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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!

Activia Women #InSync Series and Commercial

This year has been very emotional for me. The word “emotional” usually has a negative connotation to it, but in this particular instance, its all positive. A few months ago I was approached by Danone to be apart of an amazing campaign with Activia Yogurt. The very first thing that stood out about this potential partnership was that it did not appear to be a blatant product push. In fact, when I read the campaign overview I was surprised to see that the project was not product focused at all, but rather a chance for 9 Canadian women to be able to tell the country their story on how they live a balanced life.

Could this really be possible? Can a company actually want to focus on my personal story and journey, rather than promoting their existing products or a recent product launch? Well…turns out, yes they most certainly did and the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect. After the struggles I’ve had to endure, there has been many times where I wanted to give up and didn’t understand why I kept getting faced with so much adversity. However, 2016 has been my best year yet and I have finally started to reap the rewards of all the hard work I put into getting healthy and building a personal brand.

Activia Women InSync Series

I’ve fought my illness for a very long time, only becoming more successful with managing it’s ugly symptoms in recent years by learning to live in sync. Meaning, putting a system in place and developing a new lifestyle for myself that contained the right amount of exercise, activity, diet and meditation. Furthermore, also learning to create boundaries between my work and personal life. So goodbye to working until midnight and never having a day off.  Creating a more harmonious balance in my life not only helped facilitate my recovery, but it also allowed me to spend more time with my family, friends and to nurture the first serious relationship I had been involved in for what seemed like ages. Don’t get me wrong, this was no easy feat. This turn of events began almost five years ago and at this time, my full time job was to just get healthy. My weekdays were filled with medical appointments, meetings with my dietician, naturopath, acupuncturist, reiki specialist, chiropractor and RMT, oh and let me not forget my psychologist and the numerous Cognitive Behavioural Therapy classes I had to attend to help me deal mentally with everything going on. My illness isolated me and caused me to become anti-social, ultimately was the end of my engagement (which truth be told was a relationship that was flawed and toxic from the start) not to mention the tangible losses such as; my loss of income from not being able to work, my vehicle, and having to move back in with my parents as an adult. Trust me, it was a lot of loss all at once and looking back now, it’s not at all surprising why I was also suffering from depression and anxiety.

People always ask me how I found the strength to turn things around. To be honest, a lot from that time was a blur and I cannot really remember every single detail. I am athlete and competitive by nature so I think I just wasn’t going to go out without a fight. I knew truly deep down that up until that point, I had not done everything I could to rehabilitate myself, besides drowning my body in pharmaceutical meds prescribed by specialists and laying in bed watching my life pass me by – which was clearly not working. I mean, I didn’t think things could possibly get any worse, so I decided to attempt the alternative route with eastern medicine. This change of direction, in addition to my ridiculously supportive family, eliminating stress, changing my diet and consistent exercise was critical in getting me to where I am today.

As part of this multi-faceted campaign with Activia, I shot an individual commercial going a bit deeper into my personal story, which was shot earlier this summer in Montreal. When you live something day to day, it’s difficult to see how far you’ve come but being a part of this project has allowed me to reflect on everything that has happened and see my exponential growth. I cried uncontrollably the first three times I watched this video.  Almost not recognizing the person in it because just five years ago I was a young women on bed rest suffering from a debilitating illness not knowing what the future holds. My life has changed dramatically and through balance I’ve created, I feel strong, I am happy, I am creative, I feel limitless and I am finally in sync.

activia-chatelaine_100eos5d_2167

There’s so much more to come in this campaign and I can barely contain my excitement, so stay tuned. In the meantime, click here to learn more about the other 8 women and their stories, search the hashtag #InSync on social media or follow Activia Canada on Instagram and Youtube.

UPDATED: Get Inspired to Move This Summer With Me and Degree Women

*This post has been updated on July 1st, 2016. Scroll down for details on my #BeTheMovement challenge

One of the most valuable things my parents taught me is that it always “takes a village” to get anywhere worth going in life. A solid support system is critical in my life and the secret to my success to date has been to surround myself around people that inspire me and push me to be the best possible version of myself in both my personal and professional life.

#BeTheMotion Degree

#BeTheMotion Degree

A large part of my recovery to health has to do with exercise. Do I love waking up at 5:30am for a gruelling workout? No, not really. Would I much rather be nestled in the arms of my man in bed with our pup laying at our feet. Absolutely. Do I get sore for days after a hard session? Of course. Is it fun to run outside in -25 degrees during our Canadian winter? Nope, not really. My illness means I am in moderate to severe pain pretty much daily…some days are better than others but sometimes it’s challenging just to get out of bed in the morning to be honest. But here’s the thing folks, although it can be a bit difficult to get moving, what keeps me on track are all the physical and mental benefits of working out and leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Actually, my life depends on moving every single day and as hard as it can be to get that workout done, there is no better feeling than the endorphin high I get afterwards.

Every now and again I receive sweet emails from followers saying how much my personal story motivates you. Some of you have even shared your personal goals and achievements with me. Reading messages like these pushes me to keep going and forces me to continue to challenge myself every single day. I’m also extremely lucky to have an amazing supporting cast around me. Some special peeps that also help to inspire, motivate and keep me accountable.

#BeTheMotion Degree

#BeTheMotion Degree

My other half, Réjean Chiasson (Creative Director and Head Coach of Adidas Runners), on most days runs 20-30kms and seeing his drive and determination naturally rubs off on me. This is not a household for the weak and unmotivated. As a former Canadian marathon champion, clearly I am no where near his level, but he always has my back when I need a training partner. Working out with him is not only fun, but I have a tendency to push myself a little harder when he’s around just because I want him to be proud of me. Speaking of which, he has just asked me to join him in a pull-up and push-up challenge which makes me think that he too needs an accountability partner 😉 And if he’s not enough, I have the best friend a girl can ask for, Eva Redpath – Canada’s Nike Master Trainer. We often refer to her as the “Ultimate Accountability Partner“. This woman is unreal. Not a day goes by without her checking in to make sure I have knocked off all the items on my to-do list, pushes me during our weekly workouts together at Toronto’s Goldring High Performance Centre and has dug me out of more emotional holes than I would like to admit. My antiperspirant is just as important as my support team. Degree Women ActiveShield Dry Spray Antiperspirant has Motionsense technology that detects when I move from underarm friction causing it to release immediate odour protection and keeps me feeling fresh all day long.

#BeTheMotion DegreePhotos by JessBaumung.com

Knowing how important it is to have that one person to help you stay on track, I want to be your accountability partner this summer. For the month of July, I’m going to challenge you to #BeTheMotion for a minimum of 30 minutes everyday. To some a half hour seems like it’s either too short of a time to do any good and conversely there may be some that think 30 minutes daily of exercise or movement is not attainable. It most definitely is and you would be surprised at what can get accomplished during this time. So if you’re down for a realistic challenge, I will act as your personal support team via social media with tips, tricks and feedback. It’s funny how it works but when you know someone is going to check in with you to make sure you’ve done what you said you were going to do – it significantly increases the chances of you getting shit done. To add yourself to my “Be The Motion Challenge” list, just tag me (@sashaexeter) on Instagram or Twitter and I will touch base with you daily to ensure your daily 30 minutes is in the bag and to encourage you throughout the next 31 days. Have a question or need some suggestions – just shoot me a DM, we’re in this together. Let’s do this!

Love it & Lyst It on Fashion’s Social Shopping Site Lyst.com

Lyst.com

I have developed a bit of a substance abuse problem and it’s called Lyst. Every morning between 6:30 and 7:30am for the past week I have been on my computer in bed – not working, but rather “Lysting”. I will admit, although I spend tons of time on my laptop, I haven’t really been an avid online shopper but that looks like it’s about to change.  Looking to quickly learn the ins and outs of the site, I spent a few hours last week dissecting it and quickly discovered I was in a dangerous place where this could potentially trump my Netflix obsession.

Lyst

What is Lyst exactly? It’s basically a virtual pin board you can actually shop from (think of it as a mashup between Pinterest and Shop Style in the format of Twitter).  You can follow the designers and brands you like, the bloggers you love (ahem…hopefully me!) and if you stumble on items you like on their lists, you can 1) add those picks to your own personal lists and 2) purchase them by clicking “Buy on Store”, which leads you to the brand’s site to buy.  Not looking for anything in particular and just need some inspiration? Lyst has you covered there too. The homepage has an inspiring selection of lists curated by the site’s editors, their fave brands and fashion influencers where you can discover new trends. Case in point, the Left Bank scarf trend made popular by everyone’s fave gal Leandra Medine (the Man Repeller).

Lyst

For those of you that are a bit impatient like I am, rather than aimlessly cruising the site, you can browse for a specific type of item querying by designer, colour, price or even “Holiday Offers”. If you stumble on something that’s a bit too pricey (#StoryOfMyLife), simply flag it and Lyst will notify you if the same item is going on sale or even better available cheaper at another store. With all the buzz about the 2015 Pantone colour of the year, Marsala, I’ve created a list featuring some extremely lust-worthy pieces. You can preview my entire list here.

Lyst Sasha Exeter

Have I convinced you to try it out? It’s totally free and addicting may I add, but it definitely makes online shopping more fun. I will be using the site as another source of inspiration and a way to share my fashion and fitness must-haves with my Lyst and social media followers. Head to Lyst.com to get started and check them out on Instagram and Twitter. Once you’re up and running and, be sure to follow my lists here.

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