Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Five Essential Boots to Own on the West Coast!

Now that winter is over, this is the perfect timing to snag up a pair of boots on sale to prepare for next season! I used to buy shoes whenever things went on sale and ended up with a ton of random pairs of boots. I've since learned to be a bit more minimalist and enjoy having fewer pairs of boots that matches with everything. I've had this idea in mind for a while and can't wait to share with you guys the five pairs of boots you need in your closet!

1. Waterproof Boots

 It's Vancouver after all so a pair of water proof boots is a must have! I found this pair of North Face Ballard shoes last year at Sportchek and this has been a staple ever since. I really like that this doesn't look like waterproof boots (ex. Hunter/Sorel) but still functions like it. I usually wear this on my commute to work before switching into heels or flats indoors. I haven't had any issues with quality after lots of wear in one year.

North Face Ballard Boots
Available at Sportchek and North Face

2. Brown Long Boots

I have pretty thick calves in comparison to my feet size so finding a pair of long boots that fit was a struggle! I scored an amazing deal on these around April last year when Nine West was clearing out their boots. I still can't usually fit jeans into my long boots so I tend to wear these with leggings. That's why I opt for a pair of brown boots instead of black as I find it contrasts better with black leggings and also jeans if you can fit them under longer boots! I'm also excited to transition into spring with these boots and sweater/dress combos.

Nine West Velika Boots
Original $295, bought on sale for $83.99
Find other Nine West sale boots.

3. Heeled Mid Length Boots

Heeled boots are the easiest way to look dressed up but staying comfy too. These ones have a thick stacked heel so it's quite easy to walk in. I like to wear these for going out or even going to work as it looks fancy but is really easy on the feet. I found these in the Nine West outlets about 5 years ago and they are still going strong!

Find similar Nine West boots online.

4. Black Booties

This is the newest addition to my collection! I actually didn't have a pair of ankle boots until this as I just couldn't figure out how to wear them. The tip is just to roll up whatever pants you have to make sure your ankles show and that there is a break in between your pants and the boots! Since a bunch of my other boots are brown, I wanted to get a pair of black boots. This one is also really unique as it's perforated so would transition perfectly into spring!

Lucky Brand Basel Bootie
Original $200, on sale for $59.98 at Town Shoes (see below)
Available online at Lucky brand

5. Uggs

We really can't forget about the Uggs! No matter what people say about the lack of style, they are seriously so comfy and so warm. I don't think much need to be said other than they are the perfect pair to throw on for running errands on cold mornings.

Ugg Bailey Button
Available online at Ugg and Nordstrom

I also wanted to share where I do a lot of my online shopping and how I like to score deals on my boots! I used to scope out Call it Spring and Aldo exclusively as they have fantastic return policies in store and often would have good sales. But since I'm trying to upgrade my shoes a bit I've started looking at other retailers.

Town Shoes
I used to always just walk past Town Shoes stores as I thought they were out of my price range for footwear. Recently however, I was browsing their online section and couldn't believe how amazing their sale section was. I've always seen the 70% off posters in the malls, but online, I was actually able to find these deals!

They offer free shipping over $35 and I ended up getting the items delivered to the store so I can just try on and refund at the same time if it doesn't fit. I scored some pretty epic deals during their sale.

The ankle boots I bought were $59.98 down from $200! The sale is not super great right now but I still found a couple good finds:
-Dolce Vita Jones Almond Toe Bootie- Original $190, on sale for $56.98
-Steve Madden Nylie Bootie- Original $160, on sale for $47.98
-Franco Sarto Shandy Ankle Boot- Original $200, on sale for $99.98

Nine West
I found my pair of long boots at Nine West last year and my heeled boots from the Nine West outlet in Seattle Premium Outlet about 5 years ago. Both of them were over 50% off! I found recently that Nine West is always on sale so as a rule of thumb, I probably wouldn't purchase anything unless it was 50% off it's retail price.

I just took a look online and there is a flash sale on boots and booties! There's a lot of styles although many only have a few sizes left. But it starts at $29.99 and tons of things are under $50. It's perfect timing as they are having a sale and all boots are $89.99 and booties are $59.99.

How many pairs of boots do you have in your collection? What are your favorite places to shop for shoes?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

TWG Limited Edition Sakura Set Menu

Recently, I had the opportunity to have a delicious tasting menu at TWG. The store is where Urban Tea Merchant used to be but the space was recently renovated and opened as TWG last December (Georgia/Thurlow)! The store offers a huge selection of loose leaf tea and accessories but you can also sit down to enjoy high tea, full meals and also special set menus!

Currently they are offering the Sakura Tasting Menu which is inspired by the limited edition Always Sakura tea blend and will be available only until early April ($65 for 3 courses + 1 tea). I'll be sharing some photos of the beautiful food and giving you a bit insight into the menu.

First Course- Soup

To start off the meal, the soup is a Japanese sweet potato curry with a rice cracker on top that has lobster and asparagus. I thought the whole presentation and use of ingredients was very unique. The asparagus had a wonderful earthy taste and the soup was so delicious and definitely infused with Eastern influence.

Second Course- Entree

The main dish of the night was a duck breast. The full menu description is quite long but in essence it is a chicken breast and two types of fish - cod and kanpachi. The sour cherry sauce on the bottom and the miso carrot puree was the perfect pairing for the meat. I actually don't normally eat duck but I found the meat to be juicy and tender. There was a bit of mashed potatoes at the bottom and together with the sauce was just heavenly. I scraped this dish pretty clean!

Third Course- Dessert

I was already pretty full at this point but I would come back hungry and just start with dessert! This is a chocolate cherry mousse cake with a Sakura tea infused gelato. The inside of the cake was soft and the cherry flavor keeps it from being too rich! I wish I had more room to savor this!

You also can't forget about the teas that come with it. You can choose from a hot or an iced tea drink. The hot tea is the Sakura Sakura blend which was smooth and elegant. You can definitely smell the floral coming through the green tea but it is still quite traditional. The iced tea is Green Beauty and many of us loved this! I think there was an extra syrup that was added but it was such a lightly sweet and refreshing drink!

Overall I really enjoyed the whole experience and this would be a fantastic set menu for a special occasion! The food was cooked perfectly and presentation was made for the camera! If you are interested in going, the store is open Monday-Sunday from 10am-8pm.

The whole tasting menu is inspired by the Always Sakura blend. This is a green tea blended with Rainier cherry and sweet florals. I thought the taste was very smooth and the floral smell was not overpowering at all. There are full flower buds inside and is beautiful to look t. This retails for $47 and is a limited edition release.

Not all the teas at TWG are this expensive though! You can order TWG online and the price actually varies quite widely. There are many blends that are quite affordable around $9-$12 for 50g which is comparable even to David's Tea. I recently tried the Follow Me blend which is a green tea with pineapple flavor and super delicious! I'm definitely going to be stalking out more blends and exploring TWG more!

Have you ever tried a TWG blend? What are you favorite places to go for loose leaf tea?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Quo Spring 2017 Collection- Rose Quartz: Review and Demo

Did you remember to spring one hour ahead for day light savings today? I feel like this day always creeps up on me but I am pretty stoked to welcome warmer weather! Today's post will be an overview and review of the Quo Spring 2017 collection which is inspired by rose quartz. I'm not sure if I'm just having winter blues, but looking at spring packaging makes me so happy and I adore the design of this collection!

First off, there are two face palettes in this collection. Each contains 6 shades and retails for $20. The back of the product says it's 3 highlighters and 3 bronzers, but I would say it's more 2 highlighters, 2 blushes, and 2 bronzers. There's definitely a good variety of shades in each one.

Each of the powders is finely milled and smooth to the touch. I wouldn't say the formula is particularly creamy but it does wear well if you have a foundation on underneath for the product to grab on to. I get about 6 hours of wear before fading.

Heat it Up
This face palette is the lighter and cooler of the two. This is best suited if you have light to medium skin color. The top right shade and the bottom left shade have some shimmer but the other 4 are matte. The top 3 colors do not really show up on me and is not strong enough of a highlight to use in that sense.

The bottom left shade is a dusty mauve and totally up my alley in terms of blush colors. That shade is my favorite in the palette! The bottom right shade is a good contour and bronzing shade.

Down to Earth

The second face palette includes slightly warmer shades and also a bit deeper in tone. I prefer the shade selection in this one better! The top middle and right are shimmery while the rest are matte. I love the terra cotta color in the bottom left, it completely warms up my face when I brush it just below my cheekbones! I top it off with the top right color which is a shimmery shade and apply it to the apples of my cheeks. I would highly recommend this one especially for a fresh spring look!

Each season, Quo usually includes an eyebrow product in the collection. In the past few seasons, I found the product to be pretty repetitive as it's the same product with a different casing. But this one includes a shimmery highlight and a wax! The palette is compact and the brush that it comes with works quite well.

I tend to stick mostly with the darker brown shade to fill in my brows. The powder is surprisingly pigmented. The two colors are quite versatile to mix and match and would fit a large range of skin tones. This retails for $12.

Quo released 2 four pan eyeshadow palettes in the collection, each retailing for $18. I really like that Quo tried to go beyond a neutral palette and put out some interesting shade combinations. I'm not sure if either of the palettes works completely as a stand alone product, but I do applaud the creativity in the shades.

No Pressure- $18

This palette contains 4 shimmery pastel shades. This is very different from anything I've seen at the drugstore and kind of reminds me of Kat von D's Alchemist palette. I really love the top left shade which is a pale golden color as well as the bottom left which is a shimmery taupe. The other two shades are okay as well but not as attention grabbing and unique.

However, when I use this palette, I do need to pull shades from other products as it's hard to create a full look with 4 shimmery shades.

Rock It! - $18

In contract, Rock It! features 4 matte neutrals but the shade selection is quite different than most neutrals out there in the market. The top two shades are too light to do anything on my eyes when applied. But the bottom left shade is an amazing transition color to work with!

My favorite combo right now is to use this dusty purple around the crease. Then I'll take one of the shimmery shades from the other palette and pat it all over the lid. It creates a really fresh spring look. I wish I can combine some of the shades together from the two palettes, maybe I need to watch some depotting videos. Overall the quality of the shadows is great. Each shade is smooth, finely milled and easy to apply.

Matte Lip Crayon- $12

Lastly there are 3 colors in the spring collection and I have 2 to share. Pretty in Pink is a bright cool pink where as Simply Red is a true classic red. The formulation of these two shades are very different! Simply Red is pigmented, smooth, and applies very easily to the lips. However, the Pretty in Pink shade is splotchy and emphasizes all of my dry skin. The Simply Red shade is really beautiful however, the colors are not that unique and the packaging doesn't particularly scream spring to me.

Products Used:
Face- Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Quo Matte Revolution Foundation in 2, Urban Decay Naked Concealer
Cheeks- Quo Face Palette in Down to Earth
Eyes- Quo Eyeshadow Palette Risk It! and No Pressure, Mary Kay Liquid Eyeliner Pen, Fusion Beauty Mascara
Lips- Quo Matte Lip Crayon in Simply Red

I was very happy with this collection and caught myself saying "omg it's so pretty" multiple times when I was opening up the products. As usual, Quo palettes tend to gear towards lighter skin tones so depending on your skin tone this collection may or may not work for you. However, I would highly recommend the Down to Earth face palette as well as the Rock It eye shadow palette. The two items are unique, beautiful packaged, and at a great value!

What do you look for in Spring makeup releases? Let me know how you are changing up your beauty routine!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Purple Gradient Eyeshadow Look ft. Mary Kay Spring 2017

The Mary Kay Spring 2017 collection is probably one of the best launches since I started working with the brand last fall. The packaging is beautiful and the products all perform really well! I reviewed their lip oils recently and have now added them to my purse for daily use! I was also really drawn to the eyeshadow palettes that are limited edition to this collection.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pixi Mattelustre Lipstick in Rose Naturelle: Review & Swatches

Exciting news everyone, pixi is returning to Canada and you can now find their products at Shoppers Drug Mart! I attended a launch event a few weeks back and are testing out a bunch of their products. One item that I instantly gravitated towards is this rosy colored lipstick. Since I've been using this every day for a couple of weeks now, I thought I'd share this review

Name: Mattelustre Lipstick
Shades: Rose Naturelle, available in 11 shades
Price: $16
Size: 3.6g
Available at Shoppers Drug Mart

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Top 5 Spring 2017 Nail Polish Picks

I know we are still in Winter, especially with the third snow storm scare in Vancouver this past week. But I've been wearing brighter colors on my nails for a few weeks already and I can not wait for spring to come! In anticipation, I've rounded up 5 of my favorite colors that'll be a must have for your nail polish picks this Spring!