Thursday, February 27, 2014

lost time is never found again.

If you're reading this, you probably love fashion and accessories just as much as I do. There is something indescribable about putting together the perfect outfit that reflects your mood! While I have a lot of things in my wardrobe (and my jewellery case), there was one thing I was missing: a watch.

Yup, believe it or not, I didn't actually own a watch. It was always on my to-get list but I just never got around to it. Instead, I used my cell phone to find out the time. Well, that has changed, thanks to Born Pretty. They were kind enough to send me a gorgeous - and fashionable -  women's watch to wear and review.

Haven't heard of Born Pretty before? They are a fantastic website that offers a range of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products. On their website, you can find things like nail accessories, an iPhone 5 case, watches, clothes and more! Best of all? They have affordable prices and high-quality products. Now that you know a little bit more about Born Pretty, it's time to see the watch I chose:

The moment I saw this wrist watch, I fell in love with it. Why? I love how pretty and feminine it is. It's got a little bit of colour (I chose blue but there is also red, pink, and a bunch of other colours as well!) and sparkle, but it still looks fashionable and elegant. Plus, it goes with just about every type of outfit I could possible put together. I've been wearing it a lot lately simply because - it's gorgeous! I was definitely impressed with the quality and the style. 

If you love this watch as much as I do, you can check it out here: Pretty Rhinestone Watch. If anything else on the site strikes your fancy, be sure to use the 10% coupon code below, courtesy of Born Pretty!

One thing is for sure: I absolutely love my new watch. It is so pretty! So, if you haven't taken a look at what Born Pretty has to offer, take a minute to head over to their website.

What do you think of this watch?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

every celebration ends with something sweet.

It's a milestone I've been waiting on for a while - and finally, it's here. Yes, this is my 500th post! It's hard to believe that just a couple of years ago I was sitting down to write my very first post. Now? Well, I've written 500 of them! It's crazy how time flies...and how many things you can write about.

Since I started this blog, I've posted about makeup, fashion, music, books, and anything else that struck my fancy. the creation of beauty is art. has definitely been a labor of love. I am so proud of how it has grown, though. I can only hope that by the time I hit 1000 posts, this little blog has grown even more.

Maybe 500 posts isn't a huge deal to everyone, but it is super exciting to me! I just wanted to take a moment to sit back and celebrate the moment. To 500 posts....

xo Shannon

Sunday, February 23, 2014

real success is being totally indulgent about your own trip.

Any Betsey fans out there? By this point, you probably know that I am a massive Betsey Johnson fanatic. I just love her design aesthetic. It's fun, flirty, and in your face. Plus, none of her pieces take themselves too seriously. I guess I'm a kid at heart...and sometimes, I like my wardrobe to reflect that!

My mom, my sister, and I all have one thing in common: we adore Betsey Johnson. Clothing, jewellery, purses. Well, anything we can get our hands on is fair game. That is why I was so excited to receive the Eau De Parfum by Betsey Johnson gift set for Christmas this year. The set itself came with a 100ML bottle of the perfume and a 200ML body lotion. Love! Ready to take a peek? Here is what the perfume and body lotion look like:

What do I think of this perfume? I am definitely a fan of the scent. It is a light floral scent that is perfect for daytime. When I wear it, I find that it lasts really well (especially if you layer it with the body lotion) but doesn't come off too strong either. There is a really nice balance! I think this has a sweet but flirty kind of appeal, which is something that I really enjoy.

Perfume for me, is all about showcasing your mood. On days that I feel a bit sexy, I might wear Hidden Fantasy by Britney Spears. If I am going out dancing, it's got to be Snooki's signature scent.  So, what occasions do I reach for this fragrance? If I am heading out to a movie, go to the mall, or see friends, I think this perfume is absolutely perfect. It is just such a light, pretty scent.

Something else that I really enjoy about this Betsey Johnson gift set has to be the packaging. The floral print everywhere is super cute. Perfect for springtime, too. And the bottle itself is fantastic. I love the decorative pink flower that sits on the top. That really adds a lot of glamour to my perfume shelf. Though, I confess, it takes up a lot of space....such is life! Overall, this is a fragrance that I am glad to own.

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

xo Shannon

Friday, February 21, 2014

i'm addicted to bronzer, boys, and alcohol.

Review time! I feel like in the last couple of months I have been trying out a ton of new makeup products. (Which, let's be honest, I live for.) So, it only makes sense that I should review some of them! You may have noticed this next product at your local drugstore. Cover Girl has put out a few new things lately, including truMAGIC: The Sunkisser. I actually don't have a ton of stuff from Cover Girl, but this cream bronzer caught my eye.

So, what is it? This balm is essentially a creamy bronzer that can be worn underneath makeup or on top of your foundation. As you can see from the picture below, the packaging is pretty simple. The case is sturdy (which is great for someone like me who drops everything!) and has a little sponge inside. Honestly? Not a fan of the sponge. It gets kind of gunky and it isn't very effective at applying the product. It's not great for precision, either! I would recommend that you use a foundation brush or your fingers, instead.

Now, let's get into the nitty gritty. Is this product a hit or a total dud? Well, it's neither, really. I quite like the product....but I wouldn't say it's the be all end all of cream bronzers. You really can't beat the price, though! If you're looking for something that works well but isn't going to break the bank, The Sunkisser is for you. For a little more pigmentation and staying power, I'd recommend The Multipe Bronzer by NARS instead.

Pros? The colour is really pretty, the texture is silky, and the product blends out really well. It adds a beautiful glow to the skin. It can be used to layer underneath a powder product or just worn alone. Plus, it's easy to toss into your makeup bag.

The cons largely have to do with staying power. This isn't going to last you all day long without touch ups. You really do need to layer it with a powder to make the colour stay. Another downside is that there is only one shade available. The shade works for my skin but if you have medium to dark skin tones, this isn't going to do a lot for you.

So, you know what I think about the product. Ready to see it in action?

Overall, The Sunkisser is a nice product to wear on a comfy date night. It's quick and looks really pretty....but chances are, it's not going to be your new favourite beauty product.

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

xo Shannon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

if you only have one smile in you, give it to the people you love.

Valentine's Day has come and gone...but I thought that I would let you know how mine went! I spent the day at work (boo) and came home to find flowers, cards, candy, and even presents from my parents. My brother and I were definitely spoiled! It was definitely a nice thing to come home to.

After that, I had to do some writing work - and then get things ready for my boyfriends arrival. He worked until 9ish, so I had a bit of time to get dinner prepared. It wasn't easy (I am horrible at cooking!) but I made mini pizzas and oatmeal raisin cookies. In between, I decorated the upstairs with heart shaped cut-outs, fake candles, stuffed things, and movies for the night. In the end, it looked pretty good, I think.

He surprised me with a hand made card and rose along with some candy hearts. Yum! It was really lovely. We ate, watched movies, and cuddled up on the couch. That is my idea of a romantic Valentine's Day! I totally forgot to take pictures throughout most of the day, but here are the ones I did manage to snag:

So, that is how I spent my Valentine's Day this year. It was definitely a nice break from real life!

What did you do for Valentine's Day?

xo Shannon

Monday, February 17, 2014

you're wearing's monday. that's against the rules.

Shut uuuup! Okay, so I started watching The Only Way Is Essex (aka TOWIE) a while back. I finished off the two seasons I had on DVD and got back to my life. Until I bought more seasons. And then finished watching the show online. Honestly, it was like a total addiction. I had episodes on while I was writing, getting ready to go out, before bed...just all the time. I couldn't stop myself! Needless to say, this show has quickly become one of my favourites.

I recently came across some pictures of Lauren Pope from TOWIE wearing the perfect outfit. What makes it so great? Three things: a statement necklace, a Mean Girls quote, and a faux-leather skirt. I was just so inspired by her look! So, I thought that I would do a little inspiration post featuring that very outfit. Let's take a look:

One thing is for sure, Lauren has amazing style. I literally love every single this about this. From her soft curls, smokey eye makeup, bold necklace, stunning Mean Girls inspired sweater, sexy knee-length skirt, chunky bracelet, and a pair of seriously gorgeous white heels. I  mean, could this outfit look any cuter? I just love how it epitomizes fun, flirty fashion.

This outfit is actually from a line Lauren has done with So, if you love the look as much as I do, you can have it! (Not going to lie, that sweatshirt is so heading to my wardrobe ASAP.) There are a bunch of other super cute pieces there that caught my eye. My poor bank account!

What do you think of this outfit? Do you watch TOWIE?

xo Shannon

Thursday, February 13, 2014

love is a symbol of eternity. it wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.

The countdown to Valentine's Day is on! Who doesn't love this holiday? It is full of love and romance....two of my favourite things! Every year, I look forward to it. Not only do I get to indulge in chocolate and chick flicks, but I get to spoil my boyfriend as well. Last year, I made him dinner ( was pizza and cookies. I am no wiz in the kitchen!) and this year I am planning to do the same. Dinner may not be anything super fancy, but I like putting the extra effort in.

Since the big day is tomorrow, I thought I would do a little inspiration post! Here are some of my favourite Valentine's Day inspired photos to get you in the mood.

Just one more day until Valentine's....and I can't wait for it. I'll be sure to update you on my night - and how that home cooked (sort of) dinner turns out!

What are your plans for Valentine's Day this year?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

charm is a glow within a woman that casts a most becoming light on others.

One thing I love? Glowy skin. Thank goodness for highlights and illuminators! On my last shopping trip, I picked up a few new things: accessories and yes, some cheek products to give my skin that glow I've been dreaming of! I already have a few highlighting products in my collection already but these were a little bit different.

Let's start with my mini Top Shop haul. I bought a pair of statement earrings and a ring (on sale...always a plus) and Glow, a cream highlight.

What do I love about the highlight? Well for starters, it's super creamy and it blends really well on the skin. Most importantly, it looks amazing! It adds tons of glow and gives the skin a dewy finish. I've definitely been trying to use this more often.

Other glow boosting products I've been using came from (shockingly) Forever 21. I've never tried any of their makeup before, but I picked these two up on a whim. They are: a Baked Blush and the Face Illuminator.

When it comes to cheek products, I usually find them hard to resist. (Which is how I ended up buying these from Forever 21 the last time I was there!) I had low expectations but was actually pleasantly surprised by these! The baked blush shade is soft and pretty - and has a nice amount of glow to it.

My favourite product, though, has to be the Face Illuminator. It's pretty much a golden-toned highlight. It looks great over a blush shade for an extra pop of colour or used along the cheekbones for some added shine.

As you can tell, I am all about the cheeks! To see the Top Shop Glow in action, check out this recent makeup look. I added a touch of it to the top of my cheeks and loved the result.

Do you love glowy skin? What is your favourite highlighter?

xo Shannon

Sunday, February 9, 2014

i don't have a shopping problem. you all have a problem with my shopping.

Oh shopping...will I ever get enough of it? Doubtful. There is just such a thrill of finding great items that really speak to you. Recently, I added some more pieces into my constantly expanding wardrobe. (Though, to be fair, a lot of these were gifts from my mom...which seriously helped my bank account.) I thought I would take this opportunity to show you a few of the latest things I've added to my closet. Here goes!

The first few items are some flats from Joe Fresh.There is a purple leopard print pair, a denim pair, and some super cute striped yellow shoes. I can't wait for the weather to improve so I can actually wear these!

Next is the Pretty Little Liars 'Hanna' dress that I mentioned in my last face of the day post. It's from Aeropostale and is super cute. What I love the most? It's flattering and the colour is perfect. This definitely feels like something Hanna would wear on the show.

I also picked up this faux-fur bag. I've been eyeing a gorgeous Michael Kors faux-fur bag but simply couldn't justify the price. So, I picked up this knock off instead for $20. It's not quite the same but hey, it works! Given the price, I am actually super impressed with the quality. TGFM (Thank goodness for Marshalls!)

More Joe Fresh stuff, courtesy of my lovely mother. She bought me a couple pairs of bright coloured cords, a sparkly gold belt, and a super cute glittery skull sweater. They are all super cute...and I am definitely spoiled!

I got a great deal on these Paris Hilton woven shoes, thanks to Beyond the Rack. $20 and they are absolutely gorgeous. Like the other shoes I picked up recently, I am waiting for the weather to improve so I can actually wear them out. Until then, it looks like I'm stuck with my boots....

Lastly, I found this adorable crystal lipstick that I couldn't resist. It is the perfect way to decorate my makeup area, for sure. Too cute, right?

So, those are the most recent things in my life. I've been doing my best to be careful with money, so everything I buy tends to be reasonably priced or an absolute essential. Progress is progress, I suppose!

Have you done any shopping lately?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

smokey eyeshadow: a step-by-step guide

One thing I get requests for? To do an eyeshadow tutorial. Makeup is my biggest passion and I am totally obsessed with a good smokey eye. (As you can probably tell from any of the makeup looks I post on this blog!) In fact, I wear one just about every single day. As much as I try to mix things up every now and then, smokey eye makeup is my go-to.

Since some of you requested a tutorial, I thought that I would do just that! Here is a step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect smokey eye.

1) Grab Your Tools

First thing is first - it's time to grab everything you need. That means an eyeshadow primer or base, eyeliner, mascara, and at least three eyeshadows. (Four is preferable but three will do just fine!) Things to keep in mind? Liquid eyeliner is great for a sharp and dramatic line. A kohl or gloss eyeliner is ideal if you want a look that is super smudgy and messy. When it comes to your eyeshadow shades, you'll need: one light shade, one medium shade, and one darker shade.

2) Put Down Your Base

The next step for a smokey eye? It's time to create a base. You can do this with an eyeshadow primer (the Too Faced Shadow Insurance is great, as is any of the primers from Urban Decay!) or a cream shadow, like the Maybelline Colour Tattoo, which is what I've used in the picture above. The key is to create a surface that your eyeshadows will stick to. It helps the colours look more vibrant and prevents creasing.

3) Apply Your Eyeshadow Shades

Now it's time to grab that shadow! For this look, I used a champagne shade from the Too Faced The Return of Sexy palette. All you have to do is use a fluffy brush to apply the colour all over the lid.
Then it's time to move onto your medium shade. Sticking with this quad, I used that grey colour and packed it on, starting from the center of the lid to the outer corner. When you do this, make sure you're blending the two colours together so it looks as natural as possible. 

Ready for a little extra drama? Grab a crease brush and use a dark shade, like black, deep brown, or maroon. The possibilities are endless! All you have to do is make sure this is the darkest shade you're using for the look. Put a little on your brush and apply it to the outer corner of your eye. Then blend it through the crease. You can build the colour up as much as you like to make the look super simple or super smokey. It is totally up to you. 

Take a medium brown shade on a large fluffy brush and blend out the shadow. You can also add a matte white shade underneath your brow bone and in the inner corner of your eye. Finish off the eyeshadow look by running the deepest shade along your lower lash line.

When the eyeshadow is finished, it should look something like this:

4) Add The Liner and Mascara

It's time to finish off the look! You can complete this smokey eye with some eyeliner and mascara. The type of eyeliner you use is totally up to you. As for myself, I love a good liquid liner with a bit of a cat-eye shape. It's a little bit bold but still totally sexy. For the mascara, make those lashes big and bold! My favourite mascara is the Benefit They're Real! but anything will do. Use two coats for the most impact or even add on some fake lashes if you'd prefer.

The rest of your makeup is totally up to you. A few tips? Make sure you have a good under eye concealer to offset the darkness of the eyes. Also, bronzed cheeks and a nude lip will really make those eyes pop!

5) The End Result....

After all is said and done, your smokey eyeshadow look should be dramatic and beautiful. Ready to see how mine turned out?

There you have it! That is my step-by-step smokey eyeshadow tutorial. Hopefully it can help some of you achieve your own smokey makeup look. If you happen to put this tutorial to use, be sure to post pictures or send me the link. I'd love to see how it turned out!

Do you love smokey eye makeup? What do you think of this tutorial?

xo Shannon

Monday, February 3, 2014

jewelry takes people's minds off your wrinkles.

In a recent post, I mentioned that my boyfriend and I were celebrating our two year anniversary. It was absolutely wonderful. He picked me up and surprised me with pink roses and a heart shaped box of chocolate. Then, we did some shopping where I bought his gift (had to make sure it fit right!)...and then he took me to Pandora. Over the Christmas holidays, he gave me a Christmas charm bracelet that I fell in love with. He thought a charm bracelet I could wear for the rest of the year would be perfect. It was such a sweet idea!

I ended up choosing a Pandora bangle with a heart shaped charm. Technically, it's out for Valentine's Day but hey, it was perfect for our anniversary! What I really loved? The fact that the heard splits in two. One one side it says: me, and on the other side it says: you. Absolutely perfect!

After shopping, we went to dinner and then went on to see American Hustle. (The costumes, the makeup...ahh! Loved it.) It was a definitely wonderful night from start to finish. I feel so lucky to be with him every single day and our anniversary was no different.

What do you think of this bracelet? Do you own anything from Pandora?

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 1, 2014

do you realize if it weren't for edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?

Okay, I admit it....I am a TV junkie. I watch a lot of shows either while I work or as a way to unwind after a long day. One of those shows? Steven and Chris. If you don't know this one (it only airs in Canada!) it is a talk show focused on home decor, fashion, and self-improvement. Recently, I got my mom and I tickets to one of the tapings in Toronto.

We have gone a couple of times in the past and it is always lots of fun! The tapings are early in the morning but they are super high energy, which is always a good thing. This particular episode was about finding the perfect denim, restaurant decor, and workout gadgets. It was definitely a good time.  In between segments, there were games and prizes, too.

The most exciting part of the whole thing? Finally finally getting to meet Steven and Chris themselves! After the show, they were nice enough to stick around and take pictures with people in the audience. I was thrilled. Every time my mom and I have gone to the taping, they always seem to be running behind and can't get to everyone. Not this time. They were super sweet and okay, I maybe shamelessly hit on Chris. (I couldn't help it....he's too gorgeous!) Our picture turned out really cute and my mom and I both left the studio feeling happy and excited.

Here is my picture with the amazing Steven and Chris:

As we we leaving the studio, we were given some parting gifts: Nicole by OPI Oil to Go for cuticles along with three OPI top coats. Definitely a nice surprise! While I was there, I also picked up this super cute Steven and Chris glass water bottle. It almost seems too nice to use at a water bottle, so I'm going to fill it up with some glass beads and put it on my shelf. Instant decor! Take a peek at my gift bag and water bottle:

Overall, it was a really fun day. After we left, I took my mom to lunch and we did a little shopping downtown. It was definitely a great way to spend some time together!

Have you ever gone to a TV taping? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon