Monday, 29 January 2018

Strut Your Stuff | The 4 Pairs Of Pants You Need In Your Wardrobe For 2018 | Run-through & My Picks

Hey Beauties!

I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to my wardrobe, I find styles and outfits that I love and I stick to them with very little variation. The problem is, I constantly find myself inspired by new trends, the resurfacing of trends from years gone by and by the street style I see around me. Yet I never end up folding them into my own style portfolio. 

Well this is the year of change, of new adventures, and new style stories. I've made it my mission to incorporate as many new inspirations into my wardrobe as possible and I'm starting with an update to my collection of pants. I've compiled 4 styles that have been on my radar and that I'm seeing absolutely everywhere!

The Leather Legging

1. Coated Moto Leather Legging From Dynamite ($39.95) - high rise with a skinny leg and chic moto detailing - available in xs-xl 
2. Leather Look Legging From ASOS ($44.83) - high rise with elasticated inserts in the waist and a body con fit - available in size 0-14
3. Coated Legging From Dynamite ($32.95)- comfort of a knit with a coated finish - available in xs-xl

The Girlfriend Jean

1. Girlfriend Jean From Garage ($56.95) - particular wash sold out - relaxed fit, mid rise and rolled hems - available in sizes 00-15
2. Girlfriend Jean From Garage ($56.95) - casual and relaxed fit that sits right at the hip with just the right amount of stretch - available in sizes 00-15
3. The Rebel Rebel Jean From BDG at Urban Outfitters ($69.00) - the same distressed and comfy fit with a higher rise - available in sizes 24-34

Altheisure Chic 

1. Striped Tuxedo Jogger From Dynamite ($49.95) - pinstriped knit jogger with cropped length - available in sizes xs-xl
2. Checked Trousers with Stripes From Zara ($99.90) - wide leg checked trouser with side stripe and elastic waistband - available in sizes xs-xl
3. Trousers with Side Stripe From Zara ($35.90) - loose fitting trouser with side stripe and elasticized waist - available in sizes xs-xxl
4. Legging with Side Detail From Dynamite ($39.95) - high rise knitted legging with skinny leg and side stripe - available in sizes xxs-xl

The Suitwear Jogger

1. Sascha Workwear Jogger From Dynamite ($49.95) - particular print sold out - combine comfort and sophistication with a comfy fit, a pleated waistline and a dressy fabric - available in sizes xs-xl
2. Light Before Dark Pleat Front Pant From Urban Outfitters ($59.00) - woven mid rise pant with a vintage inspired design and slim straight leg - available in sizes xs-xl
3. Workwear Jogger From Dynamite ($49.95) - striped jogger pant with a sleek, slim fit and a drawstring closure - available in sizes xxs-xl

Which new style could you see yourself adding to your wardrobe?

*this post was created in collaboration with Dynamite/Garage and does feature sponsored links*


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

One Stop Hydration Shop | Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primerizer - Primer & Moisturizer in 1 | Review

One Stop Hydration Shop | Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primerizer - Primer & Moisturizer in 1 | Review |

Hey Beauties! 

All my dry skinned gals out there know just how much of a struggle it can be to get adequate hydration during the winter. Once the cold weather hits my skin looses all of its bounce, moisture, and softness becoming dry, cracked and scaly. Not only does my skin cry out for help but my makeup just won't apply in the same way. 

It's a situation that can easily be remedied with a few of my favourite ultra-hydrating skincare products but I have always felt like something was missing when I put on a full face. My typical arsenal of pore filling, texture erasing, glow giving primers couldn't deliver that added boost of moisture that I was craving and then a new primer came along and everything changed. 

The Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primerizer ($50 CAD/$42 USD - 1fl oz) takes the place of needing to mix primers, oils and moisturizers together for that perfectly hydrated, nourished feeling. It's a one stop shop that helps you look and feel like you just drank a gallon of water. 

One Stop Hydration Shop | Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primerizer - Primer & Moisturizer in 1 | Review |

The Primerizer is a two-in-one primer AND moisturizer that instantly increases moisture levels (with 24hr hydration) and seamlessly preps the skin in a single step. It plumps and hydrated the skin with Niacinamide (improves skin's vitality and barrier repair) and Hyaluronic Acid (a must have molecule that holds 1000x it's weight in water within the skin to prevent moisture loss). Each bottle contains 762 sextillion molecules of water which is almost unheard of in a priming product. 

 It also has powerful priming benefits and acts as a makeup magnet that locks on foundation with it's weightless silky formula that melts into skin and sets in seconds. It has a very thin, milky texture that virtually disappears with a translucent and slightly tacky finish that helps makeup cling onto your face. The priming and moisturizing duo works its' magic banishing dry patches, cracks, and wrinkles in favour for smooth, soft, pore-perfect skin. 

One Stop Hydration Shop | Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primerizer - Primer & Moisturizer in 1 | Review |

The quick dry formula delivers a boost of hydration without making your skin feel slick, oily or greasy. It sets in and leaves the moisture where it needs to be not laying on top of your skin. It never causes me to look or feel greasy or oily and it doesn't bring about the shine that can sometimes come through in my t-zone. It has a beautiful finish that doesn't ball up or peel off when you layer on makeup because it truly becomes one with the skin. 

Not only is it amazing for dry, normal and combination skin types but you can layer it with other pore filling, magnifying primers to combat oily, dehydrated skin. 

One Stop Hydration Shop | Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primerizer - Primer & Moisturizer in 1 | Review |

I personally love to layer it with a splash of the Photo Finish Primer Water and a bit of the Original Iconic Photo Finish Primer pressed into the pores around my nose. 

The Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primerizer has become and absolute must-have in my collection and I have not used another primer since it joined my collection. It simply works a bit of magic and perfects all of the dryness and texture issues that plague my skin. Foundation and powder lay beautifully over top of it and it leaves you with the most radiant, healthy, glow from within. 

It's also cruelty free, vegan, free of oil, fragrance, talc and sodium lauryl sulphates. 

You can find the Primerizer at Sephora, Ulta, Beauty Boutique and more. 


Friday, 19 January 2018

Loose Powder 101 - Baking, Application, Shades | Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder | Review

Loose Powder 101 - Baking, Application, Shades | Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder | Review & How To

Hey Beauties! 

There are all sorts of makeup products in the world, there are products that can be used at whim to add a pop of colour or a touch of sparkle and there are products that you absolutely can't do your makeup without. 

One of those products that live on my vanity for everyday use is loose powder. Whether I am going with a super natural "no-makeup" makeup look or full glam, I cannot do my makeup without a loose powder to set everything in place and perfect the skin. 

I've had so many questions about loose powder in general from why I use it and what I recommend to how I apply it and how I stop it from looking dry. So I thought I would throw together a little "loose powder 101" along side a review of my new favourite one! 

Loose Powder 101 - The Why

- Powder is used as a final step in your makeup routine. After you have applied any liquids or creams to the face you need to "set" them into place by applying a translucent or tinted powder over the top. This gives you a smooth, even canvas to then apply powder products like blush, bronzer etc. 

- The amount and kind of powder you apply is dependant on your skin type, dry complexions can get away with little to no powder on the majority of the face but combination to oily complexions need a powder to keep all of their makeup intact.  

- There are different types of powders including loose, pressed, illuminating, mattifying, and baked all of which have a different purpose. To see my top 10 powders in all categories, check out this post! 

- Loose powder is designed to help makeup adhere to the skin, it sets liquids into place so that they don't migrate, transfer or move on your face. The application of powder will also prolong the life of your makeup and keep it in place for hours. 

- Some powders also have the ability to blur the look of fine lines, wrinkles, pores and even add coverage. They can also prevent creasing.

- Powder can also be used to fix mistakes, tone down over-applied blush or mattify a cream lipstick. 

Loose Powder 101 - The Who

- Loose powder typically comes in a jar or tub with small sifters that allow the powder to come out. They consist of ultra-fine particles of powder (some are finer than others) and when applied to the skin they provide a light amount of coverage. 

- The terms that label a loose powder can be interchanged by brands but a "setting" powder and a "finishing" powder are actually quite different. 

- A setting powder is what we think of as classic powder--it goes on after your foundation to get rid of shine and "set" it so that it lasts a long time. It can be tinted to match your skin or translucent.

- A finishing powder is generally used AFTER setting powder to blur fine lines and pores, giving you an extra-perfect look. It’s best for situations where you’re going to be photographed a lot, rather than an essential step for everyday makeup. These powders are white and can cause flashback if not applied properly. 

- Powders labeled "HD" are most often finishing powders and are intended for use in front of a camera. 

Loose Powder 101 - Baking, Application, Shades | Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder | Review & How To

My Current Favourite Loose Powder

In my experience, loose powders are pretty impossible to get right, they are either too dry, too chalky, too heavy or too light. I only own 4 powders that have passed all of my tests to make it into my collection. The latest one to earn that spot is the new Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder

The Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder ($10.99 CAD/$8.99 USD - 0.7 oz) is a true gem from the a brand that just keeps hitting it out of the park. This drugstore powder is a real life filter for your face that performs just as well if not better than some of my high end alternatives. It is described as a finishing powder and while it can be used as such it works wonders when used as a setting powder. 

It is an ultra lightweight, mineral based powder (contains Talc, Dimethicone and Silica) that is incredibly finely milled for a luxurious silky smooth feel. It is in fact NOT a translucent powder as it comes in 8 rather opaque shades (05 Fair, 10 Fair Light, 15 Light, 20 Light Medium, 25 Medium, 30 Medium Deep, 35 Deep & 40 Dark). The range contains a shade for just about every skin tone and because the powder (once blended out) gives a sheer hint of colour with buildable medium coverage it can be made to work for those who don't fit exactly. The lightest shade of 05 Fair is slightly darker than my natural skin tone but it blends in beautifully and adds just a touch of added coverage. 

The powder is completely unscented so it is safe for anyone with sensitivities and can be used for both setting the face and baking if you so prefer. The mineral based formula and the incredibly fine texture make this powder apply like an absolute dream. It simply melts into the skin smoothing over any texture and filling lines to leave you with an absolutely flawless finish, even if your foundation isn't looking its best. 

Unlike most loose powders, this one does not completely mattify the skin to the point of looking parched. It has a beautiful demi-matte finish that successfully mattifies any oily spots but still lets your natural radiance shine through. The ultra-fine particles don't sit on top of the skin making it look dry, cakey or flat but they truly melt in for a seamless finish. 

The powder holds up beautifully throughout the day and I don't feel the need to add more powder or touch up at all throughout the day. I do find it will dry out my inner tear duct if I use it under my eyes for long periods of time but it is fine on the rest of my face. 

Loose Powder 101 - Baking, Application, Shades | Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder | Review & How To

Loose Powder 101 - The How

Once you have found a powder that you love, you have to find out how you want to apply it. You can use a brush, a sponge, or a velour puff (stay away from the sponges that come with products).

- If you have normal or dry skin, apply a light dusting of loose face powder as soon as you have put on your foundation. Use a large, fluffy powder brush with natural bristles to lightly spread a thin layer of the powder. Brush away any visible deposits of excess powder.

If you have oily skin, try applying a very light dusting of loose powder on your clean face before you apply your foundation. Then, apply foundation and top with another layer of powder. Using the powder in this way will help absorb extra oil and keep your makeup looking fresh throughout the day. 

- If your skin tends to be more dry or if you have texture try applying the powder with a sponge. Using a damp sponge and pressing the powder into the skin will help to smooth over and dry patches, texture, lines and peach fuzz. It gives a much more natural yet perfected finish. 

- Always use a setting spray or face mist after you apply your powder. You can use just about any kind of mist including Mac Fix+, Smashbox Primer Water and Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist. This will help the powder to meld into your skin and become more natural and soft looking. 

- Baking is a technique that has become increasingly popular and it is based on the idea that applying an excess amount of powder to the skin and letting it "bake" will help the powder adhere to the skin and lock in the makeup underneath. It works because the heat of your skin mixes with the powder, essentially sealing in all of the makeup underneath, filling all of the lines and creases and leaving it with a flawless finish. 

- To bake you lightly set the area and then apply an excess of powder over the same spot pressing it in but then leaving a decent amount on top. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then brush away any leftover powder. Popular areas for baking are the under eyes, the lines around the mouth and along the jaw. Baking will not only set the areas but also brighten them. 

I hope this post answers some of your questions about loose powder and how to use it but comment below if you have any more questions! 

What is your favourite way to set your makeup?


Friday, 12 January 2018

3 Devotionals To Help The Everygirl Dig Deeper Into Faith | My 3 Favourite Devotionals + What I'm Reading Right Now

A new year is an opportunity for new beginnings, in fact it's an opportunity for 365 new beginnings. Each and every day is a blessing and a chance to create new memories, discover new things, and change new lives. 

Embracing that mindset completely changed my heart in 2017, it helped adjust my attitude, address my lack of positivity and it helped me grow so much stronger in my faith.  It took a year of stress, struggle and sadness and turned it into a year of restoration, salvation and transformation. 

This change didn't happen overnight, it took a leap of faith, a ton of commitment and a serious adjustment of my priorities. 

So what did I do?

I decided to commit my mornings (at least 10 minutes of them) to God. Starting each day with my head grounded and my heart centred on Jesus through prayer, open communication and a daily devotional became the only way to live. Every single day became a new beginning, a new chance to face the day-to-day struggles head on and leave all of my nightly worries in God's hands. 

So what is a devotional?

It's almost impossible to truly explain what a devotional is but Wikipedia says 
"Daily devotionals are publications which provide a specific spiritual reading for each calendar day. They tend to be associated with a daily time of prayer and meditation."
Most devotionals contain a simple, but powerful format. The scripture reference is the root of the devotion and is a starting point for the reflection. The reflection is the body of the devotional is a reflection written by an author to aid the reader in focusing on God's word and teaching. A daily devotional ends with a prayer that relates to the scripture and the reflection. The general purpose of a devotional is to encourage spiritual growth. Not all spiritual journeys are the same, so different devotionals serve different purposes.

For myself, devotionals have become an integral part of my day and of my spiritual life. They are something I really can't live without and if you are on a spiritual journey, I genuinely want to encourage you to take that step and try one for yourself. 

3 Must-Read Devotionals

I first discovered The Lipstick Gospel (the novel) through Instagram and I immediately felt like I could really connect with the writer of a book that breaks all preconceived notions of Christianity and what it means to be a Christian woman. The book itself is refreshing and a true joy to read and the devotional falls right along side it. Stephanie describes her devotional as - "90 days of small steps toward a fuller relationship with God, with our lives, and with ourselves.
 The Lipstick Gospel Devotional is about God and our relationships with Him, and how to find Him in our everyday lives. It’s about rest, and celebration, and learning to love ourselves. It’s about travel, and whimsy, and toes in the sand, about the transformative power of best friends, and a really great chocolate croissant. It’s a reminder that there’s never anything too broken for God to heal or redeem, and a dare to say yes to the plan He has for our lives."
The Lipstick Gospel Devotional is an incredible option for someone who is still a little unsure about their journey or who has trouble connecting the dots from their past to their future. 

You can get a free download of the original novel here, and you buy the devotional, the novel, and the prayer journal here

The second devotional I want to share is Flourish: Live Loved, Live Fearless, Live Free by Margaret Feinberg

Flourish combines a weekly devotional with an adult colouring book as a way to really encourage you to be present in your prayer time and to focus on the words you read each day.  It is described as - With a unique blend of enthusiasm and encouragement, best-selling author Margaret Feinberg offers a year of weekly devotions that will awaken our souls to a life of fullness and joy that spills over to bless others. Featuring Dive Deeper Scripture references, reflections, and prayers for each devotion, Flourish challenges us to live more fully, create more actively, and be more engaged in the present moment. Feinberg's signature coloring pages are woven throughout, making Flourish an interactive spiritual experience.

Flourish is the perfect interactive option to help you hone in on what God is saying to you through every word. It's a wonderful option for the artistic soul or someone who needs a little extra time with their devotions. 

You can buy a hardcopy here or on amazon here

The third devotional I want to share with you is 100 Days to Brave: Devotions For Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self by Annie F. Downs

100 Days to Brave is a relatively new devotional that pushes boundaries and challenges everything you think you know but in the absolute best way. It is described as - 
You were always meant to be brave.
Whether you’re making a major decision, dealing with a difficult transition, or facing a fear, 100 Days to Brave will give you courage and confidence to move forward. Annie F. Downs felt her challenges were too difficult, too scary, too much. Then she decided to stop allowing fear to hold her back. It wasn’t easy or simple. But it was good. With honesty and relatable humour  this compilation of best-of writings and new pieces from Annie will help you embrace the path and the plan God has for you. Dare to spend the next 100 days discovering that you are braver than you know and stronger than you thought possible. 
100 Days is incredibly motivating and will really encourage to face your fears head on. It is perfect for each and every one of you and it will effect you all in different ways. 
You can buy a hardcopy on Amazon here or on Indigo here

What Devotional Am I Reading Right Now?

Now that I've shared 3 incredibly devotionals that every girl should read along her spiritual journey, I want to share the devotional I am reading at this very moment. 

Jesus Calling is a rather heavy hitting devotional, it is not only best selling but it is one of the most referenced and talked about devotionals. 
It is described as - After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior's voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world. 

In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope.  Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace. 
Jesus is calling out to you in the same way. Maybe you share the author’s need for a great sense of “God with you”. Or perhaps Jesus seems distant without you knowing why. Or maybe you have wandered farther from Him that you ever imagined you would. Here is a year’s worth of daily readings from Young’s journals to bring you closer to Christ and move your time with Him from monologue to a dialogue. 
Each day is written as if Jesus Himself were speaking to you. Because He is. Do you hear Him calling?

I am only a few days in but I can tell that this is a must read for every Christian at some point along the way. It has such a unique perspective that really hits you and makes you feel so close to God Himself. It really helps you absorbs the words on the page. 

You can buy a hardcopy or ebook on Amazon here. 

What are you going to do with your new beginning today or even tomorrow? Whether it's day 4 or day 204 you have the chance to start fresh and change your life. 

Which devotional would you reach for?


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A New Year A Better Life | My Hopes & Goals For 2018 | My Word For The Year

A New Year A Better Life | My Hopes & Goals For 2018 | My Word For The Year |

Hey Beauties! 

Happy New Year! Welcome back to La Belle Sirene and my first post of 2018! It was so liberating and relaxing to take a bit of a break over the holidays and to really focus on being present and thankful for the time with family and friends. That time off turned into a bit of a burst of inspiration that spurred this new blog design and a revamp on my upcoming content. 

One of my biggest goals for 2018 is to really get to you know YOU better. I want to hear about your life stories, your hopes and dreams, your inspirations and what you want to see on this space. I held a poll over on my Instagram and you guys were so incredibly helpful on what sort of content you like to read and what sort of content you are hoping to see and this is the beginning of just that! 

A New Year A Better Life | My Hopes & Goals For 2018 | My Word For The Year |
A New Year A Better Life | My Hopes & Goals For 2018 | My Word For The Year |

My Hopes & Goals For The Year

2017 was a year of great triumph and incredible milestones but also of deep struggle and intense pain. It was a year that drew me closer and closer to God and helped me grow to become a stronger, more resilient woman. While part of me is thrilled that 2017 is over, I am so incredibly grateful for every moment that led up to this point. 

2018 is going to be a year of hope, of great happiness, of growth, of joy and of success. My heart is so full of excitement and anticipation for this year to come - I just know that incredible things are going to happen. 

In 2018 I hope for  

- a strengthened marriage continually rooted in faith
- whole health and healing
- a committed prayer life
- growth in friendships and relationships
- a heart that encourages
- success and growth with this blog
- dreams realized in every part of our lives

A New Year A Better Life | My Hopes & Goals For 2018 | My Word For The Year |
A New Year A Better Life | My Hopes & Goals For 2018 | My Word For The Year |
A New Year A Better Life | My Hopes & Goals For 2018 | My Word For The Year |
What I'm Wearing - Top - Forever 21(on sale!)/Skirt - H&M(similar)/Bag - Shein

My Word Of The Year

I've noticed a trend of people sharing their 'words' for the year. Words that inspire them, motivate them, and encourage them. Words that they can turn to when things get tough or even when things are so good they need to refocus. My word is - 


What is your word for 2018?

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