Friday, April 24, 2015

Event Recap: Spring Into Beauty

Last weekend my good friend Sylvie invited me to a lovely charitable event called "Spring Into Beauty", an afternoon of pampering and sweets with proceeds going to support women and children in need. I had such a lovely time mingling, getting some gorgeous henna, and even meeting the  owner behind Ella's Botanicals.

I started off my afternoon with my first henna tattoo from Zain, the beautiful artist for Her Henna. It was such a pleasure speaking with Zain as she is passionate about social justice and equality, especially for women. See my finished design below, and check out her website here to learn more about Her Henna.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Belle Boutique - Wearable Works Of Art

My custom Belle Boutique statement necklace, incorporating a vintage crystal hairpin 

A repurposed leather belt, embellished with the most gorgeous floral sculpture.

Today, I’m turning the spotlight onto one of my favourite local jewellery designers. Joanna Furtado is the owner and creative mind behind Belle Boutique Jewellery. Her pieces are mesmerizing, and she is a true artist at heart.

I have had the pleasure of working with Joanna for a few years now, and I always love interacting with her clients. Along with parties and private sales, Belle Boutique is consistently featured at The One of a Kind Winter Show in Toronto. I have never seen anything similar to her designs before, and everyone seems to find at least one piece that absolutely fits their style. We recently took some photos of her pieces for her new online shop, which you can see here.

Here are a few of my favourites from her current line:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Iris Apfel & Leandra Medine: The Chatroom

Amidst my crazy few weeks of exams, I love winding down with a few hours (eek!) of my favourite YouTube channels. Here's the best video as of late, from the one and only Leandra Medine a.k.a. The Man Repeller. She is interviewing Iris Apfel, who is one of the most fantastic icons in the fashion industry.

I've recorded a few lines from their chat, which I think are just lovely.

Leandra: What do you want to be when you grow up?
(Iris is 93 years old)
Iris: I think about that a lot.
Leandra: I knew you might. 
Iris: First you have you know yourself. If you don't know yourself then just forget it. Knowing yourself is not the easiest thing in the world, and it's often very painful.
Leandra: And takes time.
Iris: And it takes a long time. And you have to look in the mirror. I think that's the greatest fashion faux pas, is people look in the mirror and they see somebody else

Tips on staying married for 67 years -

Iris: Be patient, have a sense of humour, I don't think you wanna smother anybody, or feel jealous, or not let them do this. I think that's very important. I was always given all the space I needed... except for in the closet. (ha!)

I also love Leandra's room tour, which you can see here.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Best Tuna Salad Sandwich

A few years ago, I discovered tuna. And now I'll never turn back.

Fish has some great health benefits and it's surprisingly easy to incorporate into weekly meals. Whether you prefer a salmon fillet quickly seared in a pan or a creamy tuna salad, don't feel like you need to get fancy since simple is often best.

For this recipe, you'll need: 

  • 1 can of flaked tuna - I prefer the lemon & pepper variety in water
  • 1 tbsp of light olive oil mayonnaise - I much prefer the taste of this kind over regular mayo, and I don't feel bad about my generous scoop
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic glaze - The thick consistency of this sweet vinegar acts as glue and will keep the sandwich contents together 
  • A few mini dill pickles - These are to die for. Add many if you have an obsession, comme moi
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Monday, April 13, 2015

Splurge Or Save? Benefit Roller Lash vs. Maybelline Lash Sensational

Roller Lash and Lash Sensational

It's mascara Monday! I couldn't resist another Splurge or Save when I saw these two (nearly) identical mascaras which were both released over the past few months (Maybelline in December, Benefit in March). Their prices, on the other hand, are not very similar. So today I'm comparing Maybelline Lash Sensational with Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara.
Maybelline Lash Sensational vs. Benefit Roller Lash

A mascara inspired by hair rollers, this super-curling and lifting mascara gives a sexy, wide-eyed look. Its patent-pending Hook ‘n’ Roll™ brush features tiny custom-designed hooks to catch, lift, and curl even short and straight lashes. 
Made in France

Our volume fanning brush with 10 layers of bristles captures and unfolds layer upon layer of lashes for the new full fan look. Liquid Ink formula coats from all sides. Made in the U.S.A.

Maybelline has a slightly larger brush, but the overall shape and style is the exact same: short bristles on the concave side, and longer bristles on the convex side.

two coats of each with curled lashes
Reviews seem to lie on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to both of these popular mascaras. Surprisingly enough, everyone seems to think that my Maybelline eye is the more expensive option since it isn't as dark or clumpy as Benefit. I initially thought that I preferred the brush on Benefit's Roller Lash, but where final results are concerned, Maybelline wins.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stains

Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stains

I am thrilled to announce that the best Spring lip product has been found. Wet n Wild's Balm Stains are twist-up jumbo crayons that are under $5 and feel fantastic on the lips. They have a huge range of shades, including some gorgeous brights that are new for this season. The best part about them is their minty flavour and hydrating silky finish. 

L to R: Nudist Colony, Caffeine Fix, Rico Mauve, Made You Pink, Coral Of The Story, See If I Carrot!, Red-Ioactive, Lady And The Vamp

With only one swipe of colour, these balms provide a sheer stain that can be built up to a lipstick-like finish. They are formulated with nourishing oil, which means that they won't dry out your lips. My mom has been loving the Caffeine Fix shade, as you can see in the photo above. I quote: "It actually lasts! The colour stays even when it wears off". You heard it here folks, these are Anna-approved.

Now you may be wondering, do all of these shades actually stain?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

World MasterCard Fashion Week


At the end of March I attended World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto for the first time. It was a great experience as I got the chance to see what professional fashion shows are like from both backstage and in the audience.

I wore a more conservative outfit to some of the Thursday night shows, opting for my favourite red bag from J. Crew, lipstick heels from Marc by Marc Jacobs, some James Jeans, a boyfriend shirt form Aritzia, my Isabel Marant pour H&M Jacket and a J.Crew statement necklace.

I first put on my go-to beige H&M wool jacket, but quickly decided that a cozy camel scarf and a bulkier jacket would be necessary for our lingering winter weather.

Funny enough, black, red and lipstick prints were a trend on the Narces Fall/Winter 2015/16 runway this season too, making me feel quite visionary in my choice of accessories. 

Narces Runway - photo via (link)

Friday, April 3, 2015

HowTo Create A Natural Contour & Highlight

Highlighting and contouring is part of my daily makeup routine, simply because it works to enhance the natural dimension of our face. It's so easy to go overboard when trying to achieve this sculpted and lifted look, so here are some easy steps to help take your routine up a notch.

1. Find even, natural sunlight. Fluorescent or dim light will heavily distort colours, and make you over apply products.

2. Feel your face. Use clean hands on a clean face, and identify where your cheekbones, brow bones, cheek hollows and temples lie. Don't forget to turn your face side to side to make sure that you blend far enough.

3. Create an even skin tone. With a lightweight foundation or concealer that's the exact same colour as your skin, even out your complexion and don't worry about spots or redness showing through. I love the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation with SPF 15.

4. Choose your products:

Contour: I'd recommend getting a face powder or cream foundation that's 2-3 shades darker than your natural colour. "Bronzers" are often too shimmery and orange to contour with, but work well to lightly dust over your entire face when you want a warm glow.

Highlight: I swear by the Rimmel 2-In-1 Highlighting Concealer. I apply it exactly where the photo below has white stripes (except you don't need makeup on your chest). Check out the video to see how I blend out my highlight with my wet n wild foundation brush.

Photo from Pinterest (linked here)

Centre of the forehead, between the brows, down and around the nose, under the eyes, on the cheekbones, on the brow bone, around the mouth and on the chin

Perimeter of the face: around the forehead, on the temples, in the soft spot under the cheekbones (stop blending BEFORE the iris) in the eyelid crease and under the jawbone, if you want.

*I would not recommend putting makeup on your neck and chest unless you're wearing a strapless top. Washing makeup off clothing isn't fun. Use a self tanner like the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning Lotion if you want colour on your chest and neck.

To see my tutorial in action, watch the video linked below:


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 2015 Favourites

Today I'm sharing a hair product, some cute decor, and my go-to accessory in this month's favourites video.

Happy April!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Unboxing: Spring Luxe Box

Today I'm welcoming back the Loose Button Luxe Box, which I first talked about in a post linked here. This Canadian beauty subscription box is the only one I have tried, and for under $30 quarterly, I'm impressed. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see my unboxing video.

 Here are the 7 products I received in my Spring 2015 Luxe Box:

1. Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk ($5)
I usually buy the green cap "oil absorbing with nettle extract" dry shampoo from Klorane (reviewed here), so I'm interested to see how this "gentle oat extract" one differs. I'm also a huge fan of coupons so the $3 off is perfect. I always wait to use these coupons since Klorane goes on sale at Shoppers. The price will be $10.99 reduced from the typical $13.99.

2. Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid ($14 - trial size)
Love! It's great to see Paula's Choice entering into the Canadian market and I'm thrilled to have a travel size of my favourite skin treatment (see the review here).

3. Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Polish in Petal Pink ($6)
This is an extremely sheer pink shade, which would work nicely as a quick one coat on bare nails just to shine them up. I've seen some decent reviews on other shades, and these polishes are readily available in-store (Eatons Centre, for example).

Friday, March 27, 2015

3 No-Heat Lob Hair Styles

Natural loose waves are the first trend listed for Spring 2015 on (read the article here) and I couldn't be more excited. I've been sporting the now popular #lob (long bob) style for a few years now, and I have finally mastered my favourite no-heat, sleep-in styles.

I wash my hair daily with the Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo. This gentle and natural product is made with green tea, lime and moisturizing Argan oil. I usually skip conditioner, but The Body Shop Banana Conditioner is my go-to if I have extra tangles. I always comb my hair in the shower with a Body Shop comb, featured in my "what's in my shower" post that you can see linked here.

After showering, which usually happens at nighttime, I immediately throw my hair into a micro fibre hair wrap ($3 from Dollarama) and wait about 5-10 minutes before I remove it. This fabric allows more water evaporate, compared to a regular cotton towel which keeps hair damp. 

Check out the video linked at the end of this post for more information and product recommendations.

1. Natural Waves

  • Don't brush after removing the towel unless you're going for a straight look. Loosen up your natural waves with your fingers, which you can see in the photo above
  • Massage the cream throughout the hair from the ends up to the roots. This product provides flexible hold with a matte and tousled effect, which doesn't get greasy as fast
  • Let your hair air dry or run a blow drier through the natural waves on a low setting

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Luxurious Beauty Products: L'Occitane Amande Velvet Balm

L'Occitane has just released the most decadent body cream that easily passes as a piece of decor. The Youthful Body Velvet Balm is formulated with entirely unique compounds derived from the fruit, bud, and "native cells" present in the almond tree

Formulated with a regenerating complex of almond native cells, this rich and silky body cream acts on 5 key signs of body aging: dryness, skin slackening, lack of tonicity, fine lines and skin irregularities. Its flowery and powdery almond tree flower scent leaves a feminine and sophisticated veil on the body. L’OCCITANE is committed to purchasing almonds from producers in the South of France so that the almond tree, which had long been forgotten in the region, once again becomes a familiar element in the Proven├žal landscape. - L'Occitane site

Though this is not the most essential step in my skincare routine (unlike my life saving Immortelle Cleansing Oil) the product itself absolutely lives up to its claims. My skin looks smooth, even, and very well moisturized after using only a small amount of this concentrated cream. I love applying the balm after my Almond Shower Oil, which is one of L'Occitane's best sellers for a reason.

I can't stand that sticky feeling left behind from many body products, so I was amazed by the soft and "velvety" finish that this body balm left on my skin. It's rich and soothing, but still light and pleasant. The fresh floral fragrance will be perfect for springtime. There is also a Velvet Serum in the range, which includes Vitamin C to help even out any sun spots or texture issues on the body.

If you love beautiful products with even prettier pots and packaging, I'd highly recommend the new Velvet Balm or Serum from L'Occitane. They would make a perfect gift for anyone who needs that extra bit of pampering, especially now that Mother's Day is soon approaching.

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