As many of my friends and family members can attest, I am more than just slightly obsessed with the Oscars. Watching them has become a traditional ritual of sorts in the Mansour household, and I can attribute a large part of my love for fashion to seeing all those glamorous red carpets while growing up. I am particularly excited for this Sunday’s ceremony, firstly because I love Ellen DeGeneres and think she makes a wonderful host, secondly because the amount of fashion-forward nominees this year (actresses like Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o always take the perfect amount of sartorial risk on the red carpet), and lastly because I get to share my Oscars fashion hits and misses on Monday’s CTV Morning Live!
Tune into CTV Morning Live Vancouveron Monday, March 3 as I bring you my full list of the best and worst dressed from the 2014 Oscars, as well as the top fashion and beauty trends from the red carpet that you could incorporate at home. Catch me at around 8:30 am, I guarantee you won’t want to miss this!
In the meantime, here are my top 3 favourite looks from last year’s Academy Awards.
I am so excited and honoured to announce that I have partnered once again with Pacific Centre to host their upcoming spring trends event, Sunday Occasion. Imagine an intimate Sunday morning filled with delicious eats, sparkling cocktails, and a runway filled with the latest spring looks for both men and women from your favourite Pacific Centre retailers, all benefiting a vital charitable organization in our community…I call that a perfect way to spend a weekend!
Tickets to Sunday Occasion are $50, and 100% of proceeds go to Coast Mental Health. If you already aren’t aware of Coast Mental Health’s important work, they’re a non-profit private organization that supports recovery from mental illness by providing intervention and care, including meal and clothing programs, and supported housing. As a token of appreciation and to get your Spring wardrobe started, all guests will also receive a $50 Cadillac Fairview SHOP! CARD® gift card.
I will be styling and presenting my top Spring 2014 looks, along with Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen in an exclusive runway presentation that only Spring Occasion guests will see. But tickets are limited, so purchase your ticket here.
Lastly, thank you to the amazingly talented Ellen Ho for the beautiful headshot.
One of my favourite features of my home is my fireplace. It’s the focal point for the living room, while also being functional at keeping my condo warm and cozy during winter months. That’s why it was important to me to style the mantel in a way that made an impact without looking cluttered. After experimenting with different combinations and heights of objects, I can say that I love the way it looks now.
Taking from what I learned, here are 3 simple tips to styling your mantel:
Play with different heights with your objects. Having everything on your mantel the same height (frames, accessories, vases etc.), doesn’t allow for the eye to go beyond that point. If you have high ceilings, but a small space, drawing the eye up can make your space look bigger.
Try to layer with your styling. I found that this worked really well on my mantel because the width of the mantel is shorter than traditional fireplaces found in larger homes, but the depth is standard size. Layering also creates richness in your space.
Always include a few personal mementoes or photos in your styling. This doesn’t mean fill the entire mantel with your family album, but a couple pieces can be great conversation starters, while making the space your own.
If you need a bit more inspiration to get started on your mantel, here are some of my favourite mantels from other designers:
At one time or another we’ve all experienced major closet envy of our fashionable friends. Rather than hoping to borrow from their closets, why not just buy their pieces for keeps? Well, this weekend you finally can at The Relovables Pop-Up Shop. Some of Vancouver’s most fashionable men and women have united to part with their gently pre-loved clothing, shoes and accessories, including designer items at amazing prices…and they’ve invited me to be a part of it.
Dickson Li (Dragon/Thirty-two, Snowboard Apparel Industry)
Dexter Dolores (Interior Designer/Style Apparent)
If you’re not excited already then perhaps you will be knowing that the talented Carlie Wong will also be selling pieces from her runway collection at major discount, and as you can see from my West Coast Style feature on Carlie, her creations are beyond chic:
I do my own makeup for all my on-air television work (excluding the few occasions when I feature a makeup artist), and before I went to journalism school, I also did all my own makeup for my performances in the theatre. So I’ve definitely had my fair share of experiences with different products over the years. Many of my colleagues, friends or even viewers often ask me what I use, and other than eyeshadow and lip colour, for the most part, when I find something that works I’m pretty loyal. Here are my top tried-and-true favourites that have stayed consistent in my makeup bag.
Mana’s Makeup Bag Essentials
From left to right:
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara– When I originally came across Benefit’s line of makeup in the early 2000’s, I fell in love with their Bad Girl Lash mascara. Back then the California-based line was not available in Canada, so I remember buying tubes and tubes of Bad Girl Lash on trips to LA to smuggle back with me. But Bad Girl Lash was immediately replaced with Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara after I bought a tube of it on a whim at Sephora last year (reading the hype around the product may have also played into it). This mascara is a godsend! Its rubber applicator perfectly separates and lengthens my lashes, which is what I look for the most in a mascara (a lot of mascaras tend to make my thick lashes look clumpy). Plus, the formula lasts until the very end of your three-month rotation, which is appreciated considering its $29 price tag.
Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer– I don’t like bronzers that have too much shimmer, as I think it looks too fake and “done up” for everyday. This bronzer is great in that it has very little shimmer, giving you a more natural look when applied. It’s also velvety soft due to the mineral powder composition, and thanks to it being oil-, talc, and fragrance-free, it doesn’t break me out either. The cute snake-embossed leather case is a fun bonus.
NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker– I had been looking for a good liquid liner for years that could give me a straight cat-eye despite my shaky hands. You would think after all these years I would be a pro, but liquid liner is still my Achilles heel when it comes to makeup application. Enter NYX’s super easy-to-apply, super thin, super black, super long-lasting liquid liner. It operates like a felt marker, the harder you push down, the more ink comes out, which allows you to control the amount of liner on your eye. NYX products are currently sold at London Drugs, and they were originally designed for high-definition cameras, hence it’s lasting power and deep pigments.
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation– I am not one to wear liquid foundation layered with pressed powder, especially for everyday. It feels super heavy on my skin, and as I have a tendency to break out, I prefer to use the least amount of products to give me the coverage I need. I have been using MAC’s Studio Fix since I was sixteen years old because it just works so well with my combination skin. It has amazing coverage, and you can wear either very little by dusting it on with a brush, or a lot if needed by using a sponge applicator. Best of both words!
MAC Powder Blush– This blush (my colour is Desert Rose) comes in a wide array of colours and has good pigment without giving you a clown face. It also lasts for a really long time, despite its small case. There are many good blushes out there, but this one, again, works well with my combination skin, and layers well on top of the MAC Studio Fix.
Almay Intense i-colour Kit– This trio of powdered eye shadows has been set up to make it super duper easy to create a basic smoky eye. Almay has taken the guesswork out of it by even providing simple step-by-step instructions on the back of the eyeshadow kit (with a diagram) on how and where to use each colour. As a wearer of contact lenses, I love Almay’s products because they are designed for sensitive eyes. Also, as a drugstore brand (I buy mine at London Drugs), these kits are at a very affordable price point, and come in many combinations designed for different eye colours (brown, hazel, green, and blue).
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer– If you never want to see your eye shadow crease on your eyelid then buy this primer. It goes on your lid before applying eyeshadow, and keeps it perfectly in place for the whole day. I am obsessed with this primer and have been using it for 6 years now. The cherry on top is that this little tube lasts for almost an entire year (and that’s with almost daily use). FYI, Kitsilano’s Beauty Bar carries a huge stock of Too Faced, often with items that are sold out at other retailers.
Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss– This is a shiny lipgloss without the sparkle that’s great on it’s own, or when layered on lipstick or lip pencil. I also like how it doesn’t have that sticky gross consistency that may fend off kisses. My colour is Natural Look but there are 22 other shades to choose from.
MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35– As I mentioned before, I am all about efficiency when it comes to my coverage routine. This concealer takes away my dark circles and blemish spots, while providing me great SPF coverage and a breakout free face (I don’t wear sunscreen on my under eye area as my skin there is very sensitive and prone to milia breakouts). I use it under my Studio Fix when I need extra coverage, otherwise I just set it with some translucent pressed powder.
Clinque Chubby Stick Intense– This moisturizing lip colour balm looks like a big crayon, but can be turned open like a lipstick, so there’s no need to use a pencil sharpener. This product is more like a tinted chapstick to me, so it gives me the moisturizing I need, along with a fun shade (remember the efficiency!!). This colour is Chunkiest Chili and is great under nude lipgloss when you want to make your lips pop (especially on-camera), but it’s also quite pretty on it’s own.
There you have it, my favourite makeup products! Although I am pretty loyal to my favourites, you never know, these may change the next time I discover the next fabulous product. What are your top favourites that you can’t live without?