January Favourites

I have been waiting all month (okay, all of January, since it now February) to post my favourites of the month. I loved talking about my 2014 favourites, so I really wanted to make monthly favourites a thing this year. When it came down to it, there were actually only a few things that I have been loving that I haven’t talked about yet. I want to keep each monthly favourites as fresh as possible so I’m not going on about the same stuff each month, so these posts will likely be pretty simple for the most part. But simple is good. That means less typing for my little fingers.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Fresh & Foamy Body Wash. A few months ago, while watching Essie Button’s YouTube channel, I was reminded about this awesome brand. I used to use their products years ago, but for some reason stopped. As soon as I picked these up, I was reminded why I used to love them so. First, the smell. This one in particular smells of lime, and all things sweet. It reminds me a lot of a lime sherbet that I used to have one I was younger (I think it was the Safeway Select brand). This body wash is definitely fresh and foamy. Because it’s not a gel, I find it to be more moisturizing on my skin and it lathers into more a creamy texture rather than just bubbles. So good.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream. Same scent as the body wash, which I love (I love layering my scent when I can). This has is more of a whipped body butter, which is just lovely first thing in the morning. I don’t think the scent lasts all day, but for the first few hours, it’s perfect.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish. I mentioned a bit ago that one of my goals for 2015 is to wear more lipstick. I have been keeping up on that goal, wearing lipstick at least three times a week, sometimes everyday, depending on my mood that day. Because I have been layering on the lipstick and gloss each day, my lips have been desperate for some exfoliation, and this stuff does the trick. First, it smells delightful. It does a great job of getting rid of the dead skin, but it doesn’t leave my lips raw. Instead my lips are left feeling soft and ready for more.

Essie Penny Talk. I passed by this one a few months ago, but this last month, I picked it up because I really didn’t have anything like it in my collection (quite unusual). It’s a really pretty colour, slightly duo-chrome, either copper or rose gold looking depending on the light. Perfect for when you want a polish that will stand out but is a change of pace from the usual reds or berries worn around this time of year.

Prada Candy Perfume Rollerball. I have never been a perfume girl, but I decided last year that I wanted to start using perfume. After smelling what felt like a million different ones, I found some that I really love. One of them was this guy. I bought the rollerball in order to save some money, and felt like it was better as a stepping stone into the world of perfume. If you love sweet smelling things, which I do, this is the perfect scent. It really does smell like candy.

White Collar (not pictured). The first week of January was my last week before I started back at school. I was getting over a really bad cold/cough, so I spent the entire week hanging out at home watching White Collar. And yes, I finished all six seasons in one week. What can I say? Neal Caffrey is a charmer. If you need a new show, I highly recommend this one. But be prepared to become obsessed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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What’s in My Makeup Bag?

I find that day to day, even week to week, I am a creature of habit when it comes to my makeup. Of course my base is always the same, but even though I have a lot of eyeshadows and mascaras to play around with, I generally find something that works one day and continue it for a while until I feel the need to switch it up. So, starting today, I thought I would start sharing what I’ve been using on the (almost) daily.

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Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara (001 Blackest Black). I purchased this a month or two ago, when my lashes were growing back from falling out due to allergies and the wrong makeup remover (this was before I discovered Boscia’s Makeup Breakup Cleansing Oil), and wanted a simple mascara that would just give me good lashes. And that it does. I’m not sure if I can give this credit for the full lashes I have had all month (seriously amazing for me), but I can give it credit for the effect is has on giving my lashes the length and volume that I crave.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer (Brightener). Because everyone (and I mean everyone) in the beauty blogger world raves about this guy, I picked one up a few months ago and have been using it ever since. It’s not too thick that it gets cakey, but it’s not too thin that it doesn’t cover anything. I only use this for under the eyes, as the pinky shade isn’t ideal for covering blemishes. It also is good as a highlighter, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Urban Decay Basics Palette. This tiny little palette packs quite the punch. It is deceivingly simple, which is what I love about it. If I didn’t have the desire to own everything, I could be quite happy with this one. Because of the spectrum of colour, though neutral, this can easily go from a barely there to a dark smokey eye in a pinch. Simply delightful.

Benefit Cosmetics Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks A Latte. A think I bought this last year, maybe. But after I bought it, I thought it was too dark, and didn’t use it. Until this month. I wasted a year of not using it, and I’m pretty sad about that. Described as a “golden brown”, this is just perfect. Of course the formulation is beautiful. Great colour payoff, a hint of shimmer, and little to no fall out — a dream come true.

Flower Beauty Raise Some ‘Brows Defining Brow Pencil in Dark Brown. This month I ventured into filling in my brows for the first time in my life. Before investing in a more high end product, I thought I would dip my toe in the pool of eyebrow pencils with a drugstore brand first (does anyone else do that?). I especially like using this when I am wearing a bold lip, because I feel like it evens out the colours on my face, if that makes sense. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the ‘brow department though, so I am looking forward to testing out some new products as the year goes on.

Urban Decay All-Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. I love using this as my last step of my daily makeup routine. Not only does it feel nice on the skin, it helps to smooth things out on days when I’m a little powder happy, or if the powder I’m using is not setting properly. I also feel like this guy is going to last me forever. I’ve used it nearly everyday for the last two months and I’m pretty sure it’s not even half empty. Great for only spending $15!

Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. When I ran out of my original Urban Decay eyeshadow primer (I do still have the champagne coloured one, Sin), I thought I’d check out what Nars had to offer, since the lovely Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup swears by it, and I certainly trust her opinion. So far, I have really liked it. I’m not sure if I like it more than Urban Decay, but I’m pretty sure I don’t like it less. It definitely gives my eyeshadow a good base, aiding in blend-ability, and it definitely keeps it from disappearing or creasing, which is all we really want, isn’t it?

Rimmel Stay Matte Long-Lasting Pressed Powder. I had to go to three different stores to find this one (I wanted Translucent, and everyone seemed to be out of it every time I checked), but it was so worth the wait. The powder I was using before I picked this one up wasn’t really doing it for me, so I decided to get this one after hearing great reviews from many different sources. For a product that is under $10, this does wonders. It doesn’t keep my face shine free for an entire day, but it doesn’t set my base makeup beautifully without a hint of being cakey, so that is definitely worth the very small price tag. It is also great on reapplication, which is also wonderful to see.

Stay tuned for my next post when I discuss my January Favourites. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

January Playlist

As with many things, my taste in music seems to change almost daily. Many days I find myself craving certain tunes, or am unable to stop listening to ones I’ve newly discovered. Starting with today’s post, I thought I would share the songs I’ve been loving each month, partly to share some goodness, but mostly just because I love lists.

IMGP64971. “Cool Kids”, Echosmith

2. “The Sound of Silence”, Simon & Garfunkel

3. “Animal”, Miike Snow

4. “Halls”, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

5. “Fair Verona”, Dan Mangan

6. “Night Fever”, The Bee Gees

7. “You’re the One that I Want”, Lo-Fang

8. “Black Sun”, Death Cab for Cutie

9. “Money On My Mind”, Sam Smith

10. “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)”, Taking Back Sunday

What songs have been your most played list this week? What songs can you not go a day without?

2014 Favourites: The Rest

This week’s favourites has been full of beauty products, so I thought I today I would talk about everything else that I loved last year, from tv to music to books to movies.

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1. Books

I had a hard time narrowing it down to one book, so because I make  the rules, I picked my top four.

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

I already dedicated a post to this one. Check it out here. But I have to say again how great this book is. Laughing out loud on almost every page.

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The follow up to the hit from 2013, The Rosie Project. I love these books. If you want a charming, funny, heart warming read, try this series.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

I discovered this great author last year, and this was my favourite. Half modern, and half historical fiction, I really enjoyed the basis of this novel. Really good for those who enjoy chick lit with a bit more substance.

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

I started reading this series when I was fifteen or sixteen (so ten years ago — yikes), and have loved every instalment. I was disappointed with Kinsella’s last novel (Wedding Night), so I was afraid that this, the most recent of the Shopaholic series wouldn’t be up to par of the rest. Thankfully, I was wrong, and it was just as good, if not better than the rest.

2. Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy

Okay, time for a little story. The first time I went to see this movie, it was about a month after it came out, so I didn’t expect the theatre to be too full. Due to a few issues like traffic and parking, we didn’t get into the theatre until the trailers were starting. So, of course it was a packed theatre, and we had to sit in the front — which I hate. I was feeling really sick during the trailers, because I have a hard time focusing on the screen that close, and it being 3D didn’t help. I told Christopher that I didn’t think I could stay for the movie, but I would wait a little bit to see. And then it started. And I was hooked. As soon as the second scene, with Peter in the caving, dancing to “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone, I knew I had to stay for the whole movie. I was not disappointed. This was certainly by far the best movie from 2014. Amazing writing, AMAZING soundtrack (which I listen to basically weekly). If you haven’t seen it, come out from your cave and watch it!

3. Music

Taylor Swift 1989

There were a lot of albums that I could pick for my favourite of 2014, but this one takes the cake. I basically listen to this every day. Perfect for just hanging out, the bus, cleaning, and most importantly, solo dance parties.

4. TV Show (not pictured)

Suits

Can we just talk for a minute how awesome this show is? And also how we came to the party so late? I think we watched the first four seasons (at least the first half of season four) in a matter of weeks. I love this show for so many reasons, but one of the biggest is that Christopher and I watch it together. It’s very rare for Christopher and I to watch the same TV shows, so the fact that we both enjoy this one, and won’t watch it without each other says a lot. Can’t wait for January 28th!

2014 Favourites: Hair & Body

You’ve probably noticed from my last few posts that not only do I use a lot of products, but I am brand loyal. Once I find a brand I like, I will generally try most of their products and stick to it (I will branch out for things like lipstick and nail polish though). My hair and body products are no different.

In 2014, I completely changed my hair routine. I decided to invest more on my haircare instead of trying so many different products, which is what I normally do. And I found some things that have quickly turned into holy grail products.

IMGP6453 copy1. Bumble and bumble Creme de Coco Masque

I use this once a week, usually on the weekend after using my clarifying shampoo. First off, nothing beats the smell of this line. Not only does it feel amazing after I rinse it out — seriously cashmere for your hair — I definitely notice a difference when I style my hair.

2. Bumble and bumble Creme de Coco Shampoo

Usually, shampoo is my least favourite. I use it because clean hair is something I enjoy, but I a not a fan of almost all the shampoos. The only shampoos that I have ever enjoyed come from Bumble and bumble. Once again, the smell is amazing. It lathers well, but not too much that you feel like you’re giving your hair a bubble bath. But the biggest pro? It doesn’t tangle my hair!

3. Bumble and bumble Creme de Coco Conditioner

This stuff is almost as good as the masque! This conditioner gives my dry hair a lot of moisture, makes it super soft, but doesn’t weigh it down. Win-win-win.

When it comes to actually styling my hair, it’s basically the same everyday, and these are the products I use almost daily.

IMGP6462 copy1. Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer

Long name, amazing results. Seriously, no joke. I spritzed this on my hair after I wash it, before I comb it out. This is the perfect product to detangle, and additionally protects my hair from all of the heat styling that I do. (You can also use this on dry hair as a heat protectant, which I haven’t done yet, but probably will at some point).

2. Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray

Next product in is the guy. Just a few quick spritz give my fine hair some oomph once I blow dry. I’ve been using this two or three times a week for almost four months, and I still have more than half a bottle left. I love how long these products last!

3. Bumble and bumble Grooming Creme 

The perfect frizz tamer. It smoothes out everything and just makes styling my hair so easy. And just like the rest of these, it doesn’t weigh my hair down (when used properly), and just makes it smooth.

4. drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

What? It’s not a bumble and bumble product? I know, shocker. This is the dry shampoo that I have used, which also gives my hair extra life and body on second or third day. Seriously, third day! Before finding this stuff, I was wasn’t able to go three days without washing my hair because it gets so oily and flat. But with stuff? I could probably go four or five. The only downside is that you can actually feel the product in your hair and it isn’t clear, so you really have to work the product in. But, if you’re okay with that, I would definitely recommend this one.

5. Bumble and bumble Surf Spray

I will start with a disclaimer that this product is not for everyone. It’s one of those that people either love or hate. I am on the love team for this one. When my hair is longer, I use Bb’s Curl Conscious Defining Creme, but with my hair shorter, I have more wave than curl and I found that it was weighing my hair down. I decided to try the Surf Spray on a whim and I’m so glad I did! It works really well with my natural hair texture, and gives it a good lived in look. If you want more of a smooth lived in look, this works great with the Grooming Creme.

Now after that ad for Bumble and bumble, let’s talk body products! In 2014, I discovered a favourite and rediscovered some too. I really simplified my routine and got rid of a lot of scents and products that I wasn’t really enjoying anymore. These are the ones that are now staples and I can’t live without.

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1 & 2. The Body Shop Body Butter (Coconut and Satsuma)

In the summer, I rediscovered these amazing body butters. I used to use these when I was in high school, but stopped for some reason, I’m not really sure why. But, after being pulled into one of the stores by the amazing smell, I am a body butter believer once again. I love how moisturizing these are, and that they smell amazing without smelling fake, which I find a lot of perfumed body moisturizers can be.

3. Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

I discovered this quite late in the year (like November) but had to include it in this list because it is that good. At the end of October/November my hands were so dry. Painfully dry. I think I had a mild allergic reaction to a soap I was using, and the dryness of the cold outside was not helping. I decided to try this out after hearing good things and trying a sample at the store. At first I didn’t think it would work, because it has a bit of a minty scent, and I usually avoid perfumes when my sensitive hands are that distressed. But, it works. Hours after I used it, my hands had already improved so much. All of November and December, I used it twice a day (once in the morning, and in the evening before bed), and it acted like a barrier to all the things that normally ruin my hands in the winter. I will always have this in my collection.

4. The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub

I love this scrub because it exfoliates really well but still makes my skin feel soft after using it. I use it two or three times a week and I really can tell a difference. Plus, it smells delightful.

2014 Favourites: Nails & Lips

I suppose I could have included today’s post with yesterday’s, but with the amount of favourites I had in these two categories last year, I felt they deserved their own. I have always been obsessed with nail polish, and 2014 was no exception. I probably doubled my collection over the last year and found great new colours and formulas.

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1. Essie Lilacism

I probably wore this shade at least five times last year. That might not seem like a lot, but if you’ve seen my collection, that you would know that that is in fact a high compliment. This is the perfect purple shade with a slight grey tone to it, so it can be used in the spring and fall, even summer and winter. Also great if you’re shy about bright colours but want something fresh.

2. Formula X Thrilling

The perfect nude. That is all.

3. Formula X Farenheit

At last I have discovered my perfect Christmas red! The formula of this is amazing. It lasted more than a week. And the colour! Beautiful. It’s deep without being too dark, and bright without skipping the richness.

4. Essie Absolutely Shore

This was my one of my favourite summer shades, especially for my toes. It has an almost minty green look, but much lighter which I feel makes it so fresh. Perfect for your summer pedicure.

5. Essie Mint Candy Apple

Ah, my other favourite summer. This bright shade just makes my heart happy. Waiting patiently (or impatiently) for spring to start wearing this beauty again!

6. Essie Cute as a Button

The perfect shade when you need a pick-me-up. This is one of those shades that I can’t stop looking at when I put it on. Smiles for days with this one.

Now, for lips. In the last few months of the year, I really got back into wearing lip stick and coloured glosses. As I said yesterday, I’ve become more confident in wearing makeup in the last year, and one of the biggest parts of that is lip colour. I don’t wear lip stick or gloss every day, but when I do, these are the ones I reach for.

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1. NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Dolly Pink

The perfect bright pink lip. Love, love, love.

2. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in  Rose Shimmer (01)

My new favourite gloss. How did I live without this? I’m not sure. Because my natural lip colour is quite pigmented, the light pink colour of this gloss doesn’t really show up on me. But, this is the perfect gloss for days when you want something extra on your lips, but don’t want to try too hard. I may have to pick up a few more colours.

3. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in Mango

I use this (along with the original or cranberry) on no makeup days, before going to sleep, or when I need a shot of hydration to my lips. It sinks in, but also adds a nice bit of shine. Perfect for everyday.

4. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie

Depending on your skin tone, and lighting, this one can be either a berry or a reddish pink (or pinky red, I suppose). Either way, this is a great one. And the formulation is great. It’s creamy, and nourishing the lips. Just all around a lovely pick.

5. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Berry Couture

The perfect shade for venturing into the berries of lip colour. This one is a lighter (but not sheer) wash of colour that is definitely build-able, which I love. I was super nervous about wearing berry hues, but this one gave me the bug and now I can’t wait to experiment with more berry tones next fall.

6. EOS Lip Balm in Pomegranate Raspberry

When I was working, I used this every day. It smells delicious, and it works really well at keeping chapped lips at bay — perfect when I was working in a dry bookstore.

7. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment

I am obsessed with this company (though not with the price tag). Everything I have tried is just amazing and this balm is as amazing as the rest. So hydrating, so smooth, so perfect. This is especially great after using the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish.

8. Revlon ColorStay Lipliner in Red and Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout

This is seriously the perfect pairing for a Christmas red lip. Normally, I go for a brighter red lip, but I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and go for a deeper shade. So glad I tried this one. They’ll see you a mile away with this one (in the best way possible).

9. Covergirl Lipperfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Berry Twist

Perfect for just a hint of colour. This is a great sheer balm that can definitely be built up into a deeper colour.

There you have it! I suppose I could have narrowed it all down a bit, but it’s so hard to choose when I found so many good nail and lip products in 2014! What were your favourites?

2014 Favourites: Makeup

Favourites week continues with the next instalment: makeup. In 2014 I feel like I really figured out a lot in regards to makeup — from being more confident wearing it, and not wearing it. I learned what I like, what I don’t like, and what I can and can’t live without. Here’s what made the short list:

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1. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer 

For years I have been searching fora good foundation or tinted moisturizer. After many failed attempts, I finally found one that works. This stuff is so great. I love it because a) it evens out my skin tone and b) my skin still looks like my skin. I am not a lover of full coverage foundations that hide everything because it’s just too much work for me to keep up, and also I’m not very good at putting on makeup, so stuff like that honestly scares me a little bit (am I the only one?). Back to the product. This stuff is lovely. My skin feels so soft after applying it and it doesn’t have that weird smell that some foundations or tinted moisturizers can have.

2. Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes

This. Stuff. Is. The. Best. Seriously, a life changer. Honestly, you could get away with owing just one (the original is probably the most versatile of the three), but I couldn’t resist getting all three. I use these every day that I wear makeup. There’s no going back. If you are looking for some really good quality eyeshadow, Urban Decay is where it’s at.

3. Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer

I tried a few different primers in 2014, but this was the one that worked the best overall. If you need a little bit of extra hydration, this is great, but it doesn’t feel like an extra layer of moisture, if that makes sense. This primer definitely helps to keep my makeup stay on, and look as smooth as possible.

4. Marc Jacobs O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara

My makeup drawer in our bathroom is full of at least five mascaras right now. I kept buying new ones and being disappointed with almost every one. Then I got this guy as one of my beauty rewards from Sephora and I have not stopped using it since. The brush is a fibre one, which Iprefer and the formula isn’t very wet, so it doesn’t get all over your lids. Though I’m not a fan of the price tag for the full size, I can definitely see that it is worth it.

5. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

I’m not sure how I lived without this magic stuff! Using this primer, there is much better colour payoff from my shadows,and even by the end of the day, there is no creasing. Before using this primer, my eyeshadow would be creased and barely visible within a few hours. No more!

What great products did you discover last year? Anything you can’t live without?