October 30, 2013

Halloween Nails: AVON Nail Art Design Strips

Apparently October has been the month for nail appliqués (see here and here), but I just couldn't resist the opportunity to put together this Halloween mani using AVON's appropriately-themed nail art design strips.

They come in three different designs: Crazy For Candy, Orange You Scared, and All Webbed Out. My personal favourite is the candy corn though the spider ones do have little jewels which add some fun dimension. Each package retails for $12 CAD and contains 18 strips.

Application was incredibly easy; in fact, I think it was the easiest nail strip application I've had yet! Sometimes I struggle with filing off the excess but had absolutely no problems with these appliqués. They did, however, smell quite pungent when I first opened them but thankfully it wore off quickly.

I'm not really a fan of Halloween and haven't donned a costume in years so these nails are about as festive as I'm going to get. For those of you that do celebrate...


October 27, 2013

OSiS+ Dust It

After my first foray into OSiS+ hair styling products with Refresh Dust, the next product on my to-try list was Dust It ($23.50 CAD), a mattifying powder texturizer.

Not many companies make powder texturizers so the concept may be new to some of you (as it was to me). Essentially, a powder texturizer is a dry powder that adds volume and texture to your hair. It may have some mattifying properties, as is the case with Dust It, but it isn't a dry shampoo, which is more for leaving your hair feeling clean/fresh between washes.

Dust It comes in a tiny shaker bottle with a twist-off lid that you tap gently, applying product to your roots. Next, you use your fingers to rub it in, lifting to create volume and running through the ends to create texture. The powder is white but very finely milled so it blends in even on dark hair.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the amount of volume and texture I was able to get using this. It worked particularly well on my "bangs" which separate easily and tend to get greasy by the end of the day (note: I don't really have bangs but the front of my hair is side-parted in a way that resembles them). However, the powder did leave my hair feeling a little weird... kind of chalky and gummy. If that doesn't bother you then I do think this is a really cool product to try, especially if you have fine/limp hair that needs a little oomph. It will give you the look of teased hair without all the damage!

October 24, 2013

Bare Legs in October

I know, I've been over-wearing this hat ever since I got it (here and here, for example) but I never realized how versatile wool fedoras could be! I picked up this burgundy one last weekend and now I'm on the hunt for a camel one as well. What can I say? When I find something I like, I tend to think I need all the colours.

P.S. I think bare legs season is officially over in Vancouver despite what these pictures might have you believe. However, I'm kind of excited to bring out my fleece-lined tights again... they are so warm and comfy!

Dress: Urban Outfitters (here) / Cardigan: Zara (similar) / Hat: Holt Renfrew (similar)
Scarf: Fine Finds (gift from friend)  / Boots: Sam Edelman (here and in other colours)
Bag: ASOS (similar) (c/o) / Bracelet: mark. (c/o)

October 22, 2013

LUSH Halloween 2013

I look forward to LUSH Cosmetics' Halloween Collection every year (see my posts from 2011 and 2012) so I'm sure you can imagine my excitement when a new box of goodies arrived in my mailbox this month.

As part of its limited edition Creatures of the Baaaaaath Collection, LUSH has introduced two new bath products that fans will definitely want to get their hands on:

Fragranced with orange flower absolute and ylang ylang oil, Pumkin Bubble Bar ($5.95 CAD) is the autumnal cousin of the Mother's Day Mumkin Bubble Bar. A cute little pumpkin topped with a candy leaf and licorice stem, this bubble bar colours your bath orange and creates mounds of frothy bubbles.

Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb ($5.95 CAD) features Fair Trade vanilla absolute layered with a spicy blend of patchouli and black pepper oil to warm you up on chilly nights. As it fizzes away, the bath bomb reveals a wine coloured interior and popping candy surprises.

Plus, there are also a few year-round favourites that might make for fun Halloween treats:

Demon in the Dark Soap ($7.95/100 g) is an interesting-looking soap wrapped in a layer of black wax (which you have to remove before you use). It's got a more "masculine" scent of peppermint, spearmint, and clove that is quite invigorating and fresh.

Packed with oats, lavender, sandalwood, and cocoa butter, Ceridwen's Cauldron Bath Melt ($8.45 CAD) is intended to calm and soothe irritated, sensitive skin. This product is especially great for these cooler months when skin tends to be more dry.

Find all of these products online or in-store now.

October 19, 2013

Tutorial: Volumized Hair with OSiS+ Refresh Dust

I'm super excited to announce that I will be working with OSiS+ over the next few months sharing tutorials and reviews on some of their fabulous hair styling products! For those of you who aren't familiar with the brand, hopefully these posts will give you a little insight into the products I recommend and the different ways you can use them.

First up is Refresh Dust ($23.50 CAD), a light control dry shampoo that adds volume and texture. The sprayable powder also refreshes hair between washes thanks to its mattifying properties and clean, fresh scent. Plus, unlike many other dry shampoos, it doesn't seem to leave the dreaded white residue which is often a problem for those of us with dark hair.

After testing Refresh Dust on second day hair, I was pleased to find that it worked pretty well in terms of absorbing oil. However, my hair gets greasy no matter what so I still prefer washing it everyday in order to avoid looking like a hot mess. Instead, I have been loving this product for work days because it doesn't take much time to add some volume to my otherwise straight/limp/fine hair ("before" examples here and here). Here's how I do it:

1. If your hair is freshly washed like mine, blowdry to ensure it's completely dry. Refresh Dust doesn't work well on wet hair.

2. Shake the can well and lift sections of hair, spraying the product directly on the roots. I also like to spray a bit on the mid-lengths of my hair to add more texture.

3. Using your fingers, fluff and comb through the hair to work in the powder. You should be left with perfectly volumized, texturized hair!

October 16, 2013

Sweater Weather

I love sweaters with interesting details (for example, that "perfect sweater" I bought last year) and this one from Aritzia is no exception. The asymmetrical split-hem and sleeve slits are fun details; plus the silk/cotton/cashmere blend is super soft and comfy. Now if only I could stop getting accidentally caught on things... I refuse to give up loose-knit sweaters!

Sweater: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Pants: Gap (similar) / Heels: Prada (similar)
Clutch: YSL (in black or similar) / Necklace: Wantable (c/o)

October 14, 2013

Wantable Accessories Box

I recently had the opportunity to try out Wantable, a subscription box company offering a variety of themed boxes, that is unlike any other subscription box I've tried so far. If you're into beauty, choose the Makeup Box for premium, full-size products. If you're into jewelry, choose the Accessories Box. For something a little different, choose the Intimates Box and receive a selection of camis, panties, socks, and more. This month, there's even a limited edition Halloween Box full of dramatic, theatrical makeup.

The company also specializes in personalization and it really seems like they take this philosophy to heart. Each subscriber must fill out a rather lengthy, detailed survey of their likes and dislikes. I personally love surveys so I found this part kind of fun!

In my personalized Accessories Box, I received the following...

Raina Earrings (worth $24): gold-toned hoops with hanging wire-wrapped amethyst stones. These earrings are more delicate than I usually wear but are really pretty and will be great for dressy occasions.

Chana Earrings (worth $20): gold-toned studded mini hoop earrings. These were my least favourite item in the box because the hoops are rather small and I don't particularly like the stud details. However, I will probably wear them anyway!

Frankie Necklace (worth $24): a fun necklace combining triangles and mixed metals. This necklace is totally my style and I'm kind of obsessed with it. I adore mixed metals!

Belisma Ring (worth $22): silver-toned bow ring. This ring is super cute and will be the perfect accompaniment to more girly outfits.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with what I received. I specifically said I did not want sunglasses, headbands, or scarves so I only received jewelry. Plus, these are all pieces that I can see myself wearing even if I do like some more than others.

Wantable is on the pricey side at $36 a month but if you're a subscription box fan it's certainly worth a try since you can also purchase a single box for $40. The personalization process is fairly sophisticated and I understand they have excellent customer service (apparently if you don't like an item, they will send you something else).

October 12, 2013

Celebrity Lookalikes (& September Must-Reads)

Question of the Month: Who is your celebrity doppelganger? Do people keep telling you that you remind them of someone?

Honestly, I don't think I have any celebrity doppelgangers so I was very surprised when Ella said that I was the inspiration for this month's question. Apparently every time she sees the girl in Far East Movement's "Like a G6" music video (Erica Ocampo) she thinks of me! A blog reader also once told me that I resemble Bianca Manalo, Miss Philippines 2009.

Erica Ocampo (left) and Bianca Manalo (right)

As you can see, both women are absolutely gorgeous but I personally don't think I look like either of them. I'm certainly flattered by the comparisons though! What do you think? Do you have any celebrity lookalikes?

October 9, 2013

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués: Gilded Mosaic

I showed you Royal Burgundy a few weeks ago and thanks to the kind folks at Revlon I'm back again with Gilded Mosaic from the limited edition Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués™ Collection.

Gilded Mosaic was inspired by this beautiful Marchesa gown and the design features a black base with raised gold beads and silver accents. SO pretty.

This time around I was also able to perfect how I apply these nail appliqués for optimal use. First, I realized that because my nails are short I can actually cut the strips in half and use one appliqué for two nails. This means I'll be able to get twice the wear from one pack (or more if I just do accent nails). Second, I filed off the excess with a light downwards motion holding the nail file vertically as opposed to holding it horizontally and filing from side-to-side. This resulted in significantly less premature tip wear as my mani is still going strong 5 days later. I knew my vigorous filing was to blame...

All eight Revlon by Marchesa appliqué designs are now available at drugstores and mass retailers for $8.95 CAD. They appear to be quite popular (for obvious reasons), so better get your hands on them while you can!

October 6, 2013

Fall Staples

After being sick with a nasty cold last week (I still have an annoying cough that won't go away), I was more than happy to finally change out of my pyjamas and get outside this weekend. A little bit of plaid + a little bit of faux fur + a little bit of layering, throw on some ankle booties and a hat, and you've basically got my Fall staples.

Tee: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Plaid Button-Up: TNA (Aritzia) / Faux Fur Vest: H&M
Jeans: Old Navy (c/o) (here) / Booties: Sam Edelman (here) / Hat: Holt Renfrew
Bag: ASOS (c/o) (similar) Watch: Michael Kors (here)

October 3, 2013

LUSH Cosmetics Let The Good Times Roll Facial Cleanser and Popcorn Lip Scrub

Popcorn is one of my favourite snacks (speaking of, have you seen my post on microwave marshmallow caramel popcorn?), so it should come as no surprise that some popcorn-inspired products I was recently sent are topping my beauty must-haves list. It should also come as no surprise that LUSH Cosmetics is the company behind them.

First up is Let The Good Times Roll, which used to be a limited edition holiday item that LUSH fans couldn't get enough of. Good news for everyone: it's now permanent!

This popular cleansing roll is made with maize flour and polenta to gently exfoliate, corn oil to even out skin tone, and cinnamon to boost circulation and create a healthy glow. Skin is left softened and soothed thanks to a hefty dose of glycerine, which keeps skin nourished and moisturized. To use, simply pinch off pea-sized piece, mix with water to make a paste, smooth over your face, and rinse off with water.

Although Let The Good Times Roll is supposedly popcorn-inspired, it smells much more like vanilla cookies or cake to me. So delicious that I just want to eat it all up (but unfortunately it's not edible).

Thankfully, the people at LUSH think of everything. As with all of their lip scrubs, the aptly named Popcorn Lip Scrub is 100% edible... meaning after you scrub and buff your lips to softness, you can just lick off the excess! The mixture tastes a little bit sweet and a little bit salty, just like kettle corn. Yum!

Find both of these popcorn-inspired products online or at a LUSH store near you.

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