NAILS | Happy Halloween from KISS Nails!

Happy Halloween everyone! Halloween nail art is one of my favourite things to do at this time of year, but I will admit that ever since my career switch earlier this summer, nails have been harder to polish due to just flat out fatigue. I try to keep them painted, but lately there have been stretches where I will go a solid week without polish because "I won't have time to take proper photos". This is when KISS Nails comes to the rescue with what seems to be a neverending wealth of designs for all seasons! Every Halloween, KISS releases limited edition press-on nails that make you wish it was Halloween everyday. This year there were some old favourites and some cute new designs that I couldn't wait to cover my claws with!

MAKEUP LOOK | Halloween with Hard Candy - Black Swan Inspired Makeup Look

It's Friday and I'm sure many of you will be starting the Halloween festivities today at work or at parties this weekend (I know I will be!) so because I had quite a bit of fun with Hard Candy earlier this week (here), I thought we could keep up the fun with this Black Swan-inspired Halloween look featuring one of my new favourite eye products - Hard Candy's Eye Def Glitter Eyeshadows*! These are SERIOUSLY intense in terms of pigmentation and wow factor so if you would like to see swatches of some other shades, please let me know!
 



NAILS | Wet n Wild Halloween Monsters Nail Art

I haven't done Halloween nail in the longest time! I feel like it creeps up so quickly and yet they are hands-down my FAVOURITE nail art theme! This year, a friend of mine tagged me in this Nail Arts Design Magazine video and I thought, yes! Let's attempt this! I was sent a couple of Halloween colours from Wet n Wild and even though my nails are SO SHORT NOW thanks to violin practice, I was determined to fit as many monsters on to them as possible!


SKINCARE | Clean & Clear Essentials Review

Sponsored by Crowdsocial

When I think of Clean & Clear, I am immediately taken back to my teenage years of oily skin and every blemish you could think of. Though I never had severe acne, I did have pimples and constant whiteheads across my forehead and cheeks that gave my skin a consistently "textured" appearance. Sexy, I know. I remember trudging on over to London Drugs and not knowing anything about skincare, picking up a Clean & Clear toner because it sounded like it would kill all the bad and give me my pre-pubscent skin back. Low and behold, it helped with some of the congestion on my forehead and the rest is skincare history. I haven't used Clean & Clear in about 10 years so let's see how this curated skincare regime fared on my now more "mature" skin!

SUBSCRIPTION BOX | NEW! Vancity Box "Our City in a Box" - Supporting Local Business in Vancouver

Yes, I love the "big brands" and I will admit that there are times when I believe that God placed me on this planet to be a consumer, but I ultimately have a very soft spot for buying local. Vancouver has some of the BEST locally-made goods especially when it comes to food! Living on the West Coast gives us a huge advantage when it comes to food selection which is why the inaugural Vancity Box* is the perfect start to wonderful and new subscription for BC residents as it is filled with local Vancouver food delights guaranteed to make your mouth water!
 


MAKEUP LOOK | Getting Romantic for Halloween with Hard Candy's Top Ten Eyeshadow Palette in Naturally Gorgeous with Swatches

I will start off by saying that it is my two year wedding anniversary today and because it falls on a Monday, my husband and I decided to celebrate Sunday night with dinner. Seeing as how I had intended to create a Halloween look, but it needed to be appropriate enough to be seen in public at a respectable venue. So, out of the literal bucket (photo) of Halloween goodies I was sent from Hard Candy, I pulled out the Top Ten Eyeshadow Palette in Naturally Gorgeous*($6.98 CDN) and decided that the shades in here would be restaurant AND hubby approved!



HAIR | Maple Holistics Natural Argan Oil Shampoo and Silk18 Natural Hair Conditioner Review

Have I seriously not talked about shampoo since before the summer?! Well, lemme tell ya, I feel like I have been thrown into shampoo and conditioner boot camp ever since going blonde June 26th, 2015. I remember because it was THAT momentous a day. I have now become very selective about shampoos as they have to be safe for blonde and such, but now that I am using purple S & C's to keep brassiness at bay, I have found it difficult to have BOTH clean and healthy feeling hair.

After getting a bit frustrated with the purple S & C game, I was approached by Maple Holistics to try their Natural Argan Oil Shampoo* (8oz/$12.97) as well as their Silk18 Natural Hair Conditioner* (8oz/$12.97). After having a look at the ingredients and feeling confident that all that hard work bleaching and toning the crap outta my hair would go unharmed, I said "let's do it!"



BEAUTY BOX | Vive La France October GLOSSYBOX

Welcome to one of the prettiest and chic Glossyboxes I have ever seen! I was expecting the classic pink box and and instead was this beautiful Parisienne-themed piece of art for the month of October. It is so beautiful that I had to jump the gun and skip the summer Glossyboxes I still have to show you! On top of this beautiful box (that I now MUST find a use for!), there was a consistent theme throughout that acutally MADE SENSE and contained products with some French flair.



Even the inside of the box was beautifully decorated!

NAILS | Picture Polish Wanderlust by Naildecor with Geometric Nail Art

A few weeks ago, I swatched the first of four Picture Polish blogger collaboration (see Bordeaux) nail polishes I received for review and because they are so awesome, they will each get their own posts! Next up, is Wanderlust* ($16.00 CDN) by nail art blogger/Youtuber Naildecor which is described as a "candy pink scattered holo with blue glass flecks". This is sits smoothly on the nails and is easily opaque in 2 coats. Isn't this stunning?! I have been on a hot pink kick and the holo aspect of this polish has put me into overdrive! I mean, GAH! It's so beautiful! 




 I then added some geometric flair with a small brush and black acrylic paint and finished with a super shiny top coat! Also, still getting used to my rounded nails...I had to change the shape to play violin again (yes, I joined orchestra!). It's a new shape to get used to after having square nails for so long!
Get Wanderlust and other Picture Polish shades at Nail Polish Canada

MAKEUP LOOK | A Bright Lip & Neutral Eyes with Arbonne with Mini Reviews and Swatches!

Affiliate links present

Arbonne is the latest direct marketing company to storm the beauty world with its main appeal being vegan and more botanical-based products. I first heard of Arbonne in 2011 when my mom won a spa party with an Arbonne consultant who actually didn't do a great job of telling me what set Arbonne apart from the rest. The consultant gave me a few body products and though they were nice, I never gave them much thought after I'd used them. Thank goodness for my fellow CBBer Chantal who sent along some of her favourite Arbonne makeup products for me to put together (hopefully) something pretty!  


SKINCARE | Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Serum Review

Over the summer, I have had the pleasure of trying a number of new skincare products. There are times when I feel like I am in lab with my potions and lotions cocktailing what will be going on my face. Skincare comes in a range of comfort levels and when I first started taking my skin more seriously, I wanted a routine that was easy and didn't require too much thought. Now that I have the main parts of the routine figured out, it's time to mix things up! I have dabbled with treatments like chemical peels and microderm abrasion, but when it comes to "scientific skincare" Skinceuticals has always at the forefront. My first exerience with Skinceuticals was in 2011 when I received a sample of the Hydrating B5 Gel in a Topbox. It was the most fascinating thing in the world because it was a gel and yet when I applied it to my skin, every crack in my skin seemed to fill up and look seamless. Scientific sorcery is what that was!

After a quick consult via email of my skintype and concerns, I was sent three products in the summer to try out. Each product deserves their own review because I guarantee, if I try to talk about all of them in one post I would be cheating you of what they are all about. Skinceuticals is most well-known for its "antioxidant science", being the first cosmeceutical company to have a clinically proven topical vitamin C formulation. Much of the motivation behind their, now extensive product line, is that sunscreen is not enough. Photoaging is caused by free radicals that still make their way into our skin which lead to signs of aging. Antioxidants are able to neutralize them which is why we are always on the hunt for the next free radical fighter! Vitamin C is the current craze in the world of skincare now so the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic* (30mL/$162.00) was the first product that I absolutely had to try. 


"C E Ferulic is a revolutionary antioxidant combination that delivers advanced environmental protection against photoaging by neutralizing free radicals that can accelerate the appearance of aging."

MAKEUP | MAC Limited Edition Vamplify Lipgloss in Hyperfabulous, Push Some Buttons and Speed Up Review with Swatches

All I can say is that these limited edition releases make me realize how fast time is flying by! It seems like not so long ago that I was at the MAC Cosmetics Fall preview back in July and only just hearing about the limited edition Vamplify Lipgloss Collection (5mL/$24.00 CDN). Touted to be MAC's most dramatic lipgloss yet, the formula contains colour-boosting pigments that promise rich, polished-looking colour for hours.



NAILS | Aveniro Glass Files Review (Pretty AND Functional!)

You guys know that I like painting my nails. Like A LOT. I have talked about how I stopped cutting my nails and instead only file my nails because of the extra control I have when it comes to shaping them for those cuticle close-ups. At the beginning, I was using a fine grit emery board to keep my nail length in check, but switched to glass on the recommendation of another nail blogger. Not all glass files are created equally and over time I have used nail files that either dull quickly or were never that sharp to begin with. The Czech Republic, while known for its scenic beauty, is also known for creating some of the best glass nail files in existence (this is of course, just my humble opinion).

Aveniro is located in the northern part of the Czech Republic, near a glass-making district, so they must really know their glass nail files! Currently, Aveniro focuses mainly on wholesale distribution, but hopefully we will see an online shop for them if we show them some love! I recently received a couple of Aveniro glass files to try and not just for nails, but for feet too!


MAKEUP LOOK | Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Collection Vol. 2 #HauteStreet Warm x Vibrant Eye Shadow Palette Review & Swatches

At this time last year, I was revelling in the forwardness of Shu Uemura’s Vision of Beauty Vol. 1 Brave Beauty collection (here) for a Fall release. I had never seen a Fall makeup collection that had so much colour and now I think I may have spoken too soon! Shu has now released the Vision of Beauty Vol. 2 Haute Street collection and it is filled with easy neutrals and incredible bursts of colour. Designed by Shu Uemura’s International Artistic Director, Uchiide, the Haute Street collection is inspired by the rawness and vibrancy street artists give to concrete cityscapes. Just like Brave Beauty, Haute Street is a means of visual expression, but in the grittier landscape of a modern city so let’s get wild shall we?

Shu Uemura Haute Street Warm x Vibrant Eye Shadow Palette Review Swatches (1)

Shu Uemura Haute Street Warm x Vibrant Eye Shadow Palette Review Swatches (8)

EXPERIENCE | Aveda Canada Revisited - Getting Highlights and Going "Ash Blond"

At the end of July, I announced that I had become an Aveda Institute Vancouver Ambassador which, in all honesty, is something I feel more comfortable doing as going blond has given me a whole new appreciation for hair care. Between my skin and hair care regimes, I probably appear somewhat vain because I seem to spending immeasurable amounts of time on just the top part of my body! What I can truly say though is that having hair I love has made me feel so much more confident. Yes, inner beauty is more important, but this post is all about the HAIR.

After having a haircut and styling session last month (read all about it here!),I decided it was time to let Aveda do something about my summer blond that was getting a little too orange for me. I was greeted by the lovely Amy who got me settled and all cozy with a very FAT September issue of Vogue and a cup of Aveda's herbal tea. Amy then asked me a simple question,"What do you love and what do you dislike about your hair right now?" The answer was easy. I wanted the orange and brassiness taken out and possibly a darker hue for the Fall season. What I loved? I loved the length of my hair and the way the balayage was growing in so what Amy and I decided on was to tone the blond and add some low lights to give my hair some "refinement". 


NAILS | Halloween Ghosts #CBBOctNails

I have mentioned this in a tweet before, but I grew up in a born-again Christian family which meant that I was pulled out of a lot of Halloween activities when I was a child. I never got to trick or treat (until first year university!) and dressing up just never happened. I truly feel like because of my upbringing, I am OBSESSED with Halloween now that I am an adult and living on my own. Pagan rituals aside, Halloween has become so commercial that I am really in it for the candy and most importantly the unleashing of beauty creativity. Christmas is still about looking pretty, but Halloween is just grotesque and sometimes the "uglier" the better. Although today's manicure is hopefull neither of these things, I hope I will have some time this month to do some experimentation!


My first Halloween manicure of the month is starting off with some very surprised looking ghosts that I did for the CBB October Nail Challenge. These are a little late because I haven't been home to even take photos or write, but thank goodness these are applicable for the entire month! I started off by using two coats of Wet n Wild - Black Creme* which I had some trouble applying cleanly as the brush was a bit too wide for my liking. It also left a slight cross-hatching finish on both hands which I couldn't make sense of after two coats. There a few ways to do ghosts, but the ones I have on my nails were hand-painted with white acrylic paint.


Is anyone else just as obsessed with Halloween as I am?!

FEET | Heal Damaged Heels with the Polysporin Blister Treatment!

This is a sponsored post written by me for POLYSPORIN®.All opinions and text are mine. 

I adore pedicures, but even though I generally have my toes polished all year round, it makes me sad that for the most part, my perfect pedi is covered up with sneakers or pumps.  I love a great shoe, and I will suffer in a pair of new shoes in an effort to break them in. I don’t know how many times I have cried or bled through the pain of a blister all for the love of a great shoe. I work in a business environment so my blisters/raw areas are either on my big toe or on the back of my foot because I constantly wear pumps or pointy heels (that really don’t suit my wide feet at all). 
Thanks to ChickAdvisor, I was able to try out POLYSPORIN®’s Blister Treatment which honestly looked like my foot’s Messiah. I am sure we are all familiar with the POLYSPORIN® brand. I personally always have a tube of the infamous quick healing antibiotic cream in my house. I have used it on everything from little paper cuts to coating earring posts when my new piercings got infected (most awesome thing I’ve used it for).


These are one of my favourite pairs of peep toe pumps because they were my wedding shoes! As pretty as my pedicure looked that day, I remember being in absolute agony by midday because the back of my heel was so raw from the constant friction and newness of the shoe.


SKINCARE | Welcome Certified Organic Odylique Skincare to North America! (Plus a Positively Glowing Review!)

The quest for good skincare is never ending and in the last 2 years, my awareness for what REALLY is "natural skincare" has been at its peak with so many companies saying what we want to hear. For those of you that may not know, I took my love of skincare to career proportions when I dove into the beauty industry headfirst last year and eventually ended up becoming a rep for a well-known truly natural skincare line (I am no longer in the beauty biz, but that story will have to come later). I have never been the average skincare consumer and even though I repped one brand, I made sure I knew about all of the others. I used that biology degree to decipher, decode and determine what made GOOD skincare. I am not a green beauty snob and could never exclusively use only natural products, but what I do know is that since last year, when I started using at least ONE natural product in my routine, my skin stopped breaking out even during that time of the month. I kid you not, I have had TWO pimples in the past year.

SKINCARE | *First Impressions* of the Dr. Wu Hyalucomplex Hydrating System

When it comes to skincare, Asia is always 10 steps ahead than the North American market. During my stint in the skincare world, I rarely would come across an Asian client who didn't already have a fairly rigourous skincare routine. Being Asian myself, I can tell you that I take it all very seriously and I am curious to see whether any of this pays off in the next 10 years!

I am not one to rush skincare reviews, but there is a promo going on for the renowned Dr. Wu this Thanksgiving long weekend that you should ALL definitely take advantage of so let's DO this first impressions review! 

asian skincare review

MAKEUP LOOK |#BeBold with the MAKE UP FOR EVER Jamie Chung Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

This past summer, MAKE UP FOR EVER launched a campaign that caught my attention not only for its message, but for the faces they chose to represent the “Be Bold. Be Unexpected. Be You.”  message. I have been following Andreja Pejic for a little while when she was known as the highly androgynous model, Andrej. Right now, there is quite a bit of chatter about being transgendered and though I applaud MAKE UP FOR EVER for selecting Andreja as one of their ambassadors, I love that the focus is all about self-expression and being true to yourself. The second face for the campaign is none other than Jamie Chung aka my apparent alter ego. My husband has often commented that he sometimes has to do a double take on Instagram as we look similar from certain angles. I love seeing what she’s wearing on her blog and thought she was SO BADASS in the movie Sucker Punch. Each of these lovely ladies has teamed up with MUFE to create two signature eyeshadow palettes featuring the perfect Artist Shadows to create a signature look.

Seeing as how Jamie and I are of similar colouring, I opted to try the Jamie Chung Artist Shadow Palette* ($56.00 CDN) and try my hand and creating the two-toned lip makeup look!

review swatches

review swatches

NAILS | New Bloggers Collaborations from Picture Polish! First Up is Bordeaux by Nil Nails!

I have a feeling only nail polish lovers will be aware of this, but while Picture Polish has some of the BEST polish shades and formulations out there, one of the most exciting collections they have are the blogger collaborations! Partnering with well-known nail bloggers from all over the world, Picture Polish has released some incredibly unique and STUNNING shades! Over the next month, I will be sharing some new shades just released this past September at Nail Polish Canada!

Some polishes are too pretty to tamper with nail art and the absolutely mouth-watering (yes, nail polish can do that!) Bordeaux by Nil Nails*($16.00 CDN) is just that for me. A juicy two coat deep wine polish with holographic glitter, this polish is truly a beauty, but really comes alive = in sunlight, elevator light (yes, I checked) and though I don’t use it much, direct flash. I just love seeing those holographic particles come to life!


Picture Polish Bordeaux by Nil Nails Swatch Review (3)

Picture Polish Bordeaux by Nil Nails Swatch Review (1) Picture Polish Bordeaux by Nil Nails Swatch Review (2)

Which Picture Polish blogger collaboration would you love to wear? And remember, free Canadian shipping over $25 at www.nailpolishcanada.com!

BATH& BODY | mark by Avon Body Oils (One of the BEST Things to Enter My Shower This Year!)

I say that I have my showers at night because my hair routine is too long to fit into a conventional morning. Though this is very much true, there is another reason that I love taking my showers at night – and it is simply because it is the only time in my day where I am truly selfish with my time. In the shower, I exfoliate, do hair treatments as well as make sure that every shower is truly a sensorial experience. Body oils have been making their way into my life over the last couple of years because I love how they carry and hold onto scent incredibly well.

mark by Avon Body Oil Review (1)

NAILS | A Starry Sky with the Dior Cosmopolite Darling Blue and Miroir

I have always believed that nail polish was meant to be more than just for swatches, but there are some polishes you don’t want to mess with TOO much. I know it’s a bit sentimental since “vernis est vernis”, but whenever I wear a Dior polish, I really want to show it off. I have a penchant for blue polishes and when I received Dior #791 Darling Blue* from the new Fall Cosmopolite collection, I just wanted to stare at this two coat shimmery marvel all day. Without taking away from the colour, I hand-painted some stars with #001 Miroir*, a mirror-like silver, to give this manicure a little something extra.

Dior Darling Blue Miroir Starry Sky Nail Art Dior Darling Blue Miroir Starry Sky Nail Art (2)
The Dior Cosmopolite collection is available now.