Besides gift lists and wish lists you’ve probably got a holiday event list you’re checking off too. Whether it’s an office Christmas shindig, New Years Eve party or just a night out with friends and family you’ve got to decide what to wear at some point. I’ve typically gone straight for the dress department but one dress for many events can be limiting. This holiday season I decided to go for a fabulously festive gold skirt that I could switch up with all kinds of outfits and wear to every event on the calendar. Here’s three ways I’d definitely go with it. Stay tuned for my next outfit post to see how I’m wearing it for real!
Neat - I believe that a present’s wrapping is almost as important as the gift inside. Unless it’s a bucket of diamonds, then it can be in a plastic bag for all I care. But, spoiler alert, no one is getting a bucket of diamonds from me this year so I’m putting some thought into how to wrap up my gifts in a unique and fun way. I love this idea of using twine and candy canes over a white little pouch. Also, just noticed the tiny clothes pin and gasped. Idea found here.
Suite - Now that we have a couch and chair (and basically nothing else) in our living room, I’ve been hunting for the right pillows to join the mix. When I saw this one in the Scout & Whistle shop on Etsy I finally realized what I’d been looking for. Made with Pendleton wool they are guaranteed to be as cozy and they are cool. Shop here.
Eat - I thought this was a genius party idea for any festive gathering. No signature cocktail needed when you have signature ice cubes! These are begging for a vodka or gin based beverage but I can see them in any number of fun drinks and they look insanely cool. Also, can we admire the candy cane rimmer for a moment? Recipe here.
At this time of year I try to focus my shopping efforts on my friends and family and not myself. Doesn’t mean a girl can’t treat herself though! Take an hour and and give yourself a holiday mani-pedi. You’re probably due for a break and if you’re like me, your VISA could use one too. Photo via Fluff and Fripperies.
There is no denying it, leather pants make me feel way more badass than I really am. They give any look a touch of toughness, but when paired with feminine pieces the look can actually be more refined than rock and roll. That’s the direction I was going for and this coat has just the right amount of contrast in texture and style to steer the whole ensemble towards ladylike. A luxuriously chunky scarf softens the look while classic pumps and an envelope clutch keep it sleek. C’est bon!
A tragic truth is that in Canada we spend most of the year in a coat. Being that as it may, it’s nice to have options other than a parka or a peacoat all the time. Whatever it takes to fight the winter blahs! This one is great for meetings or dinner out and a significant step up in warmth from a blazer. It’s also great with skinny jeans, a tee and some tall leather boots. (I may or may not have just described a future post.)
Here’s a quick recap of all my November outfits from Instagram (@leevosburgh). Composing these gives my morning a burst of creativity, which is a great way to start my day and I’m continually inspired by other Instagrammers I discover in the process. Can you guess which outfit was the most ‘liked’ (Hint: ‘Yes, yes’)? Of course, just let me know if you’re curious about any items you see above. Have a good week!
Neat – I’m feeling so conflicted lately. Half of me wants to prepare for hibernation but the other half is giddy about the holiday season and all the fun events ahead. I think this weeks Bee’s Knees is a pretty clear reflection of that, which is just fine. If you happen to be hosting a dinner this festive season these place cards are kind of entirely awesome. There is a chance you’ll even have a tree right in your house to pull supplies from! Then you just need some card stock and exquisite hand writing. No instructions needed. Seen on Pinterest.
Suite – This is the cabin of my dreams save for the fact it’s missing a couch and just generally anything to make it feel more personal. I’ll gladly take this blank slate though. Those windows!! Those stoves! That wood! My gawd! It’s all awesome. Gimme. First seen here.
Eat – I love pasta, I love cheese, I love walnuts and I like parsley (let’s not get carried away here) so naturally this recipe got me all kinds of excited. Noting like a piping hot bowl of carby goodness to make my day. Recipe here.
Treat – These might be the sexiest pumps I’ve seen this season. Yeah, wow. They have office romance written all over them. Available at All Saints.
For longer than I care to admit, walking Dobby has been my primary source of exercise. I know it’s not a fitness regime to brag about but this short legged, furry butt can hustle and he’s almost always ready for a W.A.L.K. While I relish our times at the park, the colder weather can make them a bit on the bitter side if I’m not layered up.
When it’s sunny and we’re headed out for a good hike a big coat can be a bad idea. I always work up more of a sweat than is enjoyable and then I get a chill when I take it off so I’ve been trying out some creative layering. I toss my denim vest over a heavier long sleeve shirt, then a light but hearty jacket goes on top. Tights and a leather skirt add a bit of girly fun and a cozy beanie keeps my ears happy. Don’t worry, Dobby has a winter wardrobe too but his built-in coat is sufficient for now. Also, can we take a moment to acknowledge that stance? What a cam ham!
Shot by the always amazing Agata Piskunowicz.
When it comes to the vast realm of beauty I must admit, I feel a little, okay A LOT overwhelmed. There are seemingly endless options and it’s hard to know where to begin, and once you’ve started, where to go from there. Since the holiday season approaches and parties are aplenty I asked my go to make-up master Poonam of the blog Excess is Just My Character to help me build a three tiered approach to maximizing your cosmetic collection, whether your a Beauty Beginner, Moderate Maven or Seasoned Savant. Here’s a look at the products that made the list and why they’re worth a try.
1. Foundation – Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup ($68, at Holt Renfrew). This incredibly lightweight fluid consists of 5 different oils that provide the most seamless coverage on the skin, and it is absolutely foolproof to apply and blend in, delivering flawless satin-finish skin even to the newest novice. Order online.
2. Concealer – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30, sephora.ca). Concealer is best used as a pinpoint correcting tool for any blemishes (current or scars of past!), demarcations or areas in need of a bit more coverage. This formula is hydrating, meaning it’s great for use in the under eye area, and it doesn’t crease into fine lines, making it a your go-to after a long night. Order online.
3. Mascara – MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black ($25, maccosmetics.ca). It’s difficult to recommend mascara in a general sense, but this one is a bit of a no-brainer because it’s essentially two mascaras in one. The dual-swiper system allows you to choose between clean definition (great for daywear) or really major volume (the best accessory for any soirée). Order online.
4. Blush – Bourjois Cream Blush ($15, asos.com). Powder blush is lovely, but cream blush is just a touch more believable as far as mimicking your natural flush goes. This cream-to-powder formula means you can use it even after you’ve set your makeup with powder (usually a faux pas with dewy cream formulas), and the shade range is incredibly natural-looking and chic. Order online.
5. Shadow palette – Urban Decay Naked Basics ($32, sephora.ca). Whether you’re just dipping your toes in the makeup pool or own half of Sephora’s eye shadow palette offerings, this modest 6-pan offering is essential in any makeup bag. A range of matte neutrals makes this palette office-appropriate, but you can still do a great smoky eye with the darker half of the palette if the mood strikes you. Order online.
1. Liquid eyeliner: Diorshow Art Pen ($32, sephora.ca). For anyone who has a penchant for a feline flick, please direct your attention to this liquid liner pen. At first glance, it seems like the standard felt-tipped liner, but the felt tip is actually substantially longer on this pen than most. When laid on its side with the tip angled towards the end of your brow and then dragged inwards, it can effectively draw a liner wing for you. The liner dries to a stunning matte finish, which just adds to the marvelous mod nature of a cat eye. Order online.
2. Pencil eyeliner: CoverGirl Ink It! by Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in “Black Ink” ($7, well.ca). If pencil liner is more your scene, ditch your sharpener and get on board with this automatic pencil. It’s a fine-point pencil, making it easy to get right into the lashes to create the illusion of thicker lashes, it doesn’t require sharpening (which always feels like a waste of money, no?), and doesn’t travel all over the eyelids. A wonderful drugstore find, if I do say so myself. Order online.
3. Lip Colour — true red: Rimmel Apocolips Lip Lacquer in “Big Bang” ($9, well.ca). Liquid lipstick is great option for anyone who prefers gloss, but is ready to graduate to a much higher pigmentation situation. This lip lacquer offers saturated colour at a steal of a price point, and it wears off your lips nicely, leaving an even stain instead of a ring of colour around the perimeter of your mouth. These things matter! Order online.
4. Lip Colour – bright pink: Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in “Moscato” ($32, sephora.ca). This lip cream is one of the wackiest things I’ve ever applied to my lips. It’s a cream-to-powder formula that contains different waxes that melt at different rates, meaning it’ll wear really well through the day and your lips won’t feel dried out in spite of the mega-matte finish this lip cream delivers. Matte lips without dryness. Science is wonderful! Order online.
5. Lip Colour – perfect plum: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in “107” ($8, well.ca). For anyone who wants to inch towards an edgy look without being full-blown goth, I recommend this plum shade. If applying a darker shade like this directly from the tube makes you feel like every bit of colour has drained from your face, try dabbing it on with your finger tips as more of a berry stain. The ball is always in your court when it comes to makeup. Don’t forget that! Order online.
6. Brows – Anastasia Brow Wiz ($27, sephora.ca) & Maybelline Great Lash Clear Gel ($8, well.ca). It’s my firm belief that regardless of how your brows are, everyone can use some kind of product in there. Even full-browed babes need a bit of brow gel. One of my favourite things to fill brows in with is Anastasia Brow Wiz, which is a genius automatic pencil for brows, equipped with a skinny spoolie on the other end. For the people who need to get a literal grip on their unruly brows, running a bit of Maybelline Great Lash Clear Gel through them and brushing them into place should have the brow situation locked down for the day. Order online.
7. Highlighter – Revlon Photoready Skinlights ($17, at drugstores). Does anyone remember the old version of this highlighter? It was kind of the epitome of the late 1990s makeup scene. Thankfully, Revlon reformulated this range of highlighters and now the product is a lightweight fluid that contains very fine shimmer with a variety of tints to suit your skin tone. They’re brilliant lightly tapped on to cheekbones, down the centre of the nose and right on the Cupid’s bow. Order online.
1. Face brush set – Sigma Beauty Sigmax Beauty Kit ($84, sigmabeauty.com). It’s the difference between “You did a great makeup job,” and “You have great skin!” Evidence of a solid set of synthetic blending face brushes could very well be what divides the novice makeup application from that of the pros. Blending is essential for a natural and (dare I say) believable look, so a set of brushes like these can handle a slew of tasks such as foundation, blush and contour application in order to make the products applied rather seamless with your own skin. Order online.
2. Brow fibres – Benefit Gimme Brow ($26, sephora.ca). If you’re in the market for Cara Delevingne brows, know that you’re not alone. If your natural brows are a little lacking in fullness, no need to despair. Make an honest effort to let them grow in if a fuller shape is what you’re after. As the saying goes, fake it til you make it! Achieve a handsome brow by running this teensy wand through your brows. The fibres in the tinted brow gel will cling to even the tiniest hairs surrounding your brow hairs, allowing you to have what seems like bigger brows in an instant. Order online.
3. Cuticle treatment – Dior Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive Serum ($27, sephora.ca).Traditional cuticle oil is wonderful but it’s also a bit of a total mess when it’s dribbling down your hands and potentially staining everything you touch (oil stains are no one’s friend!). Opt in for hydration without the mess with this cuticle serum, which is a gel formula that actually stays where it’s applied! Order online.
4. Retinol – La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] ($55, larocheposay.ca). This one is definitely for the advanced crowd. The deeper you get into the beauty realm, the more you realize that skincare is equally if not more important than the colour cosmetic aspect. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that works to boost collagen production and reverse fine lines in skin. It’s a bit pricey, as all retinol products are, but the shift in texture and tone of your skin is completely worth it. Order online.
Poonam Kaur Billing is the author of the blog Excess Is Just My Character, a graduate of Parsons New School and weekly columnist for FASHION’s Beauty Fix Q&A series. She’s ready to talk about any beauty woes and scours the cosmetic and skin care world for the prefect solutions. Poonam is a long time friend and my go to for all things from the latest brow builder to skin saver to lash lengthener.
A relaxed afternoon at home is undeniably good for the mind, body and soul. I work from home most days so sometimes I struggle to steer my thoughts away from work and all my ‘to dos’ on a night spent in. Getting out of my usual environment and trying something new (ideally food related) or seeing friends is a great way to regain composure. Although that doesn’t mean I can’t take the comforts of home out on the town! This sweater is perfect for just that. It’s basically like wearing your favourite blanket out. Except it’s way better and you’ll look chic instead of homeless.
With a quick flip of the cuffs, a rough roll of the jeans, some stand out heals and a sleek clutch I’m almost out the door.
I’m extremely lazy when it comes to my hair, I need to up my game eventually, but for now I’m happy to swing it into a pony and call it an ‘up ‘do’. Wrap a fun plaid scarf around my neck, touch up the lip gloss and I’m suddenly presentable to a low lit world.
1. Sweater (Ganni) c/o Blush Shop 2. Denim AG Jeans 3. Heels old J.Crew – similar ($), similar ($$) and similar (amazing) 4. Clutch Clare Vivier 5. Necklace House of Harlow 6. Rings NastyGal (similar) 7. Chair Gus Modern
Shot by the always amazing Agata Piskunowicz.
There couldn’t have been a better time for Michele, owner of the loveliest Blush boutique, and I to collaborate on a post about a perfect afternoon at home. We’d just finished our living room and the critical furniture was finally in place. When I saw this incredible sweater in her shop I knew the stars had aligned. After months of renovations and upheaval the one thing I’ve longed for most is some relaxation time on our new couch with a few good books and some fresh coffee. The living room has always been a sanctuary for me. This luxuriously cozy knit with soft denim is my second skin these days. It’s just the ultimate in comfort chic and has me feeling more at home than ever.
Of course it’s never uneventful for long in our place because there is always a furry butt to distract me. Dobby, our corgi, loves homebound afternoons as much as I do. But he loves treats more and once he’s had a few he’s happy to curl up with me for a little window watching and a nap.
I’m thrilled to be the first of Michele’s ‘Style Corner’ series on the blog Lovey & Chic. Michele is one of my style idols and on her blog you’ll find endless outfit inspiration and all the best goodies from Blush boutique (plus you can skip over to the online shop!).
I wouldn’t be doing this sweater justice keeping it at home so check back on Saturday for a look at how a few quick switches make it perfect for a night out!
Shot by the always amazing Agata Piskunowicz.