The Ultimate $20 Gift Guide

21 gift ideas that are $20 and under

Every year my budget gift guide is far and away the most popular of them all, which just goes to show a thoughtful, stylish gift doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. This year's cutoff is a bit higher to allow for some lovely finds with a slightly higher price tag. Read on for more details on the picks above and loads of other under $20 gift ideas!


My Favourite Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sales

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! For the rest of us, this weekend is marked by two major events: Black Friday/Cyber Monday (and with that, the start of the holiday shopping season), and Gilmore Girls. There's a good chance I might be working overtime this weekend as it seems that every year, a major work deadline lands somewhere near the holidays, but during my downtime, I'm going to check out a sale or two on my iPad while catching up on all the new episodes and sipping herbal tea. As an aspiring minimalist, here's hoping I won't go too crazy; that being said, this year it seems like half my sweaters and jackets have mysteriously stopped fitting across the shoulders so I'm searching for replacements. What are you shopping for?


What's New At BeautyMark For Holiday 2016

BeautyMark will always hold a special place in my heart. My relationship with the Vancouver-based beauty boutique first began in 2010, when their PR emailed me about trying a vegan nail polish line they carried at the time. (Remember, this was before beauty blogging became huge and brands working with bloggers was still relatively novel.) Over the years they've introduced me to labels like Tata Harper and Consonant, as well as best-in-the-biz pros like Chris Funk (with whom I collaborated on a blowout tutorial here) and Kathryn Sawers of Collective Skincare (my facialist extraordinaire and a wealth of information when it comes to pre-wedding skincare strategy).

Given such a long working relationship, I go to BeautyMark's annual holiday media preview expecting to re-acquaint myself with the aspects of the store I already adore, but this year's event blew me away with the unprecedented level of new stuff to see, learn about, and experience. Longtime fans of BeautyMark and those new to the store are in for a treat. All the details after the jump!


A Cozy Night In

All the essentials you need for a cozy, cabin-chic night in featuring picks from Chapters Indigo, including pillows and throws, scented candles, and other home decor goodies.

Longtime readers of this blog know that I'm a homebody at heart, and now that I'm in my thirties those tendencies are even more pronounced. (My husband jokes I grow roots on the couch.) A choice Netflix binge (Gilmore Girls on Friday!) and a few creature comforts are all I need to settle in for a perfect evening at home, and when it comes to shopping for said creature comforts, Indigo is where it's at. Indigo holiday previews are one of my most anticipated press events of the year, and not just because they're always beautifully done and full of gift-giving inspiration—they're also full of ideas for making your home the coziest and most welcoming version of itself, just in time for the holidays. This year I spotted plenty of Canadiana-inspired, cabin-chic finds that would fit right in with our living room.


New & Noteworthy: Paul & Joe Cheek Color CS

Paul & Joe Cheek Colour CS features cat-shaped blush beads.

Meow-velous, purrfect...really, I don't there are enough cat puns in the world to capture the irresistible charm of Paul & Joe Cheek Color ($48 at Shoppers Drug Mart). Paul & Joe beauty products don't necessarily perform better than their drugstore, department store, and luxury counterparts, but they really stand out when it comes to packaging and presentation. And in the case of this adorable blush, they've definitely outdone themselves.


Product Review: BVspa by Bon Vital Salt Scrub

BVspa by Bon Vital Salt Scrub in pink grapefruit and lavender & rosemary

Like regular pedis, body exfoliation tends to fall by the wayside when temperatures drop and we hide ourselves in multiple layers of wool and denim. However, I'd argue it's more important than ever in the colder months. A good buffing clears away dead, flaky skin and allows your moisturizer/body butter/oil of choice to better penetrate the skin, plus it can invigorate the senses and provide a much-needed moment of self-care in the midst of holiday season stress. That's why I was so psyched to see the BVspa by Bon Vital Salt Scrubs ($11.99 each at Shoppers Drug Mart) land on my beauty desk. From their scents to their naturals-heavy formulas, these body scrubs feel a lot more luxe than their humble price tag.


Things I Bought That I Love: J. Crew Tippi Star Sweater

Things I Bought That I Love highlights the (hopefully) rare, carefully considered new purchases that spark joy in this aspiring minimalist.

Oh J. Crew, Tippi star sweater ($118.50 25% off with code WARMSTYLE today), how do I love thee? Let me count the ways as I welcome you into my closet.


Drugstore Delight: Cover Girl Oh Sugar Lip Balm

Cover Girl Oh Sugar Lip Balm in Soda, Cupcake, Punch, Gumdrop, Jelly

Is there such a thing as having too many tinted lip balms? I think not! This essential—which bridges the gap between cosmetic and skincare—hydrates, brightens a winter-pale complexion effortlessly, and is easier to wear on winter-chapped lips than a full-coverage lipstick. The latest one to cross my beauty desk is CoverGirl Oh Sugar Lip Balm ($7.99 at London Drugs).


Things I Bought That I Love: Kowtow Building Block Scoop Tee

Things I Bought That I Love highlights the (hopefully) rare, carefully considered new purchases that spark joy in this aspiring minimalist.

Kowtow building block scoop tee in navy and white stripe made from organic cotton, folded and displayed alongside succulent, Vancouver Candle Co. Mt. Pleasant travel tin candle, Madewell gold hexagon earrings, Asscher cut diamond engagement ring, De Beers half pave yellow gold infinity band, Danica Studio angle dipped coasters

When I first KonMari'd my life, I thought it'd be a one-and-done deal. The marathon tidying session would signal the start of a blissful stasis where I'd be perfectly content with my possessions, never feeling tempted to buy anything new again; however, reality is more nuanced than that. I've still been shopping here and there for new clothes, albeit much less than I used to and mostly replacing pieces that have worn out or don't fit anymore. However, my Kowtow Building Block Scoop Tee ($79) is not one of these conscientious replacement purchases. I have plenty of striped tees already, but I knew I had to have this one when I saw it on the sale rack at Still Life and I wouldn't regret it either.


Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor Collection

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor Collection

It's that time of year again! Every year Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier (my first holiday party this year is on November 19). But it's not so bad when you can admire decorations in stores, enjoy an eggnog latte or two, and there's an all-gold-everything Dior winter collection to thrill beauty lovers everywhere. I've been blogging about these collections since 2013 but their luxe glamour still delights me every time. This season, the Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor Collection was inspired by "the artistry of Dior ateliers with sparkling sequins." I've got a little sneak peek at what's available at Dior counters nationwide right now. Ready for a closer look?


12 Etsy Finds For Gilmore Girls Fans

12 Etsy gift ideas for Gilmore Girls fans

Other than our wedding and mini-moon, the Gilmore Girls revival hitting Netflix on November 25th has been the fall event I'm anticipating most. I've already taken the day off to binge-watch them all (with copious cups of coffee in tow, naturally), and every new trailer or tidbit released online leading up to the main event has me giddy with joy over the prospect of re-visiting a show I've loved since I was 16. Are you a Gilmore Girls superfan like I am or do you know someone who is? Here are 12 Etsy finds that'll make the return to Stars Hollow all the sweeter (and—hint hint—they make excellent stocking stuffers and gifts).

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