FASHION | Top styles trending this season per Holt Renfrew, Aimee Song and Coveteur

With fall officially in full swing, I was invited to a fall trends report presentation at Holt Renfrew Vancouver where fashion blogger Aimee Song discussed the latest trends for the season with Coveteur Co-founder Stephanie Mark. They touched on several trends but I wanted to share my personal favourites with you.

1. Warm neutrals

Warm neutrals such as warm beiges, leopard print, burgundies are my ultimate go-to when it comes to fall dressing. This appears to be in consensus with Aimee, Stephanie, and Holt’s fall trend report too. These colours just make me feel super cosy, and are also reflective of the beautiful fall tones that are bestowed upon us at this time of year. While I don’t rock leopard print that much apart from my footwear, burgundy is my favourite colour to wear.

This season we’re also seeing a continuation of the monotone look where your entire outfit is a variation of the same colour. I absolutely love this trend, as it is easy to put together but still look very trendy.

2. Power dressing

I purchased my first Balmain blazer earlier this year, and I love a good blazer to wear over top any outfit to make me look more polished and put together. One of Aimee’s favourite things to wear is an oversized blazer. She suggested sizing up (she normally takes a large) if you’re looking for a more relaxed casual vibe but still look polished. I personally prefer something more tailored, or even fitted, as I find an oversized blazer can look overwhelming on me. In recent years, I’ve seen blazers created with more unique features, such as a peplum detail, a ruffle back, or a waterfall front.

Power dressing doesn’t have to mean sticking to the classic blazer. You can achieve this look by incorporating other tailored items in your wardrobe. I recently discovered culottes by Max Mara which are super comfortable yet polished. One point that Aimee and Stephanie touched on, which I agree with, is power dressing is all about wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and powerful in your own skin. As long as you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing, you’ll give off that positive energy which will make you look and feel powerful.

3. Flushed cheeks

As a beauty blogger, of course I’m loving the fresh skin, flushed cheeks trend. Cream blushes are great at this time of year because skin tends to be dryer so you want to use something more emollient. Aimee suggested that a good cream blush will also act as a great all-in-one helper when you’re short on purse space or when you’re travelling, as it can be applied on your cheeks, lips, and eyelids. Something like the La Prairie Radiance Cream Blush, available at Holts, comes with a super high quality mirror in the compact so you can touch up wherever you go.

Which of these trends are you going to incorporate in your own style?

Photos courtesy of Holt Renfrew. Thanks to Holts for inviting me to this event.

Recap: Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2014 #DEBVan

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2014

This is super long overdue but I thought better late than never! With my friend MizzJ, I attended Diner en Blanc in Vancouver on August 21. Diner en Blanc is basically an event that takes place in cities all over the world where people come together and picnic together, while dressed in white. Attendees purchase admissions to the event, and the day of the event, you’d bring everything with you, from your picnic table to cutlery, drinkware, and of course the food. You can also purchase the tickets with the inclusion of food, which means you get food made and packed for you courtesy of Chef David Hawksworth, of the Hawksworth Restaurant at the Hotel Georgia.

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2014

Outfit: Dress from ASOS, blazer from Zara, shoes from Ferrgamo, bag from Coach

Taking place at David Lam Park in Yaletown, I dressed up in my best whites and went off to party with Vancouver’s social scene. It was really interesting to see the dynamic with everyone gathered in the park wearing white, as well as the people on the street who weren’t attending who were watching us from the side. It was also really fun to check out some of the more unique outfits that people had put together, some including full on costumes that seemed more Halloween-appropriate than anything else.

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All in all, the event was one of those once-in-my-life opportunity types. While I’m unsure I will want to attend again, it was definitely very eyeopening. If you’ve never been before, or if you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your friends or your significant other, you might want to check out Diner en Blanc!

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2014
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2014
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2014

Simplify your skincare routine with Mereadesso

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A few weeks ago I had the honour and great pleasure of meeting Linda, the founder and CEO of Mereadesso. If you haven’t heard of Mereadesso, it is a Canadian brand that emphasizes one-step skincare. It’s star product is the All-in-One Moisturizer, which replaces toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and all the in-between steps in your skincare regime.

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Held at Cafe Medina, one of my favourite brunch spots in the city, we sipped on their signature lavendar lattes, snacked on waffles, and learned about skincare.

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Linda, the creator of Mereadesso, has a background in biology, chemistry, and botany, and has experience working in product development for Johnson & Johnson, MAC and Estee Lauder. She created Mereadesso because she felt that skincare had become too complicated with too many steps, and women, in their busy daily lives, are looking for time savings in any form.

The All-in-One Moisturizer in action:

Mereadesso All in one Moisturizer

In addition to the All-in-One Moisturizer, Mereadesso also offers the Face + Neck Cleanser, which is a non-foaming light cleansing cream that acts as a makeup remover, cleanser, exfoliator (when used with the accompanying facial cloth), and mini mask. Linda demonstrated the efficacy of the Face + Neck Cleanser for removing makeup by using caked-on waterproof mascara as the victim for removal. You apply the Face + Neck Cleanser on a dry face, massage, and add a bit of water and remove it with the facial cloth. The result is a clean and smooth feeling face that’s free of makeup, grease, and dirt.

Mereadesso Face and Neck Cleanser
Mereadesso Face and Neck Cleanser

Mereadesso has a Body Balm, which is a non-greasy all over body lotion, hand cream and foot cream. Lastly, for lip balm fanatics out there, Mereadesso has the Lip Treats, both in clear and with tints.

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Cafe Medina

Detailed reviews of the All-in-One Moisturizer, Face + Neck Cleanser, and Lip Treats will follow in the next couple of weeks! So far… I’m loving the results.

Cafe Medina
Cafe Medina

Experience: getting eyebrows threaded for the first time at Blink Brow Bar!

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Me with my eyebrows done, and Kiran, owner of Blink Brow Bar

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first ever experience of getting my eyebrows threaded at Blink Brow Bar in Coal Harbour (Vancouver). I’ve always been terrified of threading because it looked really painful, and I had this friend tell me once before that threading was more painful than plucking (totally false!). But with some persuasion from J, I decided to take the plunge, and I’m happy I did.

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Before threading

When I arrived at Blink Brow Bar, I was welcomed warmly by Kiran, the owner and brow master extraordinaire. There is a little, comfy sitting area for clients to enjoy a hot cup of homemade chai while waiting for their appointment. The chai was really, really good, probably the best chai I’ve ever had, and I wished I waited longer so I can drink more of that stuff (no joke, I need that recipe).

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When time came for my appointment, I confessed to Kiran that I’ve never had my brows threaded before so she explained to me the steps in detail, so I would know what I was getting myself into. She mapped out the area of how she thinks my brows should look with a white pencil, and then started threading.

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The sensation was a bit strange, which is not that useful but probably the best way I can describe it, like little pricks. It wasn’t painful for the most part, but I had really thick brows to begin with, so in order to shape them, she had to take out a lot of hair. Kiran was very fast, but very gentle at the same time.

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After the threading, I got a relaxing massage around my eyes, temple and forehead area with some sweetly scented rose gel, which helped to calm the redness of the skin. Kiran then applied eyebrow powder and wax to finish off the look (this service is complimentary after every threading).

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The end result was a much higher arch than what I had before, which was relatively straight, full eyebrows. At first, I was shocked to see myself with such thin eyebrows as I’ve normally just kept my brows looking clean but full. However after a few days, I started to like my new arch.

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Am I sold on threading? You bet! It’s a fast, convenient way to get nice, clean looking brows. The convenient location of Blink Brow Bar, near the central business district of Downtown Vancouver, means that I can pop by during the day for an impromptu fix-up before a meeting, during my lunch hour, or before dinner or a night out.

You can also see J’s recap of her experience.

Blink Brow Bar
577 Bute St, Vancouver BC
604.428.BROW (2769)
info@blinkbrowbar.ca

Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Sundays: 11:00AM – 6:00PM

You can book your appointment online here.

What do you think of my new brows, do you like the thinner, higher arch or the fuller, straighter look?

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My left side threaded with brow makeup, my right side just threaded, no makeup applied yet

Recap: Metrotown at Metropolis x LouLou Shop ‘Til You Drop shopping night!

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On September 26, I attended the Metrotown at Metropolis Shop ‘Til You Drop evening of shopping in collaboration with LouLou Magazine. While Shop ‘Til You Drop has been taking place for several years now, it was actually my first time attending, and my understanding is that it’s getting bigger and better every year.

This year, in addition to the many awesome discounts from retailers that were valid for just the one night, there were also complimentary manicure services, style advice, makeovers, swag bags, and lots of contests and giveaways running the entire night.

In the grand atrium, LouLou Magazine had the entire space set up like a giant closet where editors and stylists were giving style advice, and also presentations on the latest fall trends. There were also contests and giveaways taking place at different stations around the mall, giving shoppers opportunities to win gift cards, prizes, and more. Metropolis at Metrotown was even randomly giving away gift cards to shoppers in line for their swag bag.

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I’ve been trying to cut down on my shopping these couple of months, but even I couldn’t resist the allure of discounts at some of my favourite stores, such as Oak + Fort, Plenty, H&M and Forever 21. I ended up getting myself a long cardigan from Oak + Fort (crazy soft and super comfy!), and also a skirt from Club Monaco that was deeply discounted.

Lastly, recently it has become evident that Metropolis at Metrotown is really trying to step up its social media game. As one of the most active Lower Mainland shopping centres on social media, I applaud their efforts in trying to connect more with the shopper. Shopping centre management and administrators, not just brick-and-mortar retailers, are now facing the very real threat of competition by online retailers. By actively being on social media and connecting with the consumers on a more personal level, they’ve turned shopping into something more than just the purchase of goods. Rather, it is becoming an experience that people can enjoy, regardless of the price point of the goods they are purchasing, and at all levels of retail. Kudos to Metropolis at Metrotown!

Anyways back on topic… I look forward to attending Shop ‘Til You Drop again next year to see what else they have up their sleeve! And also to enjoy the shopping, of course.

If you’re in Vancouver, have you attended Shop ‘Til You Drop before, and what did you think of it? If you’re not in Vancouver, is there a similar shopping event like this in your hometown?

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Experience: Deep Anti Stress Massage at Sabai Thai Spa + Spa Week Canada

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October 15-21, 2013 is Spa Week in Canada, where you can experience a deluxe spa treatment at various spas across Canada for the flat price of just $50. In Vancouver, there are several different spas participating in Spa Week, offering a multitude of services from facials, to manicure/pedicure treatments, and of course massages. Call ahead to book your appointment as space is limited.

I was recently invited to Sabai Thai Spa by Way Spa to preview some of the treatments that are available to Vancouverites during Spa Week, which is taking place starting tomorrow at several different spas across Canada, including Sabai Thai Spa, which has been in business for 10 years in Vancouver. Sabai Thai Spa has 3 locations across Metro Vancouver, in Coal Habour, West Vancouver and North Vancouver. I visited the Coal Harbour location for my treatment; it is nestled in a quiet neighbourhood in Downtown Vancouver, located conveniently near the Westin Bayshore Hotel, public transportation and the seawall.

Upon arriving at Sabai Thai Spa, I was greeted warmly by the receptionist, confirmed my appointment time and was offered tea. I was promptly taken to the treatment room without much of a wait. The room was dimly lit and smelled of lemongrass, which really helped to immediately relax me. Also surprisingly, even though the location of Sabai Thai Spa was in Downtown Vancouver, it was extremely quiet in the room as I could not hear anything happening outside. I’ve been to other downtown spas and this is probably the best sound-proofed spa I’ve visited.

The treatment I selected was the Deep Anti Stress Massage, an aromatherapy massage focused on the head, neck and shoulder areas, recommended for people with desk jobs, like me. My therapist, Assanna, was extremely accommodating to my needs. I explained that I worked long hours at a computer so my neck, shoulder and arms were stiff and sore, and I also get headaches relatively frequently from staring at the computer screen all day.

During the 60 minute treatment, Assanna regularly checked up on me to see if the pressure she was applying was comfortable, and also explained how I can maximize the benefits of a massage by stretching and doing simple exercises regularly. She performed some stretching on my arms and shoulder area to loosen up my stiff joints, which complemented the pressure she was applying to smooth out the knots in my muscles (and I have a lot of knots!).

I was extremely relaxed at the end of this treatment, and sadly the 60 minutes went by really quickly. I also really enjoyed chatting with Yasanna, as she was very personable and experienced in treating stress-related tension in the body. She recommended that I come back on a regular basis to fully eradicate the knots in my body, and also recommended that I get a traditional Thai massage, which focuses on stretching, in order to combat workplace-related stress and tension.

Bottom line: I already made a follow-up appointment with Sabai Thai Spa. I felt that I was able to connect with my therapist, that she made an effort to be aware of and familiar with my needs, and the treatment she gave me specifically targeted those needs. I’ve gotten massages at many places and oftentimes therapists just go about their normal routine with any client, but Sabai Thai Spa took the extra step in ensuring that the treatment I get treats my individual problems.

Sabai Thai Spa – Coal Harbour
571 Cardero Street, Vancouver
(604) 568-6227‎
Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm Daily

Sabai Thai Spa – North Vancouver
987 Marine Drive, Unit 3-B, North Vancouver
(604) 985-8896
Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm Daily

Sabai Thai Spa – West Vancouver
1867 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
(604) 925-1074
Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm Daily

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20131011_175142Bed for traditional Thai massage

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Blog and the (Van)City… a success!!

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I realized my dream in planning a blogger mini-conference in Vancouver with my fellow bloggers MizzJ and Angela. I’m happy to report back that Blog and the (Van)City was a success!

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Highlights of the event:

  • North American preview of the highly anticipated LUSH Rose Jam Shower Gel
  • Canadian preview of the super exciting Revlon x Marchesa collaboration (reviews coming soon!)
  • LUSH Cosmetics doing live demos with their massage bars, Ocean Salt Cleanser, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner
  • Listening to Brandi from LUSH Cosmetics, Cynnamon from London Drugs and Sarah from Fashion Capsule speak about their experiences working in PR and collaborating with bloggers, as well as their advice to bloggers on how to work with brands
  • Open forum Q&A and discussion about how bloggers and brands can better collaborate so everyone can benefit
  • Learning about the do’s and don’ts of working with brands
  • Hearing from experienced bloggers Alison and MizzJ speak about their experiences in blogging
  • Discussions about how to create better content
  • The plethora of products and discounts that everyone was able to take home thanks to our generous sponsors at LushRevlonMarcelle, AlmayAnnabelle, and Jukebox Print.

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I had an amazing time and even though I’ve been blogging for 5 years now and working with brands for more than 2 years, I learned a lot about best practices while collaborating with brands and also how to create more engaging content. You can follow our discussion and any other follow-ups on Twitter with the hashtag #blogvancity.

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Thank you everyone for coming out to the event, and special thank you to Courtney from Lush, Kelsey from Revlon, and Isabel from Marcelle for providing products, and Metropolis at Metrotown for sponsoring the event space. Also thank you to Mimi for being our photographer at the event.

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Lastly, I ❤ my teammates MizzJ and Angela, you guys are awesome!!

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P.S. I’m giving away a full set of Revlon x Marchesa nail appliques on my Instagram. You just have to follow me on Instagram and like the photo to be entered, and I’ll pick a winner on October 13, the day before the collaboration is to hit stores.

P.P.S. In case anyone is interested, I was wearing a dress by Oak + Fort and a necklace from J. Crew.

Blog list of everyone in attendance:

http://www.alison-elle.com
http://eyeshadowaddict.squarespace.com
http://dowantmakeup.ca
http://www.youtube.com/user/annabellesmakeup
http://makeupkismet.blogspot.ca/
http://akabailey.blogspot.com
https://www.youtube.com/makeitupcanada
http://www.denisechavez.com/
http://www.cosmeticproof.com/
http://www.kittenonthecatwalk.com
http://justj.ca
http://www.youtube.com/makinguplauren
http://shortwidenails.blogspot.ca/
http://www.perfectlyimperfectbeauty.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/MissMikaylaG
http://www.ninaonthemoon.com/
http://style-love.blogspot.ca/
http://cooperscloset11.blogspot.ca
http://www.thelookoutblog.com
http://maddyloves.com
http://lifeinthecity.pixnet.net/blog
http://macaronsandmischief.com

More photos…

Continue reading

Blog and the (Van)City – a beauty and fashion blogger mini conference based in Vancouver

B&Vancity I’ve been planning blogger meetups in Vancouver for a couple of years now. One of my biggest dreams was to be able to organize a blogger-related conference, and this year that dream has finally come true! This fall, together with my fellow bloggers and good friends Jordana and Angela, we’ve put together a half-day mini conference for beauty and fashion bloggers based in Vancouver – Blog and the (Van)City. Our vision is simple – to bring together local bloggers and share experiences and tips on blogging, including how to grow audience and readership, how to start and maintain networks with companies and PR professionals, and anything else related to blogging. This year, the theme is non-professional bloggers. There are tons of smart, passionate non-professional bloggers in Vancouver who blog in addition to working or studying full time, and we feel that these bloggers work extra hard to be able to juggle both priorities. Beauty and fashion bloggers alike must take time out of their busy schedules to take photos, test and review products, which isn’t easy. The event will take place on Saturday, September 14th at 1:30PM at Metropolis at Metrotown. At the event, you will be able to network one-on-one with companies and PR professionals in an intimate environment. In addition, you will be able to ask all of your blogger-related questions to experienced bloggers and learn their tips on how to grow your audience. To register for Blog and the (Van)City, please visit here. Tickets are $10 and is to cover the cost of food and drinks at the event. Please register early as we are limiting the number of spots in order to create an intimate environment. If you’re not yet convinced, here are some more reasons why you should attend Blog and the (Van)City:

  • Be able to speak to and learn from other bloggers
  • Meet with company and PR representatives in a closely knit environment
  • Ask all the questions you want with regards to blogging and people are open to sharing their tips with you
  • Most beauty/fashion-related events take place in Toronto; Vancouverites want to have some fun too!
  • The awesome-sauce goody bags that you will be getting
  • Potentially meeting life-long friends, like what happened with me!

Some of the industry professionals you will be able to meet at Blog and the (Van)City include Brandi Halls, Director of Brand Communications for LUSH Cosmetics North America; Cynnamon Schreinert, Media Representative for London Drugs and Bard on the Beach; Gemma Bishop, Account Coordinator and Social Media Specialist at Hawksworth PR; and more. Some of the AMAZING sponsors who will be providing products include LUSH, Revlon, Annabelle, Marcelle, Almay, and MORE! Visit here to request a registration form. We look forward to seeing you there!

Event & Celebration: Lise Watier Cosmetiques 40th Anniversary and Launch of Millesime Collection

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A few weeks ago (yes I am super late), I was invited to attend the Lise Watier launch of their autumn collection, titled Millesime, and also to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Lise Watier and their most popular products over those 40years. The Millesime collection is inspired by wines, so the event was held at a wine bar with a wine and cheese tasting.

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For Millesime, there will be a rather large collection being released:

I received a couple of items from the collection to try, so I will report back later with my results. Here is a preview of what you’ll be seeing in the next couple of weeks!

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Millesime will be available in August 2012 wherever Lise Watier products are sold. Prices are listed as above.

More photos from the event!

Rachel, the GORGEOUS PR from Lise Watier. Thank you for coming back to the west coast and for holding the wonderful event!

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Manager of the wine bar:
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Experience: Stripped Wax Bar in Kits

I was invited in to Stripped Wax Bar’s newest Kitsilano location in Vancouver to experience a wax of my choice. With summer coming, this is the perfect time to shed your winter coat and get stripped! Stripped Wax Bar in Kits is located on W. 4th Avenue, about two blocks west of W. 4th and Burrard. It is a quaint little location that has a purple and black/white theme.

When I walked in, I was greeted warmly by the girls, and even though I arrived 30 minutes early, they were very accommodating and made my room available for me right away. In their reception, they have water available for guests, as well as a very comfortable lounge area. They also sell very cute undergarments for women, as well as “cleansing supplies” for women.

Click to read about my service! Continue reading