Oct 31, 2011

Want It? Revlon's Limited Edition Lip Palette in Bordeaux in the Snow

Attempting to find the Revlon Limited Edition Lip Palette was about as difficult as my shopping excursions to Superstore for the Joe Fresh Fuchsia Lipstick.  However, back in September the lipstick was mine and as of this past Friday, and because of a friendly neighborhood Shoppers Drug Mart that's directly below my office building, the limited edition palette is also mine.  Yippee....

Revlon first came out with a limited edition palette back in 2010 with the Suede Rhapsody collection.  I'll be honest, I didn't pick up the original multi-use palette and have been kicking myself ever since.  However, since I need eye shadow like I need a hole in the head, I'm quite happy I waited for this little treasure. 

All the colors are absolutely stunning and definitely fit the color scheme for fall 2011.  My absolute favorite color is the fuchsia in the top corner, of course, but the deep plum tone at the bottom is completely smashing. Check out some of my swatches:

From left to right, Fuchsia, Nude and Deep Plum (excluded are the two light colors.
I picked this up for about $13 and it has been in my purse ever since.  I'm extremely happy with my purchase.  Next time you're stumbling through a Shoppers, you should definitely pick one up.

PS - On a different note, HAPPY HALLOWEEN my friends.  Did you get up to anything interesting over the weekend?  Allan and I did a walking murder/ghost tour last night around Vancouver and it was so much fun.  Best part of it was that it didn't rain!!!  HA.  Hope you all have a great day and eat lots of candy!

XO Christina

Oct 28, 2011

DIY Beauty Fridays: Simple Eye Treatments

Do you wake up looking absolutely amazing every morning?  Do you wake up with absolutely no dark circles OR little eye creases?  If you answered "yes" to any of the following questions I should begin by saying that I dislike you immensely (ha).  If you answered "no" to either, or both, questions than welcome to my world!  (And the world of many other ladies I'm sure.)  All seriousness though, the eye area is a major problem spot for most people.  And what better way to say bye-bye to dark circles or wrinkles than with a few homemade products...

Dark Circle Treatments

TIP 1 - Apply pure Vitamin E oil around the eye area.  Best to use after cleansing and before eye cream.  Quick tip -  apply on a cotton pad around the eye area.  A little goes a long way, trust me.

TIP 2 - Apply cold teabags to your eye lids.  This is one of the oldest tricks in the book but it actually works.  The teabag type does matter, by the way, and I get the best results when using green tea teabags. 

TIP 3 - Apply a mixture of tomato and lemon juice (in equal parts) around your eye area.  Leave on for about 30 minutes and rinse off wth cold water then warm water.  You'll find that your eye area will glow after this treatment AND your dark circles will pratically have vanished.  Quick note, this one will sting a whole lot if you get it in your eye so do be careful.

Treating Puffiness

TIP 4 - Grate a small potato into two thin cloths (thin baby wash cloths work the best but a paper towel will do as well) and place each cloth over one eye for about 15 minutes.  This trick is absolutely fabulous!  I have been swearing by this for quite a number of years.  Quick tip, sometimes your skin feels slightly sticky after this treatment so a quick swipe with a gentle rosewater will remove that icky feeling.

I remember long ago my mom explaining the importance of an eye/skin care regimen.  I also remember her starting me on an eye cream at the age of 15.  Thanks to her I'm happy to say my skin doesn't look my age at all.  (Plus, it's always a nice feeling when others compliment you on your efforts as well.)  If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend incorporating an eye cream into your daily routine.  There are brands out there for every budget: Clinique (my tried and true), Avon, Garnier, L'Oreal and Estee Lauder are just a few big names.  Take the time to research the best product for you because eye care is no joke.  Thanks mom for making me aware of this so early on!

Have you tried any of these remedies before?  What eye care products do you use?

XO Christina 

Oct 26, 2011

It's Time For.....Another Wedding Wednesday Post!

As I'm sure you all know, Bronwen from the blog Rubyna is one of my closest and dearest friends outside of the blog world. We go to the gym together, eat amazing food together and she is also helping me plan my wedding.  Honestly, without her, I wouldn't have all the crafty DIY ideas I do because she is the brains behind this organization.  (Ha.) 

She has also been keeping track of all the little details that go into planning a wedding on her blog via a weekly post called "Wedding Wednesday".  So, without further adieu, you should go check it out.  Really, go, you should....

Check it out here: http://rubyna-bronwen.blogspot.com/

XO Christina

Oct 25, 2011

Delicious Smore's Caramel Apples and Drugstore Goodies

I was extremely busy this weekend.  Honestly, I was.  I baked and cooked and made hair treatments and even found time to give myself a facial.  (Long overdue if you ask me.)  I was so busy that I couldn't even blog yesterday.  Here's exactly why...

I made Smore's Caramel Apples!!  On a whim, I decided to make some goodies that both Allan and I could take to our offices for our co-workers to munch on.  For those that have never made caramel apples I should begin by saying that it's a lot more tedious than I originally thought.  But after the caramel finally melted and the marshmallows began to stick to the apples, I think the finished product looks absolutely fabulous.  (And they taste really really great too.  I had mine yesterday!!)  For the recipe, should the baking feeling/desire hit you, click here.

I also got a few things from Rite-Aid this week and forgot to tell you about them.  (Silly me, I know.)  I bought: Pssssst Dry Shampoo, Queen Helene Jojoba Hot Oil Treatment, Gel Eye Mask, Sally Hansen VitaSurge Growth Gel, Jessie's Girl High Intensity Nail Color in Baby Cakes and Revlon's Just Bitten Lipstain in Passion.  

Pssssst Dry Shampoo 
This is probably the most exciting purchase I've made in a long time.  I say this because I have been looking EVERYWHERE for this dry shampoo.  I've heard it compares to Batiste and I can't wait to review it for you.

Queen Helene Jojoba Hot Oil Treatment 
My hair is so over-processed right now that a hot oil treatment is an absolute must.  I can not wait to test this one out.

Gel Eye Mask 
Because every girl needs one and for some reason I've never owned one.  This mask can be used cold or warm with the purpose being to relax and soothe tired senses.  

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Growth Gel
Have never tried it before but need something to help me grow my nails.  It seems as though my nails get to a certain length and then decide to stop growing.....not fun.

Jessie's Girl High Intensity Nail Color in Baby Cakes
This picture really doesn't do this color any justice at all.  Honestly, the pink is almost florescent.  Can not WAIT to use this for a NOTD.

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain in Passion
Love any pink lip color and I've heard great things about the lip stains so I thought I'd try it out.  I love that the balm is on one end while the stain is on the other; it's just so convenient.  Another fabulous thing about this is that the balm is actually extremely moisturizing.  Unlike some that wear off quickly, this one actually stays on the lips for quite some time.

Aside from the purchases, I've also been reading a fantastic book.  It's called Room by Emma Donoghue.  I really don't want to give too much away but it's a story about imprisonment and, once they've escaped, the effects thereafter.  If you're on the hunt for a good read, I highly suggest it.

Whew, that's what I've been up.  So, how about you?  How was your weekend?

XO Christina 

Oct 21, 2011

DIY Beauty Fridays: Homemade Hair Treatment for Split-Ends

So, last night I was on the couch watching one of my newest, favorite but terrible shows "Heart of Dixie".  (Yes, I do watch bad TV.)  As I was sitting there, watching Zoe Hart making a fool of herself like usual, I was playing with my hair and before I knew it, I was casually rubbing off my gross straw-like-over-processed split ends.  It makes me cringe even now, just thinking about.  It was that next commerical break that I dragged myself off the couch to whip up a quick split-end hair treatment.  (Man, was my hair happier afterwards.)

Split-End Hair Treatment

1. Only three ingredients create this powerful treatment.  Add 2 Tbsp EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp honey to a small microwave-safe bowl.

2. Combine all ingredients together making sure to mix very well as the last thing you want is grainy bits of egg yolk.  Then, microwave the treatment for about 8-9 seconds.

3. Spread mixture evenly over your dry hair and work in with a comb, which you will definitely need.  Pay no attention to the stickiness of the treatment as it's just the honey working its magic.  Once the treatment is dispersed evenly, wrap your hair in either a warm towel OR do what I did and cover up with your favorite shower cap.  Wait 30 minutes and wash out (with both shampoo and conditioner.)

Why this works:  Olive oil is quite possibly the best cooking essential on the market.  It's extremely moisturizing without being too abrasive and it softens, conditions and improves the strength of your hair.  Also, egg is a fabulous, and inexpensive, way to repair dry hair. 

Once treated, my hair felt much less brittle and way healthier.  Plus, it was extra shiny, even for me!!  Ladies, you must try this out and tell me what you think.  Happy Friday!

XO Christina

Oct 20, 2011

Katy Perry: My Secret Style Inspiration

I don't typically like pop music.  I know, I know can you believe it?  I am usually the first one out trying to find new indie bands that no one's ever heard of before OR listening to music that, as Allan puts it, has too much feeling-talk.  So I guess it's kind of funny that I like both Katy Perry and her music.  Aside from her peppy songs, over-the-top confidence and beautiful husband, I have to say that she has some of the most creative videos I've seen in a long time.  So, here are some pics that display exactly why I like her...

Isn't she a doll?  I should also say that I've had a huge crush on Russell Brand since "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" but the boy does NOT take a good picture.....ever.  Oh well, he's still adorable.

PS - I'm also thinking I like her a heap because she has my favorite hair style....ever.  It's the banged/long bob......One day, I'll have this, one day!

XO Christina 

Oct 19, 2011

Expiry Dates and Cosmetics: A Recap

***This is a repost from my original post in January but as I was cleaning out the fridge over the weekend (and throwing out all the expired food) it made me think how important it is to clean out your vanity tables or cosmetic cases every quarter as well.***

I have a ton of cosmetics. These products, literally, fall out of drawers, bags, medicine cabinets, train cases, purses....I could go on and on and on. Do I ever get through all of my make-up? NO of course not, but as I tell Allan, that's not the point. The point is that I have that hard-to-find eyeshadow or that discontinued liquid liner when I do want to use it. The problem is I almost NEVER use everything. So in other words, there comes a time when purging and "letting go" is a must because, remember, beauty products DO have a shelf life.

Most people never encounter an expired product because they've used the entire container before that date. But if you do have a tendancy of over-buying (like me) and using products occasionally (like me) then follow these guidelines.

Mascara - Expiry date of 3 months
This beauty tool gets so close to your eye that it can cause redness, irritation, flaking and other annoyances so sticking to this expiry date is mandatory. There are a lot of "experts" out there that say the shelf life can be extended if you don't pump the wand in and out, but to be honest, I don't agree. Stick to three months and you'll be fine. You'll know when the product is entering into it's third month because the product starts getting dry. There will be less product showing up on the wand and it won't coat your lashes at all anymore.

Nail Polish - Expiry date of 12 months
Let's be honest, I can almost guarantee that EVERYONE has used an expired nail polish. (I know I have for sure.) Typically, a "smell test" is the way to examine the shelf life of a product but because nail polish has a fume-y odor naturally it can be difficult; so the easiest way to tell whether this product is off or not is to pull out the wand and look at the product itself. Typically a polish that's changed somehow will either be too thick (hard to spread on nails) or too runny.

Cleanser (non-organic) - Expiry date of 1 year
You can see that I put non-organic in brackets since organic products most times have a shorter shelf life. The reason for this difference is organic products do not contain parabens. (A paraben is used in many cosmetics because of its bactericidal and fungicidal properties. In other words it acts as a barrier against bacteria and helps prevent mold.) The shelf life for a paraben-free cleanser can be about 6 months if stored in a cool area with limited moisture.

Moisture cream (non-organic) - Expiry date of 1-2 years
Facial moisturizers last for about 1 year while a body cream can last for about 2. Also, ensure both products are kept in a cool area with limited moisture in the room. This is very important, especially, for paraben free products because more moisture in the room creates the perfect breeding ground for mold. I, myself, use a paraben free moisture (face) and store it in the fridge. I remove little amounts at a time, put it in a separate container (you can pick them up from the dollar store) and store it on my vanity in the bedroom, not the bathroom.  Also, if you have a deep closest with ample shelf space, I highly recommend storing them in there, alongside your fragrances.

Foundation (water based) - Expiry date of 1 year
I have water based in brackets because an oil based foundation has a shelf life of about 1.5 years. (You can see what type of foundation you have by looking at the ingredient list on the back. Water or oil will appear first and that will explain whether it's water based or oil based.) Sometimes water based foundations will dry out before the expiry date so I've heard that you can add a little bit of toner to the product (I've never tried this myself though). However, I would personally take that to mean I need a new foundation. The smell of a "bad" foundation will be very potent as well, in case the expiry date is no longer visible on the bottle.

Lipstick - Expiry date of 2 years
This is just an estimate because you will, without a doubt, know when a tube of lipstick has gone bad. The smell is absolutely atrocious!!! Storing your lipstick in a cool, dry place is best for an increased shelf life, so a place like the fridge will work well. Quick note, if you store your lipstick in the car and it's summer, you'll notice the tube will be pretty gross by fall.  I should probably say that I don't store my lipstick in the fridge because I dislike the cold feeling on my lips.  Instead, I have a designated lipstick drawer that's out of sunlight where they're all housed.

Eye liner (pencil) - Expiry date of 1 year
Just so you know, this is my personal time frame for pencil liners. I have heard people say 3 years and I've even heard 4 years but, for me, I give it one year. If you want to keep your pencils for longer, you must sharpen it regularly in a clean, disinfected sharpener and clean the top of the pencil. I used to wear contacts and, ever since then, I have become quite anal-retentive about eye related beauty products. Also, note to everyone, never ever ever share your liners, mascara or eye brushes with anyone else. I know it's hard to keep this rule as sharing is oh so fun BUT eye related infections are so easy to pass from one to the other. If you are going to share, like I do, keep a stack new mascara wands, eyeshadow brushes and lip brushes around for your friends. That way, they can still use your awesome colors and no one gets pink eye!!!

Eyeshadow (powder) - Expiry date of 2 years
Again, since it's an eye related product, I follow this timeline completely. However, if you're stumped as to when you purchased it or can't see the expiry date, just look at the product. You'll find that an "off" eyeshadow will be very crumbly and lack moisture which makes it very difficult to apply. It'll also lack pigment or color. If you are using a cream eyeshadow, the expiry date is about a year.

Concealer (water based) - Expiry date of 1 year
This one, again, is pretty easy to see and smell if it's turned. If you're using a stick concealer, then there will definitely be a pungent odor and the product itself will be extremely dried out. If you're using a pot concealer, like I do, then the product will be virtually impossible to spread on your face with a brush (as it will turn very sticky) and it will also have a strong "off" smell.

Make-up sponges - Expiry date of 1 month
Typically with a sponge, you'll want to clean it once a week with some warm water and mild soap and discard it after a month (whether it's clean or not). Sponges are very inexpensive which makes it easy to buy them often and, if let too long, they can grow bacteria very quickly which can cause skin irritation (acne, blemishes, etc.) So, if your skin starts to breakout and you haven't changed your sponge, good idea to toss it. I'm also going to lump make-up brushes in with this category as it pertains to cleanliness. Ensure that you clean your brushes every one to two months. I remember, clearly, a time when I was breaking out and wondering what was going in. I was so busy with work that I forgot to clean my brushes. Once clean, the blemishes disappeared.

Whew, quite the list there.  Ladies, any products I forgot about? Any weird experiences you had from an expired product? Share share share.....

XO Christina

Oct 18, 2011

My New HG Hair Oil: FOUND!!

For me to want to blog about a hair product it has to be either two things: One, absolutely terrible that I need to warn people not to use it or two, absolutely freakin amazing (which doesn't happen too often.)  I am please to say that this one is the latter.

Oh, and I should probably say right now that it's an Avon product or else you won't believe me.  (yes, you heard me right....AVON!!)  The product is called Advance Techniques Daily Results Anti-Frizz Capsules.

For the past few years, I've been an advocate of Aargan Oil and/or Moroccan Oil as a hair product.  Since my hair is extremely thick and frizzy, I need quite a dallop of either of these to tame my horrible hair mess and make it manageable.  Now, those that use either of these products know that they're quite expensive and, though they work quite well, are not good for the diva trying to save some pennies.  Plus, since I'm growing my hair out into the fabulous banged bob, I need more products than normal so, needless to say, I've been trying to find less expensive alternatives.  I was given the Advance Techniques Capsules as a free gift and used one randomly last week.  The results were amazing!

Advance Techniques Daily Results Anti-Frizz Capsules

Only cost about $8 compared to Moroccan oil which is about $22
Come in pliable capsule form for easy access
Capsules are easy to use and reduce waste of product
Hair becomes extremely shiny
Hair is much more manageable and way less frizzy
Can be used on both dry and wet hair
When used on wet hair, makes blowdrying less damaging
Less blowdry time if used on wet hair
Can be used prior to shampooing as a shine treatment (for thin hair)
One capsule is perfect amount for thick hair but for thin hair you can get about three uses per capsule
Hair is not weighed down like with some oil/serum treatments
Hair condition looks and feels better with continued use
Best for colored, dry, over-processed hair
Again, has to be ordered either online or through an Avon rep
Only 16 capsules per container

Never have I ever been so impressed with an inexpensive product as I am with the Advanced Techniques.  I use this every second day (on my hair wash days) and always apply it right before I blow dry.  I have noticed that my hair is getting much softer and feels less brittle/over-processed.  I have already put in an order for three more jars!!!

Have any of you tried this product before?  What are your thoughts?

XO Christina

Oct 14, 2011

13 Everyday Habits That Are Giving You Acne

Thanks to Total Beauty for posting these fabulous tips.  Can you see anything that you might be doing to your skin (and not in a good way I might add!!)

Click on picture to be redirected to the Total Beauty article

XO Christina

DIY Beauty Fridays: Homemade Face Mask for Oily/Acneic Skin

I get asked all the time about ways to prevent acne, pimples or blackheads from ever popping up on your face.  Life would be so much better if we never ever had to deal with these issues again HOWEVER, life is not that fair.  Are there things that can be done to ease your skin into tranquil-dom???  Absolutely there are and one of those things is using tomatoes.

Lemon and Tomato Facial Mask

1 over-ripe tomato (inside scooped out and mashed)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp instant oatmeal

Puree all ingredients in a blender.  (Ensure you add the mashed tomato insides).  Apply mask straight to freshly clean skin and leave on for 15 minutes.  Rinse off with warm water and moisturize as normal.

Why this works: Tomatoes, as well as lemon juice, fantastic for preventing acne and blackheads.  The tomato, itself, has many antioxidizing qualities and actually tightens the pores which can prevent acne from even forming.  Plus, your skin will love that you're using natural ingredients!!

**This is a great mask for someone that has oily/acneic skin.  I want to make that clear because lemon juice (for normal/sensitive skin) can, at times, be drying.  If you do have normal skin, I would recommend adding only a 1/4 tsp of lemon juice (or axing it all together.).**

PS - My friend, Ariella (who you know from her numerous guest posts) has recently launched her Holistic Nutrition Practice.  So, if you live in the Vancouver area and are looking for a nutrionist, look no further than Ariella.  Check out her website here!

XO Christina

Oct 13, 2011

Our Engagement: In Pictures

*This post is non-beauty related so feel free to by-pass*

Yesterday marked an amazingly awesome day as our engagement photographer, Leanne, had finally finished editing the photos from our photo shoot a few weeks ago.  After looking through the blog post/pictures she posted, I can see first how talented she is AND second, how much fun Allan and I had that day.

Click the link below and to see some of the fantastic pictures she took.  Enjoy my friends!!!


XO Christina

Oct 12, 2011

My First Apothica Experience (and Haul!)

I was given a gift card to shop on Apothica.com about a month ago and can't believe it's taken me this long to order something!!!  Seriously, where are my priorities, right?  Let me begin first by saying that placing the order took me FOREVER because I couldn't decide exactly what I wanted.  Honestly, the website contains so many different products and brands that even I was overwhelmed (in a good way).  After careful consideration, I purchased: Badger Headache Soother, Badger Classic Lip Gift Set, Fake Bake TANtalizing Self-Tanning Butter, CARGO Lumieres du Monde Eyeshadow Kit, CARGO Eye Shimmer Collection and Stila Cosmetics E! Live from the Red Carpet Eye Shadow Palette.  (And the total on all these goodies only came to $92.90 INCLUDING shipping....)

Badger Headache Soother
Back in the day, I used to have a roll-on (magnetic ball roller) headache soother that worked WONDERS and then the product was discontinued.  Since that day, I've been hunting for the perfect replacement.  I wish I could say that this one is perfect and banishes your headache in a jiffy, but it doesn't.  However, it does contain natural aromatherapy ingredients such as Lavender, Eucalyptus and Peppermint, all of which promote calmness and refreshing feelings in the mind and body.  I've used this many times since purchasing and, though my headache doesn't disappear, it does help the pain go away.
Badger Classic Lip Gift Set
Since Badger is a certified organic product line, I knew I needed to get the lip balm set.  As much as I like lipsticks, glosses and other bright lip products, sometimes my lips need some organic TLC.  These balms are some of the BEST I've ever tried.  Their non-drying, provide extra moisture and smell fabulous.  Plus, since they're only $10 a pack, I'm definitely going to be giving these out as stocking stuffers...

Fake Bake TANtalizing Self-Tanning Butter
When I first opened the container and saw not only a pair of plastic, disposable gloves BUT a dark brown cream, I was quite nervous.  It took quite a bit of nerve before I gave it a whirl but am very glad I did.  The cream itself is very moisturizing and has a fairly non-chemical scent to it.  (A huge plus for me.)  Another thing that was great was the bronze tone.  I was pleasantly suprised how nice the color turned out.  (Quick note though, if you're extremely pale, don't apply the cream too thick or it will come out slightly orange. ) **Review and pictures to follow soon**

CARGO Lumieres du Monde Eyeshadow Kit
Alright, so how gorgeous are these shadows right?  I fell in love with this palette immediately despite not really needing any more eyeshadow and HAD to buy it.  Plus, I'd never used a CARGO product before.  Now, I've used to use these shadows yet but have a brilliant EOTD planned to display them.  I should mention that this palette contains 8 eyeshadows and 1 blush/bronzer duo (located in the centre of the palette.)

CARGO Eye Shimmer Collection
Love love love these mini shimmer shadows.  When I first saw them, I thought they would be a liquid shimmer  applied with a lip gloss brush.  I was right about one thing, they are applied with a gloss brush BUT instead of liquid, they're little vials of loose pigment.  Plus, once on, they have the best shimmer I've seen in an eye shadow in a long time.  If you have a chance, I highly recommend these!!

Stila Cosmetics E! Live from the Red Carpet Eye Shadow Palette
Last but not least, the Stila Cosmetics quad.  There is no color I love on my eyes more than bronze so I knew this little palette was made for me.  It contains a base color (behind the E!), 2 all-over colors and 1 crease color all in different shades of golds/bronzes.  Though I've yet to try it out, I know I'll get a lot of use out of it.

Have any of you tried these products before OR have you shopped on Apothica before?  What are your thoughts?

XO Christina 

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