Blogmas Day 2: November Favourites

Christmas socks from Old Navy

 

Good morning!

How’s it going today?

I wanted to share with you a few of the items I have been loving during the month of November. I have a mix of beauty, lifestyle & home favourites, so hopefully you will find some goodies in here that you might love, too!

1. Tarte Pro Glow Highlighter Palette – This was my go to highlighting in Vegas, and it includes a cooler toned highlighter as well as a few warm ones, as well. I feel like this would look great on all skin tones, and little BONUS: it comes with a cream contour and a bronzer as well!

 

 

2. Andalou Naturals eye cream – I love me a good eye cream. This one keeps my under eye area hydrated without feeling soaked in moisturizer, and it lays well underneath concealer and powder.

 

 

3. Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown – Lately I have been filling in my brows with this pencil. It has a super fine tip and the other end has a wand where you can brush out your brows and ensure all the product is blended in perfectly. I have repurchased this twice and also received a mini one as a sample, so it is definitely a go-to product in my make up bag when I want nice, sharp brows.

 

 

4. Young Living Essential Oils – I have been having a ton of fun playing around with my essential oil starter kit. I have made a room spray, a few roll ons, and have been diffusing the Christmas Spirit blend like crazy! With my last order I wanted to include some of their cleaning and home products, so I have been making my way through the toothpaste (been using it every day since I got it, instead of our Crest stuff!) and the laundry soap, just to name a few. If you are interested in learning more about essential oils & purchasing your kit, you can find out more here!

 

 

5. The Girls by Emma Cline – Okay, so it was my goal to read a book last month, and unfortunately I have several books on my shelf that have been waiting patiently for their turn to be read. I decided on this one last month, and let me tell you. It is intense. I will have a book review next week for you guys where I dive more in depth to what the story is about, but let me say this for now: young girl. 14. Late 60’s California. Cults. That is all.

 

 

6. Christmas home decor – I am definitely in holiday mode, and here is another sneak peek at a few of the holiday-themed items I have in our home! This snow globe was my mom’s (are you seeing a theme here with my Christmas decorations?) and this cute little vintage-style sign is from Winners. Little touches like this are fun ways to add more festive spirit into the home. You can never have enough!

 

 

7. Holiday Nog & my favourite Christmas mug – I am such a fan of eggnog, but not a fan of the heavy dairy stuff you find at the grocery store. This is an excellent alternative that I discovered last year, and I was so excited to find it in stores early last month. It is a yummy addition to black teas, and I have been using it instead of the ol’ vanilla almond creamer in my morning coffee. Or, add a splash of rum & some ice and you’re good to go!

 

 

8. Fresh Soy Cleanser – My skin is picky. Picky, picky, picky. A product needs to check all of the boxes before I share it on the blog, so I am happy to announce that this one made the cut. It is gentle enough to remove make up (even eye make up & mascara!) without making my skin feel horribly dry and tight after. I use a small pea-sized amount every morning, maybe a little bit more after an extra sweaty workout, and massage it into my skin. Since using this I have noticed the texture of my skin improve, and I have less dry patches around my mouth which was always a concern of mine. My first time using this product was when I received a travel/sample size from Sephora, and I repurchased this in a holiday kit at Sephora that also includes one of their lip treatments.

 

 

9. SPIN CLASS! Last month my sister Sarah and I signed up for a spin class at our local rec centre/arena. On Monday after work, I hang out at my fam’s house for a little bit before we head to class and get our sweat on. It has been a great way to switch things up & get a good cross training session in. Every Monday night I find ways to challenge myself a bit more, and I notice that it is paying off in my runs throughout the week which is a huge plus!

 

 

10. WHALE WATCHING! Okay, so technically this was in October, but it was near the end of October and I am still super excited about it, so I HAD to include it. Plus, I didn’t do an October favourites so I might as well put it in here, right? You can see my photo diary from our whale watching adventure here. To say it was one of my favourite days would be an understatement ; ) I mean, other than that whole marathon thing.


 

What are some things YOU loved during the month of November? Anything I NEED to try? I want to know!

Essential Oils + Easy Lavender Rose Facial Toner

Hey everyone!

Happy Sunday evening. How was your weekend?

We had a busy but fun weekend. It was our anniversary on Wednesday, the 25th, and we celebrated the occasion three times! Today wrapped up the anniversary fun, but I will recap the weekend later on in the week because I have a LOT of photos to go through. In short, we went whale watching today, and it was the most perfect day ever!

BUT, I want to chat with you guys about essential oils tonight. You guys know I love essential oils, but it wasn’t until Monday night that I dove in with a company well known in the essential oil space. And by diving in I mean purchasing the kit, which I originally thought was a big investment (when I first came across this about a year ago at an essential oils class), but it really is a good value when you combine the cost of buying a diffuser and each essential oil individually.

So, I have been using Young Living essential oils for almost a week, and I want to share a story with you guys, because I was actually super impressed right off the bat.

A couple weeks ago Ryan got nasal surgery. Nothing major, no nose jobs or anything, but it was a day surgery that took at least a week for him to feel like his normal self. However, right after the surgery I noticed his snoring was out of control. Like. OUT. OF. CONTROL. Granted, he just got surgery and was breathing out of his mouth, but this was his usual, nearly non-existent snore amplified x 10000. After receiving my kit of essential oils, I diffused some at bed time – thieves, peppermint, and lavender to be exact – and I woke up in the morning completely shocked. You see, his snoring had been keeping me up for at least four nights straight post-op, but that night after using the oils, I didn’t wake up once from his snoring at all. He even said he had a restful nights sleep and although his nose was still sore, he hadn’t been tossing and turning all night. So, I took it as a sign that these essential oils were actually working some kind of voodoo magic, and the fact that they are all natural was a huge bonus, too.

Anyway, I am not about to start advertising essential oils on the blog because that is not what my blog is about. However, my blog IS about sharing what works for me, and so that brings me to the next part of my post: sharing a facial toner “recipe” with you all!

You will need:

 

A spritzing bottle. I recommend glass so you don’t have any cheap plastic chemicals leaching into your toner ; )

 

 

Lavender essential oil

 

Rose water. Now, I totally realized AFTER uploading and editing the picture that the label is in French, soo… Ooops, sorry guys! I like this one because it has witch hazel in it which is super calming for your skin.

How to make it?

It is so easy. Like so easy a child could do it, which is good because some days I have some child-like moments.

Moving on…

You will want to fill your glass bottle with the rose water, then add 5 drops (or however much you like) of essential oil. Then gently shake it up, spritz on your face, and feel like a new human.

Why lavender and rose water?

Both lavender and rose water are soothing and healing to the skin. This makes it a nice combination for all kinds of skin types, especially those that may be dry and sensitive (hello, my skin). Both of the scents mix well, and the toner leaves your skin with a refreshed, hydrated feel.

Little by little I will be sharing more things like this as I experiment with clean beauty & essential oils. Stay tuned for more!

BYE BYE Mainstream Deodorant!

icky-mainstreamdeodorant
Hey, so I have some news for you guys.
I have ditched mainstream deodorant.
*GASP*
Yep, you heard that right.
Let me get into the (seriously) dirty details about mainstream deodorants and why I have decided to branch outside of the drugstore.
First things first, let’s talk about ingredients. As you guys know, I like knowing how to pronounce my food ingredients, and now I am moving onto skincare, too. Your skin is the largest organ, and the thought of slathering a bunch of unknown substances on myself gives me the creeps.
And so does sticking chemicals under my arm pits. I was doing some research about these ingredients and this is what I found:
– ALUMINUM is disgusting and it’s one of the main ingredients in deodorant. This helps block your pores and stop your sweat glands from doing their job – sweating! Sweating is so, so important at flushing out your body of toxins. Additionally, aluminum has been linked to breast cancer in women and linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s.
– Parabens are part of a larger group of synthetic preservatives and are found in EVERYTHING. I have started buying shampoo with no parabens and sulfates for the sake of my hair and skin health. Parabens are said to disrupt hormone balances, organ toxicity and even birth defects. YIKES!!
– Propylene glycol is a petroleum based material that makes products soft. In deodorant and antiperspirant, this makes it spread easier under your pits. Too much propylene glycol is said to damage the central nervous system in large quantities.
– Phthalates, like parabens, are part of a bigger, ugly class of chemicals that help dissolve other ingredients, create a lather in cosmetics like shampoo and hair products, and have been connected with SO many health issues. These health issues include hormone disruption and cell mutation. Ew, ew, ew.
– Triclosan is used as the actual odor killing component in deodorants and antiperspirants. While it does have anti-bacterial properties (ahem, so does coconut oil), it is technically classified as a pesticide. Nothing better than putting some pesticides under the pits!
SO, here’s the question you guys probably have for me now. What the heck are you using? Nothing? Going completely granola and not having any kind of underarm protection?
No, no. No.
fullsizerender-70
I am currently on the hunt for the perfect natural deodorant, but this is what I have been using lately. It isn’t as slick as, say, a swipe of Lady Speedstick, but it does the trick. It is free of aluminum, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. Winning.

I haven’t used it during extremely sweaty workouts. In fact, when I run in the morning before work I go deodorant free. I don’t care if I smell, because I know I will be showering & deodorant-ing before the day beings. The thing is, a more natural version isn’t going to stop me from sweating as it is still allowing my sweat glands to breathe rather than blocking them altogether. One thing I like about this deodorant though, I must say, is the smell. It is feminine but not sickly sweet, and has a little bit of a masculine touch to it.

fullsizerender-71
Another option I have been loving equally as much is this one from Nature’s Gate

It goes on clear and has a super fresh scent. It’s not terribly noticeable either. You know when someone walks by and a WOOSH of baby powder comes over you? Yeah, not into that!

Any others that you would recommend? Looking forward to sharing my reviews of them on the blog!

Tried & True Make Up Faves

 

For someone who doesn’t know a ton about make up, I have a few things I use almost on a daily basis when it comes to my make up routine. While I try to stay away from make up on the weekend and give my skin a break, depending on what our plans are I may be reaching for some of these to help put a simple make up look together.

When it comes to make up, I am a creature of habit. Although I try to step outside of my comfort zone every now and then, I always find myself going back to a handful of products. Plus, I am not patient enough to learn all kinds of techniques so the tried and true favourites do me just fine! If they get the job done and can disguise the evil bags under my eyes (for the most part) then I am a happy camper.


I received this Tarte palette as part of a larger holiday edition palette in 2015.

It has a bronzer, blush, highlighter (which I use as an eyeshadow sometimes) as well as a handful of eyeshadows to create different looks. It is easy to throw into a travel bag as it has (almost) everything you would need!

If you are in the market for a concealer that covers up dark circles, I would highly recommend this one. No, it’s not as clean as my Pacifica concealer (which I have run out of unfortunately), but it does the trick. Plus, a little goes a long way which means it will last you a long time!

I generally don’t wear “foundation” or all-over face make up very much, but on days where my skin is maybe a bit red or irritated, instead of slathering concealer alllll over my face, I will grab this tinted moisturizer. It has sheer coverage, but it is buildable so you can layer it without it looking too cakey.

I am a highlight LOVER. Seriously. Douse me in highlighter and I’m happy. I purchased this palette from Sephora almost two years ago now, and it is my go to highlighting kit.

As you can tell, the two outer shades are my favourite. The middle one is more of a matte highlight, but some days I will blend that with the lighter gold shade for a more subdued look. BUT who are we kidding. I want my highlight to blind people from across the street.

Are you seeing a trend here with the make up brand(s) that I like? Tarte is my favourite brand from Sephora, and as an added bonus it does not contain parabens, mineral oil, gluten, triclosan, phthalates,  OR sodium lauryl sulfate. Oh, and they don’t test on animals! Love that.

Part of my birthday gift this month was this blush from Tarte. Tarte blushes are super pigmented, meaning they have a lot of colour payoff, so they last a long time. This one is a nice deep rose colour.

You may be able to find this colour on the Tarte website or as a single blush from Sephora.