Friday, August 29, 2014

Lipstick of the Week: MAC Impassioned

For our final post in August, I thought it fitting to bring out the last of my summer lipsticks: MAC's Impassioned. (That's not to say I won't be wearing it come September, but it is more of a warm weather favourite). It's a bright, corally pink colour, and unlike my other favourite hot pink lipstick, Schiap (featured here), it's definitely got warm, as opposed to blue-based, undertones. Thanks to its Amplified finish, it's got a nice, creamy, non-drying texture. And as for what to wear it with? I think it can go both ways: either to liven up a neutral outfit of greys/creams/navies, or paired with fellow bright shades, like my citrus sweater. 

{Ugh that freaking tendril. Please pretend it doesn't exist; I'm not intentionally going for a '90s prom look here}

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Travels: Pag Island, Croatia

So, Pag Island, Croatia, wouldn’t exactly have been top of our must-visit destinations (in fact, we hadn’t even remotely heard of it). But as it was one of the stops on our tour, we didn’t exactly have a whole lot of say in the matter. An island that’s actually connected to Croatia by bridge, it has 2 towns (Pag and Croatia), a population of just under 10, 000, and a weirdly barren, rocky landscape. It apparently is quite a lively place in the height of summer, but we hit it in May--just before the season got into full swing--so for us, it was pretty…dead. Not very many places were open for the season yet, and the whole island had this super sleepy, stagnant vibe to it. But you know what?! Some of our fondest memories from our time in Europe were the random escapades we got up to during our 2 days there. When you don't have a wealth of museums to diligently check out, you make your own kind of fun...

{ finding depressing little souvenir shops...}

{...and spending way too much time trying on tacky sunglasses...}

{...and wandering around the back streets, only to discover that '80s-style hair salons are still alive and well...}

{...and pondering on what a "Becki" burger consists of...}

{...and getting lost and not being able to read maps, much less ones in Croatian...}

{...and indulging in copious amounts of ice cream and Orangina...}

{, seriously...}

{...and enjoying romantic sunsets by the beach...}

{...and going for late-night hot chocolates (what can we say, we know how to party!)...}

{...before bidding a bleary-eyed farewell to Pag Island}

Thanks for the memories, Croatia! We'll never forget you. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blinded by the Bright

This dress doesn't elicit many compliments (actually, it's the opposite: anyone who comments on it says something to the effect that it's blinding them), but to be honest, I'm willing to overlook the retinal damage of passersby for the sheer fun of wearing it. I'd had my eye on this little neon number since it first hit stores a few months ago, and snatched one up when it went on sale not too long afterwards (I've noticed that new stuff at J. Crew ends up in the sale section pretty swiftly, and at really substantial mark-downs, too). It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but lace is my thing (seriously, like 80% of my wardrobe has some kind of lace touch), and I love fluorescents, so it was a no-brainer. 

Dress - J. Crew
Shoes - Steve Madden
Clip-on earrings - Aldo
Lipstick - Schiap, NARS

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Style for Your Shape: Inverted Triangle

It's time for our third instalment of Style for Your Shape...and this week we're focusing on the Inverted Triangle! Also known as "Athletic," or the "Cone" shape, this body type is characterized by broad shoulders and narrower hips. It's similar to to the Apple shape in that they're both "top-heavy" figures, but Inverted Triangles tend not to be as busty and may not necessarily gain weight around their mid-section. If you're unsure which of the 5 shapes you are--Apple, Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, Pear, or Ruler--you might find this quiz helpful. And if you're positive you're an Inverted Triangle, read on!

Women who have an Inverted Triangle shape typically:

  • have broad shoulders and a wide back
  • have slim hips and legs
  • have a small to medium bust
  • often have a muscular mid-section
  • gain weight in their arms/upper bodies 

Here are some Inverted Triangle celebrities:

Inverted Triangle Celebs

When it comes to finding flattering clothes, you want to keep proportions in mind to avoid emphasizing your more prominent upper body. However, while you may feel self-conscious about your broad shoulders, bear in mind that "clothes-hanger" shoulders are a much-desired trait on the runway! 

In general, you should avoid:
  • boxy jackets/blazers that over-emphasize your shoulders
  • thin straps
  • polo/turtle-necks
  • floaty, shapeless dresses

Inverted Triangle Essentials
Inverted Triangle Clothes

1. A Cropped Blazer
Avoid boxy, shoulder-padded styles, and opt for shorter blazers and jackets that draw attention to your slim hips.
Lipsy waterfall blazer -

2. A Jersey Wrap Dress
This flattering style drapes in all the right places, and softens an angular upper half. 
Issa sapphire dress -

3. A Boyfriend Cardigan
The great thing about having a boyish shape is that menswear-inspired styles look fantastic on you. Styles that may be unflattering on curvier figures, like oversized cardigans, suit your proportions.
Raquel Allegra long sleeve top

4. Fun Shorts
With your slim lower half, you can play around with shorts styles, like these sweet scalloped ones. 
Topshop scalloped shorts

5. A Scoop Neck Top
A simple scoop neck top in a dark colour is a flattering look for you. 
John Lewis scoop neck top -

6. & 10. Jeans, Jeans, Jeans!
Those slender legs of yours are ideal for experimenting with various styles of jeans, from retro flares to distressed boyfriends. 
The Seafarer navy jeans

7. A Floral Pencil Skirt
Draw attention to your lower half with bold, floral prints and slim-fitting, curve-creating pencil skirts. 
Patrizia Pepe print skirt -

8. A Round-Collar Coat
When it comes to coats, you don't want big, padded shoulders or large lapels; a minimalist, round-collar style is your best bet for a flattering look. 
Giambattista Valli beige coat -

9. Patterned Swimsuits
With your athletic build, you can go all out when it comes to swimsuits--lucky! A solid top and patterned bottom is a great way to draw the focus on your shapely lower half. 
Strapless swimsuit -

That's it for now, Inverted Triangles! We hope you found these suggestions useful for your next shopping expedition. 
Coming up next week: Pears! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Orange Stripes are the New Black

Of all the clothes I wore this summer, this dress is the one item that got the most wears (by  far!). I pretty much lived in it from about May up til now, and I'll be sad to say goodbye once the days get cooler. However, we got off to a kind of rocky start... The first time I wore it out, I could barely walk because it was so constricting--the fabric would wrap around my ankles in such a way that made it impossible to hobble more than a few steps at a time. I did some DIY alterations when I got home by snipping a few inches up the side (as you can see in the third photo), and it's perfectly comfortable now, but I still had chafe marks on my ankles for weeks afterwards (#firstworldproblems).

Moral of this blog post?! Make sure you can walk in a dress (or anything, for that matter; a few strides up and down the fitting room should be good) before you buy it/wear it out. There's nothing more awful than having to cut short your plans because you can't walk in your dress! 

Dress - River Island
Sandals - J. Crew
Lipstick - Morange, MAC
White nail polish (on toes) - Loft

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lipstick of the Week: BITE Violet

Alongside orange (see here), another lip colour I'd been wanting to try out this summer was purple. And by purple, I mean more of a summery, magenta-y shade as opposed to purple purple or berry. I'd been obsessing over BITE's Violet for ages (it was my go-to sample at Sephora), but I just couldn't commit to buying the pricy full-sized tube. I knew they had a smaller two-in-one size for a more reasonable $15, but sadly they were sold out everywhere. So you can imagine my delight when my sister Claudia was able to snag one for me at a Sephora in Calgary when she was there a month ago! Not only is Violet now one of my favourite shades to wear these days, but Palomino, the other colour in the tube (a deep pinky red), is gorgeous too. BITE is a new brand on my lipstick radar, but this Toronto-based company is good. As well as being non-toxic and paraben-free and all that stuff, their colours are rich, vivid, and highly pigmented, which I love (there's nothing I hate more than a wimpy, watery lipstick). Highly recommended.   

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Travels: Lake Bled and Postojna Cave

Our time in Slovenia wasn't just limited to seeing its capital city (you can read about our adventures in Ljubljana here); we also explored its beautiful countryside, too (namely its most famous lake and cave). 

Lake Bled, in the northwestern part of the country, is truly stunning: a crystal-clear expanse of water surrounding the fairy tale-esque Bled Island with its beautiful Baroque church.  

We weren't there for long (story of our travel life), but it was a super pleasant way to spend an hour or so, and it's somewhere I'd love to go back to (we didn't get a chance to visit the island itself, so that's something I'd definitely love to do at some point). 

Our other Slovenian adventure was visiting the Postojna Cave, which was...interesting. We're not exactly cave girls ourselves, but it was definitely a unique experience -- it's so incredible what nature is capable of! It was almost like a Disneyland ride: we started off on a little train that brought us to the heart of the cave, then we had some time to explore. At Postojna, they have one section known as the "Concert Hall" that can fit up to 
10, 000 people, and it's a popular venue for symphony orchestras (apparently the accoustics are out-of-this-world). We didn't attend a concert here ourselves though (our musical entertainment at Postojna was limited to "Nothing Compares 2 U" being blasted as the train started chugging off...the things you remember, right?!). 

{Cake break! (Apple, in case you were wondering)}

{Woo! Caves!!!}

{We weren't allowed to take photos in the parts of the cave that were actually photogenic, so here's our one sorry little shot}

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Floral Farewell

Well, first of all, let me apologize for the bad quality of these photos -- I guess having a photo shoot at night wasn't the greatest idea. The darkness just seems to creep up so quickly these evenings! I always have slightly mixed feelings this time of year (and I say slightly because fall is my favourite season), but there's something about summer coming to a close that's bittersweet. And for me, it always ensues a slight panic as I try to cram in as many wears of my bright, summer-only clothes -- like this skirt -- before packing them away for 6 months.

Shirt - Forever 21
Skirt - Banana Republic
Bag - Kate Spade
Ring - Aldo
Tights - DIM
Shoes - J. Crew
Lipstick - Schiap, NARS

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Style for Your Shape: Hourglass

Today we're talking all things Hourglass for the second instalment of our Style for Your Shape series. The rarest of the five body shapes, this became apparent when searching for hourglass celebrities (which is why we've only got 5 examples for you). If you're unsure which of the five shapes you fall under--Apple, Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, Pear, or Ruler--this quiz may be helpful. As we mentioned in the previous post, this series is not so much about size as it is about shape: no matter how much weight you gain or lose, your body shape tends to stay the same, and the same general rules for dressing apply.

Hourglass women typically:

  • carry their weight evenly on the top and bottom (bust and hips are roughly the same size)
  • have a small, defined waist and fuller bust and hips
  • their waist and upper abdomen is the last place they gain weight/first place they lose it

Here are some hourglass-shaped celebrities:

Hourglass Celebs

When it comes to picking flattering styles for your shape, you want to show off your curves while still looking elegant. While the hourglass is often viewed as the "ideal" shape that other shapes try to work towards, it can be tough to strike the right balance: when clothes are too tight and revealing you run the risk of looking cheap, while tent-like tops can make you look matronly. 

In general, here are some styles to avoid:
  • high, buttoned-up necklines or turtle/polo necks
  • button-down shirts in heavy materials (can result in that dreaded gaping look)
  • big, bulky clothes that hide your waist
  • dresses/tops with flimsy straps

Hourglass Shape Essentials

Hourglass Essentials

1. A Belted Coat
Look for coats that cinch you in at the waist with a belt, and avoid excessive buttons, pockets, and zips around the bust. 
French Connection black coat

2. A Crew Neck Sweater
When it comes to sweaters, you want something that's not too clingy, but not too bulky either. A crew neck is one of your most flattering necklines.

3. A Flared Skirt
A flared skirt will emphasize your waist and skim over your hips in the most flattering way.

4. Tie-Waist Shorts
Those teeny-tiny cutoffs are not only unsophisticated--they're also very unforgiving if you've got hips. A loose, tie-waist pair is a far chicer, more flattering option. 
Tie waist shorts -

5. A Belt 
A belt can be an hourglass girl's best friend--cinching you in and showing off that tiny waist. Just beware of proportion: a very thick belt can be unflattering if you're busty.
Mulberry woven belt

6. A Scoop Neck Tee
A scoop neck is very flattering on bustier girls; high necklines can look frumpy.
Scoop neck tank top

7. A Fit-and-Flare Dress
This style of dress enhances your figure in the best possible way: it nips you in at the waist and glides over hips.

8. A Halter Neck Bikini
As any busty girl will know, shopping for a supportive bikini top is tough! Look for ones that come in your bra size, and as a rule of thumb, a halter neck is the most flattering style for larger busts.
Ganni black halter bikini -

9. Slimming Jeans
A classic pair in a dark wash with strategic fading around the thighs is your best look. 
Levi's skinny jeans -

10. A Flattering Shirt
Avoid shirts with pockets and buttoned up collars, and opt for something loose with a v-neck.
Mango stripe long sleeve shirt

That's a wrap, Hourglasses! We hope you found these suggestions helpful. 

Up next Tuesday: the Inverted Triangle!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Little Black Summer Dress

I've been trying to wean myself off wearing too much black (because, to be honest, it has a tendency to wash me out), but when I saw this dress on sale at J. Crew for 65% off the sale price (!!!), I just couldn't resist. Combining eyelet and a trumpet-flare hem--two of my favourite style features--it was a winning combination. While I'm planning on getting as many wears out of it as I can while the weather is warm, I think it will transition well into autumn--I'll exchange bare legs for tights and hot pink lipstick for berry.

Do you have a favourite LBD? Or do you think it's one those "closet essentials" that's a bit overrated?! Let me know in the comments!

Dress - J. Crew
Patent flats - J. Crew
Rings - Aldo and Topshop
Sunglasses - Aldo
Black nail polish - Licorice, Essie
Lipstick - Schiap, NARS