Wednesday, 25 February 2015

I know February is a short month and all, but don't those two less days make the whole thing just fly by? Well, that's one more month close to warmer weather! For a short month I had a surprising amount of new favourite products so let's just get cracking!
NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee | Since Target liquidation sales were happening this month, I made sure to stop by and pick up a few items from NYX, ELF, and Sonia Kashuk before they were gone forever. I'm not usually a lip gloss person but I've really enjoyed the formula of these in the past so I thought I would pick up another popular colour. Creme Brulee is the perfect goes-with-everything-pink that I've been loving especially during these super cold dry days.

NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in Golden Olive | You would think that this khaki green would clash with my blue-green eyes, but I have been loving wearing this smudged out on the upper lashline. It's the perfect balance of subtle and defined and the formula of these liners is amazing. Easy to blend but sets and lasts all day.

Mary Kay ClearProof Pore-Purifying Serum | I usually don't have much luck with salicylic acid treatments, but this month I was suffering from what felt like blocked pores on my chin and cheek area I decided to give this a try. I actually applied it over my moisturizer and it didn't dry out my skin and gave me some pretty great results!

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask | This deep freeze air has been wreaking havoc on my skin this month and this mask as me the only thing to give relief to my dry forehead and cheeks. I did a full review last month, but I'm loving it more than ever!

Simple Soothing Eye Balm | I've had been using the Origins GinZing eye cream, but wanted something a little more..well, simple, for nighttime so I picked this up on a whim. It isn't thick or super moisturizing, but it provides just the right amount of hydration for my personal needs. I find my makeup goes on smoother in the morning and that's enough for me!

ELF Flawless Concealer Brush | You guys, this is the best brush for concealer I've used yet - and it's only $3-4! I've already talked about my preference for using a fluffy brush for concealer, but this one is just a little larger and more dense than the ones I have used in the past so it does an amazing job of both applying product and blending it out. I think it's a pretty great dupe for this expensive version. I went back for another one a week after I bout the first - that's how much I love it!
Did you have any great beauty finds this month?
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Monday, 23 February 2015

Do you have any pieces in your closet that you wish that you could find more excuses to wear? This sweater is one of those. Originally picked out by Tyler I was at first skeptical about how much use I would get out of it, but it quickly turned into one of my favourite pieces because of how unique and comfortable it is. The nautical graphic screams spring/summer, but I wanted to try and find a way to make it a bit more winter appropriate.
Shirt: Garage {exact} | Sweater: J.Crew {exact} | Jeans: American Eagle {exact}
Bracelet: J. Crew {similar} | Beanie: Aeropostale {similar}
Even surrounded by white fluffy snow, I don't think this sea creature looks entirely out of place paired with a dark flannel plaid with a similar colour scheme. I love that both pieces are structured enough that they could be dressed up for a casual day at the office, or kept low key for running errands on the weekend.

What spring/summer pieces have you taken with you into the winter?

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Happy Friday friends! Since we're all looking toward the weekend, I thought I'd keep it light today and share some of my beauty confessions. Because no one is perfect right?

I am almost always making a mad dash not to be late in the morning, that sleep - it's just too good, so if you are running into me on an average day there's a good chance there won't be that much more to my face than foundation, liner and mascara.

Sometimes I will go for an entire month before changing my nail polish.

I never sleep with makeup on. The one time I did accidentally, because I had the flu and was too tired to get out of bed, I got pink eye and have been terrified ever since. TMI?

I do however, frequently fall asleep with my contacts in and wake up thinking I've been "cured". The struggle is real folks.
Spiderman Glasses
As I told Carly, I hate shopping for foundation like I hate shopping for jeans. My skin is just so sensitive to changes in products that I will repurchase the same one for years before getting the itch to change it up.

My coworker and I have at least three identical pieces of clothing that have dated as far back as high school for both of us.

I have a drawer full of lipsticks where maybe 20% have seen the outside world. They are just too pretty to leave alone at the store right?

You can typically tell how much sleep I've gotten by whether or not I'm wearing my glasses.

Now that I've laid it all out, it's your turn - do you relate to any of these? What's your biggest beauty confession?

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 photo tvibsignature_zps27898c75.png

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Today I thought I'd take a little side step from my usual fashion & beauty posts to talk a little bit about my other passion: blogging! Skipping over the standard social media apps, here are my 8 must have apps for organizing, tracking and posting to my blog and social media.

Notability | I'm definitely more of a hand written note taker, but that's not always an option when you're on the go. Notability is my favourite note taking app because you can easily insert photos, hand drawn doodles and even voice memos to your notes, as well as mark up existing pdfs. It's simple, clean and easy to organize and back up notes. I picked this up while it was Apples "Free App of the Week" but I would definitely say it is worth the regular $2.99 price.
Google Analytics | Want to check up on how a scheduled post is doing throughout the day? The Google Analytics app will be your best friend. A few of my favourite features: seeing real time visits for when scheduled blog or social media posts go out, and seeing behaviour patterns during the week to show me when the majority of traffic is getting to my blog. It helps me know what time to best schedule posts to go live.
Hootsuite | Writing, photographing and publishing for your blog can take a lot of hard work - so in order to give that post the attention it deserves scheduling social media advertising can be the best return for your time. Hootsuite is most familiar to me because I also use it at work, but there are plenty of platforms out there that do similar things. I use the app to check on and schedule social posts on the go, and also as a place to easily interact with others using similar hashtags.
 Camera Plus | If you take a lot of photos on your phone, this is a great app that gives you a little more manual control than the standard phone camera app. You can set the resolution, focus, and put it in self timer or burst mode. Bonus: The app will pair with other devices to create a mobile remote for snapping photos. Again, I picked this one up during a week when it was free, but it has great features and still comes in at a lower price point than other similar apps.
Rookie | My favourite app for photo editing is Rookie. It gives you tons of options for free filters, with the ability to pay for additional filters if you so desire, and enought editing tools to easily take standard phone photos to the next level.
Moldiv | I don't usually do a ton of collage-style photos on my Instagram feed, but for when I want to fit more than one photo in a frame Moldiv is my go-to. I mostly use it for simple side by side layouts, but it has a ton of options including some really nice magazine style collages, and can be used to add text overlays as well.
Squaready | As someone who regularly shares outfit photos on Instagram, the standard square can be a bit restricting. Squaready is my last step before posting a photo to Instagram. You can have it auto adjust to fit the whole picture, or adjust the sizing/placement of the boarders manually. Something to note: If you set up your Instagram photos to share to your twitter feed, adding a top and bottom border will allow it to fit within the image preview for your followers.
Latergramme | As of right now, Hootsuite can't be used to schedule Instagram photos - that's where Latergramme comes in. While it doesn't actually post your content for you, you can pre-upload photos, write out captions and set a post time. Once the time comes it sends you a push notification, and you can post your scheduled photo with a few taps from the app. While it's not perfect, it's great for people like me who could just as easily forget to post anything at all.

I highly recommend keeping an eye out for the App of the Week - it's a great way to get powerful apps for literally nothing. If you don't like it, you can always delete! What apps do you use to keep organized and on schedule for your blog?
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Monday, 16 February 2015

Is there anything better than a long weekend in the depths of winter? Especially now that the temperatures have dipped into the -20s for what seems like the rest of the month, I couldn't be more happy to have an extra day to cozy up and catch up on my latest Netflix addiction.
Sweater: Thrifted {similar} | Tank: R&W Co. {exact} | Skirt: H&M {similar} | Tights: Hue {exact}
Necklace: H&M {similar} | Hat: H&M {similar}
For when I did have to brave the cold this weekend, it only made sense to bust out my warmest wool "grandpa" cardigan that I found in the mens section of a thrift store years ago. I have gotten so much use out of this sweater over the years, it's amazing what treasures you can find when you go with an open mind!

I hope you're all staying warm out there! What is your cold weather staple?
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Linking up with: Jana | Maegen | Shanna | Sarah | Lindsey | Tara | Lauren | Allison

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Need a last minute look for your date this Valentine's Day? This taupe smokey eye with a cranberry twist is not only man approved, but would look great on a ton of different skin tones and comes together in a few easy steps!
STEP 1 | Sweep a pearly taupe shadow (Inglot #402) over the whole lid and blend out 
STEP 2 | Apply a a blackened plum shadow (L'Oreal Smoldering Plum)  to the outer corner to give the eye some depth
STEP 3 | Apply a small amount to cranberry shadow (NYX Rust) to the lower lash line and blend out
STEP 4 | Leave the focus on the lashes by applying a waterproof black liner (MUFE Aqua Eyes) to the waterline, and skip the upper lash line
STEP 5 | If you're not a fan of false lashes, use a fiber extension mascara (Tarte Better Than False Lashes) to get a fluttery and flirty lash look
STEP 6 | Finally, balance out the darker smokey eyes with a neutral lip (Maybelline Nude Blush & NYX Creme Brulee Butter Gloss) & sweet pink cheek (Sonia Kashuk Sunset)

What look do you go for on date night?

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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Keeping on the Valentine's Day train, today I bring you a super easy nail art tutorial that is perfect for V-Day, or really any day! Last year I shared a simple way to achieve a metallic french tip, or a glitter gradient nail look - can you tell I'm a fan of shine?  Born Pretty Store was recently kind enough to send me a few nail goodies, and I have to say this metallic striping tape is probably the easiest way to add some extra interest to a simple design!
Valentine's Gradient Colour Blocked Nails | via
White Polish: Sally Hansen | Pale Pink: Essie | Bright Pink: Essie
Nail Tape: c/o Born Pretty Store
  1. Start out with two coats of an opaque white polish. Allow to dry.
  2. Add the pastel polish to two thirds of your nail. Not so great at free-handing straight lines? Use washi or painters tape to create clean lines, but be sure to remove the tape before the polish dries!
  3. Repeat the same process to apply the brightest shade to the last third of the nail. Allow polish to dry fully.
  4. Apply a small pieces of nail striping tape to cover the lines between colours.
  5. Trim off excess tape. Nail or eyebrow scissors work best for getting as close to the nail as possible.
  6. Seal the tape in with a layer of clear polish.
Now that wasn't so hard was it? Born Pretty Store is already ridiculously inexpensive and offers free shipping worldwide, but they have also offered an additional 10% discount to my readers if you use the code SSEG10!

What's your favourite way to amp up your manicure?

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Monday, 9 February 2015

What immediately pops in your head when you think "Valentine's Day"? For me, it's feminine fabrics and red accents. When thinking up how I could combine the two, I took a page from Fran's book and ended up using a combination of two dresses to create this pseudo-skirt & shirt combo. Trust me when I say that despite the fact that I was in a winter wonderland for these photos, the layering did a pretty decent job of keeping me warm!
Top (Dress): H&M {similar} | Skirt (Dress): F21 {similar} | Belt: Old {similar} | Glasses: Firmoo {exact}
Bracelet: Gifted {similar} | Necklaces: H&M {exact} | Tights: Target {exact} | Boots: dav {similar}

Since the lace/crochet fabric and bold belt made enough of a statement on their own, I opted for more delicate jewelry - rose gold and hearts just seemed to appropriate to say no to. I loved both the effect that layering these two dresses gave and the extra mileage I realized I can get from some of my favourite pieces! 
If you think you recognize this "top" you'd be correct, here are some of the ways it's stayed with me through the seasons:

What does your ideal Valentine's outfit look like?
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Linking up with: Jana | Maegen | Lauren | Shanna | Sarah | Lindsey | Tara | Lauren

Friday, 6 February 2015

It's about that time to clear out the first trash of the new year. If you're new around here, in these posts I go through all the products I've used up for the month or am ready to toss and give you my final thoughts on them. I've been using a ton of new products that I got over the holidays so there isn't a ton of stuff, but there is just something cathartic about being able to throw this stuff away so I thought I would give you my thoughts.
Let's just get past the regular first shall we? I love Batiste, you know I love Batiste, I go through this regularly. I will say that this scent used to be my favourite and now it's starting to be a little strong for my taste so next time I'll definitely be switching it up. Any recommendations from fellow Batiste fans?
Recommendation? You have to try it at least once.
Even though most people focus on using purple shampoo, I only use shampoo on my roots so I always make sure I have some sort of toning conditioner to make sure the ends of my hair are the same general tones. I think this John Frieda Tone Restoring Conditioner does pretty well in the toning department but it's just an average conditioner. If you prefer a light conditioner this may be for you, but I love a thick deep conditioning treatment for my long colour treated hair.

Recommendation? I'm not loyal to the brand in particular, but a purple conditioner is a must for my shower.
Speaking of deep conditioning treatments, I picked this Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Smooth Conditioning Treatment up while I was in Florida on vacation this summer because I was dealing with frizz and remembered loving the original version of this product in the past. It smells great, the packaging is super convenient for the shower, and it does provide a good amount of moisture for the $3 or $4 price tag. However, I think I've been ruined to all other deep conditioners, because I just couldn't wait to finish this up so I could repurchase my Macadamia Deep Repair Masque. 
Recommendation? If you're looking for something cheap and cheerful, definitely give this a go. I however, will not be repurchasing because it's worth it to me to spend a bit more for the best hair I've ever had.
I've had this Mint Julep scrub for almost as long as I had the mask to go with it. I bought it when I was dealing with oily skin and really loved it for a deep exfoliating scrub. Eventually I found it to be a little bit to harsh and scratchy for my face so I moved on to using it as a body exfoliator. It's not quite scrubby enough for my arms and legs, but I found it perfect for my more chest and back where my skin is more sensitive and acne prone.

Recommendation? If you are a fan of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub but find it to be too much for you, I think you'd probably love this, but if you have sensitive skin I'd stay away from using this on your face.

That's that for the first trash pile up of 2015 - what have you used up recently and what did you think of it in the end?
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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

If you're anywhere where temperatures head below the freezing mark, chances are you've been recently hit with some snowstorms and icy winds too. I know, I jinxed it and I couldn't be more sorry. In this weather my lips usually take a turn for the worse and head straight into full on chapped mode, but this year I've discovered a new routine to keep the flakes at bay! 

Step 1. Exfoliate
If you're like me the idea of mixing up a homemade scrub sound like a fun idea maybe a few times year. However, without the crucial step of removing all that dead skin, the rest of the process won't really do much good will it? Enter the ELF Lip Exfoliator - the lazy girl's smooth lip BFF. Just pop off the lid and you're ready to go to town. 
Step 2. Protect
Traditional lip balms can only do so much in terms of deep hydration, but they do have an important purpose: to protect your delicate lips from the elements. Apply generously to create a barrier from the harsh winter air and sun. Ingredients like menthol can actually dry your lips out more, so avoid those ingredients in your balm of choice, and anything that is application ready without the use of fingers is more sanitary for on the go.

Step 3. Deep Moisture
Unlike traditional balms and salves, oils get absorbed into the skin and can really work on healing already dry and cracked lips. They will also soften the dead skin for easy removal in the morning. This one from the Body shop contains soy, olive and rose oils and is in convenient packaging for application, but coconut oil works really well also! I layer it on and let it sit for a minute before moving on.
Step 4. Seal
Sealing in that oil before bed is an important last step for me - it helps keep it on your lips working it's magic all night long! Whether it's using a lip mask or a simple salve, combined with an oil this routine has been a huge saviour to my lips this season.
Do you suffer from dry winter lips? What are your favourite products to combat them?
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Monday, 2 February 2015

How many outfit ideas do you have pinned to your favourite style boards that you've never actually attempted to recreate in real life? I'd by lying if I said that was most of what you'd find on my Style Files board. This weekend, since I definitely jinxed the weather and was stuck inside during a snowstorm, I decided to take inspiration from a casual look I could easily put together from pieces I had in my closet.
Flannel: Garage {exact} | T-shirt: Walmart {similar} | Leggings: Express {exact} | Necklace: Sears {similar}
I consider my style to be typically more on the feminine side, so putting together something a bit more "grunge" was definitely out of the ordinary for me.  Even though I skipped the sunglasses, purse and heels, because I definitely I wasn't going anywhere, I took inspiration by the monochrome palette, leather accents, and threw in a chunky statment necklace to add a bit more interest. All in all still keeping it functional for a day mostly spent sipping tea by the fire, but something that will definitely be repeated out in public this season.

Have you ever recreated one of your favourite outfit pins from Pinterest? Are you a fan of these types of posts? Show me your favourites and I'd love to give them a shot!
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