Date Night Style

When it comes to date night, do you like to be comfy & casual or use it as an excuse to get dressed up and dust off those heels? Whatever your style it’s fun (and important) to get out with the hubby and keep the romance alive. Kids or no kids, dating your spouse helps keep the relationship strong. And let’s face it, relationships need time and attention: life is busy, but a few hours every now and then can help you reconnect. Whether you want a low- maintenance night in your favourite jeans or to go all- out in that dress you haven’t worn in months, I’ve got some tips to help make your next date night a stylish one. See below for some tips & outfit ideas. Now just what to get your main man to wear? 😉

Getting ready

  • give yourself a little extra time to enjoy getting ready if you can (how often can you get ready without rushing/ wrangling kids?)
  • treat yourself to some new makeup or perfume for the occasion, date night’s are the perfect excuse to have some fun with your makeup & hair
  • if you prefer a more natural look, keep makeup simple and lighter; to glam it up a bit experiment with bolder colours and maybe a few extra coats of mascara to make your eyes pop (tip: dark lips are great to add drama)
  • if you don’t like heavy scents, spritz your perfume and walk through it rather than spraying directly onto your skin
  • pop lipgloss & other essentials into your bag for touch- ups (maybe toss in some mints for after dinner)
  • like to freshen up throughout the evening? Pick up a travel size deodorant and spray some perfume onto a cotton swab and keep in a mini ziploc bag to pat onto your skin after dinner


Makeup- Elate Clean Cosmetics

Perfume- Charlotte Tilbury ‘Scent of a Dream’

If you want to go casual

  • pick pieces that combine style & comfort
  • skinny jeans or leggings are a wardrobe staple that go with almost everything
  • lower heels or flats are perfect, especially if you’ll be on your feet a lot (dancing anyone?)
  • keep makeup more simple (think lipgloss vs lipstick)



Top- Muse Social Fashion House

Jacket, jeans & boots- my own

Makeup- Elate Clean Cosmetics

If you want to get glammed up

  • pick an outfit that’s got a ‘wow factor’- go for a bold colour or pattern, a unique style, or accessories that make a statement
  • use this as an excuse to wear something you don’t get to wear often, like that dress and heels you’ve been wanting an excuse to wear
  • be a little more dramatic with your makeup- think eyeliner and bolder lips, false lashes or a few extra coats of mascara
  • add layers- if you’re going out at night don’t forget a pretty sweater or coat to help you keep warm


Floral kimono- Muse Social Fashion House

Dress & shoes- my own

Makeup- Elate Clean Cosmetics

Thank you to everyone involved who helped bring this post together!

Outfit photos- Janette, Shearer, Ava to Zoe

Muse Social Fashion House

Instagram: @musefashion

Facebook: Muse Social Fashion House

Elate Clean Cosmetics

Instagram: @elatecosmetics

Facebook: Elate Cosmetics

Charlotte Tilbury

Instagram: @ctilburymakeup

Facebook: Charlotte Tilbury

Don’t Go to Bed with Your Makeup On! {Review}

Two weeks ago I teamed up with Ciny & Kaite from Rodan & Fields to share 5 Skincare Tips, and #5- never go to bed with your makeup on, is something I’ve been guilty of a lot lately. Oops. I know it’s not good for my skin and I have no excuses, I’m really just being lazy at the end of the day And I definitely notice the difference when I skip removing my makeup. My skin feels less than fresh the next day and it’s texture goes from smooth and soft to broken out and bumpy. Not so great.
I tend to wear lighter/ more natural makeup, but that’s still not an excuse to skip washing my face and caring for my skin. But still, I’ll totally admit most nights I’m just too tired to spend the few extra minutes to go through my skincare routine. When I was chatting with Kaite and Cindy about this as we organized our collaborations, they mentioned a product perfect for those nights when you’re feeling lazy, but know you shouldn’t go to bed with your makeup on: Rodan & Field’s Eye Cloths. Even though they’re formulated to remove things like eye liner and mascara, the ladies suggested trying them on my whole face and putting them to the test, so I did just that. In the photos below you’ll see before & after photos- I removed the makeup from the left side of my face to show the difference- plus what the cloth looked like after removing the makeup from just one side (put it this way: it was a good reminder why I shouldn’t be lazy with this part of my beauty routine!). See my review of the R&F Eye Cloths below.
My makeup routine: I use a little bit of concealer to even out skin tone, mineral powder and bronzer, plus a highlighter on my skin; mascara & sometimes eyeshadow for my eyes; and brow pencil to fill in my eyebrows. 

The eye cloths come in packs of 30 and are recommended for use after cleansing your face. To test and show how well they worked, I skipped cleansing before I used mine.

On the left side of my face I started by removing my eye makeup, making sure to remove all of my mascara (my favourite item in my makeup bag! 😉 ), then used the cloth to wipe off the rest of the makeup on my skin on that side of my face. The cloth was soft on my skin and I didn’t have to work hard for it to work effectively. I was grateful for this since I find the skin around my eyes can be quite sensitive.
This is the first ‘after’ photo- if you look closely you can see that the skin on the left side of my face is slightly lighter (bye bye bronzer!) and the length of my eyelashes is different on each side with the mascara removed from the left side.

A closer view of my skin & eyes sans makeup

This is what the cloth looked like after cleaning off just the left side of my face…

... and here’s another view so you can really see what the cloth removed. I can see why my skin isn’t so healthy after a few lazy nights with my skincare routine.

The Eye Cloths from Rodan & Fields claim to be dual- purpose, helping to reduce signs of aging as well as removing makeup. While I didn’t address that aspect with this review, I was really happy with how they worked when it came to removing my makeup. I appreciated how gentle they are while being strong enough to remove everything from mineral powder to mascara. When I rubbed the cloth over my eye there was no irritation or stinging as I’ve experienced with other products, and they didn’t irritate the sensitive skin around my eyes. The rest of my skin felt clean and fresh, and I loved how quick and simple the cloth made removing my makeup. After using, you don’t rinse with water, simply follow up with a moisturizer and/ or eye cream. For full product details, see this page on the R&F website. If you have any questions about the product reviewed in this post or are curious about R&F, see contact info below to get in touch with Cindy & Kaite.

Want healthier, happier skin this Fall (+ year- round)? See this post with 5 tips from Kaite & Cindy.

About Rodan + Fields
Rodan + Fields offers dermatology- inspired skincare from the founding ladies behind Proactive. The company offers full- face solutions and strives to help it’s consumers find the products containing the right ingredients for their skin type to create a regimen suited to their skincare needs. 
About Kaite & Cindy
This two- lady team each came to work with R + F for different reasons: Cindy, a mother of 3 was looking for help with her tired, dull, and wrinkling skin. With a daughter in need of 24- hour care, Cindy’s skin reflected the stress in her life and she found R + F after complimenting a friend who had struggled with acne for some time; when she discovered the quality of the products, and how effective they were, she decided to pursue R + F professionally herself. Kaite on the other hand hadn’t struggled with skincare issues (except maybe enjoying a little too much time in the sun!), but became interested after hearing about the company from Cindy. After learning about R + F, it’s products, and speaking with Cindy, Kaite decided to team up with her to help others find solutions for their skincare needs. For both ladies, working with R + F has been transformative, allowing them to find solutions for their own skin, help others with their needs, and pursuing careers they enjoy in the process.
To learn more about R + F, and to find products suited to your skincare needs, get in touch with Kaite & Cindy:

Click here to visit their R + F page

Find them on social media:
Facebook: Rodan + Fields Trailblazers
Instagram: @loveyourskin3

Decisions, Decisions: Fall Beauty Top Picks with Shoppers Drug Mart

How do you change up your beauty routine for Fall? Do you opt for darker lips and go a shade darker with your hair? Or do you have staples that carry you through the year mixed with a few seasonal items? I’m a little from Column A and a little from Column B- I have some trusted go- tos that I use all year, but love switching up some products for different seasons (think bright pinks and corals for Spring and Summer and moody blues, purples, and greys for Fall & Winter). Shoppers Drug Mart has released their Top Picks for Fall that includes top selling favourites, new finds (who doesn’t love finding a new product to love???), and some hidden gems to share with shoppers and I’m excited to share a few of my top picks for the season that I brought home from their recent #SDMTopPicks event (some lucky shopper will win a $5,000 dream vanity just for shopping at the event- lucky lady!). 
Shoppers Drug Mart has been a favourite place of mine to stock up on my personal essentials for a long time and coming home with a bag of goodies to try for my Fall beauty routine has me pretty excited. After spending plenty of time in the Summer sun, my skin and hair are ready for some TLC in the Fall and I’ve got 2 new products to try just for this purpose: this leave- in conditioner from Schwarzkopf to help repair and hydrate my brunette locks and these Revitalift brightening peel pads from L’Oreal Paris to help exfoliate and refresh my skin for the cool weather ahead that tends to dry my skin out (did you know exfoliating is actually really good if you have dry skin? It helps remove the dry/ dead skin cells to bring the healthy skin to the surface). 
I’m also planning on continuing my workout routine that I started in the Summer and even though the weather will be cooler, I still want to stay feeling fresh before, during, and after a workout. Thank you to Dove for being my go- to when it comes to anti- perspirant.  I’ve tried countless products but Dove always seems to work the best for me and their Go Fresh Cool Essentials line is a personal favourite. I also love the light cucumber scent- it’s not too overpowering but perfect when you’re concerned about odour protection (especially after a workout!). I was happy when I saw this made Shoppers’ list for Top Picks for Fall because even if it isn’t the most glamorous part of your beauty routine, it’s definitely an important one!  

Aside from these 3 products I’m including in my Fall beauty routine, lips, hair, and nails tend to be the other things I switch up and there are so many ways have fun with your look. I prefer natural- looking makeup, but love trying out different lip colours for a pop of drama and taking my hair a shade darker once the beach days are behind us. Fall also usually has me going from bright colours on my nails to darker, more dramatic shades. As a Mom, I like to keep things fairly simple, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy trying out different looks! Switching up your beauty routine can be a lot of fun and there are so many options available at Shoppers the hard part will be narrowing down your choices! 

For some fun ideas to switch up your beauty routine for Fall, check out all of the Shoppers’ Top Picks for Fall and enjoy stocking up with them this season. Added bonus: when you purchase any of the items from their Top Picks List before October 7th, you’ll receive bonus Shoppers Optimum points! Perfect to help you load up on points for all your beauty needs! What’s on your beauty shopping list this Fall? 

Products Shown in this post: 
From the Shoppers’ Top Picks List for Fall: 
Schwarzkopf essence ULTIME Omega Repair 11 in 1 Leave in Conditioner 
Dove Go Fresh Cool Essentials Cucumber Scent Anti- Perspirant 

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads 

Other fun ideas to switch up your look for Fall: 
Quo Colour Spectrum Refillable Lip Gloss in Pinky Promise 
Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour in HD Infatuation  
Essie Nail Laquier in Bobbing for Baubles 
To see the complete list of the #SDMTopPicks for Fall, click here
Find Shoppers Drug Mart online: 
Social Media: 
Facebook: Shoppers Drug Mart 
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart Top Picks but the opinions are my own. 

5 Minute Makeup with Elate Clean Cosmetics

In my journey to remove chemicals from my family’s lives I’ve been re- thinking the products we use, including everything from cleaners to personal care products. And that includes makeup. Many of us have a daily routine that involves layering chemical- laden products on one of the most delicate parts of our body- our face- without much thought to how this might be affecting the rest of our bodies and the very skin we’re applying them to. Luckily there are more options becoming available that aren’t full of scary chemicals, but quality ingredients, ones that are actually good for our skin.

With that being said, one of the natural cosmetic lines I’ve been really excited about is Elate Cosmetics (part of the Leaping Bunny Program & found on the Think Dirty App) and and I’ve been enjoying trying out their products as I cleanse my makeup bag (check out this post featuring 2 of their other products, including their AMAZING mascara). So when the opportunity came up to try out their Spring 2015 line complete with a makeup bag from Smoking Lily I was one very happy mama (who can turn down an offer like that???)! 

The Spring 2015 collection from Elate Cosmetics

Please note that the pressed cheek powder in the above photo was a purchase I made from their existing product line to replace another bronzer I had been using & have included in this post as part of my 5- minute makeup routine. 

As a Mom of a very active 21 month old and #2 due to arrive at any time, it’s safe to say my time is limited when it comes to my morning makeup routine. Unless I motivate myself to roll out of bed a few minutes early (which these days never happens) I have the pleasure of the company of my little lady while I try and polish my appearance. It can be fun company, but sometimes you just need to get up & go and a toddler can definitely make your time in front of the mirror much less productive.
Since this is a common theme among many of my friends I thought it would be a fun experiment/ challenge to see if I could get myself ready to face the day in 5 minutes (or less) using the goodies I received from Elate. I’m happy to say that I achieved my goal and was really happy with the results. See below for my five minute makeup routine & info about the products I used.
…And After!

Ready, set, go!
1. Start by applying your foundation of choice (I use a mineral powder as a base to keep my makeup feeling light & clean).
2. Apply blush and/ or bronzer, and add highlights. Blend until desired effect is reached.
Products used: Universal Creme in Tender  & Wonder (used as a highlighter on cheeks and above eyes) followed by Flushed Cheek Colour in Sunkissed Bronzer (an existing product I purchased from Elate). Elate’sUniversal Cremes come shaped perfectly for defining cheekbones and to use on lips, making them easy to apply. 
3. Use an eyelash curler to curl lashes and apply first coat of mascara. Apply eyeshadow(s) while you wait for first coat to dry. Follow with a second coat of mascara (I’ll sometimes go for thirds depending on what look I want) ;). 
Products used: Essential mascara (an existing product from Elate that I already had & love); Create Pressed Eye Colour in Rebirth, and Loose Twinkle Powder in Ethereal. 
4. Finish off with your lips: If using, apply lipstick followed by a coat of gloss (or go with just the gloss for a lighter look).
Products used:  Creme Lipstick in Naked and Moisturizing Lipgloss in Sprightly (I also love using Elate’s Universal Creme in Bliss as a foundation colour under gloss). Swap in Elate’s Creme Lipstick in Vivacious from the Spring ’15 Collection for a perfect night- time/ vixen twist.

Products Used


Universal Creme in Tender- soft pink with brown undertones  & Wonder- neutral light beige with a shimmer  (used as a highlighter on cheeks and above eyes)
The photo on the right shows how these two colours appear on fair skin. Looking at the ball of my hand, Tender is the upper colour and Wonder is below.
Product feature I love: Contains lemongrass essential oil which is great for sensitive/ acne- prone skin. 
Flushed Cheek Colour in Sunkissed Bronzer
Product feature I love: You can purchase a reusable bamboo compact from Elate to use with one or two powders. Perfect if you want to reduce waste & are a lover of sustainable resources (so you can look good and feel good with your makeup choices!).

Essentials Mascara (see this post for more on this product)
Create Pressed Eye Colour in Rebirth– mossy green
Loose Twinkle Powder in Ethereal– peachy/ golden sparkle
Product features I love: There are no nasty chemicals in any of Elate’s eye products (think: how often do you get eyeshadow or mascara gooped in your eye?). The pressed eye colours are made from mineral pigments and can be used damp for a more intense colour or as an eyeliner. Elate also carries a bamboo compact fitted with room for three pressed eye colours.


Creme Lipstick in Naked– a medium nude brown
Moisturizing Lipgloss in Sprightly- bright coral
Vivacious- Sheer berry (I didn’t use this colour in my 5 minute makeup routine, but it’s a beauty! See photo above)
Product feature I love: Elate’s lip products contain shea & mango butter, and coconut oil to help moisturize your kisser. Pucker up ladies!

Each collection Elate launches it includes a gift with purchase. For the Spring 2015 Collection they have partnered with local Victoria company, Smoking Lily, to treat customers with a cute little cosmetics bag with their purchase of $75+. 
If you’ve been looking for some natural makeup options, make sure you check out this amazing BC company! In addition to being chemical free, their products are also cruelty free, organic, vegan, and gluten free! 
Hugs & Kisses to the lovely Melodie from Elate for the makeup!

Elate Cosmetics is based in Victoria, BC and offers a variety of natural cosmetics with a skincare line due for release in the Fall of 2015. Visit the company’s website to learn more & shop online. You can also find them on FacebookTwitter, & Instagram
The Think Dirty App helps consumers easily identify the toxic chemicals found in the cosmetics & personal products they buy. When you scan the barcode of a product, Think Dirty will provide a rating plus information on the product & it’s ingredients and suggest cleaner options.  For more information about the Think Dirty App, click here. You can also find the app on FacebookTwitter, & Instagram. 

The Leaping Bunny program provides assurance to consumers that no new animal testing is used in any phase of a product’s development, including the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.

April posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting 

Why I’m Making My Makeup Bag Natural + Review with Elate Cosmetics

I met Melodie from Elate Cosmetics at last year’s Modern Family Expo  (renamed the Healthy Family Expo for 2015) and enjoyed chatting with her about natural beauty products and the challenge we face to find natural, chemical- free options that actually work. Makeup has been one of my biggest challenges when it comes to going green because I’ve had staples in my makeup bag for years that I’ve grown used to and love. But I’m over the science- lab worthy list of ingredients and am replacing my drugstore brands with natural alternatives. I was really excited when I got the chance to work with Melodie & her line of natural cosmetics that are cruelty & chemical free, organic, and vegan. 
Melodie generously sent me Elate’s Essential Mascara & Universal Cream for lips & cheeks to try & I was interested to see how these natural options stood up to their chemical- laden counterparts. The company has a goal to “empower women to make healthy choices and use the best possible products for their daily ritual“and I can definitely get behind a brand with a mantra like that. So, out with my tube of mascara & compact of blush and in with these products!
Let the fun begin!

First up:

Elate Essential Mascara ($20 CAD)
Product details: Great for those with sensitive eyes; gluten free & water resistant. The teddy bear brush “makes application a breeze and gives full, longer lashes”.

If I was stranded on a desert island and could only pick one makeup product it would be mascara. I used to go through a tube of the stuff in a month or two. I love how it can open up your eyes and really finish off your look. But I hate knowing that the black goop I’m layering on my lashes is laced with chemicals- and that stuff is flaking and running into my eyes! Not the most comforting thought, but I’ve had a hard time giving up my big brand mascara because I haven’t found a natural brand that delivers the body & length that I was looking for. I also struggle with the cost, since the natural products are more than double what I pay for my big brand tube, and this was especially frustrating when I wasn’t happy with the result. Enter Elate’s Essential Mascara.

Not only does it act like any of the regular mascaras I’ve used over the years, it only took 2 coats for me to get the length & body that I was seeking for my daytime makeup. (I add another coat or 2 for an evening out, date night, etc). I love the way this mascara coats lashes to make them look fuller & longer without looking gloppy & caked- on. The brush does a great job of coating & separating lashes while adding volume.
On that note it’s important to mention the shape of this brush. Over the years I’ve experimented with mascaras with all variations of bristles & shapes. Some definitely work better than others and I’m all about length & volume. I want a mascara that delivers, but even a good formula is no good if the brush doesn’t do it’s job. The ‘teddy bear’ brush that Elate uses is a good shape for achieving the results I’m looking for & I like the bristle style (I’ve used some mascaras with plastic, comb- like brushes & they just weren’t for me). 

When it came time to removing the mascara I noted 2 things: there was no flaking at the end of the day (a major pet peeve of mine) and it washed off easily with warm water and soap. With several coats of mascara I was pleased that no makeup remover or abrasion was necessary to take it off. Back to au natural! 😉 
Second up:

Universal Cream (for cheeks & lips) $20 CAD
Product details: This cream blush contains lemongrass essential oil & adds a soft, natural flush. The shape is designed to glide easily along your cheekbone.

As a fair- skinned girl I have to be very careful with the colours I use on my face as it doesn’t take much for me to look like I’ve had a bad day at the beach. I have natural pink undertones, which can have their charm, but make it so that whatever powders & creams I put on my face tread a careful line between highlighting my features & making me look like a drag queen (just saying!). I’ve learnt what colours work well for me and ‘Bliss’ was the perfect warm peachy colour for me (thanks Melodie!).
I started out with my moisturizer & mineral powder as a base/ foundation then used the Universal Cream on top. The shape of the cream is specifically formulated to glide along cheekbones & for use on lips. I like how it made applying the cream pretty much fool- proof, especially since I’m used to using a powder. Simply use light pressure & apply it from the apple of your cheek & move upwards (suck in your cheeks & make a fishy face if you need help figuring out where to apply). Then simply use your fingers to blend until you reach the desired colour/ effect. It creates a natural blush effect without looking heavy.
I loved the creaminess of the Universal Cream (no pun intended) and that it can be used on both cheeks & lips (I’ve used it on my lips but didn’t want to share close- ups since the they’ve been a little chapped & not so photogenic), but it’s just as lovely for that use too. Like the mascara it lasted all day and only needed a touch- up before heading out for the evening. As for removal, it was as much of a breeze as the mascara to wash off and I didn’t feel the need to scrub or use other products to sufficiently remove it. No leftover residue or the feeling of clogged pores. Just fresh- faced & clean.
Voila! Whadya think?
It’s important to mention a few other things about Elate in addition to the products I’ve talked about in this post. I love that the company has a goal to help women make wiser choices about the products they use without compromising on quality. When you think about how many products we use on our faces alone (count them, I dare you; I use 6-8 on average including soap & moisturizer), suddenly it becomes clear why we need to care more about our product choices. If these products contain toxic & harmful ingredients, they pose a threat to our health given the duration & consistency of use (click here for more info on this).  In addition to this mindfulness, Elate’s products the are also cruelty free, vegan, organic, are made in Canada, and come in sustainable packaging. I think they’ve just about got everything covered. The price is comparable to other ‘natural’ brands that I’ve seen at my local drugstore & ultimately, like with what I put in my mouth, I’d rather pay a little more for the products I use on my face & get better quality without the laundry list of harmful chemicals. Because as one famous beauty brand likes to remind us: You’re worth it.  😉
In addition to these merits, Elate Cosmetics can be found on the Think Dirty App, an app that has rated more than 200,000 cosmetic and personal care products including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and nail polishes based on the toxicity of their ingredients on their Dirty MeterTM. Simply scan the barcode of the product to see it’s rating. If you’re curious about the ingredients in the cosmetics & personal products you use, it’s worth it to check this app out; it may make you toss out the entire contents of your bathroom. 
A big thank you to Melodie from Elate for treating this lady to some lovely new cosmetics. I’m looking forward to trying out more of this company’s products & replacing the naughty ones in my makeup bag.

Elate Cosmetics is based in Victoria, BC and offers a variety of natural cosmetics with a skincare line due for release in the Fall of 2015. Visit the company’s website to learn more & shop online. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram
The Think Dirty App helps consumers easily identify the toxic chemicals found in the cosmetics & personal products they buy. When you scan the barcode of a product, Think Dirty will provide a rating plus information on the product & it’s ingredients and suggest cleaner options.  For more information about the Think Dirty App, click here. You can also find the app on FacebookTwitter, & Instagram. 

Elate cosmetics won’t compromise your skin, your lifestyle, or the earth. Beautiful colours. Skin loving ingredients. Sustainable packaging. Made in Canada, all natural and vegan.
Life, Love, Community.

Product photos by K Petrunia; logos courtesy of Elate Cosmetics & the Think Dirty App.
February posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting