Thursday, June 22, 2017

work. travel. save. repeat.

Phew! Time flies when you are having fun. In some ways, it seems like my vacation just started....and in other ways, it feels like forever ago since I left. This road trip was by far the longest vacation that I have ever taken. (Usually they are a week, max.) It was two and a half weeks of the open road, theme parks, and family time. Honestly? It is a little weird being home again. Though it is certainly a relief to be back in my own little space.

This post is nothing more than a quick hello from me. I got in yesterday afternoon and since then, have done little but sleep, sleep, and sleep some more. It always amazes me how exhausted a vacation can make you feel! Tomorrow, I start back at work....which will definitely be a struggle. Can't say I am looking forward to that. Ahh well, back to reality!

Expect a full recap of my vacation highlights in the next little while. I'll be sharing photos, stories, and of course, a haul of the items that came home with me. I will also be getting caught up on reading all of your lovely blogs while I'm at it. So, you will likely see me commenting here and there.

What have you been up to lately?

xo Shannon

Monday, June 12, 2017

ohana means family.

By the time you are reading this, my vacation will already have begun. That's right! I am currently on a road trip with my immediate family members to celebrate my mom's birthday and my parent's wedding anniversary. This is very different for us. While we try to travel as often as possible, we never ever drive to our destination. It is always a flight from point a to point b. This time, it was decided that we were all going to take a road trip across the United States - making stops at Dollywood, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and Disney World. As someone who loves theme parks (and themes in general) this is the ultimate getaway for me.

There are a few drawbacks to this totally-over-the-top trip, though. The main one? My husband is not joining us on the vacation. Getting that much time off at work was just not a possibility. Plus with me being away from my own job for two and a half weeks (oh yeah....this trip is two and a half weeks long), it just was not a possibility. I haven't been away from him for that long, ever. So, I'm a little worried about how it'll be. Not to mention the fact that I will be away from my job for a while. And my writing. I've tried to do as much as I can ahead of time....but it is still a little stressful.

Yes, there are some not so great aspects of this road trip. But I am super excited about the incredible things we will see, do, and experience. I'm thrilled to spend time with my family. To celebrate my mom's birthday. To share this magical summer vacation with people I love. Fingers crossed it will be amazing!

It will be a week and a half before another post goes up on the creation of beauty is art. So, in the meantime, be sure to check out my YouTube channel and Instagram. I will be posting there as often as possible. Thank you for all of the support....and I will talk to you all soon!

What do you have planned this summer? Will you do any travelling?

xo Shannon

Friday, June 9, 2017

new in from hard candy: metal eyes and wet ever

It is impossible to resist Hard Candy. They are one of the few makeup brands that is consistently putting out new products...and always keeps up to date with the hottest makeup trends. Think about it. They were the first drugstore brand to offer bold lipstick shades (like blue, yellow, and black), along with strobing sets, and affordable contour kits. While not every product is amazing, there are more hits than misses. This explains why whenever there are new products available from Hard Candy, I simply have to try them for myself.

The most recent? The Look Pro! Metal Eyes Chrome Eyeshadow Kit and the Wet Ever Bold Hold Lip Lacquer. Both products immediately intrigued me. I am a sucker for any sort of kit from Hard Candy (they have some amazing ones, like their eyeshadow kits and the strobing kit) and I loved the idea of a glossy lip lacquer. What can I say? I am a makeup junkie at its finest. Here is a closer look at the two items that were added to my makeup collection.

Look Pro! Metal Eyes Chrome Eyeshadow Kit. Out of the two products, I was most excited about this one. My hope was that it would produce a bold eye look, with tons of shimmer and colour payoff. It didn't. At all. This comes with four baked shadows (silver, brown, gold, and maroon), a brush, a mixing well, a setting spray liquid, and an eyeshadow pencil. According to the instructions, you are supposed to dip your brush into the eyeshadow, mix the shadow with the liquid, and apply it to the eyelids. Only problem? There is zero colour payoff at all. It was a struggle to get anything to show up using the wet technique. In order to create any sort of makeup look, I used the shadows dry and built up the colour for ages. Honestly, this is so bad, I am tempted to throw it away. Yes. It is that awful. The only good thing about this set is the eyeliner. It is shockingly creamy and pigmented.

Wet Ever Bold Hold Lip Lacquer in Genius. Now for the lip product. This came in a little metal tin, much like some of their other liquid lipsticks. My love of those (both the regular formula and the metallic formulas) made me absolutely certain that the Wet Ever line would knock my socks off. did and it didn't. The colour Genius is absolutely stunning. I love it so much. It has a very 90s feel to it, which is perfect in my opinion. This is very pigmented and has great staying power. The only snag? This feels quite sticky on the lips. If you are like me and hate anything sticky or tacky, skip the Wet Ever line completely. That stickiness does not fade as the day goes on. Alas!

I tried to create a look using both of these products but it didn't turn out all that well. I suppose that is what happens when you are struggling to make eyeshadow shades work! Hopefully the makeup look will give you a better idea of how these products perform....

Not every Hard Candy product is a winner. Sadly, these were a serious disappointment given their names, claims, and packaging. The good news? It won't be long until this brand has another makeup item on the shelves....and I'll be first in line to try it.

What do you think of these products? Are you a fan of Hard Candy?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

review: NYX pro lip cream palette

When it comes to beauty products, I am all about convenience. If it's too complicated or tricky to is a no-go for me. Which is why I typically avoid lip palettes at all costs. The reason is simple: I don't want to carry around a ton of different lip colours. Let alone pack a lip brush to tag along with me! Knowing this....imagine my surprise when I fell head over heels for the NYX Pro Lip Cream Palette in The Pinks.

It was something my husband brought home for me. (He is pretty supportive of my makeup habit and keeps a lookout for any NYX products that go on sale. Lucky me!) Immediately, I was wowed by the beautiful colour selection....but would it be practical? Here is a breakdown of this lip palette.....

Packaging. When it comes to NYX packaging, it is more or less the same from product to product. This came in a sleek and simple case with a black and white colour scheme. Though there is nothing special about the packaging itself, I enjoy the sophisticated finish and sturdiness. It doesn't feel cheap or inexpensive - and looks beautiful in my makeup collection.

Quality. Now to dig into the good stuff: the actual quality of the palette. These lip colours are all beautifully pigmented and swatch exactly as you'd hope they would. The texture is creamy and these feel very comfortable on the lips. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they are moisturizing. This is a must for me, since I have dry lips. The best thing about these shades? They can be worn full on or sheered down by applying a lip balm over top. Each shade has a great texture, lovely colour payoff, and versatility. I am loving it!

Overall Impressions. This is a product that surprised me. Though lip palettes are not usually high up on my list of favourites, this one is. It's fairly small and compact - which means you can actually take this in your purse without it being clunky or heavy. It is portable, pretty, and allows you to create a customized lipstick look. This is definitely coming with me on my upcoming vacation.

NYX rarely lets me down. If any brand could wow me with a lip palette, it was going to be them. The Pinks is a pretty, wearable, and easy to use collection of colours.

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

xo Shannon

Monday, June 5, 2017

the happiest girls always have the prettiest nails.

I don't know how it happened. Somehow, my nail polish collection has exploded over the last while. There are a ton of different shades floating around in my beauty room....enough to keep my nails colourful for the rest of my life! Despite my full drawer of nail products, a couple of new ones made their way into my life. What can I say? The colours were spectacular.

The two shades pictured above are Too Haute from the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel line (my favourite line of nail polishes! These last really well and don't chip as quickly as most other brands. Plus, they have a super smooth finish) and Hors d'oeuvres from Essie. Too Haute is a beautiful shimmery purple. It has a metallic kind of finish and is a lot of fun.

Originally, I thought I would add the Essie polish over top for some sheer sparkle. Bad idea! Turns out the silver sparkly nail polish is super thick and has a lot more colour payoff than you'd expect. This is a great thing. Just not for the nail look I had in mind. That being said....this didn't turn out quite like I had hoped. But I figured I would share it with you anyway! Here are both nail polish colours in action....

Both of these nail polish shades impressed me. They were very colourful, pigmented, and had great staying power. (This particular nail look lasted for ten days.) Though I did not like the way the look turned out in general....both of these products are top notch. I will definitely be using them again in the future. Just maybe not together!

What is your favourite nail polish brand?

xo Shannon

Saturday, June 3, 2017

beauty tips for travel.

When it comes to travel, there are so many benefits. Like discovering a new place, enriching and expanding your mind, and of course, getting away from the ordinary. Unfortunately, there are a few snags to consider when it comes to your beauty routine. A few examples? You can't possibly take everything with you. And what if something happens to your favourite foundation en route? Not to worry. These beauty tips for travel will keep you look and feeling good...wherever you go!

  • Bring along extra clear bags with you. Why? In case something breaks on a bumpy flight, so you can pack your makeup in your carry on, and to stay organized during your trip.
  • Choose versatile products. Think of things like multi colour eyeshadow palettes, a brown eyeshadow that can double as a brow powder, foundation or lotion that has an SPF, and so on.
  • Use setting spray to waterproof (or sweatproof) your makeup. This will make sure your look lasts all day and night - in any climate.
  • Put things into smaller plastic containers. These have been a total lifesaver for me! Not only do I take these with me when I travel (to cut down on the bulk in my suitcase) but they are great for throwing into your purse as well. 
  • Pare down your beauty routine. Remember, you're on vacation! You don't need full on sculpted cheekbones everyday. Opt for a simple powder contour instead of a multi-step process. The key is to keep your makeup simple so you can spend more time enjoying your vacation.
Are you a travel lover? It is a huge part of my life, so these are tips and tricks that I have had to learn the hard way over the years. But I've found that a little thought and preparation can make a huge difference.

Do you have any beauty tips for travel? Share them in the comment section!

xo Shannon

Thursday, June 1, 2017

the benefits of grapeseed oil for skin.

Skin care has become a major focus for me over the last couple of months. Why? I started to notice changes in the way my skin looked. It was dull and lifeless. Breakouts were becoming more and more common. And I started to worry about signs of aging. Taking better care of my skin has been on my to-do list for the last four or five years....yet something always stopped me from doing it. Laziness is honestly the biggest reason. Once it gets close to my bedtime, I am exhausted. Working multiple jobs and trying to juggle all of my other responsibilities can be draining. Because of that, my skin care routine suffered dramatically.

Finally, I made the decision to get off my butt and make my skin a priority, As of right now, my routine is fairly simple. Neutrogena face wash, Clinique or St Ives moisturizer, No7 Early Defense Eye Cream, and grapeseed oil. Basically, I've been taking my makeup off before bed (a big step for me), wash, moisturize my face, and apply an under eye cream. Then there is the grapeseed oil. This is something that has been sitting on my shelf of products for ages. For whatever reason, I never thought to reach for it. Then it caught my eye, so I began to do a little research.

The Benefits of Grapeseed Oil for Skin: 
  • This type of oil is great for the skin because it is non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog your pores or cause breakouts.
  • Adds moisture to the skin and locks it in (which is great for someone with dry skin, like me). 
  • Has been found to tighten the skin and treat acne and acne-related scars.
  • Fights dark under eye circles and fights noticeable signs of aging. 
Needless to say, I was pretty excited to find out this little bottle that had been sitting on my shelf, could actually make a difference in the look and feel of my skin. For the last month and a half, I have been using it along with this YouTube video, "Anti Aging Facial Massage," to give my skin a healthier, more radiant, and glowing appearance. So far....I am impressed. The lines on my forehead (which have always made me really self-conscious) are less noticeable, my breakouts have lessened, and my skin feels a million times better. I hope to continue this skin care routine....and will be sure to write an update post in a few months!

Speaking of updates...a new YouTube video is up on my channel. This is my O-Town concert vlog so I hope you all like it. Be sure to check it out, like, comment, and subscribe!

Have you used grapeseed oil on your skin?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

obsessed with: NYX wicked dreams eyeshadow palette

Oh, NYX. How I love thee. This is one brand that continues to wow me with their unique range of products and high-quality offerings. It seems that over the last little while, I have added more and more NYX products to my ever expanding makeup collection. Some of them I've picked up on my own while others have been given to me as gifts. The Wicked Dreams eyeshadow palette is an example of the latter. One of my friends gave me this gorgeous eyeshadow set as part of our Secret Santa exchange this year. (Yes, this review is long overdue!)

Over the last several months, I've been using this palette to create a variety of makeup looks. Some smokey, others simple, and a few of them downright colourful. So....what is this palette like? Let's break it down and take a closer look at the NYX Wicked Dreams eyeshadow palette.

Packaging. I have to say, this packaging is fantastic. The palette itself is compact, sturdy, and simple. The small palette clicks closed which means there is no worrying about shades crumbling or cracking. This is a phenomenal palette to travel with or throw into your purse for any last minute touch ups simply because the packaging is so fabulous. It really is super sturdy!

Quality. Most of the NYX products I've tried have been lip products. While I've tried out a few single eyeshadows, this was my first time using a full on palette. Generally, the quality of the shadows is good not great. Some of the colours are extremely pigmented and easy to use. Others do not have the same kind of payoff. Because of the inconsistency, I find myself using a lot of the same colours over and over again. The shades with shimmer tend to be smoother and more colourful but most of the deeper shades work well. The so-so colours are the lighter and mid-toned shadows.

Overall Impressions. This is an amazing on-the-go eyeshadow palette. While not all of the eyeshadow shades are equally pigmented, there is a great selection of colours and finishes. Not to mention the ultra compact packaging. The Wicked Dreams palette is a fabulous choice for travel makeup...which is exactly what I'll be using it for in the weeks to come!

Below is a super quick makeup look I created using the NYX eyeshadow palette. The shimmery olive green shade was used all over the lid with the shimmery brown (with gold flecks) used in the crease. The deep blue was used along the lower lash line and that shimmery champagne shade was used in the inner corner and underneath the brow bone.....

Have you tried this NYX eyeshadow palette?

xo Shannon

Sunday, May 28, 2017

live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.

Life is rarely slow, quiet, or boring. At least in my experience. It seems there is always more to see and do...and I like it that way! (Though, I confess, a bit of downtime would be nice every now and then). Over the last couple of weeks, my schedule has been packed. Between work, writing, my blog, YouTube channel, and all of those pesky at-home's hard to imagine being able to squeeze anything else in. Yet, I've managed to do it. Here is a little peek at my life lately.

The Bodyguard Musical. Musicals are a serious love of mine. Sadly, I don't get to see them very often. I'm more likely to be found watching a movie musical or browsing YouTube for Broadway clips. Luckily, I was able to see a live performance recently: The Bodyguard Musical. A friend of mine was able to get a good deal on a pair of I away we went! I didn't know quite what to expect from the show. Honestly, I'd never even seen the movie. All I knew was that the soundtrack ruled.

Our seats were pretty close to the back but it was easy to see everything thanks to the elaborate costumes and oversized set pieces. So, how was it? I had a great time. The musical numbers were everything you'd expect and more. It felt like being at a Whitney Houston concert. I found myself getting completely and totally lost in the music. The rest of the production was good as well, but the songs (along with the uber talented cast) were most definitely the best part of The Bodyguard Musical. It was a fun day out, for sure!

Blue Jays Game. It just isn't spring/summer without going to a baseball game! Though my husband and I usually wait until the summertime to check out a game, a friend of his from work suggested we go. So we did! It was a long day (because I worked that morning and then went to the game that night) but a good one. Our team won, we ate dinner at my favourite restaurant, and got a giant bucket of popcorn. Not a bad way to spend a Monday evening.

Writing. In addition to all of the extra activities that have been keeping me busy... I've been doing a lot of writing lately. This is without a doubt my biggest passion. For me, writing is fun and rewarding. So, here are a few of my more recent articles. Check them out if you get a chance!

In the words of Ferris Bueller, "life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." While it definitely feels like life is moving faster and faster these days....there are plenty of exciting events to appreciate along the way.

What has been keeping you busy lately?

xo Shannon

Friday, May 26, 2017

Short on Time? Pamper Yourself In 10 Minutes or Less

Every magazine article goes on and on about the importance of spoiling yourself. They list spa days, massages, lunch with friends, and a million other time consuming activities. What about the days when you have a crazy busy schedule? Should you give up on that oh-so-important you time? Of course not. Here are a few fabulous activities for the busy gal who needs a break...

Get Your Heart Pumping. Okay, working out might not seem like an ultra pampering experience, but it is a great way to get moving, nurture your body, and boost your self confidence. While a sweat session at the gym may not fit into your schedule, a five to ten minute workout will. There are tons of great options, from this HIIT routine on YouTube to the new Jillian Michaels 10 Minute Body Transformation DVD LINK. Take your pick!

Show Your Skin Some Love. Sometimes, your skincare routine feels complicated and time consuming. But it doesn't have to be. There are plenty of ways to pamper your skin on a tight schedule. Try popping on a Biore pore strip (this can be worn while you work or get other tasks done), a full face mask (usually these stay on for about ten minutes), or a quick and easy peel off treatment. Give your skin a little something special.

Take Time to Go Zen. Meditation has a number of positive health benefits (including reducing stress levels, helping you connect, and boosting feelings of happiness). So, take time for a five minute meditation. There are apps to help with the process and guided meditations on YouTube. Another option is to simply sit in silence for a few minutes to rest and rejuvenate your mind.

Make Your Hands a Priority. Really short on time? Not to worry. There is a super quick way to give yourself a little TLC. Put on a summer scented hand lotion. Wait a minute for it to absorb completely and then continue on with your day. The scent will instantly transport your mind to that blissful state of vacation mode. A quick spritz of body spray or perfume can work wonders, too.

Everyone needs a little time to rest, relax, and pamper themselves. So, give one of these time-effective tricks a try. You'll feel better in no time.

Share your own suggestions in the comment section below!

xo Shannon

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

review: katy kat pearl lipstick

Makeup and music are two of my biggest passions. There is nothing better than putting on a great song and getting glam! In the past, I have tried more than a couple of Katy Perry's Katy Kat Matte lipsticks. (Take a peek at my Try On Video if you missed it!) Recently, she collaborated with Cover Girl again to release a line of Katy Kat Pearl lipsticks. There were a few different shades to choose from (including a light blue that was super intriguing) but I wound up with Purrty In Pink, a super soft and pretty pink shade.

The packaging is slightly different when compared to the original Katy Kat Matte and the Katy Kat Pearl lipsticks. While the original came in a matte white container with black writing, the Pearl collection has shiny black casing and holographic lettering on the front. It was a pleasant surprise that they took the time to tailor the packaging to the product rather than re-use the same style.

Now for the colour and quality. This shade is very pretty and romantic - and it has that gorgeous pearly finish. The best way to describe this lipstick? Think of it as a your-lips-but-better kind of shade. The texture is smooth and moisturizing (more so than the matte line) and is ultra comfortable to wear. Cover Girl definitely impressed me with this one!

Here is a makeup look that I created using the Katy Kat Pearl lipstick in Purrty In Pink....

This is a colour that I can see myself wearing often. It is romantic, flirty, and totally perfect for the spring season. And just in case you missed is my latest YouTube video!

Have you tried anything from the Katy Kat Pearl line?

xo Shannon

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