This week, I am sharing with you a Valentine’s Day-inspired makeup look. I wanted the look to be something simple yet sexy! Of course, I absolutely LOVE a dramatic makeup look, but when I was thinking about Valentine’s Day, I wanted something that wasn’t too complicated, would be perfect for a date night and be a look that can go from day to night.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, this look is perfect for anyone wanting to bring out their sultry-side without looking like they spent hours on it. Here’s my Valentine’s Day-inspired makeup look:
As I didn’t want my makeup to be too heavy, I skipped the foundation and went straight to concealer. I do not wear foundation often. I prefer to just use concealer to help colour correct under my eyes, around my nose and wherever else it may be needed. I mixed both Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in ‘Fair’ and e.l.f. concealer in ‘Light’ to get the perfect concealer shade for my skintone.
For my eyes, I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in ‘Perversion’ and dotted it along my lid. I then just used my finger to smudge it out. I then applied the pencil liner to my upper and lower lash line and tight-lined my upper lash line. Then I took my e.l.f. smudge brush and picked up some black eyeshadow (any black eyeshadow will do) and smudged out the liner on my upper and lower lash line. I didn’t want any harsh lines as I wanted to have a really smokey look.
I then applied the Stila eyeshadow in ‘Kitten’ to the inner corners of my eyes.
For my lashes, as always, I like to apply two mascaras. For this look, I used two L’Oreal mascaras – Lash Paradise and Voluminous.
Hello my beauties! Can you believe it is already February? I know it is said often, but time truly does fly by!
This week I am sharing a somewhat unique drugstore find. I came across this find while perusing a Facebook group where someone mentioned that they used Head and Shoulders for clearing up bacne (short term for “back acne”.) You may have the same reaction that I did which was – Huh?!
So of course, I did what I always do – some beauty research and experimentation.
With that said, I should let you all know that I do not find that I have bad bacne. I find that I do get breakouts from time to time on my back mainly because of the fact that I condition my hair everyday and use hair products. I try my best to prevent breakouts and have a routine to keep bacne at bay. This is my process for when I am in the shower:
Condition and finger comb my hair and then clip it up so it isn’t hanging on my back;
Wash my face and body;
Rinse conditioner out of my hair; and,
Wash my back for a second time to clean off and conditioner residue.
My hair is long and I prefer to air dry it so when it is wet and coated with product, my coated, wet hair is sitting on my back. So breakouts do happen occasionally. I bought some Head and Shoulders and decided to test drive it out for a few months. I didn’t wash my entire body with it, I would only use it for my second cleaning of my back after rinsing the conditioner out of my hair.
I have to say, after trying it out, Head and Shoulders really does work to clear up and prevent bacne. My back has been quite clear and I plan on continuing to use it.
So, the question remains…
Why Head and Shoulders?
The active ingredient in Head and Shoulders is Pyrithione Zinc, which has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It sloughs away dead skin cells. This ingredient is said to work for seborrheic dermatitis, acne vulgaris and pityrosporum folliculitis (an acne-like inflammation).
I have read that people have used Head and Shoulders on their face for breakouts. I decided to try it a couple of times on my face, but it was overly drying and felt pretty harsh on the skin. You must remember that the skin on your face is not as thick as the skin on your back. Although I read some success stories from people who suffered from cystic acne that used Head and Shoulders, it may be best to just stick with Head and Shoulders for treating and preventing bacne if you have sensitive skin and/or don’t often get bad breakouts on your face.
Now you can perfect the “sultry, look over the shoulder” pose just like Dakota Johnson:
Have you tried Head and Shoulders for treating bacne? Let me know!
Hello my beauties! We are now almost a full month into 2018. I have been on a bit of a shopping kick the past few weeks and I thought I would share one of my recent splurges with you guys!
I had been reading and seeing so much about this product that I finally decided to go ahead and buy it for myself. Now, before I talk about it, I just want to throw out a little disclaimer. I have said it before and I will say it again, I LOVE the Kardashians. You can bash them all you want, but when it comes to the beauty industry, I truly believe that Kim has had one of the biggest impacts on the beauty world. I have been obsessed with Kim since about 2009 and I was VERY excited when I heard about her KKW Crystal Gardenia Fragrance launch.
As I mentioned in my previous fragrance post, I love musky and spicy scents. The base sent of all 3 of KKW’s Fragrance is gardenia – a floral, which is quite the opposite of musky and spicy. However, one of the 3 KKW scents is Crystal Gardenia Oud. I knew I had to have that one with the title alone! I love Oud!
What is Oud?
Oud is derived from the tropical tree, Agar which is found in Southeast Asia. What makes Oud so special is how it is produced. When the wood of the Agar tree becomes infected with a specific mold (Phialophora parasitica), it creates a fragrant and dark resin. This resin is Oud. Oud is one of the most expensive perfume ingredients in the world because it is so rare. Its value is about 1.5 times the value of gold, and it is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold.”
Oud is very popular in the Middle East and I absolutely adore the scent of it. It reminds me of spending time with my family. Even as a little girl, I remember being with my Dad’s side of the family and thinking that all of the women smelled glorious! That is likely where my perfume-obsession stems from.
KKW Crystal Gardenia Oud
My first impression of KKW Crystal Gardenia Oud was that it is a lot lighter than I imagined. It’s definitely floral but has a spicy, woodsy scent along with it. It is very exotic. I couldn’t stop smelling it! It definitely smells like something the Arab-side of my family would wear. Case in point: I asked my sister to smell me to see what she thought of the scent (without telling her what I was wearing) and she said, “Arab.” YAAAAS!!!
It is definitely a great everyday fragrance! I definitely smell the Oud, but it is in no way overpowering. I think the reason for that is so that the scent can be appreciated by a variety of people with different tastes. Here is the description of KKW Crystal Gardenia Oud on her website:
I did notice that wearing it all day, it didn’t last as well as other perfumes I have. It became extremely subtle by the end of the workday which for me, is a bit of a bummer because I LOVE being saturated in perfume! However, I definitely think it is an appropriate scent for everyday since not everyone appreciates fragrance the way I do (Even if I think they are crazy!)
The bottle is absolutely stunning! Kim designed the bottles to look like crystals as she used crystals for healing after the Paris robbery. Along with the perfume bottle, there was a little envelope with a bunch of citrine inside. It was like this perfume was made specifically for me! If you know me well, you know I have an obsession with crystals and actually wear crystals in my bra everyday.
As for the price of the perfume, the price is really reasonable considering it has one of the most expensive ingredients, Oud. It is $60 U.S., but shipping was an extra $25 on top of that. Basically, a bottle of the KKW Crystal Gardenia Oud costs the same as buying a new perfume at The Bay.
I would highly recommend the KKW Crystal Gardenia Oud fragrance to anyone looking for a sultry, but beautiful everyday fragrance. You won’t be able to stop smelling it!
Have you tried any of the KKW Crystal Gardenia fragrances? Let me know what you think!
I wanted to talk about something that I KNOW so many of you deal with – myself included! The ever dreaded, grey hairs. Dun. Dun. Duuuuunn. (Was that too dramatic?)
What Causes Grey Hair?
I was researching grey hair and read that there are many factors in the cause of grey hair and it’s not only genetics (although your hereditary is the biggest indication of all.) Ethnicity being one genetic factor that plays a role in when your hair will turn grey. Apparently, Caucasians (especially redheads) grey earliest. Stress and lifestyle can influence grey hair too.
As you get older, the cells that are in charge of pigments in your hair continue to die off. Having less of these cells, means no melanin which means your hair will turn transparent (but look either grey or white or something in between).
My Grey Hair Journey
I have noticed over the past few years that my curly cues have been popping up coarser and greyer. When it comes to my hair, I have been through a bit of a journey with my curls in general over the past five years (which I like to call, ‘My Healthy Curly Hair Journey‘). Over a year ago, I made a decision to stop dying my hair in order to help with My Healthy Curly Hair Journey (in which my end goal is long, luscious curly locks.)
After a few months, I noticed how much lighter my natural hair colour is to the shade of black I had been dying it for so long. I couldn’t stand the harsh contrast! So I added a few highlights and then put a dark brown over top to help blend out the shades as my hair grew out. This definitely helped!
It took a few months, but I did notice how much my grey hairs were growing in. I didn’t mind it so much at first and was a little excited to see what my hair would look like (Which is kind of odd? But, I think in my head, I was picturing having a cool grey streak a la Stacy London. Yet that’s not what happened with my hair.)
(Note: Did you know that Stacy’s grey streak was actually caused by her having strep throat numerous times when she was 11 and she already had psoriasis which was then worsened by the strep. The grey streak showed up as a result.)
After a little over 6 months, I had a ton of greys! And I noticed them so much more when my hair was straight. Case in point:
I tried really hard to embrace it – I swear! And I just think you all should know that I do not let my boyfriend dictate how I do my makeup or what I usually do with my hair. BUT, when you are laying in bed one morning and your boyfriend gasps when he notices your lengthy, grey hairs and proceeds to tell you that “YOU HAVE TO DYE THAT!”… you get a liiiitle self-conscious… Even if he says he was kidding (Sure, Jay.)
So I caved and I dyed it, (in the words of Amy Winehouse) ‘back to black’. And with all that said and my conscience now cleared, I must say, I really do love it! I truly missed having my hair this shade. I find my skin tone pops and my features are more defined when my hair is a natural black shade. So I do not feel bad about dying my hair now. My favourite hair dye is the Clairol Natural Instincts in No. 2, Black.
Happy New Year my beauties! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday! My holidays were positively perfect; filled with family, friends and relaxation.
To ring in the New Year, I want to share with you all a miracle product that has changed so much for me. I tested it out through half of 2017 and feel that I can FINALLY share my results!
Around May of 2017, I got lash extensions for the first time and absolutely loved them! However, the upkeep and cost were weighing me down after my third fill. I found that the extensions were not as full as the first application and my own lashes were quite stubby. I also had a hard time not wearing mascara as I am a mascara-junkie (mascara lessens the life of the lash extensions). I literally could apply mascara all day long, I love it that much. But I absolutely loved having these long luscious lashes everyday, so what’s a girl to do?! That’s where Latisse comes in.
What is Latisse?
Latisse is a topical treatment that helps stimulate the growth of lashes. Latisse actually originates from a glaucoma eye drop. Many patients that used this eye drop noticed that a common side effect were long, luscious lashes.
Latisse is to be applied along the upper lash line once per day. The results from Latisse begin to show after 4-8 weeks of use and the most dramatic results at 12-16 weeks of use. However, once you stop using Latisse, your lashes will eventually go back to their original length.
So, do you want to see how Latisse worked for me? I know you do!
Here are my results after 3 months of using Latisse (I also applied Latisse to my eyebrows to help thicken them up):
I did take a break for about a month, but have been using it again for a solid two months and here’s my lashes/eyebrows currently (with makeup):
I believe the results speak for themselves. Latisse is hands down AMAZEBALLS! And the most amazing part? Its my own lashes, not a foreign object being glued on to my lashes (that’s not to say that I won’t ever get lash extensions again).
There are a couple of cons when it comes to Latisse. One being the cost. Latisse can cost anywhere from $120-$150 for just 1 month’s worth of product. Also, you cannot buy Latisse over the counter as a prescription is required. However, there are a few cosmetic clinics in Kingston that you can set up a consultation with a doctor to discuss Latisse.
Although the price is steep, I truly believe this product is worth it. The results truly speak for themselves! Have you tried Latisse? Let me know what you think!
It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us and if you are anything like me, you are nowhere near finished shopping for gifts. I still haven’t figured out what I am getting for some of the people on my list. And here come the panic sweats… Every year, I tell myself that I’m going to start early, and every year around December 20, I am running around town like a crazy person trying to find the perfect gifts. It truly is such a joyous season…ha!
So for all of you fellow, last-minute shoppers, I have put together a Holiday Gift Guide for those that are Beauty-Obsessed in your life. Everything from skincare to makeup to hair care, I’ve got you covered. The holiday season is truly the best time for purchasing beauty products as many companies put together value sets that you cannot purchase throughout the rest of the year. This means that you get to try a variety of products for a decent price.
So without further ado, here are my top beauty picks for this holiday season:
If you haven’t heard of Wayne Goss, what’s wrong with you? Kidding! But seriously, he’s a genius and his brushes are amazing! They are quite pricey, but would be a wicked gift for someone who adores makeup, loves applying makeup, actually is a makeup artist, *ahem*…ring any bells?
Ouai is the brand from Jen Atkin, Hairdresser to the Kardashians, Chrissy Teigen and Bella Hadid (just to name a few!) I’ve heard rave reviews of Ouai’s products and this little on-the-go kit is perfect for traveling, your gym bag or for at work!
Unless you live in a box, you heard the exciting news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged! I cannot wait for this wedding! It is just the ultimate fairytale…
With this glorious news, I got to thinking about what it would be like to be royal (I mean, who hasn’t?!) and then I wondered what a royal’s beauty routine would be. My mind always seems to come back to makeup and skincare! I did some research and found some interesting facts I thought I would share with my little beauties this week.
ROYAL BEAUTYMarie Antoinette
There were numerous articles and posts I found about a specific mask that Marie Antoinette used as she was praised for her beautiful complexion.
The mask: 2 teaspoons of cognac, 1/3 cup dry milk powder, a little egg white and lemon juice. The cognac helps with circulation and reducing pores.
Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece
This blonde royal beauty revealed that she doesn’t wear perfume, but will wear Philosophy’s Amazing Grace lotion.
Queen Rania of Jordan
Queen Rania is the epitome of elegance. She has such a chic and sophisticated style. She often has her hair blown out in rounded curls and her makeup is simple and effortless. She is a timeless, royal beauty!
The secret to the Duchess’ glowing complexion is thanks to rosehip seed oil. You can read all about my love for rosehip seed oil here.
Queen Elizabeth II
Apparently the Queen loves lipstick! So much so that she had her own created for her coronation by her favourite lipstick brand, Clarins, to match her robes. The shade was a red-blueish hue called, The Balmoral (which pays homage to her Scottish mansion).
The late Princess of Monaco was a hand cream addict, and for good reason! She knew that a woman’s age shows on their hands first, so she always kept her hands moisturized to keep wrinkles at bay.
It is said that Princess Diana stuck to the basics when it came to her skincare routine. She cleansed, toned and moisturized her skin every night and always made sure to remove her makeup before bed. It’s evident in all her pictures that this routine served her well as her skin was luminous!
When I began my search for Ms. Markle’s beauty tips, I found a number of articles all about the soon-to-be bride of Prince Harry. Check out her must-have beauty favourites:
If you know me, then you know that I absolutely love a red lip! It just makes me feel so empowered and bold when I’m rocking a bright and bold red lip.
However, not everyone shares the same love for a red lip that I do. I know for many, the idea of wearing a bold, red lip is scary. But it doesn’t have to be! The biggest excuse I hear is that many don’t think they look good with a red lip. And to that I say, “You probably haven’t found the right shade!”
There are so many different shades of red, and it may seem difficult to determine which shade is right for you. But that’s why you all have me! I am here to share with all of you how to pick out the best shade of red to flatter your skin tone.
HOW TO PICK A RED
There are many tests to determine which shade of red is right for you. They all revolve around finding your undertone.
VEINS – First, you need to look at your wrists. Take a good look at your veins and see what colour they appear to be. If they look more blue, your skin likely has more cool tones. Do they look more green? That means your skin has more warmer tones.
COLOURS – What colours do you feel flatter you best? Do you like wearing yellow or orange? Or do these colours wash you out. If they wash you out, you likely have cooler tones. If these shades compliment your skin tone, you likely have more warmer tones.
TANNING – Do you tan or burn more easily? If you tan more that means warmer tones. If you burn, that means cooler tones.
JEWELRY – Do you feel that silver compliments your skin tone? You probably have cool undertones. Do you like wearing gold more? You likely have warm undertones. Or do you like wearing both silver and gold? Then you may have neutral undertones.
These tricks will help determine whether you have cooler or warm tones. If you find that you are in the middle, you likely have neutral tones which means you can basically rock any shade of red!
You will need to look for a shade that has more blue undertones in it.
Hello my beauties! So sorry that I have been MIA. I have been super busy and then, unfortunately, I got sick – not pretty!
But I’m all healthy now and ready to get back into everything beauty-related!
This week I decided to focus on the time of year and what I have been recently obsessed with. And my current obsession is: Matte Makeup!
Now, I am a girl who loves her highlight (and probably too much highlight at times!), but since we are fully into fall, I feel the need to switch up my makeup. I think matte makeup looks so chic this time of year! I always go to celebrities, models and ad campaigns for inspiration. The biggest inspiration of the matte makeup look? The good ol’ decade of the 1990’s:
Kylie Jenner brought this matte trend to fruition in 2014, and she created a major frenzy! Everyone wanted the Kylie lip colour and I feel like this trend is still going strong! It’s a very timeless makeup look .
Now, let me share with you the products I use to achieve an all-matte makeup look!
Recently, I decided to quit eating meat. This wasn’t a dietary decision, as it was an ethical decision. Along with this decision, I started to think about other areas of my life where this ethical spectrum could apply.
The beauty industry is no stranger to testing on animals. However, we are in 2017 now and one would hope that animal testing is a thing of the past. How ignorant I was with that thought.
I did some research and discovered that there are still so many beauty brands (big names too) that are NOT cruelty-free.
This week I wanted to share with you the beauty brands that are cruelty-free and the unfortunate (and surprising) ones that are not.
Kat Von D
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Dose of Colours
Dr. Dennis Gross
House of Lashes
The Honest Company
Oh So Pretty Cosmetics
NOT CRUELTY-FREE BRANDS
Cle de Peau
Dolce & Gabbana
Make Up For Ever
Yves Saint Laurent
Clean & Clear
La Roche Posay
Peter Thomas Roth
Bumble and Bumble
Head & Shoulders
Nice ‘n Easy
Christina Aguilera Perfumes
Marc Jacobs Fragrances
Ralph Lauren Fragrances
Viktor & Rolf
So needless to say I am disgusted by the length of this list of brands that are not cruelty-free and even more disgusted how many well-known brands are on that list. In this day and age, there is no need to test on animals!
Also, did you know that if any brands sell in China, animal testing is required? Check out this infographic to understand China’s laws on animal testing:
This means that some of the companies listed above are not cruelty-free solely because they sell their products in China.
So, what can we do?
I believe knowledge is power. I work in the beauty industry and I am ashamed to admit that I did not know how many beauty brands (whose products I use on the reg) test on animals.
Try and find alternatives! If you love a concealer from Clinique or L’Oreal, try out a Nyx one instead (I love the NYX HD Photogenic Concealer !)
Write to the companies! Tell them you will no longer be using their products because of their unethical practices. And provide them some information like this article from PETA: Alternatives to Animal Testing.
This has given me some serious things to think about and now I need to make a decision going forward. My goal is to transition to only products that are 100% cruelty-free! Nothing will change if we continue to purchase from these brands. Hopefully one day, they will all be cruelty-free (and that China will change their laws)!
Now that you know, how do you feel about using these products? Will you continue to use them? Let me know!
Note: I found this great website that lists the cruelty-free brands and brands that are not cruelty-free for an array of products! Check them out here: Cruelty Free Kitty
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