Thursday, October 30, 2014

if you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

I like date nights. Now, I admit, they don't happen as often as they used to. My fiance and I make time to see each other as much as our schedules will allow....but that usually means a night curled up on the couch. With major expenses on the horizon (like a wedding and finding a place to live) - those nights at the movies or eating a nice meal out? They are a little more scarce. For the most part, I am okay with this. It just makes it even more exciting when we actually do get the chance to go out! 

Recently, we went to dinner and a movie. So, I decided to put on a super cute and girly outfit for the occasion. It featured purple lipstick, an oversize heart print button down, a glitter headband, and a pair of skinny jeans. Perfect for a causal date night. The shirt was a gift from my parents (they picked it up on a recent trip to London) and the glitter headband was something I have had kicking around for a while but never actually bothered to wear. As for the makeup, it was a simple eye look using shades from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, lots of black liner, and the Bite Lip Crayon in Grape. 

So, without further ado...this is my casual date night outfit and makeup! 

I am very happy with how this look turned out. It was simple, easy, but still had lots of girly elements to it. Personally, I absolutely love the heart print shirt. It is roomy but very easy to wear. This was just one of those nights that I really enjoyed the process of getting ready. With such a hectic schedule most of the time, this was a nice change. It meant that I actually got to have a little fun, play around with different makeup ideas, and see where my inspiration took me. Speaking of makeup ideas....this is a closer look at the makeup I ended up wearing for my date night:

I think there is something special about going on a date. The excitement as you rummage through your closet, the butterflies in your stomach, and going home at the end of the night with a smile on your face. Even though my fiance and I have been together for over two and a half years, I still feel that way when we have those evenings out. I love it!

So, that was my casual date night look. What do you like to wear out?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

these times when we climb so fast to fall again....why we gotta fall for it now?

Every now and again, I have a fragrance obsession. I will fall so completely and madly in love with a perfume or body spray that I wear it literally all the time. I'm talking - to work, on a date, and even when I'm sitting around at home. At the moment, I am currently in the midst of yet another one of my fragrance obsessions. It is Ambition by Jordin Sparks

This is one of those perfumes I picked up on a whim, simply because I enjoyed her last perfume and well, the price was right. I couldn't be happier with my decision. It was love at first smell! Before I get into the scent itself, let's talk about the obvious: the packaging. I am one of pretty bottles that look nice on my shelf. This is certainly one of them. The bottle itself is sleek and simple - but the cap gives off a strong yet feminine vibe. The white material along the cap is a textured faux-leather. I love the power it gives the look of the bottle. 

As the name of the perfume suggests, this is a fragrance that is all about strength and confidence. The scent is bold, spirited, and feminine. It blends sweet undertones with a muskier smell. The combination is flawless. This is the kind of perfume you spray on before a job interview or when you are feeling particularly confident. (Unless you are like me, in which case you will spray it on for any old occasion!) It embodies determination and inner power. I just love everything about it. 

Sometimes, it is worth taking a gamble on a new fragrance....because you never know. You just might end up falling head over heels! Needless to say, I am a big fan of Ambition by Jordin Sparks. It is unlike many of the other perfumes in my collection - and it makes me feel like the best version of myself. 

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

xo Shannon

Sunday, October 26, 2014

some of the sweetest berries grow among the sharpest thorns.

Does anyone else get excited about fall makeup? You know, the rich colours, the smokey eye looks, and the glamorous finished product? Out of all the seasons, fall makeup trends continue to be my favourite. There is just something about the drama! This is probably why I have been reaching for one particular lipstick. Over and over again. A lot. The recent favourite is Iced Amethyst from Revlon. In the past, I have had good success with Revlon products in general - but especially their lip products. They manage to feel creamy and rich but still have the intense pigmentation I love.

This shade is from the Revlon Super Lustrous line and is absolutely perfect for fall. I don't tend to wear it a whole lot outside of this season - but that doesn't mean I don't absolutely love it. It just perfectly pulls together those darker eye looks paired with berry blush. Iced Amethyst is a berry tone that borders on a deep purple. It is wearable but bold, which I love.

Something that really stands out to me about this lipstick? How naturally it wears off. The colour lasts for a few hours without re-touching. That is pretty standard. But some lipsticks tend to fade unnaturally or leave harsh lines around your lips. This doesn't do that. It fades away really naturally until the colour looks more like a stain. hat means even if you don't have a chance to nip off to the powder room, your lipstick will still look good!

I guess it goes without saying that I am a fan. In general, my go-to favourite fall lipstick colours are Iced Amethyst, Berry Rich (also from Revlon), and Brick from Joe Fresh. Despite the higher end products I have in my makeup collection, there is something about these drugstore shades and textures that just stand out from the rest. Here is a peek at my much-loved Iced Amethyst: 

Yes, I love this lipstick shade. It just makes me feel good when I put it on! And I think at the end of the day....that is what makeup is meant to do. It's not just products we put on our face. It should give you that boost of confidence and that spring in your step. 

What do you think of this lipstick shade? Do you have go-to fall products?

xo Shannon

Friday, October 24, 2014

birthdays are good for you.

Some people dread their birthdays. Some people don't care about them all that much. As for me? I love birthdays. I love to celebrate my own birthday - and I love to celebrate other people's birthdays. There is just something excited about reflecting on the year that has passed. It is a chance to stop, appreciate life, and think back on how much has changed. This year....I am doing just that.

Today is my birthday. I have taken the day off of work so that I can sleep in, have an at-home spa day, read a book, and spend some time with my family. On the agenda for tonight? Dinner with parents, siblings, and finance. It is not my year to pick where we go for dinner (I am a twin so tonight we are celebrating my birthday and my brother's birthday!) - so I am not totally sure where we will end up. Hopefully the food will be good. After that, cake and presents at home and maybe a TV show or movie to end the night off right.

As for tomorrow, that is when the real fun starts. My friend and I are going to the city to celebrate properly. Think: Spice Girls theme, a gay bar, and plenty of adventures. I am definitely looking forward to that. I will be sure to update you all on how that goes, what I end up wearing to the club, and anything interesting that happens!

So....needless to say, I am very excited that it is my birthday. I can't wait to relax, have a little me time, and see some of my favourite people. After all - that is what birthdays are all about! Whether today is your birthday or not, I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

xo Shannon

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

blushing is the colour of virtue.

Few things in life can compete with a good blush. As a self-confessed makeup addict, there are certain things that make my heart beat a little faster. Those things tend to be eye shadow and blush. There is something about the range of colours, finishes, and pigmentation that gets me positively giddy. A little while back, I popped into Top Shop at Hudson's Bay. While I was there, I managed to snag a super cute distressed moto-skirt (on sale and in my size. Score!) and a blush. I can't say that I own a ton of Top Shop makeup - but what I do have I am quite happy with. This blush was no exception. Ready to take a peek inside and read my review? Here goes....this is Do It Again

As you can see from the picture above, this particular blush has a really pretty peach tone. In my (admittedly extensive) collection of blushes, I actually only have a couple that have that peachy sort of look. Perhaps that this why this called to me in the store! It wasn't very expensive - and well - I just had to have it. Story of my life! The colour itself is very pretty. This pink-peach colour is very wearable but still adds a little pop to the cheeks.

What I really like? It has a subtle shimmer to it which adds a lovely glow to the cheeks. It is like a blush and highlight all rolled into one! That makes this the perfect grab n' go blush for the days that you are in a rush and don't have a ton of time on your hands. Lately I have been using this a lot on date nights. I adore the boldness of the shade - and the fact that it isn't too over the top. It is the perfect balance of colour pigmentation and wearability. I was also very happy with the texture of the product. It is very smooth and easy to blend. (Another reason it is so great for the days when I happen to be running behind.....)

Lately I have been very into fall inspired makeup. You know, dark smokey eye makeup and berry coloured lips. I've found this peach blush to be the perfect addition to these fall looks. Even though peach is often associated with the spring and summer, I find that the colour helps to balance out the darkness of those typically 'fall' makeup looks. You can see Do It Again in action in my latest FOTD below:

Spring, summer, winter, or fall.....blush is always on the menu. If you are a blush lover, then I would definitely recommend giving this blush from Top Shop a try. The packaging is sleek, simple, and cute, the colour is beautiful, and the texture is divine.

What do you think of this blush shade? Have you tried any makeup from Top Shop before?

xo Shannon

Saturday, October 18, 2014

if at first you don't succeed....apply more lipstick!

Know when you fall in love with a lipstick shade? I mean, you see it and you have to have it? That happened to me. I have been doing very well trying not to shop too much or buy things I don't need....and then this lipstick came into my life. I was literally walking past the Michael Kors makeup counter, not intending to buy anything. And there is was: Dame. It was love at first sight. Suddenly, I didn't care what it cost. I knew that it had to be mine.

What was it about the shade? It was the perfect combination of a deep berry shade and a rich purple. It is the perfect colour for a sultry fall look. It was also different from any other colour I have in my lipstick collection thus far. (And I have a lot of lipstick. Oops!) Needless to say, there was just something about Dame.

Are you ready to see this stunning shade up close? This is Dame by Michael Kors: the packaging and a swatch of the lipstick:

Let's start with the packaging. Like all Michael Kors makeup products, it comes with sleek and simple gold packaging. It has an elegant and luxurious feel to it. Love! Now for the product itself. If you couldn't tell by now....I love the colour. But what I love most? It is super buildable. One layer of the lipstick creates a pretty stain - but two or three layers creates a bold and pigmented colour. This is such a versatile product. There are so many ways to wear it - but no matter what, the colour always looks stunning. Also, the texture is creamy and the lipstick isn't drying on the lips, which is a major plus.

I have reached for this colour a lot lately. Every time I put together a fall inspired look, it is the icing to the cake. I love to wear it with a sweater and some dark smokey eye makeup. It creates a dramatic but sultry makeup look - and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Shockingly enough, this product was actually fairly reasonable in price. For a full sized lipstick, it cost $26CDN. Not too shabby!

So, it is time to see this shade in action. This is my makeup look featuring Dame by Michael Kors:

There is nothing I love more than a makeup product that makes me feel passionate, inspired, and excited. Dame does just that. It is a definitely fall favourite!

Do you own any makeup from Michael Kors? What do you think of this shade?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

spotlight: sweet mam'selle

Certain things excite me. Lately, what has been exciting me? Candles and scented wax. I find it relaxing and soothing to do something simple like light a candle in my room or use my wax warmer to melt. It helps put me at ease while I am working - and makes those at-home spa days feel a little more luxurious. Suddenly, my room smells amazing and I feel a little better about my day!

I suppose it should come as no surprise that I have fallen in love with candles and scented wax. Pretty smells just have a way of making me happy. That is probably why I have a massive perfume collection, scented air freshners, scented soaps, and little wax collection.

Recently, I was lucky enough to try out some incredible scented wax tarts from Sweet Mam 'selle. Based in Germany, each batch is created and poured with love. The scents are amazing - and the tarts are ridiculously cute. Other wax melts that I have are basic squares. Nothing special. Not the wax tarts from Sweet Mam 'selle! As you can see from the picture above, each and every tart is just as beautiful to look at as it is to smell. There are so many fabulous details included, like the use of colour, glitter, and the addition of small little gems. I love it! These tarts are definitely a must have for the beauty lover who loves everything in their life to look fabulous.

The scented waxes I received? Juniper Breeze (the white square wax pictured above), Apple Mango Tango (the yellow heart), Cascada (the blue heart), and Pink Fruity Sands (the pink flower shaped wax). Each one had a totally unique scent - different than anything else I have used in the past. I was so impressed with the beautiful smells. They were noticeable but not overpowering. It was the perfect balance! Let's start with Juniper Breeze. This is a very light, fresh fragrance. It has a wonderful floral scent but it manages to add in a light and fresh smell. This is one of my favourites from the group! It is the perfect wax for a Sunday afternoon when the sun is shining through your windows.

Now for Cascada. This was the first of the scented wax that I melted....and I couldn't have been happier with it! The scent is very girly. It is the kind of smell that you can paint your toe nails to, watch a chick flick, or read a magazine. I just love how light yet bold the smell is. (Plus, the glitter left behind in my wax warmer fills my heart with glee!) Apple Mango Tango may have the same shape and design as Cascada, but their scents? Worlds apart. As the name suggests, it has a very fruity smell. I just love the apple undertones. It is absolutely perfect for the fall season. Just thinking about the smell right now is making me excited.

Last but certainly not least is my personal favourite....Pink Fruity Sands. Not only is the design itself super cute (I love the pink colour and the little jewel on top!) but it smells incredible. Without exaggeration, I can honestly say that this is my favourite scented wax ever. It smells super fruity and feminine. It is the kind of smell that you could never grow tired of. I feel like certain scents just call to certain people - and this one has definitely called to me. It is phenomenal. I love it more than I could possibly begin to describe.

If you couldn't tell from this post, I was very happy to receive these scented wax tarts from Sweet Mam 'selle. Adorable designs and incredible smells. What more could you need? I am proud to call myself a fan of these wonderful scented wax creations. I wanted to give a big thank you to Silke at Sweet Mam 'selle for giving me the opportunity to try them out for myself.

Want to snag some scented wax tarts for yourself? Then head over to Sweet Mam 'selle to find out more. You can check out the website, Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram.I promise you won't regret it!

Do you love to melt scented wax? What kind of smells do you love?

xo Shannon

Sunday, October 12, 2014

thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.

I always love this time of year. My fiance's birthday is coming up, my own birthday is just around the corner, and Thanksgiving is here. Yes, Thanksgiving comes to Canada tomorrow. The day will be full of family, friends, and a special meal. Even though I don't partake in the turkey eating tradition....I am very excited about stuffing and mashed potatoes. Yum!

Something else I am excited about? Taking a moment to really stop and be thankful. A lot of the time, I am so busy trying to get through my to-do lists or I am worrying about this and that.....and I just lose track of all of the amazing, wonderful things about my life. From my loving family to my incredible finance and my super supportive friends - I have so many things to be thankful for. With so many big changes coming up in the next several months, it is more important than ever that I take the time to be thankful.

I want to appreciate the amazing parts of my life. I want to hold onto special memories. I want to remember to be thankful and sincere in every aspect of my life.

So, this Thanksgiving, I aim to pause, reflect, and be grateful. To all of the Canadians reading this blog, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. And to anyone else reading? I challenge you to take a minute to be thankful for everything in your life that makes you happy. There is no better time to do it!

How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year?

xo Shannon

Friday, October 10, 2014

a smile is the best makeup a girl can wear.

Know what I love? When you get ready for an afternoon with friends and your makeup turns out just right. That happened to me a little while ago. I was getting ready for a barbecue and decided to use one of my favourite makeup palettes from Kat Von D. I was super happy with how it came together! Simple but dramatic - my favourite type of makeup look.

Lately, I have been super inspired by red eyeshadow shades with deep brown colours. Thankfully, the Kat Von D palette has this amazing red colour. It is super bold and pigmented - and the perfect jumping off spot for my makeup look of the day! I applied the red shade all over my eyelid and blended a medium brown shade through the crease. Some winged liquid liner (from Blinc), plenty of mascara (Benefit's They're Real!), a peachy blush (Almay in Peach), and a caramel coloured lipstick (from Maybelline) finished off the look.

Are you ready for this makeup look of the day? Let me know what you think!

There is something special about the days when your makeup turns out exactly how you want it. It becomes this beautiful combination of passion and art. That is what I love the most....those little moments of creativity. So, there you have it! My latest makeup look of the day.

What do you think of this makeup look? When is the last time your makeup turned out just right?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

you are my lighthouse, lighthouse, lighthouse.

The waiting felt endless. My leg bobbed up and down anxiously as the minutes ticked by. Opening acts finished short sets to mixed reactions. Men and women buzzed in conversation. I shared small smiles with my fiance as I willed time to go by a little bit faster. And then finally, finally, the lights dimmed. He was here...

Scott MacIntyre took the stage. The former American Idol contestant sat down at the piano to rounds of applause. Meanwhile, a bubble of nervous energy rose inside of me. It had been more than two years since I last had last seen him - and even then, it hadn't been a full concert. This would be my first time seeing him perform a concert made up of his own material. The excitement that surged through my body was indescribable.

The evening began with Mandolin Rain. It was the song that won him a place in the American Idol Top 13 all of those years ago. What followed was a string of songs from his latest album Lighthouse (you can read my review of the album here), a couple of covers, and an unreleased track. It was a thrilling and emotional evening. As the spotlight shone around him, his fingers gliding over the piano keys, I felt lucky to be there. I felt joy in that moment.

What stood out to me that night? When Scott sang the title track Lighthouse, my favourite song, With This Ring, and of course, the unreleased track. Throughout the evening, his vocals were better than spot on, truly showcasing the power of his voice and his extensive range. Even as a fan, I was impressed. As the final notes of I Am Hope rang out, I was hit with a sudden bout of sadness. It was over. After all of my impatience for the evening to begin, I realized that I would give anything to start it all over again. I wanted to re-live every second. Just one more time.

Post-show, my fiance and I went to talk to Scott in the lobby. During that encounter, he and his wife were nothing but kind and generous. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Unfortunately, I was nervous and tongue-tied....but my finance helped. He even told Scott that we had been talking about using With This Ring as our first dance song. I am so grateful that he was there with me to experience such a special night. It meant everything to have him by my side. I am also grateful to Scott for coming to town and sharing his talent and inspirational story. 

Scott and I took a picture together (which my fiance assured me was was not. At all. Alas.), caught up a bit, and said our farewells. It was a very wonderful night. I am so glad that I was able to be there. It meant more to me than I could ever begin to describe. 

xo Shannon

Monday, October 6, 2014

self-confidence is the best outfit.

There have been a lot of big moments lately. In between my regular life, there have been things like tours of the wedding venue, phone calls, decor shopping, and even a dinner with my parents and my fiances parents. It seems like things are moving at a rapid pace. As eager as I am to start the next chapter of my all is coming at me so fast! I am simply trying to hold on and get through all of the obligations that are between now and the big day.

With these big moments comes plenty of fashion! Yes, I have been doing my best to look the part while I am out and about. So, I thought that I would show you some of my recent outfits. The first is from the tour that we took of the wedding venue. The wedding is actually going to take place at a castle next summer. Crazy! For the tour, I decided to wear a dress that was casual but nice. I chose one in navy that featured a pleated floral bottom. My hair was half up half down and my makeup was simple but sweet. Take a look:

This next outfit was worn on a dinner out with my parents and my fiances parents. It was definitely strange for them to meet! Even though we have been together for over two and a half years, our parents haven't properly met until recently. To look my best for that important moment....I chose a dress that I picked up while I was in Vegas. It has a loose blouse on the top and a lace bottom. I love how elegant and feminine the dress is. I paired it with a curled hairstyle and a turquoise eye look. Take a look! 

When big moments is always nice to dress up a little. It makes me feel more confident, happy, and excited. I guess that's the great thing about clothes, hair, and makeup - they let you feel your best and showcase who you are. Even on the important days.

Which outfit do you like best?

xo Shannon

Saturday, October 4, 2014

today feels like a cottage kind of day.

On my list of dislikes? Nature and sitting around doing nothing. As much as I try to be, I am just not a get out there in nature kind of girl. Especially when the temperatures are freezing cold! I like to hang out with friends, check out a movie, go sightseeing....but sit around all day? I'll pass. Despite the fact that I am not exactly one with  nature, my fiance took me to his families cottage recently. It was an opportunity to get away from it all and spend some more time with his family.

Overall, it interesting weekend. Since the weather was so terrible (rainy, wet, and cold) I spent almost all of my time huddled under blankets and reading. While my fiance went out fishing, I did a bit of writing work and tried my best to have fun. Despite the poor weather, we went for a walk, played board games, and looked at the stars at night. There were some very nice moments. And my finance had a good weekend, so that made me happy. Next time though? I would much rather a weekend shopping, going to dinner, and hanging out.

The strangest thing for me? Being technology free for an entire weekend. I'm talking limited cell phone reception, no Internet, and no computer. It was bizarre. As someone who spends a huge chunk of my time on the computer (thanks to my writing work and Internet habits) it felt strange to be that disconnected. I was missing my YouTube time, for sure! Now that I am back, I thought it would be nice to post a few of the pictures from my cottage weekend. Take a look:

Did you go to a cottage this year? How do you like to spend your weekends?

xo Shannon