Sunday, December 29, 2013

EOTD: Glam & Dramatic - Holiday Look 2

The holidays have been filled with so much family, friends, parties and of course food!  Now that Christmas has passed, everyone is getting excited for New Year's Eve 2013!

Depending on your plans, if you are going to go out for dinner or to dance the night away, here is a fun dramatic and glam eye look.  Perfect for a night out to celebrate the new year to come.

1. Prep - Apply Primer all over the eye area and underneath the lower lash line. 

2. Lid - Apply a Medium Grey Blue Shadow all over the lid, packing on the colour well. 

3. Crease - Apply a warm rose gold shade onto the crease, blend well into the blue.

4. Outer Crease - Apply a light soft brown into the corner edge and blend into the crease.

5. Water Line - Apply a bright blue liner which helps eyes pop!

6. Lower Lash line - Using the same bright blue liner, start in the middle underneath the lash line and apply outward and extend. This line underneath should be thick. Take a shimmer shadow in the same shade of blue and layer the colour on top of the created line. 

7. Inner Corner - Use a bright vanilla shimmer shade into the corner tear duct and blend out into the lash line, blending with the blue line, not going past the middle point.

8. Eyeliner - Take a waterproof black pencil liner and create a thin line close to the lower lash line from the inner to the outer corner.

9. Top Lash line - Apply Liquid Liner and wing out right above the blue line.  Apply 2 coats of mascara for extra drama!

10. Brow Bone - Using the same shade applied into the inner crease, apply to the brow bone under the brows.

Pair this look with a nude peach lip colour and top it off with a clear lip gloss for added dimension. 

Whether your dress is black, silver, gold, magenta, purple or any of the colours below, this makeup will look amazing with your dress of choice!

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

NEW for the Holidays: Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Collection & Holiday Gift Sets!

Check out the NEW Holiday Collection by Giorgio Armani that breaks the rules!  The Eccentrico collection is a reflection of bold and bright hues such as Pinks, Orange and Golden Yellows!

There are 3 NEW Lip Maestro shades, plus 3 NEW Nail Lacquer shades and a gorgeous universally flattering palette.

The limited edition shades are as follows:
  • Pink Shade - Eccentrico #505 (In Lip and Nails)
  • Grapefruit Shade - Dazzling #303 (In Lip and Nails)
  • Golden Yellow - Clash #302 (In Lip and Nails)
  • The Eccentrico Palette:  4-in-1 multi dimensional Illuminator with a pop of brightness for any cheek
  • PLUS a new Eyes to Kill Quad #13 featuring lovely lilac, pink and purple shades.

Be sure to also check out these amazing gift sets, for anyone that is left on your list:

Amazing Giorgio Armani Fragrance sets!

The ever popular Giorgio Armani Lip Set in Nude!

The Classic Iconic Red Lip Set, shade #400, a must for the Holidays.

A perfect Travel Brush Set featuring the best selling brushes :)

Available at Holt Renfrew Sherway! Come visit THIS Friday December 20th, and get 20% of your beauty purchase back onto a promotional gift card valid December 26-31, 2013.

Some great ideas for you right before the Holidays. Happy Holiday Shopping :)

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Monday, December 16, 2013

EOTD: It's Vegas Baby!! :) - Holiday Look 1

When you hear VEGAS, you think of bright lights & good times.  There have been countless TV shows that have filmed episodes in Vegas that have been epic to watch and if you have been there you know how exciting of a place it is.

Vasanti Cosmetics came out with NEW Eyeshadow duo called "VEGAS STRIP" and it totally reminded me of my visit there! Here is a pic of the MGM Grand that reflects the tones of this fun Eyeshadow duo:

Check out the pics, product links and application details below:

1. Lid: Eyeshadow Duo in Vegas Strip - Light shade on 2/3 of lid, Purple shade on corner
5. Upper & Lower Lash line: Kajal Extreme Eye Pencil in Purple Gem
6. Outer corner: Used the Purple pencil and the purple shadow to blend into crease.
{All products featured are by Vasanti Cosmetics}

This is a great and easy look to do for the holidays, especially for New Years!  Many more Holiday posts to come, stay tuned!

Always Smile :) - Sand

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NEW Collection: Eye shadow Duos for bright eyes by Vasanti Cosmetics

Attention all Makeup junkies, especially for any of those who love to wear and discover Canadian products! Vasanti Cosmetics launched a series of NEW Eyeshadow duos with an array of new colour combos.

The eyeshadow collection is Inspired by must-see destinations around the globe, offering beautiful options and colours that will work on every skin tone.  The eye shadows are silky finish and velvety texture, true colour pay off and will stay put!  

I have picked my favourite 3 eye shadow duos below, which I will be using to create easy eye looks for my Holiday Looks in December posts!

Check out the images and shade descriptions below:

ANCIENT PETRA: This colour combo will look great for an everyday look! The pale yellow and the shimmery taupe will make any eye colour and eyes look fresh and bright!

ELLORA CAVES: What a delicious colour combination!  The metallic and shimmery aspects of these shades will make it a great go-to eye shadow option!  This duo will be a favourite for every makeup AND Chocolate lover since it provides a sweet finish to the eyes. 

VEGAS STRIP: The name alone makes this such a fun combination!  Purple is already the colour-du-jour for 2014, and it will be everywhere!  This plum/pink combo will look GORGEOUS on all eyes especially Brown eyes!

Stay tuned for additional posts on these shadows and for my Holiday Looks for December :)

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lifestyle: Easy & Simple Pasta Recipe

Growing up, I was obsessed with Mac n' Cheese, especially Kraft Dinner and how my Mom would alter it by adding peas and carrots and sometimes even thinly sliced hot dogs (Back then we would say cut up dogs!).

Nowadays, KD on it's own is great as a special treat, but lately I do crave something a little more mature.  The other day, taking stock of the ingredients I had on hand, I put together this really easy and simple pasta.

Enjoy this fast and simple recipe:


  • Half a bag of Ziti, Rotini or Macaroni Pasta
  • 2 Handful of Spinach, finely chopped
  • Half a Large Onion or Small Onion, Chopped
  • 1/2 cup of Peas
  • 1 Tsp. of Chili Flakes
  • 2 Tsp. of White Flour
  • 2 Tsp. of Butter or Margarine
  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese, grated on top

1. First to prepare the Roux/Sauce, in a small pot, heat butter/margarine until liquefied, on Med/High Heat. 

2. Add chopped onion and saute gently for 7 minutes.

3. Add the flour and mix into the butter and lightly brown, should be mixed well with the flour. It should be a dry consistency with no liquid left.  Brown for a 1 Min, and then add your seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Chili Flakes & Nutmeg). Stir and mix for another minute.

4. Slowly add your Milk into the pot and stir everything together, doing so slowly.  Turn up the heat to high and slowly and firmly whisk the milk to blend together.  Once the sauce boils, reduce heat to low and continue to whisk.  If the sauce is blended well, then turn off the heat. Taste the sauce and up your seasoning if needed.

5. Prepare your pasta according to package directions.  Once pasta is drained, add the sauce to the pasta and mix in your chopped spinach and peas. Cover to let the pasta and the vegetables to cook and blend into the sauce.  Serve with the grated cheese of your choice.

This pasta takes no time to make and you can add Chicken or Sausage as well as other vegetables like mushrooms and zucchini!

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Perfect Lipsticks for Fall & Winter

Fall is here and Winter is around the corner!  I have always loved this time of the year.  The fresher air, the comfy clothes and the change towards more deeper and darker hues in Makeup.

I have put together my favourite go-to shades which are a mix of earthy browns, plums and dark chocolate, featuring shades from Giorgio Armani and Vasanti Cosmetics!

Take a look at the swatches and pics below:

A beautiful warm earthy brown shade, a perfect transitional option.

Another great shade with a softer pigment, perfect for brunch!

A warm shade from the red family, perfect for an evening look!

A rich plum based mauve, great for anyone who loves to wear pink shades!

Love this sexy shade! A deep burgundy wine colour which looks amazing!

What I love the most about wearing these bolder shades, is that you can keep your overall makeup pretty neutral since the drama is about the sexy lips!

I hope you enjoyed my faves for the season! 

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FOTD - Halloween Inspired - Lady Darkness

Halloween is just around the corner and if you are strapped for time or not sure what to do for a costume, here is an easy look that takes no time. To complete this look, I used my regular beauty products that I would use for any of the glam or everyday looks that I do.

The white face makeup that was used was the only product that was purchased, but the rest of the products I already had had at home to create this look.

Check out the products that I used:

  • White Face Makeup - Base 
  • Grey Ghoulish Shadows - Grey & Black Waterproof Eye Pencil
  • Ghoulish Accents - Grey & Black eyeshadows
  • Lips - Grey Waterproof Eye Pencil
  • Blood - Burgundy Lipstick, Vaseline and Black Liquid Eyeliner.
  • Black Hood - Black Shawl

Pretty straightforward, I used the white makeup to cover the face, then I used the makeup to create the shadows and the creepiness to the face.  Any of the natural angles of my face, I added the grey and blended out with my fingers.  Once the lips were greyed out, it totally completed the face.  The last touch was the blood on the lips and eyes, which I used the end of the eyeshadow to apply.  The products were mixed on the back of my hand.

Total Time: 15 mins.

Hope you enjoy this ghoulish look!

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Sunday, October 27, 2013

FOTD - Fall Inspired - Perfect Look for the Weekend!

We relish for our weekends or our days off.  Mostly to finish off errands, relax, visit with family or friends, go shopping or to eat out.  

For the weekend, I usually like to keep my makeup really natural with a natural lip but I also like playing with bold colours, especially in the Fall! The season inspires fresh cheeks, bold lips and darker hues for eyes which looks great on everyone! It's also a great change from the neutral look. 

Here is my weekend look inspired by Navy's and Plums,  for whatever your weekend may hold!

Products Used:

1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5
2. Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer in 10 (Adds an amazing glow to the skin)
3. Vasanti Cosmetics Kajal Extreme Eye Pencil in Electric Navy 
4. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Silk Eye Shadow (LE) Fall Collection in 30
5. Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara
6. Vasanti Cosmetics Liquid Liner in Cleopatra
7. MAC Blushes in Dainty (Soft Pink) and Passionately Tempted (Mid-Tone Magenta)
8. Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani in Plum 610

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beauty Pick - Nails: OPI Black Cherry Chutney

The easiest way to change your look is amping up your nails.  As we get into the colder months of Fall, we are seeing gorgeous hues of Browns, Navys, Reds and Burgundy.

My favourite trend is the deep blood-hued nails! It reminds me of the 90's nail polish obsession that many of us had for an affordable nail shade called "Blackest Red"!  My current obsession is OPI's Black Cherry Chutney.

This is a gorgeous shade to wear for the season and a perfect compliment any Halloween Outfit or Costume that is vampire inspired! The photos do not do it justice, therefore, see the description below:

Colour - Deep Bordeaux Burgundy
Looks Like - Wine, Dark, Vampy, Deep Grape, Black Cherry
Coats - 2 Coats 
Finish - High Shine Gloss
Accents - Subtle Sparkle
When to Wear - Great for Fall, A night out and Halloween

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My TOP 5 DIY Skincare Tips!

If you are like me, you are constantly seeing the ads for skin care products. These ads are everywhere from our phones, the grocery & drug store, the subway, magazines and TV. 

The challenging part is how to filter through all these products that we come across and pick the few that will work and are cost effective.  

Therefore I wanted to share my top 5 DIY SKINCARE TIPS that will not break the bank, and can be found in your own kitchen!

1. Coconut Oil - Glowing Skin
Not only is this amazing for you to eat and cook with, but it's amazing for the skin.  The best multi-purpose product you can get. The fatty acids contained in Coconut oil will help to strengthen the skin's lipid barrier and leaves an amazing scent.
  • Helps to remove makeup
  • Use it as a Night Cream as the texture is rich which is great for a night treatment
  • A natural Lip Balm which will help to add shine and moisture
  • Body Moisturizer right after the shower to help seal in the moisture
  • Recommendation:  Grace Virgin Coconut Oil ($6.99)

2. Ice Cube Facial - Brightens and tightens the skin
This is a new tip that I recently came across on the great blog by Tia and Tamera . I use this tip at least once a week and I love the difference to my skin that I see immediately.
  • Helps to Promote Blood Circulation
  • Tightens your pores
  • Smoothes out your complexion as well as brightens
You take the ice cube and wrap it in Paper Towel.  Apply it on the face using a circular motion.  The coolness feels refreshing and soothing on the skin.

3. Cold Tea Bags - Great Eye Treatment
Tea bags have been a classic DIY Skincare Tip. It offers temporary relief, especially after a late night out or a night of no sleep due to a busy lifestyle. 
  • Helps to reduce darkness under the eyes
  • Reduces swelling and puffiness 
You must remember to boil the tea bags, drain and then refrigerate. Once cooled you can use over your eyes for about 5-10 mins.

4. Cucumbers - Skin Relief
Cucumbers have a high water content and contain Vitamins A, B and C. The Ascorbic acid present in cucumbers can help to reduce puffiness and swelling around the eye area. 
  • Slices of Cucumber can help to relieve skin affected by sunburn or windburn
  • Diminishing Wrinkles
  • Provides cooling and calming effects to the skin, especially on the eyes.

5. Shea Butter - Heals Skin
Shea butter provides amazing anti-aging benefits. It contains essential fatty acids that help to neutralize free radical damage and stimulates collagen production. 
  • Fades acne and scars
  • Helps to heal skin due to sunburns
  • Soothes skin allergies 
  • Fights to reduce wrinkles & stretch marks
  • Provides a protective barrier on top of the skin
  • Recommendation: Maiga Handmade Shea Butter ($7.99)

Hope you find these tips easy on the wallet and leave you with amazing skin!

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Thursday, September 5, 2013

EOTD - Get NAKED for TIFF2013!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!... Not first day of school as drummed into our heads by that amazing office supply commercial...and no it's not Christmas time just yet...  It's TIFF Time!

TIFF, otherwise known as the Toronto International Film Festival is gearing up to launch today and over the next few days everyone and their grandma, will be star stalking, celeb loving, film watching, city dwelling, club hopping, last call loving, paparazzi loving film buffs.  :)

No matter what the reason will be for you to be downtown, here is a great look that you can wear that will make you "Selfie" ready to take that photo-op with the next up & coming celeb.

It's very easy to get swept away with the excitement of TIFF. I had the pleasure of working a very special event last year at a celebrity gifting lounge in the beauty bar at a very luxurious hotel. While I was at this event, I was very excited by all of the glamour. The event was top secret, therefore, you are expected to be professional and offer the utmost levels of discretion to whomever you are working on. Yet the minute a major celebrity walked into the beauty lounge, everyone in the room went silent, so much so, that you could hear a pin drop.  On the outside, I was as cool as a cucumber and appeared not affected, however, in my mind I was having the ultimate fan-girl moment, but no one was ever the wiser! ;)

Anyhow, I digress, here is the easy look that you can use with similar shades/dupes at home. I used the Urban Decay Naked Palette V.1:

1. Fill in the brows, I used Vasanti Dynamic Brow Duo in Cape Town.
2. Apply SIN on 1/3 of the inner lid and up into the crease. 
3. Apply SIDECAR on the rest of the lid. Sweeping the colour and blending it into SIN.
4. Apply NAKED & BUCK mixed together and sweep into the crease, blending very well.
5. Apply VIRGIN, the perfect shade to highlight under the brows onto the brow bone.
6. Using CREEP, start at the corner of the eye and sweep this shade into the crease.
7. Using Makeup Forever Eye Pencil in Black, apply to the inner waterline.
8. Use Vasanti Kajal Extreme eye pencil underneath the end of the lower lash line.
9. Create a cat eye with Liquid Liner onto the top of the lash line and winging out.
10. Apply 2 coats of Mascara, helps to open and define the eyes.
11. For added sparkle and pop, add SIN the inner corner of the eyes.

Here is the full look with a soft pink blush, using sin as a glowing highlight and a soft pink brown lip gloss to finish the lips.

A great look to rock for the FILM Festival and any other day to night parties that you may attend!

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

EOTD - Blue Jays Inspired Look - Dramatic

This was such a fun look to put together!! I finally took some time to do an extension to my sports-themed related eye shadow looks (Originally I started out with a few NFL related looks).

After these NFL posts were published, a lot of people have requested looks that were from other sports teams, specifically Toronto teams.

So here is my tribute to the Toronto Blue Jays! This is a fun yet dramatic look that you can wear at home or at the bar watching the game, check out the details below:

1. Line the eyes with a Navy Liner that is waterproof. On the top, line half way.
2. Use a medium light blue shade and apply all over the lid and into the crease.
3. Use a deeper blue shade and apply at the corner of the eye and blend inwards.
4. For added intensity, use the same eye liner from step one and create a small triangle.
5. Blend out with either your fingers and then buff inwards with a fluffy brush.
6. Use a champagne sparkly shade to highlight the inner corner and into the inner lid.
7. Line the top lash line with a thin liquid liner in black and do a subtle wing upwards.
8. Finish with two coats of Mascara.

For the final look you can add a pop of blue by lining underneath the lash line with the same blue liner and then adding the medium blue shade right on top.

Because this look is so fun and dramatic, it's a great look for any Blue Jay fan! For additional drama, you can pair it with a sexy Red Lipstick to complete the look!

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NEW Product Launch: Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks

Rouge Ecstasy
Image Courtesy of:

For Fall 2013, Giorgio Armani is officially launching Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks.  An innovative lipstick that is the first "CC" lipstick of it's kind.

Colour PLUS Care, offering comfort of a lip balm with amazing hydration while saturating lips with a velvety feel and ultra saturated colour leaving lips with an iconic luminous finish. Available to purchase for $38 CDN and in over 30 Gorgeous shades.

Check out the film link below showcasing this gorgeous lipstick:

rouge ecstasy
Currently available online, but will be available to purchase at retailers in September 2013. Swatches coming soon :)

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fun, Quirky & Time-Saving DIY Tips :)

I love that I have been able to turn to the Internet, specifically YouTube, many times when I have been stuck with something I can't fix or wanted to learn how to do myself.  The Internet is a great resource for such topics, but it can also be a challenge to find the answer if you don't even know what you are looking for.

I surf the Internet pretty much daily, mostly about makeup, beauty or fashion, but I also use it to learn and find some useful information.

Listed below are a few tips and things I have found that I wanted to share that have saved me time and have also saved me from NOT wasting additional energy, rage, anger and most of all my sanity! ;)

1. Ipod has frozen while charging

This has happened to me more often than I care to admit. Each time this has happened I will panic, get stressed out and then remember, "Oh yeah, I fixed this with that YouTube clip". So here is the clip that I found that has helped me with my Ipod Nano:

2. How to create an instant snack bowl

Sometimes when you have people over, and it is a more casual setting, or even if you are alone this neat folding technique is awesome!  This makes any snack bag into a bowl for you, in less than a minute, check it out:

3. Protect your shoes when travelling

This one might sound odd, but it is a great tip to protect your shoes and your clothes when travelling. I came across this tip here:

4. Easy way to clean your closet
Turn your closet hangers the opposite direction.  As you wear each item, turn the hanger the correct side.  By the end of the week, you will notice which items you are wearing and which items are just staying untouched.  By the end of a few weeks, you will know exactly what to purge from your closet to help keep it clear and organized. Whatever is not being worn, you can donate :)

5. Cork Board Jewellery Organizer
My challenge has always been on how to keep all my necklaces from tangling into one another. Keeping them in a drawer or a jewellery box does not work! Also, I want to be able to find the item quickly.  The cork board has definitely helped me out and makes it much more fun to get ready in the morning.  I can't recall where I originally saw the inspiration for this, but I did my own post version: 

Hope these tips and tricks work for you! I will be doing this post again covering time saving tips for attending a party and amazing beauty tips and tricks, all that help save time and money, stay tuned!

Always Smile :)  - Sand

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My childhood dream realized - Coach Barbie!!!

For those who know me, the ones who know me really well, know that I love Barbie. I had only one and I enjoyed her sense of fashion, her makeup look and of course her accessories!

It was extremely exciting to hear that my beloved Barbie was getting her own Coach bag! The COACH  brand gave BARBIE a high-fashion makeover, and indeed they did!

COACH teamed up with Mattel to launch this collector's edition version of the famous doll. This Barbie sports the following miniature accessories that any Coach loving fan would want to covet: 

Photo courtesy:
  • a miniature classic checked Tattersall trench coat
  • Sandals, Sunglasses, Striped top with a Suede skirt - these were all featured on the brand's actual Spring/Summer 2013 collection
  • The Coach Duffle bag - made with genuine leather has been created in the same factories and with the same materials as Coach's life-sized consumer handbags. 
Only a limited number of this doll were made, and it has already sold out, but for those who are not able to get this doll, enjoy these amazing pictures of the Coach Barbie (courtesy of Vogue UK/Coach):

Photos courtesy:

Photo courtesy:
This news and these images definitely put a smile on my face!

Always Smile :)  - Sand