Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

 As we embark on a new year, I just wanted to thank all my readers for taking the time to read my posts and for commenting. I wish you all happiness and health in 2012, may all your wishes, dreams and resolutions come true!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Looks of the week

Hello lovelies,
For the past week, I've been back home in Toronto visiting my family for the holidays. There's nothing like being at home with your family (even though having your own apartment in Chicago is pretty sweet too). I've been spending a lot of time hanging out with my parents and catching up with my BFF's, and shopping for a new car (eeeee!!!!!).
Here are a couple of looks I wore out for various occasions:

 With my BFF Nadine
Top & pants from Akira (a Chicago boutique), bag from H&M

Dress from Akira, belt and earrings from Forever 21

Sweater from Armani Exchange

My festive holiday nails! All polishes from OPI (but I don't know their names, sorry!)

How are all of you spending your holidays?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Oral-B Pulsonic Toothbrush

Hello lovelies,
As I've mentioned before, I have an obsession with white teeth, so when I was given the opportunity to review the Oral-B Pulsonic toothbrush, I was over the moon!

According to the Oral-B website (Oral-B)

Oral-B Pulsonic Sonic Toothbrush Features

  • Sonic technology: With more than 27,000 vibrations per minute to drive them, Pulsonic’s bristles clean and promote naturally whiter teeth
  • Thin Precision bristles: Promote naturally whiter teeth by gently polishing off surface stains
  • Professional timer: Subtle two-minute timer with 30-second intervals makes it easy to track how long you’ve been brushing each quadrant of your mouth and helps you reach the dental expert-recommended brushing time
  • Two customized brushing modes
    • Clean: Provides effective plaque removal and cleaning of your teeth
    • Sensitive: Offers gentle care of your gums and other sensitive areas
  • Exclusive custom brush head design
    • Pulsonic Brush Head: Contours your teeth to provide an effective clean while remaining gentle on teeth and gums
    • Precision Tip Brush Head: Cleans between teeth in hard-to-reach areas—where stains start—and is also ideal for cleaning around dental work with its Interspace® design
  • Rechargeable: No need to replace batteries
I can't say enough good things about this brush! This ultra slim design means that the brush is really light weight and very easy to maneuver, especially into the back of your mouth to reach those molars. The timer feature lets you know when 30 seconds are up so you can move to a different area of your mouth. It buzzes 4 times to make sure you brush your teeth the recommended 2 minutes. The sonic action of the brush is FANTASTIC for removing stains and plaque deposits. I pair my brush with Arm & Hammer's whitening toothpaste and after two weeks of use, my teeth are whiter than when I use my white strips. I also really love the base that comes with the brush because it doubles as a charger, meaning no batteries! So it's environmentally friendly too!
The Oral-B pulsonic toothbrush retails between $69-89 depending on where you live and replacement brush heads are around $20 for a 3-pack (its recommended that you replace the brush head every 3 months).
I think everyone should own this toothbrush because the importance of oral health to your OVERALL health cannot be stressed enough. I really feel that this toothbrush is worth the investment because I don't think I'll need to use a separate whitening product anymore!
Has anyone else tried this brush? Do you love it as much as I do?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How I Kicked my Sugar Addiction

Hello lovelies,
Many of you may be wondering, how can someone be addicted to sugar? And why is that such a bad thing? Sugar may seem like a harmless little substance, but when eaten in excess (like I do) it can be quite dangerous. Sugar causes a spike in insulin levels in your blood, which can cause your body to store excess fat and may even lead to type 2 diabetes down the road. It can also lead to decreased energy levels once that initial sugar rush has subsided.
I've tried many times in the past to quit sugar, even replacing the sugar in my coffee with Stevia, but those cravings for cookies, cupcakes and especially chocolate just wouldn't go away. I would go a few days without eating any sugar at all and then binge and eat a chocolate bar or a cupcake. My sugar cravings are the worst after lunch and dinner, and I find myself venturing out to find my fix at the local bakery or the 7-11 down the street (I don't keep sweets in my apartment in an effort to beat the addiction).  I thought all hope was lost and that I should just accept the fact that I'm a sugar junkie, until I came across.....
(image borrowed from google)

I saw this gum at Target while I was checking out and my first thought was "ew, who wants gum that tastes like pie?" but my cousin convinced me to try it so I bought a pack and O.M.G. This gum tastes EXACTLY like apple pie! Its like something from Willy Wonka! This gum is the secret to quitting my sugar addiction! Every time I'm craving something sweet, I grab a stick of gum and the craving is satisfied. A bonus to this little gum trick is that because you chew it for awhile, it stops you from mindlessly snacking as well. This gum comes in other flavors as well, like Mint Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Shortcake, but I haven't tried them yet.
If there's anyone else out there looking to kick their sugar addiction, I seriously recommend you try this gum, it just may work for you too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shoe Fetish

Hello lovelies,
Nine West recently had their Friends and Family sale so I snagged these gorgeous shoes that I've been lusting over for months. I can't wait for the perfect occasion to wear them out. It will most likely have to be dinner though, because the heel is 5" and the platform is only 3/4" so they're quite high for my flat feet.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: Dior Amber Diamond Highlighter

Hello lovelies,
I had to share my new favorite product with you! The Dior Ultra-Shimmering All Over Face Powder is amazing! It makes you look like you're glowing from within and is the BEST highlighter I've ever used.  It comes in 2 shades, Amber Diamond and Rose Diamond. Since I have warm undertones, I chose the Amber Diamond but the Rose is just as beautiful and because it's more pink-based, it can be worn as a blush.

 The packaging is so luxurious! It comes in a velvet pouch and the compact itself is made of a sturdy plastic and comes with a large mirror on the inside of the compact.
 The product itself is actually made up of 5 individual colors which can be worn alone or swirled together which is how I like to apply it. Its VERY finely milled powder which allows it to have a shimmery appearance without any sparkle or glitter. It just seems to melt into the skin and give a very natural glow.
 These are the individual shades, I think the middle two would make nice eye shadows (with a good primer beneath them)
 This is how they look all blended together. I tried my best to capture the glow this powder gives but it simply can't be captured in a photo. It looks 10x better in person!
Here's a quick FOTD I wore to a taping of the Rosie show earlier this week (please excuse my monkey pj's). I applied the powder as a highlighter to the top of my cheekbones and under my brow bone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tutorial: How to depot your MAC eyeshadows (pic heavy)

Hello lovelies,
Some of you might be wondering, "what does depot mean?" and "why would you want to depot your shadows?"  Well, depot simply means to take your shadows out of their original container. The reason I wanted to depot my shadows is because I travel a lot and having all of my shadows in one compact container makes packing them much easier. I also found that I wasn't using my MAC shadows as much because they would always fall to the bottom of my makeup drawer and I felt bad for neglecting them. I felt like they were being treated like second class citizens once I got the NAKED palette, so the decision to depot was made. I should mention before I begin the tutorial that this method makes your shadows ineligible for the Back 2 MAC program.

The materials you will need: an empty palette ( I ordered mine from MAC), a flat iron, a thin knife, scissors, a pencil, tin foil, magnets (bought at Michaels), tweezers and your shadows

Open your shadow and insert the tip of the knife into the small groove right above the latch where the lids snaps on. You can see in this picture that I've already put the knife in and made the space a little bigger. It takes a bit of wiggling to pry the shadow out but it will pop out.
  This is  what the shadow looks like once you pop it out of the case.
Now you need to separate the actual pan of shadow from the plastic and this is where the flat iron comes in. Be VERY CAREFUL during this step because the pan is metal and will be very HOT! Place the plastic pan on the foil and then onto the hot flat iron. 45 seconds should be enough time to melt the glue if you set your iron to 400F. Then carefully remove the hot pan and place it face down onto a flat surface and apply pressure (with scissors) to the underside of the plastic case. The glue should be melted and you'll be able to pop the metal pan out of the case. IT'S HOT!
 This is what the plastic case will look like once you pop the shadow out. It will end up deformed which is why you can't use it for the Back 2 MAC program.

Now take the pan on shadow and trace around it on the magnet sheet. Then cut it out and stick it to the back of the shadow. The kind of magnet I bought have adhesive on the back so its like a sticker you can just peel and stick onto the back of the shadow.

This is what you should have at this point. The magnet is fixed securely to the back of the pan.

To remove the sticker on the back of the original container, simply pick at an edge of the sticker until it peels off in one piece.
Then attach the sticker to the back of the magnet and voila! You have successfully depotted your shadow! 

If you're depotting more than one shadow, make sure you keep track of each shadow to avoid mixing them up and accidentally labeling them incorrectly. Happy depotting lovelies!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review: Crest 2-hour Whitestrips

Hello lovelies,
I am obsessed with having white teeth! I read once that when someone looks at you, the first thing they notice about you are your eyes and second is your smile. Thankfully I had braces as a teenager so my teeth are fairly straight (I didn't wear my retainer as much as I should have which is why I say "fairly") but I drink a lot of coffee and tea so I'm always worrying about staining my teeth.
Recently I was sent Crest 2 hour express Whitestrips to review and wanted to share my results after using 1 treatment.
(Image borrowed from Google)

The package comes with 4 treatments which is a 12 month supply since each treatment is supposed to last for 3 months. It retails for around $50 so its wayyyyy cheaper than getting your teeth professionally whitened at the dentist. But with that being said, you also can't expect the same results you would get by going to a professional. The company states that this product is meant for people who need an express whitening treatment, but I'm not quite sure what that means. What kind of event could pop-up that you would need whiter teeth for right away? Maybe if you're a celebrity or in the public eye a lot?
My impressions of this product weren't so great. I normally use the regular Whitestrips and love the results I get with those, especially because you only need to keep them on for 30 minutes at a time. The 2 hour time allotment for these strips is a major problem for me, I just don't have that kind of patience.  Also, I didn't notice a huge difference in my teeth after I removed the strips. The box claims "noticeably whiter teeth" but I don't think that's entirely true. I don't think I'll wait 3 months to use the next set of strips, I might use them again after 1 month to see if anything "noticeable" occurs.
Overall, I give this product a 3/5. I think I'll stick to the regular Whitestrips.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Small haul from Urban Decay

Hello lovelies,
Recently, Urban Decay had their Family&Friends event where you could get 20% off everything, even sale items! I was able to get some really good deals, especially the primer potion which is my favorite eye shadow base.
 What I got: 2 cream eyeshadows in Midnight Rodeo and Rehab ($3 each), Deluxe sized primer potion in Eden ($15), 24/7 Glide on pencil in Baked ($9) and a Lip Junkie gloss in Wallflower (free)
 Eyeshadow swatches: L Rehab, R Midnight Rodeo
L- Lip Junkie gloss, R- Baked eyeliner

I absolutely love the cream shadows, they apply easily with my finger and last throughout the work day without creasing. They're the perfect shadows to use in the morning when you're in a rush to get our the door (which is me pretty much every day).
The eyeliner is a gorgeous gold shade and looks amazing when layered over a line of black liner, it really makes your eyes pop, especially brown ones. 
I"m not a huge fan of the lip gloss, it tastes like TUMS and the color doesn't show up on my lips.

Did anyone else take advantage of UD's discount?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

MAC Zoom Fast Black Mascara

Hello lovelies,
I received this mascara as part of the "Look in a Box" I purchased a while back at the CCO. I didn't expect much from this mascara as I'm not a big fan of MAC mascaras in general, but I was pleasantly surprised!

 Very thick formula with a tapered brush and tightly packed bristles
 One coat on my lashes (upper lashes only)
The color is VERY black and the consistency of the formula is right in-between wet and dry, possibly slightly more on the wet side. There is no strange odor as some mascaras tend to have (not to me anyways) and one coat is perfect for the daytime. Two coats give you super thick lashes but not the clumpy or spidery kind. It holds a curl pretty well, which is a feat for my straight-as-an-arrow lashes and gives good volume and length. I also haven't noticed any flaking, even after wearing it for 16 hours straight.
Overall, I think this is a fabulous mascara and give it 4.5/5. It loses 0.5 points because it doesn't hold the curl as well as I would like it to (I'm very picky about that). I will probably repurchase this, unless I find something else....I've been hearing a lot of good this about Cover Girls Lash Perfection......

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Birchbox

Hello lovelies,
My Birchbox finally arrived after I had to track it down at the post office. I've already seen a couple of posts on other blogs about what was going to be in my box (hopefully) and I'm not disappointed! This months theme was the Holidays, so the box contained some good ideas for Christmas presents. I also received a Bauble Bar bracelet for giving feedback on my last two boxes, its such a pretty bracelet!
1. Klorlane Soothing Eye Makeup remover with cornflower ($9)
2. LaRocca Skincare Champagne and Shimmer Body polish ($35)
3. Oscar Blandi Jasmine Protein Mist ($18)
4. Zoya nail polish in Noel ($8) - a really pretty denim blue
5. Treat - Chuao Chocolatier - dark chocolate that contains popping candy and chipotle pepper - really yummy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

FOTD using Look in a Box

Hello lovelies,
This is a look I created using the MAC Look-in-a-box I picked up at the CCO a few weeks ago. These boxes are amazing, and such a good deal! I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for more!
 Mineralize eyeshadow in Lovestone

 MAC blacktrack fluidine and Zoom fast black mascara (new HG mascara!)
MAC blush in Desert Rose with MAC beauty powder in Rose layered on top

Friday, November 4, 2011

FOTN: Guest model

Hello lovelies,
As I mentioned in my last post, my sister was in town visiting so I couldn't resist the opportunity to do up her pretty face with a dramatic smoky eye. She normally keeps her make-up very simple and natural looking, so this was a huge step for her. I love the way this looks on her and I'm hoping she'll let me do it again when I go home to Toronto for the holidays.

I primed her lids with Urban Decay's Primer Potion and used my NAKED palette for this look. Oh, and those gorgeous lashes, those are hers. She's not even wearing mascara in this pic! Genetics can be so unfair sometimes LOL

Thursday, November 3, 2011

FOTN: Hot pink

Hello lovelies,
Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I had the second part of my medical licensing exam at the end of October and then my sister came for a visit, so I've been a very busy bee! But I have lots of posts lined up for you!
This is a look I wore out one of the nights my sister was here. I was wearing all black and wanted a single pop of color so I went with a hot pink lip. I love this color because it really stands out!
*NARS Sheer Glow in Barcelona
*Hard Candy Glamoufage in Tan
*MAC blot powder in dark
*MAC blush in Desert Rose

*MAC fluidline in Blacktrack
*MAC zoom fast black mascara

*Victorias Secret lipstick in Hot Spot

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hair Care

Hello lovelies,
I had a couple of requests to do a post on what I use in my hair, so your wish is my command! My hair care routine is pretty basic, no secret tricks here! The most important thing about hair care and your overall health is good nutrition and adequate water intake. I try to eat well (most of the time) and I only drink water (besides my morning coffee which I drink black). I also take a multivitamin every day and a Biotin supplement. The Biotin supplement has really made a difference in my hair and nails. When I first moved to Chicago I felt like my hair was falling out! But after starting the Biotin, I've found that I'm losing A LOT less hair in the shower and my hair feels healthier. My nails also grow a lot faster now and are much stronger.
Ok, now onto what I use in my hair......
1) Herbal Essences Body Envy shampoo - I love the way this smells and it really gets my hair clean. I don't notice any extra volume though.
2) Tresemme Anti-Breakage conditioner - LOVE this stuff! Makes my hair so soft and I have noticed a reduction in split ends since I started using it.
3) Moroccan Oil - I can't say enough about this stuff! Smells amazing and cuts down on drying time. Also, a little goes a long way, I use only a nickle-sized amount for my whole head. Makes hair soft and shiny.
4) Got 2B CrazySleek - I alternate this with the Moroccan Oil. It makes my hair very easy to straighten.
5) Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - I use this as a hair mask once a week. I apply it to my whole head, pile my hair up on my head and put a shower cap on to trap the heat in. I usually leave it on for 30-40 minutes and then wash it out. Makes hair very soft.

I should also mention that I only wash my hair every 3 days so that I don't strip it of its natural oil. I also let my hair air dry after I wash it and only heat style it twice a week.

Does anyone have any special tricks or tips for keeping hair soft and shiny?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Trip to the CCO!

Hello lovelies,
This past weekend I took a trip to the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, IL because a friend needed to do some early Christmas shopping. I went with the purest intentions to only help my friend shop and not buy anything myself. However, me + outlet prices = helpless. Especially when we reached the Cosmetic Company Store. I had previously only heard tales of this magical place, where brands like Clinique, Estee Lauder, MAC, Origins and Bobbi Brown were discounted at least 25% or more. I had no idea how amazing this store really was! Needless to say, I ditched my friend and spent a good 45 minutes trying on makeup and finding some really great deals!

 I needed a new fall lip color that was a dark neutral, and this one is perfect! Amplified is my favorite kind of MAC lipstick because its so creamy and moisturizing. I snagged this lipstick for only $10.25!

This "Look in a Box" was on sale for only $41.75! The total store value of all the products individually is around $90 so this was a total steal, especially because all of the products are FULL SIZE! The kit contains a Beauty Powder in Rose, Mineralize eye shadow in Lovestone, a matte blush in Desert Rose, a lipglass in Loveshild and a Zoom Fast Black mascara. 

I'll be posting a FOTD soon with all of these products as well as review on the mascara because its AMAZING!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Birchbox

Hello lovlies,
My October Birchbox finally arrived last week, I felt like I had been tracking it online forever! The Columbus Day holiday really slowed things down.

I'm really happy with this month's box. I've tried everything except the mascara, which I'll probably use tomorrow.
The Redken shine spray is amazing! I will definitely purchases the full size product when this one runs out. It gives my hair a natural shine without looking greasy.
The Befine lip exfoliator was ok, I didn't find that it really exfoliated my lips at all. My olive oil and brown sugar homemade scrub does a better job I find.
Same goes for the Pangea face scrub, its a very gentle exfoliator, so its probably best suited for sensitive skin types. Personally, I like scrubs to really scrub my skin since I only exfoliate once a week.
The Mintea mints were gross. They have a weird smell and a strange taste. Definitely didn't feel like they freshened my breath and they don't taste like a mojito at all!

Did anyone else get something similar in their box this month?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

FOTN: Welcome to the Jungle

Hello lovelies,
My cousins were in town this past weekend and we decided to hit up a comedy club and then do some dinner. The comedians were ok, I didn't die laughing but got a few chuckles in. Dinner was amazing though! We went to a mexican restaurant in my neighbourhood and had the most amazing chicken enchiladas! YUMMMMM!!!
Anyways, before I start drooling, here's how I did my make-up:

*NARS Sheer Glow in Barcelona
*Hard Candy Glamoufage in Tan
*MAC blot powder in Dark
*MAC blush in Equilibrium

*UD primer potion
*UD Naked palette (gunmetal on lid, virgin as highlight)
*MAC carbon to darken outer corner
*MAC fluidline in blacktrack
*L'Oreal voluminous million lashes
*Covergirl Lashblast

*MAC lipstick in Half n half
*MAC plushglass in Nice Buzz

I also got to attend a taping of the Rosie O'Donnell show recently! She's taken over Oprah's studio here in Chicago and I think her showed premiered this week. The guests that were on the day I went were Henry Winkler (aka the Fonze) and Josh Kelly performed. I lucked out and got to sit right in the front row! It was awesome!
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