Tuesday, February 9, 2016

love is our true destiny.

It is almost time! Not quite...but....Valentine's Day is on the way. Shoppers are in a tizzy making sure there is enough chocolate and candy on hand for the big day. That the chick flicks are ready to go. And the perfect outfit is planned from head to toe. This year I am not doing a whole lot for the holiday. Minus cooking dinner for my husband. Despite this, I have my hair, outfit, and makeup all picked out. I can't help it! Any excuse to get glam. Especially at the moment. The winter months are usually full of baggy sweaters, sweat pants, and lounging around in the apartment. So I will make the most of this chance to dress up. At least a little. 

Valentine's Day fashion can be a lot of things. It can be casual, girly, glamorous, sophisticated....and everything in between. That gives you a lot of options. What I love to do? Play with colour (pink and red are always a good idea) and print (heart shaped everything or even cute Cupid arrows). Which is what inspired the outfit below. It is my idea V-Day look. A simple red dress. A cute heart shaped accessory. A pair of glamorous heels. What more do you need? It is romantic, flirty, and fun. 

Like I said....Valentine's Day fashion can be a lot of things. This is just one example of a holiday inspired look. Want a few more ideas? Check out my latest YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. It features three different outfits. Perfect for a night out or a night in! Take a look....

It is coming up quick. Valentine's Day is almost here. I cannot wait for it. The kindness, the romance, and of course, the fashion. What a wonderful way to celebrate.

What will you wear on Valentine's Day? Which outfit do you like best?

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 6, 2016

if you're sad....add more lipstick.

It is no secret. I love makeup....a lot. Over the years, it has gone from a part time hobby to a full blown obsession. There is nothing I love more than creating a new look or testing out different products. Those moments tend to be blissfully happy. For some people, the process of getting ready is grueling. Annoying even. For me? Getting ready is exciting. That moment of looking through your eyeshadow palettes, your eyeliners, and lipstick shades until inspiration strikes. Ahh, it makes me giddy just to think of it now.

Most recently? Inspiration hit while digging through my lipstick collection. I came across a couple of the Revlon ColorBurst lip crayons. There are a number of different shades in my collection already. But a while back these were being sold in a duo. Two for the price of one. How could a makeup junkie resist? Despite buying them several months ago....I am only reaching for them now. Perhaps it is because Valentine's Day is coming up. My makeup looks have been far more romantic than usual. Over the last few weeks, it has been shimmery neutrals on the eyes and rosy pink lips. Speaking of rosy pink lips.....

The duo included the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Showy (a super feminine rose-pink) and the Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious (a stunning glossy berry toned shade). Both shades knocked my socks off. The matte shade is pretty and easy to wear. Perfect for a date night. Actually, it is most likely the lipstick I will be wearing on Valentine's Day. I just love how comfortable it is on the lips, the level of pigmentation, and of course, the romantic colour, Then there is the lacquer balm. This was my first time trying out any of the lacquer balms from Revlon, so I was a little unsure. Turns out? I had no reason to be unsure. The formula was just as comfortable as the matte version. Creamy, easy to apply, and oh so glossy.

Between the two? It is hard to pick a favourite. Each one performs wonderfully and looks effortlessly beautiful. Both of these shades will come in handy this month. Here is at a makeup look I put together recently. It features the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette, the Revlon blush in Nearly Nude, and the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Showy. Take a look - and be sure to let me know what you think of the end result.

There is nothing like a great lipstick. In my opinion? Revlon has outdone themselves with their ColorBurst line. Both the matte and lacquer formulas perform well, have great longevity, and are ultra comfortable on the lips. The latter is very important to me. I cannot be bothered with high maintenance lip products that are drying or irritating. Comfort is key.

What do you think of these lip colours? Have you tried the Revlon ColorBurst crayons?

xo Shannon

Thursday, February 4, 2016

new in: my very first NYX haul

NYX. This brand has been on my radar for years. Every beauty blogger, YouTuber, and makeup enthusiast I admire has spoken highly of their products. Over and over again. So, you can imagine my dismay that none of it was available in my country. Until now. NYX recently opened a store and has branched out to drugstores throughout Canada. All I can say about the move? Thank goodness.

I remember when I heard the news. My husband was driving me home from work. He had just finished his shift at the drugstore he works at. When he mentioned that they were re-doing the makeup configuration in the store. I asked why. Then he told me. To make room for NYX. We literally went to the store an hour later. And then again the next day. It was overwhelming. To watch video reviews and see tutorials using these products over and over again...and then to see them stacked in front of you? Well, it was a makeup dream come true.

There was a ton to choose from. Far more than I could justify or afford. So I started small. Ish. It came to about $150 in total. More than I planned to spend. But in no way did I regret it. As you can see from the picture above, I stuck to mostly lip products. This is because I hear amazing things about their lip products. I had to find out for myself! But I also picked up a few other odds and ends. Just to dip my toes in the water. Honestly? It will be hard for me to resist going back for more. I will do my very best, though. Promise!

So.....what did I buy? The NYX Strobe of Genuis Illuminating Palette, the Butter Gloss in Vanilla Cream Pie, the Butter Lipsticks in Razzle, Fizzies, and Candy Buttons, the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks in Vintage, Sway, and Stone Fox, the NYX High Definition Blush in Taupe, the Prismatic Shadow in Jaded, and the Vivid Brights Liquid Liner in Vivid Blossom. Phew! It was definitely an exciting buying experience.

Overall I am love-love-loving these products so far. Some have stood out to me more than others. (Like the Stone Fox Suede lipstick and the Vivid Brights liner. Amazing!) But you can expect proper reviews and tutorials in the weeks to come. There you have it! My very first NYX haul. What an exciting concept. It will take a while for the novelty to wear off. Until then....I will be head over heels for my new NYX items.

What are your favourite NYX products?

xo Shannon

Monday, February 1, 2016

you fill up my senses like a night in the forest.

True inspiration is rare these days. Not to say my life is not wonderful or fulfilling. It is. But there was a time in my youth when inspiration fueled me on a daily basis. Music was my everything. It filled me up in ways I cannot express adequately. An album. A song. A lyric. They all spoke to me so deeply. They made me feel. While I still listen to music obsessively....that sensation of being totally immersed in it? So overwhelmed, passionate, and yes, inspired? It doesn't come around much anymore. Recently, it did. In a big way.

I grew up listening to John Denver. My initial introduction was through his Christmas album with The Muppets. My parents would play that record every single holiday. Eventually we had listened to it so many times that the record was in pretty rough shape. So we moved to cassette. Then CD. And then my iPod. The moment I realized that I was a true John Denver fan? When I found myself skipping songs that featured The Muppets. I simply preferred to hear John's beautiful voice and earnest lyrics.

This year? I listened to John Denver's Christmas CDs over and over. Just like I always do. But post-holiday, I listened to the rest of his records as well. Watched his live DVDs. Documentaries about his life. Every song, every word, and every moment inspired me. And suddenly, the beauty of the world came into sharp focus. The perfection of small moments. Of true hearts. Of kindness.

I have turned to his music like I would turn to a friend. The truth? John Denver feels like home to me. So, today I wanted to share a very special outfit of the day. It is not a glitzy gown or a trendy layered look. But it is inspired. This is my OOTD featuring my beloved Rocky Mountain High t-shirt.

It feels good to be inspired. To smile for no reason at all. To feel connected to the universe. And I have the power of music to thank for that.

What do you think of this OOTD? What inspires you?

xo Shannon

Saturday, January 30, 2016

review: too faced chocolate bon bons palette

Too Faced owns my heart. At least lately. In the last several months, this brand has wowed me over and over again. Their holiday palettes....their mascara....their liquid lipsticks. Basically? Too Faced can do no wrong at the moment. Maybe that is why I was so quick to pick up the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette on Boxing Day. Somehow I knew this gorgeous palette would go into heavy rotation. And it has. Oh, it has.

Know those days where you need to get ready quickly? But you don't want your makeup to be boring? This is the palette that I reach for. The reasoning is simple. There are a ton of gorgeous neutrals in here. Light browns, medium browns, dark browns, purple toned browns. You name it. (This is a chocolate palette after all!) In addition to those brown shades there are also golds, light pinks, and shimmery nudes. Then to give the palette even more versatility there is a bright pink, a navy blue, and a sparkly purple. In addition to the fourteen shades there are two pretty highlight shades. One is shimmery and the other matte. Talk about covering your bases.

That? Is what I love most about the palette. There are matte shades and shimmery shades. That gives it a ton of versatility. Pair that with the variety of colours, the two highlights, and the incredible pigmentation? It is a flawless makeup item in my opinion. Plus there is the cute packaging to consider. It comes in a pink mental tin. On the outside it really does look like a chocolate bar. So cute. It is compact and easy to store. It is sturdy. And the shadows are fantastic. If you are looking for something new to add to your collection....make sure it is the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette.

Want a closer look? A more thorough review? Then be sure to watch my latest YouTube video.

Have you tried this palette? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Thursday, January 28, 2016

my order experience: Miss A

Honestly? The majority of my shopping is done in a physical store. I love the immediacy of seeing the item, buying the item, and taking it home with me. There are plenty of advantages to online shopping, though. Like increased variety and lower prices. So even though I prefer to shop in an actual store....I do a bit of online shopping every now and again. Most recently? It was from the website Miss A. Emily from the YouTube channel, Beauty Broadcast posted a video a while back about her experience buying $1 makeup items from Miss A. Yes, $1. Needless to say, the concept was intriguing to me. Especially with the amount of money I tend to spend on new makeup. I figured this was a great opportunity to try out some new things without breaking the bank.

It was. Everything you see in the picture above cost me $15 CDN. Including shipping. So....what did I buy? A Pearl Brightening and Firming Face Mask (this was super soothing), an LA Colors Lip Trio Lipstick in Trilogy (this is my favourite thing from the bunch. Three different shades. One tube. Totally stunning and comfortable on the lips), four bright lipsticks (there was a light blue, a dark blue, a yellow, and a green. Overall these were fun to play with but had a harder texture that I did not like), a heart shaped eyeshadow palette in blue (this is amazing! the colours are shockingly pigmented and look absolutely beautiful. I love it!), a pair of dangling pearl earrings (they have Hello Kitty's on them. So cute), an arrow ring (this is stunning. I was actually wearing it when I met Donny Osmond in Niagara Falls), a Pearly Eyeshadow Stick (the formula is nice but the shade was not flattering on me at all), a Mineral Blush (so pigmented and pretty! Obsessed), and a Wet/Dry Baked Eyeshadow (it is so shimmery).

The products were hit and miss. Some were incredible and others were just okay. But the great thing? At $1 a piece....there was really no disappointment. It was fun trying them out. And knowing that they didn't cost me an awful lot. There were a lot of things in this order that I have wound up loving and using a lot. So overall my order experience was a positive one. You can't beat the price or the unique selection. The only downside was the wait time. It took over a month for my order to arrive - and it did not even ship for two plus weeks after I placed it.

So be aware. If you are looking for cheap makeup to try out? You will love Miss A. If you want your makeup quickly? This is definitely not for you. Interested? Check out http://www.shopmissa.com/ to see what they have in stock.

Have you tried this store before?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

the roar is all around me. a rush of rainbow and mist.

It seems like only yesterday my parents and I visited Niagara Falls. It was a late summer trip. The last before my wedding. Now? My mom and I have just returned from another weekend getaway in Niagara. Normally we would not dream of going in the middle of winter. However, Donny Osmond was scheduled to play a handful of shows at Fallsview Casino. Jumping on the chance to see him again, we bought tickets for two of the three shows.

It was an unforgettable trip. We didn't get to do a lot of sightseeing. It was absolutely freezing. After waiting twenty minutes for a local bus we were shaking like crazy. It was just too cold to do much of anything. Mostly we checked out the hotel, went to a few restaurants, did some shopping at the outlet mall, and of course, saw Donny Osmond. The first concert was fantastic. He put on a great show. It was energetic, fun, and full of incredible stories. He took the time to look back on career highlights and sing some of his best songs. (Including my personal favourite, "Whenever You're In Trouble.")

The trip was going exactly as planned. Until the second show. There was part of the performance where he asked you to write on his Facebook page with your seat number and why you wanted a copy of his latest CD. I already owned it but my mom wanted her own copy and we couldn't manage to track it down anywhere. So I wrote on his Facebook page. Imagine my surprise when Donny Osmond calls out MY name in the middle of the concert. Before I knew what was happening, I was heading towards the stage. Towards Donny.

My whole body was shaking. I thought for a second I might start to cry. Especially as I got closer and closer to him. He asked me where I was from. I couldn't remember. It took me a second to recall. Then he told me that in addition to the CD he was going to give me a backstage pass. To say the moment was surreal would be a total understatement. Even as I write this I am struggling to believe it actually happened. But it did.

I spent the rest of the show shaking and trying to think of what I wanted to say. Once the show was over we dealt with the madness. Trying to figure out where to go. Ignoring the glares of envious Donny fans crammed in front of the doors. (Though to be fair, a few people were very nice and told me to have a great time!) The whole time we waited my heart was beating like crazy. All I could think about was the fact that my hair looked awful. We had been out all day dealing with snow and rain. So I just threw it into a ponytail and reminded myself that Donny would never see my hair. Ha! How wrong that turned out to be.

Eventually we were called into the room with Donny. I was shaking so hard. I can't quite remember all of the details. But he asked my name again, where I was from, and if I had Twitter. He asked if we were heading back tonight or staying overnight. I think I said that I love him. And apologized for freaking out. He then said hi to my mom. We took a picture together on my phone - then on his. He asked me to spell my name and Twitter handle. Watching him type that into my phone...to say my name...it was totally surreal. Then he took a picture with me and my mom and we said our goodbyes. It was only five minutes but it was amazing.

Never in a million years did I expect to meet Donny Osmond that night. But it was amazing. That experience took the vacation from fun to downright incredible. I only wish that my mom had been able to talk to him more. I know she would have loved that. Overall? The trip to Niagara Falls was pretty darn special. I am so glad we were able to go.

Have you done any travelling lately?

xo Shannon