Summer Travel Essentials

The past few weeks have finally begun to feel like summer! The warmer temps, chirping birds, blooming flowers - it really is so beautiful to see everything come back to life after winter. 

Whether it's up to a cottage, down to the lake, across the pond, or even just around town, summer usually involves a lot more travel for me. (I can't be the only one that hibernates all winter ;) And this summer I have a bigger-than-usual trip planned, so I've been gathering all my travel bits & bobs to make sure nothing gets forgotten.

Julep Lindsay & AlainaJoe Fresh SweaterWarby Parker Tilley SunglassesLo & Sons CatalinaLovers Tempo Earrings, 'The Summer Before the War', Anastasia Eye Shadow in Smoke, Buon Fresco, & Pink ChampagneFossil Sydney ClutchRifle Paper Co NotepadChapters Indigo PenAldo Olivetta

Simple, coordinating beauty faves (I've been loving these Anastasia eyeshadows!) make getting ready a snap.A little bit of sparkle on the ears with these cluster studs from Lovers Tempo and on the feet with shimmery sandals keep things a little more fun. A good book to read & somewhere to write down to-do's or things to remember. A wallet that doubles as a clutch for all the essentials, and a big overnight bag for when you need more than just the essentials ;) A cozy sweater to throw on in those cool summer evenings, and sunglasses to keep you protected during the day. (I've really been considering getting a pair of prescription sunglasses, and these ones from Warby Parker's summer collection might just have me sold on the idea. They have eyeglasses in addition to sunglasses if you've been on the hunt for those. And both are available online for shipping to Canada & the US - it almost seems too easy ;)

I'm sure my suitcase will magically seem to shrink as I start packing it, but I'll try to stick to only the essentials ;) 

Do you have any travel plans this summer? Anywhere exciting or just something nice & relaxing?


Skincare Standouts

Over the past few years, I've focused on improving my skin rather than covering it all up. My skin was all over the place in university, and went through quite a bad period in my final year. Since then, I've looked for products that will keep my skin calm and hydrated, while reducing breakouts and boosting radiance. It's a tall order, but I've finally found a few great stand-outs that I've repurchased again & again. My skin is happier & healthier than it's been in years, all thanks to the products below.

Caudalie Divine Oil - This was tucked into my stocking last Christmas (someone clearly knows me well ;) and I've loved using it. It smells so lovely and doesn't feel heavy on my skin. I don't love the packaging - this smaller version is just a bottle with a screw top lid, no delivery method for the oil - but that's a minor flaw I can work around.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum - I discovered this serum in 2014 and it totally changed my skin. I still get the occasional spot, but I'm always left with a red mark long after the spot is gone. This helps speed up the disappearance of the red marks and seems to brighten up the rest of my skin as well. Happy skin all round!

Fresh Rose Gel Hydrating Cream - If I could insert the praise hands emoji in here, I would! I always have a backup of this product on hand because I never want to be without it - it's that good. My skin loves this stuff - it keeps my combination skin nourished and balanced, all while smelling like a beautiful bouquet of roses. 

Fresh Rose Face Mask - The rose gel cream is more than enough to keep my skin happy, but when I have an event coming up or want to have a spa night-in, this is the mask I turn to. My makeup always applies so much better on hydrated skin, so it's the perfect treat before an event, and feels luxurious without breaking the bank.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Oil - I was given a sample of this ages ago, and I noticed a difference in my skin almost right away. It's nourishing, hydrating, and seems to calm the redness my skin is prone to. It's lightweight enough for me to wear under makeup and it smells lovely. The bottle size is a tad ridiculous, but the dropper keeps any mess at bay.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream - I love a night cream that leaves my skin looking 'plump' and hydrated when I wake up the next morning. While I certainly still have youth on my side, this cream certainly doesn't hurt either ;) This pot of goodness from Fresh leaves it hydrated, calm and nourished.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution - As a bit of a beauty lover, I can never resist trying something new. So when I read a few rave reviews of this product, I had to give it a try. In the 6 weeks or so that I've been using it, I've definitely noticed a difference in how quickly any red marks I have fade. I'll save my final thoughts for after I've finished the bottle (a little goes a long way with this!) but for now I'm really pleased with it.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Mask - As if I didn't have enough hydration from the products mentioned above! Before you think I'm bonkers for hydrated skin, this was a gift from a fellow beauty lover. I've tried several products from Clinique over the years and this fits right in - great 'workhorse' products that do what they say they will. That probably shouldn't seem so revolutionary, but in this age of Photoshopping & outrageous claims, it's refreshing to find a product that lives up to its name.

Fresh & Caudalie have become two of my favourite skincare lines - they carry products I can trust and that have helped my skin tremendously.  I feel like Fresh is best known for their sugar lip treatments and Caudalie for their Beauty Elixir, but both lines carry wonderful skincare if you're looking for something new. 

I've rounded up all the products mentioned above and linked them below for easy online shopping (& review reading ;), but most Sephora & department stores should carry Fresh, Caudalie, and Clinique. Kiehl's can be found in some department stores, and they also have retail stores throughout North America. Happy shopping!


Post contains affiliate links.

Best Reads of 2015

Hello 2016! This little old blog started 5 years ago today, which seems so crazy to me. I started Gallery No. Eight on a whim - a notion of wanting a place online to talk design and build a potential portfolio for future work. And while I'm sure I had ideas of where I hoped it would go, this little space has exceeded so many of my expectations of what blogging can do or become. No matter how long you've been following along, THANKYOU! This little space is all mine, but it wouldn't be the same without you.

On to the post! I added so many gems to my bookshelf last year, it would not be fair to keep them to myself. Whether you're looking to tidy up, love others, solve a mystery, or make it happen, there's something here you'll like.

  1. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up
  2. Daring Greatly
  3. Love Does
  4. For the Love
  5. The Finishing School
  6. Make it Happen
  7. The Nature of the Beast
  8. The Nightingale
  9. All the Light We Cannot See
  10. Suite Française
  11. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

I'm starting to build my reading list for this year, so if there's any books you loved last year, please share! Or if you have any thoughts/questions on the books above, I would love to chat more with you.

Cheers to an amazing - and well-read - 2016 ;) 


ORC - The Final Week

Oh the one room challenge. I was so excited to get this finished and share the results with you all! Serious props go out to all the ladies & gents  that complete their beautiful rooms in time - it is no small feat! As you can probably tell, I don't have a finished room for you today - a combination of things not arriving in time, terribly cloudy & grey days meaning no photos, and lets be honest, a little poor time management on my part too ;) - but I do have some updates!

Several pieces did arrive (like the jewelry stand above!) and you can even see a sneak peek of the new-to-me mirror I hung too. I had a lot of heavy black pieces on my vanity area before, and now it just feels so much lighter & brighter. I'm loving the mixed metals too.

There's a few pillows that need their stuffing & some new bedding on it's way, so watch my Instagram to see when those arrive. I'm hoping to have some sort of 'final' reveal up before the end of the year to show the whole space.

And I have to talk about Amber! Working with Amber on this was so lovely - she listened to everything I was thinking about and came back with items that were already on my wishlist (she read my mind!) and projects that I never would have thought of (but instantly loved!). It was the perfect combination of totally understanding my style and challenging me to create the best design possible. Her e-design process included an inspiration board to make sure we were both on the same page, and then the final design presentation with all the final ideas, items, where to purchase things, links to alternate options and even a few DIY projects I could tackle ;) And most of the links were even for Canadian stores! Such a nice touch to be able to shop somewhat local even if I was ordering things online. I loved loved working with Amber on this, and if you ever need help with an e-design (or in-person design if you're local to Central New York you lucky ducks), I would recommend her 100%.

That's all I have for now, but stayed tuned for more sneak peeks on Instagram & for the full reveal once everything is here. Thankyou for folllowing along! If you've ever debated the ORC, it's a totally fun way to get your butt in gear and finish a room haha I would highly recommend trying it at least once - is yolo still a thing? ;)


If you're in the mood for browsing more ORC rooms, I loved Vanessa's Parisian bedroom, Cassie's jewelbox living room, Sue's light & airy bathroom, Cassandra's fabulous dressing room, Megan's sweet lavender nursery, Sarah's perfectly mixed living room, and even though Christine didn't finish in time, I cannot wait to see her final space! #staytuned

On My Bookshelf: At Home: Sarah Style

Sarah Richardson has been one of my favourite interior designers for almost as long as I can remember. One of my first ever posts on this blog was about her, and watching Sarah's House was what inspired me to want to become an interior designer (I wasn't loving my university program at the time ;). While I chose to pursue graphic design & not interior design, I still love designing interiors and Sarah's style will always inspire me.

Her newest book, At Home: Sarah Style, is no exception. Sharing photos from her own homes (as well as past homes & family member's homes), Sarah shares her thoughts on the decisions she made and how to achieve a similar look for yourself. I can almost hear her saying the blurbs out loud - this book is totally Sarah - and the behind-the-scenes real life photos bring the spaces to life.

sarahstyleathome 7.png

The home above, which was featured in season three of Sarah's House, will always & forever be one of my favourites.

After the tour of homes, we're invited to dine with delicious recipes from Sarah's own kitchen. Divided into seasons (so smart! I love the idea of eating seasonally), Sarah shares her favourite dishes along with her twists on many family staples. I've already bookmarked numerous recipes that I can't wait to try this season - some I'm sure will turn into favourites around here too :)

I loved pouring through all the photos and reading all of Sarah's thoughts & tips for each space. If you're a fan of Sarah's, love peaking into designer's homes (always so fun to see what they do in their own space, right?), want to find some new family favourite recipes, or a combination of all three, you will love this new book.

And it's out at the perfect time of year for gifting! Wouldn't it be an awesome combo to give (or receive ;) a copy of the book and something from Sarah's new line of bedding, pillows & linens?  I love all the pieces (this reversible pillow is probably my favourite), and the price point is ridiculously good for designer fabrics.

If you want to purchase (or send a not-so-subtle hint to someone else :) you can find the book at Chapters, Amazon (CA/US) or a local bookstore near you.

A copy of At Home: Sarah Style was kindly sent to me for review purposes by the publisher. All thoughts on the book & content in this post are my own, as always.

ORC - The Details

Welcome back! This week it's all about the details for the One Room Challenge - the bits & bobs I've been collecting or am planning to purchase before the reveal. Mirrors, pillows, art, library stamps (because of course), and lots of gold :)

West Elm, Lulu & GeorgiaWisteria HomeChapters IndigoThe BayPara Paints, Farrow & BallAnnawithloveSociety6IKEAMintedbluebellgray

If you've known me or read this blog for a while, you know I have a serious affinity for watercolour florals, and no one does watercolour floral pillows better than bluebellgray. I haven't completely settled on which one I'm going to pick up, but right now, the 'Jenna' is in the lead.

I first discovered bluebellgray when Fiona's home tour appeared on Design*Sponge the same month I launched this blog, and I just remember being completely smitten with her whole home & shop. Her pillows weren't carried in Canada at the time, but I'm so glad they are now and I can't wait to get one of her pillows into my hands :) 

G8 orc week four 2.png

There's also been a few changes to the gallery wall! Finally hung my little chalkboard shield from The Cross Design & Decor, as well as a few prints that have been sitting on the floor for an embarrassing amount of time...

ORC - The Ideas

Welcome back for another instalment of the ORC! Last week, I shared the plans, and this week, I'm sharing some of the ideas for the space. 

My vision for this bedroom is a calm, serene space filled with lots of cozy neutral colours, texture & light - a space I enjoy spending time in, getting ready in, and that is as functional as it is beautiful. Not that we're being lofty or anything ;)

Here's where I'm at so far:

  • I have all the prints for the gallery wall, just need to source a few final 'quirky' bits. I bought a mini chalkboard shield from The Cross Decor & Design while in Vancouver and I can't wait to get it up!
  • I also have an empty square frame that is begging for an agate slice in a neutral palette - any favourite sources?
  • Pillows! Plaid, floral, velvet, cable knit - having a hard time narrowing it down to just a few haha
  • Roman blinds for the window - will be such an upgrade from the basic blinds that are there now
  • Have something exciting planned for bringing some blush pink in to the space :)
  • I was looking at purchasing IKEA's Songe mirror, but it appears to be discontinued in Canada - boo! I'm planning to go on a vintage/secondhand mirror hunt this weekend, so hopefully something even better pops up.
Amber B Design - Vision Board

!!! Isn't that just a dreamy inspiration board? I reached out to Amber of Amber B Design to get some additional input for the space and I'm just in love with what she's sent so far. I was working with Amber over the summer on her new branding & website, and when I saw her most recent project reveal, I had to get her thoughts on my space. I love her work and am excited to be working with her again. (I really do miss seeing people pop up in my inbox when we finish working together :) We met at BlogPodium years ago, even though she's based out of Central New York. Crazy full circle moment, right? Above is her initial vision board for the space. We've changed a few things, but I have to keep some surprises until next week :) 

That's all I've got for this week. Lots of ideas & plans to bring together in the next 3 weeks!

You can see what everyone else is doing right here.


My Takeaways from BlogPodium 2015

How has it already been a month since BlogPodium?! The past few weeks have flown by, but I had to write down a few of the thoughts that I've been mulling over in my head since getting home. BlogPodium is always a highlight of my year and if you've ever thought about going, I would absolutely recommend it. I know that might sound a little biased since I do play a part in the BlogPodium team now, but I would still be going to each & every event even if I wasn't on the team - it's that good, promise :)

There's been 5 main themes that I keep coming back to, and I'm sharing those along with a few photos from my time in Vancouver below. 

1. Get out there. You'll never know unless you try. The first BlogPodium event I attended was mildly terrifying - what will it be like? Will I know anyone? Will it be super awkward? Is this even for me? - but it was truly the best ticket I've ever purchased. The connections, opportunities, knowledge and friends I have gained have been huge. I would absolutely not be doing what I do now without it.

vancouver2015 10.png

2. Share the good stuff. People can smell a fake from a mile away, so while it's completely overused these days, 'authenticity' is important. It will look different to everyone, but this I know is true: "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." I once heard someone say  that we should think of creativity & inspiration as a river - a continual source of flowing ideas - not a stagnant puddle that gets smaller every time you use up an idea. 

vancouver2015 14.png
vancouver2015 8.png

3. Simplify. Focus more energy on fewer things. Your sanity & to do list will thank you ;) And those things you focus on will get better & better with your undivided attention.

photo by Vancouver Photobooth

photo by Vancouver Photobooth

Tia, Nancy, Julie, Jen, Britt, Barbara, me & Lisa - one of the best teams to work with! 

4. Find your tribe. The people you connect with online can make all the difference. (see point above!) Community is everything, and people will make all the difference to your blogging & social media experience. 

5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Numbers will go up & down. Always, for any platform. Take a step back every so often and look at the big picture. Are you closer to your goal now than you were before? Then you're doing something right. And if not, regroup & try again. Everything will be alright :)

Any takeaways I missed? What were your favourite moments from BlogPodium this year? Other than the stunning backdrop of Vancouver of course ;) 


ORC - The Plans

Well hello there long neglected blog! I have several posts saved as drafts that will be published soon, but I wanted to introduce this series sooner rather than later. 

I have loved following the One Room Challenge over the past few years - especially the Canadian entries from Christine Dovey & Vanessa Francis - and have kind of wanted to join the fun. I always felt my room was too far along to count, but it's been stuck in 'almost done' limbo for a while now and I'm hoping this is the kick in the pants to get it finished.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll often see my gallery wall or other bits of my room, but trust me when I say there's a lot hidden behind the camera ;) There's a desk below my gallery wall that should really be called 'the surface upon which everything collects.' And my bedside table is really becoming more of a bookshelf...

Below is a sampling of the inspiration I've gathered for the room over the years. These are rooms that have stuck with me from the moment I saw them. The top book is Domino (a classic), the bottom left book is Style & Substance from Elle Decor, and the bottom right book is The Perfectly Imperfect Home (I adore everything about this book). There's also another image from an IKEA catalogue several years ago that I could only find online here (from this post). 

G8 room inspiration.png

So the plan? Finish this room! Limbo is no fun and I'm ready to clear out all the clutter and finish off this space. (There's a reason there hasn't been an update on the second gallery wall, which may or may not be because that half the art is still on the floor...)

On my to-do list:

  • Frame some final prints for the gallery wall
  • Purchase final pieces for the gallery
  • Address the window coverings
  • Clear out everything that isn't needed
  • Fresh bedding & pillows
  • The lamp/lighting situation
  • A few other bits & bobs (code for things I'm currently forgetting...)
  • Style the heck out of it!

I'll be back next Thursday with an update & to introduce a few people helping me with the project. Excited to get to work! 

To see the updates in real time, make sure you're following on Instagram! :)


Weekend Reading

I always keep bookmarks or tabs open for posts or things I want to share here, and since it's been a while, the list is a little long today haha but isn't that what weekend reading is for? ;) Here's to crossing things off our to-do lists and having a beautiful weekend!

Think you're good with colours? Try this mildly addicting game that will test that fact.

Just a wee bit obsessed with these repurposed vintage plates from Melissa of The Sweet Escape.

Something you may not know about me? I'm a huge fan of the Fast & Furious franchise - no really! There is a bit of a back story there, but needless to say, I saw & loved the latest instalment - and I wasn't the only one.

Is your to-do list full of should-do's? Then this essay on the crossroads of should & must is for you.

23 photos that sum up trying to get your life together. #accurate

We live in a beautiful world.

I'm already a big believer in the power of quiet, but I loved Grace's post on listening to what really matters.

Thoughts on being selfish on Instagram - some really good thoughts on what we share & the reality behind it.

Creative business owner? Here's some tools to help you work better.

In case you missed it, Anna's blog got a makeover & looks so stinkin' good! I seriously get to work with some of the best people.

"This quiet revolution is unavoidable, really, because we humans have a strange and predictable relationship with innovation." - Kevan Kaiser on being in the internet, but not of it

Ever wondered what your pet does when you leave the house? I'm pretty sure Winnie sleeps all day, but oh man, I got a good laugh at this trailer for 'The Secret Life of Pets".

Social media does have it's uses, and getting hired may be one of them.

Feeling stuck? Here's some thoughts on hitting the reset button and turning June into January.

The only lemon loaf recipe you'll ever need. Promise ;)


The Never Ending Gallery Wall

As I've been working to finish off my

gallery wall

, it hasn't been feeling quite 'right'. It needed something and I just couldn't place my finger on what it was. 

I've shared my original gallery wall on here several times (most recently




) and I'm still totally in love with it. So stumbling with this 'expansion', if you will, left me feeling a bit unsure.

I've worked with


a few times, so when they reached out to help me with my art problem, I realized this was the perfect chance to get out of my rut. You can see a bit of my plan above (to scale! With door, sconce, light switch & baseboards haha) and I love the idea of creating the wall around one or two 'big' pieces. That beauty front & centre is over 30"x30" and will be the perfect focal point. Everything else is a mix of prints I already own, prints I'm planning to buy (I really could do a whole wall of gorgeous

photos from Paris by Anna

:) and a few from minted too. I love the mix of old, new, and personal touches, with a dash of quirky thrown in!

You know I'll be posting on


the second I get everything hung up, but until then, you can explore all my gallery wall shenanigans on Instagram with the hashtags




Ps, if you love that '

Done is Better Than Perfect

' print I own, make sure you

enter to win

one for yourself! The


ends tonight!


Disclaimer: minted is providing me with the art to complete this project, but all thoughts, opinions & ambitious gallery wall ideas are my own ;)

Artist Feature: Kelsey of Pinegate Road (+ Giveaway!)

Good morning!

Six months ago, Kelsey opened her shop and I was instantly smitten. Beautiful calligraphy, unique quality, gorgeous materials - I mean, how could anyone not be? You may even have seen evidence of my love on Instagram - here, here & here - so clearly it's for real ;)

I was so excited when Kelsey agreed to an interview. Her work is gorgeous and the story behind Pinegate Road is beautiful - I know you'll love it!

What inspired you to open your shop?
I've always dreamed of creating my own products. Working with my hands has always come naturally and is something that I love doing. As I started going down the rabbit hole of working on Pinegate Road, there were several mantras that I came back to time and time again that helped me along my personal creative journey. Taking my love for hand-lettering, my need for a hand-made project, and the thought of creating products inspired me to create these prints.

Where did the name 'Pinegate Road' come from?
I really need to get on adding this to my about page ;) Pinegate Road is the road where I had my first 'home.' Growing up, I moved around a lot. By the time I was 9, I had lived in 5 states and 6 cities. Around this same time, my mom found out she had cancer. It was a huge shock to my parents, and this had them evaluate where they were at in life and what dreams they wanted to live out. My mom always wanted to raise her kids back in her hometown on Lake Erie, and my dad had always wanted to run his own business. My parents, my brother, and I moved up to Pennsylvania where my mom successfully beat cancer, and my dad started a thriving business. Pinegate Road is where our start as a family came to be, and my Pinegate Road is where I started coming to be as a designer. Pinegate Road hold such sentiment to me, and I love that it's a symbol of new beginnings and following life-long dreams.

'Be Brazen'
What drew you to your chosen mediums of lettering & stamping for your prints?
I wanted to create something that was unique and that had a hand-made element to it. Both my day job and Pinegate Road have me working very digitally, and reconnecting with physical processes was something that was important to me when starting this side project. At the same time, I needed something that was easy enough to duplicate. I studied block printing a bit in undergrad, and knew that a mix of stamping and block printing would give me a unique result that I could replicate for prints.

'Make A Mess'
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
I didn't expect these to turn in to a shop! Last summer I was asked to come to the Weapons of Mass Creation fest here in Cleveland as a featured artist. As part of the arrangement, I was to submit three posters to their gallery show to be on display. I could have used old work, but I treated this as a new project and went to work brainstorming. Creative process is always on my mind, so creating helpful ways to work through process in the form of mantras was what I became drawn to. On three of the prints, you'll see that they have 'the ticket project' written on them. My idea here was that these would each serve as a person 'golden ticket' to going for your dreams. I'm not sure how much I love that this is on there now, but hey, it's the creative process and I can always adjust later!

'Done is Better Than Perfect'
What is your favourite item in your store? 
'done is better than perfect' for sure. I love the way it fits on the page for a print, and it is something I constantly have to remind myself.

What's next for you and/or your shop? Where do you see your shop heading? 
For now, I'm taking a little break. I'll still be selling the prints that I have, but I'm focusing on bigger business plans and goals for Pinegate Road as a whole. I'm hoping to fit a month-long free span from side work this summer to brainstorm next steps. One thing I have been thinking about is selling downloads of black and white large format prints that you could then get printed yourself through a drafting printer on the cheap. I love working large scale, and this would be a feasible way for me to provide that to the world without having to manage the shipping. We will see :)

'The First Step'
Any tips for aspiring calligraphers and/or print shop owners?
Practice, practice, practice, and don't be afraid of not being perfect right off the bat! I feel so many people are paralyzed by things not being 'good enough' or perfect enough that they never start. Start with baby steps, and don't be afraid of the journey. You have no idea where you'll end up, and that's part of the fun!

So lovely right? And AMEN to just starting and learning and figuring it out as you go - story of my life ;)

I mean, I knew Kelsey was awesome since we've become 'instagram friends', but this interview was one of my favourites. Thankyou so much Kelsey!!

GIVEAWAY time!! Kelsey has offered one of you the chance to win any print in her shop! Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. (or click here if it doesn't show up)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out Kelsey's blog, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for more gorgeous peeks into her work & life (she has the cutest puppy!) 


Herb Garden

Over the past three summers, I have grown a little herb garden. What started as a lone mint plant back in 2012 has ended up growing into a whole little collection!

This year there's chive, sweet basil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, mint & parsley. The mint & parsley have their own bigger container since they can grow a bit wild ;)

Gloves are a must when dealing with nails like these haha

Isn't this blue container just the sweetest? I picked it up in HomeSense a few weeks ago, knowing my annual herb garden would be starting again soon. Love the blue with the gorgeous green of the herbs!

The gloves & the little trowel both came from the Home Depot. I have to admit I love the measurements on the trowel, and that the gloves have velcro around the wrists to keep the dirt out. Good tools make the job so much easier!

What are your favourite herbs to plant & use? Tarragon is new to me this year and apparently it produces edible flowers?! You know I picked it up for that alone haha


Past herb gardens: 2012, 2013, 2014

Liquid Liner Love

It's no secret that I love a good cat-eye liner. And over the years, I've used lots of different products to achieve the look. Between gifts from friends & Sephora bonuses, I've amassed quite a few and thought I would share my favourites, why I love them, and which ones I think can be skipped.

L'Oréal Paris Lineur Intense Felt Tip - 5/5

I've gone through about 3 tubes of this stuff. It's super black, the felt-tip is great, it lasts all day, and the price point is fantastic. This is the one I reach for when I need a quick, no fuss liner. It glides so beautifully and will always be a staple for me.

Revlon Colorstay™ Liquid Eye Pen - 2/5

I'll call this a 'marker' style tip to differentiate it from the felt tips. (The tip is 'drier', and more like a marker than a true liquid liner.) It worked well, but I found it faded to a more grey shade that I didn't like.

Julep Fluid Eye Glider - 4/5

This has more a 'marker' style tip as well, but it's much smaller and the colour is a deep black. It also lasts all day - even my coconut oil makeup remover sometimes has difficulty with it. I love this one for it's precision; it might take a bit longer to apply because it doesn't 'glide' well - 'stamping' works better with this one - but I know it won't budge at all.

Benefit They're Real! Push-up Eyeliner - 4/5

Unlike any other liner I've tried, Benefit created a gel liner with a built in application system. I do like it, but you have to have enough product on the tip for it to apply well, but not too much or else it clumps and falls off. It takes a bit of practice, but the results are worth it.

Lancôme Artliner - 3/5

Truthfully? This is practically identical to the Lineur Intense from L'Oréal; they are sister companies after all. The gold on the packaging is lovely of course, but I found the colour of this one wasn't quite as black as I would have liked.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner - 5/5

This & the Stila one below were from the Sephora liner favourites kit released around Christmas. (Great kit by the way!) I'd been wanting to try this out after hearing a lot of hype about the 'brush' tip and I'm so pleased to say I was not disappointed! The colour, the tip (it really is a little brush), the ease - SO good. Probably my all-time favourite on this list. 

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - 4/5

If you're looking for a liner that will not budge one millimetre, then this is for you. I have it in the dark brown shade, which is a nice change some days from the black. The colour is great, the marker tip works really well and there's no fading or patchiness as the day goes on. You definitely will need a great make-up remover to get this off (even coconut oil struggles with it) but that's a small price for a liner that doesn't give up. 

Is there a favourite out there that I've missed? A classic I need to try? Let me know :)


Artist Feature: Melissa of Sweet Water Decor

Spring is finally blooming here and I am so excited! There's buds on the trees, flowers are starting to bloom & the cold days of winter seem to finally be over. Today's artist feature is full of florals & whimsical design - a perfect compliment to this time of year :)

Melissa reached out to me about her shop, Sweet Water Decor, and I knew it was a perfect fit the moment I opened her shop. It is full of my favourite fonts, happy prints & cheeky mugs. She was even sweet enough to offer a discount that you can find at the bottom of the post, so read on!

What inspired you to open your shop?
I got engaged in September and was going through all of my stuff and actually decided to open my shop to sell my acrylic paintings. From there I started adding art prints, save the dates, wedding invitations, mugs + stamps! Searching for my own save-the-dates on Etsy, I started looking around and thought, I could definitely design these myself! I took photoshop classes in high school and have a natural talent for art. When I was younger I wanted to be a designer. I combined that with my merchandising background - being a buyer for a major retailer, and voila! My shop was born. I imagine brides like me shopping at my shop. The girls that love a little bit of glamour mixed with shabby chic with a modern twist. I love getting inspiration and use my fashion background to come up with some of my ideas for the shop. I just opened my second Etsy stop - Stamps Lux - where I sell stamps exclusively.

Mr & Mrs Mugs
What is the process of creation like?
I first get inspiration, either while walking in my beautiful small town, Starbucks coffee in hand... to washing dishes...ideas come to me. I even have these little notebooks that I carry with me or are by my bedside that I jot design ideas as I get them before I go to bed. From my idea I create it in photoshop and bring it to live. I love it when I see my own designs on paper or on my mugs instead of just in a picture. We print all of our mugs, and it's so exciting to see a final product!

Ashleigh Suite - Printable Wedding Invitations
Your work features some gorgeous typefaces, do you have any favourites currently?
I use a lot of Carolyna Pro - it's perfect for weddings! But I've fallen in love with Jacques & Gilles and even used them for my own invitations! Emily Lime creates such beautiful fonts - I'm pretty sure she's my best friend I never met.

Strong Beautiful Brave Mug
also available as a print!
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints or other products?
My strong, brave, beautiful, courageous mug and print is one of my absolute favorites. It came to me while washing dishes honestly! I pictured in my mind the woman my mom raised me to be - strong, brave, beautiful & courageous. I added an arrow as well to top it off! Each word has a different font, really bringing out what I hope to inspire other women to be. It was so great to hear from one of my customers, she bought this mug for herself and one for her friend. She wanted to thank me as she was going through fertility treatments and her friend was going through cancer. I hope to touch all of my customers and it really makes me know that God has put me where he wants me - designing & making beautiful works to share with & inspire others.

Hello Sunshine Print
What is your favourite item in your store?
I have so many, but if I had to pick...
My favorite mug is our Mr. & Mrs. mugs. My favorite print is my Hello Sunshine print.

Be Still & Know Print

Melissa was sweet enough to offer you all 20% off her mugs with the code 'MUG20'. She has some seriously cute mugs - I was tempted by more than a few haha

You can find Sweet Water Decor on Facebook & Instagram.


Weekend Reading

From Instagram this week...
It's officially the first day of spring!!! Oh to know that winter is coming to an end; it happens every year I know, but every year feels new when you've been buried by snow for far too long. I can't wait to see little buds on the trees, smell fresh cut grass, plant my herb garden & delight in those long summer days. Until then, some reading to keep us distracted while the snow melts :)

"What if we saw attention in the same way that we saw air or water, as a valuable resource that we hold in common? Perhaps, if we could envision an “attentional commons,” then we could figure out how to protect it." - The Cost of Paying Attention

"But where is the line between just the right amount of beauty and inspiration and what we deem as too much or too showy? ... what is “too” much? And who decides what’s “normal”? Here’s what I think: There is no normal and there is no perfect." - Negativity Online

"In art, this is very important. Art is where associations are made. Art is where we form the narratives of our identity." - Lighten Up

"After working through my utter shame over being a totally judgmental zit up in my head, I ran headlong into relationship with them and kept coming back, week after week." - What to Do When Women Seem Scary

"Because no one is providing me with a list of priorities, a number of hours, or a pay rate, I have to embark on that road of trial and error." - Resources for Freelancers

"...time is power. As trite as it sounds, but the way we live our days, what we do at 10 am, at 3 pm, how the evening flows, like habits, it really is the way we live our lives." - The Way We Live Our Days