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My relationship with the original It Cosmetics CC Cream goes way back. I’ve tried the brand a long time ago and loved every single product I got. That’s rare. The CC Cream promised to be a more toned down version of the Korean versions which were big back in the day. It packed good for your skin ingredients, promised to be long wearing and featured an impressive SPF of 50. It has a wonderful light coverage that can be built thanks to its creamy texture. It’s hydrating but not greasy. It’s a bit of a miracle product and has been a staple in my routine ever since.

It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination Cream CC+ Illumination Cream with SPF 50+

I usually wait for the Sephora sales to stock up on essentials and decided to try the newer Illumination version given that my shade was sold out in the original formula.

I’ve been wearing the new CC Cream and testing it for a few days now and I have to say, I can’t see a huge difference between the two formulas. The Illumination version is packed with similar amazing skin care ingredients and SPF, but it does seem to have a lighter feel. I find the coverage to be comparable to the original and can be built or sheered out with ease. I like to apply it with my fingers as I feel the warmth of the skin can help melt the product in and blend it out to perfection. It wears beautifully and truly makes me look like I have good skin. It doesn’t settle into lines, it does not emphasize pores yet it wears all day long and stays put during sweaty workout sessions.

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream

Both versions of the CC Cream, the original and the Illuminating one are simply put, amazing. They are just fantastic for day wear, they’re easy to apply and look incredibly natural. My combo skin loves the formula and I am very happy to see the brand decided to expand its shade range. The brand also recently released a matte version and I’m kinda curious to try it as well.

If you’re like me and you’re looking for a product that’s easy to apply and wear, that’ll give you basic sun protection and will look natural for a day-to day look, then give the It Cosmetics CC Cream a try. You won’t regret it. It’s the ultimate multi-tasking product.

The post IT Cosmetics CC+ Illumination Cream with SPF 50+ appeared first on BTW.

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This summer has been HOT! I usually try to stay hydrated and drink lots of water but sometimes I wanna have some fun with my drinks. One of my favourite things to sip on this has been hibiscus tea. I love drinking it hot in the winter but it makes for an amazing cold drink, especially when paired up with lemon. It’s so citrusy and refreshing and the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Like with a lot of the things I eat or drink I don’t just want them to taste good. I want benefits! Hibiscus is great for lowering high blood pressure and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. I don’t have on of these issues but it’s good to know. In addition, hibiscus is touted to be great antioxidant, loaded with Vitamin C and it is believed to help reduce the risk of obesity and have anti inflammatory properties. You can read more about the benefits of hibiscus here.

The post Lemon Hibiscus Iced Tea appeared first on BTW.

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Sephora has announced that they are having one of their Beauty Insider Appreciation Event sooner than expected. The sale will begin on August 24th to September 3rd.

Rouge Members will get access to the sale first on August 24th and will get 20% off in stores and online using code YESROUGE. VIB members will get access on August 30th and will get  15% off using code YESVIB. Lastly, Beauty Insiders will get accoess on August 30th as well but will only get a 10% discount with code YESINSIDER.

In the past year, I have been changing my beauty habits. I’ve got rid of 80% of my insane makeup collection and chose to focus more on products I really like. I still enjoy testing products but I am are a lot more mindful of my consumption and the way I use makeup daily. Sephora is still one of my favourite beauty destinations for picking up staple items in my routine as well as discovering new favourites and seeing what products live up to their hype. I figured I would share with you my current Sephora wishlist, in case you needed inspiration for the upcoming sale.

Sephora Favourites Lashstash to Go

I got this kit a few weeks ago before going away to Greece mostly because I needed travel friendly mascaras and I figured this is a great way to try out new releases at the same time. I loved them all and I am still using them. What makes th

is kit such a great deal is the coupon for a full size mascara it includes. That’s right, you get to pick out a full size of your favourite mascara in th

e kit and you get all those travel sized ones for the price of one mascara. 

Benefit Cosmetics Ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color with Brush

I love this brow gel so much. It comes in a wide range of colors, includes a brush in the cap (making it great for travelling) and the formula is amazing. 

ABH Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette

Now, I won’t be repurchasing this palette because I already have it. I like it so much I’ve been reaching for it daily since I got it. The color range is so well thought out making it my perfect day to day palette. The formula is great and easy to work with and the finishes rage from matte to shimmery and they’re all incredibly pigmented.

Mount Lai Jade Facial Roller

A jade roller has been on my wishlist for the longest time and for some reason I never got around to getting one. Probably because I never found one locally and I have trust issues when it comes to shopping online from new sellers which is why I was so happy when I spotted them on Sephora’s website. There are many benefits to incorporating jade rolling into your skincare routine and I can’t wait to try it for myself. 

Fenty Beauty Bomb Baby Mini Lip and Face Set

This is kit is indeed, the bomb. I love that both items are travel friendly but both products pack a generous amount of product. The Gloss Bomb lipgloss is absolutely incredible, it looks great on the lips, smell delicious and feels hydrating. The highlighter shade is simply beautiful, warm, shimmery smooth highlighter that I can’t stop wearing. 

It Cosmetics Superhero Liner

I’ve had my eye on this eyeliner for a while now. I am intrigued by its design as well by its claims of being so easy to use and waterproof. I loved every single It Cosmetics product I have used and I am excited to see if this liner will live up to my expectations. 

Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer

I am hoping this concealer is going to be Canada’s version of Tarte’s Tape Shape. This product claims to be long wearing and full coverage while looking natural on the skin. They offer a great range of shades and the formula is infused with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and coconut water. I’m always on the hunt for a good concealer and this one has me intrigued.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3

This product is touted as a miracle of damaged hair and I have wanted to try it for myself for ages. 

ExfoliKate® Intense Exfoliator

This product is a cult favourite for a reason: it’s amazing. This exfoliator is like a facial in a bottle, it leaves your skin so incredibly smooth and radiant. It’s so good it’s addictive. 

Kopari Coconut Deodorant

I’ve been on a natural deodorant kick and I’ve heard so many people raving about this Kopari deodorant that I feel like I have to try it. Natural deodorants are so tricky and I’ve had such little luck with most of the ones I tried so I am curious to see what makes this one different. 

The post Sephora Sale: Favourites and Wishlist appeared first on BTW.

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I am always on the look out for new way to get my veggies in. I like to sneak kale into pretty much everything, I load up my smoothies with carrots and spinach and I’ve been known to use left over beet pulp from juicing in my brownies. Smoothies are my favourite way of getting massive amounts of nutrients in and I love trying out different supplements and powders to help take that nutritional content to the next level.

The latest supplements I added to my routine is the Whole Earth and Sea Fermented Protein & Greens and their Fermented Organic Greens. As I work in the health food industry I am always eager to try the newest and coolest supplement releases and this line was no exception. I like the fact that the company is Canadian and their entire range of products has really good stuff in it. Lots of really good stuff. 

Whole Earth and Sea seems to have an approach similar to mine: sneak veggies into everything. Pretty much every single supplement from their line has fruits, veggies and plants in it, but you can read more about that here. Back to their Protein & Greens and Fermented Greens powders, they both pack a healthy dose of fermented organic, local fruits, vegetables, grass blends and medicinal mushrooms along with more or less protein (plant-based) depending on the product. The Protein & Greens blend features 21 g of protein while the Fermented Greens has only 6 per serving.

I really like these blends and I like the idea of having one powder that can deliver a dose of greens along with some protein to my daily smoothie. I like the fact that these products are fermented, which makes them easier to digest and more absorbable. I also really like that their plants are grown locally and that they include a nice mix of medicinal mushrooms, which have so many wonderful health benefits. 

And because summer is here, the weather is nice and warm here is one of my favourite smoothies these days. It features tons of greens, electrolyte rich coconut water and a healthy dose of plant based protein.

SaveSave

The post Whole Earth and Sea Fermented Proteins & Greens appeared first on BTW.

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Hello world!

I am starting this post with the classic generic intro to announce the rebirth of this blog. I haven’t been as active in the past months and despite all the reasons I might have, the truth is that I felt uninspired. I feel I’ve outgrown the old blog and writing about just beauty products. The beauty industry has changed so much in the past years in ways that left me feeling conflicted. Like many others, I take issue with the direction the industry is going in, from influencers and rampant plastic surgery problem, hunt for views and likes and overall superficiality to massive collection drops and brand putting quantity over quality. It’s not why I started blogging. 

I took these past months to refocus and change my own behaviour when it comes to social media and my own beauty habits. I went back to basics. I left most of my beauty collection behind when I moved to BC and changed the way I use beauty products and makeup. I am focusing more on my own personal growth and wellbeing and chose to spend more time and pay more attention to the way I consume media, food and products. Less is truly more.

I finally had the courage to rebrand this blog and take it back and I hope to move forward in a new direction with it. I hope to produce content I am passionate about at this point in my life and share it with the world. My love for makeup and beauty is a strong as ever and I will continue to blog about my favourite beauty products but I will also talk about food, supplements, travelling and overall wellbeing. You know, stuff that makes me, me. 

Here’s to new beginnings, growing up and moving ahead!

The post New beginnings. Beauty. Wellness. Travel. appeared first on BTW.

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I’ve always wanted to visit the Greek Islands and last month we had the opportunity to explore Mykonos for a few days. The island was everything I’ve imagined and more. White washed buildings, spectacular views, incredible food and lovely beaches with turquoise water.

We stayed in a lovely villa minutes away from Paradise Beach, a party destination during the summer months. In fact, the entire island is renowned for its party scene so if that’s your thing you’ll enjoy it. We tried to hike and explore around as much as we can but I didn’t find the island easy to navigate nor the roads pedestrian friendly. Driving on the island seemed like an insane adventure, the roads are narrow and windy and unpredictable. The island also has a limited amount of cabs available (I heard 30) which made transportation challenging and expensive. My recommendation is to book a place close to the beach and be strategic about planning day trips and limit transportation unless you are comfortable and brave enough to rent a car.

The landscape is pretty arid and rocky but it’s the views that make it spectacular. We got to enjoy to beaches and the water when we were there and I loved exploring the Mykonos town, which is incredibly charming. I will say however, that shopping in town, much like everything else on the island, is expensive. Very expensive. Unreasonably expensive. 

The food we got to enjoy in Mykonos was simply spectacular. Probably the best food I’ve ever had. I strongly recommend you try out Nikolas Taverna, Kiki’s and Stasi Diethnes. Kiki’s is a little restaurant by the lovely Agios Sostis beach and they serve amazing food. We loved the salad bar selection, grilled octopus and brownie. They have a grill on site and the most incredible view. Arrive early as the line is long and take advantage of the small, quiet beach next to the restaurant. Stasi Diethnes was the best food we’ve had in Greece. This restaurant is run by a family, the mom cooks and kids serve and everything is made with fresh, local ingredients. Their spanakopita is absolutely insane and their moussaka was sublime. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. 

Mykonos is a place where you get to enjoy life. There’s not much to visit, no ruins to explore or architecture to admire. You get that in Athens. Mykonos is a small piece of paradise where you can let loose, soak up the sun, go for a swim and eat incredible food. Oh, and party. If you like a good party this is the place for you during the peak season. 

  

The post Greece. Mykonos appeared first on BTW.

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I have a sick obsession with highlighters so naturally, I had to get the newest Anastasia Amrezy Highlighter. I’ll admit I picked it up half because I wanted and half because of the online hype. I don’t even like Amrezy but Anastasia is one of my favourite brands and I was curious to test out this new formula of highlighter that reminds me so much of Mac’s Extra Dimension Skinfinish

 

The packaging is pretty. Both the product and the box are decorated with little golden stars and the compact does include a full mirror which is nice. The highlighter looks decadent in the pan with its waves of liquid gold. The formula is incredibly soft and finely milled and feels just right, not too soft nor is it too stiff. There’s very little kickback of the product when I swirl my brushes in it but I get great payoff when I apply it on the skin.

The formula is a dream. It’s light yet pigmented and it sits beautifully on top of the skin. One application of the product imparts a soft luminosity to the skin, making it look dewy and glowing in a gentle way while a few passes while give me a more obvious, wet  looking finish. I didn’t experience any issues with texture being emphasized when using this highlighter, I make sure I use a light hand and work the product into the skin to get that smooth looking glow.

The Amrezy highlighter pulls neutral on me with a touch of warmth. While I find the product to look rose gold with warm undertones in the pan but when swatched I find it to look incredibly natural. The formula has no sparkle to it but rather a high shimmer and it captures the light beautifully. I really like how buildable this highlighter is and how easy it is to play with the intensity of the sheen. 

All in all, this is a beautiful highlighter. The formula is lovely and rather unique and I can see this shade working for many skintones. I can’t get enough of it. 

(L) ABH Amrezy Highlighter (R) Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter

The post Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter appeared first on BTW.

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I am not sure when or what made me want to visit Portugal so bad but I have been pretty much obsessed with this amazing country and I am happy I finally got a chance to visit it this past summer.

It is said that Lisbon has a unique light to it and oh boy is it true. There’s something about this fantastic city and the way the sun shines on it and the way the light envelopes everything in a gentle, warm glow.

This city is packed with history and there’s a lot to visit so we gave ourselves a few days to explore it. Lisbon has a few major districts and neighbourhood and deciding where to stay was the hardest part and after a ton of research we settled on a gorgeous apartment in Belem, which is a lovely, quiet neighbourhood a short train ride away from the city center, close to the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and the Discoveries Monument and the famous Pasteis de Belem, the delicious Portuguese egg tarts.

Belém Tower 

Discoveries Monument

Jerónimos Monastery and Vasco da Gama tomb

Pastéis de Belém

One thing I can recommend you do is to get yourself a Yellow Bus Tour Pass, we all loved it. The pass costed us around $40 for three days and granted us access to all public transit as well as the company’s private trams, tour buses and boat. The trams can be insanely crowded so it was nice to get to travel around the city in their trams equipped with audio guides and we loved the whole hop on hop off concept of the busses and we used them frequently during our stay, whenever we got tired of exploring on foot we just hoped on a bus and plugged in our headphones and got a history lesson while we rested.

We managed to explore most of the city and while every single neighborhood has something to offer I, for one, loved the Alfama district, an old neighborhood that is a absolutely spectacular with it’s narrow cobblestone streets, churches, Castelo de Sao Jorge, and spectacular viewponts. Two restaurants we loved in Alfama were Santo Andre and Lisboa Tu & Eu

View from Alfama

Castelo de São Jorge

 

The St. Andre restaurant – worth a visit

I didn’t end up visiting any museums while there, exploring the city on foot and the infomrative bus tours were enough for me. Lisbon is such a vibrant city and has so much to offer that we just kinda just got lost in it, explored the markets, had a glass of wine and a bite to eat in different plazas around different neighborhoods and walked around as much as we could to get that full Lisbon experience.


You need to try this drink!

On our last day there I took advantage of the fact that the boyfriend and sister wanted to geek out at the MAAT museum so I went exploring the local flea market called Feira de Lada in Alfama. The market, while charming failed to impress me. It had lots of kicthy items, tons of random crap and a few local merchants but overpriced items. Like with any flea market, I would suggest you go there with an open mind, rested and armed with patience. I love picking up my souvenirs are local markets rather than typical shops. I always manage to score affordable, genuinely local stuff so I can bring home a piece of the place with me. 

Feira de Lada flea market

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New from Clarins: Water Lip Stain. A barely there feel and customized, kiss-proof color result, for coloured lips that leave no trace. 

We all dream of pretty, coloured lips that leave no trace, which is why Clarins created Water Lip Stain, the rst “no limits” lip product. Its transfer-proof, long-wearing formula resists up to 300 kisses*!

Forget about colours that fade too fast. Forget about leaving traces behind.

   

Composed of over 77% water, the formula instantly fuses with the lips so you forget it’s even there, leaving behind an imperceptible “tattoo-like” nish. Like an ink, the barely-there texture adorns lips with a fresh veil of colour. Lightweight, it glides on, giving the wonderful sensation of a “second skin” with no drying effect.

The matte revolution is in your hands. Play with colour intensity and customize your make-up result, for a lighter, more natural look or a deeper, more glam e ect with a matte, personalized nish
every time. Create the make-up you want!

The post New in Beauty: Clarins Water Lip Stain appeared first on BTW.

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I feel am always on the hunt for a long lasting liquid eyeliner. The new-ish NYX Epic Ink Liner promises to be waterproof, comes in a pen form with a precise tip and many have compared it to cult favourite like KVD Tattoo Liner and Stila Stay All day Liner. Naturally, I had to try it.

The eyeliner comes in convenient, sleek pen form and has a precise tip similar to a fine make-up brush. The brush on this eyeliner is absolutely amazing and makes drawing the finest lines so much easier. The formula of the liner is a rich, satisfying black that dries down to a lovely demi-matte finish, just enough to add a little dimension and oomph.  The wear on this eyeliner is great, I have yet to test it under water but I did wear to the gym and it survived quite well. If you have oily eyelids, like I do, this eyeliner will eventually smudge a tad by the end of the day. I find priming my eyes well helps a lot when it comes to keeping the eyeliner intact on the eye and prevent bleeding during application. 

All in all, I like this eyeliner. It’s one of the best ones I found and it’s especially impressive for a drugstore product. While the product is not completely budge proof for me due to my insanely oily lids, I do find it to be long lasting. I love the compact pen form and I am a huge fan of the fine, precise brush. 

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The post NYX Epic Ink Liner appeared first on BTW.

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