Monday, March 31, 2014

new makeup: wet n wild and milani

Editing Note: Since Milani chose to contribute to a campaign that involved the harassment and bullying of a domestic violence survivor, I no longer support the brand and do not recommend their products. Spend your money wisely and look elsewhere. 

There are certain drugstore brands that I love. Two of them are Wet n' Wild and Milani. I am consistently impressed with the quality of their products. So, when I came across some new items at my local store, I bought these on impulse. What are they? Two eyeshadow trios: Silent Treatment and I'm Getting Sunburned by Wet n' Wild and one baked blush: Bella Rosa by Milani.

My makeup collection already has a fair amount of Wet n' Wild shadows. I always love the pigmentation and the quality. They are very inexpensive but are comparable to higher end eyeshadows. I am such a fan. That is why I simply had to grab Silent Treatment and I'm Getting Sunburned. Let's take a closer look at these eyeshadow palettes - and how they swatch!

As you can see, these two palettes are pretty different. One is all about bold neutrals while the other is super summery. What was it about these trios that made me just have to own them? Well, Silent Treatment stood out to me because the three shades are ones that I could see myself wearing on a day to day basis. Say, for example, I am running late for work in the morning and need something quick. This is the perfect palette! I love the Taupe eyeshadow shade and was also really impressed with the pigmentation on the darkest colour as well. It's a smokey eye set in 1-2-3.

The I'm Getting Sunburned trio was very different. It includes a shimmery pink, a very dark shimmery brown, and a gold colour. Every single shade is well pigmented - and I really love this combination of colours. The pink shade is a great way to change up this golden smokey eye and add a hint of colour. It is such a gorgeous set. Out of the two, this is the one I was most hesitant about...but it actually ended up being my favourite. I can see myself wearing this a lot during the summer months!

Now to take a peek at the Milani baked blush in Bella Rosa:

As you can probably see from the picture above, this blush is bold! I am a self-confessed blush addict, so whenever I see a shade that is unlike anything else I have....well, I just lunge for it. That is exactly what happened with Bella Rosa. It's definitely a rosy berry shade that is quite dramatic. Since it is so pigmented, a little goes a long way. When I use this, I apply it to the apples of my cheeks and then blend it all out with my foundation brush. I've found myself reaching for this blush a lot lately. It's just gorgeous!

To finish off this post, here is a makeup look that I created using my new Wet n' Wild trio, I'm Getting Sunburned and the Milani baked blush, Bella Rosa. Let me know what you think of these products in action!

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of the colours?

xo Shannon

Saturday, March 29, 2014

those who hate shopping don't know how to shop.

This whole not shopping thing is pretty easy...until I find myself at a mall, that is. Then, it seems impossible not to fall in love. I tried to be pretty good about what I was buying - and even managed to snag some seriously fantastic deals.

What did I end up buying? A pair of beaded cowboy boots (60% off sale...score!), a black and white striped purse (just $20 after cashing in my loyalty points), a pair of Betsey Johnson earrings (on sale for $20), the new Lea Michelle CD, and a few things from Sephora (Josie Maran Argan oil for the face, the new NARS lipstick shade, and the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Perfume in White). You can take a closer look at my mini-haul below....

Have you done any shopping lately? What did you end up buying?

xo Shannon

Thursday, March 27, 2014

i dont like plain nails. i get sad.

I don't paint my nails a lot. This is because my work only allows professionally applied gel nails. So, whenever I need a bit of colour, I just head on over to my favourite salon and choose from their (slightly limited) colour selection. But - since I had a few days off from work recently, I decided to pick up a new nail polish shade and have some fun.

At first, I was searching for a soft baby pink...but then I came across this shade called Melon from Joe Fresh. It was such a great price (about $4) that I couldn't resist. As for the shade, it is a gorgeous melon colour...but it's pretty bright, too. Definitely fun for spring. Even if Spring has been slow to arrive. For this nail look, I decided to kick things up a notch by adding on a bit of silver glitter polish to the pinkies. I'm not super skilled with nail art, but I love the little pop of glitter.

Overall, I was super happy with how my nails turned out. I really wish I could paint my nails more often! So, here it is. The finished look:

Do you paint your nails often? What do you think about this colour?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.

Who can resist super affordable makeup palettes? Not me! I don't know what it's like I just have to take them home with me. Tons of new shadows, blushes, and lip products to play with. It's all just too exciting! Okay, so I don't expect to find the best products ever inside these plastic cases. But there is something undeniably thrilling about trying out colours that are a little bit different.

Around the holidays, I picked up a $10 palette from Joe Fresh. I actually already have a bunch of Joe products in my makeup collection, so I immediately gravitated towards this little set. Here's the thing about Joe Fresh makeup: some of their products are amazing and some are just so-so. It's time to find out how this palette stacks up. Let's start by taking a peek inside that (kind of flimsy) packaging:

As you can see from the picture above, this set comes with: 12 eyeshadows, 6 lip glosses, 2 blush shades, a mini mascara, 1 cream highlight, and some mini brushes. There is definitely plenty to work with here - and for such an affordable price, it was definitely worth the gamble.

After playing around with this set for a little while, there are some things that I like and some things that I'm not a huge fan of. To start with, here is a closer look at the mascara and the blush swatches. (I didn't bother to swatch the lip glosses because frankly, they all looked very similar. Sad!)

This set came with a mini-mascara and some of those little brushes. The brushes itself are a nice addition, but quite frankly, I will never use them. Good if you're taking this away with you but not something to use on a regular basis. As for the mascara itself? It's very basic and doesn't do much for your lashes. I wouldn't recommend it! Before you throw your hands up thinking this section is a total waste of time, it's not. The blush shades were actually quite lovely. They are nicely pigmented and the shades are absolutely gorgeous. I am a little obsessed with the deeper shade. It's got a berry undertone that looks really beautiful on the skin.

Now, moving onto the eyeshadow shades. There are 12 in total and they range from light shimmery shades to shimmery bronze colours. Keep in mind: there are no matte shades, so if that's what you're after, skip this set.

The verdict on the eyeshadows? Some are fantastic - super pigmented, no fall out, and have a great texture. Others have less colour than I'd like and are flaky. I found the light shimmery shades and deep bronzey shades to be gorgeous. The bolder colours (like the purples, blues, and greens) were a bit of a let down, unfortunately! There is definitely a great range of shades here, but a little more consistency would have benefited this palette for sure.

Pros? Some eyeshadow shades are absolutely gorgeous and the blush shades are beautiful as well. Cons? The 'extras' don't add much to this set, the glosses are nothing special, and the packaging is cheap and flimsy. There are clearly some good and not so good things about this Joe Fresh it's time to check out the makeup look I created using it.

Overall, this is a nice little palette to play around with. It's not going to be something I reach for every day, but there are some seriously gorgeous shades included here. It just goes to show - cheap little palettes can sometimes pay off big time!

Have you tried the makeup from Joe Fresh? What do you think of this palette?

xo Shannon

Sunday, March 23, 2014

stain-off: benefit vs the balm

Not all stains are created equally. Yes, the reality is that some are better than others. In general, I love the idea of cheek and lip stains. Why? It's always nice to have makeup that has a little staying power! When you've got a long day ahead of you, the last thing you want to is worry about touching up your face.

Over the last little while, I've tried out a couple of new cheek and lip stains. One is bene-tint by Benefit and the other is stainiac by The Balm. I already own a ton of products from Benefit and they have quickly become one of my favourite makeup brands. On the other hand, I've heard amazing things about The Balm - but their products aren't easily found in my country. So, this was my first time trying anything from them.

Since these two products are pretty similar, I thought it was time to do a stain-off. Which product will be victorious? Let's find out!

As you can see, both of these products have similar claims. It's all about subtle colour that lasts all day and all night. However, The Balm also claims to dry slower, giving you time to work with the product before it sets - super handy! While both stains are similar in terms of texture and staying power, there are a few key differences: the colour and the application. In terms of colour, The Balm is more of a ruby shade while Benefit offers a soft, feminine pink. As for the application, it's a sponge tip for The Balm and a brush for Benefit.

Here is a swatch to compare the two shades side by side:

And the winner is.........The Balm's stainiac! As much as I adore Benefit (and the brush applicator), this lip and cheek stain just came out on top. The colour was a little bolder, richer, easier to work with, and had just as much staying power. Plus, it a lot more affordable. Now, let's see this bad boy in action. Here is my most recent makeup look using stainiac:

Have you tried either of these stains? Which do you prefer?

xo Shannon

Friday, March 21, 2014

follow your inner moonlight, don't hide the madness.

“You don’t need so much makeup.”

I was at the train station buying my ticket. After a stressful morning of writing, editing, and worrying about time, I was finally heading downtown to meet my friends. We had already bought our passes to see the Veronica Mars movie…and I was downright giddy. Even though I hadn’t had a ton of time to get ready, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself by the time I got to that ticket counter. Why? I had my Veronica Mars t-shirt on, my hair was perfectly straight, and my makeup was on point.

Then he said it.

I was waiting for the middle-aged male in front of me to pass me my train ticket. Then he paused, pulled his head back, cocked it to the side, and said: “You don’t need so much makeup.” Stunned, I grabbed my ticket and walked off. It wasn’t until I reached the platform that my blood began to boil. How dare he?

Here’s the thing about makeup: it’s expression, it’s experimentation, it’s fun. It is also none of his business how much I do or do not put on my own skin. What bothered me the most? His comment was completely unwarranted. At no point did I ask for his opinion. The fact that a stranger felt it was okay to say something about my appearance...I was downright offended.

I'll be honest: even when I think about it now, I get angry. But here's the thing...I’m not putting on my mascara to impress a stranger. I’m not rocking a berry coloured blush to get people to like me. The makeup I wear is for me and me alone.

Given my own experience, I want to make this a discussion post. So, I have a couple of questions for you:

Has anyone ever said something like this to you? What was your response? And more importantly – why do you choose to wear makeup? How does it make you feel?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

st patrick's day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.

Well, St. Patrick's Day has come and gone again. Alas! But it has left us with fond memories of green accessories and a bit too much alcohol. This year, I did my best to celebrate the holiday in style. I put on the green t-shirt my boyfriend bought me, a beaded green necklace my friend gave me a few years back, and added on a pair of green sunglasses for good measure. Even my eyeshadow was green! I definitely enjoyed getting dressed up.

Since the holiday fell on Monday this year, my boyfriend and I (like so many others) opted to celebrate on Saturday instead...aka St. Practice Day. The plan was originally to head to a bar but we ended up staying in instead, watching episodes of Bar Rescue, and mixing drinks. Okay, well my boyfriend mixed the drinks...I just drank them! It was a fun night, for sure.

So, without further ado, here are some of the pictures from the celebrations!

As you can see, there was an awful lot of booze...and an awful lot of green, too! We definitely did our best to make the celebrations fun. 

How did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year?

xo Shannon

Monday, March 17, 2014

may the luck of the Irish enfold you. may the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

I love holidays. A lot. They give you something to look forward to - and make everything seem better! That is enough of a reason to be excited about St. Patrick's Day. But there's another reason I love this holiday so much. I officially met my boyfriend on this day three years ago. Since then, everything has changed for the better.

So for me, St. Patrick's Day isn't just a time to celebrate my Irish heritage. It is also a day to remember the day that my boyfriend and I officially met....which always makes me smile a lot. Even though it falls on Monday this year, I definitely plan to enjoy the festivities. My boyfriend ordered us green St. Patty's Day t-shirts and a pair of green sunglasses for myself. It was just so thoughtful and sweet - and has made me even more excited to celebrate!

My next post will fill you in on how it all goes. Until then, here is a little St. Patrick's Day inspiration to help you celebrate right.

Here is hoping that you all have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day! Be sure to wear tons of green, grab a drink (or two!) and spend it with people that you care about.

How are you planning to celebrating St. Patrick's Day?

xo Shannon

Thursday, March 13, 2014

i think women should empower each other, not tear each other down.

I hate silence while I'm working. Whether I'm writing articles, blogging, or doing research, I like to have a little background noise. Sometimes, that background noise is an iTunes playlist....other times, it's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Yes, I am in the midst of another reality TV obsession! It's nice to have something to peak my interest - or something to reward myself with once I reach a certain word count.

Now that I am all caught up with The Only Way Is Essex, I am all about the housewives. (Though I fear I may be all caught up with this one pretty soon, too!) In case you don't watch the show, it is all about money, luxury, and cat fights. What could be better? Along with that over the top lifestyle comes tons of stunning homes, jewellery, and clothing. So, I thought I would showcase some of my favourite fashion and makeup moments from the show. Here goes!

"The bigger the purse, the smaller the butt...the higher the heel, the closer to God."

So, those are some of my favourite Housewives beauty moments. If you couldn't tell from the pictures above, my favourite cast member is definitely Kyle. I love her style and her personality. She is pretty much awesome in my books! As for everyone else, there are some I like more than others - in terms of their fashion and their portrayal on the show....but that's the fun of reality TV.

Do you watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? What do you think of their over the top style?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

you're the one. the one i've been looking for.

If you're anything like me, Disney movies are a pretty big deal. In fact, anything Disney is a pretty big deal....especially makeup. It's nice when two things you love come together. A little while back, Sephora released their Little Mermaid inspired line. It included nail polish, lip products, perfume, and yes, even eyeshadow. I received the Ariel Storylook Eyeshadow Palette a little while back and I've been trying to use it as much as possible.

At first, I was a little hesitant. The colours were so bright and bold. When it comes to my day-to-day eyeshadow shades, I am all about creating drama with neutrals. So, these colours were a little out of my comfort zone. Blues, greens, pinks....oh my! Even though these colours are different than what I normally wear, I've been having a lot of fun experimenting with them. I guess it's nice to get out of your makeup rut every now and again.

Are you ready to take a look at the Ariel palette and find out my thoughts? Here is a closer look at the shades included in this 20-shadow set.

As you can see from the pictures above, this set has a lot of different shades to choose from. They definitely stick with the under water theme! Lots of blues, greens, and pinks to create the perfect look. There are also a lot of different finishes to choose from: a few matte, some shimmery ones, and some with flecks of glitter. That means whatever type of look you're going for, you can make it happen. I definitely enjoyed the variety available.

I also really loved the theme of the palette. From the super cute packaging to the adorable eyeshadow names (Your Voice, Scuttle, and so on. Super cute!) they really made the set feel special.

What I didn't love so much? The colour pay off. Some shades were more pigmented than others, which led to a few disappointing swatches. (For instance, there was this gorgeous looking turquoise shade included that just didn't give the look I hoped for. Such a shame!) Let's take a look at the swatches:

As you can see from the swatches, the colours aren't very intense - which can be a good thing if you're not a huge colour fan, like me. Otherwise, you may wind up feeling disappointed with it. While the packaging is adorable - and it's great to add to your collection - I wouldn't say that this palette is the be-all-end-all.

I also own the Cinderella palette from the Princess line, and was far more impressed with that one than the Ariel one. That's not to say it isn't good. It is! It's just not the best ever. So, you may want to keep that in mind before you pick this one up.

Here is a picture of the Ariel Storylook Eyeshadow Palette in action:

Do you own this palette? What do you think of the eyeshadow shades?

xo Shannon