Top Five Fall Fragrances

IMG_6169Good morning everyone!!!

To keep the autumn theme going, I thought I would share with you another seasonal beauty favourite of mine: fragrances.

I do not have any fragrances designated for particular seasons; rather, I like to wear some of my favourites throughout the year. Besides, most fragrances are so expensive that you want to get plenty of year-round use out of them. They also help you qualify for some brands’ bonus gifts, which are always lovely.


1. La petite Robe Noire by Guerlain

IMG_6157I came across this while in Paris back in August, and immediately fell in love with it. I would have purchased it in Paris, but I have a deep-rooted fear of traveling with perfumes (for anyone who has had one leak in their suitcase, you will understand why). So, when I got home, I purchased it as soon as possible, and I actually went with the eau de toilette version. Not only is it more “cost feasible,” to put it formally, but I prefer the more subdued version of the scent. With notes of black cherry, almond, berries, rose, licorice, and black tea, this is a fresh yet intoxicating scent. Aside from the fragrance itself, I adore the packaging. The heart-shaped bottle is so pretty, and the the silhouette of the little black dress is such an elegant yet modern touch. The 50mL size of this eau de toilette is about CAN $85.

2. Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana

IMG_6165As you can probably ascertain from the tiny amount that is left in the bottle, I really, really, really like this fragrance. It is a soft scent of white flowers, neroli leaves, white amaryllis, white water lily, and white daffodil, among other things. Fun fact: White amaryllis is a South African flower that was used for the first time ever in scent for this fragrance. The packaging of this fragrance is both beautiful and symbolic. The bottle itself is evocative of a vintage fragrance flacon, while the flower stopper is a tribute to Sicilian customs. The black grosgrain ribbon represents the signature white shirts and bow ties of early Dolce and Gabbana runway shows and, finally, the script of the label is a replica of the signature of Domenico Dolce’s father. This eau de parfum comes in three sizes: 0.25oz for CAN $34, 1.6oz for CAN $109, and 2.5oz for CAN $136.

3. La Vie Est Belle 

IMG_6158I came upon this fragrance in the pages of Vogue. I couldn’t figure out why the issue smelled so good, and then I found the perfume sample. After wiping the magazine page on my neck for the next few days like a right fool, I went out and purchased the fragrance. It turns out that it was actually more cost-effective to purchase the three-piece box set than just the large size of the perfume alone. Fun fact: the final formula of this perfume is the result of three years of trials and 5000 versions. Just imagine working through 5000 different versions of something before you got it how you wanted it; that is dedication. The top notes of this fragrance are blackberry and pear, with middle notes of jasmine and iris, and base notes of praline, vanilla, tonka bean, and patchouli. However, I found that some of these base notes, particularly vanilla and praline, are much more prominent than blackberry or pear, but the powdery base and fruity tier organization is still intact. This fragrance is quite heavy, and fairly long lasting, making it perfect to wear on a night out. It comes in three sizes: 0.34oz for CAN $28, 1oz for CAN $74, and 1.7oz for CAN $98.

4. Vanitas by Versace 

IMG_6160This is the second fragrance I ever purchased and, once again, I discovered it from a sample in Vogue. It is a fresh and clean scent, making it perfect for everyday wear, but it is soft enough that those around you won’t be overpowered by it. To many people, it may be more of a spring/summer fragrance, but I love getting whiffs of summer as I go about my day, especially when the days get gloomy. The predominant scents in this fragrance for me are lime, freesia, and Virginia Cedar, with some base notes of tonka bean. It comes in three sizes: 30mL, 50mL, and 100mL. I could only find the price for the 50mL size, and that is CAN $98.

5. Modern Muse Chic by Estée Lauder
IMG_6162The last of my favourite fall fragrances is Estée Lauder’s Modern Muse Chic. It is much lighter than the original version, Modern Muse, while still maintaining its
 striking contrast of floral and woods scents. This is a daring and slightly spicy scent, and I think the nearly-empty flacon speaks for itself about its wearability. This fragrance comes in two sizes: 1oz for CAN $68, and 1.7oz for CAN $90. I went with the 1oz size because I wanted to make sure that I liked it before I bought the larger size. Fortunately, I picked it up around Christmas time when purchasing it qualified me for one of Estée Lauder’s Christmas gift sets, which are well worth their value and come with a large case that is perfect for keeping all cosmetics and toiletries in one place when traveling.

And those are my top five fall fragrances!!!

Now it’s your turn: let me know in the comments below which fragrances are your favourites, either for the autumn season, or just in general 🙂 🙂

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My TBR Pile | Autumn 2015

IMG_6137Hello readers!!!

With autumn in full seasonal swing, I figured it was time to establish an Autumn TBR pile. Aside from all my course readings, which mostly consist of psychology textbooks and a plethora of psycholinguistics journal articles, there are the books that I would really like to read this season. Everyone needs some pleasure reading. None of the books I’ve selected are overly long, and all of them have received excellent reviews on GoodReads, so I should have no trouble motivating myself to finish them. I’ve even blocked off reading time in my study schedule so it doesn’t get overtaken by school stuff.

With that, on to the books!!!

1. The Hunter and the Wild Girl  by Pauline Holdstock

IMG_6139I have heard wonderful things about this book and, as an added incentive to read this book, I will get to meet the author!!! On November 10th, Pauline Holdstock will be having a reading and book signing at one of the local bookstores!!! I have already marked it down in my calendar, and have resolved that, as I read it, I will note down questions to ask her. I always love meeting authors because it is one thing to read a book, but another thing entirely to meet the person who wrote it and hear about how the story transferred from their mind onto the page. For some, the story flowed naturally; for others, there were extensive rewrites and multiple drafts; and for others still, a writing process somewhere in between these two extremes. I am really looking forward to hearing about Holdstock’s writing process, and hopefully some little inside facts about the story’s development.

2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

IMG_6140This is one of those books that comes along and takes society by storm. Not in a Twilight “I-am-so-totally-ok-with-like-dating-a-guy-who-could-kill-me-at-any-moment” kind of way, but rather in a powerful way that forces us to re-evaluate how we see things, and how we define them. Professor, writer, and voice-on-the-Internet Roxane Ray wrote an essay titled “Bad Feminist” and then proceeded to write a book of the same title. Rather than try to describe this book, Roxane Gay has made it easy for me. She actually did a TED talk that will give you a good understanding about what her book is about and what she stands for. Feel free to watch it below 🙂 🙂

3. If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie 

IMG_6141This book was on my local bookstore’s recommended book club reads table. I have never been in a book club before, but I would love to start one up on GoodReads, and this would probably be the first book I would choose for the book club. This book tells the story of 12-year-old Will, the son of an extreme agoraphobe who has not left the house, nor allowed Will to leave, in years. But one day Will realizes that his life Inside is not normal, and prepares for imminent death as he ventures to Outside on his own. This is Michael Christie’s first novel, which I found surprising given the incredible reviews it has received. What a coup for Mr. Christie.

4. How to Be a Heroine (Or, what I’ve learned from reading too much) by Samantha Ellis 

IMG_6138I came across this book on my local bookstore’s staff recommendations table. I always like going through staff picks because I find it gives neat insight into who people are. Some people say you can tell a lot about someone by the contents of their purse, their shoes, etc. Well, I believe you can tell a lot about a person by the books they recommend to others. The title really caught my eye, and it turns out that this book describes what the author has learned from the female characters in classic literature. Many of us have had to study at least one of these ladies in English class, and I hope this book puts a quirky spin on the clichéd profiles of prominent fictional women in literature.

So now it’s your turn: what books are on your autumn TBR list??? If you have read any of these books before, let me know what you thought of them in the comments below!!!

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My Top 5 High-End Autumnal Berry Lips

IMG_6128Good morning everyone!!!

With autumn weather in full swing, the berry lips are back, and I could not be happier!!! There is something about a bold lip that just makes me feel super fancy, even if I’ve paired it with some leggings and a sweater. But there are so many lipstick shades out there to choose from, so I thought I would share with you my top five high-end autumnal berry lips. If you like this post, let me know and I will more than happily share my top 5 drugstore autumnal berry lips. So let’s begin!!!

1. Estée Lauder New Pure Colour Lipstick in Fig IMG_6134 I received this lipstick in one of Estée Lauder’s annual Christmas gift sets, and at first I thought it was too dark, so it lived in my lippie collection without seeing the light of day. But then about a year ago, I was rummaging around for a dramatic, sultry red to go with a little black dress, and this lipstick was my saving grace. It is a beautiful, tawny red, it goes on super smoothly, it doesn’t dry out my lips, and it stays on really well throughout the day, with little to no fading. This lipstick has the sample packaging, which is more simplistic than the packaging of a regular Estée Lauder lipstick, but they run at about $34 a-piece, so I’ll take more basic packaging since I still get the gem of a lip colour inside.

2. Bite Beauty’s Maple Matte Crème Lipstick in Braised Maple IMG_6136 I reviewed this lipstick awhile ago in my post about Bite Beauty’s Maple Matte Crème Lipstick range, and have since been wearing it as much as I can. It is not as orangey as it looks, and it lasts. Like if I don’t fully remove it at night, the tint is still there in the morning. It is such a lovely colour, and it actually smells like maple, which I think is a nice little feature. Unfortunately for those of you who live outside Canada, this range is a Canadian exclusive, and they sold mighty fast. I’m pretty sure most stores only have one colour left in stock. This one was $28, and at the time I purchased three, so both me and my bank account were worried about not liking them, but I am so glad I got them all at once. Otherwise, they would have been gone, and I have got so much wear out of them.

3. Bite Beauty’s Maple Matte Crème Lipstick in Sugared Maple IMG_6135Yup, another one of Bite Beauty’s maple lipsticks made it into my top 5 highstreet autumnal lipsticks. I just love how long lasting they are, and somehow going around smelling like maple gives all my makeup looks a Canadianesque feel. I rarely used to wear deep purple shades, but this one is so gorgeous on, and is perfect when paired with simple, daytime eye makeup, or some dramatic wing eyeliner for evening wear.

4. Clinique’s Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Matte Plum IMG_6133This was one of the first lipsticks I purchased when Clinique came out with their Long Last Soft Matte range, and I was hooked on it. My mother loved it so much that she went out and got one for herself, and it’s now her everyday lipstick shade. Lots of the other soft matte shades are pretty, but Matte Plum just pops out, and is one of the few shades that I think can be worn in both Autumn and Spring.


5. Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in La Romanesque IMG_6131I also discussed this lipstick shade in my review post of it but, to summarize, I had wanted this shade for months since I had seen it in Chanel’s Spring 2015 advertisements, and picked it up while in Paris back in August. It is a subtle yet deep shade of purple that is actually very versatile in terms of the looks it can be worn with and the seasons it can be worn in. It may have been released in Spring, but there is nothing stopping me from wearing it year-round. Plus, I find the formula to be very hydrating, which is important as the days get colder and lips are exposed to harsher elements.

So what are your top five high street autumnal lipstick shades??? Have you tried any of these shades before??? What did you think of them???

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Autumn Favourites Tag

20150908-124755.jpgHappy Autumn everyone!!!

I was tagged by the lovely Amy from Polished by Amy to do the Fall Favourites Tag. She has an incredible beauty blog with a spotlight on nails, and I am always so jealous of the designs she comes up with, so definitely check it out.

Side note: Maybe it’s a Canadian thing, but I was taught to say Autumn, and didn’t learn that it was synonymous with Fall until much much later. Anyone else have that???

But I digress. Let’s get into the Autumn spirit with some nostalgic favourites:

Favourite candle scent?

Oh goodness, I love so many. I think my favourite would probably be Aveda’s shampure scent.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate all the way. About this time of year, I start making hot chocolate every few nights and have it while I do homework. Sometimes I even put an After Eight mint stick in the cup so it melts and gives the hot chocolate this super nice minty taste. I am all about the different flavours of hot chocolate. Like Rolo hot chocolate: yes please!!!

What’s the best autumn memory you have???

This one would have to be raking leaves with my grandfather in my grandparents’ backyard. I had this tiny little, red rake that he had made for me, and he used the giant green rake. We’d get them all into a pile and then proceed to throw them at each other and frolic in them. That’s right: a man in his seventies frolicked in leaves. Just picture that.

Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?

Definitely dark lips. I feel like winged liner can go one of two ways: it looks absolutely perfect and makes your eyes bigger and bolder, or it goes horribly wrong and your eyes look misshapen and lopsided and questionably over-defined. With dark lips though, they are such a lovely, sultry Autumn trend, and make any look more dramatic and sophisticated. Berry lip and a little black dress and you can go anywhere.

Best fragrance for autumn?

I don’t know . . . I don’t really have fragrances designated for certain seasons. I am loving Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire though. I found out about it while in Paris, and then got some at a local store, and it smells so lovely. I don’t know if I would brand it an Autumn scent, but it’s assumed the role of my Autumn scent, at least for this year.

Favourite thanksgiving food?

This one is a toss-up between my grandmother’s turnip crumble and her turkey casserole. I know what you’re thinking: . . . she likes turnip??? but my grandmother makes this dish every Thanksgiving and Christmas and I can’t get enough of it. I’ll see if I can get a copy of the recipe this year and share it with you all so you, too, can experience the rare glory of tasty turnip. As for the casserole, it’s just the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten, and it makes spending all day cooking a turkey worth it when you can get multiple meals out of it.

What is Autumn weather like where you live?

It’s perfect, at least in my opinion. It’s crisp, but not cold. It’s sunny, but not warm. And there are even a few foggy mornings thrown in.

Most worn sweater?

I don’t know if I have just one, but I have amassed quite a collection of Lord and Taylor cashmere sweaters over the years, and they have started to make their annual appearance in my recent outfits.

Football games or jumping in leaf piles?

Definitely jumping in leaf piles. Canada isn’t known for its football (I don’t think???) but hockey is a game that we will spend all day watching.

Favourite type of pie?

I’ve only ever had one piece of pie in my life . . . but the slice of homemade green apple pie that my friend’s grandmother made was delicious!!!

What song really gets you into the fall spirit?

Ed Sheeran’s Autumn Leaves. It is such a lovely song, and I just get lost in it.

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?

I’ve only had one pumpkin spice anything, and that was Starbuck’s infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte. My friend’s father brought me, her, and another friend one each while we were marshalling a marathon in seventh grade. It was actually pretty good, but I wouldn’t go as crazy over it as I know some people do, and I don’t think I’d want a candle or anything else that smells like that.

Favourite Fall tv show?

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

“You’re holding my hand, Chuck, you sly dog” –Peppermint Patty

Skinny jeans or leggings?

Skinny jeans. Once the days get colder, I find leggings just don’t keep me warm enough.

Combat boots or UGGS?

UGGS. I know they aren’t super flattering, but they keep my toes oh-so-warm. I just wish they would do better in the rain. Or at least do ok in the rain.

Halloween: yay or nay?

Whatever’s in between yay and nay . . . okay??? I like Halloween and all, but I’m not big on dressing up, going to parties, scaring people or being scared, or watching horror movies so that I never have a nightmare-free sleep again for years.

Fall mornings or evenings?

Mornings. I love the low-hanging fog, and the smell of burning leaves.

What do you think about Black Friday?

Meh. It’s ok. I don’t think I’ve ever gone out on it, not for shopping anyways. I have real issues with crowded places, so I like to avoid hoards of people all cramming into stores for good deals that are usually just as good throughout the year.

One fall 2015 trend you love?

Bold bags. I usually purchase more conservative bags so they will go with more things, but I think this year I might treat myself to a super out-there bag; maybe a Kate Spade.

Thank you so much for reading!!! I tag all of YOU reading this to do this tag!!! If you do this tag, please link me so I can have a read about all your favourite autumn things!!! Have a lovely day 🙂 🙂

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Clinique Autumn 2015 Haul and Bonus Time

IMG_6101Happy weekend everyone!!!

With the first day of Autumn now a few days behind us, it seemed apropos that I do a post on one of my favourite seasonal occurrences: Clinique’s bonus time at Hudson’s Bay!!! What this means is for anyone in Canada, from September 15th to October 3rd 2015, Clinique is offering a bonus with a purchase of $31 or more. I absolutely love the Clinique bonuses because they have some treasured beauty favourites in them, along with new products to try.  So, I thought I would show you what I bought from Clinique this time, and highlight a few products that came in the bonus 🙂 🙂

This Clinique gift is extra special because the cosmetic bag was designed by interior designer Tyler Dawson. If you haven’t heard of her, you can click here to pop over to her website and take a gander through her portfolio, her about page, and get in contact with her if you are interested in hiring her. Personally, I am a huge fan of her design style. It is so cute and chic at the same time, and I love how she pairs paint colours with furniture to make a room feel homey while looking fabulous.

IMG_6085To qualify for this bonus, I purchased Clinique’s newly released Turnaround Revitalizing Daytime Moisturizer. At $45, I really had to convince myself that this was something I wanted to try, and I JUST missed the free sample from Sephora if I shopped online, so that was a little irksome. But I have heard so many good things about this entire range, and moisturizer is always something I can use, so I went for it.

And now on to some of the goodies stashed away in this lovely little bonus:

IMG_6089First up is the Tyler Dawson-designed cosmetic bag. I think the colours are so fresh, and the clear, cylindrical zipper pull is such a unique take on the classic pull. It is very roomy so I think it would be great for storing, or travelling with, brushes or palettes that need lots of room both lengthways and widthways. The colours and design might be better suited for spring, but hey, it’s only a few months away.

I love taking photos with this kind of shadowing going on

The next item is a shade of Clinique’s Long Last Soft Matte lipstick in the shade Matte Peony. This is super coincidental because I was going to purchase this shade a few weeks back, and decided not to. And now here it is in my makeup collection!!! I’m pretty sure it was meant to be. This is a vibrant pink shade, with warm undertones. Once again, I feel like this shade would be better suited for Spring, but maybe this bonus is for Spring and is just being released in Autumn because Clinique wants us to start prepping our beauty collections for Spring. Who knows???

IMG_6099Next is the moisturizer component of the bonus. Clinique usually has at least one element of their bonus that you can choose so, for instance, the items in the gift are pre-set, but you can choose between two lipstick shades, or two colour themes that dictate which lipstick and eyeshadow shades you receive. In this case, the choosable element was the moisturizer. The choice was between the Even Better Moisturizer with SPF 20 or the Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream with SPF 15. Really, the choice here is between having a brighter complexion, or giving your skin a bit more vitality. I went with the Even Better Moisturizer with SPF 20 because I have used it before and loved it, and I am not yet concerned with the firmness of my skin. But maybe I should be???

IMG_6100Next up is a product I have never even heard of before, which is strange because Clinique is one of my go-to makeup brands.The Blended Face Powder in Invisible Blend. If anyone has heard of this or used this before, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, because I have no idea what this is, and no idea how to feel about it. I think it’s for setting makeup??? Maybe??? Gosh, do I ever feel out of the beauty loop here.

IMG_6097Now this product is fairly new, and I have never tried it: the Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum. Apparently this little number is suitable for all skin types and tones, and it sounds like it kind of gets to know your skin and figures out what it needs??? I know that sounds super weird and like I’m describing a life coach more than a skin serum, but I am kind of lost when it comes to this product. I did a little research and some of the uses of this product, like reducing lines or wrinkles, and firming skin are not things that I am really looking for in a product. Evening skin tone and boosting radiance though, those are things I wouldn’t turn down.

The last two products that were included in this bonus were the High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara and the Liquid Facial Soap Mild. This mascara is always, always, always included in Clinique’s bonuses, and I LOVE it. As I have most likely mentioned previously, I never have to buy mascara because I just live off the sample sizes that come in these bonuses. Between the wand design, the formula, and the easiness of packing it, this little sample size is hands-down my favourite mascara to-date. The facial soap is one I have used for years, and I even use it with my Sonic System if I’m feeling it. It’s just a nice, gentle cleanser that leaves skin feeling clean and fresh.

And that was this season’s Clinique bonus, and my mini haul!!!

Have you picked up your Clinique bonus yet??? What did you purchase to qualify??? Any recommendations???

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my 100 followers giveaway for your chance to win a Chanel Autumn 2015 lipstick of your choice and one of Time magazine’s listed 100 best English-language novels!!! Click here to find the instructions for how to enter. *The giveaway is open internationally and will close September 30, 2015 at 11:59pm” 

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21 Reasons Why I Love Autumn

20150908-124709.jpgAutumn is just around the corner, and for many people this means the end of sunny, summer days with treks to the beach, barbecues, and roasting marshmallows around a fire pit during a family camping trip. For me, this means no longer having to apply SPF60 sunscreen every time I want to leave the house so my paper white skin doesn’t burn to a crisp. In short, I welcome autumn each year with open arms. But it’s not just the lack of sunscreen that makes this my favourite season. There are so many amazing things about autumn that I could just go on and on about, so I thought I would set myself a limit and share with you 21 reasons why I love autumn, in no particular order:

  1. Breaking out the scarf collection!!!
  2. There’s nothing like curling up in front of the fire with a good book.
  3. All the leaves start changing to such beautiful colours and being raked into piles on people’s lawns and and cascading through the air, etc. I love everything to do with autumn leaves.
  4. Warm pancake breakfasts with fresh maple syrup. . . Yum.
  5. Staying in bed on weekends and catching up on some sleep without the sun obnoxiously peering in the window at you at 7am.
  6. Berry toned lips and nails make their annual comeback into everyone’s beauty regime.
  7. School starts back up, which means a fresh batch of sticky notes for studying.
  8. Rain boots become fashionable again (and where I live, totally necessary; 100% function over fashion when it comes to 10cm of rain every day for weeks).
  9. Watching movies in pyjamas with a cup of hot chocolate (and mini marshmallows, of course).
  10. Mittens. Mittens. Mittens. In case you haven’t guessed, I really like mittens.
  11. Berets and toques and fedoras, oh my!!!
  12. No more worrying about sweating off your makeup in the summer heat.
  13. Over 800 pages of the September issue of Vogue to pore over.
  14. No need for blush with the slight pinkish hue on cheeks from the cold.
  15. Pumpkin-spiced everything makes its appearance in stores and Starbucks everywhere; new additions always coming soon!!!
  16. As the weather turns to daily rain, that means more time inside bookstores looking for the next good read . . . or two.
  17. Wearing tights under dresses to stay chic and warm.
  18. Candles, candles, and more candles!!!
  19. Autumn nights are perfect for having a bubble bath.
  20. Tons of anticipated books from top authors are published in autumn.
  21. The peppermint mocha returns to Starbucks.

So let’s start saying our farewells to summer because autumn can’t come soon enough!!!

What are some of your favourite things about autumn???

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