Okay, so we’ve put together a lot of fun gift guides this year, but we thought why not throw one last list together featuring all our favourite pretty little things (aka. beauty products, candles, and things that generally smell delicious). They make great stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and add ons to those gifts that are missing that one last special thing.
From candles to mascara, this guide is for those who covet the finer things in life and delight in details!
Herbivore Botanicals // All natural, cruelty-free, and full of magical powers, this brand uses some of our favourite ingredients like coconut and rose to make truly dreamy bath, body, and skincare products.
Annabelle // Colourful and fun, this cosmetics line is super affordable and perfect for filling spaces in stockings. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, which makes it a must on our list.
Linneas Lights // I swear these are the strongest smelling candles on the face of the planet. They also come in delightful holiday scents like “Golden Plum” and “Pepperberry” which we can’t get enough of in the office right now.
This lip-specific brand opened a shop down the street a few months back and we seriously can’t get enough. Their Christmas packaging is almost too pretty too open, and all of their products are technically edible they’re so natural!
Smith and Cult // We’ve had a crush on Smith and Cult’s gorgeous nail polish collection for ages, and now that they’ve added eye makeup and lipgloss to the list we’re 100% hooked. Bonus points for all the glittering gold on the packaging!
Tocca // “I have too many candles” said no one EVER. Tocca makes great little minis in seemingly endless scents that will cover everyone left on your list.
The word “renovation” tends to come with a degree of negativity to it. Personally disaster zones and shelves ripping out of walls come to my mind, and there’s no shortage of tales concerning projects that were scheduled to take a week stretching on for years. When I decided to renovate the bathroom in my rental unit – an idea that snowballed from a wish to upgrade to beautiful golden Delta faucets – I made the same mistake so many had before me: I thought my renovation would be different.
It all started out as a total dream. As previously mentioned I picked out the most delicious shiny gold faucets for my shower and sink from Delta, and of course I couldn’t resist a towel bar and toilet paper holder as well when I saw how perfectly they matched as a gleaming set. Seriously, this gold hardware was enough to make me want to redo the whole room – so elegant and royal!
Next Jo and I took a field trip to the Ciot showroom to pick out new tiles, a must considering our old tile and grout was cracking and crumbling with each shower we took. We had the most wonderful time exploring all of the finishes and learning about different types of marble, and in the end we were able to fit floor and wall tiles into our budget (thank goodness for marble-printed porcelain!)
Of course a room can’t feel fresh without a new coat of paint, so we turned to CIL for an elegant yet subtle update. We were immediately sold on the “bathroom and kitchen finish” (easy to clean and mould-resistant), and colour-wise we went with “Barely Blush” and “White on White”.
Last but not least we picked out a new sink to match our new Delta sink faucet and offer us more space to organize all of our beauty products. We went with this super cute vanity unit from Canadian Tire and it literally doubled our storage space. Win!
A new white shower curtain rod here and some candles there (Currently obsessed with TOCCA and Paddywax’s Library Collection) and we were ready to get things underway. Unfortunately that’s where we ran into speed bumps.
We decided to work with an app (which will remain unnamed) that helps match contractors to projects, and we immediately matched with a company who could come in the same day the tiles arrived! Score! The team of two arrived a few hours late, which didn’t bother us much, and told us they would likely finish the project in under ten hours. Score again!!!
Five days, two 3am stop times, and endless tears later, the construction duo informed us that they had accidentally destroyed all of our tiles. More tears, more panic, and a angry version of myself that I never wish to see again followed, and ultimately the team simply left. The app sent another contractor to survey the situation, and we were told we needed to start from scratch. All new tiles needed to be installed, plus demolition of all the botched work. The app would only pay for the demolition and the new tiles.
I was a MESS. As someone who takes a lot of pride in their home and never leaves a project unfinished, this was a total disaster. How could my fun little reno have gone SO wrong?!
Enter R&B Group (que the superhero music!) This team came in, laughed for a bit in pity at the horrible original outcome, then tore it all out and started from scratch. They worked quickly, and the end result was nothing short of perfect. It was truly a pleasure to have them in our home, and I am pretty sure I’ll never even considering hiring someone else. THANK YOU RICARDO AND BRUNO! You can get in contact with them here if you have a project that you need help with: email@example.com.
So what did we learn? I mean other than gold faucets automatically make everything prettier and marble tiles beat all other tiles? We learned that if you want your renovation to be quick, easy, and painless, you need to hire the right people to help you! It was literally night and day between the first team and R&B Group, and when Ricardo and Bruno rolled up with photos of their past work and a reasonable quote for how long the job would actually take (about a week btw) we realized how unprofessional the first guys had really been.
And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: meet the new #RAOPpowderroom!
Just in the knick of time- our June edit is here! I know May was in the beginning of the month, but I figure end of month works too if it means I get more time to test and review products properly. Better for both of us, right?
This month’s roundup of RAOP Picks (aka my favourite finds of the month) is almost all within the exact same colour scheme, and primarily beauty-based. Perhaps it was the fun YSL events I attended over the past 30 days, or our #RAOPpowderroom project that spurred the beauty cabinet upgrade, but I’m definitely really feeling these beautiful products for the summer:
I don’t know what happened, but YSL really swept me off my feet over the past few weeks. I had the pleasure of attending a special breakfast to celebrate their Mon Paris fragrance launch, and the love affair really grew from there. My top picks? Touche Eclat Blur Primer and Vinyl Couture Mascara in gold.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the TOCCA candles and the unique way they name them and give them little “stories” to tell, but their line has really hit it out of the park recently! I can’t even wrap my head around how much I love the idea of a hair fragrance (coming soon!)
We already know how much I adore Davines (they’re generally the online haircare brand I use), and this new collection’s pretty blush and black packaging really won me over. If you get a chance to sniff this line, prepare to swoon!
I’m a big homebody, and now that I work from home making my space a sort of pastel paradise has become even more important. Johanna and I have put a lot of love and attention into every corner of The Pastel Palace, but these days we’re really focusing on making our studio/home office super swoon worthy. From photo backdrops hung on copper pipes to a pretty epic prop shelf, the space is really starting to take shape, and even the tiniest details on my desk are coming together thanks to a bit of early self-gift-shopping on the Canadian Birchbox site.
Birchbox is famous for their amazing beauty boxes and cosmetics shop, but they also have a pretty fun lifestyle section loaded with all sorts of special goodies. From Rifle Paper Co. card sets to Lauren Hope jewels, you’re sure to find something in this section for everyone on your list (and maybe a treasure or two for yourself too!) Here are some snaps of my favourite desktop essentials- they all come together to create a pretty dreamy nook for team RAOP to plan our pastel world from, don’t you think?