Monday, October 31, 2016

Travel Style Diary: Florence, Italy

Ciao from Florence! In case you haven’t been following along on Instagram, I’m travelling Europe for 3 weeks right now with some of my best friends right now, exploring Italy, Switzerland, France and England. We’ve spent 4 days in Florence, eating our hearts out and drinking wine for the most part.

Our hotel was blocks away from the famous Ponte Vecchio, which is lined with Florentine gold shops selling all kinds of jewellery and watches. Just on the other side of this bridge, we discovered this beautiful arched walkway to take some photos. The walkway lines the side of the Arno river and have a beautiful view of the buildings that line the river on the other side. It was a great little spot! Also just blocks away from the best panini shop, according to one of our group, who lived in Florence for 6 months. It was one massive panini, let me tell you. We also joined a Chianti wine tour and headed out into Tuscany visit two wineries in the area. The vineyards had amazing views of the countryside, and it was neat to try wines specific to the region, including the Black Rooster. You can check out my day in Instagram photos below!

The weather has been phenomenal in Florence, with temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius, so coats were definitely not necessary. I wore my super-comfy high-waisted pants with a cute blouse I picked up from Simons before the trip. I love styling black, white and camel! It’s always a winning combo. The pants are quite long, so I needed to wear heels, but with the old cobblestone roads I wasn’t sure how I’d fair in high heels. I ended up wearing my chunky-heeled leather ankle boots and they worked just fine. You just have to watch your step!

Stay tuned, I have another day of photos from Florence coming next week, and then we’re on to Switzerland.

Shirt - Simons (similar) | Pants - Forever 21 | Purse - JustFab | Boots - Zara (similar)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, October 28, 2016

Repairing Summer Skin Damage with Di Morelli Skincare

We know now, better than ever, the importance of taking care of our skin, especially when it comes to sun exposure. Especially when you're as burn-prone (read: pale) and freckled as I am, you're pretty conscious of your skin's health. I make sure to always wear SPF during the summer months - well, at least most of the time - but during the fall and winter months, I don't really have a skincare regime in place to help repair any summer skin damage. To be honest, I never really considered trying to "repair" my sun damaged skin at all.

Vancouver-based Di Morelli Skin Care recently introduced me to their product line, and it just so happens they have a 3 step regime for repairing summer skin damage - I figured I would be the perfect person to take it for a test run! I incorporated their SPF 35, Brightener and Vitamin C Serum into my daily routine for the last month:

Step 1: Vitamin C Serum for Face & Eye with Matrixyl

According to Di Morelli, this is the first step to healthier, more radiant skin! This serum, which is made for use on your face and eye area, stimulates collagen and fights environmental damage. I find it smells a bit like Dettol (if you've ever used the antiseptic), but the bf actually really liked the smell. I apply a thin layer over my whole face and around the eye area, and within a few seconds, it goes from an ever-so-light stickiness to completely invisible.

Step 2: SPF 35 with Micronized Zinc Oxide & Vitamin E

Can't skip the SPF! I applied this after the Vitamin C Serum in the morning. Even in the fall and winter, it's important to protect your skin from the sun. I'm guilty of not applying SPF this time of year, but I'm getting better at it. I applied this for daily protection from damaging UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. It's oil-free and non-comedogenic too, in case you're breakout prone! It smells like your typical sunscreen, and applies quite nicely to the skin. No greasy texture.

Step 3: Brightener with Lactic, Azeliac and Kojic Acid

There's something about a night time skincare regime that I find luxurious and pampering. Before bed, I applied Di Morelli's Brightener. The texture is very similar to the Vitamin C Serum, with a strong smell of alcohol. The Brightener disappears into the skin super fast though, so no stickiness or residue is left on your pillow. Dead skin cells will be eliminated, and a brighter and more even skintone is revealed underneath! Got sun spots? The Brightener actually inhibits your melanin production. Plus, exfoliating the dead skin cells also helps to eliminate the bacteria that causes acne.

Here's the thing - a regime like this doesn't come cheap. Something I've learned over the last couple years, though, is to invest in my skin. Especially when it comes to something like sun damage, you really need to make commitment to repair and protect your skin - especially if you want to see long term results!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, October 24, 2016

What to Wear to High Tea (or Afternoon Tea) in the Fall

I came across an interesting style predicament last week: what does one wear when attending afternoon the fall? If you think of afternoon tea outfits, they're usually quite feminine, often floral, with soft pastels or other pretty colours. Usually that comes in the form of a sweet spring or summer dress. But what do you wear when your afternoon tea is happening smack dab in the middle of fall, or even winter? So I thought I'd share my tips with you, on how to make the transition!

Racinne, a Korean skincare brand, recently invited Vancouver Vogue and other Vancouver beauty media to a special event at the Fairmont Vancouver - for their new Carnival-inspired afternoon tea! I have been a fan of the Fairmont's tea services for many years, but realized that I have only been in the summer - which demands a very different attire than the cold windy days of October. So I set out to find an appropriate outfit:

The Dress

In the summer, I would go for a tea-length dress with a full skirt and bright or pastel colours. For fall, I still wanted the dress to have a very feminine feel, so I chose a dress with box pleats that gave it a very nice full skirt. For the colour, I went with something in fall hues: burgundy. I thrifted this dress a long time ago - you may recognize it from this post here. I've put some other great options together at the end of the post!

The Jacket

Unlike tea in the summertime or spring, a jacket is now a necessity. It's not winter yet, so right now in Vancouver you can still get away with just wearing a blazer over top. I decided to layer a plaid-printed blazer that gives off a very preppy vibe that's also quintessentially "fall"! This blazer is actually one of my most prized thrifted finds. I thrifted it from Value Village years ago - a Vivienne Westwood Red Label that I bought for a whopping $2.99 (and is worth about $875!!). A nice pea coat would be a good choice too if it's too cold for just a blazer. Something that's looked polished and classy.

The Shoes

Now, if it's very wet and rainy, your cute pair of high heels may not be the best option if you're going to be walking to the venue. I tried on some of my heeled boots, but decided the calf-height ones just weren't the right fit for an afternoon tea event. Instead, I opted for ankle boots that would keep my feet dry, but wouldn't impede on the otherwise girly outfit.

The Tights

Tights or no tights, that was the question! It's that odd time of year when I'm not quite sure if I should be adding tights into my wardrobe. It was quite a blustery day out (we were actually in the middle of a pretty nasty storm), so I opted for tights that were somewhat opaque. Completely opaque tights would be a good choice for winter. I think keeping with the dark colour scheme, rather than having my oh-so-white legs steal the spotlight was probably for the best.

I hope this helps you style your own afternoon tea outfit this fall! If you have your own tips, feel free to share below, I'd love to hear them.

Dress - thrifted via Value Village | Blazer - Vivienne Westwood Red Label (thrifted via Value Village) | Belt - vintage | Boots - Tommy Hilfiger (thrifted via Salvation Army) | Purse - Just Fab

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, October 21, 2016

Travel Beauty Essentials

Well folks, I'm officially off on a plane to Europe as you read this right now! This trip has been a very long time in the making, and I'm so excited to travel Italy, Switzerland, France and England with some of my very best friends for 3 weeks. I'm not going to lie, I have been meticulously planning the contents of my suitcase for months, from outfits all the way down to my beauty essentials. As much as I'd love to bring my entire wardrobe and beauty cupboard with me, I can only pack so much in my carry-on.

I remember very well the feeling of getting off an 8 hour plane, after sitting in stale air for hours, smelling awful, and knowing my skin could use a serious pick-me-up. So this time around, I made sure to pack some essentials to make sure I could avoid as much of that un-comfortableness as possible. If you're travelling too in the next while, check out these tips for what to bring along!

e.l.f. Studio Eye Refresh (available at London Drugs)

This little roller is perfect for waking up your peepers! Just roll some underneath your eyes to help alleviate puffiness and dark circles. It's infused with pomegranate, rosemary, green tea, cucumber and grape to hydrate and nourish around the eyes. I love how compact it is: I'm throwing it in my carry-on so I can pop it out right before the flight lands.

Racinne Ultimate Aqua Blanc SPF 25 Protective Lotion

This little lotion is the perfect size for travel! Obviously, you may not need the SPF25 protection while you're on a plane, but this little bottle also provides all-day moisturization and brightens the complexion with a healthy glow (and believe me, my dull skin could use some moisture and brightening after a long flight).

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray (available at London Drugs)

This is great for giving yourself quick spritz mid-flight to refresh your face. The formula contains soothing and softening properties to treat your skin to some much needed pampering!

Dove Go Fresh Anti-Perspirant Stick in Enegerizing (available at London Drugs)

Remember what I said about smelling awful? I don't know what it is about flights - probably a combination of the rushing around the airport, sweating away, and then sitting in the stale air of a plane for hours on end in the same clothing. I always want to burn whatever I was wearing when I get off a flight. So this time, I made sure to pack a 48-hour anti-perspirant in my carry-on. That way, I can re-apply if necessary to make sure I still smell fresh when I get off the plane. I really like the smell of this particular one - it's nothing floral or overbearing, just a nice fresh scent!

Lancome La Vie est Belle - Travel Spray

Once I get off the plane, a quick spray of my favourite perfume, La Vie est Belle, makes me feel more put together. The scent is quite light, with top notes of pear and blackberry. I received this mini spray bottle of La Vie est Belle in a gift set I purchased from Holt Renfrew a couple of years ago. I know you can buy the roller-ball version, which is also a great size for travel, from Ulta! Another idea is to take a tester sample with you. I have a couple I've accumulated from beauty counters. It's worth popping by your local beauty department to see if they have one!

Revlon Eyes, Cheeks + Lips Palette in Seductive Smokies (available at London Drugs)

Everything, all-in-one! This is literally the perfect makeup palette for travel. In the last half hour of the flight, touch up your makeup all at once: choose from 6 eyeshadows, 4 lip colours, and there's even a nice neutral blush, and small brushes and applicators included. You'll step off that plane feeling like you're ready to take on the world!

Don't forget to take a sleep mask along too, so you can use the long flight to catch some beauty sleep!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, October 17, 2016

Find a Chic Suit on a Budget

Oh man, when I saw this BCBG MaxAzria suit in Salvation Army, it was love at first sight. Do you ever have that moment when you find a thrifted clothing item that looks amazing, and inside your head, you're freaking out thinking "What if it doesn't fit? This has to fit. This is literally so amazing I am going to MAKE IT WORK somehow, even if it doesn't fit!" And then you cross all your fingers and toes as you try it on, hoping it will just fit like a glove? Yeah all of that went through my mind when I found this suit. Thankfully, this was one of those times where the stars aligned and it actually did fit perfectly!

Everyone should have at least one good suit in their wardrobe, and a few pieces of workwear, but it can get really expensive really fast. A good suit or the perfect pair of nice dress pants can run you quite a lot. I'm not one to splurge on stuff like that, so every once in a while, I'll scour my local Value Village or Salvation Army looking for good finds. This whole suit ended up costing me only $24.99!! I've found some great thrifted dress pants and blazers over the years too, from brands like Banana Republic and Judith & Charles. Most items were $8 and under, with some of the more expensive items being only as high as $30.

My biggest piece of advice when thrifting suits, blazers and dress pants: if you're not sure, just try it on! Grab a bunch of different sizes and brands. Sizes fluctuate between brands, so you might be surprised what fits. And don't get hung up on the length, you can always get that tailored if you really need to.

You never know what you'll find. The only way to find the gems like this is to start thrifting!

Suit - BCBG MaxAzria (thrifted via Salvation Army) | Purse - Richmond Night Market | Heels - Aldo (thrifted via Salvation Army)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, October 14, 2016

Halloween Makeup Tutorial: Harley Quinn Suicide Squad

This is a Halloween costume that's particularly great if you're a beauty lover: Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad! I teamed up with London Drugs to re-create this super fun beauty look using all drugstore makeup and hair products. It was so much fun to turn into Harley for a day (mind you, there were definitely some stares on the way home). Sometimes I definitely wish I could do more with my makeup, but feel a bit shy to go all out on any given day. Halloween is a perfect opportunity to go nuts and really play with your makeup!

When it comes to Harley Quinn, there are some key things to highlight for your beauty look:
  • The pale white complexion
  • The "ruined" pink and blue eye makeup
  • The perfect red lips
  • The signature heart and 'Rotten' facial tattoos
  • The pink and blue pigtails
You can watch the London Drugs Beauty video below to see our step-by-step tutorial. I'll even show you how to get Harley's signature pink and blue hair using Garnier's Colour Stylers (don't worry it's very temporary)!

Like the look? Find everything I used to re-create it here!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta
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