Wednesday, February 22, 2017

celebrating two years on YouTube

That old cliche is oh so true: time flies when you're having fun. It is hard to believe, but I launched my YouTube channel two years ago. In the beginning, I posted every three weeks or so. Basically, whenever I had the house to myself! Now I am able to post once a week and am proud to say that my videos have dramatically improved. I feel more confident on camera and look forward to filming days. While editing and lighting are still constant struggles (without fancy editing software I am somewhat limited in what I can do. And a girl can always use more light!)....I do my best with the tools at my disposal.

As of right now? I have 800 subscribers and over 46 000 views. While I may not be a YouTube celebrity, this journey has been immensely rewarding. Not to mention challenging, creatively fulfilling, and fun. There is nothing quite as satisfying as uploading a new video. Fingers crossed I will be able to make a lot more videos in the future!

This post is just to pause, reflect, and ultimately, say thank you. My sincerest thank you to anyone who has watched one of my videos, subscribed, liked, commented, or supported me on this journey. It means the world to me to know there are people in my corner. So one more time...thank you.

Here is my latest video, which is of course, all about my two year channel anniversary. I also added in the Get To Know Me Tag - just in case any of you want to know more about little old me. Take a look....

Thank you for supporting the creation of beauty is art. here and on YouTube!

xo Shannon

Monday, February 20, 2017

inspired by: sabrina carpenter thumbs music video

Remember when music video premieres were a huge deal? You'd wait with baited breath for the latest offering to hit your television screen. Then you'd spend the next several months hoping it would be played over and over and over again. During that time, you would desperately attempt to memorize every lyric, every glance, and of course, every outfit. In fact, a lot of'd try to re-create the look for yourself. Ahh, the good old days. Now? Music videos are uploaded to YouTube without much fanfare. You can watch it whenever you like and as much as you like. Things have certainly changed.

Since there is less fanfare about music videos these days, they tend to be simpler. Generally speaking, there are lower budgets and lackluster fashion. It has been a while since a music video actually inspired me, made me pause, and most importantly, made me want to re-watch. Then Sabrina Carpenter (you may know her from Disney channels Girl Meets World or a number of other Disney offerings) posted her new music video for "Thumbs."

It blew me away. Sure the concept was simple and there was one lone outfit worn throughout the video. But there was no denying the fact that "Thumbs" was something special. The song itself was catchy and the lyrics were thought provoking (it is truly a remarkable time when a Disney channel starlet is singing about finding your life's purpose and stepping away from the expected). It spoke to me on those levels. Sabrina's outfit also spoke to me. It was simple but edgy, and exuded power. In short....I loved everything about this music video.

Which is why I decided to come up with my own re-creation of her look. This is a set that I created - but you can easily put your own twist on the ensemble. Wear black on black, then add on your favourite bold silver accessories.

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. Sometimes? It catches us off guard in the best possible way. That is exactly what happened with Sabrina Carpenter's latest music video. It made me feel.

What do you think of this outfit? Share your latest inspirations!

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 18, 2017

review: cover girl jewels palette

YouTube is a big part of my life. Not only do I create my own beauty related videos but I watch a ton of them as well. When it comes to reviews, there are certain beauty gurus that I trust more than others. One example of a YouTuber I trust is emilynoel83. I have been watching her videos for years, so there is definitely a level of trust there. Which is why I was so disappointed when she gave a not-so-glowing review of the new Cover Girl truNaked Jewels palette.

This was one palette I had my eye on. The bold jewel tones looked spectacular - especially with all of that shimmer! Her review was especially upsetting since Cover Girl's  previous truNaked eyeshadow sets have become some of my all time favourite drugstore offerings. What was a beauty lover to do? Try it for myself? Skip it altogether? Decisions, decisions.

In the past, I have gone against Emily's recommendations only to find her opinion had been spot on....and I was stuck with disappointing makeup. This time? I didn't care. Even knowing I was bound to be let down, that Jewels palette was going to be mine. I was so enamored by the idea of it. that I simply had to know what it was like.

Going in, my expectations were low. Given the fact that Emily had mentioned weak pigmentation and flaky textures, I was preparing for the fall out. Literally. Turns out? There was no need. It was a happy surprise when the shadows were soft, buttery, and highly pigmented. Here is a summary of the palette.

- Smooth texture
- Wonderful shade range and variety of finishes
- Simple and travel friendly packaging
- Great pigmentation (the only exception is that Green Amber shade)
- Easy to blend and build up colour
- The shadows have names (many drugstore palettes do not)

- Green Amber is not as pigmented as the rest of the shadows
- $12 CDN is a little pricey for a smaller drugstore palette

Overall Rating: 4/5

Want to see the palette in action? Here is a makeup look that I created using the shades Sunstone, Quartz, and Gold.....

Honestly, I am glad that I took the risk on this Cover Girl eyeshadow palette. This is one brand that has really stepped up their gave in terms of both quality and shade selection. I can't wait to see what they will do next!

Have you tried this eyeshadow palette? Do you pay attention to YouTube reviews?

xo Shannon

Thursday, February 16, 2017

good things in life are better with you.

Valentine's Day is most commonly associated with romantic love. But if this year has taught me anything, it is that many different types of love make the holiday special. As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband was working the night of the 14th. That put a wrinkle in my dream of an unforgettable celebration. Turns out? I shouldn't have worried about a thing. This wound up being my best Valentine's Day ever.

It all started on Monday night. I went to my parents house to visit, as usual. Only nothing about it was normal. The house was decked out in red, with hearts everywhere, and cute stuffed animals piled on the couch. There were decorations, stacks of girly movies, and a bag full of gifts just for me. My mom and I spent the evening making Valentine's Day jewellery, crafting, playing board games, listening to the soundtrack for La La Land, and baking cookies. We had a blast. The only downside was that time passed by too quickly.

Before I knew it, I was back at the apartment. But then my husband surprised me with a heart shaped box of Turtles, a box of cookies, and an adorable stuffed giraffe. Since he does not care for the holiday this was an especially wonderful surprise.

The next day - Valentine's Day - my best friend dropped by my work so we could exchange Valentine's Day themed gifts. I was so overwhelmed by her generosity and it made the day feel so much brighter. That night, I ate a ton of candy hearts and watched one of my favourite movies, He's Just Not That Into You. 

This was definitely a Valentine's Day to remember. There is nothing better than giving (and receiving) love. The holiday is a wonderful reminder of that.

How did you celebrate Valentine's Day this year?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

every love story is beautiful...but ours is my favourite.

This is a very special post. Not only is it celebrating Valentine's Day (one of my favourite holidays) but this is also my 1000th post on the creation of beauty is art. Can you believe it? 1000 posts. That is insane. It is hard to remember all of them...but each one has a special place in my heart. I just wanted to thank you all for being a part of my blogging journey. For reading, commenting, and supporting this little page. It means so much to me. Thank you.

Now for the rest of the post! I wanted to say something very important to all of you: Happy Valentine's Day! Oh, how I love holidays. Though my favourite holiday is Christmas, I have a soft spot in my heart for any and all celebrations. They are a great excuse to have fun and be with the people you love. There is truly nothing better. Valentine's Day in particular is great because it is all about love! Oh, and eating chocolate. That is my kind of celebration.

I am not sure what to expect from Valentine's Day this year. My husband is working all evening so it looks like I will be alone tonight. Usually, I bake something special, cook him dinner, and give him presents. Instead? It will be an evening of chick flicks for one. Despite the less than ideal scenario....I am excited about Valentine's Day. Yesterday, I was able to celebrate with my family. So, even though today is a little disappointing, the holiday has definitely been enjoyed.

On another latest YouTube video is up! It is a little bit different for my channel but definitely something I wanted to share. The topic? Workout tips for people who hate working out. Fitness is not something that comes naturally to me (as in, I'd rather be chilling on the couch than doing squats) but I have found ways to push forward and make it work. I hope these tips can help you all as well.

How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day?

xo Shannon

Sunday, February 12, 2017

top 5 favourite red lipsticks.

Gwyneth Paltrow said it best. Many people have theorized what beauty is (and how to achieve it) but I think the basics are pretty simple: feeling good and unleashing your kick-ass side. Red lipstick is certainly one way to go about this. See, it is not just a type of makeup or a pretty shade to is a tool used to boost self confidence and assert your power.

On a normal day, I do not automatically reach for red lipstick. Largely because it is a little more finicky than a natural pink or even a bright purple. That being said....certain occasions call for a bold red lip. Valentine's Day is just such an occasion. The big day is coming up quick, so take this opportunity to raid your makeup collection and unleash your inner bad-ass. Need a little inspiration? Look no further. These are my top 5 favourite red lipsticks. Just in time for the holidays!

L to R: Kat Von D in Underage Red, Joe Fresh in Brick, Kat Von D in Nosferatu, 
Cover Girl in Peony, and Flower Beauty in Red-dy To Bloom. 

As you can see from the picture above, there is a pretty decent variety here, in terms of colour, finish, and price range. Let's take a closer look at my top picks!

  1. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red. This is without a doubt, my favourite red lipstick ever. The colour is bright, bold, and ultra flattering. It is a great way to add a pop of colour that isn't too over the top....but cannot be ignored. Every time I wear this shade, I feel ready to take on the world. And that is the power of a good red lipstick! 
  2. Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Brick. The next shade on my list is easily my most worn red lipstick. This brick red shade is a little more on the brown side and is a great alternative to a brighter red colour. It is perfect for a night out or if you want to go a little sultry with your makeup look.
  3. Kat Von D Liquid Lipsick in Nosferatu. I am definitely a big fan of Kat Von D liquid lipsticks (and Kat Von D products in general) and this shade has quickly become one of my favourites. It is a deep red colour that is deep and vampy. Another example of how many different ways there are to wear red! What I love most about this is the formula. It lasts for ages and doesn't fade.
  4. Cover Girl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm in Peony. This one is an oldie but a goodie. Sadly, this line is discontinued, but their Smoochie's gloss balms are similar and work really well. However, this shade in particular is my absolute favourite on the go red lip colour. Why? It adds a noticeable wash of red but doesn't require constant touch ups. It's a throw it on and go kind of product. That makes wearing a red lipstick easier than ever. 
  5. Flower Beauty Lip Suede Velvet Lip Chubby in Red-dy To Bloom. Oh, how I love lip crayons. These are so so easy to apply and use. This shade in particular is a bright bold red but the formula is super hydrating on the lips. It has more pigmentation than the Cover Girl Gloss Balm but less than say a Kat Von D shade, so it is a great in between lip product.

Do you wear red lipstick? What are your favourite shades?

xo Shannon

Friday, February 10, 2017

every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

I won't lie to you. Things have been challenging lately. Every time I open a newspaper or go online, I am bombarded with negativity and hate. Day after day, it is the same. Rights are being taken away, families are being ripped apart, and terror has gripped the hearts of many. (Thankfully, there are also stories of strong individuals fighting against evil. That gives me hope. That keeps me going.) With so much pain and devastation in the world, it has become all too easy to feel powerless. Overwhelmed. Sad. Lost. But there is one very important thing to remember in the days, months, and years to come: we are not powerless.

Though my blog is primarily related to makeup, fashion, and beauty, it is important for me to express how I feel about the world. Having an outlet for these emotions of mine helps keep me sane. I only hope that these sporadic political posts inspire you too....and let you know that you are not alone. So, today I wanted to share some of the quotes that give me comfort. They have been lifting my spirits and giving me some much needed inspiration. And inspiration is the fuel that keeps us fighting.

Which quote is your favourite? How do you stay inspired in dark times?

xo Shannon