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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Julep Confetti Toss Wedding Nail Polish Set

Julep Confetti Toss 1

It’s wedding season 2015! This year, the season is even more exciting for me because it will give me some inspiration as I embark on a bit of wedding planning of my own.

While I’m enjoying all different aspects of the wedding planning process, I love when I get to take on the beauty-related tasks. After all, I already think that I know which polish I will be wearing on my wedding day, but I won’t share that idea now since I may change my mind.

As frequent browser of the Julep site, I love to look through all the pretty polishes, makeup, and gift sets in the Weddings section which also has a very helpful wedding checklist. I had been eyeing one particular polish set called Confetti Toss for a while, so I finally decided to purchase it to see if it could be an option for a bridesmaid gift.

When I received the set, I first noticed how nicely everything was packaged. The two polishes came in a pretty gold embossed cover and a pink bag with ribbons. The outer box is made of a very sturdy cardboard with a rich pink coating and silver Julep logos. It has a magnetic closure and the phrase “We believe beauty is about connection, not competition” printed on the side of the box. There’s extra room inside to add other gifts like wedding jewellery or accessories for the big day. The packaging makes this set a convenient gift for bridesmaids since the bride will not need to worry about wrapping anything.

Julep Confetti Toss

The two polishes that come in the set are Nell (a blushing holographic full-coverage glitter) and Reese (a bright bubblegum pink creme). With two polishes in very different finishes, this set can be used to create many different nail looks. To see one that I have created so far, click HERE.

I think that the shades are perfect for bridesmaids because they will allow the ladies to express themselves with their polish without wearing a nail colour that’s too distracting. Since Nell is a very neutral pink shade that only needs a coat or two to look opaque, it can be applied quickly and will complement dresses in any colour. Reese is such a pretty pink that I think would look amazing with darker dresses in shades of navy, purple, emerald, and black, but also with lighter dress colours like champagne or silver.

Julep Confetti Toss 2

I really like the idea of giving a polish set to bridesmaids because it’s a practical gift that can be used long after the wedding and may get more use than accessories chosen specifically to match the dress.

In addition to this set, there are a couple others that I may consider purchasing to see how they compare.

Overall, I am very impressed with the Confetti Toss set from Julep.

*referral links present*

Wedding Nails with Julep Confetti Toss

Julep Confetti Toss Wedding Nails

I created this nail look using the Confetti Toss Wedding Nail Polish Set from Julep. To see my full review of the set, click HERE.

The base colour in this look is Reese, a pretty bubblegum pink, and the glittery accents feature Nell, a blushing holographic polish. I used a nail art brush to make the vertical stripes, but the same effect can be achieved with a toothpick or a dotting tool.

I think this look would be great for bridesmaids, wedding guests, or even brides.

For more wedding inspiration, check out my wedding nail board on Pinterest by clicking HERE.

What will you be wearing on your nails this wedding season?

*referral links present*

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: Born Pretty Store Cat Nail Art Stickers

Born Pretty Store Cat Nail Art Stickers 2
Born Pretty Store Cat Nail Art Stickers 1

Over the years, I have noticed that cats get a lot of love from the blogging community. I am quite the cat lover myself, so of course I was very excited to try out these cute Cat Nail Art Stickers* from Born Pretty Store. They have a very classy design and are cute yet adult appropriate. I did not feel childish or embarrassed wearing these stickers in public. In fact, I received compliments on them.

Just like the Bunny Nail Art Stickers that I reviewed back in February, this set comes with 14 stickers in various sizes to fit most nails. This set features black, white, and red cat designs on a pale pink background. The background looks whiter in the top photo, but the stickers are actually a bit more pink like they appear in the second photo. The pink is similar to Essie Ballet Slippers.

At only $4.99 USD plus FREE Worldwide Shipping, they are more affordable than nail art stickers from the drugstore and specialty beauty stores. You can also save 10% by using the code Beauty4K31.

Aside from being very easy to apply, these stickers have zero drying time and last for around seven days. After about four days, they did start to lift when I washed my hair, but I was able to smooth them back down for a few more days of wear.

I did have a few minor issues with this product. First, the two larger stickers with the full cat designs were very big for my thumb nails. I have very tiny nails but, even with trimming, I couldn’t get them to fit perfectly. Also, unlike the bunny stickers, these stickers did have a bit of a chemical smell, but it was not as bad as the scent of regular nail polish or the nail stickers from other brands.

Overall, I really enjoyed these Cat Nail Art Stickers and believe that they are worth the price. They are also the first nail art stickers that I have found that have a cat design. Click here to check them out and see the other available designs: http://www.bornprettystore.com/14pcs-nail-sticker-decals-colorful-funny-cartoon-cloud-rain-heart-nail-decoration-p-6643.html

June 2015 Glossybox

June 2015 glossybox 1

With summer less than a week away, the June Glossybox* arrived at the perfect time. The box, inspired by the colourful streets of Miami, features products to create lush lashes, bold nails, and hydrated skin for sunny days and late nights.

Aside from wearing sunscreen (everyday!) to protect skin from harmful rays, it’s important to replenish moisture after exposure to sun, chlorine, salt water, wind, etc. My favourite product for moisturizing and treating skin in the summer is aloe vera, which is why I’m so excited that Glossybox included two aloe products in this month’s box. The first is Etre Belle Cosmetics Aloe Vera Ultra Moisturizing Gel, an oil-free hydrator with liposomes to hydrate, improve elasticity, and prime skin. Aloe also helps cure sunburn, frostbite, and bruises.

Another skincare product is the The Aloe Source Luminosity Masque, a luxurious gel masque that exfoliates and soothes skin to restore youth and radiance with ingredients such as pineapple extract, papaya extract, aloe vera, and willow herb extract.

June 2015 Glossybox 2

As for beauty items, this month’s box includes mini, yet generous sized products that enhance lashes as nails. Too Faced Cosmetics Better than Sex Mascara volumizes and lifts lashes with its hourglass-shaped brush. The collagen-fueler formula is buildable for a customized effect. Based on the beautiful lashes pictured on the box, I can’t wait to try this mascara.

Aside from defined lashes, a summer look wouldn’t be complete without glowy skin. The Doucce Blush Brush in this month’s box seamlessly applies powder blush and bronzer with its dome-shaped head and natural hair fibers. I really like the size of the brush since it’s perfect for travel and quick touch-ups on the go.

The last item of the month is an Orly Nail Lacquer in the shade Oh Cabana Boy. Not only is it the perfect shade of hot pink for summer, this polish is also free of DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene. I can’t wait to paint my toes with this pink and slip on some colourful sandals.

June 2015 Glossybox 3

Overall, I really love the June 2015 Glossybox. It may even be my favourite box so far! I will use every single product sent this month and I really like how all the items are summer-friendly. Also, the value of the box is very high this month since the aloe vera gel and brush are full size and the other three products are deluxe samples.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Glossybox has in store for July!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spring Polka Dot Nail Art

China Glaze Light as Air Zoya Meadow 1
China Glaze Light as Air Zoya Meadow 2

Before I start creating summer nail looks, I wanted to post one more spring design.

This look features Light as Air from China Glaze, a polish that I reviewed recently in the Nail of the Day section of my blog. It’s the perfect pastel purple shade! The shimmery polka dots are in the shade Meadow from Zoya. It’s a beautiful golden peach colour. I love the contrast between the creamy finish of the base colour and the glowy peach dots.

I used a dotting tool to create the polka dots and alternated larger and smaller dots to add a bit of texture. This look was very quick and easy to create.

What do you think of this spring nail look? What did you wear on your nails this spring?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Nail Polish Canada Haul: Essie Romper Room, China Glaze Wanderlust, and Zoya Leslie

Nail Polish Canada Haul Essie Romper Room China Glaze Wanderlust Zoya Leslie

It’s been a while since I purchased new polishes and wanted to add a few new pinks and purples to my collection for spring. Where I live, it’s not easy to find salon-quality polishes that are decently priced, so I always tend to order from Nail Polish Canada where prices are lower and shipping is free on orders over $25.

The first polish in my order is Romper Room from Essie. Although my polish collection includes many light pink cream finishes, the ones that I have from Essie are my favourite—especially Fiji and Ballet Slippers—so I’m excited to try out Romper Room. This polish came out with Essie’s Spring 2014 Hide & Go Chic Collection. Essie describes the shade as a pale tea rose pink.

Next is Wanderlust from China Glaze’s Spring 2015 Road Trip Collection. I haven’t decided yet if this shade is more pink or more purple. Either way, it has a beautiful shimmery sheen that sets it apart from the other pinks and purples in my collection.

And, of course, a nail polish haul of mine would not be complete without something from Zoya. For the most part, I usually buy cream finishes from Zoya and take little interest in their shimmery shades—until I saw Leslie. This soft lavender metallic with turquoise flecks is part of the Spring 2015 Zoya Delight Collection. While this shade looks a bit more purple than Wanderlust, it has those gorgeous pink undertones that make it very fresh and wearable. I can’t wait to see how those flashes of turquoise look in the sunlight.

Over the next little while, I will be swatching and trying out these polishes, so check the NOTD (Nail of the Day) section of my blog for my upcoming reviews.

See my other nail product hauls and reviews HERE.

Which polishes have you purchased lately? Which ones are on your wish list?

NOTD: China Glaze Light as Air

China Glaze Light as Air

Light as Air was released with China Glaze’s Spring 2010 Up and Away Collection. This collection is one of my favourites from China Glaze since it includes a good amount of pastel cream-finish polishes. Since Light as Air is one of my favourites in the collection, I thought it was about time that I reviewed it.

Although this pastel purple is pigmented and opaque, it’s also very wearable since it has subtle hints of pink and grey that make it very neutral. It leans toward lilac. For me, this is the perfect everyday colour that works well with any outfit and is more interesting than a standard nude polish.

The formula is a little tricky but still easy to work with as long as it’s applied in thin coats with ample drying time between each coat. I applied three coats in the photo above. After two coats, it was still a bit patchy in spots but looked flawless with three. It also dries fairly quickly to a slightly glossy finish. It’s not a shiny as polishes from Zoya without a top coat.

This polish lasted for a full week on me without chipping. I used Orly Bonder Base Coat and Poshe Top Coat to prolong the manicure.

Overall, I highly recommend Light as Air for those who love pastels, neutral shades, and versatile polishes that can be worn year round.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beauty Giveaway!!!!

OPI and Cargo Giveaway

Here’s another beauty giveaway to celebrate my new blog design. To learn more about the design, including new features, the designer, and my experience with the process, click HERE.

This giveaway features pink and grey beauty products in honour of my former design. 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 June 18, 2015 at 11:59 PM****

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May 2015 Birchbox

May 2015 Birchbox 2
May 2015 Birchbox 4

Last month, I made my first Birchbox post (see what I received in the April box HERE). I really enjoyed the box that I received and decided to continue subscribing for a few more months.

Each monthly Birchbox contains five samples from a range of categories such as skincare, haircare, fragrance, lifestyle, etc. You can also fill out a beauty profile so that the company can get to know your beauty preferences. Subscriptions cost $10 per month plus $4.95 shipping.

The May 2015 box is extra special because it was curated by Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere. The theme of the box is Elevate Everyday, which focuses on simple products that can have a profound impact on our everyday experiences and transform our moods. The outside of the box is very uplifting with its orange and gold design, and the products are very interesting and energizing.

The first three products really caught my attention with their sleek packaging. The Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream is an old favourite of mine. I have used this product in the past and loved how hydrating its shea butter formula is.

Also for a luxurious shower is Not Soap, Radio, The Stuff that Cupid Dips His Arrows in Body Wash, a rich cleanser with ginseng that’s meant to increase attraction. I love trying new body washes and can’t wait to use this one.

The sleek white tube is The Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara from W3LL PEOPLE. This all-natural, pro-grade mascara lifts and lengthens lashes without chemicals or dyes. I’m really looking forward to trying this since I have a difficult time finding mascaras that do not irritate my sensitive eyes.

May 2015 Birchbox 1

The last two items are for the face and lips. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer is organic and uses fruit stem cells to firm and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. I think my mom would love this product, so I will pass it on to her.

Yes, you read the tube correctly; the final product, by Dr. Lipp, is called Original Nipple Balm for Lips. While the name seems a bit strange, it’s understandable since this product was originally made for nursing moms. It can also be used on parched lips, cuticles, and elbows as needed. I will definitely be trying this on my dry hands, cuticles, knees, and elbows.

May 2015 Birchbox 3

Overall, I am quite impressed with this month’s box and feel as though my beauty preferences were considered (for the most part) when my products were selected. Like I mentioned last month, I’m still not sure how long I will continue with my subscription but will be trying it out for a few more months. It’s affordable and I have received some useful items so far. I look forward to seeing what I will receive in months to come.

What did you receive in the May 2015 Birchbox?

*This post contains referral links