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Holiday Glam Inspired Beauty at Rexall

The holidays are right around the corner and I always find this season a good time to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to my makeup, to help get me in the festive mood. I’m a low maintenance girl. Do I feel more put together when I leave the house with beautiful makeup? Absolutely. Do I have time to spend an hour and a half to achieve a party ready look before leaving the house? Definitely not.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

I am lucky to be surrounded by some extremely talented makeup artists on a regular basis on set, like Plutino Group Artist Angie DiBattista, who has taught me that achieving this flawless holiday look can not only be done in a pinch, but you also don’t have to break the bank to do it. On a quest to see if Angie’s theory was right, I recently made a trip to Rexall to find products easily accessible and affordable to the masses to help create the perfect look for the holiday season party circuit. If you’ve never stepped inside one of Rexall’s Inspired beauty departments, do so immediately. I know it’s the best kept secret for many beauty bloggers in the city and now I know why! With a plethora of amazing brands with diverse products to appease women of all colours, I was like a kid in a candy store. I felt no pressure from staff as I took my time browsing and testing as many products as I needed and when I had questions on some of the brands I was less familiar with like NYX, the cosmetician on duty happily educated me and guided me in the right direction to find items that would help me achieve my desired look.

Holiday Glam in 30 Minutes

I usually keep things pretty minimal when it comes to my makeup day-to-day, focusing on creating clean/flawless skin, preferring a  neutral shade on my lips and a hint of colour on my cheeks. But there is no reason to play it safe during the holidays and now is my chance to experiment with learning how to do a subtle, yet sexy smoky eye and play up on the drama with a very bold lip.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

I pick up so many useful tips when I’m in the makeup chair.  To be honest, I’ve always been fearful of doing my own eye makeup. I have shaky hands making it a bit hard when applying colour to my eyelids. One of the smartest things I’ve learned from Angie is that when you’re going for a more dramatic eye, such as a smoky look, it’s always better to start with your eye makeup first, before doing your foundation. Yup, you can thank us later! In case you make any mistakes while smoking out your lids, you don’t have to worry about wiping off your foundation too and starting over. A simple, smoky eye is all I really wanted, knowing I was going to go big on my lip, and was easily achieved with two shadow pots from NYX in Haywire and Euphoria plus a brilliant two sided eyeliner from Pupa. It has a blender on one side, allowing even the most novice peeps like as myself, to smudge and blend like a professional. To round out the eye, I applied two layers of Vamp mascara, also from Pupa.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

For my skin, I turned to the ultimate creamy foundation from L’Oreal. Normally, I have to blend three foundations to get the colour just right for my pigmented skin, but with L’Oreal’s True Match Lumi, I only needed a small dollop of a tinted moisturizer mixed in, to give my skin a fresh, clean finish. It was the most expensive item out of everything I purchased but a solid polished look starts and ends with good skin.

Rexall Inspired Beauty

I have fallen in love with this season’s lip trends; deep merlot/burgundy colours and the matte finish. There were no shortage of these in Rexall’s Inspired beauty department but I fell madly in love with NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen. My new fave lippy, which actually works well with all skin tones, goes on a bit creamy however surprisingly dries totally matte. Best part, the tip of the brush is small enough to make it possible for anyone to apply precisely without the help of a lip liner.

Rexall Inspired BeautyPhotography by JessBaumung.com with MUA @AngieDib

Items purchased for my look…wait for the drumroll, came in under $80, which could have easily run me a few hundred if I had bought them at a luxury department store. Starting December 2nd, 2016, Rexall Inspired Beauty is giving you a chance to win 1 of 2 $2,000 Rexall Gift Cards this holiday season. Click here tomorrow to enter and find contest rules and regulations. Best of luck!

4 Simple Tricks to Stay Motivated When You Work Out Alone #TasteVectory

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you’ve just begun to work out or have been working out for years, there is one thing I’m sure everyone can agree on…it can be insanely challenging to work out alone. I am certain that more than half of the people that spend big bucks on trainers and pricey group classes do so because they need the motivation and accountability, not because they don’t know what they are doing.  Over the years I’ve learned some slightly tactical ways that not only help me avoid skipping solo workouts but also push me a bit more while doing them.

1. Find a Community Challenge:

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotography by JessBaumung.com

Challenges are good. Finding a community is also good. Combining both is great motivation. I’ve seen both the Adidas and Nike Women community execute this so well over the years. One of my favourite aspects of social media is that other people’s posts can easily inspire you. You can discover new workouts, learn new recipes and even share your own progress if you want. In case you missed it,  I recently posted details regarding this summer’s Vector® Challenge which is perfect for those trying to stay on track with their solo workouts. The Vector® 21-day Challenge acts as a form of accountability in a way, as you must post an image of yourself on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook that shows how you push yourself physically or mentally using the hashtag #TasteVectory for 21 Days. Participating in the contest allows you to be eligible to receive Vector products delivered to your home for 21 days and also gives you an entry for the grand prize, a $1,000 fitness prize pack.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

*You can find full contest details at the end of this post.

2. Listen to Audiobooks or a Podcast:

It is much more easier to get bored on a relaxed, easy run than it is when you have an intense interval or speed workout. Even for those who don’t love running to music, you may be surprised at how many more kms you’re able to run when you are entertained by an entertaining podcast or an audiobook.

3. Make Whatever You Do To Exercise Your Favourite Thing:

If you find an activity you love that counts as exercise, you are almost guaranteed to not miss a workout. And sorry loves, just because you love shopping – it unfortunately doesn’t count as cardio. I always giggle to myself when people say they hate running but have started doing it and find they struggle to stay motivated. Isn’t it a no-brainer that you will find every excuse in the book to get out of doing something you hate? Working out is a bit like a job. Find something you love and you will want to do it everyday. Just because everyone seems to be running or doing crossfit, don’t feel pressured to follow others. You may resonate more with rock climbing, kayaking, aerial/acro yoga or cycling.

4. Create Goals:

It’s not rocket science and definitely nothing new. When you work out day in and day out on your own with no coach or trainer to push you, it’s super easy to fall into a slump. Goals are something we should be setting for ourselves in all aspects of our lives and fitness should be of no exception. They can be big or small but in the best-case scenario, you are setting both. You may have a goal to do 10 pull-ups in a row without assistance or stopping or a goal of running a distance race (half-marathon or marathon). Whatever sounds fun and challenging to you and will make you proud of your accomplishment, set that as your target goal.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

To be eligible for the Vector® Challenge and make sure your entry is counted, please make sure that you tag the appropriate brand handles (Instagram/Facebook @Vector and Twitter @Vector_Ca) and ensure your profile is “public” on the platform you are posting on. Winners for the grand and secondary prizes will be chosen at random from those properly using the hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec and ends September 5th. Click Try Vector®, Taste Vectory® for more detailed rules and regulations. Good luck!

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Join me in Vector’s 21 Day #TasteVectory Challenge

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

In case you missed it, I recently announced my involvement in the Vector® Challenge. If you did, you can catch the first post here. For those who have been following me for a while now, you already know that I just can’t say no to a challenge and in an effort to not do it alone, I am inviting you guys to do it with me.

Most of us are aware of the importance of goal setting, but in the real world with demanding careers, personal commitments, health issues, family, etc, it’s sometimes difficult to see them through. I am always open and honest about the issues I encounter trying to stay on track, as I too find it challenging at times, which is why I happily accept challenges like these when they present themselves.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Last week I talked about how speed work and weight training somewhat intimidates me, but as they say, great things never come from comfort zones. As of August 1st, not only am I tackling both during the Vector® 21-day Challenge, I’m also incorporating them in a 2-a-day workout program consisting of both a workout and run. 

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Haven’t tried any Vector products before? Perhaps this challenge is the perfect way to get you acquainted with their ridiculously delicious Vector® Meal Replacement, energy bars and granola. The cereal, aka the “meal replacement in a bowl” is not only a great option for breakfast, but because it contains proteins, carbs plus 22 vitamins and minerals, it becomes the perfect snack option when you’re too busy when there is not enough time to make something to eat.

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotos by JessBaumung.com

Participating is easier than you think. Simply post an image of yourself on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook every day with the hashtag #TasteVECTORY for 21 days. To ensure your entry is counted, please make sure that you tag the appropriate brand handles (Instagram/Facebook @Vector and Twitter @Vector_CA) and ensure your profile is “public” on the platform you are posting on. These pictures should show how you push yourself physically or mentally. Everyone participating in the challenge will automatically be entered for a chance to win the grand or secondary fitness prize packs valued at $1000 and $500 respectively. Winners will be chosen at random from those properly using the hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian residents only excluding Quebec. Click Try Vector®, Taste Vectory® for more detailed rules and regulations. Good luck guys!

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#TasteVECTORY For 21 Days with Vector

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Some say you can form a new habit or break a bad one in just 21 days. This summer, Kellogg’s has created the Vector® 21-day Challenge to help motivate people to push them to be the best possible version of themselves. I personally can’t say no to a challenge, so I’m definitely in and I hope you are game to be apart of this too. It really doesn’t matter whether your running 100+kms a week or just getting of the couch to learn to run a 5k – this challenge can work for anyone.

I have a comfort level with certain activities and workouts, which are usually the ones I resort to on a weekly basis. I am human so there are a few things that intimidate me a bit when it comes to working out; like weight training and speed work on the track, so I am going to use this challenge to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I think we would all be surprised at what we are capable of, if we just pushed ourselves a little bit more.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Vector 21 Day Challenge

If you’re down to join in on the Vector® 21 Day Challenge you will be given 21 days of Vector® products (meal replacements, cereal and/or bars) sent to you in the mail. Plus you will automatically be entered into a draw for a chance to win the fitness grand prize pack valued at $1,000 CAD and two secondary prize packs valued at $500 each.

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotography by JessBaumung.com

So how do you participate in the challenge and become eligible to win any of these amazing prizes? To receive 21 days of tasty Vector® products all you need to do is post a picture of yourself on a social media channel of your choice (your personal Instagram, Vector’s Facebook or own Twitter account, which should include the brand’s handle @Vector_CA) every day with the hasthag #TasteVECTORY, for 21 days. These pics should show you pushing yourself physically or mentally. The winners of the grand and secondary prizes will be chosen at random from the group of participants using the #TasteVECTORY hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian participants excluding Quebec. Click here for more detailed contest rules and regulations. Good luck! Try Vector®, Taste Vectory®

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Home for the Holidays inside Shangri-La Toronto’s Winter Wonderland Suite

ShangriLa Winter Wonderland

There is something very special about Shangri-La hotels. The Toronto property is one I frequent quite often whether it be for drinks in the lobby bar with friends, a meal at their signature restaurant Bosk, a leisure afternoon enjoying their famed high tea service or for a quick staycation when I’m in need of some R&R. All the guest rooms and suites are roomy and well appointed here but there is one suite that has a special place in my heart. The Garden Suite, which you may have seen covered here earlier this year, has become my “home away from home”. For the very first time, the suite has been transformed into a luxurious Winter Wonderland by the renowned design team at House & Home magazine and is the perfect oasis for visiting family members from out of town or the perfect gift to yourself, if you’re looking for our own personal retreat during this busy time of the year.

Winter Wonderland Suite Living Room

Close up of living room Winter Wonderland Suite

After an intense travel schedule over the last couple of months, my little family and I checked into the Shangri-La for some quality time and relaxation. Even with so much going on around the city during this time of year, we enjoyed just lazing around in our robes, watching Netflix, and using the properties amazing amenities and facilities. As per usual, there was nothing overlooked during our stay. The Shang staff pays extremely high attention to detail and never fails to surprise me when they go the extra distance during my stays. Even our pup was set up with an oversized plush dog bed, beautiful feeding bowls and bottled water to ensure she had the comforts of home.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Close up of master Bed in Winter Wonderland Suite

ShangriLa Winter Wonderland

ShangriLa Toronto

ShangriLa Winter Wonderland

Private Patio Winter Wonderland Suite

Decorated in just the around amount of holiday accents; including a collection of books and decor from Indigo’s holiday collection, classic wreaths, pine cones, icy hues, faux fur with hints of inspo from the Great White North, makes this the perfect space to get into the holiday spirit. Every square inch of this Winter Wonderland suite oozes comfort and style and designed to make you forget that you are not a home. With an oversized walk-in wardrobe, four poster bed, chevron wood floors – usually a favourite of guests staying here, a master bathroom that drips in natural sunlight with floor to ceiling cararra marble and a secondary full sized washroom; I can guarantee that this suite is nicer than most condos in Toronto.  And if 800 Sqft of living space inside wasn’t enough, the re-styled accommodations also boasts a large private patio overlooking central downtown and features hints of festive magic. With this mild winter weather, one could easily host their own mini holiday cocktail party under the stars or enjoy a hot-toddy alone with their special person:

We are thrilled to be partnering with House and Home and Indigo to decorate the hotel’s first ever Winter Wonderland suite” says Shangri-La Toronto General Manager Richard Cooke. “We see this collaboration as an opportunity to delight our guests with a one of a kind experience whilst providing the unique Asian hospitality we are known for throughout the world.”

Check out the video below to get some behind the scenes access into the creation of the Winter Wonderland suite by House & Home’s Joel Bray (Editorial Design Team) and Reiko Caron (Stylist for House & Home Online TV)…

One of my favourite things to enjoy when I’m home and have a day off is high tea at Shangri-La. From now until January 3rd, their tea service is extra special  with a “Nutcracker” themed menu where each delicious item reflects a different a part of the famed ballet production. You can expect all the usual high tea extravagances such as clotted cream, house-made berry jam and honey, to go with classic and warm candied ginger scones. The selection of finger sandwiches is just incredible with my personal faves being the roasted turkey with cranberry preserve on herb country bread, truffle poached egg salad on granary bread and the lobster with herb mayonnaise on brioche buns. All followed by delish Nutcracker inspired pastries. You don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy this afternoon treat and it’s the perfect add-on to a day of holiday shopping or after taking in the Nutcracker ballet across the street at the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre.

Winter Wonderland Shangri La

Winter Wonderland Shangri-La TorontoPhotography by Teddy Chau and Nathalia Allen

Want a chance to experience a night in this heavenly oasis for yourself? Throughout the month of December, to celebrate the launch of the newly re-designed Winter Wonderland suite, The Shangri-La Toronto has created the “Wish Me A Winter Wonderland Stay” contest on Instagram for a chance to win a luxurious weekend stay in this signature suite, that also includes dinner for two at Bosk. To enter all you will need to is:

1) Follow @ShangriLaTo on Instagram

2) Post a photo of your “Winter must-haves” and tag @ShangriLaTO and use the hashtag #OasisAtShangriLa

*Contest ends December 21st, 2015. Click here for additional contest details and best of luck!

Current rate for the Winter Wonderland suite is $3,030 CDN and includes breakfast for two and valet. For additional information on the Shangri-La Toronto property, pricing, and availability, head to Shangri-La.com/Toronto or call 647-788-8888.

Schwinn Bike Partnership + #SayItWithSchwinn Contest

#SayItWithSchwinnPhoto by Lindsay Jocho

Whether it’s in my personal or professional life, I am constantly setting goals for myself to help keep me on track in the right direction of growth and development. The same also applies to me when it comes to fitness. Now that I have started accomplishing some of my running goals, I felt it was time to challenge myself again. I am beyond thrilled to announce that I will be partnering with international heritage bike brand Schwinn during the spring/summer 2015 bike season. Many of my fondest memories as a child are linked to the experiences I had on my bike and in recent years, I’ve enjoyed indoor spinning as a form of exercise. I cannot wait for this new challenge and to take you through my cycle journey with Schwinn over the next few months…but for now I couldn’t think of a better way to announce my partnership than with huge contest news.

You too can ride in style with Schwinn this summer by entering the #SayItWithSchwinn contest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How do you enter? Get creative and show us how you would use the world “Schwinn” in your everyday lingo or as a catch phrase, for a chance to win one of the following:

  • Daily Canadian Tire Gift Cards
  • Weekly Schwinn Shwag or
  • The Holy Grail Grand Prize (1 of 4 Schwinn Firewire 4.0 Mountain Bikes)

 

To get your creative juices flowing, check out the video below for some classic examples of Schwinn-isms

Say It With Schwinn from Schwinn Canada on Vimeo.

Click here to enter to win. Contest runs from March 23rd to April 3rd, 2015 and open to Canadian residents only. Winners of the #SayItWithSchwinn contest with by chosen and communicated by Schwinn Canada on their social media channels. Stay tuned to find out which Schwinn I will be riding in this summer and the destinations this new adventure will take me to!

Equinox “Truth” or “EquinoxMadeMeDoIt” Contest

Equinox Made Me Do It Contest

During the month of March, Equinox invites you to play along in their updated version of the classic “Truth or Dare” game we remember from our childhood, which they have appropriately titled, “Truth or #EquinoxMadeMeDoIt”. Unlike your other run-of-the-mill social media contests, this one will push you to reach far outside your comfort zones by accepting one of the brand’s weekly challenges.

What Could You Win?: Each week a different gift will be given away in addition to 2 all-access Equinox memberships (aka the Holy Grail) to one overall “Truth” winner and one overall “#EquinoxMadeMeDoIt” winner at the end of the contest.

To get started, simply follow @Equinox on Instagram which will allow you to stay abreast on the upcoming challenges and winners (this is the only account you need to follow to be eligible to play). The “Truth” and “EMMDI” challenges both have their own dedicated Instagram accounts, respective challenges and can be found at @EQX_Truth and @ESQ_EMMDI. You simply decide which challenge you want to take on (following these two accounts are NOT mandatory).

Equinox Contest Giveaway

Each Wednesday a new challenge will be announced with the weekly winners being announced the following Tuesday. Grand prize winners will be announced on March 25th, 2015. There’s still time to enter the first contest for a chance to win a pair of custom Equinox Beats by Dre headphones (above). Entries must be posted for the headphones before midnight EST March 2nd, 2015. Check out the “truth” and “EEMDI” challenges for week one here and here and stayed tuned to upcoming challenges via Instagram. CHECK OUT THE FAQ’S TO GET MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE CONTEST!

Best of luck to all who enter!!!!

Make Up For Ever Holiday Beauty Giveaway

Make Up For Ever Beauty Pack

Every single item in my “2014 Holiday Gift Guide For Her”, is either an item I currently have and love or one that is on my own wish list this season. I have been recently testing out some products from Make Up For Ever in preparation for the holidays and have religiously been using some of the products that come in the gift set pictured above. To help you achieve your festive beauty look this season, I am giving away one Make Up For Ever “Beauty Kit” to a lucky follower. To be eligible, you must follow both me (@SashaExeter) and Make Up For Ever (@MakeUpForEverCA) on Twitter and tweet the following, “@SashaExeter I want to achieve my festive beauty look with @MakeUpForeverCA’s Beauty Kit! #SoSashaxMakeUpForEver“. Contest begins Monday December 1st, 2014 at noon EST and ends on Wednesday December 3rd, 2014 at 10pm EST. *Contest open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!

Yorkdale Celebrates Black Friday + Shopping Gift Card Giveaway

Yorkdale Black Friday Giveaway

For many years Yorkdale has been my one-stop destination for shopping – even before the shopping centre’s two luxury expansions. With the recent additions such as; Versace, Vince Camuto, Jimmy Choo, Montcler, Salvatore Ferragamo, newly renovated Holt Renfrew and Michael Kors in addition to Bulgari, Nordstrom and more arriving in 2016, it is by far the premier shopping mall in Canada and the perfect place to buy gifts for all your loved ones this holiday season.

Previously only celebrated by Americans and US retailers, Black Friday has gained popularity north of the border here in Canada and signifies the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Due to the increase in Canadian shoppers taking advantage of Black Friday sales in the last two years, the team at Yorkdale is offering a full suite of services to cater to you during this busy time of the year.

EXTENDED BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING HOURS

On Black Friday (November 28th) Yorkdale will be open from as early as 7:00am and will stay open until 9:30pm. For those of you who are early birds, the first 100 guests will receive a $50 gift card that can be used at a select list of retailers and restaurants, which can be found here .

DINE ON 3 RESTOS & RESERVATIONS

Dine on 3

Part of the appeal of shopping at Yorkdale is the amazing food experiences found in their specialty food locations, restaurants and Dine on 3, which features 19 options (4 with liquor licences) to satisfy even the pickiest shopper’s palette. My go-to’s are Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, Espressamente Illy, Glow Express and Amaya Express.  Also featured on the third level during this period, complimentary fruit-infused water and your fave glossy mags to help keep you hydrated and entertained between burning calories shopping the expansive mall.

RBC AVION HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE AND LOUNGE

Last year the RBC Avoin Lounge was a big hit and will return this season fully equipped with a parcel/coat check , concierge service and a VIP Lounge and Cafe, promising to enhance the shopper’s experience throughout the holidays. On Black Friday, shoppers will receive free gift wrapping for up to three packages. During the remainder of the holidays, the RBC Avion Lounge and Boutqiue services will be available to all RBC Avion cardholders for free and available to the general public for a charity donation.

RBC Avion Lounge at Yorkdale

With the help of my friends at Yorkdale, we want to give you a jump start on your holiday shopping by giving away a $50 gift card via social media. To be eligible to win, you must be following me on Twitter and tweet “I want a jump start on my holiday shopping with a @YorkdaleStyle gift card #SoSashaxYorkdale”. Contest begins Monday November 17th, 2014 at 9am EST and ends Sunday November 23rd at 9pm EST and open to Canadian residents only. The winner will be announced on Monday November 24th at 10am EST via Twitter. Best of luck!

For more information on Yorkdale and to stay up to date on upcoming store openings directory, holiday hours, valet, parking information and more, head to Yorkdale.com.

Grey Goose Canada x So Sasha WMCFW Giveaway

Grey Goose x World Mastercard Fashion Week

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of the year again for Canadian designers to show their Spring/Summer collections at World Mastercard Fashion Week here in Toronto. From October 20th-25th; designers, media and fashion lovers will be flocking to David Pecault Square to celebrate what’s to come in fashion next season.

I am thrilled to announce that I’ve partnered with Grey Goose Canada to give you all a chance to win a pair of tickets to the highly anticipated Mackage SS15 runway show. Mackage not only has the most impressive leather and outerwear collections but they are also known for having the most beautiful runway designs at the tents – for their last Fall/Winter show, the brand had maple leafs imprinted into the runway and the season before that, models strutted down a high gloss gold runway.  In all honesty, It is one of the shows I look forward to the most each season.  This year, Grey Goose Canada is celebrating both Canadian designers and tastemakers who fly beyond and defy expectations as an official sponsor at this year’s World Mastercard Fashion Week.

Entering the contest is really easy. Simply tweet “@SashaExeter I want to win a pair of tickets to see @Mackage’s SS15 runway show #GreyGoosexWMCFW” for your chance to win. To be eligible you must be over the age of 18. Winner will be picked at random. Contest ends Sunday September 19th, 2014 at midnight EST. Winner of the contest will be announced via Twitter on Monday October 20th at 10am EST. Good luck everyone!

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