Boost Your Beauty Regimen #NeutrogenaBrightBoost

Scrolling through my emails at 3am in the morning, holding my just fed/now sleeping daughter, I came across an opportunity to collaborate with Neutrogena on their newest product line, the Bright Boost Collection. My first thought was SURE, let’s give it a shot – I’ve tried a few Neutrogena products before and really liked them, so why not give this one a shot too.

So, the products came in, and I gave myself a some time to test them out – basically following doctors orders, or in this case, the instructions from the company. I used the products religiously, and not just because I promised I would. But, keep reading to find out WHY.

Let me start by telling you about each of the products, one by one. I really believe they deserve a full review! (*hint hint* I LOVE them)

STEP ONE: PREP with the Resurfacing Micro Polish

Directions:+ Use 1-3 times per week
+ Apply to hands and gently massage onto wet face
+ Rinse with water
+ Pat dry
My Review:+ Tiny bead like texture helps with exfoliation and polishing effect
+ Delicate and fresh scent – almost floral like
+ Good amount of product comes out when squeezing
+ Face feels very refreshed and clean after drying off with towel
Price:$10.97 cad @ Amazon

STEP TWO: BOOST with the Illuminating Serum

Directions: + Use every morning and evening
+ Apply 4-5 drops only fingertips and massage onto face
My Review:+ Delicate cream-gel feeling
+ Light and fresh scent
+ The dropper is not the easiest to use – the pump only pulls in
enough product for 1.5 drops. This is a bit inconvenient.
Price: $34.99 @ Amazon

STEP THREE: MOISTURIZE with the Gel-Cream

Directions:+ Apply twice daily to cleansed face and neck
+ Smooth evenly until fully absorbed
My Review:+ Light and fresh scent
+ Great application because of gel-cream consistency
+ Does not streak or leave any white residue
Price:$34.99 cad @ Amazon

STEP FOUR: PROTECT with the SPF Moisturizer

Directions:+ Apply as needed
+ Can be worn under makeup
+ SPF 30 and moisturizer
+ Lightweight and sheer moisture
+ Not only does it provide protection but it also lifts dullness and
uneven texture for smoother skin instantly
My Review:+ Great product as it’s a moisturizer with SPF (so important)
+ Reliable SPF spectrum
+ Does not have the typical sunscreen scent
+ Works well under makeup too; but it’s key to let it dry
entirely before applying any makeup
Price:$27.97 cad @ Amazon

In summary, all of the products are fantastic quality; have a lovely delicate scent, and when applied, they feel soft, do not streak, are not greasy, and therefore feel comfortable on your face. All of these products are dermatologist tested as well. This is always something I look for when shopping for skin products – just knowing this makes me feel more confident with using the product on my skin.

Finally, as you can see from my photos – these products have the prettiest packaging. I might be a bit biased because I am a pink girl at heart, but I mean, that ombre effect on the Resurfacing Micro Polish – give me more!

What Happens After You Wash Your Hands!

Washing your hands is SUPER important; now and always! BUT what happens to your hands after you wash them many times a day is just as important. It’s great that when we wash our hands properly {at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap} we wash off and away bacteria, but we also wash away a thin layer of our skins natural barrier which actually protects our hands!

By all means though, WASH your hands thoroughly and often – we can work on the saving and rebuilding of your natural skin barrier with a few easy steps!

Since by this point we all {hopefully} know how to wash our hands properly, I’ll skip through that part and go right into the next step.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR HANDS AFTER WASHING THEM?

My answer to that is simple – moisturize! It’s really {usually} that simple. Moisturizer seems to be the answer to all our skins needs – especially during the colder winter months when our skin is more prone to dryness!

I’ve worked through my collection of hand creams and lotions to bring you a shortlist of 4 that I highly recommend; specifically for dry hands.

EUCERIN+ very dry hands
+ complete repair
+ dermatologist tested
+ medium richness
+ gentle feel / strong coating
+ light and refreshing scent
+ non-greasy
$10.50 Cad / 75ml
NIVEA+ 3 in 1 / anti-age / Q10 Collection
+ anti wrinkle, smooth, even tone
+ classic fresh Nivea scent
+ medium richness
+ dermatologist tested
+ normal to dry hands
$6.50 Cad / 100 ml
CERAVE+ therapeutic hand cream
+ normal to dry hands
+ prevents against cracking/roughness
+ relieves itching due to dry skin
+ water resistant
$15.49 Cad / 85 ml
AVENE+ cold cream/severe cold protectant
+ concentrated cream
+ dry and damaged hands
+ formulated to reduce allergic reaction
$10.00 Cad / 50 ml

The key is to find a good hand cream that works for what you need it too – because they’re not all the same. Sometimes {and most often} the one in the prettiest packaging with the most beautiful scent, is not the one that will truly protect your skin as needed. Don’t get me wrong though, I have a collection of those pretty ones as well. Nevertheless, that also means that if one moisturizer works for me, it actually might not work for you; and that’s okay! Just keep looking!

I hope this little hand cream guide can help you with your next hand cream purchase. If you already use any of these or have any other great recommendations let me know! I’m always looking for the next best thing when it comes to hand creams!

Forever in love with LOUIS VUITTON boots {plus a preview of the new season Laureates!}

“I just rescued a pair of shoes. They were trapped in the store.”

I’ve attempted that line on my husband a few times, especially in my favourite shoe boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, or Gucci. It works sometimes. But I’d say I’m pretty good at knowing my limits, so it’s actually usually him that’s convincing me to “just take the shoes already – you’ve been thinking this over way too much – let’s just buy them already”. I’d say my husband is the best and spoils me too much – but that’s not what this post is about. So, what’s it about?

LOUIS VUITTON BOOTS!

It may be obvious to some of you already, but I am absolutely IN LOVE with the Laureate Platform Desert Boots by Louis Vuitton; and have been for some time now. The first question I get when I make this statement is usually: “So, why haven’t you bought them yet?”. I don’t really have a good enough reason for this – there always just seems to be something else to spend my money on – can I just say the timing has never been right. I also cannot get over the idea of spending THAT much on a pair of boots. The last time I came close enough to buying them, I dropped twice as much on a bag – but it’s a BAG. A bag I will carry around and watch where I place. Shoes are meant for walking, and shoes get ruined much faster. It’s an internal battle I’ve been having for quite some time now. I’m sure the day will come when I finally crack, but for now, I’m still dreaming.

Okay so, the NEW SEASON is here, and so are the new designs of these gorgeous boots. In all honesty, I’m not that crazy about them and I really do prefer the classic black and beige designs – but nevertheless, here they are for your viewing pleasure!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Louis Vuitton Shoe Post if I didn’t show you a few other beautiful pairs; which I’m also eyeing (but of course, the desert boots are priority if anything).

|| Top to bottom; starting on the left side. All prices in CAD: || Discovery Ankle Boot – $1720 // Discovery Flat Ankle Boot – $1690 // Jumble Flat Ankle Boot – $2090 // Silhouette Ankle Boot – $1730 ||

2019-2020 PLANNER GUIDE

Every year, around the end of April I start my search for the perfect Planner/Agenda for the coming year. It might seem a bit early, but most Agendas start in August; so if you buy it later you’re technically loosing out on a few months of use.

I’d say I start this early because I want to get to know what to expect from the selection, and what choices I’ll have – brands, locations to buy, opinions of others if I’m going for something I’ve never used before, etc.

Usually around the end of June my mind is made up and I know what I want. Then the waiting game begins. Usually around mid-end July stores such as Chapters-Indigo hold a promotion on calendars and agenda (based on the agenda start time, this is genius and perfect for people like me), and this is the perfect time to pick up your chosen planner/agenda. This year, Indigo offered 30% off all Calendars, Agendas, and Planners for about a week.

Clearly, I jumped on this offer, picked out my top three favorites, and waited patiently for them to arrive in my mailbox. I really couldn’t make my mind up on which one I wanted this year so I purchased three different ones and decided I’d sit down at home and make my decision then.

My top three choices for the 2019-2020 year were:1. Fringe Studio 2019-2020 17 month pocket planner rose gold – $12.95

This planner made my top three list mainly because of its simplicity and size. The pages are clean, grey/white, and the layout is practical. Each new month starts with a summary page that includes a goals, birthdays, anniversary’s, and to-do section. The weekly day by day layout is minimalistic, clean, and each days spot is lined for good organization.

***

2. Ban.Do 2019-2020 17 month large classic planner – $26.00

Photo Credit: @shopbando Instagram

Photo Credit: @shopbando Instagram

The Ban.Do planner has been my go-to planner for many years now so naturally it was added to my top list. The Ban.Do planners are so much more than a planner – they have stickers, coloring pages, quotes, fun holiday reminders, and so much more. This year, you can even find a pair of 3D glasses in the back pocket. This planner is a bit larger than the other two, and is hardcover (as opposed to the other two which are softcover), but it’s still a small enough size to throw into a tote and carry with you anywhere you go.

Another great thing about these Ban.Do Planners is that they come in three different sizes and different cover designs! So many options to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any of them!

***

3. Studio Oh! 2019-2020 17 month stay magical planner – $16.99

This planner seemed to have it all – good sizing and lots of fun pretty designs! Every single page of this planner has a different color theme and design; each one suited for that time of the year. The planner has a spot for jotting down a list of books to read, movies to watch, and other notes needed.

***

So, I’m still not decided on which planner I will keep for the year, but I am leaning towards the Ban.Do – it just seems to be a yearly tradition now and I don’t think I can break it. Although it’s a bit bigger than what I was hoping for, for this year, the design and extras are so tempting and I don’t think I can resist!

Happy Shopping!

READY FOR SUMMER: DIOR MULES EDITION

By now, I’m sure you’re well aware of my love for shoes – designer shoes. This season, the designs have reached another level for me. There are so many amazing pairs of shoes out there right now that it was really quite a difficult decision to make as to which ones to talk about first. But, here we are: DIOR MULES you have caught my heart.

Honestly, I think every celebrity and influencer owns a pair of these at this point, and the fashion house continues to make more; different designs and colours! The more reason to add to the collection.

When I shared a poll of my favourites on Instagram I got an interesting response – you loved all of them! There was a pretty equal split between each of the pairs I chose, which goes to show that there is really something for everyone when it comes to these slides! Good job DIOR!

So, let’s talk price point – are these affordable or more of a splurge purchase?

Well, that of course depends on how much you are wanting and willing to spend on a pair of summer shoes. If you live in a warmer climate and can wear these all year round, it might be a great investment for you, but if you live in Canada where we only get about a few months of hot summer days, maybe the price point isn’t so much on your side.

If you are travelling this summer, here’s my breakdown of the different price points of these mules in various locations (and the benefits you can take advantage of, for shopping in other countries):

CountryPrice PointCAD ExchangeKeep in mind…
United States$650 – $690$870 – $925*Taxes not included; as they vary per state.
Don’t forget potential import fees!
United Kingdom£490 – £540$822 – $906Shop at the airport! Remember to claim your
VAT return which may be up to 20%!
Italy €550 – €580$822 – $870Counts for any country using EURO. Remember to
claim your VAT return which may be up to 20%

The next question: are they even comfortable?

That’s a good question, and again, completely personal preference. You’d hope that for that type of price point a shoe would be comfortable, but if you think about it, many of these high end designer shoes are really not that comfortable, and really just a fashion statement more than anything.

If you’re comfortable in flats, these will work for you. There is a tiny “heel” on these shoes, but basically barely enough to make you feel it at all. So, let’s just call them flats. The single strap made of soft cotton and is a decent width size to keep the slide on your foot; basically like any other slide out there in that style. The cotton material definitely makes the shoe more comfortable, especially in the hot summer, in comparison to, for example leather.

So, in conclusion, there are a lot of pros and cons with these depending on what you’re looking for. The question remains; are these a seasonal piece or will these become a classic?

*Photo Credits: Damsel in Dior & Dior.com

ZIMMERMAN FOREVER

If there was one designer I would have to wear forever, it would definitely be ZIMMERMAN. Each season, I browse through the collections, staring at each piece thinking “I’d wear that”. Is that even possible? To fall in love with every single piece? In my relationship with Zimmerman the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.

Honestly, I don’t have a single Zimmerman piece, because well, who are we kidding, the prices are a bit higher than what I would like to spend on a piece of clothing like a dress or blouse… BUT one day, I will find that perfect piece and make the investment to buy my first Zimmerman piece. I promise you that.

Okay, let’s have a look at some of my favourite pieces:

// Verity Gathered Yoke Dress, $950 // Goldie Scallop Short Dress, $750 //

// Goldie Spliced Frill Top, $480 // Goldie Spliced Frill Short, $375 // Goldie Spliced Short Dress, $850 //

// Honour Pintuck Panelled Dress, $1150 // Zippy Frill Dress, $795 (now $565) //

TOUS DAYS!

Finally the time has come; TOUS is having a sale! I have been eyeing quite a few items of theirs for some time now, so I am super happy to announce this! Although, there is one trick – the sale is only on in POLAND right now. I’m not sure if it will be worldwide or in other countries after this (I assume it will) but hopefully at least some of you are able to take advantage of this.

The sale encompasses most jewelry with a discount of 20% plus an extra 10% if you purchase 2 or more items and 30% on handbags and accessories. The sale goes until June 16, and is available both online and in stores.

So what’s on my wish list you ask; here it is:

COLD, COLDER, FREEZING!

I’m not going to lie; Ottawa has been VERY COLD! We’ve been dealing with negative temperatures every day (and night) and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I’m not complaining though so don’t get me wrong, I’m just stating the obvious and preparing anyone who plans on visiting the area. It really is COLD. But hey, I’ve been warned.

As long as you’re dressed right, it’s really not that bad though. The trick is though, to truly be dressed right. A simple warm jacket and warmer pants really don’t do the trick anymore; especially if you’re planning on being outdoors.

I can’t say that I’m a pro at dressing for this weather, but I now do know a thing or two about actually staying warm during these freeeeeezing Ottawa days.

1. THE COAT!

I remember as a teenager the priority for my winter jacket was how it looked, and how I looked in it. There was no way I was going to look “fat” in a coat! Fast forward a few years and my mentality changed drastically. The priority in the jacket was that it was long, puffy, and thick! My coat now HAS to be either to my knees or longer. With a few hits and misses I’ve finally nailed it down to TWO of my favorite most reliable winter coats; the Bancroft Park from TNA at Aritzia, or generally any winter coat from Canada Goose! The difference with choice being the price point. The Canada Goose coats are a bit expensive but if you think of the cost per wear; especially in colder climates, it really makes it worth it. I would definitely both of these options fairly equally.

2. THE ACCESSORIES!

I’ve always loved hats and mitts but again, they mostly always were just for “looks”. Now it’s about practicality, comfort, warmth, AND still the look. Last year I found a nice pair of mitts at Chapters – Indigo which I loved! This year, right before the cold weather started I went straight for the source and picked up an entire set – mitts, hat, and scarf. Unfortunately the scarf was a tad bit too short for my liking so I returned that, but I kept the mitts and hat (and actually went back and bought them in another color. There are so many different brands and places you can find accessories, so it really just matters how they’re made and if they’re lined! As long as they have some sort of lining you should be okay. The important part here is to always remember to wear them! If you remember to put your hat and mitts on before you go outside your body will retain its warm temperature for longer; therefore not letting you get too cold too fast.

3. THE BOOTS!

UGGs have always been a big part of my winter wardrobe but once it gets slushy and wet… and the temperature drops to negative 10 (without windchill) something much warmer is needed. A few years ago I came across this realization and went on the hunt for an even warmer pair of boots. Finally, I found the Sorel brand and a pair which I actually thought would work for me (see the post HERE )! So, here we are now, living in Ottawa, with these freezing temperatures, and these boots are PERFECTION! The Sorel Joan of Arctic boots now come in so many different colors and are available in many stores. I HIGHLY recommend these boots for winter!!

4. THE CLOTHES!

This is self explanatory – when it’s below zero and you plan on being outside for a longer period of time, a pair of jeans will most likely not do the trick. Layers are my trick – thermal leggings for starters, and thermal turtlenecks to keep your neck and chest warm. OR you can go a different route and just put in a pair of “snow pants” and those will keep you warm definitely!

5. THE MENTALITY!

This is a new tactic I’ve taken in recently – if you think happy warm thoughts you will be warmer. I once went outside thinking “omg it’s freezing and I’m frozen already this will be horrible”… and of course I was! Next time, I though, it won’t be that bad, I’m dressed in warm clothes, I won’t feel a thing”. Surely enough, it wasn’t THAT bad! Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dress warm and think warm thoughts and assume that will work, because it won’t. The happy warm thoughts only help in the process of stepping into the cold and adjusting your body.

Stay warm friends!

BLACK + WHITE #OOTD

Don’t you just LOVE when all of your blacks match? I mean; I know black is black but, do you ever find that your favorite pair of black denim {which you’ve probably washed 50 times or more} no longer matches your favorite leather jacket? And, what about your shoes – why do they look so dark compared to the denim!?

I have this “issue” quite too often and that’s why I usually never later on full black on black; I always have to have something in between; usually my top because it’s literally, right in the middle.

This weeks #OOTD follows this simple theory of mine; minimalistic + comfortable. I could honestly use the statement “{INSERT ITEM} is always a good idea” for each of the items I’m wearing in this post.

✔️ Classic black leather biker jacket – All Saints

✔️ Classic black purse – Chanel

✔️ Crisp white turtleneck sweater – Zara

✔️ Black ankle cropped denim – Zara

✔️ Minimalistic black ankle booties – L.K. Bennett

SWEATER WEATHER: FIND YOUR PERFECT KNIT SWEATER!

Sweater Weather (which has become an international term now) is upon us! Knitwear is worn basically all year round in varying styles and thicknesses, but it seems that the crowd favourite is the one that is worn during the Autumn and Winter seasons. Which is NOW! How exciting!?

Choosing a knit sweater really doesn’t seem like a challenge; but think of how much more satisfaction you will have when you buy that PERFECT knit sweater that you simply can’t part with! So, with the thousands of options available to us these days; how are we supposed to know which one is right for our own personal style but that is still on trend?

Challenge Accepted.

Before opening up your browser or favourite social media platform to start searching for your knitwear inspiration; ask yourself these questions:

|  Top Row: Zara Cable Knit Sweater $70  |    Bottom Row: Zara Soft Feel Sweater $40  |  

What colour are you looking for? Base this decision on color palettes you wear most often. What color are your favourite tops {shirts + blouses}? What color bottoms {pants + skirts} do you wear? Think of a colour that you are always drawn to wearing but also, one that makes you feel comfortable. Just because mustard yellow is all the hype, doesn’t mean you look/feel good in it!

|  H&M Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater $50  |  H&M Fine Knit Sweater $35  |

Aritzia - The Group by Babaton Plutarch Sweater

|  Aritzia – The Group by Babaton Plutarch Sweater $138  | 

|  Massimo Dutti Cable Knit Sweater $130|  Marc Cain Chunky Knit Sweater in new Wool Blend  |

What kind of sweater do you want? Classic turtleneck; cowl neck; or mock neck? Do you want a round or v-neck? Keep in mind the functions of each one of these styles – for example, a classic turtleneck can be layered underneath a scoop or round neck sweater to make it cozier; or it can be layered under your favourite dress or jumpsuit for a smooth summer to autumn transition.

+ finally the most important question:

knitwear, stella mccartney

|  Stella McCartney Oversized Patchwork Cotton-Blen and Faux Fur Cardigan $ 1278  |

|  Balenciaga Intarsia Knitted Sweater $1090  |  Balenciaga Satin Twill-Trimmed Ribbed Wool Sweater $1790  |

What is your budget? How much you want to spend on a sweater will depend where your search takes you. If you are looking for a LONG-term investment piece, your price may be higher than that of a sweater you want just for the season – something that caught your eye, and isn’t necessarily your staple style but something you want to try out. It is important to take into account the fact that knitwear in general will be more expensive than a t-shirt; simply for the fact that it’s KNIT and takes much longer to make.

A few of my favourite locations to find great knitwear are:

  • Zara
  • H&M
  • All Saints
  • Club Monaco
  • J. Crew
  • Aritzia
  • Massimo Dutti
  • Vero Moda
  • Bershka
  • Orsay
  • Reserved

Happy Shopping and good luck!