Monday, January 30, 2012

happiness is never stopping to think if you are.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was busy, but really really wonderful. Now that Monday has hit once again, I am sadly reminded of the many things I need to get done.

While I work on this, here is a photo that is inspiring me at the moment. I love how edgy this look is. From shoes to sequins, the wild faux-hawk, and outrageously bold makeup, this photo sure packs a punch!

What do you think of this photo? And what did you do this weekend?

xo Shannon

Friday, January 27, 2012

memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

Scents carry memories with them. One whiff, and suddenly you are transported back to a significant time and place. I love those moments - so unexpected - where suddenly you are enveloped by part of your history.

I love fragrances. Perfumes, of course, but little things too - like the way the grass smells after it rains, the unmistakable aroma of a new book, and even laundry detergent. I am fascinated by the knowledge that special little moments are often encapsulated by a scent.

Thinking about this, I was particularly struck by the following paragraph.
Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
- Diane Ackerman

What scents remind you of special memories?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

i like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet.

There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon at the moment. Good people in my life, concerts to look forward to, and this beautiful optimism that has been following me around since the new year began.

Speaking of the new year, I made a fair number of resolutions this year. While I have been doing pretty well with keeping them thus far, I had one minor slip recently. One of my resolutions was to shop less. For me, this is torture. I managed to make it nearly a month, which I for one, am impressed with!

Here is what I bought recently.

Zara had an amazing sale on - I couldn't resist! I ended up buying this really cute black tank top with feathers on the shoulder, a snake skin print dress, and a really beautiful lace dress.

I also went to Sephora, which is probably my favourite store in the entire world. I bought two new makeup items, which I am really excited about.

The first, is Makeup Forever's Diamond Shadow in 311. The colour is just gorgeous. It is a really pretty purpleish brown shade, which has a beautiful shimmer to it. I attempted to do a swatch of the colour, but none of the photos turned out. My apologies!

Lastly, I bought Kat Von D's Tattoo Chronicles: Candelabra Edition eyeshadow palette. So far, I am loving everything about this. The packaging is so cute - it looks like a book, with drawings and letters on the front pages, and a mirror, the eyeshadows and a mascara in the back.

My favourite colour at the moment, is WTF, which is a really vibrant red. It creates such a bold makeup look. This palette is fantastic, because it mixes soft shimmery colours with dark and daring matte colours. There are a ton of options for really sexy smokey eye looks.

Despite the fact that I waffled a little bit on one of my resolutions, I am far too busy loving everything I purchased to care all that much!

What have you bought recently?

xo Shannon

Monday, January 23, 2012

beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.

Yesterday was the last day the Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess exhibition was showcased in Toronto. In honour of this, I wanted to post about my experience. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside the exhibit itself, but I managed to take a couple of pictures outside of the exhibit.

This popular event featured some of Grace Kelly's personal letters, movie posters, and most excitingly - a number of her dresses and the famous 'Grace Kelly bag.' Everything was thrilling to look at! The dresses ranged from a high-neck lace dress from the 50s to dramatic, bright, bold loose-fitting gowns from the 70s.

The highlight of the exhibit for me, however, was her wedding dress. It was so breathtakingly beautiful! The details on it were exquisite. Being able to see that was such an awe inspiring moment!

I had such a wonderful experience seeing this exhibit. It was very well done, and a fitting tribute to this truly stunning icon.

xo Shannon

Sunday, January 22, 2012

laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart.

I finally decided to try a lipstain. My reasoning? There have been a ton of positive reviews about them, and I love the idea of not having to touch up my lipstick all evening! I chose: Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain and Balm.

L-R: Victorian, Midnight, Mystical, Twilight, Dawn.

Initially, I bought the colour Twilight. It is a really rich berry colour that I completely fell in love with. The colour lasted the entire day and the balm kept my lips nice and moisturized! It was the perfect combination. Since then, I have picked up a few other shades as well.

There is a really nice range of colours in the collection, so it is always difficult choosing which to buy! Out of the colours I own, my favourites are Twilight and Midnight. (Midnight is a much deeper berry colour with a hint of mauve undertones.)

Have you tried lipstains? What do you think of them?

xo Shannon

Friday, January 20, 2012

get ready to party, get out there, get filthy, creepy and weird.

I love Jersey Shore. People I tell that to either instantly judge me, or sing my praises. Whatever opinion you may be of, hear me out:

I am fascinated by outrageous people. By nature, I have always been shy and quiet. As a result, I tend to admire those who are unafraid to take on the world. I see these qualities in many of the housemates. Furthermore, while I detest drama in my own life, televised drama seems to do just fine. I love watching it unfold, and trying to understand the way people react to certain situations. Lastly, and perhaps, most importantly - watching Jersey Shore really makes me want to go out and have a great time.

Since I will be going out tomorrow night with a couple of friends, I thought this would be the perfect time to post some pictures to get into the party spirit!

When I am getting ready, I put on a playlist of upbeat, dance music. It helps to get me in the right mindset for the rest of the night. There is nothing better than listening to great music and putting on some dramatic makeup.

Here is one of my favourite songs to listen to when I get ready:

I hope you all have a great weekend! If you are going out, have fun and be safe!

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

the pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.

Some things don't last forever, but some things do. 
Like a good song, or a good book, or a good memory 
you can take out and unfold in your darkest times.....
― Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby

Small, perfect moments can happen at any time. They can be found in the most insignificant of experiences, or the most profound. Lately, I have given great thought to these kinds of moments.

The most difficult aspect of this, is taking note of these moments in the first place. So often, we let life pass us by without paying much attention to it. Which is why there is something truly special about grasping a moment; When you can pause and think - I am completely happy. 

The beauty, is that even when time passes, you can recollect one of those moments, and smile, for that feeling is new once more. Everything can change with one seemingly unimportant moment.

I know there is perfection headed my way - I simply have to stop, and realize it is there.

xo Shannon

Monday, January 16, 2012

we are shaped and fashioned by what we love.

Lately, there have been so many examples of great fashion on the red carpet. Out of all of these red carpet looks, it is the bronze and metallic gowns I find myself drawn to. I love the power and femininity these dresses convey. They are bold and unapologetically sexy.

Here are some of the red carpet looks I am loving at the moment.

1) Amber Heard at The Art Of Elysium's 5th Annual Heaven Gala
What I Love:
This figure-hugging dress is a showstopper. The sequins on the bodice are so flattering, and I love the way the bottom of the dress drapes. This gorgeous shimmery bronze colour looks fantastic on Amber. I love the simple accessories and her bold red lip and nail polish colour.

2) Victoria Justice at 13th Annual Warner Bros and InStyle Golden Globes Awards After Party
What I Love:
I love the classic style of this dress. It is elegant and sophisticated, but the beautiful pearl and metallic beading at the collar really makes this dress stand out. I love the drop earrings and the simple accessories. Like Amber's red carpet look, Victoria chose a a bold red lip to really pull this look together.

3) Paris Hilton at the Golden Globes
What I Love:
Paris looks breathtaking in this gold goddess dress. The ruching and beading add so much elegance to the garment. I instantly fell in love with the way the gown drapes. Like Amber and Victoria, Paris chose understated jewellery to really showcase this stunning dress.

What do you think of these red carpet looks?

xo Shannon

Sunday, January 15, 2012

and gaze into some gentle, warm, excited eyes.

There is something about Mondays. Even when I'm not working Monday to Friday, Mondays always remind me of the long week ahead. Despite this, I have a few things to be excited about.

The first is a post made by the wonderful Makeup Is Art. Yin was sweet enough to mention me as her featured beauty blogger! You can read that post here. Be sure to check out her blog - she is so creative and is always trying out new makeup ideas!

Secondly, VĂ©ro from Virtual Makeup Artist has done a virtual makeup look on one of my pictures and posted a little about my blog! You can check out that out here! The virtual makeup is such a cool idea, and the finished product looks amazing!

Here is the original picture, and the virtual makeup look!

What do you think of this virtual makeup look? Be sure to check out!

xo Shannon

Friday, January 13, 2012

it's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.

2012 is a year of action. It is about doing, instead of wondering what if. I am trying to apply this belief to every aspect of my life. As ridiculous as it may sound, this new year continues to give me hope that things can change.

When I took part in the 30 day beauty challenge, the challenge on day 29 was a makeup look you would love to try out. A few days ago, I realized I shouldn't just be posting about what I would like to try out, I should be doing it.

I initially posted the following inspiration look. It is very doll-like, and almost reminds me of a fairy. What I loved about this makeup look, was the white and orange together and the ethereal look it created.

My look is toned down comparatively, but is still crazy dramatic! I don't know that it turned out exactly as I imagined, but it was a lot of fun to do.

This post is about more than this makeup look for me. It is about taking thing at a time.

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

a room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.

When I have a lot of my mind, I seek out photographs that reflect that. There is something special about finding a photograph that connects with you emotionally. These are a few of the photographs that have been inspiring me lately.

What kind of photographs inspire you the most?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

award post!

Over the last little while, I have been lucky enough to be awarded the Cute Blog Award, the Versatile Blogger Award, and the Kreativ Blogger Award! It is always a nice feeling when someone recognizes what you're doing!

The Cute Blog Award:

I was awarded this by the amazing Tamyr at IN2GLOSS. Her blog is seriously fantastic. I always get excited whenever she posts!

1. What is your go to make up product?
Eyeliner, definitely.
2. What was your favorite fashion trend of 2011?
Animal print and faux fur!
3. What is your favorite dessert?
Anything and everything. Mostly chocolate, though!
4. Favorite color?
5. What is your middle name?
I have two middle names - Erin and Topham (which was my mom's maiden name, but she didn't want me stuck with two last names!)
6. What was the last song you listened to?
Been There Before by Hanson
7. cats or dogs?
Tell us something about yourself you haven’t told us in your blog?
At this point, I'm sure there is little I haven't divulged on this blog!

Here are the rules:
1. Link back the person who awarded you: Tamyr at IN2GLOSS
2. Answer award questions
3. Tell us something about yourself you haven’t told us in your blog yet.
4. Award as many blogs you think are worthy of this award
5. Make sure you let those you give this award know you have awarded them.

I am awarding the Cute Blog Award to:
I Love Makeup 68
A Jaded Life
Anete's Thoughts
Beauty By Billie
Same Cookies, Different
The Recordologist

The Versatile Blogger Award:

I was awarded this by Ashley at Textbooks And Tofu. She has such a cute, interesting blog! It is diverse and wonderful to read!

Here are the rules:
1. You must thank the person who awarded you the award including a shout-out with a link on your blog. (Ashley at Textbooks And Tofu)
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Send the award on to 15 other bloggers whose blogs you like to read and let them know about it.

Seven Random Facts About Myself:
- I am currently reading a Nancy Drew book from 1953. Despite my age, Nancy Drew books are still page turners!
- Yesterday I attempted to organize my closet with limited results. My ideal solution? A second closet!
- I have an addiction to stuffed animals. They are just so cute and I love them all.
- It is one of my dreams to do nothing except eat, sleep, and read every single Jane Austen novel.
- I love singing when I think no one can hear me.
- Christmas is my favourite time of year, and I always get sad when it has ended.
- I hate talking on the phone.

I am awarding the Versatile Blogger Award To:
A Cup of Fashion
All Things New
Beauty On a College Budget
From Sarah, With Joy
Glam Kitten's Litter Box
Haunted Fashion
La Vie En Mode
Ladies And The City
Lucy and the Runaways
Moon Child
New York Doll
PolaBerry's Beauty Blog
Sharon's Makeup Diary
The Fancy Teacup

The Kreativ Blogger Award:

I was awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award by Mary at Meowwzie, Eline at Living In A Fairytale, Liora from At Sea, and Anna at Ultra Violette. All of these are really amazing blogs, focusing on fashion, beauty, and life!

1. Name your favourite song:
Breaktown by Hanson.
2. Name your favourite dessert:
3. What ticks me off:
Rude people.
4. When I'm upset:
I like to be alone to write, cry and listen to music.
5. What is your favourite kind of pet?
Cats. :)
6. Black or white?
I have a lot of black in my wardrobe, and it is easy to wear, so definitely black!
7. Biggest fear:
Death and/or illness of myself or the people I care about.
8. Everyday attitude:
Probably slightly tired and pleasant. It really depends on what is happening at any given moment.
9. What is perfection?
Being in the crowd of a Hanson concert.....when for a moment, everyone stops pushing and the ache in my body from waiting in line for 30+ hours eases. Music fills my soul, and I look up at that stage and think 'everything is perfect.' It happens at every single Hanson show I have ever been to (and I have been to a lot). It is a magical moment.
10. Guilty pleasure:
I long ago stopped feeling guilty about anything I enjoy. I embrace what I love, whether that is the popular opinion or not.

Seven Random Things About Me:
See above!

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave you this award
2. Complete the form below
3. Award 10 other blogs and let them know in a comment or email
4. Share 7 random thoughts about yourself

I am awarding the Kreativ Blogger Award to:
Spring Rose.
Behind Cati's Eyes
Along Abbey Road
Bows, Hearts, and Everything Cute
Cosa Mi Metto???
Freaky Friday
Young, Classy & Fabulous
Letters To Juliet
Miss L

Phew! That took longer than anticipated! Anyway, I hope you are all having an amazing day!

xo Shannon

Monday, January 9, 2012

love it or leave it?

When Mila Kunis hits the red carpet, she embodies sultry glamour. Whatever event she attends, she always looks amazing. Recently, Mila hit the red carpet for the St Jude Children's Research Hospital Anniversary Gala. She wore a daring purple lace top with a flowy light purple skirt.

The original runway look:

For me, this outfit misses.

From the waist up, Mila looks gorgeous. It is daring without being showy, and that deep purple colour looks beautiful on her. My issue with this outfit is definitely the skirt. The lighter colour on the bottom half looks okay at best. The skirt is also much too long for her. The belt worn with the skirt is also a miss, in my opinion. If the belt and styling of this outfit had been more like the original runway look, Mila's red carpet look could have been a knockout.

What do you think of Mila's look? Love it or leave it?

xo Shannon

Saturday, January 7, 2012

he who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.

Each new year brings beautiful hope. In the moments before, we stop to think about our lives - what we cherish, and what we want to change. These moments help us to focus on the things we hope to achieve.

In previous years, I have made vague resolutions with iffy results. This year, however, I really took the time to stop and think about what changes I wanted to make. I have set goals for myself, both short and long-term. As a result, I am filled with a renewed sense of hope.

This year, it was estimated that 51% of people planned to exercise more. I am one of those people.

After a holiday season of indulgence, the large scale focus on health only makes sense. Before the holiday season began, I was eating fairly well. Once all of those cookies came out though, I thought - forget it! - and gained five pounds as a result. (Christmas cookies are a delicious way to do it though!)

Now that all of the holiday cookies have been eaten, I have no more excuses. My goals are to work out five times a week, drastically cut back on junk foods, and to drink more water. I want to focus on health rather than numbers on a scale.

Maybe it is that sparkling optimism that comes from the idea of a new year and a fresh start, but I am certain I will achieve my goals this year.

Whenever I want to quit, this is the picture I think of:

Whatever may happen in the future, I am finally embracing change.

Is getting in shape on your resolution list?

xo Shannon

Friday, January 6, 2012

30 day beauty challenge: day 30

Today is the last day of the 30 day beauty challenge! This challenge pushed me to post about things I normally wouldn't, and hopefully helped you all get to know me a little better. I want to thank you all for sticking with me through this challenge. I really appreciate it!

With that said, the last challenge in the 30 day beauty challenge is: Favourite Nail Polish.

I don't own a lot of nail polishes, because I'm not allowed to have my nails painted where I work. Sigh. Whenever I am able to paint my nails, though, I love it! My favourite nail polish is one I bought when I was in London. The colour reminds me of Tiffany blue, which is probably why I love it so much! It's a really pretty colour and the polish lasts quite well.

What is your favourite nail polish?

xo Shannon

Thursday, January 5, 2012

30 day beauty challenge: day 29

Almost done the 30 day beauty challenge! What a crazy thought! Today's challenge is: Photo Of A Makeup Look You Would Love To Try Out.

I am cheating a little bit with this one.....I couldn't pick just one look! I am impressed that I cut it down to only three looks, actually!

The first is a sexy, doll-like look. Very dramatic and very beautiful!

The next two makeup looks are by Taylor Momsen, from Gossip Girl and The Pretty Reckless. While she gets a lot of flack for her style, I am a big fan of it. Taylor is extreme, but interesting. I love this look in particular, because she has this gorgeous rock inspired smokey eye going on, with a glossy nude lip.

In this last look, Taylor has a bright red lip, white eyeshadow and lots of winged out, black liner. This makeup look is part sophisticated, part grungy. Which is exactly why I find it so interesting!

Are there any makeup looks that you've been wanting to try out?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

30 day beauty challenge: day 28

I hope 2012 is treating you well so far! I am still struggling with the changing year...I keep writing/typing 2011 all the time! By the time I get adjusted to it, it might well be 2013!

Today's beauty challenge is: Top Beauty Item You Can't Live Without.

Being a makeup lover, this was a difficult challenge. I am however, a huge eyeliner junkie. More recently, I have tried using shadows instead of liner for a softer look, or even - shock! - no liner at all, but nine times out of ten, it is all about the liner.

I love black eyeliner. The darker, the better. My favourite cream eyeliner is from Sephora, and my favourite liquid and gel liners are from Maybelline New York.

I love the texture of the gel liner. It is really easy to use and great for winged out cat eyes! The liquid liner is really dark in colour and lasts all day! Definitely great products!

So, my beauty must-have is black eyeliner. What is yours?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

30 day beauty challenge: day 27

Today's challenge for the 30 day beauty challenge is: Favourite Skincare Product. I have chosen Ole Henriksen's Sheer Transformation.

It is an oil-free cream that is light, and makes your skin feel really smooth and silky! It has a really nice texture to it as well. I like to put this on my face and neck before I go to bed. I don't have the best skin, so this really helps keep it in check! The only downside to this product is the price. It is about $60 CDN for a jar. It does, however, last a decent amount of time! My first jar lasted me a little over four months. Not too bad!

What is your favourite skincare product?

xo Shannon