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A Few Autumnal Things

8 Oct

Happy Autumn! Whether you spend this time of year raking up fallen leaves and dressing warmly or you just enjoy the trendy aspects like PSLs and BBW candles.

I fall into the latter category (although I’m not a huge PSL fan) and today I’m sharing a few things that I will be using this autumn.

Bag

This year, I have become quite enamored with mini structured bags. This one, in a russet/chestnut shade by GUESS makes going about hands free easy and autumnal.

Makeup

Eyeshadow Palette 

Naked Heat by Urban Decay- If this isn’t autumn in an eyeshadow palette I don’t know what is. There is a great mixture of browns, coppers and reds that allow for a variety of warm eye looks as the weather cools down.

Just Peachy Matte by Too Faced– If this isn’t autumn in an eyeshadow palette I don’t… wait I said that already… but ditto! This palette is a fantastic mix of all the matte warm shadows you could need. There are peachy and deep red shades that compliment all skin tones.
Highlighter

Trippin Stick Highlighter by Fenty Beauty– Got that Fenty Beauty booty! This highlight stick gives an orange hued golden effect on my deep skin. I particularly like using it on my nose. It gives me Autum-glam vibes.
Lipstick

Matte Tease by Milan- Autumn lips are all about the plums and wines. This is a deep burnt brownish plum shade that adds the perfect touch to any makeup look.

Body Scents 

Perfume

Black Opium by YSL/Saint Laurent- I love this fragrance. It’s deep with some musk and a touch of sweetness. Fantastic for cooler weather. I initially tried this scent in a mini and loved it so much that it made it’s way onto this year’s birthday wishlist. Thank you to my beautiful friend Tanya for fulfilling that wish.

Body Mist


Warm Vanilla Sugar by BBW-
This year I’ve gotten back into layering fragrances. It creates a unique scent (in a good way) and if your overlying scent wears off you still smell great. This summer I used a Coconut body mist as my base scent but now I’m ready for this warm sweet vanilla scent that goes beautifully with this time of year.


Home Scents


Bourbon Butterscotch candle from White Barn/BBW-
This candle smells just like you would imagine, a little sweet, a bit dark and very warm. Perfect!


Pomegranate Noir travel candle by Jo Malone-
This is my very first Jo Malone candle (or anything for that matter) I have been lusting after these products for actual year’s and I finally bit the bullet. I opted for a travel candle which is really a mini so it was cheaper and I can see if this brand is for me. The fragrance is a deep fruity mixed with woodsy one. It’s great for cooler months especially but I think I would love it year round.


Book

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake- Last but by no means least is my autumnal reading. I actually began this book a few weeks ago but only got a few chapters in, not because the book isn’t awesome, just because I’m not awesome. Anyhow this story takes place in what seems to be someplace in Europe around the middle ages and involves three sisters separated at birth all vying for the same crown in a rather unique way. The setting is dark and chilly with lots of woods and feasts. A perfect autumnal read.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome autumn!

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Three PLUM lipsticks 

1 Oct


We’re getting to the time of the year when everyone likes to wear deeper darker lip shades. Berry and wine coloured hues are popular and with good reason, they make you look more sultry and sofisticated. I have three options today that cover my plum needs.

NYX BLS11

This is the colour of a sweet merlot, this formula by NXY is buttery, smooth and very comfortable to wear. 

Milani Uptown Mauve

This is a delicious berry colour, as much pink as it is purple. It remains fall/winter appropriate while adding a pop.

M.A.C Cyber 
This is a true plum colour. That deep rich purple you crave. This lip color has a satin finish making it comfortable to wear while not looking too shiny.
Hope you find your perfect plum and have an awesome day!

Pack with me

24 Sep

WHAT: Girls (mostly) trip

WHERE: Vegas baby!

WHEN: Sometime in the near Future

Hello and welcome to ‘Packing with me.” I will soon be taking a trip to Las Vegas and I thought I would share a few of my must-haves.

Clockwise from bottom

Flip-flops- These cute nude tones jelly ones with bows let your feet stay comfy while looking super cute.

Crossbody– This recent acquisition (as if I needed another crossbody) is by Ann Kline, a great contemporary designer. I love the structured box shape, the (faux) alligator skin finish and (faux) antique gold hardware. This will work great for all my exciting handsfree activities!

Hair Moisturizer– Do NOT leave home without your go-to hair product. This Coconut infused Whole Blends by Garnier keeps my thick, curly, unruly tresses in order. Of course, to avoid checked baggage I will be placing some of it in a travel appropriate (less than 3 fl Oz/ 100mL) bottle.

Way-Cool shades- That’s what I’ve decided to call these trendy sunglasses. The cat eye frame and super reflective finish have been popular recently and who doesn’t want to look trendy when on vacay. This is not my regular pair of sunnies, these are a much cheaper pair so just in case things get “way-crazy” and they are destroyed/lost I’ll still have my regular pair.

Bright red Lipstick– I chose this slightly cool toned brilliant red by Loreal “Frieda’s Red “. Red is my personal favourite lip colour so of course I want to have a nice turned up red on my lips while I’m turning things up in Vegas. If red isn’t your thing go for a nice bright pink/orange/coral. 

Sunscreen– Whatever your age, ethnicity, skin type etc, do not step outside without loading up on sunscreen. UV rays don’t discriminate. This is actually a daily moisturiser by Ceruve and contains hydrating cerumide but also contains SPF 30.

Fragrance– I am a huge believer in minis, whether you buy them or make your own by transferring products into smaller containers. My mother gave me this little sampler set of Atilier fragrances for my birthday and I think they are perfect for this trip. With scents ranging from blood orange to white musk, there is no occasion where I won’t find something just right.

Blazer– You really can’t go wrong with a blazer,  particularly this oversized fit black one from H+M. A nice blazer can keep you warm on your flight, dress up a nightime outfit and add dimension to daytime dress. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ONE!

Statement Necklace- Or statement earrings, or statement arm cuff. Point is, a jewellery piece (or two or three) that can really pop and elevate your looks.

Thank you for letting me share some of my travel essentials. Hopefully you see some inspiration for your next trip and have an awesome day!

(Drugstore) Makeup brush Essentials

10 Sep

So you have your Drugstore makeup collection. Great. What are you going to put it in with? Drugstore brushes of course! This is a guide to the basic brushes you need and all affordable drugstore options. It is not exhaustive by any means but if you have these brushes you will be able to create almost any makeup look you want.


FACE

(l-r : Real Techniques Stipple brush, Real Techniques contour brush, Moda large face brush [comes in set of four], Real Techniques buffing brush, Real Techniques fan brush)

Stipple brush– This is excellent for blending out liquid or stick foundation. It tends to give an even finish.

Fluffy face brush– This works for application of powder products to the cheeks i.e blush/bronzer/highlight.

Flat, dense Face brush– Excellent for blending out liquid or stick foundation as well as for application of face powders.

Buffing brush– This thick, dense slightly rounded brush is the right tools for blending out blush/highlight/contour/bronzer as well as applying all over setting powder. (Kabuki brush which tends to have a flatter top can do the same)

Fan brush– This is perfect for applying a narrow amount of product e.g highlighter over the cheekbone or along the nose.

EYES

(top: e.l.f flat, shadow, crease brushes, bottom l-r: Real techniques slanted brow brush, Real techniques base shadow brush, Real techniques crease brush, Real techniques accent brush) 




Flat thin brush– This type of brush is useful in applying highlight to the brow bone,  for applying concealer if sculpting the eyebrows and for applying eyeshadow to line the upper or lower lids.

Dense rounded brush– Perfect for packing on eyeshadow especially all over the lid.

Dense brush– This type of brush works well when applying product to the outer corner of the eye and it allows for easy blending.

Angled flat brush– The angle referenced here is the angle in the bristles not so much the handle although that helps. This is the ideal type of brush to use when filling in brows with pomade or powder.

Fluffy brush– This is an all purpose eye shadow brush great for adding colour in the crease but can also pack on product on the lid or blend.

Dense fluffy brush– Another all purpose brush but this one can apply colour all over the eye and can also be useful in blending.

Small rounded brush– This is the brush you use to get into small spaces like adding a pop of colour on the inner corner, smudging out the lower lash line or even to add highlight to the brow bone.

 
I hope this guide is useful for anyone trying to expand their brush Collection. Are there any must-have brushes that I left out? Let me know and have an awesome day!

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!

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