So I’m flirting with the idea of turning some of these blog posts into videos, and Monthly Favourites would be an easy one to film! They’re so entertaining to watch on YouTube, but I’m a little shy of actually getting in front of the camera and recording one myself. What do you think?
Let’s stick with a blog post for now 🙂
Here are a few of the things I’ve been loving this month:
NARS Audacious lipstick and BITE custom lipstick
In the fast-moving world of cosmetics, the NARS Audacious lipsticks are old news now. They’ve been overshadowed by liquid lipsticks from Anastasia Beverly Hills and Kat Von D, Juicy Shakers from Lancôme, and lip stains from YSL.
But if you’re a classic girl like me, and you just want a good old fashioned lipstick (no shaking, staining, or drying involved), the Audacious range will serve you well. They promise to glide on like satin with single-stroke coverage, and I can absolutely tell you that they deliver on that promise. I only need one swipe for a perfect pout, or two if I want it to last through all three meals.
I wear “Barbara”, a true brown-nude (for my skin tone), with no pink undertones – which I didn’t like at first, but that 90s look is so in now! I’ve been reaching for it more and more as an everyday look.
I also absolutely adore my BITE custom lipstick, which has a very similar formula and finish to the NARS Audacious line. The colour I had formulated is more of a pinky rose-nude, and also perfect for everyday use. I’d recommend checking out BITE’s Amuse Bouche line, or heading to the BITE beauty lab on Queen street to make your own personalized lippie!
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume
My favourite perfume of all time is Si by Armani, but this summer I wanted to take a break from it and try something new.
I picked up Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel last spring, and I have been wearing it almost everyday this summer! I won’t lie to you – I chose it because of the stunning bottle, but I do love the way the scent mixes on my skin too. It has notes of bergamot, orange, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vetiver, white musks, vanilla.
It’s definitely not a light perfume, but it’s not overpowering the way Angel or Alien by Thierry Mugler can be. It’s elegant, youthful, and vibrant. I get more compliments when I wear this scent than I do with Si, but I still count Si as my all time favourite!
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer
This might be my all-time favourite moisturizer! It’s really important for me that my moisturizer act as a good base for my makeup. I don’t like the feel of primer, and don’t feel like I need it for everyday makeup, so my moisturizer has to do double duty in hydrating my skin but also making sure my makeup lasts.
I love the feel of gel moisturizers, like the Body Shop Viatmin C gel, but gels don’t always play nicely with my concealer. They can cause separation and rub off quite easily.
I loved using Pond’s and Nivea (which my mom and grandmother use), but they can be a bit TOO creamy, and cause my makeup to run and slip.
Enter the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer. It hydrates my skin, smoothes over dry patches, and acts as a great base for my makeup. I also love the pretty bottle and the pretty yellow hue!
I haven’t noticed my skin looking dramatically different/better because of regular use, but that could be because I don’t have many skin issues to begin with. Check back in a couple years when the crows feet come out, and I might be singing a different tune 🙂
I didn’t think I’d like this Cream-Gel eyebrow product when I first bought it, but it was recommended to me by the helpful ladies in Sephora. I prefer usually prefer eyebrow pencils for their ease and convenience, but the Sephora associate assured me that the ka-BROW! would give me a more natural look (which is what I wanted), and was just as easy to use.
While it is an extra step having to dip my brush into the pot, the finished look is actually much better than when I use a pencil! It’s a softer look – more like k-beauty eyebrows than Kylie Jenner eyebrows. The product also stays put all day, but is totally easy to wash off. A winner in my books!
Caudalie Instant Detox Mask
When my skin is feeling dull or tired, or I’ve had a few irritations or spots, I love using this Instant Detox Mask by Caudalie. I bought it in France at the Pharmacie, without really knowing whether it was good or not. When I go to French Pharmacies I tend to just grab as much as possible (lip balms, micellar waters, moisturizers, toners, masks, face wash, etc.) and most of it ends up being amazing. Like my Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm, and Bioderma micellar water (holy grail product!).
I got really lucky with this face mask, because it ended up being a cult product! The clay formula sinks into pores and literally tightens the skin. My face feels so much more invigorated and bright after using it – it’s like Redbull for your face Jbut much, much better for you! Luckily, it is available at Sephora, so you don’t need to go overseas to get your hands on it. It’s a little pricey, but worth it if you’re into masks.
This summer I’ve been updating my bag collection. I have a couple contemporary designer pieces that I invested in, but they aren’t practical for everyday use, and I find myself reaching for them less. I wanted to buy a few staple pieces I knew I could rotate between frequently, and I think I’ve found the perfect options:
&other stories bag
I saw this beautiful saddle stich leather shoulder bag online, and lamented over the fact that we don’t have &other stories in Toronto (WHY NOT! COME ON &OTHER STORIES!!). Luckily, my cousin is a jet setter, so when I found out she’d be making a trip over to London I asked her to pick it up for me. Even though she was only flying with a carry-on, she STILL nabbed it and lugged it back. Am I spoiled, or what?
It smells so delicious, and I absolutely love the lack of logo and clean, simple lines. It fits quite a lot without being overly bulky and can be adjusted to be worn on the shoulder, or cross-body. The cognac colour is absolutely sumptuous. It is perfect.
Kate Spade bag
There is something so retro and elegant about this bag – I could see it on the arm of Jackie O or Grace Kelly (if she wasn’t already toting her Birkin 🙂 ). It’s a little more dressed up than my &other stories bag, but just as easy to wear and carry.
It has a long strap to allow for cross-body and shoulder wear, but it also has a top-handle so I can carry it in the crook of my arm like a real lady 😉
I love the black pebbled leather and gold details. I’m not a huge fan of branding, but I don’t think the subtle Kate Spade logo takes anything away from the elegance of the bag overall. It’s such a classic piece, I know I’ll have it forever!
I mentioned my backpack last week, and it’s still getting a lot of love! Definitely one of my favourite ebay purchases to date! I’ve worn it to work EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! That’s a record.
Game of Thrones
Ok, GoT needs no explanation for why it’s a favourite. My brother and a couple of colleagues are waiting to binge watch, which is very frustrating since I want to discuss each episode as I watch them! Also, if I were them, I’d be very afraid of all the lurking spoilers on social media.
I randomly started watching Homeland on Netflix, and am enjoying it way more than I thought I would. It’s not subject matter that I’d normally enjoy – I never got into 24 or The Wire – but I do love me some Claire Danes 🙂
My Mom’s Cheap and Easy Bean Salad Recipe
Ok, this isn’t revolutionary or anything, but I’m always on the hunt for easy meal prep, especially now that I’ve made a concerted effort to bring my lunch to work.
I LOVE my mom’s bean salad. It’s so easy to make (everything goes in one bowl, and you mix!), and tastes delicious. I add avocado (duh) on the morning of, and usually enjoy it with some hummus and chips on the side. You can also add in leaves, chopped tomatoes, chopped fruit, it’s easily customizable. Wait…is that what cooking is? Yum!
From my mom:
1 big can of mixed beans from Costco
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 red pepper diced
Mix all the above then add
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dill, basil or celery seed.( I use basil)
Pre-Cooked Beets + Rubber Gloves
This is also not revolutionary, but why buy beets and cook them when you can buy them pre-made at Costco? They’re a b*tch to prepare – if you boil them, your apartment will smell like beets for a week, and also be prepared for your kitchen to have a few new pink stains.
I like that they come packaged at Costco, because then I can put on some rubber gloves and use a knife to slice them out of their packaging and into nice little cubes. I have to admit, I do get some satisfaction in the chopping up the blood red blobs – they kind of look like hearts and livers! Muahaha 🙂
Rudolph in July
I was so happy to be part of the Holiday Helpers’ #RudolphInJuly campaign. I wrote about it here, so please feel free to check it out and help with a donation or volunteer hours if you can spare it 🙂
Volunteering is such an honour and a privilege, and I think many people I know want to get involved in causes but just aren’t sure where to start. I’m lucky enough to be able to get involved with charities through my workplace, but sometimes reaching out to other volunteers on social media can be informative! Feel free to shoot me a message if this is something you’re interested in 🙂
Thanks as always for reading! xo