February 26, 2018

BUXOM Va-Va Plump + Video

Buxom Va Va Plump, Shiny Liquid Lipstick 2018, Beauty Blogger Canada

First of all, can we just laugh at my attempt of a swatch? I love how I'm like running out of space on my arm and going every which way to get all the shades in... lol. I tried. I also ended up with lipstick all over my shirt! Moving on... Are you a matte or a shiny lipstick kind of girl? The past few seasons we have been just FLOODED with matte liquid lipsticks and I didn't think I would ever go back to anything but matte. I love the matte look, how precise and flawless it is. But (and I can't believe I'm saying this), I am starting to really dig the wet, shiny look. It's the season of lip tints, gloss and shine, girls! I like it because it looks just a tad bit messy but natural and effortless at the same time. It says "oh, just a swipe on the go", doesn't it?!

Buxom Va Va Plump, Shiny Liquid Lipstick 2018, Beauty Blogger Canada
{wearing BOLDLY GO}

Buxom is the latest to release the shiny goods and not only are they extremely pigmented and hydrating, they plump up your pucker! You know Buxom is queen of plumping and they packed these guys with peptides and hyaluronic acid to give you that luscious lip. Always start with the Big O. It's Buxom's plumping lip balm that basically enhances your natural lip colour and plumps to the max! It also contains beeswax for softening and menthol for cooling and adding in that freshness.

Back to the Va-Va Plump... Twenty shades of long-lasting, loveable lippies. They don't feel sticky at all and feel ultra luxe and hydrating. My faves? It's so hard to choose! I am obsessed with Honey Do and Beg for Mauve for my everyday nude look. Russian To You is the perfect pastel pink, while Pin Up Plum is berry-licious.  I just can't choose...

What do you think of the latest in shiny lipsticks? Do you think it's here to stay, or will you be headed back to matte?

Check out my latest VIDEO testing out four of the fab shades!



Buxom Va Va Plump, Shiny Liquid Lipstick 2018, Beauty Blogger Canada


S U B S C R I B E H E R E !

S H O P  T H E  P O S T :




Products were given as a PR sample, however, all opinions are my own!

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February 22, 2018

Coconut Matcha Energy Bars

Coconut Matcha Bliss Bar with collagen

Oh, my word. Ladies and gentlemen... enter into my newest creation and obsession-- The Matcha Bar! I literally just devoured one so I am in full out matcha heaven at the moment, so let me bask in my enthusiasm. 

As far as match lattes go, I can take them or leave them. I'd just usually rather have coffee! With that being said, the health benefits of matcha are so superior that I did buy some matcha powder a while back and have been determined to make the most out of it, adding a teaspoon in smoothies, and such. When I saw Rafia from Eat With Raf post a matcha ball recipe I was excited to try it out. Since then, I've adapted the recipe and have been making them non-stop! They are seriously the perfect afternoon treat. You can full out satisfy your sweet craving, skip the extra coffee and enjoy a jolt of alertness without the crash.  If that's not enough let me describe these bars further. You have a touch of sweetness from the honey, a pinch of vanilla flavour, and pure coconut bliss! Tell me that isn't enough yum to go out and make them right now? Also, they literally take eight minutes to prepare. I know this because I timed it. 

Okay-- so those health benefits of matcha I was speaking of... Curious? I'll break it down and then, YES, I'll share the recipe!

**Detoxifying -- bursting with chlorophyll which is a detox agent
**Antioxidant -- more antioxidants than regular green tea to fight cancer and fight inflammation
**Chilled energy -- burst of alertness/energy without the crash
** Fat burning --  boosts that metabolism 


Matcha Coconut Bars
ingredients:
*this recipe makes about 7 bars, you may want to double it!

1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons of almond flour
1 tablespoon of Vital Proteins Vanilla + Coconut Water Collagen Peptides (if you don't have you can add either another scoop of almond flour plus a dash of vanilla extract, or a scoop of vanilla protein powder)
1.5 tablespoon honey (I just use a heaping spoonful)
1/2 tablespoon of ceremonial grade matcha powder (I use Genuine Tea because it's not too bitter, and they are Canadian based) 
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon hemp hearts 
2 tablespoon dried goji berries (optional)

 ** totally optional: I added a handful of Bran Buds for a little extra fiber and ended up loving the crunch! 

directions:
1. Add coconut, almond flour, collagen, honey, hemp hearts, coconut oil and dried gojis to blender and pulse until combined
2. You could roll mixture in balls, or press down into pan 
3. Sprinkle some whole gojis, and dried coconut on top
4. Chill in fridge to set and cut when cold

Do you love matcha? Let me know if you'll try these. Even if you're not a matcha lover, I totally think this will have you hooked! 

Coconut Matcha Energy Bars

Coconut Matcha Energy Bars


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February 20, 2018

Winter Glow at Three Different Price Points


Glowy, rosy, golden skin is one of my obsessions. I can't even leave the house without a swipe of highlighter, and I have no remorse, my friends! I love the way it reflects the light and adds a bursting luminosity.  I don't judge if you're more of a matte gal, I can appreciate it all, but a dewy glow is just what I've been feeling as of late. You can add it to the inner corners of your eyes for a real pop,  use it above and under your eyebrows for a life, plump up your lips by adding it to the cupid's bow (middle portion of your upper lip), and the list goes on! There are a few products that have become my go-tos, and it doesn't matter your budget, I have a product for you at every price point! Let's break it down, shall we? Seven products, three categories (worth the splurge, affordable and fab, and drugstore find) and all are shining stars!

SKINCARE

Dullness and uneven skin tones are no match! I love the Dior Capture Youth Glow Booster for multiple reasons. It smells so lovely, so light and you can feel it working into the skin. How does it restore radiance? With one of my favourite ingredients- vitamin C of course! Apply before moisturizer or mix in with your moisturizer (my favourite right now is the Dior Capture Youth Advanced Cream). Your skin will just glow from the inside out, total hydration and no gimmick. Bonus-- formulated with mostly natural ingredients, it delays signs of aging, because it really is never too early to start fighting the inevitable!

Best highlighters, illuminators for winter glow- Dior Make Up, NARS Danger Control. L'Oreal Lumi Glow Enhancer Drops, Vichy Idealia, Pixi Cafe con Dulce, Rose Flash Balm

I've been loving this moisturizer lately too. It combats stressors and amps up on the glow. It contains fermented black tea (aka kombucha) and blueberry extracts and thermal water. Talk about antioxidants! Not only does it reduce fine lines, but it boosts glow and tightens the skin. I always pair with the Vichy Anti-Fatigue Eye Care. It actually is the best eye stick I've used! It contains caffeine and licorice root to blur fine lines and rid dark shadows. It gives off such a shimmer, and it's a must-have. Combine the two and you will be glowing.

Best highlighters, illuminators for winter glow- Dior Make Up, NARS Danger Control. L'Oreal Lumi Glow Enhancer Drops, Vichy Idealia, Pixi Cafe con Dulce, Rose Flash Balm
Pixi Rose Flash Balmdrugstore find
Perfect if you want the glow, but not necessarily the shimmer or shine. I love adding the balm after the Rose Essence Caviar. It creates a dewy look that is extremely hydrating and supple. You know that look like you've slept in your makeup and your face is just so lovely? Yes, that's the dew! Moisturizes the skin, brightens and revitalizes all in one go. Tip-- don't rub it in, just pat on the skin. 

FACE

First off, the Lumi Glow line by L'Oreal. Holy GLOW is right! All I do is add a drop to my moisturizer, or if I am wearing makeup that day, my foundation and it gives you a great dewy glow from a lit from within look. It even comes in two shades-- Daybreak and Golden Hour. I've been using Daybreak as it feels more cool, perfect for the daytime, but Golden Hour would be perfect to accent a tan (hi, summer!).

Best highlighters, illuminators for winter glow- Dior Make Up, NARS Danger Control. L'Oreal Lumi Glow Enhancer Drops, Vichy Idealia, Pixi Cafe con Dulce, Rose Flash Balm


Same same, but different.  This one is a use all over lotion. This liquid highlight comes in three shades and it can totally be worn alone or over makeup. It creates a lovely all over glow and it extremely lightweight. You can even accent with it if you'd like. It gives off a fresh glow, not too overpowering, perfect for the day-to-day!

Best highlighters, illuminators for winter glow- Dior Make Up, NARS Danger Control. L'Oreal Lumi Glow Enhancer Drops, Vichy Idealia, Pixi Cafe con Dulce, Rose Flash Balm

Pixi + Cafe con Dulcedrugstore find
This multi-use pallet was maybe made for me? Nine shades of shimmery powder to cream beautifulness!  It has you covered with every shade-- peach tones, rose tones, golden tones, and bronze tones, perfect for highlighting and brighten. I love using it on the eyelids and on the cheeks. Use it on the inner corner of your eyes for the ultimate effect! Tip-- add a swipe of Pixi Lip Icing on your lips after you highlight the cupid's bow. The sweet, luminous lip gloss adds the perfect touch to any colour. It's the perfect top coat!

Best highlighters, illuminators for winter glow- Dior Make Up, NARS Danger Control. L'Oreal Lumi Glow Enhancer Drops, Vichy Idealia, Pixi Cafe con Dulce, Rose Flash Balm
Holographic, glittery and fabulous! For such light shades I can't believe how pigmented they are! My faves are the top three, Rave, Elektra, and Aeyrn Sun.  I've already dabbled into these pastels but I know they will be so lovely for spring and summer. The shades really are long lasting, and no fall out to be found!

Are you ready to get your glow on? Are there any products totally calling your name? Let me know!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T:




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February 15, 2018

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway, How to use collagen in smoothie

Collagen... what is it? Why do we need it? What are the benefits?

I was just as curious as you. You may have seen some of my recent Instagram stories regarding collagen peptides and are wondering what's the deal. Rewind to last year when I discovered Vital Proteins thanks to The Balanced Blonde and Shut The Kale Up. I kept seeing them pour these little blue packs into their morning coffees and I needed to investigate! 

P.S. there is a giveaway AND a video below, so keep scrolling!

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway, How to use collagen in smoothie
What is it?

Collagen is a protein found in the body. It promotes the growth of healthy hair, skin, nail, bones, and joints. But when we work out and get older, it breaks down and cannot replenish enough on its own. Collagen is great for the skin and getting that glow, too! Once it hits the bloodstream it acts as a binder for water and hyaluronic acid (you know how much I love H.A.), therefore holding in that moisture and resulting in plump, hydrated skin. Beauty-full? Yeah, I'd say so too! It also promotes a healthy gut since it is filled with amino acids.

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway, How to use collagen in smoothie

Best way to increase collagen?
Ingest it. Topically it's not as impactful. Ingesting pure and natural sources of collagen is the best way to get it right where you need it. 

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway, How to use collagen in smoothieWhat's the deal with Vital Proteins?

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (aka collagen in powder form) are sourced from grass-fed, pasture raised bovine hides.No, not vegetarian or vegan, but they are gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly and whole 30 approved! With each scoop, you are getting 20 g of collagen. That's insane. The difference between regular protein? Collagen protein has higher levels of amino acids which help to give us the strength for stronger joints, and skin elasticity.  The original is tasteless and totally dissolves in liquid. They also have flavoured products such as Melon Mint, Mixed Berry, and my favourite, Vanilla Coconut Water.

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway, How to use collagen in smoothie

How to use?
The possibilities are endless! Stir the original in coffee (no taste and totally dissolves), add to smoothies as a protein boost, or shake with water. I love adding a scoop in my energy balls, baked goods (like pancakes and cookies) and mixed in with oatmeal and soup.

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway, How to use collagen in smoothie

Here's a recap:

**20 g of collagen, 18 g of protein with 1 scoop
**tasteless and dissolves completely
**beauty boost & anti-ageing-- glowing, healthy skin, nail and hair strength
**strength-- bone & joint health
**gut health-- all those amino acids

Let's put it to use, shall we?

Here's a detox smoothie recipe that I am OBSESSED with. Try it out! 

Blueberry Vanilla Detox Smoothie
ingredients:

1 handful greens (spinach, kale)
1/4 cup frozen zucchini 
1/4 cup frozen blueberries 
1 scoop Vital Proteins Vanilla & Coconut Water
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
almond milk (however much to result in your desired consistency, start with 1/2 cup and add more milk or ice as needed)
extras: I always add in some maca powder (for balancing hormones) or ashwagandha (to release stress/anxiety), or Brain Dust (for a boost), and almond butter to make it extra creamy. Feel free to add some frozen banana slices if you'd like it a touch more sweet!

top with your faves: granola, nuts, seeds, etc!

Blueberry Vanilla Collagen Smoothie with Vital Proteins + Giveaway, How to use collagen in smoothie
GIVEAWAY!!! Vital Proteins and I are teaming up to give you the ultimate pack-- the Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Peptides AND a pack of the original Collagen Peptides! All you have to do is enter below. Super easy! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Contest open to Canadians AND US residents! Thank you to Vital Proteins for allowing me to share a product that I love! 
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February 12, 2018

5 Things I've Learned in 5 Years of Blogging

5 things Ive learned in 5 years of blogging, ,DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons

I started blogging five years ago. Wowsers... that seems so crazy! Since that time I have changed immensely. I grew into my own personal style, my perspective on fashion has changed and so has my lifestyle choices. I have evolved into the person I am and I really wouldn't change that. I started blogging because I wanted a space to create creatively and share and just had so many ideas! I wanted to make things beautiful, inspire others and have a place to call my own. Do you know what I mean? When your brain is just bursting with ideas and you need a place for it all. I fell in love with it all back then and this love has only gotten stronger.


DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons

Now whether you blog or not, I'm sure you are aware that it isn't all rainbows and pretty pictures. But it's a path I am so, so happy I went down. The ups, the downs, the vulnerability... It's exhilarating and scary all at the same time.  This February I am celebrating my 5th year of blogging and I wanted to share 5 important things I've learned over the years. Of course, there are tons more but these are some really important lessons I've learned to accept as truth and have really focused on embracing.

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold BalloonsDVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons



1. Let go of judgments.
Everyone has their own struggles, paths and we just don't know what anyone else is going through. Judgements only hold us back from embracing love and positivity. They are usually coming from a place from within and reflect our own insecurities.  After reading "Judgment Detox" by Gabrielle Berstein I've come to realize that we all judge and it is so hard to completely get rid of these thoughts. BUT just realizing that you are doing it is so powerful. Having the awareness of your thoughts allows you to turn the thoughts around and focus on the positive. It creates so much space for self-love and acceptance. One way to go about doing this, as Gabby Berstein recommends, is starting your day with the phrase: "today I will judge nothing that occurs". I have been doing this and found it works so well. I catch myself making judgments throughout the day so much more. It makes me aware and then I can change them for the better.

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons

2. Don't compare.
In a world of numbers, it is so easy to get bogged down by what everyone else has, what they are doing or have done. It is so important to remember everyone grows differently and everyone has their own path. This used to affect me so much! I would get so discouraged by growth, and the lack thereof and what seemed like the impossible. I constantly try to turn these thoughts around and focus on the positive, on what I do have and where I am. Remember the real reason why you are doing this. Whenever you find yourself comparing, try your hardest to turn these thoughts around with self-talk: "no, you are doing amazing!", "you are so powerful beyond measure". These little affirmations have the ability to alter your mindset. It may seem strange at first but I promise they work! Overall they can change your perspective.

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons

3. Constantly evolve.
Now for some more positive lessons, right?! Don't be afraid of growth! You are changing and so will your content. And that's okay! Constantly challenge yourself to achieve new heights and try new things. I've really been trying to focus on this lately by creating more video content, starting a newsletter and just trying out new software. Sometimes we get stuck with "what works" and we forget about the other million possibilities. What if you tried something new? It could work and lead to amazing things. Or it may not and at least you tried. And then you can move on to the next incredible thing.

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons

4. Reach out for what you want.
This was something I struggled with (and still do). Knowing your worth and putting a value on yourself and your work is so important. It can be amazing if a brand reaches out to you, but sometimes you can get caught up and agree, agree, agree. It took me a while but I am now starting to ask, ask, ask! Reach out to new contacts, ask for the things you want and don't be afraid to negotiate. Remember this is a business and you can show them exactly what you can bring to the table. No one else is going to fight for you. Fight for yourself.

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold Balloons


5. Embrace the community.
This is probably my favourite lesson! I love working with other bloggers and creatives because it is amazing what you can learn from one another and the quality of the work you can produce together. Collaborate with other creatives, share the content you love and engage with others. There are so many ways to do this! Some of my favourite posts are done with other bloggers. Not only does the content just expand to crazy new heights, but you have more value to bring to brands.  Open your eyes to like-minded people and be the first person to reach out. Why not! The community is so vast and welcoming, after all, we are all in this together. Embrace it.

I hope you guys can take something away from this post and resonate with it. Let me know what else you'd add to the list?

DVF leopard coat, Pink Simons dress,  Michael Kors black ankle booties, Blog Tips, Blog Help,Gold BalloonsOn another note... Thank you. Thank you all for returning to this space and supporting me, encouraging me and engaging with me. I am so grateful for each and every comment, view, like and follow! Seriously. Now, let's celebrate! With a little leopard of course!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T :





All photography by: Krenare Ali 


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February 07, 2018

Baking the Most out of Galentine's Day with HomeSense

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense

What do you do when it's Super Bowl Sunday and you have no intention of watching the Super Bowl? You invite you best galpal over for a pre-Valentine's Day celebration of course! This Sunday I got together with Eleni, one of my blogger besties, to have a little girl date. We put on our pink sweaters, poured some strawberry drinks, baked some cookies and then went to town decorating them. Our one stop shop for all the essentials to host a cookie decorating get-together? HomeSense of course! Want to host your own little Galentine day date/cookie decorating party with someone special? Here's how to do it:

Pink Valentine Baking Party HomeSense
{all accessories found at HomeSense ranging from $2.99-$24.99}
Galentine Party pink heart cookies HomeSense

1. Baked Goods.
Sweet treats and Valentine's Day go hand in hand and there are so many ways to go about this. You can bake in advance to have everything ready to decorate or bake together. It just depends how much time you have. We opted for box mixes from HomeSense because they are super easy to prepare for when you want to focus on each other's company. You guys-- they even have gluten-free options that are the best quality. My favourite part was scoring Sweetapolita sprinkles for $4.99 when they are regular $13.00! The cutest addition to our pink sugar cookies! HomeSense is also great for other gourmet finds... I mean, macarons, gourmet chocolates and meringues for under five dollars! You can't beat it. Baking from scratch? Just pick yourself up a cookbook, pink spatula, cake stand, mixing bowls and you're set!

Baking Galentine's Day, pink cake tray, Love plates
{cake stand - HomeSense $13.00}
bestie glasses HomeSense, Baking Cookie Decorating Party
{"Besties" glasses- HomeSense $9.99}

2. More decor.

Yes, this is the time to bring out all the pink, red and fabulous and once I have a theme I really run with it! Obviously, we needed to fill the day with flowers. Roses in every colour, please! We also picked up some adorable Meri-Meri party supplies from HomeSense (for a fraction of the price), and adorable pink plates to serve our goodies on.

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense
{Sweetapolita sprinkles- HomeSense $4.99}

Valentine's Day baking party/ Valentine's Day cards. Be my Galentine
{greeting cards- HomeSense starting at $2.99}

3. Make it special.
My favourite part of Valentine's Day growing up was writing out and handing all my Valentine cards! I just loved going to school (in my pink and red best) and slipping the cards into everyone's handcrafted boxes! I still love writing out cards today. There is just something so special about it. That's why I was SO excited when HomeSense started carrying greeting cards! They are actually so fun and beautifully crafted-- think glitter, catchy sayings and pop up details! And the best part? They start at $2.99! So much cheaper than the regular card stores... Make it special by writing up a card for your pal! Such a sweet touch that they can take home. Fun fact-- Eleni and I got each other the same card! Haha.. great minds, right?!

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense / Pink aprons

4. Dress the part.
Pink, pink and more pink please! A true Galentine's Day would not be complete without an extra dose of pink. Obviously, Eleni and I were wearing matching pink sweaters (total coincidence), and then when we scored these adorable pink and white stripe aprons at HomeSense, we were basically twins! I'm serious when I say one-stop-shop! They were $12.00 each which was the icing on the cake! We weren't the only ones who dressed the part. So did the table! An adorable Nicole Miller table runner, and washcloths to soak up all our floury mess!

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense

5. Extra extra!
It's Galentine's Day... the more all out you go, the better! Turn up the music nice and loud, pour yourselves a glass of bubbly (in a cute glass, obvi), and have fun! Doesn't this sound so much better than watching the game on a Sunday? My thoughts exactly!

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense

Baking books from HomeSense/ how to throw a Galentine's Day Party

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense


Pink Cake stand/ gourmet sweets from HomeSense, Bestie glasses, Valentine's Day

How to throw a cookie decorating party / Galentine's Day / HomeSense

Thank you guys so much for reading! I hope you get some great ideas for Valentine's Day next week. Whatever your plans may be! Just enjoy the day, and don't forget to celebrate the love you have for yourself first! Make sure you head on over to Eleni's blog, Bijuleni,  to check out more ways to save and indulge this Valentine's Day!

Although this post was sponsored by HomeSense, all opinions are 100% my own. I genuinely love working with HomeSense and sharing my finds with you because I am a regular there! 

All photos by: Krenare Ali 
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