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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bag Review: Chanel Half-Moon Black Caviar WOC (Wallet on a Chain)

My Chanel Half-Moon WOC bag review post is long overdue - I purchased it in December 2013 but didn't get around to writing my review until now. This is definitely one of my dream bags - I love the durable pebbled caviar leather, the classic black color and the embossed cc design - it's the perfect special occasion bag!


SIZE COMPARISON OF CLASSIC QUILTED WOC AND HALF-MOON WOC

While I will always adore my Classic Quilted WOC (dimensions: 4.5 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches), I like the larger size and extra capacity of the Half-Moon design (dimensions: 4.5 x 9.25 x 2 inches). Because of the pouched design, you can stuff the Half-Moon WOC and still have it close easily, whereas the rectangular shape of the Classic Quilted WOC is more structured and rigid.


WHAT FITS INSIDE A HALF-MOON WOC

I definitely have to down-size my essentials when using the WOC. Here's a picture I took last year during fashion week: I put my cards and cash in a small LV case, added two lip products and my iPhone - there was just enough space left over for my camera and business cards.



HOW TO WEAR A CHANEL WOC

One of the reasons I love the Chanel WOC is because of the multiple ways you can wear it. You can keep the chain long for casual day wear - and make the strap shorter for formal occasions. You can even tuck the chain inside and use it as a clutch. (To adjust the strap length, you can loop the chain and tuck it in under the flap - double it for a shoulder bag and triple it for hand carry).

How to wear a Chanel WOC
I'm 5'4 for strap size reference. Blouse: LOFT, Necklace: J.Crew Factory, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

What's your favourite Chanel bag? I'd love to own a classic flap one day - but I don't think I could ever justify one given the current prices!


Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here

 

p.s. Can you notice a difference in picture quality between my 2nd and 3rd photo? The 2nd was taken with my LG G3 and the 3rd with my iPhone 4s! Don't forget to enter my LG G3 giveaway here!

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blogging Through A Different Lens...

As a fashion and beauty blogger , my most-used item is my phone...I use it for EVERYTHING. From snapping outfit selfies and product pictures to updating social media and editing blog posts - it's my one-stop-blogging machine!

I was super-excited to receive the LG G3 phone from LG Canada... AND I have one to give away to an Ella Pretty Blog follower!!! Read on for the top 5 ways LG G3 has made my blogging better - then fill in the rafflecopter below the chance to win your own LG G3 phone.

1) My Selfie Game is Strong - When sharing outfit photos, every megapixel counts. Switching from an 8 megapixel camera (on my iPhone 4s) to the 13 megapixel LG G3 camera has made a huge impact in the clarity of my outfit selfies. Can you see the difference?

13 megapixel camera on LG G3 versus 8 megapixel camera on iPhone 4s

The LG G3 makes it easy to take good selfies. It has a 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera, a Soft Light feature to illuminate your face and a built-in Beauty Tool to automatically airbrush your photo. Here's a winter wonderland selfie I took with Elaine - pretty clear for a front-facing camera shot, don't you think? And thank you Beauty Tool slider for the gift of clear skin ;-)


2) My Product Photography Got Prettier - Most of my beauty product photos are shot on my phone. Not only does the LG G3 13 megapixel camera capture incredibly detailed pictures (like the one below), the advanced sensor lets in a lot of light. I don't have to fiddle with a lot of settings - I just tap on the screen to focus, and I have the perfect shot! I always use the Cheese Shutter/Voice Command feature (no need to tap the shutter button, so I can use both hands to stablize the camera). I just say one of the magic words (kimchi!) and it takes the photo.


3) Social Media is Simpler - Tweeting and Instagramming is so much better with the 5.5 inch LG G3 screen. It's easy to type on versus the 4.5 inch screen on my iPhone 4s (check out the size difference below!) I also like using the Dual Window feature, which splits the screen and lets me run two apps side-by-side at the same time.

Comparing iPhone 4s and LG G3 phone

4) Slim and Easy to Carry Around - The LG G3 is super-thin at 0.35 inches, and only weighs 5.26 oz. It slips easily into the slimmest of purses - and despite its large screen, it still fits into the back of my jeans' pocket! So no matter what bag I carry - there's always space for my phone.


5) Switching Over is Easy - I'm not the most tech-savvy person around...and yet it only took me ONE night to switch over from my iPhone to the LG G3! Set up is so simple - I just followed the on-screen instructions, signed in to my Google account - and I was nearly halfway there. Here's a tip - download the "Send Anywhere" app on your iPhone and LG G3, and transfer your contacts over in one easy step. There were android versions for most of my favorite iPhone apps - and where there wasn't, I found great alternatives (UB reader instead of iBooks and Fotor instead of Camera+). (edit: With regards to syncing between phone and laptop - I have a PC not a Macbook, so I've always used Dropbox rather than the cloud to transfer files.)
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Now that you've read why I love the LG G3, would you like to win one of your own? If so - enter the Rafflecopter form below. Please note that the contest is only open to Canadian residents. The winner will win one new LG G3 phone from LG Canada - you will be responsible for unlocking the phone for compatibility with your existing cellular service provider. Check back here on March 16 to see if you've won!

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS (All mandatory entries will be double-checked. You must complete all mandatory steps to qualify for the prize):
1) Follow @ellaprettyblog and @lgcanada on Instagram
2) Follow @ellaprettyblog and @lgcanada on Twitter
3) Repost the specified image on Instagram
4) Retweet the specified tweet on Twitter

BONUS ENTRIES:
1) Follow Ella Pretty Blog on Bloglovin
2) Help me make Ella Pretty Blog better! Tell me - what type of posts do you enjoy reading here?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLAIMER: LG provided me with the G3 phone (and one to give away) but all opinions are from my own experience using the phone. As you can tell, I'm loving it!

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Plaid, Stripes and Metallics

I love scarves and usually wear different ones all the time - but because this winter is so cold, and my plaid blanket scarf is so warm, there hasn't been much rotation in my closet!

Scarf (similar) / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

But I have tried different ways of styling my scarf - including belting it and wearing it as a poncho/cape!

Scarf (similar) / Sweatshirt: Old Navy (similar) / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

I've also been pattern-mixing, pairing my plaid scarf with striped sweaters.

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene
Scarf (similar) / Sweatshirt: Old Navy (similar) / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version) / Bag: Speedy 25

I'm still pinching myself about my latest post for Yummy Mummy - I got the chance to interview Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn LOL!) She's so gracious and gorgeous - of course I HAD to ask her about her beauty secrets! Read my interview here.


I had a mini-shopping date with Elaine...I have a thing for trench coats, and I'm considering this GAP one - especially because it's majorly on sale!

Trenchcoat: GAP / Boots: c/o Cougar

I've been loving metallic shoes for spring - I found these pretties at Winners. I was seriously tempted by the sandals but I thought that the heels would be a better investment (they were both priced around $40).

Sandals:(similar Birkenstocks, budget versionHeels: Marc Fisher (similar, similar)

Although, looking at this picture...I might have to go back for the sandals after all!


Are you a Jane Seymour fan? Did you ever watch Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Touch of Tweed

Blouse: Target (similar) / Leggings: H&M (similar from Express) / Jacket: c/o Sheinside / Bag: Balenciaga / Boots: c/o Cougar

I've been a fan of tweed jackets for several years now,  and have gradually collected quite a few - including pieces in cream, pink and navy blue. I prefer my tweed jackets to have a slightly shrunken/cropped fit - so that they add some structure to my outfit without dominating the whole look.

From L-R: Jackets - c/o Sheinside /c/o Sheinside / WHBM (similar from WHBM) / Forever21 (similar from F21); Bags: Balenciaga / Balenciaga / Louis Vuitton / Pashli

My favorite thing about tweed jackets? They look best paired with jeans and a t-shirt/blouse - such an easy and comfortable option!



Do you like wearing tweed jackets? Which of these is your favorite? For me, it's a tie between the navy and pink!

P.S. Be sure to check out my latest posts over on Yummy Mummy Club :

STYLE: How to make a faux infinity scarf using a pashmina PLUS 3 other easy ways to wear a scarf


SHOPPING: Where to shop once Target leaves Canada



BEAUTY: The best drugstore products for dry hands, red patches, tight face, peeling cuticles and chapped lips!

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Tale of Two Bags - Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene


I've added a new handbag to my collection - the Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene.


Although I've owned both the Speedy 25 in Monogram and the Neverfull PM in Damier Ebene, I realized that I loved the shape (and zip closure) of the Speedy, but the design (and indestructibleness) of Damier Ebene bags.


Rather than owning two bags that I liked, I decided to sell them both and purchase the one bag I really loved! I was a little apprehensive about the bag-selling process, but I posted them on Instagram and luckily both bags were picked up by people I already knew! So this weekend I was finally able to head over to Yorkdale and pick up my dream bag.

Modelling Picture of Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene
Shirt: Forever21 / Jeans: Garage / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version) / Necklace: c/o Pink Lovebird

I couldn't be happier with my new purchase - it really is the perfect bag! Some thoughts:
  • Of course it would have been simpler (and cheaper) if I had just purchased the Damier Ebene Speedy in the first place. But I think owning and using both bags really helped me realize what I liked - and I'm glad my other LV bags found good homes! 
  • The Speedy 25 is the perfect size for me (I'm 5'4) - as it has always held everything I needed. I decided against the Speedy Bandouliere version (which comes with a crossbody strap) because I have back issues, and the Speedy would be too heavy for me to wear cross-body. Also, I already have cross-body bags that I love (my Pashli and Coach Tanner).
  • When I purchased my first Speedy in 2010, one of the reasons I chose Monogram over Damier Ebene was because there were many reports of the glazed leather bag handles cracking and peeling. I think LV has addressed that issue in their newer Damier Ebene bags, so hopefully it will not be a problem.
  • Although all my LV bags were purchased from Holt Renfrew in Yorkdale - there have been some changes since I bought my Monogram Speedy there 5 years ago. This time they gave me an LV box with my dustbag (but the Sales Assistant told me store my Speedy JUST in the dustbag, NOT the box - otherwise it wouldn't air out properly and and the canvas could crack - have you heard of this happening?). Also, the lock and key now come in their own little dustbag - it's so cute!

Have you ever made a big purchase and then changed your mind? Which of these 3 bags do you like the best?
  
Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here!


Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Meeting the Pixiwoo Sisters & My Favourite Makeup Brushes

Sam and Nic Chapman
Photo Credit: John Goldstein Photography

If you watch YouTube as much as I do, you'll understand why I was SO excited to meet the Pixiwoo sisters when they visited Toronto last month - I've been watching their videos for YEARS! Sam and Nic are EXACTLY the same in person as they are in their videos...and their makeup application is flawless - they are both just so gorgeous! Aside from their Youtube videos, the Pixiwoo sisters are also famous for channeling their professional makeup artist expertise to create the Real Techniques brush line.

The meet-up was hosted by Farleyco Marketing - the official Canadian distributors of Real Techniques brushes. After taking pictures with the Pixiwoo sisters, we sat down for a Question and Answer session. Here are some of my favorite tidbits from their talk:
  • Their favorite Real Techniques Brush: Sam loves the Expert Face Brush and Nic thinks that the Setting Brush does not get the attention it deserves.
  • How NOT to wash your brushes: One of their pet peeves is seeing their brushes being "drowned" in a sink full of soapy water...it may seem like a quick way to wash your brushes, but submerging your brushes in water is a BAD idea - it will make the bristles fall out. (Try this instead - my top makeup brush cleaning tips)
  • Dealing with Haters: They are open to opinions and suggestions on makeup, but ignore baseless and personal attacks, as those reflect more about the commenter than their videos.
  • Who they watch on YouTube: Sam likes Lauren Luke and Nic enjoys Kandee Johnson's videos.  They said they don't watch too many other YouTubers as they don't want their style to inadvertently get influenced.
  • Using their platform for more than just makeup: The sisters recently posted a video about their experience with domestic abuse. They wanted to share their story and let other people going through a similar situation know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Not only do I love Pixiwoo's videos - I'm also a HUGE fan of their Real Techniques Makeup Brushes. The quality is amazing yet they're so reasonably priced. They are made of the softest synthetic bristles (no shedding!) which are hand-cut to ensure flawless makeup application. Their aluminum metallic handles are lightweight (and pretty!!!), while their non-slip bases ensure that the brushes won't roll off the counter when you set them down. BONUS - the Pixiwoo sisters film YouTube tutorials on how to use each brush!

My most-used Real Techniques brushes (In case you're wondering - I purchased these brushes myself and have been using them for at least a year, if not longer)


  • Domed Shadow Brush - I use this to apply concealer under my eyes - it smooths on an even and thin layer.
  • Buffing Brush - One of the most famous brushes in the Real Techniques line. It's the best foundation brush I've ever tried - it takes even the thickest foundation and applies it so that it looks smooth and airbrushed without any caking.
  • Multi Task Brush - I use this with my pigmented powder blush - the large domed head deposits a light dusting of even color.
  • Contour Brush - Smoothly applies my bronzer for contouring - subtle application which allows you to build up intensity without overdoing it.
  • Detailer Brush - Not a complete necessity, but I use this to apply lip balm at night. It helps to work the balm into my lips...and it feels really nice too!

Real Techniques Brushes to try (these were gifted by Farleyco Beauty, they kindly allowed me to select the products I wanted)


  • Sculpting Brush - Specially designed (with a wide angled head) for contouring -  I think it will make it even easier to define my face with highlighter and bronzer.
  • Miracle Complexion Sponge - Their version of the beauty blender. Modified from the classic teardrop shape, this design adds in a flat edge to make it easier to work around the eyes and nose.
  • Silicone Liner Brush - I can't wait to use this brush with my gel liner. It features a solid silicone tip rather than bristles - and is meant to apply liner smoothly and precisely. I also think the silicone will make it easier to keep clean.
  • Retractable Kabuki Brush - Will keep this in my travel makeup bag for applying powder, blush and bronzer. Also, I kind of wanted it just because it's pink and portable - it's SO pretty!

Do you watch Pixiwoo on YouTube? Do you own any Real Techniques Brushes?

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First Forever21 Haul of the Year

Happy New Year - hope you had a fun-filled Holiday season! We definitely had a lot of family time and rest over the holidays - unfortunately it was because we were all struck by a family-wide virus! Thankfully we're all on the mend now - although my daughter and I are still on antibiotics.


Forever21 Draped Surplice Blouse (CAD link)

I might have done some online shopping from the sickbed - I've been loving these Forever 21 wrap shirts - and I now own three! But they're less than $20, made of great material and are easy to wash & wear - so they're definitely worth getting multiples of!

Forever21 Draped Surplice Blouse (CAD link) / Bag

I got the black and taupe blouses in small, but the cream was sold out so I purchased it in medium. Although it's slightly looser, I like the extra length!

Forever21 Layered Panel Chiffon Blouse (CAD link)


I tend to wear a lot of white and cream colors - but I also love vibrant colors too - like this hot pink chiffon blouse.

Forever21 Essential Pleated Top (CAD link)

And this radiant orchid top - I've been looking for a blouse in this shade for at least a year!

Forever21 Hooded Toggle Coat (CAD link)


I also ordered this camel coat - it's the perfect color but I'm not sure if it's a keeper - I wish the material was a bit thicker and warmer.


Apricot Long Sleeve Metallic Yoke Pockets Coat (size: small)

This jacket also arrived in the mail - it was sent to me by Sheinside. I'm completely in love with it - it's everything I wanted the Uniqueen Malang Jacket to be: it can be fastened up the front, it's tailored but the lining is not too thick (or hot) - plus the shoulder fit and the sleeve width are perfect!

Wow - it felt good to get this post written out - I've missed blogging over the past couple of weeks, and I can't wait to get all caught up! Also, stay tuned for a VERY exciting blog giveaway coming up soon (hint - it's an amazing smartphone!!!)

Have you made any clothing purchases recently? Which of these pieces is your favorite?

Disclaimer: I purchased the Forever21 items myself. The Sheinside jacket was sent to me by the company.

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Worn 3 Ways & Outfit Twinning

Shirt / Jeans / Clutch (similar) / Bag / Quilted Clutch / Necklace


Sometimes you don't feel like spending a lot of money on new outfits for holiday parties. In my latest holiday tutorial for Yummy Mummy, I posted about taking a closet staple and re-styling it for 3 different events. Read my post and let me know what you think!

Shirt: Forever21 / Bag: Balenciaga / Boots: c/o Cougar / Necklace: c/o Pink Lovebird

I've been sticking to my staples recently - cream and lace. I wore this outfit for a fun lunch with my super-stylish friend Mehreen - she used to be "the Currently Obsessed" but has relaunched her blog as Fifth and Bloor - be sure to check her out!

Shirt: Old NavyBooties: Old Navy (similar), Clutch: GAP (similar)

Of course plaid continues to be a favorite - this shirt is my second flannel one from Old Navy - I love the pretty light blue color.

Jacket: Forever21 (this one has a bow!), Boots: Old Navy (this year's version), Bag: Pashli, Necklace: J.Crew

I've really been loving tweed jackets - I wore this cream one to a recent blogger tea party.

Plaid Blanket Scarf

I had to share this last outfit...this is what happens when you love the Plaid Blanket scarf trend too much! My friend and I both showed up at a school event dressed identically from head-to-toe... This was totally unplanned - I didn't even know she owned the same scarf! But seriously, I think plaid blanket scarves are the best trend ever - warm, lightweight & an adorable pattern - I guess I should be prepared for a LOT more unintentional twinning! (My scarf is sold out but I found the same one here in case you're still looking!)

Have you ever ended up wearing the same outfit as someone else at an event? 

Hope you're having a lovely holiday season! Click here if you need any last-minute gift ideas!

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Getting Holiday Party Ready: My Top Hair, Makeup & Outfit Tips!

Top: H&M (similar), Skirt: Smart Set (similar), Boots: c/o Cougar, Bag: Marc Jacobs Single (similar)

I love getting ready for holiday parties - it's fun putting on your best clothes and spending time with friends and family. Of course being comfortable is VERY important to me - which is why I've been loving this wool plaid skirt lately. Paired with opaque tights, it's warm and easy to wear - while the subtle print makes it easy to pattern mix without clashing.

I've shared my top Holiday Party makeup tips in this YouTube video. I gave my friend a makeover using simple but effective steps that are easy to recreate at home. Also - one lucky viewer will win a Target package containing all the makeup used in this video - so be sure to enter here!
 


And if you're looking for hair-styling ideas - I've demonstrated 3 of my favorite holiday hairstyles (with step-by-step instructions) here. From a sleek ponytail to a glam topknot or the loose curls shown below - there's a hairstyle for every occasion!



And finally - if you need outfit inspiration for work, cocktail, family or kids parties - check out this post with seven outfit ideas!



Hope you've found some helpful tips in this post! What's your favorite Holiday Party outfit?

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 

 Credit for 1st Photo: Elaine 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter Style: Black Blazer, Lace Tank and Warm Boots

Jacket: H&M, Top: ExpressBoots: Cougar FIZZ, Clutch: GAP (similar), Necklaces: Forever21 (similar)

I'm a firm believer in dressing warmly... I can't just throw on a coat and be happy - I need cozy covers for my ears, hands and feet too. I think it's because I was born in a tropical country... Hubby was born in England and he's happy wearing a sweatshirt on days when I'm bundled up in my puffy winter coat! (Sidenote: I quickly slipped my coat off to take these photos... it was minus 4C... do I look freezing?)


Since I value warm feet - I was super excited to get the chance to try the FIZZ boots from Cougar. Not only are they oh-so-warm (they're made of Suede with an insulated Micronylex lining)...they're HEAVEN to walk in, because they have a molded memory foam insole. I didn't even know memory foam insoles existed - how come they're not mandatory for all shoes? It makes you feel like you're walking on little clouds! Here are some of my favorite FIZZ-features:
  • Guaranteed waterproof with a non-slip sole - perfect for wet winter weather.
  • Hidden 1.5 inch wedge heel - adds a little bit of height without any discomfort.
  • Almond-shaped toe and pretty gold zipper & tassel details - they work well with jeans but are also chic enough to wear with dresses too!
  • Flexible - some winter boots are stiff and hard to drive with ... these boots allow a full range of movement. This is important to me since I'm a very cautious new driver and pedal control is so crucial!
While the Fizz is my favorite style, I also love the slouchy Fandango Boot and the sturdy Danza Boot too! If you would like your own pair of Cougar Boots - you should definitely enter their contest (details here




Which boots keep your feet warm in the winter?

P.S. For more cold weather tips, check out my Top 5 Snow Day Essentials for Kids.

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express. 

 Photo credit: Elaine 

DISCLOSURE: Boots were provided by Cougar - but I selected the style myself.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Draped Blouse, Leopard Clutch and Pure Red Lips

Shirt: H&M, Jeans: GAP, Booties: Old Navy (similar), Clutch: GAP (similar), Necklace: LOFT

I was so thrilled when I heard that L'Oreal was coming out with a matte red lipstick inspired by Blake Lively - I couldn't wait to try it. So imagine my excitement when I received this package in the mail containing L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Pure Reds!



As with their Nudes range, this Collection Exclusive features "L'Oreal Spokesmodel"-inspired lipsticks and polishes. The Pure Reds range features "matte reds sculpted by semi-tones to offer every woman the perfect shade to enhance her beauty."



I'm wearing Blake's Pure Red Lipstick and Polish in my pictures. The color is gorgeous and the formula is everything I look for in a red lipstick - matte, non-drying and super-long lasting... it does NOT budge!

Doutzen (Fire Red) / Eva (Brick Red) / Blake (Pure Red) / JLo (Ruby Red) / Laetitia (Garnet Red)

As a LOVER of matte red lipsticks, I am obsessed with this range. I feel SO lucky to have received all the different shades to try - I'm going to have the perfect lip to match any holiday outfit I wear!

Doutzen (Fire Red) / Eva (Brick Red) / Blake (Pure Red) / JLo (Ruby Red) / Laetitia (Garnet Red) / Freida (Amaranthe Red)

The nailpolishes come in such pretty shades - I think Blake and Laetitia's berry toned polishes look gorgeous in the winter, while Doutzen's coral color will be pretty for a summer pedicure.

Have you tried anything from the L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Pure Reds line?

In preparation for the holiday season, I've teamed up with a group of U.S. and Canadian Bloggers to gift one lucky reader with a $650 EXPRESS Gift card! Fill in the rafflecopter form below to enter - good luck (and please take me shopping with you if you win LOL!!!)
  
  • Start time: Monday, December 1st at 7am central
  • End time: Monday, December 8th  at 11:59pm central
  • Winner will be announced on Wednesday, December 10th.
  • Open to US and Canadian residents, however, the total of the e-gift card will be based on $650 US dollars.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.

DISCLOSURE: L'Oreal products were sent to me by the company for review.

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