Friday, April 28, 2017

The Lazy Girl's Favourite Shampoo

It's funny, ask me about any category of beauty from nail polish to blush to serum, and I can rattle off my all-time favourite, but I realized recently that there was one category that I hadn't yet found my dream product: shampoo!

I remember the last time I was out shopping for a new shampoo and conditioner (which I'm used to buying separately), and I just kind of stood in the aisle, walking aimlessly back and forth for at least 20 minutes. I honestly had no interest in any particular brand, and really couldn't make a decision. I ended up choosing Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Biotin+ Volume Shampoo and their corresponding conditioner. The wasn't anything wrong with it, it worked pretty much the same as any other shampoo I've used, but it wasn't anything special either. The smell was meh, and the formula didn't really do anything for my hair.

But that all changed last month, when I had the chance to try Joico for the first time! It was a bottle of their new Co+ Wash Moisture, which is a whipped cleansing conditioner. It's called Co+ Wash because it's actually shampoo and conditioner combined. It's funny because usually when I think of shampoo and conditioner combined, it's usually indicative of a relatively cheap shampoo, or as I recently made fun of my boyfriend over a "3-in-1" shampoo, it's pretty typical for guys' shampoo because apparently they're too lazy (and cheap) for multiple hair products. But I thought hey, I'll give it a shot. I'm lazy too. If it makes my hair heavy and wilted, I'll go back to my separate shampoo and conditioner again.

What I first found really cool about this shampoo, and yes I know it's super surface level, is the texture. It's dispensed as an aerated cream, just like a mousse! I'm not going to lie, it's a pretty awesome novelty. You just dispense into your hand (you only need about half as much as a usual 2-in-1 shampoo), and then run it through your wet hair. It doesn't foam up like regular shampoo, which feels weird at first, but when you rinse it out your hair feels super clean and silky (even without a separate conditioner!). I've been showering daily lately because I've started a new workout routine, so it's actually been quite handy to skip that extra step usually involved in washing my hair (especially on arm day when my poor muscles can't stay above my head for more than a minute...). My hair has felt pretty dry and brittle between seasons, so I've been counting on this stuff to keep my strands looking healthy right now, with the formula's rich oils and butters. After drying with a hairdryer, it feels so light and fluffy!

So if you're feeling kind of 'meh' about your shampoo choices lately, definitely give this one a try! I can say 100% that I will be buying a new bottle as soon as this one runs out.

You might have already seen this photo below from my recent post on NYX Cosmetics - I washed my hair with Joico Moisture Co+Wash right beforehand, and look how clean and volumized it is! I used a dash of Joico's Flip Turn Volumizing Finishing Spray and Hair Shake Finishing Texturizer Spray too, for an extra boost.

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Disclaimer: Joico provided the above product for review. As always, opinions are my own!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Eco Fashion Week: Chic Sheets Challenge

Over the last few years, Eco Fashion Week has become a highlight of my annual fashion calendar. Back in the day, before I'd ever been to Eco Fashion Week, I had already discovered the joys of thrifting. It was an easy way for me to keep up with my fashion obsession without breaking the bank as a student. But it wasn't until I attended Eco Fashion Week that I really started to understand the environmental benefits of thrift shopping versus shopping new. It certainly made my shopping even more guilt free! I've also come to love Eco Fashion Week, as it not only inspires me to shop eco-friendly, but it's bringing awareness to a larger audience about the benefits of eco-fashion and thrifting.

Today, I wanted to share with you Eco Fashion Week's Chic Sheets Challenge. It's one of my favourite shows, and features some incredible designs from local talent. The show challenges fashion students from LaSalle College in Vancouver to design creative fashion pieces from old sheets provided by the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. The concept is meant to show how beautiful clothing can be created by upcycling - something we should all consider doing more of, even on a small scale. To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday this year, the theme of this year's Chic Sheets Challenge was "What does Canada mean to you?"

Which one of the below designs is your favourite? Personally, I fell in love with the floor length blue gown by Christina Granneman, but they all had unique features that made them beautiful pieces of fashion art. I first saw the back of the blue dress, which incorporated 3-D scale-like detailing all the way up the back in a silhouette form that really accentuated the curves. Then I saw the front and fell in love with it even more! The neckline was stunning and very well structured.

I also wanted to share with you what I wore to see the Eco Fashion Week shows! I styled a fully-thrifted outfit, which I've given a cost breakdown for below. I hope it'll help show how affordable and easy it can be to look polished in thrifted clothes (no grandpa sweaters here!):

Cost breakdown of my thrifted spring outfit:

Shirt - Meiling $4.99 (via Salvation Army)
Skirt - Choies $5.99 (via Value Village)
Shoes - H&M $19.99 (via Value Village)
Total = $30.97

Ana Lisboa - Inspired by the untitled painting of Canadian artist Lawren Harris, founding member of the Group of Seven. According to the Hammer Museum, Harris "...scenes of a cold and empty northland, isolated peaks, and expanses of dark water beyond barren shorelines remain for many Canadians and non-Canadians the essential images of the country."

Christa Granneman - Inspired by her hometown Port Alberni, the salmon capital of the world, and its importance to the indigenous people of the west coast.

Hailey Yoon - Inspired by Canada's multicultural diversity. Each pleat with different colours represents the diverse cultures in Canada. When the model walks, these pleats are uniform, showing how these different ethnicities are able to live together in harmony.

Jaspreet Kaur - Inspired by the mountains and natural landscape of Canada. The look reflects her personal style: feminine, casual and simple.

Jinju Ha (winner of the $1000 prize, chosen by a panel of eco-fashion industry experts) - Inspired by the northern lights. Only a few countries in the world are privileged enough to view the aurora borealis. The dress shows the beauty of Canada's northern lights, and conveys how we need to protect this beautiful environment. 

Rodica Goreea - Inspired by the history of the First Nations and the book "The Last of the Mohicans". Mohicans were a tribe that lived in lower Canada. They were honest and decent but defenseless. The dress is a Goddess, Uncas, who is the interpretation of the nature, mountains (the silhouette of the dress) and the indigenous (the colours of the dress). She protects the history and reminds us to care about the environment in order to have a future.

Ryan Li - Inspired by the midribs of the maple leaves that branch into veins, and the veins continue to brand into small netted veins. It reminds Ryan of how Canada is made up of people from all over the world, and how it is essential for the citizens to be united, peaceful and tolerant of people from different races: exactly what the maple leaf represents as a recognized symbol of Canada.

Yan Tong - Inspired by the diversity of Canada's population, this dress combines elements of Asian culture with details from European fashion history: namely the ruff. The ties that surround the circles symbolize how Canada connects all the different cultures together in harmony. This is further reflected with the colours of Canada's flag.

[runway photos by Peter Jensen]

Happy (Eco) Styling! xo

~ Britta

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day: Time to Think About our Fashion Impact!

Today, April 22nd is Earth Day! There are so many ways that we can make our lives a little greener with small changes to the things we do everyday. I don't claim to be some eco-guru by any stretch, but for me, thrift shopping is one of the ways I feel I can help lessen my impact on the planet. How exactly does thrifting do that?

It's all about reducing our footprint on the clothing industry, and reusing: putting less stress on our Earth's resources, which are used to create new clothing. By thrifting at your local thrift store, like Value Village, you can find all kinds of amazing fashion finds that have been pre-loved, but are still in great condition. And of course, part of thrifting also includes donating your old clothes too. Rather than throwing your old clothes away and taking up space in a landfill, the clothes could instead be going to a new home where they'll be loved again. Sadly, according to Value Village, 52% of Vancouverites threw away unwanted clothing or household goods in 2016 instead of donating. That's just crazy! Those are items that can be easily donated, keeping them out of our landfills.

Interestingly, 45% of Vancouverites said they buy used clothing or household items to save money, as opposed to being environmentally conscious (10%). This was definitely me many years ago. I really had no idea that thrifting was considered eco-friendly! So, if you didn't know do now!

Since it's spring cleaning season right now, I thought hey, what better time to encourage you all to start thinking about thrifting more? Go through your housewares and clothes, pack up what you no longer want, and donate it at your local Value Village! Also need a spring fashion refresh? Why not pop inside one of their stores to do a little thrift shopping. Plus, it's basically guilt-free shopping, 'cause it's cheap and eco-friendly!

Below, I'm sharing some of my favourite thrifted finds, to hopefully inspire you to get out there and get thrifting!

Store: Value Village
Brand: Vivienne Westwood (Red Label)
Store Section: Blazers
What I Paid: $2.99 (was 50% off $5.99)
What it Costs New: $875

Store: Value Village
Brand: Black Halo
Store Section: Dresses
What I Paid: $12.99
What it Costs New: $345 (find it new here and a slightly longer version here)

Store: Value Village
Brand: Bianca Nygard
Store Section: Jackets
What I Paid: $19.99
What it Costs New: ~ 100

Store: Value Village
Brand: Joe Fresh
Section: Jackets
What I Paid: $2.99!!! (Half price on 50% off sale day)

Store: Salvation Army
Brand: J.Crew
Section: Sweaters (Large - always make sure to comb ALL the sizes! you never know how it will fit)
What I Paid: $9.99
What it's Worth: $295

Store: Salvation Army
Brand: BCBGMaxAzria
Section: Blazers
What I Paid: $9.99
What it's Worth: $250

Happy Earth Day! xo

~ Britta

Friday, April 21, 2017

Lashes For Days: Covergirl's New Total Tease Mascara

My very first mascara was Covergirl's Professional Super Thick Lash Mascara. It was cheap, but it did the trick - very well, might I add - and for pretty much the next decade, that's the only mascara I ever used! Eventually, I experimented with other mascaras, and grew to love them too, but I still love that Covergirl Professional.

When Influenster reached out, sending me a free sample of their VoxBox with Covergirl's new Total Tease Mascara, I was totally ready to see what Covergirl had in store! Keep on reading below to see how it compared to my old tried and true favourite - and also get a peek of their brand new shade of Katy Kat Eyeliner in Kitty Katdabra, in all it's shimmery glory...

Covergirl Total Tease Mascara

When I first pulled the mascara wand out of the tube, I'm not going to lie, I was a little underwhelmed. I'm used to big bushy mascara brushes that give lots of volume, and this certainly didn't look like that. It seemed so tiny! Would it really be able to give me the big volume I love? As it turns out, yes, yes it can. It took a few coats (but it takes a few with any of my mascaras), but I got the volume I'm used to. It was totally clump free too, which is fantastic.

I was very intrigued by the teeny 'teasing comb' on one side of the brush. Could this be the little miracle worker my mascara has been missing? On my right eye, my outer lashes are always doing their own thing. They don't always fan out perfectly, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to test out the teasing comb, which I figured could really get in there and coat those teeny lashes from root to tip. And it totally did! It was way easier to get that teasing comb in there to get those stubborn spots that I usually can't. Check out below to see just how big and fanned out it made my lashes when I was done!

Covergirl Katy Kat Eyeliner in Kitty Katdabra

I love my liquid liner, so it's pretty rare that I use a pencil eyeliner. But this new one from Covergirl promises liquid-like intensity, so that had me intrigued. This particular shade also has a really pretty shimmer to it. It has a nice rubbery end on the liner for smudging, so I thought I'd create a super easy and subtle shimmery smokey eye. I certainly still prefer my usual liquid cat-eye, but this was a nice look to switch things up! The liner is really soft and glides on nicely, and it didn't take much work to smudge into place. You could totally smudge it out more for a night out too, which in this shimmery black shade I think would look really cool!

What do you think? Will you take Covergirl's new mascara and liner for a spin?

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Disclaimer: Influenster provided me with the Covergirl mascara and eyeliner to review for this post. As always, opinions are my own!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to Style A Bomber Jacket

It's hard to look at any store or magazine right now and not see bomber jackets everywhere. They're by far the hottest jacket trend this season, and here's the great news: they're super versatile!

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm pretty obsessed with anything that has a tropical leaf print on it right now. Obviously when I spotted this bomber jacket at Simons, I just had to have it! When I was trying it on in the change room, I had on a black t-shirt, jeans, and my white Stan Smith sneakers - a very casual outfit. And the bomber jacket looked great with it. But I also wanted to challenge myself to dress it up more, and so when Vancouver Fashion Week came around last month, I decided to take a stab at styling the bomber jacket for a less casual and more chic night-time outfit.

Drawstring crepe pants like the ones I'm wearing below are an easy place to start when you're dressing up your outfit. You can find these kind of pants everywhere right now (like these, or these), and they're a quick way to switch out your more casual jeans for something a little dressier. I also love a good flowy cream blouse; I have two that I've thrifted, and regularly wear them when my outfit needs a little dressing up. My favourite style hack is to do a half-tuck in the front. It helps to make sure your waist doesn't get lost under the billowy fabric. Of course, the last touch for an outfit like this is to switch out your sneakers for some sexier heels. I love these cages heels, because they keep your feett totally locked in place, so they're actually quite comfortable to walk in.

And there you go! On casual Spring days, I'll wear this bomber jacket with jeans and sneakers, and for a night out, I'll dress it up like you see here. Now if you decide to splurge on one this season, at least you know you'll be buying something that will be a versatile item in your closet!

Bomber jacket - Simons | Shirt - Joe Fresh (thrifted via Value Village) | Earrings - Nobis & Grey | Pants - Zara | Necklace - Zurich department store | Heels - Streetwear

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, April 14, 2017

New from NYX Cosmetics

Ah NYX. There are very few makeup brands I've been wearing for as long as I've been wearing NYX Cosmetics. Back in high school, I used to do a little after-school shopping at my local drug store most days on my walk home, picking up a new eyeshadow or lipstick to try. I had accumulated a pretty good NYX collection by the end of my high school years.

I was really oblivious to just how massive the NYX brand was though, until about 4 years ago. I moved near a London Drugs, and every time I popped in there, I ended up picking up some new NYX goodies - London Drugs was the first retailer to carry such a huge selection of NYX's products, and has really become a mecca for beauty lovers because of it. Every time I look, they've launched something new and exciting from NYX. It sure keeps you on your toes! And you know me, I'm not one to splurge on pretty much anything, so an affordable makeup brand like this that also has awesome quality is a huge win.

Anyway, some very exciting news for NYX lovers in Vancouver - they have just opened a shiny new store at Metropolis at Metrotown! Of course, everything seems to open in Toronto first, and I remember being pretty jealous when they got their all-NYX store a while back. But our time finally came! To get you even more excited (in case you aren't already jumping out of your seat), I've reviewed some of their newest launches below, so you know exactly what to snag when you check out the new store!

NYX Beauty School Dropout - Back to Basics

The best part of this palette? Hands down the contours and the blushes. They caught my eye immediately, because they're exactly the kinds of shades I wear every day. The contours are so nice and light (good for me, anyway). Very easy for doing a more natural contour. And the blushes? So soft and natural! The top 2 on the left are especially pretty. This palette includes a lot of warmer shadows, something I don't wear normally, but hey, it'll get me to try some new looks! I think I'd especially like to use these shadows for fall looks.

NYX DUO Chromatic Illuminating Powder - Twilight & Synthetica

I always love trying out a new highlighter. I'm not going to lie though, I was a bit hesitant to try the shade Synthetica - a very bold orange shade. In a highlighter? It seemed a bit strange. But if you try to think of it more like a blush-and-illuminator combined, it makes a whole lot more sense to me. And I actually love orange-toned blushes!

NYX Perfect Filter Palette - Rustic Antique

Lots of warmer shadows from NYX lately! I have to say, for someone not used to wearing warm toned eye looks, it helps that they've coordinated colours here really well to make creating looks a lot easier. One thing I can always count on with NYX is excellent colour payoff (no chalky shadows. ever.). The pigmentation on these are great - I really wish the 'final look' photos above could do this palette justice, because I really think they show up even better in person. The top right shimmery champagne colour is beyond gorgeous, and creates a beautiful highlight to the middle of the eyelid, to make your eyes really pop.

NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter - Liquid Prism, State of Flux, Golden Hour, Gold Rush, Crystal Glare

My favourite? The lavender pearl shade State of Flux. It's all unicorn/mermaid goddess-y and I love it. For everyday though, I do like the shade Crystal Glare. I dab a few dots up my cheek bones and just blend blend blend. It gives a gorgeous glow - a very nice dewy bright complexion.

NYX Faux Whites Eye Brighteners - Baby Powder, Seashell, Honey Dew

This is such a great idea! I love having just a hint of colour in my waterline, especially when it still helps to brighten the eyes. They're ridiculously creamy, which is perfect for the waterline - no uncomfortable dragging on this delicate part of the eye. My favourite, and the one I used in the 'final look' phots above is the baby pink shade Linen. I don't usually wear liner in my waterline, because I find my eye generally reject it by getting super watery. But for whatever reason, this one stayed no problem, and my eyes seemed to have no issue with it!

NYX Epic Ink Lip Dye - Wizardry, Obsessed

It's been a long time since I've found a good lip stain in a dark hue. And woah are these intense. At first, I wasn't crazy about how watery they seemed, but I was patient and began layering the colour, and it turned out great. Obsessed is a fabulous vampy shade - it actually reminds we quite a bit of NYX's Soft Matte Lip Cream shade in Vancouver. But of course, this is a lip stain as opposed to a matte cream lipstick. A piece of advice though: only wear this if your lips are in tip-top shape. My lips have been pretty cut up this past week, and the colour definitely seeped into all those little cracks.

NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Creams - Retro Harmony, Galactic Love, Elite, Crystalized Metal, Celestial

Glossy, shimmery lips are definitely back. While some of the other Cosmic Metals shades are a bit out there, these new shades are oh-so-pretty and look great, especially when mixed with my other lipsticks! In fact, I recently mixed the shade Retro Harmony with my NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue to make a glossy lip look that had a pretty, subtle hint of shimmer added.

Ah, clean brushes and clean skin. I was over the moon to hear that NYX has a brush cleansing pad now, because I've been looking for a good one for a while now. I found a fabulous lavender-scented brush cleaner from Target (before they withdrew from Canada), but I've just been washing my brushes with my fingers. This is waaay better! Maybe now I'll actually wash my brushes more regularly (like I should...).

I've been using micellar solutions for years now. I love that they're non-rise, which makes my night time skincare routine a lot easier. 

Find NYX Cosmetics now at Metropolis at Metrotown, or at your local London Drugs!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Disclaimer: These NYX products were provided at the launch event for the new NYX Cosmetics store at Metrotown. As always, all opinions are my own. In fact, I buy NYX products on the regular, and have since the age of 13!

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