Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Hello 2015 | Looking Back on 2014


Hey Beauties! 

Seeing as New Years Eve is finally upon us, I thought I would take a second to sit down and really chat with you guys (well as much as you can through a computer haha). The past year has just flown by and it really amazes me how much has changed in my life in 365 days. Now that we are moving on to another year, I wanted to take a step back and look at all of the things that have happened, because every single moment of this past year has had an impact on who I am today. 

When I look at who I was a year ago, I literally cannot express how blessed I feel for all of the memories and experiences I have been lucky enough to have. A year ago, I was still trying to figure out what to do with my life, I knew what I wanted to do but it didn't seem realistic. I finally decided to bite the bullet and start my own space on the Internet, it is now almost a full year from the day I opened up La Belle Sirene and I couldn't imagine my life without it. This blog has changed me in so many ways, I have become so much more confident and I have put myself in situations that I never would have done before. I have had amazing opportunities and made wonderful friendships. I have met people who I cannot imagine being without and I have found a best friend who I will be eternally grateful for. My sense of self is so vastly different from last year and I am amazed at what I have accomplished in such a short period of time. Sitting here right now, if you were to ask me what I was most thankful for from this past year, I would say:

- everlasting friendship
- meeting my best friend Stephanie
- my new found confidence
- my mental health
- the support of my boyfriend
- my family
- the support of the Canadian Beauty Bloggers
- and so much more! 

So thank you to every single person I have encountered over this past year and thank you to both the good and the bad memories that have made me who I am today. I am so incredibly grateful for every moment and every opportunity and I cannot wait to see what 2015 will bring. 

Happy New Year Beauties!

Remember that you are all beautiful and you are all important. 



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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Polished | New Years Party Perfect

 

Hey Beauties! 

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I am counting down the days until New Years Eve. New Years Eve was always such an exciting event when I was growing up, it was the one night of the entire year that I got to dress up, eat some yummy treats and best of all stay up a little too late. Now that I'm older, I must admit I rarely make it to midnight and my New Years celebrations mostly revolve around a dinner with family and then a cozy night in bed. Even though my New Years Eve may not be quite as exciting as some, I still love to make the most of the night and throw on a sparkly dress, curl my hair and of course paint my nails. 



This year, my nails are going to be the star of the show with the Misslyn Velvet Diamond polish in Champagne - a beautiful blush toned glitter. I need to be honest and say that I have fallen into complete and utter love with this beautiful nail polish. The Velvet Diamond range is unlike any other nail polish I have ever tried, at first glance it looks like the typical glitter polish but it completely transforms once you apply it to the nail. The polish itself glides on smoothly and then dries almost instantly with the base becoming a sort of matte velvet texture and the tiny flecks of glitter standing out in contrast. The glitter is so well incorporated into the  polish that it completely covers the nail and you end up with the perfect amount. The end result is so absolutely stunning that it truly appears like your nails are covered in tiny little diamonds.  



Misslyn is new to Canada and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart for $9.99 a bottle. If you have not tried any of their range, I highly suggest you do and make sure you pick up a bottle of Champagne, you will not regret it! 


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Monday, 29 December 2014

Exploring Glamour and Feminity with Untold Absolu


Hey Beauties! 

When I think of Elizabeth Arden I think of true genuine beauty, femininity and old Hollywood glamour. I think of classic sophisticated women who want to subtly enhance their natural beauty because as Elizabeth herself once said, "to be beautiful is the birthright of every woman." As a woman who lives by the very same motto and strives everyday to help other women realize their potential and achieve their goals, I feel like I can truly connect with Elizabeth Arden as a person and a brand. It is for these reasons that I was incredibly excited to try their newest fragrance Untold Absolu*. 

Untold Absolu is an extension of the existing Untold Eau de Parfum that was created to capture the essence of the multifaceted modern woman, a woman who gives off a confident air of sophistication and intrigues those she meets with her mysterious aura. She is sometimes adventurous and sometimes romantic but she is always full of inner strength and confidence. The Untold woman is never stagnant, she is always changing, growing and evolving so the fragrance must follow suit. Untold Absolu was inspired by the more glamorous side of a woman, the side that blossoms over time to showcase her pure femininity and captivating sensuality. This new interpretation of the Untold woman features the fruity notes of the original scent while incorporating a warmer golden amber base. It features notes that each capture a specific dimension of the Untold woman from sensual Cashmere Woods and Tahitian Vanilla to the captivating hints of Red Plum and Ginger. The overall effect is warm and comforting with bright hints of exotic fruit that play with your senses and keep you guessing. It is refined and sophisticated but the longer you experience it, the more sweet surprises come from within, you are constantly being greeted with new scents and impressions throughout the day.


Untold Absolu comes in an absolutely stunning bottle that actually somewhat resembles the curves of a woman's body. It's interpretation is modern and sleek and the gold accents are rich and glamorous, the bottle itself perfectly captures the essence of the fragrance and it would look beautiful on any dressing table.  

Untold Absolu is the perfect fragrance for this time of year and it has become my new favourite. I was on a bit of a search for a new winter perfume and that search has now come to an end, I have worn Untold Absolu every single day and I cannot see myself stopping anytime soon. 

Untold Absolu* is available at Hudson's Bay in both 50ml and 100ml bottles and also comes in a rollerball as well as body care. 

 * product was provided for consideration but opinions are my own



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Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Sunday Post


Hey Beauties! 

How was your week? Mine was so hectic but exciting with the build up to Christmas! I spent most of my week working on posts for the new year and then took a few days off to make some memories with mine and my boyfriend's family. My boyfriend absolutely spoilt me and gifted me this stunning Amethyst ring on Christmas Eve. I have always loved Amethysts and I have inherited quite a few from my grandparents but it is so special to get such a stunning addition to my collection.


A couple of days before Christmas my boyfriend decided to take advantage of the holiday sales and bought himself a new desk chair, the cats were a great help with assembly.


I spent Christmas Eve and Day with friends and family and it was such a wonderful time. I really love getting to see the people I love and seeing the smiles on their faces when they open up a gift! 

How was your week and your Christmas?



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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Swirling Snowflakes


Hey Beauties!

Happy Saturday! How was your Christmas? I hope you ate lots of yummy food and made plenty of memories! I went back and forth on weather or not to share this particular outfit because it is in no way perfect but I thought it was just too magical to keep to myself. 

My beautiful photographer friend Heather and I wandered around the city to shoot some outfits the other day and we ended up at one of my favourite spots - a little church with this adorable Charisma bench. Just as we were starting to shoot, the wind got a little bit crazy and it started to snow! I thought it was such a magical moment that we kept shooting even though my hair was flying all over the place and my bra strap decided to make an appearance, but hey I'm not perfect so why not show the reality of shooting in swirling snowflakes! 


Top - Forever 21 | Skirt - H&M (in black) | Handbag - Michael Kors | Shoes - Sirens(Similar) 

I hope you enjoy this strange little post! Let me know in the comments if you would like to see a "What I Got For Christmas" post soon?





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Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas Beauties!

Today is a day to remember what the holidays are really about and to be thankful for what you have. Spend time with your family and friends, in your pj's or a fancy dress, open presents and find beauty in the smile of children on a magical morning. Make memories that will last a lifetime and don't forget to give out plenty of hugs and I love yous. 

I am so so thankful for all of my beautiful readers and I can express how much I could give you all a big Christmas hug. I hope you all have the most amazing day and that all of your worries and anxieties fly away if only for a little while. 

I love you all, Merry Christmas! 

x




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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

New In | L'oreal Pure Red Lipsticks


Hey Beauties!

Tis' the season for big bold red lips and this year L'oreal has got you covered. L'oreal has prided themselves on their extensive range of skin matching shades in foundation and alike for years, they have been the go to brand for millions of people because they did what seems so simple - they offered options. People come in all shapes, sizes and shades and L'oreal seemed to really understand the complexity of finding a match in your makeup when there are so many different undertones, mixtures and combinations. Their True Match range has been a massive hit for decades and just recently they decided to take that concept and translate it to their best-selling lipstick formula offering varying shades of nude based on different skin tones. Now, just in time for the holidays, they have released the Collection Exclusive Pure Red Lipsticks - a range of red lipsticks based on the complexions and tastes of 6 different brand ambassadors. 

These lipsticks come in absolutely stunning packaging, a matte textured tube with gold detailing and the signature of each ambassador on the front that looks very high end. Of the 6 shades I picked up the two that captured my attention the most, Blake (a classic cherry red) and Laetitia (a deeper wine red). 


L'oreal has perfectly translated their classic Colour Riche formula - all the way down to the old school "lipstick" scent - to create a satin finish creme lipstick that has great pigmentation and lasting power (4 hrs without eating or drinking before fading). The lipsticks are fairly opaque in one swipe but as with all red lipsticks, I recommend layering small amounts while blotting in between. I also suggest using a lip liner to create a smooth edge and to help the lipstick fade evenly. Lastly, while not overly drying a lip balm underneath will help with those dreaded chapped winter lips. 

 Blake

Laetitia

Both Blake and Laetitia are incredibly flattering on my pale complexion, the subtle differences between each shade in the collection means that they will flatter almost every skin tone and would make a great gift! The L'oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Pure Red Lipsticks retail for $10.99 and are available at most mass drugstores. 

Will you be rocking a red lip for the holidays?



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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Polished | Holiday Ready Nails with Misslyn


Hey Beauties!

Christmas is such a fun time for beauty because you can really play with your makeup and  be creative. My favourite way to express my Christmas spirit through beauty is by painting my nails in fun and festive colours and designs. This year I decided to step up my game and instead of the classic deep red with gold accent, I decided it was time to make it all about the glitter. 

This year I went to Shoppers Drug Mart to hunt down the perfect Christmas nail polish and I found a display from the new brand Misslyn and instantly fell in love with their Velvet Diamond collection. The Velvet Diamond collection is so incredibly unique, it is unlike anything I have seen before. The 12 polishes are intended to make your nails sparkle like diamonds and they really do! The formula starts out like any other polish but as it dries the base becomes matte creating a really beautiful contrast against the glitter. The polish applies really smoothly and is almost opaque in one coat. It also dries in seconds, the fastest of any other polish I have tried. I ended up choosing shade 48 Heart Stopping, a stunning deep ruby red with tiny red glitter. The finished nail is so beautiful and reminds me of the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. 




Do you like to change up your nail polish for Christmas?
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Monday, 22 December 2014

The No Blush Blush | Top 3



Hey Beauties!

I always like to change up my makeup choices for every different season and fall and winter are probably my favourite. I love being able to play with different more jewel tone colours on the eyes and bolder shades on the lips, I tend to have a bit of a love affair with dramatic makeup. The trick to pulling off those more statement making choices is to balance them with more subdued options in your base and blush. 

Many people might choose to skip a cheek colour all together when rocking a bold lip but personally I think it is much better to apply a neutral toned blush. A more nude or berry toned blush will help to brighten up your complexion as well as add a bit of depth to the face without becoming overwhelming when paired with a red lip or smokey eye. I have compiled my three favourite neutral blushes that I think you can wear with just about anything. 

1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12hr Blush in Exposed ($31) - a subtle nude

2. NARS Powder Blush in Sin ($35) - a berry with slight golden shimmer

3. Benefit Cosmetics Boxed Blush in Rockateur ($36) - the perfect mauvey rose gold

(L-R - Rockateur - Sin - Exposed)

I have been loving all three of these blushes for the past couple of months and I know I am going to be wearing them non-stop! What are your favourite no blush blushes?



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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Keeping It Cozy | Style Saturday


Hey Beauties!

Happy Saturday! Today I wanted to share one of my favourite outfits for this time of year.  When it gets a bit colder, I like to throw on a nice warm sweater and layer it with a big cozy scarf. I find the combo is perfect because it keeps me warm but it is also nice and lightweight. I have had this sweater for 4 years or so and it is still one of my favourites, it is loose and flowy and just long enough, it is also really soft and almost feels like thermal pyjamas. I like to throw it on with leggings and my favourite booties for a quick but cozy outfit. 

Sweater - H&M (similar) | Leggings - Old Navy | Scarf - Sexton in the City Boutique
Boots - Sirens | Handbag - Michael Kors


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Friday, 19 December 2014

Holiday Gift Guide | The Beauty Lover


Hey Beauties!

Do you have that one friend is an absolute makeup addict? The one who has a massive collection of lipsticks and always has the latest eyeshadow palette? Then this gift guide is for you! This is the last instalment of my holiday gift guide series and if you missed the first four then you can see them here - Stocking Stuffers, The Chic Fashionista, The Skincare Addict and The Best Friend.

1. Benefit Cosmetics 3 Scoops of Sexy Kit ($50)
2. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Charlotte ($37)
3. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($67)
4. Sephora Favourites Give Me Some Lip Kit ($30)
5. Stila Eye Are The Window to the Soul Palette ($59)
6. Elizabeth & James Nirvana White Gift Set ($78)
7. NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette ($75)


What is on your Christmas wish list?


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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Guest Post | Top 5 Nail Polishes of 2014



Hi everyone!

I'm Chantal from Chantal's Corner and I'm excited to be a guest for Courtney as part of the Canadian Beauty Bloggers Network guest posts!

Our theme is Best of 2014 so I thought I'd share with you my favourite nail polishes of 2014. These are my top 5 nail polishes that I had on my nails this past year.


I really can't order them from 1 to 5 because I love them all, so I'll just go through them in order that they appeared on my blog.

First up is Dynamite "Cassis". Did you know that the clothing store Dynamite has nail polish? You do now! :-) I love dark nail polish and this one was just perfect. It's a dark plum colour and, I mean, look at that beautiful finish. I did not even put a topcoat and it's so levelled and shiny.


Next up is Deborah Lippmann "Bad Romance". Once again a dark polish, and it has glitters!


Then we have Suzy Shier n∞ 31. Yup, another clothing store with nail polish. And yes, another dark colour. Can you tell I really love them? :-)


Spring was upon us and we had this essence "i'm backstage" beauty. Mints/turquoise are another weakness of mine and this one did not disappoint!


And last but not least we have Essence Escaped Summer. I love looking at swatches of textured polishes, but I never really liked them on me. However, there was just something about this one that I really really liked and I did not want to take it off.

essence beach cruisers nail polish i heart summer break

And there you have it, my 5 favourite nail polishes of 2014. What were some of your favourites?

Thank you Courtney for having me as a guest today!

- Chantal :-)

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Sephora Favourites | Draw The Line


Hey Beauties!

Every year around the holidays, Sephora brings out a series of kits designed to showcase their absolute favourite products from the year past. There is a kit for every beauty passion from lipsticks to facial oils and everything in between but this year I chose to pick up the Draw The Line kit. Being an eyeliner addict, this kit was perfection. I find that you often don't finish a full eyeliner before it goes dry so getting the chance to test out 6 eyeliners for the price of one was a dream come true for me and my wallet. 

The Sephora Favourites Draw The Line kit retails for $36 and you receive 5 deluxe and one full size eyeliner. There are a variety of different liners including two liquid, 1 gel and 3 pencil. Inside the gorgeous pink and gold box resides 

1 Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Liner in Trooper ($23)
1 Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Dark Brown ($26)
1 Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer ($30)
1 NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto ($28)
1 Sephora Collection  12hr Contour Eye Pencil in Black Lace ($12)
1 Urban Decay Double Ended 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Darkside & Blackheart ($19)


I was so excited to see which eyeliners were in the Draw The Line kit because there is such a great assortment of liners and a few that I have wanted to try for a long time. All of the pencils are incredibly smooth and creamy and glide on without any tugging or skipping, the pigmentation is good but some of them are not quite as black as I would like. As you can see in the photo below (L-R - Kat Von D| Stila | Urban Decay | Nars | Marc Jacobs | Sephora) the Urban Decay is significantly more pigmented that then NARS and Sephora. The Marc Jacobs pencil is comparable and might just be my favourite of the bunch because it is not quite as soft as the Urban Decay and it lasts just a little bit longer. The Stila is lovely but the nib is a bit too flimsy and I much prefer the Kat Von D that has completely revolutionized the way I do my cat wings.


Overall, the Draw The Line kit gives you the chance to try 6 of the most popular eyeliners on the market for only $36 when trying each one individually would cost you $138. It is such an incredible value as are all of the Sephora Favourite kits. Any of these kits would make a great gift for a friend of for yourself, so go pick one up! 



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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

How To Add A Bit Of Holiday Glam To Your Home


Hey Beauties!

One of my favourite aspects of the holiday season is being surrounded by such a festive atmosphere everywhere you go. I love the twinkling lights in every front yard, the snowflakes falling from the trees, the red coffee cups and the Christmas music floating through the air. I think it is so much fun to bring as much of this holiday joy inside your living space as you possibly can and there are so many ways to do so. Whether you go for the classic red and green, the rustic cabin look or the glamorous silver and gold, there are so many amazing options to add some Christmas spirit to you home. My personal favourite way to decorate is a little bit of each, I like to mix elements from every style in different parts of my house but for my main living area I love to go glam and create a frozen winter wonderland. I have chosen a few of my absolute favourite pieces - some of which i already own - that I think are key to achieving that glamorous holiday atmosphere. 

1. Flocked Pine Wreath - $29.99
2. Snowflake Ornament - $19.50
3. Gold Tabletop Christmas Tree - $19.99
4. Gold Cursive Monogram Mug - $12.00 (Online for $6.00)
5. White Reindeer - $10.00
6. Square Mirrored Tray - $39.99
7. Oh Joy! Falalalala Banner - $4.00
8. Marnie Large Glass Candle - $27.50 ( On Sale)
9. Faux Fur Throw - $99.50 (Online for $69.50)
10. Decorative Pillows - $19.99 - $24.99


How are you decorating this year?


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Monday, 15 December 2014

Maybelline Eye Studio Quads | The Review


Hey Beauties!

There are a few products that are known in the beauty world to be drugstore staples, products that every girl should have in her collection and one of my favourites are the Maybelline Eye Studio Colour Plush Silk Quads. These affordable little palettes are true gems, there are 15 shades available and each palette comes with 4 shadows designed to create a dynamic eye. There are neutral quads, smoky options and even bright colours to choose from. 

The shadows themselves are really nice quality, they are incredibly pigmented and multi-dimensional with a high dose of shimmer but no chunky glitter. They are buttery, smooth and creamy due to the infusion of exclusive silk pigments that make them a breeze to apply. They are so soft that there tends to be a bit of fallout but it's worth it for the intense pigment and incredible blendability. 

I have two shades, Copper Chic and Taupe Temptress. Copper Chic is my favourite and most used. It includes a chocolaty brown, a rich gold, a copper and a creamy ivory and the combination creates a seriously stunning golden goddess sort of look. 


Taupe Temptress is a little bit more subtle with a plum toned brown, a taupe, a rosy grey and a white highlight. I love to use this quad for nights out because it is a softer take on a smoky eye. 


I think every girl needs at least one of the Maybelline Eye Studio Colour Plush Silk Quads in their collection. They are a great affordable option ($11.99) that packs the punch of a high end palette. 

Have you tried these beauties?


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Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Sunday Post | Christmas Home Tour


Hey Beauties!

This week has been rather unexciting and filled with nonstop work so in place of the typical Sunday Post, I thought I would share a peak into my home when it is decorated for Christmas. 

I have been collecting decorations over the past couple of years but this was the first year that I really jumped in with two feet. I decided to go with a white, silver and gold scheme and I wanted to give my apartment an almost frozen feel. There are plenty of snowflakes, lots of glitter and a few bits of Disney snuck in. 


How have you decorated your home or room for Christmas?


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