2016 Advent Calendar DIY

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It's that time of year again, where everyone is hitting the stores looking for the best deals for the holidays. As I'm furiously shopping for others (and let's be honest, for myself..I can't help it), beauty advent calendars are everywhere, from NYX to Benefit Cosmetics. As I drool over them, I noticed they can be quite pricey, and sometimes filled with maybe a couple of items that you want, and some things you definitely don't want. I've been in a crafty mood lately and thought, why not make my own advent calendar that I can personalize for someone. Beauty advent calendars is what spawned the idea to make this, but you can put anything you want in it. This year my boyfriend (Bryan) and I, along with our cat (Zoey), are going to do 12 Days of Christmas. Twelve days leading up to the Christmas, we each get to take turns opening a door and get a "stocking" stuffer gift. We put a price limit per gift of $1-15 and for Zoey, we're gonna fill her doors with treats and handmade catnip toys.

I had a lot of fun making this. Making the doors were the worst part, just because I had to map out each door before I cut them out. The doors will be the most time consuming part, but other than that, it's quite easy to craft this up!

My advent calendar is HUGE, because why not?! By no means do you need to make it this big, use whatever you have at home to make this the most cost-effective calendar. So, if you're in the festive mood and want to learn how to make your own (beauty) advent calendar, keep reading!

Some things you'll need:

Two boxes (Cereal boxes are a good idea)
wrapping paper
glue/tape
x-acto knife/scissors
measuring tape/ruler

1. Start with two boxes. The first you'll make your calendar out of and the other is just for extra cardboard you're going to use/cut up. The box I got from work, and it's 35"Lx24"Wx3.5"D, which is absolutely huge for an advent calendar. Feel free to make this as BIG or as small as you want! I suggest using a cereal box, that will work really well. 2. Wrap the first box however you like, I suggest using a glue stick to glue down the wrapping paper. (I did not do this, I wrapped it and taped it down, and then had to go back a glue down the paper on the doors).

3. Using the extra box, cut out two strips of your LxD and three strips of your WxD. Cut notches out halfway though the strips, three for the LxD and two for the WxD. Make sure the notches are evenly spaced out, as shown above.

4. Slot the strips together, and it should look like a grid, see above picture. This will act as the dividers for your calendar.

5. Before you slide the divider in to the box, just mark out approximately where the divider will be by setting it on top and draw the grid pattern with a pencil. After you've done that you can go ahead and slide the divider into the opening of the box. You can seal the box with some tape.

6. Mark out boxes using the gridlines you drew as a marker to where the boxes should be. I made the boxes smaller than the actual area of the grid, 17"Lx14"W and I did my best to put it right in the setting of each square of the grid. Use an exacto-knife to cut out three edges of the box, leaving the fourth edge, to create doors. You don't need to be perfect, I eye-balled the positioning of all the boxes here. Once you have some doors made, you can adjust the positioning of the grid inside now. Cut some triangles on the length of the open edge of the door for finger holes for easy access.

And there you have it! Label it with some numbers, and decorate it however you'd like! Honestly, I spent all night making this, while watching Gilmore Girl reruns and did not feel like making it super fancy.

I hope you try this out, it's a great way to personalize a gift, especially an advent calendar. And it also puts you in a festive mood leading up to the holidays. I have some great beauty gift ideas, and that post will be coming very soon. I know I haven't posted much, but you're about to get a barrage of holiday posts!

Please share your advent calendars with me, you can tag me on instagram, @kernh, or in the comments below!
Good Luck! Karen

Be Flawless With Cover FX

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Contouring Made Easy With Cover FX’s Contour Kit

My favourite foundation and honestly the only thing I use on my face is Cover FX's cream foundation. Cover FX makes finding your shade easy and comes in a wide range of skin tones. They have three different undertones, P = Pink, N = Neutral and G = Golden, and the number represents the depth of shade; the higher the number the darker the shade. I'm G50 - the golden undertone is great for the yellow undertone in asian skin.

Cover FX's cream foundation has amazing coverage. It blends completely with my skin and hides all my skin imperfections, flawlessly.I use their cream foundation as a concealer to spot treat the areas I want to hide. For example, the dark circles underneath my eyes, my chin, and some acne scars on my nose and cheeks. I only use it all over for special occasions.

I have been using Cover FX for years now. I started using it because the foundation I was using before discovering Cover FX was causing me to break out where I didn't normally break out. A girl from university told me about Cover FX, I tried it and never looked back. Cover FX is dermatologically tested to not clog pores and is free of parabens, fragrances, talc, and a bunch of other stuff. It's ideal for those who have acne prone or sensitive skin. Not to mention it's cruelty free!

Cover FX released a contour kit which is only currently available online for Canada. Bryan went to New York recently and I got him to grab one for me while he was down there (I had to have it, of course!). You can find your contour kit by matching your shade with the range each kit comes in. There are 6 different kits that is based on undertone and depth of skin. For example, I'm G50, so my shade falls in the G medium Deep kit. In each kit you get 4 different shades you can use to highlight and define your facial features. It even comes with an instructional card - ensuring you get it right every time. Some of you may think contouring is time consuming and just added work to your makeup routine. However, often when you put foundation all over, it flattens your face, and washes you out. Contouring reintroduces shades and highlights back to your face, and enhances your features. The kit makes it easy to achieve this.

Above I'm wearing the cream foundation in G50 and have used the contour kit in G Medium Deep - I prefer a more subtle look, but you can chisel out those cheek bones more if need be!)

First impressions, I really like this kit. The consistency is the same as the cream foundation and blends super easily. The colour range I matched my skin tone to was bang on. The darker shades defines the cheek bones without looking muddy. Now, because you're working with a cream foundation, it does take a little longer to blend into the skin than using a press powdered bronzer. Having said that, if done properly, the application is much more even - less likely to be patchy, which bronzers can do. I will probably use this kit when I'm going out or for a special occasion. For me, it's too heavy to wear daily.

How to use: I suggest applying the cream foundation with a damp beauty blender sponge. The sponge helps blend the foundation with your skin effortlessly. You want to use the darker shades just underneath your cheek bones, your temples, underneath your jaw line and blend down the neck. With the lighter shade, you'll want to put it in the centre of your forehead, down the nose bridge, the chin, underneath your brow bone and the area under your eyes. The highlight shade can go on the high points on your cheeks, down your nose, and the brow bone. Set your makeup and mattify your look with a loose translucent powder all over.

Let me know if you've tried Cover FX's Contour Kit and what you think! Show me your looks on Instagram. I'm @kernh. Follow me!

Where you can buy these products I mentioned:

Cover FX Cream Foundation - Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart ($42 CDN)
Cover FX Contour Kit - Sephora ($48 CDN)
Beauty Blender - Sephora ($28 CDN)

The year is slowly drawing to a close! The next post I'll be recapping my favourite beauty products of 2015. So, look forward to that.

Until then,
xoxo, Kern.