Thursday, 26 November 2015

Review: Tarte Bling It On Blush Palette

I'm a huge fan of Tarte Cosmetics and their products. I had my eye on last year's edition of their holiday blush palette and when I finally decided to get it, I was too late... they were gone for the season! Naturally, when the palette was released this year,  I had to get it! I thought I would share my thoughts on the palette as the holidays are rolling around and gift shopping has begun. I'm not an expert at reviews (in fact, it's my first...), but I hope I can give you good insight of the product itself. So here we go!

I love how the packaging looks! It's very 'bling' and 'posh' for makeup packaging. What I don't like about it, is the surface is not smooth and the black glitter does flake off. It's not a huge deal but something to be aware of if you do purchase.

Choice of Blush Colours
The choice of blush colours couldn't be more perfect! It's the right combination of pinks, a mauve and peach colour - all the colours I use and would want in one blush palette. I like that there are three different shades of pink to choose from. Depending on what lip colour I am wearing, I have a variety of blush colours to choose from.

The formula is spot on - as is any Tarte product. I apply a generous amount of blush in the morning and it sets evenly on my foundation. The colour is visible but not so much that it's overbearing. It's also blends very easily as well. I wear my makeup for at least 12 hours a day but I wouldn't say that the blush is long lasting, as at the end of the day my blush has faded greatly. However, for shorter time frames, this blush does the trick.

With taxes, it cost me $59.89 at Sephora. Considering that one blush is $34.00 and that there are five blushes in the palette at a generous size, the cost isn't terrible. This would definitely not be a regularly purchased item for me. This was definitely a splurge and a product that I plan on using for a very long time.

Overall, I love this blush palette! I honestly feel that I have all the blush I need to complete various makeup looks. It's a great makeup product that will give you a lot of use, wear and creativity!

What's your favourite blush palette?


Thursday, 19 November 2015

3 Beneficial Ways to Unwind

Life is hectic. With demanding jobs, family commitments and other responsibilities, it can get really busy. Taking time for ourselves to just unwind, however, is often not given enough priority. We need to remember to take some time for ourselves to unwind and relax . This is equally as important (if not more important) than eating your daily dose of veggie and fruit and being active. It helps us to stay balanced, positive, feel good, recharged and motivated to keep going.

Most of us associate unwinding with 'doing nothing' and I think this is far from the truth. For instance, there are some days where unwinding for me means sitting in front of the TV and doing nothing more than watching my favourite TV shows. Sure, I could do a lot of other things to unwind in a more productive manner - workouts, reading, etc. However, I don't believe this is entirely 'doing nothing' as I'm watching a show that I truly enjoy and brings me happiness. I think that's where a lot of misconceptions are - if you're doing something unproductive or not beneficial to your well-being, then that's not unwinding. This couldn't be further from the truth; unwinding can be so much more (or less, depending on your outlook on things). While doing nothing but watching TV boosts my happiness and comfort, I like to also unwind with activities that stimulate the mind, body and soul! There are other times where unwinding means doing something that feels fun for me but its still keeping my brain very active. Most of the time this means unleashing the inner creative side of myself! Here are three beneficial ways I like to unwind!

1. Adult Colouring!
To say I've been enjoying colouring over the last few weeks is an understatement. I've been obsessed with colouring! I've always been one to be creative and try artsy things, so I decided to give this new activity a try and I've been loving it! I think the rest of society has been catching on with this trend, as I've been reading and seeing a lot of talk about how adult colouring can be very beneficial, stress free and relaxing. I grab my book and coloured pencils and start colouring - its been my new favourite way to unwind! One of the reasons why this trend has caught on to many is because our lives are filled with technology, orderly processes and pushing creativity aside. However, colouring fulfills that inner creativity that is in each and every one of us. I've really been enjoying Johanna Basford's work in her latest colouring book, Lost Ocean. My only regret is that I wish  I started this sooner!

2. Reading
Reading has always been a favourite past time of mine. I love to get lost in a fictional novel that really gets me involved and engrossed into the characters and plot. I'm always reading something - sometimes it can take me from two weeks to 6 months to finish a single novel. But I love the idea of always having something to pick up and read when I want to unwind. Its very typical to find me reading right before bed where I like to calm my thoughts and busy brain. Reading is a beneficial way to unwind because you are using your brain in a different way that can be very effective to overall your body and well being - especially your mental state. Your shutting down one part of your brain, but by reading you are utilizing a different part that you may not always get to use.

3. iPad Brain Games
After a long day, I try to get away from technology as much as possible, but the reality is that we are always surrounded by it. It can be tough to deal with at times. When an iPad is close by and all I want to do is reach for that and watch YouTube videos instead of reading a book, I opt to play some brain games instead. Brain games can release your mind from the busy day and ease you into a different mindset by challenging you to solve interesting puzzles. I love these type of games! Not only are they fun, but I don't feel guilty about unwinding in this manner. The truth is that you are still utilizing your brain in a very effective way by stimulating different areas through solving puzzles. My favourite games to unwind are Threes, Next Numbers & Rules.

These are three of my favourite and beneficial ways to unwind after a long, hectic and stressful day. Again, while I like to sit down and watch TV just like anyone else, there are still times where it's good to keep that brain active in a different and more creative way. Finding the time for yourself to unwind is so important to our overall health and well being. It's a part of having a healthy diet!

What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Lip Balms That Work

Lip balms are a staple in my life, no matter what time of year it is. They are essential for my everyday lip care routine as well as to ensure my lipstick applies with no fuss! As far as I can remember, I've always been obsessed with lip balms. I remember growing up and having almost every Lip Smacker scent under the sun (you remember those days too!). Since then I've moved up drastically in the lip balm department (obviously!). Here are my top picks that won't disappoint!

EOS Lip Balm
Sure they look like an Easter egg... but there's so much more to these lovely little packages of lip balm goodness! Of course, the packaging is pretty and attractive. If you slip one of these into your makeup bag or purse, they are the easiest thing to find due to the unique round shape. Aside from the cute packaging, the formula is fantastic! It glides on easily, giving you a smooth, soft finish. Its hydrating and moisturizing as well. It leaves a clear layer of balm which makes a perfect surface when applying lip colour. I especially love that the product is all natural and organic. It's definitely a plus! I love all the scents. I haven't tried the Vanilla Mint or Coconut Milk scent but that's next on my list. They can be expensive but in my opinion, the price is completely worth it!

Burt Bee's Lip Balm
I have to admit that I got this lip balm as a gift. It wasn't one of those products I would go out and purchase myself. Given that I love it so much, I don't know if I could ever stop buying it. I have the pomegranate scent and it's amazing! The formula itself contains pomegranate oil, which is nourishing and replenishing to the lips. If my lips feel chapped from the weather or from wearing lipstick all day long, I will put on this lip balm with the full confidence that it will restore my lips overnight. It glides on smoothly with a slight sheen finish. The finish is a sheer tint on your lips which makes it perfect for wearing as is, or pairing it with a lip colour. It works great as a base for when I am applying long lasting lip stick. It gives added moisture to a lip stick that can be very dehydrating on the lips.

Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm
This lip balm was on my to-buy list for a long time and I finally made the plunge to purchase it this past summer. Mainly because the packaging looks so cool, but aside from that this is an awesome product! I've never been one to use Vaseline or to be fond over it. If you are a Vaseline lover, then you will definitely like the Smith's lip balms. They have the consistency and texture of Vaseline. Smith's just takes it to another level by making it glamorous. It has a smooth consistency and applies evenly. You may think it looks sticky but its soft and moisturizing. It smells glorious as well! I love anything with peppermint in it and this speaks to that perfectly! Its great to smell but feels even better on your lips with the added peppermint. I would wholeheartedly purchase another lip balm product from the Smith's line.

Those are my favourite lip balms that I have in my collection and they live up to my lofty expectations! Having a proper lip balm that works well is an essential as we head into the colder months (at least here in Canada). And of course, they are one of those makeup products that you can probably never have enough of!

What are your go to lip balms?


Thursday, 5 November 2015

How To Be Motivated To Work Out

Being motivated to workout consistently can be very challenging. For me, attending the on site gym at my workplace for the last four years has allowed me to really understand what motivates me to keep on going. Currently, I've been attending the gym about 4-5 days a week and I'm very lucky and fortunate to work in a job that allows me to use an on site gym everyday during my lunch. I find that if I try to work out after getting home, it just never happens...

Going to the gym at lunch is what works best for me and my lifestyle. It may not work for everyone but what I can share and talk about is how I manage to still go quite frequently without getting side tracked to watch YouTube videos, go to the mall or go out to eat during my hour long lunch break.

Go With A Friend
This is the best and most effective way to boost your workout motivation. I usually go with a co-worker of mine and we push each other consistently. On days that I don't feel like going or want to make an excuse, she's there to prevent me from backing out. Going alone is just boring but going with a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, a family member or even your spouse can make it ten times more bearable, since you have someone to keep you in check and vice-versa!

Make It Routine
Once you implement a routine at the gym it is really hard to break... I started off by going 3 times/week and slowly increased that to 4/5 times/week. Routine becomes second nature and once you make fitness a part of your daily routine, it will become much more motivating to go. So instead of planning your workout around your day, try planning your day around your workout. You'll find that once it's routine, you'll find yourself automatically heading to the gym before you can think of an excuse to back out!

Gives You More Energy
Speaking of routine, when I don't work out or I stop following my routine for any reason, I usually find myself falling asleep at around 8 or 8:30 pm... (I know it's sad!). When I don't work out, I find that I have no energy to keep me going. Attending the gym gives you more energy to take you throughout the day. It helps with keeping you awake during long afternoons and evenings when you have a lot to accomplish! And besides, who doesn't like to be energized without the need to use sugary drinks or caffeine. 

Makes You Feel Good
Going to the gym will definitely make you feel good! You will feel proud, healthy, clean, productive and energized! It makes me feel like a new person and it gives me the confidence I need to tackle the critical things in my day. When I get this feeling, it prompts me to eat healthier as well. I find that I drink more water, eat more fruit and vegetables and I take a homemade, healthy lunch almost every single day. Making a small change, such as going to the gym, can have a larger and more positive effect on your whole lifestyle and make you feel good all around.

You Will Be More Productive
The energy gained by going to the gym in turns make me a lot more productive throughout the day. I find that when I go to the gym, I'm much more likely to check things off my to do list or simply get things done. By accomplishing a major task by going to the gym, it will become easier to complete other tasks as part of your day.

As you can see, going to the gym has a huge domino effect on other aspects of your life. It affects your body, how you feel about yourself and your overall day. Going to the gym delivers nothing but positives and that in itself is a major motivator for me!

What drives you to work out?