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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!

Gift Guide Day 2: The Perfect (Pink) Coffee Table Book

GG 2015-2

For me, books have always been fascinating.  They are read and enjoyed, perhaps one day past along to someone new, and come to have not only their own story to tell (the one between the pages), but also those of the lives it has touched along the way (deep, I know).  In fact, it fascinates me so much, that I have my own personal collection of old books with strangers’ signatures and well-wishes on the inside covers.  So much history and so much mystery: I love it.

So naturally, I’ve chosen to add a book to the gift guide this year, and it’s one that’s perfect for your girlfriends, mother, sister, and beyond (it’s also a perfect housewarming present!).  All in Good Taste from Kate Spade New York is a gorgeous pink hardcover book (yes, that wine stain is intentional!) that shares fun recipes, how-to’s, personal essays, and more.  Topics covered include: how to shuck an oyster, the proper way to set the table, how to write the perfect thank-you note to the party hostess, what to have on-hand for your at-home bar, and Instagram etiquette at dinner.  This book is fun to read, but is also a great conversation piece to have on your coffee table or bookshelf.  Just write a cute note on the inside, place a bow on the outside, and gift!

Missed Day 1 of the Gift Guide? Check it out here (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!).

My Aldo #PerfectPair

Aldo Perfect Pair

Here’s my #PerfectPair, purchased at the Aldo A-List event I attended last night.  There were refreshments, snacks, goodie bags, 15% off your purchase, and of course, these gorgeous royal blue caged booties that just begged to leave with me (how could I possibly deny them a good home?).

In the style “Lavinia“, these “shooties” have a 4-inch heel, textile upper, leather lining, and zipper closure.  The regular retail price for these is $90.00 CDN, however with all discounts (50% off the regular price, plus 15% off at the A-List event), I scored these for just $38.25!

Have you scored a #PerfectPair lately? Let me know in the comments below!

Delicious, Simple, and On-a-Dime: Peppermint Bark Brownies

baked

It’s officially the season of holiday parties and potlucks, and with that, comes the decision of what to bring or share. With everything going on this time of year, there’s definitely no shame in bringing premade or not-from-scratch goodies.  These decadent, chewy brownies are sure to please as they combine two of (pretty much) everyone’s favourite holiday treats: chocolate and candy canes! Even better?  You won’t need to slave over the oven baking brownies all night (use boxed mix), and they only cost around $5.00 to make!

1. Prepare and bake brownie mix as per box instructions.

Baking

2. While brownies are still hot and just out of the oven, pour about 1 cup of chocolate or vanilla (or both) wafers and spread as they begin to melt. (Licking the spatula is optional).  Tip: If you don’t use wafers often, buy only the amount you need from a bulk-food store, instead of purchasing a whole package. 

baking 2

3. Sprinkle approximately 1/4 cup (or as much as you like) crushed candy canes overtop of the melted chocolate, while it’s still warm.  The easies way to crush candy canes is to place them in a sandwich bag and go over them with a rolling pin.

baking 3

4. Allow to cool for around 30-40 minutes, then place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to fully harden the chocolate topping.  Tip: Don’t leave these in the refrigerator for much longer than what’s listed above, or your brownies will dry out.

baking 4

5. Cut into as many (or as few) pieces as you like, garnish with some extra crushed candy cane or chocolate sauce, and graciously accept all the compliments you receive as guests lay their hands on your delicious, pepperminty masterpiece!

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.