Saturday, September 24, 2016

nail products i am loving.


There is something about perfectly done up nails. They are an instant confidence booster! I often find myself looking down and smiling. Ahh, the simple joys in life. In the past I would go weeks without doing anything to my nails. Weeks. Now? I like to do my nails every Friday night. There are a few reasons for this. It is a great way to unwind after a long work week, it gives me the chance to pamper myself, and it allows me to be creative.

As you can see from the photo above, there have been a few new nail items added to my collection. The first are some of the Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips from Sally Hansen. I absolutely love these things. How else can you get perfectly done up nails in five minutes? There is no drying time and they last for about a week. (They say ten days but usually by that point the nail polish strips are looking a little ragged. So I prefer to remove them after a week.)

The only downside is the price tag. These cost between $10-12 per box. That is pretty steep! Thankfully, I was able to get the six boxes above for a mere $10. When I went to the CNE there was a booth of discounted beauty supplies. That included a wide array of Sally Hansen nail strips. So, I tried to pick up some different designs rather than simple nail looks I can do myself. I wound up with fun patterns and prints, like skulls, argyle, stars, guitars, and leopard print. These are definitely a little left of centre....but I thought they would be a fun way to mix up my nail looks. Currently, I am wearing the skull and heart print design. I feel like my inner Avril Lavigne has been unleashed. I love it.

In addition to my serious Sally Hansen obsession, there is another nail product I am loving right now. It is the L'Oreal Two Step Nail Polish in the shade Beyond Blushing. It is a two step process with a bright pink nail colour and a pink top coat. The colour itself was gorgeous, vibrant, and fun. (I added a little extra flair by using a white polish and a dotting tool to create some cute polka dots.) The nail look turned out really well - and I am addicted to that fun pink shade.

Those are a few of the nail products I am loving. They have been making my nails looking good day in and day out!

Have you tried any of these? What are your favourite nail products?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

rose gold inspired makeup look


Inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes, it is a season, a colour, or an outfit. On a recent night out? It was a rediscovered product, the Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art in Peach Prism. (That's right, I said rediscovered product. I have been digging through my makeup collection to use things I already own.) The moment I saw it, I knew. It was the perfect source of inspiration. On one end there is a gorgeous rose gold cream shadow and on the other there is a sparkly peach liner. I chose to pair these items with my beloved Urban Decay Naked 3 eyeshadow palette to create a romantic and rosy makeup look.

Products Used: Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art in Peach Prism, Urban Decay Naked 3, Flower Beauty Black Eyeliner, Cover Girl The Super Sizer mascara, Annabelle bronzer, Benefit Posetint Balm. 

How I Created The Look: 

  • I started by following my normal foundation routine. I used the Maybelline Better Skin foundation (a newer addition to my collection...full review to come!) and concealer and finished it all off with my Cover Girl pressed powder. Then I filled in my brows using my Bonne Bell eyebrow pencil. I wanted everything to be super natural. That meant a super lightweight products and a subtle contour using my Annabelle bronzer.
  • The focus of this makeup look was definitely the eyes. They needed to be warm but dramatic. First, I used the Revlon cream shadow as a base. Then it was time to add a little intensity with the Naked 3 palette. I applied Trick to the centre of the eyelid and blended Liar into the crease. That was buffed out using Nooner and Strange was used on the inner corner and underneath the brow bone.
  • Next up was the eyeliner. I used my Flower Beauty liner to create a dramatic winged out look, added on my Cover Girl mascara, and finished off the eyes with a hint of the Revlon sparkle liner underneath the lash line. With a bit of bronzer on the cheeks and my PoseTint Balm on the lips....it was the perfect blend of subtle and dramatic. Rose gold is great that way! 

Rose gold has definitely been a favourite lately. Which is why my Naked 3 palette is never far from reach. Searching for a little inspiration of your own? Start with your makeup collection. Just a quick look around can spark the perfect idea. Before long, you will feel gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the world. 

What do you think of this makeup look? What inspires you?

xo Shannon

Monday, September 19, 2016

summer should get a speeding ticket.


Fun fact? I like to divide my photo albums on Facebook into seasons. Fall, winter, spring, and summer. This started a few years back. Rather than make a new album for each and every event, like concerts, get togethers, and special events, it made sense to group things together. Some of my friends aren't keen on this. (It can be annoying to wade through 100+ photos to see the new ones.) But for me, it is a fantastic organizational system. At the end of each season, I like to look back on that folder. I can see it all right in front of me...including what I did this summer.

Though the summer flew by, my Facebook album proves that I did a lot. That includes a perfect day at Canada's Wonderland with my family, a Duran Duran concert with my dad, a David Cassidy concert, a couple of mini getaways to Niagara Falls, hang outs with my best friends, a trip to the zoo, and a day at the CNE. And those are only the moments that were photographed! Looking back? It was a pretty great summer. I feel lucky to have spent so much time with the people I love.

I created a mini to do list at the beginning of the summer. Now that it's over? I wanted to look back and track my progress. My list consisted of the following:

  • Finish book list (I have an extensive list of books on the go!) 
  • Workout on a regular basis
  • Make plans with people - and don't be afraid to text first
  • Do a friend's makeup as practice 
  • Focus on fun and self
So....how did I do? Let's start with the first entry on that list. Finish my book list. It probably goes without saying, but I did not finish my book list. (It is pretty huge.) That doesn't mean it was a failure! I've read more this summer than I have in ages. It is something I am actively making time for. I am focusing on finishing books that are half-started and reading things that enrich my spirit. 

Next up? Working out on a regular basis. This is something else I feel pretty good about. Sure, there were times when I fell off the wagon, so to speak. I got sick a couple of times this summer. That derailed by workout schedule a little bit. But I worked out four to six times per week....and that is pretty cool.

As for making plans with people? I have done a little bit better with this as well. Though it turns out there are not a ton of people I actually want to make plans with (ahh, the life of a slightly anti-social person). I have gotten much better at texting, however. I used to wait until someone else messaged me to reach out. Now, I am making the first move. Go me! 

I did not manage to do a friend's makeup as practice. This makes me a little sad - but it also means I can aim to check this off my list in fall. I guess I am a little afraid that I will do a horrible job. Just because I know how to do my own makeup doesn't mean I am a pro at doing someone else's! It's a little nerve wracking to say the least. Fingers crossed I get up the nerve to do it.

My last goal was to focus on fun and self. Honestly, it makes me really proud to say that I have. There have been nights where I ignored work and writing in favour of a face mask and a Netflix marathon. It has taken me a long time to get to that point! I needed to spend more time focusing on myself, appreciating small moments, and being happy. I am hoping this continues into the fall season and beyond.

Those were a few of my summer goals. What were your summer goals? Did you finish your to do list?

xo Shannon

Friday, September 16, 2016

inspired by fall fashion


It makes me feel old to say this....but time is going by so quickly. I remember when I was little, the seasons seemed to drag on endlessly. Now? Summer is over and we are nearing the official beginning of fall. I'm not entirely sure where my summer went or how to process the sudden shift in seasons. But one great place to start is with fall fashion. It doesn't matter how blue I feel when I think about those cooler temperatures. The best way to perk me up is with a little fall fashion! It is one of my favourite seasons for style. The rich colours and the gorgeous layers....yes, yes, yes.

The photo above is a little outfit I created on Polyvore. Using fall fashion as my inspiration, I dove in headfirst to whip up something that represents my ideal fall look. There are ripped jeans, a white peplum top, a black and white bomber jacket, bold earrings, and some burgundy accessories. Personally? I love the idea of mixing more casual items (like a stylish pair of distressed jeans and a bomber jacket) with a top that is a little more elegant and girly. It is the perfect contrast! I also really love blending edgier (those earrings for example) with feminine details (like the suede on the shoes  and that gorgeous peplum shape). Put it all together and you have a fall outfit that will take you from casual get together to a romantic date night. It is gorgeous and versatile.

It won't be long before the temperatures start to drop. Here is hoping I can rock an outfit equally as stylish when they do! It is definitely time to raid my wardrobe and get creative.

On another note....my latest YouTube video is up. Take a peek at my Current Obsessions.


What do you think of this outfit? Do you love fall fashion?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

review: banggood

There is always this flutter of excitement when something arrives in the mail. What will it be? And more importantly....what will it be like? That is exactly how I felt when my order arrived from Banggood. (You can check out some of the awesome items they offer at http://bit.lc/4lQ1) I had picked out a couple of special items and could not wait to get my hands on them. Those items included a new foundation brush and a ton of gorgeous glitters. No wonder my excitement level was at an all time high. For today's post, I wanted to show you the items I received and give you a full review of each one.

Oval Foundation Brush: 

The first item is the 1Pcs Professional Oval Makeup Cosmetic Contour Brush Foundation Powder Cream Puff Brushes Tool. I chose option number 003 because it seemed like the perfect size. Not too big and not too small. Just right. And it was! The size is perfect for foundation application. Despite all of the makeup brushes in my collection....I had never tried an oval shaped brush before. I know these are gaining in popularity, so I wanted to try one out for myself. The brush has a flexible black handle and an oval shape with soft, dense bristles. Since using it? I have fallen in love. It makes foundation application totally seamless. The product looks super natural on my skin because the brush buffs it in effortlessly. Such a fan of this one! The quality is fantastic (I am a sucker for a brush with ultra soft bristles) and it works really well. This brush was definitely a winner for me. You can check out the other makeup items Banggood offers by visiting http://bit.lc/4lQ6

Glitter Eyeshadow Pigments: 

The obsession is real. To say I was thrilled with the 30 Colors 1 Set Glitter Spangle Eye Shadow Powder Pigment Kit Makeup Cosmetic Tool would be a serious understatement. I am in love. For the last little while, I have been all about glitter eye looks. The only problem? I only had two shades of glitter. That limited the kind of looks I could create. That is what prompted my choice of the set of 30. Yes, thirty. As you can see from the photo above? There are so many gorgeous shades! Blues, greens, purples, pinks, gold, silver, copper, yellows....absolutely everything. I now have a complete set of loose glitter. That makes me so happy! Each glitter comes in a small clear container with a screw off top. There is quite a lot of product in each one and the glitters are breathtaking. Some of the shades make me positively giddy. Confession. I have already whipped up a few ultra glittery makeup looks, but keep your eyes peeled! I will be doing some tutorials both here and on my YouTube channel. So excited to keep using these. I honestly love them so much.

My experience with Banggood was amazing. I am absolutely loving the products. Everything I received exceeded my expectations and then some. (Those glitters, though! Love!)

What do you think of these items?

xo Shannon

Sunday, September 11, 2016

what meditation has taught me.


It didn't come naturally. Meditation seemed like an impossible idea. At least for me. How could I possibly shut off my mind? Let go of the worries and anxiety that constantly bombard my thoughts? It was a nice idea....but it felt totally unrealistic. That led me to guided meditation. I found some online and eventually bought some guided meditation CDs. They became my saving grace. The meditations allowed me to listen, focus my mind, and find the inner peace I so desperately needed.

The fall season can be a lot of things. Exciting, memorable, and yes, even stressful. Suddenly those carefree summer days are nothing but a memory - and reality is staring you straight in the eye. Cue panic. My way of dealing with the shift? Meditation. I try to take advantage of small moments whenever possible, If I have time to myself then a longer meditation is in order. I set up my space (my office floor, surrounded by lit candles and meaningful objects) and fall into the process.

Not sure if meditation is something you want to try? Here are some of the things it has taught me.

  • It's Okay To Do Things For Myself. I used to put myself on the back burner. It was work first, followed by responsibilities, and then what was expected of me. If I wasn't busy (or overworked or stressed out) there was a part of me that felt like a failure. This is likely a response to our go-go-go society, but I digress. Meditation has taught me that it's okay to take time for myself....that I need to. That I deserve to. 
  • Kindness Starts From Within. Okay, I admit it. I am not always sunshine and roses. I get grumpy, irritated, and tired like any normal human being. The difference? I used to tear myself apart for feeling anything but happy. Which only made me grumpier, more irritated, and absolutely exhausted. Funny how that works! Meditation has taught me to treat myself with love and kindness. And once I started to treat myself better? I started to treat other people better, too. It really is a win-win.
  • I Can Be Proud Of Who I Am. There are many other things meditation has taught me so far. Like the ability to focus, the power of the mind, and the fact that serenity really does exist. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned along the way? I am proud of who I am. I love myself and I love my life. While it is certainly not perfect (my career is definitely not where I want it to be)......I am grateful for life's many blessings. I have an incredible family, some great friends, and things that I am passionate about. All in all? Life is good. 
Want to try meditation for yourself? Here is a get started guide and one of my favourite guided meditations on YouTube.You never know what you might learn from the experience.

xo Shannon

Friday, September 9, 2016

review: cover girl clean sensitive liquid foundation


It wasn't how I planned to test our a new foundation. My husband and I were in the middle of a backyard barbecue. My uncle (and new aunt) were celebrating their recent nuptials with hoards of family and friends nearby. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the wasps were ready to sting. How do I know the last part is true? Well, I got stung. It was my first time ever being stung by anything....and it hurt. A lot. More than I ever thought it would. Once the shock of it all wore off, the water works began. I was trying not to cry in front of everyone - but wound up bawling in my husbands car. There went my not so waterproof makeup. Sigh.

Before I knew it? We were on our way to the drugstore for supplies. Something to stop the burning, itching, and pain on my arm....and a little makeup to touch up my splotchy face. They didn't have my usual drugstore foundation in stock. That in itself caused a brief moment of panic. What would I do? Which foundation would I choose? So I wound up picking the cheapest thing on the shelf. It was the Cover Girl Clean Sensitive Liquid Foundation. 

That brings me to my review. How did it work out? Pretty well, actually. Especially when you consider the $6 price tag. It comes in a glass bottle (which feels pretty darn luxurious but it actually a bit harder to use. There is no scoop, spatula, or pump. That makes it difficult to get the product out of that oh-so-cute glass bottle) with a screw off cap. The formula I chose is for sensitive skin. There were a couple of other options but none for dry skin. So sensitive skin, it was!

The shade I chose was 505 Ivory (the lightest on the shelf) and it is a pretty good match. A lot of drugstore foundations tend to run a little dark. Which means achieving a proper match can be a real struggle. Not this time! The match is pretty close to perfect. As for the coverage? That was fairly impressive as well. It provides medium coverage, blends easily, and looks natural. There weren't any noticeable dry spots or caking. Pretty impressive. Here is a picture of the foundation in use....


The Cover Girl Clean Sensitive Liquid Foundation definitely exceeded my expectations. It was super affordable and did a great job. Especially when I was in a pinch! Now? This has become my go to foundation for work. It is quick and easy to use - and looks great. What else could I possibly need?

Have you tried this Cover Girl foundation? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon