You have to be odd
to be number one.
Dr. Seuss

Sunday, December 22, 2013

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer


I've found it: my holy grail, never going back to anything else concealer. What is it, you ask? The one, the only: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Quite a splashy intro there, but I think this product really deserves it. I've tried so many concealers in the past few years, and can honestly say that I have never come across one nearly as amazing as this one. This NARS pick surpasses anything I've ever tried by a million miles.

This concealer just ticks all the boxes:
  • It has a great shade range, including options for yellow, neutral, and pink undertones 
  • It is incredibly high coverage and buildable 
  • It is super creamy and blendable, and just melts into the skin so beautifully
  • It does not oxidize throughout the day as many other concealers do - this was one of my main problems with the Collection concealer that I noticed more towards the end of the tube
  • It doesn't cling onto and accentuate dry skin patches
  • And most importantly - this concealer is very natural-looking and NOT cakey at all
This concealer is just so easy to use and makes covering those imperfections so effortless. I just dot the doe-foot applicator on any redness, acne scars, or blemishes and they disappear into thin air. (I'm telling you NARS has got a hold of some secret magic formula.) I highly highly recommend this concealer to anyone who feels like theirs is a just a little blah. Word of warning: You will be blown away, and you will not want to use anything else ever again. ;)

PS. Who knew Aritzia shopping bags would make such a cute backdrop for product photos?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas 2013 Gift Guide

As always with me, this post is a little late seeing as Christmas is nine days away. Where has the time gone? Where has 2013 gone?! Whilst I pondered the thought of days and years going by way too fast, I curated my top five Christmas gift picks for the ladies and gents in your life. This one is for all you last minute Christmas shoppers.

Christmas 2013 Gift Guide

For Her

  1. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector $20 | Makeup can be tough to shop for unless you know the person's exact preferences; but this lip product is sure to please all the girls on your Christmas list. It's comfortable and hydrating on, and truly does make your lips look perfected! This product comes in six lovely shades, all in natural colours, to suit every skin tone.
  2. Wilfred Coquette Scarf $70 | The Coquette blanket scarves from Aritzia are my current obsession, I tell you. You can't not love these. They instantly make an outfit when worn as a proper scarf; but if you're like me and are pretty much always feeling chilly, this will double as a comfy, cozy blanket wrap. And trust me, it is so warm. I think the plaid print is a very festive one and therefore makes a great gift, but there are also tons of other prints to choose from.
  3. Wilfred Free Marin Cardigan $145 | The epitome of comfort is what this cardigan is. Also from Aritzia, the Marin cardigan is made of alpaca wool which means it is oh so snuggly and soft, and not itchy at all like wool can be. I like to tell people it feels like you're on a cloud. If you're looking for a really luxe present or buying for someone you want to spend a bit more money on, this is a lovely pick! 
  4. NUDE Essential Skin Radiance Kit $63 | I was absolutely aghast when I saw the price of this kit, considering NUDE is such a luxury, amazing quality skincare brand. I've been dying to give their Pro-Genius Treatment Oil a try, but with a full-size bottle at a whopping $98 it just wasn't going to happen any time soon. This kit comes a miniature Pro-Genius Treatment Oil (0.5 oz), a full-sized Perfect Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes, and a small 0.52 oz tub of their Cellular Renewal Moisturizer. Such an amazing deal and the perfect gift for the skincare lover.
  5. Stella McCartney Stella Rollerball $23 | Fragrances always make a great gift because they're often too expensive for people to justify buying so many bottles for themselves. A dinky little rollerball is less expensive, but also functional because it's travel friendly. I'm absolutely loving the rose-scented Stella and think it's a lovely winter fragrance. 


For Him

  1. Fossil Townsman Leather Strap Watch $125 | Another year, another Fossil watch on the gift guide. Fossil is one of my favourite brands, and in my opinion, they do some of the best affordable watches. I really like this Townsman model because it's just very classic and no fuss but still sophisticated.
  2. Things Come Apart Book $19.75 (on chapters.indigo.ca) | I actually saw this book on Essiebutton's gift guide and thought it was such a great gift idea for all the geeky people in your life. This coffee table book is stunning, with every page displaying the ins and outs of normal, everyday things like fire extinguishers, Swiss Army knives, cameras, ...
  3. Moleskine Diary/Agenda $20 | You can't go wrong with a quality, black moleskine leather planner - and this one is great for guys and girls. Agendas are such an essential for anyone with a busy lifestyle because they keep you organized. Anyone who can't live without an agenda or planner would be absolutely thrilled to receive this.
  4. TGT Wallet $38 | TGT wallets, born out of a Kickstarter project, is one of the most interesting and innovative things I've seen in a while. The idea of a slim and compact, but still nice-looking leather wallet is something that I know appeals to a lot of men who don't necessarily carry points cards to about a hundred different clothes and makeup shops. ;)
  5. The Body Shop White Musk For Men EDT $28 | An affordable but amazing-smelling fragrance for men is the White Musk one by The Body Shop. I love this one because it's very soft and pleasant but still masculine, and it's just something different from very strong manly scents.


Those are all my picks this year. I hope you find something for all your loved ones, and I hope you're all having the loveliest holiday season!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Autumn Edit

As always, my seasonal edit is just a tad late.... Whoops. We're more than halfway through autumn now, but I've just been soooo in love with my autumnal makeup selection; it would be criminal of me not to share my autumn favourites with you all. My makeup mantra for this season has been very clean, natural, cool, glowy skin injected with burgundy and bronze where appropriate. Let's have a chat about my top picks this autumn.


FACE: My choice base this fall has been the perfect and gorgeous Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. I couldn't stop singing its praises in my last blog post, so if you want a full review be sure to check that out. What I love about this product is that you can dust it on everyday after you've done all your makeup and it just creates such a beautiful, subtle lit-from-within look to the skin. For those of you who get that dull, lackluster skin around this time of year, I highly recommend trying this product out because it is seriously amazing. A miracle worker. 

LIPS: To me, fall is all about taking the colour palette a bit darker and richer, and bringing out those gorgeous berry tones. For an everyday, wear-with-anything lipstick this season, MAC Syrup in the Lustre finish is my top pick. It's the most gorgeous, sheeny plum shade, and the type of lipstick you can whack on mirror-less. So effortless and so forgiving; what's not to love? Of course I had to put a vampy lip offering in here as well. For days or nights when you're feeling a bit more adventurous: MAC Dark Side lipstick which comes in an Amplified finish. Dark lipsticks are one of the easiest ways (and one of my personal favourite ways) to get yourself looking presentable fast. When I'm pressed for time to do my makeup, I will quickly do my base, run some mascara through my lashes, and just slick on my favourite dark lipstick. All done in five, but it looks like it took you ages.

CHEEKS: If you're going to wear a dark lip, it is critical that you tone your cheek colour down. (Unless of course you are doing something editorial and that's the look you're going for.) Something like MAC Gingerly blush is perfect for the job. It's a murky light brown with a hint of rose; and it just adds some life to your cheeks without going overboard. My other cheek option is Stila Convertible Colour in Peony. It's a cream product, and I love it because it's so easy to pat onto your cheeks or lips if you're in a rush or on-the-go. This one has a bit more colour than Gingerly - it's a pretty, muted dusty rose - but it still has that autumnal tone.

EYES: Although bronzy shades are more typically associated with summer, I think a cool bronze eye in the fall is absolutely gorgeous, and it complements berry lips really well! I use the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze as an eyeshadow base to prevent creasing and increase staying power, then apply L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush on top, all over the lid and into the crease for a vibrant bronze. I then take a fluffy blending brush and just blend all the edges for a soft, seamless eye look.

NAILS: Without question, OPI We'll Always Have Paris. Oh the gorgeous, deep merlot.... Classic. Chic. Screams fall. No further explanation necessary.

STYLE: If you're going to purchase one clothing item or accessory this autumn, let it be the Wilfred Coquette scarf. I just... I have no words. If you recall this was on my Window Shopping blog post (few posts back); I received it as a birthday present from a few friends and have been obsessed ever since. The Coquette scarf comes in a few different colours and patterns, as you can see mine has really nice earthy tones which makes it really easy to wear with a lot of different outfits. But what I love most about this scarf is how massive it is. It basically doubles as a blanket. And I'm not kidding. This scarf may not look substantial at first - as in it's not a chunky knit scarf - but it is oh so warm and cozy. Whenever I'm feeling extra chilly and I don't have a sweater to chuck on, I'll wrap this around my shoulders and it brings me back to a comfortable temperature in no time. ;)

What have you been loving this autumn?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder | Dim Light

Let me just hop on the rave train and start by saying, Hourglass, you made a darn flippin' amazing product. Interestingly though my opinion of this product wasn't so from first use, or even from first sight which is unlike that of many beauty bloggers.


The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are a range of six gorgeous, finely milled finishing powders each with a different purpose. I think what is quite unique about this product is that each of the six in the range do very different things on all different skin tones but they all promise to light up your complexion from within. Some are blue-toned, some are yellow-toned, some are high-shimmer, some are just glowy. Whatever your skin type and tone may be, there is one for you. Personally, I was looking for a neutral, beige powder to use all over my face as a finishing powder, rather than just at the tops of my cheekbones as a highlighter. Dim Light was the one that ticked all the boxes - when applied it just gives the most beautiful sheer layer of soft focus glow to the skin. Not a dewy, wet-looking glow; not a shimmery, glittery glow; but a very subtle, fresh faced, life-giving glow. It also has a lovely way of just blurring the skin so as to help hide any imperfections. It is truly remarkable.

Dim Light in natural light - it's a very subtle effect, and one that is more noticeable in person.

Taken directly from the Sephora website, these are the six powders and what they claim to do:
Ethereal Light: A sheer, cool tone that eliminates shine and mimics a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight.
Diffused Light: A soft, warm, pale yellow that reduces redness, eliminates shine, and gives skin clarity.
Dim Light: A neutral soft beige that provides a perfect balance of warm and cool tones to blur imperfections.
Mood Light: A soft, sheer lavender pink that mimics the softest, most forgiving light and brightens the complexion.
Luminous Light: A champagne pearl that creates a soft, incandescent candlelit glow—day or night.
Radiant Light: A sun-kissed golden beige that enhances the overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth. 


In theory, this product should work fine on top of just about any type and texture of face base, just a light dusting to finish the face off as the name finishing powder suggests. In my personal experience, I find this works best when substituted in place of my regular setting powder. As the last step of my base routine on top of liquid foundation, I think it does a fantastic job at what it claims and it lasts quite a while too! It doesn't claim to set makeup but in my opinion it's actually quite excellent at it.

Although these powders were talked about heavily in the spring and summer this year, I actually think Dim Light in particular is incredibly suitable for autumn/winter because it has a way of injecting life into the paler skin we get from the change in weather. It's a much more season-appropriate way of avoiding the "dead" look. No need for fake tan, which can get messy and is more suited for summer anyways. I absolutely love my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder and am quite afraid to admit to myself that it just might be a holy grail, forever in my stash product. (Pockets emptied.)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders contain 0.35 oz of product, and are sold in Sephora stores for CAD$52.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Everyday Haircare Routine

I always feel undeservedly lucky when it comes to my hair. Of all my girly morning rituals, I invest the least amount of time and energy into hair care, but always manage to have it looking healthy and presentable for the most part. Although half of the ease of caring for my hair is due to my Asian heritage, there are a few things I do to keep my locks healthy and happy that I think some of you struggling with damaged hair would find helpful. I often get asked questions such as what do I do to care for my hair? or how do I get my hair to grow fast? Today I'm sharing with you my everyday hair care routine, which is pretty much all I do to maintain my hair and get it to grow at the rate it's growing (but to be fair, sometimes this just comes down to the person/ethnicity).


Shampoo & Conditioner
I'm not too fussy with shampoo and conditioner. I think the most important thing to remember is just to get products for your specific hair type. In my case, I never get shampoos that say 'For Dry, Damaged Hair' because I have quite oily roots and normal ends. I made the mistake of doing this once and ended up with greasy hair just a few hours after showering - not a good look. Personally, I find shampoos and conditioners from the drugstore to be just fine for general, everyday use and I tend to mix it up and try new things. Right now I use the Live Clean Green Earth shampoo and L'oreal EverCreme nourishing conditioner. I'm on my third bottle of the Live Clean shampoo and it's been my favourite for a few years now. It smells absolutely amazing, lathers well, and gives such a deep cleanse which I find is key to keeping my roots grease-less for longer; as a bonus it is 100% organic!

Treatments
Once a week I use the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (applied after shampooing, skip the conditioner) to give my hair a good pick-me-up! I did a full review on this on my blog so you can check that out if you want a detailed breakdown, but essentially this product is wonderful for hydrating and injecting life into dull, dry, lifeless hair. It smells incredible and works amazingly; I can't recommend it enough! Once again, I avoid the roots when applying this, as it can be too heavy for that area, and just concentrate the product from the mid-shaft to the ends of my hair, let that sink in for 7 minutes before rinsing off.

Post-Shower Care
After towel-drying my hair, I spritz in some detangler - my current favourite is the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-in Conditioning Spray - then use a wet comb to comb my hair out. I highly recommend adding this combination step if into your haircare routine if you don't already; I truly believe that it makes a tremendous difference in minimizing the breakage and split ends in my hair.

Everyday Styling
I get a lot of general questions about how to get long hair, soft hair, strong hair, etc. My number one recommendation (and this will come as no surprise to anyone) would be to cut down, minimize, or eliminate heat styling from your routine. As much as a lot of girls won't want to hear it, it is probably what will produce the biggest change in the health of your hair.

On most days, I allow my hair to air dry naturally. To be honest, half the reason I do this is because I find it a complete hassle to blow dry my hair - it's loud and noisy and it takes a while so I just can't be bothered! I also do not heat style on most days. I will typically leave my hair how it is after it has dried naturally, which is straight (but not sleek straight) with a teensy bit of volume.

The only actual "styling" I do that happens semi-often is a bit of a tousled, messy bed head look. All I do is squirt a dime-sized amount of Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine onto my palm, rub my hands together and run this through my hair. Super easy and no heat required! I have also done a full review of this product so you can look for that on my blog archive.

That is pretty much it for my everyday haircare routine. I would say my routine is very minimal and basic. I really like to give my hair breathability by not using a lot of product on it on an everyday basis, and I do think this routine facilitates healthy growth of hair. Of course, regular trims and cuts are also recommended. Anyways, I hope this post helped if you were looking for some haircare tips or just some new products to incorporate into your everyday haircare routine.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Daisies | A Nail Tutorial

It's been autumn for a while now but it wasn't until recently that the leaves started to fall and change colour, and the temperatures took a dip. Now here we are, back in the season of cozy knits and burgundy, and I'm totally ready to embrace it; but before it's gone for good here's one last goodbye to warm sunny days... in the form of these super cute daisy nails! I saw different variations of these by Lily (whatihearttoday) and Caroline (burkatron) and thought it would make the perfect first foray into real nail art with a dotting tool and all. It looks really complicated but it wasn't that difficult at all. I would just recommend having tons of time and patience. :) 

Here's how I got my daisy nails:

First off, you'll need:
A light blue nail polish | Essie Bikini So Teeny
A while nail polish | Sally Hansen White On
A yellow nail polish | Unknown

Your choice of top coat | Sally Hansen InstaDri

A dotting tool
Nail polish remover
Some cotton rounds

1. Paint on coats of your favourite light blue nail polish until you get nice, opaque colour. Let that dry for a few minutes.

2. Take some white nail polish onto a scrap piece of paper or a paper plate, and with the small end of your dotting tool, dip it into the polish and onto your fingernail to form the flowers. 

  • Start by creating the 'skeleton' of your flower: Pretend you are going to draw a star and dot on 5 dots on where the corners would be. Then add a 6th dot in the middle.
  • Then simply connect the dots and fill in your 'skeleton'.
  • You'll notice that polish will start to dry and build up on the dotting tool, so have a cotton round with nail polish remover poured on at the ready just to clean your dotting tool periodically.
This is the most challenging part but it doesn't have to be totally perfect! The overall look will still be super cute! Sporadically paint these flowers on all of your nails - you can decide how many go on one nail but I recommend really filling them in as much as you can.


3. If after painting your nails, there are a lot of weird gaps or holes, you can fill in the spaces but just dotting on a few polka dots wherever you please.

4. Take some yellow nail polish onto your scrap piece of paper, and with the same end of the dotting tool dot in the centres of your flowers. This will really complete those daisy flowers and pull the whole nail art together!


5. Whack on some top coat and you're done!


That's it! I hope you enjoyed this nail art tutorial. It's super cute and fun to do on a day when you're just chilling or watching TV. I've done this on myself twice already: once while watching an episode of Breaking Bad, and the second time reading my Plant Biology textbook (hence, the background). Anyways, s'all for now!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Window Shopping

To say the past few weeks have been busy would be a severe understatement. I don't think I realized how many things I signed myself up for this year until I had to pen in all the meetings and events into my weekly schedule. School is crazy and life is crazy, so I'm taking things one day at a time. It's times like this that I'm thankful for Jemaroons because blogging is such a wonderful, stress-relieving creative outlet for me. I'm very content and happy to be typing away right now, ignoring my adult responsibilities even if it's just for a little while.

So let's talk about being broke. Apparently another thing I failed to realize (even though it's my third year into this pattern) is how pocket-emptying Septembers are. Tuition, textbooks, course fees, some commuting fare, .... every dollar is precious. While my bank account recuperates from financial harassment, I'm forced to confine myself to window shopping. It's not as fun as actual shopping but I guess it helps.

At the moment my fashion taste is evolving quite a bit. Whereas before I used to gravitate towards things that are bright and fun and colourful, right now I'm really liking the simple, sophisticated look. And I'm loving black, white, and gray. It's definitely a more mature look. These are the pieces I've been eyeing up and hoping to add into my wardrobe:

Window Shopping

Kimono jackets/cardigans | I've been seeing so many of these in street style lately. I love how it can dress an outfit up or down depending on how it's embellished but overall it gives a cute and relaxed feel. They're so easy to thrown on over basic pieces and can really pull a look together.

Tortoiseshell eyeglasses | The first pair of glasses I got (which is also my current pair) was in a very plain Jane, standard style. It's also about 6 years old now (maybe more?). I think it's time for an upgrade and I'm thinking of something with a bit more character. The gorgeous pair pictured above from Cutler and Gross is just what I'm looking for but totally out of my budget so if anyone knows of a good replica, let me know!

Cutout boots | I've been seeing these absolutely everywhere and I can't wait to jump on the bandwagon. I've said countless times that I'm a summer gal and this is totally backed up by my overabundance of summer shoe wear and lack of winter shoe wear. But I think it's time to embrace the cold and start investing in gorgeous boots like these Jeffrey Campbell Everlys that will last me a while and are easy to wear.

Boyfriend jeans | I'm not sure if I'd be able to pull them off but I see them all the time on other girls and they look so cute and comfortable! They'd definitely be a wardrobe staple and I imagine so easy to pair.

Plain camisoles | I fell in love with camis after buying my printed daisy one from Brandy Melville. They're so comfortable to wear and the loose ones are very flattering on.

Zara Citybag with Zips | I have to admit that when I saw that the Zara Office City Bag had been discontinued, my heart dropped. I've been lusting after it for a few months now but have just been waiting until I'm more financially stable to splurge on it. It's a lovely bag that's perfect for school or work. Thankfully upon browsing, I noticed that Zara does another very similar looking bag: the Citybag with Zips. There are very subtle differences between the two but it still has tons of compartments (including a padded one for your laptop) and the Saffiano leather look, which are the two things I really loved most about it. They better not discontinue this one before I'm able to get my hands on it.....

Wilfred Coquette Scarf | I first saw this on my friend Steph and instantly fell in love with it. I just need more scarves in my wardrobe because they're such essentials for the fall and winter seasons. The Coquette scarves are beautiful and come in a few different prints and patterns.

What have you been window shopping for lately?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tangles No More!


Someone tell me how I went all my life without a hair detangler. A long long time ago my hair mastered the art of tangling itself up, leaving me with the frustrating and tedious job of sorting it out periodically throughout the day as well as combing it out post-shower. The latter is what pushed me to really look for a product that would help me out. It got to the point that even if I used conditioner in the shower, I would always have trouble get a comb through it! As a result I felt that I was shedding a lot more hair than I would if my locks weren't so unmanageable. Obviously the bigger problem here was that I desperately needed a trim - I just went for a haircut today and the mane is feeling so fresh - but if you need something to hold you over till then or if you just have insanely unruly, tangly hair (like me!) then hair detanglers are a must have in your beauty cabinet.

I currently own three, which I know is a little crazy, but overall I'm happy with all of them. They all get the job done well! As you have seen from my USA Haul post, the Dove and Healthy Sexy Hair ones were purchased in the States when I vacationed there a month ago. As for the one from Macadamia - that has been one my sister has owned for a while now. She purchased it in a set with a few other Macadamia products. Prices of these products vary depending on the retailer. Let me talk you through the pros and cons of each product now.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Detangler | This product was in my last Current Loves post and for good reason. Out of the three, this one definitely gives you the most bang for your buck. It may be the cheapest in price, but Dove did not cheap out on quality! This detangler has that bi-phase quality to it which scares a lot of people because they think it will make their hair greasy (I thought this too!), but I can assure you this does not leave your hair greasy or oily at all. The packaging is great as the spray bottle distributes a nice, fine mist when you pump it. This means that the product is better distributed throughout your locks. To use, shake up the bottle to mix the two phases then generously spritz all over the hair. Comb immediately after.

Macadamia No Tangle | Despite being the priciest of the three I have to say that this is actually my least favourite of the bunch. There is a striking difference between this one and the other two, the difference being that this one actually has a thicker, creamier texture. If you screwed open the cap you would see that the product inside is not a liquid, rather it's this sort of cream or lotion-looking product. It's still a really good product, don't get me wrong, but I think this makes it more difficult to get all the strands of your hair with a few quick spritzes. When you press the top down to spritz, the product almost shoots out in a straight line as opposed to a mist.

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-in Conditioner | I've saved the best for last - this detangler from Healthy Sexy Hair is my favourite of all. To be honest it's not much different from the Dove one; it simply dispenses an even finer mist which I loooove. It also has that liquid consistency so it goes on evenly on your hair. No need to shake this one up before application, simple take the bottle to your hair and go crazy! Like I said, I like to be very generous with these products and I find that combing right after is when they are the most effective. This one is a bit more expensive than the Dove one but cheaper than the Macadamia, so it's a nice middle ground.

All three detanglers smell absolutely amazing, I don't think I could even pick a favourite in terms of smell!

Hair detanglers are like magic to me. You put this liquid in your hair and somehow your strands magically arrange themselves to lie straight. I mean, just think about it for a moment. These products have revolutionized my hair care routine, and I highly recommend any of them if you're having serious tangle issues.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Everyday Makeup Tutorial

Happy Friday everyone! Very exciting day on Jemaroons today because, as you can already tell by the title, I have made my first ever makeup tutorial! The look is really simple, subtle and perfect for everyday wear - to school, work, or wherever. Enjoy the video. :)

Products Used:
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation in B20
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch concealer in Nude
Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in 3 Medium
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium
NARS Deep Throat blush
The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in 3 Medium Matte
MAC Concrete e/s (for brows)
Maybelline Chai Latte quad
Covergirl Lashblast Fusion mascara
L'oreal Colour Caresse Lipstick in Sunset Angora

You may notice that I didn't use any eyeliner in this tutorial. That is just because I don't like eyeliner on me on a day to day basis. But I understand that it's a step that many of you cannot go without so if you do wear eyeliner daily, just insert that step while you are doing your eye makeup. :)




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Current Loves No. 4


It's time for another favourites post, and there are quite a few new gems in this one so I'm excited to share them all with you! Here goes...

Rimmel Scandal-Eyes Nude eyeliner | I'm not big on eyeliner but since purchasing this I think I've used it nearly every day. I apply it right on my waterline and it works perfectly for brightening up my eyes. I prefer this to a stark white just because it's softer and more natural but still gives the same effect. This Rimmel one in particular has made it onto my favourites list because it stays put all day and it's super affordable coming from the drugstore! Win win!

Ribbon hair ties | I was so skeptical about ribbon hair ties at first but after trying one from Sephora I have become a total convert! They come in such cute colours and are so comfortable to wear. No pinching or snagging of the hair, and you don't get that awful ponytail ridge when you take it off. A ton of Etsy sellers are selling these for much cheaper than the name brands like Twistband (no offense, Twistband, but yours are just so darn expensive!) so I would recommend purchasing them from there.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh EDT | This perfume was on my last Current Loves post and since then I have purchased the full-sized bottle of it which is massive! The bottle is perfect and the scent is just so lovely and feminine but not overpowering. It may very well become my signature scent.

MAC Fleur Power | A pretty corally pink blush that really makes you look rejuvenated and alive. This blush is one of my favourites because it's easy to wear and it goes with everything! It doesn't have any shimmer or glitter so it definitely gives a nice natural-looking flush.

L'oreal Sunset Angora | I've only had this product for a couple of weeks but I'm hooked. I just did a post on these L'oreal lipsticks and rambled about how much I love them so if you want to read more you can check that post out. This lovely peachy coral is my favourite of the bunch and just like the rest of them, it glides on like butter and is so comfortable to wear. I've been reaching for this everyday because it's just the perfect lip colour for daily use.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Detangler | I don't know how I lived so long without this product in my life because it is literally magic for your hair. I give my hair a generous spritzing of this post-shower and it just makes combing out my hair so much easier! It also smells heavenly and that can't hurt, right? I'm going to be doing a post on hair detanglers soon so I'll elaborate more on there!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Let's Talk Life #2

It's time for another chatty post about what I've been up to lately!

Since getting back from the States, most of my days have been devoted to crossing more things off my 26 Days of Summer bucket list. If you still don't know what that is, you can read more about it here. Progress has been slow and steady but I'm really hoping to pick up the pace in the next couple of weeks. I'm more than halfway through the 26 days so the pressure is on! ;)



Part of the bucket list is a blogging challenge I created for myself where I blog every other day for the duration of my 26 days of summer. I have loved delivering more content to you guys and hope you've been liking the posts so far! If you need to catch up I've made the tag 26DoS available on the left sidebar - just click and it will take you to all the posts I've written. 9 down, 4 to go!


I've also been in the kitchen a lot this past week, experimenting with delicious-sounding recipes! I hit the jackpot on this awesome spaghetti recipe that my family loves but I'll share more on that in the recap post at the end of 26DoS. I also tried (and succeeded if I do say so myself!) in making these yummy cheesy kale chips with my sister, as well as some healthy, vegan peanut butter and banana ice cream.



While I've made some efforts to eat mostly healthy and homemade, summer doesn't always encourage it. Delicious rainbow breakfasts (Trix cereal) and always-satsifying bubble milk teas are two things I've been enjoying indulging in, alone or with company.

 

I have also spent some time reading, 12 hours to be exact. It took me all of 12 hours to devour this heartbreakingly beautiful novel by John Green called The Fault in Our Stars. It has humour, pain, love, and joy all in one book and it's one of the most honest things I've read in a while. Absolutely loved it and would highly recommend! I still have Insurgent on my list to read this summer and I am super excited for that one because I loveddddd Divergent! Will keep you updated.


I have so far been good with posting daily OOTDs and FOTDs on Instagram, though I feel that the latter may have been pointless since I realized just a few days into doing it that my choice of makeup products doesn't change much on a day to day basis. Most of my FOTDs look the same and for that I apologize! Still I hope you've liked seeing more of my personal style, through my outfits and faces. Below are some of my favourites:


Most recently...
I just got back from a weekend at my friend's cottage yesterday evening and it was the most fun and relaxing experience yet this summer. Mostly we relaxed and caught up on each others' lives, but when we weren't doing that we were cooking delicious (but unhealthy haha!) meals or playing tons of Dutch Blitz (most amazing game ever, btw). On Sunday we took a ride on her boat and popped into town for some hamburger buns and ice cream which was lovely, and since the weather wasn't good enough for a swim we just jumped into the lake once before leaving for home.


I can't believe classes start next week. I definitely haven't had enough summer yet so I'm going to spend the next week and a half basking in the sun, reading, hanging out, and soaking up all the summer I can get! What have you guys been up to?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Clarisonic Mia

I know, I know - as if you haven't heard enough about the Clarisonic. If you've already made up your mind about this skin gizmo then this may not be very useful for you but personally I enjoy reading numerous reviews before I decide to go out and buy something as expensive as the Clarisonic. This review has taken so long to get out there because I really want to make sure my opinion is solid. I've had my Clarisonic for just about a year now so I've really had time to use it and test it out and I think I'm ready to make proper judgments about it. I debated a lot about whether to write a post or film a video because there is a lot of information to get across; in the end I decided on a post but divided it into sections so it's not too overwhelming. If you're really considering purchasing a Clarisonic, get comfortable because this should be really helpful! :)


The Product: Specifications
  • I would describe the Clarisonic much like everyone else has described it in the past: a hefty, oversized toothbrush for your face. It has a nice chunky handle with an on/off button at the front, and then a round brush head that pulses and vibrates as it cleanses your face. 
  • The default brush head is the sensitive one, but Clarisonic has made a few different brush heads to suit different needs so be sure to check them all out to see what's best for you. 
  • The Clarisonic Mia comes in a wide variety of colours and patterns so there is sure to be one for everyone. The one I own is in the prettiest light blue! 
  • In terms of battery life, a fully charged Clarisonic will last 20 minutes which is equivalent to 20 uses (1 minute per use).
  • The Clarisonic is fully waterproof which means you can take this in the shower without worrying about zapping yourself or ruining the device.
  • There is only one speed setting on this model of the Clarisonic but it doesn't bother me much. I don't think you need another speed setting.
  • Lastly, it's worth mentioning that if you order off the Clarisonic website you do have the option of having something printed on the back of your device, like a name or a message.


The Product: Function

Just a quick run through of how I use my Clarisonic! I start off by wetting my face and running the brush under some warm water. I squeeze off any excess water from the brush head before applying a quarter-size amount of my cleanser onto the center of the brush head then sort of roughly spreading it through. Now for the exciting part - I press button right below the brush head and place the Clarisonic lightly on my face. The device vibrates for 60-seconds so I divide that time between the parts of my face, taking a bit more time to do my nose and chin. I also take it down to my neck if I have any extra time after I've covered my entire face. The Clarisonic will stop automatically after 60 seconds, after which I rinse the brush head under water to get all the soap out, then I wash my face. Tada!

When you see a blinking green light at the back of your Clarisonic this means that it needs to be charged. The charger and the Clarisonic are magnetic so there are no ports or plugs to worry about (besides the one you plug into the wall to power the charger!). Charging can take a full day so make sure you do it on a day when you won't be using your Clarisonic. Since it is a very deep cleansing tool I don't recommend anyone use it every single day as it can eventually dry your skin out. 2-3 days a week in the evening is perfect to just renew your skin and make sure all that makeup, dirt and grime is off of your face.


Results

Before I talk about my thoughts, I should first mention what my skin was like before. I have combination skin - my cheeks and forehead are normal, but my nose and chin get oily throughout the day. I don't get many spots but they come one after another which is frustrating because it means I never have a totally good skin day. As a result, I had pretty bad acne scarring - so bad that even when I didn't have a spot my skin would look splotchy and horrible. I also had clogged and enlarged pores around my nose and chin, and my skin was uneven in tone and texture. In general, it was lackluster and dull.

For the first month and half of using the Clarisonic I did experience a purging phase, which is when your skin spits out all the dirt and nasties it has been storing resulting in breakouts. I had a nearly unbearable purging phase with horrible breakouts even in places I don't usually break out in! Makeup could barely salvage it.

But after the purging, I noticed results that I was really happy with. It was difficult to trust that the Clarisonic would do me good at first, but you do really have to give it some time to do its job. Here are my honest thoughts on my personal experience:
  • Improved skin texture and tone
  • Shrunken but not invisible pores - which is a realistic expectation
  • It did not get rid of spots completely but it did make them less severe, less frequent, and more quickly removed
  • It doesn't really clear out blackheads, whiteheads, oil, sebum, or anything stuck in your pores so I would definitely recommend using a clay mask or some sort of treatment if that is a real problem for you
  • Lightened acne scars
  • Massages the face and brings blood to the surface
  • Brighter-looking skin


Summary

Overall I'm really happy with what it's done for my skin and I don't regret purchasing it! I think initially my expectations of it were just too high, from hearing everyone's raves, so I didn't find it mind-blowing or revolutionary by any means. I think I was waiting for some moment of clarity or something, haha! But after a certain amount of time using it, I've come to the conclusion that it's a really amazing tool to have to wash your skin with and it's definitely improved my skin a lot from what it was like before. I still have to be realistic and accept that there isn't really anything out there that will truly get you from bad skin to amazing skin. It's a process that involves a really good, solid skincare routine but also good eating habits!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

USA Haul

A trip to the USA inevitably means a heck of a lot of shopping, only really because everything is so much cheaper over there! I'm actually quite proud of myself because I spent a lot less this year compared to last year. I don't know if I even want to link you over to the haul post I did last year, but it was back when I wasn't so good at composing photos. I took a group photo of all my purchases then and it looked like I had bought an entire store..... Yikes. 

Before I get started I just want to put something out there because I know posts like this can be misunderstood. I want you all to know that the amount of stuff I purchased during this trip is by no means an indication of my regular spending habits. I started saving up for this trip in April, not spending on any makeup, clothing, or any other luxury purchases of any kind. I wanted to save as much money as I could so that I could spend it in the US where I could purchase things for cheaper. End disclaimer.

Now for the fun bit, haul time!

Makeup


Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
L'oreal Colour Caresse Lipstick in Sunset Angora
L'oreal Colour Caresse Lipstick in Cardinal Plume
Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
L'oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Iced Latte
Real Techniques blush brush
Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme in 002 Light
Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Corail Intuitive
L'oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Amber Rush
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
Dior Lip Maximizer

Hair, Skincare, Fragrance



Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-wheat leave-in conditioner
Dove Hair Nourishing Oil Care Detangler
REN ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh EDT
Macadamia Deep Repair Masque
Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins

Stationery



Muji pen case
Muji 0.5 gel ink pens
Muji notebook

Clothing



Brandy Melville Chiyo bralette top
Brandy Melville Jacqueline top
Brandy Melville Giselle crop top
Uniqlo basic gray tank top
H&M blazer
H&M fall parka
Forever21 gray maxi dress (not seen in the picture above)

Shoes and Accessories



Nike Free TR Fit 2 training shoes
Nike sports bra
Naturalizer Simons loafers
Brandy Melville set of 3 knuckle rings
Aldo round sunglasses

I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot of these products on the blog in the future whether it be in an outfit post, review, or current loves segment so I'll keep it short and sweet for now. I did manage to tick off almost all the items from the wishlist I posted before my vacation so I'm pretty happy about that. You can bet that I won't be shopping anytime soon - my resources are exhausted! Oopsies.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

USA Trip | Summer 2013

If you don't follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or haven't read my recent blog posts this will be news to you. But if not then you'll know that for the past week I was in the USA taking a vacation with my family. I had such an incredible time, it's hard to put into words, but it was exhausting but in a good way if that makes sense. My brother couldn't come along for the trip so we 'adopted' two of these silly goons instead (family friends), and so this trip's crew consisted of myself, my sister Joy, Dave, and Phil.....plus my parents. I introduced them here because you'll be seeing them a lot in my photos!

Day 1: We left Canada on the morning of my sister's birthday and drove nine hours to New Jersey where we have family living there. The road trip took most of the day so by the time we arrived it was just about time for my sister's birthday dinner party.

Day 2: We made a day trip out to Atlantic City, NJ to take a stroll down the boardwalk, have some boardwalk food and chill out on the beach. The food was suuuuuperb and the boardwalk was gorgeous, but the beach was disappointing. Sun, sand, and sea day.

Day 3: A full day of shopping at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

Day 4: More shopping at Bergen Outlet Mall and Westfield Garden State Plaza.

Day 5: The trip wouldn't be complete without a day spent in Manhattan - shopped in SoHo, watched Chicago on Broadway, walked around Times Square. Chicago was absolutely brilliant and hilarious, I loved it!

Day 6: Drove to a mall in Delaware to shop some more (we had to take advantage of no tax!), then continued the drive to Baltimore, Maryland to meet up with some of my parents' friends. We had the most delicious dinner at Bo Brooks and I learned how to pick crabs! After dinner they toured us around Johns Hopkins and it was such a dream come true for me. If you don't know why that is, I am a full-time Kinesiology student and a med hopeful!

Day 7: The youngins (Joy, Dave, Phil, myself) decided to head to Manhattan again to do more sightseeing and just general touristy things. We made it to the famous food trucks, Grand Central Station, Central Park, SoHo, and Times Square!

Day 8: Homebound! But had to stop by Friendly's for some last minute validated-by-vacation pigging out!!!
Here is a photo diary of my time away.

Taking a stroll on the boardwalk
The most delicious strawberry lemonade I've ever had
Funnel cake!
Probably my favourite OOTD of the trip!
At Times Square
Penne Sorrentina at Grotta Azzurra
'Chicago' at the Ambassador Theatre
Shopping at Muji
Pens at Muji
Crab dinner at Bo Brooks, Baltimore, MD
At Johns Hopkins
About to chomp on some Philly cheese steaks from Phil's Steaks food truck
Dave's souvlaki from Souvlaki GR food truck
Panorama of Grand Central Station
A view from Central Park
The windows of Saks Fifth Avenue
Sundae time at Friendly's

I love holidays and vacations but after a while I do start to miss my own bed, so after a week of traipsing around the USA and absorbing the culture (and doing tons of shopping!) I'm happy to be back home in the suburbs. Hope you enjoyed my photo diary of my summer USA trip! :)

Shoutouts to: Phil, Dave, and my sister Joy - thanks for being the best company on this adventure of a vacation. And my dad - thanks for taking some of the photos that I used for this photo diary post!
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