Monday, 31 August 2015

Soap Stories Review

Review of Skincare and Nail Products from Soap Stories
A month or so ago I received a package that made my room smell like a fruity, floral heaven. I have to thank Soap Stories for that - their fragrant, beautiful products had me excited for body and nail care!

The three soaps I received were the Lavender, Patchouli Blood Orange and Grapefruit soaps*, They're cruelty-free, vegan, and contain essential oils. While they all smelled heavenly, my favourite was definitely the grapefruit soap; the scent was fresh, light and perfect for the summer. The patchouli blood orange soap smelled very, very, similar and the lavender one smelled relaxing (as lavender always does). I'll be honest in saying that the formula for the soaps were not my favourite - I found them to be drying on my skin. They were much less than regular bar soap but they did not feel moisturizing to me. The soaps looked rustic and handmade and they were packaged well. They certainly make for beautiful, personal gifts - maybe a part of a gift basket! I do believe they're sold as bricks if you're looking to cut them up for party favours.

I also received the Natural Shine Nail Kit in Coconut* which came with a nail file/buffer, cuticle oil, Oatmeal Coconut Exfoliating Soap and Shea & Coconut Body Butter. These products came in a beautiful book-like package which makes it a lovely gift. The nail file had four sides to it with four steps: file, buff, polish and shine. I really liked this product - it was easy to use, effective and left my nails looking so healthy. I loved that the buffer didn't scrape my nail badly and the shine-r didn't leave my nails looking like they had a clear top coat on. While 15-year-old Nabihah loved shiny nails, 22-year-old Nabihah feels that unpainted, shiny nails look like you've spit on them (my mom's words, not mine). I would recommend this product to everyone, even if you have soft or brittle nails as they're not harsh on them at all. I also loved the cuticle oil: while the oil had a tendency to slip out of the tube, it absorbed so quickly and easily into my cuticles. I was left with well moisturized, non-greasy cuticles and that's a huge plus in my books.

The exfoliating soap was a bit of a disappointment - it didn't exfoliate nearly as well as the sugar scrubs I was used to. It was much more drying than the other soaps I'd gotten and the fact that the exfoliator was ineffective makes it a product I am not likely to purchase. I do love that, like the other soaps, it's vegan and cruelty free. The shape of the soap made it easy to use; using body washes has made me forget how slippery bars of soap can be but I had no trouble at all with this.

The body butter was by far my favourite. It was thick and moisturizing without being greasy which is a hard combination to find. This is definitely a product you can use all year long as it's not too intense for summer. It smelled light and warm and I loved how well it applied. I wish more body butters had this formula - it's perfect for people who hate moisturizing as this is so light while being extremely effective.

Have you ever tried Soap Stories? Which product do you think you'd get? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

5 Tips for Avoiding the Morning Rush

Tips for getting ready in the mornings quickly, sleeping in
Once you hit a certain age, every second of sleep is precious. From hitting snooze multiple times to not wearing make up to work, I will do anything to get those extra minutes of sleep. But I've been getting better at the whole "morning" thing and I boil it down to these few tips:

1. Just wake up earlier. Easier said than done but I find that when I know I have an early morning, I try to get to bed much earlier than I normally would. This means I can wake up fairly refreshed and not have to run around looking for things.

2. Dry Shampoo the night before. If you've been reading this blog for a few months, you'll know my dry shampoo tricks - baby powder brushed through my hair the night before absorbs all oil and, as a bonus, there's no white residue in the morning.

3. Organize your make up and outfit the night before. I can spend countless minutes deciding on an outfit so I try to check the weather and plan my outfit the night before. This saves me from staring at my closet and frantically throwing together something haphazard. Don't forget shoes and any jewellery!

4. Make sure any bags are packed the night before. The worst thing you can do is worry about packing your bag when you're in a rush; you're more likely to forget half the things you need! Keep everything you need for the day all together so you can just grab and go.

5. Quick breakfasts that can be made and kept the night before or are quick to assemble are key to ensuring you don't skip that important meal. Granola bars are a life saver as they're quick to throw into your bag and easy to eat during your commute.

It's all about prep when it comes to being more organized in the mornings. If you work a little the night before, you're rewarded with a few more minutes to sleep in the morning after and that is gold. What are your tips for avoiding the Morning Rush? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

image source: weheartit

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Haul + Swatch: ColourPop

Haul and Swatch of Eyeshadows, lipsticks and highlighters from Colourpop Cosmetics
How is it that I've only just discovered Colourpop? Only when I discovered it did I realize that it's an affordable brand that beauty gurus have been raving about for a while. Determine to not be left out, I made an order and I'm so glad that I did. I don't usually order makeup online because I don't like not knowing how products will look on me before I buy them. What I love about the Colourpop site (other than the affordable makeup) is that they sometimes show swatches of the products on people of different skin colours. This makes it really easy for me to see how the product is likely to look on my skin and so I wasn't uneasy about buying makeup online.

The timing of this discovery was perfect as I was in the market for a gold highlighter and willing to dish out a pretty penny on Becca Opal. Instead, for tens of dollars cheaper, I got a beautiful golden highlighter in the form of Wisp. The highlighter is a mousse-y, creamy product that I use my fingers to apply. I've read that synthetic and duo-fiber brushes work really well but I love an intense highlight so I pat it onto the tops of my cheekbones. While the highlight is intense, I find that it's a tad light for my skin so it only shows up when it hits the light making it subtle otherwise (does that make any sense?!). This strange combination makes it a perfect "everyday" highlight and so I don't feel too conspicuous wearing it during the day.  
Swatch of Colourpop Cosmetics Highlighter
 Super Shock Cheek Highlighter in Wisp
I also bought two Lippie Sticks in Lumiere and Brink - I'm in quite the nude lipstick rut but I couldn't help it. Being darker skinned it's so hard to find the perfect nude so I jump at any nude lipstick I see. I'm very happy with the colours I chose and can't wait to try them out!
Swatch of Colourpop Cosmetics Lipsticks
Lippie Sticks: Lumiere / Brink
Lastly, I bought four eye shadows and, as usual, I stuck to my neutral guns and bought gold and brown shades with the exception of one: a deep purple. Colourpop shadows has many finishes. Though I'm not too sure on the differences between them, from what I understand Satin, Pearlized, Metallic and Ultra-Metallic all have glitter in them with Satin being the least glittery and Ultra-Metallic being the most. The colours I purchased were Intoxicate (a matte brown), Get Lucky (a true liquid gold is the best way to describe it), Lace (a gorgeous deep purple) and Nillionaire (a super glittery brown). I can't wait to rock these shadows and I'll be sure to post a review when I do!
Swatches of Colourpop Cosmetics Eyeshadows
Eyeshadows: Intoxicate / Get Lucky / Lace / Nillionaire
Have you ever tried ColourPop? What are your favourite products from the brand? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

6 Easy Tips for a Better Sleep

Tips for a Better Sleep
I am one of those people that wakes up several times in the middle of the night. I don't get a proper, deep sleep and I'm always tired. Or at least I was. Lately, I've been fortunate to get much better sleep. I still wake up at night, sometimes, but not nearly as frequently as I used to. I've spent a long, long time monitoring what I do and I've narrowed down my better sleep to six things:

1. Exercise: I'm sure there's a chemical reason as to why exercising helps you sleep better. I also know there's a scientific reason as to why it gives you more energy during the day. But I find that days I work out in the evening, it just exhausts my body and gives me a deeper, more intense sleep.

2. Warm Shower/Bath: Cold baths are great in the morning because it jolts you and wakes you up. Likewise, I find a warm shower or bath a couple hours before bed does me wonders. I feel warm and clean, and I do it so frequently that my automatic response is to go to bed!

3. Warm Tea: Nothing makes me feel warmer, cosier or sleepier than a warm mug of tea (decaf, of course). My favourites include vanilla, camomile and apple cider.

4. No Screens: This means my laptop goes away at least a half hour before bed. The backlight on screens like your computer and phone tell your brain it's time to wake up rather than wind down. I'm still working on putting my phone away before bed but my night owl friends have me responding to texts later than I'd like!

5. Reading: The easiest way to follow the "no screen" rule: I try to read a book in bed. Not only does reading help me sleep, it gets me through my reading list faster!

6. Night Mask: This is probably my favourite sleeping tip as the night mask blocks out any and all lights making sure nothing disturbs me at night. You can get expensive ones on sites like WildFox but I got mine from Michael's for less than $5.

Not getting a proper night's sleep is probably one of the most frustrating things (sleep deprivation is actually a form of torture). I really hope these tips help you - let me know if they do! And leave your tips for a better sleep in the comments below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Image Source: weheartit

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Makeup: My Five Product Face

Makeup review of Tarte, Buxom, Nars, Inglot, Rimmel and Sephora
Let's be honest, I chose five products because there was some alliteration to it. But being even more honest, I actually use just five products on my face if I'm heading out with friends. Just to clarify, this isn't my everyday makeup because lately I haven't been wearing makeup daily (don't tell the beauty gurus). This also isn't my night-out makeup because that requires a lot more than five products. This is my "I'm seeing people I know so I should probably not look like a slob" makeup - or what would be my everyday makeup.

Foundation - the foundation I've been reaching for as of late is my Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation. It works better for me during the summer months as the clay ensures my skin doesn't get greasy and the darker shade is a pretty great match for my tanned skin. I just buff it in with my Sonia Kashuk brush and my base is done. You can choose to use primer or powder but with this foundation, I find that I don't always need to.

Blush - NARS is one of my favourite blushes because of their shade range and longevity - it's that simple. I add Orgasm to the apples of my cheek for a glow and pop of colour.

Eyeshadow - I'm not always one for eyeshadow but I find that a little silver or gold in the inner corners of my eyes does wonder for brightening my face. It makes me look a little more awake and a little more put together so I add a bronze Inglot shadow there.

Eyeliner - I think that eyeliner is one of two things that makes the biggest difference on your face. A quick top line or feline flick has me looking dressier and as though I made more of an attempt to look nice without being too tedious. The Sephora Collection Dramatic Line is what I've been reaching for lately as it's smudge proof, dark and lasts well.

Lipstick - Lipstick is the second of the two things I mentioned. A bold lip or even a wash of nude seems to enhance all my make up. I find that you can get away with a lot when your lipstick is just right. For my everyday nude (and actually everyday!), I use Buxom or Rimmel.

And there you have it - not too much and not too little. It's an easy process for me and I feel as though it makes a huge difference.

What are your everyday products or favourite products? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

What's in My Bag

What's in the purse of The Sunday Wardrobe
I've had a revelation lately where I've just started writing things that I want to read. I read a lot of blogs and while I love the content and reading other styles of writing, there's been a few things I'd like to read that I couldn't really find. So I thought, why not create the content I want to read and hopefully it'd inspire others to do the same!

I love having a nosy around other people's purses - there's a lot you can tell about someone and there's a lot to learn from peering in other people's handbags. I find that while a lot of "What's in My Bag" videos are quite similar, there are always one or two items that I suddenly realize are essential for everyday use and I need in my bag. I don't like carrying big bags as they're quite heavy and easily knock things down in small, crowded stores, so I've streamlined my purse to the bare essentials. Just an FYI, my purse is from Charming Charlie.

In terms of boring, sensible bits: obviously there's my phone and wallet. This is really a card holder that I got from ASOS. I got it because, as you can tell, my purse is really quite small and my large wallet was a tad too chunky for it. Unfortunately, I didn't read too closely into this card holder and it is genuine leather (I feel awful every time I glance at the label). However, there are many animal friendly, non-leather card holders on the site and I'd encourage all of you to get one!

I usually wear contacts and by the end of the night, my eyeballs are so dry, they're ready to pop out of the sockets. Given that pleasant mental image, I carry around eye drops and my glasses so I can slip out my contacts when they're getting unbearable. I also carry hand sanitizer (you would not believe how many times this has come in handy) and hand cream (for when my hands get dry from the sanitizer). Tissues are another essential that we often overlook but is a great emergency tool. And gum is a must for me - I love garlic-y, fragrant foods that aren't so kind to my breath.

In terms of makeup and beauty, I'm fairly low key - a mirror to check my face, chapstick because I have the driest lips in the world and only two (!) lip products. The colours of the lip products change depending on the lip colour I'm wearing that day but generally Rimmel's Kate Moss in 107 and Buxom's True Nude Lip Foundation in Revealed do the trick! And of course a hair tie and a few bobby pins are thrown in for good measure (and bad hair days)!

There you have it, a pretty wordy post for something that can easily be seen in a picture. If you needed absolutely one thing in your purse (phone and wallet aside), what would it be? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

My Summer Base

Base products with reviews for Neutrogena, Benefit, Tarte, Laura Mercier and Covergirl

This summer has been really experimental for me - I've taken more chances with makeup and mixing foundations and I think I've finally figured out my summer base. This is a little heavier than my everyday make up (ie, nothing) and I like how it looks and it's lasted well through the sweltering heat. Disclaimer, I have combination oily skin so the products I use are to mattify my skin. Proceed with caution if your skin is dry!

First off, I prime my face with my absolute favourite primer, Neutrogena's Shine Control Primer. I apply this bad boy on my t-zone as that's where I get the oiliest. I then go in with Benefit's Porefessional Primer on my cheeks to ensure my makeup lasts well. This combination has been a winner this summer and I'm very impressed.

Next I use Tarte's Amazonian Clay Foundation in Tan Deep - I've always had very mixed reviews on this since the formula is fantastic but the colour isn't the best. Thanks to my tan, this colour now suits me very well and so I've been really enjoying this foundation. It has good coverage and lasts hours without getting greasy - a summer winner.

I'm fairly fortunate to not need concealer under my eyes but I have been highlighting below my eyes, along the bridge of my nose and between my brows with a combination of two parts Covergirl's Ready Set Gorgeous Conceealer in Medium/Deep and one part Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Suntan. The concealer is a bit drying - great for me as my skin gets oily as the day goes by but it's not one one for dry-skinned people. The concealer is effective while the foundation is to ensure that the concealer highlights without looking too white on me - drugstores and their lack of testers and return policy are the bane(s) of my existence.

I don't powder as most of the products I use are mattifying/drying but I find that this base doesn't wear off or slip around too much. I can get a good 6 hours before looking a bit worn which is fine for me as this is my "I'm finally getting out of the house and going to an event" base.

Have you tried any of the products? What was your opinion on them? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe with your base products!