Nothing beats the thrill of a good fashion find…especially at a thrift or consignment store. Better yet when it’s in mint condition and at a wallet-friendly price. By now it’s no surprise to you all how much I love incorporating stylish preloved garments and accessories into my wardrobe, but I still get many of my readers and viewers asking, “how on earth do you find those gems Mana??!!”. Thrifting takes patience, practice, and an open mind. Also multiple visits, as stock is replenished frequently (daily for most thrift stores like Value Village, and weekly for more boutique consignment stores). Not all treasure hunts will amount in bounty, but if my last few visits to Value Village are any indication, there are hidden gems everywhere!
Case in point, this 70’s inspired outfit that was almost completely sourced from Value Village. The only exception? The blouse, taken from my mom’s closet (purchased in the actual 1970’s though!). But everything else, and I mean everything, was found on a thrifting adventure at Value Village. The standout piece is of course the fur and suede jacket, which was only $36. You should have seen the sheer excitement in my eyes when I spotted this gem, but funnily enough it was not in the coat section, but just hanging randomly within sweaters (a little side tip, keep your eye out throughout the store, and don’t overlook areas around mirrors where people have tried stuff on and left them). The jeans are mint condition J Brand bell bottoms, which were priced at $12, and with some minor alterations to the length costing $18, the total price came out to a bargain $30 (a huge win considering these babies retail for $250 brand new). The purse and brooch were both under $10 each, but their unique details give the entire look a very designer-esque feel. Total cost of the outfit: under $75!
So preloved fashion equals stylish and affordable, but the cherry on top? The benefits it has on our planet. Saving perfectly new clothes from being dumped in a landfill is an important choice that I encourage everyone to practice regularly. It will make you feel good on multiple levels, I promise!
Now that you have some inspiration, I want you to share your fabulous finds for the holiday season with me! I have teamed up with Value Village for an Instagram holiday contest, with the winner taking home a $100 Value Village gift certificate, good for use at any location! Use it for yourself or to help you pick out some unique gifts for the under the tree.
I would like to invite all my wonderful readers who live in the Lower Mainland to STEP INTO STYLE…and join me at a fabulous evening of fashion and fun at Hudson’s Bay Vancouver on Thursday, November 5 that’s ALL ABOUT SHOES! Enjoy a women’s shoe fashion show hosted by yours truly, with complimentary food, drinks and prizes (including winning free pairs of women’s shoes throughout the night). And if the evening couldn’t get any better, at the end of the event, Hudson’s Bay is giving away a free pair or Charlotte Olympia shoes (of your choosing) to one lucky event guest. CAN WE SAY AMAZING!?!? If you’re a shoeaholic like me, then you’ll definitely want to attend! Please RSVP to the email in the invite (see below), and feel free to bring your friends.
Also, I will be giving you a preview of the event and some of the lust-worthy shoes you’ll expect TOMORROW (November 3) on CTV Morning Live, tune in at 8:40!
By now it’s no surprise how much the 1970’s is influencing fashion, especially Fall 2015. From seeing bell-bottom silhouettes, to kaleidoscopic prints, to Victorian peasant shirts (that just beg for a day at Woodstock), this retro era is definitely having a major resurgence. I myself, am a huge fan- the fashion from the 1970’s has always been big in the Mansour household. As a child of baby boomers, I would spend countless hours rummaging through my mom’s closet to borrow the killer clothes she still had from the era. However, as with any trend that’s a nod to another time, it can quickly look costumey if done too literally from head-to-toe. A simple way to avoid that is to incorporate pieces that are inspired by the era yet still have a modern look and feel to them. I love this skirt and blouse I found both from Forever 21, that feel both like an homage to the trends of the 1970’s I love, but still modern enough to surpass the trend. Their price tags don’t hurt either. I never go too crazy when spending on pieces that are more trendy than classic.
Another great tip when incorporating the 1970’s trend into your wardrobe is to hit up thrift and vintage stores. Why buy new when you can go authentic? Often times the craftsmanship back then was far superior then now, so these pieces (when found in good condition), still look fantastic. I am a huge fan of vintage/thrift accessories, like this belt and purse found at Value Village and the earrings straight from my mom’s 1970’s closet. If you need a bit of help on how to search for treasures, check out my vintage shopping tips here.
Thank you once again to the talented Ellen Ho of Hong Photography for capturing me so beautifully for the second installment of my #OOTD series, and to Gurveen at Pink Orchid Studio for the amazing bohemian braid and flawless makeup.
Outfit Details: blouse and distressed jean skirt- Forever 21, belt and suede fringe bag- Value Village, open toe booties- Winners, earrings- vintage from mom’s closet, gold stud ring- Winners, turquoise ring- from Iran
Shopping the latest and greatest cutting-edge fashion definitely gives my heart a flutter, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a great deal as much as the next person, especially on discounted merchandise. Perhaps that’s why I love shopping at outlets as much as I do! Up until recently, outlet shopping meant a trek down to the Seattle Premium outlets, but thanks to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets opening this past summer in Richmond, now getting those lust-worthy deals is at my fingertips.
Since opening in July, McArthurGlen Vancouver has steadily added more and more retailers to their original 80 store offering, with a total of 60 additional stores added by the time second phase construction completes in about 2 years time. Right now shoppers can enjoy such goodies as the J.Crew Factory Store, Boss by Hugo Boss, Armani, Ports 1961, Desigual, Secret Location, and, the very soon to be open Brooks Brothers (just to name a few). With all these options (and the crowds to go along with them), it can be a bit overwhelming however to navigate the outlets so that your time AND money will be well spent. So to ensure this, I wanted to share with you all my tried and true tips on outlet shopping as part of this installment of #StyleByManaREWIND, compiled over years of visiting outlet centers in Seattle and elsewhere. These tips were originally broadcast on CTV Morning Live when I covered the McArthurGlen Opening and you can now watch them in the video below…
Now that you have the arsenal to tackle the outlets like a pro, you’re ready to do some Fall shopping, and I want to help you even more! I’ve partnered with McArthurGlen Vancouver to offer an exciting giveaway, where you can win a $100 giftcard to be used at ANY of the stores at McArthurGlen Vancouver. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
As summer winds down, I am trying to get the most wear out of my dresses and strappy heels before the weather is too crisp to even think about putting them on. It’s also around this time that wearing transitional garments is key, in other words, items in your closet that work well for both seasons. A great choice is a dark print, like this French Connection dress. Dark prints have a dark background (either black or jewel tones) unlike their summer counterpart that is usually against white and have neon or pastel florals. This dress fits that bill but the cut is great for the last weeks of warm weather. Later on, it can be easily paired with black tights, a leather moto jacket and booties.
This also brings me to the topic of prints. Anyone who knows my style knows well enough how much I love bold, bright prints. If you think that wearing bold prints will make you look larger or that they are too loud, think again! Prints can actually be utilized to take attention away from certain parts of your body that you want to mask, while injecting a refreshing and colourful spin on any outfit. And especially considering the huge influence the 1960’s and 1970’s are having in fashion right now, injecting prints into your wardrobe couldn’t be more current and fashion-forward!
There are a few tricks on wearing bold prints that I want to share. Firstly, keep in mind that large prints give the impression of a greater surface area, so if you are a bit more curvy, best to stick to smaller patterns that are tightly grouped together. The smaller the print, the smaller the frame appears to the eye. A great way to choose a print, say like a floral, is to make sure the flowers are no larger than your hand span.
And finally, it’s important to anchor vibrant patterns with a strong block colour. A great way to choose which colour is to pick out a colour from the print, like I have done with my accessories here. The black belt and black purse (taken from the black background of the print) anchors the look, while the blue shoes, taken from the same blue colour of the print, creates a cohesive look without adding any extra busyness.
This #OOTD photo series is the first part in my collaboration with the immensely talented Ellen Ho of Hong Photography. Ellen has captured me for different editorials throughout the years and her spirit, talent and vision never ceases to amaze me. Also, a huge thank you to the beautiful Gurveen of Pink Orchid Studio for working her magic on my hair and makeup. Gurveen so effortlessly brought my vision to life and I felt so beautiful. Excited to share more photos coming soon!
Many folks don’t know that I am a major eyeglasses junkie. This is in part due to my substantial blindness (I wear contacts on camera or I wouldn’t even be able to see the person I am interviewing), and to the fact that I absolutely love eyewear. It’s fashion for your face!! I figure if you’re going to be blind, you might as well have fun with it, am I not right!? Currently I own about 6 pairs of glasses, and before you think that’s a bit excessive, it’s a collection that I have curated over a number of years. Each pair works with a different type of outfit or mood that I am sporting. For example, I have super masculine thick-framed glasses for when I am doing more of an edgy look, and a couple classic cat-eyes in different colour combinations for when I want to look fashion-forward and flirty. However, no matter the style of frames, they all work well with my face…an important eyewear rule that I’ve mastered after so many years of blindness.
If you’re in the market to purchase a new set of frames, I want to impart on you what I have learnt. Trying on numerous pairs until you find the perfect one is a given, but below you’ll find my list of top 5 tips on how to best select eyeglasses, which I know will save you time and some of the overwhelming feelings that come with the experience.
Fit trumps trend – If you’ve ever said “I want those insane frames Rihanna wore!!” Stop right there. Before you even consider any pair of glasses, make sure the frames first and foremost fit you well, rather than what’s trendy in the magazines. Let’s face it, eyewear is expensive, especially prescription eyeglasses, and it’s an accessory that you will not be buying often, so make sure it’s the best possible choice rather than the choice of the moment.
Proportion – Speaking of fit, your frames should be well proportioned with the rest of your face. A general rule is that the frames should be about the same width of your face, not too wide that it takes it over, and not too narrow that it cuts off any of your features. The top of your frames should hit your eyebrows. Sunglasses are the exception of course (sometimes bigger is better!). But remember, what looks good as sunglasses not always translates with prescription eyeglasses.
Contrast – Glasses are an excellent way to enhance features on your face that need a bit of help. In order to do that, it’s all about finding something that nicely contrasts with your natural features. For example, if you have rounder features, go for more angular-shaped glasses. On the other hand, if you have more angular features, create the illusion of softness with a rounder shape.
Color – Choose a colour that works well with your skin tone and hair colour. The safe bet is always neutrals, be it black, grey, tortoise or even clear, but sometimes a bright hue can work wonders, like a blue or a red. It’s up to you how big of a statement you want to make. But again, it’s about finding something that works well for you…in other words, a colour that you won’t get sick of, no matter what colour that is.
Quality – Prescription eyeglasses isn’t the area to be cutting corners. A great quality pair of frames and lenses will last you for years, and that’s important for something that has so much repeated use. Quality doesn’t necessarily mean you must buy from famous brand names like Prada or Gucci (as much as I love those lines). I know of some great hand-made, even local brands that produce high-quality and stylish pieces. Also, if your budget allows, try to get the best anti-reflective scratch resistant lenses possible, it will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
Now that you know some tips on how to select a pair of glasses, it’s all about where to shop! In Vancouver, there is only one place that offers the most stylish selection with a killer customer experience and that is The Optical Boutique in Kerrisdale. This is where I found these amazing J.F. Rey houndstooth cat-eye frames seen here under the wonderful guidance and expertise of owner Sue Randhawa (who also happens to be one of Vancouver’s most stylish women and a dear friend). There has not been one time when I am wearing these frames that I don’t get some sort of compliment…they definitely turn heads! However, in addition to the cutting-edge European labels The Optical Boutique carries, they also have a great assortment of more classic shapes and styles, so there is really something for everyone. Plus, an afternoon chatting with Sue leaves you with nothing but a big smile on your face. I’m excited to report that right now The Optical Boutique is having a moving sale! On September 30th they are moving into their new bigger space in Kerrisdale and until then, they are offering great deals on their current stock. Happy Shopping!
Happy Monday! I’m excited to announce the first post of my new series on Style By Mana, #MAKEUPMONDAY. These posts will provide my reviews on new beauty products, as well as rundowns on my must-have favourites. Although makeup will be the primary focus, from time to time I will also include the whole gamut when it comes to beauty, including skincare and hair products. As a bonafide beauty junkie, I’m looking forward to sharing my honest feedback with you all, as well as any industry secrets I discover along the way! And who doesn’t love knowing which products are worth buying? I know I don’t! So without further ado, I present my first review…Charlotte Tilbury’s line of makeup and skincare, which launched today at Holt Renfrew Vancouver.
You may not recognize Charlotte Tilbury immediately by name, but I guarantee that you’ve seen at least one of the numerous magazine spreads she’s worked on, or know of one of the many celebrities she’s done up in her over 20 years in the makeup industry. From Giselle Bundchen to Jennifer Lopez to Kate Moss to Penelope Cruz, the list of iconic faces that Charlotte has beautified is really endless. She also was a creative consultant for Armani’s line of makeup, which we all know is now quite coveted. So, it makes perfect sense that after that type of resume, it would only be a matter of time before Charlotte would launch her own line of makeup. And what a line it is!! I had the pleasure of meeting Charlotte last spring in Toronto, when she held a private media meet and greet to introduce us to her line.
*Fiery redhead Charlotte Tilbury posing with one of her many muses.
The first thing you’ll notice about Charlotte Tilbury is the beautiful packaging it comes in, all done in pink or burgundy casing with rose gold metallic accents. There’s a lot of attention to detail here…the skincare is meticulously wrapped, with easy-to-follow instructions on the application. You might be thinking why the packaging is even worth a mention but it is, Charlotte Tilbury is a luxury beauty line, so there’s a level of care that is expected with this price point. Plus if you’re like me, you display your makeup in your bathroom or perhaps in clear plastic beauty drawers, and it’s a nice touch when the product looks as good on the outside as what’s inside.
Rather than review every product in detail and bore you with an entire novel of reading, I want to highlight my standout favourites that have made Charlotte Tilbury my new favourite beauty line. Firstly, Charlotte’s Magic Cream, which is designed to transform tired and dull skin, best worn under makeup. This stuff really is magic in a bottle people, from it’s luxurious texture to its beautiful scent…I loved slathering it on as a prep before applying my makeup in the morning. The Magic Cream gets soaked up right away, so it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your face, which during the summer months is the last thing we want before putting on our foundation. Charlotte came up with the idea of the cream when working with fashion models. Early morning shoots had the models arriving with less than stellar complexion, so Charlotte wanted to create a cream that could boost collagen and give a supple look to the skin in a flash. Mission accomplished.
The only downside is that with its hefty price tag, you MUST be conservative with your use. You don’t really need more than about a dime-size amount to cover your face, but I can easily see how using a lot more can be addictive. My solution to that? Only use the Magic Cream in the morning before makeup application (which was its original purpose), and then use your favourite moisturizer at night before bed. Now on to makeup!
As the staple of her collection, Charlotte Tilbury designed 10 colour-coded looks inspired by her favourite past and modern beauty icons. Each look has coordinated eye palettes, cheek colours and lip products, but every item can also be purchased individually. The look I chose is “The Dolce Vita”, which Charlotte explained as being inspired by exotic beauties like Sophia Loren or Penelope Cruz…a woman with killer curves, who’s both feminine and confident. SOLD!!
You can tell that all the products in her makeup line have been designed with makeup artistry in mind. Not to say that you have to be an expert to apply them, but rather than have immediate jarring deep pigments, Charlotte Tilbury is meant to be layered on for intensity, going on first subtly then building colour as you blend. This is fantastic if you just want to wear a light shade of eye shadow in the day, and then smoke it out for the evening. I absolutely love the eye palettes that have four different shades marked as 1. Prime, 2. Enhance, 3. Smoke, and 4. Pop. The texture is silky and the colours go on beautifully, with just a hint of shimmer. If you’re weary of how to apply eye makeup, I also love how you can watch guided how-to videos led by Charlotte herself on her website. That goes for the majority of the looks in her line, which really takes the guesswork out for women.
My next favourites would have to be the irresistible K.I.S.S.I.N.G Fallen from the Lipstick Tree Lipstick (here in “Penelope Pink”) and her Lip Lustre Lip Lacquer (in “Seduction”). Soooooooooooo amazing, I literally cannot gush more about how amazeballs these two are. I actually don’t love wearing lipstick, as I find it often gets on my teeth and I hate the taste. But this is something else, so soft, so beautiful, so creamy, and the lip lacquer is the perfect finishing touch of sheen. GAH! I am in love.
I am not going to lie to you, Charlotte Tilbury is pricey, BUT it’s worth it if you’d like to splurge on gorgeous quality beauty products that have been designed by an industry leader who definitely knows her stuff. As an introduction to the line, perhaps start slow, I recommend purchasing any one of the products I mentioned as my favourites as a good starter. But, it will only be a matter of time before you’re hooked.
If you’re like me, you get weak in the knees at the mere sight of a brand new beautiful designer handbag. You know the feeling…the second you lay your eyes on it you can feel your senses go on overdrive as you smell the brand new shiny leather, and you can’t help but caress the sexy hardware repeatedly. But just as you’re dreaming up all the outfit combinations with this little piece of heaven in your hands, you take a look at the price. OUCH! I am sure you can justify this orange python studded saddlebag with barely any room for even wallet, right? WRONG. “It” bags are fun, but they often don’t have a long lifespan in your wardrobe, and they rarely transcend seasons or trends. So whether you’re influenced by fashion magazines, celebrities, or your favourite bloggers, do you ever wonder what designer handbags are actually worth the investment? Before you shell out the big bucks on something you’ll regret later, take a look at my tips on which styles are worth the investment by watching the video below.
This video is part of my new #stylebymanarewind series, where I share videos of my favourite television segments that provide timeless fashion advice you can use (especially great for those readers who don’t have TV!). Now on to those investment handbags that are worth buying…
Hello June! Although summer is just around the corner, in Vancouver we ushered the new month this week with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. June has traditionally always been a fickle month, one minute it’s hot and sunny, the next minute you’re wondering if we’re back in dreary March. That’s why on weeks like this I always resort to my favourite spring/summer staples- a structured blazer over a blouse, killer distressed boyfriend jeans and sleek pumps. This combo works perfectly for June’s unpredictable weather, while always being chic with that little bit of edge. It also makes for a killer night on the town outfit- BONUS.
When recreating this outfit, I recommend investing in the blazer more so than the other pieces, especially since you can now find great-fitting trendy distressed denim at many fast fashion retailers. I love this pair found at Zara, and you can’t beat the $49.99 price tag. For investment blazers, Judith and Charles, Aritzia and Club Monaco are my top choices.
OUTFIT DETAILS || Blazer and distressed boyfriend jeans: Zara, Blouse: Peter Pilotto x Target (no longer available), Black suede pumps: Kelsi Dagger (purchased at the Army & Navy shoe sale!), Neon satchel: ASOS, statement necklace: vintage. All photography by Streetscout.Me.
To capture my favourite spring/summer wardrobe stables for this post, I collaborated once again with my favourite streetstyle photographers, Sabrina and Jeremy from Streetscout.Me. They always know how to make any outfit shine, and have spent the last few years capturing some of Vancouver’s most stylish people on their awesome website. Here is just a taste…
And now for some exciting news. Right now Streetscout.Me are holding a great contest with Robson Street! For the month of June, they will be street scouting the most stylish strangers on Robson Street to be featured on their website, as well as on the Robson Street blog. The most fashionably dressed will also be rewarded with $50 gift cards each week to one of Robson Street’s retailers. Find out more information and when they will be hitting Robson Street (camera in tow!) here.
It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?? Apologies for the radio silence, will you forgive me? I hope so… because I have lots to fill you in on. This past year has been quite the eventful one. Exciting life and career changes, primarily my big move last fall to Toronto to become the new Associate Producer on CBC’s Steven and Chris (more on that in a minute), paired with an immense lack of time to update this little online space of mine, resulted in a longer-than-planned hiatus. Thank you however for still visiting, still sharing, and still emailing me your wonderful questions and feedback. I created Style By Mana as a resource for everything lifestyle: the best fashion tips, must-have home decor, my favourite beauty products etc…a playground for me to share what I love, while also imparting my advice. The time away has given me a chance to recharge, to get re-inspired and to plan a whole new series of content for you, which you will begin to see in the coming weeks!
A lot of the new content you’ll see will be inspired by my work on CBC’s Steven and Chris. As both a lifestyle producer and on-air fashion contributor this past season, I was given an amazing opportunity to be creative, working alongside an immensely talented team to produce segments that helped viewers improve their lives through their personal style, their homes and their health.
*The photo above was taken for my 2015 bridal trends segment, one of my favourites, catch it here.
While we wait for a new and exciting season of Steven and Chris, I will be continuing those conversations that started on-air, and provide you with similar content, but with Style By Mana twist of course.
I thank you for your continued readership and look forward to hearing what you think!