Style Days of Christmas: Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris Giveaway

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Holiday season can be a stressful time, which is why I’m especially excited about today’s giveaway. I’ve written about my love of Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris before, and now it’s time to pay it forward and let one of my amazing readers try it out for themselves! Today’s prize is a Hammam, Gommage, and Rhassoul Clay Masque Treatment package valued at $235! Not sure what to expect? You can read all about my Hammam and Gommage treatment here, but in a few words – it’s the most relaxing and pampering experience. One, I’m sure you won’t soon forget.

Located in the luxurious Shangri-La hotel, the Miraj Hammam spa is a must-visit Toronto gem. I’m actually a little jealous, and will be booking my own treatment this holiday season too.

Enter now, for a chance to win this amazing prize!

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Details after the jump!
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Style Days of Christmas: Schwarzkopf Professional Giveaway

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Can’t believe that it’s day 5 of Style Days of Christmas already! Hope you’re having fun entering these giveaways, and loving the prizes. Today’s prize pack (valued at $324) is courtesy of Schwarzkopf Professional, and includes some seriously awesome goodies:

OSiS+ Holiday Pack ($14.98)
BC Hairtherapy Color Freeze Gift Set ($37.95)
BC Hairtherapy Moisture Kick Beauty Balm ($17.75)
BC Hairtherapy Oil Miracle Finishing Treatment ($39)
SKP PRO-Flat Flat Iron ($214.50)

When I first went platinum (and then grey), I had to slash my hair washing days to a maximum of two per week. But between those washes, I still went to the gym, and participated in my usual activities. Thank goodness for Schwarzkopf Professional and their OSiS+ dry shampoo and hairspray which helped my hair look great instead of tragic every day, whether it’s been washed or not. And today, I want to give you the gift of great hair too. Getting ready for holiday parties with this prize pack is going to be a cinch! Sounds good? Enter below!

 

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Details after the jump!
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Beauty: From Dark Brown to Platinum Blonde in 10 Hours

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So after years of waffling, I finally did it – I went platinum! It wasn’t a spontaneous decision…I’ve done my research – I knew what to expect (searing pain and hair damage), I knew who does the best blondening work in North America (Aura Friedman at Sally Hershberger), and I knew that I was finally ready to take the leap (was I?).

After admiring Aura’s artist-like approach to hair colour for what felt like forever, and with an upcoming trip to NYC booked, I gave Sally Hershberger Downtown NYC a call…and had a bit of a rude awakening, realizing that I simply couldn’t afford Aura’s services. I mean, sure, I had the means to pay her rate, but then I would risk my husband divorcing me on a claim of insanity. I’m no model, no actress, and no trust fund baby, so Aura was out. Luckily, she highly recommended her assistant of several years – Lucille Javier. Lucille, a native Los Angeleno, moved to NYC a few years ago and never looked back, working with Aura and learning her unique painting technique. On their days off, Lucille and her boyfriend go around the city cutting homeless people’s hair, listening to their stories, and providing them with small, but much-needed everyday essentials. I knew that I had to meet this woman!

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On the morning of my appointment, Lucille and I had the required pre-blondening consultation. With a stern look on her face, she told me what I already knew but needed to hear – bleach is harsh on the hair, it would cost a lot of money and time to maintain, and I should not expect “cookie cutter” results. Learning that my hair’s been dyed with a box colour within the last couple of years, I was advised that the dyed parts won’t be as easy to bleach as the “virgin” bits, and while my hair may not be snow-white by the end of my appointment, Lucille would do her darndest to make it as platinum as she could without compromising the health of my strands.

Seeing that her tough talk did not deter me one bit, she knew I was serious about going blonde, which meant that I passed the test, and was finally deemed ready to embark on my 10-hour blondening journey. Just 10 hours of my life to go from dark brown to platinum blonde!

dark-hair-to-platinum-blonde-lucille-javier-3More after the jump!
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Toronto Fashion Week: Best Beauty Looks From Spring 2015 Shows

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Another season of World MasterCard Fashion Week came and went in a whirlwind of lipstick and hairspray and I am here you give you a quick recap of the most noteworthy looks of Spring 2015.

Make Up

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Haley Elsaesser had one of the more unique looks of the week. Haley’s “Heavenly Bodies” collection reflected a very bright, sparkly mix of pastel colours and prints. To prep the skin, Maybelline’s Head Makeup Artist Grace Lee used Dream Finish BB Cream, making the skin  look smooth and flawless. After highlighting the bridge of the nose, top cheekbones and eyes, she finished the look with two-toned red and pink lips. Color Whisper in Faint for Fuchsia was applied on the top lip and Color Whisper Oh La Lilac on the bottom.
Star Product: Maybelline’s Color Whisper in Faint for Fuchsia and Oh La Lilac

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Matthew Gallagher’s collection was inspired by the “Rebirth of Spring”, so the make-up reflected this through a mix of soft nude/bronze colours. Skin was made to look fresh and dewy with Dream Wonder Liquid Touch Foundation, contoured with bronzer and then highlighted (with focus on the top of the cheekbones and underneath the brow). Lash Sensational Mascara was applied generously on the lashes, with the final touch of Color Elixir by Color Sensational in Breathtaking Apricot lightly blotted off to give it a worn-in look.
Star Products: Lash Sensational Mascara in Black and Color Elixir by Color Sensational in Breathtaking Apricot

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Mackage’s inspiration came from “a hip well-traveled girl on the go”. Smooth, matte skin created the perfect palette for this natural look. Eyes were kept simple, yet strong with a coat of Great Lash Mascara and the new Eye Studio Brow Drama gel on the eyebrows (a new favorite product of mine) to create a strong brow. The lips were the unique part, with Grace creating an ombre look using Color Sensational Creamy Matte in Magenta as the base all over the lips and then taking Color Whisper in Oh Lilac and gently blotting it on the center of the lips. Natural, but really cool.
Also, noteworthy was the fresh take on the models’ nails with Essie’s Lead Nail Artist Rita Remark taking blue polish and placing a dot on the half-moon at the base of the nail. Fun and easy!
Star Products: Eye Studio Brow Drama in Dark Brown

Best Hair Looks after the jump!
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Holidays 2014: Gift Guide

For some reason, this year, I am woefully unprepared for winter’s arrival, but since it’s practically end of November and there’s snow on the ground, I guess it’s time to snap out of my denial and start shopping. Full disclosure: I have yet to buy any presents, but I do have some ideas as to what I’ll be picking up for my loved ones this holiday season. And just in case you’re in the same boat, I thought I’d share some of my fave holiday gift ideas with you.

I glimpsed most of these back in July, during the annual holiday previews, and I have to say that this year in particular, those previews came in super handy. I got to learn about the existence of cool adult onesies, played with the Big Love Ball, and tried on the gorgeous Thomas Sabo infinity ring; I self-medicated with the all-natural Saje Pocket Pharmacy, and sipped on Inniskillin sparkling icewine. In short, I got to preview and test out a lot of the picks below, and I hope that this gift guide gives you some ideas for your holiday shopping this season. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and presents for him, her, and the kids, then this is a great place to start! Happy Shopping!

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1. Bombki Russian Christmas Ornaments (Net-A-Porter)
2. FLOWER Beauty Powder Brush (Wal-Mart)
3. TOMS for Target Candle (Target)
4. Falconwright Coin Purse (Falconwright)
5. Drake General Store Mountie Thermos (The Bay)
6. kate spade new york iPhone 5 Lucky Cat Case (Holt Renfrew)
7. Saje Pocket Pharmacy (Saje)
8. Big Love Ball 
9. Gap Calf Hair Tech Gloves (Gap)

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1. The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Doll (The Body Shop)
2. Shupette My Precious Glitter Set (Holt Renfrew)
3. Tiffany T Square Bracelet (Tiffany and Co)
4. Jenny Bird RiRi Collar Tri-tone (Jenny Bird)
5. Balenciaga Florabotanica Rollerball (Sephora)
6. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (Indigo)
7. CHANEL Patchwork Shearling Bag (CHANEL)
8. ALDO FAHLSTROM Boots (ALDO)
9. Moschino iPhone 5 Case (Net-A-Porter)
10. Thomas Sabo Glam & Soul Ring (Thomas Sabo)
11. NARS Modern Future Roman Holiday Gift Set (Holt Renfrew)

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1. H&M Oh Deer! Sweater (H&M)
2. ALDO Wallie Shoes (ALDO)
3. 
Yo Sox Burger King Socks (The Bay)
4. KRUPS Barista Espresso/Coffee Machine (The Bay)
5. Samsung Gear 2 Smart Watch (Best Buy)
6. Grey Goose VX (LCBO)
7. Jack Black Cobalt Brush (Holt Renfrew)
8. Drake General Store Arborist Mountie Adult Onesie (The Bay)

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1. Indigo Expressions Pillow (Indigo)
2. Oster French Bull Toaster (Target)
3. Louis Vuitton Fashion Photography (Indigo)
4. Holiday Ribbon Dessert Plates (Indigo)
5. Inniskillin Vidal Sparkling Icewine (LCBO)
6. Byredo Parfums Loose Lips Candle (Holt Renfrew)
7. Nadege Pastries (Nadege)
8. David’s Tea for the Tree (David’s Tea)
9. HBC Collection Cuppa Teapot (The Bay)

 

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1. HBC’s Priscilla the Fox (The Bay)
2. Melissa and Doug Felt Food Taco and Burrito Set (SHOP.CA)
3. Tuck Shop Neighbourhood Toques (Mini Mioche)
4. Sugarbooger Doll Teether Set (Mini Mioche)
5. H&M Sweatshirt with Print (H&M)
6. GummyGoods Nightlight (Mini Mioche)
7. Ele and Ela Bib (Etsy)
8. Seedling DIY Snow Globe Kit (Indigo)
9. Uncle Goose Russian ABC Blocks (Uncle Goose)

What I Wore: Grey on Grey

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Ever since I went grey, I’ve had to make some adjustments in the way that I dress. Out went my fave poppy hues like yellow and red, replaced by grey, taupe, white, and black instead. And though once in a while, I am still tempted to pick up something bright, I am really enjoying this subdued palette for now. It makes me feel more grown up and sophisticated.

I thought I’d get bored of this “no colour” phase, but if anything, it just makes getting dressed in the morning a breeze. A few staples like grey cashmere sweaters, slim-cut black pants, and classic black and white dresses, mixed with kitty flats for a bit of whimsy are all I really need lately, and I don’t mind one bit.

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More after the jump!

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YASSSSSSSSSSSSS: Tilda Swinton for NARS Spring 2015

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Forgive my immature post title, but I just couldn’t help it. NARS has just announced Tilda “Glorious” Swinton as the face of the brand’s Spring 2015 campaign, and I love this SO hard! Also, I can’t stop staring at this first of four portraits of Tilda, shot by NARS Founder and Creative Director, François Nars. Doesn’t she look FIERCE? I try not to use that word often, but she looks fierce and striking, and I’m all over this collab.

Here’s what Tilda had to say about this exciting news:  “I met François only recently when he asked to photograph me for his book, having long been an admirer of his from afar for many years. I liked him immensely and immediately and we were eager, from that first session, to do more things together. I could not be more proud to call him my colleague. Now I understand why his work is so fresh and original, because he is so bright and has such a sweet heart.”

More details will be released in the coming months, but I’m already on board. I don’t need to know what she’s selling, because I’m buying it…whatever IT is. What about you? Are you excited about Tilda x NARS? Share in the comments.

What I Wore: On The Street

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One day during NYFW, I was walking down the street, giddy from my delicious Shake Shack lunch date, when a man stopped me on the street and asked me whether I was a blogger. Since we were quite a ways away from Lincoln Centre, I was a bit taken aback when he asked me for a photo, but nevertheless obliged. I think you can actually see the apprehension in my eyes…but I’m really glad I stopped to chat with this man.

His name is Mangue Banzima and he’s a street style photographer. By now, I’ve spent a ton of time going through his site and Instagram, looking at the beautiful photos of people on the street. He has a very warm and approachable personality, and it’s reflected on his subjects’ faces…well, except mine that is. Hopefully, we can have a re-do another time, Mangue. Sorry for the bitchface in some pics.

This post is also the very first time I’m posting a photo of myself with my newly-ish silver/grey/platinum hair. It’s actually been nearly a month since I dyed my locks, and it’s decidedly less grey and more blonde now. But thanks to Mangue, I have it captured in all its silver fox glory. Stay tuned for my hair story about entering the Khaleesi/Gandalf hair territory. Happy Friday!

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I Wore: Dress – Finders Keepers (eLUXE); Leather Vest – Urban Outfitters; Boots – Saint Laurent (Winners); Bag – CHANEL; Earrings, Cuff – H&M


Photo Credit: Mangue Banzima

Styled By Nelia: Mad for Plaid

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Ever since 424 Fifth arrived at Hudson’s Bay, I’ve been obsessed. Ladylike silhouettes, high-quality finishes, and a touch of quirk – sign me up! Well, last month, I got to introduce Yorkdale’s latest lucky shopper Emily to the brand and show her three ways of wearing plaid this fall.

More after the jump!

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TIFF 2014: Favourite Moments

Another TIFF came and went, and while I was only here to catch the first few days of the festival, this year’s celeb sightings were pretty memorable to say the least. Below are my top 5 TIFF experiences this year. Grab some snacks, it’s going to be a long one.

Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew - Day 4 - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

1. Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew

Last year, Variety Studio was definitely a highlight, but this year…oh, this year was juicy! After enjoying my amazing Moroccanoil hand/arm massage just like the one celebs were getting (hey, Jemy!), I settled down on the couch to people celeb-watch, and let me tell you, being a fly on the wall at one of these things can be very insightful. While there was no Fassbender action this year, I did find myself in the eye of the Cumberbatch-Redmayne-Worthington-Goode-Knightley-Jones-Leech tornado…the Brits taking over the room in a loud, accented storm of hugs, compliments, and camaraderie. You could just tell that all those actors are truly fond of each other, and are definitely not “over it” all just yet.

For all the Cumberbatch fans out there, your beloved did seem to be genuinely nice and funny. Upon arrival, he checked out the Moroccanoil station, trying a bit of cream on his hands, before joining the rest of his group for a lively chat. Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch were hugging right above me as I shrinked back into the leather couch, trying not to trip anyone with my feet and knees. That’s when I overheard Redmayne exclaiming post-hug “You smell…delicious!” to Cumberbatch. Must’ve been the Moroccanoil. Redmayne’s fiance Hannah Bagshaw was in the room too, looking lovely and normal, sharing a hug with Cumberbatch, not stuck to Eddie’s side, navigating the room on her own. But back to Cumberbatch…at one point, when the cameras were rolling for a Sam Worthington interview, and a Variety staffer yelled out: “WE ARE ROLLING! QUIET, PLEASE!”, Benedict cheekily and loudly quipped: “Rolling with Sam Worthington? Let’s talk louder then!”, before peeking behind the interview curtain to wink at Worthington.

Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew - Day 3 - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Out of all the hot Brits in the room, Keira Knightley was actually the one I wanted to get close to (not in a creepy way, I promise!). She’s one of my favourite young actresses, and I was most definitely starstruck. I tried to summon the courage to ask her for a photo, but she was never alone – either chumming it up with her co-stars, or chatting with her hair and makeup people. She wore a beautiful Chanel dress, and I tried to inconspicuously sneak a few shots for my Instagram. She smiled a lot, laughed a lot, shared that she was tired, but definitely didn’t look it. She looked happy, thin, but not frail, healthy, and so very beautiful. Can you tell I have a bit of a crush?

Other notable moments at the Variety Studio included: grabbing a photo with the delightful Bill Nighy, who was walking around with an apple in his hand, never having the moment to himself to actually take a bite, and who made eye contact with everyone in the room, instead of ducking his head and avoiding the normals; watching Richard Gere chatting up the hot tequila girls; realizing that the woman on the couch next to me is Elizabeth Banks, who changed out of her white pumps and into some Birkenstocks for comfort; observing the insanely handsome Matthew Goode and super-stylish Jena Malone light up the room with their larger than life personalities (on two different days) – definitely not wallflower types; sitting on the couch next to Downton Abbey’s Branson’s publicist, before Branson Allen Leech himself leaned over me to talk to her; sharing a serendipitous moment with Mark Ruffalo outside the Variety Studio’s bathroom – if life was a movie, that would’ve been our meet-cute.

More after the jump!

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