Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Skulls and Sparkles

Happy Halloween!!! 

We have had Halloween candy stored in the basement for over a month now. There may or may not be one or two holes in the assorted chocolate bar bags…with all of the peanut M&Ms and Crispy Crunchs missing…there are probably not a lot of Kit Kats either…

Halloween has always been one of my favourite holidays. Not so much the getting dressed up in your generic slutty [insert anything] costume and clubbing until the early morning part, but more so the staying at home in my pajamas and handing out candy to trick or treaters, gorging on junk food and watching Simpsons Halloween specials on tv option. 

In honour of this special day, I thought it would be only appropriate to wear something Halloween related like this skull scarf I picked up at Zara a few weeks ago.  I was immediately drawn to the orange sequins on it. Don’t you think sequins adds a little happiness to everything? Even on skulls? 

Although the orange and black combo is very Halloween appropriate, I will definitely be using this all year round. I think it goes perfectly with my moto jacket but can also be combined with some cozy sweaters to add a little pazzaz. 

I hope you have a great Halloween and make sure you eat enough candy to make yourself sick - it is the one time of year where this is perfectly acceptable. Oh, and just a little something to put a smile on your face, see my Halloween gift to you here

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Jacket: Japan, Shirt: Zara - $7, Scarf: Zara - $30, Jeans: Gap - $16, Heels: Nine West- $35.

Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic
Location: Toronto

Monday, 29 October 2012

Save vs. Splurge Series - Eyes Volume II

Audrey Hepburn, Camilla Belle, Elizabeth Taylor, Lily Collins, Brooke Shields - 
What do these women have in common? 
KILLER eyebrows!

In our second volume of our Save vs. Splurge Series (see Volume I here), we are going to discuss the tools that I use to groom my eyebrows.  I won't go into the importance of maintaining well groomed eyebrows, all I have to say is, no one wants a Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman situation on their hands....

I try to keep my eyebrows tweezed and voluptuous at all times. However, when those babies start getting a little sparse (usually from stress) a girl needs a little help filling them in! So instead of spending tons of cash on what is essentially densely pigmented eye shadow, I grab the set below. 

Essence Eye Brow Kit - $3.49

This set comes with two colours so you can mix and get the perfect shade (which should be a few shades lighter than the colour of your natural eyebrows). It also comes with three stencils in case you have a hard time finding where your arch should be. I like using shadow instead of pencil since I find it gives a more natural look. 

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer - $38.00, 1 oz.; 
Urban Decay Primer Potion - $24.00, 0.37 oz.

Although I like to save on eyebrow filler, I do splurge on a good primer for the eye lid and under eye area. Both products above come highly recommended.  A minuscule amount of product goes a long way. The primer goes on smoothly, dries quickly, doesn't  crease your eye shadow and will last through a whole night of dancing (even if the rest of your face doesn't... I know this from experience unfortunately).  As a side note, if you are sensitive to silicone, I would opt for UD’s primer potion.  Have you tried any of these products out? Let us know below!

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Deal of the Week: 70% off American Apparel

American Apparel is a store that I do not usually frequent due to their unnecessarily (in my opinion) high prices. However, I have always loved their hosiery because not only does it tend to be better quality than you would get at your local department store, but they come in a plethora of colours. 

Well lucky for us,  if you type  in BARGAIN12 at the online checkout, AA will take off a whopping 70% off of your purchase! With these savings, I can stock up on these fall wardrobe staples and perhaps even replace my mom’s old tights from the 80's, see latest post here. Below are a selection of my favorite colours and patterns:

Black Sheer Luxe Pin Dots Shapes Pantyhose - $30, $9

White Silver Sparkle Pantyhose - $24, $7

Dark Teal Opaque Pantyhose - $17, $5

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pumpkin Patch Kid

Now that Halloween is only one week away, I thought it was only appropriate to visit the local pumpkin patch and take some shots in the spirit of this marvellous holiday.

Turns out, Emma and I were the only adults without kids there. We were also the only ones doing a photo shoot that didn’t involve a toddler and a pumpkin. Awkward…but let’s be honest, we’re pretty much the only ones doing a photo shoot anywhere we go.

For this adventure, I decide to wear this knit dress because it's super cozy and warm. I didn’t want to expose my bear legs to the cold since it's getting a little chilly so I decided to pull out some maroon tights (a spin on this season’s ox-blood “it” colour) from my mom’s closet. 

While rummaging through her stuff I actually I found two pairs of tights that I liked - the maroon pair pictured and a bright cobalt blue. I found out that she actually wore them to work in the 80’s, isn’t that crazy?? And even crazier, no run in the tights!

After our shoot the pumpkin festivities continued at home as I ate pumpkin seeds while carving my pumpkin and singing pumpkin songs...okay that last part didn't really happen. I don't know any pumpkin songs and I'm pretty sure there are none in actual existence.

But, I did end up carving Jack from “A Nightmare before Christmas”. It happens to be one of my favourite Halloween movies. Truth be told? I’ve got some mad pumpkin carving skills (bragging!). I only wish I had bought a couple more to showcase my very useful talent… 

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Jacket: Zara - $40, Dress: $90, Headband: Claires - $4, Tights: Mom’s Vintage, Boots: Steve Madden - $77.

Location: Hometown
Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic

Monday, 22 October 2012

Autumn Countryside

I finally got around to doing some fall inspired looks this weekend. I wanted to go where there would be lots of pretty tress, so... off Emma and I went to the countryside!

I absolutely love taking drives in the country especially at this time of the year.  I was a little worried that the trees may be somewhat bear since we are approaching the end of October but I think we managed to catch the leaves at their peak.

As beautiful as the countryside is, it was a little depressing to see suburban construction impeding on the farm lands. It wasn’t so long ago that the lots built for new homes were fields and forests. Tear.

Inspired by the reds, orange and yellows I wanted to pull out this cranberry orange sweater that I purchased last year (see post here). When I first received this sweater in the mail, I was a little surprised to see how bright of an orange it was, but given that I tend to stick to darker colours in my fall/winter attire, I thought it would be a good addition to my wardrobe.

This outfit epitomizes how I do casual: layers, comfy pieces, and blue jeans. As always, I wanted to add a little sparkle to my look so I brought out my gold and resin necklace that by happy coincidence, also reflected the yellow leaves.

The spot where we took this shot is actually a field crop in the middle of nowhere. We spotted it as we drove by and decided that it would provide the perfect back drop to this looks so we pulled over to the side of the road, did a quick change behind the car, trespassed onto private property and walked through mud (in  5 inch heels mind you) to get these shots. I think the end result was worth the effort don’t you?

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Location: Hometown
Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic
Jacket: Zara - $70, Sweater: J.Crew - $12, Necklace: Stella & Dot - $70, Jeans: Garage - $20, Boots: Steven Madden - $85, Bag: J.Crew - $14.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Deal of the Week: 50% off Talize

For all you thrifters out there, this deal is going to make you plotz ...tomorrow, Talize will be having their "50% off the Great Tag" event, which means items that you could have scored for an amazing bargain will become an even BETTER, almost stupid, bargain! 

10 days before Halloween, this sale couldn't have come at a better time. If you are the type that likes to find Halloween costumes at thrift stores, this is a great opportunity to save. I have scored some great items at Talize so here's hoping that I will get lucky again (see here for Thrifting for Scarves post).

Unfortunately, this deal is exclusive to the GTA location in Canada. For all our international follower, we will have something more inclusive next week.

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Save vs. Splurge Series - Eyes Volume I

So I know the theme of this entire blog is fashion and beauty on a budget which (not so coincidentally) happens to be the theme of my life; but there are some instances when I think one should splurge. In order to be an informed consumer and make the most efficient use of the resources you have, it really comes down to knowing when and what to spend your money on. On that note, we here at Budget Brunettes, have decided to start a little segment called "Save vs. Splurge".

CoverGirl Natureluxe Mousse Mascara - $10.99 (now 15% off) at Shopper's Drug Mart

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing girls at the checkout counter about to purchase $40.00 mascaras. I instantly want to run up to them and slap the tube out of their hands…but instead of acting like a crazy person, I will make my pleadings here: Girls, mascara expires every three (yes, 3!) months. This is because anything you put on or around your eye area needs to be sanitary.  Without getting gruesome, mascara just does not stay sanitary for very long after repeated use, air bubble formation and loose lashes in the tube. Because of this and since there is not a big difference in quality between high end and drug store lines (in my opinion) it is simply not worth the money. My recommendation is Cover Girl – their mascara does not flake or smudge on that lower lash line and it is the most lightweight mascara I have ever worn while making my eyelashes look luscious.

Origins Youthtopia Firming Eye Cream - $62.50 at Sephora

If you are in your mid twenties or older, you should start investing in a really good eye cream since the skin around your eyes is very thin and therefore more prone to wrinkles. If you have dry skin around your eyes like myself, you are even more prone to crow’s feet so go with a product that is extra moisturizing like this Origins eye cream above. While pricey, it is great since it adds moisture without leaving a greasy feeling, works great under makeup, and reduces fine lines as well as dark circles. If you have oily skin, I would recommend looking for a gel product instead of a cream. Ole Henriksen has a great one here.  As a tip, always ask for a sample before committing to purchase the whole product since you want to see how well the sensitve skin in this area reacts upon use. 
Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Guest Post: Emma Kapetanovic

Monday, 15 October 2012

Channelling Annie Hall

Over the weekend, I watched one of my favourite Woody Allen movies, Annie Hall. Every outfit is a constant source of style inspiration, even now, decades later. 

What I love most about this character is that she wears quirky vintage menswear with such conviction.  She has such a way of layering loose fitted slacks, men’s jackets, vests and (my favourite) ties without looking like a complete nutcase. It is effortlessly chic. I really want to start incorporating these key pieces into my everyday life. 

After buying this vest, years ago, I never had the courage to wear it, and last weekend I was about to donate it to the Salvation Army when my mom stopped me from giving it away. I am so happy I kept it because I think this is the key piece that pulls this entire look together. 

It’s surprising to know that the iconic Annie Hall look was created by Diane Keaton herself. She pulled pieces from her own wardrobe to embody the character. It has been said that the costume designer at the time criticized the menswear inspired outfits but director Woody Allen made sure she had her way, quoted saying "She's a genius…Let her wear what she wants." We gotta give him props for that.

If you’re attempting to pull off this style, you don’t have to be so literal with it. If you don’t want to sport a tie, go for a print bow blouse. I myself decided to switch the slacks with shorts and the men’s dress shirt with my chambray top. The best part about this look is that a lot of the key pieces and accessories that make this style so "Annie Hall" can be picked up from your local thrift store. 

I compiled some images below of some my favourite stills from the movie, just in case you haven't seen it but, seriously, do yourself a favour and check it out. If you have seen this movie congratulations on being an awesome individual. Here is the trailer for your enjoyment.

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Hat: Mom's - Vintage, Shirt: Top- $60, Tie: Thrift - $2, Vest: Forever 21 - $20, Shorts: H&M - $25, Shoes: Cole Haan - $48.

Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic
Location: Toronto

Friday, 12 October 2012

Deal of the Week: 40% off FCUK

French Connection is a store that I don't frequently shop at since it's a wee bit above my price range (I prefer to go to their annual warehouse sale instead) but 40% off their entire store?! That's a deal that even I can afford! Below are some belts that are both interesting and affordable. I'm thinking about picking up the bow belt...which one is your favourite?

Colour Block Suede Belt - $48 $29

Leather Metallic Bow Belt - $58 $35

Flash Block Belt - $58 $35

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Photo Credit: French Connection

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Garden Party

This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving which meant three days spent in my pajamas eating copious amounts of food…not really different from any other weekend, except for this weekend I got to eat TURKEY (yum!).

I'm not going to try to fool anyone - I do not cook dinner looking like this. In fact, as my friends will tell you it is usually a battle to get me out of pajamas for a dinner party but I thought, for the sake of this blog, I would pull it together and wear this outfit which I think is both appropriate and forgiving.

I picked this dress up from the Zara summer sale that I discussed here, and this was the first time I had a chance to wear it. The benefit of this dress is the tulip skirt, which not only gives me that the hour glass figure that I so badly need, but hides that post-dinner food baby belly that has a tendency to appear...i.e., perfect for Thanksgiving!


While we were making dinner, we encountered a slight problem halfway through the process and had to use a punching bag to hold our oven door shut with far too many baking dishes in it. This, I'm sure, is not part of Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving rendition. See picture here

Since we were cooking for a small group, we bought a half turkey which the butcher cut directly through the center. The dilemma we had was how do you stuff a half turkey? In my world – cooking stuffing on the side is not an option so I was going to figure out a solution somehow...

The only thing I could think of was cooking the turkey upside down, which meant that the cavity created a little bowl for the stuffing which I then covered with bacon to secure it in place.  Outcome? Deliciousness. See picture here. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend too! I say, let's do it again in November in honour of our U.S. friends.

Thanks for following and happy shopping!

Dress: Zara - $40, Bag: Mom’s – Vintage, Heels: Nine West - $30, Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters - $10, Necklace: A Gift.

Photo Credit: Emma Kapetanovic
Location: Toronto