Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Coming back from the May long weekend means we've officially kicked off the summer season in my books, and that means looking forward to achieving that summer glow. I've already gone through my self-tan routine in previous years, but since then I've discovered a few new products and a few new tricks I thought I would share with you. 

Find your formula | Mousse formulas are my favourite for the body because they are easy to apply and dry quickly. I've enjoyed the St. Moritz Medium and Dark in the past, but have noticed the formula starts turning a grey colour (though the tan it leaves behind doesn't take on the same grey hue) and isn't as effective after a year, so I moved on to try the St. Tropez Express. It's a 1-3 hour process depending on the colour you're looking for, and I find it looks natural and lasts well without getting patchy. Since your face generally gets the most regular exfoliation, I find a gradual tan that mixes with my moisturizer is the easiest to maintain and gives the most natural look.

Avoid self-tan hands | I'm sure by now everyone has heard of a tanning mitt (this one is my fav), but what do you do when it comes to your wrists and hands? My favourite method is to use a makeup sponge for a seamless blend. Whether it's a retired Beauty Blender or Real Techniques sponge, or a simple cosmetic wedge, they are all great options for keeping palms clean!

Cut the creasing | When I first got the St. Tropez I actually really disliked it because I felt like it never quite set. If you find your tan leaves your skin feeling sticky, try hitting the spots that are prone to creasing (the underside of elbows and knees, and arms) with a hairdryer on a cool setting. If you still need some extra setting action, dust a light layer of baby powder over the same areas and you'll be good to go. 

Pick the right moisturizers | Keeping moisturized is key to prolonging the life of a fake tan, but some oils and citrus ingredients will actually break down your tan and cause faster fading. I've talked about my love of this quick dry lotion before and find it to be the best for keeping the skin hydrated everyday without the feeling heavy or sticky in warmer weather. Also, don't forget the SPF when you're out in the sun to prevent dryness and peeling (come back next week to see my favourites!).

Do you have any tips for achieving a flawless faux glow?

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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Last week I shared that I had officially found my wedding dress and venue, and now that we've settled on a date (which is less than six months away, eek!) it's been a bit of a whirlwind moving from the big picture to focus on some of the smaller details. To help give myself some direction for the choices going forward I wanted to put together a mood board to capture some of my inspiration and vision for the big day!
I don't own any of these photos
Originally we were planning on getting married up in cottage country, but since there are limited venues and they get booked up super far in advance, we decided that we wanted to prioritize date over venue. Instead, we've decided on an old estate home just outside the city that is a beautiful balance between the elegant and vintage type feel that I love.

If you haven't already noticed from the design of my blog, I have always love the soft combination of dusty seafoam/sage green and grey, but seeing as it will be a fall wedding, I wanted to add in a bit of richness and warmth into the mix in some of the smaller details. The estate has an outdoor arbour and beautiful grounds that we're planning on using for the ceremony if the weather cooperates so I love that we'll still get some of the fresh outdoor feel that we originally wanted. 

I can't wait to see how some of my thoughts come to life over the next few months!
Catch up on our story:
The Proposal
Finding the Dress
What details would be/were the most important for your wedding?

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

If you follow me on social media you'll know I had my first wedding dress shopping experience two weekends ago. I no idea what to expect, so of course I headed to the blog world to read a few ladies' different experiences. I found it really helpful to read real brides' perspectives so I thought I would throw in my two cents while doing a run down of my experience!

The first dress (or second, or fifth..) may not give you the feeling you expect. I was expecting the first time I tried on a dress to have the overwhelming feeling of excitement and "I'm getting married!!", but the first couple of dresses I tried on ended up being super unflattering. I couldn't help but think "oh great, is this going to be worse than going jeans shopping??" but don't give up!

Be firm with your budget before you try a dress on. The worst feeling I could imagine was to try on a dress, fall in love and then realize it's totally out of budget. Most bridal stores are good at keeping within but if they bring you something and don't tell you how much it is make sure you ask! Remember alterations are typically always an extra cost. Ask if they offer any discounts/alteration credits - the one I ended up choosing was originally over budget, but since it was an in-house designer they offered a discount that put it back into my price range.

Bring any accessories you already have. I knew I was going to be wearing my great-grandmother's veil on my wedding day so I had my grandma bring it to my appointment. Because it's 87 years old and has been worn by multiple brides in my family, though it's in very good shape it's obviously not pure white and so I didn't want my dress to be either. It wasn't really until I tried my dress on with the veil that I really had that "bridal moment"!
Try on at least one dress that your mother loves. If you've come with photos of what you have in mind for your dress, your consultant will be pulling from that when bringing you dresses to try on. What I thought I wanted wasn't looking the best on me (hence tip #1), but my Mum asked if I would try on a style that she thought would look good on my shape. It wasn't anything like the styles I had in mind but I said OK and it ended up being the one I chose! Even if that's not the case, you can always just move on to the next!

Don't feel bad if you don't find the one at your first appointment! There was a girl in the change room next to me that seemed to look perfect in every dress she tried on, but she just happened to have a figure that looked great in everything! Not everyone is going to have that experience. Don't get down though, there is something out there for every body and style!

Once you find the one stop looking. I loved a dress at my first appointment but left empty handed as I wanted to know what else was out there. I went to another shop and found another dress I really liked, and knew after that I wasn't going to look at any more. For an indecisive person like me too much choice can be overwhelming, so I took a few days to think and then went back to the first shop to try on the first dress again. They asked if I wanted to try on any more while I was there but I said no. Once I had the dress on again I knew that was it! 

Now two week from my first appointment I've ordered my dress, and chosen my venue, date and photographer. It's amazing how quickly things can start moving once you've made the biggest decisions! Next week I'll share some of my vision/inspiration for the day so keep an eye out for that, and thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging and sharing their tips during the first part of this process!

If you're married, what was your dress shopping experience like? 

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