Wednesday, April 16, 2014

new in: born pretty haul

Here's the thing: I just can't resist affordable makeup and accessories. A little while back, I was getting ready for bed...when I had this sudden urge to shop. This isn't something that happens to me often. But to curb the urge, I decided to do a little online window shopping.

Except my window shopping turned into a mini-haul from Born Pretty. Oops! What can I say - I can't walk away from a great deal! (No, seriously....everything cost me less than $30 and shipping was free.) So, what did I end up buying? 11 pairs of fake eyelashes, a lipstick, a shimmery pink eyeshadow, a cat claw ring, a fan brush, a small stipple brush, and a seriously amazing blush palette.

Let's take a closer look at everything....

11 pairs of false eyelashes. I haven't tried them yet but they look gorgeous!

A fan brush and a small stipple brush. So far, I am impressed with the quality. 
The bristles are really soft.

Shimmery shadow and lipstick. Love the shimmery loose powder but the lipstick is a dud. 
I found it really dry - but the colour is lovely. 

Cat claw ring. How cool is this? I can't wait to find the perfect outfit to wear it with!

10 blush shades....heaven! Blush is definitely my weakness, so this was the most
exciting purchase by far. Expect a full review in a later post! 

So, that is my late night shopping spree. Overall, I was really happy with everything I bought. The prices were fantastic and the quality was really great as well. I am definitely a fan! (You'll see just how much in my blush palette review post. Obsessed!)

Have you bought anything from Born Pretty before? What do you think of my mini-haul?

xo Shannon

Monday, April 14, 2014

style is a way of saying who you are without having to speak.

Spring is here. That means spring fashion....thank goodness! Now that the snow has melted and the temperatures are above freezing, I've been trying to get back into my groove. During the winter months, I confess: I fell into a serious fashion rut. It was all sweaters all the time. (Mostly because it was freezing cold out.) Now that the weather is improving, though, I've been reaching for some of the pieces I've been missing all winter long.

That feeling is what inspired this outfit post! I don't do a ton of outfit posts, because well, makeup is more my forte, but I was really happy with how these looks turned out. One was laid-back neutrals and the other was something super cutesy. You'll have to let me know which you like best.

Look #1: Laid Back Neutrals

 Top: Calvin Klein, Jeans: Joe Fresh, Earrings: Top Shop, Bracelet: Pandora.

Look #2: Cutesy Spring

Top: Jessica Simpson, Skirt: H&M, Sunglasses: Forever 21, Purse: Town Shoes.

What do you think of these outfits? Which one is your favourite?

xo Shannon

Saturday, April 12, 2014

spring is the time of plans and projects.

Spring is finally underway, which means there is no better time for me to talk about the Bare Minerals Beauty In Bloom set I have been using lately. In the past, I have always walked on by the Bare Minerals section in my local Sephora. It just wasn't a brand I gave much thought to. It wasn't until I was browsing the Sephora website that I started to pay attention. The Beauty In Bloom set immediately attracted me. Gorgeous spring colours and products to try out? Uh, yes please!

This set came with a variety of products (lips, cheeks, and eyes) for just $44 CDN. With seven items packed in this cute little box set, there was definitely plenty to try out. So, what actually was inside? It came with: two eyeshadow shades (Muse, a pink frosty shade, and Passion, a stunning plum colour), a super shimmery mineral eyeshadow (Nude Beach), a powder blush (a soft Nude Pink), a mineral blush (Rose Radiance), a lipstick (Marvelous Moxie, a pink shade), and a lipgloss (in Spark Plug).

Yes, there were a ton of amazing things to try out. I was so impressed with the quality and pigmentation of each and every product. To start with, let's look at the lips. The set included a pink lipstick and a gloss. Both were dusty rose shades, that are feminine, pretty, and totally perfect for spring!

Let me just say that I love the lipstick colour. It looks great and is really moisturizing on the lips. Such a nice spring shade. The size of the lipstick is great for travel, too. As for the lip gloss, I wasn't expecting to like it. This is just because I am super picky about glosses. I hate when they are sticky or tacky at all. This one was actually quite nice, though! It looks great layered over the lipstick or worn on its own. It has a great colour and a nice texture.

Next up are the blush shades. I absolutely love blushes of all different colours but have never tried a mineral one. So, that was pretty exciting! Here is a closer look at the two blush shades included in this set.

Both of these shades are really beautiful. They give a really natural looking flush to the cheeks. I love the quality, the texture, and the pigmentation. I was so so impressed with these! I find myself using the powder blush more often because I just love the colour. But the mineral blush is great as well (it has more of a peachy pink tone) because it adds a really pretty glow to the skin. As far as I'm concerned, both of these products are total winners!

And lastly in this set are the eyeshadow shades. There are three here...two powder and one mineral one. Here they are!

Out of everything in this set, the eyeshadows had to be my favourite products. The two powder shadows are just gorgeous. They have a really silky texture and the colours are just fantastic. In fact, the plum shade is one of my favourite eyeshadow shades of the moment. I find myself reaching for it constantly. It just looks so pretty on! But the stand out? The Nude Beach mineral eyeshadow. It is intensely pigmented and shimmery. It looks absolutely stunning on the inner corner or just swept all over the lid. Whenever I wear this, I feel like a million bucks. I only fear the day I run out of it! Love, love, love.

There you have it: my thoughts on the Bare Minerals Beauty In Bloom set. I have to say, this was money well spent. I am so thrilled with every aspect of this spring-themed makeup kit. I will definitely have to keep an eye out for more Bare Minerals products in the future.

What do you think of this set? Have you tried anything from Bare Minerals?

xo Shannon

Thursday, April 10, 2014

in the fashion industry, everything goes retro except the prices.

The great thing about stores like Forever 21? Super affordable accessories. You can find some cute ways to spruce up an outfit for $5-10. That makes it pretty easy to try out trendier pieces that don't necessarily have to last well, forever. The last time I placed an order with F21, I threw in a couple of cheap accessories on a whim. (If they weren't as cute as they looked, it wasn't a huge loss.) They were some midi-rings and a retro inspired headband.

I decided on the midi-rings simply because they were super cute. There came in a bundle and one of them even looks like a crown. Love! As for the headband, I have always been inspired by retro fashion. There is something about vintage accessories, like a bandana, that makes you feel strong and powerful. When these accessories arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by how great they were - the headband in particular.

Since I loved the headband so much, I decided to wear it for my latest face of the day look! I wanted something simple but pretty. I hope I managed to achieve that! So, here it face of the day featuring my new favourite accessory.

The products used to create this look were: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation, Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, Blinc Cosmetics Liquid Liner, Benefit They're Real! Mascara, Hard Candy Baked Bronzer, L'Oreal Colour Whispers Gloss Balm.

When creating this makeup look, I wanted something that was a little retro inspired...but wasn't too dramatic or over the top. That is why I stuck with neutral shades on the lid and opted against a bright red lip. Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out!

What do you think of the accessories? Do you like this makeup look of the day?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

i love the way my skin looks when it's tan.

There are plenty of great drugstore brands out there. One that stands out to me is Hard Candy. While I'm not a fan of all their products (there have been a few misses for sure...) their baked blushes and bronzers are top notch. The pigmentation is beautiful and it adds a gorgeous glow to the skin. It's like a face product and highlight in one. Score!

Since I am such a fan of their makeup, I always pay attention when I see something new pop up at my local drugstore. Like, when I came across the So Baked Contour Trio. There were a few different shades to choose from. Some had a pink blush, bronzer, and highlight while others had a bronzer, deeper bronze shade, and a highlight. There was certainly plenty to choose from....which is why I struggled to choose the best one for me.

I ended up with the 3x a Charm featuring a highlight, contour, and bronze shade. (Which is pictured above.) For whatever reason, this one really stood out to me. I just loved the look of the shades! When I actually went to use the product I was very happy with my choice. This is such a handy trio. You can blend all of the colours together for a pretty shimmery cheek look or use them individually to shape and highlight to the face.

The pigmentation was lovely and there was plenty of beautiful shimmer, too. What I really love? The shades are versatile and can be worn in many different ways. Out of everything, the highlight is my favourite aspect of this trio. It just looks gorgeous on the skin! The swatches below will give you a better idea of what you can expect from 3x a Charm:

As far as I'm concerned, the So Baked Contour Trio from Hard Candy is a total winner. Why? It is affordable (the price is about $8 CDN), you get a ton of product, and there are plenty of ways that you can wear the different shades. Use it as a bronzer, contour set....whatever you like!

Without question, I am loving this - which is probably why I've been reaching for it so often lately. Pretty sure it is going to take an awful lot of willpower to stay away from the rest of this line. Only time will tell. In the meantime, here is a peek at the look I created using this trio. Let me know what you think!

Have you tried anything from Hard Candy? What do you think of this trio?

xo Shannon

Sunday, April 6, 2014

sometimes it's hard to find the words to say. i'll go ahead and say them anyway.

Everyone has their style icons. Some of mine are Audrey Hepburn, Victoria Beckham, Lauren Pope, Betsey Johnson, and Paris Hilton. Yes, each of these ladies are certainly different! But that's the great thing about fashion icons - each one can inspire a totally different part of your personality.

Another person that I adore? Lily Allen. I have been a fan of her music for years and become more and more enamored with her as time passes. Her music is clever, satirical, and charming...and her style is bold and fashion forward. I love the way she blends edgy pieces with sophisticated ones. Or how she takes trendy items and blends them with statement pieces to really stand out. One thing is for sure: Lily always looks great.

Since her style has been so on point lately (as far as I'm concerned, anyway!) I wanted to do a little inspiration post. Without further ado, here are some of my favourite Lily Allen looks lately!

What do you think of Lily Allen's style? Which one of these is your favourite look?

xo Shannon

Friday, April 4, 2014

tag: my life in 20 questions

Every once and a while, I come across something that speaks to me. That happened recently when I saw the my life in 20 questions tag floating around! It's fun to, it's a good way to let you guys know a little bit more about me.

So, keep reading to find out my answers. And if you want to try this tag yourself, go for it!

Favourite colour: Pink! Without a doubt, pink is my favourite colour. It just makes me happy to see pink clothes, accessories, and well, anything else!

Favourite number: 7. It just always has been, I don't really know why.

Dream career: To be a successful writer, writing about topics I am passionate about...rather than whatever pays the most. Ultimately, I would love to be a novelist. I've actually written a book but haven't had time to devote to the editing process, lately.

Where do you see yourself living when you’re on your own? At this point, I really don't know. I always dreamed of spending a month or two living in London or New York City, but long-term, I'm not sure. I don't think the city is for me! Perhaps the suburbs are a place for me to stay.

Favorite way to travel: Probably the train? I don't enjoy the process of traveling but usually when I take the train, I can just put on my iPod and sit back.

What do you do in your free time? Not a lot. I don't actually have a ton of free time. I'm usually working at my full-time job or I'm doing my freelance work, blogging, applying for writing jobs....the usual! When I do have some time off though, I spend it with my boyfriend or go the movies.

Favorite clothing stores: Either Forever 21 and H&M. Great trendy pieces for decent prices. You just can't go wrong!

Who would you like to see in concert? Everyone! I love going to concerts. There are a lot of people I've seen that I would love to see again. Still on my bucket list? Cher and Christina Aguilera.

Favorite tea blend? I don't drink tea - or any hot beverages, for that matter.

Do you collect anything? Probably CDs, books, and makeup!

I can’t sleep without: My stuffed Dogbert.

If you were given 1 million dollars all for yourself what would you do with it? I would pay off my parents house, take a trip to Disney World, and write full-time.

Favorite make-up brand? NARS for sure. Benefit is a close second, though.

Favorite treat to eat? Chocolate! Oh my gosh, I love chocolate. It's so bad but I'm pretty sure I could eat it all day every day and never get sick of it!

What is your favorite season? I love the summer. During those months, everyone is more relaxed, makes room for fun activities, and wears cute clothes. What could be better? I am super excited for summer this year!

Do you sleep with your doors open or closed? Closed. I like to have privacy when I sleep. Plus, I don't want the dog to walk in.

Why did you start blogging? I had graduated from University and couldn't seem to find a freelance writing job. I was getting frustrated and wanted to write for an audience. So, I started this blog. I was able to channel my passion for writing with my passion for beauty. It was the perfect solution! And I ended up getting my first internship based on some of those early posts, so it all kind of worked out.

Do you have any magazine subscriptions? No. I don't usually have enough free time to sit and read a magazine. Every now and then I will pick up Cosmo, Women's Health, or Glamour, though.

What were you doing at 12AM last night? I was sleeping! During the week I have to be up at 6am for work so by the end of the day, I'm wiped!

Favorite perfume? This is tough because I am such a perfume addict. There are so many that I love! My favourite is probably from FCUK or Hidden Fantasy from Britney Spears.

I hope you liked this tag! Be sure to give it a try yourself...I'd love to know what your answers are.

xo Shannon