November 30, 2014

Nivea's changing your Shower rouine

Growing up, I was never into moisturizing. It was too girly for me. As I got older, I started using them more frequently, but was annoyed that it would take a few minutes to absorb before I could feel comfortable enough to fully dress. Since then, I’ve only applied to my dry spots.

Like most people, I don’t have time anymore to wait around, so I’d skip on the moisturizer.

When I met with Nivea at Spark Sessions, they told me about their new In-Shower Body Milk. You apply it in the shower after you wash then you rinse it off, towel dry and you’re supposed to be left feeling smooth & moisturized, non-sticky and ready to get on with your day.

It’s supposed to save me time and leave me moisturized? This sounds too good to be true.

I was wrong. 

After I dried off, my skin felt great! I didn’t have to wait. I didn’t feel like there was a layer sitting on top of my skin. I was soft and moisturized. All. Day. Long.

I had received a full size bottle in my gift bag (from Spark Sessions) and two samples from Nivea as well. As much as I wanted to keep it all to myself, I had to share this shower changing product with some friends. 

The Nivea In-Shower Body Milk comes launches in January and is a serious must have for everyone who wants to feel smooth and save time.

November 27, 2014

Holiday Nail Art Collab: Week 2

This week's theme for the collaboration with Miranda is Holiday Treats.

I decided to go with my boyfriend's favorite treat, candy canes. I also included a cute sugar cookie star. While sugar cookies are not my favourite, they're so good and I look forward to them every year.

Tools of the art:

- OPI Alpine Snow
- essence Oh My Glitter
- Revlon Casino Lights
- Zoya Blu
- essence Pearls
- Dotting tool
- Stripping tape

The yellow & purple (with some white) formed the light brown for the sugar cookie and the dotting tool was used to apply the pearls.

I attempted to paint some candy cane stripes, but quickly learned that I suck at it, so I taped over it. If you look at the thumb, you can see a bit of red under the tape. Oh well.

I'm very adamant about cleaning my makeup brushes. This is my fav scent!

Make sure you check out Miranda's blog for more pictures of her nails!

November 23, 2014

Overview: Spark Sessions 2014

A week has gone by since Spark Sessions, and I'm still trying to organize everything and catch up on sleep!

For those of you who are not familiar with Spark Session, this is a Canadian blogger conference. The focus is more towards beauty and fashion bloggers, however the information that you take away can be applied to bloggers of all interest. November 15 & 16, 2014 marks the 2nd year for Spark Sessions. Looking at their sponsors, they have grown compared to their first year.

I learned about Spark Sessions last year, but it was already too late to buy tickets. I put myself on their email list and patiently waited until tickets for this year's event come for sale.
Some table-top decorations

The event included a small breakfast (croissants, yogurt) and a nice lunch each day, a variety of "Sessions" (workshops), speed networking, a sponsor fair and of course, if all that networking, socializing and learning wasn't enough, an amazing swag bag.

We had some special speakers, including Vanessa Craft (Elle Canada), Andrew Sardone (Globe Style Advisor) and Cheryl Hickey (ET Canada).

A wonderful selection of treats by The Purple Cupcake

Sessions included information about legal issues every blogger should know about, turning your passion for blogging into a full time job, how to build a relationship with the PR pros, how to put together a media kit, steps for doing a blog makeover and many more. There was a total of 10 workshops.

Day 2

As you can imagine, there was many note taking and picture taking. I have about 15 pages of notes and several photos of slides. Here's just a glance at some of the notes I took down:

- Don't be afraid to pitch the editors/PR. Find the actual name of the person that you're contacting. They're notorious for not replying to emails. They're busy. Just keep trying.
- Don't just "be better" than other bloggers. Be Different.
- Be yourself. It's better to be known for who you are, not what you do.
- Don't try to "buy" likes or followers. It's obvious. (ps - I'm sure most people know this. I hope).
- Don't be a loose canon online.Company A may have pissed you off, but they might be represented by company C who works with companies L, M, N,O & P. Your online rants, can cost you working with other companies.
- On Pinterest, don't cluster Pin. No more than maybe 3 pins at a time. More than that and people just get annoyed and everything goes unnoticed.

Me & my dear friend Beatrice from beatricetrang.com

Other than a minor issue with the washroom (by the end of day 1, all washroom were out of order. We arrived on day 2 to find port-a-potties outside.), I had a great time. I would highly recommend any new, novice and intermediate bloggers to join in the future. Even more advance bloggers can go home learning something new.

The Crowd Social booth. One of the sponsors

Another sponsor, Nicole by OPI. These are some of the newest shades coming soon

Another sponsor, Vitabath, showing their two new scents for the holidays. Both smell amazing!
Swag bag + a few items that I managed to pick up while visiting the sponsors.
Additional photos can be found on instagram! @Gemstone_Beauty

Check out Beatrice's posts from Day 1 & Day 2.

November 20, 2014

5 Week Holiday Nail Art Challenge with Miranda - Week 1

I've teamed up with the talented Miranda, of Miranda Loves, to bring you a 5 week holiday nail art challenge. It's the first time I've done a challenge like this, but I'm looking forward to seeing our weekly creations. You can expect a new nail art from each of us on Thursdays.

Do you feel like participating and showing us your interpretation of each category? Follow & tag us on instagram. You never know, we may showcase our favourites. @Gemstone_Beauty & @Mirandachan  (Beware! Cute puppy pictures on Miranda's!)

We put together our most festive categories and turned them into a weekly nail art challenge. The holidays just aren't the same without any one of these items. So with that, I bring you week 1.

Snowflakes/Snowfall. After yesterday's snow, this could not be a more fitting category. Being from northern Ontario, it's not Christmas unless there's snow. There was one year that we didn't have snow until a day or two before. That was almost scary!

There's a certain tranquility to watching the big fluffy snowflakes dance their way to their resting spot.Then the beauty of waking up to a winter wonderland, with the ground and trees almost sparkling. And of course, the snowmen when you got the sticky snow.

So that's my inspiration. Glistening fluffy snow and a snowman.

tools of the trade. Old makeup sponge for fluffy snow and Debora Lippman to add some sparkle to the snow

And just above is the reason why those nails are not on my hands. It's the first time I've done fake nails to put on top of my own (mine are currently short stubs with cracking cuticles). I thought I'd glue toothpicks to the back to better maneuver them while painting. Fail. Haha.

To go Miranda's blog to see more details about her nails.  Don't you just love the rhinestones?  I really need to step up my game for next week!

November 17, 2014

Collaborative Giveaway | Get Glam for the Holidays

There's something magical in the air this time of year. The snow falling and resting peacefully on the tree branches, the twinkling lights of Christmas decorations and just sitting by a fire with hot chocolate. It can also be a slightly crazy time of year. Malls are packed, stress of last minute holiday shopping and trying to put together that perfect outfit for your holiday party.

November 06, 2014

Recent Lack of Posts + pictures + upcoming events

I'm so sorry! I have many things piling up and I've fallen horribly behind and I feel like I've been neglecting you.

I hope you can forgive me.

You see, the past 3 weeks have been hectic. We have a new family member. A puppy.