Do you Deciem?

Deciem. Do I dare?

If you ever look at the internet I imagine you’ve heard of Deciem and the recent controversy surrounding the erstwhile CEO. I went back and forth on whether or not to write this post but in the end obviously decided to write it. Lovers, this is not a blog about current events, this is a blog about products and so products is what I’m going to talk about.

Deciem exploded on to the market about two years ago. I first heard about it when one of my favourite Youtubers gave the brand a rave review. Deciem is a Toronto-based company composed of a number of brands including The Ordinary, Niod, Hylamide, The Chemistry Brand, etc. The concept is simple: skincare made with quality ingredients at a low price. The prices start at about $5.00, really. Genius. I’m no expert but I do know that there are only a few skincare ingredients that have actually been proven to do anything. Included in this list is hyaluronic acid which is a basically a magnet for moisture, and retinol which encourages cell turnover.

I’ve gone through two bottles of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and I love it. I rarely notice any immediate change in my skin after using a product, with the exception of this stuff. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do – plumps and moisturizes the skin. Brilliant. Mind you give your face a quick spritz before applying it kittens – the skin has to be wet for the acid to do its good work.

I also gave the retinol a go. The first time I used it I did not do it properly. I slathered it all over my face, including under my eyes. I paid the burny price. Retinol is to be used sparingly, avoiding the eye area. After the initial mishap I used the rest of the product successfully. I cannot honestly tell you that I noticed a huge change in my skin but I think if you are concerned about the signs of aging this is a good one to try.

I also used two tubes of Hand Chemistry from The Chemistry Brand. Again, I can’t really speak to any anti-aging benefits but I can tell you that I love this stuff. The scent is fruity but not strong at all and it just works. My hands feel nice and hydrated after using it which, after-all, is the whole point right?

I’ve also been using The Ordinary Coverage Foundation for the past year. It’s good. It has great coverage but it’s not heavy on the skin. It lasts well too. Nothing lasts all day on my face but I get a good few hours out of this foundation.

Have you tried any of Deciem’s products?

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

Living Light

1168475_1011115542259522_605912504_n

 

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?

Get More from Your Wardrobe

One Piece Three Ways

I have a few rules when shopping:

1. Don’t drink and shop (I’ll never forget the regrettable sweater incident of 2011);

2. Don’t shop on an empty stomach, you want to be thinking clearly;

3. Don’t buy a piece unless you can visualize it with three distinct outfits using items you already have in your wardrobe.

The last rule is important because you don’t want to end up with a fantastic top that works only one way. Who wants to be seen in the same look over and over again? Not I.

So friends, I give you a new post: One Piece Three Ways.

The piece:

image

Romper: Dynamite

Look One: Drinks With the Girls

image

Necklace:  Evernew
Clutch: American Apparel
Shoes: Nine West
Lippy: MAC Fuscia Fusion

Look Two: Casual Saturday

image

Necklace: Guess
Jean Jacket: Mavi
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff
Booties: Little Burgundy

Look Three: Beach Day

image

Sunnies: Barefoot Contessa
Beach Bag: Bath and Bodyworks (gifted)
Sandals: American Eagle Outfitters
Bikini: Victoria’s Secret

These are just a few of the looks I can create with this romper. I could also add tights, boots, and a sweater for winter or pair it with a skirt and wear it as a top. The possibilities are endless. If you don’t have a romper, swap it out for a sundress! This is just a small sample of the ways you can create unique looks by changing the accessories.

Do you think about versatility when you’re shopping? I’d love to hear your tips!

Retail Therapy

I like shopping. This is no secret. I am also a fairly savvy shopper; I’ve scored some pretty amazing deals over the years. I get a bit of a rush when someone compliments me on something I’m wearing and I’m able to say “Thank you! It was a total steal at only $__!”

Today I’m going to share a few of my shopping secrets with you, my lovely readers. I’m going to focus on online shopping because, being from a part of the world with extremely limited shopping opportunities, I’m rather good at it.

So, in no particular order, here are some tips for being a savvy online shopper and scoring yourself some stellar bargains.

1. Flash sales websites are basically online sample sales through which you can score amazing deals on high end, mid range, and everyday items. I own four Matt and Nat purses, two of which were purchased from a flash sale site for about $30. Matt and Nat bags typically retail for $100-200, so mine were an utter steal! You have to sign up for these sites, and sometimes it takes a few days for you to get access, but it’s free to join and totally worth it.

My favourite flash sale sites are http://www.beyondtherack.com,
http://www.thepeacockparade.com, and http://www.hautelook.com.

2. Know your size. This means taking measurements. Most online retailers will have measurements listed in their size charts. Read them. There’s nothing worse than ordering something in your usual size only to discover that it doesn’t fit properly when it arrives.

3. Read the return policy. If something doesn’t fit, isn’t to your liking, or is in some way flawed, you want to know that you can return it and get a full refund including the shipping costs.

4. Know what styles flatter your figure. Do a little research. Are you pear shaped, apple shaped, boyish? Know your body type and read articles, etc. and learn what cuts, lengths, patterns, etc. work well for your figure. That way you can avoid owning a gorgeous trapeze coat that makes you look two feet tall.

5. Look for free shipping. Shipping costs can be steep, particularly if you live in a rural area. There are lots of sites that charge nothing for shipping, and many that have specials during which they waive shipping fees. One of my favourite online shopping destinations,
http://www.simons.ca reguarly offers free shipping and http://www.asos.com ships worldwide for free!

6. Sign up for email blasts and newsletters from your favourite sites and you’ll always be on top of the latest offers.

7. If you’re looking for something in particular but don’t know where to start, or have a question that I haven’t answered here, ask me! I love, love, love helping people find something they’re after and I will always take the time to help!

Did you like this post? Would you be interested in more tips like this in future? Let me know! xo

ASOS Wish List

ASOS is having a big old sale right now. Le sigh. I can’t shop at all at the mo; I’ve got no pennies you understand. My life is such a trial. Honestly. Anyway, that certainly doesn’t stop me from internet window shopping (it’s a thing).

In the spirit of wishing (I might randomly find $1000 or be discovered and offered a modeling contract job as a stand-up comedian career at Starbucks), here is a selection of my current picks from ASOS.

image1xl Aldo Hydelade Shoulder Tote Bag

A girl can always do with a new bag. I love the juicy colour and structured build of this purse.

ipad

ASOS Chain Print iPad Case

I don’t acutally own an iPad but it’ll be the first thing I buy when I find $1000.

vest

Bila Space Dye Knit Vest

How fab are these colours?

Leopard

A Wear Leopard Intarasia Jumper

Rawr!

Tube

A Wear Midi Check Print Tube Skirt

Love the sexy silhouette and print on this little number!

Shoe

ASOS Polly Pointed High Heels

I can’t get enough of really chunky heels at the moment – these babies fit the bill!

What are your ASOS picks?

Simons

I’m a self-proclaimed online shopping expert. It’s a survival skill that I developed during my years and years living in the frozen Yukon, where shopping opportunities are nil unless you’re willing to pay an arm and a leg.

One of my all time faves is Simons. I’ve been a loyal customer of theirs for about 7 years now and they’ve never once let me down. Simons is only available in Quebec but they started up an online shop about 5 years ago and am I ever glad!

La Maison Simons

My latest Simons find. Get it here!

I’m loyal to Simons for a number of reasons.  The quality of the clothing is always excellent; they carry a range of brands/designers priced from outright steals to much spendier options; the sizes are bang on; the shipping is exceptionally prompt; and they’re Canadian! What’s not to love?

I’ve waxed lyrical about Simons’ virtues in the past, read that post here.

Do you have a favourite online shopping destination?

 

A Lush? Me? Never.

Lush is one of those places that you either love or hate. You all know its smell; the one that announces that there’s a Lush nearby blocks before you can see it. I love that smell, I wish they’d bottle it so I could douse myself in it; however, I certainly understand why some people don’t care for it. It’s strong!

I love Lush products but I feel like I’m preparing for battle every time I enter the store. I gird my loins, take a deep breath, and try to avoid eye contact with the super pushy sales assistants. I’m not sure if it’s just in Canada (I certainly don’t remember them being so bad in the UK), but I am sure that they all work on commission. I am a browser when I shop, I like to look at everything in my own sweet time, and I’ll ask for help when and if I need it. I cannot stand the way that five or six people descend on you when you walk into a Lush and immediately start slathering stuff all over your hands, even if you tell them clearly that you are not looking for a lavender avocado facial scrub that was made by garden gnomes and is laced with fairy dust. Honestly.

Whew! Was that a rant and a half or what? I did manage to fight my way through the store and leave with a goodie that’s been on my mind for a while, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner. I’m kind of obssessed with the idea of in-shower lotion. I love the concept because I’m a lazy moisturizer at best. I use hand lotion obsessively, I slather myself up after having a bath, and sometimes I put lotion on my legs before bed and that’s about the extent of it.  

Body Conditioner

I used my new body conditioner this morning. My thoughts on the product are mixed. The scent is to die for. It’s called Rose Jam, though I would not describe it as floral. I don’t really know how to describe it but it’s fantastic. The texture is pretty dreamy. It’s very smooth and feels lovely on the skin. It is very moisturizing; however, my body feels like it’s coated in an oily film. I rinsed it off really well but it has definitely left me feeling kind of greasy. Tomorrow I think I’ll use it before my body wash and hope for the best. It’d be a shame to wash off that great smell but I really don’t like the way my skin feels today.

Body Conditioner 1

Final verdict? I like this stuff but I’m not going to buy it again.

Body Conditioner 2

Do you love Lush or do you avoid it like the plague?