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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Essentials: The Plaid Blanket Scarf

ZARA Camel Plaid Blanket Scarf Dupe
Scarf: Forever21 (identical), Blazer: H&M (similar), Boots: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Balenciaga Lips: Lady Danger

With temperatures dropping, it's definitely 'scarf and boots' weather now. I thought it would be fun to post a series of my Fall Essentials, starting with the Plaid Blanket Scarf. These over-sized scarves became popular last winter - with everyone trying to track down the infamous ZARA camel blanket scarf (posted about here). It's no surprise that Plaid Blanket Scarves continue to be popular this fall - the cheerful print combined with voluminous material make them ideal for keeping you warm and cozy in the colder months...what's not to love?

Although I missed out on the ZARA original, I was very happy to find this brightly-colored alternative at Forever21 last January. It's no longer available - but I've found a lot of VERY similar pieces at ASOS - see below!

Tartan Blanket Scarf
1. Grey Check / 2. Grey Plaid / 3. Square Check / 4. Camel Check

A quick mirror pic of my outfit:

ZARA Camel Plaid Blanket Scarf Dupe
Scarf: Forever21 (identical), Blazer: H&M (similar), Boots: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Balenciaga

And in case you're looking for plaid shirts rather than plaid scarves, check out my latest post for Yummy Mummy Club here!

Joe Fresh / J.Crew Factory / Old Navy / Garage / LOFT

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

P.S. If you're looking to take your blog to the next level - be sure to sign up for Spark Sessions! I attended last year and learned so much about working with brands and improving my photography skills.

 Photo credit for 1st photo: Elaine 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fall Make-Up Tutorial: Berry Lips & Double Winged Cat Eye

This tutorial features a Parisian-inspired makeup look that's perfect for fall. It takes a seasonal staple - Berry Lips - and pairs it with Shimmery Shadow and a Double Winged Cat Eye for added drama. To ensure long-lasting results, I'll be using products from Revlon's Colorstay line. Want to recreate the look? I'll be giving away all the products mentioned below to one lucky reader! Follow along, it's easy - there are only 4 steps:

Step 1- Shimmery Shadow: Apply Petal all over the lid, use Greige to define the crease and outer corner of the eye. Optional: Wet your brush to increase intensity.

Step 2 - Double Wing & Bold Lashes: Glide Colorstay Skinny Liquid Liner across the lashline, winging it out at the ends. Angle the liner brush at the corner of the eye and draw on a second wing. Curl lashes and coat with Bold Lacquer Mascara. (I'm LOVING this mascara - it has a dry formula, which easily creates volumized smoky lashes.)

Step 3 - Pouty Berry Lips: Dab ColorStay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion on lips. Bonus Tip: Apply a shimmery eyeshadow (like Petal) on the center of lips to add dimension and make them look fuller. (Revlon lip products are always amazing. This Moisture Stain is so light - I can't even feel it on my lips. And when the gloss wears off - it leaves behind the prettiest stain!)

Step 4 - Chic Black & White Manicure: Finish off the look with a super-shiny gel manicure - use Blackjack polish, with Sure Thing applied as an accent nail. Optional: slip on a midi ring for a bit of sparkle! (Probably one of the best gel polishes I've tried - I've had glossy chip-free nails for a week!)

If you would like to win a Paris-inspired box of Revlon makeup products, head over to my Instagram: like this photo & comment below it confirming that you have a Canadian mailing address. One follower will be selected. RULES: To be eligible to win this prize you must: 1) follow me on Instagram, 2) be over 18 years old, 3) Reside in Canada. Contest ends on October 11 - check back here to see who won!

UPDATE (12/10/2014 - Winner is @retr0philiac)

What is your favourite Fall Make-Up Trend?

DISCLAIMER: Revlon sent me the products pictured above to use in this tutorial.

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Carousel Necklace & Sundial Key Pendant from Pink Lovebird Boutique

I was recently contacted by Pink Lovebird Boutique - they asked if I wanted to try any of their statement necklaces. I chose 2 necklaces - the Carousel Necklace:

Coach Pink Saffiano Wallet

And the Sundial Key Pendant (currently out of stock):

Aren't they both so beautiful? I've been wearing them non-stop: when I want to add a burst of colour, I wear the Carousel necklace:

Dress: H&M (similar, pricey but classic), Necklace: Pink Lovebird, Bag: Pashli

Trench: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Minkoff, Shoes: Wanted (similar), Necklace: Pink Lovebird

And when I want to add a touch of sparkle, I wear the Sundial Key Pendant:

Shirt: ZARA (similar), Jeans: GAP, Shoes: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Pashli

If you're based in Canada - I'd definitely recommend checking out Pink Lovebird Boutique - they're reasonably priced (between $25-$50), amazing quality (no loose stones or discoloured metal) AND they have free shipping within Canada! Plus, if you use the code ELLA10, you get 10% off your order! One of their hottest items is this Duchess Crystal Necklace - similar to the one Kate Middleton wore here.

Which of these 2 necklaces would you wear the most?

DISCLAIMER: Necklaces were provided by the boutique - but I truly love them and selected the styles myself.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting Ready for a Makeover with Clairol Shift a Shade!

I've always enjoyed the process of getting dressed up. I remember weekends at university - half of the fun of going to parties was getting ready with my friends before heading out. These days, I still set aside some time each day to select an outfit and put makeup on so that I leave the house looking and feeling my best...even if the high point of some days is only the school run! Of course, when I'm invited to an event, I go all out - I have a whole getting-ready ritual which involves playing Youtube videos in the background while heat styling my hair and putting on my favourite makeup products.

Ready to get rid of my bleached out & brassy ombre!

Since I always want to be the best version of myself, I was very excited about the opportunity to partner with Clairol for a “Shift a Shade” hair update! I was given the opportunity to freshen up my overall look by consulting with: Luis Pacheco (a Clairol Consulting Colourist and owner of Hair on the Avenue ), a leading makeup artist and a national stylist! I loved the concept of slightly shifting my look, while remaining true to my original style.

I was definitely ready for a hair update! After my hair-mergency in June, I was left with a bleached-out ombre - and the ends of my hair were dry and brassy. Even though I cut off three inches of dried out ends, and used a toning shampoo - my hair still wasn't where I wanted it to be. I need a proper shift for Fall - and I’m in the mood for glossy brown hair! With Clairol Nice 'n Easy, a single-step permanent hair colour, I’m hoping I’ll be able to get rid of the yellow streaks while retaining multi-dimensional colour. (Click here to print out $2-off coupon for Clairol Nice n' Easy)

For my makeup consultation, I want to learn how to make my lips look fuller while wearing the bright shades that I love. Most beauty experts say that you should wear nude glossy shades to make thin lips look bigger - but I don’t want to be limited, especially since I adore orange-red lipsticks!

And for my session with a stylist, I want tips on how to dress up denim. As much as I love the look of pencil skirts and wrap dresses, I spend most of my time in jeans - it's just more practical for my day-to-day activities. So I’m looking for a compromise - keep the jeans - but learn what to pair them with to make them look elegant and stylish.

I can’t wait to head down to Hair on the Avenue and meet with the experts. I know it will be a memorable day and I can't wait to share details on my next post - stay tuned!

Go bolder. Go warmer. Go deeper. Go golder. With our broadest spectrum of natural looking shades, you can change it up and still look like your most amazing you. Get inspired and #shiftashade. Nice ‘n Easy with Colour-blend Technology is available in 44 shades. For more information visit Clairol.ca.  

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Procter & Gamble via Glam Media Canada. The bloggers were compensated for the Clairol Shift A Shade campaign and were asked to review our products. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Procter & Gamble.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Style an Embellished Sweatshirt: LovePrettyXLOFT

I'm finishing off my trio of Fall LOFT posts (1,2) with this intricately adorned Jeweled Sweatshirt.

LOFT Embellished Sweatshirt
Sweatshirt / Shirt / Jeans / Shoes / Bag / Lips - Brick

I love the combination of soft terry fabric with elaborate beading - it almost feels like cheating since you're wearing a sweatshirt (yay for comfort) yet it looks so dressed-up!

To give this top the LovePretty treatment, Elaine glammed it up with edgy accessories (doesn't she look like she could be snapped for Toronto Fashion Week?) while I layered it over a button-down to demonstrate how it can be worn casually yet still look polished.

How to Style an Emebellished Sweatshirt

We hope you enjoyed this latest #LovePrettyXLOFT installment! We were pleasantly surprised to see Oliva Palermo and Emmy Rossum followed our advice and tried on the Mustard Shirt Dress from our last post:

LOFT Mustard Shirt Dress with Floral Piping

Okay....maybe they wore it before we did :-)

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

Photo credit: Elaine 

DISCLAIMER: LOFT provided us with these sweatshirts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mustard with Pops of Blue: Bloom Pencil Skirt & LOFT Fall Preview

Old Navy Cobalt Blue Heels
Shirt: Express (similar), Skirt: LOFT, Shoes: Old Navy, Necklace: Wantable (similar), Bag: Balenciaga, Lips: Lady Danger
I was recently invited to my first TIFF party, hosted by L'Oreal at the Shangri-La Toronto. I was SO excited to attend a glam event, and wanted to wear something colorful and elegant to celebrate. I've been loving mustard this fall - so I chose this Autumn Bloom Pencil Skirt, and paired it with cream and gold accents, contrasted with pops of cobalt blue.

I first spotted this mustard skirt at the LOFT Fall preview - I loved its longer length (the regular is knee-length on me - I'm 5'4) and that it could be dressed down with a t-shirt or dressed up with a blouse. Scroll down for some of my other faves from the preview:

LOFT Tweed Zip Pocket Skirt 

Love this pairing of a light shirt with a burgundy tweed skirt - it's a great way to bring chambray into the fall. I have some similar pieces in my wardrobe, and I'm definitely going to wear them like this!

This Piped shirtdress is so slinky - the white piping makes it look tailored and formal while the soft material is comfortable and casual - I'm also loving the shirt version of this dress.

The Snow Leopard Print Car Coat was a crowd favorite at the preview - it's definitely a statement piece!

I don't often wear heels with jeans - but if I did - these Peeptoe Booties would be my first choice - they're gorgeous.

I hope you liked the sneak peek of my favourite LOFT pieces...one of the background items will be featured in our next LovePrettyXLOFT post! I'll end with 2 Instagram pictures from the TIFF L'Oreal party:

Shirt: Express (similar), Skirt: LOFT, Shoes: Old Navy, Necklace: Wantable (similar), Bag: Balenciaga, Lips: Lady Danger

A quick selfie before I left the house!

With my Beauty Blogger babes: Nelle, Ashley, Elaine & Rema. We were all SO excited because Julianne Moore was hosting the event!

Which is your favorite piece from the LOFT preview?

DISCLAIMER: Skirt provided by LOFT.

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

LovePrettyXLOFT: The Mustard Shirt Dress

LOFT Tiny Floral Piped Shirtdress in Golden Mustard

Mustard clothing will be a huge trend this fall, so it's no surprise that this floral piped shirt dress from LOFT is such a popular item. Elaine and I gave it the LovePretty treatment - we had so much fun showcasing this dress using our "one piece, two styles" motto! To highlight its seasonal versatility, Elaine styled it for warm weather, while I layered up and showed how I'd wear it when the temperature drops.

LOFT Mustard Shirt Dress
Dress / Bag / Boots

The dress features a lot of pretty details including a small floral print, black piping on the collar, and a black fabric belt. To offset its feminine design I kept my accessories to a minimum: flat boots and my City bag. This dress can also be worn buttoned to the top, as shown in the LOFT lookbook.

This is the first item of mustard clothing in my wardrobe - I wasn't really sure if it would suit my colouring - but I was pleasantly surprised once I tried the dress on. Mustard works well with gold, bronze and brown shades - it brought out the highlights in my hair - and I think it would look really pretty with a bronzed glowy makeup look. Click here to see how Elaine styled her dress!

LOFT Mustard Shirt Dress

Do you own any mustard pieces? How would you style this dress? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

DISCLAIMER: LOFT provided us with these dresses.

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

Photo credit: Elaine 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lotions, Liner & Lashes: Tatcha, Lancome Grandiose & Benefit They're Real

I've been feeling super-pampered recently as I've been testing out some very LUXE products!

TATCHA Aburatorigami blotting papers review

First up is a trio of products from luxury skincare brand TATCHA. Inspired by Geisha skincare rituals, TATCHA takes classic ingredients and adapts them for modern life. The Soothing Silk body butter and hand cream are infused with indigo extract - which helps promote the skin's natural healing ability. I've been using the body butter every night (on dry skin, as per the instructions). It spreads easily and absorbs immediately, leaving skin supple and glowing with a slight sheen. The product has a light citrusy-sweet scent that is so fresh and invigorating!

I was very excited to try the Aburatorigami blotting papers, as they are the ULTIMATE in blotting papers...they've been raved about in Vogue and the Zoe Report! Created from Abaca-leaf paper hammered with gold-leaf, these generously sized sheets absorbed every last bit of oil from my face, leaving my skin glowing and my makeup undisturbed - will definitely be stocking up on these.

Lancome Grandiose Mascara Swatches

Next up in luxury beauty is Lancome's Grandiose. This is the prettiest packaging I've ever seen on a mascara - there's a beautiful 3-D black rose encased in the lid, while the wand swoops in a "swan-neck" design that's both elegant and functional.

Lancome Grandiose Mascara Swatches

Pictured with 3 coats of Grandiose versus my bare lashes

The unique swan-neck design made it super easy to get the wand close to the base of my lashes. The comb-like bristles (of varying lengths) ensured even application and prevented any clumping from occuring. The formula is very lengthening, as you can see in the photos above - it even coated my sparse inner lashes and made them more noticeable.

Benefit They're Real Mascara Review

And while we're on the topic of lashes, my eyes were treated to the whole Benefit They're Real experience - from mascara to liner and makeup remover.

Benefit They're Real Mascara Swatches

Let's focus on the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner since it has redefined the whole gel liner experience. Rather than using a gel pot and a liner brush, this product uses a pen with a slant-tip rubber applicator to dispense the product. It took me a couple of tries to get used to this -  it's a different process using a rubber tip applicator versus a soft brush! But once I got the hang of it, I was able to stamp on a perfectly-angled cat's eye - no guesswork involved, the slant tip creates the perfect wing.

On days when I don't want a dramatic liner look, I gently press the product along my lash line for thicker-looking lashes. The liner formula is matte, smoky and very long-wearing. This is definitely a great product to keep in my travel makeup bag - as I can get the gel look without fussing with an extra brush.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favorite mascara and liner products?

DISCLAIMER: These products were sent to me for review but all opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wearing my Heart on my Wrist & Michael Kors Cross-body Bag

Longines Watch Dolce Vita Mini Ladies Watch

I'd seen Alex and Ani bracelets featured in magazines and worn by my favourite Youtubers, so I was super-excited to have been sent the Bamboo Beaded Bangle and Claddagh Charm Bangle. These bracelets are infused with positive energy - both in the way they are produced, and in the symbols inscribed on them. The Claddagh charm represents love, loyalty & friendship, while the Bamboo invokes strength and protection. I love meaningful jewelry and will definitely be wearing these bangles a lot - especially the bamboo one!

Michael Kors Selma Mini Messenger bag Luggage

In other exciting news, I've been asked by Mapleview Centre to take over their instagram account and share my top back-to-school picks for Moms and Kids. My favorite finds were these 2 bags from Michael Kors - the Hamilton Traveler Cross-Body bag and the Selma Mini Messenger bag. They're the perfect size for school-run essentials (wallet, sunglasses, phone & keys). I'm especially loving the new shape and smooth Vitelo leather of the Hamilton Traveler - if I didn't already have my Pashli Mini, I'd be super-tempted to buy this instead!

Top: Garage (similar), Necklace: c/o PinkLoveBird (similar),  Hat: Target (similar), Jeans: GAP, Shoes: Target

I've been living in my GAP distressed boyfriend jeans this summer - they work well with all my favorites: lace, button downs, florals. I love how they add a bit of texture to simple outfits, although sometimes I wonder if I'm the wrong demographic to wear them - I've been "told off" by my parents AND my kids for wearing torn clothes!

LV Speedy 25
Top: H&M, Necklace: c/o PinkLoveBird (similar), Bag: LV Speedy 25, Jeans: GAP, Shoes: Target

Top:  F21, Necklace: c/o PinkLoveBird (similar), Bag: M&S (cute option), Jeans: GAP, Shoes: Sam Edelman

These Camo pants are also from the GAP, but I have a harder time figuring out what to pair them with, as I don't like them to look too casual.

Top:  c/o Skip N' Whistle (similar), Jacket: American Eagle, Bag: Marc Jacobs Single, Jeans: GAP (similar), Shoes: F21 (similar)

Have you heard of Alex and Ani bracelets? Do you love the MK Hamilton Traveler bag as much as I do? And do people think you're wearing torn clothes when you're JUST trying to make a fashion statement, LOL?

DISCLAIMER: The Alex and Ani bracelets were sent to me.

P.S. I've entered Smart Set's Denim Stylist contest - it would mean a LOT to me if you could click this link and vote for me :-) Extra incentive: each voter gets entered to win a $50 gift card from Smart Set!!!

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Popsicles and Minty Lemonade

Earlier this summer, I received the cutest invite in the mail:

It was for a Minute Maid Cocktails & Creations Brunch - with demos of recipes featuring Minute Maid Lights (the lower calorie versions of Minute Maid's classic orange juice and lemonade).

Greek Yogurt, Blueberries and Lemonade recipe

My favorite creation was the Blueberry Lemon Popsicle -  a smooth and tangy combination of Greek Yogurt, Lemonade and Blueberries. I've been making these for dessert all summer - my whole family is addicted! (complete recipe at the end of this post)

Outfit details in this post. Photo Credit: Lena's magical iPhone!

It was also my first time trying a lemonade bar - who knew that adding lemons, limes, mint and raspberry to lemonade would transform it completely?

I loved how the mint infused the lemonade with freshness and gave it an edge - it's the perfect thirst-quenching concoction.

lemonade with mint, blueberry, lemons and limes

Here's are the pitchers I've been making at home for my family - we've even added in frozen blueberries for a fun variation.

Photo Credit: Environics PR

Of course the best part of the event was hanging out with my birth year triplets - the fabulous hostess Lena and my style-partner-in-crime Elaine. As you can see - we all got the 'wear floral' memo! Seriously though - these two ladies are amazing and I feel lucky to know them.

To see more pics of the brunch, check out Lena's post here. And now for the promised recipe:

Blueberry Lemon Pops (from the recipe by Nadine Hughes):

Blueberry Lemon Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Minute Maid Light Lemonade
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
Heat water, lemonade and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar is dissolved, add blueberries and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat back to medium and add cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened (about 5 minutes) and then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Frozen Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
 Make a sugar syrup by dissolving sugar into the water over medium heat. Once syrup is completely cool, fold it into the Greek Yogurt.

To Assemble:
Fill a popsicle mold 1/4th full with the Frozen Yogurt mixture, then add in an equal amount of the Blueberry Lemon Sauce. Alternate layers until mold is full, and freeze overnight.

Hope you love the popsicles as much as I do!

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


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