Oh so Pretty

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I have a hard time committing to a certain cosmetic collections, and always end up using a big mixed bag of products and potions on my skin. Thanks to our line of work, we’re constantly trying new brands and the most recent creations on the market, but this past month we fell in love with a brand and a formula that has stood the test of time.

Roger & Gallet has been “Distilling happiness since 1862” – inspired by ancient remedies and the avante-garde attitude of Paris, this brand is luxury-meets-apothecary traditions. Using 95% natural ingredients and precious essences, each and every Roger & Gallet product is designed to make people happy, from formula to scent, and after trying out their new skincare line Aura Mirabilis, we were just that.

Aura Mirabilis is a 4 piece beauty routine that’s formulated with 18 distilled and officinal plants for truly magical results. Inspired by “Aqua Mirabilis”, a powerful natural remedy created by Monks 300 years ago that could be drunk or applied to the skin for numerous healing properties, this line is a new twist on old medicine, and we’ve been loving the effect it’s had on our skin so far! Used by famous leaders and royalty for centuries, this skincare is literally fit for a queen. Newly available at Sephora, this line starts at $25 and it’s worth every penny.

Scroll down for the step-by-step routine, and GIVEAWAY details too!

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The Steps //

Extra Fine Cleansing Mask // can be used as a daily cleanser and makeup remover, or a mask!

Beauty Vinegar // an exfoliating primer that gently evens skin tone.

Double Extract Serum // a super concentrated serum said to reduce fine lines and reveal radiance.

Legendary Cream // this moisturizer literally melts into the skin – it’s so soft and smells SO good, we can’t get enough. If you’re looking for a lighter version for summertime, try Legendary Fluid instead!

The best part? We’re giving away the entire Aura Mirabilis 4-step beauty routine right here, right now! All you have to do is follow me on Instagram, follow Roger and Gallet on Instagram, and comment below what make you feel happy (with your Instagram handle so I can find your follow)! Contest ends Friday at midnight and is open to Canadian residents only – good luck!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Dear Diary

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It’s impossible not to feel it with each passing year – the pressure. Yes, things move slower than they did in my parents and grandparent’s generation, with more focus on career and less on family life, especially here in the city, but the nagging anxiety is always still there.

I don’t often open about my dating life here, because in all honesty I feel so far behind my peers that it can be difficult to continue sharing heartbreak and Tinder date horror stories as the clock ticks on. For the most part, the blogging world is a place for ultra-cute couples, for engagements, weddings and baby showers. I feel proud to be a young, strong, single business owner (yes, I’m single again), but the tick tock sound gets louder and louder, threatening to overcome the roars of success and growth in my mind. As much as single life is glorified in the media, pop songs and beyond, I’m the first to admit being single is HARD, especially as I pass over the threshold from mid-twenties to the dreaded “late” spectrum.

A little mini tour of me, pre and post Instagram

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SKII Skicare just released a short film dealing with this very subject, and to say it hit home is an understatement. Originally intended for the Pan-Asian market, where pressure on women is perhaps even more predominant, it’s a global message that reaches all of us. The idea that women are undesirable after a certain age, or “expire” is a fear I’ve seen echoed in my friends, my sister, my mother and so far beyond. Between our biological clock and the battle against wrinkles and grey hair, it’s easy to get lost in expectations and forget to enjoy our reality.

I don’t know if I’ve ever really said this here before, but here goes: I love my life, but more than anything I want a partner, a wedding and above all, a family of my own. Each social post showcasing yet another happy couple with a sparkling ring or an adorable baby bump stings in its own little way, and for the first time EVER I’m hoping my birthday this Summer will slip by unnoticed, instead of my usual week-long celebration. I’m hitting the age that my mom already had both my sister and I, owned a home and was married to her soul mate. It’s easy to slip into the dark hole of thinking I’m running out of time, that my most beautiful sparkling days are behind me – but that’s no way to live.

As the short strives to communicate, we as women don’t expire – we get to decide our futures, and our value is based on so much more than being wanted by someone else. I recently saw a tarot reader who told me I need to stop trying to be so strong, to stop fighting, and just be here in this moment instead of throwing everything I have at building a future. I’m not a big believer in mystical prophecies, but ever since that night I’ve been trying to slow down, to enjoy everything I’ve built instead of trying to force what I want. After all, you can’t control everyone, but you can change your own destiny.

Header image by Jen Peters for DesignLoveFest

This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Dear Diary

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Of all the phrases that can be used to describe me as a human being, none is more true than “No Chill”. I am the opposite of chill in every capacity, from emotional stability to the way I workout, and above all things I have the hardest time slowing down and learning to just be still.

I am not zen, I am not relaxed and sometimes I worry I’m going to grind my teeth down to tiny stubs in my sleep.

I mentioned my attempts to take on a more “chill” demeanour in my previous post about LA (the land of the chill), but I wanted to do an update and share what’s been working best for me now that I’ve been home for a bit and the seasons are finally starting to shift. It’s the perfect time to make changes, to adapt healthy habits and switch from comfort food to clean food. Here’s what’s working for me:

Scroll down for the list!

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Stay Hydrated // I know everyone says this for pretty much everything, but I can’t stress staying hydrated enough. The infused water trend is a Pinterest favourite right now, but if you don’t have time to infuse with 100 kinds of fancy fruit or you’re on the go, Oasis Infusion does the job! Infused with fruits, herbs and flowers, and then topped off with a hint of fresh juice, these beauties have no sugar added and can be found at grocery stores everywhere you turn. My favourite flavour is obviously Strawberry Hibiscus Basil, but all 3 are seriously refreshing.

Grow a Green Thumb // I’ve been loading up my new apartment with plants and I’m hoping at some point it starts to look more like a scene from Jumanji than a Toronto condo. My good friend Tellie from Hunt and Gather helped me out with picking out some “hard to kill” houseplants, and I’ll be sharing my green thumb wisdom here soon!

Back to the Books // Getting lost in the mind of someone else is the easiest way to take a step back from your own busy life. I’m currently reading “One Day We’ll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter” by Scaachi Koul, and it’s the perfect book for taking in snippets of wisdom and laughter when you don’t have too much time on your hands.

On a Roll // Exercise always automatically takes my stress-level from 1000 to 0, and this Spring I’m investing my time mainly into Climbing and Cycling. With brand new gear from my pals at MEC, I’ve been heading up to Basecamp Climbing to test my strength on the walls, and now that the weather is warming up I can start to bike to and from the gym too! Seeya stress!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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It feels like Spring is finally peeking through the clouds, but I think I speak for all of us Canadians when I say we’re all feeling a bit vitamin and nutrient deprived. As the season switches, it’s more important than ever to refuel and get back to our fit, sun-kissed summer selves. Our favourite way to charge up on those vitamins comes from our sunny southern neighbours: Florida Orange Juice!

When Jo and I headed to OrangeTheory fitness last week for a we were in for a rude Spring awakening. This crazy intense workout class involves all sorts of different machines and maneuvers, but most importantly, heart rate monitors that show how hard you’re working on a screen (visible to your instructor and everyone in class!)

Needless to say we survived, but we were pretty much killing ourselves to keep our heart rate healthy the entire hour. Both dizzy and a bit disoriented when we left the big orange gym, we were greeted with the best surprise: fresh, crisp Florida Orange Juice.

Growing up we always got slices of orange after soccer games, and it wasn’t without reason – oranges are full of vitamin C, folate and potassium, which makes it the perfect addition to your workout recovery. Inspired by our day at OrangeTheory, Jo and I went home and whipped up our new favourite smoothie, inspired by (healthy) orange creamsicles and Florida Orange Juice.

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Ingredients //

Florida Orange Juice
Unsweetened almond milk
Vega’s vanilla protein powder
Fresh oranges, peeled
Ice cubes

Recipe //

Start by peeling and cutting up an orange into small cubes, place in the freezer overnight or for a few hours.

In a blender (we used a Vitamix for extra ice-crushing power), combine 2 cups orange juice, 1 cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons protein powder, the frozen orange pieces and two handfuls of ice.

Blend until smooth and garnish with a fresh orange slice!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Oh so Pretty

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Love in in the hair! Ermmm, I mean, air! Since we’re celebrating love all month long (and time is almost up) we didn’t want to miss the chance to get creative with a love-themed beauty look as well! Putting on a swipe of red lipstick can add confidence, style, and an element of fun to any old day, so we came up with a mega cute red lip look with Annabelle that literally lets you wear your heart on your kisser!

Scroll down to get the tutorial!

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What we used //

Blush in Rosebud
Twist-up lipstick in Flirtini
Big Show lip lacquer in Adore Simply
Big Show lip lacquer in Love Fiercely

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Start with your usual primer and foundation routine, apply this directly onto lips as well.
Now apply Rosebud to just the apples of your cheeks. You’ve set the stage for the perfect doll-like Valentines lip look!

Use the twist-up lipstick as a crayon, luckily it’s perfectly shaped for the job, starting in the centre of the lip working outward start to draw a heart shape onto your mouth. Use the top points of your lip as the top of the heart and colour just the centre of the bottom lip in. Don’t go all the way to the outer edge of the lip. Now use a cotton swab to blend around the edges.

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Add a swipe of the Simply Adore lip lacquer to the whole lip, this will help blend as well. Now finish it off by dabbing some Love Fiercely lip lacquer back into the middle of the lip to make your heart lip more bold and glossy! We recommend finishing off the look with a simply cat-eye.

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