Best of Beauty 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I considered breaking this down into each individual category (much like the Ride or Die tag does) but decided at the last minute to just list my favourite products from this past year. 2016 was the year that I really delved into the world of makeup and beauty products. Sure, I dabbled in the past, but this is the first year that I've developed a full-fledged obsession with it. While I plan to cut back on my beauty spending in 2017, I hope to actually do more beauty-related posts here on the blog. Becoming a member of the Canadian Beauty Bloggers group has been one of my favourite experiences this year and I've met some incredible people through the group so I want to continue building those relationships in 2017. Anyway, here are my favourite beauty products of the past year.
Anastasia Beverly Hill Modern Renaissance Palette | After missing out on the palette during the summer, I refused to let it slip through my hands again (thankfully it's now a permanent item). Jordan picked this up for me during the VIB Sale but I didn't get my hands on it until Christmas and yes, it still made the list because it's just that good! The formula is incredibly soft, buttery and pigmented and blends with little to no effort. Just trust me on this one - it's amazing.

Lorac Mega Pro 2 Palette | Before the Modern Renaissance palette came into my life, this was my go-to. I won this in a blog giveaway early this year and I've been using it frequently since then. Again, the shadows and super soft and pigmented, plus there's a great variety of colors and finishes. Lorac is really difficult to obtain in Canada or else I would have definitely picked up the newer Mega Pro 3 palette as well. My review of the palette is here.

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in "S50" | All of the eyeliners in this collection are amazing (you can read my review here) but my favourite everyday eye pencil is "S50", which is described as a "satiny taupe".

Essence Forbidden Volume Mascara | I picked this up at the drugstore for $4.99 after a recommendation from Samantha and it actually turned into my favourite mascara this year. Not only is it affordable, but it lengthens and volumizes my lashes with no irritation, flaking or smudging.

L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in "Blonde" | 2016 was definitely the year for brows and this ended up being a product that I repurchased as I enjoyed it that much. Affordable, accessible, easy to use, and a great color match for my brows.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick | I don't even have a favourite color in this liquid lipstick - it just happens to be my favourite formula of matte liquid lipstick that I've tried. I have 7-8 colors in my collection and I keep buying more because I love the comfortable, non-drying formula.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in "Lovecraft" | This was my go-to matte lipstick in a tube. The color is a universally flattering mauve-y pink shade and is cult favourite for a reason.

Marc Jacobs Le Creme Lipstick in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" | I received a mini version of this in my birthday gift from Sephora but it is definitely going to be a repurchase for me. The color is a gorgeous medium pink but the wear time and comfort of this lipstick is my favourite. It seems to stain the lips so the color lasts forever and is one of my favourites to wear at work.

ColourPop Lippie Stix in "Lumiere" | I love the ColourPop Lippie Stix in general but this is the perfect every day color that I found myself reaching for over and over again this year. If you haven't figured it out already, neutral mauvey pinks are my go-to in lip colors!

ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip | While I can't say I reached for one particular color of this product, I do love the formula so I felt that I had to include it on the list. It's pigmented, comfortable and long lasting, plus insanely affordable!

YSL Volupté Shine Oil-In-Stick Lipstick in 49 | This is another product that I only received at Christmas but it made the list regardless. Naturally, anything YSL is going to be super luxurious and this is no exception. I love the splash of color it provides and while the moisturizing effect doesn't last, the stain of color does. These are quite expensive but I would love to add a couple more colors to my collection!

Maison Jacynthe Blush in "Juliette" | I raved about this blush here and it remains my favourite blush this year. It's a gorgeous light peachy pink shade that blended beautifully and lasts all day.
Wet Brush | After years of my hair stylist suggesting I try a wet brush, I finally tried one this year and it has changed my life, honestly. I've since recommended this to everyone I know who has tangly, difficult hair. Now I can easily brush through my wet hair with minimal knots or pain. I have a travel size version and two full-size versions so that I am never without one!

Milkshake Silver Shine Shampoo | Another recommendation by my amazing hair stylist! After dying my hair a silvery-grey color, he gave me a bottle of this to try and I will never go back to any other purple shampoo. This smells amazing, lathers well, and is the most pigmented of any purple shampoo I've tried. If I leave it on for 4-5 minutes, it actually turns my hair a light purple shade.
MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser | This is another product that I reviewed on the blog (see this post) and fell in love with. It's a gentle exfoliating sugar and cream cleanser and I am sad that my tube is nearly empty! I will have to repurchase this in the new year for sure.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water & Makeup Remover | I use this in the waterproof version and I've already repurchased it twice. This does an excellent job at removing my makeup without irritating my skin. It is so gentle, even around my eyes. Not only that but it's affordable as well, which is always a bonus in my opinion!
YSL Black Opium | I discovered my new signature scent this year, in the form of this perfume. It's sweet, spicy and sultry all at once, and the one scent that I've been wearing consistently this year.

Beauty Blender | For years I swore by the Real Techniques version of the Beauty Blender because I refused to pay $30 for the original, however, after Jordan gifted me one this year, I've been converted. I use this every single day to blend out my foundation and concealer, therefore it would be wrong not to include it in this list!

What are your favourite beauty products of 2016? I'd love to hear from you!

2016 Goals in Review

Friday, December 30, 2016

On January 21st, 2016, I started this blog with my very first post titled "Goals for 2016". I can't believe that (nearly) a year later, I'm still here. Granted my blogging has been sporadic for the past couple months but I'm ready to dig in my heels and get back into blogging in the new year. However, I figure I owe you all an update on my original goals for the year which.. if we're being honest here, were mostly unsuccessful. But hey, there's always 2017!

Get Healthy | I did well with this.. for the first month. Joined the gym, worked out 3-4 times a week, then didn't bother to renew my gym membership. I bought an elliptical a few months ago.. and I still haven't stepped on it. Went to one zumba class but the instructor hurt herself and has been off since then. Went to one yoga class and enjoyed it but failed to book anymore. However, my clothes no longer fit right, my self-confidence has plummeted, and my back is in terrible shape. Therefore, this is absolutely being placed at the top of the list (once again) for 2017.

Wear Lipstick Every Day | I didn't literally wear lipstick every day but I did fall in love with makeup in general this year. I always wear makeup now, even to work, and I make an effort to wear lipstick regularly. Of course, I probably doubled my collection in 2016 as well but hey, I could have a worse addiction.

Pay Off Bills | I came so close to having my credit card paid off and then Christmas came along. Hopefully by early 2017!

Save, Save, Save | Nope, nope, nope. I need a rain check on this one.

Read 12 Books | According to my Goodreads account, I've read ten books so far this year and I am currently working on #11. I didn't quite reach my goal but I'm still okay with that. Both Jordan and I have been on a reading kick lately so I'm hoping to start next year off strong.

Overall, I basically sucked at accomplishing my goals so you can expect to see most of these on my list for 2017 as well. However, I did manage to keep my little blog alive for a year, so I am pretty impressed with that.

Did you set any goals for 2016? Did you accomplish them?

Review: Sole Patches

Monday, December 26, 2016

When you hear the words "soul patch", I'm sure you think of the creepy facial hair. But no, there is a new Sole Patch in town.  Sole Patches are flower-shaped adhesive pads that allow you to comfortably wear your favourite shoes all day long. I don't know about you, but I struggle to wear heels for any amount of time. In fact, 99% of the time I will choose wedges over a heel, but even they can get uncomfortable if I have to walk long distances (my friends can affirm this as I tend to whine.. a lot).

For years I've been using insoles in my shoes, both for comfort and also to make them fit better as finding size 5 shoes can be struggle. However, there are times when I want the comfort of an insole without the bulkiness. This is where Sole Patches excel! Sole Patches can be applied directly to a clean, dry foot, or to the inside of a shoe. I chose the latter as I expect I will get more use out of them if they are in the shoe itself. You can apply them to the front or back of your foot, depending on which area causes you discomfort. For me, I find the front of my foot tends to hurt more, so that is where I applied mine. Bonus: it keeps my feet from sliding forward in my shoes, which is a common reason why women experience pain while wearing heels.

Sole Patches are equipped with medical-grade adhesive and will withstand up to 24 hours of wear.  Each box contains six patches. Sole Patches are moisture-repelling, odor-repelling, anti-microbial and shock-absorbing. I wore mine in my gorgeous sparkly booties during Jordan's Christmas party and felt no discomfort whatsoever!

Sole Patches retail for $9.95 US for six and can be purchased here. I am unsure if any local stores carry them but I will let you know if I find them!

The products in this post were provided complimentary for review purposes through BrandBacker. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and based on my personal experience. 

White Willow December 2016 Review

Friday, December 23, 2016

Despite receiving a tracking email earlier in the month I had totally forgotten about the arrival of my White Willow box so it was a nice, unexpected surprise! White Willow is a Canadian, bi-monthly lifestyle subscription box.  It features a combination of beauty, decor, food, style and home products and retails for $49.95 + S&H every two months. I received my first box in October and I was quite pleased. It's such a fun, luxurious subscription box that is different from anything else I've ever tried before.

White Willow does an amazing job with packaging, there's no doubt about that. Once again, the products arrived in the signature white box, wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with a ribbon. It's almost too pretty to unwrap! Inside, the products were nestled amongst shredded paper and mini candy canes. In the December box I received the following five items:

Double Layered White Marble Necklace | Prior to each box, White Willow releases one sneak peak and for the December box, the item was this necklace. Luckily, I loved it! I mean, I'm a huge fan of anything gold and/or marble, plus I love the length of the necklace and the fact that it can be dressed up or down. However, White Willow claims that the retail value of the necklace is $28 CAD, however, I found it here for $3.11, which is quite disappointing.

Greenmarket Purveying Co. Gilded Winter Candle in "Glistening Snow" & Matches | First of all, the candle and matches were carefully packaged in bubble wrap, which I really appreciate. There's nothing worse than receiving a smashed up product due to poor packaging! As for the product itself, it is a small candle and I'm not a huge fan of the scent, though I will probably use it regardless. It came with a cute pack of matches in a metallic box. Suggested retail price is $17 CAD. The candle can be found here for $10 USD and similar matches can be found here for $1.50 USD.

Manna Kadar Lip Locked Priming Gloss Stain in "Lucky" | I've never heard of this brand before but I was definitely pleased with the color, which is described as "nude petal pink". I think it's a color that would look great on anyone! I also love the formula of this product. It's moisturizing, comfortable on the lips, yet pigmented and long-lasting. Suggested retail value is $32 CAD and can be found here for $24 USD.

Kocostar Dry Hands Rescue Mask | I've heard of masks for dry hands but I've never tried one, so I was excited to see this in my box. I have super dry hands in the winter so I'm sure it will come in handy ( pun intended, hah!). The mask retails for $5 CAD and can be found here.

Murchie's Fine Tea & Coffee Chocolate Chip Walnut Biscotti | I'm not a huge fan of biscotti but it's fine to have with a cup of tea as a little treat. This is a nice sized package and the biscotti itself is decent - not too sweet, though nuts aren't my personal favourite (wish I had gotten the white chocolate cranberry instead!). I opened it to try myself but it would have been nice to give as a gift! Retails for $10 CAD and can be purchased here.

Overall, there was a nice variety of products in the December box, from lipstick to biscotti, jewelry and a candle. I am disappointed that White Willow claimed that the value of the necklace was significantly higher than what it is, however, it does seem like decent quality despite that. Based on my calculation of the box's value, it is worth $67.11, which is about what I paid for it.

I am unsure if I will continue on with my subscription or not. I would like to, as I love that it exposes me to a variety of products that I probably wouldn't have access to, or think to purchase for myself. However, I really have to cut back on my spending in 2017 and this is a treat that may have to go.

What are your thoughts on the December White Willow box?

November "What's New With You?"

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I've been totally slacking on the blog lately, despite my best intentions. The holiday season means that I'm extra busy on my days off, which leaves even less time to blog. It's a shame because I really do enjoy it - I just wish I could do it full time! Anyway, I figured I would join in on the November "What's New With You" link up, which I discovered thanks to Kayla!

What's New With You

- I had all intentions of starting my Christmas tasks early this year so that I could finish early and really enjoy the holiday season. Well, I did actually start early(ish) but I nearly had a heart attack this past weekend when someone posted on Facebook saying "Only 3 weeks 'til Christmas!". Like, how did Christmas manage to sneak up on me again?! I have 95% of my shopping done - just a few odds and ends left to pick up, however, I have not started to wrap anything, nor have I started my Christmas cards. I will have to wait until next week to start wrapping as I have to do it during a weekday while Jordan is at work. Hopefully I'll be finished my shopping by then!

- I never bake Christmas cookies, mainly because a) I'm not a huge fan of sweets, b) but if it's in the house I'll eat eat it (and gain weight), and c) we rarely have visitors during Christmas (which is a pet peeve of mine! Come visit!). However, I decided this year that I want to do some baking, so I really have to decide what to make. Jordan has requested Potato Chip Chocolate Bark and I am thinking about making Peanut Butter Blossoms or Hershey's Kisses Secret Cookies.. or maybe Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies. What are your favourite holiday cookies? I'm open to suggestions!

- I recently discovered two new scents from Bath and Body Works that may replace my long-standing holiday favourites (Winter and Fireside Marshmallow) and they are Christmas Morning and Snowflakes & Citrus. I believe Christmas Morning is only available in a hand soap but I would like to bathe myself in the scent and I am totally regretting only buying one. A co-worker of mine had a Snowflakes & Citrus candle and I need that in my life, stat. Too bad I don't live near the store, nor will I be there anytime soon!

- I'm so tempted to write a post on my recent customer service experiences because I think praise should be given when deserved but also, nothing bothers me more than poor customer service. Thankfully most of it has been positive!

- This past week has been super cold and of course, my Canada Goose jacket is at the dry cleaner. I'm trying to get on board with the Hygge trend of embracing winter as opposed to hating your life when November rolls around but I absolutely detest the cold. We are already tentatively planning a trip to Mexico in May and hopefully another cruise in the fall. Fingers crossed! I need a warm-weather vacation to look forward to in order to make it through the long winter months.

- We made some changes to our bedroom recently and I'm making it my goal in the new year to actually starting making my bed (most) every day. Our old comforter was super worn out so we replaced it with a white duvet and navy gingham pillows. We also have a faux-fur throw on the bed for Macy in hopes that she won't ruin our white bedding with her adorable-but-dirty dog paws. The best part? All three upgrades only cost us about $75 total!

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

As much as I'd like to continue drinking hot chocolate by the Christmas tree while watching vlogmas videos, I really ought to end this and get ready for bed. I'm hoping to get my Colourpop haul up later this week, so keep an eye out for that!

Monthly Favourites: November 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

As I've mentioned in previous monthly favourites post, I really wasn't happy with the format that I was using. I debated waiting until the new year to switch it up but then I figured that if it makes me happier to change it now, I should change it now. So, without further adieu, here are my favourite things from this month!

Brendan Fletcher on "The Voice" | This is the only season of The Voice that I've watched since the first one and I owe it to this man. I'm absolutely in love with his raspy voice (plus he's also quite nice to look at!). His performance of "True Colors" this week is currently #4 on the iTunes chart for good reason and I highly recommend you have a listen! 

Sputnik Chandelier | I've slowly been making subtle changes around the house and upgrading a few things that I didn't particularly like, such as the chandelier in the foyer. I initially had a different one chosen but we stumbled upon a similar-looking sputnik chandelier (exact one isn't on the website) at Costco this weekend and I couldn't turn it down for the price.

Escape Rooms | Thanks to a suggestion from our friends, we decided to do an escape room at Escape Quest this past weekend. I had absolutely no idea what to expect but I ended up totally loving it! I would definitely still be in there if I had to get myself out but I really enjoyed the problem-solving and teamwork aspects of the game. We didn't make it out in 45 minutes but if we hadn't been so stubborn and had used all of our hints (or used them earlier in the game!), I think we would have. Since we don't live near any escape rooms, Jordan and I have been playing them on our phones. It's safe to say that we are totally addicted and can't wait to do more!

Fruli Strawberry Beer | I tried this for the first time at Bier Markt this past weekend and it was so good. I'm not a huge beer fan (one is enough for me) but this doesn't really taste like beer.. at all. So basically, if you really like beer, you probably won't like this but if you're like me, I highly recommend trying it. Sadly, I think the only place you can get it in Newfoundland is at the Bier Markt.

Clementines | There is something about clementines that I always associate with Christmas so I tend to eat a lot of them during this time of the year. I think I'm especially addicted this year though as I'm trying to eat healthier and therefore, tend to grab one (or two!) of these when I want a snack.

Lancome Teint Idole Foundation | I picked this up during the VIB Sale at Sephora and I'm loving it.  It provides a medium coverage, is easy to blend and comfortable to wear, and lasts all day. Plus, I love that it has a pump.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter | It is entirely possible that the reason the aforementioned foundation works so well is because of this primer, but I will continue using them together as I love the results. This gives my skin a gorgeous glow and provides an excellent base for my foundation. This combination is the only one that I've tried that lasts 12+ hours.

LUSH "So White" Shower Gel | I discovered a bottle of this from two years ago under my sink and used it up this month. I love the apple scent and had all intentions of buying another bottle.. only to discover that they haven't made this since 2014. It does come in a bath bomb version but I really wanted another bottle of the shower gel, boo!

Milkshake Silver Shampoo | I recently dyed my hair a silvery-grey blonde color and my hair stylist insisted that this is the best shampoo to use on my hair. I've used a number of purple shampoos on my blonde hair over the years but he was right - this one is the absolute best. Not only does it smell great but it is super potent, giving my hair a light purple hue if I leave it on any longer than a couple minutes. Luckily, I already know that a big bottle of this shampoo will be waiting for me under the tree, but I definitely want to try some of their other products as well.

Do you have any favourites this month? Leave me a comment below with your favourites or a link to your blog post!

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Review

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

MyChelle Dermaceuticals is an American skincare company that has recently expanded to the Canadian market. The company is a pioneer in the beauty industry, using scientifically advanced formulas with ethically sourced ingredients to make products that are vegetarian, cruelty-free, and free of phthalates, parabans, sulphates, ureas, artificial fragrances and colors, petroleum, GMOs and gluten. The company was kind enough to send me some products to review, but I was impressed before I even tried them because I am all for environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free products. After testing the products for over 6 weeks, I remain very impressed with this company and have actually found a new holy grail skincare item!

REFINING SUGAR CLEANSER | I was so excited to see the Refining Sugar Cleanser in the box as I had heard other bloggers raving about this product and I really wanted to try it. This product contains peptides to combat aging by rebuilding collagen and hyaluronic acid to improve hydration and prevent water loss. As evidenced by the name, the cleanser contains natural sugar and initially feels quite gritty. However, the sugar quickly dissolves into a gentle, creamy lather, making it suitable for daily use. And as an added bonus it has a sweet, marshmallow-like scent! I've been using this product nearly every day for the past six weeks and I love it. The sugar effectively scrubs my face while the cream leaves it feels hydrated. Since I started using this, my overall skin condition has improved and I rarely ever experience an oily t-zone anymore. I will definitely be repurchasing this once my tube is empty! The Refining Sugar Cleanser contains 104mls and retails for $32 CAD.

PERFECT C SERUM | Unfortunately, some of the Perfect C Serum leaked out in the box, but luckily I was able to salvage most of it. This product contains 17% Ascorbic Acid, or Vitamin C, which brightens the skin, diminishes wrinkles, smoothes texture and aids in wound healing. It also contains Buddleja Davidii Stems C, which is a stem cell that protects the skin against damage, reduces inflammation, and helps prevent visible signs of aging. I've been using one pump of this product every morning before applying moisturizer and my skin appears brighter. The only downside of this product is the very peculiar scent (to me it smells like burnt popcorn) but it isn't a deal breaker! This is the first time I've used a serum and I will continue to include it in my daily routine. The Perfect C Serum contains 15ml and retails for $56 CAD.

SUPREME POLYPEPTIDE CREAM | The Supreme Polypeptide Cream is a nutrient-rich anti-aging moisturizer. This worried me a little initially because while I think it is never too early to start an anti-aging skincare routine, I don't actually have any signs of aging at this point. I'm not sure if it's because I'm still in my (late) 20s or if it's because I've been blessed with good genes, but most people think that I am still in high school. In any event, this cream is super-thick and rich, with a herbal-y scent (it does come in an unscented version though!). It contains a number of peptides and claims to reduce wrinkle volume by 21% and depth by 19% in 6 weeks of use. Again, I don't have any wrinkles so I cannot comment on those claims. However, I have been using this product daily and despite how creamy and luxurious it is, it has successfully moisturized by skin without making it oily. While I won't repurchase this particular cream, I definitely want to try some of MyChelle's other moisturizers such as the Pumpkin Renew Cream. The Supreme Polypeptide Cream contains 35ml and retails for $70 CAD.

REMARKABLE RETINAL SERUM | The final product that I received is another anti-aging product - the Remarkable Retinal Serum. Retinal is 500x more effective than the most potent form of non-prescription Vitamin A and works to promote skin radiance, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and helps improve acne, follicular papillose, and oily skin. This is a thick, yellow serum that is best applied in the evening as it increases your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Again, this product has a strong, herbal-like scent (reminds me of LUSH products, for those who are familiar with that company) which doesn't bother me personally. Despite the fact that this product is meant to improve skin texture and help with acne, I found that it made me break out in small bumps on my forehead. Apparently that is a common issue when you initially start using products containing Retinol, and it supposedly subsides once your skin adapts. However, because I don't have issues with acne, nor do I have any wrinkles or fine lines, I did not continue to use this product. The Remarkable Retinal Serum contains 30ml and retails for $60 CAD.

Overall, I am very impressed with MyChelle Dermaceuticals and I cannot wait to try more products from them in the future! The only product that did not work for me was the Remarkable Retinal Serum, and while I would not necessarily repurchase the Perfect C Serum or the Supreme Polypeptide Cream, I would definitely try other serums or creams more suited to my skin type. As for the Refining Sugar Cleanser - I will definitely be repurchasing another one of those, as well as recommending it to every one I know.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals is currently available for purchase in Canada at the Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique. Be sure to let me know if you decide to pick up any of their products!

The products in this post were provided complimentary for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and based on my personal experience.

Maison Jacynthe Makeup Review

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Maison Jacynthe review

Maison Jacynthe is a Canadian makeup and beauty line by Jacynthe René, an actress, producer, author and founder of the online JMagazine. The Maison Jaynthe range includes makeup, beauty products, soaps, oils, and home fragrances. The products are (almost) all 100% natural with no GMOs or chemicals, and the company is a member of PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies Program, which means that they are cruelty-free as well.

Thanks to a referral from Nicole at Pretty Ruff Life, I was granted the opportunity to select three products from Maison Jacynthe to test and review. I chose the Lipstick in 03 (Garnet), the blush in 02 (Juliette) and the mascara.

Maison Jacynthe Lipstick 03

At the time when I selected these products, the website was only available in French so I had to use Google Translate and my limited recollection of high school French to try and decipher the product descriptions. I decided to try a lipstick because, duh, I love lipstick and I chose 03 (Garnet) based on the picture as it appeared to be a bright, hot pink color (as it does in the above photo). However, it is definitely more of a red-pink in person. It also has an almost metallic sheen to it, which I couldn't tell from the photo or the description, or else I wouldn't have chosen this particular color. However, that is just a personal preference as I prefer a matte or creamy finish. On the plus side, I love the packaging, the product has little-to-no scent, and it is very comfortable to wear. It is definitely not long-lasting but you can get a few hours of wear time without needing to reapply. Overall, it's a decent product but I wish the website provided color descriptions.

Maison Jacynthe Blush 02 Juliette

Maison Jacynthe has two blushes: Romeo and Juliette. I chose 02 (Juliette) because it appeared to be a gorgeous pale pink on the website. As you can tell from the above photo, it is definitely more of a peachy-pink in person. I was worried when I first swatched this blush on my hand, as it basically disappeared into my fair skin. However, I was amazed when I applied this with a brush as it is the most beautifully pigmented, natural-looking blush. The product is buttery soft to touch, meaning that it also produces a lot of fall out and may look a bit chalky if not blended well. However, it is my current favourite blush and I've found myself reaching for it every day. I am very tempted to order the compact to place the blush in and I really wish they offered more color selection as I would definitely pick up another one. Unfortunately I think that Romeo would be too dark for my fair skin given the amount of pigmentation in these blushes. I highly, highly recommend this color for fair skin though!

Maison Jacynthe mascara

The final product that I tried was the mascara. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed in this product, but it could be attributed to personal preference again. The formula of this mascara is quite wet, which I am not a fan of as I find it weighs down my eyelashes and can be quite messy to apply. However, if you are someone who prefers a wet formula, you may like this product! I found that while it was extremely pigmented and made my lashes appear thicker, it did little to lengthen them. The website describes this mascara as "ideal for a more intense look", but I disagree as I think it's better for someone who doesn't want a false-lashes effect. The product wore well throughout the day but flaked off if I rubbed my eyes and I also found it quite messy to remove. This mascara also has a peculiar scent that is sweet and cloying, however, I was unable to detect it once applied. Of the three products, this one was my least favourite.

Maison Jacynthe review
Makeup look using the Maison Jacynthe lipstick in (03) Garnet, blush in (02) Juliette, and mascara.

Overall, I do recommend checking out this makeup and beauty company! I love the fact that they are Canadian, the sleek packaging, and the natural, cruelty-free products. The blush is a new favourite product of mine and I think I would love the eyeshadows for the same reason. The lipstick and mascara were not my favourites but a lot of my disappointment was due to formula or color, which is simply due personal preference and not because of a poor product.

Have you tried anything from Maison Jacynthe? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

The products in this post were provided complimentary for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and based on my personal experience.

Sunday Lately: November 7-13

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Creating, Finding, Switching, Forgetting and Craving.

Creating: I finally took photos for my two PR posts that will hopefully be up this week (at least one of them!). Because there are multiple products to review in each post, the task is so much more time consuming than a regular post. In not-so-good news, I still haven't completed a DIY product as per my fall bucket list, oops.

Finding: Lots of Christmas gift ideas.. for myself. Every year I say "I don't even know what to ask for, I have everything that I need, I'd just like a vacation.." and every year, I start browsing the internet and found approximately 4 billion things that I want (but still don't need). 

Switching: I will be putting away the last of my fall and Halloween decor today and preparing to put out my Christmas decorations next week. In fact, we may actually put our tree up at the end of next week. I'm off work for a week on holidays so I plan to deep clean the house and then start preparing for the Christmas. Jordan is normally ready for Christmas at this point whereas I tend to want to wait until later but this year we've found ourselves in the opposite situation. I think it's because I'm taking Christmas off for the first time in five years and I want to take full advantage of that.

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

Forgetting: How good it feels to have a three-day weekend off with Jordan. I always get three-day weekends (perks of shift work) but Jordan also had Friday off due to the Remembrance Day holiday. We spent Friday being insanely lazy but yesterday we took the dog for a 5km walk and to the dog park, then ran some errands. Today will be spent catching up on chores and visiting family! To make things even better, I'm not back to work until tomorrow night! And then I only have three shifts separating me from my much-needed holidays, thank god.

Craving: I am craving a new tattoo the way that I normally crave Big Mary burgers. It's been two years since my last and while I have many, many ideas for tattoos that I would like to have, a lot of them are big endeavours that I'm not quite ready to take on yet. I just want something small to satisfy the itch but I'm struggling to decide what and where.

Product Empties: Volume 5

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My empties bag is overflowing, which means it's time for another empties post! Is there anything more delightful than finally finishing a product? The downside of that is, unfortunately, the sheer amount of garbage going in our landfills. I can't believe how quickly it adds up! Anyway, keep reading to find out which products I've finished up lately.

Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap |  I mean, these always show up in my empties post without fail. This time I finished up a bottle of "Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin" that I didn't finish last year (love that scent!) and "Maui Mango Mai Tai", which is a sweet summery scent. Repurchase? Obviously!

Eos Shave Cream | Another common item to find in my empties post. I've raved about this stuff in the past, which is why I continue to repurchase it. Repurchase? Yes!

Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Shampoo | I'm pretty sure I bought this shampoo when I moved into my house and it took me about two years to finish it. It had a nice, light and refreshing scent but that's about all I liked. I didn't have high expectations but it really didn't do anything other than cleanse my hair. Repurchase? No.

Herbal Essences Naked Volume Conditioner | This, on the other hand, is a product that I've purchased multiple times. I love this conditioner! It is paraban-free, easily attainable, cheap, smells nice and it works! I mean, I don't get crazy amounts of volume from it, but it doesn't weigh down my fine, thin hair either. Repurchase? Definitely.

Redken Blonde Idol Custom Tone Conditioner | I was really intrigued by this conditioner, which has a dial to control the amount of purple (color-depositing) conditioner in relation to the regular white conditioner. Unfortunately, I was really quite disappointed. The white conditioner ran out quickly and while the purple conditioner was good at minimizing brassiness, it sucked at conditioning my hair. Repurchase? No.

Bath & Body Works Shower Gel | Another product that I commonly use, this time in the scent "Malibu Heat" which smelled like oranges, pear, pineapple and coconut. It was a great summertime scent! Repurchase? I don't feel like I need to repurchase this scent but I'll definitely repurchase this product.

Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil | First of all, it took me forever to use this bottle! I think I purchased it in February and finished it around October, with nearly daily use! Anyway, I thought this was a really good product from the Sephora brand. It removed my makeup, and didn't dry out my skin, nor make it particularly oily. It has a light scent and a pump, which made it super easy to use in the shower. Repurchase? If I decide to go with an oil cleanser again in the future, I would definitely reconsider this one.

Dove Go Fresh Deodorant | A repurchase for me, but in a different scent than usual. It was alright, but I went back to my usual scent after I finished this one. Repurchase? Product, yes. Scent, maybe.

The Creme Shop "Wake Up Skin" Coconut Gel Mask | I received this from a good friend as part of a thank you gift for being her bridesmaid. I love sheet masks but this is my favourite one that I've ever used. It definitely didn't look super cute on me (I looked like a scary raccoon) but I loved the smell, the amount of product on the mask, and how my face looked afterwards. I definitely plan to pick up some more of these! Repurchase? Yes, I'm on the look out for it in stores!

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara | This is the travel size and it was perfect for me. It lasted about six months before finally drying out and I used it quite frequently during that time. I recommend this mascara to people a lot. It does a great job of lengthening and thickening lashes, doesn't irritate my eyes, and doesn't smudge or shed. Repurchase? Yes, most likely!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner | I was heartbroken when I tried to use this eyeliner last month, only to discover that it had finally dried out. This is my HG eyeliner! It is dark, easy to use, and lasts a long time on my eyes. Repurchase? Already have! I cannot go without this one!

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer sample | This was a sample I received in a recent Sephora order. There was enough product for 2-3 uses and I really liked the primer. In the end, however, I decided to purchase the Becca Backlight Priming Filter as I liked that one just a tiny bit more. Repurchase? I will consider buying a full size later!

Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist

Friday, November 4, 2016

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're heard whisperings of the infamous Sephora VIB Rouge/VIB sale. Starting today until the 7th, VIB Rouge members receive 20% off their purchase, followed by the regular VIB sale next week from November 11th-14th. This is a big deal as Sephora only hosts two sales a year (one in the spring and one in the fall) and it is a great time to stock up on staples and purchase a few splurge-worthy items. Keep reading to see my recommendations, plus what is on my wishlist this year!

1. Foundation | I use a variety of foundations - mostly drugstore, but I generally splurge on a high-end foundation during the sale. This year, I have the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation on my wishlist, though I'm still debating between that and the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick. I struggle to pay $50+ a bottle for foundation when I've had good luck with drugstore options, so I take advantage of the 20% off which makes it a little easier to swallow.

2. Primer | Like foundation, primer can be an expensive purchase. However, unlike foundation, I haven't found a drugstore option that compares to the quality of a good primer. Since trying a sample of the Becca Backlight Priming Filter, I haven't been able to get it off my mind. It honestly made my skin glow to the point where I didn't even feel like I needed foundation.

3. Beauty Tools | I love my Beauty Blender but I hate the nearly-$30 price tag attached to it, especially when there are cheaper alternatives. I wash mine regularly and try to make it last between sales, then get a bright new one at 20% off. Likewise, it is a great time to pick up a brush set, hair dryer or straightener without paying full price.

4. Palettes | Jordan already purchased the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette for me for Christmas so the only palette I currently have left on my wishlist is the Nars True Story Cheek & Lip Palette. It was love at first sight but I will be shocked if it's still in stock by next week. In previous years, I've picked up the Urban Decay Naked Palettes and the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette. Again, it's the best time to grab those pricier items at a discount!

5. Lipstick | Okay, this isn't a "must have" item for me right now, but it's hard to resist buying these at a discount. I have two Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in "Requiem" and "Lovesick", as well as the limited edition Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Mauvember 2016 Lipstick (hey, it's for a great cause!) on my list this year.

6. Limited Edition Holiday Products | Okay, this is where Sephora sucks us all in. Theres nothing like the words "limited edition" or a perfectly curated set of mini products to make you want to purchase it right now. Sadly, one of the items on my list, the Fresh Sugar Lip Party Favours is already sold out (fingers crossed that it will return!). The Bite Beauty Best Bite Redux and the Huda Beauty Lip Contour Set are also on my list and I love stocking up on the L'Occitane Hand Creams during the holidays (still using mine from last year!).

What do you plan to buy during the sale? Leave a comment below - I'd love to know!

P.S.Don't forget to use Ebates to get 4% cash back on your Sephora purchase!

Monthly Favourites: October 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Each month I have full intentions of restructuring how I do my monthly favourites and each time, the end of the month sneaks up on me without warning and I'm stuck with the same old post. At this point I figure it's just as well to finish off this year and start fresh in January but we shall see. I want to focus more on specific items that I really love, rather than keeping with this structured list of things. The downside of that is that I will have to take photos each month which means that I will actually have to do this before the very last minute, oops.

Song: I've mostly been obsessed with older songs this month, probably due to the amount of early-mid-2000s TV that I've been watching. Of course, they make me totally nostalgic for high school and then I get moody and sad.

Read: I read "The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena in two days, so needless to say I enjoyed it! It wasn't the best book I've ever read but it was a quick, intriguing read. I'm currently reading "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn which I am also really enjoying, but it's a deeper, darker read than the other book and it's taking me longer to get through it.

TV Show or Movie: I'm still obsessively watching One Tree Hill, though I have no hope of finishing it before November 30th. I'm also really enjoying This Is Us, especially Kate's storyline. 

Beauty Product: MyChelle was kind enough to send me some products for review and I have been loving the Refining Sugar Cleanser (expect reviews on all the products soon!). I've also been obsessed with the It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara which does an amazing job at volumizing my lashes.

Food: Thanks to a coworker, I've spent half the month craving Singapore noodles and general tao chicken, which I've eaten a couple times this month. We've also been eating a ton of squid (or "calamari" as some of you may know it) which makes me super happy as I haven't been able to get any fresh squid for years.

Purchase: We've upgraded a couple small things in the house - a new mirror in our ensuite and new bedding in our room. There are definitely a few more things that I want to change but those two little items are making a big difference. 

What are you loving this month? Leave a comment below!

White Willow Box October 2016 Review

Friday, October 28, 2016

White Willow Box October 2016

White Willow Box was formed in 2015 by Shab Ansari and is a Canadian lifestyle subscription box. Each box contains 4-5 lifestyle products, which may include beauty products, fashion accessories, food and culinary products, home decor, paper goods, and more. The subscription service recently switched to a bimonthly box, which means that you get one box every two months at a cost of $49.95 plus tax and $8.50 shipping. The total cost of the box was $66.03, which is a lot but I think the cost is worth receiving a box of goodies every two months.

I was on the fence about getting a White Willow subscription for a long time, mainly because of the cost. However, once I cancelled my Ipsy subscription, I decided to give it a try. I've always loved the products in the boxes and also that they are a Canadian service. However, the final selling point was the sneak peek of the blanket scarf. I am a sucker for blanket scarves and I loved the design of this particular one so I immediately went and ordered my first box.

White Willow Box October 2016

After much anticipation, my box finally arrived on October 20th after leaving British Columbia on October 7th. The box itself was packaged in a brown mailing box with a "Fragile" sticker on the outside. The inner box is gorgeous with the White Willow label on the front. Inside the box, everything was wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a bow. The box was filled with shredded paper and anything breakable was bubble wrapped. I am definitely impressed with the effort that they make to protect their products in transit.

I received four items in my October White Willow Box, plus some bonus Lindt Pumpkin Spice chocolate truffles (yum!).

Rose Gold Mirror Photo Frame | I love anything mirrored and rose gold so this is definitely my style! It fits 4x6 photos and can be used vertically or horizontally. I think I will find a nice photo of me and Jordan and place this on my nightstand. Suggested retail value is $22, available here for $20.40.

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Gentle Facial Cleansing Oil Cloths | These wipes are 100% biodegradable and cruelty free, which is always great. Not only do they remove makeup but they also cleanse the skin without stripping it. They smell great and are packaged in a re-sealable matter so they won't dry out between uses. I love getting wipes as I use them frequently while travelling! Retail price is $15.50 and can be found here.

Wildly Delicious Maple Pumpkin Butter | I've never had pumpkin butter before but I love pumpkin so I was more than willing to give it a try! I don't get a strong maple flavour on this, more so just a light pumpkin taste. This can be used on toast, served with cheese and crackers, in coffee, or as a filling for baked goods. It retails for $6.50 (steal!) and can be found here, along with many other delicious-sounding flavours.

Blanket Scarf | Ah yes, the item that I was most looking forward to! This scarf is huge (hence the term "blanket") and super soft. The included booklet features a number of ways that the scarf can be worn, which I can't wait to try out. Suggested retail price is $40, however, it looks a lot like this scarf which retails for $30.

Even using the cheaper prices that I found online, the value of the box is $72.40, which is still more than what I paid for it. Would I necessarily have chosen all those items if I were in a store? No. But do I really like everything that I received? Yes! I love that I am getting products that I wouldn't necessarily be able to easily obtain here. Plus, the products are so nice that even if I received something that I didn't want to keep myself, I could definitely give it away as a gift.

I was initially only going to keep the subscription for one month, given the price. However, I really enjoyed this box and depending on what the sneak peek is for December, I think I will continue on with my subscription. This would also make a great Christmas gift for someone special in your life (hint, hint!).

Ipsy October 2016 Review

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

After a disappointing September bag (with the exception of this mascara, which may be my new HG), I decided to cancel my Ipsy bag. However, it turns out that I didn't successfully do that as I discovered a few days ago that my October bag was en route. Turns out that I forgot the last step in cancelling my bag! However, I have since completed that step so this will be my last Ipsy review. I tend to only subscribe to makeup boxes for a few months as I get easily overwhelmed with the numbers of products.

The makeup bag for October is a pale pink with black Halloween graphics and a ghost-shaped pull tab. It's actually pretty cute! Here is what I received in my October Ipsy bag:

Ciaté London Fierce Flicks Eyeliner | I was actually really hoping to receive this once I seen the spoilers for the October bag, however, I was kind of disappointed in it. I love the pigmentation and control that I have with the brush but I felt that it was tugging at my eyelids as I was applying it. It definitely doesn't apply as smoothly at my Kat Von D Tattoo liner. I will probably use it, but not repurchase in the future. Approximate sample value: $23.

TheBalm Cosmetics Blush in "Hot Mama" | This is a peachy-coral blush with shimmer throughout that can also be used as eyeshadow. Unfortunately, the sample is quite small but it was surprisingly easy to pick up with a blush brush. It is extremely pigmented, though it has a gold shimmer throughout it which may bother some people. I like it and I find TheBalm products to be great from my experience. Approximate sample value: $2.25.

Noyah Natural Lipstick in "Current News"| I wish we received a full size of this product because the regular packaging is adorable! I'm so glad I received this color, which is a dark berry color. It applies smoothy and evenly to the lips and feels moisturizing when applied. Approximate sample value: $7.35.

Preventative Measures 101 Lip 101 After Hours Balm | This retails for $13US ($17 CAD) which I would never pay for a plain lip balm. It has a sweet, soapy smell and feels quite moisturizing when applied, however, only lasts a short period of time. Approximate sample value: $17.

Elizabeth Grant Skincare Green Power C Hydrating Cleanser | I haven't used this enough to comment on the effectiveness of the product, however, it was easy to use with a fresh scent. It left my face feeling clean without being tight or oily. Approximate sample value: $1.88.

The total value of this month's bag is $51.48 CAD which is more than double what I paid (approx. $20). I love that there are two full sized products and a good variety of makeup items (eyeliner, blush, and lipstick). However, it's time for me to take a break from Ipsy so this will be my last bag for now!

Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo Review

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dove Refresh Care Volume Dry Shampoo

I recently received the Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo through Chick Advisor in exchange for a review. I have had little luck with drugstore dry shampoos in the past but I was pleasantly surprised with this particular one!

My hair is extremely thin, fine and limp, and tends to get oily quickly. I found that this dry shampoo was successful in removing any oil from my hair, while also giving it a little boost of volume. I didn't notice any white residue remaining on my hair, however, my hair is quite light in color.

My only concern with this product is the scent, which is quite overpowering initially. It is a very perfumey scent, reminiscent of other Dove products. The scent actually made me cough when I first applied it and I am not generally sensitive to scented products. If you are normally sensitive to strong scents, I would avoid this!

The Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo is available at Walmart and retails for $3.88 for 142g of product, which makes this a great bang for your buck! Overall, I would recommend it, as long as you don't mind overly scented products. It does a great job at controlling oil and providing volume, plus it's inexpensive and easily obtainable.

Have you ever tried this dry shampoo? Which dry shampoo is your favourite?

The products in this post were provided complimentary for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and based on my personal experience. 

Sunday Lately: October 10 - 16

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Updating, Remembering, Needing, Wearing and Being.

Updating: This blog, finally! I'm not sure why I've been in such a slump lately but it seems like I've had no free time between work, weddings, birthdays and appointments, and I just couldn't find any motivation to blog in the bit of free time that I did have. I really do enjoy blogging, particularly writing and interacting with fellow bloggers, but it is hard to manage when you work full-time. Taking and editing photos then writing a post can take an entire afternoon of one day, for just one blog post. Anyway, I am hoping to get my stride back this week! I've tested a few products that are ready for review, I'm in the midst of testing some new skincare products, and I'm waiting on some PR products to arrive for review.

Remembering: How important it is to spend time with good friends. After traveling two hours to attend our friends' wedding, I realized how much I've missed spending quality time with them. I've also been spending some much-needed time with girl friends recently and it has been great. It seems that everyone is so busy these days, it's such a struggle to find time to hang out with friends but it is so necessary.

Needing: I think I've mentioned this before but I need to make a few decorative changes to our house. We just picked up a new mirror for our ensuite yesterday and I already like the room so much more now. I also want some new lamp shades, pillows, and a throw for the living room. On a side note, I also need to learn how to apply false lashes without gluing my eyes together. Any suggestions?

Wearing: At the moment, PJs! However, I have been mostly wearing a uniform consisting of jeans, a sweater, riding boots and my favourite fall jacket. I am really missing Target at the moment because they make my favourite sweaters and v-necks. To help mend my broken heart, I placed a Dynamite order last night, oops!

Being: Sleepy. I honestly don't even understand considering I slept for about 11 hours last night but I've been struggling to keep my eyes open all day. I'm looking forward to getting in bed shortly but unfortunately I have to wake up early for work tomorrow and I am already predicting how much that will suck.

September 2016 Favourites

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How is it already October? Seriously? As much as I love Fall, I am so not ready for what follows. Anyway, this is a few days late because I was in a wedding over the weekend which kept me quite busy! So without further ado, here are my favourites for the month of September.

Song: September was such a good month for songs that I honestly think I have to splurge and include four (!!) favourites. I really don't even know how to elaborate on these so just listen to them and you can thank me later because they are all SO. GOOD.

Read: I finished reading "Confess" by Colleen Hoover which I absolutely loved! Unfortunately I haven't fallen in love with "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I am currently struggling through.

TV Show or Movie: I know I'm about ten years late to hop on the bandwagon but I started watching One Tree Hill and now I'm obsessed. I tried watching it when it first aired and I didn't enjoy it but now it makes me super nostalgic for high school. Unfortunately, I somehow have to binge-watch all nine seasons between now and November 30th, when Shomi shuts down.

Beauty Product: Funnily enough, both myself and the bride chose Kat Von D "Lovecraft" to wear the day of the wedding (without having discussed it prior!). She layered hers with "Requiem" which was gorgeous (and now officially on my Christmas list) but I wore mine alone. It's such a beautiful subtle color that would honestly look amazing on anyone. The formula is also super comfortable and it lasted all day with only minor touch-ups. Highly recommend!

Food: This is going to be such a bad answer but honestly, chicken tater poutine from Mary Browns. I've definitely eaten it way too many times this month. But seriously, what could be better than seasoned taters, cheese, gravy, and pulled chicken? NOTHING. Except maybe Chinese food, which I also ate a lot of.

Purchase: Definitely my J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket! I am honestly obsessed with it and despite how much I detest the cold weather, I am grateful that it allows me to wear this jacket. I am also obsessed with my new booties this season. And of course, my new luggage set - I can't forget to include that!

What are you loving this month? Leave a comment below!

Fall 2016 Goals

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In case you missed it, I wrote a list of summer goals and then posted an update at the end of summer after I successfully completed everything on my list! Since I had so much fun with this, I thought I would do this for the fall as well. However, I decided to rename it to seasonal goals as the term "bucket list" doesn't really make sense in this situation.

1. Go To a Farmers Market | This sounds easy enough but the nearest farmers market is actually two hours away so this is something that I will have to actually plan in advance. We will probably take a weekend trip to the city later in the fall and head there then!

2. Try 5 New Recipes | We have been eating out way too much lately, namely because we are sick of eating the same things at home all the time. Fall is such a great time to try a few new recipes because it makes me crave comfort food like soup and.. well, basically anything with gravy. If you have any recipe recommendations, I'd love to hear them, especially if they are for the slow cooker!

3. Have a Harry Potter Movie Marathon | Despite reading the book series multiple times, I've only seen most of the movies once (in the cinema when they were released). I am terrible at watching movies so this definitely won't happen all at once but the cozy weather makes me want to set up a pile of pillows and blankets, make a ton of snacks and re-watch the whole series.

4. Complete a DIY Project | I keep pinning cute DIY projects but never actually complete any. I'd like to make a wreath or some decorative pumpkins or even complete a gallery wall. I love these modern metallic pumpkins!

5. Join a Fitness Class | I successfully started this one as I joined zumba again.. then the instructor hurt her knee and has to remain off for at least six weeks! I am hoping to get back into it once classes start up again but in the meantime, I really want to try yoga. Anyone interested in joining me?

What is on your to-do list this fall? Leave a comment below!
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