Friday, November 29, 2013

November Favourites



Hey Everyone, 

I hope you all had a great end to your week. This morning my sister and I woke up bright and early in order to hit some of the big Black Friday sales at our local mall. While my sister scored some pretty good deals, I didn't buy much as I am trying my best to save money (it's hard with so many great holiday collections beings released) for a Christmas vacation to Florida with my family next month (no snow for Christmas this year!)

Since we are quickly heading into December, I wanted to take a minute and share all of the new beauty products I've been loving this past month. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know some of your November favourites. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Holiday Gift Idea: GOSH Mono Eyeshadow Set (Review+Swatches)



Hey Everyone, 

This holiday season, GOSH Cosmetics wants to make eyes sparkle and shine with their new Mono Eyeshadow Set, part of their Holiday 2013 collection. Packaged in a long black box, perfect for slipping into any makeup maven's stocking, the set contains five full-sized eyeshadows in the following colours: 
GOSH Cosmetics Mono Eyeshadow in 'Copper': 
A shimmering light copper with strong orange undertones and iridescent finely milled copper and gold shimmer, 'Copper' looks stunning on blue eyes and makes for an easy, glamourous eye when paired with winged liner and heavy black mascara. 

GOSH Cosmetics Mono Eyeshadow in 'Dusty Green': 
A medium olive green with a strong gold sheen and finely milled golden shimmer, 'Dusty Green' is, for me, the perfect shade of green as it doesn't wash me out or make my eyes look red (is it just me or do others experience this with green eyeshadow?). Fitting in perfectly with Fall/Winter's military trend (one of my favourite trends), this shadow looks great paired with a shimmering gold eyeshadow (think inner corner) and black liquid liner.  

GOSH Cosmetics Mono Eyeshadow in 'Dark Green': 
A smoky blue-green with chunky iridescent red and silver glitter, 'Dark Green' makes for a beautiful colourful smoky eye when worn in the crease and outer-v. While I like the colour of this shadow, it does have a lot of fallout making it somewhat difficult to work with (you definitely want to apply it before doing your foundation, concealer, etc.) 

GOSH Cosmetics Mono Eyeshadow in 'Denim Blue': 
A deep royal blue with an iridescent blue sheen and finely milled turquoise shimmer, 'Denim Blue' is absolutely stunning (I seriously thought I'd hate the colour based on the name, but I love it!) and looks great worn along the lower lash line for an unexpected pop of colour. 

GOSH Cosmetics Mono Eyeshadow in 'Aubergine': 
A deep smoky plum with an iridescent sheen and finely milled gold shimmer, 'Aubergine' looks amazing worn in the crease/outer-v or along the upper lash line (think powder eyeliner) for a new, colourful take on the traditional holiday smoky eye. 


I'll be honest, I totally judged this book (aka eyeshadow palette) by its cover when I first saw it and wrote it off as cheap and something I probably wouldn't be willing to spend my money on  (it's not as pretty as some of the other holiday sets I have reviewed). What it lacks in girly appeal (oh yes, I admit to gravitating towards anything pink and sparkly), however, it makes up in quality as all of the shadows in this set are very nicely pigmented, easy to blend, and, with the exception of 'Dark Green', don't have a lot of fallout. 

At $25 CND (that's only $5/shadow), I think the GOSH Mono Eyeshadow Set makes for a great holiday gift idea, as it can easily be split up as small stocking stuffers for five makeup hungry family members or kept together as a lovely gift for a friend or co-worker (secret santa anyone?). The new, limited-edition Gosh Mono Eyeshadow Set is exclusive to Shoppers Drugmart and can be found in stores nationwide. 

What do you think of GOSH's new Mono Eyeshadow Set? Will you be gifting it to anyone on your holiday list? Would you split this set up amongst five family members/friends or keep it together? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dior 'Diorific Jewel Manicure Duo' (Review+Swatches)



Hey Everyone, 

This holiday season, Dior Cosmetics wants to get your nails party ready with their new 'Diorific Jewel Manicure Duo' featuring a festive metallic gold nail polish and slightly
 iridescent, crystal nail pearls. Whether you choose to pearlize all 10 nails for a full on luxurious look or just use a few pearls on your accent nail for a subtle touch of glamour, the new Diorific set will definitely make you the talk of the party. 

While the set, which also contains a clear tray and gold metal funnel for easy clean up, looks stunning, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little apprehensive about using it for the first time, as I have heard horror stories about how messy and hard to use nail pearls can be. Well, not to worry,  I am more than happy to say that Dior has knocked it out of the park with the 'Diorific Jewel Manicure Duo' which is as easy to use as it is beautiful to look at. Below is some more information on how to use the new Diorific duo: 
To begin, paint each nail with two coats of the incredibly opaque, slightly metallic, shimmering gold polish. Then working quickly to ensure the polish doesn't dry (you need it to be wet for the pearls to apply properly), pour the crystal pearls over each nail (use the tray provided to catch the overspill), pressing down lightly with your finger to ensure all of the pearls are properly adhered to the nail. To finish off the look, apply your favourite top coat and voila, instant glam!

To clean up, tip the tray containing the excess pearls into the funnel lined over the tip of the pearl bottle and within seconds everything is neat and tidy (no one wants to be chasing after loose pearls). 



While the pearls look beautiful when first applied, I was somewhat concerned they would begin to come loose and fall off within a day or so. This is, luckily, not the case. I am on day six of wearing the above manicure (the photo was taken yesterday, on day five to give you an idea of how long this manicure is lasting) and have had absolutely no problems with the gold polish chipping or the pearls coming off. If anything, I'm a little afraid they won't come off when it comes for a new manicure. 

After trying the new 'Diorific Jewel Manicure Duo' for almost a week, I can honestly say I am in love. This set is incredibly easy to use meaning even those who are inept when it comes to painting their own nails (hello!) can achieve beautiful, wow-worthy (trust me, you'll get a lot of 'OMG how did you do that?) nail art in minutes. I definitely plan to use these pearls again and again over the holidays, both with the gold polish provided as well as some of my other favourite polishes. 

The limited edition Dior 'Diorific Jewel Manicure Duo' retails for $40CND and can be found at Dior counters nationwide as well as online at TheBay.com

What do you think of Dior's new 'Diorific Jewel Manicure Duo'? Do you like the pearl effect? Have you ever tried nail pearls before? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Weight Loss Update: My Face Chart




Hey Everyone, 

While I had a number of fun holiday goodies to share with you this morning, Blogger (the blog host I use) had a different plan, as its currently not allowing me to upload any new photos. So, while I sort that problem out (fingers crossed it's all worked out by tomorrow), I thought I would share a post I've had sitting on the back burner for quite some time now. 

As many of you know, I had weight loss surgery back in July 2012. While initially things were going extremely well (I lost 40 lbs in about six month), around Christmas of last year, the weight loss suddenly stopped and I've been having a hard time with it ever since. One week I'm down 2lbs, the next I'm up 3lbs. Over the Summer, I completely changed the way I was eating, and decided to start a clean eating diet  (no sugar, no white flour, no processed foods, etc.), and while I have definitely seen results in terms of the way I feel (much healthier), there still hasn't been any significant weight loss. 

I'll be honest, it's been frustrating! I have friends, as well as people I follow on instagram, who have had weight loss surgery (albeit a much different kind) and are losing weight rapidly. While I know I shouldn't compare myself to them, I can't help but feel very embarrassed by my lack of progress. 

Feeling down in the dumps, I happened to stumble upon this 'weight loss face' chart I made back in the Summer. While I am still struggling to lose more weight, this chart shows me just how well I have done so far with my weight loss efforts. 40lbs is a lot of weight to lose (something I need to keep reminding myself), and I am determined to hit my first weight loss goal of 50lbs no matter how long it takes (I'd prefer it to be quicker, of course). 

I am currently looking for a registered dietician to try and shake things up a little and am doing some blood work with my doctor to see if anything medical might be preventing me from reaching my goal. This weather and my chronic pain condition are definitely factors that get in the way of intense exercise (I seriously wish I could work out like a crazy woman) but I am determined to start walking regularly and may even join my Mom for an aquafit class or two. It may take some time, but I will reach my 50 lbs goal, and add another shot to my 'weight loss face chart'. 

Thanks for all of your support through the last year and a half. I'd love any of your constructive feedback (low impact exercise for chronic pain, diet ideas, recipes, etc.), and if you are going through something similar would love for you to reach out so we can support each other in reaching our ultimate goals. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

AMA's Red Carpet 2013: My Top 5 Best Dressed Picks



Hey Everyone, 

After watching last night's 41st annual American Music Awards, I've come to the conclusion that I am getting old and completely out of touch with the non-country music scene, as I can honestly say I didn't know who half of last night's musical performers were (Kendrick Lamar? Imagine Dragons? Never heard of them). 

Of course my favourite part of the award show, besides watching country hottie Luke Bryan perform his current hit single, was seeing what all of the big names in music chose to wear on the red carpet. To be honest, there weren't a lot of looks I absolutely loved. While most of the celebrities looked nice (a glam team and designer clothes will do that),  for the most part, I wasn't wowed by what what I saw. With that said, there were a few looks that really stood out to me, and so I wanted to share my top 5 best dressed picks from last night's American Music Awards show: 

Taylor Swift 

Hillary Scott 

Nicole Richie 

 Ciara

Jordin Sparks

Did you watch last night's American Music Awards? Who were your top picks for best dressed on the red carpet? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

Haul: IMATS, Sephora VIB Sale, Forever 21



Hey Everyone, 

I hope you all had an amazing weekend. My weekend was pretty  good with a jam packed Saturday including a trip to the mall (I bought a couple of winter hats), my first ever 3D movie (never again...I felt motion sick throughout the entire thing) and dinner at one of my favourite restaurants. Sunday, our city woke up to one big snowstorm with at least 2-3 feet of snow covering the roads, so I stayed inside all day baking granola and roasted chickpeas (I am not ready for Winter!). 

This weekend, I also managed to film a big haul showing you a number of items I picked up from the Sephora VIB Sale, IMATS Toronto and Forever 21. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know if you want to see a review on any of the items mentioned in the video. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Clinique's Gifts That Give Back: Happy Hearts Collection


Hey Everyone, 

The holidays are a time for giving, not only to our family and friends, put to those who are less fortunate, both within our own community and around the world. While I do love family traditions such as opening our stockings first thing Christmas morning, I can honestly say my favourite holiday tradition has become collecting/purchasing toys for the local 'Toys for Tots' charity toy drive. With the help of family and friends, we usually manage to donate two full cars worth of toys (seriously, they are packed to the brim) to children who might otherwise, not be able to open stockings and presents Christmas morning. 

As I get older, I can definitely see the importance of giving back during the holiday season, and was happy to find out that Clinique is doing just that with their new, limited-edition 'Gifts That Give Back: Happy Hearts' Collection. The Collection, which consists of a new take on Clinique's infamous 'Happy Heart' perfume, as well as a bold nail polish from the brand's new sensitive enamel line, donates a portion of the proceeds from each sale of the two items to The Happy Hearts Fund. 

Founded by supermodel Petra Nemcova in 2006, The Happy Hearts Fund works to bring hope to children around the world by building and re-building schools in areas that have been affected by natural disasters. 


"Happy Hearts is active in seven countries and has built or rebuilt over 80 schools and kindergartens. Since its inception, the Fund's programs have benefited more than 45,000 children and 450,000 community members."

Below is a closer look at Clinique's Happy Hearts Collection: 

Clinique Happy Hearts Fragrance $42/30ml ($10 of each sale goes to The Happy Hearts Fund):
A blend of sweet (mandarin, cassis, cucumber), floral (water lily, rose, geranium) and musky (sandalwood) notes, Clinique's 'Happy Heart' perfume makes for the perfect everyday light, very feminine scent. With bright pink and orange heart decals, this limited edition bottle is fun and playful making it the perfect choice for a charity aimed at helping children. 

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel For Sensitive Skin in 'Heart' $14/9ml ($3 from the sale of each polish goes to The Happy Hearts Fund): 
A bright coral-red cream, this insanely well pigmented polish applies opaquely and evenly in just one coat (amazing!). Formulated to minimize skin sensitivities, 'Heart' dries quickly leaving nails with a glossy, long-wearing finish. With a super cute heart decal, this limited edition bottle speaks to the youthful nature of The Happy Heart Fund. 

One coat of Clinique's 'Heart' nail polish. 

With the recent devastation in The Philippines, I think Clinique's 'Gifts That Give Back: Happy Hearts Collection' is so poignant, and in my opinion, the perfect way to gift someone special in your life, while at the same time, giving to those who need our help the most this holiday season. 

The new Clinique limited edition 'Gifts That Give Back: Happy Hearts Collection' can be found at Clinique counters nationwide as well as online at Clinique.com 

What do you think of Clinique's new 'Gifts That Give Back: Happy Hearts' Collection? Will you be gifting the Happy Heart perfume or Heart nail polish to anyone on your holiday list this year? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

*The products in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own. I think this is an amazing initiative and a great gift idea for any beauty lover*

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Gift Idea: Soap & Glory 'Beginner's Luxe' Gift Set



Hey Everyone, 

Last Christmas, I received my first ever Soap & Glory product ('Flake Away Body Polish'), and immediately fell in love in love with the brand. From super moisturizing Shea-infused body butters to luxurious shower gels, Soap & Glory does skincare right with their high quality, amazingly scented products (seriously, this brand needs to start a candle line). 

This holiday season, Soap & Glory wants to help you discover the best they have to offer with several holiday sets including the 'Beginner's Luxe' set featuring 'Clean On Me' shower gel, 'The Righteous Butter' body butter, 'The Scrub of Your Life' body scrub, a pair of exfoliating gloves and a super cute pink and red Union Jack wash bag. 

Below is more information on the three body care products included in the 'Beginner's Luxe' set: 




Soap & Glory 'Clean On Me' Creamy Moisture Shower Gel (2.5 fl. oz): 
Part of the Soap & Glory pink scented line, this incredibly creamy shower gel combines fresh bergamot, rose, peach, jasmine and strawberry for a light, clean, slightly warm scent that lingers on the body all day long.  Combining natural mandarin peel with a built in body lotion, 'Clean On Me' lathers lightly (don't expect a lot of bubbles), leaving skin feeling super smooth and hydrated. This is definitely the creamiest shower gel I have ever tried, making it a daily favourite. 


 Soap & Glory 'The Righteous Butter' Body Butter (10.1 fl. oz): 
Thick, creamy and smelling like heaven (okay, I don't technically know what heaven smells like, but I'd like to think it smells of Soap & Glory's pink scent), this insanely moisturizing Shea and aloe infused body butter melts into skin leaving it velvety soft and smooth.  Unlike a lot of the other body butters I have tried, 'The Righteous Butter' is not at all greasy meaning you can apply it and go without having to worry about clothes getting stained. 


Soap & Glory 'The Scrub of Your Life' Smoothing Body Buffer (1.69 fl. oz): 
A brand new product for me (I've only used the 'Flake Away' exfoliator), 'The Scrub of Your Life' combines the moisturizing properties of a great shower gel with the gentle exfoliation of a good body scrub to slough off dry patches, leaving skin radiant and glowing. While I love my 'Flake Away' body scrub, 'The Scrub of Your Life' is much less messy, making it a great option for travel. 


With three of Soap & Glory's best selling products, this set is a great way for Soap & Glory newbies to try out the line. Personally, I can't imagine someone not liking this set (have I mentioned how much I love the brand?) and, therefore, think it would make the perfect gift for pretty much anyone on your holiday list (co-workers, your child's teacher, friends, family, etc.). I, for one, will be hoping to see more Soap & Glory products in my Christmas stocking this year.

The new Soap & Glory 'Beginner's Luxe' set retails for $28 CND and can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart stores nationwide. 

Will you be gifting the 'Beginner's Luxe' set to anyone on your holiday list this year? Have you tried anything from the Soap & Glory line? Anything from the line you think I need to try/review? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

**This product was sent to me for review purposes. As always all opinions are my own. I really do love Soap and Glory!**

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Smashbox Wonder Vision Eye Set in 'Cosmic' (Review+Swatches)


Hey Everyone, 

This holiday season Smashbox Cosmetics offers some wonder-ful beauty goodies with their new Holiday 2013 'Wonder Vision' collection (see that little pun I put in there...). Included in the collection are three beautifully packaged 'Wonder Vision Eye Sets' which include a full sized 'Limitless Eyeliner', a full sized 'Full Exposure Mascara' and a kaleidoscope-esque eyeshadow palette offering six beautifully pigmented matte to metallic eyeshadows.

The new Wonder Vision Eye Sets come in three shades including 'Flash' (a mix of pinks and pewters), 'Sparks' (a mix of rose golds and bronzes), and the set I will be reviewing today, 'Cosmic' (a mix of blues, silvers and browns). Below is more information on everything contained in the Cosmic Wonder Vision Eye Set. 



Smashbox Eyeshadow Palette in 'Cosmic': 
With six cool-toned blue, brown, silver and grey eyeshadows, the 'Cosmic' eyeshadow palette allows for a nice variety of icy winter looks. Extremely well pigmented, all six shadows are buttery soft and silky smooth (seriously these are some of the silkiest shadows I have ever tried), making them incredibly easy to blend. While most of the shadows do contain some form of glitter or shimmer, they surprisingly don't have a lot of fallout, adding a touch of sparkle to eye without the usual glittery mess. Below is a closer look at all of the shades contained in the Cosmic palette. 

Silver: A shimmering, slightly frosted silver with taupe undertones, this shade looks amazing worn all over the lid, as well as in the inner corner of the eyes for a brightening effect. 

Luster: A matte, cool-toned brown with strong grey undertones and very finely milled silver shimmer, this shade works as the perfect crease colour for a dramatic smoky eyed look, giving the lids definition and shape. 

Aqua: A shimmering, slightly metallic turquoise blue with finely milled iridescent light blue shimmer, this shade is somewhat unexpected for winter (I imagine this as more of a summer colour), but adds a beautiful pop of colour on the lower lash line. 

Smoke: A deep, matte charcoal-grey with finely milled iridescent blue, pink and silver shimmer, this shade works nicely as both an 'outer-v' and eyeliner colour adding a touch of smokiness to any look. 

Sapphire: A deep matte navy blue (it looks almost black when swatched) with iridescent turquoise shimmer, this shade makes a nice alternative to classic black, adding a touch of colour to any smoky eye (this also acts as a great liner). 

Sandstone: A creamy, matte, light beige, this shades makes a nice soft all-over base as well as a great highlight/blending out shade under the brow bone. 


Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner in 'Onyx': 
While I am not usually a fan of pencil eyeliners (I prefer a liquid liner), I have to say I am completely impressed by Smashbox's Limitless Eye Liner in 'Onyx'. A deep, jet black, this super creamy liner applies smoothly along the lash line without tugging at my annoyingly crepey lids. Long-wearing, this waterproof liner sets almost instantly remaining smudge-proof throughout the day, both on the upper and lower lash and water lines. 


Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara in 'Jet Black': 
With a large, long brush (this baby is big!), Smashbox's 'Full Exposure Mascara' gets to the root of lashes making them appear both longer and much fuller (something my short stubby lashes crave). Like all mascaras, this one needs a couple of weeks to breathe and mature (totally just stole my Dad's wine lingo), but so far, so good. 


Silver, Luster, Aqua, Smoke, Sapphire, Sand Stone

Overall, I have to say I am more than impressed by this set. Having not used many Smashbox products in the past (I'm not sure I've ever tried a Smashbox eyeshadow), I wasn't sure what to expect, but the quality of all three products contained in this set is top notch. If all of Smashbox's products are this great, I want more...lots more! 

With a super creamy full sized eyeliner, a full sized mascara and six beautifully pigmented, eyeshadows, this set is a steal at $38CND (especially considering the mascara and liner alone would cost $44CND). With three shades to choose from (I need to get my hands on Sparks!), I think the Smashbox Wonder Vision Eye Sets would make a great holiday gift for any makeup loving friend on your gift list. 

What do you think of Smashbox's new 'Wonder Vision Eye Set in 'Cosmic'? Will you be gifting it or any of the other 'Wonder Vision Eye Sets' to anyone on your holiday list? What are your all time favourite Smashbox products? Anything you recommend I pick up? Be sure to let me know in the comment section down below. 


**Products in this post were sent to me for review consideration. As always, all opinions are my own**

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

LUSH Holiday 2013 Bath Bombs, Bath Melts and Soaps.



Hey Everyone, 

Besides the super cheesy, made for TV Christmas movies (seriously, I am obsessed with them!), one of my favourite things about the holiday season are the festive themed goodies LUSH releases each year. From the crackling fire-like noises of the 'Cinders' bath bomb, to the comforting and relaxing scent of the 'Christmas Eve' bubble bar, there is nothing like taking a hot bath on a cold winter's night with LUSH's super cute , incredibly moisturizing and deliciously scented bath treats. I was recently sent the following six new (well new to me) Holiday 2013 products and couldn't wait to share:


LUSH 'Golden Wonder' Bath Bomb ($6.95/220g): 
With sweet orange, lime and cognac oils, this citrus scented bath bomb leaves skin feeling silky smooth and soft. One of the more exciting LUSH bath bombs, this golden present shaped treat bursts open to reveal a very colourful (think yellows, pinks, and blues) and sparkly surprise (shh....there may or may not be glittery stars). 


LUSH 'Shoot For The Stars' Bath Bomb ($6.95/200g): 
Brand new for Holiday 2013, this honey and toffee scented bath bomb (think 'Honey I Washed the Kids' soap), smells absolutely divine. Dropped in the tub, this little guy spins out of control shooting off shimmering and sparkling swirls of pink, purple and silver. Adults can have fun baths too!


LUSH 'Lord of Misrule' Bath Bomb ($5.95/200g): 
With a blend of patchouli, black pepper oil and vanilla Absolut, this spicy herbal scented bath bomb invigorates the senses, giving you energy on those days you really don't want to get out of bed. Packed with popping candies, 'Lord of Misrule' crackles and fizzes while slowly melting to reveal colourful swirls of pink and green. 


LUSH 'Melting Snowman' Bath Melt ($5.95/60g): 
Packed with cocoa butter, shea butter and almond oil, this super cute snowman (is it just me or does this look like a marshmallow and chocolate holiday treat you might want to eat...) melts slowly while moisturizing and softening skin. Of course, the best part about this little guy is his scent, which combines cinnamon and clove oils with sweet orange and lime for the perfect spicy, holiday fragrance. 


LUSH 'Sandy Santa' Exfoliating Bar ($9.95/130g): 
Packed with sugar and sand to help exfoliate and slough off dry winter skin, this orange, rose and sandalwood scented Santa now contains coconut oil, murumura and shea butter, which leave skin feeling super soft and nicely moisturized. Thanks Santa! 


LUSH 'Snowcake' Soap ($7.95/100g): 
A classic holiday favourite (how have I not tried this before?!), this incredibly creamy (seriously this feels like buttah!), almond and marzipan scented soap uses rapeseed oil, coconut oil and rose resinoid  to soothe, protect and moisturize dry winter skin. I will be stocking up on this for the rest of the year. 

While I am a big fan of their year round products (I am an Ocean Salt addict), there is nothing LUSH does better than the holidays. All of their deliciously scented, super moisturizing products make the cutest gifts/stocking stuffers for anyone on your list (women, men, children), and you can be sure I will be gifting (and hopefully receiving) some LUSH goodies this Christmas. 

What is your all time favourite LUSH holiday product? Any you think I need to check out? Which LUSH holiday item are you most eager to try? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

Monday, November 18, 2013