Tuesday, January 24, 2012

{what i wore} black & blush

i often lament that i never dress up anymore. it's so easy and comfortable (both physically and mentally) to wear casual clothing and flat shoes. so when i went out with my bestie to celebrate christmas, we decided that we would hold dress up dinners at least once a month for all of 2012. here is what i wore to the first dinner:

yes, it's not overly dressy but - waaaaddup - i wore heels. this is a rarity for me these days. i used to wear heels almost every day... well, i still wear heels every day at work but it's not the same thing.

three different photos and yet my expression is the same in all of them. this frightens me.

here is what i wore:

- butter london nail lacquer in yummy mummy
- sally hansen xtreme wear nail polish in strobe light - layered over the butter london on some nails
- pink clutch (mango)
- black lace racer back tank top (walmart)
- blush pink loose tank top (h&m)
- black belt (thrifted)
- black harem pants (h&m)
- black patent leather tuxedo heels (guess)
- oversized "crystal" stud earrings (h&m)
- silver link necklace (thrifted)
- black chain necklace (chain from canadian tire)
- black oversized bracelet (walmart)

oh, and i did end up wearing black trouser socks because i didn't want to expose my foot skin to the elements.

{what's on my face}

- nyx nude on nude palette
- hard candy so baked bronzer in heat wave
- rms beauty lip shine in bloom

this is also the hair style i learned for the month of january per my 2012 goals! i used my new flat iron to create loose bouncy waves. the look still isn't as clean or polished as i would like but i think it's decent for my first try. :)

and here we are together! we went to ocho for dinner and it was pretty good. i loved the bread and the soup but my main course was just ok. the ambiance, vibe, and decor made up for it. plus the $7 wine by the glass was a huge bonus!

hope you enjoyed the look!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

rms lip shine in bloom

ever since i joined glymm, the little pots of lip products from rms beauty have intrigued me. i really really really wanted to try the lip2cheek but i had never heard of the brand so i was reluctant to shell out $36. instead, i hoped that we would one day receive a little sample in our glymm box.

lo and behold, in our january glymm box, we received a promo code for a free lip shine in the colour bloom with any purchase from the glymm beauty boutique. i knew right away that i wanted to take advantage of the offer as i had been planning to purchase something anyway. i placed my order on tuesday night and was absolutely astounded when i received my lip shine today!

the first thing i noticed about the product was its weight. the pot is made of a thick glass so it is relatively heavy and it has a metal screw-on lid. the formulation is very creamy and feels lovely on the lips! the scent reminds me of a burt's bees product that i cannot place. and nooo, definitely not the milk & honey lotion! ;)

it was difficult to capture the true colour of the lip shine on camera but it's a very wearable and pretty sheer pink. when i put it on, it seemed to match my skin tone perfectly so i suspect it's close to the shade of my lips au naturel... well, that's if i had more colour in my lips. i also read on the website that you can use this product on your cheeks as a light blush - i'll be trying this tomorrow! :)

when i redeemed my promo code for the lip shine, i went ahead and purchased a lip2cheek! i was intially attracted to smile but i read on the rms website that smile is the only shade that contains a synthetic pigment. not a big deal to me but i wasn't sure if the colour would work on me anyway so i chose modest instead. pluuuus modest is more like a lip stain and i have an unhealthy attraction to lip stains.

so far, glymm has only sent me the free lip shine so my paid products have not yet arrived... i cannot wait to receive them! i am thinking i will need to place another order very soon... so i can add the lip shine in moment to my collection!

p.s. in case you are wondering about my 2012 goals, not to worry. i am still (sorta) on track and will provide an update at the end of the month!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

glymm box // january 2012

UPDATE (April 2013): Please read my most recent post on Glymm before ordering from this company.

here is my video unboxing of my second glymm box!

and the list of what i received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. promo code for rms lip shine in bloom

the first item (not pictured below) was a little card containing a promo code for a free rms lip shine in bloom with any purchase from the glymm beauty boutique. we have until january 31 to redeem the card... but then i read the little fine print. quantities are limited. three dreaded words that instill fear in me 99% of the time. so i've already redeemed for my free lip shine ($25 value). hooray!

2. burt's bees nourishing milk & honey body lotion

i received two little samples of this body lotion in my january glymm box. not exactly high end or difficult to find but i enjoy burt's bees lip balm so i was excited to try these. however, upon reading reviews on the burt's bees website, it seems as though the new formulation of body lotion is "goopy" and "greasy" and "stinky" - yikes!

verdict: my interest was piqued after reading the reviews so i tried half of one of my samples on my legs. at first i detected a sweet, lemony scent but, as i sniffed it more, the scent became more and more unpleasant. i do like the formulation (did not find it goopy or greasy) but all i can smell now is the "stink" - boo! :( my hubby can only detect the sweet scent so i've gifted my samples to him.

full size // 6 oz // $12.99
sample size // 0.5 oz // approximate value of $1.08

3. kaia naturals juicy bamboo facial cleansing cloths

i wasn't sure what to expect at first because the sample package confused me. i've been on the website since recording the video and i'm still not sure where the 4-in-1 comes into play. the website reads: ONE CLOTH... three different products: cleanser, toner and makeup remover. so wouldn't that be a 3-in-1?

regardless of the #-in-1, i am absolutely loving this product! i used it last night to remove my make up and everything came right off. it was super gentle on my skin and the scent was incredible. i also love this little fact on the kaia naturals website:

oh, and they were tested on humans... not bunnies.

my bunny, truffle, thanks you.

the only hesitation i had with this product was that it contains a variety of different oils... i am only supposed to use oil-free products due to my lash extensions... but i will make exceptions for my absolute favourite products, which now include my nivea gentle toner and my kaia naturals cleansing cloths! :)

verdict: i love this product so much, i have actually already repurchased it! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

full size // 30 cloths // $17.99
sample size // 1 cloth // approximate value of $0.60

4. vasanti brighten up! enzymatic face rejuvenator

i feel very silly when i do these unboxing videos because i encounter all these products i've never seen with brand names i cannot pronounce! luckily, i've heard of vasanti but i had no idea what the heck this product was. i now know it's a cleanser but i thought it was a cream at first so when i put it on the back of my hand, i was shocked at the microderm exfoliating crystals. i thought i got a bad tube, haha. anyway, i felt like a total dolt so i cut out that part of my video. :)

verdict: i literally just washed my face with this product and i wanted to love it but the exfoliating crystals felt very abrasive on my skin. i realize it's supposed to be a little stronger than my daily pore cleanser as the vasanti rejuvenator is supposed to be used 3 to 5 times a week but it just felt a little too rough for my personal preference. unfortunately, i will not be repurchasing this.

full size // 120 mL // $34
sample size // 12 mL // approximate value of $3.40

5. cargo cosmetics eye pencil in 82 black

i'm not sure if this is a discontinued product because i couldn't seem to find it on the cargo website. i looked it up initially due to the size discrepancy on the card (indicates we received a full size product at 2 g but the package shows 1.1 g) and i was surprised when i couldn't find it. oh wells! i think the full size is 1.1 g as 2 g would be a huge eye pencil!

verdict: i'm not a huge fan of eye pencils - i prefer to line my eyes with wet eye shadow - so i doubt i will be using this. i will probably give it to one of my sisters - she is really into eye liner at the moment so i think she will enjoy it! :)

full size & sample size // 1.1 g // $16

6. anastasia of beverly hills clear brow gel

i really needed this brow gel a few days ago. i don't have much by way of eye brows but they can still get surprisingly unruly! my brows have been ok the last few mornings so i didn't feel the need to bust out the brow gel but i will update this blog post when i try it out.

update: i tried the brow gel and it worked but i'm not sure i would repurchase this product due to the price. i think a clear mascara or a tiny bit of vaseline would also do the job... and at a fraction of the price. i also just read this morning that you can use a clean mascara wand with a little bit of hairspray on it to smooth out those brows and hold them in place!

full size // 0.28 oz // $21
sample size // 0.085 oz // approximate value of $6.38

// approximate value of the products in the january 2012 glymm box: $27.46 not including the $25 lip shine //

overall, i am guardedly pleased about the january glymm box. my 2 main disappointments are (a) the lack of colour in the box (i was hoping for a nail polish or eye shadow or blush or lipstick... anything with some colour) and (b) the discontinuation of the jelly belly candies (this was apparently due to safety concerns). i know candy is not the point of a beauty subscription service but it was still a nice treat - especially for my husband! however, i am very happy that i discovered kaia naturals and i'm also excited to receive my rms lip shine.

hope this review was helpful... please let me know what you received in your glymm box and how you liked the products!

p.s. if you wish to join glymm through my invitation, i will earn 50 points and send heaps of good karma your way.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

top 11 of 2011

here are my favourite 11 beauty products of 2011! i must admit, my list is relatively boring but, in my defence, my beauty routine was pretty boring for most of 2011. i go through phases and only started getting really interested in changing things up in the last couple months of the year. that being said, here are my top 11.

i tried to pick only one product and one colour from each category... and my top 11 of 2011 are as follows (in order of appearance on the video):

1. facial cleanser (0:30)
2. toner (1:15)
3. face cream (1:58)
4. concealer (2:45)
5. blush (3:25)
6. eye shadow (4:55)
7. lip balm (5:58)
8. lipstick (6:39)
9. pressed powder (7:25)
10. nail polish (8:14)
11. beauty tool (9:34)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

my 2012 goals & resolutions!

the new year never feels quite right until i've made official my annual goals. every year, i tend to set goals related to health, diet, and fitness... and i either fail miserably or feel miserable. not a good start to the year!

i'm doing things a little differently this year. i started the year with coffee, chips, chocolate, taffy, and zero exercise. it felt liberating (but see my note below). for 2012, i set goals related to finances and organization, which i've described both in the below video and in this blog post.

you may have already read or heard this somewhere but the key is to set SMART goals for success: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. i tried to keep that in mind while setting my 8 goals but a couple of them are still too vague for my liking (i.e. goals 6 & 7).

the above video goes into detail about how or why i decided to set each of the below goals but for ease of reference (more for myself), here are my 8 goals for 2012:

1. photo-a-day project of hubby and me.
- take at least one photo every day for 366 days of hubby and me together.
- simple point-and-shoot photos will suffice.

2. 100 day thrifting challenge.
- buy only second hand merchandise until april 10, 2012.
- excludes makeup and basics (socks & underwear) for hygienic reasons.
- wear a minimum of one thrifted item each day until april 10, 2012.
- initially, this was going to be a one year thrifting challenge so i may extend it if it goes well.

3. savings goal + rewards!
- when i reach 50% of my savings goals, i can purchase one luxury item.
- when i reach 100% of my savings goals, i can purchase one additional luxury item.

4. one new beauty product per month.
- i can purchase one new beauty product each month in addition to the samples included in my beauty boxes (glymm & topbox).
- i can only subscribe to two beauty boxes at a time.
- does not include replacement items (i.e. if i run out of a product, i can re-purchase the same or a very similar product).

5. one litre of water per day.
- drink at least one litre of water per day in addition to any other beverages (tea, coffee, juice, etc.).

6. figure out the mess that is my hair.
- learn how to style my own hair so it looks presentable.

7. decorate, de-clutter & re-organize.
- put up photographs and artwork using the frames previously purchased.
- de-clutter the condo one area at a time.
- find organization solutions for my shoes, handbags, jewellery, makeup, etc.

8. keep a better record of events.
- go back to using a hard copy planner.
- compile a visual history using the information in the planner and the associated photographs.

note: i used to be really really healthy. i didn't consume caffeine, i did yoga three times a week, i lifted weights, i did cardio, i drank only water (and unsweetened soy milk on occasion), i cooked healthy meals, and i didn't eat chips or instant noodles. i even took a multi-vitamin every day. i think it is important to have a healthy lifestyle and i want to transition back to my old ways... it just won't be part of my new year's "resolutions" - instead, it will happen when i feel motivated to make the change.

do you make resolutions or goals for the new year? if so, please let me know what some of those are! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

{what i wore} new year's eve

happy 2012!!! i hope you are all having a happy and safe start to the new year.

just wanted to share my outfit for new year's eve. it is an eclectic look - nothing really matches - but i really loved the way it came together.

here is what i wore:

- american apparel nail lacquer in mount royal
- crazy disco clutch from a tacky store in las vegas (i think it was one sale, 2 for $14, or something like that. i also got a smaller all black clutch... which was very classy. too classy for new year's eve, haha!)
- sequined rose print tank top (urban outfitters)
- black lace racer back tank top (walmart)
- black tights (lululemon)
- black ankle booties (walmart)
- oversized gold stud earrings (h&m)
- black & gold chain necklace - tucked into lace tank top (walmart)
- bracelets (talize & dollarama)

not shown in video:

- black h&m boyfriend blazer (h&m)
- wrap coat (anthropologie)

ok, there are a lot of items from walmart on the above list but i swear that is not the main place i shop for clothing! however, i am proud to say that this is probably one of the least expensive outfits i've ever put together... lululemon tights and anthropologie coat notwithstanding.

anyway, i hope my haphazard outfit was not too hard on the eyes. it was definitely fun to pull out all the bling to bring in the new year. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

{vlog} happy new year + new lighting setup

{favourites} december 2011

i made a couple of youtube videos before the new year but unfortunately dropped the ball, so to speak, with creating the corresponding blog posts so here we go...

since i've been trying a whole bunch of new products, i decided i wanted to start doing a monthly favourites series. i see a ton of these on youtube and they seem like a really good way to (a) share what works for you and (b) keep a catelog of sorts of the products that you use and love. i have a lot of favourites in december because i changed a lot of my skincare and haircare routine. in subsequent months, i am only expecting to have a handful of products to share. :)

ok, i look like i'm going to eat the l'oreal eye makeup remover in the screen capture below but i swear i just open my mouth reeeally wide when i talk.

here are my favourites in order of appearance:

1. l'oreal gentle eye makeup remover
2. clean & clear daily pore cleanser
3. ahava mineral hand cream
4. maybelline instant age rewind eraser for dark circles in medium
5. physician's formula mineral wear talc free mineral face powder in buff beige
6. nyc blushable creme stick in big apple blush
7. annabelle blush in #32 pronto
8. mac matte eye shadow in carbon
9. nyx nude on nude palette
10. maybelline baby lips in quenched
11. revlon colorburst lip butters
12. sula natural lip gloss in beautiful stranger
13. ecotools brush (i think it's actually a powder) brush
14. ysl parisienne fragrance
15. oversized stud earrings

also, i haven't taken any photos for a while so i snapped a few for the blog. our living room window faces a small office building and i had drawn up the blinds to get some more natural light for the photos. in the middle of posing & clicking (i was taking self portraits with a wireless remote), i noticed what looked like a silhouette of a person at the window of the office building. i'm sure i froze and i'm pretty certain my eyes bugged out about an inch. i carried on but in more of a subdued manner. when i looked back, the silhouette was gone so my paranoid personality thinks that he left to give me some privacy... meanwhile the person probably didn't even notice me. but *if* he did, oh wow, how awkward for both of us.

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