Monday, May 29, 2017

6 Ways to Elevate Your Casual Style Game

While I love to dress up (often more than the dress code requires), there are days that I'd rather throw on a comfy pair of pants and a good ol' sweatshirt and call it a day. I work from home, so there is hardly ever a requirement to wear anything beyond that or a pair of pyjamas. While there is nothing wrong with bumming around in a pair of old PJs or sweats at home, I do yearn for the kind of style that Olivia Pope from the TV show Scandal exudes: a sort of luxurious laid back style that looks incredibly chic and put together, yet oh-so-comfy. Think clothing you can comfortably lounge around in at home, but would also proudly strut around in outside. Seems like an impossibility, no?

Over the years, I've found some small ways to tweak my casual outfits to make them a little more put-together: outfits that can easily go from lounging on the couch to brunch out with the girls in seconds. For me, the way I dress has an affect on how I feel, and these little tweaks definitely make me feel a whole lot more ready to take on the day!

If you're in a rut, give some of these a try, to up your casual outfit game:
  1. Switch out your plain old sweatshirt for a graphic sweatshirt. I found this one at Dynamite. I also love Brunette The Label's chic sweatshirts. Don't forget the half-tuck. I swear, this will make your outfit look effortlessly chic. Instead of leaving the sweatshirt out, tuck only the very front into your pants, leaving the rest to drape around your waist.
  2. Upgrade from sweatpants to chic drawstring/jogger pants. These pants are everywhere right now! They look far better than sweatpants, yet are still super soft, and have a comfortable drawstring waist. Pants with elastic or a fold/roll at the ankles will make them look even more polished (no fabric dragging on the floor). 
  3. Accessorize with a statement necklace. Statement necklaces like this one from Nobis & Grey will immediately glam up the look of a casual sweatshirt or t-shirt.
  4. Heels dress everything up. Obviously, I'm not trying to say that heels are casual and overly comfy. However, if you're looking for a super quick way to make your casual outfit a tad dressier (say, for last minute brunch plans), then this is an easy fix.
  5. Big cat-eye sunglasses make everything better. It's the magic of sunglasses. They have the ability to elevate your look in seconds. I feel like part of it is the mysteriousness it gives us, hiding our eyes...or maybe it's because it makes us feel like a celebrity dodging the paparazzi. Whatever it is, a good pair of cat-eye sunnies are a great accessory for dressing up your look.
  6. A swipe of red lipstick. One of the hottest beauty trends right now is a simple, barely-there makeup look with a bold red lip. It just so happens this is also my go-to when I'm leaving the house for errands and want to look a little more polished. No eye makeup needed (especially with those sunglasses on), just a swipe of your favourite red.

Sweatshirt - Dynamite | Necklace - c/o Nobis & Grey | Pants - Talula Los Feliz (via Aritzia) | Heels - Zara (thrifted via Salvation Army)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Orange Lipstick Trend for Beginners

So orange lipstick is having a moment right now, but as with many beauty trends, it can feel like a bit of a stretch to make it work in our everyday beauty routines. Of course, some people are also more bold with their makeup on a daily basis, while others prefer to stick to something a little subtler. The great thing is, while orange lipstick can seem pretty "out there", there are so many variations available, that I'm sure you can find one that you'll want to wear!

Below I'll go through some of my favourite orange lipsticks (I've amassed a pretty substantial collection over the past few years), and the great news is that all but one are from the drugstore:

The bold & bright orange lipstick: NYX Matte Lipstick in Indie Flick

This is one of my favourite orange lipsticks. I know it's certainly not for everyone, but it's a beautiful shade, and a true vivid matte lipstick. If you're willing to take a risk, give it a try! It's perfect for summer. Available at London Drugs.

The semi-bold semi-matte orange lipstick: Covergirl Katy Kat Matte in Coral Cat

Not quite ready to rock the super bold Indie Flick? This is a great second choice. It's a semi-matte lipstick, so not quite as mattifying as the lipstick above, and is a few shades lighter. Available at London Drugs.

The orange-red lipstick: NYX Round Lipstick in Femme

This is another great lipstick to try if you just want to ease into the orange lipstick craze, and are already comfortable with a good red. This gorgeous shade of red mixed with orange is the perfect way to update from your usual red lipstick for summer! Available at London Drugs.

The tinted orange balm: L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in Caring Coral

Just want to dip your toe into the world of orange lipsticks? This is a good baby step. It's a beautiful coral shade, so a pinky orange rather than a straight orange, and the balm texture means it only has a hint of colour. It looks super hydrating on the lips, and I love pairing it with a minimal makeup routine for a fresh summer look. Available at London Drugs.

The shimmery pastel orange lipstick: Estée Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Melon Shimmer

This is my #1 favourite orange lipstick. It has just the teeniest bit of shimmer to it, and is a softer, lighter orange than the rest (hence the shade "melon"). I received this one as part of a limited edition set when I purchased an Estée Lauder foundation a longtime ago, and ended up falling in love with it!

It took a while to track down, as it was limited edition, but I found it. The packaging isn't the same, but you can check it out here on their website. Apparently though, they've discontinued this line and added the Melon shade to their Estée Lauder Color Envy Hi-Lustre Light Sculpting Lipstick. Or you can also find it here on Amazon!

The light semi-sheer orange lipstick: Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Tulip

I find this shade quite similar to the Estée Lauder one above, just a touch more sheer and without the shimmer. It's a great everyday shade of orange! Available at Walmart.

Which orange lipstick is your favourite? Do you think you'll try the trend this summer?

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Shoes I Wear When I'm Not Wearing Heels

Heels are wonderful. They give us that extra boost of height, add length to our legs, give us a killer strut, and take any outfit from casual to chic. I love my heels. But here's the thing, we know they're not always comfortable, and for lots of daily activities, they're just not the best choice.

I was out this past Friday for a friend's birthday; we went out for the evening, danced and were out late. And I wore heels the whole night. The next day, I woke up to realize that two of my toes were partially numb!! Having never experienced this before, I was mildly terrified, and turned to the internet of course to self-diagnose..turns out it's a pretty common symptom of wearing heels for extended periods of time. Pretty crazy, that most women have just accepted this as a bi-product of wearing heels. The reason this has never happened to me before is that I'm usually pretty good about bringing flats along with me to change into later in the evening, or I stash some sneakers in my car so I can change to drive (especially important when driving standard like my car).

Anyways, all to say, it's a small reminder to treat your feet well, and while I'm not swearing off heels anytime soon, it's certainly a good idea to have some comfortable footwear on-hand. SKYE Footwear, a Vancouver-based brand recently offered to let me try out The Lons, their loafer-sneaker, and they have become my go-to for casual days or for switching out of heels part way through the day. The 'modern mariner' style of The Lons looks great with anything from jeans to joggers, and personally from someone who is not a big fan of running shoes, these have become the bridge to athleisure footwear for me. A few years ago, I wouldn't have been caught dead on the streets of Vancouver in 'athleisure'-wear, but this chic take on the sneaker is definitely my style. And seriously, they're contoured perfectly to my feet and feel like I'm walking on clouds.

PLUS, the other awesome thing about SKYE Footwear is that they are sustainable! (and you know here at Vancouver Vogue, eco-friendly brands are our fave!) All their shoes and packaging products are designed to be minimum-use, are animal-free, and every effort is made to be biodegradable and recyclable - helping to reduce their carbon footprint. The shoe's uppers are made of man-made materials, which have a lower carbon impact than natural materials, and the SKYE impact + rebound insole and outsole are 100% biodegradable! The SKYE Foam outsole is also 100% recyclable.

Below I'm showing you how I style my pair of The Lons - they're perfect for my more casual days running around town. You can check out this Instagram post for another styled outfit featuring The Lons as well!

If you're loving these sneakers as much as I am, you can snatch yourself a pair with the code vancouver_vogueSKYE for 15% off!

Sweatshirt - Brunette the Label | Jeans - Simons | Sunglasses - Ilymix via JewelryBean | Shoes - c/o SKYE Footwear 

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Disclaimer: SKYE Footwear provided the shoes featured in this post for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 15, 2017

High Waisted Pants & Crop Tops

In case you've just started following Vancouver Vogue, there's one thing you should know: I am utterly obsessed with maracons. That little parisian sweet, a sandwich of meringue with a light delicious filling, is not only the most Instagrammable treat, but is also my favourite dessert. In fact, I not only have a book of Laduree macaron recipes and a Laduree macaron keychain, but I now have two shirts with adorable macaron prints, including the crop top I'm wearing here, and this adorable blouse!

I spotted this cropped macaron print tee while at Value Village a few weeks back. I have hawk eyes when it comes to anything macaron, obviously. I was even more gleeful when I saw the tag - Jennyfer is a French brand I remember from when I visited France back in high school! Perfectly fitting for a shirt covered in macarons, non? Jennyfer is sort of like a Forever 21 type store there. We don't have any of their store locations in North America, so this was definitely a special find for me - just goes to show you never know what you'll find at Value Village.

I've started developing quite the collection of crop tops over the past year, but I didn't have any high waisted jeans to pair with them, so I went on the hunt at Winners recently, and ended up finding these Rachel Roy ones. They're super comfy: very stretchy and just the right height in the waist. I wasn't comfortable wearing my crop tops with my regular low waist jeans, so these are going to get a lot of use now!

Since it looks like sunny spring days are more plentiful now, I've been pulling out sunglasses a whole lot more too. One more accessory to style, yay! If you're on the hunt for a new pair, check out these super chic Flat Front Metal Aviator Sunglasses in Gold Pink from Ilymix. I love the pink mirrored lenses - they go great with lots of my spring outfits. If you want a pair too, you can use the code vogue20 for 20% off your Ilymix sunnies!

Is there a print you're totally obsessed with right now? I'd love to hear what it is!

Top - Jennyfer (via Value Village) | Jeans - Rachel Roy (via Winners) | Purse - Kate Spade | Sunglasses - Ilymix | Bracelet - Birchbox | Shoes - H&M (via Value Village)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Hair Extension Virgin

Hair extensions were never something I contemplated trying until I chopped off my long hair a couple years back. I lived most of my life with long hair, and was pretty used to being able to do anything with it: crazy long sleek ponytails, top knots, buns, and all kinds of braids. Once I cut my hair though, I found myself pinning pretty long-haired styles on Pinterest before realizing "oh...well that won't work anymore..."

Best Hair Store was kind enough to let me try out clip-in hair extensions for the very first time, and it's been pretty exciting and freeing to have all kinds of new hairstyles at my fingertips once again! With my blunt bob, it's definitely a bit of a challenge to blend the extensions when wearing them down, but I've found they still work very well for all kinds of hairstyles, like the long braid you see below, and high sleek ponytails (which are the kinds of styles I was interested in trying extensions with in the first place anyway!).

I ended up choosing these clip-in extensions in Silky Straight Virgin Remy Hair in 120g, which are 18 inches long. Some quick research told me that 'remy' means it's the finest quality of human hair, because all the hair cuticles are intact and placed in the same direction (giving them the most natural look), and a weight of 120g was better for thin hair like mine. They're just the right thickness, are super soft, and haven't gotten tangled at all.

Also: how perfectly do these extensions match my natural hair colour?? Being my first time ordering them, I was pretty worried that the hairs were going to be entirely the wrong shade. I've heard of people paying to get their extensions dyed to match their hair colour, but I had my fingers crossed that they would be a match when they arrived. Luckily, they were spot on! The ones I'm wearing below are in the colour #613 Light Blonde.

My kind friend Leeanne of Legallee Blonde was willing to show me how to put the hair extensions in properly (thanks Leeanne!). One really great tip she shared is that the extensions should never be placed higher than your ears, so most of the extension pieces should fall pretty low on your head. Also, doing some teasing along each section before you clip in the extensions made a big difference keeping them in place, especially with my thin hair.

Check out the photos below to see the before and after. Which do you prefer? I think they're such a fun way to switch up your hairstyle without waiting years to grow out your hair! If you're looking for some reasonably priced virgin remy hair extensions, Best Hair Store is definitely worth checking out.

Happy (Hair) Styling! xo

~ Britta

Disclaimer: Best Hair Store provided the hair extensions mentioned in this post for review. Opinions are entirely my own!

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