Shop Canadian This Christmas

2020 has been a tough year for a lot of Canadians, and many small businesses really took a hit. So I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite Canadian brands for you to check out this Christmas.

Wild Rose Designs:  Makes SUPER cute toques/headbands and such to keep you warm during these cold, Northern Alberta winters. Find her on Etsy to place your order.

Autumn Jade Studio: This is a LOCAL jewelry brand owned and operated by one of my best friends. She makes gold and sterling silver jewelry and she also works with crystals/gemstones. She also has a home line that includes candles and wool dryer balls. Check out her website and find her across social media.

Ativo Skincare: Organic, all natural skincare made in British Columbia. Their makeup brush cleanser is incredible and makes a great stocking stuffer. Shop their website.

Temper + Lace: This is a candle company owned by another one of my close friends. Temper + Lace offers soy candles scented with either essential oils, or paraben and phthalate free fragrance oils. She also sells essential oil blends and apparel. Temper + Lace candles are hand poured in High River, Alberta.  Check out her website.

Eatable Inc.:  Eatable Inc is a company out of Ontario that makes DELICIOUS alcohol infused candy coated popcorn. The champagne infused white chocolate is my favourite flavour but their whiskey infused caramel is also amaaaaazzzing. Makes an amazing stocking stuffer. Save $5 on your order with the code KelseyProblemz Check out their website.

Zen Lion Design: Zen Lion is an apparel brand out of the Edmonton area. It’s a Black, Female owned business. Sherrell is a mom of 3 girls and she runs her apparel brand out of her home. Shop her website and save 10% with the code kelseycsomerville

Femme Faire: Femme Faire is a female owned business out of Ontario that makes insanely cute and ethical hair accesories. I have a few of their headbands and looooove them. What I love even more is that they employ immigrants and refugees and allow them to work while still caring for their families. Check out their website.

Anupaya: Anupaya is a brand out of the Ottawa Valley (where I’m from). They make blankets, home decor, candles, hats and other stylish merch that is not just stylish but sustainable. They use recycled materials and they pick up 1 lb of waste for every item they sell. Shop their website.

Supercrush: A female owned brand out of BC that makes scrunchies and other hair accessories. Amazing quality scrunchies. I also have some of their face masks and they are great! Check out their website.

Brunette The Label:Brunette is a female owned apparel brand that offers cute, stylish + fun fashion while also spreading the Babes Supporting Babes mentality. Shop their website.

Glass House Goods: Another female owned jewelry brand out of Ontario. They make simple pieces designed to remind women that they are badass. Check out their website and use the code Kelsey5 for $5 off your order.

High Horse Coffee: An Edmonton Coffee Bean company. Their beans are sold at Freson Brothers locations across Alberta. Their espresso is one of my go-tos.

Wapiti Bean Co: Coffee Beans roasted in GP. You can order from their website.

New Moon Tea Co.: If you’re bestie is a tea lover, check out New Moon Tea Co. You can order from their website.

Road 102 Designs: A company out of Grande Prairie. Randy makes concrete + bone decor. Find her on Social Media. She also has an Etsy shop.

Cinder and Sage: This is a store located in Calgary and she sells a ton of stuff from other brands but she also sells jewelry, hair accessories, and a bunch of stuff she makes herself. She makes really cute hair accessories like hair combs. Visit her website to shop.

The Local Space: This is a store in BC that sells a ton of Canadian owned brands. You can shop online and they do ship! Check out their website.

Peace By Chocolate: This is an award winning chocolate brand out of Nova Scotia that was founded by Syrian refugees. Their story is incredible. Check out their website.

Happy Shopping! Thanks for supporting Canadian this holiday season.

Brand Feature | Anupaya

Hey friends! Today’s brand feature highlights a sustainable, ethical brand that I am really excited about! Anupaya is a small company in the Ottawa Valley. They offer apparel, blankets, mugs, hats and more. Anupaya strives to be sustainable; they use recycled materials whenever possible  and they have a One Pound Promise. The One Pound Promise means that for every item sold, they clean up one pound of waste.

Their fedora hats are made with 100% wool and feature a band of recycled leather. I did order one of these hats before I realized it was real leather so I made the decision not to keep it (As a vegetarian, I don’t wear leather). They are beautifully crafted hats so if you are in search of a fedora and you don’t have issues with leather I do highly recommend that you take a look at the options that Anupaya has to offer! I placed an order for the charcoal Supertramp but they sent me the Fawn so I was able to get a photo before I sent it back.

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Their blankets are made with 65% recycled wool, and 35% polyester. The fabric is ethically sourced from Italy and cut and sewn in Canada. They come in different colours and patterns to match your decor and they are reversible. They are also quite large at 5ft by 6ft. When I opened my blanket I was so impressed with how thick and cozy it was. They are also machine washable which makes it so easy.

Heads up; If you decide to order any of their apparel, they warn to size up. I ordered the large (I would typically wear a medium) and it was still SO TINY.

It is so awesome to watch this Canadian brand continue to expand with sustainable, ethical products. Check them out!

Coffeeology | Bones Coffee Co Taste Testing

I found a coffee company recently via Instagram that really caught my eye. The Bones Coffee Company caught my eye for two reasons; 1. It’s called Bones Coffee Co. and 2. It features skeletons on every beautiful, black bag. The beans are specialty roasted upon ordering. My boyfriend and I are avid coffee drinkers, so I HAD to grab a couple bags.

Now this is an American company so while priced at $19.99 on the site, I did pay more. And it’s $9 flat rate shipping to Canada. They do often offer discounts if you sign up to receive they’re emails and often will send 2oz sample bags when you place an order. They also offer sample kits where you get to choose five 4oz bags, in either whole beans or ground beans, of the coffee you want to try because there is such a huge variety of flavors and some are a little “out there”.

I ordered full sized bags of the French Toast and Dark Roast while getting sample bags in Jamaican Me Crazy, Medium Roast, Espresso, French Vanilla and High Voltage. Included in my order was a free 2oz sample of the Jacked O’ Lantern coffee which is pumpkin spiced. I won’t bother reviewing the Dark Roast or the Medium Roast because these are very normal coffees. They are both very good quality beans, excellent flavors and very smooth finish but there isn’t much more to say about them aside from that.

All of the beans smelled absolutely amazing so I was super excited to start taste testing.

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High Voltage

High Voltage is a signature blend with twice the caffeine content of a regular coffee. Very bold but also so smooth.

Jacked O’ Lantern

I am not HUGE on pumpkin spice but if it’s subtle, I do like it. There are pumpkin spiced teas that I like. This coffee was a little TOO flavorful for my liking, but if you’re a fan of pumpkin spice you may absolutely love it. It smelled great, but I didn’t enjoy the flavor. I was not surprised that the flavor would be stronger in a coffee than it is in a tea, and I’ll probably pass the bag onto a friend who enjoys pumpkin spiced products. My boyfriend doesn’t like pumpkin spiced at all so he didn’t even try this one.

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Jamaican Me Crazy

This was a flavor that I was really excited to try. The beans smelled absolutely amazing. It is a medium roast coffee with vanilla, caramel and coffee liqueur flavor. Because of the Jacked O’ Lantern I definitely expected the flavors to be a little stronger but these didn’t overpower the actual coffee at all. It smelled stronger than it tasted which is good I guess because it smelled super strong. It had a really smooth finish, zero bitterness and all the flavors blend so well together. Makes a really awesome iced coffee with a little cream. This is definitely one that we’ll be picking up again.

Espresso

Bones Coffee Co Espresso is a blend of beans from South-Central America and has hints of citrus and cocoa. This bean is offered whole or in an espresso grind, which is a finer grind than a normal coffee. If you use a regular coffee maker they do recommend that you buy the bean whole and grind them yourself. We always grind our own beans but we also have a grinder that gives you the option to do a finer espresso grind. At the point when I tried this coffee, I had been drinking Starbucks Blonde Espresso for a while so I really got the full affect of this espresso. I did a caramel macchiato with this espresso and I was really pleased with the final flavor. It was strong and less sweet compared to the Blonde roast I had gotten used to but it was very smooth and I wouldn’t say it was at all bitter. I didn’t at all notice a citrus or cocoa flavors but I’m guessing these are what gave this strong coffee less edge.

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French Toast

This was another one that I was excited to try, especially after receiving the order and smelling the beans. This is a medium roast bean with hints of buttery toast, vanilla, maple and cinnamon. Which sounds INCREDIBLE. The flavors are aren’t too over powering; they blend well together and with the coffee. This coffee makes for an excellent latte. It’s very smooth, there is zero bitterness and I hardly found I had to add any sugar at all.

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French Vanilla

A medium roast coffee with creamy vanilla flavor. This bag was more for me than it was for Ty. Vanilla and Caramel are my two ‘go-to’ flavors when it comes to coffee. I found that this had the perfect amount of flavour. I just needed to add a little cream and a little sugar. It was so smooth and the vanilla was just a nice light and warm flavor. This also makes a great latte.

Overall I was really happy with this brand and I am definitely going to be ordering more. With the exception of the pumpkin spice, I found all the flavors to be pretty subtle; the perfect touch, blending well with the actual coffee taste and there was zero bitterness with a smooth finish. I’m not one to drink my coffee black but I probably could with a lot of these flavoured coffees; I added less sugar than I normally do.

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HOLIDAY COLLECTION REVIEW: TARTE PRETTY PAINTBOX COLLECTOR’S MAKEUP CASE

The Pretty Paintbox Collector’s Makeup Case is a part of the Tarte Holiday Collection for 2016 and is available exclusively online at Sephora. It includes 24 matte and shimmer eye shadows, a blush, a highlighter, a shimmer bronzer,  a matte contour bronzer, a deluxe sample of the Lash Paint mascara, a Rainforest of the Sea So Fine liquid liner and a deluxe sample of the Glossy Lip Paint in Obvi. This whole package retails for $77 CAD and Tarte values it at $543.

I included some shitty photos of looks I did using this kit just to give you an idea of the variety, the colour range and the possibilities. For all the looks I’ve included on this post I started with a base of Tarte Clean Slate Poreless Primer, Amazonian Clay 12 hr Full Coverage Foundation and Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12 hr Concealer. I’ve also used the blush, highlight and bronzer from the Pretty Paintbox. As well as the Tarte Lash Paint in every look and the So Fine liquid liner in looks where I wore liquid liner.

I’m going to start with the 24 eye shadow shades. You get such an amazing variety of colours and finishes. The perfect shades for base colours, transition shades, shades for creating a dramatic smoky eye or if you want a softer look; you can achieve anything with this collection of colours. There are so many incredibly look possibilities; I love the dark navy, purple and burgundy. As always with Tarte palettes, the colours are lined in rows  for what colours work well together to make it easy for people who may not know where to begin. The formula is so pigmented and beautifully blendable. These shadows last all day long with no fading or creasing. The shades Frameworthy and Van Gough With It are the perfect transition shades and the pink shades Porcelain Dali, Hearts and Crafts and I Louvre It are amazing to apply to my crease to really brighten my face and make me look more wide eyed on days when I want a more basic look. Here’s a look at all the shades and their names.

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For this edgy, dramatic look I’m using the colours Fresco, Frameworthy, One to Manet, Selfie Portrait and Charcoal Sketch on my eyes. I’m also wearing Lip Paint in Grunge and Tarteist Pro False Lashes in Goddess.

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This lighter eye look is just Fresco all over the lid to the brow, Frameworthy on the crease and Charcoal Sketch on the outer corner, lightly blended inward. I am wearing Lash Paint but no false lashes. I also am wearing the Glossy Lip Paint in Obvi; as you can see, it’s a really nice peachy sort of nude and not super glossy looking, nothing over the top.

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The blush included is called Moment and it’s a beautiful coral shade with a subtle golden shimmer. It is beautiful for any skin tone, so pigmented but so blendable for a nice natural flush. The blush shade and the gloss shade also perfectly compliment each other. The highlighter is a basic off white, sort of french vanilla, shade called Authentic. The highlighter actually totally exceeded my expectations, I was blown away by it’s pigment and intensity. Loved it! It also includes two bronzers; a shimmer bronzer called Unique for an all over glow and matte bronzer called Provocative for contouring. Both are super pigmented and very nice soft powders. You don’t need to pick up a lot of product on your brush so be gentle with them; since they are a soft and super pigmented powder you can easily pick up more product than you need and end up over doing it a bit.

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The Lash Paint mascara has come to be my absolute favourite mascara. It curls, volumizes and lengthens lashes with a beautiful rich black colour, no flaking and no clumping. It’s absolute perfection. Something you may have noticed is that I never really review glosses, because I hate lip glosses! I would way rather have a nice matte finish lipstick than a sticky and shiny lip. This is the first time I have ever tried a Tarte Glossy Lip Paint, it’s in the shade Obvi which is a warm nude. My first impression is that I think the colour is very nice; if I were to get into lip glosses I would definitely stick to nudes like this. It didn’t have an over the top shine to it which I like because I find super shiny lip glosses look kind of tacky. It was a little sticky but not super sticky. Not transfer-proof, but it wore off evenly. The Glossy Lip Paint didn’t make me fall in love with lip gloss, but if I were to wear a lip gloss this one isn’t too bad. The So Fine liquid liner is so fine, so it’s great for precision. It’s very pigmented, so you get a very rich and opaque black that is long wearing and won’t fade or crack. You hardly need any pressure to dispense product from the tip, I ended up with much thicker lines than I meant to on my first try with it. The tip is also very short. The following uses of the liner were a lot more successful to get my desired look, I would say this liner is a winner!

For this look I’m wearing Glossy Lip Paint in Obvi and eye shadow: Fresco all over the lid, I Louvre It and Frameworthy in the crease.  It’s a very simple day time look.

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This pink/purple look was done with Nudes on the lid to brow, Pastels on the lid to crease, I Louvre It in the crease, Get Surreal on the lid and Still Life used lightly on the outer corner and to smoke out the lower lash line. I’m wearing Tarteist Pro False Lashes in Goddess. I’m wearing Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Requiem as well.

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These shots are just to show the glow from the highlighter.

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This look is a eye/lip combo I’m not totally crazy about. I wanted to wear a burgundy lipstick with this eye but I had a dentist appointment the morning of so I didn’t put my lipstick on until I got to work and I forgot my Frenemy lip paint! This is the Lip Paint in Choker, and my eyes were done with the Pretty Paintbox shades Porcelain Dali, Nudes, Monochrome  and Stained Glass. In this photo you can also see the beautiful coral colour of the blush better than you can in the others.

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The shadows I used here are Waterlilies from the lid to brow, Van Gogh With It on the crease, Selfie Portrait is the shimmery shade on the lid and Charcoal Sketch is a dark brown smoked on the outer corner and along the lower lash line. I skipped wearing liquid liner or false lashes and just optioned for the Lash Paint mascara. My lips are the Tarte Lippie Lingerie Matte Lip Tint in Whisper.

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For this last look I used the shade Nudes all over from lid to brow, then I smoked the outer corner and lower lash line with Silhouette, put Bronze Casting on the lid and then put a little Glitter Glue on the inner corner.  Glitter Glue and Bronze Casting definitely benefited from wetting my brush with setting spray. I’m wearing it with Tarte Lip Paint in Frenemy.

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I debated just deleting all my “look” photos because they suck so much, they don’t do the makeup justice at all. The pigment is just gorgeous; the drama, the colors, it’s all lovely.  Overall, I absolutely think this kit is worth the $77 and it would make a fantastic gift for any makeup lover on your Christmas list!

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