Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Festive in Plaid for the Holidays

Plaid is my favourite pattern to wear in the fall and winter. And it just so happens, that it also works great for holiday outfits. Plaid often comes in festive colours like red or green, which makes it easy to style the pattern for holiday party outfits.

This beautiful red and navy plaid skirt was actually gifted to me by friend and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, Helen Siwak. She also happens to be a super talented thrifter. I love the tea length of the skirt, and how it has the leather fastener at the hip. The fabric is nice and thick, so it's actually really nice and cozy! This one is made of polyester and viscose, but if you find one that's made of wool, it would be even cozier - perfect for parties this winter.

Sure, you could probably find a plaid skirt at the mall or online, but if you want a good quality tartan skirt like this, your best bet is to hit up your local thrift store. I've seen quite a few of them on the racks over the years. Take a peek at the tag inside to see what it's made from, and where the brand is from. This particular one is by St Michaels and made in Canada, 70% polyester and 30% viscose. I also have a real Burberry tartan-style skirt that's made in Scotland and is made of wool - also thrifted. You never know what you'll find! The nice thing is, the identifiable plaid print makes them pretty easy to spot on the racks.

Plus, the best part of thrifting your holiday outfit is that you don't have to worry if it'll arrive in time to wear during the holidays! And then of course, you can jazz up your plaid skirt with some holiday accessories, like gold earrings, and some sparkly gold heels. 

Shirt - Zara (thrifted) | Earrings - H&M (similar) | Necklace - Nobis & Grey | Skirt - St Michaels (similar) | Heels - Betsey Johnson

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The $30 Jumpsuit that will Turn Heads This Holiday Party Season

The holidays are my favourite time of year for lots of reasons - from Christmas Markets to cozy cocktails and sparkly holiday outfits. As someone who is wholeheartedly obsessed with sequins and general fancy attire, this time of year is definitely the best. I did end up purchasing a couple new sequinned pieces this year for the holidays, but it's a certain satin jumpsuit that ended up really catching my eye when online shopping.

I picked up this satin green jumpsuit from SheIn for an incredible $32 if you can believe that. The jewel-tone green was why I first was drawn to it, but as someone who also has a deep obsession with fashionable capes, I also was very curious about the one-armed cape it has. As you'll see in the photos, capes are always a good idea (at least when it comes to fashion...I recall Edna from The Incredibles saying otherwise for superheroes...).

I ended up wearing this jumpsuit for the first time to Omega's annual holiday party at their boutique in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and it was a total hit. I went into the washrooms for a last-minute hair and makeup check before the event, and already had received half a dozen compliments on the jumpsuit by the time I left! For 30 bucks, it certainly left an impression!

Unfortunately, the jumpsuit does crease quite easily...but it also has pockets. You win some you lose some. SheIn ships super quick to Canada, so if you're wondering if you can ship it in time for your Christmas parties, the answer is probably yes. I'm wearing a size Medium here, for reference (it just needs a small belt to cinch the waist).

The Omega party was quite the affair - sparkling wine, gleaming watches, tasty treats, and good company. They also hosted photographer Dennis Gocer of The Collective You (you might know him as the photographer who snapped Justin Bieber's wedding pics), who took beautiful portraits of the guests. This was the third year having my photo taken by Dennis, and I love the shot even more than the previous ones! He really has an incredible knack for capturing the most stunning portraits.

Here with Chantale, Lee of LegalLee Blonde, and Alex

I can say for sure, I'm going to be wearing this jumpsuit all holiday party season long! Keep scrolling to the bottom of this post for all of my outfit details.

Jumpsuit - SheIn | Earrings - H&M | Heels - Vince Camuto | Nails - Kiss Nails Gel Fantasy

Happy Holiday Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, December 2, 2019

Video Review: Hot Tools One-Step Blowout Volumizer

I've been seeing videos pop up everywhere lately about volumizing brushes, and thought hey, this sounds like it's right up my alley. I'm a pretty low maintenance hair gal. Then while at the #LDBeauty Event with London Drugs, I got a look at the new Hot Tools One-Step Blowout Volumizer in person, and knew I had to try it - this is what I need to simplify my routine! If I can manage to combine the brushing, drying and styling process all into one, I will 100% do it.

So what's this brush all about? Well, at a basic level, it's essentially a brush and blow dryer in one. But it also does all of this:

  1. Ion Technology (specifically negative ions) leaves your hair looking smooth, while also helping reduce frizz and static for shiny healthy-looking hair
  2. Silkglide Boartech Bristles gently grip your hair to reduce breakage while creating volume and shine
  3. Thermaglide Ceramic Coating helps to give even heat distribution and healthy-looking shine
  4. Refresh Activated Charcoal gives your 2nd day hair a fresh boost, by attracting toxins and dirt
Watch the video below for a full walkthrough of how to use it and my first impressions! And keep reading below for more thoughts...

Usually, I let my hair dry part way, then I'll brush it through (with far too much of my hair getting ripped out unfortunately...), then I'll dry it with my hair dryer before sweeping my flat iron over my dry hair. After using the Hot Tools Blowout Volumizer, I'd say it does a pretty great job of rolling all of those steps into one!

I started off on the 'Low' setting, as that's what was recommended for fine hair, but I ended up boosting it to the 'High' setting part way through because I was a little impatient. The 'High' setting sped things way up, just as I'd hoped! Super quick blowout. There's also a 'Cool' setting meant for setting your style.

My hair wasn't hugely blown out after using the brush, but to be honest, I'm not surprised because my hair is very fine and never gets much volume. That being said, it did give some much-needed volume to the hair around my hairline in the front. I was more excited about how smooth and sleek my hair looked like after using the brush! I usually don't get that kind of sleekness without using my flat iron after I blow dry.

At $89.99 (it's on sale at London Drugs for $79.99 right now!), it's definitely a deal, considering it can effectively eliminate the need for multiple other hair tools!

Have you given a volumizer brush a try? If you've got any styling tips, I'd love to hear them below.

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

5 of the Best Lipsticks To Wear this Fall/Winter

I'm a lipstick girl through and through. When it's time for the changing of the seasons, whether it's from winter to summer or summer to fall, I always get excited to pull out my seasonal lipsticks. For fall/winter, I'm all about the mauve nudes, deep vampy shades, and unique shades like 'pumpkin spice'. Looking to try something new? I'm sharing 5 of my favourite fall/winter lipstick shades below!

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Out Loud

Move over, Pumpkin Spice Latte, this year I'll take my pumpkin spice in lipstick form! This is literally my all-time favourite fall lipstick. Smashbox's Always On Liquid Lipstick comes in the most perfect burnt orange shade, Out Loud that is just to die for. Not to mention the formula is insanely comfortable on the lips, and doesn't transfer easily.

If Smashbox's pricepoint is a bit steep for you, I'd also recommend trying Maybelline's SuperStay Matte Ink Un-Nude Liquid Lipstick in 75 Fighter (I found it at London Drugs!).

Lancome L'Absolu Rouge in 507 Dram'atic

This is a definite 'wow factor' lipstick for fall/winter. This very matte, deep vampy shade from Lancome is just stunning. It's the shade 507 Dram'atic (it looks like it may have been renamed 'Berry'?) in the L'Absolu Rouge collection (mine is from London Drugs). 

I do find it a little difficult to get a perfectly neat line around the lips with the shape of this bullet, but to be honest, the colour is just so amazing that I don't mind spending a little longer cleaning up the lines. (I like to use my e.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen).

Burt's Bees Lipstick in 514 Brimming Berry

This year, I went on the hunt for the perfect berry lipstick shade. It was one of the few colours that I really didn't have covered in my existing lipstick collection. Luckily, I had received this sample from London Drugs, and turns out it's exactly what I was looking for! It's the Burt's Bees Lipstick in 514 Brimming Berry. So insanely comfortable on the lips too. If you have green eyes, I also find the berry lip colour really brings out the colour in your eyes.

I've also got to say, I've fallen in love with Burt's Bees lip products in general this past year. That probably seems weird, because I feel like most people grew up using Burt's Bees lip balms. But for whatever reason, I just had never really tried them. I had the chance to test out the Burt's Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm in Cucumber Mint and their Lip Shimmers, and both are now staples in my purse. They just feel so good on the lips, and the Lip Shimmers have this fantastic 'your lips but better' look. Every time I walk by the Burt's Bees display at London Drugs now, I can't help but snap up a new flavour or shade!

Covergirl Exhibitionist 24Hr Ultra Matte Lipstick in 620 Risky Business

While previewing all the hot new beauty launches at London Drugs' #LDBeauty Event earlier this month, I spotted the Covergirl's new Exhibitionist 24Hr Ultra Matte Lipstick. I'm a matte lipstick lover, so an 'ultra matte' intrigued me. I also tend to wear more matte lipsticks in the fall and winter. The texture is beautiful - very smooth and not at all drying, considering it's an 'ultra matte'. I haven't tested the '24hr' nature of the lipstick yet, so I'll need to report back on that. But I can't say I ever really need it to last 24 hours.

The shade I'm wearing here is Risky Business, and if you're looking for a nice deep mauve shade to add to your vanity for fall, this one is spot-on. It goes great with pretty much any outfit!

Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit

A light nude/mauve is also a must-have in my fall/winter makeup bag. I feel in love with Tarte's Tartiest Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit after receiving it as my Sephora birthday gift last year. Once it runs out, I'll definitely be repurchasing the full size! It's extremely comfortable on the lips, and the shade is one of my all-time favourite nudes. It also just happens to pair really well with any burnt orange fall clothes you have.

What is your go-to fall/winter lipstick? Sound off in the comments below, I'm always looking for new ones to try!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, October 7, 2019

How to Get Neat...ish: Tips for De-Cluttering

I've never, ever been anything remotely close to a minimalist. I'm not a pack rat either, but I definitely do love my stuff, and I'm not a type-A personality when it comes to organization. Of course, many people have taken to following Marie Kondo's method to get organized, but to be honest, I just don't think I'm capable of that high level of organization (and ruthfulness when it comes to getting rid of stuff).

But I still did want to do some cleaning and decluttering! So what can a girl do? When I heard Value Village was sending a package full of tips for being neat-ish, that sounded exactly what I needed. Neat-ish. That seemed like something I could attain. And let me tell you - it definitely worked! No, my closet didn't look empty after I was done with it, but it was lighter. I'm pretty proud of the multiple piles of stuff I was able to say goodbye to.

For all of you folks out there that just aspire to be neat-ish too, don't worry I'm sharing all of Value Village's Neatish Tips (as well as some of my own tips) below, so just keep on scrolling!

Put the U in Declutter

I don't do well with strict 'rules' for decluttering. Sometimes I just can't let go of an item...yet. And there's no need to feel guilty about that. Usually it takes me a season or two to be able to finally part with something that had more sentimental or emotional value. But that's ok!

You also don't need to blindly follow the rules of a decluttering system that just doesn't feel like you. For instance, if you're not a minimalist, trying to follow the rules of maintaining a minimalist closet just may not work. I love how minimalist closets look, but I know it's just not my style.

That being said, that's why just trying to be a little neat-ish appeals to me so much. My closet does get to the point where there's just no more room, and I do need to declutter, but I want to do it in a way that my closet still feels like it's my closet. Just some food for thought!

Space Save the Sentimental

One of the best tips I've ever heard for decluttering the really hard-to-part-with items is...to take photos! If you're holding onto a clothing item that you'll never wear again but have trouble giving it up for sentimental reasons, an easy way to keep the memory without the stuff is to take a photo! I've got a Fujifilm Instax 8 that I can use to snap a photo of myself in the item of clothing - then I've got a cute photo memory to remember that item by! It takes up a whole lot less space than the actual clothing. I have a tendency to want to keep items of clothing that I wore for special events, but let's be honest, a lot of them don't fit anymore, so this is a smart way to keep the memory without the 'stuff'.

Have Fun Decluttering

Decluttering shouldn't have to feel stressful and overwhelming. It can actually be a lot of fun (not to mention eco-friendly)! Here's a few ways to keep the energy up while you're parsing through your old things:
  • Turn your bedroom into a "Keep or Donate" runway! Make A pile for donation, a pile to keep, and a pile for 'need to try on because I'm not sure'. When you're done making the piles, do a little try-on runway show with the items you're not sure about, to help you make a final decision.
  • Pop on your favourite playlist...hell, why not grab a glass of wine! It's all about enjoying the process.
  • If you need someone to help you make the hard decisions to "Keep or Donate" certain items, invite a friend over!

Make Reuse a Ritual

So nice and clean after my latest decluttering effort! This is how I store my lipsticks and jewellery.
This decluttering experience took me a while...probably because it had been a bit too long since I'd done it. One thing I've resolved to do now is to make organizing a repeatable ritual. Every few months, I plan to take a quick look through my stuff and see what can be donated. Here are a few different ways you can make decluttering a ritual:
  • You can use the 'one in, one out' rule to keep clutter to a minimum. For every new item that comes into your home, try to let another item go (responsibly, of course)!
  • Choose a length of time that works for you, and stick to it (like every two months). Personally, I do a big declutter twice a year when I change over my closet from spring to summer, and summer to winter. It's an easy time to assess what I did and didn't end up wearing during the previous season, as well as look at what I had in store and am either excited to wear again, or had totally forgotten about. I also try to do some smaller decluttering every few months (it doesn't always happen).
  • If you need a little extra nudge, set a reminder on your phone - this is what I'll be doing in future!

Always Declutter Responsibly

Once you're done piling up all the items you're OK with saying goodbye to, it's time to get rid of them...responsibly! I always make sure to pack everything up and donate them to Value Village. That way, rather than going to a landfill, your items can go to a new home that will love them! Here's a couple tips to help make your things ready for donating:

  • If you're donating fragile items, wrap them up in old newspapers or towels so they make it to Value Village in one piece!
  • For pairs of things, use old rubber bands or string to keep shoes, gloves and earrings as a set.
  • The best way to donate your things is in good condition - if you can, pre-wash items and dry them before you donate.
  • And of course, when you're ready to take your bags of clothes for donation to Value Village, definitely bring along a friend to shop with after you drop off your old clothes.
  • Don't forget to reap the awesome benefits of donating your old clothes! I always make sure to get one of Value Village's punchcards so I can get a discount when I shop after dropping off my clothes.

Here's a few fun things I found at Value Village after dropping off my big garbage bag full of items for donation! These cute linen pants and colourful BCBG Max Azria top both came home with me. (Notice how I'm bringing home less clothing than I donated - that's key!!).

I wish you all the best on your decluttering adventures! Got any helpful tips I missed? I'd love to hear what they are!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

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