Friday, April 15, 2016

ABM Happy Mail | March 2016

Loving the spring vibes of last month's Happy Mail. I need to have a spring cleaning of my stationery collection, and start sending more snail mail regularly! I am loving the cacti card, watercolour 'thank you', bicycle, and little rain cloud notepad.

What were your favourite cards last month?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Travel | Getting Ready for Taiwan

Right now, I am sipping on some Dong Ding Oolong tea and having wanderlust filled daydreams. In one week, Preston & I will be taking a 1 am flight to Taiwan. Our new year’s resolution was to travel more. We enjoyed our weekend trip to Seattle and are excited to take our first international trip together. It will be way outside of our comfort zones, but we can’t wait! I am frantically trying to finish up everything at work, so I can completely, mentally get away from that hustling NYC life.

Whenever we told people we were going to Taiwan, we were quizzically asked, “Why Taiwan?” So I thought I’d share some background in our decision. One, tea houses and mountains-including the tea house that inspired the bathhouse in Spirited Away! We had both been to European countries before and wanted to go somewhere completely different. So, we went with Asia. But, we didn’t want to go the usual Japan or Thailand route (though one day we definitely will!) Taiwan is a bit off the beaten path making flights and experiences much less expensive. Another reason-in high school, I hosted foreign-exchange students from Taipei. I’m excited to reconnect with them and to see their country.

I have been compiling a list of things we hope to do during our 10 day stay. From larger day trips to small, simple things. I thought I’d share some of them as well as ask your advice, suggestions, and tips!

Night Market in Taipei
Eat a pineapple cake from a bakery
Jiufen Tea House
Bubble Tea
Test some Asian beauty products
Taroko Gorge
Alishan Train Ride & Sea of Clouds
Fireflies in Alishan
Kenting National Park


Share your suggestions in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Birchbox | April 2016

This box has me ready for Spring. The weather is definitely rainy (hoping April showers bring May flowers) but has been on the chilly side. I'm so glad that Birchbox did another collaboration with Rifle Paper Co. (see the first one here). I love the floral design, plus it came with a 20% off Rifle Paper coupon. Here is what else I received in this month's box:

Box Breakdown
Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub
PBJ Smoothie Stick Creamy Lip Crayon
rms beauty The ultimate makeup remover wipe
Beaver Repair Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner

I just received a sample of the Acure Facial Scrub in the recent Whole Foods Beauty bag. I love it and even featured it in this past month's favourites. I am currently debating storing this one as a back-up or sharing the product love with a friend. I love the colour of the PBJ Smoothie Stick. It looks like the perfect transitional shade from colder weather to spring. And the little blenders on the packaging are pretty cute too. For sample selection, I chose the rms beauty makeup remover wipes. I have been wanting to try many products from rms. I love their chic design and luxe ingredients. These wipes are going straight in my gym bag. I tried hot yoga for the first time last week and came out looking like a panda-these are going to solve that problem! Finally, I received a generous size of Beaver Repair Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner. I am not a fan of their ingredients, so I might have to pass these on. Even so, this box is still a win for me. 

What did you get in this month's Birchbox?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How I Store My Lush Bath Products

The rose gold love continues from yesterday's post-this time with interiors. I am loving a touch of metallic around my apartment. I don't discriminate between gold and silver, but copper touches are definitely my favourite. Every once in a blue moon, I step into a Lush store and come out with quite a few bath bombs, melts, and bubble bars. Admittedly, they used to just hang out in the paper bag until go-time. Then, after a few candle hauls too many, I started to store them in the 3-wick Bath & Body Works candles. That worked okay, but that candle jar is pretty short, so I really only used it after having broken up the product in half or even quarters. My love of B&BW candles has sort of faded out with my discovery of the soy candles from Target. They are slightly better priced, larger, better ingredients, and have a touch more sophisticated scents. The jar is also much more conducive for Lush storage as the jar is taller. Any larger and I would probably become a bath product hoarder, so this is the perfect size. I love the copper tops with the artisanal font and design. I'm currently burning 'Cozy Nights' which has a pretty pale silver lid if that fits your bathroom theme better. I bought this tray years ago, and it fits these jars rather nicely. I couldn't fit an even three, but pairing it with the smaller jar version makes for a nice bath treat. I have my candle and products all ready to go!

How do you store your Lush goods?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Rose Gold Nail Polish

The rose gold obsession continues on. So today, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite rose gold nail polishes. I am always on the hunt for the perfect shade.

Butter London The Old Bill is the truest copper colour. It's not overly warm or too cool. It's rose gold without being too pink. It has a metallic finish with fine sparkles that are more apparent in direct sun. I'm wearing it in this picture.

Julep Soleil has a more frosted, metallic finish. It's a bit more rose silver in certain lights. I love Julep's thick formula. Since it is reminiscent of frosted polishes,  you do have to be a little more careful when applying to avoid streaks. 

Essie Penny Talk is a cult favourite. It's a great one that's easily available in drugstores. It leans a little cooler and more pink. It has a metallic finish. See it in a gradient here.

Any other rose gold polishes I must try? Leave it in the comments!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Beauty Favourites | March 2016

Happy April! It's been awhile since I've done a favourites. I skipped February as everything I was loving was exactly the same as January. I still feel like I have a lot of repeats. For me, it's nice to be in a make-up groove. It makes getting ready simple and saves my wallet too, since I am not always on the hunt for the newest thing to hit the shelves at Sephora.

A lot of favourites this month came from the Whole Foods Beauty Bag. The Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub is a lovely red clay scrub that leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean. It's been living in my shower for days when I feel I need that exfoliation-long days in the city or a work-out. I can't stop spritzing the evanhealy Rose Geranium Facial Tonic. I have been using it as a toner morning and night. The floral scent is very relaxing. Every once in a while I'll add a serum to my morning skincare routine. This month I have been using the MyChelle Perfect C Serum. It has a weird, natural smell to it, but I love the brightening and smoothing results it gives my skin. I'll follow that up with the Honest Beauty Dependably Clear Moisturizer.   A new product in my nightly routine has been the Burt's Bees' Cleansing Oil. I love using an oil to remove my make-up, and this one works great. I also pulled out an old shampoo sample that was from the Whole Foods 2015 Beauty Bag-Giovanni 2chic Blackberry Coconut Milk Ultra-Repair Shampoo. The texture and scent are perfect for clean, volumized hair. I finally replaces my old mini flat iron with this Mighty Mini Styler from Amika. I use a mini flat iron for my bangs. A couple of make-up favourites included the Nars Kalahari palette and Julep's When Pencil Met Gel liner in Bronze Shimmer-both featured in January's favourites. I also threw in my all-time fav, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla. It's about time to purchase my third tube, so I figured time to give it another shout out! Finally, Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black has been used quite often this month. It's a warm scent for these rainy and windy pre-spring days.

What were some of your March beauty favs?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Honest Beauty Trial

So I fell for a Facebook sponsored post. On one hand that is entirely unlike me, but on the other, I was obsessed with the Magic Bullet's infomercial, so I can fall for it from time-to-time. I'd like to think it only happens with the good products (and not the too good to be true). Anyway, I saw the ad for the free trial from The Honest Company's Beauty range, Honest Beauty, and figured I'd check it out.

I chose the 'oily' version because I wanted the oil-free selection. It comes with a gel cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer. And an especially cute bag. I love the gray pleather with floral lining. I instantly threw it in my purse to catch all my random odds and ends. Now that you know I approve of the bag..let's get into the actual products.

The Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser is really nice. It's a great consistency, foamy yet not too bubbly, and doesn't dry out your skin. The Dependably Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer has a sort of milk-like scent. I am not too sure how I feel about it, but I do love the texture. It's very soft and hydrating. Make-up applies over it very easily as well. I am definitely considering purchasing the full-size. I haven't tried the Beyond Protected Oil-Free Daily Beauty Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen but am looking forward to an oil-free facial sunscreen.

What do you think of Honest Beauty?