NAILS | Happy NYE and Hello to 2021!

Normally, I don't like to post nail art posts back to back, but this week has been a strange one as I have been working normal hours, but not busy and yet haven't had a chance to sit down and blog. I currently have today and the next three days off so mentally I have been waiting for this time to refresh. I hadn't been sleeping well so I made it a point to stop anything stimulating (like blogging) by 11pm and get ready for bed which is also what led to my lack of posting this week, but all the same it was nice to slow things down this week. 

New Year's Nail Art with Glitter
Some PR samples

NAILS | Look to the Stars #CBBxManiMonday

Alrighty, it's that last week of the year where half the week is "normal" where the mail runs, banks are open and there are no holiday hours followed by the second half where everything is closed and you don't know what day it is because New Years Day is on a weekday. Even during a pandemic, I am still a bit confused, but soon enough it will be 2021. I think because we have all "lost" so much of the year to lockdowns and staying at home, it feels like I just said goodbye to 2019. Though we have all been continuing our days, I feel like I never quite hit "unpause" from March. As my sister-in-law put it, I am cautiously optimistic about 2021, but I have no expectations about whether things will get better. I hope they will, but I am not going to expect the allowance of big gatherings, concerts or not mask-wearing in public spaces to change. It will be interesting to see how the vaccine changes things and how humanity deals with the new coronavirus variant and the way we interact with others going forward. Now, that we have all (hopefully!) celebrated Christmas with our bubble, it's time to celebrate New Year's Eve with the same bubble! My husband and I are again looking forward to a quiet night with some champagne and a nice meal at home as I have been given the gift of Dec.31st - Jan.3rd off! Lots of time to recover and recharge!

Star Nail Art
Press samples

SHEET MASK | JMsolution Marine Luminous Pearl Deep Moisture Mask

I love three step masks as I feel like I am getting a targeted mini treatment all in one little pack! After featuring some "Western" brands the last little while, I feel like it's time to go back to some Korean masks because let's face it, this where almost all sheet masks are made whether the brand is Western or Asian and are often the most innovative and well made. In the sheet mask world, JMsolution masks are part of any sheet mask lovers library as they are easily found, innovative, affordable and best of all, have some great results! 

JM Solution Marine Luminous Pearl Deep Moisture Mask
Purchased by me

NAILS | Gloomy Christmas Trees

I hope everyone had a cozy Christmas Day! I had been looking forward to the day off since last week for no reason in particular other than wanting the whole Christmas season to be over. Generally, I have always found it to be a season that is overhyped and commercialized and though it has its moments of warmth, I think most people can agree that it is generally an exhausting holiday and yet we all still use all of our weekends in December to decorate, cook and see everyone humanly possible that we haven't seen in the last couple of months because it's CHRISTMAS. Oh, and then we spend an INSANE amount of money and feel sad in January when your credit card statements come in! I've always said that we should just be generous, see people and be festive whenever you want during the year because it would be way less stressful! It's also how I feel about goals and resolutions. Don't let January 1st dictate when you start making a change. Do it February 23rd if you need to! I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but it's something that I've realized over the years that has helped me feel more in control which in turn has helped me feel more emotionally stable and able to achieve my goals. This year is obviously a different kind of Christmas and though it was quiet, I was so happy to be able to spend it just with my husband and our cats. We made our own little turkey dinner with stuffing and sides as well as mulled apple cider. It was quiet, peaceful and contained all that mattered in my life so here's to truly appreciating the simple things for 2021 as well!

Gloomy Christmas Tree Nail Art
Press samples

HOLIDAY | Mary Kay Gift Sets and Holiday Fun

Something I have been doing a lot of this year is going through my blog posts and Instagram stories at the beginning of the pandemic to see what I was thinking and my state of mind. I have also been going through blog posts from this time last year when Christmas was "as per normal" and man was I A LOT more stressed! Living the full retail holiday life, balancing dinners and outings had me really exhausted and as terrible as this year has been, this has also been the LEAST stressed I have been in probably over 10 years and it has felt FANTASTIC to let my brain veg and to not give a flying f*** about clients who come at you and forget that the pandemic has changed EVERYTHING. Still, it has been a relatively busy month and as much as I have wanted to blog more, I have been taking my nights and days off very slow and easy which is part of the reason why this Mary Kay post is coming a little later than I would like, but the items were too cute not to share with you all!

Mary Kay Holiday Gift Sets
Press samples

NAILS | Christmas Wreaths #CBBxManiMonday

It's the last #CBBxManiMonday before Christmas! I knew this month would creep up on me and then whaddaya know? It is now the first day of Winter and it actually SNOWED in Vancouver! This is the first real snowfall for us as we generally get a ton of rain (which we did) so it was all very appropriate. I had today off, but I will be working right up until Christmas Day so I don't know how busy it will be. I always mentally prepare myself for busy shoppers and/or ridiculous Christmas miracles and even in this global state, people can still be unreasonable. We received a Christmas card from a client which looked all pretty on the outside, but when we opened it, it turned out to be a complaint that ended with the sentence "so file this in your cupboard of embarrassments". I mean, who takes the time to use an already overloaded mail system (used registered mail) to send something negative like this out into the universe?! Why even bother?!

Christmas Wreath Nail Art
Press samples

SHEET MASK | Biotherm Aqua Flash Masks

This edition of #SheetMaskSunday is coming to you reeeaal late because it has been a busy couple of days at work, but thankfully not as exhausting as previous years as the pandemic has definitely made people slow down with purchasing goods in person which I totally understand as I have been doing the same myself. I did go to the mall to pick up an online order from Lush and while it was generally fairly quiet, some stores like Bath and Body Works had line ups as did Lush, but luckily online pickups mean you go to the front of the line! They also gave me a free FULL SIZE Comforter Bubble Bar with my $35 order so that was kind of cool! 

Biotherm Aqua Flash Mask Review

MAKEUP | Sephora Wild Wishes Holiday Collection

I am almost done the last of my Christmas shopping which has been almost exclusively online save for a few bottles of wine that I would rather not ship. I have asked for digital gift cards this year as I don't want to overload the postal system even more and I LOVE online shopping so having gift cards to play with is a blast for me! My in-laws and I have a shared Google Doc that we have been updating with our wishlist and marking off like a baby/wedding registry as gifts get purchased and as today was my day off, I spent most of the afternoon ticking things off so I'm sure my VISA must be burning from use! Whether you are looking for stocking stuffers or gifts for the beauty lovers in your life, the Sephora Collection always has you covered with a themed collection of brushes, skincare and makeup! When it comes to quality, Sephora has always been one of my favourite "house brands" with products like their #Lipstories Lipsticks and sheet masks and there is no shortage of any of these items in this year's collection!

Sephora Wild Wishes Holiday Collection
Press samples

NAILS | Have Yourself a Little Disney Christmas #CBBxManiMonday

Since it's the holidays, my work has decided to open up to 6 days a week as it used to be 5 due to the COVID situation, skeleton staff etc. We have more people back now there is a little more room to breathe especially during a busy season like this one, but I'm sure it comes as no surprise that this year is a different one. Never before has online shopping become so important which has resulted in the quietest retail season I have ever participated in! By this time of the month, I am usually run off my feet, grumpy at the level of social energy I need to exude on a daily basis and trying to figure out who to see and eat with each weekend until New Year's. A huge part of me is relieved that I don't feel any of this anxiety this year. I am almost ashamed to admit that COVID and its restrictions has fed right into my TRUE introvertness and I now believe that I am a true loner who just knows how to function socially when I need to!  

Disney Christmas Nail Art
Press samples

SHEET MASK | Farmacy Brightening and Hydrating Coconut Gel Sheet Mask

Call it one of the many things I have learned in 2020, but I have become less tolerant of drama in both my daily and beauty life meaning that I find myself making decisions about brands, situations and people far more quickly than before and don't stew about the results afterwards. (Un)surprisingly, this has resulted in a drastic reduction of the beauty Youtube channels I used to watch as I just got tired of either apology or "my truth" videos where people/brands obviously weren't sorry or were flat out dishonest. I'm not too sad though because the last couple of months have given me time to (re)discover some brands that keep it breezy and just do what they do best like Farmacy!

Farmacy Brightening and Hydrating Coconut Gel Sheet Mask
Purchased by me

BATH | Lush Christmas Collection

It's that time of year where we all stock up on Lush bath goodies and try to imagine all that self-pampering that we plan on doing for the coming year. I used to stock up like CRAZY on bath goodies only to use them a year later because "I never had the time for a bath". I stopped this practice late last year and just started forcing myself to take baths for a few reasons: one to read more as I get bored easily in a bath and reading was the perfect way to pass the time AND two, to start using my bath bomb stock. This turned into a bit of an obsession and then the pandemic came where we all got stuck at home and self-care activities like baths became one of things I really looked forward to in the day. Now, I am a diehard bath bomb addict and cannot wait to hop into the tub with my fizzy friends! 

Lush Christmas Collection 2020
Press samples

NAILS | Hi, Rudolph! #CBBxManiMonday

We are one week into December and does it feel like the holidays yet for you? I am usually very anxious this time of the year stressing about whose house we are at for dinner, gifts to get and being alone for half of December as my husband usually visits his family in Montreal (I can never go because I work retail so this is obviously the busiest time of the year). This year is very different though and for the third time ever in our 15 year relationship, we will be spending Christmas together which is something I am looking forward to. 

Rudolph Nail Art
Press samples

SHEET MASK | Jayjun Cosmetic x Drew Barrymore "The More" Collection

I was quite surprised when I saw this collaboration as Drew Barrymore was the last celebrity I would have imagined partnering up with a Korean beauty brand! Released in 2018, this collection is modeled after Drew's favourite Jayjun mask, the Baby Pure Shining Mask which I have reviewed before and LOVED and comes in three steps. These are one of my favourite ways of masking as I find it so cute and efficient to have my entire skincare routine all in one little compact package. Whenever I travelled, these were the masks I would take as it made packing skincare a tad more efficient. I picked up all three masks from "The More" Collection each with its own unique skincare focus. 

Jayjun Cosmetic x Drew Barrymore "The More" Collection
Purchased by me

MAKEUP | Avon Glimmershadow Liquid Eyeshadows with Swatches and Makeup Looks

Well, it looks like the only makeup products you will see reviewed on the blog here are eyeshadows because my work face right now is ONLY about the eyes! It's interesting how all of us suddenly have very different routines now depending on how COVID has affected our jobs and daily lives. If your job has moved you to being at home, makeup is either non-existent or there to keep you presentable or just feeling good. If you work outside like me and have to wear a mask everyday, you can still wear all of the makeup you want, but I think eventually the focus ends up being on the upper half of your face! I never used to wear undereye concealer, but now that a face mask stops right underneath my eyes and allows one's eye to zero in on that area, I make the effort in the mornings to make sure I look perky there! I have actually been using the Avon Cashmere Concealer because it is so lightweight and blendable. Once I'm done with the colour correcting, I can move on to the eyeshadow which for the last 2 weeks has been the Avon Glimmershadow Liquid Eyeshadows!

Avon Glimmershadow Liquid Eyeshadows
Press samples