Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Something for spring

You would think that I would eventually get used to it after 20-something years. But no. Winter always feels "especially long this year" around this time. Now that the sun peaks out every so often, I get spurts of inspiration where I swear that I'm gonna go for a walk outside because screw the weather - it doesn't run my life. And then I remember that yes, yes it does. No matter how sunny, -5 degrees with a windchill just doesn't feel like a fun spring mood. So, I do what any good city-dweller does instead: hides in a mall and buys things that are reminiscent of warmer times. I'm talkin' florals, bright lipsticks, and dewy summer skin.

Admittedly, I've been a drugstore makeup girl for the majority of my life. This is the first time I've decided to upgrade my foundation and I feel like I've been missing out all this time! Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Foundation is exactly as named. My skin doesn't feel cakey by the end of the day and the watery formula feels light, almost like I'm not even wearing foundation. I've also been using The Ordinary's Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% serum daily. Good skin texture results aside, I actually like the way this smells. It kind of smells like artificial fruity candy, which just makes me a little giddy.

During my "I hate winter" finds, I picked up some chai-flavoured lip balm that was on sale for $1. Now, I should have seen this coming, but it gave me a huge allergic reaction on my lips. So dry and itchy! Thankfully, Lush's Honey Trap lip balm was gentle enough to get me through all the irritation and hydrating enough to repair the damage.

And as I eagerly await sunnier days, I treated myself to a pair of Ray-Ban aviators. On top of upgrading my makeup game, I've also finally upgraded to a proper pair of sunglasses. I feel like I've hit a rite of passage as an adult where I'm finally listening to advice that quality really is worth it. I'm definitely ready for spring, even if it is a little delayed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Foreign familiarity

Black check scarf c/o Dresslily / Green winter coat from StyleWe

First of all, I'd like to say that if you're going to Iceland in late September like I did, do not try to be stylish. It's not worth it. "I'm Canadian. I'm used to bad winters. How bad could it be?" Serves me right for thinking that I could get away with a women's blazer and jeans, trying the effortlessly cool. Turns out I was just cold. Maybe it was just my timing, but it was super windy. And rainy. And sunny. And hail-y. Be practical because the weather changes quickly. Now that I'm back, I'm laughing at how I was freezing from getting caught in the rain, yet I have tan lines from spending too much time at Blue Lagoon. But I suppose that's part of the appeal - the unpredictable beauty of the elements and nature. 

I'm a bit of a cranky traveller. I scoff at people who take photos trying to hold up the Leaning Tower, and grumble at how hard it is to get through crowded streets of people stopping every few steps. Here at Black Sand Beach, it's different. It's a little isolated, but well-known enough to attract the tourists. As the majority of people crowd the area right off the parking lot, a few of us wander off to the side. None of us speak the same language, but the generic gestures of "Take a photo for us?" are familiar. Then unexpectedly, the tide comes in and we all scramble to get as high as possible to avoid soaking our feet. Once the tide recedes, we look around to each other and laugh. I gotta say, knowing that you've shared a memorable experience with complete strangers, acknowledging each others' sense of whimsy, is kind of a beautiful thing. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Fields of gold

Colorblock sweater c/o Dresslily / Green peacoat from StyleWe / Black leggings from Joe Fresh

Does anyone else think that clothing has just gotten awful over the past few seasons? Going into stores is the worst. The amount of times that I've pulled a great coat from off the rack, only to turn it around and have something stupid like "Boy, Bye" written on the back, is unacceptable. Or what about that moment when you go to buy a chunky sweater, only to realize that it has a ridiculous cutout in the back. Do companies realize that sweaters are actually supposed to be warm? 

I'm so glad I was able to find this awesome colorblock sweater. It's cozy, functional, and a little funkier than the boring plain tops that dominate my closet, without being graphic cat t-shirt levels of funky.

If anyone wants functional or funky, head over to Dresslily for their new arrivals by using discount code "DLAnniversay" to save:

  • $3 on all orders over $25 USD
  • $6 on all orders over $50 USD
  • $12 on all orders over $100 USD

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What's up, Canada?

As someone who took three Canadian culture courses in university, let me tell you that so far, no one has really accurately been able to stir up Canadian pride in me with a single definition. Lately though, I've been feeling pretty great about Canada. Now, we might not have giant sales or flags bellowing in every other window, but here's what keeps the maple syrup running through my veins:

  • Having open conversations about politics at work, but clear rivalries when it comes to sports. 
  • Whenever The Barenaked Ladies, Celine Dion, or Bryan Adams are mentioned by international media. 
  • Being able to get drunk around dinosaurs and priceless art at the Royal Ontario Museum.
  • The inability to think of any "Canadian" food besides poutine. But it's okay because we can get food from all around the world here. 
  • Having someone bump into you, but you're the one who says "sorry". 
  • The guarantee that someone will say "Am I having a stroke?" when the smell of burnt toast is present (Thanks, Heritage Minutes). 

Gearing up for Canada Day? Want to rock the Canada Day nails look as pictured above? Get yourself some free Canadian flag nail stencils from Whats Up Nails! All you have to do is head over to Nail Polish Canada, then use this code: XL2VN00317NPN.

Hurry though, the code works for the first 10 users! And sorry, this offer is only for Canadians though. Sorry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Master the art of travelling in fashion

If you’ve recently been feeling the itch of the travel bug and you’re eager to scratch it, you may be planning a wonderful adventure halfway across the globe in the not too distant future. You might want to trek the Brazilian rainforests and meander down the Amazon, you could be planning on exploring the Trans-Siberian railway, or you might want to venture to the cooler climes of Scandinavia to satisfy your wanderlust craving. Wherever it is that you’re planning to go, you will still want to show off the same fashion credentials as you do in your everyday life.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s more formal tailored office wear for work or whether it’s a more relaxed outfit for chilling with pals on the weekend, you make an effort with your appearance. You’re keen to be on trend, express your personality and turn heads with your fashionable ensembles. Just because you’re planning on taking nothing more than a backpack, a wad of cash and a smile on your travels doesn’t mean you can’t be a travelling fashionista.

Capsule Wardrobe

If you’ve never tried living with nothing more than a capsule wardrobe, travelling is the time to try. Your backpack will not be the most spacious vessel in which to carry all of your designer pieces. You will need to be more selective and choose items of clothing that can mix and match together. Some of the best garments are those basics that are present in every fashionista’s wardrobe. Grab a pair of skinnies and a white top. You can pair this with sneakers for a chilled out evening in a foreign taverna or accessorize up with a pair of kitten heels for that more formal soiree when on your travels.

It’s useful to think about layers when travelling. Although you will pack for the climate of your destination, you still want to be prepared for a cold snap. This doesn’t mean taking your duvet of a duffle coat. Instead, pack thin layers that you can wear as necessary. A stylish windbreaker, something waterproof and some blazers are ideal. They take up minimal room in your luggage and can be great additions to your on the move capsule wardrobe.


If you’re planning on a longer jaunt, you might want to consider trimming those luscious locks. Longer tresses aren’t hugely practical when you’re hiking up a mountain or trekking in the sweltering heat. This doesn’t mean you need to have the most drastic of pixie crops. Instead, why not think about having a mid-length bob. This way, your hair will be more manageable abroad, you won’t have to worry about your hair becoming overly frizzy, and you won’t have to spend so much time in front of the mirror coiffing and conditioning. Many websites provide guidance as to the latest on-trend shorter styles; on TheRightHairStyles, you will even be able to explore the cuts that suit your face shape ensuring that you secure the most flattering style even when overseas.

Beauty doesn’t have to stop at your hair. You may have drawers full of creams, moisturizers, potions and lotions. Obviously, you cannot possibly take all of these products with you, so you need to be selective. The chances are that you don’t use all of these creams in your beauty regime anyway, so it may even be a good excuse to have a clear out. Select a high-quality moisturizer, exfoliator, cleanser and toner. These four essential items will keep your skin glowing, maintain a healthy complexion and ensure the health of your skin even in the most extreme conditions. You only have limited space with which to play with, so it's vital you don't waste it. Unless you're heading totally off the grid, the chances are that you can purchase some essentials when you land at your chosen destination.

As for makeup, take a skeleton palette. When you’re snowshoeing across the largest glacier of Iceland, your lipstick will be the least of your worries. You need to shift your priorities a little. Opt for a basic foundation, a spot of mascara and some soothing lip balm. A more natural look will be the way to go when travelling. If you become too concerned about your makeup and spend hours trying to perfect your facial contouring, you’ll miss out on the travelling experience of a lifetime.


While you don’t want to forfeit function for form, you can still have on trend footwear to cater for every eventuality. If you’re hiking or planning on spending a lot of time on your feet, you must have comfortable shoes. The appearance of bunions, corns and blisters are not only painful, but they can also prevent you from enjoying your foray overseas. It’s vital that you purchase a decent walking shoe for your days out. Plenty of brands such as Karrimor, North Face and Salamon cater for the female traveller. The shoes are well made, waterproof and fashionable. Gone are the days of the steel capped monstrosity of a boot for a more feminine and subtle shoe.

By taking care of your feet during the more active days, you can then wear your wedges, heels and flats in the evening. You won’t be able to fit a blister laden foot into any petite evening shoe. Pack one pair of walking shoes, one pair of relaxed sneakers and a pair of heels. Remember, you are travelling light, but if you feel like you need another pair of shoes, you can purchase some while on your travels.

Venturing off on your travels and seeing new sights, immersing yourself in new cultures and meeting new people is one of life’s most incredible experiences. With a backpack armed full of on-trend garments, a capsule wardrobe, a select range of beauty products and some stunning footwear, you will be the ultimate travelling fashionista.

Monday, January 22, 2018

4 Tips to boost your weekend wardrobe

Do you have a wardrobe that just doesn’t work for you anymore? Maybe you want to do everything you can to make sure that you get your older outfits out and back in action. Either way, there are a couple of things that you can do about this, so have a look below to get started.

Alter your Clothing so It Suits your Style

Over the years, there is a high chance that you have spent hundreds, even thousands on clothing. Especially if you're fluctuating between sizes throughout the years, consider having your clothes tailored instead of buying brand new. A sewing service could help by taking your pants in (or out) to fit around your figure better, or even change up the hem on a dress for a bit of a new look. It’s as simple as that, and by altering your old clothing you can easily make the most out of the outfits that you have in your wardrobe right now.

Resole your Shoes

If you have a pair of shoes that you love to wear at the weekend but they are now looking a little worse for wear, why not spend some money on getting them fixed? You know that deep down, a new pair of shoes just won’t be the same, so why go out and replace them? By getting your soles repaired you can easily complement all of your older outfits and it is a great way for you to stay comfortable at the weekend.

Dress for Yourself

There's a common misconception that style is for other people to see. No - to get the most out of your wardrobe, dress for yourself! There is a high chance that you will be much more confident in your look. On weekends, dressing to fit your personal style is a way to keep comfortable and creative. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with baggy sweatshirts!

Don’t Buy Into Trends

Let’s face it, nobody wants to spend half their weekend shuffling around in clothes that you are just not comfortable with. So ditch those skinny jeans and make sure that you get out those old jeans that have the bigger waistband. The weekend is the time to relax and if you lay back and wear clothes that you are more comfortable with then this will really show in your confidence. At the end of the day, fashion is all about confidence and by strutting your stuff in clothes that you are actually comfortable in, you can be sure to start a fashion revolution in your own home.

The weekends are supposed to be about lounging around and even spending time with loved ones, so don’t let fashion dictate how comfortable you are in your own home. Wear whatever you want - if you can flaunt it, you've got style.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Review: Seche Vive Top Coat

I don't think I can go back to using another top coat after this. To really put Seche Vive to the test, I conducted two tests that reflect my lazy and sloppy nail regime. I wish that I had the patience and skill to put nail polish on perfectly every time, but I don't. So for you nail polish amateurs out there, this review is for you.

First, I used Seche Vive over cheap nail polish from Forever 21. Normally without top coat, I'd start to see chipping after about 5 days of wear. Seche Vive managed to double the life of my polish. If this is what it does to cheap polish, I can't wait to try this on top of the nice stuff. Plus, the "instant drying" label really rings true - I was able to go about my normal business in about two minutes after applying.

Next, I was in a hurry one day but needed some colour on my nails. So I sloppily brushed on some polish, including committing the sin of putting a second coat on before the first coat was dry, which caused an uneven mess. With one swipe of Seche Vive, the gel effect kicked in and smoothed over the blotchy patches of nail polish to create one seamless finish. This is a serious game changer. For someone who is a little clumsy with using my hands while my nail polish is supposed to be drying, it's a big plus that my mistakes can be smoothed over so easily.

I tend to get sucked into buying poor quality nail polish from time to time, especially when it comes to bold colours. It's nice to know that I can spend less money on nail polish. But if I invest in a good top coat like Seche Vive, I can prolong the life of my nail polish wear and give it a more professional finish. Definitely would buy this again. Get this from Nail Polish Canada - it's worth it.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Over easy

Olive T-shirt dress c/o Tobi / Ivory sweater dress c/o Tobi / Black lace bandeau from H&M / Wearing NYX Deep Purple lipstick

I was talking to a coworker the other day about how she was agonizing over what to wear for an office event and how easy it must be for guys to just pick a suit and go each day. This is one of those situations where she was looking for someone to listen to her rant, instead of offering solid advice, so I agreed.

But in reality, no. Looking put together can be super quick and effortless as a woman. Throwing on a dress? That's even easier than putting on a suit! So that's why I've lined my closet with mostly versatile pieces that look casual and comfy on their own, but can always be dressed up with a blazer and a good pair of heels. When I know that all my pieces go together, it's hard to ever be poorly dressed.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Could've been the wine

Off the shoulder sweater c/o Tobi / Plaid skirt from Suzy Shier / Gold necklace from H&M

I'm a strong supporter of the "work smarter, not harder" notion. And part of that is knowing how to go about your day-to-day life with minimum effort for maximum results. Even the smallest things can make a big difference. Like that trick where you leave a knife at the edge of the sink if you plan to use it again so you don't have to wash as many utensils. Or buying a thick oversized sweater so you don't have to wear a bra underneath.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Emulating on-trend and on-budget looks

If you love fashion, you probably love shopping for fashion too. The trouble with shopping is it costs so much money! The latest lines are due out in the next few days, so now is the time to figure out how you’re going to get the look you want for less. There are several ways you can cheat the price tag in the stores. Here are just a few of the best ways to do it!

Do Your Homework

Every fashion lover knows what’s on the catwalks at the start of the season. That look will filter down into the stores with only a few amendments. In the time it takes for your favourite styles to hit rails, you can start figuring out how to emulate it without paying too much for it. Most new fashion ideas stem from trends that came before. Is there anything in your closet already that might hit the mark?

Make sure you’re on the newsletter lists for each of your favourite fashion brands too. This means you will get to see what will be coming into the store before it arrives. It gives you the chance to figure out where you want to buy and what you need to buy before the excitement and impulse take you over.

Make Some Space And Make Some Money

Your closet can only cope with a limited number of fashion items. This means the new season simply won’t fit unless you have a clear out. Auditing your clothing doesn’t take too long. Simply make piles of skirts, pants, blouses, tops and so on to see what you already have. Pull out the items you don’t wear.

Photograph everything you pull out so you can list it to sell it. Not only will this clear out space, but you’ll make a little bit of money to fund next season’s look. Replacing instead of adding to your collection can help you to keep your closet in usable order. If you can’t bear to part with it, consider accessorizing or customizing to bring it up to date for next season.

Buying On Budget

Most stores carry very similar looking items. It’s down to your creativity to put those things together to create that perfect on-trend look. Some stores will produce better quality versions of the fashion items you’re most interested in. Of course, they might charge more for it too. Set your budget early on. Now you can shop around and make decisions based on affordability as well as quality.

While new fashion might not be in the sales, there will be plenty of other items that are. If you’re not shopping for those, don’t buy them. Save more money on your purchases by using vouchers and discounts like the ones at DontPayFull.com so you can get more within your budget. Finally, limit your purchases to ‘must-haves’ and try not to be distracted by bargain items you really don’t need.

Increase Your Budget

Aside from selling your preloved fashion items, you could take on some overtime, a second job, or start a side hustle to make more money for shopping. You might start your own blog, or maybe photograph the latest inspiring fashion trends you spot. Why not offer friends and family a makeover in exchange for a fee? Of course, if you’re creative and crafty, you might even produce your own line of accessories.

Putting It Together

Once you’ve sourced the wardrobe essentials you’ve been saving up for, it’s time to turn it into that perfect outfit. You’ll need to accessorize and find the right footwear, headwear, and handbag to match. Chances are you’re creative enough to mix up your fashion and put together two or three different looks. Ideally, you’re already shopping with that in mind. Sometimes you can become the master of many styles with just one or two wardrobe essentials.

The trick to mastering a new look on a budget is to not rush into your purchases. Test ideas (and cosmetics) before you buy. Shop around and see which stores stock the best quality basic items. Then do your best to find a discount on that ticket price! Happy shopping.

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