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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bag Review: A Look Inside my Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Leather Satchel

After countless mentions of it on my blog, I don't think it's any surprise that I finally got the Phillip Lim Pashli Mini in Taupe! It was a Congratulations-on-Passing-my-Driving-test gift from hubby. (Sidenote: After years of thinking I could never do it...and being too scared to even try...I still can't believe I passed my driving test!!!)

Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Review

The Pashli Mini comes in a wide range of colours - the black and jade versions are gorgeous, but I love the taupe one the best. It's a light shade but dark enough that you don't have to worry about color transfer. The pebbled leather material is very durable - it's scratch resistant and has even survived being drenched in the rain!

Crystal Bloom Flower Necklace
Shirt: H&M, Necklace: eBay - search for "crystal blooms bib necklace" (similar from Baublebar), Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Old Navy (similar from Target), Bag: Pashli Mini

What Fits Inside the Pashli Mini

My favorite feature of the Pashli Mini is how light yet spacious it is. The dimensions are 7"H x 9"W x 3.5"D with additional interior space when the sides are unzipped. All my daily essentials fit comfortably inside (sunglasses, keys, wallet, iPhone, camera and makeup pouch).

The interior of the Phillip Lim Pashli Mini

Wearing the Pashli Mini

The Pashli Mini is the perfect hands-free crossbody bag. I never get any shoulder pain when I use it because the thick strap distributes the weight evenly. I love the structured shape, stand-up handles and flared out 'wings'.

Outfit featuring Phillip Lim Pashli Mini
Shirt: Forever21 (similar from F21), Necklace: Aldo (similar), Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Old Navy (similar from Target), Bag: Pashli Mini

Disadvantages:

While I absolutely love my Pashli Mini, there are some factors to consider before deciding if this bag would work for you:
  • Shoulder strap - the 25" shoulder strap is TOO long - after I adjusted the strap for my height (5'4"), there was a long length just sticking out. Right now I tuck the excess strap into the bag, but I might try looping it around the buckle so that it's not in my way. 
  • How often you open your bag - closing the push lock can be tricky (you need both hands to click it in place) and unfastening and refastening the button tab on the handles can be a chore. I don't need to open my bag that frequently because I usually just slip my iPhone in and out of the side wings - but I do need some extra time to take out my wallet. I wouldn't recommend this bag if you had to access your bag contents multiple times a day.
  • Scratched hardware - the brushed metal push lock closure gets marked easily - mine already has a few scratches. I don't mind because I think it works with the rugged texture of the bag, but if it would bother you, I wouldn't get this bag.

Mini Pashli Phillip Lim Bag


Celebs wearing the Pashli Mini

I love how the Pashli Mini works with both casual wear (on Rachel Bilson) and for a night out (on Emma Roberts). And how gorgeous is the vibrant green bag Reese Witherspoon is carrying? (She has a larger version of the Pashli.)

Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Bilson, Emma Roberts Phillip Lim Pashli Mini

Hope this review was helpful if you were thinking about purchasing the Pashli mini yourself (ahem...Jessy!) Note for Canadian Readers - if you're wondering where to buy a Pashli, we purchased mine from Holt Renfrew.

Similar (in appearance, not price) to the Pashli Mini is the Target Satchel from the Phillip Lim x Target collaboration, the dimensions are alike but the designs are different - the Target one is faux leather, with a top zip closure, and was a bargain at $35! Unfortunately they sold out so quickly that I never even got the chance to see them in person.

Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here


Disclaimer: This bag was a gift from Hubby. Please don't mind the "not for sale" watermarks - I've had to add them to some of my pictures after sweet blog readers have emailed me weblinks of my pictures being used on sketchy bag sale sites!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Winner of my WANTABLE Giveaway....



Thank you to everyone who entered my Wantable giveaway! The lucky winner of their very own Wantable box is......

HaleyFaye

Please check your email - and congrats!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Going Blonde...Getting the Perfect Touch of Ombre with L'Oreal

I was invited by L'Oreal to discover my perfect ombre look using their at-home haircolour kits. I had been wanting to change up my haircolour, so I was very excited about this opportunity!

Product review Superior Preference Ombre Touch in OT5
Photo Credit: Elaine

Eric Del Monaco (Official Hair Artist & Colourist for L'Oreal Paris) provided me with a personalized consultation. He recommended creating a subtle blonde ombre using Superior Preference Ombre Touch in OT5 (Light Brown to Medium Brown Hair).


The application process was super simple - it only took 10 minutes. My top layer was sectioned off, and Daniel (a stylist at the Del Monaco Salon) used the thimble applicator from the kit to comb streaks of colour through the middle layer of my hair. He then unclipped my top layers, gently placed it over my middle layers, and highlighted a couple of face-framing strands. I waited 30 minutes for the colour to develop - just enough time to chat with Elaine and take a salon-selfie!


After 30 minutes, Daniel washed my hair with the conditioning shampoo from the kit. He then applied L'Oreal Color Radiance Precious Oils and blow-dried my hair. When it was dry, he used a curling iron and L'Oreal Elnett Satin Stronghold Hairspray to create voluminous curls.

L'Oreal Color Radiance Precious Oil

Can't believe it only took 3 products to create my new hair style! I'm amazed at how light my hair got with the ombre kit - it's very powerful. There are definitely some gold strands in my hair, but because it's in the middle layer, it just peeks through - so it doesn't look choppy or shocking. Although I'll be able to recreate this colour at home (with the ombre kit) - I wish I had Daniel's talent so that I could recreate my style too...I can never get such perfect curls myself! Here's the end result - with the 2 people responsible for my look: Eric and Daniel:

Photo Credit: Elaine

In between the colour and consultation, I got the chance to catch up with some other Toronto Beauty Bloggers - which is always my favorite part!

With: Emily, Elaine and Tess

My outfit for the event:

Shirt: H&M, Necklace: J.Crew Factory (this season's version), Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Old Navy (similar from Target), Bag: Balenciaga


Not only did L'Oreal ombre my hair - they provided me with all the products I need to keep it looking shiny and healthy - look at these massive bottles of Color Radiance shampoo and conditioner! And a bottle of Precious Oils of my own - so excited!



Would you ever try the ombre look? And if so, would you ever use an at-home kit?

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

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring is for Lovers...Lancôme LIP LOVER!

I received a gorgeous trio of lip products from Lancôme, just in time for Spring! The latest addition to their In Love line, the Lip Lover range contains 21 glosses based on varying shades of pink. Basic Chic contains fresh and delicate glosses, while Creative Chic has deeper and more daring tints.


I have one Basic Chic gloss (318 Abricot Tango) and two Creative Chic glosses (355 Framboise Étoile & 362 Bordeaux Tempo). The vibrant Framboise Étoile was the perfect match for my favorite rose scarf. True to its promise, this Creative Chic shade definitely delivered a deep and saturated color!


PRODUCT INFORMATION

The Lip Lover range provides colour (lipstick pigments), shine (non-sticky, silicone-infused oil formulation) and lipcare (eight-hour moisture). They are beautifully fragranced: Basic Chic is scented with rose petals, vanilla and raspberry (seriously adore this scent!) and Creative Chic is perfumed with Rose, Iris and Violet.

I have to rave about the composition of these glosses, the oil-based formula is so unique! They apply in a light layer, without any waxy or cakey feeling, yet they manage to stay on your lips and leave them feeling soothed and moisturized for hours. I usually prep my lips with balm before applying my makeup, but that step is completely unnecessary with this gloss.

COLOR SWATCHES 


The Creative Chic line is very pigmented since they show up on my dark lips. The glosses provide a long-lasting tint which wears off evenly over time (on my lips, Framboise Étoile still showed up 4 hours after application - great staying power for a gloss!) However, I would not pair these with a lip liner, as when the gloss gradually fades, you'd be left with a ring of liner around your lips. I've been loving Abricot Tango for daily wear. The shimmery coral shade makes my lips look plumped up, and it goes perfectly with peachy blushed cheeks and dark, lined lashes.

PACKAGING

Lancome Lip Lovers Basic Chic gloss (318 Abricot Tango) and Creative Chic glosses (355 Framboise Étoile & 362 Bordeaux Tempo)

The Lip Lover glosses come packaged in a chic silver tube with a click-button closure - it definitely looks and feels luxe! Since I haven't been using a lip liner with these glosses, I've been especially loving the pointed tip applicator - it lets me trace my cupid's bow and apply the gloss with the precision of a lip brush.


Montmartre / Mug / Pashli Mini / Rockstuds / Laduree Keychain

I created a mood board inspired by the Framboise Étoile shade worn in my picture. How much fun would it be to stroll around a quaint Parisian neighbourhood, wearing chic accessories while sipping on coffee?

Want to win a Lip Lover gloss? Lancôme is currently running a contest, visit this website for the chance to win your favourite shade!

Additionally, you can use the code LIPLOVER for 10% OFF + Free Shipping applicable on any purchase on Lancome.ca between March 24th to April 25th inclusively.


DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are 100% my own.

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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mad about a ZARA Bag, Blossom Lounge Water Challenge & Dress Like Gwyneth!

There are certain ZARA items that have reached cult status among bloggers - these colorblock heels, THAT napkin skort and last winter's sought-after plaid scarf. Two popular items from this season are the Court Shoes with Bows and the Mini City Bag with Zip Details.


I saw the Mini City bag in person, and I'm in love - it's a GORGEOUS taupe-ish pink color...and looks like a cross between the Celine Nano (structure & zip) and Pashli Mini bag (button tab on the handles). Although I was seriously tempted by the bag, I left it in store so that I could think about it. What would you do - get this adorable faux-leather bag (which costs less and may last a season or two with heavy use) or invest in the Pashli Mini (which is pricier but made of real leather, with a reputation for durablity?)


I'm featured on Blossom Lounge's blog after completing the Blossom X BKR Water challenge! In my mind, I had always thought of myself as someone who drinks a lot of water (I never leave the house without a bottle!)...but in reality, I wasn't drinking as much as I should have been. Participating in this challenge made me more aware of my drinking habits - and it showed me that consistently drinking adequate water REALLY does help my skin look its best!


1. LOFT / 2. OLD NAVY  / 3. EXPRESS / 4. GARAGE / 5. FOREVER21 / 6. ALDO


Gwyneth Paltrow has been in the news non-stop since she decided to 'consciously uncouple' from Chris Martin. Although she used an unusual (and some might say pretentious) phrase to describe her separation, as long as she has her family's best interests at heart, I can't fault her. On a more frivolous note, I've always had a huge style crush on her - if you have too, you'll want to check out my Steal Her Style post - which includes some fashion misses as well as hits!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Inside my WANTABLE Accessories Box & Giveaway!

Do you remember this statement necklace that I wore to Fashion week?  It's vibrant, eye-catching and a definite conversation starter. When people asked me where I got it from, I said....Wantable!



What is Wantable?

Wantable is a beauty, accessories and intimates subscription box. For $36 a month, you get a box filled with full-size products personalized to fit your style. It's a fun way to receive a mix of new items every month - and if you're ever not happy with your box, you can send it back for a full refund! Before placing an order, users select a category (makeup products, boutique accessories or essential intimates) and fill in a fun quiz, to ensure that the products they receive will suit their personal style. Wantable ships to the US, UK, Canada & Australia.

I was recently contacted by Wantable and asked if I would be interested in trying out one of their boxes. After checking out the amazing boxes in the #wantable instagram feed, I immediately said yes! And with my love of scarves and necklaces - it's no surprise that I opted for the accessories box.


Inside my Wantable Box:

In my profile quiz, I got to choose what I Loved, Liked and Disliked. Wantable says "You're most likely to receive products you Love and will never receive products you Dislike." My Loves were: Classic, Glam, Necklaces, Watches, Scarves & Multi Tone. My Dislikes were: Rock 'n Roll, Bracelets & Hair Accessories.

I think Wantable did an amazing job catering to my preferences. My box contained the Iris Necklace (retail value $36), Rose Romance Earrings (retail value $24) and Sonya Scarf (retail value $32). In terms of quality, the jewelry is very well-made - definitely more attention to detail and better materials than the jewelry at Forever21 and H&M (where I usually buy my statement necklaces). They even come with their own velvet pouches for safe storage! To be honest, I'm not completely sure if the Sonya scarf is worth $32 - while it is super-soft and finely woven, I've seen similar scarves sold for $20 at the mall. However, even if we lower the price of the scarf, the retail value of the box still significantly exceeds the $36 subscription fee.


What I Love About Wantable:

I loved how the box was a mix of items that I would pick out for myself (the earrings and scarf) and pieces that suit me but take me slightly out of my comfort zone. I'm not sure I would have bought the Iris necklace myself - while I love the jeweled medallion and brushed gold chain as individual pieces, I find the combination a bit intimidating and bold. Yet it really was the perfect piece to round out my Fashion Week outfit - I think it's partially responsible for me being picked to participate in the FLARE Street Style video! And I think this element of surprise is what makes hand-picked boxes fun - the opportunity to try pieces that suit you, yet also push your boundaries.

Want to Win a Wantable Box?

Exciting news: Wantable is offering one of my readers the chance to win a makeup, accessories or intimates box of their own!  To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Contest is open to US, Canadian, UK and Australian residents!!! If you're under 18, you must have your parents' permission to enter. Contest ends April 11, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLAIMER: I received the Wantable box for review - but all opinions are 100% my own. I am not being compensated for this post.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Forever 21 Haul & SPARKing My Photography Skills

I had a lunch date with my bestie S today, with a minor detour at Forever21 - we couldn't resist all their colorful spring offerings.
LOVE21 Floral and Chiffon Paneled Top

Some of my best Forever21 finds are from LOVE21, which has a more sophisticated and contemporary focus. It was love at first sight with this light & bright floral top.

Forever21 Rose Scarf

The long and drawn-out winter has made me seriously crave florals in all forms...so this pretty rose scarf HAD to come home with me (there was only one in store, and I can't find it online). I nearly bought this plaid scarf too - I love the soft blue and red prints.

Down-To-Earth Leaf Leggings

S and I were having serious 90s flashbacks at the store (crop tops, oversize plaid shirts, hippie-chic maxi dresses, printed floral jumpsuits). We weren't too tempted by any of those items since we'd already been there and done that ;-) But I did love the print on these leggings - I didn't buy them (kind of regretting it now!) but if I did, I would pair them with an oversized t-shirt and gold sandals.

Forever21 Horseshoe pendant, Forever Glam Drop Earrings
Cupcake pendant, Parisian pendant , Touch-Of-Glam Faux Stone Studs, Wishbone pendant, Forever Glam Drop Earrings

I don't think I've ever walked out of their accessories section empty-handed. This time I picked up a cupcake pendant for my daughter (I couldn't find it online but it was only $1.80!), 2 delicate chain pendants and some seriously sparkly earrings.

 Mod Girl Satchel (hot pink) & Classic Structured Crossbody (blush pink)
Signature Quilted Shoulder Bag (mint),  Fancy Quilted Shoulder Bag (blush pink), Mod Girl Satchel (hot pink) & Classic Structured Crossbody (blush pink)

The current bag selection is AMAZING. I tried on the mint quilted bag, while my friend S purchased the Cambridge Satchel-inspired Mod Girl Satchel. I nearly picked up a satchel for myself, but I'm saving for a certain mini Pashli - so I wanted to be good.

Shopping OOTD:
Shirt: Express, Jeans: GAP (this season's version), Booties: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Coach (identical from Michael Kors), Necklace: From a stall

YESTERDAY'S OOTD:

Sweater: Garage, Shirt: H&M, Necklace: H&M (similar),, Bag: Coach (identical from Michael Kors), Jeans: Garage, Boots: Old Navy (similar),

I can't wait for next weekend - I've signed up for the SPARK session photography workshop. I learned SO much at their blogging conference last year (read about my experience here) - so I know that this photography course will be AMAZING. The workshops organizers are the top beauty & fashion bloggers in Canada (including one of my blogging besties Elaine!) so they're able to provide the most relevant information. I really want to improve my outfit and product photography - and this workshop will teach everything from photo composition, to camera settings and photo-editing. There are only a few spaces left - so if you're in the GTA and looking to take your blog photography to the next level - hurry up and purchase your tickets here! We can study together :-)

DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post, I purchased the Forever21 items and SPARK tickets myself.

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

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Attending Fashion Week + Street Style with FLARE

Fall/Winter 2014 World Mastercard Fashion Week took place in Toronto last week. I was super excited to attend the Joe Fresh Runway show AND go behind the scenes to view hair and makeup with Redken and Maybelline.

Screencap from Video by Max Kopanygin

While waiting backstage, I was asked if I wanted to participate in Flare Magazine's Street Style Video - SO exciting - was a major Pinch Me - Am I Dreaming moment. Here are some screen caps - I've embedded the videos at the bottom of this post.

Screencap from Video by Max Kopanygin

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Shirt: Garage (similar), Skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar), Necklace: Wantable (similar), Bag: Chanel WOC

Despite the cold and rainy weather, I wanted to wear lots of florals to remind me of Spring. I paired my colorful pencil skirt with a chunky statement necklace c/o Wantable (an accessories subscription box service that I'll be reviewing soon.) I carried my Chanel Half-Moon WOC (a recent purchase - I keep meaning to post a bag review - I adore it!)


Click here to read my post on the beauty tips I picked up backstage!

Dream Wonder Powder, Colorshow Nailpolish in Punk Rock Pink, Hi-Lighting Bronzer & Lip Colour Elixir in Dashing Orchid


After the show, I received this adorable Maybelline x LMA denim tote, filled with exciting products to try. I'm already in love with the Lip Colour Elixir in Dashing Orchid - not only is it in Spring's hottest colour - it's very moisturizing and super shiny too!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Winners of the '5 Minute, 5 Product' Revlon Giveaway



Thank you to everyone who entered my contest - this was the most popular giveaway I've ever held on the blog, with 586 entries! I used random.org to pick out the winners:

Brenda Penton
Carly
Susan Jakovina- Liberatore

Congratulations! Please check your inboxes for an email from me. These 5 product kits will be so much fun to try out - I hope you'll love yours as much as I love mine!
 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Top 5 Trends for Spring - My First Youtube Video!!!

Just a quick post to share some exciting news - I filmed my first Youtube video!!!

I've always loved watching Youtube videos, but never really thought of making any myself - I'm so happy to get the opportunity to try it out. Please click this link to watch it!



Do you watch a lot of videos on Youtube?


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

Monday, March 3, 2014

The 5 Minute, 5 Product Face: Tutorial & Revlon Giveaway




I love using makeup to enhance my features, but I don't always have a lot of time to apply it. Luckily, a fresh-faced look doesn't have to involve a lot of time or products. In this 5-minute, 5-product tutorial, I've condensed my makeup into 5 easy steps, focusing on minimal effort for maximum impact. This would be a great everyday makeup routine, or a simple work makeup look.

To make this tutorial even more fun, I've collaborated with Revlon - choosing 5 of their most effective products to create this look AND hosting a giveaway with them! Three of my Canadian readers will win ALL of these products (Retail Value Per Set: CAD$60+) so that they can recreate this whole look at home!

♥♥♥♥ Thank you Revlon for being so generous to my readers ♥♥♥♥

THE TUTORIAL:

Makeup to wear for work
  1. Apply foundation all over your face, using your fingertips or a brush.
  2. Dab blush on the apples of your cheeks. You can use your fingertips but I prefer this $3 stippling brush.
  3. Use the highlighting end of the pencil to line the inner corner of your eyes. Use the eyeliner side to draw a line above your lashes. Keep the line thin on the inner corner of your eyes, and thicker near the edges.
  4. Apply mascara at the base of your lashes, wiggling back and forth to coat them thoroughly. Dip the wand in the tube and reapply, this time brushing the lashes from root to tip. Repeat until you achieve the volume you desire.
  5. Use the crayon to outline your lips, and then color them in.

PRODUCTS USED:

simple makeup routine

  1. Revlon Age-Defying Firming + Lifting Makeup (Tender Beige) - this lightweight foundation glides on smoothly, providing radiant coverage - I was pleasantly surprised to skip my usual under-eye concealer step! Very well-designed packaging, the sleek bottle with a precision pump allows you to dispense only what you need.
  2. Revlon Cream Blush (Flushed) - I've always been a huge fan of cream blushes, and I love the formulation of this blush. You only need the tiniest amount to get a natural looking healthy glow.
  3. Revlon Photoready Kajal (Carbon Cleopatra) - Such a genius double-sided product - everything you need to make your eyes look big and bright: luminous highlighter AND intense black eyeliner. Super easy to apply and surprisingly long-lasting too.
  4. Revlon Lash Potion Volume + Length Mascara (Blackest Black) - My favorite Revlon mascara to date - this version uses proteins and vitamins to nourish lashes. The specially designed 'Illusionist Wand' makes it easy to build dramatic volume without any clumps.
  5. Revlon Colorburst Laquer Balm (Vivacious) - It's no surprise that the Colorburst Crayons are one of the most-raved about lip products around. They provide the precision of a liner, the pigmentation of a lipstick and the hydration of a balm. My lips are naturally quite dark (as seen in steps 1-4 above) yet this lightweight balm shows up easily on my lips. Longtime readers of my blog know how much I love Revlon lip products - and these crayons are no exception - I currently own 4...and will undoubtedly be adding to my collection!

Everyday Makeup Tutorial on Make A Gif

THE CONTEST:

Three lucky readers will win ALL 5 products pictured above (winner specifies their foundation shade). Entering is easy - use the Rafflecopter form below. This contest is ONLY open to Canadian residents excluding Quebec. If you're under 18, you must have your parents' permission to enter this contest. Contest ends March 18, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Beauty Water Challenge & Style Vision Board

BKR bottle in kitten

This month I'm taking Blossom Lounge & BKR's beauty water challenge. Every day in March, I'll be drinking 5 bottles of water daily (using this adorable pink BKR water bottle - also sold here for my US readers) - that's a total of 2.5 litres per day! I've taken a picture of my skin - and will be sharing a 'before & after' shot at the end of this month. I'm so glad I made this commitment - and can't wait to see what the results will be. Of course, you don't need a BKR bottle to take part in this challenge, but I have to say - having a glass bottle makes water taste SO much better - and it's so cute, I always have it by my side!


I had some "me-time" this weekend, and put together another vision board (read about my love for vision boards in this post). So much hair, outfit and make-up inspiration...all in one place! Definitely inspires me to try and look my best. I've put it in a glass frame and have it hanging in my dressing area - it's especially motivating when I'm feeling blah and want to spend the day in my pajamas!

Recent outfits:

I loved incorporating lace into my winterwear with this peplum top.

Sweater: New Look (SO old!), Lace Peplum: Target (similar), Necklace: Forever21, Jeans: Target (similar), Boots: Old Navy (similar)

I wore my twin polka-dot chambray shirt from this post - and I highly recommend it. Grab it now, it's on sale PLUS 30% off!

Shirt: Old Navy, Necklace: Forever21 (similar), Leggings: H&M, Boots: Old Navy (similar)

By the way - if you're looking for more outfit inspiration, check out my Steal Her Style - Reese Witherspoon post!

1. GAP 2. Forever21 3. ALDO 4. Coach 5. American Eagle Outfitters

Do you have a vision board? Which picture do you like the best from my vision board? I think I'm in love with Kate Bosworth's glam feminine style.

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


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