Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Q&A #26



Hey Everyone, 

One of my favourite bloggers, Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog, does a weekly poll on her blog encouraging readers to take part. Every Monday, I will be posting my answers to her questions on my blog, and hope that you will join me by making your own post, or leaving your answers to the following questions in the comment section below.


1) Mood: A touch of anxiety. It's a really crappy day outside, and for some reason dreary days make me feel somewhat anxious or nervous. My parents also left today for a month's vacation in Africa, and without fail, whenever they leave, something always goes wrong. One year a tree fell on our house, another we had a flood in the basement, and another my sister and dog both ended up in the hospital. I'm hoping nothing goes wrong this time, but I certainly won't be surprised if it does. 


2) One thing you'd like to get done today?: I want to make it through my workout session without dying. I used to work out with a trainer twice a week, but started slacking off, and haven't had any sessions in the past few months. Now that I am trying to lose weight for my trip to Nashville (and for an exciting surgery I will be having this summer...details to follow), I need to get back in to working out. 


3) Salsa with your eggs: yay or nay?: I don't like salsa at all, so definitely nay. 


4) One beauty product you've been using a lot lately?: I've started using MAC's studio finish concealer again and really like it. I used to think it was too thick, but now I find that it has the best coverage for all of my acne/acne scars. If applied with the right brush (I use the Real Techniques crease brush) it doesn't appear to be too thick. 


5) Did you take any lessons when you were a kid?: I took a lot of lessons when I was a kid. I did piano for a couple of years but hated it. I also did Jazz and Tap dancing lessons for 12 years, ski lessons for a couple of years, voice lessons, drum lessons and was in a theatre group in high school. I was surprisingly a pretty busy as a kid. 


6) Weekly Goals: I found this really cool DIY project online for making bright neon jewelry, and I really want to give it a try this week. I also need to find a way to start making some money this summer, but you know, obviously the jewelry is more important ;)



If you decide to answer the questions, leave your responses or the link to your responses in the comment section below. 

Hope you all have a great week. 

xx
Alicia



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beauty Quote of the Week #65




The beauty of a woman is not in facial mode. The true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. 

-Audrey Hepburn



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Decorating on a Budget: My 30th Birthday Brunch



Hey Everyone, 


Last weekend I had a 30th birthday brunch at a local inn. The party went amazingly well, and I had such a good time. The party was pretty low key (just a few family and friends), but of course, being me, I had to make sure the room we were holding the party in, was decorated just right. I was going for a very shabby chic look (my favourite decor style), but wanted to make sure everything stayed within budget. Luckily with multiple trips to Value Village (a second hand store), Homesense, and The Dollar Store I was able to pull off the look I was going for at a low price. Everyone raved about the decor, and I have to say I was pretty proud of myself. From the name cards to the flower arrangements, I did almost everything myself with the help of a friend and my family. Here is the look I put together. 


The Main Table 

The Grandparents and Parents Table

 The Place Cards were made by my sister Gillian (she is a graphic design student) and inserted into plastic damask print frames (from the dollar store) that I sprayed bright pink. Personally, I think the frames scream shabby chic. 

These pom pom flower napkins rings were purchased from a seller on etsy. I did research how to make the napkin rings myself, but the instructions were just too complicated. 


The bird cages were purchased from Homesense (I believe they were $12.99 each). Wanting to add a bit of sparkle to them, I bought some inexpensive crystal-like beads and hand strung them at different lengths inside the cages. 

The dress forms were purchased on sale at Michaels Craft Store and strung with the same crystal-like beads I used in the bird cages. I love these little dress forms, and plan to use them as decor in my bedroom. 


All of the green vases used to hold the flower arrangements were purchased at Value Village (I believe the most expensive was $3.99). I wanted them to be similar in terms of colour, but thought it would be more shabby chic if they were all different sizes and styles. The flowers were purchased at Costco and the grocery store, and were arranged by my mom, my friend Jenny and myself. 

The damask print "table runner" was purchased at Homesense, and is actually meant to be used in drawers to prevent items from slipping. The birds were all from my house (my parents like birds), and therefore didn't cost me anything.  

The Dessert/Candy Table

 The white lace table cloth is actually a curtain I purchased from Value Village and draped over the candy table. 

All of the candy jars purchased from Value Village (all below $2.99), and filled with colourful treats from the Bulk Barn. I made the candy labels myself using glitter paper and ribbon from The Dollar Store. 

It wouldn't be a beauty addict's Birthday party if she didn't give aways some nail polish....

I have wanted a makeup birthday cake FOREVER, and I am happy to say that my Mom and Dad fulfilled my wishes! The lady who made the cake read my 'Birthday Wishlist' post, and included a number of items from the list including a Zuca Bag, House of Harlow sunglasses, and an Illamasqua blush. 


My sister Gillian designed all of the chocolate bar labels. We printed the design out on white card stock and wrapped them around re-purposed Caramilk Bars.  

 

Sylvia, one of my subscribers has her own business called Spicy Wedding, and was nice enough to gift me with personalized cinnamon shakers for all of my guests to take home. Sylvia used one of my 'Audrey Hepburn' pictures, and customized the jar with my favourite colours, presents and cupcakes. She does customized spice jars for birthdays, weddings, etc., so be sure to check her out here



 My very helpful birthday 'maid of honour (and childhood best friend) Jenny and I 

The Killer Kurves ladies finally get together. Melissa, Karyn and I. 

The whole day was amazing! I owe a huge thanks to everyone who attended the brunch, and made my feel super special. I also owe a huge thank you to my family who helped make the decorations and who allowed me to have a big 30th birthday party (my parents like to say that this was actually my wedding, and I better not come to them for help when I get married). They're joking...I hope! 

Did you like the decorations? The makeup cake? The candy table? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

xx
Alicia

Friday, April 27, 2012

My IMATS NYC Haul


Hey Everyone, 


I figured I would start the first of my large haul posts with the items I purchased while at IMATS NYC a couple of weekends ago. Before attending IMATS, I made a list of must-have products, trying to focus less attention on what I would like for my own personal collection, and rather, what I might need for my makeup artistry kit. Overall, I think my mission was fairly successful, although, of course, a few personal (not on the list) items managed to sneak their way in to my haul. Here is what I bought: 



Inglot Eyeshadows and Forty Pan Palette:
While I managed to get my hands on ten brightly coloured Inglot eyeshadows at IMATS NYC last year, I have been longing after a more neutral Inglot palette for months now. This year's Inglot booth was absolutely crazy, surrounded by people trying to swatch every product, and waiting for over an hour for the Inglot staff to fill their orders. Luckily, I did my homework before heading to NYC, and was able to hand over a list of thirty one shadows I wanted to get before the lines got too crazy (it still took me a good 40 minutes to get my shadows). For those who have yet to try Inglot eyeshadows, I can honestly say that they are all AMAZING. These shadows are crazy pigmented and super soft, making them perfect for blending. The neutral palette I put together is perfect for bridal makeup and, as I hope to start freelancing, I thought this would be a great addition to my kit. If you would like to see a more in-depth post about this palette (including swatches), be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 



Mehron Cheek Powder Palette:
I can't even tell you how in love I am with this palette. These are definitely some of the most pigmented and beautiful blushes I have tried. For only $35 USD, I was able to get my hands on four very neutral and four very bright blushes that work nicely on all skin tones, and will make a great addition to my kit. If you would like to see a more in depth post on this palette (including swatches), be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 



Mehron Powder Eyeshadow in 'Toffee':
While I was drooling over all of Mehron's eyeshadow palettes, I decided to be a good girl and only buy the one shadow I've had my eye on for a while now. Toffee is a matte, purple and brown-toned taupe shadow that looks great in the crease for a more defined eye look. Like the Mehron blushes, this shadow is super creamy and pigmented, meaning a very little goes a long way.  

Mehron Lip Cream in 'Sunburst':
I actually picked up this potted lip stick thinking it was a cream blush, however, after swatching it, and being told by the Mehron staff that it could be used as both, I knew I had to have it. Sunburst is a gorgeous coral-red perfect for the summer season. Like all of the Mehron products I have tried, this lip cream is crazy pigmented and super creamy, making it a nice option for my very dry lips. I am seriously in love with this company at the moment and can't wait to get my hands on more of their products at IMATS Toronto in November. 



Small Z-Palettes:
If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you know just how much I love my z-palettes. Not only do they hold different sized depotted eyeshadows, blushes, etc., they are very durable (trust me, I've dropped them a lot!), and come in a variety of cute colours and patterns. While I already own eight of the larger sized palettes, I really wanted to get my hands on some of the smaller ones as they are easier to bring/pack while travelling. Each of the smaller palettes can hold nine MAC sized shadows or two MAC sized blushes. 



Gorgeous Cosmetics Base Perfect Liquid Foundation:
To be honest, before IMATS I had never heard of Gorgeous Cosmetics, an Australia based cosmetic company that carries a wide range of products including foundations, eyeshadows, lip colours, etc. Wanting to check out what they had to offer, I walked over to the booth, and was immediately sold (trust me it's not that hard to do) on thier oil-free full coverage foundation which contains both Vitamin A and E, two ingredients that help treat and hide acne scaring. I have yet to test it out, but will be sure to post a review once I do. 



Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer in 'Light':
As I have mentioned before, Eve Pearl's Salmon Concealer is my go to undereye corrector/concealer, and a big part of my '5 Steps to Concealing Dark Under Eye Circles' routine. This creamy concealer has a light orange (or salmon) tint which helps combat dark blue or purple circles. If you suffer from dark under eye circles, this is a must have product. 

Eve Pearl Palette Pro Metal Thumb Palette:
To be honest, these Eve Pearl Pro Metal Thumb Palettes were less of a necessity, and more of a 'OMG this is so cool...I need it now.' These little metal palettes can be stuck on your thumbs (or fingers) and used to mix foundation, lipgloss, etc. while applying makeup on someone else (giving you two free hands). These will definitely be added to my kit. 



Kett Cosmetics Colorless Setting Powder:
This translucent and color-adaptable powder is perfect for setting makeup on any skin tone without adding shine or texture (no caked on face). This is an HD powder which means it looks great in still photos and on television. I've heard a lot of great things about this powder and will be adding it to my kit.



Khuraira Age-Control Dark Circle Primer:
This dark under eye circle primer/corrector is definitely one of the most unique beauty products I have ever seen. This super bright orange (we're talking neon here) cream is made to hide blue-ish dark under eye circles (orange and blue are opposites on the colour wheel) creating a neutral base for your under eye concealer. The creamy formulation of this primer also helps to moisturize and smooth the under eye area. 



Gleam by Melanie Mills Lip Radiance in 'Pop My Cork':
When I first made my IMATS shopping list, I was sure not to include any lipsticks or lip glosses. I have more than enough of both, and, as I suffer from dry, and often sore, lips, I hardly wear anything other than tinted lip balm. Of course, as soon as I saw this gorgeous peachy-pink super moisturizing (at least it doesn't hurt my lips) gloss from celebrity makeup artist Melanie Mills, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Oops!



Beauty Blender Sponges:
I absolutely love using my beauty blender sponge (it's even one of my April favourites), so while IMATS I decided to pick up a couple more (they were discounted after all). When wet (and squeezed out), these sponges help blend foundation into the face for a very airbrushed appearance. In my opinion, these sponges are a must have and completely worth their more expensive price tag. 



Bdellium Tools Brushes:
I love Bdellium Tools brushes! In fact, since purchasing some of them at IMATS Toronto, they have quickly become my all time favourite makeup brushes, beating out both MAC and Sigma. These brushes are great quality and cost a lot less than some of the better known brush lines out there. My personal favourite is Bdellium's 776, the perfect dupe for MAC's super popular 217 crease brush. 




Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Polishes:
While most people love Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics for their lip tars, I personally am a huge fan of their nail polishes. These super creamy polishes are ridiculously pigmented, needing only one coat for a fully opaque look. If I had the money, I would buy every colour they make, but for now I've settled on the  following colours.  

a) Anime: A super hot neon pink
b) Radiate: A bright orange-red coral
c) Wasabi: A lush avocado green
d) Palare: A deep berry purple with an iridescent pink sheen. 


Have you been to IMATS? Do you want to go? What would be the first thing you bought if you attended one of the shows? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

xx
Alicia

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Love Them or Leave Them: Crazy Rings


Hey Everyone, 


I had hoped to get my NYC and IMATS haul posted today but, unfortunately, the weather here has been pretty miserable, and I haven't been able to make it outside to take pictures of everything. In the meanwhile, I decided to do one of my favourite series of post: Love Them or Leave Them Crazy (fill in the blank). This week I have a number of very 'interesting' rings to show you. I love jewelry, but to be completely honest, wouldn't be caught dead wearing the majority of the rings shown below. With that said, everyone has their own taste, and so, my question for you is...is your ring finger itching to sport one of these rings, or would you rather cut off your fingers than be caught dead wearing one of the styles featured below? Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. 















xx
Alicia