BEAUTY | Lip Care with Henne Organics

I tried hard not to be absent from this space the whole week, but doing Inventory at work this week with half the staff we normally have thanks to COVID restrictions has wiped me out completely. I honestly can't believe it's already Saturday as the last couple of days have been a haze of running around and then coming home and feeling like a zombie until falling asleep. Now that my weekend is here, I look forward to sleeping in and my pedicure on Monday! 

Purchased by me

NAILS | Stitches and Jack o' Lanterns #CBBxManiMonday

It has been a very busy week preparing for inventory at my day job which has led to some broken nails as even in the world of luxury sales, there is still a fair amount of heavy lifting! I broke the corner of my pointer finger and then managed to poke myself on the same finger so now there is a blood spot there which you can see in these photos since my nails are shorter now. I had different nail art plans involving longer nails as my canvas, but luckily there is no shortage of nail art designs for short nails!  

Halloween Nail Art
Press samples

SHEET MASK | Soo'Ae Hydration Alert Sensor Mask

Today's edition of #SheetMaskSunday is coming to you erm, a little late because well Thanksgiving dinner happened. Even though my husband and I were the only people in attendance, we decided to a full dinner with sides of bacon and brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes and of course stuffing. We ended up doing a little ham instead of turkey since we actually have quite a bit of food in our fridge already that we need to eat and it was all just really pleasant! As we speak, I am waiting for our apple pie to heat up in the oven so that I can slather it with ice cream!

Soo'Ae Hydration Alert Sensor Mask Review
Purchased by me

MAKEUP | Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Foundation

I had mentioned on my Instagram post today that it has been brutally hard trying to sit down after coming from work to type. Most of the time, I treat blog posts like a journal entry, but this week all I have been wanting to do is veg. I have been watching the YouTube series 'Hot Ones" which has been pretty addictive and if you haven't watched celebrities being interviewed while their mouths are on fire, it's worth it! 

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Foundation
Purchased by me

NAILS | Bring on the Candy Corn! #CBBxManiMonday

I got into the candy corn game pretty late in life. It's not exactly an Asian candy you grow up with and I honestly only saw it on TV or in the bulk candy section, but didn't understand why people liked it. Then I got a little pack of it and LOVED it when I trick-or-treated for the first time in my FIRST YEAR OF UNIVERSITY. Yes, I know, it's crazy that even with growing up and going to school in Canada, I never got to go trick-or-treating with my friends! The reason? I grew up in a Christian household where I couldn't dress up or have anything to do with Halloween. Fast forward to when my younger sister was old enough and SHE got to dress up and go out trick-or-treating so I was pretty choked about that! She always had the best costumes too because my mom was a seamstress and could sew whichever Disney character struck her fancy. Anyway, I finally got to go collect candy when I was 18 with a friend and when we ended up unknowingly hitting up her Econ prof's house I was like "Listen, we need to stop. We're too old!" 

Candy Corn Nail Art
 PR samples

SHEET MASK | Dr. Jart Dermask Water Jet Soothing Hydra Solution

Today's post is coming a little late in the day mainly because I have been sleeping for most of the day. Exciting, I know. I was catching up on some much needed sleep as the last week at work was reeeeally busy and was sleeping soundly until my cat jumped on my bladder and woke me up. I love how they always know EXACTLY where to start massaging their little paws! Regardless, I had trouble going back to bed and continued the rest of the day like a zombie until I finally had to crash for a nap at 4pm which brings me to now. Life as an adult is sometimes delightfully boring and that's totally ok by me! 

Dr. Jart Dermask Water Jet Soothing Hydra Solution
 Purchased by me

NAILS | In the Purples with OPI Muse of Milan

I was really loving my leaf-inspired taping manicure from last week and wanted to try taping again and the perfect opportunity arose when I came across two shades from the new OPI Muse of Milan collection that I wanted to feature together. I love all purples especially glittery purples and when I first started seeing swatches of the duochrome glitter "Leonardo's Model Color", I knew out of all the shades, THIS was the one I would purchase!

Purple Taping Manicure
 PR gifted

SHEET MASK | Soo'Ae Juicy Glow Masks in Strawberry and Mango

I cannot believe #SooAeSeptember is over because it means that September is OVER! Not that I'm not excited for October and one of my most favourite times of year (Halloween!), but this last half of 2020 feels like a bullet train. It's amazing what Lockdown and Quarantine have done to our sense of time, but I think we have all learned a lot about ourselves and refocused our attention on things like self-care. Bath bombs, sheet masks and candles seem to be all I think about even though I have gone back to work and I see that for those who now work at home, these items have replaced lipsticks and foundation. My husband has always liked baths, but now that's he at home, he always asks for bath bombs and gets upset if my bath looks "prettier" than his!

Purchased by me

NAILS | Abstract Fall with OPI Muse of Milan #CBBxManiMonday

I cannot get enough of the new OPI Muse of Milan collection! I think a part of my love for the shades is that I have been ready for Fall since June. It wasn't a normal summer for anyone and though we still could have patio season, I am still not comfortable dining out. If anything, social distancing and keeping my social circle super small (really my husband and 5 co-workers) has fed right into my anti-social personality. I have also never liked shaking hands, hugging or kissing cheeks and now I can use COVID as an excuse! While I wouldn't have called myself a germaphobe, I have never been all that comfortable with physical forms of affection let alone with people I don't know. Call me crazy, but I am honestly so much happier now that this is the norm!

Abstract Fall Nail Art
 [Press samples]

SHEET MASK | Kiehls Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask

It has been REALLY hard to write this past week. I had done my best to mentally prepare myself for a busy week I knew was coming and though I feel I survived with flying colours, I was putting in a few longer days to make sure I wasn't overwhelmed the next day which has left me feeling exhausted at the idea of being productive this weekend (I have Sunday/Mondays off). Combined with the torrential rain Vancouver has had the last week, I have just been feeling sleepy by the time I make it home from work so I have been a bit lazy with the blogging, BUT hopefully you have all been enjoying my Instagram content as I try to have exclusive content there (like this photo of the most epic bath bomb from Jojo's Bath Bombs)! 

Kiehls Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask
Purchased by me

LIFESTYLE | Grant E One's - A Face Mask with Japanese Technology Like No Other!

I guess we are getting to that point in the pandemic where face masks are now something to feature on a beauty blog! Not only are face masks necessary, but they are now a fashion statement and an item of clothing that affects our makeup and skincare routines. I hope wearing a mask is getting easier for everyone as I know I am glad that I don't feel as mentally and physically uncomfortable with wearing one anymore. Colourful prints help and I am sure I am not the only one who is slowly amassing a collection of reusable face masks in all sort of prints and styles! One of my latest additions is from a new-to-Canada Japanese brand called Grant E One's which uses a proprietary blend of fibres to create a mask that is not only comfortable and cool, but also produces negative ions! 

Grant E One's Skincare Face Mask Review
 PR gifted

NAILS | Inspired by a Leaf #CBBxManiMonday

I know, I know. This is practically the opposite of vampy Fall shades, but I saw this manicure from inspired by the shades of Fall and had to try it for myself! I hadn't done taping in awhile and I loved the texture the taping added to the glitter gradient. I didn't have the exact colours, so I think this came out "happier" than intended, but I am still very happy with it!

Red and Yellow Taping Gradient Nail Art
 Purchased by me

SHEET MASK | FaceTory Oh My Goodness Rejuvenating Snail Mask

Some of you know that I recently stopped my FaceTory subscription for a number of reasons - mainly because this was a financially unjustifiable expense with everything that has happened this year and also because I can probably not buy sheet masks for a few years and still be able to do a few rounds of #100DaysofSheetMasks in addition to my regular sheet mask usage! Though I have never actually done an inventory count of what I have, I'm pretty sure my sheet mask count is more than 500 which doesn't even sound like much to me even though I know that logically it's a huge number! Suffice it to say, I realized that I didn't NEED to spend more a sheet mask subscription even though FaceTory has an amazing selection of masks I always love and have never tried. One of the masks I used during this sheet mask challenge that I had received in one of my FaceTory boxes was the Oh My Goodness Rejuvenating Snail Mask! We all love a good snail mask and this one was no exception!

 Purchased by me

MAKEUP | Keeping Things Set with IT Cosmetics

My setting sprays and powders have been going into overtime these last few months and though I have generally used both in my regular makeup routine, never before have I actively layered these products and made SURE that I used them every time I wear makeup to work. A part of me was tempted to just flat out use hairspray to make my makeup stay, but I figured I would spare my lungs and the environment! IT Cosmetics makes my most favourite loose powder, but over the summer I have had the chance to try some other setting products from the brand that have since become daily staples!

 PR gifted

SHEET MASK | Soo'Ae Cactus and Aloe Soothing Hydrogel Mask

Not going to lie, but I picked up this Cactus and Aloe Soothing Hydrogel Mask mainly because the packaging was so bright and colourful! Then again, so many of Soo'Ae's products are which is really what prompted me to do #SooAeSeptember in the first place! While I'm sure I can probably do a whole month's worth of different masks for well known Korean brands like Mediheal, Etude House or A'pieu, Soo'Ae is easily accessible at Walmart in Canada and I know that for those of you who are newer to sheet masks, having something visually ready to pick up in a drugstore is more palatable than going online and hoping you're shopping at the right Korean etailer!

Soo'Ae Cactus and Aloe Soothing Hydrogel Mask
 Purchased by me

MAKEUP | Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens

During the height of Quarantine, I think we all had some time to go through our personal possessions and either dump or rediscover things. While I actively use Pixi's skincare (sheet masks, exfoliators, moisturizers and face oils), with the exception of the MatteLast Liquid Lipsticks and Pixiglow blushes, I often forget to use their other makeup products and they have some GOOD products! I recently pulled out the Endless Silky Eye Pens as I have been more conscious about my eye makeup for work and trying to have some fun with shades other than black or brown. I never want to go too crazy with my colours though as my eyeshadow is usually a neutral colour and these five eyeliners are work-friendly and don't require too much effort to coordinate with.

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens Review
 PR Gifted

NAILS | Well, "Holo Fall"!

I'm not to let go of holos and summer yet! What was sad with these photos was that I purposely time my holo manis with the weather going as far as checking the weather for when the sun will be coming out and then painting my nails the night before. The weather report went from sunny one day to cloudy the next which left me with not as holo-looking nails for you to look at, but still pretty at least! 

Fall Nail Art
 Purchased by me

SHEET MASK | Too Cool for School Coconut Milk Cream Mask

Ooh, I am getting here a little late because I decided to do some nails last night instead of prepare this post and then I slept in this morning and made a conscious decision to take it real easy today. It is super smoky in Vancouver from the wildfires in the US so going outside in such poor air quality conditions is not ideal. My poor husband loves going for runs outside now that he works from home, but with his asthma he's been stuck doing workouts at home which I know are not as fun for him. I have been doing Ring Fit, which has been pretty fun, but I am one of those people who wants to collect ALL the coins and explore. In the game you are supposed to be running/jogging, but I am always moving really slowly so that I don't miss picking up any items which kind of defeats the purpose of getting your heart rate up! Thankfully, the battles are more intense! Today's mask is one that I had been trying to get from Sephora for awhile and then once it came back in stock, I never saw it again! It's all very sad, but I think Too Cool for School makes a similar one that might be the same one and is just under a different name? Regardless, this was an interesting cream mask that I hope to try again!

 Purchased by me

MAKEUP | Cheekbone Beauty Lipgloss in Agave and Sundance

I am totally smitten with Cheekbone Beauty in more ways than one! If it weren't for Jenn Harper and her Cheekbone Beauty Team, I would never have known about Coursera's Indigenous Canada course which, as slow as I have been in getting through it, has been an eye opener! If you do end up taking it, you will never look at your Social Studies education or the land you live on the same again. You are going to wonder why it is taking so long for Indigenous people to have the same access to basic rights like education, health services and even clean water! This course has been just the tip of the iceberg as I will Google something that leads me down a rabbit hole of battles the First Nations have been fighting for years. It may sound dramatic, but everytime I use a Cheekbone product, not only do I "ooh and aah" at the pretty shades and performance, but I am continually reminded of how this brand is trying to be different in a "shades of Glossier" beauty space and that I need to do and learn more as my world is still so small when it comes to BIPOC issues. The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society has been really useful to me as this is where I went to learn more about Shannen Koostachin and donate to the Shannen's Dream Foundation.

Cheekbone Beauty Lipgloss in Agave and Sundance
 Purchased by me

SHEET MASK | Soo'Ae HanBang Collection: Collagen, Cica and Hyaluronic Acid

Get ready for some bonus sheet mask reviews as my theme for this month is #SooaeSeptember! I had purchased a number of their masks on my last Walmart trip sometime in 2019 and fully intended to use them that year, but surprise, surprise, I got distracted with other sheet masks! This year I fully intend on making more of dent in not just my sheet mask stash, but in my overall beauty stash as I focus more on contributing financially to my Emergency Fund, RRSPs and TFSA. I also have some big car and house expenses coming up this Fall so with the exception of the Natasha Denona Glam Palette and one more Chromium eyeshadow, I have no immediate plans for anymore beauty purchases. It will need to be either a REALLY good sale or an absolute must-have product (which I realize is all relative)!

Soo'Ae HanBang Collection: Collagen, Cica and Hyaluronic Acid Sheet Mask Review
 Purchased by me

NAILS | Holo and Half Moons #CBBxManiMonday

Just like that, September has arrived and as I write this, I am on my last day of staycation gearing up to head back to work for what has traditionally been a busy time for me (until the end of the year really), but with the effects of COVID I honestly don't know whether I will be busy with business or managing complaints. Oh well, I can't stress about something I cannot control so I will just keep on trucking and continue to be thankful that I still have a job and many pretty beauty things to play with like this new holo polish that Born Pretty sent! They sent it way back in May, but it only made it to by mailbox last week and since I know sunshine will soon be absent in the next few weeks, I am doing my best to showcase all of the holo polishes that have caught my eye this summer! 

Holo Nail Art
PR gifted

SHEET MASK | La Mer Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask

If you haven't figured it out yet, I love my skincare and though I tend to stick with more clinical and/or what are categorized as "green beauty brands", I do occasionally wander over to the old school luxury skincare and beauty houses like La Prairie, Guerlain, Dior and La Mer. I tend to prefer a low fragrance in my skincare and many of these classic beauty houses love a strong floral in their formulations which is a bit of a deterrent for me. If I will most likely be spending a minimum of $200 for a single product, I really want to like it! La Mer is one of those brands where other than the foundation and a sample of their Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Creme, I have been hesitant to take the plunge to try more. Firstly, I have so much skincare at home that I haven't even tried yet, so buying more at a luxury price doesn't seem like the best thing to do, but mainly because I just haven't been intrigued about a product of theirs yet. Then I started researching and found a cult following for La Mer's Treatment Lotion which led me to the Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask! This was my toe in the water before committing to possibly trying the full size product and I have to say, I am DEFINITELY interested in trying it now!

La Mer Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask Review
Purchased by me

SKINCARE | 5 Lightweight Moisturizers That Hydrate and Don't Mess With Your Makeup!

I rarely seek out lightweight moisturizers as my skin is generally normal/dry, but this summer my skin was craving a lighter moisturizer with high spreadability and absorbed quickly. We didn't get too much of a heat wave, but with the layers of setting spray and longwear foundation I have been wearing during the day, I have been hyper aware of my skin and aiming to keep my layers thin and making sure things feel as breathable as possible! All of these moisturizers I am about to share with you are also perfect for underneath makeup and don't mess with your foundation!

Lightweight Moisturizer Review
Some PR gifted and indicated with "*"

MAKEUP | Avon x The Face Shop Ink Tattoo Lip Tints

In this time of mask-wearing, I find that people are either wearing less or MORE makeup. I think it all comes down to your occupation and whether you are on your own or customer facing as you obviously wouldn't be wearing a mask if you are spending most of your time at home. I have been especially focused on lips as I still like wear some sort of colour as my natural lip colour is quite pale. While I have been wearing a number matte liquid lipsticks, for mornings where I am in a rush or just don't feel like taking the time to painstakingly outline my lips (let's face it, a liquid lipstick takes TIME to apply!), a longwearing lip tint has also been working for me. When it comes to lip tints, the Korean beauty world is really where it's at as tints are standard in their makeup looks whether it'd be casual or dressy. Avon and The Face Shop have been really killin' it with the products they have partnered up on and released so here are the Ink Tattoo Lip Tints!

Avon x The Face Shop Ink Tattoo Lip Tints
PR gifted

SKINCARE | 5 Sunscreens (Love & Hate)

Sunscreen, sunscreen and more SUNSCREEN! This part of my skincare routine is just a given, but I recently had a conversation with two colleagues around my age who looked at me like I was batshit crazy when I said "You need to use sunscreen!" They said that because they work "indoors" they don't need it, but we all know that you encounter UV even while working indoors (unless you live in solitary confinement within cement walls). The condition of your skin can be preserved to a large extent just by including this very simple product in your routine and though it might feel like we are just layering product after product, many brands have perfected sunscreen formulations to the point where some feel light as air and don't pill or interfere with your underlying skincare or makeup application. I didn't realize that almost every year I have done some sort of sunscreen roundup and looking back, I've noticed that I've discovered new favourites every year that I hope you will enjoy as well!

Sunscreen Review
PR gifted (except for Biore)

NAILS | Cactus Love #CBBxManiMonday

The last day of August. I cannot believe it! There is something about September that makes me feel like time is speeding up again. I think it's the fact that school starts and then you start seeing Christmas beauty releases. THAT is always what gets me feeling like the year is going to be over so soon, but a part of me wants to just survive it and hope that the rest of the world does too. From now until the end of 2020, we still have a lot of big things on the horizon. We get to see if Trump will still be President, whether COVID will force us to shut down again and whether we will all continue to stand in solidarity with BLM and support BIPOC brands. Now, that I have gone back to work, five days out of the week I am definitely more focused on my job, but I try to have some meditative time at night and on my days off to reacquaint myself with what has been happening outside of my work bubble. 

Cactus Nail Art
 PR gifted

SHEET MASK | Lancome Advanced Genifique Hydrogel Melting Mask

When it comes to classic prestige skincare brands like Lancome, I honestly don't put a lot of stock into their skincare formulations because they generally focus their dollars on celebrity endorsements, advertising and packaging. Key ingredients are always in the bottom half of the list and there is almost always a high amount of silicone-derived ingredients to give you "smoother skin" in an instant and of course a bougie fragrance. I'm not a crazy clean beauty person and don't believe we should ban silicones or the latter, but there is a time and place for both and in the case of the Genifique Hydrogel Melting Mask, I was immediately thrown off by the fragrance, but we will get to that later since the mask itself was not too shabby!

Lancome Advanced Genifique Hydrogel Melting Mask
Purchased by me

MAKEUP | Creme de la Creme Bespoke Beauty Made in Alberta

I remember thinking how awesome it was when the Bite Beauty lab let people create their own customized lip colour and how you could watch and be a part of that process from beginning to end. Until recently, I had no idea that Creme de la Creme existed and that they are a brick and mortar store right in Sherwood Park, Alberta where you can go in, sit down and make not just a lipstick, but eyeshadows too! In times like these where we are all trying to support local Canadian and local businesses, I loved this concept and thought only "cool cities" like NYC would have stores like Creme de la Creme, but there you go! In addition to the bespoke part of their business, Creme de la Creme also has products available for purchase online (also made in Alberta), and I am assuming in-store, which I was fortunate enough to get a chance to try and review for you. I even managed to put together a little makeup look that I thought turned out fairly well!

Creme de la Creme Bespoke Beauty
PR gifted

BODY | 5 Deodorants I Have Been Reaching For

I feel like every year I discover a bunch of a new-to-me deodorants and even though I haven't made a conscious effort to use the more "natural" stuff, those tend to be the deodorants I like. I used antiperspirants for a few years until switching to "salt sticks" in my early 20s which I felt were better for my skin. I feel like sweat is a natural process and I feel bad for my body when I try to stop this process, but then again, I don't sweat a lot or enough to have it be a problem so I might be singing a different tune if that were the case! One tip I picked up from Dr. Pimplepopper of all people was to apply deodorant at night! I don't have showers in the mornings as I have them at night so I apply deodorant after I come out of the shower and I am ready to go in the mornings! 

Some PR gifted (indicated with *)

MAKEUP | Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Mirror Lip Lacquers

I am not wearing anything glossy as often which is a bit sad considering the number of beautifully glossy lip products I own and would love to show off. I have to wear a surgical mask at work provided by my company that touch my lips all the time and am not allowed to wear the more "beaky" fabric masks I have at home that do not touch my lips, so anything that could smear underneath is not an option. I could not resist when I saw just how slick these Mirror Lip Lacquers looked and literally started wearing them as soon as I did the unboxing on Instagram. These are described as a full coverage, high shine, liquid lip lacquers that delivers crazy colour and hydration to the lips while being incredibly comfortable using a "Light Feel System". They also leave a long-wear stain which I guess could work in our new face mask-wearing environments.

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Mirror Lip Lacquers
 PR gifted

NAILS | Kiwis or Bacteria? #CBBxManiMonday

We are getting down to the last of our summer manicures and I have to say that although I am still SHOCKED at how it felt like April one moment and now it's almost 5 months later, I am ready for Fall. I don't know if that's because I just want to see how the rest of 2020 plays out or if I'm just ready for a change. We can all agree that this year has felt like both the longest and shortest year of our lives and I have taken the approach of trying not to take things TOO seriously and just doing what makes me happy. I had said on IG Stories yesterday that I felt a bit grumpy and you know what seemed to cure that? Steaming the floors. There is something so satisfying about walking on freshly cleaned and steamed floors that I immediately felt productive and forgot all about being a grouch! 

Kiwi Nail Art
 PR gifted

SHEET MASK | Bioeffect Imprinting Hydrogel Mask

I cannot say enough good things about BIOEFFECT and though I have not featured this Iceland-based brand on the blog before, you may have seen me mention them on social media multiple times in the past whether it was for an event or for their coveted and hero product - the EGF Serum! I find BIOEFFECT to be such a cool brand because they are actually a "side business" for the much larger biotech company ORF Genetics which focuses on plant proteins for use in medical research, stem cell technology and skincare. You guys know that with my degree in genetics, my ears instantly perk up when a scientist decides to head into the world of beauty, let alone in an area as saturated as skincare. Once I met and listened to, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Bjorn Orvar speak on the products and brand, I knew this was a very different company that prided itself on putting results first with REAL clinical trials of sizeable sample size AND over long periods of time. I feel like if I had known about this brand when I was a student, I would have looked at my career options differently because what Dr. Bjorn is doing now would have been my dream! 

Bioeffect Imprinting Hydrogel Mask Review
 Purchased by me

SKINCARE | O&Young ACME Collection

Though I haven't been using O&Young for very long, I have been thoroughly enjoying the products and trying to learn more about the brand as it began as a plastic surgery hospital in Seoul (still running to this day!) and then formed a stem cell research center in 2008 involved in disease and cosmetic biochemical research. I always have an appreciation for a skincare brand with a more research-based background because of my own background, but it also means that I expect more from these types of brands in terms of ingredients and performance. O&Young did not disappoint and I found the products I was sent quite fascinating in composition and use.

O&Young ACME Collection KBeauty Review
PR gifted

HAIR | ghd Platinum+ Professional Performance 1'' Styler

In the early 2000s, having sleek and straight hair was very in, but growing up with relatively strict Asian parents meant that beauty and makeup items weren't exactly a priority. Even though my hair at the time was wavy and always had a layer of frizz on top, there was nothing I could do except tie it back in a soft scrunchie and hope for the best. I would honestly pray to God the night before for a good hair day because my hair was always such a gamble! In my first year at UBC, I had my first job which meant a little bit of my own money to spend so I bought my first straightener! I was scared of ceramic plates or anything scary and damaging-sounding so I bought a steam-based straightener that I had to fill with water and for once my hair was finally STRAIGHT. 

ghd Platinum+ Professional Performance 1'' Styler Review
 PR gifted

NAILS | Neon Geometric #CBBxManiMonday

It's a hot one tonight with Vancouver being at over 30 degrees today and humid which I know is fairly common out East and in Asia, but here it's not the norm and most houses and apartments do not have air conditioning so it can get really sticky and uncomfortable. I even had a cold shower and now I'm just as hot as I was before so I have a feeling that sleep will not be something I will have a lot of tonight, but thankfully it will cool down later on in the week. I do try to enjoy Vancouver summers as we often get rain most of the year, but feeling hot just makes me feel so unproductive and lazy and I think THAT'S what I don't like about hot weather. Ooh, and as I type this, there is now thunder! 

 Some polishes PR gifted

SHEET MASK | O&Young ACME Beta-Glucan Intensive Moisture Mask

When I think about the number of Kbeauty brands and sheet masks I have yet to try in my lifetime, my eyeballs start to bulge because there are just SO MANY. Even though I got into the Kbeauty game 10 years ago, I never quite caught up and I think I will forever be chasing new products which is fine by me as it means always discovering brands like O&Young, which from what I have pieced together is the parent brand of Candy O' Lady, which is a fun and colourful cosmetics brand with sheet masks I have tried once before. O&Young aims focuses on skincare that repairs damaged skin and I was fortunate enough to have been selected by the Reviews bySophie team to try out a new sheet mask as well as an ampoule and toner that I will have up in a blog post this Friday. I wasn't going to talk about this sheet mask until then, but when I tried it last week I was so blown away that I thought it deserved a place in #SheetMaskSunday!   

 PR gifted

MAKEUP | 5 Eyebrow Pencils That Give My Brows Life

If you had asked me when I first started blogging about my eyebrows and what to do with them, I would have given you a blank stare. I look at back at photos from 10 years ago and it looks like part of my face is missing. I did NOTHING to them so while they have a shape, they are very light as my eyebrow hair is very thin which means that in photos, they really don't show up. Then bushy brows became a thing and everyone needed to be #onfleek so I tried to learn and it really wasn't until five years ago that I felt like my brows looked decent with pencil. Then I got microblading in 2016 and didn't bother with my brows until last year when the tattoo started to fade so now I've had to hone my brow drawing skills again and I have noticed that I constantly reach for the same five eyebrow products so here is why I like 'em!

Eyebrow Pencils
 Some PR samples featured

MAKEUP | Mary Kay Intuitive pH Lip Balms

These Intuitive pH Lip Balms arrived as a beautiful care package from the Mary Kay Canada team during the height of Quarantine and I didn't use them that often until I started going out a bit more and just wanted to wear a tinted lip balm underneath my mask. It's funny how you tell yourself that it doesn't matter what you are wearing on your lips if no one is going to see them, but it totally DOES matter to me! I like knowing that my lips look perfectly blushed and pink underneath probably because I don't have the nicest natural lip colour (I am SO pale) and short of lip tattooing (I have considered it, but I am scared of the swelling and healing!), a pH activated lip balm sounded like the perfect way of hydrating my lips while giving them some much needed colour.

Mary Kay Intuitive pH Lip Balms
 PR gifted

NAILS | Holo Mermaid #CBBxManiMonday

We are more than halfway through the Holo Taco Rainbow Collection and I have been WAITING for this green! I love greens, blues and purples so the last couple of shades will be shades I look forward to trying, but the green is pretty amazing too! This is Green Taffy and in the bottle, I was expecting something like Nubar Reclaim and it is verrrrry similar. I think Green Taffy is a touch brighter and maybe a bit more multidimensional on the holo, but these two polishes are very much in the same family for me. While I obviously HAD to take photo of Green Taffy in its holo glory, I still needed some nail art for our "Summer Lingo" #CBBxManiMonday theme and what goes well with green? Mermaids of course!

Holo Mermaid Nail Art
Some polishes PR gifted

SHEET MASK | Verso Intense Facial Mask

You are probably going to see slightly more sheet mask reviews thanks to embarking on the #100DaysofSheetMask challenge again this week, but instead of putting pressure on myself to review EVERYTHING I use, I focused on dedicating blog reviews to just 2-3 of the more interesting masks out of the 7 I use each week. Maybe it's a brand I love, a cool technology in the mask or some noteworthy ingredients like the Retinol 8 used in the Verso Intense Facial Mask! 

Verso Intense Facial Mask
 Purchased by me

NAILS | Orange and Feathery #MidWeekMani

I so rarely do my nails in the middle of the week, but I have been timing my holo nails with hopefully some sunny days off, which are now Sunday and Monday until further notice, which means that in between, I want to showcase AS MANY summery bright manicures as possible before we say hello to Fall. It's insane that we are already into the first week of August. 2020 is going to be such a weird way to remember things. Already, my memory of things is "Before COVID" or "After COVID" and it's not like COVID is really over either. I just think of March and April as that scary time when we didn't know what things would be like and honestly, with the numbers climbing back up again, I feel like the Fall might be another scary time. I am definitely one of the more cautious people who totally doesn't mind not seeing people in person and if anything, I am a TRUE homebody as I was doing just fine hanging out with my husband and cats, but now that I am at work, I do get some extra socializing so I welcome staying at home. It must be so hard being single now, but at least we might have $100,000 worth of glory holes thanks to YouPorn LOL. If you don't know about this, leave a comment and I will link you the tweet! 

 Polishes PR gifted

LIFESTYLE | What I Learned About Myself and Money in Quarantine and My Plans for 2020

Remember at the beginning of this year when 2020 still seemed like it was going to be ok? We can all agree that every month this year has been intense with all of us having to do some major self-reflection and serious thinking about our futures and how we plan on conducting ourselves. Bad things happen in the world all the time, but COVID-19 shut down THE GLOBE. Every single person on the planet has been united and affected by this incredibly contagious disease and I count my blessings every day that myself and those closest to me are still healthy. While I have been back at work for the last 2 months, being without work for 7 weeks gave me some much needed clarity and I know I am not alone in that. I never thought in my working life that I would have this amount of time off and after freaking out for about a week, I pulled a Carrie Underwood and basically said "Jesus, Take the Wheel". Whatever will be, will be and if I'm going to be at home with nowhere to go, I may as well do what I want on my own terms and in my own time.

NAILS | Holo Ikat #CBBxManiMonday

Today's manicure was somewhat frustrating in that summer heat makes polishes pretty goopy and very rarely do I remove the base colour and redo manicures, but that's what I had to do with this Ikat design. Not only did I have some issues with creating the design, but the application of Holo Taco Lemon Sucker as well. Holo finishes can fix most of my nail polish grievances, but in this case I am really not sure when I will use this shade again other than for a photo prop.

Holo Ikat Nail Art
All polishes purchased by me

SHEET MASK | Mediheal Line Friends Edition

I have a feeling that by now, a large portion of you have seen this rabbit, bear and chick in various places. Originally developed for use as stickers or emojis for the messaging app LINE, Cony (rabbit), Brown (bear) and Sally (chick) now have a following of their own similar to Hello Kitty and the Sanrio gang. Though I consider myself fairly "Canadianized", I will admit that I have sought out LINE friends paraphernalia like cell phone cases and household accessories. When I first picked up the Mediheal Line Friends edition of their bestselling sheet masks, I just thought the packaging was cute and did not know about the characters. I thought this packaging was limited edition, but I have seen it sold in-store and online with updated expiration dates so it looks like you can get them anytime!

Mediheal Line Friends Edition Sheet Mask Review
 Purchased by me

NAILS | Holo Taco "Orange Drink" Swatch

I know that an entire blog post to this ONE colour is totally unnecessary, but the Holo Taco Rainbow Collection deserves all the attention! Each and every nail angle is just pure nail porn and with our summer finally hitting Vancouver two weeks ago, I am going to take advantage of every shred of sunlight I get just to watch my nails sparkle! I thought about doing nail art, but orange is sort of a tough colour to work with and I didn't want to use black and have this be a Halloween nail art post (though I cannot WAIT for Halloween manicures!). With regards to Halloween, the other thing I cannot wait for is wearing a fun face mask to work! We have to wear company-provided surgical masks, but on Halloween I have been all cleared to draw some lips and fangs out of cardboard and stick them on our masks to have a little fun! Yes, I know COVID is terrifying and if we get a round two in the Fall, I might not be so perky about the whole thing, but for now, it's a way of staying positive. 

Holo Taco Orange Drink Swatch
Purchased by me

SKINCARE | COSRX Hydrium Moisture Collection

Up until this point, I had only tried two COSRX products even though they are such a cult favourite when it comes to Korean skincare. Their product line is extensive and I think I just felt overwhelmed since EVERYTHING looked good. With a focus on skin health at an affordable price, COSRX consistently uses ingredients that have been proven to actually DO something. The packaging is simple and the purpose of each product is clear while allowing the user to cocktail and create a skincare regime that suits their lifestyle.

COSRX Hydrium Moisture Collection
PR gifted

NAILS | Summer Fruit Slices with Ella + Mila #CBBxManiMonday

It's officially summertime once I get fruit on my nails! It's also an exciting day because I get to try a new nail polish brand that I have only gotten a chance to admire through swatch videos on YouTube or on Instagram. Say hello to 7-free, vegan and cruelty-free ella+mila, named after the twin daughters of founder, Narineh Bedrossian. These polishes are geared towards all, but especially for young kids who want to spend some quality time with their moms and paint their nails! 

Ella and Mia I Pink I Love You Swatch
Polish provided by PR

SHEET MASK | Yadah Red Energy Mask

Some of you know that I decided not to renew my FaceTory subscription after having it for two years not because of a decrease in quality, but because of the crappy USD to CDN exchange rate. There is also a shipping charge which also gets converted into CDN making it really hard to justify right now. I think we are all trying to be more mindful about where our money goes and I know I can live without buying sheet masks for probably a solid year! What I will miss is the exposure to hard-to-get masks and brands I have never heard of as well as the FaceTory brand of masks which I really enjoy. One of the brands that I have to thank FaceTory for introducing me to is Yadah

Yadah Red Energy Foil Mask
Part of my Facetory subscription

NAILS | OPI "Don't Tell a Sol" #MidWeekMani

I'm going to use these midweek manis to chat as that is something I truly miss now that I am back at work. It is evident that I no longer have as much time for introspection and being as "in touch with my feelings" as before, but I think that might be a good thing. Someone at work noted that I seemed happier and was laughing and joking more. The team we have now is small and we have all spent each and every day together working the same exact shifts for the past 2 months. We get along, no one fights or talks shit about another person and everyone knows their role to keep this machine going. It has been quite incredible to witness and be a part of because I never thought I could feel at peace in an environment I had come to accept, over the past 5 years, as stressful. I'm sure things will change again, but so far so good and I will enjoy it!   

OPI Don't Tell a Sol Swatch
 Polish provided by PR

NAILS | Heating up with Holo Taco with Red Licorice #CBBxManiMonday

Sorry this is coming to you a little late! I had a work training session via Zoom for the whole day that was pretty intense that I had to take a nap right after! I can't believe I have another two more days of virtual role-playing...wish me luck. I had posted a few weeks ago that I rewarded myself with the Holo Taco Rainbow Bundle for my birthday and though it was $98 USD, I am still happy I have this family together as I've always enjoyed Cristine's videos and quirky sense of humor.

Holo Taco Flame Nail Art

 Holo Taco Collection purchased by me