Wednesday, December 30, 2015

the first chapter is new years day.


2016 is on the horizon. That is a very strange thing to write. It seems like this year zoomed by. Like time was moving faster than usual. I am sure I feel the same way at the end of every year....but it seems more prominent this time. Maybe that is because of all the changes that have happened. 2015 was a total blur of wedding planning, packing, marriage, moving, unpacking, and all the rest. It was certainly a year of transition. But now? Things seem to be settling in to place.

Like every year, there are certain things I hope to accomplish. Mainly in terms of my career and continued self growth. My dream? To be a full time writer and only a full time writer. (Rather than writing full time while also working a full time job.) My goal is to move forward and get at least a step or two closer to that dream. In terms of self growth....this year has been about looking inward. About finding myself, expanding my mind, and being open to new possibilities. That in itself excites me about the year ahead.

Who knows what 2016 will bring. What I do know? That 2015 was a total blur with some major highlights. There were moments I will remember for the rest of my life. My life is moving forward and I am happier than I have ever been. That makes me optimistic about things still to come.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Years celebration with family and friends. I will be! Actually, this will be the first time that I do anything for New Years other than watch a TV countdown. My husband and I are going to a friends place - and I am pretty excited about it. Here is hoping it will live up to my expectations. And that the first moments of 2016 are joyous.

How are you celebrating this year? What are your New Years Resolutions?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

and to all a good night.


It is almost here! As I am writing this, Christmas is just around the corner. In fact, it is only a couple of days away. That's right. This is crunch time. Today and tomorrow will be spent watching holiday movies constantly, baking up a storm, and taking care of last minute preparations. These are the moments I love most of all. Spending time with my family and making special holiday memories. With that in mind, I took today and tomorrow off of work. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get everything done.

Over the last several weeks this blog has been a mixture of holiday posts and makeup posts. While I tried to find a balance....my obsession with all things Christmas definitely took over. Honestly? It was fun for me. I have loved sharing my favourite holiday CDs, movies, and traditions with you all. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for being a part of my Christmas celebration this year.

On that note! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Whether you are celebrating with family and friends or are taking a trip somewhere special.....I am sending you warm wishes. Here is hoping that your holiday season is merry, that your smiles are bright, and your dreams come true.

Now? I am off to continue with my seasonal celebrations.Which means I will be taking a mini break from my blog. Expect to see me back and posting next week.

So here's to the joy of Christmas
Here's to the ones I hold dear
May you have that Merry Christmas feelin'
All through a happy new year
- That Christmas Feeling, Bing Crosby

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

xo Shannon

Monday, December 21, 2015

christmas isn't a season. it's a feeling.


As Bing Crosby once said.....I've got that Christmas feeling. Do I ever! Every year, the holiday season brings me so much joy. It's amazing how excited I get about the little things. Like gingerbread cookies, decorations, and white hot chocolate. I always try to cram in as many special events as possible. This year was no different. There was holiday shopping with my mom, decorating the apartment, enjoying seasonal snacks, attending work events, going to dinners with friends, days out with my husband, and well....a million other things! It is amazing how much you can squeeze into a month.

Since there has been so much going on lately - and the countdown to Christmas is getting smaller and smaller - I thought that I would show you some of my favourite pictures so far.


The holiday season is definitely my favourite time of year. Want to see some of my other seasonal must haves? Then check out the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel. My latest video is dedicated to my holiday favourites....


What are your holiday favourites?

xo Shannon

Saturday, December 19, 2015

my top five favourite holiday movies.


Okay. I am a bit of a holiday movie buff. I've seen an awful lot. From TV movies to the classics, to cartoons, and films old and new......yes, I have watched them all. I can't help it. I just love them! The stories, the magic, and that warm fuzzy feeling they give you. No wonder they have been playing non-stop in my apartment. They are the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. In honour of that, I have decided to do another top five list. These are a few of my all-time favourite holiday movies.


Doug's Secret Christmas. There is one movie that my brother and I watch every single year. Well, it isn't quite a movie, but an episode of the TV show, Doug. We have it on VHS. And every year, that old tape is played over and over again. It is special because I get to watch it with my brother. It is also special because the episode is about dealing with people's lack of holiday spirit. Some years, I relate to that. It seems that I am bursting with holiday cheer - and other people are over it. 


Christmas With The Kranks. Oh, this movie makes me happy. It is a tradition that I have with my mom. Every year we grab ourselves a bowl of candy cane ice cream (and a couple of gingerbread cookies!) and pop in this DVD. For the next hour and a half, we laugh, smile, and share lovely moments together. I don't look at it as just a Christmas movie. It is our Christmas movie. This year? I cannot wait for our Christmas With The Kranks day.


Miracle On 34th Street. The best way to start the holiday season? Watch Miracle on 34th Street. I don't know why, but every year, my Christmas movie binge watching always begins with this film. While I have seen the original....I prefer the re-make. One of my favourite things to do is grab a cozy blanket, curl up on the couch, and watch this movie. It puts me in the holiday mood like you would not believe. The story and the music? Just everything about it. Perfection.


The Night Before Christmas. The next on this list might not be overly well known. In fact, it was tricky finding a picture for this post! But it is a movie my brother and I grew up watching. This cartoon plays off of the classic Night Before Christmas poem.....but fleshes it out to have a full story. The songs from this movie always get stuck in my head. So I find myself humming them throughout the holiday season. Confession? I have already watched this four times. And I will likely watch it another four times before Christmas day. It is absolutely wonderful.


The Year Without a Santa Claus. When it comes to Christmas, no one does it better than Rankin and Bass. While I love all of their holiday specials (Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town) my favourite one has to be The Year Without a Santa Claus. Why? The Snow Miser is amazing! I admit. I have a total obsession with that snowy character. That plus all of the fabulous songs makes this a must watch over the holiday season.

Honourable Mentions:
- A Christmas Story (My family and I watch this on a loop every Christmas until dinnertime.)
- The Santa Claus (The amount of times I have seen this movie is insane!)
- Olive The Other Reindeer (It doesn't matter how many times I've seen it....I still love it.)
- Elf (My husband and I have watched this together since we started dating.)

Those are a few of my favourites. And honestly? It was pretty tough to narrow down my list. There are so many holiday movies that make me smile. There is something so special about them. The lights, the love, and all of the heartwarming moments. After all, that is what the season is all about.

What are your favourite holiday movies?

xo Shannon

Thursday, December 17, 2015

get glitzy this holiday season.


My favourite thing about the holiday season? All of the glitter. Everywhere you turn it seems the world is sparkling. Snowdrifts manage to have a soft glistening appearance....and makeup and fashion develops an undeniable glint. Ahh, there is nothing quite like it. The magic of the season is truly remarkable. No wonder so many of us aim for glitter and glitz during this time of year. There are special dinners, work events, and get togethers with good friends. Nothing goes better with those meaningful moments than a little twinkle. So today.....this post is all about glitter! That's right. This is your guide to achieving the perfect holiday style.


Focus Your Attention On That Seasonal Wardrobe. Take a look at your closet. What do you see? Dark colours and little black dresses? Forget them. At least for now. This is your chance to change things up and really embrace seasonal style. Choose something ultra glamorous. It could be a bold sequined dress, a sequined skirt, or even a sweater with tons of glittery sheen. You will turn heads wherever you go. Guaranteed! 


Give Your Eyes That Perfect Pop! Have you been searching for the right makeup look? You know, the one that will make you look and feel your best? Whether you have a special holiday date night or are attending a work function this month....a little glitter can go an awfully long way. Grab a glitter infused eyeliner for a subtle pop. Or layer a shimmery or glitter based eyeshadow over top of your favourite shades. Your eyes will be the focus all night long.


Add a Little Sparkle To Your Accessories. Accessories are powerful things. In my opinion? They can make or break an outfit. The right piece can transform your look and take it to a whole new level of stunning. One way to do that this winter? Choose accessories with some sparkle! It could be shoes. a hair accessory, or even a belt. See what you have - and what will compliment your chosen outfit. Just think of all the wonderful possibilities. 


Take Your Nail Art To a Glittery Place. It is time. The finishing touches for your ultra glitzy holiday look. Amp up your OOTD with some gorgeous - and glam - nails. During the holiday season, I love to layer glittery polishes over seasonal shades. Like red and green. Or you can always stick to stunning metallics. Gold and silver are never amiss! By the time your nails are dry you will be ready to take on the world. 

This season? You are going to look phenomenal. All it takes is some well placed glitter. Put these tips to good use and get ready to see the difference.

Share your own holiday fashion tips!

xo Shannon

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

review: too faced holiday sets


It is that time of year again. You know, holiday palette season! I cannot fully express the thrill I get walking into Sephora and seeing all of those magical sets just waiting to be swatched and bought. There are lip sets, eyeshadow palettes, and blush kits galore. Each year it is a struggle to decide which holiday palette to choose....and which to leave behind. This year? After careful consideration I chose the Too Faced Holiday Sets, Le Grand Chateau and Le Grand Palais. The Christmas in Paris theme gave these sets an undeniable air of luxury and romance. Perfect for the holiday season!

What made my decision so easy? The packaging. Honestly, I am a sucker for cute packaging. I just love the design elements and creativity. It gives your makeup that oh-so-special kind of feeling. And that is super important during the holiday season. You want the gift you give (whether it is to someone else or to yourself) to be perfect. Which is why the stunning Too Faced packaging sold it for me. Not to mention the fact that one of their previous holiday palettes remains my favourite to this day.


So.... let's get started! The first set I am going to talk about is Le Grand Chateau. This was the first one I bought. The adorable house shape took my breath away. Plus everything was stored in a clean and compact way. This snagged the set major bonus points for me. My bathroom is quite small so every inch of space counts! I love that the little house looks great - but also holds three small palettes and a mascara.

Yes, this set comes with a mini Better Than Sex mascara and three eyeshadow books. Each has six eyeshadows and one blush or bronzer. The green book is full of neutral browns. The black book has smokey purples and the pink book warm rosy colours. The fact that there are so many different types of colours? Amazing. Many of them are shimmery or glittery though.....so if you prefer matte shades this will be one to skip. Personally I adore shimmery shadows so this was a winner for me. I love the fact that the books are small and sturdy. They will be fabulous for travel. Especially with a blush included as well. Overall, I was super impressed with this set. There are a ton of different looks you can create with it. Not just for the holidays but on a day to day basis.


Okay, next up? Le Grand Palais. Unlike the other holiday set this one is large and in charge. It actually folds out to reveal a paper staircase (with products like the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Melted Lipstick, and Better Than Sex Mascara) along with a paper mannequin. There is even an image of the Eiffel Tour in the background. Totally stunning. On the bottom half? An giant eyeshadow palette.

There are plenty of great extras included here. The eye primer is one of my favourites, I love the mascara, and the Melted Lipsticks consistently impress. So that alone is reason to love this set. (In addition to the fabulous yet bulky packaging.) But then you get to the shadows themselves. There are fifteen in total, with three blending/highlight shades, two blush shades, a cheek highlight, and a bronzer. That's right. There is a ton of product in this set. And honestly? I am completely obsessed. Even more so than the other holiday set. There is a true range of colours, tons of glitter shimmer and sparkle, and even a few matte shades thrown in there as well. This is a seriously incredible holiday set. It will take you from work party to family dinner and back again.

Want a closer look at these holiday sets? Eyeshadows, swatches, and more? Then check out my latest video for the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel.


Too Faced has done it again. Their holiday sets totally exceeded my expectations. I have loved creating different looks with them and getting into the spirit of the season.

What do you think of these holiday sets? Have you tried them?

xo Shannon

Sunday, December 13, 2015

home is where your makeup stash is.


It was early in the morning when we got in line. My friend, her mom, and I stood waiting to get into the annual Woman's Show. They had been before. Me? This was my first time. Not knowing quite what to expect I was a little unsure of what the day would bring. But it ended up being a total blast. We got massive goodie bags when we walked in (full of samples and free products) and got to check out tons and tons of vendors. Some gave out additional products, samples, and food. Others? Offered fabulously discounted prices on beauty and lifestyle items. It was something we did our best to take advantage of. Not only did I pick up some birthday and Christmas presents.....but I even picked up a gorgeous face palette. 

The glowette palette from Glow Essentials was on sale for $20. Definitely a great price. Inside? There were six large powder products. The first was white, the second was yellow toned, and the third a deep strawberry blush shade. On the second row there was a medium peach powder, a deep bronzer, and a raspberry toned blush shade. You can take a peek at the face palette below:


There is no doubt about it. This palette covers an awful lot of ground. It gives you a matte highlight (that white shade is great for this!) along with tinted powders to provide coverage (the yellow toned one is great for under eyes and the peach is fabulous as an all over face powder). Then there is the bronzer. It is fairly dark - especially for my ultra fair skin. So its use as a bronzer for me is pretty limited. However it works wonderfully as a bronzey blush. Even though the colour is quite dark it applies very naturally on the cheeks. As for the blush shades? They are stunning. Quite frankly, they are the reason I decided to pick up this face palette. The colours are absolutely beautiful! 

The texture of the powders is phenomenal. Each one is very smooth and soft. I love that. Another thing I love? The amount of product they give you. Each circle is large enough to fit even the fluffiest blush brush. That is always helpful. There is nothing worse than trying to squeeze your brush into a super small pan. (Been there, done that!) As for the pigmentation, it is quite good. Not the best I have ever used but certainly not the worst. It met my expectations and then some. 

When I want to add a little extra polish to my makeup look? I reach for this palette. It is versatile, convenient, and easy to use. And those blush shades! Love. Take a peek at the makeup look I created using that lighter blush shade, the white powder, yellow powder, and peach powder.

Going to the Woman's Show was an awful lot of fun. Trying out this face palette from Glow Essentials? Just as fun. It is something I have been using fairly regularly over the last few months. It has really taken my makeup looks to a whole new level. 

Do you own any face palettes? Which one is your favourite?

xo Shannon

Friday, December 11, 2015

my top five favourite christmas cds.


It is crazy how quickly time is flying by. Before? I was desperately counting down the days until December 1st. I knew that once December hit.....I could listen to Christmas music at work, watch holiday movies with my family, and enjoy my advent calendar of course. There are just so many wonderful ways to celebrate the season this month. But now I feel like time is going by so quickly. I just want to slow things down so that I can appreciate every little moment.

Which is what inspired today's post. I want to slow down....pause....and reflect on the the things that make me happy. Like Christmas music. Honestly, I listen to these songs all year round. I do not need a time of year to enjoy a festive tune or two. (Or three!) There is something so undeniably special about holiday songs. They make me smile, inspire, and give me that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Sometimes when I am worried or upset, I listen, and feel all the tension melt away.

Now that the holiday season is officially underway I have been listening to Christmas music non-stop. I just love it! So I thought that I would share my top five favourite holiday CDs with you. While there are many more that I listen to throughout the season, these hold a special place in my heart.


1. John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together

Most people expect my favourite holiday CD is the number two entry on this list. In actual fact, it is from John Denver and the Muppets. I have been listening to this my entire life. I remember lying on the floor in my living room when I was very young. My mom had the record player going and I was singing along to It's In Every One Of Us. In my memory that moment is utterly perfect. Every time I listen to that album I am taken back to those special Christmas memories. 

2. Hanson: Snowed In 

Of course this album had to make the list! Hanson is my favourite band. I love them more than I could possibly express. Their Christmas album is one that I have listened to hundreds upon hundreds of times. From those opening notes of Merry Christmas Baby to songs like At Christmas and O Holy Night.....this CD is a massive part of my life. I have so many memories attached to it. Listening on my way home from school. Baking cupcakes with my mom while we rocked out to Little Saint Nick. This holiday album is special. And I will never stop loving it.

3. David Archuleta: Christmas From The Heart

Some holiday CDs are better than others. But every once and a while a really special one comes along to make the season brighter. That is exactly what happened with David Archuleta's. It is amazing. There is a beautiful mix of traditional songs, Spanish Christmas songs, and new songs as well. The standout for me has to be Melodies of Christmas. It perfectly represents the spirit of the season. It is one of the few contemporary Christmas songs that stands tall next to the beloved classics.

4. Clay Aiken: Merry Christmas With Love

Another favourite on my list comes from Clay Aiken. My mom and I are massive fans. We have been since his days on Idol. Since then we have seen him in concert and on Broadway multiple times. In fact, we used to drive all over the place just to see him! Which is probably why this Christmas album is so special to me. Every year my mom and I turn up the volume really loud, sit on the couch, and just listen. It is so rare these days to sit and listen to music and do nothing else. But I love it. His version of Mary Did You Know? is beyond incredible. I can't even deal with it.

5. The Holly Tree Players: Christmas Sax

The last CD on my favourites list is actually not the one pictured above. I sadly could not find the cover art for the album I own. Last year I bought this set of Christmas CDs. There was one with a choir, one with jazz classics, traditional songs, and then a saxophone album. The moment I put on that saxophone album I felt so connected to the season. The music made me feel calm, peaceful, and happy. Now? I get that feeling every single time I listen to it. This CD holds such a special place in my heart.

There you have it! My favourite Christmas CDs. One of my other favourites (Bing Crosby) was mentioned in a previous post so I decided to leave it out of this post. But for all intensive purposes....this list is pretty much complete. Phew!

What are your favourite holiday CDs?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

mini haul: the face shop


Something I am trying to do? Take better care of my skin. This is especially important now that winter is on the way. We all have our own skin issues to deal with. But come cold weather? The most common has to be dryness. My skin tends to be very dry in general....so I typically dread the return of winter. It never fails to wreak havoc on my skin. Which is why I decided to pay a visit to The Face Shop. This is a relatively new store in my area - and it is fabulous. They have a ton of different masks, skin care products, and even a little bit of makeup. The best part? The prices. Everything is super affordable.

As you can see from the picture above, I picked up a few different items while I was there. They were: The Face Shop Hand Mask, Face Mask With Honey, Milk Calcium Nail Pack, and the Over Girl Eye Stick. My main focus was definitely moisture, moisture, and more moisture. I got a face mask, a hand mask, and a nail mask. Why? My hands have been super dry and irritated lately. The dry air in the apartment combined with the cool weather? Not good. So I am hoping these masks will give my hands (and face!) some much needed moisture.

The other item I picked up was the Over Girl Eye Stick. It is essentially a cream eyeshadow in a pen form. It twists up from the bottom and has a slanted cap. That makes application super simple. (Which is great when you are running late in the morning.) The shade is a true gold. It has tons of shimmer though the pigmentation is only okay. This is good as a one-shadow look when you want something understated but fun. I actually think I might keep this in  my purse. It would be a great touch up item because of all the glitter and shimmer. Perfect to transition a makeup look from day to night!

Overall I am very excited about this mini haul from The Face Shop. Their masks are fantastic and I know that these will come in handy over the next little while. Fingers crossed they will help me combat dry skin all season long.

What are your dry skin secrets? Have you bought anything from The Face Shop?

xo Shannon

Monday, December 7, 2015

put on some eyeshadow and live a little.


It's funny. I never used to wear eyeshadow. Like, at all. My early days of makeup were focused entirely on eyeliner and mascara. Nothing more and nothing less. The mere thought of wearing eyeshadow was overwhelming. I had no clue how to put it on or what would look good. Back then, I never thought that there might be YouTube videos to help me learn. So I simply avoided. Somehow? Over the years I have become a complete and total eyeshadow junkie. My obsession with shadows is a very real thing. I just....love everything about them. Like playing with different colours and finishes. Trying out different brands. Testing new items.

There are an awful lot of eyeshadows in my collection. Some palettes, some trios, and a few singles here and there. Then there are the cream shadows. Honestly? I don't have nearly as many of those as I do powder products. But that doesn't mean I don't love them! Simply that I am rather picky about the cream eyeshadows I enjoy. My all time favourite line of cream shadows comes from Flower Beauty. Their Color Play Creme Eyeshadows are incredible. Beyond incredible.

A little while back I added another shade from the line to my collection. It is Wild Geranium. As you can see from the photo above, the colour is totally gorgeous. It is a shimmery champagne shade with just a hint of rust. The pigmentation is stunning, the texture is smooth and creamy, and application is a cinch. When it comes to application, a little goes a very long way. Which means you can get a ton of use out of this product. It can be worn on its own or layered underneath another shadow. There will be no creasing at all. Seriously. I love to wear this when I know there is a long day ahead of me. It stays put and looks great!

Below is a makeup look that I created using the Wild Geranium shade. Take a peek!


Yes I am a total eyeshadow junkie. And the Flower Beauty Creme Eyeshadows are some of the absolute best. Which is why they got a mention in my latest YouTube video. I was tagged to answer some questions as part of the "Eyeshadow Junkie Tag." Well....I did! You can see the video on the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel or just click on the video below.


Are you an eyeshadow junkie? Share your favourite products!

xo Shannon

Saturday, December 5, 2015

i came. i saw. i contoured.


There is no shortage of highlight and contour kits. These days they are as common as a jet black liquid liner! Thanks to fashionable celebrities, popular YouTube channels, and a booming makeup industry....it is possible to achieve a red carpet look at home. Over the last couple of years? I have tried more than my fair share of highlighting and contouring products. Some in kits and some sold individually. Many of the products became favourites of mine. A few? Failed to deliver. Despite the many face products I have in my collection - a new contour and highlighting kit has made its way into my life. In my defense - it was a great price! I actually found this kit at Winners for about $12.

It is the bellapierre cosmetics Contouring and Highlighting Kit. This mineral makeup kit includes two contouring shades, two highlighting shades, and one kabuki brush. Lately I have been using this on special nights out. Like date nights and evenings with my BFF. It just takes my makeup look to another level. Not only does contouring and highlighting give my face definition but it adds a subtle hint of drama to any makeup look I pair with it. On a day to day basis? I don't find myself using this kit. Largely because of the mineral formula. It works incredibly well (and is ultra pigmented) but it can be a bit messy and tricky to use. Especially when you are in a rush. So, I have been reaching for this kit more for special events than day to day.


The kit itself is pretty impressive. The mineral shades are all matte which I love. That makes the contour and highlight look very natural. So many kits I have seen have a subtle shimmer in the products. That? Isn't always a good thing. Particularly when it comes to your contour shades. Something else I really enjoy? The pigmentation. A little goes a long way. What I like to do? Use a clean foundation brush to pick up the product. While I love the kabuki brush because of its soft bristles, it isn't great for application. In terms of blending? It is top notch. But you will need another brush to apply the actual products effectively.

As you can see from the photo above....there are four different shades. Two are contour and two are highlight. This adds a lot of versatility to the kit. The lighter shades are great for my skin tone right now. The others? They are a perfect match for my skin in the summer months. That makes this kit a total winner for me. It works well with my skin and looks great. The only thing I do not love about this kit is the packaging. It was just shoved in a cardboard box. That means I have to carefully store it to make sure the kit stays together. Ah well, for $12 I can't be too upset about that!

This is a kit that I have been absolutely loving lately. Want to see the products in action? I used it for a recent makeup look. Featured are the lighter highlight and contour shades. Take a look! 


Great makeup for a great price. Nothing makes me happier. I am so glad that this contour and highlighting kit worked out for me. It gives off a really natural finish and the products are super pigmented. Love! If you stumble upon this kit, consider adding it to your cart. You won't be disappointed.

xo Shannon

Thursday, December 3, 2015

three reasons to embrace sweater season.


This is my favourite time of year. Why? Holiday music is playing in every store. Christmas movies are on my TV set. And of course, we are fully immersed in sweater season. The latter is of particular interest to me. Day after day, I find myself reaching for a sweater from my closet. Whether I am lounging around the apartment for the afternoon or plan on meeting friends....a sweater is never amiss. Especially now that the winter season is fast approaching. Still clinging to early fall styles? Can't quite commit yourself to sweater weather? You should. Here are three reasons to embrace the official start of sweater season.

One. Sweaters Are Comfy and Cozy.

Let's start with the most important reason sweaters are fabulous. Comfort! While I love getting glammed up every now and then....when it comes down to it, comfort is key. That is why I love late fall/early winter. You can throw on a cozy sweater and look absolutely fabulous. It doesn't matter where you are going or what the occasion is. A sweater is always a great idea. It blends style with comfort. And that is a pretty incredible thing.

Two. They Can Be Fashion Forward.

Remember the old days? When a chunky sweater was seen as frumpy or unfashionable? Not anymore. These days all of the hottest trends embrace knitwear. That means you can be totally fashion forward in a sweater. Throw on an oversized throw, wear a fitted sweater with a pair of coloured pants, or rock it with a pair of tights. The possibilities are endless. Take some seasonal inspiration from the runways, your favourite celebrities, and beauty bloggers. You will look better than ever before.

Three. You Can Dress Up Any and All Sweaters. 

Sweaters aren't just on trend. They are also versatile. They can be worn in so many different ways. That's right! A sweater dress is perfect for a holiday party, a black sweater can dress down a sequined skirt, and a sweater with embellishments can add oomph to a simple pair of denim jeans. Add on accessories to alter your outfit....and know that your look can be dressed up or dressed down. Make the most of this versatile item. Stock your closet with tons and tons of gorgeous sweaters.

See? Sweater season is a pretty exciting time. You get to look great and feel amazing all day long. Not a bad way to stay warm this season. So the next time you don't know what to wear, reach for a sweater. Trust me. You will feel flawless.

Why do you love sweater season?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

make it a december to remember.

It's here! December is finally here. It sounds strange, but this is something I have been anxiously awaiting. As you know (if you have read any of my recent posts in particular), the holiday season is a very special time for me. I love absolutely everything about it. That includes the decorating, wrapping presents, watching TV specials, listening to music, and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you spend time with people you love. Most of the time? The holidays feel busy and hectic. But at the same time? They are a wonderful way to slow down and appreciate all of the blessings we have. Like a loving family and good friends.

Since we are officially in December now, I thought I would do a post about some of my current favourites. They include a few makeup items and some seasonal musts. Take a look....and be sure to let me know if any of these have made your own current favourites list!

1. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red (This is the perfect holiday shade!)
2. Flower Beauty Eye 2 Eye (I love how this creates a gorgeous cat-eye in no time flat)
3. Hallmark Channel Movies (My obsession? Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies. My goal is to watch all of the new ones for 2015!)
4. Candy Cane Ice Cream (This stuff literally tastes like Christmas. Chocolate? Candy Cane? Ice cream? YES.)
5. White Hot Chocolate (It has become a holiday tradition for my husband and I to enjoy this!)
6. Bing Crosby Christmas Music (I love this CD more than words can describe. It is amazing.)

There you have it. Those are a few of the things I am loving at the moment. They make me smile and give me that holiday glow.

What are your seasonal favourites?

xo Shannon

Saturday, November 28, 2015

perfume is the most intense form of memory.


My weakness? Perfume. When it comes to makeup and beauty products I tend to have far more than I need. That typically results in conversations with myself about needing to buy less. Oddly enough, I have never had that conversation in regards to perfume. I am not sure why. I probably should, to be honest! At this point, I have run out of room to properly store it all. My shelves are jam packed with different scents. But here is the thing about perfume: it is magical.

Not only does it look beautiful in the bottle and smell incredible...but it also takes you back. One whiff can remind me of a special day, a special person, and a special time. Perhaps that is the reason I keep adding more to my collection. I am looking for scents to capture those picture perfect moments. The latest on my shelf? Nicole by Nicole Richie. 

Every now and again I stumble upon discounted perfume. (Thank goodness for good sales!) Those are good days. That is exactly how I ended up purchasing Nicole without even smelling it first. Okay.....that is a bit of a gamble. But I can rarely resist a good price and a new perfume. Thankfully that gamble paid off big time. The scent is absolutely incredible. It is ultra sophisticated, a little musky, and extremely luxurious. This is the perfect addition for an interview, a nice dinner, or a special event. And since the holiday season is all about meeting up with friends and attending work events, I know this will come in handy.

As you can see from the picture above, the bottle is just as sophisticated as the scent. It is elegant, glamorous, and downright beautiful. This is the kind of perfume you feel proud to display. The kind that you want to show off. I give kudos to Nicole Richie for not only creating a sophisticated and grown up scent but one that does not skimp on design.

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with this perfume. The scent is beautiful and the bottle is breathtaking. The best part? Every time I wear it, I feel strong, powerful, and feminine. That is the sign of a great fragrance.

Have you tried this perfume? What do you think of the bottle?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 26, 2015

YouTube: Jem and the Holograms - Daytime/Dramatic Makeup Tutorial


Out of all the makeup I have bought or received in the last while, the best has to be the Jem and the Holograms collection. You might remember my post from a few weeks back. It was dedicated to swatches and reviews of the products. (Pictured above.) The truth? The more I use the products...the more I love them. Seriously. Despite the many looks I have created, the eyeshadows and lipsticks continue to inspire me. The versatility, quality, and the pigmentation makes my heart beast faster. Which is why instead of simply doing a review of the Jem and the Holograms collection by Sephora, I decided to make a two part video series on my YouTube channel. 

The second part is a makeup tutorial. It features a daytime look and a classic Jem look as well. (Because you can't buy 80s inspired makeup without doing an 80s inspired makeup look!) Actually, my friend suggested I make this video. Daytime vs. Dramatic. The moment she suggested it? I knew exactly how I wanted both looks to turn out. So today I will be showing you what I created using the Jem and the Holograms collection. 


Daytime Look: Let's start with the daytime look. At first glance you probably wouldn't think you could create something pretty - and natural - with the Jem and the Holograms collection. Wrong! As I mentioned previously, this is an extremely versatile collection. On the eyes, I used the soft shimmery shades then deepened the crease slightly. Then I added a bit of polish with the shimmery nude shade from the liquid lipstick set. Simple, quick, and totally gorgeous.

Dramatic Look: Now for a bit of drama. This look was definitely different for me. I rarely attempt ultra over the top costume makeup. Despite that, I think this turned out pretty well! I used a picture of Jem from the DVD box and did my own interpretation. For the eyes, I used an awful lot of the shade Jerrica and tons of that shimmery silver. That contrasted the bold pink in a fun and fabulously 80s way. Then I used the Jem lipstick to finish it all off. 

Want to get a closer look at how these came together? Take a look at the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel. My latest video is a step by step daytime/dramatic look tutorial.



When it comes to makeup? Music? TV? Jem and the Holograms has a special place in my heart. So, I really hope you guys enjoyed this two part series. It was definitely a lot of fun to film. In the weeks and months to come, I will continue to use these amazing products. Why? I love them!

Let me know what you think of these makeup looks! And be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you get the chance.

xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

event: elle canada and swarovski


Living close to a big city has its perks. Normally that means going to concerts or meeting up with friends. Recently? That meant attending an event sponsored by Elle Canada. The magazine teamed up with Swarovski for a night of luxury. Not only did attendees get the chance to take a peek at the latest pieces from the Swarovski holiday collection (just in time for Christmas shopping) but there was also a 20% discount on all items purchased, a presentation from the magazine, chocolate, and champagne. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night in the city.

Which is exactly why my mom and I decided to attend the event. She is a massive fan of Swarovski and already has a pretty extensive collection of pieces. This time? She was looking for something specific: a matching pair of earrings to go with the necklace and bracelet set she has. Along the way she also managed to fall in love with a pair of earrings and a ring. Me? I was head over heels in love with a set of stacked V shaped rings. Sadly they were sold out of most sizes and only had very small ones left. Alas! Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise. Even though there was a 20% discount to entice buyers, I was determined to enjoy the event, without spending.

The event itself was a lot of fun. We got to browse through some beautiful pieces, check out a live presentation from Elle Canada, and we even got a fabulous goodie bag on the way out! Inside was a copy of their latest issue (featuring Kylie Jenner on the cover), a shampoo and conditioner, a Marc Jacobs mini perfume, a nail polish, a Neutrogena skin cream, and a face perfecting cream. That was definitely a nice bonus!

Beforehand, my mom and I did a little bit of shopping downtown. We picked up a couple of things for the holidays. But for the most part we were on our best behaviour. I for one was very impressed with our self-control. Today, I was looking back at a few pictures I snapped at the event. So I thought that I would share them with all of you. Take a look….


There is something special about a night on the town. Especially when you spend it with someone you love. I always have a good time hanging out with my mom…. event or no event. However, the Elle Canada and Swarovski collaboration was certainly an evening to remember.

What do you think of these pictures? What is the last event you attended?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 22, 2015

review: dior addict lipstick

Every now and then it feels good to splurge. Some people like to spend a day at the spa or get a relaxing massage. Me? The answer is always makeup. A little while back I decided to try out a Dior lipstick. While I love Dior products in general, I rarely buy them. This is largely because of the price tag. There are simply other brands I could choose.....that will give me more bang for my buck. My Sephora trips are largely spent wandering the selection of NARS, Benefit, and Kat Von D products. Until my eyes fell onto the Dior Addict Lipstick collection. 

They. Were. Beautiful. Not just kind of pretty or sort of nice. Absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful. Everything from the luxurious packaging to the swatches took my breath away. I had to have one. There were a few different shades to choose from but I wound up with Smile. It was warm and shimmery. But most importantly? It was wearable and versatile. That is exactly what I want from a high end item. The shade is a mid-toned pink and it has a subtle shimmer to it. Take a look....

As you can see from the picture above, the colour is absolutely fabulous. It is that perfect mid-toned pink. I knew that I loved the shade....but I was surprised by how much I loved this lipstick. The colour is like my-lips-but-better with tons of shine, gloss, and shimmer. It is like a lipgloss without all of the stickiness or that annoying tacky feeling. This goes on so smooth. The texture is creamy and rich. Think of it like the best tinted lip balm ever, basically! I absolutely love the way this lipstick feels on my lips, the colour payoff is wonderful, and the finish is superb. It leaves my lips looking plump, glossy, and downright gorgeous. I am completely obsessed.

 Since purchasing the Dior Addict Lipstick it has become a regular part of my life. I find myself reaching for it over and over again. It doesn't matter if I am running out to grab groceries or have a date night with my husband. This lippie comes in handy! Sometimes, splurge items are totally worth it. I am very happy that I chose to treat myself to something a little bit different.

Want to see it in action? Here is a recent makeup look I created. I used my NARSissist eyeshadow palette, my favourite Rimmel bronzer, and of course, my Dior Addict lipstick. 
Impressed? That would be putting it lightly. The Dior Addict lipstick has quickly become one of my all-time favourites. Why? Every time I put it on, I leave the house feeling like a million bucks. That is the power of makeup after all. It allows us to tap into our inner confidence....and take on the world in style.

What do you think of this shade? Have you tried any of the Dior Addict lipsticks?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 19, 2015

wear your ugly christmas sweater often.

Tacky? Over the top? Totally cliche? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Despite this, the ugly Christmas sweater has remained a seasonal staple. For good reason. There is something so endearing about these sweaters. They take you back to a simpler time. They don't take themselves too seriously. And most importantly? Ugly Christmas Sweaters are fun. This is especially important as we creep closer to the holiday season. Having fun (and not taking everything so seriously) is a definite must.

Maybe you have a work event in the near future. Or an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Or just plan to rock a fabulous sweater on your next shopping trip. Whatever the reason...a holiday sweater is likely in your future. So glam it up! There are plenty of simple ways to add a little oomph to that traditional piece. Think edgy extras and ultra sophisticated accessories. The combination will take your sweater to a more fashionable place.

To show you what I mean, I decided to create a set. It is all about adding glamour to your Ugly Christmas Sweater. I chose a pair of wet look leggings and metallic shoes to create contrast. Then I infused a touch of glitz and glam with a small white purse, a soft pink blush, and gorgeous dangling earrings. Take a look and let me know what you think!


The Ugly Christmas Sweater will be everywhere this holiday season. Now that the countdown is on...it is time to think about styling. My advice? Pair your sweater with fashionable pieces and well placed accessories. You will look amazing wherever you go. 

How do you style your Christmas sweaters? What do you think of this set?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

my life isn't perfect....but my hair is.


In general? I am not a fan of surprises. I like to know what is going to happen and when. I like planning, to-do lists, and advanced notice. There is something calming about it all. But sometimes? Small surprises can be kind of nice. Like the day my husband brought home a book called 10-Minute Hairstyles. Not for any specific reason. Just because. Those are the kind of surprises I enjoy. Ones that make me smile but don't ruin my perfectly planned out day. 

For a few days that book kind of sat there. I flipped through it right away and fell in love with a few styles....but had nowhere specific to go. Then the day of my friends wedding I was running late. My hair was a total disaster and there was a limited amount of time before we had to leave for the venue. What was I to do? Pull out the book! It is full of different hairstyles. Some for short hair, some for mid-length, and some for long hair. Curled, wavy, straight, voluminous. You name it and there is a style for that! The one I chose to re-create was the hairstyle pictured on the cover. Instantly I had fallen in love with it. Simple but ultra romantic. 

Yes, I decided to give it a try. I'll be honest and say that I am not all that great with hair. I tend to get frustrated and bored during the styling process. Which is why the 10 minute thing really appealed to me. So...how did it turn out? Not bad. It certainly didn't look like the cover of the book. But hey - it was a start. Looking back, I should have done a much more dramatic side part for the braid. Made the braid thicker. Oh, and focused on creating more curls. However time was of the essence and I did what I could in the time allotted. 

Since this was my first time trying out the hairstyle I thought I would show you some pictures I took. When I create this look again I will be sure to show you all. Who knows? It might look more like the picture. Fingers crossed!


Trying out new hairstyles has never been at the top of my to do list. Despite this, I am trying to get more creative with my hair. This book is just the thing I need to do it. Here is hoping that I can create some gorgeous - and fashionable - styles in the weeks and months to come.

What is your go-to hairstyle? Do you like trying out new looks?

xo Shannon