Happy 2016!

My friends and I were debating what to do for New Year’s Eve this year.  My best friend usually throws a New Year’s Eve bash at her house with all our closest friends but this year I think we may keep it low key.  They are a 4 hour drive away and we just got back into Toronto.

Last year, I was in Time Square ringing in the New Year in NYC.  It was a last minute girls’ trip to the Big Apple so it’ll be nice to spend NYE in town this year.  Although I do love getting all dressed up while anticipating the count down, just the thought of being curled up in my warm PJs at home sounds pretty amazing too. However…I have the perfect New Year’s dress and it was $12.00 at Kind Exchange!  I don’t like spending a lot on a New Year’s Eve dress, especially since I usually only wear it once.  I guess I could always keep it for next year 🙂

Glittery NYE dress from Kind Exchange

I hope everyone had an amazing and relaxing holiday!  We spent a few nights in a pretty hotel room…thanks to both sets of moms and dads:)  It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday and get some R&R.  I got to sleep in and read until the afternoon!  I just finished reading #GIRLBOSS…and it was a quick and easy read so I definitely recommend it.  It’s a true story about a girl finding her calling in the online fashion world selling Vintage Clothing on Ebay.  It was such a luxury for me because my husband likes to be up at the crack of dawn so his day isn’t wasted but being in a hotel allowed him to relax and sleep in with me too.  Although his relaxing includes getting up (earlier than me) and heading to the gym at the hotel.
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One of my New Year’s resolutions is to always remember how fortunate I’ve been.  Not only am I surrounded by amazing friends and family but I’m so fortunate to call Canada my home.  This year I would like to welcome all the new Syrian families arriving here in Canada.  I have to remember my humble beginnings too.  Canada allowed my family the same opportunities they are giving these Syrian families!  We also left a war torn country and came with all the uncertainties each of those families are experiencing.  During this time, my father was reminiscing about our journey to Canada. When flying over from the Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand, a wonderful family donated their children’s winter coats to my sister and I.  My parents tried to refuse but they insisted that their children had many more at home.  A Belgian musician sitting in first class slipped $20 U.S. in my coat pocket and another American family gave the same amount in my sister’s pocket.  She was only a baby and I was a toddler.  My dad wished he had the names or address of those kind-hearted folks.  We sat right behind the partition of first class.  They kept the curtains open and it allowed my father to converse with many of them in French.  During the time of the Khmer Rouge regime, my father had to conceal that he was educated.  A secret that could have cost him his life.  His secret about being able to converse in both English and French no longer had to be kept…what a blessing!

Their simple act of kindness became a part of the few possessions we had as we embarked on our journey to Canada.  It was also the driving force that gave my family the determination to become proud Canadian Citizens!

To pay it forward, we brought Christmas to the home of a new Syrian family.  My mom bought new small appliances, cutlery, cups and dishes & plates for the family.  While my sisters and best friend bought toys for the kids. We relayed the story about delivering our gifts to the family on Christmas day over dinner one night.  When my sister-in-law, Winnie, heard the story, she also wanted to contribute and she went way out!  It was such a touching and heart felt experience!  I hope we made their first Christmas in Canada a memorable one!

These gifts in the picture are all from Winnie (a few days after Christmas). She wanted to deliver them herself but that evening there was a huge snow storm so we delivered them for her.

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Our family loves spending the holidays together.  Last year, my sis Tiff got us the cutest matching onesies right before our NYE trip to New York!

This year we were twinsies with our besties!
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I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2016 filled with love, happiness and good health!!

My Fav Shortbread Cookies!

If you haven’t tried Mary Macleod’s famous shortbread cookies, it should be on your check list of things to do and try in Toronto.  If you want a taste of heaven in your mouth, make your way to her charming  bakery.   Visit her site and read about her story...very inspirational.

Every year, I try to make an effort and make the trek across town to the bakery to share some of Ms. Macleod’s amazingly delicious goodness with someone.  I had stumbled across her shop by accident.  I was in the Queen East area getting a dress made by Tizz, when I saw the Bakery’s sign.  My sister’s client bought it for their team one year and I couldn’t stop dreaming about these cookies she shared with me.  When I saw the sign, it automatically registered as the very one that was imprinted in my memory.  I had to stop so I could re-live the moment of putting these decadent cookies in my mouth!

Everyone that I have shared them with can’t stop talking about how delicious these cookies are!

Today we received a wonderful surprise.  Our good friends, Michelle and Jessica, left these charming cookies on our doorstep because we were not home.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness Jessica and Michelle!

Recently, we were in for a treat when my sister-in-law bought us Coach House Short Bread Cookies from the One of a Kind Show.  I must say, in my opinion, they came a close second to Mary Macleod’s.  I’m curious to know which ones you all prefer : )

If you are unable to get to Queen Street East, you can still get your hands on these marvelous Macleod cookies.  They can also be purchased at Holt Renfrew, Summerhill Market and even Costco.

If you are feeling ambitious and want to try to make your own shortbread cookies, CTV shared the famous traditional shortbread recipe.

Delicious Assorted Shortbread cookies by Mary Macleod. Thanks again Jess and Michelle!
I get excited just looking at the packaging!
This Coach House Shortbread company comes a close second. If you like your cookies super buttery, you’ll love these:)

If you are unsure of that last minute gift, you can’t go wrong with gifting these cookies!

Happy Holidays everyone!  I am excited to spend quality time with my friends and family and I wish everyone a happy and restful holiday!

My pretty tree ;)

I always wanted an elegant Christmas tree but I wanted both chic and rustic elements on it.  Instead of the traditional garland, I used a more modern pearl garland as well as snowflake crystal-like garland.  In my opinion, they worked beautifully together.  Many of the decorations were collected from a few years back.  The ornaments on my tree are from multiple stores: HomeSense, Pier One, Michaels, Starbucks , Chapters, Pottery Barn, etc.  If they are expensive, I’ll usually wait until after the holidays to purchase them on sale for the following year:)

A great tradition to start is one that our cousins Cindy and Becky started with the kids.  They bought clear bulbs and inserted all sorts of cool & neat things into them.  Then every cousin was given a custom-made bulb created by one of the little cousins.  My gift last year contained white feathers in it (add me on Instagram and you’ll see it on there).  There were also pink jewels embedded with the feathers.  Do they know me or what? I loved it…and still do! <3

For this post,  I want to highlight my finds from this year.   Now, I’ll be adding a couple of new stores to the long list for good finds:)

My sis Tiff asked if we wanted to tag along to go to Creative Bag.  I’m so glad we did!  There were so many beautiful things there.  I wanted to buy some pink ornaments but they were going for $5.99/each.  I settled for the gold ones that were on sale instead.  I also scored gold spotted tissue paper for $0.99/small pkg…just what I needed!  My sisters’ purchases included boxes and bags galore!  It was prettiness overload 🙂

Some goodies @Creative Bag

A few weeks ago, I was picking up art supplies and I stumbled upon these 3″ rose gold bulbs at DeSerres.  They are a craft store very much like Micheals.  I think they may have gone further on sale since I’ve purchased them. I got them for $5.99 so roughly a dollar per bulb…a great deal!  I also posted on Instagram, star-shaped copper cookie cutters that I hung on my tree.  I was twirling one around my finger and one landed on my tree…and it looked perfect as an ornament!  I just added twine around each one of them and the rest was history ; )

Rose Gold bulbs @DeSerres

If you love the silver and gold combinations like I do, these bulbs below are on sale for $16.74 (reg. $24) at The Real Canadian Super Store.


I scored ornate picture frame ornaments from Michaels (on sale) last year.  Michaels did not disappoint again this year.  I found the prettiest wrapping paper for $1.50/roll.  They were 20 in x 25 sq ft.  Now my wrapped gifts will compliment my pink, black and white boxes perfectly.
IMG_2533When people come over to our place they ask where I found such pretty boxes with the cutest phrases…HomeSense of course!  Keep in mind with HomeSense, it varies with availability at each location,  so if you see something you like there, make sure you snap it up before it’s gone!  Right now all holiday motifs are 30% off…happy shopping!

YSL Lipstick…amazing formula that glides on smoothy!

Oh my goodness, can the packaging of these things be any more beautiful?

In the past, it was a known fact that a fashion faux pas was mixing gold and silver together.  Yves Saint Laurent clearly begs to differ with the tube packaging of some of their lipsticks.  To be quite frank, I think they have nailed this trend spot on.  This once frowned upon practice of mixing gold and silver is actually considered haute fashion right now.

This will be a tale of why sometimes it’s ok to push the boundaries of colour combinations and Yves Saint Lauren has never been afraid to do so:)

I had heard amazing things about YSL’s Volupte Shine & Volupte Sheer Lipsticks from my girlfriends!  There were so many dazzling colours to chose from but my sisters and I managed to narrow it down to three colours: Lingerie pink, Nude beige and a Rouge Volupte Shine #28.  But they were all sold out at The Bay sale!  Yes, you can find these lovelies at Hudson’s Bay : )  We managed to nail down our second choices of Volupte Sheer Candy and Rouge Volupte shine #21.  Our online orders went through…yay!  The colours are oh so beautiful in person!

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YSL lipsticks come in the most beautiful shades and glide on beautifully

We caught only the tail end of the sale just in time.  The sale was ending at midnight and we didn’t start our order until around 11 pm.  It was a girls’ sleepover night at my place and we all had forgotten about the sale until it was almost too late!  We were out Christmas shopping and with the new extended hours, we didn’t even realize how late we were out;)  Thanks Tiff, for all your help!

These beauties can also be purchased at Holt Renfrew and Sephora too.

A creamy formula that glides on smoothly, was what everyone was raving about!  And the prettiest scent to boot!  All the reviews were completely accurate and now I can be added to the list of adoring fans.

I came home to this in my mail box after a lovely brunch with some gfs. I love getting new parcels in the mail!  Only took two days to get to me!

Here is what’s currently on sale in the cosmetics department at The Bay:

Last minute stocking stuffers! Guaranteed to make any gal swoon!

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If you are still on the hunt for stocking stuffers that will surely trigger an “Ohhhh” reaction…I have the perfect stocking stuffer ideas for you.

How absolutely adorable is this Emergency PINCH Kit for her!  Not only did mine come in the chicest bag, but the contents are actually droll worthy!  If you are ever in a “Pinch” or in a bind…this kit can save you:)  Makes for a great bridesmaids gift too!

It comes in different colours and can be found at both Indigo and at Sephora.   I believe my girlfriends mentioned that at both places it retails for $22.  If the site that you’re directed to has it for less, it’s more than likely quoting you in U.S. dollars.  I loved receiving this as a gift, and I’m sure a special someone in your life would love it too!  Something to keep in mind for next year…it goes on sale on Black Friday!

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How amazing is its content!

Below is another tumbler to add to my ever growing collection.  Starbucks tumblers fit nicely in a stocking, however it may feel like you are receiving a sack of coal 🙂  Head to your nearest Starbucks now because they are currently 30% off.  It retails for $21.95 but with an extra 30% off, you can’t go wrong!  I actually bought this for a girlfriend when it wasn’t on sale a few weeks back.  She loved it!  I believe it’s a part of their Wall Travel collection.  What’s note worthy is the extra rockstud-like accent…droll.  I have this habit of buying myself the same things I buy for my girlfriends.  I told myself this year, I would break that habit.  But who can resist a sale!  Now that it’s on sale, I had to snap one up!

So pretty…black tumbler/mug from Starbucks!


My sister bought me this beautiful white beauty below…thanks sis!  The retail price for this one is a little bit higher. With a gold rim and a quilted body, it’s only fitting that it is a part of their “Brilliant Collection”  Good job Starbucks and your design team for creating these luxurious looking tumblers/mugs.  I think the team must have been channeling Valentino and Chanel for their inspiration…love!  And the fact that it can hold caffeine goodness inside, I couldn’t be happier 😉

Part of Starbucks’ “Brilliant Collection”

Here’s some pink prettiness to share with you all:

Who wouldn’t want to feel pampered with this gold manicured set.  The “IT” colour this season is rose gold.  This regal looking set also folds into the prettiest gold purse.  This can be found for $14.99 at Winners.  Unfortunately it’s not allowed in your carry on, but if you’re checking in a bag, it should definitely come along on the trip!  Fits nicely into a stocking 🙂

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Rose Gold Manicure set – Winners Find!


This pink PocketBac hand sanitizer is only $1.00 and on sale at Bath and Body Works (Outlet).  I love throwing these babies in each purse I carry.  My sister, my sister-in-law and I spent a whole day Christmas shopping and it was so nice to get a bit of my Christmas shopping out of the way.

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How adorable is this Moet look-a-like air fresher below from Bath and Body Works?  It’s 75% off,  making it a steal for $1.50!  Bonus: There is a good selection of different scents (inserts) for 4/$10.

Perfect for my sister, but it’s not happening in my car.  My husband and I share a car and I’m already pushing it with all the pink presents under my tree.  I used the argument that it’s highlighting the launch of my blog so I think that’s enough cause for a pink, gold and black celebration 😉  Unfortunately, my husband may not feel the same about these sentiments.  He’s super supportive, just not a big fan of pink lol!


If you would like to see where I got some great deals for the decorations for my tree and where I purchased the boxes and the wrapping paper (Gold accent wrapping paper was as low as $1.50/roll!), stay tuned for my next post!  I still have some shopping left to do for Christmas so I still have a lot of wrapping to do;)  Happy last minute shopping everyone!

Mild Temperatures in Toronto

I love not having to wear bulky items this winter. This year’s mild weather in Toronto has allowed me to maximize my usage of these pretty gloves.

I’m not a fan of the cold but a white Christmas is pretty ideal.  However, for the rest of winter I’ll take mild temps any day.  The mustard colour gloves were another amazing find at Winners.  For under $20.00,  the cute leather accent should be more than enough reason to say “Yes, please!”  A bonus is that they are touch screen smart gloves that allow you to stay connected while being warm and stylish at the same time.  You don’t need to take your gloves off to swipe your phone or tablet…amazing!

My black leather Burberry gloves, I found on sale a couple of years ago on a last minute trip.  It’s really hard to catch Burberry sales but when I do, I’ll make sure to notify you all:)

My go-to item to stay warm when I need to quickly dash, is this stylish wrap.  Some refer to it as a large shawl or a poncho.  But at the cost of $39.99, it’s perfect for dressing up any outfit!  I purchased it at Nordstrom in Michigan.  I’m excited that Nordstrom is coming to Canada!  I hope their Nordstrom rewards and their VIP programs are comparable to the US!


I fell in love with this shawl at Roots.  I can’t seem to remember the name of it, but it’s a part of their Cabin Collection.  Fingers crossed that it’ll go on sale…because it’s still way out of my budget for a shawl.

Speaking about staying within budget, I got these bad boys this week for $2.00/each (5/$10).  They’ll have to come out when the weather gets colder because they are thicker.  Best of all, most of these finds are the Thinsulate brand…so they’ll be super warm!  Head over to your nearest Ardene store now to see if they are on sale there too!  Or, if you want the convenience of shopping online at Ardene’s, shop their sale section and you can get similar items for 3/$15.


Marshall’s Red Carpet Event – Not to be missed!

Alright, I get it…Marshalls, Winners and HomeSense can be a pain to maneuver around, but there is indeed an art to shopping these TJX stores.  If you have a whole day to spare then by all means you can browse to your heart’s content.  It’s rather daunting having to go up and down the aisle scanning row after row, hoping something will catch your eye. I usually only have this luxury when I’m visiting the US where time is not of the essence.  Often times, I go to these stores looking for something in particular.  Lately, it has been gold accent pieces for my guest room.  I’m constantly on the go, so I don’t always have time nor the luxury to browse as long as I would like.  Yesterday was a unique story.  I don’t typically go to Marshalls to score high end luxury pieces.
My friend had a yoga class at 6:30 and asked if I wouldn’t mind killing some time with her at Marshall’s before her class.

OMG if you haven’t been to Marshall’s lately, you are missing out!  There are many good finds to be had.  And have you heard of their Red Carpet Event? The advertisement looks like this.  At their last event, they had Valentino’s Rockstud pumps there!  I couldn’t help but take a picture.  I would have called them mine if they had come in a different colour so the search continues.


You can buy a similar design at DSW.  I actually bought a pair when I was in Boston, but when I tried them on at home, the fit wasn’t that great on me so I returned them.  I shouldn’t write them off so quickly because they looked beautiful on the other girl next to me who was trying them on.  The link I provided was to their Canadian site.  Bonus: Boxing week starts early at DSW so it’s an extra 20% off if you shop 2 or more items 🙂

Back to my Marshall’s adventure.  You are not going to believe what I scored yesterday – A pair of Christian Louboutin Anjalina 120 studded patent-leather pumps!  They were a fraction of the price that it was listed at on: Net-A-Porter (a luxury online store.)  And the studs are pretty in both silver and gold.

It was meant to be…my eyes zoned in on them and they were in my exact size 37.5!  I was just given a VISA gift card for Christmas so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  FullSizeRender (6)I have a feeling that these will go perfect with my leather jackets, my edgy purse and my ripped jeans;)



Re-painting furniture – The no hassle method!

I went from living in small quarters of an apartment to a two story home with three different levels that needed furnishing (at least the top 2 levels).  By no means is our home big, but it is the perfect size for us.  We wanted to stay in the city and to be close to work and this home allowed for just that.  Just enough space to entertain and allow me to personalize it any way my heart desired.
My basement only needed a new coat of paint and to keep within budget, we furnished the basement with all of our basic neutrals from the apartment.  I always knew that when I finally had my own home, I would want to go a little more bold than I had in the past.  But at the same time, I wanted to stick to a classic combination – black and white!  I wanted the look of my home to be sophisticated, timeless and chic with a least one bold accent colour.  The accent colour I chose was YELLOW!

My sister was such a great sport and a very patient shopping companion.  I would drag her from one store to the next in search of the perfect yellow accent piece, whether it was HomeSense, Urban Barn, or Restoration Hardware (the outlet of course – more deals to be found) many times the efforts had proven to be fruitless.  When I would stumble across something that would make my heart flutter, whether it be furniture or a statement decorative piece, it was usually out of my budget.  I decided to take things into my own hands.  I was going to create these pieces myself.  I came to the conclusion that I would paint old furniture!  I started with Estate Sales (I’ll post about them soon)  but surprisingly enough, I scored my first cheap ($15) table at a studio sale in the Distillery District 🙂

I love DIYs projects but I also love efficiency.  I hate sanding furniture and striping paint.  I headed to the nearest Home Depot armed with the knowledge that I was not going to make this project harder than it had to be.  I was determined to make this happen.  They introduced me to Zinsser BIN Primer Sealer…this was the solution!

First coat of primer.  My mom was visiting and she brought out the block sander when she saw me painting…I told her, “No need” 🙂

This is a sticky primer perfect for wood and no sanding or stripping of the paint is required.  It’s pretty much like a glue that allows the paint to stick to it.  I’ll be the first to tell you that this baby is expensive! But when you factor in how much time I was saving from not having to strip or sand the table, I was sold.  And since the table was only a whopping $15, I thought, “Let’s make this happen!”  I did spend a little more for quality paint because I had this fear that if the paint chipped I would have to do this project all over again.  I settled on Benjamin Moore’s Yolk…which is a vibrant bold yellow.

I went with the smaller can.  I believe it cost $50 but it was enough to paint three small tables in total so it was still worth the investment 🙂  To eliminate any signs of brush strokes, I used a rolly foam brush that I also purchased at Home Depot.


As well as a small paint brush for the edges and small creases.  After two coats of primer and paint…ta da!  I did it, my first DIY furniture project.


Our two side tables are also painted in the same vibrant Yolk Yellow 🙂


Stay tuned for some more furniture painting adventures when I tackle painting my tables black and white!

My go-to black handbags and clutches

We all know that one staple item in your closet should be your go-to black bag…but what happens when you have more than one?  It never hurts, especially if 3 out of the 6 were priced at $10.00 or less!  A bag does not necessarily need to be expensive to be functional, practical and stylish.  Here are 6 bags (some of my favourites) from my collection.  It’s pretty evident that I have a love for the cross body bags and clutches 😉

My glittery clutch was a steal at $10.00 at the Canadian National Exhibition Centre!  Yes, you heard correctly…the CNE has a whole mesh of shopping areas in a great hall (warehouse like) that is reminiscent of a flea market with a fancy Bombay outlet thrown into the mix.  I’ve actually used it for a wedding as well as a couple elegant functions.FullSizeRender (14)

And what is better than a cross-body bag that serves dual function.  I was at Value Village, shopping for a Halloween costume this year.  As the fluorescent light flickered slightly above me I couldn’t help but glance up, to my left was the cutest cross body bag hanging on the wall.  Not to mentioned it was in my fav colours at the moment – black and gold…yay!  I had to do a double take because the price tag read $6.99, I knew I could do no wrong taking it home.  I did the happy dance in my head  but at the same time crossed my fingers in hopes that it just might fit my iPad as well as my cards and cash.

Cross body bag. Holds iPad and has a zipper component for your cards and cash from VV Boutique 😉


This story has an even better ending, I scored two finds that day…another skeleton (skull head) cross body bag was hidden and hung directly below.  $9.99 was what the price tag read!  Value Village was VV Boutique for me that day!  Disclaimer: Earlier in the day I did go to another Value Village store but left empty handed.  After leaving 2 Value Village stores, I still had no costume but went home with 2 very pretty purses.

After securing my finds, I rushed home and wiped & sprayed them down twice (inside and out) with my Lysol wipes and spray.  These babies can disinfect anything – I need to get over this if I want to continue scoring vintage finds:)  I took the first find to the dining room and I slipped my iPad slowly into the bag – my heart squealed in delight…it was a perfect fit!  It even fit with the case on!  It’s now the perfect stylish way to transport my iPad.  My second find screams perfection when I want to have more of an edgy look.  It makes me want to channel Alexander McQueen but at $9.99, I don’t have to worry about ever scratching it or losing it.

Skull Cross body bag. VV Boutique

The other black clutch is a vintage bag that belonged to my mom.  She used a black strap with it and rocked it with her stylish ensembles in the 90s.  To give it a modern twist, I took off the straps and made it one of my go to clutches when I feel like adding a little retro timeless style into my wardrobe.

Mom’s Vintage Purse

I absolutely adore this Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag below.  This bag I actually took from my sister.  She had bought it and never used it, so I told her that it only made sense for her to share the love as it matched my leather jackets perfectly.  How adorable are the hanging leather strings!

Rebecca Minkoff Cross body bag – Nordstrom Rack in Michigan

My last go to bag is my Tory Burch bag.  It can be carried as a handbag but also has a second strap that can turn the bag into a cross body bag!  My husband purchased this bag for me two years ago and I still love it as much as I did the day I first laid eyes on it.  It’s definitely a little more of an investment than the other bags but the bonus was that he did get it on sale.  I think it’s worth the investment as I think I carried it for 4 months straight when I first got it.  I use it frequently when I rotate my black go-to bags.  Shop this similar design at Tory Burch. Or this other black handbag which is currently on sale.

Tory Burch Dual Cross body bag/Handbag – Tory Burch Outlet, Florida

Once I start creating my fashion diaries, you’ll get to see my bags on me for my lookbooks so you’ll get a better idea of how they look with particular outfits!

I do own a couple other high end luxury black handbags but I’ll save those for another post because many were purchased on consignment!  I’ll usually only pay retail for high end luxury brands if I have a gift card or catch an amazing department store sale.  Or unless I’ve saved long and hard for it…and even then it’s very rare that I’ll splurge on a full price item.  You know when they say shopping is a high… it’s actually a bigger thrill for me when there’s a huge sale or when I get an online notification that something that’s in my wish list is now on sale 🙂  If you can relate, this blog will be right up your alley.
I’ll share with you my favourite consignment stores in the city and what websites I use to order consigned items online.  Plus exclusive sales I try to never miss…stay tuned 🙂

Naked Palette – Urban Decay Basics

This beautiful little Naked Basics palette was a part of an early Christmas gift from a few of my fav gals in my life.  So far I’m loving the neutrals on my eye lids.  The colours are subtle which are perfect for work, but add some “crave” to the mix, and you can create the smoky eye for an evening of fun.   Bonus: it fits into the tiniest of clutches…perfect for any last minute touch ups at weddings or any big event!

Compact version of the NAKED palette.  As Sephora puts it, “a matte palette by Urban Decay, featuring six gorgeously Naked neutrals—including four never-before-seen shades.”



Stay tuned for the unboxing of the Naked Urban Decay Smokey palette.  I’m not very good at waiting until Christmas to open some of my gifts so even though I know this palette is under my tree, I’ll wait until after Christmas to experiment with it 😉  I’ll make sure to take photos of the “sultry, smoky, neutrals” on my eyelids!