Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jenna Hipp: Shaken Not Stirred

I'm back with another Jenna Hipp nail lacquer, and this time it's Shaken Not Stirred. As much as it might seem like a toned-down neutral at first glance, I actually think it's quite a unique colour. I see tons of beiges and greiges out there, but to be honest I don't think I've seen many straight-up greys. It's got enough colour not to make me look like a corpse, but not so much that I look like a robot. It strikes a nice balance in between...because we're all looking for that balance between corpse and robot, right?

Yeeeah. Sorry. Not the best at describing colours...still working on that.

I'm not sure how well it translates in the photos, but in certain lights this also has a cool, almost blue-y undertone that's also really flattering.

The point is, I think this is a lovely and surprisingly versatile colour for anything from a sophisticated and classy night out, to day-to-day life as a student. I never thought I'd find myself reaching for a grey nail polish on a regular basis, yet here I am!

What do you think of grey nails?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Life in Pictures #5 | Holiday Spirit

It's time for another Life in Pictures, where I share an incredibly random assortment of pictures from the past week of my life, and leave the bulk of the explaining up to you guys!

christmas lights
starbucks red cup
candy shop
christmas lights

P.S. In case you couldn't tell, just throwing it out there that I live for Christmastime, so there's going to be plenty of holiday excitement going down in all aspects of my life over the next month...

P.P.S. I finally got around to joining the Instagram party...go give me a cheeky follow @carinaaroo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sephora Skincare Goodies



Now that the holiday season is looming ever nearer, Sephora's bringing out all the goodies in the form of value sets and limited edition collections. I added so many to my "Loves" list on the Sephora website that it took all the self-control I had not to add them all to my basket...nonetheless, I used my dwindling tube of the Murad Acne Body Wash (which I reviewed here) as an excuse to place an order to repurchase it, and treated myself to a value set. After much indecision, I settled on the Origins Bestseller Kit as I was planning on picking up the GinZing Eye Cream and Charcoal Mask anyway, and this set includes a full size of the eye cream and a mini of the mask. It also has minis of the GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer, Night-A-Mins Renewal CreamPlantscription Face Oil, and Frothy Face Wash, which made it incredible value for money - the eye cream on its own is $37.50, and the entire set only cost $46. It seems I placed my order just in time, too, as the kit went out of stock within a day or two afterwards and I don't think it's coming back, unfortunately...but some other similar skincare value sets I'd still definitely go for are the Cleansing Ritual To Go and Beauty Unmasked sets, which are under $40 and feature a few Origins goodies as well as a few other products from brands like Boscia and First Aid Beauty that I would definitely shell out for. If you planning on getting one, make sure you snap it up now because these skincare sets are selling out really quickly!

Sephora's also currently offering 8 free samples (code SEASONSET) on online orders of at least $35, which come in a red makeup bag as a bonus. There are 3 options available - I went for the Flawless Refresh, featuring a ton of skincare products, a few lip colours, and some fragrances. The First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, and the GlamGlow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment were highlights of this set that I've wanted to try for a while, which is why I chose Flawless Refresh, but there are also some reeeally nice minis in the A Bright Night Out and Pampered Party Prep as well so it was a tough call!

Of course, there are also the 3 free samples that come with every Sephora order: this time around, keeping in with the skincare theme, I went for the Cover FX BB Gel Mattifying Anti-Blemish Treatment, Shisheido IBUKI Refining Moisturizer, and GlamGlow PowerMud Dualcleanse Treatment.

Finally, I was pleasantly surprised to discover an enveloped filled with perfume samples in my box - everything from Tom Ford to Chanel and a few other goodies!

After this little haul, I think I'm set for experimenting in the skincare department for quite a little while. It'll be a toughie not going crazy and using all the new things at once...much as I'd love that, I don't think my skin would agree quite so much, unfortunately, so I'll be spacing things out and sampling everything in the coming weeks and months.

What are your favourite holiday products? Do you have your eye on any value sets at the moment?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Top 5 | YouTube Fitness Channels

youtube fitness

Being a former competitive swimmer, I've always been much more comfortable getting my sweat on in the water (I just realized how gross that sounds...sorry) and still haven't quite gotten over my dread of going to an actual gym to work out on land. Still working on that. On top of that, I never feel like I have the time to haul myself over to a gym or class...still working on that too.

Anyway, one thing I am down for is getting a good sweat sesh on at home, in the comfort of my own bedroom where I don't have to worry about scaring away the innocent gym-going masses with my swamp-monster exercise face. Attractive, I know. One of my favourite ways of doing this is to click to one of the plethora of fitness videos available on YouTube, and following along. Below are five channels, in no particular order, that I find myself repeatedly clicking to for one reason another several times a week!

1. DoYou Yoga
I recently finished the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Erin Motz, and was so proud of myself for sticking through with it and doing yoga for 30 days straight, even if it was just 10-20 minutes in my bedroom each steps, right?? I love the rest of DoYou Yoga's YouTube videos as well, they just offer such a great combination of relaxation combined with strengthening and toning.

2. Blogilates
Who hasn't heard of the perpetually upbeat Cassey Ho and her fitness channel? Her peppiness is contagious, although I am still perplexed at how she can be so chipper while I'm rolling around on the floor trying to keep up with her...if you keep up with the intensity, even the shortest Blogilates workout is sure to get your sweat on and leave you feeling slightly more accomplished.

3. FitnessBlender
This is on the list just because they have so many videos available - you'll find pretty much any length or type of workout you're looking for. Many are also super easy to do at home with minimal equipment, but still pack a definite punch.

4. XHIT Daily
I go to XHIT's total body workouts when I'm feeling ambitious, as they definitely leave me gasping for air and feeling sore for a few days after! All in a good way though, if that's in any way possible. Their trainers are also super upbeat and chipper - Kelsey is my favourite, I love her crazy socks and it's a nice distraction when she just starts rambling about life while going through the exercises.

5. Tone It Up
As we're getting into the colder months, I'm not sure if watching the Tone It Up girls carry out their workouts on gorgeous beaches makes me feel better or worse about the weather here in Montreal...regardless, they have some great reps that really get your sweat on, and you can use some imagination to pretend you're right there on the beach with them...

What do you think of fitness via YouTube?

P.S. Linking up with Nicole today for Fit & Fashionable Friday - go check it out!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox

When I was at Target the other week replacing my broken mirror, I spotted the Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask from Formula 10.0.6 and impulsively grabbed it. This isn't a brand I'd heard of before, but a quick Google search on my smartphone turned up positive reviews, and I just really liked the packaging - for some reason it reminds me of high-end hair product packaging, and I have no idea why that appealed for me for a skincare product. Regardless, I took it home with me, and now that I've gotten a couple of uses out of it I figured I'd chat about it.

The mask contains orange and bergamot (which is a type of orange), and claims to detoxify the skin to banish impurities while simultaneously hydrating and brightening. The first thing I noticed when I squeezed some product out of the tube was the zingy, fresh scent, which I actually really enjoyed. The product itself is a little thin and watery, and I found that I needed quite a bit get some good coverage going on everywhere.

The first time I used tried this it actually stung quite a lot and dried incredibly quickly - the instructions say to leave it for 10-15 minutes, but it went on so thinly that it dried within about 5, and I wash-clothed it off before the 10 minutes were up. My skin didn't love the after effects, and was a bit red and sore afterward.

Subsequent uses have proved more fruitful, however, as I've been layering it on more thickly to keep it from drying out completely in the 10-15 minutes that I leave it on, and the stinging hasn't repeated itself. While the idea of a mud mask that hydrates and brightens seems sort of strange to me (am I the only one?), I think this mask might just be on the right track. My skin feels noticeably fresher and brighter after rinsing it off, not to mention the hint of deliciously lingering orange scent. I do feel that I might go through the tube fairly quickly with the amount of product I end up using each time, but at under $10 it's not the end of the world. If you have particularly sensitive skin you might want to skip this one, but otherwise it's an interesting mask to try - I don't think I've bumped into a similar one before.

Have you ever tried anything from Formula 10.0.6?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Thoughts #14 | Too Early for Christmas?

Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

1. I love that autumn is actually a thing in weird as it is that we're halfway through November without any snow (there's already been a big old dump of snow back in Calgary), you'll never catch me complaining about the gorgeous autumn foliage...

2. At the same time, helloooo Christmas preparations! I've officially cranked up the Christmas music and paid a little visit to Christmas shop in Oldport...I haven't decided yet how much I want to decorate the apartment since I'll be back home for the holidays anyway, but there's nothing wrong with a little window shopping, right?

3. Although my favourite Christmas decorations, which I'll never ever not pick up, are anything penguin-related. It's the one time of year where I can find penguin things all over the place...I live for it. Most recently this little guy, who's currently sitting on my dresser holding all my rings and earrings and bits and bobs I reach for on a daily basis.

4. I try to ignore the fact that penguins only live south of the equator, and thus have no business being lumped in with all the North Pole-themed decorations.

5. Why do I always, always end up binge watching some television series or another when finals start creeping around?

6. This time it's Friends.

7. I've lost track of how many times I've seen all 10 seasons of Friends all the way through. I'm pretty sure this is the 6th or 7th time.

8. And I wonder why I always end up falling behind in school.

9. I also spent an afternoon putting off catching up on lectures by visiting the science centre here in Montreal...

10. If it has something to do with science, it's pretty much like going to school, right? Let's just go with that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Foundation Wishlist

If I wasn't living on a student's budget, I'd probably be at the beauty counters at Sephora or The Bay on a weekly basis, pretty much throwing my money at them and bringing home aaaallll the pretty makeup. As is, I stick to a few drugstore basics for day-to-day wear, and when I take advantage of Sephora's free shipping on orders over $75 (which is probably far too often as is), it's usually to splurge on a few key skincare bits.

There are a few foundations I've sampled though and have fallen madly in love with, as well as some that I've heard raved about all over the blogging community, and the ones below are at the top of my list for foundations I'm perpetually this close to shelling out for - and probably will end up guiltily purchasing sometime in the near, near future.

Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth Infusing Makeup SPF 25
I picked up a sample of this from the Estée Lauder counter at The Bay, and the teeny tiny bottle has literally lasted me over two weeks now with daily wear. A little goes an incredibly long way with this, and it offers decent coverage, smoothing things out just the right amount without getting cakey or looking too airbrushed.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15
I've heard this touted as an amazing foundation for a lighter, more natural finish. As a general rule I like to go with BB creams or light foundations on a day-to-day basis, so this is definitely one I want to try out.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Skin Fusion Foundation SPF 20
I had a sample of this from Sephora a little while back, and I squeezed every last drop of makeup out of the little pouch that I could. It just melts into the skin so beautifully, leaving everything looking smooth and flawless yet somehow completely's witchcraft. I got so many compliments on the days that I wore this, it's insane!

Dior Diorskin Star Studio Makeup SPF 30
This is apparently a base with a dewy, luminous finish, that somehow manages not to sacrifice anything in the cover-up or staying-power foundation. The fact that it's SPF 30 also perks up my ears a little.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
And finally, the ever-popular NARS Sheer Glow. I have yet to hear of a single blogger who doesn't love this foundation, so I had to try it out last time I passed by the NARS counter. I had a face full of NARS products on for the day and they were all amazing, but this foundation really did stand out. It was dewy and fresh but stayed on my face all day when set with the NARS translucent powder, and offered just the right amount of coverage. If we're being honest here, I think this is the one on the list I'd buy right this moment if I had to pick just one.

Have you tried any of the foundations on this list? Which one would you go for first?