December 30, 2015

Christmas Giveaway 3: Time to Relax (International)

I wanted to thank my readers and for all your support during the past year. If you're just joining in, there's still some time for the essence cosmetics giveaway (ends at 11:59pm on Dec 30)

Holiday parties, late night get-togethers and that big New Years party has probably left your skin wanting a little more.

December 24, 2015

Christmas Giveaway: 2 essence prize packs

I wanted to thank my readers and for all your support during the past year. I have one more giveaway coming up that'll be international, so make sure to keep coming back for your chance to win! If you're just joining in, there's still some time for the Inglot + Benefit giveaway.

December 20, 2015

Christmas Giveaway: Inglot + Benefit

It's giveaway time!

I wanted to thank my readers and for all your support during the past year. Over the new few days, you can expect to see a few giveaways here on Gemstone Beauty, so make sure to come back for your next chance to win!

December 19, 2015

Bite Beauty Review + Swatches

There's no denying that Bite Beauty makes some of amazing lip products. But did you know that they're Canadian and cruelty-free?  Continue reading to learn more about the brand, its products and some swatches.

December 14, 2015

Mani Monday: Ugly Sweater Mani

'Tis the season for Ugly or Tacky Christmas sweaters... But if you don't want to take up precious closet space, or if you want to step up your game, you can partake in the latest fashion trend:

Ugly Christmas Sweater Nails

Christmas sweater nails.

December 07, 2015

Mani Monday: Mountain Calling Reverse Stamping

When it comes to nail art, there are many different techniques and skill levels. One easy to spruce up your mani is by stamping. You can even take it up a notch with reverse stamping. Continue reading to learn about this technique.

reverse stamping, MoYou London

December 05, 2015

MoYou London Now in Canada

MoYou London, Nail plates, stamping plate, nail art

MoYou London is a UK based company dedicated to making your nails look awesome. With a variety of stamping plates and polishes, you can make your manicure look like a salon pro did it.

Their are currently over 30 themes with an astounding total of over 500 stamping plates. Themes like Tropical, Gothic and Festive are just the tip of the iceberg. There really is something for just about everyone!

November 30, 2015

Mani Monday: Circular Dotticure

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. One thing lead to another, and this is the outcome.

For this mani, I used :

Essie Chinchilly as the base colour
Essie In the Cab-Ana for teal dots
Essie Under the Twilight for the dark purple dots
Ceramic Glaze 24 Karats for the gold Dots
Essie Matte About You as the top coat

And of course, my lovely dotting tools from Born Pretty Store.

Overall, it was a fun manicure, that, as someone at my work pointed out, ended up matching my shirt the next day.

November 26, 2015

Lorac Unzipped Palette: Swatch + Review

Lorac isn't a brand that is easily accessible in Canada. Those of us who want it, need to either order it from the US or take the trek and get it ourselves. And that's exactly what I did.

November 03, 2015

I'm still around...

Hey guys,

Just wanted to drop a quick message to all of you. I'm still around, just in a bit of a funk right now. I recently started a new job, which takes up much more energy than my previous employment, and since I'm still in the learning phase, it has sucked all of my brain power.

I have a list of items that I have to swatch and review and I do plan on getting them all up, but right now, I'm focusing on putting my brain back together. Hopefully by Monday I'll start having my Mani Monday posts back up, and I'll get everything back on track from there.

In the meantime, thank you so much for your patience, and I look forward to sharing everything with you in the next couple weeks.

October 17, 2015

October Nail Art Challenge Day 7: Halloween

The end of the October Nail Art Challenge is finally here. Day 7 brings us Halloween and I couldn't be any more excited.

October 16, 2015

October Nail Art Challenge Day 6: Gradient

I've had a grand vision of a beautiful black and gold gradient, sparkling in the light, capturing everyone's attention as they oooh'd and ahhh'd over my nails...

October 15, 2015

October 14, 2015

October Nail Art Challenge Day 4: Abstract/Geometrical

I was not too pleased with the person who picked this category (oops, that was me!). I had such a hard time. When I finally figured what I was going to do, I realized that my good stamper was missing. Back to the drawing board!

I finally decided to take a little inspiration from a very well known Halloween candy: Candy Corn.

October 13, 2015

October Nail Art Challenge Day 3: Fall

Day 3 of the October Nail Art Challenge is probably one of my favourite manicures so far. I absolutely love Fall. Having lived up north for most of my life, I've seen so many beautiful trees. The colours are just gorgeous. So I wanted to translate that into this manicure.

October 12, 2015

October Nail Art Challenge Day 2: Ghosts

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends & readers! I hope you're all having a great time with family and friends. At the Gemstone Beauty household, we're cooking our very first turkey!

Instead of Mani Monday, I'm bringing you a different themed nail each day of the week! Take a look at yesterday's nail and make sure to check out other participants' nails as well! (Link at the bottom)

Day 2 of the October Nail Art Challenge brings us Ghosts. First thing my mind goes to are the Boo ghosts in Mario. It was a love/hate relationship with those levels.

October 11, 2015

October Nail Art Challenge Day 1: Black

Today marks Day 1 of the CBB October Nail Art Challenge. A small group of us got together and came up with some fun ideas for this time of year (Sarah, Chantal, Miranda and myself). We invite everyone to join in; whether you blog, or just want to showcase it on Twitter or Instagram, be sure to use #CBBOctNails so we can take a look at your creations!

October 07, 2015

Beauty & Makeup Haul

Hey guys!

I'm finally getting myself back together and I have so many review, swatch and look posts for you guys that I barely know where to start. So for now, here's a little sneak peek at my haul. It's all things beauty related that I purchased in from August 28 - September 28.

So, any requests? 

October 05, 2015

Mani Monday: Metallic Gradient

I have several polishes that are just hanging around, looking pretty and untouched. I decided that I needed to crack them open and use them. But what happens when you can't just pick one?

Pick two and create a gradient!

October 04, 2015

Toronto IMATS + Haul

The International Makeup Artist Trade Show is a yearly event that makeup artists and makeup enthusiasts look forwards to every year. Held at different times and locations throughout the year, IMATS offers a place to be around others with a similar interested while offering some great discounts or access to brands that you might only be able to purchase online.

October 02, 2015

US Haul + Sigma Visit

Hi beauties!

It's been a hectic two weeks. Between visiting a very close friend, going to the Mall of America in Minnesota and some work stress, it's been chaotic. I had to step away from everything for a bit, relax, regroup my thoughts and then get right back at it!

While up north visiting my dear friend Christina and trying on a bridesmaid dress, we spent the weekend in Minnesota. Nothing like 2 hot chicks, Starbucks, a muscle car and the open road. Ohhh yeah!

I know you just want to see my haul and other pics, so I wont go into too much details about our trip. Went to the Cheesecake Factory - it was delicious! First time going to Ulta, and not only did we visit the Mall of America, but it is the home of the ONLY Sigma store in existence.

September 30, 2015

Scent Memory with Demeter and Mr. Bubble

It's amazing how the brain works.

Without knowing it, your brain stores different memories, often tied to a specific scent. Maybe a specific cologne reminds you of your first date, or the smell of fresh baked cookies will bring back memories of Sunday baking sessions with your grandmother.

Demeter Fragrance has been able to capture different scents and bottle them up, ready to be released at any moment to spruce up your day (and your smell).

Demeter Mr. Bubbles

September 22, 2015

Mani Monday: Jelly Purple flowers

I'm so sorry I'm late with this! Between work, going to the US and other things, I feel like I haven't had the time to relax.

I seen this beautiful nail art by Yagala on Instagram and thought it was simple enough to replicate. Boy, was I wrong!

September 12, 2015

Review: Vo Bath & Co + Oil Based Makeup Remover

Back in July, various members of the Canadian Beauty Bloggers  talked about their favourite Canadian brands here and here, and also talked about their favourite Canadian Indie brand.

I'm sorry, I've been holding out. 

September 10, 2015

Trending Fall Colours

With fall around the corner, you'll be seeing a lot more jeans, hoodies, leather jackets and ankle booties. Not to mention, that one last bonfire in the cool fall evening. There's really nothing better than snuggling under a blanket or by the fire, enjoying a nice hot cup of hot chocolate (I personally like a peppermint white hot chocolate).

September 07, 2015

Mani Monday: Neutral Roses

mani monday, essence nude, cici & sisi

It's a long weekend here in Ontario, and I'm hoping that everyone's having a great time enjoying the beautiful weather and spending time with family & friends.

Having recently struggled with some manicures in the past couple weeks (a review's to come on a polish brand this week), I decided to go with something neutral and some stamping.

August 31, 2015

Mani Monday: Summer nails with a Twist of Lime

Hello, I'm Sarah from Workaday Beauty and I'm back with another fun nail art post. I promise I put a little more effort into this month's look than last time.


August 30, 2015

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows: Review & Swatches

Up until recently, my makeup as been a little unorganized and all over the place. I almost forgot that I never posted pictures and swatches of the Make Up For Ever Studio Case which features the 12 Artist Shadows.

August 29, 2015

Kat Von D Haul

If you haven't been to your local Winners, you should probably go before it's too late. Kat Von D items are showing up all over the runway stores at prices that can't be beat.

August 27, 2015

Feeling Glamorous with Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

Yes, it was long to colour in!

I remember reading an article in a magazine (Cosmo?) ages ago that said something along the lines of great makeup doesn't matter if your hair's a mess. It went on to explain that if your hair's nicely done, people will notice if you didn't do makeup, however if you're hair's a mess, they won't notice your makeup at all and just notice the messy hair. That article stuck with me all these years. I'm sure no one will remember your hair if it's nicely coiffed, but your makeup will stand out.

Think about it: You frame a picture before you put it on the wall to help it stand out (and protect it) and the same goes for your hair. Your face is your canvas and your hair is framing it.

August 24, 2015

Mani Mondays: The Dragon Slayer

 I don't have any fancy nail art to show you this week. Instead, I wanted to show you this amazing colour that I've finally got my hands on!

Saint George by A England from The Legend collection.

August 21, 2015

Review + Swatch: essence goes nude for Fall 2015

essence fall + winter 2015

Ready or not, Fall's just around the corner!

essence stepped away from the bold hues of Summer and brought us familiar, yet comforting, subtle nudes. From eyes to lips to nails, essence has what you need to transition into Fall.

August 17, 2015

Mani Mondays: Fails do happen

Due to my nails being damaged from a certain nail strip sticker, I have to give my nails a little break for the week to repair themselves a bit. So, after digging into the archives, I bring you an early attempt at stamping with a holo.

The blue I used was not a holo. It was just a shimmery blue. I decided that I wanted to try to do my stamping in two colours, the shimmery blue and the holo, over black. Well, that didn't turn out so great. I didn't like it.

So instead of redoing all my nails, I decided to re-do only 2 on each hand. I free handed the white, then re-stamped.

Personally, to this day, I still don't like how these turned out. Hence why they were never brought out, haha. But Live & Learn. Things don't always go our way and it takes lots of practice and trial & error to become good. I know I still have quite the ways to go.

Remember, all those pretty nail art gurus had to start somewhere. Do your best and never give up!

August 14, 2015

6 Products that are Worth the Splurge

Hourglass, vichy, MAC, Bite Beauty, Becca

Hey guys! This is Trysh from over at Prairie Beauty Love and I'm really excited to Guest Post here on Gemstone Beauty for this month's Canadian Beauty Bloggers theme of Worth The Splurge! I swear, I tried to think of nail items that I have in my collection that fit the spendy theme, but I'm a junkie for face makeup and skin care at heart and what I really wanted to talk about were a few of the absolute best high end products that I have in my collection! So without further adieu, here they are!

August 11, 2015

Mani Monday: OMG Nail Strips

I realized that my Mani Monday post didn't go up as planned. Sorry guys! Here it is...

I have a quick mani for you today. Well, I actually cheated. Every once in a while, you need something quick and easy that'll look good. Luckily, I had some nail nail polish stripes that were sent to me that I hadn't used yet.

August 03, 2015

Mani Monday: essence gel nails (review & swatches)

essence gel nail polish

Happy Civic Holiday (and anything else that is being celebrated today, it's a long weekend!)

While at the essence cosmetics Fall & Winter preview, I was able to get my nails done, using their new Gel Nail Polish.

July 31, 2015

essence cosmetics Fall/Winter 2015 Preview

essence fall and Winter 2015

It may be a tough one to swallow, but Fall is just around the corner. Not only does it bring cooler weather, leather jackets and beautiful clothing (fall clothing is the best), Fall bring new makeup.

Last week, a group of bloggers, including myself, had the opportunity to mingle, create a artwork and preview essence cosmetic's new releases for Fall & Winter 2015.

July 27, 2015

Mani Mondays: Delicate dotted flowers

Hi everyone!

I'm Chantal from Chantal's Corner and I'm happy to be a guest for Samantha (again) for her Mani Monday!

I was in the mood to do some dotted flowers, but at the same time I wanted something different than the standard big flowers (which I've done before). So I got the idea of a sort of delicate border pattern, and this is the result!

pink dotted flowers nail art

July 23, 2015

Pedicure Essentials: Summertime feet at home

Let's face it, Winter and our lovely pumps leave their mark on our feet. Doesn't matter how bright or perfect our toes look, our heels are left dry, cracked and callused and not worthy of Summer sandals.

You don't have to go to the spa to get your desired results (although it does feel nice relaxing); you can easily get Summer worthy toes at home, at a fraction of the cost.

Here are my favourite tools to achieve perfectly pedicured feet.

Pumice stone or electronic foot file



Both of these options work great. While I've used the pumice stone  for years, I've recently tried the AmopĂ© Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File and love the ease of us and how little work I have to put into it. The length of time depends on the severity, but you don't have to put in any scrubbing as you would with a pumice stone.

*DO NOT USE a shaver. I tried one, loved it at first because it's super fast, but it causes more damage than good. Once you start using it, you'll have to use it more frequently




I've tried a few different foot moisturizers, but there have only been 2 that really worked for me: The Body Shop Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue and Flexitol Heel Balm.

I tend to use the The Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue at night before bed a couple nights a week when my feet aren't cracked, but need a little extra moisture. It's also great after a long day on your feet as it has a bit of a cooling effect.

If my feet start getting really dry and cracked, or if I'm preparing for a special occasion where I'm wearing nice heels, I'll start using the Flexitol Heel Balm. While it doesn't have the lovely peppermint smell of the other, it's very thick and when used twice a day (morning and night), my heels are almost baby smooth.

Nail Polish



Of course, a pedicure wouldn't be complete without nail polish!
Right now, my summer favourites are:
  • Essie In The Cab-Ana
  • Essie Make Some Noise
  • Essie Pret-a-Surfer
  • CND Vinylux Crushed Rose
  • Essence Nothing But Lovestoned (Unforgettable kiss collection)

What are your tricks to Summer ready feet?

*Some items were sent for review, others were purchased by me. Everything is my own, honest opinion