Friday, October 30, 2015

when pumpkins glow by midnight.

Who doesn't love holidays? They can be an awful lot of fun. Halloween is one of those holidays that just makes you smile. There are costumes, parties, and candy. What could be more exciting? Normally I don't do a whole lot on the day itself. Watch Halloween movies, nibble on some chocolate, and hang out with my family. Honestly? I like it that way! Every now and then I throw on a costume and hit up a club or party....but a movie night is my idea of a perfect Halloween.

This year I will be doing something very different. No movies or candy for me. One of my friends is actually getting married. Yes, on Halloween! It is a costume free night however. So that means no Halloween fare. Does it make me sad? A little. But I am ridiculously excited to see someone I love tie the knot. I know it will be a truly special day.

Since many of the holiday traditions will be off my radar this year, I wanted to do an inspiration post of sorts. More for my own benefit than anything else. But hopefully you will enjoy it, too! These are a few of the Halloween pictures I have been loving lately.

Halloween is a magical time. Ghosts, goblins, and zombies roam the earth. Or at least costumed versions of them! I hope you all have an amazing night tonight....whatever you have planned!

How are you celebrating Halloween?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

running is life with the volume up.

Fitness buff? Hardly. I admire people who genuinely love to work out. For me, it has always been a struggle to stay active. Often I refer to myself as an "indoor cat." Largely because my hobbies include eating and curling up on the couch. Okay....those hobbies might be fun....but they aren't necessarily good. At least not in excess. Which is why I have started to make some changes in my life. My eating habits are typically that of a child. Hot dogs, mac and cheese, french fries. Need I say more? Over the last several months I have been trying to balance that out. At least a little! More vegetables, protein rich foods, and fibre. It hasn't been easy but I have definitely noticed a difference.

Something else I have been doing? Working out. Typically I do a workout DVD three times a week and run home from work two to three times a week. The truth? Running has become a big source of both pain and pride for me. Pain because it hurts. A lot. Especially when I push myself to go faster and longer. Pride because I am doing something. Instead of taking the bus home from work each day, I am pushing myself. I am challenging my body and mind. I am getting stronger.

Over the last week or two I have really started to notice the difference. It takes longer for me to feel winded and tired. And I don't have to stop as often or at all. That doesn't mean the painful parts of running have subsided (I am currently very sore as I write this....)  but I feel good. I feel strong, positive, and focused. It amazes me just how rewarding running can be.

That feeling is what inspired today's post. I came up with a little running inspired outfit for fall. Now that the weather is getting cooler I have started to layer, choose thicker pieces, and even wear gloves. My go to look? Bright colours. Fashionable workout wear just makes me feel better about what I'm doing! So, with that being said, here is my typical fall workout look.......

Running has become an important part of my life. I might prefer a night of Netflix to a long sweat session, but I am pushing myself in new and unexpected ways. And that? That makes me proud.

What do you think of this outfit? What do you wear when you workout?

xo Shannon

Monday, October 26, 2015

what's wrong with being, what's wrong with being confident?

photo courtesy of @ddlovato

There are certain makeup looks that speak to me. Most commonly? Smokey eyes and bold neutrals. My favourite shades are browns, bronze, and gold. For a pop of colour I like to amp things up with a hint of navy or purple. Bright colours? Over the top shadows? Rarely. Very rarely. And when I do....I usually tone down the intense shade by making the look nice and smokey. What changed? Recently I came across the picture above. It was posted on Demi Lovato's Instagram page. As you can see, the makeup is vibrant. To say the least. Pink, purple, yellow, and green. Oh my!

It was a sudden flash of inspiration. I I re-create that look. Despite the fact that I like to stick to neutrals on a day-to-day basis, suddenly my world felt colourful. The only question? When I would have a chance to create my own Demi inspired makeup look. Thankfully there was just such an occasion a week or so ago. My friend and I had tickets to go see Ricky Martin in concert. Whenever we see Ricky, we like to get all glammed up. For me? That meant a dress, sparkly shoes, and yes....some seriously bright makeup.

To bring the look to life I used an eyeshadow palette from Born Pretty. There were a lot of colourful shades in there. Ones that I do not reach for on a regular basis. It ended up working really well. The pigmentation was fabulous and the colours were nice and bright. I did my best to put my own spin on Demi's look. Take a peek at how it turned out....

I had a lot of fun trying to re-create this makeup look. One thing I did not expect during the process? Realizing how much I love wearing bright makeup. I have been limiting myself. Sure, neon pink might be hard to wear....but that doesn't mean I shouldn't wear it! All night long I felt great about my look. I felt confident and ready to take on the world. And that is the power of makeup.

What do you think of this makeup look? Do you wear bright eyeshadow shades?

xo Shannon

Friday, October 23, 2015

YouTube: Birthday Makeup Tutorial

I can admit it. In the past, I was a total birthday brat. I wanted a big party with all of my friends.....a fun night unforgettable time. The reasoning for this is simple. I am a twin so growing up I had to share all of my birthdays with my brother. That meant a joint cake and a joint birthday party. When I got a bit older I loved the idea of having a celebration that was mine and mine alone. So I started planning massive birthday dinners and club nights. Now? I have grown tired of trying to organize people. Which is why I have scaled back on my birthday this year.

My plans? To head over to my parents house for the day. My husband is unfortunately working during the day so I decided to spend time with family instead. I think we are going to have a movie day or catch up on some Netflix. Hopefully it will be nice and relaxing. After my husband gets off of work we will be going to dinner with the family (twin included), open presents, and eat some cake. Not a bad way to spend a day in my opinion! It will certainly be different than the last few years but I think that is a good thing.

Since my birthday is tomorrow I decided to film a YouTube video about it. It is a tutorial that features the makeup I plan to wear for my birthday dinner with family. I tried to create something that was pretty, polished, and just a little bit glam. Hopefully I succeeded! Take a look at the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel to see this video along with all of my others.

As you can see, my goal was to create birthday makeup that was fun yet put together. I used some of my favourite makeup products to boost my confidence and feel like a star on my big day. Overall, I had fun filming this and putting the look together. Hopefully I am as successful tomorrow!

Don't forget to check out the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel, comment, like, and subscribe. Your support means the absolute world to me.

What do you think of this makeup look? How do you celebrate your birthday?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

when in doubt, just add glitter.

Editing Note: Since Milani chose to contribute to a campaign that involved the harassment and bullying of a domestic violence survivor, I no longer support the brand and do not recommend their products. Spend your money wisely and look elsewhere. 

Sometimes I am all about the cheeks. Other times, the eyes. Lately? My makeup obsession has to be lip products. Without trying to, it seems that more than a handful of lipsticks have found their way into my makeup collection. Oops? I suppose this is what happens when you love a bold lip! Now that fall is here I am more obsessed with bold lip colours than ever before. Deep reds, purples, and even blue are all fair game. One of my absolutely favourites right now comes from Milani. I was immediately struck by the unique shade.

Bronze. With flecks of glitter. Need I say more? This is one lipstick shade that can go from glowing summer looks to dark and dramatic fall makeup without hesitation. The name of this shade? Bronze Beauty, of course. To say I adore it would be a massive understatement. There are a few reasons for this. For starters, it is versatile. It is also ridiculously pretty. The colour is intense and pigmented - and I absolutely love the glitter. This is one of the few lip products I own that has actual glitter in it. Not shimmer or teeny tiny flecks of sparkle. Full blown glitter. That makes this lip product extra dramatic, fun, and flirty.

Like all of the Milani lipsticks I have tried, this one wins for quality, price point, and colour payoff. My only compliant is that the formula is a bit drying. Much like my beloved Kat Von D lippies. Usually I layer a lip balm over top so my lips feel a little more comfortable throughout the day. Other than that? This is a total winner. The colour is gorgeous and the packaging is glamorous. I absolutely love Bronze Beauty.

This is one lipstick I have been reaching for a lot over the last several weeks. There is no doubt in my mind that trend will continue. So, here it is! Bronze Beauty in action. I paired it with some dramatic cat-eye liner and silver glitter. Take a look....

There is something exciting about a good lipstick. It can boost your confidence and pull your makeup look together. Bronze Beauty by Milani is one of my fall favourites for sure. I cannot get enough of the colour - and of course the glitter! 

What do you think of this shade? Have you tried any Milani lip products before?

xo Shannon

Monday, October 19, 2015

fun fall musts for you and your bff.

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you probably know that I do freelance writing as much as possible. Writing is what I love to do....what I want to do....and how I spend my free time. Sometimes I write articles with the intention of posting them somewhere. Other times I write articles simply because I feel like writing them. The latter is true of this post. It is a bit different than the normal blog style I write in on the creation of beauty is art. However, I am super inspired by the fall season right now. So I thought that I would share it with you anyway! Here goes.....

What can I say? I feel optimistic whenever a new season starts. Gone are the emotions that bogged me down. So long to stress and anxiety. A new season is a fresh beginning. At least in my mind. Thankfully there is one person in my life who feels the same way. My friend is eager to make the most of fall. Which is why we have come up with our very own to-do list. It has a little bit of everything. A few examples? Seasonal staples like carving a pumpkin and watching Halloween movies – along with fun goals like go to the zoo and write letters to one another.

There are so many ways to enjoy the season. So start filling up your calendar. Grab your BFF and give one of these fun fall musts a try.

Bake Something Special. Fall and baking always seem to go hand in hand. There are tons of delicious recipes to try. From apple fritters to pumpkin muffins and a million other seasonal delights. One way to make the most of the new season? Invite your best friend over for an afternoon of baking. Snag some recipes from Pinterest and see if you can re-create them. Once you are done being a culinary goddess you and your bestie can watch a chick flick and indulge your sweet tooth. Or you can wrap up those baked goods and hand them out to people you love.

Pencil In a Fall Themed Activity (Or Two). Certain experiences make the fall season even more memorable. They take you back to when you were young, wide-eyed, and innocent. Why not experience a blast from the past? Make time to go on a hayride with your BFF, jump in a massive pile of leaves (and take a few selfies while you’re at it), go apple picking, head to a pumpkin patch, visit a haunted house, or make your own Halloween costumes. These are silly activities that can help you de-stress and connect to your younger self.

Spend a Little Time Outdoors. The temperatures are definitely starting to drop. Lately you have probably needed to add on a layer or two. That doesn’t mean you need to say inside all day and all night. Call up your best friend and spend a couple of hours enjoying nature. Take a walk in a nearby park (you can look at all of the changing leaves!), visit a farmer’s market, take a hike, or fly a kite. The whole idea is to put away your cell phones and experience the magic of the season.

Show Your BFF How Much You Care. Tis the season to be grateful. Thanksgiving is one of the big fall holidays. Guess what? You don’t need to wait for Thanksgiving to tell your best friend that you care. Write down five things you love about her. Get her to do the same and then swap. Or give her a copy of your favourite book to read. You could also spend a day scrapbooking with your BFF. Put together a book of your favourite photos together. Think about it! This is is a great excuse to reminisce on those special moments. 

Fall is here. Thank goodness! This is a great time to pause, reflect, and focus on your happiness. Why wait? Text your BFF and start making plans now

What will you do this fall? Is there anything on your to-do list?

xo Shannon

Saturday, October 17, 2015

i wake up for makeup.

Editing Note: Since Milani chose to contribute to a campaign that involved the harassment and bullying of a domestic violence survivor, I no longer support the brand and do not recommend their products. Spend your money wisely and look elsewhere. 

Packaging. It seems like such a simple thing....but it does so much. There are the functional aspects of it, of course. You need your beauty products to work well and be accessible. Packaging is about so much more than functionality though. Just think about it. How many times have you bought something purely because the packaging was cute? Maybe that lipstick had studs on the outside or that eyeshadow palette came in the shape of a princess carriage. There is something about those little details that manages to draw us in, excite, and lead us to splurge on beauty.

One example of gorgeous packaging? The line of Milani Powder Blush shades. I remember the first time I saw one. That rose design in the product instantly caught my eye. It was cute, flirty, and ultra romantic. Whether I had a similar shade or not? Suddenly that become unimportant. One thing was for sure. I did not have a blush in the shape of a rose! After months and months of putting it off, saying no, and being practical, I did it. I bought my first Milani Powder Blush. The shade that I took home was Coral Cove. If you couldn't tell from the name itself, it is a beautiful pinkey coral colour.

There are a lot of things about this blush that I love. Aside from the packaging and design. I also adore the stunning shade. I chose this because I do not have a lot of pink toned coral blush shades in  my collection. Orange corals? Absolutely. But this was just a little bit different for me. It can be built up to look super bright, bold, and over the top. Or it can be toned down to look more like a glowing peach shade. The versatility is fantastic. I love a product that can be worn in more than one way. Something else I really love is the texture. This blush is so soft and smooth. It blends well on the skin....which is always a must for me.  

Lately? I am all about this beautiful blush. Even though my initial reason for purchasing it was that breathtaking rose design, it has exceeded my expectations. I love the way it looks, the quality, and the colour. No wonder I find myself reaching for this over and over again. Here is a look at the product in action. I wore it on a recent night out...

My experience with the Milani Powder Blush was as positive one. It is by far one of the stand outs in my (admittedly large) blush collection. I even took this away with me on my trip to Vegas! It is a stunning blush shade that won't break the bank. Score!

Have you tried any of the Milani blush shades? What do you think of this colour?

xo Shannon

Thursday, October 15, 2015

vegas is the answer, no matter the question.

It's amazing how much can happen in the span of a week. As you know, I recently took a trip to Las Vegas with my mom. We went to go see some of the shows, soak up the sun, and do a bit of shopping. And that is exactly what we did! It was an awful lot of fun...but pretty tiring by the end of it. So, what happened? How was it? And what did I see? This is my mini recap of my Las Vegas trip.

Day one was pretty uneventful. Our flight got us there mid-day so we explored the hotel, grabbed some food, watched TV, and went to sleep. The next day was a big one. Easily the most important, so we wanted to be well rested. What happened the next day? Well we spent most of it shopping at Ross For Less and Marshalls (I love great deals on cute clothes!)......before getting ready to go see Donny and Marie. This was the primary reason for the trip. At least in my mind.

We spent hours primping and preparing for the concert. Then took the bus to the Flamingo hotel. The concert was incredible. I was front row. And by front row I mean I was literally touching the stage. It was crazy! Donny and Marie were beyond amazing. They sounded great, had so much energy, and played some of my favourite songs. Even a few new ones! The coolest thing? Donny touched my hand twice during the concert.....oh and took my wallet. No joke.

My purse was on the table in front of me and he reached down, picked up my bag, took out my wallet, and grabbed all my cash. He returned my purse and put my money in his pocket. For a moment I thought, is he going to give it back? This thought continued as more than one song finished without mention of my cash. Eventually he came and returned it - and then sang a song to me. To say the concert experience was surreal would be a massive understatement. Donny and Marie said my name on stage in Las Vegas. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

After the concert came the meet and greet. Honestly? I was a nervous wreck. I was so scared that I would say the wrong thing....or say nothing at all. We waited with about fifty other people in the meet and greet room until it was our turn. You met Donny and Marie separately at the event. So we saw Marie first. She was so lovely, sweet, and genuine. She really treated you like a person and not just a fan. My mom and I were blown away by her kindness. I told her how much her CD, I Can Do This, has meant to me and she seemed so touched by that. It felt good to let her know how much I admire her. Meeting Marie was a total dream come true. By far the best part of the whole trip.

Then we met Donny. He was nice and took pictures, signed autographs, and chatted with us briefly. It wasn't exactly the same kind of experience as it was with Marie....but it was wonderful to meet him. My mom and I are such big fans. I actually really like the way my picture with him turned out. So that was good! I ended up giving Donny a note I had written. Just in case I couldn't speak when I met him. (Spoiler alert: I could barely talk to him.) Overall, it was a special night that I will remember for a very long time.

The next day was all about Celine Dion. My mom and I had tickets to see her perform at Caesars Palace. She was incredible. I could not get over how flawless her voice sounds much presence she has on stage....and how passionate she is. Every note had a story. Every movement expressed something honest and pure. She is an icon for a reason! It was overwhelming being a mere four rows away from Celine Dion. 

So how was the show? The concert itself was a bit emotional. As you probably know, her husband is sick. This really impacted the show itself. She was very strong, open, and grateful, but it was hard to see her so upset. Afterwards, my mom and I went to eat dinner at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant. It was definitely a nice night.

The next day was spent visiting the Siegfried and Roy Habitat. There were dolphins, lions, and tigers. It was really fun. My mom and I took lots of pictures, bought cute things from the gift shop, and watched the dolphin trainers. After that we went to the Venetian hotel to grab lunch at our favourite spot, Buddy V's. Quite frankly, I ate an awful lot. I was so full by the end of that meal that I didn't want to do a whole lot. So we went back to the hotel and watched lots of 90210 programming on Lifetime. 

As for the remaining days in Las Vegas? We went shopping, did a bit of gambling, and explored the city. It was a really fun trip. Meeting Donny and Marie? Seeing Celine Dion? Shopping my little heart out? This was definitely the break that I needed. 

So that was Vegas! Now I am back to the same old....and am missing the fun and excitement.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

the best colour in the world is the one that looks good on you.

A confession? I don't own a lot of single eyeshadows. Rarely am I so awe-struck by one single shade that I find myself reaching for it over a duo, trio, or palette. Quite frankly, I like to get the most bang for my buck. I also like having options. Despite this, a single shadow managed to make its way into my life fairly recently. It is Orchid by Caryl Baker. I was immediately drawn to the colour. On a day to day basis I love a good smokey eye. Typically I will stick to shades of brown, gold, or black....but I love mixing it up with a navy or purple as well.

Which is why Orchid is such a standout shade. It is a deep purple with flecks of gold throughout. The texture is super smooth and buttery. One thing I really love is the fact that this looks exactly the same in the pan as it does on my eyes. There is nothing worse than a shadow that looks gorgeous in the packaging - but fails to deliver when you put it on. Thankfully this shadow delivers in terms of quality. The packaging is fabulous as well. It is extremely sturdy and durable. (Which means if I happen to drop it...which I am known to do...the shadow will not break. Score!)

The only downside? I am less likely to bring this along with me when I travel or stow away in my makeup bag. It simply doesn't have the versatility of a trio or small palette. That is why I tend to stay away from those single shadows and opt for multiple colours instead. They are much better when you are on the go! Despite the fact that it is a single....I love it. The colour is beautiful and it creates a beautiful smokey eye look.

There is nothing I like more than a dramatic smokey eye. With Orchid by my side, I will have no trouble creating a super sultry makeup look! Now that fall is here I am embracing smokey eyes more than ever. Purples, greens, and browns are my favourites. I am sure this shade will be popping up in my makeup looks every now and again. It is absolutely gorgeous! 

What do you think of this shade? 

xo Shannon

Sunday, October 11, 2015

YouTube: Las Vegas Haul - Souvenirs, Makeup, and Fashion!

The word shopaholic best describes me. At least when I go away on vacation. It doesn't matter where I go or when....I always seem to bring tons and tons of items home with me. My trip to Las Vegas was no different. This time, I managed to spend a little more than I planned. Not my fault! Around every corner there were cute t-shirts, souvenirs, and fabulous shops. 

Despite this, I did my best not to spend too much. Though I did end up bringing quite a few things back. What did I buy? Plenty of music merchandise (including Donny and Marie, Celine Dion, and Britney Spears), some makeup from Sephora, a few accessories, and lots and lots of clothes. 

Want to see it all? I filmed a YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. channel. It is dedicated to the items I purchased during my Las Vegas trip. Be sure to take a look. And don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe!

My trip to Las Vegas was pretty exciting. My mom and I had a great time shopping and seeing some incredible shows. We certainly made some memories! Expect a full post on that in the days to come. I cannot wait to share my stories with you. It really was a wonderful trip. For now, I just wanted to give you all a peek at the things I bought while I was away.

Have you ever been to Vegas? What do you think of the things I bought? 

xo Shannon

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

i love coming home to my own bed.

Travel is one of my absolute favourite things. I love seeing new places (as well as familiar ones!) and experiencing the incredible. No wonder I get a little sad when it is time to head back. For me? Returning home from Las Vegas is bittersweet. On the plus side, I get to see my wonderful husband. It is always hard to be away from him. On the downside, it is time to go back to work. And deal with my endless to-do lists. Reality can be a tricky thing. The beautiful part of travel is being to get away from it all....for a little while at least.

I am home. I suppose that was my long winded way of saying that! My flight got in from Las Vegas late last night. Since then I have been trying to catch up on everything. Work, emails, friends, blog pages, and all the rest. It's amazing how much seems to happen when you leave. Even for a short period of time. I suspect the next several days will include me playing catch up.

My apologies for this incredibly brief post. In the days to come I plan to fill you all in on my trip. From the shopping to the shows and everything in between. It was a memorable vacation, for sure! Expect photos, a haul, and some fun stories as well. Until then....thank you all for stopping by the creation of beauty is art. 

What have you been up to lately? Have you done any travelling?

xo Shannon

Thursday, October 1, 2015

adventures are the best way to learn.

Exciting news. I am Vegas bound! That's right. By the time you read this I will already be on my way to sunny Las Vegas. I couldn't be more excited. Travelling is one my favourite things to I try to do it as much as possible. Why am I heading to Nevada? My mom and I have been planning this trip for a while. It actually started last year. We had tickets to see Celine Dion perform at Caesar's Palace. Just before the scheduled trip she cancelled all of her performances. Understandably so, but it changed the purpose of our vacation.

When tickets for Celine went back on sale this year we were a little hesitant. There was no guarantee the concert would go as planned. It was risky to schedule another vacation around the show. Our solution? To make sure we had more than one reason to travel. We ended up buying tickets for both Celine and Donny & Marie. I am a massive fan of all of them. In fact I have seen Donny & Marie twice already. They are amazing! Which is how my mom and I ended up buying the Meet and Greet tickets as well.

Somehow our Celine trip has turned into an oh-my-gosh-I-am-going-to-meet-Donny-Osmond trip instead. Needless to say, I am ridiculously excited. What else do we have planned? Shopping and seeing the sights. This will be my fourth time visiting Las Vegas (once when I was a kid, once with my friend, and once with my mom) - but every time I go there it seems to be a very different experience. Here is hoping it lives up to my expectations.

I won't be blogging while I am away. But stay tuned! After I get back from my trip I will fill you in on everything that happened.

Do you have any travel plans?

xo Shannon