Large lashes: Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Primer

Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Velvet Noir Major Volume mascara quickly become one of my favourites when I got it late last year.

The luxury beauty brand’s ultra-volumizing mascara gives you out-of-this-world lashes that look full, dark, and long.  Just when I thought the line couldn’t get any better, they recently released a sister product that is supposed to pump up the volume even more.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Epic Lash Primer Marc Jacobs Beauty Epic Lash Primer and Velvet Noir mascara

The Velvet Noir Epic Lash Primer (C$33) is the ultimate lash primer that helps condition lashes and maximize the benefits of your favourite mascara, whether that’s Velvet Noir or otherwise. It features a conditioning base that helps elongate lashes for a full and false lash look.

The formula is creamy and conditioning and coats your lashes in beige, which you use under your mascara (it also helps to make sure you get every since lash since you can see the colour). Lashes feel soft and healthy, and most of all, super long and full.

I love using a lash primer if I don’t feel like popping on some falsies. I do think that these work nicely and I love how this formula conditions lashes since I use mascara pretty much every day, so anything that helps my lashes is always needed. This primer combined with the Velvet Noir mascara leaves my lashes looking full, thick, and extra long.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Epic Lash Primer wand Swatches of Marc Jacobs Beauty Epic Lash Primer and Velvet Noir mascara

I highly recommend picking this up if you love Velvet Noir already or want to have longer-looking lashes.  I definitely think this is one of the best lash primers I have tried.

Have you tried lash primers before?

Please note, products provided by PR. All opinions are my own.

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Picture perfect: Top Instagrammable places in Mesa/Phoenix/Scottsdale

Being a Millennial and all, a lot of my bucket list travel destinations are places I’ve seen on Instagram.

Have you ever seen a place or a specific location and just died wanting to visit there to shoot some content for your feed?  I’ve actually done that before when I visit The June Motel in Picton, Ont. last year with some girlfriends. We flew into Toronto and made the three-hour drive to The June to stay in their adorable, totally Insta-worthy motel and get shoot some cute pics for our accounts. After, we went back to Toronto and stayed at the Thompson Toronto so we could shoot more photos at their rooftop pool.

As much as I love Trip Advisor and travel publications for learning about new spots or reading reviews, I want to know where the cute spaces are or the nicest hotels to stay at which would also go nicely with my feed. Yes, I know that sounds so vain, but hey, this is the way the world is going.

Which takes me to last week’s trip with Flair Airlines to Mesa, AZ. I was so excited by the itinerary they gave us since it included so many cute locations to get content for my feed.  Typically before I travel I always scour the location tag for the place I’m visiting and create a saved folder in Instagram with places I want to visit. I also look at different blogs for their recommendations as well.

Anyways, if you are like me, then keep reading for my top picks!

Schnepf Farms in Queen’s Creek, AZ

Carousel at Schnepf Farms in Mesa, AZ The Cozy Peach glamping in Mesa, AZ Walking road at Schnepf Farms Schnepf Farms

This cute family-owned farm (24610 E Rittenhouse Rd, Queen Creek, AZ) is so much more than just crops.  We actually stayed at The Cozy Peach, their glamping area in vintage Airstream trailers which have been completely redone. The whole trailer area has a vintage Simple Life vibe to it, which makes for super cute photos (just remember to bring your overalls!). Aside from the actual glamping area, the farm is home to a carnival area (make sure you get a pic on the restored carousel!), as well as lots of fruit crops, which will make for a photo that is just peachy (no pun intended).

Downtown Mesa

If you are looking for murals to shoot at, then downtown Mesa is the place to be.  The city’s core is filled with tons of murals, including the colourful Downtown Mesa one, as well as numerous other art installations.  You can scope out the location ahead of time thanks to their Art Walk Guide, or just walk around and take pics in front of whatever catches your eye (the flower wall was located in the back lane between MacDonald and Robson Streets.

Visit Mesa wall in Mesa, AZ Flower wall in downtown Mesa, AZ

Desert Botanical Gardens

Okay, so the Desert Botanical Gardens are located in Phoenix, but are a must stop. A friend of mine who is visiting there in March mentioned that she wanted to visit, and since I’m so used to indoor conservatories, I totally thought this was inside for some reason.  I mean, it’s Arizona, why wouldn’t I think this was outdoors?!

You do have to purchase tickets for the Desert Botanical Gardens, but if you are looking for the perfect cactus shot, then you must stop here.  Walk through the scenic area and just take in the mountains in the distance and all the plants native to the Arizona area (did you really go to Arizona if you didn’t get a photo of a cactus?). For your stories, they also have a cool Electric Desert event going on until May, which includes light and visual projections at night.

Cactus art at Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, AZ

Murals in Scottsdale and Phoenix

If you are looking for more murals, then you need to check out Scottsdale. I got in later than the other people in my group, so I didn’t get to take full advantage of all the murals the region has to offer, but there are so many of them by muralist Kelsey Montague, many of which are interactive (such as the swing one down below which is at Biltmore Fashion Park Mall. The swing wasn’t real BTW).

After visiting Miami and Austin last year, I was really having deja vu with the cool wall art everywhere, and if murals are your thing, then you definitely have to put down Arizona.

Cactus swing wall in Scottsdale, AZ

Hot air balloon ride

This one is a double whammy. Want a cute hot air balloon pic? What about an overhead shot of the region? Check both off of your photo list with a hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions. 

The experience starts early in the morning (I think we got to the spot around 6 am) but gets you so many cute pics that won’t only look amazing on your feed, but also will have you looking back on for years to come.

Hot Air Balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions in Arizona Hot air balloon in Mesa, AZ, instagram shot

Luxury hotels and pools

I mostly always choose my hotel based off of what I’ve seen other people post on Instagram, so when I saw The Phoenician Luxury Resort in Scottsdale, I was instantly so excited to stay there. Although the rooms were huge and stunning, I was most pumped to take pictures at their pool since the pool complex are is quite expansive.

The area features a number of pools on different levels, all surrounded by loungers with pillows, as well as cabanas. Their spa also features a rooftop pool for major views of the Arizona mountains.  The most impressive pool though is their Mother of Pearl one which shimmers in the sun.  Since it’s Arizona, there are a number of luxury hotels which offer up Insta-worthy rooms, as well as cute pool areas (The Saguaro is also on my bucket list).

the pool at the Phoenician Hotel

The Mesa/Phoenix/Scottsdale area is so Instagrammable and filled with so many cool spots to take amazing photos. The places I went to and recommend here are only the tip of the iceberg that the region has to offer (I have since found so many other cute spots!).

If you are a travel influencer or someone looking to beef up your feed, I definitely recommend booking a trip down to the area, you’ll get enough content to plan out for the few months ;).

What’s your favourite Instagrammable location?

Huge thank you to Flair Airlines and Visit Mesa for making this trip possible. All opinions are my own.

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Blur away: Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation

I’m not usually a powder foundation kind of girl.

Its not that I don’t think powder does a good job, I really do, I just have a set routine when I do my makeup and I use a few different cream products.

Anyways, regardless, when I saw that Kat Von D Beauty released a foundation powder, the Lock-It Powder Foundation, I was super excited to try it out since I love her foundations and concealers.

The Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation (C$44) is available in 26 shades from light to dark and gives you full-coverage, instant blurring, and extreme long wear.

Kat Von D Powder Foundation

I received a couple shades of this (125 Light – Light Ivory, and 135 Light – Light Sesame) and found that they were a nice match for my skin tone. The coverage is definitely full and the compact includes a sponge as well to apply the powder with. A little goes a long way and I found that it did a good job of covering up any imperfections in my skin tone.

This powder leaves you with a matte finish and is suitable for normal, dry, combination, and oily skin types. It’s also formulated with rice powder extract to blur away any imperfections, as  well as Kaolin, a clay mineral that helps to give a diffused, matte finish to your face.  The powder is lightweight on your skin and it also doesn’t settle like others do.  I also found it gave my face a soft-focus effect, making my skin look flawless.

Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation

Although I’m not a huge powder foundation girl, I do really like this and can definitely see myself reaching for it often. I’ve also used it to set my liquid foundation, as well as help tame any shine that comes through on my face.

I also want to note that the formula is vegan and cruelty-free, as is the case with all her products, so it adds a little something extra just knowing that no animals were involved in making this.

Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation swatched

Are you a powder foundation fan?

Please note, I received this product from PR. All opinions are my own.

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