Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Products I've Used Up #5 | Skincare, Makeup, Hair

Continuing with another "empties" post, today I'm showcasing a bunch of mini-reviews of all the lotions and potions that I've finished over the past few months. To avoid accumulating a sheer excess in products, I always try to use things up or giving them away so that nothing is left unloved.


✓ Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo - Love this, totally recommend. Smells very fresh and works great.
 Klorane Tinted Dry Shampoo - This is my favourite dry shampoo, and the tinted version is just as great as the original.
✓ Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Dry Shampoo - Not bad, but definitely not as great as Klorane.
L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hair Spray - Great drugstore hair spray that's a total classic. The scent unfortunately started to bother me by the end.
✓ Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray - This texturizing spray was a nice product for use on wet hair, before blow drying. I'd sometimes use too much, and my hair would feel heavy and sticky. The scent isn't very good, so especially for the price, I wouldn't repurchase.

Monday, September 28, 2015

How I Learned French As An Anglophone

Alongside my degree in Linguistics and Language Studies, I am completing a certificate to become an International English Teacher. Our first assignment in one of my classes this year was to explain some of our "dreams" and "nightmares" from our experience learning a second language. For me, this language is French. Attaining native-like proficiency in a complex language like French is nearly impossible, but with a few thousand hours of practice and a bit of life in France, I've luckily made it pretty far. So here is a snippet from my first assignment, titled "dreams and nightmares". Enjoy!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

IMATS Toronto | Haul & Review

Yesterday I attended my very first IMATS, and it was wonderful.

The International Makeup Artist Trade Show is an annual event that is being held this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Tickets are $50, which allows you to get exclusive discounts on some of the biggest professional makeup brands. Since I enjoy writing about all things makeup and beauty, I was eligible for a free press pass to the show.

My first stop was at the Royal And Langnickel booth, since they are one of the most popular makeup brush companies featured at the show. I had such a great time exploring their displays, and I ended up coming home with quite the haul.

I spent some time looking through the professional palettes, and trying out the most natural ones to take home for more practical use. These coloured creams reminded me of Halloween face paint, and definitely left me feeling inspired for this year's makeup and costumes.

Here's what I picked up at the event:

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Best High-End Concealer | Clarins Instant vs. Nars Radiant Creamy

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Clarins Instant

Now that I'm either working or in class every day of the week (yay, real life!) I have vowed to put on makeup before all outings to avoid the inevitable question, "are you sick?".

My one nonnegotiable product is always concealer. I'll swipe it under the eyes, around the nose, centre of the forehead, and on any rogue spots. 

radiant creamy concealer vanilla swatch

Today I decided to compare my two favourite high-end concealers which I had purchased around six months ago:

1. Clarins Instant Concealer in the shade 01, which is the lightest shade of 3 and costs $32 cad for 15 ml. (Purchased at The Bay)

2. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Vanilla, which is the second lightest shade of ten and costs $36 cad for 6 ml. (Purchased at Sephora)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Colette Grand Café | Birthday Brunch

Colette Grand Cafe

Right at the end of August, my best friend Elena treated me to a Saturday brunch for my birthday. I've had "Caesar at Colette" on my list of things to do ever since I stumbled across their Instagram page, so we decided to make it happen.

Brunching at Colette was a great experience through and through, since they made us feel like no request was out of reach. Located at Portland and Wellington, Colette just celebrated its one year anniversary. This venue is managed by The Chase Hospitality Group, which means that your call will always be answered, and fancy events are often occupying the stunning French dining room.

Located at Bathurst and Wellington, Colette Grand Café is well known for its exquisite Sunday brunch. Though the all-you-can-eat buffet was tempting, we went on a Saturday afternoon and ordered off their breakfast-lunch menu. We enjoyed a variety of superb food and drinks for a reasonable price.

Upon arrival, Tom, the General Manager, brought us two glasses of birthday bubbly to enjoy. We ordered a mimosa and caesar, along with three menu options to share - an omelette with cheese and greens, the turkey sandwich, and pancakes with berries.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Life, Lately | Summer 2015

This summer was great. It got off to a somewhat slow start, as I have been working in administration at my university since May, and each day seemed to quietly flow into the next.

Once August rolled around, Summer started to get real. Here are the highlights:

How-To Wash A BEAUTYBLENDER Makeup Sponge

Today I'm answering every beauty junkie's favourite question: is the BeautyBlender sponge worth it? 

For me, yes!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Kensington Market | Toronto

the dirty bird chicken and waffles toronto
The Original Dirty Bird, or "ODB" with fries

Toronto is home to some of the world's most fascinating neighbourhoods. I've been spending most of my free time this summer as a tourist in my own city, hitting up all the hotspots before the sun goes down. My sister and I met up in Kensington Market after work earlier in August to visit a popular new restaurant called The Dirty Bird Chicken & Waffles.

We ordered one ODB with fries, which came to $20. My review: YUM. Fluffy waffle, great boneless chicken, delicious sauce and the "dirty" seasoned fries are so tasty. Maple syrup is provided at all tables to drizzle all over your meal. You totally have to hit up this (tiny) Kensington gem. They use locally-sourced ingredients to ensure ultimate freshness. I promise it won't disappoint!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Packing A Travel Toiletries Bag

travel toiletries

Between cottage weekends and one longer vacation, this summer has been a true test of my last minute packing abilities. 

I love living simply, and I definitely try to abide by the "less is more" motto wherever possible. That being said, I'm not ready to loose the title of being that girl who always has everything, since it's totally worth it when you're travelling. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rebalancing Ritual | Aromachologie By L'OCCITANE

aromatherapy body l'occitane

With summer slowly rolling to a close and the September stress looming over the horizon, warm baths are going to become a crucial part of my weekly routine.

I see great value in using essential oils for their relaxing (lavender), bacteria-fighting (tea tree) and revitalizing properties (sweet orange), so I always keep a few favourites in my bathroom for when I need a boost.

There is a simplicity and undeniable freshness that comes along with all essential oils, as they are distilled and pressed from nature's most amazing plants. Incorporating aromatherapy, or aromachologie into your skincare routine is both easy and effective. See my favourite spa-night tips here.

Today I wanted to document the Rebalancing Body Care Ritual from L'OCCITANE which I was given earlier this summer to try out. This is a unisex line which comes in exquisite packaging. There are two other existing lines in the Aromachologie collection, one which is Revitalizing (rosemary and orange) and the other is Relaxing (lavender and bergamot).

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lightweight Sunscreen | Summer SPF

lightweight sunscreen

We all need to sit in the sun. Vitamin D is crucial for our overall health, and I can tell you firsthand that a bit of sun exposure makes me noticeably happier. 

But a few too many sunburns can kill. And I don't just mean that in an "ow-my-skin-is-on-fire" kind of kill.

As someone who can't stand slapping on thick, greasy, stinky cream on a humid and sweaty day, I am extremely picky when it comes to sunscreen. So here are 4 lightweight favourites that have kept me out of the red zone this entire summer. (See the ones from 2014 linked here)

I'll start off by saying that Neutrogena makes some of the best sunscreens on the market. I swear by their Ultra Sheer line of high-quality lotions, and we usually stock up on SPF 30-60 every year since they're $20 for a 3-pack at Costco.

best sunscreen under makeup

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Almond + Macadamia | Coffee Scrub

Coffee Scrub Review

Ah, coffee. One of nature’s finest gifts to humans, and an integral part of my morning routine.

With the success of their original coconut oil formula (reviewed here) Jealous Body has now released a full range of five different coffee scrubs for the body and face. 

jealous body scrubs organic
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