Monthly Favourites: January 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wow, the end of January certainly snuck up on me, that's for sure! Although I knew it was coming (today is my mom's birthday!), I am still scrambling at the last minute to wrap up my January favourites post. Then again, it seems that I work best under pressure so without further ado.. 

LUSH D'Fluff Shaving Soap | This is one of the LUSH items that Jordan gave me for Christmas and I completely intend to repurchase it. While (like many items from LUSH) it isn't the easiest thing to use, I love how it makes my skin feel. I rarely ever have any knicks from shaving and as someone who suffers from extremely dry skin on my legs in the wintertime, I haven't been having any issues since using this! I only have a small pot which I've used nearly every day this month and it's about 75% gone, so while it is slightly more expensive than the drugstore version, I will at least continue to buy it on occasion.

We Did It When We Were Young - The Gaslight Anthem | I discovered this song on One Tree Hill which means it is definitely not new but I can't get enough of it! 

Burn Fast (BKAYE Remix) - Bryce Fox | This remix has also been on repeat in my car. Such a fun song!

Epicure Veggie Twist & Spiral Slicer | Since becoming an Epicure consultant, I've discovered a lot of new and great products, but this one has to be a favourite. I love using this to make zoodles which are not only delicious but also healthy! I made this recipe yesterday and I highly recommend it! Get in touch with me if you would like to order one for yourself.

YSL Rouge Volupé Oil-In-Stick Lipstick in "49" | This product will receive a post of its own but I couldn't not include it in the list as it's basically the only lipstick I've used this month. I have to thank Bri for turning me on to this one but my bank account is crying because I want one in every color now.
"Bloom: Navigating Life and Style" by Estee LaLonde | This is another product that I received for Christmas and I'm 90% finished. I will probably do a more thorough review eventually but I really enjoyed reading this so far. I love Estee (especially the fact that she's Canadian!) and it is definitely a beautiful book to look at.

CRUISE! | We booked a cruise for October aboard the Norwegian Escape so of course I have been pre-occupied with studying the ship, learning about the ports of call, and planning outfits. Yeah, I know, it's a bit early but I can't help it! When I have a trip to look forward to, it's all that I can fixate on! I can't wait to do some cruise-related content on the blog later in the year.

Snapchat | Despite the fact that a lot of people are leaving in favour of Instagram stories, I am more obsessed with Snapchat than ever. I love getting a glimpse behind the scenes, whether it's of every day life, travel, or fun events. I am trying to use my Snapchat more, including speaking to the camera and not just relying on photos! Feel free to follow me at "janineallison"!

What are some of your favourite things this month? Let me know in the comments below!

My One Year Blogiversary + What to Expect Over the Next Year

Saturday, January 21, 2017

One year ago today, I wrote and published my very first blog post for all the world to see.  Despite having numerous journals and blogs over the years, it was the first time I publicly shared one with my family and friends.  Since then, I've published over 100 blog posts, worked with fantastic brands, joined the Canadian Beauty Bloggers network, and made a ton of new online friendships.  I'm so excited to continue growing my blog and make the next year even more successful than the first one!

Despite my good intentions for starting my blogging game off strong in 2017, I failed to follow through with that after coming down with a head cold that left me with near-constant headaches.  After that it felt like I spent all my free time trying to catch up on housework and appointments, yoga classes and social gatherings.  I've also been really discouraged with my photos, thanks to the poor winter lighting.  I ordered a light box which will hopefully step up my game in that regard and motivate me to post more often, both here and on my Instagram.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in any way over this past year as it means so much to me!  I've had a few friends and co-workers say that they love reading my blog and it honestly makes my day each time.  Here's what you can expect from Janine Allison over the next year...

More beauty reviews | This is my true love but as I said, due to the photography situation, I've been less than motivated in this regard, however, I plan to fix this ASAP!

More travel | We recently booked a cruise for the fall and while it is looking like that will be our only trip this year, I want to incorporate it into the blog in a big way.  I'm sure we will also be doing some local travel throughout the province as well.

More food | I recently became an Epicure consultant and it has made me more interested in cooking and creating healthy but delicious meals with their amazing products!

More fashion | I am definitely not claiming to be a style guru but I love clothing and I want to bring some wish lists and fashion hauls to the blog.

More ME | It is easy to lose your own voice in blogging when you get caught up in sponsored posts and the glitz of PR items.  I want you to know that I will always be 100% honest with you, and I also want to incorporate more of my own voice on issues that matter the most to me.

Is there anything else you would like to see on Janine Allison this year?  I am totally open to ideas and opinions!  Also, for those who don't know, I have a mini giveaway over on Twitter for a Tarte makeup set.  It ends tonight and has few entries (all you have to do is retweet!) so head over there and check it out!

NARS x Sarah Moon "True Story" Palette

Saturday, January 7, 2017

One of the products at the top of my Christmas wishlist was the NARS x Sarah Moon "True Story" blush and lip palette.  To be honest, I hadn't heard a lot about the palette, which is a collaboration between NARs and the french fashion photographer, Sarah Moon.  I just knew that once I laid my eyes on the pretty pink blushes, I had to have it.  Sadly, this product is now out of stock but a few items from the collection remain on the Sephora website.

The "True Story" blush and lip palette contains four blushes (0.12oz/3.5g each), as well as a Velvet Matte lip pencil in "Mysterious Red" (0.08oz/2.4g). The packaging is sturdy and a decent size for traveling, albeit a bit thick. Naturally, the cover of the palette is a Sarah Moon photo and the inside features a large mirror. The palette retails for $74 CAD.

Devotee is a shimmery champagne color that is more suited as a highlighter than a blush. It's a gorgeous shade that is perfect for an everyday highlight color as it isn't too over-the-top.

Myth is a matte pale pink that reminds me of my favourite Maison Jacynthe "Juliette" blush, except slightly lighter. Luckily the pigmentation of these blushes are great, so while they may look unimpressive in the swatches, they build up quite easily.

Unwritten is a pretty matte peachy-pink that again, is perfect for everyday wear.

Outlaw is a a permanent NARS blush color and is described as a "soft rose with golden shimmer". This would look absolutely gorgeous on someone with darker skin but on my fair skin, I have to use a very light hand to keep it from looking clown-like. It is a gorgeous shade, however!

Formula-wise, these blushes are fairly soft, especially the latter three in the palette. There is a little bit of fall out but nothing to worry about. As I mentioned, the blushes are quite pigmented when applied with a blush brush but are easy to blend into a natural flush. My favourites in the collection are "Myth" and "Unwritten" but I honestly like all four of the shades.

The palette also contains a full-size NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in "Mysterious Red", which is also part of the permanent collection. Prior to this I had only tried the satin lip pencil but I was quite impressed with the matte version as well. It is incredibly pigmented, comfortable to wear, and lasts a decent amount of time. The only downside is that you really need to use a lip liner as it tends to feather at the edges.

Overall, I am really pleased with this palette! The price tag is a bit hefty but considering the amount of product in here, I have a feeling it will last me a long time.

Have you tried any of the products from the NARS x Sarah Moon collection?

2016 Year in Review

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Today I'm linking up with Helene from Helene In Between for a 2016 recap & review.  It seems that 2016 was a terrible year for a lot of people. Personally, it wasn't one of my favourites either. There were some definite highlights but overall, I wasn't sorry to say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017!

Helene in Between

January: The new year was off to a great start as we rang it in with friends! On January 21st, I not only started my blog, but also shared it to the world. I've had a number of private journals over the years but never stepped out of my comfort zone into the public realm. Starting this blog and sticking to it is one thing that I am super proud of this year! In January I also spent time with girlfriends and won a giveaway for a Lorac Mega Pro 2 palette on Adaleta's blog.

February: February was a great month for friendships. We travelled with our friends to the city for a Dragonette concert and had a delicious meal at Yellowbelly. My obsession with James Bay also started in February. We ended the month by booking a spontaneous weekend trip to Florida for March.

A photo posted by Jamie Chafe (@jc__designer) on

March: Jordan and I jetted off to Orlando, Florida for a long weekend in March. It was his first time in Orlando so naturally we hit up the outlet malls and Magic Kingdom. I was also contacted by Make Up For Ever in March about a collaboration which has since led to further opportunities to work with them. I still pinch myself every day! I received and reviewed my first products from them in March.

April: We were getting together frequently with friends at weekly open mic nights but aside from that, it seems that I spent most of April complaining about the poor weather and wishing I could live on a tropical island. My obsession with Kat Von D liquid lipsticks begun in April and I discovered my new signature scent (YSL Black Opium).

May: In May I took a spontaneous day trip to the city with some girl friends and I got my nose pierced! It was something I had been wanting to for a long time but was too afraid to bite the bullet. I did another collaboration with Make Up For Ever. Jordan was admitted to the hospital with gallbladder issues, while I was sick with a cold that left me bedridden.

June: We made homemade sushi for the first time, spent time in boat, and Jordan had his gallbladder removed. I made a summer bucket list and we were able to check off camping in a tent during the month of June. We spent a lot of time with our tenants Matt and Brittany, who've turned into such good friends, and made some great memories camping together.

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

July: I went back to work following my summer holidays. We spent time in boat and in the city and fell in love with The Fifth Ticket. I purchased my first Rebecca Minkoff bag and my own domain for this blog. We also booked a trip to Dominican Republic for August!

August: We travelled to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic, which was a first for both of us. We enjoyed a relaxing week together and met some great people on our trip! We also camped and hiked in August. At the end of August, I celebrated my 27th birthday with the most adorable Sephora-themed birthday cake and tons of gifts, including a new Kate Spade bag!

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

September: I did another collaboration with Make Up For Ever. I bought a new luggage set and my new favourite jacket. I ended the month as a bridesmaid in a wedding between two of my dearest friends. We rarely see them and had such a fun weekend with the bride, groom and their families!

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

October: October was a pretty quiet month socially. On the blog, I reviewed a Dove Dry Shampoo through Chick Advisor. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and Brittany's birthday with friends. We also said goodbye to our precious cat Rusty.

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

November: I collaborated with Maison Jacynthe and MyChelle on the blog. I love having the opportunity to try new brands that I otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to! I finally reached VIB Rouge status at Sephora and dyed my hair silvery-grey. We went to the city with our friends Lance and Jillian, where we attempted (and fell in love with) our first escape room.

December: Naturally, December was a busy month filled with work, Christmas parties, and last minute holiday errands. This year I took Christmas off for the first time in four years and was so thankful to spend it with family and friends. On the blog, I worked with Sole Patches, thanks to Brand Backer. I also signed up to be an Independent Consultant for Epicure and I am super excited to delve into that in the new year.

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

How was your 2016? Be sure to leave a link below if you've done a year in review post!

Goals for 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Roll your eyes and judge all you want but I am totally one of those "New year, new me" people. I love nothing more than a blank slate or a fresh start and now that I no longer have the back-to-school opportunity in September, I am always eager for January 1st to roll around. 2016 wasn't the best year for me and despite failing miserably at my goals, I am ready to try again.

This year I debated between making a set list of goals or resolutions, choosing a word or mantra to live the year by, or just winging it. In the end, I decided on a combination of both. I want 2017 to be all about self-love. It's time for me to be selfish and do what it takes to make myself happy and healthy. I am letting go of all the negativity in my life, bit by bit, and saying no to anything that doesn't bring me joy.

In 2017, I plan to..

Blog More | I want to continue growing this blog. While it is a very time-consuming hobby, it is one that I enjoy immensely. I've met some wonderful people through this blog, had the opportunity to work with amazing brands, and built something that I'm really proud of.

Exercise More | I'm sick of looking in the mirror and hating myself. It's time to start taking care of my body. I've personally seen the detrimental effects of not taking care of yourself and as I approach 30, I can no longer let this take a back seat. It's time for yoga, zumba, and at-home workout classes and maybe even some cross-country skiing.

Read More | I've loved reading since I was a child but devote far too little time to it these days. I want to make an effort to read a little each day before bed.

Buy Less | Not only do I need to save money, but I also despise clutter and wasteful spending. I will definitely continue to shop but I want to spend my money on purposeful items that bring me joy.

Worry Less | I've suffered from anxiety since I was young and while I have come a long way in the past few years, I still have a lot of anxiety and occasional panic attacks. Quite a few times last year I experienced crushing chest pain that I blame entirely on anxiety. It's time to let go of the things I cannot control as stress is a major contributor to heart disease, headaches, stomach ulcers, IBS, and depression.

Care Less | This sounds kind of crude, but hear me out. Similar to worrying less, I want to care less about the things that are out of my control. For example, friendship is a two way street, and I am no longer going to make the effort to maintain a friendship that is not being reciprocated. I've grown apart from a lot of people in the past year and I am letting it go. I am no longer interested in maintaining relationships that only fuel drama. I picked up a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and it will be one of my first reads this year.

I have a feeling that 2017 is going to be a great year.

Do you have any resolutions for the new year? I'd love to hear them!
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