Self-Care {?}

Self-care.  It’s a term I’m hearing more and more lately, begging the obvious question “what does self-care mean to me?”.  Admittedly, I struggled to figure out my answer to what is inherently a uniquely defined word according to whom you’ve asked the question.   I’m not good at relaxing or de-stressing, ask anyone who knows me.  But the older I get, the more I realize just how important it is to find precisely what defines self-care for you.

Here are just a few things I do to take care of myself:

  • Exercise!  This is key.  I spend so much of my day sitting and often wonder the impact this is going to have on me later in life.  I hope that I can undo some of that damage with almost daily workouts.  Just 45 minutes a day helps me physically and mentally.  If I can’t hit the gym, I try to get in a long walk
  • Hydrate!  I drink water all day long.  In fact, lemon water is my fave and it’s got some great health benefits.  Plus, drinking more water will help you avoid unnecessary snacking {for me = chips} and keep your skin looking great
  • Baths!  I bathe every day, don’t think this isn’t a must for me, however I rarely get the opportunity to soak in a relaxing bath.  I find when I do, whether I spend it reading or catching up on trashy tv, it makes a difference.  I try to do it at night before bed for a relaxing sleep
  • Masks!  A face mask can solve {nearly} all of life’s problems, sheet masks in particular if you ask me.  It’s such an easy, mess-free pick me up that makes a difference for me every time. I have tagged my fave below.
  • Laughing!  Watch a tv show or a movie you love and get laughing.  It really is the best medicine

 

What do you do to take care of yourself?  I’m always looking for tips!

 

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Farmacy Beauty Face Masks  | Bath and Body Works Stress Relief Bath |

Sephora Sheet Masks

 

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Bougie on a Budget: Full Face

A huge shoutout to Toni Sevdalis for the inspo here.  If you haven’t checked out her YouTube yet, give her a view – she’s awesome, as is her sister Allie.

Toni does ‘Bougie on a Budget’ hauls for her wardrobe, mainly mixing some high end staples with looks from Walmart, Express, and other similar high quality fashion retailers. I thought that this is something we could replicate here with makeup.  Why not?  My daily look is a mix of high and low, so why not share some of my faves.

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Having a great complexion is the base of any flawless look {skincare is key too – see my post here}.  You don’t have to pay a ton to have a flawless face.  L’Oreal makes a great product in their Infallible Pro-Matte 24 Hour Foundation that’s a demi-matte finish, and honestly, looks just as great as my favourite, and expensive, Armani Luminous Silk foundation.  Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus Foundation is a great alternative if you want a more matte, full coverage product.  I’d compare this more so to a NARS product.    See my POST about the L’Oreal Infallible concealers.   Don’t even try something high end.  Use a lighter shade under your eyes, and perhaps mix with a slightly darker shade for your perfect tone if needed.  A simple spot of this to match your foundation will cover any and all blemishes!

cotySetting foundation and concealer is key – so I’d recommend the Coty Airspun powder.

 

Bronzer is a must – countour, or just to up the glow factor.  NYC makes a great product that can be built to match the tone you’re looking for.

 

For eyes, there’s tons of great options at the drugstore, but particularly, I’ve always loved the Covergirl Shimmering Sands trio.  I’ve had it since high school {not the same one, relax!} and find it universally flattering.

 

Y’all know what mascara I love and it needs no intro: grab yourself the Maybelline Total Temptation in the waterproof formula specifically.  It’s buildable, bold, and easy to remove.  What’s not to love?

 

 

In terms of blush, Milani has it locked down.  Grab Luminoso.  It’s a universally flattering light blush colour, similar to NARS’ Orgasm.

 

 

Highlight is key too!  Don’t forget it.  It just polishes the whole look and gives you a glow that we Canadians need in these long, cold winter seasons!  I recommend and use the NYX highlight in Lavender Steel {NYX is one of the best brands on the market, hands down}.  It’s got purple undertones, but looks great on varied tones of skin.

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Brows.  Don’t forget those either.  NYX, again, makes a great brow product – reallllll similar to the Anastasia Brow Wiz – and the price is right.  Not to mention the wear is fantastic as is the shade range!

 

For lips, again – you guessed it – go to NYX:  Los Angeles lipliner is universally flattering {think MAC Whirl} and any of their Butter Glosses well rival high end products like Chanel.  I personally use their Butter Gloss in Tiramisu almost every day!

 

What are your drug store go-tos?

 

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Foundations here and here | L’Oreal Concealer | Shimmering Sands Trio | NYC Sunny bronzer | Coty Airspun Powder | Maybelline mascara | Milani blush in Luminoso | NYX Micro Brow pencil, highlighter, lip liner in Los Angeles, and Butter Lip Gloss 

Shape Tape Dupe – FINALLY!

Y’all know I’ve loved Shape Tape for a loooooooooong time.  A real long time.  I’ve tried to replicate it to no avail {spoiler alert: the Makeup Revolution concealer, while great, isn’t as full coverage}.  BUT….a big BUT….I think I’ve found a drugstore alternative: L’Oreal Full Wear Infallible concealer.

 

It’s available at the drugstore.  It covers like Shape Tape.  The shade range is decent.  What more could we want?  Look no further.

 

 

The concealer wears all day without creasing, doesn’t oxidize, and covers just as well if not better {gasp!} than the Shape Tape.  I’ve managed to nearly match my Shape Tape shades in the L’Oreal product with ease.

 

 

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For reference, L-R on the top {all L’Oreal}: 365 Cashew, 360 Cashmere, 350 Bisque, 330 Ivory L-R, Bottom Row {Shape Tape}: Light-Sand, Light-Medium Honey, Medium

 

 

These can be set with a loose powder or a compact setting powder, but it’s not necessary {for real? YAS!}.   Don’t walk, run and pick this up!  Walmart carries a wide range {linked below, and likely your cheapest bet} and Shoppers here in Canada has a decent range as well, albeit at a higher per unit price.  For you guys in the States, Ulta carries the whole shade range.

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Walmart {cheapest option!} | Ulta

 

Wet ‘n Wild: Buy or Bye?

WnW just kills it in the drugstore beauty sector, can we please get that straight off the bat?  I love their stuff, and so when I saw some new releases on their website, I placed an order immediately.

 

I think their foundation is one of the best available from the drugstore, and their highlighters are insane.  Always one to want to save money, I thought I’d grab one of their lipliners and their beauty sponge too in hopes of finding a dupe for my beloved BeautyBlender.

The highlighters are gorgeous!  The pigmentation is insane, at least on Blossom Glow, rivaling that of my Becca highlighters and my beloved Amrezy from Anastasia {retailing for well over $30 CAD and now d

iscontinued, I think}.  Full disclosure: I think certain ones have just a shimmer spray over top and may not keep their shine over time but my overall fave will certainly keep its lustre over time given that it lacks the shimmer over spray.

 

 

The Color Icon Lip Liner in Brandy Wine is a cult fave {case in point:  here and here}, so when I see something that’s $0.99 – even USD – with that sort of a following, I have to give it a go.  I was pleasantly surprised with this!  I’m still using it intermittently, and it gives a great ‘your lips but better’ hue that I believe will be universally flattering.  There is a bit of a plastic-y smell, so beware of that, and, if it’s something you can get past, pick this one up!  It’s creamy and long lasting with a seriously solid price point.

 

The sponge?  Save your money.  It really hurts my face!  I’m not sure if I was using it incorrectly {it says you can use wet or dry online!}, however I didn’t find that it blended product overly well and certainly made applying product painful.  I have linked the product below, but can’t recommend it; I’d say save on this one and splurge instead on a BB.

 

I also picked up their bronzer in What Shady Beaches.  It’s much too dark for me right now so I’ll report back once this Canadian gets a bit of a tan!

 

Comment below if you’ve tried anything from this collection, I’d love your thoughts too.

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Bronzer | Highlighters in Blossom Glow, Bloom Time, and Botanic Dream | Lip Liner in Brandy Wine | Sponge {NOT a BeautyBlender dupe!}

 

Sephora Spring VIB Sale Picks

Hi my lovelies.  It’s that time again: Sephora Spring Sale!  I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t post my picks for this year.  This time, I’ve narrowed down my top 5.  THE BEST of what I’d recommend.

 

I’ll confess that my order was small this time around; I have lots of what I need {hahah oh no, that’s kind of untrue but keeps me from unnecessary spending!}.

 

Here’s what I’d pick up if I were you:

 

  • Too Faced Sex on the Peach Complexion Set – you get some seriously great products in this set and most are FULL SIZED! The Sweet Peach powder is a must have in my opinion as is the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and you get both here, plus some awesome additions for only $55.

 

  • YSL eyeliner – Waterproof and High Impact, this doesn’t BUDGE. Great for special occasions and even something I wear daily

 

  • Any Bite lipstick is a great purchase – my personal fave is in Meringue, but all of them wear beautifully and are food grade, so you’re not adding unnecessary chemicals to your daily routine

 

  • Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer – this is a universally flattering product, and even comes in a light shade if your skin is of a paler undertone. You can use this to contour or for a regular every day glow.  Sometimes, I even use this to create a crease for a quick eye look.  What’s not to love about a multi-use product?

 

  • Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara – if you’re against drugstore mascaras {I love the Maybelline Total Temptation in the waterproof formula specifically}, then this is the one for you. The price-point is high, though not as high as I’ve seen, and the product really does deliver.  I’ve used other high end mascaras that just aren’t worth their weight in price, but this one? It’s a black, buildable formula with a small brush that really coats every lash.  It doesn’t transfer to the face if you use it on bottom lashes, and certainly worth a try if you’re looking for something to change up your look.

 

 

The sale is ongoing for Rouge members until May 6 – use the code HEYROUGE to save 20%.  For VIBs and Insiders, the sale goes from May 2-6, and you can use the codes HEYVIB and HEYINSIDER for 15% off.

 

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Too Faced Set | YSL eyeliner | Bite Beauty Lippies  |  Benefit Hoola bronzer  |

Hourglass mascara

Dry Skin Savers

It’s that time of year here in Toronto – a time most Canadians know all too well – where your biggest winter jacket just isn’t always warm enough, your pants have slush stains on them and your skin is dry and cracking in places we ought not to mention.   That’s why today I’m sharing a few of my faves to save your skin this winter.

 

The foundation to any long lasting and flawless makeup application is skin.  I can’t stress this enough: SKIN, SKIN, SKIN!  There’s no primer or foundation that can mimic the natural glow of healthy, moisture-rich skin.   Can you tell I’m a big believer in skin care?  Not only is it a must for my clients, but I recommend that everyone have a skin care regime designed for their specific skin type and prevent aging long before it happens.  You can’t stop aging but you can prevent the toll it takes on your appearance!

Here’s what I recommend you use on your skin to keep it plump and moisturized:

 

Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic creams:

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the rumour is that Charlotte made these up in her own kitchen and long before they  were commercially bottled and sold, Charlotte used them on her clients.  I like the night cream best, if I’m honest.  It is just so rich and it does all the repair work while I sleep.  This is an essential key that lots of people miss; applying a rich nighttime mask or cream like this one  or even this one can make a world of difference.

 

Keep skin hydrated during the day either with Charlotte’s cream above, or I like Clinique’s Moisture Surge Intense and Farmacy’s Honey Drop.  Both can be purchased at Sephora and I’ve used and loved them both. I like to alternate them or even blend them together on a particularly dry day!

For lips, which seem to never be moisturized enough for me, really41edq2qpsml._sy355_ – I have one go to that you can’t beat: Carmex.  It comes in a tube or a pot, and you can grab it for under $5 at your local drugstore.  I swear by it all year round, but especially in the winter.

 

Don’t neglect those under-eyes either – they can look particularly parched and sunken {though you’re well fed, well slept, and just stuck in a Canadian winter!} when the air is as crisp and cool as it is now.  I always use eye patches on my clients while prepping their look, but also like to use them on myself from time to time as an added luxury with a mask or just pop them on while I’m watching tv.  I find that the Peter Thomas Roth ones work best and leave my under-eyes smooth.

What tips do you have for skin survival this winter?

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Charlotte’s Magic Cream | Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Cream |

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense | Farmacy Honey Drop | My secret weapon: Carmex |

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-tox Eye Patches

Abandoned Blogs = The Worst {and a Whirlwind 2018}

Yes, as the title says, this blog has been beyond abandoned.  I AM SO SORRY!  There is nothing I hate more than logging on to a website hoping to delve into a blog and boom, it’s not been updated in a year.  That’s kind of what this blog is now isn’t it?  Again, I’m so sorry, and I’ll be back more frequently.  I PROMISE.

At the very least, I have a good set of excuses for my absence: the past year has been a whirlwind and my life has changed completely.  For the best, don’t worry!

In June of last year, my bf moved in with me  and I took on a new, more senior and time intensive role at my day job – nothing bad, mind you, but space was limited and I had lots more to take care of on the home and work fronts – so, naturally, this side hustle kind of blog and freelance job had to take a back burner.  We got the most beautiful Frenchie in  the world shortly thereafter, and becoming a dog mom isn’t for the weak {real human moms, my hat’s off to you!}. She’s the light of our life and I wouldn’t change a thing!

EngagementSept2018-11{if you’re a dog nut like me, go follow her:  @marlowethefrenchie}.

Life was busy, to say the least, and got even busier following a surprise proposal from my bf in November of 2017.  We weren’t the only ones in our family with big changes in our lives, so nearly every weekend since then has been taken up with a family event of some sort….and when we weren’t attending family stuff or planning a wedding or working, we decided it would be best to buy into Toronto real estate and move to a much larger condo, albeit down the street from where we were currently living.  A few hiccups with the sale of my space later, we’re here in a huge space overlooking the lake and I wouldn’t change that either.

I’ve been crazy busy with weekend weddings, including a special one in wine country where I was able to test some new stuff and I’ll share my thoughts in forthcoming posts, I promise!

All of that said, and as even more happy and full my life is now, I’ve really missed my creative outlet via this website and my clients, so I’m happy to be back.  2019 will be better, and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come for this blog and LnL Toronto!

 

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