Posts Tagged With: beauty


My sister loves to style my outfits and do hair and makeup that I would never do myself.  Letting someone creative have free rein sometimes allows you to see yourself in a completely different way.  Imagine my shock when I saw these photos . . .

summer photo shoot

. . . of myself!

styled photo shoot

Of course, with a completely different look, you have to get in character.  Also, my sister has an amazing way of bringing a whole different attitude out of me.

full length

lace vest

eclectic summer shoot

summer fashion

braided hair

Top: Hollister

Vest: The Free People

Necklace:  Mom’s closet, an old ceramic piece from the Dominican Republic

Skirt: Dot’s, Victoria B.C.

Shoes: Enzo Angiolini

I am dreaming and wishing for the return of summer more than ever!

I love your comments and value your visits!  Thanks for all of your feedback over the past year.  I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my blogging friends in 2014.   Follow me by email by clicking the button at the top right of this post, or on Instagram @something_cliche  

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Amp it up!

Waaay back in February I was in an event for Redken. I haven’t had a chance to post about it but, since the look is quite different from my usual, I thought I would share these pictures with you.

glamorous hair

Makeup was done by renowned Canadian makeup artist and hair stylist Taca Ozawa.

makeup artist

models backstage

Models waiting backstage

RAC models
photo (72)










The look was a bit more embellished for me and I think it gives me a completely different attitude. For the show, I had to wear it with a simple, black dress, but it would have gone with more of a glammed-up outfit, for sure!Redken hair

What do you think? Do you like this look better, or prefer the “au naturel” version?

For all of my opinions on shopping, dressing and–hey, even world issues–as they are published, follow me by email by clicking follow in the top right corner of the page, or on Instagram @something_cliche

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Confessions of a Wanna-Be Ginger

I’ve always wanted to be ginger. Not full out ginger, since I really do like being blonde, but maybe strawberry-blonde.  Still, I wasn’t ready for a full-time commitment.

About a month ago, I participated in a hair show modelling a product for a large company. They highlighted my hair with  a product that lifts out colour, then put a honey-toned glaze over all my hair that was supposed to make the highlights look natural and sun-kissed.  The immediate results were stunning.  What I found though, was that the honey glaze washed out pretty quickly and left the highlights looking too vivid and dramatic for the soft, sun-kissed look that I like.

I knew there had to be something out there for people with the same problem, so after asking every salon in town, I found this wonderful product.


It’s a shampoo which adds a color to your hair to adjust the tone, called “Watercolors Color Maintenance & Enhancement Shampoo” by Tressa.

This one, Warm Spice, “spices up the warm, red-golden tones in strawberry blonde and butterscotch shades”.

I wasn’t sure that was what I needed at first, but why not try it? Maybe it would add some red to my hair, but oh well. I’ve always wanted to be more ginger.

Here is the result.

I’m so pleased!

I know it doesn’t seem very red, so I was surprised when people started asking why my hair looked more strawberry.  This product softened the highlights and made them look natural again, and it added just the softest, loveliest hint of ginger tones to my locks!

I would definitely recommend this shampoo to anyone with the same problem OR if you want a temporary glaze of colour but are “not ready for a serious commitment”.  One shampoo lasts about a week and then you can re-assess your relationship status.

Pluses of this product:  *   temporary colour

                                        *  no chemical damage

                                        *   no permanent changes

                                        *   subtle colour enhancement

                                        *   hair feels great and healthy

There are a wide range of colours available in this shampoo, including a lavender shade designed to get rid of those dreaded brassy tones that some people get from colouring.

Where I got it:  For local shoppers, I got this product at the Beauty Supply Outlet on Wellington Street West in Aurora (Ontario) where, I must add, the staff and service were tops!

My mom and I might get a few more colours.  With such freedom to change it up and experiment, why ever not?!

For more hair, beauty and fashion tips, shopping adventures and style experiments, follow me by clicking follow in the bottom right corner or on Instagram @something_cliche



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Big “News” in Manicures

Okay, this is way too easy.


When my sister was around for the holidays in December, she told me she was going to newspaper my nails. (“You’re going to what??”) Since she showed me this easy manicure, I’ve been playing around with it and getting comments non-stop from everyone who sees it. From what I’ve heard, very few people actually know how to do this, which is a crime. So for those of you who love nail art and are always looking for something new to try, or people like me who thought nail art was way too difficult to ever have amazing nails: here’s the tutorial for you.

What you need:

  • Base coat nail polish
  • Your nail polish (I highly recommend very light colors since the black print of the newspaper won’t show up on anything very dark.)
  • Slightly darker nail polish for the accent nail (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Newspaper (preferably with a bold print)
  • Top coat nail polish

1. If you’re using a base coat, apply it now. My favourite is Revlon’s Quick-Dry Base Coat.

The nail polishes I used: Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, Revlon “Chic” 480, Revlon “Eclectic” 580, Revlon Extra Life No Chip Top Coat

2. Paint your nails the way you normally would. You can do an accent nail of a different color if you like. If you do, you can either use a darker color and not newspaper it or use another light color and newspaper everything. For accent nails, shade-on-shade usually looks best. I decided to newspaper my mom’s nails, so below is a photo of her nails at this step.


It’s your choice if you want the accent nail – all one color will turn out great too.

3. To prevent chipping and prolong your manicure, run a finger along the very end of your nail to wipe away the paint on the tip. This way when it dries it won’t chip from hitting things when you use your hands.
wipe ends of nails


4. Let your nails dry fully.

5. Dip your nail in a small bowl of rubbing alcohol for a few seconds, then immediately proceed to step 6. I find if you wait too long, the newspaper is more likely to stick in your nail.

dip in rubbing alcohol

6. Quickly press your nail into the centre of the text in an article. Make sure your nail ends up somewhere with as much text as possible. Press the paper to your nail for about 80 seconds, making sure to press all over the nail so that the text goes on properly. When taking the paper off your nail, peel it slowly back.TIP: If any newspaper sticks, wet the corner of a rough facecloth or towel and scrub firmly without pressing too hard, then dry the nail with the dry part of facecloth.

7. Seal your nails with a top coat. Make sure to get under the tips of your nails with the topcoat to seal out moisture and preserve your artwork longer. Using a top coat also makes the whole manicure look better because makes the nails shine. top coat

That’s it! I was awed by how cool this looked with so little effort.


For more cool ideas and fashion posts, receive my posts in your inbox by clicking “follow” at the right, and on Instagram @something_cliche

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Vintage Inspiration for Semi-Formal


It has been a long time since I posted, as I look at the date of my last post.  The holiday season is over and we are well into the activities of the New Year–and most importantly (just kidding, world literacy is way more important!) the dressing that goes along with those current activities!

I have been busy these few weeks, readers, and you know I would never galavant around town without sharing it all with you, so I am pleased to tell you that I have topics and clothing to share for a few posts to come!

My school has its Semi-Formal earlier than most, and that stellar event was January 25.  For Semi, we are still deeply into winter dressing, although we are looking at magazines filled with flower prints and bright, summer colours.  I picked up this black and gold dress from Zara as the basis for my Semi look.

Things that made me buy this dress:

*     hip detail reminiscent of a peplum that is not an actual peplum (my deep, dark secret, readers:  although peplums are very much “in” and people should wear them, I personally am not a fan of them for my own wardrobe and do not wear them.   Sorry folks, I can’t love every fashion trend!)  This allows me to allude to the trend without actually wearing the dreaded peplum.

*     slim, flattering cut, different from some of my recent outfits

*     black:  most people seemed to be planning to wear white, so I wanted to be different

*     small chain detail on either hip above half-peplum:  I loved this because it was that little “something extra” you want for Semi, and it also gave me direction for accessories and an overall “look”

After pondering my options, I decided on an overall look that would be all sleek and urban.  To that end, I went to my black stilettos and had my hair completely straightened.  I also decided to keep colours to a classic and always winter-perfect black and gold combination.

The peplum mimics an hourglass shape popular in the late 50s, and the “little black dress” effect, I thought, was very Audrey Hepburn / Holly Golightly  in overall mood, if not detail.  Notice the eyeliner in the video!  Regular readers will know of my love of this era of vintage inspiration, especially through Lana Del Rey, who brings these influences to the attention of my generation.  So, I went for a matte, pinky-flesh-toned lip and a black, dramatic, cat-eye liner!   And a generous dusting of gold powder here, there and everywhere!

For jewelry, I wanted to repeat two themes:  the black and gold, and the chain detail.  I nixed a larger gold chain my mom picked up from Forever XXI and chose this subtle and ladylike tri-colour gold necklace from her closet instead.  But I did not feel like the outfit had enough pizzaz yet.   Perhaps it was too ladylike and tame.   It needed something to give it a bit more flair, and my arms were still too bare.  One more furtive trip into that treasure trove, the Mom’s Closet, and I scored this vintage 80s bracelet.


I know, Mom, you tried to keep me out of your stuff, but I promise to wear the Forever XXI necklace some other time.  As in: some other time when there isn’t something better in your closet 🙂

I have mentioned before that it is de rigeur in my North-of-Toronto fashion zone to wear bare legs, even in the dead of winter, and believe me, it was cold!


What time of year is your semi-formal?  What’s your favourite way to accessorize your “LBD”?  Share below, and follow your style instincts by email,  by clicking “follow” at right, and on Instagram @something_cliche

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Top 11 Style Inspirations

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves St. Laurent

Sorry, I know 11 is an odd number but I just couldn’t keep this list to ten.

photo from Polyvore intour_pictures_rotten_tomatoes/ thing?id=17770967

1. Anna Wintour – I thought it appropriate to mention her first in my list because there is no one on this list who she has not influenced, and many of them are where they are because of her. Not only was she the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, but you can see her in another movie, The September Issue, a more real-life picture of her influential role as editor of Vogue. And hey! I was scrolling down her Wikipedia page and guess what her first Vogue cover was! The same one I’ve been using as inspiration for my outfits and fall fashion trends. Here I was blogging about that Vogue cover and little did I know it was Anna Wintour’s first cover from 1988!

photo from Coco’s Facebook

2. Coco RochaMy taste is similar to Coco Rocha’s street style, so I love getting ideas from her. She’s classy too – not all models would have the fortitude to turn down paycheques like Victoria’s Secret’s, and other skin-baring ads, but Coco keeps her standards higher. It’s refreshing in a world where someone like Lady Gaga is supposed to be a fashion icon but walks around wearing next to nothing.

I NEED these yellow pants
photo from Coco’s Instagram @cocorocha

photo is a screenshot from Lana’s video for National Anthem

3. Lana Del Rey – She brings the retro to us. Jackie Kennedy (as in Lana’s music video for National Anthem) is a style icon who we have no access to in our generation, but Lana brings her and others back into our view.  Del Rey is exploring many personalities as young person and, that gives her character. As a young person in world of fashion, it expands my world to try on new looks through someone like her. Also unlike Lady Gaga, the “fashion icon”, she wears clothing anyone could imagine themselves wearing.

4. Kate MossKate Moss exudes easy, uncontrived style. She’s like those ancient British mansions that have ripped corners on chairs and modern furniture that is out of place but doesn’t look it. It really is one thing to be fashionable but another entirely to have style, and Kate does. She also has unique beauty unlike everyone else around her. Her teeth are imperfect, she has a different face, she’s shorter, but she never looks like she tried too hard. Maybe that’s why we cant get enough of her. It’s insouciance.

5. Karl Lagerfeld – He changed classic Chanel, and revolutionized it in a way that would keep it alive as fashions changed. What would Chanel do without him? Karl’s one of the only designers who won’t leave to start his own line, and that makes him even more valuable. Style icons since the 20s have worn Chanel. For example, Jackie Kennedy (brought back to life in the Lana Del Rey video above) was known for wearing the iconic Chanel. Every year Lagerfeld’s wildly imaginative take on classic style is one of fashion week’s most talked about shows.

source site unknown (blocked by virus protection)













6. Barbie – Barbie brings the fashionista out of little girls. Also she is ultra-feminine, but anything is possible in her world. Barbie’s life choices are only limited by the imagination of the child playing with her, not by the fact she is feminine, and to me that is the ultimate style inspiration.

first and last photos from momlogic
center photo from “Una Vitrina Llena de Tesoros” (A Cabinet Full of Treasures)

7. Lara Stone – When Lauren Hutton went to modelling agencies, the feedback she got from them was, “Get your teeth fixed. Get braces, then come see us.” Lauren Hutton said no. Guess who ended up having the most American Vogue covers of all time? Lauren Hutton. Like Lauren, Lara Stone has a gap between her teeth, and was often told that to have any modelling future she would need to get her teeth fixed. She didn’t, and that unique feature, like Cindy Crawford’s mole, is what made her stand out from all the other faces out there. Also, she changed the whole shape of models because she had more curves than anyone else in high fashion and that is embraced by the industry far more openly now because of her.

Lara Stone: photo from Vogue April 2011

8. Taylor Swift – In music as well as in fashion, she reaches to the princess in in every girl, not to the trollop. She wears things you could be proud to wear and you could feel beautiful in and yet your grandmother would still like you. Pop gives us lots of images that can make girls and young women feel like they are only worth what their bodies are to men, but Taylor Swift goes against that current.

photo from Gisele’s Facebook

9. Gisele Bündchen  The one and only Gisele. She can change the direction of the stock market by endorsing a product. Yet the story goes that when she first approached Elite Models, they sent her away because her nose was “too big”. There is nothing about her face that’s ordinary, yet by breaking the mould she became the top-earning model of all time. She is an inspiration because her legendary presence and unique strut embody the confidence of a woman who knows just how good it is to be different.

photo from Cindy’s Facebook

10. Cindy Crawford – Try to move like this. If you could rock a tank top and cutoffs like that, how would the rest of your clothes look? Cindy Crawford was a supermodel who reached outside of the bounds of high fashion to become a universally understood force. There is nobody who can connect with the camera like the woman in the Pepsi commercials. She embodied the All-American girl with her charismatic presence. But in case you didn’t know, she didn’t go into modelling just because she couldn’t do anything else: Cindy was the only woman in her first year class of nuclear physics at Northwestern University when it became obvious that modelling could bring her an even better life. Brilliant, beautiful and hardworking: no matter what course her life took it was clear she was going to do great things. She became a household name and is now an entrepreneur with her own line of furniture.

11. Naomi Campbell – She was just straight up SEXY. You don’t have to be sexy to be fashionable, but she brought something to fashion with her over the top attitude that nobody else could. I strive to wear my style with the chutzphah of Naomi and Cindy.

Here is the video for George Michael’s Freedom! 90′. The models in it are  Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz,Cindy Crawford, and male models John Pearson, Scott Benoit, Mario Sorrenti, Peter Formby and Todo Segalla.

So, what’s the common thread here, if any?  Is it the fact they all embraced their individuality and brought that to the world of style and fashion in their own unique way?  Their leadership?

Who is your favourite style icon?

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I am not a sun bunny.  I love to tan, but I never do it, partly because one half of my gene pool comes from the northern U.K., a land of people who can turn crimson in the sun within ten minutes.  However, as I’m sure you can appreciate, I still want to achieve that beachy sun-kissed look that never gets old.

That’s why I’ve been coveting highlights for the last 8 months at least.  Well, today I got them done, just in the nick of time for back-to-school (which is tomorrow, for me).  These highlights are subtle–why, if I didn’t post it all over instagram and my blog, nobody might ever notice!  What do you think?

Before:  And, the new and improved version:

Done at last!  Now I’m off to the mall for one last shopping trip before all the homework starts.

Are you ready for back to school?  What’s the best thing you’ve done or bought as part of getting ready to go back?

Follow me on Instagram @something_cliche 

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Top Ten Fall Fashion Trends

Fall has arrived with a renewal of my passion for fashion.  I nearly cried when I first touched that fall bible of international style, the revered “September Issue” of American Vogue.   My heart pounded when I browsed the stores and saw what I could buy, if only I could justify when I would wear all of that!  I cleaned my closet (now we KNOW something’s afoot for sure).   Philanthropic tip:  donate your dated clothing to Between Friends, a Toronto area charity that trucks it to northern communities that don’t have a Goodwill or Salvation Army on every other corner.

I tried to limit my choices to five, but I couldn’t!

Now to begin the terrific task of refilling my closet judiciously in such a way as to distill the essence of my top ten favourite trends!

Top ten trends:

1.     Oversized black and white houndstooth  Houndstooth is a fantastic timeless trend that you will never really have to throw away if you spend your hard-earned dollars on it.  But this year, it is raging!  It doesn’t need to be black and white, but b&w is best because it goes with anything.

You can get a new piece of houndstooth clothing.  Or, you can get the effect with a well-chosen accessory such as a scarf, shoes or bag.  I am lucky enough to already have in my closet this loud ‘n proud handbag, and if I put it with all black, or any combination of black, white and electric blue, I will be right on trend.

2.     Black leather leggings  I am thrilled to say that I already have a pair of these on hand. (Thanks to my sister!)  This trend has been going on for some time but I would say that black leather leggings have quickly become such a fashion classic that they have a few good years’ wear in them and would be a great thing to purchase now if I didn’t already have them.  Can’t wait to pair them with white shirts, blue denim-type shirts, electric blue and all manner of oversized blouses.

Style tip:  When you wear narrow on the bottom, wear loose and breezy on top.  When you wear snug and sexy on top, balance it with loose and casual on the bottom.  This keeps it classy and is a basic style principle that will keep you from making  a bad fashion statement.

3.     Blue denim shirts  I went crazy for this trend in the spring, and am still crazy!  I picked up this blue linen-blend denim-look shirt at Banana Republic.  They put everything on sale every week, so how could I not, I ask you?

4.     Red!  Every fall, tastemakers declare red to be the new black, or something like that.  It is as regular as the nautical look coming in for spring!  However, THIS year is truly different.  First of all, red lipstick, and not just as a runway matter.  People are really wearing it; even try two-toned lips as in these photos:  

Are we seeing an influence from The Hunger Games?

Another thing about red:  red pants!  My favourite is this gorgeous Marciano ad where it is paired with a girly pink furry jacket I would die for.  Red with pink!  It’s true love and you can pull it out for Christmas and Valentine’s day every year after.  What a deal.

Last, but definitely not least, deeper red leather pants, jeans, and leather jackets.  I am gonna point you straight to good ol’ H&M for this trend, because they are overflowing with red leather and leatherette, in the best of styles.

5.     Black sheer blouses  Mom says “no” but I say “yeah”!  I have yet to find the perfect specimen, but do intend to wear it with trend no. 2, above, when I do! Tell me if you find anything like this: 

6.    Chunky white Fisherman-Knit style sweaters  Michael Kors, you just know what a woman wants, and you did it again.  Kors is not the only designer brightening fall with this cozy look.  Anyone who finds a knock-off that’s really affordable, let me know in the comments section, below.

7.    Scent of a Man  Who doesn’t love the sultry smell of a sexy guy?  If you don’t have one of your own, just wear his fragrance and you will feel the subconscious sense that you have him with you all the time.  I love to wear Old Spice Playmaker, and to spray Banana Republic Wildblue on my pillow (don’t tell my mom).

8.     Snake motifs Last year, snakeskin was all over skirts, belts and pants as a print.  My favourite place to wear a snake is as a bracelet.  It subtly implies that you have a snake wrapped around your wrist and would be waaaaaaaaaay more comfortable than this:

This 1981 photo does prove, however, the timelessness of wearing snake.

9.      Overscale Crosses  These can be worn as jewelry, on a long necklace, or as a motif on a shirt.  Nobody assume anything religious if I wear this trend:  it’s all about style, sort of like Christmas is all about Santa!

10.     Vera Wang  I don’t care if she’s not new for fall.  Her wedding dresses are both an art form, and  a condition of my future marriage.  Her dresses are on my top fall trends list regardless!

If you are looking to elevate your instinct for fashion this week, take note of the 175th Anniversary Celebration Friday, September 6 at Holt Renfrew, 50  Bloor Street West, Toronto.

Follow me on Instagram @something_cliche and tell me your favourite fall 2012 trends in the comments area, below.

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