Monday, June 20, 2016

My Current Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

Longtime readers of this blog know ALL about my skincare struggles (previous posts from 2011, 2013 and 2015). My last acne episode was my worst to date - with 3 separate doctors/dermatologists pushing me to go on Accutane. I chose not to go on medication, opting for self-treatment instead, and while I still break out, when I compare my skin to where it was 2 years ago, I'm very happy.

Lace Off-the-Shoulder top blogger outfit
c/o Top (worn over a lace cami) / Jeans / Sandals (similar) / Bag

I've picked up SO many tips from reading message boards and blog posts - and I want to share everything that has helped me. But when it comes to writing it all down - I keep putting it off, because there is TOO much information! So I've decided to split this topic up into 3 parts:
  • My Current Skincare Routine
  • What I Did to Avoid Accutane
  • How I Cover my Acne with Makeup (since my friends had no idea about the state of my skin - and were surprised to see what I was covering under my makeup!)
I'll link in the future posts as I write them - but for now, let's get started with my skincare:

Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

MORNING
Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin
EVENING
Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

TWICE A WEEK
MY GENERAL THOUGHTS
  • These products are tried and tested on my sensitive skin - I've been using them for at least 2 years if not longer. 
  • Although Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are commonly used to treat acne, they don't suit my skin. So for bacteria fighting and spot-healing purposes, I use the Tria Blue Light device and Retin-A.
  • I've recently added Pond's Cold Cream as an eye-makeup remover - and it's the most effective and gentle remover I've ever tried. I mix a dime-size amount with a splash of warm water and apply it over my eyes. It instantly melts off my mascara and liner. I then take a wet cotton pad and wipe off the Pond's. This technique keeps my eye area hydrated, prevents unnecessary tugging of skin and keeps my lashes healthy. 
  • I use Rosehip oil at night for added moisture, and also because it has anti-aging and scar-repairing properties. I've previously tried using Jojoba oil, but it broke me out. I read many reviews of different Rosehip oils and chose Kosmea because it's cold-pressed and organic.
  • I love using the Kiehls Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleanser as a mask. I apply it in the shower and let it sit for 10 minutes, so that the Amazonian White Clay can clean out my pores. I use circular motions to remove the mask - allowing the ground Oat Kernels to lightly exfoliate my skin. My skin always feels so soothed and clarified after using this!
Hope you found this post useful - do you have any must-have skincare products?


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Accessorizing with MINT

It's funny how an Instagram picture can lead to a fun collaboration! As I was leaving last month's Style Pop event, I walked by the cutest store display at Mint Accessories. Of course I had to stop and take this pic to share on Instagram. A couple of days later, the store contacted me and asked if I wanted to work with them!

Peach pleated midi skirt grey bucket bag blogger outfit
Shirt / c/o Skirt / Shoes (similar) / Bag c/o MINT / Necklace c/o MINT
Wearing AND sharing cute accessories? My answer was a resounding YES! I headed to the MINT store at Bramalea City Centre to pick out 3 items...AND I got doubles - so that one of my Canadian followers could win my picks too!


How cheerful and pretty is this store? It totally feels like my happy place - I love the mint-coloured walls and the crystal chandelier.


All of their items are carefully curated and so trendy yet reasonably priced. I loved this wall of bags and scarves - it was very hard to choose which 3 items to take home!


I knew I wanted a mini-bag for summer - but I couldn't decide which was cuter - the grey bucket bag or the fringed white bag. Which would you have picked?

Peach pleated midi skirt grey bucket bag blogger outfit

In the end, I opted for the grey bag because it came with a cross-body strap. I figured that the grey would work with both summer pastels and winter clothing too. I also picked out the daintiest lace infinity scarf (I'm wearing it in the in-store pic) and a chic grey and white crystal necklace.


Here's a close up of the three items - Charcoal Bucket Shoulder Bag (regularly priced $54 but on sale for $19), Lace Infinity Scalloped Edge Scarf ($19) and Jewel Statement Necklace ($19). If you have a Canadian mailing address and would like to win this, just follow the 3 steps below:

1) Follow @ellaprettyblog on Instagram
2) Follow @mint_accessories on Instagram
3) Comment "I follow both" under this picture

Good luck! Winner will be announced here on June 23rd.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Uncharacteristic Clothing Purchases

When it comes to buying clothing, I usually stick to cream/lace/denim. But recently, I've been straying from my classic choices. Baggy floral pants, a super-flouncy sleeved top and a caftan (!!!) - my latest purchases are all over the place! There is one common theme though - each piece is featherlight and addictively soft.

Le Chateau Floral Print Viscose Crêpe Pant Off-the-Shoulder Blouse Blogger Outfit Ella Pretty Blog
Pants (similar) / Blouse / Necklace (similar) / Shoes (similar) / Clutch

I'm not usually a fan of baggy pants - but when you try these floral Le Chateau pants (similar), you won't want to take them off! The fabric is so soft and cool to the touch - I want to wear them ALL the time.

Pink Beach Caftan Blogger Outfit Ella Pretty Blog
Caftan: WINNERS (similar) / Sandals (similar)
I bought this caftan to wear on my imaginary vacation - doesn't it look like it was made for lounging around at a fancy resort?

H&M Green Crinkled Chiffon Blouse Blogger Outfit Ella Pretty Blog
Blouse / Pants / Shoes (similar)/ Bag
And here is my super-flouncy blouse - every time I'd go to H&M, I'd try this on, decide that the sleeves were too fussy, and leave without it. After trying it on for the THIRD time, I decided to ignore my practical side and just embrace the flounces!

Pink Chloe Drew Dupe Blogger Outfit Ella Pretty Blog
c/o Blouse / Jeans / Sandals (similar) / c/o Bag

This outfit is more like my usual summer style - eyelet top, jeans and metallic sandals. I'm not too pleased with the proportions of this top - you can't tell from the picture, but the shoulders are a bit too broad and the waist a bit too narrow. H&M have an identical one that I plan to try on in store soon. By the way - if you're interested in winning this pink bag - don't forget to enter here.

Le Chateau Floral Print Viscose Crêpe Pant Off-the-Shoulder Blouse Blogger Outfit Ella Pretty Blog
Pants (similar) / Blouse / Necklace (similar) / Shoes (similar) / Clutch

Have you made any uncharacteristic clothing purchases recently?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Styling Outfits for Spring

One of my favourite parts of fashion blogging is experimenting with clothes and putting together different outfit combinations. While this is usually done in the comfort of my own closet, I recently had the opportunity to style outfits in front of a LIVE audience!

Dress / Necklace (old from F21, similar) / Shoes (old from Target, similar) / c/o Bag

I worked with Bramalea City Center on their Spring Style Pop Party, where me and my fellow Style Squad members were given 15 minutes to present 3 Spring Trends - Romantic, Boho and Nautical. Styling under pressure was definitely an intense experience - we were in the middle of the mall with an audience watching us! But because it was doing something I LOVE, I enjoyed every moment of it.


Here are the looks I came up with: lots of blush pink and lace for the romantic look, patterns, layers and tassels for the boho look, and a tailoured navy and white outfit with a pop of red for the nautical look. It was interesting to see how we ALL put our own unique spins on the 3 trends - view all three of the outfits here.


I wore this lace dress to the event - I SO wish it came in white - it would be PERFECT for summer! The lace overlay design reminds me of the famous Self-Portrait Layered Dress (by the way - how dreamy is the Azaelea Dress? WANT!) Since I was wearing black during a day time event, I lightened up the effect by pairing it with blush pink accessories.

This pink bag is inspired by the Chloe Drew bag, and was sent to me by Romwe. It's a great option if you're looking for a fun summer bag, as it's only $24.99. Romwe is offering one of my readers a $50 giftcard - just register on their website, like their FB page and comment with your email address below - I'll be picking the winner on May 30. Alternatively, you can use code "RW-ellaprettyblog60" for 60% off your order.

UPDATE: Winner is Laurie W

If you plan on ordering, please keep in mind that their items ship from China - so shipping can take up to a month. Also - depending on your order size/where you live you might have to pay duty (that's happened to me 1/10th of the time, but I wanted to mention it.) In all honesty, items can be hit or miss depending on sizing/quality etc, so I can't speak for ALL the items on the site, but here are some pieces that I've tried, tested and found similar in quality to H&M, ZARA etc. (Black Midi Skirt, Floral Midi Skirt, Pink Bag, White Lace Blouse). And definitely use a measuring tape to make sure you're ordering the right size!

What is your favourite type of dress for summer? Mine is of course LACE! I'm on the hunt for a white midi length one!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Shoe Haul: Florals and Cobalt Blue

I don't spend a lot on shoes - I'm usually saving up for my next investment bag. But I've been craving some pretty new shoes for spring - I've especially been loving jewel tones and lace up details.

Ivanka Trump Haslets Strappy Sandal and Steve Madden Sandalia Floral Print Heeled Sandals
Ivanka Trump Haslets Strappy Sandal and Steve Madden Sandalia Floral Print Heeled Sandals

Well, I was able to satisfy my shoe craving - on a budget (!!!) - because I attended the Nordstrom Warehouse Sale Event last night! I found these heels (which usually retail for CAD$150+) for $49.99 per pair! I can't wait to incorporate them into my summer outfits. I plan on wearing the Steve Madden Floral Lace Ups with white jeans, a pale blue top and yellow earrings - while the Ivanka Trump Cobalt Blue Haslets Sandals will work with both evening dresses or dressed down during the day with jeans - I'm in love!

If you're interested in attending the Nordstrom Warehouse Sale - hurry over! The sale is on from now until Sunday May 15 at the Markham Fairgrounds (full details here). There are 3 large rooms - with designer shoes, clothing and accessories. I mainly focused on the women's section, but they have men and children's stuff too! I spotted several pairs of women's Hunter Boots (they were around $50 I think?) and I scored Bogs for my daughter for $39.99 (they're usually CAD$90+).

After my visit last night, I have a couple of shoe shopping tips to share:
  • Bring a bottle of water - sample shopping is thirsty work! 
  • Wear comfy shoes that are easy to slip in and out of. 
  • Carry only the essentials so that your hands are free to rummage through stuff.
  • Bring a friend to help you make quick decisions - and to take phone pics/shoefies of what you're trying on - it's faster than looking for around for a mirror!

What are your best Sample Sale/Warehouse Sale shopping tips?

DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a Giftcard to help me shop the sale!

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