Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Cat Nails

Finally, I have this year's Halloween nails completed! I squeaked in at the last second. I kept seeing these cute cat nails on Pinterest and knew I had to recreate them. With it being the Halloween season, I decided to spook-ify it with traditional Halloween hues.

I used Zoya Storm, my favourite sparkly black, for the kitties. For a base, I used Zoya Serenity for a fun purple background. For the orange eyes, I used Zoya Sharon.

Their eyes are a bit dopey. :]


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bite Beauty Kir Royale

I used to be such a Sephora point hoarder. Until now. I have been addicted to Bite Beauty lipsticks-always on the look out for more minis. So, I couldn't help but blow through those points on a couple of the 250 point perk sets. They featured a new limited edition shade each month complete with a lipstick, lipgloss, and little compact mirror. This here is Kir Royale-a dark berry. I was hoping it would pull cool burgundy and violet, but in direct sun it has more of a warm, red tone. This the most recent set. The other one I picked up in August was in the shade Bellini- a super bright pink. I'm usually not one for pink lips, but I have been wearing Bellini quite frequently (seen here & here). I actually really love it for a surprising fall lip colour. I didn't get the September shade-Mimosa, a warm peachy, orange. I have quite a few similar shades I love, so I was holding out for October.

I'm more of a fan of the lipstick formula than the gloss. Though if you are a gloss girl, it's a great formula and super pigmented. I tend to prefer a creme or matte finish. I love deep berry lips, and I can tell Kir Royale will be on heavy rotation this holiday season. I wish it pulled a little closer to the box, but perhaps, I can layer it with some deeper shades to get the look.

Did you get any of the limited edition Bite sets?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mini Mascaras

I love when I can avoid buying a full tube of mascara. I'll never go through the whole thing before it gets a bit too clumpy, and I want a fresh one. Good thing minis are always coming my way through gifts with purchase, mini sets, and subscription boxes. I thought I'd share the few I'm currently working with.

Too Faced Better than Sex
I have had several baby bottles of this one. I love the huge, hourglass fluffy wand. It gives me the look of a ton of lashes while lengthening and volumizing.

Nars Audacious Mascara
This is the deepest black I've ever seen. Super lengthening and separating for a dramatic look. This gives the effect of each lash being volumized with its thick rubber bristles. It even has the ball of bristles on the end to help get every lash. Only caveat, it definitely isn't water resistant.

Eyeko Black Magic
This mascara has the most natural effect. The curved brush keeps a curve. Lashes are lengthened, separated and clump-free. In my experience, this one doesn't give much volume.

What mascara are you currently using?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New Hair Care from Drybar

I have been enjoying my new life as a half-blonde. It's been fun to have a different look. My bestie and I went to Drybar recently, and I decided to pick up some new products for the new hair. We had the stereotypical girls' day-brunch & beauty. And it was awesome to chat away and relax.

Having non-colour treated hair, I never worried too much about shampoo or conditioner. Everything seemed to work well enough. I decided to get a new shampoo and conditioner that specifically mentioned being safe for colour treated hair and would be extra hydrating on my newly bleached ends. I went with the Sake Bomb range for its nourishing and hydrating descriptors. The packaging is gorgeous and of course, the signature sweet Drybar scent. I heard a lot about purple shampoos-the pros & the cons. I wanted to get something particularly for the new blonde and decided to give Blonde Ale Brightening Creme a try. It's a leave-in conditioner and not a crazy purple colour. I can't say anything to its powers, as I am freshly dyed and only have used it a couple of times. Finally, I had to add to the minis! This time, I went with Sparkling Soda Shine Mist. Got to have that extra hydration for these chilly months. I love how it makes my hair look shiny and healthy but not greasy. Just as it should.

Any hair care tips/products for a newbie blonde?


Monday, October 26, 2015

My Favourite Brow Products

Brows, brows, brows. Something I neglected for so long, and now, I don't want to leave the house without filling them in. I have tried a couple of different products but stayed with my tried & true brands.

My number one favourite brow product is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade. I use the shade Soft Brown (I just repurchased a new one.) At first, I thought using a creamy pot would be difficult and fussy, but the exact opposite is true. It's surprisingly quick and easy-which is probably why it's my favourite. I want defined brows, and I want them now. The first brow product I purchased was Anastasia Brow Whiz (same shade Soft Brown). I read all the reviews and knew it should be my first step in the brow world. Spooly on one end, slim pencil on the other. It took me a bit to get the hang of it as it has a harder consistency than say an eyeliner. I love the look and the product-I think this is my second one. I just prefer the pomade as I found, with the pencil, I can go a bit overboard and over line. Not always, but sometimes I would pair the Brow Whiz with Anastasia's Clear Brow Gel. Super simple clear gel in mascara packaging. It never made my brows feel crunchy and kept them in place all day. My most recent brow product discovery was Too Faced Brow Envy. It has all you need and more for perfect brows. Using this kit gives me natural and soft looking brows. However, it does take some time. I love the included shades and the consistencies are perfect. It's nice to have all the tools, including tweezers, in one handy little box.

What's your favourite brow product?


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Grown-Up Colouring Books

I can't believe there is only one week left of October! This month has flown by. We had a lot of fun events happening-which I loved, but I am a bit of a homebody and love my nights and weekends in. Reading a good book or making arts and crafts are some of my favourite pajama day activities. One thing I'm glad is gaining popularity is adult colouring books. Yes, it's a thing. Preston got me Johanna Basford's Secret Garden. I love all the intricate, nature-themed images.

Now, these things take time! One book will probably last you a lifetime. Which is a negative, as I want all the grown-up colouring books! Animal Kingdom, Enchanted Forest, Fantastic Cities-so much colouring, so little time.

Are you an adult colourer?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Happy Caturday!

Here's the story on these ridiculous images...So, I walked into Petsmart, and all the Halloween items were on sale. That's pretty much it. For a treat, I bought the kitties a few Halloween themed toys. Then, I tricked them with a couple of dog costumes.

I decided a little sharky and triceratops were the perfect ones. I bought size small. Even though they are for dogs, it was too small for my dear fat Rococo.

Of course, I took plenty of videos because they hated the costumes so much. It was priceless. I feel so evil, but it was worth it. Just look at their grumpy, confused faces...

Are your pets dressing up for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Nail Art Round-Up

I'm not the type of blogger to paint my nails and then immediately remove it just for a post. That means my current Halloween nails are posted a bit too late to be of use to you (though, if you are curious I am planning on doing cat nails.) So, I try to show my past holiday nail art for some inspiration-in enough time for you to paint them for all your Halloween festivities.

What will be on your nails this Halloween?


Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Fall time just makes me want to snuggle up under the covers with a good book and a creamy cup of tea. I have a wide interest in genres and am always on the look out for recommendations. I have blogged a few times here and there on my current reads and thought, in honour of Halloween, I would share a spooky assortment.

Sometimes you just want that quick, page turner to make the train ride a little more entertaining or that lazy weekend a bit more exciting. My go-to recommendation in that department (and I am sure many others) is Gillian Flynn. If you really haven't read Gone Girl (come on now!), trade that scary movie marathon for the novel instead. Or try one of her other works, Dark Places and Sharp Objects. If you are like really, Kim, of course I have read Gillian Flynn. I have a couple of not-quite-copy-cats but along the same lines. I enjoyed Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins a thriller told through an unreliable narrative. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica is another quick, psychological option as well.

True Crime
If you are looking for something a bit more intellectual and like your horror historical, give The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson a go. A dual story of America's World Fair in Chicago intertwined with H.H. Holmes serial killings make for an engrossing tale. Initially you read it for the Holmes story, but somewhere along the way the historical significance and climate of Chicago architecture in the 1890s begins to grow more and more interesting. I can't believe how many everyday objects began from that fair in Chicago. Plus, if you read it now, you will be ahead of the game when it premieres as a Scorsese movie, starring none other than Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Ghost Story
No real ghosts, but this short story changes position and type such that it reads with the tempo of a tale around a campfire. The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski only takes an hour, so it's perfect for Halloween night-the day the story begins. It's now a tradition for me to read it each Halloween. If you fall in love with the style and want more, House of Leaves is another perfect Halloween read as an uncanny tale. House of Leaves is an endeavor, but I highly recommend it-so start now! And while you are at it, pick up The Familiar Vol. 1 and pre-order Vol. 2 which will be released on October 27th.

Currently, I am reading a horror novel that Preston recommended called Bird Box by Josh Malerman. So far, I am very intrigued. I would say this is your classic horror novel- post-apocalypse, mysterious killings, Stephen King-esque. 

Do you have an spooky book recommendations?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Atelier Cologne

Preston asked me what my favourite scent was the other day, and immediately I jumped up to grab my little vial of Atelier Santal Carmin. With the cooler weather here, I am back on this warm, cozy scent that was a favourite all last winter. Since then, I have been collecting Atelier samples here and there (usually via Sephora add-ons). Each scent conveys a story and imagery. You can envision it with the scent, but the included postcards add image and text to it.

Santal Carmin is a warm, sandalwood scent. The full-size bottle is my dream; however, that gorgeous real gold packaging hikes up the price quite a bit. I am lusting for the candle as well. My next favourite is Cedre Atlas-a cedar scent with lemon and bergamot. It's fresh and unique. Orange Sanguine has my favourite postcard. I love the Mediterranean breakfast scene. Mandarine Glaciale is the cooler side to Orange Sanguine. Both are vibrant citrus, but each connatate different regions and scenes.

I love how different their scents are compared to other perfumes. I haven't come across any similar scent profiles. The strength and scent combinations aren't for an all over body spray- just a dab of the unexpected scents transports you to another place. I have never really been that perfume obsessed, but Atelier definitely changed my mind to the power of scent.

Are there any perfume brands you collect samples of?


Sunday, October 18, 2015

New Hair!

I've been sneaking a few pictures here and there on Snapchat & Instagram but wanted to officially announce my new hair! I have only dyed my hair once before in college. I did a semi-permanent 30 day dye in dark brown. It ended up never washing out. Combining the dark, almost black hair with red roots, was a couple of years ordeal. Now, it had been awhile with my natural red, and I was eager for a bit of a change.

I decided to see if blondes do have more fun with a balayage fading from my natural red to blonde. I went to a The Paint Box. I fell in love with their Instagram account. The hair painting technique looked so natural-even when using bright and bold crazy colours. Their space is awesome, and they have a cute bulldog puppy as acting mascot.

Have you changed up your hair recently?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Birchbox | October 2015

Good evening, friends. October has been such a busy month! In the best possible ways. Every night we have had something going on-which is great but makes this daily blogging thing mighty tricky (I definitely haven't been proof reading...not good!) I have to say I am impressing myself with this streak. Anyway, today is a Birchbox day! I love getting new little products to test out. When I opened up this box, I was super excited. It's kind of my jam.

Box Breakdown
Avene Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser
BioRepublic Green Tea Detox Purifying Sheet Mask
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara
Number 4 Texture Styling Creme
Macadamia Professional Style Extend Dry Shampoo

Instantly, I was excited about the Macadamia Professional Style Extend Dry Shampoo I have changed to a dry shampoo convert lately, and I love testing out new ones. This one smells amazing, in true Macadamia fashion. Awesome sizing too! My sample choice this month was the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, another beauty product I can never have too many choices of. The tube is so unique. The wand has a slight curve and natural bristles. It has potential to be a new fav. And if the matches in this box couldn't get any better, I also get a new sheet mask to try, BioRepublic Green Tea Detox Purifying Sheet Mask. Additionally, I received a little facial cleanser with french thermal spring water-Avene Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser- and a sample of Number 4 Texture Styling Creme. I have tried several No. 4 products in the past and liked all of them. I don't regular use a texturizing creme product, but I might give it a go to boost up some big braids for fall. 

I love the marbled dye effect of the box. I have a marble mani post if you want to achieve the look in nail art! Just use shades of pink instead. 

What did you get in this month's Birchbox?


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ten #worklife Tips

A bit of a different post from me, but I wanted to dive into some general life experience content- to share from what I have learned over the years through successes and of course, some fails. It is shocking to think how I bumbled my way through those first jobs and internships! I am hoping this post might be helpful to avoid such blunders or just validation that you are on the right path. Feel free to share your work tips in the comments! And in no particular (and probably a confusing) order, are ten tips for #worklife.

1. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
This one took me a long time to get over. I was afraid if I asked something it would seem like I didn't know what I was doing or that I wasn't paying attention. In fact, it's the very opposite. Asking well-defined, thoughtful questions demonstrates understanding and prevents your assumptions from leading you down a wrong direction. This reminds me of The Office episode when Jim didn't ask Charles to clarify what a 'rundown' was-he spent all day guessing at it and by the end of the day, made no progress. Just ask! I especially made this mistake when I was new to #officelife. You would be surprised how many terms are industry/company/department specific.

2.  Try things yourself first.
Perhaps this feels contradictory to number one. I promise it's not, though it can be hard to find a balance. It actually is part of being able to ask well-thought out questions. It can seem easier to just ask your boss the answer to something, but your boss is busy-that's why they are the boss. Do some background research and try to understand the problem, some proposed solutions, and ask questions from there.

3. Maintain your own style.
It can be difficult to feel like yourself in work wear. My first few jobs were in a lab environment as a student, so it was perfectly acceptable to 'jeans & tees' it. When I started my working in an office in New York City, I struggled to keep my identity in business casual, fluctuating between too stuffy and too trendy. Now, I have to say, I am quite proud of my assortment of work attire. I found my style. It truly does make a difference in your confidence to not lose your identity for 40 hours a week. My go-to's are black or gray pencil skirts or straight-legged trousers with a printed blouse or sweater and good pointy-toed flat. It doesn't have to be expensive or boring to find items you love.

4.  Make connections.
Oh no, not networking. I would cringe at the term. I swear it really doesn't have to be fake or phony. The goal isn't to make strangers do favours for you. It's to maintain contact and positive thoughts between people you already know. Send your internship adviser a 'Thank You' and update. Ask a professor if they are working on any projects you could join. You never know what doors might open up in the future. This type of interaction is exactly how I came to be where I am, and I am the most networking reluctant, shy, introverted, non-self-promoting person there is. This article was a good read on the topic.

5. BYO Supplies
This tip might just be a personal quirk of mine, but I like my pens. And my calendars. And my pencil cup. And my mouse. I pretty much have a brand, make, & model preference for all things stationery. Now, don't go opening up a personal Staples at your desk the first day-but bringing the tools you know you prefer can make those long work days easier. I've also had my cube set-up be a good ice breaker for new colleagues. I recommend keeping it purely functional for a while and really pay attention to the culture. It can leave a weird impression to have your cube look like a dorm room in a sea of blank white walls.

6. Pay attention to the culture.
I never realized how varying different workplaces can be until I had a few different experiences. Like the above "cube decor" example, it's important to gauge your workplace. From those non-work, but still work events, such as Do people eat at their desk, eat out? Do people wear headphones? Does everyone say 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' on their way in and out? to work-related instances-For a quick question, is email, phone, or stop by preferred? Who tends to speak in meetings and are these discussions formal or informal? How does my role and department fit in with the organization as a whole? Watch for these sometimes subtle demonstrations of culture. I know I didn't even think about it at all when applying for my first jobs and now it's something I carefully evaluate.

7. Take Advantage of Benefits.
When I started at my first full-time job, it was a bit overwhelming to go through all the forms and make so many decisions. At 23, it was 1. Weird to think of saving for retirement and 2. Morbid to write beneficiaries in case of my death. Still, it's important to learn the language and make informed decisions. Retirement, health insurance, health savings accounts, pre-tax transit-and I'm sure many of you have 'cool' jobs with an array of perks. Follow tips 1 & 2 to solidify your options-it can be more difficult (or impossible-until year end) to change your mind.

8. Read Ask A Manager.
I am a bit obsessed with this site. Whether you are currently in the midst of a job hunt, new the office or working in general, or just need some entertainment, this advice site has it all. The advice is super practical and the comment section is actually quite valuable with individuals sharping their experiences from a spectrum of industries with their own norms and quirks.

9. Update Your Supervisor. 
Whether that's to let them know you need to schedule a vacation or you need help prioritizing competing demands. Don't be the one to not call-out when sick or miss a deadline because you were afraid to speak up. I know I have been guilty in the past of those acts, but it's not a sink or swim situation-you aren't an island. Your boss wants to know how to help-they have a boss too (or a board or shareholders).  This also goes for sharing your achievements-ways you have streamlined a system, documents you created to train a process. Don't be afraid to discuss things like raises, promotions, or stretch projects you would like to be a part of.

10. Always Be Learning
It can be easy to fall into a catatonic schedule. Work, home, work, home-repeat indefinitely. But don't lose sight of what you want to accomplish or where you hope to be. Yes, there are some aspects of the 'paying your dues' mentality in the working world. You shouldn't expect a promotion after 3 months at a job or in some fields, 3 years, but you can be learning and developing the skills needed for future opportunities. A lot of training might even be available through your workplace. One of my favourite sites for learning new skills is Coursera. They have so many different topics, and you can learn a lot of practical skills. Courses vary in prerequisite skill level and how much time commitment is needed, but everything is free so feel free to add and drop whatever you fancy. Even if a course isn't for you, read industry websites and articles to keep up with your field. So much changes quickly, especially with regards to software and other technology-stay ahead of the curve.

What are some of your workplace tips?


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nars Pro Palette Wishlist

I have been crushin' on Nars lately as evidenced by a few recent purchases. I might have freaked out a little when I heard of their release of the Pro Palettes a couple months ago. I probably built several ridiculously expensive palettes until I settled on this selection of wishlist items. Of course, there are many, many more that in my dream world I would add to this adaptable palette.

I love eyeshadows, and actually don't have too many from Nars. Definitely a lot of classic duos I need and the pro palette format seems perfect to stock up. I have been wanting the Kalahari Duo for what seems like forever, and I only hear good things about Cordura. All About Eve is another classic for a neutral eye look. Ashes to Ashes looks like a cool violet taupe dream. The Nars blushes I have are basically my favourites of all my collection, so I can't help but want to add another shade in the mix. Dolce Vita rusty rose shade looks right up my alley. 
What would be in your dream Nars Pro Palette?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Review | Too Faced Brow Envy

I was so excited to test out this kit - I am all about those brows. I have tried pencil, pomade, gel, and it was about time to give the traditional powder + wax medium a try.

Too Faced Brow Envy comes with all you need for a complete brow look. The kit comes with 3 tools, 2 coloured powders, a setting wax,  a highlighting shade, and even stencils. The brunette shade is a good match, and I'll use a little of the blonde on the ends (beginnings?) of my eyebrows for a natural fade. I really like the setting wax. It doesn't get crunchy at all, but it does get a little dirty from the powder. The highlighter has a crazy cool cream to powder finish. Every time I touch it I'm amazed it's powder on my finger. 

The result is a natural looking brow. I have to say using the kit takes me a bit longer than using say the Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade. It's not as easy as a one-step you're done product, but I do love the soft look it gives and the powder shades are perfect. The mini tools are also nice, and I love how in one little kit you have everything you need.

What's your favourite brow product?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Weekend | Apple Picking

This weekend Preston & I headed to New Jersey and were in for an awesome weekend of fun fall activities. It was amazing to spend the long weekend outdoors in basically an Autumn wonderland.

I have never been apple picking before, being a girl from Florida. I imagined it would be a lot more difficult to access and was pleasantly surprised by how many farms are open to the public. We went to Melick's Town Farm. It was fun to walk around the grounds and see all the different fruits and veggies.

There were amazing views from the top of the hill. So many trees are showing their Autumn colours. We also got a short hay ride too.

We left with bags of apples, apple cider doughnuts, and this delicious Sparkling Apple Cider.

After our farm excursion, we hiked around the reservoir. We have done this hike quite a few times and love the beautiful Northeastern forest.

Our day didn't end with the hike either. We returned to start baking with our freshly picked apples. Preston made an apple pie, and I made this crumble again. We then headed to Norz Hill farm for some haunted attractions. We miss our Halloween Horror Nights, but this definitely did the trick.

Monday we are headed back to the city, where I am hoping fall will have arrived. I might have covered many fall bucket list items in just one day, but I am in no way ready for this season to end-it has only just begun. 

What were you up to this weekend?