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.

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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

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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

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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

 

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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.

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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? 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!

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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!

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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?

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?

How to Rock Green Makeup for St. Patricks Day

St. Patrick’s Day is on Monday! Do you have any plans? Right now, I honestly have none but we will see if anything comes up over the next couple of days. One of my favourite part of holidays is thinking of makeup to match the holiday! Since you are supposed to wear some green on St. Patrick’s day why not wear green makeup? A lot of people are afraid of green eyeshadows but if you know how to wear green the right way, you won’t end up looking like a clown. I promise!

The biggest trick with green eyeshadow is not overdoing it. It is a bolder colour on the lid, so you don’t want to go with all green all over your lid & crease and use a green eyeliner. Moderation and subtlety is key.

Tip #1: Pair your Green Eyeshadow with neutral shades to tone it down

Pairing green with neutral shades such as brown, gray and black can really downplay the colour of the green and make it more wearable. Gold also pairs beautifully with green.

Tip #2: Placement

You can strategically place green on parts of your eye for a pop without having an all over green eyeshadow. For example, put green eyeshadow only on the outer corner of your eyelid (see tutorial below). Use a green eyeliner either on upper or lower lashline with a neutral eye. Or go for a fun look by using green mascara. You can either apply it all over your lashes, or just apply it to the tips or outer lashes for a little green flair.

I have a real simple st. patrick’s look that has just a hint of green to make you feel festive. This look is even appropriate for the office, which is great if you are like me and will likely only be going to work and then maybe just having some mint chocolate chip ice cream at home to celebrate.

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green makeup

Tutorial:

  1. Shade entire lid using a light shimmery gold, I used MAC Carefree
  2. Pat green eyeshadow on outer half of eyelid, do not go into crease, keep it on the lower eyelid. I used MAC humid (a gorgeous emerald green colour!)
  3. Shade crease with a matte brown shade about 1-2 colours darker than your skin tone. I used MAC wedge
  4. Shade outer v of eye with a dark brown matte shade. I used MAC Brun
  5. Add black pencil liner & mascara

If you wanted to amp up this look for the evening, you can add more eyeshadow to darken and intensify the eye, smudge some of the dark brown shadow alone your lower lashline and add a winged liner. Daytime to nighttime look in a few strokes!

What are you doing for St. Patricks Day? Will you be wearing green makeup or nail polish to celebrate?

Recent Beauty Haul

On Thursday, I am headed out on vacation again! What? Didn’t I just come back from Cancun? Well, yes I did. 🙂

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This time Tom and I are headed with two other couples to Las Vegas! And then after the weekend, Tom and I are continuing on to Phoenix to spend a couple of days visiting my Dad who is a snowbird and lives there for a few months in the winter.

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Last time we visited Phoenix…3 years ago

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What does this have to do with my beauty haul? Well, I definitely plan on a big beauty haul when I go to the US because the prices are cheaper! I am not a gambler so I told Tom that I get equal amount to spend on makeup that he uses on gambling…fair right? Lately I’ve been holding off on my makeup purchases until I go there but when I was at the mall this week picking up a few things I just suddenly found myself in Sephora and then I walked by MAC and well…here’s the haul.

From Sephora I only bought one thing! I got the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. When I saw that these blushes came out I knew I wanted one and then after seeing Tiffany D’s rave on them, I was definitely sold. I already love the Hourglass ambient lighting powder. I only currently have one colour, luminous light, but I love it. If I had more money, I’m sure I would own more of them but they are quite pricey.

There are six blushes in the collection, when it came time to pick out a shade I literally stood in front of those blushes for a solid 20 minutes swatching and re-swatching. I had the hardest time deciding which colour to choose because I love them all! The one I ultimately decided on was luminous flush. It’s a gorgeous pinky-coral colour. It is marbled with the luminous light powder so my powder & blush go together flawlessly.

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When you swatch these blushes they look like they might go on pretty sheer but they have some serious pigment. When I put it on this morning, I went a little overboard and had to buff it out pretty vigorously before I could leave the house. I think I’ll definitely be adding a second shade to my US shopping list…

When I got to the till at Sephora I also received my free birthday gift! I totally forgot about this so it was a nice little bonus. The birthday gift this year is by Makeup Forever, you receive a mini lipstick in the shade Rouge Artist Natural, a mini aqua eyes eyeliner in black and a mini smoky extravagant mascara.

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I’ve tried the eyeliner and the mascara so far. The eyeliner is great. It really stays on for a long time without smudging. The mascara, I wouldn’t say I’m the hugest fan of. I find you really have to work to build it up and like so many non-waterproof mascaras, it doesn’t hold a curl in my lash. So for me, I won’t be purchasing a full size.

I haven’t tried out the lipstick really yet so I can’t talk about the staying power yet. The shade they gave is a brownish red shade. It’s a good neutral colour that will look good on a variety of people. I can’t say it’s a shade I would normally pick out for myself but I’m interested to give it a try.

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When I went to MAC I was looking for a cream blush that I could apply underneath the new hourglass blush that I just bought. I often like to layer a cream blush and powder blush for extra staying power. I ended up buying Something Special, a light coral blush.

mac something special

However, after I got home I took another look at it and realized I already own a cream Bobbi Brown brush that is a great dupe for this blush. It didn’t seem worth it to me to have both. So thanks to MACs great return policy I returned it the next day and got a pink blush, So Sweet, So Easy instead.

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I also bought a new pro long wear eyeshadow. I did my friend’s makeup trail for her upcoming wedding the other day and felt I didn’t quite have the right shade in my current collection for what she wanted. I was looking for a light almost white colour with a touch of gold undertones. Well I found that colour, it’s called Carefree.

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Then I bought two new lipsticks, well I actually only bought one because I got one for free for returning 6 empty containers. I was looking for a great pink – not super vibrant but not nude colour either. I ended up choosing Speed Dial. I also fell in love with Snapdragon, which is part of the Fantasy of Flowers collection. I knew it’s limited edition so I decided to grab it at the same time.

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Snap Dragon (Left) Speed Dial (Right)

Sorry I don’t have a swatch of the lipsticks individually because I just realized they are in my purse….which I forgot at work. Ugh. But I do have a picture of myself wearing the two of them mixed together yesterday.

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That’s it for now….I will definitely post my next beauty haul when I return from the states!

Have you tried out the new Ambient Lighting Blushes? Any recent beauty purchases that you are psyched about?

Makeup Monday – How to Shop at MAC

I have had so many people tell me that they’ve never been into MAC cosmetics store because they are too intimidated. I think that’s such a shame because MAC has amazing products and to me walking into MAC is as exciting as Christmas morning, every time! But I remember, it wasn’t always that way. When I was younger, I walked by MAC all the time. I would gaze into the store as I walked by but would never go in. I mean, that makeup is for professionals and it must be incredibly expensive. Plus, if I went into the store I would have no idea what to ask for and would look like a complete idiot in front of the gorgeous women who work at MAC.

MAC store

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But really MAC isn’t that scary, I promise! But here are a few tips to help you navigate the store.

First and foremost, let the staff there help you! All the staff at MAC are makeup artists. MAC has an incredibly rigorous interview process that includes practical tests, so if the person works there, they know their stuff. I’ve often heard claims that the MAC workers are rude or snobby. I have never, ever had a bad experience at a MAC. Every time I have went in the staff have been incredibly helpful so I really wouldn’t let that rumour scare you away.

The staff will try any and all products on you. You want to know what a blush looks like on your face, not your hand, and they will do that for you. If you bring in a picture of a makeup look you like they will show you how to recreate it. If you have no idea what kind of foundation you need, they will ask you all the right questions to find you the right formula and swatch it on you to colour match your shade. My only piece of advice for this is that sometimes when the store is very busy it can be more difficult for them to offer you all the customer service. Therefore, if you really want some dedicated help try to shop outside of peek hours. (IE avoid weekends).

Another great option is booking an appointment. Many stores offer free full makeup application with the purchase of $50-60 products, which is easy to do. However, some stores do charge a $50-60 fee for the application. The appointment is a great way to learn about the products and learn application tips from the makeup artist. When you are finished your appointment they will give you a list of every product that you used. So even if you like a product but don’t want to spend money on it at the time you have a record of the product for future reference.

One of the differences you’ll notice right away at MAC compared to a regular store is that you’ll see lots of display but yet there isn’t product for you to grab when you are wanting to purchase. For the most part, you need to ask one of the workers there to grab you the product that you like. But you are free to play with all the sample makeup that you like. When it comes to eyeshadows, you can go ahead and swatch as many eyeshadows as you like. There are cleansing wipes located all around the store so you can clean your hand and start all over. If you are looking at lipsticks, just ask a staff member to sanitize the lipstick for you and then you can try it on. If you’re looking for concealer or foundation, have a staff member help you out with choosing the right formula and the right colour for your skin.

Prices – don’t worry, MAC displays their prices. If you look at the bottom of the displays you will see the pricing for all products.

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And, their prices are not outrageous. Yes, you will be paying more than at the drugstore but you are also buying quality products. That means, you will use less of the product and therefore it will last you longer. Overall, most of my MAC products end up costing me less than drugstore products if you consider how long they last.

See, it’s really not that scary of a place. Take the plunge once and I promise you will never look back! While I was once scared to enter those doors, it now takes a lot of effort and encouragement to get me out of the doors.

A few other noteworthy facts:

MAC account – At the register, they will ask you for your name to set up an account. You definitely want to do this. It’s not a points system or anything but they keep on file every product you buy. That way when you’re swatching an eyeshadow and you can’t quite remember if you already have that shade, you can just ask them to look it up and they will tell you whether or not you’ve bought it before.

Sales – Sadly MAC does not ever have sales on their makeup. They are kind of like the Apple store, they have a great product and feel no reason to reduce their prices to drive in traffic.

Recycle Program- MAC has a recycle program where if you bring in 6 of your empty containers you get to choose either an eyeshadow or lipstick for free!

Returns-  MAC’s return policy is amazing. Anytime you buy a product, KEEP YOUR RECEIPT! You can return any product, it does not matter whether it is used. If you are unsatisfied for any reason at all, just bring it back. They won’t even look at the product or ask you why you are returning it, it’s a no questions asked return.

Collections – MAC has their standard products that are there all the time. But they also bring in limited edition collections all the time. These are typically set up on pretty displays near the front of the store. These collections tend to go fast and most often the products are limited edition. So, if you like a product from a collection you will want to pick it up while you’re there or you likely won’t be able to get it again.

Have you ever been in to a MAC store? Do you have any further questions about MAC?