Easy Bike Wrap Using Patterned Duct Tape!

I lived on campus in university and bought a cute cruiser bike to get around the sprawling campus.  I thought the bike looked pretty unremarkable, so I gave it a makeover by sanding it, priming it and painting it bright pink (of course!).  I customized it further by swapping out the seat and adding a cute basket, and the finished product was absolutely adorable!  I even started to be known on campus as “the girl with hot pink bike”.  The only downside was that since the paint was only sprayed on (rather than professionally baked on), locking up the bike would cause chips despite the multiple clear coats I applied.

Leopard Print Bike Duct Tape Before

Fast-forward to now, a friend of mine bought a new bike and mentioned that we should go cruising around town.  After dusting off and fully cleaning my bike, I decided it was time for another makeover.  Not willing to go through the trouble of repainting it just to have it chip off again, I wanted to try wrapping it with the patterned duct tape I’ve seen everywhere.

Here’s how I did it…

Duct Tape Bike Makeover Materials

PREP:

  • Clean your bike thoroughly with soap and water– spray paint and adhesive will not stick to a dirty surface
  • If it’s an older bike, use CLR to remove any rust
  • Wipe down with a microfiber cloth and let dry completely

PRE-TAPE AND SPRAY PAINT:

  • If you don’t want to disassemble your bike, determine which corners, crevices and small areas may be difficult to wrap in duct tape and spray paint them with 2 coats of neutral colored spray paint (or one matching your patterned duct tape)
  • Make sure to carefully cover any of the parts around these areas that you don’t want to get spray paint onto. I used masking tape for small areas and screws, shielded the wheel spokes with paper grocery bags and taped plastic around the pedals and kickstand.
  • Let dry overnight

WRAPPING:

  • To make the wrapping process as easy as possible, I recommend using a pattern that you won’t need to line up (e.g. leopard print rather than stripes or checkers).  If it does need to line up, make sure to buy extra tape.
  • Bikes with straight frames can be taped lengthwise along the frame, but if you have a cruiser or a one with a lot of curves, I recommend using many short strips and wrapping around the frame instead
  • Tape over any screws and use a box cutter to cut around the protruding parts for a neater wrap
  • Buy more duct tape than you think you’ll need (I used about 1.5 rolls) and keep any leftovers to touch up areas that get scuffed

Leopard Print Bike Duct Tape After

After 2 quick afternoons, I now have a one-of-a-kind bike that’s pretty… and pretty unlikely to be stolen!  Really, thief?! You’re telling me that you have leopard-print-duct-tape-wrapped-cruiser too?  The wrap seems pretty durable and I’m happy to know that any parts that get scratched or scuffed can be rewrapped at the end of the season.

If I ever get bored with the pattern I can always peel it off, use some “Goo Gone” to remove the leftover residue and re-wrap it all over again.  The peacock plume printed duct tape by “Duck Brand” seems promising!!

What duct tape would you wrap a bike in—neon, polka dots, glow in the dark?  What are some other fun uses for patterned duct tape?  

Leopard Print Duct Tape Bike Wrap

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure:  I purchased these items on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥

Killer Legs x POUND Workout

Lunges.  We  know they’re necessary for really killer legs, but they’re the one part of my workout that I seem to skip repeatedly.  I’ll do a few extra squats or leg presses to make up for them, but lunges are always met with the empty promise that “I’ll do them next time”.

Thankfully, the Steve Nash Sports Clubs offer Pound classes, which are my little secret to slipping an obscene amount of lunges into my workout whenever I feel like my legs are in need of some attention.  I’ve been attending classes led by Marion, a super fun and upbeat instructor who somehow manages to make the classes even more fun than they inherently are.

Rockout Workoutimage from Pound Fitness

According to their website:

Pound is a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses into a 45-minute series. Burn between 600 and 900 calories per hour, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum your way to a leaner, slimmer physique – all while rocking out to your favorite music!

I love this class because it’s a really intense and musically driven workout.  Unlike Zumba (my previous favorite), you stay in one spot with your yoga mat for the whole the class, which means you’ll always have enough room no matter how packed the class gets.  To give you an idea of how it stacks up to other fitness classes, I think that it is more challenging and requires less coordination than Zumba (great for those of you with two left feet!) but it is still easier than Tabata.

Ripstix

This class is great for people of all levels because you get exactly what you put into it.  It can be hard or easy, depending on how much you want to push yourself and how deep you choose to go into each lunge and movement.  You’ll use 1lb Ripstix to drum on a yoga mat (to absorb the sound), but I have to warn you that the class can get quite loud at times, so I wouldn’t recommend it to those with sensitive hearing.  I actually considered wearing earplugs but figured that it would prevent me from drumming in time with the music.

You’ll drum to songs from popular artists like Bruno Mars and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, but the music includes all genres from hip-hop to rock (of course!).  It’s a very amped up class and invigorating workout and I really like that the loud music seems to give me an extra boost of energy.

Pound Workout Gear

My favorite part of this workout is that you get distracted by drumming to the beat of your favorite songs so you never realize how many lunges and squats you’ve actually done.  Every single song is a full-body workout, but there are certain “Poundtracks” that are geared to individual areas like your arms, butt and abs.  So make sure to bring a towel and water bottle and get ready to really work!

Pound classes are offered by Steve Nash Fitness World at their Morgan Crossing + Richmond locations (sorry, the Sports Clubs only!) but if you’re in an area like Cali, you can check a class out at a CRUNCH or UFC Gym, where SNFW members also get access!  More and more gyms are offering this rock star workout so I highly recommend giving it a try!

Check out the creators of Pound – Kirsten and Christina – demonstrating the workout on Access Hollywood!

What’s your favorite fitness class?  

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥

Oh Look A Sunscreen I Don’t Despise! x Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen

Creams, scrubs, powders, glosses… If you couldn’t already tell, I love beauty products.  A serum promising more radiant skin? I’m all over that.  A deep conditioner that will rehydrate fried strands? Sign me up.  A cream that gives you instantly firmer skin? Okay, kind of skeptical… but in it goes to my basket!

One product, however, sticks out in my mind as abhorrent no matter what I do or which ones I try…sunscreen.  I loathe everything about it from its smell, stickiness, the oily looking finish, the horrid white sheen…and that you need to go through it all over again every 2 hours.  Ugh.

My detestation for the white gloop means I don’t wear it nearly as much as I should, which is embarrassing since the importance of sun protection has been drilled into our heads in the same way that we have been taught to floss as kids.  But if the threat of skin cancer isn’t enough,  I’ll make a plea to your vanity and remind you that the sun WILL cause pre-mature aging in ways that no serum or cream can completely reverse.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and staying in the shade or throwing on a hat isn’t enough.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration

Before a recent trip to a music festival, I stumbled upon a jewel in the form of the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen.  I was going to pick up a spray sunscreen, but I’ve always hated how expensive they end up being since I can whip through one can over a long weekend—even less if you have to share.  I’m obsessed with moisturizing, as you may know, so it intrigued me that this product does double duty as both a sunscreen and lotion.

PACKAGING

It comes in an upside-down squeeze bottle, which attractively displays the swirls of cream and light brown while indicating how much product you have left.  The product isn’t sticky which makes it very easy to dispense and although I usually prefer pumps for lotions and creams, I appreciate that the flip top cap ensures a secure seal when tossed into your beach bag.

WHAT’S IN IT?

The “ultra-luxurious hydrating silk ribbons” don’t just refer to the swirls of sunscreen and lotion because the cream contains silk proteins, which are used in cosmetics to prevent the dehydration of skin.  I was skeptical of its claims of containing “nourishing antioxidants” and “exotic botanicals”, but a look at the ingredient list reveals the use of shea butter, mango seed butter and aloe vera leaf juice as well as papaya, taro root, mango, purple passionflower, plumeria and guava extracts.

APPLICATION / FINISH

This is where the product impressed me most.  It isn’t overwhelmingly thick or too runny (it’s about the consistency of a thick cream) and the fact that it isn’t at all sticky makes application a breeze.  It spreads easy and absorbs rapidly, melting into your skin as an ordinary moisturizer would.  There is no tacky or greasy residue and you’ll find zero evidence of that shiny, white layer sitting atop your skin.

SCENT

I really like the smell of this and would say that company’s description of it as a “warm tropical fragrance” is pretty accurate.  It doesn’t have the overpowering and artificial smell of coconuts found in other sunscreens, but instead has a milder coconut scent with some tropical and floral notes.  The effect is light and pretty, and it won’t overpower any fragrances you decide to wear that day.

Silk Hydration Swatch

It is broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) and is available in SPF 12, 30 and 50.  Its active ingredients are Avobenzone (3%), Octocrylene (6%), Oxybenzone (4%) and it is water resistant for 80 minutes.  Though it’s perfect for lounging on the beach, my only gripe with this would be that it’s not completely waterproof.  I’d be very diligent about applying every 2 hours if you’re swimming or doing water sports, but its easy application means this isn’t that much of a hassle.

I would definitely recommend this to all my fellow sunscreen haters out there because this is what I’ll be reaching for whenever I plan to spend time under the sun!

Check out my handy dandy image below to find out how much to use.  For easy application of all sunscreens, rub the lotion between your hands and pat each area to disperse the product before spreading.  Reapply every 2 hours and remember that we should be wearing a minimum of SPF 30 everyday, even when cloudy!

How Much Sunscreen

Have you come across any fantastic or horrible sun protection products?  I’d love to hear about them so leave a comment below!

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure:  I purchased this item on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thank you for your support! ♥

2 week wear and TWO sets of manicures from 1 box of Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips

I’ve always thought that nothing could ruin even the most perfect outfit faster than half-chipped off nail polish (ugh tacky!).  With this in mind, I splurged on a salon-quality gel polish kit a couple years ago when the at-home sets sold in drugstores didn’t exist and most salons hadn’t even offered the service yet.  It was well worth the price for glossy, chip-free lacquer and zero dry-time—Hallelujah!—but eventually the huge time commitment for nail prep, precise application and soak-off removal began to drive me INSANE!!

To give myself a break, I picked up a few of the supposedly “easy to apply” nail strips/stickers/wrap and can happily say that the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips have been my favorite so far!  They’re so much easier to apply than the Nail Rock Wraps found on ASOS and I wasn’t really interested in any of the prints currently offered by Essie.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects

I resisted trying these for so long mainly because: 1) a single printed manicure costs as much as buying a whole new bottle of good nail polish and 2) I was skeptical of the 10 day wear time for something advertised as “real nail polish”.  Now that I’ve tried them out though, if I had to choose the one product that impressed me most as of recently, it’s these Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips.  WOW, the hype around these is completely justified!

These Sally Hansen strips claim to last up to 10 days and fit all nail sizes.  Each box contains a cuticle stick, a multi-sided mini file (for shaping, buffing and filing the edge of the strip off) and 16 double-edged nail strips of differing widths.  They are “Big 3 Free” (no DBP, Toluene or Formaldehyde!) and boast being easy to use with no dry time—just peel, apply and shape.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Contents

I tweaked the instructions a bit since I’m quite familiar with nail strips.  I got chip-free nails for TWO WEEKS and was able to get TWO FULL SETS out of each box—with some left over!! 

THIS IS HOW I APPLIED THEM:

  • Push cuticles back and buff nails
  • Remove the excess oil from your nail (I used the nail dehydrator from my gel kit but acetone works too)
  • Apply the nail strips starting in the middle and working outwards
  • Leave a little space (no larger than half a mm) around the edge of the strip and use a cuticle nipper to trim the strip as needed
  • Use the nail file to trim the excess strip off
  • Seal with a quick drying clear coat (coincidentally, I used the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in “Clearly Quick”), making sure to wrap the tips and cover the little gap around the edges for a more secure seal
  • Let this dry and wrap the tips again with more clear polish

Out of Line

TIPS TO GET 2 FULL SETS OUT OF EACH BOX:

  • Note that you can only get 2 applications with shorter nails.  I prefer to trim my nails anyway before applying strip-type manicures so that they don’t get too long for the duration of wear and also because I think that prints can look a little overwhelming on longer nails.
  • Peel off the clear sheet on top of the strip before using a scissor to cut it in half.
  • Don’t open the other package containing the strips for the second hand!  Since these are real nail polish strips, they will supposedly dry out.
  • You’ll have more than enough strips to work with since the package for each hand contains 8 strips (cut in half = 16 strips) for only 10 fingers.  This is made easier because each strip is rounded on both ends to fit different types of cuticles, but any imperfect fits can be easily trimmed with a cuticle nipper.

Despite their claim to last only up to 10 days, the image below shows that with my tweaked application I have gotten 2 weeks of wear with no major chips and only a little fading around the tips.  Unfortunately, growth is inevitable!  Between constantly typing at work and a long weekend vacation including packing and zipping/unzipping luggage, my nails still look fantastic!  Wear-time will depend on the individual, but I am very hard on my nails since I am used to wearing things like Gelish and Shellac.

Salon Effects after 2 weeks

My only gripe with these strips is that unlike gels, they don’t stay glossy till the very end.  But that’s still not too bad considering the fast application and minimal nail damage!  Regular nail polish remover takes them off with more effort than I would have liked, so I recommend using 100% acetone, which swipes them off as easily as regular polish.

I’ve been won over and highly recommend giving these a try!!  In addition to tweaks allowing longer wear and 2 full applications per box, I love that patterned nails make chips even less noticeable.  “Out of Line” is perfect for the summer and although I wouldn’t bother with the glittery ones—stick to regular glitter polish since it already dries super fast—I hope to try “Laced Up” (a black floral lace) once fall rolls around.

What do you think of the Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips?  Has anyone else able to get 2 full manicures from a single box?

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure:  I purchased these items on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥

And I thought the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler couldn’t get any better!

Karl for Shu box

As a little bit of background to this particular situation, I had been using the iconic Shu Uemura eyelash curler for years and can say that it did live up to the hype.  Consistently awarded best in its class by beauty editors from magazines like Allure and InStyle, this tool is easy to use, fits all eye shapes and legitimately curls lashes rather than merely crimping or bending them.

Now imagine my disappointment when I lost it.  At $24 it wasn’t incredibly expensive, but I used curling mascaras for a while and hoped that I would eventually stumble upon it (it just wasn’t the same!).  Now take that disappointment and multiply that by 10 when I discovered that Shu Uemura stopped most of their distribution within North America—Sephora, Nordstrom, Saks… no one was carrying it!**  (I’m convinced someone took it from my makeup bag while at the gym because they knew getting a hold of one would be super tough!  Hmph!  Or maybe I just lost it…haha) 

Karl For Shu Close Up

Although the Shu Uemura curler is still at the top of InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys list, it was bumped off of Allure’s Best of Beauty List by Kevyn Aucoin’s “The Eyelash Curler” which features a red pad.  The shift from a normal pad to a bright red one makes it easier to ensure even placement along the lash roots and helps to point out any stray lashes left out when curling.

So despite being knocked out of Allure’s #1 spot, the Shu Uemura curler was my Holy Grail eyelash curler, I decided to repurchase it again.  Upon visiting the Shu Uemura website I noticed that there were selling a limited edition Karl Lagerfeld version (Karl for Shu) which came with a cute charm and…a BRIGHT RED PAD!  I couldn’t have been happier!!

Karl for Shu Eyelash Curler

A couple notes for anyone interested in buying this:

  • Reviews on Amazon indicated that a few of the sellers were actually peddling fakes, so I recommend buying from an authorized reseller
  • A comparison of the Canadian/US site shows that the Canadian site was retailing the Karl for Shu curler for $24 while the American site has it listed on sale for $18 (Do you see my frustration with shopping in Canada? Our dollar is practically at par!!)
  • You can get FREE SHIPPING if you register with Shu Uemura for emails (if you’re lazy, the code is “REGISTER1”)
  • I’m happy with the Whitefficient Clear Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil (20ml) which I selected as my free sample because it feels really luxurious!

Karl For Shu Contents

So this baby is now all mine, and for 25% less than what I would have paid in Canada!  It works just as well as the original, but I’ve really been liking the new red pad.  There’s no more need to re-curl uneven lashes because it very obviously indicates if your curler is not perfectly aligned with your lash line.  The charm is cute but tends to get caught on things in my makeup bag (as if eyelash curlers don’t do that enough!), but if it hassles you too much you can always remove it.

The Karl for Shu eyelash curler is limited edition so if you’re looking to pick up an eyelash curler, I recommend getting this one soon!

What are some of your favorite holy grail beauty tools?  I’m always on the lookout so I’d love some recommendations! 

With love,
Veronique♥

**Between the time that I ordered it and wrote this post, Sephora seems to have started selling Shu Uemura again.  Both Sephora websites for the USA & Canada still indicate that they do not carry the brand, but I walked into a store at some point in the past couple weeks and located a Shu Uemura display.  They did not carry the limited edition Karl for Shu eyelash curler, but they did have some of the original ones in stock.   

 

 

Disclosure:  I purchased this item on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥

What I’m Loving At The Moment x The Geometric Leather Necklace

Geometric Leather Necklace

Necklace from Charlotte Russe

A welcome change from the elaborate and sparkly necklaces donned in prior seasons, I’ve been loving the geometric leather bib necklace.  It’s edgy, yet still polished, and I adore the striking contrast of the buttery leather and high gloss metal.  Following this year’s minimalist trend, this chic accessory is highly versatile and transitions easily from summer to fall.

Nicole Ritchie House of Harlow

House of Harlow 1960 – 5 Station Necklace in Leather (Color: Khaki)

Like the House of Harlow necklace pictured on Nicole Richie, this accessory will up the ante for a solid colored maxi dress and its geometric shapes pair well with the tribal prints and boho nuances punctuating this summer’s music festival inspired looks.  It adds effortless glam when paired with distressed denim shorts, but will look just as fabulous at the office.  But as the weather cools, there’s something about fall that makes me instantly want to slip into leather skirts and shorts—an obvious pairing for this accessory!  Soften these pieces with a flowy chiffon top in cream or pale nude and top it all off with dramatic liquid liner for a sophisticated and put-together look.

What would you pair with this necklace?  Have you seen any other stores carrying similar ones?

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure: I purchased this item on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post. These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned. Thanks for your support! ♥

Monday Musings x Be Happy.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  Here’s a little inspiration to get you through the week… ♥

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With love,

Veronique♥

[Disclaimer:  The above images were pulled from Tumblr – I do not own any of them.  If anyone requires photo credit, please let me know and I would be happy to include it.  Thanks for your support! ♥]

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

Revlon Lip Butters

Lipsticks tend to be one of those things that I could go with or without. I only have a few lipsticks that I’d be truly devastated to lose since I gravitate towards tinted balms, lip stains or highly pigmented glosses, but last fall/winter’s matte red pout and this summer’s bright bold lip have renewed my interest in this makeup staple.

A few of the drugstore makeup lines have released light-weight formulas of lipstick/lip balm hybrids, such as L’Oreal’s Color Riche Caresse Stick Lipstick, Maybelline’s ColorSensational Color Whisper and Revlon’s ColorBurst Lip Butter. I was very excited to try out some of these since my main concern is that lipsticks tend to dry out my lips. Let’s just put it out there that chapped lips are never a good look and as far as lips go, they’re pretty much as anti-sexy as you can get.

Lip Butter Labels

Shoppers Drug Mart had the Revlon Lip Butters on sale so I stopped in to pick up one or two and instantly fell in love!! The consistency and color selection were so fantastic that I snapped up a total of 7 of them, even driving to another location to pick up the shades that I apparently needed to have but were currently out of stock. The colors I purchased were: 010 Raspberry Pie, 015 Tutti Frutti, 025 Peach Parfait, 030 Fig Jam, 070 Cherry Tart, 090 Sweet Tart and 095 Crème Brule.

Revlon Lip Butter Swatches 1

True to its name, Raspberry Pie (010) is a deep raspberry-toned hue. The consistency of this gorgeous fuchsia is the smoothest and creamiest of all the Lip Butters I own, and it packs a big punch with the highest color payoff by far. Revlon Lip Butters are advertised as sheer to medium coverage, but I’m not complaining that this one definitely over delivers with creamy, full coverage. I bought this on a whim to experiment with the fuchsia lip I’ve been seeing everywhere and I’m happy to report that this is the Lip Butter that I’ve reached for the most.

Tutti Frutti (015) is a bright tangerine, which although not nearly as pigmented as Raspberry Pie, delivers a bright pop of color that is perfect for summer. Swiping this once over your bare lip will deposit a slightly sheer orange that gives your natural lip color more of a coral tone. The color is somewhat buildable, but no matter how much you apply the sheer texture prevents it from showing up like the shocking orange seen in the tube.

Revlon Lip Butter Swatches 2

Cherry Tart (070) is a glossy, sheer red with barely visible shimmers. Despite how strong the color looks in the tube, this Lip Butter applies surprisingly sheer with a very moist consistency that is reminiscent of a tinted balm. This cherry hue contains blue (rather than orange) undertones—which with a red lipstick is always a good thing as it makes your teeth appear whiter.

Peach Parfait (025) is a pretty, peachy pink filled with gold-toned sparkles. This Lip Butter is very sheer and quite sparkly, which although looked nice when swatched on my arm, didn’t work well with my skin tone when applied to my lips due to its cooler undertones. Peach Parfait is by far the sparkliest of all these lipstick/lip balm hybrids and would be my recommendation for younger girls looking to experiment with makeup.

Black Honey Dupe

DUPE ALERT!

I was really excited when I swatched Fig Jam (030), because I instantly knew it was a dupe for one of my all time favourites, the Clinique Almost Lipstick (also a lipstick/lip balm hybrid) in Black Honey. Black Honey has become a cult-classic with its sheer formula that although intimidatingly dark in the tube, actually applies as a universally flattering sheer, berry tint. As you can see from the swatches above, I would definitely consider Fig Jam to be an affordable dupe!! Just like its department store counterpart, Fig Jam appears deceptively dark but glides on very sheer tinting lips in the perfect my-lips-but-better kind of way.

Revlon Lip Butter Swatches 4

Sweet Tart (090) applies on lips as a simple bright pink that is much more wearable than the vibrant, almost neon pink seen in the tube. This would be the pink-hued equivalent of Tutti Frutti in terms of both consistency and color payoff. Sweet Tart paired with a similar toned lip liner has been my go-to product for this summer’s bright pink lip.

I had hoped that Crème Brule (095), a sheer nude with fine silver shimmer, would create the perfect nude lip to pair with a smoky eye. While it had a lovely, slightly peach tone (similar to the lid) when swatched on my arm, the silver shimmers lighted the color too much for my skin tone and looked too frosted on my lips. The end result seemed to cancel out any reddish tones in my lips, resulting in the unflattering bluish-purple your lips turn when you are freezing cold. I would have preferred this shade with no shimmer at all, or at least with a gold or bronze shimmer that could warm up this nude tone. This one is by far my least favourite and will sadly be tossed out.

Lip Butter Arm Swatches

Other than Peach Parfait and Crème Brule—which could be nice on those with lighter complexions but don’t really work with my skin tone—I couldn’t be happier with these Lip Butters! The name sounds as luxurious as the product feels and with a formula containing mango, shea and coconut butter for moisture and I am happy to report that I have yet to find that my lips become dry from putting these on. The cute, quilted packaging so chic and the translucent colored caps (with a clear top window) make it easy to find the color you need, regardless of whether you store your lipsticks upright or on their side.

These Lip Butters don’t have that regular lipstick smell and actually, I could barely detect much of any scent from them at all. The consistency is exactly what you would expect from something that is half-lipstick/half-balm and although the top of the product appears to be the consistency of an ordinary lipstick, rubbing the first millimetre or two off will reveal a moister and glossier stick underneath.

Revlon Lip Butter Circle

Revlon Lip Butters come in a total of 20 colors featuring a variety of both matte/crème and shimmery finishes. The colour payoff varied according to the shade, with most of lighter colors having sheer coverage and the bolder colors containing enough pigment for solid, medium coverage.

I also adore how truly versatile this product is! One swipe over bare lips provides a sheer and moisturizing hint of color that I now opt for instead of my usual lip balm. The sheer but buildable nature makes it perfect for experimenting with bolder shades that you wouldn’t normally wear, and layering it over a matching lip liner provides a strong pop of lustrous color. None of the shades are fully opaque, but unlike other lipsticks, the balm portion ensures that the color wears off evenly and naturally. I definitely get the hype surrounding the Revlon Lip Butters and I can’t recommend them enough!

What do you think of the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters? How do you think they compare to the other drugstore lipstick/lip balm hybrids?

With love,

Veronique♥
[Disclosure: I purchased these items on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post. These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support! ♥]

Addicted x Beauty Hauls

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about (yes, you dad!)…

  • Haul Video: the beauty/fashion blogger’s version of the “unboxing” videos so popular in the tech-gadget industry, described on Wikipedia as “a video recording, posted to the Internet, which displays items recently purchased, including product details or even the price. The posting of haul videos (or hauls) has been a growing trend, during 2007-2010.”

I love watching haul videos and reading blog posts showcasing the recent acquisitions of my favourite beauty bloggers. It’s about more than shopping vicariously through them or coveting the items that they reveal, because beauty bloggers approach these products and tools in a completely different way than everyone else.

shopping bags research

We’re perpetually on the hunt for that “HG” (holy grail) hair/lip/face/cheek/nail product that we simply can’t live without. We are also willing to put in the time and effort to do the necessary research and will comb through review after review find out which products really live up to their claims and which ones simply fall flat. We reveal which products give you the most bang for your buck and which products are truly worth the splurge. We assess every single aspect of these items taking into consideration how it smells, what the consistency is like, how the product feels when it’s on, if it lasts, if it is worth the money, who it should use it, when to use it, what is the best method of application, if improvements could be made to the packaging… and a myriad of other things that could make any boy’s head spin.

I think beauty hauls should be less about “Oooh look what I got!” and more along the lines of “This is what I purchased, these are the reasons why and this is what I think about it so far”. Good hauls are often a compilation of mini-reviews for each product—often for items that bloggers can’t film a whole video for or write an entire post about but still deem worthy of mentioning. They’ll often swatch it or describe the product’s smell/consistency/feel and mention if it’s a new product that they’re excited to try or a repurchased item for something they love and have already used up. It is really interesting to see which items these beauty product junkies (who are often sent oodles of things to test and review) actually purchase and use on themselves.

Beauty bloggers are also always willing to try new products. This makes hauls famous for revealing items that you never knew existed but may have been exactly what you were looking for. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with a few beauty bloggers (or vloggers!), you’ll figure out whose opinions and taste preferences you value enough to purchase products based on their recommendation alone.

It may all sound a bit frivolous to those unfamiliar with the process, but the number of hits proves that they must be doing something right! Plus, let’s just admit it… they’re super, super fun to watch!! And for all you non-believers, just give it a try, because if you are able to find that one serum that erases all signs of hyper pigmentation or that perfect deep conditioner that transforms your straw-like hair to lush, commercial-worthy tresses, it may change your life!

Check out some of the hauls videos I’ve linked below.  Let the coveting begin!

Fleur De Force’s (fleurdeforce) High End Beauty Haul

Ingrid Nilsen’s (missglamorazzi) Drugstore Beauty Haul

Elle Fowler’s (allthatglitters21) Summer Beauty Haul

Who are some of your favourite beauty bloggers?

With love,
Veronique♥

[Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post.  These opinions are my own and are in no way indicative of the opinions or positions of any of the companies or people mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥]

29 heels, 9 flats, 13 sandals, 4 ankle boots, 5 tall boots & 4 sneakers in 2.5 square feet of floor space!

When people say they have a “shoe problem”, it usually means they buy too many shoes. As a shoe addict in total denial, my shoe problem is how to store what I’ve accumulated so that everything is visible, easily accessible and neatly organized… all while taking up as little space as possible!

While I would loooove shelves upon shelves of neatly displayed shoes like Carrie Bradshaw’s closet in the movie Sex and the City, function and practicality are my main concern. I consider myself to be more of a shoe-addict-in-denial, rather than full blown shoe addict because when it comes down to it, shoes are not my weakness. I am more of an overall or general beauty/fashion junkie, and any space taken up by additional shoe racks only means a bigger problem storing everything else…

Shoe Storage Polaroid

I was previously using 2 extendable shoe racks stacked one on top of another. My heels and sneakers were on the shelves, half my boots were along the top shelf, the remaining boots were lined up next to the wall and I also had a bin off to the side containing my flip-flops & flat sandals.

For those of you ladies who wear high heels on a regular basis (+3 in.), I’m sure you understand my frustration with the standard shoe racks that use 2 bars in place of a shelf. While they do hold everything in place, taking heels in and out can be somewhat of a nightmare—the tall heels often hang down too low, touching and getting hooked onto the shoe that you are trying to pull out or put back. The result: a messy shoe rack with some shoes half hanging, some that tumbled down to the shelf below and a lot of shoes perpetually strewn at the base of the shelf. So maybe it’s not a complete nightmare (read: first world problem), but I knew there had to be a better solution.

Here’s how I crammed neatly organized 29 pairs of high heels, 9 pairs of flat shoes, 13 pairs of sandals, 4 pairs of ankle boots, 5 pairs of knee-high boots and 4 sneakers into 2.5ft2 of floor space…with room to grow!

(There are also 4 more pairs of random over-the-knee boots, Ugg boots and rain boots somewhere to the right, but for the sake of this post, let’s just pretend they don’t exist. I don’t think I can fit much more onto this one shelf, but if you think of a way to do it leave a comment below! I’d love to hear it!)

shoe storage overview

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  1. Ikea Billy Bookcase ($69.99 CDN)
  2. Ikea Billy Extra Shelves ($10.00 CDN each) – I used a total of 3 extra shelves
  3. Screwdriver + Hammer (as per the Billy Bookcase instructions)
  4. Power Drill

**If you aren’t quite as comfortable as I am with power tools, feel free to replace 3 & 4 with your dad, boyfriend, super nice guy friend or very handy girlfriend!

Billy Bookcase Materials

SOME CONSIDERATIONS:

The best part of this project is that you can change it and switch it up according to your own shoe collection. Feel free to make use of the predrilled holes and use only what comes in the Ikea box, or purchase additional shelves and take a power drill to the bookcase to make the shelf levels completely customizable.

Before you start, you should decide if you want to build something that is more of a shoe display case (i.e. something that nicer and neater but doesn’t hold as much per bookcase) or if you are looking for a more practical shoe storage solution (i.e. more shelves and more shoes per shelf). Your decision should take into consideration how extensive your shoe collection is and how much floor space you have to work with. Whatever you want to achieve will determine how best to install the shelves and organize your shoes.

TIPS:

Arrange first by style / type of shoe

This will make the most efficient use of shelf height. I determined the height of the shelves by measuring it against the tallest pair of each style. If you have more than one shelf per style, make sure that all of those shelves are the same height, and try to start new styles of shoes on different shelves so that the excess space can be used for any future purchases.

♥ Then arrange by colour

Arranging by colour is the most aesthetically appealing because it gives a greater illusion of order and organization, especially if you are tight on space. To keep things simple, I went lightest to darkest with neutrals, with some variation near the end for coloured/multicoloured shoes.

♥ Determine how best to arrange the shoes on each shelf

Shoe Shelves

  • 4 Pairs Per Shelf: Display 4 pairs of shoes per shelf facing forward.
  • 5 Pairs Per Shelf: Alternate the direction in which you face shoes to compress each pair’s width. Fitting 5 pairs per shelf will allow a little buffer between pairs so that taking something from the shelf does not disturb the shoes next to it.
  • 6 Pairs Per Shelf: (This was the option that worked best for my shoes) I alternated the direction of my shoes, but pulled the front facing shoe as far forward as possible while pushing the back facing shoe as far back as possible. This further compressed each pair’s width allowing me to fit one more pair per shelf, but removed the extra space between pairs. Removing or returning a pair does disturb the shoes next to it, but not by much and not inconveniently so.
  • 7 Pairs Per Shelf: Alternate the directions of the shoes again, but first put in all the back facing shoes at a diagonal, then put all the front facing shoes in facing forward. Although this method makes the most efficient use of shelf space, I opted not to organize my shoes this way because I found removing and returning shoes to be too inconvenient. I think that there are also too many shoes crammed onto each shelf, making it difficult to remove or return shoes quickly and neatly.
  • Flats + Sandals: If you have few pairs of flats & sandals, I recommend stacking them one on top of another with pairs side by side so that removing one pair doesn’t jostle the ones next to it (as I did with my shelf of flats). If you have many pairs of flats & sandals, I recommend laying them on their side with the toes facing opposite directions and soles facing outwards (as I did with my sandals & flip flops). This allows you to compress the space further if you purchase more shoes, and keeping the soles facing outwards prevents them from dirtying one another while also preventing the straps from getting tangled when taking them off the shelf.

Note: I recommend that you spread your shoes out as much as you can at first, then cram them in a little at a time and reorganize/compress as you buy additional pairs.

Keep a shoe mat nearby

Wipe them at the door, but it doesn’t hurt to keep one nearby to wipe shoes before putting them back onto the white shelves. Buy a nice one that matches your décor or do what I did and grab one for $1 at Ikea—it’s very plain, but it can be put away when company comes over and is easily replaced after each rainy/snowy season.

SOME ALTERNATE IDEAS:

♥ If you wear sneakers more often than I do, place one low shelf along the bottom and store sneakers below your boots rather than along the top.

♥ Arrange your shelves so the shortest ones (for flats) are at the top, and the tallest ones (for boots) are at the bottom. Although this will make things look more orderly, consider that it may be less practical to have to reach higher for flats and sandals.

♥ Hide or conceal your bookcase using the accompanying glass doors from Ikea. If you are planning to close off your bookcase, make sure to air out your shoes every once in a while.

♥ If you are creating a display case:

  • Tilt the shelves forward by placing the back pegs one peg hole higher than those in the front to give a better view of the shoe.
  • Replace all regular shelves with the frosted glass shelves from Ikea (same price, $10 each). If you do this, please note that the middle shelf is fixed and will have to remain white.
  • Consider installing lighting to illuminate your display case

Would you organize your shoes this way? What other space-saving solutions have you come up with to store your shoe collection?

With love,
Veronique♥

[Disclosure: I purchased these items on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post. These are my opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned. Thanks for your support! ♥]