Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Out With The Old, In With The New Year

When I first started to really get into makeup at the age of 15, I had the mindset of wanting everything. I was watching these makeup collection videos of beauty gurus on YouTube and wanted to just try everything and have everything. After reading Allison's blogpost of her new minimalistic outlook, I realized I was having the same crisis in my life. I just had way too much stuff!

Above is the start of my makeup purge. I admit I am a bit of a hoarder and have a slightly hard time letting go of stuff (i.e. I still have magazines from 2008). However, I realized through my purge that most of the stuff I'm tossing is stuff I bought on an impulse (usually at some manufacturer sale) and didn't actually enjoy that much. As a result, I never got my value out of this stuff because I just didn't end up liking nor using it.

I don't think I'll ever be a full-on minimalist (at least not yet), but I see this change as exactly what Allison stated in her blog, "it's not about owning as little as possible, but only what you really use and love". With this in mind, it's more about the value you feel you can derive from the item. So in this upcoming year, the next time I'm choosing between buying an item that I really want and will get good use out of but costs a bit more, versus cheaper impulse purchases on items I'll use once; I'll be a lot more conscious about what I'm buying and whether it's something I would actually derive value from, or if it's something that will just collect dust in a week.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

My Morning Skincare Routine

The past week has been hectic with my return to school. Of course, no matter how busy I get, I always make sure to follow through with my skincare routine.

After splashing some cold water on my face to wake up, I follow with a cooling toner like Biotherm's Biosource. The toning lotion feels refreshing while cleansing your skin of the previous evening's skincare.

To add hydration and prevent fine lines, I use H2O Eye Oasis. It's more of a gel consistency which feels great on the eyes in the morning.

I recently started using La Roche Posay's Effaclar K after hearing great things and being a hardcore fan of Effaclar Duo. Haven't formulated a full opinion on it but I'm sure you'll hear all about it soon in a future post!

For years on and off, I've been using Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream as my face moisturizer. It hydrates your skin for the entire day but never makes oily skin oilier. Just trust me, this is the only moisturizer you will ever need, no matter your skin type, so buy it in the large size. It doesn't look that big in this picture but I swear it's huge. Bigger than the size of my fists even , and I have large hands.

I'll be honest now, I don't remember to apply sunscreen most of the time... But when I do (usually once a week), Shiseido's Sun Protection Lotion is always the sunscreen of my choice. The best part of it is how thin and light it feels on the skin. Now if only I remember to use it more often...

Not really sure if Soap & Glory's A Great Kisser lip balm counts as "skincare" but nonetheless, I love it! Besides smelling like Georgia peaches, it moisturizes your lips and stays on! It has a slight nude pink tint that's barely noticeable but still really nice. I can't say enough good things about this lip balm.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tuesday Tunes: #2

Picture from 1

With the amount of energetic Top 40 music I listen to on a daily basis in the car, it's nice to hear some laid back music to change things up. Most of these are old favourites from years back, but some are more recent finds through Spotify. Did I mention I finally have Spotify?! (We just got it here in Canada) Here are some of my favourites for blog writing, relaxing, or contemporary dancing.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

5 Things: Beach Wave Products

I am in love with wavy Lauren Conrad like hair. Problem is, I'm quite lazy when it comes to my hair and am not the biggest fan of using heat. In a previous post, I mentioned my collection of wave enhancing products so here they are.

1. Aussie Sprunch Hairspray (6/10)
With a slightly stickier consistency, the product gives a hairspray like hold. Using scrunching motions, it  gives you a slight beachy like texture. However, using too much will leave hair crunchy, but not using enough will leave hair in its original state. The spray head needs to be rinsed after each use to avoid clogging.

2. Lush Sea Spray (4/10)
Adds texture but more of a "dirty" texture. A more thorough review here

3. Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Scrunching Gel (7/10)
Long story short, I saw Blair Fowler (juicystar07) and Ingrid (missglamorazzi) use this in a tutorial years ago. It worked for them so I assumed it would for me as well. My favourite way to use this is to apply a dollar coin amount in 80% dry hair and braid my hair into one long french braid. It's the only way this product works for me actually, but it doesn't give the most long lasting hold.

4. Garnier De-Constructed Beach Chic Texturizing Spray (8/10)
My newest and favourite of the five. Paired with a hairdryer or left in a french braid/bun overnight, this product gives the best hold. It also doesn't hurt that this product smells incredible (very fruity). Only downside with this is it makes your hair look a bit drier.

5. Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Spray Gel (5/10)
While this product isn't sticky, it does make your hair slightly clumpy. Again, another Missglamorazzi induced product from that same "Beachy Hair" tutorial. It adds a bit of shape for the first five minutes, then your hair remains being flat.

Any favourite wave enhancing beach hair products to add to my evergrowing list? :)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

My Everyday Makeup: Back to Basics

It's funny how my everyday makeup reflects where I am in my life. Back in junior year of high school 3-4 years ago, I would always be sporting a super smokey eye à la Kardashians. I was extremely insecure about my acne prone skin, feeling the need to coat my skin in a super thick layer of foundation and a ton of eyeshadow so everyone would focus on my eyes, not my skin.

Face: Let's start with the base. I often just use an under-eye concealer and a bit of powder on a day-to-day basis. Currently, I'm using Benefit's Erase Paste to conceal; nothing fabulous but it does the job. When I do use a base, it's often a mix of the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Gogi and the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5.5. At first, I wasn't totally sold on Luminous Silk because the finish was a bit too glowy for me. When mixed in with Nars Sheer Glow, this has become my favourite combination as it forms the perfect colour and finish for my skin. To brighten my under eye, I add a tiny bit of Benefit High Beam to the inner quarter beneath my eye.

Cheek: I'm not a cheek person so let's skip to eyes!

Eyes: Usually, this section would be filled with a jazillion different products. Recently, I've been keeping it simple with just MAC's Rubenesque Paint Pot and Silk Teddy (from Too Faced's Natural Eyes Palette) all over the lid. Then, I add a thin line of liquid eyeliner (Loreal Lineur Intense Brush Tip) with a barely there flick and a few coats of Illegal Length mascara from Maybelline (one of my faves).

Lips: I love a good tinted lip balm and Soap & Glory's A Good Kisser in Juicy Peach is no exception. This lip balm hydrates your lips, adds a lovely pinky-nude glossy finish, and smells like a peach farm! I've been obsessed ever since I got it.

Yes, a lot of products for a natural look. If you made it this far, congrats! I truly mean it.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Best Concealer Brush You May Already Own!

Available in every Naked Palette, this doubled ended brush by Urban Decay consists of its shadow brush on one end, and crease brush on the other. The brush hairs are of a synthetic material making it not so ideal for powder eyeshadow, but amazing for creamy products like concealer. To apply my under eye concealer, I use the shadow side to apply the product, and then the crease side to blend. After blending with the crease side, you are left with perfectly applied concealer that's never cakey. 

What's your favourite way of using this brush?

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Little White Dress

With the summer slowly coming to an end, I finally found my perfect summer dress! It's white lace, doubled layered for no see-throughness, and slightly ruffled at the bottom. The dress also has a low open back which I'm not showing because, between you and me, I was not wearing the right bra for this dress. It's currently on sale at Aritzia for $29.99 here and I am positive I will get a ton of wear out of this. When it's not hailing of course (zero exaggeration). 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Covet List: #1

With a Sephora gift card still unused from my birthday, I decided to share my current wishlist. Or as I like to call it, my covet list. As you can see, I'm currently craving pink balmy lip colours and more face masks!

Starting from the top left going clockwise:

1. Three Floor Coveted Dress (how appropriate) 
2. Kate Spade Bow Ring in Rose Gold

Sunday, 27 July 2014

You Need This: Ren Invisible Pores Detox Mask

This past week was not a good skin week for me. The right side of my face decided to grow a cluster of unwanted spots that even my Effaclar Duo could not calm.

In comes the Ren Invisible Pores Detox Mask! I used this mask for the first time two weeks ago the minute I received it from the post. I didn't think much of it then because my skin didn't have any issues, but I immediately liked it.

When my skin decided to have a meltdown this week, I turned to this as a last resort. Containing calming elements like French Clay, lavender, and bergamot, your skin feels and looks calmer after just 15 minutes. The cool but slightly gross part of this mask is the way it draws out your skin's impurities. After removing this mask, I instantly saw blackheads and whiteheads coming to the surface. Make sure to use a good toner to get rid of all the gunk that comes out to avoid more breakouts.

Psst! Before buying, compare the price to the one on LookFantastic. I saved $10 buying two Ren products!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Maybelline's Gilded Rose

This nail polish includes two of my biggest obsessions: rose gold and sparkle. When I saw this nail polish on display, I felt like it was actually calling out my name. I just couldn't resist it!

Onto the actual nail polish itself. The colour is pretty much exactly what you see in the bottle, pure sparkly gorgeousness. The glitter pieces are in a variety of sizes which makes it look more interesting, but requires a bit more work while applying. Not sure how long it lasts yet, but if it's anything like the other Maybelline nail polishes, you can usually go four days without a chip.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

3 Lush Sea Salt Products

Sea salt is a natural ingredient with many benefits for your skin and hair. Perhaps that's why I own so many "beach" sprays, but that's another post.

Let's start with "Big". Compared to the other two Lush products, Big is indeed big in size. This clarifying shampoo with chunks of sea salt claims to build body and oomph while giving hair a good deep clean. Unfortunately, I got squeaky clean hair but zero oomph. On the plus side, this shampoo smells really good and gives your feet a nice exfoliation from the pieces of sea salt that land on your shower floor. The downside, Big waste of $$$!

Lush's Big Shampoo

Next up is Ocean Salt. Out of the three sea salt products, this one is probably my favourite. Initially, I didn't like this product because of the large scratchy salt granules found in the first layer of the product. I would not advise using that layer on your face, perfect for a pre-wax body exfoliation though. Infused with avocado, lime juice, and even vodka; you will be left with brighter and cleaner feeling skin after one use. Because of the citrus and vodka, I would advise you not to use this when you have any open blemishes or cuts on your face. 

Bottom layer of Lush Ocean Salt
Lastly, we have Sea Spray. From the name, you can probably guess that this is a sea salt spray. Infused with grapefruit, seaweed, and sea water; this product claims to give your hair texture, hold, shine, volume (!!!) , and that "just came from a day at the beach" look. My main issue with this product is it makes my hair look dirty. I guess it does add "texture" but it comes out in a sort of white salty form. I would definitely not use this to "refresh" my hair throughout the day unless you like that gritty feel in your hair. Another beach spray fail for me, but at least I have the smaller version.

So far, I'm not impressed with Lush's hair range. What are your favourite Lush products?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tuesday Tunes: #1

I've always been known as the one with the "strange" taste in music and never ending music collection among my friends. I guess my taste in music can be a bit farfetched for some, but I thought I'd share some of my current favourite songs and continue to do so if you guys enjoy it.

#1. Zara Larsson - Carry You Home

#2. Dream Machines - Big Deal

#3. Don't - Ed Sheeran

#4. Avicii - Addicted To You

#5. Rita Ora - I Will Never Let You Down (R3hab Remix)

What's your favourite song at the moment? It may just get featured in the next edition ;)

Photo from: 1

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Food For Thought: Museum Tavern

Last weekend was my birthday weekend. To celebrate, I spent it in my favourite way: eating, shopping, and doing nothing. Since Summerlicious started in Toronto, my boyfriend decided to surprise me by taking me to one of its featured restaurants, Museum Tavern.

Honestly speaking, I wasn't too excited to dine at this place at first because the pictures made the place look slightly dingy and old. Boy was I wrong! The environment was quite romantic looking but formal attire was not necessary. As always, I was overdressed in a black lace pleated dress; likely to make an appearance in the near future on this blog.

Albacore Tuna Tartare Tostada
For starters, I chose the Albacore Tuna Tartare Tostada. I thought the bitterness of the cilantro balanced the slight tanginess from the raw tuna perfectly. I'm not a fan of anything pickled but the pickled red cabbage added a good texture, I didn't hate it and that says a lot from me. The tostada was quite unnecessary as it made the starter difficult to eat but I guess it gave it a nice crunch.

House Crafted Summer Game Sausage
The entree is where things got interesting. Being the adventurous person I am, I decided to try the sausage made from wild boar, elk, and lamb. Eating this sausage made me feel primal, like I was eating roadkill. Yes, that sounds really harsh but I think it was just the texture of the sausage - all hard and chewy- that made it less enjoyable. The side made of spinach, spaetzle, and the tavern sauce was delicious and totally made up for the sausage. PS, there was no way to make the picture of this entree look more appetizing, believe me I tried.

Peach Sorbet

Dessert was exactly as it looked, pretty average but still tasty. What I found strange was the fact that the sorbet didn't taste at all like peach, just fruity but undistinguishable of what fruit.

Overall, Museum Tavern turned out a lot better than my expectations. I wouldn't try the game sausage again and wouldn't advise you to either, but the bite I had of my boyfriend's ribs was great!

Have you tried any of this year's Summerlicious picks? If so, what were your favourites?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Cause I'm In Too Deep...

Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask on top, Living Proof Restore Mask below.

In case you couldn't tell, this post is about deep conditioner. Two high end ones more specifically. Now I'm not really one to splurge on hair products but when I do, I usually hear that they're pretty spectacular. Let's see how these two measured up.

First up is the Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment ($14 for the smaller jar). This product claims to nourish your hair, increase its strength, soften, and add shine, all while restoring (see what I did there?) it back to its virgin hair properties. I received this product as part of a 500 point Sephora voucher and got roughly 4 uses out of it. What I could not get over is this product's wax like consistency (wax is one of the ingredients if you're curious), it made the product harder to scoop out and apply to my hair. After using this, my hair pretty much felt the same but looked a bit shinier. I think it from was the wax coating the hair as this effect didn't last long. Overall, I would say to skip this product and try their Restore Conditioner instead which gave me much better results.

Next up is a product I immediately though I'd love because of its sister product, my holy grail Moroccanoil Oil Treatment. Words cannot even describe my love for that stuff! Now the best part of this product is the fact that it has that signature warm Moroccanoil smell. This mask is good but not miraculous by any means. You can tell from the thick texture that it's heavily oil infused so it does moisturize your tresses. It can definitely weigh down your hair if it gets in your roots but that problem can be easily avoided. While I like this mask and will definitely finish it, it doesn't reap in enough benefits for me to repurchase at $37 a pop.

What's your favourite deep conditioner/hair mask?

Friday, 4 July 2014

And So It Begins....!

Welcome to My Most Coveted! A beauty and lifestyle blog dedicated to all the things I love and covet. As you'll soon see from my posts, I have an ever growing amount of interests and will likely feature them from time to time.

I hope you enjoy!