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.

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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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September Book Haul

IMG_6103Good morning everyone!!!

With the August book buying ban off, and university back into full gear, my book shopping sprees will be few and far between. So, when I stopped into Chapters downtown yesterday, I figured I might as well stock up on some school-friendly reads to keep in my backpack or on my desk for when I have a few spare moments.

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The first book I picked up was YouTuber Tanya Burr’s Love, Tanya. I have watched her YouTube videos for years, but never went out and got the book when it was first released. The nice thing about this book is it is broken up into sections, which are perfect for reading at home during study breaks without feeling like I’m losing some of the overall effect of the book. The sections are also categorized so you can target areas of interest, like YouTube, beauty, healthy eating, etc. An added bonus is that this book has some blank pages for you to make notes in about things you like, or want to do. I just think this is such a cute coffee table book, and a great read for a busy school semester (helpful tips in here too!!!)

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Ah, the September issue of Vogue. Choked full of 832 pages of the fall fashion shows, new trends, and a cover story on Beyoncé, this issue has it all. I love reading magazines, especially when I’m going to school, because it is really easy to just read one or two articles and then put it down for a bit, without the lure of a cliff hanger. Plus, lots of magazines come with a perfume sample, so I can put a bit of one on, go back to studying, and see if I like the fragrance around me. In addition, Vogue is an excellent way to lust over beautiful things without spending a dime, which is great if you’re a student like me and on a budget.

IMG_6105Next is His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay. My primary reason for buying this book is because I want to read it before Elizabeth Hay comes to a local bookstore next week. I am so excited to get to meet her. She is such an incredible author, and being able to hear her do readings is something that I am really looking forward to. Maybe I could even get this book signed 😀 😀 That would be amazing.

IMG_6108The next two books I grouped together because they are from the same series. I was given the first book in this series, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson, for my birthday a few years back, but I never got around to reading it. Now that the fourth book has just come out (but written by a different author), I feel like I have to read them now before there are too many to catch up on. Besides, with these books priced at $10 each, how could I refuse???

IMG_6109Another good at-school read I picked up is Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. I have heard such wonderful things about her unique narrative voice, and with her newest book Why Not Me? being listed as one of the best Fall reads, I wanted to get a taste of her writing style to see if it was something I would be interested in reading. These short stories are perfect because I can read one or two, and then go back to studying, or I can read a few in between classes. And if anyone’s seen The Mindy Project on TV, you will know just how funny she can be.

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No Chapters book haul is complete without at least one Heather’s Pick, and The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha is the one that made it into my TBR pile this go around. What I learned yesterday is that Heather’s Picks are actually guaranteed reads, meaning if you don’t like the book, you can return it to the store. That is taking customer satisfaction to a whole new level. I love this book because it has small little sections on something small but awesome that can be encountered in daily life. This morning I read my first section, which was on when you successfully parallel park on the first attempt. I am going to read one of these little snippets of awesome each morning just to add a bit of positivity to my days.

And those are the books I’ve purchased this September!!!

Have you read any of these before??? What did you think??? Any other recommendations for September reads???

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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The Perfect Paris Travel Book

IMG_6047Before leaving for Paris, I read numerous travel guides, and pored over maps of the arrondissements and the metro. I made lists of what I wanted to see most, and planned out what I could see on which days to limit travel time and maximize fun. But then I got to Paris and stumbled into Colette, one of the weirdest stores I have ever been in. With booming music, people everywhere, and a host of random products with no concrete theme, it was unlike any store I had seen. From Hello Kitty Polaroid cameras, to a wall of magazines I had never heard of, to office supplies, to clothes, to candy and keychains, Colette had it all.

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Pages 22-23

Finding my comfort zone in the notebook and stationary section, I came across the book This is my Paris by Marie Bashkirtseff, with text and compilation by Petra de Hamer. Along the lines of the Wreck my Journal concept, this book is touted as a “travel diary, activity book, and city guide in one”. It has everything from beautiful and quirky illustrations of Paris’s sights, to lists of must-see stores and restaurants, to blank pages for lists of things to see and do, to pages to tape business cards and tickets, and even pages of recipes for classic French foods and beverages. Essentially this book provides the framework of a trip scrapbook; all you have to do is add in whatever you want.

I saved up everything from my trip in a manilla envelope, and now that I’m home, I will be filling it all out and taping everything in. I would recommend purchasing this book before leaving for Paris though, because some pages are meant for pre-trip planning. On these ones, I am going to attach all of my lists, but it would have been nice to list things directly in the book.

If this type of books is interesting to you, there is also a This is my Berlin book, and possibly more.

So here’s a question for you: how do you document your travels???

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day ☺ ☺

Shakespeare and Company Book Haul

IMG_5919Shakespeare and Company was at the top of my Places to Visit in Paris list. This bookstore has been featured in numerous movies, such as Julie and Julia and Midnight in Paris, and has an illustrious history.

Shakespeare and Company is in fact the name of two bookstores. The first was opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919 at 8 rue Dupuytren, and then moved to a larger building at 12 rue de l’Odéon in 1922. This bookstore was popular with writers like Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, and James Joyce. However, this bookstore closed in 1940 during the German occupation of Paris and never re-opened. An American ex-serviceman named George Whitman opened the second bookstore bearing this name in 1951 at 37 rue de la Bûcherie. Originally, it was named “Le Mistral,” but was renamed Shakespeare and Company in 1964 as a tribute to Sylvia Beach’s bookstore after her death.

Finding this bookstore though was quite tricky. I ended up wandering the Latin Quarter, Saint Gérmain des Près, and even picking up a Despicable Me Minions puzzle in the process of trying to find it. When I finally found it, it turns out I had essentially passed it at least three times, but the road it is on is so inconspicuous that I kept walking by it. So for any of you who go to Paris and want to see this bookstore, here’s a really simple way to find it: stand with your back to the front of Notre Dame, walk forward towards the road, turn left and cross the bridge, then turn down the first little road you see called Rue de la Bucherie; from there you will see the green awnings.

IMG_5922This bookstore has two floors. The ground floor has new books available for purchase, while the upper floor has books available to be read in the store but not bought, along with couches and chairs for reading, and an adorable little nook with a typewriter that visitors have left notes and quotes in. Not to mention there appears to be a resident cat that lives on the upper floor of the store. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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What I really liked about this bookshop was the stairs leading up to the second floor. Each stair has part of a Hafiz quote painted on them. The full quote is:

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astounding light of your own being.”

Along the right side of the stairs on the other side of the banister are diagonal shelves with more books sitting on them, along with various box sets of postcards, such as those with previous covers of The New Yorker on them.

20150903-122948.jpgAnother thing that makes this bookstore unique is that any books purchased there are made  extra special with a Shakespeare and Company stamp to mark them as souvenirs of the visit. Of course you can opt out of having your books stamped, but I think it is a really nice way to remember where they are from.

Needless to say, I picked up a few books, so I thought I would show you them here.

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IMG_6050The first book is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I have a mini collection of copies of this novel, and I had never seen this edition before, so I wanted to add it to my bookshelf. Of course this means I will read it again, but I can never read it too many times. I always find something new in the story.

IMG_6052The next book I bought is Three Early Stories, also by Salinger. It contains “The Young Folks,” “Go See Eddie,” and “Once A Week Won’t Kill You.” Compiled into a book in 2014 by the Devault-Graves Agency, these short stories were originally published independently, “Young Folks” in Story magazine in 1940, “Go See Eddie” in University of Kansas City Review in December 1940, and “Once A Week Won’t Kill You” in Story magazine in November-December of 1944. I have never read any of these short stories before, so I am super excited to sit down in my reading nook with my cat and a cup of hot chocolate and delve into them.

IMG_6051The last Salinger book I picked up is For Esme–With Love and Squalor. This is a collection of nine of Salinger’s short stories, some of which I have read like “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” and others I have not. I have a copy of these stories compiled into a book of another title, Nine Stories, but I have yet to even crack the spine. That book came in a collector box set of all of Salinger’s works that I received as a gift from my French 11 teacher before he retired. He was, and still is a remarkable person, and we shared a passion for books. Before French class started, I would get there early and we would talk about what we had been reading and recommend books to one another. With a copy of these short stories that I can now read, I am looking forward to reading the ones I didn’t read from printed versions from my French teacher.

IMG_6053The final book I purchased is Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. Firstly, because it is about Paris. And secondly, it mentions the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in chapter 3:

In those days there was no money to buy books. Books you borrowed from the rental library of Shakespeare and Company, which was the library and bookstore of Sylvia Beach at 12 Rue de l’Odéon. On a cold windswept street, this was a lovely, warm, cheerful place with a big stove in winter, tables and shelves of books, new books in the window, and photographs on the wall of famous writers both dead and living. The photographs all looked like snapshots and even the dead writers looked as though they had really been alive.

I opted for the restored edition, as it includes two sections of photos, one of photos of some of Hemingway’s handwritten manuscript pages, and the other of photos of people, such as Hemingway as a young man, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is even a picture of Hemingway and Sylvia Beach in front of her bookshop Shakespeare and Company. And a picture of the interior of the bookshop, which is similar to how it looks today. A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s last novel, was published posthumously in 1964, with changes made to the text prior to publishing. This restored edition, however, is the original manuscript as Hemingway wrote it to be published. This edition also has a personal forward by Hemingway’s only surviving son, Patrick Hemingway. Plus, the introduction to this edition was written by Seán Hemingway, the editor and grandson of the author. So if you’re a Hemingway fan, I would seriously recommend picking up a copy of this restored edition.

I would have picked up many more books, but they are deceivingly heavy, and I could only fit so many in my suitcase. The good thing though is that this bookstore has a website, which I recommend you check out, because it shows all the books they have there, new, used, and rare, along with book boxes that can be ordered online. I am seriously considering ordering the classics book box just to see which books are randomly included in it. It’ll be like being back there only I won’t have to worry about weighing my suitcase in the airport.

Have you visited this bookstore before? What books did you bring home?

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day 🙂 🙂

Pre-Paris Book Haul

20150821-093913.jpgI know, I know, I said no more buying books. But as I mentioned in a previous post, I am off to Paris soon. I am beyond excited about this trip, but unfortunately there is a fair bit of traveling involved before I arrive in Paris. Between the taxis and busses and the 9-hour flight, I just know I will get bored, and nothing quells boredom like a good book.

Now I, like many, love going to the library to check out books. It is a super easy and cost-effective way to read books and try out works by new authors. But I don’t really feel comfortable taking a library book to another continent where it could get lost or damaged. I know there is no such thing as a library version of a permanent record, but in case that does come to exist, I don’t want to be known at my local library branch as the girl who wrecks books and accrues months of late fees because the books go missing.

Hence this pre-Paris book haul was necessary (like how I’m justifying it to myself?) Besides, being stuck on a long-haul flight with a book that isn’t living up to its reputation or is just not sucking you in is a drag.

So, the three books I picked up are Room by Emma Donohue, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, and Son by Lois Lowry. I got all of these in paperback because they are lighter and smaller, and therefore easier to pack. I know that I will love these books, which is why I have selected them as the three books that will be coming on my trip with me. I don’t want to have any unnecessary book weight in my carry-on from books that I don’t plan on reading, or am doubtful as to whether or not I will like them.

But who knows, maybe I’ll pick up a few more books while I’m in Paris to weigh down my suitcase on the flight home. Perhaps they’ll even be in French. . .

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Mini Summer 2015 Chapters Haul

Picture 24Alright, I know I set a book buying ban for myself, but these ones are justified: these ones are for Books on the Nightstand’s Summer Book Bingo, so really, it’s just business. That, and I had wanted to read these for a long time, and they were there so . . .

Anyways, if you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t but would like to, click here) you will have seen a picture of my little haul two days ago because I was so excited about them, but I thought I should also document my haul here.

First up is White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I first heard about this book on the blog 101 Books. It sounded amazing, and an increidble debut novel to boot, so I thought it would be a good one to do for a novel that is more than 500 pages long, or a novel with just words on the cover (harder to find than you think).

The next book is YouTuber Zoella’s first novel Girl Online. I have read plenty of reviews of this book, along with a few rumors about how a ghostwriter may have been involved, but nevertheless I still wanted to read it and see what it was about, and get all prepped so that when the sequel is released, I will be prepared.

The last item I bought I counted as one book to make myself feel better about my book buying binge, but really it’s four. You may not know this about me, but I absolutely love book sets. I like being able to get a whole bunch of books by an author at once, and preferably in paperback without movie covers. I have read Looking for Alaska but, regrettably, I have not read the other three: The Fault in Our Stars (shameful, I know), Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines. At least now I own them so they’re available to me at anytime. I am hoping to make at least one of them work for the summer book bingo, and I want to read Paper Towns before the movie comes out and I start seeing Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff in place of my imaginary versions of the characters.

So yeah, that’s my little book haul. I hope you are all enjoying your Fridays, and have splendid, summery weekends 🙂 🙂

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Clinique Summer 2015 Haul and Bonus Time

Well, Clinique’s bonus time is back at Hudson’s Bay!!! This meant that I stopped in to my nearest Clinique counter to try out some new products and received a lovely little bag of goodies as well. 

IMG_5052The first item I picked up was Clinique’s Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen. I haven’t used one of these in years, but there is no time like the present to try out an eyeliner pen again. It has a really fine tip, which makes creating thin lines super easy. It also comes in dark brown, and that would be great for a more natural look. I have been loving it the past few days, and should have a review of it up sometime this week. 

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The other item I picked up was Clinique’s All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette in Wear Everywhere Neutrals. I have been wanting to try this for so long, but I often struggle to justify the purchase of an eyeshadow palette. I get that they are a money saver and are great for traveling, but they usually have colours in them that I just can’t see myself using. This palette is different though. The 8 colours are absolutely gorgeous and are perfect for any neutral daily make up look, or a more toned down night look. I will be using these religiously come back to school time. I will be reviewing this product on this blog as well, so expect swatches of all the colours, and maybe even a few look ideas. 

IMG_5042Because I bought these things, I received this adorable cosmetic bag full of lovely little beauty items. I have amassed quite a collection of these bonus gifts, but I still love getting them, because they are such a neat way to try out products in sample sizes, as well as retain a supply of products you love. For instance, I have never had to buy mascara, because I just live off the sample sized ones that come in these bonuses. 

I won’t go through all of the items in this bonus gift, but there are a few that I wanted to spotlight for how amazing they are.

 IMG_5044The first is the Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in the shade Mightiest Maraschino. When chubby sticks first came out, I didn’t know how to feel about them, and I waited until they put one in a bonus to try it out. I ended up loving it, and so when the lip colour balms started going into the bonuses, I was on board for that. This one has such a rich tawny red colour, and it is chalked full  of mango and shea butters to keep lips hydrated. I don’t really know how to describe the finish: it’s not sheer, but it’s not matte; it’s kind of in between. I wore this on Canada Day and it lasted all day and night, plus it matched the flag rather nicely. 

IMG_5047The next item I want to talk about is the Lash Doubling Mascara. This is not the one I traditionally use (usually the high impact mascara comes with the bonuses), but it works really well, and leaves my eyelashes looking really long and full, without clumping or crumbling off during the day. I have tried this one before, but I am saving up these little ones so that when I go traveling, I can take some in my carry on so that if my luggage goes missing (and it will thanks to Air Canada) at least I’ll have a few make up essentials to see me through. 

 

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The last item I want to feature is the Quickliner for Eyes Intense. This, too, is a new addition to the bonus, but it is rather lovely. I really don’t like eyeliner pencils–in fact I hate them. I find them really painful to apply, they don’t go on smoothly or evenly, and they smudge and fade throughout the day. So, I basically go for any eyeliner that isn’t a pencil and that I don’t have to sharpen. This one has a really silky formula so it goes on smoothly and doesn’t fade. This sample did not come with the smudger end like the regular product does, but it is easy enough to smudge if you want to early on after application. This type of eyeliner also comes in 12 really cool shades, ranging from the traditional black and brown to colours like green and purple and blue and even peridot. 

What Clinique products have you been loving lately??? 

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day 🙂 🙂 

H&M Purchases of Late

IMG_5066Just a few things I picked up in H&M recently. They had a huge sale going on, so almost everything I got had a beautiful little red sticker on it. The only downside to these sale items is that they are final sale but, hey, that’s what fitting rooms are for, right???

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I adore little crop tops like this, and how could I pass them up for $5 for the pink florals, and $3 for the blue??? Such amazing deals. They are super soft, and will be really nice throughout the summer and even into the fall.

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I love plaid shirts, like LOVE them, but it is so hard to find ones that aren’t super fitted and in weird or bright colours. These two are incredibly soft and comfy, and will be perfect for autumn, and for $10 each, I wasn’t leaving them behind.

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Who can resist cute, simple dresses??? At $7 each, I picked up both. The pink is a fun and flirty little number that will be all through my summer pictures this year. And the black is just perfectly simple so I can wear it anywhere. #lbd

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This shirt was the only full-priced item I picked up, but I adored the floral print and the loose fit. I really want to wear it with leggings in the autumn, or jeans in the winter. And two pairs of tights for $7: yes please!!!

Have you found any really good buys at H&M recently??? Let me know!!!

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day 🙂 🙂

Summer Sephora Haul!!!

IMG_5033So I went into Sephora the other day on the hunt for some summer essentials. You know, a foundation with SPF, sunscreen that wouldn’t break out my face, etc. But, of course, the minute I stepped into Sephora, I completely forgot my reason for going in and stocked up on some other “essentials”.

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110 Pink Porcelain

In my last post, I reviewed Make Up For Ever’s (MUFE’s) Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation. I loved it so much that I wanted to pick up the HD Invisible Cover Foundation. I haven’t tested it out yet, but I did try a little on in the store and it is so silky. I got the shade 110 Pink Porcelain, which, according to Sephora, is meant for porcelain skin with pink undertones. That I did not know, but it’s the lightest shade they had, and that is usually a pretty simple way for me to pick out the shade to try. This was quite pricy at $50, but it looks pretty good, so I took a chance on it.

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4.9 oz Spray Bottle

The next item I bought also coincides with my last post, where I mentioned I got the MUFE Foundation Kabuki Brush. It wasn’t until I began using this brush that I realized I did not have a cleaner for it, so I went out to get the MUFE Instant Brush Cleanser. I figured I would keep my brushes and cleanser of the same brand, because I like to think the formula is best suited for the brushes they sell, but who really knows. Anywho, what I love about this cleanser is it comes in two sizes: a 4.9 oz full-size spray bottle ($25), and a 1.69 oz travel-size spray bottle ($14). For someone like me with an unexplainable love for travel size products, this is perfect because it means I can take this with me in my carry-on without having to worry that Air Canada will lose my luggage (trust me, it happens more often than you think) and I’ll be stuck with dirty brushes until my luggage is found. It’s also a great way to test the product without having to get the full size.

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156 Large Flat Blush Brush

I am quite peeved about this next item. I wanted a foundation brush with which to properly apply liquid foundation. The brush guide in Sephora said the MUFE 156 brush was for foundation. Turns out it is actually the Large Flat Blush Brush. A bit of a letdown, not going to lie, at $43. For the time being, I am going to use it for foundation application, but I will eventually find a brush that is actually meant for foundation, given I already have a blush brush that told me up front what it was.

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226 Medium Eye Shader Brush

I also picked up the MUFE 226 Medium Eye Shader Brush, because I am accumulating quite a collection of eye shadow palettes, but I like keeping any applicators included in them clean. Plus, I find brushes usually allow for more precise application. I am quite excited to test out this little dandy and hopefully it keeps those pesky grains of powder eyeshadow from landing under my eye.

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Marshmallow Bunny

The final item I picked up was a bit of a treat for myself–nothing necessary, but a nice summer splurge: the Too Faced La Crème Colour Drenched Lip Cream in Marshmallow Bunny. I absolutely love Too Faced’s packaging, both the cardboard exteriors with their gold-trimmed floral designs, and the simplistic brushed gold tube design. Not going to lie, the name Marshmallow Bunny kind of lured me in. I mean, come on, how cute is that name for a lip shade?!? I still tested it on my hand in the store to make sure I liked the shade, and decided it was the perfect colour to wear during the summer to add a little pop to my daily make up routine.

The other exciting thing about this little shopping venture is that I am now a Sephora VIB!!! Yes, it means I’ve spent a fair bit of money there, but Sephora is the perfect one-stop make up shop, and now I qualify for early sale access, exclusive offers, samples, and free items. The adorable little silver VIB card is pretty cool, too.

I will be posting reviews for these products soon, so keep an eye out for those if you’re interested. If you have tried any or all of these products already, what did you think of them???

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Spring 2015 Chapters Haul

IMG_4997Oh my goodness, it has been way too long since I did a book post!!!

Where have I been you might ask??? Well, for starters, university picked up speed, and I found that the majority of my time was spent in a little nook of the campus library until late hours nearly every day completing homework assignments, drafting essays, and studying for midterms. Never again will I think that I can take six courses at once (I only completed five though; I wizened up halfway through term and dropped one). If I ever post on here, or on Twitter that I’ve had the brilliant idea of cramming six courses into one term, someone PLEASE comment and remind me of this post, and the pact that I made with myself. Life balance is key, and I tossed that entire concept out the window this past term.

However, over the last few months, I did meander down to the local Chapters bookstore several times to pick up some books to read for when term ended and I had nothing to do, so I figured what better way to get back into the book blogging groove than to do a haul post on all the books I have added to my collection since my February haul post???

So, let’s get started!!!

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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I have to admit, I have not read this book yet, but I hope to crack it open sometime next week once I get through the book I am currently reading (coincidentally enough, a book that will also be featured in this haul post). From what I can gather, this book is set in Paris during World War II. It begins with the story of Marie-Laure, a deaf child, and her father, the master of locks at the Museum of Natural History. The pair flee from Paris to the home of Marie-Laure’s great-uncle, and carry with them “what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.” Simultaneously, the story of a German Orphan named Werner unfolds and, with a talent for building and fixing radios, he becomes part of an academy for Hitler Youth. And, of course, Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s paths will cross.

2. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

IMG_5004While this book was released in 2006, and a movie adaptation was released in 2010, I somehow managed to go quite some time without even knowing this story existed. As much as I don’t like doing this, I unknowingly saw the movie first, but once I found out it began as a book, I knew I had to have it. My boyfriend at the time said that the story resonated with him; he felt like he was in the same position as the protagonist, Craig Gilner. In essence, this is a story about a teenaged boy who wants to succeed in life, which for him means that he needs to attend the right schools and colleges, and get the right job. But this generates too much pressure, and Craig nearly kills himself. So, he checks into a mental hospital, and the story chronicles his time there, where he learns to deal with his anxiety, and what life is all about. After watching the movie, I realized that my then-boyfriend was right, but on a larger scale than he probably meant to be. I find that all teenagers are, to a degree, Craig Gilners. All want to succeed at something, and all fear buckling under the pressure of the expectations they set for themselves and believe others set for them. I found this story to resonate with me too, as I’m sure it does for almost any teenager who feels a little bit lost and overwhelmed in this big show we call life.

 3. Still Alice

IMG_5005I ordered this book online about a month ago when I saw a DVD of the movie adaptation sitting on a local library bookshelf. I read the back of the DVD, and realized what an incredible read the book would be, and I didn’t want to spoil any of the intensity of Lisa Genova’s writing by knowing the plot through the movie first. There is a common misconception that Alzheimer’s Disease only targets the old, the people with grandchildren, the people that live in nursing homes. What this book does is shed some light on the harsh truth that even a 50-year-old cognitive psychology professor at Harvard University can be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I haven’t read this one yet, but I am saving it for a rainy day when all I need is a good read and my cat curled up at my feet. And, for when that day comes, I have the movie on hold at the library so I can pick it up the night before, and watch it the minute I finish reading the last page.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (50th Anniversary Edition)

IMG_5003I have read this book many, many times before, and yes, I already have a copy, but when an anniversary edition of a novel as classic as this one is released, I don’t think there’s really a choice to not get it. It’s one of those books that, while it may not be read, it will proudly sit on my shelf, representing the 50 years of this story being taught in schools, read in book clubs, and heralded as one of Time Magazine’s 100 greatest novels.

5. Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series

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Prematurely, I labeled buying this book an impulse purchase. I loved the cover art, and that Heather’s Pick sticker always reels me in. But, upon cracking it open and reading the first few poems, I was completely hooked. I read them all in about two hours and, upon finishing the last poem, I started all over again, reading it for a second time, sure I had missed something. His poetry is an actualization of the phrase “quality over quantity”, with some poems comprised of only two verses. A great many of his poems remind me of the imagist movement, where each poem is a snapshot of a commonplace event, represented with acute detail.  Finding beauty in the ordinary and gestures of love in the subtle are two of his talents, and he uses them to their full extent in these poems. They will leave you spellbound, guaranteed.

6. Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling

IMG_4998This little book is only 70 pages long, and contains Rowling’s 2008 commencement address at Harvard University. She discusses the value of failure, and the power of imagination, two things that have greatly aided her throughout her life. What I loved about her speech was how thought provoking it was in its simplicity. She told the truth: that there are many benefits that come with failing, and they should be embraced, not avoided. As for imagination, well I think her novels speak volumes (no pun intended) on the power of imagination in changing one’s life. This book has been added to my coffee table collection, and I plan on reading it when I need a little boost of confidence or inspiration that there is always time to do what I love and make a difference.

7. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

IMG_5000This little novella was the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize and, in the words of A.D. Miller on losing the award to Julian Barnes“It was like losing to Brazil in the World Cup Final.” Now that  is a tribute from one writer to another. I have just started reading this book, but by page 16, I am already hooked. If I didn’t have to get off the bus for work yesterday morning, I would have stayed on for the entire route just to finish this book in one sitting. It is that good. There is something about Barnes’ writing style that makes every line thought provoking. By that I mean that I read a sentence, then pause and ruminate on it a bit before moving on. It’s like I’m scared of missing the genius, but it’s in everything he says, and I want to take it all in. So far an incredible read.

8. Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou

IMG_5001I actually picked up this book a week before Mother’s Day, hoping to give it to my mother as a gift. Well, ok, I admit it, I read it. I just couldn’t help myself!!! Angelou dedicated this book to the daughter she never had, but to the millions of readers she considers to be a part of her extended family. These short essays provide insight into parts of Angelou’s life, my favourite being the essay that describes the conception and birth of her son. This is a must-read for anyone who loves Angelou’s work, and anyone looking for a Mother’s Day gift.

9. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and Other Stories by Hilary Mantel

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Hilary Mantel has won the Man Booker Prize twice, an unprecedented achievement; once in 2009 for her novel Wolf Hall, and then in 2012 for its sequel Bring Up the Bodies. Having heard incredible things about these novels, I was so excited to find this collection of short stories at Chapters. I have read some of these short stories already (hence the little pink bookmark poking up out of the book in the picture. Oops!!!) and am in love with her ability to craft characters in such depth and weave their lives together. While I am anxiously awaiting the release of the final book in the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, this collection of stories will most definitely tide me over.

10. Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius

IMG_5006 Now this sounds like an incredible read. I first read about this book online, and was dying to find it in stores so I could add it to my must-read shelf. Mini series, this book chronicles the life of a 12-year-old boy who, in 1988, went home from school feeling sick, and never went back. An unknown illness left him wheelchair bound and unable to speak, yet his mind was awake. This book tells his story of the 14 years he spent in institutions and the people he met there and how he eventually learned to communicate via computer, which changed his life. This book was co-written by its protagonist, who is now happily married and living in the UK.

Well, those are all the books I’ve picked up in the last few months. Now that school is over for the summer and work is slow, I am hoping to make it down to Chapters more often, and actually start reading the books on my must-read shelf.

Have you read any of these books??? What did you think of them???

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