My blog focuses on beauty, fashion and lifestyle, but I provide the unique perspective of being a (very) broke student. For beauty, I write about hyped up products and decide whether or not its worth taking the $$ plunge.
In the past I have sworn by my NARS brow gel, but recently I’ve been on the hunt for a more affordable option since I use it SO much. The NYX Brow Mascara has been recommended to me by a few people, and the only one that I can seem to find on the drugstore shelves lately. I haven’t tries ANY other NYX products before this one, so buckle up.
What I’m looking for…
I use brow gel almost on the daily just to help frame my face. I want a product that adds a bit of colour and makes my brows more even, and that helps keep my brows in place. Up until now I’ve been using the NARS brow gel in the shade Piraeus, but it’s $30CAD a pop and I just don’t have the budget to keep replacing it! I picked up this NYX brow mascara from Shoppers Drug Mart in the shade Brunette to see if it can meet all of my wants needs.
On the packaging…
It’s pretty standard packaging – classic mascara brush and bottle, and pretty average packaging. The bottle colour is the same as the shade of the colour inside, which is a nice way to make sure you’re buying the right shade. Otherwise this is totally standard packing wise, which isn’t bad! I don’t expect much flair at this price point.
On the formula…
The quality of the formula itself is really impressive. It has a lot of colour to it so it really tints your brows and fills them in with a quick swipe. The one drawback here is that it doesn’t have a lot of hold to it, so if you use brow gel to keep your brows in line it’s not ideal. On the flip side, it’s super quick and effective at giving your brows a natural filled look.
On me…(forgive me for never waxing or doing anything to tame my brows pls)
On the price point…
This product rings up to $9.00CAD on the NYX website, and is often included in drug store sales. It’s an absolute steal for the quality of the product. There are things that are missing a little bit for me, but since this is a product I use so much (and therefore replace SO much), I can make it work for the discount. It looks like there are a lot of other similarly priced brow products by NYX that make up for this product’s misgivings, so I might try those and see how long they last me! It might still ended up being cheaper in the long run.
What’s your go-to brow product? Do you get yours professionally waxed and tinted?! I’m tempted to but I’m not sure I trust anyone else with mine!
I have loved and used my camera bag for almost two years now, and in that time I’ve gotten countless compliments and questions about it – so here it is! An extended review of my camera bag: the Jo Totes Siena bag.
Jo Totes make a variety of styles of camera bags, but this is easily my favourite. The Siena bag has a kind of vintage allure to it – it’s THE bag that I can picture wearing while exploring the streets of some foreign Mediterranean city. It is so easy to style, and fits everything I need which makes it the perfect bag! It might not be enough for some of you who carry around a lot of equipment when you shoot, but be advised that Jo Totes have some bags with more compartments and storage space in them.
first, let’s talk technical
The Siena bag comes in a dust bag, with three velcro attachments to fit inside the bag. The attachments are easy to take on and off, and move around to suit your needs for that day. One is a long attachment that attaches to either the front or the back of the inner pocket and creates a slot for a tablet. The other two are shorter and run vertical to the inside of the bag, making little compartments for cameras, chargers, and anything else you might need! There is also a zip pocket on the back inner pocket, and one on the back of the bag. Finally there’s a little slot pocket on the front of the bag. It comes with an over the shoulder strap that has a padded attachment so it doesn’t dig in. It’s fastened with a twisted latch at the front, which aren’t my favourite but I’ve never had a problem with it getting stuck (unless the bag is overpacked).
inside the bag
Because the pockets are so easy to manipulate, I can use this bag for pretty much anything. It’s *technically* a camera bag, but I always bring it travelling and don’t always carry my camera. When I am going out for a shoot, it neatly fits my camera (Canon Powershot SX50HS), my camera charger, my film Camera (Canon AE11), and some film. At the most I’ve fit in a camera body (AE11), two lenses (one big one and one smaller), about three rolls of film, and a disposable camera. Usually when I’m travelling I carry my digital camera, my iPad, my wallet and a few bits like lipstick, Advil and glasses case. It can get really heavy when I’m travelling just because it’s fitting so much in there, so I’ve been trying to cut back on how much I’m bringing and I’ve been in the market for a new point and shoot camera – any recommendations?!
how I style it
This bag is the best for styling. It gives any outfit a ton of character, and easily goes with any season. In this post I’ve styled it with a lighter, more colourful spring outfit, but I’ve worn it in the past with warmer colours, and heavier clothing. It dresses down easily, and dresses up easily, and honestly I love it to heck. If you want to see me wearing it elsewhere, check out last year’s NYC travel post.
wear & tear
One of the things I love about this bag is that it shows wear and tear. The leather gets marked, the metal sometimes gets scuffed, and the straps get worn in. I think it only adds to the character of the bag as you can see how much its been worn and how much it’s been loved. I feel like it just makes the bag look more effortlessly cool and timeless! BUT it’s not for everyone. When it first started scuffing up it broke my heart a little but it grew on me like crazy. The bag has its own stories with it now, from when I dropped it here, or when I shoved it under the airplane seat on my flight to there, when I rushed to take my camera out to take a picture of this or that. I love it! I wear it in the rain (usually not by choice) and I bring it with me everywhere, no matter what. With a little more care and safety precautions you could probably get by a lot longer than I did without marking it up but that’s just how I am!
cost & purchasing
I asked for this bag for my 20th birthday since it’s a little on the pricier side. It wasn’t in my student life budget and it’s definitely an investment piece. In retrospect, if I had known what I know now I wouldn’t question just saving up and buying it myself. I’ve used it so much in the past few years, and it’s top notch in terms of quality and looks. We ordered it from their online website, I’m not sure if they have in store retailers but we had no problem ordering online at https://www.jototes.com. I’ve been having a browse around there recently, thinking of picking out a second one but every time I just fall in love with this style all over again!
What do you think of the Siena bag?! What’s your go-to photography bag? (Also how are we feeling about this rainbow sweater trend??? I’m on board obv) I’ve been buying a lot of backpacks lately because I own WAY too many purses. I swear I buy bags like Carrie Bradshaw buys shoes. They’re my WEAKNESS!
Hello everyone! I have been HURTING lately. I’ve come down with a flu or something because I’ve been hacking up a lung and I’m SO exhausted all the time. Makeup usually takes a back burner when I’m feeling this way, but I’ve since learned a thing or two about low maintenance makeup that is perfect for sick days.
I don’t like to put too much on my face when I’m sick, it just never really looks right and I don’t want to end up sweating it all off if I get a fever. I do what I can to cover up the main signs of sickness – under my eyes and in the lack of colour and warmth in my skin tone. I also try to use products that will last as long as possible, because I’m often blowing my nose, covering my mouth and touching my face when I’m sick.
I start with Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer, it’s soft and moisturizing (but oil free!) and sets the base for everything else to last all day, because let’s face it I don’t have it in me to do this twice.
I use the RMS Beauty Un Cover Up Foundation/Concealer for under my eyes and as a base for my face. I dab it anywhere there’s discolouration and call it done for the day. Then I top up my under eyes with a bit of MAC’s Select Cover Up since I always find my eyes are where the sickness shows up the most. I set everything with RMS Beauty’s Un Powder – it has a velvety soft finish and adds a bit of colour and evenness. The final touch is a bit of colour: use a bit of bronzer (I just use Too Faced’s Cocoa Contour in dark cocoa), pick something that has warm tones to offset any sallowness onset by the sickness. I don’t feel myself without a bit of warmth to my cheeks, my favourite blush is The Body Shop’s Cheek + Lip Stain because it’s really easy to apply, has a really rich colour and works almost like a paint – aka it doesn’t leave your face ALL. DAY.
I take it REALLY simple with eyes. Here, I’m just trying to brighten them up a little and combat tiredness. On the flip side my eyes water to all heck when I’m sick, and they can get a bit itchy at times, both of which negate any possibility of using eyeliner without it rubbing off almost immediately. Instead, I use neutral shadow tones to brighten, and standard lengthening mascara to open my eyes a bit more. I also fill in my brows just to frame the face.
I use the Nars Wanted palette for shadow since they’re cream based, so they have an awesome colour pay off that doesn’t crease or fade during the day. I used the shades Seven Heaven and Shadow Hill in my crease to add some depth to my eye, and brighten the inner corner with Biarritz. Then I curl my lashes and apply a few coats of the Noir Interdit mascara by Givenchy. I love love love this mascara because it really grabs every lash and adds length to it. I also apply mascara to the bottom outer lashes. Finally, I fill in my brows! I use the Maybelline Total Temptations brow pencil because it’s super quick and easy to apply.
Lips are usually a hard pass for me when I’m sick. With all the coughing, nose blowing and tea drinking it just doesn’t seem worth it to put ANYTHING on my lips. At the same time, I always think my face doesn’t look finished without a lip product on. When I’m sick I use a lip tint and moisturizer for very low maintenance lips.
I’m using The Body Shop’s Lip + Cheek Stain in Pomegranate AGAIN, this time to tint my lips and give them a bit of rouge that will last for a good few hours. Then I’m topping it off with L’Occitane’s Shea Lip Balm. I’m obsessed with L’Occitane. I always get their advent calendar to try out all of their new products and get some samples of my old favourites. I had forgotten how much I loved this lip product until I got the sample in the calendar, I use it so much now that less than a month later I’m running out! If you’re looking for a catch-all lip balm, this is it.
You can always spray a little setting spray, or even water mist just to add a little bit of energy and moisture to your face once you’re done! Usually when I’m sick I can’t be bothered for this step, but to each their own.
What are your go-to beauty products for sick days?! I feel like it’s a hit or miss, on one hand you want to do what you can to feel better, but on the other you want to feel especially comfortable and low-key. Let me know what your take on this is in the comments below!
Hello everyone! Those of you who have been around here for awhile might remember back in 2016 when each month I would do an overview of my Instagram. The idea was that you could get to know a little more about me, behind the scenes of ArcticSabrina. I took a break from it last year – honestly? Because I felt like it was lazy content! I felt like it was a cop-out post. At the same time, I really feel like I had a lot harder time connecting with my readers and sharing more of my personal life. This year I’ve made it my mission to only caption Instagram photos with quotes of lyrics or poems that I’m really feeling at that time, or in that moment. I think in a way it lets me be way more honest about things without blatantly oversharing. On the flipside, I thought I would start sharing some of the moments captured on my Instagram here on ArcticSabrina again. For some reason it feels a lot more personal on here than it does on Instagram, and I don’t feel too badly about the occasional overshare – I hope you don’t either! We’re all friends here.
I had a rough weekend a few weeks back where I got MAJORLY depressed, listened to a lot of dodie, and watched a lot of Zoella until it passed. It’s not a place I’ve never been before, but it’s one that’s never been SO quick to pass, so I’m really proud and happy about that. Yesterday was #BellLetsTalk so I quoted secret for the mad (dodie): I promise you, it’ll all make sense again. been listening to a LOT of Niall’s album lately, just quoted this with ‘fire away’ — its just a picture of my makeup post (coming out tomorrow) so it goes pt 2. not gonna lie I LOVE how I look in this picture, that song just gave me the right vibe
so it goes pt 1. the stance and look in this picture SCREAMS reputation and I was rlly feeling it I look rlly moody here so I quoted ‘theres one thing on my mind’ from on my own by Niall bc I love that taking it out of the context of the song makes it seem like im pining even tho im perfectly happy just me ‘words only get through if they’re sharp’ – dodie, this was on the tail end of my depression spiral, self explanatory
quoted cold coffee by ed because its a picture of coffee and its a wonderful song didn’t want to post this bc my back looks super bony and weird but instead I posted it with the Lorde quote ‘let em talk cause we’re dancing in this world alone’ and it made me feel kind of powerful even though it probably seemed like nothing NOT a lyric quote, just said paradise for obv reasons
‘grab a bag grab a bottle but leave the what if’ – my motto for this year. we’re doing things. we’re making them happen just emoji quotes bc its a bunch of pictures from a ski trip! welcome to the new year – the first song I finished this year! doesn’t seem like a quote bc I am a musical nobody so its like my little secret and thats cute and fun, right? right?
*note captions run from most recent to least recent, top to bottom, left to right*
I wasn’t too sure where to take my Instagram at the start of the year. I really admire people who have really cohesive themes without just regurgitating the same content again, and again, and again. I decided to try to take some time to actually put some effort into my instagram and see if that makes me happier with the results. It’s already taken a BIT of a backseat as I recently came down with a harsh case of bronchitis, and suddenly I don’t want to even do the schoolwork I have to, let alone my Instagram. Give me inspiration!! Please! Who are your favourite Instagrammers?
PS – I know the captions are super hard to follow with the pictures! Should I crop the pictures row by row and have them sorted that way? These posts are a work in progress so if you have any recommendations for stuff to change let me know in the comments!
While style develops and trends come and go, there are a few pieces that are so timeless and versatile that they should be in everyone’s closet. Here is a list of ten pieces to invest in, because they’re not going anywhere.
White Button Down
Arguably THE most versatile top. White is a go-to top because it works season by season, and goes with pretty much any colour you can image. White button downs are easy to transition from professional to casual depending on how you style them. There are so many options when it comes to a white blouse button down that it’s SO easy to find one that’s still a little ‘you’.
A Favourite Pair of Blue Jeans
I firmly believe that everyone needs a perfect pair of jeans. Even if you generally prefer trousers or loungewear, there will always come a time to wear jeans. Everyone should have at least one pair that they feel good in. Feeling comfortable and confident in a classic pair of jeans is essential because they’re like a piece of armour to wear with you on any stressful day to day activities. They’re perfect for intense exams, or first dates, or any other time when you want to look and feel put together, but still feel comfortable, and like yourself.
Casual to Chic Sneakers
These bad boys are perfect because (unless you live in the real great white north like moi) sneakers are something you can generally wear year round. Having a good pair of versatile sneakers like Converse, Vans, or Adidas that you feel comfortable enough to hike in (but please, they shouldn’t be your first choice for hikes, you know what I mean) but you can still wear on a daily basis with a vast array of styles and outfits. These are perfect to pack when you’re travelling but you don’t want to bring runners AND sneakers, because you know you can walk long distances in them AND style them with pretty much everything else you’ve packed.
Black Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are pretty much a given nowadays. Almost every ‘fashion guru’ will say that you should have one killer jacket that you can throw on with literally any outfit and instantly feel like you can make people weak with your cuteness. If you’re not into the leather/faux-leather look, jean sherling lined jackets have stood the test of time (my issue with this is you can’t wear them with jeans unless you have the audacity to do a Canadian tuxedo, and I, despite being a Canadian, do not, I am not Gigi Hadid, I will not pretend I am). I honestly don’t know what other kind of jacket I could possibly replace my leather jacket with??? It’s truly irreplaceable. The nice thing about leather jackets is that they’ve become so hyped up that there are endless versions and styles, no doubt one that will suit your taste.
AKA a blazer that fits you immaculately and immediately classes up whatever it is you’ve thrown it overtop. It is a go-to for interviews and first days of work, and one that, because of it’s sheer professional-ness, gives you the confidence you want and need on these stressful adult endeavors.
Once upon a time I thought white jeans were a fad, so I didn’t invest in a pair. Then, back when I had a discount from working in a retail store I jumped at the chance to right my wrong because I had constantly felt like I was lacking a pair. If you, like me, are worried you’re just going to immediately dirty them and have wasted your money, go for a sturdier material. There are TONS of options when it comes to white trousers, so take your time. Full disclosure: I don’t wear mine all that often, but there are certain outfits that I LOVE that I couldn’t do without them. They’re also perfect for professional wear, and getting away with wearing jeans without looking like your wearing jeans.
Little Black Dress (just walked into the room)
Let’s be honest guys, nothing will really ever be the new black. The idea of an LBD, like most things on the list, is that it should be a dress that you feel killer in, and that you can wear 99% of the time — that means 4/4 seasons, and events ranging from a pub crawl to a wedding. I always thought I would have to really invest in an LBD, I had visions of me heading into Hudson’s Bay or Bloomingdales trying to find the perfect one I thought because it’s such an iconic piece I would have to take the time to look and trial and error with a million try ons of different dresses to find the one that works the best. As it turns out, I bought mine because I was in desperate need of a dress for a work event, and I was last minute shopping, so I picked up the closest and cheapest dress that I could find in Forever 21, bought it, and hoped for the best. Thank god for that. It’s a bodycon mini dress, it has a high neck and it’s sleeveless and has flattering geometric seams running across it – if I had more time to look at it and judge it, I never would have bought it. I can be annoying like that.
You knew this was coming. Do I even have to defend this pick? Like most others on this list Chelsea boots are here for their versatility and their added chic quality. Jeans, t-shirt and a leather jacket? Chelsea boots. Culottes and a crop top? Chelsea boots. Shift dress and jean jacket? Chelsea boots. I promise you your Chelsea boots will become one of your most loved pair of shoes. Partially because you can wear them with everything, and partially because (thanks to our god and saviour Harry Styles) you can find EVERY style of Chelsea boot imaginable for EVERY price range. You are bound to find a pair you love within your budget.
Wide Brimmed Hat
All I can picture right now is the huge hat Niall Horan wore on one of his tv show performances (see below). Not that big. I’m thinking a brown or black brimmed hat (no fedoras, please) that you can throw on to make an outfit look more pieced together. This is an essential accessory for most street style enthusiasts because they add a little extra detail, a little extra something to the whole of the outfit. Nice thing is? They come at every price range and you really only need one since they’re so versatile and you won’t be wearing it EVERY day.
An Oversized Sweater
It’s here, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: loungewear. I’m picturing more chic oversized knitwear that feels like loungewear but looks like streetwear, but whatever floats your boat. Oversized sweaters are excellent because a. they are comfy, b. they are always flattering, c. you can style them a million different ways. Plus, they’re so comfy that you’ll end up wearing them WAY more often than you think you will. I’m also leaving it super open ended here because an oversized sweater can be ANYTHING that suits your style – oversized hoodie? Yup, that works. Oversized cardigan? Sure. Oversized rollback? My personal favourite.
Having go-to versatile items like these are a must for those of us who like to travel but don’t have any money to constantly be buying the newest, trendiest bits to make us always look on-trend. With these items and few others that are up to you and your own style, and a few accessories here and there, you can create an endless array of outfits without constantly feeling the need to break the bank to keep up with trends.
What’s your most essential piece? Personally, I’m obsessed with white blouses, but then I have about a million of them now, so it’s not really the ONE piece to replace all of them? I’d probably have to go with my (faux) leather jacket. It’s from bluenoses, and I bought it for $30 before going to Greece 4 years ago. Never needed or wanted to replace it since.
That’s it for me! What’s your most loved cult beauty product?
I’m going on holiday next month somewhere HOT (finally!) so I wanted to pick up a few more summery things to wear while I’m there. I did the usual ASOS/Zara/H&M look around but I found that sites like Romwe, Zaful and Shein ALWAYS have summer/holiday bits whereas the others focus a lot more on seasonal stuff. Shopping on sites like that is a bit of a question mark for me, I didn’t know how seriously to take them because they tend to seem too good to be true. I went for Zaful because they have HOARDS of swimsuits, and I watched a few reviews to be sure of product quality BUT all of the reviews I watched were affiliated, so I couldn’t be sure.
In the end, I couldn’t get some of the pieces I wanted out of my head so I decided to take the plunge and see what happened. Here’s what happened:
The Online Store
Their website can be a LITTLE hard to navigate just because there’s SO MUCH on there, but they have soooo many sections that make it a bit easier. I was obsessed with two-piece outfits and they’re one of the only sites that has a section dedicated to it. After awhile of looking around on there you get used to the excess of stuff – its similar to ASOS in that way. It never times out – everything stays in your basket for a LONG time, and stays in if you make an account/log in to one. Moving from adding stuff to the basket, logging in, adding a promo code, and paying went really smoothly (to my surprise). Each product also has a section for reviews where buyers can upload pictures and say pretty much anything about the product. I was worried that the reviews would be phony ones they had self-generated but they all seemed really honest and accurate.
Sizing on sites like these have a LOT of variety. I always recommend having a vague idea of your measurements and double checking them with the sizing of anything you buy online, because I’m notorious for buying the wrong size. Luckily, Zaful has a US sizing equivalent for each small, medium, and large. It varies from product to product, for example shirt A might say Small (US 4) whereas shirt B might say Small (US 0). I actually didn’t look at measurements too much, but relied on their equivalents and any reviews I could find to get a good idea.
Here’s where I had heard of drawbacks – I have a friend who shops at Shein every once and awhile, and she said that she loves shopping there as long as you pay attention to sizing and accept that it’s going to take months to come in. I ordered on Christmas Eve, and I don’t leave for holiday until around mid-February, so I had A LOT of time for stuff to come in. To my surprise, my order was here by the second week of January! Still took about three weeks but considering it shipped directly from China during the holidays I was really impressed. Everything was really nicely packed in individual sealed bags – on one hand its nice that they’re putting care into packaging, but all of it was plastic so it’s not the most environmentally friendly. One MAJOR drawback for me would be shipping for returns. Luckily I didn’t feel the need to return anything, but if I had I’m not sure how I would have gone about it. I did read a review that said they returned something, so it’s definitely possible, I’m just not sure how much of a hassle it is.
From what I understand quality varies A LOT in online stores like Zaful. The bikini I bought was standard quality, the two dresses I bought were very different materials, and the shirt was a see-through chiffon. I read reviews and product details to see if they matched up, and know what to expect. Nothing disappointed me quality-wise.
Most people who shop on these stores do so because of the cheap prices and trendy pieces. Most bikinis that they feature would be $70-100 on another site, but are $15-30 on Zaful. The ‘trendier’ pieces of clothing on stores like Zara and H&M tend to be the pricier ones, whereas Zaful has pretty much EVERYTHING for under $40. You always have to be careful with quality though – but that goes for shopping at stores like Zara and H&M too. Read reviews so that you know what you’re getting, and if there are no reviews, keep that in mind and don’t get your expectations too high.
I’m not sure if I ended up including this in the video or not BUT as much as I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved Zaful, I won’t be going there for every whim and want from now on. I really want to stress that we as a collective society shouldn’t be purchasing ‘disposable’ clothing – aka things you buy for a one-time wear. I always ask myself ‘how often am I really going to wear this?’ and ‘how long is this really going to last?’ before buying a piece of clothing. This is why reading reviews and being sure of a product before you buy it is SO important, especially if you don’t like returning. I absolutely LOVE all of the pieces I bought and I am sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of them during the hotter months, and on holidays. If I’m ever in the market for a certain style or piece of clothing in the future, I’ll definitely look on Zaful again. Overall it was a really positive experience, and considering that most major high street fashion companies outsource their manufacturing to nations that have less stringent labour laws, I don’t have anymore of an ethical dilemma buying from Zaful than I do buying from Zara or H&M.
If you want to see what I bought you can watch my haul and first impressions video below:
Zaful Haul + First Impressions | ArcticSabrina - YouTube
Have you ever shopped on a website like Zaful? What did you think?
‘Cult Beauty Products’ are always used as buzzwords by makeup journalists to get your attention. It basically just means the products that you’ve been seeing a lot of in videos, on celebrities, on Instagram and in blog posts. Usually, the fact that so many people use it is a testament to it’s worth, but the hype could also just be chalked up to good marketing, and the actual products fall short in reality. Here are my top 5 cult beauty (makeup) products that are actually worth all the hype, ranging from luxury, to drug store.
RMS Beauty ‘Un Cover Up’ ($45) – This is definitely a ‘luxury product’ and is one of those products that’s realllllly hyped by celebrities and their MUAs. It’s still little known to the actual public because beauty gurus haven’t totally jumped on the RMS ship yet, so let me break it down for you. RMS is eco conscious, cruelty free, and super, duper worth the hype. The Un Cover Up is a lightweight concealer/foundation that gives your complection the perfect amount of coverage while still maintaining the ‘am I even wearing any makeup?’ mystique. It’s perfect for an un-done makeup look, or an excellent ‘face base’ to build from, I use mine every day and I’m starting to feel NAKED without it. Bonus points to the Un-Cover Up powder that is just as magical, just a little less used. For more on RMS beauty, read my RMS Beauty Un Cover Up Review.
Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara ($5.96) – Unlike RMS Beauty, this product has been super hyped by the beauty gurus of YouTube, and constantly mentioned by Zoella as her favourite mascara, making it veeeery popular with the general public. It’s not cruelty free, it’s not eco-conscious, but it’s definitely worth it’s price point. If you find yourself in the ‘I cannot afford to make makeup decisions based on my ethics’ or ‘I cannot keep spending money on products that don’t work’ categories – no judgement! This is the product for you. It’s a low maintenance, high performance, low price point mascara. It creates full volume and full length without clumping up, which is pretty much all I ask for in a mascara.
MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo Matte Red Lipstick ($22)- I don’t personally own this one, because my sister does and what’s hers is mine (whether she likes it or not), HOWEVER the second she or I moves out I’m going to have to invest in one. For years this was hailed as the best red lipstick (now in competition with Nars’s Dragongirl). I have my own set of red lipsticks that I love, I even wrote a whole blog post about them (The BEST Red Lip Products) but none of them reaaaaally compare to this one. Ruby Woo is the all-encompassing red lipstick that you can wear day in and day out without a problem. It was Taylor Swift’s go-to red lipstick when she never left the house without red lipstick on, and it really does have that level of wear on it. It’s easy to reapply (and still have one cohesive colour – no patchiness), and it stays on forever. The ONLY thing I have trouble with is the matteness of it – I have super duper dry lips. BUT I’ve discovered that if I apply a lip balm a few minutes before I apply a MAC matte lipstick it works just the same.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($44) – I have run out of this and my face is FEELING IT! This product is a bit on the pricier side, but when it comes to primers it’s worth it. People tend to think of primers as what makes makeup last longer, which might make it seem non-essential. On the other hand, I only use primer to create a barrier between my face and all of the makeup products I’m putting on it which helps alleviate clogged pores and acne. The photo-finish primer has a velvety finish, it doesn’t dry out your skin, but it doesn’t really sink into it either. It also comes in a variety of finishes that target various skin conditions such as ‘pore minimizing’ and ‘colour correcting.’ Finally, the product lasts forever. I originally got this as a Christmas gift, and my mom had purchased the mini travel size but it lasted me a whole year all the same – and that’s about as long as the shelf life is on the product anyways! It’s amazing and I NEED to repurchase it, but I think I’ll be waiting until the next Sephora sale….
Rimmel Lasting (25 Hour) Finish Foundation ($9.98) – This is a cult drug store product that I decided to try because I wanted a heavier coverage foundation, but I wasn’t willing to spend $35 on one that wouldn’t work for me. Rimmel’s is $10, and gets raved reviews from YouTubers and Bloggers everywhere. I’ve seen it used in makeup tutorials, and my friends who have it really like it, so I tried it. VOILA! If I wasn’t a blogger who reviewed cult products I would never ever need to buy another foundation. My skin is pretty clear of acne most of the time, but I have a lot of discolouration that this foundation covers so well. Since it is heavy coverage, you might need to get two shades if you tan easily, but at $10/each you’re still under budget.
Honourable mentions go to the Modern Renaissance Palette (ABH), Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray, and Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette!
That’s it for me! What’s your most loved cult beauty product?
Going along with my 17 Moments from 2017, where I looked back at the last year, my first video of 2018 is looking ahead at all of the fun things to come! Here are 18 things YOU could do, and I WILL be doing in 2018, check it out:
18 Things To Do in 2018! | ArcticSabrina - YouTube
Let me know what YOUR 2018 goals are! I need some inspo and some new things to try and challenge myself with this year!
There were a lot of Kodak moments for me this year. There was also a lot of horribleness around the world this year. In the interest of letting my readers get to know me a little better and sharing a little personal happiness from the year I decided to share 17 of my memorable moments from 2017! (All good, of course).
Starting the year with a girl’s trip to NYC. Travelling with family is always hard (at least for me… actually just travelling in general is hard for me), but getting to spend some time making new memories in such a beautiful city was really special. We went right after New Years and all of the Christmas decorations were still up – going to New York during the holidays is a bucket list thing for me, because it’s SO insanely gorgeous and festive everywhere you look. I’d still like to go in December, but it was still pretty magical in January.
I got a new tattoo! She looks like a regular pin-up girl but there is SO much heart and love and thought that went into this girl. I have zero interest in explaining all of the little imagery I snuck in there because it was really catered to my personal experience in school! Basically – I got her in reflection of the person I’ve become through my education as I’ll be graduating and moving on after this year. I call her the girl almighty, and she’s pretty awesome.
I got a new job! Started and finished in fact by the time you’re reading this. I had the most wonderful experience working for Veterans Affairs Canada and I’m so sad to be moving on! It really opened my eyes to the world of possibilities in future employment. I had no clue about anything adult-work related because I had never worked in a really professional environment before, and despite what people may say about Canada’s public service, I learned SO much about working, professionalism, and growing through jobs at this position. It was great.
EVERY DAY I SPENT WITH CORDIE! My GOD I love her. And Butch who has actually been VERY affectionate of me lately. Cordie and Butch are my dogs and they are the sweetest, kindest, albeit sometimes most annoying, pooches on the planet. I love them with my whole heart because they make my every day life so so so much happier.
I saw Harry Styles Live on Tour! I got to one of the BEST albums of the year played in one of the COOLEST venues in Toronto! Bonus points: I’m a huge One Direction fan, love rock, love alternative, love pop, and I feel like Harry’s debut album was catered to my own personal taste. Bonus bonus points: we sat next to the most wonderful people and had a super fun night dancing and singing our hearts out, and going for fries after. It was everything a concert should be.
I went to my first blogger event! Back in July I was invited to Sephora’s grand opening event in Thunder Bay as PR! Insanity! To be fair it was more word of mouth (friend of a friend) who recommended me rather than reputation, but it was still so exciting! I loved every second of it and it made me so much more confident in my online work!
I saw the Canada 150 Firework show! I am not Canada 150’s greatest advocate, but the firework show at Fort William Historical Park was an experience to behold. It was INCREDIBLE, and I totally did not expect it to be! It was all set up like a carnival, kind of eye roll we’re celebrating colonialism with a carnival thing, but the show itself was set to the story of Canada’s development as a colonial nation – it definitely glossed over the uglier parts but it acknowledged the history and turned it into something really special and beautiful. That being said a lot of people watching it still can’t wrap their head around the fact that the lasting legacies of colonialism are far less beautiful, but that’s 2017 for ya.
I got braces. (!) This is kind of positive because I am SO privileged to be able to get braces and have the entire cost covered by my parents’ insurance! Also, I mean, it’s a humbling experience to have braces at 21. I feel uglier every time I smile, which is the opposite of what it should be, and it’s about 10x harder to feel confident and pretty – not so much because braces are embarrassing but just because I’m very aware of the amount of metal in my mouth, and I constantly have food in it. At the end of the day, it made me grow personally, and I’m sure I’ll only be glad I got them in the long run.
Summer days in Grand Marais. I am SO going to miss these when I move. I write about Grand Marais every summer because it’s so picturesque there, it’s like it’s out of a small town, seaside village (except it’s a lake). I have made so many happy memories in Grand Marais, I’ve eaten the best donuts and had the best walks, and just the best times. Nothing beats a day road trip to Grand Marais on a nice summer day. It’s SO special to me.
Meeting deer at Mission Marsh. I also write about Mission Marsh a lot! The deer here are so friendly and will come up and great you (for a little treat), and I love interacting with wildlife like that. I love that it’s just a little area, just slightly off the beaten path, where deer and humans have decided its cool to hang out sometimes. As someone who really loves deer, it’s so calming and sweet to have a little moment with some of my deer friends out there, and it always turns a bad day around. The deer are always there for me.
I presented at my first conference! That was huge. I was so anxious when I got in that I made my mom fly half way across the country (which is far in Canada), to come with me. I was the only one who brought their parent, and my voice and legs shook the whole time, but I loved what I was talking about, and I knew what I was talking about, and it was so confidence boosting. It made me realize that I really, really do love what I’m studying and I would love to continue having those conversations.
SO MUCH SCHOOL LOVE! I put all of this under one heading but this year I’ve just taken to school like never before. I’m here. I’m committed. I work for the school paper, I submit poems to the school literary paper, I’m a departmental mentor, I’m on the history society, I’m just there and I’m doing it! I never would have been nearly as involved in first year, or even second year so I just see it as a reflection of my personal growth and I’m so proud of me for it! PLUS! I actually love it ALL! SO! MUCH!
Maybelline JUST announced that they’re launching a whole new collection called ‘total temptation‘ and I managed to get my hands on it so I could get you all the lowdown before it drops! There are three products in the release: a shadow/highlight palette, a brow pencil, and a mascara. The whole line is pink and sparkly, and is infused with coconut extract (aka smells awesome). Safe to say, I was super thrilled to see this in my mailbox.
FULL disclosure: I was sent this package for promotional purposes, but I am not being paid to write this, nor am I under any obligation to do so, so all the opinions are completely, 100% truthful and unbiased!
Release date for this collection is January 2nd! Not long to wait if you like what you see.
the palette… $17.99
All of the shades have a little shimmer to them. On the right hand side you’ve got four classic nude shades, and on the left there are some more festive fun colours and a much needed black. In the centre there’s a white/yellow highlighter, and a purple/pink highlighter.
Now onto the good stuff: I’ve used a few drug store palettes before and I’ve never been overly impressed. The colour payoff in this palette is better than any other drug store palettes I’ve used. They’re also really bendable and the colours compliment each other nicely. The only drawback is that they’re all shimmery, there’s no matte shades which personally prefer, but I’ll definitely still get some good use out of these.
Now let’s talk the highlighters because can I just say WOW! I gasped out loud when I first swatched the yellow because the payoff is THAT good. Seriously, I picked the yellow one over my fenty highlighter yesterday. I personally don’t really use colourful highlighters like the purple, but it is equally as quality.
the mascara… $11.99
I’m SO excited to talk about this because I’m obsessed. Maybelline is known for making the best drug store mascaras, and ones that compete with high street and luxury brands. This one did NOT disappoint! Sometimes new mascaras get really clumpy when they’re fresh because there’s so much product in the bottle but this one still applied really well. The bristles are so very soft, and they make for really full, long lashes. I’ll be repurchasing this when I run out. Did I mention it’s coconut scented? I love good smelling makeup but I know that’s a turn off for some.
I loooove how it looks on! It is a bit wet so the curl doesn’t hold super well, but curls VERY rarely hold in my lashes anyways. I think it does a good enough job whether or not I’m wearing heavy eyeliner – usually if I am I like to do a heavier coat of mascara so that my lashes are long and full enough to extend past the liner. This product does everything in one so there’s no need to double up with different mascaras! Here’s what it looks like on:
the brow pencil… $11.99
I’ve never used a brow pencil like this one before, I know the ABH brow wiz is similar and really popular but I’ve always just used the dip brow. Luckily, they got me the right colour so I could really give it a whirl! This product takes a little bit of breaking in, but it goes on really evenly and smooth, and it’s not too chalky. In the end, I was left with full, natural looking brows and it only took a few seconds, so safe to say I’m impressed.
My brows are atrocious right now but whatever bushy is just how I like them (forgive me). I find that the product is perfect for filling them in and adding a bit of shape to them. From further away they look a lot cleaner but…. what can I say I’m all about the bushy brow hype. You can see what I mean here:
All in all I was so very impressed with this collection! There are little things that I would have changed about the palette, but other than that they’re all around really nice products, especially for drug store pricing!
I should also mention that the packaging was also well done – it’s nothing super fancy but I’ve had no problems with it whatsoever! The palette snaps shut and stays shut, you can tell when your mascara is completely shut because of the design, and the lids stay on the brow pencil. There’s no mirror in the palette, but it’s more of one that I would use with another palette anyways so I don’t mind!
I’m definitely left impressed by this collection, if you’ve gotten a chance to try it let me know! The collection is in stores on January 2nd, so keep an eye out for it!