Saturday, November 28, 2015

perfume is the most intense form of memory.

My weakness? Perfume. When it comes to makeup and beauty products I tend to have far more than I need. That typically results in conversations with myself about needing to buy less. Oddly enough, I have never had that conversation in regards to perfume. I am not sure why. I probably should, to be honest! At this point, I have run out of room to properly store it all. My shelves are jam packed with different scents. But here is the thing about perfume: it is magical.

Not only does it look beautiful in the bottle and smell incredible...but it also takes you back. One whiff can remind me of a special day, a special person, and a special time. Perhaps that is the reason I keep adding more to my collection. I am looking for scents to capture those picture perfect moments. The latest on my shelf? Nicole by Nicole Richie. 

Every now and again I stumble upon discounted perfume. (Thank goodness for good sales!) Those are good days. That is exactly how I ended up purchasing Nicole without even smelling it first. Okay.....that is a bit of a gamble. But I can rarely resist a good price and a new perfume. Thankfully that gamble paid off big time. The scent is absolutely incredible. It is ultra sophisticated, a little musky, and extremely luxurious. This is the perfect addition for an interview, a nice dinner, or a special event. And since the holiday season is all about meeting up with friends and attending work events, I know this will come in handy.

As you can see from the picture above, the bottle is just as sophisticated as the scent. It is elegant, glamorous, and downright beautiful. This is the kind of perfume you feel proud to display. The kind that you want to show off. I give kudos to Nicole Richie for not only creating a sophisticated and grown up scent but one that does not skimp on design.

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with this perfume. The scent is beautiful and the bottle is breathtaking. The best part? Every time I wear it, I feel strong, powerful, and feminine. That is the sign of a great fragrance.

Have you tried this perfume? What do you think of the bottle?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 26, 2015

YouTube: Jem and the Holograms - Daytime/Dramatic Makeup Tutorial

Out of all the makeup I have bought or received in the last while, the best has to be the Jem and the Holograms collection. You might remember my post from a few weeks back. It was dedicated to swatches and reviews of the products. (Pictured above.) The truth? The more I use the products...the more I love them. Seriously. Despite the many looks I have created, the eyeshadows and lipsticks continue to inspire me. The versatility, quality, and the pigmentation makes my heart beast faster. Which is why instead of simply doing a review of the Jem and the Holograms collection by Sephora, I decided to make a two part video series on my YouTube channel. 

The second part is a makeup tutorial. It features a daytime look and a classic Jem look as well. (Because you can't buy 80s inspired makeup without doing an 80s inspired makeup look!) Actually, my friend suggested I make this video. Daytime vs. Dramatic. The moment she suggested it? I knew exactly how I wanted both looks to turn out. So today I will be showing you what I created using the Jem and the Holograms collection. 

Daytime Look: Let's start with the daytime look. At first glance you probably wouldn't think you could create something pretty - and natural - with the Jem and the Holograms collection. Wrong! As I mentioned previously, this is an extremely versatile collection. On the eyes, I used the soft shimmery shades then deepened the crease slightly. Then I added a bit of polish with the shimmery nude shade from the liquid lipstick set. Simple, quick, and totally gorgeous.

Dramatic Look: Now for a bit of drama. This look was definitely different for me. I rarely attempt ultra over the top costume makeup. Despite that, I think this turned out pretty well! I used a picture of Jem from the DVD box and did my own interpretation. For the eyes, I used an awful lot of the shade Jerrica and tons of that shimmery silver. That contrasted the bold pink in a fun and fabulously 80s way. Then I used the Jem lipstick to finish it all off. 

Want to get a closer look at how these came together? Take a look at the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel. My latest video is a step by step daytime/dramatic look tutorial.

When it comes to makeup? Music? TV? Jem and the Holograms has a special place in my heart. So, I really hope you guys enjoyed this two part series. It was definitely a lot of fun to film. In the weeks and months to come, I will continue to use these amazing products. Why? I love them!

Let me know what you think of these makeup looks! And be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you get the chance.

xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

event: elle canada and swarovski

Living close to a big city has its perks. Normally that means going to concerts or meeting up with friends. Recently? That meant attending an event sponsored by Elle Canada. The magazine teamed up with Swarovski for a night of luxury. Not only did attendees get the chance to take a peek at the latest pieces from the Swarovski holiday collection (just in time for Christmas shopping) but there was also a 20% discount on all items purchased, a presentation from the magazine, chocolate, and champagne. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night in the city.

Which is exactly why my mom and I decided to attend the event. She is a massive fan of Swarovski and already has a pretty extensive collection of pieces. This time? She was looking for something specific: a matching pair of earrings to go with the necklace and bracelet set she has. Along the way she also managed to fall in love with a pair of earrings and a ring. Me? I was head over heels in love with a set of stacked V shaped rings. Sadly they were sold out of most sizes and only had very small ones left. Alas! Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise. Even though there was a 20% discount to entice buyers, I was determined to enjoy the event, without spending.

The event itself was a lot of fun. We got to browse through some beautiful pieces, check out a live presentation from Elle Canada, and we even got a fabulous goodie bag on the way out! Inside was a copy of their latest issue (featuring Kylie Jenner on the cover), a shampoo and conditioner, a Marc Jacobs mini perfume, a nail polish, a Neutrogena skin cream, and a face perfecting cream. That was definitely a nice bonus!

Beforehand, my mom and I did a little bit of shopping downtown. We picked up a couple of things for the holidays. But for the most part we were on our best behaviour. I for one was very impressed with our self-control. Today, I was looking back at a few pictures I snapped at the event. So I thought that I would share them with all of you. Take a look….

There is something special about a night on the town. Especially when you spend it with someone you love. I always have a good time hanging out with my mom…. event or no event. However, the Elle Canada and Swarovski collaboration was certainly an evening to remember.

What do you think of these pictures? What is the last event you attended?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 22, 2015

review: dior addict lipstick

Every now and then it feels good to splurge. Some people like to spend a day at the spa or get a relaxing massage. Me? The answer is always makeup. A little while back I decided to try out a Dior lipstick. While I love Dior products in general, I rarely buy them. This is largely because of the price tag. There are simply other brands I could choose.....that will give me more bang for my buck. My Sephora trips are largely spent wandering the selection of NARS, Benefit, and Kat Von D products. Until my eyes fell onto the Dior Addict Lipstick collection. 

They. Were. Beautiful. Not just kind of pretty or sort of nice. Absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful. Everything from the luxurious packaging to the swatches took my breath away. I had to have one. There were a few different shades to choose from but I wound up with Smile. It was warm and shimmery. But most importantly? It was wearable and versatile. That is exactly what I want from a high end item. The shade is a mid-toned pink and it has a subtle shimmer to it. Take a look....

As you can see from the picture above, the colour is absolutely fabulous. It is that perfect mid-toned pink. I knew that I loved the shade....but I was surprised by how much I loved this lipstick. The colour is like my-lips-but-better with tons of shine, gloss, and shimmer. It is like a lipgloss without all of the stickiness or that annoying tacky feeling. This goes on so smooth. The texture is creamy and rich. Think of it like the best tinted lip balm ever, basically! I absolutely love the way this lipstick feels on my lips, the colour payoff is wonderful, and the finish is superb. It leaves my lips looking plump, glossy, and downright gorgeous. I am completely obsessed.

 Since purchasing the Dior Addict Lipstick it has become a regular part of my life. I find myself reaching for it over and over again. It doesn't matter if I am running out to grab groceries or have a date night with my husband. This lippie comes in handy! Sometimes, splurge items are totally worth it. I am very happy that I chose to treat myself to something a little bit different.

Want to see it in action? Here is a recent makeup look I created. I used my NARSissist eyeshadow palette, my favourite Rimmel bronzer, and of course, my Dior Addict lipstick. 
Impressed? That would be putting it lightly. The Dior Addict lipstick has quickly become one of my all-time favourites. Why? Every time I put it on, I leave the house feeling like a million bucks. That is the power of makeup after all. It allows us to tap into our inner confidence....and take on the world in style.

What do you think of this shade? Have you tried any of the Dior Addict lipsticks?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 19, 2015

wear your ugly christmas sweater often.

Tacky? Over the top? Totally cliche? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Despite this, the ugly Christmas sweater has remained a seasonal staple. For good reason. There is something so endearing about these sweaters. They take you back to a simpler time. They don't take themselves too seriously. And most importantly? Ugly Christmas Sweaters are fun. This is especially important as we creep closer to the holiday season. Having fun (and not taking everything so seriously) is a definite must.

Maybe you have a work event in the near future. Or an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Or just plan to rock a fabulous sweater on your next shopping trip. Whatever the reason...a holiday sweater is likely in your future. So glam it up! There are plenty of simple ways to add a little oomph to that traditional piece. Think edgy extras and ultra sophisticated accessories. The combination will take your sweater to a more fashionable place.

To show you what I mean, I decided to create a set. It is all about adding glamour to your Ugly Christmas Sweater. I chose a pair of wet look leggings and metallic shoes to create contrast. Then I infused a touch of glitz and glam with a small white purse, a soft pink blush, and gorgeous dangling earrings. Take a look and let me know what you think!

The Ugly Christmas Sweater will be everywhere this holiday season. Now that the countdown is is time to think about styling. My advice? Pair your sweater with fashionable pieces and well placed accessories. You will look amazing wherever you go. 

How do you style your Christmas sweaters? What do you think of this set?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

my life isn't perfect....but my hair is.

In general? I am not a fan of surprises. I like to know what is going to happen and when. I like planning, to-do lists, and advanced notice. There is something calming about it all. But sometimes? Small surprises can be kind of nice. Like the day my husband brought home a book called 10-Minute Hairstyles. Not for any specific reason. Just because. Those are the kind of surprises I enjoy. Ones that make me smile but don't ruin my perfectly planned out day. 

For a few days that book kind of sat there. I flipped through it right away and fell in love with a few styles....but had nowhere specific to go. Then the day of my friends wedding I was running late. My hair was a total disaster and there was a limited amount of time before we had to leave for the venue. What was I to do? Pull out the book! It is full of different hairstyles. Some for short hair, some for mid-length, and some for long hair. Curled, wavy, straight, voluminous. You name it and there is a style for that! The one I chose to re-create was the hairstyle pictured on the cover. Instantly I had fallen in love with it. Simple but ultra romantic. 

Yes, I decided to give it a try. I'll be honest and say that I am not all that great with hair. I tend to get frustrated and bored during the styling process. Which is why the 10 minute thing really appealed to me. did it turn out? Not bad. It certainly didn't look like the cover of the book. But hey - it was a start. Looking back, I should have done a much more dramatic side part for the braid. Made the braid thicker. Oh, and focused on creating more curls. However time was of the essence and I did what I could in the time allotted. 

Since this was my first time trying out the hairstyle I thought I would show you some pictures I took. When I create this look again I will be sure to show you all. Who knows? It might look more like the picture. Fingers crossed!

Trying out new hairstyles has never been at the top of my to do list. Despite this, I am trying to get more creative with my hair. This book is just the thing I need to do it. Here is hoping that I can create some gorgeous - and fashionable - styles in the weeks and months to come.

What is your go-to hairstyle? Do you like trying out new looks?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 15, 2015

believe in the magic of the season.

It's the greatest time of year. Well....almost. The holiday season is one that fills me with such immense joy. I think the weeks (and months) leading up to Christmas are even better than the actual day itself. Why? It gives me the chance to partake in all of the annual traditions. Decorating, wrapping gifts, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with family. I love those moments more than I could ever describe. They give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Which is probably why I am in full blown Christmas mode. Even though it is only mid-way through November. There is something so special about the holiday season. I want to hold onto it for as long as possible.

What have I been doing to enjoy the holiday so far? My shopping list is quickly being whittled down, I have wrapped gifts I have already bought, enjoyed a candy cane (or two), watched seasonal cartoons, and today? Today my friend and I are going to see the Santa Claus Parade. This is something I am crazy excited about. I have always wanted to go.....and finally I will be able to cross that off of my holiday bucket list. It is sure to be an incredible day. I will definitely keep you all posted.

Since I am getting super into the holiday spirit, I wanted to share a few stunning seasonal photos. Looking through them makes me giddy. I love the warmth and the beauty they provide. Hopefully they make you feel the same way. Take a look!

Yes, the holiday season is on my mind. I love everything about it. Which is why I was really excited to receive a pair of snowflake earrings from INALIS to review on my YouTube channel. Take a look at this gorgeous winter accessory - along with the other items I have added to my jewellery box.

The holiday season is coming up fast. This year? I want to avoid the rush and enjoy every little moment there is. Why? I love Christmas and I love the magic of the holidays. That magic starts now.

Are you getting excited for the holidays?

xo Shannon

Friday, November 13, 2015

in love with: style art

Fashion? Beauty? They have always been linked to art and expression. For me, clothing has always been more than a cool top or a bold print. It tells the world: This is who I am. This is how I feel. Perhaps that is why Style Art stood out to me so much. The website ( is a venue for creativity. For stunning fashion. For personality and individualism.

So, just what is Style Art? This website works in two different ways. One way to use it? You create and sell your own designs. That includes t-shirts, tops, accessories, and even shoes. Once you have come up with your design it is uploaded to the website. What next? You earn commission every sale your design makes. For fashion lovers? Style Art is a place to shop for unique items you won't find anywhere else. That means fashion forward designs that speak to your own personal style.

Instantly I fell in love with the idea. There is something special about selling your own design. It gives you the chance to tap into your creative side and share your vision with fellow fashionistas. On the flip side? There is something exciting about shopping for pieces that aren't being sold in every H&M, Forever 21, and Zara. Browsing through the wide selection of pieces gives you the opportunity to change up your wardrobe, do something different, and add some pizzazz to your next look. Pretty cool, huh?

While I love the idea of designing my own tee....I opted to choose a design by someone else instead. The reasoning is simple. The moment I saw it, I had to have it! (Fashion is like that sometimes, isn't it?) The Drew Barrymore Women's Continental Tunic Vest in White took my breath away. I love the selection of pictures, the way they are laid out, and the laid-back carefree vibe the piece has. The moment it arrived at my doorstep I could not contain my excitement.

The shirt looks just like it did on the website. That always impresses me. There is nothing more disappointing than ordering something and ending up with a piece that looks drastically different. Other pluses? The colours on the shirt are vibrant, the t-shirt material is super soft, and the fit is perfectly relaxed. It is a gorgeous tank that I cannot wait to wear over and over again. Here is a closer look at my new favourite tee!

Looking to create your own piece? Or to pick up something special? Then be sure to check out the Style Art website. You will not be disappointed! The concept of the company is fabulous....and the products are even better. Be sure to take a look.

What do you think of this tank top? Have you used Style Art before?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Jem and the Holograms by Sephora: Review and Swatches!

Music has always been a big part of my life. Even when I was very very young. Case in point? Jem and the Holograms. I used to watch the 80s TV show with my mom and my sister. At the time? All I really cared about were the songs and the cool outfits....but years later I am still a massive Jem fan. Currently I am binge watching the complete series. Oh and I recently picked up some pieces from the Jem and the Holograms collection by Sephora. These days? Jem is on my mind an awful lot lately. From the outrageous hair to the incredible outfits and of course, the jaw-dropping makeup, this is one serious source of inspiration.

That is why I desperately wanted to share the Jem and the Holograms collection with you. My friend and I were hanging out when we discovered the line existed. Suddenly it was all hands on deck. We needed this makeup in our lives....stat! The Sephora site was totally sold out. I was searching frantically on eBay. My friend was calling around to stores. Finally she tracked down the makeup in a store about an hour away. The next day? My husband was driving me to go pick it up. You are probably wondering: was it worth all the trouble? In short? Yes. Yes. Yes. Each and every item exceeded my expectations.

What did we end up taking home? The Jem and the Holograms Truly Truly Outrageous Lipstick, the Liquid Lipstick set, and the Truly Outrageous Eyeshadow Palette. Take a look at the pictures below to get a better idea of the packaging, the colours, and the products.....

Truly Truly Outrageous Lipstick
This lipstick is the perfect representation of Jem. Why? That colour! It is effortlessly 80s....and super glam. Definitely worthy of a rock star. As you can see, the packaging is a fabulous bright pink. It definitely stands out in my makeup collection! The colour is bright, fun, and yes, truly outrageous. I absolutely love this lippie! 

Liquid Lipstick Set
Honestly? I don't own a ton of liquid lipsticks. Only a few. Not anymore! I picked up this liquid lipstick set from the collection and I absolutely adore it. The colours are so stunning. There is a nice variety of shades in this set (from sparkly to nude to bright pink and a super deep purple) and they go on exactly as pictured. They are incredible

Truly Outrageous Eyeshadow Palette 
It's true. I am a total eyeshadow fanatic. There is something about the beautiful colours....the endless possibilities....that I simply cannot get enough of. Which is why my favourite item from the collection is this eyeshadow palette. There is such a lovely range of shades. That bright pink is my personal favourite (see me wear it in the video below!) but there are also pretty blues, greens, and purples. Not to mention some gorgeous neutrals and seriously shimmer silvers. Love, love, love! 

Want to see the products in action? How about swatches? Then take a look at my latest YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. It is dedicated to this incredible collection!

Jem and the Holograms represents something very special in my childhood. Watching it now? I have fallen in love with the characters, the music, and the story all over again. No wonder I adore this makeup collection so much. The products are amazing, the quality is fabulous, and everything about it screams: Jem! Sephora really knocked one out of the park this time.

Have you tried anything from the Jem and the Holograms line?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 5, 2015

writing is the painting of the voice.

It's amazing. I used to get so excited about every single article. Each time I submitted one....there was this wave of anticipation. When would it go up? Would anybody read it? Would anybody actually like it? For a long time, there mere concept of being published was foreign to me. Growing up, it had always been my dream to see my name in print. (Still waiting on that one. Internet writing is where life has taken me!) My whole life I had written stories, poetry, articles, and everything in between. But they all stayed with me. I rarely shared them. So, when I started writing professionally, there was this sense of fear and excitement that accompanied every piece.

The other day I was scheduling posts to go up for a company I write for. Suddenly out of nowhere I remembered. I remembered how I used to feel before every article went live. That buzz, that thrill. I remembered how I would send article links to every person I had ever known. That I would favourite the links. That I would screen cap every single page. The simple fact that something I had written was out there for public consumption? It felt like a dream come true. That moment of remembering? It made me nostalgic....but it also made me sad. I miss that feeling. In my need to get things done, stick to a schedule, and finish my to do list, I have forgotten how to pause, reflect, and process.

This is something I want to change. I want to feel proud of the things I have done and the pieces I have written. Which is why I decided to share a few of my recent articles with you. If you have a moment, please take a look.

The Best of NYFW S/S 2016
Lauren Conrad: From MTV to NYFW
10 Minute Hairstyles For Every Occasion 
The Very Best Beauty Apps
4 Reasons To Date Online
5 Ways To Infuse Your Day With Happiness
Wedding Flowers: Real or Fake? 
When To Post Wedding Photos

What have you written lately?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

the earth has music for those who listen.

There has been a lot going on lately. I have been to concerts, I have seen friends, and I have even tackled an escape room. Phew! It seems like downtime has become a thing of the past. At least for the time being. Who would have thought October would be such a jam packed month? One special thing about October....the birthdays. My own birthday was a couple of weeks ago and my husband's birthday was a week before that. He normally doesn't do a whole lot to celebrate the event. Typically it is a dinner and a movie kind of night. This year? He decided to do something special.

A few days before his birthday he decided that he wanted to visit Muskoka, Ontario. This is a few hours away from us. So it was far but not a totally unheard of road trip. This area is basically trees, lakes, camp grounds, and small inns. Cottage country! For me? The idea of embracing nature left me a little cold. I am not an outdoorsy person. Bugs and thank you. Since it was his birthday, I decided to embrace nature as much as possible.

The weekend trip consisted of exploring a small town, checking out local restaurants, hiking, and exploring the area. There were lots of trees. Oh and a lot of snow. Not long after our arrival it began to snow heavily. Not my idea of a good time. All of that snow meant that we had to buy thick hats and sweaters. Anything to stay warm! We managed to have fun despite the chilly temperatures.

Here are a few pictures from our weekend away....

So, that was that! I am not a nature lover by any means, but I am glad my better half got to do something fun for his birthday.

Speaking of own birthday was last week. Take a look at the video I filmed for the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel. It is a quick birthday present haul!

Where is the last place you visited?

xo Shannon