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It's the last weekend in June and we can officially say hello to summer! My birthday is next weekend on Canada Day so even though I look forward to turning 35 I am also terrified. Moreso than when I turned 30. I think it's because now every ache and pain, I can't just dismiss. I am officially entering a zone where aches and pains in odd places and times DO matter! Wish me luck guys as I navigate this time in my life where I have to officially check a different age range box.

Though I have outgrown certain things in life, one thing that has remained constant is my love for the scent vanilla. As a kid I loved sniffing the extract before baking and when I discovered that The Body Shop had a Vanilla perfume it was my go-to. I wouldn't even wear it. I would just sniff it like aromatherapy! Earlier this year, Avon released the Skin So Soft Comforting Shea Collection which features vanilla wrapped up in sandalwood and musk and it smells just positively DIVINE. 



PR samples

The Hand Cream is my favourite out of the collection because it absorbs quickly and is non-greasy. I think now that a lot of us have desk jobs, hand creams that don't leave a residue are getting more and more important! One time, I decided to use cuticle oil and thought it was all absorbed until I started typing and all of my matte finish chiclet keys were shiny with oil.  Note that this is not paraben-free which I have often noticed is the case with very quick-absorbing hand creams like this one.  



The Body Butter has the same delicious scent and has a very thick consistency which I would expect from a "butter". While this claims 48 hour hydration, I did not put this to the test as I like to have daily showers, but I CAN tell you that hydration lasts at least 8 hours and also absorbs fairly quickly without a greasy residue.


The Creamy Body Wash was probably the most so-so item of the collection not in terms of quality, but because I find it REALLY hard to get excited about Body Wash PERIOD. This smelled really nice, wasn't too thick in consistency and produced a decent lather. This body wash is paraben-free, but does contain petrolatum.



What I want is for Avon to come out with a fragrance of "Comforting Shea" because that it is what I am most in love with! I will have my fingers crossed!

The Avon Skin So Soft Comforting Shea Collection is available online at www.avon.ca or through your friendly Avon representative.
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I think for the next 10 weeks expect to see only bright manicures from me! It doesn't seem right to wear vampy shades while the sun is shining and the temperature is above 20 degrees. I was browsing Pinterest, as I often do for nailspiration, and came across this pin and loved the colour combination of orange with the neon green studs. I guess I liked the pineapple too, but I didn't feel like more fruit this week...



Not much to say with this manicure as I think most of us are familiar with polka dots, but for my base I used one of my most favourite orange polishes Zoya Arizona which I picked up almost SEVEN years ago when I started doing nail art! The formula was still great and was opaque in two coats. I added white dots with a dotting tool using Essence Wild White Ways* and then quickly added neon green nail studs from Born Pretty with a wax pencil while the polish was still "pliable". This allows me to embed the stud into the polish which helps it to stay locked in place for a week!



Once the white polka dots are dry, apply a healthy dose of top coat and you are DONE! 


How are you celebrating your first summer weekend? I will be working on the Saturday, but will be free Sunday so I am looking forward to that!
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I haven't been doing a lot of makeup looks this year mainly due to time, but it's funny how once you get started you just get in the zone and go. It's how I am with my nail art too because you guys should hear the dialogue that goes on in my brain when I have to take off my current nail art and start something new "Whyyyyyy?!" Then I start painting and 3 hours goes by in a heartbeat! I have a soft spot for blue eyeshadow so when I saw that the Dior Cool Wave Summer Collection had a gorgeous limited edition blue 5 Couleurs Eyehadow Palette the 80s child me was instantly interested!


PR samples, Affiliate links

The Dior Cool Wave collection marries the heat of the sun and a cool indigo pool with the collection showcasing cool pops of colour with sunkissed skin which I love because you still have your traditional bronzed goddess summer look, but then you can spice it up if you would like.


The 5 Couleurs Cool Down Eyeshadow Palette*($73.00 CDN) has an embossing depicting a ripple of a drop hitting the water surface and is a mix of turquoise, midnight and pastel blues that actually look pretty amazing with a neutral face! The palette Heat Up is also available.


The Dior Addict Lipsticks are one of my favourite lipsticks to use because they are sheer enough that I don't need a mirror or a lip brush to apply, but have a formula that is buildable enough to give decent colour payoff. The center of the lipstick is a hydrating gel core which is what makes this lippie so moisturizing!


411 Nude Chill* ($44.00 CDN) is the perfect neutral to balance out the Cool Down palette and is really such an easy nude balm to wear with any makeup look.


040 White Splash* is slightly minty and has a hint of blue shimmer to give lips a plump. Honestly, this shade didn't make a huge difference for my lips so between the two, I would definitely go for Nude Chill.


The Dior Addict Lip Tattoos were released last year and I was pretty impressed (review) with the shade intensity and lasting power of the stain. 341 Litchi*($37.00 CDN) is a light coral that gives me the exact "I've just eaten a popsicle look". While coral isn't the most flattering shade one me, I can vouch that the reds and pinks in the Lip Tattoo series are brilliant. The shades: 641 Orange, 551 Watermelon and 571 Cranberry are also available.


This is probably one of my favourite new products. The Diorshow Cooling Stick in Gold Splash* ($41.00 CDN) is a waterproof eyeshadow stick that legit feels COOL on your skin upon application! I thought this wouldn't be precise enough for the lower lash line, but the angle of the stick made it easy to get up close and personal! The shades: 001 Bronze Wave and 003 Fresh Pink are also available.




For my makeup look, I mostly wanted to use the turquoise and bright blues so I did my best to work them into something wearable that wasn't too loud. I also wanted to look glowy and summery and by the end of my experimentation, I was pretty happy with the look and felt comfortable enough to wear it even to my conservative place of work!


Face:

Smashbox Primer Water
Diorskin Nude Air Serum de Teint in 030
Supergoop! Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45 in Translucent
Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Dark Brown
Diorblush Light and Contour Stick in 002*

Eyes:

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Cool Down*
Diorshow Cooling Stick in Gold Splash* on lower lash line
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Cosmopolite (brown matte shade for depth in crease)
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Blackheart and Darkside
IT Cosmetics Superhero Liner in Super Black*
Diorshow Maximizer 3D Lash Primer*
Zorah Cosmetics Pure Argan Volumizing Mascara*
Eden Lashes in Grace*

Cheeks:

Diorskin Nude Tan in 002 Tie Dye Edition*
Diorskin Nude Air Illuminating Powder in 002 Glowing Nude* (also on nose bridge and cupid's bow)

Lips:
Dior Addict Lipstick in 411 Nude Chill*



The Dior Cool Wave Collection is available now for a limited time with my top picks being the Dior Addict Lipstick in Nude Chill and the Cooling Sticks! 
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I am not the most easygoing person and there have been many times in my life where nerves and stress have not gone over well. I can't really handle alcohol or "drugs" all that well so I am always looking for natural alternatives to relaxation and stress relief whether it is journaling, prayer, music or aromatherapy. I think a lot of bloggers can relate to this because we all seem to be cut from the same cloth when it comes to how we handle stress. Obviously we like to write and we see it as an outlet and from my observations over the years, most bloggers are quite introverted or are like me where I have forced myself to be more social in small doses with recharge times in between. I do love meeting new people and trying new things, but it's easy for me to psych myself OUT just before I am about to do them!

I discovered aromatherapy and the healing properties of scent around the time I started blogging while I was finishing up my computer science degree which I found INCREDIBLY stressful. I would cry and get headaches all the time because coding was the ultimate bane of my existence. Don't get me wrong, I love reading code especially when it is written elegantly, but holy crap writing and then DEBUGGING it made me crazy! Now that I am done with school, it can be hard to block out the noise of the day and being a night owl does not make it any better so I have been very open to natural sleep remedies to help calm the chatter in my brain.


PR samples

While I have loved Alberta-based, green beauty company Rocky Mountain Soap Co. for years (they  have fantastic soap and deodorant!), RMSC recently launched a wellness category earlier this year that had me quite excited because it seemed like a "natural" extension. The Wellness category contains: essential oils, balms, bath salts and sprays two of which have been making my life a little more easy breezy!

The Deep Sleep Wellness Balm* ($18.00 CDN) was not what I was expecting and in a good way! This feels like a light moisturizer instead of a balm-like oil and contains bergamot, lavender, sandalwood, neroli and ylang ylang oil to help with relaxation. Unlike pure essential oils, this can be applied pretty much anywhere. I apply this on my temples, wrists, back of neck and then as a last step, I apply it on my palms and take a deep breath in before I climb into bed. It is honestly one of the most zen things you can do to relax! When it comes to the ingredients, what got my spidey senses tingling was the use of safflower oleosomes which are plant-derived spherical organelles which give time time-released moisture and protect fragrances and essential oils. This means that the scent of this balm will last until you are sleeping like a baby!  


Ingredients: Distilled Water, Carthamus Tinctorius Oleosomes (Safflower oil), Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Flower Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom) Seed Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, D-Alpha Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum


In my attempt to finish Pride and Prejudice, I have been taking baths on the days that I do not wash my hair and while it has served as a great way to use up all my bath bombs, it has also been a way to wind down for the night. The Wellness Bath Salts in Serenity* ($6.00 CDN) are like a peaceful breath of fresh air. I used up almost the whole package! One thing to note though is that whenever you do a hot salts bath like this one is to drink A LOT of water. By osmosis, salts draw out water so you might feel a bit fuzzy when you emerge! For the second half of the package, I actually wanted bubbles, so I added a lavender bath bomb for some fun AND relaxation!

Ingredients: Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt), Sodium Chloride (Pink Himalayan and Sea Salt), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedar) Wood Oil, Piper NIgrum (Black Pepper) Fruit Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) (Flower) Oil, Pelargonium roseum x asperum (rose Geranium) Oil, Vetiveria Zizanioides (Vetiver) Root Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil


This introduction to the Wellness line at RMSC has definitely gotten me interested in trying some other products like the Headache Balm. I go through so many headache roll-ons a year that I have a reserve of peppermint essential oil that I pour into my roll-on. I can't see why anyone wouldn't love any of these products so if you are looking for an effective and natural way to de-stress and stay calm, give the Wellness line a try!

You can find Rocky Mountain Soap Co. products at all RMSC stores and on their website www.rockymountainsoap.com 
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I have been craving fruit salad the last week or so ever since our Vancouver heat wave started and because I haven't had time to go grocery shopping yet, I will have to settle for fruit on my nails! For this week, Renee, Trysh and I decided to go with fruit (they both have SUPER cute manis that you NEED to check out!) for ManiMonday and it was pretty fun to do! I used this tutorial from LovAndy which was a good summary of all of my favourite fruits though I do also love oranges, but they weren't quite as interesting to draw.


PR samples

The tutorial is quite clear so I won't go over the steps again, but here are the nail polishes used for each fruit:

Pineapple: Sally Hansen InstaDri in Dandelion*, brown acrylic paint, OPI One Chic Chick*, SHID Granny Smith Apple*

Watermelon:  SHID in Wild Strawberry*, SHID Granny Smith Apple*, CND Vinylux in Sugar Cane*, Essence Colour & Go in Wild White Ways*

Kiwi: China Glaze Gaga for Green, CND Vinylux in Sugar Cane*, Essence Colour & Go in Black is Back*

Strawberry: SHID in Wild Strawberry*, SHID in Dandelion*, SHID Granny Smith Apple*

I topped it all off with top coat and I was done! My kiwi was a little strange and almost bacterial looking, but from far away it looked VERY edible!


Make sure you go and see what Renee and Trysh have on their nails because both of them have adorable fruit nails!
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I just had to laugh when I put this mask on. This is The Face Shop Homer Character Sheet Mask and compared to Marge (here), this mask is quite a bit bigger though it says "One Size Fits All". The Face Shop x Simpsons Collaboration came out last year and though I missed out on the Lisa mask, the Marge and Homer sheet masks have given me enough amusement to convince me that my purchases were worth it! Do I consider these REAL skincare? Well, no, but let's talk about what happened with Homer shall we?


Though the sheet masks are now gone, the hand creams, Bart nose strips and cleanser are still available through the Face Shop website if you would like to jump in on the Simpson fun. While the Marge mask was all about brightening, Homer's mask is all about hydration with the essence containing olive fruit extract for nourishing dry skin. There is even sodium hyaluronate in the top half of the ingredients list so yay!


Ingredients: water, propanediol, PEF/PPG-17/6 copolymer, 1,2-hexanediol, betaine, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate, olea europaea (olive) fruit extract, adenosine, glycerin, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, potassium hydroxide, allantoin, beta-glucan, disodium EDTA, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, parfum/fragrance


The "Mask Down"

The overall fit of the mask, like Marge, was not the closest fit. Since the Homer mask was quite large, I had large flaps of sheet mask going onto my hairline. The mask also refused to sit on my skin with the chin goatee just never going away and the fabric of the mask feeling stiff probably from the character print.

What really amused me was the fact that I could leave in the eyes and the mouth so it really looked like I had Homer's face! It definitely felt strange not being able to see at the beginning, but it was a nice little touch that made this collection worth experiencing.


Final verdict: Even if this mask was still being sold I would not repurchase based solely on fit. The essence was a little tacky which I could tolerate, but there was so much extra mask around my chin and sides of my face that I had to take it off as soon as I hit 15 minutes. Yes, my skin was hydrated. Yes, I got a good laugh at myself, but the remainder of the experience just left me annoyed.


You can try the rest of The Face Shop x Simpsons collaboration at The Face Shop.

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I don't normally post manicures on the blog a week after Instagram, but I guess I was so excited to share the manicure with you all that I didn't get a chance to synchronize with the blog. I have also had kind of a funny last two weeks at work that have left me feeling a little more jaded than I normally am, but also empowered to take control of situations that have bothered me for years. Way to be cryptic huh? I don't mean to be and if anyone messages me about what the hell I am talking about I will be more than happy to oblige, but for now let's keep it as "work issues" where I will emerge victorious.

Last week there was an event celebrating the launch of the new summer tribal-themed CND Boho Spirit collection, but because I was on my lunch break, I didn't have time to get any nail art like the leopard print I got for the CND Chic Shock collection so I did the art part at home. What the lovely ladies at Onyx Aesthetics DID do for me was get me started with three coats of CND Vinylux in Uninhibited.



PR samples

On its own, I was not a huge fan of Uninhibited and I cannot decide if that is because I am not used to having a plain swatch on its own or the colour itself. At any rate, the Boho Spirit collection is very cohesive with all four colours going so well together that I really felt the need to do the collection justice by doing another dotticure!


Similar in method to the rainbow nails I did for Pride last week, I randomly dotted dots of varying sizes starting from the middle of the nail going outward using the remaining three shades in the collection: Vagabond* (yellow), Gypsy* (orange) and Offbeat* (coral). The manicure needed an extra colour to tie everything in hence the random dots of gold done with CND Vinylux in Brass Button*. I topped everything with the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat and I was all done!


The CND Boho Spirit Collection is available now.
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When it comes to the lip tint, I feel the Koreans do it best because if you have ever looked at Asian makeup, it's generally A LOT of tints. Not that lipsticks aren't used, but the gradient lip look has long been the standard for sweet, natural-looking beauty and it makes perfect sense that tints would be done best in the Asian beauty world! I have a couple of tints from various KBeauty brands and to be honest they are all kind of the same shades of reds and pinks, but who can resist Asian packaging?! I know I can't, so when I saw the LABIOTTE Wine Lip Tints in miniature wine bottles with a formula containing actual wine extract, I just had to go for it because of well, cuteness overload. 


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LABIOTTE makes a number of makeup and skincare products with a "botanical-based" approach to "enhancing a woman's beauty using ultramodern technology". I'm sure the translation to English wasn't the best, but I think I get what they are trying to say. While I wouldn't call this company a green beauty company, but it was a nice surprise seeing wine extract in the top half of the ingredients list for these wine tints.

Released about two years ago, these wine tints are formulated with the wine extract Sepivinol, which comes from French wines and provides a rich, long-lasting tint while providing hydration and the antioxidative benefits of wine. I really don't know about the latter, but I can definitely attest to the other qualities!

The wand screws right out of the bottle revealing a slightly curved doe foot applicator. The formula itself is similar to tints I have tried in the past in that it is watery, cool and dries fast. I did find the formula a bit drying and had to add a touch of gloss or lip balm to keep my lips feeling comfortable.



There are 8 shades available and believe me, I wanted to get them all for the sake of this post and because I KNOW they would look absolutely adorable lined up in a row, but instead, I went with two shades I would wear most often: CR02 Sauternes Coral and RD01 Shiraz Red. The coral actually took a few swipes to build up (depending on the type of look you are going for), but the red was like WHOA. One swipe is all it took to be fully opaque!


These don't budge either once the "liquid" part of the formula has evaporated. The tint is intense and I literally had on the coral for several hours with dinner included! I even used my trusty Aritaum Eye and Lip Makeup Remover to remove what was left and there was still a tint!


Don't even get me started on what was left behind with the Shiraz Red! This is a beautifully dramatic colour and you can see that even though my makeup is the same, my skin looks significantly more pale with this shade of tint.



Final verdict: When it comes to long-lasting, this is a tint that will withstand it all! Salads, meats, makeup removers - all will be defeated. The tint is a beautiful one and I know I will be wearing these on long days at the office when I know I can't be bothered to reapply during the day. I mentioned they weren't the most hydrating, but what's nice is that gloss or balm does not cause the existing to tint on the lips to move around. They literally just go right on top! At $12 a "bottle" and 7g of product, I'd say this pricing is VERY reasonable and the fact that I get something fun to look at and use in addition to a great product has me VERY happy!

You can find the LABIOTTE Wint Lip Tints at YesStyle.ca
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I feel like I haven't been here in awhile! Today is my half weekend and I promised myself that instead of running around like a crazy person that I would take today to chill and be a bit of a hermit as the last couple of weeks have been rather social even on my days off. Yesterday, Trysh, Renee and I decided to do purple-themed nails for ManiMonday and even though I agreed to join in, I was actually asleep at 10pm after a super long day at work, but realized I didn't to miss out on ManiMonday fun! 



PR Samples

I decided to go with some purple cremes from the OPI Venice collection a few years ago using two coats of Purple Palazzo Pants* and then doing a wide French tip and polka dots using the dark purple O Suzi Mio*. These gold bows from Born Pretty finished off this nail art look and also covered up any uneven lines when free-handing French tips!



I waited for the polka dots to dry down quite a bit and then took out my current favourite top coat, CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat, to seal everything in with a perfectly glossy shine.




Renee and Trysh always have beautiful manicures so make sure you check out their blogs to see what they are sporting on their nails today!
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Every month, I try to have personal themes that I stick to blogging about like back in February when I focused on Asian brands for the Lunar New Year. If I am stumped, I turn to the CBB for monthly ideas or I do a combination of the two if I really want to get a good amount of content out. I find themes really helpful as I can feel overwhelmed with products and I am often ashamed to admit how incredibly behind I am or how long I have had a certain "new" product on my hands. One area that I really haven't moved through fast enough is my KBeauty collection. I have A LOT that I have purchased and I am a little sorry to say that purchased products tend to fall to the wayside in favour of PR samples, so for this month I will try to have at least 2-3 KBeauty items/week that I have found amusing and/or totally cool starting with the RiRe Bubble Bubble Lip Mask!



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This was part of my YesStyle.ca haul from about a month ago and I bought this lip mask mainly for personal amusement for $10 and since I enjoyed my Elizavecca bubbly face mask so much, I figured bubbly lips would be a total riot! Hey, you gotta find joy in small places am I right?

This mask is intended to be a lip exfoliator which uses soft microbubbles to gently remove dead skin cells from the lips to moisturize and smooth lip texture. It's a fast mask which I like with results within 5 minutes! 



There is 12mL of product with 1-2 pumps being more than enough to cover my lips. There is a very light orange citrus scent and essentially once the product is exposed to air and moisture you need to work fast before the gel starts foaming!


Foaming action started within a minute and on the lips felt tingly and a bit like Pop Rocks? It wasn't itchy, but I definitely felt some action on my lips!



For some reason, it was harder to get an even layer of foam on the lips so in the photo below I just look like a decaying corpse with flaky lips, but I am happy to report that when I washed off the mask with water, my lips were SUPER SMOOTH. Those crazy microbubbles worked. Looking at the ingredient list does not readily provide an exfoliant, but the bubbles might indeed be what renews your lips and gives them life again!




Final verdict: I really liked this mask way more than I thought I would! I had some dry patches at the corner of my lips that I am terrified of peeling off because that's what causes your lips to bleed so I focused a lot of this mask at the corner of my mouth and I am so impressed that my lips feel so incredibly smooth in such a short period of time. I might even be able to do this in the morning while I am getting ready so that I can have the ultimate perfect lip for those matte/satin shades I love so much!

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