Tuesday, February 28, 2017

koko kollection by kylie cosmetics (review and swatches)


The Kardashians are high up on my list of loves. More specifically, Khloe Kardashian. I am a huge fan of her personality (she is bold, outspoken, and passionate), style (figure hugging bodysuits, distressed jeans, and massive hoops earrings), and talents (her book has been a big source of inspiration to me and she is a serious fitness queen). When Kylie Cosmetics announced the Koko Kollection - inspired by none other than Khloe Kardashian - I was desperate to get my hands on it.

I did....but it took a while. The first time the collection went on sale, it sold out before I could get to the checkout page. I had all but given up hope when an unexpected restock gave me a glimmer of hope. This time, I was ready. I hit refresh over and over until the kit was officially up for grabs. I rushed to the checkout page and waited with baited breath for it to load. Would I get it? Would the page time out? It was agonizing. Then, success! The KoKo Kollection was officially on the way.

Less than a week later, it arrived. Inside were three liquid lipsticks and one lip gloss with Khloe inspired names: Khlo$, Okurrr, Gorg, and Damn Gina. With so much buzz surrounding this limited edition Kylie Cosmetics collection, there is just one question to answer: did it meet expectations? Here is everything you need to know about the KoKo Kollection.

As I mentioned already, there were three liquid lipsticks and one gloss. The liquid lipsticks included Khlo$ (a peachy nude shade), Okurrr (a vibrant fuchsia), and Gorg (a deep plumb). Then there was the Poppin Gloss in the shade, Damn Gina (a sparkly pink gloss). The swatches below will give you a better idea of the colours themselves.

Left to Right:
Khlo$, Gorg, Okurrr, and Damn Gina.

These liquid lipsticks not only swatched well but they lasted. In fact, after taking that picture above, Ia attempted to remove the swatches. Nope! I tried two different makeup removers and even had a shower but the stain remained. For two days. Needless to say, the liquid lipsticks have some seriously stellar staying power. On the lips, they last all day without needing to be touched up. (The deeper shades actually stain the lips a little bit. So even when you take them off, your lips will likely hold onto a bit of the pigment. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences!) The gloss is pretty but does not have the same kind of longevity, which is to be expected. 

Now for the colours themselves. Talk about love! Each one has a special place in my heart. I love the vampiness of Gorg (which makes it a great fall shade), the bold and bright Okurrr (flawless for spring and summer), and the pretty shimmer that Damn Gina provides. Without a doubt, my favourite shade is Khlo$. The peachy nude is dramatic but not too over the top. It is easy to wear and looks great with literally any makeup look. It is the one I have been reaching for over and over again. 

Next up? The packaging. This is something that Kylie Cosmetics excels at. They have a way of making each order feel special. There was a cute little "handwritten" note from Kylie inside, along with the actual lipsticks. The KoKo Kollection came in a small white box with elegant writing on the front. The lipsticks themselves have a gorgeous gold finish. Everything about it screams glamour. 

The last thing to discuss is comfort. I am not one to put up with a lip product that is uncomfortable in any way, shape, or form. I simply do not have the patience for a high maintenance lippie! Thankfully, these are totally effortless. While they do not provide a ton of hydration, they aren't uncomfortably dry either. I don't have to put a chap stick or lip balm over top - which is something I do on a regular basis. They are definitely comfortable and easy to wear. 

Yes, the KoKo Kollection definitely met my expectations. The colours are beautiful, the pigmentation is intense, they have incredible longevity, and are comfortable to wear. I am in love! 

Have you tried any of these shades? Do you like Kylie Cosmetics?

xo Shannon

Sunday, February 26, 2017

FOTD: sunset inspired makeup

One of my favourite things? Spending hours getting ready for an event. It doesn't matter if it's a movie date, a get together with friends, or a night on the town. The process of getting ready is electric. It is also a luxury I do not experience all that often these days. Typically, I am rushed off my feet and desperately trying to throw a look together. Not this time. For the first time in ages....I was able to spend hours upon hours doing my makeup, curling my hair, and picking an outfit that made me sparkle. I felt like a million bucks. For a while, anyway.

On this particular day, I was lacking inspiration. So I decided to comb through my makeup collection until something called me. Lately, I have been really loving my Naked Cosmetics set because of the intense pigmentation when applied wet and the staying power. Since this was going to be an afternoon to evening event, I needed something that was both long lasting and bold. Ultimately, I chose a green-tinted gold and a burnt rust shade. The two shades together reminded me of a sunset.

The gold shade was applied on the centre of the lid and the rust shade on the outer corner and through the crease. I pulled the look together with a shimmery champagne shade in the inner corner (from Bare Minerals) and a matte taupe shade from my Smashbox  Matte palette. Then it was a bit of winged out black eyeliner (Gosh Cosmetics), mascara (Rimmel Rockin Curves), a peachy bronze blush, and my brand new Kylie Cosmetics liquid lipstick in Khlo$. Speaking of Khlo$....you can expect a full review of the KoKo Kollection shortly!

Overall, I was super happy with the way my makeup look turned out. It was fun to branch out, do something different, and enjoy the process.

What do you think of this makeup look?

xo Shannon

Friday, February 24, 2017

new in: toy story vans

It is important to have something to look forward to. At the moment? It is cold, rainy, and the streets are slick with ice. No wonder everyone seems tense, stressed, and down lately. Not me. I keep thinking about all of the amazing adventures that await. In a couple of months....I will be in sunny Las Vegas. And a couple of months following that trip? I will be in Florida. The latter has inspired more than a few recent additions to my wardrobe. My family and I are planning to spend some time seeing the sights in Orlando. I'm talking Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and of course, Walt Disney World.

So, there have been Little Mermaid t-shirts, Nightmare Before Christmas dresses, and Minnie Mouse printed tank tops. And my personal favourite addition? The Toy Store Vans that are pictured above. My mom and I had been searching everywhere for these. Unfortunately, all of the stores we went to had only certain prints or didn't have our sizes. It seemed like an impossible quest. Quite frankly, I had given up on snagging a pair of those super cute Disney shoes.

Then I went to visit my parents. My mom had mentioned she had a big surprise waiting for me. I didn't know what to expect....but I certainly was not expecting Toy Story shoes! I was blown away. They are so fun, cute, and comfortable. And I know they will add an extra special touch of style to our Disney vacation this summer. I can't wait!

Every time the winter blues catch me off guard...I look ahead. I think about the incredible places I will get to see. The amazing experiences I will have. And the fabulous memories that await.

What do you think of these shoes? Are you looking forward to something?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

celebrating two years on YouTube

That old cliche is oh so true: time flies when you're having fun. It is hard to believe, but I launched my YouTube channel two years ago. In the beginning, I posted every three weeks or so. Basically, whenever I had the house to myself! Now I am able to post once a week and am proud to say that my videos have dramatically improved. I feel more confident on camera and look forward to filming days. While editing and lighting are still constant struggles (without fancy editing software I am somewhat limited in what I can do. And a girl can always use more light!)....I do my best with the tools at my disposal.

As of right now? I have 800 subscribers and over 46 000 views. While I may not be a YouTube celebrity, this journey has been immensely rewarding. Not to mention challenging, creatively fulfilling, and fun. There is nothing quite as satisfying as uploading a new video. Fingers crossed I will be able to make a lot more videos in the future!

This post is just to pause, reflect, and ultimately, say thank you. My sincerest thank you to anyone who has watched one of my videos, subscribed, liked, commented, or supported me on this journey. It means the world to me to know there are people in my corner. So one more time...thank you.

Here is my latest video, which is of course, all about my two year channel anniversary. I also added in the Get To Know Me Tag - just in case any of you want to know more about little old me. Take a look....

Thank you for supporting the creation of beauty is art. here and on YouTube!

xo Shannon

Monday, February 20, 2017

inspired by: sabrina carpenter thumbs music video

Remember when music video premieres were a huge deal? You'd wait with baited breath for the latest offering to hit your television screen. Then you'd spend the next several months hoping it would be played over and over and over again. During that time, you would desperately attempt to memorize every lyric, every glance, and of course, every outfit. In fact, a lot of times...you'd try to re-create the look for yourself. Ahh, the good old days. Now? Music videos are uploaded to YouTube without much fanfare. You can watch it whenever you like and as much as you like. Things have certainly changed.

Since there is less fanfare about music videos these days, they tend to be simpler. Generally speaking, there are lower budgets and lackluster fashion. It has been a while since a music video actually inspired me, made me pause, and most importantly, made me want to re-watch. Then Sabrina Carpenter (you may know her from Disney channels Girl Meets World or a number of other Disney offerings) posted her new music video for "Thumbs."

It blew me away. Sure the concept was simple and there was one lone outfit worn throughout the video. But there was no denying the fact that "Thumbs" was something special. The song itself was catchy and the lyrics were thought provoking (it is truly a remarkable time when a Disney channel starlet is singing about finding your life's purpose and stepping away from the expected). It spoke to me on those levels. Sabrina's outfit also spoke to me. It was simple but edgy, and exuded power. In short....I loved everything about this music video.

Which is why I decided to come up with my own re-creation of her look. This is a set that I created - but you can easily put your own twist on the ensemble. Wear black on black, then add on your favourite bold silver accessories.

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. Sometimes? It catches us off guard in the best possible way. That is exactly what happened with Sabrina Carpenter's latest music video. It made me feel.

What do you think of this outfit? Share your latest inspirations!

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 18, 2017

review: cover girl jewels palette

YouTube is a big part of my life. Not only do I create my own beauty related videos but I watch a ton of them as well. When it comes to reviews, there are certain beauty gurus that I trust more than others. One example of a YouTuber I trust is emilynoel83. I have been watching her videos for years, so there is definitely a level of trust there. Which is why I was so disappointed when she gave a not-so-glowing review of the new Cover Girl truNaked Jewels palette.

This was one palette I had my eye on. The bold jewel tones looked spectacular - especially with all of that shimmer! Her review was especially upsetting since Cover Girl's  previous truNaked eyeshadow sets have become some of my all time favourite drugstore offerings. What was a beauty lover to do? Try it for myself? Skip it altogether? Decisions, decisions.

In the past, I have gone against Emily's recommendations only to find her opinion had been spot on....and I was stuck with disappointing makeup. This time? I didn't care. Even knowing I was bound to be let down, that Jewels palette was going to be mine. I was so enamored by the idea of it. that I simply had to know what it was like.

Going in, my expectations were low. Given the fact that Emily had mentioned weak pigmentation and flaky textures, I was preparing for the fall out. Literally. Turns out? There was no need. It was a happy surprise when the shadows were soft, buttery, and highly pigmented. Here is a summary of the palette.

- Smooth texture
- Wonderful shade range and variety of finishes
- Simple and travel friendly packaging
- Great pigmentation (the only exception is that Green Amber shade)
- Easy to blend and build up colour
- The shadows have names (many drugstore palettes do not)

- Green Amber is not as pigmented as the rest of the shadows
- $12 CDN is a little pricey for a smaller drugstore palette

Overall Rating: 4/5

Want to see the palette in action? Here is a makeup look that I created using the shades Sunstone, Quartz, and Gold.....

Honestly, I am glad that I took the risk on this Cover Girl eyeshadow palette. This is one brand that has really stepped up their gave in terms of both quality and shade selection. I can't wait to see what they will do next!

Have you tried this eyeshadow palette? Do you pay attention to YouTube reviews?

xo Shannon

Thursday, February 16, 2017

good things in life are better with you.

Valentine's Day is most commonly associated with romantic love. But if this year has taught me anything, it is that many different types of love make the holiday special. As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband was working the night of the 14th. That put a wrinkle in my dream of an unforgettable celebration. Turns out? I shouldn't have worried about a thing. This wound up being my best Valentine's Day ever.

It all started on Monday night. I went to my parents house to visit, as usual. Only nothing about it was normal. The house was decked out in red, with hearts everywhere, and cute stuffed animals piled on the couch. There were decorations, stacks of girly movies, and a bag full of gifts just for me. My mom and I spent the evening making Valentine's Day jewellery, crafting, playing board games, listening to the soundtrack for La La Land, and baking cookies. We had a blast. The only downside was that time passed by too quickly.

Before I knew it, I was back at the apartment. But then my husband surprised me with a heart shaped box of Turtles, a box of cookies, and an adorable stuffed giraffe. Since he does not care for the holiday this was an especially wonderful surprise.

The next day - Valentine's Day - my best friend dropped by my work so we could exchange Valentine's Day themed gifts. I was so overwhelmed by her generosity and it made the day feel so much brighter. That night, I ate a ton of candy hearts and watched one of my favourite movies, He's Just Not That Into You. 

This was definitely a Valentine's Day to remember. There is nothing better than giving (and receiving) love. The holiday is a wonderful reminder of that.

How did you celebrate Valentine's Day this year?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

every love story is beautiful...but ours is my favourite.

This is a very special post. Not only is it celebrating Valentine's Day (one of my favourite holidays) but this is also my 1000th post on the creation of beauty is art. Can you believe it? 1000 posts. That is insane. It is hard to remember all of them...but each one has a special place in my heart. I just wanted to thank you all for being a part of my blogging journey. For reading, commenting, and supporting this little page. It means so much to me. Thank you.

Now for the rest of the post! I wanted to say something very important to all of you: Happy Valentine's Day! Oh, how I love holidays. Though my favourite holiday is Christmas, I have a soft spot in my heart for any and all celebrations. They are a great excuse to have fun and be with the people you love. There is truly nothing better. Valentine's Day in particular is great because it is all about love! Oh, and eating chocolate. That is my kind of celebration.

I am not sure what to expect from Valentine's Day this year. My husband is working all evening so it looks like I will be alone tonight. Usually, I bake something special, cook him dinner, and give him presents. Instead? It will be an evening of chick flicks for one. Despite the less than ideal scenario....I am excited about Valentine's Day. Yesterday, I was able to celebrate with my family. So, even though today is a little disappointing, the holiday has definitely been enjoyed.

On another note....my latest YouTube video is up! It is a little bit different for my channel but definitely something I wanted to share. The topic? Workout tips for people who hate working out. Fitness is not something that comes naturally to me (as in, I'd rather be chilling on the couch than doing squats) but I have found ways to push forward and make it work. I hope these tips can help you all as well.

How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day?

xo Shannon

Sunday, February 12, 2017

top 5 favourite red lipsticks.

Gwyneth Paltrow said it best. Many people have theorized what beauty is (and how to achieve it) but I think the basics are pretty simple: feeling good and unleashing your kick-ass side. Red lipstick is certainly one way to go about this. See, it is not just a type of makeup or a pretty shade to wear....it is a tool used to boost self confidence and assert your power.

Friday, February 10, 2017

every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

I won't lie to you. Things have been challenging lately. Every time I open a newspaper or go online, I am bombarded with negativity and hate. Day after day, it is the same. Rights are being taken away, families are being ripped apart, and terror has gripped the hearts of many. (Thankfully, there are also stories of strong individuals fighting against evil. That gives me hope. That keeps me going.) With so much pain and devastation in the world, it has become all too easy to feel powerless. Overwhelmed. Sad. Lost. But there is one very important thing to remember in the days, months, and years to come: we are not powerless.

Though my blog is primarily related to makeup, fashion, and beauty, it is important for me to express how I feel about the world. Having an outlet for these emotions of mine helps keep me sane. I only hope that these sporadic political posts inspire you too....and let you know that you are not alone. So, today I wanted to share some of the quotes that give me comfort. They have been lifting my spirits and giving me some much needed inspiration. And inspiration is the fuel that keeps us fighting.

Which quote is your favourite? How do you stay inspired in dark times?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

re-discovered favourite: mariposa eyeshadow

Lately, I have been focusing my attention on two main objectives: de-cluttering and using more of what I own. Which is how I found myself digging through a stack of barely used makeup. I had picked up a bunch of Mariposa eyeshadows from the dollar store a while back (because my addiction to testing makeup does not begin and end at Sephora), swatched them, and put them aside to use properly. Only I never did. Until now!

This particular Mariposa set immediately caught my eye. I loved the rich warm shades and was eager to see how they performed. So, I created a makeup look using the shades. Honestly, I was blown away by the soft texture, the pigmentation (excellent...especially when you consider the price), and end result. I was seriously loving the look this palette created. In fact, I was already dreaming of the many ways I would use these shadows again.

Then disaster struck! My perfect re-discovered palette slipped off of my shelf and shattered everywhere. The next ten minutes were spent scrubbing burgundy shadow off of white tile. Ahh well....at least this little palette brought me a moment of joy. And one seriously stunning makeup look. It was also a reminder that it can be a lot of fun to use things already in my collection instead of searching for whatever is shiny and new.

Thankfully, I took a picture of my completed makeup look. Be sure to let me know what you think of it....

This Mariposa palette definitely exceeded my expectations. The quality was fabulous - and the price was even better. For just two dollars, I was able to create a beautiful makeup look. What could be better than that? It just goes to show....you don't need to spend a ton of money to get your glam on.

Have you tried dollar store makeup before? What are your re-discovered favourites?

xo Shannon

Monday, February 6, 2017

review: paris hilton gold rush perfume

It sounds strange to say, but perfume is a big part of my life. The truth is that I love to collect it as much as I love to wear it. Every day, my morning starts the same: there is a careful selection process as I pour over my perfume shelf. Eventually, I choose the perfect fragrance to suit my mood. Sometimes the scent is soft and sweet (like Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift) and other times it is bold and powerful (think Gold by Kim Kardashian). Since my perfume collection is so massive....there are always a few options for every mood and occasion. And I like it that way!

Currently, there is one scent in particular that makes me smile. It is Gold Rush by Paris Hilton. I picked it up during my shopping trip to the states several months back. The set (pictured above) came with a full sized bottle, a mini spray, a body lotion, body wash, and a massive gold purse. Everything about the set was fun and elegant - just like the scent! It is the perfect blend of sophistication and excitement.

As you can tell from the picture above, this perfume set is amazing in terms of the packaging. The bottle is absolutely stunning. The gold dress shape is lovely and looks incredible on my perfume shelf. As for the actual scent, it is just as wonderful as the bottle. It is a little sweet, a little spicy, and downright intoxicating. Whenever I wear Gold Rush, I feel strong.

If you couldn't tell, I love this perfume. A lot. This is without a doubt Paris Hilton's best.

Something else I am loving is the Becca Jaclyn Hill Face Palette. Check out swatches and a full review on my YouTube channel!

Have you tried Gold Rush? What did you think?

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 4, 2017

stop comparing and start creating.

I've heard it said that comparison is the biggest thief of joy. This is absolutely true. In the past, I've felt pangs of envy looking through friends travel photos on Facebook....or hearing about someone's job promotion. Suddenly, all of my own personal accomplishments faded into a lackluster shade of grey. All because I compared my life to someone else's.

For the past year or so, one of my biggest priorities has been my path of self discovery. I have opened myself up to new experiences, have learned more about my authentic self,and have achieved a sense of value and inner peace. (Not all the time, mind you, but more often than not.) Despite this, I had not realized that any deep or profound changes had been made. Apart from being happier and more positive, that is! Then something happened.

One of my friends texted me to share her excitement over a new job. It was a big step up and she was downright giddy about the next chapter of her lie. Ordinarily, I would have experienced a combination of elation and misery. The latter because the dreaded comparisons would begin in my head. What about me? When will my career take off? It probably never will. On and on it would go until I would feel completely and totally miserable.

That didn't happen this time. I was happy for her and didn't think to worry or compare. It wasn't until later that night that I even realized my reaction was not typical for me. Somehow, my own sense of joy and purpose had squashed my need to compare. Who knows if it will always be this way....but it was certainly a moment of victory.

xo Shannon

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

good things come to those who sweat.

I tried. I really tried. At the end of 2016, I was desperate to maintain a sense of balance. Especially over the holiday season. My goal was to workout a couple of times a week and practice some (some being the key word) level of moderation over the Christmas and New Years festivities. Well, I can honestly say that did not happen. Time was limited, I felt unmotivated, and plates of chocolate cookies kept calling my name.

The good news? A new year means a new start. We are officially into February now....but January was the perfect motivation to get myself back on track. The strangest thing was how much I wanted to get back on track. Just before the start of the new year, I found myself craving salads and vegetables. Even stranger, I actually missed my workout DVDs. Who would have thought? It seems everything was perfectly aligned: my motivation returned.

This past month has been a little rough on me. After not working out for a while, it was much harder than anticipated to get back into it. Not time wise but in terms of the workouts themselves. I found myself completely exhausted and sore, day in and day out. Finally now, I am starting to feel like my normal self again. Though I don't always crave a hard workout....it makes me proud to know that I am putting in the work.

Just in case you need an extra dose of inspiration today, here are a few pictures and quotes to keep you motivated this month.

How are you staying motivated?

xo Shannon