Starter Kit Essentials: Makeup Brushes


I’ll be the first to admit that I have way more makeup brushes than I need! But there are some I continuously use day-to-day. Here I will be showing you my top 8 favourite types and brands of brushes that I think make up the perfect makeup brush starter kit. So if you’re new to the makeup brush world or, like me, you have a bit of an addiction to blending brushes, I hope you enjoy!


Oh Real Techniques how I love you so! These are two brushes I use…everyday. When they I wake up to do my makeup and see that they are dirty beyond use I cry a little on the inside. The orange one on the left is the ‘Real Techniques Buffing Brush’ which I use for foundation. This blends foundation so beautifully into the skin that sometimes I can’t even tell that I’m wearing foundation. The key to any makeup brush kit is having the perfect blending brush for your base, and this is the one! It works for all types of foundations no matter the consistency. The pink one on the right is the ‘Real Techniques Blush Brush’ which I use for all sorts of things. My favourite use for it is bronzer or powder all over the face. It is the perfect shape and size because of its dome form that can really get under the eyes for setting your concealer. This brush is great because it can be used for so many products, from powders to cream products. In addition these brushes wash and dry so easily as well as have an AMAZING price tag of about 7.00-12.00$! Definitely check these out!


Lets talk a little Zoeva! As mentioned on my blog before I am absolutely crazy about Zoeva brushes. They’re a little more expensive than Real Techniques but still very affordable for the quality and selection they offer. On the far right is the ‘Zoeva Luxe Highlight 105′ which is similar to the Real Techniques Blush Brush but much smaller and less dense. I use this for blush, highlighter, or specific areas I want to powder on my face. It’s a very soft brush, not scratchy like some hair brushes can be. I am also very impressed with the fact that not a single hair has fallen out which I was preparing for because I have experienced that with real hair brushes before. In the middle is another essential which is the ‘Zoeva Concealer Buffer 142′. With this brush I do exactly what the name says, buff my concealer. I believe that every brush kit needs a little, dense, blending brush like this because it makes your concealer look flawless! Next for my brows or lining my eyes I use the ‘Zoeva Wing Liner 317′ which is the perfect size that gives you great control while doing tricky work like lining your eyes. I don’t know what I did before I had a small angled brush, like seriously everyone needs one of these in their lives. Another great buy from Zoeva!


Now for eye brushes! I’ll start with the last Zoeva brush I’m mentioning today which is the ‘Zoeva Crease 228′. Oh my gosh this brush was sent from heaven. It is by far the best blending brush I have ever used! It has continued to stay soft after multiple uses, it always keeps its shape and it blends the toughest of eyeshadow like nothing else. This brush transforms a normal eye looks to something that looks professionally done because of its magic blending abilities. If there is one thing that you take from this let it be the importance of having a good blending brush! In the middle we have a cult favourite which is the ‘MAC 217′. This has been around since the dinosaurs and really is a great brush. I love to use it for “one eyeshadow days” where I pack on one eyeshadow and roughly blend it out which is perfect if you’re in a rush. This brush is a little more on the pricey side but I really love having it in my collection. Now for the last brush, which truly is a diamond in the dirt, the ‘E.L.F Defining Eye Brush’. This brush was something like 1.00$ that I bought 5 years ago, yes 5 years, and it is still the exact same as the day I bought it! Such an amazing find that is fluffy but also small and angled perfect for getting eyeshadow into the corner of your eyes or even under your eyes for a dramatic look. It has been washed over 100 times and is still as amazing as day one! GO BUY IT.

So there are 8 of my favourite, go-to brushes that I recommend having in your collection whether you get the exact same or something similar. Please let me know your must have brushes, I would love to add more to my overwhelming collection!

- e.b


The Autumn Trilogy: Thanksgiving Spice Cupcakes

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Sadly the Autumn Trilogy here on my blog will be coming to an end with this post, but don’t you fear because I’m ending things on a sweet note! Here I have one of my favourite recipes which is inspired by Tanya Burrs Christmas Cooking video. It is a cinnamon and ginger cupcake with toffee icing that is perfect for Thanksgiving or anytime during the holiday season! Enjoy!

Lets start with the ingredients. For the cake batter you will need:

  • ¾ cup of butter (150g)
  •  ¾ cup soft brown sugar (150g) – loosely packed
  • 3 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup self raising flour (150g)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp milk

For the icing you will need:

  • 3/4 cup butter (150g)
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar (50g)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup icing sugar (150g)

Step 1.

First combined the sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Make sure you get all the lumps out so the texture of the cupcake is consistent when it’s cooked. At this point you can pre-heat your oven to 335 degree Fahrenheit (or 180 degrees Celsius). For me this makes roughly 12 cupcakes.

Step 2.

Now mix together the flour and your two spices. Here you can be as generous as you would like with the cinnamon or ginger depending on how much you want the flavor to come through. I find 1 tbsp of each to be perfect but feel free to add more or less. Now slowly add this to your butter and sugar mixture.

Step 3.

Add your three eggs slowly, mixing on a high speed. If the mixture looks too dry add the milk, if not you can skip this step. Make sure the batter is smooth all the way through with no lumps.


Step 4.

The batter should now be at a relatively thick consistency, in this case we do not want a runny batter. Now you can fill up cupcake trays about 3/4 the way full and put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. After they  are done you should be able to stick a knife down the center and have nothing come up on the knife when you remove it. They should look a little like the picture below. Now let them cool.


Step 5.

Now it is time for the icing. Set your oven top at a low heat and in a small pot/pan add the brown sugar and HALF the amount of butter listed, we will be using the other half later. Heat and mix this until all the butter is melted. Now add the milk. This will create a beautiful toffee sauce. Now set this aside and let it cool.


Step 6.

Now in you  mixer blend together the remaing amount of butter as well as the icing sugar. Once the toffee sauce has cooled completely add it to the mixing bowl and blend them all together. Now your icing is complete! It should also has a slightly thick texture like shown in the picture below.


Step 7.

Now the last step; icing the cupcakes. Make sure the cupcakes and icing is not warm and take a pipping bag or spoon, which ever you prefer, and ice your cupcakes. Now sprinkle some cinnamon on top for extra detail and you’re done! Let me tell you these cupcakes are a winner, YUM!


Also leave a comment below if you’ve given them a try or your favourite autumn recipe! I hope you’ve enjoyed my Autumn Trilogy, I’ve had a lot of fun with it! Happy Thanksgiving (if you’re from Canada) and if not I hope you have a lovely weekend!

- e.b


Review : Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black

As a little added bonus today I have a mid-week review on the wonderful ‘Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black For Her’ perfume.


Let me just start off by saying I LOVE the Olsen twins, like seriously they were my childhood! So when I saw they came out with a new perfume collection I was all over it! I kept seeing reviews on both the Black and White Nirvana perfumes and I knew I was about to fall in love with this new release just by reading other people talk about them. On most blogs I saw way more hype on the Nirvana White so I assumed that was going to be the one I was going to love too… I was very very wrong. I smelt the Nirvana White and instantly did not like it at all, quite disappointing I might add. It was way to floral and sickly smelling to me. But them came Nirvana Black and….oh my gosh… I smelt it and was completely memorized. I walked around Sephora for a couple of minutes after spraying it on my wrist to make sure I liked it and I honestly could not stop smelling myself, as weird as that sounds, while I browsed through the store. I knew I had to get it but, being the perfume lover that I am, but I already have a tone of perfumes so I just got the roller ball which is 10ml and is priced at 26.00$CND.


Now lets get into what it actually smells like! The official description of the fragrance is “Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is an addictive blend of alluring violet, sensual sandalwood, and rich vanilla that strike the perfect balance between masculine and feminine.” and I think that really sums it up perfectly. It defiantly is a woman sent but it isn’t your average girly smell. It’s rich but very light and sexy. It is styled as “Sensual. Mysterious. Warm.” which I also agree with. It for sure is a autumn/winter sent, but I also enjoy wearing it a night. It’s perfect for a date night or a fancy event but also is casual enough for day to day. Not to mention the staying power is amazing and it also smells the exact same from the bottle as it does on my skin which a lot of the time never happens after a perfume oxidizes. I have a felling this is going to become one of my signature scents, and that’s saying something because I have a hard time committing to perfumes, but Nirvana Black really out ways all the others in my collection. The highest of marks from me!



The Autumn Trilogy: Fall Lip Picks


One of my favourite things about autumn is when I get to bring out all my autumnal lip shades and guess what…. It’s time! Here I will be showing you my top 3 favourite autumn lipsticks that I will be sporting this season.

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First is one of my all-time favourite lipsticks, ‘MAC Lipstick in Syrup”. It’s one I wear all year but especially love during autumn. This lipstick is a Luster finish which means it leaves a lovely, slightly glossy finish on the lips. The MAC Lipstick formulas are always gorgeous but I love this finish especially. The colour is a “my lips but better” kind of shade but notched up a bit. It’s a beautiful, natural berry colour that really puts the finishing touch on any look. I love this one for day-to-day wear and because of its sheer abilities it can be applied without a mirror which is perfect for on-the-go. Defiantly a hand-bag essential!

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For all those dare devils out there who want a little something more than your average berry shade this is the pick for you! This is my favourite dark lip colour at the moment which is the ‘Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107’. What inspired me to buy this one was the well-known beauty blogger Zoella who wears/talks about this product quite a bit. I’ve tried this formula in  the past but never this shade, but as soon as I tried it on I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have it in my collection! It’s a warm classic red that I find to be very flattering when paired with a simple eye look. Personally when I wear a more bold lip I like it to be matte so this became a favourite of mine quickly. This is a very classy and vintage looking shade that sums up autumn lipstick perfectly!

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Last is a beautiful lipstick from NARS in the shade ‘Dolce Vita’. Out of the three choices this one is the most sheer. Despite that, it has  some sort of magical ability that instantly plums up your lips and adds the perfect amouny of colour and shine. It is described as a muted berry tone but I see it as my go-to autumn nude lipstick. Like MAC’s Syrup it is very easy to apply which means you don’t have to fuss with a lip liner. It is one of NARS best selling lip shades and I know it will be one I continue to repurchase for the rest of my life!

Left: Rimmel 107. Middle: MAC Syrup. Right: NARS Dolce Vita.

Left: Rimmel 107. Middle: MAC Syrup. Right: NARS Dolce Vita.

I can’t be the only one out there that’s this excited about autumnal lip colours coming back again for fall, so make sure you leave a comment telling me your favourite autumn lip picks! A girl can never have too many lipsticks, that’s one thing I know for sure!

- e.b

Skin Care

The Autumn Trilogy: Dry Skin Cure


Over the next couple weeks I’ve decided to start an Autumn Trilogy including 3 posts surrounding fall beauty and fashion. I can’t take credit for this idea so I would like to mention the lovely EssieButton for inspiring me with her season trilogies. The first of three is all about my top dry skin saviors that I start to bring out right about now!


This first of has been a favourite of mine for almost a year now, it’s the ‘Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub’. If you ever have your hands on this product just do yourself a favor by opening it up and taking a sniff. It smells AMAZING. The scent description is ‘smashed brown sugar & sweet lime’ and holy moly is it ever good! The great thing about this product is that it also lingers on your skin for a while after using it. Now about the actual product; it is a fabulous scrub that has the perfect texture to remove dead skin. Its scrubbing beads are larger than your average body scrub which really helps exfoliate your skin. I couldn’t recommend this product enough!


This product is unbelievable, I just needed to put that out there before I got any further. This ‘Clinique Moisture Surge’ moisturizer is priced at a whopping $40.00CND at Sephora which is quite a lot for a simple moisturizer but this isn’t you average cream. This product does exactly what the packaging describes; it gives a extreme about of moister to your skin with just one application. If applied at night, which is what I do, by the morning your face will already be looking healthier and more plump. It seriously works miracles!  If you take anything from this post just know that this moisturizer is worth every penny, I have only the best of things to say about it. Another amazing skincare pick from Clinique.


Next is one that everyone raves about, and for good reasons too! This is another ‘Soap & Glory’ product called ‘Hand Food’ which is a cult favourite. It has the classic Soap & Glory scent which is the Original Pink fragrance, which is not sweet but very feminine. I bought this large size bottle for $10.00CND which is a very good bang for your buck. The cream itself is very hydrating and keeps your skin hydrated for quite a long time. I also love how it doesn’t leave a sticky feeling on your skin but soaks in right away, a great quality! Even though the packaging says it’s a hand cream… I must say I use it on my arms and legs sometimes too and it stills leaves a beautiful finish and lovely scent which lingers on for hours!

Now as much as these three products are amazing there is something that will make your skin beautiful during the dry autumn days is water. By staying hydrated your skin will as well which makes a huge difference! On another note I hope you’ve enjoyed these dry skin saviors and I would love to hear your staple autumn/winter skin care products!

- e.b


Review: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer


For me, I go back in forth between being the biggest MAC fan to the biggest MAC critic. I find some of there products to be amazing, which I buy time and time again, but then I find some to be quite disappointing. This review tells you why I have a love/hate relationship with the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.

This concealer is priced at 20.00$CND for 0.30 FL OZ which is the average MAC pricing, not to high but not drugstore affordable. The packaging is a dream to work with because it has a tiny little pump with a cap that squeezes out the perfect amount of product. You are given quite a lot of product in the bottle compared to most concealers which is a nice added bonus. But a little goes a long way with this one so you are now warned! Now on with the actual product!

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For the the good aspects of the Pro Longwear is that it. will. cover. anything. This product is so highly pigmented and high coverage I bet there it nothing in the world that it couldn’t cover! It leaves a quite nice finish which last fairly well throughout the day. Now onto the not so great things… There is a slight (and by slight I mean huge) problem with it caking up in weird patches throughout the day. I’m guessing because it is so high coverage that it tends to crease easily. That is why I’m saying a little goes a long way, you can avoid this by just using the slightest bit of product. Secondly, for me personally, I find it a little too high coverage and unnatural looking for my skin type. Because I have freckles it is easy to tell when I am wearing too much makeup because my freckles disappear. Now if that is the look you are going for then this is the product for you but for me I like a little bit of a medium coverage concealer for day-to-day. But… when I do get a blemish that just won’t go down I do turn to this concealer to help me out, and in that case it doesn’t disappoints.

So on that note I will say that this is an ideal blemish concealer, or for redness around your nose, but when it comes to under the eyes it is just way to heavy and you will find it creases. It is a little on the drying side which means its perfect for oily skin, but for us dry skin girls I would give this one a pass.

- e.b


Josie’s of Wiarton Edit


Putting together outfits while transitioning into another season can be tricky, but here I have 3 summer-to-autumn outfit ideas perfect for day or night! Almost all the pieces shown below are from the wonderful Josie’s – a clothing store in Wiarton, Ontario. This lovely store offers clothing for woman and men that incorporates staple pieces along with trendy items that keep up with styles of that season. So without further adieu here are three outfits put together to be comfortable and chic for those warmer autumn days!

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To start off here is a casual yet put-together look perfect for back-to-school or work. The main highlight of this outfit is the ‘Silver – Suki Skinny’ printed jeans from Josie’s. These beautiful jeans are thick in material so they provide warmth on cooler days but also can be rolled up to be worn as cropped pants. They have a beautiful navy blue vintage design that add a little extra to your look than just basic denim jeans and also keep up with the trend of prints for this fall 2014 inspired by Marc Jacob. I pared these jeans with a cream color scoop neck shirt. This top is by the brand ‘C’est Moi’ (also from Josie’s) that uses bamboo fibers in their fabric which, let me tell you, makes the fabric so soft and comfortable! Next I just layered a simple black cardigan and a statement necklace, as well as cute flats, to pull the whole outfit together.

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Next is a outfit for those when the summer sun comes out one last time, perfect for a day out. The shorts are by ‘Kensie’ from Josie’s and have been one of my staple pieces recently. They follow up very nicely with the well-known black & white monochromatic trend for 2014. These shorts are very comfortable and can turn any outfit from plain and boring to fashionable. For this simple look I tucked in a plain white tank and put on a dainty necklace to create an effortless but modern outfit.

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Last but not least we have a date night appropriate outfit that is feminine and simple. This dress is from the brand ‘Noble U’ also from Josie’s that has that summer pop of colour but is still very flattering in its shape and design. It is a cotton material so it is comfortable and has subtle, large pleated detailing. I pared this dress with an amazing jean jacket by the brand ‘Carreli Jeans’ from Josie’s too. This jean jacket is a must have! It is a perfect length and would suit many different body types because of its style; truly a wonderful piece. Lastly I finished the look off with a pare of nude heels to help elongate the legs and but to not over power the dress.

This was a very fun blog post to make and I hope it has inspired some new outfit ideas for this September. A special thanks to Josie herself for her beautiful store, seriously it is worth checking out if you are in the Bruce Peninsula or Wiarton area!

- e.b