyle.  So, when I was recently offered the opportunity to test out a product from Arbonne, it was somewhat serendipitous!

With botanically based ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and a shipping process that is certified carbon neutral, Arbonne really is taking the lead in the cosmetic industry with regard to being earth-friendly.  They sell everything from supplements, to bath and body products, to makeup, and all are formulated with pure, safe, and beneficial ingredients.  There’s even an ingredient guide on their website, so you’ll always have the peace of mind of knowing what you’re putting on or in your body.

The product I chose to test was Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick in the colour “Poppy”: a gorgeous reddish-orange hue.  The first thing I noticed about this lipstick was how smoothly it applied.  It’s got a rich, creamy consistency that feels super luxurious (it’s formulated with natural butters), and it left my lips feeling soft and moisturized throughout the day.  It’s richly pigmented and has a glossy finish that makes your lips appear fuller and plumper.  Because it’s vegan and formulated with natural ingredients, (botanical extracts, fruit oils, and etcetera), you’ll want to apply it gently to avoid damaging the product.  Arbonne also recommends storing it in a cool, dry place (because no one wants a melted lipstick in their purse or car!).

The Smoothed Over Lipstick comes in over 15 different colours ranging from neutrals to brights, and retails for $34.00 CDN.  Some others I have my eye on? “Dream”, “Peony”, “Dahlia”…and pretty much every other colour (it’s a problem!).

Have you tried any Arbonne products? What’s your favourite?  Let me know in the comments below!                             

*Product provided for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

Gift Guide Day 3: A Pretty Pout

GG 2015-3

Bite Beauty has been on my beauty-radar quite often this year.  Their products are made solely of food-grade ingredients (and are gluten-free), and the colour payoff is always impressive.  This Best Bite Rewind set is the perfect way to try out the brand (if you haven’t already), and includes 4 matte-finish mini lip crayons (0.031 oz each).  The kit includes a fun range of colours: nude (Cafe), rose (Torte), raspberry (Coulis), and eggplant (Aubergine).  Orange peel wax protects and seals in moisture, while triple milled pigments provide light but serious colour payoff.  The pointed crayon tips allow you to perform precise, liner-free applications on the go.  This set comes ready to gift in a cute holiday-red tin, or you can divide it up into 4 individual gifts!

Miss the first 2 days of the Gift Guide? Click below!

Day 1 (+ Giveaway!)

Day 2

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!  

 

 

 

My Top 6 Nail Polishes for Fall

Fall Nail Polishes

While I’m definitely a Summer-weather kind of girl, there are many things I love about Fall: pumpkin pie, Bath and Body Works scented candles, and a richer, darker colour pallet when it comes to fashion.  This includes nail polish, which I try to switch up on a weekly basis.  Below are my top picks for the perfect Fall nail polish; which one will you be wearing while sipping your Pumpkin Spice Latte?

1. Julep “Jet”

I never seem to get tired of black nail polish.  This one by Julep is described as a “Jet black crème”, and is like a little black dress: it’s great for anytime, anywhere, and goes with anything.  Enough said.

2. O.P.I “Ice-Bergers and Fries”

This creamy, brown tone is from O.P.I’s new Nordic Collection.  Truthfully, this wouldn’t be a colour I would normally pick, however after discovering it was Cosmopolitan’s recent award winner for “The Best Nude”, I decided to give it a try (you can check out my Instagram post about this here).  It applies beautifully, keeping it’s rich colour and creamy texture.  It’s also long lasting, and removes easily.  Definitely give this polish a try!

3. Essie “Wicked”

Spotlighted on the Essie website for the month of October, this polish is described as a, “strident, striking and bold, blood red lacquer”.  The description alone makes it the perfect nail polish for the month of Halloween, but aside from that, it is also a gorgeous, deep, oxblood red colour that will take you all the way through to Spring.

4. Julep “Karmen”

The colour red is a given when it comes to the Fall and Winter months.  But what I love about this one in particular, is that it’s unique.  Julep describes it on their website as a “Golden crimson microglitter” polish.  The result?  A cross between Fall leaves and Dorothy’s red slippers.  Gorgeous!

5. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure “Jungle Gem”

I once read that this polish is a universal tone, in that it matches nearly every skin tone.  I decided to put it to the test, and it’s definitely become a top pick of mine.  It’s a rich, creamy, dark teal colour, that is long lasting and can work as either a blue or a green when pairing with outfits or accessories (though if I’m being honest, I barely ever worry about matching my nails to my outfit).  Try it out and let me know if it worked for you too!

6. Essie “Style Cartel”

Just like black nail polish, I also love a gorgeous rich blue, and this polish is definitely has that box checked off.  Described on the Essie website as an, “inky, cobalt blue”, it is blue enough to be a for-sure navy, but also dark enough that it can be a “neutral” and pair well with nearly anything.  It’s also a nice Fall switch-up from another one of my favourite Essie blues: “Butler Please“.

 

 

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