Monday, October 24, 2016

live your life and forget your age.

Some people dread birthdays. Not me. Whenever October 24th rolls around, I am bursting with joy. I simply cannot wait for all of the fun and festivities. Like birthday cake and balloons. Dinner with my family. And that feeling that for just one day....I shine. Yes, I am a bit of a birthday brat. I refuse to work on my birthday (I always book it off) and get super excited about all the events that await.

Honestly? This is the only birthday I have ever been hesitant about. It's not hard to figure out why. I am turning the big 3-0. That fact alone has caused me to do an awful lot of thinking. About where I am in my life vs where I thought I'd be. It is easy to get wrapped up in what you haven't done....instead of what you have. So, I have been working hard to appreciate the many blessings in my life.

Today is my 30th birthday. In my life so far, I have married my soulmate, had wonderful experiences with my family, made memories with a best friend I adore, and have a writing career that makes me proud. (Even if it is in progress.) I have pushed myself to try new things, I have grown as a person, and have learned to love myself. Not bad for my first act.

I have so much hope for the future and am incredibly thankful for the amazing gifts life has brought me. I may have been hesitant about my 30th birthday....but after some reflection? I cannot wait to see how it plays out.

Happy birthday to me.

Thank you for this precious day,
These gifts you give to me,
My heart so full of love for you,
Sings praise for all I see,

Oh, sing, for every mother's love,
For every childhood tear,
Oh, sing, for all the stars above,
The peace beyond all fear
― John Denver

xo Shannon

Saturday, October 22, 2016

holly madison: love it or leave it?

Fashion is an interesting medium as it is completely open to interpretation. Two people can see the same outfit...yet have totally opposing views. One might think a look is chic and sophisticated while the other may see something that is cluttered and over the top. The interpretation aspect of fashion is the exact reason why I enjoy love it or leave it posts. They give me the opportunity to share my thoughts on a particular outfit. In return? I am able to find out what you all think of the look. Did you agree with me? Disagree? Fall somewhere in the middle? It is a pretty wonderful exchange.

With that in mind, I decided to do another love it or leave it post on my blog. Today it is all about the lovely Holly Madison. She stepped out recently wearing a casual-punk inspired outfit.

What I Love. Oh, Holly. I absolutely adore her. Last year, I binge-watched The Girls Next Door and Holly's World, before reading her books. There is something about her personality that I really love. She is bubbly yet relatable on camera - and her books were so honest and raw. I am definitely a fan of Holly Madison. When it comes to this outfit, there are many things I love. The cute white sunglasses. The gorgeous Louis Vuitton bag. The baggy band hoodie. The plaid skirt. Those adorable polka dot stockings. Everything was really cute and had tons of personality. Honestly? This is kind of how I like to dress.....grabbing random things I love and throwing them all together. Sometimes it's okay to think less about the overall look and more about the individual pieces. So, needless to say, I am definitely feeling this outfit.

What I Loathe. Like I said....I am into this look. I think it is a great combination of pretty and punk. The only downside? There is an awful lot going on. The hoodie and skirt are great together. But once you add in the stockings as well (and the bold sunglasses and statement bag) the eye doesn't know quite where to go. I think if she had worn plain stockings instead, it would have been a little more polished.

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

xo Shannon

Thursday, October 20, 2016

review: lime crime velvetines liquid matte lipstick

Squash. Few words conjure up images of fall faster than squash. Perhaps this explains my full-blown obsession with the Lime Crime Liquid Matte Lipstick (in the shade "Squash," of course). I picked up a couple of Lime Crime products at IMATS a couple of weeks back. Since then, I have been doing lots of testing and trying. Essentially, I have been finding out which products make my heart sing and which ones are complete and total letdowns. So far? Squash is the absolute standout.

There are many reasons this liquid lipstick has impressed me. For starters, the packaging is gorgeous. It is both cute and simple - the perfect combination. I love the floral print on the cap and the frosted glass effect on the bottom. It gives the product an undeniable charm from the get go. Then there is the formula itself. It goes on creamy, dries completely but doesn't feel drying (like so many liquid lipsticks do), and is intensely pigmented. Yes, this is a standout for many different reasons.

The most important? The colour. I'll be honest, there are an awful lot of lipstick colours in my makeup collection. From purple to red, green, blue, gold, and well, just about every colour of the rainbow. Except squash. This is the ultimate fall shade. It is bold but warm - making it easy to make a statement without feeling out of place or over the top. Not only was this colour my favourite of the Lime Crime lipsticks (I also picked up Blondie while at IMATS. It is a metallic shade that swatches beautifully but looks alien-esque on the lips) but it is one of my favourite lip products ever.

I wore Squash in my latest YouTube video. Take a look to see the lip colour in action and to find out more about my IMATS experience....

This is one lip product that took my breath away. Every time I wear Squash, I feel like a million bucks. It is a stunning fall shade that looks great, feels comfortable, and lasts for ages. Lime Crime is a fantastic brand....and I am so happy that I picked up a few of their products.

What do you think of this shade? Have you tried anything from Lime Crime?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

getting inspired by: fashionmia

Know when your wardrobe starts to feel a little...stale? That sums up how I have been feeling lately. It isn't that I don't have nice things hanging up in my closet. I do. They simply aren't inspiring me at the moment. Which is why I have turned to online shopping. There is no better way to get inspired than by taking a peek at gorgeous (and fashionable) items. This led me to They have a ton of incredible pieces to choose from. Especially when it comes to womens tops and trendy tops. There are so many stunning styles!

The easiest way to spice up a fall outfit is to look for tops online. When you find great fashion tops, you can easily dress up (or dress down) your favourite basics. Like pairing a new blouse with your most-worn pair of jeans. Or wearing cute and casual tops with a long maxi skirt. There are so many possibilities! That is why my focus is on finding some fantastic shirts and blouses that can be worn all fall and winter.

Whether I am going out for dinner with friends or am running errands with my husband....a stylish outfit is a must. Thankfully, there are a ton of incredible fashion tops available from FashionMia. It didn't take long for me to find a bunch of pieces that took my breath away. Here are a few of my favourites....

The great thing about online shopping? You can find incredible pieces for an affordable price. If you are looking for cheap tops that offer unforgettable style....take a look at Your wardrobe will thank you!

Which piece is your favourite? Have you done any shopping lately?

xo Shannon

Saturday, October 15, 2016

my imats experience (and haul!)

It was one of those things that had long been on my radar. Yet, I had never made it down to IMATS. That changed when a friend of mine invited me along for IMATS Toronto 2016 show. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Going in? I had no clue what to expect. I simply hoped for a fun day full of makeup. Well, that is exactly what I got. Here it very first IMATS experience.

Morning came very early. I was up at 6am doing my hair and makeup (my hair was not cooperating so I opted for an "I Dream of Jeannie" inspired high-ponytail and warm matte eyeshadow shades with a little winged eyeliner). Then came the dilemma of what to wear. Despite having multiple outfit options laid out....nothing felt right. Ultimately I went with a simple floral blouse and a pair of skinny jeans. Then it was time to head to the train station to make my way to the city. We met up for a quick breakfast before waiting in line to get in.

IMATS was crazy. Beyond crazy. We waited for quite some time to be let in and then it was line after line after line. Silly me, I figured you could walk up to the makeup booths and shop. Ha! Basically, you would get into a line for a brand. Wait for 20 minutes to an hour. Decide what products you want to buy. (Sometimes without seeing them until the very last second.) Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. There were certain booths we simply did not have time to make it to. The lines were just too long. It was definitely a little overwhelming!

It was still a lot of fun, though. We got to talk about makeup, pick up some new products, and take in all of the madness around us. Full reviews will definitely be coming for these....but until is my IMATS haul.

Products Pictured Include: 
  • Morphe 35W Eyeshadow Palette 
  • Morphe M458 Brush
  • Morphe M705 Brush
  • Naked Cosmetics Desert Sunset Collection
  • Lime Crime Velvetines Liquid Matte Lipstick (Squash and Blondie)
  • Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick (Beloved, Nosferatu, and Santa Sangre)
  • Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick (Lolita) 
Phew! It was definitely tricky to show that much self-restraint. With makeup absolutely everywhere....I wanted to buy it all. Instead, I tried to focus on items I would get a lot of use out of or were totally different than anything already in my makeup collection. For that reason? I think that I did really well. Expect detailed reviews on each of these items in the weeks to come.

Have you ever been to IMATS? What was your experience like?

xo Shannon

Thursday, October 13, 2016

review: shine by heidi klum

In all honesty? I had no idea Heidi Klum had her own perfume. The bottle (pictured above) was something I stumbled across by accident and simply had to try. It was on clearance for a measly $5 so it seemed logical to pick it up and test it out. If only because Project Runway is one of my all-time favourite shows. Now that it is officially part of my perfume collection....I am glad that "Shine" made its way into my life. It is a lovely fragrance.

The bottle itself is very unique. It has an oval shape with a grooved pattern as well as a luxurious gold emblem and cap. The overall appearance is sophisticated and elegant. Which is exactly how the perfume smells. "Shine" is musky and romantic. It oozes beauty and refinement. Whenever I stop and smell it, I immediately think of a dinner date with someone special or a holiday party. Or even a birthday celebration. Yes, this is definitely a special occasion kind of scent.

While I adore the smell of "Shine," it is not likely to get a ton of use from me. The reasoning is pretty simple: this is not an everyday perfume. On the plus side, it will make every important event or a holiday get together feel special. One spritz of this perfume and you will hold your head higher and stand a little taller. It is just so elegant and beautiful. I really do love it. This was certainly worth the $5 investment. If only so I can get my glam on every once and a while.

Have you tried this fragrance by Heidi Klum? What do you think of it?

xo Shannon

Monday, October 10, 2016

how i become a LiveGlam certified makeup artist.

Life and learning go hand in hand. I used to think that once I finished school, my path of learning was over. There would be no more back to school supplies, compulsory reading, or nervous interactions with teachers. Boy, was I wrong. Somehow along the line, I realized there was so much more to learn. That I actually wanted to learn more. Not for a degree or a job necessarily...but for me.

Over the past year or so, I have been continuing my education in numerous ways. A friend and I have been discovering new passions and learning as much as we possibly can in the process. Then there was LiveGlam. I signed up for an online makeup program earlier this year. It changed my life in ways I never thought possible. Today, I wanted to briefly talk about my experience.

The items I received upon enrollment. They were a great bonus - and a wonderful way to test out new products.

Essentially, LiveGlam is an online makeup artist course that teaches you the tricks of the trade. There were classes on all of the essentials, like skin types, eyebrows, eyeliner, makeup kit must haves, and proper eyeshadow application. To name just a few. (There were also bonus classes with full length tutorials, information about invoices, working with clients, and more.)

When I signed up for the classes? You had to choose a specific instructor, watch their videos, answer quizzes, and continue with the course that way until completion. Once you were finished you could submit your photo and information for your certificate, photo cards, and business cards. Now? They have changed a lot of things about the site. You sign up to become a member rather than choosing a specific instructor. As a LiveGlam member I can view all the videos available on the website. That includes ones from a variety of instructors - and even videos that have to do with hair and special effects makeup. So, even though I have my certificate, there is still plenty to learn.

Recently, I filmed a YouTube video detailing my experience a little bit more. You can check it out below to get a closer look at the items I was sent for enrolling, find out how long it took me to complete the course, and what the experience meant to me.

For me, LiveGlam was a wonderful experience. I learned more about something I love, gained confidence, and even managed to get a great writing job as a beauty expert. The process has been overwhelmingly positive for me. I am so incredibly proud. Not only that I completed the course...but that I put myself first.

xo Shannon