Thursday, 30 July 2015

It wasn't until the last two years that I put any energy into my brows, but once I realized how much of a difference giving them a few minutes in the morning made I never looked back. A tamed and filled in brow helps frame your face, bring attention to your eyes, and make you look more polished overall. Finding colours that work for blondes with darker brows can be a challenge, but I've finally landed on a routine that I like, and no matter what colour hair you have these products would be something to try!
Tweezerman Mini Tweezers | These tweezers are amazing for getting at even the finest hairs that need some attention. I prefer the small size because they're more precise while still being a slant tip. Plus they're a little bit cheaper so that's always good!

NYX Micro Brow in Taupe | This pencil is amazing at getting precise, natural application of colour that sticks around throughout the day. It's a drier, waxier formula which requires a little bit more pressure when applying, but means that it is less likely to sweat off during a hot day than any creamier formula. There is a blonde shade in the range, but I found it much too warm for my brows. Taupe makes for the perfect cooler tone for my brows without being too dark. The spoolie on the end of the pencil is great for grooming as well. If you've used and loved the Maybelline Define-A-Brow pencils, this colour is almost identical to Dark Blonde, but has a more precise tip and better staying power!

Anastasia Brow Gel | This stuff is seriously amazing for taming unruly brow hairs. My brows are on the fuller side and definitely need help in this area. Using the smallest amount of this product will ensure your brows set and stay in the shape you like without feeling crunchy or looking shiny. Beware, too much of this can feel like cement in your brows so use a light hand!

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Brunette | If you're looking for a one step brow product that doesn't break the bank, this one is for you! I use this on days I'm in a super rush or am just looking for a little bit of definition and hold. This product doesn't have fibres in it so it won't "plump" the brows like many colour gels claim to do, but since I have full brows already that is ideal for me. The wand isn't as tiny as  the Benefit Gimme Brow, but it is small enough to work for me, and the colour was actually better for my brows. This product is pretty opaque, which is why the Blonde shade in this range didn't work for me. It was visibly many shades lighter than my natural brows, but would be perfect for those of you with naturally light eyebrows!

Are you a powder, pencil or pomade type of girl? What is your favourite brow product?
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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

After a crazy hectic and stressful week last week, I can't tell you how refreshing it has been to get away from work and the city, and take some time to relax by my favourite place in the world - the lake. I had all my closest friends up for the weekend, and it's amazing what great company, great food and great weather can do for your psyche.
Shirt: Target {exact} | Skirt: H&M {similar} | Hat: Sears {similar}
Sandals: Nine West {similar} | Bracelet: J. Crew {exact}
After finally finding the perfect chambray shirt, I can say I know what all the hype is about. It's the easiest material to dress up or down, all while being super comfortable! A pair of strappy sandals is a staple in my wardrobe since they can take even my super relaxed cottage style up a notch for a patio dinner in town.

I hope you're all managing to find some time to get outside and enjoy the weather this summer! Do you have any vacation plans?

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Linking up with: Jana & Maegen | Whitney Laura | Lauren | Saumya | Lindsey | Erin

Thursday, 23 July 2015

It's time for another Colour Story post! This round we're talking green, specifically olive - a colour I don't have a ton of in my collection, but after playing around with it will definitely be on the lookout for more.
This shade of green is actually so flattering, and plays so well with neutrals that it can be easy to slip into your normal routine even if you're colour shy.


Wet N Wild Comfort Zone | If you don't already own this palette, I highly recommend heading to your drugstore to sell out the total $5 for it. Not only do you get a bunch of everyday neutrals, the greens are stunning and pack a serious punch in the pigment department.
NYX Silde-On Eyeliner in Golden Olive | I actually get a ton of use out of this pencil - probably more than any other coloured eye pencil I own. The formula is easy to blend and smudge, but then sets to last all day. 

Wet N Wild Single Shadow in Envy | This is a deeper, darker green with gold undertones that straddles the line between olive and forest depending on what you pair with it. If you like smokey eyes, this would be a great shade for a twist on a neutral smokey look.


EYES | After priming my eyes, I used the NYX Golden Olive Pencil on the centre of the lid as a base for the shadows and blended it out with my fingers. I used the bronze "Crease" shade from the Comfort Zone palette on the inner and outer corners of the lid, and connected them in the crease surrounding the NYX base. I used Urban Decay Naked to blend out the crease and the lower lash line, and MAC Brule to blend to the brown bone. I packed on the olive "Eyelid" shade from the Comfort Zone palette to the centre of the lid with my finger, then used the MAC 217 to feather out the edges. I skipped liner so that the olive could be seen when my eyes were open and used my Jordana Best Lash Extreme to give my lashes some drama. 

FACE | Since this is a pretty dramatic look I kept the rest of the face pretty natural. I used the NYC Sunny Bronzer on my temples, lightly on the cheeks and down the neck to give a warmth to the face, and used a clear balm on the lips
If you haven't already, make sure you check out the last two posts in this series dedicated to Coral and Purple tones! 

Do you have any favourite olive green products?
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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

When it's literally 100 degrees out, and the thought of putting a blow dryer to your head or layering on the clothing is less than appealing - what do you do? Use that sun to make your accessories shine!
Dress: F21 {similar} | Belt: H&M {similar} | Necklace: Lia Sophia {similar}
Watch: Kronen & Söhne {similar} | Sandals: F21 {similar} | Nails: Orly {exact}
This dress was a winter favourite of mine, but don't you love when pieces can transition so easily throughout the seasons? Paired with one of my favourite metallics for summer - rose gold - this simple outfit kept me cool enough not to melt during the day, but was still perfect later in the evening for an impromptu date night picnic-style along the waterfront. 

Do you have any favourite rose-gold accessories?
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 Linking up with: Jana & Maegen | Whitney Laura | Lauren | Saumya | Lindsey

Thursday, 16 July 2015

It's been a few months since my last empties post so I thought it was about time we go through my beauty trash and see what's worth purchasing again. This time it just so happened that every since one of the products I've used up were moisturizers of some variety - can you tell it's summer?

Macadamia Deep Repair Masque | This is probably my HG hair product. I talked about it at length in my Blonde/Damaged Hair Care post, and the love affair is still going strong. It looks like they've repackaged this product, but I hope it is the same formula inside!
Recommendation? It's a tad expensive, but worth every single penny for how amazing it makes my hair look & feel. I've already repurchased!

Garnier Body Soothing 7-Day Refreshing Gel Cream | When I first got this body lotion, I absolutely loved it. I'm a big fan of gel creams because of how quickly they absorb into the skin. This does absorb fairly quickly, and left my skin very soft in the morning, but it leaves a kind of film on the surface of the skin (maybe that has to do with the 7 day claim) that stopped me from reaching for it all the time.
Recommendation? I have other moisturizers I like better so I wouldn't repurchase. It looks like they've stopped selling this in North America anyway!

St. Ives Skin Renewing Body Lotion | I think I've gone through two full sized bottles and one travel size of this moisturizer, which is a pretty big deal. I love this both as a body lotion and hand cream because it absorbs so quickly into the skin and doesn't leave it feeling sticky or greasy. Tyler is not a fan of the smell but I absolutely love it!
Recommendation? I highly recommend trying this out! I have way to many lotions in my stash, but once I've gone through a couple more I will definitely repurchase.

Body Shop Satsuma Puree Body Lotion | This lotion is a great texture that is lightly moisturizing and quick to apply for everyday. The satsuma scent is nice, but is a bit overpowering and I've found myself getting really sick of it after using this regularly for months. I have another bottle that I keep at work and I always get compliments on the scent, but it's a bit much for me now.

Recommendation? I would consider repurchasing another scent of this lotion because of the performance, but I would not recommend this for anyone that is sensitive to strong fragrance.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Mask | I got this in a kit for Christmas and absolutely loved it for the winter when my skin was super dry (review here). I could apply it before bed and really let it do it's thing overnight to help my skin feel comfortable and soft by morning. The full size tub is expensive, but considering how much product you get I think it's actually pretty reasonably priced!

Recommendation? I would definitely purchase the full size of this product, but I might try out one of PTR's other masks first since I've heard great reviews on them all! Have you tried any of the others?

Have you be lathering on the lotion like I have recently? What's been in your beauty trash?
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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

I'll be honest: when it comes to hot, humid, summer weather, I'm a serial outfit repeater. I tend to reach for the same easy pieces over and over, but it's amazing all the different combos you can make with the same clothing items just by adding a few extra touches. This dress is a summer staple for me (as seen here and here), but I loved giving it a bit of a retro twist by pairing it with some classic big hair, makeup, pearls and polka dots. 
Dress: Garage {exact}| Shirt: Express {exact} | Necklace: Tiffany & Co. {exact}
Bracelets: Joe Fresh {similar}
Grab a pair of cat eye sunglasses and you're ready for the drive in...or maybe just a regular old summer weekend outing. How do you remix your summer staples?

P.S. Thank you for your support in Friday's post! I'll be keeping with a Tuesday & Thursday posting schedule for a few weeks so I can make sure I'm still bringing you solid content during this transitional stage in my career. I recently hopped on the snapchat bandwagon, so follow me username:tvibblog for regular real life updates!
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Friday, 10 July 2015

Of the amazing weather we're supposed to have this weekend at the cottage. I'm hoping the water will have warmed up enough for my first swim of the season!

More posts in my Colour Story series, what colours would you all like to see? I think green may be next..

Not quite cooking but I can't get enough of avocado toast on sourdough bread. Fresh ground pepper, a teeny bit of salt, and chia seeds on top - so good! I literally crave it every single day.
The last few chapters of The Goldfinch. I lost interest a bit in the middle of the book, but picked it back up for my trip to New York and have really gotten back into it. What should be next on my list?

To spend they day working on the patio outside - going to miss the work from home days!
For a pair of comfortable, non-seethrough, non-ripped, non-ankle length white jeans. You'd think this would be easy to find right now but no! Help a girl out?

Game of Thrones, just finished season five!

"Where Are U Now", over and over and over...
That it's finally feeling like summer! Has it been as cool and rainy for you so far this summer?

My GAP t-shirt dress on repeat. Such an easy, flattering piece to throw on for summer!
Karly's new video content! If you're not already reading/watching Miss in the Midwest, you need to be!

I may have to cut my number of posts down to two a week while I get settled into my new job. With back to school coming up, this will be my busiest time at work getting plans set out for the year and learning the dynamic of my new team. Weekends I'm going to need some time to relax! What days do you guys prefer to do your blog reading? 

Like I'm ready for the weekend! 

What are your plans for the weekend?
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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

If you're looking for an easy way to create more complicated nail art designs, there are two ways you can go about it: nail wraps or stamping. While wraps are quick and generally last for long periods of time, they can be more on the pricey side and are one time use. Nail stamping plates, on the other hand, are very inexpensive and can be used multiple times to created many different designs. Today I'm going to give you some of my tips & tricks for getting fun nail art like these summer Aztec nails!
Stamping requires a bit of trial and error when you first start out, but hopefully with these tips you'll be on your way to easy stamping in no time. The plates I have used were sent to me from Born Pretty Store, and they have so many patterns to choose from!

1. Not all polishes will be ideal for stamping.
While there are polishes specifically designed for stamping, regular nail polishes can work on stamping plates if they are thicker in formula and opaque in colour. Since stamping is a one-coat type of deal, anything to thin or sheer won't show up well.
2. An old gift card or credit card work better for scraping.
Most of the time stamps will come with a scraper of some sort. In my experience, and from what I've read/seen from others, these are not generally the easiest tools to work with. Instead, just use an old gift card or credit card!

3. The type of stamper you have will determine how much pressure you use to pick up the images.
When I first tried stamping, I didn't understand why my stamper wasn't picking up any of the images. It wasn't until I read a blog post on all of the different types of stampers that I realized I was using mine incorrectly! Hard rubber stampers require a lot of pressure when picking up designs, but softer gel stampers only need a slight bit of pressure to pick them up. This will likely be where you need to play around and determine for yourself what your stamper needs, but don't assume that more pressure is always better!

4. When picking up the image, work quickly, when placing it on the nail, take your time.
You'll want to work quickly to apply the polish, scrape it over the design, and pick it up with your stamper, but lining it up correctly on the nail makes a big difference with the final look so don't rush!

5. If you mess up, you don't have to start again.
If your placement of the stamp doesn't look like you want it on the first time around, don't panic! You can remove the stamped image without having to reapply your base colour by ensuring that you are stamping over a fully dry nail with a top coat. I've heard that clear tape will work to remove the images, but since I didn't have that on hand I used a tiny bit of remover on a lint-free cotton pad and light pressure to remove the stamped image only. Just reapply your top coat and wait for it to dry before trying again!
Here is what I used to create the design above:

I started with two coats of white polish as my base then topped it with the Insta-Dry Top Coat. For the stamped images I used the QA66 plate from Born Pretty Store, using the same image for both the accent nail and tips. For the accent nail I used the full design with the Wet N Wild Black polish and rolled it onto the entire nail with my Born Pretty Store stamper. For the tips, I used a neon pink polish and just placed the edge of the pattern on the tips of the nails using more of a stamping motion.  Both of the black and pink polishes had a thick, opaque finish so they worked just fine with the stamping plates. Make sure you clean off your plate and stamper each time! 
The total cost of the plate and stamper come in at under $8 (even less if you use the code SSEG10 for 10% off your order), and just think of all the different design combinations you could make!

Have you ever tried nail art stamping? Any tips to share?

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Monday, 6 July 2015

I don't know how it's possible, but the beginning of last week feels like ages ago and yesterday all at the same time. Today is a pretty special day because it's my first day working in my new role! I'm both nervous and excited because it's a pretty big step up in responsibilities, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. During my little staycation last week I had some time to do some shopping and finally bought my very first maxi dress - can you believe it? 
Dress: F21 {exact} | Headscarf: Costa Blanca {similar}
Sunglasses: F21 {similar}| Necklace: Tiffany & Co. {exact}
I have to say - it's a style I'm still getting used to, but I can see why everyone loves them so much! Even though it is a simple solid black piece, the braided detail around the neckline and down the back makes enough of a statement that accessories can be kept pretty minimal, but it could easily be dressed up or down.

What is your favourite way to style a maxi dress?

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 Linking up with: Whitney Laura | Lauren | Saumya | Lindsey

Friday, 3 July 2015

I have to say I never get tired of hearing my stylist say "you have such soft and undamaged hair for a blonde". Colouring your hair at all can be damaging, but bleach takes it to another level. Here are the products I used to keep my long, fine, highlighted hair in peak condition.

I tend to cycle through a couple of different varieties of shampoo at all times, but I always have three distinct types in the rotation - a clarifying shampoo, a blue/purple shampoo, and a regular not-too-moisturizing shampoo. Blue shampoo is a must have product if you like to keep your hair on the cooler side, as it helps deposit a little bit of colour on your roots to keep the brassy yellow tones at bay. Since I use a lot of dry shampoo (more on that later) I use a clarifying shampoo once every week or two to help get rid of any build up that could be weighing down my super fine hair. The Live Clean Apple Cider one is a bit more gentle than others that I've tried and doesn't leave the hair feeling totally stripped. I've never found a regular shampoo that I'm particularly loyal to, but something that balances the hair without being too moisturizing will allow your hair to last the longest between washes.
If I could recommend you try out one product for your hair, it would be this one: The Macadamia Deep Repair Masque. I've raved about this for years, but I swear it is my secret for soft, frizz-free, manageable blonde hair. It was after I started using this that my stylist started making comments on my hair's condition, and I haven't looked back since. I squeeze out the excess water in my hair before I apply so it doesn't dilute the product, run my hair through with a wide tooth comb to ensure the product is distributed throughout the hair, and put a shower cap on to let it sit while I go about your other shower business to let it really soak in and work its magic. 
Once out of the shower I use a few products to help keep my already damaged hair from any further damage. Before I use any products I'll put my hair up in an old t-shirt to help remove some of the water without roughing up the cuticle. Once it's damp but not sopping I use It's a 10 to act as a heat protectant, detangler, leave in moisturizing treatment to help prevent breakage. I'll use a little bit of the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil before and after drying to help tame frizz and make my hair super silky. If you're going to brush your hair when wet The Wet Brush is the way to go. Even with my super fine tangled mess, this brush just seems to glide through the hair without ripping at it.

Side note: If I'm going to be blow drying, I'll use some of the Samy Fat Hair Amplifying Mousse to give my hair body and keep my roots from getting greasy from being pressed flat to my head.

I know you've heard it so many times, but the less frequently you need to wash your hair, the better it's condition will be. Batiste is my favourite dry shampoo because it comes in a ton of different scents and formulas so I don't get sick of it. If you have a bit of a warmer blonde, the Light & Blonde shade will also help to mask any root regrowth a couple of weeks down the line. It does come out of the bottle a yellow-tone so if you're an ashy blonde you may want to stay clear, but I find it works well for me once I blend it in, and keeps me from having to go back to the salon for three months. To add a bit of moisture back into the hair on day 2 or 3 I'll use the Wen Replenishing Mist if I feel the ends are feeling a bit dry. I've heard dry conditioners are now a thing - have any of you tried them?

And there you have it - my tried and true blonde hair care routine. What products do you use to help with damaged hair?
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian beauties! I hope you're all getting in some serious BBQ today and enjoying some time outdoors. Can this summer just slow down a bit? I feel like it is flying by! My regular rotation of products from last month didn't change all that much this month, but I do have a few things to talk about so let's get cracking.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel | I used to go through bottles and bottles of this in university, but over the last few years had been replacing it with the Garnier version since it was a little more moisturizing. I busted this out at the end of last moth since I wanted to use it up, and I swear I haven't had a single breakout since (even during that time of the month). I'm not sure if it was this product alone, but I've been loving it!

Clarins Glow Booster | I've talked about this many times already, but it's been in my regular rotation for the entire month and I love the natural colour it gives my skin. I've had so many people ask if I've been spending time outdoors, but it's all this!

Maybelline Age Rewind Brightener | With the little bit of a tan I've got going on I've been loving the look of highlighted skin. I've used this under the eyes for a long time, but I've been adding just a little bit to the bridge of my nose, centre of the forehead and on the chin and blending out with my Real Techniques sponge or ELF concealer brush. I love the fresh look it adds to the face!

Skindinavia Makeup Setting Spray | Since we've been having really damp, humid weather all month long, this setting spray has been a lifesaver when it comes to keeping my face makeup looking fresh all day. I have both the oil controlling and the regular makeup setting spray and love them both.

NARS Laguna/Orgasm Duo | I have full sizes of both of these products, but this little mini I got in a set last year has been awesome for days I'm living out of a travel bag (which is at least once a week). Both the blush and bronzer are easy shades that go with any look! 

What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Have you discovered anything new this month?

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