Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Favorites

September is my favorite month of the year. I love when the leafs change from green to vibrant colors and when the humidity of summer is replaced with cool sunny days. Here are the products I have been loving this month.

Wet n Wild Eye Shadow Trio: Spoiled Brat
You can create some bold, sultry looks with this little palette

Maybelline Color Tattoo in gold shimmer
Gold is my favorite eye shadow color to wear and it is beautiful for fall.

Essie no chips ahead top coat
I love my In a hurry air dry top coat but the Essie no chips ahead makes my polish last a lot longer than most of the no chip top coats I have tried. 

NYC lipstick in the color Ruby

Ionix argan oil  deep conditioner
This is another really good deep conditioner which helps make my hair soft and moisturized with the help of argan oil. You can purchase this at Winners or online.

 Neutrogena pink grapefruit oil free cleansing wipes
These wipes effectively removes my makeup and feels soft and gentle on my skin. They are also safe to use if you have acne prone skin. They smell very strongly of citrus but I can usually get all of my makeup off with one cloth, and afterwards my face feels very refreshed, similar to a menthol tingle. I really like the effectiveness of these wipes but I think the next Neutorgena wipes I try will be minus the grapefruit tingle. I also advise you not to use them if you have recently exfoliated your face as it could sting a little.

Wet n Wild Lipstick in the color:  918D Cherry Bomb
I love bright summer shades but when fall hits I break out the dark reds, wine and copper tones. This Wet n Wild lipstick is a great fall color. I do find that this lipstick stains my lips quite heavily which I don't mind during the day but removing it is a bit of a hassle. 

St. Ives coconut milk & orchid extract body cream
I go through body cream very fast, especially in the cooler months so I love trying out new lotions to keep my skin soft and moisturized. This lotion is made with 100% natural moisturizers, it is fast absorbing and non greasy. This lotion smells amazing and I love how soft and hydrated my skin feels when I use it. For just over $4 this is one of my favorite drug store body lotions.

Schick Xtreme 3 Razors
As far as razors go I usually purchase the Schick brand. This razor is made for sensitive skin and helps combat razor burn with aloe, vitamin E and shea butter in the strip above the 3 blades. They last rather long before you have to use a new one and provides a nice close shave. I recommend not keeping the razor in the shower to avoid rusting of the blades and to prolong the life of the razor. I also really like the Schick Quattro for women.

e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in the color Pink Lemonade 
I don't know why e.l.f. calls these liquid lipsticks because they aren't pigmented enough for that title but if you want a light wash of gloss on your lips without the heavy color then this is a nice natural pink.

Nivea Visage rich regenerating night care face cream
This cream helps retain moisture during the regeneration process at night and helps nourish the skin and improve its appearance. I have been using this cream for months and I love it. When I apply it to my face at night my skin  feels instantly softer, smoother and more supple; similar to the feeling I get after I have done a facial or exfoliated. It takes care of any dryness I have after deeply cleansing my face and removing my makeup. 
Clean and Clear essentials foaming facial cleanser
I have been using Clean and Clear products for years now but this was the first time I purchased this particular cleanser. The bottle says that it for sensitive skin and that it removes pore clogging dirt, oil and makeup without over drying. I always cleanse my face twice, the first time gets off all the oil that naturally accumulates throughout the day and  most of the makeup; while the second wash cleans deeper after most of the oil and makeup has been removed. This cleanser works well but it does leave my face feeling dry so I have to follow it up with my Nivea night cream.

Decorative Vase
 This vase is from HomseSense which is one of my favorite stores for home decor. It adds a flare of trendiness to any room.

Small Jewelry organizer
This organizer is very handy to store small jewelry and it can fit inside larger jewelry cases or in drawers. It also works well for smaller earrings and studs so they don't get lost.

Small pink organizer
This little drawer organizer is perfect for small items.

Michael Kors Watch

What were your favorite products in September?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pink Smokey Eye Makeup

Hi everyone,
I haven't done an eye shadow look in a while so I thought I would do something bright, bold and dramatic. To get this look I used my Coastal Scents 88 Shimmer palette

Naked 2 palette
This look is quite simple to do, but you have to make sure to blend the colors together very well.
Below are directions for anyone who wants to try this look.

1. Prime your lids right up to your brows with the Urban Decay Primer Potion. Make sure you prime under your lower lash line as you will be applying eye makeup there.

2. Using a flat eye shadow brush pat a combination of the red color and the pink color indicated from the Coastal Scents palette above all over your eyelids. 

3. Using a blending brush take the red color you used on your lids and blend it into the crease and outer V. When applying the shadow into your outer V area make sure you get a clean sharp angle. I used a business card against my skin and lined the angle of the card  from the very corner of my eyes to the tip of where my eyebrows end to create the V shape while blending.

4. Using the color Black Out in the Naked 2 Palette and using the business card trick again darken up the outer V areas. 

5. Make your outer V area the darkest area. As you blend in towards your inner tear ducts use less black as you go to create a faded out look in your crease.

6. Above the outer V and your crease take some of the red color and lightly blend it above the black. Make sure you apply the shadow heaviest on your outer V and then lighter as you go towards your inner tear duct.

7. Under your brows apply the color Foxy from the Naked 2 palette for a matte highlight.

8. Line your upper lids with a black liquid liner, I used the Wet n Wild liquid liner.

9. Line your lower lash lines with a black pencil. I used the Revlon Color Stay pencil liner.

10. Apply the dark pink shadow under your lower lash lines and around your inner tear ducts.

And that is it, your look is complete. If you have any questions don't hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My 4th Wedding Anniversary!

Hello everyone, today my husband and I are celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary and oh how the time flies! It seems like just the other day we were preparing to meet all of our friends and family at our venue to have some great food and a lot of fun. Our wedding was elegant, big and beautiful! I wish I could do it again because I had fun planning it and even more fun experiencing it.

To all the soon to be brides out there I have some advice: try not to stress, sometimes things don't go according to plan but be organized, get as much help as you need, and above all make sure you let go and have a good time.

To all the newlyweds: marriage is hard work, there will be good times and bad but through it all remain great friends, spend quality time together, have fun, be goofy and keep the love, passion and romance alive.
Me and my bridesmaids
I thought since I am reminiscing about my wedding day I will take you all back in time with me and share the memories with you.
Our Venue:
I got married at a golf and country club with beautiful lush green landscape, a gazebo, fountains and gardens. The actual building was a mix of modern decor with a touch of rustic charm and beautiful grand chandeliers. As soon as I saw it I knew it was the place and nothing else would do.

Our wedding theme colors was a mixture of light and deep purples with white.

This was the golf and country club where we got married
Photo from: Better Memories .ca
The banquet hall

(This is not my decor I did purple and white this is a photo of our wedding hall from the venue website)

Picture of our head table

My bouquet

My Dress
My dress had a lot of crystal detailing. I actually set out to get a ballgown but picked this one instead.

Since my hubby is a private person I decided not to show his face.

 The flowers on the cake were purple but turned blue under all the lights! 2 layers of cake were white chocolate and raspberry and one layer was white chocolate and mango, it was delicious. I got my cake from Just Temptations 

At the top of our invitations is says: two hearts, two souls united forever in love.


We had an open bar so things got a little crazy on the dance floor but we had a blast!

To celebrate today we are going to have a romantic date and just spend some time together. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband Wayne, I love you :) 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tips for running a blog giveaway

Since I have a few days left in my makeup giveaway I would like to share some of the tools I utilized to run my giveaway since there were well over 16,000 entries.

Benefits of having a giveaway:
Hosting a giveaway is a great way to reward your readers, gain exposure for your site, gain followers and increase your blog traffic.

Reasons to host a giveaway:
My giveaway was a milestone giveaway, meaning I did it to reward my readers and to celebrate how far my website has come. You can host a giveaway for numerous reasons and even have it sponsored by a company.

Terms and conditions:
When you have decide what you want to give away create official rules such as age restrictions, whether or not the giveaway is international, how long you want to run the giveaway for and all rules of the giveaway. You should also add a disclaimer on whether or not you purchased the products. It is best to have a clear and concise set of rules and guidelines that are easy to follow. If you would like to see the rules I wrote for my giveaway click GIVEAWAY and scroll to the bottom of the post.

Keep in mind that if you choose to open the giveaway internationally you may greatly increase your following and visitors but it will also raise your shipping costs. Consider the weight and size of the package you will be shipping and the various shipping methods.

Hosting sites
Once you have decided on the rules choose a hosting site. You can research online to decide which hosting site is right for you. Two of the most popular are Punch Tab and Rafflecopter. Using a host site allows you to keep track of all the entries and choose a random winner who qualifies. Rafflecopter is the one I used and it gives you the option of joining for free or signing up for a paid account with more features.

Deciding how people can enter
Once you choose a hosting site decide how you want people to enter the giveaway. On Rafflecopter you can create your own custom entry options. Some of the ways people can enter the giveaway is by following your blog, following your various social media accounts, leaving a blog comment etc. I gave entrants the option of adding my giveaway button to their websites or blogs as a way to gain more exposure for my giveaway. For easy instructions on how to make a button for your blog or giveaway click HERE

Whatever options you choose make sure entering the giveaway is easy and that you don’t have too many ways to enter.

Add a photo link to your sidebar

When you run a giveaway your giveaway post can get lost as new posts are placed in front of it. Make sure to have a colorful photo link of your giveaway clearly visible on your sidebar so that people can go directly to the post to enter.

Using Social Media:
The best way to get your giveaway out there is by using social media. Create a nice picture of your giveaway (the more colorful the better) and plaster it all over the web. Don’t spam but pin your giveaway, tweet about it, share it on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube and where ever else you can at least a couple times a week. Also ask your friends and family to post and share it on all of their social media sites as well. You can also add the giveaway link in your profile on each social media site.

Post it on Contest Sites:
Post your giveaway on contest sites like Contest Girl and other contest sites that allow international giveaways to be posted. I also posted mine on a Facebook page that runs giveaways which you can find by clicking HERE. You can also contact contest blogs about posting your giveaway. One blog I used is Giveaway Route sometimes these contest blogs will post your giveaway without you asking.

Let your community know:
If you want to get people to your blog then why not post some colorful flyers in the community. Some stores, grocery stores and community centers have community boards you can post things on so use them.

To ensure that you have time to gather entries for your giveaway keep it running for at least a few weeks. This will give people time to hear about it and enter. The fewer days and the less time your giveaway is open the fewer entries you will receive. I ran my giveaway for a month. Although having it open for a few weeks is good, having it open for too long can be counter productive as people may get bored and stop checking your site.

Closing the giveaway:
When your giveaway closes make sure to update your giveaway post title as CLOSED and remove the icon from your sidebar.

Announcing a winner:
Try to pick a winner within 2-3 weeks from the end of the giveaway. Make sure to contact the winner privately via email  and/or social media BEFORE the announcement is made in case they do not claim the prize and you have to pick another winner. Once the prize is claimed making a new post to announce the winner will increase the chances that people will notice the post. Mail the prize within 2 weeks or as soon as possible.

Cons to ruining a giveaway
If you want to have a giveaway on your site to increase your readers, reward your followers and promote your blog then you should know that not everyone will be interested in your content. Some people who come to your site for the giveaway will only be interested in getting free stuff and may not even take the time to glance at your posts or bother coming back unless there is another giveaway. If this is an issue for you then you should narrow down who is eligible to enter and win in the rule section of your giveaway.

I hope this post was helpful. Happy blogging everyone :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Watermelon Slush

I know summer has come to an end but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the end of an amazing season with a refreshing slush. Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits and it is good for your heart, bones and staying hydrated. My favorite way to enjoy watermelon is to have it cold.

This recipe is very easy and can always make it a bit more interesting by adding your favorite liquor.

Ingredients and directions:
*1 cup of ice
*1 cup of diced seedless watermelon
*1 and 1/2 tbsp of sugar or honey to taste
*Pinch of salt
*1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
*Blend until ice is finely crushes and pulse until fruit is pureed.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Emmy Awards Best Dressed

One of my favorite parts of any award show is the red carpet showcase of beautiful gowns. I love gawking at the jewels, the hair styles and the makeup trends.

This year some of the trends I loved were the dark plum colored gown, the deep red gowns and the bright red lips paired with minimal, natural makeup.

Here are my picks for best dressed
Allison Williams Photo from Perez
Alyson Hannigan: Photo from Perez
Carrie Underwood: Photo from e online
Tina Fey: Photo from Huffington Post
Sophia Vergara: Photo from Perez
Shawn Robinson: Photo from Huffington Post
Kaley Cuoco: Photo from Huffington Post

Who were your best dress picks for the 2013 Emmy Awards?
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