Sandal inspiration


The minute Spring hits the first thing I ditch are my boots.  We can get snow up until May here but I don’t care, I can’t wait to let my feet be free after months of being confined and restricted!  It’s always so fun to go shopping for new spring and summer footwear so here are some of my favourites!

Stacked Heel

I can’t remember the last time I wore a stacked heel – it’s been ages but it’s kind of nice that they are making a comeback. The coral colour on these is great and would look great with a tan!


Franco Sarto is one of my favourite brands for shoes, and in particular sandals.  The last few years I’ve purchased wedges and flat sandals from this brand and I’ve always been super impressed with the comfort, price and quality of them.  Loving these chocolate brown flats – super versatile!

Ankle Strap

I’m usually not a fan of ankle strap sandals because I don’t feel they give my foot enough support (I’m always rolling my ankle 😦 ) and I’m not a fan of how they cut the line of your leg off at the ankle, making your legs look shorter.  But these?!?!  How pretty would the white or ivory ones be for a bridal shoe?  Want these right now!


The colour of these is pretty much amazing.  I feel like they’d be a huge pain in the ass to put on and take off and if you’re feet tend to swell at all, probably want to stay clear of these but they are definitely statement shoes!  Perfect for a night out!


These are truly like jewellery for your feet!  I think they’d be great for adding a little something extra to basic denim shorts or a casual maxi dress.  These are so bright and colourful and beautiful – they’d go with anything!


I like pairing wedges with denim capris and short cotton dresses and I tend to gravitate towards cork soles because I find them the most comfortable.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Purchases!


I hit up the mall this past weekend without any kind of goal in mind, which is always somewhat dangerous.  Here’s what I found:

ONE: Express Black Cami Sundress ($41.93 CAD – SALE!)

The minute I tried this on I knew I had to have it – it’s the perfect sundress for summer!  Unfortunately the pic above really doesn’t do it justice and it was basically impossible for me to get a good picture of it myself.  Anyway, empire waist dresses can be tricky on me – sometimes they make me look pregnant (#nope).  This one is cut perfectly so doesn’t flare out too much at the waist. I also love the length because it’s not too short and not too long.  I feel like it’s versatile too – dressy with a cute cardigan and heels or casual with a denim jacket and wedge sandals. It’s super comfy, the only issue being is that I’d need to wear a strapless bra with it, which is a slight annoyance.

This comes in a wide range of colours and I really wanted it in this blue floral print but they didn’t have my size; they do have it online though so I might just order it.  They have some really nice lighter colours too but I didn’t like how sheer the material was.  I suppose you could wear some kind of slip underneath but that seems like too much work for me so I’ll just stick with the darker versions.

TWO: Splendid Bandeau Top & Tunnel Side Tie Bottoms ($44.40 & 33.60 CAD – SALE!)

Ugh bathing suit shopping.  #torture You may remember this post a month or so I did on bathing suit inspiration.  Shortly after I went into H&M and grabbed a bunch of their suits to try on.  They looked great online, they looked decent in store but they were horrible on.  They were nowhere near close being true to size (even though I picked up some tops that were sized according to bra sizes), the materials were thin and I felt like they could potentially disintegrate after one use.  I’m not sure what I was really expecting coming from H&M but they were a huge disappointment and I walked out with empty hands.

I also gave Victoria’s Secret a try again, despite not really loving anything in their swim line this year.  As mentioned they have lots of slinky, skimpy suits this year which is fine if you like that kind of thing but they were really not for me.  I didn’t have any luck there either and I was feeling pretty discouraged.

Until this weekend when I went into the Bay and was actually kind of surprised at the variety of swimwear they carry.  I picked out a few options from Oakley, Jessica Simpson, BCBG and was about to head into the fitting room when I noticed this suit on a rack:


What drew me to it was the adorable corset-like back.  I’m also a fan of stripes so I added it to my haul and headed to try them all on.  I made my way through my choices which were all pretty disappointing and then I got to this one and I loved it immediately!  Both the bottom and top fit perfectly which I was really surprised at – I’m usually not a fan of side tie bottoms nor bandeau tops as I rarely get them to fit properly.  This comes with a removable neck strap so that’s nice to have that as an option if I so choose.  The material is nice and thick and it feels really well made.  Because it fits so well I actually feel pretty confident in this suit and I’m looking forward to wearing it!

Links to where its sold on the Hudson Bay’s website: Top & Bottoms

THREE: OGX Kukui Oil Shampoo ($9.99 CAD)IMG_7905Lately I’ve been really frustrated with my hair – if its raining, there’s a chance of rain or if there’s even a bit of humidity in the air my hair just falls flat and frizzes right up.  So I thought I’d try a new shampoo specifically meant for frizz as I was running low on my regular shampoo. I came across this and thought I’d give it a try.  I’ll do a full review on this once I’ve had a chance to fully vet it.   FYI the entire OGX line is on sale for $6.99 @ Shoppers the week.

FOUR & FIVE: The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil – $12.00 CAD / Almond Hand & Nail Cream – $10.00 CAD


This really isn’t a purchase I made on my own per-say but my mom picked up for me (thanks Mom!).  I’m in LOVE with this almond cuticle nail oil from the Body Shop!  I keep one at my desk at work and apply it while I’m on the phone or when I have a few spare minutes and it keeps my cuticles moisturized and my nails smooth and shiny. I love the brush applicator as its such a simple and mess free way to apply it!  I’m going to keep this one on my nightstand so I can apply this before I go to bed.

I also received a tube of the Almond hand cream which so far I am also loving.  This is light and creamy but super moisturizing and non-greasy.  It also absorbs quickly which for me, is important in a hand cream. I really like the scent too – it’s fresh and not overpowering.   I’ve only used this a couple of times but so far I’m feeling like this is going to be topping my list of favourite hand creams!ntil next time!



DIY Honey & Cinnamon Mask


A few weeks ago I my skin started breaking out like crazy.  That’s what happens when you start using a bunch of new products at once and you have sensitive, acne-prone skin.  Not smart on my part and I should know better.  Now I’m working through a process of elimination, trying to figure out which product(s) caused my skin to freak out which is annoying and time consuming.

Trying to deal with those breakouts was tough.  The worst part was my job requires me to meet with people in person on a regular basis and when my skin sucks, my confidence goes way down and I find it difficult to do my job well.  That may seem silly to anyone who doesn’t suffer from acne but unless you’ve been there it’s hard to understand.

Thankfully I’ve got my skin back to normal now but that was a tough couple of weeks.  One of the things I found that really helped was this homemade honey and cinnamon mask.  This was so simple to do and I had both of the ingredients right in my pantry!  I initially came across this on Michelle Phan’s website but I’ve modified her recipe to suit my skin type.

What you need:

– 2 tablespoons honey (use Organic Unpasterized if possible)

– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

– Small microwave safe bowl

– Clean makeup brush (I like to use my flat foundation brush)

Mix the honey and cinnamon together in the bowl and microwave for 15-20 seconds.  Let it cool just enough so it’s still warm but not hot (you don’t want to burn your face!).  If you wait too long it will thicken too much and will be difficult and gluey to apply.  Apply the mask to your face (avoiding the eye area) and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Remove using a warm washcloth.

Things to note:
– This does tend to drip so just be careful about what you’re wearing while using this.  My favourite thing to do is to actually put this on and then take a bath.  Any drips end up in the bathtub so the rest of me gets the benefits from it too!

– This did make my face quite red after I removed it but I have sensitive skin so that didn’t surprise me.  It’s also why I toned down the cinnamon as I felt that 1 tablespoon was way too much for me.  I’ve played around with the mix of honey and cinnamon quite a bit and I find this combination works best for me and my skin.  You may need to adjust accordingly to suit yours.  If your skin is super sensitive, you may want to patch test this prior to using.  

– My skin gets a tinge dry after using this so post-mask I like to use a moisturizing face wash and thicker moisturizer to combat the dryness.

I found this really helped with clearing up my skin and healing my blemishes.  Honey is often said to be anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and cinnamon is a great gentle exfoliant so that explains why this works so well.  When I was breaking out I was using this mask a couple of times a week.  Now that my skin has cleared, I’ve started using this once a week, usually on Sundays so I start my week off with clear and refreshed skin.

Have a great week!

Loves and Letdowns – May


Well I figured it’s about time I jump on this bandwagon, because why not?  I love reading other bloggers monthly favorites posts as it’s such a good way to learn about new products! Basically I’ll be sharing the products I loved throughout the month, as well as those that were letdowns and just didn’t work for me.  Pretty much the same as a favorites and unfavorites post but I thought I’d switch up the words a bit because I’m different, like this goat:

I laughed way too hard at this – hope it made you giggle too! 🙂

Enough about goats, on to the topic at hand:



NYX Butter Gloss – Tiramisu ($7.99 CAD)

I picked up this gloss a few weeks ago at London Drugs and I’ve been using it every day since.  It’s the perfect pinkish nude for every day use!  I find it works great on it’s own or on top of a brighter lip color to tone it down.  I love the formula – it’s super creamy, not sticky and glides on smoothly.  It smells delicious as well, I’m not sure how describe it (maybe like a vanilla cupcake?) but not overly sweet.  I’ll definitely be picking this one up again and I’d love to try the other shades at some point as well.


Maybelline Volum’Express The Colossal Mascara ($8.99 CAD)

Its been a long time since I’ve ventured out to try a new mascara; for years I was happy using L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black mascara.  Then something changed and it began to flake and smudge on me and I was crushed.  I’ve been in search of a replacement and so far this one has stood out the most.  It has the natural bristle brush that I like and it lengthen and thickens my lashes really nicely with very little to almost no clumps – which is really rare!  I find it flakes a little sometimes but I’m willing to live with that given it’s other benefits.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is the scent – it smells flowery.  Which I find kind of weird – mascara shouldn’t have a scent right?.  Doesn’t bother me though so I will definitely be repurchasing this one!


Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Smoothing Cream ($7.99 CAD)

Lately I’ve found my hair is getting super dry, particularly around the ends.  I attribute that to my use of my curling iron on a daily basis, in addition to my hair being colour-treated.  I also tend to only wash my hair once every three days, using dry shampoo in between.  I find my hair feels and looks pretty dry during those in-between days, particularly on day 3.  I came across this and thought I’d give it a try.

This is meant to boost shine, control frizz and smooth your hair without making it feel greasy.  I take a dime sized amount, and distribute it through my ends right before I use my curling iron.  It definitely makes my curls feel smooth and sleek and I find it does help hold my curls a little longer when the humidity is present outside.  It also smells amazing – a little bit fruity but nothing overpowering.  I’m very careful to not get this anywhere close to my roots as I can see it weighing my hair down and making it super greasy (it also recommends against doing so right on the bottle).  So far I’m loving this and would recommend it!


L’Oreal 12 Hour Infalliable The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($11.99 CAD)

THIS.IS.AMAZING!!! Best liquid eyeliner pen I’ve ever used, hands down and I have tried them all from the super cheap drug store versions to the higher end brand-name types.  Nothing beats this.  It is the only liquid liner that I’ve tried that truly stays on all day long and does not budge.  Yet it is simple to remove at the end of the day using my regular eye makeup remover!  I’m just blown away by this! I also love the super slim tip, it makes it very easy to get  precise line!  I have a bad habit of pressing down too hard on the tip when I’m applying liner and damaging it.  The tip on this is sturdy enough that I have yet to damage it (although I am trying to be more gentle!).  It’s also very pigmented and build-able – if you don’t get a thick enough line to begin with you can easily go overtop of it without it dragging and erasing the previous line.  If you wear liquid liner and you haven’t tried this yet – go out now and buy this!  I can’t rave enough about this, I’m in love!


The Original Beauty Blender ($26.00 CAD)

Okay, I really didn’t want to like this.  Previously I’ve used Beauty Blender knock-offs and convinced myself that there really wasn’t much difference between them and the original.  The thought of paying close to $30 for a makeup sponge seemed ridiculous.  However, I took the plunge over a month ago and ordered one to see what all the hype was about.  And at first, I wasn’t crazy about it. But the more I used it, the more I grew to like it and eventually love it and now I’m not sure I can go back to the knockoffs.  I feel like I’ve used and abused this and it’s practically in the exact same condition it was when I bought it.   No rips and no tears, unlike the cheaper versions where that occurred within a couple of weeks of use.  I can also get every trace of makeup out of it when I wash it which is impressive because I usually go an entire week of use before giving it a good cleanse.  It also applies my foundation beautifully and I’m loving it for applying mineral makeup! So I suppose I’m a convert now.  Which I’m okay with because I see the light now – this thing is really great!



Essence I Love the Stage Eyeshadow Base – $3.99 CAD

I have super oily eyelids and I usually have trouble trying to find a primer that keeps my eye makeup set all day and doesn’t crease.  Unfortunately this was another one to ad to the fail pile.  It was super cheap so I’m not too crushed but it sure would have been nice if it had worked!  Despite the fact that it did basically nothing to stop my eyelids from creasing, I also hated the formula.  It’s super thick and dry and very difficult to blend!  The color is a little odd too – it has an orange/yellow tint which I’m guessing is meant to hide any discoloration and even out your lids but the problem is if I got this anywhere near my eyebrows it turned them orange!   Won’t be repurchasing this one!


Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion – $37.00 CAD

In my hunt for the perfect primer I picked this up a few months ago, used it for a week and it was promptly thrown into my black hole of products never to be worn again.  Which is disappointing because I used Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion for years and liked it.  Also it was pretty expensive (I should have taken it back, I forgot and now its too late). I found this did absolutely nothing to minimize the appearance of my pores and my skin was just a complete oil slick halfway through the day.  Consistency-wise it’s pretty thick and it definitely leaves a bit of a white cast on your face so I can’t see this working well for anyone with darker skin. I tried using it with different foundations and setting powders and I had the same result every time. This could possibly work for someone with super dry skin but it definitely wasn’t for me.


NYX Wonder Pencil (Light) – $5.99

This is supposed to be a 3 in 1 product that you can use as a concealer, eye brightener and lip liner.  I’ve tried it for all 3 purposes and I haven’t been impressed.  When using it to line my waterline, I could barely get any transfer.  I think part of the problem is that it’s just too hard and dry.  Same problem when using it as a concealer, I found it really highlighted any dry spots on my face, barely covered the areas that I applied it to and lasted an hour at most.  As for using it as a lip liner, I found it hard to apply – again given how hard it was, and it didn’t make any difference in the lasting power of my lipstick.  So all in all, a big thumbs down for this one.

That’s about it for May! Until next time!

Kate Spade Love

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Please see links to items below via Nordstrom

On of my favorite designer brands would have to be Kate Spade.  She’s all about bows, polka dots, stripes, color and sparkle and everything is just so girly yet still classy and tasteful.

Despite how much I love this brand I was dismayed to discover that I only own one Kate Spade item. #What?  Obviously that needs to change stat.  I’ve been on the hunt for a new handbag for a few months and I have seriously been considering a few Kate Spade options.

Anyway I thought I’d put together a bit of a list of a few of the things that I’m currently coveting:

First off, this Glitter iPhone case:

_9064045 I currently own this case; the difference being I purchased it at Winners for $14.99. I have a iPhone 5, not a 6 so that explains the difference in price.  Despite that I’d probably pay full price for this case because I LOVE it.  It’s lightweight, sleek and adds a touch of sparkle to my day.

Corneila Crystal Bezel Leather Strap Watch


I can barely put into words how much I want this watch.  I came across it online and then actually saw it in person at my local Hudson’s Bay store and it took everything in me to walk away from it.  I’m not a watch person at all but for this I would become one!  The white leather strap makes me a little nervous and I believe it comes in a pale pink version as well but I absolutely love how the coloured crystals around the face pop against the white.

Bird’s the Word Flamingo Stud Earrings


I don’t have pierced ears but if I did, these would be on my ears.  Flamingos seem to be in for spring/summer, I’ve seen them a few places and I just think they are so fun!  Love the details on these including the crystals representing the feathers.

Livia 2 Sunglasses


I feel like its crazy to spend $215 on a pair of sunglasses. And it probably is.  Not probably, it just is.  I rarely buy expensive sunglasses because I lose them all the time, throw them in my purse without a case, drop them on cement, etc.  So within a month of use (assuming I still have them) they’re usually scratched to hell with the arms hanging on by a prayer.  But these have a BOW on them.  I’m certain I would take much better care of these.

Licorice Too Pump


Sparkly pink pumps.  No further explanation needed.

Cedar Street – Maise Satchel

This is one handbag I’ve been eyeing for months.  It’s a perfect size – not too big and not too small – and it offers a wrist strap and an adjustable cross body strap.  I also like that it has a zipper – I prefer having security for things like my keys and wallet.  This colour (Fresh Air) is gorgeous and perfect for spring/summer but I’m also eyeing the Guava (coral) and the old boring black.  I love light coloured purses but I’ve had some bad experiences with the dye from my jeans rubbing off on them and basically ruining them so I’m a little cautious.

I could have added about 498 more things to my list but I’ll stop here.  Kate Spade is a high end brand with high end prices so as much as I love all.the.things I don’t have an unlimited bank account.  Right now I’m in need of a new purse so that is a high possibility.  I also can’t stop thinking about that watch, I’m a little obsessed.  Might have to do something about that!

Have a great week!

Vacation Beauty Routine – Part 2


First off – apologies for the horrible quality of my pictures lately. I take all of my pictures with my iPhone which usually works fine but lately it’s been acting up and making all my pictures blurry and fuzzy.  😦  Can’t even fix them much using Pic Monkey.  It’s annoying but I’m hoping to have it fixed soon.

So today I’m sharing the second part of my vacation beauty routine!  I like to keep my beauty routine simple on beach vacations because after spending all day out in the sun, we’re usually pretty tired so we go for dinner and maybe a drink or two and then hit the hay.  I hate spending a bunch of time on my makeup and hair only to be back in the room removing it all an hour or two later.

So I know I keep repeating myself but the extreme humidity created so many challenges for me and my beauty routine on this trip.  While my skin was never been softer and in less need of moisture, it was so frustrating to spend an hour getting ready, only to walk outside and feel like my makeup evaporated off my face and have my hair go flat and frizzy.  I had more products that didn’t work than did work, so I’ll definitely be seeking out some humidity-proof products the next time I travel somewhere warm.

On the reviews!

Primer: Rimmel London Stay Matte;  $7.99-9.99 CAD, depending on retailer

I’ve been using this primer for just under a month and I love it!  I have what I like to call extreme combination skin – super oily t-zone (especially my nose!) and super dry everywhere else.  Given the humidity, dryness really wasn’t much of a concern for me on vacation (one of the few benefits!).  This product really helped keep me relatively shine-free and extend the life of my eye makeup and foundation.  Yes, I said eye makeup!  I use this as my eyelid primer AND foundation primer and it works perfect for both.  Love that I can use one product for two purposes!  It reminds me a lot of Benefit’s the Porefessional but for a lot less!  I’ll definitely be re-purchasing this one!

BB Cream: Rimmel London Radiance; $7.99-9.99 CAD, depending on retailer

I purchased this at the same time I bought the Stay Matte Primer.  I did a first impressions review of this when I purchased it and I still really like this.  It’s a nice match to my skin tone, creamy and gives me a nice light finish.  This is the “Radiance” version of their BB cream but I don’t really feel like it gives me any kind of healthy glow or radiant finish like it claims but I’m not too hung up on that.  The only thing is I didn’t find that it has a lot of staying power, particularly in humid conditions.  Going forward I’d propbably give the Stay Matte version a try if I was going somewhere warm but this one works great at home.  For the price, you really can’t beat this though!  I’ll be repurchasing!

Powder: Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed; $5.99-8.99 CAD, depending on retailer

So I was wearing this at home for about a month and I was really liking it.  It’s most definitely mattifying and I found it was really great at keeping oiliness at bay, especially on my nose.  However the last few weeks I’ve been experiencing some pretty bad breakouts.  I was going through the different products I was using and looking at the ingredients and discovered this has mineral oil in it.  I know there’s lots of claims out there that mineral oil in beauty products doesn’t cause breakouts but anytime I use something with it in it – breakout city.  So I’ve stopped using this and my skin has been clearing up.  Disappointing as I really liked this but obviously it’s not worth the breakouts.  Won’t be purchasing this one!

Mascara: Urban Decay Perversion Mascara; $26 CAD

I used my VIB points to pick up a deluxe sample of this mascara before I left on my trip.  I hadn’t heard anything about this prior but mascara is one of those items that I typically buy in the drugstore.  his mascara is super pigmented.  I’m not sure I’ve ever used a mascara that makes my eyelashes so dark and black, which I really liked.  Unfortunately, that’s all I liked about it.  It is super wet so I completely removed any curl I had in my lashes right after the first coat.  I like to coat my lashes a lot, so by the time I was done my lashes were stick straight and spidery.  It gave my lashes very little volume although it did add a lot of length.  I’m lucky enough to have fairly decent length lashes so I’m always looking for volume and thickness.  I also found it clumped a lot.  The brush is a natural bristle brush which I prefer, but it was really wide and thick so I was constantly touching my upper and lower eyelids with it.  Lastly, within a few hours I had raccoon eyes and flaking.  Ironically though it wasn’t so easy to remove at the end of the night.  As a result I would definitely not purchase the full size of this mascara.  Never mind the fact that it retails for $26!  Also maybe it’s just me but I find the name weird.  Perversion?

Shadow & Liner: Urban Decay Naked Palette; $64 CAD

I’ve had this palette for years.  Probably too long actually, I’m sure it’s probably expired.  But I’m slowly making my way through the shadows and I intend on using it until I’ve finished up every colour.  I always bring this with me on vacation because it’s so versatile.  I can do a nude eye or a dramatic smokey eye or something in between.  For the last 6 months I’ve been addicted to liquid eyeliner but I didn’t feel like bringing it with me on vacation.  Instead I used some of the darker shades as eyeliner using a liner brush and it worked great.

Side note – has this always been $64?  I don’t remember paying that much for it way back when.  It honestly seems ridiculous but assuming I did pay that much for it, I’d do it again as I use this almost every day.  It’s worth it.

Solid Perfume: Pacific Perfumes – Aloha; $28 USD

I picked this up in Hawaii last year for myself as a treat and I absolutely love it.  I’ve never used a solid perfume before but I’m not sure I’ll go back to using regular perfumes while on vacation after this.  It travels so well, and you don’t have to worry about the bottle breaking or perfume leaking in your suitcase.  The scent is light, musky and totally reminds me of Hawaii with notes of Bergamont, Cedarwood and Pomegranate.  It’s definitely lighter than a regular perfume but I like that – I just feel like everything should be lighter when you’re on vacation.  Love the packaging as well – the perfume is contained in a little sustainable wood pot.  The only thing I don’t like about this is the price $28 for 0.33 oz (yikes!) and as you use it the solid flattens out and it can be difficult to apply.  I’m not likely to order one of these online but this will last me a while given that I’ve dedicated its use strictly to vacations.  In the meantime I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for other solid perfumes to add to my collection.

Hairspray: John Fredia Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold; $3.99 – $4.99 CAD (travel size)

I’ve honestly never had a good experience with any of the Frizz Ease products but I had this in storage so I thought I’d give it another try as well as try to use it up (I hate not using things that I’ve purchased, even if they suck).  This did absolutely nothing for my hair.  Granted, the humidity was really high (85% or more on some days) but the point of this spray is that it’s supposed to provide a humidity shield for your hair.  I’d style my hair as usual, spray this on, walk outside and it was flat and frizzy in 2 minutes flat.  Do not recommend this product at all and won’t be repurchasing.

Facial Wipes: Neutrogena Make-up Removing Cleansing Wipes; $8.99-10.99 CAD, depending on retailer

I’ve never really ever been a fan of facial wipes.  I find they never really get all my makeup off and I usually have to really “scrub” around my eye area to get my eye makeup off, which irritates the super sensitive skin around my eyes.  I picked these up because I’d heard good things about Neutrogena’s face wipes in general and thought the lavender scent sounded nice.  They also claim that they’ll remove all kinds of makeup, including waterproof.  These took of my foundation and other face products with ease but when it came to my eye makeup, it was painful.  I really had to rub my eyes to get my mascara and eye shadow off despite the fact on most nights I wasn’t wearing very much of either.  I also found the scent overpowering and somewhat irritating to my skin.  My skin is fairly sensitive though, so knowing that, I really shouldn’t have bought these in the first place.  Wouldn’t re-purchase these.

Lipstick: Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate #103 (no longer available);

I received this lipstick as free gift at Shoppers Drug Mart a few months ago and I thought I’d bring it along with me.  The rest of my makeup was fairly neutral and light, so I thought a pop of colour on my lips would be nice.  I’m typically not a fan of lipsticks, I prefer glosses and balms as they tend to be more moisturizing.  Surprisingly I actually quite like this one.  This is rosy pink cream and the colour is quite pigmented.  I didn’t find it super drying like most long-wearing lipsticks but I didn’t really find it all that long lasting either.  It’d last about an hour or two before the colour would start to fade and I’d need to re-apply.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase this just because lipsticks aren’t my thing, but for a lipstick, I liked it more than I thought I would.

Well if you made it all the way to the end of this – thanks!  I know it was a long read but I had a lot to say and share so I hope you found some of my thoughts useful!

Until next time!

Vacation beauty routine – Part 1


As mentioned in my last post, I just returned from a week-long vacation in Mexico.  We’ve been to Mexico a few times but always in the fall/winter when the temperatures were in the high 20’s, very low 30’s at most.  Having never been in May before, I was completely unprepared for the heat, as well as the humidity.  There were days where it hit 85%, it was ridiculous.

When I’m on vacation, especially a beach vacation, I like to keep my beauty routine as simple as possible, for multiple reasons.  Firstly, it’s just less work to pack light overall, second it means less of a chance of something leaking or spilling and saturating clothing in my suitcase (been there, dealt with that a few times), and lastly I typically just don’t want to spend a lot of time doing my hair and makeup when there’s better things to do like lying on the beach. 🙂

During the day, when I’m at the pool or beach I tend to stick to a good facial sunscreen, body sunscreen, waterproof mascara, and SPF lip balm.  Mascara probably isn’t necessary but because I’m so fair in skin and hair, I feel naked without it.  Below are the products I used during the day:

Facial Sunscreen – Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defence Lotion with SPF 30 ($42 CAD)

I received a deluxe sample of this sunscreen at Sephora a few years ago and have been using it ever since. The thing I like about it is that it’s a sunscreen and moisturizer in one.  It’s oil-free, and contains aloe, and vitamins A, C & E and pro-vitamin B5.  Typically I find it works quite well for me but on this trip I found it to be a little greasy and it took a really long time to absorb into my skin. Normally it does take a while but it took extra long this time around and I’m thinking that had something to do with the ridiculous humidity in our room and outside of it.   On the positive side this doesn’t cause breakouts for me which I’m typically prone to when using sunscreen.  I should clarify that I ONLY use this while on vacation – there’s no way I could use this as my every day moisturizer as it’s way too greasy for that.  On vacation when it’s the only thing I put on my face during the day, it works well but I can’t imagine trying to apply foundation overtop of this.  The other thing I don’t like is that, like many other PTR products, this has parabens in it.  The last time I purchased this it came in a PTR gift set with a handful of other products so I’ve never actually purchased this on its own.  Not sure if I will once I finish this up, it’s quite expensive and I feel like I may be able to find something that works just as well, if not better.

Waterproof Mascara – L’Oreal Waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black (approx. $5-10 CAD, depending on retailer)

For years I used the non-waterproof version of this mascara for years and I loved it.  I still do love it actually, I’ve never had any mascara make my lashes look as full and lush as this can.  However, lately I find that any L’Oreal mascara flakes and rubs off under my eyes halfway through the day which is super disappointing.  I’m not sure if they changed their formula or what but it no longer works for me.  I thought I’d give the waterproof version a try to see if it would work any better.  Sadly, it didn’t.  This is most definitely NOT a waterproof formula.  I had racoon eyes after a few hours of wear and it flaked off like crazy.  I made the mistake of not removing it before hopping in the shower one day and I came out looking like Alice Cooper.  Would not recommend this one unfortunately.

SPF Lip Balm – Sun Bum SPF 30 Coconut Lip Balm ($3.99 USD)

I never realized the importance of lip balm with SPF in it until a few years ago.  We were in Jamaica and I was in the pool all day, lounging on a raft with my face upturned to the sun (stupid, I know).  By the time I got back to our room, my lips were swollen to twice their size and extremely sore.  It took me a while to figure out that I had, in fact burned them and since then I always pack and use a lip balm with SPF.  Last year I was in Vegas at the Flip Flop Shop (LOVE this place BTW) and they were selling these Sun Bum Lip Balms.  I picked up the Coconut flavoured one and kind of forgot about it.  I found this buried in my drawer when packing for Mexico and threw it in my makeup bag.  Little did I know how much I’d love it!  First off, it smells AMAZING!  I could literally eat it, it smells so good.   It contains cocoa butter, vitamin E, and aloe so it’s super moisturizing.  I loved that it never gave my lips a white tinge, as some lip balms with SPF can do.  The bad thing is these seem to be difficult to find in Canada.  Their website only ships to the States (boo!) so the next time I”m in the States I’ll be stocking up on these for sure.

Sunscreen – Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Lotion SPF 30 ($9-$12 CAD, depending on retailer)

Prior to our trip, I purchased a tube of Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen and Loreal’s Sublime Sun Silky Sheer SPF 30.  I’d heard good reviews on both of these but unfortunately I wasn’t impressed by either of them.  Both were fine as long as I didn’t go in the water after applying them.  Once I did, my skin turned white and the sunscreen melted off.  They both stated they were waterproof and I waited at least an hour for them to absorb before entering the water.  We spent a lot of time in the water so having a waterproof sunscreen was super important.  L’Oreal’s version had a very strong perfume smell to it that I wasn’t fond of – it reminded me to Revlon’s Outrageous shampoo that I used back when I was in junior high (do they still make this?).  Personally I won’t be re-purchasing either of these.

Turns out I didn’t purchase enough sunscreen to last our entire trip so I ended up having to purchase another bottle for an exorbitant price at the gift shop.  Their selection was limited to Hawaiian Tropic so we picked up the Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Lotion.  I was so impressed with this – it absorbed quickly, didn’t rinse off in the water, added no white cast to my skin, and had a really lovely scent (coconut – smells like vacation!)  That’s why I was so disappointed to read THIS about it when I returned home.    Apparently it received the worst possible score on UVA protection. 😦  Guess I should start searching for a replacement.

I was going to include all the products I used on my vacation but this list is getting quite long so I’ve decided to break into two parts.  In my next post I’ll talk about the products I used in the evening.

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic weekend!

Travel Diary – Playa Mujeres, Mexico


Hello everyone!

Well it’s been a bit since I had a new post but it’s for a good reason!  I just returned from a week-long vacation in Mexico with my husband.  It was lovely to get away – we really needed a break and we had been looking forward to this trip for a while.

Traveling is one of our favourite things to do and at least once a year we like to escape to a beach destination and just spend a week doing nothing.  No excursions or activities, just being completely lazy.

This year we chose a brand new all inclusive, adults-only resort in Mexico by the name of Secrets Playa Mujeres in Playa Mujeres, Mexico.  This resort is about 40 minutes from the Cancun airport and Playa Mujeres is a fairly secluded part of Cancun.  There’s only 5 resorts in this area and there’s no restaurants or shopping nearby.  We’ve stayed in this area twice before so we were familiar with it and personally we like it – I’ve never stayed in the “hotel zone” in Cancun but I’m not sure that would be our thing.  We enjoy the seclusion and quietness this area offers.

Unfortunately our experience here was less than fantastic, which was really disappointing.  I don’t want to get into too many details about our experience because I could literally be here all day, so here’s a quick summary of the good, the bad and the okay:


– This resort itself is gorgeous.  The pools, beach, rooms, landscaping, restaurants, etc. are all really lovely and brand new (the resort just opened in November)


Pool area

– Service at the restaurants and bars was generally very good.  Prompt service with a smile.

– The layout of the resort is a little different than other all-inclusives we’ve stayed at.  The lobby and a few of the restaurants plus the gym and spa were at the top of a hill, while the rooms, a few more restaurants, pools and bars were at the bottom of the hill.  They had golf carts to take you from point A to point B (which only took a few minutes at most).


– Food was hit-and-miss.  We had some good food, some okay food, and some really not good food.  I never really expect to have amazing food at an all-inclusive, but there was definitely some room for improvement here.

– Secrets typically brands themselves as a couples resort, however I think they are struggling with an identity crisis at this particular location.  Lots of drunk and rowdy people at the pools and lots of large events that took over many of the public spaces at night.  There’s also a very energetic entertainment crew that attempts to get people involved in their daily activities like Zumba and beach volleyball.  They’d play loud music at the pools during the day and constantly be asking you to participate in events.  None of this really bothered us (although the constant invitations did get a bit tiring after a while) but if you’re looking for peace and quiet this might not be the resort for you.


Infinity pool that overlooks the ocean

The BAD:

– Drinks were extremely watered down.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this anywhere but it was bad.  They’d fill a glass half full of hard liquor like vodka or whiskey, add a mixer and you couldn’t taste the alcohol.


Drinks at the piano bar

– Our check-in experience was horrible.  After being assigned our room, we received a 20 minute timeshare spell that we never asked for nor were interested in.  Despite us telling the rep that we weren’t interested he kept pressing us and kept with his sales pitch.  It was annoying, particularly after a long day of travel.

– Our room.  We booked the lowest category room which was classified as a Deluxe Ocean View suite.  This was our view:


It overlooked the roof of one of the restaurants and to the left there were a bunch of large ventilation systems that ran constantly and were extremely noisy.  We could have overlooked the view but the noise was way too loud for us to be able to enjoy the patio. When we called the front desk to ask if it would be possible to move to another room (within the same category) we were told no (quite rudely).  This, coupled with our check-in experience resulted in a bad overall first impression of the resort and it was hard to shake it the rest of our stay, especially given that there were quite a few other things that just weren’t up to par.

Ultimately though, we were able to enjoy the beach and pool, and ate and drank our fair share of pina colada’s and guacamole.  We read books, worked on our tans and enjoyed the sunshine.  Most of our issues were most definitely first world problems, but because we did pay quite a bit for our stay and have had superior experiences at other comparable resorts we most definitely won’t be returning to this resort.


I’m working on some posts later this week in regards to products I used while on this trip (more bad than good!).  Going from single digit temperatures with very little humidity to ones in the low to mid-thirties plus high humidity required some major changes to my daily beauty routine!  I applaud anyone who lives in an area with high humidity and looks great while doing it as I found it so challenging.  I’ve been to Mexico before but never at this time of year and it was much different than visiting in the fall and winter months.  Almost made me thankful for my dry climate back home (almost).

I also won a contest on Twitter while I was away and my prize is to arrive sometime this week.  I’m so excited that I won something and I can’t wait to get it.  More details to come!

If you have any questions about my travels please let me know – I’ll happily answer!

Have a great day!

Weekend recap – April 20

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  I was lucky enough to have a 3 day weekend so I feel a little more refreshed than usual and not too cranky about it being Monday again!

I spent my Friday at the shopping mall.  I spent waaaay too much money but I’m pretty excited about the things I picked up!  If you read my Friday post you’ll know that I was out looking for some new spring work clothes and I was successful there (post coming later this week on this).  I also hit up Sephora, Lush & Shoppers Drug Mart!  Considering I just made a significant purchase online at Sephora earlier this week I’m a little scared to check my credit card balance.  Anyway, here’s what I picked up at Shoppers Drug Mart:


Left to Right: Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer ($10.79 CAD – On Sale); Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer ($6.99 CAD – On Sale), Essence I ❤ Stage Eyeshadow Base ($3.49 CAD – On Sale); Essence Eyeliner Pen ($2.99 CAD – On Sale); Essence Superfine Eyeliner Pen ($2.99 CAD – On Sale).

So far I’m really impressed with the Maybelline concealer, Rimmel Primer and Essence eyeliner pen!  Not too crazy about the Essence eyeshadow primer and the Essence Super Fine eyeliner pen.


I also picked up the Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub ($9.99 CAD) and I’m really liking it!  Earlier this week I was contemplating the Fresh Sugar Lip Scrub but I was struggling with the price.  This one was half the price and works great – so far.

Lastly my Sephora purchases:

IMG_6957Left to Right: Rouge Dior Brilliant Lip Gloss & Lipstick Samples (free) ; Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge ($19.00 CAD); Living Proof Instant Texture Mist (100 point sample); Sephora Collection Eco Biodegradable Sharpener ($7.50 CAD)

The sponge seems to work well to remove my makeup but I’m not sure it’s doing anything groundbreaking just yet.  Haven’t tried the sharpener or the samples but I will at some point.

I plan on giving all these products at least a good week of use before I do a full review (only seems fair).

The rest of my weekend was pretty boring which was fine with me.  I caught up on a lot of sleep, went for a few dog walks and cleaned the house. #exciting.

Wishing you a great week!