Thursday, March 30, 2017

YouTube: Almay Healthy Glow Foundation Review

With an upcoming trip to Las Vegas, one thing has been on my mind: a tan. I avoid tanning in the sun as much as possible (because skin cancer is bad. Oh, and I burn like a crisp) so fake tanner is an essential part of my spring and summer routine. My go-to products are always ready during this time of year....but I was intrigued by the Almay Healthy Glow Makeup & Gradual Self Tan Foundation.

It seemed like an effortless way to warm up my skin before my getaway. And not nearly as laborious as a full blown tanning routine! As long as I ended up with gorgeous glowing skin, I would be more than happy with the product. If only that happened. This did not meet my expectations whatsoever.

Want to find out why? See how it performed? Then take a look at the latest YouTube video on the creation of beauty is art. It is a full review of the Almay Healthy Glow Foundation.

I really wanted this product to be my go-to summer foundation. Sadly, it did not deliver on most of the claims. My skin was not tanned. At all. If it didn't say "gradual tanner" on the front of the bottle, I never would have known it was supposed to be anything more than a standard foundation. This was a letdown for sure. And a pricey one at that!

Have you tried this product? Did it work for you?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

new in: mall haul

Shopping is more than just a is a passion. I love finding new treasures, uncovering great deals, and spending time with a friend or family member. For me, shopping is a way of life. It had been a long time since I'd had a proper day out at the mall, though. Three months to be exact. Despite the fact that my wallet was jumping for joy during the shopping hiatus, my spirit was less than impressed.

Last weekend, I finally went out for a little retail therapy. At first, I felt rusty. I was struggling to get into the experience and afraid to spend money. By the end of the day? I'd returned to my shopping splendor. Which is why today's post is all about my long overdue mall haul. There were trips to Sephora, H&M, Forever 21, Hot Topic, and so much more!

Lately, I have not been feeling my wardrobe. I needed a few new things to spice it up. That is how I wound up with some cute sweatshirts, a cut out top, some new shoes, and a David Bowie jacket. These are the perfect ways to add personality to my next look!

Then there was Hot Topic. This store is my biggest weakness because I want everything they sell there. They had a massive Disney section at the front, so I treated myself to a Beauty and The Beast tank, a Pocahontas tee, a Moana shirt, some Pop figures, a Stitch bow, Beauty and the Beast earrings, and a few other odds and ends.

Oh, Sephora. I have been trying very hard not to go in lately, because it would be impossible not to spend money. Turns out, that was all too true. I picked up the new NARS eyeshadow duo, the Kat Von D Alchemist Palette, and the Too Faced white chocolate chip palette. (Don't worry! Full reviews will be appearing on the blog in the weeks to come!)

Here are a few of the other things I picked up, including a zebra print dress, a DVD set and shirt (from HMV, my favourite store, which is sadly closing), and a Clinique sample set.

Boy, do I love to shop! I had a blast hanging out at the mall and adding new pieces to my wardrobe. (And new makeup to my always growing collection!) It was a much needed experience.

Do you love to shop? What have you picked up recently?

xo Shannon

Sunday, March 26, 2017

happiness is believing in unicorns.

Have you ever had one of those days? Your to do list is endless, there are a million things on your mind, and yet you feel completely and totally out of it? That happened to me recently. Even though there were things I could be doing (like editing YouTube videos, working on articles, or catching up on cleaning/organizing)....I sat around doing nothing at all. My mind was unfocused and my energy was non-existent. Begrudgingly, I pulled out my laptop. Maybe there was a new video to watch. Or some celebrity gossip to catch up on. Before I knew it, I was creating a unicorn inspired outfit. That's right. Unicorn fashion.

This trend is one that always makes me smile. As does the emoji trend. There is something so whimsical and fun about the bright colours and shapes. It takes me back to my youth, for sure! With winter on the way out (despite the fact that it keeps snowing and the temperatures are below freezing....I am optimistic about the return of spring), bright, pretty colours are at the forefront of my mind. Which you can definitely tell by the outfit that I whipped up.

Be sure to take a look and let me know what you think of this unicorn inspired ensemble.

As you can see, this look is all about colour. There are pastel shades, glitter, and bold accessories. I cannot think of anything better! Especially with spring right around the corner. Want to create your own unicorn inspired outfit? Get playful with makeup colours (and don't be afraid of a statement lipstick), wear lots and lots of glitter, and embrace softer shades. You will look amazing!

By the time I finished putting together this little unicorn mood dramatically improved. That blah feeling had faded - and I felt focused and optimistic. It's amazing what makeup and fashion can do. They are constant sources of inspiration, joy, and excitement. On that note, I hope you enjoyed this unicorn inspired look.

What inspires you? Do you like the unicorn trend?

xo Shannon

Friday, March 24, 2017

music is an outburst of the soul.

It has been a while. Five years, to be exact. My best friend and I went to see Simple Plan in concert...and dressed up like our teenage selves. There were trucker hats, band t-shirts, and old-school accessories. This is a band that has been a part of my life since my high school days. In the past, I have seen them in concerts, gone to TV tapings, and even sat on the pavement for eight hours in the middle of winter just to meet them. So...when Simple Plan announced they were coming to town, we knew that we had to be there.

This concert has been a long time coming. Not only had it been five years since we last saw them....but this show was re-scheduled and pushed back four months. Finally it happened. We spent the day playing with makeup, getting dressed up in our punk-pop ensembles, and reminiscing about old times. It was a blast. Before long, we were making the trip downtown to see Simple Plan in concert.

The show itself was phenomenal - but I knew it would be. (And not just because I peeked at the set list beforehand!) My friend and I had spent so much time plotting, planning, and getting excited about the show. There was no way it was going to disappoint. We were in the right head space and were eager for an extraordinary night out. That is exactly what we got. The best part? When we showed our tickets to get inside....we were upgraded to a closer section. Then once we got to our section and the show started, we were upgraded again. Somehow, we went from the 300 section to fifth row. It was incredible. It was a fun surprise that added to the excitement of the evening.

For today's post, I wanted to share a couple of concert photos with you.... and give you a peek at my makeup and outfit choice. My inspiration for the makeup was grunge makeup and rust shades. As for the outfit, it was high school me (black and white Vans, giant white studs, and skulls galore) with my hairstyle inspired by my emo days. It was fun to play around and get creative!

So, without further ado, here are some concert highlights....

Simple Plan is a big part of my life. Their music has been there for me in good and bad times - and I am proud to call myself a fan. The only thing better than seeing one of their shows? Seeing it with my best friend. It was an incredible night.

Do you like going to concerts? What is the last one you went to?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

review: artdeco eyeshadow base

I tend to cheap out on makeup essentials. It's bad, I know, but there is something so unexciting about a primer, moisturizer, and concealer. Don't get me wrong...these products are important. In fact, they can make or break your overall look. But they just don't excite me the way a stunning eyeshadow shade does or a beautiful new blush. I feel the same way about clothes. My wardrobe tends to lack many essential items because I find them so dull. I prefer to spend my money on fun things rather than practical necessities.

Which explains why my favourite eyeshadow primer comes from E.l.f. Simply put, it is cheap and works well. Why bother trying anything else? In the past, I have used other eyeshadow primers from Benefit, Too Faced, and Urban Decay. Typically, I'd have a sample or they had been included in an eyeshadow set. I liked them fine, but didn't see a noticeable difference. Especially when you consider the price difference. Spending the extra money just didn't seem worth it.

Then my husband brought home the ARTDECO Eyeshadow Base. He had seen it at work and thought I might like to give it a try. How sweet! Unfortunately, the eye primer worked better than anything I had ever used before. The bottle is small and easy to use, the product glides on effortlessly, makes my eyeshadows pop, and helps them last all day without creasing. It is pretty much the perfect product. Except that it costs $15 for a small jar of primer. Sigh! Now I am left with the ultimate beauty repurchase or not to repurchase?

Let's break it down. There is a $10 price difference. Both products are easy to use. Each one works well but the ARTDECO base is silky, smooth, and pure perfection. So, is is time to up the anty on my eyeshadow primer? I am on the fence. Part of me wants to continue using my trusty (and affordable) E.l.f. primer while the other part wants to splurge on this fabulous ARTDECO primer.

Help me out here! Which primer should I use? E.l.f. or ARTDECO?

xo Shannon

Monday, March 20, 2017

luck is believing you're lucky.

For me, St. Patrick's Day will always have a special place in my heart. It was during a night out to celebrate the holiday that I was introduced to my future husband. Since that initial meeting, we have tried to do something to commemorate the holiday each year. I guess you could say that we are both a little sentimental about it!

This year was definitely one of the best St. Patrick's Day celebrations I have ever had. It began on Monday, several days before the actual event. I was headed to my parents house to visit when my mom told me to come dressed in green! When I got there, I found a fabulous St. Patrick's Day celebration waiting for me. There were cheesy accessories (hats, green necklaces, and sparkling green glasses to be exact), delicious green sugar cookies, and a cake - with green icing of course. We had a blast just being silly together.

Then came the actual day. My husband and I originally planned to go out for dinner but wound up treating ourselves to homemade chicken fingers and fries. A perfect meal! We dressed in green, ate well, and watched episodes of Bar Rescue (our favourite show to watch together). We even played bar tender by attempting to re-create some of the custom cocktails from the Bar Rescue episodes. It was definitely a laid back night...but a fun one, too!

It was the perfect way to celebrate the holiday. Read to take a peek at the St. Patrick's Day festivities? Here are some of the pictures I snapped during the evening....

St. Patrick's Day is an important holiday for me. It reminds me of the life changing night that my husband and I first met. Talk about lucky!

How did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year?

xo Shannon

Saturday, March 18, 2017

new in: nyx liquid suede

The easiest way to my heart? Makeup. Which is exactly why my husband skips bouquets of flowers and brings me makeup instead. Earlier in the week, he did just that, treating me to a set of NYX Liquid Suede cream lipsticks. Talk about true love! The set included the shades: Respect The Pink, Sway, and Subversive Socialite. The first was a bright Barbie doll kind of pink, the second, a bright purple, and the last a deep vampy purple.

In the past, I have tried a handful of the Liquid Suede shades and love them. The formula is creamy, easy to apply, and comfortable on the lips. Plus, the pigmentation is always on point. These are high-quality lipsticks that last well and look amazing. After trying these three new shades, I have to say, Respect The Pink is my all-time favourite from the Liquid Suede line. It is bright, bold, and so fun. I feel confident whenever I put it on. Sway is another favourite. This colour is bold and bright as well...but super easy to wear. It will be a must have once springtime rolls around. The last, Subversive Socialite, is ultra vampy and would be great for fall.

Since I already had my colourful Kim K look going on from my last post...I decided to snap a few pictures of the NYX shades in action. Take a look and let me know which colour you like best.

Left to Right: Respect The Pink, Sway, and Subversive Socialite. 

NYX is a brand that continues to impress me. Which is probably why there are so many NYX products in my makeup collection! These shades are drop dead gorgeous - and I cannot wait to wear them over and over again.

If you're looking for some more colour inspiration, be sure to check out my latest YouTube video. It is a review of the Too Faced Totally Cute palette. The best part? It features three different looks created with the eyeshadow shades! Take a look if you get a moment...

What do you think of these shades? Are you a fan of NYX?

xo Shannon

Thursday, March 16, 2017

inspired by: kim kardashian's snapchat makeup

It isn't too often that something really catches my attention on Snapchat. Sure, I love to follow my favourite celebrities and see what they're up to. But it's not often that I bother to screenshot something. But then a little while back, Kim Kardashian posted the makeup look, shown above. It immediately took my breath away. There was something about the bright colours and that ultra contoured face that just struck me. I knew right away that I wanted to try to re-create the look for myself. 

My reasoning? To follow through with some of my beauty resolutions. One of them was to be more adventurous when it comes to makeup. There are certain types of looks that I love to do - and wear often. But I want to continue to grow, learn, and sharpen my skills. That means continuing to try new things and really get out of my comfort zone. This Kim Kardashian Snapchat makeup seemed like the perfect place to start. It was full of bold, mermaid-like colours. What could be better than that? 

So...without further ado. Here is my version of this ultra bold, glamorous, and bright makeup look. Definitely let me know what you think of it. 

It can be a lot of fun to get creative and do something different. Being playful with colour is something that is constantly on my to-do list...and this Kim Kardashian makeup look was a great place to start. 

What do you think of this makeup look? Do you like to wear bright colours?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

review: maybelline 24k nudes eyeshadow palette

There are some things I cannot resist. Like a new eyeshadow palette, for instance. One drugstore brand that has been consistently putting out new shadows is Maybelline. Over the past couple of years, they have released palette after palette - each with a different theme. Some have been wonderful, others so-so, and some downright terrible. Despite the hit or miss quality of these Maybelline eyeshadow palettes, there was no hesitation when I saw the 24k Nudes palette. I bought it immediately.

The palette itself had an interesting combination of shades. There were some basics (white, black, shimmery champagne, medium toned brown) as well as some rich shades (purple, olive green, and a brassy gold). There was a little bit of everything inside, making it possible to create quick and easy daytime looks or bolder evening looks. Which is exactly what I wound up doing. Before I get into the makeup looks....let's take a closer look at the palette itself.

As you can see from the swatches above, pigmentation really varies on this palette. Some shades are barely there and others are rich and bold. There were some colours that really wowed me (like that gold, the medium brown, and that champagne shade) and some that were not very impressive (like the purple and that olive green). So when it comes to pigmentation and texture, this was a little all over the place. Not to say you cannot create amazing looks with this palette. You absolutely can. It is just that certain shades take a lot more work to build up. So keep that in mind before you add this palette to your makeup collection!

Here are a couple of looks from the Maybelline 24k Nudes eyeshadow palette:

For me, this was a good and not so good palette. On one hand, I am really impressed with some of the shades and absolutely adore the looks that I have created so far. On the other hand, the purple shade is dry and appears more dark brown than purple. I expected that colour to be the stand out shade and it really let me down. My feelings are definitely mixed on this palette.

Have you tried this eyeshadow palette? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Sunday, March 12, 2017

madonna week: re-creating iconic makeup looks

As you know, it is Madonna week here on the creation of beauty is art. As fun as it has been, this is the final post dedicated to this iconic artist. To go out on a fun note, I decided to re-create a couple of Madonna makeup looks. The first is straight out of the 80s and the second is a more current look. Think of it as a then and now type of post!

To start, let's travel back in time to the 80s. This is when Madonna's style was all about bold accessories and natural brows. To create the look, I used the Almay Healthy Glow foundation, an Annabelle eyebrow pencil in Dark Brown, the Smashbox Shape Matters Matte Eyeshadow Palette with Jolt all over the lid and Grounded blended up towards the browbone, the Annabelle Kohl eyeliner pencil, Maybelline Colossal Volume Express mascara, NYX Highlight and Contour palette, and the Flower Beauty Lip Suede in Berry-more.

Here is the finished look for my 80s Madonna. It was really fun to do and I was definitely loving that subtle yet smokey eye look that she had going on.

Next up was a more current Madonna inspired look. This one was polished, pretty, but was still bold. That double winged eyeliner gave this otherwise natural makeup look an edgy and oh-so-Madonna finish. In addition to the face products (listed above in the first look), I used the Too Faced Totally Cute palette for the eyes, the Hard Candy Walk The Line Liquid Liner for the liner, and the NARS lip gloss in Turkish Delight to finish it all off.

Take a look at my recent Madonna inspired makeup look. This is one that I love - and it has definitely inspired me to be a little more playful with eyeliner.

I want to thank you all for reading my Madonna themed posts this week. They have been a ton of fun to do. Please let me know if you enjoyed reading them!

Which look is your favourite?

xo Shannon

Friday, March 10, 2017

madonna week: quotes and moments of inspiration

Words have always inspired me. They have kept me company and given me hope in both good and bad times. Perhaps that is why looking through Madonna quotes filled me with an undeniable sense of purpose. I felt inspired, powerful, and in complete awe of her badassery. Madonna is one woman who is totally unafraid to voice her opinion, share her thoughts, and stand tall. This is something that motivates me to be more open and honest about how I feel. A lot of times, I keep my opinions to myself or do what I can to keep the peace. What I think is rarely what I say. Especially around people that I do not know very well. Maybe I need to start thinking: What Would Madonna Say? She is bold, brave, and strong. And I can be, too. I just need to remind myself sometimes!

For today's post, I have collected a few of my all-time favourite Madonna quotes. They are a huge source of inspiration to me. As you go through these Madonna quotes, I challenge you to bring her strength with you throughout the day. And maybe, just maybe, ask yourself: What Would Madonna Say?

Hopefully this post inspired you to bring out your inner Madonna - and make this life as beautiful and unique as possible. Shine your light and never forget how incredible you are.

What is your favourite Madonna quote?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

madonna week: love it or leave it

Welcome to another Madonna week post! This has definitely been a lot of fun to do so far. Please let me know if you like the idea of a theme week. If you guys are into it, I will do them every now and again with a fashion or beauty icon that inspires me. For is a fun Madonna themed post. It is a love or or leave it? featuring her outfit from the "Bitch I'm Madonna" music video. Let me just say, I adore this song and the video is super fun and high energy. It also features yet another bold outfit for Madonna to add to her extensive resume.

What I Love: I'll be honest here....this outfit makes me happy. I won't lie to you and pretend to be a sophisticated, glamorous kind of person. I like clothes that have personality. This outfit absolutely has personality. The pink studded leather jacket is incredible and I desperately wish it was hanging in my closet right now. The white leopard print dress is gorgeous and I love that there is a belt to break up the print a little bit. Something else I love? Those shoes! You can see in the mirror reflection that she has paired this look with sneakers. Talk about perfect! This look is edgy, bold, and fun. Which is exactly what fashion should be.

What I Loathe: There isn't anything here that I flat out cannot stand....but there is always room for improvement! The only thing that doesn't work for me is the hair. While on it's own, the pink ombre is really cool, the colour blends into the pink leather jacket. It becomes a mess of pink and overshadows the details on the jacket. Other than that? This outfit is everything I love. Exciting, fun, and borderline tacky.

Overall, this is a definite love for me. I know that I will likely be in the minority on this (because pink leather, studs, and leopard print are rarely praised) but this is everything I love about style. It is exciting and has a distinct point of view. This is something I hope to achieve with my everyday looks. One thing is certain: I will be taking a page from Madonna's book this week!

On another note....don't forget to check out my latest YouTube video! It is all about the Too Faced Power of Makeup palette.

What do you think of this look? Love it or leave it?

xo Shannon

Monday, March 6, 2017

madonna week: style highlights

Few are as iconic (or memorable) as Madonna. It was a while back now, but a friend and I were watching the music video for "Bitch I'm Madonna," and waxing poetic about her career, her strong character, and of course, her incredible sense of style. Needless to say, we were inspired. That is when my friend suggested that I dedicate an entire week of posts to the incomparable Madonna. Genius! Finally, I have been able to sit down and create some pop-icon themed posts. Today's is all about her bold fashion choices.

If there is one thing Madonna is known for (apart from her music career) it has to be her style. Over the years, she has worn every possible combination of pieces. From bangles and bracelets to leather jackets, oversized suits, metallic leotards, country chic ensembles, and wild over the top creations....there is nothing this iconic singer has not strutted her stuff in. For me? This is a huge source of inspiration. I find these days, people like the idea of having a specific type of style. You know, preppy, trendy, glamorous, and so on. Not me. I like to embrace different styles on different days. It all depends on how I feel and what my current inspirations are.

On that is an outfit I created that was inspired by the one and only Madonna.

Still searching for more Madonna inspiration? Never fear. Here are a few of her most unforgettable outfits. Be sure to let me know which one is your personal favourite!

So there it is. The first post in my Madonna week series. Expect some exciting Madonna themed posts in the days to come! Expect to see quotes and even a love it or leave it featuring this incredible artist and pop culture icon.

Which outfit is your favourite? Who inspires your style?

xo Shannon

Saturday, March 4, 2017

current obsession: metallic everything

Sometimes? Inspiration unexpectedly takes over. That is exactly what happened when I saw the dress Paris Hilton wore to accept her award for Best Fragrance of the Year (for Gold Rush, which I reviewed recently). It was so glittery, shimmery, and bold. Her accessories were equally exciting....from the chunky metallic earrings to that textured silver purse and those chrome heels. There was nothing simple or understated about this look! 

Since she stepped out in a full blown metallic ensemble, my makeup and fashion choices have been metallic, metallic, and more metallic. I've been reaching for silver, gold, and rose gold at every available opportunity. I've been creating collages, grabbing my Hard Candy metallic lipsticks, incorporating glitter into my makeup looks, and looking for ultra shimmery nail polish shades. There is nothing more exciting to me at the moment. 

On that note, here is a dose of metallic inspiration for you to enjoy. Let it bring you joy and inspire your next outfit. Oh, and be sure to let me know which piece (or beauty product) below you love most! 

Inspiration always starts somewhere. For me, it all began with Paris Hilton's incredible red carpet dress. The head to toe shimmery silver started a full blown metallic obsession.

What is your current obsession? Do you love wearing metallic pieces?

xo Shannon

Thursday, March 2, 2017

lea michele: love it or leave it?

There are certain Hollywood actresses that stand out from the crowd. Ones that know when exactly when (and how) to take a fashion risk. For the most part, Lea Michele falls into that category. Time and time again, her red carpet style has left me in awe. She loves to play with colour, shape, and texture. Most of the time? She looks stunning. But there is the odd time when her fashion risk fails to pay off. The picture above is of Lea at the recent Hollywood Beauty Award ceremony. It has certainly been a polarizing look, it or leave it?

What I Love: This outfit is such a hit and miss for me. There are certain elements that work and others that completely miss the mark. To start with, let's focus on the positive aspects of this outfit. I am loving her hairstyle (it is simple but sleek and doesn't overpower this bold dress) and makeup (that shade of red looks perfect on her). I also am a big fan of the neckline (it is interesting, unique, and head turning) and the print of the dress (it's a little bit 90s but still has a sophisticated finish). Certainly quite a few loves here!

What I Loathe: Now for the things that I did not love. Unfortunately, there are a number of aspects that I don't feel were successful. While I love the neckline of this dress, the slouchy sleeves were a miss, as was the length of the dress, and that high cut slit up the side. Why? All of those different elements put together created a dress that was all over the place. There were too many design elements screaming for attention! If the slit up the side was removed....this would have looked so much better. The removal of just one of those details would have made a huge difference. Other no-no's included the nail colour (I love it in general but it goes a little too vampy when you have a deep red lipstick and a dark dress) and those strappy shoes (the straps looked way too busy when the dress itself was already very busy). Overall, it was just way too much look going on!

While I love Lea Michele and think she has great red carpet style....this look scores a leave it from me. There were simply too many design elements fighting for attention.

Something I do adore? The makeup look that I created using the Too Faced Power of Makeup palette. Take a look at my latest YouTube video and let me know what you think of it.

What do you think? Love it or leave it?

xo Shannon