My January Favourites!

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1. The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette – I was lucky enough to receive this for Christmas and I love it! The matte shades are so natural looking, and the matte black shade (crave) is so useful. This has quickly become my go-to for everyday makeup.

2. The Body Shop’s Honey & Oat Scrub Mask – This mask is seriously amazing! I leave it on for about 5-10 minutes and it leaves my skin SUPER soft.

3. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains – I really love these, I find they look a lot more natural on the lips that most lipsticks, they’re moisturizing and the way they wear is fantastic, since they’re a stain. I especially love them in the colours “Adore” (the red shade) and “Darling” (the light purple-y pink shade). I think Darling is amazing for spring too.

4. The Body Shop’s Honeymania range – I was pleased to get both the Honeymania lip balm and a mini Honeymania body butter for Christmas. They smell AMAZING and they live up to the usual awesome standard of The Body Shop’s products. I have been using the lip balm absolutely non-stop this month.

5. The Blacklist – This is a TV show I have been loving this month. There are only 13 episodes right now, but it is a really great show. The premise: a highly wanted criminal turns himself in to the FBI and asks for an immunity deal in return for information on how to catch some of the most nefarious criminals in the world – but he will only work with a particular young female agent. It’s a really exciting and interesting show.

6. Bruno Mars – I am just LOVING his music right now. Some of my favourite songs of his are Gorilla and Young Girls.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your faves for January?

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How I care for my long hair

Tips for long hair care - sidneyrose.wordpress.com

 

I have had very long hair for around 7 years and here are my top tips and products for keeping it healthy and looking nice. I have very fine, straight, quite porous,  hair, so these tips will be most helpful for people with a similar hair types.

1. For shampoo and conditioner, I switch it up and find that it doesn’t matter too much what I use, but I am partial to Trichomania solid shampoo and American Cream conditioner from Lush (these smell amazing btw). I also like Pantene Pro-V if I’m on a bit of a budget or want something a bit more clarifying.

2. I think the actual steps are more important than the products here. This is the routine that works best for me: Shampoo and condition every other day and put a leave in conditioner in when hair is still damp from the shower. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle when wet. I like this wooden one from The Body Shop.

3. Try to avoid heat. I pretty much never blow dry my hair in the summer when it’s warm, except sometimes the roots if I’m going for a certain style. I never use heat to curl or straighten – this damages hair a lot.

4. Deep condition. I deep condition my hair once or twice a month. My favourite one is Jasmine and Henna fluff ease from Lush, but most often I just use my regular conditioner and leave it in for a few hours with a shower cap on.

5. Try to avoid harsh chemical dyes. These can really damage your hair, especially when applied at home or just incorrectly applied. Also, bleaching or “lifting” hair colour tends to be more damaging. The only dye I ever use on my hair is the henna hair dyes from Lush . They give beautiful colour and leave my hair feeling softer, healthier and shinier than before.

6. This is super important: Put your hair “away” when you’re not “using” it. That is, braid or put up in a top knot at night, and wear in a bun (less of a pressure point that a pony tail = less chance of breakage) when you don’t have to have it down. This prevents tangles and snags and the resulting breakage. Also if you braid your hair at night, you can wear it in pretty, soft, heatless waves the next day.

7. My favourite finishing products: Got2b Smooth Operator Lustre Lotion and Smoothing Hairspray. Also the Dove Style+Care Dry Shampoo is great for second day hair and giving a bit of volume and texture.

8. The best tip I have for growing your hair long in the first place is simply – Don’t cut it. It may seem obvious, but a lot of people are impatient and end up cutting of all the hair they’ve been growing out. The trick is to take good care of it, so your ends stay healthy and you don’t have to trim it very often. I get my hair cut only once or twice a year.

Do you have any different long hair-care tips or do you prefer having shorter hair? I have been toying with the idea of cutting mine off to just below the shoulders, but I’m not sure I can part with it! What do you think?

My New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not usually one for resolutions, but there are some specific main things I want to accomplish this year, some easier, some very difficult, but I’m determined to make the effort for the WHOLE year, not just January. Also, I don’t usually share my goals with people, so posting this makes me a bit nervous, but here we go.

New Year's Resolutions - Sidneyrose

1. Use a face or hair mask at least once a week. 

This one of those little beauty tasks that is easy, but somehow I always put it off.

2. Write at least 3 pages a week.

I used to love creative writing in high school, but during university I fell out of the habit and I would love to get back into it. The pages can be on the computer, or just in a journal, on any topic or project.

3. Read one book a month

I already read a lot, but I’d just like to be more consistent about it.

4. Lose 100 pounds.

Here’s the big one. Now, I know losing weight is one of the most popular and also most commonly failed resolutions, and it’s not as though I haven’t tried before, but I realized a couple weeks ago that it is now or never for me. I’m not getting any younger, and I’m not getting any healthier and I need to establish better habits now before my bad ones become lifelong bad habits. I won’t go too much into what led me to this point, but I will say that I know enough of nutrition and fitness to know that crash diets and extreme exercise are not the way for me. The following list isn’t exhaustive, but these are some of the guidelines I will be following to help me and they will evolve over the year. But this is where I’m starting:

  • Walk every day for at least 25 min
  • Eat (mostly) unprocessed, home cooked dinner every night including 2 vegetarian dinners per week.
  • Try not to eat processed/preserved meat
  • Only one slice of bread a day (or 1 english muffin, 1 pita, 1/2 bagel, etc.)
  • Eat more whole, unprocessed grains (oatmeal, barley, spelt, quinoa, etc.)
  • Only 1 oz of cheese a day / Always weigh cheese with food scale / Only buy light cheese
  • Don’t eat fast food (except subway or sushi on occasion)
  • Weigh once a week
  • Don’t eat in front of the computer unless its fruit/vegetables (i.e. eat meals and snacks at the table, if something must be munched on whilst watching a show – make it fruit or veg)
  • Don’t keep chips, candy or sweets in the house and don’t go looking for them (i.e. if I know the bf has bought some snacks and put them away, don’t search them out.)

If I stick to this list, and put my knowledge of nutrition, calories and cooking to work, I will defeat my worst food and inactivity habits.

5. Make a monthly blog post about how my resolutions are going and what I have done to work towards them.

So you all can keep me accountable 🙂

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If so, what are they?

December 2013 Favourites!

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My favourites this month sort of fall into two categories: things to look sparkly and pretty for holiday parties and things to cuddle up with or protect against the winter cold.

1. Soap & Glory Glow Lotion – This is a really nice shimmery lotion to get your winter skin looking lovely for parties or date night and it smells awesome. I wore it a lot when I was around 18/19 so it’s very nostalgic for me.

2. Maybelline Color Elixir in Mauve Mystique – I’m in love with purple lip colours because they tend to look nice with my pale, cool skin tone, and this one is great. It’s somewhat sheer, but there is still a good colour payoff and I think it looks best after it’s been on for about half an hour.

3. Essie luxeffects topcoat in Set in Stones – I’ve basically worn this for two months straight and written about it here and here. Because if you can’t wear sparkly silver nail polish around Christmas, when can you?

4. Got2B Smooth Satin Drops – This is a really nice smoothing hair serum that makes your hair look incredibly shiny and healthy and I’ve been using it this month whenever my hair looks dull or just not sleek enough. I like to braid my hair at night and then wear it wavy the next day and this is great for making the waves look shiny and defined rather than a bit fluffy. I concentrate most of it on the bottom half of my hair and use anything left over to smooth flyaways on top of my head.

5. C.O. Bigalow Rose Salve – Rose salve is a life saver for the dry lips that come with cold whether and central heating. I put this on my lips every night, but before I bought the Crabtree and Evelyn cuticle oil, I used this on my cuticles every night too. When I got a bad head cold earlier this month I also used this to soothe the chapped skin around my nose.

6. Crabtree & Evelyn Cuticle Oil Pen- My cuticles have been really bad this month, but this oil has helped a lot. I put it on before bed. It has a nice brush tip aplicator and the oil is fairly dry, so it won’t get all over everything and it sinks in nicely. It also has a really pleasant fresh smell.

7. The Southern Vampire Mysteries Series by Charlaine Harris – This is the book series that the show True Blood is based on, and they are fantastic for a quick, light, entertaining read. Sookie, the main character is very likeable, her love interests are sexy as hell and the plots are interesting enough and well paced. Perfect for holiday reading.

8. Beige plaid scarf – I love this scarf! I got it at Old Navy in November and I have been wearing it non-stop. It goes with just about everything and it’s huge and very soft.

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Another favourite of mine in this picture:

9. SNOW! It snowed before Christmas and I got all excited…

10. Pinterest! I couldn’t get enough of pinning Christmas recipes, cold-weather fashion and festive decor. Check out my pins!

Finally, I leave you with a picture that pretty much sums up my Christmas, and favourite bits of December in general: Sleepy Christmas Cat!

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Slightly Festive Nails

So this is a bit of an odd combination, but I thought I would wear Essie’s Lilacism with OPI’s Goldeneye as an accent nail and I really like how it turned out. Goldeneye is so bold and eye catching, and Lilacism is so subtle and feminine, I think they make a really unusual and cool combo for this time of year.

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What do you think of this combination? Is it interesting or does it clash?

My Top Christmas Shopping Tips! (And ways to come up with gift ideas)

ChristmasbannerShopping for others can be stressful and challenging, but it can also be super fun and rewarding depending on how you handle it. Here are my top tips for a stress free and fulfilling Christmas shopping experience:

1. Start early, or at least PLAN early.

I know a lot of people have every intention to start shopping early, but then somehow it’s December 22nd and you have a panic attack in the middle of the mall. Read the full post »

Baby It’s Cold Outside Christmas Tag

One month ’til Christmas! Eek! Exciting. I thought I’d make this tag, because I’m always curious about how other’s spend their holiday season! Of course, anyone who wants to do this tag should feel free (let me know if you do!) and I’m tagging a few specific people below!

1. What is your favourite Christmas sweet?

Toss up between my mom’s pecan truffles and my mom’s ginger snaps.

2. Do you like to DIY Christmas decorations or just buy them?

A bit of both, and it really depends on the year (i.e. how busy I am). Some years I do a lot of DIY projects (like this year) and I find them really fun.

3. What’s your favourite Christmassy activity to do?

When I lived in Germany, I absolutely adored going to Christmas Markets. It is so amazing to see the city or town square all lit up. All the sparkly and hand made ornaments and things for sale, drinking Glühwein (mulled wine) to fend off the cold. I miss it! Other than that, I love going to cute shopping areas, like Granville Island in Vancouver, because everything is decorated, and everything looks so cheerful and inviting.

4. Are you good at wrapping presents? Do you put a lot of effort in?

I WISH I was good at wrapping presents. As it stands, I’m ok. Not terrible, but certainly not creative and lovely like so many of the gift wrapping pins on pinterest. This year I’d like to try something a little more interesting though. I’m partial to the wrapping in this A Model Recommends’ video or this idea from pinterest.

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5. What’s your favourite holiday album?

I love A Very She & Him Christmas (By She & Him – you know, Zooey Deschanel’s band). But I can’t leave out the Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack.

6.  Do you prefer going to Christmas parties or staying in and watching a Christmas film with someone special or your family?

While I do love to dress up and enjoy the festivities, nothing beats watching It’s a Wonderful Life whilst cozy under a blanket with the Christmas tree twinkling away.

7. Favourite Holiday Drink?

My favourite homemade drink is eggnog  with fresh nutmeg (my dad makes great eggnog) and I do enjoy a Starbucks peppermint mocha.

8. What’s your Christmas decor style?

Definitely rustic country Christmas. I’m not fond of pink trees and bright purple shiny baubles, although that can look very nice in other people’s houses. But I like the natural decorations a bit more.

9. What’s your favourite childhood memory of snow? 

Since it doesn’t snow all that much in Vancouver, it was always really special when it snowed and my brother and I would go into the front yard and just play in the snow; trying to build snowmen, throwing snowballs and making snow angels. I always loved waking up an seeing all the pristine snow everywhere. Still do love that.

10. What’s your favourite thing to do when it’s cold outside? 

Put on the fire (all the better if it’s my parents real wood fire, but our gas one will do), cuddle under a hand made quilt with my boyfriend and drink hot apple cider or peppermint tea.

Let me know if you do this tag!

I tag:

http://www.fashionableheart.com/

http://ohhval.blogspot.ca/

http://www.essiebutton.com/

http://belizabethselway.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.gisforgingers.com/

http://cosmeticsclothesandcutethings.blogspot.co.uk/

Follow me on pinterest or twitter if you like!

Lovely scented lotions (Gift Guide)

This is a round-up of some of my favourite scented lotions. There is quite a variety so if you want to give someone a lovely pampering present for Christmas, these would be great. Many of the scents are also available in other forms (body wash, body mist, perfume, etc) so you could give a nice set to someone on your list!

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The Luxurious Spa one: The Fig Leaf & Sage body lotion from Kiehl’s ($30.00) is perfect for someone who likes somewhat unusual scents and who wants their lotion to be serious about moisturizing. To me, this smells exactly like fresh beeswax with an undertone of spicy sage. The scent mellows and fades a bit, but it does last quite a long time. It can smell very much like natural coconut when you first put it on, but it mellows out nicely. It has a thin consistency that sinks into the skin well. This one is the best out of the group at softening skin; it moisturizes extremely well! I would recommend this for someone who likes natural scents and needs (or appreciates) a serious moisturizer. If you still want the skin softening benefits but want a slightly more traditional scent, the Vanilla & Cedarwood is also very nice.

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The Classic One: Japanese Cherry Blossom ($12.50) from Bath & Body Works is a great everyday, feminine lotion. It smells delightfully floral and mellows to a nice, almost baby powder and flowers scent. The scent lasts very well. It is not too “little girl”, nor would I say that it is something only an older woman would wear. I honestly think this could suit anyone who likes quite a feminine scent. The consistency is not liquid-y, and it is not overly thick. It does a good job moisturizing the skin and sinks in well.

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The Fresh One: Sea Island Cotton from Bath & Body Works ($12.50) is a beautiful, uplifting, fresh scent. Perfect for people who adore light, clean scents. The smell is reminiscent of clean cotton and an ocean breeze. This scent will be with you all day. I think this might be better for a younger woman, but not necessarily. While the Bath & Body Works lotions are fairly inexpensive, they don’t smell “cheap” at all.

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The Sophisticated One: Summer Hill from Crabtree & Evelyn (~$28.00) is utterly sophisticated and utterly feminine. This is a sweet, grown-up floral scent. Light and flirty, I think this would be great for a wide variety of ages, as long as they love girly, upscale scents. And the scent lasts and lasts. I appreciate that this comes with a pump and the design is minimalist. This lotion does an excellent job of moisturizing and the texture is silky and relatively thin in consistency.

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The Holiday One: The Ginger Sparkle Body Butter from The Body Shop ($20.00) is a scrumptious, Christmassy scent for anyone who loves ginger. The packaging, while cute, is a bit misleading. This does NOT smell like gingerbread, but instead like beautiful, fresh, sweet, spicy ginger. I could smell this all day, it is so lovely. Who doesn’t want to smell like warm, spicy ginger for the holidays? The consistency is thick, but not waxy or hard and it does tend to leave a bit of a protective layer on the skin (i.e. it doesn’t sink in 100%, but it also doesn’t feel like a residue or anything sticky). The scent fades to just a hint of warm spiciness fairly quickly – within a few hours. I adore this body butter! If you like the smell of ginger, you will LOVE this lotion.

What are your favourite scented lotions? Will you be getting anyone on your Christmas list a scented body lotion or body care set?

Craft Fair Finds

Craft fairs are one of my favourite things about the lead up to Christmas. You can find amazing (often) local artists. I happened upon Raven’s Rest Studio and was in love with pretty much everything at the booth, so I picked up a few little pieces. Jennifer Conway makes cards, jewelry, magnets, keychains and the like and they are just so cool. I had to have the necklace above, although I had a tough time choosing between that one and another. I also grabbed a couple of cards. I love the vintage photos on them and the words are just so…for lack of a better term, sassy. Ha.

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Raven’s Rest Studio has an Etsy shop with a small selection of pieces. I hope more of the jewelry gets listed there, because I could probably buy a few more things…

Do you like going to craft fairs in the fall?

Glam Winter Nails

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I love dark nails for the winter; they are so dramatic. And dark red can be a bit predictable so I think dark purple or even black can look very cool and interesting. Also, a bit of sparkle never hurt anyone.

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This is OPI’s Lincoln Park after Dark (mini size from Best of the Best collection) and Essie’s Set in Stones Luxeffect topcoat.