Monday, January 29, 2018

Flared Pants: They're Back and We're Totally OK With It

I love a dress as much as the next girl, but lately, my heart belongs to statement pants, like wide leg or flared trousers. I picked up these super long flared pants from Forever 21, when I popped in to check out their closing out sale on Robson Street in Vancouver. I'm not exactly sad to see it go, as I'm pretty excited about the Chapters Indigo that's replacing it, but I'm glad I made a couple of final purchases on deep deep discount.

On the first day I wore these pants, I was in an elevator at Parq in Vancouver, and an older gentleman (there with his wife) commented on the pants, laughing: "I had a pair of pants like those back in the day." As they walked out of the elevator, he called behind him, "That's probably before you were born though!" I had a good chuckle. It's true, I may not have been alive the first time flared pants were all the rage, but I'm sure glad I'm here for round 2! As someone who has been pretty much average height all my life, I love how long flared pants really lengthen your legs and make you look so much taller! Especially when you wear your favourite pair of platform heels with them.

I knew these pants would go great with one of my all-time favourite thrifted find: my plaid Vivienne Westwood Red Label blazer (which I paid a grand total of $2.99 for!). Together, they make for a killer work outfit! I love changing up my work-appropriate outfits to give them a little more flair. An excellent accessory for this look? My Derek Cardigan tortoise glasses from Clearly! I used to love wearing glasses with my work outfits, even my sight was pretty near perfectly. Sadly I'm getting older, and now I actually really do need them. But hey - at least they look fantastic!

I worked with local photographer Ricardo Mendes on these photos, and we figured what better place to take my spectacle-clad outfit than the library? The irony is, I'm not much of a bookworm. In fact, libraries have never been a favourite spot of mine, even during high school and university. Just too quiet, I think. But they made for the perfect spot to snap a few shots! And I did think it was actually pretty cool, when we found a row full of musical compositions! We also found a super cute coffee shop, Pacific Coffee Roasters, nearby that was bright and welcoming, and made for a perfect stop for my tea pick-me-up.

So what do you think? Would you give the flared pants trend a try?

[Photography by Ricardo Mendes]

Coat - Zara, thrifted via Salvation Army (similar) | Blazer - Vivienne Westwood, thrifted via Value Village (similar) | Glasses - c/o Clearly | Bracelet - c/o Nobis & Grey | Blouse - Loft 82, thrifted via Value Village (similar) | Pants - Forever 21 (similar) | Heels - Jessica Simpson (similar) | Purse - Target

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, January 26, 2018

Best Hydrating Winter Skincare for Dry Skin

My skin can't seem to catch a break, no matter what season it is. In the summer, it's had a few too many damaging sunburns (oops!), and in the winter, it's subjected to the harsh cold and wind, becoming extra dry. Every year, I like to change up by winter skincare routine a bit, to see what's new and improved in the beauty marketplace. The hope is that as beauty innovation progresses, there will be better hydrating products to combat skin's winter dryness. This year, there are quite a few new products I'm excited to share with you today - including a few that were introduced to me at the annual London Drugs Beauty Event. Keep on reading below to take a peek at them!

Crabtree & Evelyn Citron & Coriander Energizing Body Smoother (available at London Drugs)

The key to combating dry winter skin, is of course, exfoliation! I've been starting of my skincare routine once a week with a full-body exfoliation with the new Crabtree & Evelyn Body Smoother in the scent Citron & Coriander. It smells amazing (a great citrus and pepper scent combination!), but best of all, the Body Smoother is a sugar scrub, which effectively sloughs off the dry, dead skin. Meanwhile, shea butter and vitamin C keep the skin super soft. Just massage into damp skin (or dry skin for a more intense treatment) and then rinse off.

Crabtree & Evelyn Citron & Coriander Energizing Body Sorbet (available at London Drugs)

Once you've exfoliated off the dead skin with a scrub, you'll want to follow up with a moisturizing cream - or in this case, Crabtree & Evelyn's Body Sorbet. What caught my eye, is that it's not like most of my other body moisturizers. Instead, the cooling texture is gel-like, making it easy for your skin to absorb. Shea butter, pumpkin, apricot and peach kernel oil help to condition and quench the skin: just what it needs! Just work in with slow, circular motions.

Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser (available at London Drugs)

I've been using a glycolic cream for years now, but I have a feeling men aren't as familiar with the use of glycolic acid in their skincare as women are. Mostly, because I don't think there are as many options. Glycolic acid is known as a chemical exfoliant, as opposed to a physical exfoliant, like a sugar scrub. Added to a facial cleanser, it's a great way to slough away dead skin as you wash your face. This Anthony Glycolic Cleanser is formulated for men (see: no-fuss packaging, and a neutral smell), but its creators created it to be borrowed by women too! It doesn't have a strong men's scent like some male skincare products, so if you do decide to steal it from your bf, no one will be the wiser (and you'll have perfectly exfoliated skin!).

I'm a bit of a face mask junkie. Putting on a face mask has become part of my weekend routine to decompress and take care of my skin. There are masks for all kinds of different purposes, like energizing, soothing, and hydrating. Of course, this time of year, it's all about hydrating. My go-to has been Di Morelli's HA Masques, which are packed with Hyaluronic Acid to brighten, hydrate and repair the skin. The masks themselves are made of a comfortable fabric, and have a ton of solution soaked up into them. Bonus: if wrinkles are another one of your skin concerns, these masks also help to reduce their appearance! Its antioxidants and 14 plant complex help to repair and restore the skin, while the hyaluronic acid gives your skin that much-needed boost of lasting hydration.

Start by cleansing our skin and patting dry with a towel. Then apply the face mask, and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, remove the sheet and just massage the excess product into the skin!

I also love that you can buy the HA Masques individually, in addition to buying as a pack of 4, so there's no risk if you want to give them a try first.

Bioderma Hydrabio Moisturizing Serum (available at London Drugs)

Now, this might just be my secret weapon when it comes to hydrating skin. I've been a fan of Bioderma's skincare for years now, and their Hydrabio Serum is my all-time favourite product. I use it every morning before applying my daily moisturizer, and it makes a huge difference in my skin's moisture levels. What makes this serum more advanced than your average serum is that it's actually meant to retrain your skin to moisturize itself. Pretty cool!

Pro tip: Mix the Hydrabio Serum directly into your foundation for an extra boost of hydration.

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Top Fashion Trends: The Cabbie Hat, the Duster and the Gucci Mules

I don't tend to jump on fashion trends just because they're trends - but these are 3 fashion trends I was totally excited to jump on: the cabbie hat, the duster jacket, and the Gucci mules.

The Gucci Mules

Obviously, I didn't end up with the actual Gucci mules. Nobody got cash for that. Well, some people do, but not moi. I spotted these faux fur dupes at Winners from the brand XOXO and they're perfect! Sure, a few people have joked that they look like slippers, but I think they're pretty fun. They've been great for wearing around the apartment building (getting the mail, doing laundry) while looking a whole lot more put together than I normally would. They've also been great to wear on a casual Sunday out for coffee or brunch. A very casual chic vibe!

The Cabbie Hat

I wasn't actively searching for this hat, but for a few months, I was keeping an eye out for the right one while out shopping for other things. I knew I wanted a cabbie hat with some texture to it - in the form of a rope or chain across the front, and a combination of materials. Finally, I ended up stumbling upon this one, with rope and button detailing, and a contrasting faux leather. Just what I was hoping for!

It's funny how all trends come back around. I definitely had like 3 of these cabbie-style caps back in high school, when they were cool. I had one in navy corduroy, one in baby blue (don't know what I was thinking there...), and one in a neutral beige. Guess I should have held onto them!

The Duster Jacket

This is an awesome trend I hope sticks around til the spring. The duster jacket is such a great option when you want to add just a light layer to your outfit. For the fall/winter, this one in black is perfect. I've been wearing it with a cashmere sweater underneath on slightly colder days too. In the spring, I'd like to get one in a light beige colour too, like a trench coat.

Which of these fashion trends are you most likely to try?

Hat - H&M | Duster Jacket - Babaton Quincey Jacket via Aritzia (similar| Scarf - thrifted via Salvation Army (similar) | Blouse - loft 82 (thrifted via Value Village) (similar) | Purse - Karl Lagerfeld via The Bay (similar) | Faux Gucci Mules - XOXO via Winners 

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Blonde Melt

I've been having more fun with my hair colour in the last year, than I have in my entire life! In just the last few months, I've tried temporary pink, ultra violet and rose gold. But today, I'm going permanently...more blonde!

My go-to hair stylist is April at is. Salon in Yaletown, Vancouver. I've been going to her for years now, and she's the one who drastically chopped off my locks for the first time last year. She also created this incredibly creative hairstyle when I walk in the Brilliant runway fashion show a few years back. Needless to say, I trust her with my hair. So when April said she'd love to take my blonde hair lighter, I knew she'd do a killer job! Why am I sharing this with you today though? Because if you're not big on hair colour upkeep, but want to give colour a try, then you've got to try this look. It's called: the Blonde Melt!

As you can see from the foils below, April didn't colour all of my hair. She left enough of my real hair au naturel so that it would blend in perfectly with my new lightened strands. She did a combination of balayage and foiled babylights for the seemless finish you'll see here. Now, the key thing that makes this look perfect for low maintenance hair girls (myself included) is how April did my roots. She actually teased my roots before applying the colour and foils, so that not all of my roots were coloured - making the colour at the roots much more natural and blended with my real hair colour! This way, when my roots start to grow in, it'll be far softer and less noticeable. (AKA you can go a bit longer before having your roots done!)

You can probably also spot my glass of red wine and stack of magazines below, all ready to go. I thought the red wine was enough of a perk, and then I saw an adorable puppy walk on by my chair. So cute!! I'd keep coming back to is. Salon just to see that little cutie.


After, blow dried

After, with flat iron curls

I asked April for tips on curling my hair with a flat iron - something I haven't given a whirl yet. I've been pretty faithful to my Curl Secret or overnight curls until now, but I've been wanting to try the look of flat iron curls. They're much more of an everyday look. April's most valuable piece of advice? You don't need to twist the flat iron around your hair a few times. You really only need to do about a half twist, and then just slowly pull along towards your ends. That makes it a whole lot faster to curl, and it still looks awesome!

I'm loving my brighter 'do! What do you think, blondes? Would you give this Blonde Melt look a try too?

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Disclaimer: Hair services from April at is. Salon were provided complimentary for review. As always, opinions are entirely my own.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Date Night Style: Staycation at Parq Vancouver

Movie nights and dinners out are great and all...but you know what date night trumps all those? A full blown staycation. I mean, obviously, a vacation would be the best case scenario, but hey that's not always an affordable option. The next best option is the 'staycation'! Right before New Year's, the bf and I spent a night at The DOUGLAS - one of two hotels that now live in the new Parq in downtown Vancouver.

Keep on reading below for a peek inside our luxe night out, and my date night outfit!

This was honestly the first time I've walked into a hotel room and legitimately been impressed with the look and feel of the space. Usually, hotel rooms are a bit underwhelming compared to the photos you see. Not here! Even the hallways were beautiful, done in dark wood, which carries into the rooms as well. A very modern, yet comfortable space. And our view? We were right up and personal with Rogers Area next door! The mini bar was fully-stocked with some local favourites, Yaletown spirits and Thomas Haas chocolate, which I thought was a nice touch.

My favourite part of the hotel room? 100% the bathroom. Look at that marble counter top! Blogger goals, right there. And of course, I was super excited to try out the hand soap, shampoo and conditioners, as I'd heard they would all be from Aesop. With scents that combined mandarin rind, rosemary leaf and bergamot among others, you can't go wrong. Also, loved that lighting.

As for date night beauty: my LipSense lipstick in Blu-Red is a must. It's 100% kiss-proof, and I know I can rely on it to make it through dinner and drinks too. I haven't found any other lipstick I can say that about!

One of my Christmas gifts from the bf: Hermes' new fragrance, Twilly. A perfect night to try it out! This is a new favourite. It's considered a 'powdery floral' scent, with key notes of ginger, tuberose and sandalwood.

A special night like this warranted an outfit that wowed, and I found this super unique sheer wrap LBD on SheIn. Believe it or not, it was only $34! It doesn't have a proper bodysuit underneath, so you'll need to wear one underneath, but I already had a bodycon slip I figured would work perfectly. This dress honestly made me feel like a million bucks on our date night staycation!

First, we headed to dinner at The Victor, a classic steak and seafood restaurant, found on the 6th floor of Parq. We walked across the outdoor roof garden from the DOUGLAS to The Victor - a beautiful walk in the evening. Little white lights lit up the foliage on the terrace and reflected off the rooftop waterway. Plus, it has an exceptional view of the city. A romantic way to start the evening!

It's hard for me to describe just how much I loved the interior of The Victor. The space was elegant and chic yet classic in design, with a dimly lit romantic vibe - perfect for our date night dinner. We both ordered tasty craft cocktails, and then were treated to some of The Victor's house-made bread. Yum! But of course, the pièce de résistance was their specialty steaks. Having worked in a butcher shop during my high school years, I always appreciate a good steak, and this was definitely one of them! We decided on New York Striploins, but I'd be lying if I said we weren't tempted by the Tomahawk to Share or Cowboy Ribeye. Oddly enough though, our favourite part of the meal was definitely the brussel sprouts, if you'll believe it! The bf took one bite and said "WOW!" If you're getting sides with your meal, they're an absolute must.

Stuffed from our delicious dinner, we wandered through the second level of Parq to check out the casino floor. Now I'm not really much of a gambler (like at all), but we figured it would be fun to play a few penny slots before finding a place for drinks. I was super giddy when the machine started going nuts and I went from $5 to $20 in less than a minute! Woohoo! A small win to some, but I was absolutely ecstatic. The bf played another $20 but didn't fair as well as me. Oh well! It was worth the fun. 

Next up was checking out the bars and lounges at Parq. First I wanted to show the bf D6, which I had already had the chance to check out at their media preview a couple months back. There's a full bar, seating and a pool table inside. And behind that chic book case you see above? There's a secret room back there! You can check out my Instagram post here to see what it looks like inside.

Then we moved up to the 'high roller' floor, where the more expensive casino table games are, as well as the Lotus Whiskey and Tea Lounge. It serves high-quality teas during the day, and switches to an impressive selection of reserved whiskeys in the evening. The setting is super elegant, and I loved the low, comfy lounge seats along the bar. We sipped on 12 year old scotch before calling it a night to binge some Netflix!

It was sad to say goodbye to those super comfy robes (seriously - best hotel robes I've ever worn!) and that massive bed. Until next time, Parq! Thanks for the much-needed staycation.

Got a hot date coming up? Shop my date night look here:

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

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