STOCKING STUFFER GIFTS! | AFFORDABLE GIFT GUIDE


Can you believe we are practically halfway through the month of December? I don't know where the time has gone, but I am super excited for Christmas, and while I have already finished all of my holiday shopping, I know there's always those little things we're looking for, like stocking stuffers for example! Holiday shopping can get expensive, so I wanted to share a few of my personal picks if you're looking for more budget friendly stocking stuffers for the beauty lovers in your lives.


WET BRUSH | I think gifting someone a detangler brush is an excellent idea, because so many people have problems with hair breakage (myself included) and tangled hair, and these hair brushes are not only affordable, they also come in so many different colours and styles. The original Wet Brush is only $11.99 and right now, they've released three different holiday styles if you want to gift something more season appropriate.


LIVE CLEAN HAND SOAPS | Not only are hand soaps good for stockings, they're also great as hostess gifts for any of those holiday parties you're planning on attending. These three scents from Live Clean are specifically for the holidays, like Gingerbread Latte (my personal favourite), Vanilla Peppermint, and Holly Berry. Each hand soap retails for $4.99 and they smell so good, whoever you're gifting them to will want to use them even after the holiday season.

NEUTROGENA FACE MASKS | What better way to spend a cozy winter break than face masking? Sheet masks in general are perfect to put in someone's stocking but I'm currently loving this clay mask and these hydrogel sheet masks from Neutrogena. At just under $10, any of these masks would be put to great use, especially during the colder months.


AVEENO | Speaking of colder months, hand creams are always a welcome gift in my opinion. The Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Hand Cream is small and compact, making it perfect for people to put in their purses or for travel. If you're looking for something slightly more luxurious but still on the affordable side, the Aveeno Overnight Hydrating Facial is also a great choice. It's super hydrating and is suitable for all skin types.

Those are my "top picks" for stocking stuffers, but if you wanted to add in a few smaller items, EOS lip balms are always great, and for those who are more eco-conscious and into green beauty, I thinking gifting Love Fresh deodorants would be perfect. They have so many scents to choose from so there's something there for everyone.


This will be my last holiday post! I am now off to my hometown for the holidays so I hope everyone has a great holiday too whether you are staying in Toronto or headed off somewhere else :)

xoxo,
Nancy

ONE OF A KIND SHOW WINTER 2018 | SOME OF MY PICKS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON!


And just like that, the One of a Kind Show has come around again! This year was a little bittersweet for me because I've actually worked the show as a vendor for many shows, and this year was the first year I attended strictly as media. I love the One of a Kind Show and supporting all of the artisans that exhibit in it. Since I've been a part of the show for many seasons now, I love seeing old vendors return for another show, and I love walking around to check out the new vendors just as equally!

Just like previous seasons, I went a bit crazy and left the show with quite a haul. I picked up a few oldies, a few products from companies I've never purchased from before, and I think all of these would make great gifts and/or stocking stuffers. Keep on reading to see what my top picks are from the One of a Kind Show!


VELVETTE ORGANICS | DRY SKIN NIGHT FACIAL OIL $72
I first stumbled upon Velvette Organics at the Spring 2018 One of a Kind Show and just recently ran out of my night time face oil so naturally, I had to visit their booth to pick up a new one. I think this is such a luxurious gift, and all of their ingredients are natural and organic. They even have hair oils, and face oils for normal and mature skin. Definitely worth checking out!

ARTIFACT SKIN CO. | LIP BALM $12
Artifact Skin Co. has been a vendor for many years and although I've always been intrigued by their products, I've never actually purchased anything. They carry face masques, hair products, bath products, and so much more. I thought these lip balm tins would make great stocking stuffers, and not to mention, their packaging is #goals.


DEMO SOAP | DONUT SOAPS $6
I got the chance to chat with demo soap for a bit and found out their studio is located just in Liberty Village. They literally have the cutest soaps, and who doesn't love getting soap? I picked up sugar cookie and lemon raspberry scented donuts to put in some stockings. They also carry bath bombs and other types of designs and sooo many scents.


CAROLYN DRAWS | CARDS $5, SURPRISE BAGS $12
I got the chance to chat with Carolyn for a few minutes about the show, about made in Canada, and so much more. This is one of the reasons why I look forward to the show every year: the sense of community. I buy cards from Carolyn from every year although I've never featured them in my hauls! She has the best cards for so many occasions in your life, and her new holiday cards are pretty cute too. Last year, I purchased a very minimal "I love you more than poutine" card for my anniversary and it's been my favourite card I've ever purchased.

ORIGIN CONCRETE GOODS | MINI PLANTERS $12
Really... need I say more? We all know how much I rave about these planters. A husband and wife run company, they're based in Hamilton and carry the cutest concrete planters in varying sizes. I picked up two this year to give away as gifts, but it's likely I'll be collecting them for years to come. All of their planters also come with a plant so that's a bonus!


ROOTABLES CHIPS | $6
So when I used to work the show, I would literally go get one of these bags every single day. These are just so yummy and there's about five or six different flavours. My favourites are the smokey maple bacon, and the white truffle. These are perfect for holiday stockings, or just as a snack as you're walking through the aisles at the show.

DRIZZLE | TURMERIC HONEY $18
Mmm, honey! Drizzle is a craft honey company from Calgary (my hometown woot!) and they're a company I've been following or quite some time. I've always wanted to try their honey so seeing them at One of Kind was definitely a welcome surprise. A nice jar of honey would make the perfect hostess gift for those holiday parties you're attending. I picked up the turmeric jar but they also have a cinnamon spiced honey which is sooo holiday-esque.

THE HERITAGE BEE CO. | SET OF 3 MINIS, $7.50
I also got the chance to talk to Debbie, founder and beekeeper of The Heritage Bee Co. and learned so much about her company, how their honey is produced, and what they stand for. They're so passionate about their work, and their honey also tastes amazing. They practice all natural beekeeping and also offer tours and more at their apiary! I thought a set of three minis would make the perfect addition to holiday gift baskets, and they also have full size jars of other flavours too.

So there you have it! My bi-annual One of a Kind gift guide. The show runs from now until December 2nd at the Enercare Centre. Let's try to shop local this season and support all of these amazing makers!

Disclaimer* While I received a media badge to visit the One of a Kind Show, all products were purchased with my own money.

A HOLIDAY LOOK WITH CHARLOTTE TILBURY | HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER, MAGIC CONCEALER, AND MORE!


I am so excited to bring this blog post to you readers today! Why am I excited you ask? Because the holiday blog posts have officially started, and I have a few posts planned that I can't wait to get out to you. Today we're beginning with some products that are perfect to add to your makeup for those holiday events and parties we're all gearing up to attend.

I have a few select products from Charlotte Tilbury, and as we know, Charlotte Tilbury is all about that glowy, effortless look and these products do just that. Today I'm featuring the Hollywood Flawless Filter, the Magic Away Liquid Concealer, Eyes to Mesermise Cream Eyeshadow, Bigger Brighter Eyes Palette, and K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick. There's lots of products to go through, so let's just get right into it.



HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER | $50 CAD
This is a complexion booster that can be used alone or mixed in with your foundation. I use the shade no. 3 light/medium and have found that even on it's own, the coverage is pretty decent although for a a party look, you'd probably want to mix it in with a foundation. The concept behind this product is that it is literally a "filter" for your skin, containing nano-particles that help to blur imperfections while acting like an all-over highlighter for that luminous look. What I love about the Hollywood Flawless Filter is that you get that glow without looking oily. If anything, my skin just looks super smooth and radiant. 

MAGIC AWAY LIQUID CONCEALER | $38 CAD
Even though Charlotte Tilbury is known for that radiant, glowing, almost natural beauty look, their products perform. The Magic Away Liquid Concealer is a full-coverage concealer that's perfect for makeup that you want to last all night long.



EYES TO MESMERISE | $36
These cream eyeshadows come in a range of shades however, I think the shade "Bette" is the perfect base for the palette that I'm using in conjunction with it.  It's am amber-gold colour, and is super creamy and rich in colour. It blends out so easily and can be worn by itself to. 

BIGGER BRIGHTER EYES | $66
I've featured this palette before on the blog but to recap, this palette in the shade "Exagger-Eyes" is just a stunner. The palette features four complimentary shadows: an ivory cream, rose gold, red-brown, and a transparent sparkle shade. The palette is great for every day but what makes it even better for the holidays is the sparkle shade that adds a pop to my eye look. The shadows blend out effortlessly and look even better with the Eyes to Mesmerise cream shadow base. This palette was limited edition but it's back just in time for the holiday season!

K.I.S.S.I.N.G. LIPSTICK | $39
And the perfect red to top everything off for the holidays - the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipstick in the shade, So Marilyn. This lipstick has a satin finish and contains a formula that's super moisturizing and doesn't bleed outside of your lipline. If you prefer, you could make it more matte with a powder too. 



So that's my holiday look! What do you think? Are there any products you want to try from Charlotte Tilbury? There's just something about her products too that just feel so festive to me! Let me know down in the comments below.

Cheers!
Nancy

MIX BEAUTY LAB | EVENT RECAP


Yesterday I had the pleasure of checking out the Mix Beauty Lab in Toronto. The Mix Beauty Lab is a multi-beauty service location. They offer various services from makeup application to hair removal, facials, nails, and in my case, custom makeup. I shared my experience over on my Instagram story and so many people were interested in the process of creating custom makeup, so I thought I'd share everything indepth today in this post. 

Firstly, you can see from the photos that the Mix Beauty Lab is quite cute inside! There is so much natural light, and they also offer a range of natural and clean beauty products for sale in their retail space. 



CUSTOM LIPGLOSS | 1 for $40 or 2 for $70
The first station I visited was the lipgloss station. The mixologist began by explaining the type of formulas available (lip glace, lip smoothie, and lip polish). I went for the lip smoothie base, the heaviest of the three formulations. The mixologist then asked me what type of colour I was going for and selected a few pigment shades for me to add to the base. We only added a couple drops of each - everything was super pigmented! I loved how I got to add the drops and mix it myself, with guidance from the mixologist. I know some colour theory, but the people who work at Mix Beauty Lab are on another level.

When I was happy with the colour, I then had the option to add some shimmer and scents. I opted for no shimmer, but I did choose the pink champagne scent (although mimosa was a high contender!) and we also added some moisture and SPF. After that, the mixologist carefully poured my lipgloss in a tube and my custom lip gloss was finished!



CUSTOM FOUNDATION | $65
Next up was the foundation station. This station was situated near a bright big window, allowing for a ton of natural light to come through. The mixologist began by asking me my skin type, what type of foundation I was looking for, what type of finish I wanted, whether I wanted SPF or not, and more questions of a similar nature.

I wanted a satin finish, light to medium coverage foundation of a watery texture and of course with SPF! Because my skin is relatively normal that runs just a tad more oily, she also added in some oil control to help balance that out. As you can see, what I wanted was super specific but the mixologist was totally able to give me what I wanted. I actually wore the foundation today and it's super lightweight and matches my skin perfectly. Another thing I wanted to mention is that they put my formulation down on file so in the future, if I wanted to repurchase it, they can make it exactly the same way.



CUSTOM LIPSTICK | 1 for $50 or 2 for $80
The last station was the lipstick station! I was most excited for this product, because as you know, my most loved makeup products are lipsticks. I've also never made a lipstick before, so the process was something I was definitely looking forward to. Similarly to the lip gloss, the mixologist gave me three options for a finish: matte, creme, and butter. I went for the matte base. She then asked me what kind of shade I was going for and I wanted a brick red/brown shade.

She added some drops of pigment onto the mixing palette and had me mix up the pigments, adding more of certain shades until I was happy with the colour. I then mixed in the lipstick base, melted the ingredients, and poured it into the lipstick bullet mold!



I just loved everything about the Mix Beauty Lab. All of their ingredients are natural and organic, and the mixologists are so knowledgeable about formulation and colour theory. I feel like it would be a great experience to try out for yourself, or even for a party like a bachelorette. Of course, you don't have to do all three products either, but in addition to the custom makeup, the Mix Beauty Lab also offers different services like nails, facials, lashes, and more. 


These are the final swatches of my three custom makeup products! I'd love to try more custom makeup from the Mix Beauty Lab, especially since everything can be catered to exactly what you want. You can have the same foundation shade in different finishes and coverages, lipstick shades in sheer, satin, and matte finishes, and lip glosses in endless shades and scents to suit your preferences.


Hope you all enjoyed reading this lengthy post!
- Nancy

MY TOP FALL LIP COLOURS | PIXI, NUDESTIX, CHARLOTTE TILBURY, BITE BEAUTY


You can call me basic, but fall time is my favourite season. I love that in-between stage of chillier weather, which means I can wear my booties and long coats again; apple and pumpkin picking; warm comfort food, and most importantly of all, the makeup changes in my routine! Lately, I've been reaching for darker lip colours, which is funny because all I've been wearing is nudes and light mauves over the previous months. I've gotten so used to them but as soon as it got colder here in Toronto, I've somehow subconsciously reached for the more traditionally fall colours.

I wanted to share some of my most reached-for lip products today, in case any of you are looking for some new shades to add in for the fall/winter. I've got some regular lipsticks, lip crayons, and liquid lipsticks, so I hope you'll see something you like!

LIPSTICKS
Charlotte Tilbury - This K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipstick in the shade So Marilyn is super red and would work great as a holiday lip colour too.
Bite Beauty - I think my all time favourite Amuse Bouche lipstick from Bite Beauty is the shade Whiskey. It's a rich deep mahogany that looks really vampy. 

LIP CRAYONS
Nudestix - My favourite range from Nudestix are their Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencils. I love the shades Burgundy (which is just as it sounds), and Retro, a softer warm red. 

LIQUID LIPSTICKS
Pixi by Petra - These are two new shades in their MatteLast Liquid Lipstick range. I do think it's nice to switch it up sometimes in the fall, so the shade Orange Red has been nice change for me, and for something more classic, the shade Berry Boost.

(Up-Down) Berry Boost, Orange Red, Whiskey, So Marilyn, Burgundy, Retro

What are some of your go-to fall lip colours? Let me know in the comments down below.


Warmest,
Nancy

ONE STEP I'M TAKING TO REDUCE WASTE | DIY COTTON ROUNDS


Today on the blog I wanted to share something I've been doing to reduce my waste footprint on the planet. One thing I love about the beauty community is how much more conscious we are becoming as consumers. A couple months ago I came across some handmade cotton rounds on Etsy and immediately thought "WOW. What a great idea!". Then I thought about the amount of cotton rounds I've been using for years, you know, the ones that come in those plastic sleeves, usually in a pack of 100 or so, and I felt sooooo guilty.


In all the years I've been using skincare products, I never once thought about how using cotton rounds contributed to waste. Now don't get me wrong, cotton does biodegrade (although some rounds aren't even made out of cotton, so they don't biodegrade), but that usually takes 5-6 months and not only that, but cotton production takes a lot of energy and water. For something that I use once and then throw out, it seems so wasteful to me.

So for the past few months, I've only been using these handmade muslin rounds. They were super easy to make, and literally took no time at all. All I did was trace out circles in the size of a normal cotton round, put two circles together, and sewed all the way around. I have a serger machine, so that made the process a lot easier. I wanted mine to be round, but I've definitely seen them DIY'ed in squares too.


In terms of cleaning, they're so easy to clean and reuse. All I do is put the used rounds in a drawstring bag and when it's laundry day, I throw them in my washer and dryer and they're good to go! I don't know why I haven't thought of this before, so not only am I reducing waste, I'm also saving money by reusing my cotton rounds. 

What do you guys think of this idea? I know it's a small step to reducing waste, but I think the smallest things can make a difference. I'd love for everyone to try this out, and even if you don't sew, there's actually quite a few independent companies that are making these if you wanted to purchase them from a local vendor. 

Cheers,
Nancy

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