Dolce Vita, Four Ways

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When I find a colour that speaks to me, my first instinct is to collect it in every possible form. I experienced this hoarding feeling with NARS Dolce Vita. It is a beautiful and versatile dusty rose, an instant classic for me. No matter the time of year (aka if I am starkly pale or slightly tanned) it works beautifully on my lips and cheeks.

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Note: NARS is a cruelty-free brand, however they are owned by Shiseido, which DOES do animal testing for their own products.

The Blush ($38 CAD). I’ve mentioned my love for NARS’ blush before and hands down, Dolce Vita is my favourite of them. They last and last but never upset my skin. The Dolce Vita blush is a gorgeous rose that suits me throughout the year.

The Lipstick ($35 CAD). This is my ultimate MLBB (my-lips-but-better) shade. It is a gorgeous sheer but build able rose shade that gives me a great make-up free/light look but still put together.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($33 CAD). I think if I ever finish a lip product (jk, no way) it will be this one. It is my go-to lip colour and formulation for every day easy use. It applies creamily but is instantly matte, yet somehow, never drying. I imagine this is what Bite Beauty’s Matte Creme Lip Crayons are like.

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Sheer lipstick, matte lip pencil, blush heavy and light

The Lip Gloss ($33 CAD). This is sadly not pictured, as it had gone south some months back. NARS lip glosses provide great colour pay off, and Dolce Vita is no exception (trust me!). The gorgeous dusty rose with shine and a hit of moisture is basically the only thing you need for a fresh spring look.

Do you have any ride-or-die colours from NARS or other brands?

The Search – A Cruelty-Free Fragrance

I started making my birthday wish list recently (I like to make lists, what can I say!) and I decided to make more of an effort to stay vegan/cruelty-free when purchasing cosmetics. I have tried for years to keep my collection mostly cruelty-free, but I am feeling extra inspired thanks to Cruelty Free Kitty, The CelutionLogical Harmony, and Up the Rollercoaster. Luckily the more brands that come to Canada, the easier it becomes. However, one area that I have always struggled with is fragrances. It is pretty simple to find make-up, shampoo, lotions, and nail polish that weren’t tested on animals or contain ingredients that were tested on animals, but fragrances are another story.
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The Gift List – Easter for Her

Now that the snow is FINALLY melting, and the sun is peaking out, it’s time to start dreaming of spring. And spring means Easter! I love Easter for many reasons: chocolates, spring flowers, spending time with family, and more chocolate. Even if you don’t celebrate Easter, you still can enjoy some time off work and take in the fresh air.

I’ve curated a list of fresh gifts for her to celebrate Easter, or the arrival of spring, all under $40 CAD. I am excited to feature two Ottawa boutiques, starting with Boogie and Birdie, located at 256 Elgin Street.

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  • Paddywax Urban Candle in Salted Grapefruit $16-$38 CAD. These candles are amazing on several levels: smell amazing, look amazing, amazing paperweight. The bold graphic concrete pots are my inspiration for an industrial Easter/spring look.
  • Color By Jool in Blush $30 CAD. I adore these cute little necklaces, not only because there is one called Pinot Noir that makes me laugh (any Kimmy Schmidt fans out there?). Made in Toronto, Ontario, there is one for every personality, occasion or outfit. Blush is the perfect pastel Easter gift but I also love Honey, Lake, Peacock and Prosecco (mostly because the necklace descriptions are what I think of myself/wish I was).
  • Rifle Paper Co. Notebooks $22-$24 CAD. Rifle Paper Co (aka Anna Bond) has seriously locked down the gorgeous illustration market. I remember researching wedding invitations in 2012 when Rifle Paper Co hadn’t exploded worldwide, and thinking, this is the stuff dreams are made of. An awesome Easter gift for the lady who has everything, notebooks are always a welcome gift.

Up next we have Purple Urchin, a handmade soap company located at 884 Somerset West.

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  • Coconut Lemongrass Body Butter $19.99 CAD. A luxurious body butter with real ingredients, made close to home. What’s not to love! The coconut and lemongrass scent reminds me of travelling down South for March break, which is just what you need by the time Easter rolls around.
  • Lilac Attack Candle $19.99 CAD. Not often is someone able to capture the gorgeous fragrance of lilacs in bloom. This soy candle does just that. For me the scent of lilac is the epitome of spring!
  • Chocolate Face Mask $11.99 CAD. Whats an easter gift list without some chocolate? This mask, rich with antioxidants, can be used weekly. If you can stop yourself from eating it first.

Sephora, while not a local or Canadian company, is still my favourite place on earth!

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  • Farmacy Lip Bloom in Strawberry Basil $21 CAD. Once the weather warms up over 0 degrees Celsius, I want fresh fruit smells for everything. This lip balm has a high end price but the texture and scent are worth it. So fresh and mouth watering!
  • Replica Beach Walk Roller Ball $30 CAD. This time of year I am dreaming of beaches, sunshine and being anywhere but here. Maison Martin Margiela has bottled those dreams and calls it “Beach Walk”. The perfect fragrance to take you into the summer months.
  • Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Cushy Blusher in Beach Break $27.60 CAD. The packaging for this line from Too Cool For School is too much for me, I need them all. A dinosaur on a surfboard? Yes please! This blush is perfect for a spring vacation, easy to apply and no mess packaging. Use it like a bingo dabber for a sun kissed flush. If you try one Korean beauty product this year, definitely make it this one.

To mix up my usual David’s Tea ravings, I looked to Teavana for some unique Easter gifts.teaaaapeachmatcha33029_tumbler20ozstrawgrn

  • Serenity Wellness Tea $12.50 CAD for 2 oz. Besides fresh fruit, spring is also embodied by flowers. They finally return, and things smell nice again! Teavana has created a new line of wellness teas and this blend of flowers, herbs and fruit is like a warm breeze on your face: heaven.
  • Organic Peach Matcha Singles 10 pack $19.95 CAD. Peach matcha? Shut up Teavana, take my money! My new obsession, matcha, amped up with fruit flavour is a must try. The Easter Bunny would get all the points leaving this for someone.
  • Shake & Go Tumbler $14.95 CAD. And with matcha, you need a super cute and versatile tumbler. This shake & go tumbler by Contigo has a removable straw so you can easily shake your iced matcha and enjoy.

Zone is a Canadian boutique store that sells all sorts of things from furniture to jewellery. It is one of my favourite stores and you can find something for everyone there.

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  • Anigram Ring Holder $8 CAD. How cute is this little guy? In keeping with the Easter theme, this ring holder is a great seasonal gift. I especially love the rose gold finish, a nice departure from the usual silver ring holders.
  • Nicole Large Pouch $32 CAD. Everything about this little vegan clutch screams spring. The white PVC top and floral cork bottom makes for an adorable gift.
  • Lucia Soap Gift Box $22 CAD. What is better than one bar of soap? 8 deliciously scented bars of soap! Lucia products are a bit of a boutique shop staple here in Canada, as they are made in Montreal. They are cruelty-free, and made with organic and natural ingredients. With their adorable wrapping and spring scents like wild ginger & fresh fig, and thyme flower & coriander soap, this set is a guaranteed hit.

Hope you see something to make someone’s Easter special!

xx C

(Note: All photos in this article are not my own)

 

The Mani – Champagne Bubbles

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This manicure is inspired by one of my favourite fancy drinks: champagne (or sparkling wine for those of us that can’t afford the real deal!). Something about champagne goes straight to my head and I love the bubbles. Whenever something is marketed as “champagne flavoured”, I lose my mind. One of my many wants in life are some vintage style wide mouth champagne glasses so I can drink my bubbly wine with mega class.

To create this party-friendly look I used two products from my holy grail nail brand, Deborah Lippman. Each bottle of nail polish costs between $20 CAD to $22 CAD and are easily available in Canada at Sephora and Murale. If you want to splurge on a nail polish, I recommend you hit them up first.

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