NAILS | OPI "The Pearl of Your Dreams" Swatch #CBBxManiMonday

OPI "The Pearl of Your Dreams" Swatch 

Press sample

I know, I know this is a bit of cop out doing just a swatch for a manicure, but honestly it has been such a ridiculous past week that this was all I could muster. While we didn't have quite the retail turnout we were hoping for, my week did end with a bang as the cold weather/tons of rain wreaked havoc on our building at work so we are dealing with the aftermath of that! All I can say is that it was crazy and such an appropriate way to close out the retail season, but then I worked yesterday which was very busy! It's not normally very busy for us on Boxing Day as we don't do anything special in the way of sales, so people were just buying at regular price and enjoying being out and about since the weather was so bad leading up to Christmas.

SHEET MASK | Guerlain Abeille Royale Honey Cataplasm Mask

 Guerlain Abeille Royale Honey Cataplasm Mask

Purchased by me

Merry Christmas everyone! Had I planned wisely, I would have a Christmas-themed sheet mask for today, but instead I will provide so holiday sparkle with my most expensive mask in my current collection! While most of my sheet masks are in the more reasonable price range of $5-$15, occasionally I like to dabble in the "exquisite" and one of the masks that has been on my wishlist for years has been the Guerlain Abeille Royale Honey Cataplasm Mask. With its $159 price tag for a box of four masks, you can see what I have been holding off on this purchase! I finally decided to take the plunge during this Fall's Sephora VIB Rouge event and grab a box! 

HOLIDAY | Sephora Wishing You Collection

Sephora Wishing You Collection
Press samples

I honestly had no plans to do any holiday blog posts just because of my crazy retail schedule, but for Sephora I will make an exception as this year's "Wishing You" gift sets were just too cute to not share! As always, Sephora has come out with a plethora of affordable holiday sets of showcasing their house brand which is actually one of my favourite brands to date. Their sheet masks and matte lipsticks are among my favourite in my collection to use which is saying a lot!

NAILS | Christmas Trees #CBBxManiMonday

Christmas Tree Nail Art 

Press samples

My nails are going to be the coffin shape for awhile as my pink broke shortly before I did this manicure so I had to make my nails even more narrow to compensate! On a positive note, it does give me some time to be creative with manicures that make use of this more triangular shape. I am on the home stretch this week when it comes to work as this is the final week until Christmas which falls on a Sunday. I will be spending it all by my lonesome which is totally fine by me as the longer hours of having to be an extrovert have been getting more and more challenging as the days go by. I look forward to recharging my introverted batteries for 2023 as things will get busy again for Lunar New Year which is a big deal at my work because of our mainly Asian clientele. 

SHEET MASK | Di Morelli Hydrating Face Mask

Dr. Morelli Hydrating Face Mask Review
Press sample

This week's sheet mask is from Vancouver-based brand Di Morelli created by Dr. Morrell who founded the Medical Rejuvenation Centre in 1999. I am most familiar with their Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eyes as years ago, it was one of the few vitamin C serums that was potent yet gentle enough to be used around the eyes. A couple of months ago, I discovered Di Morelli had sheet masks so HAD to give them a go!

SKINCARE | Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Travel Kit for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Travel Kit for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Press samples

Maybe it's a combination of the weather and getting ever closer to 40, but I have really been noticing how dry my skin has been since the start of the Fall season whether it's the inside of my nose, my hands or my face. Usually a sheet mask helps significantly, but as of late even my tried and true "sheet mask moisture providers" have needed a little bit of a boost. Thankfully, I have discovered some gloriously moisturizing products this season with Korean skincare brand Physiogel with my initial introduction to the brand being their sheet mask which I loved! 

NAILS | Candy Cane French Manicure #CBBxManiMonday

Candy Cane Nail Art
Press samples

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I have had a very tiring and hectic week with work and I think it's only going to get more intense as we get closer and closer to Christmas. I had other plans for today's nail art, but time eluded me yesterday as I struggled to both relax and get everything I wanted to done. After breaking a nail and having to go coffin nails again, I thought trying out this style of freehand candy cane nail art might be interesting! 

SHEET MASK | Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask

Purchased by me

I have just come off the busiest two days I have had this entire year as I have taken on a new role at work that required two days of full attention meeting with reps and talking marketing strategy for 2023. We also had a 12 hour day on Saturday that involved a late dinner so as an introvert, I am in desperate need for re-charging! I DID manage to do a whopping TWO additional blog posts than the weeks before so that IS something I will celebrate!

HAIR | Carina Organics Citrus Shampoo and Sweet Pea Conditioner

 Carina Organics Citrus Shampoo and Sweet Pea Conditioner

Purchased by me

Local love has been a focus of mine since the pandemic started and though I have shopped from Sephora and other American sites here and there, I have tried my best to keep it local (also I don't like the exchange rate!) and more importantly to products and brands that I truly enjoy. Carina Organics was started in North Vancouver back in 1972 and is still family-owned and run! Their claim to fame, at least when I first heard of them, is their shampoos and conditioners which are pH-balanced, vegan, cruelty-free, safe in rivers, lakes and oceans AND made with ingredients sourced locally! It really doesn't get better than that!

NAILS | The Elves Have Come Out to Play! #CBBxManiMonday

Elf Nail Art
Some press samples

I mentioned in yesterday's #SheetMaskSunday post that I wanted to take control of December and not let it stress me out or make me feel pressured in any way and though I am not entirely sure of how I will do that, I felt pretty good about myself yesterday. I stocked up on canned goods and groceries that will last as I will not have time to go out to get food much starting tomorrow. I also got the kitties some extra canned food and also started planning out my meal deliveries as I will be on my own on Christmas Eve (don't feel sorry for me as people in retail generally want to be alone to decompress on this day) and want to do as little cooking as possible since I will be working until 5:30pm that day. This little bit of preparation has made me feel better and then later today, I am going to get one gift for a coworker just so I don't have to go on the weekend when it might be busier. I have also made a small to-do list for the week which I can hopefully accomplish, but have told myself that it's ok if I don't as nothing on it is life or death.

SHEET MASK | Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Cream Mask

Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Cream Mask
Purchased by me

I did not mean to take such a long break from the blog this past week, but I was still playing catch up at work and was coming home feeling just spent from the day! This upcoming week is going to be a busy one with our new Chaumet boutique opening, but I would like to be as in control of this week and really the month of December as possible! Maybe that should be my mental hashtag for the month, #TakingControlOfDecember and I will try to do something every day this month to stay present as I also try to survive retail during the holidays since it always ends up being a bit of a gong show leading up to Christmas!

NAILS | Purple Polka Dots #CBBxManiMonday

Purple Polka Dots Nail Art
Press samples

This doesn't look like a Fall manicure, but both of these shades are from the OPI Fall Wonders 2022 collection! There is also a bright coral shade in the collection as well so it just goes to show that sometimes Fall collections aren't necessarily all vampy shades. With losing a week to Covid last week and playing catch up at my day job, the blog has been a hard one to maintain and now with the holiday season revving up, I doubt I am going to be able to get back into the swing of things for blogging. I have one or two holiday things to discuss, but other than that, I have left it all very open-ended as I don't like to put a ton of pressure on myself for December. Getting sick for the first time in a long time was enough of a reminder to take care of myself!

NAILS | Chocolate and Gold #CBBxManiMonday

Brown and Gold Nail Art
Press samples

I have a good excuse this time for such a late #CBBxManiMonday post and that is that I finally caught the Covid. I started feeling under the weather over the weekend, but tested negative and then progressively developed a sore throat, cough and more congestion and then by Sunday had my two lines. As of yesterday night, I am still testing positive, but feeling a little better. It probably was the worst week to get sick as there is just so much going on. I just dread the amount of catch up I will have to do when I get back to work as there was only so much I could field at home through email feeling how I felt the first few days. Today is the first day where I have been able to stay conscious for more than a few hours without wanting to crawl into bed.

SHEET MASK | Pyunkang Yul Black Tea Revitalizing Mask

Pyunkang Yul Black Tea Revitalizing Mask

Purchased by me

Pyunkang Yul has been on my to-try list ever since its launch in 2016 because of their holistic take on skincare and their gentle, but efficient products for all skin types. The other reason I was interested in the brand was because it was created by the Pyunkang Korean Medine Hospital, a Korean traditional medicine clinic in Seoul specializing in atopic skin disorders. I always find it fascinating that there are a number of Korean skincare brands born out of clinics or hospitals. If only there was a L'oreal Medical Hospital! 

EXPERIENCE | Getting Dermaplaned and a Lash Lift and Tint at Mint Smilebar

Completely bare face with basic skincare and sunscreen. 

The act of face shaving or eliminating the fine peach fuzz on the face is something I was taught to do as a young teenager. My mom often picked up face shavers at the Asian grocery stores and though I never did my entire face, I have always kept these little razors in my bathroom for cleaning up around the moustache area. I love watching facial services on YouTube as a form of relaxation and when I came across dermaplaning, I started looking into whether there were any places in Vancouver I could get this done. Obviously, Instagram read my thoughts and started recommending Vancouver-based Mint Smilebar through my ads and as they were doing a promotion in combination with a lash lift, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get it done!

NAILS | Fall Nails aka Star Trek Uniform Colours? #CBBxManiMonday

Fall Nail Art
Press samples

I have been trying to showcase as many Fall nail polish shades as possible, but let me tell ya, as pretty as they all are, I often have a hard time figuring out what to pair together so when I put together this manicure using this year's OPI Fall Wonders collection, I thought "wow, these shades seem so cohesive!" and it wasn't until the next day that I realized the reason I liked this combination. These are the uniform colours of officers on Star Trek! Red (those in command), Gold (engineering), Blue (science) and Grey (ensign)! I am a Star Trek fan so I guess my brain subconsciously picked this combination of shades!

SHEET MASK | The Creme Shop My Melody Softer than Cookies Sheet Mask

The Creme Shop My Melody Softer than Cookies Sheet Mask

Purchased by me

This is the LAST mask of my The Creme Shop x Sanrio haul from a lifetime ago and oddly enough the expiration date for these masks that I purchased way back in October 2018 was this year so I think that's why I kept putting off reviewing them. I just thought I had all of this time! Truthfully, there are so many more cool sheet masks that I would like to still review that have probably long been discontinued, but the crazy person in me feels that I owe to my love of sheet masks to give them a post! 

HAIR | Chi Essentials Keratin and Bonding Collection

Chi Essentials Keratin and Bonding Collection
Press samples

It has been ages since I have reviewed some haircare as it is actually one of my favourite categories of beauty to test out after skincare! I try to test out new things every month, but with September being #SampleSeptember, I focused on using up my little deluxe haircare sizes and then October just got too busy, but for the past month or so, I have been using 
Chi Essentials Keratin and Bonding Collection and have had a hard time giving it up to move on to another brand!

NAILS | Biosculpture Lake Louise and Spectrolite #CBBxManiMonday

Biosculpture Lake Louise and SpectrolitePress samples 

It has been a busy last few weeks and now for the month of November, I have a number of social engagements related to my job as my title will be changing a bit in a few weeks. It's a good thing, but being naturally introverted, I know that my energy levels will be very delicate after back to back events and "schmoozing". I hope I can survive and I will try to take as many "mental health" days as possible. Then I feel that especially for those of us who work in the retail world, from November to the end of the year, it's just go go go. I will welcome a quiet January 2023 with open arms! 

SHEET MASK | Pure Smile Edo Art Face Mask Set

Pure Smile Edo Art Face Mask Set Review

Given as a gift

For last month, I tried to use more printed masks in October in honour of Halloween and the ones I was most looking forward to using were these Edo Art Face Masks from Pure Smile! Pure Smile actually does quite a few printed masks with some really good patterns and kabuki prints are one of them so when my husband's coworker went to Japan, she picked these up for me!

NAILS | OPI Infinite Shine Clean Slate Swatch and Midweek Catch Up

OPI Infinite Shine Clean Slate Swatch
Press sample

I felt like October was the longest month ever. I feel like a lot happened last month. I finally got my hair done which is always a bit of a production as I do my balayage once a year with my favourite Civello stylist, but he is a 45 minute drive from where I live so not exactly the closest. It's also what I call a very "active" drive meaning that there is no highway involved and I am forced to go through downtown where there is currently no shortage of construction and detours. I generally don't enjoy driving so I always have to mentally prepare for our 4 hour sessions knowing that after sitting in a car for an hour, I will be sitting again. 

NAILS | Cadillacquer Stygian and Spiders #CBBxManiMonday

 Cadillacquer Stygian and Spiders

Purchased by me

Last week was a rough one for me as in addition to worrying like crazy about the kitties, we have been preparing and then doing Inventory which has led to a few 14 hour days and my going to bed much earlier than usual! Luckily, it looks like the kitties are more tolerant of each other though we still separate them if we are not around to supervise as Huxley can get super intense and likes charging at Harper to play. I feel like I will still be playing catch up on things (if I ever do) for awhile. The motivation to blog and get out content has become increasingly less important since Hugo died and I have allowed myself to live in this blogging funk and just post what I have the energy for. Nails and skincare seem to be it and while I do miss my makeup posts, I can never bring myself to put in the hours of work for a makeup look that I used to.  

SKINCARE | Dermabeam Pro LED Light Therapy for the Skin

Dermabeam Pro LED Light Therapy for the Skin

This is a sponsored post.

Phototherapy has become more popular in skin and healthcare resulting in collagen production, acne treatment, reducing inflammation and even increasing brain function (Naeser et al, Oct 2022)! There was a time when I thought LED light therapy was only going to be available at a medispa or at an insanely expensive price point. For awhile, getting your hands on one those fancy LED light masks was pricey and from what I had read and even just by visual inspection, the masks looked heavy and uncomfortable.  While I love my skincare devices, I didn't want to invest in something that would be expensive and uncomfortable to use so getting the chance to try out the Dermabeam Pro was honestly something I was excited to experience and review!

NAILS | Jack O' Lanterns #CBBxManiMonday

Jack O' Lantern Nail Art
Press sample

We have had our new kitty Huxley for about a week now and it has been...a challenge getting him integrated into our home and not because he doesn't want to be part of it! He was rarin' to leave the bathroom and see the rest of our space within 48 hours, but our resident princess Harper has been less than pleased with this new young boy in her space. While I thought she was needing someone to play with, it seems she finds young Huxley a bit annoying so we have been trying to get them to play together. She seems to be hissing at him a little less now, but if he charges at her or gets too close, she hisses at him. She also hissed at him from super far away when he got really excited over a paper bag so I think she just hisses whenever she doesn't like noise or sudden movements. She does this with my husband's shoes too if they are too big. He once had MukMuk slippers and she found those terrifying! I am hoping things get better between the two of them as we only adopted Hux as a companion for Harper. We are still grieving Hugo though it helps a bit that Hux looks a lot like him. 

SHEET MASK | Toy Story Trio of Masks from Japan!

Toy Story Sheet Mask Review

Purchased by a friend

I have really great clients and the ones I have gotten to know really well over the years are well aware of my love of skincare and sheet masks. One of my clients had gone to Japan and brought me back a couple of Japanese skincare must-haves as well as these Toy Story sheet masks! She had mentioned that she bought them because the packaging was super cute and we hoped that the actual masks would be too! 

NAILS | Mustard Dots #CBBxManiMonday

Fall Nail Art

Press samples

This past weekend has been a bit of a blur as we picked up our kitty, Huxley, on Saturday morning! He is a very shy boy so he is still living in the bathroom (though he escaped to our bedroom briefly!). He has tried a few times to leave, but Harper is hissing at him which is freaking him out. She hissed at Hugo too, but he just ignored her. Unfortunately, Hux is far too docile so he just retreats back to his cat carrier when she hisses. He also meowed ALL NIGHT in the bathroom at the top of his lungs so we barely got any sleep. How can cat vocal chords not get tired?? I am glad I did my nails ahead of time because I had ZERO energy to do anything this weekend after the long drive to pick him up, making sure he was ok and then listening to him sing all night.

SHEET MASK | Dr. Althea Natural Brightening Velvet Mask

Dr. Althea Natural Brightening Velvet Mask

Purchased by me

The FaceTory subscription used to include sheet masks from all different brands which I loved. Now, FaceTory has eliminated all third party brands and their subscription solely focuses on their house brand which is quite nice, but the main reason I liked the subscription was to discover fantastic sheet mask brands like Dr. Althea! This brand has won me over with their packaging (whether it's square or rectangular), their unique ingredients and the way their masks fit.

SHEET MASK | The Creme Shop Keroppi Sooper Soothe Sheet Mask

The Creme Shop Keroppi Sooper Soothe Sheet Mask
Purchased by me

I remember when I first saw these The Creme Shop x Sanrio sheet masks launch a few years ago and I bought every single one from The Creme Shop website because at the time they were limited edition. Fast forward to now when the Sanrio line is part of the normal collection and I needn't have rushed to purchase them like a crazy person. I am glad the masks are here to stay as they are among the cuter printed masks on the market! Keroppi is one of my favourite Sanrio characters and he "lives on the edge of Donut Pond, the largest and bluest pond around". When I was a teenager, Keroppi and Bad Badtz Maru were like my spirit animals so it feels nice to still have them around in some form as an almost 40 year old woman!

NAILS | Candy Corn Gradient 2022 Version #CBBxManiMonday

Candy Corn Nail Art
Press sample

I totally did not realize that today was actually Thanksgiving (it kind of crept up on us don't you think?) so I didn't think to do Turkey nails, but here we are with an updated version of candy corn nails instead! The last time I did candy corn nails was almost 10 years ago in 2013 the month of our wedding! I had done them as a tutorial post for another "supposedly bigger" blog which in retrospect was probably not the best decision as this was a time where I was"ok" with doing a ton of work for "exposure" instead of what I really should have asked for, which was MONEY. When I started receiving nail polish PR on my own, the person behind this blog (who was in PR themselves), accused me of using PR that was meant for their content for my own since they were the one who "passed my name along". I had emails to prove that these companies never had my name on their press lists until I emailed them myself. In the end, the relationship died out and I never heard from this person again nor did I ever see their name pop up in the PR world, so know your worth people!

SHEET MASK | Special Edition Mary Kay 2-Step Hydrating Sheet Mask

Special Edition Mary Kay 2-Step Hydrating Sheet Mask
Press sample

I am so glad sheet masks are still in because even though I have far too many for any human, my eyes still light up when I see a new mask being released! I was not expecting Mary Kay to create another sheet mask as their biocellulose one is QUITE nice, but I welcomed with open arms the new special edition 2-Step Hydrating Sheet Mask which is one of those "poppable" masks to ensure the freshest mask possible!

NAILS | Tiny Skeleton Bones #CBBxManiMonday

 Skeleton Nail Art

Press sample

After more than 10 years of doing Halloween nail art, I honestly feel like I am redoing things I have done before and that's ok since my skills 10 years ago are not the same as they are now! There are always some basic designs that I feel need to be done every year like the pumpkins, spiders and blood, but I am going to see if I can try some different things or improve upon older manicures. This year, I happen to have very looooong coffin-like nails so I wanted to take advantage of the length and when I found these tiny skeleton nails from @kuypernailart, I knew I was off to a good start! The bones were a bit intricate to draw, but I think it turned out really well!

SHEET MASK | Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Face Mask

Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Face Mask
Press sample

I talked about Skin Republic at the beginning of this year (my how time has flown) and have been sitting on the review of this Retinol Hydrogel Mask because the "incubation time" on the face is almost an hour! Though I leave on my sheet masks for longer than the usual 15-20 minutes, the recommended 40 minutes for this hydrogel mask seemed just a touch too long. 

NAILS | OPI Infinite Shine Don't Wait. Create. Swatch and Catch Up

OPI Infinite Shine Don't Wait. Create. Swatch
Press sample

I haven't been good about doing "Five on Friday" posts and maybe it's time to start again because I have allowed myself to let everything go since Hugo died almost 2 months ago. These last few days, things have started to feel fresh again and it has brought me back to those moments of aching sadness where I just cannot believe he is gone. Harper is lonely now, it is evident in the change in her behaviour so we have started poking around local shelters to see if there might be a suitable cat buddy for her. Preferably a younger male kitty who can keep her on her toes as she likes to play and chase. The search is something that makes me feel sad, but at the same time I feel like having a second cat in the house will help us move forward with our grief. 

SKINCARE | Birch + Beauty Renew Daily Anti-Aging CBD Moisturizer and Lavender CBD Soap Bar

 Birch + Beauty Renew Daily Anti-Aging CBD Moisturizer and Lavender CBD Soap Bar
Press samples

It has been no secret that CBD has become a big part of my life as it has helped me with sleeping more soundly at night and be less of a grump during the work day. While I am generally a CBD gummy and tincture gal, I have tried a couple of topical CBD products including bath bombs, pain balms and moisturizers through local CBD retailers in Vancouver, but the one I have shopped the most with is Birch + Fog! In addition to carrying a ton of brands and products (both THC and CBD), they also have their own house brand of products with Birch + Beauty being the latest addition to their CBD product line up! 

MAKEUP | Sprout Plantable Eye and Browliner

Sprout Plantable Eye and Browliner
Press sample

That's right. PLANTABLE makeup - it actually exists! While I had heard of plantable writing pencils before, plantable makeup liners were something that had not crossed my inbox until this summer! Founded in 2013 by Michael Stausholm, Sprout was the first plantable writing pencil which was a sustainable way of giving a second life to otherwise a very short and unusable pencil!

NAILS | Grey Abstract #CBBxManiMonday

Grey Abstract Nail Art
Press samples

This nail art was a bit of a surprise as I was so tired over the weekend that I had initially just painted my nails grey and intended on leaving them that way until last night when I just couldn't resist the urge to do some experimenting with colours. While I am not thrilled with the final result, it was a bit more interesting that just a plain swatch! 

SHEET MASK | Wonjin Effect Medi Energy Infusion Sheet Mask

Wonjin Effect Medi Energy Infusion
Purchased by me

Wonjin Effect is one of my FAVOURITE Korean sheet mask brands and it was also one of the first brands introduced to me when I first got started on my sheet mask journey back in 2018. After trying a couple of masks from them, I have yet to be disappointed and find myself repurchasing them by the pack! Today's #SheetMaskSunday is no exception!

NAILS | The Chocolate French Manicure #CBBxManiMonday

Chocolate French Manicure
Press samples

Ooh, I know I am pushing it here calling this a ManiMonday post on a Wednesday, but if you did see me in person on Monday you would have seen me wearing these nails! It was just a busy week and I didn't feel like pushing myself. It was a long work week with the next two weeks picking up in steam as well and then it will soon be Christmas if you can believe it! I have been "self-medicating" with some cake and chocolate everyday so when I was thinking about what to do for this week's manicure, I had dessert on the mind! 

SHEET MASK | L'Occitane Immortelle Hydration & Glow Sheet Mask

L'Occitane Immortelle Hydration & Glow Sheet Mask Review
Purchased by me

Not gonna lie, but my sheet mask self-care routine has taken a nosedive mainly due to stress. After I have my showers at night, I have been opting to just curl up on the couch while watching Schitt's Creek which I have watched in its entirety before and it is just as funny and heartwarming with each iteration. I think back to July when I had more than a month's worth of #SheetMaskSunday posts queued up and how proud of myself I was, but for now I think my focus will have to be on my mental health and my day job. While I hate doing work things on my days off, that is exactly what I did this morning just so I wouldn't feel quite so stressed when I back in the office on Tuesday. There just never seems to be enough time in the day! 

SKINCARE | Bondi Sands Pure Self Tanning Sleep Mask

Bondi Sands Pure Self Tanning Sleep Mask

Press sample

I had planned on talking about self tanners and being glowy for summer a loooong time ago having tested this Bondi Sands Self Tanning Sleep Mask back in July when I was on vacation, but fate intervened and all things beauty were put on hold for a bit. I guess we still want to look glowy in the dead of winter so maybe this product can still be of use to some of you!

NAILS | Abstract Fall with the OPI Fall Wonders

Abstract Fall Nail Art
Press samples

I started watching She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+ last week and I am enjoying it! I love the little cameos and Tatiana Maslany is pretty cool as a Hulk! I have been playing the last week by ear in terms of blogging and even though the thought of scheduling posts and being on top of things for the Fall is enticing, when I have my sad moments I just let myself fall into them. If all I want to do is veg on the couch after work and watch Schitt's Creek, that's what I will do. I try not to feel guilty about the fact that I haven't posted much in the way of press samples or blog posts, but I am realizing that grief is its own creature and I also have to let it run its course instead of setting deadlines for myself. 

SHEET MASK | Papa Recipe Bombee Pore Ampoule Honey Mask

Papa Recipe Pore Ampoule Honey Mask

The last Papa Recipe sheet mask I reviewed here was less than impressive compared to its siblings (Green Honey Mask) when it comes both to fit and general results which was surprising as after trying four different Papa Recipe masks all had been successes. Having said that, I got back on the Papa Recipe train when I saw the Pore Ampoule Honey mask on sale at T&T and crossed my fingers that I would be wowed!

NAILS | Back to School with "Mean Girls" #CBBxManiMonday

Mean Girls Nail Art
Some polishes are press samples

I was feeling mentally better this weekend. I wasn't sure if I would be participating in today's #CBBxManiMonday as I have been through a wealth of emotions the last week with having my Hugo moments as well as dealing with an uncomfortable situation at work that left me absolutely seething for a few days. Alas, I found a mental trick to deal with it and I think going forward I will be able to handle it! Now, there is something about September that makes me think of a fresh start even though I am no longer a student. I wanted to do some Back to School-themed nails, but because I had done "school supplies" before, I wanted to do something a little different which brings us to...Mean Girls!

SHEET MASK | The Oozoo Fresh Capsule Mask Royal Jelly

The Oozoo Fresh Capsule Mask Review
Purchased by me

Ok, here we are with my first sheet mask review since my hiatus. This was actually the last sheet mask I used the night before Hugo got sick. The first night we took him into the emergency vet, I really didn't feel up for self-care in any form and subsequently, as Hugo's prognosis didn't seem to improve, I didn't bother with sheet masking until last week. As much as I wanted to get back into blogging to the level that I was at before, it just is not going to happen. I have been pretty tired after work and then a couple of days ago something rather unpleasant and annoying happened at work that I am still in the process of dealing with, but I am hoping that it will all be resolved by the end of the week. 

NAILS | Neon Watermelons #CBBxManiMonday

Watermelon Nail Art
Press samples

It only seems fitting that my first post back after a 2 week hiatus be a #CBBxManiMonday. In truth, I actually had these nails done and ready to post at the very beginning of the month as a I did them over the BC Day long weekend, but then Hugo got sick a few days later and the rest is history. While I am not a superstitious person, the last time I painted watermelon nails and posted them was the week Hemingway was diagnosed with liver cancer so I haven't done them since. This year, I decided to it was time to redo them and I even told my husband my thoughts on watermelon nails the night I did them and he said it was silly to think that anything would happen to Hugo should I do watermelon nails. Again, not to say that I believe my watermelon nails caused Hugo's death, but it's strange to think that less than a week after painting them, he was gone. Suffice it to say, I am never going to do watermelon nails again just to avoid tempting fate. 

LIFESTYLE | Pet Grief and Losing Hugo

I have been trying to write a "normal" beauty post for over a week now and I can't so I thought maybe I needed a post in between to settle my mental state and act as a bridge of sorts to connect the last post (which I had scheduled and written a week beforehand) to now. If you follow me on social media, you will know that we lost our beloved kitty Hugo in the early morning hours of August 7th. On my boy's 8th birthday. Just three days prior, he was his normal, annoying self and had even snuggled with me, as he did every night, and gone to sleep nestled in my arms. The next morning, I noticed he seemed to be in pain and was walking slowly. He did not come for breakfast or treats which, like most cats who are very food-motivated, was very unusual. He looked nauseated and had had an episode similar to this in June that resolved itself in about 3 hours with no symptoms afterwards so my husband and I decided to go to work and hope that it would clear up when we got home. Obviously, that didn't happen and Hugo spent his last three days alive at Canada West under observation. 

SHEET MASK | Dr. Althea Recovery Solution 2 Step Mask

Purchased by me

I will admit that packaging again was what gravitated me towards this Dr. Althea mask, but I have also always had great luck with this brand and had no doubts about this sexy-looking two-stepper!

SHEET MASK | Soo'AE Tea Story Black and White Tea Masks

Soo'AE Tea Story Black and White Tea Mask

Purchased by me

If you are looking for fun, food-related sheet masks that are affordable and most importantly of good quality, Soo'Ae is the place! I have reviewed a number of Soo'Ae sheet masks here, all of which have been of impeccable quality and a lot of fun!

NAILS | MAC Skin Swatch #MidWeekMani

MAC Skin Nail Polish Swatch

It's a short week (I still have to work 5 days because I am taking my stat next week to cover vacations this week), it's only Thursday and I am TIRED. Maybe it's the lack of sleep from sleeping outside on the couch during our heatwave, but I am feeling so sleepy the minute my body knows it's time to go home! This will be such a short post as I have period cramps and a headache, but I FINALLY am wearing MAC Skin all on its own after getting this limited edition bottle so long ago! I just wish I could remember WHICH collection this was?! I don't wear this shade alone a lot because I find it really close to my natural skin colour, but as a nude base for nail art I love it!

Hope everyone is surviving this week and enjoying the cooler weather (if you are in Vancouver)!

SHEET MASK | The Oozoo Whitening Capsule Shot Mask

The Oozoo Whitening Capsule Shot Mask
Purchased by me

You may have noticed that for the last two months I have been pumping out one extra sheet mask review in addition to #SheetMaskSunday solely for my (and hopefully some of you) interests and as an effort to move through my sheet mask inventory. I have only chosen the coolest ones to review and now for August, I am going to up the ante and do THREE sheet masks reviews each week starting with again another cool mask from The Oozoo!