Hourglass

My ride or die makeup products are mascara, blush, and some kind of lippy. I was just telling Mr. P&P the other night that those are my favourites and the ones I slap on if I only have seconds to spare. He was fascinated, I’m sure. Just in case you think it’s cruel of me to bore the pants off him like that, I had just sat through a half hour long retelling of the latest episode of Shameless he’d watched.

Anyway, that’s enough waffling, let’s get to the point of this post! Blush. I love blush. I like a bit of colour on my cheeks to add some warmth to my pale complexion.

My current favourites are my Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes. I have three and they are all well loved. I’ve actually hit pan on two of them. The one I’m focusing on today is the newest in my collection and is in the shade Mood Exposure. It’s a gorgeous plummy colour that just warms up the cheeks a touch.

What is really special about Hourglass blushes is that they are mixed with a highlighter, which is what gives the blush that marbled look. They are highly pigmented so I just swirl my brush in the pan lightly and then quickly sweep the powder over my cheeks. The effect is a glowy warmth that lasts all day.

And just in case you need more reasons to give these blushes a try, Hourglass is cruelty free and the products are formulated without the nasties like parabens, sulphates, and phthalates.

So tell me, what are your ride or die products?

Telescopic

Today we’re going to be talking about mascara, or more specifically, my all time favourite mascara. Guess what! It’s from the drugstore and won’t cost you your first born! I think that mascara is definitely something you should not be spending gobs of money on, particularly because it’s only good for about six months.

L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black mascara can be purchased at any drugstore carrying L’Oreal products so it’s easy to find.

I love this mascara for several reasons. It is black as can be. It does not smudge. I find that a lot of non-waterproof mascaras tend to end up all over my face by the end of the day, but not this one. The tiny rubber brush makes it easy to grab each lash and makes for lots of length and definition. It’s also great for bottom lashes. One or two coats is more than enough to give you a fluttery lash look without going over the top. You can always add an extra coat in the evening for a more dramatic look. L’Oreal Telescopic is also never clumpy.

The slim brush means you won’t poke yourself in the eye, which is always a mascara hazard! Lastly, I don’t find this mascara difficult to remove at the end of the day. I just use my trusty Garnier micellar water and a cotton pad and the mascara comes off easily enough.

So tell me, what’s your favourite mascara of all time?

Holiday 2018 Gift Guide

Hello my lovelies. As per popular demand I’ve cobbled together a gift guide for you to use (or send to those who need a hint) this festive season. 

For the book worm:
There have been several wonderful books released this year. These are just a few suggestions – feel free to drop me a dm if you want some more.

 1. Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine

This book is definitely among the best that I read this year and I recommend it to everyone.

2. The Child Finder

This book was in my Kobo recommended list and I bought it on a whim. I’m so glad I did. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read and I cannot wait until the second in the series comes out in 2019.

3. The Clockmaker’s Daughter

Kate Morton is one of my favourite authors and I was thrilled when this came out. 

For the beauty lover:
Sephora always comes out with great gift sets for the holidays. These are my picks in the under $35 range. 

1. Bite Beauty Four Little Bites Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set

Lipstick lovers will adore Bite Beauty’s comfortable and nourishing formulas. All Bite Beauty products are made with food grade ingredients.

2. Josie Maran Body Butter Duo

I’ve been a long time fan of all things Josie Maran and her body butters are some of the best out there. They are creamy, never greasy, and the scents are divine. 

3. Fresh Destination Sugar

Fresh Sugar Lip balms are another longtime favourite of mine. They are hydrating, smell great, and provide a light wash of colour. 

I’ve also spotted a few things at Shopper’s Drug Mart that I think would be nice for a beauty lover:

1. Fragrance Sampler

These sets are fun. They contain 10 sample fragrances and a voucher for a full size bottle of your favourite! 

2. Benefit Goodie Goodie Gorgeous

Benefit always does the cutest sets. Any beauty lover would be delighted to find this set of bestsellers under the tree.

3. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All Over Miracle Oil Set

I’ve been using the Eight Hour Night Cream for the last few weeks and it is a miracle product if you suffer from dry skin. 

For the homebody:
If you’re someone like me who likes nothing better than to be cozy on the couch with a cup of tea, an cuddly cat (or dog or bunny or parakeet), and a good book then these are the gifts for you.

1. Comfy Pajamas

These pjs look so cozy and, while festive, they can really be worn all winter long (and they’re on sale!). 

2. Weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are supposed to be really good for people who suffer with anxiety and insomnia. As someone who deals with both, I think this would make a wonderful gift. 

3. Nest Candle Set

I’m a total candle addict and Nest do some of the most beautiful scents on the market. This set would be a lovely way to introduce a candle lover to the brand. 

For the jewelry lover

1. Mejuri Zodiac Necklaces

Mejuri makes beauitiful fine jewellry pieces at fair prices. I have a ring and earrings from them and wear them daily. 

2. Sarah Mulder Stargazer Necklace

Mr. P&P kindly bought a Sarah Mulder necklace for me a few years ago. I wore it everyday at first and it’s still one of my favourite pieces. I’ve had my eye on this necklace for ages. 

3. Sarah Mulder Changeling Earrings

I think these earrings are unusual and very pretty.

Phew! So there you have it friends! Feel free to message me here or on Instagram if you’re looking for further recommendations!

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To a Tee

For years and years I was on the hunt for the perfect tee shirt. I had a vague list of qualities in mind including soft, thick, dryer friendly, hitting at the top of the hip, and made with natural fibers. I spent a fair chunk of change on a lot of almosts. I know it seems like such a basic thing, but a good tee shirt is a real workhorse and a solid wardrobe basic. 

Well kittens, I’ve done the leg work for you and tracked down the perfect tee shirt. The perfect tee is made by Kuwalla Tee (too cute, I know). They are a Canadian company (yay!!) and their items are created from mostly natural fibers with the health of the environment in mind. 

From the Kuwalla Tee website:

Kuwalla|Tee was inspired by our frustration of cheap 3 packs and our love for basics. In May of 2012 we launched our first premium 3-pack cotton tees and have since grown into a ready-to-wear clothing label, focused on delivering the best quality basics on the market. By using only the best materials & fabrics, we design ‘essential’ items that are timeless and comfortable for everyday.

Our mascot, subtly embroidered on all our garments, stems from our love and respect for Mother Nature. All our products are created with the well being of our environment in mind, trying to minimize waste wherever we can. Our 3-packs are packaged in recycled fabric salvaged during the production process. Give our package a feel and you will be sold forever.

I have six. Two black, two white, and two grey. I have three medium and three large. That may seem excessive, but for me it’s the perfect number.

I wear my tees under blazers for the office, tucked into pencil skirts, as a base layer under wool sweaters, on the weekends with jeans and flats, in the summer with shorts, and even dressed up with statement earring and heels for a night out. 

These shirts are easy to wash -I just throw them in with the rest of my clothes, wash in cold water, and tumble dry on low. They get better with every wash and are not prone to pilling. They are also thick, which, for me is a must because I just don’t think anyone needs to see my granny bra. Ya feel me?

What’s the workhorse in your wardrobe?

Knix

Today I want to talk about something a little different from my usual content – periods. Yup.

I learned all about how toxic pads and tampons are many years ago. I’m not going to go into great detail about that because Google. Trust me when I say though that they are bad news. Bad news for your body and bad news for the environment. For those reasons I decided to make my periods waste free.

For about 15 years I’ve been using the same set of washable pads and I love them. I bought them on eBay for about $20. They are made of fleece and they have snaps on the wings to hold them in place. My wallet is happy, my body is happy and the planet is happy.

I’ve also used the Diva Cup for many years.

Enter Knix. I’ve now rounded out my collection with period underwear. Genius. I invested in five pairs (full disclaimer – I ordered from the Teen section because it was a bit cheaper) and I’m so glad that I did.

From the Knix website:

“Find yourself asking, “how do period panties work?” Well, a super-absorbent pad with leak resistant backing is built into our seamless underwear. But its so thin, you won’t even notice it’s there.”

I find that I can wear a pair all day with no problems. If you have a heavier flow I still think that the underwear (I just can’t with the word panties, ugh) are a good investment because they provide back up for leaks. You can wear them over night as well. I think we’ve all probably wrecked some pjs over the years which is just the worst. No more friends, no more.

The underwear are machine washable. I just throw mine in with the rest of my laundry, wash in cold water and hang to dry. Simple pimple. They come individually packaged in reusable pouches which are super slim and great for stashing in your purse. Best of all? They look like normal underwear. Knix is the next best thing to not having your period.

Would you try period underwear?

Glossy

So often when I sit down to write the words just flow easily. It’s like stepping outside of  my life for a moment and abandoning myself to the loveliness of words.

Today is not one of those days. Writing is one of the very few things that comes easily to me and it’s frustrating when I feel blocked. I’ve been struggling to come up with a post all week so I’m going to keep it simple.

I love Clarins as a brand. I love their makeup and their skincare. They make some of my favourite glosses and that’s what I reach for most at this time of year when everything is so dry.

Clarins’ Instant Light Lip Perfectors and Lip Perfector Balms are the perfect mix of gloss, moisture and colour. They smell like vanilla cake. They’re not sticky but they do hang around for a few hours. I reach for them several times a week.

What’s your favourite lip product for this dry time of year?

Herbivore

Herbivore is a brand I became aware of a year or so ago when Sephora started carrying their stuff. I was initially attracted to it because of the beautiful and simple packaging. I do judge books by their covers, kittens, and if Herbivore writes a book I’ll be their first customer! I made my first order once I learned a bit more about the brand, namely they don’t test on animals and they use high quality, natural ingredients and none of the nasties like parabens.

I’ve only tried a few of Herbivore’s products but I’ve loved them all.

The first thing I bought was the Coco Rose Body Polish. I loved it. In the colder months I suffer from dry, itchy legs. I used the body polish in the shower a few times a week to slough off the dead skin and it worked like a treat. After moisturizing my legs were all shiny and new and itch free! The jar it comes in is so pretty that I cleaned it out and use it as a tooth brush holder!

Last spring when Mr. P&P and I visited Calgary we spent a day at the zoo (seeing a hippo was amazing!) and both got too much sun. I picked up a bottle of the After Sun Soothing Mist and we doused our sunburned selves in it. It was soothing to the skin and smelled lovely and fresh. I continued to use it as a toner when we got home.

Lastly, I ordered the Jade Facial Roller. Total princess product, I know, but I love it. I store it in the fridge and use it in the evening after applying my serum. It’s relaxing and feels great on the skin. I can’t speak to any wrinkle reduction or anything like that but I can tell you that it is a treat to use. I’ve also been using it when I have a headache and it works wonderfully for that.

Have you tried anything from Herbivore?

Do you Deciem?

Deciem. Do I dare?

If you ever look at the internet I imagine you’ve heard of Deciem and the recent controversy surrounding the erstwhile CEO. I went back and forth on whether or not to write this post but in the end obviously decided to write it. Lovers, this is not a blog about current events, this is a blog about products and so products is what I’m going to talk about.

Deciem exploded on to the market about two years ago. I first heard about it when one of my favourite Youtubers gave the brand a rave review. Deciem is a Toronto-based company composed of a number of brands including The Ordinary, Niod, Hylamide, The Chemistry Brand, etc. The concept is simple: skincare made with quality ingredients at a low price. The prices start at about $5.00, really. Genius. I’m no expert but I do know that there are only a few skincare ingredients that have actually been proven to do anything. Included in this list is hyaluronic acid which is a basically a magnet for moisture, and retinol which encourages cell turnover.

I’ve gone through two bottles of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and I love it. I rarely notice any immediate change in my skin after using a product, with the exception of this stuff. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do – plumps and moisturizes the skin. Brilliant. Mind you give your face a quick spritz before applying it kittens – the skin has to be wet for the acid to do its good work.

I also gave the retinol a go. The first time I used it I did not do it properly. I slathered it all over my face, including under my eyes. I paid the burny price. Retinol is to be used sparingly, avoiding the eye area. After the initial mishap I used the rest of the product successfully. I cannot honestly tell you that I noticed a huge change in my skin but I think if you are concerned about the signs of aging this is a good one to try.

I also used two tubes of Hand Chemistry from The Chemistry Brand. Again, I can’t really speak to any anti-aging benefits but I can tell you that I love this stuff. The scent is fruity but not strong at all and it just works. My hands feel nice and hydrated after using it which, after-all, is the whole point right?

I’ve also been using The Ordinary Coverage Foundation for the past year. It’s good. It has great coverage but it’s not heavy on the skin. It lasts well too. Nothing lasts all day on my face but I get a good few hours out of this foundation.

Have you tried any of Deciem’s products?

On scent

I love fragrance. I always have. I’m always burning scented candles at home, I love picking out a new body wash, and I have a small but well curated collection of perfumes that I love to wear.

My favourite of the moment is something rather special that I treated myself to when Mr. P&P and I spent a few days in Calgary last spring. I’m talking about Jo Malone London Blackberry & Bay.

Blackberry & Bay is fruity but tart. Juicy and green at the same time. The notes are blackberry, grapefruit, florals, vetiver, cedarwood, and bay leaves. The Jo Malone website describes it thusly:

This fragrance evokes childhood memories of blackberry picking—a burst of deep, tart blackberry juice blends with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods for a vibrant and verdant impression.

They’ve nailed it. It’s fresh and great for summer but I think it works for all seasons. It was a spendy little purchase but I cherish it and look forward to wearing it.

What’s your scent of the moment?

Glossier

A while back Glossier was everywhere. Everyone was talking about it. At first I wasn’t too interested because their vibe is all about dewy, fresh skin. My skin is dewy enough. I do not need help in that department (the oily skin struggle is real friends). Eventually though I obviously fell for the hype.

My first order consisted of the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Moisturizing Moon Mask. I loved them both. The cleanser is very gentle and perfect for a quick morning cleanse. I wouldn’t use it at the end of the day because it’s not quite up to removing all of my mascara. Mr. P&P also enjoyed using it. It’s slightly rose scented but it’s not overpowering.

I used the moon mask a couple of times a week while I was in the bath. I put on a thick layer and let it sit for 15-20 minutes and my skin always felt velvety soft afterwards. Even though I’m an oily girl, I need to make sure my face is well hydrated so that it doesn’t start over producing oil, especially in winter. I used every last drop and would absolutely purchase again. It’s divine.

I was so pleased with the first two products I tried that I ordered the Wowder plus the Wowder Brush set as soon as it came out. I love both. The powder itself does exactly what it’s supposed to do as far as setting foundation and concealer. It’s light and does not settle onto the skin or look cakey. The brush is kind of unusual. It’s not as large and fluffy as most powder brushes. I like it because the handle is the perfect length and the shape of the brush makes it easy to make sure you’re powdering the trickier spots like the under-eye and the sides of the nose.

Have you given Glossier a try?