Thursday, February 26, 2015

money can't buy happiness...but it can buy makeup.

To an outsider, it must seem strange. How one person can own so much makeup....can want so much makeup....can love so much makeup. Yet, there seem to be more and more product lovers like myself. People who adore trying out new things, having fun, and getting creative. The latest addition to my collection? Some items from Joe Fresh. My mom was out one day and managed to snag a bunch of eye and lip products for half off. So, she picked up some for herself and some for me. It was the perfect surprise.

What did this surprise haul include? Three lip crayons and two eye crayons. The lip crayons came in a warm brown, a bold red, and a vibrant pink. The eye crayons were a royal purple and a deep black. Like any makeup products, some were a hit and some were a miss. That seems to be the name of the game! Especially when it comes to affordable makeup items. The quality is either incredible or kind of so-so. So, which items exceeded expectations? And which ones were a flop?

Let's start with the lip crayons. The three I ended up with were a brown-ish nude, a red, and a pink shade. What I loved about these crayons? They are easy to wear, simple to apply, and have a nice, creamy texture. I found the crayons to be surprisingly pigmented. There was a lot of colour payoff and the lip products themselves were quite moisturizing on the lips. Overall, I was very impressed! Each colour looked great, was easy to wear, and lasted. Take a look at the colours and swatches below to see for yourself....

Now for the eyeshadow crayons. As great as the lip crayons were - that is how awful the eye crayons turned out to be. Total letdown. And then some. The pigmentation was poor on the lid to start with. That I could forgive because I could at least use the product as a base. The real issue? The crayons had a greasy, oily kind of texture. They creased immediately! Trying to apply a shadow over top only seemed to exacerbate the problem. Quite frankly, I see absolutely no place for these in my makeup collection. I am going to give them another go but if it is still the same? I think their future is in the waste bin. At any rate, you can take a look at them here:

Ultimately, some of these Joe Fresh products were great and others were a major letdown. Despite how awful (and I rarely dismiss a makeup product entirely but these were truly horrible) the eye crayons were....the lip crayons were absolutely fabulous. I love wearing them - and I love how I feel wearing them. Which is why I created a makeup look sporting that vibrant pink shade. Take a look and let me know what you think.

It is always exciting trying out new makeup. Sometimes they make your day and other times they wind up in the trash. But it is all part of the adventure! Thankfully in this case, those lipstick shades totally wowed.

What do you think of these products? Have you tried anything from Joe Fresh?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

fish don't know they're in water.

Some days are just fun. They are the kind of days that you look back on and think, that was such a great day. I had one of those days recently. My fiance and I went on a double date with some friends to the Ripley's Aquarium. None of us had ever been before, so we didn't know quite what to expect. Would it be worth the wait? Live up the hype? Be tons of fun? Well, it was absolutely amazing. I had such a good time. There were so many underwater creatures to look at. Some cute, some creepy, and some absolutely out of this world.

We took the train into the city and walked over to the aquarium. Since we bought our tickets in advance, we got to skip the massive line up of people. Thank goodness for that! The moment we stepped into the aquarium, it was overwhelming. There was so much to see. Different species, tanks,  information, interactive features. Plus there were people absolutely everywhere. I guess that is what happens when you visit a major tourist attraction on a weekend. The good news? The crowds seemed to lighten up as we went though.

There were a few stand out moments for me. They included the sea horses (there was this white one that was absolutely incredible. I don't even have words for how beautiful it was!) and the giant moving walkway. For the walkway, there was literally a giant tank surrounding everyone - going right overhead and on either side. The moving walkway took us along the giant tank as we checked out turtles, fish, and sharks. It was truly memorizing.

After almost three hours at the aquarium, we went for lunch. Where did we go? Wahlburgers! I have been there once before and the food is phenomenal. They have delicious burgers and super tasty tater tots. I am not a foodie by any means but my gosh, do I love to eat there. Delicious! Following our lunch, we took the train back home and ended up stopping for dessert. Then my fiance and I spent the rest of the night hanging out and watching Netflix. It was definitely a fun day from start to finish.

Since it was such a fantastic day, I thought I would show you all a few of my favourite pictures from the aquarium. Here they are!

This probably goes without saying....but I loved the aquarium. It is always fun when you have a special day to look back on. This was definitely one of them. Hopefully we will be able to go back sometime in the future!

Do you like to visit aquariums? What do you think of these pictures?

xo Shannon

Sunday, February 22, 2015

the creation of beauty is art. on YouTube!

Exciting news! I have finally taken the plunge. After months of deliberating, wondering, and second guessing.....the creation of beauty is art. is now on YouTube. This was not an easy decision for me to make. See, I love watching beauty gurus share their secrets, post reviews, and create stunning makeup looks. That is actually how I got into makeup in the first place. I started watching tutorials on YouTube. Over the years, they helped me learn new skills, gain confidence, and have fun with makeup.

So, why was it so difficult to decide to create a channel of my own? I was plagued by thoughts like, how could I ever compare to the gurus that inspire me? What if my channel ends up being a total failure? The more I compared myself to established beauty vloggers, the more worried I became. Then it hit me: there is no comparison. Just like my blog, a video channel is a way to express myself in a new way. To share my thoughts, tips, and advice on another platform. It doesn't have to be the best just has to make me happy.

A few days ago, I created the bare bones of my channel. Registering, creating a background, and all of the preliminary stuff. That was done and taken care of. I had no plans to film quite so soon - but inspiration hit and I couldn't stop myself. Before I knew it, I was doing my hair and makeup, setting up my camera, and attempting to film a brief introduction video. It might not be perfect...and it is only the first step....but I can't wait to see what becomes of this new experience.

Are you ready to see my very first video for the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel? Check it out!

This is an exciting new chapter in the future of my blog. And I am so happy to share it with you. Thank you for all of the support over the past three and a half years. It means the world to me - and has given me the confidence to break out of my comfort zone and do something I desperately wanted to.

To check out my YouTube channel, head over to the creation of beauty is art.

xo Shannon

Friday, February 20, 2015

we go together like copy and paste.

Date night. How I love thee. It sounds silly, but there is something exciting about getting dressed up and going out. Even if it is just to dinner and a movie. Even if the outfit is pretty laid back and casual. It is good to shake things up every now and again! On a typical evening with my fiance, we hang out at his place and watch our favourite TV shows. This is something I love (a lot)....but even still, it is nice to do something different sometimes.

On a recent date night to the movies, I decided to wear a skirt. This is a big deal. If only because the weather right now is absolutely freezing. Every day it seems to get a little colder, a little snowier, and a little icier. I have basically been living in warm clothes in recent months! That means sweaters, hoodies, cardigans, and all the rest. Something as simple as a skirt and a long sleeved shirt made me feel like myself again. It helped me to get out of my style rut. Let me just say, I am definitely counting down the days until spring returns.

Since I had such a good time getting dressed up, I thought that I would make today an outfit post. For my makeup, I wore a combination of brown eyeshadow shades with some winged out cat eye liner. I was definitely feeling warm neutrals. I kept my hair simple by tying it back into a ponytail. As for my outfit? I wore a long sleeved French Connection top and a Material Girls skirt with zippered details. I added on a pair of tights and some sparkly flats and that was my finished look!

Want to take a look at my date night outfit? Here it is.....

It was definitely a wonderful night out. I had fun getting ready - and I had even more fun spending time with my favourite person.

What do you like to wear on a night out?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

valentine's is a time for love.

Me? I love Valentine's Day. A lot. There is something about all of the romantic gestures and smiling faces that just makes me feel happy. (Not to mention all of the chocolate and chick flicks!) Are you the same way? Then I hope you all had a wonderful celebration with the person or people you love most! Since I am such a big fan of the holiday, I thought that I would do a little post about my day.

It started off with gifts my parents. I came downstairs to find flowers, a card, and a giant pink stuffed frog from my dad sitting on the couch. Then there was a bag full of goodies from my mom. That included a  new purse, a Betsey Johnson bracelet, new earrings and a necklace, along with some DVDs. I definitely felt spoiled! It was all a little bittersweet though. Since I was young, my parents have always given me and my siblings little gifts for Valentine's Day. But since I am moving out and getting hitched this summer, they said this was the last time they would be partaking in the tradition. It is always hard for me to let go of that was a little sad. As wonderful as their gifts were! Here is a peek at the Valentine's Day gifts from my family:

After that, I started to prepare for the night ahead. Every year, my fiance comes over and I cook him dinner. This year I decided to make ham, scalloped potatoes, vegetables, cupcakes, and cookies. Yum! I spent much of my day making and decorating cupcakes and baking the cookies. Then I decorated the upstairs with stuffed things, candles, and heart shapes decorations. I even picked out some romantic comedies since he said we would watch my movies for the evening. (For the record, they were Lovewrecked, When In Rome, and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.)

After that, I got dressed, did my makeup, and went downstairs to cook dinner. It was a lot of work but it was definitely worth it. The night went very well. I liked being able to do something nice for my fiance. Even though he is not so into Valentine's Day, he bought me a really cute card and a gorgeous charm for my Pandora bracelet. It was really sweet! So, here are a few pictures from the evening.

I love Valentine's Day. It is an excuse to do something special, wear lots of pink and red, and spoil the person you love. What could be better?

How did you spend your Valentine's Day this year?

xo Shannon

Monday, February 16, 2015

relax the mind, renew the body, revive the soul.

Who doesn't love to relax and unwind? This is something I am consciously trying to do more of lately. It is so easy to get bogged down by stress and responsibilities. So, I am aiming to add a little more rest and relaxation into my days. It sounds silly - but I actually have started scheduling myself time to sit back and unwind. It may only be for fifteen minutes or so. But even those small chunks of time can make a big difference to my mental and emotional well being. I highly recommend it!

One of the ways that I have been trying to treat myself is with a mud mask. The winter has been hard on my skin this year. My solution? To take better care of it. That is why I picked up a couple of items from the Beauty Concepts line. In the past, I have tried the under eye pads and the face mask. Overall, I was quite happy with them. That is why I thought: mud mask!

The Beauty Concepts Clear As Mud kit was a total winner. It was quite cheap (I think about $5 for the whole pack) and it came with four mini mud masks. Even though it came with four, there is an awful of product in each pod. That means you can get two or three applications out of each one - so long as you store it properly afterwards.

The process itself was pretty simple. Apply the mud mask to your face, leave for ten minutes, and rinse off with water. The claims are that the mud mask will leave you with "beautiful and youthful skin." far so good. After using the mud mask, my skin instantly looked and felt better than it did before. Not to mention how relaxing it felt to spend time on myself. I think that was the best part. Not only was the mud mask working well on my skin, but it reminded me that pampering myself every now and again? It is essential.

My experience with the Beauty Concepts Clear As Mud was a positive one. The product isn't too harsh on my skin, it does a solid job, and is very easy to use. It also allowed me to relax and have a little me time. Bonus!

What do you do to relax and unwind? Have you tried anything from Beauty Concepts? 

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 14, 2015

i love nothing in the world so well as you.

Today is the big day. Valentine's Day, that is! It might sound cliche....but I absolutely love the holiday. There is something about all of the romance, the grand gestures, and the thoughtful moments that just make me feel all warm and fuzzy. I am one of those girls who loves love. There is nothing quite as good as watching a romantic movie, like Bridget Jones, He's Just Not That Into You, The Wedding Planner, or How To Lose a Guy In Ten Days.....they all manage to make me smile. (Okay, and sometimes even cry a little bit!) Yes, I love Valentine's Day.

Unfortunately, my fiance does not feel the same way. As he puts it, I do special things for you all the time. Why does it have to be on this one day? I see his point....but I love Valentine's Day anyway! Over the years, I think he has kind of softened on his anti-Valentine's stance. When we first started dating he was totally against it. Now? He has come around a bit. This might be because I like to spoil him on the big day. Cooking dinner, baking cookies, decorations, little gifts.....the works! Shockingly, this has actually become a lot of fun for me. I am not overly domestic in general. But every now and again, I like to pretend that I am. Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to do that - and spoil the person I love most. 

However you are celebrating Valentine's Day this year, have fun! Whether you are single or in a relationship, I hope you spend time with the people you care about most. Because that is the most important part. Share love, be kind, and have a wonderful holiday. 

To get you in the mood for the festivities, I thought I would share a few of my favourite Valentine's Day inspired pictures. I hope that you all enjoy them!

How will you be spending Valentine's Day this year? Do you have anything special planned?

xo Shannon