Monthly Beauty Buys

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This month was all about adapting my beauty routine for the colder months. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed my skin and hair getting much drier. So I was on a mission to find products that would do the trick. My shopping excursion resulted in three new products to add to my current regimen, as well as a great surprise involving products that I already know and love.

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With the days getting shorter and my skin getting paler, I thought a new blush might be just the thing to brighten up the winter. I had heard great things about NARS blushes, so it was really all about finding the right shade for me. I settled on this bright peachy-pink shade called Amour. The formula is so pigmented which I love, and it applied like a dream. It’s the perfect blush for when you want to put the focus on your cheeks and keep the rest of your makeup simple.

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I picked up the Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light as I was waiting in line to pay at Sephora (thank you smart marketing tactics!). I am blown away by this product. Yes, it’s an oil, but it’s by no means greasy. It gives an extra boost of hydration to my skin that so desperately needs it this time of year.

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I ran out of my favourite heat protectant spray and was on the hunt for a new one (I like to try new things). The buzz about It’s a 10 has been around for years. It’s seriously a wonder why it took me so long to try it. I’m happy I did! It not only smells wonderful, it also makes hair super shiny, protects from heat damage, prevents split ends, controls frizz and so much more.  Plus, the pump is amazing and really distributes a good amount of product on the hair (what can I say, it’s the little things).

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The beauty of Sephora is the rewards program. I had racked up 1,200 points that I had yet to redeem. But redeem I did in the form of this Bliss Spa Kit. I LOVE Bliss products, especially the Body Butter (truth be told, I still haven’t recovered from the Vanilla-Bergamot scent being discontinued). So I jumped at the chance to get a kit with four of their best products. It included the body butter, the hand cream, and the foaming face wash and That’s incredi-‘peel’ glycolic resurfacing pads, both of which I have yet to try. Judging from the other products I’ve tried, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

Real Winter Style Inspiration

We have officially entered the wintery season this past week in Montreal. And with the cold, snow and ice comes the parka, boots and mittens. But there come a point when a fashion girl needs a little inspiration to break out of the rut most of us find ourselves in during the winter. It’s like suddenly the colourful and creative looks we love in spring, summer and fall go into hibernation and we are left with boring and drab. So I feel that it is my duty to help inspire the countless girls out there faces with the fluffy white stuff everywhere, to turn the icy sidewalks into shimmering catwalks. I searched online and found that most winter street style involves heels, a fur vest over a t-shirt and a few palm trees in the background. I’m sorry, but that’s not winter. Give me some snow boots, give me layers and give me style that will last through the coldest days of winter.

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By now I know what you’re probably thinking, “These girls are wearing heels and don’t look dressed for a trek in the snowy woods.” And I agree. But finding snowy inspiration is much harder than it looks. Plus, I think that they all provide great inspiration for the rest of your winter outfit, don’t you think?

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[Photo inspiration via Pinterest]

Herb & Cucumber Tea Sandwich

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One of my favourite things to do on Sundays is to treat myself to afternoon tea. All those teas, sandwiches, scones and cookies, what better way to spend a Sunday? Ever since I visited Cardinal Tea Room in Montreal, I fell in love with everything about tea time. As you arrive, you are greeted by a simple red door, with stairs leading you to the second floor. As you take the final steps and reach the top, you look up to see an English-style room with high ceilings that is equal part cozy and elegant. The most impressive thing here (besides the food) is the amazing chandelier in the centre of the room.

Cardinal Tea Room

Ever since the first time I’ve been to Cardinal, I’ve been obsessed with cucumber tea sandwiches. There’s something about the refreshing taste and simplicity of this sandwich that gets me every time. Since then I’ve tried to recreate my own version at home. I’ve discovered that to the kind of bread you use makes all the difference. I’ve tried it with Ezekiel bread and although it was good, it obviously didn’t have the same light flavour as my beloved Cardinal cucumber sandwich. Milk bread was the best option. I then loaded the cream cheese spread with herbs and it all came together. Serve it with a cup of your favourite tea (I particularly love Earl Grey) and you have the perfect Sunday afternoon lunch.

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Cucumber Tea Sandwich

Herb & Cucumber Tea Sandwich
Serves 4

4 ounces light cream cheese
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
5 large mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
Salt, to taste
4 slices milk bread
1 cucumber

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1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, dill, mint, chives and salt. Spread 1 tbsp of the cream cheese on each slice of bread.

2. Slice the cucumber thinly and top half of the bread slices with the cucumbers. Top with the remaining slices (cheese-side down, of course).

3. Slice in half and serve with a side of hot tea.

Note: If you have a mandoline, this is a perfect time to use it. You’ll get perfectly thin slices that you can layer beautifully on your sandwich.

Bon appétit!

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

The Fab Five

FAB FIVE

The holidays are around the corner and it’s inspiring me to discover new and creative ways to entertain guests. I’ve never really known “the rules” when it comes to arranging a good cheese plate, but have always loved the rustic and chaotic look of cheeses, fruit and crackers thrown together . This post about how to design the perfect cheese plate (honestlyyum.com) breaks it down and makes me feel like an expert.

You can never get enough good advice, especially when it comes to the legendary and always elegant, Diane von Furstenberg. I particularly enjoyed these 7 pieces of amazing career advice from Diane von Furstenberg (whowhatwear.com).

Living in a small space with my beau, our dog and our cat, Im always open to discovering new ways to maximize our space. I especially loved these 13 tips for decorating a small space (joannagoddard.blogspot.ca).

Always on the lookout for new and delicious recipes to treat myself and my friends, I was smitten with this Classic pumpkin pie with a pecan praline twist (smittenkitchen.com) from Smitten Kitchen.

I don’t watch the news. It’s always negative and I feel that it spread negativity among those who watch it. I figure that if something really significant is happening, I’ll find out about it in some way. I prefer to look for ways to be happy, like these 12 quotes that reveal the secret to happiness (worldofwanderlust.com).

For The Victory

Pour la victoire Zen Slingback Pumps

Say hello to my new shoes. I rarely buy heels this high, but I fell in love with them as soon as I laid eyes on them (the 30% off help a little, too). Part bootie, part slingback, these Pour La Victoire Zen Slingback Pumps are perfect for most seasons and go with just about everything. And how can you go wrong with black booties.

With the holidays around the corner, I’m excited to pair them with a sleek dress or even distressed grey jeans. Stay tuned to see how I style them!

Pour la victoire Zen Slingback Pumps

Pour la victoire Zen Slingback Pumps