Tag Archives: essentials

Essentials Sunday: Crisp weather coats.

Perhaps it’s due to the slightly overcast weather that we’ve been having in this neck of the woods, or because I have a serious soft spot for autumn…but either way, we are undoubtedly on our way into the seasons that require coats.  Now while there’s always a place for the seriously functional (I am absolutely alright with the increasing rotation of my North Face fleece and rain jacket when necessary), there’s always an option for a little flourish and fashion.

My favourite pick as soon as there’s even a touch of chill or dampness in the air is my Barbour Beadnell Waxed Jacket.  I picked mine up about a year and a half ago in London – I was dead-set on a little bit of classic British branding, and clearly went straight for the deep green with brown cord…and a little Liberty rose print lining naturally.  It’s weather friendly, but still undeniably functional.  My particular version is just there on the left (tragically it’s no longer available), but J.Crew has also picked up this delightful pairing and a navy and miniature rose garden print is available on their site.

{ Barbour/Liberty Beadnell Wax Coat: Barbour By Mail, £230 / J.Crew, $399 }

Next up is clearly a good trench.  Classic khaki or black are always options, but again – since outerwear can be so bland – I’d advocate for a little trimming or extra detail.  A couple of my favourite bloggers – Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere, and Becki of Shopping’s My Cardio – have both featured their own excellent trench finds in the past (seen here and here, respectively), so I know that at the very least Burberry is making some excellent options.  If I were to go looking today, these are three that I would gravitate towards that are perhaps a little more pocketbook friendly, but still capture that idea of classic shape / non-classic detailing.

{ 1 Madison Faux Leather Sleeves, $228 / Sam Edelman Belted Trench, $178 / Gallery Satin Trim, $148 }

And now for the ones that just don’t fit a category, beyond staying true to what I’d argue are my core tenets when I’m looking for a good crisp weather coat: capacity to accommodate layers, a dash of detail, and the promise of a structured fit. 

{ Annabelle Tweed Coat, Tory Burch, $595 / Lady Day Coat, J.Crew, $325 / Plush Twill Coat, Talbots, $269 / Three Quarter Sleeve Tweed, Ming Wang, $300 }

Or for a few that throw all of that rationale out of the window, because the slightly deconstructed mixed-media trend is just too damn cool?

{ 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, $795 / Vince Shirt-Tail, $725 / Rachel Roy Tweed & Faux Leather, $498 }

Whatever the case, my coats are going back in rotation.  Well…my coats plus a healthy contingent of blazer layered over sweaters with a scarf…because sometimes it’s just not that cold.

What are your favourite coats right now, or your go-to that you’re excited to pull out of your closet and back into rotation?  Be sure to share with the class in the comments!

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Essentials Saturday: No-Makeup…makeup.

I’ve ended up in Sephora, Holts, and Mac with a number of friends recently…giving quiet colour commentary (pun unintended, yet not edited out) as they browse through the offerings.  I read and absorb so much information about makeup, that odds are (often times) if it’s on a shelf and has had any buzz…I’ve probably read/watched reviews, swatched, or tried the silly thing myself.  Which leads me to a new round of posts on my “essentials” the products that sit in my makeup bag, or that I reach for on a consistent basis.

Refreshed and glowing, as though you wake up in the morning looking stunning, the “no-makeup” makeup trend seems to still be going strong.  I often use this as a starting point for my everyday makeup attire, adding a bold lip or a sweep of eyeshadow for weekdays.  On weekends, however, this is a look I nearly sport without fail. It’s also become a go-to for school days as well (that’s grad school kids…I’m not that young).  This kind of face calls for lightly flushed cheeks, naturally coloured lips, soft skin, and ever so slightly defined eyes…at least in my books.  My version goes a little something like this:

"No-Makeup" Makeup Essentials
  1. Tinted moisturizer, or the like.  I go for Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, though there’s a formulation of this stuff for everyone (illuminating, mineral, original, etc.).  It’s either that or a concoction of my daytime moisturizer with a “glow” product (Burberry Light Glow is DIVINE), and a single pump of a sheer foundation (Burberry or Nars).  Apply with fingers to the face…it’s the easiest way to make sure everything is seamless and blended.  Take this all over your face and down onto your neck, as well as a quick bit over the eyelids just to even them out.
  2. Cream cheek & lip product.  The best for this is hands down the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (Powder Pink is my shade).  Find one of the colours that flatters your skin/lip tone and you’re set.  It blends into skin incredibly well, and unlike some products, does not settle into pores or lines.  Rub a small amount of the product into your cheeks, and swipe a bit across your lips as well.
  3. A touch of definition on the eyes.  I reach for a small angled brush (eg. MAC 266) and a soft brown shadow…something that you’d use to subtly define your crease (Bobbi Brown Hot Stone or Taupe are my favourites).  Take this along your upper lash line, and a very small sheer amount (whatever’s left on the brush realistically) just under your lower lashes as well.  Follow-up with Kiehl’s Marvellous Mineral Mascara (my preferred barely there lash formulation).  And don’t forget to curl your lashes…even if you skip the rest of this step, do not forget to curl.
  4. Apply a bit of a balm.  To add something so that the lips aren’t too flat, I always add a touch of shine.  That DOES NOT mean lip gloss, but does mean a salve or moisturizing balm, over the top of the Pot Rouge.  I’m a die-hard for the Smith’s Rosebud Salve…so that would be my go to.
Add naturally waved hair or a tousled ponytail, bun or braid and you’re set!
If you want words from the master though, I’ll send you directly to the place that I get so much of my expert advice from…Ms. Lisa Eldridge.  Brilliant and stunning British makeup artist extraordinaire, her “no-makeup” tutorial in particular is one of my favourites…although granted I love everything she does.  She was also a serious inspiration for the use of many of these products, so credit goes where credit is due.  I highly recommend getting utterly caught up in her website for an afternoon {www.lisaeldridge.com}, and remember to take notes!

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