Becoming A Happier Person and Impress Manicure Review

Today I am taking a break from my European Recaps because I have two cool things to talk about.

First, as part of my I’m Fit Possible Ambassadorship I got asked to take part in a campaign from a company called Happify.

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Have you ever heard of Happify? I hadn’t either so let me explain. It’s a website and (free) app that contains a series of activities and games all focused on making you a happier person. Seems hokey but this app is backed by a lot of scientific research.
 
When I first heard about it, I wasn’t quite sold. But I gave the App a try anyways and was pleasantly surprised. When you first sign up you fill out a survey and then you get some customized suggestions of “tracks” to take. The first one I tried out was “coping with stress.” One of my biggest problems can be taking on too much at once. Sometimes when all deadlines are coming together at once I find myself getting stressed and this almost panicked feeling creeps up on me. Taking a few minutes to work on a de-stressing activity such as writing down three things that I’m thankful for or doing a couple minute meditation really helped with relieving that panicky feeling.
 
There are so many other “tracks” that you can work toward to help you become a happier person such as increasing your self-confidence, get motivated to get fit or enjoy parenting more. Really you will find one that suits you! The activities take only a couple of minutes and is something you can do whenever you get a spare moment.
 
Happify is a truly unique idea and who couldn’t use to be a little more happy! So join the challenge and complete one track. I mean, it’s free so you have nothing to lose and possibly everything to gain. Sign-up here. Let me know what you think!
 
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And now onto my second topic for today. While I was away in Europe I received notification that I got accepted for my first Vox Box from Influenster. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get home to see what I got. I opened the box and found 2 sets of ImPress Manicure from Broadway Nails.
 
 
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I almost laughed when I saw these because while I love all things beauty, nails have never been my thing. I am a hardcore nail biter and I HATE having my nails filed. I have only had one manicure in my life and while I didn’t hate it, the experience wasn’t entirely enjoyable for me either.
 
 
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I have had fake nails once, for my high school graduation. I put them on in the morning and had entirely ripped them all off by that evening. I had a bleeding thumb from ripping them off but I just couldn’t stand them. But despite all that I decided to give these false nails a try!
 
I wasn’t in love with either of the patterns that I was given, they were both a little wild for me. But ImPress does have a full range including french manicure and plain coloured. I decided to go with the leopard print ones.
 
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The package states the they can last up to 1 week. For me, the first nail fell off after 5 days because I jammed it in a door. But at that point I noticed one other was starting to lift so I took them all off. However, most of them were still on there tight. I think you could definitely get them to last a full 7 days especially considering you have spares that you could use to replace any that prematurely fall off.
 
Overall I was really impressed (pun- ha ha) with these nails. I loved that there was no glue required! The application was super easy and they looked really good. They were a great length and there was a good variety of sizes so almost anyone could find a match. For the low-cost of these, about $8 at Wal-Mart, I think they are totally worth it.
 
Surprisingly, I actually got used to the feeling of these and would definitely wear them. These are something I could see myself purchasing on my own (in a less wild print).
 
 
Disclosures:
  • The Happify links in this post are affiliate links
  • I received the ImPress Manicure products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Do you have any experience with fake nails? Are you ready to take the Happify Challenge?

 
 
 

 

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April Wrap-Up and Favourites

Good morning everyone and welcome to May! I feel like I felt the same way about March, where did the month go? 

First thing I have to give a shout out to my cutie patootie niece who is turning 5 today! This is a HUGE deal to her because apparently everything in her life will change when she’s 5. I’m very excited to see her this weekend for her and her sister’s combined birthday party.

isabella

Now onto my April wrap-up.

Workouts:

April was a pretty terrible month for my workouts. I mean I did do a 10km race and finish the New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 4. But I still felt like overall the amount of workouts I did this month was pretty dismal. This was mostly due to lack of motivation for the first half of April and then a terrible cold that is still hanging on right now for the second half.

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But yesterday I decided to send April out with a bang and went for a run….in a t-shirt! I was so excited to be out there.

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For the next month, I’ll be on vacation for most of it. But my running gear is packed. Tom and I plan to use running as a means of sightseeing the cities. I also have a 10km race just 3 days after I get home so I know I have to keep somewhat in shape while I’m away.

Food:

April didn’t bring on alot of experimenting in the kitchen. I kind of just stuck to my old favourites which is why I had very few recipe posts. I did however have the one genious invention….greek yogurt chocolate peanut butter cheesecake

cheesecake

Makeup:

I did do a bit of makeup shopping in April, I mean, what month don’t I? I shared that in my beauty haul post. I also shared with you my beginners guide to shopping at Sephora.

Some of my standout makeup products from April would be:

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

too faced palette

I think this is an obvious one, I’ve talked enough about my love of this palette. Check out this post for swatches and tutorials.

Sephora’s Glossy Gloss

 

gloss

I acutally won this product at a friend’s stagette during a game. I wasn’t too excited about the product at first. Generally, I’m kind of a makeup snob and shy away from the Sephora brand items. However, I gave it a try and it’s actually amazing! The gloss is non-sticky, shiny without being too glittery and doesn’t have a bad smell. All that for $16 compared to the terrible Bobbi Brown lipgloss I talked about in my beauty fails post for $29. Sometimes brand name isn’t better! Lesson learned about being a snob.

titanic

Mac Pro Longwear Foundation

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I am in love with this foundation! When they say longwear, it’s true. When I get home from a day at work my foundation hasn’t even budged. Since starting to use this foundation I almost never have to use oil-blotting sheets because my forehead doesn’t look shiny or oxidized. This foundation was a solid investment for sure and my new holy grail product.

That about wraps up April. Oh, except I updated my About Me page! It was long overdue so check it out. If you have any comments feel free to share.

How was April for you? What are you most looking forward to for May? 

Beauty Fails

Sometimes beauty isn’t pretty. Sometimes it’s just a big ol’ fail…

fall

How many times did you watch that gif? I watched that loop 10 times in a row and it’s funny every single time. I just love that the male model behind her doesn’t even flinch! I’m not sure if he’s a total a-hole for not helping her or a total pro that he could keep going without busting out laughing.

But what I really mean by beauty fails is when you spend money on a beauty product and it turns out to be terrible. It sucks but it’s bound to happen.

My Beauty Fails:

1. Loreal Voluminous Mascara – Waterproof

waterproof

I was SOOO disappointed by this one. I LOVE the Loreal Voluminous mascara. I have used it for years and think it’s the best drugstore mascara on the market. However, I often like to use waterproof mascara because it holds curl better in my stick straight lashes. Of course, I turned to the waterproof version of my favourite mascara. But it’s just bad, bad, bad. Not only does it not help with holding a curl at all, I would barely call it waterproof. If I’ve been at the gym with this stuff on my whole lid is covered in mascara that’s transferred and that’s even without being crazy sweaty. I also find it smudges during the day all underneath my eyes. No one wants to look like a racoon!

racoon

2. MAC Coral Bliss Lipstick

mac coral bliss

I just bought this lipstick in my most recent beauty haul. Now when I call this one a fail, I’ll say it’s a fail for ME. I bought this off the recommendation of a lot of beauty bloggers who love it. And I think a lot of people would love this lipstick. It’s a really pretty sheer coral colour. The reason it’s a fail for me is I didn’t get a good enough colour pay off. When I wear lipstick, I want to be able to see it. So I returned this lipstick for a much more vibrant coral shade, Vegas Volt.

3. Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Defining Cream

curl cream

This cream is like a half-fail for me. I like the way the curl cream works. I have naturally wavy hair and this cream works well to give me some good definition without being frizzy. However, it’s awful after you shower. When I showered and then blow-dried my hair, my hair felt nasty like I forgot to rinse out my conditioner.

4. Bobbi Brown Brightening Lip Gloss

bobbi brown lip gloss

This lip gloss is horrible. It is seriously the stickiest lip gloss ever. If a drugstore lipgloss that cost me $5 is sticky, I’m okay with that. But this lip gloss is $29 so stickiness is not okay! And there is nothing special about this lip gloss otherwise that would make it worth the stickiness. An utter fail by a company that usually has such great products.

5. Joico Sulfate Free Shampoo

joico

A little while ago I needed new shampoo. I decided to venture out and try this new sulfate free shampoo from Joico. I have no idea what sulfate does to your hair but I figured sulfate-free sounded like a good idea. It was not. After using this shampoo I dried my hair and it felt disgusting and it looked greasy. So greasy that I would have to put dry shampoo in and put it in a ponytail. Right after showering! Of course, I tried it a couple times to see if maybe it was something else but the same thing every single time. And when I went to my hairdresser, he found a bunch of build up on my hair. Of course I bought the huge mega size bottle when I got this shampoo, because it’s cheaper in bulk! Huge waste.

So there ya have it a few of my most recent beauty fails. The funny thing about beauty though is that it’s in the eye of the beholder. So while one product might be a total fail for me, it might be a holy grail product for you. We’re all different and have different needs so if I post something that you love, don’t worry, it just didn’t work out for me.

What are some beauty fails you have had recently? How many times did you watch that gif?

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Swatches and Tutorial

I talked about my recent purchase of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette in my beauty haul post. I am so in love with this palette! I mean chocolate…I’m all in!

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Too Faced isn’t a brand that I am terribly familiar with. I have one bronzer from the company that came in a sample pack but I have always just skipped over their section at Sephora. They have super adorable packaging which for some reason made me feel that perhaps the makeup wasn’t as high of quality. Well I’m so glad that I finally decided to give this brand a try because I was so wrong about the quality. These shadows are amazing. They are all super pigmented, creamy and long lasting. The palette itself I think is great because it has a great selection of colours and finishes. If you are looking for a versatile neutral palette, this could be a great option. The price in Canada is $59, if you are in the US it’s $49.

Canadian american prices meme

Now this price may seem steep but considering you get 16 eyeshadows for that price, I think it’s a pretty good deal.

I had a request to show some swatches from the palette. So today I will show all the swatches and two makeup tutorials using the palette.

too faced palette

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(Left to Right: Gilded Ganache, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Black Forest Truffle, Triple Fudge)

too faced chocolate bar swatches

(Left to Right: Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Semi-Sweet, Strawberry Bon Bon, Candied Violet, Amaretto)

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(Left to Right: Hazelnut, Creme Brûlée, Haute Chocolate, Cherry Cordial, Champagne Truffle)

 

Now I have two looks for you that I created with the palette. The first is a great easy day look. I wore this to work.

 

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Tutorial:

  1. Using salted caramel on a fluffy brush, swipe with windshield wiper motions across entire crease and blend slightly upwards toward the brow
  2. Using Semi-sweet on that same fluffy brush blend from the outer corner of the eye and slightly into the crease
  3. Using cherry cordial on a smaller fluffy brush shade the outer corner of the eye to deepen the look
  4. Pat on white chocolate onto the inner eyelid that has no shadow and along the brow bone for a highlight
  5. Top the white chocolate on the lid with marzipan
  6. Finish with eyeliner and mascara

The second look is a great evening look. I actually copied a tutorial from Tiffany D (You Tube Beauty Guru) because I loved the look so much! So I’ll let you check out her video:

And how it came out for me…

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There ya have it!

What’s your favourite type of chocolate? Do you change up your eyeshadow for day and night?

Makeup Monday – Recent Makeup Purchases

Good morning all. Hope you had a fabulous weekend! I had a pretty chill weekend which I mostly spent binge watching episodes of Suits on Netflix. I am so totally addicted to this show now. I just couldn’t stop hitting the next button!

suits

It was really nice because after taking a quick look at my calendar I’m pretty much booked every weekend from now until September, so I won’t get a chance to do that again for a while.

time

The one thing I did get up to this weekend was running my first ever 10km race! Of course I have ran 10km before but I’ve never raced that distance but I’ll recap that tomorrow.

Lately, I have been doing a bit of makeup shopping, are you surprised? So I figured I’d share some of my most recent purchases with you.

joey

I made a trip to MAC yesterday because I’ve been thinking about finding a new foundation. Recently I have been using MAC Full Coverage Foundation and while I love the foundation, I want something that has SPF in it for my upcoming Europe trip. I was planning on buying the Stuido Fix Fluid Foundation because I’ve used it before in the past and liked it but the girl at MAC talked me into trying the Pro Longwear Foundation. I love pretty much every Pro Longwear item I’ve ever tried from MAC so I’m excited to give this one a try. I also picked up a new bottle of the Pro Longwear Concealer. I love this stuff for under eyes and as a eyeshadow primer. I figured if I took this to Europe then I won’t have to bring an eyeshadow primer. One less thing to pack!

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And while I was at MAC picking up these essentials, I happened to decide that I “needed” 2 new lipsticks. I have been hearing great things about Coral Bliss as a great go-to coral shade for spring. And I have wanted to purchase Creme Cup for a long time as it’s one of MAC’s cult-classic lipsticks that I don’t yet own.

 

MAC Lipsticks Coral Bliss & Creme Cup

Coral Bliss (left) Creme Cup (right)

Creme Cup (top) Coral Bliss (Bottom)

Creme Cup (top) Coral Bliss (Bottom)

 

Last week I also happened to do some makeup shopping, but I had to, because it was the Sephora 15% off sale and I had a gift certificate. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself! So here’s what I picked up from the sale:

The Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette:

too faced palette

I heard about this palette by the You Tube Guru Tiffany D. She has raved about this palette. And although I know I really don’t need more eyeshadows I decided to cave on this one. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I did!

First of all, the packaging on this palette is adorable. Secondly, the eyeshadows smell like chocolate. No joke. Everytime I open it, I want chocolate, which may not be a good thing for me. But most importantly the eyeshadows are incredible. They are super pigmented, blend easily and stay all day. The palette is such a great collection of neutrals with some pops of colours which makes it incredibly versatile. I am actually considering bringing this as my only palette to Europe, over my MAC shadows… that’s how much I love it!

My only negative thing I can say about this palette is I hate that the names of the palette are only on the plastic insert. I want to throw away that insert because it’s a bit annoying but I like being able to see the names of the shadows. I just wished they had put the names on the palette itself. But truly a minor complaint.

I also picked up a new blush from NARS. I got the colour Deep Throat. Which you can see on me in my spring makeup tutorial. It’s a really pretty rose pink with a golden shimmer, not a chunky glitter. I think this blush is really much more flattering and wearable than NARS iconic shade, Orgasm.

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And lastly, I picked up a new lipstick from Urban Decay. I got Turn On. It’s such a great pink. It’s vibrant without being hot pink. And this stuff lasts all day long!

UD

 

Then as if that weren’t all enough the other night I was watching another You Tube Guru, Jaclyn Hill. Lately she has been raving about the Makeup Geek products. I was watching one of her her tutorials and before I knew it I was on the Makeup Geek website ordering some new products. This is why I try to limit my watching of you tube makeup videos, it’s seriously bad for my bank account!

makeup geek

I got the Makeup Geek pigment in Afterglow (top two pictures). And I got 3 eyeshadows. In the bottom right picture from left to right (mango tango, beaches & cream, peach smoothie). I know they don’t seem like super exciting eyeshadow colours but they are great blending colours which you need in order to get that airbrushed look.

This is not my first time buying Makeup Geek products, I already have a number of the eyeshadows and a couple of brushes. The eyeshadows are wondeful. There is a huge selction of colours that is growing all the time. The eyeshadows are super pigmented and long lasting. And most incredible of all, the price! Each eyeshadow is only $6. There is also listings on the website as to which colours are great dupes for MAC products. So if you want to get the MAC look without the price…makeup geek is definitely the way to go. I would however caution against the Makeup Geek brushes. I bought a number of them because the price was so great. However, the quality of the brushes just isn’t there.

Have you bought any exciting new makeup products? What did you do this weekend?

Shopping at Sephora…A Beginners Guide

Previously, I posted about how to shop at MAC. So I figured now I would do the same and talk about Sephora.

Sephora for someone who has never been or has limited beauty knowledge can be completely overwhelming. Good thing you have a seasoned expert like me to guide you along!

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Sephora Basics

Set-Up

The first thing to know about Sephora is there are about about 5 distinct areas: makeup (the majority of the store, hallelujah!), skin care, fragrances, nail polish & hair care. I will mostly be talking about the makeup because that’s what I know best.

Staff IE Cast Members…that’s their official title, I don’t make this stuff up

One of the things I love about Sephora is there is always an abundance of helpful staff members. If you walk into Sephora and don’t get asked if you need help about 10 times while you’re there, that’s truly an anomaly. Sephora differs from MAC in that you do not need to be a makeup artist to work there. Now, many staff members are makeup artists or at the very least have a very strong interest in makeup. I only mention this because I stated at MAC you can really trust that the person there knows what they are talking about. In most cases this is true about Sephora employees but not always. However, in the many, many times I have been to Sephora I think I have only had about 2 experiences where I thought the staff member didn’t know what they were talking about. They are usually incredibly knowledgeable about the products.

Samples

Another great thing about Sephora is the samples! Lets say you are wanting to buy a foundation. It’s great to have someone try it on quickly in store but really you don’t know if you will like a foundation until you give it a test run for a few days. Sephora gives clients samples of their products upon request (whenever they can), just ask an associate. The same goes for fragrances which is great because after testing about 10 different fragrances in store you can’t really tell what you like anymore and the smell changes as you wear throughout the day.

Return Policy

The return policy at Sephora is excellent. Any product that you do not like you can bring back to return or exchange – used or not, no questions asked.

Beauty Insider Card

When you get to the till – after you’ve walked by the hoards of “sample size” products that cost $20 each (warning these are overpriced compared to the full size items), you will be asked if you have a beauty insider card. If you do not, sign up! This is a free program in which you collect points. There are sample size products that you get to choose from once you have reached enough points – the points levels are 100, 250 & 500. You can get some really great products from the points. 1 dollar = 1 point, so yes, you need to spend $100 before you receive your first free gift but believe me it doesn’t take that long to get there so it’s worth signing up the first time you go there.

There are also 3 different categories of Beauty Insiders, dependent on how much you spend in a year. There is the regular Beauty Insider, VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider), or the VIB Rouge. Can you guess which one I am?

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The differences in the levels gives you a few advantages – option to buy new items first, access to the free makeovers, special gifts, free shipping, etc.

Sales

Sephora has a 15% off everything in store sale twice a year for beauty insiders. This is going on right now (today is the last day). Also, there is clearance items to be found. They are usually on the ends of displays where people generally don’t look. They also have a clearance section on their website, I have found some great scores in the clearance section before!

How to Shop

When you walk into Sephora and see rows and rows of makeup it is completely overwhelming. But it can become very simple if you know how to navigate it.

In the makeup section the makeup is split into different brands. Really, this is very similar to how you find a drugstore set up – maybelline has their section, then cover girl, then revlon, etc. The difference here is there is way more makeup, there are brands you have probably never heard of and the prices are slighty way higher.

The makeup is all set up with samples available to test every product. This really is what makes shopping at Sephora so much fun! Even if you don’t end up buying anything, you can spend hours just testing out products on your hand and yourself. Though who am I kiddding…I have never walked out of Sephora empty handed. When you are ready to buy a product you can just grab the product off the shelf, you do not have to wait to ask an associate like you do at MAC.

When I first started shopping at Sephora and had no idea how to to pick a product I would use one of two approaches:

1. Use the staff

Like I mentoned almost all of the staff at Sephora are super knowledgable. If you are looking for a new mascara tell a staff member that. Tell them what you like and don’t like in a mascara and a price point. They can help point you in the right direction of a few products they think you might like. Also, just like MAC the staff can try products on you. So if you want to try out the blush on your skin or get matched for your foundation shade, just ask a staff member to help you out.

2. Research!

Before going into a store I would research the products that I might want to buy. So if I knew I was in the market for a new pink blush, I would search beauty blogs, you tube gurus, magazines, etc and find out what they were recommending. I also look up reviews of products. My favourite website for beauty product reviews is Makeup Alley

If you have done your research you can walk into Sephora feeling like a total expert.

“Do you need some help?”

“No thank you, I know exactly what I’m looking for”

highfive

Do you shop at Sephora? Any tips or tricks to making it a less scary experience?

Makeup Monday – Spring Has Sprung Makeup

How was your weekend? Mine was wonderful. The weather here finally turned a corner and we reached 12 degrees Celsius!! It’s amazing how much weather can affect your mood. Being that it was so nice this weekend I really wanted to get out and see people and stop being such a hermit like I have been lately!

jennifer lawrence

Friday night I went out with friends for a couple of drinks. Saturday was a pretty lazy day for me. I was feeling just drained of energy. Maybe the drinks Friday night had something to do with that, but I can’t be sure. 😉 In the afternoon I went to a friend’s to do her hair and makeup for a boudoir shoot. It turned out amazing, I can’t wait to share some pictures but for now, it’s a secret so I can’t. Then we had a backyard fire at a friend’s house. Nothing makes you feel like summer is on the way like sitting around a campfire! Sunday I met a friend at the farmers market where I grabbed my typical Farmers Market items – beets, carrots & cashew butter. I also found a new spice to try out, it’s a greek seasoning that’s no salt. I was pretty pumped, I love Cavenders greek seasoning but it’s chalked full of salt, so I hope this will make a nice alternative. Then I spent the rest of my Sunday afternoon doing typical Sunday prep. I roasted my beets, made homemade granola, cut up fruit & vegetables, etc.

Since the weather was so nice I wanted to create a makeup look that matched the spring time feeling. One of my most recent MAC eyeshadows is Stars n’ Rockets. It’s such a gorgeous iridescent purple shade that to me just screams spring!

Vibrant Grape (Left) Stars N Rockets (Right)

Vibrant Grape (Left) Stars N Rockets (Right)

So I decided to create a look using that as my basis. And here’s how it turned out:

Spring Makeup

 

Spring makeup, purple, mac cosmetics

I feel the pictures don’t do justice to how beautiful of colour that Stars N Rocket Shadow is. To create a similar springtime look, here’s my tutorial:

 Tutorial:

  1. Prime lid with eyeshadow primer. This step is optional but will make your eyeshadow last longer. I used Urban Decay Primer Potion.
  2. Using a peachy-coral shade on a fluffy brush, shade your entire crease using windshield wiper motions and blend upwards towards the brow bone. I used MAC Samoa silk, which is now discontinued 😦
  3. Using a shader brush (I used MAC 239) tap MAC Stars n’ rockets all over the entire lid. You could substitute this for a light purple shade but trust me, if you like purple this is a shade you want to invest in.
  4. Using a darker purple shade (I used MAC Vibrant Grape) on a fluffy brush, shade the outer corner of the eye and slightly into the crease. You want to keep the purple shade below that peachy shade that you previously applied
  5. Using a smaller fluffy brush, take a grey eyeshadow (I used MAC print) and shade the outer V of your eye, blend well.
  6. Using a pencil brush, blend Stars n Rockets all along your lower lash line. Then smudge print on the outer lower lash line.
  7. Add eyeliner and mascara. I used Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner and Revlon Voluminous Mascara.
  8. Sweep a pink blush on the apples of your cheeks and up towards your temples. I used NARS Deep Throat (yes, that is actually what they named the blush…)
  9. Apply a pink lipstick to finish the look. I used MAC Please Me and topped with Sephora’s Glossy Gloss in Think Pink

I think this could easily become one of my go to looks for this spring/summer. Even Tom noticed and commented on my eyeshadow!

Hope you have a wonderful Monday.

What did you do this weekend? Do you have a favourite purple eyeshadow?