Thursday, August 28, 2014

nourishing yourself is attainable. and you are worth the effort.

So, I'm back. At the moment, I am slowly trying to catch up on things and get back into my regular routine. That is proving difficult because the week following my vacation has been equally action packed. The day after I got back, I went to a concert with my fiance - and later this week there is another concert happening. How am I supposed to keep up? I suppose these are good problems to have: too busy having fun to relax!

Speaking of relaxation....I am doing my best to make time for myself. (Yes, despite my hectic schedule.) A little while back, I picked up these face and under eye masks. They are supposed to brighten and tighten the skin and make it look younger. Sounds good to me! They cost $5 for a pack of four masks, so I thought, what the heck. They come in these individually wrapped packages, which you can see below.

What did I like about the masks? They are super quick and easy to use. They come wrapped. That makes it simple to just remove them from the package and apply them to your face. I definitely prefer this type of mask to a full blown scrub or cream. They can be so messy! These were neat, smelled nice, and got the job done. It was just a good way to spend a little time on myself.

The directions recommend using these 2 to 3 times a week. Realistically, I probably won't be all that diligent. (If past experience is anything to go by!) But my goal is to try and do a full face mask once a week and use the Naked Eye mask once a week. Between the two, my skin should be looking great in no time...right? Well, a girl can dream! Here is a closer look at the masks:

Those face masks turned out to be exactly what I needed. Being honest, they were pretty average. I don't know that my skin looked any younger after using them - but they definitely helped with my dull complexion. What I really loved? Taking just fifteen minutes to look after myself. It helped me de-stress and unwind for a little bit. And that is priceless.

When is the last time you pampered yourself?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

there's no place like home.

I'm back! It feels like ages since I last posted on here - and it's only been a week or so. My trip to Vegas was absolutely wonderful.....I just can't believe it ended so fast. There was so much planning, prepping, and packing. Once we actually got there, it seemed like the days zoomed past me. They were jam packed with walking, sightseeing, shopping, and concert seeing. It was fantastic.

The downside to travelling? I missed my fiance the entire time I was gone. That was definitely tough. We are used to talking every single day. So, it was strange to have limited contact. I was not a fan. But on the plus side, it was nice to have someone to come home to.

Now I am trying to get caught up on everything. Friends, family, work.....yikes! It's amazing how much can happen in a week. I hope that you have all been doing well and staying busy. I hope to take a peek at your blogs in the coming days!

What have you been up to lately?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

what happens in vegas.....

I'm heading to Las Vegas! In fact, by the time you are all reading this, I will be on my way to enjoy the sunshine. My mom and I have been planning this trip for a while now. Months and months ago, she surprised me with Celine Dion tickets. Cue shock! (Unfortunately for us....Celine Dion just cancelled all of her shows. So, that is a major disappointment.) From there, we started to plan the rest of our vacation. That includes checking out the Britney Spears concert. I can't wait! The rest of our days will likely be spent sight seeing and shopping - two of my favourite things.

As excited as I am to get away from it all, the days leading up to my trip have been stressful. I've been madly trying to get articles written, do laundry, pack, see's enough to do my head in. I am definitely looking forward to letting loose and seeing some amazing performers.

So, this post is just to let you know that things may be a little quiet on my end for the next week or so. I will be off working on my tan! Once I return, it will be business as usual. You can expect a recap of my trip, hauls, and concert photos. But - you will all need to fill me in on the things I miss on while I'm away.

I hope you all have an amazing week!

xo Shannon

Monday, August 18, 2014

there’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy and a book.

What is it about Hard Candy? I swear, every time I try to stop myself from buying more of their makeup, I wind up with another product to review. Oops! I think it has to do with the affordable prices....but also because they add new things to their collection all the time. As someone who likes to try out tons of different products, that is always nice.

That is how I wound up with another Hard Candy product. This one is the All Glossed Up Lip Crayon. I am always on the lookout for lip products that are easy to wear. I hoped that this would be one of them! The product claimed to be a highly pigmented stain balm that gave your lips tons of gloss and shine. Was it? Well....sort of.

The colour I chose was a deep pink. It ended up looking quite nice. Strong but not too bold. Definitely an easy shade to wear on a night out or if you're heading to dinner. What I like? The colour was nice and had decent pigmentation. I also like the twist up crayon. It reminds me of the Revlon Lip Crayons in that regard.

What I didn't like? The product has this plastic kind of smell to it. Very disappointing! I haven't been wearing it all that often simply because I can't stand the scent. That was such a let down. It is important to note that the colour itself comes off nicely and there is a bit of a stain going on....but the full colour doesn't last. As it looks in the picture below? Maybe for an hour or two. The gloss lasts for a half hour or so and then it disappears.

Take a look at the All Glossed Up Lip Crayon in action:

It wasn't a total flop or anything like that. For me, this was a so-so product. It gave off a nice colour but between the scent and the staying power....I wouldn't exactly run out and add more colours to my makeup collection. In fact, I wouldn't even recommend this lip crayon to anyone that reads this blog. I'm curious - if you've tried it: what were your impressions?

Do you like this lip crayon shade? What do you think of the product?

xo Shannon

Thursday, August 14, 2014

song obsession: all about that bass

Have you ever just heard a song and thought - I love this? That happened to me recently. The song? Meghan Trainor's, "All About That Bass." I randomly saw the video posted somewhere and decided to watch it. I'm so glad that I did. The song has this amazing retro flair, a bold hook, and lyrics you can't overlook. One thing I really love? The song manages to take issues related to body image and turn it into a total toe tapper. It is fun, flirty, and empowering.

The music video is just as amazing. The colours are bright and girly, the style is cute and 60s inspired, and the dancing is flawless. All of the amazing visuals added to the fun and flirty vibe of the song. Honestly? The video inspired me so much that I've watched it dozens of times by now! I definitely want to re-create one of her looks! I love the pastel shades, the layering, and of courses, the stunning makeup.

Before I post some of my favourite outfits from the music video, I should probably post the video itself! Take a listen if you haven't already.

Now for the fun stuff! There were a lot of really beautiful outfits from the music video. These are a couple of my favourites......

As you can see from the look above, she is sporting pink and purple pastels with white and turquoise accents. I love the layering of the cardigan and skirt, those cute earrings, and yes - the floral crown. There is something about the floral crown that just makes me giddy. It is so cute, fresh, and fun. I love that this video is all about embracing femininity.

Annnnd  my second favourite look? Thee blue layered dress. I love the idea of throwing a blouse underneath a dress. It created such a cute contrast! Plus, that headscarf is super cute. I just adore the retro feel of this outfit in particular. Meghan (and all of the other girls in the video) look so fresh and cute. I cannot stress enough how obsessed I am with all of it.

So, that is my song obsession of the moment. I can't stop listening to it! The song itself is inspiring, it makes me laugh, and the music video makes me want to totally re-work my wardrobe. I've only heard one song by Meghan Trainor, but I would definitely call myself a fan.

What do you think of this song? Do you love the outfits from the music video?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

i am realistic....i expect miracles.

Sometimes, products sound too good to be true. It's too good to be true! was actually my first thought when I saw Sally Hansen's latest line of nail polish. Could there really be a gel nail polish without the UV light? No way. Despite my reservations, I decided to take the plunge and pick up the combo pack in Pretty Piggy. The Miracle Gel polishes come with Step 1 (the nail polish colours itself) and Step 2 (a gel finish top coat).

So, what are the claims? According to Sally Hansen, the Miracle Gel line is "the only true 2-step gel manicure with no light needed." They say that the colour is supposed to last for up to two weeks and is easy to remove. Is it actually true? Shockingly enough.....yes. Before I get into my review, here is a look at the way the colour turned out. Pretty Piggy is a bright pink shade that is super fun for summer. I love love love it!

Now for my experience with the polishes! To complete step 1, you apply two coats of the coloured polish. Let that dry completely and then top it all off with the clear step 2 polish. Essentially, this is like doing your nails on a normal day. Just swap out the top coat for the gel coating. I found the application process to be simple, straightforward, and easy to do. The drying time was average....but once you put on the gel coating, it only took a few minutes.

The end result actually looked like I just stepped out of the nail salon. In fact, people kept on asking me where I got my nails done! I love that. The biggest thing for me is the longevity and durability. I work with my hands a lot and tend to smudge or chip my polish when I wear it. This? Didn't budge. I've been wearing it for more than a week and it still looks like I stepped out of the salon. The shine hasn't faded, there are no dents or's amazing. Now, I don't know if my nails will make it to that two week mark. But hey - it's definitely heading in that direction.

Needless to say, I am very impressed with this gel polish. It may have been too good to be true - but it actually delivered the promised results. Go figure! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who needs their polish to look great and last.

Have you tried the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel? What do you think of this colour?

xo Shannon

Sunday, August 10, 2014

what the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.

It officially started. Yes, my mom, sister, and I have been out wedding dress shopping. I feel like I am supposed to invite all of these other people....but honestly? I didn't want to be the center of attention. I didn't want ooh-ing, aww-ing, or critiquing. It's weird, because I've watched Say Yes To The Dress a million times by now and I always dreamed of that perfect moment. What I really want, though? To find a dress that I love. I don't need to be told I'm beautiful or hear other people's opinions. I want that moment to be mine.

So, it has been an interesting experience thus far. Definitely a little nerve wracking. But I have been focused on my mission. I just wanted to find a dress I love. Nothing more and nothing less. Since I've been out and about with my mom and sister so much lately, I thought I would do a mini outfit recap. Here are some of the outfits I have worn out dress shopping. Let me know which one you like best!

Dress Shopping Attempt #1: 

For the first excursion, I chose a dress that was simple and easy to wear but still had a pop of colour and pattern. This is a dress that has been floating around my closet for years....but I can't seem to get rid of it. I just love it! I kept the hair simple (getting in and out of dresses is not easy on the hair. Simple is better) and a pair of flats.

Dress Shopping Attempt #2:

For the next dress shopping outing, I chose a long floral print maxi dress. It's strapless and has pretty purple flowers all over. I again went with a simple pair of flats (easy to get in and out of), a soft wavy ponytail, my pearl earrings and a smokey brown eye look.

Dress Shopping Attempt #3:

I had an outfit ready to go for the third dress shopping excursion (this one was going to take place at Kleinfeld's in Toronto) ...but I ended up not needing it. I bought my dress at store number two! It was the first one I tired on that day and I just knew the moment I stepped into it. The dress is perfect. I guess I had my bridal moment!

So, those were the outfits I wore out dress shopping. Which is your favourite look? What have you been wearing lately?

xo Shannon

Friday, August 8, 2014

together we stand, divided we fall.

Have you heard the news? Pretty Little Liar's Ashley Benson is the new face of H&M's Divided line. (In case you missed the announcement, be sure to check out my post for Style It Rock It on her celebrity endorsement!) Okay, so I don't always run off and buy pieces simply because a celebrity puts their name - and face - to it. But my gosh, how cute are the designs? I love the LA meets Paris flair, the edgy details, and the flirtatious feel. I admit it: I ran to H&M to take a look at the collection for myself. And yes, I ended up buying a few of the pieces.

My mom and I ended up going to the mall the other weekend. Just to take a look around! I am massively cutting back on my spending, so everything I bought was either on sale or something I desperately wanted. It's a start, right? On that is my haul, featuring pieces from  H&M's Divided collection. Take a look!

Let's start with the non H&M pieces. I picked up a cute pair of orange floral wedges (only $25. Score!) for my upcoming trip and a cropped sweater for $10 at one of my favourite stores. The deals were too good....I couldn't resist. Plus, I can see myself wearing them often, which I think is important.

Now for the fun stuff....the line that Ashley Benson has been promoting for H&M. I really loved the designs. They were so fun and easy to wear. I wound up with a boho inspired skirt, a mint green skirt, two casual novelty tees (one inspired by Mean Girls. Amazing!), and the super cute sweatshirt that Ashley is wearing in that first picture. Out of everything, I think the mint skirt and the You Can Sit With Us tee are my favourites. I wore them the other day and felt super confident. Take a look!

I am totally loving the latest additions to my wardrobe. Now, to stop shopping so much. I definitely need to make the most of what I've got - and stop spending so much of my money on the things I fall in love sigh. Sigh!

What do you think of these pieces? Have you bought anything from the H&M line?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

review: pixi mesmerizing mineral palette

There are brands I've heard a lot about - but haven't managed to try out for myself. Pixi was one of those brands....until now, that is. For years, I have heard beauty bloggers and makeup lovers rave about Pixi. Despite this, I had never gotten my hands on any of their products. When I came across the Mesmerizing Mineral Palette, I just had to have it. The colours spoke to me!

The palette I chose was the Copper Peach palette. It came with six shades, including a soft white, shimmery champagne colour, a light brown, sand shade, copper, and a bronzey colour. It also came with a sponge tip applicator. Honestly, the latter is a total waste as far as I'm concerned. I always wind up throwing them away. What I loved about this palette? The shades had a nice variety but they all work together. Let's take a closer look at the shades and swatches:

What are my initial thoughts? As I mentioned, I was immediately struck by the gorgeous shades and beautiful colour variety. So, the first thing I did was swatch! The texture of the eyeshadows was silky and smooth. It felt very luxurious. As for the shadows themselves? It was a hit or miss. The lightest shade was so fair it barely showed up at all. That was a letdown. The matte brown shade was another miss. While it looks quite dark in the pan, the colour payoff is quite weak. It turned out to be more of a light brown rather than a deeper shade.

Despite those disappointing shades, the rest? Gorgeous. Particularly the bottom two shades. The peachy and coppery shades were the standouts here, without a doubt. The pigmentation on those two specifically were fantastic, the texture was wonderful, and there was no fallout. Yes, those shades alone made the $12 CDN palette totally worth it. I absolutely love them.

This is a peek at the makeup look I created using the Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Copper Peach. Let me know what you think!

This may have been my first time trying out products from Pixi, but I hope it won't be the last. Despite a few lackluster colours, I was very impressed with the quality and diverse range of products. This was a serious win for me!

Have you tried anything from Pixi? What do you think of the makeup?

xo Shannon

Monday, August 4, 2014

cupcakes make everything better.

I love a good bargain. I also love nice little distractions from the day to day responsibilities I've got going on. Things lately have been well, a little hectic. I am currently juggling work and Momzilla. Yes, my mom has gone into full fledged wedding planning mode. Every day, I am bombarded with ideas for venues, wedding favours, apartments in the area.....anything and everything you could possibly imagine.

Here's the thing: I love that she is helping. It means so much to me that I have her support and guidance during this huge transitional period in my life. But - there is so much for me to think about. Planning the wedding, figuring out living arrangements, thinking about packing up my room, going to try on dresses. It's enough to make my head explode! I think that's why I have been a little slow to start. There are so many changes happening and I am just trying to keep my head above water.

Don't get me wrong. I am so excited. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend (now fiance!). It's just all of the planning and responsibilities and changes that are making life a little more complicated. That is exactly why today's post is dedicated to something I love.

Cupcake earrings!

As you can probably guess from the picture above, I recently added a pair of super cute cupcake earrings to my jewellery box. They were on sale for $1....who could resist? What I love about them? They are fun, silly, and perfectly cute. I like that they remind me of Katy Perry or something designed by Betsey Johnson. These earrings just make me smile. That's why I've been wearing them so often lately. When in doubt....wear cupcakes!

So, these earrings are making me smile lately. They remind me to calm down - and not take everything so seriously. Things will get done. Plans will be made. I just need to take a deep breath, relax, and throw on my cupcake earrings.

What do you think of these earrings? Do you have a favourite pair?

xo Shannon

Saturday, August 2, 2014

haul: avon products

Before I get to today's post: can you believe it's August already? Where has the summer gone? I feel like time is zooming by - and I still have so much left to see and do! Here is hoping I can manage to cross a few more things off of my summer wishlist before September hits. I guess I'll have to re-arrange my schedule and start making some plans. How has your summer been going? Have you managed to get everything done that you wanted to?

Now for a little Avon haul and review. I don't normally buy a ton of products from Avon - but every so often my mom will add on a few things that I want to try out. That is how I ended up with some skin products and a couple of mascaras. They are: the Skin So Soft Satin Glow Body Scrub, the Body Brush, and two of the Super Shock Brights Mascaras.

Let's start by talking about the skincare products: the body scrub and the body brush. During the summer months, I am all about adding a little glow to my skin. This year, I have been using the Jergens Natural Glow Gradual Moisturizer (I love this so much, I can't even deal with it) and the L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze (adds tons of colour but is trickier to get streak-free). To get a natural looking tan, exfoliating is an absolute must. Previously, I was using a milder exfoliating product from Hard Candy but decided to give this one a try. It did a fantastic job! It's not too aggressive on my skin but still leaves it feeling soft and ready to tan. The body brush was also great for getting my skin prepped and ready to go. I was totally impressed with both products. They are a win!

Now for the other two Avon products that I tried out: the mascaras. These are the Super Shock Brights and I got the colours Emerald Shock and Violet Shock. I have never had coloured mascaras before - so I was eager to see how they would look....and figure out how I would wear them.

As you can see from the pictures above, these colours are bright - but not totally unwearable. The violet shade is a little bit darker as is the emerald shade. I personally like that because you can add a little colour into your look without it appearing too out there or over the top. It's great for a subtle pop. The formula for the mascaras is a little wet so you definitely need to be careful when you are letting it dry. (I totally ruined my eyeshadow the first time I attempted to use these. Oops!) These mascaras are fun and I've really enjoyed putting them to the test! How often I'll wear them? Who knows! I am going to do my best to make sure they don't just sit in a drawer, though.

This is the makeup look I created using these mascaras. I chose to wear the emerald shade on the upper lashes and sport the purple mascara on the lower lashes. I really loved how it turned out. Out of the two, I think the purple is my favourite....what do you think?

So, those are my thoughts on the latest products I tried from Avon. I was very impressed with all of them!

Have you tried any of these products? Would you wear a coloured mascara?

xo Shannon