Friday, July 31, 2015

the happiest place on earth.

It was hard to come home. From Disney World, that is. When they call it "the happiest place on earth," they really are not exaggerating. Disney is literally my favourite place in the entire world. I grew up in a Disney household....which is why I was pretty adamant that my hubby and I had to go to Disney World on our honeymoon. Thankfully we did! And it was absolutely wonderful. Hotter than anything but still a ton of fun. We went to all of the different parks, enjoyed tons of rides, ate a lot, and tried to see as much as humanly possible. It was everything I hoped our honeymoon would be.

There were plenty of standout moments. Like riding Rock n' Rollercoaster together (my husband is not a ride person so this was super exciting and unexpected), meeting Mickey Mouse, eating at the Be Our Guest restaurant, and buying moonshine from Epcot. Wherever we went, we did our best to have a good time. It was a much needed break from reality. Even though we spent a lot and ate a ton, it was all worth it. The experience is one I will remember for the rest of my life.

Now that I am back home, I am still trying to get caught up on everything. My writing, my blogging, my YouTube channel, and of course, unpacking. Life has definitely been non-stop lately. Which is why I wanted to take this time to look back at our getaway. These are a few of my favourite pictures from the trip....

I love Disney a lot. I also love being married to my amazing husband. Which is why our honeymoon was so much fun. I hope we will be able to go back there some day. Fingers crossed! Until least we have the memories!

Have you ever been to Disney World?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

accessories are the punctuation.

I admit. Accessories are something I cannot go without. There is something about the right pieces that can turn any outfit around. Suddenly you feel glamorous, put together, and ready to conquer. Or at least that is how accessories make me feel when I am getting ready to go out. Lately, I have been going a little crazy. Why? The large majority of my accessories are still at my parents house. Even though almost everything has been moved over to our new apartment....the accessories? Still in the front hallway of their house. The truth is that I miss them.

I miss having choices and options. I miss browsing through my collection and deciding what I feel like that day. All I can say is thank goodness for the accessories I do have at the apartment. Not long before the wedding, my friend and I went out for a girly day. Which of course included a little bit of shopping. We ended up going to Ardene's and picking up a couple of surprise bags. Just for fun. Inside there were mountains of awesome accessories. Thankfully I was smart enough to leave them at the apartment rather than take them back home with me. So lately I have been adding these onto my every day looks.....along with a few others I picked up from TopShop not long ago.

Since I am all about accessories, I thought I would show you my (fairly recent) haul from Ardene's and TopShop. Take a peek!

The first group of accessories above comes from Ardene's. The surprise bag was full of goodies. Much to the delight of me and my friend. Inside my grab bags were some hair clips, bows, a few bracelets, tons of gorgeous hoops earrings (which I have been loving lately), tons of studs, and even some tights and socks. It was definitely a good haul....especially for ten bucks! You can't beat that price. These accessories have been coming in handy lately, for sure.

Now for a look at my recent TopShop accessories. One thing I love about TopShop? They have tons of great statement pieces. They tend to be a little bit different....and perfectly over the top. As you can probably see from the picture above. The last time I went shopping with my mom, I picked up a few bolder accessories to mix things up. I chose a pair of amazing (and heavy!) dangling earrings, an R ring (for my husbands initial), and some neon hoop earrings. They have definitely been fun to have around for the summer months.

A few accessories can make a world of difference. A simple outfit can be transformed into fun and flirty. And a girly outfit can look edgy and cool. That is the power of those finishing touches. Which is why I have been making the most of the accessories I have on hand.

What are your favourite accessories for summer?

xo Shannon

Friday, July 24, 2015

i am a blushing wild enchantress.

Think drugstore brands can't compete with high-end? Think again. Maybelline has been stepping up their game in a big way. Over the last year or so, they have released a number of eyeshadow palettes. Some were fantastic and others were simply okay. But they are definitely trying new things. Their latest palette is Maybelline The Blushed Nudes. Let me say, I was a little skeptical at first. This is largely because their last palette let me down. (The Brights. Expect a full review on that in the weeks to come!) Despite this, the lure of those romantic shades was too much. Before I knew it, I had snapped up the last palette in my drugstore.

Boy, was I in for a happy surprise. This is by far Maybelline's best palette yet. Where to begin? How about the colour selection. As you can see from the picture above, there is a nice range of colours. Some deeper shades for the crease, lots of mid-tones, and even a few light shades for the inner corner. That means I don't have to use another palette to complete an eye look. Which is always a bonus! There are a few shades in here that I absolutely adore. Specifically the first shade on the bottom row and the last three shades on the bottom row. Not only are they nicely pigmented but they have a beautiful shimmery finish.

The quality is pretty good for a drugstore palette. Some of the shades are really nicely textured. Very soft and buttery. A few others are drier and have less colour payoff. This is the only downside. Not all of the eyeshadows are the same in terms of quality. Typically the lighter ones are less pigmented and a little chalkier. However, there are enough wow! shades to make this palette worth it.

Now for the packaging. It is the same as the others that Maybelline has released. Only the colour is different. Instead of that black plastic packaging, this is a rosey plastic instead. There is a small mirror on the inside, a sponge tip applicator, and of course the shadows themselves. While the packaging is nothing to write home about, it does not feel flimsy or cheap like some other brands out there. That is always a good thing!

I have found myself reaching for this palette a lot over the last month or so. There are so many different looks you can create with it. I personally really love combining that gold and burgundy shade together for a more intense look....or the taupe and brown for softer more romantic makeup. Here is a peek at one of the looks I created using this set...

Yes, I was very happy with Maybelline The Blushed Nudes eyeshadow palette. There are a lot of really beautiful shades to choose from. And for such an affordable price this is definitely something you will feel good about adding to your makeup collection!

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

xo Shannon

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

you are my every season, every hope, and every dream.

Some moments you remember forever. My wedding day is one that will always stay with me. There were some crazy, frustrating, and stressful moments leading up to it...and the day of....but when I look back on the wedding, all I can think about is the fact that I got to marry the man of my dreams. Everything else has faded away. I know so many of you have been asking for pictures. My apologies that it has taken me so long to share some of them with you. I am still waiting on them from my (seriously amazing) photographer. You can check her out on Facebook at Dani Lynn Photography. But I thought that I would share the ones I do have with you now. Also, I thought I would tell you a little bit about my experience. goes!

It started fairly early on the morning of July 4th. I was feeling pretty emotional simply because that was my last night living at my parents house. I know a lot of people can't wait to move out and start their own lives. For me? I have such a close relationship with my family. Even now I am struggling with being away from them. As wonderful as it is to live with my husband and set up our home....I find myself missing my parents and my brother a lot. People keep telling me this will get easier. I sure hope so! After waking up, it was straight to the hair salon. My bridesmaids, my mom, and I were there for hours upon hours getting our hair and makeup done.

Then it was back to my house to get ready. This process seemed chaotic and stressful to say the least. Too many people running around! Eventually everyone was ready and my bridesmaids left for the ceremony. My parents and I were not far behind. They shoved me into the car (my dress was very poofy!) and we were on the way. Was I nervous? Yes! Not about getting married. More that so many people would be looking at me. I am not the center of attention type of person. In my regular life, I am pretty shy and tend to stay in the background as much as possible. Not that day!

We arrived at the chapel and I was ready to walk down the aisle with my parents. Until my mom started bawling. I was doing a really good job of holding it all together...until that. Knowing that she was upset about "losing" me broke my heart. And there was nothing I could do about it. Next thing I knew, we were walking down the aisle. My brother was playing "You and Me" by Lifehouse on the piano. That meant the world to me. It made that moment even more special.

As I walked, I could see people everywhere but the only person I looked at was Richard, my now husband. It all felt surreal. Like I wasn't even in my own body. But at the same time it was perfect. Everything I ever dreamed about when I was a kid and so much more. The ceremony was short. I think maybe ten or fifteen minutes. That was because we wanted to keep it simple and sweet. Get it done! Before I knew it, we were walking out of the chapel.

Then there was a receiving line of sorts and we took pictures outside with all of the family. Next was cocktail hour (where we largely stayed in a room for the bridal party) and then our entrance into the reception hall. There was a bit of a mix up with our entrance song - because our DJ was the absolute worst ever. Do not hire The Music Man! - but eventually we sat down at the head table. There were a few snags in terms of the venue (our co-ordinator was no where to be found and people with gluten allergies were served regular meals....) but I suppose those things happen. Needless to say, my mom was not thrilled with those aspects of the wedding.

Overall though, things went really well. We spent the rest of the night eating, drinking, and dancing. Everybody seemed to have a good time...which was a relief! I wasn't sure how the night would go. I had a really fun time dancing with my friends and seeing some old faces.

Honestly? It seems strange now that it is all over. So much time and energy went into dress fittings, decorations, and planning. Now it is back to real life. The next several weeks and months will be spent juggling work, upacking boxes, finishing up our apartment, and getting used to a new routine. Everything is different....but life is good.

xo Shannon

Saturday, July 18, 2015

keep calm it's girls night out.

Some nights are special. Like girly nights spent with people you love. Which is exactly why a recent night out with my mom felt super special. We went to an event hosed by Elle Canada. It was called Girls Night Out. And for good reason! They had mini manicure stations, a Smashbox counter, a wine bar, and a candy bar. Talk about a fun night out. The best part? They had a Q and A session with Lindsey Kelk. She is a British author that my mom and I really love - and the reason we attended the event in the first place.

When we got to the event, there were people buzzing around everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Instead of hitting the stands and booths the first thing we did was grab a seat. We wanted a good spot for the author Q and A. Despite getting there at a decent time, we were several rows back. Sigh! But we still had a lot of fun listening to Lindsey Kelk. She spoke like she wrote...which basically means she was hilarious. She shared a lot of great stories and talked about her new book. (Which we also got a signed copy of. Super excited to start reading it!)

After the Q and A session was over, everyone walked around to see the booths and grab some wine. Okay, most people went straight for the wine. My mom and I went straight over to see Lindsey Kelk. We were actually the first people in line to meet her. She was absolutely lovely. So so sweet, funny, and gracious. The only downside? My mom could not figure out how to take a picture on my phone. So after a few minutes of her trying I said, "Okay....mind if we take a selfie?" It was my first selfie with a celebrity, that is for sure!

Overall, it was a really fun night. It felt good to spend some girly time with my mom. Where we didn't talk about wedding stuff the whole time. It was nice to just have fun. I am very happy that she bought tickets. Even though the day itself was totally hectic (my fiance and I moved all of our furniture into the apartment in the morning) the Girls Night Out event was some much needed stress relief.

There is so much going on right now. My life has been super hectic lately! But in between all of the to do lists and stress, there have been some really great experiences, too. Those are the things I am focusing on as the summer continues.

What have your summer highlights been so far?

xo Shannon

Thursday, July 16, 2015

review: nyc bb creme bronzed radiance

I am always optimistic when I try a product for the very first time. Maybe it will be amazing. Maybe I will wear it every single day. Maybe it will become my new must have. Sometimes my optimism pays off. Other times it does not. Which brings me to my latest makeup review: the NYC BB Creme 5 in 1 Bronzed Radiance Skin Perfector. (Phew! Try saying that five times fast.)

Right off the bat, I loved the idea of this product. A BB Cream that adds a hint of summery glow to my skin. Perfect! wasn't. This BB Creme claims to even out your skin tone, reduce the appearance of any skin imperfections, and give your skin a fresh bronzed look. The concept itself is fabulous. Especially now that summer is here. There is nothing quite so tempting as a beauty product that will give your skin that sun kissed glow. While the concept was great, the execution left something to be desired.

The product itself was very runny. The consistency was that of a very runny liquid foundation. Because of that, the coverage was extremely limited. I did not find it to cover up or blur any skin imperfections whatsoever. There simply was not enough coverage to do so. I would definitely say this was a light coverage product. Emphasis on the light! Perhaps if it was mixed with a regular foundation this might work a bit better. As is? Not so much.

Now for the radiant skin claim. This was another let down. While it certainly had a bronzey colour to the product - it wound up making my face noticeably darker than the rest of my body. It didn't so much give my skin a radiant bronzey look as it made my skin look darker and slightly orange where applied. For a pale skinned girl like me, this is a major makeup no-no.

Sadly, this is one product I was very disappointed with. The concept was great but it failed to be more than a poor BB Creme. The coverage was far too sheer (even for a no-makeup-makeup-look) to do much good and the colour did not look natural or glowing on the skin. While the product itself was very affordable, in my opinion, it still is not worth the money. In the past, I have had success with other NYC products. But this? I would say skip it this season.

Have you tried the NYC BB Creme 5 in 1 Bronzed Radiance Skin Perfector? How did it work for you?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

home is where our story begins.

There is always something nice about coming home. Even though travel can be exciting and full of adventure....coming home fills me with a sense of calm. But it was different this time. Normally, when I come home from a vacation, I walk up the front steps of my parents house. Then go up to my bedroom and close the door - grateful to be back in my own sanctuary. It isn't like that anymore. This was the first time that I came home from a vacation and wound up back at our apartment. It was a strange, beautiful, and scary moment.

I have been married for a week and a half. Everything feels very new and different. Everything is an adjustment. Don't get me wrong. Thus far, married life has been exciting. It has been downright blissful, in fact! But it has been a change. And I think it will take me a while to adjust to this new life.

So! If you couldn't tell...I am back from my honeymoon. My husband (wow, that feels strange to write!) and I got in yesterday evening. Disney was amaaaaazing. We had so much fun! I will definitely update you all on that in the days to come. Promise. Since our return, the hubby and I have been catching up on sleep, checking emails, and talking to family. Despite my best efforts, I wasn't able to stay in vacation mode for too long. Real life has been beckoning!

Yes, I am in the midst of playing catch up. So expect me to pop in on your blogs over the next couple of days. Thank you again for all of your kind words and comments. They have been so nice to come home to!

How have you been spending your time lately? Will you do any travelling this summer?

xo Shannon

Friday, July 10, 2015

the best is yet to come.

Hi guys! Can you believe it? It has been almost a week since my last post. Even though I am still enjoying my honeymoon in Disney World (I have a few more days of bliss before returning home) I simply had to make a quick thank you post. Why? Today is the four year anniversary of the creation of beauty is art. That's right. Four years ago, I wrote my very first blog post.

It is hard to believe. I can still remember that day so vividly. The way I labored over every word. The excitement, inspiration, and fear that ran through my body. I took a leap of faith that day....and it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Looking back? So much has changed since then. Both personally and in terms of my blog. I have interviewed people I admire, shared pieces of my life, and even started my own YouTube channel. 

I am so incredibly proud of this little blog. And so grateful to all of you for reading, commenting, and being a part of my life. I hope each and every one of you knows how much you have touched my life. Thank you for your support. It means more to me than I will ever be able to explain.

That is all! I simply couldn't let this day pass without showing my gratitude. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you. I look forward to whatever the creation of beauty is art. becomes in the future. I hope you all will stay with me as this journey continues.

How have you all been? How is your summer going? Let me know in the comments!

xo Shannon

Saturday, July 4, 2015

two hearts that beat as one.

My life is changing. Fast. It's hard to believe I am writing these words....but I am getting married. Today. It was almost a year ago that my life changed completely. My boyfriend proposed, getting down on one knee, and sweeping me off my feet. It was the best day of my life. Since then, my days have been spent planning, packing, worrying, wondering, and looking ahead. It has been a whirlwind to say the least. 

When we got engaged, July seemed like a lifetime away. Somehow, it snuck up on us. Me especially. Trying to juggle work, writing jobs, wedding planning, fittings, social obligations, finding a place to live, packing up my childhood room? It was a lot to handle. An awful lot. Even as I write this, I keep thinking about everything that needs to be done. Like unpacking everything. Paint touch ups in our new apartment. Getting my hair done. Making sure my nails look perfect. Oh, and that whole getting married part! 

I am excited. Not so much for the ceremony. (I am not a fan of people staring at me all day long. Or speaking in public. Or someone else taking my picture.) But for the beginning of our new life together. I am so incredibly happy to have found the perfect person for me. For all of the joy, laughter, and special memories the future has in store. I am excited to be with him. Whatever life brings our way.

On that note....I am going to be taking a mini-blogging break. Today is the wedding ceremony. Following that, we are heading off to Disney World for our honeymoon. (Something else I am super excited about.) So, if you don't see me posting, commenting, or being active on social media, it is because I am busy being a newlywed! I will be back to posting on a regular schedule as soon as I get settled and return home.

Thank you all for your love and support! 

xo Shannon