Month: May 2013

Manicure of the Week: Chanel Bel-Argus

Chanel Bel-Argus is one of a trio of polishes released as part of the Papillon d’Ete summer 2013 collection. And what a collection it is: anything but the same old, same old!

Chanel summer 2013
Chanel Papillon d’Ete – Azure and Bel-Argus

[Okay, the third polish in the line-up, Lilas, is a more typical offering: an orange-leaning, hot coral pink creme. It’s lovely but not really unique; needless to say, I didn’t pick it up.]

Chanel Bel-Argus is hard to describe; I would venture to say that the base colour is an intense cobalt-ish blue, although it is not as simple as that. It is sort of metallic, and sort of not. Finish-wise, it reminds me a lot of Chanel Peridot, though less prone to brush-strokes. It is also sort of duochromatic, leaning towards purple on the edge of the nail when viewed at an angle. It also sort of glows. See, it’s impossible to describe succinctly!

Chanel Bel-Argus
Chanel Bel-Argus

Application was good, but not as great as most Chanel cremes (after all, it’s not a creme). I had good coverage after two coats, though, and no super obvious brush strokes. On the nail, Bel-Argus is kind of blinding, but in a good way.

Chanel Bel-Argus
Chanel Bel-Argus

I don’t know where Chanel’s inspiration for the name came from, but it strikes me as unusual … possibly because it reminds me of Argos, a name rife with meaning in Greek mythology. The colour reminds me of the blue you often see in photos from the Greek isles (those traditional blue roofs above white-washed walls), so the allusion seems appropriate. Anyway, that’s just my rambling …

Chanel Bel-Argus
Dreaming in blue …

For my inspired outfit, and with a vision of a (entirely hypothetical, more’s the pity) vacation spent in Greece, I decided to go with something summer-y and colourful.

Chanel Bel-Argus
Skirt, RALPH Ralph Lauren; shirt, H&M;  shoes, Stuart Weitzman

I adore cobalt blue as an accessory colour, so I piled it on: nails, belt, shoes. The white shirt keeps in grounded, but in a more summer-appropriate way than black would have done.

Chanel Bel-Argus
Belt – J. Crew Factory
Chanel Bel-Argus
Vintage clip-on earrings

The only thing I feel is missing is a better hairdo – maybe something involving some beach-y waves? Well, a girl can dream…

Chanel Bel-Argus
Easy breezy …

Stay tuned for my post on Chanel Azure, the second polish in the Chanel summer 2013 colection.

Remix Challenge: week 33

Summer is here!!!!!!

Sorry, I got carried away there for a moment. In lieu of a time machine, I am posting this a week behind, which means that this week’s outfits are merely a spring preview. Stay tuned next week for a recap on today’s +30 Celsius heatwave, and resulting clothing challenges.

For anyone interested in such minutiae, this Remix Challenge week also marked the 22nd week of my pregnancy. It’s pretty safe to say that the cat is out of the bag now, and my bump fully popped. If that doesn’t always seem to be the case in photos, rest assured that it’s probably a trick of the angle and my posture. Also, the fact that I hate maternity wear and avoid it at all costs, which leads me to wear most of my regular clothes as long as possible, usually hiked up past my natural waist to accommodate the extra, ahem, volume. [Remember: mum’s the word on Facebook, my peeps!]

Sunday, April 28, 2013: family outing

Remix challenge
Tunic, BCBG (consignment); jacket, Esprit (swap); leggings, maternity; scarf, consignment; boots, Hunter; bag, Longchamps; earrings, Swarovski

We finally had some nice weekend weather, so we decided to take full advantage of it with a visit to Whitemud ravine. The boys did not come prepared, however, for the trail conditions – still fairly mushy after so many months of snow – so it was not a long walk. [I was had my trusty Hunter boots on, so I was set ]. Nonetheless, it was fun to be out and about in the sunshine. And we weren’t the only ones.

Remix challenge
Interrupted mid-snack…

Monday, April 29, 2013: work

Remix challenge
Pants, maternity; top, Gilmour (swap); cardigan, Winners; shoes, Stuart Weitzman; necklace, Swarovski

What I said about maternity clothes sadly doesn’t apply to pants. I had to cave in a few weeks ago and buy this wide-legged atrocity; my choices were limited because maternity stores seem to pride themselves on selling only ugly, plastic clothes. Besides being too baggy in the legs, these pants are also made of polyester, which makes me shudder when thinking about the summer months. Anyway, if you happened to be wondering why I would be caught dead wearing such poor fitting pants, now you know.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013: work

Remix challenge
Skirt, J. Crew Factory; shirt, no label (consignment); belt, J. Crew; shoes, Nine West; necklace, J. Crew; ring, Swarovski; bag. Mulberry (second-hand)

This skirt reminds me a bit of the classic Chanel boucle suits, so of course I had to buy it. It was also a steal, on clearance sale at J. Crew Factory (can’t remember the exact price, but under $30). It has threads of various colours woven through, which always helps to increase the remixing options. It’s also a large-ish size for my usual frame (call it a “relaxed fit” pencil skirt), so it’s quite perfect for this stage of pregnancy.

Remix challenge
That awkward stage when acquaintances are not sure whether it’s a fetus or a big lunch…

Here’s a close-up of my bling:

Remix challenge
Why do I look like a lollipop head in this photo?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013: work

Remix challenge
Dress, Diane von Furstenberg; ring and necklace, Swarovski; shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Marc Jacobs (consignment)

Second time for my new DVF wrap dress, and mixing things up with some blue accessories. I have always loved this particular colour combo of cobalt blue and purple.

Remix challenge
Cobalt blue + purple

Thursday, May 2, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Calvin Klein; shoes, Jimmy Choo (thrifted); necklace, J. Crew Factory; bag, Louis Vuitton (consignment)

As I mentioned, I am trying to hang on as long as I can to my pre-maternity wardrobe. This CK dress has some stretch to it, making it a decent choice for the transition. On the other hand, I am starting to have second thoughts about the bubble necklace; I really loved it last fall, but I find myself reaching for it less and less. I think I may have been spoiled by all the pretty vintage jewelry I’ve been acquiring lately.

Friday, May 3, 2013: work and friend’s birthday party

remix challenge
Jeans, maternity; top, Jacob (consignment); wrap, Winners; shoes, Bloch; bracelet, Links of London; bag, YSL (second hand)

I had a friend’s birthday party to run to after work, so I knew it was going to be a longer day than usual – and a comfortable outfit a must. As an aside, The Next Act turns out to be a great place to grab a burger (portabella mushroom, in my case) and fries – definitely a worthy pit stop just off Whyte.


What I Bought: April

April didn’t bring us many showers, unless you count a few snow storms, but it did bring me lots of sparkly things. Let’s start with the more prosaic first, though.

My navy Hunter rubber boots ($90 at Costco) were actually purchased at the very end of March,just after I wrote my last update. Lesson learned – don’t hit “publish” prematurely. You’ve already seen them, so there really isn’t anything new to add, except to say that I have been wearing the heck out of them this past month (and giving my poor leather boots a much deserved break after 5+ months of snow). I did realize, somewhat to my chagrin, some time after buying them that Hunter boots are now made in China and that the quality is apparently no longer what it used to be. Nevertheless, I remain optimistic that I will be able to get my money’s worth out of them for seasons to come.

I continued the trend of not buying a lot of clothes this month. The only article of clothing I got was this floral Jacob top ($15 at consignment). I wanted something comfy and stretchy, and I liked the (what else?) floral pattern. The colours will give me lots of options for accessorizing with pieces in my closet.

what i bought
Jacob top (consignment)

On to the sparkly stuff!! April was the month I finally caved, and got accounts on both eBay and Etsy – primarily so I can indulge my current passion for all things vintage, without being beholden to the local (over-priced) antique stores, or limited to the rather slim pickings at my usual thrift stores. There is SO much stuff there! I may have lost my head a little bit. First up, a gold-tone Coro necklace with a delicate floral design with blue-green rhinestones ($27, including shipping).

What I bought
Vintage Coro necklace (eBay)

The next few photos are of a jewelry lot I was able to snag for a sweet price (probably because I was bidding on Easter Sunday, when most people had better things to do) – 2 brooches and 2 sets of clip-on earrings for $58 (shipping included). First up, blue rhinestones and (faux) pearl earrings; I’m not sure if I’ll end up keeping these, or giving them to my mom, but they sure are sparkly!

What I bought
Vintage brooch and earrings lot, part 1 (eBay)

Next, a brooch featuring aqua rhinestones in a design that looks like a snowflake from far away, but is actually composed of tiny leaves (or flowers).

What I bought
Vintage brooch and earrings lot, part 2 (eBay)

Finally, the piece de resistance: a brooch and earrings set that is blingy to the max.

What I bought
Vintage brooch and earrings set, part 3 (eBay)

The brooch is probably familiar; I have already worn it. It also has a hook and can double-up as a pendant – I can’t wait to try it for a different look. The earrings are a statement piece, for sure.

What I bought
Another look

Speaking of statement pieces, this one was my most expensive purchase ($55, including shipping), but boy, do I love it: an Art Deco-inspired, green and clear rhinestone brooch that’s simply gorgeous. I am loving deep emerald at the moment (I think it was Pantone’s colour of the year either this year or last), and especially in accessories – it looks amazing with neutrals like black and navy.

What I bought
Vintage brooch (eBay)

Last but not least, another brooch and earring set ($32, including shipping). In the course of my online browsing for vintage costume jewelry, I quickly became somewhat obsessed with so-called “watermelon” rhinestones – rhinestones that flash a rainbow of colours, depending on the angle. My dream now is to someday own a Schiaparelli piece featuring this type of rhinestone … but seeing as those start at $100 and up, I am content with this set for now.

What I bought
Vintage brooch and earrings set (Etsy)

Here is another look, which really shows the colour-changing effect. These particular rhinestones are known as “rivoli”; they feature a starburst-like cut, and rather than being flat on top, are more pyramid-like and pointy.

What I bought
“Watermelon” rivoli rhinestones

As you can tell, I had a blast shopping online in April – maybe a little too much of a blast. Hopefully, May will prove to be a more sober month … ah, who am I kidding? I’m sure you can expect more e-shopping adventures.