Buy or Ditch: Inglot Gel Eyeliner review

The Product
Intense pigmentation, creamy texture and a long-lasting finish, the Inglot gel eyeliner sounds like a makeup lover's wet dream. It's also supposedly smudge and crease proof. The line is available in 20 different shades ranging from basic jet black to striking blues, greens and even red!

Price & Packaging
A standard 5.5 g jar will cost you around $20, which may seem pretty expensive, but actually isn't too bad since my favourite Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner will set you back $27 at Sephora. In terms of packaging, there's nothing too innovative here, just a straightforward screw top jar.

Inglot gel eyeliners are extremely popular with tons of reviewers raving about its lush color payback and all day wearability, so I was quite looking forward to this product. I'm a huge eyeliner fan and had been looking for a good gel eyeliner to try for that perfect thick cat-eye look; however I'm sad to say that I am quite disappointed.

The pigmentation on this liner is quite good, but I found you have to really dig your brush into the pot to get the desired level of color. On the plus side, it did last all day and dried quickly once applied.

The thing that turned me against this eyeliner though is that it felt absolutely bone-dry on my brush. When applying to my eye, little flakes would fall into my eyes which is quite irritating as I wear contacts. Also, since the liner was so dry, the brush felt scratchy on my eyelid and made it difficult to control the brush for that proper flick of your liner at the outer corners. I hated this eyeliner so much that after a few weeks, I threw it out.


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Lust of the Week: Mona Roussette French Silk Scarves

The French are world renowned for their classic chic style. Sometimes I wonder if they really are that stylish or it's just that we only get to see the chicest of the population - I mean, how is it possible that there's not one socks and Crocs wearing catastrophe out there?! In any case, the mystique lives on and what could give one a more classically French or European look than a patterned silk scarf?

French artist and designer Mona Roussette is stepping out into the fashion market with her first collection of seven silk scarves. Each of the designs in this capsule collection are original works of art designed by Roussette herself.  Out of the collection my favourite by far has to be this Me Voila (Here I am) scarf available for $258. The bright blues and light pinks recall the sakura festival I attended earlier in the year and I can imagine that it would look beautiful draped casually around the neck during the evening or used as an elegant bandanna. You can view this and the rest of the collection online for now, but it will be coming to Canadian retailers in early 2014.

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Fun one-piece swimsuits for all c/o ModCloth!

If it's the middle of summer and you're a procrastinator like me, then you'll probably be hunting the racks for a new swimsuit. There are tons of bikini options out there in almost every mall out there, but good one-piece options? Unless you are looking to be traumatized in the change room of your local pool when you and 70 year old Mrs. Schmidt step out in the same blue floral number, then you had better get creative when shopping for a new suit.

Thank god for ModCloth.  The definitive choice for cute vintage duds, ModCloth also has a pretty killer swimsuit section. If you're forgoing bikinis like I am, then going vintage is your best bet for pulling off the one-piece look.  

When looking for a good one-piece swimsuit, the key is to
  1. embrace those curves that your mama gave you!
  2. seek out fun colors and patterns to make you stand out
Here are 3 options I found that will ensure you'll be able to look gorgeously sexy and play water polo with the boys, while all the string bikini girls lie on the shore, desperately sucking in their guts:

What could be more fabulously vintage than a name like Esther? Nothing, except maybe the sexy sweetheart halter neckline of this swimsuit! Of course I had to pick this one since it features my favourite color of the moment: emerald. Don't forget to click-thru either to see the incredible look book styling ModCloth did on this suit - who knew a swimsuit, jewels and heels could look so good?!

Polka-dots are having a moment right now and I AM LOVING IT. Seriously, I want to buy all of Esther's suits, they are just too cute for words.

Finally, if you're not a fan of the vintage thing, then perhaps this number will tickle your fancy. This pinky-red suit flatters most skin tones and the ruffled trim adds that youthful touch of girlish whimsy. I like the style of the neckline here as well and how those delicate straps will highlight your neck and shoulders. I'm not sure how good this suit would look on bustier gals, but maybe someone more endowed than I might be able to comment?

Which of these suits is your favourite?

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Buy or Ditch: Avene Ystheal Eye Contour Cream review

The Product
Always on the hunt for an HG eye cream, I was excited to try this one by Avene after hearing about how great the French brand was. This particular cream, called the Avene Ystheal+ Eye Contour cream is designed to be fragrance-free, comedegenic and contains a mix of Retinaldeyde C.T and Pre-tocopheryl to fight signs of aging.

The Guts
Here are the top ingredients in this cream (excluding water, which is listed as the first ingredient):

  • Mineral oil - this ingredient is said to be one of the most effective moisturizers for all skin types, including sensitive skin, however because it is derived from petroleum, there's a significant amount of controversy around its potential adverse effects. 
  • Butylene glycol - a hypo-allergenic moisturizer
  • Polysorbate 40 - another humectant that helps capture moisture from the air and retain it in your skin
The star ingredients in this product are:
  • Retinal - proven anti-aging ingredient
  • Pre-tocopheryl - similar to vitamin E, this ingredient is an antioxidant that fights aging free radicals

Price & Packaging
At $34 for a 15 mL bottle, I would say this is a generous size for a generous price. $34 is not much in my opinion to pay for a quality product and in the eye cream market, it's quite economical.

The simple pump dispenser is efficient and clean. I also like how you can control how much product comes out, depending on how much you push the pump.

I've been using this cream for at least a couple months now, once a day and I'm quite pleased with the results. Most eye creams I've used have had little to no effect on the fine lines and dark circles under my eyes, but this Avene cream has brightened my eye circles to the point where even after a restless sleep, I can still passably forgo concealer (if I'm feeling very lazy)! Truly a remarkable result! As for eliminating my fine lines, I think it's actually done that as well! I no longer notice by the end of the day that I have slight smile lines under my eyes.  My under-eye skin is soft and plump.

The texture of this product is very gel-like and almost watery. There's no fragrance either, which I greatly appreciate.

Online reviews stated that many people experienced milia and flaky skin after using this product, likely due to the retinal. I'd suggest testing this product out first with a sample if you can before fully purchasing in case you are one of those sensitive to retinol products.


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Lust of the Week: Swims 24 Hour Weekend Bag

One of my favourite bags in my collection is my Longchamp Le Pliage. Made of tough nylon with stylish leather straps, it's one of my most used purses for its versatility, classic style and durability. If you're looking for a weekender bag that has all the same characteristics, then this Swims 24 Hour Weekend Bag is for you.

Swims is a Norwegian brand known for its perfect mix of function and fashion. The fun, bright colors of this bag makes it perfect for that weekend trip at the beach, camping in the forest, or even just for schlepping your essentials around in the city. What also makes this bag better than say, a larger version of the Le Pliage, is its wide shoulder straps and its 3 inner pockets, which ensure that your keys and phone won't get lost in the depths of your bag. At around $234, this bag is a very reasonable and very stylish choice for summer.

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Lust of the Week: Diane von Furstenberg Liberty Leather Pants

Shit shit shit. I want these leather pants so bad!! I've always wanted a pair of leather pants, although I was briefly put off them for a few years by the Ross' leather pants episode of Friends. Now my obsession is revived thanks to these Diane von Furstenberg Liberty leather pants.  Since leather is so expensive, I've only owned faux leather leggings and while I could just opt for another pair of those, a true pair of leather pants seems more versatile to me. For one thing, leggings are something you can only wear with tops long enough to cover your butt and you can't tuck anything into leggings.  With pants, your options are totally open, even when they are skin-tight skinnies like these. I love how the seams give these pants a denim feel and the slight slouch at the ankles also furthers that vibe.  Too bad they are a cool $1090.91.  Maybe Santa will decide I've been really really good this year?

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1 Item, 3 Ways: Emma Stine Floral Blouse

One of the cardinal rules that I always sometimes try to adhere by when I shop, is to visualize whether I can wear an item in enough ways to justify it as a purchase. As a rule of thumb, if I can wear something 3 different ways, then it's a valid purchase to make. After all, haven't we all bought items that we have no idea how to wear, or can only wear in 1 or 2 circumstances?  In this new series, 1 Item 3 Ways, I'll show you how you can learn to think of creative ways to wear items and get more use out of your existing items while learning how to be more critical of future purchases!

In this first installment, I'm featuring this pretty floral blouse I found awhile ago on Pinterest:

In a light pink-cream color, this blouse from Emma Stine is perfect for spring and summer. I love its slightly vintage vibe with its red-orange blossoms and asymmetrical hemline which is just on the right side of the high-low trend.

Here are the 3 ways you can wear this or other floral blouses in your closet:

Look #1: Classic & Chic

I was inspired to create something a little Parisian for this outfit. I like the easy-going mix of comfort and style with these loose-fit trousers and gladiator heels. Of course, black always makes an outfit look fancier.

Look #2: Fun and funky

This next look is more casual with some comfortable, yet sexy, skinny jeans from Rag & Bone. I recently purchased a pair of Rag & Bone jeans and I can attest to their great fit straight from day 1. While some jeans disappointingly start to sag after a few wears, I am happy to say that these are as fitted as they were in the change room.

Next, I always enjoy a little pattern-mixing and florals and polka-dots always are a win for me. Then, when I saw this chunky gold chain bracelet from Olive + Piper, I knew it was the perfect piece to ground this look and give it a little edge.

Look #3: Date night

For the last look, I knew I just had to create the perfect summer date night look. The inspiration? Warm evenings spent strolling the city streets, sitting at a street side cafe, or sipping wine on a rooftop patio.

Which look is your favourite?

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Outfits of the day... err past few months

I realized I haven't done an outfit post in a long while, so I thought I would catch you up on what I've been wearing the last few months...

Dress: Marshalls | Cardigan: Calvin Klein

This dress was one of my first purchases at the recent opening of Marshalls in Vancouver. I instantly fell in love with this psychedelic, yet office-appropriate, print. Long enough to wear to work, yet also perfect for a date night, every woman needs a transition dress like this in their closet.

Blouse: Marshalls | Cardigan: Urban Outfitters

Another great Marshalls find. I'm finding myself in love with semi-sheer, sleeveless blouses. I own this one and another quite similar in a solid navy. The light chiffon material is great for warm days and are office casual.  I love bold prints like this bright floral; using prints to "fancy" up an outfit allows you to wear slouchy comfortable basics like jeans and a sweater and still look put together.

Clip-on earrings as cuff clips, chambray shirt: Forever 21 | Cardigan, pants: Aritzia 

Lately I've been favouring more modest hemlines. Necklines that used to be sexy to me before are now overly exposed and I enjoy wearing buttoned up anything. Adding fun elements like these clip-on earrings keep your look youthful instead of prudish. I'd also recommend keeping your makeup light and fun and just opting for a bright lipstick so that your makeup doesn't age you along with your clothes.

Cardigan: boyfriend's | Skirt: vintage | Sandals: Forever 21 | Purse: Zara

Another fun "granny chic" look is this layered outfit I wore to work a couple months ago. If you want to go for patterns, but don't want to stand out too much, then choose a pattern in alternating, similar tones. This skirt is actually a crazy leopard print, but it looks much more subdued with its dominant tone of blue and splashes of purple and green. To further ground this look, I opted for a brown bag and echoed the earthy tone of it with these bronze gladiator sandals. 

Plaid shirt: Aritzia | Tee: Joe Fresh | Wedges: Old Navy

Since my office is so casual, I like to mix up my work outfits between skirts and super casual looks. For this look, I called forth on my 90s style plaid shirt, but kept it from looking utterly schlub by throwing on a pair of wedges.

Floral shirt: Top Shop | Leggings: Costco | Shoes: American Apparel

This outfit was inspired by my roommate, who in her exasperation in finding a suitable cardigan, declared that cardigans were out and that she could only find blouses. I decided to take this to heart and see if I could wear a blouse as a cardigan and that's how this outfit was born.

Blouse: Forever 21 | Flats: Nine West | Skirt: Urban Behaviour? | Bag: Longchamp

Have you ever found items in your closet that you had forgotten about? Such was the case with this skirt, which I rediscovered while unpacking into my new house!  Alas, it seems that fate has deemed that I must always have at least 1-2 items listed as MIA since I can no longer find my olive green TOMS :(

What's your favourite of my recent looks?  
If you're having outfit woes, I'd love to help! Leave a comment, or email me and I'll do my best to help!

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Lust of the Week: Stella McCartney Amanda dress

Some of you may remember this series if you followed me at my old blog and I've decided to bring it back because, well sometimes you just want to write "I WANTZ THIS, IT PRETTY" posts and not feel obligated to make an "article" about it.  Lust of the weeks may be couture or cheap, classic or super trendy, but they will always make your hands twitch for your credit card. I hope you enjoy this series and send me your LOTW too!

To kick this off, I'm featuring this gorgeous forest green silk dress by Stella McCartney, on sale for $323.75 via the Outnet. I've always been a fan of Stella's modern and refreshing take on fashion and this dress has me drooling. There's something very vintage, elegant and confident about this dress. This dress is for the woman who knows she doesn't need to have a nip slip to be noticed, or to show off miles of leg or cleavage to captivate.  She likes her whiskey on the rocks, her lips red, and her eyeliner kohl.

Do you think you could carry off this sexy number?

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Buy or ditch: Kiehl's Skin Rescuer Facial Moisturizer review

The Product
Feeling stressed out from work, relationship drama or just plain life getting you down? Sure you could do yoga, go on vacation or take naps, but if you don't have time for those things, then there's a product out there that can help you look at least a little less than exhausted. Enter in Kiehl's Skin Rescuer facial moisturizer. This powerful moisturizer promises to fight the signs of stress and fatigue on your skin, such as redness, dullness and blotchiness.

The Guts
Here are some of the feature ingredients contained within this moisturizer (thanks to Beauty Stat for the ingredient breakdown!)

  • Glycerin - this very common ingredient is almost always in moisturizing products for its ability to allow skin to capture and retain moisture
  • Shea butter - another powerful moisturizer, this natural ingredient protects and hydrates skin
  • Chamomile extract - combats inflammation to soothe inflamed skin

Price & Packaging
A 2.5 fl oz will cost you $42, which isn't a bad price for Kiehl's. I think this is great value for your money as you hardly need to use any product at all per application, so your cost per application is pretty low.

The downside of this moisturizer is its dispenser, which is a pump system. For obvious reasons, pumps aren't the most ideal packaging as you are left with a layer of product at the bottom of the bottle which the pump cannot reach. The only benefit with this particular pump system is that it's very easy to control the amount of product that comes out with each pump, as you can dispense a large or pin sized amount easily.

What surprised me about this moisturizer is that it's designed for daytime use, but it's as thick as a night cream. I suppose that comes from the shea butter, but it does make this moisturizer not the greatest for summer, or for those with oilier skin. The thickness also makes this lotion a bit difficult to spread on your skin. I have normal-dry skin, so I find that 2 ladybug sized amounts are an ample amount to cover my cheeks and forehead.

I started using this product while I was buying and moving into my new house, so needless to say, it was a rather stressful time! My skin was reacting to the pressure and I was breaking out in more redness than usual around my nose and cheek area. After using this product once a day for a couple weeks, I was amazed to see that the redness had subsided quite dramatically!

Too long; didn't read
$42 is well worth it for this moisturizer packed with powerful ingredients like chamomile, glycerin and shea butter. It calmed down my stressed out skin and made it even, soft and glowing!

And happy 4th of July to all my American readers!

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