An Overdue Eye of the Day and a Life Update

Sunset in December at Huntington Beach, California.

Life is unpredictable. Things often don't go the way you think they will. Sometimes it's hard—and if you're going to be joyful, you have to choose it.

I'm sorry I was gone for so long. I didn't meant to be—but this fall was one of the most challenging periods of my life to date, for various reasons. I needed to "turtle" for awhile, and it did me a world of good. When I head back to work next week, I know I'll feel refreshed and ready for the new challenge. I've chosen joy, and I'm already seeing the effects.

I wanted to share with you a little of what I've been up to during my unplanned hiatus, as well as share some photos of an eye look that I've been sitting on awhile. 

First things first: The makeup. Always the makeup.

Charlotte Tilbury's Nocturnal Eyes to Hypnotise: An eye of the day

If you're a regular around these parts, you know about my love of (bordering on obsession with) all things Charlotte Tilbury. Around Black Friday, she was selling her Nocturnal Cat Eyes to Hypnotise sets at buy one, get one, so I snapped up the two sets I didn't yet have: Midnight Seduction + Sapphire Sex, as well as Silver Leopard + Black Magic.

This is a very basic look I tried with Midnight Seduction + Sapphire Sex. I swept and patted Midnight Seduction, a midnight-blue eyeshadow with some fine silver glitter throughout, over my lid and along my outer lower lashline. Then I blended some soft brown matte shadows from the Viseart Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette into my crease, and lined my upper lash line with Sapphire Sex, a shimmery azure Rock 'n Kohl liner. Then, as always, I finished the look with lots of black mascara.

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This shadow formula is interesting—used dry, it can be sheered out a little, like above. Used wet, it will apply more metallic—but I find the lasting power isn't as good. The liner is the real star of this set. Charlotte's Rock n' Kohl formula is probably my favourite eyeliner formula of all time. It's smooth, creamy, pigmented as heck, easy to soften (if I work quickly), and lasts well. A solid dark blue shade, like this one, is a softer, more fun alternative to black.

What do you think?

In other news: We went to California!

Christmas is hands-down my favourite holiday. It's important to me for so many reasons, one of them being an opportunity to spend time with family. But if you're anything like me, you know that celebrating with extended family, while a blessing, can be exhausting. This Christmas, my husband and I decided to focus on the immediate family: just us. And it was so good.

We crossed a key travel destination off of our bucket list: Disneyland! I'd never been before, and I loved it. It really is magical. I actually squealed a little bit when I saw Mickey and Minnie in the Christmas parade. (Disney princesses are great and all that, but I'd rather meet Mickey and Minnie any day.) When I ran into Minnie over breakfast on our first day, I grinned like a little kid and hugged her. She also made a (silent) fuss over my Christmas sweater and Mickey-and-Minnie-themed manicure. (That's right—I went full cheese.) I was legitimately starstruck! So silly, I know—but who cares?

We did three days in the parks in total. After the first two days, our feet were killing us, so we took a day's break and visited Huntington Beach in Orange County. I busted out my DSLR for something besides blog photos for the first time in awhile, and I have to say, these photos give me life. How breathtaking is this place? How peaceful? (Side note: Those are my husband's legs—not mine!)

Now that I'm back on Canadian soil and (mostly) recovered from the post-vacation slump (can you say #firstworldproblems?), I'm looking forward to what 2017 will bring. I'm hoping for the following:

  1. Healthier eating—I'm going to try bringing delicious salads to work for lunch almost every day. Wish me luck! Beauty starts from the inside—am I right?
  2. More shopping my stash and being thankful for what I have so that I can save my money for making memories like the ones above. Less of the short-term gratification that comes from buying something pretty—again.
  3. Better self-care, including leaving work at work, investing more time in mental wellness, and treasuring precious moments with the people who are most important to me. The daily grind can take more from us than we know if we're not mindful.
  4. Finishing my thesis—finally! It will feel good to walk the stage for my MA. Eye on the prize, Amy. Eye on the prize.

What have you been thinking about as 2017 begins? Have you made any plans or resolutions? Have you tried any beautiful new makeup? Let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you.

Disclosure: Al products mentioned in this post were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.