Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mother's Day Set from Tatcha

Mother's Day is a special day for me, as I am sure it is for many of you. It can be hard to find the perfect gift for someone so selfless. I know my mom isn't going to give me a list of things to buy her, but none-the-less, I want to do something special for her. Her birthday also falls in May too, so I want things to be extra special. That picture is from my undergraduate college graduation. As a teacher, she always inspired me to love learning and to help others. Not very eloquent, but it's true.

Tatcha is the most gorgeous luxury skincare brand. Yup, big claim, but I am standing by it. Their holiday sets were perfection, and they did it again with Okasan set.

Included is the Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask, Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream, Gold Camellia Beauty Oil, and the Ageless Eye Cream. Plus, some cute Japanese candies. And I can't forget the wooden box! It is my favourite home decor item. The Camellia Beauty Oil is one of my absolute skincare favourites. With its floating gold flecks, it's like you are giving her gold too. At a lower price point with smaller sizes (but still substantial) than the holiday set, it makes for the perfect gift. You could even pick up a couple for your mom, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, friends that are moms- whomever!

Do you have any Mother's Day traditions?

*Products were sent for review. See my full disclosure here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

ColourPop Lippie Stix Swatches

Yesterday, I went through my first ColourPop order. It was getting a bit lengthy, so here is the second half of the split-the Lippie Stix. I think I got a good variety to sample. I have a few different finishes-matte, satin, and creme, as well as neutrals and brights.

Frida | The perfect everday pinky/peachy nude.
Lumiere | A matte slightly purple deep nude. That 90's shade.
Brunch | I can never have enough bright coral lip shades. And the name. Similar to TopShop's Macaroon.
Julep | A more reddy-pink coral with a creme finish.

If I already didn't look stupid enough taking lip swatch pictures in my backyard, then I had to up the ante with silly lip swatch pictures. You gotta know what the shade looks like pouty, right? And yeah the eyeshadow does not work with these colours. I am well aware.

What shades of Lippie Stix should I try next? What's your favourite finish?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My First ColourPop Order

I like to think that I am up on the new beauty brands and products. However, I think I missed the initial ColourPop rush. Is it just me or did it suddenly explode all over YouTube? I have a serious case of FOMO for most everything (the struggle is real #firstworldproblems), so I had to try a few things from the brand.

I decided to go with their most talked about products-the Super Shock Shadows and the Lippie Stix. I went with the Megan Naik set (again feeling way behind since I am not familiar with her channel-though I will have to check that out soon). It seems they do a lot of collaborations with YouTubers & beauty bloggers, which might explain all that buzz. Plus, they are quite an affordable range. Anyway, back to the set. It includes four shadows of a variety of finishes. Amira-a crazy glitter packed antique gold metallic; Onai-a white satin; Farah- a matte brown; and Lectra- a deep metallic burgundy with pink glitter. I can't resist a burgundy shadow.

I have to say with swatching these I was a bit light as the texture is whipped, kind of mousse-like, and I didn't want to dig too deep, but you can definitely build it up like crazy. The eye make-up I'm wearing below is all the shades. This was definitely a dramatic look as it's super glittery. Though, no fall out-I think it must be the magic mousse-y formula.

I also added a few Lippie Stix to my order: Frida (what I am wearing here), Lumiere, Brunch, & Julep. I will share more on those tomorrow. With my order, I got a Tasty, a coral highlighter, as an extra. I added a little bit of that over my blush (tarte True Love) here. It has that Nars Orgasm vibe-perfect for spring/summer.

If you are looking for some new shadows or to try some lip colours, I would check ColourPop out. They have a huge selection, great formulas, and everything is basically $5. Can't go wrong with that.

Am I late to the game? What are some of your ColourPop favs?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review | Beauty Protector

Beauty Protector is a brand I discovered through Birchbox. My first try was a mini spray bottle of the Protect & Detangle-a cult classic product (Just looked back now & that was February 2013!) I love the philosophy behind the products. Protection from all that damage. My hair is long, thick, and hard to control. I am either heat styling or wrapping it to death in a ponytail. I have been mentioning the Protect & Oil quite frequently recently, so I thought I would do a round-up of reviews.

Protect & Detangle Leave-In Conditioner
I am a bit obsessed with spray leave-in treatments. They are just so easy and kind of fun. I love how Beauty Protector products smell like sugar-caramel. With a few sprays out of the shower my hair is much more manageable and softer.

Protect & Oil Argan Oil
I recently ordered this from Birchbox, when my little baby sample ran out. I love when I find products I just have to have. I have tried quite a few hair oils, and this one is my favourite. It again has that caramel like smell. It keeps my hair looking healthy and strong. 

Protect & Treat Hair Mask
Protect & Treat is a new one for me. I fall in and out with treatments like this. It can be hard to find the time to sit with gooped up hair. Especially, when it just seems like it's just a regular conditioner sitting on your head-this is not like that. It's super thick, so it doesn't leave any drips anywhere. It leaves a noticeable hydrated result for a longer time, making it feel much more worth it.

These are all staples in my routine. I know I was going on & on about winter hair related trauma, but now it's time to get ready for summer's trials-sun, salt, and chlorine.

Have you tried Beauty Protector? What's your favourite product?

*Products were sent for review. See my full disclosure here.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Weekend | Sakura 2015

Deja-vu? Nope, I just do the same thing every weekend. Gotta utilize that Brooklyn Botanic Garden Membership to the fullest. And cherry blossoms. Duh.

This weekend was officially Sakura. But the cherry blossoms failed to realize this and have not arrived yet. I will go every weekend until they come. Do not worry. Anyway, even without the esplanade, it was a packed day. The cherry blossoms around the lake in the Japanese garden were all bloomed, so it was, of course, still beautiful.

It does make me wish we had some weekdays off to enjoy the gardens more quietly.

We had fun looking for our Chinese Zodiac-the horse. He was hiding behind. On our way back from the Botanic Garden, we grabbed some ice cream sandwiches from the food trucks and lounged out in Prospect Park. I love being able to back outdoors again.

How was your weekend?

ABM Happy Mail | April 2015

I am getting serious 80s vibes from this month's Happy Mail. I love when the month features foil, and they took it up a level with the silver holo. Lots of fun cards this month and colourful extras.

I love when I know exactly who I am going to send a card to, the "that's perfect for ____" feeling. The emoji girl twins definitely was like that. Plus, it has a cute gray & white polka dot envelope. Other favourites include the 'Thinking of You' Zebras and punny Campfire card. The holo placement was perfect. I love the use of it on the car card and the pills in the 'Get Well Soon' card. I think the weekday notepad is going to be super useful for planning in the Filofax.

I feel like a preteen girl again with that rainbow holo glow! Also, Rococo & I are bffs, so it's appropriate she is photobombing.

What was your favourite card/item this month?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Nail Art | Rifle Paper Co. Inspired

I am pretty darn excited about these nails. I feel like it's been forever since I did a proper nail art. My latest had been the Marble Mani and before that was ages ago with Sugar Skulls (October! Eek!). I love a good floral mani but felt like switching it up a bit. Thankfully inspiration came with the arrival of my April Birchbox.

I love Rifle Paper Co.'s sketchy abstract florals, and it was just the change of pace for a fun floral mani. The shapey nature lent itself easily to nail art. I used a couple of different sized dotting tools to draw the leaves and flowers, and a million nail polish colours.

Coral | Julep Teri
Dark Blue-Toned Green | American Apparel Hunter
Red | Zoya Sooki
Cool Toned Pink | Butter London Fruit Machine
Dark Yellow-Toned Green | Zoya Noot (this is more gray-toned)
Bright Teal Green | Essie First Timer
Primary Yellow | Color Club Almost Famous
White | Color Club Mod in Manhattan (this is slightly off-white)

Super fun for spring, and you can have fun with the patterns. It's not too difficult to do; I was even able to do my opposite hand without it looking too disadvantaged. Nail art is always time-consuming, so I like to do it while watching a Netflix series marathon or listening to my favourite albums. During this one, I was singing along to Brand New's discography (excited for the new album!)

With all of BB's pretty boxes, maybe I should do a BB inspired nail art series...Hmm...


Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Weekend | Spring is back.

Signs of Spring are starting to arrive. This Saturday was exceptionally warm, so Preston & I took advantage of the warm-hot even- weather by spending the afternoon at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I am a huge cherry blossom fan and am always checking their Cherry Watch page where it tells you which trees are in bloom. The main Sakura attraction of the Esplanade hasn't bloomed yet, but there were quite a few trees in action (see last year's trip here). Get ready for some flower pics...

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Birchbox | April 2015

And the beautiful boxes continue. You know, I loveeee Rifle Paper Co. -who doesn't right? I was so excited about this month's collaboration. Birchbox stocks quite a few items and whenever I am placing an order for some beauty supplies, I have to throw in a list pad or weekly calender.

This box will look gorgeous on my desk to store little odds & ends. I was so inspired by the design that I had to do some nail art. More on that another time...

A little more excited about the box than the products, but they are all items I will use which is always a plus. Just nothing too 'wow' worthy. I have tried several Harvey Prince items, and I do like their scents, so the Hello Body Butter will be used up quickly. This mini Not Soap, Radio Body Wash in Bathing with the Sharks will be perfect for summer travel. The name is cute too. I have been loving hair oils lately and look forward to trying the cool blue-yellow layered Ojon Rare Blend Oil Moisture Therapy. You can never have too many eye cream samples, plus this one from Supergoop has sunscreen for protection. Finally, I received the cutest little lip sample-Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Pink. It smells delicious and will be a nice purse size lippy option.

What did you get in this month's Birchbox?  
Do you keep your Birchboxes or recycle them?