Monday, 24 August 2015

Shoes that every girl needs

So shoes. I'm a hoarder... maybe you are as well? But when it comes to shoes, I can honestly say I'm not really into high end names. I've often found that even the ones that cost so much, can really hurt my feet. So, for me personally it's always been comfort over style. BUT if you can get both in shoes, then why not?

Some advice for shoe shopping is to try them on both feet, walk around in them and make sure they aren't too tight or too lose. I know a lot of women have that idea of wearing excruciating painful heels with the hopes that they will "break them in". This is the case for SOME shoes but remember that comfort is wayyy more important. So please don't do that to your feet!

There are certain styles of shoes that I believe every woman should have in her closet, so let's do a rundown of the styles. I am not going to endorse any brands because to be honest there isn't one brand that is great for everyone. 

Classic Black Heels
Black heels are great for a date night, to make an office outfit look chic and overall goes with everything really. Even skinny jeans and cute top. So this has to be a staple in any woman's closet. I know I said I wasn't going to endorse any brand names, but we all know when it comes to black heels - the Christian Louboutins are definitely one pair that everyone knows or has at least seen. You know... the ones with the red soles? Yes those.

Ballet Flats

The opposite of heels. They are heavenly for your feet but can also be super chic. I personally have them in a variety of colours. But nude flats go with just about everything. Or black. You can never go wrong with black flats either.

Simple Sneakers

Yes I admit it, sneakers aren't exactly classy or something that you can really wear with a sexy black dress. BUT sneakers are a must in everyones closet. They are super comfy, great for walking and also look great with jeans, shorts, or a cute summer skirt. 

Sandals

They are super cute in the summer. You can even get the ones with the straps or go crazy with the print and colour. But this is a must in anyone's closet. 

Platform wedges
This is a great way to get some height without the pain that comes in some heels. I personally love wedges in the summer with a cute maxi dress. You can go as high or low in the platform height as you need. 

Strap-on ankle Heels
I love wearing these with cropped pencil pants or a cute skirt. They also ensure that your shoes don't slip off from the back, which is an added bonus. You can even find ballet flats with strap-ons as well or heels in a variety of different heights.

Riding boots

These are super cute for winter and even for the falls. Grab some skinny jeans or tights and opt for these to make your cooler months look trendy!

Lace-up Boots

Now the military boot style was really big last winter and still is. But if that's not what you are into, so prefer something more sophisticated, then you can opt for something more simpler. But these are great to change up a look and look great with just casual clothing. 

Booties





They don't go as high up as normal boots but are super chic and can be worn pretty much all year round. I personally love booties. With laces, or without - they are super comfy and offer some added height. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Luxury Handbags you NEED in your life

So handbags... we all love them. I know I do. I use to be the type of girl who would roll my eyes at my mom whenever she would ogle at some for hours at the department store. But now, oh how I've become my mother in this aspect! I cannot get enough. And let me break it down for you. We all love those luxury brands.. I'm talking Chanel, Louis Vuitton... you get me right? But of course I would be lying if I said we can all afford them. Of course some of us just stare in envy when someone walking past us has one of those swinging from her arm. BUT did you know - if you really saved up and got ONE super nice high end handbag, it may not be a stupid idea at all.

My reasoning? Well let's suppose you do what I do... you run into your department stores - buy something that looks great, super cheap but then to your dismay what happens? It cannot withstand the wear and tear of your hectic lifestyle - or your insane need to dump unnecessary things into your handbag. Hey I'm not judging here! We all do it..

I know these handbags are expensive and that the average working woman cannot even begin to justify such a purchase. BUT hear me out. If you actually count how many crappy bags you've bought that have literally fallen apart - you will get where I'm coming from. I've been there, done that but I can honestly say that now I'm going to invest in one nice handbag per year. Yes ONE handbag every year. I think it not only lowers my potential to hoard unnecessary bags in my closet, but if you go for chic, classic colours and styles, you'll be surprised how little handbag shopping you will need to do! And if you get bored of them - you KNOW without a doubt that these handbags will resell well. So let's get started on some cult favs..

Chanel 2.55 - Double Flap Classic


So the Chanel 2.55 actually comes in lambskin and caviar print (which is a bit sturdier). The black classic handbag is known. You've seen it, I've seen it. We've all seen it around. So maybe you are wondering what's with the 2.55? It's actually the date of production for this beauty = February 1955, a nice history lesson for you!

 Caviar prints are a bit harder to come by and the handbag ranges from small, medium (small in US), large, jumbo and maxi sizes. There are also other colours available such as beige, red and yellow - however if you are looking for a lifetime handbag - then the classic black will never go out of style!

Retail = Used to new can range from $2000 - 5000 USD

Louis Vuitton - monogram canvas tote




Who hasn't heard this name? Those brown handbags with the LV prints are classic! And although the Louis Vuitton handbags come in a wide variety of styles and sizes - you can't go wrong with the classic canvas tote. These are pretty simple in their design but they offer a lot of room and are the most popular handbags by far.

Retail = Use to new can range from $1000 - 3000 USD

Céline - mini luggage


Céline handbags are pretty well known now - not as famous as the Chanel handbags however these are on the larger size so are very practical for a handbag that can fit most things. There are different styles available, such as the trapeze and phantom however the mini luggage continues to be the most sought after. You may remember the famous tricolour handbags that have been seen on the arms of many Hollywood celebrities. 

Retail = Used to new range from $1500 - 4500 USD

Hermès - Birkin


You knew this one had to be done. It's crazy expensive... I don't even know if I can afford one in my dreams but how can you not have this as part of the high end handbag post? So Hermès bags also come in a slightly different style = the Kelly is another popular one but the Birkin still proves to be the most popular by far. The handbag comes in many different colours - ranging from the classic black and tan colours to vibrant orange and blue. It's the price tag on these things that will cause a mild heart attack.


Retail = Used to new range from $9000 - 30,000 USD

Yves Saint Laurent - Classic monogram tassel clutch
This one is so popular for those nights out. The classic clutch in black is one you must have seen on fashionistas alike! Although this comes in different materials and colours - I simply adore the classic black leather one. It's a classic cult item if you are a YSL fan or simply want a clutch that will never go out of style. The tassel adds some drama but of course YSL offers other styles without it. There are also larger totes, canvas handbags available BUT if you are looking for just one item from YSL - this one has got to be it for me!

Retail = Used to new range from $700 - 1550 USD

Valentino - Garavani "Glam Lock" shoulder bag
This one is very fierce with the studded metal detail on the flap. It's also a similar size to the YSL above but comes in a bit smaller. It's perfect for a night out and also comes in a wide range of colours as well. Now Valentino handbags are known for their studded details. For some this may not fit the bill for a "classic" high end look but believe me, it is this detail that screams Valentino. There are the larger Rockstud handbags but I personally would opt for this clutch as it's smaller, more classic cult Valentino.

Retail = Use to new range from $900 - 2600 USD

Givenchy - Antigona
I adore this tote. I love the amazing colour range and the overall look is cool, chic and definitely something that can fit many things inside of it. It comes in a WIDE variety of colours, the popular multicolour styles are out there and it also comes in small, medium and large sizes. This is another popular handbag seen amongst many Hollywood celebrities.

Retail = Used to new range from $2000 - 6000 USD

I hope you learned a thing or two. Maybe even understand where I'm coming from when I say investing in less, high quality items is a good thing. And these handbags especially the Chanel and Louis Vuitton are very popular and will be for years to come.

If you are on the lookout for preowned handbags to save some extra bucks but are afraid of the fakes out there - and believe me there are! I will be doing upcoming posts on how to spot fakes. I wanted to share two amazing websites with you guys that sell preowned high end handbags for great prices. They all have been authenticated, so are 100% real and they have wide selections to choose from. You can also sell your used high end handbags here as well. Check them out here:

LXR & Co - Luxury Vintage
Portero

xoxo

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Trendy Trainers

Working out and eating right. Some of us despise this, tolerate it or simply try to ignore it. Whatever your feeling is when you hit the gym or think about hitting the gym... a great trendy pair of trainers can actually make you want to at least make the effort. I swear I'm not joking! Sometimes all you really need is some style inspiration to make you want to get your sweat on.

I've come across and salivated at some of these really hot trainers - and I swear... if I had one of these in my closet, I would definitely be hitting the gym more often, or at least trying to!

Some of you may have already seen a few of these doing the rounds, but Nike has really stepped up their style game with these super cute trainers for fitness. I think gym wear is already being pretty trendified (I just made up that word...sorry!) But you get the picture right? We've seen the vibrant pants, the really cute coloured tanks but these trainers really get all the attention.

So here's a rundown of my personal favs and some of which I just want to get my hands on.

My fav Nike free run trainers:










So I hope this rather different blog post inspires you to get out there, maybe even pick up a cool pair that suits you and gets you motivated enough to make an effort to be in the best shape ever! There's nothing more important than your health - physical, emotional and mental. So do what makes you happy and keep fit and happy!

xoxo

Makeup questions answered

I decided to steer clear of a fashion post today... and head back to makeup. There's a ton of stuff I want to explore and kind of teach you guys. I'm no expert! *Disclaimer!* BUT I have been testing and going through reviews and the process of trial and error for such a long time that I might as well have just gone into cosmetology... So when I'm not blogging or working on something I love to answer makeup related questions for my girlfriends and I always feel like my makeup errors and experiences are a great way to teach you all how to avoid them. I think I'll do a run down of common questions that I get asked from many women in my life and tips and tricks that I've personally learned. So... let's get started shall we?

1. My skin sucks. I cannot find anything to cover up my acne!

I always like to start off with this question because it just really pinpoints why a lot of women have trouble with coverage when applying foundations, BB creams, etc. We are not supposed to be using makeup to COVER up! There! I've said it. Makeup should enhance your already gorgeous features. Sure we might have something on our face that we don't necessarily love... but you don't need plastic surgery to solve that. Makeup is definitely art for me, especially when I see what some people can really do with a good brush and some great products.

Start with with an acne cleanser, a good moisturizer, and sunscreen.
You need to remember that good, healthy skin is what really makes your makeup look impeccable to begin with. No amount of foundation is going to hide those acne bumps! Make it a habit to wash your face at least twice a day. 

Remove that makeup before you go to bed and definitely eat healthier. Eating out daily, pigging out of junk foods and sugary-foods definately break me out more than I'd like to admit. So if your skin looks dull - take care of it the old fashioned way - by keeping it clean. Don't spend crazy amounts of money on makeup to cover it up. Attack the problem head on!

I also want to add here - if you do suffer from extreme acne, which some people do and is totally okay and treatable. Please see your doctor. I've had friends in my teens and even later on who have struggled with it and got professional treatment and now have beautiful skin. There's no shame in that. Like our bodies and hair - your skin is the first thing anyone sees. You need to take care of it!



Here are some products that I really love and swear by:

* Clarsonic Mia - great tool which I've mentioned a million times already to really clean your skin. Use with a cleanser and you're on your way to beautiful clean skin

* Avene sunscreen - sunscreen is really important to keep your skin looking healthy and protected. Even if it may be cold outside, UV damage can still occur so keep this on you! Remember to apply at least half an hour before going outside.

* Origins spot remover - this is a great product to put on any pimples and zits before you head to bed at night. Simply put it on any areas where you feel a pimple coming or already have and the next morning you will notice a significant improvement

*Neutrogena and Clean & Clear cleansers - I think a lot of drugstore brands make awesome cleansers. You don't need to break the bank to take care of your skin or any part of your body for that matter. As long as the product says it's for acne prone skin, you should be good to go!

*Biotherm or Boscia makeup removers - Both of these are my favs when it comes to removing all that makeup at the end of the day. Why I'm mentioning it is because taking off makeup is extremely important! You need to make sure you do this religiously to avoid clogging pores.

2. I have dry patches on my skin no matter how much I moisturize.


You need to exfoliate. At least do it twice a week and make it a habit. I suffer from dry skin, especially in the colder months because of the harsh cold. You not only need to make sure you change up your moisturizer during this time to combat the extra dryness but you also need a good exfoliator. Again I recommend Neutrogena or Clean and Clear.. they seem to have amazing products which I have tried and tested.  I usually opt for Aveeno moisturizers when my skin needs some extra love and care and has bouts of dryness.



3. I can never wear darker lipsticks because my lips are so thin!


Never underestimate the power of a good lip liner and some matte lipstick. Okay before we even get into the lipstick or liner... you need to exfoliate your lips! Otherwise the dryness will just be emphasized further when you put on that lipstick! A good and inexpensive exfoliator is just to take some sugar and mix it up with some olive oil. I use this whenever my lips feel dry and patchy and it works wonders.

So once your lips are exfoliated, make sure you use a good lip balm to give your lips some moisture. I personally love Eos in the mint scent. And then take a lip liner that exactly matches your lip shade or is a bit lighter... DO NOT go darker than your lipstick shade please. This will just emphasize that you've lined over your lips.... not good. So now with your liner, you can add a bit of extra "lip" by overdrawing your lip line. DON'T GO CRAZY! You still want to look natural, so trace a bit over your natural lip line but nothing crazy dramatic. Once the lip liner has been done - fill it in with your fav matte lipstick. I really love wearing matte formulas rather than glosses or high shines because I find that it not only stays put longer but you can also use them to shape up your lips because of the high pigmentation. Here's a great chart to get the best lip shape, for any shape lips you may have:


Some personal lipsticks and lip products I love are:

* NYX matte lip creams - they come in such amazing colours and the pigmentation is just WOW! I need to purchase all of them! But so far out of the ones I own my favs are Adis Ababa and Antwerp.

* MAC matte lipsticks - I especially am in love with Riri Woo, Please Me and Mehr. You need to really play around with colours to know what suits you and your skin tone. It's all about experimentation. Of course there are so many brands out there that do matte lipsticks but I always gravitate to MAC.

4. My nose/face/cheeks look so undefined and chubby. How do I look more model-esque?

Contouring baby. It's all about that contour. Get a good, matte bronzer and you can shape anything. I love to do this to my nose, not that I really hate it but I love the definition that I get and it really makes it look like an instant nose job. Same thing goes for your jawline, temples and cheeks. As long as you know HOW to contour properly, use a light hand when applying and make sure you avoid overly glittery bronzers, you are good to go my friend. You can use a makeup sponge to contour but I find that a flat contour brush really helps get that definition. If you are a bit advanced with your makeup applying then you can also use a darker foundation colour that you might have lying around to achieve this as well.

For some added shine and that "glow", you can also highlight if you want. Bronzers and Highlighters really work with how the light hits your face and can hide and show off the areas of your face accordingly. Remember highlighters emphasis those features, while bronzers hide.

* Too Faced - Soleil Matte Bronzer - my personal favourite and again one that I've mentioned in a previous post. It is matte so it doesn't have any glitter which is great. And not to mention it smells like chocolate!


5. Where does my makeup go?! I apply it in the morning but it's all gone within a few hours. WHY?

Finishing powder! There's a ton out there - even some in spray forms (like Urban Decay's), some powders that match your skin tone, and others that are translucent so can work with any skin tone. These are a must, especially if you want your makeup to last ALL DAY long! If you have especially oily lids or want that extra coverage under your eyes to make sure your concealer doesn't budge, use a smaller brush and lightly powder that area.




I highly recommend these products which I've tested out myself and they really do last all day long...

* MAC - Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder - like I said it goes on clear, there's no colour to it, so you can't go wrong with it. And it's amazing, I've used it for weddings, parties, etc and my makeup didn't budge

*NARS - Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder - again same as the MAC and also a popular finishing powder.

6. I can never hide my dark circles properly. Even after concealer it shows through. Help!

When it comes to concealing dark circles... there are a million tricks and tips out there. Some of them that won't work for you and others that will. The thing is you need to be open to experimenting. And once you find what works for you... well then your golden. Another thing is, you need to know the reasons as to WHY you have dark circles in the first place. Night owl? Low on iron/anemic? Or just blessed with hereditary dark circles? Whatever it is, whether it can be treated or not is also important. And again, I cannot stress this enough, before you go to bed every night, remember to remove all that makeup with a gentle remover. 

So here are some tips that work for me personally:

* MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Peach Lustre followed by your favourite concealer. Now this highlighter is actually more popularly used as a corrector and helps eliminate that weird grey cast that you can get at times when you try to cover up dark circles ineffectively. 

* NARS creamy concealer - I can generally use this alone and it works very well. You can go a shade or two lighter than your actual skin colour but don't go any lighter or you will just end up looking like a ghost. 

Applying concealer correctly is also very important! Do not just pack it on under the eye. You need to apply it in the shape of an upside down triangle to take away from the darkness under the eyes. 


7. How do I pick the right foundation colour for me? How do I know how much coverage I need?


When choosing a foundation - it's important to know what works well for your skin and what kind of coverage you are looking for. If you generally have flawless skin and just small areas of discolouration or a few minor acne scars or a zit - don't go for anything full coverage. Keep it light and simple, even a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer can be good enough. 

If you want something with more coverage - because of an event coming up, maybe even your wedding - opt for a full coverage foundation that is oil free. But remember the correct way to pick a shade that works great for you is to swatch it on your cheek NOT your hands! The skin on your hands tends to be lighter than the face most of the time, this is mainly because it's not as exposed to the sun. So whatever colour vanishes perfectly on your cheek is the colour you should go for!



I personally use light coverage foundations and even BB creams. I think when it comes to BB cream - Bobbi Brown is amazing and it comes in several shades. And for foundation Urban Decay has some great ones - ranging from light to full coverage. 

8. I have huge pores and I can never get that "airbrushed" look even after applying foundation. Why?


There isn't really anything you can use to diminish your pores, but you can take care of your skin to clear any acne that will help bring attention to them. Contrary to popular belief, there's very little you can do with pore size. BUT for that airbrushed look when applying makeup - USE A PRIMER! Primers help foundation or any other makeup go on smoothly - basically provides the makeup with a fresh canvas to work on that makes your makeup look flawless.

I personally recommend Smashbox and Marc Jacob's primers.

9. Why do some lipsticks make my teeth look so yellow? Yikes!


You are most probably picking a lipstick with a yellow/orange base instead of blue. So avoid those! Cool toned pink shades and berry coloured lipsticks over brown are also popular to avoid looking like you have yellow teeth. Some of the popular shades which you may have heard of, and that are cult favourites include: MAC Ruby Woo, NARS audacious lipstick in Liv. 



Sunday, 16 August 2015

Business chic

One of the great things about an office meeting or just simply working in a professional setting is the dress code for me. Believe it or not, business attire can be fun to dress up or down. You can experiment with colours, patterns and even textures.

Even if you are still a student and the most business casual you see is just clean jeans and nice shirt... this can still be a good tool for those presentations where dress code is enforced. Or simply just bookmark this post until you have a job interview in the future.

Don't be afraid to experiment with patterns






We all envy those women who can gravitate away from the classic black suits... But why not be one of them? So grab a patterned pant. Try on that funky blouse with the patterns. It's great to spruce it up a bit and play with graphics and patterns on your blouse and pants. I'm not saying to dress up like a disco ball or anything but dressing up for the office can be totally chic.

Accessorize






If you can't waver from the classic black and beige suits... why not spruce up your wardrobe with sexy heels, a statement necklace, a trendy scarf or a really nice handbag. You can have those custom accessories to draw attention elsewhere if you aren't yet ready to take the plunge and wear something more "Hey I'm here!"

Colour your world!






When it comes to classic colours, I love me some black and white. It's chic, it's sexy, it's very modern. But let's be honest, even black and white daily can get boring. So even at work, don't be afraid to play around with some colour. You can easily incorporate it into your heels/flats, your handbag and then work your way from there. Maybe go with a sexy coloured skirt/pant and then wear a cool top. Go with the seasons if you have to for some extra added fun. Go for fun vibrant colours in the spring and summer and berry colours in the fall and winter. There's never a wrong time to incorporate colour. 

Blazers/Coats for added edge 





You don't need to always wear something funky or patterned to work. Sometimes just whipping out your coat or wearing a really cool patterned/textured blazer is enough. Again this is a great way to introduce some colour/texture and patterns into your office look.

Textured bottoms






I love pencil skirts and straight leg pants. But they can get boring if you don't play around with different textures. So why not try something new? Whether you love pants or skirts go ahead and play around with different patterns and textures. Not only does it look extremely fashionable, it's a really cool way to change up your look in an effortless way!

Toss out the blouse!






We all love the blouse for the office. It's easy, it comes in a variety of colours... and so you can't really go wrong. But nowadays with so many styles... why not experiment with sweaters and different style tops. 

Hopefully this helps you out, maybe gives you a memorable style at your next interview? Or just helps you navigate what to buy on your next shopping day for cool office attire. Whenever you are dressing up for an event, remember it doesn't have to be boring! And the most important tool to pull off any look effortlessly is always confidence.

xoxo