Sunday, April 20, 2014

A LITTLE OPULENT - ONLINE MAGAZINE LAUNCH

Illustration by Willa Gebbie
As some of you may have noticed already, over the past few weeks I've been hinting about something new and exciting in the works. It's all been very hush hush, as we didn't want to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to meet a deadline, but today's the day!

Created by bloggers Jen from Jennypurr and Rebecca from From Roses, A Little Opulent is an online magazine created by bloggers, for bloggers!

As a daily contributor, I'll be working along some of my favourites bloggers such as Luce from Bonjour Luce, and Sophie from The Private Life Of A Girl as well as quite a few other talented bloggers! You can meet the team here.

I was all too eager to become a part of this new project as soon as Jen approached me about it, and before I even knew who all was involved. When I found out that some my favourite bloggers were going to be a part of ALO as well, I lost it. What an amazing opportunity to be able to create and work with the people that inspire me personally on a daily basis. I couldn't believe I could be so fortunate!

I've come to know each of these bloggers on a more personal level during the past few months and I have to say that each and everyone of them is not only hardworking and completely dedicated to their work, but also absolutely lovely!

Working with Jen and Rebecca, we are all encouraged to be as creative as possible. There are no rules, they trust us to develop great content and I love them for it! Because of their encouragement I have started illustrating again too, so you may see a bit of that popping up here and there on Life, Set Sail as well!

Well, what are you waiting for? Get your butt over to ALO and let me know what you think!

If you want to keep up with ALO, be sure to follow along on Bloglovin' and Twitter too.

xx -b.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

ARE THEY WORTH THE HYPE?


Obviously I'm glacially slow to the boat on this one, but I'm not typically one to go right out and buy something that everyone's already talking about. First, blogger hype tends to be a really funny thing. Someone buys a new product, posts about how great it is once, and then you never hear about it again! Sounds like a waste of money to me. Secondly, writing about something everyone already knows all about seems like a bit of a waste and lacks a bit of originality.

Well, I'm not going to go into extreme depth here, but two products that have stuck around the blogosphere for a long time seem to be Nuxe's Reve de Miel lip balm and the Korres Lip Butters.

A few weeks ago, whilst browsing through Feel Unique, I decided to take the plunge and give in. Both items were dollars cheaper than they are here so I purchased away and didn't mind waiting a couple of weeks for my order to arrive because it meant that I was saving money!

Side note here, this was my first time purchasing from Feel Unique and I was very happy with the amount of quality items that are available and also quite content with the service I received. I think it's just plain awesome that after your first purchase you can choose the brand of your liking and receive a certain percentage off that particular brand for life! I can't remember if it's 10 or 20 percent, but it's still a great idea.

So let's get down to it! Do I think these products are worth the hype they receive from the blogging community?

Nuxe's Reve de Miel lip balm is definitely all I ever dreamed it would be and more. It's thick, nourishing, matte and absolutely a dream for chapped or dry lips! I like to use this one after I wash my face and apply my moisturizer in the morning and evening. One night I applied a thick coat of this stuff before bed and woke up with it still there!
If you're thinking that the price of this lip balm is a little steep, let me reassure you...it is incredible. You don't need to use much at all, plus you get a lot of product in the tub AND it smells like Terry's chocolate oranges! What could possibly be better?

Korres on the other hand...not so impressed, but not completely disappointed either. 
The cheap plastic packing (that always gets stuck opening), suggests that this product is a moisturizing lip balm. Not. While the product smells like unicorns (okay, more like cotton candy), and leaves a beautiful baby pink sheen of gloss behind, it wears off quickly and leaves my lips feeling dry. I do find this a nice way too top off makeup for a more natural look, but don't think that the price, quality, or amount of product you get is worth the money. Overall, it's pretty, but it's packaging is misleading. I have many other products that do a much better job of providing gloss and moisture, so this is one I won't be repurchasing.

What do you think? Are you sold on either of these products? Please share your thoughts!

And, to practice what I preach, I'll be bringing back some of my favourite products in future posts...old and new, because you don't always need to post the latest thing...am I right?

xx -b.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

FOTD FT. BOBBI BROWN ART STICKS



One of my favourite looks is some roughed up hair and a basic tee topped off with a good bold lip. Pair it with some black skinny jeans and heels and you're set! Or, play up the boyish style and slip on your favourite Vans or Converse...so many possibilities!

I meant to take some actual style shots today but it's been dark and rainy all day so my fashion post turned into a face of the day one. Next time.

The shirt I'm wearing is a new favourite of mine that I bought from Aritzia last week. It is so comfy, I just know I'll be wearing it until it's shredded to pieces!

My lip colour is a part of Bobbi Browns Art Sticks collection, a recent release of theirs. I wanted a nice matte orange hued red and that's exactly what I got! I'm really happy with this purchase as it is twice the size of the NARS pencils and comes with it's own sharpener for I think...$2 cheaper? Win. Don't worry, I'll be doing a full review soon!

Products used:

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Terre Nueve
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NW15
MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in shades Strange and Dust
Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Onyx
Clinique Superfine Brow Pencil in Soft Brown
Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Orange Sunset

Will you be purchasing any of Bobbi Browns new Art Sticks or have you already? I'd love to hear what other shades you like as I will likely buying more myself!

xx -b.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BELMONDO SKINCARE GIVEAWAY


Last week I told you I was testing out some products from a Canadian organic skincare brand called Belmondo. What I didn't tell you is that I was testing them out specifically for this giveaway! It was so hard to keep in, especially since so many of you said how much you loved the look of these products and wanted to try them out yourself. Well, the secret's out!

"Belmondo", meaning beautiful world in Italian, is a line created to protect, nourish, and enhance natural beauty. With a base of organic olive oil sourced from Italy, all ingredients are fair trade whenever possible.

Handmade in small batches in British Columbia, Canada, Belmondo
products are sourced with ethical ingredients, contain no cheap fillers, and are never tested on animals.

Belmondo has kindly offered one Travel Kit (a $65 value) to one lucky winner! My personal favourites in this package are the After The Rain facial toner with lavender and chamomile and The Cloud olive oil face cream. I love how nourishing their products are and gentle enough for my hard to manage sensitive skin too!

This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US only, excluding Quebec and Puerto Rico. Giveaway will run for one week and the winner will be announced on April 21st.

To learn more about Belmondo, visit their website! If you have any questions regarding the giveaway, please refer to the Terms and Conditions included on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

xx -b.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 13, 2014

THE SUNDAY EDIT #5


Fresh Flowers
I wasn't feeling all that well this last week after pulling every muscle in my back and arms moving patio furniture as well as some general grumpiness do to, let's just say, "other things". So I felt like the luckiest girl in the world when my guy came home one evening with these white lilies and my favourite caramel apple lollies. I've been watching the buds open as I've been working at my computer and I must say, fresh flowers really bring a whole lot of added happiness to my workspace! I've been getting into the habit of buying flowers at the end of every week and it really brightens up the atmosphere and my mood.

Addicted to Bobbi
As plenty of you know already, I have formed a recent addiction to Bobbi Brown. When I heard about the newly released Art Sticks, at twice the size and same cost as their competitor (with a sharpener included I might add), I knew I had to try one! I bought the shade Sunset Orange, hoping for that perfect orange hued red that lasts all day. I haven't tried it yet because I need to take proper pictures first, but I am incredibly excited. Also purchased was the Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon, which I thought would be a nice option for Spring and Summer. I've never tried the Pot Rouge's before, but have only heard great things. Fresh Melon seems like a lot more subtle of a colour than I usually buy, but I think it will be quite lovely and...well, fresh!

Savouring the Sunshine
It seems that the weather of Calgary is battling itself lately...is it Spring, is it still Winter? Each day is different and somedays we get both! So now that is does actually seem to be warming up, I plan to start going on long walks around the neighbourhood and savouring the feeling of the sun on my skin. Because, who knows, tomorrow (or this afternoon) it could be snowing.

Clean Eating
We're pretty good about eating well in our household, which I feel I owe to my mother. Although I am a lot more "hippie" in my eating, I've always appreciated a good home cooked meal over the much easier, pre-packaged food. This afternoon I'm going to stalk up on lots of veggies and fresh fruit for smoothies as well as get some ingredients to make this amazing salad recipe that was posted by Rocio the other day. Ummm, yum!

So tell me, how has your week been? What have you been enjoying lately?

xx -b.