Frosted tips: CND Aurora VINYLUX collection for the holidays

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When I think of holiday nails, glitter naturally comes to mind.

Fall is about dark, vampy shades; summer is neon and bright; spring is pastel, and the holidays are sparkle… and lots of it.

CND’s new holiday collection for 2015 has a mix of shades that are oh-so-holiday appropriate.  Think matte nude, metallic, and obviously a little sparkle.

The Aurora collection for both Vinylux weekly polish and Shellac (aka gel manicure) is a four-piece collection consisting of three pink shades and a blue.winter glowTundraNordic LightsGlacial mistOnly two of the colours – Glacial Mist and Nordic Lights – are glittery shades, but the photos don’t do these shades justice.  I do have a colour very similar to Nordic Lights from a Illamasqua holiday collection a few years back, but there’s nothing that stands out as a good dupe for Glacial Mist.

Since Shellac is salon-exclusive, all these colours were switched from the Vinylux line, which is a weekly polish via a two-step application – the colour with a build-in base coat and the Weekly Top Coat, which dries in minutes and is supposed to provide seven-day wear. I did get a substantial wear from Tundra and Winter Glow, but the two glitter shades did start to chip after a day or so.  I have tried Vinylux before and found it doesn’t really stick that long on my nails, but of course, everyone is different.

Overall, I do like this holiday collection. The colours and formulation range is perfect for a holiday collection; there’s something for everyone.

Have you tried any colours from CND’s Aurora collection?

Please note, I was sent these products from PR. All opinions are my own.

Like what you read? Check out these related posts:, Inc.

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So outrageous! Sephora releases a Jem and the Holograms collection


Sephora recently released a totally outrageous collection this past month.

In celebration of the movie revival of ’80s cartoon Jem and the Holograms, Sephora put out a four-piece limited-edition collection to coincide with the film. Jem and the Holograms was before my time (it ran from 1984 to 1988 – I was born in ’88 FYI…), but I’ve been familiar with the franchise since Holt Renfrew put out a LE doll a few years back.  Unlike the Sephora collection, which has been quite successful online (three of the four items are currently sold out), the live-action film bombed, making only $2 million at the box office, with a budget of $5 million (yikes!).

Anyways, unlike the film (which I didn’t see, but would have gone to see before it got pulled – oh hay Netflix…), this collection is quite the winner. As I mentioned, I’m not familiar with the series (my boyfriend is, he was super excited to see Jem and the Holograms stuff on my makeup counter), but this collection is top notch. From the packaging to the colours, Sephora nailed it on the head with this one.

Items Lip products

The collection consists of a 24-shade eyeshadow palette (C$49), consisting of nude and outrageous shades in matte, shimmer and glitter shades; a dual compact mirror (C$23), which always seem to sell quick at Sephora (remember the Disney collections?); a bright pink lipstick (C$20) reminiscent of the iconic ’80s pop look; and a five-shade liquid lip set (C$31) consisting of a bright pink, deep purple, nude, shimmery baby pink, and a garnet shade.

My favourite items are definitely the eyeshadow palette and lip set.  All the colours in the lip set are very opaque, except for the purple, which unfortunately was quite patchy.  Very disappointing since that was the colour I was looking forward to the most.

Lips swatches

As for the shadows, all the ones I tried went on great. For $49, this is a great value set to add to your collection, considering the vast array of shades and the formulation of the shadows. Plus, the black glitter and hot pink packaging makes this collection hard to resist (I’m such a sucker for cute packaging!).

Anyways, in honour of this truly outrageous collection, here’s a purple smoky look that will have you rocking out.

final 2steps
1. Lay down an eyeshadow primer, then grabbing Mrs. Bailey, a shimmery orange, apply that to your crease lightly, acting as a transition shade.

2. With Shana (hey, almost like my name!), a deep purple glitter, and a flat brush, pack this on your lid area up to the crease.

3. Using a fluffy crease brush, work 1980’s, a shimmery purple, into your crease to blend everything out.

4. With Starlight, a matte white, apply this on your brow bone to highlight.

5. Curl your lashes and apply mascara. After, apply some falsies to add some drama to the lashes. I used Kiss EZ Lashes (love these!).

6. Using 1980’s again, work that along your lower lash line and then apply a nude liner to your waterline to open up the eye area. For the inner corner of your eye, apply a silver, such as Hologram (the silver beside Starlight). Apply some mascara to your bottom lashes to finish up.

7. To complete the face, apply your foundation (I used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, Make Up For Ever 5-Color Camouflage kit for the concealer, the Smashbox Contour Kit for my contour and a berry blush from Tarte).

8. To finish the lips, I used Fashion and Fame liquid lipstick, the shimmery pink nude on top of foundation-covered lips.

Final 1

The great thing about these products is that there are so many shades in the collection. I’m a huge fan of hot pink lipstick, but I also love baby pinks.  I’m obsessed with nude eyeshadows, but I like to sport fun colours every now and then as well.  All of which is in this collection.

I’m not sure if this collection is still available in stores, but if you see the eyeshadow palette or lip set, grab them!

Have you picked up any items from the Jem and the Holograms from Sephora?

Please note, product sent by PR, all opinions are my own.

Like what you read? Check out these related posts:, Inc.

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Ready for an escape: A week with the 2016 Ford Explorer

Ford title

Almost a month ago I moved for the first time in my life.

I bought my condo two years ago, preconstruction. Since then, it’s been tons of waiting, lots of drive bys, and a whole ton of saving.  On October 26, 2015 I finally got the keys to my new place.  I know now what people mean when they say that moving is stressful.

Lots of packing, cleaning, throwing things out, buying stuff (well, that’s not stressful), coordinating…  the point is, it’s a lot. I was lucky that I got my movers paid for (courtesy of my condo company), however, there were some items that weren’t yet in for my moving date, like my dresser.

At the beginning of the month, I got the opportunity to test drive the brand-new 2016 Ford Explorer for a week. Not only did I have a huge car (something I’m not used to with my Honda Civic), but it also was perfect timing, since I had a few more bigger items to move, which my Civic isn’t large enough for. As luck would have it, dresser just so happened to come in that same week.

For those of you not familiar with the Ford Explorer, it’s a big car. In fact, it’s America’s best-selling SUV for 25 straight years.  And after driving the beast, I can see why.

The new 2016 Ford Explorer is filled with smart technology, an available 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, and a high-end Platinum model, which combines the performance of the popular Explorer Sport with new levels of comfort and craftsmanship. I’m not sure which model I got to test drive, but it had all the bells and whistles of a higher-end car.


The Ford Explorer was introduced in 1990 as a 1991 model and featured generous interior space, which it certainly still does. I can talk about all the fancy car things it includes, but since this is a lifestyle and beauty blog, I’ll get down to the things that really matter.

The Ford Explorer has a fabulous sound system. This model had satellite radio, so I was mostly jamming to Hits 1, but the Bluetooth system was top notch. You can also utilize the navigation, and my favourite feature of the entertainment screen (that’s what it’s called, right?) was the front camera.  My car has a back camera and a camera when you put on your right signals, but I’ve never experienced a front camera before (which detests left- and right-hand lane markings. In fact, a vibration in the steering wheel alerts the driver if the vehicle begins to drift out of the lane). The cameras also have washers, which if you live in Winnipeg, is a such a smart idea (I had to stop my car today to manually rub my camera screen cause I couldn’t see anything #firstworldproblems). Also, it seems safety is first of mind, since there was one instance where I got a little too close to the car in front of me and red lights started appearing on the windshield (super fancy!). It also makes a noise if you get too close to something (which I feel has been standard in some Ford vehicles for a while now). The car also features smart-charging USB ports located in the front and rear of the vehicle which are able to charge smart devices up to two times faster than conventional ports.

Another wow factor would be the active park assist with perpendicular park assist, park-out assist and semi-automatic parallel parking. I’ve always wanted to try this since I’ve been skeptical about it (and I’m a self-professed parallel parking pro) since this feature came out a few years back. My boyfriend and I tried it at the park and after a while of getting it to work, it finally kicked in, which was pretty cool (the steering wheel moves and the car prompts you to put the car in reverse or forward motion). It was working great, but then we noticed it detected perpendicular parking as opposed to parallel, so I shut it off. We tried doing it again, but it wouldn’t kick in.  Not a huge deal since I’m pretty good at parallel parking, but still a cool feature to have and try out.

Grill Woods

Now I saved the best feature for last.

Guys, it has a heated steering wheel.  A heated steering wheel. Not a huge deal to many, but when you’re driving and it’s -40 C outside, that heated steering is really going to make a difference.  Even in the brisk fall weather, hopping in the Explorer and having that warm steering wheel to wrap my hands around felt really nice.

Anyways, back to my original point with this point. The dresser.

My dresser luckily arrived the week I had the Explorer, and instead of paying the $85 delivery charge we opted to just pick up the thing since the car is so huge.  It has two rows of seats in the back, both of which can fold down making the back quite flat (certainly flat enough to fit a dresser comfortably – and I’m not talking about an IKEA set-it-up-yourself dresser; this thing came fully built). Since I had such a large car, I also went to my office to grab my faux Barcelona Chair from London Drugs to bring back to my condo. It was a breeze fitting that chair in there wholly; I didn’t even have to take it apart.

Overall, I loved my week with the Ford Explorer. I didn’t really try out a lot of the features, I mostly just drove it.  I also had a two-day business trip in Kelowna, and left the same time as my brother and mom who were going to LA. So instead of taking multiple cars or cabs, we packed everything in the Explorer and there was still TONS of room for the three of us and my boyfriend, who was the driver.

ChaseMe and the dogs

You can find out more info about the 2016 Ford Explorer here.  Stop by your nearest Ford dealership and definitely take it for a test drive. Don’t forget to turn on that steering wheel heater too ;).

Have you tried the 2016 Ford Explorer?  What kind of car do you drive?

Also, don’t forget to enter my Aveda Institute giveaway!

Please note, I received no compensation for this post aside from the car for a week. All opinions are my own.

Like what you read?  Check out these related posts:, Inc.

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