Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Tale of Two Bags - Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene

I've added a new handbag to my collection - the Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene.

Although I've owned both the Speedy 25 in Monogram and the Neverfull PM in Damier Ebene, I realized that I loved the shape (and zip closure) of the Speedy, but the design (and indestructibleness) of Damier Ebene bags.

Rather than owning two bags that I liked, I decided to sell them both and purchase the one bag I really loved! I was a little apprehensive about the bag-selling process, but I posted them on Instagram and luckily both bags were picked up by people I already knew! So this weekend I was finally able to head over to Yorkdale and pick up my dream bag.

Modelling Picture of Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene
Shirt: Forever21 / Jeans: Garage / Boots: Old Navy (this year's version) / Necklace: c/o Pink Lovebird

I couldn't be happier with my new purchase - it really is the perfect bag! Some thoughts:
  • Of course it would have been simpler (and cheaper) if I had just purchased the Damier Ebene Speedy in the first place. But I think owning and using both bags really helped me realize what I liked - and I'm glad my other LV bags found good homes! 
  • The Speedy 25 is the perfect size for me (I'm 5'4) - as it has always held everything I needed. I decided against the Speedy Bandouliere version (which comes with a crossbody strap) because I have back issues, and the Speedy would be too heavy for me to wear cross-body. Also, I already have cross-body bags that I love (my Pashli and Coach Tanner).
  • When I purchased my first Speedy in 2010, one of the reasons I chose Monogram over Damier Ebene was because there were many reports of the glazed leather bag handles cracking and peeling. I think LV has addressed that issue in their newer Damier Ebene bags, so hopefully it will not be a problem.
  • Although all my LV bags were purchased from Holt Renfrew in Yorkdale - there have been some changes since I bought my Monogram Speedy there 5 years ago. This time they gave me an LV box with my dustbag (but the Sales Assistant told me store my Speedy JUST in the dustbag, NOT the box - otherwise it wouldn't air out properly and and the canvas could crack - have you heard of this happening?). Also, the lock and key now come in their own little dustbag - it's so cute!

Have you ever made a big purchase and then changed your mind? Which of these 3 bags do you like the best?
Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here!

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

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Meeting the Pixiwoo Sisters & My Favourite Makeup Brushes

Sam and Nic Chapman
Photo Credit: John Goldstein Photography

If you watch YouTube as much as I do, you'll understand why I was SO excited to meet the Pixiwoo sisters when they visited Toronto last month - I've been watching their videos for YEARS! Sam and Nic are EXACTLY the same in person as they are in their videos...and their makeup application is flawless - they are both just so gorgeous! Aside from their Youtube videos, the Pixiwoo sisters are also famous for channeling their professional makeup artist expertise to create the Real Techniques brush line.

The meet-up was hosted by Farleyco Marketing - the official Canadian distributors of Real Techniques brushes. After taking pictures with the Pixiwoo sisters, we sat down for a Question and Answer session. Here are some of my favorite tidbits from their talk:
  • Their favorite Real Techniques Brush: Sam loves the Expert Face Brush and Nic thinks that the Setting Brush does not get the attention it deserves.
  • How NOT to wash your brushes: One of their pet peeves is seeing their brushes being "drowned" in a sink full of soapy may seem like a quick way to wash your brushes, but submerging your brushes in water is a BAD idea - it will make the bristles fall out. (Try this instead - my top makeup brush cleaning tips)
  • Dealing with Haters: They are open to opinions and suggestions on makeup, but ignore baseless and personal attacks, as those reflect more about the commenter than their videos.
  • Who they watch on YouTube: Sam likes Lauren Luke and Nic enjoys Kandee Johnson's videos.  They said they don't watch too many other YouTubers as they don't want their style to inadvertently get influenced.
  • Using their platform for more than just makeup: The sisters recently posted a video about their experience with domestic abuse. They wanted to share their story and let other people going through a similar situation know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Not only do I love Pixiwoo's videos - I'm also a HUGE fan of their Real Techniques Makeup Brushes. The quality is amazing yet they're so reasonably priced. They are made of the softest synthetic bristles (no shedding!) which are hand-cut to ensure flawless makeup application. Their aluminum metallic handles are lightweight (and pretty!!!), while their non-slip bases ensure that the brushes won't roll off the counter when you set them down. BONUS - the Pixiwoo sisters film YouTube tutorials on how to use each brush!

My most-used Real Techniques brushes (In case you're wondering - I purchased these brushes myself and have been using them for at least a year, if not longer)

  • Domed Shadow Brush - I use this to apply concealer under my eyes - it smooths on an even and thin layer.
  • Buffing Brush - One of the most famous brushes in the Real Techniques line. It's the best foundation brush I've ever tried - it takes even the thickest foundation and applies it so that it looks smooth and airbrushed without any caking.
  • Multi Task Brush - I use this with my pigmented powder blush - the large domed head deposits a light dusting of even color.
  • Contour Brush - Smoothly applies my bronzer for contouring - subtle application which allows you to build up intensity without overdoing it.
  • Detailer Brush - Not a complete necessity, but I use this to apply lip balm at night. It helps to work the balm into my lips...and it feels really nice too!

Real Techniques Brushes to try (these were gifted by Farleyco Beauty, they kindly allowed me to select the products I wanted)

  • Sculpting Brush - Specially designed (with a wide angled head) for contouring -  I think it will make it even easier to define my face with highlighter and bronzer.
  • Miracle Complexion Sponge - Their version of the beauty blender. Modified from the classic teardrop shape, this design adds in a flat edge to make it easier to work around the eyes and nose.
  • Silicone Liner Brush - I can't wait to use this brush with my gel liner. It features a solid silicone tip rather than bristles - and is meant to apply liner smoothly and precisely. I also think the silicone will make it easier to keep clean.
  • Retractable Kabuki Brush - Will keep this in my travel makeup bag for applying powder, blush and bronzer. Also, I kind of wanted it just because it's pink and portable - it's SO pretty!

Do you watch Pixiwoo on YouTube? Do you own any Real Techniques Brushes?

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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First Forever21 Haul of the Year

Happy New Year - hope you had a fun-filled Holiday season! We definitely had a lot of family time and rest over the holidays - unfortunately it was because we were all struck by a family-wide virus! Thankfully we're all on the mend now - although my daughter and I are still on antibiotics.

Forever21 Draped Surplice Blouse (CAD link)

I might have done some online shopping from the sickbed - I've been loving these Forever 21 wrap shirts - and I now own three! But they're less than $20, made of great material and are easy to wash & wear - so they're definitely worth getting multiples of!

Forever21 Draped Surplice Blouse (CAD link) / Bag

I got the black and taupe blouses in small, but the cream was sold out so I purchased it in medium. Although it's slightly looser, I like the extra length!

Forever21 Layered Panel Chiffon Blouse (CAD link)

I tend to wear a lot of white and cream colors - but I also love vibrant colors too - like this hot pink chiffon blouse.

Forever21 Essential Pleated Top (CAD link)

And this radiant orchid top - I've been looking for a blouse in this shade for at least a year!

Forever21 Hooded Toggle Coat (CAD link)

I also ordered this camel coat - it's the perfect color but I'm not sure if it's a keeper - I wish the material was a bit thicker and warmer.

Apricot Long Sleeve Metallic Yoke Pockets Coat (size: small)

This jacket also arrived in the mail - it was sent to me by Sheinside. I'm completely in love with it - it's everything I wanted the Uniqueen Malang Jacket to be: it can be fastened up the front, it's tailored but the lining is not too thick (or hot) - plus the shoulder fit and the sleeve width are perfect!

Wow - it felt good to get this post written out - I've missed blogging over the past couple of weeks, and I can't wait to get all caught up! Also, stay tuned for a VERY exciting blog giveaway coming up soon (hint - it's an amazing smartphone!!!)

Have you made any clothing purchases recently? Which of these pieces is your favorite?

Disclaimer: I purchased the Forever21 items myself. The Sheinside jacket was sent to me by the company.

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


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