NEW YEAR

sweater set

It has been a while. I know. 

Every time in the past two months that I sat down to post my blog post, something seemed to have come up and stop me. However, enough is enough and I am back!

So since my last blog post, I have successfully completed my first semester at HEC. I never thought I would consider myself a "business-minded" person, but turns out, I was too quick to judge. I am really enjoying the school, the classes I am taking and have met some really great people. I realized that the fast-pace corporate world is completely different than what I'm used to, but I'm loving every minute of it.

sweater set
sweater set

  There are so many fall/winter trends that I loved. I actually took these pictures in November, but this is still suitable for wintertime. I find that a sweater set is chic, comfortable and can easily be worn both casually and elegantly.

My favorite trend as of now is the slip dress/ turtleneck trend. This 90's look has made a huge comeback and I'm all for it.  

sweater set

What I'm wearing: Sweater set: ZARA, similar: Mango (here), (here) Guess: Very similar and great deal! (here), Similar sweater from Guess (here), Shoes: ALDO, Similar from ALDO and on sale (here), and (here), Bag: BCBG

I actually wanted to do a drugstore roundup of my latest favourite items! 

1. Loréal Voluminous Lash primer : I cannot rave enough about this product. It does exactly what those high end, pricy, fibre primers do, at a fraction of the cost. People ask me if I am wearing false lashes with this primer (it's 12-14$, end of story). (here)

 

 

 

2. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer: I was really impressed with the consistency and opacity of this bronzer. It is also a perfect shade, not to orange, and not no muddy brown or ashy. It is definitely comparable to the Hula Benefit Bronzer (around 16$). (here)

 

 

 

 

 

3. Color Pop Churro Highlighter: Guys. This is the highlighter of my dreams. No it is not as finely milled as the Becca opal, but it is 8$. Yes you read that right. It gives me the most amazing golden glow, I wear it everyday and it's definitely the one I reach for the most. (here)

 

 

image source: Temptalia 

image source: Temptalia 

4. Maybelline Lipstick in "touch of spice" and "peach buff": I mix these two together for the perfect nude. They have a really great formula and for around 8$ each, are a great drugstore find! (image: touch of spice)

5. Essie Gel Couture polish. I cannot rave enough about this nail polish formula. It actually lasts 14 days without chipping. The catch is though, you have to also purchase the top coat. My favorite colors are: model clicks, rock the runway (gorgeous red), and "pre show jitters" (perfect nude). 

 

These are amazing products that are now part of my daily makeup routine. I actually end up reaching for them more often than their high-end counterparts.

Have a great week! 

xoxo 

Laetitia 

Fall Casual Chic

fall casual chic

Hello again! Well, it's official, midterms are over and school has officially gone from enjoyable to panic-ridden. It happens every year, and yet, I always seem to be surprised when this time rolls around. 

fall chic

Today I want to discuss fall fashion must-haves. This is basically my wish-list/fall purchases that I have been coveting. One trend that I have actually found interesting, is the ensemble I'm wearing today. I have recently seen this trend of wearing a turtleneck underneath a dress appearing everywhere from top models, to forever 21. I actually think it's great because it allows us to recycle a few of our more classic summer dresses in the fall and wintertime.  

Okay so let's talk fall trends: 

TOP 5 FALL TRENDS 

  1. I think I can sum up the biggest trend, in my opinion in 3 words; VELVET, VELVET, VELVET. A little dramatic, I know, but I really do find that the fabrics of the season are deep jewel-toned velvets. 
  2. Thigh-high boots. They are so versatile because they can be worn as flats for an everyday casual version with jeans, or can be purchased as a heel to dress up any outfit. I loved the fact that Zara created multiple pairs of these trendy boots at every price point. I personally didn't feel the need to buy an 300$+ leather pair because they are such a trendy item. I also find leather a little stiff, and this is the type of boot that you really want to mold to your legs. Aldo actually makes a nice imitation of the super luxurious Stuart Weitzman version, but for half the cost, HERE
  3. Embellishment & Embroidery. This type of ornate fashion is making a huge comeback. Zara has some really beautiful embroidered military jackets and bombers, as well as tons of dresses and knitwear with beautiful patterned stitching. This one from Zara is really nice, and is so detailed and structured yet can still be feminine. I am also coveting this amazing embellished sweater from Banana Republic. I was swooning over it in the store, but when I looked at the price tag, couldn't quite pull the trigger and buy it (waiting for a sale, fingers crossed). 
  4. Camel coloured coats. I have been on the lookout for the perfect camel wool coat and have come up empty handed. Sure there are some amazing options our there, but they were either too expensive, or too bulky. The oversized wool coat is so ON-trend this season, yet it is such a classic item that keeps coming back each season. My wish list coat is this one from Mango. It is a perfect combination of all my favourite things in a coat, belted, with the wide collar and wool (even though it is off white, and not camel). This is a nice structured one from Mango. I also love this one from ASOS, as well as this belted peacoat from Banana Republic. Lastly, this version from H&M is super affordable, yet still 50% wool! 
  5. Sequins. My friends, once again, the Holiday time has come, and along with it, the return of the sequins. I actually love sequins when done tastefully. A word of advice, a sequined piece is the main event. There is no need to accessorize or overdo hair and makeup when wearing a sequin dress, skirt or blazer. I recently bought this version from H&M and I LOVE it. It is definitely a "wow" dress because of the low back detail.  I also love this really effortless looking gold version from H&M as well. 

This outfit is actually really comfortable and the Zara sweater is SO soft. I have worn it at lest 5 times to school already, and I always get compliments on it! I wear this to school with more opaque tights and flat leather boots instead of the thigh-high ones. 

fall casual chic
An actual naturally smiling candid shot...

An actual naturally smiling candid shot...

What I'm Wearing: Sweater: Zara , Dress: Zara, Similar : H&M Zip Dress (They now have online shopping!!), Thigh-high boots: Zara : Black version , I have the black version, but I die over this red velvet version from Zara as well. Tights: I'm almost positive they are from the dollar store.

I honestly love how THE DAY after Halloween, the shopping mall's send their elves to work all night and set up all the Christmas decorations. In North America, we apparently waste no time when it comes to setting up for the holiday season. Yet, I don't even mind because the decorations are so charming. 

That's all for now!

xo,

 

Sweater Weather

Sweater weather

Fall is finally here and I couldn't be happier. October is my favourite month because; 1. it's my birthday month, 2. leaves change colours, 3. sweater weather, 4. thanksgiving (sorry my fellow Americans, but thanksgiving is in October, not November). The only thing I don't care for in Fall are those pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. I ordered that unnaturally orange, sugar-filled concoction twice in my life: the first and the last (no disrespect to all you PSL lovers out there💛 ). 

sweater weather
sweater weather

I really do love anything fall-related, especially being outdoors during these cooler days. These brisk, but not to cold days are my favourite days of the year. 

sweater weather

Tip Tuesday

Okay so the choker I am wearing in these pictures looks like any other store-bought choker right? Well, it's not. I could not justify spending 17+ dollars on any of the Aldo (or other accessories stores) chokers, so I decided to make my own. 

This choker costs me 1.50$ and 20 minutes of my time (what better bargain could a girl ask for)!

Step-by-step guide: 

Step 1: Go to your local fabric store (here in Montreal, try Fabricville) and buy about 1.5 meters of leather string 

Step 2: take any pair of old or broken jewelry (I used a broken pair of Forever 21 earrings, but any type of "bead" will work) and attach one to each end. Tie a knot to secure the bead and there you have it. 

Two whole steps, 20 minutes and 2$... I know, very demanding. 😉

sweater weather
sweater weather
sweater weather

What I'm Wearing 

Sweater: Zara (EXACT) , Jeans: TOPSHOP, Jamie Moto , Belt: Western belt - Simons (one of the absolute best belts I've ever owned - I pair it with everything), Boots: Zara (again these are definitely a fall favorite, they are affordable, easy to wear and not too high - I have been wearing them non stop), Choker: see above DIY method!! 

I have to say, I find with some seasons, the Zara collections are very much hit or miss. However, I am exceptionally impressed with this fall/winter collection. If you guys are looking to snag some trendy (or even classic) items this fall, definitely check out Zara (for my fellow Montrealers, I promise you Carrefour Laval is the best one in the city and well worth the trip). 

I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving!!!

xo

Favourite Travel Makeup

favourite travel makeup

Normally when I go on vacation, 50% of my suitcase is dedicated to makeup & beauty products. However, this time, I really skimped as much as I could and stuck only to what was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. 

I was in Greece in August, so it's safe to say, it was HOT. I needed quick, easy makeup that would last throughout the day with minimal retouching. 

When it comes to makeup, I am usually very high maintenance. I have about 40,000 products, and use them all. 

However, I have narrowed it down to my travel must-haves. 

 

Primer: Givenchy Mister Mat Matifying Foundation primer

I have super oily skin, and this primer, for the most part, kept me matte all day long. 

Foundation: It Cosmetics - Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+

This CC cream is so light yet gives amazing coverage. Dust it off with a little finishing powder, and it won't budge. I really love this "foundation" because it doesn't leave you with that heavy makeup feeling, in fact you can't feel this product on your face at all. I wear the color "light". 

Concealer: Bare Minerals Complete Coverage Serum Concealer 

This concealer is also super light, never "cakey", and lasts all day long. I have been obsessed with it, and it's now the only one I reach for. 

Bronzer: For all over: MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Sun Power

This is my absolute favorite bronzer, because it doesn't leave a powdery finish and actually melts onto your skin. The color is VERY pigmented, so definitely use a light hand. 

For contouring: NARS Laguna Bronzer 

If you want to go the EXTRA mile (if you're a makeup junkie like me), the MAC bronzer is a little to warm toned for contouring however, the NARS Laguna is the absolute perfect shade. 

Blush: NARS Blush in the color Orgasm

Eyeliner: Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Penny Lane

This eyeliner is amazing for brown eyes (the color really makes them pop)! My best tip is to apply it on your top line and then smudge it with your finger. It doesn't make it look as harsh and gives the most subtle smokey eye. 

Brows: Color Pop Bangin' Brunette Pencil

This is the most amazing brow product I have ever used, and best of all, it's only 5$, yes you read that right. 

Eyelash Curler: I use this one from Shiseido, it's 10 years old and still in perfect condition

An absolute must (it looks scary, almost like a torture device, but I promise you it makes the most noticeable difference). By curling your eyelashes, it "opens up" the eyes and makes you look more awake. Also, a word of advice, do not buy a cheap brand or you run the risk of pulling out your eyelashes. 

Mascara: Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara 

This Mascara is 4$ from Pharmaprix and it is my absolute favourite. It is better than any 40$ high end mascara, and even trumps the OG Loréal Voluminous. 

Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

I don't think this highlighter needs any explanation. In one word, it's perfection. 

Finishing Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray - Travel Size

This is the product that will hold everything in place! By getting the travel size, you save space and it's only 17$! 

IMG_9663.jpg

I absolutely swear by these products, and although it seems like a lot, I was able to fit all of these products into one small makeup bag (pencil case size). One that you can throw in your day bag in case you ever want to touch up. 

What I'm wearing: Skirt: Zara, Crop Top: Zara (Can you tell I like Zara!?)

xox

So what are your favourite travel makeup items? Let me know in the comments! (I always love trying new products)

Paradise in Mykonos

mykonos

Hey there! It has definitely been way too long since I've last posted on my blog. Why have I been so absent? I have been busy jet-setting around the world. Okay, maybe not around the world, but around Greece instead. 

mykonos

My best friend Jordana and I both had extremely stressful summers and just needed a break. We actually booked this trip SO last minute, which is SO unlike us. We kept joking the entire time that it usually takes us longer to figure out dinner plans than it did to book this trip. 

We went Greek Island hopping, and it was the perfect balance of crazy nights and lazy days.

Our adventure actually started out in Athens. We saw the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Archeological museum, the Ancient Agora and the first modern Olympic Stadium (which was nice to see during the actual summer Olympics). 

We then embarked on a 5 1/2 hour ferry ride, where I was seasick the entire time (and did I mention it was 6am!?). The Greek ferry experience is an interesting one to say the least. It was described to me as "organized chaos" but I would just call it chaos. When the ferry arrived in Mykonos, everyone rushed to the bottom level to find their suitcase in a state of panic. Then, the giant "doors" open and there is a huge mass of people trying to exit the ferry all at once (did I mention I was seasick? lol). 

Anyways, we were staying at the Paradise beach resort, and let me tell you, this is the place to be. It is directly on the beach, but is also 2 minutes away from the two biggest clubs on the island. However, if partying is not your thing, than I would definitely skip out on this resort, because the party goes until 7 am (essentially every night, or morning?). We stayed in the "apartment-type rooms" and although it was a little further up from the beach, the beautiful view made it worth it. 

mykonos
mykonos

Besides being extremely well located, the resort itself was really nice (it's still a "hostel" though, so have realistic expectations). During the day, you can rent these huge beach daybeds with a parasol for about 10 euros, and the party starts at around noon at the Tropicana or Guapaloca Beachclubs. There are multiple DJ's, a huge dance floor and all the food and drinks you could want (really, what more could you ask for in life)!

However, if you want to venture out into the main town to see those iconic windmills, the city bus stop is located right outside the resort. For about 2 euros, you can hop on the bus (we did several times) and be dropped off in the main town in under 20 minutes. 

Definitely have your Iphone fully charged or bring your camera, because the picturesque views are what Mykonos is famous for. 

 

Note that Mykonos is known to be one of the more expensive Islands due to the constant influx of A-list celebrities that are known to vacation here.

Mykonos

Another amazing thing about Mykonos, is that big DJ's are known to come perform at the clubs here (Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Nervo, Afrojack were all there a couple days before we were). We got to go see Benny Benassi perform at CAVO during our stay! What's funny is that the DJ only shows up at like 3:45 am in this club (where as in Montreal, you're being hauled out of the clubs at 3am). 

The main town is absolutely beautiful, but beware, they are not kidding when they say that Mykonos is known to be the "windy city". Nine times out of ten in my pictures, I am being engulfed by my unruly hair flying every which way. 

Mykonos

You can't come to Mykonos without exploring their ever-winding streets, appreciating the beautiful and unique architecture, or enjoying one of their iconic sunsets (I kid you not, these pictures really need #nofliter). 

Mykonos

Now is the time where I need to give a special shout-out to my best friend Jordana. She really helped me get all this amazing content for my blog/instagram throughout this entire trip. For someone who is such a "live in the moment" person, she literally followed me through Greece behind the camera lens. She really is an amazing friend for putting up with my photo-taking insanity and did it all with a smile on her face and not a single complaint. 

So, Jordana, I infinitely thank you & dedicate this post to you! 

Mykonos

I also have to mention a highlight of my time in Mykonos, I got to meet one of my absolute FAVOURITE bloggers (Christine from Hello Fashion Blog ). I actually had a fan girl moment (to the point where it was a little embarrassing). One morning, I see one of her snaps in Mykonos, and I actually start freaking out (Jordana said she had never seen me this excited). Then fast forward a couple hours later, we are walking through the main town, and in one of those winding little streets, I see her! I walk up to her and introduce myself (at first she looked confused because I don't think she realized I recognized her from her blog). But nonetheless, she was super sweet and even took a picture with me!

So, onto the outfit

Dress: Zara (during the semi-annual sale), Sandals: Aldo (similar-ish), Sunglasses: Ray-Ban, Bag: H&M (7$!!)

xo

Floral Vibes

floral skirt

Today is July 25th. When did this happen!? This summer is flying by so quickly, it's honestly alarming. I seriously can't believe that I am starting school in a month. I mean, where did the time go? Anyways, I digress. 

Today I want to talk about taking fashion risks. My personal style is pretty cookie-cutter in the sense that I have a general look that I gravitate towards. I occasionally like to incorporate "trendy" pieces (*cough cough* to my off-the-shoulder obsession this summer), but I mainly stay in the "classic with a twist" area. 

When I came across this skirt from Forever 21, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. This is NOT usually something I would pick up, but I just couldn't leave it. I brought it home and both my sisters immediately HATED it, and vocalized their opinion without hesitation. Think Regina George "that is the ugliest effing skirt I've ever seen" reaction.  I began doubting my purchase, but nonetheless decided to stick with it (aka forgot about it, and then the 21 days had passed... whoops).

floral skirt

I was really doubting this skirt because it was SO far out of my comfort zone. However, after doing this blog post, and reviewing the pictures, I realized that I actually really loved this look. It felt classy, ladylike and would be perfect to wear to a fancy brunch, a daytime wedding, or a synagogue/church event. I took a fashion risk, that felt quite out of my comfort zone and in the end, I actually really liked it. #LifeLesson #WordsOfWisdom #ClichéAF

I had seen this "midi skirt look" SO many times on Pinterest, but it was always either on super skinny fashion bloggers, or on tall, long-legged models. I tried to picture myself wearing a skirt like this, and couldn't help but think "I will look like a troll".  Yet, my point is that sometimes going out of your comfort zone isn't the worst thing in the world...

Sometimes the risk pays off and sometimes it doesn't (and in this case, I defs think I get at least an "A" for effort... okay maybe a B-).  

For example, whoever thought that brown liquid lipstick was a good idea (I'm looking at you Kylie Jenner) was clearly out of their mind. No offence to any lovers of this trend, but "True Brown" flatters no one.

It honestly looks like your lips are diseased and this trend needs to die asap. 

However, regardless of my personal opinion (I really didn't hold back there eh?), I commend girls everywhere for taking such a bold beauty risk!! (but for real, dump the lip-kit). 

Basically, YOU DO YOU GURL. (*and boys*)

My Outfit: Skirt: Forever 21, Similar - ASOS, Similar - ASOS, Strapless Top: H&M, Similar - Forever21, Also strapless but cropped - Forever21Shoes: ALDO (Exact and 50% OFF!)

xox

Off-the-shoulder is the new strapless

summer style
summer style

Hey there, it's been a while since I've last posted. Ironically I had more free time during the school year than I do now. 

Anyways, let's talk summer trends. Basically, if you do not own anything off-the-shoulder, what are you even doing with your life!? Totally kidding. However, in reality, this "cold shoulder" look is the hottest trend of the summer, and definitely my favourite thus far. 

The off-the-shoulder trend is actually quite easily wearable. You can thrown on a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts or even a skirt. My personal favourites are off-the-shoulder dresses and rompers because that one piece is your entire outfit (no need to mix and match pieces from your wardrobe). 

Surprisingly, off-the-shoulder isn't the only 90's trend to make a major comeback. Chokers, bodysuits, slip dresses and denim skirts have made it from the runway, to the top models, to Forever21. Denim skirts especially have made a huge comeback.  However, this is not your mom's 90's-esque denim skirt. This new trend is equally versatile and can be dressed up, or down. Going downtown? Throw on a crop top and a pair of wedges. Going for lunch? Add a nice pair of gladiator sandals,  a white T-shirt, a crossbody bag and a pair of statement earrings. 

When I first saw that denim skirts were making a comeback, I honestly laughed. In my mind those skirts were SO 2006 and were usually accompanied by those hideous Hollister polo's or leggings underneath (by the way, I am totally guilty of this fashion crime, *enter elementary school photographic evidence*).  The last time I wore a denim skirt, I was at sleep-away camp and thought that smearing black eyeliner all over my eyes and side-bangs were cool. I then saw Marianna Hewitt (who is stylish AF) wear one and I was like "okay i'll give this a shot". 

Side note: I was shooting this look at the Resort in Estérel, Quebec (Up-North), and this random rainbow happened. The funny thing about blogging is that there are always people around when you're taking pictures. It usually leads to some funny looks thrown your way, but I always just try to laugh it off. 

Summer Trends 2016 (aka everything on sale now!) 

1. Bombers // Zara, Mango, Forever21

2. Choker necklaces // Forever21 (The biggest selection and super affordable!)

3. Slip Dresses // I have one like THIS ONE but shorter

4. Denim skirts 

5. Off-the-shoulder tops

6. Statement earrings 

7. One pieces (swimwear and bodysuits) // Zara (The best quality in my opinion) 

8. Midi-dresses

9. Dress, sneaker combo. For the first time in forever, it is actually acceptable to go out wearing a dress and sneakers and I couldn't be happier about it. I personally like wearing converse with my dresses. Although I was coveting the infamous Stan Smith's for a while, I can't even fathom how many people have those shoes and I didn't want to be a #follower. I recently got these Wishbone shoes instead and I'm LOVING them.

10. High-slit maxi skirts 

What I'm wearing: Top: H&M (very similar, Forever21)  , Jean Skirt: Second Co. (similar Forever21), Earrings: H&M (exact), Sunglasses: Ray-Ban, Shoes: ALDO (similar)

What are your favorite summer trends!? 

Have a great week

xo

Graduated!!!

graduation

Hello again! 

Yesterday I graduated from university!! I obtained my Bachelor's degree (B.Sc) in Microbiology and Immunology (sounds fun right)!? Honestly, I really loved my graduation ceremony because it left me with wonderful memories regarding my degree. Now, when I think back to these past three years, instead of remembering all the caffein-ridden sleepless nights, the endless lab work and the stressful exams, I will remember this beautiful day where I was awarded a degree for all my hard work. 

This program definitely pushed me to my limits and there were times where I felt as though I couldn't see the "light at the end of the tunnel". However, I am so happy to have gone through it, because not only did I acquire tons of (science) knowledge, but I also feel such a sense of accomplishment. 

This is the moment I actually got my degree! Is it the most flattering picture? No lol. However, it is a moment that I will truly cherish forever. 

This is the moment I actually got my degree! Is it the most flattering picture? No lol. However, it is a moment that I will truly cherish forever. 

One of the things that made me laugh was that almost everyone was forgetting to bring their tassel over to the other side when we got onstage! We arrive at 1:30 pm to pick up our gowns, but other than lining up, we were given no prior warning to how the day was going to go. We (the graduates) also couldn't see anything happening from backstage (to see what others were doing). So, when I got onstage I was thanking the Dean, and forgot to move my tassel over. Thankfully she did it for me (#lol)! The absolute best part of the day was that my dad was able to give me my diploma! I was especially grateful to have shared this moment with him!   

graduation
graduation

Dress: H&M (I couldn't believe that I found such a great and inexpensive dress at H&M!) Similar from ASOS Shoes: ALDO (On sale too! These are the perfect summer sandals because they are not TOO high, they are neutral, but also have a fun twist!)

Graduation

My little tidbits of advice for people graduating: 

1. Bring a snack (During all that waiting around time, I was starved)

2. Girls, set your makeup. The conditions are constantly changing (indoors, outdoors, in air conditioning, under bright lights onstage, in the sun, etc) so make sure that your makeup will stay in place all day! This means setting powder (high end: Laura Mercier, lower end: Ben Nye Luxury Banana powder) and setting spray (high end: Urban Decay, lower end: NYX)

3. Get some colour. Pictures tend to wash people out, so get a spray tan! 

4. Enjoy it. You worked hard, and you deserve it! 

I wish all my fellow Uni graduates a big congrats and best of luck in the future! 

XO

Hello Again!

spring style

Hello again! So, it has been a hot minute since I've last posted on my blog. I really didn't mean to neglect it, but somehow, life just got in the way. This past semester I had taken 7 classes (plus labs) to finish my degree in 3 years. It is finally over and I am officially a university graduate! Now time for a real job... Just kidding. I am actually continuing my studies next year, so I am not quite ready to fly-off into the "real world" just yet. 

A lot has happened these last few weeks, but I am finally able to take a breather and get back to doing the things that I love, including blogging. Sometimes during the school year, I don't even feel like a normal person. I am a cross breed of a walking zombie and a cranky toddler. This only amplifies during exam weeks. It really is amazing what a little bit of rest and like any form of mild exercise can do. However, it is not summer vacation for me just yet. I am actually writing my MCAT this summer. 

For those of you who don't know, studying for this exam is basically like having a full time job. Except for the fact that most jobs end when you leave the office (contrary to the endless studying).

All to say, that my everyday summer life is looking pretty "busy" (lol). I definitely hope to get out more, and be a little more relaxed than during "school year studying". Considering it is summer, I am trying to make more of a conscious effort to have "study hours" and "fun" hours. If any of you have fun suggestions of things to do in MTL for the summer, let me know! 

Spring style

My go-to summer outfits are basically different versions of the same thing. Dresses, dresses, followed by more dresses. 

They are my one-stop-shop because they are so easy to just throw on and be out-the-door! There are tons of stores that have super cute, affordable summer dresses. My personal favorites are Old Navy, Zara, H&M, Forever 21 (Gasp... I know), Mango, and even Gap and Banana Republic. 

Here is my Forever 21 disclaimer: the quality is "meh", at best. HOWEVER, they are always on trend and have hundreds of options to choose from. I buy a 20$ dress from there, will probably wear is 5-8 times, and then won't feel bad about getting rid of it. 

spring Style

This is actually the dress I wore to my 5-year High School reunion. I was definitely a little nervous to go. Although many of my absolute closest friends today are from High School, there is definitely something nerve-racking about seeing people for the first time in five years (especially the teachers). I find it strange to basically sum up the last five years of my life in a couple seconds over and over again. I don't want to sound like everything is "AH-MAZING" or perfect, but, on the other hand I also don't want to "undersell" what I've been doing. This is honestly sounding weirder and weirder as I type this, so I think I'm just going to quit while I'm ahead and move on... 🙈

The point is, High School was a huge part of my life, I had some amazing times, and some not-so amazing times (but I think everyone feels that way). The reunion was fun... let's talk fashion.     

Summer dresses are extremely versatile because they can be played-up or played-down. I have worn this particular dress with heels, sandals, flats and even converse. Dresses like these are key pieces in my wardrobe because they can quickly adapt to my different plans for the day (with a few minor changes). 

IMG_8409.jpg

Summer dresses are also great because they can adapt to the ridiculous weather fluctuations we have here in Montreal. One second it's 25 degrees, the next second it's pouring rain and freezing. Throw on a cardigan and you are now cold-weather ready, or switch up those flats for a nice pair of gladiator sandals (for those rare HOT days). 

Feeling the rain coming down and thinking "this is just great..."

Feeling the rain coming down and thinking "this is just great..."

I had spent a solid amount of time getting ready because I figured I would kill two birds with one stone. I would get some blog photos done and get ready for the reunion at the same time. Obviously the minute I walk outside, camera in-hand, ready to start shooting, it starts pouring rain #LifeOfABlogger. 

So, there it is, my month-long update! 

Spring Style

I hope this is going to be a great summer and I have some really fun ideas lined up for the blog that I am excited to get to! 

{ Dress: Mango, Similar, Similar, Bag: Forever 21 (Ps. How good of a Chloe look-alike is this bag?! I get compliments on it all the time, and it was only 30$!), Shoes: ALDO, Very Similar }

Also, here are my social media feeds down below: 

XO 

Plaid Spring Style

plaid skirt

Plaid Spring Style 

Weekend Update 

This past Easter weekend was very busy yet still relaxing. I can't tell you how great it is to have 4 days off of school. It really pains me to have to go back to school especially with final exams coming up. Those 2 weeks of exam prep followed by 2 weeks of actual exams are such a toxic time for me. Not only do I feel constantly drained, but I am so emotionally worn out during those weeks, that by the end, all I want to do is sleep for 2 days. The good news is that May 1st is officially summer break! I honestly plan to take the first week of May and do nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

plaid skirt
plaid skirt

Plaid Spring Style 

Okay, so maybe it is not a spring look, but hear me out; it is not yet spring in Montreal. We are having this bi-polar weather and it's driving me insane. One day it's sunny and 12 degrees, the next day it's -6 degrees and snowing uncontrollably. All this to say that I can't put away my winter wardrobe, but I need access to my summer wardrobe. To save space, every 2 seasons I always switch-out my sweaters and coats for summer dresses and light clothing. Now I have my winter wardrobe still hung-up, and boxes everywhere on my floor with my summer stuff. I honestly think mother nature decided to skip spring altogether for Montreal and sometime in June, summer will magically appear.  

plaid skirt

I wore a uniform for 5 years in highschool. It was a whole getup that drove me nuts for 5 whole years. It was everything; blazer, kilt, knee-high socks, button up shirt, vest, tie and dress shoes. Never in my life did I think I would wear plaid after graduating, or even hunter green for that matter. Yet, I actually love hunter green these days and I have like 9 plaid button-ups and 3 plaid skirts. I also love wearing skirts because they are most flattering on my body type. 

Taking An Outfit From Day-to-Night 

plaid and style

It happens more often than not that I have to go straight from school to something else. It's the oldest trick in the book, but throw on a pair of heels and a touch of lipstick and you're ready to go (I believe there is even a quote regarding what I just mentioned). I personally veer more often towards reds and deep-reds rather than pinks and other colors. I think it's because the blond hair looks best with reds, and pink looks a little too Barbie-esque. I always keep one of my red lipsticks on me in case I need to elevate any look in a moment's time. 

plaid skirt and spring style
plaid skirt

So basically, throw-on a pair of heels, a nice red lip, and out the door you go. 

That is my little update! I am excited to be DONE with school (5 weeks and counting). 

If any of you have other tips or tricks to taking an outfit from day to night, leave them in the comments below!! 

xo 

Life lately according to Insta ^

5-Minute Makeup Routine

5 minute makeup routine
Lately Laetitia Beauty

My 5-Minute Makeup Routine 

In my last post, I discussed the importance of a "fresh-faced look" and how it can complete any outfit. Well, wait no longer for my five minute makeup routine is here. 

This is actually a really interesting concept for makeup. It is called a HAC-pack (HAC being highlighting and contouring). It was created by a beauty blogger that I have followed since I was in high school. She came out with her first generation product years ago, but I was skeptical and held off. Finally, about 2 years ago, when she came out with the 2nd generation of this product, I caved. You can check out all the AMAZING transformations she does on her blog right here: Maskcara Cosmetics

So, the idea here is that instead of putting on foundation, and then highlighting and contouring, it is all-in-one. Meaning, your foundation is actually your highlighter and contour. It also includes a blush (I honestly own every single color) and an illuminator (again, I own all the colors lol). 

I have a really busy schedule. Between school, work, running this blog and trying to keep somewhat of a normal social life, I need all the sleep I can get. Being able to do my makeup in the morning in 5 minutes or less allows me to sleep in (even if it's just for 20 min). 

Just to be clear, this is not my "going-out" makeup. If I have a big night out or a fancy event, I do the whole 1h 30min makeup routine, Kim Kardashian-esque glam (dramatic, I know lol). 

Now, this is meant to be worn alone, however my skin is not nearly good enough for that. I unfortunately have too many acne-scarring problems to wear this HAC-pack solo, which is why I use a CC cream first. 

I am not wearing ANY makeup in this picture (scary, I know). At first, I really didn't want to post it because I am really self-conscious about my skin. But then I thought, what the heck, I had to give a before picture so you can appreciate the after picture.  Thank you natural lighting for making my face look as good as it can sans makeup

Ahh!! I still can't believe I posted this... 

Ahh!! I still can't believe I posted this... 

cc cream

Follow These Simple Steps: 

1. Apply a CC cream if needed, my favorite is from IT Cosmetics

2. Apply the contour color in a 3 shape, starting at your forehead, then your cheekbones, and your jawline (make the duck face)

3. Apply the highlighter in an upside triangle underneath your eyes, on your forehead, on your chin and underneath your cheek contour

4. BLEND BLEND BLEND - this is the KEY step (I use the Real Techniques Beauty Sponge)

5. Add blush on the apples of your cheeks and illuminator on your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and on your cupids-bow

6. I personally always contour my nose, it is what makes the BIGGEST difference on my face

The colors I am using are: 

Highlight: White Peach 

Contour: Ash (but I also use Stone) 

Illuminator: Honey 

Blush: Baby Watermelon (my other favorites are Ruby and Dahlia)

I also purchased the Maskcara double ended brush because it really helps with a smooth and easy application. They recently remade the brushes and even added new ones!

I would LOVE one of those new brushes. However, with our heinous Canadian exchange rate, it gets a little too expensive for me right now. I also want to add that this company has the best customer service I have ever seen (every time I contact them, they get back to me asap and are really friendly). 

These tins can be purchased individually as a re-fill, or as an all-in-0ne mirrored compact (which is very solid). It is a cream product, so because I have oily-combo skin, I need to use a setting powder (I use the Laura Mercier one). I also go in with a little extra concealer right underneath my eyes because of my dark circles (I use the Tarte Maracuja creaseless concealer or the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer). Also, if you have large pores like myself (my skin problems are really never-endless lol), I would recommend using a pore-filler, such as Benefit's Pore-fessional (a cult classic) or the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer

FInal Look

Here is the final look! Just add some lipgloss, mascara and you are good to go! I hope this was helpful, and even if you are not interested in this particular product, this is basically how I do all highlighting and contouring. 

I would love to hear what are your favorite products and please feel free to leave any comments/questions down below! 

XO 

If you liked this post, check out my other beauty-related posts right here! 



Dressed-Up Casual

Dressed up casual

Dressed-Up Casual

The Lazy-ish Guide To Looking Put-Together

This week was march break, but, I wouldn't exactly call it a break. Between the utter panic of checking for marks, working and catching up on school-work, it wasn't the most relaxing of times. I have honestly been looking forward to this week since January. Yet, it flew by, leaving me no time to actually unwind and reset myself for the challenging next few weeks. 

More often then not, I find myself reaching for comfort over style. By doing this, my "look" gets real sloppy, real fast. Am I proud of this? Absolutely not. However, there is a key element to looking put together that often gets overlooked. What is it? Makeup. 

For example, take this outfit. This look is fairly basic, yet the classic red lip takes it from boring to lazy-chic (basically my entire approach to fashion on a daily basis). 

Look Fresh-Faced And Awake

Makeup is a huge part of your look. Some people either choose to go makeup-free, or are lucky enough not to need any extra help in the beauty department. I am neither of those people. My skin is a hot mess and honestly needs all the help that it can get. I have major dark circles and the acne scars don't exactly help. What does actually help is that I am quite gifted in the beauty department. Okay, maybe not gifted. I can attribute my "mad-skillz" to the YouTube beauty guru's. 

The point is, any outfit looks infinitely better on a "fresh-faced and glowing" girl. 

I use the term fresh-faced loosely. I have many versions of a "basic" makeup look that I use. The time frame it takes me to accomplish these looks goes from 5 minutes - 45 minutes. Don't be fooled, many of the "fresh-faced" looks demand much time and many products. I will actually do a post on my absolute favorite makeup for my 5-min, on the go look (so stay tuned)!

However, if makeup scares you, here are my 3 go-to's: concealer, mascara and lipstick. Hide those dark circles and accentuate those eyes and lips.

All in all, I love using makeup as a way to play-up any look! It's definitely fun to try out new products and experiment with what's new in the makeup world. 

You can read all about the other ways you can dress up an outfit in my last blog post right here. 

I also want to add that this cardigan is the most comfortable thing I have ever worn. It is honestly like wearing a giant blanket all day. I am especially grateful for it when I am sitting in school and the temperamental heating system is acting up.  

I hope you all had a relaxing march break and are ready for the grueling weeks up ahead.  Happy Monday and I wish everyone a great week! 

This outfit: Jeans: Topshop, Shirt: Costa Blanca (old) (Similar), Cardigan: Forever21 (similar), Shoes: Aldo (Similar), Sunglasses: Ray-Ban, Bag: BCBG (Similar) (Similar)

XO

Did you like this post? Check out my other fashion-related posts right here!


Layers & Leopard

layers&leopard2

Layers & Leopard

Weekend Update

Midterm week (technically weeks) have finally ended, and I made it through alive... barely. Six midterms and countless sleepless, panic-ridden nights later, it is finally over. Thursday night, I was lucky enough to go to the Luke Bryan concert. It was amazing to say the least, and a much needed recharge. It is now March break, and I am excited to spend some down-time finishing up The Office and start the new season of House Of Cards (March 4th people).  

layers&leopard

Now, onto the article at hand...

Elevating Any Outfit

My philosophy when I shop has always remained the same. There are some things that I am I willing to splurge on. However, there are some things that I am often able to save on.  It's actually a pretty basic idea, spend money on accessories and outerwear, save money on clothing. 

This outfit was a pseudo-recreation of a similar outfit I saw on a blog I follow. I loved this look on her (the blogger), but was shocked by the price of some of the items. I'm sorry, but a turtleneck for over 240$ is actual insanity to me. Those are the types of pieces that you don't need to shell out tons of money for. You can easily wear an Old Navy or Forever 21 sweater, but still look chic and put together. The trick to elevating any outfit is pairing it with high quality accessories. A gorgeous bag, an elegant coat or a high quality pair of shoes can take any look from drab-to-fab instantly. 

Spend on Shoes 

leopardboots

I have always believed in investing in high quality pairs of shoes. Now this doesn't necessarily mean expensive. Aldo has basically been my one-stop-shop for shoes during the past few years. Most importantly, I usually try to buy leather shoes. It really makes a big difference not only in terms of look, but also in terms of comfort and durability. I have really gotten my money's worth over the years with my basic black Aldo pumps. Yet, by looking at them, you would think they were brand new. These leopard boots are definitely the most expensive pair I have ever worn, and they are my mom's (she has much better style than me). They instantly take this basic outfit, and give it the "punch" it needs. They take this look from basic, to stylish and edgy (for me at least lol). 

Coats are Key

layers and leopard

An elegant coat can be an outfit in itself. Don't believe me? Watch any episode of Scandal. Olivia Pope is strutting in and out of the White House in her gorgeous ensembles. However, the most striking part of her look (to me personally) are her beautiful coats. There is a story behind this specific coat. For those who care, this is the story (for those who don't, skip over to the next section). 

In the fall, my mom and I decided to go to the Mackage sample sale at the Old Port. We got there, paid 20$ for parking that was 10 minutes away. It was freezing and I was poorly dressed for the occasion. We finally get to Marché Bonsecours, and the line wrapped all the way around the building to Rue de la Commune. Nonetheless, we decided that we wanted those Mackage jackets. We waited outside for 2 and a half hours. After finally getting  to the front door, what do we see? ANOTHER line. We just kept going because we had already invested too much time and money into that night to leave. I was not walking out of there without a coat. I didn't end up finding a Mackage, but I did find this Soia & Kyo. I didn't even know that this brand existed before that night, but I liked the coat and it was half off. Win-win. 

leopard&layers

Save On Trends 

*Insert hair flip emoji*

*Insert hair flip emoji*

This grey marled turtleneck was $22 from Old Navy and it is identical to some that I have seen for more than $100. Things like sweaters, tops, dresses and "trend-type clothing" are where I try to save the most money. Chances are, I will get sick of the item after 2 seasons anyways. Since I probably didn't spend more than $30 on it, I won't feel bad throwing it out. Forever 21 is the dream destination for these types of items. Let's be real, their quality is one step above garbage (pronounced gar-baahge). So even if you want to keep their clothing for a while, after a handful of washes, it is just not the same.  Buy it, get your money's worth, toss it, and repeat. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that all you all enjoy the week off we so greatly deserve. Seriously, enjoy it. In 4 weeks we get to re-live the exam panic all over again. If any of you have money saving tips, leave a comment down below! 

{Outfit details: Coat: Soia & Kyo (very similar), Boots: Michael Kors (similar), Turtleneck: Old Navy (similar, American Eagle), Jeans: Topshop

10 Tips To Surviving Midterms

10 Tips To Surviving Midterms

I really do try to stay on top of my schoolwork throughout the semester. The problem in my program is that we have labs. Along with those labs come lab reports, and no, these types of reports are not your high school or CEGEP-type reports.  The accepted quality of work is close to what you would find on PubMed. However, we are not actually discovering anything (we are simply following instructions), so no one would ever actually get them published. Nonetheless, they take forever. My point is that the "little" assignments that are due weekly take precedence over studying. I now find myself, with 2 exams down, but 4 to go.

So, as much as I have tried to stay on top of my work, midterm week has crept up on me and I find myself in a slight panic (okay maybe not so slight). The first week of midterms always starts off well. I am motivated, I am not yet sleep-deprived and most importantly, I haven’t lost my will to live yet (perhaps a slight exaggeration).

This happens to me every semester, where the second wave of midterms gets pushed aside. Well now the time has come where it is do or die. 

These are my study tips to prepare for those exams. This is my survival guide for people out there like me. If you have prepared long in advance for all your exams, you can stop reading and I hate you. Take your smug, exam-ready face elsewhere…  

My 10 Tips To Surviving Midterms

Caffeine Control

1.  You might want to load up on caffeine, but don’t. If you normally drink zero coffee and start drinking 3 cups per day, you will go into a caffeine frenzy and not be able to concentrate. If you normally drink 3 cups of coffee, then stick to your three cups of coffee. Red Bull is a No-no. It has the equivalent of like 12 cups of coffee. It is poison, so stay away.

Water Intake 

2.  Water is your friend. The most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. Even if you have to pee every hour, drink up people.

Music: Soothing or Distracting?

3.  Listening to music is a double-edged sword. If you know the words to the song you will unconsciously start singing or “actively listening” along. If you can’t listen to pure silence, YouTube “white noise” or “nature study sounds”. You can choose between birds chirping, rain falling, thunderstorms and even a fire crackling. Whatever floats your boat, you can find it on YouTube.

Ditch The Phone 

4.  Do not keep your phone in front of you. The snaps will come in, the Insta notifications will pop up and there will always be a friend who “needs to talk”. You are not a bad friend, but you are pressed for time. Put the phone away and only check it once every hour (take 5 min and check everything at once). The only exception to this is when I need to text my friends a question (or call).

Learn Those Titles

5.  If you have 3 days until your exam and have just started studying, welcome to the club. Here is my trick: learn the PowerPoint titles. Legit just the titles. Once you can see what the main deal is, then go back and learn the subtitles. And so on and so forth until you have completed the PowerPoint. That way, you don’t spend time learning all the details of slide 1 but then run out of time and not even know what is on slide 114.

Get Outdoors 

6.  Take “smoke breaks”. Okay, in no way shape or form am I condoning or promoting smoking, but hear me out. Although I am not, nor have ever been a smoker, some of my friends are. When we would be studying for hours on end, they would ask me if I wanted to join them on their smoke breaks. Let me tell you, it is actually really refreshing to be outside for 10 minutes every few hours. When you are cooped up in a library all day, it can get really stuffy. Breathing in fresh air, while walking outside gave me a little burst of energy. I would then return to the library recharged and ready to keep going.

Examples Are Key

7.  Learn the examples. In my genetics class, the teacher would explain the theory and then give an example. Usually the example is to help you learn, and never something you will find on the actual test. However for this class, the test was practically exclusively the examples! For the final, I learned every single example he gave, and I noticed that it really helped me remember the theory. Because I was able to associate the boring theory with a real-life example, I ended up being able to “memorize” everything in half the time! Now this already may be obvious to everyone else, but personally, this is a new trick that I discovered.

Don't Panic, Ignore Thy Friends 

8.  Don’t panic and don’t ask questions. What I mean by that, is do not talk to your friends. Every time you ask them “Have you studied this yet” and they answer “Oh yeah, weeks ago, it is so easy”. Now you feel even worse than before. So moral of the story, ignore your organized, well prepared friends for the week.

Break-It-Up

9.  Study in time intervals. I either do 40/5, or 50/10. Meaning 40 minutes studying, 5 minutes break. It helps break up the day into little tasks instead of feeling like you have a mountain to tackle.

Get Those Zzz's 

10.  Do not pull all-nighters. It is so tempting, I know, but you need to take at least a 3-hour nap before the exam. You process information while you sleep, so you really need that time to let your mind absorb everything you just learned. 

There you have it, my study tips & tricks. I hope this has helped (even in the smallest way), and that you all ace your midterms.

Lastly, (again) , may the odds be ever in your favor. 

I promise I will get back to fashion, beauty and health next week (exam week has been a little hectic, to say the least). 

xo

You can also check out my other lifestyle-type posts (on those 5 minute study breaks ;) ) 


Winter Style

Dressing for winter has been a real challenge lately. When I am at school, my classes are in a lot of different buildings. Luckily for me, there is a way to access most buildings through the underground passage ways. This means that I can go through my whole day with almost never having to go outside. Unfortunately, I still need to dress appropriately for winter. I live in Montreal, and for those of you who dont know, it can get cold. Really cold. Yesterday it felt like it was -40°C. When I was walking from the library to the car, it honestly hurt to breathe. 

 All this to say that I have to wear the whole winter getup for those 5 minutes I am outside. However, I spend a lot of my day walking around campus (and taking the stairs) lugging around my huge jacket, scarf, hat, gloves and sweating profusely (sorry for the overshare). 

I can't wait for the day when the temperature will be mild enough to bring out those spring sweaters and ditch the 400 pound parka (I can get a wee-bit dramatic at times, I know). 

However, two weeks ago we were having lovely enough weather that I got to wear this outfit (that I love). Layering a high quality long-sleeve with a fur vest and a scarf was just the right amount to keep me warm without overheating. 

This is an outfit that can be cute while still extremely comfortable. With exams coming up, I am definitely going to make the effort to show up a little more put-together. I am honestly a little ashamed when thinking back on how I arrived to some of my previous exams. It was definitely not among my proudest moments. Although I have never shown up in actual pyjamas, I can't say that I was that far-off either. The sweatpants paired with the makeup-free face and the bags under my eyes was really not a good look for me. 

So, I just wanted to wish everyone good luck on their exams! These next two weeks will be brutal, so buckle down, don't get discouraged and may the curve be with you. The library will officially become my new home and my goal for these next two weeks will be to limit the panic attacks as to one-per-day (haha I'm only kidding... I hope). 

Smiling for now. 

*Insert motivational quote* LOL

Be a fruit loop in a world of Cheerios
— Unknown
Meredith Grey didn’t become a surgeon and get to marry McDreamy by not studying
— probably tumblr
Quit slackin’ and make sh*t happen
— Pinterest "motivation quotes"

Now that you feel inspired, get to work and may the odds be ever in your favor

Outfit details: Boots: UGG Australia, Vest: Gap (old) (Similar: F21) (Similar: F21), Jeans: TopShop, Scarf: Forever21 (Similar), Long-sleeve: Old Navy 

Did you like this post!? Check out my other fashion related posts! 

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Let's Talk Beauty

Let's Talk Beauty

When To Splurge & When To Save: Foundation Edition

Let me start by saying that I am a beauty junkie. Really, it's bad. How bad? Well, I am VIB Rouge at Sephora. For those of you who do not know what that is, it's when you spend so much money there, they give you free stuff and early access to products. All this to say, when it comes to makeup, I know my stuff. Before I buy a product, I do tons of research, as well as take samples and test it out. When it comes to foundation, I am a pro. My teenage acne-ridden years forced me to try out ALL the foundations. I have now found my personal Holy-Grail foundations, and wanted to share them with you guys!

Unfortunately, some foundations can be really pricey (I mean really $$$), so I've included an amazing drugstore option as well. 

Here is what I do: on a day-to-day basis I use the drugstore foundation. I believe I paid something like $8.00 for the drugstore one. I loved it so much, that I bought two colours and mix them according to how tanned I am.  They are amazing, and they 100% pass the time test (usually 8 hours). I have used the Fit Me (drugstore) foundation on multiple people for big events (prom, party's etc) and they remained flawless the entire night! 

Save

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation 

I have very neutral undertones, so I got one yellow-based and one pink-based foundation. Both the matte and the hydrating one are great (I personally don't see a huge difference), and I would recommend getting either. This foundation is such good quality and at such a good price point, that it didn't even bother me to buy two! 

Splurge 

Estée Lauder, YSL & Dior

Estée Lauder Double Wear - YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat - Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing

These are the top three foundations I have EVER tried (and I have tried A LOT).

Okay, so here is the down-low:

Estée Lauder Double Wear

This foundation is full coverage, looks amazing in photos, is super long-wearing and will honestly cover any imperfection on your face (acne scars, redness, hyper-pigmentation, you name it, it will cover it). The only "downside" I would say there is that it could be a little drying, so you need a really good hydrating base. This foundation is expensive, but not THAT expensive. Also, a little goes a really long way! I have had this foundation for a year (my second bottle) and have not even gone through half of it yet. This foundation has gotten me through so many bad skin days. If I ever have a big event to go, this is my go-to foundation. I know that no matter what the weather conditions are, this foundation WILL NOT budge. This is my ride-or-die foundation, and I don't think any other foundation will ever top it. 

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat 

This is the most expensive foundation I have ever purchased($69.00 + tax at the time). I would try and use this so sparingly, because with every pump of product, I felt like I was pumping out those dollar dollar bills (for real). If you hate the feeling of makeup on your face, this foundation is for you. It is so light, but will still give you medium coverage. It has a semi luminous finish and gives even the dullest skin (like mine during exam week) the most luminous glow. My favorite part of this foundation is that it is an EXACT match for my (not tanned) skin. Meaning, I can apply a single layer of foundation, a little concealer & blush and be out the door. If you want your skin to look like skin, then try this foundation, and I promise, you won't be disappointed. A minor thing to note is that is has a strong-ish floral smell. I personally do not mind it at all, but if you are sensitive to smell, this might not be the foundation for you. The YSL Le Teint is my second all-time favorite foundation. When I use this, my makeup game is so strong, and I definitely get that JLO-glow (#goalz). 

Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing 

This foundation has a very similar feel to the the YSL one, but at a little bit of a lower price point ($50.00). This is a hydrating foundation that gives you that skin-like glow. Again, this foundation was luckily a perfect color match for me (which is rare). Another thing that I like about this foundation is that is "meshes" well with other products. Sometimes products really don't "play nicely" together. This one works with every concealer and blush that I own. This one is a light- medium coverage, with the possibility to build up or layer. You can probably bring this foundation up to a full coverage with 3 pumps. It wears pretty well and lasts throughout most of the day (not as long as the Double Wear, but it's also not as thick). This foundation is also fragranced, so watch out for that! 

The Bottom Line 

What would I do? I would buy both a drugstore and a high end foundation. I would use the drugstore one every day for school and use the high end one for occasions and nights out. That has been my method for a long time and it is the best way to save money! The higher end one will last you forever. Some people say that foundations expire after a year. However, higher end bottles are usually sealed and have a pump, meaning you can keep them longer (I always do). 

In case you were wondering, in all my blog pictures, I use the Estée Lauder Double Wear!  

How To Apply These Foundations? 

Two words: Beauty-blender®. It honestly pained me to shell out almost $30 for this little sponge, but it really did change my makeup game. The good news is, that now you don't need to spend that much money to get that airbrush finish! I have found two dupes that I honestly prefer to the original Beauty-blender. The first is from Real Techniques, and the second is from Maskcara (her makeup products are definitely a whole other blog post). The Real Techniques comes in a 2-pack for $11.00 (unreal) and the Maskcara IIID Perfector is $13.00 (USD). 

Left: Maskcara IIID Perfector $13.00, Right: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge $11.00

So there you have it, my Holy-Grail foundations! I recommend getting a sample from Sephora for the higher end foundations. It is always best to test out a new foundation with your own routine to see if it works for you! 

xo, 

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Health Corner: Zika

Health Corner: The Zika Virus

Get The Latest On The Newest Player In The Viral Game

So listen up my little virology experts, today I am presenting my latest installment of the Health Corner series brought to you by yours truly, a student trying to avoid studying.  Instead of digging into the 10 articles I have to read for my molecular immunology class (bleh), I will give you the 411 on the epidemic that is taking the world by storm.

Is it the latest round of Trump vs Clinton (or in that case Trump vs anyone)? Nope. Is it which Kardashian did something krazy this week? Nope.  It’s better.

I present to you the hottest thing to drop since Kanye’s announcement for president (#Yeezus2020): The Zika virus.  

Before I get into the specifics of the Zika virus, let me tell you a little bit about viruses in general.

Everyone knows that in our body we have DNA. What you might not know is that there is an alternate form of DNA that is sometimes used, called RNA. Think of it this way, if DNA is your sweatshirt, then RNA is the thread used to knit your sweatshirt. They constantly change from one form to another depending on what stage of replication your cells are in.

Viruses can have many forms to be most effective. Some are in DNA form and some are in RNA form. 

To understand how viruses work, you also need to understand a little bit of how your immunity works.

Our body’s immunity is like an army. When everything is normal (meaning no infection), the soldiers (T-cells, B-cells, etc) are basically chilling in their base camp. However, even though the majority are just chilling, you always need someone to be patrolling in case of a surprise attack.  Once the invader (this time the Zika virus) arrives, you sound the alarm (#Sh*tJustGotReal).

All the soldiers will then be deployed to go fight the battle and win the war. However, sometimes the virus is really smart and knows exactly where the soldiers will go. It’s as if they are wearing camouflage gear to blend in with your other cells. All the while, they are sneaking into your cells, hijacking them, using their machinery to replicate and then exploding with brand new viral particles. Because they are replicating exponentially, once your body’s soldiers manages to capture them, the infection is already out of control. Your body is now losing the battle. But don’t worry just yet, because they haven’t lost the war.  This is about the time when you start having symptoms. 

You’re probably wondering what the point is of having an immune system if the viruses are able to escape? Well, the truth is that your immune system catches 99% of all the nasty things that manage to sneak in. The viruses that do actually make it through the security check points are the “top of their class” in deviousness. 

So, now onto the topic at hand.

What is the Zika Virus?

Last time, we spoke about the flu, aka the illness caused by the influenza virus. The Zika virus is part of a different group of viruses called the Flaviviridae group.  Why does it have this weird Latin name? Well, flavus in Latin means yellow, and the original name given to these types of viruses was yellow-fever virus.  It is an RNA virus which causes an illness similar to Dengue fever.

How can you get it?

Certain types of mosquitos, the Aedes type, can transmit the Zika virus (as if they needed another reason to be hated…). Following the saying, “all good things come in three’s”, this type of mosquito can also transmit the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses (#3for1deal).

It had been noted at first that there was no human-human transmission of the virus. However, there are new discoveries being made that show that the Zika virus could potentially be transmitted sexually as well (although quite rare).

Image source: BBC News

Image source: BBC News

What Happens?

The infected mosquito will bite you, drink your blood (their blood meal) and in return, as a parting gift, will leave you with the virus.  

The symptoms usually appear 3-7 days after being bitten by a mosquito (so basically just when you were starting to relax and enjoy your vacay). Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. This illness will usually have milder symptoms and can last from a couple days to a week.  

Image source: The Tico Times, The Aedes mosquito

At first, the Zika virus popped up in 2007, where only 14 human cases were discovered. It later reappeared in French Polynesia in 2013, where 28, 000 people sought out medical care. 

In the last month however, there have been a soaring amount of cases confirmed in Brazil, with no visible end in sight. This is now classified as a pandemic, and is slowly making its way around the world.

Fun fact: there is no medication for treating the Zika virus. If you get sick, you basically get to tough it out (#PartyForOne). Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available at this time.

Can this happen you?

Anyone is at risk in places where the Zika virus is found. Where are these places? Mainly Mexico, the Caribbean, Brazil, Columbia, Barbados, French Polynesia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines & more. Essentially, the beautiful, exotic and hot places we all long to see (myself included). 

Image source: CBC News

Image source: CBC News

Why is everyone "Zik"-ing out?

(I apologize for the terrible pun, I couldn’t help myself).

This week, the CDC reported that a dozen cases were confirmed in the United States, and that eventually the mosquitos would make their way here as well.

There is an even bigger problem though. The Zika virus has been linked to a rare birth condition called microcephaly. It is an extremely serious, incurable birth defect that causes children to have exceptionally small brains (as well as very small heads). These children could unfortunately die while in the womb, at birth, or not long after. 

Image Source:  www.CDC.gov , The Economist

What can you do?

If you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, you are strongly misadvised to travel to Brazil, Latin America, or any of the other countries listed. Going to these countries while pregnant puts you at risk for getting infected with the Zika virus, miscarrying, or your child being born with microcephaly. How? Well, this virus can be passed from the mother to the child in the womb.

So, that great deal you got for a 5-star resort in Brazil, maybe cancel it… Again, I am not a doctor, so obviously if your doctor says something else, listen to them.

If you are not pregnant, or do not plan on becoming pregnant, you could still go to these places (not sans-risk though). However, do you really want to spend your week off potentially sick with fever and watching entire villages being fumigated? Probably not. 

Image Source: CBC News

Image Source: CBC News

None the less, if you do decide to still take that vacation, here is what you CAN do:

-       Use insect repellent such as DEET over your clothes (as directed)

-       Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants

-       Use air conditioning as well as window/door screens and bed canopy’s

Image Source: CDC.gov

Image Source: CDC.gov

I apologize for the ultra depressing article and subject matter (babies dying… super light read, I know). I promise my next article won’t be about puppies dying.

But the sensitive and urgent nature of this virus meant that the inner microbiologist in me needed to share it.

For more information, visit the CDC travel advisory right here.

If you have any further comments or questions, write them down below and I will try my best to answer them!! 

Did you like this post!? If so, check out my other Health Corner topics right here!

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6 Tips Nobody Told You About Sales!

6 Tips Nobody Told You About Sales!

A how-to guide to getting la crème de la crème of sales. 

Let me tell you a thing or two about sales. In my last post I discussed the importance of waiting for sales to get a good deal. This however is a completely different phenomenon. This is the story of mass sales. I've noticed this happen to me quite often. I walk into a huge sale (like the end of season Zara sale) and it gets real bad, real fast.

Let’s put it this way: I go wild.  

I am truly the exact target demographic falling face first into marketing traps. Between the madness, the messiness and the pure excitement, I end up buying two types of things:  

1. Very good quality pieces (leather jackets, classic coats, little black dresses, etc): these are usually the pieces that I treasure and wear constantly, a.k.a “la crème de la crème”.

2. The sale garbage: these are the items which seem like a good idea in the store, but when seen in my own mirror and lighting, it just seem like a “WTF!?” purchase. 

There is one scene in particular of Gilmore Girls that perfectly describes my feelings for these “WTF” purchases. Lorelai, (the main character) brings a Weston’s coffee cup (another diner in their town) into Luke’s Diner (her once-again boyfriend). Their dialogue goes like this:

 

LORELAI: This is a mocha chocolate swirl-a-chino with extra whip cream.

LUKE: That sounds disgusting.

LORELAI: It is. And if it was physically possible to make love to a hot beverage, this would be the one.

LUKE: So apparently I've got competition.

LORELAI: No, no, no. It's just a fling. I'll finally spend the night with it, but then when I see it in the morning with the caramel un-swirled and the whip cream un-whipped, huh! Buh-bye.

 

In the store, the mocha chocolate swirl-a-chino is absolutely delicious. But, the next morning when you wake up and the “caramel is un-swirled” and the “whip cream is un-whipped”, two words: buh-bye. 

So, I have come up with a few tips and tricks to avoid the WTF purchases:  

1.     If you wouldn't have bought this item 2 years ago, don't buy it now. Truly classic pieces never seem dated. The exception to this rule would be if your personal style has drastically changed recently.

2.     If you wouldn't pay full price for it, don't buy it on sale. Now obviously the point is always to get it on sale. But think for a second, if money weren’t an issue, say you were Ivanka Trump, would you pay full price for this item? If the answer is no, then the marketing execs have done their job, and the big 50% off sign is working. Congrats.

3.     If it's a size too small, and you say that you'll “juice cleanse” to fit into it, don't buy it. You won't juice cleanse. It will sit in your closet a year later with the tags still on (noted from personal experience).

4.     If you’re with a friend (not a best friend) and she said it looks amazing. She is lying. Unless you are with your mother or the person who has held your hair back whilst you were throwing up, always assume the person is lying (or doesn't want to hurt your feelings).

5.     If you are calculating how much you need to not eat this month to afford this piece, than definitely don't buy it. It's not worth it.

6.     Think of 3 other pieces that you already have that you can pair this with. Let me say that again for a greater impact: that you already have. If you can't think of any, it means you'll probably wear this item once, Insta it, and then it will collect dust with the rest of the Insta one-timers. May they RIP. 

These 2 + Old Navy = all my $$$ 

Now if you have managed to get this far in the test and still want to buy it, then go ahead. You have officially exerted enough energy to justify your purchase. You deserve it, so enjoy your “crème de la crème”!

Last word of wisdom, do not memorize your credit card number. This will lead to over-excited online shopping that you may regret (again, talking from personal experience). 

If you’re wondering how this outfit is related to this post, here is your answer: before I bought each of these items, I followed the 3’s rule. All of these items can be dressed up or down. When I wore this outfit in real life (as opposed to the fake Internet life? Lol), I wore it with black tights and leather boots. When I shot this outfit outside, I was honestly concerned of dying of hypothermia (it was cold to say the least). My respect for bloggers had infinitely improved in that moment. In all the pictures we see where they are “laughing” while wearing a sleeveless dress in the snow, I give them mad respect (it is so much harder than it looks, believe me).    

So I strongly suggest pairing this with tights, a winter jacket, perhaps some gloves, a scarf and possibly a hat… (just saying)

I hope this was helpful and that you can now walk into those “end of winter” sales with your game faces on. If you have any other tips and tricks regarding shopping/sales (or getting the “crème de la crème” of sales), please leave a comment below!! I would love to hear them, and my bank account would really appreciate it!