Saturday, November 29, 2014

update your closet now! 8 winter fashion trends

Nothing stays the same forever…. and it shouldn’t. One of the greatest things about fashion is how often it changes. There is always a new colour, print, detail, or material to get fashion lovers excited about the start of a new season. With fall here and winter on the way, now is the perfect time to start thinking about trends.

Some of us ignore trends and others swear by them. Personally, I am a pick and choose kind of girl. At the end of each Fashion Week, I love to take a look at all of the emerging trends for the season. From there, I find which ones speak to me. This season, pastel shades and shearling are my must-haves. 

Are you looking to fill your closet with some of the hottest winter trends? Then head over to therunway+. I recently wrote a piece about the most notable winter fashion trends for the season. The article is, Update Your Closet Now! 8 Winter Fashion Trends. Want to stay chic and sophisticated all winter long? Then take a minute to check it out.

There are so many unforgettable fashion trends – and you can see them all here:

Do you follow seasonal fashion trends?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 27, 2014

you can wear whatever, be whatever, do whatever you want.

Who is your favourite designer? For me, there are a few designers that speak to me. Season after season, their collections manage to make my heart race. The short list includes Elie Saab, Betsey Johnson, Victoria Beckham, and Christian Siriano.

Watching Project Runway all those years ago, I never could have imagined that my favourite contestant on the show would go on to become a highly respected fashion designer, taking over the world, one piece at a time. Since Christian found fame on Project Runway, he has gone on to write a book, appear on a number of different television shows, design one of a kind gowns for some of the hottest celebrities, and create a number of highly regarded collections.

 The other day, I thought about Christian as I slipped on a pair of the black-heeled boots I snagged from his (much more affordable) Christian Siriano for Payless collection. Okay, maybe they weren’t part of his New York Fashion Week show – but I love them all the same. Whenever I carry one of my Christian bags or wear a pair of his shoes, I feel like a million bucks. It’s not the fact that his name is on the label. There is just something about his design aesthetic that speaks to me.

From Runway to the runway, Christian has showcased a number of dramatic, bold, sexy, but wearable pieces. It doesn’t matter if it is a couture dress or a pair of pants. Everything has his signature stamp on it. That blend of strength and femininity is empowering – and exciting to wear. There is a reason for his astounding level of success. He didn’t just win a reality show. He took that opportunity and turned it into a multi million-dollar empire. How? His designs have never fallen into the category of bland or boring – and he continues to push his brand further.

From both a creative and business perspective, Christian Siriano is a force to be reckoned with. In case you missed his latest offering at New York Fashion Week, Christian’s S/S 2015 Ready To Wear collection was full of all-white looks with embellishment, subtle details, and plenty of the dramatic flair he is known for. Each and every piece demanded attention. And they all screamed: Christian Siriano is here to stay.

Are you a fan of his design aesthetic? Who is your favourite fashion designer?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 23, 2014

self confidence is the best outfit. rock it and own it.

Fall is fully underway. Despite the fact that I have been counting down the days until the holiday season officially begins.... I am still consumed by fall fashion. I love the darker colours. I love the smokey eye looks. I love everything about it! This is why I have been doing my best to make the most of the weather before it gets too chilly. Case in point? The outfit I wore out to a dinner with friends. I ended up going downtown to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a while. The evening was a success - and so was my outfit, I think!

What did I wear? I ended up choosing a burgundy sweater dress with faux leather details, a statement belt from Altuzarra for Target, and a pair of high-heel boots. As for my hair, it was done in a half up half down style with lots of curls. My makeup was smokey and dramatic....just the way I like it. Overall, I was really happy with how this look turned out. I don't know about you - but I like when that happens. When you finish getting ready and just feel like you could take on the world.

So, without further ado. This is how my night out look turned out:

There is just something about fall fashion. The colours, the drama.....I love it. With winter on the way, I know that my life is about to be sweaters, sweaters, and more sweaters. That makes me glad that I have been doing my best to embrace fall fashion before that happens.

Do you love fall fashion? What do you think of this look?

xo Shannon

Monday, November 17, 2014

love is the flower you've got to let grow.

Something exciting? The fact that Flower Beauty is now in Canada. For the last year or two, I have been hearing all about Drew Barrymore's makeup line. I watched beauty gurus swatch, rave, and fall in love. I read blog posts dedicated to her latest venture. All the while, I wished the product were sold outside of the United States. Finally that day has come. It happened a few short weeks ago. I was walking through my local Wal-Mart store and bam! An entire display of products. Now, there wasn't a ton to choose from. And it wasn't the full collection.....but it was something.

The display was stocked with lip crayons, nail polish, and most importantly, cream eyeshadows. Rather than go overboard and buy a little bit of everything - I limited myself to one item. My choice? A cream eyeshadow. Most of the shade options were fairly neutral (shimmery white, cream, grey, and so on). So, I opted for a bronzey shade simply because I adore bronze eyeshadow colours. The colour was Flirty Floret.

I have tried quite a few cream shadows in the past. A lot of the time, they are good to use as a base - but need to be layered with a powder shadow to really get the pigmentation and staying power. Not this product! The colour is so bold! A little goes a very long way. You don't need to add on a powder shadow for the colour to be noticeable. Plus, the cream shadow lasts all day. And I do mean all day! I applied it in the morning, made it through a day of work, an afternoon of laundry and tidying up, and an evening of writing and blogging. No creasing, smudging, or faded colour. It was fantastic!

In fact, it was so fantastic that I had to curb my shopaholic tendencies. Sine a lot of the other available shades are things I already have in my collection, I'm not letting myself buy them all. But that is awfully challenging. The packaging is so pretty and the product is incredible. Ready to see the makeup look I created with my first Flower Beauty purchase?

One thing is clear: Flower Beauty was worth the wait. I am so glad that the products are finally being sold in my country. Here is hoping that over the coming months, we get more products from the line. High-quality for a drugstore price. You just can't beat that!

Have you tried anything from Flower Beauty? Were you impressed with the products?

xo Shannon

Saturday, November 15, 2014

love and a loathe.

Sometimes you fall in love with a product. And sometimes you instantly regret your purchase. Over the last little while, I have happened to have both of those experiences. When you find a product that you absolutely adore, there is nothing quite like it. Suddenly, you want to wear it every day. Or tell everyone you've ever met about how well it works. But when you come across a product that lets you down? There is nothing quite so frustrating. You wanted to love it....but you just couldn't. Anyone else been in this boat before?

Well, let's start with the good news. I recently tried the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer. My expectations were low - but I was completely wowed by it. Not only did it work to brighten the under eye area, but it concealed dark circles extremely well. (Which is something I tend to struggle with thanks to a fairly regular lack of sleep.) The consistency was thin and blendable and totally lived up to the claims. This has become a part of my every day foundation routine. I don't think I could go back to how it was before! It is an absolute re-purchase.

Now for the not so good news. As you probably know by now, I love perfumes. Especially celebrity perfumes. When I saw Fancy Nights by Jessica Simpson at Marshalls for just $5, I had to give it a whirl. Sadly, I wish I hadn't. Instantly, the smell didn't click with me. It wasn't bad per say....but far too strong. A mere drop or two and the scent feels totally overwhelming. I wore this once and honestly? I don't think that I will be wearing it again. Maybe I will wind up liking it? Maybe a friend will love it? As of right now, it is sitting at the back of my perfume shelf. What a waste!

Love, loathe....the most important thing is to be adventurous and try. I personally love trying out new products. Because sure, you might end up hating it. But you might wind up loving it, too. As far as I'm concerned, it's worth a shot!

Have you tried either one of these products? Love or loathe?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 13, 2014

lilac helps to align ones spirit.

I won't lie: I have an obsession with purple. Eyeshadows, blushes, most importantly lip products. Despite the fact that I already have more than enough purple lipsticks and lip tints in my more managed to catch my eye. For a long time, I've heard about the Revlon Lip Butters. Rave reviews and so much more. So, I finally decided to take the plunge. My colour of choice was Gum Drop - a soft lilac shade. Was it good? Did it live up to the hype? It's time to find out!

Let's start with the packaging. This is something I am a big fan of. It is simple and sleek like all of the  other Revlon products. What I loved? The textured effect. It was such a nice detail. That made it feel a lot more luxurious. As for the texture of the product, it was just as great as I hoped it would be. Creamy, moisturizing, and long lasting. That was the plus side.

The downside? The pigmentation wasn't quite what I hoped it would be. The colour is without a doubt pretty and easy to wear. However, I found that you really have to build it up to get a decent amount of colour payoff. I'm not sure if this is the case with all of the Lip Butters or just this one. The colour itself is pretty light - so that might play a part in the sheer wash of colour. I think I will have to try out a deeper shade and do a bit of a comparison. (I will keep you posted!)

To sum it up: the colour is wearable, the formula is perfectly creamy, and the packaging is lovely. The only thing I would have liked? More colour payoff. With that said, this is the makeup look I created around the Revlon Lip Butter in Gumdrop. 

In general, I am a big fan of Revlon products. Actually, I find that the more of their products I try, the more I fall in love with the brand. They have really stepped up their game lately. And this is a great thing for makeup lovers on a budget. Overall, I like the way this lip product feels....but I am not totally thrilled with the amount of colour.

Have you tried any of the Lip Butters? What do you think of them?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

oscar de la renta: the end of an era

Oscar de la Renta was truly one of a kind. Throughout his career he inspired more than a few fashion trends – and helped women feel like their best and most beautiful selves. With each collection he showed and every celebrity endorsement he received, this iconic fashion designer continued to wow the public.

On a personal level, Oscar has always been there. I remember seeing his gowns on celebrities I admired…. and wishing that I could look that glamorous. I think that is the most important thing Oscar did for fashion. Not only did he design some of the most elegant and sophisticated pieces – but he made women of all backgrounds and age groups long to wear something with his name on it.

In honour of his remarkable career, therunway+ has decided to profile the life and success story of Oscar de la Renta. I was fortunate enough to write the profile piece for the website, Oscar de la Renta: The End of An Era. If you are a fan of Oscar de la Renta’s work, definitely check it out. You can take a look at the article here:

Were you a fan of Oscar de la Renta's work?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 9, 2014

maybe our mistakes are what make our fate.

I’m a Charlotte. I remember years ago, digging through stacks of Sex and The City movie sets in the hope of finding a t-shirt that declared just that. Finally…success! Now that world would know exactly who I was. Okay, I admit: Sex and The City has been on my mind lately. But there is a reason for that. Thanks to rumours swirling and plenty of online buzz – everyone is wondering if another movie is in the future.

It’s rare when a television show manages to speak to many different kinds of women – let alone showcase their intricate personalities on the small screen. Perhaps this is why Sex and the City remains one of the most beloved shows, having spawned two movies, perfume collections, and even clothing. See, the show didn’t just speak to a wide range of women. It also brought fashion to the forefront of everyones mind. What would Carrie wear next? And could fashionistas re-create the look? Yes, Sex and the City is one of those special, unique, and thrilling shows that has managed to stand out among its peers

Will there be a Sex and the City 3? Cast members have been eager to let fans know they are up for another round. Meanwhile, there are rumours that a rough script is already making the rounds. However, it wasn’t until Sarah Jessica Parker posted a photo on Instagram (that caught the attention of fans and media outlets alike) that speculation reached a boiling point. She sat on a New York City stood surrounded by high heeled shoes – and captioned the photo: #longdayforCarrie #whewwwthosesteps #runninginheels #taxi!

It didn’t take long for fans to recognize the stoop as the residence of lead character, Carrie Bradshaw. While no official word has been made – there is a reason so many men and women are desperate for another film starring the iconic foursome. Sex and the City blended unique characters, witty conversation, and exciting fashion together. Another movie wouldn’t just be exciting for fans of the show itself. It could also lead to some seriously incredible fashion moments.

Just picture it: what would Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha, and Carrie be wearing in the opening scene of the next installment? Copycat looks and Sex and the City inspired garments would fly off the racks! Because that’s the thing about this show – it has left a lasting impression on the fashion world. Another film would work to remind designers, fashion lovers, and filmgoers the importance of great style – and strong female characters. So, that is why I have been thinking about Sex and The City lately.

Would you go see another Sex and the City movie?

xo Shannon 

Friday, November 7, 2014

the apple never falls far from the tree.

I know where I got my love of travel from. My parents have always enjoyed seeing the world, going on vacations, and exploring new places. This started out because of my dad's job. It required him to do a fair bit of travelling around the country. As the years went on, that travel became international. My mom, my siblings, and I would tag along on some of his business trips - turning them into full-fledged vacations. This is something I have always loved. Thanks to my parents travel bug, I have been able to visit some of the places on my bucket list - more than once. While there are still many places I want to see, I feel very blessed that travel has always been a big part of my life.

While we often travel together, we don't always. Recently, my parents took a couple of trips without me or my siblings in tow. Despite the fact that we weren't there to see the sights, hear the sounds, and enjoy all of the delicious food....they were nice enough to bring us each some souvenirs and trinkets back. So, I suppose this post is a haul of sorts. An international version, though!

These first items come from London, England. This is by far my favourite place in the world. I love it there more than I can describe. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances (aka a wedding in less than a year) I wasn't able to take the trip this time. But my parents were nice enough to bring home some of the things that I asked for. And even a few that I didn't!

This London haul includes: a heart print top (featured in a recent OOTD post), a pair of glitter flats (that I wear literally all the time now), a One Direction shirt (love!), a pair of England themed socks (super cute), a purse that looks like a cassette tape (my 80s loving heart), a magazine (complete with a pair of glasses and mascara), and two books (representing my love for Geordie Shore). There were a few things that I actually did ask them to bring back - like books from the cast of TOWIE - but they couldn't manage to track them down. I am very happy with everything here though. I felt very spoiled.

The second part of this international haul comes from New Orleans. I have never been there before and this was actually my parents first visit there. It is somewhere I would absolutely love to go, though! The culture and history....yes please! They brought back some really cool souvenir items for me and my brother. This is what they included:

These items included: a Mardi Gras necklace with hand painted faces (so pretty!), a voodoo doll (for good luck), a nutcracker jester (for my nutcracker collection), a painted porcelain mask (how pretty is that?), and a pair of earrings (they look like bird cages. Absolutely adorable). Since I have never been there before, I was so excited to get a better idea of what things are like in the city. They showed me pictures, told me how beautiful everything was, and how wonderful the people were.

Travel is a big part of my life. While I don't get to do it as often as I would like - it would pretty much be all the time if I had my way - it is always nice to see somewhere new. Thankfully, even when I can't travel, someone in my family does! And sometimes, they even bring back pieces of the cities they go to.....

Do you love to travel? What is your favourite place to visit?

xo Shannon

Monday, November 3, 2014

the tones of gray, pale turquoise, and pink will prevail.

I love eyeshadow. A lot. Which explains how I have managed to collect so many eyeshadow palettes. Matte, shimmery, doesn't matter. I love them all. Recently, I added yet another eyeshadow palette into my collection. One day I stumbled across it - and I couldn't look away. I was immediately struck by the turquoise shade. Add in those beautiful green and golds and well, I was sold! 

This palette is from the Revlon PhotoReady Primer, Shadow + Sparkle collection in Pop Art. It includes three eyeshadow shades, a primer, and a shimmery topcoat. In this specific set, there was a yellow gold shade, a deep forest green, and a turquoise eyeshadow. Then there was a green glittery shade and the primer. Ready to take a closer look at this fun and functional drugstore set? This is Pop Art.....

As you can see from the picture above (and all of the swatches) the colours are quite pigmented. Let's start with the primer. Honestly? This doesn't do a lot. It has a powdery consistency rather than being a liquid or cream. The result? It feel more like you are layering shadows over top of a white eyeshadow. It doesn't do a lot for creasing, staying power, or intensity. So, I prefer to grab a primer from my existing makeup collection. While it's great that Revlon thought to include a primer in this set, it was a miss.

Now for those shadows! These I love. The colours are quite pigmented and have a great texture. They are easy to apply. They also last for quite a while without creasing - even without primer. The colours themselves are just as gorgeous as they appear in the packaging. They were very true to colour, which I appreciated. My favourite shade has to be that turquoise colour. How beautiful! Creating a pretty but colourful makeup look is easy with this kit at your disposal. 

Last up is the glitter top coat. Another fun addition to this palette. I really love the fact that Revlon (particularly with their PhotoReady line) has started to include useful extras and really consider the needs of the user. The top coat itself was quite pretty and added a lot of shimmer to the eye look. You can throw it on for evening or leave it off during the day time. I love that it manages to give this palette a little more diversity. That pale green is super pretty and goes well with all of the other shades.

After picking up this palette, I was so excited that I had to try it out right away. This is the makeup look that I came up with: 

Overall, I am very happy with this eyeshadow set. Revlon really put some thought into it! The colours are beautiful, I love the glitter top coat, and the primer idea was a great one. There are a number of other available colours to choose from as well if turquoise isn't your thing. I would highly recommend this drugstore steal!

What do you think of these colours? Have you tried any of the eyeshadow sets from Revlon?

xo Shannon

Saturday, November 1, 2014

i'm not getting older, i'm getting better.

You may remember a post I did last week about my birthday. Now that the dust has settled, I've finally had a chance to sit down and write about it all. I tend to get super excited about my birthday - booking the day off work, enjoying cake and presents, and making an excuse to see my friends and family as much as possible. This year was no different. It may not have been exactly what I'd been hoping for.....but parts of it were nice nonetheless,

It all started on Friday - my  birthday! Since I had the day off, I started off the day with a good workout. I was feeling great....until I came downstairs to find that my mom had come down with a cold. She was in a miserable mood. Alas! The bulk of my day was then spent doing my writing work. Sigh. Later in the evening, my family and I went out to dinner with my fiance to the local pub. It was a decent meal and it was nice to get out of the house for a bit. After that, we came home, opened a few presents, and ate some cake.

The next day, a couple of friends and I went downtown to go clubbing. I had really high hopes for the night, but it ended up not being my favourite experience. It's not a big deal - these things happen. It just felt a little disappointing. The theme of the night was Spice Girls. Since it was my birthday, I was Posh Spice, of course! That part of it was definitely fun. That day was spent catching up, getting ready, and doing a little bit of dancing.

These are a couple of pictures from my birthday....presents included!

I love birthdays. There is nothing better than getting out of your daily routine and letting loose. I am very grateful that I was able to do that this year - even if things weren't perfect.

xo Shannon