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.

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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.

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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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Giveaway: Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight

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As someone with naturally wavy/frizzy hair, I am always on the hunt for hair products that will make my unruly hair look and feel more manageable. So when I was offered the opportunity to try the new Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight styling creme, I didn’t have to think twice. I was in!

After my first time using the Aveda Smooth Infusion shampoo, conditioner, and styling creme, I was hooked! Even after one application, the three easy-to-use products left my hair feeling softer, shinier, and yes, smoother. And two weeks later, my natural wave was practically gone. Don’t get me wrong, I still had to use a hair straightener to achieve the truly straight and smooth look, but most of my work was already done for me by the hair products I was using. And the best part was that even on hot, humid days, my hair stayed straight and frizz-free!

Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight styling creme promises to progressively straighten curls with every use, and it definitely delivers. Organic cassava root helps form a barrier against intense humidity to help you battle frizz, while the  plant-derived fibers help create a locking layer to help you keep your hair straight longer.

After about 2 months of using Aveda Smooth Infusion line on my hair, I took part in a little photoshoot, showcasing my smooth, straight locks, among other curly-haired Torontonians. You can check out everyone’s incredible results below.

But that’s not all! If like me, you need a little help with your frizzy locks, make sure to enter our Aveda Smooth Infusion giveaway below. You could win a three-month supply of Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight styling creme – that’s enough to get you through the hottest and the most humid of summer days. Sounds good? Enter after the jump!

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Beauty: NARS Adult Swim Collection Summer 2014

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Well it looks like summer is finally here, and with it all of the new and exciting summer make-up collections. One I am particularly thrilled about is NARS Adult Swim Summer 2014 Collection, which includes an unbelievable selection of fun and flirty shades to put you in that summer mood and get you all dolled up. Because summertime is the perfect time to get adventurous and playful with your make-up!

Earlier this month, a few bloggers were invited to preview the collection at Holt Renfrew on Bloor, and we were treated to a demonstration and a Q&A session with International Lead Makeup Stylist for NARS – Jane Richardson. Jane graciously walked us through a make-up demo using the beautiful summer collection, while giving us fun tips on achieving that vibrant look for the summer. She used the Duo Eye shadow in Tropical princess, which is comprised of a lovely lime green/lavender eye shadow and used the lime colour on the lids. For the lips, she applied the lovely Wonder Sheer Lip Gloss, which is a mandarin orange colour with hints of pink and gold. Both looked beautiful on the model, giving her a fresh look without looking overdone, and made me want to try it out for myself. A perfect look for sipping margaritas on a sunny day!

NARS make-up is always at the top of my must-buy list – with their beautiful selection of colours, silky smooth textures, and lasting power, it just doesn’t get better than this. I’ll leave you with the tip that Jane gave me during our chat – try and take 5 mins before bed to play with your make-up. It’ll help you get to know your face and your bone structure and to create a look that will show-off the best version of you. As they say…practice makes perfect!

xoxo

Aleyda

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More photos of NARS Summer 2014 collection after the jump!

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Mother’s Day: Gift Guide 2014

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Though it certainly doesn’t feel like it, May is here, and with it – Mother’s Day! If you still haven’t figured out what to buy for your mom, as usual, we have some ideas to help you in your search. From a personalized leather tote, to a fancy perfume, to a bottle of delicious bubbly, to a pair of comfy pajamas, there’s something for every mom (and every budget) on our list.

What will you be picking up for your mom this year? Share in the comments!

1. Monogram Travel Mug – Indigo
2. Atlas Bangle – Tiffany and Co
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear – Best Buy
4. DOLCE & GABBANA Dolce Eau de Parfum – The Bay
5. Nespresso VertuoLine – The Bay
6. Personalized Leather Tote – Cuyana
7. Les 4 Ombres – CHANEL
8. Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui – Indigo
9. Pajamas – Joe Fresh
10. Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne – LCBO
11. D/N Bag – ela handbags
12. Orchid Statement Necklace – Banana Republic
13. Embroidered Floral Topper – Ann Taylor
14. Canapile Heels – ALDO
15. YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lip Balm – Sephora

More after the jump!

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Giveaways: Olay Regenerist Luminous

After 8 weeks of sticking to the Olay Regenerist Luminous routine, I was pretty impressed with the line and what it did for my skin. Over the course of my trial, I met other bloggers who were using the same products, and learned that while we all loved the results, we also had different opinions on our faves from the line, and what did and didn’t work.

And though I’d already shared my personal experience with Olay Regenerist Luminous, I wanted to give you a chance to try it the line for yourselves and (hopefully) love it as much as I do. Sounds good? Here’s how you can win one of five Olay Regenerist Luminous line sets (Brightening Cream Cleanser, Tone Perfecting Cream, and Dark Circle Correcting Hydraswirl).

I want to make it as easy as possible, so for this giveaway you can do all four, or just one of the below – it’s up to you.

1. Comment below, and let me know which Olay Regenerist Luminous product you are most excited to try.

2. Tweet the following: “Hey @styleblogca, I want to win 1 of 5 @OlayUS #bestbeautiful prizes! http://wp.me/p1WxbY-6eY”

3. Comment on our Facebook page sharing why you would like to win an Olay Regenerist Luminous prize pack.

4. Comment on my Olay  Instagram photo sharing why you would like to win an Olay Regenerist Luminous prize pack.

Remember, you can do all four, or just one of the above and you will still be entered to win a prize pack! You don’t even have to follow me on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram…but of course, I appreciate it if you do.

This giveaway is open to Canadian readers only and will close on Sunday at 11:59pm EST. Good luck!

The winners have now been chosen and contacted. Thank you for entering!