Monday, January 30, 2017

emma stone: love it or leave it?

Movies are an incredible form of entertainment, escape, and release. Which explains why I have a massive shelf jam packed with movies, movies, and more movies. Despite my love of film....the stories that speak to me are rarely nominated for prestigious awards. With the exception of La La Land. This is a movie beloved by critics, award shows, and audiences alike. A rare occurrence! Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into the screen. But my love of all things Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone pushed me forward. The movie took my breath away. The music was incredible, the story was compelling, and the visuals were arresting.

Needless to say, my love of La La Land has cause me to follow Emma Stone's public appearances pretty closely. That is how I came across the red carpet look, pictured above. Emma wore this unique dress to the Paris premiere of the film. So, love it or leave it?

What I Love: Emma has incredible style. Whenever she hits the red carpet, she looks absolutely amazing. She takes risks but tends to stick to classic silhouettes. The combination is flawless. With this premiere look in particular, there are many things that I love. Her hair and makeup are perfect (I am loving that eyeshadow shade and lip colour together. They shouldn't work together and yet they do) and she shape of the dress is phenomenal. I love those shoulders!

What I Loathe: Unfortunately, there were a few aspects of this outfit that did not speak to me. For instance, the top half is beautiful The bottom half is beautiful. Together? They seem a little mismatched. That mismatched quality takes away from the elegance of this dress. All of those gorgeous details suddenly become overwhelming and out of place.

On another latest YouTube video is up. It is all about achieving a Quick and Easy One Shadow Makeup Look. It is perfect if you are in a rush or want something simple but fab. Check it out!

What do you think of Emma's premiere outfit? Love it or leave it?

xo Shannon

Saturday, January 28, 2017

FOTD featuring naked cosmetics

Hard to believe, but it is already the end of January. This month has been all over the place for me. There have been some great moments (like hanging out with my best friend, going to the movies with my husband, and catching up on everything post-holiday season) and some not-so-great moments (like being tired and sick). For the last little while, I have been feeling under the weather. I'd wake up exhausted and ill - and sleep most of the day away. It was not a great way to spend the first month of 2017.

During that period of feeling off and sick....I started to get a little restless. Since I didn't have enough energy to be productive (even though my to do list was full of tasks like cleaning, organizing, writing articles, and everything in between) I decided to do something fun. Just for me. So on a sleepy Saturday morning, I straightened my hair and played around with makeup. For no reason at all. Even though the remainder of the day would be spent in bed, I was desperate for a creative outlet. That brings me to this Face Of The Day post.

I started by with the skin (Cover Girl foundation, NYX Highlight and Contour palette, and Kat Von D concealer), then the brows (Maybelline brow pencil). Next up were the eyes, which I decided to have some fun with. Since one of my New Years Resolutions is to be more adventurous with makeup and colour....colour it was. I used the Naked Cosmetics set that I picked up at IMATS and applied a shimmery pink all over the lid (These can be applied dry or wet but I chose to apply them wet for an ultra pigmented pop). Then I worked a deep purple into the crease, blended with a fluffy brush, and added a shimmery champagne shade on the inner corner.

Next up was a little liquid eyeliner (Hard Candy Walk the Line in black) and mascara (Rimmel Rockin' Curves) to finish off this bold eye look. I used a little bronzer on the cheeks and topped it off with the Becca Jaclyn Hill Face Palette highlight. On the lips, I opted for an orange-nude shade (Kylie Cosmetics lip liner in Dolce K and a liquid lipstick from Jem and the Holograms by Sephora). Take a look at the completed Face Of The Day below.....

This makeup look was just what I needed to lift my spirits. Though I was still sick in bed least I spent a little time doing something fun. It improved my mood, if nothing else!

What do you think of this FOTD?

xo Shannon

Thursday, January 26, 2017

new clothes from zaful.

One of my new years resolutions was to spend less. Unfortunately, that meant my wardrobe budget would have to be reduced. That was not an exciting thought for someone who loves finding (and wearing) new clothes. For me? A new item in my wardrobe represents a million possibilities. There are so many ways to wear a new piece, accessorize it, and make it my own.

At first, I thought my limited funds meant there would be no new clothes in my future. Turns out, I needed to steer clear of overpriced garments at the mall and find an affordable (but stylish) alternative. Zaful checked off all the boxes for me. This fashion based website has a wide selection of beautiful designs (both classic and trendy), fast shipping, and great prices. It is the perfect solution for anyone looking to follow their new years resolutions without sacrificing amazing style.

While browsing the Zaful website, I was struck by the many different items. There were a ton of gorgeous pieces that caught my eye! So many, in fact, that I had to work hard to narrow down my list. Ultimately, I chose two tops and a bodysuit.

Piece #1: Cold Shoulder V-Neck Top

The first item that landed in my cart was the Cold Shoulder V-Neck Top. There were a few different colours to choose from but I loved that beautiful dark red. I also really loved the cut out details on the sleeves. Lately, I have been loving cut outs because they can jazz up a simple top and highlight a well placed peek of skin. What I love about this piece in particular is how flattering it is. The V-neck style is sophisticated, the sleeve detail is chic and trendy, and the fabric is soft and comfortable to wear. This is a great piece for a night out or a nice dinner!

Piece #2: Long Sleeved Choker T-Shirt

Next up was the Long Sleeved Choker T-Shirt. This is one that I was particularly excited about thanks to that amazing choker detail. Quite frankly, I had never seen anything quite like it before and was immediately smitten. The fabric is super soft and comfortable but that choker elevates this basic top to a whole new level of amazing. It gives it a bold and on trend twist. The moment I put it felt like I was channeling my inner Kardashian! This is definitely something I plan to wear often.

Piece #3: Floral Sequined Plunging Neck Long Sleeved Bodysuit

The last item I received from Zaful was this bodysuit. A bodysuit is actually something I have wanted for ages but was a little nervous to try. But when I saw this floral sequined design....I knew that I had to have it. In person, this did not disappoint There is some truly astounding sequined work that gives it the most elegant and sophisticated finish. To say it is stunning would be a major disservice to this piece. It is exquisite.

The only downside was the fit. Since I had never ordered (or worn) a bodysuit before, I really didn't think about the proportions. So it ended up being too short for me to wear as is (I am 5"8). Luckily, I was able to modify it so it is now a beautiful top. My advice? If you buy this for yourself, be sure to consider your height. Read to description and measurements carefully. That way, you can get the right fit for your body type. Ahh and learn!

Overall, I was extremely happy with my order from Zaful. Everything arrived quickly, the pieces were exactly as pictured, and the quality exceeded my expectations. The fabric was comfortable, everything looked great, and the details were perfectly executed. I am very eager to add these new pieces to my wardrobe.

To find out more about Zaful, check out their website:

Which piece is your favourite?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

review: max studio eyeshadow (barely nude palette)

I have this weird tradition. Every year, I buy myself something small to open up on Christmas Eve. It is always an eyeshadow palette of some sort (typically from the drugstore) which will be used to create my makeup look for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It might seem silly, but for me, it just adds to the excitement of my two favourite days. This year? I picked up the Max Studio Eyeshadow - Barely Nude Palette during a pre-holiday shopping trip. It was $10 and caught my eye thanks to all of that shimmer. Finally....I am writing about it. Now that the holidays have wound down, I am starting to catch up on some reviews. So stayed turned for lots of those!

As for the Max Studio palette, it immediately stood out to me. Even though the packaging is quite simple. It is sleek, black, and basic (and has a habit of picking up fingerprints). Despite the so-so exterior....the shades on the inside were too beautiful to ignore. There are a whopping 28 shades, and for the most part, they look just like they do in the pan. Each shade is ultra shimmery and has a smooth buttery texture. All of the shimmer (there are no matte shades here) makes this palette a must have for the winter months. I absolutely love the way these look, the texture, and the staying power.

Take a peek at the shades below! As you can see there are creams, browns, rust colours, metallic shadows, and more.

Yes, the shadows are lovely. The only complaint I have about this palette is the lack of versatility. There isn't a ton of shade difference (at least not a significant difference) between the lighter shades. So while all of the shadows are cannot create a lot of looks using them. If they had thrown a few deeper shades into the mix or cut out some of those super light shades? The palette would have benefited significantly.

So, how do the eyeshadow shades look on the skin? This is the makeup look I created for Christmas Eve using the Max Studio Eyeshadow Barely Nude Palette. 

What do you think of this makeup look? Have you tried anything from Max Studio?

xo Shannon

Sunday, January 22, 2017

my worst quality is that i get very passionate about what i think is right.

It wasn't on my list of New Years Resolutions....but perhaps it should have been. Speak my mind. Over the last little while, I have found it harder and harder to stay silent. In the past, I have bit my tongue, backspaced opinionated Facebook statuses, and scrolled past ignorant statements. I cannot continue to do so. With so much social upheaval happening in the world today, I refuse to be part of the problem. I will speak my mind.

To everyone who participated in the Women's March events that happened yesterday (whether you attended one in person, tweeted about it, or made a donation to an organization like Planned Parenthood)....know that I admire you. Your courage, strength, and determination to make the world a better place, inspires me. It makes me believe there is hope so long as we stick together.

As Hillary Clinton tweeted yesterday, "I truly believe we're always Stronger Together."

So, thank you.From this point on, I hope we will all continue to speak up, stand up, and fight for what is right.

xo Shannon

Friday, January 20, 2017

5 tips for flawless cat eye liner.

It is rarely easy....but winged eyeliner can instantly transform your makeup from ordinary to a full blown wow moment. It is bold yet classic and there are so many variations. You can play with width, length, and placement to create an ultra flattering look. The only issue? Getting your eyeliner to look the way you want it to. This is something even the most skilled makeup lovers struggles with. Not to worry. These tips will help you achieve flawless cat eye liner in no time!

1. Create Your Shape With Shadow First
Sometimes, the most challenging aspect of cat eye liner is getting the shape you want....on both eyes. If you have struggled with this in the past, start with brown eyeshadow. Use a pencil brush and a medium brown eyeshadow to create that winged shape. If you're not happy with the immediate results, rub away the shadow or use a makeup remover and start over. This is softer and easier to remove than a black liner. So start with eyeshadow. Once you've created a look you like, trace over it with your chosen eyeliner. Voila! Gorgeous cat eye liner.

2. Try The Tape Trick
It's okay if you are still struggling. Another tried and tested trick is to use a bit of clear tape. Apply the tape directly to your face, starting at the outer corner, and going out toward the end of your eyebrow. This will act as your guide when you go to apply your liner. Simply follow the tape, let the liner dry completely, and carefully peel it off. You may need to make a few minor adjustments but the basic outline of your winged liner will be there.

3. Change Up Your Medium
Some products are easier to use than others. For instance, liquid eyeliner is far more challenging to work with than a gel liner (which doesn't transfer as easily) or a pencil/pen (which gives you more control). Don't feel like you have to stick to one medium. Test out different formulas and brands until you find one that works for you. Preferences vary from person to person, so be open to other opinions, but remember to trust your gut. If something works for you and doesn't work for your BFF? That's okay. Use what you love.

4. Watch YouTube Tutorials
Are you a visual learner? Then written instructions won't help you achieve that stunning cat eye look. Switch up the way you're learning to apply liner. Instead of relying on magazine articles and step by step instructions, check out YouTube. There are tons of great resources that will help you sharpen your skills. Search for a cat eye liner tutorial (preferably for beginners) and watch away. Your makeup will be flawless and your application process will be a total breeze.

5. Practice as Much as Possible
The unfortunate reality? Sometimes what you really need is practice. And lots of it. It takes time to fine tune a skill - and eyeliner is definitely a skill. So practice your cat eye liner whenever you can. It will become easier and easier to do. Put these tips to the test to speed up the process...and keep trying until you are happy with your liner look. With knowledge and determination on your side? You will be the queen of cat eye liner.

Do you have any eyeliner tips and tricks to share? Sound off in the comment section!

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

current obsession: betsey johnson purse.

Okay, so I have a lot of purses. Some are big and some are small. Some are bold and some are neutral. There is a little bit of everything in my collection. Everything except a pizza purse. Until now, that is. This Christmas, my mom gave me the most incredible purse I have ever laid eyes on. This pizza shaped bag has everything I love - a dash of novelty and tons of glitter.

That is what I love most about Betsey Johnson's designs. She doesn't take anything too seriously and nothing is off limits. Her pieces are bold, fun, and energetic. I absolutely adore of course, I cannot stop thinking about this incredible pizza purse! I love how sparkly it is, the expressive eyes, and the cute detail on the zipper (it says Betsey's Pizza Pie on it).

Quite frankly? There was a ton of thought put into this small, sparkly bag. While it is not the most practical purse in the world (it cannot hold more than the bare essentials), it more than makes up for it with that gorgeous exterior. Every time I carry it this pizza shaped bag, I feel amazing. And that is what fashion is all about.

Another one of my obsessions is the Too Faced Mascara Melt Off. Take a look at my latest YouTube video to see the product in action!

What do you think of this purse? Do you have a favourite bag?

xo Shannon

Monday, January 16, 2017

review: eShakti grace dress

I don't get dressed up as often as I used to. In the past? There were date nights, endless strings of concerts, and frequent get-togethers. These days, most of my nights are spent in sweatpants. I'm either typing on my computer, catching up on a TV show, or hanging out at my parent's place. None of those activities require a hair straightener or a pair of heels.

Yes, it has been a while since I have really gotten dressed up. I'm talking hair done, dress on, and shoes painstakingly selected. Thank goodness for eShakti. In case you don't know, eShakti is a fashion website that offers a wide selection of custom designs. That means you get the perfect fit every single time. All you need to do is choose an item you like, type your measurements into the order form, and wait for gorgeous customized fashion. The best part? You can also customize specific details, like length, fabric colour, and more. The end result is a gorgeous addition to your wardrobe.

The latest addition to my own wardrobe is the Grace Dress. I fell in love with it the moment I laid eyes on it. It was elegant, beautiful, and just a little bit retro. Once I ordered the dress, I could not wait to see it in person. Well, it did not disappoint. The fabric was soft, comfortable, and the embroidery detail along the top was just as breathtaking as I imagined. This dress has pockets on the sides (my favourite feature on any dress), goes past the knee, and has a stunning silhouette.

The first time I tried it on? I felt beautiful. Really beautiful. It was the first time in a while that I have felt that way. In fact, it made me feel so good that I decided to wear the dress out to a casual dinner with friends. Even though everyone else showed up in sweatshirts and jeans....I wowed in my eShakti dress. It gave me confidence I had been lacking lately. It also reminded me how important fashion really is.

Want to see the dress in all of its glory? This is the Grace Dress....

2017 is still in its infancy. Which means there is plenty of time to focus on fashion in the months ahead. Thanks to eShakti, my fashion game is off to a great start. Some other standout pieces from eShakti? The Mixed Media Sash Tie Midi Dress, the Floral Print Pleated Empire Crepe Dress, and the Tie Neck Stripe Print Crepe Shirtdress. Each piece is beyond stunning. Be sure to take a peek at the eShakti website yourself and share your favourite piece in the comment section below!

To find out more about eShakti (or to snag your own custom item), check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and of course, on their website.

What do you think of this dress?

xo Shannon

Saturday, January 14, 2017

my boxing day shopping experience.

Oh, boxing day shopping. It has always been a tradition in my household. Though it never quite made sense (buying things the day after receiving a mountain of presents), it is a tradition nonetheless. Every year, my mom and I head out to score some sweet deals and spend the day together. The time we spend together is easily the best part...but shopping is always fun.

There are certain malls we tend to go to. For whatever reason, we opted to head to another mall altogether this past Boxing Day. It was a chance to do something different and check out some new stores. Unfortunately? This was a very bad idea. The mall we went to was so crowded that simply moving around the mall was next to impossible. There were line ups to get into almost every store (including an hour long wait for Michael Kors or Kate Spade. Insane!) and a frenzied, chaotic environment. It took us one hour just to get out of the parking lot. Needless to say, it was not a wonderful experience. But we learned a valuable lesson: don't go back to that mall!

On the plus side, we did manage to pick up a few special items. For me, that included: a sequined Calvin Klein sweater, a Mickey Mouse hoodie, Mouseketeer PJs, a pair of pajama bottoms, some bold earrings, an inflatable Dory, a stack of movies, a Santa Claus tote bag and a bunch of holiday themed accessories.

Though this Boxing Day was not the best we have was certainly memorable.

Have you done any shopping recently?

xo Shannon

Thursday, January 12, 2017

beauty resolutions for 2017

Last year, I set a number of beauty resolutions. (Check out that post here.) Some were successful and others are still a work in progress. Like taking my makeup off before bed each night. While I have certainly gotten much better at this.....there is definitely room for improvement. To kick-start a shiny new year, I wanted to continue this tradition by sharing a few of my beauty themed goals. They are a little bit different than last year, though there are admittedly some are repeat offenders.

So, here they are! These are my top five beauty resolutions for 2017....

Others that did not quite make the top five include: taking my makeup off before bed (of course), using more of what I have, and buying less. For whatever reason....I feel like these beauty related goals will become a reality. Perhaps that is my new year optimism coming through! Only time will tell, but you can expect an update post in about six months.

If you are looking for a little beauty inspiration of your own, be sure to check out the latest video on the creation of beauty is art. YouTube channel. It is a bold matte and metallic makeup tutorial, featuring a Hard Candy metallic liquid lipstick. Take a look!

What are your beauty resolutions?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

what i got for christmas.

My favourite aspects of the holiday season? Loved ones, Christmas movies, music, and TV specials, freshly baked cookies, and the incredible decorations. All of it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Low down on the list? Presents. Don't get me wrong...presents are fun. But they don't make the holiday season magical. They are like an extra dollop of icing on an already perfectly iced cake.

For whatever reason, I was very very spoiled this year when it came to gifts. I think this is due to the fact that I am super easy to shop for. I like everything! Still, I am incredibly grateful to my family and friends for spoiling me rotten this Christmas. Without further are some of the items I was given this holiday.

What were you given this Christmas? 

xo Shannon

Sunday, January 8, 2017

treasure the moments that capture our hearts.

Though I hate to admit it....the holiday season is over. Christmas has come and gone and we are already into January. Despite my desperate attempts to slow down time, life has begun to return to normal. There is work to be done, responsibilities to catch up on, and a slew of New Years resolutions waiting to be fulfilled. Phew! No wonder I love the holidays so much. All of those to do lists disappear - and those responsibilities are put on hold. At least for a little while.

Since I am not quite ready to commit myself to everyday life, I wanted to spend some time looking back. These are a few of my favourite photos from the holiday season. It was spent with my husband and my family...and I love every minute of it! I was definitely spoiled this year (though I don't know why) so expect a "What I Got For Christmas" post in the days to come. For now? Here are a few of the highlights.

How did you spend the holidays? Are you getting back into your normal routine?

xo Shannon

Friday, January 6, 2017

review: w7 advent calendar

If I could describe December in one word, it would be advent. The month was extra exciting thanks to the numerous countdowns going on. There was my traditional chocolate advent calendar, an advent bear (that sang while counting down the days until Christmas), an incredible advent my best friend made for me (with jokes, special activities, and seasonal things to do), and even a makeup advent. The latter was full of mini makeup products from w7.

The advent included: eight lipsticks, four lip glosses, five nail polishes, one foundation, one concealer, one bronzer, three loose glitters, and one full sized mascara. It was so much fun to open up a new (makeup related) surprise every day. Honestly? Now that December is over, I miss it. It was such a nice way to brighten up those cold snowy days. were the products inside? Shockingly stellar. I didn't have exceptionally high expectations going into this. After all, they were mini makeup items inside an advent calendar. How great could they be? But they absolutely blew me away. The quality was fantastic - and even though the products were small, each item contained an awful lot of product.

The lipstick shades are incredibly pigmented and long lasting. There was also a great selection of colours. That included a frosted pink, a classic red, and a vampy mauve. All of the bases were covered when it came to selection and range. As for the glosses, they were equally pigmented and didn't leave that sticky feeling on the lips. The shades ranged from clear to a shimmery berry colour and a beautiful deep red.

This advent also included a selection of nail polish shades. These are great because they are the perfect size for travel and the colours are gorgeous. My personal favourite is the sparkly red shade. It is so festive! The set also came with a bronzer and let me say...this is a standout. The texture is buttery smooth, easy to blend, and a great shade for light to medium skin tones. Then there were the loose glitters. They came in a white, silver, and multi-coloured shade. Truthfully, these are incredible! I love that they put glitter in here because it is just so perfect for this time of year. Plus it has a great combination of smaller and larger chunks of glitter which makes it easy to customize the look.

As for the mascara? It was a little so-so. The Eyelust mascara is good for everyday but it doesn't add a whole lot of drama to the lashes. (I love lots and lots of lash drama,) As for the foundation and concealer? I love the idea of these being included in here because it really adds that extra versatility. Unfortunately for me, the shades didn't match my skin tone. These are definitely better suited to medium skin tones.

Overall, this was a fantastic advent with a ton of great products. It definitely made my holiday season merry and bright!

Did you open any advent calendars in December?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

how to avoid the post holiday blues.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. Just in case you didn't know (the last several weeks have been all-Christmas-all-the-time on my blog) you do! There is always so much excitement leading up to the big day. It is full of beautiful music, heartwarming movies, family time, and special events. By the time it's all over? Things can be, well, a little depressing. Suddenly that freshly fallen snow seems less than picturesque. It doesn't have to be that way. Here are a few quick and easy ways to avoid experiencing the post holiday blues this year.

  • Take time to look back. The easiest way to tap into your holiday spirit is to look back at photos from the season. Take time to browse through those family pictures, those selfies in front of the Christmas tree, and all of those incredible decorations. You'll immediately remember how wonderful the holiday season was...which will instantly boost your mood.
  • Find ways to stay busy in the new year. Is your calendar looking a little blank? Change that as soon as possible. Look for things to do and things to get excited about. That could mean checking out a new movie, making dinner plans with your best friend, picking up concert tickets, or scheduling a massage. It could even mean cleaning out the linen closet or going through old clothes. Just make sure your planner is full of activity.
  • Focus on your wants and needs. The holidays are over. Now what? Does that mean you should stop treating yourself? No way! This is the perfect opportunity to spend time on you. Read that book you've been wanting to pick up, head to the gym whenever you can, paint your toe nails, get your hair done, or test out a new recipe. Focusing on your own wants and needs will prevent the post holiday blues from taking hold. 
  • Cut yourself some slack. It takes time to re-adjust. After all of the holiday festivities have is impossible to slide back into your old routine. Give yourself a break and lower your expectations. Understand that it will take a few weeks for life to feel normal again. That is totally okay! Knowing that can help you avoid unnecessary stress.
Post holiday blues can happen to the best of us. Not this year! With preparation and a positive attitude, you can appreciate the magic of the holiday season and your everyday routine.

Do you have any tips to avoid the post holiday blues? Share them below!

xo Shannon

Monday, January 2, 2017

january inspiration board.

I always liked the idea of an inspiration board. Half the books on my shelf have outlined the importance of them. Not to mention every issue of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Women's Health. Seriously. Inspiration boards, also known as mood boards, are a big deal. They boost creativity, increase focus, and can help you work towards a specific goal. They are also a great way to get inspired and find your happy place. Especially after a long day at work. Or a draining conversation with a friend, family member, or neighbour. Whenever you need a quick pick-me-up....simply look to your inspiration board.

Since January is just beginning, I wanted to create my own inspiration board for the month. Just little things that are making me smile. You can take a look at it below. Maybe it will give you that extra burst of inspiration today....or perhaps it will inspire you to create your very own board.

As you can see....I am very much feeling classic sophistication at the moment. That is definitely coming through in this board. From the cat-eye sunglasses to the gorgeous retro paintings, the designer perfume, brown lip colour, and black polish, this month is all about embracing my inner Audrey Hepburn. Oh, and feeling grateful, blessed, and open to opportunity. Not a bad way to kick-start the new year.

Another way that I am staying inspired is through my YouTube channel. So, please take a peek at my latest video if you get a chance!

Have you ever made an inspiration board? What did you include?

xo Shannon