May 12, 2016

EOTD: Sugar Smoke with Too Faced's Chocolate Bon Bons

As I'm writing this post I realize two things: First, I am very lucky to have such an awesome husband and two, I need to learn to take better close-up pictures of my makeup.  Let me explain...

This past Sunday was Mother's Day, my very first one.  See, I was still pregnant with Ben this time last year so this was my first REAL Mother's Day.  I was so excited to find out my hubby had not only made me breakfast, wrote in TWO cards (one from him and one from "Ben") but he had also planned a date night for just him and I.  I was so full of love that whole day and out of nowhere, he surprised me with the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bon Palette I'd been eyeing for months.  I'm a lucky girl!

I got all ready that day, full makeup and hair done, in anticipation of our date.  I decided to use my new palette and create a look from one of the "how-to's" that accompany the palette.  My choice?  Sugar Smoke.

I'm always drawn to dark tones and love the way a smoky eye can look if done right.  The greatest things about the "Chocolate" palettes are how easy the colors apply, how great they blend AND the smell.  Seriously, I smelled like candy and chocolate the whole night.  Loved it.

And here's the result WHICH you can hardly see because I am terrible with a camera.  I will say that the end result was almost identical to the card and I loved feeling glamorous for the first time in a long time.

I highly recommend this palette if you don't already have it.


May 10, 2016

My First Ever Starlooks StarBox - April 2016

I become quite fascinated with the Starlooks brand through Ipsy.  I'd actually never heard of Starlooks before joining Ipsy and can still not believe I had.

Truly, their products are pretty great.  And, better yet, they are not overpriced.

They offer two different beauty subscription boxed to both the US and Canada and I recently signed up for the cheaper of the two options.  The options are the PerfectSize Starbox Subscription (for a total of $17 USD) or the Full-Size Starbox Subscription (for $23 USD).  These prices include shipping.  I chose the PerfectSize box as I wanted to ensure I loved all the products before I upgrade my membership.

I received my first box in 2 days after placing the order which was amazing and it came with 3 PerfectSize items and a full-sized item.  Total surprise on the full-size item, to be honest.

I received a Starlooks Lip Gloss in Mad Crush, Starlooks Gimme More Volumizing Mascara, Starlooks Lip Liner in Dragon Fruit and a Starlooks Tender Gloss Lipstick in Pooh Bear.

Also, you can see a little card poking out underneath and it's a lifetime discount on all PerfectSize Cosmetics - This little care warrants me $4 off EVERY PerfectSize item I order from their site.  Not too shabby, if you ask me.

And, here are the swatches of the products. from left to right we have the lip gloss, liner and the lipstick.  I am beyond obsessed with the lipstick as I adore this color for summer.  Can't wait to have a tan and sport it.

What do you think of the goodies?  Worth the price?


May 5, 2016

Create A Spa at Home with BV Spa

I've been sent a number of products in my time as a beauty blogger.  Some things I've liked and others, well they weren't anything to write home about.  That's why these products I received from BV Spa by Bon Vital have completely thrown me for a loop.  They are so great, seriously, amazing.

I received 4 items ahead of the Canadian launch and the were all in the Lavender & Rosemary scent.  The items were body lotion, sugar scrub, salt scrub and a body butter.  I LOVE the scent so much as it truly makes me feel like I'm in a spa when I use them.  (Lavender has always been my go-to fragrance of choice when visiting a spa).

The body is BY FAR my favorite of the moisturizers.  Body lotion, I find, is too thin for my skin and my skin never feels quite hydrated.  The body butter, though, is thick, luxurious and slightly greasy, making it the perfect cream to use after a shower or a tub.  It's my favorite night-time moisturizer.

What surprised me the most were the scrubs.  I've used sugar scrubs for years and am so familiar with the grittiness and moisturizing effects BUT the salt scrub is something that's new for me.

The left is the sugar scrub and right is the salt scrub.  From the picture, you can see that they are almost identical in appearance.  However, the similarities end here.  First, the salt scrub actually smells quite salty (yes, I know, obvious) but the way it makes your skin tingle is a very new effect for me.  Plus, as we all know, salt on your skin removes impurities and buffs your skin to create a different type of glow.  I have truly been converted.  My skin has never been as smooth and, after using the scrub with the body butter, I feel like a whole new person.

Best part about this line is it's to be sold at Shoppers Drug Mart which means no ordering online!!  Woohoo.  You all have to run out and grab this salt scrub, at the very least.


May 3, 2016

Dreaming Of: A Weekend Beach Getaway

There is nothing better than making a run from the city over a long weekend, cranking the tunes in the car and singing at the top of your lungs, all the while driving to a beach locale to enjoy the sunshine.

Us Vancouverites are so lucky to live here because we have a ton of different beach venues at our disposal BUT but, of course, not everyone is as fortunate.  Sometimes a beach getaway isn't as easy to get to over a long weekend.  However, the fact remains that beach vacations are the best.

Pack and Go: Spring Getaway
Piece created on Polyvore by pisces7

When it comes to packing for a beach getaway, I only need the 5 things listed above:
1.  My favorite printed bikini
2.  A gorgeous floppy hat
3.  A very high SPF sunscreen
4.  My go-to bronzer
5.  A bright orange lipgloss

If I had infinite space, I would be bringing a lot more items but these are definitely what I need for laying at the beach.  Once I leave the beach, I would say I need to pack more items like the picture below!

The perfect getaway

Whether you're a hop, skip and a jump from the beach OR need to get there via plane, nothing beats a beach vacation.  If you're on the market for a getaway you should check out this AMAZING list of the best beaches (articles).  You never know where you'll end up next.

What are your 5 go-to items for a beach vacation?


Apr 4, 2016

My Makeup Bag Essentials: How To Pack for 10 Days Away

Makeup bag on the left and skincare/hair product bag on the right

Ever since I backpacked around Southeast Asia for 3 months, I've become such a great packer.  Before backpacking, I was TERRIBLE.  I would literally pack my entire wardrobe and all my makeup in the biggest suitcase I could find even if we were only traveling for 3 days.  Seriously, I'm not kidding.

Since I had to carry everything on my back for 3 months, I realized how little you truly need to still look good and feel like yourself.  Plus, the benefit of going to Toronto and not Southeast Asia is I can still buy all my needed toiletries if I've forgotten anything, LOL.

The cosmetic bag I chose to use is not the nice new Sephora one I posted about last week but a matching set I bought at Winners.  I chose these two bags because I they match (obviously) and they are small enough to fit in my carry-on suitcase.

Best part of this little bag is it came with the travel makeup brushes.  Yes, I am bringing a few of my own but to include 5 brushes (and fairly decent ones at that) is a pretty good bargain.

At the bottom of the makeup bag are my face items.  They include (from left to right) my ecotools powder brush, Almay Smart Share Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup in Light, NYX Color Correcting Concealer Palette, BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Perfecting Concealer palette, my Bon Voyage Dual-Sided Mirror and Maybelline Fit Me Powder in Classic Ivory.

The next group of items are my blushes and highlighters.  They include (from left to right): Model Co Highlighting Trio in Champagne, Peach Bellini & Bronze, Benefit Ooh La Lift, Pixi by Petra Beauty Blush Duo in Rose Gold, Sweet Lei Lani Color Tides Mineral Blushers in Star Fish and ELF All Over Color Stick in Persimmon.

I found packing the eye shadows to be the hardest part.  Especially because I didn't have room to bring my Chocolate Bar palette or anything.  I settled on the following items (from left to right) Coastal Scents Glamour Eyes Eye Shadow Sampler, Benefit Air Patrol Lid Primer, LOC One and Done Shadow Stick in Day Trip ,NYX 3 Color Shadow Palette (created for IPSY), City Color Eyeshadow Trio in Falling Leaves, Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara and Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer.

For my lips, I packed (from left to right) Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N50, Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Classy, Mirabella Love Velvet Lip Pencil, Jersey Shore Spa Pumpkin Spice Moisture Rich Hydrating Balm, tre'Stique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude and Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie in Maverick.

Also in the bag are the following items (from left to right) Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Lip Pencil, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown, a spoolie brush I made, a sample of Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme, a L'Occitane nail file, a Forever 21 Brush and Comb set, Davines OI All-In-One Hair Milk and a sample of Clean Reserve in Blonde Rose.

The last item in my makeup bag is a clear little pouch filled with my headbands, bobby pins, hair elastics and clips.  I don't wear my hair up a lot but it's always nice to have these items just in case.

My skincare/hair product bag is a lot smaller and therefore I had to be very choosy about what was coming with me.

First, I always bring a selection of sample moisturizers.  Mainly because mine are too big to pack and also because it's a great way to find new brands that might actually work well.  I also packed a coconut face mask for a relaxed night in at the in-laws.

Besides the sample packs of moisturizers, I am only bringing this group of skin care items.  They are (from left to right) Clarins Bi-Serum Intensif Anti-Soif, pur-lisse Pur-Delicate Gentle Soymilk Cleanser, Acure Brightening Facial Scrub, Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil (x 2), Elizabeth Arden Prevage Hydrating Fluid, Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner, 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream and Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask.

Hair products!  From left to right, I packed Moroccan Oil Treatment, Co Lab Dry Shampoo, SG Play It Big Firmer Hair Spray, L'Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil, Sebastian Professional Color Ignite Multi Shampoo, L'Oreal Excellence Conditioner, L'Occitane Verbana Body Lotion and Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion Salt Spray.

And of course, no toiletry case is complete without a toothbrush, deodorant, toothpaste and dental floss.

There you have it ladies!  I will say that all my sample/trial sizes from Sephora, Ulta, Birchbox, Luxebox, Ipsy and LipMonthly really helped.  Everything I packed (except the toothbrush, toothpaste deodorant, powder, concealer and foundation) were from these monthly subscriptions.

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