Running Errands

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(Photos by James)

Outfit Details: Top (H&M), Jeans (Forever 21), Nude Pumps (c/o Nine West), Bracelet (Banana Republic), Ring (thrifted), Sunglasses (Chanel)

While I usually love to over-accessorize and wear lots of bright prints and colours, there is always at least one day of the week where I run necessary errands and want to do it stylishly and comfortably. What better way to do this than to put on your favourite pair of jeans and pumps?

I've never been a sweats kind of gal - the closest I get to wearing sweat pants or PJs in public is leggings or harem pants. I typically just throw on some jeans, a nice top and pretty shoes and I'm good to go!

What's your go-to ensemble for running errands? I'd love to know!

Los Angeles, Here I Come!

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I'm thrilled to be going on vacation to Los Angeles, California for the first time (August 1-7)! Even though I will be there for seven days (minus two due to traveling), there is just so much to explore that I don't think I'll be able to do everything on my bucket-list.

 

(Photos courtesy of my lovely friend, Stefania)

With the help of a few friends, readers and the Internet, I've narrowed it down to these places that I am most excited to see:
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Griffith Park and Observatory
  • California Science Center (I'm kind of a science geek)
  • Runyon Canyon Park
  • Santa Monica
  • Venice Beach Boardwalk
  • The Grove
  • Melrose District
  • Lots of local boutiques, food trucks and restaurants! 

I'll try to share photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as often as I can, so be sure to follow my adventures! I'm looking forward to spending quality time with family and hoping to meet some blogger friends as well; looking at you, Louise!

What do you recommend I add to my list of things to do in LA?

Insta-Monday: Neutrogena, Toronto Zoo, Nine West Sale & More

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Listed from top to bottom, left to right:
  1. My parents surprised me with a bouquet of flowers, cards and Swirls cupcakes on my birthday with a creative setup.
  2. Received Neutrogena facial cleansers that I'm super excited to try.
  3. Went to the Toronto Zoo as a work field trip with co-workers.
  4. Finally got to see the pandas, too bad they were sleeping. I also LOVED the polar bears.
  5. Did some damage at Nine West (Square One) last week. They currently have an amazing sale that I highly recommend checking out.
  6. Spent a few gift cards that I got on my birthday for new makeup goodies. I'm looking forward to trying the OCC Lip Tar!
I'm currently planning my Los Angeles trip, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for exciting updates!

1-Year Blogaversary!

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It's hard to believe how much has happened for me and my *little* blog in the past year. I initially started writing style posts once a week as a creative outlet to express my personal interests (and to write about something other than just LASIK clinics, dentists... a.k.a. my day job). Now if I don't curate at least four posts each week, I feel like a part of me is missing.

This has been quite a journey so far and I'm happy I get to share it with you all. Before I started a style blog I heard people say that it's effortless and easy, but let me tell you, it's NOT. A lot of hard work and time goes into running SummerxSkin whether it's high-quality photos, content, video, photoshoots/editorials, marketing, social media, events, endless e-mails/meetings/interviews or outreach. The scariest part is putting yourself out there in public (with boundaries of course), not knowing if the outcome will be positive or negative.

Regardless, I'm grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way thus far, and for having love and support from my family and friends. It's also helpful when the blogging community, readers, PR and brands are so kind. :)

Thank you! xoxo

Mint Daisies

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(Photos by Maria)

Outfit Details: Cropped Pants (c/o Smart Set), Shirt (Ardene), Crossbody Bag + Wedges (Aldo), Necklace (c/o Olive + Piper), Bracelets (Dynamite)

Do you ever put an outfit together solely based on one item? This look is inspired by the Olive + Piper "Go Daisy" necklace. It's quickly becoming one of my most favourite pieces and I love how easy it is to style. To be honest I think this outfit would have been pretty bland if it weren't for the pop of mint!

What are some of your favourite accessories that you wear most often? I'd love to know!

Shades of Purple Makeup Tutorial

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A while back I attended an event held by Almay Canada and was so inspired by the Intense I-Color collection (which included an eyeshadow palette, pencil liner and mascara) that I had to create a look! I actually did this tutorial a few weeks ago but didn't get a chance to edit and upload it until now.

Click to watch the video tutorial below!


The products mentioned in the video were:
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
  • c/o Sigma Makeup Brushes
  • Sonia Kashuk Brushes
  • c/o Almay Intense I-Color Bold Nudes Kit (for brown eyes)
  • c/o Almay Intense I-Color Defining Liner in "031 Onyx"
  • c/o Almay Intense I-Color Volumizing Mascara in "031 Plum"
  • Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in "02 Medium"
  • Urban Decay Powder Blush in "Exhale"
  • Smashbox Blush in "Flush" (not shown in the video)
  • c/o Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm in "300 Apple a Day"
Hope you enjoyed this makeup tutorial! Be sure to comment below and subscribe to my YouTube channel as well.

Insta-Monday: Happy Birthday to Me!

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I debated a little about whether I should announce that it's my birthday or not, but I turned 24 today which is kind of a big deal, so why not! I celebrated with some of my closest friends this past weekend and I'm really looking forward to going home tonight and relaxing with my family.

Here is an Insta-Monday roundup of the last two weeks. Enjoy!


Listed from top to bottom, left to right:
  1. Received goodies from Revlon Canada to help me create a fun makeup tutorial using the colour blue.
  2. My custom tea subscription from Taste Cha finally arrived. I'm already in love with the peppermint-flavoured tea.
  3. Went thrift shopping with ladies from Shoppalu and found the cutest items, like these chairs.
  4. Finally got the chance to visit Magnum Canada's pop-up shop in Yorkville and loved the entire experience.
  5. Received goodies from Verseo courtesy of Chic Darling. Thank you!
  6. Attended a fabulous intimate dinner held by Ecco Shoes Canada and Brill Communications and got these boots as a gift. Can't wait to style them for fall/winter!
  7. The rest of the photos are from a birthday party I held for my close friends on Saturday night. It was a fantastic time and really good to hang out and relax with good company.
Thanks for checking out Insta-Monday! Feel free to follow my adventures real-time on Instagram and Twitter.

Spark Sessions: A Fashion & Beauty Blogger Conference

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I'm so excited to share that I'm helping to organize Spark Sessions: A Fashion & Beauty Blogger Conference (November 16-17, 2013) in Toronto! It's going to be a fun and informative 2-day conference created for bloggers, by bloggers. Click here to see the agenda!

Attendees will have the chance to:
  • Connect with fellow bloggers (local, national and international)
  • Learn from successful and well-known PR reps and industry leaders
  • Build your brand!
  • Find out about current trends, tips and tricks
  • Sign up to speed network with PR reps and brands

The executive committee is made up of 7 fabulous ladies (including myself) and if you don't know them already, I highly suggest checking out their blogs!

We are currently finalizing on the venue and speakers, but will announce all the little details as we confirm them. Find out how you can SPONSOR Spark Sessions, and be sure to stay in the loop by following Spark Sessions on Twitter and Facebook.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Bloggers Do It Better: American Eagle Crop Top

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(Photos by James)

Outfit Details: Crop Top (c/o American Eagle), Maxi Skirt + Gladiator Sandals (Forever 21), Bag (Marc Jacobs), Necklace (c/o Keepsake by Deborah Kanfer), Bangles (Butterfly Beads), Ring (c/o Smart Set)

I'm so excited to be featured on American Eagle's blog alongside Nicole (Dainty Girl) and Katelyn (The Skinny Blonde Girl). We've styled a crop top in three different ways. Check out the post here!

I've worn crop tops many times on this blog in the past. I recently paired one with a maxi dress, have worn it over a bodycon skirt and also on top of a LBD (little black dress).

When I was younger my go-to outfit was always a crop top with jeans or shorts; to this day I still remember having one with a big peace symbol on it, remember when that was a thing? It's just not my style anymore and you'll notice that each time I've avoided exposing my midriff. This makes the outfit more suitable for an everyday routine which usually includes work, meetings and events.

Ikat is a really popular print this summer and I've already seen it in fall/winter lookbooks. I paired my Ikat hi-low maxi skirt with this royal blue crop top from American Eagle to touch a tad on colour blocking, but to also make the print stand out more. I decided to stay minimal on accessories because of the bold print.

How do you style your crop tops? Share your tips with me.

FASHION Magazine Style Panel: Vacation Mode

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(Photos by James)

Outfit Details: Maxi Dress + Gladiator Sandals (Forever 21), Crossbody Bag (Poppie Jones), Necklace (NAYME), Bracelets (Butterfly Beads), Sunglasses (Chanel)

This week FASHION Magazine asked the Style Panel what they would wear on vacation and to share packing tips. Click here to read the article!

While I don't go on long trips often, I try to take off a few days every few months to travel. Unlike most people, I actually really enjoy packing and am usually praised for my skills. I've shared a few tips on this blog before (like last year when I went to Arizona), but have reiterated some of them in this week's Style Panel.

READ THE FULL POST HERE!


Any travel plans for the summer? Share them with me!

eBay Summer Wedding Dresses (+ giveaway)

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We're in the midst of summer wedding season and I don't know about you, but by this time I've usually exhausted all my options and go on a hunt to find one or two more dresses that will last me through the end of summer (and beginning of fall).

eBay Canada and I want to make it a little bit easier for you! We're partnered to give you FOUR dress options through a photoshoot I organized, and we're giving YOU the chance to win one of them!


#1 is an Oxford Circus Bustier Hi-Low Dress in size medium ($83 CAD value). This gorgeous black & blue dress can be worn at a wedding or similar occasion, but can also be re-purposed for birthdays or a cocktail event. My favourite part is the sexy back with ribcage-cutouts on both sides.


#2 is a Foley + Corinna Gradient Chiffon Tie Dress in size small ($36 CAD value). This one fits a bit loose, but the tie at the waist gives the dress a very feminine shape. You can wear this dress to a wedding but also a casual party for summer. It's light-weight and the colours are suitable for any skin-tone.


#3 is a stunning Pink Maxi Dress with Bejeweled Top in size 2 ($160 CAD value). This dress screams glamorous and you will have heads turning no matter what. The top of the dress is a bit heavy with the detailing but the rest is light and flows well. I had the most fun styling this one.


#4 is a Dave and Johnny Short Cream Dress in size 1/2 ($220 CAD value). This is probably my favourite out of the four and is simply the cutest. All of the detailing (front and back) is so pretty and the fun tutu bottom adds a little bit more glam to the whole look.

Enter to WIN a Summer Wedding Dress


To be eligible, you MUST fill out the Rafflecopter widget below and COMMENT on this blog post telling me which dress you want to win. Here are the four options, you can choose more than one:
 

If you do not comment, I won't know which dress you want!

For extra entries, you can do the following and indicate you did them in the Rafflecopter widget:
  • Become a fan of SummerxSkin on Facebook
  • Become a fan of eBay Canada on Facebook
  • Follow @summerxskin on Twitter
  • Follow @eBayCanada on Twitter
  • Tweet "I need a summer wedding dress, @summerxskin! Please enter me for the @eBayCanada giveaway. http://bit.ly/10WlQ90" You can tweet this once a day, every day
  • This contest is open to Canadian residents only and ends on July 28, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Good luck!

Special thanks to my friend Mitali for modeling the dresses for the photoshoot. Isn't she gorgeous?! All photos were taken by James Rubec.

This is a sponsored post.

Behind-the-Scenes: Whitney Linen Summer 2013 Lookbook

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Earlier this week I published the Summer 2013 Lookbook I created for Whitney Linen, with the help of an amazing team.

Check out this behind-the-scenes video filmed and produced by Larry Prom. I hope you love it as much as I do!


The girls who styled and styled the five other looks are all really good friends of mine. We used to work together at MANGO, back when the store still existed in Toronto. We have so many great memories with each other and still call our group "Mangolicious". It was really fun working with them again on the Whitney Linen Summer 2013 Lookbook.


This is Stefania Mancinelli (and Janny Tram in the background) getting their makeup and hair done.


Ashley Seki's luxurious locks!


Me and Stefania! I didn't have any makeup on at this point.


Definitely one of my favourite photos from the shoot: Janny and Vanessa May Ramos cracking jokes while getting their photos taken.

And that's a wrap! Let me know what you think of the Whitney Linen Summer 2013 Lookbook and this Behind-the-Scenes footage.

Lady In Red (+ giveaway)

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(Photos by James)

Outfit Details: Crop Top + Pants (Forever 21), Bag (Kate Spade), Sandals (c/o Cat Footwear), Bracelets (Kate Spade + Butterfly Beads)

The three photos above explain weather in Toronto perfectly: sunshine, sunshine with a bit of rain, torrential downpour!

With the unpredictable forecast these days I debate every morning whether or not to wear sandals, but these Cat Footwear gladiators are too cute to pass up. Even though they're a combination of leather and suede, I've worn them (many times) in the rain and they are still not damaged! Cat Footwear is typically known for construction site boots, they also have a great collection of city and street-wear; I've already got my eye on a couple of their fall/winter shoes.

Win A Pair of Cat Footwear Sandals!



Cat Footwear has offered to give one lucky reader the same pair of gladiator sandals I have! Valued at $119 CAD, this particular style is called Weavement and trust me, they are really high-quality and will last you a long time. I've had mine for a couple of months now and they're still in great shape.

To be eligible, you must fill out the Rafflecopter widget below and comment on this blog post telling me how you'd style the Cat Footwear "Weavement" gladiator sandals.

For extra entries, you can do the following and indicate you did them in the Rafflecopter widget:
  • Become a fan of SummerxSkin on Facebook
  • Become a fan of Cat Footwear on Facebook
  • Follow SummerxSkin on Twitter
  • Tweet "Rain or shine, please enter me to win those Cat Footwear sandals! Thanks @summerxskin. :) http://bit.ly/11Ad5E4" You can tweet this once a day, every day
  • This contest is open to Canadian residents only and ends on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST
a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck!

Whitney Linen Summer 2013 Lookbook

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I recently worked with the team at Whitney Linen to create a Summer 2013 Lookbook that would give women an idea of how to wear their light-weight clothing this season and still look super stylish.

Click on the virtual pages to navigate through the lookbook.


I asked five of my girlfriends to style a look that suited them the most, using pieces from Whitney Linen along with accent items from their own wardrobe. We created six looks in total and they all turned out to be beautiful and unique!

Thanks to my wonderful and talented team for helping me put this project together! The credits can be found at the end of the lookbook, or you can browse through them here:

Organizer & Editorial Direction: Anum Khan / SummerxSkin.com

In collaboration with Whitney Linen

Jewelry: Marka Designs

Photographers: Rasesh Jamkhandikar, James Rubec

Videographer: Larry Prom

Makeup & Hair: Ashley Zimmerman, Yan Jin

Models: Stefania Mancinelli, Ashley Seki, Vanessa May Ramos, Ashley Bennett, Janny Tram, Anum Khan

In case you can't view the lookbook or want to see the photos directly in this post, here they are! I've labelled the model (who also styled the outfit) below the photo.


Stefania Mancinelli


Ashley Seki


Vanessa May Ramos


Ashley Bennett


Janny Tram


Anum Khan (me!)

What do you think of the Summer 2013 Lookbook? Tell me in the comments. I will also be sharing a fun behind-the-scenes video (+ photos) later this week!

Insta-Monday: Books, Frizz Ease Products, Pepsi Challenge & More

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Listed from top to bottom, left to right:
  1. Orange is the New Black is a Netflix original comedy-drama series, based on Piper Kerman's memoir. I'm excited to read the book and will be watching the show starting later this week!
  2. I got to hang out with the folks over at Harper Collins Publishers Canada and met author Kim Izzo.
  3. John Frieda graciously sent me a whole bunch of products to keep my hair looking great all summer. I've already been using the 3-Days Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray and it really works! It helps your hair stay straight through rain and shine.
  4. Pepsi Canada has set up a Pop-Up on Queen Street West in Toronto, where they host all kinds of entertainment and allow the public to participate in the Taste challenge. Turns out I prefer Pepsi over Coca-Cola!
  5. I'm not a big sports fan but love going to see games live. I enjoyed the Toronto FC game at the BMO Field with friends!
  6. Went for my friend's birthday party at Against The Grain Urban Tavern by the docks; what an amazing location!
  7. Thanks to Summerlicious 2013, I discovered Midi Bistro! I don't typically order vegetarian dishes but this Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie was SO good.
This week's Insta-Monday was a small combination of what happened last couple of weeks. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for real-time updates!

Recap of Digital Dreams VIP Weekend with Smart Set

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It seems as though all I've been talking about lately is my weekend with Smart Set at Digital Dreams Music Festival. Through this campaign I was able to host a giveaway, share outfits I wore, AND now I'm doing a full rundown of what happened.

If you're not sure what Digital Dreams is, it's an electronic music festival that gathers local and international, DJs and they play throughout the weekend. There were three stages, all playing different types of music, which was neat because you get to choose where you want to hang out, but you can also easily move around.

The 12 bloggers that Smart Set chose to bring (including me) got to spend two nights at The Gladstone Hotel. We were greeted by the friendliest staff, had a nice lunch and surprise manicures while getting to know each other!


If you're ever looking to hang out and snack somewhere with your beau or friend, I recommend The Gladstone Hotel! We devoured all of the platters in no time.


We all got manicures, hand and shoulder massages courtesy of the ladies at Body Beauty Mind. Would you believe that my nail polish is still on and hardly chipped?! It's been six days.


The Gladstone Hotel is very artistic, colourful and inspiring. My hotel room was themed Chinoiserie (room 417) and I loved it because it felt like I was hanging out in the Victorian era. I don't think I'd actually set up my own bedroom this way but it sure was nice being in a different atmosphere for a weekend.


Shortly after lunch we had a Smart Set shopping party at Toronto Eaton Centre. We were all given the opportunity to pick out clothing we liked courtesy of Smart Set. I'm so happy with all of my new clothes!


We finally made it to Digital Dreams (day one)!! Here are all of the 12 lovely bloggers. It was amazing how well we got along. I also liked how we had our own VIP booth with food, drinks and our own bathrooms.

From left to right, top to bottom: Amber (Canadian Fashionista), Marilou (Vagabonde), Zarah (Me Myself & Montreal), Camille (Le Cahier), Gabrielle (Dentelle+Fleurs), Aurelie (Lili Brunette), Carrie (Zurbaines), ME, Christina (The Style Mogul), Jenelle (Nelle Creations), Alexandra (I'm a Little) and Kate (O My Heart).


Out of all electronic music I enjoy dub-step the most, so I hung out at that stage for a while. Everyone was having such a fantastic time and I loved all of the lights.


The best thing about Digital Dreams was the Smart Set Bubble. You basically go into a giant bubble, they zip it up and you get to dance to music and throw confetti for about 10 seconds. It all gets recorded into a video, which you can share on your Facebook profile. Loooved this idea!


Day two started with a delicious brunch at The Drake Hotel. I've always heard great things and was super excited when I heard we were going there. I tried chicken waffles for the first time, YUMMY!!


Just hanging out with lovely bloggers. So nice to meet the girls from Montreal and New Brunswick!


On the second day of Digital Dreams we got to hang out backstage and eat amazing food, talk to DJs and got A LOT of free merchandise. Check out our hats and t-shirts!


Aside from hanging out with the girls, all of the clothing, food and hotel perks, my favourite part was seeing Tiesto live. I've heard from so many people in the past that it's always an amazing time listening and dancing to his music, but experiencing it was INCREDIBLE. I've had electronic beats in my head all week.

Big thanks to Smart Set for making this possible! Hope you enjoyed my coverage of Digital Dreams Music Festival 2013.