Wednesday, April 1, 2020

5 Lip Products Anyone Who Wears Lipstick Should Own

I feel like this post has been a long time coming! I'm a huge lipstick lover, and over the years, I've managed to curate a ride-or-die collection of products that help me keep my lipstick game on point - from the best lip scrub to the best lipstick remover. Keep scrolling to check out all 5 of my top lip products anyone who wears lipstick should own!

1. Physician's Formula Organic Rose Oil Lip Polish

To make sure your lipstick goes on super smooth and doesn't result in any clumping of dead skin, it's best to use a good lip scrub/polish. I received this Physician's Formula Lip Polish from London Drugs, and I love that it has rose oil in it. It doesn't have an overwhelmingly rose scent, but it also helps to keep the lips moisturized. I find that some lip scrubs are too gentle, to the point of not working. This is not one of them. The granules of organic raw sugar are just right for sloughing away any dead skin on your lips.

My only issue with this product, and I've had that with other lip exfoliators too (like the e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Exfoliator), is that it seems to expire within about a month or two. Kind of smells like playdough after that time, and it's a bit hard to get rid of all lasting residue after using. So as long as you're OK with replacing somewhat regularly it does work well. If you want to make your own sugar scrub at home, this will work just as well! The point is, a good lip scrub/polish is key if you want a nice smooth lipstick application.

2. NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Pencil 

I've been buying NYX's Wonder Pencils at London Drugs for years now. They're just such a handy product to have in your makeup bag. I use it sometimes as a universal lip liner for my lipsticks, drawing around my lip line and blending in before applying lipstick. Other times, I'll use it one my lipstick is applied just to neaten up the edges. It comes in 3 different shades, so you can pick the one that's closest to your skintone. The nice this is with this, you don't have to worry about finding the perfect lip line to match each and every one of your lipsticks! I find this particularly helpful when trying to keep some of my creamier or glossier lipsticks from bleeding. That physical barrier makes quite a difference!

Pro tip: I also keep this in my purse at all times, so that if my lipstick smudges at all while I'm out (for instance, transfers to my chin when drinking/eating), then I can use this as a spot corrector. Or to clean up my lipstick lines on-the-go.

3. e.l.f. Cosmetics Makeup Remover Pen

This is one of my absolute holy grail beauty products. I actually have a stockpile of them. I use one for making my cat-eyes super sharp and cleaning up any mascara mishaps, and I have another I keep for cleaning up my lipstick lines. If you're someone who doesn't have a super steady hand (like me), then this is a miracle product. I use this all of the time especially with my long lasting lipsticks, to easily clean up the outside lines after I've applied. I even works once my liquid lipsticks have dried. It's also great for creating an extra-defined cupid's bow. I love this pen because it's SO much more accurate than using a Q-tip soaked with makeup remover.

A quick usage tip: The makeup residue is essentially picked up by the pen, and you need to wipe it off before going in to take off more makeup. I usually just wipe it on the back of my hand to remove any coloured residue. You could also easily use a tissue.

 I'm so so so SO sad it looks like this makeup remover pen from e.l.f. Cosmetics is being discontinued. I've managed to find some on Amazon though, if you're looking to hunt some down.

By the way, I'm wearing Rimmel's Lasting Finish Extreme Lipstick in 130 Buzz'n here. It's a highly pigmented lipstick that delivers a nice bold dose of colour in just one swipe. The formula is also ultra-comfortable! No drying out here.

4. NYX Professional Makeup Be Gone Lip Color Remover

This NYX Lip Color Remover will remover pretty much any trace of your lipstick super easily! I even use it on my LipSense lipsticks, which stay on suuuuper well, and it makes the colour really easy to wipe off. Same with waterproof lip products.

It applies basically the same as a lip balm. I usually apply a liberal amount all over my lips, leave for about 30 seconds, and then use a tissue soaked with makeup remover to wipe off.

5. StriVectin Double Fix 2-in-1 Plumping & Vertical Line Treatment

This is a really cool new product that I was introduced to at the annual London Drugs Beauty Event. It's a dual-ended lip treatment that works to fight the signs of aging around the lips - those pesky vertical lines that make your lipstick bleed - as well as plump and moisturize your lips.

I like to apply this before I go to bed, first using the Step 1 side, which has a brush applicator, and apply all the way around my lip line. Then I use the doe foot applicator on the Step 2 side and apply to my lips like you would a lip gloss. It has a similar texture to a gloss, but a bit less sticky. And it smells great - maybe cherry?

When I wake up, my lips feel nice and moisturized, and hopefully over the years, it'll also help me avoid the issue of bleeding lipstick due to tiny wrinkle lines!

Happy Beautifying! xo

~ Britta

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The 'It' Skirt: Silk & Snakeskin

One of the biggest 'it' clothing items last year was the leopard silk skirt. It was pretty much on every blogger's feed at some point or another, whether it was with sky-high heels or bright white sneakers. The blogger community proved how versatile a silky mid-length skirt could be. When I spotted this silky (it's actually satin, not silk) snakeskin skirt on SheIn for only $15, I thought hey, maybe this can be this year's iteration of the leopard silk skirt!

I do love the versatility of it, and thought I'd wear it for my last afternoon tea date with LegalLee Blonde a couple months back. I wanted a chic but cozy vibe, as the wear was still pretty cold, so I paired it with an oversized (read: men's) cashmere sweater that I thrifted from Value Village ages ago. By the way, seriously, if you've always wanted a cashmere sweater, just drop by your local thrift store, I've found so many high quality cashmere sweaters while thrifting! To top things off, I thought I'd wear my pearl hair clips (also from SheIn, and only $4!!) and my favourite Kam Dhillon Park Avenue glasses from Clearly.

Most importantly, you're probably wondering...where did we go for such an adorable and delectable afternoon tea? Our favourite spot in Vancouver, Neverland Tea! They have the absolute best savoury and sweet offerings (in regular, vegan or gluten-free!) for a reasonable price, and their teas are fantastic too. I love that they make every pot of tea fresh (not simply adding water when you run out), and they have a huge variety of teas. I recommend the Heavenly Cream. Oh and did I mention, the shop is absolutely adorably decorated? It's worth popping in for some tea if you're ever in the area! I know for now though, we're staying home to stay, so if you still want to try them out from home, they're offering takeout services and delivery within Vancouver!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, March 9, 2020

Graphic Sweaters: A Must-Have in Your Closet

You're probably already familiar with the 'graphic tee' - simply put, a t-shirt with some form of graphics on it. Usually, I'm drawn to the ones with phrases in French or Italian. They go great with pretty much anything, and can easily dress down an outfit. I love wearing them with a feminine skirt, or a leather jacket. Graphic tees are a must in my closet, but in the winter time, I don't wear t-shirts much. Then I spotted this cute 'Ciao' sweater at Value Village! It's the perfect way to wear a graphic top in the winter that offers a bit more warmth.

I've linked a few 'Ciao' graphic tees and sweaters at the bottom of this post, if you're inspired to add one to your wardrobe too. Might I suggest styling with a beret? I went for some serious preppy vibes with this outfit. A thrifted Burberry-style scarf, a navy pea coat, wide leg pants with cold button detailing...and a classic red lip.

Spring is just around the corner, but it's not here quite yet, so stay warm!

Beret - Granville Island Hat Shop | Coat - Zara (thrifted at Salvation Army) | Sweater - Loft (thrifted at Value Village) | Scarf - thrifted at Value Village | Purse - Winners | Pants - Forever 21

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Perfect Manicures on a Budget: KISS Glue-On Nails

Like having my underwear and bra match, having a nice manicure somehow makes me feel like I really have my life together. I don't think I'm alone in that feeling either. I just feel polished with a nice set of nails (no pun intended). At the same time, I'm pretty terrible at applying nail polish, and am too lazy to reapply every 3 days when it chips, so I usually go without.

Then, about a year ago I discovered the wonderful world of fake nails. Now, obviously fake nails are not new to the beauty market by any stretch, but they're something I just never tried. Mostly because I always though of them as cheap and kitchy looking. Something a twelve year old would wear. But I was so wrong.

First, I picked up a couple pairs of imPRESS nails from London Drugs and gave them a spin. They were pretty great. They looked quite real, and had adhesive tabs pre-applied to the nails that held them on well and made them super easy to apply. The only issue was that the tabs didn't quite make the nails sit flush again my real nail, so when I ran my hands through my hair, my hair often got caught under the nails.

Luckily, I received a couple sets of KISS nails from London Drugs' Beauty Preview event, and gave them a try. They come with the option of adhesive tabs or glue, and turns out the glue was the perfect solution to the hair problem. The nails sit perfectly flush against my real nails - they really do look like salon nails (believe me, I've fooled a lot of people and gotten a ton of compliments)! Since then, I've tried a bunch more styles of KISS nails and literally love all of them. They don't seem to be available on London Drugs' website, but they have a good selection in stores. There's a variety of styles (coffin, square, almond), and length (short, medium and long). My favourite are the medium length almond nails, although the long almond nails are quite nice too. Even with the long ones, I get used to doing daily tasks with them pretty quick and are comfortable.

If you like the idea of having nice nails, but just can't justify the cost of getting your nails done in a salon every few weeks, KISS nails are a great alternative! If you're curious, just keep reading below to learn more about my experiences using KISS glue-on nails (and hopefully I'll answer some of your burning questions along the way).

Nail Application

Application is super quick and easy. First, I lay out which nails I'm going to use. The set comes with a good variety of sizes - 28 different ones, so there's more than you'll need. You'll notice tiny numbers on the underside of the tips, so you can make sure you have the same sizes for both hands. Then I'll trim down my real nails to fit the style. For the pointy ones, I have to narrow the shape of my nails (the kit comes with a mini nail file). I like leaving some length though, because I find it helps keep the artificial nails on longer. The kit also comes with a small wooden stick for pushing back your cuticles. 

Then I use the included nail glue, applying it to the underside of the nail. Then I just line it up on my real nail, before pressing down and holding for 5 seconds. Lining it up first is key, so you don't end up with a wonky nail that isn't straight. If you see a little glue gush out around the edges, just wipe it away quickly. And that's it!

Nail longevity

I can pretty easily get 2 weeks of wear out of a set of nails. Usually the second week, there's a nail or two that pops off. But it's easy enough to just apply glue to that nail again and re-apply it. Or, if there's another nail in the leftover kit that fits, I'll apply that instead. I wish the matte finish would last a bit longer on the matte nails I've tried (they usually change to a regular satin finish by the second week), but that's not a huge issue.

For the record, the package does say wearing artificial nails beyond 7 days is not recommended. Not sure why that is, as it doesn't say. But I'm taking my chances until I see any adverse effects (which I haven't yet).

FYI - the nails in the photo above are over a week into wear, and still going strong at the time of writing!

Nail Removal and Recovery

I just remove the nails using your standard nail polish remover, putting one finger at a time in the bottle, soaking it for a minute or two. If they don't come off easily after that, then I'll come back to it and soak it again for a couple more minutes before lightly peeling the fake nail off. If there's any hard glue still around the ends of my nails, I'll just clip or file it off.

I was a bit worried removing these nails for the first time, thinking they may destroy my real nails underneath, like what happened when I got gel nails done a few years ago. Thankfully, not at all!! In fact, I decided to apply another pair of nails right away, and wore those for 2 weeks (so I wore a set for 2 weeks and then another set for an additional two weeks). I took some photos below of when I removed the nails after the second set, and they still were in good shape! Just a few white markings where the nails were a little harder to remove. But I applied some Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment Cream from London Drugs a few times throughout the day, and within 2 days the white markings were gone.

Budget Comparison

I haven't gotten a salon mani (like with acrylics or gel) in years, but my mom usually spends about $50 for a gel mani - and any fancy details are additional. That mani usually lasts about 3 weeks, so that would break down to $16.67 a week. In comparison, a set of KISS nails lasts me 2 weeks, and costs about $11.99. So $5.99 a week. That's a pretty substantial savings! Especially if you consider that my KISS nails usually have the kind of detail that would cost extra on a salon mani.

I'd love to hear what you think if you try KISS nails too! Link your favourite style below!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

5 of the Best Skincare Products for Dry Skin This Winter

Growing up, I feel like my skin never changed that much from season to season. Now though, I see a very noticeable shift when winter arrives. My hands and cuticles get dry and chapped, my face feels tight and dry, and even my eyelids get dry and scaley sometimes (WTF???). Not fun. I've been on the hunt for the best skincare products to handle all these dry winter skin issues, and now that I've narrowed things down, I thought I'd share my curated list with you here! Best of all? You can find them all at your local London Drugs! Keep reading below to check them all out.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rehydrating Light Cream

If your skin is starting to feel overly dry and scaley due to the cold weather, the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rehydrating Light Cream will be a total lifesaver! I've been using this cream for years, and it really is the best. Now, be forewarned, this formula does have a pretty strong perfume-y scent to it, but I actually quite like it now. It's very lightweight, and not at all greasy on the skin (which I find many heavy moisturizers are).
This isn't an eye cream, but because it's so effective, I've been known to use it on below my eyebrows and on my upper eyelids, where I sometimes get dryness and scaling during the winter. It works like a charm! Use at your own risk there though, as it's really necessarily formulated for the eye area.

Burt's Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub

A lip scrub is an absolute must-have for me during the winter. I love wearing bold, dark lipsticks, and a good lip scrub helps make sure they don't get all gunked up with dry skin. The Burt's Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub is what I use.
I just wet my lips, apply the scrub and gently massage into lips, and then wipe off with a wet cotton pad, before then dabbing with a dry cotton pad. The scrub is gentle enough that it won't do any damage to your dry sensitive lips, while still effectively sloughing off dead skin. Bonus: it's 100% natural, made with honey crystals!

Burt's Bees Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment

I always follow up after my lip scrub with the Burt's Bees Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment. It's the best way to ensure you wake up with moisture-rich lips. The formula is 100% natural and is made with natural ceramides that help to reduce the appearance of fine lines. I'm not as concerned about the fine lines, but I do find that my lips look nice and healthy in the morning.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant

Dry hands and cuticles are also major issues during the winter months. Cuticles especially for me. Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant is an all-purpose cream that you can use for pretty much anything - the bottle recommends even using it to shape your brows and revitalize shine. But chapped, peeling skin is what I primarily use it on. If you want to give your hands a real deep conditioning, try applying over your hands and then wrapping each hand in a warm towel for 10 minutes. It's a great way to pamper yourself on the weekend.
One extra tip: this actually also works great on my winter flyaways! I always have the worst flyaways this time of year, thanks to all the on-and-off of hats and toques, and my super fine hair. I apply a really small amount to my fingers, before dabbing it onto my roots.

Elizabeth Arden Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15

While the Burt's Bees Lip Treatment helps keep my lips moisturized overnight, the Elizabeth Arden Lip Protectant Stick is what I use during the day. Just because it's not summer, doesn't mean you don't need to protect your lips from UV exposure, which is why it's great that this stick also has SPF 15. It also works great under my lipsticks, so I can lock in moisture, while still being able to wear my favourite bold lipsticks!

With these in your arsenal, you'll be 100% set for the winter season ahead.

Happy Winterizing! xo

~ Britta

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Festive in Plaid for the Holidays

Plaid is my favourite pattern to wear in the fall and winter. And it just so happens, that it also works great for holiday outfits. Plaid often comes in festive colours like red or green, which makes it easy to style the pattern for holiday party outfits.

This beautiful red and navy plaid skirt was actually gifted to me by friend and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, Helen Siwak. She also happens to be a super talented thrifter. I love the tea length of the skirt, and how it has the leather fastener at the hip. The fabric is nice and thick, so it's actually really nice and cozy! This one is made of polyester and viscose, but if you find one that's made of wool, it would be even cozier - perfect for parties this winter.

Sure, you could probably find a plaid skirt at the mall or online, but if you want a good quality tartan skirt like this, your best bet is to hit up your local thrift store. I've seen quite a few of them on the racks over the years. Take a peek at the tag inside to see what it's made from, and where the brand is from. This particular one is by St Michaels and made in Canada, 70% polyester and 30% viscose. I also have a real Burberry tartan-style skirt that's made in Scotland and is made of wool - also thrifted. You never know what you'll find! The nice thing is, the identifiable plaid print makes them pretty easy to spot on the racks.

Plus, the best part of thrifting your holiday outfit is that you don't have to worry if it'll arrive in time to wear during the holidays! And then of course, you can jazz up your plaid skirt with some holiday accessories, like gold earrings, and some sparkly gold heels. 

Shirt - Zara (thrifted) | Earrings - H&M (similar) | Necklace - Nobis & Grey | Skirt - St Michaels (similar) | Heels - Betsey Johnson

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

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