Monday, 29 June 2015

Is it Monday already? I had such a whirlwind of a weekend I'm really glad I've taken the week off to get back into the swing of things. I'm looking forward to getting back on my regular schedule with blog posts so stay tuned!

This weekend was a combo birthday, mini-vacation and wedding of a close family friend celebration. The wedding was taking place in a smaller town about an hour outside of New York City, right on the Hudson River and about an eight hour drive from Toronto. We got there just in time for a delicious birthday dinner at the Mill House Brewing Company before joining in the rest of the pre-wedding celebrations.

It was originally going to be an outdoor ceremony but due to a torrential downpour, was relocated to a covered tent still open to the beautiful view of the river. The rain let up just enough after the ceremony to snap a few quick photos with the family.
Dress: F21 {similar}| Necklace: Sears {similar}| Shoes: Nine West {similar}
Unfortunately I didn't get many photos of the actual wedding because of the combination grey day and the fact I had forgotten my battery charger for my camera at home, oops. The groom is a chef so the food was absolutely incredible. Just the amount of food at cocktail hour was enough to fill me up for the night! The bride looked absolutely stunning, and the whole venue was seriously beautiful. It was located on the river bank just on the other side of the bridge so you can imagine the view.
Since the ceremony was in the evening, we had time to do some birthday shopping in the morning. You ladies with access to Ulta are seriously so lucky - I could kill some serious time in there! I posted a mini haul on instagram so you can check out what came home with me. I officially got my Mum on the IT Cosmetics CC Cream train so you know I had to pick up more while I was there.

After a full night of dancing the night away, I woke up Sunday morning not feeling the best. After the epic car ride home it felt amazing to get into the most incredibly soft sleep shirt (seriously, I wish Target shipped to Canada so I could buy ten of these) and head straight to bed.

What did you get up to this weekend?
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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

I'm back today with another installment in my Colour Story series designed to help neutral girls (ike me step out of our comfort zone a little. This time I'll be focusing on purple - a both super flattering and tricky colour when it comes to makeup.
There are so many tones of purple out there, but since it's summer here I'll be talking about the lighter, brighter shades in my collection.


Maybelline Color Tattoo in Painted Purple | A beautiful blue-toned purple with a slight sheen. This is marketed as a shadow base, but I prefer to use it as a liner since it can become patchy when spread out over a large surface area.
Loreal Infallible Shadow in Flashback Silver (Liquid Diamond in the US) | A lilac-silver that is stunning used as a highlight with other purple tones.
CoverGirl Lipstick in Divine |  A striking purple with a pink undertone, this shade is surprisingly wearable and even after wearing off leaves a fuchsia stain on the lips.
Wet N Wild Trio in I'm Feeling Retro | I bought this trio exclusively for the purple-orchid shade with a slight blue duo-chrome that reminded me of MACs Stars & Rockets. It takes some building up, but the colour is stunning!


EYES | I found the purple tones were more wearable with an overall darker look so on the eyelid I used UD Virgin all over the lid, Naked in the crease and Darkhorse in the outer corner to deepen things up. I used the Stila Stay All Day Liner in Dark Brown and two coats of Maybelline Lash Sensational for thick looking lashes. I ran the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Painted Purple under the eye and topped with the purple shadow from Wet N Wild's I'm Feeling Retro Quad and smudged it out a touch with a qtip.

FACE | To balance out all the cooler tones on the face, I went with Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed for a neutral warm flush to the cheeks that wouldn't compete with any of the brighter colours.

LIPS | To help the bright tone last, I first applied the NYX Lip Primer and topped with the CoverGirl Lipstick in Divine.

I used to be pretty weary of purple on the lips, but I've really come to love the look! Even though it is a bright colour, the deeper shade and pink undertones keep it looking wearable especially for a night out.

What do you think - are you a purple fan?
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Monday, 22 June 2015

In the past few years my wardrobe philosophy has changed pretty dramatically. While I'm still one to head first to inexpensive clothing stores like Target or H&M, I now understand the value in investing in a few key style pieces that can elevate the look of lower cost accessories and grow with your style throughout the seasons.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Before I choose to invest my hard earned cash into any material goods, I like to consider the cost per wear of the item in question. Even if it is expensive upfront, if it's something I could see myself using everyday or even once every other week, it often ends up being less expensive in the long run than many of the fast-fashion items I have bought and worn only a handful of times.

Day to Night Dress | If you don't already own a wrap dress, you're missing out on one of the easiest and most comfortable wardrobe staples! I once baulked at the price of a DVF version, but that all changed the first time I tried it on. I've said it before, but I swear the fabric and the cut of the dress make it so comfortable it's like hanging out in a robe all day long. A lower cut front and longer sleeves keep things sexy but classy for a dinner date, but can easily be paired with a camisole underneath for work. I found  my black 3/4 sleeve version at an outlet for less than half the price of the original so keep an eye out for sales!

The Everyday Bag | A simple, everyday, fits-everything bag that can hold up to a bit of a beating is an essential to me. The Le Pliage bags were ridiculously popular when I was in university, but after getting on myself I instantly saw why. The simple shape and size make them the perfect multi-taking bag for lugging around your laptop or files for work/school during the day, or fitting in all the necessities for a weekend away. The nylon fabric means it is waterproof and easy to clean (I just throw mine in the washing machine) and even with carrying around heavy items they hold up extremely well. I've had mine for over 4 years, and the only visible signs of wear and tear are on the bottom corners.

A Classic Coat | While the style of coat will depend much on the climate you're living in, a good quality, durable coat that can transition through multiple seasons is a great investment. I had always wanted a classic Burberry trench coat, but when I took into consideration that I spend most of the year freezing my tush off, the wool trench ended up making much more economical sense for my environment.Whether trench, leather or wool, timeless cuts and colours will stay in your wardrobe for years to come.

Cashmere Cardigan | Cashmere is an incredible fabric because it manages to be so thin yet so warm, making it perfect for transitioning into almost any season. In a neutral colour a simple cashmere cardi can be perfect for wearing all day in the winter, or out at night in the spring and summer without adding any bulk to your outfit. There are varying levels of quality and price, but if taken care of properly a 100% cashmere piece can stand the test of time and be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe.

What fashion items do you choose to invest in?
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Thursday, 18 June 2015

If you've been around these parts for a while you'll already know my extreme fondness of dry shampoo. I have highlighted, naturally curly and dry hair, so the less washing and styling I have to do the better. While some "dirty" hairstyles may look cute for casual wear, sometimes they wouldn't really fly in an office environment. So here are two of my favourite styles - one casual and one work appropriate - for that second, third (or even sometimes fourth, right ladies?) hair!

For both styles, start out with a healthy dose of dry shampoo and some volumizing or texturizing powder at the roots to give a bit of lift. I have very fine hair and these styles were done on day 2 and day 3 hair, so trust me when I say they make a difference!


Part your hair in the middle and separate into two low ponytails. Braid starting behind the ear in an upward direction to help prevent bunching/sagging later on. If you have clear elastics, use those to tie off the ends. I didn't have any so I just worked one side at a time.

Place a finger on top of your ear and wrap the braid over top to help it lie flat to your head. Use bobby pins to secure the braid to your head by grabbing a bit of hair and pushing them in against the grain to lock the braid in place. Don't worry so much about the ends on the first braid as the second will cover them. Once secure, pull out some wispy pieces by your ears for a laid back look.

Repeat the same process with the second braid, this time placing the second braid over the ends of the first, and wrapping the ends of the second braid under the base of the first braid. Pin to secure, overlapping pins where possible for maximum hold.

Spray and smooth down any flyaways or loose layers (this is my favourite hair spray for a non-crunchy feel), and you're done!


Divide out two sections of hair in front of your ears, then make a low ponytail at the nape of your neck with the remaining hair. If you have fine hair like me, you may want to tease your pony a touch to help give it a bit more fullness before wrapping it up and pinning in a low bun.

Taking the front sections, twist them loosely then wrap them around the back of the head, over the top of the bun and around its base. Use the locking method to help secure the hair while hiding the pins. Again, crossing pins makes for the most secure style, so overlap wherever possible!

And you're done!

What are your go-to styles for "dirty" hair?
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Monday, 15 June 2015

Happy Monday sweet friends! I hope you all had a marvellous weekend & are refreshed and ready to start a new week. Today we have yet another skirt + sneakers combo because A) I just really love skirts and B) I recently realized I don't own a ton of really comfortable flat summer shoes, and when you're heading out for a baseball game comfort is #1. I'm not usually much of a sports person, but Jays games are a regular feature when it comes to my summer plans. Last year Tyler bought me my very own vintage jersey, and I couldn't resist pairing it (and everything else for that matter) with my favourite summer jacket for this game day outfit.
Jersey: Gift {similar} | Jacket: Thrifted GAP {similar} | Skirt: F21 {similar}
Watch: Michael Kors {similar} | Shoes: Airwalk {similar}
Is it strange that I love dressing up sportswear? Rugby shirts, baseball tees, jerseys, I'll take it all. I used to wear my brother's Jay's jersey belted as a dress (he's 6'6 so you can imagine how big his shirts are) to games and loved putting my own spin on it! The denim jacket and skirt combo make this a perfect outfit to take out to drinks after the game. Casual but feminine, with a little bit of weight for cool summer nights on the patio.

What are your favourite comfortable summer shoes? You guys always have the best recommendations!

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Linking up with: Maegen | Laura | Lauren | Saumya | Lindsey

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Although I am a big fan of playing around with makeup, for most weekend mornings and days that I work from home I'm all about the minimalistic approach. I don't want to feel like I'm not letting my skin breathe or piling on the makeup, but there is just something about doing a morning routine that wakes me up and gets me ready for the day. A few of these products you would have seen in my May Favourites, but I thought I'd give you a look at how I achieve my "no-makeup" makeup.
As part of my nightime routine I fallen back in love with my Clarins Radiance Plus Glow Booster, which is a self tan serum that you mix in with your own moisturizer. They are amazing for adding natural looking colour and help even out my skin tone even before I put anything on top. I've also been religiously applying my RapidLash serum at bedtime to help give my lashes an extra boost!
I've been raving about the IT Cosmetics CC Cream for weeks now, so I won't go into detail, but I apply it directly after washing my face and it acts as moisturizer, foundation and SPF. For minimal days I'll skip undereye concealer all together and just use my First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy to help tone down the darkness under my eyes and reduce puffiness. If I had any particularly nasty spots I would use concealer, but the CC cream covers most of my hyper-pigmentation and the rest I just leave be.
To set these creamy products and add a little dimension to the face I use my trusty Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. These powders are so finely milled they really help apply a "soft focus" look to the skin. I use Dim Light to set the majority of my face, and a touch of Radiant Light around the high points for a subtle bronze glow. I have naturally flushed cheeks, so with Radiant Light I can usually just skip the blush.
After the skin is done, it's all about the eyes. Curling my eyelashes is a step I never skip because it makes such a difference in opening up the eyes and making you look awake. Lately for minimal days I've just been using my IT Cosmetics Tighline Mascara Primer on my top and bottom lashes since the tiny brush makes it easy to get long, clean, fanned out lashes. It also claims to have lash enhancing ingredients so it's the perfect 

The final step - brows! I'm planning on picking up a coloured brow gel on my trip to New York this month (any recommendations would be appreciated) for days like these, but for now I'm using the Milani Retractable Brow Pencil in Natural Taupe. It has a nice spoolie and has a larger tip so it makes getting colour on the brows quick and easy.

And there you have it! This whole routine takes me all of about five minutes (maybe even less), and can easily be built up for an outing later in the day if necessary.

What are your "no-makeup" cheat products?
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Monday, 8 June 2015

Monday always comes far too quickly doesn't it? If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you'll know this was a special weekend for me because I completed my second ever race on Saturday! I beat my time from last year which is all I wanted out of the experience, and I discovered that cooler weather really makes a huge difference in my race-day comfort level. I'll admit running is definitely not my favourite thing in the world, but I maybe a fall run could be a good next try?
On to the outfit! If you've been around here a while you know that I'm a girly girl at heart, but I love mixing in different styles and accessories. A simple, well fitting black t-shirt is a great place to start.
Shirt: Old Navy {similar} | Skirt: H&M {exact} also seen here | Necklace: Gifted {similar}
Shoes: Airwalk {similar} | Lips: Sephora {exact}
I'm a big fan of the t-shirt-skater-skirt combo, but I wanted to change it up a bit so I dressed it up on top with this bold blue necklace and pink lip, and down on the bottom with some simple black sneakers. Somehow I think the contrasting styles just work! 

What's your favourite way to dress up a simple outfit?
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Linking up with: Maegen | Laura | Lauren | Saumya | Lindsey | Laura & Erin

Friday, 5 June 2015

Happy Friday friends! I've had a pretty crazy week. I've been offered a promotion at work that involves moving to a new team and I'm both really excited a little nervous about taking this next step. It'll be a big change but I'm looking forward to the challenge! That being said, I'll be trying my very best to keep on a regular posting schedule, but at the moment I'm going to be essentially doing two jobs on top of my volunteering so bear with me for the next few weeks as I get myself situated and figure out how to balance everything. Prayers and good vibes always appreciated!

Now that that's out of the way, lets get on to the rest of this post - what ended up in the bin this month, and what I really think about it!
Joico Daily Care Balancing Conditioner | I received a set of the Daily Care shampoo & conditioner for Christmas one year, and when I first tried them out wasn't all that excited by them. However, like the shampoo (which I finished ages ago) the conditioner eventually found its place in my routine. It's a very simple, super light conditioner which I didn't love for my ends, but actually used for my roots if I found my hair was feeling particularly dry. I would use just a little bit and massage into the top section of my hair and it instantly would feel much more soft and manageable

Recommendation? I don't think this is a must have, but I might purchase it again if I find my hair feels like it needs a little TLC.

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Conditioner | I bought this after hearing heaps of great reviews, and really liked it when I first started using it. It was very moisturizing and really helped tame frizz when I wore my hair in it's natural state. However, the smell is very strong and I pretty soon got tired of it, and for some reason it seemed to stop working in my hair like it did when I first bought it. I ended up using it mostly as a shaving cream for my legs so I could get through the bottle.

Recommendation? The scent was just too strong for me, so I would not repurchase. I'm in the market for a new moisturizing drugstore conditioner, so if you have any recommendations I'd love to know!

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub | The sugar crush scent is one of my all time favourite fragrances, so I loved using this scrub. It didn't leave any sort of film behind which I liked, and it was just abrasive enough to get the job done, so it was it was my favourite to use in my pre-tan routine. At $20 however, it's pretty pricey for a scrub and I'm not sure there was anything else very unique about it besides the scent.

Recommendation? I would definitely repurchase this scrub if I could find it on sale, but I'm thinking I might just stick with the body butter and get my $5 scrub favourite another purchase next.

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation Shades 117 & 125 | I loved this foundation a few years ago, hence why I bought it in both my winter and summer colours. I mostly saved it for nights out or special occasions because it was both expensive and didn't contain any SPF so it looked fabulous in pictures. It didn't have the best staying power, but for the purpose I was using it for it worked for me perfectly. I have a tiny bit left of both colours, but they ended up being pushed to the side for my other inexpensive foundations I used day to day and unfortunately not getting used.

Recommendation? I would repurchase this foundation again as I loved the coverage and finish, but not until I make my way through a few more of the other foundations I have in my collection.

Do you have any relatively inexpensive conditioner recommendations for me? What products have you used up recently?
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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

This dress is one of those magical pieces that can transition so effortlessly for different occasions and weather conditions depending on how you accessorize it. I think it might be the cooler colour palette of the watercolour floral, but when paired with dark colours it really pulls out the deeper colours in the pattern making it perfect for livening up a chilly, rainy day.
Dress: H&M {similar} | Cardigan: Old {similar} | Necklace: Target {similar} | Belt: H&M {similar}
Pairing it with a solid colour helps to tone down the pattern and make it work appropriate, but doesn't look too stuffy or corporate to take out to dinner or drinks afterwards. I have gotten compliments every single time I've worn this dress, so I highly recommend keeping your eye out for unique patterns like this that could easily be dressed up for down for almost any season or occasion! 

What are your favourite patterned pieces?
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Monday, 1 June 2015

Seriously how is it already June?! The spring always seems to fly by so fast, am I right? Unfortunately I spent about half of this month sick (including the past week), but somehow I still have a TON of new favourites this month so lets get cracking.
IT Cosmetics CC Cream | I already talked about this in my Beauty Basics - Sun Care post, but I fell in love with this almost immediately after trying it for the first time. I really is the perfect summer product. Since I have normal-oily skin I skip moisturizer and apply this to my freshly washed face, set it with some powder and I can be out the door. It has some serious coverage and I love the SPF 50+ so it's been my favourite for weekends this month when all I really care about are clear skin and lashes.
L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte + Garnier BB Cream | Since I ran out of my CoverGirl 3-in-1 foundation and decided I needed to use up others in my collection before repurchasing. I bought this L'Oreal Infallible in the winter, but found it too drying for my skin at the time. To use it up while the weather is warm I've been mixing it with my Garnier BB Cream for Combo Skin, which is currently too dark, to create the perfect in-between shade that lasts all day.

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy | This eye cream has a peachy tone to it that really helps cancel out the blue tones of under eye circles and make things ready for concealer. It's got a little bit of coverage to it, so for days I'm just around the house or running errands this + the CC cream are my staple "no makeup" essentials.

Replica Beach Walk | I talked about this in my Spring Additions but I've been wearing this non-stop all month long. It's the perfect beachy summer scent that isn't overwhelming but every time I get of whiff of it during the day I fall in love with it all over again. I've made a pretty serious dent in it for only having it a month so I think that says it all!

RapidLash | Since I've been sick quite a bit of this month it's been all about the skin and lashes to me. I've had this for quite a while, but this month was the first time I was using it consistently and I definitely saw a difference in the length of my lashes!

IT Cosmetics Tightline Primer | I don't necessarily use this for it's intended purpose, but I've found it to be the perfect mascara for my lower lashes. I never used to use mascara on the lower lashes because they are already pretty long and most mascaras would end up looking unnatural and clumpy. This has the tiniest micro wand that is perfect for applying just the right amount of product to define them without looking too intense, and it stays on all day with zero flaking or smudging.

What did you fall in love with this May?
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