Two Makeup Tools Everyone Needs

That's quite the title for a beauty post, huh? After a few weeks of playing around with these two beauty tools, I can honestly say that I would never go back to not having them around. Why might you ask? Because they make your life so much easier! 

Let's start off with that little egg shaped, pink sponge. You've probably seen it before and thought that it's so overpriced (which it kinda is but that's besides the point) but the BeautyBlender is essential for making your base look like skin. I have no idea what it is about it but once dampened, it's able to seamlessly spread out foundation and concealer and press it into the skin so as to not have a masking effect. You avoid any harsh streaks that could come out of using a generic foundation brush and you get a natural look even from higher coverage foundations! Magical I tell you. My biggest tips would be to always use this sponge after it has been soaked in water and rung out - it will prevent the sponge from sucking up all of your foundation. On that same note, I think you get the best results when using a foundation that has a bit more of a thick consistency. Something like the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet is so liquidy that it'll be soaked into the sponge. Just like any of your brushes, always wash this after you use it. With my other brushes I tend to wash them every week, but I wash my BeautyBlender after each use because I want to prevent it from getting stained and from sitting around collecting bacteria. Cleaning it is super simple - take a small blob of cleaner onto the sponge and gently massage it in. Then all you need to do is rinse it out well with water until the water is clear and let it dry. All in all, such a good makeup tool!

I feel like I'm going to talk about the MAC 217 for the rest of my life and make everyone I know get it. This brush is the most useful one I have in terms of eye brushes because it does it all - buffs shadows onto the lid, it's perfect for adding depth into the crease and it blends out all of your shadows to prevent any rough edges. It's amazing! This is my first MAC brush and I must say, you get what you pay for. Sure, it's more expensive than ones you can get at the drugstore, but the quality is impeccable. You could easily have two or three of these in your collection and it wouldn't be a waste because they're so multipurpose and will last you ages. If I had to recommend one eyeshadow brush to you, hands down it would be the MAC 217. 

While getting makeup is exciting, you can't forget about the tools you use to apply it with and these two are my absolute loves! If you have them, let me know your opinions and send some more recommendations my way of tools you just can't live without. 

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The Video: Beauty Haul ft. Sephora, MAC, Drugstore

Guess what? A new video is up on my YouTube channel and it's all about my most recent beauty purchases! For the past two months I've been crossing off a few things on my beauty wish list and I thought it was finally time to share them all with you. Some of these things were featured in my recent birthday beauty haul post and some others weren't, so check it out and let me know what you think. Have you tried any of these products? Leave me some suggestions in the comments as to what I should try next because as you all know, my beauty wish list never seems to end ;)

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Summertime Moisturization

Moisturizing always seems to be the most talked about topic of discussion during the winter months, but I'm here to remind you that soft, smooth skin is needed now when you're finally able to bare those arms and legs! Sure, your skin might go through its driest patch during the wintertime but it's so important to remember that even in the heat and humidity, your skin is in desperate need of some moisture - albeit a much lighter version of it!
I love slathering on a thicker body lotion when it's cold out and I feel extra dehydrated, but during the summer, you really don't want sticky limbs when getting dressed to walk around in the heat. For that reason, the Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer in Cocoa Radiant is my absolute fave. Not only is it the easiest moisturizer to apply (hello, all you do is spray it!) but it gives the right amount of moisture without feeling overly heavy. It smells amazing and there is no greasy feeling. This is an all around winner for me - and you can use it in the winter too! 

Hand cream cannot be forgotten in the summer! Whether it's from washing your hands excessively from tons of outdoor activities or from being out in the sun too long (remember that SPF people!), your hands need some moisture back in. I'm the biggest fan of the L'Occitane hand creams. These smaller sizes are perfect to carry around in your purse without so you don't forget to reapply and they come in the most amazing scents so there's bound to be something you love. I have the original Shea Butter scent and it is great for people who are a bit sensitive to harsh perfumes. You know what I'm talking about when you put on anything from Bath and Body Works and the entire building can smell what you're slathering on haha! The smallest amount of this will go a long way. 

Last but not least, your face! I have combo/oily skin which definitely leans more towards oily during the summer months. There is nothing worse than having your face look like an oil slick midday and if you've started off with a greasy moisturizer, no amount of powder or finishing spray will save your life. So say hello to the lightest feeling moisturizer ever: Origins Ginzing. As you can probably tell from the photo, this bad boy is on its last legs so you know I've thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a gel moisturizer but it doesn't leave your skin begging for more - it leaves it feeling super refreshed and non greasy for the rest of your makeup to sit on top of. My only complaint is that it doesn't have SPF which is essential but all in all, it's really great! 
Moral of the story? Just because it feels like the sun is about to burn your face off, does not mean that your skin isn't in need of some moisture. Smooth skin is essential all year round! 
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What's On My Face #4: Matte Eyes

Yet another neutral look from me, surprise surprise. I'm really not into lots of colour anywhere other than my lips, so this look is natural and just enhances what you've got. When you want to look polished and not over the top, a good staple matte eye is the way to go and it is so easy to create with the Urban Decay Naked Basics (which I'm in love with!). This look is quite to throw on when I'm in a hurry and there are a few reasons why!

In terms of base, there isn't anything very new here except for the fact that I've been skipping liquid foundation on chill days and going for some NARS Creamy Concealer on areas where I need it and blending it out with my Real Techniques Contour Brush. It's a light base that covers any redness without making my face feel too clogged up with makeup. To even out my skin and give me a little bit of extra coverage, I applied the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus all over with a fluffy powder brush. As always, I can't put down my Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy so a good sweeping of that was a must! Before heading off to tackle the eyeshadow portion of the look, a girls gotta get dem eyebrows in check and y'all know how I feel about the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette - love!

Yes for matte eyeshadows! I'm loving the naturally defined eye look recently and the Naked Basics palette is quickly becoming a go to for no fuss eyeshadow. I took Foxy under my brow bone and Venus in my tear duct. Then with a shader brush I took Naked 2 all over the lid. I usually use this as a crease colour but I wanted to have a slightly more smoked out look. Since the Naked Basics doesn't offer a warm transition colour for the crease, I went into my Coastal Scents 28 Neutral palette, which I honestly always forget I have, and took a mix of the 4th and 5th shadows in the 2nd row through the crease to add some warmth and definition to the eye. I wanted a little bit more drama so with the shade Faint from the Naked Basics palette, I deepened the outer corner. That's eyeshadow done. A quick swipe of the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner and some L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara and the eyes are done! 

Finishing off the look, I wanted a lip colour that was slightly sophisticated looking and a neutral shade that would just add to the naturally enhanced look I was going for - MAC Modesty was the way to go. This lipstick was one I bought on a whim but I really love it and think it's a shade everyone should own. That's it, simple and easy. 

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Faith Friday: Life NOT According To Plan

original source via Marjorie West

I'm a planner. With anything and everything in life, I like having clear guidelines and an action plan. I love steps and knowing what I want the end goal to be, but sometimes, we can't always have our way. We can plan, plan, plan all we want but God will either say yes or no, and as hard as it may be we have to accept either one. 

Here's where I think the problem lies. While we ourselves think our minds are capable of coming up with the most beautiful, idyllic situations, God's mind can come up with things that you can't even imagine. I mean, just think about the fact that He created the entire universe. That takes quite a bit of creativity huh? There's just one thing we have to be alright with: things could get messy! Our minds fabricate a pathway to an end goal that usually has little to no road bumps or mishaps. It's all smooth sailing. God on the other hand can work in somewhat messy situations. You don't have to be perfect or have a perfect path to get to the right endpoint for you. God is more than capable of taking you where you're at, helping you along a few hurdles here and there, and bringing you out on the other side. A side that you didn't know existed. 

Just think about those moments in your life that seemed insignificant. Moments that seemed like just that, another moment in time. Give it a little while though and some of those seemingly insignificant moments turn into moments that change your life. Not even on your best day could you have imagined things turning out the way they did. That's where I see the beauty of who God is. He can take the simplest of moments and make them life changing in the best way possible. 

So maybe today didn't go according to plan. You wanted to go out, but you lost your transit card (happened to me the other day!), you thought you'd aced that test but instead nearly failed it, you had your life mapped out with someone but they turned out to be the wrong choice for you.... it happens. However big or small the detour is, there's a reason for it. The best times in life, where you get a chance to really challenge yourself, are when things don't go according to plan and you're left to take it as it comes. Your move! You could sit there for days thinking of why you didn't get your way and what you could've done differently. But the truth of the matter is that making the best of every situation is necessary for your growth. Realizing that you can make all of the plans you can come up with, but in the end, His plans for you will be so much better. Yes, this requires patience, something we don't like to have, but the most beautiful things can happen when life doesn't go according to your plan, but in His! 

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps" Proverbs 16:9

This isn't to say that all of your dreams and plans are horrible and completely off target. Just know that the specifics are something He'll take care of and if you do your part and "commit to the Lord what you do" (Proverbs 16: 3) He will establish your plans! 

Have an amazing weekend! Xo 

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NOTD: OPI Tickle My France-y

As much as I love fun, bright nails in the summer, sometimes it's nice to tone it down and choose a neutral polish that'll pair well with any crazy combination of colours you might be wearing outfit-wise. Lately, my favourite pick for that has been OPI Tickle My France-y. 

I've been obsessed with Essie polishes for the past while but I thought I'd go back to my tried and true OPI polishes for this gorgeous shade! I remember seeing this when the France collection came out years ago and never picking it up. Although it is a late addition to my nail polish collection, it's quickly becoming one of my favourite slap on and go polishes (much like Essie Mademoiselle has been for the past year!). 

The formula of this is creamy and applies like a dream. Two coats is all you really need! This is very much a colour that gives your hands that sophisticated look - are you following along? I know it may seem strange but it just looks really polished while adding a bit of colour, unlike very pale pinks do. I think I'll love this even more when Fall comes in! In terms of dupes, it's very similar to Essie Ladylike although Ladylike is definitely a bit more purple. So if you have one, you really don't need the other! 

Any OPI polishes you're loving? I just picked up The Thrill of Brazil and it might be my new favourite red!
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Beauty Haulin': Birthday Edition

Cutting down on beauty purchases seems like the type of thing every beauty obsessed girl says she'll do... but never gets around to. Since my birthday passed and I had an excuse to check some things off of my "To Try" list, I picked a few things up, tested them out, and now I'm ready to give you guys a sneak peek at some products that will surely be featuring on the blog in no time! 

While buying lipsticks and eyeshadows is usually what ends up happening, we can't forget to focus on the tools that make application a breeze! There were two things high up on my list, the Beauty Blender and the MAC 217 brush. I must say, it took me way too long to test these out. Applying foundation with a damp Beauty Blender gives the prettiest finish and really does give an airbrushed effect. The only issue I've had with it is that some of my foundations have stained the sponge which really bothers me, but there really wasn't any way of knowing which liquid foundations would do that more than others. Other than that, the Beauty Blender is awesome! Alright, now don't get me started on the MAC 217. Honestly, if you need a "do everything" brush, then this one is probably your best bet. Great for a wash of colour all over the lid and Iincredible for blending in eyeshadows. Highly, highly recommend this! 

Onto the beauty products. The eyeshadow loving girl inside of me is finally out and was looking to expand her horizons. While a Naked palette was very tempting, I thought the Naked Basics would serve me well especially because I needed more matte eyeshadows to work with. This really doesnt disappoint and it gives you the versatility you would want in a palette. Next is another Amelia Liana recommendation: Sephora's Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red. If you're looking for a matte red lip that will not budge, even when you're eating pizza (I know from experience...), then you've found your new best friend! Perfectly vibrant, smooth, lightweight and incredibly long lasting. This. stuff. rocks! 

Last two things were thrown in on a whim, but mostly the Urban Decay Triple Threat Eyeliner Set. You know how the checkout at Sephora always gets you with the cute minis and special offers, and this time was not exception! I was browsing around and this little set caught my eye instantly. It seemed perfect because I'm not a huge eyeliner person so getting a smaller size and getting three very useful shades (Black, Grey and Navy) was a no brainer - had to get it! I've used the navy shade so far and I loved how smooth the pencil was, as well as the pigmentation being through the roof. Last but not least, the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White perfume. I had been wanting this since I first took a whiff of it while walking around Sephora but I really wasn't looking to buy a full sized perfume just yet, so the rollerball seemed like a good idea. In hindsight, it's probably not the best value for money but it is really convenient. In a few months time I'll most likely be trading it in for the full size! 

That's it for this years round up of birthday beauty purchases. Really didn't go too crazy but in reality, I think I bought myself enough early birthday presents for them to count! Anything new beauty wise you'd like to recommend? You know I'm always open to suggestions!

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Lip Product Addict Tag

Have I mentioned that I have a love of lip products on my blog enough yet? Because if I haven't, today would be the perfect day to do so! The lip product addict tag started on YouTube by some of my faves, Amelia Liana and EssieButton, and it pretty much sums up my life in a series of questions. I may still do a video about this but these were just too good not to share now. So, without further adieu, here are my picks!

1. Favourite treatment/balm?
This category goes to The Body Shop's Aloe Lip Treatment, hands down! Coincidentally, it was something I discovered through EssieButton and it is a serious life saver if you have really chapped lips. A bit of this overnight, and whatever your lips were dealing with will be a thing of the past. It's quite a thick balm so it's amazing to put on a good layer of this before going to bed! 

2. Best eye-catching red?
I thought about this and out of all of my red lipsticks, the CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipstick in 305 Hot is the one shade that I consistently get asked about. There's just something about it that is perfect for summer and bright enough to really make your face look super alive. absolutely love this colour!

3. Best luxury & best drugstore?
I'm gonna answer this as brand focused rather than a specific product! For luxury, YSL is just the most luxe and gorgeous stuff lip product wise out there. I may only have one in my possession (the Rouge Volupte Shine in 15), but just taking it out of my purse to reapply makes you feel all posh and fabulous haha! Definitely hoping to add another one to my stash soon. Drugstore pick is definitely Revlon. They always come out with the best formulas and shades, and there is seriously something for everyone. My favourite things by them are the lip butters and the matte balms, so good!

4. Best MAC lipstick?
This is a no brainer. As soon as I read the question I knew it had to be MAC Peach Blossom! It's the shade that goes with everything and glides on like a dream. Perfectly neutral but with enough peachy pink to brighten up your face. I'm almost certain that once I finish it up, which seems like it'll be soon, this will be my most repurchased lipstick... like ever. 

5. The most disappointing?
Most disappointing would have to go to the NYX MegaShine gloss in Nude Peach. This is really strange because I love the shade Beige (which is in fact as pink... #awkward) but I think the shimmer in this particular shade is the problem. I love basically every lip product I own but this one I will need wear because it goes on gloomy and downright horrible on the lips. While the MegaShine range isn't bad a whole, I think the shimmer shades are not ones to go!

6. Liner - yes or no?
Currently a no. I only have one lip liner in my makeup collection and I think I've only grabbed for it once or twice. The vision in my mind of lip liner reminds me of those girls with the crazy overdrawn lips... so not a good look. Maybe finding a good invisible lip liner would work best for a newbie like me! 

7. Best gloss?
Not gonna come as a surprise I'm sure. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors. Perfect. Smooth. Feels like a balm. Best. Lipgloss. EVER. Nuff said. (and if you want more said, here's my review!)

8. Something extra!
I thought about what I'd include in this and the one thing that came to mind was sharing my favourite bolder lip choice for the summer! Orange lips are a huge trend and MAC Morange is the way to go. Super pigmented and creamy so your lips won't dry out but the lasting power on this one is seriously great. It's definitely one of those lipsticks to pull out when you wanna feel a little daring and fun! 

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On The Hunt: ZARA Sale

One of the things I love most about my birthday being around this time is that all of the best semi-annual sales re going on, so it's the perfect time to spend some of that birthday money. But even if it's not your birthday, there are some pretty amazing things at a fraction of their original price and the store that is really calling my name is ZARA. I've never been into shopping at ZARA, but oh dear, I went in the other day and basically fell in love with everything my eyes caught a glimpse of. Here are some of my favourite pieces! 

Side note: Insider's tip from a friend who works at ZARA: Go on a Wednesday because they lower their prices every Tuesday (shhhhh, don't tell anyone I told you!)
zara sandals
Clockwise: Red Heels (stunning!) // Leather Sandals // Woven Sandal  // Blue Heels
I have this really weird obsession with high heeled sandals lately and ZARA is literally killing it with these ones! I'm looking to branch out from my usual black heels so these are a little bit more fun! All of them are on sale too, so #score. 

The list of clothes that I'm drooling over is way too long but these are a few of the things that caught my eye. I've been staring at that coat in the ZARA window since like March so hopefully I can buy it on sale - so pretty! And as you can see, I still have to include some black clothing items because, well, black is the new black!

Are you eyeing up anything in the ZARA sale? I'd love to see what you pick up!

Side note: Happy Canada Day to all my fellow igloo livin', maple syrup lovin', poutine eatin' Canadians, eh! ;)

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