Monday, October 20, 2014

The Perfect Daily Lip

Guys, I've found being the perfect daytime dusky brownish-berry pink lip. Is that a good enough description for you? It comes in the form of the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in 225 Sultry, and it was love at first swatch. I love a bold lip and this colour is just deep enough to add some oomph, but isn't so bright or vampy that I get weird looks walking from class to class...and we all know I don't have enough of a social life to actually get the chance to sport a vampy lip on a night out very often. It's a great colour coming into the cooler months, and I really do think it would be flattering on most skin tones.

The fact that it's in crayon form also makes it ridiculously easy to apply, and to get lines as clean or lived-in as you'd like. Just line the lips with the tip, then go in with the side and fill the rest in. Once it goes on it's slightly sheeny (but just the way I like - not too shiny or glossy), and you can leave it like that if you want. I just take a tissue and gently blot it down so it really is matte, though, and it lasts all day. Even after eating and drinking and doing lord knows what else to my face and forgetting that I'm wearing lip colour at all, I return to the mirror after a day out and about and the colour is still right where I put it. As a general rule, touch-ups during the day are just too much of a hassle for me, and it's incredibly difficult to find a bathroom that actually has lighting that doesn't make you want to hide your face from the world for the rest of forever, so anything that actually stays on my face all day is A+ with me.

I love how it comfortable it is to wear, too. I find that a lot of matte lip products, and even just lipsticks in general, can be really drying on the lips - I can feel it throughout the day, as well as in the aftermath with chapped and dry lips. This glides on so smoothly though before setting in place for the day, and feels super hydrating. Again, when I'm wearing it, I tend to kind of just forget it's there rather than constantly thinking about and being aware of the fact that there's something sucking the moisture out of my lips, or being constantly wary of ending up with lipstick on my nose or some other inexplicable area. Don't laugh, it's happened...don't ask me how.

This will definitely be a day-to-day staple for me for the forseeable future - the colour, application, and formula just tick all the boxes for me.

What lip colours have you been running to daily this season?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Easy Eats | Veggie Quinoa


I never really learned how to cook. I've been pampered by my parents all my life and never really had much of an interest or skill in food preparation beyond instant ramen and chocolate chip cookies. Even last year, when I moved to the other side of the country to start university away from home, I was taken care of with my meal plan.

Now that I'm in an apartment off-campus, though, I've needed to begin broadening my horizons. While eating instant ramen seven days a week is tempting, it's probably not that good for me (read: all the sodium and other crap in those little seasoning packets, while delicious, are absolutely awful health-wise), so I've dipped my toe into the adult world by trying out a few new recipes and wanted to share and document that adventure because hey, it's a big step into the real world for me! Also so that in a few months when my exam-frazzled brain is racking itself trying to think of things to eat, it'll have something to reference.

I'm not quite ready to work with meat yet (urrghhh does anyone like working with raw meat?) so that means that I've been looking for other sources of protein in my day-to-day diet, namely in the form of scrambled eggs and peanut butter. Not at the same time. Anyway, I was wandering aimlessly down the grocery store aisle a little while ago when I spotted a box of organic quinoa, and despite having no idea how to cook and otherwise season quinoa in the least, I thought it sounded protein-y and healthy so into the shopping bin it went. I should be a professional nutritionist.

After some hmm-ing and haw-ing and drawing a bit of inspiration from the back of the quinoa box, I finally threw some things together, and the end result was pretty tasty! I just used the vegetables I had available in my scarcely stocked fridge (#collegelyfe), so keep in mind that you can substitute or add whatever you'd like in that department.





For 3-4 servings, you'll need:

2 cups quinoa
2 sweet red peppers
4 green onion stalks
4 cups spinach (or just a few good handfuls)
2 tablespoons of some kind of oil - I used sunflower
Salt & pepper, and whatever you'd like for seasoning

1. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot. Add the quinoa, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Let that simmer for 15 minutes.

2. While that's happening, heat up the oil in a frying pan, and chop up all your veggies. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stick the veggies in the frying pan. I've never actually fried spinach before so this may be painfully obvious to everyone else, but I swear it just disappears when it gets cooked so if you're using spinach, don't be intimidated by the spinach forest you have going on in your pan for the first few minutes. I totally was.

3. Make sure you give the veggies a little stir and toss every once in a while, and let them fry for about ten minutes.

4. Once the quinoa is done, it should be nice and fluffy and there shouldn't be any excess water in the pot. Dump the quinoa into the pan with the veggies, or dump quinoa + veggies into a bigger mixing bowl if you prefer. Give it all a good toss. Add salt and pepper, and whatever other seasoning you like.



And voila! Veggie quinoa, done. It's so super easy, which is really saying something coming from someone as challenged in the kitchen as I am, and was yummy and filling as well. The best part is that it makes 3-4 servings and you can just pop the leftovers in the fridge, which means that I have food (YAY) for the next few days. Great for midterm season, when I'm reluctant to budge from my desk for more than a few minutes at a time, and if you're cooking for other people as well.

I'm planning on having a few more easy eats up in the next little while as I learn my way around the kitchen so stay posted - and also let me know if you have any suggestions for quick and easy recipes I should try, or that you'd like me to post!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday Thoughts #12 | City Sunsets

Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

I have a molecular biology lecture recording playing back at me as I write this. Let's pretend I'm being productive by multitasking.

The sunsets over the past little bit here in Montreal have been insanely gorgeous. I've been out on the tiny balcony of our 14th floor apartment pretty much every evening attempting to capture it - I'm pretty sure everyone in the surrounding apartments has come to know me by this point as the crazy sunset girl who never takes off her sweats.

city sunset

city sunset

city sunset

Our balcony faces east so you can't see the actual sun (boo) but you get the idea.

Like I said before, I've been living in my sweats lately. First of all because I picked up the coziest pair of McGill sweats last week and gotta rep the school while lounging around, and because I've been sat down frantically trying to cram information into my mind pretty much 24/7 for the past week or so, and have barely left the apartment. Some call me a social butterfly. Not.

I'm pretty sure my brain just switched off after my social psych midterm on Tuesday, and it desperately needs to turn back on to prep for bio on Monday.

I may have engaged in a little retail therapy yesterday. I got the guy at NARS counter to do my makeup because why not (also I now need (desperately want even more than I already did) the Sheer Glow Foundation), and got a lil sample of the Estée Lauder Perfectionist foundation to try out. I love hanging around all the counters at the Bay and just lusting after everything in sight...I have way too many high-end products on my wishlist so I settle for sampling things I want to try until I find something I love enough to invest in.

I'm slowly learning how to feed myself! I've pretty much been having apples + nut butter + cheese as a snack and as a meal multiple times a day because I'm too lazy slash cooking-challenged to do much better...but I made quinoa yesterday and it was actually pretty yummy. Go me.

Remember that time I complained about it being 30 degrees outside despite being autumn...yeah, we're going through another muggy heat wave. Only now instead of it being 30 degrees out and hot and sunny, it's 30 degrees out, cloudy, rainy, and humid. Lovely. It's at times like these that I miss the dry Calgary air.

I have the Self-Control app on my MacBook to control the mindless Facebook and Tumblr surfing I do when I don't want to study, but Blogger and Pinterest somehow conveniently manage to get through. It's problematic.

Buuut I'd better get back to the books regardless. I'll talk to y'all soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review | Pati Dubroff Spotlight Palette

Pati Dubroff Spotlight Palette

Pati Dubroff Spotlight Palette

Pati Dubroff Spotlight Palette

Pati Dubroff Spotlight Palette

Pati Dubroff Spotlight Palette

I figured it's high time I talked about an eyeshadow palette that's been quite a staple for me over the past few months: the Pati Dubroff Spotlight Palette. This is one of those inexpensive Costco finds that my mother actually picked up for me while I was in Montreal in the spring (thanks Mom!), and I've been testing it out throughout the summer. Now that the weather is cooling down though, I think a lot of the more vibrant shades are becoming more wearable on a day-to-day basis.

First off, I love the packaging. It's a sleek, magnetic cardboard palette that's probably a bit bigger than the size of my hand, meaning that it just fits into most makeup bags I own, and thus isn't actually too much of a hassle if I ever feeling like lugging it somewhere. It also has a huge mirror which I love and use all the time, and a cute little inscription underneath with Pati's autograph.

As the name might suggest, the palette features some pretty bold shades, intended to "capture the spotlight" on an evening out. I'll admit that some of the shades like Onyx, the glittery grey, and Acai, the bright purple, intimidate me, and I haven't quite figured out how to wear them yet. It's always fun playing around and experimenting at home though, and hopefully I'll nail a look using one of them soon!

As you can see, though, a couple of shades have been quite well-loved over the past few months. My favourite, especially at this time of year, is Amberglow, a shimmery coppery shade. It looks quite vibrant and orange in the photograph, but it's a little (just a little) more muted in real life. Next is Goldenleaf, a greeny-gold, super shimmery shade. Finally is Phantom, a shimmery silver that I never really thought I'd wear - I've been finding it works beautifully over my metallic Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner in 07 Granite, though, as the shades of the pencil and the shadow are quite similar and I like to just press some of the shadow over the liner and smudge it out a little for a quick and easy, slightly smokey look.

The two shimmery shades Oleander, a creamy shimmer, and Prosecco, a light pink, are great for highlights on the inner eye, and I like the more matte Cashmere for the brow bone.  I also use the matte, purpley shade Mystic for adding some depth on the outsides of my lids when I'm going for something a little more subtle.

The formula of the shadow is a little powdery, as you tend to pick up a lot of excess on the brush that you have to tap off if you don't want it ending up all over the rest of your face, but the colour is buildable. On primed lids, I do find that the colour stays vibrant throughout the day; on me it does crease a little, though, as most shadows tend to on my funny little eyelids.

Finally, the palette comes with a waterproof black eyeliner crayon. It slides on really nicely, but unfortunately I've found it also slides off quite easily too, despite being waterproof. I might use it smudged out underneath a dark shadow for a smoky look, but on its own I find it just really doesn't like to stick to my lids.

Since this palette's got me set for bold, shimmery colours for the foreseeable future, next I'd love to expand my neutrals beyond the little duos and quads that currently pepper my collection.

What palettes have you been loving this season?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

All Things Autumn

I don't know what it is about this year, but I've just been crazy about all things autumn lately and cannot get enough of the gorgeous colours happening everywhere. I've found myself just snapping photos almost everyday just walking along the streets on my way to and from classes and errands, and I thought I would just share some of my favourite autumnal photos, as well as products and other things that have just been reminding me of fall. At the bottom as well is a list of things I'm looking forward to this season, a cute idea I got from Zoella.

autumn street
I love the street I live on.
autumn candle
 Mmm. My entire bedroom smells like autumn whenever I burn this.
autumn street
chunky scarf
Matching lips with scarves, anyone?
maple leaves
One of the things I like about Quebec: the abundance of actual maple trees. So Canadian. I love it.
berry lipstick
Love me my berry lip.
autumn leaves
My mother, photographer extraordinaire, actually captured this photo back in Calgary this week.
Dang. I could learn a thing or two from her.
autumn view
I'll leave you with this view from my apartment balcony.

Things I'm looking forward to this autumn:

Chunky knit scarves.
Sweater weather.
Chilly nights in with tea and a good book.
Bold lips.
Burgundy, olive, & maroon.
Hot chocolate.
Maple trees.
Almost Christmas.
Studying whilst swaddled in a giant fuzzy blanket.
Thanksgiving...which is tomorrow here in Canada, y'all.
Fleece PJs.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Life in Pictures #3

It's time for another Life in Pictures, where I share an incredibly random assortment of pictures from the past two weeks of my life, and leave the explaining for each one up to you guys! (pro tip: if you feel like cheating, hover over each picture for a lil descriptor of what you're looking at).

This month I have the pleasure of co-hosting the link-up with Linda from Fit, Fed and Happy - so go ahead and add your own links, and be sure to check out what everyone else has been up to these past two weeks.

penguin mug
farmers market
loose leaf tea
autumn street
concert hall
place des arts
starbucks studying

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Style | Autumn Sweetheart

autumn sweetheart dress ootd

autumn sweetheart dress ootd

autumn sweetheart dress ootd

autumn sweetheart dress ootd
Excuse my you can see, the sun decided to make an appearance as I stepped out to shoot these.
But check out those pockets!
autumn sweetheart dress ootd

The weather is finally cooling down just a touch, and I'm so excited to start cozying down for autumn! I love wearing dresses and skirts through summer as well as through the chillier months paired with tights, boots, and the occasional scarf. Most of my dresses are quite summery, though, and it can be annoying having to throw a cardigan or jacket on over short sleeved dresses in colder weather.

Solution: customizable clothing. eShakti offers tons of customizations on all their clothing, including skirt length, sleeve length and style, and embroidery options. I picked out this originally sleeveless dress and slapped some three-quarter length sleeves on it to make it a little bit more cool-weather-friendly, and shortened the skirt from below the knee to above the knee as I think it's just more flattering for an everyday look. The skirt is also lined with polytaffeta, which adds to the whole warmth factor. I chose to remove some of the colourful flowered embroidery on the skirt, simply because I'm planning on mixing and matching tons of different accessories and scarves with this dress, and thought it would be easiest to do so with something relatively plain to start with. Finally, my favourite part: it has pockets! Am I the only girl who ends up having to awkwardly hold her phone in her hand when walking down the street while wearing a skirt, due to the lack of pockets? Yes? Well anyway, problem solved with these handy lil things!

Aside from all the style adjustments, you can also input your own custom measurements to get the perfect fit. I know that I'm always wary of ordering things I haven't tried on for size, so eShakti takes care of that one in a snap.

I kept my accessories quite simple with just a few red accents, as it's still relatively warm out and I wanted to show off the sweetheart neckline. Once the temperature outside drops a bit more, I'm definitely planning on pairing this dress with textured tights and taller boots, and maybe a colourful knit scarf to keep things warm and interesting. I'm glad I kept it plain with this dress, as it'll definitely be a staple in my wardrobe in the upcoming autumn/winter months!

what I'm wearing:
Dress*: eShakti
Boots: Aldo
Belt: Forever 21
Necklace: handmade gift - I'm not sure where you can find a similar one, unfortunately!

If you head on over to eShakti's website sometime within the next month, enter the coupon code 'rinaroo' to get 10% off your order! They have loads of new autumn styles and colours available at the moment so it's definitely worth popping over, if just to ogle all the styles. Be sure to check out eShakti as well on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest!

*PR sample