Friday, April 28, 2017

How to Achieve Effortless Rainy Day Style


Spring is here. Though in my mind, that means sunshine and flowers, the reality has been drastically different. Every day it seems to rain. Not just a little. It has been pouring. Quite frankly, that has me a little down! Not only do those grey skies give me the blues, but it is challenging to keep your hair, makeup, and fashion on point when it rain, rain, rains. That is what inspired this post! To help you look flawless (even on a gross, rainy day) here are some tips, tricks, and inspiration to help you achieve effortless rainy day style.

Tips and Tricks to Look Gorgeous on a Rainy Day
  • Always choose waterproof makeup. Not everything at the drugstore comes in a waterproof formula, but it is possible to protect your face from the rain. Choose waterproof or water-resistant items (for a comprehensive list, check out my article on LoveToKnow, "How to Wear Makeup Swimming") whenever possible, or invest in a good setting spray. That extra step can make all the difference! 
  • Choose fashionable yet functional pieces. Just because it is raining outside doesn't mean you have to throw on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. You can still look high-fashion! Choose an umbrella with a stylish shape (a bubble umbrella is a super chic option), a water-resistant trench coat, or a pair of rain boots in a bold, statement-making shade. 
  • Be careful which purse you choose to carry with you. Certain materials, like leather and suede can become damaged in the rain. In order to preserve your oh-so-beautiful bag, either wrap a plastic bag around it while you dash from place to place, or choose a more water-friendly bag. 
  • Have fun with your hairstyle. The rain has a habit of taking a gorgeous hairstyle and transforming it into a frizzy, sopping mess. Make sure that doesn't happen by getting a little creative. Tie your hair into a gorgeous high-ponytail, rock a stylish side-braid, or create a topknot bun. Not only do these hairstyles look great....they last. 
Now that you have a better idea of how to stay stylish on even the rainiest of days.....it is time for a little inspiration! Here is an example outfit that I created with rainy days in mind. It is quick, easy, and beautiful.


There is nothing exciting about a rainy day. The good news? It doesn't have to ruin your style or your mood. With a little extra care and consideration, you will look amazing all day and night!

On another note....be sure to check out my latest YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. It is all about disappointing makeup purchases.


What are your rainy day style tips? Sound off in the comment section below!

xo Shannon

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

as long as I could remember I dreamed in black and white.


Concerts have always been an important part of my life. I went to my first one at ten years old. Since then, it's been one after another after another. They make me feel alive....free....blissfully happy. There is something so incredible about connecting to music in an undeniable way. You can feel the bass thumping through you. You are surrounded by people who love the songs as much as you do. It's electrifying.

Unfortunately, I don't get to attend as many concerts as I used to. Tickets are expensive, and with bills to pay, choices must be made. Sigh! Though Good Charlotte was coming to town....I made the difficult decision to skip the concert. It wasn't that I wanted to miss it. But I'd already bought tickets to a couple of shows in the spring and fall. Then my best friend's mom surprised us by buying a pair of tickets. I was overwhelmed, and to be honest, felt a little guilty. Her mom has always been so wonderful and welcoming to me. The last thing I wanted was to take advantage of her generosity. That being said, I am so grateful we were able to see the show. I am forever in her debt!


For the concert, my friend and I decided to go super dark and gothic with our clothes and makeup. That meant lots and lots of black, skulls, and badassery! I used the Cover Girl Jewels eyeshadow palette to create a black and gold smokey eye look. Then added on the Kat Von D lipstick in Slayer. (Though I topped up with my friend's NYX liquid lipstick for a darker, bolder, black.) I wore a neon green and black hoodie, paint splattered jeans, and an old pair of Vans. Oh, and there were sparkly skull earrings for good measure. It was a lot of fun to go a little darker with our fashion and makeup. In fact, we were super inspired by it and decided we would try to do this more often!

We got downtown early, grabbed some food, met some interesting people, and then headed to the venue. There were three opening acts (which we were not super thrilled about) but eventually, Good Charlotte appeared. And they were amazing! The show was really high energy with the perfect mix of slower songs thrown in. Overall, the set list was solid, though they didn't sing my favourite song. (All Black, for the record!) My favourite part of the show? Either Dance Floor Anthem or the fact that they talked about important issues....like being true to yourself, caring about one another, and rejecting negativity. It was such a good night.

The best part? Spending an evening with my best friend. Though I was exhausted from work, it was wonderful to catch up and rock out to a band we love.

What is the last concert you attended?

xo Shannon

Monday, April 24, 2017

NARS chiang mai eyeshadow duo (review and swatches)


I am hard-pressed to think of a NARS product that has let me down. This is a brand that consistently produces high quality products for their consumers. Though their blushes are iconic, I always find myself drawn to the other items they offer. Like lip glosses, lipsticks, and eyeshadows. A short list of my favourite pieces from NARS? The Turkish Delight lip gloss and the NARSissist eyeshadow palette. Though there are plenty of stand out items in their vast collection....their Wildfire Spring Collection shines.

It features two duo eyeshadows, velvet shadow sticks, a new blush, lipsticks, and glosses. Recently, the Chiang Mai eyeshadow duo made its way into my collection. (I couldn't resist the colour combination! It was so unique!) So. what makes this NARS product so stellar? Let's start by taking a closer look at the duo. Here is a photo and some swatches....


There are several pros, including the packaging. If you've bought a NARS product in the past, then you know what to expect. The packaging is simple, sleek, and sturdy. Absolute perfection in my opinion! Then there are the shades themselves. The colours are what drew me to this set in particular. They are so different - especially paired together. Paired together, you can create a smokey eye look with just the right amount of colour. It is a great way to do something a little different with your makeup, without it being an overwhelming or time consuming process.

The quality is just what you would expect from NARS. Each eyeshadow is highly pigmented, butter soft, easy to apply, and perfectly blendable. There is also a ton of staying power! My makeup look withstood a full day of wear and an unplanned nap.

This is the quick (and oh so lovely) makeup look that I created using the NARS Chiang Mai eyeshadow duo. Be sure to let me know what you think of it.....


This is one product that definitely met my expectations. It is high quality, loos beautiful, and lasts. No wonder NARS remains one of my all-time favourite makeup brands.

Have you tried anything from the Wildfire Spring Collection from NARS?

xo Shannon

Saturday, April 22, 2017

in love with: kat von d alchemist holographic palette


When it comes to makeup....I have a serious weakness for all things new. There is something thrilling about trying out a new product and hoping that it will become one of your all-time favourite items. Despite this, I've been trying to limit my trips to Sephora. Even still, a few new products have made their way into my life. Including the Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette. It was a must-have kind of product. Between the unique packaging and bold highlights, this is most definitely a one-of-a-kind palette. It has made my love list!

Before I start listing all of the reasons this palette makes my heart flutter, it is time to take a closer look at the packaging. It has a triangular shape and an intricate pattern on top. (Not to mention a stunning holographic finish.) It flips open to reveal four different holographic highlights. Here is the outer packaging, inner packaging, and some swatches of each shade.


It is pretty clear that the packaging is special. Not only because of the shape of the palette but the beautiful artwork on top. It is one of the many things that makes Kat Von D makeup special. Beyond that, the products themselves are spectacular. As you can see from the swatches, these are no ordinary highlight shades. Most of the ones on the market are white and shimmery or gold and shimmery or maybe champagne and shimmery....but none are quite like this. One is a greenish yellow (Green Emerald), one is a gorgeous blue (Blue Saphyre), one is a beautiful purple (Ultra Violet Amethyst), and the last is a gorgeous soft pink (Pink Opal). 

Each one is ultra shimmery and holographic and stays true to colour on the skin. My fear was that these would sheer out on the cheeks and wind up looking like every other highlight on the market. Wrong! These look just like they do when you swatch them. I absolutely love it. There is nothing better than adding a pop of holographic green, blue, purple, or pink. It is a subtle way to introduce colour - and do something bold and exciting with your makeup. This is a 10/10 makeup product. To say I love it is a major understatement! 

Kat Von D is one of my favourite makeup brands, and this holographic palette is a prime example of why. The quality is incredible, the products are unique, and the packaging is beautiful. If you find it at your local Sephora, be sure to pick it up.

Not all beauty products are loves. Case in point? The Maybelline eyeshadow palettes. My latest YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. is all about the best and worst of these drugstore palettes. Take a look! 



Have you tried this palette? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Thursday, April 20, 2017

the vegas diaries: part two


Here it is....part two of my Las Vegas vacation post. Keep reading to find out how the Britney Spears concert went (pictured above) along with the rest of the fabulous getaway.

Day Three (continued): As I mentioned in my last post, it was a busy day leading up to the Britney concert. I was exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel, but it was time to get glam! I curled my hair, threw on a studded denim dress, and went with a dark blue smokey eye look. It was a lot of fun to get all dolled up for the show. When we got to the theatre, we sat in our seats and waited. (Though the show was supposed to start at nine, it didn't start until nine thirty. So there was a decent amount of waiting.) Sadly, our seats were pretty much at the back of the theatre and our view was less than ideal. In fact, I couldn't see much. Sigh! Despite the poor view....Britney Spears was incredible. She put on a great show, her dancing was fantastic, and her costumes were beautiful.

Day Four: The next day was another exciting one. We had booked spots on the Pawn Stars Tour - a dedicated TV show tour. It took us to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, the Toy Shack, (Pawn Stars), ATM (Tanked). Rick's Restorations (American Restoration). and Count's Customs (Counting Cars). My husband and I love to watch Pawn Stars and American Restoration together so these were really exciting stops. We had a blast checking out the stores, learning new things, and even meeting some of the stars from the show. The highlight? Shaking hands and taking a picture with Rick from Rick's Restorations. It was a total surprise and we were all thrilled.


After that, we went to Gordon Ramsay's Burger restaurant. We are all huge fans of Gordon, so everyone was eager to try something from one of his restaurants. One thing to know about me? I love ketchup. I need ketchup. Gordon Ramsay's Burger does not have ketchup. None. At all. I was so upset because it basically meant I couldn't eat my meal. Which I didn't. I had a quarter of the burger and a handful of fries. Such a waste of time and money. Sigh. Everyone else liked it fine, since they all enjoy hot sauces. (A Tabasco sauce of sorts was available. Joy.)

Once that was over, we walked over to Gordon's other restaurant, Steak. My husband managed to score a signed menu for free....even though it was supposed to be $65. I have literally never seen him that happy in my entire life. Definitely a trip highlight, just seeing him so happy. We hit a lucky streak the rest of the night, winning $20 on the slots, and taking home $20 worth of Hershey cookies for $1.08.

Day Five: Well, all good things must come to an end. Sadly, this was the last day of our vacation. It was a lot shorter than I would have liked, that is for sure! But we made the most of our last day there by checking out the gardens inside the Wynn, going to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, picking up last minute souvenirs, and heading to another one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants to explore! The wax museum in particular was a lot of fun. We took so many silly pictures. Hundreds of them, in fact. It was one of the best parts of the whole trip.


Then, we had our last meal in Vegas at a pizza place near the hotel, picked up our luggage, and headed to the airport for a very late flight. It didn't leave until almost midnight. Thanks to the awful flight home (horrific turbulence that was so scary, I was literally shaking and crying), none of us got much sleep. By the time we finally were safe and sound in the apartment....we zonked out for most of the day. It took a few days for my sleep schedule to adjust!

Overall, it was a really fun vacation. It was so great to get away for a while. I got to take a break from work, see musicians that I love, and spend time with some special people. Vegas never disappoints. So there it is! My vacation recap....

Do you like to travel? Have you ever been to Las Vegas?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

the vegas diaries: part one


Finally! Though I've been home from Las Vegas for about a week....this is the first chance I've had to  sit down and write about the trip. Since my return? My days have been full of writing, working, and getting caught up on things. Turns out, there was an awful lot to catch up on. No wonder it has been so difficult returning to my everyday routine. Enough about that! Now to share some of my vacation stories with you.

Day One: The first day in Vegas was a long one. It started with a very early morning arrival at the airport (where security lines were insane and it took a full three hours to get through it all) and an unpleasant flight (lots of turbulence and an hour long delay). Once we landed, we went to check into the Excalibur Hotel. The trip consisted of myself, my husband, and our two friends. Finding out that we could not check into our room until after check in time...we went to explore the hotel. Happily, that meant a stop off at Krispy Kreme. My favourite! We ate lunch, wandered, and eventually, checked into our rooms.


After that, we went to wander the Las Vegas Strip. We walked for ages but saw an awful lot. That included the fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel, the boats at Treasure Island, and the Marvel shop. For dinner, we went to Wahlburgers, which is one of my all-time favourite places to eat. Their tater tots are amazing. That night, we ended up seeing a show and then went to bed. It was a long day and a late night but an interesting start to the trip!

Day Two: Thanks to jet lag, it was another early morning the following day. I was awake, showered, dressed, and ready to go. The rest of the group was eager for Dennys...and since the closest one had a massive line up...we walked all the way to the other end of the strip. It was exhausting but at least breakfast was good! That day, we walked through the Venetian hotel, picked up some goodies from Carlo's Bakery, went to the Coke store, and M&M Store.


We'd had a full day by the time we returned to our hotel rooms. But it was only beginning! My husband and I went out to see Donny and Marie (I love them so much) and our friends went to see Cirque du Soleil. The Donny and Marie concert was fabulous. Sadly, I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but we definitely had a good view. They put on a great show (even my husband thought it was good) and sounded amazing. Bonus? Two of the Osmond brothers were actually in the audience.

Day Three: The third day of the trip was a pretty exciting one. Mostly because it meant that I would be seeing Britney Spears that evening. I was crazy excited and had this nervous energy going on all day. Despite eagerly awaiting the show, we were able to get out that day and do some more exploring. We went to the Luxor Hotel, Mandalay Bay, had a few drinks, and ended up at the Rainforest Cafe. Then, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the Britney concert.


And speaking of the Britney concert......you'll have to wait until my next post to hear about that. It will be all about the show and the rest of my vacation. Stay tuned!

xo Shannon

Saturday, April 15, 2017

review: l'oreal colorista (bleach and washout colour)


I am not an adventurous person. Generally speaking, I like to play it safe. Thrill seeker? Nope. Ready for change? Never. Which explains why I was more than a little hesitant to lighten and temporarily dye my hair before my Las Vegas trip. It was something I had been mulling over for a while. (My obsession with the ombre hair trend is nothing new. From Khloe Kardashian to mermaid inspired hair looks....I love them all.) Yet still when the time came, I was terrified.

My husband actually helped me with the process, which I am very grateful for. He dealt with my worrying like a pro! It started with the L'Oreal Colorista lightening cream. It was applied to the lower parts of my hair, left on for 25 minutes, and rinsed off. Immediately, I could see the colour getting lighter. It was....exciting! I loved the way it looked right off the bat. The instructions said to leave the lightener on for 25-40 minutes but I was worried, so I left it on for the shortest amount of time. Next time (and there will likely be a next time), it will definitely be left on longer. My hair is naturally very dark so it could have used that extra time to really lighten up.

After that, it was time to add on the pink colour. This was a semi-permanent dye that was supposed to wash out in 6-8 washes. (In reality, the bulk of it washed out after three washes, though there are still random pieces of pink in my hair now. I think this is because certain sections of hair were lightened more than others during the first part of the process.) It was fairly simple to apply and the colour looked great. If you have naturally lighter hair, I think it would look even better. There are a ton of other shades in this Colorista line as well but pink was my first choice!

Once my hair was finished? I loved it so much. Even though it was weird to do something different with my hair (this was legitimately a first) it made me super excited and happy. It has been a couple of weeks since the dying process and my hair is still lighter on the bottom with random pink streaks throughout. Not bad for an at-home dye job! Here is a peek at the finished product....


Overall, I was very happy with these L'Oreal Colorista products. They worked well and didn't damage my hair whatsoever. They even included conditioning shampoos, which was super helpful. I am loving the ombre look and hope to maintain it in the weeks and months to come.

On another note, my latest YouTube video is up on the creation of beauty is art. It is dedicated to the NYX Liquid Suede lipsticks in my collection. Take a look!



Are you adventurous with your hair? Have you tried the Colorista line?

xo Shannon

Thursday, April 13, 2017

4 strategies to save money this spring.


Money is on my mind. As wonderful as my trip to Vegas was....the costs really added up. Between that sunny getaway, my rent being increased (yet again), and an upcoming vacation with the family this summer, finding ways to save is essential. Though I've improved when it comes to spending (my shopping habit is occasional as opposed to an everyday occurrence) there is always more that I can do to save, save, save.

If you're looking to save some cash this spring, be sure to give these four strategies a try!

Take a Good Look at Your Wardrobe. If you're anything like me, your closet is pretty full. Do you remember everything that is in there? Probably not. That's okay! This is your chance to go through it all. Find some re-discovered favourites or a few pieces you haven't worn yet. They'll be the perfect way to mix up your wardrobe without spending money. See things you don't want anymore? Donate them and check spring cleaning off your to-do list.

Spend Some Time Outdoors. There are so many amazing things about spring. The weather is beautiful and everything is in bloom. Use that to your advantage! Instead of going to the mall or the movies (or another costly activity), take a walk, go to the park, or plan a picnic. There may even be free outdoor activities going on in your city or town. Take a look and find out. You never know....there might be something super exciting happening.

Keep Track of Unnecessary Spending. We all have areas where we can cut back. Maybe you have the deluxe cable package, a bunch of extras on your phone, or a serious weakness for Starbucks. Start paying attention to those unnecessary extras and aim to cut out (or cut down) at least one or two of them. Try this for a month and see what happens. A few minor adjustments to your life can help you save big this spring.

Participate in Project Pan. For me, hitting pan on an eyeshadow or powder project is terrifying. I don't want to be without it! I can't stand to say goodbye! And so I buy more and more makeup without really using up what I have. Not this season. Instead of buying more eyeshadow, my goal is to hit pan on a couple of palettes. Choose three or four from your collection and participate in the challenge with me. It'll help you save money....plus, I could really use the moral support!

Take small steps to save money this spring. And be sure to share your own suggestions in the comment section below!

How will you save money this season?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

currently loving: clinique


Clinique is a brand I trust. Everything I have tried from them has been both luxurious and effective. Which is why I tend to visit the makeup counter whenever they have a promotion going on. (Like, spend $40 and get a bag full of goodies for free, for instance!) You may have noticed in my mall hall a little while back, there was a brightly coloured makeup bag shown. That was one of the gifts with purchase that Clinique was giving away.

Though I didn't purchase anything this time (I wanted to buy their new pigment drops but none of them were not a match for me), my mom picked up more than enough products. So, they threw in two gifts with purchase. Score!

The Clinique gift set included:

  • Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser
  • Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
  • Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
  • Clinique Colour Compact (All About Shadow Duo and Blushing Blush Powder Blush)
  • Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara
  • Long Last Lipstick
  • Cosmetics Bag

There are few things better than free makeup. Needless to say, I was excited to try out these products. Some, I had already used in the past (like the Moisture Surge...my all time favourite moisturizer) but others were new and exciting (like the Blushing Blush Powder Blush). I love that this set included good sized samples that were still small enough to take away. Which is exactly what I did! Most of these actually came with me on my trip to Las Vegas.

Skin Care Products: The skin care products that came in this set were winners for me. As I mentioned, I adore the Moisture Surge moisturizer. It works well on my dry skin and has a really refreshing finish. Though I hadn't tried the Dramatically Different lotion...it really impressed me. It was for very dry skin and worked wonders. The lotion was lightweight, creamy, and fought dryness well. The Foaming Cleanser was very mild and did a good job of removing leftover dirt, oil, and makeup from my skin. It came in handy during my trip, that's for sure!

Before I talk about the makeup products that were included in this set, here is a closer look at the lipstick shade, eyeshadows, and blush.


Makeup Products: There was a nice assortment of makeup products included in the set. The first was the Chubby Lash mascara. The wand was really cool (rubber bristles with a rounded tip, similar to Benefit's They're Real! mascara but with less definition along the wand) and they added a ton of drama to the lashes. While I enjoyed this....I don't think it will be replacing my go-to mascara. The lipstick (the shade was Watermelon) is a gorgeous spring-infused pink that leaves a bit of a stain. It lasts well and looks really beautiful. I love it!

The little compact had two shadows (Morning Java and Ballet Flats) and one blush (Smoldering Plum) and the colours were natural and romantic. The pigmentation on those two little eyeshadows was intense. I was blown away with how much colour payoff there was. It made me want to try out more Clinique eyeshadows in the future. The pigmentation on the blush was not as impressive and I found the formula to be a little more on the dry side. That being said, the shade is stunning. It was a dusty rose kind of colour and it is beautiful.

Have you tried any of these products? Are you a fan of Clinique?

xo Shannon

Saturday, April 8, 2017

i haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.


Though it is always nice to come home (especially after a long flight and endless drive from the airport), there is something bittersweet about the end of a vacation. You've spend months and months planning, booking, dreaming, and anxiously awaiting every moment your unforgettable destination has to offer. Then it ends abruptly. Before you know it, you are trying to return to every day life. It is back to work and responsibilities....not to mention all of the catching up there is to do. Sigh! Such is the life of a travel lover.

This is just a quick post to let you all know that I have returned safe and sound from my Las Vegas trip. In the days to come, expect new posts and a recap of all the incredible adventures my husband and I had in Sin City! There was travelling with friends, seeing Britney Spears, going to the Donny & Marie concert, exploring the Strip, and even a little bit of shopping. So, stay tuned for all of the details.

How was your week? What have you been up to?

xo Shannon

Saturday, April 1, 2017

adventures are the best way to learn.


Ahh, travel. Is there anything better? If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know all too well how much I love to see the world. Though I can't necessarily go everywhere I want to - or travel as often as I'd like - it is something I prioritize in my life. This summer, I have a big family trip to look forward to. And right now? I am about to jet off to sunny Las Vegas. Given the cool temperatures where I live.....this is a welcome change of pace.

My husband and I are spending five days checking out concerts (Britney Spears and Donny & Marie for me), letting loose, and seeing the sights with two of our friends. Though I've been to Vegas many times before, it is the first time for the rest of the group. Fingers crossed they love it there as much as I do!

Since I will be working on my tan for the next little while, I am taking a mini blogging break. Expect to hear from me in a week or so! I hope to return with lots of exciting stories.

Speaking of travel! I recently reviewed the Makeup Artist Palette from Avon over on my YouTube channel. It is seriously incredible for travelling with. Find out why by checking out the video for yourself...



Do you love to travel? When is your next getaway?

xo Shannon