Friday, August 28, 2015

i like long romantic walks to the makeup aisle.

NARS, Too Faced, Benefit, Kat Von D. There are high-end brands I love more than anything. Every time I go to Sephora, I find myself picking up something new. The same can be said for drugstore brands. There are plenty that top my all-time favourites list. But every now and again? Makeup seems to find its way into my life even when I am not looking for it. A while back, a friend and I were doing some serious shopping. While picking up odds and ends over at Icing, the cashier mentioned that makeup items were 50% off that day. So I instinctively grabbed a face trio. The trio included a blush, bronzer, and highlighting shade. (Pictured above.)

Personally, I love little sets like this. They are great for travel or to toss into your makeup bag. Compact, cute, and easy to use. Nothing could make me happier. Despite my excitement over the trio I was a little bit hesitant. Why? I have never bought makeup from Icing before. Cheap accessories? Sure. Knick knacks? Of course. Makeup? That was a first. I wasn't sure what the quality would be like....or if it would actually perform the way I wanted it to. It is always a toss up when it comes to cheaper makeup! Sometimes it works out and other times the product lets you down.

So, how did the Icing Face Trio hold up? Here is a closer look at the trio along with some swatches.

As you can see from the picture above there is a large amount of product given for each. That makes it easy to apply with my blush brush or contour brush. (I hate when trios or palettes make each product super small so it is hard to get at!) The swatches show you just how pigmented each one is. I was surprised by the colour payoff, actually. The blush shade is this gorgeous pinky coral shade. It is so beautiful on the cheeks - and has a smooth texture. The bronzer on the other hand has that same great texture....but the colour payoff is just meh for me. It isn't bad or amazing. Just in the middle. 

Now for the other standout in this trio. That highlighter! It is a creamy white shade with flecks of glitter in it. Instantly it gives your cheeks a fresh and glowing appearance. Since there is glitter in it, I wouldn't recommend using this product to highlight anywhere except the cheeks. However it is a gorgeous way to compliment that blush shade or give your cheeks a pop.

Ready to see how the products worked on the skin? This is a makeup look I put together recently using all three products in the Icing Face Trio. 

Was the trio worth it? Yes! It was about five dollars for the three products and they exceeded expectations. That blush has become one that I reach for often....and I cannot get enough of that highlighting shade. It just looks amazing. If nothing else, this taught me to keep my eyes peeled wherever I go....and always be open minded when it comes to new makeup.

What do you think of this trio? Have you tried anything like it?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

where flowers bloom so does hope.

You know when you use certain products over and over again....and then realize that you never reviewed them? Ahh the life of a beauty blogger. That is what happened to me the other day. I was using a few of my all-time favourite products from Flower Beauty. I put together a makeup look using one of the Shadow Play eyeshadow quads in Smoke and Mirrors, the Glow Blush-Bronzer Duo in Shimmering Goodness, and the Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby in Can't Re-Fuchsia. The combination of berry tones and purple and gold on the eyelids? I was super happy with the way my makeup look turned out. Which is exactly why I decided to do a mini review on these products!

The best place to start? With the eyeshadow quad. I own two others from this line and was really impressed with them. The pigmentation is nice and the texture is very soft. I think I love the texture and blendability more than anything else. I love these shadow in particular. It has a gorgeous combination of colours. A soft pink, a mid-toned purple, a shimmery bronze, and a soft grey. It blended cool tones with warm shades, making it super versatile. Love!

Next up was the blush and bronzer duo. I chose this particular one because of that blush shade. Honestly, I love blush and bronzer duos....but I find that there is always one product I use more than the other. In this case it was definitely the blush. The colour is a rich berry tone. Perfect for fall! It is a beautiful compliment to any smokey eye look. As for the bronzer it was not so spectacular. The shade itself is quite dark for me....making it look a little bit muddy. So when I use this I tend to use it on my eyelid rather than as an actual bronzer.

Lastly, my favourite of the three items. The Lip and Cheek stick. It is a simple chubby stick with a creamy consistency. Right off the bat, I love the versatility of this product. The simple fact that it can be used as a lip product or a cheek product? Excellent. Especially when I am in a rush or want something to take with me on the go. What I love most about this has to be the pigmentation. The colour is so bold! It can be sheered out for a softer look or be ultra intense. Again, the versatility is top notch. This is one product I cannot get enough of.

Now for the makeup look that inspired today's post! Here are some of the products in action.....

There is something special about Flower Beauty. This drugstore brand focuses on luxury and femininity...and it shows. This is probably why I am such a big fan of their products. Especially the ones mentioned in this post! It is nice when makeup items can inspire you, allow you channel your creativity, and boost your confidence all at the same time.

What do you think of this makeup look? Have you tried anything from Flower Beauty

xo Shannon

Thursday, August 20, 2015

a quotation is a handy thing to have about.

I'll be honest. Today I had a totally different post in mind. As I went to write it, I paused and thought, I am desperately seeking inspiration. Something just wasn't clicking....and when that happens? I seek out things that inspire me. Sometimes it is a fashion editorial. Other times it is a good book or a magazine. Right now? It has to be quotes. To this day, it amazes me how one quote can re-fuel your passion, make you feel connected to the world around, and even inspire new ideas. Perhaps this is why I have books of quotes sitting on my bookshelf. Some are about writing, others about the joy of reading, and some are about fashion and beauty.

Is anyone else seeking inspiration? The comfort of words? The reminder that everything around us is a story? A special moment? Something to be cherished? As summer comes to a close I find myself in limbo so to speak. I am desperately trying to make the most of the remaining sunny days.....concerts and nights out galore. Yet at the same time I am thinking about the months to come. All of the things that need to be done, what I want to accomplish, where I want to be. Thus far it has been an interesting transition from summer to fall. What will happen next? Who knows. In the meantime, I am focused on getting inspired.

That's right. Today's post is all beauty related quotes. So get ready to get inspired. These are a few of my favourites.....

"Happy girls are the prettiest."
- Audrey Hepburn

"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." 
- Coco Chanel 

"Keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing, and there's so much to smile about." 
- Marilyn Monroe 

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." 
- Sophia Loren

"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together." 
- Elizabeth Taylor

"Beauty to me is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick ass red lipstick." 
- Gwyneth Paltrow

"Never ask a woman with winged eyeliner why she is late." 

It is amazing how the right quote can enrich your soul. These ones in particular are making me smile today. Any time I need a pick me up....I like to look at quotes that put things into perspective. Or just make me feel good! 

What is your favourite quote? Share them in the comment section! 

xo Shannon

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

and while i wait, i put on my perfume.

Certain scents speak to you. Somehow they manage to reflect how you feel and who you are. There is something in that perfect combination of notes. They create a fragrance that is both beautiful and empowering. It has been a while since I felt that way about a new perfume. Sure, there have been tons that I have liked. Loved, even! Plenty that make me smile. And lots of old favourites knocking around. The scent that is making me positively giddy at the moment? Britney Spears Fantasy: Intimate Edition. 

In general, I am a big fan of the Britney Spears perfumes. They have this fresh yet girly feeling that makes them super easy to wear. Which is why I own all of the perfumes in her line. (The latest makes for number eighteen. Crazy!) One thing I really love? The fact that she has a fragrance for every occasion! Hidden Fantasy for a special night out, Circus Fantasy for work, and the original Fantasy for a day out with your BFF. Quite frankly, I didn't know how another perfume could top the already amazing fragrances she has released in the past.

Then it happened. I was looking around the perfume section for another bottle altogether. Then I saw Britney and instinctively reached out to sample it. Gone was the other perfume! I actually never ended up buying it. I simply had to have Britney Spears Fantasy: Intimate Edition in my perfume collection. Ready to find out why? Here are some of my thoughts on her latest offering.

Let's start with the bottle. It has the same general design as all of the other Fantasy perfumes. That rounded shape with the crystals scattered along the side. It is simple, sleek, and feminine. The difference? This bottle came in a crisp white with gold-ish pink crystals throughout. It is absolutely beautiful. I just love the way this looks on my shelf! Sophisticated yet flirty.

In fact, those two words are exactly how I would describe the perfume itself. Sophisticated and flirty. It has a floral kind of scent but with musky undertones. That balances out the super girly fragrance and takes it to a more chic and luxurious level. The combination is perfect. No wonder I have been reaching for it over and over again. I have worn this on a night out with friends, to dinner with my husband, and even just around the apartment! I am absolutely in love with this perfume. In my opinion, it is a ten out of ten.

So there you have it! Those are my thoughts on the new Britney Spears perfume. It is elegant yet exciting, easy to wear, and ultra feminine. Looking for a new scent to change things up? Definitely grab a tester and give this a try. It is amazing.

Have you tried this perfume? What is your favourite fragrance?

xo Shannon

Sunday, August 16, 2015

YouTube: Big Beauty Haul - Sephora, Drugstore, and More!

Makeup shopping can be a dangerous thing. One minute you are browsing and the next, your cart is full and your debit card is at the ready. Sound familiar? This has happened to me more times than I can count. Especially when there is a Sephora VIB event on the calendar. A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I went down to our local Sephora store to enjoy the festivities. There was a ton of great products, demos, and even chocolate! With so many beauty lovers in one was bound to be a good night. 

It certainly lived up to my expectations. Honestly? My mom and I did some major damage in Sephora. Oops! Add that to some of my other recent makeup buys and well, you end up with a haul video! That's right. I recently sat down to film a new video for my YouTube channel. It features a peek at all of my Sephora goodies along with new items from the drugstore and even the dollar store. Want to see what I picked up? Find out a few first impressions? Check out what is new and exciting in the world of makeup and beauty? Then be sure to watch my latest video! 

As you can see, I went a little makeup crazy. (Which should come as no surprise by this point! I love makeup. A lot.) The best part though? Going shopping with my mom. I always love that. It gives us the chance to gossip, have fun, and splurge on some non-essential items. It sounds crazy....but the overall experience makes this haul seem even better. 

There were some items from this haul that excite me more than others. At least at this point. They are the midnight blue lipstick from Kat Von D, the NARSasist eyeshadow palette, and those big blush palettes from Mariposa. Expect full reviews on all of the products included in my big beauty haul over the next several weeks. Until then, I will be busy testing them all out - and getting creative with my makeup looks. 

Filming this haul video made me happy. It was the most comfortable I have felt on camera thus far. Maybe it was the excitement of all that new makeup! Whatever the reason, I feel good about my latest video. To check out this video and all of my other videos, head on over to the creation of beaut is art. YouTube channel. Please comment, like, and subscribe! 

Have you tried any of these products? What makeup have you bought lately?

xo Shannon

Friday, August 14, 2015

i blush just by thinking of you.

A good blush can go a long way. Maybe that is why I have accumulated so many different blush shades over the last little while. Yes, my blush collection is a little bit....full. Which is why I am trying desperately to stop buying more. My goal is to use up what I have - or at least hit pan - before I purchase yet another blush. We will see how that goal turns out! Despite this goal, I managed to pick up a new blush. It is Medium Mauve from the Maybelline Fit Me Collection. 

What I love about this blush? The shade is easy to wear, subtle, yet gives a pretty and natural flush to the cheeks. When it comes to blush shopping, my eye is typically drawn to bright colours and shades that are a little bit different. And those things are great....but every now and then it is good to have neutral shades to on hand. Medium Mauve definitely falls into that category. I have been wearing this with smokey eye makeup looks or when I was a more dramatic lipstick shade. It perfectly balances out played up features. 

The colour I love. As for the actual product? This too was a winner. There are a lot of Maybelline products out there that I am a big fan of. Their blushes are definitely included on that list. This Fit Me blush is easy to blend, nicely pigmented, and buildable. I love the colour and I love the way it finished off my makeup. Overall, this is a fabulous blush. I plan on wearing it as much as possible over the next little while! (Especially now that I am on my no-more-blush-buying kick.) 

Recently, I put together a super smokey makeup look. On the cheeks, I used Medium Mauve. Want to see the product in action? Take a look below to see how it all turned out!
I am definitely a fan of Maybelline products. Blush included! I was super happy with the way this product performed. Affordable, beautiful, and easy to use. That checks off all of my musts when it comes to a solid blush. While I don't have a ton of their cheek products....this one wowed.

Have you tried this blush? What do you think of it?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

summer always ends with good memories.

If you couldn't tell from a few of my previous posts.....I am a little sad that summer is almost over. We are mid-way through August now. And there are still so many things I want to do! Like go to an amusement park, spend a day at the zoo, head to a baseball game, and see friends. Summer might be on the way out...but I am still trying to pack as much fun as possible into the season. In the next couple of weeks I have a few concerts to attend. Honestly? I am super excited about them. One is Rick Springfield with my mom and my friend. The others are by a country artist another friend and I absolutely adore. We are seeing him a three times. Twice in one day! Fingers crossed all of these upcoming girls days - and nights - out will be a blast.

Speaking of girls nights out, I wanted to share a little outfit inspiration. With these concerts coming up I have been pondering the all-too important question: what will I wear? While I have not come up with a definitive answer....there is one look that represents my current state of mind. Fashion wise at least! This is a recent beauty set I created. Take a look!

Why these pieces? Why this outfit? I love blending hard and soft together to create a sophisticated finished product. Which is why the intricate design on the top called to me. It was the perfect contrast with those faux leather shorts. I kept the accessories neutral but chic and added on a bolder bracelet for that extra pop. To liven up this girls night out look, I decided to play with colour. That vibrant pink shade would look great on the cheeks or on the lips. Just something to give it that fun, flirty look. Overall I love how this turned out....and I wish I owned it all! Who knows. Maybe I can come up with my own version for one of the nights out I have coming up.

What do you think of this outfit? What are your end of summer plans?

xo Shannon

Monday, August 10, 2015

money can't buy happiness...but it can buy makeup!

I remember the very first makeup related video I ever saw. I needed help putting together a Ke$ha inspired look for Halloween and was desperately searching for assistance. In the video? The YouTuber mentioned a brand I had never heard of. (At that point in my makeup life, at least!) E.l.f. Since then I have tried a number of their products. Some good and some bad. Recently, I was doing a bit of shopping and came across a full E.l.f. display. Honestly? I got really excited about it. Largely because there were some products there that I had never tried. And even some I had heard positive reviews about.

Which leads me to today's post. It is a mini E.l.f. haul and review! And a look at some of the products in action. What did I end up purchasing? The E.l.f. Eyebrow Kit, Tone Correcting Powder, two Blush shades, a Lip Exfoliator, and as well as a Lipstick. Here are a few of my thoughts on the products so far.....

The E.l.f. Eyebrow Kit. Lately I have been super into brow kits. I tend to go between my favourite brow pencil and the Avon brow kit. Sadly my Avon kit was running low so I decided to give the E.l.f. kit a try instead. I picked up the Medium kit. Inside there is a darker brow wax and a medium brown powder shade. My impressions? I like this eyebrow kit for every day. It gives my brows a natural but groomed appearance. For a more dramatic look I still prefer my brow pencil...but this is definitely good for day to day. 

The E.l.f. Tone Correcting Powder. My skin is generally pretty dry. This summer though I have been fighting shine in my extremely hot apartment. Which is why I have been using powders more than usual. I decided to pick up this tone correcting powder just to see how it fared. Well, I absolutely love it! This poweder provides a nice amount of coverage, mattifys the skin, and reduces redness. It is an overall winner for me. 

The E.l.f. Blush in Pink Passion and Fushia Fusion. I have mentioned this fact over and over again. But let me say it once more. I love blush. A whole lot. Even though I have a ton of blush in my makeup collection, I am always on the hunt for something a little bit different. Which is why I grabbed two of the shades available from E.l.f. One was Fushia Fusion. It is a beautiful rose shade with flecks of gold glitter. Super pretty, girly, and wearable. I fell totally in love with it! 

The other shade was Pink Passion. This one was a bit of a dud for me. In the pan it looks like a gorgeous vibrant pink. On the cheeks it lacks pigmentation, intensity, and any real wow factor. It simply does not deliver. Such a shame! I am so glad the other blush shade won my heart. Otherwise I would have been massively disappointed. 

The E.l.f. Lip Exfoliator. There are a few essentials that I have been trying to add to my makeup collection in the last little while. One of them was a lip exfoliator. In order for my favourite lip products to look their best.....exfoliated lips are a must. In the past I was using a wet toothbrush to get rid of those flakes. Now I am using this E.l.f. product. When you twist up the lipstick tube it reveals a grey and brown product. It is grainy but not harsh. This does a wonderful job of keeping the lips smooth and pretty. I am very glad this has made its way into my life. 

The E.l.f. Lipstick in Party In The Buff. I go through phases. For weeks on end I am all about bright, bold, and totally out of the box lipstick shades. Then the next I am lusting after wearable nudes or rose toned colours. Which is how I would up with Party In The Buff. It is a nude shade with a hint of caramel. It goes on smoothly and has a nice colour payoff. My favourite thing? I love how moisturizing it is on the lips. This looks great, hydrates, and lasts. Definitely a fan! 

Below is a makeup look I wore out recently. It features the brow kit, the tone correcting powder, Fushia Fusion, and Party In The Buff. 

Let me just say, E.l.f. has a lot of seriously amazing products. Not all of them hit it out of the park....but some of them are totally fabulous. I had so much fun playing around with these - and incorporating them into my more recent makeup looks.

What are your favourite E.l.f. products? Have you tried any of these?

xo Shannon

Thursday, August 6, 2015

some of my summer favourites.

Summer! There is something so exciting about this time of year. Which makes me a little sad that it is already August. My to-do list has barely been touched, thanks to getting hitched and unpacking my apartment. Not to mention juggling work and attempting to have a social life. Phew, things have been crazy lately. With summer rapidly passing by I wanted to take some time to highlight some of my favourite seasonal items. Basically, the accessories I have been wearing, the makeup that makes my heart flutter, and all of the non-essential essentials!

The Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking Spectaculaire. 

The Taylor Swift perfume, Taylor. 

Printed cotton romper from Target. 

Sonia Kashuk makeup brushes. (Totally in love with the third brush in!)

Accessories from Christian Siriano. Floral sandals and white bucket bag.

The Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream.

So there you have it! These are a few of the things I have been using, reaching for, and loving this summer. From makeup to perfume and accessories, everything here just screams summer to me. With another month left of the season, I have plenty to get done. Like days at the zoo, concerts, hanging out with friends, and getting my apartment unpacked. 

What is on your summer to do list? Do you have any summer favourites?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

i want candy.

Oh, Hard Candy. If there is one drugstore brand that keeps me on my toes, it is definitely Hard Candy. Not only are they constantly putting out new items - but they like to take risks. From glitter palettes to gold toned highlights, this brand has a little bit of everything to offer. For makeup addicts and trend setters? You can't do much better. Over the last several years, Hard Candy has become a major part of my beauty routine. Their liquid liner is my all-time favourite. Their Glamoflauge concealer is top notch. And don't even get me started on their line of baked blush products.

The latest Hard Candy product to hit the shelves? The Heart Shaped Bronzer Duo and Highlighter Duo. (Pictured above.) These Glow All The Way products come in an adorable heart shaped tin and include two products in each. The pink tin is the Highlighter Duo. Inside there is light champagne highlight and a soft gold highlight. Both shades are soft, subtle, and easy to wear. Perfect for a daytime look! The texture is silky and smooth and the product is easy to apply. I like to use my fan brush and layer one product (or sometimes both!) over top of my chosen blush shade. While the Highlighter Duo is not the most highly pigmented does a fabulous job. I love the natural yet glowing finish it gives. Plus, you can't beat heart shaped makeup!

Now for the Bronzer Duo. It comes in the same type of packaging as the Highlighter Duo. The only difference is the colour. It is a pretty gold instead! When you open up the lid there are two gorgeous bronze toned shades to choose from. The lighter one is extremely soft. It leaves a nice sheen to the skin, making it look fresh and healthy. The perfect compliment to a gorgeous bronzed look. The darker shade is more like a light bronzer. It can be layered over an existing bronzer or worn on its own. It has that same beautiful glow that the others had...just with a little more pigmentation. This duo is one I have been reaching for an awful lot lately. Thanks to the summer weather, glowing bronze is all you need! 

There are so many things I love about the Hard Candy Limited Edition Duos. Yes, the packaging is out of this world cute. I love the way it looks in my makeup drawer! What I love even more than that? How easy to use these products are. Whenever I want to add a subtle glow to my skin, I reach for these. They are a nice contrast to the super pigmented and in-your-face highlights that are already in my makeup collection. These duos are affordable as well. For about $6 you can snag two products. Not too shabby. 

Since I am loving these limited edition tins at the moment, I thought that I would give you a peek at how they perform. Below is a picture of the Bronzer Duo. 

Makeup is fun. It is exciting. It can make you feel absolutely amazing. Guess what? Every time I reach for these highlighting products, I am totally over the moon. That? That is the sign of a great makeup product. Hard Candy is without a doubt one of my favourite makeup brands. And it looks like that won't be changing any time soon.

Have you tried the Highlight or Bronzed Duo? Do you love Hard Candy products? 

xo Shannon

Sunday, August 2, 2015

YouTube: Product Love Wet n' Wild Color Icon Blush & Glow Trio

Every so often a makeup product comes along that wows. That is exactly what happened when tried out the Wet n' Wild Color Icon Blush & Glow Trios. These limited edition face products were everything I hoped they would be - and then some! I stumbled across them a while back at my local drugstore. There were two different trios to choose from. After a bit of debating, I decided to get them both. What the heck, right? That is how I ended up with Free Trade Coffee and Solar Powered. 

The Free Trade Coffee trio comes with a light white highlighter, a bright pink blush, and a mid-toned bronzer. Then there is the other personal favourite. The Solar Powered Blush & Glow trio features a medium bronzer, a deeper gold toned bronzer, and a coral pink blush shade. Absolutely gorgeous! I have been using both of these trios non-stop. They are a fabulous compliment to any makeup look. Plus, they give your skin that gorgeous summer glow in an instant. Needless to say, I have been totally over the moon about these products lately.

Above is a closer look at the two trios that have made their way into my makeup collection. Stunning, right? I seriously cannot get enough of them. Which is what inspired me to film my latest YouTube video. Honestly, things have been totally crazy lately. And I confess that I have been slacking on my channel a little bit. Between getting married, going on my honeymoon, and endlessly unpacking, it has been hard to make time. Thankfully I did today! It felt so good to get back in front of the camera and just talk makeup. By far this was my best experience filming. 

Below is my latest YouTube video. It is all about these Wet n' Wild Color Icon Blush & Glow Trios. Take a look, like, comment, or subscribe!

I absolutely love these new trios. And I also love getting back into filming. It has been such an exciting experience! Thank you so much for all of your support. If you can, please take a minute to check out the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel!

Have you tried these Blush & Glow trios?

xo Shannon