Behind the Scenes Tag!!

Behind the ScenesTag

I haven’t done a tag for a while and when the lovely Robyn from Lipstick on the Lake tagged me on the Behind the Scenes Tag, I knew I had to participate. ¬†If you don’t follow her, get on that asap – she does great Youtube makeup tutorials and her blog is a great resource if you’re a beauty junkie like moi! ūüėČ ¬†Note that I’ve modified some of the original¬†questions so that they pertain to me – I don’t do Youtube videos, I strictly blog!:

1) What camera do you use?

I use my iPhone6 to take my blog photos – but it’s been acting up lately so I’ve reverted back to my iPad, which takes great pics but is a huge PITA to use. ¬†I’ve got a point and click camera somewhere, I should probably pull it out. ¬†Or you know, invest in something better.

2) What editing system do you use?

I use a combination of Canva and PicMonkey – both are free and work really well.

3) Do you use artificial or natural lighting?

Natural lighting is my preference.

4) What is the top item on your posting wishlist?

I want to get my clothing haul up from Vegas; I’m struggling to take proper pictures of things though. ¬†I need a full length mirror so I can just take pics of me wearing the clothes rather than trying to take pictures of them on hangers.

5) What is your favourite day in the week to post?

Hmmm…probably Monday or Tuesday. ¬†I like to start my week off with a post when I can.

6) Do you plan your posts. If so, how?

I just picked up a planner that I plan (hehe) to use for this exact purpose. ¬†This is something I really need to improve on – I’m so bad at just flying by the seat of my pants. ¬†It’s so much less stressful to have my posts prepared in advance but it takes a while for me to get into a rhythm. ¬†I hope to have a schedule down by the end of this month and work really hard to stick to it!

7) How long does it take you to complete a post?

It kind of depends on the topic – probably at least¬†4-5 hours total between photography, writing and editing, sometimes longer if it requires lots of images or lots of detail. ¬†It’s a lot of work!

8) How many hours do you spend editing a post?  

See above.

9) Favourite types of posts to write?

Easily my This & That Fridays posts РI write about whatever I feel like.

10) Do you people at your school or work know about your channel?

Nope; my husband and parents are the only ones who know that I blog. ¬†I feel really uncomfortable having people I know read my blog – I’m not sure why. ¬†At some point I feel like I’m going to need to get over this fear, I don’t like that I’m keeping that something that I enjoy so much a secret from some of my close friends.

11) What is your process of thinking of a post idea?

I keep an ongoing list of post ideas in a journal and every week I look through it and pick out a couple to use.

12) Do you feel awkward filming in front of other people or in public?

I don’t do any videos – strictly blog posts. ¬†I post very limited photos of myself on Instagram as well. At this point I don’t see myself ever starting a Youtube channel – the public scruitiny scares the heck out of me – people can be so VICIOUS! ¬†I think I’ll be happy just sticking with my blog but I’ve also learned to never say never!

13) Do you and your Blogger friends plan out videos together?

Nope¬†but it’s definitely something I’ve considered and would love to do!

14) What is your subscriber goal by the end of the year?

I have a very lofty goal of obtaining 1000 subscribers by the end of 2016…I’m currently at 197 so I have a ways to go!

15) Who do you tag to do this tag next?

I’d like to tag whoever wants to participate! ūüôā

Thanks again to Lipstick on the Lake for tagging me! xoxo

Gift Guide for Him

Gift guide for him

Every year I struggle with brainstorming gift ideas for my husband – whenever I ask him what he wants, the answer is usually “Nothing” or “I don’t need anything”. ¬†Yet I know if I do exactly that he’d be disappointed. ¬†So while I struggle with finding gifts for him for this Christmas, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I (or others) have purchased for him in the past that he actually liked (and I liked too!). ¬†And perhaps a few things I may be considering for him this year!

  1. Lucky Brand Graphic Tee ($39.50)
    We are both fans of Lucky Brand’s tees. ¬†They’re always super soft and pre-shrunk so you don’t have to worry about them shrinking¬†in the wash. ¬†Plus they always have a sale on so you can stock up and get a few fun shirts¬†for a great price!
  2. Final Touch Mini Beer Boot with Handle ($19.50)
    Not much to say about this except I guess there’s some novelty associated with drinking your beer out of a glass boot? ¬†I don’t understand it but I know this would¬†go over well.
  3. New Era Baseball Cap ($50.21 CAD)
    I’m married a huge NFL fan so I had to throw one of these in here. ¬†This monochromatic one is pretty unique – almost bordering on classy (almost!).
  4. Jack Black Jet Set Traveller ($33 CAD)
    I think the majority of men do nothing to their skin other than shave and wash their face in the shower. ¬†This set offers a gentle introduction to men’s skin care and includes a cleanser, shave lather and moisturizer.
  5. Munch Better Monthly Subscription Box ($84 CAD for a 3 month subscription – ships to Canada only)
    I did a lot of research on subscription boxes that would appeal to men¬†and this one came out on top. ¬†Because food. And its Canadian. ¬†But let’s be honest, come January¬†almost everyone¬†usually on a health kick and is attempting to eat better; having healthy snacks delivered once a month that you can just grab and throw in your briefcase/lunch bag makes¬†it all the easier. ¬†Plus isn’t it fun to receive something other than bills in the mail?
  6. Apple TV – 3rd Generation ($89.00)
    We received one of these as a gift a few years ago and love it.  This makes it so easy to watch Netflix or anything from iTunes.  I believe you can also watch YouTube and live sports in HD as well. A great gift for couch potatoes!
  7. Legend РMontblanc Cologne ($65 CAD for 1.7 oz)
    I purchased this cologne as a gift last year for Christmas and I lurrrrrve it. ¬†It smells so good. ¬†In my opinion it’s just the perfect men’s fragrance – masculine, woodsy and the slightest bit sweet but not at all overpowering. ¬†If you need further convincing (or a laugh!) go read the reviews on Sephora’s website.
  8. Herschel Supply Co. ‘Chapter’ Travel Kit ($36.01 CAD)
    This is the gift for him and you! ¬†I don’t like sharing my toiletry bags (not that there’s often any room left anyway!) so why not get him his own? ¬†This one is a good size and made of water-resistant canvas.
  9. Ugg Scruff Slippers ($110 CAD)
    There are two types of guys in the world – slipper wearers and non-slipper wearers. ¬†If yours is a slipper-wearer, I can’t recommend a pair of Uggs enough. ¬†They may be pricey but their quality and comfort can’t be matched. ¬†Love the simple, classic style of these too!
  10. Fossil Money Clip ($43.04 CAD)
    I can’t imagine walking around with my wallet in my back pocket (can you say uncomfortable?). ¬†My husband¬†has always liked thinner wallets and lately he’s been loving ones with money clips. ¬†This one provides enough room for a couple essential cards and the leather is soft and smooth.
  11. iHome Mini Wireless Speaker ($69.00 CAD)
    I love mini speakers – they’re great for at home, at the office, out in the garage, on the deck, etc. ¬†This one is wireless too which is even better!
  12. Gillette Mac3 Sensitive Power Razor ($14.99 CAD)
    Not every guy is into electric razors, so I feel this battery-powered option is a step up from a disposable but cheaper than an electric!  Plus its made for sensitive skin!
  13. Beats Solo 2 Headphones ($219.95 CAD)
    These are obviously a splurge but if you’re looking to spoil a music lover, you can’t beat (haha!) these! The sound quality is incredible and they fold up easily for travel.
  14. SKITS Smart Tech Case ($71.95 CAD)
    For the organized (or wanna-be organized) traveler! ¬†This little case has a bunch of zippered compartments to store chargers, headphones, cords and other tech accessories. ¬†When we travel we typically have all of our techy things mixed in with everything else so it’d be nice to have one place for it all!
  15. Sriracha Popcorn ($4.99 CAD)
    For that sriracha/hot sauce obsessed man in your life.

If you left your shopping to the last minute I hope this gift guide generated some ideas for you!

Happy shopping!

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Sephora Haul!

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This past weekend was the VIB Rouge 20% sale and last week, I put together a wish/shopping list post (read it here). ¬†I added things to the list that I’d been wanting for a while, full well knowing that I wasn’t likely to buy everything I wanted¬†(given the small issue of not having unlimited funds). ¬†Also, usually by the time I get in store and have the time to compare and look at products in greater detail, I decide they’re not for me/talk myself out of them/change my mind, etc.

This time I feel like I stuck fairly close to my shopping list, with a few exceptions. ¬†So without further ado, here’s my haul:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Dim Light) Р$22 CAD

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I fully intended¬†on picking up¬†Diffused Light given its claims to counteract redness. ¬†Unfortunately, it was sold out. So I looked through the other shades they had available, noticed the travel size of Dim Light and figured that¬†was the next best option. ¬†As mentioned previously, I love samples and travel/trial size products¬†because it’s the best way to try new products for (typically) a lower cost.

Dim Light is defined as a “A neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights a radiant complexion with the perfect balance of warm and cool tones.” To be honest, when I swatched this, I wasn’t overly impressed.¬†¬†It does appear to very finely milled and exceptionally soft but there is just the slightest hint of shimmer. ¬†I didn’t see how this was going to be any different than any other finishing powder I’ve tried and I was expecting more shimmer or glow. ¬†But I bought it anyway.

FullSizeRender-6I’ve used it twice and thankfully, my initial opinion has changed. ¬†This is the only finishing powder I’ve tried that doesn’t emphasize or stick in my pores. ¬†Hallelujah! ¬†Also, note that if you’re looking for intense highlight, this isn’t going to satisfy that need. ¬†Instead, it gives you a natural, glow from within look¬†that I just love. ¬†So far, I’m really enjoying this!

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation (Porcelain) Р$39 CAD

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I had full intentions of visiting Sephora early last week to pick up a couple of foundation samples before committing to a full-size purchase. ¬†That didn’t happen. ¬†Instead, I read a bunch of reviews online on this and the MUFE HD Foundation and ended up going with the Too Faced version. ¬†Both had similar reviews but this one had been on my list for longer so it won.

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So I’ve used this twice and so far‚Ķ.I’m not impressed with its staying power. ¬†The colour match is pretty much a perfect match to my skin but after about 5 hours of wear, ¬†I had very little of it left behind. ¬†I’m going to experiment with a variety of primers and powders¬†and I hope I can find something that makes it stick around a little longer ¬†Stay tuned!

Buxom Customizable Eyeshadow Bar Palette Р$50 CAD

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The amount of time I spent trying to decide which eyeshadow palette I wanted was a little¬†embarrassing. ¬†I had given myself quite a few (aka too many) options including the Kat Von D Shade & Light Palette, Too Faced Chocolate Bar, and Tarte’s Showstopper Palette, plus Buxom’s Dolly’s Wild Side¬† My thought process on choosing Buxom sounded like this: First stop – Kat Von D; decided I didn’t want just matte shades. ¬†Up next the Chocolate Bar Palette – pretty colours but more shimmery/glittery shades then I realized. ¬†Third¬†stop –¬†the Showstopper Palette. ¬†Decided I wasn’t crazy about the blush or highlighter. ¬†That left me with Buxom. ¬†Originally I wanted Dolly’s Wild Side palette, mainly because of the shade Wild Nights. ¬†I looked at that palette and noticed there were only 2 matte shades in it – so I decided to make my own. ¬†This all seems very logical now, but I spent a lot of time going back and forth between all 4¬†brands to get to that point. Yah, I’m a bit indecisive. ¬†Anyway, in the end, I picked the following:

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From left to right:Silk Sheets (Chai Luster) ; Feather Boa (Matte Pastel Pink); Lingerie Lover (Matte Mauve); Spoiled Sexy (Matte Deep Mauve); Haute Couture (Metallic Java); Wild Nights (Shimmering Sugar Plum)

You’ll notice that this doesn’t look too different from the Dolly palette, and that’s because I used 4 of the shades included in that, in my custom palette. ¬†In place of Champagne Buzz (shimmering pearl) and Mink Magnet (metallic bronze), I used Haute Couture¬†and Feather Boa.

Wild Nights is so gorgeous and quite pigmented. ¬†I wouldn’t consider the¬†other shades to be intensely pigmented but they have a decent colour payoff and are buttery and smooth to apply. ¬†Overall, I’m really happy with this purchase and I love the fact that I can purchase refills for it!¬†¬†It was fun customizing my own palette too!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara¬†–¬†$30 CAD

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I’m not going to go into too much detail about this because I’ve done a review on it and stated how much I love the little sample size I received with the Too Faced Most Loved Set. ¬†I’ve already used this a few times and nothing has changed, the full-size is still as fantastic! ¬†The only thing I was surprised about was how heavy the tube¬†is – it’s got some serious weight! ¬†I think because the tube is made out of metal. ¬†So maybe not the best option for traveling. ¬†However this is easily the best mascara I’ve tried all year.

Bare Minerals Skin Rever-Upper Р$26 CAD

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Again, no need to get into too many details about this, I’ve done a review on it here. ¬†This is my favorite lightweight daily moisturizer. ¬†I just used up a bottle of it so this was a re-purchase. ¬†For whatever reason on sephora.ca¬†they say this product is not available in Canada but I purchased this in store? ¬†I have a bad feeling that this is being discontinued which I’m hoping is not the case!

Too Cool for School Egg Cream Sheet Mask Р$6 CAD

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Sheet masks have grown on me and I couldn’t help but look through the selection of them while I was waiting in the checkout line. ¬†This one sounds a little gross but I was also intrigued by it as well. ¬†I read some of the reviews on Sephora’s website and the consensus seems to be that people either love it or hate it so I’ll be sure to do a review on it once I’ve used it!

Marc Jacobs Decadence Rollerball Р$28 CAD

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The more I wear this fragrance, the more I love it. ¬†It’s only been two days and I can’t stop smelling myself. ¬†It’s just the perfect fall/winter scent and it lasts! ¬†One of my biggest pet peeves is paying a lot of money for perfume, using it and not being able to smell it. Not as in having a cloud of fragrance around you when you walk by, but as in, getting little whiffs of it throughout the day. ¬†Also, I loved the packaging on this – its hard to see in the picture but the little box was covered in soft green velvet! ¬†The full size of this is going on my Christmas list!

POINT PERKS

Buxom Objects of Obsession (500 points)

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I was obviously on a Buxom kick that day and when I saw this set on display, I couldn’t help myself. ¬†The set includes:

Mascara Bar Big & Bushy in Show-Off Black (0.16 oz)
Hold The Line‚ĄĘ Waterproof Eyeliner in I’ll Be Waiting (0.02 oz)
Full-On‚ĄĘ Lip Cream in Kir Royale (0.07 oz)
Full-On‚ĄĘ Lip Polish in Sophia (0.07 oz)

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So far I’ve only tried the Lip Cream and I wasn’t sure about it at first – application can be a little patchy. ¬†But once I applied a second coat, the patchiness went away. ¬†I love the shade – it’s kind of¬†a light cranberry colour and its perfect for fall. ¬†It¬†smells like vanilla but leaves a cooling/tingly sension on your lips. ¬†It is slightly tacky and because it’s a fairly thick gloss, it won’t survive through eating or drinking. ¬†But it does leave a bit of stain behind on your lips which was kind of nice! ¬†I’m looking forward to trying the pink shade (although it does look a little sheer)! ¬†The eyeliner is a silvery/gun-metal gray and I own nothing like it so I’m excited to use that¬† And I’m a mascara connoisseur so I’m intrigued by it as well (although that may be one of the worst product names I’ve ever heard). ¬†Overall, pretty impressed with this kit!

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intense Hydration (100 points)

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I kind of feel like I may be losing my mind. ¬†Did FAB not used to have an ultra repair cream just for hands? I swore they did but maybe not. ¬†Regardless, this used to be my favourite hand cream for the winter months as I often suffer from severely dry hands and excema on top of that. ¬†This used to be the only thing that helped. ¬†I feel like this has a thinner consistency since the last time I used this but it still seemed to work ¬†I’ve only used it once so I will report back once I’ve gone through the tube entirely.

Bite Beauty Lip Lab Trio in Kir Royal (250 points)

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I actually picked up this limited edition set a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d might as well throw it in here. ¬†This is a 3 piece set that includes:

Mini Luminous Crème Lipstick in Kir Royale
Mini Lush Fruit Lipgloss in Kir Royale
Signature Bite compact mirror

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Is it weird that I now own two lip products with the same yet not that common name (Kir Royale)? ¬†I thought it was. ¬†Anyway, I’ve worn the lipstick once and while the colour is super opaque and intense, it’s so creamy that it very easy slipped outside of my lip line. ¬†You need a lipliner with this.

On the other hand the lip gloss is gorgeous – super pigmented and creamy and an absolutely gorgeous bright raspberry shade. ¬†I’ve used Bite’s lip glosses before and always been impressed with them, and this was no exception.

The little compact mirror was a bit of a disappointment – it looks like a button pin without the pin. ¬†I suppose its small and light so easy to throw in your purse but I didn’t feel it was anything special. ¬†However, I didn’t get the set for the mirror, so no biggie!

2015 VIB Rouge Renewal Gift

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Congratulations to me! ¬†I qualified for VIB Rouge for 2016! ¬†Is that something to be proud of – I’m not sure. ¬†Either way, I received a gift for it. ¬†Inside this little box was an exclusive shade of Marc Jacobs lipstick:

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I’ve never tried anything by Marc Jacobs so receiving this was exciting – plus while the red looks more warm/orange¬†I was happy see that it swatched more cool/pink which will work great with my skin tone. ¬†If I’m being honest though, I feel like VIB Rouge members should get a full-size product or at least more than one product as a reward for qualifying. ¬† It takes quite a bit of purchases to make it to VIB Rouge and in general I don’t the benefits between VIB and Rouge to be that different. ¬†Last year I know they sent me a survey asking about my thoughts on their rewards program so I hope they do the same this year so I can give them my feedback.

And that’s all folks! Well, not quite. ¬†I did pick up a few gift sets that I’m not going to post on here just in case the intended recipient happens to visit my blog. ¬†All in all, it was fun picking out everything. ¬†After I’ve used these products a little longer I will be sure to post updated reviews on all of them.

If you shopped at the Sephora sale this past weekend, let me know what you picked up!  And as always, thanks for reading!

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Review: Bakers Krate – September 2015

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Today I have a review of September’s Bakers Krate dessert subscription box! ¬†In August Bakers Krate sent me one of their Sweet Express Boxes and I was thankful to receive the September box¬†from them last week! I figured I might as well share my honest thoughts on the box as I did last time!

First off, a little bit about Bakers Krate. ¬†They are a Canadian company based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba and their goal is to share Canada’s tastiest desserts with everyone, no matter what province they are in! ¬†The Sweet Express Box is the only box that can be shipped across Canada and they have 2 other boxes that ship solely within Winnipeg (lucky them!). ¬†The price for the Sweet Express box retails for $19.99 with an additional $9.99 for shipping. ¬†Included in the box is 6 gourmet desserts.

So, on to this month’s box. ¬†When I cracked this open I was happy to see that they had made some modifications to the packaging. ¬†In the August box there were some dessert bars that had been tossed around a bit as a result of shipping and some of mine arrived a little squished or worse for wear. ¬†This time they included bubble wrap and mini “air¬†bags” around each of the desserts and that really seemed to help as they arrived in perfect condition.

Like last month, they included a card that described all the products included in the box:

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And now the best part – the desserts!:

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Coconut Macaroon – a deliciously sweet, moist, and chewy dessert with a crispy shredded coconut exterior.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a macaroon prior to this? ¬†I was a little apprehensive trying this because it just looked like it was going to taste like dried shredded coconut but I was pleasantly surprised. ¬†This was moist and chewy, as per the description, and offered just the right amount of sweet.

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Amaretti РThis cookie originated in Venice, Italy.  it has a crisp and crunchy exterior with a soft interior.  The perfect texture for a cookie!

Again, I don’t think I’ve ever had an amaretti cookie or if I did, it was a long time ago and it was nothing memorable. But I really¬†liked these! ¬†I was expecting them to be hard and crunchy but they were soft and chewy, with a light almond flavor. ¬†The icing sugar and almond on top were a nice touch.

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Lemon Coconut Bar Р  Similar to a drink you may have had on the beach.  A tangy lemon flavor combined with sweet coconut.

Lemon bars are a favorite of mine so I was intrigued to give this one a try, especially¬†given that it had coconut in it. ¬†The crust appears to be a thick¬†shortbread topped with a¬†basic lemon filing with coconut mixed in. ¬†I thought this was good, although I found the crust¬†a touch¬†thick and I¬†felt it needed a bit more lemon flavour. I’m a little picky with the way I like my lemon bars though!

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Turtle Slice –¬†Even those without sweet tooths can’t resist this delicious bar full of chocolate, caramel and walnuts.

The moment I saw this I knew I would have to save at least half for my husband who is a huge Turtles fan! ¬†It looked delicious and it was. ¬†Extremely decadent and rich, and one of those desserts that you need to wash down with a large class of milk. ¬†Similar to the brownie in last month’s box, I feel like this would be even more delicious on top of some vanilla ice cream.

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Dipped Biscotti – A peanut buttery flavoured biscotti dipped in creamy white chocolate that just melts in your mouth.

I’m not a big tea person and I don’t drink coffee so biscotti is something I rarely reach for. ¬†But this one sounded really good….peanut butter and white chocolate? ¬†Yes please. ¬†These were fantastic dipped into my hot chocolate!

Overall while I enjoyed the desserts included in the August box, I felt these were superior. ¬†There was¬†something in this box that would suit everyone’s taste and the desserts just seemed to be of higher quality – like I couldn’t easily duplicate these at home! ¬†Plus the improved packaging is a big win for me – if I were to send one of these as a gift I’d want to make sure that they arrive in their intended state so the addition of the bubble wrap and mini “air bags” put my mind at ease.

A big thanks to Bakers Krate for sending me the September box! ¬†If you’d like more info on their subscription box, please visit their website.

Thanks for reading!

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