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Sarah Off The Grid and Cozy Weekends

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I have been a huge Sarah Richardson fan since here Design 101 days. I've watched all of her home shows, seen the Christmas special, and have followed her adventures for as long as I can remember. What I love most is the classic elegance that epitomizes her style; the clean lines and cool toned neutrals mixed with gorgeous statement, but timeless, pieces. And really, the only reason that I want to move out is so that I can decorate my own place and make a mood board based on Sarah's spaces. On September 10th, Sarah Off The Grid aired, which is her new series where she designs her new country home from the ground up, making every aspect of the process as sustainable as possible. As someone who majored in environmental studies, the process is so interesting to me to see all the advancements in green design. You can watch the series at 10pm every Sunday on HGTV (it's also on demand in case you missed the first two episodes!)

Sarah richardson, Sarah Richardson design, Sarah Richardson textiles, home decor, sarah style, throw, throw blanket, tea, cozy weekends, books, home decor books, Sloane tea, weekends, relaxing weekends

Sarah richardson, Sarah Richardson design, Sarah Richardson textiles, home decor, sarah style, throw, throw blanket, tea, cozy weekends, books, home decor books, Sloane tea, weekends, relaxing weekends

Sarah richardson, Sarah Richardson design, Sarah Richardson textiles, home decor, sarah style, throw, throw blanket, tea, cozy weekends, books, home decor books, Sloane tea, weekends, relaxing weekends

Sarah richardson, Sarah Richardson design, Sarah Richardson textiles, home decor, sarah style, throw, throw blanket, tea, cozy weekends, books, home decor books, Sloane tea, weekends, relaxing weekends

In the first episode, Sarah designed a belvedere--a beautiful, cozy room at the top of the house to relax in and overlook the beautiful landscape of the Niagara Escarpment. It inspired me to think of how I would design my own cozy space and what elements I would want if I had my own cozy nook. Obviously, I still live at home, which makes it hard to style a space that isn't entirely your own.

Sarah richardson, Sarah Richardson design, Sarah Richardson textiles, home decor, sarah style, throw, throw blanket, tea, cozy weekends, books, home decor books, Sloane tea, weekends, relaxing weekends

Sarah richardson, Sarah Richardson design, Sarah Richardson textiles, home decor, sarah style, throw, throw blanket, tea, cozy weekends, books, home decor books, Sloane tea, weekends, relaxing weekends

Sarah richardson, Sarah Richardson design, Sarah Richardson textiles, home decor, sarah style, throw, throw blanket, tea, cozy weekends, books, home decor books, Sloane tea, weekends, relaxing weekends

But for me, a cozy space involves good books, whether that's books on design or fashion or some thought-provoking fiction. It involves warm and cozy blankets, like this stunning Sarah Richardson design one I was sent. It involves cozy pillows to rest your back on, and some scented candles--preferably pumpkin or apple ones this time of year. I'm a huge fan of the Chapters and Anthropologie ones!

I've already complied a list of books that I want to get to this autumn, and I can't wait until it cools down enough to cuddle up with a throw blanket and pillow, turn the fire place on, grab a cup of herbal tea (or apple cider if I'm feeling adventurous) and enjoy the weekend.

xoxo K

Favourite Easy to Read Books

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Do you ever go through phases where you think, "I really want to read, but I don't want to think whilst reading?" I read a lot of through-provoking and tear jerking books this summer, so sometimes it's nice to sit back and read something really quickly. A light-hearted, skimmable, (potentially) laugh out loud type book? I've rounded up a few of my favourite easy-to-read books to give your brain a break! 





Bridget Jone's Diary: A classic, and if you enjoyed the movie, the book is just as good. Personally, I enjoyed the third book in the series the best, but it was also the saddest.

Confessions of a Shopaholic: One of my all time favourites. Becky Bloomwood and I are kindred spirits and I find myself quoting this book more often than I'd care to admit.

A Little Something Different: More late YA than an adult, but a cute love story. My full review is here.

Honeymoon Hotel: A super cute novel about love, weddings, and coming to terms with what you are looking for in a relationship and profession.

What are your favourite easy-to-read books? I'd love to know! After a week of a new job, my brain is a bit pooped!

xoxo K

Recently Read: August

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Another month has come and gone, and somehow it's already September. I'm so excited for autumn (that and winter are my favourite seasons) and all the cozy blankets, aromatic candles and suspenseful novels. As I'm writing this post, it's only 16 degrees in Toronto, and I'm already curled up with a blanket and a cup of apple spiced tea. 

recently read, books I read, book recommendations, book review, local girl missing, Claire Douglas, a man called one, fredrik backman, the lying game, ruth ware, gin Phillips, fierce kingdom, master of the game, Sidney Sheldon, a little something different, sandy hall

recently read, books I read, book recommendations, book review, local girl missing, Claire Douglas, a man called one, fredrik backman, the lying game, ruth ware, gin Phillips, fierce kingdom, master of the game, Sidney Sheldon, a little something different, sandy hall

I technically finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine this month, but seeing as I've already reviewed it, I'm just talking about the six other books I got to in August.

Local Girl Missing: 4/5
Twenty years after the disappearance of Sophie, her best friend Frankie is brought back to the small coastal town the girls grew up in after a foot has been discovered, reportedly preserved from the rubber shoe it was found in. But as Leon, Sophie's brother, and Frankie begin looking into the case, Frankie begins seeing a woman on the pier who looks eerily like Sophie. Frankie begins spiralling out of control as she attempts to find out what happened to her best friend. 

I had heard a lot about this book, and since I'm always game to read a thriller, I thought I would give it a go. It was a very quick read with likeable characters (for the most part). The novel has a quick, engaging pace in terms of the revelation of clues, twists and turns, but the ending is what threw me--there were two twists, one of which I really liked, and the other I hated. The first twist involved who the murderer was, and the other focused on something about the victim (I won't say to risk spoiling the story). But for me, that second twist was completely unbelievable and cheapened the story. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any thriller-loves like myself.

Fierce Kingdom: 4/5
Joan and her four-year-old son are leaving the Zoo as they hear what they believe are firecrackers. But on the way out, Joan sees the gunman and dead bodies piled up by the exit. Over the course of three hours, Joan must find a way to ensure that the two of them survive a series of frightening and life changing events. 

This book was a Heather's Pick, so naturally, I was intrigued. It was slow paced in parts, and very quick in others--as you would expect would happen if you were actually in a hostage situation. Where I was conflicted the most about my enjoyment of the book was the focus on the maternal bond between mother and son. As someone in their mid 20's who is unmarried and childless, I couldn't relate to the struggles she's was facing or necessarily understand the thought process behind her decisions.

I was also unsatisfied with the ending. It left a lot of questions unanswered, but I believe that was purposeful--you wouldn't know what happened to other people or have a nicely tied up ending in a real hostage situation. Overall, I thought this novel was very thought provoking in terms of the lengths you would go to to protect those you loved, and it was topically relevant, given all the terrorist attacks in the world in recent years.

The Lying Game: 3/5
Isa Wilde receives a text from a friend she hasn't spoken to in years: "I need you." As Isa, Thea and Fatima return to Kate near the Salten private school they attended as teenagers, events begin to unravel surrounding the sudden disappearance of Kate's father years before. As the four women address the mistakes they have made and struggle with the isolation they feel, they must also contend with the lies they have told and their trust in each other. 

This was the Reese Witherspoon book club pick for August. This was my first Ruth Ware book, so I wasn't sure what to expect (side note, I just finished In a Dark, Dark Wood and really enjoyed it!) I found The Lying Game to be very slow, and not nearly as gripping as other thrillers I've read. Similar to the Fierce Kingdom, the focus on the main character related to maternal bonds. She faced the events of her past with the child and mentality of her current self--as someone who is ten years older. Like I said above, I have a hard time relating to characters that focus on their children. In terms of the ending, I really didn't enjoy it. It seemed almost like a cop-out whereas it was meant to relate to the love we have for one another. I also had a hard time relating to most of the characters in terms of their actions when they were in high school and the choices they made.

A Man Called Ove: 4/5
Ove, a grumpy and cantankerous man hates his neighbours and everything else in his life. His old fashion values are at odds with the world he is living in, and those around him don't seem to understand. Ove must learn to cope with the life he thought he would have, and the one he is living. 

I really didn't like the beginning of this book. It was very slow paced, especially after having read some quicker-paced thrillers in the month. While I found Ove to be a grumpy, albeit hilarious, character, I hated the neighbour right off the bat. The neighbour was bossy, demanding and intrusive, especially since she had just met Ove. The book takes and exaggerates stereotypes for humorous reasons, and at times it can get a bit annoying. But as the novel progressed, I found I liked more of the characters, and as their past and actions are explored, I wanted to read on to find out what happens to them. A Man Called Ove really addresses how people express their love in different ways. It also focuses on how we shouldn't judge people because we don't always know what others have gone through or understand why they act the way they do.

Master of the Game: 3.5/5
How far would you go for success and wealth? Over the course of 100 years, the McGregor/Blackwell family perseveres and achieves greatness by growing the family business, becoming one of the most successful enterprises in the world. But the lengths they go to achieve this puts those they care most about at great risk. 

This was one of my mom's favourites books, and it's one that I've always wanted to read. I found the book really hard to relate to for three main reasons: one, the book takes place over 100 years and the jump between characters and settings created a disjointed feeling; two, the characters are for lack of a better term "bat-shit crazy", and I found it hard to relate and like their personalities; third, it was written in third-person, which makes it hard to get in the mindset of the characters.

The book focuses on the lengths you would go to protect your family and lineage, and how you treat others in order to gain power and wealth. The book starts with the innocence of Jamie McGregor and progresses through his trials and tribulations of gaining and losing wealth through diamond mining in Africa in the last 1800's, and continues through to his great granddaughters and the selfish, entitled lives they leave. There is a common bond of members of the family doing whatever is necessary to get what they want, and the lack of empathy they have for those who they hurt in the process. The book addresses issues of self-preservation, psychopathy and mental illness in an almost sinister light. Overall, I found the book fascinating and couldn't put it down as I wanted to know what the family was capable of, but I wouldn't say I necessarily enjoyed the book.

A Little Something Different: 3/5
Lea and Gabe are in a creative writing class together. They get the same jokes, eat the same food, and hang out at the same places. Yet, they seem to be the only people who don't see how perfect they are for each other. Told from 14 various characters in their lives, including the park bench and a squirrel, the story addresses the palpable chemistry people have with each other. 

This was a really cute, easy to read story. It was a nice change of pace from the more thought-provoking books I've read recently. The book made me laugh out loud a few times. The love story was told from 14 perspectives surrounding one couple, and while it was a cute idea to show how other people take notice of two individuals and their apparent chemistry, I didn't find it the most realistic, but it was still very cute and endearing.

Congratulations to anyone who actually made it to the end of this blog post! What have you been reading lately? I'm always looking for recommendations!

Pai-Shau Review and Haircare Update

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When it comes to hair products, I'm really down to try anything. I love trying new products to soften, volumize, de-frizz, condition, or anything else. Rob was sweet enough to give me some Pai-Shau products to try on myself after he did my hair. I've been using them for just over a month now, and though I would share my thoughts! 

hair care, hair review, shampoo, conditioner, beauty blogger, Canadian blogger, pai-shau, Rob Pizzuti


hair care, hair review, shampoo, conditioner, beauty blogger, Canadian blogger, pai-shau, Rob Pizzuti
before it was shook
hair care, hair review, shampoo, conditioner, beauty blogger, Canadian blogger, pai-shau, Rob Pizzuti
after it was shook
About the Brand:
Pai-Shau is an innovative range of hair care that uses a unique blend of exotic steeped teas to provide powerful rejuvenating properties that strengthen, nourish and protect the hair. The products contain antioxidants, Panthenol, vitamins B, C and E to provide body and shine. It includes African red bush, pu-erh, black, white and green teas. Combined, they strength, repair, exfoliate, protect and nourish hair.

Products:
I received the Replenishing Hair Cleanser and Replenishing Cream Conditioner, as well as the Biphasic Infusion. The replenishing hair cleanser claims to restore hair to its youthful appearance and shine, while the cream conditioner rehydrates dry, lifeless hair for a natural sheen.

The biphasic infusion is a rejuvenating concentrate that offers extreme shine and healthier looking hair. It features T-Sylk technology that delivers moisture and shine while locking in moisture to provide a thermal protection. What's most unique about this product is despite its appearance and consistency, it isn't an oil. As someone who has natural greasy hair and acne-prone skin, I feel comfortable using a product that works as well as hair oils I've tried, without the risk of breaking me out.

hair care, hair review, shampoo, conditioner, beauty blogger, Canadian blogger, pai-shau, Rob Pizzuti

hair care, hair review, shampoo, conditioner, beauty blogger, Canadian blogger, pai-shau, Rob Pizzuti

hair care, hair review, shampoo, conditioner, beauty blogger, Canadian blogger, pai-shau, Rob Pizzuti

Thoughts:
I'm completely in love with two of the three products. The conditioner and infusion are absolutely holy grain products for me. They leave my hair feeling silky soft and my hair has a beautiful shine after use. The products smell absolutely incredible--it's a very subtle smell, so it doesn't linger in your hair interfering with other scents you might be wearing, but still provides a fresh scent.

The conditioner is quite thick and does an incredible job at controlling my frizz in the insanely humid weather we've had in the Toronto over the last few weeks. I generally leave it in my hair for three to five minutes (while I shave and exfoliate in the shower), and apply the infusion about thirty minutes later to towel-dried hair. The infusion can also be used on dry hair and I've been loving using this after applying dry shampoo on second or third-day hair because I find my hair gets very matte after.

hair care, hair review, shampoo, conditioner, beauty blogger, Canadian blogger, pai-shau, Rob Pizzuti

In terms of the shampoo, I don't love it. I almost always use volumizing shampoos--I have a lot of hair, but each strand is very thin so the overall appearance can look flat. While the shampoo does a great job at providing shine, I don't seem the volume that I'm accustomed to. It's also sulphate-free, and I've never used a sulphate-free shampoo before, so I did have a hard time lathering it and found I was using a lot more product than usual. There is a volumizing shampoo in the range that I would be interested in trying.

Overall, I really would highly recommend the Pai-Shau products. There are eight products in the range, so you are bound to find something to suit your locks.

Books I want to read this fall!

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This is the first September since I was three years old that I'm not heading back to school. It's a crazy thought and one that slightly terrifies me. I love routine and knowing exactly what to expect. While I am starting a new job on what would be the first day of school (also terrified about that), it will be nice to have a routine that doesn't involve me coming home to hours of home work. I'll still have time to read, although not quite as much as I do now that I've been off all summer, so I thought I would compile a list of books that I really want to read this fall!

reading, books, reading list, what I'm reading, liane moriarty, what Alice forgot, the seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid, the woman in cabin 10, ruth ware, the Essex serpent, Sarah Perry, the cottingley secret, hazel Gaynor

What books are you looking forward to reading in the coming months? I'm so excited to curl up on cool, brisk evenings with a cup of tea and some candles burning. Bring on the fall! 

xoxo K

Givenchy Noir Interdit Mascara

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Nine times out of 10, I will say that high-end mascaras are not worth the money. Just give me a drugstore mascara, and I can produce a great lash day. But every now and then, an expensive mascara will fall into my hands--whether it's sent over for PR purposes, in a sample bag or as a present--that I will fall in love with. That's how I feel about the new Givenchy Noir Interdit mascara.

mascara, Givenchy, Givenchy mascara, new mascara, review, makeup, makeup review, Sephora, canadian blogger

What it Claims:
It claims to provide extreme length, buildable volume for the result of lash extensions through the revolutionary brush and unique formula. The flexible wand blends to a 90 degree angle, allowing the wand to follow the natural shape of the lashes.

mascara, Givenchy, Givenchy mascara, new mascara, review, makeup, makeup review, Sephora, canadian blogger

mascara, Givenchy, Givenchy mascara, new mascara, review, makeup, makeup review, Sephora, canadian blogger

What I Thought (formula):
The first few times that I used the mascara, I didn't attempt to bend the wand. I wanted to try the formula out first before testing the more gimmicky aspect of the mascara. It coats each lash beautifully and is a very true black colour. My lashes look incredibly long and thick after using just one coat of mascara (I do find that a second coat can verge on clumpy if you wait too long before applying it).  It lasts all day without smudging or flaking provided you set the eye area with powder. I always powder my face, but I do miss the area under my eyes sometimes (mostly when I'm in a hurry), and the mascara will smudge if it comes in contact with a creamy area.

The main drawback to the formula would be the strong scent! If you have sensitive eyes (like myself), then it can be a bit uncomfortable. I really noticed the scent the first few times I used it, but I've grown accustomed to it and it doesn't bother me at this point.

mascara, Givenchy, Givenchy mascara, new mascara, review, makeup, makeup review, Sephora, canadian blogger

mascara, Givenchy, Givenchy mascara, new mascara, review, makeup, makeup review, Sephora, canadian blogger

mascara, Givenchy, Givenchy mascara, new mascara, review, makeup, makeup review, Sephora, canadian blogger

What I Thought (wand):
I surprisingly like the 90 degree angle of the wand. I find it really easy to get right to the roots of the lashes, which is important for my white-blonde lashes. I also find that I'm less likely to smudge on my eyelids when it's on an angle, which is a constant problem for me--I always have Q-tips on hand. I also find the wand makes coating the lower lashes very easy. The wand picks up the perfect amount of product, making the application even easier.

Overall, I really like this mascara. The formula and the wand are a great combination and provide a dramatic but wearable effect. Would I purchase it? As a special treat to myself, yes. I still don't think it's worth the price to spend 30-40$ on a mascara that needs to be thrown out in six months.

xoxo K

ME to WE Back to School!

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This is the first September since I was three years old that I'm not going back to school and that terrifies me! But regardless of what I'll be doing this fall, I'll still always love looking at stationery and back to school supplies. It's always fun to see how things have changed over time (shout out to the days of Apple Works!) And besides, who says stationary is only for back to school? Having some notebooks on hand is great for most people, whether you want to keep track of purchases, make meal plans, or a million other routine tasks. ME to WE offers some amazing socially conscious products to help you start the school year off right. 

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

What's unique about the ME to WE range is that they develop socially conscious products that can easily be used in your everyday life. Every purchase helps to empower a child in a developing community to gain an education. The range features things like pencils and notebooks, which allows kids to focus on their studies and help raise their families and communities out of poverty. Since 2009, ME to WE has donated more than $8.5 million to WE Charity in cash and in-kind donations.

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

Half of all ME to WE profits are donated to WE Charity, with the remainder being reinvested to ensure sustainability. In addition, ME to WE has developed the "Track Your Impact" promise for transparency, meaning the positive impact of your products and experiences can be traced to the WE Village partner community where it was delivered. The designs are fashionable, functional and socially conscious.  

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

Whether you are looking for back to school items for yourself or children, or stationery for home or work, ME to WE offers high-quality stationery with a charitable backing. 

xoxo K

Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine: Book Review

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Every now and then, a book comes along that you fall head over heels for. You empathize with the characters, you laugh out loud at the sharp-witted dialogue while tears spill out of your eyes, staining the carefully handled pages before you even realize how much you have connected to the book. That was the experience I had with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.


Reese Witherspoon has an online book club (RW Book Club), where anyone can read the book of the month and discuss it with fellow readers on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I remember seeing this book when it first launched on Chapters but didn't think anything of it. But I thought I would give the book a chance since I loved some of her previous recommendations.

Within the first few chapters, I was hooked. Eleanor is an eclectic character, one who is socially inept and possesses an expansive vocabulary. She has lived on her own for over ten years and works as an office assistant at the same job she got right out of school. Eleanor is completely fine with the way her routine life has turned out.

But as events unravel and she begins to interact more with other people and develops a life-changing crush on a musician, she begins to realize how things aren't necessarily as good as she leads others to believe.




I absolutely loved how the reader is able to witness Elenaors personal evolution--you are with her through hilarious shopping trips and unethical adventures, through her lowest points and her joyous occasions. It felt like such a natural progression through the story. The book also centres around the horrendous conditions that Eleanor faced as a child and her early twenties, but these passages were beautifully written as they explained Eleanor's coping mechanisms.

I generally find myself more comfortable reading books where the character is relatable, and while Eleanor's scars and emotional wounds are a far cry from the loving childhood I experienced, I can relate to the socially awkward part of her character. Whether it's ordering the same thing every time you go to a coffee shop, having set days and times for chores, or wanting to stay home instead of spending the night out with friends, I think the comfort of a routine is something a lot of us can relate to.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is part of a new age of books that are being referred to as "Up-Lit". Whereas thrillers (grip-lit) and dystopias have been most popular in fiction in recent years, "Up-Lit" books are uplifting fiction (the name says it all). These books are more optimistic than feel-good, leaving readers on a high note. They focus on empathy and positivity despite the problems the characters may face.

In light of this, I loved how Eleanor's storyline didn't progress into a love affair. One of my biggest pet peeves in books is when the main character happens to fall in love and all of their problems are miraculously solved. While Eleanor certainly begins working through her complex problems, she did so with the help of a friend. Not a lover who suddenly appeared, but someone who cared about her well being and who was there to help her through her lowest points.

I'm certainly not the best at articulating why I loved certain books, and while it's something I'm hoping to work on, I really do recommend you give this book a try. This has easily become one of my top books of all time, and regardless of your literary preference, I think you will enjoy this book immensely. After all, there is a bit of Eleanor in all of us.

xoxo K

Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contour Powder

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I very rarely wear contour. It's not that I have amazingly defined cheekbones and don't need it. On the contrary, my face is quite round. But I'm also becoming lazier with my makeup routine as I get older (she says at the ancient age of 24). My once 20+ product face has been pared down to about 10 items. My general rule for contour is that if I know I'm going out and having photographs taken, I'll apply a bit under my cheekbones and on my temples for some added definition. 




The Rodial Instagram Compact deluxe contouring powder in 03 is very cool toned and completely matte, especially in comparison to the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. It has a stiffer formula, which is actually preferable in my opinion because you don't pick up as much product on your brush. That being said, it is very pigmented and quite dark on my fair skin, so I do tend to wipe the access on a tissue before applying it to my face.

It leaves a very natural shadow under the cheeks and looks great in photographs. I can't actually find a photo of me wearing it, so you'll just have to take my word on it. The compact is very weighted and luxurious feeling, as I would expect from Rodial. It has a good sized mirror at the top as well, making it perfect to throw in your purse to amp up your makeup for a night out.

While I won't be using it often, I think it's a great product to have in your collection for nights out. And while it is expensive, coming in at $75 CAD, you do get 0.4 oz of product, which is more than what's in a Too Faced bronzer.

xoxo K

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Highlighter

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When Amy brought in this highlight in her discarded box of goodies to work one day, I went mental. She had some amazing products in there, including the Teeez Cosmetics and Stila watercolour blush I reviewed a few weeks ago. I've heard wonderful things about the Bronze Goddess range, and I was quite excited to give the Bronze Goddess Illuminating Powder Gelee highlighter a try. While this particular highlighter is no longer available (at least from what I can find online), there is a similar version. 

highlighter, art decor, Paris in bloom, esteem Lauder, makeup, review, makeup review

highlighter, art decor, Paris in bloom, esteem Lauder, makeup, review, makeup review, flatly

highlighter, art decor, Paris in bloom, esteem Lauder, makeup, review, makeup review

On an unrelated side note, how gorgeous is this book? It's Paris in Bloom by Georgianna Lane, and you'll probably see it pop up in backgrounds quite a bit!

Back to the highlighter now. I've used it a few times, and can honestly say it photographs better than it wears. It's a very stiff formula, and I can't seem to get a lot on my brush. It applies very sheerly and appeared to have a bit of glitter in it that I didn't detect when I swatched it. Perhaps there was some residue on my brush from another highlighter.

The colour is very golden and I don't find it the most flattering on my skin tone. That being said, because it is so sheer, I can still pull it off, unlike the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, which is far too dark for me. It appeared to last most of the day, but it would have been hard to notice if it was fading due to the sheerness of the formula.

Would I recommend this product? Only if you are looking for a golden, sheer highlighter.

xoxo K

Recently Read: July

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I read 4.5 books this month (one of these is currently on the back burner while I find the stamina to keep going). But in the month of June, I read some amazing books and some absolutely horrible ones. Keep reading to find out my thoughts on everything! 

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders


The Rosie Project is about a socially awkward genetics professor, Don Tillman, who develops a test to find the perfect wife. His 16 page questionnaire helps eliminate any potential partners who were "unacceptable," such as smokers, drinkers, barmaids and late-arrivers. But as his friendship with Rosie grows, Don needs to re-examine his criteria and figure out if someone who is completely wrong for him on paper may turn out to be his ideal candidate. 

I've heard nothing but great things about this book, but I'm going to admit I was a bit disappointed in it. The character seemed too similar to Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, and I had a hard time relating to the purposively self-centred and annoying protagonist along with his two friends. I've read much better books about characters with Aspergers or autism. I think if there wasn't so much hype surrounding this book, I would have gone into it with lower expectations and would have enjoyed it more.

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are sisters with very different personalities. While Elinor is calm and well-mannered, her younger sister is eccentric and passionate. As both girls seek to find suitable husbands, they uncover what they truly want in a perfect partner.

I haven't read many classics, but I really wanted to try a Jane Austen book this summer. I thought I would start with Austen's first novel, Sense and Sensibility. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I gave up on it. My bookmark is nestled in at 150 pages, taunting me relentlessly that I've left it unfinished. I'm so used to reading thrillers with intrigue and scandal, or contemporary novels with identifiable characters and witty dialogue. While I don't necessarily find the text too outdated to understand, the storyline itself wasn't pulling me in. I'm still hoping to finish this up soon, but I think I need a bit more motivation before I crack it open.

Focusing on three families, Big Little Lies centres around a death that rocks the small community. Madeline, with her vibrant personality, has no problem being the centre of attention and rocking the boat. Celeste's stunning looks and perceived perfect life are the envy of other parents. Jane, the unassuming single mother who recently moved to the area, attempts to find her place in the tight-knit  community. As their paths cross and histories are revealed, the three woman discover the brutally honest truth about each other. 

I absolutely loved this book. It's one of the best books that I've read this year. At first glance, it would appear to be about parents dealing with the struggles of their children as they start school, but the story is much more complex and entertaining. It focuses on domestic abuse and rape, self-worth, post-traumatic stress, bitter divorces and reconciliation. It's about the struggle between putting your child's well-being above your own and learning to let go of the past. I would 100% recommend this book, so much so that I've already purchased two more books by the author.


Firecracker: 0.5/5
This was the book that I tried to read post-Austen. I thought it would be a quick and funny read, especially since the author was a writer on SNL and New Girl. This was probably one of the worst books I've ever read. I'm not even going to summarize it because I don't want anyone thinking it was funny and wanting to try it. Every stereotype was amplified to the umpteenth, the characters were brutally annoying and I hated almost every second of it.


Soon after Susan Ryeland, the editor of Alan Conway's successful Atticus Pünd series, receives his last manuscript, she realized it is incomplete. While Ryeland doesn't have the best working relationship with Conway, she soon discovers the links between his novel and his death and inserts herself into the investigation to develop her own clues and theories. As the events begin to unravel, Ryeland must confront those who are closest to her to unveil the truth.

If you're a fan of old school mysteries like Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, then you'll enjoy this book. It's a unique premise, in that it's a book within a book. The first half is the detective novel, and the second is the publisher trying to piece together the events of a peculiar murder surrounding the book. While I did find the first part a bit slow, I really enjoyed the second half and trying to solve each murder.

Pew! You made it to the end. Congratulations! In the future, would you prefer if I wrote about each book separately, or maybe 2-3 books at a time, so it isn't so lengthy? Let me know!

xoxo K

Revlon Colorstay Review: Face, Lips, Eyes and Nails

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When it comes to drugstore brands, I generally stick to Maybelline (mostly because I'm a creature of habit). But I was fortunate enough to attend a Revlon event a few weeks ago in Toronto, and I received a very generous goodie bag of products that I've been working my way through. 

revlon, brush, foundation, colorstay foundation, brow crayon, eye kajal, lipliner, ultimate suede, mega multiplier, nail envy, revlon review, makeup review

revlon, brush, foundation, colorstay foundation, brow crayon, eye kajal, lipliner, ultimate suede, mega multiplier, nail envy, revlon review, makeup review

revlon, brush, foundation, colorstay foundation, brow crayon, eye kajal, lipliner, ultimate suede, mega multiplier, nail envy, revlon review, makeup review

revlon, brush, foundation, colorstay foundation, brow crayon, eye kajal, lipliner, ultimate suede, mega multiplier, nail envy, revlon review, makeup review

revlon, brush, foundation, colorstay foundation, brow crayon, eye kajal, lipliner, ultimate suede, mega multiplier, nail envy, revlon review, makeup review

revlon, brush, foundation, colorstay foundation, brow crayon, eye kajal, lipliner, ultimate suede, mega multiplier, nail envy, revlon review, makeup review

revlon, brush, foundation, colorstay foundation, brow crayon, eye kajal, lipliner, ultimate suede, mega multiplier, nail envy, revlon review, makeup review, swatches

Revlon Colorstay products:

  • Mega Multiplier Mascara 
  • 2 in 1 Angled Kajal 
  • Brow crayon 
  • Crème eyeshadow 
  • Ultimate Suede
  • Lip Liner
  • Foundation for Combination/Oily in 150 BUFF
  • Blending brush
  • Gel envy and topcoat 

Eyes: I don't know if it's because it's so new, but the mascara comes across as clumpy. I find the formula very wet, and I had the 6-eyelashes look when I first applied it. It's been a few weeks, and while I still find it clumpy, it is getting better. I don't find it volumizing, but it is very lengthening, giving it a natural appearance. If this mascara came in brown, I think it would be a great no-makeup makeup mascara.

The 2 in 1 angled kajal liner is very opaque (as swatched above). It does smudge easily, but that it was it is meant to do, and the brush on the end is good at blurring the edges.

The brow crayon is a very cool toned colour, which is something that drug store products seem to have trouble with. It's a little waxy, which is great at keeping the hairs in place, but because the tip is so large, I find it hard to create a defined line. I think if you have naturally thick brows (i.e. not me), it would create a really natural look.

The creme eyeshadow is a beautiful shimmery silver-purple colour that I'm really excited to play around with come the holiday season. Rich purples and metallics are my go-to around Christmas, and I'm keeping this one close for that. It's a very creamy consistency, and lasts all day (with an eyeshadow primer, because I never try anything without one). It also blends easily, but be warned that if you play around with it too much, it does start to look very sheer.

Lips: The ultimate suede isn't my favourite product. It's very shimmery or pearlescent, depending how you look at it. It's a bit streaky as well, and very creamy, which isn't something I particularly like in a bright red. It doesn't have the longest lasting power, as I find it slips off your lips once you eat or drink anything.

The lipliner, on the other hand, is amazing! It's creamy enough that it's easy to apply without any dragging, and comfortable enough to wear all over the lips. It lasts well throughout the day (provided you don't eat anything particularly messy or oily.

Face: Of all the foundations I've ever tried, this has to be the best colour match I've ever found. They helped match us up at the event. This is a great colour for very fair skin with yellow or neutral undertones. In terms of its effectiveness for oily skin, I've tried better. My face starts to look greasy after about 3.5-4 hours, but it was also very hot and humid on the days I tried it. My main complaint is that it clings to pimples and blackheads, and really showcases the imperfections on my skin. I think I'm going to hang onto this incase my skin clears up a bit and give it another try.

I really don't have a lot to say about the brush. It's relatively soft, it blends products well and because it's synthetic, it cleans very easily.

Nails: I'm a perpetual nail bitter, and I have very flakey nails naturally, so polish never really stays on me. I tried this on my mom, and it lasted about 4+ days before she started to notice chipping, which is better than the Essie ones she has tried. The finish is very shiny (like the diamond top coat would suggest), and I'm looking forward to trying this one myself.

Overall, I think the products would be good if you were looking for products that are budget friendly and would create a natural finish.

xoxo K