Saturday, 31 March 2018

New Edition: Dark Forest Green Blazer

"Now we come to the most pressing problem of the time. Shall you or shall you not wear a hat? It is really the completion of your outfit and in another way, it is very often the best way to show your personality. It is easier to express yourself sometimes with your hat than t is with your clothes." - Christian Dior's Little Dictionary of Fashion

"Green; It is suppose to be an unlucky colour. I think that is entirely wrong. I am superstitious and green has always been good for me. And it is a lovely colour and very elegant. It is a colour of Nature-and when you follow Nature for your colour schemes you can never go far wrong. I love to see green used in every shade and in every material-from tweed in the morning to satin in the evening. There is green for everyone and for every complexion." - Christian Dior's Little Dictionary of Fashion

Being able to style colour always feels like an achievement. As we go through the stages of evolving our personal styles, I think almost everyone went through the phase of being "edgy" and "fashionable" because they only ever wear black. If that was only me please tell it to me straight and let me know. The main obstacle I face while getting dressed every day, is that the combinations of certain colours really bug me; Navy and denim, brown and black, any light colour styled with white. I always feel myself slipping back to adding black as the base element. Recently I've been picking out a lot of white and cream to style monochrome outfits with a pop of colour as an accent and this is a huge step for me.
The outfit pictured here looks quite easygoing and simple compared to our fashion world in 2018, but for me it really is quite out of my comfort zone. I have four main colours I worked with, black white, denim and green. Green is an addition I normally would never go for in my wardrobe but I found this beautiful blazer from Zara that I couldn't pass up. The colour is so reminiscent of the 70s coloured suits, I thought it would work really well into most of my basic outfits and be a great statement jacket for my wardrobe. Usually if I wear denim, I only ever wear white or black to complement it and to not overstep with too many different tones. I think the easiest way to get past my phobia of wearing colour, the best thing I can do is to purchase the statement or trend pieces I want to utilize in colour instead of neutral colours. That way when I'm bringing together an outfit the colour comes to the outfit as a statement and can be paired with a neutral base.
Right now my neutral colours for simple styling are black, white (creams & off-white), denim, and warm toned browns. I recently started injecting more camel coloured pieces into my closet and right now am looking for a pair of tan or camel trousers to add into my staple wardrobe for spring & summer. The black and white polkadot blouse is a new selection that is a simple addition to any outfit. Along with the four tonal groups I mentioned, I've found that classic patterns like stripes, dots or check are favourable when you feel an outfit is lack-lustre and needs to step it up. I even find that styling bold colours work really well with black & white classic patterns, i.e picnic blanket checked trousers with a yellow sweater. 
P.S. My favourite and go-to colour combos of the moment right now are denim & white, white & grey, camel & denim, red & denim, yellow & check, black and white stripes & camel.

I hope you enjoyed reading this little spill of thoughts. Let me know if you think styling colour is easy or if I'm not alone with my styling issues!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Creative Spotlight: Thuya Floral Arts

Tasha is a one-woman wonder who is the creative director of Thuya Floral Arts and runs her brick & mortar florist shop in downtown Hamilton. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in Tasha's floral studio & shop with my talented friend Caranina for the relaunch of her jewelry website (more info on Shop Caranina very soon!) Thuya Floral Arts is a beautiful hole-in-the-wall on King St. East with floor to ceiling windows on one wall and floor to ceiling velvet drapes hanging on the other. She has collected a marvellous selection of curated homeware, along with locally made made pottery that you might love to purchase to compliment a recently bought flower bouquet. Which brings us to our main event, the flowers. 

Tasha is an incredibly talented floral designer and photographer with an eye for interior design, who works with fresh cut flowers for all occasions. Caranina and Tasha collaborated to expertly bring together the (wo)man-made jewelry in polished silver and brass contrasted against blooms and delicate petals from mother nature. My job was being the hand mannequin and making sure my nails looked extra pretty, and I had such a fun day with these two creators. I wish I hadn't forgotten my camera that day (silly me) but I'm sure I'll be returning as a customer soon anyways. The shop with light casting in, the smell of fresh-cut flowers and the three of us locked in with calm music while the rest of the world hurried past the windows outside seemed like a whole other world. I had a lovely day and to top it all off Tasha was so kind to gift me a stunning bouquet. Her bouquets seem to have this beautiful coordination of elegance and wildness; it's like she scooped up all the wildflowers she wanted in a meadow and assembled them all with lavish roses and greenery. Tasha's bouquets look as though they could be in a Monet painting or featured in a modern style wedding. She imports the most unique blooms in from Holland at this time of year, some of which we used for the jewelry lookbook with Shop Caranina. I'll be sure to link her Instagram and Website. I'm so thankful to get to know a local brand created by such a hard working individual. Thanks so much Tasha!

As always, thanks for reading, 

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January Bookclub: Scythe - Neal Shusterman

Hey readers! Today I wanted to introduce two friends that I luckily met through the wonderful book world. Primarily we are coworkers at a book store, but with that, came the fact that we are all passionate about reading! Both of them have amazing talents and I'm proud to call them some of my greatest friends, so when we decided to start a monthly book club I knew it was going to be a series on my blog as well. Welcome to the TDH Book Club!

Taylor: @readsbyta
who are you: I'm a film graduate and a lover of books! The dream is to combine these two passions one day.
fave reads: Super into fantasy/scifi! My imagination just booms in these types of written environments.
weird fact: I like food puns and I'm starting to collect many pairs of glasses.

Dayla: @daylafm & her blog
who are you: I'm a writer who blogs about books and loves to share my love for the written book.
fave reads: I love contemporary romance, especially in young adult.
weird fact: I sometimes act out scenes from the books I'm writing in the shower. Volume control is important.

This time I'm bringing you our January read and to start this whole thing off we have Scythe by Neal Shusterman, a gripping science fiction novel set in what seems like a utopian time on Earth. 2042 is the year when death is considered unnatural. That's right, by that year, humans have overcome death by natural causes and the medical system can even revive someone from being absolutely dead. Along with curing death and eradicating all disease, they can turn back your physical clock and make you 25 again. With no death, age, misery, or war, having infinite human lives causes problems with population control so with this advancement comes the Scythedom. Trained scythes are expected to glean (kill) an amount of people to meet a quota for that year to reduce the populous, and that's where our two protagonists come in; they both somehow become a part of a scythe's gleaning. Citra and Rowen are then picked to become this scythe's apprentices even though neither truly want the role. And that is why they are chosen.

We had a lot of fun reading this book together and although Dayla of course zipped through it within the first week of January, it turned out to be one of my favourite reading experiences. We respected the no spoilers rule but always were getting each other excited for what was coming up next so when we were all finished and got together to specifically talk about our thoughts on the novel, the room was filled with our energy and awe over this book.

Scythe touches on some heavy themes of mortality and what makes us human along with questioning who or what we are if we loose our compassion and morals. The main idea is that even if killing is a job in this world, scythes must not become desensitized to what they do. The Scythedom tries to keep training and recruitment incredibly specialized so only a select few apprentices actually become full-fledged scythes. They can't afford corruption, so scythes with empathy for others become the best ones.

"My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human."  Neal Shusterman, Scythe

Dayla, Taylor and I discussed this part of the book quite a bit because of the antagonist and his ideals that intensely differ from the rest of the Scythedom, trying to selfishly make gleaning an enjoyable job. We decided that "like kings & queens, scythes cannot want to do what they do. Kings should not want to rule so that power does not get in the way of making rational choices for the people. Scythes should not want to kill and shouldn't kill just because they have the power to." (Something I wrote down at our coffee table as D & T discussed it.)
Scythes must hate killing, but do it to give the rest of humanity a better life. We see that the most worshipped and praised scythes are the ones who create their own methods of gleaning and coping with the process. Usually, these styles are quick, humane and reassuring to the families that looses their loved one.

This book is filled of quotations that directly question where our society is going with the advancements of technology and evolution of ideals. With infinite life spans, are humans able to be happier and live more meaningful lives? One would suspect so, but without a time limit, human choices would seem to be more about instantaneous rewards and less about working towards a goal. 

“Mortals fantasied that love was eternal and its loss unimaginable. Now we know neither is true. Love remained mortal, while we became eternal.” ― Neal ShustermanScythe

And on the subject of love and raising a family, what happiness does one feel about making a life with a loved one when they have the time to have multiple long-term marriages that simply end when they are bored and tired of them?

Shusterman truly introduced every form of technology as if the reader already understood and lived with it, which I appreciated and made the book feel more like science then fiction. Reading Scythe honestly provoked so many questions to actually research within science forums like I strongly believe that science fiction is important to our world to inspire where we can end up in a utopian future or what we can change to avoid a dystopian future. All and all, this was a perfect start to January 2018, because every day concepts like these are being considered and questioned by science. Is it possible to get to this advancement in our world in 30 years? I wouldn't put it past the minds of our generation. If our only strength on this earth is to constantly evolve and change, then I firmly believe that at some point we will be baffled by the fact that we might not have survived what they used to call "sickness". 

P.S. Lucky for us Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) is now available! Dayla already finished it and gave it 5 stars & claimed it was better than Scythe. I am ready. Follow #TDHbookclub on Instagram for our next novel choices and updates!

"Nature deemed that to be born was an automatic sentence to death, and then brought about that death with vicious consistency." ― Neal ShustermanScythe

Haylie's rating: 5 stars "I'm feeling so many things right now and dying!"
Taylor's rating: 5 stars "I'm addicted and need more."
Dayla's rating: 5 stars "Holy poop balls, I want more."

As always,
thanks for reading,

Friday, 17 November 2017

Glossier - from your makeup minimalist

So I'm sure by now every one has heard of the innovative makeup & skincare company Glossier. With their famous millennial pink branding and simplistic, minimal aesthetic, there was quite a pull towards this brand from bloggers and average internet explorers. After knowing about the brand for some time, I for some reason had the urge a couple weeks ago to take a plunge and buy a couple of their products to see how they compare in real life vs. the hype.
Although a makeup & skincare brand isn't about how responsive the website is or how great the shipping options are, Glossier excelled in pretty much every way in terms of the business side of things. The options of bundles on the website made being a first time shopper way easier than ever before because you can choose a set of three products depending on what you want to try. There is the skincare bundle, Phase 1, and the makeup bundle, Phase 2. For me, trying the Generation G lipstick was top priority. Boy Brow has been a cult classic since Glossier emerged on the beauty scene, so when I saw those two paired together with the Stretch Concealer, I was already to hit buy. With the Phase 2 set, you get face, eyebrows, and lips so that already equals the perfect combination. On days where I actually want to wear makeup, these products are the ones I will reach for because they are the bare necessities. 
I have texturized and acne prone combination skin, and really am still trying to define it further. In these photos this is my natural skin, no airbrush at all but just some Stretch Concealer and a quick transparent E.L.F powder. Sure the texture is still there when normally I would edit it out, but in general I truly think that this concealer adds so much life to my skin even with out foundation. Being minimal with my makeup application is something that ails me every single day I try to wear makeup. Drug store concealers just don't do my skin justice and I actually think they sometimes enhance my blemishes if I'm not careful. The Stretch Concealer can be built up in areas you need the extra coverage while just evening the tone of the rest of your face. Personally the best way to apply was with my fingers and it gives me a lot more control too.
Generation G was the first product I tried out of my little haul, and I instantly fell in love. The colour I chose was "Leo" and is described on the website as "a warm cocoa brown". I think the idea behind this lipstick range is that the sheer pigment blends with your natural lip shade and creates something of a personal colour. For me the brown shines through less then the warm orange tones in this and really creates a terracotta colour on me. To be honest, I was instantly surprised that Glossier hadn't thought about the scent of this lipstick because when I first applied it, I could smell the generic "unscented" lipstick smell and it didn't appeal to me. The lipstick formula is buttery and smooth so when that scent hit me I was definitely unsure of what they were trying to do here but I think the brand itself really tries to be generally unscented/gentle smelling. Overall, I'm still obsessed and I love, love, love the build-able aspect of this lipstick and I think it's something that has never been extremely appealing in the makeup world but Glossier did it and did it well. 
Boy Brow has the least wow-factor for all the products I've tried so far, including the samples of primer and their new fragrance "You" I was sent. Boy Brow has always been raved about endlessly it seems and quite frankly I normally use a dried up mascara which has the same effect. BUT I will say, Boy Brow's application is the easiest brow enhancement product I have ever used. With the small spoolie applicator and handle, Boy Brow gives you an incredibly precise and simple experience all with the outcome of natural looking caterpillars. For me having dark eyebrows has always been difficult, (I know, first world problems) I never knew how to shape them in feminine ways or fill them in without them becoming black bricks on my forehead. So when I rediscovered my mom's old transparent brow gel I realized for my brows it's less about colouring them in and plucking but more about taming them and them staying put together through out the day. After clear gel, I wanted more volume, so I started using my mascaras and now I think I've finally found an upgrade to that... freakin' Boy Brow, people. Quite frankly I haven't tested how many wears I've gotten in terms of wear to price ratio but it's something I will reflect on in the future here I'm sure because right now I'm definitely in the Honeymoon stage of this romance.

I want to say thank you Glossier for living up to the blogger/YouTuber hype, and I encourage everyone to try at least one of their products. I am not even a makeup guru or collector and I found that this line gives me what I need as a Makeup Minimalist (what I like to call myself). 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Into the Unknown - figuring out what I need to change

I'm having a lot of trouble with videos lately. I really love making them but to be real with you, I film something and then instantly hate everything about it: how I talk, how I look, and how while reflecting on the video I feel like I'm talking about something completely pointless.

Uploading a new video brings me so much joy and the comments are so meaningful to my mental health but the filming process has somewhat downgraded for me and it might just mean I'm overthinking the way I create now. I think my channel needs to become more artistic and less like the Youtubers that I watch in my downtime. I love fashion and style but I'm not an expert on anything and need to remember why She Catwalks is my blog name. She Catwalks has always been about being able to catwalk my own personal style with confidence and to help people realize that style is subjective and the latest trends don't have to dictate if you're "fashionable" or not. 

The change over to being primarily YouTube based was an amazing thing for my entrance to the blogging world but with Youtube I got tangled up with tying to film the mainstream kind of videos like tags or favourites (nothing wrong with these because they are my favourite to watch). But they don't always work for me to film because they don't feel genuine to my path in the blogging world. It feels like they create all these branches instead of growing the trunk of my creativity. Once again, overthinking is a common enemy in my life, but when I have to refilm one video 5 times and even then I'm not fully happy, do I put it out? How do I just give up on an idea? That isn't the way I like to do things and I definitely don't want to start doing things that way. 

I need to write and I need to blog again. It's meditative to take pictures then write about them and it's something that I've realized only now that I was missing. Filming videos have become my new love and way of release, but when my editing software doesn't work or my 5 year old kit lens isn't up to my standards I get burdened with stress. I need to be good enough for myself before anyone else lately it seems, and I'm not sure if that's a selfishness shining though or just not wanting to be judged. Everything I create I want to be better than the last and I think that's what causes my long pauses in between Youtube uploads. This isn't my job by any means so it's not like this is effecting my income at all but it is my passion so it effects my heart and happiness.

I miss this blog so much and I think shifting back, not fully but so that I can balance both Youtube and the blog, will just be perfect. I miss being creative with photography and this little bedroom photoshoot really helped me realize that. I am so excited for the future and what She Catwalks will bring.

Thanks for reading,