Thursday, January 30, 2014

just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive.

Any Pretty Little Liars fans out there? Then you probably want to get yourselves to Aeropostale pretty soon! I don't usually shop there, but when I saw the window display of PLL clothes, I couldn't resist! Why? I am totally addicted to that show. Love, love, love everything about it. Right now, Aeropostale is selling an outfit inspired by each of the characters, so of course, I bought Hanna's dress.

When I got to the check out, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a free "LIARS UNITE" t-shirt. It is a super comfy and cute t-shirt. Since I have been wearing this t-shirt an awful lot lately, I thought that I would do a quick makeup look of the day featuring my "LIARS UNITE" shirt! When I was deciding what to do with my makeup, I was really inspired by the darker tone of the show....which you'll probably be able to tell!

Ready to take a peek at my Pretty Little Liars shirt and makeup? Here goes!

Products Used: Too Faced The Return of Sexy Palette, MUA Black Eyeliner, Maybelline Stain Gloss in Blissful Brown, NARS Deep Throat blush, Rimmel Stay Clean Foundation.

There you have Pretty Little Liars inspired look. I may not look quite like Hanna, but hey, maybe someday!

What do you think of this makeup look? Who is your favourite PLL character?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

as long as i am breathing, in my eyes, i am just beginning.

Now that January is almost through, I thought it was the perfect time to do a little update on my New Years Resolutions. They were: to spend more time on myself, to build my writing career, and to have a more positive attitude in my day-to-day life. Even though it is early days yet, I am doing my best to live up to those goals.

When it comes to spending more time on myself, I've been working out loads, eating better, taking proper care of my skin - and actually turning off my computer to relax! As for my social life, there haven't been any major changes there. I still spend the majority of my time working...but fingers crossed things will change soon!

In terms of building my writing career, I've been working my tail off to do just that. Not only have I been keeping up with my freelance jobs, but I have been actively applying for more freelance work, full-time positions, and internships. I have to believe that my hard work and perseverance will get me where I want to go. 

My resolution to have a more positive attitude is going okay....but it can certainly be challenging while I'm at my full-time job! I am doing my best to look on the bright side and not get bogged down by negativity.

Maybe my resolutions will work out and maybe they won't. Whatever happens, though, I'm proud of myself for trying. So far, 2014 still feels full of promise.

How are your New Years Resolutions going? Have you been keeping up with them?

xo Shannon

Sunday, January 26, 2014

in all the world, there is no heart for me like yours.

It's amazing how quickly time passes. It feels like only yesterday that I was meeting my boyfriend for the first time...getting butterflies in my stomach every time he looked at me. Now, today is our two year anniversary. Even though we're been together for two years, I still get butterflies when he looks at me.

The past couple of years have without a doubt, been the happiest of my life. Every day, I wake up feeling so incredibly blessed. I just can't wait for all of the amazing things we are sure to experience in the future. Since today is our anniversary, I wanted to take this opportunity to show my love and appreciation for the most important person in life. I love you, babe.

xo Shannon

Friday, January 24, 2014

the blush is beautiful, but it is sometimes convenient.

It's been a while since I have been ridiculously excited about new drugstore makeup. For too long, it's been okay or pretty good. Finally, Maybelline has knocked one out of the park. Chances are, if they haven't already, you'll soon see the Master Glaze By FaceStudio Blush Sticks popping up at your local drugstore.

At first, I bought Pink Fever (the bright, vibrant pink, pictured above). The colour was so fun and fresh that I simply couldn't walk past it. When I got home and tried it out, I was amazed. Talk about colour! The colour payoff was incredible. It was a bright, bold, and totally girly pink. It blended well across the skin, you could really build up the colour nicely, and it lasted throughout the night. Talk about impressed.

So, it's probably not a surprise that I went back the next day to pick up three more shades. (There are five in total. I skipped out on the coral shade, simply because I already have way too many corals in my blush collection as it is.) The other shades I picked up were Just Pinched-Pink, which is a lighter more every day kind of blush shade, Warm Nude, which is a gorgeous slightly shimmery bronze blush, and Make a Mauve, which is a really gorgeous berry shade.

Here are some swatches of the Master Glaze Blush Sticks:

Left to Right: Pink Fever, Just Pinched-Pink, Warm Nude, Make a Mauve

Just like Pink Fever, all of the other shades in this collection behaved very much the same. They blended well, had tons of colour payoff, and had great longevity. For about $9CDN, they were quite the steal. Since buying them, they have been my go-to. They are perfect to use alone or as a base. Plus, they are great for on the go. Just toss one into your makeup bag and you're good to go!

I don't know about you, but I cannot get enough of these gorgeous colours! Here is a little makeup look I put together, with  Pink Fever on the cheeks.

So, there you have it! Some new drugstore items to actually get excited about. If you're a blush addict like I am, these are an absolute must-have. Trust me, you won't regret adding a couple of these shades to your makeup collection.

Have you tried the Maybelline Blush Sticks? What do you think of them?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

hair tutorial: dramatic night out hair

On a day to day basis, my hair routine is pretty...ordinary. Most of the time, I'll throw it back into a bun or scrunch through some mousse to add just a little extra wave. When I'm going out though, I like to mix it up a bit. Lately, I've posted a lot about makeup and, I thought that I would show you my go-to going out hair look instead. It's a little dramatic, but hey! As far as I'm concerned, that is a good thing.

As you can see from the picture above, this hair look is a half-up half-down style - with some volume and texture. Want to try it create it yourself? Follow these steps to achieve a dramatic night out hairstyle: 

STEP 1:  Just Beginning

To get things started, wash and condition your hair with your favourite products. From there either let your air dry or use your blow dryer. Make sure your hair is completely dry before you continue on with the rest of the tutorial. Why? Damp hair just won't style properly!

STEP 2: Super Straight

Once your hair is dry, it's time to grab that straight iron. While the end result will have a bit of curl and texture, you want your hair to look sleek and sophisticated, too. Brush through your hair to remove any tangles. Use your straightener on small sections of hair until it has a straight and smooth appearance.

Here's a tip: don't forget about the heat protectant! Any time you use a heat styling tool, you want to make sure that your hair won't be damaged. So, spray on a little heat protectant before you start straightening.

STEP 3: Lots of Height

Now it's time for a little volume. The most dramatic part of this look is definitely the pouf on top. (Think Snooki chic! A little volume goes a long way when you're taking a hairstyle from day to night.) To create it, you'll need a hair clip, teasing comb, and some strong hold hairspray. Start by sectioning off the very front part of your hair. Spray the hairspray on the underside of the section, right at the root. This will give your hair some texture when you tease it.

Speaking of teasing....grab that teasing comb! Backcomb the section from underneath until you have created tons and tons of volume. Take that section and swoop it back. Then, simply pin it in place to create that voluminous pouf. Remember, even though you teased the underside, the top should look smooth. Use your comb to smooth any fly away bits!

Once finished, the pouf section should look a little something like this:

STEP 4:  Barely There Curls

You're almost done! It's time to add a little bit of texture and shape back into the length of your hair. There are a few options with this style. You could curl it all or make it super all depends on your mood, where you're going, and how much time you have.

What I did was take my flat iron and curl just the front pieces and ends of my hair. This gave it a little more shape - which helped to balance out that pouf! Once your curls have cooled completely, break them up a bit. You can do this by brushing through them gently with your fingers. That's the look!

Making It Better: Using Hair Extensions

This dramatic and glamorous style really suits long hair. So, take this look to the next level by adding on some clip in hair extensions! They are easy to use, come in many different shades, and can give you tons of length and volume. Hair extensions are especially great for anyone who is growing out a shorter cut, who has thin or fine hair, or just wants to change it up!

If you decide to give them a try make sure you get quality extensions. They will last longer and look even better. You can find out more about wearing hair extensions and affordable pricing options over at Ted Hair.

Now that you know exactly how to create this hairstyle, it's time to take another look at the finished product. Here is my dramatic night out hair :

What do you think of this look? Do you have a go-to going out hairstyle?

xo Shannon

Monday, January 20, 2014

new in: sammydress

It's always nice to do a bit of shopping...and add a few items to your collection, while you're at it! Recently, I picked up some new things from Sammydress. This was my first time ordering from their website, so I wanted to try out a little bit of everything. That's why I chose a ring, headband, dress, and even some makeup. (I can never resist the opportunity to try out new makeup!) Here is a look at my Sammydress order:

First up? Some accessories. I chose a rose gold coloured ring (with just a little bit of sparkle) that I immediately fell in love with, and a simple pearl headband. Too cute, right?

The next thing I ordered was a pink ruffled party dress. I cannot wait to wear this! It is so flirty and girly. Unfortunately, the weather right now is crazy cold and icy, so I think I'll have to wait a bit before I can actually wear it out! It is super pretty, though.

And lastly, I saw this super cute little makeup kit. It included a ton of bright, fun eyeshadows, a cream concealer, two matte powders, some lip glosses, and four blush shades.

I'll be honest and say that my expectations weren't super high for this set. I was actually really impressed, though! The eyeshadow shades are super pigmented. They are really true to colour. The blush shades are quite pretty and the concealer and powders were a great match for me. The lip glosses didn't wow me, but I am never really into lip glosses in palettes like this. I would say this is definitely a fun and flirty palette for a great price. 

I created a makeup look using that rust coloured eyeshadow shade, the deepest blush colour, and one of the pink glosses. Here is the finished look:

Overall, my experience with Sammydress was excellent. They had so many gorgeous things to choose from. Plus, all of the items were super affordable - and there was even free shipping available for a lot of things. Talk about fashion on a budget. Love!

Have you tried anything from Sammydress? What do you think of these items?

xo Shannon

Saturday, January 18, 2014

who says makeup has to be serious to look good?

It's time for another review! I have been trying out tons of new makeup products lately...including a few from Bourjois. I've heard great things about this brand in the past but had never tried anything from them. This Christmas, I was given the Khol Kajal and the 3D Effet Lip gloss. 

The first part of this review is going to look at the lip gloss. It is a shimmery red colour in the shade 06. As you can see from the swatch below, the colour is very true to how it looks in the packaging. This really impressed me because so many lip glosses out there look like one colour in the tube but come out really sheer on your lips. 

When it comes to lip gloss, I am pretty picky. I don't like anything that feels remotely sticky. Unfortunately, I find the majority of glosses on the market are either sticky or have very little colour payoff. (That is why NARS lip glosses are my absolute favourites. Not sticky and still super pigmented.)

That is why when I tried out the Bourjois 3D Effet Lip gloss for the first time, I was a little bit hesitant. Would the colour last? What would it feel like? After trying it, I found myself happily surprised. The colour looked gorgeous, it lasted for several hours without needing to be touched up (though not quite as long as that 8 hour claim!), and it wasn't the least bit sticky. This is definitely a good quality lip gloss that I can see myself reaching for a lot.

Now, moving on to the Khol Kajal. This is essentially a kohl liner with a pointed tip that gets wider the further down it goes. I don't have anything quite like this in my makeup collection, so it was fun to try! There are things that I like about this and things that I don't love quite so much.

What do I like? The fact that the colour is super pigmented. It's quick and easy to use and it looks great. What I don't like as much? The fact that once that pointed tip starts to wear down, it will be much harder to have control of the product. Also, this isn't as creamy to apply as I hoped it would be. Overall, though, it's a decent - if not spectacular - product. I'm excited to get creative with this one!

To end this post, I thought that I would show you the makeup look I created using the Khol Kajal.

So, that is my first experience trying out products from Bourjois. There are a few more that I have on my wish's just a matter of time!

Have you tried anything from Bourjois? What do you think of these products?

xo Shannon

Thursday, January 16, 2014

happy women go shopping.

Like so many others, I have been trying to cut back on my spending. New year, new budget, right? Because of this new budget, I haven't done much shopping....since boxing day, that is. So, I thought that I would show you some of the things I picked up during my boxing day shopping. I managed to find some amazing deals that I simply couldn't pass up!

Plaid flats from Attitude - on sale for $11!
 New clothes from H&M and Guess - buy one get one free. Amazing!
Jacket with faux leather sleeves - $16
One Direction perfume set - half price! 
Taylor Swift, Enchanted Wonderstruck Perfume - $17
Kim Kardashian Signature Body Spray $9 
Striped sunglasses and Betsey Johnson earrings - $10 and $16

The boxing day crowds may be insane...but there are plenty of great deals to be had! I definitely did well this year.

What do you think of these items? Have you done any shopping lately?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

happie creations: stay rad. read books.

Reading is one of my biggest loves. No matter what is going on in my life, there is nothing that relaxes me quite like picking up a good book. That's the amazing thing - a few page turns and suddenly you are whisked away to a totally new world. As far as I'm concerned, reading is like a best friend that is always there for you.

So, when Kelsey from Happie Reading sent me this gorgeous print (pictured above), Stay Rad. Read Books. I instantly fell in love with it. Not only is the design itself gorgeous, but the words really spoke to me. Too often now, people disregard books and taking the time to read. (Which is troubling for me, as my ultimate dream is to write books for a living!) That is why I love this print so much. I fully believe that the importance of reading should never be overlooked.

Already, I am on the hunt for the perfect frame for this print. I know exactly where I am going to put it - next to my book shelf. That way, I can look at it each and every time I reach out to an old friend.

If you're looking for a way to spruce up your space, be sure to take a look at Kelsey's Etsy shop, Happie Creations. She is so talented and I highly recommend it. There are a lot of beautiful prints to choose from - including this one. Here is a little sneak peek:

Have you visited Happie Creations yet? What do you think of this print?

xo Shannon

Sunday, January 12, 2014

and i wont change by the glamorous.

My last post featured a review of Fergie's Wet n' Wild Eye Kit, Glamorous Dutchess. Next up? A little peek at another Wet n' Wild set, Vicious Fergalicious. Unlike the previous kit, this one is about standing out from the crowd. It uses fun bold colours rather than those deeper smoky shades. As you can see from the picture on the cover, there is tons of blue and purple.

Vicious Fergalicious is supposed to be "for your edgy side" and it certainly does a great job of delivering on that! This eye set includes a glittery black eyeliner pencil, a bright blue liquid liner, an eyeshadow quad, a mini mascara, a fluffy eyeshadow brush, and a lash comb. Just like the last set, it also comes with a handy little makeup tutorial. Here is a closer look at what you're actually getting with this set:

So, what are my thoughts on this set? Just like Glamorous Dutchess there is a really nice variety of products here. From the brushes to the mascara, you've got everything you need to put together a really gorgeous eye look. I just love the range of products. There were repeats from this set to the last, so I happen to have two of the brushes and the mascaras.

In terms of the unique items in this particular set, we are looking at the eyeliners and the eyeshadow quad. The pencil eyeliner was a glittery black. Unfortunately, I wasn't wowed by this one. While I really like the idea of having a glittery liner, it just didn't have the colour payoff. It looks more grey than black and the glitter doesn't really come through. That blue liquid liner, though....amazing! The colour is bright, dramatic, and fun. It has tons of pigmentation and it lasts well. I am really impressed with their liquid liners!

Here are some swatches of the eyeliners in this eye kit:

Now onto the eyeshadows. While the shades in the last set weren't true to colour, they certainly were in this set! It had a lighter purple, a super bright purple, electric blue and a deep black shade with flecks of blue. Let me just say, I totally fell in love with this eyeshadow quad. I didn't think that I would love this set the most, but I can't get enough of it! There was less fall out with these shades and the pigmentation was incredible. Especially with that black shade. (A little goes a very long way!)

These colours were different, exciting, and just look great. If you take a look at the swatches below, you'll get a better idea of how edgy these colours really are:

Ready to see the makeup look that I created using the Vicious Fergalicious set from Wet n' Wild? I used the blue liquid liner to line my lower lash line (such a fun pop of colour!) and focused on creating a smokey purple look on the lid:

So, there you  have it! My reviews of the Fergie Wet n' Wild eye kits.

Do you own this set? What do you think of this makeup look?

Also - thanks to your feedback on my last post, I will be working on a step-by-step guide to eyeshadow. I'm thinking the perfect smokey eye!

xo Shannon

Friday, January 10, 2014

fergalicious definition make them boys go loco.

Over the holidays, I received an awful lot of makeup. (I guess my family knows me pretty well!) So, I have been doing my very best to try out all of the new products in my collection. To start with, I thought that I would review some new Wet n' Wild eye kits.

Let me just say, I adore Fergie. I am such a huge fan of her music. Unfortunately, we don't really get a lot of her Wet n' Wild line where I live. So, when I received these two Wet n' Wild Fergie sets, I was super excited! They are: Glamorous Dutchess and Vicious Fergalicious. Ready to take a closer look at Glamorous Dutchess.

This is supposed to be "for your glam side" and includes a silver eyeliner pencil, a black liquid eyeliner, an eyeshadow quad, a mini mascara, a fluffy eyeshadow brush and a lash comb. It also has a little makeup tutorial on the inside flap! Another notable aspect of this Wet n' Wild eye kit? The packaging. Each one is like a little book that can stack on your shelf or counter. It definitely looks great, which is always a plus.

There were a few really great things about this set. For starters, that silver eyeliner pencil is fantastic. It is super pigmented and has a lot of glide to it. And I really don't have anything like it in my makeup collection! As for the black liquid liner, it was fairly standard - but had really good staying power. Plus, that little eyeshadow brush is great for blending out. The mascara didn't wow me, but I didn't imagine it would. I really like that they thought to include a mascara in this just simply wasn't for me.

Here is a closer look at the eyeliners that came along with the set (I love, love, love that silver one!):

Now for the eyeshadow quad. As an eyeshadow lover, I was really excited to try these shades out. Here's the thing, I wasn't disappointed in them...they were just different than I expected. In the packaging they looked like really warm shades. There was a purpleish kind of colour that I was really intrigued by.

When I actually went to try them out though, they looked quite different. They were actually pretty icy and wintery, with a bluish undertone. There was no purple at all! I think the colours look great, but I wouldn't say they really fall into the glam category. Just take a look at the swatches below and you'll see what I mean.

In terms of the pigmentation and fall out, I would say these are so-so. They have a decent amount of colour payoff, but they aren't quite as good as the regular Wet n' Wild eyeshadows. There is a little bit of fall out for some of the deeper shades but it's nothing that can be worked with. I would definitely recommend using a primer with these though, just to help them stay longer.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this set. Not all of the products were incredible....but there were just so many to try out. This kit had such a wide variety of eyeliners and even came with some brushes. This would great for someone who doesn't have a lot of makeup in their collection already. (Or for someone who really loves Fergie!)

Here is the makeup look that I created using the Glamorous Dutchess set from Wet n' Wild.

In my next blog post, you can take a peek at Fergie's Wet n' Wild eye kit: Vicious Fergalicious!

What do you think of this makeup look? Have you tried anything from this line?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

new in: steamcream

Even though the holidays are over, winter is still in full swing. What does that mean exactly? Dry skin, dry skin, and more dry skin. That is why this season, I've been using STEAMCREAM. (If you missed my last post about it, you can check that out here!) Unlike so many other moisturizers I've tried over the years, STEAMCREAM really traps in the moisture. So, there are no more flaky patches or itchy skin. Needless to say, this has become my go-to product this winter!

One thing I really love about this product (other than the fantastic results, of course) is the packaging. Each tin from STEAMCREAM comes with a gorgeous design. They are perfect to use and display. I  like to keep mine on my counter top. It just adds a little extra oomph! The first tin from STEAMCREAM that I tried was Thalia, which had a beautiful floral design.

The latest tin in my collection is Ume Ni Uguisu (pictured above). I love this design because it is so pretty and feminine. To me, the flowers, tree branches, and bird represent a new beginning. And the new year is the perfect time to celebrate just that! The moisturizer in this tin has the same luxurious texture and light scent that STEAMCREAM is known for. I am quite thrilled to have it!

I used Ume Ni Uguisu before doing my makeup and it definitely kept my skin feeling great. Here is my finished makeup look:

Other products used to create this makeup look were: The Little Mermaid eyeshadow palette, NARS Deep Throat blush, Blinc cosmetics eyeliner pen, and Bourjois Effet 3D lipgloss.

To find out more about products from STEAMCREAM, be sure to check out their website:

Have you tried STEAMCREAM yet? What do you think of this tin design?

xo Shannon

Monday, January 6, 2014

you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

It is back to work for me! I definitely enjoyed having a little bit of extra free time (heck, having some free time!) over the holidays. Now that the New Year is in full swing, though, I am starting to get back into my daily routine. It can probably go without saying at this point, but I have been doing an awful lot of writing lately. On that note, I thought I would share a few of my more recent articles!

Bold Eyeliner Trends and How to Make Them Work For You
Tartan Trendy: How to Wear The Hottest Trend The Right Way
The Best Ways to Deal With Dark Under Eye Circles
Holiday Makeup Tutorial: Perfect Makeup For Any Seasonal Event
5 Ways to Wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater In Style
Easy Christmas Morning Makeup

Hairstyle Stars
3 Curly Hairstyles For Medium Hair
How To Do a Braided Bun
Hot Looks For Fall and Winter 2013: The Low Updo
Vintage Hairstyles - Veronica Lake Curls
Cute Hairstyles For Round Faces

Jada Beauty
Braided Hairstyles Inspired By: The Hunger Games Catching Fire
Professional Hairstyles to Rock Any Job Interview
3 Perfect Updos For Your Next Party

Beauty O'Holic
All About Nails
Christmas Eve Traditions
Fashion: Christmas Sweaters

Phew! So, those are a few of the things that I've written lately. I'd love it if you checked out one or two of them.

What have you been keeping yourself busy with lately?

xo Shannon

Saturday, January 4, 2014

a friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.

Sometimes, it's nice to go out. For the most part, I am a stay in and watch TV kind of girl. But....I also love getting dressed up. That is why every so often it is fun to put on a cute dress, grab some drinks, and catch up with friends. Over the holidays, I was able to do that a little bit more!

I ended up going to a club with a couple of my friends on Saturday night. Then, I spent New Years Eve with my boyfriend. Since I have been able to actually go out lately, I thought that I would share some of my photos!

Let's start with clubbing on Saturday night. It was super last minute and unexpected. With a pile of work in front of me, I did my best to get everything submitted - and got ready in a flash. I straightened my hair, grabbed a cute strapless dress (with a peacock feather print!) and threw on some super smokey eye makeup. The result?

Then we went out to the club and danced the night away! It was really fun, even though I didn't stay out too late. (I'm not a kid anymore...) Here are some of the pictures from the rest of the evening. 

And then came New Year's Eve. As I mentioned in my last post, I was supposed to be going out with a friend and my boyfriend. Unfortunately, the plans didn't seem to come together. It ended up being a night in with some movies and my boyfriend. Even though I didn't end up having the exciting evening out I dreamed of, it was still nice. Here is our last picture together for 2013:

What did you do for New Years? Have you gone out recently?

xo Shannon

Thursday, January 2, 2014

the best gifts come from the heart.

This is officially my first post of strange. I hope that you have been enjoying the holiday season. It's difficult to get back on track after all of the festivities, though. Well, speaking of the holidays....I thought that I would show you some of the gifts I received this year. I was certainly very spoiled by my family and my boyfriend!

Ready to take a peek? Here goes!

 From My Boyfriend: 

Perfume galore!! I have been wanting the Katy Perry perfume for ages, 
so that was super exciting. Extra points for the cute Hillfiger bottle 
and the new Paris Hilton fragrance. Love, love, love!
Loads of goodies from Bath & Bodyworks...yay! 
Books, scarves, a Mockingjay pin, and an Avril Lavigne compact! 
   Cute stuffed things! I love Disney and I loved plush things...perfect!
And my favourite gift from my boyfriend this Christmas? Records! 
The Bruno Mars one is my favourite...because it has our song on it.
This gift was so sweet and thoughtful.
From My Family:

Lots and lots of makeup to try out - including the 
Little Mermaid palette from Sephora.

 Super cute (and fluffy!) unicorn slippers from my sister!

 Betsey Johnson necklace and earrings. LOVE THEM!

Betsey Johnson perfume and body lotion.
(I absolutely love that bottle!)

  Celine Dion perfume (oh my gosh, I have so 
many new perfumes to try out this year!)

Odds and ends - notebooks, CDs, a brush holder that looks
like a shoe....amazing.

 A gorgeous new pair of earrings.

A super glittery purse - perfect for going out.

  Michael Kors wallet to match my favourite purse! Love!

Annnd lastly, a gorgeous Christian Dior purse. I adore it. It's so
pink and pretty!  

What gifts did you receive for Christmas this year?

xo Shannon