I'm Baaaack!

I am so sorry for being such a flakey blogger. I was trying really hard not to be, but unfortunately I was adding too many new things into my life at once, and something had to give. Or everything.  I've been really trying to lose weight, so I'm working on eating healthier and exercising more. I've also started selling some crocheted items at the local Farmer's Market, and on Etsy.
I also have a confession to make: I've hardly worn any makeup since I was last on here. I know, a beauty blogger who doesn't wear makeup? I've just been enjoying summer and not wanting to spend the time on it. But, it's time to start wearing again because a) it makes me feel better and b) I get a lot of compliments (which adds to a).

What's in store over the next couple weeks?
  • more Weekly Dazzle posts
  • a haul -- I bought some makeup from a local who's moving out of the territory and got some really nice items
  • a few tags, I'm sure!
  • a weight update
  • reviews -- any requests? 
 Sorry again for the looong delay in posting, but lets hope it doesn't happen again :)


Weekly Dazzle - May pt. 3

Hi everyone! I hope your week has been better than mine -- well, at least ended better than mine. Here I was thinking we had finally reached spring, or dare-I-think-it summer, but nope: it snowed. Twice. At least warmer weather is on the way again!

Dazzling Product
This week is a repeat for me: Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cocoa Butter. I was neglecting my lips for a few days there, and after one day of using this (I apply it in the morning after my shower, and just before I go to bed) and my lips are back to normal. Yeay!

Least Dazzling Product
I don't actually have a least dazzling product, so I'm going to stick Mother Nature in this category. I mean, really: snow in May??

Dazzling Entertainment
Again, I've got to hand it to BGT. Even the bad acts are so bad they're entertaining. Next week is the final week for this show -- we get it every night until the finale.

Dazzling Food
I've been watching a lot of Chopped lately, and for some reason it's been making me crave apples. So I bought this new type of apple that I can't remember what it is!! I'll let you know after I check it out @ the grocery store that is so yummy. Nice and crisp and the perfect blend of tart and sweet. What's your favourite fruit / vegetable to snack on?

New Purchase
The only new purchase I made was a box of hair dye. Nothing special, just something close to my natural colour so I can start doing my hair straight again. My roots were seriously long, but they blended well when I was doing my hair curly (as in super-curly: just put some mousse in and diffuse it), but are super noticeable when I do my hair straight. So now it's all brunette.

I've also decided to start growing out my bangs, and so far I'm liking it. What are your thoughts on bangs: yay or nay?

Getting out of the rut

Do you ever get into a makeup rut? I find I'm either in a rut of wearing the same makeup looks or I'm in a rut of not wearing makeup at all. I love wearing makeup and applying it, so I'm not sure why I get into the no-makeup rut but once I'm there I find it so invigorating and empowering to feel okay with my natural self that it can take me a while to get back into wearing makeup again. What do you do to inspire yourself when you get in a rut and want to change it up but at the same time are complacent with where you are?

I feel like I'm in a good place, right now, to change things up. A new season is upon us, and I'm starting a new position for the summer so with all these other changes going on it should be easier to change this aspect. I'm also looking to dye my hair, grow out my bangs, and start doing straight - instead of embracing my natural curls - hair. Hopefully these little changes will help me get back into trying new things with my makeup too :)

I *Heart* Spring Tag

*Disclaimer: My camera is still on the fritz, so images are not my own. They are taken from the product websites*
Two blogs I follow, and gained inspiration and encourage to start my own blog, are MakingUpAshlee and Natalie Loves Beauty. They have both done the "I Heart Spring" Tag, Ashlee as her very first youtube video and Natalie as a blog post. I'm not quite as brave as Ashlee to attempt a video yet, so I'll follow in Natalie's shoes and blog the tag.

1. Favorite spring nail polish? - 

I haven't been wearing much nail polish lately, but one I have been loving is Sally Hansen's X-Treme Wear in Golden-I. This color is a nice nude color with tons of glitter that just looks amazing (and that the chips don't show is a nice perk!)

2. What is your must-have lip color this spring? - I'm usually a paler-lip kinda gal, but I've been loving punchy pinks. Pinks that aren't too neon, but pack a nice wallop of bright color.

3. Show us your favorite spring dress!
 - I actually don't wear dresses, but my favorite spring top is from Walmart. Mine has a bit more purples and yellows, but the style is the same.

4. What's your favorite flower? - I love lillies and Gerber Daisies, but in springtime I always keep my eye out for daffodils. It just isn't spring until I see a daffodil.

5. Favorite spring scarf/accessory? I love the look of scarves, but haven't gotten into wearing them yet. Isn't it funny how we envy how nice other people look in a style, but feel so self-conscious in ourselves?

6. What spring trend(s) are you most excited about this year? (Makeup, fashion or both!) - I'm really loving the mint & coral combos. So lovely.

7. Favorite spring candle? I actually just bought a new candle trio from Walmart; it comes with Tropical Fruit, Juicy Fig, and Pomegranate Cranberry. I definitely recommend buying this trio, they all smell amazing. I'm burning Pomegranate Cranbery as we speak.

8. Favorite body spray/perfume for spring? - I tend to lean towards slightly floral-slighty sweet, or slightly fruity-slightly sweet scents. Sometimes I feel my tastes aren't very mature and I should try something else, but then I never end up wearing it. I don't have a current favorite right now because I *ahem* tried something new and I never end up wearing it. What scent do you recommend?

9. What is spring like where you live? - This year spring never came. I think we're headed straight into summer as of 5 days ago! Usually, beginning of April it warms up, snow melts, we see all the dead grass, and then it snows again one last time. Flowers come out along main street, it starts to warm up and we start to see bare arms  & legs. And longer days. Very long days.

10. What's your favorite thing about spring? - I love all the fresh growth -- flowers, grass, trees. They may not love me (darn allergies) but I love seeing all the green and life. It gives me new energy. We should just make Spring Resolutions instead of New Year's resolutions.

11. Are you a spring cleaner? - Sometimes. I go in spurts all throughout the year. I try to keep my house fairly neat and orderly, and then when I get that burst of cleaning energy I super-clean-and-super-organize it all, no matter if it's spring, winter, whenever.

12. Any plans for spring break or an upcoming vacation? - I'm going away the end of this month for an overnight trip to Skagway, Alaska -- it's only a day trip, really, but I want a mini-vacay before the summer hits. I have a larger vacation planned for the fall.

I tag all of you to do this. If it's actually summer  where you live, trade out summer for spring in all the q's :)

Weekly Dazzle - May pt 1 & 2

Oh my, I have been a bad blogger!! We're coming up on busy season at work, so with getting over this cold and training our 2 new hires and getting ready for all the tourists and finally getting off of graveyard shifts 2 days a week I have been beat!  However, things are evening out again, and I am ready to delve back into the world of blogging. Thanks if you've stuck around during these rocky past few weeks.

Dazzling Product
This is actually a new purchase so my oppinion of it may change, but I bought a Joe Fresh tinted lip balm this week (I believe the color is Papaya) and it is lovely. Very soft, great color (just a sheer wash nothing too opaque). The only downside is that it smells a bit too lipsticky for my tastes, but the color is enough that I'm still loving it.

Least Dazzling Product
My least dazzling product has been a sort-of repurchase. I had been using Equate Cocoa Butter Lotion from Walmart (the Walmart version of the Vaseline lotion in the bronze bottle) and it is so nice. Just the right mixture of thick & creamy, soaks in right away, and keeps my skin nice and hydrated in this arid desert that we have going on here. I ran out, and Walmart was out, so I got the Super Store brand thinking it couldn't be much different. Boy, was I wrong. First off, it's a bit more runny than the Walmart, but I could live with that. The cincher was when I could smell again -- it's not a horrible smell, but it's not an inviting smell either. Thank goodness Walmart had their lotion in again today!

Dazzling Entertainment
All my shows are ending, so sad! Britain's Got Talent is still on, of course, but I only have 1 episode left of Survivor, Once Upon a Time, Criminal Minds....at least I have a few favored summer series!! The best dazzling entertainment: I got to see the Amazing Race Canada teams when they were in Whitehorse YT!!!

Dazzling Food
We have a new menu at my hotel and they revamped our signature burger. Bye-bye cheddar, beef, and mushrooms; hello angus, apple-smoked cheddar, and non-greasy deliciousness. Seriously guys, you should come visit Whitehorse just for this burger.

New Purchase
Along with the Joe Fresh lip balm, I also purchased a Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brule (I've been eying it for quite the time now) and it is my new fave nude lip color. Perfect for summer! Last week I bought Sally Hanson Nail Growth Miracle which is working nicely, and it's friendly with my Salon FX Top Coat so it's my friend again.

I promise, this time the I <3 Spring tag is coming up within 3 days!! Soon, it'll be 1<3 summer, but since our snow just melted last week, Spring is still in the air.

Weekly Dazzle - April pt. 3 & 4

Sorry for the blog silence this past week, I've been fighting quite the cold!  I'm feeling much better now, just still very cough-y (silly asthma), so no pictures on this post - I figure no pictures is better than shakey/blurry ones from coughing mid-snap.  On to the faves:

Dazzling Product
I have been loving all of my MUA products, especially the Mosaic Blush. I love that it is so smooth, and so versatile. I can get any color I want from it, from a coral to a peach to a bright pink. Just love.

Least Dazzling Product
My least dazzling product these past 2 weeks has been my Pro-FX Quick-Dry High Gloss top coat. This came highly recommended by a friend of mine, but it does not match my nail type -- it causes my nail polish to peel off in an entire sheet! I have never experienced this before, it's so strange.

Dazzling Entertainment
I've become hooked on Britain's Got Talent again. Have you seen the video yet for Attraction? If not, you must go watch it!

Dazzling Food
Okay, I went out to Boston Pizza yesterday and my friend had the new steak-bite-skewers-thinggy. The sauce that comes with these is ah-mazing! We had to ask the server what it was, and where could we buy some. She said we wouldn't believe her when she told us what it was. The secret? Caesar salad dressing mixed with HP sauce. I'm telling you, this stuff is the holy grail of dipping sauces. I have a new love.

New Purchase
So, I finished the gift for my mom, and now 2 of my coworkers want me to crochet one for them. Tunic for self is on hold! Good thing I crochet fast!! Purchases I haven't made many, but this week I'm looking for a new moisturizer/body butter -- any suggestions?

Stay tuned for the I <3 Spring Tag courtesy of The Makeup Wonderland & Natalie Loves Beauty, coming soon!


MUA Makeup Academy Haul

I recently put an order in with MUA MAkeup Academy, and the products arrived today. I was so excited, I opened it up at work (I had the package delivered there because our mail is so bad here, at least I can guarantee a drop-off at work)! The items I bought were
 Gel Eyeliner in Tribe for £2,  Undressed Palette (touted to be an Urban Decay Naked Palette dupe) for £3, Mosaice Blusher in English Rose for £1.5, Love Heart Lip Balms in Hot Lips for £1, Facial Primer for £3, Extreme Felt Liner in Black for £1.50, Dusk til Dawn Palette for £4, Eye Primer for £2.50, and Pro-Base Makeup Fixing Mist for £5. The order arrived fairly quickly (I ordered it on April 3): definitely a plus! On to the swatches:

The first 3 items I didn't swatch, but we'll call them my bases. I have the facial primer, the eye primer, and fixing mist. I didn't open up any of these yet, so no impressions on them yet.

Next we have the blush and the lip balm.

The blush is a lovely mixture of pinks, browns, and a bit of purple thrown in. When mixed together it creates a beautiful corally-pink shade that has a slight glow to it (not too shimmery, just glowy) that I think will look lovely on the cheeks. The lip balm, I must admit, I tried out at work and it gives a nice wash of color. It has a light vanilla scent, but it is not cloying at all.

Next up are the eyeshadow palettes. The main reason I put in an order is because of A Brunette Duet's post on the Undressed Palette, showing the similarities between this and the Urban Decay Naked Palette

I didn't want to swatch all the colors, so I swatched the following (MUA doesn't name their colors, they're just numbered 1-12 from top left to bottom right):

9 (teal), 11 (purple), 10 (sparkley black/grey)               1 (matte highlight), 2 (nude), 4 (tan), 6 (gold)
4 (matte highlight), 3 (matte warm brown)                    7 (bronze), 10 (dark brown), 11 (black)
                                                                                        all colors swatched, except 1, are shimmery

All shades were buttery smooth and have excellent color payoff. I can't wait to try out some new eye looks, starting tomorrow!

The final 2 products to share are the eyeliners. The Extreme felt liner in black is shown with one swipe on the left and multiple swipes on the right. It's not very opaque, even with several coats. Hopefully that will prove different on the eye. The gel eyeliner, on the other hand, is very opaque and a vunderbar shimmery teal color. The black eyeliner took some scrubbing to wash off, where the teal came off without any problems at all.

-- Andrea

Weekly Dazzle - April 2013 pt. 2

Dazzling Product
I haven't been wearing much for makeup this week, but one thing I have just been loving is the Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cocoa Butter. It smells amazing, and my lips are definitely doing much better this week because of it.

Least Dazzling Product
Again, I haven't been doing much for beauty this week, so I don't actually have a least. I take that as a good thing!

Dazzling Entertainment
I decided to lump book, tv, and movie into one because I haven't been reading much this week, my shows are the same, but I did finally watch Perfect Pitch.  Why oh why did I wait so long to watch this gem? I love Glee, so this movie is straight up my alley; it has equal parts comedy, romance, and awesome.

Dazzling Food
I tend to eat the same foods for my breakfast and lunch, and only branch out in dinner (but still stick to the same tried-and-trues) because I'm trying to lose weight. However, I finally decided to try the Taco Salad at work, and it is deelish! Too bad they're taking it off the menu in May -- please keep it on the lunch menu!

New Purchase
My latest purchase is not beauty related in the least, but I bought some yarn. Okay, I bought a lot of yarn. I've been super into crochet since I finally learned at the end of last year. I'm working on a gifty for my mom, and the next thing I'm making is a nice tunic for myself. Stay tuned for pictures of it :)

How was your week? Have you tried any products lately that you'd recommend, or have you seen any products you'd like a review of?


Monthly Weigh-In: April 2013

This is a pretty hard post to write, but I want to be honest with you, my readers. I wanted to discuss all aspects of my life, including my weight loss journey. I’d like to say I’m just starting on this journey, but really I’ve been struggling with my weight for about 10 years now. When I was in university I was the opposite of most people: I lost weight at school and gained it over the summers; unfortunately, I always seemed to gain a little more than the year before, so my gradually increased over the years. Then, once I finished with school about 5 years ago I would lose 15-20 pounds and then not try as hard to keep up with my eating and exercising and the weight – plus some – would come back on. I don’t want to make excuses, because there really is none, but add in there 2 years of illness requiring medication with weight-gain side effects and bed rest, you wind up where I am: obese. I think the technical term, according to the BMI charts is smack-dab-in-the-middle of "Obese Class II (Severely Obese)."  Let me tell you, that doesn’t feel good.

I don’t want to just blame my bed rest, or medication, for the weight gain because although it would contribute to it, it is also possible to have either of those things without weight gain. It’s just easier to blame something else than to blame ourselves. It’s easier to say “this thing made me what I am” instead of admitting that I failed myself: I made me what I am.

The important thing, is that I’m heading on the right track. I’m making healthier choices, I’m watching what I eat. I’ve joined Weight Watchers Online in an effort to track my eating without become obsessed by calories. That, and the fact that I’m more likely to stick with logging my foods because I’m paying for it. I already knew I tend to overeat on the weekends, but thought I do pretty good during the week. In fact, I’ve discovered I don’t enough during the week. By not eating enough, I was sending my body into starvation mode so that when I did overeat it grabbed on to everything! Not a good combination!

I haven’t started adding in exercise yet, due to my capabilities (or perceived), and due to the weather; I’m going to start walking to and from work, about 10-15 mins each way. Once it’s a bit warmer I plan on doing a walk we call “the loop,” it’s 5km. I’m going to start only doing part of the loop once a week, but hope to build up to doing the full loop 5 days a week by the end of the summer. Next winter I’m going to use the gym a few times a week, as well.  Even without the exercise, the simple changes I have made to my diet have allowed me to lose 3 lbs in 3 weeks. I’m really pleased, and hope I can keep this up.  I’m planning on doing an update once a month, let me know what kind of information you want? Do you want to know my favorite recipe of the month, new exercise I have learned?

Weekly Dazzle - April 2013 pt. 1

Dazzling product:
I’ve been having a lazy makeup week, most days not wearing anything but my Maybelline Baby Lips. On a bare face I love Peach Kiss; if I’ve done my makeup then I prefer Fruit Punch because it packs a bit more color. It’s funny, when I bought the duo I didn’t think I would like Fruit Punch because it’s too pink for me, but I actually love it.

Least Dazzling product:
I hate to say it, because I love almost everything about it, but my least favourite is Cover Girl’s Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation. I love the application, coverage, finish, staying power - pretty much I love it all – of this foundation. The one drawback? I seem to be in the small percentage of people on which this foundation oxidizes. Yep, nothing worse than looking great when you head into work and realizing a few hours later that you look like a pale Oompa Loompa. Oy vey.

Dazzling Read:
I’ve been reading Message in a Bottle at work, and it is really good. Confession time: I actually started this book on my e-reader about 2 months ago, and then have been caught up, either with busy times at work or with doing crochet. I started reading this again this past week and it has sucked me right back in. Double confession time: I have never seen the movie. I know, I know, I’m deprived.

Dazzling TV Show:
I’m a bit of a reality TV junkie, but only with certain shows. I’ve been rewatching The Amazing Race, and am super excited to have finally reached Season 16 – the season with the Cowboys. As far as current shows go, I really enjoyed this week’s episode of Criminal Minds – it gave us some more insight into Derek and begs the question: at what point are you culpable for the actions of others, when your actions instigated them.

Dazzling Food:
Cucumbers. I know, such a boring one but I started bringing sliced cukes to work and sprinkling some salt on them at lunch time. Mmm, tasty.

New Purchase:
Just two days ago I purchased the Cover Girl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm, and I have to say, I kinda love it. I got the colour 235 Coral Twist and it is the perfect spring/summer colour (not that it’s looking like spring out there right now!). Let me know if you would like to see a review of this product.

An introduction, of sorts.

Hi everyone! My name is Andrea and I live in Northern Canada in the Yukon. I have been wanting to start a blog for quite some time now, but always manage to talk myself out of it. I finally decided it’s time to bite the bullet and just do it! I hope to post several times a week (at the very least, once per week). I’ve worked out a tentative posting schedule for myself, but I don’t want to share it until I work out the kinks and see what’s going to work for me. What type of blog is this? A bit of everything. I’m going to focus mainly on beauty and fashion, but will include some posts about books and writing, my weight-loss journey, and hopefully some travel in there too.  I really like Ashley’s idea of doing a Weekly Dose: Favourite & least favourite products of the week; best read; latest purchase; wishlist addition. I think I’m going to steal this idea from her thanks Ashley! but might switch it up a bit.
Now, to get to know me a bit better I’ve decided to do a couple tags I’ve seen out in blogland. I’ll start out with the This or That tag! 

Blush or Bronzer?
 Definitely blush. I love bronzer, especially as a bigger girl, but I'm still not confident enough in my contouring that I can do away with bronzer if need be. 

Lipgloss or Lipstick?
Lipstick. I love the look of lipgloss, but I find myself reaching more for lipsticks (or Baby Lips, really) than anything else.
Chapstick or Lip Butter?
I love me some lip butters. Chapstick brand, on the other hand, tends to dry my lips right out. Ick.

Matte or Sparkle Eye Shadow?
If it was a straight-up shimmer, that would win hands down. But gotta go with matte over sparkle.

Gel, Liquid, Cream, or Pencil Eyeliner?
I really like the wear of Gel, but am not very proficient in my usage of it. I reach for pencil more often than not.

Foundation or Concealer?
I don't have too many problem areas that foundation won't take care of; I do have quite uneven skin tone, however, so I have to go with foundation.

Liquid or Powder Foundation?
The only powder foundations I've used have made me look super oily, so liquid it is for me.

Neutral or Statement Eyes?
 I like the idea of statement eyes, but since I wear neutral so often I feel self-conscious when I go for the statement look. Neutral is definitely my go-to.

Pressed or Loose shadows?
Right now I own a lot of loose shadows, but I definitely prefer pressed.

Waterproof or Non Waterproof?
I never used to be able to get away with non waterproof because my eyes water from anything - and I mean anything - and because I'm such a yawn-monster! Lately I've been using Cover Girl's Clump Crusher non-waterproof and it doesn't budge at all. Much easier to remove, too!

Brushes, Sponges, or Fingers?
Brushes. Definitely brushes.

Powder, Cream, or Liquid Highlighter?
I've only used a powder, so that's my uneducated pick for now.

I hope you enjoyed this get-to-know-me post, keep your eyes peeled for another post soon :)