NAILS | OPI Left Your Texts On Red Swatch #MidWeekMani

OPI Left Your Texts On Red Swatch 

Press sample

It's funny. I was SO GOOD about scheduling posts ahead of time for Sun, Mon, Tues and Wed and when it came to Thursday's #MidWeekMani, I wanted to be more "honest" as usually this post is about how my week is going so I did not schedule it. Here I am writing in the raw and as I expected, I am TIRED. I usually write my blog posts on my days off when I am better able to mentally function, but tonight I am writing after what always feels like a long day at work.  

SKINCARE | NENA Skincare Glacial Micellar Water and Overnight Lip Mask

 NENA Glacial Micellar Water and Overnight Lip Mask

Press samples

Last November, one of my favourite local skincare brands, NENA Skincare launched two brand new products that were the perfect additions to their ever-growing collection! I have featured NENA a lot on the blog because not only do I love the products, but I love their commitment to sustainability, respect for nature and their partnership with the Homlaco people to harvest the Glacial Oceanic Clay used in all of their products.

MAKEUP | Caliray Glazed and Infused Plumping Lip Gloss

Caliray Glazed and Infused Plumping Lip Gloss
Purchased by me

Ever since the pandemic hit and I started wearing less makeup once I went back to work, I have found myself VERY far removed from the colour cosmetics world. Between what I have been sent over the years from PR and my own crazy purchases, there is very little I feel justified in spending money on that I have not seen before. I have also slowed down in what I accept through PR as I can no longer guarantee that I will have the time or energy to post. I was busy before, but I have allowed myself to be tired and not blog every night which is what I was doing before. Sometimes I still do it, but generally I only sit down to write on my two days off per week. If I have a vacation day here and there, maybe I do a little more, but generally speaking I no longer push myself unless I have a sponsored post coming up.

NAILS | Rainbow Honey Demeter Swatch #CBBxManiMonday

Rainbow Honey Demeter Swatch
Purchased by me

I was hoping to have some time to do some more intricate nails as I had a few days off for vacation, but between catching up on housework, blogging, organizing the beauty room and spending a whole day shopping last Thursday with a girlfriend (this was the most fun of course), it has been a pretty packed couple of days!  

SHEET MASK | Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream-Infused Mask

Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream-Infused Mask
Press sample

Where was this mask when my skin was dry as a bone last December?! The new Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream-Infused Mask is for the driest of skin and is an instant sigh of relief delivering moisture around the clock! When this showed up in my mailbox, I immediately put it in my "to-try" rotation and my goodness was it ever an experience!

SKINCARE | The MaskerAide Night Routine

Night Time MaskerAide Routine
Some press samples

For someone who loves skincare, there are actually just a handful of brands that I use and feature consistently and one of them is Toronto-based MaskerAide. I have been a customer of theirs ever since receiving my very first sheet mask from them to try in my Topbox subscription back in 2013 so I guess this is our 10 year anniversary! There are some new products from MaskerAide that I purchased on my own during Black Friday and when I received my order, the team included doubles for me which was so nice! I have been enjoying this little routine whether all together or just one or two products at a time and thought "why not share it with you all?!"

NAILS | Cirque Colors Mood Ring #CBBxManiMonday

Cirque Colors Mood Ring Swatch
Purchased by me

I am going to be cheating a bit with today's post as it is more of a swatch than anything, but I couldn't mess with the fact that this is the first time I have featured a MAGNETIC polish on the blog! Magnetic or "cat-eye" polishes aren't anything new, but this is the first time I have seen them in such vibrant colours! The nicest ones I have seen are from my favourite indie brand Cirque Colors, a brand I have featured on Cosmetic Proof many times over! 

SHEET MASK | Missha Ice Sorbet Cooling Brightening Sheet Mask

Missha Ice Sorbet Cooling Brightening Sheet Mask
Purchased by me

This is another mask from the archives back when I took pictures of EVERY mask I used, BUT I actually still had extras of the Missha Ice Sorbet mask so even though it has been awhile since the photos were taken (my hair was in its smoky blue phase), the experience is still quite fresh! I try to buy at least two of each mask I plan on reviewing as sometimes I don't use a mask correctly or I can't quite remember the experience! 

SKINCARE | Tocobo Skincare Routine with the Best Sunscreen EVER!

Tocobo Skincare Routine

Purchased by me via the Bellbees Mystery Box

Last year, I fell in love with Korean skincare brand Tocobo - specifically, their Bio Watery Sun Cream which I full on finished over the summer! It's not an easy brand to find and while there are a few Canadian retailers who carry Tocobo as a brand, I found the sunscreen the most challenging to find so luckily when it came back in stock at my favourite Canadian K-Beauty store, Bellbees, I picked it up and immediately knew after trying out the sunscreen that I would need to experience more!

NAILS | Holo Green Spring Flowers #CBBxManiMonday

Spring Flower Nail Art
 Some press samples

Green is one of my favourite nail polish colours which is why I am always so happy when March comes around for CBBxManiMonday as we usually do either Green/Spring themes and today I have kind of combined the two with this green flower manicure! 

SHEET MASKS | Andalou Naturals Hydro Serum Facial Masks

Andalou Naturals Hydro Serum Facial Masks

Purchased by me

I feel like it has been a long time since I have been in my digital beauty space and really it has only been a week, but this week has felt like a long one! I don't normally work 5 days in a row so when I do, it just feels like a by Day 5, I have nothing left. I don't know how people can work a regular M-F and have energy by the end of the week. I've only worked a few jobs in my life where this was my schedule and lemme tell ya, by Wednesday I was wondering how I was going to make it until Friday. Granted, it was a job for a local skincare company that had me so unhappy and overworked that it could have been more the environment than the actual schedule! Thanks to how challenging the last week has felt, I haven't had a chance to try any new sheet masks so we are delving into my Vault of Unblogged Sheet Masks with the Andalou Hydro Serum Facial Masks!

MAKEUP | Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation with Before and After Photos

Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation
Purchased by me

This is the first true foundation I have purchased since before the pandemic and my third "complexion improvement" product in three years so this was KIND OF a big deal! I went to my first Estee Lauder warehouse sale last November and right in the lineup were a couple Tom Ford foundations. This was completely an impulse buy as I have never tried a Tom Ford foundation nor had the urge to until that very moment in the check out line! I took a guess on the shade after looking up some positive reviews online and decided that for $45 (more than 50% off as it retails in Sephora for $115!), I would give this luxury foundation a go!

NAILS | Last Round of Hearts, I Promise! #CBBxManiMonday

Pink Heart Nail Art

Press samples

I know Valentine's Day is long over, but I had seen this manicure on Pinterest (sorry, there was no credit given to who did them) and really wanted to do it because I have super long nails now which means more real estate for designs like these! 

SHEET MASK | Annie's Way Mango and Black Tea Bubble Tea Masks

 Annie's Way Bubble Tea Masks

Purchased by me

I don't often feature Taiwanese branded sheet masks, but Annie's Way has been one of my favourite brands! Founded by Annie Wu, this brand is known for their wash-off jelly masks and their 100% silk soft sheet masks that focus on gentle, nurturing skincare and protecting the skin barrier by minimizing exfoliation. The Bubble Tea series caught my eye a couple of years ago and when I saw the Mango and Black Tea Bubble Tea Masks on sale at Winners, I knew I had to pick them up because they sounded so delicious!  

NAILS | OPI Nature Strong "A Clay in the Life" Swatch #MidWeekMani

OPI Nature Strong A Clay in the Life Swatch

Press sample

As I write this, my husband just had a Zoom presentation with some colleagues from New Zealand so that meant 9-11pm for us which means he is pretty wired. I, on the other hand, am desperately trying to wind down as I have Inventory today (by the time this posts) and tomorrow so I want to be as well-rested as possible. I feel like I have done Inventory 100x now, but I feel like it never gets any easier because you KNOW it's going to be a long day no matter how much energy you conserve. We do start our Inventory after we close so you could legitimately have a busy day and not really be able to do anything about it because it is retail after all! My night will probably end after a 12 hour day and I will, as usual, feel like throwing up only to have to be at work less than 10 hours later. I cannot WAIT for my upcoming Sun/Mon off lemme tell ya! 

SKINCARE | Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Collection

Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Collection

Press samples marked with *

How I haven't done a non-sheet mask review for Korean skincare brand Dr. Jart is a mystery to me, but as I am playing an eternal game of beauty product review catch up, I guess it's not a huge surprise. I first tried the Dr. Jart Cicapair collection back in 2019 when I went to a Sephora GWP event at Park Royal with a friend and the featured brand was Dr. Jart. The Cicapair collection contains Centella asiatica or cica which is known to be very skin-soothing. It is also referred to by the name "tiger grass" as tigers would roll on this soothing grass whenever they were itchy or needed healing! That day, I picked up the Tiger Grass Calming Mist to dip a toe into the brand's actual skincare and was quite pleased! I recently had the opportunity to try a few more Cicapair products so I think I now have a pretty good understanding of the collection! 

HAIR | Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Collection

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Collection

Press samples 

Back in my Tata Harper days, whenever I had a shift at Sephora Pacific Centre, the Tata Harper end cap was always close in proximity to the luxury haircare brand Alterna. I had never heard of the brand until a couple of years ago and when I started looking into it, I put it on my wishlist, but because of the price point I could never decide which products to try. Now, I am more willing to spend on haircare, but mainly on treatments and masks versus shampoos. 

NAILS | Velvet Hearts with Cirque Colors "Chemistry" #CBBxManiMonday

Velvet Heart Nail Art
Purchased by me

I use the month of February to get the heart manicures out of my system because I actually REALLY enjoy them! I also picked up a bunch of magnetic polishes from Cirque Colors as I have now fallen for the velvet nail trend! I was never into magnetic polish before as the cat eye or chatoyancy look never appealed to me, but then I saw an IG video of Cirque Colors "Chemistry" in action and I was so enamoured with how velvety the nails looked! 

SHEET MASK | The Creme Shop Pineapple Enzyme Infused Face Mask

The Creme Shop Pineapple Enzyme Infused Face Mask
Purchased by me

Not gonna lie, I have had this review sitting in my drafts for awhile AND I keep a physical "copy" of each mask that I want to review in a box in my office so let's just say, it has been probably a few years based on the colour of my hair in the selfie below! I think I stopped reviewing The Creme Shop and their sheet masks because in terms of results, they are all fairly similar. The masks I DO like sharing with you are the printed ones because who doesn't love seeing Hello Kitty or a unicorn on a sheet mask?!

BODY | Stoic Beauty LoveTO Valentine's Bundle

Stoic Beauty Valentine's Day Bundle 

Press samples

I have only ever celebrated one Valentine's Day on the day itself and that was when my husband and I first started dating back in 2006. I baked some heart-shaped sugar cookies and iced them with an Argyle sweater pattern (he was really into Argyle sweaters back then). We then went to IKEA to get some cheap furniture and ended the "date" with a Swedish meatball dinner at the IKEA cafeteria because you can't go to IKEA without having these delicious pieces of heaven! After 2006, if we did happen to celebrate Valentine's Day, it was on February 15th and after because I think it's so ridiculous how much more expensive flowers are and how much busier restaurants are. So, here we are two days after the infamous day of love talking about Stoic Beauty's LoveTO Valentine's Bundle!

NAILS | Hello Hearts! #CBBxManiMonday

Heart French Manicure Nail Art

Purchased by me 

Happy Valentine's Day! We don't really celebrate this very commercial holiday, but I won't lie that I do love cheesy hearts and the colours red and pink! I also find eating heart-shaped chocolate very satisfying, but I always buy it on sale after Valentine's Day because we know it will be 50% off on February 15th! 

SHEET MASK | Laneige Two Tone Sheet Masks

Laneige Two Tone Sheet Mask Review
Purchased by me

I entered the sheet mask game when I feel there were a lot of just "fun" masks that were colourful, had patterns and were, I'll say it, a tad gimmicky though when I saw these brightly coloured Two Tone Sheet Masks from Laneige a couple of years ago, the concept made sense. As is, we multi-mask with different types of clay as different areas of our skin each have their own needs so why not do the same with a sheet mask?

NAILS | Cadillacquer Aviva Swatch #MidWeekMani

Cadillacquer Aviva Swatch
Purchased by me

This is going to be short as I can barely keep my eyes open and I am only on Day 3 of my work week which is ridiculous. I had a really rough two days, but today I managed to whittle down my to-do list from 28 items to 8 which made me feel a lot better. I wasn't planning on doing my nails until Monday, but they were starting to look pretty ragged on the right hand and whenever I am feeling low, a fresh set of nails always makes me feel better so here we are with this week's #MidWeekMani!

MAKEUP | Auric Cosmetics Smoke Reflect Cream and Powder Eye Shadow Duo

Auric Cosmetics Smoke Reflect Cream and Powder Eye Shadow Duo

Purchased by me

I think we were all pretty excited when local Vancouver YouTuber Samantha Ravndahl launched her brand Auric Cosmetics. As her popularity has grown over the years from a young MUA fighting with L'il Kim when the latter stole her work without credit (I remember following that reddit thread when Sam posted asking for help) to YouTube/Instagram star, one thing that has remained consistent is her honesty about products and brands. I feel like she has always been genuine here even though her livelihood depended on getting sponsorships and deals. She has also been honest about her use of Photoshop and commenting about what really happens behind the scenes with many of the seemingly perfect IG photos and brand trips (when they used to happen monthly!). Having met her in person a few times over the years at events, I don't think we would be best friends, but she is fun to listen to on camera and I will always like her somewhat cynical and refreshing take on the beauty industry. 

NAILS | Magenta Geodes #CBBxManiMonday

Pink Geode Nail Art

Press sample

I am amazed I got 13 blog posts out last month because I have been so f'ing busy (in both good and not so good ways) at work that I am literally scared for my health. My brain and my heart are constantly racing with things that need to be done and of course things crop up during the day that need to be dealt with as well. Needless to say, it has been a challenging week and I am doing my best to stay mentally sound. We are short-staffed and everyone is feeling a little low and for an introvert like myself who needs her batteries recharged, it's hard to be a cheerleader so I have honestly been keeping to myself and saving my energy for clients vs. employees. Now, I actually had these nails done for last week, but couldn't bring myself to even edit the photos for all of 5 minutes. That's how unmotivated I was to do anything other than survive my day job which I will say, I despise doing. I hate having my happiness dictated by my job and I am actively trying to fill my personal life with things that add some distance to my work life. Let's just say it's all still a work in progress!

SKINCARE | Stoic Beauty Hydration Duo Bundle Featuring Thalassa and Agathos #LunarJanuary

Stoic Beauty Hydration Duo Bundle

Press samples

For the last three years, I have tried to be more mindful of what beauty products I use in an effort to both reduce just the sheer amount of STUFF in my office and support more Canadian brands. This has actually been quite refreshing to do as I have discovered some beautiful brands with thoughtful ingredients and formulations. I think I first spotted Canadian brand Stoic Beauty on someone's IG unboxing and filed it away as one of the brands I would need to get to at some point as I have made it a point to not buy any more unless I use something up! It keeps me honest! Lucky for me, I still blog enough to be on press lists (haha!) and I was given the opportunity to try out the new for Lunar New Year Hydration Duo! 

NAILS | Year of the Rabbit #CBBxManiMonday

Year of the Rabbit Lunar New Year Nail Art
Press sample

For those who celebrate, Happy Year of the Rabbit! I had a fairly productive weekend doing house things on Sunday (I always work on Saturdays) with my husband. Now, that we have our couch and ottoman, it is much easier to visualize where other elements will go so we spent yesterday looking at rugs, console tables and a bar unit. I should mention that I really hate looking at larger house things like this as I am much more the accessories person, but mentally if I know I only have to focus on it for a couple of hours once a week for the good of improving our space, I will!

SHEET MASK | SNP Peptaronic Ampoule Mask #LunarJanuary

SNP Peptaronic Ampoule Mask

Purchased by me

Firstly, Happy Lunar Year and Year of the Rabbit! Next, you have my word that this is a sheet mask that not discontinued as I seem to keep talking about sheet masks that you can no longer find! I find it so strange that sheet masks are not like regular skincare products that hang around for awhile. Some sheet masks I have reviewed are gone within the year and I have no idea why! The SNP Peptaronic Ampoule Mask is a fairly new one as I believe the SNP Prep series only launched last year, so maybe it won't get discontinued until next year ;-)

LIFESTYLE | Five on Friday - Jan.20th - New Couch, New Book, Cream Pony, Work Catch Up and Paris


We got a new couch! We have been looking for a couch for, I kid you not, 5 years. Our old couch was so beaten up after getting clawed by cats that we were on the hunt for something nicer (it was a cheap $500 couch that worked when we first moved in together) that would withstand cats and look more chic. We finally committed to a couch and ottoman from EQ3 during their Black Friday sale last November. The ETA for both items was 14-16 weeks so we braced ourselves to expect a new couch closer to Spring, but instead we got the call that it was arriving last week! We got some extra cushions and now the search is on for a rug because with our current layout, it still looks like we have just moved in. 

NAILS | Magenta and Gold Half Moons #CBBxManiMonday

Magenta and Gold Half Moons Nail Art
Press sample

Last year my husband and I started using our Sundays off together to either spend quality time together like go to the movies or have brunch OR work on getting stuff done around the apartment which is what we did yesterday! We stopped using our Sundays for productive things over the summer when a lot of it was just me having to go through beauty things and my husband couldn't really participate. We finally ordered a new couch in early November 2022 from EQ3 on one of our Sundays out and because we were told it would be a 4-5 month wait, we halted the interior decorating since so much of what we wanted to do focused on the couch colour and size. Lo and behold, our couch got delivered this past Friday well ahead of schedule so that meant we could go pillow shopping! Now, we look like actual grown ups with real furniture and it also makes me happy that the cats are loving the new furniture too. They love sitting on our new ottoman and running all over the couch. No sharpening of the claws has happened yet!

SHEET MASK | 23 Years Old Rose Gold 24 Mask #LunarJanuary

23 Years Old Rose Gold 24 Mask
Purchased by me

Here we are halfway through January already! I got to take a couple of days off this week thanks to a few vacation days that needed to be used up (in retail you are not allowed to go on vacation during the peak shopping times from Nov-Dec) which was nice and a much needed break. I am still not quite back mentally where I would like to be, but I have been devising a strategy for how to deal with stress and anxiety in the workplace as I have realized that the only that can change is me. My environment will always be one way so I either need to adapt or get out and I don't feel like doing the latter (though I constantly toy with the idea of becoming a LEGO "Brick Specialist").

NAILS | Layla Ceramic Effect Red Jelly Flakie CE53 Swatch

Layla Ceramic Effect Red Jelly Flakie CE53 Swatch
Purchased by me

I have been going back to my nail polish stash and looking and so many of the beautiful untrieds in my collection that thankfully are still usable! I definitely went crazy in the first few years and basically got every colour in every finish and tried to stay on top of the latest trends, but over the last 5 years I have noticed that there haven't been a lot of truly innovative changes in the nail polish world and it's really the same colours over and over again. Maybe a little darker, warmer, brighter, but nonetheless the same. I feel like 10 years ago, there were some really different nail polish finishes out there like the flakie! The flakie is still one of my favourites and gets me every time I see one!

SHEET MASK | Neogen Pink Cactus Liftmax Knit Mask

Purchased by me

I have mentioned numerous times that my goal is to eventually blog about every cool sheet mask that I have picked up over the last 5 years and I was very much on track to do it last summer until Hugo died. I took a break, but when I tried to get back that same energy, boy was it hard. It has been been 5 months and that motivation and energy I had before has been elusive, but I have not stopped trying! I look at my collection of masks and I'm like "These are so cool! I have to let everyone know about them!" With #LunarJanuary, I am seeing what I can get done and not beating myself up about it if I can't pump out 20 posts this month (I have to do 14 more so not sure if that's doable with how busy I will be next week!). One of the sheet masks that has been on my list to share with you all is an oldie, but SUCH a goodie! 

NAILS | Yet Another Glitter Gradient with the Shade Cosmetic Proof (?) #CBBxManiMonday

Indie Polish Cosmetic Proof Glitter Gradient
Purchased by me

I am tired and it is only January 10th. I know my last post started off pretty much the same way, but I feel a constant sense of anxiety (really targeted at a specific thing) and I am acutely aware that I should not let myself feel stressed about it or dread going to work which makes me even more mad at myself for feeling this way. We also have a big corporate visit next week where I need to have my game face on which always tires me out. I think I just need a solid two week vacation doing absolutely nothing! I also had to take Huxley to the vet early this morning because he has been overgrooming his crotch to the point of creating a lesion and we wanted to rule out any urinary issues. I am on "cat crotch watch" for the next three days as we have some topical steroid ointment for him so I am hoping it starts to heal nicely.

SHEET MASK | SNP Gold Collagen Ampoule Mask #LunarJanuary

SNP Gold Collagen Ampoule Mask

Purchased by me

I will be honest. It is the first week of 2023 and I feel like I never had any sort of break even with a quiet NYE and NYD. I have only worked four days so far and I feel like I have been beaten with things to do despite leaving my desk fairly pristine on Dec.30th and it's mainly because everything that "could wait until next year" that I couldn't do anything about has arrived. I am also finding work very challenging and difficult to navigate at the moment. I know that sounds cryptic, but this is a blog that everyone reads and while I could just keep it all to myself, I think anyone can relate to things at work feeling overwhelming sometimes. Thank God for my sheet masks, right? Although, I have found that because I do sheet masking so often now, they have become more routine than relaxation so I think I need to find a new way to vent. Maybe this is a post for another time!

LIFESTYLE | Reflecting Back on 2022

Maybe it's who I follow, but I have come across a number of people who have said that 2022 was a tough year and though I am trying to resist falling into the trap of "Good riddance to 2022 and bring on 2023!" we all know what happened when we thought that about 2019 going into 2020. It's no surprise that I find it hard to characterize 2022 as anything other than the year we lost our beloved kitty companion Hugo, but I really wanted to look closely at the rest of the year as bad and good things will continue to happen on our individual life timelines and whether they happen on the calendar year, fiscal year, or however you want to organize time, I don't want to say that one year was bad so the next year must be good. The next year will just "be" and I can choose to add some things to it or circumstance will spice it up for me. Whether I like the taste is another issue, but as I turn 40 this year, I will probably throw more caution to the wind and open myself up to new experiences!

NAILS | Reverse Glitter Gradient #CBBxManiMonday

Shu Urmura Yazbukey Daring Burgundy 

Press sample

You have no idea how long I have been wanting to wear this polish! I have left it out purposefully for I want to say a year because I just knew it would be a gorgeous colour. The Shu Uemura x YazBukey collaboration came out in 2015 so I have had this polish a long time without ever trying it, but the formula was perfect and I actually thought this would lean more on the magenta side as I wanted to do this year's Pantone Colour of the Year - Viva Magenta, but when I looked at the name of the polish "Daring Burgundy", I realized it would be much darker than I thought!  

SHEET MASK | Dr.Jart Cryo Rubber with Brightening Vitamin C

Dr.Jart Cryo Rubber Brightening Mask

Purchased by me

Happy New Year and Happy first #SheetMaskSunday of 2023! I had intended on using this mask two weeks ago, but when the temperatures went into the double digit negatives, I held off as the Dr. Jart Cryo Rubber masks lower the skin's temperature and I didn't want that! Normally, I embrace the coolness, but the week before Christmas was just too cold for my face to handle!