Beauty: CHANEL Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum Review

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Lately, my skin has been a nightmare. After years of fairly good skin, I am now all-of-a-sudden faced with rosacea – inflamed, angry, red bumps all over my face. The extent of this problem is touch and go, getting better, getting worse, like a freaking yo-yo, which is why I’ve been very weary of a lot of skin products. I’ve been trying not to use too many new things on my sensitive skin, and only use products that come highly-recommended. Which is why I felt comfortable giving the new CHANEL Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum a try. The Hydra Beauty line has a very passionate following (Diane Kruger is the gorgeous face of the line), and I hoped that this new micro serum could help get my skin through winter.

Almost immediately, I noticed that my skin (normally dry in patches by mid-afternoon) felt more hydrated, looking brighter and better just days after first use. It’s now been a couple of weeks, and I’m totally hooked. The camellia smell is lovely and refreshing, while the extra kick of moisture this micro serum provides is just what my skin needs during the winter months.

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More after the jump!
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Beauty: How to Maintain Platinum Hair

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Ever since I bleached my hair, I’ve been getting a lot of sweet, and oftentimes demanding emails from readers that want to know EVERYTHING about going platinum. I already covered the part about bleaching dark brown hair platinum blonde (I do not recommend you to do this at home), and today, I’m going to share with you just what it takes to keep your bleached hair looking and feeling healthy. And while my hair may not be platinum anymore (it’s definitely a darker grey at the moment), at the end of the day, it’s still bleached hair, and it still demands a lot of maintenance. Below I share with you my (no longer) secret hair routine.

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Step 1: Coconut Oil
First, I slather my hair and scalp with coconut oil. Lots and lots of it – until my hair looks wet/greasy all over. I let it sit for about an hour (longer on the weekends). During this hour I do pretty much everything I would do normally – go to the gym, run errands, watch TV…the coconut oil doesn’t really drip anywhere, so you don’t have to be precious about it.

Step 2: Shampoo and Purple Conditioner
Once a sufficient amount of time has passed, I jump in the shower and shampoo my hair thoroughly but gently with cool water (it helps keep your cuticles sealed). I love Moroccanoil’s Smoothing Shampoo, because my hair feels extra silky after. Post-shampoo, I get as much water out of my hair as possible, run a bath, and settle in for some purple goop action. I like to leave purple conditioner in my hair for at least 20-30 minutes to make sure it does as much toning as possible, and seeing how most purple conditioners I’ve tried have a runny consistency, I don’t want to stand in the shower for half an hour waiting for the hot water to run out. So taking a bath is my solution (and an excuse to have some relaxing “me” time). I put lots of purple conditioner in my hair, making sure to saturate the strands from root to tip, and then I sit back and enjoy my bath. If you don’t want to see any amount of purple or grey in your hair, keep your purple conditioner in your hair for 5-10 minutes max…sometimes my hair does pick up a bit of a purpleish tinge to it, but I actually like it. You’ve been warned.

I’ve tried several different purple conditioner brands, and my faves are Davines Alchemic Conditioner, Aveda’s Blue Malva, and Clairol’s Shimmer Lights. Usually, I would just mix Silver Lights into any purple conditioner I was testing out in order to intensify the colour, but it worked best when paired with Aveda. Davines didn’t need much help, but seeing how expensive that stuff is, I’d say give Shimmer Lights a try. Also, both Davines and Shimmer Lights made my hair feel a lot more dry and tangled, while Aveda’s conditioner actually conditioned my hair, so my winning formula at the moment is: Davines + Blue Malva.

Oh, and I almost forgot about a recent fave! I found this super dark bluish purple conditioner at Shoppers, and it’s called Light Blue Shade. I’ve been mixing it with Davines and Blue Malva to get even more purple in my hair. It’s not very moisturizing, but it’s got a great colour pay off, and it’s not expensive either. If you live in Canada, and don’t have access to Clairol’s Shimmer Lights, this is a nice alternative.

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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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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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