Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I am generally one of those people who is obsessed with reading about organization, but is not very good at finding and sticking to a good system. I've noticed lately that I seem to be in a pretty good place with my beauty storage, so I thought I would share some of my solutions with you over the next few weeks. First up: Nails!
I keep all my supplies in the bottom drawer of my bedside table for two reasons: practicality and functionality. I'm very much of an "out of sight out of mind" type of person, but having all I need so close to my bed really reminds me to actually use my products on a regular basis. Also, I usually do my nails in bed so there is really no excuse for leaving bottles of polish strewn all over the room when I can just bend down and put them away immediately after use. Keeping the polishes in a separate box means they can all be moved quickly and neatly to another space if need be.
Since I'm always looking at them from above, I learned that to keep myself organized I had to find a way to see the colours from the top. I had seen some people paint dots on the top of the bottle, but I still wanted to be able to see the shade names underneath so instead I painted white page reinforcements and stuck them to the labels.

Most of you would probably stop at this point but I like to take it one step further and arrange the polishes by use/colour. I keep base coats/top coats and neutrals on the side closest to me since they are my most reached for products, and then from there filter down through shades. Since we're in fall/winter season I'm gravitating more towards metallics, deeper shades and glitters at the moment and leaving my brights and pastels in the back for when I rearrange for spring/summer.
In the back of the drawer I keep my reinforcements, which as mentioned I use for identifying polish colours, but also for simple nail art like this look I did a post on last year. In a little glass container I keep all my grooming/shaping tools: nail clippers, files and buffers (glass files are an absolute must for smooth nails!). I usually keep a separate container for cotton pads and qtips for touchups but I was running low so I tossed them all in one to keep it simple.
Up at the front I keep some more essentials. First, a mini bottle of polish remover that I'm hoping to soon replace with the kind that allows you to pump out the product (any suggestions on brands?). Second, I have my bottle of Seche Restore, which I don't actually use with Seche Vite since I don't own any. This stuff is like magic for making your older polishes that are starting to dry out/thicken like new again! I have used it coutless times to bring some of my favourite discontinued shades back to life.

Finally, I have two different hand creams, one of which I will use either after everything has dried or before bed. The True Blue Shea Cashmere Hand Cream leaves your hands feeling like silk, but it has a pretty strong sweet scent that I sometimes find overpowering. When I'm looking for something unscented I'll use this Cetaphil cream that I got as a sample. It is really meant for the body, but is pretty lightweight so it makes a decent hand cream. Once I finish this one I'll be replacing it with my all time favourite which is the St. Ives Skin Renewing lotion, since it is completely non-sticky and smells amazing.

What do you use to store/organize your nail care products?

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Even though I am always one to pile on the jewelry, sometimes an outfit doesn't need a ton of accessorizing in order to shine. I've had this belt probably since high school, but it has seen a surprising amount of wear considering it is pink and sparkly. I've found that it works best when it can be the star of the show - and what better way to do that than to pair it with a simple black dress.
Dress: Forever 21 {similar} | Belt: Old {similar} | Clutch: Handmade {similar} | Bracelet: Forever 21 {similar} | Ring: Tiffany & Co. {exact}
Even though it may be a bit a-typical, I think this could be a great look for early festive parties this season. The little hints of sparkle give the holiday feel without being quite so literal in colour palette. Pastels are in for winter this year right?

Do you have any basic accessories that instantly perk up your look?

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Having to scrape off the morning ice from my car officially signals to me that the holidays are right around the corner. Before we know it we will be off to holiday soirees, so here are a few simple ways to take your everyday look to holiday perfection.
Graphic Liner
This is definitely not limited to holiday, but I think a basic graphic liner look is the perfect base in order to build a holiday look. It can easily take you from day to night with a few simple additions for those after work parties. Consider adding a gold liner on top of your typical black for that extra bit of holiday glamour!
Red Lips
Nothing says holiday like a bold red lip. Bright red's with blue undertones are traditionally festive, but if you are looking for something a little bit different, you can check out what I've been loving this season.
A Little Bit of Sparkle
I will be the first to say I am a big fan of glitter, and there is no better time to get your glitter fix than the holidays! Go bold with a glitzy eye, or work it in more subtly by getting some use out of your favourite glitter polishes. Don't let the opportunity to sparkle go to waste!
Fresh Skin
This is the time of the year when even oily-skinned girls can lay off the heavy powder. Nothing looks prettier in dim holiday lights than a little glow! Think about skipping the powder all together for a fresh and natural look, or topping your makeup with a setting spray instead to keep everything in place without looking powdery. Top it all off with your favourite cream or powder highlight and you'll be looking candlelit all night long.
Stay tuned to see how I use these products to create my favourite looks for the holidays!

What's do you use for your signature holiday look?

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Oh Monday, why do you always come so soon? For someone who is usually low key, I had a pretty dramatic weekend – my first blogger event, college roommate reunions, friend emergencies, and it all culminating in a tire blowout on the highway during a snowstorm. Let's just say, busy days and late nights made this a definite glasses-only weekend.
Dress: TJ Maxx {similar}| Vest: Old Navy {exact} | Glasses: c/o Firmoo {exact}
Necklace: Ebay {similar} | Braclet: J. Crew {exact} | Tights: Target {exact}
I was recently sent these glasses from, and I have to say I've fallen in love! Even though ordering eyewear online can seem a bit intimidating, they provide detailed measurement information as well as a virtual try-on system which made me confident that even these larger frames would fit the small head/chubby cheeks combo I've got going on.

Firmoo's customer service was incredibly helpful when I had prescription questions, and the package arrived quickly and included a mini repair kit that I'm sure will come in handy down the line. All this combined with reasonable prices for frames and lenses has me definitely re-evaluating the $300 I've spent in the past on a single pair of designer glasses.

They are currently running a First Pair Free program on select frames (head over to this page for the details) or you can use the code "THEVIEWISBEAUTIFULBLOGS4 " to get $15 off any of their classic frames before December 15th!

Would you consider ordering glasses online?

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Let's face it, for those of us up in the North winter is not waiting around until December. Snow has already started making its appearance, which signals a lot more time spent inside on weekends for me. Here are some of my staples for chilly weekends in!

In my world there is no such thing as being cozy if I haven't got a pair of fleece lined slipper socks on. I probably have a pair in almost every colour because I love them so much.

I got a pair of J Crew's Saturday Pants last year for Christmas and they served me so well all through the winter. They're the perfecty fitted sweatpant/legging hybrid that makes you feel a little more put together than your average baggy sweats or PJs. They are sold out on the website, but I'm willing to bet these and these are pretty similar.

The Gilligan & O'Malley brand at Target makes the absolute best feeling affordable sleep/loungewear. I've bought more than one sleepshirt from them in the past few months, and they feel like the softest, snuggliest cotton hug. Just go give their fabric a feel and tell me you didn't want to take it home with you.

Who isn't a fan of chunky knits in the cooler months? Cozy cardigans, pullovers, tunics, I'll take them all. You can find so many options at so many different price points!

Last but certainly not least, I don't think anyone is surprised that tea is on my list of staples. Loose leaf teas are my favourite, and this festive mug from David's Tea is an absolute must have for mess free, perfect cup of tea to warm up on a chilly morning.

What can't you live without on a chilly weekend?

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

If you have read any blogs or beauty mags this past year, you'll know that cleansing waters were the next big thing. These products tend to come attached to claims that they are able to do it all: remove all traces of makeup, cleanse skin, and tone all in one simple step. Bioderma was the first out of the gate and became an instant beauty cult favourite, but is there something at a lower price point that gives it a run for it's money? If you read my latest Trash Talk you'll know that I hinted that I had found exactly that!
I found the Marcelle Soothing Cleansing Water on a recent trip to Winners and decided to give it a go. When I tried it I was instantly impressed, but wondered how it really stacked up in comparison to Bioderma. Above I swatched a long wearing liquid lipstick, waterproof mascara, and waterproof eyeliner to see how easily the Marcelle and Bioderma waters would remove these product. First up: Bioderma.
After a few swipes Bioderma easily removed the lipstick and eyeliner, but needed a bit more scrubbing to remove all traces of the waterproof mascara. So how did Marcelle compare?
They performed virtually identically! If anything I would say the Marcelle cleansing water required a little less elbow grease to get the final bits of mascara to disappear. When I looked into the ingredient ingredient lists, I found they were also very similar.
I love cleansing waters because they don't feel like they are stripping your skin quite like facial towlettes, but don't leave a greasy residue like many makeup removers. I do always follow up with a cleanser, but if you wear very light makeup or were feeling particularly lazy one night, it could do double duty with a little extra attention. The best part of this little experiment? In my local drugstore Bioderma will cost me upwards of $25. I found the Marcelle on sale for $6. I think that's a no brainer! Unfortunately both of these options are difficult to find in the US, but you can order the Marcelle version through their website. UPDATE: If you are looking for it on Marcelle's website, it has been repackaged and is now called their "3-in-1 Micellar Solution".
Are you a fan of cleansing waters?
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Monday, 10 November 2014

Nothing finishes off an outfit like a great piece of jewelry, am I right? If you were following along with my stay on the blogger closet last month this outfit is probably pretty familiar to you, but since it's one of my most worn outfit combinations for casual work days I thought it deserved some love on the blog. 
Sweater: Lord & Taylor {exact} | Collared Shirt: H&M {similar}
Necklace: eBay {many options} | Jeans: American Eagle {exact} | Shoes: Aldo {similar}
I refuse to spend much on statement jewelry, so my favourite place to buy is actually eBay. Low prices and free shipping is always good in my books! I love pairing this particular necklace with a thin cashmere sweater, which is the perfect layering piece for our weather as it keeps me incredibly warm without hiding all shape. A quick tip that seriously makes all the difference: add a fitted tank between your button up and sweater to keep the look smooth and help prevent bunching! 
Where do you buy your statement jewelry?

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Friday, 7 November 2014

If you're any type of beauty product lover, you look forward to this time of the year like I do - holiday season means special makeup kits, value sets, and the Sephora VIB sale! If you haven't already taken advantage, this is the perfect time to pick up some of your staple items, Christmas gifts and things that have been on your beauty wish list at 20% off. Unfortunately, it seems I got demoted from VIB status, so I won't be getting a deal on any of these items this year (unless any of you want to share your friend code and help a sister out), but here are my recommendations and what will be on my beauty wish list this holiday season!

Tried and True:

If you own a Clarisonic, you should probably pick up a couple of the Clarisonic Brush Heads since those things need to be changed fairly frequently and they're pretty damn expensive. Purity Cleanser is the perfect pairing to a Clarisonic, but also if you read this post you know that I also just love it in general and needs to be replenished ASAP.

Tarte's Exposed is my favourite blush ever. If you don't already have a rosey-tan in your collection just do yourself a favour and take the plunge. Same goes with the Nars Dolce Vita Lipstick, which I've raved about a couple of times now.

MUFE Aqua Eyes and Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner are the best on the market as far as I'm concerned! They both last forever (even on the waterline) and come in so many fun colours.

I got the version of the Sephora Superstars last year, and it introduced me to some of my now favourite products! It's great value, especially when snagged at 20% off!

Lust List:
If I had unlimited resources then all of these would be making their way to my doorstep. As it is, everything I don't get for myself will be going onto my Christmas wish list!
Have you made any VIB sale purchases? What's on your wish list this year?

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

October being over is so bittersweet to me, we are officially one step closer to Christmas but also one step closer to the dark and cold of a typical Canadian winter. Instead of dwelling on what is to come, let's take a look at what I loved this month shall we?
 I lived in this Flannel shirt from Garage all month long. It took me so long to find the cut/colour combo that I wanted and now that I have, I have to stop myself from wearing it every single day. It is just the perfect piece for dressing up, and dressing down!
I'm not sure if it was the frequent travel for work or what, but the past two months had be wreaking havoc on my skin. Because I was running low on my favourite face wash, I decided to test out one from the Body Shop Tea Tree line. The Cool and Creamy wash isn't my favourite for every day since it's quite intense, but I like it for using in the bath or shower when I can let it sit on my skin for a few minutes. It almost feels like I'm giving myself a facial treatment.
For spot treating, I went back to an old favourite, the Clean & Clear Persa Gel 10. This stuff is serious business. I put this on in the evening over larger areas where I was breaking out and it really seemed to help kill the bacteria or whatever was causing smaller whiteheads. My skin is just returning to normal and I couldn't be happier!
Having smaller eyes, most of the time I think adding colour on the lower lash line looks a little too heavy for me. Since I've been loving cooler neutrals for the fall, I decided to try the Rimmel Scandal Eyes in Taupe on the outer corner of my lower lash line and it really helped define my eyes without looking too dark. I've been loving it especially if I'm wearing darker shadows as it helps balance and round out my eyes.
I found this Real Techniques Blush Brush on sale at Winners (a TJ Maxx equivalent) and immediately scooped it up. I am head over heels in love! It's a great size and shape and the bristles are super soft. I'm thinking of going back for another to use with bronzer, because the tapered tip is awesome for a more precise application!
A few months ago I picked up a sample of Lush's Lemony Flutter cuticle butter, and it was an absolute life saver as the cold started moving in this month. I'm a compulsive hand washer so my cuticles were in pretty rough shape. This rich butter is great for some super hydration. It's thick and a bit greasy so you may want to reserve it for night time. I feel like this sample alone is going to last me the whole winter, I need so little!
Finally, I'm not much of a brown person. I have naturally pretty full brows, and especially being a blonde never really wanted to do much that might make them look darker. When I rediscovered this Maybelline Define A Brow pencil in Dark Blonde in my collection, I started to use it to fill in some of the sparser parts in the inner part of my brows, and was surprised by the difference just the tiny change has made.

And that wraps up this month's favourites! What have you been loving this month?

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Monday, 3 November 2014

Do you ever have one of those weekends where you just want to curl up in a ball in front of the fire and stay there for days? After a late Halloween night and seeing the first snow of the year, that was exactly how I was feeling this weekend. This may not be the most exciting outfit but it is exactly what a real lazy Sunday looks like in my world - messy hair, naked face and all.
Top: Old Navy | Cardigan: Dynamite | Scarf: Old | Necklace: Old Navy/Local Jewelry Boutique
Jeans: American Eagle | Boots: Spring

I am absolutely loving all the pieces I picked up recently from Old Navy. This thin turtleneck is great for layering on chilly days, and this feather necklace has turned out to work with so many outfits. I added this crystal pendant that has been sitting around in my jewelry box collecting dust and I really like the two of them together. All in all a super comfy outfit for a day of church, baking, and hanging out by the fire.

What's are your staples for a lazy day?

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