Monday, 4 May 2015

Manicure Must Haves

When it comes to nails, I'm all about the DIY. Unless it's a special occasion, I much prefer to do my own nails in the comfort of my own home than have them done at the salon. Doing your own nails can be a process, but with a couple of awesome tools I feel I can get professional looking nails in just a few minutes!
 Step 1 | Tame those Cuticles
A few months ago I finally picked up the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover and it was a serious game-changer when it comes to at-home manicures. Apply it to the cuticle area, let it sit for a few seconds, then use a cuticle pusher to remove all of the excess skin. It's quick and simple and makes it easy to get a professional look at home.

Step 2  | Shape
When it comes to nail clippers, I'm not picky, but files are a whole different story. A glass or crystal file not only saves you the cringe-worthy feeling/sound of filing nails with a traditional emery board, but it gives the smoothest finish and lasts basically a lifetime.

Step 3 | Lay the Base
Base coats are one of the most important steps when doing your nails - they adhere the polish to the nail bed to help your mani last longer, and protect the nail from yellowing. My holy grail used to be the Revlon Colourstay Base Coat, but since that has been discontinued I've been loving using ORLY's Bonder. It's quick drying and creates a "rubberized" layer that truly helps increase the longevity of any polish on top.

Step 4 | Colour & Clean Up
After applying my nail colour of choice, I use a small synthetic brush dipped in nail polish remover to go around the edges and clean up any areas that I may have gone beyond the lines. This gives you a clean, professional final result! This one sent to me by Born Pretty Store (use the code SSEG10 for 10% off) doubles as a dotting tool which is a great for achieving easy nail art designs.

Step 5 | Seal It
The worst part of doing your own nails can be the time you're left waiting for your mani to dry, am I right? After recently repurchasing the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, I don't know why I ever stopped using it! With this top coat the nails are dry to the touch in just a few seconds.

Step 6 | Maintain
I have very dry hands so a cuticle cream is necessary for keeping everything looking it's best. Lush's Lemony Flutter is amazingly moisturizing and smells pretty heavenly. I'm still working on a sample that I got last year, so the full size would probably last you forever! I apply this once my nails are fully dry and I'll use it a couple of times a week while I'm at work or before bed to keep everything smooth and moisturized.

Do you do your own nails? Any tips that I need to know?

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Friday, 1 May 2015

The Double Tag

I was recently tagged by both Mia for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, and Melanie for a Leibster Award so I thought I would combine the two in a quick Q&A that I'd love to hear your answers to as well!

Are you an early birdie or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl. I honestly wish sleep wasn't necessary because I get my best work done at night!

Favourite trip you've ever been on?
My favourite vacation was probably when I went to BC and Alaska with my family the week before I started university. It wasn't a trip I was particularly excited about at first, I'm not a fan of the cold after all, but the landscape was unbelievably stunning. One of my best friends is getting married in Whistler next summer and I can't wait to go back out west!
If you could eat one food and beverage for the rest of your life what would it be?
Food would definitely be pasta of some kind - I just love carbs. And beverage would definitely be tea! Hot, cold, it's always good.

What made you start your blog?
I'd been reading blogs for years and had always loved writing, photography & beauty. It was actually Tyler who gave me the extra push to bite the bullet and start, and I am forever grateful he has been so encouraging!

If you were to only wear one makeup item forever what would it be and why? 
Just one? That's tough. If I could also have great skin forever it would 100% be mascara, but if not probably foundation. Having flawless skin is an instant confidence booster!

Current favorite song, you know, the one that you crank up in the car?
This song has been my running companion for the past few weeks...and maybe Ariana Grande One Last Time.

Dream job & why?
Would any blogger not want to be able to turn this into a full time gig? But other than that, working in marketing for a company like Benefit or Revlon would be a amazing!

Do you like to workout? If so, what types of sports/workouts do you like the best?
My favourite workout is definitely swimming, but unfortunately my gym doesn't have a pool so I have to wait until the lake is warm enough in the summer to get my swim fix at the cottage. Running isn't my favourite thing, but I'm currently training for a race in June so that's what I've been focusing on recently.

What is your favourite can't-live-without lip product?
Lip balm, definitely. Lately that's been either the Nivea Lip Butter at night or the Smith's Rosebud Salve in the daytime.

You have 1 totally free YOU day, what would your day consist of?
I would spend the day outside in the sun on the porch swing reading and relaxing, then at night go through the whole nine yards of my pamper routine, and probably self tan - because it's a process people!

Here are some things I'd love to know about all of you:

1. Do you have any pets? Tell me about them!
2. What is one thing on your wishlist right now?
3. What is your favourite photo from your childhood? And yes, you can post photos in comments!
4. If you had to pick one which would it be: Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest?
5. Where do you get your style inspiration from?
6. What is your most treasured possession?
7. What are your favourite apps?
8. What is your favourite beauty/life hack?
9. What's one accomplishment you are particularly proud of?
10. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Answer any of these questions in the comments, or write a post and tweet it to me so I can learn some more about you!

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Loving Lately: April Favourites

Is it just me or has the last half of April just flown by? Things have been extra busy in my work and home life, so I apologize if I'm behind on responding to all of your comments. I swear I'll be playing major catchup this weekend! Fingers crossed I'll have heard about my camera by then.

Since things have been so crazy I've been reaching for more old standbys than new products this month, but I've also gotten a ton of new things towards the end of the month so look out for those in my May posts!
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed | I brought back out my Exposed blush and have been loving the rosey-tan flush it's been giving my cheeks. There have been lots of late nights so this brings back some colour to my face when I'm tired, and semi-doubles as a bronzer so I can skip that step. It doesn't look like much in the pan, but if you haven't already tried this shade I highly recommend it!

MUFE Aqua Eyes Pencil Liner | These are hands down the best pencil liners I've ever tried for lining the upper waterline. They are long wearing and don't smudge out into the corners of my eyes like some other pencils do. I've had my pencil for longer than I probably should but it lasts so long so definitely worth the money in my opinion! I've been using both black and charcoal a ton this month.

Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe in Sheer Pink Lust | I talked about this shade already in my 5 wearable lip colours for spring post, but this one has been a perfect desk companion for me. It evens out the tone of my lips and gives them a bit of hydration, all while looking very natural. I'm glad I picked this up before my Target closed for good.

MAC Nylon | My recent go-to spring look when I'm in a rush in the morning is winged liner, lots of mascara and a brightening eyeshadow in the inner corners of my eye. It's like adding an extra few hours of sleep to your face, I swear. MAC Nylon is a frosty white-gold that is perfect for not looking too icy while still making major impact with minor effort.

J Crew Pastel Earrings | I found these on a whim during a quick outlet stop late last month and instantly fell in love. As someone who doesn't typically wear statement earrings, or really earrings at all, these were just understated enough to come home with me. They're not too heavy so they're comfortable to wear and perfect for dressing up a simple outfit like this one I wore a few weeks ago. They're super affordable too for J. Crew jewelry!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in Dark Brown | By now you probably know how much I love the black version of this liquid liner. Recently I've been reaching more for brown as a less-harsh version for my everyday look. I will say I was a bit disappointed in this product because it doesn't seem nearly as smooth and opaque as my black liners have been, but it is a beautiful rich brown and the staying power is incredible so I just deal with it. Has anyone else tried the brown shade? Did I get a dud?

What have you been loving this month?
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