On scent

I love fragrance. I always have. I’m always burning scented candles at home, I love picking out a new body wash, and I have a small but well curated collection of perfumes that I love to wear.

My favourite of the moment is something rather special that I treated myself to when Mr. P&P and I spent a few days in Calgary last spring. I’m talking about Jo Malone London Blackberry & Bay.

Blackberry & Bay is fruity but tart. Juicy and green at the same time. The notes are blackberry, grapefruit, florals, vetiver, cedarwood, and bay leaves. The Jo Malone website describes it thusly:

This fragrance evokes childhood memories of blackberry picking—a burst of deep, tart blackberry juice blends with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods for a vibrant and verdant impression.

They’ve nailed it. It’s fresh and great for summer but I think it works for all seasons. It was a spendy little purchase but I cherish it and look forward to wearing it.

What’s your scent of the moment?

Glossier

A while back Glossier was everywhere. Everyone was talking about it. At first I wasn’t too interested because their vibe is all about dewy, fresh skin. My skin is dewy enough. I do not need help in that department (the oily skin struggle is real friends). Eventually though I obviously fell for the hype.

My first order consisted of the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Moisturizing Moon Mask. I loved them both. The cleanser is very gentle and perfect for a quick morning cleanse. I wouldn’t use it at the end of the day because it’s not quite up to removing all of my mascara. Mr. P&P also enjoyed using it. It’s slightly rose scented but it’s not overpowering.

I used the moon mask a couple of times a week while I was in the bath. I put on a thick layer and let it sit for 15-20 minutes and my skin always felt velvety soft afterwards. Even though I’m an oily girl, I need to make sure my face is well hydrated so that it doesn’t start over producing oil, especially in winter. I used every last drop and would absolutely purchase again. It’s divine.

I was so pleased with the first two products I tried that I ordered the Wowder plus the Wowder Brush set as soon as it came out. I love both. The powder itself does exactly what it’s supposed to do as far as setting foundation and concealer. It’s light and does not settle onto the skin or look cakey. The brush is kind of unusual. It’s not as large and fluffy as most powder brushes. I like it because the handle is the perfect length and the shape of the brush makes it easy to make sure you’re powdering the trickier spots like the under-eye and the sides of the nose.

Have you given Glossier a try?

Tips and Tricks for Shopping eBay

I like to shop. I live in the Yukon. These two things are not particularly compatible. Online shopping is the best thing to ever happen to me and I’ve been practicing for about 15 years. Lucky for you because I’m here to share some of the best tips of the trade!

Today I want to focus on eBay because it is an absolute goldmine. It’s a great way to create a more sustainable and responsible closet, find pieces that no one else will be wearing, and score pieces from spendy brands for a fraction of the original retail price. It’s also a great resource if you are into vintage.

So, without further blah, blah, blah, here are my top tips for scoring a great deal on eBay!

  1. Know your size. This means measurements! Shoulder to shoulder, armpit to armpit, chest, waist, hips, inseam, and rise! This is especially important when looking for vintage pieces because vintage sizing is smaller than modern sizing.
  2. Include as much detail as you can in your search. What size are you looking for? Colour, material, style, decade, fit, location, free shipping, and price, to name just a few, are all options you can narrow your search by.
  3. Check seller feedback. This is important. I only order from sellers who have 95% or higher positive feedback. I would also recommend not buying from sellers who have only sold a few items, though if they have an item you’re dying for listed then it might be worth the risk.
  4. Check the shipping costs. If, like me, you live in a remote area this is particularly important. $20 for a cashmere sweater is a bargain but not if the shipping costs $40. I tend to confine my buying to North America for this same reason. Also make sure to check that the buyer ships to your area.
  5. Shop on www.ebay.com, not www.ebay.ca. All the Canadian items for sale will still come up but, because it is the US site, the selection is better.
  6. Read the seller’s return policy. You don’t want to get stuck with something that doesn’t fit or is damaged. Make sure the seller will pay the return shipping costs, if not you lose out on that money.
  7. Try searching for misspellings. Not everybody is great at the whole written word thing. Try Madwell instead of Madewell, Parda instead of Prada, Ralph Laren instead of Ralph Lauren, the list goes on. With some luck you might just find yourself a gem and be the only bidder! Here’s a sweater that I’ve currently got my eye on and I can bid at my leisure because other buys will miss it!
  8. Save your searches. Once you have narrowed all of your parameters down to the exact item you’re looking for (for example, Gucci brown horse-bit vintage loafers size 7.5) you can save the search. You’ll receive email alerts when someone posts something that matches your search and you won’t have to reset all your item specifics when you go to do your search again.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you want more photos (for example, I often ask for a photo of someone wearing the item if one isn’t already posted), need more information on the sizing, fabric, any flaws, etc. ask. If the buyer isn’t willing to answer your questions then move on to the next seller. A good seller will want you to be totally happy with your purchase and will do as much as they can to ensure that happens.
  10. If you’re looking for something specific don’t get discouraged if you don’t find it the first time around. People all over the world post items everyday so chances are good that if you keep searching you’ll eventually track down what you’re looking for!

And that’s it! As with anything, with practice you’ll get better so get out there and get shopping friends!

xo,

Poutine

Shopping for Lunch

Yesterday I spent my lunch break shopping with a colleague. Ostensibly we were shopping for her but, let’s be real here people, shopping is my raison d’etre.

I scored this super cute and floaty dress for half price and it was mere pennies my darlings. Pennies. I’ve been really into dresses lately because they’re a one-and-done item. A dress an outfit makes! So simple.

I was immediately attracted to this one because of the drop waist and animal-esque print!

Floaty Dress

Dress: Zoomz Women’s Fashions (Whitehorse, Yukon), Shoes: Taxi 

I styled it for work with pointed toe nude flats and my signature accessories – rings, my watch, and a dangly necklace. I also plan on wearing it with sneakers on the weekend and with tights, boots and a cardigan for the winter!

Accessories

Watch and rings: gifted, Necklace: Sarah Mulder

What have you been loving this summer?

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

Clarins

About a month ago I maxed out my Shopper’s Drug Mart optimum points (best reward program ever). Of course I immediately set about spending every single point. Picture a crazed kid in a candy store and you’ll have some idea of what happened.

Anyway, one of the things I picked up is the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil. It’s the bomb dot com. I have the shade 03 Red Berry. It’s moisturizing, non-sticky, non-oily (surprisingly), and provides a light sheen of colour. A handbag staple for sure. Plus it smells delish.

The applicator is nice. It’s large and delivers just the right amount of product. The Clarins website describes it as “a cocoon applicator that increases pleasure upon application.” Now, I’m not sure about increasing pleasure (seriously, who writes this stuff?)… but it certainly does the job.

I’m a sucker for nice packaging and I love the square shape and gold lid. It looks luxe. Luxe kittens.

Living Light

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Hello lovers.

I moved in with Mr. P&P recently. So far it’s swell.

That’s not what I’m here to talk about though, I want to talk about living a little bit lighter. Not physically lighter (sadly) but materially. Before I left my apartment I went through all of my stuff methodically and got rid of anything that I don’t need or use or want any more. This included half of my wardrobe. That’s right half. Now all of my clothes fit into one closet and they don’t even fill it up.

Living with a capsule wardrobe for the winter really helped narrow my focus in terms of what I actually wear and define my style clearly. I don’t plan on limiting myself to a certain number of items anymore but I do plan on shopping more mindfully from now on. That means thoroughly thinking through (say that three times fast) any purchases before making them, and investing in quality rather than quantity. I want a well curated wardrobe of classic pieces that all work together, fit properly, and will last. I never want to stand in front of my closet again and think that I have nothing to wear.

Here are a few pieces that I’ll be saving for over the next while:

  1. This classic black bag will see me through many seasons. It’s perfect as an everyday bag and is large enough for me to carry around all the stuff I like to have with me at all times.
  2. This leather jacket is beautiful and versatile. It’s the perfect finishing touch to dresses and jeans and tee-shirts.
  3. These sandals are neutral enough to wear with a lot of different outfits and colours and should hold up well over the years.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on decluttering and/or simplifying, here are a couple of resources that I’ve found helpful.

i. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
ii. Light by Coco
iii. Un-Fancy

Do you like purging your stuff once in a while or do you hang on to everything?

A Little Bit of Upcycling

I’m not much of a DIYer. I was born with two left feet and two left hands so nothing ever turns out quite right. There is one thing I do regularly though and if I can do it a monkey anyone can. I love candles; I’m almost always burning one. The problem is that it seems like such a shame to toss the jars when the candles are done. What I like to do is clean out the leftover wax and reuse the jars in all kinds of ways.

Step one: bring a pot of water to boil on the stove and put in your candle jar.

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Step two: once the wax has melted pour it out into a tinfoil bowl or empty cardboard box. Once the wax is dry just toss your container.

Step three: clean out the jar. I just use good old soap and water.

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Step four: remove any labels.

Step five: let the jars dry.

Step six: fill the jars with whatever you like!

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Voila! The simplest DIY  ever but I think it’s a pretty good one:)

Currently Obsessed: [P]Leather

Fall times. Such good times. I’ve been getting my fill of being basic PSLs, crunchy leaves, and crisp days.

(p)leather

I’m loving wearing giant blankets scarves, tights, boots, and chunky sweaters. Something kind of unexpected that’s been on repeat is the pleather skirt I scored at Dynamite for about $30.00. I love leather details on clothes so it was only a matter of time before I picked up something all (p)leather. It’s so much more versatile than I had expected. At first I was a bit nervous about wearing it to work but I’ve just subbed it in place of my black pencil skirt and voila! I’ve been loving it for work and also for weekending with my love.

Are you enjoying fall?

Blotterazzi

Sometimes I get so excited about a new product launch that I buy it even if it’s received bad reviews. I just have to find out for myself that it’s really not that great.

It’s like planning a perfect evening: gently steaming bath, lots of pretty scented candles, a mug of hot tea, and a book about something motivational and uplifting. It never turns out like the plan. In reality I end up with a lukewarm bath, a candle forgotten on the kitchen table, my cat sitting on the side of the tub occasionally swiping me with his claws, and a bunch of YouTube videos. Not exactly as I’d imagined. *sigh*

So it is with the Blotterazzi by Beauty Blender. It’s ok. Not nearly as good as I had imagined. Basically the Blotterazzi is an absorbent sponge made from the same material as the original beauty blender. You pat it on oily spots and the sponge is supposed to soak up the excess. It kind of does that. A little bit.

My advice? Stick to blotting papers. They’re cheaper and they do a better job. Save your pennies for a cocktail or three on Friday.

Blotterazzi

Bloterazzi

Bloterazzi

Project 333

It’s a new season and I’m ready for a new project.

I’ve been reading about capsule wardrobes for ages and I recently learned about Project 333. The basic idea is that you select 33 items from your wardrobe, including outerwear, shoes, and accessories, and wear only those items for the next three months.

I’m going to take the plunge and give it a try. I’m changing the rules a bit for myself so that the project works for me. I’m not including outwear or accessories, although I do tend to wear the same few pieces of jewelry pretty much every day. I’m not including outwear because my winter parka, scarf, hat, and mitts are necessities and I don’t consider them part of an outfit since I take them off as soon as I get inside.

Why am I doing this? I am so glad you asked! I have Reasons:

  1. I have some financial goals I’d like to achieve this year, including paying off my line of credit which has been hanging around for way too long. I am debt fatigued kittens.
  2. I want to buy a new car. I spent the last three weeks cruising around in a Honda Civic that’s older than I am (I dare anyone to challenge me on that) with a driver’s side window stuck halfway open. In the rainy season. It was unpleasant.
  3. I’d like to develop a clearer sense of my personal style, though I do know it’s built around solid basics and limited amounts of colour.
  4. I want to stop feeling like if I just buy one more thing my wardrobe will be perfect. It’s never going to happen.
  5. I’d like to save for the things I really want that cost a pretty penny such as a leather jacket and a (dare I say it?) vintage Chanel bag.

I’m not starting right this very second. It takes time to go through a wardrobe as gargantuan huge full well established as mine.

I’ve started a Project 333 collection on Polyvore to help me work out what I need to include. I don’t necessarily have all of these pieces exactly in my wardrobe, but I picked pieces with the general feel of my favourites.

Project 333

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Oh. I forgot to mention, there’s no shopping with Project 333.

Once I’ve started the project I’m going to try to post daily outfits pictures on Instagram. @PoutineandPrada if you care to follow along.

What do you think?

P.S. My apologies about the code showing after the image. I’m rusty on HTML.