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    Who is your favourite indie artist? | A few Monday morning watercolours

    Albert and Rae commission

    It’s June and I’m home! And I’m in love with this commissioned watercolour by indie artist Isabel Hernandez (@panzerwaffle).

    It’s a small portrait of Boyfriend and I that I surprised him with on our 2nd anniversary, plus a little portrait of me (below) that Isabel slipped in as a surprise. I can’t wait to finish my gallery wall and get them both hung up.

    I would love to fill my home with more art, but it can be tough. I’m still living on a disabled student budget, and art is $$$$. The main piece in our living room is a housewarming gift from a friend of mine. I’m not sure how I ended up with such generous, talented indie artist friends, but hey: I’m not complaining!

    Isabel Hernandez commisson

    It’s weird seeing myself without freckles. Like, I feel like they make up 40% of my face? (The other 60% is all dimple.)

    Right now, I’m obsessed with Giselle Denis, an Edmonton indie artist that does just the cheeriest florals. I’m not sure I’m ever going to own one of her pieces, because most of them run upwards of $2000, but a girl can dream, right? There’s so much spirit in every one of her poppies and each of her rivers, and every piece just radiates joy.

    That’s the toughest hurdle that I run into when looking for art, honestly. Commissioned watercolours are one thing, but I want my living space to be full of good feelings. Most of our local indie artists are… let’s say “edgy,” which makes it hard to fill a home with happy art. And I’d rather spend a little more and have all of my money go directly to the artist rather than forking out for shipping costs or buying something mass-market.

    (Although I’ve been pretty darn tempted with some of the Garance Doré prints at Indigo. I just love her so much!)

    Commissioned watercolour portrait by Isabel Hernandez

    What indie artist is strewn across your walls?

    What are your walls filled with? Or, even better, how many of you run your own Etsy shops? I know a few of my super-talented blogger friends have started selling their art and printables recently, so please feel free to share your shop in the comments below! 

    And, of course, I’d love if you could share photos of your own art collections, or links to your favourite affordable artists. Let’s get this ball rolling.

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    Maybelline 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches, photos

    Maybelline eyeshadow palette the 24k nudes

    The product: Maybelline 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette in Gold

    I’ve been covering a little bit too much skincare recently for my tastes. So, when Maybelline sent over a few of their latest launches, I couldn’t wait to get them on my face. I used a bit of Maybelline and a touch of Burberry for some high-low makeup in this post.

    Maybelliner 24k nudes review

    Maybelline 24K Nudes formula

    You know how sometimes, you try out an eyeshadow formula and you’re just like, “yeah, that’s drugstore”? This palette feels a little bit like that. Maybelline’s lip products are stellar, but their eyeshadow formula tends to be quite dry. The 24K Nudes formula meets those expectations, and none of the shades are particularly buttery or pigmented.

    It’s definitely a workable palette, and at a drugstore price, I enjoyed using it. It’s important to have products that bridge the whole spectrum! None of the shades were too sheer, and I appreciate that Maybelline never heaps in chunky glitter.

    For wear, these eyeshadows definitely need a primer. As long as I used one, they lasted all day on my lids with no creasing or fading.

    Maybelline 24k nudes eye look eotd palette

    Eyes: Maybelline 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, The Colossal Big Shot Mascara

    Maybelline 24k nudes eye palette review

    Maybelline 24K Nudes eyeshadow swatches (indirect sunlight over primer)

    Maybelline 24K Nudes swatches and shades

    The 24K Nudes features an edgier colour palette than some of Maybelline’s other palette offerings, but on the whole, the shades deliver. The purple on the second row is soft and desaturated, and the warm brown on the upper row is lovely.

    Weirdly enough, what I didn’t love about this palette was the eponymous 24K shade! It’s very pigmented and quite metallic for the drugstore, but the yellow-gold hue just does NOT work for my skin tone. For my colouring, this is more of a fall palette, but I can really see it rockin’ on someone like Joan Smalls or Karen from MABB.

    Maybelline 24k nudes palette and more review

    The Maybelline 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette verdict?

    It’s strange – I didn’t dislike the Maybelline 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, but I liked the Maybelline Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette way more. The 24K Nudes are a little drier; a little less pigmented. At $11 (in the US), they’re a good deal, but at $17 (in Canada), I think the price is a little steep.

    But real talk, though: how awesome are the models behind this palette? I’m digging your level of diversity, Maybelline.

    Availability: $11.99 USD/$17.99 CAD at Maybelline, Ulta, and most drugstores and mass market retailers.

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    Crash Hotel (Edmonton) review | Time for a little staycation…

    Crash Hotel travellers room review

    Crash Hotel review: Perfect for a party, but skip it for the romance

    I was invited to check out Crash Hotel in May, the weekend before I left for China. A place to crash if you’ve been partying downtown, the hotel offers party suites, regular rooms, and hostel-style beds.

    Our Traveller’s King Corner Room was spacious and comfortable, with a gorgeous bathroom and a comfy bed. It features a wall-length desk for those on a working vacation, and everything was very clean (save for a little big critter that I met at 7 AM and woke my partner yelling about.) #JustOldBuildingThings, right?

    My one recommendation? For an establishment with super-flattering lighting and a drink called “The Selfie,” there’s a surprising lack of mirrors in their rooms. Dear folks at Crash – a full-length mirror could totally up your social media mentions!

    Crash Hotel edmonton review food

    Best places to eat in Edmonton on game day: Crash Hotel Lobby Bar

    A review of the Crash Hotel Lobby Bar

    My favourite place at Crash is its lobby bar. The hotel itself sits on top of three different food & drink places: the Lobby Bar, Denizen Hall, and Arena Liquor. One kitchen runs both of the bars, but their vibes are very different.

    While Denizen Hall is a rowdy arcade and sports bar, the Crash Hotel Lobby Bar is a cocktail & martini bar with a tapas-style menu. It would be a great place for a second date. Just make sure not to go on a game day, because it gets packed!

    Edmonton staycation review - Crash Hote

    Crash Hotel Lobby Bar/Denizen Hall review – Brussels ‘n Bacon

    I loved the kitchen’s Brussels ‘n Bacon (above), which was so good that my partner and I had it twice. The chickpeas in the dish are deep fried, and the sweet, spicy sauce is unspeakably delicious.

    However, our second dish was disappointing. We ordered the mussels with blue cheese, sriracha, and condensed milk (below), and they were so salty that we couldn’t finish the dish. (It may have been a fluke of the day, because our server mentioned that it’s a customer favourite.) We had a midnight snack from Denizen later on, and noticed the same thing: the steak sandwich was perfect, but the pretzel was cold and tough.

    Crash hotel lounge restaurant review

    Crash Hotel Lobby Bar review – Sriracha Mussels

    You have to try a martini when you’re in a cocktail & martini bar, so I tried the Prosec-go. It tasted exactly like boozy cough syrup, and was just as much fun. I also had a modified version of The Donald (no affiliation), which I would absolutely recommend if you like lychee!

    Malin + Goetz rum hand wash, b5 moisturizer review

    The verdict on Crash Hotel?

    I’ll be honest with you: we had a mixed experience at Crash Hotel. I really liked it, but my partner really didn’t.

    I loved our stay because the rooms are really cool, the location is right downtown, and the bed was vast and comfortable. Everyone was beyond helpful, and seriously: MALIN+GOETZ toiletries in that bathroom? I can die happy.

    But Crash is a lot of things. There were drunk guys yelling in the hallway at 2 AM, and I got cat-called so many times that even my 6′ tall white male partner felt unsafe. Plus, parking is a whopping $35 a day, and old buildings have their own problems, like thin walls and pests.

    Overall, I would recommend Crash for a younger clientele. With no room service and a noisy environment, it’s not ideal for a romantic staycation–but it’s it’s a very cool place to hang for the night. The hostel-style rooms start at $90 for 4, and the party suite practically encourages gettin’ weird with your friends.

    Crash hotel staycation review

    Crash Hotel Edmonton Themed Traveller’s King Room

    GIVEAWAY | Come stay at Crash Hotel!

    Okay, so here’s the really exciting part of the post. The folks at Crash have offered to give away a one-night stay at Crash AND a $50 gift card to their Lobby Bar! 

    Whether you live in Edmonton and you’d like to treat yourself to a little staycation, or you’re planning to travel this summer and you want to stop by, this giveaway is for you. It’s open worldwide for 2 weeks, and you must be over the age of majority to enter.

    Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    See more of Crash in this outfit post }

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    The Floral Maxi Dress with Cutouts | When it’s summer but all you wanna do is wear black

    Summer slits floral maxi dress with cutouts review

    I feel like all of this new content is going up so fast. First it was the redesign, then the lingerie, and then the boozy milkshake… and now, it’s this floral maxi dress. I love this dress, and when I had the chance to shoot it in a really cool local hotel, I couldn’t say no.

    This floral maxi is everything that I’m about. It’s sheer and affordable, and it toes the line between “slutty” and “demure” just as well as it toes the line between “casual” and “dressy.”

    Forever 21 floral maxi dress with cutouts review photos lookbook

    Finding that perfect floral maxi dress

    I didn’t nab any great full-body shots of this floral maxi dress in the wind, but you can bet that that’s on my to-do list. Its front features two high slits with a black mini-skirt sewn into the lining, and it makes me feel absolutely elemental when I wear it.

    For me, the trick to finding the perfect floral maxi was waiting until I found something that fit all of my prerequisites. The flowers on this one are really tiny, so they’re not overwhelming, and the cutouts feel really fresh. The light, sheer fabric sealed the deal for me–it keeps the dress looking playful instead of dowdy.

    I actually came upon this dress as an accident. It was living in the back of my friend’s closet, and she bequeathed it upon me when her ass got too magnificent to fit in it anymore. (No lie. Girl is poppin’.) Happiest happenstance that’s ever happened to my closet.

    See you Monday for a full post on this gorgeous location, and next Thursday for some regular ‘ol beauty content! xo 

    Black slit maxi dress lookbook

    Get the look

    OUTFIT

    Floral maxi dress by Forever 21 – similar sheer / similar cutout and slit / similar skirt

    Clarks suede booties – similar summer style

    EYES

    Wet n Wild Fergie Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer (same formula)

    Maybelline The 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette ($11.99 USD)

    MAC Eye Shadow Matte2 in Blanc Type 

    Annabelle Chrome Eyeshadow in Rose Gold ($8.95 CAD)

    Red Cherry Lashes #747U Peony ($4.95 CAD)

    Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Volum’Express Mascara in Very Black ($8.49 USD)

    BASE

    Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX02 ($48 USD/$58 CAD)

    Marcelle Monochromatic Pressed Powder in Light ($19.95 CAD)

    CHEEKS

    Maybelline FaceStudio Master Blush Color & Highlight Kit ($12.99 USD)

    Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter in No. 01 White ($68 USD/$72 CAD)

    LIPS

    Burberry Lip Colour Contour in No. 01 Fair ($31 USD/$33 CAD)

    Maybelline Color Sensational “The Buffs” Lip Color in 955 Espresso Exposed ($7.49 USD)

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    Plus-size swimsuits & summer style | More about that beach bod

    *sponsored post

    A few weeks ago, when I posted my Something Wicked Ava review, I mentioned a rather unfortunate part of the fashion world: the lack of options available for plus-size figures. 

    As a petite woman (I’m 5’2″; petite sizing starts at 5’4″), I have enough struggles finding clothes that fit properly. But for your standard North American woman, that struggle is even harder. Small brands like Something Wicked have nothing for anyone bigger than a 38D/32″ waistand searching for plus-size swimsuits is even harder.

    Image HTML map generator

    Surprisingly enough, the brands that I’ve found have been doing the best job of plus-size advertising are fast fashion brands like Forever 21 and online shopping brands like Xehar. So, when Xehar (one of theNotice’s current sponsors) asked me to put together a beach-themed post for Memorial Day weekend, I jumped at the chance.

    Unlike a lot of mainstream brands, who model plus-size swimsuits on “in-between” sized models, Xehar actually uses plus-size models to model their clothing. I can’t personally speak to the fit of their clothing, but the models they choose are a beautiful mix of ages, ethnicities, and sizes. And best of all? Their catalogue is un-retouched, and everyone in it looks psyched to be there.

    Xehar Curvy tankini

    It was so refreshing to see such a wide range of models used by a brand, and I know that’s something that Xehar echoes in their straight-sized Xehar Style line. (I literally squeed when I saw this model’s natural hair.) I’d love to see a little more conscious naming in their products–the shoes above are listed as “tribal flats”–but I think the brand is off to a strong start.

    So here’s a little updated definition of a beach bod for today’s post…

    BEACH BODY: n. The sunkissed, über-babely body of a person of any race, gender, age, or size, who goes to the beach.

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