Monthly Favourites: March 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Song: March was another great month for music and I really had to work hard to narrow it down to my top three. First up is Jennifer Nettles' new song, "Unlove You". I've been eagerly waiting for Sugarland to reunite as I haven't been a fan of any of their solo work until now, but this song is amazing. Next up is "Beautiful Drug" by Zac Brown Band and "Colors" by Halsey which are both such fun songs to drive and sing along with.

Read: I've been doing terrible with reading this past month, I haven't picked up my novel since my February monthly favourites post. I haven't even been reading blogs this past month as evidenced by the huge number of unread posts in my Bloglovin' feed.

TV Show or Movie: I've been rewatching "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" as well as "New Girl" (for the third time!) which means that my productivity is at an all-time low. I absolutely love both of these shows as they are fun, mindless entertainment and they make me laugh aloud which is a fairly impressive feat.

Beauty Product: I picked up a sample of the YSL Touche Eclat le Teint foundation at Sephora back in February and despite the fact that I seem to be in the minority, I have been loving it! However, given the steep price tag, I will hold off until the Sephora VIB sale to pick it up. I've also been loving my ColourPop Ultra Matte Lipstick in "Scrooge". It is by far the most comfortable liquid lipstick that I've tried and you cannot beat the price!

Food: Jordan picked up some sushi from Sun Sushi for us last weekend and it was actually my first time trying sushi there. I loved the California roll as well as the salmon roll and I definitely feel like I need to try more from there now.

The J. Crew Factory "Teddie" sweater in "Bauble Pink". I picked this up when I was in Florida and it is the perfect Spring sweater. It is lightweight enough that it could be paired with shorts into summer and the coral color is the perfect pick-me-up this time of year. The huge bag of mini eggs that I purchased on clearance after Easter are a close runner-up though!

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

Review: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow Pencil & Lip Review

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow and Lip Review

Make Up For Ever recently launched their new Pro Sculpting Collection which includes a Pro Sculpting face palette, brow pencil, and lip tool. Combined, these products are used to enhance your features using light and shadow techniques. When I was contacted by a member of the Make Up For Ever team asking if I'd like to try out the products, I didn't even hesitate to say yes! Make Up For Ever is one of my favourite makeup brands, so I was super grateful for the opportunity.

I opted not to receive the contour palette as I feel like I am fairly new to the art of contouring and it isn't something that I do on a regular basis. However, for those of you who are interested, the Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Face Palette is available in four colors: light (20), medium (30), tan (40) and dark (50). Each palette includes a cream highlight, shimmer, contour and blush shade. After watching Nancy's and Ashlee's reviews of the palette, I am totally regretting not getting one to try as it looks super nice and easy to use. For those of you who prefer the idea of cream products as opposed to powder for contouring, this would be a great palette for you to check out. The palette is available for purchase at Sephora and Make Up For Ever Canada for $54 CAN.

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Lip and Brow Review

Next up is the Pro Sculpting Brow Pencil, which is a 3-in-1 tool that combines a beveled brow color with a bristle brush for grooming and (my favourite part!) a secret highlighter tool for defining and illuminating arches! This product is available in five shades - blonde (10), dark blonde (20), brown (30), dark brown (40), and brown black (50). I received the shade blonde (10) and my only problem with the color is that it looks a bit orange under certain lighting. However, I didn't notice it once I applied it to my eyebrows, just on the swatch. Due to the waxy formula, this product doesn't budge on your eyebrows! The highlight shade is a light cream-colored matte which pairs beautifully with the brow color. This product retails for $32 CAN at Sephora and Make Up For Ever Canada.

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Lip and Brow Swatches
Brow and lip shade to the right with corresponding highlighters to the left

Last but not least is the Pro Sculpting Lip, which is similar to the brow pencil in that it is a 2-in-1 combination tool, combining both a lip color and highlighter. Make Up For Ever describes this lip product as a satin finish but I find that it tends to look more of a semi-matte on the lips. However, it is super comfortable and not drying at all. The pigment is amazing and the color lasts for hours (it honestly took like three days for the swatch to come off my hand, even with frequency handwashing!). I received this in the color "Rust" (11) but it is available in three other shades - Rosewood (10), Carmine Red (40) and Purple (50). Like the brow pencil, this lip color includes a highlighter on the opposite end and each shade has a different color highlighter. The highlighter with Rust is a white, shimmery color. Make Up For Ever recommends using the highlighter at the center of the lips to create volume, but it would also work well as a highlight at the cupid's bow. This product is available at Sephora and Make Up For Ever Canada for $32 CAN.

Overall, I am really impressed with the new Pro Sculpting line from Make Up For Ever and I highly recommend that you check it out! I am definitely adding the shades "Rosewood" and "Purple" to my wishlist and I will certainly be checking out the palette during my next visit to Sephora.

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: March 14 - 20

Sunday, March 20, 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 Completing, Visiting, Repeating, Writing and Scheduling.

Completing: Very little on my to-do list! This was such a weird week, work-wise. I worked Saturday and Sunday night, off Monday, a 12-hour shift on Tuesday, off Wednesday, another 12-hour shift on Thursday and then I worked an 8-hour overtime shift on Friday. Combine that with a jam-packed weekend and needless to say, I accomplished very little this past week.

Visiting: One of my good friends had her baby shower this afternoon so I spent a few hours visiting with her. Now that she's finished work for her maternity leave and I will no longer see her there during the week, I anticipate many more visits in the future! 

Repeating: Myself by saying that I've been a terrible blogger lately! Sadly I have a busy week ahead of me which means that I will have little time to devote to this place yet again. Hopefully after this week I will have more free time as I will be working Monday-Friday for a couple weeks. 

Writing: Absolutely nothing, oops!

Scheduling: A lot of things into my schedule this week! I'm working Monday, Tuesday and Friday, which leaves only two days to do everything that I need to do. I'm hoping to get my nails done this week and I have another baby shower on Thursday. I also need to call and make an appointment for an oil change as well as a doctor's appointment. I shouldn't wish away my time but I will be happy when 7:30pm on Friday rolls around!

Flying With National Airlines: Our Experience

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

National Airlines Newfoundland

I've had a lot of people ask me about our experience with National Airlines, so I figured I would dedicate an entire blog post to it for anyone who was wondering. National Airlines is the reason we booked a spontaneous weekend trip to Florida, as we were able to get such a good deal on flights and fly direct from St. John's to Orlando. We paid $310 per person for a round-trip, direct flight that included free checked luggage, free food, and free drinks. Honestly, could you ask for a better deal than that?! A similar, non-direct flight through Westjet would have cost us $1500 per person had we booked at the same time (approximately a week and a half prior to departure) without any of the free perks.

National Airlines started servicing St. John's in January 2016 and currently only offer flights to Orlando. They fly Monday and Friday only, departing at 4pm from St. John's and arriving in Orlando around 7-7:30pm (local time), and departing from Orlando at 9am and arriving back in St. John's around 3pm (local time). It is important to note that they fly into Orlando Sanford International Airport and not the larger Orlando International Airport which most of us are accustomed to flying into. One downside of this is that two planes arrived at the same time on the night that we flew there which made for slow wait at customs, as the airport is smaller and not equipped to handle large crowds. However, our friends said they went through customs quickly when they arrived there, so I think it was just bad timing on our trip as our flight arrived early.

As for our in-flight experience, we couldn't have asked for better service. There were three pilots and five flight attendants on each flight and they ensured that we had a safe, comfortable flight. Shortly after departure, they offered everyone a complimentary alcoholic beverage, followed by hot towels, a lunch (sandwich, apple slices, and crackers), snacks (cookies and pretzels) and free drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). The sandwiches were ham but there was a vegetarian option as well, which was nice. I would have liked to see a different type of sandwich option on the way home but that is minor. They even offered mints as you were exiting the plane, which is something I've never seen before!

National Airlines Newfoundland Lunch

National Airlines Newfoundland Snack

One major point that I have to include is that the planes do not have in-flight entertainment. For me, this wasn't a big deal as I generally just read or listen to music while flying anyway, but for anyone who enjoys watching movies on flights, I would suggest bringing an iPad. Also, there was no wifi, but that was to be expected. The plane itself is a Boeing 757-200 with 170-184 seats (22-26 first class). The seats were comfortable and had a decent amount of leg room. On both flights, the plane was not at full capacity and we were able to move about if we wished.

Overall, we enjoyed traveling with National Airlines and will definitely fly with them again in the future if we can get a great deal on seats. They have also recently partnered with Provincial Airlines and are offering round-trip flights from multiple airports across Newfoundland and Labrador, starting as low as $456! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.

Sunday Lately: March 7 - 13

Sunday, March 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 was contacted by Make Up For Ever about testing out some products from their new Pro Sculpt line and to say I was blown away would be an understatement! I can't believe that one of my favourite makeup brands reached out to me, thanks to this little blog of mine. So I guess you could say I am creating a relationship with them and I am looking forward to hopefully creating relationships with other brands as well. 

Finding: I am finding it difficult to balance work, life and this blog! I work twelve hour shifts, both days and nights, which makes it hard to find time to schedule blog posts, keep up with social media, keep my house clean, spend time with Jordan and our friends, see our family, and so on. Not to mention throwing a spontaneous weekend trip out of the country in the middle of it all. I'm still trying to catch up on lost sleep from two weeks ago!

Switching: All of the clocks one hour forward, thanks to daylight savings time! It was so weird to lose an hour of time at work last night but I am grateful that the sun won't set until 7pm this evening. Despite the fact that it is currently snowing outside, it's a small sign that summer is on its way!

Forgetting: To make a doctors appointment on my day off. I need to follow up regarding some bloodwork I had done a few months ago and get a prescription for my second dose of the Hepatitis A vaccination. I always get my first one prior to going on vacation then forget to get the second shot six months later, oops!

Craving: Warm weather and sunshine! Our trip to Florida made it even worse because the weather down there now is comparable to our summer weather (crazy, right?). It was hard to return to snow and below freezing temperatures, that's for certain.

Hope you all had a great weekend! I'm off to my last night shift of the weekend and I'm hoping it's a good one! 

Luxe Box Spring 2016 Review

Friday, March 11, 2016

Luxe Box is a Canadian beauty subscription service that offers quarterly boxes at a cost of $26/box with free shipping. Each box contains 7-8 beauty products, including some full-size items! They also offer limited edition boxes which you can purchase for an additional $32, but I wasn't interested in either of those this month.

I also recently signed up for Topbox, which merged operations with Luxe Box last year, so I am worried that there will be repetitive products between the two boxes. I haven't received my first Topbox yet, so I guess we will see when the time comes.

Luxe Box Spring 2016 Review

Rather than wait until I've had the opportunity to test out all of these products (as that may take a while), I will go ahead and post what I received and a first impression review. As they make their way into my empties (or perhaps my favourites), you will hear a more thorough review!

The products came in a silky bag as opposed to a box (I'm not sure if this is normal for Luxe Box or not) and the bag was packaged in a cute gold foil envelope. My package was shipped on February 26th and I received it on March 4th. Here's what I found inside:

Smashbox Photo Finish Classic Primer | I've heard good things about this primer so I am excited to give it a try! Approximate sample value: $10.40.

Jelly Pong Pong Lychee Gel Softening Shower & Bath Gel | I'm not sure what lychees smell like, but this shower gel smells like a lemon-y alcoholic drink to me! Not sure if it will smell any better once I actually use it in the shower. It isn't bad, but not my favourite scent either. Approximate sample value: $15.95 (full size - this is the only size I can find on the website but it's definitely more of a travel size).

POP Beauty Kajal Pen | I'm not a huge fan of the purple color but at least it is a dark, nearly black purple. However, purple should make my green eyes pop! Not sure what the lasting power of this eyeliner will be as it is easily smudged (without or without the brush). I am curious to give it a try though! Approximate sample value: $10 (full size).

Schick Hydro Gel Razor | This is just a basic razor, not much to elaborate on here. Luxe Box also included a $5 off coupon for refills. Approximate sample value: $12.64 (full size).

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Primer | This is the third or fourth time that I received this sample in a subscription box but I'm not complaining as I love it. I generally only use it on my nose and chin where my pores seem to be the largest but it does a fantastic job of making them disappear. Approximate sample value: $5.

Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Lacquer | I'm not a huge fan of receiving nail polish in subscription boxes as it's not something that I use regularly. I always have gel nails on my fingers so it's only when I occasionally paint my toe nails, and I already have a ton of nail polish that I don't use. Anyway, the color is a nice periwinkle and the formula seems creamy and easy to work with. However, it's not a product that I will use often. Approximate sample value: $15.83 (full size).

Model Co BB Plush Cream Daily All-In-One Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | I've actually never tried a BB cream so I was excited to see this, especially because they actually sent the correct color ("Fair"). The color is still a bit too dark for my winter skin but I'm hoping that I'll be able to use it in the summer when I am slightly more tanned. The undertones are a bit orange which scares me a little, but hopefully it won't be too noticeable with a tan. I've swatched this on my hand and it feels nice and gives good coverage. I love that it has SPF as well! Approximate sample value: $22 (full size).

The total value of this box is a whopping $92.12, so it's definitely worth the price! Of the seven products, five of them were full size (if you include the shower gel) and there is a nice variety of products. There was also the $5 off razor refills coupon and a 300 Optimum Points coupon if you purchase the full sized Benefit primer at Shoppers Drug Mart. Overall, I am pleased with my first Luxe Box and I will continue to subscribe as long as the products don't overlap with the Topbox products.

There is no actual referral code that I can use if you'd like to subscribe, but if you leave your e-mail address I can send you an invitation to join and I will receive $5 off a limited edition box in the future. Just let me know if you are interested!

Have you ever tried Luxe Box before?

Review: NYC Expert Last Lip Color

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Apologies for the disappearing act over here! Naturally, my weekend in Florida was chaotic and I have been so busy since returning on Monday evening that I haven't had time to do anything with my blog! Hopefully things will return to normal by next Monday.

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Review

Since mentioning on here that my new favourite lipstick cost me a whopping $1.50, I've had a dozen people ask me which one it is so without further ado, let me present it to you! I've actually owned two of these lipstick for a while now but it wasn't until I picked up two new colors during my last trip to Walmart that I became obsessed.

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Review
Left-right: Berry Me, Red Suede, Forever Fuchsia, Pure Coral

Now they may not compare to a $50 Dior lipstick, but for a drugstore product at that price, I seriously recommend giving them a try. They are pigmented and glide on easily but my favourite part is how comfortable they are to wear. Granted, I am used to wearing matte lip stains which are super drying but these are moisturizing without the color slipping everywhere over your face. They last a good 3-4 hours and fade evenly with a nice stain on the lips.

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Review

Did I mention that they are available at Walmart for the irresistible price of 2 for $3? (I think they are $1.99 each but why only get one when you can get a deal on two?). I seriously struggle to walk past the display without picking up a couple but I will definitely be back for a few more colors soon.

The lip swatches aren't the best as I was rushing to catch the light before it disappeared, so you can blame the splotchy application on me, not the product.

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Review Berry Me
Berry Me

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Review Red Suede
Red Suede

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Review Forever Fuchsia
Forever Fuchsia

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Review Pure Coral
Pure Coral

The only thing that I don't like about the lipstick is the scent, as it's a bit plastic and sickly. However, I haven't noticed it once applied to my lips. The packaging is simple and the covers snap in to place, however, the cover of the fuchsia lipstick came off in my makeup bag, so be wary of that! The clear top also allows you to see the product color which is convenient as many drugstore products are sealed and without a tester you cannot see the actual color.

As I mentioned, you can buy them at Walmart here in Canada, and probably other drugstores such as Shoppers and Lawtons, though they may cost a little more there. They are also available on Amazon, though the price tends to vary between colors. I think they are also available at Walmart and K-Mart in the U.S.

Have you ever tried this lipstick? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

What To Pack: Beach Vacation

Friday, March 4, 2016

As you are reading this, I will hopefully be on my way to Florida! Given that we are only going for the weekend, I tried to pack reasonably.. which means that I brought my medium suitcase as opposed to my large one, hah! I will never possess the ability to pack a carry on bag only. So, here's what I'm taking for the weekend (and also a bunch of things I'd like to own).

Swimwear | I plan to spend a good amount of time lounging by the pool with a book in hand, occasionally hopping in the water to cool off. Bandeau bikinis are normally my favourite, but I am loving the high-neck tops that are all the rage this year. The flouncy high neck bikini above is from Target and you best believe I will be keeping an eye out for it while I am there. I'm also loving scalloped bikinis and this one from Old Navy retails for a fraction of the price of this one.

Casual Outfits | Given that we only have a couple days, I packed a lot of simple, casual separates that could easily be mixed and matched for daytime or nighttime. The 3" Chino Short from J. Crew Factory is easily my favourite pair of shorts and I own them in a bunch of colors. They pair nicely with a plain camisole (the striped version is also adorable!) for daytime and a light sweater for the chilly evenings.

Footwear | I plan to live in flip-flops while I'm there and I love that this pair from Tkees are nice enough to wear during the day or in the evening. If you are doing any amount of walking, I recommend a slip-on shoe such as Sperrys or Keds.

Beach Bag | I think we are skipping the beach this trip but these bags are great for the pool as well. They are big enough to hold a towel, magazines, sunscreen and a few snacks. I love the colorful Lilly Pulitzer tote but this scalloped tote is also adorable (and more affordable!).

Accessories | Despite the fact that I hate wearing sunglasses (they give me a headache), I love buying them. I tend to graviate towards aviator-style and I am obsessed with mirrored lenses. These Ray-Bans are a classic but I would also love to give this pair a try. Also, does anyone else change their cell phone cases with the seasons? I currently have a floral case for spring but I am loving this this fun pineapple case!

Extras | Lots of magazines, my Kindle, headphones, sunscreen (SPF 60 for me!), passport, and bright lipstick.

Hopefully I don't forget anything on my travels! Have a great weekend!

Monthly Empties: February 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Happy first day of March! I'm a day late on my first monthly empties post but I have to blame it on the dark, dreary weather we had yesterday which prevented me from taking any indoor photos. Luckily today is beautiful, sunny and warm(ish), giving me hope that Spring may actually arrive sooner rather than later!

Rusk Sensories Clarify Shampoo | This shampoo lasts me forever as I only use it once or twice a week, but I've been repurchasing it since high school. I truly believe it is one of the best clarifying shampoos on the market! When I lived at home with my parents, my blonde hair would sometimes turn brassy (even green once!) from the iron and other minerals in the well water. This shampoo kept my hair looking bright and blonde. Now that I use town water, I no longer have that problem but I still find that this shampoo brightens and really deep cleans my hair. It smells like peppermint and lathers really well. Repurchase? Definitely! This is one of my HG shampoos.

L'Oreal Sublime Soft Micellar Makeup Removing Solution | This is another product that I have repurchased many times, however, if you seen my Instagram earlier this week, you'll know that I picked up the Garnier micellar water this time. I had all intentions of repurchasing the L'Oreal one again but couldn't find it at Walmart and to be honest, I think I actually like the Garnier one better, which really surprises me because I love this product! It takes off my makeup without stripping or irritating my skin and has no harsh or bothersome scent. Repurchase? If I don't end up loving the Garnier version, then absolutely.

Bath & Body Works "Sparkling Icicles" Gentle Foaming Hand Soap | No link to this product as it was a winter scent and is no longer available. You'll notice that all my Bath & Body works soap are the foaming type, as it is our personal favourite. This scent smelled like a men's cologne but it was actually quite nice. Repurchase? Maybe. It wasn't bad, but not my favourite B&BW scent either!

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in 110 "Ivory" | Ugh, I was so happy to finally finish this foundation which seemed to last forever. I'm a huge fan of the original Revlon Colorstay Foundation so I decided to give the whipped version a try but I was not a fan. It seemed to sit on top of my skin and highlighted my pores. The jar was nice and the color selection is great, but those are the only positives to this foundation. Repurchase? No, definitely not.

John Freida Frizz Ease "Dream Curls" Shampoo and Conditioner | I've had these foil packets sitting in a drawer for ages! Like, years, probably. I'm actually surprised that they still make this shampoo and conditioner, but I'm glad they do. I was pleasantly surprised by these products! I have very thin, fine, wavy hair that lately has been more oily than dry, so I expected this combination to be too heavy for my hair. However, it made my hair bouncy and voluminous, not greasy at all, and defined my waves so that they looked more uniform. Not to mention, both products smell amazing and the smell actually lasted in my hair. Repurchase? Yes, I have to keep an eye out for it the next time I am buying a new shampoo and conditioner!

Biorepublic "Cucumber Breeze" Soothing Fiber Mask | I reviewed this product in my January 2016 Birchbox Review post, so check that for a more thorough review. I did enjoy this product though, and it makes me want to try out more fiber masks. Repurchase? Yes, maybe if I seen it in a store.

The Body Shop "Coconut" Body Butter | Everyone knows that the formula of The Body Shop's body butter is amazing - it actually feels like butter, plus it is non-greasy and super hydrating. I received this in a gift set and if you are a fan of coconut, then you will love this because it's a true coconut scent. Personally, I prefer the Shea Nut scent, but they have a ton of other scents available as well. Repurchase? I like the product, but I wouldn't repurchase this particular scent.

Let me know in the comments if you enjoy this type of post! I don't normally use this many products in the run of a month so I'm not sure if I will post one every single month or not. We shall see!
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