a style blog

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 
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