21 January 2015

Lip Savers

Now that we're well and truly in the middle of the Winter season my lips have definitely taken a beating from the colder weather. They have a tendency to crack and peel very easily anyway, combined with the cold and wind it's better particularly bad. I've tried countless lip balms, lip exfoliators and other lip products and more often then not they don't deliver on what the packaging claims. So I've narrowed it down to my favourites, which I'm sharing with you today.

If my lips are chapped and feel particularly dry or sore I reach for a restorative lip balm. The Classic Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm has medical ingredients which you can feel working by the tingling sensation on your lips when applied. The texture is quite balmy and has a slight matte finish. I put this on nearly every night before bed and every morning after I brush my teeth and before I do my make-up. By the time I'm done and ready to put on my lipstick, the balm has absorbed a little. Since it makes a perfect base for lipstick, I often pat the remaining in with my finger or a tissue and then apply my lipstick as normal. If my lips are really, really chapped I put this on throughout the day and within 1-2 days they've heeled and feel soft again.

If I'm looking to protect my lips while I'm outside my favourite product to use is the Kiehl's LIP BALM #1. It comes in three fragrances and my favourite is Cranberry. It smells so good and reminds me of Christmas. Sometimes I put it on just for the smell! This lip balm is a bit like petroleum jelly but nicer because it has oils and other good things to moisturize your pout. I like it because it really acts as a shield from the elements. If I'm going for a walk, playing golf, or doing anything that involves rain, wind and cold I slather this on and I don't have to worry about dryness. 

If I'm looking for a bit of colour AND hydration I reach for the Dior Addict Lip Glow in the colour pink. I talked about it here when I first bought it and since then I've nearly finished a tube. This is so rare for me and I absolutely swear by this product. I'm not one to naturally reach for lipstick because I find that most times they can be quite drying and it's just not a habit I've developed (although I wish I wore lipstick more often, I do love a bold lip!). The lip glow is a balm that offers a good amount of moisture with the added benefit of colour.  It's just a bit of natural colour that brightens your face in the best way possible and is so easy and convenient to use. I love that hydration isn't sacrificed for colour with this product. I can see myself repurchasing this product over and over again.

So that's what I reach for when my lips need a little SOS. I'm always open to new suggestions, so I'm asking you, what are your favourite restorative and preventive lip products?

13 January 2015

Winter Pastels

When it's 5ºC in Dublin, we dress like it's -15ºC. It worries me how cold I am when the thermometer isn't even that low. I mean, I've dressed similarly to this in -20ºC and thought nothing of it. Have I suddenly become sensitive to the cold? The thing that I love about Dublin's weather is that it never gets so cold that you have to completely sacrifice style and you can tell by the way women dress. There's a lot more colour and lightness in the fabrics and textures. I finally decided to get a pale pink coat this winter and I love it! It makes me so girly and it's such a bright contrast to the grey and rainy Irish winters. 

Hat: Accessorize / Scarf: Zara / Coat: Zara / Jeans: Old Navy /
Boots: Zara / Handbag: J.Crew

8 January 2015

Controlling the Frizz

I've always had unruly hair and my mother has countless childhood photos that can attest to that. I thought I had it all figured out but then I moved to Dublin. Ah Ireland, known for it's Guinness, it's green grass and...for it's rain. And, what comes with rain? Humidity. Yes, that's right, that dreaded humidity. The minute there's any sign of it my hair tends to turn into a giant frizz ball. I used to be okay about it back in Montreal because I'd just throw my hair in a bun but the problem now is that in Dublin it rains pretty much everyday. Sometimes I just want to be able to wear my hair down when I'd like to. I've narrowed my hair care down over the past few months to a routine, which I think has helped control and diminish the frizz. 

I've noticed that my hair is particularly frizzy when it's dry and unhealthy. To help prevent dryness I use the L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 mask to hydrate the ends of my hair. This mask is also brilliant for split ends! I use it about about once a week. I turn off the water put this on the mid lengths of my hair and let it sit for 5 minutes while I exfoliate and then rinse out.

Once I'm out the shower I brush my hair using the amazing Tangle Teezer. Over the years I've always struggled to find a good hairbrush. The minute I'd brush my hair it would look worse off then before so I just kind of gave up on brushing it altogether, until I found this brush. The Tangle Teezer gently smooths out my kinks, makes my hair look shiny and healthy and somehow reduces the frizz even on my curly hair. It's an absolute lifesaver!

When I know I'm going to use heat on my hair I always use the John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength 6 Effects + Serum. It helps protect it from the damage that heat causes and, again, eliminates the frizz. I swear by this product and sometimes use it even when I'm not using any heat products. A little bit goes a long way with this, you really don't need much before your hair feels greasy and heavy.

I've never been one to use hairspray. I generally don't like it. It smells funny, makes it hard to breath after spraying it and it gets crunchy when it dries. But, having said all that, I've come to realize that on particular humid days hairspray is a necessity. The John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray does what it says. Creates a moisture barrier which makes all the difference for my baby hairs around my face that tend to be the first thing to go all crazy and I've found that it doesn't dry hard. Bonus!

I've talked about the Josie Maran Argan Oil in this post and it's still as brilliant. On second or third day hair it gives it just a light touch of hydration and tames the puffiness just so. It's an absolute life saver for bad hair days.

So there you have it my favourites for taming the frizz. I'm always looking for new ways to control my hair. Do you have any frizz-eliminating advice or products I should give a try?

6 January 2015

The Differences (Part II)

My first The Differences post is one of my most read posts on my blog and since there seems to be a lot of interest about it I thought I would round up a few other differences I've noticed since the first post. The differences in this post are a little subtler since I've been in Ireland a bit longer now and have had a chance to really immerse myself in the way of life here.
  1. TV Programming: In North America, most TV shows and programmes, if not all, start on the hour or on the half-hour. In Ireland, shows seem to start anytime; 5 past the hour, 15 past the hour. There seems to be no logic to it, although I'm sure there is, and I haven't yet figured it out.
  2. Ring Tone: You know that ring tone when you dial a number and wait until the person you're calling answers? That tone is different in Ireland to the one back home. I noticed right away when I called my first number here but forgot to note it down in my first The Differences post
  3. Street Name Signs: The street names here are not at the top of posts like they are in North America; they're on buildings or on low posts or fences at intersections. See photo above (if you look closely enough, you'll notice the street name both on the house and on the fence).
  4. Trash Collection: In Ireland, residential trash is collected by private companies and not by the city as it is done in Canada. The garbage trucks weigh the bins when collected and homes are charged based on the weight of their trash. I find this a fascinating and slightly strange concept that homeowners have to pay for their garbage.
  5. Escalator Rules: The concept of "stand on the right and walk up or down on the left while on an escalator" is completely nonexistent in Dublin, which drives me absolutely insane! I am so accustomed to moving to the left and walking up escalators that it's become second nature to me. Here, however, no such unwritten rule exists about escalators, people stand on both sides making it very difficult to move past them and walk up or down.

4 January 2015

2015 Manifesto

Planner: Kate Spade / Earrings: Swarovski

As I mentioned in my last post, I don't like the word resolution when it comes after New Year's. It's so overused and misused. I normally don't have resolutions at the beginning of the year, choosing to make changes during the year when I see fit. Why wait until a new year to fix or improve something when you can do it now? Nevertheless, a few weeks back, with 2015 looming around the corner, I decided to sit down and jot down a few ideas. And since I didn't want to call them resolutions I searched and racked my brain for another word. I thought maybe New Year's Goals or New Year's Intentions but I wasn't thrilled with them and then I came across this photo on Pinterest and I was sold! So I introduce you now to my 2015 Manifesto.

  1. smile more - I've known for a while that I don't smile enough. People have always said I look sad, angry and unapproachable but this year I want to start off on a positive note by smiling more. 
  2. be present - Lululemon had a great campaign this Christmas which inspired this addition to my manifesto. (If you haven't seen their campaign, click here. It's worth the read and watch.) To me being present means putting down my phone and paying attention to who and what is around me more. Instagram and twitter can wait. Life can't.
  3. chew & eat slowly - Like my father I tend to gobble up my food the minute it's placed in front of me taking little time to chew. Often times it leads me to being full very quickly and hurting and feeling like I have a giant lump in my stomach. So this year I want to improve my digestive system and slow down when I'm eating. There's absolutely no need for me to wolf down my food.
  4. visit new countries - Europe is literally on my doorstep now so it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. In 2015 I plan on travelling and exploring more by means of weekend getaways. On my list of countries I'd like to go to is Denmark (Copenhagen), Czech Republic (Prague) and Switzerland (Lausanne), just to name a few!
I'm sure that throughout the year I'll be adding new things to this manifesto and that's okay. I like to react to what's put in front of me and that's why these aren't set in stone and open to adaption. I look forward to looking back on this manifesto at the end of 2015 to see what has changed and how I adapted.

Have you come up with resolutions or a manifesto for 2015?

1 January 2015

Hello 2015

Photo Source
Like most people in this world, I truly believe that a new year means a new beginning. However, I view a new year as not a new beginning per say, but more of a continuation, like a new chapter of a book. 2014 was a very good year for me. It brought me to Dublin to be with my love and allowed me to learn and grow in ways I never would have had I stayed at home and I am incredibly thankful for this experience. For this New Year I don't want to start anew, but keep going on this journey I'm on. I want 2015 to be bigger and better than the last and I want this year to be the best year yet. By having this positive thought at the start of the year I hope to shape 2015 into what I want it to be by actively making decisions to improve every part of my life. Isn't that what people mean when they come up with their New Year resolutions? I'm still finalizing my resolutions (although I hate that word in this context) and will be sharing them on here as a way of holding myself accountable. So with that I say, goodbye 2014 and hello 2015! I'm ready for you.

*Pssst: If you like the image above, it's printable, just follow the link.