Top 5 Sunscreens for Summer 2016

sunscreen collageWe are heading straight into the hot months of summer. So much fun in the sun! But it’s so important to protect yourself  by applying sunscreen before all of that sun fun. No one likes the thought of dark brown spots appearing on your face (the sun works like a magnet and brings them out), wrinkles, dry leather like skin, or worse yet, skin cancer. It is recommended by Dermatologists that you apply sunscreen not just in the summer months, but all year round. We’ve made a list of our absolute favourite sunscreens that we use all of the time. Year round. They are super light weight, non greasy and honestly feel like you are putting on your moisturizer and not a sunscreen. Once you start applying it daily it really becomes habit. Trust us!

#1. Skinceuticals 

883140000778-physical-fusionI have been using this little gem every single day for the past 6 months. I actually mix it in with my daytime moisturizer on the top of my hand then apply it to my face. It’s especially great for the days when I’m not working or wearing foundation because it has a slight tint that gives me just the right amount of colour, evens my tone slightly, adds radiance and protects. -Laura

What we love about it:
Specifically for the face
SPF 50 
UVA/UVB protection
Paraben Free
Sheer  
Light fluid texture 
Non-greasy 
Tinted that adapts to all skin tones  
Boosts radiance 
Water resistant for up to 40 minutes

#2. Vichy  ($25.95 Cdn)

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This has been a constant sunscreen choice for me for many years. It doesn’t matter how many other sunscreens I try, my heart still belongs to this guy. – Laura

What we love about it:
Spf 50
Specifically for the face
Protection from UVA/UVB Rays & Free Radical Damage
Ultra light weight fluid
Ultra sheer
Water Resistant
Matte finish which is especially great for a combination/oily skin type
Non-sticky and absorbs instantly, it’s perfect for anyone who dislikes hates that sticky heavy texture you get from some suncreens.

#3. Ombrelle Ultra Fluid Lotion Spf 60 ($15.97 Cdn)

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We gave this Ombrelle Spf 60 a try for the first time last summer. We loved the fact that this one costs less then some of our other favourite sunscreens plus it compares in quality. Natasha is an avid jogger and never steps out the door without applying sunscreen first regardless of weather/season. She is quite particular with her sunscreen choices when she’s running (many are never to be worn again!) and this one got the jogger approval! 

What we love about it:
SPF 60 
UVA/UVB Protection
Light weight formula
Contains Vitamin E
Non-Cosmedongenic
Fragrance Free 
The cost is less expensive then some of the other brands.

#4. Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream ($36.00 Cdn)

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Don’t forget about the eyes! I honestly never worried about applying an SPF sunscreen around my eyes in my 20’s, but let me tell you, I sure do now. Plus I encourage Natasha to even though she’s only 23! Everyone knows that aging starts around the eye area so… prevent, protect, and prevent some more is what I say!

What we love about it:
SPF 34 (odd number but it’s above 30 so it’s all good) 
Protects the eye area 
Cream texture that hydrates around the eyes as it protects against UV damage
Has a light diffusing powder that brightens the eye area
Absorbs quickly 
Non-greasy 
Doesn’t sting around the eyes

#5. Clinique SPF 50 Broad Spectrum Body Sunscreen ($29.00 Cdn)

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This Clinique SPF 50 for the body is the bomb! 

What we love about it: 
SPF 50
UVA/UVB Protection
Rubs in well
Water-Proof
Sweat Proof
Oil Free
Fragrance Free
Adds shimmer to the skin

Laura xo

Glass Suncatchers

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After my little mishap on our previous DIY project, (my cracked Flower Power plate), I was excited to do another project to get over the extreme sadness I was dealing with… Alright, a tad overboard and dramatic, I’ll admit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m alright now.

Natasha and I spent another Sunday afternoon at the studio with my sister and her 2 young children and we all made glass sun catchers. We think they turned out so cute and they are now hanging in our living room window, shining all kinds of pretty colours into our place.

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Laura at the Studio

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My suncatcher is the one with the purple, (obvs. Purple is my fave colour).

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And here’s Natasha’s suncatcher! Lots of bright colours and orange, (her fave colour).

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We’re already brainstorming new project ideas for our next DIY… stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

Laura xo

Stila In The Light Eye Shadow Palette – Review + Swatches

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From left to right: bare, kitten, bliss, sunset, sandstone, bubbly, gilded gold, luster, night sky, ebony

The In The Light palette is a beautiful collection of Stila’s award-winning eye shadows in wearable, neutral shades for every skintone that can be worn wet or dry.

The palette also includes an exclusive Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Damsel, a matte chocolate brown, and a 6-page lookbook with detailed how-to tips and tricks.

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Natasha’s Review: 
I’ve been using this eye shadow palette for the past week, trying out different colour combinations and am really liking it so far. My favorite colours are bare, kitten and night sky. I prefer to wear more natural, neutral eye shadow colours so bare and kitten were my favorites. (Kitten is one of Stila’s bestselling colours). I absolutely love the colour night sky as well. It’s a gorgeous blueish/purple with a hint of shimmer, and is perfect for a smokey eye look. I was really impressed with the colour pigments.. they go on smooth, and blend super easily. This palette reminds me of the ‘Naked’ Eye Shadow Palette by Urban Decay as they have similar colours. If you are looking for a neutral (but not too neutral!) eye shadow palette, I’d definitely recommend this one!

Laura’s Review: I have used most of Stila’s eye shadows on my clients in the past years and it always remains one of my all time favourite brands. I absolutely love, love, love the colours which are very pigmented. I use many combinations but one of my favourite everyday looks that I personally wear is the trio combination of bare, kitten (all time best seller) and bliss. I use bare over the entire eye lid up to the brow bone, blend kitten over the lid and into the inside corners of the eyes to highlight, then a light sweep of bliss in the crease. Use the damsel smudge stick waterproof eye liner along the upper lash line and in the upper lid water line (aka the tight line) this makes the lashes look longer and the liner more intense. Finish with mascara and voila! Beautiful 5 minute day time eye makeup look.

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Laura & Natasha Xo

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries

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The last two days have been filled with everything baking and a lot of trial and error.

I had been looking forward to trying out zucchini bread, as I’d made zucchini muffins and cookies previously and they both turned out great. So yesterday I got to it & baked my very first zucchini bread loaf! What a let-down… it was the nastiest zucchini bread I’ve ever tasted. It was my first time making zucchini bread and I think it may be my last. That’s how bad it was. It turned me right off, and I doubt I’ll be baking with zucchini for awhile now.

Since my love affair with zucchini died – today I’d decided I had waited long enough and it was time to start baking pumpkin goodies!

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YAY for PUMPKIN! Move over zucchini – there’s a new vegetable in town.
(Is pumpkin a fruit or vegetable?! I will admit, I had to google it – apparently it is technically a fruit, but is accepted by many as a vegetable. I’m just going to go with vegetable. It just seems more veggie-ish.)

My mom had told me to wait until October to start baking with pumpkin but I just couldn’t wait. (October! Who can wait till October to start baking with pumpkin? Definitely not I. Sorry Mom!) 

Like many bakers, I have a massive crush on pumpkin.
Pumpkin = Moist, Healthy, Sweet & Spicy Goodness. Who can resist?
I adore the flavor and will literally eat anything with pumpkin in it. (Anyone tried homemade pumpkin pasta or ravioli and know of a good recipe? I’m thinking about trying it out soon!)

For my first pumpkin recipe of the year, I decided to bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries – and they most definitely did not disappoint.
Besides the minor setback of almost burning the house down (yes, that happened – don’t ask. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), the cookies turned out perfect and my pumpkin craze has now officially started. (Be prepared for lots of posts on pumpkin-flavored baked goods!)
Bring on the Fall! 

If you’re looking for the ultimate chewy, moist, pumpkin-spiced, oatmeal cookies – this is the recipe for you! The pumpkin combined with the oatmeal, plus the addition of the white chocolate chips & cranberries give this cookie amazing texture, and tons of flavor. It is definitely one of my favorite pumpkin recipes!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries

Ingredients:
(yield: 48-52 cookies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice & salt in medium bowl.

3. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add the flour mixture and combine until all ingredients are incorporated.
Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for approx. 2 minutes than remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Note: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Happy Start-of-the-Pumpkin-Season Baking!
I’m looking forward to seeing all the pumpkin recipes start to pop up.

Natasha xo

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This is Zeus, aka Zeusie, Zeusie-Zoo, Zeuser, Doodie-doo, Dooder, Mr.Z, Poopie-Poo, Baby, Little Man. (He’s a dog of many names)
He’s our 13 year old fur-baby and the love of our lives. We just got a new DSLR camera and of course the first thing I do is shoot some photos of Zeusie. It was late at night and he was sleepy but I couldn’t resist, I had to sneak a couple photos. He was just looking too cute. Adorable ain’t he? ๐Ÿ˜‰