Friday, October 31, 2014

Pinspiration: DIY Halloween Wreath

Like many of you, I am absolutely obsessed with Pinterest. I find many of us spend tonnes of time pinning various projects, recipes, fitness routines etc… to our boards, but never follow through on the projects. Recently, I have made a point to actually tackle some of the project ideas that I have pinned. Here are the results from one of my first Pinterest inspired projects.



For starters I would like to credit my inspiration pin: Sew in Love: Halloween Wreath. I encourage you to check her awesome post out as she has many useful tips and tricks in her tutorial. Since her tutorial is pretty good, I am just going to leave you with some of my own tips from the process of creating this wreath.

Supplies:
1 x Foam wreath form (Michaels)
2 x Black feather boas (I recommend checking out your local dollar store for the best price!)
5 x Glitter pumpkin floral picks (clip off the stick portion of the floral pick) (Michaels)
1 x Hot glue gun and lots of hot glue sticks!!! (Canadian Tire)
An assortment of medium and large plastic baubles (I used two containers of the larger size and two of the smaller size with a few baubles to spare) (Michaels)
Floral wire (Michaels)
Kitchen shears or wire clippers

I found this pin over a year ago. Most of the supplies were fairly easy to find with the exception of the glitter jack-o-lanterns. This is where I had to get creative. After much searching I finally settled on some  glitter floral picks from Michaels in orange and purple.

Method:

1. Glue the start of your boa to the back of your foam wreath. Begin wrapping your wreath form with your first boa. Periodically use hot glue to ensure a secure wrapping. Glue down the end of the first boa and repeat the process with your second boa. Since I used a fairly large wreath form, I was just able to get by with two boas. With smaller wreath forms you can wrap the boa more closely which will ensure that no gaps poke through. **This portion of the project can get a bit messy with bits of boa falling off as you handle it. Prepare to vacuum after this stage and be careful if you have pets or young children.**

2. Begin figuring out your desired arrangement. I didn't want my wreath to be overly "perfect" but still wanted it to flow nicely. Once you have figured out your first few baubles you can begin wrapping and gluing down your baubles and jack-o-lanterns. I threaded the floral wire through the baubles, placed a dab of glue on the ornament loop and gently pushed the loop into the foam to increase the security of the ornament. I then twisted the two ends of the floral wire together around the back and hid the wire under the boa. I found I was able to thread more than one ornament through the same wire to reduce the time and amount of wire required for the project. Just make sure you have enough time to secure everything before the hot glue dries.

3. For the jack-o-lanterns I just used hot glue to secure them as I don't currently have access to a small drill. I do think it would be best if you were able to thread the floral wire through the back of the foam jack-o-lanterns as suggested in the original blog post for added security.

4. Hang up your creation and enjoy :)



All in all it was a pretty easy project, albeit quite time consuming and some of the materials were trickier to find. The results made the many evenings of gluing and wrapping while watching Downton Abbey on Netflix worth while.

Have you tackled any fun Pinterest inspired projects lately? I'm already working on another and hope to share my results soon! **Hint, you can find my inspiration on my Holiday Inspiration Board.**

Happy Crafting,

Sarah









Thursday, October 16, 2014

Empties Volume 1

Over the past few years, I have really tried to focus on using products up and reducing my overall beauty stash. While I certainly do not have an enormous collection, I would still like to focus on curating my stash to a collection of products I love to use. Here is a quick overview of some of the products I have used up recently with a brief review of each.


Lotions and Body Butter:

Products Listed: Philosophy Sample Lotion, Fruits & Passions: Grapefruit Guava Moisturizing Butter (Travel Size), Fruits & Passions: Orange Cantaloupe Moisturizing Butter, The Body Shop Honey Mania Body Butter, The Body Shop Mango Body Butter, Origins Make a Difference Rejuvenating Hand Cream, & L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.

Fruits & Passion: Grapefruit Guava Moisturizing Butter:
This product was part of a travel set that I received as a Christmas gift. The size was perfect for the numerous business trips that I have been on. The scent is lovely and the body butter is delightfully moisturizing. I would definitely re-purchase once I have gone through the rest of my lotion collection.

Fruits & Passion: Orange Cantaloupe Moisturizing Butter: 
One of their classic scents, it's been a favourite for years. The scent and consistency are lovely and I would highly recommend it.

The Body Shop: Honey Mania Body Butter: 
I have been a fan of The Body Shop's Body Butters for years. They are great for those of us in dry climates who need some extra moisturizing help. I really enjoyed this scent in the spring. It is a nice mix of fruit and floral. I would re-purchase this scent again. 

The Body Shop: Mango Body Butter:
Another favourite for me. I have gone through several of these over the years. This is a great fruity option that is not as overpowering as Satsuma for example.

Origins: Make a Difference Rejuvenating Hand Cream:
This was an interesting product for me. To me, this product has a tea-like scent which is certainly different. I have used better hand creams, but I didn't mind this product. 

L'Occitane: Shea Butter Hand Cream:
Another product that I have gone through multiple tubes of. I love the size of these as they are perfect for your bag or beside your bed. I find the hand cream to be fairly moisturizing with a decently quick dry down time. This particular product has a fairly neutral scent, but L'Occitane has many scent options available. I am currently using this product and also have the Lavender scented version which I have been enjoying.

Makeup Remover Wipes:


Neutrogena: Moisturizing Make-Up Remover Cleansing Wipes:
I have tried several brands of make-up removing wipes over the years, but I keep coming back to the Neutrogena Moisturizing Make-Up Remover Cleansing Wipes. They are a moderately priced drugstore option that stays moist until the end of the pack. They do a pretty good job of gently removing even the most stubborn eye makeup. As someone who has really sensitive skin, this is one of the few options that has never broken me out. I will continue to re-purchase these and am currently working on another pack. 

The Body Shop: Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes:
I really wanted to like these, but unfortunately the Tea Tree oil content in these wipes is just a bit too intense for my sensitive skin. They have a very invigorating, fresh scent which makes you feel really clean. I will not be re-purchasing these wipes, but perhaps if your skin is more oily and acne prone and less sensitive this might be a good option to explore.

Shampoo & Conditioner:


Aussie: Moist Conditioner:
I have used this conditioner for years and keep going back to it. The scent is appealing, and I find it does leave my hair a lot softer than many other inexpensive drugstore options. I will continue to repurchase this product in the future. 

Aussie: Aussome Volume Shampoo:
Another Aussie product that I have used consistently throughout the years. Generally Aussie products do well with my hair and don't leave my hair stringy like some shampoos do. I will continue to re-purchase this as well.

Dove: 
I picked this up for travelling. The size is certainly convenient, but I still find Aussie products are far better at locking in moisture for my hair texture. 

Organix: Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner:
Many people seem to be big fans of the Organix brand, but personally this did not live up to the hype for me. The scent is very sweet and reminded me of a buttery peek frean coconut cookie. Additionally, I find the plastic on this style of packaging to be very difficult to squeeze, and as someone who struggles with joint pain in my knuckles, trying to get product out was a huge pain. Furthermore, I really did notice a difference in how soft my hair felt between this product and the Aussie Moist Conditioner. I really wanted to like this, but in the end it just didn't work as well for me. I am unlikely to re-purchase from the Organix brand unless I try out a different formula in easier to use packaging. 

Facial Moisturizers:


Neutrogena: Moisture- Oil Free Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin:
I have used various iterations of Neutrogena facial moisturizers since I first started using moisturizer. I have gone through countless bottles over the years and keep coming back. I find all of their oil free moisturizers are quite light and great for sensitive skin. This particular product has a very light neutral scent. I use this product in the morning as my daytime moisturizer and it works wonderfully.

Neutrogena: Healthy Skin Lift & Firm Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15:
More recently I have made the switch to the firming facial moisturizer. The most prominent difference between this formula and the other ones I have tried is the scent. While still being fairly neutral in scent, this product has a slightly more "anti-aging" scent that is just slightly less "clean-smelling" than the other versions. I didn't find it difficult to adjust to this scent and have continued to use and purchase this particular formula. 

Since this has turned into a mammoth long post, I am going to carry on with the rest of the reviews on a future blog post.

Until next time,

Sarah





Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Cleaning Project: Use It Up Buttercup!

Hey Everyone, So as some of you may know I am currently living in Europe working as an intern. So, since I have an extended stay outside of my home town, but am not moving here permanently I had to be rather frugal with what beauty products I brought along with me. I thought that my time in Europe would be a great opportunity to really try and use up some of my beauty products as a means of spring cleaning... For the past month or so, I have really been focussing on trying to use stuff up and haven't purchased any new beauty products at all. I don't want to entirely call this a project pan, because I wanted to give myself some flexibility in case I found something really special here that I wouldn't be able to get back home, or if I ran out of an essential product that I cannot live without. Anyways without further ado, here are really quick reviews of some of the products I have used up so far:

1. Equate- Make-Up Removing Cleansing Cloths
     I figured I would give these cloths a try since I have still not found the perfect makeup wipe. On the whole I was fairly pleased, but they are definitely not a holy grail product for me.



What I like about them:
-Unlike many of the makeup wipes I have tried so far, these ones stayed moist to the very last cloth, which is super important to me since the whole point of a makeup wipe is to not have to moisten it to get it to work.
-The plastic closure on the pack is far more secure than any of the sticker closures that many makeup removing cloths have. I think the plastic closure is also one of the main reasons that the wipes didn't dry up on me either.

Neutral:
- I think the general performance for these cloths was on par with everything else I have tried so far. They get the job done, but with mascara and longer lasting products you do have to massage it a bit to get everything removed.

What I don't like about them:
- I found the texture of the wipes to be a bit more abrasive than what I am used to. Since I primarily use these around my eyes and have fairly sensitive skin, the somewhat scratchy texture is not the most appealing feature of these cloths.

Final Verdict:
- On the whole they aren't a bad product, but I don't necessarily think I would recommend them... I probably won't end up purchasing these again unless I can't find anything better. In the meantime I will continue to search for the best makeup wipe for me.



Friday, January 27, 2012

Color me Obsessed!

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters
Right to Left: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet, Creme Brûlée

Long time no blog I know. What can I say, life has been busy and I haven't really been excited about makeup for a while until recently that is.... I would like to preface this by saying that I have never ever in my entire life gone out and purchased so many of the same product line in such a short span of time. This new line from Revlon has transformed me into some kind of crazed lip butter addict. Seriously it's getting out of control! (I have actually purchased two more shades since I took these photos... see i'm obsessed!) Anyways back to the point, these lip butters are awesome. 

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters
(Same order as above)

As others have mentioned in the gazillion reviews I am sure you have perused already, lip butter is perhaps not the most apt term for these gems. As many have suggested they are more like a sheerer, more moisturizing lipstick which is precisely why I am so freaking obsessed! As i've grown a bit older I have come to be less afraid of lipstick and more annoyed by the inevitability that my hair always finds a way to find itself in my lipgloss. At the same time, I don't always want full blown LOOK AT ME colour on my lips which is why these lip butters suit me so well. 

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters
Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée

Some might ask why I don't just sheer down an ordinary lipstick, don't get me wrong I have definitely done this before, but it can be a bit of a hassle and depending on the formula of the lipstick you may end up with something that is still not  as moisturizing as the Revlon lip butters.

Light Swatch (One Swipe): 
Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée

So let's get to the point now. Why am I so crazy for Revlon's Color Burst Lip Butters?

1. They offer a sheerer alternative to lipstick but are still pigmented enough to show up on my lips.
2. The formula is comfortable to wear and glides on easily without being too slippery.
3. The colour selection is actually quite nice and suitable for a wide range of skin tones. 
4. The packaging is sturdy yet bright and fun :)
5. They don't have any crazy scent or taste.
6. They aren't frosty!!!! (Not going to lie, I have a serious distain for frosty lipstick)
7. They are relatively affordable and easy to find


Medium Swatch (Three Swipes): 

Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée


The only downside that some people might find is the wear time. Given that the formula is more moisturizing they do not last as long your standard lipstick.  Personally I don't really mind having to reapply occasionally but others might want something that is longer lasting. All in all I have really been enjoying this product and seriously need to stop myself from buying up the whole line.
Heavy Swatch (Five Swipes): 
Left to Right: Cupcake, Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Berry Smoothie, Raspberry Pie, Sugar Plum, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet and Creme Brûlée


For the Canadian readers out there so far I have tracked them down in Canada at: Wal-Mart, Zellers, Shoppers Drugmart and London Drugs (I am sure they are available elsewhere in Canada by now as well). Wal-Mart was selling them for $7 something, Zellers $9.99 and Shoppers and London Drugs were both around $10.95 so it definitely pays to shop around. 

I plan on doing a more in-depth post for each shade eventually (complete with lip swatches) and I will update this post with pictures of the two other shades I picked up the other day once I have some sunshine to photograph with :)

P.S. All photos were taken with natural light and no flash and yes I purchased each and every Lip Butter with my own money 








Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chanel Mimosa Nail Lacquer Swatch and Review

Chanel Mimosa

 First off, I would like to say that the hoops I had to jump through to obtain this product will probably prevent me from ever purchasing a Chanel cosmetic product again. To make a long story short, the Chanel counters where I live are apparently notorious for leaving their coutners unattended and not scheduling staff for the full duration of the Bay's operating hours. As a result, I had to go back several times to acquire this polish which speaks volumes about how much this colour intrigued me. Rant aside the colour is definitely the most appealing element of this polish. I didn't find the formula to be mind blowing (especially for the price) so unless you fall in love with this lovely lemony yellow with a hint of shimmer I would save your money for something else. That being said, I do love love love this shade and think it is quite unique, hence the reason I sprung for this polish.

Chanel- Mimosa

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

China Glaze Short and Sassy Swatch

China Glaze: Short and Sassy
A pretty standard shimmer polish for China Glaze. I had avearge wear for this. It is a nice blackened red that is great for fall and a little more vampy than your standard red shimmer polish.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Michael Kors Very Hollywood: Eau de Parfum Review

Michael Kors  Very Hollywood 3.4oz Eau de Parfum

So, i've kind of been on a bit of a perfume kick for a couple of months now. I thought about purchasing this particular perfume for quite a few months before making the plunge, and managed to get it for an awesome deal while on special at one of the drug stores where I live. Normally I'm not a huge floral person, but I really like this fragrance because it is more of a full bodied floral and not super top note heavy. Before I go any further here is the description from the Michael Kors Website:

"The Eau de Parfum makes its debut with shimmering jewels of mandarin and iced bergamot. Scene-stealing gardenia follows suit with a decadent performance of award-worthy glamour"

Personally I find the most dominating note in this fragrance to be the gardenia which contributes to the very smooth, 'full bodied' nature of the scent, after all as I am sure those of you who have smelled gardenia before will know, it packs a punch while remaining smooth. I think this is a pretty flirty fragrance that is particularly suited for the spring. Although fragrance is a pretty personal thing, I would definitely encourage those who generally don't like florals to give this one a whiff. I would also strongly reccommend this scent to anyone who likes gardenia! On a completely superficial note, I really do like the packaging and colour of this perfume as well. It definitely feels like an indulgence everytime you use this perfume!

Michael Kors: Very Hollywood