Monday, May 22, 2017

victoria beckham for target

Growing up, my favourite Spice Girl was always Posh. She was just so cool. While the other girls in the band had loud and over the top personalities, Posh Spice exuded a quiet confidence that I admired and aspired to. In the years since then, Victoria Beckham has remained a source of inspiration in my life. From her red carpet poise to her daring designs and incredible family life...she really seems to have it all.

Though I've been a fan of Victoria for most of my life, I never actually thought I'd be able to wear any clothes from her line. There was both price and size to consider, after all. (Many years ago, her denim line launched. She stopped by my city and in order to meet her, you had to buy a pair of jeans. Problem was, they didn't run big enough for me to fit into. Long story naturally skinny sister would up with a pair of designer jeans.) Then she teamed up with Target.

You would think my long-time dream was finally coming true. Wrong. I live in Canada and as you may recall, Target closed down all Canadian stores a while back. My dream seemed to be dashed once again! Until I went to visit my mom. Sitting on the couch waiting for me were two pieces from the Victoria Beckham for Target line. She'd ordered them from eBay to surprise me. Thanks, mom!

The first piece was a beautiful floral dress. It is absolutely perfect for spring and summer. With a gorgeous black background and lots of white, pink, and yellow flowers scattered throughout, everything about this dress is fun and flirty. What I love? The shape of the dress is ultra sophisticated and classic. It has a scooped neckline and a black band to accentuate the waist.

The second piece is a soft pink loose fitting dress. It has bold white cuffs and a gorgeous white collar. Obsessed! The collar itself has a super cute design detail, with a bunny rabbit on either side. This piece has absolutely everything I could ever want from a dress: a pink colour and a bunny print.

While I have only seen pictures of the rest of the line....I can say with certainty that the pieces I own from the Victoria Beckham for Target line are incredible. They absolutely met my expectations in terms of quality and design aesthetic.

Do you have anything from this line? What do you think of these pieces?

xo Shannon

Saturday, May 20, 2017

review: laura mercier secret brightening powder

Every beauty addict has a wish list. Mine has gotten pretty lengthy over the years, with everything from high-end blushes to limited edition palettes making the cut. One product that has topped the list for ages? A setting powder from Laura Mercier. I've heard rave review after rave review about the translucent powders and setting powders from this line. Every blogger goes on about the quality and effectiveness. So, of course, it peaked my interest.

A while back, I was at Sephora when I noticed a smaller sized version of the Secret Brightening Powder. Instinctively, I thought, what the heck. I took the plunge. Since my under eye area could do with a bit of brightening lately, this seemed like the perfect solution. Leaving the store, I felt giddy, practically bursting with anticipation. Would it work? Be worth the money? Live up to the hype? Here it review of the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

Packaging. There is one area where high-end products consistently beat drugstore products: packaging. That higher price point means there is a little more attention paid to the outer shell. This is certainly true with the Laura Mercier powder. I have a few loose powders floating around my makeup collection already - and they are all in cheap plastic. The brightening powder packaging is far more luxurious. The cap screws off easily and the materials are noticeably sturdier.

Quality. When it comes to the quality of the product...there is simply no denying it. The powder is super finely milled and very soft to the touch. Every time I use it, I'm shocked by how fine the powder is. So gorgeous! The product applies easily, feels lightweight, and leaves the skin feeling smooth. This is definitely a wonderful product.

Effectiveness. Now to talk about the effectiveness! Does it really work? Yes. I used it on one side of my face and followed my normal concealing routine on the other side. The difference is noticeable. The under eye area is brightened, smoothed out, and lifted. Take a look...

Laura Mercier is a brand I love. Even though my wallet doesn't! There are so many beautiful items in their collection....and this powder is easily one of my favourites.

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

xo Shannon

Thursday, May 18, 2017

a woman makes an outfit her own with accessories.

One thing I could never get sick of? New accessories. There is something so exciting about a piece of jewellery that is all shiny and new. This statement is even more accurate when that piece of jewellery is a gift from someone special. Recently, I was over at my best friends house, when all of a sudden, she jumped out of her seat. There was something she wanted to give me before she forgot. It was a beautiful choker necklace with an assortment of hanging crystals. I was so surprised and grateful.

According to the packaging, the crystals represent Wealth (citrine), Love (rainbow quartz), Luck (tourmaline), Wisdom (lapis lazuli), and Power (rose quartz). Basically, you choose the crystal you want and attach it to the black choker. I am absolutely obsessed with this necklace. It is super versatile - and I can customize it to my mood and outfit. I love that this is bold, on trend, and radiates positive energy. I've been steadily adding chokers to my collection over the last little while....but this is by far my favourite.

Want to see what it looks like on? This is the Blackheart choker, featuring the stone for wisdom. That one is my personal favourite thanks to the beautiful colour and shape.

This choker necklace is beautiful, fashionable, and makes me feel like a million bucks. That is ultimately the goal of any this is a serious win, in my books!

On another note, my latest YouTube video is up. I was finally able to put together some highlights from my Las Vegas vacation. Take a look!

What do you think of this necklace? Do you like the choker trend?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

inspired by: spring style

Me? Inspired by the spring season? You bet. This winter seemed like an endless sea of snow, slush, and chilly temperatures. It is only now that it really feels like we have put that long winter behind us. The sun shines brightly (in between those spring showers), I have this strange desire to clean and organize my apartment, and my love of fashion has returned full force. Ahh....what a beautiful time of year to be alive.

To celebrate this beautiful season in bloom (pun intended), I decided to create a look that perfectly sums up my idea springtime outfit. It features a fun and flirty dress as the focal point, with a bold print, a splash of colour, and a trendy mesh detail along the neckline. Since the dress had that stunning yellow going on, I decided to bring that down to the shoes, opting for a flirty cut pair of yellow flats.

Colour is everything during the spring months, so I played that up a little more by incorporating a pastel pink purse and a coral toned lipstick. The rest of the accessories were decidedly more neutral but still super glamorous and pretty. I chose a retro-inspired pair of black sunglasses and a pair of black Hermes earrings. To finish it all off? A beautiful champagne toned highlight for to create gorgeous glowing skin. Talk about the ultimate spring outfit!

This is a more elevated example of an outfit I would put together. I love a good springtime dress, pastel shades, and subtle pops of colour. They just make you feel good. Especially when the sun is shining and the world feels a little more carefree.

What do you think of this outfit? Are you excited for spring?

xo Shannon

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Inspired By: Riverdale

Even though Riverdale has ended for the obsession remains. It has been a long, long, long time since a TV show was quite so addicting. Over the past several months, I have found myself eagerly awaiting the next episode. Not to mention following the actors on social media and devouring any and all spoilers/fan theories. Like I has been a while since a TV show has spoken to me this strongly.

This might have to do with my longtime love of Archie comics. I've been reading and collecting them for as long as I can remember - and I still read them today! Though Riverdale is a million miles away from the comic books, it is just as exceptional. And so is the style. Today, I want to share a few looks I put together that were inspired by the ladies of the show. So, if you're looking to unleash your inner Betty, Veronica, or Cheryl.... here is a healthy dose of inspiration to get you started!

Riverdale has quickly become one of my favourite shows. Even with the season over and done with....I am dreaming about the season to come. Until then, I'll have to re-watch episodes on Netflix and read my massive stack of Archie comics.

Do you watch Riverdale? What do you think of these outfits?

xo Shannon

Friday, May 12, 2017

new in: accessories (guess, betsey johnson, and more)

Now that spring is fully underway, there are a few fashion and beauty goals on my radar. Some examples? Taking better care of my skin, wearing all of the shoes in my collection, going through my wardrobe, and being bolder with accessories. The latter is especially important to me right now. Why? It seems that accessories are the one area that I have been slacking on lately. Even though I have tons of different pieces (that I adore)....I often forget to wear anything other than my favourite necklace.

I am ready to change that habit. On a recent shopping trip, a few accessories caught my eye. They were all on sale, so I was able to nab them for a great price. Score! Already, a few of them have been incorporated into my daily outfits. These a fun, fresh, and the perfect way to welcome in a new season of fashion. So, what did I pick up? My mini mall haul included:
  • Guess choker set (which included a white felt rose-inspired choker, a burgundy and gold suede choker, and a gold choker with danging spades). These are all really gorgeous, nice quality, and comfortable to wear. The gold one is my favourite, for sure.
  • Forever 21 fluffy pink scrunchie. Boy, am I glad the 90s are back in style. It means this Clueless-esque scrunchie is totally wearable again! My plan is to incorporate this bold hair accessory into a topknot bun.
  • Disney earring set. These Little Mermaid earrings were gifted to me from my mom....and I love them! My favourite pair is definitely the ones of Ariel. These will come in handy during my Disney vacation this summer.
  • Betsey Johnson pink pretzel earrings. There are many reasons that I love all things Betsey, but these pretzel earrings pretty much sum it up. They are so fun! I just could not get over how cute and original they were. Fingers crossed that I will find the perfect time and place to wear them.
These are a few of the latest accessories in my collection. So far, they are inspiring me to get creative and mix things up every now and again.

Something else that has been inspiring me? The Koko Kollection from Kylie Cosmetics. My latest YouTube video is a try on and review of the set....take a look!

Have you bought any accessories lately? 

xo Shannon

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

concert review: o-town

I can't remember a time when music was not my biggest passion. It has always been a massive part of my life....whether my cassette tapes were playing Disney songs or my CD player had my favourite song on repeat. Though I am not musically inclined myself (aka, I have no talent for instruments or singing whatsoever), I more than make up for that by being the ultimate fangirl. It would be impossible to count the number of concerts, personal appearances, interviews, and autograph signings I have attended in my lifetime thus far. Basically, it's a lot! Which is why you would think at this point, seeing one of my favourite bands would be unexciting. So so wrong.

Recently, O-Town played a show near where I live. Of course I had to go. Unfortunately, no one was willing to go with me, since O-Town had played there two years in a row already. That is when I made the decision to go and see the show by myself. This is something I used to do all the time. My motto was always: why miss a great show because no one wants to go with me? So, it was a solo adventure! I actually wound up vlogging it for my YouTube channel. (For the record, that video will go up on my channel in a few weeks. After all of my Vegas themed videos go live.) That was a strange experience but an exciting one, too.

Straight after work, I got changed, dropped off my stuff, and headed to the train station. An hour later, I was downtown and ready to head to the venue. That walk was long (thanks to limited public transportation near the concert venue) but the rainy weather held off. Once I got there, it was time to wait in line. The concert was general admission, so it would take a bit of patience to snag a decent spot inside. I spent the wait reading a book....but I confess: it was lonely. Like I said, it had been a while since my last solo concert experience. It felt strange to be all on my own, especially when everyone else was reminiscing about old times and previous shows.

But once the actual show began? Everything was amazing. The waiting may have been long and lonely but the concert itself blew my mind. O-Town was incredible. They played every song from their new EP, Giants, had a ton of energy, and made sure every single moment of the concert was memorable. During the show, I felt free. I just went into a blissful state of happiness, and everything else just faded away. (That is the best part of any concert, in my opinion!)

After the show ended? It was time to meet the band. Yes, you read that right! They had a merchandise bundle available before the show. When you bought a t-shirt and poster, you would get a post-show selfie with the band as well. The last time I saw O-Town I met them but they were not taking pictures. So.....really, I had no choice!

As you can see from those pictures, I was very very happy to meet them. They were lovely, sweet, and very gracious. Even though I was shaking like a leaf (seriously, they are one of my all-time favourite bands, so I cannot function when I am around them) and got super nervous and flustered....they were just so awesome! I cried on Trevor (my favourite member) and have no regrets about that. He was extra awesome and hugged me a lot.

It was not a perfect night. Waiting for the concert was tough on me and made me feel really isolated and sad. But it was all worth it in the end. Seeing O-Town perform, hearing the new songs live, and meeting them post-show? It was one of the best nights I can remember.

Have you gone to a concert lately? Who did you see?

xo Shannon

Monday, May 8, 2017

inspired by

With summer fast approaching....I am in the midst of a hair dilemma. Do I cut off the length (for a lightweight summery style) or keep it (for a versatile look that I love)? For the most part, my hair is fairly long, but in the summer, I have been known to cut it a little shorter. This is always great at first, but it isn't long before I miss my oh-so-long locks. here lies the dilemma. To cut or not to cut?

While I was pondering this pre-summer decision, I was introduced to UNice. They specialize in human virgin hair, extensions, wigs, and accessories. With so many quality pieces to choose from, the solution suddenly seemed so obvious: enjoy a shorter summer cut....and mix things up with hair extensions. It is the perfect way to get the best of both worlds!

In case you haven't heard about UNice, they are a dedicated to providing a wide array of hair products (like a remy human hair weave, for example). There are wigs and hair extensions in every colour, length, and style imaginable. That means you can always create the look you want. Not a bad way to score gorgeous spring and summer style! Whether you are heading out for a special celebration, a girls night out, or an unforgettable day trip....your hair will look amazing.

Everything available from the UNice website is high-quality, natural-looking, and affordable. With human hair, I Tip Hair, and must have hair accessories (like wig caps, foam curlers, and curling wands) on offer, achieving head-turning hair is easier than ever before. If you're like me and want to change up your hairstyle this season, then consider browsing their large selection of products. Not only will you feel inspired - but each piece can give you the versatility you have been dreaming of.

Are you looking for a solution to your own hair dilemma? Then be sure to keep UNice on your radar. Their website is easy to use and navigate, informative, and loaded with incredible pieces. With a fantastic selection of hair essentials - and a massive selection of wig and extension colours (for a seamless addition of length or lots of sultry fullness) - this is a one stop shopping experience. So....what are you waiting for? This is your chance to do something different, embrace a bold new style, and look your very best.

Will you change your hairstyle this summer? Have you ever worn a wig or used extensions?

xo Shannon

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Glitter Week: How to Apply Glitter Makeup + My Glitter Collection

Can you believe it? Glitter week is coming to a close! Needless to say, this has been a week full of shimmer, shine, and sparkle. Not a bad way to welcome in a new month. For the last post in this glitter-themed series....I am going to be talking a little bit about my glitter collection and sharing some application tips and tricks.

My Glitter Collection. As you can see from the picture above, there is an awful lot of glitter in my life. It has sort of collected over the last year or so. Most of it was from Banggood (a thirty piece set with shades in just about every colour imaginable) but there are some others tossed in there as well. One is from Too Faced (and is a personal favourite because of the super fine glitter), a couple were ordered from Miss A (and the shades are stunning), and there is one that I picked up when my friend and I went to the Women's Show. It is super fine and turquoise. Perfection!

How to Apply Glitter Makeup. Whether you want to give your eyes a little shimmer, add some glitter to your cheeks for a bold festival inspired look, or create an over the top glitter can make it happen. Here is everything you need to know.
  1. Prepare your face first by applying a primer or putting on a lip balm. This will add moisture to your skin and help the glitter stick. If you are about to create a glitter eye look, add a loose powder underneath the eyes. Why? When you finish your glitter look, you can dust away the loose powder and get rid of fallout with ease.
  2. Put on your base next. For glitter eyes, this might be a cream eyeshadow. A powder shadow will still work, but the tackiness of the cream can give your glitter extra hold. For a lip art look, you will need to apply a lipstick or liquid lipstick. 
  3. Use a glitter adhesive or glitter glue (NYX has a great one and so does Too Faced) on the area that you want to apply your glitter. An alternative? Clear lip gloss. This will give you the tackiness you need to keep your glitter in place. Just keep in mind, if you use something other than a glitter glue or adhesive, your makeup look may crease. Weigh the pros and cons! 
  4. Apply the glitter using a stiff eyeshadow brush. Hold the brush flat and pat the glitter directly onto the adhesive. 
  5. Wipe away any fall out with a clean fluffy brush. 
And speaking of glitter....the Cover Girl Jewels palette has lots of glitter, shimmer, and shine. Find out how it performs (and check out some swatches) in my latest YouTube video....

Now that you have been inspired, read a review of the Urban Decay lip topcoat, and have found out how to apply glitter are all set! Glitter week has officially come to a close. I hope you enjoyed this theme week. Please let me know if there are any other themes you would like to see in the future. I am always open to requests!

Do you like wearing glitter makeup? 

xo Shannon

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Glitter Week: Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Lip Topcoat

Beauty trends come and go, but glitter is forever. The way that we wear it continues to adapt and change...but this sparkly add on has inspired makeup artists, runway looks, and beauty fanatics from around the globe. One of the hottest makeup trends of the moment? Lip art. Which is precisely why glitter lips have become so popular. Whether you want to go full on glitter or use it as a bold accent, there are many different ways to incorporate glitter into your next lip look.

Urban Decay recently released the Vice Special Effects Long Lasting Water-Resistant Lip Topcoat. There are twelve shades in all, ranging from blues to purples to metallics. With so many choices, it is possible to create an endless array of fabulous styles. There are currently two of these topcoats floating around in my makeup collection. The first, White Lie, was purchased during my Las Vegas trip. The other, 3rd Degree, during the Sephora VIB sale.

At $21 per tube, these topcoats are reasonably priced and oh-so-beautiful. Here is a breakdown of the latest offering from Urban Decay. Oh, and some pictures of the glitter topcoats in action!

Packaging. The tube sleek, stylish, and bold in design. Essentially, it looks like a tube of liquid lipstick. The applicator itself is a small brush that makes this topcoat super quick and easy to apply evenly across the lips. There is nothing elaborate or over the top about the packaging but it is high quality and easy on the eyes.

Quality. I'll be honest....I love this stuff. The two shades in my collection are White Lie (which is a shimmery white) and 3rd Degree (a glittery gold). Both are bold in terms of pigmentation and the colour is very buildable. I love that these brush on quickly, giving you a glamorous glitter lip in seconds. It does not flake or fall off and is totally mess free. This product can be worn alone or over another lipstick shade, depending on the look you have been dreaming of. That makes this product versatile, beautiful, and easy to apply.

Comfort. Glitter lips look amazing but they are rarely comfortable. They can become super dry and annoying. When it comes to the Urban Decay lip topcoat, it is far more comfortable than traditional glitter lips. Keep in mind, after about twenty minutes, your lips will start to feel dry. Simply apply a lip balm over top (you may lose a small amount of glitter but it is minimal) and you will be good to go. Another plus? This lasts really well. It stays put for hours without moving. Bonus!

Now that you know how the product performs, it is time to see how it looks! Here are two makeup looks that I put together using the Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Long Lasting Water-Resistant Lip Topcoat. (Try saying that three times fast!)

Left: 3rd Degree layered over top of Hard Candy Fierce Effects Lipstick
Right: White Lies worn alone

Overall, I was very happy with this product. Glitter always makes me feel glamorous....and now that there is an option to make every lip look sparkle and shine? Life is extra beautiful.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think of the topcoat?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Glitter Week: Inspiration Pictures

Everyone has certain weaknesses. For me, the shortlist of those weaknesses includes chocolate, makeup, music, and glitter. The latter has been an endless source of inspiration for me lately. It seems that all my makeup looks are shimmery and clothes have at least a little glitz...and my accessories are all glitter-centric. Which explains where the idea of a glitter themed week on the creation of beauty is art. came from!

Today is the first post for glitter week and it is dedicated to inspiration photos. Sometimes, when I am tired, down, or am lacking inspiration, I will pour through pages and pages of pictures. The special ones? I save. Then eventually, they make their way into an inspiration post. It turns out, there were a ton of glitter related pictures saved on my computer. Some were related to nail art, others to fashion, makeup, and even hair.

That being said....I hope you enjoy this selection of pictures. In the days to come, I'll be doing a review of the new Urban Decay Vice Special Effects Lip Topcoat, showing you my glitter collection, and sharing some alternative ways to create a stunning glitter lip look. Until then, enjoy this daily dose of inspiration.

There is something about glitter. It is fun, bold, and unapologetic. Yes, it can be messy and chaotic....but that only adds to its beauty. Over the next several days, you can expect posts related to anything and everything glitter!

Do you love glitter? What inspires you?

xo Shannon

Sunday, April 30, 2017

review: too faced white chocolate chip palette

One of my biggest weaknesses? Themes. There is nothing more exciting to me than a theme of some sort. Whether it is a themed party, an outfit, or even a makeup item....a good theme makes me weak in the knees. No wonder there is so much Too Faced in my collection. And just as much on my wish list! They are the absolute best brand when it comes to fun and creative themes. When I saw the Too Faced White Chocolate Chip palette sitting at the line-up section of Sephora (the place where last minute add ons can quickly double your purchase price) it immediately caught my attention.

There were so many selling points. A few examples? The themeing (their chocolate themed palettes smell good and work well), the size (super small and easy to take on the go), and the shade selection (there are dark shades, medium shades, and light shades to choose from). Before I get into a full review of this mini eyeshadow palette, here is a closer look at what is inside.

There are some good and not-so-good things about this Too Faced palette. So, to make things a little easier to digest, I am going to break it down into a pros and cons list. Let's start with the things that really stood out about this palette.....

  • The packaging is perfection. It is small, sturdy, and has a large mirror inside.
  • The smell is incredible! This palette really does smell like white chocolate. Yum!
  • There are some really beautiful shades here. The ones that are very shimmery and glittery have a lot of pigmentation and look absolutely gorgeous.
  • There is a lack of consistency from shadow to shadow. Some are great and others are flaky and lack pigmentation.
  • An awful lot of the lighter shades look the same when swatched or applied. That limits the versatility.
  • The pans are super small so you need to use a very fine brush for application. 
As you can see, this is kind of all over the place. It is a fabulous palette to take with you in your purse thanks to the super compact size. But when it comes to everyday use? It is probably not going to be something you reach for all that often. I am probably going to keep this in my makeup bag or take it with me when I am travelling. Here is a makeup look that I created using the Too Faced set. You can absolutely come up with a beautiful eye look....the shades simply aren't consistent. 

Too Faced is a fantastic brand and there are many aspects of this palette that stand out. Unfortunately, this specific product did not knock my socks off. But hey....there is always next time!

Have you tried the White Chocolate Chip palette? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Friday, April 28, 2017

How to Achieve Effortless Rainy Day Style

Spring is here. Though in my mind, that means sunshine and flowers, the reality has been drastically different. Every day it seems to rain. Not just a little. It has been pouring. Quite frankly, that has me a little down! Not only do those grey skies give me the blues, but it is challenging to keep your hair, makeup, and fashion on point when it rain, rain, rains. That is what inspired this post! To help you look flawless (even on a gross, rainy day) here are some tips, tricks, and inspiration to help you achieve effortless rainy day style.

Tips and Tricks to Look Gorgeous on a Rainy Day
  • Always choose waterproof makeup. Not everything at the drugstore comes in a waterproof formula, but it is possible to protect your face from the rain. Choose waterproof or water-resistant items (for a comprehensive list, check out my article on LoveToKnow, "How to Wear Makeup Swimming") whenever possible, or invest in a good setting spray. That extra step can make all the difference! 
  • Choose fashionable yet functional pieces. Just because it is raining outside doesn't mean you have to throw on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. You can still look high-fashion! Choose an umbrella with a stylish shape (a bubble umbrella is a super chic option), a water-resistant trench coat, or a pair of rain boots in a bold, statement-making shade. 
  • Be careful which purse you choose to carry with you. Certain materials, like leather and suede can become damaged in the rain. In order to preserve your oh-so-beautiful bag, either wrap a plastic bag around it while you dash from place to place, or choose a more water-friendly bag. 
  • Have fun with your hairstyle. The rain has a habit of taking a gorgeous hairstyle and transforming it into a frizzy, sopping mess. Make sure that doesn't happen by getting a little creative. Tie your hair into a gorgeous high-ponytail, rock a stylish side-braid, or create a topknot bun. Not only do these hairstyles look great....they last. 
Now that you have a better idea of how to stay stylish on even the rainiest of is time for a little inspiration! Here is an example outfit that I created with rainy days in mind. It is quick, easy, and beautiful.

There is nothing exciting about a rainy day. The good news? It doesn't have to ruin your style or your mood. With a little extra care and consideration, you will look amazing all day and night!

On another sure to check out my latest YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. It is all about disappointing makeup purchases.

What are your rainy day style tips? Sound off in the comment section below!

xo Shannon

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

as long as I could remember I dreamed in black and white.

Concerts have always been an important part of my life. I went to my first one at ten years old. Since then, it's been one after another after another. They make me feel happy. There is something so incredible about connecting to music in an undeniable way. You can feel the bass thumping through you. You are surrounded by people who love the songs as much as you do. It's electrifying.

Unfortunately, I don't get to attend as many concerts as I used to. Tickets are expensive, and with bills to pay, choices must be made. Sigh! Though Good Charlotte was coming to town....I made the difficult decision to skip the concert. It wasn't that I wanted to miss it. But I'd already bought tickets to a couple of shows in the spring and fall. Then my best friend's mom surprised us by buying a pair of tickets. I was overwhelmed, and to be honest, felt a little guilty. Her mom has always been so wonderful and welcoming to me. The last thing I wanted was to take advantage of her generosity. That being said, I am so grateful we were able to see the show. I am forever in her debt!

For the concert, my friend and I decided to go super dark and gothic with our clothes and makeup. That meant lots and lots of black, skulls, and badassery! I used the Cover Girl Jewels eyeshadow palette to create a black and gold smokey eye look. Then added on the Kat Von D lipstick in Slayer. (Though I topped up with my friend's NYX liquid lipstick for a darker, bolder, black.) I wore a neon green and black hoodie, paint splattered jeans, and an old pair of Vans. Oh, and there were sparkly skull earrings for good measure. It was a lot of fun to go a little darker with our fashion and makeup. In fact, we were super inspired by it and decided we would try to do this more often!

We got downtown early, grabbed some food, met some interesting people, and then headed to the venue. There were three opening acts (which we were not super thrilled about) but eventually, Good Charlotte appeared. And they were amazing! The show was really high energy with the perfect mix of slower songs thrown in. Overall, the set list was solid, though they didn't sing my favourite song. (All Black, for the record!) My favourite part of the show? Either Dance Floor Anthem or the fact that they talked about important being true to yourself, caring about one another, and rejecting negativity. It was such a good night.

The best part? Spending an evening with my best friend. Though I was exhausted from work, it was wonderful to catch up and rock out to a band we love.

What is the last concert you attended?

xo Shannon

Monday, April 24, 2017

NARS chiang mai eyeshadow duo (review and swatches)

I am hard-pressed to think of a NARS product that has let me down. This is a brand that consistently produces high quality products for their consumers. Though their blushes are iconic, I always find myself drawn to the other items they offer. Like lip glosses, lipsticks, and eyeshadows. A short list of my favourite pieces from NARS? The Turkish Delight lip gloss and the NARSissist eyeshadow palette. Though there are plenty of stand out items in their vast collection....their Wildfire Spring Collection shines.

It features two duo eyeshadows, velvet shadow sticks, a new blush, lipsticks, and glosses. Recently, the Chiang Mai eyeshadow duo made its way into my collection. (I couldn't resist the colour combination! It was so unique!) So. what makes this NARS product so stellar? Let's start by taking a closer look at the duo. Here is a photo and some swatches....

There are several pros, including the packaging. If you've bought a NARS product in the past, then you know what to expect. The packaging is simple, sleek, and sturdy. Absolute perfection in my opinion! Then there are the shades themselves. The colours are what drew me to this set in particular. They are so different - especially paired together. Paired together, you can create a smokey eye look with just the right amount of colour. It is a great way to do something a little different with your makeup, without it being an overwhelming or time consuming process.

The quality is just what you would expect from NARS. Each eyeshadow is highly pigmented, butter soft, easy to apply, and perfectly blendable. There is also a ton of staying power! My makeup look withstood a full day of wear and an unplanned nap.

This is the quick (and oh so lovely) makeup look that I created using the NARS Chiang Mai eyeshadow duo. Be sure to let me know what you think of it.....

This is one product that definitely met my expectations. It is high quality, loos beautiful, and lasts. No wonder NARS remains one of my all-time favourite makeup brands.

Have you tried anything from the Wildfire Spring Collection from NARS?

xo Shannon

Saturday, April 22, 2017

in love with: kat von d alchemist holographic palette

When it comes to makeup....I have a serious weakness for all things new. There is something thrilling about trying out a new product and hoping that it will become one of your all-time favourite items. Despite this, I've been trying to limit my trips to Sephora. Even still, a few new products have made their way into my life. Including the Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette. It was a must-have kind of product. Between the unique packaging and bold highlights, this is most definitely a one-of-a-kind palette. It has made my love list!

Before I start listing all of the reasons this palette makes my heart flutter, it is time to take a closer look at the packaging. It has a triangular shape and an intricate pattern on top. (Not to mention a stunning holographic finish.) It flips open to reveal four different holographic highlights. Here is the outer packaging, inner packaging, and some swatches of each shade.

It is pretty clear that the packaging is special. Not only because of the shape of the palette but the beautiful artwork on top. It is one of the many things that makes Kat Von D makeup special. Beyond that, the products themselves are spectacular. As you can see from the swatches, these are no ordinary highlight shades. Most of the ones on the market are white and shimmery or gold and shimmery or maybe champagne and shimmery....but none are quite like this. One is a greenish yellow (Green Emerald), one is a gorgeous blue (Blue Saphyre), one is a beautiful purple (Ultra Violet Amethyst), and the last is a gorgeous soft pink (Pink Opal). 

Each one is ultra shimmery and holographic and stays true to colour on the skin. My fear was that these would sheer out on the cheeks and wind up looking like every other highlight on the market. Wrong! These look just like they do when you swatch them. I absolutely love it. There is nothing better than adding a pop of holographic green, blue, purple, or pink. It is a subtle way to introduce colour - and do something bold and exciting with your makeup. This is a 10/10 makeup product. To say I love it is a major understatement! 

Kat Von D is one of my favourite makeup brands, and this holographic palette is a prime example of why. The quality is incredible, the products are unique, and the packaging is beautiful. If you find it at your local Sephora, be sure to pick it up.

Not all beauty products are loves. Case in point? The Maybelline eyeshadow palettes. My latest YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. is all about the best and worst of these drugstore palettes. Take a look! 

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

xo Shannon

Thursday, April 20, 2017

the vegas diaries: part two

Here it is....part two of my Las Vegas vacation post. Keep reading to find out how the Britney Spears concert went (pictured above) along with the rest of the fabulous getaway.

Day Three (continued): As I mentioned in my last post, it was a busy day leading up to the Britney concert. I was exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel, but it was time to get glam! I curled my hair, threw on a studded denim dress, and went with a dark blue smokey eye look. It was a lot of fun to get all dolled up for the show. When we got to the theatre, we sat in our seats and waited. (Though the show was supposed to start at nine, it didn't start until nine thirty. So there was a decent amount of waiting.) Sadly, our seats were pretty much at the back of the theatre and our view was less than ideal. In fact, I couldn't see much. Sigh! Despite the poor view....Britney Spears was incredible. She put on a great show, her dancing was fantastic, and her costumes were beautiful.

Day Four: The next day was another exciting one. We had booked spots on the Pawn Stars Tour - a dedicated TV show tour. It took us to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, the Toy Shack, (Pawn Stars), ATM (Tanked). Rick's Restorations (American Restoration). and Count's Customs (Counting Cars). My husband and I love to watch Pawn Stars and American Restoration together so these were really exciting stops. We had a blast checking out the stores, learning new things, and even meeting some of the stars from the show. The highlight? Shaking hands and taking a picture with Rick from Rick's Restorations. It was a total surprise and we were all thrilled.

After that, we went to Gordon Ramsay's Burger restaurant. We are all huge fans of Gordon, so everyone was eager to try something from one of his restaurants. One thing to know about me? I love ketchup. I need ketchup. Gordon Ramsay's Burger does not have ketchup. None. At all. I was so upset because it basically meant I couldn't eat my meal. Which I didn't. I had a quarter of the burger and a handful of fries. Such a waste of time and money. Sigh. Everyone else liked it fine, since they all enjoy hot sauces. (A Tabasco sauce of sorts was available. Joy.)

Once that was over, we walked over to Gordon's other restaurant, Steak. My husband managed to score a signed menu for free....even though it was supposed to be $65. I have literally never seen him that happy in my entire life. Definitely a trip highlight, just seeing him so happy. We hit a lucky streak the rest of the night, winning $20 on the slots, and taking home $20 worth of Hershey cookies for $1.08.

Day Five: Well, all good things must come to an end. Sadly, this was the last day of our vacation. It was a lot shorter than I would have liked, that is for sure! But we made the most of our last day there by checking out the gardens inside the Wynn, going to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, picking up last minute souvenirs, and heading to another one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants to explore! The wax museum in particular was a lot of fun. We took so many silly pictures. Hundreds of them, in fact. It was one of the best parts of the whole trip.

Then, we had our last meal in Vegas at a pizza place near the hotel, picked up our luggage, and headed to the airport for a very late flight. It didn't leave until almost midnight. Thanks to the awful flight home (horrific turbulence that was so scary, I was literally shaking and crying), none of us got much sleep. By the time we finally were safe and sound in the apartment....we zonked out for most of the day. It took a few days for my sleep schedule to adjust!

Overall, it was a really fun vacation. It was so great to get away for a while. I got to take a break from work, see musicians that I love, and spend time with some special people. Vegas never disappoints. So there it is! My vacation recap....

Do you like to travel? Have you ever been to Las Vegas?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

the vegas diaries: part one

Finally! Though I've been home from Las Vegas for about a week....this is the first chance I've had to  sit down and write about the trip. Since my return? My days have been full of writing, working, and getting caught up on things. Turns out, there was an awful lot to catch up on. No wonder it has been so difficult returning to my everyday routine. Enough about that! Now to share some of my vacation stories with you.

Day One: The first day in Vegas was a long one. It started with a very early morning arrival at the airport (where security lines were insane and it took a full three hours to get through it all) and an unpleasant flight (lots of turbulence and an hour long delay). Once we landed, we went to check into the Excalibur Hotel. The trip consisted of myself, my husband, and our two friends. Finding out that we could not check into our room until after check in time...we went to explore the hotel. Happily, that meant a stop off at Krispy Kreme. My favourite! We ate lunch, wandered, and eventually, checked into our rooms.

After that, we went to wander the Las Vegas Strip. We walked for ages but saw an awful lot. That included the fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel, the boats at Treasure Island, and the Marvel shop. For dinner, we went to Wahlburgers, which is one of my all-time favourite places to eat. Their tater tots are amazing. That night, we ended up seeing a show and then went to bed. It was a long day and a late night but an interesting start to the trip!

Day Two: Thanks to jet lag, it was another early morning the following day. I was awake, showered, dressed, and ready to go. The rest of the group was eager for Dennys...and since the closest one had a massive line up...we walked all the way to the other end of the strip. It was exhausting but at least breakfast was good! That day, we walked through the Venetian hotel, picked up some goodies from Carlo's Bakery, went to the Coke store, and M&M Store.

We'd had a full day by the time we returned to our hotel rooms. But it was only beginning! My husband and I went out to see Donny and Marie (I love them so much) and our friends went to see Cirque du Soleil. The Donny and Marie concert was fabulous. Sadly, I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but we definitely had a good view. They put on a great show (even my husband thought it was good) and sounded amazing. Bonus? Two of the Osmond brothers were actually in the audience.

Day Three: The third day of the trip was a pretty exciting one. Mostly because it meant that I would be seeing Britney Spears that evening. I was crazy excited and had this nervous energy going on all day. Despite eagerly awaiting the show, we were able to get out that day and do some more exploring. We went to the Luxor Hotel, Mandalay Bay, had a few drinks, and ended up at the Rainforest Cafe. Then, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the Britney concert.

And speaking of the Britney'll have to wait until my next post to hear about that. It will be all about the show and the rest of my vacation. Stay tuned!

xo Shannon