Thursday, May 30, 2013

review: avon vs. avon

I own more eyeliners than any normal person should. Why? Well, eyeliner is my makeup must-have. Everything else I could do without (unhappily, of course!) but not eyeliner. As an eyeliner junkie, it is simply a must for me!

Recently, I decided to branch out a bit and try some Avon eyeliners. Since I am always a fan of liquid liner, I chose Avon Super Extend Liquid Eyeliner Pen and Avon Extra Lasting Liquid Eyeliner. Here are my thoughts on both of them - the good, the bad, and the verdict.

Have you tried either of these eyeliners? What is your favourite eyeliner?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.

I am addicted to the sunshine. Typically, I am the type of person who likes to stay indoors and read a book or watch TV in my spare time. Not this year. I have days where I am itching to go outside and enjoy the sun. I've even been trying to go running when the days are nice or open up my windows to let the warm breeze in.

Unfortunately, today is rainy and horrible. What a letdown! To soothe my soul, I've been looking at photos of the beach - the kind that just scream sunshine! I am ready for carefree days in the sun with people that make me smile. If you're lacking inspiration (or if the weather is just as bad where you live!) here are some of the images that are getting me through the week.

What inspires you lately?

xo Shannon

Sunday, May 26, 2013

transformation is not five minutes from now; it's a present activity.

I was anxious. My knee bounced up and down as I sat alone in a hard plastic chair. One of many at the GM Center. The arena felt cool and goosebumps prickled on my skin. I wasn't sure how much of that was from the temperature and how much was from the rush of emotions that swirled inside of me.

There was a buzz of energy in the room. Everyone was waiting for something - someone to re-focus their lives and give them the answers they had been lacking. And me? I was waiting too. I was waiting to see the woman who gave me hope. I was waiting for Jillian Michaels.

My whole life, I've struggled with myself. My confidence, feeling okay in my own skin, and yes, my weight. Growing up, I can't ever remember feeling good about myself. Things are different now. I've changed. I've become more confident, more present, and more driven than I ever thought I would be. The change was gradual, but in the last year or so, I have noticed it more.

As I have worked to improve the way I see myself through fitness and positive thinking, Jillian Michaels has been right there with me. They are far more than workout DVDs - they are a different way of seeing my life. She has pushed me to work hard and believe in myself. Which is why when I found out that she was coming to a city nearby, I knew that I had to be at the Maximize Your Life Tour.

During the two hour show, she talked about nutrition, fitness, and self. I learned far more than I anticipated - about Jillian and about these topics. She really made me think about what I'm eating, how to maximize a workout, and even about the relationships in my life. The show allowed me to really take a step back and look at my life: what I want to change and what I am proud of.

Every day since the show, I have tried to incorporate these different tools into my life. I am currently a work in progress...but I think we all are!

Jillian Michaels inspires me to push myself. Who inspires you?

xo Shannon

Friday, May 24, 2013

the odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.

As I mentioned in my recent post, my mom and I did a little bit of shopping lately. You've already seen my (totally awesome) sunhat and sunglasses in that post. So, I figured that it was time to show you the rest of my little shopping haul.

Hello Kitty sunglasses:

Sonia Kashuk travel brushes:

 Joe Fresh Shorts:

And most exciting? My Juicy Couture tracksuit and t-shirt. I know there are some people who hate these things, but I have always wanted one. It is super comfy and totally cute. Plus, I got an incredible deal on it all! How could I resist?

Juicy Couture tracksuit and t-shirt:

What do you think of my latest purchases?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

youth is like a long weekend on friday night.

This past weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend - and it was fantastic. It's rare that I am able to take time away from working and actually relax. This weekend though? It was pretty much perfect. I was able to spend time with my boyfriend, drink, watch fireworks, and have some fun. It was exactly what I needed after a super stressful week at work.

Being able to relax and unwind truly made me appreciate the amazing things (and the amazing people) that I have in my life. I am so grateful to have had a little 'me' time this weekend. Since I had such a wonderful weekend, I thought that I would share a couple of pictures that make me smile.

How did you spend your weekend?

xo Shannon

Monday, May 20, 2013

life is like a new hat. you don't know if it suits you if you keep trying it on in front of your own mirror.

For everyone celebrating Victoria Day today - I hope that you are enjoying what is left of the long weekend! I've had a great time so far. I'll be sure to update you on my long weekend soon! Until then....

Shopping trips with my mom can be awesome. They can also cause me to spend far more money than I planned to! My mom is a seasoned shopaholic and she has passed her wisdom onto me throughout the years. On our most most recent trip out, I picked up some new things....including a giant floppy sun hat and a pair of leopard print sunglasses. Necessities, clearly!

When I got home that day, I quickly snapped a shot of me in my new hat and sunglasses. Instantly, I was transformed into someone who looked sophisticated and classic (In my mind, at least!) So, I thought this would be a fun way to show you a couple of my new purchases.

Hat: Joe Fresh      Sunglasses: Betsey Johnson

Have you been shopping lately? What have you added to your wardrobe?

xo Shannon

Saturday, May 18, 2013

top 5 favourites series: perfume

Welcome to the second installment of my top 5 favourites series! In the last post, I talked about my favourite lips products. Today, it is all about perfume. I have quite a lot of perfumes that I love, so I found it difficult to narrow it down to just five. Thankfully, I managed to make my decisions. Oddly enough, the are ended up being 'celebrity' fragrances. Go figure!

Without further ado, here are my top 5 favourite perfumes.

1. Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift
The award for my most-worn perfume has to go to Wonderstruck. I find myself wearing this during the day or on a night out. It is a truly versatile fragrance. The bottle is super cute - and most importantly, the scent is lovely. It smells sweet with soft floral accents. The smell isn't overpowering but has good longevity, especially if you layer it with the Wonderstruck body lotion. This isn't just one of my favourite scents, my boyfriend loves it too! He always seems to compliment me when I wear it.

2. Heiress by Paris Hilton
In the spring and summer, I tend to wear a lighter fragrance. This is when I reach for Heiress! In general, I am a huge fan of Paris Hilton perfumes. This Paris perfume is one of my favourites. It blends light, fruity scents with hints of jasmine and lily. Heiress is the best perfume for a day out in the sunshine.

3. Hidden Fantasy by Britney Spears
There are certain smells that take you back to a certain time and place. For me, that is Hidden Fantasy. Every time I smell it, I am reminded of some special memories that I cherish. Perhaps this perfume made the list for sentimental reasons, but I do love it. Hidden Fantasy is sexy and seductive - making it the perfect finishing touch for date night.

4. Snooki by Nicole "Snooki" Pollizi
....and this is probably when you start rolling your eyes, right? Hear me out: I love Snooki, unapologetically. And I love her perfume! It is bold, memorable, and absolutely perfect for a night out at a club or bar. It smells sexy, feminine, and fun. Best of all, the scent lasts all night long - even if you're fist bumping. 

5. With Love by Hilary Duff
If you're looking for a hint of sophistication, With Love may be the best perfume you could ask for. The fragrance blends unforgettable spices with a light mango scent. With Love has become a night-out staple for me! If I'm feeling classy and feminine, than I tend to reach for this bottle. It is the perfect addition to a little black dress and smokey eye.

These are my top 5 favourite perfumes....what are yours?

xo Shannon

Thursday, May 16, 2013

we read to know that we are not alone.

I am a book lover. As a struggling writer, I suppose that is almost a requirement. There is something so captivating about falling into another life and using that knowledge to reflect on our own world. I have always been an avid reader. In fact, some of my happiest childhood memories involve my bedroom and a book. Books allowed me to do the things I hadn't in real life - they filled in the gaps of my life. I didn't have a lot of friends, I was bullied in high school, and I never went to prom. Even in University, I struggled to find my true identity. And yes, even now, books are a blissful escape from the stress and the worries that plague me.

I've mentioned in previous posts that my life is busy, and I constantly struggle with finding balance. Unfortunately, this has affected my reading schedule. I simply don't have the same amount of time to read as I used to. I am trying, though! Here are a few of the books I have read most recently...

The best? Janice Dickinson's biography, "No Lifeguard on Duty." I don't know how I managed to go without reading it for so long, but oh my goodness. This biography is fantastic. It is well written, smart, powerful, and it gives a fascinating peek behind the scenes of the world's first supermodel. If you're looking for something to read, I highly recommend it.

Even though life is busy, I am doing everything I can to make sure that I never lose my love of reading.

What is the last book you read?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

guest post: 'cos it's the bees knees

Hello readers of the creation of beauty is art!
 For those who don’t know us (which is probably a lot!) We are two best friend bloggers from London who do everything together including writing on our little blog called Cos it’s the bees knees 
Shannon has kindly let us post on her blog today and given us the freedom to post whatever we what! We have decided to stick to what we love and know best, fashion.
Recently we have developed a rather unhealthy obsession with making DIY band tops. Band tees are often really pricey so it is so much fun experimenting at creating your own designs. The latest addition to my growing collection is of course of The Maccabees- who else? I brought a top from Primark and then cropped, chopped and sewed it and using my £3 tiger fabric pens and a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon viola! 
 We met up for ice-creams by the river- which were absolutely delish! There really is nothing better spending a bank holiday relaxing after revision out in the sun with some good music and ice cream, because of course ice cream is just the best- no question.  
Talking of bands, we recently brought tickets to see Bastille in October and The 1975 in January (ekk), has anyone else got any good gigs lined up?

Loads of love, Paloma and Jess xxx


Sunday, May 12, 2013

purple, the colour of love.

First of all, I just want to say: Happy Mother's Day to all of the mom's out there - and of course, to my own. I hope that you all have a great day being pampered and celebrated!

Anyone who knows me is probably aware of my obsession with eyeliner. It's so serious, that in the last several years, I can think of just one instance when I didn't wear any out in public! It is without a doubt my makeup must-have.

Typically, I opt for black liner, but every once and a while, I like to mix it up. Lately, I've been wearing purple liner a lot more often, either as an accent or to line underneath my eyes. Since there are a few purple liners that I've been using recently, I thought I would do a post on some of the pros and cons of each of them.

  Almay, Hello Kitty, Rimmel, MAC

Almay Intense I-Color in Raisin: This is a really pretty liquid liner from Almay. I'll confess that I don't have a ton of products from Almay in my makeup collection, but the ones that I do have, I am impressed with. This raisin coloured liner is subtle but quite pretty. It is a great alternative to a black or brown liner if you are looking for something a little softer, yet still defined. If you're looking for some major drama, however, this liner probably isn't the best choice.

Hello Kitty Glitter Liner in Purple: I don't know how else to say it - this liner is cute...both the packaging and the product! Since this liner is quite thick and wide, it can be more difficult to use, though. So, when I use this, it is typically to line underneath my eyes. This adds a really fun pop of colour to any makeup look, which I love.

Rimmel London Soft Kohl in Purple Passion: By far, this purple liner from Rimmel is my favourite. It has a creamy texture and is super smokey and dark. I am a massive fan of smokey eye looks, so this dark purple liner fits in perfectly with the makeup I love to wear most! I cannot rave about this enough.

MAC Technakohl Liner in Purple Dash: I know there are a lot of MAC fans out there. For me, it really depends on the product. There are some MAC products I love, and others that I don't think are worth the price. Personally, I really don't think this liner is worth the price. While the texture is really nice, the colour payoff isn't fantastic. I actually feel like the Rimmel liner is far superior to the MAC one.

Are you a fan of purple liner? What are your favourites?

xo Shannon

Friday, May 10, 2013

unique and different is the next generation of beautiful.

You can never go wrong with a good maxi dress. Maybe this is why I seem to have so many of them hanging in my closet! Simple and casual, but effortlessly elegant, the maxi dress has become a Spring/Summer staple. With the warmer weather finally here, I am eager to wear some of my favourite maxi dresses from last year - including a slinky leopard print one that I always feel like a million bucks in.

Since I am on a maxi dress high at the moment, I thought I would create the look I would most love to wear. (I am on the hunt for the perfect chevron print maxi dress....can you tell?) This outfit is all about bold colours and patterns, neutral accessories, and a fun and sexy lip colour.

So, there you have it - my perfect Spring outfit. If you're loving maxi dresses the way that I am, let me know how you like to accessorize them!

What do you think of this maxi dress look?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

there are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.

Is anyone else excited for the new movie version of The Great Gatsby? It is set to hit theaters this week and I can't wait to see it. The compelling characters, the drama, and of course, the 1920s themed costumes! What could be better?

Everywhere I look, I'm getting inspired by the luxurious 20s fashion and makeup. From movie stills to the red carpet, I can't get enough. What am I loving the most? Nina Dobrev's Gatsby red carpet dress and Carey Mulligan's stunning hair accessories. (I feel like I need a pearl necklace and head scarf already!) Retro glamour is making waves right now - and it is impossible to ignore.

So, only one question remains: are you ready for The Great Gatsby?

"Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, 
bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was 
an excitement in her voice that men who had 
cared for her found difficult to forget."

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”  

“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. 
He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his 
 unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would 
never romp again like the mind of God."

“and for a moment I thought I loved her. But I am slow thinking and 
full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires...” 

Only a few more days until the movie is finally released. Here is hoping that the film lives up to my wildly unrealistic expectations. If not...well, there is always the fashion. 

Are you excited for The Great Gatsby? What do you love the most about 1920s style?

xo Shannon

Monday, May 6, 2013

top 5 favourites series: lips

In any makeup collection, there are always those lip products you reach for time and time again. In a rush? Grab that perfect nude lipstick. Are you going out for the night? Then you're probably already holding that super long lasting red. That is the great thing about our makeup collections - no matter how much we add to them, there are always a few products that stand out.

I noticed that there were certain lip products I was using more often than others...which is exactly what inspired me to start my top 5 favourites series. The first post in this series is dedicated to my favourite lip products. So, here goes!

1) NARS lipgloss in Turkish Delight

This is my favourite lip product by far! If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that I am a massive fan of NARS products. In general, I am not so into lipglosses - mostly because they can feel really sticky and horrible. NARS lipglosses however, do not. They have a ton of pigmentation, go on smooth, and never feel sticky. The baby pink shade is perfect for a night out.

2) Maybelline Moisture Extreme in Buttercup

Sadly, this shade is discontinued - so I pray that I never run out! What I love the most about this gorgeous caramel shade is that it is a warmer nude that looks great with any makeup look. And, as the name suggests, it is super moisturizing on the lips. I never feel the need to wear lip balm or chap stick over it. This is the perfect nude shade that I find myself reaching for constantly.

3) YSL Rouge Volupte in Peach

Last summer, I was looking for the perfect peach lipstick shade...and I finally found it in this amazing YSL lipstick. I am such a big fan of YSL lipsticks in general - they are so creamy, rich, and pigmented. They are totally worth the splurge. I love this shade for spring and summer and I am so excited to bring it out again this year!

4) Revlon Super-Lustrous in Berry Rich

This beautiful berry shade is one of my all time favourites. It adds a little sophisticated drama to any makeup look and is absolutely perfect if you're going out for dinner or a night on the town. I have used this one a lot since I got it. The texture is really nice and smooth on the lips and has really great longevity. Best of all, the shade is unbeatable!

5) Red Apple Lipstick in Sunkissed

I may or may not have an obsession with coral lipsticks. In fact, I have six of them. They just look so good in the summer! My favourite coral lipstick has to be this one from Red Apple Lipstick. I was given it to review a while back and I just instantly fell in love with the bold shade. It looks amazing on and the colour lasts all day.

Honourary mentions go to: Maybelline Super Stay Stain Gloss and Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Brick.

These are my top 5 favourite lip products...what are yours?

xo Shannon

Saturday, May 4, 2013

good parties create temporary youthfulness.

Since life is so busy, I am trying to enjoy myself and have fun whenever possible. Recently I have been able to do that a little bit more - which I am so grateful for. I've been so busy working and working and working, that I stopped enjoying my life. So, I've tried to take a little bit of time to have fun and let loose. I've been seeing friends and going to some concerts - and it has been great. Here are some of the pictures to prove it!

What do you do to have fun?

xo Shannon