Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Beauty On A Budget: Hard Candy Glow All The Way Face & Body Luminizer

ard candyDuring the spring and summer months, I like to keep my eye makeup minimal and turn the attention toward my skin and lips for a fresh-faced look. To give my skin a youthful, natural-looking ‘glow from within,’ I like to apply a thin layer of Hard Candy’s Glow All The Way Face & Body Luminizer before putting on my foundation. I should warn you that this product is pigment-rich, so apply with caution a little goes a long way!

With less than a pea-sized amount being sufficient to cover my entire face, I’ve been using this luminizer on my body as well to ensure that the product gets used up before it expires. (Read my post on product expiry dates here.) I simply mix a drop or two of the luminizer with my moisturizer, then apply my moisturizer as I usually would.  (Tip: For special occasions, go back in with the luminizer on its own and apply to your shoulders and collarbones for an extra sexy glow. ;) )

Not only is this luminizer gorgeous, but it’s very affordable ($8.00 CND) and will last for ages, as you only need to use a few drops at a time. Pick yourself up a tube and say goodbye to dull, winter skin!


Looking for some products worth splurging on? Check out the post Melody recently did on How To Get That ‘Lit From within Glow’ using high-end products.

Hard Candy Glow All The Way Face & Body Luminizer in “Doll Face,” $8.00 CND. Available in stores and online.

As written by Lauren Wilson

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Green Beauty: LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Face Cleanser

lushI’ve been a fan of LUSH bath products for several years now, but hadn’t tried any of their face products until recently. Boy, have I been missing out! Angels on Bare Skin cleanser is just what my skin needed to recover from the long, dry winter we had this year.

If you’re new to Lush face products, as I was, you’re probably looking at the product image and wondering why it looks like a clump of cookie dough and how the heck you use it. Angels on Bare Skin is a cleanser roll; to use, simply break off a small piece (about a pea-sized about) then mix the product in your palm with a few drops of water until it forms a paste. Once the paste is formed, use as you would any other face wash. The kaolin clay base deep-cleanses while finely ground almonds and lavender flowers gently exfoliate away dry skin. The product also contains lavender oil to soothe and balance, and rose absolute to calm redness. The result? Soft, balanced, radiant skin.

Though an exfoliating cleanser, Angels on Bare Skin is gentle enough for everyday use the almonds truly are finely ground, causing very little abrasion when buffing the product into the skin. I like to use Angels on Bare Skin as my morning cleanser to slough off any dry skin so that I have a nice, even canvas to apply my makeup on. I’ve found this makes a big difference in my foundation routine, as it allows the product glide on effortlessly.

I recommend pairing this cleanser with their Celestial moisturizer, which contains vanilla water, almond milk, and dove orchid extract to lock in moisture and keep skin looking radiant. LUSH has labelled this their “most gentle moisturizer,” making it perfect for dry, sensitive skin types.

Angels on Bare Skin is a must-try if you have dry-to-normal skin. For combination-to-oily skin types, try Dark Angels sugar cleanser instead. Also targeted toward sensitive skin types, Dark Angels combines black sugar and charcoal to gently exfoliate and absorb excess oils to leave dull, oily or acne-prone skin feeling fresh and matte. Its rhassoul mud base deep-cleanses to help prevent breakouts while vitamin rich cold-pressed organic avocado oil nourishes skin to leave it soft and lightly hydrated.

The cherry on top: LUSH products are all cruelty-free and handmade from fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics. Learn more here.


Angels on Bare Skin, $13.95 – $33.95 CND. Available in 100g and 240g tubs. Find in stores or online.

As written by Lauren Wilson




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Link Love ~ Places We Visit on the Internet

Lauren’s Pick

Not Your Standard is a lifestyle blog run by fellow Canadian Kayla Seah. The blog provides a wealth of inspiration, with posts on everything from fashion and beauty to home decor and food recipies. I love Kayla’s minimalistic, elegant style and have been reading her blog religiously since discovering it a few months ago; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!



Melody’s Pick

I love to discover new places to shop for my beauty online, and Eternal Skin Care out of Vancouver Canada  (a real spa and store) has a wonderfule Canadian online store. If you are from the US, just click your flag on the top right hand corner and enjoy. They have plenty to fill your shopping cart with and if you sign up for their informative newsletter you’ll be informed of future specials.  Here are just a few of my fave brands to shop for:   Senna Cosmetics - great face sculpting kits,   Whip Hand Cosmetics – fab pot o’ face primer, Armour Beauty – plush lipglosses, and Model in a Bottle – a pro makeup artist fave makeup setting spray, to name a few. Plus an amazing selection of skin and top hair care as well.

Have a great weekend!!



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Quick & Easy Nail Art Ideas

Spring fever has struck! I’ve been very much in the ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mindset as of late. For far too long I’ve been doing nothing with my nails but painting them one solid colour, so recently I’ve been looking to get back in to doing nail art. I’m not much of an artist when it comes to painting nails, as I’m not ambidextrous, so I’ve been browsing Pinterest for achievable nail art designs.  Below are some favourites I came across; the majority of these designs can easily be achieved by using some Scotch tape as a guide to get crisp, straight lines.

pin 1Untitled68bb1be4bafb0a4bc3de97ef91257eb95310137b3e6edf71d314a24cfd6d05f991e759d8e7294f329a4c5329b858900b


As written by Lauren Wilson



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Dry Shampoo’s ~ The Brilliant Beauty Quick Fix


Batiste-Dry-Shampoo-XXL-Volume-200ml-There is a lot we do to our hair day in and day out and it gets plenty of abuse. We are learning to give it a break once in awhile by holding back from washing it for a few days and easing up on the heat styling, and reaching for the dry shampoo’s. This isn’t really a new idea as they have been around for a few decades, but with better technology they have reached cult status as a must have beauty item.

One of my all time faves is from Batiste, it’s not pricey (under $10 CAD) and it works great for me. They have many to choose from and the one I love the most is the XXL Volume as I find it gives the best lifting at the roots. Below is a quick video of how Batiste recommends using their formulas. As a dark brunette one of the concerns is the white-ish appearance it leaves when first sprayed (all dry shampoos, will do that to me regardless of brand, even the Batiste for brunettes)  but if you just massage it in to roots, it disappears easily. Dry shampoos…a great quick fix and time saver!


Batiste Dry Shampoo banishes oily roots, giving dull, lifeless hair the makeover it needs without water. A quick burst revitalizes hair, adds body and texture and leaves it feeling clean and fresh too. No need to worry about skipping a shampoo.

You can find Batiste Dry Shampoos in mass market stores, drugstores and online. Selection varies by store. I often stock up at FarleyCo (Canada) and have it delivered to my door. Check out more videos here on using the  XXL Volume.

Today is a work travel day, so it’s a Batiste day for me!

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time,

~Melody xo



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Yummy Smoothies That Will Improve Your Complexion

UntitledYou can use all the best facial serums and moisturizers in the world, but if your diet is lacking nutrient-rich foods, your skin isn’t going to look its best. A quick, easy, and yummy way to ensure your skin is getting the nutrients it needs is by adding a daily smoothie into your diet. I like to prepare for the week ahead by putting my smoothie ingredients for each day in ziplock bags; this way all I have to do in the morning is empty the bag’s contents into the blender, blend, and pour into a travel cup to enjoy on-the-go.

You Beauty has some great tips and recipies for various skin concerns chia seeds for younger looking skin, coconut for repairing damaged skin, avacado for reducing inflammation, etc. check them out here and start sipping your way to a better complexion!


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$plurge or $ave: NARS Turkish Delight

NARS Turkish Delight lip gloss has been getting tons of hype over the past few years, and for good reason  it’s gorgeous! If you’re on a budget and unable to splurge, don’t worry, there’s a drugstore alternative that’s less than a quarter of the price: Bonne Belle Lip Lites in “Strawberry Parfait.”


Formula-wise, the two glosses are very similar: light and non-sticky. I do find that the Bonne Bell lip gloss isn’t as long-wearing as the NARS one, but I don’t see that as a big issue; at ~$3 a pop, I can afford to go through a tube of this gloss like water. I also noted that the Bonne Bell gloss is a slightly deeper pink, as you can see in the above photo. If you want to get the exact colour of the NARS gloss, I find layering Strawberry Parfait with L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss in “Baby Blossom” works (it will also help prolong the wear of the gloss, as it is a stickier formula).

When it comes to NARS’ Turkish Delight I say if you can afford it, go for it! It’s a beautiful product. If you’re on a budget, Bonne Bell Lip Lites though not an exact match is a good alternative.

Bonne Belle Lip Lites in “Strawberry Parfait,” $3.50 CND. Available in stores or online. L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss in “Baby Blossom,” $5.97-$11.09 CND. Available in stores or online.


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Blowout your Hair like a Pro w/ Drybar’s Buttercup Blow Dryer

Founded by professional hairstylist Alli Webb, Drybar is a brand new “blow dry bar” concept created around a very simple idea: No cuts. No color. Just blowouts.

Drybar hasn’t opened any locations outside of the USA yet, but they’ve made it so that you can achieve the same salon-style results at home. All of Drybars tools and products from shampoos to  hair clips are available for purchase; they’ve also created a DIY video series demonstrating how to create the various blowout styles their bar offers.

Their blow dryer, The Buttercup, is of course the key tool in creating these styles:


I love how light this blow dryer is! I used to never blowout my hair because I found the process exhausting, but the ultralight build of the Buttercup makes styling a breeze my arm no longer grows tired a quarter of the way through blow drying. The conditioning Nano Beads and NanoIonic minerals are also a big plus for me, as they make my hair less staticky and help protect my long, fine hair from breakage.

Since I have long hair, I pair the Buttercup with the Full Pint Ceramic Round Brush:

full pintWorking with the Buttercup’s 1875 watt motor, this perforated barrel brush gets my hair dry in no time! I’m able to style my hair in 15 minutes flat when using this duo.

Last but not least, styling products are key in creating the perfect blowout. I prep my hair with the Happy Hour Blowout Shampoo and Weightless Conditioner to remove product buildup and condition my hair without weighing it down. This step is vital, as dirty, oily hair never blows out well and the style won’t last as long.
Happy Hour

Before I begin styling, I run the Hot Toddy Heat Protectant Frizz Fighter through my ends to avoid heat damage and keep the ends looking polished. All of Drybar’s styling products smell phenomenal, but their Hot Toddy is particularly delicious and my favourite of the bunch!Hot ToddyFor flexible, long-lasting volume, I comb the Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse through my hair from root-to-tip. Though recommended, I find I don’t need to use hairspray in addition to this product the formula is able to hold my style all day without the extra help. Hot Toddy

To finish off the look, I use a dime-sized amount of The Chaser Shine Pomade to add definition and shine, and tame flyaways (I also find it helps combat static during the winter months).Hot Toddy

“Our philosophy is simple: Focus on one thing and be the best at it. For us that’s blowouts. We’ve created these products and tools with that same goal in mind. To achieve and maintain the perfect blowout.”

Drybar has certainly stood by their philosophy  thanks to their quality tools and products, my hair has never looked or smelt better!

Buttercup Blow Dryer, $190.00 CAD. Full Pint Medium Round Brush, $40.00 CAD. Happy Hour Blowout Shampoo, $23.00 (8.5 oz) – $57.00 (33.8 oz) CAD. Happy Hour Weightless Conditioner, $23.00 (8.5 oz) – $57.00 (33.8 oz) CAD. Hot Toddy Heat Protector Frizz Fighter, $33.00 CAD (3.4 oz). Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse, $25.00 (6.5 oz). The Chaser Shine Pomade, $28.00 (3.4oz). Available in stores or online.






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Beauty Product Expiry Dates ~ Sharing Links of What We’re Reading


Lauren the Intern has been on vacation this week and have to say I’m missing her…but she did leave us a link to check out while she is away, on the important topic of expiry dates on our beauty products, because they don’t all have a best before date like on the fat free yogurt container. Thanks Lauren, hope you are having a great time!!



enhanced-24204-1394808982-16I stumbled upon this Beauty Products Expiration Dates Checklist  by Real Simple just in time for spring cleaning! Many beauty products don’t have an expiration date on the packaging, so it’s hard to know when to give them the boot. Though it isn’t harmful to use most beauty products after they have expired, using them won’t do you much good  with emulsifiers causing the product to separate and certain ingredients (like Vitamin C) losing their potency, the product isn’t going to be very effective. By following guidelines like the one I found by Real Simple, you’re sure to get the best results from your products.

This is only one of many helpful checklists you’ll find on Real Simple. Browse the site and find checklists to help you do everything from packing an airplane carry-on to planning a wedding!


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Recent Published Makeup Work ~ As Seen in Ellements Magazine


Here are just a few of the recently published images found in the Model Issue of Ellements Magazine as I wanted to share 3 different makeup looks on the same model. Next week I’ll share additional images from the shoot and a break down of what I used in the makeup dept.





Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time 

~Melody xo


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