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Happy Wednesday! I just got back from Vancouver Monday night, and I can’t believe how tired I’m feeling—it’s crazy how much just a three hour time difference can make! I’ve been meaning to share this Product Empties post for a bit, so I decided to take advantage of this lazy day at home and finally share it here today! Here’s another dozen things I’ve recently used up:

Haircare

Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo

Pros: Smells great, inexpensive, no white residue, absorbs excess oil

Cons: Don’t find it as effective as other dry shampoos

Repurchase? Yes.

Dove Style + Care Flexible Hold Hairspray

Pros: Smells great, inexpensive, lightweight on the hair, doesn’t make hair hard or crispy

Cons: Did not have enough hold to it, nozzle broke near the end

Repurchase? No.

Live Clean Mineral Clay Rebalancing Shampoo*

Pros: Helps remove product build up, detoxifies and helps balance my oily roots resulting in needing to use less dry shampoo, lathers up well, affordable, eco-friendly, free of any harsh ingredients, vegan, cruelty-free

Cons: Though I like the scent of this, it’s probably my least favourite Live Clean scent

Repurchase? Yes.

Live Clean Mineral Clay Rebalancing Conditioner*

Pros: Helps remove product build up, detoxifies and hydrates the ends of my hair without weighing it down, affordable, eco-friendly, free of any harsh ingredients, vegan, cruelty-free

Cons: Though I like the scent of this, it’s probably by least favourite Live Clean scent

Repurchase? Yes.

Live Clean Exotic Shine Bali Oil Smoothing Conditioner

Pros: Leaves my hair super soft and shiny, protects your hair form the damaging effects of the sun making it perfect to use in the summer, smells great, affordable, eco-friendly, free of any harsh ingredients, vegan, cruelty-free

Cons: Nothing

Repurchase? Yes.

Skincare

NIP + FAB Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel

Pros: Helped control the oil on my face, helped minimize breakouts, liked the gel consistency of this

Cons: Had a terrible fishy smell when applied to my face (didn’t smell like that in the tube), didn’t really do anything for dullness like it claimed, didn’t help with existing spots

Repurchase? No.

Bath & Body

Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan Oil Replenishing Body Wash*

Pros: Replenishes my skin and improves texture and tone, lathers up really well, little goes a long way, love the smell of this, affordable, get a lot of product in here, contains no nasty ingredients, vegan, cruelty-free

Cons: None!

Repurchase? Yes.

Bath & Body Works Moisture-Lock Body Balm

Pros: Feels really refreshing on the skin, not sticky and absorbs quickly into the skin, smells good, perfect for traveling and using in the summer, great option for people who are lazy with moisturizing

Cons: Found I went through this pretty quick, hard to use near the end of it resulting in wasted product

Repurchase? Yes. I have two more of these.

St. Ives Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Lotion

Pros: Great scent, non-greasy, absorbs quickly, lightweight formula, soothing and moisturizing on the skin, good for sensitive skin, affordable, paraben-free

Cons: Not intense enough to eliminate the dry patches on my skin I experienced this winter

Repurchase? Yes, especially for the summertime.

Makeup

Rimmel Match Perfection 2-in-1 Concealer & Highlighter

Pros: Awesome coverage, great for brightening under the eye and hiding any discolouration, adapts to your skin tone, doesn’t settle into fine lines, brush applicator makes it more sanitary than a doe foot

Cons: Find it difficult to get out near the end, can get air bubbles in it which can cause the product to shoot out

Repurchase? Yes.

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette

Pros: Good for concealing blemishes and discolouration, can easily blend the concealers together to create the perfect shade, setting powder is really good and helps keep concealer in place all day, cruelty-free

Cons: Discontinued, used to love this years ago, but now I find it clings to the dry patches on my forehead and around my nose

Repurchase? No, as they don’t make it anymore and there’s now other concealers I prefer more.

Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder

Pros: Looks incredibly natural on the skin, sets makeup perfectly, reduces shine significantly, mattifies the skin, very affordable, cruelty-free

Cons: Wish it had a mirror for on the go touch ups, tend to go through this product pretty quickly, powder has a tendency to break once you hit pan on it

Repurchase? Yes.

You can read my last Product Empties post here. What products have you recently finished up?

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So, I have to start this post by sharing something very exciting that I was a part of this past weekend—I was on set for The Handmaid’s Tale! I was just a background actor, but as someone who loves film and television, it was an amazing—albeit tiring—experience. I’m not an actor by any means, and I don’t even know if you’ll be able to see me in this scene, but regardless I’m so happy I got to be a part of it.

Anyways, this was an awesome start to my March, and now as I prepare to leave for Vancouver in less than two weeks, I figured I needed to get my Winter Favourites up before spring arrived. As always, here’s everything I’ve been loving over the last few months!

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm My nighttime lip balm of choice throughout the winter months. This is such a great lip balm for dry, cracked lips, as it gives my lips instant relief every time I apply it and it keeps my lips from drying out. With a blend of plant extracts, honey and shea butter it really does live up to its ‘ultra-nourishing’ name, as I wake up every morning with my lips feeling replenished. It also has this soft, buttery consistency, which feels so lovely on the lips.

Revlon Holochrome Collection Nail Polish in ‘Hologasm’* If you regularly read my blog then you’ll probably notice the habit I have of wearing a new nail polish for months on end. Well, that’s been the case for this nail colour for the last few months. I have been loving this shimmery silver colour, not only because it has been the perfect shade for the winter months, but I especially love how durable this colour is on the nails and how easy it is to remove.

Cosmos by Zoella Beauty Fragranced Body Mist* This is such a lovely unisex fragrance. I love the mint in this, as I find it so refreshing (like a mojito), and it balances the sweetness of the red fruits in here perfectly. Whenever I get a whiff of this scent it instantly perks me up, and I find it does have decent staying power for a body mist. Unfortunately, this is a limited-edition scent, which is a shame, as I would of loved to have purchased the full size of this.

Uniqlo Cable Knit Sweater I’ve been living in this cozy knit for most of winter, and I’m not sorry. I love how warm it is, I love the looser fit of it, and of course, I love the fact that it’s grey, which is my favourite colour to wear. Whenever I didn’t know what to wear, I just chucked this sweater on. I’m also very much looking forward to transitioning this piece into spring and pairing it with jeans and sneakers or flats, opposed to my usual uniform right now of leggings and winter boots.

Uniqlo Heattech Knitted Toque Another grey Uniqlo favourite this winter is definitely this toque. Not only does it keep my head nice and warm thanks to their Heattech technology, which allows the fibers to generate heat from the body’s moisture, but it also stays in place and does not budge on my head. All of which are what I look for in a good toque. I’ll definitely be stocking up on more of these next winter, as they’re great quality as well.

The Office This show is a forever favourite of mine, but it’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and rewatched the series. I have also never had the pleasure of watching The Office with my boyfriend, so I have thoroughly been enjoying watching it together, especially since I love my boyfriend’s laugh, and this show never fails to make us laugh out loud every episode (no matter how many times we have seen said episode). I’ve watched seasons 1 through 5 countless times, as I have them on DVD, but Netflix has all 9 seasons, so this’ll be my first time watching the series in its entirety from start to finish.

What have you been loving this winter?

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My last blogpost, which you can read here, was an important post for me, as I opened up and talked about my intentions for 2019. However, one thing I didn’t really mention was my blog and social media, which I have also set some intentions for this year in terms of changes.

I wouldn’t say these are major changes, but more so gradual ones to help me reconnect with my online presence and fall back in love with it all again. And if you’re reading this and have also been feeling a little discouraged in regards to your blog and/or social media, then hopefully this post helps inspire you to make some positive changes to your content as well this year.

My Blog

I was feeling quite uninspired with my blog throughout most of 2018. Though I classify my blog as a beauty and lifestyle blog, the content has always been heavily about beauty. As much as I love talking about beauty on here, it’s not all there is to me, so this year you will definitely be seeing more lifestyle content from me. What you can expect is more photos of nature, more posts about film and television, posts talking about art and books, as well as some more personal posts from me. Of course, I will still be sharing beauty content on here, including some of my regular posts, like my Seasonal Favourites and Product Empties, but I’m no longer putting the pressure on myself to post regular beauty content just for the sake of posting something.

Speaking of putting pressure on myself, as much as I would love to have a set upload schedule on here, I can never seem to stick with it. That being said, my posting has become way too sporadic on here for my liking, so if I can at least get back into the routine of posting weekly on my blog, then I’ll be content.

My Instagram

Whilst I was feeling uninspired with my blog throughout most of 2018, I was feeling extremely unhappy with my Instagram. I joined an engagement group back in May, which was a great way to help boost the likes and comments on my posts, but after awhile it just became a chore and felt unauthentic. Leaving that group was like a weight off my shoulders, and even though my engagement has gone down, I’m not even bothered by it because I no longer dread checking my Instagram.

However, after leaving that engagement group, I was still unhappy with what I was posting. I’ve hemmed and hawed about having more of a ‘theme’ on my Instagram for awhile, as it’s definitely aesthetically pleasing to look at if it’s done right. I know a lot of people started following me because of my bright flat lays, but they can be quite time consuming to constantly set up and photograph. And to be honest, having an Instagram theme centred around these bright flat lays is just not what I want, not to mention it would also take a lot of work.

This past December I panicked, and suddenly decided that my Instagram needed a theme, and it needed one stat, so I stupidly decided to start slapping a pink filter on my photos, which made me despise my Instagram even more because it was not me at all. So, at the end of December I sat down and took the time to play around with a few different editing apps until I found exactly what I wanted.

Since January, my Instagram has taken on a much darker appearance, which I absolutely love, as it feels much more me. Though I’ll still be sharing beauty posts, they will no longer be the bulk of what I share on my Instagram, as I transition it into more of a lifestyle page. Overall, everything is beginning to look much more cohesive over there, which makes me very happy and also excited to create (click here if you’d like to follow me. I always follow back fellow bloggers).

Everything Else

By ‘everything else’, I really just mean being more active online in terms of sharing my content and interacting with other creators. I’d like to start using Pinterest again, as I know it is a great way to drive traffic to your blog, and I would also like to get back into the habit of commenting on other blogs again. I actually commented on a blog last month and realized that my last comment before that was from over 3 years ago, which is crazy. I greatly appreciate those that show support for my blog, and I need to get back into the habit of returning the favour. Finally, I also want to reach out to the PR of some brands that I use and love, and build more brand relationships this year. I told myself I would start doing that once I hit 1,000 followers on Instagram, which I achieved this past fall, so all that is holding me back now is myself (and the fact that I seem to just be fluctuating between 1,020-1,050 followers).

Whew! Sorry for how long this blogpost is and if it seems a little disheveled, but I really wanted to get everything off my chest and try and organize my thoughts on here. If you read all of this, then you’re the real MVP!

Anyways, I’m so happy about these changes and the direction I’m taking my blog and social media in for 2019. I’m really excited, and I hope you all will stick around for the ride.

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I’m personally not a fan of the word ‘resolution’. To me, a resolution means an end goal, which possesses an all or nothing mentality, which I don’t like, as that sets a lot of people up for failure. We need to be more forgiving with ourselves come the new year, which is why I believe setting intentions is more beneficial than setting resolutions, as it allows us to enjoy the journey along the way.

These intentions I have set for myself don’t have an end goal—there’s no set date or a number that I need to hit. I’m always worrying about the future, and if this allows me to not obsess over my actions, and instead just be more present, then that’s truly the best thing I can give myself this year.

Read More

As someone who genuinely loves to read, this is something I need to make time for again. I’m embarrassed to admit that I only read two books in 2018, and I have no excuses for it. Reading is so beneficial for my mental health, as it helps me to relax and destress, and it also stimulates my brain. Plus, who doesn’t love being completely submerged within a story? I don’t have a set number of books that I want to read this year, as I feel like that no longer becomes reading for enjoyment, but reading for the sake of reaching a goal, but I am curious to see how many books I can get myself lost in this year.

Learn to Use Our DSLR Camera

My boyfriend’s dad was kind enough to gift us his Nikon D3200 DSLR Camera, and even though we have had it for almost two years now, I haven’t made much of an effort in learning how to use it. And that mostly stems from the fact that I constantly tell myself I’m not capable of learning how to use it, which is such a negative mentality to have. I want to capture better photos for my blog, and just in life, so this year I am making it a habit to start carrying it around with me more, and to get more comfortable with using it.

Get Back into Art

The arts were such a huge part of my life growing up; art was my main passion, but I was also in my middle school’s band, and did theatre in high school. Once I graduated high school, I kind of abandoned all of these things, and my creative light has slowly dimmed over the years. Art has always been my first love though, and like reading, it’s something that is so beneficial for my mental health, and I need to make time for it again. Though it pains me that I wasted so many years that could have been spent perfecting my craft, it’s still better to start now than never.

Continue Exercising for My Own Well-Being

I have been working out regularly for years, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to find an exercise you love doing that makes you excited to workout. Yoga is still my favourite form of exercise, but I also started doing more strength training last year because I love how it makes me feel. I also stopped doing cardio at the gym because it made me dread going, and now I just do cardio I actually enjoy, which includes walking and hiking outdoors. Ultimately, all of these workouts leave me feeling happy and healthy, which is how everyone should feel when they exercise.

Spend More Time with Family and Friends

Everyone gets into funks here and there where they just want to stay home and be by themselves, but this became too much of a habit for me throughout 2018, and it was horrible for my mental health. I couldn’t even bring myself to see my best friend’s newborn baby last month because I felt so terrible. Having my sister recently move around the corner from me really helped get me out of my head, and reminded me that I not only want to spend more time with those I care about—I also desperately need it.

Photos taken at McCrae Lake.

What intentions have you set for yourself for 2019? Whatever they are, try to remember that it’s about the journey, and not the destination.

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To quote an episode of Friends I have never seen before, “Happy Christmas Eve Eve!” The weekend before Christmas is always chaotic for most people, and mine was definitely quite busy. Despite the chaos, I did manage to make it to the gym today, which was very much needed, but even more needed is a little pamper evening later tonight. On the menu for tonight is the following products:

Zoella Milky Way Bath Milk Powder* Along with some epsom salts, this is the bath product I’m adding to my bath, which is part of Zoella’s Holiday Cosmos collection. I’ve already tried this limited-edition product last week, and I like how milky and fragrant it makes the bath water. It’s supposed to smell like peppermint and vanilla, but I don’t smell vanilla at all in this, which is a little disappointing. However, the peppermint smell is still really nice on its own, and I like how softening this product is on the skin.

e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask I want a fun face mask for tonight, so of course I’m reaching for my bubble mask, which I actually haven’t used in a while. This mask comes out as a gel, but as soon as you apply it to damp skin it instantly begins to bubble up. Once the bubbles begin to dissipate, you can massage the mask into the skin to give it a good clean. The bubbles help to clear out my pores, and once I’ve removed the mask my skin is left feeling clean and soft.

Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan Oil Replenishing Body Lotion* Out of the bath, I’m slathering this amazing body lotion all over my body, which leaves my skin baby soft. I love the scents of Live Clean’s products, so the fact the scent of their body lotions really linger on the skin is a huge plus. This one helps improve the texture and tone of your skin, which I definitely notice, and of course, there’s no nasty ingredients in here.

Revlon Holochrome Collection Nail Polish in ‘Hologasm’* I just mentioned this nail polish in this post, so of course it’s the nail colour I’ll be painting my nails with tonight. I’ve been rocking this shade for all of December, and I love the shimmery, silver shade of it. The formula of this polish is pretty damn durable, and it’s also super easy to remove, unlike most nail polishes with shimmer or sparkle.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm I bought this lip balm well over a year ago, but I only just starting using it this month, as I was trying to finish up some other lip balms first. My goodness though, this product is seriously great. This honey lip balm really is effective in nourishing, repairing and soothing my dry lips. I love the sweet grapefruit scent of it, and because it is so conditioning it’s so good for applying overnight.

Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Herbal Tea Of course, to end any pamper evening, I need a cup of tea. If you love tea as much as I do, you need to try this Christmas flavour, as it is honestly dessert in a cup. It smells exactly like a sugar cookie, but the taste is very mild, so in order for it to taste as good as it smells you need to do one of two things. What I do is I add a bit of honey to this, and it brings out that sugar cookie flavour perfectly, but I have also read online that using two teabags also works. And whatever you do, keep the teabags in!

Cute Mug from Sheridan Nurseries

You can read my last Sunday Stuff post here. Thank you for reading, and wishing all of you a safe and happy holiday season!

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How satisfying to share my last Product Empties post of 2018, and it’s the big 3-0. Seriously, that’s a lot of empties over the years. My goal for 2019 is to use up a lot more of my makeup, as I am constantly trying to condense my makeup collection, and I would really like to have it more downsized next year—I guess we shall see! In the meantime, here’s what I have finished over the last couple of months:

Haircare

Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo

Pros: Smells great, inexpensive, no white residue, absorbs excess oil

Cons: Don’t find it as effective as other dry shampoos

Repurchase? Yes.

Skincare

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Micellar Cleansing Water

Pros: Removes makeup pretty well, fragrance-free, alcohol-free

Cons: Left a residue on my skin, broke me out, had a weird smell despite being fragrance-free

Repurchase? No. I like some of the other products in the Neutrogena Deep Clean range, but this one is terrible.

Wild & Wolf Folklore Minty Elderflower Hand Cream

Pros: Smells great, lightweight, absorbs quickly, great for handbag, love the whimsical packaging

Cons: Not effective for super dry hands

Repurchase? Yes, but not right away.

Herbacin Kamille Unscented Hand Cream

Pros: Excellent hand cream for sensitive skin, thick formula deeply moisturizes the skin and creates a barrier to protect the skin from the elements, relieves any painful tightness in my hands, contains camomile blossom extract, which feels very soothing, free of parabens, mineral oil, animal ingredients, synthetic colour and fragrance

Cons: Even though it’s unscented, I find this has a bit of a weird smell

Repurchase? Yes.

Bath & Body

Live Clean Lavender Vanilla Aromatherapy Foam Bath*

Pros: Scent is really relaxing and uplifting, great to use before bed, bubbles up well and the bubbles last a decent amount of time, free of any nasty ingredients, doesn’t irritate my skin, leaves my skin feeling soft, cruelty-free

Cons: Can’t think of anything

Repurchase? Yes.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Citrus Mint Bamboo Body Scrub*

Pros: Gently exfoliates the skin, leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft, moisturizes my skin, smells like a mojito, 100% natural, toxin-free, cruelty-free

Cons: The mint and citrus can irritate freshly shaved skin, the oils in this make the shower slippery, product started to smell off even though it wasn’t expired

Repurchase? Maybe.

Le Petit Marseillais Cotton Milk & Poppy Shower Crème*

Pros: Smells good, lathers up well, washes off easily, leaves skin feeling soft and clean, pH balanced, affordable

Cons: I actually ended up getting sick of this scent towards the end of it

Repurchase? No.

Makeup

Essence Coverstick Concealer in ‘Matt Naturelle’

Pros: Offers decent coverage for the under eye area, matte finish, compact and good for taking on the go, very affordable

Cons: Didn’t sit right on the skin, no good for covering blemishes, found this tugged on my skin, packaging is very cheap and ended up cracking all over

Repurchase? No. I bough this in a pinch when I needed something cheap.

Essence Colour Correcting Mattifying Powder

Pros: Sets my makeup well, helps even out my complexion, mattifies the skin, looks natural on the skin, affordable, cruelty-free

Cons: Wish it had a mirror

Repurchase? Always.

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

Pros: Feels weightless on the skin, soft matte finish, undetectable on the skin, optimizes light reflection on the skin without leaving you looking shimmery, looks specifically great in photos, used this regularly and it lasted me years, powder is incredibly durable and never broke despite dropping it a lot, paraben-free, fragrance-free

Cons: Pricey, compact did break towards the end, as you can see in the photo (as mentioned, I did drop it a lot)

Repurchase? Yes.

Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited

Pros: Love the brush on this, gives my lashes a ton of length and volume, separates my lashes and goes on clump-free, doesn’t flake or smudge, easy to use on lower lashes, wand didn’t break on me like last time, affordable, cruelty-free

Cons: This bled a bit on me when my eyes were really watery from allergies

Repurchase? Yes.

Fragrance

So…? Pink Grapefruit Body Mist*

Pros: Perfect sweet and citrusy scent for summer, sprays well, good staying power, easy to travel with, affordable

Cons: Can’t think of anything

Repurchase? Yes.

You can read my last Product Empties post here. What products have you recently finished up?

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Christmas Eve is only two weeks away, so you better believe I have my Christmas tree up,  sugar cookies in the oven and Christmas music on blast. I’ve also been using and loving a few different products that have been getting me into the festive spirit over the last few weeks, which is what I’m sharing with you in this post!

Live Clean Gingerbread Latte Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap* Live Clean’s hand soaps are absolutely amazing, and I get so excited when their holiday hand soaps are back on the shelves. Gingerbread Latte is their new release for this year, and it’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy (their other two, Vanilla Peppermint and Holly Berry, are also great). The spicy notes of this really lingers on my hands and leaves them smelling like a festive Starbucks beverage. Like all of Live Clean’s hand soaps, this contains no harsh cleansing agents, so it does not strip the skin and leave my hands feeling dry or irritated. 

Zoella Beauty Bake My Day! Fragrance Mist* Keeping with the gingerbread theme, I have also been enjoying this limited-edition scent by Zoella Beauty. It’s a lovely, warm gingerbread scent that is perfect for this time of year, as I’ll be eating a ton of baked goods over Christmas, so why not smell like a baked good as well? I do wish this had better staying power, as it fades fairly quickly on the skin, so I would suggest spraying this on your clothing to help prolong the scent.

Bath & Body Works Fresh Balsam Concentrated Room Spray With a blend of woodland balsam, crisp eucalyptus and cedarwood, Fresh Balsam smells like a straight up Christmas tree, which is one of my favourite festive scents. These room sprays that Bath & Body Works do are fab, as they pack a punch and will fragrant any room for hours. However, do not overdue it; because these are so potent, one or two sprays is more than enough.

Revlon Holochrome Collection Nail Polish in ‘Hologasm’* Though there really isn’t anything ‘holochrome’ about this shade, I’ve been seriously loving it nonetheless. I love a good shimmery silver nail polish for the holidays, and this one is so pretty and versatile. Though it is fairly sheer—so you will need a few coats of this in order to get it opaque—it also means you can apply one coat of this over top of a plain nail colour to add a bit of shimmer to it. My favourite thing about this nail polish though, is that I can go about five days with zero chipping, and it is not a pain to try and remove like a lot of shimmer/glitter nail polishes are.

Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in ‘Aurora’ As soon as it starts to feel like winter outside, this product comes out of hiding. This creamy, iridescent highlighter gives my skin this beautiful dewy glow that it lacks throughout the winter months. It’s a gorgeous, warm champagne shade that contains sheer, pearlescent pigments, which allows the glow to appear more natural on the skin. It is important to note that this is not a buildable highlighter, and if you apply too much it does tend to sit weird on the skin. I love using this not only to highlight my features, but also as an eye shadow—it looks really pretty and subtle on the lids.

Are there any products that are getting you into the festive spirit? I’d love to know!

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Things have been pretty quiet on my blog and Instagram for the month of November, and that’s because I was struggling with some personal things, and just needed to take a step back from the Internet for a bit. My head feels a little clearer now, and I feel like I can take on more things again aka my blog, which I have been happy to get back into.

I have a few different posts I’d like to do for the month of December, so I hope you’ll stick around for them. Seeing as it is already December, I figured I should start with my Fall Favourites before winter officially arrives. Here’s what I’ve been loving over the last few months:

Revlon Volumazing Mascara* Pretty much the only mascara I have reached for throughout the fall months. I actually didn’t have high expectations for this mascara, so I think that’s why I really fell in love with it. The brush shape is the real winner here, as it hugs my lashes perfectly, so I am able to coat my lashes from root to tip, and it also helps to fan my lashes out. You do need a few coats to build up the volume, but overall I love how this mascara makes my lashes look. It also does not clump, smudge or flake throughout the day, and the mascara has not dried out at all even after months of use—it still performs just as great.

Scrub Inspired Champagne Sugar Lip Scrub My lips were really chapped throughout October, so decided to give this lip scrub a try, which I found at Whole Foods. I opted for the Champagne Sugar one, which smells and tastes like sweet lemon. It has great grit to it, and it completely softened my lips, and eliminated any dryness. I have used the Lush lip scrubs for years, but these ones by Scrub Inspired are not only cheaper, but they’re also Canadian made and don’t have any added dyes or flavouring like the Lush ones do. I also love that this lip scrub only contains five ingredients—sugar, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, sweet orange essential oil, and lemongrass essential oil.

Modèle Collagen Lip Treatment* I love how this lip treatment looks and feels on the lips. It wears like a lip balm, but also has very subtle shimmer to it, so it looks pretty just on its own, but it also makes a wonderful, moisturizing base for lipstick. Though you’re supposed to use this regularly for noticeable results, I do find this always makes my lips feel firmer and more plump, which is awesome. If you apply this three times a day, for at least a month, it claims to visibly increase lip volume by 40%, so I might actually put this to the test in the new year, and then share my results on here. Regardless of the results, it’s still a great lip treatment.

Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte Shea Butter Hand Cream I actually don’t like most of the pumpkin scents from Bath & Body Works, however, I do love this one. It has a bit of that pumpkin spice scent, but it also has a strong note of vanilla to it. And seeing as vanilla is one of my favourite scents, it’s understandable as to why I love this one. On top of that, this is a good, everyday hand cream to keep in your handbag, as it is lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. Unfortunately, as this is one of their fall scents, it’s no longer on their website, but I’m sure you could still find this scent in-store.

Wood Essence Pumpkin Pie Triple Candle Another fall appropriate product I have been loving is this candle, which I got from Shoppers Drug Mart. This candle has three, layered scents to it which are Pumpkin Pie, Autumn Harvest and Pumpkin Spice. I love the crackling of this from the wooden wick, as I find the sound so relaxing, and the crackling is loud enough that I can still hear it even when I’m watching a movie. This candle also burns evenly and very slowly—I’ve been burning this candle constantly and have still yet to reach the second tier.

The Haunting of Hill House As a huge fan of Mike Flanagan, I was beyond excited for this series to be released, and it did not disappoint whatsoever. As most people probably know now, it’s a take on Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, but instead of a paranormal investigation of Hill House, this series focuses on the Crain children, and the events surrounding their childhood at Hill House. Flanagan sets the pace slow, which I love, as it really allows us to get to know every member of the Crain family—specifically the children—as it weaves seamlessly between the past and present. The Haunting of Hill House is told exceptionally well from start to finish, and is perfectly creepy. There are also no cheap jump scares in this, however, there is one particular scene that actually caught me so off guard that I screamed out loud.

And fun fact: If you didn’t know, there’s also dozens of ghosts hidden throughout the series, which I found really creepy, as they’re hidden in plain sight, but there’s never any attention drawn to them, which makes them all the more unsettling to see.

Photo by Steve Dietl/Netflix

What products have you been loving throughout the fall season?

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It’s quite exciting that I can finally do a post like this, as I used to always steer clear of darker lip colours, and just stuck with the same nude shades every fall and winter—which is fine, but that doesn’t make for a very exciting blogpost. I’m finally learning that darker shades can be incredibly fun and easy to wear, as long as you find the right formulas that work for you. Along with some darker shades, I also have a couple of dusty rose shades, and a beige-toned nude that I’ve also been loving. So, carry on reading to hear more about my favourite fall lip colours for 2018!

L’Oreal Colour Riche Ultra Matte Lipstick in ‘Rebel Rouge’* Out of all of the lip colours in this post, this is definitely the one I’ve been wearing the most. I love a good dusty rose shade, and this one is a much deeper-toned one. It’s richly pigmented, and so comfortable to wear—it gives your lips that smooth, matte look without the dryness. I haven’t had any issues with this shade smudging or bleeding on me, but because the formula is so creamy, it will wear off throughout the day, especially when you eat and drink. That being said, it does seem to leave a bit of a stain on the lips, so even if you don’t reapply it, you’ll still have noticeable colour at the end of the day.

MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in ‘Velvet Teddy’ Another matte lipstick that I’ve been loving is the popular ‘Velvet Teddy’ shade by MAC. I love this deep-toned beige shade for fall, and I feel like it suits my complexion really well. It wears well throughout the day, even after eating and drinking, and though it is a little dry on the lips, it’s much more comfortable to wear than some other matte lipsticks by MAC that I have tried. I especially love wearing this with a darker eye look.

Revlon Kiss Plumping Lip Crème in ‘Barely Blush’* These new lip crèmes by Revlon are seriously amazing, and I can’t recommend them enough. The mousse-like texture is so comfortable to wear, and feels so soft, and hydrating on the lips. Though I wouldn’t say this really plumps my lips, I do notice that my pout looks 10% better when I wear this. The colour payoff is also perfect, and I have especially been loving wearing this overtop of the MAC lipstick this fall.

L to R – Black Honey, Velvet Teddy, Barely Blush, Rebel Rouge, Neat Nude, Empress and 044.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in ‘Black Honey’ This was my go-to lip colour last fall, and it’s still such a great, fall option for people who don’t like wearing darker lip colours. What makes this so great is that it works with the natural tone of your lips to create your own flattering shade, so it’s perfect for all skin tones. And because the formula has a lip balm consistency, it’s so comfortable to wear on the lips. I still really want to purchase the full-size of this, but I’m trying to use this one up first.

Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil in ‘044’* This rich mahogany shade is so perfect for this time of year, and I love how easy this is to wear. I actually love filling my entire lips in with this, and just wearing the lip pencil on its own with a little bit of lip balm over top of it. These lip pencils are super pigmented and have the perfect consistency—firm enough to give you plenty of precision, but still soft enough that it does not dug on your lips. It’s also formulated with whipped shea butter to keep your lips nice and hydrated.

Vasanti Power Oils Lip Gloss in ‘Empress’* If I’m not wearing just lip balm with The Lip Pencil by Bite Beauty, then I’m topping it off with a bit of this beautiful gloss. The rich, blackberry shade is so vampy and perfect, and has been a favourite of mine for years now. The formula of this is not sticky, and the shine this gives your lips is so pretty. It’s also enriched with raspberry, peach kernel, pomegranate oil and jojoba oil, which nourishes and hydrates the lips really well.

NYX Liquid Suede Metallic Matte in ‘Neat Nude’* Don’t be fooled by the name of this lip colour, as it is actually a dirty, grey plum colour with subtle shimmer. It has great pigmentation, and I find the flat, doe foot applicator makes it easy to apply. You do have to work quickly with this, as it dries fast, but once it’s dry this does not budge whatsoever—you can eat, drink and kiss with zero transfer. That being said, it is a true matte in that it is fairly tight feeling on the lips, so I would only wear this if I was out for a few hours. I’m actually going to wear this shade on Halloween, which I’m really excited about.

What lip colours have you been loving this fall? I’d love your recommendations!

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A few of the affordable, last minute Halloween costumes I’ve put together over the years.

And no, I’m not talking about Party City or Spirit Halloween…

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so whether you’re celebrating this weekend, next weekend or the entire week, like most people, you probably still don’t have your costume ready. The thought of going to Party City or Spirit Halloween this weekend probably fills you with dread, as both places will be super busy, and mostly picked over. Maybe you have no idea what you want to be, maybe you already have something in your closet that you want to build on, or maybe you know exactly what you’d like to be, but you’re on a budget, and don’t want to spend too much.

Whatever the case, here are the best places to shop for affordable, last minute Halloween costumes. These places might not have the variety that Party City and Spirit Halloween offer, but they are more affordable, they won’t be as picked over, and they won’t be nearly as busy this weekend.

Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers doesn’t have a huge selection in regards to costumes, but they do offer a ton of different Halloween makeup, including the Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers Collection, which is their limited-edition makeup for Halloween. Even better, all of their Halloween makeup (and costumes) are already on clearance, so whether you need some face paint, a face and body stencil, or a black lipstick, Shoppers is probably your best bet. I picked up three of the Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers Multisticks, which were reduced from $3.99 each, to $1.00 each.

Michaels

Michaels is a great place if you’re pretty crafty, and like to make your Halloween costume from scratch, as they have everything you could want in order to create an amazing Halloween costume. Obviously, you probably wouldn’t have the time to make too elaborate of a costume, but if you needed to make a necklace or a headband, for example, then Michaels probably has it. They also sell plain t-shirts (that could be worn as dresses) in a ton of different colours, which are great canvases for tons of different costumes.

Value Village

Okay, most people know now how awesome Value Village is for Halloween costumes, but maybe some of you still don’t. Obviously, their clothing is great if you need something affordable that you can rip or stain with (fake) blood, but they also have a fabulous Halloween section. They sell a ton of brand new (not used) costumes and accessories, but for significantly cheaper than the leading competitors.

H&M

H&M is my favourite clothing store year-round, but it also makes a great place to shop for pieces for your Halloween costume. They do sell a few Halloween-themed clothing and accessories, but they also are great if you need any cheap, plain basics, like a white tank or a black dress. Their sale section also usually has fun, flashy pieces that could make a great costume.

Dollarama

Even though hardly anything in Dollarama is $1.00 now, it’s still really affordable. They have a massive Halloween section, and though a lot of it isn’t great, you can still find some decent pieces to work with. It’s also more affordable than Michaels if you’re making your costume from scratch. It obviously doesn’t have the selection that Michaels has, but if you just need things like bristol board, fake flowers or gems, then Dollarama is definitely your better option.

Do you have your Halloween costume yet? What are you going as for Halloween this year?

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