The number of steps in my daily makeup routine change with the season. I’ve tried to condense my routine for the warm summer season. While standing in front of my mirror yesterday morning, my boyfriend Grant inspired this post. I can hear him say, “Are you almost ready? What’s that glitter you’re putting on your eyelids?” Today, I’ll reveal exactly what that ‘glitter’ is!
The first step in my makeup routine is cleansing. I apply Fresh Beauty Soy Face Cleanser. This gel cleanser keeps my skin soft and clear of blemishes. I supplement this step with a moisturizer – often Tarte’s Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer.
I simplify the rest of my facial makeup. I’ve used Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup for the past two years. It is a great medium-coverage foundation that lets my skin breathe. I buff the foundation into my skin using a buffing brush. I dot Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer underneath my eyes and cover any blemishes. I complete my face makeup by sweeping highlighter onto my cheekbones. I switch between different highlighter products, but my current favourite is Anastasia Beverly Hills Aurora Glow Kit. It is luminous, with a beautiful range of colours!
I never apply eyeshadow without priming my lids. My primer of choice is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I switch between different eyeshadow palettes each day. The palette I use most often is Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance. This palette contains creamy, blendable shadows that range from brick red to glittery gold. I line my waterline with Sephora Collection Waterproof Eyeliner. I complete my eye makeup with a swipe of mascara. My mascara of choice is Smashbox Full Exposure.
I line my lips with Bite Beauty’s Lip Pencil in a nude shade. Selecting a lipstick to wear each day is the hardest aspect of my makeup routine. I swipe on a shade that matches my outfit to complete my makeup.
Below is a before and after comparison of my makeup routine:
When I walk into a MAC store, I’m a girl on a mission. I’ve had a specific lipstick colour in my mind for months, and have not located it at my local Sephora. I visited a MAC store during my recent Toronto trip. I found the colour within a few minutes of entering the store. This colour is Diva – a deep red-burgundy.
This lipstick comes in MAC’s signature black box. The lipstick bullet is sleek, featuring a silver rim with the word MAC written in white lettering. I adore MAC product packaging – it is unique and sophisticated.
Upon opening the lipstick cap, I notice MAC’s classic vanilla scent. It is not heavy when applied to the lips. I own two Amplified finish lipsticks, but I prefer the matte finish. Diva is a matte finish. It is long-lasting and lightweight. This lipstick is long-wearing, but it removes with the swipe of a standard makeup remover.
This colour is beautiful. It is a warm-toned burgundy with a hint of maroon. It is versatile. I wear it with both a smoky eye or light makeup. In the photo below, I am wearing Diva with a nude lip liner:
I’ve worn this colour a few times, but it will receive heavy rotation into my makeup kit once the weather turns cool. The lipstick is highly pigmented. It lasts on my lips 5-6 hours when I apply it with liner.
MAC’s Diva lipstick retails for $21 from MAC’s official website. Which shade of MAC lipstick do you wear most often?
Charcoal is an active ingredient in many beauty products. Active charcoal is medicinally used to remove toxic substances from the body, so it is no surprise that it is also an effective beauty ingredient! I use it in a face mask, but here are other uses:
1. Charcoal Mask
A charcoal mask works by drawing impurities from your pores. It is a good idea to open your pores with a warm cloth before applying a mask. If you do not wish to buy a charcoal mask, it is easy to make one!
Mix equal parts of the ingredients below until it forms an inky paste. Apply to the face and let dry. Rinse with warm water.
- Activated charcoal powder
- Aloe vera gel
2. Teeth Whitening
Charcoal is micro-porus. This means it will trap plaque and whiten. The charcoal whitens while removing impurities. After applying toothpaste to your toothbrush, dab it in charcoal powder and brush as normal.
3. Create a DIY body scrub
Charcoal powder’s slightly grainy texture makes it a great exfoliator. Mix it into the sugar and liquid you plan to use for the scrub,
We’d all like to prepare healthy meals at home each week, but it is not always possible with a busy schedule. My go-to coffee choice is Starbucks. I actually drafted this post while sipping an iced coffee at my local Starbucks after work. I often add a food item with my coffee. These items range from chocolate chip cookies to a cup of oatmeal. If you’re looking for the healthiest items to order from Starbucks while on-the-go, look no further!
1. Classic Whole Grain Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a healthy option. It is also nourishing and filling. Starbucks’ whole grain oatmeal contains just 160 calories, and 2.5 g of fat. Oatmeal is rich in fibre and other important minerals (e.g. magnesium, mangese, zinc)). These minerals support a healthy digestive and immune system. Starbucks’ classic oatmeal also contains nuts and berries for additional nutrients.
2. Basic coffee
Stick to the basics when ordering your coffee. Coffee or espresso-based drinks like lattes, or blonde/dark roast coffees are light options. These options are low in sugar and extra calories. Asking for your coffee iced lightens it even more. A good rule of thumb is to skip sugary drinks like Frappuccinos. I’ve tried just about every drink on the menu. My main coffee order is now pared down to a Blonde roast coffee or iced latte.
3. Protein Bistro Box
A bistro box contains the following items:
- Hardboiled egg
- Apple slices
- Peanut butter
- White cheddar cheese
- Muesli bread
This is a great option for breakfast or as a post-workout snack. It contains 15 grams of protein and 360 calories. A bistro box is healthy and portable. I often eat half in the morning then save the rest as an afternoon snack. The combination of fruit, grains, and protein keeps you full and satisfied until lunch.
What Starbucks drink or food item do you order?
I adore testing new mascara. Clinique products are a tried-and-true favourite of mine. I was eager to try the Chubby Lash Mascara after recieving a sample.
The mascara tube is lightweight and portable. The cover of the tube is a bright silver, while the other portion is black with the Clinique logo written in large lettering.
Each bristle hugs the lashes to evenly distribute the mascara. The formula is lightweight and does not flake or smudge. An interesting aspect of this mascara is its pigment-enhancing ingredients. These ingredients give lashes a rich, intense colour.
Clinique Chubby Lash Mascara comes in two shades:
- Jumbo Jet – Matte Black
- Bodacious Black Honey – Black with golden honey undertones
I own the colour Jumbo Jet.
This mascara is formulated without parabens. It is also fragrance-free.
Clinique Chubby Lash Mascara retails for $17.50 at Sephora.
Breakfast is a versatile meal. It can involve grab-and-go options or a completely cooked meal. Here are five quick tips to help you develop better breakfast habits.
1. Keep breakfast in mind when you grocery shop
It is a good idea to create a list of potential breakfast ideas before you grocery shop each week. If you pick up breakfast items when the week begins, there’s a higher chance you will eat breakfast if the items you want are readily available.
2. Add protein into your breakfast
Protein keeps you full for longer. I am guilty of skimping on protein in favor of a bagel or slice of toast in the morning. It is easy to add protein into an otherwise carb-heavy meal by including an egg, lentils, or even peanut butter.
3. Prep your meal the night before
Simple prep can make a busy morning a lot easier. Plan your breakfast meal the night before, and complete prep steps. This may include slicing vegetables, freezing smoothie ingredients, etc.
What tips do you use to improve your morning meal? Let me know in the comments!
Being Canadian, I have a soft spot for cosmetic brands from Canada. I reorganized my makeup storage drawer this weekend, and it inspired me to shine a spotlight on my favourite Canadian beauty brands.
1. Bite Beauty
Founded in Toronto, Bite Beauty features natural products for face and lips. The creamy lipsticks are handcrafted with both restorative and nourising benefits. I like that Bite Beauty products are crafted with natural ingredients, but still colourful and moisturizing.
Nudestix are the ultimate busy-morning products. All eye, face, and lip products are formatted as crayons. The makeup range is both easy-to-use and create a flawless base. The Lip & Cheek Duo is long-lasting and creamy. The double-ended pen is lip colour, lip liner and cheek colour.
This brand offers vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. Each highlighter, concealer and foundation is customizable to fit your skintone. CoverFX was founded in Ontario.
A good primer smoothes the skin for foundation application and blurs imperfections. Smashbox Iconic Finish Primer is part of the companys Photo Finish lineup. I use it daily to prime my skin before applying makeup.
The primer is contained within a clear tube. The design is elegant and features black striping and the Smashbox logo. It is triangular shaped and lightweight. This design allows you to easily see the gel inside.
This primer is oil-free, meaning it will not clog pores. I was worried about this when I began using the primer. To my delight, my skin does not break out when using the primer! This Smashbox primer is silky in texture and leaves the skin feeling smooth.
How to use it
I dispense the primer on the back of my hand. I then blend it into my skin using my fingertips for even coverage. I blend the primer over my entire face.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is my go-to primer. You only need a tiny amount each time you use it. It will stay in my makeup drawer for a while! It retails at Sephora between $16-$49.
I bought my first MAC lipstick last summer, and haven’t looked back. When I travel somewhere with a MAC store, I select a new lipstick to add into my collection. Today I share a quick guide to each of the 7 lipstick finish MAC Cosmetics offers.
A cremesheen lipstick is smooth and creamy. This lipstick finish is not as pigmented as others. However, it is not the same as a sheer finish. A cremesheen lipstick has a short wear-time, but this finish is hydrating. A creamier lipstick is richer in texture.
I favor matte finishes. A matte lipstick can be tricky to work with at first, because this type of lipstick begins stiffly. This finish is highly pigmented.
A satin finish is opaque. Satin finishes are hydrating, and give the lips a delicate sheen. A satin finish is versatile. A pale satin lipstick or a richer satin lipstick is easy to wear day or night,
Amplified lipsticks are a creme finish. An amplified finish offers an intense pigment without the drying effect of matte lipsticks. This formula is slightly creamier than a satin finish.
This formula is lightly pigmented. A glaze lipstick offers a hint of colour with a glossy finish. This finish is similar to a lipgloss.
A frost finish is a mix of shimmer and gloss. It is not long-wearing, but it is creamy. The high shimmer in this lipstick gives it a “frosty” appearance.
This lipstick finish is creamy but not long-wearing. Pigmentation in a lustre lipstick is limited. A lustre lipstick is sheer and glossy.
This past weekend, I experienced something magical. I saw Ed Sheeran during one of his Toronto tour dates (*cue internal happy dance*). I’ve waited over two years to attend a live show, and let me tell you, he did not dissappoint.
My boyfriend, Grant, agreed to attend the show with me when tour dates were released back in March. We took a 6:30AM flight out of St. John’s and our first trip together began! Grant and I boarded the Union Pearson Express – my first train ride ever! My excitement peaked once we reached the city’s vibrant downtown core.
After checking into our hotel (which was a comfortable oasis) we walked the Canadian Walk of Fame. I enjoyed the boardwalk of tiles adorned with Canadian greats. As you may know, I am a true Grey’s Anatomy fan. I did experience a moment of awe while standing on Sandra Oh’s tile.
The Ed Sheeran concert was by far the highlight of my trip. I’m struggling to find words to describe the incredible event. Once Ed appeared on stage, the waterworks began. His setlist included a collection of his recent and older hits, accompanied by a hypnotic lightshow. I’m a diehard Ed Sheeran fan, and will say that his English crooning vocals reduced me to tears of joy for 2 hours. The show became the best concert I’ve ever attended.
I woke on a complete high from the previous night. My energy infused with post-concert euphoria. After a quick breakfast and coffee (My lattes are still delicious in 25 degree heat) we ventured into the subway. (Note: I am terrified of the subway. Being from a small town, this was the second time I ever used one.)
To compensate for dragging him to Ed Sheeran, Grant decided I was due for a Toronto Blue Jays game. I am not a sports fan. This was the first baseball game I attended in my lifetime! Grant eagerly explained the game rules while we watched. I’ll admit, it did feel nice to attend a live game, save for the flying baseballs.
I rounded out the trip with a little retail therapy. I shopped at my favourite destinations that are not available in St. John’s. Stay tuned for M.A.C. product reviews!
What is the best concert you’ve ever attended? Have you ever travelled to Toronto, Canada?