Hardest Makeup Technique to Master?

The queen of winged liner herself! (source)

We all have one thing that we just can't seem to get the hang of when it comes to doing our makeup - and let's be honest, for 85% of us in this world, winged liner is our number one enemy. I don't know what it is but there is nothing I do that makes it easier! I'm not a fan of extremely exaggerated winged liner but I think a simple feline flick can look so pretty, especially when paired with a bold lip! 

Just last week I decided, "Hey, today is the day to give this whole winged liner thing a go!" A good 20 minutes later, I had two crooked patches of black eyeliner extending out of my eye that made me look like I'd been punched. So yeah, you could say it went well... I had to rush to bathroom and grab a q-tip and try to get rid of the mess I'd created before I left the house! Thank goodness for makeup remover! 

But seriously, is it just me or is this an issue for other people? There's all kinds of tricks, like following the line created by your lower lash line and using a soft, white pencil to draw the line before you go into liquid/gel liner so that you can fix mistakes. As good as that all sounds, I feel that the execution is what is challenging. You either get the line at an awkward angle or your line looks different when you close and open your eyes. There should really be a coming of age ceremony for girls and their makeup skills where someone could sit with us and just show us how to do it. Am I right ladies? 

Here's a video that could be helpful! (I'm almost sure that the problem here are my eyelids or something and that nothing technique wise that I do will ever allow me to get the perfect wing ha!)

So I'd like to know, what makeup techniques are the hardest to master, in your opinion? Are you with me on the deadly trap of the winged liner or is there something I'm missing? Makeup should always be fun and experimental. It's so fun to learn and try out new things and see how we can work with it ourselves! (Fun until you look like a bus hit you in the face, but that's besides the point, right?)
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Tricks To Keep Your Makeup On Longer!

There's nothing worse than spending a good hour on your makeup, especially for special events, and then realizing that an hour later it's basically melted off. As we hit the warmer months of the year soon, this is going to be quite the issue so I thought I'd share a few  things that I love doing to ensure my makeup lasts that little bit longer (oily skin gals will understand how annoying it is to keep your makeup on for longer than 6 hours... if you're lucky!)

First things first, before you start evening out your complexion, you need to prime the skin! I'll go out and say that I never really believed in this step. I found it tedious and I just couldn't be bothered to add in another step into my routine but this will help your makeup apply smoother and stay on longer! I'm currently using Benefit's The POREfessional and it's great at diminishing the size of your pores (don't expect this to get rid of them... that just ain't gonna happen girl!) and giving you a smooth texture for when you put on foundation or whatever base product you prefer. Quick tip: Make sure that you wait a little before applying this primer over moisturizer, and likewise give it time to chill out before you put on your foundation. The first time I used it, I just went straight in for the kill and as I was applying foundation it starting kind of flaking so avoid that from happening by giving it time to set and you'll be good to go! I definitely see a difference when I use this. I'm testing out another primer as well so I'll let you know how that goes as I use it out for a little while longer! 

Now that you've applied your primer, it's time to do the rest of your makeup. I'd definitely suggest a longer lasting foundation if you really need your makeup to stay on for a ridiculous amount of time. I'd recommend Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup - that stuff literally does not budge! And if you recall my post from earlier this month, a good product to use to keep eyeshadow and liners from smudging is the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base! Making sure you lock in all of your products with primers or just use long lasting formulas - it can really help in keeping everything in its place. 

So you've got everything on... now what? Last step, I promise! To seal in all of your hard work, spray on a few spritzes of Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray all over! I think this does the trick but I'll definitely give the oil-controlling version a go once I'm done with this mini bottle. 

So those are my tips and tricks for making sure that you don't end up with raccoon eyes and patchy makeup in less that an hour after you've applied your makeup! Trust me, it's happened to me! If you'll be out for the day, make sure to pack a powder compact with you for quick touch ups and bring along your makeup setting spray. Not only is it small and portable, but it'll increase your makeups longevity throughout the day and reduce any signs of caking from reapplying powder... that's just not a good look!

Any tips you can offer me? I'd love to know products you love for keeping your makeup on all day! 

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It Is Well With My Soul

Let's start with an apology about the sporadic nature of my posts this past week. After three exams and minimal sleep, I was beyond exhausted so I definitely needed to take a break and sleep my days away, but posts are back to every weekday so not to worry! 

Since I missed this past Faith Friday, I thought I'd catch up with something I've been thinking about the past few days. It's a regular thing for me to wake up in the middle of the night, or not be able to fall asleep at all, so I listen to worship music and take it as time with the Lord. A lot of the time that unrest you feel can be Him nudging you to seek Him more and really press in. I've already mentioned this but I've been loving Bethel Music new album and I've been listening to "It Is Well" nonstop. Through the stress of exams and just life in general, I really needed to just focus on God and know that through everything, He is still good and it is well. 

Because I'm a total nerd, I thought I'd look into the origins of the lyrics to that song and I found a story that was incredibly moving. The song is based on the life of a man who was successful, had a wife, 4 daughters and a son, and who was committed to God. In the span of a few years though, he lost his youngest son, lost all of his property to the Great Chicago Fire, and then lost his four daughters to a ship drowning. Anyone looking at this from the outside would think he had good reason to lose hope, but on his journey to meet with his wife, who had survived the accident, he penned the famous words "When sorrow like sea billows roll, it is well, it is well with my soul." What an example right? It reminds me of Job. He lost everything but he never wavered from his faith. 

The attitude that comes with believing that "it is well" is one that doesn't focus on the struggles, but hopes for a brighter future. Knowing that your eyes are on Him and nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. But I think it's also important to let go of fear and know that it is also well when you receive the good that God has for you. After enduring struggles, it can become difficult to accept that God will still bless you. A friend of mine was praying with me and it was such a shock when she prayed, "God, let her realize that it is also well that you've blessed her!" I never thought I was rejecting the good, but fear can do that sometimes. If it's well with your soul, let your soul be open and joyful to everything God hands you, both the good and the bad - not letting fear get in the way! 

God's plan for you may not be a smooth road, in fact you'll probably choose to make it bumpier sometimes. But know that His will is "good, pleasing and perfect" (Romans 12:2) We spend so much time questioning, when really we should be taking it as it comes, learning to deal with what's next!

I hope you all have an incredible week - and be on the lookout for some pretty cool things coming in the next few weeks! 

"Let go, my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name"

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Are You Really Communicating?

Talking face to face. Being able read peoples body language and what they really mean even without the need to listen to their words. Anyone remember what that's like? It's sad to say that this isn't what happens when we "talk" anymore. Talking is really writing and writing is really using every possible abbreviations you can to get your point across in the least amount of characters as possible. Communication might be more accessible but it has lost all meaning. Things get lost, and I mean very lost, in translation. Does an exclamation point mean that you want to emphasize your point or that the person on the other end would probably be screaming this out of anger in real life. You just don't know. (let's keep it  real, you now you've wanted to say "hashtag __________" in real life ha!)

There is nothing like sitting down with people and just talking. When I say I've talked to my fiends, it mostly means that I'm just sitting around picking up the phone every few minutes and typing away. But when you actually talk, it doesn't compare. Just a week or two ago, I went out to eat with my friends and we literally sat in the restaurant for 3 1/2 hours. We stopped eating waaaay earlier but being around people just makes the conversation flow in a way that you don't get through texting. You lose the emotion, the realness. I much prefer actually listening to someone laugh at my joke than writing back "LOL" It just doesn't have the same effect. 

As we get older and our lives start to change, seeing people in person can get hard. You move away, they're busy, you're busy. But to be completely honest, we've just gotten lazy. It's so much easier to send someone a quick message and get instant gratification rather than having to drag yourself to wherever you've agreed to meet - even if you literally live down the road from each other. I find that kinda sad. 

Call me old fashioned but I wish I could experience life when phones weren't around and you couldn't just text your way through life. Sure, it makes it easier to talk to me people half way around the world but getting so see that person, even just once, would be that much more special. I guess it would just be nice to know that someone wants to take the time out to actually communicate with you. None of that making yourself look better on the internet or giving everyone a snapshot of that one perfect second in your day - just true, letting-yourself-shine-through communication. 

Do you see people face to face anymore?

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Bronzed and Blushing

While achieving a flawless base through foundation and concealer can do wonders, there's nothing worse than looking like you sucked the life out of your skin! Depending on the foundation you use, it may be so full coverage that you've painted on a new layer of skin. Though this might be appealing initially, glowing and natural skin doesn't look one dimensional. We naturally have a bit of redness here and there to make us look flushed, and if you're lucky enough to tan instead of burn, you'll occasionally have some colour "where the sun naturally hits you" (count how many times you've heard that phrase before....)

Spring and summer is the perfect time to transition from muted tones into bright pops of colour and an all over glow that'll have people wondering what you're doing differently lately. First things first, bronzer! I was never a huge bronzer girl. I always thought that since I had a year round tan it would look strange if I was making myself look muddy with a ton of bronzer. I'll also say that high school girls with orange faces didn't convince me on the wonders of bronzer either! This past year I decided to give the natural glow a go and I couldn't be happier that I did. Especially in the winter months when I'm at my palest, it's nice to have a subtle bronze that makes you look healthier. Lately, I've been loving using NARS Laguna Bronzer and sweeping it all over my face to add some warmth. This is the bronzer you hear about constantly and for good reason. It does have some subtly golden shimmer but I think it lends to it giving you a really undetectable highlighted effect. It's not orange or red, so the golden tones work really well for medium skin tones and lighter. They have a shade called Casino that would work really well for girls that are a bit darker. (Side note: If shimmer isn't your thing at all then go for Smashbox Bronze Lights in Suntan Matte - it's great for a good contour and if you dust it on lightly all over the face). 

So you have most of your redness covered up and you've added some glow, what's next? Blush! I seriously love blush. If I could leave the house with anything on it would be concealer, mascara and some blush. It livens up your face and gives you that "Oh, I'm just naturally this gorgeous and glowing" effect. Brighter pops of colour are great for this season and two that I've been using nonstop are Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy and Revlon Powder Blush in Haute Pink (can't find a link because the Revlon site is down but you can find it at most drugstores).  I'm usually a peachy pink kinda girl so Tarte Tipsy was right up my alley. It looks scary in the pan but when you put it on, it's seriously beautiful. I never knew I could have so much love for a blush. You need a light hand with this but this is perfect for bright coral cheeks. On the other hand, if pink is more your thing, the Revlon option is not only the brightest pink ever but it's fairly inexpensive. This is one of those blushes I'd say is really brightening. It lifts your whole complexion and all you need is a little on the apples of your cheeks and you're good. Really simple makeup and a bit of this, perfection!

I'm usually all about the lip products but I'm slowly becoming a bit of a blush and bronzer lover, and I'm not complaining. These are basically all I've been wearing and I don't see that changing any time soon. 

Any blushes and bronzers you've been loving?

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Polish of the Moment: Essie Resort 2014 Collection

While at Winners the other day, I was browsing around their nail polish to see what gem I could find and I saw that they had the Resort collection minis for under $13 so I had to give it a go. I first saw the collection and I wasn't really wowed, apart from the pale blue colour which is something unique in my collection. Reviews kept saying that they were streaky and hard to apply so I took a pass but when you can a smaller version, it tends to soften the blow on your wallet. Mini sizes make it so easy to test out a collection and when you have enough nail polish, you rarely go through an entire bottle (at least I've never done so!)

Out of these four shades I know I'm going to get the least use out of the peach shade called Resort Fling. It's a jelly formula which isn't my favourite and I'm not sure how it would look on my skintone. Might have to give it a try as a pedicure. The polish I'm really loving is the nude shade called Cocktails and Coconuts. I don't have many nude polishes and I've over worn Essie Sand Tropez to death so I thought it would be a great option. This is probably the best nude polish I've tried so far, and although I don't usually like shimmer in nail polish, this one is subtle and adds extra dimension (sort of like the glitter in Essie Bikini So Teeny). Find Me An Oasis, the powder blue shade, is probably my next favourite. Most of the blue shades I have are either darker or have green undertones to them but this one is basically a white base with just enough baby blue and I think I'm in love. This is gonna look so good with a tan. Last but not least is Under The Twilight, a dark cream purple, which isn't a typical Spring shade so I was surprised they included it but it's definitely a one-coater and I don't have many of those in my stash. I might give it a go while I'm still a bit pale but this will be amazing in the Fall and Winter, and application will be a breeze - this is extremely opaque. 

All in all, there are certain collections that don't seem as strong to me or that you just don't feel like buying all of them full size, in which case these mini sets are amazing. If you can find them at your Winners, definitely pick one up! 

Any polishes in particular looking extra pretty to you lately? 
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Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer : Lazy Day Face In One Step

Don't be turned off by the anti-aging claims if you're under the age of 30, this moisturizer is real "no makeup, makeup" in a bottle. While most no makeup looks end up using 20 products, there are always those days where you're lounging around the house and you can't be bothered to take 30 minutes of your morning trying to make all of those products look undetectable. Being in the middle of finals week, I was having this dilemma and I really had nothing in my makeup arsenal that was less than a lightweight foundation but more than wearing nothing... until I stumbled across this! The Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer is in the same vein as Origins Vitazing, which is a product I haven't tried myself.

Like always, Anna made me buy this (I feel like a series by this title is in order at this point). In the UK this is called the Miracle Skin Cream so I did a bit of a search for the Canadian equivalent and found it on sale for $15 at Walmart. Score! Oh, and I'd like to thank my friends who were at Walmart with me that day and pitched in the extra $1 I needed, in coins, because they couldn't handle me stalking this thing like a hawk any longer.

What initially intrigued me about this product was that it was perfect for those stay at home days. It takes a lot for me to actually get out of my PJs and look like a normal human being when I'm stuck studying all day but in terms of makeup, I've never liked the feel of it if I'm just lounging around the house. Garnier's cream doesn't claim to cover or be a BB cream in any way, but it takes the place of your moisturizer while still giving you a really nice, healthy glow. This could really just be the last step in your skin care regime or technically the first step in your makeup routine.

Like I said, this doesn't give you insane coverage but it does even out your complexion enough and gives you a healthy appearance to where you may only need some concealer over problem areas. You can see in the picture above that the cream comes out white and adjusts to your skin colour as you rub it in. It looks slightly orange in the picture but on my face it just gives me a very subtle bronzed effect. You won't look like an Oompa Loompa! The more you work it in to the skin, the more it blends in and matches your colouring.

This is ultra lightweight - it is a moisturizer after all. I think that's what I like the most. It's just one step but it hydrates your skin all day and makes you look a little more radiant. On Monday I had to run some errands and the humidity levels were pretty much insane seeing as how it was raining, but I wore this because I was feeling lazy. After running around and being stuck in a bus with literally no ventilation, my face started to feel like it was sweating off but when I got home I still looked healthy. Because it doesn't give a full coverage effect when it's on, you won't look like your makeup melted off since you only really had cream on. 

Some tips: don't put a ton on.... like I did when swatching it (whoops!). You only need a little - a pea-sized amount will do the trick. Make sure to blend it in enough so that it really looks seamless! For the price, I think this is a great product for when you really don't want to wear makeup but you need your skin to have a bit of glow. It makes you look radiant but not shimmery at all, and handles any redness or very minor discolouration. You won't feel bad on days when you don't wear makeup because you are still letting your skin breathe! For those of you who have had Vitazing on your wish list, you might want to gives this a go and save that extra money for another shopping day! 

Have you tried this out? What are your thoughts?
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Faith Friday: Yes, It Is A Good Friday.

Today I woke up with an instant smile on my face... along with a bit of sniffles but that's besides the point. Everyday is a good occasion to think about what God has done for us but today we can all, in unity, thank Him for sending His son to set us free. When I was younger I used to think, "Why do they call it Good Friday? Jesus died today. That's sad!" It was only until I matured that I realized today is just one extra special day to celebrate. Whereas all of our days would've been sad otherwise, we can now be joyful because we have been cleansed and renewed by that sacrifice. 

So what is this Easter all about? If you've paid close attention to your television or stepped into any drugstore lately, you'll see bunnies, chocolates and eggs. Now,  I have absolutely no clue where this came from but it has sadly been used to take our eyes away from the meaning of Easter. I mean, tell me how both Christmas and Easter, two holidays which centre on the life and death of Jesus Christ, have been masked by fictional characters and traditions that are only there to stop us from realizing why we are actually celebrating. It weighs down my heart knowing that we live in a world who would rather endorse bunnies and chocolates because sharing the truth about this season is unacceptable. In that case, I think it's time to get a handle on what Easter is and why today is a good day. 

For a few weeks now I've been reflecting on the fact that Jesus died for me. It's something we are taught and that we speak about but I'd never really understood the profound truth behind that act of selfless love. The biggest shock factor came when I realized that the amount of pain Jesus felt and the situations He went through were to save me. What did I do to deserve that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I am standing here today as a testament of God's grace and forgiveness. He knew I was imperfect and would mess up day after day but He chose me from before I was born. He had my life planned out and His love for me was so big that He sent His own son to die for little ol' me. 

Let me set one thing straight for you. Yes, Jesus died to set you free and to give you life. (I know, weird concept but it's as if you were dead before that...) But after that was done, and He said "it is finished", that's it. The slate that was filled with all of the bad things you'd done was cleaned. His sacrifice was to rid you of any shame or guilt and feelings of unworthiness forever. There is no measure of how long this sacrifice is good for. It's not a limited time offer. He gave us eternal life. 

One other thing to settle. The grip of the enemy was broken that day. You are right, Jesus died to set you free, but from what? From the creator of lies and of everything God does not stand for. I see so many people, including me some days, that live their lives acting like the devil still has a say. It's like bullies, the more you pay attention to their lies, the louder they get and the more they affect you. If we could only realize that Jesus has already defeated the enemy and he is literally irrelevant, things would be very different. He will always be there whispering things that completely go against who God says you are, but they mean nothing. You stand on solid ground, he doesn't. He is literally shaking and you know how you can really scare him? By not paying attention to him. By living your life showing him that you know Jesus did it all that day, you are exercising the power God gave you. I love the lyrics from Bethel that say, "The same power that raised Him up is the power that lives in us". Hold onto that. You have a say now because of what Jesus did. 

I wrote about Kari Jobe a few weeks ago but today is the best day to sing out her song "Forever." "Now death where is your sting? Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated." It gives me chills. So yes, today is a GREAT day. We get to celebrate that we were given a new life. God chose you that day, live to choose Him today and every day because He is good and has broken every chain that bound us to the darkness. 

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit" 
- 1 Peter 3:18

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. and who ever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
 - John 11: 25,26

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" 
- John 3:16

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy, and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. 
- Ephesians 1: 4-8

Happy Good Friday! 

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What's Inspiring Me Lately #3

It's been quite a while since I've done a post sharing what's been inspiring me so I thought today would be a good day for a bit of an update!

1// He is still good. 

The story in Daniel 3 is one that we should all read. There is nothing more encouraging than people who stood up for their beliefs in front of those who had the most influence at the time. Three young men said no to denying God and they had unwavering faith that He would deliver them but even if He didn't, God was still good. How many times do you need to be reminded that no matter the outcome, He is good?

2// You Make Me Brave

It's no surprise that when Bethel Music comes out with a new project, I get really excited! They have an album coming up really soon featuring some amazing women who proclaim Christ's love in a way that is truly inspiring. There is one song in particular that I just haven't been able to stop listening to and it's the title track, "You Make Me Brave". I hadn't heard Amanda Cook sing before but oh my, she is all kinds of wonderful. This song is such a fantastic declaration of how God can make us brave and calls us out of our comfort zone. You know I love me some good lyrical imagery and just saying the words "As your love, in wave after wave, crashes over me" fills me with so much joy because God really is like that. He is so good at just overwhelming you with His love and filling you beyond measure. Ahhh, so good! (I'll stop my love fest now.... jk never!)

3// It is finished.

"Don't put a ? where the Bible puts a "." - It is finished." Tomorrow is Good Friday and everyone is extra focused on Easter and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. I'm excited to share tomorrow's post where I'll dive into some of the truths presented in his sacrifice but for now, I'll leave you with this. He tore the veil, overcame the world, washed away your sins and gave you new life. If that isn't something to be joyful and thankful for everyday, not just tomorrow, then I don't know what is. 

4// Words are powerful. Stop #fattalk

I've done this countless times and still look at myself in a way that manifests everything God has made me to not be. It's true, words are powerful and the way you talk about yourself can be way more hurtful and abusive than anything anyone else could ever say about you. Why? Because you make yourself believe it. If we can't say we are beautiful, and wonderfully and fearfully made, who can we expect to do so?

5// Kate Bosworth's Makeup

I have a recent beauty crush and I must share. I've literally loved everything, beauty-wise, that Kate Boswroth has been sporting and I can foresee my Pinterest boards filling up with pictures of her. (Gosh, that sounded borderline creepy....) She's just so effortless and all "I woke up like 'dis" - ugh love. Definitely some inspiration coming into my beauty looks for Spring.

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Ways To Save: Beauty Bargains

Everyone has their own "stamp collection", if you will. Some people may actually collect stamps, others may love shopping for clothes, others for little trinkets and for people like me, beauty products are just too fun not to play around with. With how much makeup and beauty products are going for these days, it can get a bit pricey, so I've found ways to test out new things without breaking the bank. Even if you aren't a huge makeup lover, this could save you some pennies (which don't even exist anymore in Canada, so there's that...)

Shopper's Drug Mart
Sorry to Shopper's but their pricing on drugstore items is kinda ridiculous. The fact that same product goes for at least $4 more than it is at Walmart literally makes me gasp. But hold on and listen to what I have to say. If you go near the cash register in the cosmetics section, you may encounter a box filled with tons of products and nail polishes. It could perhaps look like they're doing inventory but don't be fooled! That little box contains makeup for 40% off or more and Essie nail polishes from past seasons at around $4.99. Yes, you read right! Essie polishes are probably most expensive at Shopper's, going for $11.99 a piece, OUCH! But you can find amazing deals in that magical box near the register. I've even seen some great shades of Nails Inc. polishes! Next time you go into Shopper's don't run away from their regular priced items - make a bee line for the cash!

If you haven't come across this treasure box of makeup, hair and skincare, then you are seriously missing out! Not only are their clothes and handbags by big name designers like Kate Spade but if you manage to go on a day they've unloaded new products, you're in for a real treat. I've seen all kinds of incredible products for waaaaaay less than they are usually. Remember that Clarins palette I showed you guys a while back? Such a good find! I've seen Real Techniques brushes, NARS skincare, tons of Clarins products, and nail polishes from OPI, Essie and Butter London. The deals are absolutely shocking and you can come across some real gems. (Quick tip: I've heard stores near downtown areas are even better!) Winners is where it's at for high end products at amazing prices. 

This is one that doesn't need much explanation but compared to any other drugstore, Walmart is the place to go for the lowest price. Depending on the time, certain products may be more affordable at Target for example but on the whole, their prices can't be beat. Definitely come here for all of your Maybelline, Revlon, and L'Oreal needs! 

Cult Beauty
There will come a time when you hear about a product that isn't sold in Canada or can't be shipped from a United States site. When that time comes, Cult Beauty will be your best friend. They are stocked with some incredible brands, including one that I want to try more of,  Jouer. The site's currency of choice is the British pound so you need to always look out for conversions! My biggest tip is to sign up for their emails and wait for when they have free worldwide shipping. Although they offer free worldwide shipping on orders of 50 pounds or more, that's about $90 CAD. If you only want to try one or two new things, this may not be the best offer. So wait for one of their free shipping promotions and browse around. Their shipping was incredibly fast - like, faster than anything that has even been shipped from the US. It took three days, and it was free! Plus, they always have amazing deals and gifts with purchases! For us Canadians this is probably not the place to buy your daily essentials but when you find a product that you can't find anywhere else, this is the place to go. 

Now, this isn't the first place I would go to for a deal but I thought I'd include it because there are certain times in the year where they actually have a sale. I know, shocker. Just this past weekend they had 15% your entire purchase and if you are a Beauty Insider or VIB member you can find some amazing sales from the e-mails they send out. So, this isn't your first stop for beauty bargains but keep your eye out for sales because when they come, you can't miss out. Oh, and they always have amazing value sets and palettes so check those out on their site - but beware of mini sizes at the cash, sometimes you are paying more to have it in a smaller bottle and it's actually better value to buy the full size! (Sidenote: if you ever need a sample, Sephora is amazing at letting you try things before you purchase them. And their return policy is unrivalled - if something doesn't sit well with your skin or you just hate it, they'll take it back without hassling you!)

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Drugstore Foundations Worth Trying

I may love my Estee Lauder bases but there are certainly some amazing budget options at the drugstore! Every now and again I do a bit of a clear out and decide to try something new in my foundation drawer. I'd been wanting to try the L'Oreal True Match Foundation for ages so that was no doubt going on my list and then I saw that the Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation was on sale for a mere $5.95! So I went into WalMart with these two in mind and picked up the shade W4 in the L'Oreal and 220 in the Maybelline. Here's what I think:

L'oreal True Match

The Good: I chose the True Match foundation because I thought it gave a good amount of coverage and the finish was natural and not overly matte or dewy. After trying it for a few weeks I would have to say that it delivers on those fronts. The shade worked well for my skin (might I add that there are a whopping 23 shades in the range!) and the formula is incredibly easy to blend out so you can take your time and buff it in or you can put some between your fingers and slap it on as you run to head out! The coverage is great and you can build it up in areas where you need more concealing. Once applied it looks really beautiful on the skin because it doesn't cake up like other foundations can and I find that my face looks glowy (not be confused with greasy!). From a person who has combo/oily skin, it looks natural and flawless without looking like a mask and it lasts a good 6-7 hours without significant fading. I got home after a long day of classes and my mom said "Woah, what do you have on today? Your skin looks great" - I took that as a very good indicator of how the foundation looked. I can definitely see why this has such a loyal fan base in terms of drugstore foundations. 

The Bad: The packaging..... I've seen this foundation in videos and reviews from the UK and I noticed that their bottle comes in a beautiful glass bottle with a pump. Now if only L'Oreal could get the memo that North Americans appreciate foundation pumps too. Since the formula is on the more liquify side, product can go to waste when you tilt the bottle over no matter how careful you are. (I've tweeted them but apparently they don't see the issue....) Side note: It does have SPF 17 so you might love it for the day time but if you plan to take pictures with flash, you might not want to wear it unless you're going for the Caspar look. 

The Ugly: Nothing to report here. I think this foundation is great apart from the stinkin' no pump issue but I think if I tweet enough L'Oreal might have to just listen (or think I'm a psycho haha).

Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free

The Good: I have tried the original Fit Me liquid foundation and I liked it for days when I know my makeup doesn't have to last too long or when I'm having drier skin but it wouldn't make the cut for my oilier skin days. So, when I saw the Shine-Free version, you can imagine my excitement. I've never been a stick foundation kinda girl. The concept always seemed strange to me because application looked so awkward - do you stripe it on like war paint? Do you rub your finger in it and then swipe it on and blend? When I first tested it out my initial impression was intrigue. The formula is so creamy that it didn't resemble any other foundation stick I'd seen before. When you blend it in it becomes velvety, thanks to the shine-free core as they call it, but not extremely powdery, and gives your skin enough glow to prevent it from looking like you powdered it heavily. I tried it on like foundation and it was okay but then I took some pointers from Kate (gh0stparties) and used it as a concealer and I liked it a lot more. I wasn't crazy about having all over, maybe because my skin was going through a drier stage, but it did work well to conceal scaring and made it easy to wear a lighter coverage base on areas just to even out my skin tone. Like I said, it is super creamy so you won't have an issue in terms of blending. 

The Bad: I don't necessarily find this a bad quality, but some people may not like it. Having to apply by rubbing your finger in it may not sit well with germophobes but it does make for easy application when you're in a rush. Because it is shine-free I would say that if you have drier skin it probably wouldn't be the best product to just swipe all over your face from the stick but to spot conceal I think it works quite well. 

The Ugly: Again, nothing too ugly to report here!

So, are you looking for new drugstore foundations to test out? You might want to start with these two!
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Faith Friday: Courage To Be Bold

(background image via The Glitter Guide Tumblr)
I'm actually pretty glad that I waited until today to publish this weeks Faith Friday post because I got really inspired by the occurrences that took place yesterday night. After having finished my first exam, I met up with a few people from my Youth Group for a bit of a Creative Worship night, in which we decided to worship through sharing God's love to others around our city. Now, I've touched base on this before but one of the biggest reasons I started this blog was because it gave me a platform to reach other people and share my love for Christ. 

It's always a bit nerve wracking when you walk up to someone and you share God's word because you wonder how they'll take it. I remember as a kid we'd do those little evangelism excursions and I always felt shy and like I was intruding into other peoples space. One of the coolest things I've learned from my youth leader has been that sharing God's word is all about showing love to people above all. Sometimes you don't need fancy words when a simple "God loves you - Have a nice day!" will suffice. Or maybe it's taking that moment to encourage someone when you see that they may be struggling. I always thought that you had to do all of the work, like if people didn't accept Jesus into their hearts you had failed. I have good news though - planting a seed is just as good. I mean, snaps for you if through your testimony someone comes to Christ automatically but sometimes Gods' plan may be to use you in the first step and then use someone else to keep watering that seed. All in all, the point is to do something! Take a look at this poem written by a friend of mine - so much goodness, right? 

You know that feeling you get when you wish you could just tell someone that although they are going through a tough time they can rely on God for their comfort? It's there for a reason. You aren't here to judge anyone but there isn't anything wrong with a little encouragement and showing people some love! You'd be surprised at how much it is lacking in our society! For me, my first step has been writing things down. Even yesterday, when my friend (mentioned above) wanted to share something with a girl she simply wrote a little note and handed it to her. The girl was probably quite surprised but it was the perfect way for my friend to share since she isn't completely comfortable with speaking those words yet. I feel like I'm in the same position. I feel so much more comfortable writing about what God is doing than saying it but there will come a time, and I've probably let some times pass me by, where I need to speak out loud. And it's in those times that I just need all of the courage to be as bold as I can be.

Walking in the faith isn't always easy but it certainly is rewarding. It might be scary to share your feelings about Christ but it's not impossible. He gives you courage when you need it most. So I'm going to try to expand the ways in which I am bold for God. Writing is great, but let's try something out loud next time, as simple as it may be. Your words shouldn't be condemning, they should be healing. People out there need hope and hope has a name; Jesus. Always remember that your testimony also speaks for you most of the time so always keep that in mind but remember that it really isn't the thought that always counts in this situation, we need to act. 

So I just encourage you to be a bit bolder and speak words of love, strength, encouragement and beauty onto other people - and I accept my own challenge! I know it's time for me to go beyond my writing. Some people may not to be open to it and reject you, others may listen and say thanks at the end. Whatever the case may be, we need God's grace and compassion to know how to approach those situations regardless of how the outcome may be. 

have you ever felt this way? How do you share God's love with other people?
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What's On My Face #1: Barely There and Bronzed

Most of my posts showcase different products I love but I thought I'd start showing you what I'm loving as I wear it. It's always nice to get a review of a product and see a nicely composed picture but what we all want to know is, how does it look on? The other day I was sporting quite a natural look that had a summery feel. As the weather is warming up I'm just itching to get a nice golden glow and bring out the bronze! Definitely a bit more monochromatic and neutral but I'm kinda digging' it. I applied my foundation and concealer with my fingers and I didn't powder - I thought it gave a really nice glowing effect. I kept it really simple and dusted on a bronze toned highlighting palette. This isn't something I'm used to but it wasn't shimmery at all, it just gave a nice radiant glow to the cheeks. For eyes I smudged on some shimmery rose gold shadow on my lids quite messily and coated my lashes with mascara. Since everything else was so glowy I chose a matte lip colour to balance out the face in a peachy nude and that was that. It's a simple look but I think it brings out the warmth of my skin and would be especially beautiful if you were wearing a really colourful outfit! So, wanna know what I was wearing?

Face: L'oreal True Match Foundation in W4 // NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard // Revlon Highlighting Palette in Bronze Glow

Eyes: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base // VS Silky Eyeshadow in Provocateur (same shade, reformulated) // Maybelline Volume Express The Rocket in Black 

Lips: Revlon Matte Balm in Complex

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Upcoming Summer 2014 Makeup Collection Releases

A few months back I shared with you the exciting new Spring collections, so I thought I'd share my favourites for the Summer season! I never really used to pay attention to limited edition collections but there's always so many exciting releases - some of which actually stay permanent!

NARS have really been impressing me with their seasonal collections (I'm still bitter that I didn't jump on the Guy Bourdin thang...) and the Summer collection is no different. Firstly, their famous lip glosses are getting a bit of a revamp to their formula, packaging, and even throwing in a bunch of new shades - 7 to be exact, making the collection comprised of 30 shades in total! And even better news, these are permanent. They'll be available on the NARS site April 15th and at Sephora and specialty counters May 1st. I must say I'm pretty excited!

It wouldn't be a beauty post without me mentioning Anna would it? She mentioned the Chanel Les Beiges powders in videos previously and she always goes on about how smooth these are but I never took the plunge. But, when I saw this new release for the Les Beiges Summer 2014 collection, I was all over it. I specifically feel drawn to the Healthy Glow Multi Colour Powder that comes with a highlighter type shade, a light bronzer and a peachy pink blush (my fave!). It reminds me of the Clarins Palette I talked about a while back. I think this compact would be so useful, especially when you want a foolproof glow without having to take out three separate powders - genius! It seems like the official release date for these is May 5th so mark your calendars people! 

One release I'm just dying to get my hands on comes from Estee Lauder. I was thinking about this the other day but most of my favourite and most used foundations and base products come from Estee Lauder - so naturally, new summer bases being released get my blood pumping and my eyes wide open! I'm usually all about the matte finish and trying to control my oily face but their sheer, glowy bases have been calling my name for some reason. Maybe it's because of the weather warming up, but I feel like having a fresh, natural base with some precision powder going on is just, well fresher. The Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup (can that get any longer?) has been out for a little while now and it has me very interested. From the reviews I've seen, this looks like it gives a really natural finish but it stays in place all day - it has Double Wear on it so of course I hope the staying power is as insane as the original! Definitely something to look at. But most exciting to me is their even more recent bb cream release for oily, acne-prone skin. Yes, you heard that right. They've finally come around to the idea that blemishes aren't only for 12 year olds anymore! They brought out an entire range by the name of Clear Difference to help against blemishes (out right now!). They have included a serum, which looks amazing, a spot treatment, and a bb cream! It took one good look at that bb cream to know that I had to befriend it - moisturizing, gives coverage, and actively helps treat breakouts - oh boy, this could be the start of a wonderful thing! Clear Difference Complexion Perfecting BB Creme has an SPF of 35 which is perfect for these sun filled months ahead of us and it's oil free AND oil-controlling. I mean, I just can't - where do I sign up?

As you can see, I much prefer the actual colour collections for Spring. Summer collections tend to be a bit too full on for my liking with the excessive amounts of bright colours in their compacts, so I much prefer single product releases. All of these have me very curious and intrigued so when they come out in stores, I'll be swatting up a storm for sure!

Any summer releases you're excited about?

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The Best Eyeshadow Primer For Oily Lids?

This week looks like it's gearing up to be quite eye makeup focused but I'm really getting into trying to make peace with eyeshadows. We haven't had a great relationship for the past few years so I thought I'd come to terms with it and find ways to work around my fear of looking like a clown. 

When it comes to applying eyeshadow, not only are the application techniques important but how you prep your lids is often half the battle. You can be the queen of blending shadows but if it takes two hours to have your eyeshadow land on your cheeks... well, then we have a problem on our hands. For the past two years I've been using the Urban Decay Primer Potion and it did an okay job - definitely better than no primer at all - but I felt like there had to be a better option out there. One of my biggest concerns with taking the time to apply my eyeshadow in the morning was the fact that it would crease up horribly in a few hours and that's just not a good look. It brought back horrific memories of a 13 year old me wearing a sparkly pink eyeshadow stick by Rimmel and going home at the end of the day only to notice that my greasy eyelids had done their magic and gathered up a pink mess within the creases of my eyes- oh dear. I literally cringe. 

I did a ton of research (as one does when you've got 20 options for the same product) and the decision was made unanimous - NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base was the one to get. I mean, the reviews on Sephora were making this seem like a miracle worker and at $29 I was hoping it would be! Let's just get to the point - this. stuff. rocks. my. world. 

As you can see, the doe-foot applicator makes the job really easy - just swipe on a small amount on your lid and then take your finger and spread it from lash line to brow bone. The formula itself is very creamy and smooth, as well as being quite thin. This is a colourless primer, unlike the Urban Decay option, and is great if you want to put this on and not have eyeshade on top and just throw on some liquid liner. That being said, there is a very small little problem with this. Although it will look white when you first swipe it from the tube, it is invisible as you smooth it out and it can be hard to know what spots you covered well and which parts you may have missed. But, if you can take the extra second or two to ensure you've covered your entire eyelid, this stuff will really works its magic.

It lives up to its claims: extends the wear of your shadow, doesn't feel heavy, and is provides a smooth surface that will allow all the colours you put on top to be vibrant! This has really been my security blanket when I do decide to wear eyeshadow because I know that I won't be reliving my teenage horror stories. I don't experience any smudging or creasing with my shadows and it helps my eye look last all day! One thing that really bugs me, about all NARS products in general, is the packaging. Don't get me wrong, it is absolutely beautiful and sleek and the kind of thing you wouldn't mind applying in public - but  apparently they love to matte matte black packaging that leaves evidence that your foundation smeared hands have been there recently. This might not bother some people, but it completely annoyed me that touching it once left fingerprints (as shown in the picture above). But if you're not as ridiculous as I am, this primer will serve you well and make the extra 5-10 minutes where you do your eye makeup worth your while. Oily eye lids will be no match for this guy!

Have you tried this primer? Does it trump the rest of the primers you've tried?

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Bright Eyes: Nude Eyeliner Is The New White?

The age old trick of making you eyes look bigger and more awake with white eyeliner was amazing, but how about a little update to your early morning eye rescue team? I know when I have to commute for an early class the last thing I want to be doing is putting a lot of effort into my eye makeup, which is why I usually just stick to mascara so I don't look like a zombie! I'v been testing out a bit of a change up to my eye look and I must say, I'm a fan!

When I was younger I was really into putting white eyeliner in my waterline and it worked wonders for making my smaller eyes look a bit bigger. Recently though, the trend has shifted into the nude eyeliner look and I'm glad it has. White eyeliner could look quite dramatic, especially on medium to tan skin tones, but nude eyeliner is just subtle enough to do the trick without making it so evident. 

I've had my Annabelle Kohl Eyeliner for a really long time (probably too long...) but it was and still is one of the best kohl pencils I've found at the drugstore. Coming in at about $6 each, you really can't go wrong! Using white eyeliner can be great for when you want a really dramatic, wide awake look or as we saw on the S/S 2014 runways, on the top lash line for a very interesting summery fresh effect - though I'm not sure how well that would translate into everyday wear.... A great nude eyeliner I found, that was also incredibly reasonably priced, was the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in the shade Nude. I snatched this up at Walmart on sale for $5 but the regular price is right about that price point - certainly below a tenner! I think the pencil is fantastic! It has the long lasting qualities you would look for in any eyeliner that goes on the water line but it is incredibly smooth and glides on really easily. I find that this pencil has more of that soft kohl effect compared to the Annabelle pencil. It would be interesting to try it out in a fun turquoise or even deep blue for a splash of summer colour!

Using nude liner on the bottom waterline and a full, fluttery lash is amazing when you have a barely there look (as if you had any choice when you're rushed!) or even with a bronze toned eyeshadow swept effortlessly onto the lid. If you've always found that white eyeliner can look stark and a bit too noticeable, I would definitely give nude eyeliner a go. 
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Faith Friday: Divided Loyalty

Have you ever asked God for something for so long and with such persistence.... and then not received it? You may think, but God you are so powerful and can do anything - why won't you give this to me? You know what He could reply? Your loyalty is divided - you are unstable in everything! If this comes as a shock, good. God is merciful and loving but remember that as a loving Father he needs to discipline us! 

When I read through James 1 and stubbled upon verse 5 to 8, it left me speechless. 

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do" 
James 1: 5-8

Were those times when God said "try again next time" because I was wavering like that wave? It brings to mind when the Bible refers to the lukewarm Christian (Revelation 3:16) and how God prefers for us to either be hot or cold - but why? If I'm lukewarm it still means that I love Jesus most of the time.... God says, but you are unstable and your loyalty is divided. You can never, ever, without fail, be of God and of the world at the same time. It just doesn't work that way. Jesus spoke out about the things that the world did because people needed to learn that choosing Jesus meant leaving behind everything else! 

Think back to my post about being firm in our faith, this is yet another reason why standing firm in your faith is important. God can't trust you with His blessings if you don't even trust in Him. He needs your 100% choice to be His child and define yourself as such. He wants to know that you are wholeheartedly loyal to Him and come what may, you won't be dragged along because you know of who you are! This is the only way that He will ever pour out the full extent of His blessings upon you - when you aren't shaken and your faith is in Him alone. This means not putting your faith and trust in what others can do for you or what you think you can do on your own. You may barely survive on your own merits but it could be so much better if you let God be your guiding post. 

Like the Word says, don't expect God to give you what you ask of Him unless you are willing to say "Jesus, I put all of my faith in you. My loyalty is not divided!"

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The "No Makeup, Makeup" Base: Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about the Lilly Pulitzer x Estee Lauder Gift at The Bay, well I brought home an Estee Lauder foundation along with it. But, there's quite the story along with this occurrence, so I'll keep it short and sweet. My skin was having one of those major freak outs and nothing I had was able to cover the redness and combat the oiliness on my face. I decided to go for Double Wear foundation in Rattan (2W2). Sadly, Estee Lauder at The Bay didn't carry this colour (weird...) and they matched me to Tawny (3W1) instead. Bad choice... it looked really random in direct sunlight although I did really love how incredibly it covered with the tiniest amount of product, plus it really did stay on all day! Since they didn't carry the correct colour, I had to exchange that foundation for the shade Rattan in the Invisible Fluid foundation which, you can only find at Estee Lauder counters (Sephora don't stock it, sorry!). I'll definitely see if Double Wear can work for me next winter because I feel like it might be just too heavy for warmer month - but for now I'm in a happy love fest with Invisible Fluid! So all is good in the foundation department!

What more can I say, than LOVE. I'd gotten samples of this foundation before but never took the plunge and honestly, I don't know why. It is the epitome of a "no makeup, makeup" base which I adore and makes it easy to just slap and go. Now let's talk formula and get down to the nitty gritty (lol, that expression is seriously so weird!) This is one very similar to Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, or so I've heard, since it has a water based quite liquidy consistency. You really have to shake the bottle well, I repeat shake that bottle! If not, you'll end up with the pigment separating from the liquid and that just won't be good! Once shaken, you may notice that the shade will look a tad bit dark which you initially squeeze it out of the bottle. This happens with a lot of these new foundations, they get lighter once you rub them in so don't buy it from looking at a small dollop on your hand. Keep that in mind when going into a store and swatching it on your face - make sure to blend. (You can see this in the picture below!) That being said, their IntuiTone technology is amazing for allowing the foundation to adapt very well to your skin. You can see in the picture to the right that the foundation blended in seamlessly with my skin!

Coverage wise, this isn't going to be as full coverage as Double Wear but it does so well at covering redness and discolouration while still looking undetectable on the skin. I don't know how it does it, but it is gooood. It is light to a build able medium coverage, but like I said, with the help of some of my trusty NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer on some acne scars, I look flawless but in an imperfect way if that makes sense. Sort of like, wow that girl has pretty good skin naturally - not like dang, you look like you put on a ton of makeup! This is definitely one if you don't like feeling like you're wearing makeup or for those days when you just need a bit of perking up to skin but nothing that's cakey.

I haven't experimented with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua myself but from what I heard Invisible Fluid is better for combo/oily skin gals. Without making the direct comparison, I find that this foundation keeps the oil at bay for at least 5-ish hours, which for a more water based foundation is all you can really ask for. I will say that even when I have my t-zone getting oilier, my face never looks quite like a grease ball if you catch my drift. I've had experiences with other foundations that have made me look much worse in less amount of time. I definitely suggest using a setting powder if you worry about that! It never oxidizes on me and the lasting power is great considering it has such a weightless feel. It blends really easily so using my fingers is usually how I like to apply it best but a buffing brush is great too! It gives a really natural finish, not too dewy and not too matte. As far as springtime bases are concerned, this one is a winner!

Some stats:
Price: $44
Size: a standard 30 mL
Formulation: Oil Free, Fragrance free (yay for sensitive skin gals!), non-acnegenic

Have you tried Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid? Are you as much in love with it as I am?

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