Monday, May 23, 2016

The ultimate guide to accessorizing


Accessories are a key part of fashion. So much so that they can make or break an outfit. I like my accessories, but sometimes I feel like I can go a little overboard, especially if my outfit should already speak for itself. Between juggling creative mix-n-match and minimalist trends, accessorizing isn't always easy. So, I've come up with this guide to help ensure that your accessories are on point.

Understand Your Accessories

First of all, you need to understand why accessorizing an outfit is worth it. Many fashionistas think of wearing accessories as a creative process that allows them to give life to their personality. Some even consider it an art form. But that isn’t the main reason why you should be accessorizing. They can help you stand out, sure, but they will also help you save money. How is that possible? If you have lots of accessories that you can pair with different outfits, you won’t have to buy as many clothes so often. You’ll be able to keep experimenting with various items to create a myriad of looks. Being able to be this creative with your wardrobe will certainly cut down on all your shopping.

Start Small

If you have never really accessorized before, it can feel quite daunting at the start. However, start small and you can gradually build up to wearing huge pieces of bling! One of the easiest ways to get into accessorizing is to start off with small pieces of jewelry. They don’t have to be too brash; just some simple stud earrings will work. If you don’t own any jewelry yet, you can take a look at online retailers such as elf925 online sterling silver jewelry. Once you feel confident about wearing jewelry, branch out to other accessories. You could start wearing metallic belts with jumper dresses or top off your work outfit with a sophisticated hat.


Glam Up Ill-Fitting Clothing

It can be very annoying to get home with some new clothes, just to find that they don’t fit you! First of all, that’s why you should always try on the clothes in the store! Secondly, there’s no need to worry – accessorizing can help you out! Invest in some expensive shoes and handbags. Then all you need to do is add these to an outfit that is slightly oversized or doesn’t look quite right. Glamorous shoes and handbags will take everyone’s attention away from the slightly below-par outfit. You never know, everyone might think you intended it to look that way! So remember this tip next time you think you’ve wasted money on clothes – chances are you can save the outfit!

Use Accessories To Add Colour

If you always seem to wear black or dark shades, accessories are a very easy way to add a burst of color to your outfit. And you won’t have to go out and buy new clothes as colorful accessories always look better against a dark outfit. You can stick to your dark color tones in your usual work outfit. But how about adding some of your vibrant personality by adding a bright handbag? Belts and scarfs are also fantastic for adding colors. And you don’t have to stop there – how about playing with patterns too? You’ll find that animal print is having a moment at the minute, and there are many scarves, shoes, bags, and belts covered in it! You can always go the opposite way and wear plain accessories with a very colorful outfit. Some bold black belts, jewelry, or a scarf can help to break up a vibrant outfit which would have otherwise looked too much.



Don’t Forget Your Hair

Accessories can go in our hair as well and add some style to our hairdo! If you have ever attended a wedding, then you will know how extreme hair accessories can be. Fascinators are often worn at weddings, but there’s no reason why they have to be restricted to these special days. Just like a hat, you wear them on top of your head. However, they are a lot smaller than hats so will show off more of your hairdo. And the best thing? You won’t get the dreaded hat hair! They are usually very expensive in the shops, but many people choose to make their own at home. If you aren’t feeling too confident about wearing a fascinator, you can keep things simple with some cool hair clips and bobbles.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How to: Get easy effortless waves with a hair straightener


Having super thin hair, I like having a bit of volume to my hair without a lot of effort. Reading other tutorials, I don't know what their normal routine encompasses, but I don't consider mousse, hairspray, hair pins, and 10+ minutes to be "effortless". So, I came up with my own trick that only takes 2-5 minutes and no extra fuss.

My Irresistable Me professional flat iron instantly heats up, which really helps when I press snooze too many times. With diamond and tourmaline technology, I actually don't need to spray my hair before use because my hair is truly still smooth and not fried afterwards. 


How to get the look: Instead of wasting time sectioning off my hair, I just grab strands and start curling. To do this, clamp the strand of hair between the straightener and pull the hair while curling inwards, holding the straightening iron vertically. I like really loose waves, so curling from the mid-section of my hair to the end of each strand typically takes about 3 seconds at 370 degrees heat. 


The beauty about these messy waves is that it really doesn't matter if you're a little sloppy with the technique. Some waves bigger than others? Miss a few strands? No problem! Remember, effortless waves should actually be effortless. Just run your fingers through your hair a bit and you're good to go. I still have a few fly-aways in my finished photo below, but I kind of like it like that - it really adds to the "I woke up like this" polished messy look.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

How to: Wear a maxi dress

Maxi dresses are dresses that typically reach all the way to the floor. They can come in different shapes, patterns, and colours, but they can be notoriously hard to style for some people. Some people naturally throw on any maxi dress and incredible, while others need to put a little more thought into things. Here’s what you should know to pull off a maxi dress:

Keep Things versatile With Layering

You don’t have to wear a maxi dress by itself every time. You can keep things nice and versatile by layering your dress up in different ways. You can wear a turtleneck underneath a v neck dress for warmth and interest. Adding jackets and different things will always make your outfits look more interesting.

Add Edgy Accessories

Edgy accessories will give your dress more personality and character. Why not wear your dress with a cool hat, or some statement bangles? You can play around with different accessories you like to see what works best for you. Adding accessories like this will give your dress the wow factor! You can’t go wrong with a black maxi dress. You can pair anything with it and it’ll still look great.

Structured Pieces Make Them Great For Work

Think you can’t wear a maxi dress for work? Think again! Structured pieces make them great for work, so add a nice blazer or jacket to smarten up your look. Although maxi dresses are a good casual piece, this doesn’t mean you can’t find ways of dressing them up. You can wear them any time!

White Sneakers Make The Perfect Casual Shoe

So many people would have you believe that there are only certain types of shoe you should wear with your maxi dress. Sandals and wedges do look great with maxi dresses. Platforms can look great too. However, white sneakers make the perfect casual shoe. Converse or vans will add a casual element and make your dress more wearable for day to day. Many people wear flip flops with these dresses as a way of keeping things casual, but adding a white sneaker could be a cool way to change it up.

Wear The Right One For Your Shape

Knowing your body shape and what suits it is important when you want to wear something like the maxi dress. They aren’t all created equal. Some are great for straight up and down girls who want to create curves, while others will make pear shaped girls more proportionate. Know what kind you need to look for to enhance your shape and you’ll look a million dollars. You don’t always need to stick to these ‘rules’, but they can flatter you if that’s what you want!

I hope these tips have helped give you an idea of how you can pull off that maxi dress you’ve been eyeing. Remember, wearing anything and pulling it off is about having the confidence to do so. These tips will help, but you need to channel the confidence too. Have fun!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to: Get that 70s look

The '70s were an iconic time for a lot of reasons—Watergate, Pink Floyd, M*A*S*H*, disco, Star Wars—the decade was filled with memorable moments in history that are still revisited today.

But there's arguably no '70s-inspired aspect that's more prominently represented in modern, day-to-day life than the fashion.

Now, we're not talking about leaving the house without a bra on. Sure, going braless is a pretty accurate way of representing the free spirit and themes of women's empowerment that were popular at the time, but there are much more practical, and less obscure ways to represent your love of the decade.

For starters, forget skin-tight, fitted tops, and try to embrace tunics with a loose, flowing silhouette. The tops are ideal if you want to recreate the free and open-minded mentality of the 1970s (with a bra of course).

If you're willing to look outside of the box a bit, plus-sized designs, and even some maternity clothes can be a great way to achieve the look. Their empire styles or designs without cinched waists are a great solution for creating a look that ebbs and flows with your moves instead of clinging to every curve of your body. If you take a look at some of the most popular styles from Woman Within, you can see that bright, busy patterns aren't hard to come by in plus-sized clothing. Try a boho top that incorporates lace or knitted floral embroidery for added '70s flare.

In addition to that flowing top, you can't recreate your '70s style without the right accessories. According to Lisa Armstrong from The Telegraph, several choice accessories can easily make an outfit era appropriate. For example, you can try a floppy, wide brim hat, platform sandals, or a purse adorned with suede fringe. And let's not forget the crucial jewelry.

Armstrong recommends that you try to incorporate "teeny-tiny florals or vertical and chevron stripes. Mix and clash them, or amp up the drama of plains with big, sculptural jewellery."

And finally, rediscover your flair for flares. If you're like many of us who buy pieces that will last, your quality flares are probably held up in the back of your closet somewhere, waiting for their day to be back in the spotlight.

Well, today is the day. Bustle reporter Stephanie Chon officially declared the flare jeans, and their '70s-inspired style, "timeless" as well as an easy way to represent your favorite denim in a fun and flattering way.

When discussing flares, Chon says that "they're going to become a closet essential for the upcoming colder seasons, it's time to start looking for the best flare jeans for fall now." But flares can vary from boyfriend cuts to skinnies and flares so big at the bottom that you trip over them. Follow her guide to find the pair that's best for your '70s style.

You might not have lived through the 1970s, but that doesn't mean you can't embrace the style that defined the decade. Grab a few loose fitting tops, some bold colors, and pair of flares, and you're well on your way to challenging the style of any hippy that dares to cross your path!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Beauty Junkies


I wouldn't call myself a makeup junkie, but if you consider having a strict makeup ritual and refusing to leave the house without foundation and eyeliner for a confidence boost...then okay, maybe I am a bit of an addict. Fortunately, if we do know a beauty lover or makeup addict, they will always be easy to shop for. Well, the idea of makeup. But choosing a specific item can be a bit of a challenge. With constant new products and developments, there's always something new to try. Check out the inspiration below if you’re shopping for a makeup maniac:

Palettes and Kits

Makeup palettes have become hugely popular thanks to their cult-status on YouTube and Instagram. Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes are particularly popular, along with Lorac's Unzipped Palette. New releases from Anastasia also regularly hit the beauty headlines. It's easy to see why palettes are so popular. They are compact, attractive, and easy to travel with. With a wide range of colours and textures, it’s possible to create an entire look with the use of only a single palette. They are easy to wrap and feel like a substantial, thoughtful gift. Palettes like the ones listed above are particular favourites because they feature neutral colours. They suit every skin tone and can be used to create a variety of looks.

Gift Cards and Trips

You may find yourself buying for a makeup addict but have no idea where to begin. Perhaps you are a bit of a makeup newbie yourself and don’t have the time or inclination to read the latest blogs on what is popular. But you still want to treat someone to an item you know they’d love. Why not consider an entire beauty experience? A simple experience could mean a trip to a beauty store together. You could have makeovers at the counter together, shop for products, and investigate new releases. You could give your friend a budget and allow them to show till they drop - all on you. Perhaps you could even take a trip to a beauty convention together like the ABA Beauty Show or Beautycon. A gift card can be much appreciated too. It takes the pressure off having to find something suitable, but allows them a gift that they will really love.

The Extras

There are more beauty gadgets and extras around than ever before. Someone might not be able to justify treating themselves but would always love to receive a gift. There is nothing more exciting for a beauty lover than trying out a product or item they have never even heard of! High quality tweezers or eyelash curlers can be a genuine cult favourite. False eyelashes are a wonderful gift for the experienced makeup aficionado too. Check out the hidden parts of makeup stores and websites to discover an unexpected treasure.

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

In the interest of coasting

Custom graphic t-shirt c/o SnapMade / Floral skirt from Urban Outfitters / Denim shirt from AE Outfitters

I'm often asked what came first, this blog or my interest in fashion. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. I started this blog because I loved the social digital world and wanted a little piece of it. While I didn't start because of my desire to showcase fashion like most people, I've grown to really admire the industry. I'll admit that I'm by no means an expert voice, but what is an "influencer" anyway? Is it someone who knows all of Karl Lagerfeld's history? Someone who can quote Anna Wintour at any moment? Someone who always has the most up-to-date trends in her closet? Who knows. The best I can do is keep learning as I go along. After all, if you think you are the utmost expert in an area, you're wrong. There's always something we don't know. But why does that have to be a bad thing? 

I've been using "I don't really know what I'm doing. I just pretend I do" for about 5 years now as a sort of life motto. I like to think of it as a heightened "fake it 'til you make it" type. But since pretending to know something is kind of a daunting task, I use it as motivation to keep learning so I'm not pretending anymore. Then I'll find something else that I'm not an expert in, learn that, and so on. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

Thanks for 5 years of allowing me to be tastefully clueless.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Printemps

Blush blazer from Forever 21 / Checked blouse / Beige skater skirt from TJ Maxx

I'm jumping the gun on spring a bit, but it's been a mild winter so I'm ready to welcome an early season change. In other news, I'm still trying to navigate my way through the corporate world, which is essentially navigating my way through 1998. The other day, a coworker asked me if I knew where the fax machine was. I had to resist the urge to say that it was back in the 90s where it should be. When people want something faxed to them, I seriously consider asking whether or not I can just send a screenshot through text and be done with it. Bad attitude or forward-thinking? It's a harder line than you think.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

4 Travel lessons I learned the hard way




Let me start off by saying that I'm writing to you from Toronto, Canada. Not all of this will be applicable to you. But hey, maybe it will be. Here are a few things I wish people told me before I hopped on a plane to tour Europe:

1. Don't take toilets for granted. Also to go with this, it's normal if you have to go up (or down) a sketchy staircase to get to a single toilet stall. I'm use to clearly marked washrooms back home, so I refused to use the hidden bathroom in Italy. Such a mistake because it was hard to find another. Oh, and while we're at it, I don't recommend dehydrating yourself to avoid having to find a toilet. Trust me.

2. "Blending in" isn't always best. Yes, you should avoid looking like a lost tourist. But if you're in a tourist area, everyone's a tourist anyway! I read online that Rome was "conservative" and people typically wear jeans and leather jackets in the autumn. Makes sense, right? Well it's 20 degrees around this time in Italy, which is actually summer temperature in Toronto. My goodness, I overheated so hard. There's absolutely no point in blending in when you're gonna stick out by sweating like a fool anyway.

3. Bring all the meds. Even if you don't think you'll need them. Do you know how to ask a pharmacist for stomach ache medicine in a different language? Do you know how to read the ingredients in a foreign language on the side of the bottle? No? Then save yourself the struggle and bring your own.

4. "Fresh air" is subjective. Not only is smoking in restaurants against the law here, but smoking too close to others will probably get you the stink eye. On a similar boat, strong perfumes and cologne is a pretty big taboo. We like our space to be unscented. In France, I found myself frequently in situations where I couldn't catch a breath because of someone sucking on a cigarette or who was leaving a trail of designer perfume. I know that this was embedded into the culture, but I forgot how it would affect me.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Antiquing


I've never been a fan of places like Value Village. To me, walking in is like stepping into a big warehouse where old things are just lumped together on racks. I'm not willing to put the effort into this "thrifting" that everyone talks about. I recently strolled into Valley Antiques in Hamilton and was pleasantly surprised at what an independent shop can do.

There's something charming about a bit of organized clutter. Displays organized to showcase, intrigue, and occasionally go "hey, I have that...I wonder how much my old crap is worth!" They really don't make stuff like they used to.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New buys for the new year


It's a new year, and a lot of people think it's a good time for "a new you". I don't think you should have to reinvent yourself every year, but it is a good excuse to treat yourself. What better time to get some new fashion favourites than during the January sales? The holiday season might be over, but winter certainly isn't. In fact, it's getting colder in many places around the world. Snow has been a bit thin on the ground in some places that usually have plenty, but it seems to have finally arrived. So it's time for me to start wrapping up a bit more with some of my new year fashion must-haves.

Chunky-knit Sweaters

I love a sweater when the weather is on the colder side. It's great to have something to snuggle into, and you can pair them with lots of other items. A chunky sweater goes well with a cute dress, a pair of jeans or a skirt. I don't think they have to have much shape to them either. They can look great if they're a bit baggy and oversized, and there's more room to wear an extra layer underneath. The only thing is, you need to be able to fit them under your coat.

Snow Boots

When the snow starts to fall, you need to protect your feet. They should look good, of course, but they also need to be warm and dry. Not only that, but you need to make sure you're not going to slip and fall over too! Since I'm weaning myself off wearing heels, winter is an excellent reason to get some comfier shoes into my wardrobe. If you're somewhere snowy and slushy like me, rain boots are a good alternative if you don't want big Ugg-like snow boots.


Roomy Bags

It's a great time of year to buy a new bag. All the stores and fashion websites have sales on, so you can grab a bargain. One of the bag trends for this winter is timeless elegance, which is definitely something I can get behind. A smart bag is perfect for using at work or for taking out and about. While little bags are cute, it can be better to have one that has room to put more things in. If it won't hold anything other than my wallet, it's not big enough.

Statement Accessories

If you're going to get wrapped up for winter, you might as well do it in style. You can find some great statement winter accessories for the season. Why have a boring and discrete scarf when it could be long, wide and with an eye-catching design? I prefer a bigger scarf because you can do more with it. Wrap it around your neck or shoulders, or pull it over your head when it's cold. If you don't want to mess up your hair, I recommend a stylish pair of earmuffs.

If you can't treat yourself for the new year, when can you? It's the perfect time to add some new items to your wardrobe.

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