Five Housewarming Etiquette Tips + Bleu Lavande

Okay I've reached the age where I get one of three invites. A wedding, a baby shower, or a housewarming. Although a housewarming seems like one of the least important out of all three. It's NOT! Through out the years I've seen some very INTERESTING things.
Here are some tips that I acquired from being the host and a guest.

Host:
Make sure your house is presentable.
It seems logical....but I can't tell you the amount of housewarmings that I've gone to where people have sectioned off a place where my husband and I can't enter.


 Or we walked into a place where someone has left maybe dirty underwear on the floor or something. Haha! ALWAYS double check.

Speaking about the "tour".....

During the housewarming, allow each guest to tour your home. 
 This can get repetitive but can be done easily. 
Do a house party style housewarming!
During the hours you pick (like 4pm-9pm) you can show anyone who comes around
the house in a group. Save some trips!

Guest:
Don’t bring someone without asking
C'mon.. you don't know the atmosphere or the host's wishes..
Don't DO IT! It's rude and annoying. All you can do is ask ahead of time.
If the host says NO...
you come alone OR decline.

The three C's: Congratulate, Compliment & Come Again

Remember this: Talk about the space, the design and how happy you are to be there.
Nothing is worst than someone who comes eats and leaves without giving some recognition.
This is a big life step which needs to be celebrated.
Also come back and visit :) Be a good friend!

Don't come empty handed
So.... you want to come, eat food, take a tour of the house and then leave?!?! NO! 
Bring a gift.
Popular housewarming gifts are kitchenware, plants/flowers, wine and toiletries.

Speaking of gifts one unisex gift that EVERYONE needs to add to their list is a essential oil diffuser with essential oils!
Imagine this after a long day.. you turn on your essential oil diffuser and engulf yourself in the soothing scent of lavender. Dim your lights to set the ambience with it's visually stimulating LED light. Doesn't that sound amazing!

Bleu Lavande has you covered!

They have a Ultrasonic essential oil diffuser ($69.00 CAN) which comes with a 100 % pure lavender essential oil bottle. This piece has totally become a fixture in my home. Mostly because it looks like a piece of art and people don't actually know what it is .. UNTIL I turn it on.



One of the main pros for me is the automatic shut-off when it's empty or the water is low. I had an old one that would continue to vaporize and produce a burning scent when it was empty. 
I don't get that from this at all.


How it works:
It uses ultrasonic waves to vaporize the water and the essential oil mixture. 
In return you get a mist that's not heavy but powerful.

Turned on with the LED light

Do you have any Housewarming Etiquette tips? 
Or gift ideas? Leave them below?

Guest Post: Why You Need a Tinted Primer

I love a good primer. Some may even call me a little bit of a primer junkie. I have tried all types from drugstore to high end. If you haven’t been using a primer, you are truly missing out. A good primer can make or break the how your makeup look once applied whether you’re keeping it light with a BB cream or doing full face, full coverage glam.

Many people skip out on this step because they don’t believe they need one or don’t think it is worth the investment. For those who don’t believe, you need a primer because:

  • It helps makeup to go on smoother
  • It conceals your pores
  • It helps your makeup last longer
  • It helps smooth/blur out imperfections
There are so many primers on the market to address certain skin types. Primers for mature skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, mattifying primers and primers with illuminating properties for that extra glow.

When I had the chance to try a tinted primer by NYX, I was instantly intrigued. The NYX Soft Focus Tinted Primer ($14.00 CAN) comes in three shades: light, medium beige and warm - my shade being warm. While it is not a tinted moisturizer the primer does a great job of adding a sheer hint of colour while creating a smooth base for applying makeup. Win win!

The primer is very soft and lightweight and has a silicone-like feeling when applied so it does a GREAT job of filling in those pores and blurring.

I will say that although the name of the shade is “Warm,” on someone with more yellow undertones in the skin like myself, it will appear more on the neutral side but not a dealbreaker. Also, this isn’t the best for all day wear if you have oily skin. I seemed get quite oily about 6 hours in so it’s definitely not best for oil-control.

Overall a solid primer but oily friends, beware. I have worn the primer alone for super light days for when I want minimal coverage and get that blurring effect. The Soft Focus primer is beautiful under foundation giving you that flawless base.

SHOP



Have you tried the NYX Soft Focus Primer? 
What are your thoughts?



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Clore Beauty Recap + Sensationnel EMPIRE hair line

If you're following me on my social networks, you would have seen that a few weeks ago I was promoting an event with myself and a few other Toronto influencers.We were going to be at an in-store event for Clore Beauty Supply. To promote the launch of a Sensationnel EMPIRE hair line at their Customer Appreciation day. Clore Beauty Supply is a leading beauty supply company here in Canada (They even have a salon inside of two locations).

I got to meet amazing black Toronto influencers, interact with customers and learn from the awesome Sensationnel team & The Laws Agency who came down from USA to promote the hair. At the end of the day we got to choose whatever hair we wanted for our next install.

Images from The Laws Agency


Video from Pink ship Ltd



I can definitely understand why somebody would choose to go to a salon that is inside a beauty supply store! Everything is at your fingertips. When I go to a home salon and if we need something like an extra pack of braids…. it sucks. I would more than likely have to leave go to the store find the item and come back. Which adds time and inconvenient to the individual right after me.

Since I work my own flexible hours, I was able to get into the salon two days before Caribana. Very rare!!! Man, I was lucky to get a 1 o'clock appointment. Regarding the install, I can say that my stylist was very quick. Plus my braiding pattern was VERY neat. Also with it being Caribana weekend, I fortunately did not have any lines ahead of me or had to wait for my stylist. A win-win situation.


Now onto the hair: I got my install done August 2 and it is now the 14th. I've only had this hair in for 13 days so I fully cannot assess the full duration of the hair (usually a month install for me). If your hair is natural like mine, I would definitely recommend getting a closure or a full head weave for the straight hair. They did have four different types of closures on hand but I decided to forgo that. For me, I could say that was probably not a good idea because it's summer and I don't even need to tell you about leave out frizz I’m dealing with.


You could see the difference in texture (on a humid day like today) but again as I said if you're not willing to straighten your hair daily….. get a closure/full head install. Also let me report that there was been very minimal shedding. I might get a bit of tangles at the nape but that's a normal thing for me and lobs (long bobs). Especially since it's resting on my shoulders.

Me stressing out and my hair frizzing out *Real tears* Hahaha!

So that's my honest opinion of the Sensationnel EMPIRE Yaki hair. 
If you’re interested, Clore Beauty Supply has six store locations from
Scarborough to Ottawa to serve you!

Let me know what you think of me in a burgundy hair. 
I’m still unsure. I’m so use to all black.


Is it a look? 
Or should go back to ALL black?

*This hair was given to me for an honest review*

Flashing?!?! Is the DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device for you?

I cant even begin to tell you how many times an email for an interesting device pops up into my inbox. Then I ask about it and it's USA only. REALLY! 
Flat out.. If it's not available here.... I'm not covering it. 

I don't know if it's me or not but once you hear about a product- it's everywhere! I remember seeing an old video of Taraji P. Henson's MUA using the tool on her before the Grammy's. Guess what?? It was the DERMAFLASH device!  A few weeks ago, I got an email saying the DERMAFLASH was available in Canada.

So I had to do some inquiries about it before I jumped the gun.


Thankfully, I got some answers from DERMAFLASH and I'm sharing them for people like me who have questions!


First question...What is DERMAFLASH?
DERMAFLASH is a hand held facial exfoliating device that removes dead dull skin cells and vellus hair revealing radiant, smooth, fuzz-free skin. It instantly removes peach fuzz, built-up debris and dead skin in minutes flat.



In minutes?? That's Quick! What are the benefits of this device?
DERMAFLASH brings the benefits of professional dermaplaning to the privacy of home. Skincare products easily absorb and are able to do their job more effectively while makeup lies flawlessly on a perfectly smooth canvas.

I got it. I'm in my 30s... Can use this?
Yes, DERMAFLASH is appropriate for all ages.

Quick question...Eyebrow safe or no?
You should avoid the eyebrow area when flashing.



Makes sense..How many times a month should I use this?
For best results, 'flash' yourself once a week to reveal a glow from within and skincare and makeup products will look better on the skin than ever before!

Oh wow... Okay! Where do I get refills?
You can purchase the device and refills at Hudson's Bay and TheBay.com in Canada. The device retails for $236 CAD.


SHOP



I'm interested in the three-step method: Prep, Edge, Soothe to release my inner glow. 
Personally, I am going to do some more research before I try it. 

Have you tried dermaplaning before?


*I was sent a device prior to this review*

Three basic video/photography tips that you should know

I'm a firm believer in "Everyone needs a refresher". Sometimes I find myself slipping in the blog world. Basically doing things more sloppy than I'm use to. Which is not a good look but I always bounce back. I often have to reshoot things because I'm not satisfied.


Sometimes you have to go back to a check list.
- Is the image appealing?
- Is it too dark?
- Is there detail in the image?

Check out three basic video/photography tips that you should know!

A tripod makes everything easier
Tripods comes in so many different sizes, makes and shapes. 
For product images, I use the Manfrotto MTPIXI-B PIXI Mini Tripod


One of the first things I learned about in school was "If a tripod is available ALWAYS use it". I've had many years to perfect my "steady hand" but I know that's not something that everyone possesses. My favourite are the ones that can be levelled (The best ones have a high-precision levelling spirit bubble). That's what ensure that you have a straight picture/video with no issues.

shown



Backdrops are fun!
I'm so stick of the boring white wall. My solution, get a backdrop. I whim I found a backdrop on Facebook from a lady who selling it from her wedding for basically pennies. From then I went on Amazon and found a floral backdrop which suited my personality. 


If you're crafty you can definitely do a DIY by going to Fabricland and purchasing the dimensions for what you want.




Get a light or a few
I have a few lights right now but I really need to invest in a ring light. But overall natural light is key! ...but if you're in a space that doesn't allow you to these LED on camera lights are a godsend. 


They can go on top of your camera or sometimes I place them on a tripod while I'm shooting.
Plus the come with filters to change the lighting.

Get Similar On Camera LED lights here:



BONUS:
Last but not least, learn your camera settings. The Internet is perfect for this. Trust me type your Camera model into YouTube and you will be immersed in reviews and tips for your particular model. 

I hope this helped!
If you have any tips leave it below.

Hydration is KEY! New Laneige Skin Care

Let's talk skin care! I've really been REALLY into skin care lately. After coming back from Jamaica my skin has totally changed consistency. Now it requires more hydration. I've actually been using a few brands that have my skin looking MUCH better!

Back in 2016, I started my year out with these Laneige classics
Now come and see what I upgraded to!

FYI- This is not a review :)
Just introducing you to some things that are incorporated into my regimen + my light musings. 
Enjoy!



4-in-1 cleanser removes heavy makeup, removes stubborn sunscreen and refines skin.
I ALWAYS do a pre-cleanse before I wash my face. But sunscreen always leaves a slight residue. This Multi cleanser is heavy duty without being harsh on your skin. After using it, my skin is NEVER dry. Notable ingredients- It contains enzymes extracted from papaya. They're effective in removing dead skin cells.


If you're the type of girl who likes to feel those spheres or sugar pieces for exfoliation. 
This doesn't have it.



A skin softener that replenishes your skin to optimal moisture.
This is for Normal to Dry Skin. I classify myself as someone with Normal skin.
I use a square cotton pad to apply it avoiding my eye area.
In the bottle is a "vitamin-rich jelly extract". It's role is to nourish your skin using vital ingredients like mineral water and sugar cane.


This is not like your regular toners(clear and watery). 
I love and prefer this formula. Google skin softeners. 



This mask is a clay/gel combo made from natural mineral-rich mud. 
This is perfect for ALL skin tones! The mask is good for oiliness and large pores. The Korean mud with a mix of mint water + pine needle extract helps remove white heads, and blackheads.


After it's removed expect fresh feeling skin. Not tight or itchy.



An oil-controlling formula which via it's name gives you the appearance of smaller pores.
This one had me thinking.. is it a primer? Hmmm...
It is used at the last stage of your skin care routine. Dap it on your the places on your face that usually get oily! Hello T-zone & cheeks.


Notable ingredient is pine needle extract. 
It helps reduce the appearance of pores. 
Very interesting that pine needle extract does so many things!

A leave-on lip treatment for supple lips.
Gone are the days of sleeping with vaseline.
This lip sleeping lip mask goes on like a berry smelling balm. Just apply on your lips at night and wash off in the morning. Notable ingredients: Vitamin C & antioxidants.


It also comes with a silicone spoolie for application. Very hygienic! 

Have you tried anything from Laneige yet?




My Spiced Life Contributor: Shauna

I think that it's probably been about a year since I've had a contributor on the blog. I love contributors because not only does it lessen the load for me (I'm just being honest lol). It gives you guys the opportunity to meet other Beauty lovers and hopefully find a new product a try. 

Shauna is a PR professional. I have been actually been emailing with her since 2016. We finally met in 2017! She's a really cool girl who listens to my beauty rants and raves- Soooo I thought she would be a perfect August contributor!



She also has her own: Canadian Blog which you can also check out when you have the time. 

Here is the 411 on Shauna's beauty background and likes! 

Why did you want to contribute to Spiced Beauty?
It’s great to have a Canadian beauty platform geared toward women on colour. It can be hard to find swatches or reviews from a source we can really relate to. I also believe in the power of collaboration. When women come together, amazing things happen.

How did you get into beauty?
Very slowly. I didn’t start wearing a full face of makeup until about 4 years ago simply because I found it so intimidating and didn’t think I could “make it look good”. Then slowly I started experimenting one product at a time. First with mascara then eyeliner, then with foundation and blush and finally eye shadow. As with anything, practice (and patience) makes perfect!

Favourite Canadian Beauty Brand?

Liquid, pencil or gel eye liners?
Liquid

Tips to get the perfect eyeliner?
For a straight neat line, short strokes are best

What is one beauty trick that you want to perfect?
Doing a winged eyeliner QUICKLY and PERFECTLY the first time. I still mess up lol

Lipsticks or Gloss?
Lipsticks

My ideal mascara is ...
Super lengthening and waterproof with built in conditioners/nutrients to keep my lashes strong

My favourite make up remover ...
Right now, the Clinique Take the Day Away Cleansing Balm

My skin care routine ...
· remove makeup with wipe

· oil cleanse

· regular cleanser

· tone

· serum

· moisturizer

· eye cream (at night)

· masks at least twice a week

Curly or straight hair?
Straight

How many lip products do you have in your purse/makeup bag?
Too many. At any given time, at least 6 or 7 lipsticks and a few glosses. I feel more prepared should I need to slap on a lip for any occasion