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Roundups

Fuss-Free Lips with Balm Stains

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One of my favourite ways to get a bold shot of colour on the lips is with balm stains. These crayon format lip products come in a ton of colours and finishes, and the best part is that it seems to be a popular product for drugstore brands — there are so many affordable options.

Here I’ll share some mini reviews, including lip swatches, of crayons according to three different categories: matte, shine, and cream formulas.

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October 18, 2016
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August Favourites – Travel Picks

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The air of nostalgia, so typical of August’s end, struck me more than usual this year. My husband and I spent the weekend in Montreal — our first visit since we lived there three years ago. I admit to being overly sentimental the entire time, as we passed the landmarks where so many memories were made. I couldn’t help myself! It’s a spectacular city, it felt like fall, and our visit reminded me of how much I loved my life there despite having been eager to move back to Toronto. I vow to visit again before another three years pass.

My August favourites are almost entirely composed of old standbys, which seems appropriate for this time of year. These favourites often get pushed aside day to day as I test out new products, but once a makeup bag gets packed for travel (as it did a few days ago), the real go-tos emerge.

Before I jump into the longtime favourites, let me tell you about a couple of new additions, which I can confidently say will be longtime favourites in a few months’ time.

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September 6, 2016
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July Favourites: Grass Is Greener Edition

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I can’t remember the last time I was in the US for long enough to visit Target and Ulta, so you can imagine my glee when my family decided to take a road trip to Chicago to visit my cousins whom we hadn’t seen since my wedding almost three years ago. In the intervening years, Target has come and gone in Canada; Shoppers Drug Mart has begun stocking NYX, and the brand has opened a number of standalone stores. H&M Beauty has massive displays in flagship locations, Toronto has its own MUJI, which carries lovely skincare staples and beauty accessories. Yet it’s still near impossible to get certain coveted brands and items in Canada.

I, uh, went a lil ham, but… when in Rome. Before my trip, I researched the most recommended items from brands I knew to be difficult to get in Canada, like Sonia Kashuk, Pixi, and Laura Geller. Despite having a specific list of things to look for, I couldn’t resist a few impulse buys, and good thing — they ended up being my favourite items from my US haul. Here they are!

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August 1, 2016
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Bold, Bright Summer Lipsticks

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Top row, L-R: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Unapologetic; Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in In Vogue; Maybelline Creamy Matte in Craving Coral. Bottom row, L-R: Bite Amuse Bouche lipstick in Persimmon; NARS lipstick in Jungle Red; Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Poppy Nude.

Wearing a bright lip isn’t always easy for me, but if there’s ever a time to just go for it, summer is it.

I poked through my comically oversized collection of lip products and pulled out six of my favourites for summer, which range in colour from red to orange to fuchsia. I was surprised that I didn’t reach for any liquid lipsticks, since I love how long wearing they are. I think it’s because even the most comfortable liquid lipstick can’t beat out the comfort of a lipstick or lip crayon. In the heat, comfort is king.

I loathe fussy lipstick, and can be shy when it comes to colour. Here are six that I find easy to wear, ultra comfortable, and perfect for cheery, summer days.

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June 24, 2016
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Best Balms

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L-R: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, Clarins Instant Light Comfort Oil, Supergoop AcaiFusion Lip Balm.

No matter the season, I make sure to have nourishing lip balms on hand to ensure my lips stay smooth and moisturized throughout the year. Here are the three heroes that keep my lips from getting chapped in the dry winters and hot summers.

First, the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($30 CAD). I use this every night before I go to bed as part of my evening skincare routine. This mask is thick and really stays put; I can still feel it on my lips after a full night of sleep.

The major downside of this product is the packaging. Its tube does not include an applicator, so I squeeze some product onto my finger and apply to my lips. The opening is too small to dispense the thick product easily — it gets better with use but for the first little while, it is really hard to get the product out, especially if its stored in a cool spot. If you have any issues with your joints in your hands, forget this — you’ll find it impossible to use.

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June 6, 2016
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My Minimalist Face Routine

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For every day, I prefer a skin-focused makeup look that enhances my natural features. Here are the products I use to get a fresh, minimalist face every day.

Biore AQUA RICH Watery Essence SPF50+ PA++++ Sunscreen, $14 CAD

First thing’s first. I never go without applying sunscreen to my face, and this is my go-to. This sunscreen has a strong alcohol smell when you first apply it, but it dissipates quickly and somehow isn’t drying at all. I have zero tolerance for the powdery or gritty finishes that some sunscreens leave; this one absorbs fully into your skin the way a moisturizer would and doesn’t interfere with makeup.

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May 26, 2016
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Bronzer Roundup for Light to Medium Complexions

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I have a bit of a bronzer problem. Bronzer is my go-to category, so I’ve acquired a bit of a collection. Here’s my roundup of tips and favourites.

Bronzer is one of those products that needs the right tools. Most other products can withstand a bit of improvisation, like using those horrendous sponge-tip applicators that come with drug store eyeshadow (they work in a pinch!). Bronzer is not one of those products. Do not use the silly brushes that come with some bronzers, they are completely useless. If you have the right brush, your bronzer will look great even if you don’t have quite the right shade.

Before I jump into sharing my product recommendations, let me start with my two favourite brushes for applying bronzer.

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May 20, 2016
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