Valentine’s Day

February/March 2016 Favourites!

Happy Easter! It’s hard to believe that the end of March is already upon us, and Spring has finally arrived. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving for the past couple of months:

1. Yankee Candle Company Tumbler Candle in “Chocolate Layer Cake”

If you want your house to smell like the most delicious chocolate cake ever baked (who doesn’t?), this is for you.  It’s rich, decadent, and incredibly fragrant (you can smell it without even lighting it!).  I purchased this candle along with an adorable cake-stand holder (that I featured on Instagram here) for Valentine’s Day, but I plan on burning this candle through Easter and beyond.

2.  NYX Micro Brow Pencil in “Ash Brown”

I’ve mentioned my love for the Anastasia Brow Wiz in a previous favourites post, and it’s still one of my favourite brow products to date.  Late last year, I attended the grand opening of the NYX store in Square One Shopping Centre, and decided to try out their Micro Brow Pencil.  It’s very similar to the Brow Wiz in performance and design (one side is a thin retractable pencil, and the other is a spooley), but it’s a fraction of the cost at just $12.00 (Brow Wiz is $27.00)!

3. Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Bronzer

I received this product in a gift bag during last year’s Spark Sessions conference and stored it away in my “products to try” drawer.  Recently, the life of my beloved Nars Bronzing Powder in “Laguna” came to an end, and I decided it was time to take this product for a test drive.  Truthfully, I was a little intimidated at first by the layer of gold shimmer on top (I’ve never been one for sparkle in my face makeup).  I simply took a tissue, and was relieved to discover it was simply a light layer on top of the product (for presentation purposes I’m assuming; it’s beautiful!). Once the gold sparkles were removed, the product applied beautifully and evenly, and created a subtle glow on the skin.  As the name suggests, this bronzer is actually infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, which nourishes, conditions, and brightens skin.  It comes with a mirror and small brush, but I prefer to apply mine with a big, fluffy one.  You can purchase this product right now on Well.ca for just $13.99 (the Nars bronzer is $52.00)!

4. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo

I don’t get to read as often as I’d like to (time: there’s just never enough of it!), but occasionally, I ‘ll find a book that sparks my interest and I’ll slowly make my way through it after work or before bed.  I’d seen this book in stores and on social media, but was curious to read it for myself after checking out an article on a mother who had implemented the practices of this book on her home.  It’s undeniable to me, how many things we (more specifically, I), own that we keep “just because”.  The premise of this book is that you should declutter your life, keeping only things that “spark joy”: that, when you hold them, make you truly happy.  It seems like such a simple, almost obvious, concept when it comes to cleaning, but it’s one that is so easily and commonly overlooked.  This book is a short, easy read that’s definitely worth checking out.

5. Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect Blow Dry Smoothing Cream

Now, that is a mouthful!  Using the power of Argan Oil, this product promises to hold hair “straight, frizz-free and shiny for up to 3 days”.  I’ve never really been one to use a blow dry cream, but received a sample in my monthly Ipsy Glam Bag, and decided to give it a try.  I really do notice that my blowout lasts significantly longer when I use this product.  My hair stays smoother, has less fly-aways, and is easier to manage.  I simply apply it when my hair is damp, focusing mainly on the ends of my hair.  This product is made for all hair types, and, if your hair tends to be especially frizzy, you can even reapply to to dry hair on days 2 or 3 for touch-ups.

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

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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