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Friday, April 17, 2015

Weekend Travel, Shu Uemura Breakfast and Recent Outfits

These past few weeks have been very busy - but in the best way - with lots of time spent with friends and family. It was my mother's birthday last week - so the whole extended family got together and we all went back to Muskoka. I guess we're creatures of habit - when we find a place we like, we stick to it! One of the things we love about the JWMarriott is the gorgeous decor - here's a pretty hutch I spotted near the library - doesn't it look like it belongs in a magazine?

Country Shabby Chic Hutch Decor

One of my favorite parts of traveling is packing all of my makeup and toiletry minis - it's fun to change things up and use teeny tiny products! I can't live without my tangle teezer - so I'm glad I finally have a compact version. The click-on cover makes it very travel friendly - I don't have to worry about dirt or fluff getting caught in the bristles.

Tangle Teezer / High Beam / They're Real / Lollitint / It's Potent / Nars / Daywear

Here are a couple of the outfits I packed for the trip - the floral pants I posted about last week:

Floral Pants Spring 2015 Trend
Shirt: H&M (similar) / Pants: Old Navy / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Flats: Old Navy

And this emerald colored dress:

Emerald Wrap Dress
Dress: c/o Sheinside (similar) / Necklace: similar / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Flats: Old Navy

Before leaving on our trip, I headed downtown for a media breakfast hosted by Shu Uemura to launch their collaboration with Yaz Bukey (she's in the picture below wearing star earrings).

Yaz Bukey is a Paris-based accessory and jewelry designer. She has collaborated with Shu Uemura to release a colorfully packaged range of makeup. There is quite a fun concept behind the collection - Yaz imagined four girls (Red = Sexy Yaz, Green = Smart Lola,  Yellow = Romantic Betty, Blue = Daring Tina) all competing for the love of one man...Mr Shu Shu! There was a LOT of work behind the formulation and packaging of each product as Yaz wanted them to perfectly reflect her vision. Below are the products I received  - aren't they SO pretty? I don't think I've ever worn such a true orange shade on my lips, but the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte lipsticks are noted for their deep color pay-off - so I'm excited to try it. The POREraser Mousse (in the pink can) is a unique product - it is a lightweight mousse with an SPF of 35 that reduces the appearance of pores and minimizes shine - bonus: it can even be used as an eyeshadow primer!

Yazbukey for Shu Uemura Collaboration

Here's what I wore to the event - the lighting is strange because I had to leave the house SUPER-early to catch the train and make it downtown in time for the breakfast!

Tweed Jacket Casual Outfit
Jacket: Jacob (similar) / Necklace: H&M (similar) / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

Have you tried Shu Uemura makeup before? Which products are your favorite? 

P.S. Click here for my best foundation application tips and here for the hottest bag trends for Spring 2015!

Nine West / H&M / Old Navy
Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Favorite Spring Trend: Floral Pixie Pants

There are so many Spring 2015 clothing trends to love - from pastels and metallics to gingham prints. But if I had to choose just one trend, I'd go with these floral pants.

Spring 2015 Old Navy Pixie Floral Pants Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair
Shirt: H&M (similar) / Pants: Old Navy / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Flats: Old Navy

I love how floral pants add a burst of pattern to brighten up your outfit. This pair (Bargain alert - I got them on sale for $25!) is light and fitted, so it can be styled as leggings, but it has a zip and pockets, so you can wear them with tucked-in shirts too! As we learned during the colored denim trend - darker colors are easier to wear - so choose darker floral prints for a more figure-flattering look. Here are a couple of my favorite floral pants:

I used to do a monthly must-reads post with a group of blogger friends - but life got busy and we took a break. Well...we decided to get back together for a reunion post today - hope you like it!!!


I wanted to finish off with a special treat for our must-reads group - an update from Andi (Saltwater Dreams) - whom we've ALL missed ever since she stopped blogging - it was SO good to hear from her!

Andi Saltwater Dreams

"So as for me, my 7 and 8-year old keep me quite busy with their wonderful spirits, imaginations, and activities. In 2013 I moved home to South Florida, and after a 7-year hiatus, went back to work full-time. In 2014, I completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, which was an incredible experience on every level. Soon after that, I became certified to teach kids yoga as well - what a rewarding and enriching gift that is! In addition to my yoga and photography passions, I try to read, cook and travel as much as I can, but I admit that my fashion and product knowledge is definitely not up to speed these days.

Given my much more hectic lifestyle, I have a few go-to products that I love, and which simplify my life. I adore Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge, Honey I Washed my Hair Shampoo Bar from LUSH, Algenist Genius Anti-Aging Serum, and Tarte's BLUR face primer. Life has been really beautiful, and I've enjoyed each chapter as it's unfolded. I am so happy to hear that everyone is still in touch, and I'm honored to still be included in your fabulous blogger family. I miss everyone and wish you all the best in your respective pursuits. Much love!!" ~ Andi

What's your favorite Spring Trend for 2015?

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Designer Bag Dupes - Celine Luggage Tote, Saint Laurent Sac de Jour & Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with handbags - I love reading about the hottest it-bags and making a virtual wishlist. A side effect of my obsession is that I can always spot which 'store' bags are inspired by designer versions (designer bags for less)...it's like a sixth sense! Although I love saving up for a special bag - sometimes it's better to get an "inspired" version - either because it's a better fit for your budget, or you think you may get tired of the style - OR you might want to test out the type of bag before investing in the designer version. Here are a couple of great dupes I saw on my last shopping trip...but believe me - I could go on for days! If you have a specific bag you're looking for - leave me a comment and I'll tell you if I've spotted a dupe somewhere!

1) Saint Laurent Sac de Jour ($$$$) vs. Express ($$)

2) Saint Laurent Matelasse Shoulder Bag ($$$$) vs. Forever 21 ($$) 

  • The perfect evening bag!

3) Celine Micro Luggage Tote ($$$$) vs. Michael Kors Colette ($$$) 

  • The Colette is currently on my wishlist - I love structured bags and I adore the cheerful yellow color.

4) Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC ($$$) vs. Forever 21 ($$)

  • Such a cute cross-body bag for the summer.

5) Phillip Lim Pashli Mini ($$$) vs. Forever 21 ($$)

  • The Forever 21 version is actually an exact dupe of the "Target Pashli". Although I already have a Taupe Pashli - I'm crazy for this Mini Pink one!

Speaking of bright colors, I've been wearing a lot of jewel tones recently. I've wanted a cobalt blue dress ever since Kate Middleton's engagement photos (please tell me I'm not the only one!) so I decided to give this dress a try. Of course the style is very different from Kate's Issa one but I'm a huge fan of crocheted/lace dresses. It's slightly shorter than my usual picks so I paired it with opaque black tights.

Sheinside Blue Short Sleeve Hollow Floral Crochet Bodycon Dress
Dress: c/o Sheinside (similar) / Boots: c/o Cougar / Necklace: ZARA (similar 1, 2) / Bag: Chanel (similar)

I wore this orchid-colored top to a Photography course I took with Elaine. The color reminds me of this dress that I borrowed to wear to a wedding.

Shirt: Forever 21 (similar) / Necklace: Forever21 (similar) /  Boots: Old Navy (this year's version) / Bag: LV Speedy (similar)

Which bag dupe is your favorite? Mine is the Michael Kors Colette!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dressing Up for Fashion Week

Dress:  Rachel Sin / Jacket: ZARA (similar) / Bag: Chanel WOC (similar) / Shoes: Old Navy / Necklace: Forever21 (similar)

World Mastercard Fashion Week is such an exciting time - I usually try to head downtown for at least one day. This season I chose Tuesday - and it turned out to be SO busy! Aside from the fashion shows, there were also a couple of blogger events all scheduled for the same night.

Jenelle and I were excited to get the opportunity to wear dresses from a Canadian designer to the fashion week events. We're both wearing floral Rachel Sin dresses from the Spring 2015 collection - mine is the Taylor Dolce Rose Dress while Jenelle is wearing the Floral Scuba Dress.

I loved the print and the fit of my dress - it's hard to find a flattering midi-length dress - but this dress felt sleek without being too revealing - the perfect balance!

I spotted Nicole from Dainty Girl outside the tents - she was dressed in Narces - isn't her outfit SO gorgeous?

Once inside, Jenelle and I visited the Maybelline and Pandora booths before heading to the studio to watch the Helder Diego Show.

After the show, we rushed up to Bloor Street to the beautiful Guerlain boutique for the #GuerlainSoParticular Blogger event (more on that in a future post)!

We finished the night at the Glam Canada Fashion Week Insider Dinner. The Italian food at Terroni - was soooo delicious ...thank goodness for stretchy dresses!

Thank you to Rachel Sin for lending us these gorgeous dresses so that we could get fancy for Fashion Week! And HUGE thanks to Shizzy for shooting the outfit photos in this post.

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cape or Coat?

Coat: c/o Sheinside / Sweater: Old Navy (similar) / Boots: Hunter / Bag: Minkoff

I've been looking for a Camel coat, so when Sheinside offered to let me pick some clothes from their site, I went for this cape/coat/trench coat hybrid. I love the color and fit of the coat, but the style will take some getting used to!

For starters, this coat looks best when it's buttoned up...and secondly, it doesn't really have sleeves, so it doesn't work for VERY cold weather. On the plus side, you don't have to worry about over-heating, since you can stick your arms out at any time!

If you're looking for a cape coat, here are a couple of options:

1. Nasty Gal / 2. Sheinside / 3. Sheinside / 4. Romwe / 5. The Limited

Here's the outfit pic I shared on Instagram:

Would you wear a cape/coat?

p.s. Winner of my LG G3 contest is Adrienne Pham (@hopefulshoppaholic). Congrats - please check your email! 

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

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I'm in a Magazine!

Last week I received a text from a friend - she had seen my picture in Glow Magazine. I was so excited that my Clairol #shiftashade experience was printed in a full page feature (page 59 here)...I can't wait to get hold of a print copy!

We recently returned from a mini-break to Muskoka - it was quite a change from our visit in the summer! We had so much fun playing outside and learning how to snow-shoe. By the way, my H&M crossbody bag is going strong 4 years later - it was the perfect bag to take outdoors: it kept my cellphone safe and I didn't have to worry about it getting ruined.

Speaking of old favorites, I'm still loving my Old Navy fox sweater!

Sweater: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Louis Vuitton Speedy 25, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

Since I can't stop wearing plaid blanket scarves, I've added this new one to my collection. When I'm not wearing them around my neck, I like to fold them in half and wear them as shawls.

Shirt: Express, Scarf: c/o Sheinside (similar), Bag: Louis Vuitton Speedy 25, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

Another recent arrival is this stunning metallic necklace from Pink Lovebird - I love pairing it with my new metallic heels!

Shirt: H&M, Jeans: GAP (similar), Heels: Marc Fisher (similar), Necklace: c/o Pink Lovebird

Speaking of shoes - I'm desperately stocking up on all the Target goodies I can find before they leave Canada (sob, sob...I'm still sad about this!) I think the cap-toe espadrilles will be especially popular this summer - they're very Chanel-inspired! I'm also keeping an eye out for these gold glitter sandals - they're SO beautiful!

Cap Toe Espadrille Flat / Grey Sparkly Flats / Cognac Ballet Flats

Do you have any bargain favorites that are still going strong - like my H&M bag?

UPDATE: Hubby picked up 2 copies of GLOW magazine:

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

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Korean skincare, Poppies & Untold perfume

When it's freezing outside and your skin is suffering, there's nothing better than indulging in some "me-time" pampering. From softening scrubs and moisturizing masks to comforting perfumes, I've been having a lot of fun testing out some new products.

Masque Bar (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart: $9.99 for 3-5 masks)
What is it: A range of sheet masks and cream masks with concentrated ingredients that provide intensive treatment and effective results.
My thoughts: Korea is definitely at the forefront of beauty and skincare trends. Many of the the best products debut there - and within 2-3 years, other countries start producing their own versions of Korean-inspired products (think BB creams, snail gel and 10-step nightly skincare routines). Sheet masks (thin pieces of cotton soaked with serum) are an integral part of Korean skincare, so I was excited to learn that a Korean company named Masque Bar was launching 18 skin-beautifying masks in Canada.

Although I really wanted to try the face sheet masks - I'm at the tail end of an acne outbreak (story of my life) and didn't want to introduce anything new in to my routine, so I opted for the lip gel patch and the foot sock masks. The lip patch was VERY generously sized (it would have covered my chin if I hadn't trimmed it down) and my family killed themselves laughing when they saw me wearing it! It was quite slippery and took a while to settle into place. I was worried that the foot sock mask would be messy, but the lotion is contained in a thick material (like what they use to make disposable tablecloths). I could still walk around (carefully) during the 20 minute treatment. Of the two products, I didn't notice much of an effect from the lip care patch (maybe the gel material isn't as effective as the sheet ones) - but the foot sock mask was amazing. My feet felt soft and smooth (as if I'd had a pedicure with soaking and exfoliating!) This is 100% something I'd use weekly in the summer to keep my feet sandal-ready! After my sheet mask success, I can't wait for my face to heal so that I can try the Pomegranate sheet mask -  my skin definitely needs some brightening!

The Bodyshop Poppy Collection
What is it: Limited Edition Collection featuring vibrant colors and Smoky Poppy Seed-infused skin care products.
My thoughts: There's a lot of bright-colored makeup products for the spring - from yellow and orange nail polishes to pink and green eye shadows. I'm wearing the Colour Crush Nail Polish in "Mad About Blue" in the photo below. The formula is very shiny and rich with a jelly-finish that I loved. The polish is very pigmented - it was completely opaque in one coat (although I applied 2 layers out of habit!).

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Scrub

I really enjoyed trying out the Smoky Poppy body products - especially the Smoky Poppy Body Scrub (pictured above right). The black poppy seeds are suspended in a creamy base - it glides across your skin smoothly and is easy to massage  in. Other scrubs I've used have granules that dissolved too quickly or were too jagged and rough, but these poppy seeds provided the perfect amount of exfoliation.  After rinsing off, your skin is moisturized and silky - so you can skip the body lotion step if you wish. I love how the slightly smoky floral perfume remains on my skin.

UNTOLD Absolu Eau de Parfum ($52)
What is it: Amber-based perfume infused with notes to capture the many sides of a woman, such as Jasmine for refinement and Tahitian Vanilla for mystery.
My thoughts: I love layering fragrances - my favorite combination is a sweet long-lasting base perfume mixed with a spritz of citrus for freshness. This works perfectly as my "base" fragrance - it reminds me of another of my long-time "sweet and spicy" favorites - Angel. Definitely a good pick if you're looking for something wholesome and long-lasting without being cloying.

Have you tried any Korean skincare and beauty products? If so, which are your favorites?

Don't forget to enter my LG G3 giveaway here!

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

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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bag Review: Chanel Half-Moon Black Caviar WOC (Wallet on a Chain)

My Chanel Half-Moon WOC bag review post is long overdue - I purchased it in December 2013 but didn't get around to writing my review until now. This is definitely one of my dream bags - I love the durable pebbled caviar leather, the classic black color and the embossed cc design - it's the perfect special occasion bag!


While I will always adore my Classic Quilted WOC (dimensions: 4.5 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches), I like the larger size and extra capacity of the Half-Moon design (dimensions: 4.5 x 9.25 x 2 inches). Because of the pouched design, you can stuff the Half-Moon WOC and still have it close easily, whereas the rectangular shape of the Classic Quilted WOC is more structured and rigid.


I definitely have to down-size my essentials when using the WOC. Here's a picture I took last year during fashion week: I put my cards and cash in a small LV case, added two lip products and my iPhone - there was just enough space left over for my camera and business cards.


One of the reasons I love the Chanel WOC is because of the multiple ways you can wear it. You can keep the chain long for casual day wear - and make the strap shorter for formal occasions. You can even tuck the chain inside and use it as a clutch. (To adjust the strap length, you can loop the chain and tuck it in under the flap - double it for a shoulder bag and triple it for hand carry).

How to wear a Chanel WOC
I'm 5'4 for strap size reference. Blouse: LOFT, Necklace: J.Crew Factory, Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

What's your favourite Chanel bag? I'd love to own a classic flap one day - but I don't think I could ever justify one given the current prices!

Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here


p.s. Can you notice a difference in picture quality between my 2nd and 3rd photo? The 2nd was taken with my LG G3 and the 3rd with my iPhone 4s! Don't forget to enter my LG G3 giveaway here!

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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blogging Through A Different Lens...

As a fashion and beauty blogger , my most-used item is my phone...I use it for EVERYTHING. From snapping outfit selfies and product pictures to updating social media and editing blog posts - it's my one-stop-blogging machine!

I was super-excited to receive the LG G3 phone from LG Canada... AND I have one to give away to an Ella Pretty Blog follower!!! Read on for the top 5 ways LG G3 has made my blogging better - then fill in the rafflecopter below the chance to win your own LG G3 phone.

1) My Selfie Game is Strong - When sharing outfit photos, every megapixel counts. Switching from an 8 megapixel camera (on my iPhone 4s) to the 13 megapixel LG G3 camera has made a huge impact in the clarity of my outfit selfies. Can you see the difference?

13 megapixel camera on LG G3 versus 8 megapixel camera on iPhone 4s

The LG G3 makes it easy to take good selfies. It has a 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera, a Soft Light feature to illuminate your face and a built-in Beauty Tool to automatically airbrush your photo. Here's a winter wonderland selfie I took with Elaine - pretty clear for a front-facing camera shot, don't you think? And thank you Beauty Tool slider for the gift of clear skin ;-)

2) My Product Photography Got Prettier - Most of my beauty product photos are shot on my phone. Not only does the LG G3 13 megapixel camera capture incredibly detailed pictures (like the one below), the advanced sensor lets in a lot of light. I don't have to fiddle with a lot of settings - I just tap on the screen to focus, and I have the perfect shot! I always use the Cheese Shutter/Voice Command feature (no need to tap the shutter button, so I can use both hands to stablize the camera). I just say one of the magic words (kimchi!) and it takes the photo.

3) Social Media is Simpler - Tweeting and Instagramming is so much better with the 5.5 inch LG G3 screen. It's easy to type on versus the 4.5 inch screen on my iPhone 4s (check out the size difference below!) I also like using the Dual Window feature, which splits the screen and lets me run two apps side-by-side at the same time.

Comparing iPhone 4s and LG G3 phone

4) Slim and Easy to Carry Around - The LG G3 is super-thin at 0.35 inches, and only weighs 5.26 oz. It slips easily into the slimmest of purses - and despite its large screen, it still fits into the back of my jeans' pocket! So no matter what bag I carry - there's always space for my phone.

5) Switching Over is Easy - I'm not the most tech-savvy person around...and yet it only took me ONE night to switch over from my iPhone to the LG G3! Set up is so simple - I just followed the on-screen instructions, signed in to my Google account - and I was nearly halfway there. Here's a tip - download the "Send Anywhere" app on your iPhone and LG G3, and transfer your contacts over in one easy step. There were android versions for most of my favorite iPhone apps - and where there wasn't, I found great alternatives (UB reader instead of iBooks and Fotor instead of Camera+). (edit: With regards to syncing between phone and laptop - I have a PC not a Macbook, so I've always used Dropbox rather than the cloud to transfer files.)

Now that you've read why I love the LG G3, would you like to win one of your own? If so - enter the Rafflecopter form below. Please note that the contest is only open to Canadian residents. The winner will win one new LG G3 phone from LG Canada - you will be responsible for unlocking the phone for compatibility with your existing cellular service provider. Check back here on March 16 to see if you've won!

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS (All mandatory entries will be double-checked. You must complete all mandatory steps to qualify for the prize):
1) Follow @ellaprettyblog and @lgcanada on Instagram
2) Follow @ellaprettyblog and @lgcanada on Twitter
3) Repost the specified image on Instagram
4) Retweet the specified tweet on Twitter

1) Follow Ella Pretty Blog on Bloglovin
2) Help me make Ella Pretty Blog better! Tell me - what type of posts do you enjoy reading here?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLAIMER: LG provided me with the G3 phone (and one to give away) but all opinions are from my own experience using the phone. As you can tell, I'm loving it!

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Plaid, Stripes and Metallics

I love scarves and usually wear different ones all the time - but because this winter is so cold, and my plaid blanket scarf is so warm, there hasn't been much rotation in my closet!

Scarf (similar) / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

But I have tried different ways of styling my scarf - including belting it and wearing it as a poncho/cape!

Scarf (similar) / Sweatshirt: Old Navy (similar) / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version)

I've also been pattern-mixing, pairing my plaid scarf with striped sweaters.

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene
Scarf (similar) / Sweatshirt: Old Navy (similar) / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version) / Bag: Speedy 25

I'm still pinching myself about my latest post for Yummy Mummy - I got the chance to interview Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn LOL!) She's so gracious and gorgeous - of course I HAD to ask her about her beauty secrets! Read my interview here.

I had a mini-shopping date with Elaine...I have a thing for trench coats, and I'm considering this GAP one - especially because it's majorly on sale!

Trenchcoat: GAP / Boots: c/o Cougar

I've been loving metallic shoes for spring - I found these pretties at Winners. I was seriously tempted by the sandals but I thought that the heels would be a better investment (they were both priced around $40).

Sandals:(similar Birkenstocks, budget versionHeels: Marc Fisher (similar, similar)

Although, looking at this picture...I might have to go back for the sandals after all!

EDIT: I made a quick graphic showing my favorite ways to wear a plaid blanket scarf!

Are you a Jane Seymour fan? Did you ever watch Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?

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


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