January 30, 2023

Skincare Diaries: Versed Skincare Review

I am ending January with another beauty post! I've talked about this before, but during the pandemic I went through all of my skincare and beauty products and decluttered... I feel like everyone did. I also made a point to use up everything I had because my washroom cabinets were filled with products. I've never been one to buy tons of skincare, I am pretty loyal to ones I already use. For me, I like simplicity so I've always had a simple routine, but this year I thought I would try out a few new products in hopes of finding some new holy grails! Back in November Versed reached out sent me some products to test out (with no obligations). I've been testing them out for the past two months and here are my thoughts: 

 My Thoughts: The bottle with a push applicator is great! Similar to the ones seen on nail polish remover bottles. You need 2-3 pumps on a cotton pad and you apply it after cleansing your skin, but before you moisturize. It's a hydrating toner so its perfect if your skin is on the dryer side. I like the light pink shade its very pretty!  I was a bit thrown off by the lack of scent, it really doesn't smell like anything. A plus side for some but a downside for me. It does have a  "milky" appearance so give it a good shake before using it because it tends to separate.  I was a bit worried of a sticky residue because of it but there wasn't any, the skin soaks it up quite fast. 

Would I buy it: Probably not. Nothing against the product, I thought it worked well! But my skin isn't dry so it wouldn't really add anything like this to my routine. I also think about the amount of cotton pads I would be throwing out every day so that also deters me from buying it (although it does make the application easier and the bottle is fun!) 

My Thoughts: I really like this cleanser! At first I was a bit thrown off by the scent. It smells more like the ingredients and not like an added scent. It reminds me a bit of mint and chlorine (like using mouth wash pool side lol). However the scent is very faint so if you are sensitive to scents this might be perfect for you! It also makes this cleanser unisex because it's a neutral scent (Not florals or powdery). I personally love it when products have a scent so I would say thats one of the only things I didn't like about it. But like I said, that might be a positive for you!  It made my skin really soft and clean without drying it out which is really important especially in the winter ! I would recommend this if you are looking for a simple/gentle every day cleanser, would be perfect if you are starting out with skincare. 

Would I buy it: If I needed a cleanser and couldn't find my usual one anywhere I would buy it. Scent is VERY important to me, it's part of the fun of skincare because it makes it feel more like a spa experience.  But it does work so if I needed to buy a cleanser I know this one works well!

My thoughts: This eye cream is great! It's really smooth to apply and doesn't feel heavy on the eye area. It's made to hydrate and help with the first signs of aging. I love the look of the cream because it reminds me of a pink smoothie lol. Again this product doesn't have a scent but in this case I don't mind because I would rather my eye cream not smell like anything. I saw a difference in my eye area the next morning from the first time I used it! 

Would I buy it: Yes! I think it's a great product!  I've been looking for a new eye cream to try so I was happy versed sent one in the box. I think its great as a beginner eye cream, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect eye cream but I will probably purchase this in the meantime! 

My Thoughts: This was an ok moisturizer, I had a hard time deciding when to use it. I have a daytime and a nighttime moisturizer that I love, so I tried switching them for this moisturizer just to see but it wasn't the same. Its a gel moisturizer so I found it lighter, for me It wasn't heavy enough to use as a night cream. The product does soak up pretty well but my skin didn't feel overly moisturized compared to my daytime moisturizer.  I think it worked well for what it is, it might be nice for an after the gym moisturizer perhaps? It has a slight ingredients smell, like green tea but its very faint and disappears quickly. 

Would I buy it: Probably not. The product worked well! but I can't seem to be able to place it in my routine. 

My Thoughts: This was the only product I really didn't like. The rest of the products I found something positive in all of them...except this one. As you've seen me mention above ^ scent is very important to me... This one smells a bit like fish when applied to the skin. The first time I used it I had to wash it off. I tried it again to be able to review it properly and after using it a couple of time I had to stop. It's very sticky and the smell is very frustrating, it lingered and its all I could smell. Not sure how useful of a review this is since I only used it a few times but from the little times I used it I wouldn't recommend it. It's sad because I was excited to try it. It's suppose to help brighten the skin and help with any dark spots and old acne marks. It sounds great !  But the smell and sticky residue were enough for me to stop using it. 

Would I buy it: No, I really didn't like it I'm sorry.

Overall the products were ok, I would recommend it more for teens who are starting to think about skin care. I do love that all of the products are Vegan and Cruelty free, something that has become very important in the beauty industry. The products are also very reasonably priced, Its very accessible for lot of people. The packaging is sleek and would look great on the counter, it almost reminds me of something that would've been sold at American Apparel (back in the day) or Urban Outfitters. The packaging is a bit too modern for me but I know this sleek pastel design is very popular among most people these days. Have you tried VERSED? 

January 27, 2023

Paris Couture Week Spring 2023 - Day four

The final day of Paris Couture week ! I've been very busy with my eyes glued to my laptop for the past 3 days looking at all the photos and watching all of the runway shows!  I've had so much fun and I hope you've been enjoying these little summery/reviews on the collections!  So lets see what Day 4 has to offer

Aelis Spring 2023 Couture 

The first show in the lineup is Aelis, There was a runway show but also a presentation video... the looks look better in the video than they do in the runway photos so I'll be showing a mix of both (I screen shot some moments from the video) The video starts out with this BEAUTIFUL beaded dresses, a nod to 1920s flappers.

That drop waist dress was the highlight of the collection... and it all just goes down hill from here. A lot of the dresses were ill fitting and the colours were all over the place. There was a lot of movement in way of sheer fabric but it just looked bulky to me. 

I did read the show notes and most of it talked about their efforts for sustainable collections. Aelis is plastic free and cruelty free. Aelis reengineered old pieces from previous collections to avoid wasting natural resources and in aid to the conservation of the planet. Which is an amazing message... but I feel like again, the focus is on just the concept and not on the designs. All of those elements can still be implemented with better designs. 

Above is a dress that was ok, it has a vintage flare to it which is what drew me to it. I like the soft pink tones, and the ribbon and lace detailing. This sort of dress has a more soft feminine look to it compared to the rest of the collection so it feels out of place for me. Also as a side note you can see how drastic the difference is between the runway photos and the presentation video ^.  

There were a couple of other looks that had that 1920s inspired fringe which was fun but overall the collection was uninspired. The silhouettes and colour palette didn't work for me. However I applaud their efforts for a more sustainable future.  If you want to watch the presentation click here. And if you want to see photos from the collection click here

Imane Ayissi Spring 2023 Couture 

This collection was a bit jumbled for me there were some nice pieces and some were a bit of a let down. I'm not very familiar with Imane Ayissi so I am just basing my opinion on this collection alone (so keep that in mind). Imane Ayissi mixes artisanal fabrics from Africa with things like tafatta, and brings them together to create unique pieces,  

This collection offered tons of neon in similar colours to those we've seeing in collections this week. Both hot pink and light pink, green, and orange. For me the brightly coloured looks were the best in the collection. The silhouettes were better and I loved seeing the texture in similar shades all in one look (See last orange look above)

There were also some metalic pieces and all black looks (with bow details), for me these were a miss. They were a bit boring compared to the rest of the collection. 

The models all had these oversized eyelashes which we've seen from other designers on the runway in the past, but it didn't really work for me in this collection. I looked at the show notes to try to find some explanation or significance to this choice but it was just theatrics. Which I normally appreciate but in this case I think it clashes a bit with the loud designs (it almost takes away for them). However there was this one dress that I really liked! it s a long royal blue sequin dress with a cape!... And yes I'm a bit bored of seeing dresses with capes from every other collection (Its a bit over done at this point). But in this case it works! The colour is stunning ! if you want to see photos of the entire collection click here. 

Juana Martin Spring 2023 Couture 

This collection had a few interesting pieces. A great use of white space VS dark space which created beautiful silhouettes. There was a lot of earth elements within the collection in the form of decorative branches (leaves). And Circular lines that created unique sculptural pieces that mimic the sea. The ruffles on some of the dresses made me think of  waves crashing on the shore, but after reading the show notes: Juana Martin mentioned she wanted the ruffles on the dresses to capture a dancer mid spin. 

However after seeing a few looks it began to feel a bit repetitive.... the looks all started to blend together and I was left thinking "didn't we just see this look?" particularly the tie dye looks below. I looked at the show notes and the collection was inspired by Juana Martins childhood summers spent near Màlaga (in the southern spanish coast). She wanted to reflect the city and the sea in this collection. 

There were two polka dot looks which were a nod to the 1980s, a big theme this couture season. And also the polka dots used by flamenco dancers. I totally get the feeling of summer from this collection, and while its not my favourite overall I think its very thought out in its concept and execution. If you want to see photos of the entire collection click here

Fendi Spring 2023 Couture 

Fendi showcased a beautiful collection of long, delicate lingerie inspired pieces and I am swooning.  I love the beauty of lingerie, its feminine and typically has intricate lace. Kim Jones (artistic director) said he wanted to bing forward the idea of lingerie as evening wear. With the resurgence of 90s fashion slip dresses have been everywhere. However this collection takes me back further to a combination of more vintage lingerie, I'm thinking 1920s-1950s, and reimagined for the modern woman. Also the top 2 dresses on the right are making me think of the 1930s and I am loving it!

Here we have a couple of examples of the lingerie inspired looks, they have lace and the outline of the bodice on top. I have a few vintage slip dresses that has this similar look to them and I'm happy to see them being made again. Often times when I see lingerie inspired pieces they are made to look "sexy"or to push boundaries on what can be worn out as clothing. But I appreciate this different take on lingerie as fashion. It aligns more with what I would wear if I wanted to wear a slip dress out.

Among the Lingerie inspired looks were some beautiful gowns made of lace and sheer fabrics. There were also dresses with leather laser cut outs and chain mail gloves (see middle below). There were also a lot of small flower cut outs woven in the fabric. 

The collection was feminine with a soft (almost angelic) colour palette which makes me think of the resurface of ultra femininity? This happened during during the great depression and after WWII.  We are coming out of a pandemic and in the midst of an economic crisis which sets the table for these styles to resurface. Maybe I'm spending too much time in the history books or maybe this is wishful thinking that soft feminine styles will become mainstream again. Ok I'm getting off topic. The collection was beautiful and so far my favourite of the day! I expect to see some of these looks on the red carpet. If you want to see photos from the collection click here. And if you want to watch the full runway show click here.

Gaurav Gupta Spring 2023 Couture 

This was Gaurav Gupta's first show on the official calendar at Paris Haute Couture week. I'll be honest I'm not very familiar with the designer but the collection was beautiful! I quickly looked through the designers website and instagram feed and it looks like these round curved lines are a signature for the brand. I saw it a few times and each time it was beautiful!  I'll probably spend some more time this weekend searching and looking through the archives. 

The first thing I thought of when I saw the collection was that a lot of the designs looks like paint brush strokes or splatters. The blend of organic lines with jagged edges were really beautiful. There was one look that features two models that was really interesting. I can see why Gaurav Gupta was added to the Haute Couture calendar.  

Most of the show was in silver, gold and black with a few pops of colour in lime green and royal blue. One of  my favourite being the royal blue one below. The curved lines look beautiful in that colour! If you want to see photos of the entire collection click here 

Maison Sara Chraibi Spring 2023 Couture 

Moroccan designer Sara Chraibi was a guest on the couture calendar this season. She debuted a beautiful collection called L'Etoffe des Songes which translates to Fabric of dreams. The collection had a lot of framing,this was seen through grids made from fabrics on dresses and skirts. It created beautiful structures. I also loved the beads and pearls used as tops.

The colour palette was black, white, gold, red and blue. A few looks also had star details which adds to the dreams concept. Overall it was a beautiful collection, my favourite look being the one on the bottom right. If you want to see photos of the whole collection click here. 

Robert Wun Spring 2023 Couture 

Wow wow wow! I love this collection its so theatrical, camp and completely imaginative! This is the level or art I expect designers to bring to the couture runway. Absolutely amazing. The collection consists of 21 looks and its my favourite show of the day... hands down! He was a guest on the Paris Couture calendar this season. His collection called Fear, is simply that, Rober Wun confronting his fear by designing everything that could go wrong when creating his collection

Robert Wun is a London based designer who's brand took a turn to bespoke, designing things big name celebrities like Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Lizzo (Among others). And it is GENIUS! Things like spilled wine, rain, broken heels, catching fire, busted seams and more.  These designs almost take the form of small characters running around the atelier causing misfits. I think its amazing! If you want to see photos of the entire collection click here.

The end of Paris Couture week
Thank you for joining me this week as we look through all of the collections! 
January 26, 2023

Paris Couture Week Spring 2023 - Day Three

I can't believe its already day three of Paris Couture week ! As I'm writing this we are at the half way point because there are only 4 days of shows. We've seen some fun collections in the past 2 days so I'm excited to see what day 3 has to offer!  

Yuima Nakazato Spring 2023 Couture 

Starting off with Yuima Nakazato, this collection is not for me lol. I didn't like it at all.  I did look at the show notes and the entire concept stems from a trip to Kenya, and the mountains of Textiles that have been distracted there from the western world.  Using discarted textiles Yuima Nakazato created his collection. And while this an important topic (I could write an entire blog post about it) I think its amazing that these fabrics were recycled into something else (used to create art)... I don't think this collection stands on its own. The concept and message behind it is stronger than the pieces themselves. 

You can see the influence of Kenyas culture in a lot of these pieces such as the necklace/collar seen in the first row of photos I posted. You can also see this in the two looks in the middle below.  But a lot of the collection has a more 1980s punk look, Some of the fabrics almost have a platter paint look (See two photos above on the right). Boots were worn with almost all of the looks. Overall, the collection isn't my taste, it doesn't inspire me. However  I can see people who would like this style and I think the message behind the collection is an important one. If you want to see photos of the entire collection click here and if you want to see the runway show click here. 

Franck Sorbier Spring 2023 Couture 
The collection hasn't been posted online yet, this will remain blank until it has been posted 

Elie Saab Spring 2023 Couture 

Elie Saab NEVER disappoints! This collection is breathtaking!  It's a bit on the longer side wit 69 different looks. Elie Saab said he was trying to "convey a regal feel" and he definitely nailed it! Majesté was a big theme across the collection. There was a lot of beige and gold which intricate patterns and fabrics. 

However there were some looks that have some colours such as the bright green ones above and also looks in rose gold, sky blue and sea foam green.  There were a lot of sequins and beautiful appliqués that almost create a sense of fantasy, like royalty from another world (or dimension)

Most of the gowns are long and the cut reminds me a bit of the 1930s which I love to see, along with the full skirts sprinkled in. There were a couple of looks that had a cape built in. Something we've seen in collections in the past couple of days. Everything of course fits to PERFECTION. I am tired of seeing a bunch of oversized ill fitting clothes on the runway and its comforting to know that Elie Saab always has pristine tailoring. 

And lastly there were some incredible mens looks in the collection as well, and I imagine we'll be seeing these on the red carpet. If King Louis XIV was alive today he would be wearing these looks walking around Versailles.  If you want to see photos of the entire collection click here and if you want to watch the runway show click here

Julie De Libran Spring 2023 Couture 

I'm sorry but what is this collection... Julie de Libran opted for a presentation in her apartment instead of a runway show. I'm not very familiar with her work so I am just reviewing this collection for what it is. De Libran is committed to minimizing waste and a responsible consciousness on consumption.  But the collection itself was.... boring. 

There were these sparkly dresses.. which look like something from a fast fashion online store. We have all seen a simple sparkly slip dress like this, some of you probably have one in your closet right now. And while there is nothing wrong with these dresses.... its just nothing new or exciting. 

Then there are these two looks that scream 2010s ... I remember girls having dresses and tops like this on tumblr first.... also the angled down photos add to that theme. Side note: the photos make no sense to each other it all seems very random. 

I mean ^ This is what we've come to expect from stores like Forever 21. Yes its wearable but its boring and not what I expect from a couture collection. So for me it was a huge miss. If you want to see more looks from the collection click here 

Viktor & Rolf Spring 2023 Couture 

OMG Viktor & Rolf!  Wow ok there is a lot to unpack here! I'm sure you have all been flooded with photos from this collection since it happened and I can see why !  Viktor & Rolf brought a bit of humour to the runway this couture week and we saw the ballgown from a completely different angle - Literally-. There were 18 looks total, most of which features ballgowns worn in an unconventional way. It almost reminds me of paper dolls before the dress has been attached properly. 

They used 3D printing to build these structures and I think they are fantastic!. Something I find interesting is that since these looks are slightly off or shifted, it gives you a glimpse into the undergarments needed to wear a ballgown. It's not something you really think about, but celebrities wear a lot of undergarments to look the way they do on the red carpet, you truly never know whats underneath. It's almost like things are not how they appear. There is something very Alice in Wonderland about this collection. Not only in the illusions but also in the pastel colour palette. 

Of course there were also some traditional ballgowns in the show. Above being one of my favourites (of the ordinary dresses) in the collection and below are some other examples, but of course the deconstructed dresses were the highlight of the show. They are interesting and camp and makes you look twice. Couture is walking art and this was exactly that. If you want to see photos of the entire collection click here

Zuhair Murad Spring 2023 Couture 

Another incredible collection on day three of couture week. It's going to be really hard to pick a favourite collection today. I mean look at the three looks above ^ ! Inspired by the party scene in the 1920s these looks are exquisite.  The feathers, the sequins, the tailoring it's all perfection. 

The collection started with some 1970s french riviera inspired looks, The show notes state that Murad is gearing this collection at the "new generation of heiresses". I did find some slight similarities to the Georges Hobeika Spring 2023 couture collection we looked at on day one.  The first few looks were a bit tame but that was just the calm before the storm (or in this case beauty in the form of dresses) once the colours started my jaw dropped. 

The runway was flooded by these neon colours in Bright blue, green, pink, yellow and orange. The dresses were slightly sheer with tons of sequins and intricate cutouts. There was fringe, feather and flowing fabrics that made waves as the models walked down the runway. It was incredibly fun and you really did get a sense of the party scene in both the 1970s and 1920s. A really cool party most of us wouldn't be invited to... but thats what makes it all the more alluring. My favourites were of course the 1920s inspired looks (Specifically in first group of photos ^ on the far right). But out of all the brightly coloured looks the pink ones were my favourite. Vouge already stated that they predict we will see one or more of these looks on the Oscars red carpet in a few weeks! If you want to see photos of the full collection click here and if you want to watch the entire runway show click here

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2023 Couture 

I feel bad for saying this, and this is what I meant when I said that my taste often different from fashion critics but I really didn't like this collection. Yes the tailoring was perfect but it really didn't do anything for me. 

There were a lot of sharp angles and bright colours, tuxedos on both men and women. I looked at the show notes and other commentary but it really didn't give me any new insight. There were some theatrical elements through the use of feathers on the collar which I really enjoyed but I almost felt like I expected something more grand. 

However there were three looks I actually really liked in this collection, they were very theatrical!  The first two (above) make me think of the antagonist in a fantasy/fairytale world (fabulously dressed with tons of edge) and the white one is the protagonist (Soft and more angelical).  However there were some random looks that I didn't think fit well with the rest of the collection (Below). I feel like I need to go through the archives to understand Haider Ackermanns vision. The overall idea for this collection is a re-imagination of  Jean Paul Gaultier couture work in a single collection. I haven't spent much time looking at his past work in sequence so maybe I need to do that to understand the whole vision. If you want to see photos of the entire collection you can click here. If you want to watch the runway show click here 

Valentino Spring 2023 Couture

These are the only looks from the Valentino collection that I actually liked... they have a babydoll dress feel with the lace tights, something I lov ! I used to have a few lace tights but I haven't bought any in a while... *adds to shopping list*. As for the rest of the collection.... its questionable...so lets get into it: 

I'm glad to see that Valentino has turned away from the overload of pink from the previous collection. It was horrendous and completely overdone, Valentino partnered with too many celebrities and influencers so I think we all got a bit sick of seeing the same thing over and over on the red carpet/events.  The three looks above were one of the only pink looks I saw and even that was too much. Also can I just say.... what is with the glasses with the feathers... it makes it looks like something a frat boy would wear to a themed party. 

There were a lot of polka dots and ruffles which made me instantly think of the 1980s. I actually saw a couple of parallels between this collection and the Armani one from yesterday... except Armani knocked it out of the park, it was flawless..... and this Valentino collection looks like a mess. The white dress with the black bows was similar in concept and design. Valentino also had a lot of ruffle collars on the runway  which we also saw from Armani.

The collection was filled with black and neon, a nod to the 1980s and this is something we've been seeing the past few days in different collections.  There was even a bright pink mohawk... straight up 1980s punk! I can't even begin to talk about every look in the collection because there were 89 looks! It was a massive collection. And honestly it was underwhelming and didn't really deliver. But I guess after the pink fiasco from  last year I don't know what I was expecting. If you want to see all of the photos from the collection click here. And if you want to watch the full runway show click here 

The end of Spring 2023 Couture week DAY 3