Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Candle Lineup

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Who doesn't love to light a candle? There is something so calming about the small flame flickering, something so soothing about a subtle pleasant aroma filling the air... I love candles. I love burning them, I love displaying them all over, and I love buying them!! As the seasons change, I also like to change my candles for some that better reflect the season!

Here are the candles I have acquired recently that will be burning on and off as we skip on ahead into spring!

Bath & Body Works "Paris Dreams" has a light fresh floral scent that is subtle and crisp. This one is in my entrance and when the lid is off, it doesn't even need to be lit to be noticeable as soon as you walk in!

Bath & Body Works "Gelato" is one of my favorite scents recently! I have bought this several times before as its delicate sweetness is addicting!!

Dyptique "Baies" smells clean and sophisticated, and definitely shares it's pretty smell with the air all around my living room!

Bath & Body Works "Tiki Beach" smells like coconuts and fresh air! I love this scent and it really lifts my mood! I have it in my dining area and will be lighting it on a very regular basis as it gets me excited for warmer weather that is [hopefully] right around the corner!

Do you love candles too? What are some of your favorites? Favorite brands? Smells? I would love to know!!

xx Andrée

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Favourites!

Finally! I actually remembered to get this post written in time for it to still be relevant! I love reading favourites posts, and the start of March, though it may not be Spring yet, is the marker for a February Favourites post of my own!

In order to be able to try to get good use out of all the makeup I own, I have to switch up what I use on a regular basis. However, each day I find myself reaching for some of the same products, over and over again. These products have made it onto my list this month! Enjoy!

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum
This wonderful eye serum has saved my life this month! I developed a small patch of dry skin under my left eye (SO annoying, and I'm attributing it to stress, as well) that NOTHING seemed to help soothe and repair. Trust me when I say nothing - I've tried La Mer, La Prairie, Sisley, Kiehl's, Chanel, Jurlique, even plain ol' coconut oil (which only made me wake up with the puffiest eyes ever!!), and none of it worked!! As a desperate last attempt before actually considering a cortisone cream, I was given several sample sachets of the E.L.A.N.R. Eye Serum. After just two days of pairing it with my La Mer Eye Balm Intense, the dryness was slowly going away! After this, I purchased a full size bottle, and have been using it morning and night ever since!

Chanel Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care
This winter has been dragging on for over 4 months, over 122 days!!! And it's been a cold, rough one to say the least. My lips were doing a good job and requiring minimal basic hydrating care from me, up until the middle of January. From then on they gave up their fight with the elements and needed some extra TLC. Chanel came to the rescue with their newly reformulated lip balm, Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care. It is infused with the ultra hydrating and moisture-replenishing Camelia Flower Oil, which has made my lips baby soft, plumped, soothed and nicely hydrated again. Major thumbs up for this improvement on what was already a good lip balm (The Hydramax + Active Nutrition Lip Care). I have been using this multiple times a day, and before bed, every single day.

Body Shop Shea Body Butter
I have raved about this amazing body butter before, and I am going to do it again! This is a savior for dry skin in the winter! I slather this on my whole body every day right after showering for skin that is deeply moisturized all day, with an incredibly subtle, but lovely nutty scent. I keep repurchasing this over and over again in the large tub!

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
I purchased this out of curiosity. It had been around for a while, and I only ever heard good things about it. I have been using it morning and night for over a month now, before my moisturizer. It doesn't make my skin oily at all, and I find it helps my moisturizer really sink in and be more effective. I rub excess onto my cuticles too, to keep them nice and soft.

Darphin Hydraskin Serum
I'm pretty sure I've talked about this serum on my blog before. This is hands-down, without a doubt, my all time favorite Holy Grail hydrating serum. This stuff just works! It is quite watery, yet very concentrated so a little goes a long way, and it is just like 10 drinks of water for your face. Darphin uses all plant based ingredients in their products, so this is a product I also feel good about using on my face.

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre 92 Impulsion
I love the formula of these creamy gel shadows. This particular colour, a pretty, light pink, was released as part of the Chanel Spring 2014 Collection. I have been using this alot lately, in several different ways - it's very versatile! I've used it as an all over wash of soft sparkly pink sheer colour, for an easy, fool-proof fun day look, or just dabbed at the center of the lid on top of other eyeshadows to give an eye-widening effect, or in the inner corners for a touch of glam!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Creme Compact
When I got this, I never thought I would come to love it as much as I do! I use this very often, in place of foundation on days where I just want something light and don't need/want to wear much makeup. It provides a sheer coverage that is so healthy looking and fresh.

Bath & Body Works Cosmetic Bag
I love the bright colour of this clutch-like makeup bag! It caught my eye one day when I was buying candles, and I just had to go back and get it! It says "Look On the Bright Side" in small good letters at the top, which I think that paired with the pink bow on the zipper, looks very Kade Spade, and well it makes me smile. :) I can also fit lots of things inside of it, so it's been very handy!

Reading this over, I notice a trend... This month I have been all about hydration!! Winter is [hopefully] almost over, but in the mean time it's so important to treat your skin right and make sure to moisturize! I highly recommend any and all of the products I have just mentioned, especially if your skin is in need of some hydra-TLC!

Have you tried any of these? Will you? I'd love to know what your favourite products are right now too!!

xx Andrée

Monday, January 13, 2014

La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex

Hopefully by now everyone knows that it is absolutely crucial to take good care of the delicate skin around your eyes... Right?! There are now countless serums, gels, masks, creams and treatments created for the eye area, so you are definitely free to take your pick of a combination of products that work for you!

Overall, my eye area is so-far problem-free, and that's how I plan to keep it! I like to rotate between eye products, using a regime for several months, then tweaking it based on how it has performed, and switching in some new additions here and there. One of the products that has been a regular in my eye care rotation is the La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex.

Just by looking at the packaging, you can tell this is a luxurious little gem. The deep blue glass bottle with a shiny chrome lid and writing is very chic and classic looking. The product is dispensed from the dropper-type lid in a way that ensures you only use what you need.

And what you need is not a lot! A little goes a long way with this eye serum. Its lightweight texture melts into the skin, while firming, lifting, hydrating (you do however still need an eye cream on top) AND brightening the eye area. Seriously. This is like a mini eye lift. Like I said before, I don't have any wrinkles or sagging skin around my eyes, but I definitely notice that the skin around my eyes is much smoother and tighter when I put this on. What it is really good at is making my eyes seem less tired, and a lot brighter. Like some sleep in a bottle! What's more is that you can also use this serum on your eyelid!

Now how about I tell you that not only is this an amazing skin care product, but that it is also an absolutely amazing eye shadow primer?! Another thing this little powerhouse of a product can add to its resume is it's wonderful ability to not only make your eyeshadows pop, but make them last for hours without creasing or fading! 

If I have a day of work ahead of me, I sometimes wear a separate eyeshadow primer on top of this serum, just as a backup. I also highly recommend using a moisturizing eye cream on top of this around the eyes. It does hydrate, but just as you would apply moisturizer after your face serum, you should do the same for your eyes.

Overall, I highly recommend trying this eye serum if you haven't already!! What are your favorite products from La Prairie? Your most-recommended eye-care products? I'd love to know!!

xx Andrée

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wish List: Gucci Heartbeat Print Leather Pouch

Hello Lovelies!

Ever come across something, completely spontaneously and think "omg I need this!"?? Ha! Who am I kidding? Of course you do! Anyway, before I start pointing the finger, I better get this out in the open: I am completely impulsive like that and have "omg I need this!" moments several times a day. Luckily for my bank account, I am usually able to take a step back and re-think my decisions before obliging to my silly little materialistic desires all the time.

I have a small soft spot for luxury goods, and so when I was looking at some of the new arrivals for Gucci's Spring collection, something super cute caught my eye!

These are the Gucci Heartbeat Print Leather Pouches

Aren't these just adorable!? I love the colour combinations, the size is just perfect as a little carry-around wristlet for either change and cards, or as a little pouch for small makeup items to carry around in your handbag. I also really like the tiny little bamboo tassel at the zipper!

These aren't too big, yet are well made and will surely be durable! The leather undergoes a special process, making it a true luxury good, despite it's smaller size. Gucci treats the leather half-way, then presses the "Shanghai leather" print (a print completely exclusive to Gucci), before completing the treating process. This not only ensures a texture that is long-lasting and that won't ever rub away, but also a unique little leather good with ethically sourced materials. They retail for $360 CAD. 

This is definitely one of the top items on my Spring wish list! The only problem is I have no idea which colour I would choose!

What are your thoughts on this little gem? Yay or Nay? And what leather goods are you currently lusting after? You know me, I'd love to know! :)

xx Andrée

Laura Mercier Spring 2014: Enlightenment Eye & Cheek Palette

Hello Lovelies!!

Let me start by telling you that I am absolutely not a winter person. I just don't do well with the cold, at all, and the shorter days seem to really take their toll on me. I feel more tired, less motivated... Just blah. Well, right at about this time is when it it usually feels like winter is going to go on forever. It's in the minus 20's, there's slush, snow, freezing rain, wind chills but then... almost as if to save us from this misery, there are all the beautiful Spring collections! Right after Christmas, so you don't even have to spend too much time anticipating the first signs of the next season that always seems far, far away... I love it!

So many brands have such gorgeous new collections out, with refreshing, luminous colours in all forms, and beautiful soft textures, all which contribute to a renewed sense of beauty! 

Over the passed year or so, I have developed a serious love for Laura Mercier products. The quality is fantastic, and the collections are always so inspiring! Their Spring 2014 Collection, is very appropriately called Spring Renaissance. Though it isn't a very large collection, I find that it has everything to create full looks that will transport you through the seasons.

My top pick from the Spring Renaissance collection is the Enlightenment Eye & Cheek Palette.

This beautiful palette contains two Cheek Colours and four Eye Colours, all in a chic and sleek packaging.

The Cheek Colours are so pretty and fresh! They are both quite subtle, yet smooth and without a very powdery finish. Left is the brighter coral colour "Blushing", which gives a cute pop of colour to the apples of the cheeks, and to its right, very subtly is the soft peach-pink "Awakening". "Awakening" is so pretty on its own but really shines when used to blend out "Blushing". You should definitely try these two together for cheeks that glow!

The eyeshadows are swatched above, from left to right: "Angelic" is a very finely frosted champagne colour with golden flecks throughout. Next is "Grace", a lovely warm taupe with the same golden flecks. "Pure Glow" is a soft and yet fiery copper, and "Innocence" is a slightly more pink champagne colour. Although each colour is finely frosted, the light golden flecks that run throughout each shadow make them all work beautifully together without being overwhelming. Try just one shade as a soft wash over your entire lid, or play around with depth and intensity by mixing and matching them together!

Overall, I believe this palette is definitely a must for the Spring! I like that it is space saving, too! All you really need to pack alongside it is a concealer/foundation, mascara, and a pretty lip colour (try Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Mango for a pop of colour on the lips, or in Brigitte, for a perfect nude pout!)

How do you feel about palettes that house more than one type of product in them? Personally as long as there's no goopy or creamy products in the mix, I'm all for them! What are your picks from this collection?

xx Andrée

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Today's Picks

Hello Lovelies!

So today was spent at home... sick... mostly in bed. How exciting is that?? Anyways, when I finally mustered up the strength to get up, let the dog out and make some tea, I decided that I still wanted to look somewhat good. For who? No one in particular, but I sat down and did my makeup anyway.

To lightly even out my skin, I chose the Laura Mercier Crème Compact Tinted Moisturizer, in the color Almond. I love this stuff! It's so easy to use, and offers just enough coverage without feeling like I've really got something on.
Next was the Le Blush Crème de Chanel in #63 Révélation. This gorgeous peachy pink blush is a dream! It is highly pigmented and the texture is so silky! I followed the blush with a light dusting of Chanel Les Beiges #40 to give a sheer glow. My choice of highligher was Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in "Highlight-01". Just because I am sick doesn't mean I have to look it, right?! 
I am in the midst of trying out a new concealer to be able to review for you guys, so today was my first time using the La Prairie Light Fantastic Cellular Concealing Brightening Eye Treatment #30 (I dare you to try to repeat that 5 times in a row!). So far so good! I like how it brightens but isn't as drying as YSL Touche Éclat.
To finish my simple sick day look, I applied Le Volume de Chanel mascara in black.
I didn't really want to wear much on my lips seeing as the horribly cold weather plus being sick has made them quite dry, so I just used my Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, and a little bit of Chanel Glossimer in #172 Rose Sauvage

And now I'm curled up on my couch, candles burning, little dog sleeping at my side, and writing up some upcoming posts for you guys!

If you have any ideas for posts you'd like to see, please don't hesitate to let me know!!

What are your sick day go-to products? Do you just go bare face, or are you like me and at least want to wear a little something to try to make you feel better??

xx Andrée

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm baaack!

Hello Lovelies!

Wow, it's been quite a while, hasn't it? I do apologize for my absence... A lot has happened in the two years since my last post, but one thing hasn't changed at all: my love for all things beautiful! If anything, I am more passionate about it all than ever!

I am hoping 2014 will bring many new things to Straight Up Glam; more beauty, more food, more lifestyle inspiration, and much much more!

I hope you are as excited as I am for this new chapter! See you soon!

xx Andrée