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

Sunday, December 15, 2019

What's Hot in Beauty: As Seen at the #LDBeauty Event

London Drugs recently hosted their annual #LDBeauty event: a chance for influencers and Beauty Advisors to check out all of the latest and greatest new beauty products coming soon to their stores. It's an opportunity to meet directly with all of the amazing beauty brands London Drugs carries, and get a first-hand look at these brand new products. Of course, I want to share with all of you what I saw while we were there, because believe me, there is a lot to get excited about! Just keep on reading below for a sneak peek.

Trending Thermal Water

Some of my favourite derm brands were in attendance, including Vichy, Avene and a newcomer to London Drugs, Uriage! All 3 feature thermal water in their products, whose properties can calm and soothe the skin. I have been using Avene's Thermal Water Spray for years - it's great for a refreshing spritz, or even calming itchy eyes. I'm looking forward to giving Vichy's spray a try too. I'm already a huge fan of their Aqualia Thermal Light Cream, which is so calming on the skin and extremely hydrating (it's one of the top 3 hydrating creams I've ever used). Uriage is a new brand to me, so I'm excited to test out a few of their products over the next while, including their Thermal Water spray, and Light Water Cream. Stay tuned for reviews on those!

New in Nails

Some of my favourite nail brands had some exciting new launches to show off. I am the BIGGEST fan of imPRESS nails, so I was super keen to check out their new press-on nails for Fall/Winter. I find their style of press-on nails stay on so well (I can get 2 weeks worth of wear out of 1 pack), and the length of the nails isn't crazy long. The designs are always so eye-catching too. I can't wait to get some use out of these new styles during the holidays! Kiss Nails also had some gorgeous new nail designs to show off in their Fantasy Collection. I haven't tried them before, and I have high hopes because the designs were just so pretty. Sally Hansen was launching new nail polish shades for the holidays as well, and the gold shades you'll see below in their Miracle Gel collection are simply stunning. A must-have for the holiday party season for sure!

Glowing Holiday Makeup

I'm starting to get pretty excited about the upcoming holiday season, specifically because it's the perfect time to get glammed up for holiday parties. Lise Watier always puts out the most beautiful holiday collections, and this year's definitely doesn't disappoint. The packaging is gorgeous (the cases featuring sparkles suspended in liquid on a deep navy background), and the shades in the eyeshadow palette and highlighter are especially shimmery. Annabelle also had an exciting new collection to showcase. Their curated collection is perfect for create frosty, shimmery winter looks! 

Best New Brushes

Ah, Real Techniques' makeup brushes are my ride or die. I have a huge collection of their brushes already, but now the new limited collection is on my wish list! Just in time for the holidays. Their eco-friendly line of brushes Eco Tools, also have some great looking gift sets for the holiday season. 

Eco-Friendly Finds

You may know Burt's Bees for their chapsticks, but did you know they also have an entire line of makeup products? Not just that, they're eco-friendly! Burt's Bees has taken great care to focus on natural ingredients and works hard to ensure their packaging is made of recyclable materials and is itself recyclable. Their Liquid Lipsticks are fantastic - super comfortable and offer a healthy dose of pigmented colour.

The Marvel that is Magnetic Lashes

Magnetic lashes have become such a huge trend over the last while. I'm always keen to try the latest innovations - from the first ones released by Ardell which had both a top and bottom set of lashes which essentially 'sandwiched' together with your own lashes in the middle. The newest innovations, however, use magnetic eyeliner! Ardell has just launched a new magnetic lash set that uses magnetic gel liner, and Kiss will be launching a set of lashes with magnetic liquid liner in the new year. I've got a box of Ardell's magnetic liner and lashes, so stay tuned for a review on those soon!

Makeup Launches to Try

Some of my favourite drugstore brands all have some awesome new launches to try. Covergirl has a new 24-Hour Exhibitionist Ultra Matte Lipstick that really does have impressive lasting power, and L'Oreal has launched a new Voluminous Original Mascara in Deep Burgundy (what a unique and pretty colour choice!). Finally, NYX Professional Makeup was showing off their new Love Lust Disco collection, featuring a super fun Illuminating Puff and a glam new eyeshadow palette!

Skincare Innovations

One of the biggest skincare trends lately has been customized skincare. I've been using Clinique's Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly for a while now, and I'm curious what it would be like to add one of the customized Active Cartridge Concentrates to it. After learning a bit more about them, I'd probably add the one for fatigued skin! Meanwhile, Elizabeth Arden was showcasing their new Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules. The sealed capsules help to keep the Vitamin C (which is 178x more potent than traditional Vitamin C) fresh and stable - something I didn't realize is so important for skincare products with Vitamin C. And don't worry, those little capsules are fully biodegradable! Looking forward to giving these capsules a try over the coming weeks.

New and Natural Skincare

It's been so exciting to see more and more natural brands popping up at the drugstore. London Drugs has a wide range of natural brands now, including Weleda, Derma E, as well as other familiar brands which now offer natural product lines. Clarins has just launched their new Plant Gold Oil-Emulsion, which is 100% natural origin, for instance! I'm just starting to test out Derma E's Vitamin C Micellar Cleansing Water, which was showcased at the event. Derma E's skincare products are 100% vegan and are considered 'eco-ethical'. If you haven't heard of Weleda before, I'd highly recommend trying out their Skin Food Cream first, as it's a cult favourite. So rich and moisturizing!

More Skincare Launches!

One of the most exciting skincare launches at the LDBeauty event, in my eyes, was the addition of a S├ębium Lotion to Bioderma's anti-acne skincare line. I've been using Bioderma for years now, with their Hydrabio Serum and Micelle Solution being at the top of my ride-or-die list, so I was pretty excited to get my hands on this new launch. I've been using it for a couple weeks already, and love how hydrating it is, while still fighting my breakouts. Meanwhile, StriVectin had their new Hyperlift Eye Instant Eye Fix on display, as well as their Double Fix for Lips lip treatment - which definitely caught my eye. I've started using this lip treatment the last few nights, and am looking forward to the results. Younger, plumper lips, here I come! 

Innovative Hair Tools

I've saved the best for last here! Conair unveiled their latest collection of hair tools at the LDBeauty Event: Conair Unbound. In fact, we had a chance to try out two test models of their Conair Unbound Auto Curler, which were the only two models currently in the country! They'll be rolling out in stores soon though, so you won't have to wait long. As a big fan of the Curl Secret many years ago, I have high hopes for this new hair tool. It's a more easy-to-use version in my opinion, and it's also wireless! Amazing! And you can charge it via USB, even in your car. With the heated part of the tool enclosed, it's also impossible to burn yourself (I'm looking at you, girl, who has burned herself one too many times on her hair wand). I'll be testing this out more in depth soon, so stay tuned for that review!

Phew - that was a long rundown of all the hottest new beauty products you'll be able to find at London Drugs. Which ones caught your eye??

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
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