a style blog

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

OOTD | Latest Obsessions

The inevitable finally happened. I purchased the Daria faux leather leggings from Aritzia. I couldn't restrain myself any longer. To be fair, I think I held out pretty well. I've been wanting them for over a year and the less expensive (but far inferior) leggings I got from Zara were an okay placeholder... but it was time. 

Winter OOTD ft. Aritzia Daria faux leather leggings, Erin sweater and blanket scarf

It was my first time even trying them on (with this sweater, which I also bought and am obsessed with). It took me about 5 minutes of struggling in the dressing room to get on the size extra small, but finally I got them on. I waddled out to the mirrors, feeling a bit like a sausage in an extremely tight casing, where the SA assured me that these leggings stretch out so much that you need to get the tightest pair you can possibly fit into. She told me she was on her second pair because she didn't get the sizing right the first time. By that time I was already starting to feel less constricted, so I took her word for it and got the xs - and oh boy was she ever right! They fit perfectly now. 

This sweater is also something I had been looking at for a while. It's quickly becoming a favourite i.e. I have been wearing it almost every day since I got it. The fabric is beautiful - a mix of wool, linen, and viscose - and hasn't even hinted at getting fuzzy or balling after my repeated wears. Which is a relief, because this sweater was hella expensive! 

Winter OOTD ft. Aritzia Daria faux leather leggings, Erin sweater and blanket scarf

This whole outfit - blanket scarf, bag, and boots included - has quickly become a uniform for me on my days off. So comfy and chic and warm. I'm obsessed. I never thought I'd see the day where an outfit consisting of leggings and a long sweater was my go-to, but here we are! 

Babaton Erin Sweater (Aritzia) (link!)

Wilfred Free Daria Legging (Aritzia) (link!
Wilfred Diamond Mosaic Blanket Scarf (Aritzia) (link!)
DV by Dolce Vita Sabina Boots (super old!)
Alexander Wang Rocco Bag (similar here)

Hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season! I'm all set with my shopping and wrapping and can just relax today. It's very very nice to not be at all stressed about Christmas this year!

xo Chloë

Sunday, December 14, 2014

High-Low Hermès, Wang, and Zara

"True style setters don't rely solely on their platinum AmEx to amass an enviable wardrobe. Rather, they count on sharp fashion sense that works as well at the Gap as it does at Gucci." - Harper's Bazaar
I'm always so envious of people who can easily throw together a sleek and chic outfit using a variety of pieces from a variety of sources, and I like to think I'm on the path toward being able to do this on the regular. This is definitely a high-low outfit if I've ever worn one, and I'm actually really impressed with myself. I still find myself looking at it and going "Damn, she looks good", and then promptly feeling like an idiot for complimenting myself. I have a bit of shame, after all. 

High-low OOTD ft. a Hermes belt from Yoogi's Closet, my Alexander Wang Rocco, a Zara skirt, and Target heels

The sweater, skirt, and shoes come out to roughly $100 all together (some items on sale). Meanwhile, the belt and the bag... well... you really don't want to know. I don't even really want to think about it. I'd much rather think about how beautiful and fabulous they are, not how much they cost... 

I was a bit apprehensive about this faux leather skirt from Zara when I first got it home. It's slightly below my knee and is not very forgiving in terms of any lumpy bits that may be present... but with the right underwear and a pair of heels, it's actually exactly how I hoped it would be. The chunkier sweater on top was a nice surprise pairing with the skirt. I think it works perfectly, especially with the slight tuck in the front to expose the buckle on my belt. Très chic, if I do say so myself. 

High-low OOTD ft. a Hermes belt from Yoogi's Closet, my Alexander Wang Rocco, a Zara skirt, and Target heels
High-low OOTD ft. a Hermes belt from Yoogi's Closet, my Alexander Wang Rocco, a Zara skirt, and Target heels
Unfortunately there are now a couple of feet of snow on the ground here in my part of the world, which is not really conducive to this kind of outfit. I've recently purchased some soft wool and cashmere socks in hopes of perfecting the "socks with heels" look. Maybe I'll be able to pull this off after some practice (and when the snow situation doesn't require Sorels). Cross your fingers for me. 

Faux Leather Skirt - Zara (link!

Sweater - Lord and Taylor (petite section) (similar here)
Heels - Target (link!)
Bag - Alexander Wang (similar here)
Belt - Hermès (pre-loved via Yoogi's Closet)
Glasses - Warby Parker
Watch - Michael Kors (link!)
Bracelet - Tiffany & Co.  (link!)

As is the case every winter, my outfit of the day options in terms of taking photos are greatly reduced - even impossible sometimes (beyond a crappy mirror selfie), so I hope you'll bear with me as I try to figure this out. I'm officially on holiday now, so I will try try try to resolve it. Stay tuned!

xo Chloë

Monday, December 1, 2014

Playing It Safe

I'd been trying to put off this purchase for as long as possible, or simply avoid it altogether, but you know how I am with sales. And lip products. This was one of my two purchases during the Sephora VIB Rouge sale last month: NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna. Of all the possible choices, this one is delightfully boring, but it's right up my street and I've already been wearing the heck out of it. 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna - a smokey rose

The subtle purple tone isn't really coming across in the tube, but while being quite "safe", it still has a bit of interest to it. Lately I've been layering it on top of MAC's Soar lipliner and they pair together really beautifully. The formula is creamy and hydrating and it stays put for a decent amount of time. That is, unless I've been eating or drinking, and then it's nearly all rubbed off and in desperate need of a touch-up! But I love the way the colour plays against my fair skin, so I'm willing to forgive and forget on that one :) 

I've seen a couple of the more vibrant shades on some other blogs, namely Buy Now Blog Later, and I'm very very tempted. The price point is holding me back though - these babies are not cheap! I think I need to hold out for another VIB sale, and maybe start thinking about using up some of the (many) (mostly abandoned) lipsticks I already have... 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna - a smokey rose
As for how often you'll be seeing me on here in the near future - I'm really hoping to have a productive December! I have a lot on my list for my YouTube channel (including some giveaways, so make sure you're subscribed!) but I also want to keep busy on my blog. I have a lot of fun taking photos and writing posts, so hopefully I'll be having some extra special brainwaves of inspiration (whatever that is) this month!

Love to you all, and I hope your Decembers are filled with joy and love.

xo Chloë


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Double Pearl

I'm declaring the Dior Tribal earring as still being a thing - I don't care if this is actually the case (I can't see why it wouldn't be, honestly) as I love them and have coveted them for ages.  I've been obsessed since day one but - obviously- not willing to dish out over $400 for a trendy pair of earrings. Not yet, at least. 

Enter Etsy, and a lovely Canadian shop called Alessandra Taylor. They offer a version in a variety of colours for under $20 shipped. Sold. 

Etsy version of Dior's Mise En Dior Tribal double pearl earrings
 I ordered the earrings on a Saturday and received them on Wednesday, and have been wearing them ever since. At this rate they'll probably have fallen apart by the new year, but hey, then I'll have a legitimate justification for purchasing the real thing, right? 

In the meantime, I fully intend on buying another pair or two from this Etsy shop. One perhaps in a colour, and another in either black or grey. That way I can mix and match if I'm feeling fancy. The classic pearl is gorgeous though, and if you're looking to buy only one pair to try I would say that this should be the one. Versatile, classic, perfect. 

Etsy version of Dior's Mise En Dior Tribal double pearl earrings

If you're feeling crafty, I did find this DIY tutorial - but I've never been patient enough to try it myself. Besides, if I can get them for under $20 and they're already made, then why bother making them myself?

Link to their store here!

xo Chloë


Monday, November 17, 2014

All At Once | Work Neutrals OOTD

It has come to my attention that sweatpant trousers - not silky trousers, but basically formal trousers with a sweatpant waistband - are currently a "thing", and that they are perfectly acceptable to wear to the office. Um. I want them all, in that case. These are Zara and you're going to have to pry them from my cold, dead hands if you ever want to take them away from me. I'm serious. This is serious. 

A neutral OOTD for work, ft. Zara, J.Crew, Aritzia, and Louis Vuitton

I'm also noticing as I write this that I've essentially taken all of the acceptable "neutrals" in the current fashion landscape and thrown them together in this outfit. Black, grey, brown, navy. Does it still count as a neutral outfit in this case? Or have I created some sort of fashion colour theory paradox? 

Anyway, back to these pants for a second. They are cuffed, tapered, and effortlessly slouchy in the thigh/hip area, which is my favourite silhouette right now. It magically makes little ol' me look taller, and I'm always there for that. Also, pockets.

A neutral OOTD for work, ft. Zara, J.Crew, Aritzia, and Louis Vuitton

A neutral OOTD for work, ft. Zara, J.Crew, Aritzia, and Louis Vuitton

I kind of feel like I'm shoving my LV Speedy in your face here, and it was entirely unintentional. I never tire of the Damier Ebene print, but seeing it in every shot here is a tad overkill, no? Sorry. I will instead draw your attention to my beautiful wool blazer from J.Crew that I bought online on sale. It's their Schoolboy fit, and it's amazing for petites. Here I'm wearing a 0, and I could have managed with a 00 as well; overall I find this style to run a bit big, so if you're interested I would suggest trying on some sizes in-store first if at all possible. The wool is warm and luxurious and the navy goes with almost everything I own. Major score! 

J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer (link!)
Zara Trousers (link!)
Zara Suede Heels (last season, similar here)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 Damier Ebene (link!)
Aritzia Wilfred Minou Silk Camisole (link!) - love these
Tiffany & Co Diamonds by the Yard Necklace (link!)
Forever 21 Rose Gold Chain (no longer available, I don't think?)
Warby Parker Mallory Glasses (style no longer available?!)

What are your thoughts on sweatpant trousers? I think they need to stay, because holy comfortable pants, Batman! I'd love it if all of my work pants were like these. 

xo Chloë

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Solid Matte Lipstick... Sort Of

I think I'm finally back in the lipstick mood long-term, and these babies definitely have something to do with it. Clinique's Long Last Soft Matte lipsticks have finally launched in Canada and (so far) I've come away with two of the nine available shades: Matte Beauty and Matte Suede.  

A look at Clinique's Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Beauty and Suede

Matte Beauty was the first one I acquired, and it's described as a "classic rose". It's a wonderfully neutral pink colour with a hint of vibrance on the lips, and it glides on smoothly. To me, the texture is more of a matte/satin, rather than just a straight matte, and it feels almost creamy on my lips. I don't find it to be drying, and it lasts pretty well too! I've been reaching for it quite often, and it has yet to disappoint :) 

Matte Suede was a total impulse buy, and really freaked me out once I took a closer look at the colour. It's described as a "light neutral nude", and it has beige-brown undertones. On me it pulls a little warm, so I wouldn't say it's a true neutral nude. This one is a bit drier than Matte Beauty, and doesn't apply as smoothly. I find it's best applied in one layer, as multiple passes caused it to crack and "split" whenever I moved my lips after application. Not pretty. The colour isn't my favourite, but I find it to be excellent as a "base" lipstick. It's nearly opaque after one layer so it leaves a really nice blank canvas of sorts to layer either another lipstick or a lipgloss on top. I've even worn it alone (after a very careful application!) and I didn't look too corpse-like. There's definitely potential here :)

A look at Clinique's Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Beauty

A look at Clinique's Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Suede

Even though Matte Suede didn't end up being a favourite, I really like the formula of this lipstick. Next on my list (unless I just buy ALL of them!) is Matte Petal and Matte Crimson. I've been trying to broaden my lipstick horizons lately, so I'd like to see whether Crimson is as big of a hit with me as MAC's Frank-n-Furter was! I've seen Matte Mandarin on other bloggers, and it looks stunning, but sadly I don't think orange is my colour. I'll have to take a pass on that one, unfortunately! 

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte lipstick, $19 CDN @ Sephora (link!)

xo Chloë

Monday, November 3, 2014

Perk-Up Purple | OOTD

I feel as though there's a lot I want to talk about in this post but I'll try to keep it simple. Coats. Fall. Jeans. Sunglasses. Etc.

I've had a tough couple of weeks, so I thought I'd perk myself up a bit by pulling out the purple coat I snagged in Zara's spring/summer sale. The shape is so Princess Kate, but the colour is quite striking, and I absolutely love it.

Casual autumn OOTD ft. my purple Zara coat, Citizens of Humanity Jeans, Coach bag, and Warby Parker sunglasses

The rest of the outfit is pretty standard weekend wear for me - a casual white v-neck, skinny jeans, and boots. I'd like to point out that I've had these Citizens of Humanity jeans for two years now and they're by far the sturdiest and most "worth it" expensive jeans I've ever owned. I have a pair of Paige skinnies that are younger than these and are about ready for the rag pile, but these C of H beauties just keep on chugging along. The denim is nice and thick and holds up well to being washed. They can get a bit saggy in the knees though, as is the struggle for petite girls like me, but overall, a great buy!

Casual autumn OOTD ft. my purple Zara coat, Citizens of Humanity Jeans, Coach bag, and Warby Parker sunglasses

Also, these sunglasses. Like I said, I have lots to talk about. These are my second order from Warby Parker and definitely merit their own post but I thought I'd show 'em a bit here too. My first ever prescription sunglasses and they're fantastic. Such a stylish semi-cateye shape, and they're enormous so they cover a lot of my face (which is excellent). I actually can't believe I've gone this long without prescription sunglasses. What a revelation! Also of note: that is not a sock bun on top of my head. All my own hair. All of it. Things are getting out of control with this mane.

A small Sephora haul, ft. Bite Beauty holiday set and Anastasia Brow GelI've also indulged in a little (or a lot) of retail therapy lately. Mostly window-shopping to be honest, but sometimes I like to buy a little something as well :) There's something about wandering around (exercise!) looking at pretty things that can really take one's mind off of things. I popped into Sephora the other day to return the REN moisturizer that broke me out, and ended up coming out with some new stuff. A subscriber of mine had tweeted me a photo of the Bite holiday set, and when I saw it in store I pounced. It's beautiful and I highly recommend. I had also been looking for a brow gel/setting product to work in tandem with my Face Shop eyebrow pencil (<3), so I picked up my first ever Anastasia product, the Tinted Brow Gel. I'm still trying it out, so I'm not sure yet if it's a winner, but I like it enough so far! 

Coat - Zara (last season, similar colour and style here)
Jeans - Citizens of Humanity Avedon Skinny (link!)
T-Shirt - Target (link!)
Boots - Target (last season, similar here)
Bag - Coach (really old)
Sunglasses - Warby Parker (link!)
Bite Beauty Holiday Set - Sephora (link!)
Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel - Sephora (link!)

Hope you've all had a nice October :) I know I say this all the time, but I hope to be back on a more regular blogging/vlogging schedule ASAP. It just seems like it's one bad thing after another lately, so I've had to take some time. Love you all, and thank you for sticking with me! 

xo Chloë

Saturday, October 25, 2014

OOTD | Silk Skirt + Leather Sleeves

I don't think there's any denying it now. The leaves on the ground, sometimes swirling in a bone-chilling gust of wind, are the ultimate sign of autumn. It's a beautiful time of year here in Ottawa, visually at least. The trees are various shades of yellow, orange, and red, and the sun hangs lower and lower in the sky. But the cold comes quickly, as does the wind and precipitation. So I thought I'd make the best of this little sliver of nice weather before the first snow and show you a fall outfit, featuring my new handmade silk skirt. 

OOTD ft. a handmade silk skirt, my Prada flats, polka dots by Joe Fresh, and my Aritzia coat

One day this fall, my friend texted me and asked for my waist and waist-to-knee measurements. A talented seamstress, she had decided to make me a skirt out of the vintage Thai silk I had given her a few months ago. A couple of days later, she presented me with this beautiful piece of art. Isn't it stunning? I actually had a bit of a hard time deciding how to style it. It's cream, black, and brown, which is surprisingly difficult to work with. I decided to go with the black and cream palette for the rest of the outfit, and let the brown stand out on the skirt. I think it works!

OOTD ft. a handmade silk skirt, my Prada flats, polka dots by Joe Fresh, and my Aritzia coat

While I'm not a huge fan of autumn in general, I do love that I get to pull out this coat. It's warm and stylish and one of my all-time favourite pieces, even though it also tends to be a dog hair magnet that requires lint brushing every time I leave the house. I also took my new Prada shoes for a spin. I think their retro/quirky style go really well with the shape of the skirt. They add some lift and height while still being incredibly walkable and comfortable. 

OOTD ft. a handmade silk skirt, my Prada flats, polka dots by Joe Fresh, and my Aritzia coat

Hopefully I can keep on wearing skirts with bare legs for the time being. I despise pantyhose and avoid wearing them if at all possible, but sometimes there's no other option. I have some more skirts I'd like to test drive before I completely transition over to pants for the winter, so I'd really better get a move on! 

Blouse - Joe Fresh (similar here)
Skirt - Handmade :)
Shoes - Prada (link!)
Coat - Aritzia (similar here)
Bag - 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
Necklace - Zara (similar here)

How do you dress for fall? Do you go straight into pants and trousers, or do you try to tough it out in skirts for as long as possible, like I do? 

xo Chloë


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Snooping my aunt's MAC stash + Candy Yum Yum

Over (Canadian) Thanksgiving, we visited with family out of town, and I came to discover that my lovely aunt has nearly as many MAC lipsticks as I do. What a revelation. Even better, she has a literal handful of BITE lipsticks too, but I didn't want to get too snoopy, so I left those alone. She tends to go for brights in terms of lipstick, so I was quite surprised to find a couple of well-used "neutral" shades in her MAC mix... but my goodness the brightness of these brights sure compensate for those nudes! 

My aunt's MAC stash: Violetta; Girl About Town; MAC Red; Candy Yum Yum; Viva Glam Nicki; Heroine; O; Lovin' It; Soulfully Rich

The lipsticks from left to right: Name is rubbed off but is an Amplified finish, so it could be Violetta; Girl About Town; MAC Red; Candy Yum Yum; Viva Glam Nicki; Heroine; O; Lovin' It; Soulfully Rich.

Lipglasses: Full Speed Ahead; Lasting Achievement 

I think it goes without saying that this MAC lipstick collection is solid proof that my aunt is the coolest. Rocking Candy Yum Yum, Heroine, and Girl About Town? I certainly don't have the confidence for that on a regular basis, which she seems to do without a second thought. I did take the opportunity to try out the much-hyped Candy Yum Yum, though. When this was released, then re-released, you couldn't go anywhere on the beauty-Internet without hearing about it. Obviously I was always intrigued, but had a gut feeling that it wouldn't work for me. So, I carefully applied the almost blindingly bright colour to my lips, and the results were exactly as I expected: hilariously awful. 

Trying out MAC's Candy Yum Yum on my pale skin

It is neon pink and matte, and looks... not so good... on my pale skin. Also, any lip imperfections get their turn in the spotlight. Nice. It was fun to be able to try it out though - my curiosity was satisfied but I was able to keep my money in my pocket. I feel like this lipstick is further proof that I am indeed a nude lips kind of girl. I've recently picked up some new and much-hyped in the blogosphere lipsticks that are more my type, so be sure to keep an eye out for posts on those :) Some new outfit posts are finally on the way as well. I had been doing so well for a while there, then kind of fell off the wagon. Hopefully I can get some more done before the snow comes!

xo Chloë

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Oh, Rocky! | MAC Rocky Horror Collection

The news that MAC was releasing a Rocky Horror Picture Show collection came to me a bit late, maybe a week before the launch, so I hopped right onto the Google Machine (a real thing I say, in real life) and found out everything I could about the offerings. Suffice to say, I was prepared by the time October 2nd rolled around and the collection was released in-store. My wish-list was very short, but very important to fulfill, as it may surprise some of you to know that I've been a big Rocky Horror fan for as long as I can remember and definitely know all the words to all of the songs. And most of the movie. Um.  

My small MAC Rocky Horror haul: Frank-N-Furter lipstick and Crazed Imagination blush

Frank-N-Furter lipstick and Crazed Imagination blush were my must-haves. You all know I'm a major blush person, so this was a no-brainer, even after reading a less than complimentary review on Temptalia. As a side note, I didn't have any of the texture issues mentioned in that review, so it gets a solid grade from me! It's a plummy brownish frost with some gold shimmer, which sounds horrifying on paper but translates very nicely onto my skin. It has the same vibe as NARS Sin, which I'm a huge fan of, so it's really no surprise I love this! The second I got it home I cracked it open and shoveled heaps of it onto my cheeks, as is the look in RHPS. 

As for the lipstick, I'm not usually a red kind of girl, but I just couldn't pass this one up. First of all, the name. Frank-N-Furter. Um. Of course. Also, the packaging. Of course. What better time to delve into reds than with this perfect storm? The colour is actually very flattering on my skin, as it's a cooler red, and the matte texture leaves a really solid stain on my lips. It's not hydrating but I wouldn't say it's terribly drying either. I don't have any prior experience with MAC's mattes, so I can't really say how this one stacks up against the others! I certainly wish I had had this lipstick (among other things!) in my high school days when my friends and I would dress up every Halloween and go to the Rocky Horror screening at the local independent movie house (including rice, shouting, and singing). CoverGirl was my go-to then, and it doesn't hold a candle to this. 

Crazed Imagination blush from the MAC Rocky Horror collection

Frank-n-Furter lipstick from MAC Rocky Horror collection

I feel like the packaging of this collection is either a love it or hate it type of thing. I love it, but I can totally see why some people are disappointed. It's very predictable, and I would have loved to have seen something like the design on the inside of the box - Oh my God, I love this - used elsewhere on the packaging. But, alas, all we have are glossy lipstick bullets and a disembodied mouth and teeth... and I'm totally happy with that! 

This collection definitely wasn't for everyone, and some of the pieces were pretty uninspired - I'm looking at you, Riff Raff palette - but I feel like the pieces I got are some of the standouts and I'm not at all disappointed! 

Trying on Crazed Imagination blush and Frank-n-Furter lipstick from MAC's Rocky Horror collection

I'm not quite sure whether this will completely convert me to the red lipstick cult, but it's nice to know that I have one that really works, and that doesn't need to be reapplied every hour. This blush on the other hand... well, I think you'll be seeing me in this a whole lot. Blush is my jam, and this colour is so perfect for the season. It's going to be in heavy rotation :)

Did you manage to snag anything from the Rocky Horror collection? I noticed it sold out almost right away online, and that something strange happened with Frank-N-Furter... I guess I'm lucky I got it in store; there were three left, and were only found after I insisted that the MUA go double check their stock. Must be meant to be!

xo Chloë

Friday, October 3, 2014

Essence Dark Romance + Benefit Dupes?

One of the most popular posts on my blog is from when Essence first launched in Canada, and I've always felt a bit bad about it because it's basically just a picture-heavy post of a haul, no doubt clicked on by people looking for real information or reviews... So here we go with actual swatching and helpful information about some lovely picks from their latest collection, Dark Romance. You're welcome.

Essence Dark Romance collection, and possible dupes for Benefit Benetint and High Beam

I decided on these two items because they looked the most unique - a mousse blush and a cream highlighter for Essence's level of pricing? Heck yeah! And the best part? Both are actually quite good, and could even be duped for some higher-end products. The blush looks crazy scary in the pot, and even when heavily swatched, but once on the cheeks it's a really blendable texture and a really nice soft red flush of colour. While it's a completely different form of blush, the result really reminds me of Benefit's Benetint, but for a fraction of the price.

As for the highlighter, this one's a winner as well. It's a lovely cream product that's easy to apply to the cheeks and leaves a really nice sheen. My only issue is that the texture is only really conducive to applying it with the fingers, so it mucks up the pot pretty quickly. The result - again with different starting textures - reminds me of a cross between MAC's Strobe Cream and Benefit's High Beam. It's a subtle highlight but works really well on my pale skin.

Essence Dark Romance collection, and possible dupes for Benefit Benetint and High Beam

Essence Dark Romance collection, and possible dupes for Benefit Benetint and High Beam

These were my first Essence products in quite a while, and I'm really impressed with both of them! I usually check out their display when I take a poke through Shoppers Drug Mart, but it's usually their limited-edition collections - such as this one - that usually catch my eye.

What are some of your favourite Essence products? Do you tend to go straight for their collections and ignore their regular line, like I do?

xo Chloë

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday Empties: REN & Fresh Skincare

I feel like I've been plowing through my skincare products lately - and goodness knows I've been trying out a lot of new ones! Now I've reached the end of an old favourite, and the end of a new and delightful, possibly HG-status product that I will purchase over and over again. 

This Wednesday's empty products: Fresh Soy Cleanser and REN Evercalm Cleansing Milk

I've been purchasing Fresh's Soy Face Cleanser for years, and my crazy-sensitive skin has gotten along with it just fine. It's gentle and mild, if not a little drying in the winter months, and a really good product for sensitive, acne-prone skin. This will be my last bottle, however, and not just because I've found something I like more, but... the scent is starting to get to me. I hadn't noticed it before, but after a subscriber left me a comment noting how much the cleanser smells like pickles, it became all I could smell every time I used it. I'm quite sensitive to scented products, and one that is for use so close to my nose is just not going to fly. Sorry Fresh... I still like your Rose Face Mask, though!

The cleanser I've fallen in love with is REN's Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk. It's amazing on my sensitive skin and light enough to use year-round. I use it as the second part of my nightly double-cleanse, and it gently and effectively cleanses my skin without any irritation. I was really hesitant to try a cleansing milk at first, as I had not yet been disabused of the whole "oily skin needs gel or foaming cleanser" concept. Turns out, it's pretty much perfect for me, and has been the "gateway" into more REN products that I'm currently using and enjoying. 

So while I'm sad to say goodbye to my lovely but unfortunately pickle-scented cleanser, I'm very pleased with its replacement and have already repurchased it - the few days I spent without it after finishing this bottle were very, very tough!

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (link!)
REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (link!)

What are your most recent empties? Do you find you go through skincare products really quickly? 

xo Chloë 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Skincare Rambles & Indeed Labs

My skin has had a bad summer. I've been terrible at uploading videos to my YouTube channel and posting photos of my face on here (other than super far away in OOTDs) so I don't think it has been all that apparent to you, but it has really been the pits. But through this bad-skin-season, I've really started to like the brand Indeed Labs, something I tried on the recommendation of facialist Caroline Hirons. I know I go on about her all the time, but she really is wonderful, and I have yet to go wrong with her product suggestions. 

My latest Indeed Labs haul: Hydraluron Jelly and Retinol Reface

My two latest purchases from Indeed Labs are their new Hydraluron Moisture Jelly (holla hyaluronic acid!) and their Retinol Reface treatment, both available at Shoppers Drug Mart for very reasonable prices... sometimes even on sale. 

As I'm still (still!) struggling with adult acne, I decided to finally try out a retinol product. The amount of retinol/retinoid in Retinol Reface is obviously less than would be in a prescription product, but for my sensitive skin it has been a good amount to start with. I've noticed a huge difference in the texture and clarity of my skin, with very minimal irritation. I haven't completely cleared up my acne, but the before and after I see every morning in the mirror is really remarkable. For the past two weeks, I've used one pump at night all over my face and down onto my neck. It has quite a siliconey texture which certainly isn't for everybody (including me, normally), but honestly I'm willing to overlook that because the results speak for themselves. 

The Hydraluron Moisture Jelly is a product I have been excited about for months. I still haven't transitioned into using it full time, as I'd like to use up my La Roche Posay moisturizer first, and my skin needs a longer than normal adjustment period when trying new products. I've used this a few times, and really like the jelly texture and light moisture it provides. I have combination/oily skin and it hydrates without feeling heavy. I'm almost done my LRP Hydreane moisturizer, so this will be fully integrated into my rotation within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Have you tried Indeed Labs? What are some of your favourite budget skincare brands? 

xo Chloë

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Essie French Affair and a... Bad Manicure?

This may come as a surprise to many of you, but I'm not really a "spa" kind of girl. I hate baths (gross!), I can't deal with anybody touching my feet, or generally most parts of me, and I'm not good at sitting still. So that rules out most spa services. Another thing that may surprise you is that it's been at least 10 years since I've had a professional manicure. I've been extremely DIY in this area, for money reasons and for lack of time, but when it comes down to it, I can never get my nails to look the way a professional can make them look. All this to say, I got my first manicure in 10 years last week, and I'm still kind of confused as to whether it was a good one or not (I'm leaning towards not). 

Essie's French Affair nail polish and my current tube of Vaseline hand cream

I brought my own polish - Essie's French Affair - because I always get chips by day two, and I wanted to get my money's worth. Not exactly a fall colour but something about it just drew me in! It's a little bit streaky, and I was a little bit shocked when my manicurist put the bottle away after only two coats, leaving some obvious streaks behind. She did a nice job filing and shaping my nails, so from far away it looked fine, but I ended up applying another coat when I got home because it was bothering me so much. But that's not all. She cut me, twice, while working on my cuticles. I bled. Pretty sure you're not supposed to bleed during a manicure?!

Essie French Affair manicure, and my mangled cuticles

Maybe she was new, or something. Or maybe my cuticles are just overly sensitive?? The hand massage was nice, and it was fun to hang out with my mom (she got one too) but this foray back into getting my nails done has left me a little bit disappointed. I've found another spot near me that has really good reviews and is significantly less expensive than the place that chopped up my cuticles, so I'm thinking I will try there before I decide whether to swear off manicures forever. 

Also, is it normal for your cuticles to become crazy dry and peely a few days post-mani? I've been slathering on my Vaseline hand and nail cream but they just keep on shrivelling up. Not the best look.

Do you often get your nails done? Have you ever bled during a manicure?! Is this somewhat normal?! Please let me know about your experiences in the comments! 

xo Chloë

Sunday, August 31, 2014

J.Crew Picks for Autumn

You all know I'm a huge J.Crew fan; My work wardrobe is pretty much a solid 50/50 split of J.Crew and Zara. It's serious. And now, it's going to get even more serious: J.Crew is finally opening in my city this week and I'm about to get very, very poor.

In anticipation of blowing a bunch of cash within moments of stepping in the door, I've done a bit of pre-shopping to get an idea of what I'd like to buy (instead of being distracted by pretty but totally unreasonable items). These are three outfits I'd at least like to try on together - as fun as Polyvore is, clothes inevitably look different on every individual body - and that aren't stupidly expensive. This is especially the case in the event of a "grand opening" sale (which would be welcomed) (hint hint hint to J.Crew, Chloë wants needs a sale).

J.Crew Wishlist
J.Crew Painter Tee with Zips - (link!) |  J.Crew Pleated Lattice Skirt - (link!)
J.Crew Merino Wool Tippi Sweater - (link!) |  J.Crew Sophie Embroidered Loafers - (link!)
J.Crew Pixie Pant - (link!) | J.Crew Downing Tote - (link!)
J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer - (link!) |  J.Crew Collection Gilded Paisley Pencil Skirt - (link!)
J.Crew Elsie Suede Pumps - (link!)  |  J.Crew Crystal Bug Earrings - (link!)

One of the main things I'd like to invest in this fall is a new blazer. I've seen the Schoolboy blazer styled on various blogs and it looks absolutely perfect for me and my work style. Classic and chic. It's not crazy expensive either in the grand scheme of things. Someday I'd love to own a really luxe blazer from a brand like Smythe, but my bank account just isn't there yet. So J.Crew will have to suffice. 

Another item on my list this fall is a skirt (or two). My two favourite skirts for work are J.Crew's No.2 Pencil skirts, but they're now two years old and have always been a tad large. It's time for something new. I love pencil skirts for work, but I'd also like to try experimenting with other shapes and silhouettes. That way a skirt could do double-duty and be wearable on weekends as well. 

I'd also like to update my work-flats situation. I'm pretty set for heels, although I wouldn't say no to a great deal on a new pair, but my current flats are getting a big ragged and old. And to be honest, they're a bit boring with their simple black leather. Time to upgrade to something a little more fun. 

The new store is set to open after my no-buy ends, so keep an eye out for some shopping confessions and outfits on here and on my YouTube channel. Fingers crossed my pre-shopping faves end up being as lovely in real life! What are you looking forward to buying this fall? Anything special on your wishlist?

xo Chloë

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Empties | Bioderma & Smashbox

This is a post about garbage. Or, rather, a new blog series about garbage... Wednesday Empties. I feel like Wednesday is the perfect day to go through my empties. It's the middle of the week, with the weekend just barely within reach... but there are still two more work days until I can sleep past 6:30 a.m. I don't know what it is, but taking a look at products I've used up fills me with a nice, warm, and fuzzy sense of accomplishment that makes it a little easier to get me through until Friday. Maybe. That, or a new lipstick from Sephora on my way home from work.

This week's empties: Bioderma Sensibio H20 and Smashbox Photo Finish primer

This week, it's my trusty Bioderma Sensibio H2O that has seen its last drop. I go through these like crazy, I have no idea how many I've used up since I started using it a few years ago. One of my favourite parts of my skincare routine is to use this when I get home from work. A few squirts on a Shiseido facial cotton square, and it gets all the crap off my face (including my makeup), leaving me feeling fresh and clean after a long day. It's the best feeling - I highly recommend. Needless to say, I've already repurchased this. Actually, I always have a new bottle on deck when my current one starts to get low. Running out of my Bioderma is just not an option. 

I also (finally!) used up this deluxe sample of Smashbox's Photo Finish primer. I liked it enough to use it up, but not enough to purchase the full-size. I found it to be a touch too silicone-y and didn't help much with my oil situation... But it did help to keep my makeup on throughout the day, and it didn't break me out, which is number one on my wishlist for any face products! I have tried the "Light" version of this primer too, which I found to be a better texture, but it caused a crazy acne eruption that I won't soon forget. Back to the drawing board for face primers, I'm afraid... 

Another empty that took me quite a while to finish up is Living Proof's Prime Style Extender. I bought this on a whim from Sephora, and ended up really liking it. I'm not really a "hair product" person, but I found myself consistently reaching for this on my shelf. I applied a quarter-size amount to clean, wet/damp hair, and blow-dried; very simple! Most of the time I would leave it at that, but when I chose to straighten or curl my hair as well, I found it took on other products very well. The best part about this stuff? It gave me an extra 12 hours between washes. For serious. There's now a spray version of this available, so I might check that one out next. Either way, this is 100% getting repurchased!

Links, if you're feeling fancy:
Bioderma Sensibio H2O here
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer here
Living Proof Style Extender here

What products have you used up recently? Check back next week, and I'll (hopefully!) have some more empties/trash to show you ;)

xo Chloë

p.s. As you may have noticed, I've started to use affiliate links via Shopstyle in some of my posts. Two of the three links above are affiliate links. For more info, be sure to check out my disclaimer, and if you have any questions or concerns, tweet me @xochloegordon or leave me a comment! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

September Wishlist (Beauty Edition)

I never thought I'd make it this far, but here I am, more than halfway through my August no-buy. Online window-shopping has become a daily ritual during my lunch break, and a few things have lingered in my brain for when my spending ban is no longer in place. One of the things that this "project" has helped me with is to temper the impulse to immediately buy something if it's pretty. Not that I was necessarily super-bad for that to begin with, but I certainly had my moments. I'm getting better at suppressing my shopping urges. All good things.

So these are some of the things that have stayed on my mind longer than the initial rush of excitement... I think that's a good sign, right?

1. Real Techniques Blush Brush - This one has been on my mind for a very, very long time. I have quite a few RT brushes but this one has remained elusive. I can't seem to find a store that sells the single brushes in Ontario! Any suggestions?

2. The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil - I've decided to at least try using a cleansing oil. If Caroline Hirons says it's okay, then it must be, right? I'm still trying to decide between this one from The Body Shop and the Rice Water Cleansing Oil from The Face Shop - perhaps I'll end up with both? 

3. The Body Shop Facial Massager - I saw this on Caroline Hirons' blog a while back, and it looks absolutely divine. Using this with the cleansing oil for a nice facial massage/cleanse sounds heavenly. It looks a bit scary, but Caroline actually posted a short video of herself using it and it looks to be quite tame and lovely. 

4. NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss in Beige - My local PharmaPlus has revamped their NYX section (yet again) so I've been pretty keen on expanding my NYX collection, which is currently very small. This lipgloss seems to get a lot of coverage in the blogosphere, so I think it's time to see what all the fuss is about!

5. Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick - This is definitely a Laura/BuyNowBlogLater lemming want. She (and a billion other UK bloggers) posted about this launch a while back. She showed us Petal and Suede and I want them both, and maybe some more. I haven't been a huge Clinique person since their 3 step skincare system destroyed my skin, but I don't think lipstick can do much harm in terms of acne. Somehow I cannot seem to find these exact shades in Canada - perhaps they are called something different here? Or we're eons behind the rest of the world?

6. Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Buff - I'd also happily settle for "Nude" here, but "Buff" seems like it will do the trick perfectly. I've heard great things about the formula, and this colour seems like it gives that perfect "effortless light pink" lip look I strive for. Which is actually very difficult to achieve when one has moderately pigmented/red lips naturally. #makeupproblems

7. Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush - Doesn't matter what colour (well, maybe not fuchsia or neon orange) but I want to try these out so badly. Naturally, they're obscenely expensive so I'm very hesitant, but they're on my list anyway because the urge is there and has been for a long time. I'm in it mostly for the blush, to be honest. And I'm willing to shell out for blush. 

8. Clarins Extra Comfort Foundation - Another want influenced by Laura. All I've heard are raves about this stuff, and I've been wanting to get myself a sample of 103 Ivory, but the testers have been mysteriously missing every time I go to the Clarins counter. A sales associate once tried to convince me that 107 Beige would work for me and I had to stifle a snort and eye-roll as she tried feverishly (and unsuccessfully) to blend it into my wrist. Let's get serious here. 

9. NARS Blush - I've been wanting to add to my NARS blush collection, as the four that I have are all lovely but are starting to bore me. I'm hemming and hawing over Dolce Vita, Mata Hari, or even Albatross as a highlighter. Because goodness knows I don't have nearly enough highlighters in my life... 

So that's my wishlist for September, once my August No-Buy comes to an end... some honourable mentions include Indeed Labs' new Hydraluron Jelly, REN's new 1 Minute Facial, a sample of YSL's new foundation, and a quick tour around The Face Shop. I'm quite sure all of these will be investigated as well. I hope it goes without saying that not all of the items above will be purchased as the clock rolls over to September 1, if at all - the point of this no-buy was to save up for a special something, and that special something is not beauty-related! But I do still enjoy a few pretty new things every so often. Or maybe too often...

xo Chloë

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