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Monday
Jan092017

GLOW GETTER | Why I'm Officially Obsessed with Belif + a Glowing Skin Giveaway

Friends (with benefits).

My NY Resolution for 2017 is simple: don't let anyone stick needles in my face. I make the same resolution every year, and I always succeed since there aren't needle-wielding weirdos wandering around looking for faces into which they can jab needles. Luckily. And yet, I'm approaching 40. And as my fine lines contemplate legit wrinkledom, the temptation is real. SO many people I know do it. And I'm sure loads of others do it on the DL. But I just don't want to willingly pay someone to paralyze my face. Also not a fan of paying someone to take off my face and put it back on, but let's revisit that in another 10 years shall we? Until then, I'm all about avoiding needles in my head. 

In an effort to age gracefully (read: desperately cling to my youth) I'm always on the hunt for products that deliver real results. My skin is super dry and overly-reactive and like so many other Canadians, it becomes particularly parched in the winter months. I need major moisture, but with a sensitive touch because I break out easily. Anything with parabens or sulfates are out. So are creams that cost $200 or lengthy nightly regimens that cut into my Bachelor-watching time. Too much to ask?

I've been hearing the buzz around Korean beauty brand belif for the past year so was excited to finally give it a go. Koreans are notoriously discerning with their skincare products so the fact that belif's The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb is the #1 beauty product (across all categories) in Korea's crazy competitive prestige beauty market speaks volumes. 

I started using belif over the holidays and The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb is like 8 glasses of water straight to your face. It's clinically tested to provide up to 26 hours of moisture and while I didn't actually count the hours since I was too busy eating cookies, my skin feels soft and supple all day long when I wear it. The cream releases an instant burst of moisture to your skin and then absorbs right away, without the heaviness or stickiness of some other heavy-duty creams I've tried. My skin has become calm and clear and dare I say, a little bit dewy. I don't know how it works (something about apothecary herbs and comfrey leaf) but it does. Oh, and did I mention it contains no parabens, sulfates or phthalates, plus no mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, or animal origin ingredients. Love love love. 

I told the team at belif how much I love their products so they recently sent me the Hungarian Water Essence to test-drive. It's a lightweight, hydrating serum formulated with Hungarian water and a blend of 10 herbs including Rosemary & Gotu Kol. I've started using the serum before applying The True Cream and if anything, it has made my skin feel even more hydrated. Two simple steps every morning and I'm good to go.  Want to try belif and get your glow on in 2017? Pick up Belif products now at The Face Shop. In case I didn't make it super obvious, I am SUCH a fan. 

I originally bought Belif on my own so this is a 100% honest review which I wanted to share with you because I'm crazy in love like Beyonce. As in, if I wasn't already married, I might marry it. As in, I have nightmares about them discontinuing it. As in, I'm now an official Belifer. Speaking of which, check this out:

GIVEAWAY ALERT! :)

We're giving away a BELIF PRIZE PACK containing The True Cream ($47 value) and Hungarian Water Essence ($51 value) to one lucky winner so you can get the gift of glowing skin, too. Here's how to win it:

1) Follow me on Instagram @realliferunway

2) 'Like' the Belif giveaway post

3) Tag 2 friends in the post

Will announce the winner this Friday! Best of luck, beauties!

 

Thursday
Jan052017

IN WITH THE NEW | 10 Fashion Resolutions Worth Keeping This Year

via Le Château

Originally posted in The CLOSET

Out with the old and in with the new.  From new takes on old classics to little risks with big fashion payoffs, we've found 10 updates your 2017 wardrobe's just going to love. Cheers to a happy, extra stylish, new year!

READ MORE...

 

Wednesday
Dec212016

MERRY & BRIGHT | 50 Fun Gifts For Everyone Left On Your List

Originally posted in The Fashion Scoop

I can't blame you for feeling overwhelmed by it all. I mean, December is always straight up manic - between making plans and hosting parties, grabbing gifts and doing good deeds, this time of year is all about stressing and hurrying and getting it done. But then, when all of that rushing is done, it's all about stopping. It's about pausing and relaxing and fa-la-laaing with your favourites. It's about crisp white days and silent nights. It's about spending time with the people we love. We forget about work and worries for awhile as we watch Clark Griswold light up the night (Joy to the Woooorld) and Kevin experiment with after-shave. We remember what it's like to feel like a kid again as we eagerly wait for Santa to arrive.

As we all learned from Dr. Seuss, we know that in Whoville at least, Christmas came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. We know Christmas doesn't come from a store. We all know it means just a little bit more. But still, you have to admit it - giving great gifts is FUN. Since you're probably a little bit busy right now, I put together a list of 50 fun gifts for everyone on your nice list so you can quickly grab your gifts and get to all the good stuff just a little bit sooner. Happy holidays - hope you're enjoying every manic minute! 

SEE THE GIFT GUIDE HERE...

 

Monday
Dec192016

GIVE JOY | Our Lovely Last-Minute Guide

via theofficialpandora on Instagram

Originally posted in The CLOSET

Whether you've finished all of your shopping or haven't even started yet, I'm not here to judge. After all, life is busy and December? Well, judging by my headache and ever-growing list of things to do/places to go/people to see, it's even busier. Since my job involves shopping and research, I love putting together gift guides each year. It's a win-win: I get to figure out what I'm buying everyone, I think of ideas to give people who ask what I want, and I get to share all of it with you in case you're super busy, too. 

These gifts are luxurious but come in all shapes and sizes for a wide range of holiday budgets.  My favourite thing to do when I can't afford to go it alone? Round up my family members or friends and go in on a bigger gift - strength in numbers, as they say. I found tech gifts and sweet gifts, fun gifts and fashionable, expected gifts and some not so much. Take a look and hopefully it will inspire you as you head out into the snow to pick up things for the ones you love. Good luck out there and remember, the best gift of all is you. And my daughter would argue a hoverboard...

SEE THE GUIDE HERE...

 

Saturday
Dec172016

GIVE A LITTLE BIT | The Vaughan Mills Love Lock Wall + Our Visit to Santa's Tiny Big Town

Messages of hope on the Vaughan Mills Love Lock Wall...

Epic snowstorm or not, we are on our way to Vaughan Mills. My kids are in the backseat, all dressed up, and there is no turning back. With school, soccer practices, choir performances and colds having delayed us over the last few weeks and Christmas only a week away, this is literally our only night to do this - and for the record, we're not just going to shop. As the Official Stylist of Vaughan Mills, I spend most of my days focusing on the fluffy stuff - the fashion, the shoes, the sparkly gifts I find on the daily at VM, all of which I love. But while Vaughan Mills is one of my favourite places to shop, it's their focus on giving back that means the most to me. And so, we're driving, through a blizzard, for 3 hours, to see Santa. 

Even a snowstorm can't stop these two from seeing Santa...

 

Made it! C & A, all set to meet the big guy at Santa's Tiny Big Town.

For the second year in a row, Vaughan Mills has partnered with Toronto's SickKids Hospital for Santa's Tiny Big Town, where 100%(!) of the proceeds generated from Santa Photo Packages will be donated to SickKids. We came last year and my kids still talk about how magical Santa's Tiny Big Town was. The set-up is beautiful with twinkly white lights everywhere and magical little elf houses dotting the path to where the kids eventually meet the man of the hour. This year, there were no line-ups, no waiting (see: blizzard) so C & A waltzed right in but VM has thought of everything so along the way, there are loads of games and distractions to keep little ones entertained. 

Fun games in the line-up make waiting loads of fun.

All is calm, all is bright...

Frame-worthy. And yes, Santa's beard is 100% real (I know because they checked). 

We're greeted by two elves, direct from the North Pole, who usher us into the room where Santa sits. The genius part is that you can't see the big guy until you're allowed into the room so it feels special and quiet and magical. Once inside, you finally see Santa, in all his jolly glory, sitting on his giant green armchair. My kids are in awe and I see them examining his beard. It's definitely real. They tell him their wishlist (which includes everything from rocks to hoverboards this year), then he gives them a magical key to leave out for him on Christmas Eve before posing for a pic, winking his eye and bidding them goodbye. 

All giddy after meeting the man of the hour.

"He's the real deal, mom," declares my daughter, whose grade 4 classmates in her 3/4 split have had her questioning things like Santa and the tooth fairy lately. Confidence restored and two thrilled kids in tow, I smile, realizing I get to keep them little for at least another year. Vaughan Mills is awesome so they've given each of my kids a gift card to pick up a little something for themselves as a pre-Christmas treat. We head to LEGOLAND®, the Disney store, Toys, Toys, Toys (where Alex is in Pokemon heaven) and Build-a-Bear, where my daughter gets to build and dress up her very own reindeer. She is 100% smitten. 

No trip to Vaughan Mills is complete without a visit to LEGOLAND®

Decisions, decisions...

Literally larger-than-life LEGO...

Talking Pokemon (a language I'm sure I'll never understand)...

Chloé's first trip to Build-a-Bear and her newly 'born' reindeer, Emma. 

An important reminder in this season of giving...

Shopping was fun but I'm most excited for this next part. The kids don't know it, but they're about to be part of something amazing. With the focus so quickly turning to what we want to get this time of year, I often struggle with how to teach my kids to give in meaningful ways. We make our way to the Sport Court (Entry 4A) to visit Vaughan Mills' newest charity initiative - the VM Love Lock Wall. The concept's inspired by the love locks in Paris where you write a message on a padlock and leave it behind. The Vaughan Mills Love Lock Wall is similar, but which each padlock purchased, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to SickKids. I was lucky to be invited to the media event last week to see the wall in progress and meet some of the families who regularly rely on SickKids - so many inspiring messages of hope have been left on the wall already and it really hits home when you meet these strong, incredibly brave kids. 

All ready to lock in our love for SickKids...

But first, cupcakes...

Vaughan Mills ambassador, Katie Zeppieri, gives C & A the Love Lock run-down...

I take C & A to meet Katie Zeppieri, former SickKids patient, TED speaker and Vaughan Mills Love Lock Ambassador. She explains how you buy a padlock, write a message on it, then lock in your love by attaching it on the wall. As a 'keypsake', you get to choose a charm necklace to take home or give as a gift. Um, teacher gifts: DONE. Katie explains that they can write whatever they want on their locks - from words of love, to a message of hope for the kids at SickKids. I can see their wheels spinning as they try to think of the best words to write. My son asks how to spell Pokemon so we explain it again to make sure he really gets it. 'OHHH, okay, how about Be Brave.' Perfect.  

The perfect holiday gift for teachers, friends and family this holiday season...

You can't miss the massive GIVE sign...

Choose from Hero, Love, Dream or Best Friend - purchase a lock and you get to take home a 'keypsake'...

Bright red locks all ready to be personalized...

Thinking of the perfect message is the best part...

A writes 'Be Brave' on his lock...

Love this message.

The Love Lock Wall is starting to fill up...

C & A try to find the perfect spot for their locks...

C leaves her message on the Love Lock Wall...

After the locks are locked on, we head back out into the storm and make our long, slow trip home. As my kids fall asleep, my daughter murmurs from the backseat, 'That was so worth it.' I totally agree. 

Want to give back this holiday season? Be sure to head to Vaughan Mills to visit Santa's Tiny Big Town (hours here) or the VM Love Lock Wall (or both) until Dec 24th. While you're there, be sure to snap a pic of you locking in your love and share it with the hashtag #VMLoveLockWall. Also, don't miss our 

12 DAYS OF GIVING CONTEST


Share your Love Lock Story and you’ll have a chance to win a $200 Vaughan Mills gift card and a padlock to lock in your love at our Love Lock Wall.
 
All you have to do is:
 
1. Follow @vaughan_mills on Instagram
2. Like the Vaughan Mills 12 Days of Giving post on Instagram
3. Tag a friend
4. Comment on our Instagram post or share a video about who you will be locking in your love for
5. Winner will be announced on @vaughan_mills 12 Days of Giving post at 1:00pm and will win a $200.00 Vaughan Mills gift card and a padlock to lock in your love at our Love Lock Wall.
6. Profile must be public