Monthly Beauty Buys

Monthly beauty buys

I’m constantly wanting to try new beauty products, but this month shows me that even though there’s always something new in stores, sometimes you just can get away from your old favourites.

Monthly beauty buys MAC Cosmetics

I have been a fan of MAC’s Mineralized Skinfinish Natural for the longest time. Then one day I decided to try something new and deeply regretted my decision. Nothing gives my skin the natural flawless look I love quite like this product. I rarely wear foundation and this product gives me the perfect medium coverage I need (plus I adore the new packaging). To add that radiant glow, I decided to try MAC’s Strobe Cream. Just a touch on the areas of my face I want to highlight, or as a moisturizer all over my face, it doesn’t leave my skin looking greasy at all. In fact, it gives my skin that coveted healthy glow. And of course, I had to repurchase my favourite eyeliner, Eye Kohl in Teddy, a brown eyeliner with a touch of shimmer. It’s a gorgeous shade.

Monthly beauty buys Ole Henriksen Cleansing Wipes

If you follow my blog you know that I’m a big fan of Ole Henriksen products. I had never tried the cleansing cloths and decided to pick them up while browsing through the checkout aisle at Sephora. There are a few different ones available, but I decided to try the Grease Relief Cleansing Cloths: Oil-Free Pore Refining, since I’ll be soon visiting warmer climates and my skin tends to get a little oilier. These are said to deeply cleanse, refine pores and exfoliate skin.

Monthly beauty buys Cover Girl Sally Hansen

I’m not going to lie, Cover Girl did such an amazing job with their Full Bloom mascara ad that it may have been the first time that a magazine ad convinced me to buy a product. So pretty, fresh and pink, I couldn’t resist picking it up the last time I was at the drugstore. I also picked up the Sally Hansen Diamond Base & Top Coat. The first time I used it, I picked it up on a whim while on vacation to touch up my manicure. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it the way I did. Not only does it give your nails that glossy shine, but it also keeps your manicure beautiful for so much longer.

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

Currently Reading…

Reading list

In a few weeks, I’ll be jetting off to the warm beaches of Hawaii. I couldn’t be more excited to escape the deep freeze of winter and trade in my Ugg boots for the sand between my toes. The trip is a long one, so I’ve been planning my entertainment accordingly. First up, books! Besides the mandatory fashion magazines I’ll be packing, I also wanted a few books. Something light that I could easily read on the plane or the beach. After browsing on Amazon for a while, I settled on these three reads.

How to be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style and Bad Habits by Anne Beret, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Sophie Mas. Written by some of the most chic French women, the book presents each of their views on style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. Each woman comes from a different background ranging from the worlds of fashion, music, publishing and film.  They take you along on a first date, a party and their favourite spots in Paris, and share their tips on how to be mysterious and sensual, get that effortless French girl look, what they really think of going to the gym and having children.

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This #1 bestseller has been on my wish list for a while now. Described as romantic, endearing and unconventional, it sounds like the perfect vacation reading material. The story follows Don Tillman, a socially awkward genetics professor who has given up on finding love. He decides to create a questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. A chance encounter brings Rosie in his life. She is everything he is looking for, but also has a few personality traits he may not have expected. Through his search for love and her search for her biological father, a romantic and endearing story unfolds.

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Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. Lately I’ve been dealing with issue of just being generally very hard on myself. There are times that I don’t feel I deserve all the great things around me. I felt I needed to shift my perception of my life and be more positive. Truth be told, I feel that most people should view the world in a more positive light, starting with themselves. I hesitated to buy this book for a long time, but finally gave in. Gabrielle being a recovering party chick, she takes the reader on the journey of her life and talks about how she silenced the ego that would tear her down each time something wonderful would happen to her. I’m half-way through the book and really enjoy the easy-going conversational tone. Already I’m beginning to realize when my ego is getting in the way of my happiness and slowly learning to silence it.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

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

Falafels with Lemon Garlic Yogurt

Falafel with Lemon Garlic Yogurt

I don’t know when exactly I fell in love with falafels, but one thing is for sure, falafels and I are involved in one hot affair. The only thing that holds me back from consuming them on a regular basis is the fact that most recipes requires them to be fried. And when you’re busy preparing your bikini body for your upcoming vacation, it’s one of the first things that become bikini-unfriendly. That is, until I came across the perfect falafel recipe. They are baked, they are vegetarian, and they are sooooo delicious. So much so that even my beau requests them on a regular basis (and he’s all about the meat). I’ve made these enough times that I felt that it was time to share them with all of you.

So perfectly portioned, I opt to have them in a leaf of butter lettuce and topped with the delicious yogurt sauce that also gives the meal a lemony boost of protein. So perfect for lunch or dinner, and so perfect for the bikini, too.

Falafels with Lemon Garlic Yogurt

Falafels with Lemon Garlic Yogurt

Falafels with Lemon Garlic Yogurt

Falafel with Lemon Garlic Yogurt
Adapted from Trois Fois Par Jour
Serves 4

1/4 cup raw pistachios
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 19-0z can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 large leaves fresh basil
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 egg yoke
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
Whole wheat pitas or a few leaves of butter lettuce

For the sauce
1/2 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, grated using a microplane
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

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1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchement paper and set aside.

2. In a food processor, throw in the pistachios, shallot and garlic, and pulse a few times until it forms a paste. Add the chickpeas, basil, parsley, cumin, fennel seeds, peanut oil, egg yoke, flour and salt and pepper, and mix until it forms a dough.

3. Roll the dough into 12 balls of about 2 tablespoons each and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes.

4. In the meantime, in a small bowl combine the Greek yogurt, lemon juice and garlic. I like to use a microplane here which helps the garlic turn into a paste and easily melt into the yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Next, choose a half pita or a leaf of butter lettuce. Add three falafels, tomaotes, lettuce (if using the pita) and top with the yogurt sauce.

5. Enjoy!

Bon appétit!

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

 

10 morning habits for a happier day

Healthy Morning rituals to be happier

The morning is my favourite time of the day. I wake up early (very early), and relish the time of day when most people are still sleeping. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s amazing. Did you know that some studies suggest that a healthy morning ritual can make you more productive for the rest of the day? So why not start a few healthy habits and make the most of the day. Myself being a creature of habit, I have my own morning ritual that I do every morning, weekday and weekend. It’s the only moment of the day when I can truly be alone with my thoughts, which also makes it one of the most important to me. Here are 10 ways that I like to start my morning.

1. Wake up early. This usually means 6 am during the week and 7 am on weekends. I like to rise and shine at the same time everyday but will “sleep in” a little on weekends to enjoy some cuddle time with my beau.

2. Sweat a little. I like to workout in the morning for at least 1 hour. It’s the only time of the day that I have found I can stick to my routine. During the summer, I’ll lace up and go for a run. It’s the perfect time since the city is still sleeping and there is less traffic in the street. Otherwise I roll out my mat and do a mix of HIIT training and Pilates. I seriously can’t go a day without some sort of physical activity in the morning.

3. Soothing shower. Rising early also means that I have the extra time for a relaxing shower. There’s nothing like a soothing shower and having the time to be mindful about it.

4. Lemon with warm water. Not only does it get your digestion going, it’s so energizing. I love the feeling of giving my body a clean slate. Some days I switch it up with my favourite Detox tea from Kusmi.

5. Positive intentions. Once I have my tea and I’m feeling so fresh and so clean, I like to take the time to set my intentions for the day. I do this with The Five Minute journal. If you don’t know about this journal, I highly encourage you to check it out. Each page asks you to list three things you are grateful for, three things that would make the day amazing and a positive affirmation. Starting the day with such positivity really puts things into perspective and helps to set the tone for the rest of the day.

6. Make a healthy breakfast… and lunch. During the week, I take the time to make my lunch and prepare my snacks for the day. I do this mostly during the week to make sure I’m eating clean most of the time. Then, I prepare my breakfast which usually consists of a green smoothie, steel-cut oats or a Greek yogurt parfait. On weekends I indulge a little more with 2-ingredient pancakes (I’m wild like that!).

7. Cuddle time. My kitty Nico has started to join me in these morning rituals. He gets up with me, sits close by while I work out and jumps up on my lap for some cuddle time while I eat my breakfast. It’s a really nice way to start the day.

8. Read a little (or a lot). During the week, I take some time in the morning to read, whether it’s a book, newsletters I’m subscribed to or just the current happenings on social media. It’s my moment to find inspiration and set the tone for a positive day.

9. Plan my day. I take inventory of the things I have to do  that day. Some things are more tedious than others, soI try to get those out of the way first to leave the rest of the day to more fun and creative projects.

10. Get dressed. It goes without saying that I get dressed before going to work. But I like to get dressed on weekends too, even if I’m not planning on leaving the house. I opt for clothes that are much comfier on weekends, but getting dressed just makes me feel like I can be more productive if I need to be. And if not, I’m ready for lounging or if someone decides to drop by unexpectantly.

Do you have any morning rituals? Share them with my in the comments below.

The Face Shop Mango Seed Collection

TheFaceShop Mango Seed Collection

There’s no denying that us Canadians beauties have it bad when it comes to winter weather. Take a moment to look online and you’ll notice that most of fashion and beauty bloggers have it good – winter street style that doesn’t actually involve snow, beauty routines that would never survive our -20ºC (-34ºC with wind chill) winters. It goes without saying that to actually survive winter beautifully, we need some serious skin care. All the more reason why I was excited and intrigued to try the latest collection from TheFaceShop, Mango Seed, specifically formulated to hydrate dull winter skin.

What is TheFaceShop
TheFaceShop is a skin care brand based in Korea. The brand’s values are to use the very best of nature and science to create the very best products for your skin that will naturally enhance the beauty of your skin. What started as a small venture has become one of the fastest growing beauty brands with more than 2,600 stores worldwide in more than 26 countries.

Mango Seed Collection
Did you know that mango seed can survive more than 300 years in a hot, desert-like climate? Mango seeds are also loaded with 20 vitamins and minerals, making them one of the best ingredients to nourish and hydrate dull, dry skin. Its richness in vitamins A and C are also known to stimulate tissue growth and revitalize skin cell structure. With this in mind, TheFaceShop created their Mango Seed line to boost skin’s moisture and deliver long-lasting hydration even our harsh Canadian winters can’t compete with.

The basic routine includes the Oil to Foam Cleanser, the Silk Moisturizing Toner and the Glow-Date Prep Butter. How does it stand up to winter?

TheFaceShop Mango Seed Collection

The Oil to Foam Cleanser is a 2-in 1 cleansing foam that combines the benefits of a cleansing oil with a foam. At first pump, the product is very liquidy, but as soon as you apply it to your face, it turns into a white lather.On its own, the cleanser has a very pleasant light mango scent. It rinses clean off and leaves skin soft. After cleansing, rinsing and patting dry, my skin did start to feel tight, more than with my usual cleanser. Overall, I really enjoyed using this product and will continue to use it to see how my skin reacts into the spring months.

TheFaceShop Mango Seed Collection

The Silk Moisturizing Lotion is a silky lotion that absorbs quickly and nourishes skin to help improve its suppleness and texture. It contains 100% natural mango seed butter extract, which acts as a protective film on the skin and relieves dryness. The product itself is has the same light mango scent as the cleanser. Its light yellow fluid texture applies easily with a cotton pad and doesn’t leave skin greasy. Instead, my skin just felt comfortable.

TheFaceShop Mango Seed Collection

The Glow-Date Prep Butter is like glowing skin in a jar. The formula is rich, yet absorbs into skin quickly without leaving a greasy residue. It also comes with a small spatula to scoop up just the right amount from the jar, which I love since I can avoid adding bacterial to the product if I were to use my hands. It has the same juicy mango scent of the other products, but the scent fades rather quickly (a good thing since fragrances tend to get to me after a while).

When I first received these products, I was a little worried about the fragrance factor. They seemed to have a strong scent, which worries me and would worry anyone with sensitive skin. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of these products. Not only do they contain natural ingredients, but the ingredients are also obtained through fair trade and and non-GMO. My first impressions are very positive. I first tried them on a very cold winter day in Montreal (one  of the coldest thus far), and my skin stayed comfortable despite the harsh cold.  I am anxious to see the positive impact they will have on my skin over time.

TheFaceShop products are available at various locations across Canada and throughout the world. To find the point of sales nearest you, check our their store locator.

Disclaimer: Although these products were given to me for review, all opinions expressed are my own and 100% honest.

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