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This will come as no surprise…

…but my blogging days are over. I have been agonizing over writing this post for a couple months now, and putting it off, but with a to-do list a mile long that never gets shorter, it’s time to finally cross this off the list.

Though I don’t feel like I owe anyone an explanation, I always wish for one when a blogger I follow stops posting – I guess that’s my need for loose ends to be tied. So here I am. Because I find this a bit emotional, I’m going to (try to) make this short and sweet.

Though there are bloggers out there that are super women that can find time to both blog and being a mother, I personally cannot. While I was on maternity leave, it was entirely possible, and though my posting slowed down, it was more because I was barely washing my face (at first, anyway), let alone wearing makeup. And once Elena started napping well, I took those moments of downtime to do the same. But since being back to work, finding the time to do much of anything is extremely difficult. And now that Elena’s older and only needs one nap a day, on the weekends we’re pretty much flat out the entire day. In the evenings, I get about 2 hours after she goes to bed to ‘relax’ (which usually involves watching a TV show or YouTube vid while simultaneously cleaning / packing a lunch / doing minor DIY renos around the house (I’ve painted 4 rooms by myself) – OR, spending time trying to plan our wedding, which is in 3 months, eek!) before I pass out from exhaustion around 9:30pm. All this to say, blogging is the last thing on my mind – I just don’t have a slot in my day where it fits anymore.

For a while, I felt guilty about feeling this way, because I could potentially throw up a post here and there – I mean, I have time to somehow paint my nails every week, so I must have some time, right? But as any mother will know, you start getting very selective with how any free time is spent – if you get 15 minutes of every day to do what you LIKE (not have to do), you want to fill it with something that gives you the most pleasure. Unsurprisingly, for me that’s often beauty-related – I still take the time every morning to apply my makeup (there are many tricks employed to keep Elena busy, mind you!), and as mentioned I paint my nails religiously every Sunday and Thursday. That doesn’t sound all that crazy when you read it, but it’s easy for people to judge – back in April when I was at the dentist she said to me ‘Wow, your nails are painted and you have a small child, you must have a lot of time on your hands!’ (to which I replied in my head ‘FUCK YOU, LADY’). The judgement actually kind of shocked me, because here was this woman who herself had two children – doesn’t she understand what it’s like? How you take any moment you can that seems like ‘free’ time to do something for yourself so you can keep your sanity? Huh. Guess not. In any case, after that comment I stopped feeling guilty about how I spent my alone/down time (because truthfully, I just felt pissed off after that), and realized that everyone manages those moments differently. We’re all just trying to survive.

Long story short (is anyone surprised I couldn’t help myself from babbling on?), blogging no longer feels like a ‘me’ outlet anymore. PR samples only gave me stress because I felt like I needed to post about everything that was sent my way. Coming up with original content was a HUGE challenge because the blogosphere is so saturated with other blogs doing the same thing over and over (and many of them doing it SO much better than I!). Rather than feeling like I was sharing my passion for beauty (which is still going strong, as ever), I got bogged down by all of it and this wonderful outlet became just another chore for me on my never-ending list.

So here I am, and here we are. I’ve been blogging for 8 years (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and sadly it’s time for that chapter to close. I don’t feel regretful or conflicted though; I met some fantastic, amazing, wonderful people who enriched (and still enrich) my life in so many ways. Most of those people I’ve never met in person yet I feel such a kinship with them – it’s so weird how you can connect via social media or on someone’s blog and the friendships endure even if you are the most absentee blogger around. It makes me smile, and it makes me feel like it’s OK that I won’t be blogging anymore, because I still have those connections and that’s really what it was all about for me, anyway.

If you still want to keep up with me, I’m most easily found on Instagram – though it’s often full of pictures of Elena, I still plan to post snaps of makeup and skincare stuff that’s rocking my world – I mean, I still troll on a daily basis, so that beauty-centric part of me is never going away! Oh, and if you tune in around September 10th, you’ll likely see photos from the wedding (and of my MOST AMAZING DRESS)!

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I appreciate every single one of you who stopped by and read and/or commented on posts – you guys are the BEST! Be sure to stay in touch, ok??? ❤ 🙂

xo Latoya


So I went a wee bit crazy during the Sephora spring 2015 sale…

This is what happens when you a) keep your beauty purchases to a minimum for longer than is natural for a beauty addict, and b) have too much time on your hands yet are unable to come and go freely and are relegated to sitting for prolonged periods of time.


I indulged in three – count ’em, THREE – separate hauls during the Sephora sale in April: one in store, and two online, the latter being a midnight impulse spree with minutes to spare before the sale ended. Yes, I’ve gone completely over the edge.


In the first shopping excursion (which I featured on Instagram), I picked up one product that had been on my to-try list for awhile – Peter Thomas Roth’s Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads (reg. $56CAD) (something different to try after using the FAB Radiance Pads for months) – and a product that I was in the market for, yet the item I chose wasn’t even on my radar: Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer (reg. $59CAD).

IMG_0748A few point-perk samples – I am loving the NEST fragrance (in Indigo) so much!

Then, in my first online spree, I purchased items I had pre-determined I was going to get: CoverFX Custom Color Drops in G60 (reg. $44CAD), Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (reg. $100CAD), Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in 10 Senso (reg. $39CAD), and Givenchy Le Rouge in 209 Rose Perfecto* (reg. $40CAD) *I FINALLY picked a shade!*


Finally, in my ‘I’m awake at 1am and I need more things GIMME GIMME GIMME‘ moment, I put in my final order: Benefit Roller Lash (reg. $29CAD), a Beauty Blender Pro (reg. $26CAD) (wishlist item), YSL La Laque Couture in Bleu Majorelle (reg. $27CAD) (wishlist item), and Tarte TarteGuard 30 Sunscreen mini (reg. $14CAD).


Yea, I did some major wallet damage. I’m almost halfway to becoming a VIB Rouge member and the year isn’t even half over yet!! O_o

To be fair, as usual I saved up for most of these purchases, as I do for every Sephora sale. Additionally, I DO try and follow a method: 1 each (max) of each type of makeup product (eg. 1 eye product, 1 lip product, 1 cheek product, etc.); 2 skincare products (max); 1 fragrance, 1 body, etc. etc.. In this instance I bought 2 eye products and 2.5 skincare products, but I didn’t pick up any fragrance or body items so I’ll forgive myself this time.


Typically, I also try and limit my purchases to items that I would normally have deep reservations about buying due to price – for example, I can’t normally justify spending $40 on a lipstick, or $39 on 1 eyeshadow (even with the sale I STILL have issues with this price, GAH!). I also try and buy items that I can’t get here in Halifax, which is why the bulk of my purchasing was done online. Lastly, I TRY and keep the items I buy to wishlist only – that is, things that I already was lemming before the sale, rather than any impulse purchasing. In this case, only the Tarte sunscreen and Benefit mascara weren’t already on my to-buy list; the Marc Jacobs bronzer wasn’t on my radar but I was looking to buy a bronzer so I’ll call that a wash.


Overall, while I feel touch guilty for going out of control a bit during the sale, I feel good about most of my purchases (I’m somewhat regretting buying the Armani Eye Tint in that shade…more about that in a future post) and I don’t feel overwhelmed since I stuck to my ‘1 type of item’ rule. HOPEFULLY this mega-spree will tide me over for a bit? I don’t feel entirely confident about that, but here’s hoping 😉

 How did you make out during the Sephora sale?

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The easiest primer you’ll ever use: Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray

MAN how time flies in the summer! Here I’ve been having a blast, getting away from the city almost every weekend for the past two months, and here the blog ia getting more neglected by the day! It’s just the way I roll when the sun starts shining. Can’t say I’ve been missing it terribly – I spend enough time on a computer at work when I’d rather be outside – but I don’t want to fall completely off the radar, either. And so, here I am 🙂

Last month I was sent a sample of Skindinavia’s The Makeup Primer Spray ($35/4oz; $49/8oz) to try out, which couldn’t have been more timely due to the crazy humidity we’ve been having (not complaining of the heat though! No siree!). I was excited to try it out because the spray mechanism really appeals to me, and I figured it would feel a lot less heavy than your usual primers, which I tend to avoid save for events because I hate that extra layer of product. In addition, the product is non-comedogenic, as well as silicone- and oil-free, so you’re pretty much guaranteed for a light-as-air experience!

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer SprayI also received a small sample of the ‘Oil Control’ version as well (on left)

The Makeup Primer Spray, like most other primers, is designed to help makeup go on smoother and last longer, and to help reduce the need for blotting throughout the day as it controls excess oil production and diminishes shine.  At the same time, it’s also supposed to hold moisture in the skin by creating a lightweight, breathable ‘web.’ It also claims to help prevent redness, uneven skin tone, and large pores. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray

Because sometimes I am not so smart, initially I imagined this as a makeup SETTING product, so I was using it after applying my makeup. OOPS. How you are supposed to use this, is to spritz the face in an ‘X’ motion, then apply your makeup shortly thereafter. It’s supposed to help foundation apply sheer to prevent caking, so obviously in order for this to happen you need to apply it while it’s still a bit damp. On this score, I found this to be true. I prefer my foundation sheer to just even out my skin tone, so the fact that this helps encourage this is a bonus.

However, the claims of oil-control, shine reduction and less need for blotting is JUST NOT TRUE, dudes. It *could* be this mega-humidity, but I find that more than anything this actually makes my skin look MORE greasy, unfortunately (same story with the ‘Oil Control’ version, too). By the end of the day, it’s shine-city! It’s almost fascinating in a way though, because it reminds me of model-dewy skin, you know, like this:


If I had flawless skin and was wearing (next to) no makeup, this would be all sorts of awesome. Mostly, though, it looks like this:


Which isn’t horrible I guess, but it’s a wee bit too shiny/greasy for my taste. Part of me just feels like I’m using it wrong, and if I could *just understand* I could get it to look more like the first photo. Or maybe I just need perfect skin for that to work. ~sigh~

Anyway, the moral of this story is that I think this does quite well on the moisture retention front, but not so great on the other points like keeping makeup in place or warding off the shine-ies. For those of you with drier skin, this might be a great bet – it’s also paraben-free and hypoallergenic, so it’s great for more sensitive skins. Because I’m stubborn, I’m going to keep trying to figure out how to get this to help me achieve that first-photo glow….I WILL find a way, dammit!

Have you tried a primer spray before? Which do you prefer: a matte, satin, or dewy skin look?

*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer in 6 Yellow

For a beauty fiend, I’m actually relatively low maintenance. I shave when I think of it, I don’t always do my hair, and I can’t be bothered to do the little extra things that make you look that much more polished – like contouring or wearing primer. I reserve most of these activities (except the hair bit – I DO style it most days!) for special occasions so I look that much nicer when the time comes, which means that though I don’t use these items daily, I do still need to have them in my arsenal. One such item that’s been recently added to the mix is Make Up For Ever’s HD Microperfecting Primer in 6 Yellow ($39CAD for 1oz).

MUFE HD Primer 6

I’ve previously reviewed the original HD primer by MUFE in the neutral, universal shade – but it also comes in 6 other tones, each designed to correct a particular issue, such as redness, sallow-looking skin and dullness. I had a hard time choosing one from the options available, as I don’t feel that I have any of these concerns personally. In the end however, I chose 6 Yellow, which is designed to “lighten dark complexions“. I think I went with this one because I had just come back from Florida, and was super-dark. Let’s chat about it, shall we?

MUFE HD Primer 6

First of all, I really like the texture of this primer compared to other primers, and even compared to the original – it’s more like a smooth, medium-density lotion that spreads easily over the whole face (you only need a dime-size amount). It doesn’t feel silicone-heavy nor is it as runny as the original. It feels very lightweight and non-greasy. It claims to deeply nourish, moisturize, and soften the skin, enhancing the skin texture and preparing it for makeup application. Having skin the leans on the oilier side, especially as the months get warmer, I can’t really speak to how moisturizing this is – but it certainly isn’t drying; I found it didn’t keep the oilies at bay quite as well as I would have liked. For a drier skin however, I think the formulation of this would be quite nice and keep the skin plump and comfortable.

MUFE HD Primer 6

Another aspect of the primer that I didn’t really pick up on was the ‘lightening’ effect on my darker skin tone. I think that likely has a lot to do with the fact that I’m just not dark enough (lol) – I think this is really designed for a deep cocoa complexion to give some light to the face, which clearly isn’t me. However, I do think this would be effective on a darker skin tone, as you can see from the photo below that it does show up on my skin – it’s jut that once I blend it in, it’s unnoticeable (sort of like sunscreen). A darker skin tone would likely show the benefits much more.

MUFE HD Primer 6

Despite some of the qualities mentioned above, I will say that this primer does a nice job of enhancing the skin’s texture and giving it a soft finish. My skin looks smooth and airbrushed after application, and my pores are less noticeable, as you can see in the photos below:

Skin before MUFE primerBefore priming

Skin after MUFE primerAfter priming

While this primer doesn’t tick all the boxes for me, I actually enjoy wearing it when it’s a bit cooler outside, or for evening – the texture is really lovely, and it feels like nothing on. I think in the winter I’ll get a good deal of use out of it, as it does prolong the wear of my makeup, and it may help to hydrate my skin and protect it from the blustery, cold weather. I kind of wish it has a sunscreen in it, so I could kill two birds with one stone (I really hate having to wear layers of product)!

Ingredients for reference:

Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteth-10, Laureth-4, Ethylglycerin, Panthenol, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 60, Parfum (Fragrance), Argania Spinosa Extract (Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract), C12-14 Pareth-12, Hydrolyzed Algin, Dodecene, Sorbitan Isostearate, Isostearyl Alcohol, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Tromethamine, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool. [CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)].

 Do you wear primers? Which one is your favourite?

*Products were sent by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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Spring in a bottle: Essie Resort Fling

I’ll admit – normally I don’t like to bitch about the weather too much. We live in Canada, guys! It is what it is. But this year, I was SUPER ready for spring. It wasn’t just the bizarre-out-of-nowhere snowstorms (they at least happened on a Wednesday almost every time which meant a WHOLE LOTTA SNOW DAYS!), or the endlessly grey days that spanned for months. I think it partially was all the shit that went down that had me itching for spring and for a fresh start. So as soon as the sun peeked out even a *little bit* I was breaking out the obnoxiously colourful makeup, nail polish, and clothing. I have this awesome neon coral pink cardigan from H&M that honestly sears the eyes a little bit – every time I wear it, at least 3 people will say ‘Wow, that sweater is…BRIGHT’ (which I can never decipher to be a compliment or a put-down) – and I’ve been rocking it out non-stop just BECAUSE I WANT TO.

IMG_2197It really is that bright in real life

I always find the transition between winter and spring a bit odd when it comes to nail polish – I don’t want to get into the beach-ready brights just yet, but I’m SO DONE with the moody hues that seem to be seasonally appropriate for half the year here. Pastels are all well and good, but overall I wouldn’t say I’m all that *cute* and sometimes they can get a little saccharine to me. When I peeped swatches of the new Essie 2014 Resort collection online, I was instantly drawn to Resort Fling, but was unsure if it would work with my colouring, as it looked kinda orange which isn’t all that flattering on me. It reminded me of Zoya Arizona, which I LOVED in the bottle but HATED on the nail. It finally came in stock at Lawtons, and as soon as I saw it in person I was sold.

Essie Resort Fling

Described as a ‘creamy coral peach,’ I would say that it’s spot on. It’s more peach than coral, but that also means it’s further away from orange that I suspected, which is a good thing. It’s got a thinner formula which builds up nicely after two coats, though there is still a touch of VNL left. It doesn’t bother me that much with textures like this though; a juicy creme, almost jelly-like but not nearly as sheer – Essie’s Splash of Grenadine is very similar but a bit more creamy. ME LIKEY. Application was insanely easy – I did these swatches fairly haphazardly and got ’em done in no time flat.

Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch

Ugh, I can’t even. I’m so happy with this shade! All the Essie shades I’ve been picking up lately have been knocking it out of the park for me I will say. It was a good lesson in ‘orange’ as well, as I realized I can come close to orange if it’s more in the peach vein rather than a more yellow-based orange.

Other than the fear of orange, another reason I held off on buying Resort Fling was that I thought it might be too close in colour to Chanel’s Orange Fizz, another shade that’s not really orange but more of a coral with an orange lean. Comparing them side by side, they looked nothing alike, but sometimes the eye can trick you.

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling

On the nail, it was clear that my fears were unnecessary, as the differences are clear. Resort Fling is not only lighter but much more ‘orange,’ whereas Orange Fizz has more pink tones in it.  The biggest similarity was their juicy creme/jelly formulas and insanely glossy finishes (I’m not even wearing top coat)!

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches

I love them both equally. For the current season though, I feel that Resort Fling is perfect – not too bright, not pastel, just pretty and spring-y and exactly what I wanted. I could probably alternate between this, Splash of Grenadine, and Essie Bikini So Teeny for the next few months and be quite happy 🙂

What say you? Do you go for full-on brights once spring arrives, or do you ease your way in to colour? Do you like polishes with a hybrid creme/jelly formula?

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Updated: My Beauty Stash List!

Hiii everyone!  I’ve spent hours over the last couple days updating my beauty stash list page – it was terribly out of date, and every time I’d update it, it was a hassle to make sure the formatting was right etc., so I just pasted it as a spreadsheet which will be INFINITELY easier to keep current.  So, if you’re feeling nosy, go take a peek at what I’ve got going on in my drawers (uhhh….yeah.)!  Keeping track makes it easier for me to see just what I’ve got and keeps my consumption ~somewhat~ in check – and yeah, it’s a list, so there’s that 😛

Hope you enjoy!!


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Beauty Envy Bag Winner

And the winner of the Beauty Envy Bag is…Janelle M! Be sure to contact Leticia by 11:59pm PST on Monday to collect! Congratulations and thanks so much for everyone who participated 😀

Now, gotta go, I’m en route to Auckland!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Happy New Year to Everyone – A Wish for an Even Better 2012!

I really wanted to post shots of my makeup look tonight but ran out of time.  We took some quickly so if they turn out I’ll post tomorrow 🙂

In the interim, I truly wish everyone an absolutely wonderful end to 2011, and the very best in 2012 – thank you for joining me on this journey, I appreciate each and every one of you more than you’ll ever understand.  This is my 200th post, and I can’t wait to write another 200!  I’ve just passed the 50 followers mark (which seems small I’m sure, but is more than I ever expected!), and I’m feeling very grateful for everyone’s support, so in the New Year, I’m going to have my very first giveaway!  I haven’t thought it through fully yet, but stay tuned for some goodies coming your way very soon!

Lots of love and good wishes,

xo from your resident beauty addict!