Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Favorite Forever21 Maxi Dresses

I have a tendency to hoard maxi dresses...I'm always worried they'll go out of style so I stock up when I can!

Jacket / Dress / Wantable Necklace

My current favorite is this Cutout Rose Maxi Dress from Forever21. I can't help but love the floral print (though I worry that I owned something like this in the late 90s...) and the rayon material is super-soft and comfortable. It also comes in a pretty white print version:

I thought I'd share some of my top maxi dress picks from Forever21 before they sell out. I adore their maxi dresses because they're under $30 but are so well-made and pretty!

1) Love the bold color and ruffle detail on this blue maxi dress - it also comes in a bright coral.

2) This Salmon Maxi dress is a classic choice - the shade is so flattering and would look amazing paired with gold accessories.

3) This scarf print dress is so bright and vivid - it's definitely the type of dress you'd pack if you were going on a beach holiday!

4) My last pick is more of a midi dress than a maxi dress - but I had to include it because a white cotton dress is a summer essential!

Which of these dresses is YOUR favorite? Do you hoard maxi dresses too?

DISCLAIMER: I purchased my F21 maxi dress myself.

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Style Sisters: LOFT Collaboration

I'm SO excited to share our collaboration with LOFT (#LovePrettyxLOFT). Elaine and I created the LovePretty series because we gravitate towards the same pieces while out shopping, but we style them completely differently. Elaine has a very chic look with dainty details, while I focus on simple basics and dress them up with sparkly jewelry and luxe accessories.

We both love the classic clothes at LOFT, so we're collaborating with them on a 2-post series featuring 3 items from their Spring/Summer collection. Elaine and I will be wearing the same items - but highlighting their versatility by putting our own twist on them. At the end of our series, we'll be hosting a reader giveaway with grand prizes of two $100 LOFT giftcards and runner-up prizes of LOFT summer clutches!

The first item we picked out was this Red Tile Print Henley blouse. It's a gorgeous lightweight material that is very silky and soft. I've paired it with distressed boyfriend jeans, strappy sandals and a structured bag. It's the perfect outfit for a coffee date!

LOFT Shirt / necklace (similar) / jeans / shoes (similar) / bag

The second piece we picked was this blue flower statement necklace. It has a very tropical feel, so I went into full holiday mode and wore it with leaf-print pants, turquoise sandals and a LOFT straw clutch. The necklace looks substantial but it's very light and comfortable to wear.
LOFT necklace / LOFT clutch / shirt (similar) / leggings / sandals (similar)

To check out how Elaine styled her pieces - click here!

And stay tuned for our second #LovePrettyxLOFT post, featuring our final outfits plus amazing giveaway prizes!

How would you style the LOFT shirt and necklace? Would love to read your outfit ideas!

DISCLAIMER: We selected the LOFT pieces featured here from their Spring/Summer collection, and they were gifted to us by the company. LOFT will also be providing giftcards and summer clutches for our giveaways.

Photo credit: Elaine

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Results of Anti-Aging Facial Exercise: Before & After Pictures

I've been a fan of Anti-Aging Facial Exercises as long as I've been blogging - in fact, it was one of the topics I first posted about - back in 2009! Rather than using fillers to plump up your face, Facial Exercise helps build muscle to keep skin looking youthful and taut (read more about it here).

I was chatting with Elaine and she mentioned that her friend Marnie of Pelle Beauty uses Facial Exercises and has the MOST beautiful skin. I immediately asked for an introduction so that I could learn Marnie's beauty secrets - and share them with my readers too!

Here's why you'll want to read the rest of this post - check out what 5 years of facial exercise has done for Marnie - she does NOT look 44!

How Facial Exercise Can Make You Look Younger

What facial exercise technique do you follow (I've heard of Carole Maggio/Facercise and of Flex Effect, I personally follow Ageless If You Dare)?

I use the Carole Maggio version of Facercise. It's the only one I've used. I got her book on Amazon and then later on her DVD.

At what age did you start facial exercise? What results have you noticed?

I believe I started Facercise back when I was 39. I just recently turned 44 so that would be about 5 years. Time flies. When I started doing the facial exercises I was happy with how my skin looked so I was aiming for "maintenance", but as time went on, I noticed how toned my face looks, and that I have fuller lips due to the lip exercise. These exercises are great because it allows you to age very nicely. When the muscles under your face are toned, the skin doesn't sag. 

How often do you use Facial exercise - how long does it take daily/weekly?

The instructions say to use the exercise twice a day, but after a year of doing that I changed it to once a day. I do them at night right after I remove my makeup. I'll put on my facial oil, massage it in very well and then do the exercises. These exercises are also great as they act as a face massage.

What are your other anti-aging tips/favorite products.

That is easy...Pelle Beauty :)))) I use all of my skincare products. They work well with this program. I couldn't live without the facial oil blends. They are so important for healthy skin. I also highly recommend an overall healthy diet. Your diet does greatly impact your skin too. With beauty and skin health its a complete package. A healthy lifestyle greatly enhances your skin.

Photo Credit: Toronto Beauty Reviews

Want to meet Marnie in person? Blush Pretty Studio are hosting a Pelle Beauty Event on May 28th from 5-7 pm. If you're in the GTA and would like to attend, click here! To learn more about why Marnie created Pelle Beauty, read her interview here.

"A luxe and decadent line of natural and vegan face oils, Pelle Beauty is known for its use of essential oils to fortify the skin, to promote a healthy glow, and most importantly, to achieve a beautiful complexion through a natural and green routine."

Thank you Marnie for sharing your beauty secrets! I'm going to purchase the Facercise book immediately - the lip exercise sounds amazing. This has motivated to be more regular with my Facial Exercise program - it DEFINITELY pays off!

What is your anti-aging regimen?

Disclaimer: Am not being compensated by Facercise or Pelle Beauty for this post - I just love sharing beauty tips that actually work! 

P.S. I've found this article, which demonstrates some of Facercise's most popular exercises, including the lip plumper! And here's a video from Carole Maggio showing the Lip Plumper exercise in action.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Exciting News - I'm a Guest Stylist!

I'm so excited to have been chosen as Wantable's Accessories Stylist for the month of June!

I adore accessories...I definitely have a scarf and necklace addiction. I love how the right accessory can dress up a simple outfit, and make it look like you put in a lot more effort into your outfit than you actually did!

I enjoyed trying out a Wantable Accessories box in March - I filled in my preferences and was sent a mix of items: some that I would have picked out myself - and others that suited me but took me slightly out of my comfort zone. I especially loved my Iris necklace - it was such a hit during fashion week, that I was asked to participate in a FLARE streetstyle video!

I'm really looking forward to my month with Wantable - I'll be picking my favorite accessories and highlighting some fun styling ideas. And of course, there will be a giveaway - so please stay tuned!

Check out my feature here

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Writing Process - the Blog Tour

I was tagged by the adorable Lelo to participate in a Writing Process blog tour - so here goes!

1. What am I working on?
Along with my regular posts sharing outfit ideas, beauty tips and shopping hauls, I'm also working on a couple of exciting projects at the moment! The first one is a LOFT collaboration with Elaine (#LovePrettyXLoft) and the second one will be announced on Saturday. It's fun to work on projects that organically relate to the topics I'm most passionate about!

Sneak Peek of our LovePrettyXLoft project featuring the Striped Keyhole Halter Maxi

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't necessarily try to differentiate myself from other fashion and beauty bloggers (love them and am proud to be one!) - but there are certain guidelines that I stick to when I'm blogging. First, I only post what I actually wear - my outfits have to be comfortable, practical and fit in with my lifestyle. Second, I only write about topics that I'd be interested in reading about (no cutting and pasting press releases *yawn*). Some of my posts answer questions that I've searched for myself (i.e. What makeup should I wear to cover acne? Will the bag I love be able to fit all my stuff? What should I wear to a holiday party?)

Top: JACOB (similar), Leggings: H&M, Shoes: Nine West, Bag: Chanel WOC, Necklace: F21 (similar)

3. Why do I write what I do?
I've always been interested in beauty and fashion - I'd spend hours poring over magazines as a teen - it's always been my "me-time" hobby. I love finding ways of looking and feeling my best - whether it's a makeup trick or where to find super-stylish yet affordable clothing or how to remix what I already own. And I love sharing what I find with like-minded people - especially if it helps them too!

Necklace: J.Crew Factory, Shirt: J.Crew Factory (similar), Shoes: F21 (similar), Bag: Michael Kors Selma in Luggage

4. How does my writing process work?
Blogging is my hobby - and I want to enjoy it, so I try to keep it fun and pressure-free. I take my blog photos when my kids are at school and I write my posts after everyone has gone to bed at night (peaceful and no interruptions!) I also take lots of notes on my iPhone (especially when writing product reviews).

Who is next on the blog tour?
I've always had a stylecrush on Jessy, and I'm so excited that she's agreed to take part in this tour.

And don't forget to check out Lelo's blog for beauty reviews - she's such a talented makeup artist!

If you're a blogger, what is behind your writing process? Feel free to join this tour and answer these questions on your own blog!

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Maxi Dress Weather, Clubwear & Trying New Stores

With the gorgeous spring weather last weekend, I finally got to wear a maxi dress!

Dress: AMI Clubwear (c/o), Jacket: American Eagle Outfitters, Necklace: Joe Fresh (similar), Bag: Pashli
This striped maxi is from AMI clubwear. They contacted me a couple of months ago and asked if I'd be interested in trying some clothes from their site. I had seen them featured in People Stylewatch, so I had a look at their website...they definitely have some serious clubwear!

But they also have some cute clothes too, so I picked 3 pieces - this striped maxi dress, a gold crescent necklace and the black sweater wrap on the right. I would say their quality and pricing is comparable to Old Navy/H&M/Forever21. My only complaint is that the metal used on the crescent necklace is too soft - it fell apart the second time I wore it, though I was able to bend it back into place.

Wrap: AMI Clubwear (c/o), Necklace: AMI Clubwear (c/o), Jeans: Garage, Flats: Old Navy, Bag: Balenciaga

Speaking of trying new brands - I visited my first White House, Black Market store and fell in love. I thought they'd be too pricey for my budget - but their quality is amazing, and the prices (especially with sales) are comparable to ZARA. I left with this "Legally Blonde" jacket, and I'm tempted to go back for the blue tweed version, as well as this bow one. (I wrote about my love for Chanel-esque jackets here)

 Blue Tweed Jacket / Pink Tweed Jacket

Good thing I discovered White House, Black Market because JACOB is going out of business! Read my post here:

Are you open to shopping at new places or are you strictly loyal to a few brands?

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Saffiano Wallet, Gladiator Sandals & Recent Outfits

I've been looking for a slim, streamlined wallet - and after some window shopping, I decided on the Coach Soft Wallet in Leather. It has space for all my essentials, is made of durable Saffiano leather AND it's hot pink! Plus, I had a 25% off discount code - so it was the perfect time to make my purchase.

Studded Soda Gladiator Sandals
Soda Sandals (same brand, slightly different style), Coach Saffiano Wallet

Gladiator sandals are a summer-time staple - and I loved the look of these studded Soda ones I found at Winners. They have a zip up the back, so they're easy to slip in and out of. They also had these studded Hurache sandals but they looked a bit too bulky on me.


H&M Floral Kimono
my pashli / pink tweed jacket / patterned kimono

There are so many pretty Spring fabrics at H&M. When I got to the changing room, I realized I had unintentionally picked up coordinating pieces...can't go wrong with cream and pink!

H&M Floral Kimono

The floral kimono wrap is so pretty, but I didn't know if I'd wear it enough to justify its price tag. The pink tweed jacket is a beautiful colour, but it's too boxy and cropped.

Recent Outfits:

Despite it being May, it's still sweater weather - it feels so chilly out! And as usual, I've been wearing a lot of Old Navy - all my tops in these pictures are from there.

Heart Sweater:

Sweater: Old Navy (similar), Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Old Navy, Necklace: Banana Republic (similar), Bag: Pashli Mini

Flannel Shirt:

Shirt: Old Navy (similar), Necklace: J.Crew Factory, Jeans: Garage, Boots: Hunter, Bag: Pashli Mini

Army Jacket:

Jacket: Walmart (similar), Sweater: Old Navy, Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Old Navy, Bag: Pashli Mini

Sequin Sweatshirt:

Sweater: Old Navy (similar), Shirt: H&M, Jeans: Garage, Shoes: Old Navy (similar), Bag: Pashli Mini

If you need some Mother's Day gifting inspiration, check out my top picks under $50!

Tote & Mug / Pink Bracelet / Shea Gift Set / Gold Bracelet / Tote & Sandals

By the way, my friend Elaine is in the running to be a Canadian Island Connoisseur and spend 60 days in Tobago. She's made it to the top 10 (eeeek! so exciting!), please help her be chosen - just click on this link and select "Elaine Atkins". It's such an easy process - no need to register, and you can vote from anywhere in the world. She's one of the sweetest people I know - let's help make her dreams come true! (Read about why she wants to be chosen - and watch her super-funny video here!)

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


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