My Favourite Dressy Looks for Under $100

Happy New Year!!! I hope you all had an incredible, inspiring, and productive 2017! I know for me personally, it was definitely a great year & probably one of the smoothest ones yet, so for that I am thankful! As some of you may already know from my Instagram posts, I have been in London celebrating the holidays with family. I always love low-key celebrations, especially with good company. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really an opportunity for me to do any real photoshoots while I’ve been here, as I’ve prioritized time with family above all this year. I’ve spent literally almost every waking moment catching up, cooking, eating, drinking, and joking around with everyone. We’re heading back to Toronto tomorrow, and as much as I love spending time here, I definitely miss Rory (my pup), work, and creating content for the blog. I recently jumped back into blogging in late 2017 – so I’m excited to really take the blog up a notch this year! 🙂

Since I didn’t get to shoot my holiday looks while I’ve been in London, I’ve put together a some of my favourite dressy looks below which showcases some of my favourite (mostly sparkly) looks for right now! AND THEY ARE ARE ALL AROUND $100 OR LESS! Its the best time to get those pieces in your closet, because there are some CRAZY sales happening. Glitz isn’t just for the holidays!!


I had to start off with sequins! This little number by Zara is my absolute favourite at the moment. It’s chic and sexy without looking like you’re trying too hard. I especially love that you can totally pair this with another dress/outfit underneath, & rock a sparkly blazer look. I just wish it came in pink 😉


This metallic bodycon dress from Forever 21 is the perfect mix of classic & fun (a style I constantly try to emulate). It’s super figure-flattering, and I’m loving the playful sleeves this season. While it is gold, it’s not disco gold – which makes it easily wearable to any evening function. And c’mon, it’s $27!!! Love!


While I do admit that I haven’t shopped at Club Monaco since high school, you can’t deny that they have great everyday staple pieces – and I for one believe leopard print is a closet staple. There are so many pattern and colour variations to suit every skin tone!  If Tarzan-Glam isn’t your thing, add a leather jacket over it to instantly amp up the cool girl look! I also included a fun, white blouse – which you can pair underneath the dress to make it a little more feminine. Leopard print is the new black…SO MANY OPTIONS! Have fun with it! Experiment!

Because could I really make an outfit list and not add pink sparkles? 😛 I cheated a little because this outfit is slightly over $100, buuuuut I AM JUST SO INTO THIS ROMPER! And what’s a few dollars? 😉 (this is how we get in trouble here, am I right?) Longer looking legs and sexy necklines? Yes please. It’s also another great outfit to pair a white blouse underneath it.


I know, I know – another pink option. But what I love about this dress aside from the pop of colour that they’ve named “Lipstick”,  is how timeless this style is. In my opinion it’s like a modern version of Chanel – structured and feminine. And fear not guys, it also comes in white and blush if you’re not feeling the hot pink. All this piece needs is some statement jewellery and it’s truly perfect!


How can you go wrong with gold glitter & florals?! I absolutely love the style as well because if you’re like me and love dancing, this dress is going to allow you to pull out those Napoleon Dynamite moves!! I’m also a big fan of slinky straps because again, they’re flirty without trying. A glass of red wine in hand will make an excellent prop for this look 😉


‘Tis the season for gleaming finishes! Obviously the pleated skirt won me over instantly, but I really can’t resist metallic ANYTHING. It’s super crisp, & just really fun to look at from all angles.


I HAD to include a jumpsuit in the mix because really, they are so chic! Honestly, almost anyone looks amazing in a jumpsuit. They shout confidence, and I’m all about that. Paired with a blazer, you’ve got yourself a real power look. I obviously added this one because I really love the touch of sparkle in the waist to really draw attention to the figure. As much as I love a skinny leg – dressy wide leg pants are truly one of my favourite fashion moves. Unfortunately, my 5’2 statue and frame doesn’t do it justice – but I always admire people who can pull them off! LOVE.

So there you have it, some of my favourite dressy looks of the season for UNDER $100!! I really hope you enjoyed this type of post, & you fell in love with some of the pieces as well. This post actually took me so long to do because there were so many great options this season, especially after Boxing Day. I’m hoping to have some new photoshoots for you guys this week, in case you’ve forgotten what I look like haha.

Until then, stay warm friends! xoxo

Easy NYE Makeup Look

Hey, friends! I hope you all had a magical Christmas & holiday season. I’ve been in London visiting family over the holidays, getting some much needed R&R! Luckily, I don’t have to go back to work or school until next week, so this two week vacation has been incredible! As much as I’d love to bask in all that is Christmas, I can’t help but look forward to the upcoming celebrations for the new year. If you’re like me (which I think you are), and plan your sparkly outfits beforehand – makeup is usually something that you just kind of wing on the day. Even before my love for dressing up, makeup has always been my passion. In fact, I attended makeup school & worked in the cosmetics industry before I returned to complete my arts degree. It’s fun and creative, but more importantly, makeup is a lot less intimidating than everyone makes it out to be! If you’ve been scouting YouTube or Pinterest for festive makeup inspired looks, I have one more look I’ve prepared for you guys. This easy step-by-step holiday makeup tutorial, which you can definitely adjust and customize for yourself! It may take a bit of practice, but I promise once you get the hang of it – this look will only take you 10 minutes tops!! And you can easily transition this look for evening makeup looks in the new year.

Are you ready? LET’S DO THIS!


I’ve already applied my BB Cream and made up my eyebrows. I suggest that if you’re just starting out, to hold off on the BB Cream, foundation, or concealer part. If you’re new at handling a makeup brush, you MAY get some eyeshadow fallout below your eyes which can be a pain to remedy once you’ve already applied your foundation. I recommend starting with your eyes first, and then applying your foundation after for a flawless finish. I’m still recovering from studying from exams and Christmas binging, so apart from some lighting adjustments, I’ve left out the heavy photoshop and filter effects to give you guys the most realistic outcome for this look (so please excuse the eye bags)!

The first item I used was the 24 Hour Extended Eye Base by Mac Cosmetics ($27 CAD). I can’t even begin to explain my love for this product! I’m a huge fan of makeup primers (perhaps I’ll do a post on that soon), & this one is my ultimate favourite to apply before eye products. I have hooded eyes, so my eye products have a tendency to bleed onto the skin near my brows. When I use this eye base however, I never run into that issue. I also have normal to dry skin, and often I find that primers flake on my skin. With this product, there is no flaking, OR greasy residue if you tend to have oily eye lids. It can easily be applied with clean finger tips.

The second product is the Pro Paint Pot by Mac Cosmetics ($26 CAD). It’s a highly pigmented, long-wearing eye base which can be applied on its own – or before eyeshadow. Adding two primers at this point will really ensure your eye makeup will last all day/night! The colour I used was a limited edition called Fancy Frosting, but you can find similar reflective shades in Vintage Selection (frosted peach), and Bare Study (gold pearl). You won’t be needing too much of this product anyway, since we will be dipping into eyeshadow as well. But as you can see, it allows us to work on a sparkly base from the start.

On top of the base, I added a light dusting of the Nyx Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Eyeshadow in White Pearl ($3 CAD). I’ve had this product for YEARS, and I still have SOOO much left. For $3, it will seriously last you your lifetime. To apply this, I used the #239 brush by Mac ($30 CAD), but it’s hella overpriced, & any eyeshadow brush will do! I also recommend putting just a bit in the inner corners of your eyes to really make them pop!

Next, on the outer edges of my eyelids I very gently applied Makeup Forever Artist Shadow in Black ($26 CAD), which is a matte finish eyeshadow that is easily blendable. This product is very pigmented but as you can see, I applied very little to the corners of my eyes. Feel free to go in with more if you prefer! It’s always better to start off with a little amount and build up the colour, as opposed to going straight in with a ton of product on your brush. Remember, it’s easier to add than take away product, so slowly keep building up. If you find that it looks a bit muddy, use a clean brush and apply a  flesh tone eyeshadow colour on it, while making small circles surrounding the muddy area with your brush to clean up the look.

As you can see, I’ve cleaned up the eyes a little with a lighter eyeshadow which is similar to my skintone, entitled Vanilla by Mac ($16 CAD). I also applied just a touch of a taupe colour called Coquette to the outer corners to give them more depth. You can definitely add any brown, grey, or taupe colours to the corners if you want to add to the look.

I then applied one of my favourite black liquid eyeliners called Scandal Eyes by Rimmel London. You can easily purchase this product from any major drugstore or department store. Adding liquid eyeliner really makes the eyes pop with contrast! Pro tip: apply black eyeliner pencil on your top eye line (just under your eyelashes), for added drama. 

I then used another product which is no longer available from MAC for my mascara, BUT good news, it wasn’t my favourite. On a side note, I’m currently loving Hydra Lash Nourishing Mascara by Joe Fresh ($12 CAD), which is available Shoppers Drug Mart. It’s enriched with argan oil, and gives lashes a softer finish, which I prefer.

At this point, our eyes are done and we’re ready to move to my favourite part …. LIPS!!!

To begin, I use Mac Prep + Prime Lip ($17.50 CAD). Enough Mac products yet? Haha. Hands down, this is my favourite product EVER. Even if I’m not wearing lipstick, this product doubles as a lip chap. I used to never wear matte lipsticks because my lips flaked, and it just made my lips look awful by the end of the day. Not to mention, I hated how dry they felt. This product has allowed me to fall in love with matte products because it makes such a soft base to apply matte products, and I seriously never need to reapply my lip products if I’m wearing this! 10/10 I WOULD RECOMMEND.

I then applied Ruby Woo Lip Liner ($17.50 CAD), all over my lips!

I then used Red Jade Retro Matte Lip Colour ($21 CAD), which is a liquid-suede lip colour that is true to colour and super long-lasting! After applying lip products, we’re done!!

Selfie Ready

And there you go, guys! A super-easy makeup look just in time for NYE!!! What are your plans? Any sparkly parties I NEED to be aware of? I’ll probably just be staying in with family, which has always been my favourite way to bring in the new year.

Let me know if you guys try this look, or if you’d like to see more beauty How-To Tutorials in the future!

Take care & keep warm!! <3

SHOP THE LOOK

Holiday Gift Guide: Alternative Ideas

Ah, Christmas. Although I’m not a fan of winter, I can’t deny how much I love Christmas. I especially love living in the city around this time… the lights, the glittering snow, the music…it’s all so magical! I’m going to be blunt here for a second and say that all of the magic gets blurred out with consumerism, though. I will admit, when I was a kid, I obviously loved the gifts and the idea of Santa, but now that I’m an adult, it’s not really something I support. Even in my early teens, when my parents asked me what I wanted, I’d respond with “I’m good. I don’t need anything”.  I’m more excited about sitting with my family and enjoying their time, especially  during Christmas dinner.  I’m already not a fan of malls, and when you add the pressure of purchasing gifts for multiple people, it just adds stress to the season (for me, anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE shopping for others…but I always think in the back of my mind that there are others who are less fortunate, and who could benefit from receiving a gift. I just think it’s silly that a bunch of adults who are perfectly capable of purchasing their own items wait for Christmas to receive material goods from one another.

I guess what I’m trying to say is maybe reconsider material gifts this year? If not for others, then for yourself. Maybe instead of asking for that $300+ Kitchen Aid batter mixer, ask others to make a donation to your favourite charity because in all honesty, you probably have more than enough shit. We’re all th ultimate hoarders with our gadgets, technology, makeup, clothes, etc., and I say enough! Focus on the gifts that won’t be around forever: cooking/baking with your family, appreciating family traditions, having a cup of hot cocoa with good company, attending a Christmas market, etc.

I’ve been noticing a lot of Perfect Gift Guides posts lately, and while it is the season, I wanted to take a different approach and offer a Perfect Gift Guide that doesn’t involve material goods. I promise I’m not the Grinch….probably more of a Cindy Lou Who 🙂

1: Charity Donation

As I already mentioned, giving back is a gift in itself. If someone asks what you want, ask them to make a donation to your favourite charity, their favourite charity, or BOTH. This is also a wonderful gift for someone else because who isn’t pro-being a good person, pro-saving the world, and/or pro-kindness? Hopefully the person in your life is pro-all those things!! 😛

2: A Pet

This is my personal favourite. PREPARE TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF SANTA CLAUSE EVER. Adopting a puppy, cat, etc. is an incredible gift that ensures love, loyalty, and….lots and lots of patience! Heads up though, because you want to make sure that the person receiving a pet would be 100% okay with the idea.  Remember to consider adoption because there are lots of fur babies and older animals that are in need of loving homes.

3: An Experience

Is someone constantly talking about how much they want to take up drumming, yoga, ballet dancing, etc.? Consider gifting someone a lesson or a class for an experience they have always wanted to try, or something they already love doing. As I mentioned in my post about my anxiety, Mark gifted me an unlimited yoga class membership, which was such an incredible gift in helping me personally and physically! You can read more about that post here. Experiences win everytime. Another fun idea is Season Passes. They can be used for Museums, National Parks, Amusement Parks, etc.! If you especially want to have a fun time, try WINE TASTING.

 

Introducing my Frenchie, Rory!

4: Prepare a Meal

This one works really well if you want to give Mom (or whomever does the cooking) a day off. In my home, Mark and I will cook each other meals all the time, and it’s something that shows your appreciation for the other person. Cooking or baking for someone is very personal, and there is no faking that love! It’s always nice to come home to a home-cooked meal, especially when it includes all the flavors you and/or someone else enjoys. If you want to be extra cute, create a little menu and give it to them before hand so that they can decide what they’d like to you make for them!

5: Your Expertise

Are you a fashion lover? Provide your expertise and help them organize their closet, or styling their outfits. Makeup or Hair guru? Give them a fun makeover! Plumbing? Unclog their toilet. LOL. The point is, use something you’re good at to help them out. They’ll appreciate it.

I hope after reading this post, it has inspired you (even a little), to reconsider material goods as Christmas gifts.  What are your thoughts on gifts? On no gifts? Is there anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments!! I love hearing from you guys.

Wishing you a stress-free season in the meantime xx

OOTD: Ruffle Sleeve Trend

Hi, lovelies! I hope you all are having a productive week. I am down 2/3 exams (my last one is December 15th), and I CANNOT wait to have my celebratory alcoholic drink when I finish the last one because boyyy, do I ever need one!! Aside from studying, I did arrange some time to see the new Christian Dior exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. If you’ve been following me on Instagram and saw IG my stories, you know just how amazing it was! I was in sparkle heaven! I went with my friend, Courtney, who was the perfect date because not only does she also love a good dress overload, but she also understood the historical value of the exhibition. Nothing is worse for me than going to a Museum with someone who has no interest in history, so it was so nice to go with a friend who just GETS IT. The one thing I will say, is that the exhibit was a lot smaller than I expected. Still, it added intimacy which was a nice element as exhibits at the ROM tend to be larger and overcrowded.

What I Wore:

I am beyond obsessed with the ruffle sleeve trend right now! This shirt also comes in white.

The sparkly details are always my favourite part when getting ready.

SHOP THE LOOK:

Top and necklace: M Boutique // OTK Boots: Steve Madden ON SALE // Purse: Ted Baker

Let me know if you are loving or iffy about the ruffle trend in the comment section below! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I organized my emails and phone so mine was productive AF (also, this is what my Saturday nights have become haha). Enjoy the work week!!! 2 more weeks ’til, Christmas!

 

Not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

Real Talk: How to Reduce Your Anxiety Naturally

Not a fun fashion post today. Okay, I’m going to level with you guys – I have anxiety. I know we all do to some extent, so we can all relate to this topic. I really hesitated writing a post about this because I wasn’t am not sure how I feel about it, but F it. I am in no way a medical professional, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject from my own personal experiences share some of the helpful ways I deal with anxiety.

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder two years ago. For those of you wondering, it is essentially like going up on a roller coaster with absolutely no idea when it will go down. You’re scared of the drop, a little excited, but in the end you know you’ll have to endure it. Anxiety is like going up, never knowing when it’s coming down, and not knowing what you’re enduring. Okay, this is the case for me anyway.

I’m very lucky that my anxiety is not intense. I’m able to live my life quite normally, and not have it hold me back. This is not the case for everyone, and that’s okay. People handle situations differently based on what tools, resources, support, etc. they have, and we can’t judge anyone for things they can’t change. While we may not be able to change our genetic makeup,  I’ve found that there are ways to combat anxiety naturally. I am not a girl who likes to take pills…even for headaches. I will literally try everything natural before it has to come to that. Luckily, I’ve experimented and found some things which really work for me, and that hopefully will work for you also! So if that’s something that might be of interest to you, read on..

Unplug from Social Media

If you take anything away away from this post today, it should be this: as fun and entertaining as it is to be plugged in – it may be doing you more harm than good. In a world like today where technology is constantly buzzing around us, and people can instantly reach us, there is absolutely zero time for ourselves. It’s a known fact that social media can impact our lives negatively (including our health). It practically forces you to compare yourself to others through curated feeds which are more often than not total bullshit. When I feel like I have unexplained anxiety, I turn off my phone and I don’t go near it for either a few hours or the entire day and I promise it helps. If you’re worried that people will be pissed at you because you aren’t replying to their texts (hello! anxiety trigger), lose those people. Those people suck. If you’re like me and work 24/7 and are worried about losing productivity, don’t. Trust me, it’s never worth it. PUT THE PHONE AND COMPUTER AWAY!

Surround Yourself With Amazing People

It’s really that simple. What’s that saying, you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with? Yea. Maybe their bad energy might be rubbing off on you. People who constantly complain about their life without rectifying their situations, are full of excuses, never take responsibility for their actions, speak negatively, aren’t genuine, make you feel like bad about yourself & your values, etcetc. WILL GIVE YOU ANXIETY. Get yourself a group (or one person) who makes you feel good. If there are more cons than pros to having that person around, it’s time to reevaluate your people. I used to be a person who had so many friends. But quality over quantity, guys. I have a much smaller group now but I truly love them. I honestly talk about how much I love them all the time. You want that. FIND THAT. And if you can’t find it, shoot me a message and I will be that person, because I basically like everyone and I promise I’m a hoot. 🙂

Yoga and/or Meditate

I’m obsessed with Yoga. Last year during exams, Mark surprised me with a membership where I can take unlimited yoga classes, and I try my best to take advantage of this gift. If you think Yoga isn’t for you, keep at it. I had tried it a few times before and never got into it, but when I really wanted to take care of myself and my anxiety – I pushed myself to go for it. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how wonderful I feel now after a yoga session now. What I love most about it besides it making me feel so relaxed – is seeing the progress in the strength and flexibility of my body. I’m actually amazed. You can even do yoga at home if pricing is an issue as there are some really fantastic YouTube guides to get you started. If you’d like me to share my favourite yoga channels, let me know below in the comments. Otherwise, practice breathing/meditating for a few minutes everyday. I promise only good things.

Pursue Your Interests / Learn About Your Interests

If Yoga really isn’t for you, don’t force yourself to do it. I always try to try everything twice. First to experience, and the second time to confirm if it’s for me. If you like running, knitting, swimming, etc. make it a habit. Anything involving exercise is usually a safe bet to make you feel better because, science. But if physical activity isn’t your thing, it can even come down to cooking your favourite meal. Don’t know how to cook? READ A COOK BOOK. These are the type of mental distractions which are super healthy, and will make you feel GOOD.

Write Things Down

I’m a huge note taker, planner enthusiast, and time management freak. I like to be as organized as possible with my time, and I put 100% of my attention into whatever I am focusing on. This used to be so problematic because I would try to multitask 5+ things as once and instead of completing a task and moving on, it would lead to me having so many unfinished projects. This was my biggest anxiety trigger (discussed more in next point), and I knew from a young age that I needed to not continue managing my life this way. Now, I make a list of goals I want to accomplish everyday (every week, month, etc) and write them down on paper. Yes, paper. It’s so interesting that when everything is dancing in your head, it can feel stressful, but when you write things down and see it on paper, it becomes less overwhelming. Also, it’s the best feeling EVER to cross something off your list when it’s accomplished. Give it a try!

Know Your Anxiety Triggers

Try to learn and understand what is making you feel anxious. To conclude on the above, I try to stay away from negative people, excessive technology use, and poorly managing my time as these are my main triggers. Taking the time to understand your own anxiety will do wonders in preventing it from happening.

Get It In

Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. No further explanation necessary.

 

I hope some of these work for you! I also recently launched The Sparkle Style Facebook page, so if you like my posts so far please go and follow me HERE!

Have a magical week! xx