style + beauty


Growing up in the ’90s meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Fashion, music, pop culture all rapidly jumped from one hot topic to the next; present day excluded it was the first decade where all of styles and ideas of preceding muddled to create an odd sort of cultural melting pot. Style of the 90s had an emphasis on nostalgia; you could channel anything and anyone from any time.

There was nothing precisely distinct about the 1990s but you kinda know it when you see it, especially now as we are seeing a resurgence of 90s fashion appearing and feverish feelings of nostalgia are ultra-present.

For me, British textile designer Laura Ashley epitomized nostalgia for my ’90s childhood. As a child who perpetually looked to other eras for comfort, Laura Ashley padded my overly active imagination with daydreams of frolicking through flowered meadows at dusk, enjoying a leisurely picnic under an apple tree, and dipping my toes into a cool stream while reciting poetry to no one in particular. My already romance-addled mind was absolutely intoxicated by Sunday night episodes of Road to Avonlea, thumbing through the American Girl doll catalogue (picking out my dream pair of high-button black boots)and visits to our local Laura Ashley shop.

I remember spending hours with my Mom in the Laura Ashley boutique, considering toile after toile, trying on so many beautiful dresses, straw hats and imagining my fantasy life in which I’d wear them all the time. My Mom, who in modern day would be the ultimate Pinterest/Instagram Mom, captured so many great photographs of myself living out my fantasy in our lush plant-filled front yard. In my opinion, some of the photos sum up my inner self more than any other photo taken since. Also an avid sewer, my Mom purchased their fabrics and made my room so beautiful and magical; totally fit for someone who was able to escape into literature (Laura Ingalls anyone?) for hours and hours, while of course, wearing a frock.

When I saw that Laura Ashley had collaborated with Urban Outfitters on an Exclusive Collection, my head was instantaneously filled with near-psychedelic images toile and floral. I asked my mom to dig up some of the photos she had taken of me in all of my floral-dress glory. I find it awe-inspiring and confusing how things have come full circle; even more mind-boggling is the fact that I’ve even considered buying one of the UO capsule pieces.

UO even has removable wallpaper and bed linens in their signature perriwinkle toile.

Whether you wore Laura Ashley in your youth, or are considering adding the soft, dream-like pieces from UO to your current wardrobe, one thing definitely remains the same: fashion is a beautiful escape from real life.


For me July was all about trying new things! This month was fairly boring in terms of what I bought - it was a lot of drugstore purchases; I mostly just needed to switch up some of my skincare to combat some of the summer elements we’ve been experiencing here in Calgary.

As mentioned before almost all of the products listed here were purchased by me (I’ve noted it below if they were gifted) but I will definitely let you guys know in future posts if it is a gifted product or contains an affiliate link. Also, if you have any suggestions for new products I should check out please let me know!


I cannot get enough VERB products. I am 100% sold on their gluten-free formula now and swear by all of the products that I’ve tried so far. First up is the VERB Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair which is such a total revelation. FINALLY a dry shampoo for dark hair that doesn’t have an off-putting chalky, chocolatey scent. The formula is light and fresh - and actually works really well for refreshing my hair quickly - especially during these hot, sweaty days/nights.

The other product I tried out this month was the VERB Ghost Prep (*this product was gifted to me by Chatters Hair Salon). It says it is for weightless moisture, heat protection and frizz control - all things I need during this awesome summer heat wave we are having. The Ghost line is typically for finer hair but the Ghost Prep worked great on my thick hair for maintaining flyaways and other frizz.


I needed a new skin cleanser and had read really good reviews on the CeraVe lineup so I figured I would give it a shot. I picked up the  CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin. First off, I love washing face - nothing feels better than really cleansing my skin and going to bed feeling fresh. This cleanser is great for that - the formula is light and doesn’t dry out my skin. I think that the value is also great - it was $15.99 for quite a large pump bottle; I only use one pump per session and I feel like I’ve barely used it!

This was an impulse as I had a random breakout and nothing seemed to be working on it. The Neutrogena Rapid Clear Spot Gel actually did the trick! I usually have clear skin and don’t often need something so intense like this so I am glad that it is quite a small little tube.

Next up I was excited to try a couple new products from The Ordinary and my excitement was completely warranted. As I type, I’ve got a re-order on its way to me full of my favourite products from their line. Probably the most anticipated product of the summer for me personally was The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants. I am always looking to try out high SPF in a natural format so I was pleased to see that The Ordinary was releasing something in that range. I found the SPF formula to be very nice and smooth (make sure you shake it up before applying) with great coverage - though you will definitely have to blend it in quite a bit as with any mineral based SPF the formula is quite white. I have used it both on myself and on Jack - we didn’t get any adverse skin reactions to it and no sunburns to be seen so I am quite happy with this purchase.

I also picked up The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer which I would like to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS RIGHT NOW AS MY NEW FAVOURITE PRODUCT. In the past, I’ve never been much of a primer user but this one changed everything. My makeup stays on SO much better than without it. And with all The Ordinary products, you cannot go wrong with the pricepoint.


I’m constantly perfecting my daily lip so I picked up a few new things this past month. I tend to stick with blush nude tones for the most part. In an effort to try a new type of product, I bought the NYX Powder Puff Lippie in Squad Goals. I really love the lip colour and the product goes on nicely - my only criticism is that the “powder puff” makes it a bit harder to achieve a clean lip line.

This was part of my order from Deciem: the Abnomaly Petrowhat?  Lip + Skin Ointment in Coconut Milk. it is a nice smooth lip treatment with a mild scent - it is really moisturizing. Moisturizing enough to use it on my cuticles and other dry skin areas! Not bad for $7. A little bit goes a long way.

More lip stuff! I was given the da lish lipgloss in G02 from my friend Alli at Beach Beauty here in Calgary. It is a vegan line and I have to say - as someone who NEVER buys lipgloss for fear of stickiness - I was beyond surprised at what a great product this is. The colour is perfectly neutral and goes well with all of my other lipsticks.

I usually use NYX Lip Liner in Natural but decided to try out a darker colour for a more defined lip. I tried out Mauve and really love the colour.

I’ve been using the same eye liner for 100 years that I totally swear by but I had heard that Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper Black was a godsend so bit bullet (it is double the price of my regular drugstore fave). I think it is a really amazing product but definitely need a lot more practice to perfect my cat eye. Also, I find that the tip runs out of liquid pretty fast - not sure if that is common or not.

I am an Anastasia Beverly Hills fanatic but this NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Espresso is really great when you want to get a really defined clean brow. It is the perfect pencil to keep in your purse for daytime touch-ups!


Lastly, my allergies have been OUT OF CONTROL this summer and I was willing to try anything for a bit of relief. Luckily, Saje came out with a lovely kit just for me: Saje Natural Wellness Clear Skies Allergy Relief Kit. The kit comes with an allergy release mist which I misted over myself and on my pillows before bedtime. It was really soothing and helped me do some deep breathing despite my congestion. The allergy rollerball is great for on the go - just a dab under my nose or behind my ears seems to soothe my irritated nose/eyes. The inhaler is such a great addition to this kit - anytime I felt like I couldn’t breathe or was on the verge of a sneezing attack I used it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a natural remedy for allergy season.


I’m constantly trying out new beauty and hair products so I thought I would start sharing all of my finds here with a short review every month. All products listed here were purchased by me but I will definitely let you guys know in future posts if it is a gifted product or contains an affiliate link. Also, if you have any suggestions for new products I should check out please let me know!


Let’s start with hair. I had been noticing this year that I kept breaking out around my hair line while also dealing with a dry itchy scaly; being a Celiac I figured that my shampoos and hair products had gluten in them. After doing some research I decided to switch everything to the completely gluten-free product lineup from VERB. In June, I tried three of their products: verb dry shampoo and verb hydrating shampoo + conditioner   . The powdered dry shampoo was so fantastic that I immediately got rid of any of the other dry shampoos I had collected (especially since none of them said whether they were GF or not). I have pretty dark brown hair so I had to really work the powder into my hair so it wasn’t visible but it didn’t bother me. I picked up their dark hair spray dry shampoo which I will include in my July reviews. The shampoo and conditioner feels so luxurious and beautiful - the scent is super mild and the formula is really hydrating. I bought them in the extra large size pump bottles; Jack and I have barely made a dent in them yet - a little bit goes a long way.

I also had recently picked up the Herbivore sea mist in coconut + sea salt from my friend’s shop here in Calgary, Dept. It is supposed to give you that whole surfer-girl-beachy-waves thing and I can report that it works. I use it on Jack’s hair a lot - it detangles his hair perfectly and the scent is heavenly. In fact, I actually mist it on as a light fragrance pretty regularly - it smells so good! The bottle is only 1/4 empty so I’m quite pleased how far it is going - especially being used on two people daily.


Okay, skin care o’clock. I didn’t really try too much *new* this month as I am trying to keep things stable for a bit so I can make sure it is actually working. I did switch up my daily moisturizer and started using schaf facial moisturizer from Toronto. I prefer my facial moisturizers to be fragrance-free and lightweight - especially in the summer. Overall, I really like the formula - my only complaint is that sometimes my skin looks really shiny in the summer heat. Otherwise, it feels great and moisturized. It is also gluten-free. Also, love the pump style of this product - and of course, their branding is to die for.

I also wanted to deal with the breakouts I’ve been experiencing lately (still trying to figure if out if I’m coming in contact with gluten somehow) so I picked up the Saje zap oil for acne prone skin. I don’t have acne prone skin which is why these zits are really annoying so I thought I would give it a shot. It did dry out and get the zits to go away a lot quicker than any of my other methods. The scent is quite strong (tea tree oil, I believe) so it takes a bit of time to get used to it.


I’m always up for trying new mascaras and when I discovered that a booth at the Calgary Farmers Market was carrying the vegan Pacifica lineup, I had to try one of their mascaras. I ended up choosing the Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara in Supernova (black). Overall, I really love this mascara  - it is a great pure black, the formula is smooth and lightweight (no globs). The brush is long, fat and fluffy - which IMHO is fantastic for getting thick blink-worthy lashes. The only downside is that its not really waterproof so if you’ve got seasonal allergies like I do, you might need to do a makeup touchup every so often. But the fact that it is a vegan formula makes me happy.

I was so stoked to find out about The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation. I had been switching up my foundations when the seasons begun to change but I always find it hard to find the perfect formula for my dry skin. The Ordinary has such a lightweight formula - it doesn’t sit on my skin like so many other foundations - likely because it is serum-based. I’ve been using Colour 1.1 N Fair Neutral.

I purchased a box set of mini Benefit Cosmetics Blushes as I wanted to try a bunch of different colours without buying the full size. It doesn’t look like the kit is available any more but my favourites out of the box are GALifornia, Gold Rush Blush and Dandelion. I’ll definitely be picking those up in full size once I’m done with the minis.


I’ve been using the Saje floral crystal fresh deodorant for about a year now and I absolutely love it. It is perfect for freshening up mid-day or layering with another natural deodorant. I’ve also used it as a light fragrance or to spritz my pillow with.

I picked up this pharmacia rose perfume from Anthropologie and I’ve already gone through an entire bottle of it and started on a second. I can’t find too much information about - I’m assuming it is an Anthro house brand - but for about $28 you really can’t beat it. It captures everything I love about roses - such a delicate scent. The first time I sniffed the bottle, I just about swooned from the nostalgic vibes wafting from it.


I’ve been quite taken with the art and design collaborations that Quebec-based retailers Simons have been creating over the years - especially since they opened their doors here in Calgary. Their love of supporting artists runs deep and it is clear throughout the entire store with an incredible art collection and attention to detail in every sense of the word.

Their latest women’s collaboration with Chicago-based illustrator Kate Pugsley is truly something out of my dreams. First of all, I love her colour palettes - her bright hues aren’t primary - they are softer, more muted. I love the constant use of soft pink or peach throughout her work - it’s gorgeous. Secondly, the seaside theme to these pieces has me daydreaming for a coastal vacation immediately. How cute would the clam pullover look walking the beach at dusk with an ice cream cone in hand?

Everything is a fun, whimsical spin on traditional nautical wear - I want the whole collection. Kate Pugsley was interviewed by Simons on their blog which you can read  here - I always find it so fascinating to hear the artistic process - especially when an artist is approached with the task of working with a major brand like Maison Simons. You can shop the whole collection here.

photos via Maison Simons


Canadian International Fashion Film Festival 2017 from CANIFFF on Vimeo.

Fabulous news for enthusiasts of the fashion and film varietal here in Calgary: the third annual Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF) takes place Saturday, May 5, 2021 at 10 a.m. at The Glenbow Museum ( 130, 9 Ave SE). The festival presents a series of short fashion films directed and produced by filmmakers around the world to inspire, engage and inform fashion film enthusiasts. This is a huge

The carefully curated jury panel includes; Adrian Lazarus, founder of the Bokeh South African International Fashion Film Festival; Sara Maino, deputy editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and head of Vogue Talents; Cherie Federico, editor of Aesthetica Magazine and director of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF); and Raquel Couceiro, head of Fashion Film at SHOWstudio and more.

In addition to CANIFFF’s 2018 Official Selection of Films, attendees can also purchase tickets to two Masterclasses. The first, The Aesthetics of Fashion Film, will be presented by Josh Brandao and Nicolai Kornum at 11 a.m. The second Masterclass, Creating Content That Matters in Fashion Film, will be showcased at 1 p.m by Luca Finotti. If you are passionate about fashion and film, you’ll want to grab tickets to these quickly.

“We are excited to showcase the official selection, official nominations and 2018 winning films at the festival in May. The festival will also include talks with incredibly influential individuals within the fashion and film world. Luca, Joshua and Nicolai have extensive portfolios and will offer attendees engaging conversations and insights into the creation of fashion film,” says CANIFFF director and co-founder, Katrina Olson-Mottahed (my amazing pal - check out her blog here).

The Official CANIFFF awards and afterparty will include a special performance by Perla Coddington (@perlacoddington) - another one of my AMAZING friends. All tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased at . All screenings and masterclasses are priced at $20 each. The CANIFFF Awards and After Party tickets can be purchased for $100.


There is nothing I love more than getting my hair done. When the Chatters Mobile Hair Salon rolled into Calgary this month I was beyond thrilled to pop down and see what kind of magic they could create with my hair. It was a bit of a rainy, stormy day but we huddled inside the gorgeous pink van (seriously - what a genius idea for a hair salon) and created some braid magic with my stylist Sara. I loved chatting with the whole crew including the host for the entire cross-Canada adventure, Jessica Clark!

In case you don’t know much about Chatters, it is an Alberta-run company where you can pick up everything you need for great hair from hair product to cutting edge styling tools. Some people might not know that they are also a full-on salon with services ranging from haircuts to colour to waxing. They have something for everyone. Celebrating Canada 150, Chatters decided to embark on a fun tour spreading cute hair styles and hair education across the entire country. What a great idea! I loved getting to be part of the tour and celebrating our amazing country with them.

Stop by their glamourous little pink van during their tour for a free hairstyle, cute coupons, buy some product or get a hair consultation! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #StyleHappyTour & @ChattersHairSalon on Instagram - their updates and Instagram Stories are the best and also pretty hilarious! The Style Happy Tour is stopping in 9 Canadian Cities (see tour dates below) and documenting their entire adventure! They are sharing their whole journey on their youtube channel, ChattersCanada. You can see me in Episode 3!

I just booked my first hair appointment with Chatters and also stocked up on a selection of their house-brand products from Kenneth Bernard so stay tuned for a follow-up blog post featuring my experience with both!

The Chatters Hair Salon Style Happy Tour is touring across Canada until the end of June - make sure to look for the van in your own city at the dates below. And be sure to meet the amazing Chatters Style Happy Tour team! They are a total blast to hang out with and seriously know their hair! 🙂

07.06 – Vancouver, 08.06 – Kelowna, 10.06 – Calgary, 12.06 – Edmonton, 16.06 – Regina, 18.06 – Winnipeg, 23.06 & 24.06 – Toronto, 26.06 – London, 28.06 & 29.06 – Ottawa

This post is in partnership with Chatters Hair Salon and all words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.