Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 2015 Beauty Box Five

December 2015 Beauty Box Five 1

The December 2015 Beauty Box Five* includes products for creating a smoky eye makeup look for the holidays. If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. Subscriptions start at $12 per month and shipping is free!

Now let’s talk about the December items.

November 2015 Beauty Box Five

November 2015 Beauty Box Five 1

The November 2015 Beauty Box Five* includes must-have beauty basics that are far from boring. If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. Subscriptions start at $12 per month and shipping is free!

Now let’s talk about the November items.

November 2015 Glossybox

November 2015 Glossybox

The November Glossybox* includes products to promote radiance and youthful-looking skin.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Easy Holiday Desserts

Holiday Desserts

During the holidays, it’s always nice to have baked goods on hand for parties or visitors. Sometimes though, there is very little time to bake, so I have put together a collection of some of my favourite easy to make desserts.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

October 2015 Birchbox

October 2015 Birchbox Canada 2

In my August Birchbox post, I mentioned that the August box would be the last one that I would receive for a while since I was taking a break from my subscription. However, I had already been charged for the September box but it was lost in the mail so I was sent the October box in its place.

For the October box, Birchbox partnered with Look Good, Feel Better, an organization that helps Canadian women with cancer look beautiful and feel confident.

October 2015 Beauty Box Five

October 2015 Beauty Box Five 1

The October 2015 Beauty Box Five* is filled with pretty pink items for a much needed pink-me-up around this busy time of year. If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. Subscriptions start at $12 per month and shipping is free!

Now let’s talk about the October items.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Best Banana Bread Recipe - Moist and Delicious!

Best Moist Banana Bread 3

Best Moist Banana Bread 5

Over the years, I have tried many banana bread recipes. Some came out too dry, some overcooked, and some were good but I always knew that there was something better out there. With a little experimenting, I found the perfect combination of ingredients that results in a delicious, moist banana bread every time.

October 2015 Glossybox

October 2015 Glossybox 3

In October, Glossybox sent is members a special edition box inspired by Paris. The October Glossybox* features products that provide a sophisticated look with smooth skin, classic shades, luxurious hair, and a fresh scent.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

End of Fall Beauty Giveaway

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Although fall (my favourite season) is coming to an end, I wanted to have one last fall beauty giveaway in honour of the season.

All the products above are perfect shades for fall (and any other season). They are versatile and will flatter many skin tones.

Products include Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Stormy Night, Pop Beauty Kajal Pen Eyeliner in Sooty Black, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, Manna Conditioning Lash Primer, Face Stockholm Yvonne Lipliner, Bombshell eye crayon in Hang Over, and Nails Inc Nail Polish in Uptown.

You can enter to win by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Winter Blend Shampoo & Conditioner from Maple Holistics

Winterblend pic 2  1

The wonderful people over at Maple Holistics (sponsored by http://edumuch.com) have given me the opportunity to give away a Winter Blend Shampoo and a Winter Blend Conditioner to one of my lucky followers. These products will be perfect for keeping hair in great shape during the cold, dry, and windy winter months (and year round too).

I have reviewed one of the company’s other shampoos, the Hydrate Shampoo for Dry and Itchy Scalp (click HERE to read my review), as well as the Assuage Natural Foot Scrub (see my review HERE).

Check out the company’s entire range of all natural products by visiting https://www.mapleholistics.com. Also, to get some free products from Maple Holistics, visit this link: http://www.mapleholistics.com/free-products/

To enter to win the Winter Blend Shampoo and Conditioner, enter the Rafflecopter form below.

Review: Maple Holistics Hydrate Shampoo for Dry and Itchy Scalp

Maple Holistics Hydrate Shampoo for Dry and Itchy Scalp 1

For years, I have been struggling with a dry and itchy scalp. I have tried all the dandruff shampoos from the drugstore, as well as prescription products, with very little success. As a result, when I was presented with the opportunity to try the Hydrate Shampoo for Dry and Itchy Scalp* from Maple Holistics, I didn’t have high expectations. To my surprise and delight, this shampoo proved me very wrong.

Review: Maple Holistics Assuage Natural Foot Scrub

Maple Holistics Assuage Natural Foot Scrub 1

For me, the fall season is the busiest time of year. Once summer ends and I get back to my regular schedule, there is little time for me to do anything extra for myself, so I start painting my nails less often, waiting longer to colour my hair, and doing my own pedicures. While I may not apply polish to my toes as often in the fall, I always make time to exfoliate since I can’t stand having dry, rough feet.

This fall, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try the Assuage Natural Foot Scrub* from Maple Holistics. Sponsored by edumuch.com, Maple Holistics is a US based beauty company that develops and manufactures its own all natural cosmetics that are cruelty free (perfect for us animal lovers!).

This foot scrub improves the condition of dry and calloused feet with a combination of exfoliating volcanic rock pumice stone and essential oils. I like how pumice stone is used rather than those plastic beads that are damaging to the environment. Other ingredients include Tagetes (an Egyptian plant that promotes healthier feet), tea tree (banishes bunions and provides anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties), and Peppermint Supreme (provides a cooling sensation and a fresh minty aroma).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

GIVEAWAY: OPI Pure Nail Lacquer Nail Apps

OPI Pure Nail Lacquer Apps Giveaway

Sometimes we just don’t have time to wait for nail polish to dry, so I wanted to give away three different Pure Lacquer Nail Apps from OPI. One winner will win these Apps in Rattlesnake, Fishnet, and Reptile.

You can enter to win by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 2015 Beauty Box Five

September 2015 Beauty Box Five 1

The September 2015 Beauty Box Five* features products to help us try the latest beauty trends while still staying true to our own style. Metallic and rosy hues help us transition from summer to fall. If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. Subscriptions start at $12 per month and shipping is free!

Now let’s talk about the September items.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall French Manicure

Fall French Manicure 1

Now that fall (my very favourite season) is upon us, I wanted to share this unique french manicure inspired by the beautiful colours of the season.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 2015 Glossybox

September 2015 Glossybox 2

The September Glossybox* welcomes the first month of fall with fashion forward products for creating a head to toe glow. While the August box included products that focused on achieving an effortless end-of-summer look, the products in this month’s box add a radiant glow with wearable shades that are on trend for autumn.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Back to School Beauty Giveaway

Back to School Beauty Giveaway

To honour the new school year, I’m giving this pretty makeup palette to one lucky winner.

You can enter to win by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.

August 2015 Birchbox

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August 2015 Birchbox 4

The August Birchbox includes products that make the most of the last full month of summer. The box design for August has to be my favourite so far as it encompasses the energizing, yet relaxing elements of summer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

August 2015 Beauty Box Five

August 2015 Beauty Box Five

The August 2015 Beauty Box Five* features products to add to our regular beauty routines. If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription service that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. Subscriptions start at $12 per month and shipping is free!

Now let’s talk about the August items...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 2015 Glossybox

August 2015 Glossybox 1

In honour of the last full month of summer, the August Glossybox* features essentials for looking chic in the heat. While the July box included mostly skincare items, the majority of the products in this month’s box are easy-to-apply cosmetics in versatile shades for an effortless end-of-summer look.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: ModCloth Cat Person Circle Scarf in Mint

Modcloth Cat Person Circle Scarf in Mint 2

As I have already mentioned in previous posts, I’m kind of a cat lady. However, I try very hard to be a classy cat lady when it comes to purchasing cat-themed accessories made for humans by avoiding anything too cartoonish or childish.

About a year ago, while shopping on modcloth.com, I came across this cute, yet adult appropriate, cat scarf and made it my very first purchase from ModCloth. Little did I know that it was only the first purchase of many and that ModCloth would become my favourite place to buy vintage-inspired dresses.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vintage Nail Look: Flowers and Pearls

Flowers and Pearls Nail Look 1
Flowers and Pearls Nail Look 2

Here’s another one of my favourite nail looks from the past. When I first started creating nail art, I practiced by drawing lots of freehand flowers using a dotting tool or a toothpick. I learned that anyone can create cute and professional-looking designs just by placing dots in different patterns.

Monday, August 10, 2015

NOTD: China Glaze Wanderlust

China Glaze Wanderlust Review

I first posted about Wanderlust in my June Nail Polish Haul (check it out HERE). This pink polish with hints of purple is part of China Glaze’s Spring 2015 Road Trip Collection.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

July 2015 Beauty Box Five

July 2015 Beauty Box Five 1

The July 2015 Beauty Box Five* features products to help keep us looking cool during the hottest month of the summer. If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription service that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. Subscriptions start at $12 per month and shipping is free!

Now let’s talk about the July items...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Beach Inspired Nail Art

Beach Nails

Yesterday I posted a summer nautical nail ook, so to continue with the ocean theme, today I bring you this beach-inspired design.

What I really love about this look is the fact that it includes some of my favourite nail polishes. The base colour is a combination of Essie Sand Tropez and Zoya Jules. I created the textured effect by using a makeup sponge to apply a thin layer of Jules over Sand Tropez. Next, I used BF-Beauty Image Plate C06 and Essie’s Mint Candy Apple to stamp a floral design over the base. I added dimension to the look by applying the same design with a black polish.

To see a video tutorial of this look, click HERE.

To see more of my nail art, click HERE.

What are your thoughts on this layered, beachy nail art?

Monday, August 3, 2015

July 2015 Birchbox

July 2015 Birchbox Canada 1
July 2015 Birchbox Canada 3

This month, Birchbox collaborated with the wellness experts at Best Health magazine to create a box with products to help us have a happy, healthy summer.

The box features a customized design that is just as colourful as last month’s box (see the June box HERE).

The first three items in the box include a combination of makeup and skincare items.

Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara is one of my current favourite mascaras. It leaves the lashes long and thick without any clumps.

For summer skin, the Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Relaxing Sea Fennel Body Lotion moisturizes, smooths, softens, and calms with its paraben-free formula rich in marine extracts. This lotion is very moisturizing and it has a refreshing, ocean scent.

Next is the Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvinator that mimics the effects of microdermabrasion for glowing, smooth skin. While I think that this product will give some people excellent results, I found it very irritating when I used a previous sample that I received a couple years ago in a different beauty box.

July 2015 Birchbox Canada 2

The last two items are for hair.

First is the Fekkai Technician Colour Care Shampoo that hydrates with plant proteins to maintain colour-treated hair. Although this product sounds promising, I have always been sceptical of Fekkai colour maintaining products since they often contain sulfates like this one.

Also for colour-treated hair is the Bain de Terre Argan Oil & Passion Flower Colour Therapy Styling Oil. This product nourishes hair with essential oils. It smells very nice but I try to avoid oils since they weigh down my fine hair.

July 2015 Birchbox Canada 4

Overall, I’m sad to say that I was a bit disappointed in this month’s Birchbox. While the mascara and body lotion were nice, I would have preferred to save the monthly box fee and put it toward a product that I will get a lot of use out of. I have decided to remain subscribed until the end of the summer and then start searching for a new beauty box to subscribe to in the fall. Any suggestions?

Nautical Nail Art

Nautical Nail Art

Now that August is here and it’s only a matter of time before fall gets arrives, I thought I should post a few more summer nail looks in honour of the season. This is an older look that I created back in 2011. I stumbled upon the photo and couldn’t help but post it. It may not be as clean as my current looks, but I have had a few more years to practice since making this design.

While it may look a bit involved, this look was fairly easy to create, but it does take a bit of patience and a steady hand.

To begin, I painted each nail with two coats of an opaque white cream polish and then added horizontal stripes on four of my nails using Santee Nail Art Polish in Dark Blue. To add a pop of sparkle, I used a nail art brush and a metallic gold acrylic paint to paint a diagonal line across the nails with blue stripes and then went over that line with a bit of Glim-merry Gold top coat from OPI.
If you don’t have a nail art brush, these lines can be created with a toothpick just as easily. For the ring finger, I used Essie Fearless and a dotting tool to draw a red anchor.

To see a video tutorial of this look, click HERE.

To see more of my nail art, click HERE.

What are your thoughts on the nautical trend for summer?

July 2015 Glossybox

July 2015 Glossybox 1

The products in the July Glossybox*, inspired by a beachside mediterranean getaway, feature waterproof formulas, skin-smoothing body perfecters, and luxurious ingredients. This box comes at the perfect time since skin often becomes the main focus during the hot month of July.

Before discussing this month’s products, I wanted to insert a quick photo of the Glossybox packaging since I haven’t posted one since my review of the March box. As always, the packaging is so pretty and the products are thoughtfully wrapped with ribbon and tissue paper.

July 2015 Glossybox 3

While last month’s makeup items focused on nails and lashes, this month’s products are for lips and cheeks. The two lip items include Face Stockholm Lipliner in Yvonne and Naked Lips Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint. Although I don’t wear a lot of lip liner, this one sounds nice with its vitamin enriched formula. What I do wear often is lip balm, and this one looks very exciting since its 100% natural formula includes antioxidant-rich oils from fruits and berries. I also love peppermint.

I also can’t wait to try the Cargo Cosmetics Water Resistant Blush in Coronado. This blush is sweat and weather proof. The best part is its beautiful peachy colour that will add a bit of glow to summer skin.

July 2015 Glossybox 2

The other two products in this month’s box prep the skin on the body for shorts, skirts, bathing suits, and long days on the beach. First is the Kueshi Anticellulite Booster which inhibits the formation of fat cells to combat existing cellulite and prevent its formation. It also increases blood flow and reduces swelling. For some extra smoothing, the Hey Honey I Peel Good! Biometric Creamy Honey Peel Cream hydrates, exfoliates, protects, and reduces stretch marks. I can’t wait to try out these two products before the summer ends.

July 2015 Glossybox 4

Overall, I found the July 2015 Glossybox to be very impressive. Aside from the lip liner, I know that I will get a lot of use out of all the products. Not to mention, the items include very generous amounts of product, especially the cellulite cream.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Glossybox has in store for August.

Monday, July 20, 2015

NOTD: Zoya Leslie

Zoya Leslie

I first posted about Leslie in my June Nail Polish Haul (check it out HERE). This pretty polish is part of Zoya’s Spring 2015 Delight Collection.

Zoya describes the shade as a soft lavender metallic with turquoise flecks. While it’s definitely lavender, I would say that it’s more shimmery than metallic. The turquoise flecks give the polish beautiful dimension and an element of surprise since the flecks show up most under a bright light source, especially sunlight. Without looking up close in regular lighting, the polish just looks like a soft lavender shade. I don’t mind that the turquoise shimmer is muted for the most part since it makes the polish more wearable for every day.

Like most Zoya polishes, Leslie is a bit thick. I only needed to apply two coats to achieve opacity. I was a bit disappointed by the finish of the polish. While the shimmery formula dries to a sheen, the finish is in no way glossy. Even after I applied a top coat, it almost seemed as though the polish absorbed the top coat, preventing it from leaving a high-gloss shine. If you like your nails to look like they are coated in glass like I do, you may not love the finish of this polish.

That said, Leslie is easy to apply, is long wearing, and is fun to wear on a sunny day. Overall, I recommend this polish for those who love shimmery polish shades that are appropriate for every day but still look unique.

Monday, July 6, 2015

June 2015 Beauty Box Five

June 2015 Beauty Box Five 3
The June 2015 Beauty Box Five* features products to help us look our best while travelling. If you are unfamiliar with Beauty Box Five, it is a subscription service that sends its members five cosmetic samples each month. The service is available to those in Canada and the USA, and subscriptions start at $12 per month. The best part is that shipping is free! The brands that Beauty Box Five works with are very impressive (see them all HERE).
Now let’s talk about the June items...
June 2015 Beauty Box Five 1
1. LOL Rotational Eye Shadow | Retail: $3 - This palette, created by a French and Australian cosmetics brand, includes six pretty shadows. I received a palette with shadows of green and gold called Splash That Cash. While it is very pretty, I don’t think these shades will be very flattering on me, so I will pass it on to someone else.
2. Nails Inc. Nail Polish | Retail: $9.50 for 0.33 oz - This nail polish is my favourite item in this month’s box since I have been wanting to try this UK brand for a while. I received the shade Bruton Street which is a pretty mauve pink.
3. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara | Retail: $22 for 0.4 oz - This pigmented mascara volumizes lashes with its creamy formula. I’m excited to try my first Urban Decay mascara.
June 2015 Beauty Box Five 2
4. Simple Skincare Micellar Cleansing Water | Retail: $7.99 for 7 oz - This on-the-go hydrator is perfect for travelling because it does not require a sink, it is no-rinse, and it hydrates skin. I am a bit disappointed by how small this sample is. I don’t think there is enough product in here for me to truly evaluate if I like this product or not.
5. Herbal Essences Body Wash | Retail: $2.49 for 11.1 oz - This travel-size bottle of body wash has an amazing citrus scent. I have always loved Herbal Essences hair products because of their delicious scents, so I’m looking forward to trying a body wash from this brand.
Overall, I’m very happy with the mascara, nail polish, and body wash in this month’s box. I did find the eyeshadow palette and cleansing water to be less impressive. I’m looking forward to next month’s box and can’t wait to see what Beauty Box Five has in store for July.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Easy Mango Avocado Salsa Recipe

Mango Avocado Salsa recipe 2

Since I was little, my favourite fruit has always been mango. Now that it’s summer and mangos are easy to find, I try to eat one every day and have been experimenting with different recipes. One of the easiest mango recipes that I make often is this delicious mango salsa. It’s sweet, creamy, flavourful, and refreshing.

My favourite way to eat it is with some tortilla chips for an afternoon snack, or at dinner as a topping for fish.

Recipe

Ingredients:

1 mango, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1.5 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Mango Avocado Salsa recipe 3

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 2015 Birchbox

June 2015 Birchbox 1
June 2015 Birchbox 3

This month’s Birchbox encompasses the excitement of summer with its adventure theme. This is the second month in a row that the box has had a custom design (check out the May box HERE) which is a nice surprise.

The first four items focus on skin and hair.

I love the scent of the Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer. It smells like a decadent lemon dessert. This product hydrates the skin with avocado and olive oils and 98% natural ingredients. It can be used on the face as a makeup base as well, but I plan to use it on my hands.

The product in this month’s box that I find most exciting is the Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo because it deeply cleanses hair without stripping moisture or colour. I think it’s important to use a good clarifying shampoo at least once a month to rejuvenate hair.

Also for hair is the PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray. This product provides soft, beachy waves without drying out the hair. I’m looking forward to seeing what this product can do for my naturally straight hair.

The last hair item is a bonus gift included in this month’s box. This Emi-Jay Hair Tie is cute and also part of a good cause since 20% of this company's profits are donated to charity.

June 2015 Birchbox 2

The last two items are for the eyes.

First, The Skyn Iecland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels cool, hydrate, and refresh stressed skin under the eyes. I think these would be a nice treat for the eyes after a hot summer day.

To add a bit of colour, the Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Eyeshadow Quad features a versatile range of satiny-smooth shadows. I was a bit disappointed with this product because I know that these colours would look horrible with my colouring and would make my eyes look tired and irritated. I will pass them on to someone else.

June 2015 Birchbox 4

Overall, while I am very happy with some of the items that I received, I found this month’s box to be less exciting than the April and May boxes. Hopefully the July box will be more impressive and will help me decide whether or not I should continue my subscription.

What did you receive in the June 2015 Birchbox?

*referral links present

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Beauty Giveaway: OCC Lip Tar, Orly Nail Polish, The Body Shop Eyeshadow

OCC lip tar orly the body shop beauty giveaway
Summer is here, so I wanted to give away some colourful beauty products in honour of the season.

You can enter to win these items by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

****This giveaway is open internationally and will close on July 16, 2015 at 11:59 PM****

a Rafflecopter giveaway