Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Affordable Face Primer!

Are you ready for a face primer that is super affordable, available at your local drug or grocery store, and has 3 times more product in the bottle than makeup brands face primers? 

Nivea Men's Aftershave Balm


Wait, what??

This is for real! First of all I just give credit where credit is due. I have been watching the Youtuber Nikkie Tutorials for about 3 years now and (as far as I know) she's the one who started this crazy (and amazing) phenomenon. If I remember the story correctly, she forgot her primer or moisturizer and went to her boyfriends products to see if she could find something to hold her over. Throughout the day, she noticed it was holding onto her foundation like a dream. When she showed it in her monthly favourites video I had to try it to see what the hype was and it immediately became my holy grail! 

So what makes this product comparable to a primer you would get at Sephora? Well, one of the first ingredients listed on the bottle is glycerine which leaves a mild tacky finish - perfect for foundation to adhere to. 

There are a few added bonuses to this product. The product itself has an instant cooling sensation and if you are like me and suffer from constantly being too warm, this is such a treat! It also acts as a moisturizer so if you feel up for it, you can use it for both moisturizing and priming (yay for skipping a step in your morning routine). Nivea website claims that it alleviates redness (which makes sense, because this IS something men put on their face after they shave) so if you have any mild discolouration it's going to help with that as well! 

Some people call this a downfall of the product but I secretly enjoy the scent. It's a men's product so of course it's going to smell like men's aftershave. But the scent does fade out pretty quickly so you won't spend your day smelling like a man. If you are afraid of/or sensitive to scents you may want to use this with caution. I am not scent sensitive but I do have extremely sensitive/finicky oily skin and I have had absolutely no issues with the "sensitive skin" version of this product. 

The consistency silky, thin, and blends out very nicely. With all primers, you must let this set into the skin for a bit before you continue with your makeup routine. So keep yourself occupied for a minute or two and let it dry for best results!

Now let's talk about that price tag. Most places sell this at under $10 a bottle which is a total steal for 100ml of product. Primers that makeup lines sell are going to be anywhere from $10 - $50 or more for a third of the bottle.

I have been using this for almost a year now and It is hands down one product I will always keep on my makeup table. People always ask for product recommendations and I praise this to the clouds every time. Give it a try...maybe this will be a holy grail of yours too!!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Brunette Dry Shampoo...Yay or Nay?

Dry shampoo has become one of those products that is an absolute must in a lot woman's lives. I was one of those ladies who washed, dried, and styled their hair every day until I discovered dry shampoo - now I only wash and dry my hair 2-3 times a week (with minimal daily styling). My hair is so much healthier now and I don't go through near as much hair products as I used to. Let's be real here...who has time to be washing, drying and styling your hair every single day? If you enjoy washing your hair every day and you have the time to spend on it every day...more power to ya! But life is busy...we have kids, significant others, jobs/careers, dogs, families, social lives, etc. that take up a lot of our time. I like...no, I LOVE my sleep and dry shampoo saves me anywhere from 15-20 minutes about 4-5 days a week! Roughly add up all the time I've been saving...that's a lot of extra sleep! :)

In case you have no idea what dry shampoo is...I'll give you the low down. Dry shampoo is a product that comes in spray or powder form that cleanses your hair without water or regular shampoo. The product soaks up the oils in your hair and makes you look like you just washed your hair. Some people also use it for volume at their roots even when they just washed their hair!

So how do you use it? Well I just lift my hair up in sections of my hair with my brush and spray at the root holding the can about 6 inches away. My crown and bangs tend to get the most oily so I focus on them a little more, let it sit for a few seconds, work it in with my fingers, then brush through and style.

I have tried numerous dry shampoo products from salon to drugstore and there's one brand that I keep going back to - that is Batiste. It is super affordable at about $7-$10 a can), very easy to get your hands on (Shoppers, walmart, and Winners all carry it), comes in so many different amazing scents. If you are a salon product kinda girl, my favorite salon dry shampoo is KMS hair play that will set you back about $20 a can depending on where you buy it. 

Are there any negatives on dry shampoo? Well there is one for me. The product usually comes in a stark white colour which will mostly disappear when you work the product in with your fingers and brush it out but for us brunettes we have to work a little harder than people with light hair to make sure it's blended in. 

My friend Catherine is also a brunette and she gave me a new dry shampoo product that was specifically for brunettes by Batiste that sprays brown instead of white - what an amazing concept! Other than minor staining of the skin (that usually came off with soap and water), it was a product from heaven!! When I ran out, I couldn't find it again so I decided to try another brunette dry shampoo by Salon Grafix called "Play it Big" Volumizing Dry Shampoo". 


I was so disgusted with this particular product that it made me want to write a blog to rant about it. It seemed ok at first but when I washed my hair after using the product, my shower told a different story. There were brown coloured suds from the floor to ceiling, and all over the plastic curtain. It was 100% NOT from my dye as my hair wasn't freshly dyed when I first used this product. It was the dry shampoo! Now that may not be a problem for some, but I was wiping down my shower walls every single time I washed my hair! Can you imagine what would happen if I got caught in the rain with that product in my hair? My clothing would probably be ruined!!! The product also transferred from my brush to my forehead when I would brush my bangs into place which was another uncecessary clean up. Those were deal breakers for me and I will never purchase the product again! I must note that I didn't have either of those problems with the Batiste product for brunettes but unfortunately that particular product is difficult to find in my city.

So dry shampoo...yay or nay? For me...a definite yay. Dry shampoo specifically for brunettes? I don't think it's worth the hype and depending on the product it's more messy than what it's worth. Dry shampoo has saved my life and my hair and I think I'll be sticking to regular old white since it's hard to find batiste for brunettes where I live. If you are going for the brunette version of dry shampoo...stick with Batiste if you can find it - but beware...it sprays dark so it is harder to work with. Stay far away from the Salon Grafix in my opinion. I have gone back to the regular white Batiste and even though I have to spend a few more seconds working it in, it sure beats cleaning my shower and forehead every single time I use it. Batiste is by far my favorite brand! :)

If you are going to the store to look for it, they are in very retro looking cans like this:

If you don't have dry shampoo in your life you are missing out. I could never live without it now!

See you in the next blog post!

Much love,
April
Xo


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Curvy Girl Fashion - Scuba Knit Teal Dress

Here's a rainy Sunday fashion blog post for you! I saw this dress on Forever 21+ and fell in love with the colours that were available. I had a really hard time trying to decide which colour to get - turquoise or pink. I didn't have anything turquoise in my closet at the moment so I decided to go for that one. If you are interested in this dress, it's still up on the website in both colours here! I'm trying to be good with my shopping but I really want it in pink too...and its only $18.80!!!

As I said in previous blog posts, we are still having snow and really cold weather here in Newfoundland and Spring doesn't seem to want to arrive this year. So the day I chose to wear this dress, I ended up having to put tights on with it because it was really cold out! I actually like the tights with it because it gives it kind of an edgy look (the dress on it's own seems more on the dressier side...like something you could wear to a summer wedding or something). I paired it with some black booties from Madden Girl to complete the edgy look, a black cardigan to cover my shoulders for work as there are medium straps like a tank top, and a long chain from Reitmans.



Once the weather gets nicer I'll be wearing this a lot with sandals so you will probably see this pop up in a future blog post, and I will show you how versatile it is. I absolutely love this dress and definitely recommend picking it up while it's still online!

Thanks for reading! I hope you like the outfit :)

Much Love,
April
xo

Easy Snowball Recipe (No Boiling)



Easy Snowball Recipe! (No Boiling!)
Recipe from my beautiful cousin, Patti Tucker :)

1 pk of chocolate cake mix
1 cup of melted butter
1 3/4 cup of fresh milk
4 cups of rolled oats
4 cups of coconut (for inside snowballs)
2 1/2 cups of coconut (for outside snowballs)
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

Melt butter and add rest of ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well and refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll into balls, then roll into coconut. This recipe makes a huge batch depending on how big you make the balls. 

These can easily be stored in a tupperwear container in the freezer for 1-2 months! Store in fridge until they are ready to be served (they are the best when cold).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Review & How-to: Avon Nail Sprinkles

I got a nail product review & how-to blog post for you today! :)

My grandmother gave me a product Avon just put out on the market - Avon Nail Sprinkles. I was so excited to try it out!! She gave me an Avon lilac nail polish, and the "Purple Confetti" sprinkles to match.
The sprinkles have 3 different colours in them: navy, purple and silver - which are very complimentary to the lilac nail polish. I figured that having the sprinkles on every nail was a bit too much so I decided to do the lilac polish on my pinkie, middle and pointer finger, and the sprinkles on my ring finger and thumb as accent nails. I really like how it turned out!



They were so easy to apply - I just painted my nail with the lilac nail polish, then dipped my finger into the sprinkles (nail down) while the nail polish was still wet and let it dry. I figured I would flatten it out with a top coat as the sprinkles are textured and 3D so I put Seche Vite Top Coat on top and it just didn't look right so I had to redo my ring finger. I do not recommend a top coat on the sprinkles but I did use it on my other nails. The two nails with the sprinkles did dry pretty quickly on its own so skipping the top coat isn't a huge deal. I think it is very important to use the coloured nail polish under the sprinkles (instead of a clear or top coat) because it acts as a background and pulls the look together.

I am definitely hard on my nails as I handle a lot of paper and filing at my day job. I did this manicure the night before, and by lunch time the next day the sprinkles were already coming off especially at the tips (I actually had to redo the tips that evening so I could take a picture for my blog post). Honestly, I don't think the sprinkles are meant to last a long time and they are more for fun - such as a girls night out, or even a photoshoot that your hands will visible. I got a lot of compliments on them and I really like how they look despite their short lasting power!

The removal process is a little on the difficult side. You could remove them using the foil, acetone and cotton method used to remove glitter nail polish (just google it if you are not sure what I'm talking about...its very popular)! Or if you have the Nail Soakers & 100% acetone, that would work great as well. I bought the nail soakers on eBay and they are the best things ever - I highly recommend those if you own any glitter nail polishes! Just make sure you moisturize your hands and oil up those cuticles after using 100% acetone because it can be very drying and damaging.

If you are looking for something fun to try, I definitely recommend these! They are very easy to apply, look really awesome and are fun for ladies of all ages. I hope you enjoyed my review and how-to on the Avon Nail Sprinkles! Stay tuned tomorrow for another curvy girl outfit :)

Much Love,
April
xo

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Curvy Girl Fashion - Chervon Maxi Dress

Happy Wednesday! :)

This is an outfit from about 2 weeks ago when we actually had spring-like temperature here in Newfoundland. Mother Nature doesn't seem want to let Winter go as we just had snow two nights this week (I had to clear snow my car off this morning and yesterday). IN MAY!!!! :(

So this gorgeous black and white chevron dress is from Forever 21+. I intended to do this blog while the dress was still online but just as I suspected - it sold out fast! So unfortunately, I am not able to link this dress for purchase (I will update the blog if it comes back in stock!). I looked at this on the website for a week before I ordered it because I wasn't sure about the strapless feature. My friend Catherine ordered it and recommended it, so I figured I would give it a shot (we don't mind having the same dress, just in case you were wondering). I'm so glad I got it before it sold out because it is now one of my favorite maxi dresses in my closet! It is a little long for me but I make it work by pulling it up a little under the bust. It has sort of an empire waste so it flows from the chest area and is very flattering. 

In the first outfit, I paired it with a denim vest from Reitmans, some tan booties and of course, a sock bun. In the second picture with my long time friend Crystal, I paired it with a coral v-neck cardigan from Forever 21+ (which is also one of my favorite items in my closet right now. I'm OBSESSED with coral...just ask my husband haha). So the dress is very versitile and can be worn a lot of different ways. There's a very good chance this dress will pop in up in another outfit during the Summer and even in the Fall!!





So as you can probably tell from that last picture, I got bangs the last time I got my hair cut (Thanks Maria)!! I wanted a little change and have been contemplating bangs for a long time. They make me look younger, but I've gotten so many compliments on them and I really love them! I took this picture just after I left the salon :)



So I just celebrated my 32nd birthday and my husband gave me a Nikon point and shoot! It takes really amazing pictures and I plan to revamp my blog with better photos of outfits, makeup, nails, etc. I hope to find some time to give my blog a makeover as well - change it around a little bit, update the background, colours and all that fun stuff. Life is crazy with my new day time job, social gatherings, and everything else, but I hope to have it all done soon!

Stay tuned! Thanks for reading :)

Much Love,
April
xo

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Curvy Girl Fashion - I'm back (plus 3 outfits)

Soo...I know - I've been super slack with the blog posts.  I've honestly haven't put much effort into any outfits over the winter so I haven't been really putting together that is blog worthy. Our winter here in Newfoundland was absolutely brutal - it started in early December and is still not technically over (we are suppose to get another snow storm this weekend...seriously)! Winter 2013-2014 has been snow storm after snow storm, hundreds of centimeters of snow, recording breaking freezing temperatures, and a huge province wide power outage. So needless to say, we are all pretty tired of the bad weather and longing for the spring and summer months. Getting dressed every morning was a struggle so the blog suffered from that big time. I basically wore dresses with tights and Blundstones all winter long!

But I got my inspiration back, bought a few new spring/summer items, and I'm hoping to be back on track again with the fashion blogs. A lot of new people are following me in Instagram and Twitter (and I keep getting added to Twitter lists as a fashion blogger) so there are still people coming to my blog and connecting with me. I have over 30,000 views on my blog now!!!

So I have some plans for my blog - I'm going to change the design around when I get some free time, and I'm going to bring the photos up a notch by taking pictures of my outfits with a point and shoot instead of my iPhone (I asked for a new camera for my upcoming birthday) so the pics will be much better quality coming very soon! I'm also going to try to include links to where I got my clothing items if they are still online (this will mostly be for the things I get from Forever 21+). I'm also going to put more makeup posts in between to keep everything flowing such as reviews, product comparisons, products I love, photos, etc.

For now, I have a few outfits I'd like to share to get this blog going again!

I wore this outfit on Tuesday - a floral peplum top from Forever 21+, black ankle dress pants from Reitmans, and just some flats from Payless.


This may be one of my favorites - the striped dress is from Forever 21+, lilac cardigan is from Reitmans, and the tan wedges are from Payless. I wore this on Wednesday - the one day we had like 17 degrees here in months. This dress is extremely comfortable and very flattering - I highly recommend it!

And since we have a holiday tomorrow for Good Friday, my work treated today as "Friday" so we got to wear our casual clothes. Nothing special about this outfit but I think the pink Toms really give it some character. The boyfriend jeans & boyfriend cardigan are from Old Navy, and the grey tank is from Smart Set. I got my toms at a local store called "Twisted Sister" - they are in Youth sizes because I have small feet and fit into them (and they are cheaper!). It said "Pink" on the box as their colour but they almost have a coral colour to them when I compared it to my coral nail polish! Either way, they were a hit at work today and I got a lot of compliments on them! :)


Stay tuned for a blog makeover and lots more outfits. Thanks for sticking with me even when I am too uninspired to post outfits. Lots of exciting things coming!!

Much Love,
April
xo