Arbonne: Smoothed Over Lipstick - SWATCHES

I know that I'm behind on swatches but please forgive me! 
When I heard that Arbonne had some new lipsticks, I really wanted to try them. 
I really LOVED Arbonne's eyebrow basic brow combos so I had high hopes for the new lipsticks.

I'm so used to wearing matte lipsticks that when I get something hydrating- I'm so shook up! These babies have the attributes of a balm but with the power of a lipstick. I know it sounds odd but wait until you see the swatches. One word to describe them: SMOOTH.
Arbonne: Smoothed Over Lipsticks ($29.00 CAN)

There are 16 shades in the line. Each shade has a satin glossy finish. 
I should also add that these are vegan formulated without gluten, parabens and dermatologist tested.

Left to right: Lily, Gladiola & Orchid.

One of the claims of the lipsticks are that it has botanical levels that can make your lips look plumper and smoother. I didn't really see that. Then again I'm blessed with plump lips already. But one of my favourite things about this was the balm feeling.

I don't want to go into terminology about the ingredients but if you want to know more about what hyaluronic acid, peptides and the polymers do in this product check it out here: Arbonne Lipsticks

Now onto the swatches.

I'll be honest, I am more of a creme satin finish girl then a frost/shimmer girl. Two out of three of the lipsticks I was sent had bit of front/shimmer in them. But I'll let you definitely be the judge if it's for me!

Lily vs. Gladiola
Lily
Gladiola

Which one is your favourite?


Sooo what's going on with Spiced Beauty?

I know that I haven't really and publicly put this out there but I changed my blog name. 
My blog is now called MY SPICED LIFE.

The first question, I got was why....
I started this blog at 23 years old, living with my family having a boyfriend and just finishing college. I was BORED.  Now i'm in my early 30's, living with my husband(same guy I dated for 10+ years) and owning my OWN business. 

My views and likes/dislike have changed drastically. 

I know that some people are asking "Will this still be beauty blog?" 
Beauty is still one of my first loves. It will NEVER go away. I still have had numerous people.. not just WOC come up to me and tell me that I was one of the first Beauty Blogs that they found in Canada. But I want to share other stuff of my life without being confined to just beauty. Like my love of travel, electronics, food, random events.... I could go on and on. 

Also Wedding things. 
I didn't really get to divulge during the time because I took more of a hiatus to plan but there still a lot of things I want to share with you guys! 

Please let me know your thoughts! So being that a lot of blog related info and I don't think I have done a tag in a while! I want to share some info about my life and maybe share some little titbit that you don't know about me.


Is this your only blog?
Yes, this is my baby that I created in 2008 and it is still up and running.

What is your blog about?
I started out as a beauty blog now I've decided to officially a branch out and tackle more things that I like. I've been told for years, that I need to do more than beauty.  Now that I'm getting older and married, my priorities have changed and there are several things that I'm interested in which I feel like my "audience" would be interested in as well.

Why are you still doing this?
I won't lie.. I debate this all the time. I've put A LOT of work into her but I do sometimes feel like it goes nowhere.. I know why but I won't get into the politics of life.
Let me put it this way- As I said before- every time I want to quit I met someone who tells me not to.

Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
If you told me in 2009 that my blog would be still is around, I don't know if I would've believed you. I have no idea at all. In 5 years...maybe not here. Things change so easily.

What does your blog name mean?
I really wanted something that reflected my skin tone/culture. I told myself that I wanted to be a Toronto Beauty Blogger. So then Spiced Beauty was born. Now I think it's more of a life movement so that's why I changed it to My Spiced Life.

What are your goals when it comes to this Canadian Blog?
I think my main goal is to get somebody to try something new! Sometimes you need somebody to be the guinea pig. Sooooo that's me!

Secondly, to show other darker WOC that there are products for our skin tone. I hate meeting people who tell me that they cant find a red for their skin tone or that they can't find a good eyeliner. My answer: It's out there! If you can't find it. I'll find it for you.

If you have any questions: Leave them below and I'll answer then in another post.

Why you Should Wash your Brushes + Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Palette & Gel

I once had a friend who told me that she didn't know that you were supposed to clean your make up brushes. Guys.. for three years! She had the same brushes...Mind you she was using those cheap synthetic two dollar packs.... But still! The whole concept took me out. I nicely told her to throw out what she has and start fresh.

For some of you guys who don't see a problem.
Here are three issues that you can get with dirty brushes:
-Staph infections(Yes.. google it)
-Clogged pores (Pimples all over)
-Pink eye (You get the idea...)

Every time you hop on Instagram or Twitter you always see somebody complaining about how much they hate washing their brushes. I'm in the same boat... I hate washing my brushes! And I'm going to tell you the truth I have enough brushes that I can go without washing brushes for a while. I know that's not the reality for everyone... so I'm gonna show you the easiest way to clean your brushes right now.

Yes there are DIY methods. But if you're lazy and on the go like me :) Here is the quickest and easiest way to clean your brushes and make sure that you're free of infection and bacteria.

Get the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette ($19.99 CAN) 

What is it made of?
Lightweight silicone

How does it work?
It deep cleans: It fit comfortably over the palm of your hand and multi-textured surfaces help gets your brushes clean. Super easy and quick!

A clean brush is EVERYTHING. And if you have a little bit more money, I'd suggest that you get the Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel for Brushes ($13.49 CAN). It's also good to note that this gel is dermatologist tested. Plus has no alcohol or phthalates.

How to use:

A)
Slip the palette over your palm. Put a drop of the Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel for Brushes on the cleansing palette. Add warm water to the palette.


B)
Swirl brush on the multi-textured surfaces until clean.
Then rinse.

Before:

C)
For drying, rest your brushes across the tool or using your favourite drying method.

This is after ONE wash!

If you have the time and patience your brushes will be good as new in no time!

Where can you find these products in Canada?
- Select Pharma Plus
- Select Rexall
- Select Walmart

In America:




Make Up For Ever: Artist Acrylip + Swatch

One of the first lip products my list to share for the Summer is the Artist Acrylip ($23.00 CAN).
Totally different from your typical matte lip. 
This is a extremely pigmented product.


Think of acrylic paints- The colour you see in the “tube” is what you get on the lips. 
No disappointment. No gimmicks.

Structure:
Slanted tip: you are able to squeeze out much or how little product you want.

Colour range?
You get 10 shades ranging from bold pinks to deep eggplant.



Staying power?
I would totally stay it’s long lasting. The best way to describe it is a hybrid of a lipstick but the impact of the gloss because it’s not matte. I would pair it with a lip liner because application can get messy.

SHOP


Texture
The texture is thin but buildable. Also not sticky like some of the other lip products.

I’m a fan of this product because it would work well in my kit. 
Squirt what I need on my fixing palette and go from there.

Make Up For Ever: Artist Acrylip 501


Four tips every Bride needs to hear before they get Married

I just hit the two year mark a few weeks ago. Man.. let me tell you that time goes by fast! But flashback to 27 months ago.... the planning part was very interesting! Between the feelings and unsolicited opinions. You have to stand your ground. Here are four pieces of advice that I can give to you to make the best out of your big day!


Things don't go as planned..... and its okay
I cant even list the amount of things that didn't go the same way that I dreamed it up in my head. For example, my bouquets didn't make it to the ceremony. I HAD NO FLOWERS TO WALK DOWN THE AISLE WITH! I swear when I heard I almost blew a gasket.
Conclusion: I ended up walking down without them and no one noticed (or thought that I did it on purpose).

Take advice from other brides
I know that you want your day to be unique. You grabbed inspiration from your favourite magazine BUT real experiences are key. Although it wasn't a vendor recommendation the best advice I got was live in the moment. The days speeds by soooo quickly. On that day smile a little longer, dance harder and take a lot of pictures!


Let your mom win a battle or two..
I come from a very strong Jamaican family. As a first generation Canadian (plus the first child in my immediate family to get married) my mom had a lot to say. A popular Jamaican tradition is black cake at your wedding. My husband and I are pretty Canadian and wanted to skip that tradition but my mom keep on insisting. In the end, she ordered two cakes and we ended using them for the wedding. Literally, it was one of the best cakes i've had in my life! It ended up being better than my original wedding cake!

Wear what you want!!
I spoke about this in my Five things I wish I knew before I went dress shopping post a while back. Well aware of my body type. Small waist but very 'busty". Anyways wayyyy back in 2013/2014 I went to Davids Bridal just to ask a few questions and was shocked at the way I was treated. I walked in with an oversized turtle neck and I remember a woman telling me that I should only wear a ballgown anything else wouldn't be flattering. I never really told anyone but I avoided bridal shops for months. In the end, I ended up wearing a trumpet/mermaid type gown. My advice... Try on everything even if it's not your type. Then rule it out.. never make ANYONE force you into something that isn't you!

Currently Obsessed: Mary Kay’s Clear Proof Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask

I’m so excited that skin care is making a comeback. I’m obsessed with it and live for a good skin day. Random fact about me: I started making my own skin care masks when I was 10. My friends and I use to get together and create some really crazy mixes. I’m happy that if I need to remedy a skin care issue there is a product for that!


Right now, I’m loving Mary Kay’s Clear Proof® Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask ($26 CAN). 
I’m into masks that don’t feel like I’m ripping every hair off my face when I use it.

Other ingredients to note:
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Mineral clay
  • Kaolin
  • Bentonite
  • Honeysuckle
  • Navy bean

For summer ready selfie skin: This gentle triple-action charcoal is everything you need right now! 
Why? it deep-clean pores, absorbs oil and removes impurities from your skin.
It can be used two or three times a week.


HOW to Use:
  • Start with clean skin
  • Apply a thin even layer
  • It starts creamy and dries to a matte
  • Wait 20 minutes
  • Then remove

Thoughts:
It had a cooling feeling when applied.
When it was drying it wasn’t tight or uncomfortable.
After my skin felt smooth and refreshed after.

Are you a fan of charcoal masks?

Easy ways to save money on your vacation

One of the best things I did in my 20's was travel with my husband! Thankfully the beach was one of our passions so we had a lot of fun in Jamaica (multiple times), Cuba, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. I can admit that if it wasn't for these tips we would never have saved as much money as we did.  FYI if you missed my Four Tips to Help you Plan your Next Island Vacation post... get on it.

Let me explain......

Be Vocal
Speak up! I love an intimate vacation but group vacation are also everything! This one is easy and two words: GROUP DISCOUNTS.

Credit cards
Let me start off by saying both of this card has a yearly fee. I also don't work for it or have ANY affiliation with it. If it wasn't for my America Express Card benefits I wouldn't have things like Travel Emergency Assistance, Lost or Stolen bag assistance, complimentary Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance or flight and baggage delay insurance. Or one of my favourites- Hotel burglary assistance. We all know that one issue on resorts is thief. Imagine your cellphone goes missing because you left it out. Well guess what coverage is in effect as long as you have fully booked and paid for your accommodations with your American Express Card. Girlll. yes!

Opt in + Print Media
This can be done before and after. You know when your researching a destination and you stumble upon their official page and they tell you to sign up for info. Do it! Also you know those annoying forms that you fill out when you first get to a resort. Fill them out and give them your email address. One of the resorts in Bahamas that we went to constantly sends us emails when their rooms are on for 40% off or more. That totally works out for us because all we have to do is book the flight and go.

Do Research
Visit travel sites regularly.  I love sites where I can look at a "lowest price calendar". I find weeks that are affordable for both of us to go. One time my husband and I saved $1000 by switching our vacation a week. That's more money to go on excursions and to buy gifts.

Adulting: Shopping at Lowe's Canada

So the first time in my adult life, I have a lawn & backyard which requires maintenance. I grew up in house which was a part of the condominium complex. So all my parents had to do was pay the complex monthly and they would take care of everything outside. They took care of the grass, shovelled snow, paint and even planted trees/flowers. Now as a married woman....  although I don't have to mow the lawn or shovel snow, it is my responsibility to try to keep the house as warm and inviting as can be!

I was sent a Lowe's Canada Spring/Summer Style Guide for inspiration. Which literally made me want to overhaul my whole house and start over. The emphasis was on 4 patio trends: Metro Modern, Renewed Formality, Gracious Living & Cuban Cool. Each theme takes the guess workout of the stress of finding decor that works together. Plus it's exclusive to Lowe’s Canada.

Here are some of my favourite looks:

Colour anyone?

This is a dream!

My backyard is horrible right now, I will spare you a picture. I decided go with the front of the house since that is a visual point that people mostly see when they drive-by. I decided to go to Lowe's at Markham Road and Steeles on Victoria day. Which I might add I am happy that the garden centre was open. With a giftcard that Lowe's Canada provided me with!
My Husband in Lowe's Canada picking the flowers I wanted.

My full cart!

We decided to go with two Azura Tall Urns (usually $14.99 CAN) which were actually on sale! Now for the flowers (Begonias) part, I did something different. I bought to hanging planters for the urns. Why? I just liked the arrangements better than the potted one.  Just a preference.

Just for photo purposes:

At first I thought it was a good idea to have two different types of plants but I am slowly rethinking that one so I'll probably end up going back to get the pink plants and putting up the hanging planter.

How are you planning to update your outdoor space for the summer?

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Concealer + SWATCHES

What if you were told that you had to keep your makeup regimen to three products.
Would it be hard for you? It would be the easiest choice for me.
  • A liquid lipstick
  • Lashes
  • Concealer
Years ago concealer would never be in my top three "survival" products. But I won't lie, I love how awake it makes me look. Especially days when the world is trying me and I'm surviving on NO sleep. 

As a woman of colour, I know that we are prone to getting dark under eye circles. With the MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Concealer’s ($34.00 CAN)  you don't need a lot to get the job done! I also forgot to add that the concealers have a Anti-Dark Circle Complex with Radiance Booster.

What does that mean?
  • It supports collagen to refresh and awaken the undereye area. 
  • Helps with filling and smoothing fine lines.
I'm happy to say that the darker shades have been added to the line 
which now makes a total of 14 shades.

For me, it gives me a medium coverage (that I can thin out to light coverage) but I know if you layer it - you can get full coverage.

SHOP:



I was given a few shades to try but there are two which I'd reach for more than the others.

I mix:
R50 & R52
**If there was a 51 it would suit me perfectly!

Swatches:

R50 & R52 mixed together:

Are you a fan of MUFE products?

Basic Brow Combos with Arbonne Cosmetics

So my holy grail brow product has now finished. I'm now kind of jumping from unsuccessful brow products- one right after the other. It's tragic.. I know. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 I had the opportunity to try out some brow products from Arbonne to get my to get my brow basics down pat. I don't know about you but brows are so important to me. When they just get done! GIRL!!! I swear I feel like nobody can tell me anything.


 Here is my brow in its natural state, you can see I have very long and thick brow hairs. So if you accidentally take out a few extra hairs accidentally it really shows!


To be able to get a bold striking brow- (which I might add is the look you see all the celebrities rocking right now) it's best to start off with a brow pencil.

Why do you need a brow pencil first?
You need something that going to shape and create the overall look that you're going for. I used the Shape It Up Brow Pencil– Dark ( CAN $32.00) which was actually pretty easy to use.  
Good thing about this product is that it's retractable! 
No sharpening need. 


On the other side is a brow spoolie which is really important part of brow life! 
Before you do your brow you can use it to brush up and pluck out any stray hairs. 
Or to distribute product through out your brows.


In short brush stroke type movements create your desired shape. 

 With Shape It Up Brow Pencil– Dark

For some people, that's enough! They can go out the door and conquer the world. For me, I'm a little bit extra and I need more. I also paired the pencil with a tinted brow cream! Shape It Up Tinted Brow Cream ( CAN $32.00) is actually an awesome little product. 
The formula is buildable. It's not watery but it is water resistant and smudge-proof. The cream is really cool it almost reminds me of little fibres when applied. It creates a soft look!


Lastly you can take this route if you want it's super extra but I usually leave the little block at the front of my eyebrows with NO product.  I finish off by taking the eyebrow gel (CAN $22.00) and I just brush my hair in place.

Finished look:

Remember...There is no wrong combo when it comes to your brows. I should also add that the brow pencil and tinted brow cream have larch and green tea extract which actually helps with making your brows look fuller. 

What do you think about my brows? 
If you're interested in the products above -please contact your Arbonne rep or shop online.
Let me know in the comments below.