Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm new in the city and I'm down for the night

H&M blouse, Costa Blanca cardigan, ASOS collar necklace

I've seen this necklace about a billion times on Khatu and my yearning for it seemed to grow each time. However, I've had extremely bad experiences with ordering from ASOS so I've stayed away. I finally caved a few weeks ago, and was actually pleasantly surprised when this showed up after only 10 business days, without any customs fees to boot! With ASOS offering free shipping worldwide, I'll definitely take advantage and make multiple small purchases.. it seems like the way to go if you want your items in a decent amount of time!

And the winner of my March Luxe Box giveaway is... charlene_ann! Congratulations! Please send me an email ASAP with your full name and shipping address, and I will pass the information along to the wonderful team at Loose Button.

Friday, February 24, 2012

If by the time the bar closes and you feel like falling down, I'll carry you home tonight

I haven't had a hair cut in almost 3 years, and have spent the last few months researching different salons. I hemmed and hawed for a long time, but I finally took the plunge and booked an appointment.

The before picture, taken in December, after I blow-dried it straight...




It's definitely a lot shorter than what I wanted.  He wanted to take a lot more off, while I wanted to actually keep the overall length. We settled on a (semi-happy) medium, but I do think he won a little more than I did. I had forgotten how wavy my hair is, now that it's not weighed down.  I do love the shape of the cut, but I wish I fought a little more on the length. Oh well, hair does grow back!

If any of you are interested, I went to Ryan at Evoke salon.

Don't forget to join my Loose Button Luxe Box giveaway here!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I can't keep myself and still keep you too

For the month of February, Loose Button teamed up with Flare, a Canadian magazine, to create a special edition Luxe Box which I was fortunate enough to receive. In case you're not aware of what a Luxe Box is (although by now, everyone should!), it is a monthly subscription where the customer receives a beauty box of 4-5 deluxe samples for only $12/month!


For this special edition box, Loose Button gravitated away from the simple black box. I actually really love the bright red! The pop of colour is very eye-catching and does make it seem a little more special than your typical Luxe Box.


One very obvious difference between this box and the regular boxes is that there was not as much stuffing to protect the contents! There weren't any 'delicate' items (except maybe the Moroccan Oil), so I suppose it doesn't really make a difference.. and it's a huge plus that I don't have to clean it up!


Benefit: Sunbeam - Golden bronze highlighter gives you a natural, sunkissed radiance.

I recently purchased a full sized bottle of Moonbeam by Benefit which I absolutely love, so I was a little excited to see this sample in my box. It's a beautiful bronze colour, but I'm a little confused about where to put it exactly. The instructions say to dot the product on my cheekbones, but I find that the colour is a little too dark to work as a highlighter for me right now. I'll revisit this when I get a little more tanned.

Moroccan Oil: Moroccan Oil Treatment - Versatile, nourishing and residue-free formula can be used as a conditioning, styling, and finishing tool. Completely transforms and reparis as its formula transports lost proteins for strengthl fatty acids, omega-3 oils and vitamins for shine; and antioxidants for protection.

I mentioned in a previous review that I find this product to be a bit heavy.  However, when compared to my last sample of Keratase Elixir Ultime, my hair looks equally as shiny, but feels more soft using the Moroccan oil. I definitely would use the Keratase for every day, but the Moroccan oil for styling and as a heat protectant. This small bottle is also great for travel!

Mereadesso: Beautiful Body Balm - A high performance, non-greasy, all over body balm, hand moisturizer, and foot cream for men and women of all ages and skin types.

I'm actually not a big lotion person. I rarely apply hand/body lotion, and only do so when I notice my finger nails getting a bit dry from constant nail polish removal. This lotion is not too watery and absorbs pretty quickly. The smell, while not unpleasant, is slightly medicinal. It isn't greasy but it does take a while to absorb. There isn't really anything exceptional about this lotion, but I suppose it does the job.

Dermalogica: Microfoliant - This rice-based enzyme powder helps to exfoliate your skin by removing debris, leaving your skin smoother and brighter.

I pretty much crowed with glee when I saw that they included this sample! I've been using this microfoliant for a while, and actually just finished off the bottle that I previously had. It's great for all skin types, and because it is a microfoliant, it's a great exfoliator to use for every day. Before Dermalogica, I was using the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. While it is a heavier-duty exfoliator, it actually left a film on my skin that I didn't like, because it felt like I wasn't entirely clean. Dermalogica, while creamier than St. Ives, definitely gives me that fresh-faced feeling.

Mereadesso: Face + Neck Toning GelWith over 40 botanical extracts, minerals and antioxidants packed into one effective gel, you're sure to see a difference in just 3-5 days.

A bonus sample! There wasn't much info in the pamphlet on this, but it's supposed to be a on-step skin care solution that is perfect for any skin type. I find the packaging to be very unappealing. After opening it, it's very hard to keep the product sanitary and you always have to be careful that you put it back standing upright, otherwise the product will just spill out. I'm assuming that it works like a serum. It's milky and a bit on the thicker side. I apply it before my moisturizer in the morning, and after 4 days, I haven't seen much of a difference.

Overall, I do like the majority of the products in this box. I'm happy to have another bottle of the Microfoliant, and am still intrigued by Sunbeam. As usual, there was a little bit of everything in this box: beauty product, two skin products, and a hair product. I do wish that they had replaced one of the skin products with a perfume sample or a nail polish. I personally could've done without the lotion, but I'm sure others would have a use for it.

Being the generous people that they are, Loose Button has offered one lucky Canadian reader a chance to win a March Luxe Box! The rules for this giveaway are simple:

1. Follow me publicly on Google Friend Connect. (mandatory)
2. 'Like' the Loose Button fan page on Facebook. (+1 bonus entry)
3. Follow Loose Button on Twitter. (+1 bonus entry)
4. Follow me on Twitter. (+1 bonus entry)

Fill out the form below for a maximum of 4 entries! This contest will run until 11:59 pm EST on February 27th, 2012. Good luck to all those who enter, and a huge thank you to Loose Button for the box, as well as the chance to host this giveaway!

Although the Luxe Box was sent to me for review purposes, I am not being compensated in any way for this blog post. This review was strictly based on my own personal opinion.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tonight we are young, so let's the world on fire

1. Esprit v-neck sweater, GAP pussybow blouse
2. Zara cardigan (newer version here, so tempted to buy!), Joe Fresh pussybow blouse
3. Joe Fresh sweater, Coincidence & Chance silk blouse

Another week of simple work outfits.  My office has been pretty flexible in terms of uniform... which means that I don't have to show up in a pant or skirt suit, but showing up in jeans would definitely be frowned upon. I've yet to find a happy medium, and have been showing up to work wearing dark/neutral colours and shying away from accessories, and even nail polish! Would leggings ever be appropriate, with a nice tunic top over? What about coloured trousers or bottoms? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I received quite a few comments a few weeks back when I mentioned that I had snagged myself a third job, and I thought I'd address them more in depth here. Throughout university, I juggled two part time jobs, and to be honest, it wasn't that hard. I was extremely fortunate that one of the jobs were flexible in terms of hours.  It also helped that the main courses that I needed for my degree always fell on days where I wasn't required to work. 

After finishing my last course in December, my initial plan was to give myself a few months off before beginning the dreaded job hunt. Juggling all that work meant that I had to sacrifice my previous summers to catch up on courses. I really wanted some time off! Of course, as luck would have it, this amazing opportunity came up in January, and I couldn't pass it by. With three jobs under my belt at the moment, there are some definite pros and cons. For now, even with my student loans looming over me, I'm not too pressed for cash. Obviously, my number one priority is to pay off my loans as fast as possible, but I'm still able to splurge every now and then. However, the work load is hard. I'm sure you can imagine how tiring it is to finish a full day at one office, pack up, and spend a few more hours working at another office.  It's tough, but for my current situation, it works out.

I obviously wouldn't recommend that anyone pick up a second job if they're still in school. I know that a lot of students want to be able to afford luxury, designer items, and minimum-paying jobs barely cover student costs, much less shopping expenses! It's all about saving and self-control. I've had a job since I was 15, and saving (along with the help of student loans) is what enabled me to pay for my own school tuition, without having to rely on my parents. I'm sure they would've been more than happy to help out, but asking them to shell out that kind of money when I was more than capable of earning it just felt selfish. 

I highly suggest opening up a savings account, if you don't have one already. I have a set amount deposited automatically in to my savings, and the amount can vary, depending on what you can spare (I would suggest at least 15%). This account used to be for school expenses, but now that I've graduated, it is strictly responsible for paying off student loans. Absolutely nothing else comes out of this account, no matter how tempted I am by the new Balenciaga Giant 12 hardware! I also have a TFSA account that gets automatic deposits. This type of account is great for those who are a bit older and are saving up for their future (i.e. a car, a house, an RSP, etc.).

Secondly, I strongly recommend that university students take a moment and really think about whether they need a credit card or not. Having a credit card definitely opens you up to more shopping opportunities, and it can be absolutely detrimental, since it's essentially allowing you to spend money that you don't have. I didn't apply for my first credit card until I was 20, which I know is a bit late. With websites like PayPal, where you can sync your debit card and bank account to the website to make online purchases, as well as family members who were willing to let me pay them back in cash, I just didn't have any use for a credit card.  I think this played a huge part in my ability to save.

In the end, it's not about how many hours you work or how much you're being paid.. it's about what you do with your money. Yes, it's thrilling to go to the mall every week and and make multiple small purchases.. but nothing gets your endorphins pumping more than a week under the hot sun on a tropical island, paid for with your hard-earned savings.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuck down with the radio on and the night belongs to us


H&M denim button up, American Eagle knit jeggings, Diba boots, Forever21 pyramid necklace

I know it looks like I'm shouting to someone in the first photo, but I was actually trying to blow a funnel of smoke! These photos were taken during the bit of snow that we had last week. It lasted about a day or two before it completely melted away. When Wiarton Willie predicted an early spring, all I could think was 'I could've told you that,' but the extra confirmation was comforting. ;).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Talking's fine if you got the time, but I ain't got the time to spare

1. Coincidence and Chance silk blouse, Costa Blanca cardigan, Calvin Klein trousers
3. Forever21 printed blouse (similar), Wilfred D'orsay pants

A collection of random (boring) work outfits taken with the iPhone.