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How to dress when travelling

6 Aug

There was a time when I felt I had to really dress up when travelling. I would make sure my hair was well coiffed, full face of makeup and dressed to impress: nice jeans, cute top, chandelier earrings…basically I did the most.

As I progressed in life and began travelling more frequently my need to look dressed up dwindled and was gradually replaced with functional dressing until I reached the point I’m at now…comfortable.

TIPS

Comfy pants– For me, that’s leggings but joggers or sweatpants can work.

Layer – I usually wear a tank or other lightweight top so I can keep cool if I’m running from one gate to the next but then I carry a long sleeve button down to bundle up in when it gets cold.

Easy shoes– After travelling in flip-flops and sneakers, I’ve finally found my sweet spot… slip-ons. Let me tell you why. Slip ons are comfortable and durable like sneakers BUT super easy to get on and off when going through security.

Change of clothes– This is for when you travel from one climate to another e.g. going from a colder to a tropical climate. I would toss a change of shoes and bottom in my carry on luggage.

Limit jewelry– All the bangles and rings look fantastic especially for selfie purposes but become a bulky chore both when going through security and trying to get comfy in your airplane seat.

Bare your face– This was my personal “AHA” moment. Despite dressing down I would still make an effort to have my face done, so as to look presentable. But guess what, nothing and I do mean NOTHING feels better than travelling sans makeup save for a bit of SPF (except that moment you take your bra off …but I digress). If you’re on a long flight your skin gets a chance to breathe and you won’t have to worry about touching up after half of your makeup comes off on your neck pillow.

That’s my 2 cents on how to dress when travelling. I find when I go this route I feel relaxed and I have one less thing to stress about when travelling. Have an awesome day!

A few Summer Things

11 Jun

Hello and happy summer. I have a smattering of a few things I’ve been using and look forward to continue using as the hottest months of the year approach.

Clothing 

Bomber jacket

You’re probably thinking…how can a jacket be the first thing I talk about in a summer centered post. But hear me out. Most contemporary bomber jackets which are super trending this year are actually quite lightweight meaning they are just right for a cooler summer night or if you will be indoors where ac will be blasting to no end. 

I picked up this olive green (khaki some call it) one with beautiful pink rose patches from T J Maxx. The brand is Love Tree and this cost about $34 US. I love the look of bomber jackets and I love this more traditional colour but the pop of pink floral really speaks to my personality. 

Hair, Lips and Skin

Garnier Whole Blends smoothing oil

This is Garnier’s more modern line of hair products focusing on using more natural ingredients. I’ve tried a number of these products and I would say overall they are just okay. However the standout is the “Coconut oil and cocoa butter” line particularly the hair butter and this little nugget here:smoothing oil. I have very curly hair and we all know that curly hair is thirsty (pronounced THUUURRRSTEE) and constantly craves moisture. I use this oil as part of my post wash treatment and occasionally when I want to give my tresses a little extra shine.

Nivea Lip Butter

An oldie with a new spin. Back when I was a wee lass Nivea came in a flat blue tin and it’s distinctly scented thick oily texture was my jam. I’m happy to see this company is still making products. This lip butter is literally that. The texture is soft with a lot of slip and it coats the lips well. And it smells really good. Like, really really good. 

The Body Shop Almond, Milk and Honey Body Butter

I picked this up at the Body Shop kiosk at the Charlotte NC airport (the staff was so nice and helpful btw). It was a bit of an impulse purchase as I was trying to kill time before my flight. But it turned out to be a great purchase. As with most Body shop body butters the formula is thick yet soft and not too heavy. Perfect texture. The scent is beautiful, it smells just enough of honey, not too much, not too little.

Makeup 

NYX Jumbo eye sticks

I picked up these cute jumbo eye pencils a couple weeks ago. I’ve recently become more open about the types of makeup I use wanting to try different varieties of things. These are cool. You can basically draw on your eyeshadow! I got a couple of my favourite colours ; muted jewel tones and a gold for a bright pop.

Fragrance- room

Bath and Body Works Tobacco Flower candle

This BBW candle is my pick for this summer. Tobacco flower is actually used in many perfumes and fragrances and with good reason. The scent is rich and complex and really adds ambience. This is great to light in the evening when you’re relaxing with a book.

Fragrance- body

Dahlia and Vines rollerball by Nest

I bought this little Nest rollerball in a set of six. Nest makes beautiful but pricey fragrances so this was my way to sample the brand. This fragrance is my favourite. It smells clean and fresh with just a hint of sweet floral. Because it’s so small I often toss this in my bag with me when I’m going out for the day and reapply if I need to.

Tutti Dolci White Mocha Kiss from BBW

I was surprised to see this line in BBW. I remember it or a similarly named line from about 10 years ago and I don’t recall seeing it since then. Until now that is. The Tutti Dolci line is meant to be a sweet candy inspired set of fragrances from what I can tell. This one: White Mocha Kiss is my favourite in fact I plan to repurchase a full size. It literally smells like a white chocolate mocha drink. I think of it as a more grown up vanilla fragrance and I use it under all my perfumes. 10 out of 10 would recommend. 

Those are my summer things. Hope you enjoyed reading and hope you have an awesome day!

(Drugstore) Skincare Essentials 

21 May

Skincare has become as big an industry as makeup, with hundreds to thousands of brands pumping out some new exciting product every other week.  It can make things very confusing and you can find yourself dropping lots of money on these items.

This is my list of skincare essentials all of which may be found in a drugstore. This doesn’t mean there aren’t outstanding higher end skincare products, but it isn’t a necessity.

Before I proceed with my list let me state two important points:

FIRSTLY, Consult your family physician or dermatologist to determine the right skincare regimen for you. Skincare and makeup go side by side, however, one (skincare) falls into the realm of medicine. I’m not saying to disregard any advice given by makeup artists or gurus, however, do not take it as gospel.

SECONDLY, Having healthy skin is affected by lifestyle, so it almost goes without mentioning that you should aim to: eat healthily, exercise regularly, sleep well, limit the amount of alcohol you intake and avoid smoking.

I also want to state that many of my skincare choices come both from my personal dermatologist as well as a dermatologist who has a great, informative YouTube channel; Dr.Dray

Lastly it is worth mentioning that I have acne prone, sensitive, oily-combination skin (that’s also technically ageing). This means that if I can use it,  anyone can!

With all that stuff out of the way, let us proceed.
SKINCARE ESSENTIALS

1 Makeup remover and eye makeup remover– Yes I know these are technically two things! Makeup remover is important in breaking down as much of the cake face before you wash, making it easier. Makeup remover comes in wipes or liquid and even some oils (also technically liquid)

I have nothing but good things to say about the Garnier micellar remover, but there are loads of other brands at the drugstore. 

As for eye makeup remover I’m currently using Almay liquid remover. Another recommendation is witch hazel which is gentle, affordable and effective. 

2 Face wash– A gentle, non-exfoliant face wash for everyday use. This creates a bit of controversy as many persons especially those who wear a lot of makeup think they need a very abrasive face wash to deep clean their pores and get the gunk out. However, being harsh on your skin can ultimately result in further damage and overproduction of oil.

I have three recommendations for gentle everyday face washes: Ceruve, Cetaphil and Neutrogena Ultra gentle cleanser.

3 Day cream WITH SPF!– Do NOT leave out the SPF. This will almost surely defeat the purpose of wearing cream during the day. A day cream with SPF helps keep the skin moisturized, acts as a primer for any makeup products and most importantly protects from sun damage which ultimately leads to wrinkling and increases the risk of skin cancer. If your favourite daily moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF then add a sunscreen.

NB. ANYONE, of any skin tone, can get skin cancer, so cover up!

My drugstore day cream recommendations include: Ceruve, Cetaphil and Oil of Olay.

Sunscreen recommendation: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen.

4 Night cream– After you’ve brushed your teeth and washed your face and getting ready to settle in for the night, put on some night cream. A cream with a glycerin base is good for keeping the skin moisturized by protecting it from drying out. You can also use the same daytime moisturizer at night (sans SPF)

Night cream recommendation: Ceruve, Neutrogena Hydro boost .

A tip for nighttime cream is to put it on when your face is still moist to avoid it drying out when the water evaporates.

5 Night eye cream- You don’t need it. Yes the skin surrounding the eye is quite delicate and can show aging before other parts of the face but your regular moisturising cream works for your entire face. I KNOW, I’ve been fooled before.

6 Retinol cream (on alternate nights)- This is optional. Retinol containing products help prevent signs of aging and it is recommended to start using at age 30. Additionally, retinol products also help treat acne, so it’s useful for many persons. When you do use retinol containing products, stil, use your regular night moisturizer and use the retinol sparingly.

Let me clarify that these retinol products have to be “prescription” strength to offer real benefit. There are some prescription strength preparations available over the counter in some places but other than that your doctor will have to write up the prescription for you.

Recommendations for retinol products: Retin A and Differin gel.

7 Lip balm– I use a thick moisturising balm in the morning and the evening to condition my lips, especially with the increased use of drying liquid lipsticks. A petroleum based lip balm also helps in the removal of stubborn lipstick.

This list is one of essentials and not exhaustive. Also, it doesn’t include products to specifically treat acne or other skin conditions. For that you must see your health care provider.

Are there any other drugstore skincare brands you know about? Let me know and have an awesome day!

Travel Cosmetics -How to pack

19 Mar

Whenever I travel I always try to pack a little better than I did the time before. And important group of items I carry is of course, cosmetics. From face wash to mascara, these items can get pretty bulky and cumbersome if you aren’t careful. This post lists items I typically take on a trip and how I pack for minimum space usage.


Some of the cosmetics I travel with

A major tip for packing you travel cosmetics is mini. If you can get every item in mini size that would be perfect. Most supermarkets and beauty stores sell minis of many items. For those things you can’t get a mini version of, invest in some mini travel pots and bottles.

FACE AND BODY

These are the essentials.The things you might need along the way on your trip. The things you don’t want to leave home without. Packaging these first.

○ Toothbrush and toothpaste 

○ Mouthwash

○ Deodorant (Secret)

○ Face/body wash(Cetaphil)

● Daily moisturizer(Oil of Olay Daily moisturizer)- I squirting a few days worth into a travel size container.

● Hand cream(BBW Black cherry merlot)

● Sunblock(Coppertone)

● Cleansing wipes(Wetones)

HAIR

○ Hairspray by Rave

○ Hair moisturizer by Garnier

○ Dry shampoo-I hardly ever wash my hair on short trips (I havethick, curly natural hair prone to dryness) so I don’t pack shampoo or conditioner but I do pack dr6 shampoo to keep things clean.

○ Hair gel by Tre Semme

MAKEUP

As tough as it may be, you have to use extreme discretion and only pack what you need. Think of all the makeup items you typically wear on an everyday basis to decide what to take.

● Foundation (Maybelline fit me matte and poreless in coconut)

● Eyeshadow palette (NYX Natural) – A fairly compact palette with enough shades to create multiple looks is ideal

● Blush (Milani American Rose)- A blush that will likely match your eye and lip colours.

● Lip colour (Milani Confident matte) – One that will go well with your eye colours

● Mascara (Too Faced Better than Sex)

● Brown pencil(ABH Brow definer in dark brown)

● Eye liner(Kat von D tattoo liner in Trooper)

● Setting mist(NYX matte)

● Rollerball perfume(Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb)- These are perfect for travel because they don’t spill.

○ Brushes- pack them in a flat brush holder like this or in a thin cosmetic case.

PACKING

I legit pack most of my cosmetics in a massive zip lock bag. Why? Because it holds a lot, it’s clear so it’s cool to go through airport security and if it gets messed up with spilt product you can bin it when you’re finished. 

Everything laid out



Packing things this way also save space because you can lay it flat on top of your clothing.

All packed up

Thanks for reading, happy travels and have an awesome day!

A few Spring things

12 Mar

A few Spring things

Happy spring! So even though the Spring Equinox isn’t until March 20th,  today is the day where clocks spring forward, so technically it’s spring right. I should also add that I do not live in a temperate climate so technically these seasons aren’t experienced where I am but it doesn’t stop me from totally getting excited about this time of year.

I decided to do a post sharing some things I have been recently enjoying and plan to continue doing so into the upcoming spring season. The items aren’t spring themed, just happen to be living them right now.


MAKEUP


Sweet Peach palette by Too Faced

This palette is a re-release from Too Faced, originally being a limited edition but now added to the right permanent line and massively expanded to include highlighters, blush and lip colours. This was a surprise favourite for me because initially I was unimpressed. Quite a few beauty bloggers/vloggers expressed disappointment with the palette and I was genuinely turned off. I actually walked into Sephora to purchase an entirely different palette a few weeks ago and just glanced over at this one. I switched the colours and I was hooked. 

Packaging

The packaging is the standard Too Faced metal palette that closes magnetically. It is ombre peach coloured with raised peaches across it. This actually makes it a bit difficult to stack with other flat palettes.

Product 

This palette costs $49 US and it contains 18 shadows each 0.95g .There are 5 matte shares all in neutral colours that I think can work for any skin tone. The rest of the palette is comprised of satiny and shimmers in corals, coppers and purples as well as an olive shade and a shimmery black shade.

Impression

For me, I love this palette. I can create complete looks with it alone including a completely neutral look (but why would you want to with all these awesome shades) 

Moda Makeup Brushes

Moda face brushes

By now most of us who have an interest in makeup would have heard of the Artis makeup brushes. For those who haven’t , it’s a set of flat head high end makeup brushes. These brushes made their rounds in the beauty community last year but for many of us regular folk the price was just too high. Then came the dupes.There are more than a few companies who have fashioned their version of the Artis makeup face brushes charging a pretty penny for them too. Then came Moda. This brand has been steadily making a name for itself as a brightly coloured, affordable, decent quality drugstore makeup tools line. I first knew of this brand of face brushes through Emmy Noel, one of my favourite beauty YouTubers. She gave them her stamp of approval and that was all I needed to hear. This set of four brushes goes for around $15 US at Walmart and is by far the cheapest I have seen any of these brushes yet.

Style

These are paddle head brushes compared to your typical makeup brushes with very densely packed fires. The colour is awesome resembling a cross between oil slick and mermaid skin on the handles and unicorn hair for  the bristles. Honestly I was sold on the appearance alone.
Function

The largest brush is meant for foundation (liquid or creme). The second size is meant for blush and bronzer.  The third one is for contouring and the fourth and smallest is meant for concealer. Obviously you can use the  however you like. I find myself getting the most use out of the two larger ones. I appreciate applying my foundation with something different to a sponge. I also find I use less product when I use this brush to apply. The blush brush is the perfect size for blush application.

If you are interested in this style of makeup brushes but can’t or won’t splurge on the more expensive version, definitely give these a go.

Colour Switch


Color Switch by Vera Mona

This little tin here was a true game changer for me. A colour switch allows you to reuse the same makeup brushes in the same time frame i.e while creating the same look. I was going crazy trying to create a cute look and realising I didn’t quite have enough brushes to do it with. If I used my brush cleaner, the brush got wet and wouldn’t dry out in time.

Until

I got

Color Switch

This invention is genius. It is essentially a circular chunk of very  porous, hard sponge not unlike that found in aquarium filters. You rub the brush in circles to get off product. You can use both sides and wash it when it gets particularly dirty.

Milani Lip Color Remover

In this day and age where long wear matte lipsticks are a dime a dozen,  this little tube is a saving grace. It is the colour and consistency of a petroleum jelly lip gloss. This thing really works! Just put it on and remove using a bit of tissue and the lip color comes right off.

SKIN AND BODY CARE

Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask

E.l.f mask



While other drugstore brands are busy expanding their makeup line, e.l.f has done that and is now making a foray into affordable skin care. So far I’ve seen facial cleansers, masks, day and night time moisturizers. I picked this one up because I’ve been curious about bubble masks but didn’t want to buy an expensive one only to hate it. I don’t hate this. I have feelings opposite to hate for this. 

Packaging

The packaging with this skin care line is a real winner. It is in a pale aqua cylindrical tub set into frosted translucent hard glass making it look rather luxe. The product comes through a hole in the top via a pumping motion.

Product

The mask comes out as a clear almost greasy substance with a mild you citrus scent. Upon touching moist skin it becomes white and foamy but it takes about two minutes before it truly bubbles. Bubble masks feel weird. Lol. The sensation is tingly and feels as if I poured a Sprite onto my face. After use my face felt clean but not dry which is what the product promised.


Philosophy Pink Marshmallow Buttercream shower gel

Shower gel

Philosophy makes intensely scented bath and body products. Whatever the scent is on the bottle is EXACTLY what it smells like.This can be used as shower gel, bubble bath or shampoo. It lathers well and leaves a gentle lingering scent on your skin. What I love about Philosophy products like this is that they print actual recipes on the front of the bottles to go along with the fragrance. I picked this one up from T.J Maxx and paid about $4 which is about half of the original price  (according to T.J. Maxx)


Body Shop Italian Summer Figure Body Cream


Cream

Yes, I am featuring a summer fig cream in a spring favourites post. This was another T.J.Maxx (my favourite off-price retail store) find and it was a good one. I paid $5US for mine but you can get it from The Body Shop for about $10. This cream comes in the traditional Body shop cream container and the graphics are clean and simple as with most body shop products. It smells delicious. It is rich and a little sweet with a fresh almost grassy undertone. It’s the type of scent that makes you constantly sniff your hands (or foot or whatever body part you put it on). The consistency of the cream is soft and whipped and extremely moisturizing.


FRAGRANCE

Elizabeth and James Nirvana rollerballs 

Rollerballs



Elizabeth and James is a line owned by the prolific business savvy Olsen twins: Mary-Kate and Ashley.  The names come from two of their younger siblings and the Nirvana fragrances have become more and more popular. 

I previously used the Nirvana White as a fragrance sampler set I got from Sephora about a year ago. Since then I’ve been hooked. The Nirvana line now has four fragrances: E&J Nirvana White, E&J Nirvana Black, E&J Nirvana Rose and E&J Nirvana Bourbon.

These fragrances have something for everyone occasion. The White has a clean fresh daytime scent. Black is darker and more musky and great for evening to night. Rose is light and romantic and almost powdery, fantastic for day wear or a date night. Bourbon is my favorite. It does somewhat embody the essence of Bourbon. It has depth and a bit of sweetness. I prefer this for nighttime but it can work in the day as well.

 I purchased this set of four rollerballs from Sephora for $28 which is a bit of a bargain for rollerballs these days. I am into buying sample or travel sizes of items because it allows me to test something before committing to a full size as well as giving an opportunity to try many things at once.


BBW Tomato Vine Candle

Candle

This candle smells diVINE!  (get it?) Bath and body Works continues to grow their candle line exploring more sophisticated scents. This is one of those and what a great job they did. This candle smells earthy, green and a little bit tart. It is very fragrant and throws fairly well. This works well being burnt in the mid morning to early afternoon as well as a fragrant backdrop for an after dinner glass of wine.

Those are my spring favourites. Maybe something I featured is a favourite of yours or maybe you’ll want to test out some for yourself. Have an awesome day!

Festive Makeup- Muted jewel tones  and Metallics 

20 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 20

Hello. Today we continue our Festive fashion with a makeup look fit for a night out this season. As with my post on festive nails, I’m keeping with the theme of muted jewel tones with metallic accents.

The star of this show is the Mario master palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills  (ABH) .I mentioned this beautiful palette in my Blogmas Day 6 post; A few Festive things. Even though it isn’t a holiday palette I feel the dark deep jewel hued shimmer shades are perfect for the holiday season.

This palette cost $45 US and is limited edition. I would say there are some fairly unique shades here but you can absolutely create a similar look with different palettes both high-end and drug store. In my small repertoire the closest I have to create a similar look is a Wet and Wild palette  (about $6). I put them side by side for comparison.

Mater Palette with Mario by ABH and Wet n Wild palette


My focus is on the eye look but I will list all the products used for my overall look.

Primer- NYX photo finish primer

Foundation Maybelline Fit me matte poreless in

Eye primer – Urban Decay age defying primer

Brows- ABH dip brow pomade in dark brown

Eyes- ABH Master Palette by Mario 

Liner- Kat von D liquid liner in Trooper (mini)

             M.A.C pencil liner in Engraved

Lashes- Rimmel Scandal eyes in blackeSt black

                 Kat von D mascara in Puro Amore

Fixing spray-NYX matte finish spray





Crease- Real Techniques brush

Brow bone- e.l.f flat brush

Lid-ABH brushes  (came with sets) double ended. Each has a round topped flat brush on one end and a fluffy blending brush in the other.

         Urban Decay brush double ended. A fluffy dense brush on one end to pack on shadow and small round topped flat brush freat for the inner corners.

So now we begin. It turns out I am not a beauty guru or a photographer and therefore not that great at taking pictures of nyself doing makeup so please excuse the lack of pictures as I do each step.



Step 1

Apply Claudia , a deep navy shimmer shade into the crease. Start with a small amount going back and forth in the crease using windshield wiper motion gradually building up.



Step 2

Using a thin flat brush apply 5th ave, a golden hue to the brow bone. I went heavy with this because I wanted a bolder look.



Step 3

Apply Isabela , a medium brown with an orange undertone all over the lid. This will form a base for the rest of the colours.



Step 4

Using a small round topped flat brush,  apply Bronx, a sparkly deep olive shade to the outer corner of the lid, blending it out.



Step 5

Using another small round topped flat brush (or your finger tip) apply Muse, a coppery burgundy in the centre of the lid and blend.


Step 6

Using a small brush place Marine, a delicious shimmery rose gold on the inner corners and blend.

 

 

Step 7

Take a thick fluffy brush and gently blend everything out. Line lids and apply mascara.

Finished eyes (open)

Finished eyes (closed)

I finished up my look with a peach blush and lined my lips with a deep purple and a coated of gloss(Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme ). I kept the rest of my face neutral as I wanted the attention to be on the eyes.

Finished look




Thank you for reading. Hopefully this look will inspire your holiday makeup looks. Have an awesome day!

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Festive Nails- Muted Jewel tones and Metallics 

19 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 19

On the 19th day of Blogmas I will share a nail tutorial. My idea of festive colurs in fashion and makeup is muted jewel tones and soft metallic tones. This tutorial reflects that. 

The nail colours I chose are by e.l.f who I genuinely did not know made nail polish until I saw their Christmas gift sets for sale. E.l.f is of course a prolific drugstore makeup  (and now nail polish) brand. Their products are usually good quality especially considering the pricepoint. This tutorial isn’t really about the brand of polish, more the colours but my mini review is that the colours are decent. They have good coverage and require two coats to achieve a really vibrant effect. I also live the size of the polishes as someone who doesn’t use a whole lot of nail polish, I feel as if I can actually get through one of these bottles.

My colour selection is : gold, navy and deep red. Additionally I will be using a multicolored glitter polish and a matte top coat to mute my shimmery blue and red jewel tones and a wedge (the original beauty sponge). If you have access to matte colurs then use them.

Red, gold and blue polish



STEPS

Step 1

To cleaned, cut and buffed nails, apply your basecoat.(Ignore the peeling skin on my finger)

Base coat

Step 2

Apply one coat of each colur. I selected my 4th digit (ring finger) as my accent nail and painted that one gold. I then alternated with blue and red on my remaining nails. Allow to dry.

One coat of each colour




Step 3

Apply a second coat of each colour and allow to dry. This particular polish achieved my desired look in just two coats. Apply as many coats as you need to get desired level of opaque.

Two coats




Step 4

Apply some glitter polish onto your wedge (the way I gave it pictured is the reverse of how it should be done) then apply it to the accent nail. The aim is to have denser application neat the tip of the nail with gradation down the nail (my nail isn’t long enough to completely pull this off) Once dry apply a regular top coat.

Glitter polish and sponge



Apply glitter




Step 5

Apply matte top coat to the four remaining digits and allow to dry.

Matte top coat



Mattified and gliterfied nails






Fini

Now you are ready for the party ! If you are like me and have no time or money to spend at a salon getting your nails done this is a great idea. I like the flexibility of being able to change(or remove) my polish after just a couple of days so DIY -ing  is great for me.

I love this colour combo.. I think it looks kind of classy and adult because of the darker tones but still very fun (#glitter)

Have an awesome day!

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