Kylie Cosmetics Review – Blogmas 2016 Day 20

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For the 20th (seriously?! We’re already on the 20th?!) day of Blogmas  I thought I would include a full review of my recent Kylie Cosmetics haul. With Boxing Day fast approaching, we can likely anticipate some sales happening on Kylie Cosmetics.

My haul was very small (2 lip kits) as it was my first ever order. I had heard so many mixed reviews, so I figured Id only order 2 things to try them out. Well, that was reason #1. Reason #2 was more along the lines of “oh god its going to be HOW much after shipping and Canadian to US dollar conversion?!”

Firstly, I absolutely could not resist the Koko Kollection. Im not the hugest fan or supporter of the Kardashians, but out of all of them Khloe is definitely my favourite. She has such great style and her makeup is always gorgeous. Then when I saw that rose gold packaging, I knew I had to try to get my hands on it! Luckily my best friend Claudia was able to go online and order before they sold out!

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The Koko Kollection: 

This limited edition collaboration with Khloe Kardashian features 3 liquid lipsticks, and 1 gloss. It retailed for $40 USD (about $53 Canadian) which is actually a great price considering you get 4 full sized lip products.

The shades

  • Khloe$: a mid-toned nude
  • Okurrr: a vibrant fuschia
  • Gorg: a burgundy/reddish wine
  • Damn Gina: a peachy pink gloss with soft shimmer

I am so ridiculously obsessed with Khloe$ and Damn Gina. I thought Khloe$ would be too warm, but it’s actually a perfect nude. I’ve never typically been a fan of sparkly or shimmery lip glosses, but this one was a definite game-changer for me. It is so stunning and flattering on the lips! The colours show up a bit warmer in my swatch photo, Okurrr is definitely more of a pinkish fuschia in person.

P1250366.JPGThe packaging: 

Encased in a gorgeous white and rose gold box, the lipsticks all come in a shiny, rose gold version of the Kylie Cosmetics liquid lipsticks. Truthfully, I didn’t even care if I’d like the formula or not. I simply had to have these for aesthetic reasons – and you can bet I’ll be forever displaying these as a decoration.

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The Formula: 

While I’m not typically a huge liquid lipstick fan (thank-you, chronically dehydrated lips) I do actually think these have a beautiful formula. As with most liquid lipsticks, the formulas and level of dryness can vary depending on the shade. Okurrr, for example, is a teensy bit smoother than Khloe$ and Gorg. All were surprisingly comfortable to wear, even after a couple of hours. They are also incredibly long lasting, I got over 4 hours of wear before needing any sort of touch up.

Overall, I am so pleased with the Koko Collection. Every shade is truly gorgeous, and I think they did a fantastic job with all aspects of this collaboration – the packaging, formula, shades, and price point. I’m really hoping they will restock this collection, and if they do I highly recommending try to get it!

Candy K Lip Kit 

Next, I knew I had to try the Candy K lip kit. I have had my eye on this shade since it first launched. The Lip Kits come with a full sized liquid lipstick and lip liner. They retail for $29 USD (about $38 Canadian).

Candy K is a warm, pinky-nude. It is undoubtedly my new favourite shade. It is the perfect pinky nude, and is flattering on so many skin tones. The formula is actually a bit smoother than the Koko Kollection – again, texture can vary a bit depending on the colour. It’s super pigmented, not streaky, and very long lasting.

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The lipliner is creamy, glides on the lips, and personally I love that it matches perfectly. Lip liner is not optional for me as, I have very uneven lips. I love that the Lip Kits come with lipliners, it means I don’t have to try to figure out which lipliners will match!

Overall, I am so in love with everything I purchased. I will undoubtedly be purchasing more in the future! Whether you’re a Kardashian/Jenner fan or not, from one makeup-junkie to another I can truthfully say I think these products are very well done!

 

Previous Blogmas Posts: 

Apple Spice Donut Bites – Dairy-Free & Vegan Friendly (Blogmas 2016 Day 19)

Christmas Movie Favourites – Blogmas 2016 Day 18

Apple Spice Donut Bites – Dairy-Free & Vegan Friendly (Blogmas 2016 Day 19)

I’ve had a slight addiction to recipe experimentation lately – particularly when it comes to donuts. For Blogmas day 19 (even though this will be going up 4 minutes after midnight due to yet another day of technical difficulties) I thought I’d share this recipe for apple spiced donut bites! They’re ridiculously easy to make, and can be customized in a multitude of ways. They’re completely dairy free, as well as vegan-friendly!

They’re also free of added fat, and sweetened with organic cane sugar, maple syrup, and applesauce! They taste like apple spice, and are so perfect for the holiday season!

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Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups flour (you can use whole wheat pastry flour, gluten-free flour, whatever your preference. I typically just use all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar or organic cane sugar preferably)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (basically cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/3 dairy-free milk (I prefer unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small-medium apple, finely chopped (optional, but it really adds flavour and moisture!)

Glaze: 

  • 2/4 cup powdered sugar (sifting it works best!)
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk

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Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with a vegetable-based cooking spray. (You could also use a little bit of coconut oil if you prefer)
  2. Mix together milk and apple cider vinegar, then set aside
  3. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.
  4. Add the vanilla and applesauce to the milk mixture you made before, and stir well
  5. Add the wet ingredients (milk mixture) to the dry mixture, and stir. Be careful not to over mix! Just mix until it’s combined.
  6. You can use a donut pan, or a mini muffin pan like I use. You can spoon them into the pan or use a piping bag for a more precise donut! Fill each spot in the pan about 3/4
  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (10 was just about perfect for my convection oven.) You can use the toothpick test to see if it comes out clean, but I advise against using the “touch the top to see if it bounces back” because when warm the donuts will be squishy. It’s very easy to overcook these! They also likely won’t be all perfectly golden brown.
  8. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then pull them out. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for a few minutes longer.
  9. Dip the cooled donut into the glaze, lightly twisting. Holding the donut upright, allow some of the excess glaze to drip off before placing it on the cooling rack to set. Once they’ve set, you can dip them a second time if you’d like! You can also drizzle the glaze if you prefer. The glaze is set once it’s not wet or sticky to the touch!
  10. Store in a cool, dry place. They will last for up to 5 days

For the glaze: 

  1. Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl
  2. Add the maple syrup and milk, then stir. If it’s too thick, add about a teaspoon more of milk. The texture shouldn’t be liquidy, but should drip.  If you try to dip your donut into the glaze, and the glaze just clumps without spreading or dripping, then you need to add more milk.

 

Christmas Movie Favourites – Blogmas 2016 Day 18

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Last year, I compiled a list of Christmas movies to fill your December with holiday spirit. This year, I wanted to create an updated list of my all-time favourite Christmas movies!

  • Love Actually
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Elf
  • Just Friends
  • The Santa Clause
  • The Holiday
  • Home Alone
  • Edward Scissor Hands
  • Gremlins (this one can be great for Halloween and Christmas. That’s pretty darn special)
  • Arthur Christmas

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Now, I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that my mom and I have a tradition of watching those cheesy Hallmark/Lifetime movies – you know, the ones that are all slightly (okay, painfully) cheesy, set heartwarming and uplifting.

Some of our favourite Hallmark Christmas movies are:

  • The Christmas Shoes
  • The Christmas Ornament
  • Heaven Sent
  • Christmas Town
  • A Princess For Christmas
  • A Christmas Kiss

What are your favourite Christmas movies?

 

Previous Blogmas posts:

Sephora Gift Guide – What’s Hot This Week (Blogmas 2016 Day 17)

BH Cosmetics Marble Collection Warm Stone Eyeshadow Palette – Blogmas 2016 Day 16

Sephora Gift Guide – What’s Hot This Week (Blogmas 2016 Day 17)

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Can we just take a moment to collectively express our shock that it’s already December 17th?! It still feels like the first week of November to me. My plan to slow down and relax this December clearly hasn’t been very successful thus far.

With Christmas less than a week away, I thought I’d share another gift guide for any of you looking for last-minute gift ideas for the beauty lovers in your life. Because lets face it, there’s a lot of procrastinators out there. Myself included.

Here’s a roundup of some of the hottest gifts and sets from Sephora this week! I picked the items that I thought were the most exciting and some of the best values! I also chose brands that do not test on animals – because it’s 2016, and animal testing should not exist anymore.

  • Too Faced Naughty Kisses & Sweet Cheeks set
  • Tarte Gallery Gals Deluxe Tarteist Eyeiner Set
  • Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick “Candy Cane”
  • Smashbox Glow & Go Set
  • Too Faced Melted Liquified Longwear Lipstick Ornament
  • Tarte Tarteist Pro To Go Amazonian Clay Palette
  • Tarte Tarteist Pro Glow Highlight & Contour Palette
  •  Urban Decay Makeup Lockdown Travel Duo
  • Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick Minis

 

Previous Blogmas posts: 

BH Cosmetics Marble Collection Warm Stone Eyeshadow Palette – Blogmas 2016 Day 16

Delicious Chocolate Oatmeal Squares – Gluten Free, Dairy-free, Vegan-Friendly (Blogmas 2016 Day 15)

BH Cosmetics Marble Collection Warm Stone Eyeshadow Palette – Blogmas 2016 Day 16

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There have been so many exciting palettes launching within the last few months, and the Marble palette from BH cosmetics has definitely been one of my favourites. BH Cosmetics is cruelty free, and this palette is vegan friendly!

I will fully admit that I initially bought it just because I knew that marble packaging would look gorgeous in my collection. For a palette with that pretty of packaging to be under $20, how could I possibly say no?!

The Marble Collection features 2 aptly named palettes – “Warm Stone”is the neutral/warm-toned palette, and “Cool Stone” features cool-toned shades.

20161023-1799045275“Warm Stone” was much more appealing in my opinion, partly because I prefer warmer shades, but also because it has the more classic marble packaging.

The palette launched in late Summer 2016, and sells for $12 (the website says it’s regularly $18 and on sale for $12, but i’ve never seen it not on sale since launching!)

It contains 12 colours – 6 matte, 3 frost, and 3 shimmer finishes. The shades range from warm browns, pink, cranberry, and taupes. The packaging is so gorgeous, and much nicer than the typical cardboard-feeling packaging BH cosmetics usually uses! This packaging feels similar to the Tartlette palettes, but not as heavy.

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As for the formula, they do differ depending on the finish. The mattes are super blendable, but they do kick up quite a lot of powder when you dip your brush into them. This isn’t really a problem per say, it can just be a bit messy (especially if your makeup table is white, like mine.) The shimmers are gorgeous, smooth and creamy, and while they to feel slightly drier than the shimmers, they are very pigmented and appear to have almost a duo-chrome quality.

I find all shades to be very pigmented, and long-lasting. Of course any eyeshadow works much better when used over a primer, but even without they still show up very well on the skin, and blend super easily.

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I think the shades are laid out perfectly. Sometimes it can be hard to know which colours to use together, but the shades are laid out with perfect complementary colours in each row.

I absolutely love this palette, and for the price I really don’t think you can go wrong. If you’re looking for a great palette that is super affordable, I 100% recommend it!

Delicious Chocolate Oatmeal Squares – Gluten Free, Dairy-free, Vegan-Friendly (Blogmas 2016 Day 15)

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The 15th day of Blogmas marks only 10 more days until Christmas! To celebrate, I thought I’d share one of my all-time favourite recipes: chocolate oatmeal squares! My mom has been making these ever since I was a child, and they always remind me of her.

They are so easy, and so versatile. They can be customized in any way to accommodate any allergy or dietary need. If you have a nut allergy, you can easily make without nuts. If you have a dairy allergy, intolerance, or are vegan, you can easily substitute the chocolate chips with semi-sweet, dairy free chocolate chips like we do, and you can substitute the butter with oil or a vegan butter such as Earth Balance! You can also substitute the brown sugar for coconut sugar or organic cane sugar.

These are incredibly delicious, and are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without having to feel too guilty – they packed with protein and goodness from the nuts, oats, and flax. These also offer vitamins and other nutrients! Dark chocolate has antioxidants and other benefits, and is much lower in fat than milk chocolate. If you aren’t a huge dark chocolate fan, use the semi sweet chocolate chips like we do, or add a little maple syrup to the melted chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar (can use coconut sugar, cane sugar, golden sugar, etc)
  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter (or coconut oil, also softened)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Quick Oats
  • 1/2 cup ground Flax (if you don’t have flax, you can just use 2 cups oats instead of the 1 & 1/2 Cups)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (ground, we prefer almonds but use whichever nut of your choice. Substitute )
  • 1 to 2 tsp of vanilla (we love vanilla, so add it to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat sugar and the vegan butter or oil until fluffy
  3. Slowly beat in oats, vanilla, and salt
  4. Transfer mixture into a greased 8 inch baking pan, and pat down so it’s even
  5. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown (times may vary, newer convection ovens should start at 18 minutes, and see if it needs longer from there)
  6. Remove from oven, sit on a cooling tray and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate chips are melted
  7. Using a knife or spatula, spread melted chocolate chips so it evenly covers the baked mixture.
  8. Let cool, and once the chocolate is set (will be hard to the touch, and no indentations left behind if you touch it) cut into squares.

These will be good for up to 1 week in a sealed container – but they probably won’t last that long, I guarantee they’re too addictive to resist!

 

 

Check out my previous posts: 

Morphe Me December Brush Review – Blogmas 2016 Day 14

What I Eat In A Day for Weightloss (Plant-Based) Blogmas 2016 Day 13

Easy, Delicious Brownies! (Dairy-Free & Vegan-Friendly) Blogmas 2016 Day 10

Morphe Me December Brush Review – Blogmas 2016 Day 14

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For the 14th Day of Blogmas, I knew I had to include a review of this month’s Morphe Me brushes! December’s packageDecember’s package was a celebration of their 1 year anniversary, and included 6 brushes, making it arguably the best valued brush package they’ve done so far.

This was originally supposed to be a video review, however after a few days of technical difficulties, I opted for a written review instead – hopefully a written review is better than no review at all!

The M502 Round Blender: (Sable bristles) this is a super soft, medium fluffy brush with somewhat long bristles and a rounded tip. I originally thought this was a repeat brush, and that it was identical to the M533 which arrived in a previous months package. Upon closer inspection, I realized it is actually quite different to the M533, and also different to all the other crease brushes I have! It’s shorter and not as wide as the M533, and the rounded tip makes it (in my opinion) just about the perfect brush for any shading in the crease. It’s one of those brushes that fluff up after a few uses, so once it fluffs up a bit it also works beautifully to apply transition shades to your crease area.

M560 Detail Liner: (Synthetic bristles) this is a firm, pointed brush with long, densely packed bristles. Despite the name “liner” I don’t personally recommend this for applying gel or liquid liner – it’s a bit too thick for that. It is however perfect for adding definition to the corners of the eye, such as as a cut crease type look. This is honestly the perfect brush for building up colours for a cut crease!

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M512 Round Contour: (Goat hair bristles) this is a rounded brush with firm, densely packed bristles. I think of it as the MAC 109’s chubbier, shorter cousin. I was extremely excited to receive this brush, as I have nothing else like it in my collection (which after being subscribed to Morphe Me for over 7 months, is growing rather large). As with all the Morphe brushes, it’s incredibly soft. This is one of those brushes that can be used in an endless amount of ways. Morphe suggests using it set the under eyes with powder, but I think you could also use it contour any part of the face (it works wonders for the cheeks & nose) or body, since contouring awkward places is all the rage now apparently. If you like a strong highlight, you could also use this to apply highlighter!

M562 Tiny Crease Blender: (Synthetic bristles) this is an adorably small V-shaped brush with long bristles. I have absolutely nothing like it in my collection, so I’m ecstatic to welcome it to my brush family. This is a great brush to use for softly applying any sort of definition or shading to the outermost part of your crease. Because it’s more sparsely packed, it won’t pick up quite as much pigment. This is great for small eyes, hooded eyes, anyone wanting to do softer or more natural looks, or to get into those hard to reach areas. It’s phenomenal for softly diffusing colour on the lower lash line, and also for adding some highlight to the inner corner of the eyes, and brow bone, cupid’s bow.

M515 Detail Crease Blender: (Goat hair bristles) this is quite possibly one of the teeniest little smudger/pencil brushes i’ve ever seen.  The bristles measure at 1/2 of a centimeter, and its pointed tip makes this perfect to use for the most precise of detail work. You could sculpt the cleanest cut crease with this, or use it to apply colour to your lower lash line. Personally I’ve been loving this to apply a bit of a highlight to my inner corner (tear duct) area! This is another brush that would be really great for small, deep set, hooded, or mono lid eye shapes.

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M516 Angle Blender: (Goat hair bristles) last but not least, this angled brush is definitely a unique one. In a way it reminds me of the E4 blush brush, but it’s much smaller, and has more of a flat top. Morphe suggests using it to define the outer corner of the eye as well as contouring the nose. I do agree it is fantastic for contouring the nose, as the angled shape of the bristles hugs the sides of the nose perfectly. It can be really great for defining the outer corners of the eye, however if you do have smaller eyes or hooded I don’t think this would be the best brush for you. The shape can seem a little awkward at first, but it does hug the outer crease of the eye, and the nose very well! You could also use this for a super defined cheek contour!

Overall, I think MorpheMorphe once again did a phenomenal job with this months package. If you’re contemplating joining or thinking of gifting the subscription to someone for Christmas, I think December is the perfect month to do so, as you get the most bang for your buck! It’s free shipping to Canada and the United States.

Don’t forget, if you join through my link here, we both get a free brush!

 

*Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored in any way. But dang I wish I was* 

Morphe Me Monthly Brush Club – November Brushes

Morphe Me Monthly Brush Club – October Review

 

 

 

What I Eat In A Day for Weightloss (Plant-Based) Blogmas 2016 Day 13

My second What I Eat In A Day video consisted of lots of green skin-loving goodness! A breakfast smoothie full of anti-inflammatory skin boosting ingredients, quick snack/lunch, and creamy veggie pasta.

Once again I slept in rather late (what can I say, I’m a night owl) so I had a late breakfast. In between my snack/lunch I had some grapefruit and some cucumber, I just forgot to record it!

I hope you enjoy! Make sure to check out my new food Instagram page for daily inspiration!

(Also, this video was technically posted 44 minutes past midnight, so I know it’s late! Youtube was not cooperating, so just pretend it actually posted on the 13th!) 

Check out my previous What I Eat In A Day video here!

Aromic Citrusy Nighttime Face Oil Review- The Winter Skin Saver (Blogmas 2016 Day 12)

 

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A good facial oil can be your best friend during the winter. I previously did an entire post about oils and why they’re so good for your skin (which you can read here!) To recap, oils help replace the natural oil component in our skins. Our skin has a natural water and oil component that are part of our moisture barrier. This moisture barrier often gets unbalanced and damaged during the winter, thanks to cold, dryness, wind, and of course indoor heating.

A natural oil (must be natural! Our skin doesn’t know what to do with overly processed, synthetic oils) helps to give the skin that crucial hydration it’s missing or lacking.

One of my current favourite oils is the Citrusy Nighttime Face Oil from Aromic Skincare, a Canadian brand.  This oil is handmade, and 100% natural. They work with chemists, biologists, and botanists to formulate natural yet highly effective oils jam-packed with active ingredients. Their formulations contain between 9 and 29 active ingredients! To put that into perspective, most products on the market contain only about 2-5 active ingredients. 

What I love best about this brand is that they are completely cruelty free, and 100% vegan! That means no yucky animal by-products in any of their formulations. Just pure plant extracts and essential oil goodness!

They currently have only 2 products in their range, the Hydrating Oil and the Citrusy Nighttime Oil. Both retail for $40, which may seem expensive at first but considering the phenomenal formulation, it’s actually an incredible price. Other oils on the mark range for about $50-$200 and up!

The Citrusy Nighttime Face Oil quickly became my favourite face oil. It’s great for all skin types, especially those wanting radiance and hydration with a super light-weight texture. The orange oil in it gives it the most incredible fresh, citrusy smell. Seriously, I wish I could have you all smell it through my screen. It also contains Evening Primrose Oil and Jojoba oil, which are great for problematic or unbalanced skin! I’ve been battling some hormonal acne in the last year, and I found this oil really helped to calm down my breakouts and keep my skin looking bright!

It has minimal ingredients, which are: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa, Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, Citrus limonum, Citrus Auratinum Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Tocopherol. 

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Oils that contain fruit essential oils, especially citrus, are typically recommended just for nighttime use. This is because they are natural brightening ingredients (which are completely safe for skin, and super beneficial) but they can make the skin a little more sensitive to the sun. Because they’re so concentrated and contain active ingredients, it’s also best to use during the night because that’s when our skin does the most repairing.

The Hydrating Oil however can be used in the daytime, especially under makeup or mixing a drop with your foundation for a more dewy glow!

I apply 2-5 drops after my serum, and before my moisturizer. You can also mix this with your moisturizer if you prefer! I’ve been using mine about 2-3 times a week, and I definitely notice a difference on the nights that I don’t use it. It helps my skin feel so much softer, more supple, and more hydrated. I am so in love with this oil!

This would make a great gift for any skincare lover in your life, or for anyone looking for natural products. They offer free shipping on all orders, which is so amazing considering they’re a relatively small brand! I cannot recommend this enough!

 

*This product was sent to me by the brand. This is not sponsored, nor did they ask me to write a review. All views are my own honest opinion!* 

Previous Blogmas post:

Drugstore Stocking Stuffer Ideas (Blogmas 2016 Day 11)

 

Drugstore Stocking Stuffer Ideas (Blogmas 2016 Day 11)

For the 11th day of Blogmas, I thought I’d tackle one of the most frequently asked questions I hear while working in cosmetics during Christmastime.

“My ___ loves makeup, I need some stocking stuffer ideas! What do you recommend?!” 

This question usually comes from a parent just a few days before Christmas (or for the true procrastinators, on Christmas eve) with a frazzled look in their eye as they realize most of the typical “stocking stuffers” are out of stock.

One of the great things about the drugstore is that there are endless possibilities for stocking stuffers/small gifts. Here’s a guide of some items that I personally love and recommend for anyone looking to fill a loved one’s stocking with beauty products. These are all products under $20, that can be found at most drugstores. They’re also mostly all permanent items, meaning they should be pretty easy to find!

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Whomever you’re buying for, if they are a beauty lover then you really can’t go wrong with filling their stocking with some makeup or skincare goodies. If you want an in-depth review of some of my absolute favourite drugstore products, check out my video here

You can never go wrong with tools like brushes or sponges. Real Techniques has some amazing value sets out right now, and if you really want to get creative you could remove them from the packaging and wrap each sponge or brush individually!

Travel-sized skincare also makes great stocking stuffers, as they’re typically inexpensive and convenient! I always recommend some good makeup wipes, as any beauty lover, makeup-wearer, or even just someone with a busy life can use these! They’re great to bring on the go or for anyone who has a tendency to forget to wash their face before bed (big no no!)

Lip products make one of the absolute best stocking stuffers in my opinion. My favourite lip products from the drug store are usually from NYX. Their Butter Glosses, Soft Matte Lip Creams, Lip Lingerie, and lip liners are all pretty inexpensive, and come in a ton of shades.

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You also can’t go wrong with eyeshadow! NYX and L’Oreal make my favourite drugstore eye products – especially the L’Oreal Infallible shadows! Full review on those here!  Nyx makes empty eyeshadow palettes that you can fill with their single shadows! I believe those are mostly available online though, and will require being ordered in advance so they arrive by Christmas. That would be a great idea for a stocking stuffer though, as you could wrap all the shadows individually!

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Elf, NYC, and Essence are also fantastic brands when it comes to stocking stuffers, as they’re all very affordable. Mostly all of their products are $10 or under, making them great for anyone on a budget or even if you’re just looking for some good filler/extra products. I’m planning on doing a full list of Essence products that I recommend, so stay tuned for that!

What are your current favourite drugstore products? Let me know in the comments below!

 

I hope this helps, and merry blogging!

 

Easy, Delicious Brownies! (Dairy-Free & Vegan-Friendly) Blogmas 2016 Day 10

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I don’t know about you, but Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without delicious treats. Christmas baking has always been one of my favourite aspects of the holiday season – it’s something I’ve always shared with my mom and always looked forward to. This year, I wanted to include more dairy-free/allergy friendly recipes.

Whether you’re allergic, sensitive, vegan, or just looking for healthier alternatives (believe it or not, dairy is actually not healthy!) this recipe is one of my new favourites. I thought it would be perfect for Blogmas day 10 (I posted it 4 minutes past midnight, so technically it went up on the 11th. Sue me, I’m a busy gal)

You get rich, decadent, fudgy brownies without all the refined sugar and guilt.

Surprisingly, not eating dairy or reducing your dairy intake doesn’t mean you have to give up chocolate! It just means switching to different types of chocolate – real chocolate with higher percentages of cocoa or cacao rather than milk. Many types of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips are already dairy free!

There are a ton of ways this recipe can be customized – for example, using a gluten free flour, omitting the nut butter for anyone with allergies (and instead replacing it with banana or applesauce) amongst many others!

This recipe is incredibly easy, yet ridiculously delicious! I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup organic sugar or coconut sugar (regular sugar is fine too, but I like coconut sugar or organic brown sugar for a healthier/cruelty free version)
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil (for a creamier brownie, add 1-2 extra tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (depending on your taste preference! I love vanilla, so I usually do 2 tsp)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ almond butter (natural, pure. You can also switch this for banana or applesauce!)
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons water. Mix together then let sit in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes until it forms a goopy “egg” texture!) 
  • ¼ cup flour (If you prefer a thicker, more dense brownie then add an extra 2 tbsp!
  • ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I use the Presidents Choice Semi Sweet Chocolate chips, but many brands have them.  Just make sure to read the ingredients!

 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, maple syrup, almond butter, and melted coconut oil. Whisk together until mixed – it will almost look like caramel!
  3. Add cocoa powder in small amounts at a time, whisking until it looks smooth. Add Vanilla and salt, then keep mixing until just combined.
  4. Gently pour in the flax eggs, whisking until well mixed. In small amounts at a time, whisk in the flour. It will thicken and get more difficult to mix, so switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula!
  5. Gently pour in the chocolate trips, folding to mix. Smooth the mixture with your rubber spatula until it’s all evenly spread.
  6. Bake for 25-30 mins. Let cool for approximately 1/2 hour to 1 hour (if you can wait that long! I usually can’t!)
  7. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar for a snow effect and some added sweetness

 

Holiday Decor Inspiration – (Blogmas 2016 Day 9)

One of my absolute favourite things about the holiday season is the decor – golds, glitter, silvers, and everything in between. Admittedly, I spend more time than is likely normal perusing the decor section of Pinterest, and accumulating a seemingly never-ending list of ideas and inspiration.

For Blogmas day 9, I thought I’d include some decor inspiration for the holiday season, along with some current trends!

Holiday decor trends this year were rich in texture, yet I noticed more of a shift towards crisp, neutral tones. Greys, plenty of white, gold accents, and pops of silver. Flipping through magazines, you’ll surely see a plethora of homes full of cozy (hopefully faux) fur blankets and carpets, sparkly decor, and trees accented with white and silver ornaments.

Now, my home is on the older side, and needs a lot of updating and repairs. It’s sadly not within realistic means (or budget) to fully redecorate. While my inner interior designer demon wishes I could decorate my home to look like a chic home catalogue, I currently must settle for slow progress. My mom and I love looking through home stores like Homesense for bits and pieces we can add to update our home.

 

I love accents like the ones shown in the photo above – a tray/bowl with some candles or decor is an easy and inexpensive way to add some festive touches to your home. If you have a fireplace, adding some decor such as candles, clear vases full of ornaments, and mini trees (plastic, wire, glittery, glass, whatever your preference!) is also a fantastic way to spruce up your home!

Personally, I’m obsessed with this type of chic holiday decor, it reminds me of a winter wonderland. If I could fill my home with white, gold and silver, I would be ecstatic. Add a touch of rustic glam, and I’m in heaven!

What are your favourite colours and themes for holiday decor?

 (All photos taken from Pinterest and are not my own)

Previous Blogmas posts: 

The Gingerbread Challenge – Collab (Blogmas 2016 Day 8)

Lush Holiday 2016 Collection (Blogmas 2016 Day 7)

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