Tuesday, September 30, 2014

new in: altuzarra for target

I have gone to more than my fair share of designer launches for Target. In the past couple of years, I have waited in line (in the freezing cold!), dealt with crowds, and raided through racks upon racks of these affordable versions of high-end designer duds. Typically, it is insanity. Girls pushing, shoving, desperately trying to get their hands on the perfect pieces. Recently, Target launched another designer line from Altuzarra. Unfortunately, I was away at a cottage with my fiance and his family for the weekend and missed out on the pandemonium. (More on that in my next post!)

The good news? My mom was out there braving the crowds for the both of us. I came home to find three tops, a sweater, one belt, and a killer pair of boots waiting for me. Thanks, mom! She filled me in on all of the insanity - and told me how quickly the floral dress was snapped up from the racks. Honestly? Part of me is relieved that I missed out on the craziness of the whole thing....and part of me is super sad that I missed it! Ah well. At least I have some gorgeous new clothes to help me get through the coming fall months.

Want to take a look at the pieces that have made their way into my wardrobe? Here are the Altuzarra for Target items I received:

The first piece is a gorgeous black sweater. It features gold embroidery along the shoulders that is both elegant and daring. It is an easy way to look glam this season! What I love most? The sweater is super warm and comfortable. The material is thick but doesn't feel scratchy on the skin. This is going to be an essential item for the fall and winter season, I think!
Next up was a beautiful belt. It is black with beautiful details throughout. It has a gold clasp and is perfect to layer over a long top or a simple dress. I love how chunky yet feminine it is. Another fall must have!
Now for the tops....the first one here is a beautiful floral blouse. The print is absolutely stunning! This piece is ultra chic and easy to wear. I love the details of the large collar and the soft shades. It is wearable, versatile, and chic.
This next top really showcased the python print Altuzarra had going on in this collection. This t-shirt is simple but the print speaks for itself. It gives it a bold and beautiful flair! I love how soft the material is and how easy this is to wear with a pair of jeans.
My favourite top of the three has to be this long sleeved python print top. The rust colour? Stunning! Plus, I don't have a ton of long sleeved items in my wardrobe. So this one is both fashionable and functional. But my favourite aspect has to be the combination of the print and colour. I just love it.
Last up are the killer high heeled boots. Talk about bold and dramatic! They make a total statement. I was actually surprised when I put them on how comfortable they are. I could wear these for hours and not curse them for hurting my feet. Now that is rare! I think these boots will be something I reach for this season. I love the dramatic effect - oh and the comfort doesn't hurt either.
Out of all the designer lines for Target, this one has been a favourite. Even though I wasn't there to pick pieces out in person, I am very happy with everything that was chosen for me! I love the prints, details, and beautiful fall inspired looks.

Did you buy anything from the Altuzarra for Target line? What do you think of these pieces?

xo Shannon

Sunday, September 28, 2014

thank you for fifty second chances.

Certain artists matter. Beyond Billboard chart sales or MTV appearances....some musicians do so much more than sell albums. Scott MacIntyre is a prime example. If you have been reading my blog for an extended period of time, you are probably well aware of my love and admiration for Scott. Since his time as a finalist on American Idol, he has performed countless concerts around the world, has released incredible new music, and even wrote a book about his life. (To find out more about his inspirational story, you can check out my interview or read his book, By Faith, Not By Sight.)

The latest accomplishment on his extensive list? Lighthouse, Scott's brand new album. Funded with help from his successful Kickstarter project, let me say: the album was certainly worth the wait. In case you haven't heard the CD yet - or just want to know how it is - keep reading. This is my review of Lighthouse....

I checked the mailbox twice a day for weeks. Part of the reward for pledging on Kickstarter was an advanced copy of the album. Once I saw tweets coming in from fans around the globe, I started to get antsy. When would it get here? How much longer could I wait? Finally, it arrived. I hurriedly removed the album from the packaging and held Lighthouse in my hands. That moment was perfect. After all of the waiting, the sneak peeks, and anticipation....it was here.

The rest of my afternoon was spent ignoring work and listening to the album over and over again. Same with the days that followed. My connection to the album was instant. From the opening notes of the title track, Lighthouse to the emotionally triggered I Am Hope, there wasn't a moment from start to finish that didn't feel special. The lyrics were open, honest, and inspirational. The songs were catchy and melodic. And the album filled me with me with joy. Even among his previous bodies of work, Lighthouse is a true masterpiece.

There are many stand out tracks. Some of my favourites? The up-beat and ego-boosting song Remarkable ("more than a mirror can say, perfectly, wonderfully made..."), the flawless Sacred Space ("I wanna love and let go of my fears, I wanna be the answer to somebody's prayers....) and the inspirational Fifty Second Chances ("though I don't yet have a martyr's faith, I'm willing to try...").

There is also Hallelujah Song featuring season eight Idol vet Danny Gokey and With This Ring featuring Idol's Skylar Laine. Perhaps the most meaningful song to me personally is With This Ring. Why? Not only is it beautiful - but my fiance and I are set to get married next summer. The moment those final notes faded out, I had this moment. I saw us dancing to it at our wedding. Whether this will be our first dance song or not...I don't know. But I am  certainly working on it. I can't imagine anything more perfect.

Whether you love catchy pop songs, piano driven music, inspirational tracks or just great craftmanship....you can find that and more on Scott MacIntyre's latest album.

For music that means something. For songs that stick in your head and stay in your heart. Lighthouse is an album you won't soon forget. You can buy it on iTunes, visit Scott's website, or listen to a live performance of I Am Hope.

xo Shannon

Friday, September 26, 2014

life is the flower for which love is the honey.

There are some things I love....like celebrity fragrances and the Kardashians. Put those two together and I am a total fangirl come to life. Perhaps this is why I own every single fragrance from Kim Kardashian - and even the Khloe and Lamar scent! During my trip to Las Vegas, I came across a perfume that was sadly missing from my collection. It was Pure Honey by Kim Kardashian. Even though I got a good deal on it, this perfume was a little steep. It cost $70US for a 100ML bottle.

Despite the price tag, I was quite happy to bring this fragrance home with me. Why? In the past, I have really enjoyed the other scents in Kim's perfume line. (My all-time favourite has to be Gold by Kim Kardashian. It smells amazing!) So...where to begin? Let's start with the packaging. This perfume really took the honey idea to heart. It features a little bumblebee decoration on the bottle - which was super cute. The box itself also has a honeycomb print. The attention to detail was really refreshing! As for the bottle itself, it has a unique shape that is perfect to display on your vanity.

Here is a closer look at the Pure Honey by Kim Kardashian bottle:

Cute, right? Now onto the scent itself. This one was very different from Kim's other fragrances. She normally sticks to more girly and floral scents - but this one is very sweet. It has that same feminine touch....but it feels very separate to the rest of her perfume line. Pure Honey definitely smells like honey with a rose kind of undertone. It is a unique scent that doesn't smell like anything else I have in my collection. The end result is a warm and inviting scent. It is perfect for a day out or a cozy night in. I think this perfume lends itself well to the spring and summer months in particular - but it might be a good way to bring a little warmth into fall and winter as well! 

Overall, I quite like this. It may not be my favourite scent from Kim, but it smells wonderful and can add tons of femininity to any outfit. Plus, a spray or two is more than enough to last you all day long. The scent isn't overly strong but it has an impact. I have been reaching for this one a lot lately....even though fall is officially here. I guess that is a good sign! 

Have you tried Pure Honey by Kim Kardashian? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

let the blue sky meet the blue sea.

Review time! I picked up this single eyeshadow from Hard Candy a long while back....but never got around to reviewing it - or really even using it a whole lot. It was one of those impulse buys. The price was quite cheap ($3 CDN) and the marbled pattern intrigued me. I noticed it hanging around my "To Review" box and thought....oh yeah! I still need to review that! (The life of a beauty blogger, am I right?)

This shadow is from Hard Candy's Single And Loving It Collection. There are a few other shades but this one was a little bit bolder than the rest. This colour is World Peace. As you can see from the picture above, it is a marbled shadow that has a light blue, navy blue, and green all mixed into the same shadow. Now the website claims that these colours can be used separately or all together....but let me tell you - using them separately is rather difficult. You need a small brush, a lot of precision, and some patience. It can be done. But it is certainly not simple to do so.

As you may know from previous reviews I have done about this brand, their products are either hidden gems or total misses. This one fell in the middle somewhere. While the colours were quite nice, the product was difficult to use and had a fair amount of fall out. That made application more challenging than I would like. I realize that the price was quite low for this - but irregardless - I expect more.

Despite anything this eyeshadow may be lacking, I did manage to create a pretty nice look with it. The colours are bold but not too over the top. It added a nice pop of colour to my makeup look, for sure. Take a look and let me know what you think:

Hard Candy is one of my favourite drugstore brands - but I don't know that I am totally loving this eyeshadow.. It is simply too difficult to make the most of the different marbled colours. While the end result was quite nice - I am more likely to grab other shadows from my collection. 

Have you tried any of the Single And Loving It shadows? What did you think?

xo Shannon

Monday, September 22, 2014

review: dior trafalgar eyeshadow palette

I am on a budget. Thankfully, that hasn't stopped me from scoring some new makeup. I was recently gifted this stunning new eyeshadow palette from Dior. Talk about a good gift! I absolutely love their shadows because of their silky and luxurious texture. However, they are typically out of my price range. (Similar palettes to this one are usually about $60. Eesh!) When I was walking through a department store, I came across Trafalger. I was so struck by this one shade that I couldn't stop raving about it! Later that day, I was shocked, stunned, and extremely happy to have been given that very same palette.

Want to see the colours that I fell in love with? Here is a look at the Dior Trafalgar palette and some swatches of the shadows:

See that center shade there? That was the selling point. I fell in love with that gorgeous red colour. It wasn't a bright scary red....it had this richness that I just adored. After testing out the palette, I can honestly say that colour lived up to my expectations and then some. The pigmentation is beautiful, there is no fall out, and the texture is classic Dior. I absolutely love the bold look I can create using that shade. It is such a stunner! I have found myself reaching for this palette an awful lot lately. 

As for the other shades? The deep purple is quite pretty and the olive green is a soft shade that is the perfect contrast for that incredible red. I am definitely a fan of those three colours in the palette. Unfortunately, those lighter shades along the top aren't remarkable. They have a nice shimmer to them - but they don't actually give off much colour. Plus, they are a little too similar to one another. That was a disappointment for me to be honest. I expected more! However, the three other colours more than make up for the lackluster ones.

This is a look at the palette in action!

Overall, I was quite happy with this palette. That centre shade was an absolute knock out. I love wearing it in new ways and seeing how I can incorporate such a bold colour into my makeup looks. There is truly nothing better than receiving the gift of makeup!

Have you tried this palette from Dior? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Thursday, September 18, 2014

life is too short to wear boring jewellery.

Are any of you addicted to jewellery? Most of the time, I don't think I am....but then I stop and realize just how many accessories I have kicking around! Most of it is inexpensive but cute. I like stores like Forever 21, H&M, Clarie's, Ardene's and stuff like that. It's almost nice to have cheaper pieces because it gives you a little more variety. That way, whatever outfit I put together, I have options!

When I went to Las Vegas, I did a fair bit of shopping. Along the way, I managed to pick up a few notable accessories as well. In fact, I didn't even notice how many new accessories I was bringing home with me until I started to pack them all up! At least I love them, right? To end my Las Vegas haul, I thought I would show you the accessories that have been added to my collection.

To start with, I managed to score seriously amazing deals on a couple of Betsey Johnson bags. One is a messenger bag with skulls all over it (amazing) and the other is a makeup bag with kittens. They were simply too adorable to pass up. 

Does anyone else love Hot Topic as much as I do? I confess: I have a weakness for novelty items. So, Hot Topic has always been a place where I could drop a lot of cash if I am not careful. When we stopped by the store in Vegas, I was good! However, when I saw this Mean Girls necklace and The Little Mermaid necklace....I had to. 

This next batch is from Charlotte Russe. We don't have this store in Canada, but I wish we did! They had a lot of cute clothes and accessories for great prices. Score!

Last up? A few pieces that I can't quite remember their origins. (A sign of too much shopping perhaps?) At any rate, I love them! The spiked pair of hoop earrings are a serious favourite. They are very heavy - and very sharp - but they look fantastic. Then there is the edgy statement necklace. Definitely a piece to be noticed....

So, those were the accessories that I picked up during my trip to Vegas. And there ends my Las Vegas haul....finally! I am definitely cut off from shopping for quite some time. I am ready to be responsible with my money. Or at least try to be. 

Which piece is your favourite? When is the last time you bought new accessories?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

review: adam levine eau de parfum

Oh celebrity fragrances. I must have a million of them by now....yet I never seem to say 'no' when another one comes into my life. Case in point? The Adam Levine Eau de Parfum: For Her. In my defense, this happened to be on sale for $9, so really, who could resist that? I am a fan of Maroon 5 and of The Voice - but I didn't really plan on picking up this fragrance. Yet it made its way into my life. Go figure!

So, what is it like? To start with let's talk about the bottle and the packaging. I love this aspect of the scent. It was clear that a lot of thought went into the packaging. It has a picture of Adam on the front, a cardboard cover with removable cap, and then there is the bottle itself. The top part is metal mesh that is made to look like a microphone. How cute is that? Then the rest of the bottle is simple and sleek. I like that the packaging actually related to Adam and what he does for a living.

The scent itself? It's...okay. Nothing special to be honest! It has a light feminine quality to it with a hint of floral undertones. Good for day time wear but it isn't something I would necessarily grab on a regular basis. I think it is better for spring and summertime. Say you are planning to sit out on a patio or go on a picnic lunch. Perfect for those simple days when you want a perfume that won't be too overpowering or distracting.

While the scent may not be remarkable, the bottle is! I love the way it looks displayed in my perfume collection. And for $9, I don't feel like I lost out by buying it. Would I recommend this perfume? Probably not if you saw it for full price. If you can manage to score a good deal on it....this may be something to consider.

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

xo Shannon

Sunday, September 14, 2014

money can't buy happiness. that's what shopping is for.

Okay....I'm cut off from shopping. For real this time! My trip to Vegas was a last hurrah of sorts. Since the trip was planned long before my boyfriend proposed, it was all bets off when it came to shopping. I gave myself a budget before I left - and I stuck to it - but that doesn't mean I didn't do a bit of damage while I was away. I couldn't help myself! There was merchandise, discount stores, and more. Ahhh....Vegas.

So, what did I buy? A lot. Okay, an awful lot. This post is going to be part one of my Las Vegas haul. (The second part will be dedicated to the accessories I brought home with me!) Are you ready? Here goes nothing!

First off? This cut off sweater from The Pussycat Dolls store. It is super cute! I have already worn it with a pair of heart printed skinny jeans. I just love it for a casual but flirty outfit.

This next couple of items came from Ross For Less. Now, we don't have this store where I live - but I wish we did. I couldn't get over how crazy low the prices were. I fell in love with so many amazing pieces. So, of course they had to come home with me! They are: a lace Paris shirt, a LOVE tank with a hoodie, and a white blouse/lace skirt dress. 

If you happened to read my Britney related post a few days ago, you will remember that I mentioned my Britney Spears Store haul. Here is a closer look at the leggings, tank, and t-shirt.

Then there was Macys. Oh, Macys....how I love thee. In addition to a pair of shoes to go with my wedding dress (not pictured), I also bought a Calvin Klein button down shirt and a nautical themed dress.

.....the longer this post gets, the more I realize just how much I bought. I'm amazed that my suitcase was able to close! Anyway - continuing on. I also bought a few novelty Vegas tanks and tees. I love them! They are a fun reminder of the trip.

Next up is a bunch of music merchandise. That includes: Olivia Newton John, Donny and Marie, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain. 

Last up? My Kardashian clothes from Sears. We don't have these at home, so I was super excited about it. I ended up buying a few t-shirts, a tank top, sweatpants, a sweater, and a neon pink dress. Love them so much!

Okay, maybe I bought a little too much. But it was my last hurrah! So, I think it is perfectly acceptable. Now to curb my shopping habit so I can save for a wedding, place to live.....sigh. Back to reality indeed!

When is the last time you went shopping? What did you buy?

xo Shannon

Friday, September 12, 2014

how you see yourself is how others will see you too.

If there are two things I love, they are: makeup and music. That is why I always get super excited when I come across makeup from Fergie's Wet n' Wild collection. I love her music and her style. Plus, I adore Wet n' Wild makeup. So, it's a win-win. We sometimes get a bit of her collection here in Canada, but not a whole lot. During my trip to Las Vegas, we stopped off at a Walgreens for a few random items. That is when I came across a bunch of Fergie makeup. How exciting! Our of everything, I chose Desert Festival from the Center Stage Collection.

What drew me to this particular palette? That red and orange shade! I don't have a lot of colours like that in my current makeup collection. I loved that they were such bold colours. They just made me super excited. In fact, I got so excited about this palette, that I started using it during my trip. Here is a closer look at the palette, along with some swatches:

So, what did I think of this palette? It is true love! In general, I adore the texture and pigmentation of Wet n' Wild eyeshadow shades. This one was no different. I was very pleased with the silky shadows and the colour payoff. Most of the shades are just beautiful. The only dud for me was that light brown shade. It doesn't work well as a highlight and it doesn't have enough colour to do much of anything. The other shades though? Gorgeous! My favourites are the red shade, that shimmery orange, and the brown colour in the middle. Fantastic colour payoff - and they create a gorgeous eye look.

This is the look that I created with this palette during my Vegas trip:

New makeup is always exciting.....and this eyeshadow palette from Fergie was no exception. I absolutely loved the colour selection, the pigmentation, and the texture. I only wish that I had a few more of these palettes to play around with!

What do you think of this makeup look? Do you have anything from Fergie's Center Stage Collection?

xo Shannon

Monday, September 8, 2014

it's britney bitch.

Are you ready for the second part of my Vegas post? This is all about the Britney Spears concert. That was by far the highlight of my trip - so I thought it deserved its own post. The concert was one of the main reasons my mom and I decided to go to Las Vegas this summer. I was absolutely desperate to see her Piece of Me tour at Planet Hollywood. Honestly? I am so glad we took this trip, because the concert was absolutely fantastic. It was one of the very best concerts I have ever been to.

The moment we walked into Planet Hollywood, the energy was crazy. Britney fans absolutely everywhere! At the bar inside the hotel, there were dancers dressed up like Britney from the ....Baby One More Time video. Every single person inside the venue was a mega fan. People were posing with Britney's costumes that were everywhere (amazing! It was so cool to see those in person), buying drinks in souvenir cups, talking, and getting excited. Every part of the evening felt special.

So, let's start with what I wore. I actually had this whole outfit planned out - but then I put it on and it didn't feel right. I actually ended up wearing something else I had thrown into my suitcase at the last minute. It was a dress from Materials Girls that had a metallic top, sequined belt, and a patterned bottom. I wore my hair in a half up half down style and created a blue and orange makeup look from the Urban Decay Electric Palette. This was my Britney Spears look:

While I was there, I took full advantage of the Britney Spears store. I spent way too much money there! However, I love everything that I bought. I chose a pair of Britney leggings (I love, love, love them), a Britney bracelet, a Britney tank top, and a Britney Bitch t-shirt. All of the merchandise was pretty expensive but it was all really beautiful. I also bought the Britney Souvenir cup. I couldn't resist. It was Britney overload! This is a little peek at my Britney Spears merchandise......

Now for the show itself! Britney was amazing. Her dancing was flawless, the set list was incredible, and it was a high-energy show from start to finish. There were costume changes, dancers, a giant angel costume, a tree, set pieces, fire, confetti, lights.....anything and everything you could possibly imagine. It was a real performance. Both my mom and I had an absolutely blast. Britney was in top form. I saw her several years back and she was great then - but this was even better. Her dancing? I was so so impressed. She really is the queen of pop music. I am so thankful that I was able to attend the show. It was one of the highlights of my summer.

These are a few of my favourite pictures from the a seriously amazing concert:

Are you a fan of Britney Spears? What is the last concert you went to?

xo Shannon