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)