NAILS | In Honour of Indigenous People #CBBxManiMonday

This week's #CBBxManiMonday is a bit delayed on account of the extreme heatwave the Pacific Northwest is having and is an emotionally heavy set of nails. As this is our last week of "Allyship" themed nails, I wanted to pay my respects to the children lost in Canada's residential school system. With the recent discovery last week announced by the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan of 751 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School, this year's Canada Day should be one of listening and acknowledgement of Canada's far from perfect past AND its continuous mistreatment of Indigenous people. Canada Day also happens to be my birthday so I will still be celebrating that, but there will be no Canada Day nails or anything like that happening in this space. This year is especially heavy and we should all feel ok with that.

Indigenous People Month Tribute Nail Art 

Some polishes provided by PR

SHEET MASK | Banobagi Vita Cocktail Foil Brightening Mask

Vancouver is in the middle of a heatwave and I have honestly never encountered temperatures like these in my life here. I mean, we are hitting 40 degrees now and because these temperatures aren't the norm, very few homes have air-conditioning so all I can say is that it has been very uncomfortable the last few days and will continue to be for today and tomorrow. Our place, while normally quite cool as we are shaded by a large tree and face away from the sun, has felt like my own personal oven with no air movement. I feel most badly for our kitties who have been "pancaking it" all over the apartment. We've been changing their water a lot and trying to keep things cool for them. Today's mask is not one I would recommend for hot days like these because the Banobagi Foil Mask will heat up the skin as the foil acts like a little incubator that keeps in moisture in addition to heat.

Banobagi Vita Cocktail Foil Brightening Mask
Purchased by me through my FaceTory subscription

SKINCARE | 5 Chemical Sunscreens

Just when I think I have found THE sunscreens that I plan on using for life, summer brings out a whole new slew of sexy looking sunscreens that I cannot wait to slather all over my face! There were so many new ones I was using this year that I decided to break this round up into two posts - chemical and physical sunscreens. I use chemical sunscreens more often because of the nicer texture and I figured that many of you did as well for the same reasons hence starting the Summer season off with these five chemical lovelies!

Chemical Sunscreens Review
Some PR samples marked with *

NAILS | Rainbow Blobs #CBBxManiMonday

For whatever reason, I had my nails done early Sunday night, but just felt like I didn't have anything I wanted to say about them other than "I blobbed". It was a hot night and I was pretty much ready to go to bed after these bad boys dried because they took FOREVER to do so! Well, we are now officially in summer and 2021 definitely looks more promising than 2020 in terms of travel and seeing people. I think I am one of those people who is incredibly anxious about socializing again as I have loved embracing my true introvertedness. Social outings while fun once I'm at them, are often sources of great mental stress for me which is why I often hate going to multiple events in one day or even just having multiple "relaxing" appointments in one day. You will never catch me doing a pedicure AND massage in one day and those are supposed to be chill activities! I always split things up and even when I think about press events, the past year has taught me that I can live without them. I understand their importance, but I have loved languishing in me time this last year and going at my own pace when it comes to blogging and my personal life. 

Rainbow Blob Nail Art
PR samples

SHEET MASK | Steambase Manuka Honey Propolis Perfect Shield Mask

Just when I think I have caught up with the world of sheet masks, I realize that in the world of Kbeauty, I will NEVER catch up. I don't know how people manage to keep up with the sheet masks that are out there because I have been trying to make room in my office for two years now! I went a bit crazy buying every brand and mask under the sun and I am seeing the error of my ways in terms of lack of moderation. The pandemic changed a lot of things for me and even though I still buy the occasional sheet mask(s), I am nowhere near the level of acquisition I was at before and I am grateful. I did allow myself a large YesStyle purchase back in November of last year as I had my eye on a few Kbeauty products including a new-to-me brand called Steambase. I was immediately attracted to their hexagon logo and minimalistic packaging. Their brand promotes skin balance and health using thermal spring water and botanical ingredients.  

Steambase Manuka Honey Propolis Perfect Shield Mask
Purchased by me

HAIR | 5 Heat Protectants I Use Everytime I Style My Hair

I never thought about how much I use heat protectant until I looked around and saw just how many bottles of the stuff I had and just how empty most of them alllmost were (I'm terrible at sticking to one)! If you have coloured hair, you will understand just how important using a heat protectant can be as it keeps colour in your hair for longer, but in general protects hair from damage from heat styling tools and UV light. A lot of protectants also hydrate, add shine and help to improve hair texture so even if you don't have coloured hair, this isn't a bad product to add to your haircare routine! 

Heat Protectants for Hair Flatlay
Kerastase and Rene Furterer products are PR. Rest purchased by me.

NAILS | Heart Berry for Indigenous History Month #CBBxManiMonday

Continuing on with this month's theme of "Allyship", today's nails are inspired by this Instagram post by Indigenous beauty brand Cheekbone Beauty in honour of the strawberry or as the Anishinaabe First Nations call it, the "heart berry". I loved this photo and the colour scheme creating the dotted heart and thought it would be pretty as a set of puzzle nails! Also if you haven't shopped with Cheekbone Beauty before, they are FANTASTIC! They aren't one of those brands that say all the "clean or green beauty" marketing and don't follow through. They said last year they would endeavour to create sustainable beauty products and they have! From their newest packaging for their SUSTAIN Lipglosses to the wood their eye pencils are made from, they are a brand that has stuck to their guns and made a point of staying away from words like "clean" or "non-toxic". They stick to science and research and on top of it all, donate 10% of their profits to Shannen's Dream. A charity that I now support because Cheekbone Beauty introduced me to this touching cause.   

Heart Berry Dotticure Nail Art
Some PR samples

SHEET MASK | Design Face Pack Star Wars Collection

I've always been a bit of a nerd when it comes to Star Wars and growing up, I had no female friends who liked anything that involved Superheroes, robots or space. It wasn't until university and actually beauty blogging that I found other women who loved beauty, skincare and Star Wars so you can imagine my elation when I found out there were sheet masks out there with superheroes and Star Wars on them! 

Design Face Pack Star Wars Collection Flatlay
Purchased by a friend in Japan

MAKEUP | Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadows with Swatches

I have always liked eyeshadows in stick form because my God are they ever convenient when it comes to covering an eyelid and then quickly lining my lower lash line! In the mornings when I cannot be bothered to think of what sort of colour scheme will go on my eyelids, I know that an eyeshadow stick won't let me down. When it came to colour selection and staying power, I first used the Urban Decay 24/7 chubby eyeshadow sticks and then when those got discontinued, I became obsessed with MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua Shadows which were essentially the same thing. Then my favourite shade 20E got discontinued (it was this metallic champagne) and replaced with something close in the Aqua Matic collection, but still wasn't the same. The closest I have come to is the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow in the shade Moonlight which brings us to the beginning of my Caviar Stick relationship and how one stick became four!

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadows Flatlay
Purchased by me

NAILS | Rainbow Leopard Pride Nail Art #CBBxManiMonday

This month's editions of #CBBxManiMonday will have some extra special meaning as our theme for the month of June will be "Allyship" in honour of Pride and Indigenous History month. I have talked a little bit about my goals in last week's Instagram stories including finishing my Indigenous Canada course, reading more about residential schools and researching local charities who support both LGBTQ+ and Indigenous causes. This is not just a one month thing. This is a way of life that I opened myself up to last year and I can honestly say that when it comes to consumption and beauty, I am much more mindful of where my money goes and making the time to learn about uncomfortable topics that I feel I will never know enough about which is a good thing because it keeps me wanting to know more. 

Rainbow Leopard Pride Nail Art
PR samples featured

SHEET MASK | MasqueBAR Naturals Collection with Mask Selfies

I try my best not to waste water, food and create too much garbage that is going to sit in a landfill somewhere, but unfortunately liking the world of beauty makes that kind of lifestyle somewhat challenging. So much of the packaging is plastic, resin or materials that are un-recyclable so I do feel a sense of guilt having such a hobby. My love for sheet masks further amplifies this so I am really happy to see a few brands coming out with sheet masks that are biodegradable. Now, what's even better than biodegradable sheet masks? The Masque Bar Naturals Collection has been relaunched with both biodegradable sheet masks AND packaging! 

MasqueBAR Naturals Collection Flatlay

PR samples

MAKEUP | Mary Kay Limited Edition Lip Kits

Last month I posted in this space 17x which is actually the most that I have blogged since last September when I was on vacation! While I know blogging is seen as a bit old school now compared to the micro-blogging world of Instagram, I was just having a conversation with my husband where as this will always be a space I enjoy coming to. Moreso than Instagram or other social media because I feel like I have contributed something concrete that can be referenced and Googled. There have been times where I KNOW I have done a mini review on Instagram of a product, but I can't quite remember when I did it and having to scroll through my feed for what feels like an eternity is one of my biggest pet peeves! Having said all that, makeup used to excite me and be a big part of my life and as our world slowly inches back to some level of "masklessness", I can feel my excitement for makeup growing although a few colleagues of mine, whom I work with daily, refuse to get vaccinated because they think the vaccine is harmful so it's very possible that in my work place, I will have to stay masked. For now, I will play with pretty lipsticks and do full makeup looks only on days off!

Mary Kay Lip Kits Flatlay
PR samples