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Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall Essentials: The Faux Fur Vest

Philip Lim Pashli Mini
Blouse: LOFT, Vest: Express (Similar), Leggings: H&M, Boots: Hunter, Necklace: c/o PinkLoveBird (code: ELLA10) Bracelet: J.Crew (similar), Bag: Pashli, Lips: Lady Danger

For the second installment of my Fall Essentials series, I HAD to feature a faux fur vest. When else but Fall do you get the chance to wear this fun layering piece? It keeps your core warm without feeling too bundled up. I purchased my vest at Express a couple of years ago (I styled it four ways in this post.) As it's slightly bulky, I like to wear it with a slim fitting shirt - like this lightweight one from LOFT.  I paired this with my faux leather leggings and Hunter boots - perfect for the brisk fall weather!


Although my exact vest is no longer in stores, there are a lot of cute and affordable options currently available - these 4 are all from Forever21... I'm especially loving the white one!

Two-tone / White / Black / Leopard

If faux fur is not your thing, you can still get in on the vest trend - try other options such as shearling, utility and quilted styles:

quilted / utility / shearling / tweed

And if it's already coat weather where you live - you might want to check out this pretty pink coat I found at H&M - it's under $50! Disclaimer though - I'm still trying to figure out if I should keep it myself - I love the color but I don't know if the raised collar will work well with the scarves I love to wear!

H&M Double Breasted Jacket Pink
Pink H&M Coat

Ending with a quick mirror pic of my outfit:

Philip Lim Pashli Mini it Taupe
Blouse: LOFT, Vest: Express (Similar), Leggings: H&M, Necklace: c/o PinkLoveBird (code: ELLA10) Bracelet: J.Crew (similar), Bag: Pashli, Lips: Lady Danger

What is your favorite vest to wear in the fall - faux fur, quilted, utility or shearling?

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog - PLEASE click here and press the vote button (no registering required - just one click and you're done!). I'm in the Best Fashion Blog category for the MIB2014 Awards! 

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

 Photo credit: Elaine 

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Other Bloggers Made Me Buy it" Shopping Haul and Designer Bag Dupes at Express

H&M Black Jacket
Jacket: H&M, Top: Express, Jeans: GAP, Booties: Old Navy (similar)

Sometimes, you don't have to take responsibility for your recent purchases. Why feel guilty when you can blame your dear blog friends instead? If they hadn't made an item seem like SUCH a must-have, you wouldn't have HAD to buy it, right? Like this Express Baroque Tiered Lace Tank that Gina's been making me want since June! Not only is it beautifully embroidered...it layers so well with contrasting camisoles. I'm wearing it with a white tank - but look at how cute it looks when paired with a pop of orange! I waited patiently for it to go on sale - and it was worth it - it's currently $20 instead of $59!


My second blogger-inspired purchase was this H&M Draped Wrap-Style Blouse that I spotted on my forever favorite blogger - Jean of Extra Petite. As she mentions, the quality of the fabric is not that great - it seems a bit delicate and prone to snagging. Still, it's so beautifully designed that I HAD to keep it - I'll just be extra careful when I'm wearing it!


I know EVERY blogger owns this plaid blanket scarf - but there's a reason for that...the colour combination is just so classic and gorgeous. While the ZARA one sold out a while back, Target has a similar option - for under $20! Given my love for plaid blanket scarves, I definitely needed to add this to my wardrobe. (Click here for my top scarf-tying tips: How to Wear Scarves.)

While at Express, I was drawn in by the bag display - they have so many well-made choices, including "designer-inspired" versions of all the hottest IT bags. I had fun matching the Express bags (on the right) with their designer counterparts! Which of these do you like the best?



I ended up purchasing this wristlet (how could I resist the black quilting!) to hold my essentials (wallet/keys/phone). It easily fits within my bigger bags, and I can carry it by itself when I only need the basics.


On a more serious note, no matter WHO inspires you - it's always important to shop responsibly and stay within your budget ;-) That being said - have you made any blogger-inspired purchases recently?

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog - PLEASE click here and press the vote button (no registering required - just one click and you're done!). I'm in the Best Fashion Blog category for the MIB2014 Awards! 



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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Outfits, Fashion Week and Self-Esteem

October has been SUCH a hectic month - FULL of blog events and activities, yet not enough blog posts - so I wanted to share some of the things that have kept me busy this month!

With Janelle, Elaine & Dee

First up was World Mastercard Fashion Week - I spent a fun day attending 3 shows while also getting the chance to go backstage and check out the hair and makeup looks on the models. Read about my favourite pieces (MAJOR style inspiration) here - and also enter to win a model-worthy 5-piece set of Redken products!


I had a fashion emergency before the show and ended up trying on some FAKE nails (not my usual look!) and was surprised by how much I enjoyed wearing them - read my review here!


Aside from fashion week, I had the opportunity to get involved with the Dove Self-Esteem project - I moderated a one-hour workshop for mothers and daughters on how to encourage healthy self-esteem and body confidence. Can you spot me in my pink jacket at the front of the room?


It had been nearly a decade since I had to "present" in front of such a large group - I felt a bit nervous before the event...but as it turned out - it was a lovely and comfortable experience. I was in a room of mothers and daughters - and we all wanted the same thing - to learn how to help our daughters feel their best.


Here's a post I wrote about my own struggles with self-esteem (yes, those are photos from my childhood up there!). My post includes links to a self-esteem resource page which has been SO helpful. I've passed the resource page on to my kids' school - and they're planning on using some of the materials in the classroom!

Jacket: WHBM (similar), Necklace: Pink Lovebird (10% off with code ELLA10), Bag: LV Neverfull (similar), Shoes: F21 (similar)

Here's the outfit I wore for the workshop - pink is my happy color and makes me feel my best :-)

Shirt: Old Navy, Scarf: H&M, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version),  Bag: LV Neverfull (similar)

I've also been incorporating some darker fall colours into my wardrobe.

Sweater: Old Navy (similar), Vest: Express (similar), Jeans: GAPBag: LV Neverfull (similar), Shoes: Old Navy

As well as my fur vest...

Scarf: F21 (similar), Sweater: H&M, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

And lots of scarves...

Jacket: ZARA (similar), Scarf: F21 (identical), Boots: Old Navy (this year's version), Bag: LV Neverfull (similar)

Including my plaid blanket scarf!

Shirt: H&M (similar), Skirt: Smart Set (similar 1, 2, 3), Bag: Marc Jacobs (similar 1, 2), Booties: Old Navy (similar)

For evening events, I've been pairing mini skirts with opaque tights and black booties.

Shirt: LOFT, Skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar), Bag: Marc Jacobs (similar 1, 2), Booties: Old Navy (similar), Necklace: Pink Lovebird (10% off with code ELLA10)

It's a fun (AND WARM!!!) combination!

Shirt: Old Navy, Skirt: Smart Set (similar 1, 2, 3), Bag: Balenciaga, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

For my fashion week outfit - I stepped slightly out of my comfort zone and pattern-mixed with TWO plaid prints!

Ok...I think this post has gotten really long, so I'll stop here - I feel much more caught up now! I'll be updating soon with a shopping haul featuring some of my favourite recent purchases - including a pink fall coat.

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem? 

P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog - PLEASE click here and press the vote button (no registering required - just one click and you're done!). I'm in the Best Fashion Blog category for the MIB2014 Awards!

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Final Reveal: My Clairol Makeover with Before & After pics

I was so excited when I arrived at Hair on the Avenue for my #shiftashade makeover. I've always loved learning about beauty and fashion, and this day represented not only the chance to learn from Canada's top experts, but also the opportunity to have their advice tailored specifically for me...I felt like a celebrity!
HAIR:

My first meeting was with Clairol Consulting Colourist, Luis Pacheco. I explained how my hair was a combination of highlights (that I loved) and an accidental ombre which left me with yellow streaks and dried-out ends! With Luis' amazing reputation and coloring expertise, I felt confident that he could rescue my hair. He suggested applying Clairol Nice 'n Easy in 5N/118A (a natural medium brown) on top of my existing color. (Click here for $2-off Clairol Nice 'n Easy.) Because it's a long-lasting permanent hair color, it covered my bleached-out strands. The expert blend of 3 complementary tones per box ensured that my hair color remained multi-dimensional rather than flat. As for my yellow streaks and dried-out ends? Luis recommended using a colour-safe shampoo to retain my medium brown colour. I've replaced my regular conditioner with the Nice 'n Easy CC ColorSeal Cream included in the dye kit, leaving my hair glossy and soft.



MAKEUP:

With my hair dilemma solved, I went upstairs for my consultation with Pro Makeup Artist Patrick Rahme. Hanging out with Patrick is a beauty blogger's dream come true; from peeking through his kit to see which products make the cut, to learning new tricks and techniques, Patrick has a wealth of knowledge and he shares it generously!


My main makeup concern was how to make my lips look fuller while wearing bright lip colors. Patrick advised me to choose creamy lipsticks (especially those with moisturizing ingredients such as Vitamin E), as they will ensure that my lips look bright AND glossy. To offset my bright lips, Patrick did not use any blush or bronzer on my face. Instead, he added subtle dimension using different shades of powder foundation. A lighter shade was used to highlight and a darker shade was used to contour. Because they're foundation powders, they're very pigmented and the results are long-lasting. I've been trying to implement some of his tips at home!


OUTFIT:


My final consultation was with Stylist Extraordinaire Alexandra Melancon. I wanted to learn how to dress up my jeans. I think Alexandra understood my style a little TOO well: compare my final picture with  this outfit—scarily similar, huh? Of course, being a fashion expert, Alexandra has some tweaks that went further than my usual styling attempts, from getting my jean cuffs just right to perfecting the half-tuck of my shirt, her attention to detail was amazing! One lesson I plan on incorporating is purchasing more heeled booties to wear with my jeans—they're easier to walk in than regular heels, and they instantly make jeans look more classy!


THE FINAL RESULT:


I'm SO happy with my #shiftashade makeover. Each change was subtle yet impactful, so I still look like myself! I feel confident now that I’m armed with tips and tricks to improve my overall look; I’m ready to face a new season. Check out my makeover from start to finish over here:





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   
 
https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Fq6f4nrTVC0%2FVCI2T7UxBNI%2FAAAAAAAAAjY%2FmGmjaTFC0u8%2Fs1600%2Fclairol.png&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F*

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.

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

Here are my top scarf-tying tips: How to Wear Scarves. 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!)


CONTEST DETAILS:
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.

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